Page 1

leaf 7400 Cornell Road Cincinnati, Ohio 45242, 513.686.1770 ext. 3089


This is so much more fun than my assigned summer reading books...

Are you a Stewardess or a Pilot? To find out, turn to page 27 to test your knowledge of SHS’ sports history. Take the quiz every issue to increase your score. Wondering what all that construction has been at the Kenwood Mall? Turn to page 16 for all the information on the latest edition to Cincinnati’s most successful mall.

pg. 32 pg. 16

FRIDAY May 22, 2009 Volume LV Issue X

5.22-6.05 news shorts For more info, check out these and more at


y Monda

SEE1 concert at lunch

rsd ay Thu ednesd W 4 y a d Tues 3


Students can rock out to selections from SEE1’s repertoire today at all three lunches free of cost. The songs will be pulled from their concert that was performed earlier in the year with Mark Wood of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.






12 Last Da y of Sc hool

Rescheduled 18


‘Music is my thing so it’s like saying ‘goodbye Sycamore’ in my way’


Seniors prepare for graduation ceremony




staff writer

Sophomore Ice Cream Social

image by michela tindera

The sophomore ice cream social is scheduled for today during sixth bell. Students will not be admitted without a ticket.

Graduation, Senior Picnic

The graduation ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, May 31 at 1 p.m. at Xavier University’s Cintas Center. Rehearsal for seniors will be from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. in the gym Friday, May 29. The senior picnic and slideshow will be the following day on Monday, June 1 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

New changes in The Leaf

The Leaf has gone through another redesign for the May issue. As a result, Spotlight has been moved to within in the issue, at page 6 and Calendar is on page 5. Also several columns have been added to the Sports section as well as to A&E and Feature.

Underclass, Senior awards

Congratulations to all the recipients of underclass awards on Wednesday, May 20. The senior recognition ceremony will be on Thursday, May 28 at 6:00 p.m.

Host family needed

Two new foreign exchange students will be joining the SHS community next year, however host families are still needed. See Ms. Marilyn Ray for more information.

Summer school registration There is still time to register for summer courses. You can pick up a packet in the attendance office. All forms are due June 11, and costs vary by course. Several courses that are available for enrollment including Health, Lifetime Sports, and Geometry.


CHANGE: Because the number of allotted calamity days allowed by the state will eventually be reduced from five to one, the district’s calendar could end up looking like this one. This decision by Governor Ted Strickland has lead to a great deal of discussion across the

Calamity Days: For more information on calamity days, turn to page 7 for the staff editorial, student opinions, and to page 8 for a pro/con on adding school days to the calendar.

Number of state-approved days off reduced for coming school year rashmiborah



now days are nothing new for SHS students. For the past three years there have been at least three snow days each school year. Luckily, students and staff did not have to make up those days—the five allotted calamity days took care of that. This school year was a little different. The winds of Hurricane Ike that damaged electrical lines and took away three of the district’s allotted calamity days, combined with the snow days, rendered the district responsible for making up the three extra calamity days.

Looking for a good book to read this summer? Turn to page 22 for alternative ideas to your assigned summer homework.

But at this point in time, we still had five calamity days—five days we did not have to make up. Starting with this coming school year, the number of calamity days allotted to Ohio Public Schools will be reduced to three days. During the 2010-2011 school year they will be reduced to two. And for every school year after that, each school will only have one allowed calamity day. “I think it [will] fail. We can’t control mother nature,” said Kyle Davidson, 10. According to the Dayton Daily News, the Ohio House of Representatives chose to take away calamity days instead of adding on days to the school year, which was the original plan in Governor Ted Strickland’s new education plan. In the Dayton Daily News’ report, State Representative Clayton Luckie, D-Dayton, described this change as “a way to [add] class time without costing more money.”


Three administrators and over a dozen seniors gathered on Wednesday, April 29 in anticipation of the senior class’ most significant day of the year. After an hour and a half of auditions for graduation speeches and songs, the presenters have been selected. Seniors Noa Bellilti and Ben Rosen are singing “The Prayer,” S.W.E.E.T seniors Ayesha Alam, Susan Dicken, Bridget Handkins, and Kerry Verdier are singing the National Anthem, and Will Kiley will give a speech. Graduation, taking place on May 31 at the Cintas Center at Xavier University will also feature a special keynote speaker who requested to give a speech at the ceremony: Mr. Gordon Gee, President of The Ohio State University. He approached SHS because he wanted to speak at a ceremony somewhere in the region; Sycamore was a standout on the list of schools his staff compiled. According to Mr. Jim Skoog, associate principal, he will likely try to make it a tradition. “My guess is he didn’t do the choosing… probably someone said Sycamore High School,” said Skoog about how Gee was selected. Over a dozen seniors tried out, and a few have been given the opportunity to speak at other venues. 2B Sharp quartet with Nate Eckman, Paolo Gabriel, Michael Rollins, and Eric Schwartz will be performing the


Parking Passes It is once again time to register for parking passes for the ‘09-’10 school year. Forms will be available at the front office to fill out beginning on Tuesday, May 26.

Seniors: Forms will be accepted as early as May 28. Juniors: Forms will be accepted as early as June 2.



regular bell schedule

7th bell exam: 12:50 p.m. - 2:20 p.m.





wednesday thursday friday



1st bell exam: 7:20 a.m. - 9:10 a.m. 2nd bell exam: 9:15 a.m. - 11:05 a.m. exam make up: 12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m

FORUM 7-13 FEATURE 14-19 A&E 20-26

3rd bell exam: 7:20 a.m. - 9:10 a.m. 4th bell exam: 9:15 a.m. - 11:05 a.m. exam make up: 12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m


5th bell exam: 7:20 a.m. - 9:10 a.m. 6th bell exam: 9:15 a.m. - 11:05 a.m. exam make up: 12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m


News 2

FRIDAY May 22, 2009

Just as those on sycamore trees,

>>CONT. FROM FRONT PAGE: GRADUATION National Anthem on Senior Recognition Night on May 28 at SHS. Mary Ann Jiang will be giving a speech there as well. “It’s my senior year so it’s kind of like the only ‘farewell Sycamore’ gesture I can get,” said Bridget Handkins, 12. “Music is my thing so it’s like saying ‘goodbye Sycamore’ in my way. It’s also really emotional in a way because we’re SWEET seniors so it’s like it’s from the choir program.” Several more performers will be featured at the Senior Slide Show on June 2. Joe Mclaughlin, Josh Meyer, and Bellilti will perform “Dare You to Move” by Switchfoot and Sam Newland will be speaking. Certain speeches and performances had messages and styles which were more appropriate for specific events. The aim is to make each event memorable and provide meaningful opportunities for all performers to express their voices.

>>CONT. FROM FRONT PAGE: CALAMITY DAYS Strickland’s plan is still calling for the addition of 20 days to the school year, but it is not yet clear how this will be done. For SHS, this will most likely have some sort of impact, even though there has not been an official notice about this change, and some staff members and administrators were unaware of the change. “With anything new, there is usually some questioning,” said Mr. Chris Davis, principal. “But I don’t think it will change how we operate on a daily basis…I [also] don’t think there will be too much of a negative response.” Because this mandate was passed relatively recently, there has not been much discussion about the issue; therefore, it is not exactly clear yet how the district administrators will handle this change. Even though there will be a reduction of calamity days, this will not affect decisions to close school. Dangerous weather or other conditions that could affect student safety will result in either a delay or school closing, regardless of whether or not the number of calamity days allotted have been surpassed. “We’re concerned about student safety. If it’s a snowy day outside…we will still close school,” said Davis. For now, students and staff members should not expect any major changes to the daily schedule or next year’s calendar. Any changes that should arise from discussions over the issue will be released as soon as it is available.

beloved staff members must ...leave S elleanzhang

news chief

HS is defined, not by the excellency that is exuded by students reflected by their achievements in academics, athletics, and the arts, but by the delicate infrastructure of staff members that hold the school together. These people who are seen in the office, in the classroom, and as administrators every day are the people we owe the greatest gratitude to, for there is no gift like that of education. Some of SHS’ staff has already taken a leave of absence, though not officially retiring. Mrs. Emily Sweeney has taken leave to be with her husband in Cleveland, as he finishes up his residency. Mrs. Lisa Kay Dunster, also taking a leave of absence, has been volunteering with the Yellow Ribbon Group to help soldiers who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq to who are returning to readjust to family life. Mr. Jeff Newberry retired earlier this year. Mrs. Melissa Sullivan and Mrs. Clare Taylor are not leaving SHS, but will be beginning a job share deal in which they will split up five bells of English classes between the two of them. This will clear up more time for other goals they hope to pursue at the same time. Members of the SHS staff retiring at the end of this year include Mrs. Sherry Case, Mrs. Dorothy Fricke, Mr. Richard Good, Mr. Scott Popoff, and Mr. Jim Skoog. Though these retirees are moving on with their lives to seek new experiences, they will surely remember these years they have spent at SHS, as will the many students and staff they have impacted by their time here.

Mrs. Dorothy Fricke

Mrs. Sherry Case

Mrs. Dorothy Fricke has spent 30 years at SHS. She has both worked in the attendance office, and served as a summer school secretary.

Mrs. Sherry Case has spent 24 of her 35 years of educational experience at SHS. She is a guidance supervisor and counselor for students.

Sycamore in one word: Passes (tardy, early dismissal, and out-to-lunch). Post-SHS plans: I will be catching up on work at home, substitute teaching, volunteering at Bethesda North, and traveling to see family in Colorado, as well as a cruise to Alaska and Hawaii. A few words for SHS: Keep up the high standards, good work, and everything that makes SHS great.

Sycamore in one word: not possible–intensely challenging and richly rewarding. Post-SHS plans: I will be taking a Gap year for some “soul searching.” I hope to train my dogs to be therapy dogs so that we can visit children in schools and libraries to help them with reading, etc. I also hope to rekindle my love for the creative arts and just ‘take some time to smell the roses’ and enjoy my new freedom. A few words for SHS: Take time to build relationships with, to get to know, and to care about each other because it can make a profound difference in your life and the lives of people around you.

One outstanding memory of SHS (shared by Fricke and Case):The senior class of 1990 inturrupted a teachers’ meeting dressed as cowboys and cowgirls. They had toy guns, with bandanas tied around their faces, and they herded the entire staff onto school buses. After the seniors kidnapped us, aided by the Associate Principal, Dennis Klasmeier, they treated us to a delicious lunch at the Blue Ash Hotel. It was such a unique way of saying thank you to a dedicated, hard working staff.

Mr. Jim Skoog

Mr. Scott Popoff

Sycamore in one word: Excellence. One outstanding memory of SHS: I was coaching in 1999 when the SHS girls’ cross country team qualified for the state meet for the first time. I had taken teams to state before SHS, but what made this so special was the chemistry of the team and the effort they put forth. Post-SHS plans: Anything I want; it will be nice to not be on a schedule. I will spend much more time up at my cabin on a Canadian island. A few words for SHS: I was in a good place in my life during my years at SHS. Thank you so much.


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Mrs. Emily Sweeney while on her leave of absence to Cleveland Mrs. Lisa Kay Dunster while working with the Yellow Ribbon Group

Mr. Scott Popoff has been a geology, astronomy, and field biology at SHS for 17 years. He is also heavily involved in cross country.

Mr. Jim Skoog has been associate principal at SHS for 12 years, with 34 years in education. Sycamore in one word: GOAVES. One outstanding memory of SHS: The tornado in 2001 was the most memorable event because of the incredible way it brought the community together in a time of tragedy. Post-SHS plans: I am planning on finding employment in another school district. A few words for SHS: Looking back at my career, I would not have changed a thing. I got to enjoy getting up and doing exactly what I wanted to every day, as I love what I do. My hope is that everyone can take advantage of that same thing.

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FRIDAY May 22, 2009

News 3

Debate champions Judges impressed by all performances emilybegley

TRANSFORMATION: What began as a simple lesson soon allowed a group of students to perform for SHS during Diversity Day, and then for the city of Cincinnati during the Cincy Cinco festival on May 5. Above, juniors Kathryn Rosenberg and Nick Peltz pose after completing their salsa routine. The group’s performance received a positive reaction from the audience.

‘It’s something I never thought I’d get to do in high school’

‘Salsa Explosion’ stuns audience michelatindera editor-in-chief


hat began as a short lesson in Spanish Club quickly transformed into the salsa dancing, student-comprised group known as “Salsa Explosion.” The group made up of seniors Kit James, Tara Lucian, Dana Reinhart, and Michael Rollins, and juniors Kathryn Rosenberg and Nick Peltz had their first performance at the Diversity Day closing ceremony,which was met with a welcome reception from the crowd. “The name Salsa Explosion wasn’t even our idea,” said Rosenberg. “That was thanks to the lovely emcees of Diversity Day.” Taught by Diana Hoffman, owner

of KamaSalsa in Hyde Park, the group had another performance at the Cincy Cinco festival at Fountain Square on Tuesday, May 5. This is the first time doing partner dancing for most of the group, but everyone seemed to be embracing this new cultural experience openly. “Salsa dancing is so much fun,” said Peltz. “It’s something I never thought I’d get to do at high school.” Though the majority of the group is comprised of seniors, they hope to get new members for the coming school year. “I hope that new people will join next year when the seniors leave,” said Reinhart. “I think it would be


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awesome if this became an ongoing thing.” Hoffman also hopes to expand salsa dancing at the high school level by starting “Salsa for Teens” at many of the public and private high schools in the area and then to one day make it into a competitive activity. There are a few more performances coming up during the course of the summer. Concrete details have not yet been set as of press date, though the group continues to practice with eachother “It is so much fun…I can’t wait for our next performance,” said Rosenberg.








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The all-star round continued on Wednesday, April 29, during which prevailing teams from sixth bell the day before advanced to the sophomore debate semifinals. This set determined the two groups that would move on to participate in the finals – the two triumphant teams would compete to become champion. In the end, the chance was given to Allen’s second and third bell classes. Arguing the affirmative was Allen’s third bell: Michael Shi, Frank Pan, Shivani Parikh, Steven Simpkins, and Devin Choudhury. Allen’s second bell class debated the negative: Nia Campinha-Bacote, Emily Mills, Jenlain Coyle, Elizabeth Keeton, and Brandon Sosna. Impressing judges, teachers, and students with their expansive knowledge of both Strickland’s plan and technicalities of debate, judges were faced with one of the most difficult decisions they have been presented with throughout the history of sophomore debates. “The rapidity of the cross-ex stood out [in particular],” said Allen. They commented that the groups were nearly equal regarding the quality and information communicated during their constructive speeches. In the end, judges’ final verdict was based off of the rebuttals. Ultimately, it was announced that Allen’s second bell all-star team members had been proclaimed the champions of the 2009 sophomore novice debate tournament. “Both teams brought up very good points and presented them well,” said Ragini Chatterjee, 10. “However, the negative team brought up points in a more assertive manner.” Although only one all-star team could be coined the honorable title of champion, both groups presented SHS with what is among the most highly praised debates in school history. Their performances will be remembered for years to come.

photo courtesy of jeremy mcdaniels

photo courtesy of nick peltz

business manager

“It is absolutely clear to me that simply tinkering with centuries-old education practices will not prepare Ohio’s children for success in college, for success in the workplace, or for success in life,” said Governor Ted Strickland in his 2009 State of the State Address. “Therefore, today, I present my plan to build our education system anew.” Beginning on Thursday, April 16, sophomore English students, organized into teams, went head to head with opponents from their class, supporting or refuting why the plan should be enacted. This first series of debates continued throughout the week of Monday, April 20. “Debates were very stressful, but exciting,” said Alix Davis, 10. “It was worth all the stress.” Each class then voted for five exemplary students to represent their class in the “all-star” debates, a round in which highly-qualified sophomores would compete for the distinguished title of champion. Selected groups strived to hone their performance, pinpointing new sources as well as utilizing a collection of research provided to them by their classmates. Time was taken out of their day to visit the IMC and meet after school. “As far as student behavior, this was one of the best debates I’ve seen in years,” said Mrs. Chris Allen, an English teacher. “I was amazed at how mature and courteous all the sophomores were.” On Tuesday, April 28, all-star teams reported to the commons during their second bell class in order to prepare for the first debate in the flight. There, sophomores engaged in last-minute collaboration and organization with their groups. Winning teams moved on to take part in additional debates throughout the course of the day. A total of 15 debates took place on Tuesday during second, third, fourth, and sixth bell.

News 4

FRIDAY May 22, 2009


wine flu causes worldwide panic


tudents, officials worried about deaths

business manager

they have pinpointed a unique aspect of the strain. “I heard there were two cases of it in San Francisco where they died possibly because of the flu, and I think that’s a pretty serious thing. I don’t know symptoms of the virus but I think I might want to make sure to stay extra healthy since it’s supposedly going around,” said Allie Engelhart, 10. The flu ordinarily thrives in both the very young and the elderly because of their weak immune systems. However, this peculiar strain appears to do just the opposite – the majority of cases have occurred in older children and young adults. Despite the large number of cases, this aggressive virus has been the cause of only one death in the United States thus far: a toddler originally from Mexico who died while visiting Texas. “It’s a serious matter. I’m going on the Sycamore Community Summer Singers trip to Spain and we leave June 9. If this situation doesn’t clear up soon, we won’t be going to Europe which would be terrible after all the work we’ve put into it,” said Ryan Sess, 11. With the reported cases of swine flu quickly surmounting, it is important to take precautions to ensure the prevention of the illness. “The things we learned when we were little: covering a cough, staying home when you have a fever, frequent hand-washing,” said Richard Besser in an interview with Fox News. “If people do these things, it will decrease the spread in our communities.” For more information about the symptoms and prevention of swine flu, visit http://www.foxnews. com/.

Epidemic? EPIDEMIC?


never-before-seen strain of swine flu has run rampant in Mexico and the United States throughout the months of April and May. As it continues to spread, the disease is evoking worldwide fear that a pandemic may be on the horizon. “I think that if people don’t take care of themselves by doing things like washing their hands, swine flu can be easily caught,” said Nikita Lillaney, 10. The number of confirmed cases in the United States has significantly increased - as of Monday, May 4, 286 instances of the illness have arisen in 36 states. Prior to this date, only 245 known cases had been recorded. However, according to, this climbing statistic does not reflect a rapid increase in new occurrences of the virus; it is the result of an accumulation of tests conducted by labs. “I don’t really understand why the US is freaking out because there has only been one death here. I also don’t understand why it’s so deadly in Mexico and not here,” said Claire Schwartz, 12. “This new number, up from 245 on Sunday, [May 3] reflects streamlining in federal procedures and the results of tests by states, which have only recently begun confirming cases,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Atlanta Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in an interview with Fox News. Schuchat believes that the new figure additionally serves as evidence that this particular strain of swine flu is “fairly widespread.” Thirty individuals are currently being treated for the virus in a plethora of the nation’s hospitals. Although the severity of their cases is not yet known,

896 3 number 24 of cases in Ohio as 5 of May 3



image by rashmi borah

I don’t really understand why the US is freaking out because there has only been one death here. I also don’t understand why it’s so deadly in Mexico and not here Claire Schwartz, 12

number of swine flu cases in the US, as of May 8 countries reporting cases of swine flu

pandemic level (out of 6) set by the UN as of May 8

*statistics courtesy of USA Today

number of deaths in the US and Mexico



Faith Bible S Church S S



Sycamore Engineering Whizzes students JETS earn first place award Congratulations to: Rachel Pittman Rebekah Pittman Jimmy Morgan Daniel Rajaiah Tommy Seiple

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business manager

The age old question: “When am I ever going to use this?” Well, SHS students involved in JETS, short for Junior Engineering Technical Society, can certainly answer that question. “JETS is a flagship program that allows students in grades 9-12 the opportunity to discover the practical applications of math and science by solving some of today's greatest engineering challenges,” said Ms. Julie Haverkos, advisor of the SHS JETS team. More than 14,000 students compete nationwide every year in this academic competition. This competition brings math and science to life by showing students all the wonderful job opportunities that are available in the field of engineering. In 2002, the SHS varsity team won the National Varsity Championship. Last year, the varsity team won

the regional competitionand won a $5000 scholarship to the UC School of Engineering. Scott Kruger, ‘08, is currently using that scholarship. The TEAMS, which stands for Test in Engineering Aptitude in Math and Science, will explore the 2009 theme for the JETS competition, “Behind the Scene: Theme Parks.” Students discovered the engineering involved in designing, building and running America's theme parks. SHS students on the JETS team were chosen by science teachers, specifically in the chemistry and physics department. A varsity team of seniors competes in one competition and a JV team of juniors in a separate competition. Both competitions involve the same test. In this test, ten questions are answered for all of the eight scenarios. Each team is expected to achieve

a certain score in order to qualify for the national competition. The national competition involves subjective questions concerning four of the original eight scenarios. Both teams compete against other Division 9 schools and in the 2009 regional competition SHS took 1st and 3rd place. Surprisingly, the JV team surpassed the varsity team by stealing 1st place. This qualifies them to have their second test scored for the national competition. The JV team consists of juniors Ashvin Srivatsa, Dan Ashton, Kevin Doherty, Ben Lee, Sheena Patel, Brian Clough, Brianna Conners, and Erin Mclean. As regional champions, the school can expect even greater things from these juniors when they join the varsity team as seniors.


FRIDAY May 22, 2009



tuesday wednesday thursday



SHS Event: Exams

Last day of school for seniors




Famous Birthday: Donald Duck (1934)




SHS Event: Exams


Weird Holiday: National YoYo Day








5 SHS Event: Exams

SHS Event: Exams

Last day of school

Weird Holiday: National Applesauce Cake Day




History: Baseball invented (1839)

Famous Birthday: Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen (1986)




Weird Holiday: National Fudge Day

Holiday: National Flag Day





First Day of Summer





History: Toothbrush patented (1498)

Famous Birthday: Helen Keller (1880)



June August

Holiday: Father’s Day





Weird Holiday: Camera Day

History: National Organization for Women Founded (1966)


tuesday wednesday thursday


Famous Birthday: Francis Scott Key (1779)




Weird Holiday: National Ice Cream Sandwich Day



Famous Birthday: Herbert Hoover , 31st US president (1874)

23 30


12 19



25 31

Girls Soccer vs. Mt. Notre Dame 4:30 (F) 5 (JV) 7 (V) (at home)



Weird Holiday: National Creamsicle Day



22 Famous Birthday: Ann Franklin, first female newspaper editor (1762)

Holiday: National Aviation Day



History: US dollar bill created (1786)

History: Hawaii Annexed to the U.S (1898)



History: Roller coaster patented (1898)


Famous Birthday: Neil Armstrong (1930)




27 Boys Soccer @ Elder 4:30 (F) 5 (JV) 7 (V)

First day of school



V Football Game vs. Glen Este 7:30pm (at home)

JV Football Game @ Glen Este


FRIDAY May 22, 2009

spot12 light 6

Rocking out with Ryan

Hall, 9 speaks on lacrosse, Monsters vs. Aliens, his nickname Q&A:


A: After swimming in Fit For Life one day, HOMECOMING: Clockwise we were changing in the back by a door from top left: Caitlin Carey, (that never really is opened) but that day a 9, Devin Choudhury, 10, Jeremy Mapes, 9, Hall, teacher walked in on a bunch of us. Inskeep, and Gina Romeo, 10 pose for pictures before Q: What would be your superpower of heading to the dance. choice? A: Lightning fingers. So I could shoot lightning out of my fingers (and my thumbs). Q: If you could be any animal what would you be? A: Sloth, they’re crazy. Q: If you could have picked your own name what would it be, or would you keep the one you have? A: I like Ryan, but somebody told me I look like an Austin before. Q: What is a recent accomplishment? A: I’m kind of pumped about this whole Spotlight thing, but other than that, I made varsity for lacrosse, that’s pretty cool. Q: Anything else you want to add? A: This was really long and I think it took like a half hour to do, but thanks for reading.


Q: What three words best describe you? A: Athletic, nice, fun. Q: What activities are you involved in/ what are your interests? I run cross country and play lacrosse. The little free time in between those, I hang out with friends and my girlfriend, Sarah Inskeep, 9. Q: Any nicknames? A: I’ve had the name Tubby since 7th grade and this year I got Jonas (like the Jonas Brothers). Q: Favorite movie? A: I’m thinking that it’s Monsters vs. Aliens lately, but for all time ,“The Science of Sleep”. Q: Favorite TV Show? A: Important Things with Demitri Martin. Q: Favorite Color? A: PURPLE! It’s outrageous. Q:Favorite food? A: Birthday cake, or anything that Mike Zenz’s, 12 mom bakes for the lacrosse games. Q: Favorite quote? A: Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny. Q:What’s your most embarrassing moment?

s by s hivani parikh

spotlight editor

FRIENDS: Hall and Ben Swofford, 12, horse around in the photo room during lunch. “I like eating there because it isn’t crowded and loud,” said Hall.

Five things you did not know about Ryan Hall

1 2 3 4

He has always had the desire to grow his uncontrollable afro into a mullet. He and his girlfriend have been dating for a year and a half.

photo by gina romeo

His favorite article of clothing is his Captain Underpants t-shirt.

NATURE: Hall kneels over a bird at Blue Ash Town square, attempting to coax it onto his shoulder, and eventually succeeds.

He is unusually and easily attracted to shiny objects.


He and Evan Chrisman, 12, have developed a lengthy “master” handshake.


FRIDAY May 22, 2009


cartoon courtesy of charlie manion

Kelsey’s Conservative Corner kelseydrapkin

leafing through the masses



urrently, America seems to have fallen into a pile of chaos. The economy has fallen, housing prices have plunged, and we are in the midst of a War on Terrorism. But the United States may be sinking in another aspect: education. Governor Strickland’s plan for the state of Ohio includes adding 20 days to the end of the school year and gradually reducing the number of calamity days from the present five, to a meager one. The addition of 20 days will benefit everyone since the overall education provided by schools will boost, and Ohio will be able to say that they are up to international standards. But reducing the number of calamity days from five to one over the course of the next few years will cause troubles. This year, SHS took eight calamity days, with three having to be made up at the end of the year. In the future, eliminating the calamity days will prove to be especially problematic. The governor initially had promised to increase the number of school days so that it could meet the international average of 200 days. But people had not expected him to steadily decrease the calamity days. First and foremost, attendance is the key to a school. This year, after the disastrous winter, administrators are expecting a fewer number of seniors to return after graduation, even though presence is required. With the regular decline of calamity days, schools will have to add on more at the end of the school year, lengthening the year well into June. In the next few years to come, students might increasingly



become less prone to be present for lessons towards the conclusion. Summer school is yet another issue that must be taken into consideration. Now, summer courses, for original or repeated credit, begin immediately after the finish of the academic year and last until July 2 or 24. After the change in calamity days, summer school will be forced to begin and end later. The school year is planned out before it actually starts. Students will begin planning for prom and graduation months before. There is no doubt that these plans will have to change due to unexpected calamity days. Because of not wanting to interfere with these arrangements, schools will become reluctant to shut down; the school board will steadily change the policy so that school closings will slowly decrease. On top to these predicaments, students have their minds set. School begins at the end of summer and ends at the beginning of summer. Psychologically, students are programmed to understand that as the weather slowly gets warmer, school days are coming to a close. Cutting calamity days will result in emotional disappointment. It will take many years for students to understand what the actual reasoning was behind the extension. Next year, Sycamore will be experiencing drastic changes. These modifications were made with the best interests in mind, but if the next academic year is going to be similar to the present one, Governor Strickland might want to reconsider some of these adjustments.

Sycamore High School 7400 Cornell Road Cincinnati, OH 45242

Mission Statement: The Leaf, the official newspaper of Sycamore High School, serves as an educational tool in the training of student journalists to provide information and editorial leadership concerning school, national, and world issues, to provide a public forum for the exchange of ideas and viewpoints, and to give coverage to newsworthy events directly related to the diverse school population. Editorial Policy: Although students work under the guidance of a professional faculty member, the content is ultimately determined by the student staff and should reflect all areas of student interest, including topics about which there may be dissent and controversy. Students cannot publish material that is obscene, libelous, or will cause “a substantial disruption of the educational process.” Content that may stimulate heated debate or discussion is not included in this definition.


What impact will losing four of our current five calamity days have on students?

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It is fun for the day when we have off school, but if we only have one “free” day and then we have 3 snow days we will know we will HAVE to make them up.

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-Sam Misali, 9

To strip those days away would just cause problems.

-KT Napierski, 10

By having five calamity days, we are able to have some wiggle room for when Mother Nature decides to show us how tough she can be! Having only one would be insufficient.

-Trevor Cole, 11

Whether it’s an official make-up for missed days or not, many students would still be missing school.

-Lizy LeBlond, 12

The Leaf operates as an open forum for the healthy, robust exchange of ideas. Opinions expressed in the editorials are those of The Leaf staff. Letters to the editor are encouraged. All letters must be signed. The letters, not to exceed 300 words, may be edited for clarity, spelling, and grammar. Letters may be placed in Mrs. Cheralyn Jardine’s mailbox, dropped off in room 115, or e-mailed to The Leaf reserves the right to decide not to cover a death based on relevance, timeliness, and circumstances decided on by the editorial board. In cases that the editorial board decides not to cover a death, letters to the editor in regard to that death will be printed. The Leaf’s complete editorial policies can be found at

Editors-in-chief: Rashmi Borah, Michela Tindera Associate Editors: Sohini Sameera, Maria Marballi News Ellean Zhang Opinion Kelsey Drapkin Jamie Alemagno Gabe Englander Feature Emma Oh Jimmy Chau Emily Begley A&E S.M. Dipali Emma Rosen Sports Brandon Sosna Paul Pescovitz Calendar Jake Newton Elizabeth Hoopes Spotlight Shivani Parikh Gina Romeo Snapshots Rashmi Borah Webmasters Jacob Katz

Mark Rubeo Staff Writers Brittanny Argyriou Jamie Alemagno Daniel Bayliss Emily Begley Jimmy Chau Chad Chessin Emily Cohen S.M. Dipali Catherine Farist Elise Gelwicks Alyssa Hoeper Elizabeth Hoopes Bennett Kaplan Jacob Katz Ben Keefe Moriah Krawec Emma Oh Frank Pan Shivani Parikh Paul Pescovitz Daniel Rickert Gina Romeo Emma Rosen Mark Rubeo


forum chief Why would we want to go and adopt a health care program that is not working in other countries? The plan of President Obama’s to create universal health care in America is ridiculous. We always read those newspaper articles from countries with universal health care titled “Girl, 3, has heart operation cancelled three times because of bed shortage” or “Government procrastination blamed for HIV-contaminated blood tragedy” or “Specialist nurses ‘vastly overworked’” or even “Disabled children wait up to two years for wheelchairs.” Now tell me again why we want this in America? A survey taken by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2007, the most recent data available, shows 45.7 million people, or 15.3% of the population. That means 84.7% ARE insured. One of the main reasons this program will be enacted is to give healthcare to those who don’t have any. Another is to lower the costs of healthcare for all. The common perception is healthcare in this new program would be ‘free.’ However, what do you think our taxes would begin to go to? What about our government debt? It will sky rocket. Most experts believe that more than $1 trillion would be required over 10 years to fully finance coverage expansions for the uninsured. On top of the already soaring government debt we have, where exactly are we planning on getting this extra trillion dollars? A major component looked over when observing universal health care is the fact that any elective surgery (knee surgery, plastic surgery, back surgery…things not life threatening for the most part) are not covered. These ‘extra’ surgeries cost people thousands, sometimes millions to get done. When you need any surgery, if the government does not have money, it is put on hold, no matter how important the surgery may be. The responsibility of health care should begin in each individual. Each person must develop healthy lifestyle habits to minimize health risks and maximize good health. This in my view would be the best way to lower health care costs. According to Glen Beck, the winners in the scheme will be big government, big insurance agencies, and organizations such as the American Cancer society or the American Heart Association (those organizations seeking a cure for a single disease). These organizations will monopolize the healthcare market and in the end, will achieve great monetary gains. The big losers? You, big pharmaceutical companies, small insurance companies, doctors, hospitals, and people with employer based insurance. You will be taxed. Pharmaceutical companies will be funded less leading to a decrease in ability to research leading to today’s patients getting yesterday’s medicine. Small insurance companies will be overrun by the larger ones. Need I say more? The negatives pile higher that the positives. So here is the big question. Are you willing to wait for the ok from a bureaucrat? Are you ready to wait in line for healthcare? “Waiting is a trap. There will always be reasons to wait. The truth is, there are only two things in life, reasons and results, and reasons simply don’t count,” said Dr. Robert Anthony.

Managing editor: Jake Newton Business Managers: Emily Begley S. M. Dipali, Kelsey Drapkin Matt Slovin Shelby Smith Brandon Sosna Garrett Steinbuch Cartoonist Brittany Argyriu Contributing Writers Ben Estes Mary Ann Jiang Matt Mendelsohn

Photographer Jeremy McDaniel Adviser Cheralyn Jardine About us Professional memberships: • Columbia Scholastic Press Association • Great Lakes Interscholastic Press Association • Journalism Association of Ohio Schools • Journalism Education Association • National Scholastic High School Press Association • Ohio Professional Writers (National Federation of Women Writers) • Quill & Scroll International Journalism Honorary

Forum 8

FRIDAY May 22, 2009

Obama addresses issue of torture

Weighing benefits of increased learning time with growing economic costs

How much will 20 days help? Pro


feature chief

practice multiple-choice and freeresponse questions regularly to get used to the types of questions that will be asked. Students taking AP History courses need to practice the hour-long Document-Based Question, which require a bare minimum of an entire class bell. For the past few years, AP History students have had to write the DBQ’s at home or stay after school to write them. CollegeBoard is notorious for having “trick” questions, and without practice, recognizing these questions can be difficult. Having 20 additional days can allow for more time to not only prepare for the exam, but practice for it as well. Beyond just preparation, the 20 extra days would help with getting all of the material adequately covered. In AP Chemistry this year, some crucial topics that frequently show up on the exam were planned to be covered for only one day each. The eight calamity days resulted in more topics being covered for less time. While some may blame teachers for going at a slow rate, this is in no way the fault of teachers. Already, AP classes are designed to go at a faster rate than other courses, and SHS teachers are known for preparing students well enough to surpass the national average on most AP exams. Despite this, an extra few days would never be a detriment.

With every year, schools all over the world become more competitive with one another. New classes or new technologies are added and test scores progress each year. Recently, a new idea has been added to these advancements: adding days to the school year. Adding days to our curriculum could mean a number of things; shorter holiday breaks or less calamity days, etc. but all together it adds up to one idea, more school. Could adding days to the school year be beneficial to students? Many people, especially students, say no. A recent study at Indiana University shows that adding time does not always mean adding quality. Just because we go to school longer, does not necessarily mean we will learn more or score higher on tests. “I doubt I would perform better in school if we went longer. Once the warm weather hits and summer begins, my brain just kind of shuts off no matter what,” said Katherine Brown, 9. Adding days to the school year would also raise expenses for schools and people in the community. More cafeteria food would need to be purchased, buses would have to run longer and utility bills would grow. Ultimately, this could mean a rise in taxes, which the community may not support. A reform like adding

International comparison of number of school days
















image by Gabe Englander






United States








The number of school days directly correlates with proficiency in math.

United States










image by charlie manion


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days to the school year would need a lot of support from the community. Without that support, the reform will probably be short-term. Additionally, yearly curriculum would have to be changed or added on to. Recent studies show that students already do not feel engaged in classes and most researchers believe that will worsen as the school year is lengthened.

International comparison of eighth grade math scores



his school year, we had eight calamity days. In the minds of most of my AP teachers, that was the equivalent of losing nearly two weeks of instruction time. And that translated to cutting units critical for AP exams, (significantly) increased homework loads, and less time for review. However, even if we had not had eight snow days, preparation for AP exams would have been incredibly crunched. In the last weeks before the AP exams, students have been left to learn units on their own, or have only been briefly exposed to units that would generally need more time to fully understand. Sometimes, students are told on the first day of school that not all units will be addressed. And most times, Barron’s or Princeton Review is not enough to be prepared for the AP exam. When you are one of the many students taking an AP class at SHS, having extra days to prepare, review and allow units to sink in is never a bad thing. AP teachers already have a month less to teach material than most other teachers, since the exams are in May. One area of AP courses that tends to have less attention devoted to it is practicing for the AP exam. Students in classes such as AP Statistics, Chemistry or Calculus need to




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   

One of the numerous problems President Barack Obama had to address in his first 100 days was the Bush Administration’s illegal policy on torture. Actually, he had to make a decision on three specific issues: Whether to release the Bush memo’s detailing the administration’s use of “enhanced interrogation methods,” whether to allow prosecution of the lawyers who wrote the policy that allowed waterboarding, and whether to allow prosecution of those who followed the policy. In making these three decisions, Obama struck the perfect balance, proving once again the strength of his leadership and his ability to address controversial issues. By releasing these memos, he sent a message to the world that in the Obama administration, America would follow the Geneva Convention. Additionally, Obama sent the message that we would abide by our own laws (in 1947 the United States sentenced Yukio Asano, a Japanese soldier, to 15 years of hard labor for using waterboarding on an American civilian). Obama ruled against prosecuting the CIA agents that waterboarded terrorist suspects, because they were merely following orders. Finally, the Justice Department decided not to prosecute the lawyers who wrote the torture memos. Recently, these verdicts have come under fire from a number of critics. The American Civil Liberties Union criticized Obama for protecting the CIA agents that physically waterboarded prisoners, because they feel that the prisoners’ Constitutional rights were violated. What the agents did was wrong, a witch hunt of men for following orders would be counterproductive. On the other side of the political spectrum, former Vice President Dick Cheney attacked Obama for publicizing the torture memos. Cheney’s main complaint was that Obama did not release the documents that portrayed waterboarding as a “success.” National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair agreed with Cheney saying that “highly valuable information” had come from waterboarding. While I obviously do not have access to the intelligence reports that these two men speak of, I highly doubt that Obama would withhold documents because they made waterboarding look good. In fact, even if waterboarding did produce some valuable intelligence, I am skeptical that it could not have been obtained in another, preferably legal, method. If we want to call ourselves the ‘good guys’ and the terrorists the ‘bad guys,’ then we need to hold ourselves to a higher moral standard. Lowering ourselves to the terrorists’ level does not make us pragmatists; it makes us just as bad as them. If I could be so presumptuous as to give Obama advice it would be this: Keep doing what you are doing, because you are taking the right course. Don’t let yourself be pressured into prosecuting the CIA agents that were only following orders, because if agents don’t follow orders than there is utter chaos. And don’t listen to Cheney when he says that by releasing those memos you have made America less safe, because he didn’t do a very good job when it was his turn to protect America. Obama’s stance on this issue is a great compromise. America can honestly set an example for the rest of the world to follow, while protecting the agents that selflessly protect us. Waterboarding is just one example of how America morally underachieved in the Bush administration. But Obama knows that we can do better, and under him, we can finally reach our potential.

Forum 9

FRIDAY May 22, 2009

t is running rampant through the halls of SHS, with effects more immediate and evident than even the swine flu: it is senioritis. Yes, yes, everyone is well aware of the symptoms, most notable a sense of apathy. The senior class has evidently been decimated by it already, with frequent absences even from the least likely of them and many a senior uttering one or all of various complaints: “We aren’t doing much in class,” or “I’m already in college, I don’t really care anymore,” or even “I could sleep more effectively at home.” Furthermore, many—especially juniors—are aware and watching as the deadly beast claims a stake on themselves; yet, the fight has already been three-fourths won by that point, and the helpless junior oscillates between fighting it off and succumbing to its power. “I think I’ve been invaded by foreign senioritis antigens, and there is not a single antibody in me that has the right receptor to recognize and fight it off,” said Sukhada Kulkarni, 11. Freshmen who find themselves relating to the above, prematurely, should go challenge themselves with harder courses. Despite the tantalizing



a&e chief

SENIORITIS: Seniors are not the only ones feeling the effects of seinoritis. It may not be a true disease but it is sure spreading around. The end of the year is when most students, and teachers, feel the symptoms most.

Summer camp away from home danielrickert staff writer

One of the best activities to participate in over the summer is summer camp. It is a place where students are truly able to be themselves and escape the drudgery of their daily life. Campers meet new friends and spend weeks living outside in cabins. The Cincinnati area boasts two major summer camps, Camp Kearns and Camp Earnest. Both are excellent camps that are popular among SHS students. Personally, I like to go to camps which are farther away. I spend my summers at Camp Wayfarer in Flat Rock, North Carolina. It is a six hour drive, but completely worth it. Although there are downsides, I cannot imagine a summer without it. Though at first I was apprehensive, I have fallen in love with

Worst places to ‘kick back, relax’


When senior year hits, it’s as if students see the end coming, and they have the mentality that they can slack off now and pick it back up in college, but they’ll find that the work ethic is hard to reestablish. Mr. Vince Rahnfeld, guidance counselor

to but never had a chance to, and it’s good to keep yourself engaged and still interested in school.” In 2007, elite colleges in California began revoking admissions in June and July, which previously had been almost unheard of. As much as two percent of an incoming class could be dumped this way. This means that for a school like UC Berkeley, which has a freshman class of roughly 4,500, nearly 100 students could be rejected for an “academic record that no longer meets the standards for admission. In fact, according to the National Association for College Admission Counseling, more than one-third of colleges revoked offers of admission in 2007. When this happens, it is not hard to imagine what is going on in a post-high school, no-college student’s mind. And though there are ways out of this mess, the best way to save yourself trauma and heart attack is to not fall into the senior slump, or at the very least, be cautious about falling too far in.

ie ale

news chief

“senior privileges” that seniors continually flaunt in front of the rest of us as they saunter on by in that air of stress-free living, it is important to stay focused and realize that, sure, they have earned it and we have not…yet. Tasting a bit of the reward beforehand will lessen the total impact of getting infected when senioritis has been rightfully “earned.” It is like when you were younger and you found that stash of Christmas presents and opened one and played with it for a while, until you started feeling guilty and rewrapped it because, technically, you had not officially made the “good list” yet. However, the “good list” (college status: accepted) comes with precautions that should be heeded. Even after acceptance, it is not unheard of for a college to revoke admissions. It is important not to get sucked into the black hole of temptation placed before your very nose. “When senior year hits, it’s as if students see the end coming, and they have the mentality that they can slack off now and pick it back up in college, but they’ll find that the work ethic is hard to reestablish,” said Mr. Vince Rahnfeld, guidance counselor. “Senior year is a time to take the classes you’ve always wanted

jam o by phot



the “southern culture” of North Carolina. I have even made close friends despite the fact that I do not see them outside of the summer months. This is, in my opinion, the most important aspect of camp: to gain a set of friends that are from all over the United States. This helps to provide different perspectives of America. I am the only resident of Ohio to attend my camp. This immediately forced me to make new friends besides the ones in my high school or even Ohio. Another advantage of summer camp is the unique availability of new activities. Many summer camps offer horseback riding, some form of a water activity, and much more. I discovered white-water kayaking while at camp and loved it. On the other hand, camp offers classic activities such as games of pickup basketball and flag football which become unforgettable. Being outside is scientifically

proven to make you happier due to your body’s absorption of vitamin D from the sun. I bet you didn’t know that little tidbit. With this athletic activity great comradery is developed among cabin mates, which grows into irreplaceable friendships. Although athletic activity is essential to any summer camp, there are also plenty of opportunities to relax. I have learned to play guitar, been in plays, and have tried choir at my camp. Although the activities at camp are essential, spending time talking to your new friends is one of the most important aspects of any summer camp. Without these incredible bonds the activities you do during the day lose a lot of meaning. Spending time at camp is an important part of my summer and always ends up being one of the highlights of the year. While it is a huge time and financial commitment, the lifelong memories made are well worth it.


“Vacation, all I ever wanted. Vacation, hard to get away.” These wise words sung by The Go-Gos summarize how most of us feel about summer vacation. After a long, grueling year of school, most students like nothing better than relaxing on a beach in some far-off country. However, for a lot of us, vacations are something a little less desirable. Here is a short list of places that make you long for the days of essays and quizzes. 1. Grandma’s House Now, I know most of us adore our grandmothers. Who does not like sweet old ladies who love you unconditionally? However, spending extended periods of time in her tidy little house can become quite the chore. Literally. Most grandmas are neatfreaks. You leave one sock on the floor and they go crazy-ninja on you. Also, the notorious, ever-pungent “old people smell” does nothing for your gag reflexes. Additionally, there is the fact that usually, there is absolutely nothing to do. Your grandma is not exactly going to have a trampoline in her backyard, right? To all the grandmas out there reading this: we love you, but you need to provide more entertainment than cable television. 2. Anyplace Sunburns are Possible When I think of things that ruin vacations, usually sunburns come to mind. There is nothing worse than a fiery, painful sunburn. The whole lobster-red look compliments no one. The worst situation is when you get a sunburn so painful you cannot even change clothes. So not only are you in massive amounts of pain, but you are stuck in your sweaty beach clothes for the rest of the day. The moral of this story would be to lather on the SPF 55, or suffer the consequences. 3. Your House Then there is the worst case scenario: having to stay in your suburban home while your friends are off vacationing halfway around the globe. You can ebb away your boredom by going to Kings Island and shopping at Kenwood Mall, but it is never really the same. You do not get that sense of summer freedom that comes from a drink by the pool with a little umbrella floating at the top. To put it bluntly, staying home all summer stinks. With our widely publicized plummeting economy the only thing on your parents’ minds, going anywhere for summer break seems ludicrous. So, be sure to make plans with friends ahead of time so you do not suffocate from the monotony of your stay-at-home summer.

Camp quotes

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preading faster than swine flu enioritis

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I have always wanted to go to camp and just hang around away from home. Ben Mather, 9

I have a great time and I make new friends every year at summer camp. Rose Mervis, 10. I’ve gone to bible camps, but would really like going to a longer summer camp. Michael Streicher, 10. I am excited to be a camp counselor again this year, it’s so much fun. Lindsey Harris, 11.

Forum 10

FRIDAY May 22, 2009

‘Let’s talk about...

SEX Baby...’


forum chief


he students in Mrs. Johanna Gordon’s 21st Century Text class have been studying advertising and consumerism, learning about different techniques advertisers used to draw the consumer in. Their favorite technique, you ask? Sex. The truth is that sex sells. We all know that, but why? Years ago, sex used to be a “hush, hush” subject. People did not know what it was until their wedding day. Now, when we open a magazine or turn on the TV, there it is, staring us in the face. We used to have shows where there was maybe one promiscuous character that “did it,” but now in shows like “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” all but one of the main characters has had sex.

Sex in ads

Jean Kilborn has dedicated much of her time to inform others about the effect of media in the film, “Killing Us Softly.” It states that on average, people see 300 ads per day. “I never thought about what advertisements were doing to the minds of teenagers until I taught this lesson. I didn’t realize it until now, but I was the student being sucked in. I was the one buying the clothes the media told me I should,” said Gordon. Advertisements are what affect us the most. We see them everywhere, and often believe their underlying message. Ads do not flat out say, “have sex,” however, they do make us believe that looking “sexy” or being “hot” is what we need to do.

Does pop culture promote sex?

Sex in today’s world

When I was in 7th grade, I remember my sister who was in high school at the time, telling me that at least 70% of the kids at the high school have had sex. True, this was only one person’s opinion but it still shows the common belief.

Ads are what make us. As much as you want to deny it and think they do not affect you, they do. We wear low cut shirts and miniskirts because ads tell us they make us sexy. We want to be sexy because that is how the characters on TV are. The

characters on TV are having sex, so I guess I should too. Everyone is doing it, right? Wrong. Be the first of your friends to say “I am a virgin and proud of it.” If you think the media does not affect you, prove me wrong. Stay

‘Drug war has Juárez, Mexico, on verge of humanitarian crisis’

Drug wars still raging samcleary

photo courtesy of staff

minimag editor

Death, drugs, and detriment. All at our doorstep. Just miles south of the Rio Grande, Juarez, Mexico has gone from bordertown to badland. While the North-Mexican city formerly known has Paso del Norte has never been a region marked by passive stability, growing tensions in the town nestled virtually on the border of Texas are giving U.S. officials reason to worry. According to the Central Intelligence Agency, the United States is the world’s prime consumer of cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, and methamphetamine. All those drugs have to come from somewhere. The answer is, to put it simply, just south of the border. Drugs lead to problems. Lots of problems. With the amount of narcotics traveling between the U.S. and Mexico every year, drugs are more than just a reality. They are a threat. We have a thriving amoeba of human life aching for the stuff. On top of that, the U.S. is also the primary supplier of arms and weaponry to the developing world. The combination of an influx in both the demand for narcotics and the supply of munitions has brought about an unprecedented bombshellblast of violence in Mexico, specifically in border towns like Juarez, where most of the arms and drug trafficking takes place.

WATCHING: In lieu of the tremendous increase of drug related violence over the past several months Mexican soldiers have been obliged to stand guard and patrol even in popular resort areas such as cancun.

On top of it all, corrupt and indecisive political powers in Mexico have been hesitant to combat the violence and illegal activity directly, allowing the conflict to mutate and magnify. The majority of the violence, however, has little to do with the United States directly. Due to the U.S.’s demand for narcotics, rival drug cartels that rule Mexico’s border cities have found themselves amidst a mad scramble for business and territory. Illegal as it may be, drug trafficking, like any other trade, is a business at the core, and each cartel fights for monopolization of the industry, sparking violence that is only fed further by the fuel of U.S. arms. Since the blunt of the violence caught national attention in early 2007, there have been over eight thousand drug-related murders in Mexico, and Juarez currently has the highest murder rate in North America. In past weeks, the Juarez drug wars have continued to rage, though the news of the recent swine flu seem to have clouded media attention. As the nation sits back to watch a war unfold at it’s feet, we as American citizens can only wonder, are we a part of the solution or the problem?

a virgin (or renew your virginity). Everyone is not doing it. We may not change the ad companies, but if we convince advertisers that sex does not sell by not buying anything that involves sex, they will stop. Advertisers only market things

that get us to buy their product. I want to know what the percentage of students having sex would be if there were no sexual advertisements. I think it would go down drastically, let us find out.

NAVY Seal Snipers eliminate Somalia pirates with three perfect shots

‘Got ‘em’ gabeenglander

forum chief

Yes, the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips aboard the Maersk Alabama by NAVY Seal Snipers was thrilling. The three perfect shots taken from the bobbing fantail of the USS Bainbridge reminded us all of the glory days of American military might. But once we get past our initial excitement, we need to examine the circumstances that have caused an entire country to turn to piracy in a means to support itself. After all, the “dangerous pirates” that held Phillips hostage were only “untrained teenagers,” said Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. The problem of piracy near Somalia stems from an underlying problem that has plagued Somalian politics since it was granted independence in 1960 from Italy and Britain. The real power in Somalia is divided up between a large number of clans, making it nearly impossible for Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke to govern effectively. Even before the Somalian Civil War in 1989, lawlessness had seeped into every aspect of Somalian life. And the new government has done very little to curb this rampant anarchy. One solution to this problem was proposed by Congressman Mike Coffman. Coffman proposed to place

teams of Marines on U.S. Vessels sailing near the Somalian coast. This solution would not be effective for a number of reasons. First of all, the U.S. military is already stretched to the breaking point in places of more serious conflict like Afghanistan. Second, it should be the job of the shipping company to protect their own merchandise from pirates, instead of using taxpayer money. Finally, there is no reason to believe that adding Marines to shipping boats would even deter the desperate pirates. The only way to permanently solve this issue is to fix the problems that cause teenagers to turn to piracy as a means of employment. Instead of fighting fire with fire, the American government should invest in the Somalian economy. If more jobs are available for young man, than logically will decrease because Somalian men will not be forced to turn to piracy to feed themselves. America has a moral responsibility, as well as an economic one to end piracy in Somalia. If we have learned anything from Iraq it should be this: that meeting force with more force is not an easy or cheap solution to any problem.

Forum 11

FRIDAY May 22, 2009

Clash between fun of animal fights, morals of animal rights

Forced fighting

image by elise gelwicks

SUFFERING: A matador taunts a bull during a bullfight in Spain. Bulls are angered by the red cloth which makes the fight more exciting for the audience. In this fight, the bull has lost to the matador and is severely injured.

Century-old conflict over animal fighting continues elisegelwicks

For centuries, bull fighting has played an integral role in Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries. This archaic sport is extremely controversial and widely debated. “I saw a video in Spanish class of bull fighting that inspired me to get involved in animal rights groups. I understand that it is a tradition, but there are other, more humane ways of celebrating Spanish heritage,” said Ali Lopez, 10. The fight begins with a matador, a man who enters the ring, waving a red flag at a bull. The animal gets angered by

the Dalai Lama, a respected pacifist, in an animal-rights campaign.

Chicken fighting

Chicken fighting is popular is South American countries. During these fights, chickens have razors attached to their feet and they attack each other until only one survives. Tens of thousands of chickens are specially bred to be aggressive and prepared to fight. This sport is closely associated with Mexican culture and a majority of the chickens are bred by Latinos. It is illegal in every state except Louisiana and New Mexico. Statistics show that enforcement has been effective in keeping the activity from increasing.

Dog fighting

If one is not disturbed by hearing about bulls and chickens suffering

due to lack of their owner’s maturity, consider the number of dogs who die painful deaths in dog fights. A fight lasts from twenty minutes to one hour and ends when one of the dogs die or is unable to continue due to injury. Small dogs, cats, and rabbits are used as “bait” and allow the dog to practice fighting. Dogs used in these events often die of blood loss, shock, dehydration, or infection hours or even days after the fight. Not only are the dogs the victim of the sport, but the animals that are killed through the dogs’ “training” are victims as well. “Dog fighting is such an awful activity that needs to be illegal. I would never put any animal in a situation of danger; animals are innocent and should be treated that way,” said Molly Cramer, 11. It is extremely difficult to find out

Students elaborate on animal rights

“ “

I think any activity where an animal has such a great potential to be injured should be outlawed and humanitarian regulations enforced Lindsey Harris, 11

“ “

“ “

“ “

I had no idea these forms of fighting were integrated into American society. It’s sad that the police do not have the ability to control it Artur Meller, 9

Bullfighting is wrong because the animals are innocent. They do not deserve to be punished by the matador, who usually kills them Terry Smith, 10

I think dog fighting and chicken fighting are bad but bullfighting is part of the Spanish culture so I can understand it Hans Rhenisch , 12

where these animal fights take place, as it is usually done in small groups. Police are concerned about limiting the fights because they are associated with gambling, drug dealing and assault. Dog fighting is illegal in all fifty states; however, it is legal to own a fighting dog and to be a spectator at a dog fight.

How to help

If interested in learning more about the cruelty of forced animal fighting, one can contact the Humane Society of the United States through their website ( There are endless organizations advocating animal rights that rely on donations. If one wants to make a donation to help animals involved in forced fighting, go to or


number of bullrings in Mexico

people in the US involved in professional dog fighting


Bull fighting

the red color and tries to attack the flag. Then, the matador kills the bull with a sword, but the bull does not always die immediately and therefore greatly suffers. “When I was younger I enjoyed the atmosphere of bull fighting in Spain. As I grew older, it became more difficult for me to watch the bull being killed and eventually I could not watch at all,” said Mrs. Marla Chernick, Spanish teacher. It is true that the matador risks his life as well, but he had made the conscience decision to enter the potentially fatal atmosphere. It is rare for a matador to die in the ring. The helpless bull is forced into the dangerous situation. “I’m opposed to the killing of bulls - animals should not be killed in the name of human entertainment. It is the 21st century, bull fighting should be confined to history books,” said



staff writer

ull fighting, chicken fighting, and dog fighting all involve humans forcing animals to fight one another to the death. These “sports” do not receive much media attention, yet they thrive in communities worldwide.


number of fighting roosters in the Houston area alone percentage of Spainards who have no interest in bull fighting


Forum 12

FRIDAY May 22, 2009

Fast food: frugal prices for fabulous meals benkeefe

cheese with the options of onions and mustard. “My personal favorite is by far the Cheese Coney. They are near heavenly,” said Charlotte Harris, 9.

staff writer


our stomach is growling. You have not had much to eat all day. You are driving down Montgomery Road. You are desperate for food. The problem is you have little money and you do not see the golden arches. Or the bright white castle for that matter. Well here is your solution: get some good, cheap fast food. What qualifies a restaurant to be good, cheap, and fast? Well, the factors are up for debate but the price of the meal is definitely a key element for this specific qualification. Now here is another scenario: you have limited money, you are hungry, and there is a plethora of fast food joints around you. So which one should you pick?

Taco Bell and Pizza Hut

Taco Bell is fast food with a little twist. Unlike McDonalds, Taco Bell has a unique Mexican flavor to its magic. Taco Bell is known for its “Why Pay More! Value Menu.” This Value Menu consists of things from the Big Taste Taco to the Caramel Apple Empanada. Along with many Mexican dishes, some Taco Bell restaurants have a Pizza Hut option. With a Pizza Hut meal, one could get an individual pizza, breadsticks, dipping sauce, and a large drink for around six dollars including tax. “Every time I go to the Taco Bell with Pizza Hut I have to get a ‘PH2.’ That is a pepperoni pizza, breadsticks, dip and a drink, just for six dollars. It is awesome,” said Scott Wright, 12. A Taco Bell, Pizza Hut combo is located on Loveland- Madeira road, just one mile north from I-275.


On Montgomery Road, right down the street from the high school, is a McDonalds. Immediately north of that McDonalds is a Cincinnati-area favorite: Skyline Chili. Most Cincinnati natives are in love with Skyline Chili, while many

ENJOYMENT: Chris Culin, 11, enjoys a nice Double Cheeseburger off the Dollar Menu from McDonalds. “That Double Cheeseburger hit the spot. The taste was good, but the price was great. I paid 99 cents for that delectable little treat,” said Culin. foreigners to the city either find it disgusting or agree with the Cincinnatians. Skyline Chili is rare because the trends prove that you either love its unique taste or you hate it. If you love it, it is another fantastic fast food stop. Contrasted to McDonalds, Skyline is more high quality than McDonalds because at Skyline,

McDonald’s Cost: $4.60 Meal: #1 Combo

(”Big Mac” with french fries and a beverage)

they cook to your specific order. Also unlike McDonalds, at Skyline you may have to wait for roughly five minutes because they will make your chili feast exactly to how you want it. Whether it be with or without onions, with mustard, no beans, or no cheese, Skyline has your food the way you like it. Skyline offers a myriad of possibilities.

Skyline Chili Cost: $4.99 Meal: 3 Way

A regular three way (spaghetti, chili, cheese)


Taco Bell Cost: $.89

Cost: $4.39

Meal: Crunchy Taco Meal: #1 Combo (beef taco with crunchy tortilla)

(”Single Cheeseburger” with french fries and a beverage)

Common favorites include “the ways”: A Three- Way includes spaghetti, chili and cheese. A Four- Way is made out of spaghetti, chili, cheese, and beans or onions. A Five- Way has spaghetti, chili, cheese, beans, and onions. As an appetizer or a meal, one can also enjoy a Cheese Coney, a hot dog inside a bun topped with chili and

If the originality of Taco Bell displeases you, Wendy’s is always a safe choice. Whether it be a good snack, like the Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger or a combo meal that includes a drink and fries, Wendy’s offers an incredible amount of variety in food choice. “Wendy’s has an awesome combo menu and an even better value menu. It’s the best place to go for a snack or a meal,” said Janie Silverman, 10. With the summer months just around the bend and the economy in the state it is in, fast food will become a crucial issue come summer for students with jobs, to students who are in a hurry, or students who just want a good fast-food meal. One way of eating cheaper that is better than fast food is eating at home. “It’s hard to decide where to go out with all the expensive prices when it is much easier to go to Costco and cook at home,” said Mr. Nick Hellwig, social studies.

“It’s hard to decide where to go out with all the expensive prices when it is much easier to go to Costco and cook at home,” Mr. Nick Hellwig, Social Studies.

for a Jr. Bathe 99cents con Cheeseburger at


Skyline Chili


McDonalds is an unoriginal favorite, but it can most definitely get the job done. At McDonalds, if you are searching for quantity rather than quality, then the Double Cheeseburger is what you are looking for. For only a dollar, the Double Cheeseburger offers a great price and a good a meal. Sandwiched between two buns are two all beef patties topped with a perfect square of good ol’ American cheese. A little higher quality meal from “Micky D’s” would be the #1 Combo, also known as “The Big Mac Meal.” Unlike the double cheeseburger, the Big Mac is a bun stuck between two beef patties between two sesame buns layered with pickles and McDonalds’ world famous special sauce. “The Big Mac Meal is by far my favorite meal at McDonalds. I love the special sauce and everything. Its a very high quality fast-food meal. Best part is, they’re only $4.60,” said Nick Capozzoli, 11.

Wendy’s dollar amount need to buy a cheese coney at fast food Skyline restaurants within a three mile radius of cents to buy a soft taco at Taco SHS.


1.79 79 1.09 Bell

price for a five piece chicken nugget at Wendy’s

Forum 13

FRIDAY May 22, 2009


Dishing it out for true Cincinnati chili jamiealemagno

Gold Star Chili has many advertisements in areas tourists would go such as the airport or the mall. These advertisements would make tourists believe that Gold Star Chili truly is the Cincinnati chili. If you have ever come back from a trip and your plane landed at the Cincinnati airport, you would notice an enormous poster covering an entire wall saying “The Flavor of Cincinnati.” When walking into the Kenwood Towne Center’s food court, a plethora of food options are provided such as,

Chic-fil-A, Subway, Smoothie King, and Gold Star Chili. If Skyline is the more favored chili, why is Gold Star our only option at the mall? “I see Gold Stars all over and every time I just want to puke,” said Joe Cleary, 10. If Skyline is more popular, why is Gold Star at our malls and airports? Gold Star keeps their saying “The Taste of Cincinnati” for advertisement and competition reasons, but do people really believe this? Many of the people surveyed who augured in favor of Gold Star are not originally from Cincinnati. Due to all the advertisements and locations for Gold Star, are they brought up to believe that Gold Star truly is “The Taste of Cincinnati”?

cker a r c r yste o n a

in ory t s i HBoth chili’s advertise as Cincinnati

chili, but Cincinnati is not their only locations. Apart from Ohio, Gold Star has locations in Kentucky and Indiana. Skyline also has restaurants in Kentucky and Indiana, but also has stores in Florida. In 1912, Nicholas Lambrinides immigrated to Cincinnati from Kastoria, Greece and along with him came the famous Skyline recipe. In 1949 his sons opened their own place and named it Skyline Chili for its view of downtown Cincinnati. Gold Star Chili was founded in 1965 by four Jordanian brothers, who originally owned a restaurant primarily for hamburgers called Hamburger Heaven But soon, all the customers wanted was the chili so they changed the name to Gold Star.

CHILI: Joe Alemagno, ‘08, is taste testing both Skyline and Gold Star Chili cheese coneys. He found it difficult to decide but later chose the coney to his left, the Skyline coney. Along with 78% of SHS, Alemagno chooses Skyline over Gold Star.

This graph represents a survey taken at random of 250 people involving students and the staff school wide. When most people were asked, “Skyline or Gold Star,” their response was overwhelming.


3% 9% 10% 78% Prefer Skyline 10% Prefer Gold Star

image by jamie alemagno *This logo is authorized for the use in your publication per the outlined request. Any other use of the logo without expressed, written consent is prohibited

9% Do not like either 3% Have no preference

What is the difference? Gold Star and Skyline have very similar menus. The items for each company hardly differ, yet one company may have several different options for a specific dish. The numbers to the right represent the number of options in each category.

Gold Star Chili

Skyline Chili

4 Coneys

4 Coneys

1 Bowls

5 Bowls

4 Burritos

6 Burritos

3 Fries

4 Fries

0 Potatoes

6 Potatoes

7 Ways



image by jake newton

Choosing Chili

photo by jamie alemagno


forum chief

incinnati has many rivalries: Bengals vs. Steelers, University of Cincinnati vs. Xavier, and Graeter’s vs. Aglamesis’ . Yet, arguably the most intense rivalry consists of two Cincinnati chili restaurants: Gold Star and Skyline. In result of a school wide survey held by both students and teachers, the choice is clear. Skyline kicks Gold Stars’ behind with a wet noodle. Whether someone is rooting for Gold Star or Skyline, it will not matter because he or she will stick by it. Nine out of 10 people feel strongly about their choice and state the option as if there is no second option “We just don’t go to Gold Star. I have never even been there, Skyline is family owned,” said Regan Girten, 11. Like Girten, many have never been customers at the opposing restaurant, while other opinions rest on full experience. “Gold Star has more meat. Skyline is way too liquidy,” said Candice Hayes, 11. What is it that makes Skyline so dominant? Is it the “When You’re Feeling Good and Hungry” jingle, or the fact that the recipe includes cinnamon and chocolate?

feature 14


image by emma oh


FRIDAY May 22, 2009


NIFAT school to meet SHS students


feature chief


he republic of Uganda is a landlocked country located in East Africa, west of Kenya. Many of its inhabitants live on less than two dollars a day and dwell in a society whose advancements fall short of the rest of the world. Today, it seems as though existing this far behind the standard of living is almost impossible. So why are Ugandan citizens still faced with these issues? For years, Uganda has been subject to armed fighting among hostile ethnic groups, rebels, armed gangs, militias and various government forces that extend across its borders. The country not only hosts members of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), but also hundreds of thousands of war refugees, most of which are children.

Tens of thousands of these children have been abducted by rebels and forced to become child soldiers. Many of them work and sleep on the streets. Aside from lacking food and basic resources, like the rest of the population, the children of Uganda lack education. Many of them face obstacles and hardships which keep them from being able to attend school. Fortunately, there is still hope for them. Over twenty years ago, a woman named Abitimo Odongkara started an organization dedicated to helping the children of Uganda, especially those served by UNIFAT of the Upper Nile Institute For Appropriate Technology. The name “Unified for UNIFAT” is the affiliation of Cincin-

this month in

feature Girl scout awards, levels: what do they mean? find an explanation and meet SHS’s own gold award winner | page 17

Memorial Day origins take a look through years of military service and U.S. history | pages 18 and 19 Need more coverage? Visit the feature page at

nati high school students that work directly with the non-profit Friends of UNIFAT. UNIFAT itself is an elementary school in Gulu, Uganda that provides education for ethnic minorities forced into internal displacement camps in a brutal civil war and children who have been abducted to become soldiers and sex slaves in the LRA. For years, SHS has been deeply involved with Unified for UNIFAT. From bake sales to benefit concerts, the student body has helped to raise a significant amount of money for the school. Additionally, each year four students from the Greater Cincinnati area are chosen to participate in a trip to Uganda. This year, SHS will be sending Shivani Parikh, 10 and Valerie Hill, 11.

“I am so excited for Valerie and Shivani to go to Uganda. They will have such an amazing time and experience all sorts of emotions. Sometimes the poverty will make them cry out of sadness, but sometimes the UNIFAT kids will make them cry out of laughter, too,” said Meghan Marth, 11. From June 9 to 23, Hill and Parikh will get to see how citizens of Uganda and the children at UNIFAT live their daily lives, as well as find out what SHS can do in the future to continue helping. “I am so excited for the trip! I absolutely cannot wait to go. I think it will be an amazing experience and I wish everybody had the opportunity to go. I will definitely bring back many pictures and stories to share with everyone! said Hill, 11.

3ways to boost college resumes improve your g


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Even if you are only a freshman, it is not too early to start thinking about your college resume. Admissions officers will look at what you did early in high school as well as what you did during your junior and senior year. If you are going to be a senior this coming school year and still have not done much for your resume, there is still time to make yours more attractive to admissions officers.


apply for scholars

ve deadlines in ip programs ha er. Many scholarsh er in the summ e have them lat at least r the fall, and som fo e m ho be ost likely e Since you will m d be a good tim mer, now woul r he ot d part of the sum ys an scholarship essa ight to get started on hool year, you m sc e th g rin Du k in th t no requirements. Do h time to do this. order to not have as muc in lar ho sc r lla be a ste that you have to has larship—www. apply for a scho ly for students ailable particular a scholarship av ebsites such as W A. have a 4.0 GP who might not s of scholarm have thousand a profile that up t se n ca and you terests and ships available, in ur yo ships that fit will find scholar strengths.

spend your summers wisely

Summer can be a great time to catch up on sleep and friends, but it is also a good time to get involved in programs around your community, apply for summer programs at universities, or get ahead for the next school year. Nearby universities, such as the University of Cincinnati and Indiana University have summer programs for high school students, some which may still have room for additional students. Those universities and similar have short or long courses in journalism, medicine, engineering, and more. Summer is also a great time to catch up on volunteering. has a list of places in need of volunteers in the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati area.

Amusement park season begins: Four summer spots sure to please elizabethhoopes

calendar chief

Located less than fifteen minutes away from SHS, Cedar Fair’s King’s Island is by far the most popular summer attraction in Cincinnati. The amusement park has something for everyone, including rides, games, shows, and food. King’s Island also has its own water park called Boomerang Bay. “I am really excited to go to King’s Island this summer. I can’t wait to ride Diamondback,” said Terhi Reponen, 12. Many students get season passes to the park so that they can go all summer, but others choose to go only once or twice. A general admission ticket to the park costs $32.99. Because it is open year round, the Great Wolf Lodge may be overlooked as a summer attraction, but it is still an option for someone who wants to get away for a few days. The Great Wolf Lodge is the official resort of King’s Island and has everything from water slides to an outdoor pool, to a spa just for kids and teens. “The Great Wolf Lodge has an awesome atmosphere. There is so much going on inside and everyone is really friendly,” said Brynn Sharp, 11. The Beach is a well known Cincinnati water park. A summer ticket to the park costs $27.99 for one day. Although it may not be as big as King’s Island, it has a lot to offer, including the first water coaster in the Midwest. The Beach also contains The Cliff, which was rated one of the best water slides in the United States. “I love The Beach. My favorite slide is The Cliff,” said Bailey Dowlin, 10. An amusement park that is a little farther away from SHS, but still within reasonable driving distance, is Coney Island. Coney Island is most known for Sunlite Pool, the world’s largest recirculating swimming pool. It also includes classic rides, food, and live shows. Coney Island is one of the least expensive amusement parks in Cincinnati, with general admission tickets for only $21.95. This includes admission to both the pool and the rides. “I remember going to Coney Island a long time ago. I haven’t been there lately but I remember having a really good time there,” said Sharp. Amusement park season in Cincinnati is something that many students take part in. These summer spots are sure to make for a fun day or weekend, and are the perfect place to spend time with friends.

Feature 15

FRIDAY May 22, 2009

Prom in photos

photos courtesy of jeremy mcdaniels

Dancing through Grecian Gardens

PROM: Students, including prom king and queen Cory Gamber, 12 and Jenna Tameris, 12, danced through the night at this year’s Grecian Garden-themed prom held at Paul Brown Stadium. Guests were then transported to the Wild Wild West upon returning to SHS for After Prom. There, students enjoyed a wide variety of activities, including visiting a hypnotist, playing corn hole, gambling at a mock casino, and testing their balance by riding a mechanical bull.




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ooking to purchase a car after getting his license was Brandon Murphy, 11. He spotted the car for him in an advertisement in the local newspaper. Made in 2003, the small, black Hyundai car was the right fit for Murphy. “My car is awesome and if anyone ever gets the chance to buy such a car, I strongly recommend taking the deal,” said Murphy. The quick junior defensive back for the SHS football team believes that he and is speedster car are the perfect fit. “The car is amazing speed-wise, but when I sit in the car, it has no leg room. Other than that, I would definitely buy the car,” said Zach Zielinski, 11. Regardless of the leg room, the car gets good gas mileage, has incredible handling, and above all, it goes fast. Every guy dreams of owning a sweet, fast car. It is obvious that Murphy has landed that dream.



staff writer







of the month with Brandon Murphy, 11


Montgomery Hair Salon

SLEEK: Aside from being a popular car, the Hyundai Tiburon is known for its speed and sleek look. In Spanish, the word “tiburon” means shark. This particular car may not look like a mean machine, but it surely stirs the waters as it swims along other established cars like the Ford Mustang and Honda Civic.

‘The exhibition is a great way to learn about contemporary art’

Art students visit art center, conservatory alyssahoeper

staff writer

On Wednesday, Apr. 22 Mr. Peiter Griga’s advanced photo classes and Mr. Damien Payne’s 2-D/3-D art classes went on a field trip to Eden Park and the Contemporary Art Center (CAC). In the morning, the students loaded the buses and made their way to Eden Park. There, they split into groups and ventured about the park. “The field trip was way better than being in school,” said Natalie Heltman, 10. The different groups got to explore the park and visit the Krohn Conservatory, featuring the butterfly exhibit. “At Eden Park, some of us even went lobster hunting, and the

students got the opportunity to take really interesting photographs,” said Griga. After an hour or so around the park, everyone packed back into the buses and headed to the CAC. The Art Center was exhibiting works from Tara Donovan, Donald Sultas, and Carlos Amerales. “The exhibition is a great way to learn about contemporary art,” said Griga. With the work of artists like Tara Donovan, the students got to see the different types of media that are available to them. “I liked the CAC the best, they had these three big blocks. One of them

was made out of millions of toothpicks with only gravity holding them together. I wanted to touch it really badly but we weren’t allowed,” said Alexa Lukshus, 11. One group toured the CAC while the other ate lunch on Fountain Square and then they switched. At Fountain Square, a fashion show was taking place and the students got to watch while they ate. Even though the weather was a little bit chilly, simply being outside of school was seemed to be worth the shivers. They all seemed happy to get out of the traditional school day. “It was another great adventure of Eggy and Buttercup,” said Sarah

Feature 16

FRIDAY May 22, 2009

‘I’m so relieved to know that I don’t have to drive all the way up to Columbus to shop now.’

Nordstrom storms into Cincinnati

ew, improved Kenwood Towne Center


news chief


Currently, Nordstrom has 169 stores spread throughout 28 U.S. states. It is one of the nation’s leading fashion specialty retailers, with a wide selection of top brands for both teens and adults. This department store is currently being built where Parisian once stood. However, because Nordstrom’s entrance will be pushed back a hundred feet, there will be extra leasable space available for other businesses to move into. Furthermore, there will be a twostory garage built beneath the store that will increase Kenwood mall’s capacity for holding the cars of eager weekend shoppers.

Belonging to a chain of upscale department stores, Nordstrom is on par with other department stores like Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. “I’m really excited that there will be something new added to what we already have at the mall, since Nordstrom always has the latest fashions,” said Janice Choi, 11. “I’m also pretty relieved to know that I don’t have to drive all the way up to Columbus to shop now.” One of the most notable characteristics of Nordstrom Inc. is their exceptional customer service and the integrity they show in remaining true to their business mantra that always

places the customer first. They are so gracious that a few urban legends have arisen. One of these involves a customer who tried to return a set of tires, unaware that Nordstrom never actually sold tires (and that the store had changed owners). When he placed them on the counter and demanded a refund, however, the salesclerk gave him the $145 on the price tag. This true story is often known as the “tire refund” incident, and though it probably will not happen quite the same way again, it shows Nordstrom’s dedication to maintaining a priority of healthy relations with its customers. Before these relationships begin

in Cincinnati, Nordstrom will be hosting an evening gala two days prior to the official store opening. This will benefit the Cincinnati and Queen City chapters of the Links, a philanthropic civic organization in the area that is also tied to raising funds for breast cancer research. Tickets will be $75 per person and will pay for an elegant evening of hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, dinner, and desert buffets. There will also be live entertainment and the chance for attendees to treat themselves to sneak preview shopping of the goods Nordstrom has to offer. For more information, call (513) 9242114.

image by ellean zhang

hether you “dig it” or “dismiss it,” Nordstrom will be open in time to introduce Cincinnati to the latest fall fashions, with its grand opening on September 25, 2009. But not everyone can be quite so quick to judge. Since this is Nordstrom’s first Cincinnati store, it is also very likely to be the first time many people around here have even set foot in one. “I think I’ve heard of Nordstrom before...somewhere,” said Deborah Wu, 9, “but I still don’t know what it is.”

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Going f FRIDAY May 22, 2009

irl Scout levels, awards

r g ld


Levels of Girl Scouting

Girl Scouts is separated into age groups, each girls’ age dictating what level they are placed in. There are six age levels: Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador. When they reach the age limit of one level, they ‘bridge’ to the next. Girl Scouts throughout the years have been a defining point in many girls’ childhoods. A large portion of young girls are put into Daisies. “I was put into Girl Scouts when I was Daisy age. The troop I was put into has now been together since Daisies. We all get together and you would never know we were not family. We are all like sisters to each other and I cannot imagine myself

without them,” said Meagan Schipper, 10. Daisies are in Kindergarten. This level is all about getting young girls oriented and teaching them the Girl Scout Law. Their uniform consists of a blue sash. Brownies are in grades one through three, a level more focused on beginning to earn patches called ‘Try-its’, triangular patches that are placed on a Brownie’s vest. Try-its are meant to expose young girls to new activities. Their uniform consists of a brown vest. Juniors are in grades four through six. This is the first level that wears the official Girl Scout pin on their uniform, a green sash. Girls are expected to earn higher, more challenging badges as a result of their increasing age. Cadettes are in grades seven and eight. These girls work on Interest Projects, merit badges based on the interests of the individual or troop. Seniors are in grades nine and ten. They are pushed to do more challenging Interest Projects and community service projects. Ambassadors, the highest level in Girl Scouting, is for grades 11 and 12. This level has the same characteristics as Seniors. Adults have the chance to be Adult Scouts by volunteering or being a troop leader. There are also Campus Girl Scouts, young adults at college that are Adult Scouts without a troop. Becoming a Campus Girl Scout allows the girls to be involved with their campus community as well as the community surrounding them. “It is so much fun! Our troop has been together for a long time and we are all really close,” said Sarah Hayes, 10.

“On my honor, I will try” “Girl Scouts is awesome! The people are crazy, friendly, and fun. You get the opportunity to do some really cool things,” said Carolyn Raithel, 10. Throughout the Girl Scouting ranks, girls have the opportunity to gain awards. These awards include the bronze, silver and gold awards, as mentioned below. No matter what level of Girl Scouting a girl may reach, the organization has definitely impacted many lives and will continue its positive outreach.

WILD: Senior Troop 5779 visits The Wilds , a safari in Cumberl The troop was there and, Ohio. for one night where they slept in yurts, visited with the anim took hikes, and als. On this trip, the girls experienced the repelling down a hig excitement of h mountain and gir affes sticking their as well as stargazin heads in the bus, g and spotting the Milky Way.


Stories of girls getting the gold a word with photo courtesy of mary lynn phillips

Mary Lynn Phillips,12

CAMP: Phillips works at her day camp, Crafty Kids. The hours upon hours she spent plannning the camp pays off as younger girls create arts and crafts. These are memories Phillips will never forget.

Gold Award Recipients for ‘08-’09: Along with Phillips, these girls went for the gold this year by creating and running their own service projects: Emily Eckert, 12 Lauren Huber, 11 Hannah Petko-Bunney, 11 Shelly Pohl, 11 Elizabeth Potter, 11 Kathryn Rosenberg, 11 Meredith Troy, 12 Kaitlyn Whisman, 11

Phillips, a Girl Scout since the level of Daisies, completed her Gold Award last spring break, which was given to her at the Gold Award at a ceremony downtown on Sunday, May 3.

Q: What is your favorite Girl Scout memory? A: It would have to be going to camp with my troop. It was our first outdoors trip and a tornado was spotted a couple miles from the camp site. Ever since then, we haven’t camped in tents. Q: Any words of wisdom? A: It’s worth it in the end. When you recieved all the high awards, bronze through gold, and you’re taking your next step to becoming a leader...It’s the best feeling. Q: What did you do for your Gold Award project? A: I ran a week long mini day camp called Crafty Kids at the Blue Ash Presbyterian Church. We did different crafts everyday and had snacks.. Q: When did you do your project? A: I ran the camp over Spring Break in 2008. Q: What do you feel you gained from the experience? A: I gained a lot of leadership skills and a lot of self confidence. I learned that I can take contorl of something and have it be very successful.

photo courtesy of meagan schipper


stood since 1912, evokes thoughts of cookies and young girls in uniform. Juliette Gordon Low founded the organization, which has grown from 18 members in Savannah, Georgia, to 40 million members throughout the United States, with another 50 million women who are alumni. It has since spread to over 90 countries worldwide. Low’s main goal was to create an environment for women that is controlled by women. Her hope was to fine tune the skills and values much needed to be successful in the world, such as building a strong self-esteem, honesty, fairness, courage, compassion, character, sisterhood, confidence, and citizenship. These skills and values are attained through activities including camping, community service, learning first aid, and earning numerous badges by gaining other important and useful skills. The organization was chartered by Congress in 1950, creating the Girl Scouts of the USA. They are now part of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. GSUSA is part of a group of 10 million girls and adults in 145 countries. “Girl Scouts are not just a bunch of screaming girls out in a tent. We aree a group of women who love to have fun and learn about the world around us. We are out to make a difference in the world and have as much fun as we can along the way,” said Maddie Pope, 9.

Highest awards

Throughout a Girl Scout’s career, Scouts have the opportunity to earn awards in the form of Try-its, patches, and badges. When one reaches the higher levels of Girl Scouts, she has the opportunity to accomplish more challenging projects that will impact her and her community forever.


business manager irl scouts, a tradition that has

Feature 17

Age: Senior or Ambassador Girl Scout Equivalency: argued by many Girl Scouts to be even more challenging than the Boy Scout Eagle Scout Award due to the intense requirements and the extensive paperwork required Prerequisites: Gold Leadership Award, Gold Career Award, Gold 4Bs Challenge, Bronze and Silver Awards Project: a 65-hour service project

Age: Cadette Girl Scout or older Prerequisites: completion of the Bronze

Award, Silver Leadership Award (requires three interest projects and 15 hours of leadership experience), Silver Career Award, Silver 4Bs Challeng (setting self-improvment goals and identifying important community problems and solutions Project: 40-hour service project

Age: Junior Girl Scout or older Equivalency: Star Rank in the Boy Scouts of America

Prerequisites: 2 badges related to the

project, 2 badges related to leadership Project: a 15-hour service project that provides services to the community in some way

Memorial Day:

Feature 18



sports chief


o, what is Memorial Day? Believe it or not, the holiday that lands on the final Monday of every May is not in place simply for a day off of school and work. Officially, Memorial Day was created to honor and remember all of the men and women who died protecting and defending the United States of America. Unfortunately, it is a lesser known and celebrated holiday.


The roots of Memorial Day can be traced back to the end of the Civil War. The birthplace of the holiday is in Waterloo, New York, where the day was first observed on May 5, 1866, and every year afterwards. That year, John A. Logan, the leader of a veterans’ organization, sought to expand the popularity of Memorial Day, nationwide. On May 5, two years later, Logan declared that “Decoration Day,” the formal name of Memorial Day, would be observed throughout the country. The day was celebrated on May 30 for the first time. That date was selected because it was not a day on which a battle was fought during the Civil War.

Americans also honor the lives of lost loved ones on Memorial Day, as for them the day holds a deeper, bittersweet meaning. Many of these same folks also volunteer to place American flags at national cemeteries. Just like any holiday, there is also time for celebration. As for Decoration Day, it is a time not only to remember, but to cherish the lives of lost soldiers. This includes family gatherings, picnics, and barbecues. Even the sports world commemorates the day, as the Indianapolis 500 has taken place on Memorial Day every year since 1911. Also, on this holiday, whole communities band together and organize parades celebrated all over the nation. So this year, on May 25, remember the true meaning of Memorial Day. Sure, hold family get-togethers, organize parades, and have picnics. But never forget the sacrifices the brave men and women of our armed forces made for the freedom of our country and its people. As a monument in Tennessee reads: “Honor to those who never sought it; Fame to those who never wished it; Glory to those who never dreamed it; Immortality, for they earned it.”

At the time many southern states refused to recognize or celebrate the day, however, there were a few exceptions. The term Memorial Day first appeared in 1882. It remained uncommon until after World War II, but was not pronounced the official name until 1967. Soon after, Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, which moved several U.S. holidays from their original dates to those that would create the convenient three day weekend. This is why Memorial Day is now celebrated on the last Monday in May, and not on May 30, as it was in the 1800s. In 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a proclamation affirming Waterloo as the birthplace of the holiday.


For some, Memorial Day is a day of quiet, reserved remembrance. Many individuals commemorate the day by visiting memorials and the gravesites of fallen soldiers. Traditional observers will set their American flags to half staff for the better part of the day, from dawn until noon.

On the date in American history: May 25th 1787- The Constitutional Convention takes place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Delegates including Benjamin Franklin and George Washington were given the responsibilty of drafting a U.S. Constitution into law. 1925- Teacher John T. Scopes is indicted for teaching Evolutionary theory in a Tennessee school. Although he did not suffer extreme consequences, the case was a milestone in the issue of Church and State, with the defense of Creationism in the United States. 1935- Sprinter Jesse Owens breaks five world-records at a Big-Ten meet. His achievements were instrumental in the integration of African-Americans and other races into professional sports. He proceeded to win four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics of 1936. 1961- President John F. Kennedy announces his plan to put a “man on the moon” to Congress. The mission became known as “Apollo,” and resulted in Neil Armstrong’s infamous walk eight years later.

Main Combatants: Union (north) vs. Confederacy (south)

Key Battles: Battles of Lexington Battle of Concord Battle of Bunker Hill Battle of Yorktown

Key Battles: Battle of Gettysburg Battle of Antietam Battle of Vicksburg Battle of Fort Sumter

U.S. Civil War

Main Combatants: U.S. Revolutionaries vs. British & Loyalists

Commanders: George Washington-U.S. Revolutionaries William Howe & Lord CornwallisBritish

“ “ “

Isn’t Memorial Day the holiday where we honor soldiers who lost their lives, or is that Veterans Day? Cody Schwaegerle, 10

Memorial Day was created to commemorate sacrifices that have been made on behalf of our country. Personally, it’s my time to grade AP exams. Mrs. Rosemary Ennis, history

Memorial Day is a holiday that has lost its meaning and purpose. It makes me sad to think about those that have sacrificed their lives for me, but are not remembered on this day by most citizens. All U.S. citizens should take time on May 25 to remember those that have died for our freedom. Mrs. Valerie Nimeskern, history


images courtesy of chad chessin

American Revolution


Roll Call

Outcome: U.S. becomes independent country after defeating British at Yorktown

Commanders: Ulysses S. Grant & Abraham Lincoln-Union Robert E. Lee & Jefferson DavisConfederacy Outcome: Union victory leads to dissolution of Confederacy and reunification of U.S.

1914-1919 Main Combatants: Great Britain, France, United States (Allied Powers) vs. Germany, Italy, Austria-Hungary (Central Powers)

World War I

staff writer

“ “ “


FRIDAY May 22, 2009

Key Battles: Battle of Gallipoli Battle of the Somme Battle of the Marne (trench warfare) Commanders: Woodrow Wilson-U.S. Kaiser Wilhelm II-Germany Georges Clemenceau-France Outcome: Allied victory and harsh Treaty of Versailles leads to economic despair and inevitable World War II

Feature 19

FRIDAY May 22, 2009

Looking back at veteran, military

service throughout US history

images by brandon sosna

COMMEMORATION: (From left to right, top row): Gettysburg Memorial, World War II Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial. (From left to right, bottom row): Korean War Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial (World War II), Vietnam War Memorial. These shrines honor the brave men and women who fought for the safety of our country and its constitution. As long as the memorials stand, it is impossible to forget the soldiers’ contributions to the United States citizens.


Key Battles: Battle of Normandy (D-Day) Battle of Midway Commanders: Franklin Roosevelt & George Patton- U.S. Adolf Hitler, Benito MussoliniNazi Germany & Fascist Italy Outcome: Allies converge at Berlin for V-E Day. U.S. bombs Hiroshima and Nagasaki leading to V-J day

Main Combatants: North Vietnam, Vietcong, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, China vs. South Vietnam, United States

Vietnam War

World War II

Main Combatants: Great Britain, United Soviet Socialist Republics, United States (Allied Powers) vs. Germany, Italy, Japan (Axis Powers)

1945-1990 Main Combatants: United States vs. Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Key Battles: Korean War Cuban Missile Crisis

Key Battles: Tet Offensive Operation Rolling Thunder Commanders: Ho Chi Minh-Vietcong Ngo Dinh Diem & Lyndon B. Johnson-North Vietnam & U.S. Outcome: Mass casualties and public disapproval force U.S. forces to be withdrawn. Saigon falls to the North and Vietnam is united under Communism

Cold War


Commanders: John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan-United States Josef Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid Brezhnev, Mikhail Gorbachev-USSR Outcome: Communism falls in Eastern Europe, along with the Berlin Wall, and the USSR dissolves in a battle of ideologies


FRIDAY May 22, 2009


m Senior Art Show commences: Arts & Entertainment


ichela’s musings

American Apparel: an affordable, environmentally friendly store

Seniors show off four years of hard work emilybegley

business manager

Students will also be given the opportunity to sell any artwork that they choose – prices will vary depending on the type of piece. After the countless hours dedicated to creating their art, advanced art students enjoy sharing their work with their classmates and family members. “The show is a celebration of all the hard work our seniors have done this year,” said Ferguson.


photos courtesy of adam birkan


This show is the next best thing for a high school student besides a showing in a gallery. Pieter Griga, photo teacher

Theatre nominated for Cappies awards Summer Aves emmarosen Movie Preview ‘Harry Potter’ and more | page 21

Learn more about this attraction | page 24 Bands: Are they underrated or overrated? | page 25 Need more coverage? Visit the a&e page at

a&e chief

Whenever people think of award shows, usually the Oscars and the Grammys come to mind. However, for that past few months the “Parade” cast and crew has had Cappies on the brain. The Cappies program is the high-school equivalent of the Tony Awards. Musicals and plays from around the Greater Cincinnati area are judged by critic teams and given awards in certain categories. This year, SHS’ “Parade” received 16 nominations, a very respectable sum. “I’m so proud of our 16 nominations. I’d be even prouder if we won them all!” said Drew Gelwicks, 9. SHS has done well at Cappies for three years now. The number of nominations for previous years has even reached an amazing 21 nominations, for “The Secret Garden.” “’The Secret Garden’ got so many nominations, and won a lot too. I think ‘Parade’ will do just as well,” said Kerry Verdier, 12. The categories that SHS has been nominated for includes Best Musical, Best Song, Makeup, Lighting, Sound, Stage Crew, Featured Actor, Featured Actress, Lead Actor, Lead Actress, Male Vocalist, Female Vocalist, Male Critic, Critic Team, Comic Actor, and Orchestra. Becky Caspersz, 11, was nominated for Lead Actress, an enormous feat for a first-time participant in Cappies. “I am honored to be nominated. Fingers crossed for a win,” said Caspersz. The Cappies Gala takes place at the end of the month. There, the winners in each of the categories will be named and honored. Students who have gone to the Cappies Gala in previous years expect nothing but the best. “I have no doubt that we’ll sweep the Cappies,” said Verdier.

photos courtesy of jeremy mcdaniel

this month in


MUSIC: Musicians play for their fellow students during the art show as visitors look at the seniors’ artwork.


hroughout the course of the year, advanced art students have built up their portfolios with pieces of a wide variety of styles and techniques. Seniors are now showing off their impressive collections in their annual Senior Art Show. The exhibit, hosting by A.P. Studio Art and A.P. Photography classes, is an excellent opportunity for students to show off their hard work. Everyone is welcome to attend. “The show is the next best thing for a high school student besides showing in a gallery,” said Mr. Pieter Griga, photography teacher. Selecting artwork to put into the show proved to be a difficult task – on the same day the exhibit opened, seniors sent what they felt were their five best pieces to the college board to receive their A.P. scores. “It is always a challenge for the seniors to choose their pieces,” said Mrs. Kathy Ferguson, art teacher. The display opened up on Friday, May 8 in the front lobby of the school. Guests walked around the room from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. viewing and reflecting on the numerous pieces submitted by seniors from their final portfolio. Participating individuals were also treated to refreshments while listening to live musical performances provided by students. The schedule included Liz King, 12, and Michael Walling, 10, on the piano and John King, 12, on the violin. In addition, Lydia Popp, 12, sang a duet with Bridget Handkins, 12.

Parade: (from top left) Neil Krishnan, 11, Chris Lerner, 11, Ben Marsh, 12, Bridget Handkins, 12, Josh Goldman, 11, Austin Hoard, 10, Demetre Evans, 11, Jameela Wilson 12, and Courtney Love, 12 in “Parade,” which was nominated for best musical.

Who knew that by just buying a t-shirt you could be promoting humanitarian, environmental, and political awareness all while looking über chic? Well, not to brag, but I did. Only in the past couple of years has American Apparel, originally developed in 1997 by Dov Charney as a wholesale clothing manufacturer, really come to the forefront of American and international culture. Of course I would hardly say I am involved in the cutting-edge world of fashion, (I do live in Ohio) I would have to say I was the first of any of my friends to buy clothing from American Apparel, purchasing my first t-shirt there in the summer of 2006 while on vacation in Ann Arbor, MI. While many might complain that the store is a bit pricy—a basic zip-up hoodie costs $42—it is well worth the price. Not only are the clothes incredibly well-made, but they are all designed and manufactured in downtown Los Angeles. Many other stores like Target and Wal-Mart have come up with cheaper versions of some of the store’s most unique styles like the “Shiny Legging” that comes in such colors as Night Fever Black, Lamé Copper, and Eel Black; however, I urge you to purchase the real deal—and no, I am not saying this because I work there or am related to the owner. American Apparel utilizes a “sweatshop free” workplace environment. As opposed to workers who are paid 40 cents per hour in China, Vietnam or pretty much any other country that makes clothing for American companies, the 4,000 employees in L.A. who do the same job as those in China are paid $12 per hour, receive affordable health insurance, as well as other benefits like ESL classes and a free bike lending program. Because many of American Apparel’s garment constructors are immigrants from Latin American countries, the company is also incredibly active in a campaign it created in 2003 called “Legalize L.A.” Basically it is an advertising campaign to encourage individuals to support immigration into America. It is done through advertising with tshirts that can be bought for $17, billboards in L.A. and a constant update on company’s web site, http://www.;Americanapparel. net, of articles, broadcasts, and any new legislation regarding improving immigration restrictions in the U.S. American Apparel is also involved in another campaign created in 2008 called, “Legalize Gay” to improve gay rights across the country. And to really raise the bar, the company also has an entirely organic line of clothing where you can buy anything from socks, to underwear, to t-shirts, to sweatpants in 100 per cent organic cotton. And perhaps if all tree-hugging do-gooder aspect of the store does not interest you, I recommend the clothing based merely on the fact that American Apparel has some of the coolest pieces you can find. Every shirt, dress, sock, and headband comes in at least ten different colors. When I first walked into a store, I was completely overwhelmed at the quantity and variety in color that just one style of sweatpants could have. So far the only location in Cincinnati is on 243 W. McMillan St. in Clifton near University of Cincinnati, though the company is constantly expanding its number of stores, and hopefully more will be added to the area as popularity for the store grows.

FRIDAY May 22, 2009

neak peek S

A&E 21

Summer box-office lineup disappoints ummer film season movie fanatics eagerly anticipated by fans L samcleary

minimag editor


associate editor

ike any activity, film also has its seasons. For surfing, the waves are best in the winter. For hunting, autumn. Peak season for movie-going is primarily from September to February. In the off months, theaters around the country are overrun with rainy day crowds, six dollar tickets, and Adam Sandler box-office blowouts. “Summer at the movies is like fishing when there’s no water, or playing basketball on grass. It’s no fun and it just doesn’t work,” said Elizabeth Keefe, 11. For studios and producers everywhere, spring and summer are prime periods for steady box office numbers and a constant flow of weekend movie addicts. But while the benefits are great for those in the industry, fans, critics, and fanatics are all hit hard by the annual lull on the silver screen. In these off-months, theater-potatoes must get by with periodic doses of mediocre Seth Rogan flicks like “Observe and Protect,” cheesy romantic comedies like “Duplicity,” and half-baked publicity stunts like “Hannah Montana: the Movie.” “Have you looked at the paper recently? It’s filled with horrible flicks and movies like ‘Monsters vs. Aliens,’ most of which are as bad if not worse than ‘Twilight,’” said Emory Zimmer, 9. Why the yearly depression? The slow pace of the movie biz in these long, unbearable stretches of time are

& elizabethhoopes

calendar chief


In the sixth “Harry Potter” movie, set to come out on July 17, Hogwarts is no longer the safe place that it used to be. Along with the dangers within Hogwarts, some of the characters are facing new life challenges, like relationships. Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) finds a book that once belonged to the Half-Blood Prince. The book includes advice on potions and dangerous spells. While Harry faces trials within the castle, Dumbledore (Sir Michael Gambon) is pushing him to prepare for the future. This exciting movie is sure to mirror the success of its predecessors.

cartoon by emma rosen

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Ice Age 3 Public Enemies

Set during the Great Depression, this crime movie is based on Melvin Purvis, an FBI agent. Purvis, played by Christian Bale, is sent on a gripping mission by the first director of the FBI, Edgar Hoover. He must find the American gangster, John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) and his perilous gang. The mob has easy access to the post World War II weapons and inventions. Pretty Boy Floyd, who is a bank robber and an alleged killer, and Baby Face Nelson, another robber, are the other members of the three man gang.

This humorous group is back with more laughs than ever. The reptiles and amphibians survived through the glaciers and ice storms because of their underwater paradise. Now, they will come across a whole new brand of species. Manny (Ray Romano), the mammoth, has paired up with Ellie (Queen Latifah) and they are now expecting their first child. As he comes closer to parenthood, Manny turns quite paranoid and tries to make everything perfect for the arrival of their child. Diego, the fierce, sarcastic tiger has tired of his “house-cat” stereotype, and begins to toughen himself up. Sid the sloth pilfers dinosaur eggs, and hopes to raise a happy family with the ferocious animals. All in all, the happy crew is back in action with new drama, gossip, and giggles.

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Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Starring Nicholas Cage, this movie seems to have it all; action, secret agents, and an evil billionaire. The bizarre twist? The film revolves around three guinea pigs, a mole, and a fly who have been “imprisoned” in a pet shop. Darwin, Juarez, Blaster, Hurley, and Bucky must escape the shop owner’s lair, stop the billionaire’s threat and help save the world from destruction. The fact that it is being directed by Jerry Bruckheimer and produced by Disney in 3-D adds to the comedy. This crazy movie will be released on July 24.

attributed to different factors. For one, the top actors and actresses, like any sensible persons, skip town for the season to enjoy themselves, as if Hollywood life is just oh-too-hard to bear. With the efflux of prominent movie stars and acclaimed directors, Hollywood during the spring and summer is, in essence, a wasteland of burned out comedians, up-and-coming faces looking for a break, and intolerable rock-heads and divas trying to prove they are worth a passing glance. “This is one of those things where you can’t make something happen. We’ve just got to wait it out and hope that this summer isn’t filled with ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Pink Panther’ remakes,” said Joseph Cleary, 10. This, in turn, is the reason why theater billboards are posted with movies starring the likes of Vin Deisel, Ana Faris, and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Besides the few fleeting spurts of blockbusters and big-time production hits, this month will see the start of a long and dwindling season in movie-world. Sure, there will be a few starstudded performances, such as Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr.’s duo in “The Soloist,” but for the most part, it is going to be a long, dreadful summer.

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A&E 22

FRIDAY May 22, 2009

Jazz Band performance keeps audiences entertained

photo by sohini sameera

photo by jeremy mcdaniel

This is so much more fun than my assigned summer reading books...

BOOKS: Lindsey Gruebmeyer, 9, reads in her spare time. Summer is coming close and students are looking at different books to read over their vacation.

JAZZ: The little theater was jamming on Monday, May 13. Four jazz groups all lead by Mr. Gary Langhorst, band director from both the Junior High and High School performed several pieces much to the delight of the audience. Selections included the likes of “Chameleon” played by the Junior High jazz ensemble. “I thought we sounded pretty good,” said Charlie Manion, 12, member of three of the four groups that performed: Sycamore Big Band, Senior Ensemble, and Jazz Ensemble.

Novel ideas for summer reading books U.S.A Gateway Travel

New books, new summer emilybegley

business manager


& sohinisameera

associate editor

ith the school year quickly coming to a close, students are eagerly awaiting the arrival of summer. It is the time when families are planning the long-awaited vacation. But if no exotic summer travels are being planned, chances are, the prospect of summer brings a dull aura. Nine weeks free of classes presents the opportunity for boredom to

encroach. Consider remedying the feeling by reading a book. Selecting a stimulating novel will provide excitement at the pool, a source of relaxation during vacation, and a method to pass the time at home. Every year, schools put out a list of books that are required to be read during summer vacation. Aside from reading the actual book, students must take notes, analyze the story, or

do any of the other tedious assignments. Summer should be a time of relaxation, leisure, and entertainment. Apart from the classic books from authors like Jane Austen, J.K. Rowling, Charles Dickens, and John Steinbeck, here is a list of books to read while lounging at the pool and (hopefully) getting a tan.

“Streams of Babel”

“The Host”

“Kite Runner”

“Handle with Care”

This chilling read by Carol Plum-Ucci involves terrorists, the Centers for Disease Control, poisoned water, and nose bleeds. Set in 2002, the young adults in the books narrate their experiences when a small town is targeted. The water pumps are contaminated with “Red Vinegar”, a poisonous substance, and researchers race to find the cure before the number of dead increases. The fact that the book is non-fiction adds to the spine-tingling fear that is instilled in readers.

By Khaled Hosseini, it tells the touching story of two friends in different classes. Amir, the privileged son of a wealthy business man and Hassan, the son of the family’s servant share a close friendship. But when war breaks out in Afghanistan, Amir and his father travel to America where the father starts low paying jobs in order to send his son to school. Years go by, and Amir travels to Afghanistan to search for Hassan. Amir witnesses brutal killings by the Taliban and the suffering of the citizens. This book teaches readers that they are indeed luckier than it seems.

“The Compound” The beginning of this book starts with a bang. The world as humans know it has succumbed to nuclear war. The main character, Eli, stays in an underground nuclear bomb shelter for six years. Even though the family has provisions that will last for 15 years, Eli begins to wonder about his twin brother Eddie and his grandmother, who could not make it to the door in time. Now, Eli must break away from his father’s grip and move into a world that has rid itself of mankind. This book is by S. A. Bodeen.

Looking for more from Stephanie Meyer? Widely known for her overwhelmingly popular Twilight series, her other novel, “The Host,” is frequently overlooked. The world has been taken over by otherworldly invaders known as “souls” who implant themselves in and completely take over humans’ minds. However, an invader named Wanderer gets much more than she anticipated when the former resident of her body, Melanie, refuses to relinquish her mind.

With books including “My Sister’s Keeper” and “Nineteen Minutes,” Jodi Picoult has consistently been a popular author among the student body. Picoult has written 15 novels thus far, each delving into a wide variety of topics. Her latest book, Handle With Care, tells the story of Willow, a young girl with a disease known as osteogenesis imperfecta. Picoult is currently creating an additional piece, “House Rules,” that will be available in 2010.

“Angels & Demons” Being the sequel to the “Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown, this book tells the story of Robert Langdon.The story launches with the murder of Leonardo Vetra, a physicist at a scientific research facility in Switzerland. At the scene of the crime, Vetra is found with the word “Illuminati” written across his chest. Langdon is an expert on the secret society Illuminati, so he is asked to help solve the murder. The book takes Langdon and Vetra’s daughter, Vittoria, around Europe to help save the historic Vatican City.

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FRIDAY May 22, 2009

A&E 23

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (PG-13)

all photos courtesy of

Taking on Hollywood s.m.dipali

admit it. I am an action junkie. Always have been, always will be. I have seen almost all violent, action - packed movies around, thanks to my father. And after watching all three “X-Men” movies as a child, I was stoked for this prelude to the trilogy. After all, Wolverine has held a special place in my heart when it came to “X-Men.” Wolverine, played by Hugh Jackman, was always the grouchy, yet sensitive loner that brought humor to the movies. Not to mention his abundant supply of facial hair. And muscles. Throughout the movie, various secondary characters appear, mostly mutants. Ryan Reynolds, Taylor Kitsch, and Will.I.Am all did their best but did not compensate for the absence of, say, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, or Ian McKellen. The plot kept me engaged. The fighting, shooting, and fire were all

of “X-Men” caliber. The action scenes were pretty spectacular, in particular one involving a helicopter, some Humvees and Wolverine on a motorcycle. I actually felt a little winded after it was over. My initial reaction to Wolverine was that it was okay - just okay. There was absolutely nothing bad to say about any of the performances, but I confess myself a bit disappointed. Overall, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” did not do much for me one way or another. So, I finally learned how Wolverine lost his memory. A twist at the end of the movie gave James Logan amnesia, a sort of Jason Bourne with sideburns. “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” will most likely manage to cash in on the popularity of the earlier episodes, but it is the latest evidence that the superhero movie is suffering from serious imaginative fatigue.

Rating: 4 out of 5

System: The Leaf uses this rating system 1-5 Leaves 1- Don’t Waste Your Money 5- Pre-Order Your Tickets A.S.A.P.

a&e chief

Prior to this year, the most actionpacked movie I had ever seen was “The Chronicles of Narnia.” I was never one for a good fight, and things blowing up in my face every five seconds had never sounded appealing to me. In retrospect, I realize how sheltered my movie life has been up until I saw the first “X-Men” movie a few months ago. That was all it took for me to realize that yes, I loved a good fight. And yes, things blowing up constantly in my face really did entertain me. So, naturally, the prospect of going to see the movie that precedes the eye-opening “X-Men” excited me. However, I did have a few reserves about seeing and reviewing this movie. The reviews it had gotten from magazines and fellow classmates were less than desirable. Ultimately, I expected the worst. From the beginning of the movie,

I was hooked. Cheesy as it was, the story line was engaging and the action was undeniably awesome. The only time that my mind drifted slightly from the movie was when Dipali knocked the nachos all over the floor (smooth, Dipali). One particularly enjoyable scene occured when a secret government team of mutants attacked an enemy camp in Africa to find a rock made of special metal. Coincidentally, this metal turns out to be the very same metal that was injected into Wolverine’s body. This scene displayed the mutant’s supreme butt-kicking skills. I expected alot out of fight scenes such as this, and was not dissapointed. While “X-Men Origins” was not the most epic movie I have ever seen, it made me want to go home to watch the rest of the “X-Men” saga. In my opinion, any movie that leaves you wanting more is worth your while.

Top ten must-see movies of all time s.m.dipali

a&e chief

(in no particular order)

& ginaromeo spotlight editor

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”

“Garden State”

“Finding Nemo”

“Casablanca” “Spirited Away” “Slumdog Millionaire” “Little Miss Sunshine”

“The Breakfast Club” “The Shining” “The Godfather”

all photos courtesy of



a&e chief

A&E 24

FRIDAY May 22, 2009

Staple of Cincinnati culture: catherinefarist

staff writer


indlay Market is Ohio’s oldest continuously operated public market that attracts perhaps the most socially, economically, racially, and ethnically diverse crowds found anywhere in Cincinnati. A melting pot of historic background, this public market gives the Cincinnati community a feel for the story behind the curtain.

Community attraction

The energetic pull of the sights, sounds and smells of this oldfashioned public market steems from the great variety of remarkable fresh foods, bargains, and the quintessentially urban shopping experience. Although the indoor spaces are open year round; running every weekend from April to November, Findlay Market hosts a thriving farmers market, dozens of vendors, and numerous street performers outdoors, as well. “Being a high schooler often starved of novel entertainment, I think it’s a great place to spend time with friends,” said Ben Swofford, 12. “It is also a way for us suburbanites to feel connected with Cincinnati’s diverse population.” This public market is also home to indoor merchants selling meat, fish, poultry, produce, flowers, cheese, deli, and ethnic foods and hosts an array of special events that help mold this culturally driven staple in Cincinnati’s historical background. Findlay Market does reside in the Over-the-Rhine area, widely known as a sketchy part of downtown Cincinnati, but its value and importance overshadows any reservations people have about visiting and shopping at this venue. Many safety precautions are taken by the staff such as a surveillance system in the parking lots and walk around staff that monitor the grounds.

With such measures in place, Findlay Market is a far cry from the reputation that the Over-theRhine area has acquired over the years and a sense of ease and safety is prodominant when visiting this location.

Market vendors

“What really drew me into Findlay Market is the diversity. The people are friendly and there are lots and lots of customers,” said Jeanette Werel, Cake Rack Bakery vendor. “With all the different social economic backgrounds here it really gives you the chance to change up your products and to experiment.” “My brother and I have owned Bean Haus since November of 2006 and opened at Findlay April of 2008,” said Tony Eversole, co-owner of the independently owned coffee house. “It was simply the potential of the growth of this environment, and since we’ve been here many new vendors have opened up; the farmers, the artisans, and the musicians are constantly expanding indoor and outdoor.” The drive behind the growth to this area stems from the diversity, culture, and community that is so evidently present in this little section of downtown Cincinnati. “The best part about Findlay Market is the people, music, and the vendors, that all have something unique to present,” said Werel. “I think you can find a little of bit everything and that’s what really makes this place.” With the family friendly atmosphere, children are encouraged to interact freely with the often comical street performers who gather spectators.

Student interaction

SHS students have even found ways to connect with Findlay Market. The Magic Vocal Ensamble, a

all photos by ben swofford

MARKETPLACE: Fruit and produce vendors set up in tents surrounding the market selling their home grown products. Street musicans also play their sets around these produce stands and offfer playful interaction with the many various sorts of customers. The courtyard in the market is filled with people sitting out in the sun enjoying their newly purchased food items or products as the bussle of the market streams around them.

Findlay Market flourishes Thriving, vibrant after 150 years

community acceplla group that is composed and led entirely by students that travel to various locations and perform to raise money for charity. “We wanted to pick a location that was busy and vibrant, as the goal of our ensemble is to give back to and be a part of our community,” said Josh Goldman, 11. “We loved the idea that we could do so at a location that was so clearly important in our region.” The lacrosse team also sold many bags of mulch to the Findlay Market organization and hand delivered the entire order right to the market. Food stamps are collected and taken by all stores and vendors, so even with the poor economy in this area; the market is not kept privy to only those who can afford it, but the entire population surrounding it. Whether or not people come for the exquisite food, the sights, the history, or the pure pleasure of being outside on a gorgeous weekend, no one seems to leave dissappointed or with lowered expectations. Findlay Market presents Cincinnatians with a sense of home and connection to the world of which they live. With such a place that can bring together the quatum of people that it does, it truly deserves the appreciation of any one who has graced themselves in the presense of this exctraordinary place.

featured store:

bean haus

Owned by: tony eversole & brother New inventive tea: mango or tropical tea Additional buys: traditional and seasonal pastries Average price: $2-4

SHS takes on...

Findlay Market 27%

73 %

When asking SHS students about whether or not they have been to Findlay Market 73% said they had not and 27% said that they had. image by jake newton and brittanny argyriou

A&E 25

FRIDAY May 22, 2009

Hyped Up

Bands, artists deemed ‘Overrated’,‘Underrated’


spotlight editor

Mainstream music

Overlooked, underplayed

Five Most Overrated Bands

1 Fall Out Boy

If there is one band out there who practically defines overrated, Fall Out Boy would take the cake, hands down. This all-too overplayed pop/alternative band was voted the top overrated band in the SHS survey.


Jonas Brothers


Soulja Boy


A product of the Disney Channel, Jonas Brothers: Kevin, Joe and Nick were bound to be overrated from their first hit, “Hold On”. “The Jonas Brothers are really bad and really overplayed,” said Tyler Itrich, 10.

Sure, learning how to “Crank Dat” was fun at one point. But after hearing songs like “Get Silly” and “Kiss Me Thru the Phone” on the radio every five minutes, Soulja Boy got old, and fast.

My Chemical Romance Let’s get serious here, the angsty underdogs of MCR can be fun to rock out to, but they are given way too much credit for their generic emotional lyrics and predictable power chords.

5 Miley Cyrus

Along with the Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus a.k.a Hannah Montana is a popular choice for tweens across the nation.“Miley Cyrus is on the lame train, “said Garrett Douthitt, 9.

a Billboard hit can sometimes be appropriate, more often than not these songs leave something to be desired. While bands that used to be great, such as Green Day and Paramore, are selling out, others, like the little-known City and Colour, are not receiving nearly as much credit as deserved. Where are these undercover, underrated bands? The mainstream music scene can be a bit boring, so the fresh faces of unique artists are what everyone is waiting for. And so, the quest to find the most underrated and overrated bands was underway. Surveys were taken, votes were calculated, and the results came as a bit of a shock. Check out SHS’ picks for the five most underrated and overrated bands of all time.

ARTISTS: Counterclockwise from top left: Miley Cyrus, Soulja Boy, Jonas Brothers, Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, Kings of Leon, Death Cab for Cutie, Outkast, Atmosphere, The Clash.

What it means: Overrated:

Anything that is given too much hype or credit; rated or appraised too highly, overestimated.


Something or someone that deserves much more respect than they are given; rated or evaluated too low, underestimated.

all images by gin a romeo


could say that at one point in time such classic wonders as Metallica, AC/DC, and The Beach Boys were utterly and completely overrated. These days it is a little easier to decipher the musicians given too much hype from the musicians that just do not get enough. For example, artists like Chris Brown, Katy Perry, Rihanna and Nickelback are racking up hits quickly. Media coverage, tours, new albums, music videos, it is hard not to notice these bands. It seems that overOn the other hand, there is a colosplayed, overpaid, over- sal amount of bands that simply are rated bands are more not given enough credit for their prevalent in the sensational musical abilities. The music scene these bands that have less fans, that are less days than trees are well-known, that deserve as much in the forest. coverage as they can get. These bands are In other words, it is about time that not necessarily these underrated bands receive the bad; there has to be respect and attention they deserve. some reason why they have such a large fan base. Artists with one-of-a-kind sounds, Needless to say, the artists that explore areas of music that popularity of these have yet to be explored, artists that artists can get a bit give our ears something new and irritating. extraordinary: that is what the public is Overrated bands searching for. have been around The all too popular bands for deof our generation have cades. In little more to send to their fact, one listeners than catchy tunes and shallow, meaningless lyrics. Although

ace it, turning on the radio has become more of the hassle of finding a song that has not been overplayed, than it is a simple listening experience. It is hard to discover a band that has not had their own commercials on MTV, or does not get interviewed in every music magazine.

Five Most Underrated Bands The Clash


Death Cab For Cutie


If there is one genre that pretty much sums up underrated, it is British punk rock. Formed in 1976, The Clash’s political lyrics and raw anger stand as a musical influence to this day.

This indie-rock foursome have seven albums under their belt, and have yet to be given the respect they deserve. Death Cab’s sensitive and slightly nostalgic lyrics play out more like stories than songs.


If it is funky, energetic hip hop you are looking for, you have come to the right place. Although they are most popular for hits like ‘Hey Ya’ and ‘Roses’, Outkast deserves recognition of their lesser known songs like “So Fresh, So Clean”.




Kings of Leon


Featuring the hip-hop stylings of ‘Slug’ and ‘Ant’, Atmosphere’s honest, raw lyrics and fresh beats stand out over the meaningless rhymes played on the radio.

A modern-day family band, KOL is best known for their radio hit “Sex On Fire”. But it is their earlier, southern blues-esque tunes that are truly the best. “Their unique style separates them from other bands,” said John Brooker, 11.

A&E 26

FRIDAY May 22, 2009

Venturing to local burger joints: Four restaurants serve Cincinnati’s best burgers & Bennett and Danny: We’re S going to bed TODAY. This space MUST be filled, or this enterprise could be cut. Also, the cutouts for Zip’s and Quatman’s are still a little rough around the edges.

bennettkaplan staff writer

dannybayliss staff writer

pread out randomly across the city of Cincinnati are numerous restaurants that serve quality food, day in and day out. A well-known favorite, the hamburger, is a very popular item on many menus. Many restaurants boast “good burgers”, but a selective few have been dubbed by customers as top spots. The four burger places below are the cream of the crop. They are each rated out of five “hamburgers”. The ratings consist of the quality of the burger, the atmosphere, and the service. The quality of the main side item, which in this case are french fries, is also factored into the official rating system. Burgers have always been

a staple in Cincinnati, and each place is unique. Quatman’s Café has been in Cincinnati since the 1960’s. Zips Café is considered by many to be the “best” burger in Cincinnati. Terry’s Turf Club has recently become very popular in Cincinnati, some saying that their burgers are of better quality than that of Zips. Gordo’s Pub and Grill strays away from what one would normally consider a burger to look like, making theirs like thick hockey pucks. In Cincinnati, there are many traditions involving food. This includes Skyline Chili, Greaters Ice Icream, and Montgomery Inn . But many Cincinnatians will be surprised that there are many top-notch burger joints just down the street.

Gordo’s Pub & Grill From the outside, Gordo’s appears to be a neighborhood dive, but once entered, it looks re-done and well organized. This narrow establishment has its walls lined with pictures of several pieces of art and several high-definition, flat-screen televisions. There are small contemporary lights hanging from the ceiling that continuously shine bright colors. They have many notable names for their burgers, like the Jean-Robert Burger. It is named after Jean-Robert de Cavel, who owns several restaurants, including one in Cincinnati. Their half-pound burgers are in the shape of miniature meatloaves.When packed with certain toppings and condiments, they need both hands to keep it intact. People in the mood for a truly filling meal should also order a side of steak fries, along with a frosty, cold, carbonated, beverage.

Located in the midst of Mt. Lookout, Ohio, Zip’s Café has kept customers coming back since 1926. After walking through the narrow foyer, there is their jam-packed dining room, fitted with three televisions, and a model train running along the walls. Past the old-western saloon doors is the bar, which includes another flat-screen television. Picked again and again as Cincinnati’s best burger, the “Zip” burger, combined with a plate of fries and a steaming bowl of the noteworthy chili and a drink of choice, makes for a filling, yet satisfying meal. This burger is best when dressed with toppings such as grilled onions, lettuce, tomato and cheese.

Hours: Mon-Thu. 10:30 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. Fri-Sat. 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 p.m. Sun. 11:00 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.

Address: 1036 Delta Ave. Cincinnati, OH 45208 Phone Number: (513) 871 9876

rating: Quatman’s Cafe

Hours: Mon-Sat: 11:00am-10:30pm Address: 2434 Quatman Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45212 Phone Number: (513) 731 4370

Hours: Monday-Friday 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Kitchen is open 4-11 p.m. Address: Montgomery Rd Norwood, OH 45212 Phone Number: (513) 351-1999

Located on Quatman Avenue in Norwood, Quatman’s Café provides a delicious burger experience by making it easy for their customers. Quatman’s Café is a no-frills restaurant. Right when people walk in, they can go and seat themselves. Next, customers wait for a waiter to come and take the order. There is a big menu posted up behind the bar, listing its few items. The burgers are cheap, with cheeseburgers under $5. The restaurant considers its meat so good that toppings are not provided. Quatman’s burgers consist only of a huge slice of white onion and the meat. Served on paper plates along with delicious shoe-string fries and canned drinks, Quatman’s Café provides a quality burger and an atmosphere that is unique among burger restaurants.


all images by danny bayliss and bennett kaplan


Zip’s Cafe

Terry’s Turf Club Located on Eastern Avenue, Terry’s Turf Club keeps its doors open until 2: 30 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Terry’s is a one room bar and dining area that has high tables and booths set up from corner to corner. Every table is always filled. Terry’s is considered by many to be the ideal version of a “man’s” bar. At Terry’s, peanuts are complementary, and customers are encouraged to throw their shells on the floor. Terry’s delicious burgers and unique french fries, provide for a savory, filling meal that will keep people going back for more. They also have a wide variety of non-burger items, including filet mignon. People planning on going to Terry’s should leave early or be join the line going outside the door.

Hours: 4 p.m.-2:30 a.m. Monday-Saturday; noon-8 p.m. Sunday. Address: 4618 Eastern Ave Cincinnati, OH 45226 Phone Number: (513) 533 4222



FRIDAY May 22, 2009

sports 27

iphotos courtesy of jeremy mcdaniel

Take a

MISSILE: Varsity gold tennis ace, Adam Reinhart, 10, (right) prepares for a mighty forehand. At first singles, he has faced many obstacles this season, playing generally older opponents, but has shone in the spotlight. Jake Maxwell, 11, (left) gears up to hammer down an overhead. Maxwell, a first doubles player, has had great success in the post-season thus far.

With GMC Tournament in rear view mirror, districts await

Boys tennis captures third place frankpan

staff writer


he 2009 tennis campaign for the A team has been a long journey that has matured a young team filled with promise. At the time of publication, the team is 9-8 (7-2 in the GMC’s) and just finished up the GMC tournament. The team captured 3rd place in a very tight tournament. Lakota East captured 1st place with 46 points, Lakota West came in 2nd with 44 points, and SHS had 42 points. At first singles, Adam Reinhart, 10, played a tough field of good players and finished in 5th place. At second singles, Adam Samuels¸12 battled hard and also finished in 5th place. Third singles featured Jeffrey, Kaplan, 10 who had a strong showing: he finished 3rd. The doubles tandem featuring team captains Jake Maxwell and David Jungerwirth, both 11, went on a roll in defeating Mason and Lakota East en

this month in

sports Fallen Aviator hero honored with monument Baseball plays memorial game for Pvt. Branden Haunert | page 28 Think you know SHS sports? Test your knowledge with the debut of the Aviator Sports Quiz | page 32 Need more coverage? Visit the sports pages at www.goaves. com

route to their third individual GMC title. The 2nd doubles team featuring Jordan Chen, 11, and Frank Pan, 10, also claimed a GMC title by defeating Lakota West and Mason. “We played really well and I am very happy that I won another title in the GMC,” said Jungerwirth. With the GMC completed, the A team looks toward an even more successful postseason in the sectional tournament. The sectional tournament is the precursor to the district tournament which will determine the teams that will represent the southwest region in the state tournament. Sectionals began on May 12 and lasted the entire week with all matches held at Mason High School. Every position, whether it be singles or doubles, are projected to go deep into the tournament. “I hope to play until the end of May. That would be a good sign,” said Kaplan.


After the sectional tournament, SHS will face the perennial powerhouse and current state number one, St. Xavier— the team’s last dual match of the season. After that match the district tournament begins on Thursday, May 21 and will conclude with the finals on May 23. The 2009 season was a season of ups and downs and a season where the young team composed of four sophomores, three juniors, and one senior really matured and acclimated to the intensity of varsity tennis in not just Cincinnati, but the state of Ohio. How far the team will continue to go in the postseason will be determined by the wills and talents of the players, but the future of SHS tennis looks very bright as the team will have many experienced players even hungrier for the coming seasons.

Ground Strokes

staff writer

Varsity Green

Struggling down the stretch, the Varsity Green tennis team has experienced tough loss after tough loss. Recent defeats at the hands of La Salle, Moeller, and St. Xavier have pitted the record at 2-8. However, the boys had an outstanding performance on the road versus Centerville. All five positions were won, including a grueling victory by Bogdan Leschinsky, 11, and Joseph Lee, 11, at second doubles. “We did not want to go all the way out to Centerville to return without a victory,” said Michael Bemmes, 9. Soon after, the boys thrashed Centerville at home. One thing Coach Joe Harktemeyer has emphasized is continuous improvement. Although the team is in a bit of a slump, he has stated that if the boys keep their heads up and improve for the next match, wins will come their way. The team will participate in the Sycamore Cup, starting on May 16.


The JV tennis team has knocked off opponents left and right, advancing their record to 8-3. Dominant 5-0 wins have been collected over Colerain, Princeton, and Hamilton, teams with solid programs. In the Hamilton match, Michael LeNeveu, 10, notched a 6-0, 6-0 victory at first singles. “We have definitely had some success this season, but we need to maintain momentum and keep improving,” said Jordan Evans, 10, team captain. However, some obstacles have been met along the road. Losses at the hands of both St. Xavier teams and Lakota East have thawed the red-hot team. Keeping their heads up, the boys moved past these losses and got back to their winning ways.

VOLLEY: Michael Bemmes, 9, readies to pounce at the net while his partner awaits an opposing serve. Both sets of doubles teams proved victorious against Centerville. The team played in the Sycamore Cup, which took place on May 16.


Journalist types her way into pool of hypocrisy, negativity brandonsosna

sports chief

Introducing Selena Roberts, who is said, by many, to be a reputable, reliable journalist. Well, not anymore. Roberts has been a columnist at the New York Times since 2002. She has had several gigs as a beat writer since graduating from Auburn University in 1988, with a B.A. degree in journalism. Absent from her nearly impeccable record is her major in psychology. Because she must surely have one to contend that A-Rod’s “problems” stem from being an abandoned child by her father and his inerasable feeling that he must be the best. Said Roberts in an interview with the AP: "I think like any child, you never want to be abandoned again. In order to sort of keep people near him, people close, please people, I think he always felt that he had to be better than good.” I don’t claim to be an expert myself, but it seems to me Roberts is just an ambitious journalist, with an insatiable thirst to be the best in her own right. She craves attention. Her greatest desire is recognition. What else would explain her public beat down of the Duke Lacrosse players back in 2006? Using her column in the Times as an open forum, she convicted the players of rapes they never committed, tarnished their names, and likened them to gang members. She left out the part where she was wrong. Never printed a retraction. Never apologized. Roberts just head-hunted for another vulnerable target – and she found him: Alex Rodriguez. With the release of her book entitled A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez, Roberts has attempted her second home run swing. And like many home run cuts, she will most likely whiff. The Times preceded the release of the novel with their own statement: “Some of the accusations in the book are based on anonymous sources, and others are simply presented as knowledge the author has without an explanation of how the information was obtained.” Once again, I’m not expert, but to me that reads: “We really do not know if this information is accurate and it would not be accepted by the majority of the news media.” No one has questioned Roberts on the book. Everyone conveniently fails to ask her about her mishap of journalism during the Duke Lacrosse scandal. ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and others have gone as far as calling her accusations “irrefutable.” Roberts is involving herself in a risky business. Accusing A-Rod of taking steroids in high school and tipping pitches to batters is no minor allegation. This is serious stuff. Not to mention, Roberts inappropriately delves into the love life of the prominent major leaguer. Wherever Roberts is right now, she’s basking in the glory of bringing down baseball’s bright light - even if that means lying and cheating. Not only is Roberts setting up to bring herself down, she is dragging down one of baseball’s most prominent figures. It’s time for you to step out of your narcissistic world, Selena Roberts, and go take a hike.

Sports 28

FRIDAY May 22, 2009

Baseball wraps up regular season Team savors post-season opportunity mattmendelsohn

Band Wagon


staff writer

image by rashmi borah


MEMORIAL: Coach Chris Shrimpton speaks at the ceremonial dedication of a flagpole and flag in memory of Pvt. Branden Haunert. Haunert, a 2005 SHS grad and former varsity baseball player, fell in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom on May 18, 2008. At the base of the flagpole, which was donated by SHS student council is a plaque commemorating Haunert’s life, honoring the fallen Aviator. Following the dedication, SHS took on GMC rival Fairfield, dropping a 23-15 decision. Although the team was not victorious, the day was an important and emotional occasion. Also in honor of the late Haunert, his initials have been present on the sleeves of team shirts and some of the players’ hats. The flagpole will serve as a monument and reminder for the sacrifice Haunert made for his country.

Batter up dannybayliss & brandonsosna staff writer

sports chief

JV baseball

The regular season concluded with a victory against Fairfield on the highly anticipated Sophomore Night. Sophomore Night is a spin off of Senior Night, however, this day belongs to the tenth graders, who set out to enjoy themselves in chaotic fashion before, during, and after the game. “It was an awesome night, plus we won,” said Joe Cleary, 10, the inspiration and leader of Sophomore Night. The defeat of Fairfield ignited the squad as they stormed their way riding a wave of momentum in the Greater Miami Conference (GMC) Tournament. In the first round, they took on third seeded Hamilton, a team they lost to 2-1 on opening day. Sweet revenge. The sixth seeded JV squad ousted the Big Blue from the GMC Tournament and set themselves up for battle with the Fairfield Indians on day two of the tournament. Lightning does not strike twice. Their second upset bid was turned away in a five inning drubbing resulting in a run-ruling.

“It was a bad loss – being run ruled. But it doesn’t take away from anything,” said Matt Cianciolo, 10. Despite the loss, the season overall ended in an above .500 record and that in itself can be considered a major success for any team. Would they have liked to win the GMC Tournament? Sure. But the way they played leaves them nothing to be disappointed about.

STRIKE:Ben Reinhold, 10, pitches for JV. The team was close, bonding over events such as “Sophomore Night.”

photo courtesy of jeremy mcdaniel

oming into the season, the varsity baseball team had one goal in mind: Win the GMC. Though they fell short of that milestone, they did accomplish something that no SHS varsity baseball team had done in five years, which is finish .500 in the GMC. Their record of 9-9 was good for fourth place, again one of the highest spots in the standings that SHS has seen in several years. After a slow start to the season, varsity hit a hot streak and rode that momentum for a long time, which enabled them to make up all of the ground in the GMC. After a 3-9 start, SHS went 8-5 to end the year to improve their positioning. Though the pitching and fielding was still inconsistent, the hitting improved drastically as players finally got into a rhythm, finishing 4th in the GMC in hitting. Statistically, Mike Morris, 12, led the team in hitting, while Matt Phipps, 12, led the team in home runs with five. Marty Jones, 12, and Jon Lasota, 12, tied for the team lead in RBIs with 24, and Jones also led the team with 12 steals. On the mound Gary Banks, 12, led the team in innings and strikeouts, while Brent Perlman, 11, finished with a team high three wins, and also led the team in earned run average. Two important events that occurred at the end of the season had a tremendous impact on the team. The first was the Branden Haunert Memorial Dedication game, which was in honor of Haunert, a former baseball player at SHS who was tragically killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom. A ceremony preceded the game with a dedication of a plaque and a flagpole, which was donated to the school. The second event was senior night, which honored all twelve of the seniors on this year’s baseball team. Though both games ended in a loss, the significance of both events, especially the memorial, was not lost on anyone in attendance. The state tournament finally began, and SHS drew the Milford Eagles in the first round of the tournament. Brien Gearin, 12, pitched a complete game, while Morris and Jones each hit two run home runs to lead the offense, as SHS won 7-5.

Freshman baseball

The freshman posted a record of 5-8 this season, and reflecting on the season, they certainly had their fair share of ups and downs. The team swept Middletown, a definite high point. Not only did they cruise to a 13-3 victory, but the team also earned a run-rule victory with a 24-1 clubbing of the Middies. “Those two wins were big for us. We showed how good we can be,” said Michael Levy, 9. The team did qualify for the GMC tournament; however, they dropped a first round decision to Lakota East on May 9. “I think while we did not played the best toward the end, we were still very happy to be able to compete in the tournament,” said Evan Cohen, 9. The team was helped by superb pitching from Colin Marth and Joel Tate, both 9. Also, position players Will Bundy, 9, and Cohen, tore the cover off the ball down the stretch. “We played better than everyone expected to close out the year, and it was always a lot of fun with the guys on the team,” said Levy.


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***Valid through 6/22/09***


sports chief

Senior year of high school: a memorable year in the lives of most students. Prom, graduation, college decisions, and senioritis are the norm. For San Diego native Jeremy Tyler, this experience may turn out to be slightly different. Tyler, a 6’11 athletic freak, who was committed to play basketball for the Louisville Cardinals starting with the 2010 season, recently announced that he would forgo his senior season of high school to play professionally in Europe. Currently, the theory of playing for a year in Europe and then transitioning to the National Basketball Association is being tested by Brandon Jennings. Sure, the Los Angeles born Jennings signed a lucrative contract with Italian club team Lottomatica Roma and picked up an endorsement from Under Armour by taking his game overseas, but what about his career? The outcome of this situation is what college basketball purists such as myself, and executives such as the infamous Sonny Vaccaro are waiting for. Vaccaro, who once signed Michael Jordan to his first shoe endorsement with Nike, now paints himself as an advocate for talented high school players. Let’s be honest, sketchy characters like Vaccaro care about one thing and one thing only; no, not the well-being of young men such as Tyler and Jennings, but the fat sums of cash surrounding these situations. As disturbing as it may be to hear, amateur athletics these days are very much a business. On the other hand, those who love the game of college basketball are selfish. Over the past few seasons, we have been lucky enough to enjoy the, albeit short, amazing careers of players such as Michael Beasley, Kevin Durant, and Derrick Rose. Without the NBA age limit, which Vaccaro deems unfair and cites as the reason many wunderkinds will begin to play overseas, there is no doubt these types of superstars would have never stepped foot on a college campus. Although it may delay a lifechanging pay check by a year or two, what better way to increase exposure and draft stock than leading a team through the NCAA tournament? It can’t be better to remove oneself from the spotlight and as Jennings has seemingly done, limit himself to a year of basketball and social obscurity somewhere in Italy, can it? The spotlight on the college basketball scene is limitless. According to Nielsen ratings, around 132 million viewers tuned in to at least a portion of this year’s NCAA tournament. Stars such as Blake Griffin and Ty Lawson gained indescribable national exposure that certainly won’t hurt their draft status. Anyone tune in to Lottomatica Roma’s 88-72 win over Partizan on March 11? No? Jennings dropped a whopping 5 points in what I’m sure was a thrilling performance. Not exactly exposure on the level of March Madness. While Griffin and Lawson have become household names, the only thing keeping Jennings in the news is the controversy surrounding his situation. Vaccaro vehemently dismisses anyone that questions Tyler’s decision to drop out of school, laying down a ridiculous ultimatum that if one wants to worry about Tyler not graduating, then they should be losing sleep about the national dropout rate. Vaccaro knows that this case is in the spotlight of the athletic world, so he should not be surprised when it draws attention. The trend of players going overseas to develop will never fully catch on. All those predicting doomsday for college basketball and a mass exodous of talent to Europe are overreacting. I urge you, do not jump on the bandwagon, although Jennings and Tyler may be wildly successful, rest assured, playing a year in college is still the best route to the N.B.A.

Sports 29

FRIDAY May 22, 2009

Track team vaults into GMC meet catherinefarist

staff writer



staff writer



spotlight editor



The GMC Track Meet was held on May 13 and 15. The boy’s team looked for a strong finish to another successful season. “It has been a good year on the track. I am excited to finish it up successfully,” said Kubilay Inanli, 10. A top performer is Steve Hull, 12, ranked 1st in the 200 Meter Dash with a time of :22.19 seconds, 1st at long jump with a jump of 22’03.00” and also 2nd in the 100 meter dash with a time of :10.74 seconds. Another successful athlete this season has been Hank Geer, 12. Geer is ranked 2nd in the 3200 meter with a time of 9:37:00 minutes and 5th in the 1600 meter with a time of 4:31.60 minutes. “I have been pretty happy about the way I am running this year, and the best is yet to come, for sure,” said Geer. Running the grueling 400 meter dash, Garret Listo, 12, is ranked 3rd in the GMC with a time of :49.77 seconds. “Hopefully at the GMC meet I can move up from fifteenth in hurdles,” said Erik Gunnarsson, 10. The boy’s 6400 meter relay team is also ranked 1st with a time of 18:42.60 minutes. “Team wise, we are looking pretty good going into the GMC meet. We have been scoring a lot of points in the meets, and have a well rounded team with a lot of leadership. If the underclassmen step up, we can achieve our goal of top five at GMC’s,” said Hank Ray, head coach. The team is preparing for the GMC meet and then will continue to get ready for sectionals, districts, and then state tournaments.

images by garrett steinbuch

he 2009 GMC Track Meet will be held on Wednesday, May 13 and Friday, May 15 at Fairfield Stadium. “These next few weeks I am going to be very selfish with our athletes putting them in as many events as possible. I know they will perform their best in the upcoming GMC Meet and Regional Meet,” said Coach Hank Ray. On Wednesday, May 13th, the field events for the boys are discus and long jump, and the girls have shot put, high jump, and pole vault. The events will begin at 4:00 p.m. and the preliminaries of the running will start at 5:30 p.m. “We are focusing on training for the rest of this week to see how much further we can push our athletes,” said Ray, “We have some real great talent on this team and I would like to see it translate into this meet.” On Friday, May 15th, the field events for the boys are shot put, high jump, and pole vault and for the girls it is discus and long jump. They will begin at 4:00 p.m. and the running finals will begin at 6:00 p.m. “I have high hopes for the GMC meet. I have been training and focusing very specifically on my training and would like rank number one for the 3200 meter run,” said Alanah Sonntag, 12. Placing first in the GMC for the girls is Mia Obikewe, 12, in the long jump with a jump of 16’03.25’’ and Sonntag, 12, in the 1600 meter run with her time of 5:19.00 minutes.

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What SHS sport would be the most appropriate addition to the GMC?

Brandon Sosna Steroids are a major issue in sports. But what happens when a sport is on steroids? Because based on the growing popularity of speedball, one would think the game itself is on PEDs. The lethal combination of handball and soccer that makes up the sport has taken SHS by storm. So if a sport has expanded to such status, why not just make if official?

Garrett Steinbuch If you have not heard of the Ultimate Frisbee team, just ask Mike Gutekunst, head coach, of this fine team. Recently, the team has gone to Nationals, placed second place in the YUC (Youth Ultimate Cincinnati) and State a few times, and has won many spirit prizes. The team always strives to be the best while showing sportsmanship at all times. Just think, how could this team win so many awards in only five years of existence?

RUNDOWN: Steve Hull, 12, slows his pace after a full-out sprint at his event. Along with basketball and football, he has been a star on the track.

WHOOSH: Mia Obiekwe, 12, sprints down the homestretch. She has proven to be vital to the success of the varsity track team this season.

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Matt Slovin

Boys volleyball enjoys success garrettsteinbuch staff writer

The team has gone off to play more teams out of the Greater Miami Conference. These challenges have shown how good the team really is. “These teams show us were we really stand against good teams outside of the GMC,” said Robert You, 12. In the game versus Roger Bacon, the team played very well, but the opponent never got tired and had the game in their hands throughout the last two sets. The team did get one set on the conditioned opponent, but they could not get much more losing in four sets. Centerville and Lakota East was next up on difficult schedule. The team was unable to get the win against Centerville, but SHS managed to get one set on them. The next day, they used their home court advantage and defeated Lakota East. It took four sets, but the team took the victory over the Thunderhawks. “The game reminded me of the biggest thrill from last year. Our team beat Lakota East in a 5 game match. It was a very exciting finish. East was a very strong team then, and they still are this season,” said Coach Sandy Grannen. Mason was up next for the SHS squad and the Comets put up a fight towards the end of the final set, but the varsity team proved to be too strong, and won in three straight sets. In the game against Hamilton, the team defeated the opposition convincingly in three straight

sets. The most points that the Big Blue scored in one set was only ten points. The squad’s defense was on fire, and rarely made any mistakes. They defeated Fairborn only needing the minimum of three sets. The final set was close, but the team would not let the final set slip through their fingers and put them away. Milford is a tough team and an intelligent team. After taking the first set, Milford figured out a way to beat the SHS team, and they won the next three sets. Losing when in the lead is never a good thing, but the squad needs to finish the season out strong. In the game against Northmont, the team took hold of the game right from the start. They just could not keep up, and the squad captured the win in two straight sets ironically the same score of 25-17. The game versus Alter was a little more interesting than against Northmont. It took three sets to take home the victory. Alter started off strong winning the first set, but then the team picked up the pace and took over after the first set. Alter came close, but in the end, could not surpass SHS. The team only has a few games left, including the Buckeye Classic Tournament, and only one game in the GMC. As of May 6, the team has a record of 13-5 and a 6-1 record in the GMC. At this pace, the boys will land themselves in second place among the GMC ranks.

Water polo would be an excellent addition to the GMC’s repertoire of competition. Since the introduction of water polo to the Olympics, the United States has claimed just one gold medal. Considering that the sport is the oldest continuous Olympic team sport, that’s a significant problem. One gold medalist has already emerged from our pool, Dan Ketchum, ‘00; who’s to say the increased competition that would come from this change wouldn’t give us another?

Paul Pescovitz If only one sport could be added, then the best choice would clearly be lacrosse. The sport, which has been popular for years on the East Coast has quickly caught on in the midwest, and with a growing number of teams in Ohio, it makes sense for the OHSAA and GMC to recognize the game. SHS already fields a strong squad, so the addition would certainly be exciting.

Emily Cohen The sport that should be added to the GMC is hockey. Hockey has always been a popular sport and its popularity has increased throughout the years. Also unlike lacrosse, hockey has a pro league that is in the spotlight, so there is no reason why it should not be a GMC sport.

Sports 30

FRIDAY May 22, 2009 Boys look to overcome season struggles, girls shoot for undefeated season

Varsity lacrosse prepares for state staff writer &


mariamarballi staff writer

fter a swift start, the boys’ varsity lacrosse team has encountered some rough waters. The squad roared off to a 4-0 mark to start the season, headlined by a landmark win over hated rival Moeller. However, the next game against Dublin Jerome ended with SHS’s first loss, a tough 6-7 defeat. “It’s disappointing that we lost, especially since we did it in front of a home crowd,” said Dan Garfield, 12. The team followed that up with a tough match-up with Indian Hill, one of the area’s top two teams. Unfortunately, Varsity dropped that game as well by a tally of 5-12. “After the Moeller game, we might have got a little complacent. We got a dose of reality when we played those two good teams back to back. It helped teach the younger guys that you’ve gotta (sic) bring it every game out if you want to win,” said Michael Guthrie, 12. Varsity followed that up with a nice win over Columbus power Hilliard Darby 10-6 and then two more wins over Sayre Academy (Ky.) and Lakota East by a combined score of 32-1, providing a bit of a confidence boost before the toughest part of the schedule. That consisted of games against Dublin Coffman, Hilliard Darby, Loveland, and St. Xavier, who is considered the top team in the Cincinnati area this year. SHS did not perform too well initially, falling 10-8 and 11-9 in two very hard-fought games. The team rebounded against Loveland, defeating the Tigers 12-9, setting up a momentous game against the Bombers. St. X got an early lead and remained

ahead for most of the game. However, Varsity refused to quit, coming back to tie the game in the fourth quarter and force overtime. In the extra period, though, despite inspired play and some close calls, SHS ultimately fell by a score of 12-11. “It was an extremely disappointing loss. It was a game we could have won, but we just couldn’t pull it out. Hopefully we get to play them again in the playoffs,” said Tim Andrews, 11. As of press time, the team’s record stands at 8-5, putting it on track to be the third seed in the state tournament. The playoffs consist of three regional rounds and two state rounds. Despite the squad’s recent struggles, players are determined to do what it takes to win the state championship. “We have too much talent not to go far [in the tournament]. It’s a whole new season once the playoffs start; we’re going to do what it takes to go as far as we can,” said Guthrie.

Girls lacrosse

After months of conditioning in the off-season, the varsity girls lacrosse players are well on their way to their goal: following in the footsteps of the 2007 varsity team in winning the state championship. The girls lifted as a team every Tuesday and Thursday until 4 p.m. and worked on agilities until 4:30 p.m. “There was always a great turnout at conditioning. I think it really strengthened the team as a whole and also for each individual player,” said Marisa Merk, 10. Varsity players from that year know

that there is no better feeling than being out on the field as the clock winds down to the final second of winning the state title. With the way the teams have been working together, it is safe to say that the ladies have a bright future ahead of them as the season comes to a close. The team has currently earned a record of 15-0 and plans to keep an undefeated season. Key returning players leading the team are Emile Hunter, 12, Lily Ricci, 12, Hannah Kelp, 11, and Melissa Herlihy, 12. A talented and skilled senior class led the squad as they took on 15 local teams winning each one. Recently, the team easily defeated Summit Country Day 26-7 on Tuesday, April 28 at 6:30 p.m. Lead scorers were Hannah Beck, 10, Ricci, and Hunter. On April 30, the girls played Mason at home at 7:30 p.m. winning 17-4. Several days later on Saturday, May 2 the girls battled Thomas and won 21-6. “We worked really well at the Thomas game, it was one of our best,” said Bizzy Young, 12. On May 5 the team played Mount Notre Dame winning 15-5. Obviously, their former games have not proven much of a challenge, which gives SHS girls lacrosse the raving reputation that it has earned. They will be playing them on Saturday, May 9 at 11 a.m. at the SJH stadium. Come out and support the varsity girls lacrosse team as they make their way to becoming the 2009 state champions.

photo courtesy of jeremy mcdaniel


Cradling: Hannah Kelp, 11, has been a key returning member of the lacrosse team this season. She has played a major role in helping the squad obtain a perfect record.

a word with

AshleyGrecco, Flyrettescoach Grecco was selected as new team coach, and on Wednesday, May 6 held her first team meeting of the season.

Q: What is your previous dance experience? A: I was a member of my high school dance team, and then Xavier University’s dance team, and most recently I was on the Red’s dance team for three years. Q: What are some changes you plan to bring to the team this year? A: I want to expand the teams horizons in dance. My high school dance team specialized in high kick routines so I’d like to bring some of that as well as other kinds of dance to the team. Q: What kind of coaching experience do you have? A: I coached for one year on a high school level dance team. Q: What are you looking forward to most about coaching? A: I’m really looking forward to sharing my dance experience with all the girls and to have a lot of fun this year.

Sports 31

FRIDAY May 22, 2009

Full Press

photos courtesy of jeremy mcdaniel


SAVE: Goalkeeper Ryan Hall, 9, carries the ball out after a save. He has been a key component for much of the team’s success, and has had a great first year.

bennettkaplan staff writer

JV girls




staff writer

The JV girls lacrosse season is winding down to a conclusion after months of conditioning, practices, and hard work. Key players from last year led the team to their many victories such as Aamna Dosani, 10, Annie Seiple, 10, and Gabby Chronis, 10. The JV team played nine games, winning six of them. Their current record is 6-2-1. Within the last two weeks of the season, the girls suffered both of their defeats to Mason and Mt. Notre Dame. This severely decreased morale, as an undefeated season eluded the team. Even more aggravating was the proximity of the scores, with a 5-7 loss to Mason and 8-9 loss to Mt. Notre Dame. “The Mt. Notre Dame game was really close. Both teams played very well,” said Lina Cardenas, 9. With two games left on the schedule, the team hopes to end on a high note and gather momentum for the next season.

JV boys

The JV boys lacrosse season has not met expectations. Defeat after defeat has momentum at a standstill. However, despite many losses, the record does not accurately depict the whole story. Among many close losses are four overtime nail-biters. Although the team has not been very successful, leadership has been evident. Josh Toney, 10, Ryan Ebstein, 11, John Coddington, 11, and Anders Miller, 11, have all risen to the occasion and played very well. Prior to the season, Miller broke his collar bone. Upon return, it was broken, once again. Coming back for 3 games, he totaled 8 goals, only to break his collar bone again. The boys have suffered defeats to Mason, Mariemont, and most recently, St. Xavier. “We’re able to start the games off right, then we just lose it mentally, thinking we can keep a lead without much work,” said Alex Knorr, 9.

the 6


JV lax teams’ seasons near end

number of JV girls victories this season


number of team members on the JV boys team

number of freshmen on JV boys team



number of team members on JV girls team

number of goals scored by JV boys team

ATTACK: Aamna Dosani, 10, cradles the ball, looking to start up the offense. She has been an asset to the team all season, and has been a goal-scoring machine.


Although our record is not exactly what we expected it to be, I think we have made significant progress for seasons to come. Alex Knorr, 9

Local tennis player shines in more aspects than one mattslovin

sports chief

Today’s era of sports is home to more deceit and corrupt behavior than ever before. Thankfully, we have student-athletes like Zachary Mueck of Lakota East High School to give us some perspective. Mueck, the freshman star of the Thunderhawks’ tennis team, has something that far too many athletes in our society lack: morals. Here’s the story: On May 9th, Mueck had his work cut out for him while playing in the GMC singles championship against Wyatt Lippert of rival Lakota West High School. Lippert, three years Mueck’s senior, is arguably the best tennis player in the state of Ohio. Desperation had set in for Mueck as he dropped the first set to his opponent. In the second set, a string on Lippert’s racquet snapped and Mueck was given the option to win by default. However, with the sportsmanship of a champion, the young gun from East graciously donated one of his extra racquets to his opponent from across Lesourdsville West Chester Road. Lippert used this gift to go on and defeat Mueck and win the title by a score of 6-3, 7-6. Whoever coined the saying “runner-up is just the first loser” clearly has never encountered the ethics that Mueck obviously possesses.

Sports 32

FRIDAY May 22, 2009

Aviator Sports Quiz

A. 12 C. 24

B. 18 D. 26

Sycamore has won how many GMC All-Sports Trophies?

A. 1 C. 5

B. 3 D. 6

Sycamore captured their last GMC All-Sports Trophy in what year?

A. 1965-1966 B. 1990-1991 C. 2000-2001 D. 2003-2004

5 9 6 10 7 11 8 12

After winning the GMC title in ‘06-’07, the girls swimming team had won the crown every year since?

A. 1990 C. 1998

B. 1994 D. 2002


10-12 7-9 4-6 1-3

The varsity basketball team made their miraculous trip to districts in what year?

A. 2002 C. 2004

B. 2003 D. 2005

B. 2005 D. 2008

In the 2001 MLB Draft, Kevin Youkilis was drafted in what round?

B. 1996 D. 2008

A. First B. Third C. Eighth D. Undrafted

How many teams are in the Greater Miami Conferece?

A. 8 C. 11

staff writer

A. 2004 C. 2006

The boys soccer team last won the GMC title in what year?

A. 1994 C. 2000


What year was the girls soccer team ranked first in the nation?

How many games has Coach Scott Dattilo won in his three seasons asSHS head football coach?

B. 10 D. 12

A. 15 C. 27

Who was the last Sycamore graduate to win a championship in their sport?

B. 18 D. 30

Among boys basketball, baseball and football, SHS has won how many GMC championships all time?

A. Kevin Youkilis B. Dan Ketchum C. Mike Matthews D. None of the above


A. 2 C. 8

B. 4 D. 10

senior night comeback falls short


staff writer

“This year we wanted to do something special for senior night,” said Carrie Tveita, 10. Before the game against Seton, the team held a ceremony honoring seniors Jessica Brown and Ayako Kobayashi for their commitment to the softball program. The JV team stole the spotlight and performed a choreographed dance with matching t-shirts and props. “We came up with the idea because we knew Ayako was an amazing dancer and we wanted to honor her

photo courtesy of jeremy mcdaniel

1 2 3 4

Coach Chris Shrimpton is in what year as varsity baseball coach?

Pilot Co-pilot Pilot in training Stewardess

Answers: 1 C 2 D 3 D 4 A 5 C 6 B 7 B 8 C 9 D 10 C 11 C 12 A

How well do you know Aviator athletics? Test your knowledge to find out if you are a true pilot or just a flight simulator guru.


FIELDING: Carrie Tveita, 10 thows out a runner. The team played strong defense, but senior night ended in defeat. Varsity finished with 2 wins.

by forming our own dance group the JAAB AWOC KEET,” said Lexi Newbolt, 9. Other players wrote poems, made homemade brownies, and one even did a cheer with maracas. Senior night had a huge turnout and the atmosphere was loud and energetic. Brown was the starting pitcher and valiantly led the team through the first inning. She was eventually relieved by Laikyn McClelland, 10. After committing errors early, the defense settled down and made play after play. “Brownie (Brown) made a great double play in the seventh inning,” said Caitlin Hauff, 11. The team trailed 7-1, but came roaring back. After two big innings they pulled the lead down to one. McClelland led the team with three RBIs. “We had energy the whole game and believed that we were going to come back,” said Michele McDonald, 10. However in the end, the team could not pull off the comeback and lost a heartbreaker 11-12. The team looks to rebound when they play Walnut Hills in the first round of the GMC tournament. With a below average record in the regular season, the team will play the role of the underdog. The team is striving to upset the competition and be a force in the GMC tournament.

The first winner of the “Dead On” award is Vinny Del Negro, coach of the Chicago Bulls. Just months after being hired by the franchise as an unknown, it appeared Del Negro would soon be flipping through the ‘want ads’ once again. Through sixty-five games, Del Negro’s bulls had lost fifty six percent of their games played. While the record was not terrible in respect to other teams, it was not satisfactory for a dynasty like the Bulls. And the coach heard the disapproval of the Chicago fans, as boos rained down from the seats of the United Center. "As a first-year coach you're going to take hits. That's part of the deal. You can't take this job and think you're going to come into a market like Chicago with the reputation and tradition of the Bulls and not get second-guessed,” said Del Negro early in the season. Team owner Jerry Reinsdorf even deemed the season a disaster in January. Losing total control in the locker room, it appeared his team was on a downward spiraling slope. Chicago fans and media were calling for his immediate departure from the team. But then, something miraculous happened. A 29-37 record turned into 41-41 by the end of the season. Del Negro’s new motivational tactics had inspired the Bulls to go on a run, and grab the 6 seed in the Eastern Conference. This was accomplished by a late five game win-streak and victories over playoff teams in the Philadelphia 76ers, New Orleans Hornets, and Boston Celtics. "People aren't very patient. But I have the pulse of the team because I live it and breathe it 24/7. There was some tough love early. But I knew once I got some structure and foundation and guys knew how I was going to work, we started playing better," said Del Negro. However, the NBA champion Boston Celtics loomed in the team’s near future and sought revenge. Most analysts gave a minimal chance to the underdog Chicago Bulls in a seven game series, but Del Negro thought otherwise. With a “never say die” attitude, he led his team into the series with reckless abandon. Sports fans were shocked when Chicago took game one on the Celtics’ home court. At the end of game five, Boston had barely outperformed Chicago, and held a 3-2 lead in the series. The sixth game of the series was the most notable. A triple overtime thriller ended in a 128-127 victory for the Bulls. Chicago performed under pressure and forced game seven. After six competitive games, the series was all knotted up at 3-3. These games featured seven overtimes. The decisive game leaned in favor of the Celtics in a hard fought battle, much to the chagrin of Del Negro and Bulls fans. Celtics center Kendrick Perkins was essential in the win, notching a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. “I feel like the team made a lot of strides this year. We had our opportunities in this series but give the Celtics a lot of credit,” said Del Negro, humble in defeat, in a press conference following the heartbreaking game seven. The rookie coach has truly shone in his first season with the Chicago Bulls. Despite nearly being replaced by the franchise and losing in the playoffs, he silenced his critics and surpassed expectations. Congratulations Vinny Del Negro, you are “dead on.”

Sports 33

FRIDAY May 22, 2009

‘ Steroids are as American as apple pie’

Steroid controversies continue to arise shivaniparikh

spotlight editor

Anabolic Steroids in the news

It is no secret that many sports stars have taken steroids to get ahead in their chosen sport. The real question is, who? Although some athletes have admitted to using them, not all have done so. Barry Bonds,who holds numerous Major League Baseball records, including the all-time Major League Baseball home run record with 762 and the single-season Major League record for home runs with 73 (set in 2001), was recently indicted on three counts of perjury for lying in a case involving his steroid use. Most recently, baseball idol Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees admitted to the world in a heartfelt confession that he had used steroids. In 2003, a drug test to Major League Baseball players was administered and 104 of them tested positive, including Rodriguez. It is clear that Rodriguez is not alone in this banned practice,

some may even argue that he has been singled out.

In a study conducted in 1996, NIDA-supported and called Monitoring the Future, only 2% of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders said they had ever tried steroids.

What are anabolic steroids?

Anabolic steroids —defined as anabolic-androgenic steroids—are a class of steroid hormones related to the hormone testosterone. Made primarily by males, this hormone is determines male characteristics like the growth of vocal chords and body hair. This chemical is what makes it easier for men to build up large, visible muscles and is the reason women cannot naturally grow muscles similar to men’s. Anabolic means “to build” and androgenic means “masculinizing”.

How they are used

While in use therapeutically in medicine to stimulate bone growth and appetite, induce male puberty, and treat chronic wasting conditions, such as AIDS and cancer, the uses of anabolic steroids are extending into the range of those who want to look and feel better and stronger. Steroids can be taken orally or through injections. The digested ones usually take longer to set in and last a longer duration of time. The more commonly utilized form of anabolic steroids has been those that are injected, which are watersoluble and do not last as long. This leads to the perilous excessive use seen so often in athletics.

Ocurrences in high schools

Anabolic steroid use by adolescents is not rare or new, just less exposed. Studies estimate that 1 in 20 high school students is taking or has taken anabolic steroids. Previously not an issue, the problem has become increasingly prevelant over the last few years.

Steroid use to the extreme

“Steroids are as American as apple pie” Gregg Valentino has told a reporter. There are cases where the reckless use of steroids became so extreme that the user is deemed a “freak”. One such situation has occurred with body builder Valentino, more commonly known as the man with an exploding bicep on YouTube. “When we saw a video on Gregg Valentino in Health class it was absolutely disgusting, I don’t know how someone would actually want to look that way,” said Liora Bachrach, 10. Valentino went from a world-renowned body builder to a successful gym owner and then a drug dealer and reckless steroid user. After beginining the use of steroids in his mid-30s, he has set the record for the world’s largest bicep, at 28 inches. After steroid use took a toll on his body and destroyed his relationship with his son, he realized his profound error in the using steroids and vowed to never use again. “I’m sick of this whole steroid thing. I went through a lot of bad stuff that most people have not gone through. It’s from my arrest. I wish it would leave. It has been 8 years. Enough already,” said Valentino to a ESPN reporter. The issue of steroid use that has been around for decades is unlikely to go away any time soon.


irtually every aspect of life is filled with competition. The pressure is felt by many in the fight to get ahead, to get the highest grades, to get into the best college, to run faster, to be stronger, and to win. While most infuse their best talents into excelling in their chosen fields, that is just not enough for some. This can lead to the use of unsubscribed anabolic steroids, which has become a frequent headline in the sports world as of late. The use of steroids is most recognized in baseball, whether it be major league, minor league or anything else.

Anabolic steroids are bad for your body...but good for your game

Keith Diederich, 11

Candice Hayes, 11

MLB baseball playthe 125 total ers publicy linked to use


Whenever I hear about good baseball players being linked to steroids it’s really disappointing. Knowing that about them discredits all the great stuff they’ve done. It ruins careers if they’re caught. Kubilay Inanli, 10


MLB players who have suspensions admitted to of MLB basethe using ball players publicly implicated linked to MLB players use


players with traces of steroids in Mitchell Report


numbers courtesy of

I don’t see the point in using steroids, they aren’t worth the side effects.



Sports 34

FRIDAY May 22, 2009

incinnati Slopers

staff writer


or some students, regular school athletics does not offer enough; they have to venture beyond the football field or tennis court and shoot for more extremes. Some have found this in the unoriginal, adrenaline-filled experience of rock climbing, but they are not talking about the Sports Plus’ climbing walls. Here, they are talking about climbing and practicing multiple days a week, training for competitions and for climbing outside on cliffs and boulders. “Climbing is the only sport I can actually pay attention to,” said Dan McMahon, age 14.

Climbing team

Over a dozen of local kids have joined The Cincinnati Slopers, a youth climbing team based in Blue Ash. The team trains at Climb Time and at Rock Quest so they can get stronger and travel all throughout the county to climb. “The reason I really love being on the team is that the coaches help us work really hard to get strong quickly. When I first started, I could barely do the easiest climbs, but, with their help, I was able to go to Nationals just a few months later,” said Danny Korn, age 17.


Recently, five team members and three coaches made their way out to Boulder, Colorado to compete in the American Bouldering Series (ABS) 10 National Championship. The team did very well. Griffin Fuller placing the highest: 9th in the nation for his age group. Sycamore student Alex Southward, age 13, described the team’s success, “We came, we saw, we crushed.” Everyone said that they had a wonderful time and what was even better than the competition itself was their trip to Flag Staff Mountain that same day. To celebrate, the team packed into cars and winded their way up the mountain to climb on the boulders at

Summer camp classes

This summer, Climb Time is offering a kids climbing camp. This camp is designed to educate upcoming climbers in the basics as well as technical skills. The program is a three day session and will teach climbing, belaying, knots and repelling. The kids will get the opportunity to work with an experienced climber and coach. The classes and the team are great learning environments based on the needs and enjoyment of the children.

FROM TOP, JACOB Spiegal, age 10, climbing on the boulders in Flag Staff. Taylor Frohmiller, age 18, competing at The Spot climbing gym during the national competition. Griffin Fuller, age 14, smiling as he pulls down on granite. The view from on top of Flag Staff Mountain. The Cincinnati Slopers messing around for a photo-op after a long day of climbing.

Home and beyond

Climbing is not only a way to have a different lifestyle, but also yields the ability to see the world in a completely different way. Climbers get to enjoy some of the most fascinating and breathtaking places around the world. Along with all the experiences, the team builds many bonds. The gym becomes a second home and the team becomes a family. Of course, they have to be close; the members learn to trust the team with their lives. The Cincinnati Slopers are always interested in seeing new and enthusiastic faces, and it does not matter what abilities they have, anyone is more than welcome to come and join the fun. Without a doubt climbing is a chance to become involved and connect with a community far from the status quo.

Climbing is the only sport I can actually pay attention to.

-Dan McMahon, team member

the summit. For many, it was a first-time national and outdoor climbing experience; the trip definitely provided many life long memories.


limbing team gears up

We Came, We Saw, We Crushed!

-Alex Southward, team member


to Red River the 150 miles Gorge, KY


miles to Muscatatuck Park, IN

miles to Horse Pens 40, AL

473 347 399

miles to Linville Gorge, NC

miles to So Ill, IL

ERIC GIFFORD, COACH, carrying Jacob Speigal, team member, in his crashpad on the way to go climbing in Coloarado. Spiegal, only ten years old competed in the national championship and came up in 29th. He was more excited however to get to go climbing outside with his team.

all photos courtesy of eric gifford and paul korn

places to climb


FRIDAY May 22, 2009

snap shots 36

photos courtesy of jeremy mcdaniels

photo by michela tindera

photos courtesy of jeremy mcdaniels

SEE1: The ten members of the Sycamore Electric Ensemble gave a stunning performance on April 24, playing classical as well as rock arrangements. Above, Nick Triantos, 11, Joe Macheret, 12 and Jack Henning, 9, were some of the soloists during the concert. Nearly every member gave a solo at some point in time during the concert. Along with the student solos, the audience was delighted by Mark Wood and Jeff Plate, the lead violinist and drummer from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, respectively. This was their third year in a row performing at SHS.

RELAY:On May 8, hundreds of students from various schools in the area gathered on the SHS track to participate in Relay for Life, an event that helps raise money for the American Cancer Society. Throughout the entire night, students walked or ran around the track, knowing that the more hours they ran or walked, the more money they could raise. While many fun events were held throughout the night, the overall theme of Relay-to remember those who lost their lives due to cancer-was never forgotten.

CREPES:On May 1, students in French club were able to make and enjoy their own crepes, a common delicacy in France. Students were able to top their treats with strawberries, chocolate syrup, and jam. French teacher Jacqueline Wyatt brought in batter and toppings for the meeting.

Do you have pictures from a recent event that you would like to see run in The Leaf? E-mail them to Mrs. Cheralyn Jardine at or bring them to room 115

The Sycamore Leaf May Issue  
The Sycamore Leaf May Issue  

the May issue of The Sycamore Leaf