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PANTHER Volume 55 Number 1

Friday, Septermber 27, 2013

2 Visit our online paper at:

Miami Palmetto Senior High 7460 SW 116 Street, Miami, FL 33156





Back to the Basics

Write On

Florida will replace FCAT testing with Common Core State Standards next year.



Tunes of Tolerance

Microscopic Danger in Florida Waters

Songs promoting gay rights have entered mainstream popular culture.


Brain-eating amoeba in Florida freshwater killed a middle school boy.

Not Just a Problem for the Pros

Performance-enhancing drug use by professional athletes raises suspicion toward high school athletes.


PSYCHOLOGY of social media

Uber six students use their writing prowess and young perspective to teach essay-writing in a new way.

Dear Editor, Though I’m sure everyone in this school is entirely focused on sports, I feel your paper would be better off with a small arts section. The arts are just as important as sports, if not more, and I’m rather offended by the sparse coverage your paper provides. For instance, theatre hardly gets the publicity it needs from your paper. It would be beneficial for everyone if the process behind performances was revealed, and it might just give students a newfound appreciation for the performing arts. -Sarah Groendyke, 12

editorial policy


Another U.S War in the Middle East?

Chemical weapons use calls into question whether or not the U.S. should intervene in the Syrian civil strife.

Dear Editor, In my opinion, your monthly newspaper thoroughly covers school and community events. Your articles are complete and interesting to read; yet I feel you could add more regarding current and ongoing news. For example, the conflict with Syria or major health related reports regarding new disease treatments and discoveries. Moreover, my friends and I have agreed that when the school newspaper adds brief student interviews, students are more willing to read it. Adding student opinions on school events would be awesome. -Reyna Segovia, 11

Editors in Chief Lauren Bunce & Brooke Samole Managing/Design Editor Jared Heller Copy Editors Bianca Lopez & Samantha Rosen Online Editor in chief Meryl Kornfield News Editors Emma Seckinger & Isabelle Carbajales Features Editors Jacquelyn Hsaio & Morgan Silverman Life Editor Audrey Gonzalez Focus Editor Kaylan Coke Sports Editors Alexis Barkow & Ryan Trout SciTech Editor Grant Gassman Issues & Ideas Editor Annabel Sanz Art Director Sungho Son PR Manager Sidney Sterling Business Manager Carlos Suhr Staff Writers Victoria Arguelles Anaelys Bazan Sarah Berlan Sabrina Chi Sereena Gee Elisha Grob Shelby Loeb Shane McCrink Alexa Rubin Sebastien Siclait Claudia Vera Adviser Kurt Panton


Dear Editor, The Palmetto newspaper has always been fun and interesting to read and look through. I especially love the senior shout-outs and the pictures showing off our school clubs and programs. All the promotional ads for the different local businesses are also very helpful. However, one thing that I would like to see a little less of is unnecessary information or articles about the school. No one really wants to see or read about those stories. Thank you for your time and keep up the good, colorful and creative work! -Teagan Campbell, 10

The Panther is a monthly publication of Miami Palmetto Senior High. 7460 S.W. 118th Street Miami, FL 33156, (305) 235-1360 ext. 2337. The views expressed in the editorials are soley those of The Panther staff. The Panther has professional membership in NSPA, CSPA, & FSPA. Please visit our paper online at and email us at


3 4 NEWS New uniform modifications around school With the recent update in administration, uniform policy is expected to be enforced through out the y ear

“Starting this year, you can’t wear shorts.” Or is it “your shorts have to be an inch above the knee?” No, the rules definitely state “full length style shorts only!” Year after year, administrators discipline students for not abiding by the school uniform policy. Some of these students consciously rebel, and don’t feel bothered by punishment, while others are truly just naïve and don’t even know they’re doing anything wrong. Palmetto has said goodbye to, as well as welcomed, many administrators, all of whom have different approaches to running a school. Every staff member joins with the intent of making improvements with new policies. This year, administrators decided

to buckle down and become stricter in the enforcement of rules. “I’ve never been aware of the rules at school, but I’ve always gotten by,” senior Alec Pena said. “Before senior orientation this year I really had no clue what rules I was supposed to follow.” So what exactly are all of these new expectations? As of August, all students were expected to wear their school issued identification badges given to them on the first day. Administrators no longer accept excuses from students who claim to not know about school policies, and spent time during the first few weeks laying down the rules. Still, many students take this rule lightly by keeping their IDs in their backpacks or not taking them

to school at all. Soon, wearing ID badges will be required to access certain places around school, such as the media center and cafeteria. “I think the IDs are helpful in preventing random people off the street from coming into school, like past graduates or visitors that didn’t register in the office,” senior Carolina Ramos said. Wearing ID badges proves especially important for students with uniform waivers. They allow administrators to know exactly who has a waiver and who doesn’t, so they don’t have to waste time bothering students who are doing what they are supposed to do. “My goal is to be in compliance; it’s a safety policy. I know when I see people not in uniform they

don’t belong here,” Mr. Hunter said. “I don’t look at it as freedom of expression, I look at it as keeping our Panthers safe.” Even still, getting a waiver is not a complete “get out of jail free card.” Waivers only exempt students from having to wear Palmetto’s uniform ,not the Miami-Dade Public School’s dress code. These past few weeks, students have been receiving detentions for minor uniform violations. This is the administration’s way of setting the standard for the entirety of the school year. “The new rules have been put on students because of how they have acted in the past; their behavior was inapropriate,” Math teacher Mr. Karpiak said. “You all have it easy though. When I was in highschool, if

someone even said a curse word they received three licks, and no one said anything about it. Its just the way it was.” In addition to the stricter uniform regulations, administrators have become tougher with the buildings’ cleanliness. Over the summer, the custodial staff underwent a reorganizational process to improve the school’s environment. Staff spent hours working on classrooms, hallways, outdoor campus, and everything in between. “My motto is ‘better’,” Assistant principal, Mr. Hunter said, this is an awesome school, we just need to be in compliance with school policies.”

Brooke Samole

Co-Editor In Chief

Key Components of Uniform

Uniform Vs.

Student I.D. Badge Polo with Logo Approved Spirit T-Shirts Knee Length Shorts Sweatshirts may be worn over uniform Undershirts may be worn with shirts Fully closed shoes are highly recommended



FLVS says “adios” to certain Spanish courses

Budget cuts have caused shortages in Spanish Classes leaving kids without a language class With modern technology and increased competition to get into a good school, more and more students each year turn to Florida Virtual School (FLVS) in order to take additional classes and complete graduation requirements online. FLVS is an online school that offers classes ranging from languages to Advanced Placement (AP) classes. Spanish, an extremely popular virtual course, has become so sought after that the number of in-school Spanish classes at school had to be reduced as they were not being filled. “We had to cut the number of Spanish classes almost in half,” college advisor Harry Nerenberg said. “With the convenience of taking a class at home or in school in the

FLVS lab, kids just weren’t signing up for the traditional classroom Spanish classes as much.” Due to recent budget cuts however, the number of Spanish classes online has also dropped significantly while the demand for classes has increased. FLVS budget cuts eliminated about 10 percent of their staff, according to FLVS. As a result, several students have been left with no choice but to take Spanish at school. “I was under the impression that Spanish 3 would be offered online so I planned my whole schedule around it,” junior Nathalie Calderon said. “After I found out they weren’t offering Spanish 3 online, I had to change my schedule twice in order

to be sure I would meet my Spanish requirements for certain colleges.” According to FLVS, 71 students took the AP Spanish language test in 2011 and 94.6 percent of them scored a three or higher. In Spanish 3, however, the passing rate took a sharp plummet, which was one of the reasons for the cuts in the program. “Florida Virtual School, the state’s online public school, shed 177 full-time positions on Monday,” spokeswoman Tania Clow said. Enrollment in Spanish classes at school greatly increased this year due to FLVS budget cuts. Classes with barely enough students are now full due to the classes dropped. The limited Spanish classes this year from previous cuts have left

many students without a foreign language class, this years, as FLVS classes and in school classes have both taken cuts. Class sizes have had to been increased to compensate for the lack of online classes. Seeing as though FLVS is not run by MiamiDade County Public Schools, the county cannot dictate whether or not FLVS can add more classes online. “At first I was planning on taking Spanish in school,” sophomore Karla Matos said. “Seeing as though all of the Spanish 2 classes are full however, I guess I will have to take it online.”

Kaylan Coke

Focus Editor

Did You Know? FLVS is not run by and has no affiliation to Miami Dade County Public Schools FLVS offers over 30 courses ranging from Languages to Physical Education FLVS was the first online public school program in the United States All of the courses offered online are free Students in the Class of 2015 and higher are required to take an online class in order to graduate

5 6 NEWS Obama proposes new college ranking system Bond money gives school new funds NEWS

The “formative years” students spend in high school transform them from eager adolescents to confident young adults ready to proceed into life’s next chapter. Seemingly endless preparation on the behalf of students, teachers and parents trains them for a new step which typically lasts the same amount of time but maintains a greater standard of importance. The quintessential college experience relies on several ranking systems such as the U.S. News and World Report and Forbes to define its ambiguous qualities, focusing on the range of majors and programs offered as well as a school’s dedication to research. The Obama Administration proposed a college ranking system to accompany these other services, except that this system differs in a key regard. By the 2015 school year, the administration will begin to rate colleges based on student performance and affordability. “Even if I was accepted into the nation’s top schools, as much as I would want to attend them, there’s no way I would be able to afford them without some sort of scholarship,” senior Allison Willis said. “Realistically, [attending] UF is in my budget and I know I’ll receive a great education there.” Existing college ranking systems do not independently verify the college information submitted; several schools including Tulane University, Emory University and George Washington University

have misreported data to the U.S. News and World Report to increase their ranking and attract applicants. Rising tuition costs have made the college admission process more difficult as tuition costs at private 4-year universities have increased by 267 percent over the last three decades and costs for public 4-year universities have increased by 375 percent, according to the College Board Advocacy and Policy Center. Student debt rose to $1.2 trillion, surpassing debt from home, credit card and car loans. “I believe that [tuition costs] are rising due to current advancements of universities and colleges. The ‘college experience’ ultimately comes at a price and the price is inflating continuously,” said Shanika Fredericks, a junior at FIU. “I’ve paid for my time in college through the use of scholarships, grants and loans. At FIU, you’ll find yourself engaging with students and professors from all over the world.” Although inflation and increasing demand for a college education have increased tuition costs, senior Allen Liu thinks that governmental action, not individual endeavors, could lower tuition costs. President Obama will seek approval from Congress to steer federal aid toward colleges that score highly in the new rating system, lower tuition costs and make higher education affordable for families. “I think that no college ranking system is absolute, so it couldn’t hurt

to get another view on schools through a more holistic approach,” Liu said. “The consideration of college costs and student performance is a great idea.” Washington Monthly’s “Best Bang for the Buck” list views colleges in a similar light as Obama’s rankings propose to, maximizing schools with a high percentage of students who graduate and use federal Pell Grants to pay for tuition, while discouraging schools with high percentages of student loan default rates. Amherst College in Massachusetts tops the list, and the University of Florida resides in the number five spot. “I would have to think much about [taking out student loans,] but it could be worth it depending on the school. I believe [Harvard] would offer me a quality education; their professors are well known for their knowledge in their fields and several of them are Nobel Prize winners,” Liu said. “I’m applying to UF because it isn’t as selective as my reach schools and the tuition is lower. I think that the major incentive to going to UF is the price tag.”

Scan here for more information about College Ranking Lauren Bunce

HIGHEST RANKED NATIONAL COLLEGES 1.Harvard University and Princeton University 3. Yale University 4. Columbia University and University of Chicago 6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University 8. Duke University 10. California Institute of Technology and Dartmouth University 12. Northwestern University 13. Johns Hopkins University 14. Washington University in St. Louis 15. Brown University and Cornell University

Co-Editor In Chief


NEWS BRIEFS Local: On September 18, the new fiscal year

began along with the annual budget. This new budget requires the average Pinecrest property homeowner to pay $1,147, more than they have had to pay since 2008. The general fund revenue will increase 8.1 percent from the following year. The property tax will generate the largest influx of revenue. Some changes to the community include improvements to Coral Pine Park, a roadway resurfacing project and an annexation study. The budget also suggests a new restaurant site in which the village will borrow $800,000 dollars, paying it back over the next 10 years. In addition, the budget will increase the Pinecrest Police Department’s pay by two percent raise. Other employees will have a three percent raise. Along with the budget, the village has applied for several grants. If awarded, The Village of Pinecrest will receive funds for implementation of the Bike Route and Lane project, educational initiatives at Pinecrest Gardens and a covered walkway renovation program. The village of Pinecrest plans to maintain a minimum of $1,000,000 in case of emergencies. Additionally, the village plans on using all the surpluses to meeting reserve policies, avoiding future debt and reducing their outstanding debt.

National: Workers at McDonald’s and other fast-

food chain retsurants conducted strikes and walkouts in about 60 cities petitioning for wage increases for workers. This would boost their hourly pay from current federal minimum of $7.25 an hour to $15. Industry observers and representatives say a $15 hourly wage, which would boost annual salaries to about $31,000 would force most restaurants to pass higher costs to customers, forcing employers to cut hours. Although workers believe that they would benefit from the raises, it would actually have a negative impact on the companies and the customers. Obama is planning on raising the minimum range to nine dollars, which is still below what employees are seeking. New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn joined about 300 to 400 workers and supporters to march before the group flooded into a McDonald’s near the Empire State Building. Similarly, walkouts and protests effected at least two McDonald’s in Detroit. On Eight Mile road, a dozen workers didn’t show up for their shift at McDonalds forcing them close the sit-down indoor portion of the restaurant. This repetition of protests started in November 2012 in New York City targeting fast-food chains.

International: Russia approved a law on Tuesday prohibiting the distribution of “homosexual propaganda” to minors and banning the adoption of Russian children by gay couples. The Russians’ argument was that children could turn gay because of the “propaganda” of gay people. Only 16 percent of Russians agree that homosexuality should be accepted. Since the 1990s, Russia has endured many economic issues, which has lead to wide spread corruption. Nicholas I made the first law against homosexuality in 1832. Many people believe that Russians still haven’t shed their views on homosexuality since the sixties when homosexuality was considered a crime. Homosexuality is considered an outlying issue because Russia has accepted other issues, such as abortion, pre-marital sex and unwed motherhood. Also, participating or coordinating events that support gay pride can result in a fine of more than $30,000. In efforts to fight homophobia, a gay Russian uses twitter to discuss bullying at school and other topics about his struggles of living in Russia (through the handle @ru_lgbt_teen). The current situation has made him obsessed with wanting to leave Russia. These homophobia laws are just the beginning of an increase of laws in Russia.

What Do You Think? “I think the changes will benefit the neighborhood, and although we have to pay more than we ever have, the pros outweigh the cons,” Kamryn Murdock (10) said. “I think that the U.S. should certainly think about deciding if they should boycott the olympics, due to the human rights violation against the LGBT population,”Mr. Gonzalez, Enonomics teacher said. “I feel that they’re the ones who didn’t get an education, but it’s still not fair to treat them like that,” Camila Amendolagine (12) said PHOTOS BY: ISABELLE CARBAJALES

Imagine the possibilities of winning the lottery with a grand prize of 1.2 billion dollars. This past November, Miami-Dade County public schools won the prize money in the form of a bond referendum. Miami-Dade County public schools wanted to get this referendum to renovate schools. Almost half of all schools in Miami-Dade are 40 years old and about a third of all schools are over 50 years old. The bond was created so that it may help these older schools. This bond is also not just directed at schools but will also help the community and the local economy. It bond will help the community by creating thousands of jobs. According to the Washington Economic Group, during the first three

years 9,000 jobs will be created and over the course of the whole project, approximately seven years in length, over 18,000 jobs will be created. The county plans to spend the money over a seven-year period to help renovate and improve the 370+ schools in the county. With the money, some schools will receive minor updates such as the implementation of wireless Internet across campus while other schools will be completely renovated with the construction of new buildings. “The bond is a seven-year plan,” said Mr. Steve Graham, Director of Technology. “This is not immediate because the district is still deciding which schools are going to receive help first. As of right now, Miami-

Teachers and students constantly talk about this being the last year of the dreaded Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, better known as the FCAT. In its place, teachers, administrators and students are awaiting a new standardized test, Common Core. Common Core is the standardized test designed to ensure that all students, regardless of demography, graduate high school prepared to enter either college or the workforce. The Common Core State Standards holds students to language arts standards and mathematics standards. The standards of the test are internationally benchmarked to provide students with an edge in the global job market. The Department of Education strongly supports full implementation of the test in the 2014-2015 school year. This school year is the last year FCAT will be administrated before the predicted transition to Common Core. Rather than FCAT’s English portion, which consists of answering questions based on a passage, Common Core is more of an analytical approach to reading, such as analyzing historic documents. “Common Core is teaching students good research skills,” said Ms. Julianne Farkas, a World History teacher. “It’s a breakdown of documents like a DBQ essay. Data based essays are all about summarizing a piece of literature and understanding the theme of the writing. Understanding the whole piece of literature rather than having choices on specific things makes a big difference when taking any classwhether it be high school or college.” Students and teachers alike seem relieved about the FCAT turning into a test of the past. Teachers will not have to teach certain skills they may deem unnecessary. They believe it will better prepare students for the future.

“I embrace common core because it is closer to the Advanced Placement track which will definitely prepare students for college. Common core is much closer to what the English curriculum is,” said Ms. Debra Salas, an English teacher. “I’m counting down the days to saying bye-bye to FCAT.” Students are relieved that the added stress of FCAT will be gone. They believe Common Core will benefit them in the long run. “Common core is a new thing but I’m sure it will be taught well and by the time I go to college I will have a great foundation,” freshman Natalia Hazday said. “Even though it will be a lot harder than FCAT, it will only just help us all in the future.” Originally, Florida planned to implement the national exams created by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) as the new statewide standardized test. However, Senate President Don Gaetz along with House Speaker Will Weatherford said that Florida should develop its own plan for testing. Florida Governor Rick Scott, a prior supporter of Common Core, argued that Common Core is too expensive and too time consuming. As of now, Scott will not say whether he supports Common Core State Standards or not. On the other hand, Florida Governor Jeb Bush is a strong supporter of Common Core, claiming higher standards need to be embraced. Although there is controversy over the future of standardized testing in Florida, schools across the state have already begun teaching Common Core standards, assuming it will be implemented in time for the 2014-2015 school year.

Dade County is expected to begin the renovations at our school during the 2016-2017 school year. But, it may seem like the renovations may be coming sooner than expected.” One planned major improvement to our school includes the demolition of the portables. In return, a small building will be built in its place. Other improvements to the school include security camera upgrades to make the campus safer from impending crimes, air conditioning upgrades so that it doesn’t feel like the Sahara Desert in some rooms and the Artic Circle in others, and technological upgrades such as placing interactive whiteboards in every classroom and supporting all students with the purchase of Lenovo laptops so

that the school can be modernized into the 21st century and satisfy the technological needs of students now and for future generations. “I feel that interactive whiteboards would make learning more interactive,” sophomore Alexander Salmon said. “On the downside though, it could make learning more distracting because most teachers aren’t sure of how to incorporate technology into their teaching habits.” According to Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, Miami-Dade will not repeat the same mistakes made in the unsuccessful 1988 school bond program, valued at 980 million dollars, that saw massive construction delays and did not accomplish its goals.

Now, whether the new improvements occur within the next year or seven years from now, Palmetto better get ready for its biggest transformation since the construction of the 2000 building. The bond money has the opportunity to enhance the appearance of and atmosphere of Palmetto. “I know that this referendum will have a positive effect on our school because it will help us improve our status technologically,” freshman Justin Valle said. “The referendum will help us get supplies we need such as textbooks and computers.”

Carlos Suhr

Business Manager

Common Core system replaces FCAT

Sam Rosen/Elisha Grob

Co-Copy Editor/Staff Writer

Parents Parents should should

To Prepare for the Arrival of Common Core...

Parents should •Discuss non-fiction texts and the ideas within •Demand evidence in every discussion •Ask your child to do math that comes up in your daily life

Student should Student should

•Read more non-fiction •Understand how to use primary source documents •Handle frustration and keep pushing •Apply math in real world situations Compare multiple texts in writing

Teachers should should Teachers

•Push students to know and memorize basic math facts •Make sure your child is practicing the math he/ she struggles with •Discuss non-fiction texts and the ideas within

Common Core Goal Help students gain real world knowledge, reflecting the skills needed for sucess in college and careers INFOGRAPHIC BY BROOKE SAMOLE


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Congratulations to the following students who earned Uber 6’s on their FCAT writing: Sabrina Alvarez Joshua Anthony Nikolas Arvanitopoulos Kevin Barbato Carmen Caruso Alexander Castro-Guerrer Tiffany Chen Ashlynn Dobbs Ram Franqui Carly Girnun Andres Inguanzo Jonathan Kobert Alyssa Lanzas George Liu Neomi Lowe Isabel Maldonado Fernando Mariosa Anthony Martins Samantha Mcgilvray Adrienne Orriols

College Counseling, SAT, ACT, Math

“It’s an honor to be recognized for writing skills. It’s [also] nice to know that the Uber 6’s doubled since last year, thanks to the wonderful tenth grade English teachers.” Franchesca Ratovich (11)

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“It’s cool because all of the other members are really smart, so I’m surrounded by people who have a lot to teach me.” Orko Sarkar (11) PHOTOS BY JACQUELYN HSIAO

Learning the write way Standardized testing and high school students go together like oil and water; they just do not seem to mix. Throughout the years, students have become unmotivated to work towards a satisfactory score on the FCAT, Florida’s standardized comprehensive test, although Palmetto is notorious for excelling in it. However, Ms. Andrea Spivak, a department chair English teacher, has found a way to encourage sophomore students to strive towards a high score on the FCAT writing component. Ms. Spivak founded the “Uber 6” program for sophomores scoring a six on the FCAT writing assessment. “Three years ago, I don’t think that students understood the value of scoring high on the FCAT Writes,” Ms. Spivak said. “I wanted to create incentives for students to want to excel.” Those who earn a membership to the Uber 6 club are entitled to a number of benefits, some of which include recognition in The Panther, as well as priority parking and six community service hours. You have probably spotted a proud “Uber 6” member by their incredibly witty “I Did It Write” T-shirts, another advantage to gaining a membership. Uber 6 students are able to use their scores on their college applications as well. The inclusion of the score, along with the recognition

Pawsitive Panther

of being an Uber 6 on a college application, raises awareness that the Uber 6 students are school leaders and that they have the honor of tutoring other students in writing. Although the materialistic rewards of Uber 6 are extremely sought-out, the pride and courage of scoring a perfect six outweighs any type of incentive. “I’m hoping there will be an intrinsic benefit,” Ms. Spivak said. “I hope that the kids will want to achieve merely for the act of succeeding.” Students who become a part of the program have the privilege of mentoring sophomore students in order to share their knowledge of impeccable writing. Ms. Spivak prints out the released essays of the “Uber 6” members in order to use them as exemplary writing samples. The tutored sophomores are asked to write an essay pertaining to the same prompt as the Uber 6 essays so that they may be compared. Whilst teaching the sophomores, members of Uber 6 are encouraged to focus on vital qualities of writing such as focus, organization, support and in conventions. The student tutoring is a great concept that the Uber 6 program religiously puts to use. The peer-to-peer teaching method enables a sense of mutual respect from one student to another. The ability for sophomores to see upperclassmen peers score high on the FCAT Writes allows sophomores

to feel as if their writing goals are attainable. This motivation shall hopefully increase the drive for sophomores to work towards a six on their FCAT Writes. Students did not gain their Uber 6 out of sheer luck. A school year full of dedicated learning allowed them to excel in their writing, and to absorb the core values they will later pass on to sophomores. “In class, my teacher Ms. Salas did practice essays and timed essays so we knew how to plan out our timing,” junior Carly Girnun said. “Uber 6 also came into our class and talked to us about how they got a six, and what elements they used.” This is the third year of the Uber 6, and with 39 current members, it is living proof that hard work and determination can go a long way. The practice pays off, and the reward is an amazing sense of pride and courage in oneself. “I feel excited because I wanted a 6 since I love writing,” junior Tiffany Chen said. “When I’m writing, as in once I get on a roll and finish, it’s a feeling of completion.”

Claudia Vera

Staff Writer

Making a difference in the school and the community

Ariana Ramsundar

Dhanesh Budhram

Incoming freshmen have junior Ariana Ramsundar to thank for helping them adjust to high school life. She created Panther to Panther, a program that helps new students transition to high school. “I originally thought of this program during my freshman year because I had a tough time getting acclimated and involved in the school,” Ariana said. “The few senior friends that I had made really helped me with some of the tough transition problems.” She found that a lot of her friends were also having difficulty adjusting to the new environment. As a freshman, Ariana was intimidated to go into the counselors’ offices to ask for help. By the time she was a sophomore she decided to pitch the idea for what has become Panther to Panther to her counselor. Now, a year later, the program is helping freshmen get into the swing of things. Ariana certainly seems to have adapted well. She holds the position of Student Council Cabinet Secretary of Community Service. Similarly, she gets involved with Interact and English Honor Society and takes five Advanced Placement courses. “Ariana is a wonderful student, she is on top of the program and is very enthusiastic about it,” Activities Director and Panther to

This Pawsitive Panther found a way to incorporate a passion into a community service project. Senior Dhanesh “Rishi” Budhram serves on Palmetto’s Student Council. He currently holds the position of Parliamentarian. “They are in charge of making sure that the meetings run smoothly through Parliamentary Procedure,” Dhanesh said “They also advise other members on their duties and privileges.” Dhanesh also helps with other issues on the Student Council. He attended a leadership camp at NOVA Southeastern University over the summer and looks forward to implementing and teaching some of the leadership lessons he acquired there. Dhanesh has also volunteered in many community service projects including working with his sister and her friend’s charity, Lend a Hand to Henna, as well as several Student Council community service projects. Dhanesh proved instrumental when collecting hygienic products to donate to the homeless. Dhanesh derived inspiration to create his own project while helping his sister. Dhanesh came up with “Care in the Lines”, a project that supplies coloring books, crayons and art supplies to children




Panther club sponsor Ms. Elizabeth Valero said. When a freshman signs up, he or she is assigned to an upperclassmen to help with common problems that occur during freshmen year, from academic or skill tutoring to just common questions about classes or how to get involved in activities around the school. “These upperclassmen serve as someone who is easy to talk to and understands the stress about the problems that they are facing because they too have gone through this themselves,” Ariana said. English teacher, Ms. Daila Pulido also assisted Ariana with the program. “She will be absolutely successful in this program,” Ms. Pulido said. “The intellect and drive that she has.” Ariana hopes to continue this program for her final two years here to continue helping freshmen adapt to the confusing world of high school.

Morgan Silverman

Co-Features Editor


in the hospital. Dhanesh volunteers at Miami Children’s Hospital where he plays the role of a child life volunteer. “Every time I am there, I find a way to engage the scared patients,” Dhanesh said “I found ways to give them a coloring page.” Dhanesh approached Ms. Angie FelipeLima and other teachers who helped him organize this project, which ended up being very successful. Dhanesh’s excitement continues as he prepares to lead this important drive again beginning in October. This community service project has helped Dhanesh achieve one of his long-term goals, giving back to the community. “After losing the election for Student Council President” Dhanesh said “ I didn’t feel as great as I should have.” After having some clarity, Dhanesh realized and has displayed that you can achieve great things without having the highest position.

Shelby Loeb

Staff Writer

9 10

Counseling beyond his borders

Dr. Clifford LaGuerre

Guidance Counselor

“My favorite part about the students at Palmetto is the diversity,” Dr. LaGuerre said. “We have some super bright kids, very motivated and willing to work hard.” PHOTO BY JACQUELYN HSIAO

For 12 years, Dr. Clifford LaGuerre has made students feel welcome with his strong voice and compassionate character. As a guidance and early intervention counselor, he is always willing to converse with students and assist them with their problems. Dr. LaGuerre enjoys helping the school and community as much as possible by taking service trips, sponsoring the sophomore class and leading the 5000 Role Models Club. This past summer, Dr. LaGuerre traveled to an orphanage in Haiti. He delivered musical instruments to the kids through an organization created in honor of Mr. Paul Smith, a former Palmetto music teacher who died of cancer two years ago. The organization, known as the Paul Smith Summer Music Camp, was founded as away to remember Mr. Smith for his passion of music while giving back to underprivileged children and teens. “Our goal is to teach the kids how to play the instruments,” Dr. LaGuerre said. “Next summer we’re going back for a week with a group of kids to teach them to play. It was an amazing experience.” When the group returns to Haiti, students who know how to play instruments will accompany them to help the kids learn about music and how to play various instruments. Former students of Mr. Smith are encouraging the program as an admirable way to keep the spirits of

Mr. Smith alive. “I thought it was the right thing to do and a good way to teach in an underprivileged environment,” former Mr. Smith student Hunter Glickman said. As a guidance counselor, Dr. LaGuerre has the opportunity to meet many different students. The individuality in each one allows him to make the right choices concerning their high school and college careers. “Dr. LaGuerre is a good counselor, he’s really helpful,” senior Danielle Bouchard said. “He’s helped me with my schedule and college recommendations and was really prompt when I needed him to be.” The variety of students who seek help from Dr. LaGuerre allow him to appreciate the individuality of everybody who walks through his office doors. The distinct characteristics of the students provide essential components of the school’s framework. “My favorite part about the students at Palmetto is the diversity. You have some super bright kids very motivated and willing to work hard,” Dr. LaGuerre said. “It keeps you on your toes; it’s not boring to work with kids who are motivated and keep the job exciting.” Not only does LaGuerre benefit the students, but his humble personality also reaches his coworkers. His charisma contributes to all of the relationships he has established with

fellow staff members. “My favorite thing about working with him is his supportive personality and being able to work with my friend,” said Ms. Lisa Mallard, a counselor. “He’s not just a colleague, he’s a mentor.” Dr. LaGuerre also undertook the task of commissioning the sophomore class. He is responsible for overseeing their meetings and communicating with the class officers in order to ensure everything is running smoothly. “So far he seems really nice.” sophomore treasurer Ross Rosen said. “He seems really committed.” Over the next couple of years, Dr. LaGuerre envisions to increase the school’s involvement in the community. With the help of students, Dr. LaGuerre wants to create community service projects to help out beyond the school. “We’ve done so much, I would like for us to establish community projects,” Dr. LaGuerre said. “We do a lot but it’s only a small group of kids. I would like to extend that.” After being inspired to become a counselor by one of his teachers, LaGuerre followed his dreams. Everyday, he encourages and supports students to do the same in order toreach their full potential.

Emma Seckinger

Co-News Editor

Old Television Production, new tricks With an updated studio and new adviser, TVP looks forward to future broadcasts The humble phoenix, well known for its ability to rise from its own ashes, shares that ability with Television Production (TVP). Last year, TVP faced technical difficulties. They couldn’t create morning announcements because their live feed was broken and therefore did not have the ability to record live broadcasts and present the news on a daily basis. Now, out of the ashes, a new and improved TVP emerges with the introduction of a new sponsor, a new studio and a new president. Phase one of redesigning TVP included getting a new sponsor. Last year, Mr. Alexander Osuna advised TVP, but now, at the request of AP Ms. Victoria Dobbs, Ms. Becker Downie runs TVP under the mentorship of the director of technology Mr. Steve Graham. Some of the challenges Ms. Downie faces include the fact that she does not know the students that made up last year’s crew and does not know much about TVP or how to run it effectively. “Ms. Downie asked me if I would mentor her and teach her how to run TVP,” Mr. Graham said. “Without

my help, she wouldn’t know how to run the class properly or operate the equipment.” Also new to TVP is the relocation of their studio from room 911B to room 203. The studio had to relocate due to 911B’s outdated cameras and editing board. They didn’t serve the purpose of TVP if it ever wanted to improve technologically. By moving to room 203, the staff hopes to get accustomed to their new setting and get a fresh start. They will also be able to use both rooms 201 and 203 for editing, utilizing the vast amount of computers that are at their disposal. “We will have room 203 as the broadcast/recording studio where we hope to get a new atmosphere and setting,” Ms. Downie said. “We will also be using room 201 where I teach for editing and class collaboration. It will be a larger space having access to computers for editing purposes.” While they adjust to their new studio, TVP won’t be presenting the news live but in fact will be using pre-recorded announcements that are made during first period, edited to make sure no mistakes are

present, and then played through the television near the end of first period. In addition to their morning broadcasts, slides will play throughout the day that portray what is new and important for the student body to be aware of, for example club meeting dates, where bagels are sold, and when tickets for certain events are going to be sold. Aside from the new sponsor and the new studio, senior and TVP president Allen Liu has set his own personal goals that he wishes to accomplish this year. After being part of the crew last year, he hopes to bring TVP back to its former glory and host a successful production of Mr. Panther. “We want to produce significantly more broadcasts this year and host a memorable Mr. Panther,” Liu said. “TVP is rebranding our program and is going to be a larger presence in Palmetto starting again this year. Panthers, watch out for morning announcements coming soon.”

Carlos Suhr

Business Manager

How do you feel about the changes in TVP? “Our studio is a lot bigger. We have a full classroom. We have a lot of room to add things to the studio. Currently we are redecorating and fundraising to buy new equipment.”

Sarah Molkentin (12) “It is my first year but I can tell things are a lot different when they were two years ago. However, we all kind of have to figure out what to do it together.”

Michael Poplewko (12)

“Mr. Panther is being put off and now our funds are not going to our STN (Student Television Network) Competition trip, but the funds are now going to our new studio now.”

Sarah Russell (11)



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@ErickCinco_12 “Yes, social media is an addiction because people check their phones constantly. I feel naked without my phone.”

@RachelBlackburn_12 “I definitely believe social media is a real addiction because people are obsessed with other people. I only go on Facebook because I want to see what everyone else is doing.”

@KaliKelly_11 “Social media definitely qualifies as a real addiction because people have become obsessed with knowing about everyones lives.

@MichaelElmaleh_11 “Social media is definitely an addiction because it keeps you interacted with school gossip even when you’re not in school.”

Do you think social media qualifies as a real addiction?


Life Editor






RX @ChristianCoots_11 “To me social media makes the world a smaller place but at the same time can cause problems. Everyone has access to your information, which can be an invasion of your privacy.”

@RasCrooks_11 “I think social media is necessary for the well being of society. It opens up a wide range of knowledge.”

What does social media mean to you?

100 likes thepantherpaper Make Checksure out the QR to check code above to see if you are addicted to social media!



Can social media affect your psyche?

Audrey Gonzalez

into a relationship based on lies. Once again, this Internet-fueled issue leads many to question the harmful trends it instigates. While these effects of social media concern one’s physical appearance, teenagers often showcase inappropriate content on social media that leads to dangerous consequences. For instance, the Facebook accounts of many high-school students act as public shrines of their social lives, displaying photos laden with red cups, questionable smoke clouds and noticeably intoxicated smiles. Little by little, the exhibition of illegal activity on social media has glorified reckless behavior as a sign of social style and sophistication. “Colleges really don’t want those kind of people in their campus,” senior Ginette Aravena said. “Bad [behavior] and influences only lead to drop rates.”


prey to the “thinspiration” crusade when bombarded with photos of pencil-thin legs urging women to “do it for the thigh gap” and “stand feet together; thighs apart”? Psychologists fear that the thigh gap rage triggers eating disorders and attribute the destructive worship to the adverse power of social media. “It’s really discouraging to know that social media has encouraged girls to look and be a certain way,” senior Valentina Salamanca said. “Girls should know that those are unrealistic goals and they have to be healthy even if the road to being fit takes longer. I know it from experience.” Besides exerting a negative influence on the self-esteem of teens leading them to alter their appearances, social media allows people reinvent themselves completely online. A new MTV series, “Catfish”, documents the lives of online daters who fall victim to this type of deception. Most often, misled daters feel embarrassed and betrayed after investing their time and feelings


thepalmettopanther Text




Focus Editor

Kaylan Coke

“stalking” people’s profiles for hours on end. “Just because you go on social media for a while doesn’t mean you are addicted,” freshman Alec Lanzas said. It’s hard to distinguish when fondness for an activity becomes a dependency and crosses the line into a damaging habit or addiction. Does spending three hours a day on Twitter reading random tweets from strangers mean you’re addicted to Twitter? How about five hours? You could argue you were just reading headline news or needed to stay current with news, right? Internet Addiction Disorder first began in the 1990s when Internet use became popular. Even back then, people theorized that heavy use of the Internet might impair people’s performance at work, in school and in family relationships, according to the same Chicago study. “I think everything should be used in moderation,” junior Jessica Schwartzman said. “If you have to choose between doing homework or going on Facebook all day long, doing homework should be the priority.”

@KaylaPhillips_9 “I think social media is a great tool for communication because people can share ideas and interact with each other.”

@JessieKaplan_11 “I think social media is essential because now news travels faster. The world wouldn’t be where it is today without it.”


Everyday more and more people connect using social media outlets. But how much is too much? When one has a social networking addiction, “a phrase used to refer to someone spending too much time on Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media,” the urge to constantly be connected can interfere with other aspects of daily life. After recent discussion and research on behaviors associated with social media, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Addiction recently included Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) as a mental disorder. After conducting a study on social media and the effects it can have on your brain, researchers at Chicago University found that social media addiction can be stronger than addiction to cigarettes and booze. Additionally, media cravings ranked ahead of cravings for cigarettes and alcohol, and social media was shown to possibly lower your attention span over time and alter your thought process. In that context, a social networking addict could be considered someone with a compulsion to use social media excessively, for example, constantly checking Facebook status updates or

The Psychology of Social Media


PSYCHOLOGY of social media

PSYCHOLOGY of social media



While the web connects people and allows for a fast and convenient source of communication, it also triggers a myriad of issues ranging from body dysmorphia to fake online profiles. If one can stand with their feet together and see a space between her thighs, thousands of teenage girls consider her lucky. One need not search far on Tumblr, Twitter or Instagram to witness the latest social media craze fueled by young females willing to undergo extreme measures in order to obtain the glorified “thigh gap”. “Everyone has a different body type,” senior Amanda Aflalo said. “It’s sad when girls think that the only way they can feel pretty is if they look like the extremely skinny girls on sites like Tumblr.” Although digitally enhanced magazine models and other unrealistic photos have assaulted the self-esteem of women worldwide for decades, the thigh gap obsession marks a time when an Internet trend poses a legitimate danger to a growing pool of teen girls. How can one resist falling




Netflix enters the arena for TV series shows and movies on a phone. Although HBO did receive eight more nominations than Netflix did, Netflix is still determined to fund and produce more shows, with better ratings, than HBO. A concern for many dedicated Netflix viewers is that as Netflix gains popularity and continues to produce new, appealing shows, the price per month may go up. But, their concerns were answered. “Once you’ve picked a price, there is tremendous value in consumer stability,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said. “I would say $7.99 is pretty close to the right price.” In addition to funding for their new shows, Netflix is using their profits to pay for overseas expansion. The company has already seen major profits from their international customers and will continue to branch out to different audiences, regardless of the toll it may originally take on the company’s spendings. “Orange is the New Black is a new kind of social media with an HBO quality show on a service that you can pay for monthly,” Kiersten Hileman said.

Alexis Barkow

Co-Sports Editor

Original Series Arrested Development (as of 2013) After his father is taken to prison, Michael Bluth (his son) must take over as the new head of his spoiled, dysfunctional family.

House of Cards (2013)

Set in Washington D.C., a conniving Congressman and his wife seek revenge on those who betrayed him.

Orange is the New Black (2013) Middle aged Piper Chapman is sentenced to over a year in prison after being convicted of assisting her drug dealing girlfriend a decade ago.

“The Killing of Georgie” by Rod Stewart (1976) “Glad To Be Gay” by Tom Robinson (1978) “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross (1980) “I Am What I Am” by Gloria Gaynor (1983) “I Want To Break Free” by Queen (1984) “True Colors” by Cyndi Lauper (1986) “No Clause 28” by Boy George (1988) “Philadelphia” by Neil Young (1994) “Radical” by Catie Curtis (1997) “Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera (2002) “Tuesday Morning” by Melissa Etheridge (2004) “Wherever You Go” by Donna Burke (2005) “Poison Oak” by Bright Eyes (2006) “I Kissed a Girl” by Katy Perry (2008) “Raise Your Glass” by Pink (2010) “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga (2011) “Make It Stop” by Rise Against (2011) “Shades of Purple” by Bye June (2012) “Same Love” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (2012)


These twins visited three orphanages providing various assistance where needed. “Going on service trips gives you an excuse to travel and it allows you to meet new people,” Candélaria Peñate said. “It wasn’t just community service, we went for the adventure.” They painted several rooms, visited with the orphan children and built fences, called bomas, around their stock supplies. “Working with the Masai Mara people was rewarding,” Alma Peñate said. “They needed a fence built around their supplies to protect the lions from eating it.” Their brother, senior Emilio Peñate, also ventured on a two week escape to Thailand, volunteering his service to those less fortunate. In addition to the Peñate family, junior, Domenique Jimenez, made a difference closer to home. She volunteered locally with her

church in the downtown Miami area. She worked at an office where a team of people fought for higher wages and helped support migrant workers and their families. The church also spearheaded a program to beautify the building by cleaning, planting trees and painting. “This experience helped me realize there are many places in Miami that need lots of help,” Jimenez said. Senior Alex Hazday headed to the Dominican Republic this summer, specifically to an underdeveloped community called Los Puyones. “I spent two weeks there building a water system for them” Hazday said. “Even though it was the most difficult project I have ever completed, I would trade anything to be there right now.” Senior Andrew Miranda also decided to take a trip to the Dominican Republic to a small, exotic village, Guineal.

But it wasn’t all fun and games, Miranda’s main priority was building aqueducts for families that had no access to running water. They had to get a pail of water from a source five miles away. “We made many friends” Miranda said. “I mostly enjoyed the day that the water had reached the city for the first time.” These scenes present a culture shock compared to the bustling, technologically advanced city these teens live in. Senior Nick Johnson decided to travel to the Andes region of Colombia, where he assisted in building schools and teaching kids a variety of academic subjects. “Paramilitary fighters are still present,” Johnson said. “The conditions are improving but the region I was in still had residual damage from the war.” Like Johnson, junior Fernando Mariosa found that he wanted to

make a difference in a developing area. Mariosa took a trip to Brazil and worked with a company called Unibes, where they manage public schools and give opportunities to children who don’t have any other way to get an education. “They took me to the schools, elementary and middle, and believe it or not they were in near condition,” Mariosa said. “ The people at Unibes are really dedicated to what they do, these schools were completely privately funded, yet they were in better condition then the state and federal schools.”

Sarah Berlan

Staff Writer

Hemlock Grove (2013)


me when people make fun of them. I’m offended when they’re called offensive names.” The debate over gay marriage parallels the segregation and racism that was present during the 1950s and 1960s in Brown vs. the Board of Education. This case concerned the segregation of schools and involved African American, Oliver Brown, whose child was denied entrance into Kansas’ white schools. The black schools and white schools were not equal academically, violating the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. Topeka, Kansas ruled in favor of Brown, claiming the denial of his son into white schools was a violation of the constitution. However, the Supreme Court realized the Fourteenth Amendment did not include anything concerning integration; now the amendment includes equal education. “I believe it was for the better because it paved the way to the system we have now,” sophomore Sy Lam said. “I wouldn’t have met my friends if the school system segregated due to race. It would have been a corrupt system.” For a long time people accepted racism and considered it “normal.” However, today racism is viewed as wrong and the mention of it inspires distaste in our minds. Same sex relationships are beginning to gain acceptance and will hopefully prevail just as integration did. Considering America is “the land of the free,” people feel as though they shouldn’t have to fight for their rights of equality. The fight for equal

rights has never left. Acceptance of homosexuality is becoming more common and one day may change social history. Recently, a middle school teacher in North Carolina was suspended for three days for showing her students the music video for “Same Love”. The Alexander County school board attorney told CNN the major concern of the case was showing impressionable 13-yearolds inappropriate material. The video displays two men kissing at their wedding ceremony and an affectionate elderly gay couple. According to Macklemore’s website, he believes the case is an example of kids not feeling safe and confident in school. Schools have been exposed to a present, but unexpressed form of homophobia which prevents a safe place for youths to feel happy and self- assured about themselves. School should be associated with a feeling of safety an comfort. Unfortunately, it has turned into a place of ridicule and hurt. Macklemore knew the song would not completely erase homophobia but hoped it would bridge a gap in order for others to understand and try to accept the situation and the changing generation. “It’s the only right way,” junior Josh Andrews said. “Love shouldn’t be limited to what the law says. Love can be shared by anyone.”

Sabrina Chi

Staff Writer


SAY CHEESE: Senior Chloe Sebbag smiles next to Maria, a young girl from the city of Quetzaltenango, more commonly known as Xela. On her service trip to Guatemala, Chloe helped build a classroom, took Spanish classes and played with children from a local foster home. “It was an amazing experience,” Sebbag said. “Playing with the children showed me how different their lives are from ours. It taught me a valuable lesson.”


Songs promoting gay rights throughout the decades

What does one do over the summer? Although it seems like a simple question, a more complicated response follows. Spending the summer in the Sahara Desert or Kenyan Jungle is the new normal. A far cry from lounging around Miami’s beaches all day, the ever increasing desire to volunteer abroad has taken over. This altruistic act has led a mini army of teenagers with canteens and maps to the airport. “Service trips are absolutely great for students. The [children] are fantastic humaniatrians, it allows the children to see a different world and assist others that are drastically in need of their help,” assistant principal Ms. Bridgette Tate-Wyche said. “When they [students] return the kids will thoroughly appreciate what they have. Sharing is caring!” Two of those students were sophomores, Candelaria Peñate and Alma Peñate who dared to venture to Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar.

In this thrilling horror series, a town hunts among themselves for the killer who murdered a teenage girl.

Equality Playlist LGBT equality has a new anthem The smash hit, “Same Love”, performed by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert, climbed the charts due to its unusual blend of hip hop and acceptance of homosexuality. The song, with its pro-gay message, has set the tone not only for the acceptance of homosexuality, but a change for the better in the 21 century. A change in society that harbors the ability to openly discuss and accept sexual orientation is being created. “Same Love” propels listeners into a progressive future filled with pro-gay sentiments and messages. “I’m pro-gay marriage and I think if you love someone you shouldn’t be afraid to love who you love,” senior Kate Nappier said. “They should have equal rights to same sex marriage.” The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) case over the summer launched the United States toward a brighter future allowing homosexuals to marry in 13 states. The line, “it’s human rights for everyone, there is no difference,” from “Same Love” expresses the major theme of the DOMA ruling which gives equal marriage rights to homosexuals. New York allows same sex couples to marry but the federal government does not. As a result, taxes were placed on same sex married couples allowing them to receive the same federal health insurance, tax and social security. “I don’t really care [if people of the same sex get married] as long as it brings them love and joy,” sophomore Esther Kim said. “It hurts


A summer of service: students vacation for a cause

at c

million dollars to Disney to post their movies and shows. In addition, the site is paying AMC one million dollars to exclusively stream their shows, such as Mad Men. “Netflix will continue to generate negative cash flow going forward, driven by the company’s everincreasing streaming commitments,” Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities, said according to Bloomberg News. With 36.3 million subscribers internationally, Netflix leads the world in Internet video streaming. The company spent over $400 million this year to expand their video streaming library and the video quality. This further intensifies the competition between Netflix and its Internet opponents. “Consumers are asking for original videos … [and] it does build up heavy differentiation. But it’s not ‘the thing’ on our agenda; it’s part of it.” Hulu CEO Jason Kilar said. As Netflix continues to receive positive feedback on its new shows, it will continue to produce and thrive as an Internet video streaming service. To satisfy its customers and make their shows as accessible as possible, Netflix released an app for apple products, recently updated on Septmeber 17. Netflix leads the world in subscription service for watching


with reputable actors such as Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. It is an adaption of the original BBC miniseries, which was based on the novel by Michael Dobbs. “House of Cards” is nominated for nine Emmys at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards Show. Younger customers can look forward to the animated series “Turbo: F.A.S.T.”, based on the movie Turbo, coming to theaters in December. In addition, Netflix met the needs of comedy lovers around the world by reviving Fox’s original series “Arrested Development” for its last season. It was originally aired on Fox in 2003 and was terminated in 2006. “I love that Netflix owns its own shows now,” junior Fernando Mariosa said. “I’m a big fan of Arrested Development and it was cool that Netflix was able to revive it for a season.” The problem with Netflix purchasing all these new shows is that their subscription rate is not increasing fast enough to meet their content costs. These content costs are higher than those paid by regular television channels because these new shows have leverage over the company, in addition to the shows and movies they are streaming from other companies. According to the Atlantic Wire, Netflix pays over 100


As they compete for viewers with other video streaming sites like Hulu and Showtime Anytime, Netflix sets the standards high by creating and offering their own original shows. Subscribers have access to a large variety of shows broadcasted on television along with those that have terminated and an extensive assortment of movies. Netflix attempts to cater to all audiences by offering a diverse selection of new television options, resulting in 14 Emmy nominations. Their variety of shows include “Orange is the New Black”, a raunchy comedic drama that takes place in a women’s prison, starring Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon (seen on That 70’s Show), and Jason Biggs, star of American Pie. The show received more viewers and more hours viewed than any other Netflix owned show. Due to these ratings, “Orange is the New Black” screened on broadcast television in early August and will be shown in Australia in October. Additionally, “Hemlock Grove” a sci-fi horror placed in a small, fictional town and was recently renewed for a second season of thirteen episodes to be shown in 2014. The website allegedly spent $100 million to create the show “House of Cards”, a political thriller, casted





Boys’ Cuffed Shorts With the newly implemented uniform policy in place, everyone on campus looks for ways to liven up the modest, monochromatic polo shirts. For boys in particular, cuffed shorts seem to have struck a chord. After being featured in ASOS’ and River Islands’ summer clothing collections, the cuffed shorts first became trendy in the months leading up to summer. The versatility of these shorts is extremely appealing, especially here in Miami where the temperature seems to only be escalating, despite the fact that it is September. “I like them because they are

more comfortable than having shorts below the knee,” sophomore Keagan Rechel said. “I get mine at ASOS and Topman.” The shorts come in a variety of colors ranging from pastel yellows and greens to vibrant reds and blues. Designers are also introducing patterned shorts. Topman USA’s new collection includes camouflage and smiley-faced patterns as well as longer versions of the cuffed shorts. “I wear mine with Sperry’s and polo shirts sophomore Gareth Williams said. Despite the largely positive reception to the cuffed shorts trend, not everyone is giving it his or her seal of approval. Some girls, regardless of the fact that they do not wear them, have a very strong opinion on whether the shorts look good or not. “I don’t like them at all,” junior Brittany Leonard said. “They should be illegal, they are way too short and not attractive. I’m totally against them, just don’t wear them.”

Annabel Sanz


HUGS ALL AROUND: Sophomore Alma Peñate hugs Tanzanian children from Arusha. She spent time in Tanzania, Kenya and Zanibar over the summer working at orphanages and schools where she interacted with kids and helped improve the buildings. “The best part of the experience was spending time with the kids,” Peñate said. “They didn’t expect much. We had fun even though it was challenging to communicate.”

Issues and Ideas Editor


BIG BROTHERS: Noah Liebling, Joey Carillo, Josh Beiley and Andrew Miranda pose with children from the town Los Puyones. For ten days they built an aquifer for a lesser developed community in the Dominican Republic. “I loved becoming so close to the community,” Josh Beiley said. “We watched the children’s eyes light up as the water finally reached the village.”


The Lumineers

The indie folk rock band based in Denver, Colorado produced their self-titled album with Dualtone Records last April. The most popular song on their album, “Ho Hey”, was released as a lead single and reached platinum status in the United States. Currently, the musical sensation is on their first official world tour and will be performing in Boca Raton, Florida on October 20 at 6:45 p.m. at the Sunset Cove Amphitheater.


Nicholas Sparks

On September 30, Times bestselling author, Nicholas Sparks, will be interviewed by television anchor, Jackie Nespral, at Miami Dade’s Wolfson campus. Vouchers are available at Books and Books and include an autographed copy of Sparks’ latest novel “The Longest Ride” published on September 17. It is the story of two couples who cross paths in profound, surprising ways. There will be a meet and greet with the author following the talk.



Don’t miss George Clooney, Sandra Bullock and Ed Harris in the Warner Bros. new science fiction thriller. After satellite debris crashes into their space shuttle and damages it, a medical engineer and veteran astronaut on his final expedition are left stranded in space with limited air. Without the ability to communicate with Earth the two must cooperate to survive. It will hit theaters in 3D on October 4. INFOGRAPHIC BY AUDREY GONZALEZ




Robert H. Thomas, MD, FACP 550 Biltmore Way * Suite 101 Coral Gables, FL 33154 P. 305.446.9940 Fax 305.446.0861




Barnes and Noble struggles to stay standing Is the Nook enough to keep Barnes and Noble as one of the few remaining bookstores? Paperback books have been around since humans could write. Online books on the other hand are fairly new. In today’s technologically advanced world, online books are becoming more and more popular. The competition between physical books and electronic books is on the rise, resulting in a decreased number of bookstores around the world. Barnes and Noble is one of few remaining bookstores; one of the last places where people walk in and pick up a physical book. Unfortunately, the stock prices are plummeting and bookstores everywhere are facing the possibility of having to close down their storefront. This problem results from people choosing to purchase books through their eReader, such as the iPad and Kindle, rather than paperbacks. In an effort to compete with electronic books, Barnes and Noble wisely created the Nook. Just as any other eReader, the Nook allows readers to purchase online books and read them on this electronic device. “It [the Nook] has a very long battery life, it can store many books, it’s very light, versatile and I can use it as a coaster,” junior Yuji Yang said. When Barnes and Noble released the Nook, the company was doing excellent financially. The stock went up tremendously with books and eBooks selling frequently. However, they ended up overestimating the demand for Nooks, making too many and loosing money. “I think it is important that bookstores are available to people because not all people are into reading books on electric devices and I feel like books are a vital part of the world today,” junior Alejandro Acevedo said. “Barnes and Noble need to find a way to stay standing.” Do people prefer eBooks because of their accessibility? If that is the case, then how will Barnes and Noble ever survive? “I am terrified of what is happening [to the bookstores],” senior Chloe Sebbag said. “I cannot stand reading from a screen. I like holding the physical book and being able to highlight and annotate and

Chapter 1 -Price of Nook starting at Mass market paperback $8.65 $129 -Nook book average price Standard size of a book: 6”x9” $8.94 Pros: Nook size from 6.5”x5” to -Easy to flip between pages 9”x6” Pages can be folded, highlighted and annotated Pros: -“Shareability” -Portable and lightweight -Can be donated -Can connect to the internet -Relatively cheap -Can borrow public library -Sentimental value books -Easy to get new books Cons: Cons: -Can get heavy -Can run out of battery -Pages can rip -Perishable -Not accessible 24/7 -Take up space -Bad for the environment my library shop because of the use of paper the daily


fold the pages as I wish.” The Barnes and Noble bookstore in Aventura was a low-key but busy bookstore. People who like the beauty, smell, heft and tactile pleasure of ink and paper bound with glue, headed to this bookstore rather than turning on their eBook. Apparently, the revenue was not high enough to keep the bookstore open.

The Barnes and Noble bookstore in Aventura closed in 2012. Evidence points to the conclusion that a lack of income to the Barnes and Noble bookstore in Aventura lead to the closing of the store. However, an ex-employer will not admit that they are closing due to a decline in the business of selling books through a “real” bookstore.

Rather than clashing head to head with the eBook wave, Barnes and Noble embraced the new technologybased readers by creating the Nook. This actually increased the eBook market 26 percent. A strategic plan for Barnes and Noble is to spinoff the Nook division of their business. By

separating the unit, new investors may help shoulder its costs. “I’m against using the Nook,” freshman Brooke Kaplan said. “I am so used to reading out of an actual book and it is abnormal when trying to read a story off of a screen.” It is statistically proven that the average eBook reader reads approximately 24 books per year, while only 15 books are read by the average print reader per year. The two clashing sides: pro-book and pro-eBook, are two different markets that will determine the future of reading. As of now, 75 percent of the book market prefer printed books over eReaders, but the demand of eReaders is increasing, threatening bookstores and other markets that depend on the sale of paperback books. The other 25 percent of readers prefer to use an eReader. Ebooks had a major increase in sales from 2009 to 2010. Since 2010 though, sales have slowly been on the decrease. Although the eReader market is not as costly as the printed book market, eReaders do recieve a large portion of the profit resulting from reading. So what the real question is, is if Barnes and Noble has the ability to overcome the market of eReaders and retain a steady flow of costumers. According to the statistics, bookstores will remain open as a result of the high demand of paperback books. However, the growth of reading on electronic devices is increasing. This competition between eReaders and physical books will form the future of Barnes and Noble. There is no real solution or legitimate plan on how Barnes and Noble will remain standing in the face of new technology. The future of this store and other bookstores lies in the hands of the readers.

Grant Gassman SciTech Editor

GRAND GADGETS AND GIZMOS Ever thought about controlling electronics with a simple wave of one’s fingers but thought it seemed too “futuristic” for today’s world? Well, now it’s available. Introducing the Leap Motion Controller, a slim and sleek electronic device that plugs into computers and allows the user to select, grab, draw and complete various other tasks. With a precise sensor, the Leap accurately tracks the user’s hands and fingers, empowering the user to manipulate the computer screen

without even the push of a button. Simply hold up a hand above the sensor and be amazed. The new technology senses the user’s natural hand movements letting them point, poke, reach and grab items on the screen. The meticulous sensor even allows them to pick something up, move it and put it back down. Games can now be played like never before. In a game of “Fruit Ninja”, swipe a finger in mid-air to chop a banana in half. When playing an airplane game, guide the plane

by the turning and twisting of hands. Gamers can shoot a zombie in “Call of Duty” with just the pull of the index finger. With the ability to track movements up to 1/100 of a millimeter, the use of applications such as drawing apps have been made easier with the Leap. Hold a pencil above the sensor and precisely draw whatever the heart desires. There are no limits when using this device. The Leap Motion Controller is available for $79.99 at

er troll Con ntrol a n o i o t c o nd. ap M user to ve of a ha e Le

a e Th the w s th allow ter with u p m co



Brain-eating amoeba: An unexpected hit


Colonization of Mars

A deadly disease has an impact on Southern States

Bas Lansdorp and Arno Wielders create Ever had that sensational feeling registered in the United States since of burn in the nose as if water burst 1960 and all but two patients died,” the Mars One foundation. Blueprints, through from diving 10 feet high? Dr. Marcelo Laufer said. architecture and technology are discussed Mars One Founded In that water, microscopically small Reyna was hospitalized to make the mission possble. amoeba that feeds off of brain cells in Miami Children’s Hospital could have traveled up to the brain. and underwent brain surgery Zachary Reyna became infected where the doctors learned he was All nationalities are welcome to enroll in the with that rare brain-eating amoeba program. 6 groups with 4 individuals are in LaBelle, Florida and died on Start Crew Selection August 24. The amoeba selected for training originated in a waterfilled ditch near his Trains individuals to be in romote places for home where the 12-year-old boy prolonged periods of time. Training will take Start of Group kneeboarded place until the launch in 2022 with his Training friends. The brain-eating A Mars Rover will explore the planent in amoeba, search of the best place for settlement. It Naegleria fowleri is Rover Mission must be North enough for soil to absorb commonly Launched water and flat enough to settle on. found in w a r m , The Rover gets Life Support equiptment and fresh water and enters Amoeba Naegleria is the brain-eating amoeba inflates the living units to make it livable for the body Outpost Operational found in fresh water. When infected, brain humans. through the nose before tissue is slowly destroyed which mostly traveling up to The first crew of people travel to Mars on the results in death in less than a week. the brain. Mars Transit Vehicle. It is a 210-day trip until “Miami is vulnerable for they reach Mars. Departure Naegleria fowleri because they’re susceptible of spawning in puddles created from hurricanes After spending 48 hours to recover from and rain,” AP Environmental Science diagnosed with primary amoebic teacher Ms. Pamela Schlactman said meningoencephalitis. The symptoms experiencing gravity, the people enter living To prevent this infection, the include headache, nausea, vomiting, Landing units with food, water and living materials. Florida Department of Health fever, confusion, loss of balances, warned not to participate in seizures and hallucinations. The INFOGRAPHIC BY GRANT GASSMAN any water activities where the disease progresses fast and death INFORMATION COURTESY OF MARS-ONE.COM water temperatures are high and takes place between one and 12 days, water levels low as it is a perfect according to Centers for Diseases environment for the rare amoeba. It Control and Prevention. is commonly found in bodies of fresh Reyna took part in an water such as lakes and rivers, but experimental drug to treat Naegleria never in salt water. fowleri. This same drug was also “In Naegleria’s life cycle, it used by a girl from Arkansas, who Millions of people worldwide unprecedented sky crane landing maybe aspire a little higher and in exists as a cyst or trophozoite,” Dr. became to be known as the third gazed at their television sets as system placed Curiosity en route to some sense, we’re a little better—a Marcelo Laufer, Miami Children person to survive Naegleria fowleri NASA’s Curiosity landed on the explore the base of the three-mile teeny, eensy bit better.” Hospital said. “The cyst itself in 50 years. However, Reyna wasn’t Red Planet last year marking its first high Mount Sharp. This mountain The innovative science findings can’t infect humans but when it successful in fighting the disease. anniversary. Far from home, the exposes geological layers such as and advanced technology manifests converts into trophozoite under Recently, Naegleria fowleri was rover stands 33.9 million miles away wet environments that scientists the JPL team’s appetites to learn special circumstances, like warm also discovered in a treated water to achieve the goal of finding out hope can preserve a broader diversity more and move toward further environment, the case become more supply system. New Orleans is whether ancient Mars can or ever has of environmental conditions. explorations, possibly sending frequent during the summer.” currently in shock as school officials supported life. The car-sized rover examined humans to Mars. Snowdens fits the description on shut off water fountains and stocked “I think it could be a good idea,” “I thought it was an eventful leap streambed pebble deposits left over account of its warm temperature and up on hand sanitizers. According to in discovering more about the last by drilling into shallow depressions junior Amira McKinney said. “If this freshwater. Chances of obtaining Centers for Disease Control (CDC), frontier,” senior Audrey Charles said. called “Yellowknife Bay.” Scientists planet dies out and [it] works over Naegleria fowleri increase as water this is the first time a deadly parasite “However, I was curious as to how found signs of ancient stream flow there, we may have a [better] chance activities like swimming become was ever discovered in a water supply NASA was able to land on Mars. It where microbial life may have lived of survival.” more common. Snowdens off of system. They estimated it could take made me wonder what other planets billions of years ago. Hopefully, The mission established evidence Old Cutler Road is a common spot weeks to clean the system. The have the environment to support life these findings can provide answers that Mars lost its original atmosphere among teens. It features a 13 meter lack of chemicals in the system was [as well].” of how Yellowknife Bay’s rocks possibly due to climate changes. high bridge into a canal where people the blame for this cause and CDC With over 36,700 full images and relate to what they will see at Mount To carry on further investigation jump off of. This warm freshwater stated that it’s crucial for officials to 35,000 thumbnail images, NASA’s Sharp’s. NASA’s next mission to the Red has a likely chance of spawning the constantly monitor chlorine levels Curiosity rover uses autonomous “That is what we intend to get Planet, called Mars Atmosphere brain-eating amoeba. and make sure the system is effective navigation to calculate the best route from the waypoints between them,” and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN), “The fact that there’s a chance right to the end of the line. to travel Mars’ terrain without the the mission’s project scientist, John launches in November eighteenth to of catching brain-eating amoeba Health officials places importance use of human rover drivers. This Grotzinger said. “We’ll use them to study the upper atmospheric gases doesn’t scare me because I’ve heard in keeping swimming pools technology sensors path-planning, stitch together a timeline – which for a better understanding of ancient a lot of rumors about Snowdens adequately disinfected and keeping obstacle detection and can perform layers are older, which are younger.” life in Mars. like that there are alligators under proper pH and chlorine levels. The capabilities in both night and day. After its successful landing Jacquelyn Hsiao water but none of them were true,” safest way to prevent this disease is The advancement allowed scientists last year, the leader of NASA’s Jet Co Features Editor sophomore Elizabeth Rosario said. to avoid getting water up the nose. and engineers to sequentially form a Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) team, “Unless there are some solid, reliable data path organization ahead of time Adam Steltzner, expresses Curiosity Sungho Son proofs, I don’t believe that there are Scan the QR code to see into segments of each day. and its explorations. brain-eating amoebas in Snowdens.” Art Director Moreover, NASA’s Mars Science “I think through it,” Steltzner more about this story on “So far only 120 cases have been Laboratory Spacecraft and its said. “We dream a little bigger,

2011 2013

2015 2018 2021

2022 2023

A new lifestyle on the red planet

either. Before games, the boy’s baseball team does not allow the starting pitcher to stretch with them or speak to them in the dugout before the game starts. In the same sense, the girl’s softball team strictly forbids any of their players from walking on the solid white foul line. These superstitions work for some athletes. Do not think that professional athletes are exempt from placebos, either. Even though they are very common at the recreational, high school, and college level, superstitions run rampant in professional sports league. One of the players on the New York Mets, Turk Wendell has a superstition of his own. Wendell wears a necklace during every game made from the teeth of various animals he has hunted and killed. He is not the only baseball player to believe an accessory brings him luck, but he is one of the only to make his own accessory and even further make his out of teeth. Golf player Tiger Woods exemplifies superstitions in his attire during his matches. During every game on Sunday, Woods can be found wearing a red shirt. When asked about it in an interview, Woods explained that his mother told him at a young age that as a Capricorn, his power would be highest when he wore a red jersey. A former Miami Heat player, Caron Butler strays from originality

in the sense that instead of drinking water or sports drinks, Butler drinks Mountain Dew to hydrate during a game. Now Butler plays for the Dallas Mavericks, but this tradition originally began when he was in college playing for the Heat. He would drink half of a two-liter bottle of the ultra-caffeinated soda before the game. Around half time, he would drink the other half. One of the strangest yet most predictable superstitions of them all, takes place in soccer. Ecuador’s national soccer team believed their talent wasn’t enough to gain their success in the World Cup of 2006 in Germany. So naturally, they called in a witch doctor to perform voodoo before every game. Power balance bracelets are another good example of superstitions in sports. These bracelets basically promise athletes who wear them that they will be balanced, energized, relaxed and ready. “Power balance bracelets typically aren’t a superstition, because they actually can, depending on what they’re made of, redirect energy flow,” Physical trainer and sports medicine teacher Ms. Michelle Benz said. “When they’re being shown in a store, you can actually see that they do help relax your muscles.” Essentially candy bars in disguise, protein bars are all the rage. Instead of fighting fatigue, improving concentration and boosting your

work out, protein bars tend to do the opposite. The bar leaves you with loads of sugar, oil and excessive amounts of vitamins and minerals. Athletes seem to think that eating a protein bar is the same as eating a full meal before a game. “Sometimes before I work out I don’t really have time to eat a full, balanced meal,” sophomore Samantha Ganter said. “So I just grab a protein bar because it leaves me feeling as full as I would if I ate a real meal.” Choosing a well-balanced meal or snack is always better than cutting corners and eating a protein bar. Although the bar does give you protein, fiber, and necessary nutrients, a whole meal will provide all of the above and more. If an athlete should choose a protein bar, they should choose one without hydrogenated oils or saturated fats and avoid hidden sugars such as sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, or dextrose. Superstitions and rituals are small sacrifices athletes choose to make. None of these rituals are proven to help athletes succeed in their sports, but they set something off in the athlete’s mind that makes them think they are playing better.

Victoria Arguelles Staff Writer v.arguelles.thepanther@gmail.

What nutrients are you really getting? Iron: Essential for the proper growth and development for the human body. It also helps muscles function.

By Sereena Gee

Magnesium: Helps to prevent cardiovascular disease and treats migraines, insomnia and depression.

Vitamin A: Beneficial for healthy eyes and prevents formation of urinary stones.

Sodium: Important for blood regulation, enzyme operations, and muscle contraction.


Staff Writer


Electrolytes: Helps replenish what you lose after you sweat. It can be found in gatorade drinks.

Shane McCrink Staff Writer

Among high school sports athletes there is an unavoidable competitive nature. Student athletes constantly compete for their coach’s attention and admiration. Coaches often unintentionally select favorites, creating conflicts within the team. Junior Ashlynn Dobbs, a member of the lacrosse team, says that the better players on her team get treated with more respect. “From coach, she definitely treats you with more respect, and respects your opinion more in certain things,” Dobbs said. “I feel like she is more friendly with the starters than the bench warmers.” When selecting the startering players, coaches first must decide between choosing players for the benefit of the team or giving everyone equal playing time. “I think our coaches are very fair,” said Ms. Yvette McKinney, athletics director. “I think the kids, the student athletes, want to win as much as the coaches do, so they want the best player to be playing also.” Selection varies between sports. Some sports allow everyone to play the same position, while others are more selective. “It depends on the sports,” Ms. McKinney said. “Most of them, let’s use football, there are 11 different positions, there are skills that you have to have for different things. Golf is pretty even.” Players treated with less respect than other members of the team typically feel unsatisfiedand upset with the lack of attention that they are getting. “Typically the most talented players are the top players,” said Ms. Kimberly Latshaw, a physical education teacher. “Whether their talent was a God-given gift, they worked harder, and it gives them an advantage to be in a starting line

High school PED rumors on the horizon

With the Biogenesis Major League Baseball (MLB) scandal and lawsuit coming to a close, Alexander Rodriguez and 12 other major league baseball players are in suspension after being accused of obtaining performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) from the Biogenesis Clinic. The Biogenisis scandal broke out in the middle of 2013 due to an annoyed ex employee that revealed their secret distribution of human growth hormone to various baseball players in the major leagues. The MLB later sued six people involved in the scandal, accusing them of damaging the sport by providing illegal substances to its players. After the break of this story, people are left wondering if the use of PEDs in the high school baseball level is a common occurrence. According to the Miami Herald, five past high school players from the Miami-Dade and Broward area, who are now in college, were also mentioned on the list alongside the 13 players suspended from the MLB. Although the alleged list has not been released yet, rumor has it that on the list are two current high school players from private schools in the area. “As a baseball player, I have no respect for other players who cheat their way to the top by using steroids to enhance their strength and game,” sophomore Brandon Brookins said. “This is unfair to players like me because I could be facing a player who has an unfair advantage.” Testing each and every baseball player in the area is not a simple task. Each test would cost up to $150 per athlete and there is simply not enough funding. Although, if the Florida High School Activities Association (FHSAA) is suspicious about a certain player, they will contact the school and ask the principal to hold their own investigation to determine if the accusation is true or false. They do not have the authority to drug test a student athlete themselves. “Even though I have never met someone who has used a performance enhancement drug, I think it’s a disgrace to the name of baseball,” junior Kevin Barbato said. “I think the players that use PEDs should be banned from the

game permanently and should be stripped of their accomplishments; they have tainted the name of the game.” In 2008, 600 student athletes at different schools and engaged in different sports were tested by the PED-testing program. After spending $105,000, only one positive test came back from a football player at Glades Day School in Palm Beach County. There was an exception to this occurrence due to a special grant from the state Legislature, otherwise this would not be permitted to occur. When a high school player tests positive for the use of PEDs, harsh punishments are usually implemented following an investigation. After the student is found guilty they will receive


“I’d love to play golf in college. I’m talking to a few colleges, including Elon and Setson Univeristy.”

actions into their own hands rather than the FHSAA. “If our county had the funding I think we should make PED testing mandatory in order to participate in athletics,” junior Felix Garcia said. “Cheating your way to the college and major league level isn’t fair to the kids playing fair. After taking steroids for a few years your skills start to diminish anyway. I don’t see the point when you can exercise, eat right and practice the game. Many parents and coaches are guilty of pushing their kids or athletes to the major league level when they simply can’t handle it.”

Sidney Sterling PR Manager

PEDS by the numbers

8.8 5-12% THIRTY


percent of high school football players use steroids

of all male high school students have used anabolic steroids by the time they are seniors

fifty seven

baseball players have been suspended since 2005

of female high school students use steroids

per cent of hig h sc hoo l bas ket ba ll pla yer s use steroids

PERCENT of top ten homerun baseball players have used steroids


anabolic steroids were created



Grade: 12 Sport: Golf Height: 6’0 Age: 17

a 90-day suspension, mandatory compliance of all rules, forced to take another drug test, placed in a steroid education program and possibly suspended from participation in that certain sport. When high school students are caught using PEDs the public immediately becomes interested and begins to pry into that individuals personal life. Just like the student from Glades Day School, the high school athlete will remain nameless due to them being a protected minor. In February 2009, a baseball coach at Jacksonville Wolfson High was found putting Creatine (a non steroid muscle builder) in the jug that the whole team used during games and practices to refill their bottles. This is another example of the school taking disciplinary

minimum penalty for getting caught with steroids

Vitamin B2: Crucial to breaking down food components, absorbing other nutrients, and maintaning tissue.

Competitive Nature of Sports



Johnny Manziel, better known by his trademarked nickname, Johnny Football, has had a busy offseason ever since last December when he became the first freshman to ever win the Heisman trophy. Johnny Football has been one of the most popular figures in sports throughout this past year due to his activities both on and off the field. Manziel got kicked out of a frat party at rival school University of Texas, threw out the first pitch at a Texas Rangers game, attended Miami Heat playoff games, and was kicked out of the Manning Passing Academy due to arriving late after a night of partying. Amid his partying and irresponsible behavior over the past summer, he was also accused of making profit from selling autographed memorabilia to fans. He signed that in a Miami hotel room at the time of the BCS National Championship Game back in January, which is illegal according to NCAA rules. Although Manziel denies these allegations, he has several autograph brokers who confirm he committed the act. According to one broker, Manziel was paid $7,500 to autograph 300 football helmets. The same broker also has two cellphone videos of Manziel signing the memorabilia to prove it. It is possible that Johnny Football, due to his family wealth in the oil industry, has a "Daddy will take care of my problems" mentality which may be why he has been acting so irresponsible lately. This is not the first time we have seen scandals in the world of college football where players have made money from memorabilia and accepted improper benefits. Ohio State Quarterback, Terrelle Pryor, and teammates DeVier Posey, Daniel Herron, Mike Adams and Solomon Thomas, were suspended for five games in the 2011 season for trading on-field awards for tattoos and cash. Pryor left Ohio State for the NFL after 2010 and did not serve his five game suspension. Also in 2010, Georgia receiver A.J. Green was suspended for four games due to selling a game-worn jersey for $1,000. Some think the NCAA is too strict and has way too much control over their student athletes. Others think college athletes should get paid considering that sports teams bring universities across the country millions of dollars annually. Some thought Manziel would lose eligibility due to the accusations, if they were true, but it turns out he was only suspended for the first half of Texas A&M's season opener against Rice. He had 3 TDs on 6-8 passing for 94 yards in his return to the football field. Manziel hopes to repeat as the Heisman winner in 2013.

When a person thinks of sports, sweat, hard work and dedication come to mind. What does not come to mind are placebos. A placebo is a stimulated or otherwise medically ineffectual treatment for a disease or other medical condition intended to mislead the patient. Simply put, a placebo is something a person takes or does to make themself feel better when they are not actually doing anything to help themselves. In sports, placebos are referred to as superstitions, rituals, or traditions. Student athletes have superstitions. According to senior Shelby Denkert, her soccer coach Lyndsay Segara wears the same pair of shorts to games in hopes of getting a winning streak, only to stop wearing them after the team loses. “After we win, she’ll just keep wearing the same shorts until we lose,” Denkert said. “I don’t really understand it but she thinks it works.” Members of the cross country team believe if they don’t use the bathroom before they run, they will be distracted and impatient and won’t be as successful as they would if they had gone to the bathroom before the big game. “You always have to go to the bathroom before you run,” junior Aaron Maxwell said. “Always. Never forget to go to the bathroom before you run or it won’t be good.” The baseball and softball teams are not strangers to superstitions,



20 SPORTS NCAA Buzz Hidden placebo effects power up athletes

• • • • •

Claim to Fame

9 hole scoring average: 38 Best matching score senior year: 73 Went to states in tenth grade Districts: 76 Regionals: 75

“Daniel has been playing very hard and working very hard,” boys golf coach Craig Karpiak said. “He could possibly end up competing in college.”

Senior Daniel Ledbetter has been playing golf since he was just five years old. He began with little plastic clubs and soon moved up to a set of real clubs. Daniel Ledbetter isn’t the only golfer in the Ledbetter family, his entire family including his dad and grandparents who live in Sweden, regularly partake in the sport. His favorite part of the sport is “the challenge of it and getting the opportunity to play with kids all over the world. Practicing and playing golf everyday is hard to balance with school, but if I’m not at the golf course I’m usually doing homework,” Ledbetter said.

22 Issues & Ideas

Issues & Ideas

Panther Perspectives

Should the United States Intervene in the War in Syria? Meryl Kornfield

Jared Heller

Online Editor In-Chief

Managing Editor Sarin, a colorless, odorless gas, has been weaponized to take out thousands of civilians. The United States believes that the Assad regime used this potent nerve gas during the August 21 attack near Damascus, the capital and central metropolitan area of Syria. The deadly gas used by the government in response to the recent civilian protests has led to a growing death toll nearing 1,000 people The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), effective as of 1997, restricts all use and production of chemical weapons. Out of 196 states recognized by the United Nations (U.N.), 189 adhere to the ban on chemical weapons. However, Syria doesn’t abide or agree to the CWC set in place. With the use of chemical warfare in Syria, the United States, as well as other United Nation countries, wants to take necessary action to halt the Assad government from creating further damage. It is important for the United States, as a world superpower to take immediate action against Syria. The U.S. has proposed invading and bombing key military points in Syria regardless of aide from allies since the U.N. did not agree as a whole to intervene. During the time the proposed U.S. strikes have been delayed, Assad has spread out many of his military assets such as relocating helicopters throughout the country. The longer we wait to intervene the more problems approach. Since Assad spread his forces out, more locations will require bombing. The United States’ main goal remains solving the issue at hand while avoiding unintended civilian casualties at all costs. The United States has agreed to delay the intended airstrikes allowing for Syrian officials and Assad to settle the issues at hand. Syrian foreign officials have admitted to having chemical weapons in their state. Although Syria doesn’t agree

to the current CWC they are aiming at Anyone who has a firm opinion on becoming members of the ban. Doing President Barack Obama’s plan to engage so would mean they would have to hand militarily in Syria must be aware of over their chemical weapon supplies. The specifics of a plan not yet announced by United States is holding off for the time mass media. The scope and consequences being, however, if the Syrian government of such an intervention remain unknown. doesn’t settle the issue with haste, action President Obama seemed to suggest that will be need to be taken by the United there are targets selected for some sort States and its allies. of airstrike. History tells us that one Intervention was seen in one similar should be wary of supporting a military case where the government was punishing incursion without understanding what the its citizens who attempted to objectives of that reform the government. The “Before putting lives military action United Kingdoms, France and at risk, we must ask are. Therefore, the United States led military to ourselves whether action opposition campaigns against Libya’s then will produce positive military action in current government during the results. The interests of Syria is prudent, 2011 Civil War in Libya. After neighboring states and especially given the fall of Libya’s heavy-handed volatile international powers the leader, Muammar Gadaffi, might change the tide at situation in the fighting ended and forces were troubled region. any moment.” pulled out, allowing the new In theory, government control of the state. one might be The states allied and took proper action a proponent of an action to punish an and in turn, they came to an agreeable oppressor who uses ghastly weapons resolution. Intervention will most often against his own people. Consistent and help, but can also proportional punishment have a downside due for bad acts may be a to collateral problems praiseworthy ambition, but created through the “The longer we wait does not always make for to intervene, the more realistic foreign policy. In this primary interference. problems appoach. Since situation, punishing Assad, Israel, a United Assad spread his forces the contemptible president States ally, shares out, more locations will of Syria, may have the a border with Syria require bombing.” and conflict between unintended consequence of the two states are not bolstering rebel factions allied uncommon. Hamas, with Al Qaeda. Furthermore, a Palestinian militant it may even encourage further group that has bombed Israel countless maliciousness from Assad as his back is times, supports the Syrian opposition. If pressed against the wall. and when the United States bombs key One should holistically consider all of Syrian outposts, retaliation against Israel, the implications of a military action and could occur. With everything put into not just the unjustness of the intended consideration, United States intervention target. Before putting lives at risk, we can be seen as a must for the sake of Syria must ask ourselves whether action will and its citizens. Action must be taken. produce positive results. The interests of

neighboring states and international powers might change the tide at any moment. If we should have learned anything from our engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan, it would be that we should carefully examine the ramifications of our involvements in that turbulent region. Considering the relationship between the United States and the people of that region, we should consider whether military action will further inflame any anti-Western beliefs. Collateral damage would likely result from any military strike. First, let’s consider the possibility, that Assad may know exactly where the United States will strike, and can move weaponry away from the strike-zone and move innocent people into the strikezone to either diminish the effectiveness of a strike, or increase the negative consequences of a strike. Another argument that is made to support intervention is that it will deter future use of chemical weapons. Obama’s “red-line” threatening military consequences after the use of chemical weapons did not deter Syria from using their chemical weapons. Even if Syria doubted that the United States would intervene, they likely could not have doubted that Israel would intervene. So how would any form of intervention now be a worthwhile solution? Obama declared in 2007 that he would never intervene unless a national security interest was identified that would justify military engagement. Such an interest has not been identified. We look back with sorrow and remorse at the terrible atrocities committed in Rwanda in the 1990s. There was no strategy proposed for military intervention then, just as there is no clear plan identified now. If after the state of affairs becomes clearer in Syria, and it seems though intervention might save lives and benefit American interests, than intervention might be worthwhile. But at this point, the benefits seem unlikely.

Smells like school spirit.... or does it? Once upon a time, students joined teachers and alumni, decked out in Columbia Blue and white, to cheer on Palmetto, their home team. Reminiscent of scenes in the movies, school pep rallies and communitywide parades led up to the big game. The parade traveled through the streets of Pinecrest, gathering elementary, middle and high school students together. The spectacle became an object of scrutiny due to the many dangers presented by having young children roaming around the busy streets. Today, students file into the gym for an hour of awkwardly forced pep, more excited about the prospect of skipping class than supporting the

football team. After the pep rallies, students rarely even care enough to ask how the team played that night. Rather than genuine pride, chanting the alma mater consists of students mumbling the words read off a sign plastered on the wall. Ask a student in the hall if they know the alma mater and the responses are limited to “Yes, I’m in Omega,” “What’s an alma mater?” and “No way.” Homecoming week, once a huge event full of chances to flaunt school spirit, has dissolved into nothing more than a football game filled with false hope and a dance followed by questionable after parties. When did homecoming lose its true meaning and spirit? Was it when

Stand your ground against Stand Your Ground

students started lying to their parents about their whereabouts? Was it when the theme was made “James Bond”, a franchise centered around alcohol and weapons? What about when a once humble event became a chance to flaunt one’s wealth and fashion choices? From tickets and transportation to tuxes and dresses, homecoming week can easily empty wallets. The main question is if one night is worth all of the trouble and expenses. The answer is yes. Most people only get a few high school homecomings – only a few opportunities to make memories that last a lifetime. There is no harm in splurging on a dress that makes a girl feel like a runway

PANTHER Staff Editorial

model or a tuxedo that makes a guy feel like James Bond. Chances are, even those silly costumes kids buy for spirit week will prove useful past “Decade Day.” After nail appointments after hair appointments after alteration appointments, the dance has finally arrived. Walking in, we’ve all noticed the girl in the skimpy dress that isn’t completely holding her in. “Beauty is pain” they say but who can enjoy

themselves while tugging on their dress all night? Seniors, take pride in the school for your final year and make the most out of homecoming. Acting too cool for school spirit can only hurt you. With so many fleeting moments of childhood, take advantage of playing dress-up and dancing for fun, not to impress. Make new memories on the dance floor with the friends you have had some of your best moments with.

Alexa Rubin

Staff Writer A massive outcry occurred in March of 2012 as America dealt with a controversial issue with the Stand Your Ground self-defense law, after the killing of the unarmed, Trayvon Martin. This law gives individuals the right to use deadly force to defend themselves when they feel victimized without any requirement to evade or retreat from a dangerous situation. With what seems like an expansion of the “Castle Doctrine”, which allows one to use force against an intruder protection, the law has been adopted by forty-six states, Florida being one of them. It is imperative that this kill now, ask later policy be repealed, as it is being used in court as an

excuse by habitual criminals for an intent defense and a way to truly get away with murder. My largest concern is that the immoral people are armed, going on a free-for-all killing spree and taking advantage of the law. Based off of many misunderstandings, there is potential for a major increase in violence and killings due to this cop-out law. More than we know, cases such as Zimmerman v Martin, occur all around us, but it seems as if we are all too gullible to believe it, or in fact see the truth. Stand Your Ground is nothing more than a way for criminals, thugs, and gang members to game the system, giving them an easier way to commit murder and be found not guilty. The injustice of this law creates not only controversial i s s u e s , but also the potential

loss of innocent lives. The last thing our country needs is more men like Zimmerman running around deeming innocent pedestrians as nefarious people. So how was Zimmerman armed with a loaded gun? Well, with the help of his Concealed Weapons Permit, his over zealous attitude is what seems to be far too common in America (a sick, unlawful man with a wicked mentality, in search of a reason to justify his right to be armed). More than ever, this simply encourages vindictive acts through violence and unsafe weapons. As a country, are we really going to let people get away with murder? The unintended results of the Zimmerman vs. Martin case continues to leave a sour taste in our mouths. All too often, perceived dangers are inconsistent and rely too much on a person’s subjective interpretation. One could ask someone to define a suspicious

“Th e Zim last th m in ped erman g our estr c ians runnin ountry g n as n efar around eeds is ious d m peo eemin ore m g in ple.” nno en like cen t

individual and one answer may be is a teenager wearing a hood and basketball shorts, whereas on the complete other end of the spectrum a response could be man in a ski mask wearing all black, holding a machete. The range is so wide and unpredictable that one could easily use their paranoid and twisted minds, to find a way to make a Diney Princess seem like a perpetrator. This all ties into racial profiling, and the lack of intelligence our community seems to obtain. All it takes for someone once a child, sibling, spouse, and friend’s life to be taken, is a strong opinion, a deadly weapon, and an act of what is claimed to be defense. Stand Your Ground is transforming everyday people, including criminals, into juries and judges, as they have the ability to take one’s life based off of their suspicions. With this right manipulated in a way not originally intended, it is crucial it be repealed, as too many have been put to death and can potentially be put to death, at hands of vigilante mindsets. America needs to wake up and stand their ground. We need to protect ourselves from those who claim to be protecting us.

-25 states, including Florida, have passed Stand Your Ground Laws -Stand Your Ground has been considered in Alaska, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Iowa -Justified homicides in Florida shot up from less than 50 to over 100 since 2005, when the law was passed INFOGRAPHIC BY ANNABEL SANZ

What keeps Palmetto’s identity alive? Sebastien Siclait

Staff Writer

If our school had to be compared to a type of puzzle game, it would most resemble a “Spot the Difference.” Every year a few aspects of Palmetto change, yet as a whole, it always remains the same picture This year, Miami Dade County Public Schools replaced an administrator, Mr. Gregory Beckford with Mr. Tierney Hunter. Also, Ms. Elizabeth Valero took over Ms. Angela Lima’s position as activities director. Last year, we took on assistant principals, Mr. Douglass Lobo and Ms. Bridgette Tate-wyche, and lost Mr. Clint Bales. The year before, we had one of the biggest

adjustments when our principal Mr. Howard Weiner retired and we gained our current principal Dr. Allison Harley. Not to mention that every single year the layout of teachers rotates in one way or another. Due to this, it may be hard to imagine that the Palmetto spirit lies entirely in the faculty. Each of those teachers teaches, or has taught, one or more of the myriad of courses that are placed together every year to form each student’s schedule. With this many possibilities, no two students have the same schedule and every year this lottery creates a different set of classes. With every hour plotted out differently each year, things seem like they would change dramatically, right? Not necessarily. In that case, the students must be what define Palmetto. As a student moves on through their years, they move with the entirety of their grade (given that they don’t drop out). However, every year, nearly one fourth of the student population is

replaced with a younger generation. So, that can’t be it. Not one of these past years made me feel like less of a Panther or that I was attending a school which was significantly different than the one I had left the June before. Underclassmen miss the seniors they’ve attached themselves to after graduation and others lament the inability to get placed in a specific teacher’s classroom because they retired or switched schools. Teachers lecture to classrooms where students are falling asleep and students procrastinate doing work until the very last second. At the end of the year, it’s still the same school. A certain spirit flows through these hallways, composed of a combination of every minuscule detail that has inhabited the school since 1958 when Miami Dade County opened the school doors. That spirit makes Palmetto students competitive against one other. It inspires them to drive towards success while still having as

much fun as they can. It is the same spirit that causes them to praise those who succeed through organizations and privileges and that makes us cough loudly in class to cover for those who fail to silence their phones. Perhaps something supernatural keeps Palmetto stagnant in its ideals. Something deep in the panthers on the walls that echo the core values into every single student’s subconscious until the day they graduate. Maybe it will continue until someone shuts down these crowded halls years from now. As far as it goes for me, I want everyone who follows in my footsteps to be given the opportunity to share in my many experiences, as hundreds of thousands have had before I even arrived. Scan this QR code to see what Palmetto students have to say about what has changed at Palmetto


Stranger Than

Fiction Hackers: Hackers:

Hackers: War games VS.

War games VS.


Facebook War games VS.


The person behind the throne once possessed all the power of influence. Today, the people who make an impact are those behind a computer. Yet, in the hands of the wrong computer aficionado, or “hacker”, this power can prove pernicious. The Cold War inspired film, “WarGames”, centers itself around a hacker of these sorts. David Lightman, a high school student played by a pre-“Ferris Bueller”, Matthew Broderick, finds his way into a government supercomputer, initiating a fake nuclear strike. You know, high school stuff. Somehow, things escalate to another level of trouble when it is made clear that the artificial intelligence (AI) within the computer hopes to begin its own nuclear war. You know, AI stuff. The movie was released 20 years before Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook. Nine years after its creation, a modern day hacker, Khalil Shreateh, effortlessly hacked into Zuckerberg’s personal Facebook profile and posted on his behalf. Shreateh attempted fruitlessly to inform Facebook security of the holes in their defense before taking more radical measures. Computationally proficient people usually aim to help fix websites or systems that are susceptible to hacking. Even 29 years after this danger proved itself legitimate enough to be a major plot point for Hollywood, people still do not take it seriously. Computer scientists have spent years expanding on technological applications, yet strangely enough they haven’t fully covered their tracks and have only created more systems that the wrong person with a computer could potentionally break into. For now, it is Facebook, but tomorrow we could have the next David Lightman on our hands.

Sebastien Siclait

Staff Writer

24 Smoothie King

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