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Taco Bell Comes Home End of Hot Hair Products

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                                                                                                                            The Student Voice
                                                                                                                               of Northport




Volume 40 No. 3               Northport High School, Northport N.Y. 768                                                       April , 2009


   In This Issue:
                           Taco Bell Comes Home
                           ¡Yo quiero Taco Bell! That’s right
                                                                                                                                        By Jesse Feitel


                           Northport High School nacho and
                           refried bean lovers, a dream many
                           of you were clinging to has come
                           true. The Larkfield Road Taco Bell
                           is reopening for business after a two-
                           year taco drought in the Northport-
                           East Northport area. The spot had
                           closed due to an apparent lack of
                           business, but ever since it did close,
                           the hype and demand for Taco Bell
                           created such a buzz in the area that
                           Taco Bell’s parent company decided
                           it would be wise to buy back the
 New HS Chef Stirs it Up   land and reopen the eatery.
         Page 5
                           The land on which the vacated shell          Creed would not give definitive        study program at the high school
                           of the restaurant stood was neglected        plans on what exactly will make        level. If a student at the high school
                           and has grown to be an eyesore for           this Taco Bell “state-of-the-art,” but signs up for the program, they are
                           those commuting on Larkfield. One            he did allude to service being made    guaranteed employment for hours
                           of the most challenging parts of             by a new computerized system           not conflicting with school, and paid
                           reopening the store will be to reshape       that would make ordering food          a starting salary that is competitive
                           the area into a place suitable to park       much easier, and would reduce the      with other businesses in the area.
                           your car and receive your food. In a         possibility of errors being made by    But what is truly interesting and
                           Rag exclusive, I was able to speak           traditional vocal ordering and the     new about this work program is
                           to Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed                  mispronouncing of Spanish words        that if you are a student enrolled in
     Cabaret Review        about undertaking the “Proyecto              by English-speaking customers.         it, no matter you or your family’s
         Page 6            Comedor de East Northport,” as               However cool the service may           economic situation, you are entitled
                           he calls it, and the challenges he           be, what cannot be changed is the      to 3 full meals from Taco Bell every
                           faces in reopening the store. “We at         quality of the food served. Creed      week. Not only will this food be
                           the Taco Bell Company are proud              made it very clear that the franchise  enough to feed you for three meals,
                           to reopen this location and begin            would be receiving only the best       but Taco Bell will feed whoever is
                           serving our familiar food to the area        quality food to serve, along with the  living in your house. After certifying
                           once again.”                                 best-trained workers to serve them.    the number of people who live in
                                                                                                               your house, Taco Bell gives you this
                           The question of whether the old              Creed told me exclusively about free food at the end of the shifts you
                           structure will be torn down to create        a new program the Taco Bell work during the week. “We hope,
                           a brand-new building for the facility,       company will be creating, and not only to provide great food to the
                           or the old building would be cleaned         that our local store will be the first community after a long time away,
                           up and just used as it had been in           to test it in action. In light of the but to show that we are committed
                           the past, was answered by Creed:             current economic crisis, they have to helping those who are in need of
                           “We plan on knocking down the old            created a work-study program that a boost during these tough times,”
                           facility, and we will instead, create        will benefit Northport students said Creed. Bottom line: Taco Bell
                           a new, state-of-the-art Taco Bell            looking for work. “Make A Taco, on Larkfield is coming back. And
                           location that is different than any          Get A Taco” is the name of the whether you hang out, eat, or work
 Berman on Watchmen        other of our stores throughout the           new program, which in essence there, it is certainly una fuerza
        Page 9             country.” Sound intriguing? Well,            works similarly to a regular work- positiva en nuestra comunidad.


                           End of Hot Hair Products                                                                                  By Amanda Levy

                                                                                                                  a hurry to class, the curler could
                           Heated hair products are soon to be          An incident in Binghamton was
                           made illegal in New York State. This         recently brought up as an example         catch on fire. Not only is the heat
                           is no misprint: Illegal. New York’s          of the danger: An infant was playing      ruining your hair and scalp, but it
                           legislature is tackling the dangers          around with his mother’s curler. As       also increases your risk of being
                           these products pose to the general           soon as he clutched it, his entire hand   immolated. Why risk your well-
                           public. The risks of getting severely        was burned. It caused a scar that         being over it?
                           burned by hair-straighteners and             will last a lifetime. As a result, the
       Ties New CD         hair-curlers are high. According to          state is taking steps towards a safer     Rumor has it many girls across
          Page 0          reliable sources, hair-straighteners         environment. Over the last several        the state will be attempting to get
                           can reach temperatures of up to 350          years, severe burns from such hair        a petition together, however, the
                           degrees. Worse, with curlers you             products have been incredibly             legilature seems intent on holding
                           can’t even manage the heat settings.         common. Further, if you’re curling        firm in its position over this.
                           This is a gigantic public safety             your hair before school and forget
                           issue.                                       to shut it off because you were in
The Rag                                                                       2                                                           April , 2009


More Spending on New Vending Machines                                                                                                          By Scott Berman

Northport High School will be            machine, and a Red Bull vending       receiving a Nesquik machine and a
receiving a number of new snack          machine. The soda has been gone       Pop Tart machine. Former students
and drink vending machines in            from the high school since 2006,      of East Northport Middle School
mid-May. Originally, the school          and students are excited over its     remember that school’s Nesquik
was going to get new ones over the       return.                               machine full of interesting flavors.
summer, but decided to get them in                                             Well, Northport High School will
early before the school year ends        The Red Bull machine is very finally have its own, and it will be
in order to jump-start the district’s    innovative, and requires a special filled with plenty of flavors. The
cash-flow during the economic            “credit card,” issued individually to Pop Tart machine will also contain
crisis.                                  students only after a parent form has many different flavors. Every row of
                                         been filled out. The card will keep Pop Tarts in the machine will have
The small cafeteria will finally have    track of how many Red Bulls you different flavors so you never run
vending machines, so you won’t           buy from the machine in one day, out of variety. Everybody knows
have to take the long walk all the       and limit you to only two cans a day how fast a certain flavor of Pop Tart
way to the large cafeteria anymore.      for obvious health reasons. The Red disappears from the regular vending
The large cafeteria contains vending     Bull machine will not accept cash, machine in the large cafeteria.
machines for Snapple, snacks, ice        and because of its school-friendly Well, no more of that! These may
cream, and miscellaneous beverages.      payment method, will actually begin not solve the economic crisis, but
The second snack machine and the         appearing in more high schools Northport is going to have quite a
one full of Hawaiian Punch, Brisk        across Long Island.                   variety of snacks and drinks come
Iced Tea, and Vitamin Water will go.                                           May. It’s been a long time coming,
They will be replaced with a Coke        The small cafeteria, will be but they will be here very soon.


Board OKs Late Start and 8 Period Day                                                                                                            By Celia Bever

Junior Angela Gallo is a typical      Finally, the school board has               ecstatic to hear about the changes. “I   procrastinate,” says board member
NHS student. She’s taking two AP      embraced a solution and has                 think my grades will really improve,”    Carol Geller. While possibly true,
classes this year, runs on the girls’ decided to take action. Starting            Lewis says. But sophomore Carla          there were enough teachers and
track team, and participates in       September, the school day will be           Partridge was outraged when she          parents who used research that
Students for 60,000. And although     cut to eight periods. The day will          learned she’d have to re-evaluate        explained the necessity of sleep for
she tries to manage her time well,    still end at 2:50, but it won’t begin       her already bursting schedule. She       teenagers to rebut Geller and other
Gallo rarely makes it to bed before   until 8:30. Although it appears this        sings in the Women’s Ensemble,           skeptics.
midnight and usually not until one in should satisfy athletes and those           plays flute in the band, and takes
the morning, giving her an average    students whose homework load gets           Early Child Ed. These electives          Jason Quigley, board member and
of five to six hours of sleep a night.in the way of their sleep schedule, a       already fill up the nine-period day,     father of two NHS students, is a
                                      concern and point of controversy is         without even leaving any room for        strong advocate of the shortened
“I end up being so tired during that the relinquished period will be              a lunch period. The shortened day        day. “It’s scientifically proven that
school that I can’t focus, which a students’ second elective.                     will mean choosing between her           getting less than six hours of sleep
means I have to spend more time                                                   love of music and her aspirations        a night slows down a brain’s ability
on homework the next night. And “I think it will be kind of mixed,”               of becoming an elementary school         to function by up to 30%. I’m not
the cycle just continues,” she says. senior Stephen Forrester says of the         teacher. “I can’t believe I have to      sure how we can expect to educate
Gallo is hardly alone. Extensive students’ response to the changes.               give up one of the three periods I       our kids if they’re half-asleep,
research has shown that although “The smart kids will be happy to                 actually enjoy during the day just       and sometimes completely asleep,
teenagers need at least eight to ten get an extra hour of sleep and all the       so everyone else can be even lazier      during the school day. But whether
hours of sleep a night, the average kids who don’t care about school              than they already are,” she says.        or not they actually use the extra
high school student only gets will be happy to have a shorter day,                                                         time given to them to sleep isn’t the
between four and six. Despite this, but the middle-of-the-road kids               Luckily for Partridge, some issue. That responsibility falls on
schools continue to ring the first might be upset to lose an elective.”           departments are negotiating a “zero the parents, not the school district.
period bell at ridiculously early Forrester’s analysis, it appears,               period.” This would be at the same Shortening the school day is all we
hours. Teachers and parents, as well turns out to be generally true.              time as the current first period and can do to encourage it and I feel
as students, have been frustrated                                                 would be filled with classes like it is our duty,” he says. Quigley’s
for years over the early start of the Madison Lewis, a junior in the IB           Band, Studio in Art, and the required research and reason ultimately
school day. But after-school sports Program who frequently gets less              Health elective for eleventh and trounced Geller’s cynicism. The
schedules have always stood in the than five hours sleep per night, and           twelfth graders. Also, programs school board voted for the change
way of any changes.                   Kevin Andopolis, a self-proclaimed          like the Academy of Information to be implemented at the start of
                                      slacker in the freshmen class, were         Technology and the Academy of next year.
                                                                                  Finance that require more than
                                                                                  one elective taken in a single year For years the school day played
                                                                                  would offer some courses during the part of an overachiever, trying
                                                                                  zero period.                             to squeeze in sports, academics
                                                                                                                           and electives at the expense of a
                                                                                  Besides students unwilling to give good night’s sleep. But finally it
                                                                                  up an elective, other opponents of has reached the breaking point.
                                                                                  the change include teachers and The board has heard the snores of
                                                                                  board members who don’t believe students catching a nap during class
                                                                                  starting school later will necessarily and actually done something about
                                                                                  lead to more sleep. “Most students it. But whether students’ academic
                                                                                  could finish all their work if they performance actually goes up, or
                                                                                  did it as soon as they got home Geller’s prediction comes true, will
                                                                                  from school or sports. But they put only be revealed next year, when the
                                                                                  it off and that leads to late nights. If era of the eight-period day begins.
                                                                                  we give them another hour to sleep
                                                                                  they’ll just use it as another hour to
                                                                                  3

                                                                                                                                       The Student Voice
                                                                                                                                          of Northport




Volume 40 No. 3                              Northport High School, Northport N.Y. 768                                                           April 2009

A New Hope for the Future of Education                                                                                                              By Celia Bever

Newly inaugurated President Barack        Currently, the US falls at twelfth
Obama already has his hands full          in the category of adults aged 25-
with projects aimed at expanding          34 with an associate degree or
healthcare coverage, sponsoring           higher, after such countries as
alternative energy sources to reduce      Canada, Japan, and Korea, ahead
global warming, and withdrawing           by as much as 16%. The scariest
from Iraq, not to mention the not-        aspect of the statistic is the decline
so-minor issue of revitalizing the        they show in Americans attaining a
collapsing economy.                       college degree. The US is second
                                          in percentage of citizens with a
But that doesn’t mean he’s forgotten      bachelor’s degree ages 25-64 (after
about the promises he made during         Norway), but sixth in the 25-34 age
his campaign regarding education.         bracket. This shows that, while the
His agenda for reforms include            US used to be ahead in statistics (ages
improving the quality of teachers,        35-64), other countries have grown
setting higher standards for students,    at a faster rate than America.          Because of increases in tuition, the     chance of stability than private
reforming Bush’s “No Child Left                                                   percentage a Pell Grant covers has       loans. They would also have such
Behind” Act of 2001, and numerous         But President Obama isn’t just decreased from over half the tuition              features as consolidation, where
other changes. While the reforms          talking about some general ideal of a public university to a third.              repayment schedules would take
aim to make positive changes for the      for the future. His specific plans for Hopefully, this can be prevented          into consideration the income of the
next generation of students, and by       increasing the number of Americans from decreasing further in the                family.
extension, the country as a whole,        going to, and completing, college future. Obama will also push for a
the proposed changes won’t have           mostly deal with making college $2,500 per year tuition tax credit               As President Obama juggles the
much effect on current high school        more affordable. He plans to push for families in need. This could be            multiple plans he has, in order to
students. He has, however, included       for a raise in the maximum amount even more incentive for families to            tackle the various challenges he
some proposals that would increase        of a Pell Grant award to $5,500. put their children through college.             faces, education seems to be one he
college access, something that will       Pell Grants are federal, need-based Finally, Obama’s 2010 budget                 isn’t going to give up on quickly.
undoubtedly have an impact on             aid. The current maximum award is includes the abolishment of the                As he says, “The future belongs
teenagers across the country.             $4,050. Although earlier this year Federal Family Education Loan                 to the nation that best educates its
                                          the max was pushed up to $4,860 Program —a system under which                    citizens.”
Obama’s long-term goal regarding          through the American Recovery and private banks lend to students but
higher education is to have the           Reinvestment Act (better known as can then charge high interest rates—
highest proportion of college             the “stimulus plan”), he claims he and switch completely to “Direct
graduates in the world by 2020.           will boost it further, while keeping Loan,” which would be federally
                                          inflation in mind.                      regulated and would have a better

E-Team’s Snowy Expedition a Success                                                                                                              By Scott Berman

The E-Team took their second              Overall, each trail offered its own         while hiking up the mountains,       know that down here in Northport,
traditional school trip to the White      set of challenges, and even though it       everybody seemed to get over that    that’s considered pretty cold, but up
Mountains, New Hampshire, in              was the cause of much debate on the         and saw the bright side of things.   there that’s considered practically a
early February. For those who don’t       trip, nobody could conclusively say         The weather was surprisingly         tropical paradise.
realize, this is the trip for which the   which one was harder. Everybody             cooperative, since there was a
E-Team intensively trains during          had a great time on this unique trip,       relative heat wave up there: day-    You learn a lot about yourself on a trip
most of the school year. Weeks and        and even though there was a decent          time temperatures were around 25-    like this. You have to push yourself
weeks before we left, we had been         amount of carping and quarreling            30 degrees on the mountain. Now, I   in some of the hardest ways, work
going on day hikes for practice, with                                                                                      together, deal with conditions as
heavy packs strapped to our backs.                                                                                         you find them, and cope with having
All that practice really paid off.                                                                                         absolutely no high-tech equipment
                                                                                                                           other than a flashlight. The whole
E-Team ‘09’s trip to the White                                                                                             mission and message of E-Team
Mountains was excellent, and                                                                                               is to be able to work together and
definitely a trip everyone on the                                                                                          build friendships while enduring
team will remember. For about two                                                                                          the strongest of challenges. That
of the six days, the team split in half                                                                                    mission was carried out perfectly
to hike up two separate mountain                                                                                           on this year’s White Mountains trip,
trails. One is Carter Notch and is                                                                                         and everything went really well. I
about 3.8 miles long, with lots of                                                                                         hope future E-Teams have just as
challenging hills and inclines the                                                                                         much success —and fun— as we
whole way up. The other is Zealand                                                                                         did on this awesome trip.
Falls and is about 7.2 miles long,
and although it is longer it is also
more flat with much less of an
incline than Carter.
                                                                        4




                                  Catching Up
                                         With Seniors
What will you miss most about Northport High School?




Andrea Miller                                     Tom Confer                                       Luci Alpers
“My friends, because they’re all going to         “The teachers, since most of them have been so   “The great art program, especially Mr. Nunz
different colleges.”                              much fun.”                                       for sculpture and Ms. Minardi for drawing and
                                                                                                   painting.”




Leslie Barry                                      Nicole Mauriello                                 Susie Gannon
“I can’t think of anything right now, I’m more    “I’m going to miss seeing my friends every       “I’ll miss seeing familiar faces, like the people
focused on what I’m going to do in the future.”   day.”                                            I’ve been friends with since elementary school.”




Lizzy Grando                                       Tyler Logigian                                   Chelsea Wolf
“Daverio, aka Pillich.”                            “I’ll miss Students for 60 Thousand the most,    “Seeing my friends every day and being in this
                                                   and the trips to Nicaragua.”                     environment.”
Feature                                                                             5                                                               April 2009
Governor Flanagan?                                                                                                                                        By Jesse Feitel
Was it a Freudian slip of the             and attention to our area. But he
unguarded mind? Or maybe an               also mentioned that, because he is
intentional slip to arouse curiosity      now tapped less for his opinion, his
and gain attention. Either way, at a      workload has decreased, which has
student press conference attended         led to, in his words, many “inquiring
by some of the Rag’s reporters and        about a run for governor of New
editors, New York State Senator           York.” According to a March
John Flanagan admitted he has been        report published in the New York
asked about -and is considering- a        Daily News, “Things are so bad
possible run for governor.                for Gov. Paterson that he’s more
                                          unpopular than Eliot Spitzer was
The senator, who resides in East          when he was frolicking with high-
Northport and has deep roots in           priced hookers.” So, if Paterson’s
                                                                              such as regular soda and iTunes                     support for a park and recreation
our community, was responding to          approval is at such a low point,
                                                                              music downloads, have raised                        facility on the environmentally
this reporter’s question of whether       wouldn’t a fresh face from the
                                                                              concerns about Governor Paterson’s                  fragile decomissioned Kings Park
his being placed in the political         Republican Party brighten the state
                                                                              executive abilities. According to                   psychiatric center. Also notable is his
minority (as a result of the elections    of New York’s outlook? Flanagan,
                                                                              Flanagan’s website, “(Senator                       dogged commitment to education.
in November placing the New               it appears, would think so.
                                                                              Flanagan) helped create the STAR                    Throughout the press conference,
York State Senate in Democratic
                                                                              rebate program to deliver property                  Flanagan made clear he was deeply
Party control) diminished his             With the government now finally in
                                                                              tax relief in the form of a rebate                  committed to helping further our
power and influence in the New            the hands of enthused Democrats,
                                                                              check and has continually fought                    state’s education system, and said he
York State government. While              a Republican becoming governor
                                                                              to expand the STAR program.”                        would make it a top priority to get
much of the press conference had          of New York might seem unlikely,
                                                                              The site also goes on to say that                   Federal Stimulus Package money to
been dominated by seemingly soft-         at best. But many New Yorkers
                                                                              Flanagan is an outspoken critic of                  our local school district.
ball questions –referring to local        might certainly be interested in
                                                                              the recent state budget, and that he
projects and problems– this one           Flanagan’s experience and talent,
                                                                              has argued for budget reforms that                  While nothing official has been
seemed to catch him off guard.            recent bizarre behavior during the
                                                                              will improve New York’s financial                   announced by Flanagan’s office or
In his answer to this particular          selection process for a replacement
                                                                              health while preventing burdensome                  by the senator himself, the sheer
question, he mentioned that he had        to Senator Hillary Clinton, a
                                                                              tax increases.                                      mention of the word “governor” by
been in the political minority before,    decision to lay off thousands of
                                                                                                                                  a state senator who seems ready to
and had still been able to exercise       state workers, proposals to cut
                                                                              Locally, Flanagan is well known                     take on such a role should set off
influence, and nothing would slow         health care and education funding,
                                                                              for his commitment to local                         an alert that some news could be
him down from fighting for funds          and suggestions to tax such items
                                                                              Long Islanders, including his                       breaking soon. Stay tuned.


New Chef Brings Fresh Flavor to NHS                                                                                                                     By Vicky Walters

Northport students buying lunch of        which Dougherty is still involved
late may have noticed the cafeteria’s     but slowly handing the reins over to
newest head chef, Joe Dougherty.          his children.
Chef Dougherty is a recent addition
to the Northport High School staff        Dougherty, though new to our
and one of Andrew Bromm’s (new            cafeteria, is no stranger to the
director of Food Services) first          school itself and very excited to be
important hires. Dougherty comes to       here. “It’s right around the block,
Northport with a varied background        and it’s full of wonderful people,”
in the art of food preparation. This      he says, when pulled from the
might be his first time working in        fourth period lunchtime rush for a
a high school cafeteria but he’s no       brief interview. It is obvious from
novice in the kitchen. Dougherty          his tone and words that he enjoys
worked at two well-known local            being at the school in a professional
establishments: Link’s Log Cabin          setting and even more evident that
and Karl’s Mariners Inn (both             the staff and students are taking
now demolished and replaced with          note of his presence. During his
McMansions).       Also, Northport        interview several staff members
                                                                                the reviews to heart and plans on                 the quality of lunch, and giving
students (and their parents) might        paused to comment on how lucky
                                                                                listening to student opinions and                 students more options on the line.
be familiar with Patty Joe’s Grill,       Northport is with the new addition
                                                                                ideas on the lunch menu as he starts              His ideas seem to line up with those
a Kings Park establishment with           to its staffing. Dougherty is taking
                                                                                to change things around.                          of Andrew Bromm, described in a
                                                                                                                                  November 2008 interview with Rag
                                                                                        Our new chef has great plans              reporter Celia Bever. Dougherty
                Name Your Own Sandwich                                                  for Northport, and, once he gets          wants to make meals “more current
  CHEF DOUGHERTY WANTS YOUR IDEAS FOR SANDWICHES                                        acclimated to the new environment,        and healthier,” speaking of adding
  Fill in this box, cut it out, and give it to a USN representative to contribute       students will be able to see the          salads and wraps to the menu. His
                                                                                        changes occurring behind the oven.        main goal is to encourage more
  SANDWICH NAME:___________________________________                                     Dougherty wants to break with the         students to stay in during their
                                                                                        “cafeteria stereotype” and give our       lunch periods and pay affordable
  ______________________________________________________                                lunch a more “restaurant” vibe. He        lunch prices rather than paying an
                                                                                        already has plans to give the cafeteria   exorbitant amount for a sandwich
  INGREDIENTS:_______________________________________                                   a more classy appeal by getting the       and a soda. “Students are going
                                                                                        art department to make signs and          to know what they like,” finishes
  _____________________________________________________                                 murals to advertise the daily menu.       Dougherty, and as of now it looks
                                                                                        At this time, Northport doesn’t have      like the students of Northport are
  _____________________________________________________                                 any form of in-house advertisements       going to like the new improvements
                                                                                        for our daily lunches. He also shows      to our menu and our cafeteria staff.
                                                                                        a definite interest in both improving
The Rag                                                                            6                                                               Feature

These Stressful Teenage Years                                                                                                                     By Amanda Levy

Ever feel like ripping your hair          endorphins, which make you feel journal or just drawing a picture                   don’t sleep to an extreme. This can
out or just screaming for relief?         better.                         works the same way.                                 be extremely unhealthy.
Welcome to stress. Teen years are
one of the most stressful times in        Take a step back and try to see                                             Throughout your day you can
                                                                                       Usually, when you’re stressed you
life. There are school grades, peer       yourself from an observer’s                                                 prevent stress. It all starts with
                                                                                       have a lot of built up adrenaline.
pressure, parents, social drama,          perspective. Perhaps, try to see                                            how you start your day. In the
                                                                                       Instead of ripping your head off, go
and the simple fact of growing up.        yourself in a comedy. Sometimes,             for a quick jog. Running is a simple
                                                                                                                      morning, be sure to put on some
All of these things lead teenagers        when you try to see yourself in a                                           music. It creates positive energy.
                                                                                       an easy way to release all of your
to sleepless nights, horrible diets,      sitcom, you can find the humor of                                           Additionally, drinking green tea
                                                                                       energy, and it gets you active, too.
and feelings of isolation. Although       things. The key to being able to                                            is a good idea. It’s a nice soothing
sometimes stress is a good thing, it      relax is to laugh.                  Get off your butt and call a friend. activity. While you’re having your
can often be too much to deal with.                                           Just talking about what’s on your green tea, be sure to have a balanced
Here are some ways to deal with           When you have a busy schedule mind immediately gives you breakfast. Having a healthy meal
stress:                                   it’s important to take time out for closure. You’ll start feeling better in in the morning can balance sugar
                                          yourself. Perhaps you could just no time.                                   levels and give you the ability to
First things first: you need to realize   listen to music in your room. Even                                          handle mental and physical stress.
that there’s no reason to be so           if you’re lying down, it allows you Sleeping is also a good stress
overwhelmed and caught up. Start          to think over your day. You can’t reliever. You should get from 7-9 Take a deep breath; you can get over
with a simple smile. Studies show         go wrong with organizing your hours of sleep a night. However, the rough times.
that when you smile, you release          thoughts. In addition, keeping a


Life was a Cabaret, Old Chum                                                                                                                   By Mackenzie Gavel

“Willkommen,            bienvenue,        Gannon, James Lowenthal, and
welcome, im Cabaret, au Cabaret,          Kelly Gresalfi. Paired with the fun
to Cabaret...” These lyrics, among        and exuberance of the German
many others could not help but            Sailors, the spectacular Kit Kat Girls
captivate the audience as much of         and numerous eccentric characters,
Northport High School witnessed           the stage was transformed into a
the Powdered Wigs’ musical                place of desperate pleasure, where
production of Cabaret.                    hardship and love did not always
                                          serve to balance each other.
From the moment the actors set foot
on stage, the presence of a different     The ability of the actors to display
time, a different place, drew the         their talents and the full effect
audience into what would be an            of Cabaret could not have been
engaging and thought-provoking            achieved without the relentless
performance. No longer merely                                            technical director, along with
                                          efforts of the production staff.                                                    Choreographed beautifully with the
students in a high school, the            As director of Cabaret, Mrs.   Dylan Gerow, Sam Llewellyn,                          help of Ms. Mastrocinque, Cabaret
immense dedication, talent, and                                          Dan Cuomo and Chris Xavier,
                                          Rozell spent countless late nights                                                  was truly a sight to see. The work
hard work was reflected in every                                         truly outdid themselves as they
                                          putting her all into ensuring the                                                   of the Pit Orchestra, directed by
actor as though effortless, as though                                    cleverly found ways to manipulate
                                          production ran smoothly. Producer                                                   Mrs. Rush, completed its overall
they had all been born to the roles                                      the sets to portray the gloom of
                                          Mr. Levine and vocal director Mr.                                                   magnificence. The lively flow of
they played.                              Doyle helped all the actors develop
                                                                         heavy politics juxtaposed with the                   the music provided a sort of escape
                                                                         façade of frivolousness portrayed
                                          their contributions to their fullest                                                to the viewer – an escape which
The stage set transported us to a time                                   by most of the characters. The
                                          potentials. Student directors Marisa                                                opened the doors to allow all of
where living a life full of superficial   Andrews and Marissa Lieberman- sets enhanced and highlighted the                    the actors to personally relate and
pleasure and amusement concealed          Klein, along with student producers
                                                                         amazing costumes. Thanks to the                      appeal to the audience. Cabaret was,
the dreadful politics looming over        Kathryn Murphy and Melissa Reilly
                                                                         hard work of the costume crew, led                   without a doubt, a production which
1920’s Berlin. The characters of                                         by Ms. Randazzo and Ms. O’Neill-
                                          also spent endless hours working to                                                 will not fade into the background
that time returned, thanks to the                                        Gonzalez, the actors were able to
                                          make the show everything it could                                                   any time soon. Cabaret was utterly
incredible acting skills of all,          possibly be and more.          embrace their roles, wrapped as they                 spectacular. Five Stars to Cabaret
including leads Danny Meglio,                                            were, in garments that transformed                   and all who helped make this
Andrew Cowie, Jordan Firstman,            The tech crew, headed by Peter and transported them to another                      production possible.
Chris Hlinka, Meghan Flynn, Susie         Houmere, the set design and place and time.
Feature                                                                          7                                                              April 2009

A Glamorous Golden Icon                                                                                                                    By Samantha Lowenkron

The Academy Awards, better known         true, his charm and obvious talent
as the Oscars, took place on February    at entertaining crowds left the
22, 2009. Held once again at the         audience wanting more, which is
Kodak Theater in Los Angeles, this       why he may be asked to host again
year’s ceremony –the 81st– featured      next year.
just about every movie star who
could fly in to Hollywood – whether      One of the most respected awards
American, British, or Indian. Present    to win is Best Picture. This year’s
were Meryl Streep, (who holds the        nominees were The Reader, Slumdog
record for most Oscar nominations        Millionaire, Frost/Nixon, The
with fifteen), Anne Hathaway, Sean       Curious Case of Benjamin Button,
Penn, Kate Winslet, and even Miley       and Revolutionary Road. Slumdog
Cyrus.                                   Millionaire, as expected, emerged
                                         victorious as Best Picture of 2009.
This year the ceremonies opened          Slumdog Millionaire (released on
with a musical number from host          DVD April 1st) is a heartfelt film
Hugh Jackman, in which he sang           about a boy, Jamal, who appears
a comedic song involving all the         on India’s version of Who Wants
movies nominated for best picture. A     to Be A Millionaire? in the hope            Ho), and Best Adapted Screenplay.         Smile Pinki was Best Documentary
surprise came when Anne Hathaway         of finding his childhood love. The                                                    Short Subject. Best Live Action
joined him on stage to finish the        emcee of the show suspects Jamal is         Aside from the mudslide of awards         Short went to Spielzeugland
song. Other performances included        cheating and has the police question        won by Slumdog Millionaire, other         (Toyland), Best Sound Editing
a number by R&B artist Beyoncé,          him. As he explains how he knows            winners included Sean Penn for            to the Dark Knight, Best Foreign
who was joined by Amanda Seyfried        the answers, flashbacks show parts          Best Actor in Milk, Kate Winslet for      Film to Departures, and Best
from Mamma Mia! as well as High          of his tough, miserable childhood.          Best Actress in The Reader, the late      Animated Short to La Maison en
School Musical stars Zac Efron and       The movie depicts poverty at its            Heath Ledger as Best Supporting           Petits Cubes. The Curious Case
Vanessa Anne Hudgens for a jazz          bleakest. We follow the harsh life of       Actor in The Dark Knight, Penélope        of Benjamin Button received the
number towards the mid-point of          Jamal and his brother Salim as they         Cruz as Best Supporting Actress in        second-most Academy Awards this
the awards show.                         fight to survive. The movie not only        Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and Milk        year with Best Art Direction, Best
                                         won Best Picture, but eight other           as Best Original Screenplay.              Makeup, and Best Visual Effects.
Hugh Jackman, well known for             Academy Awards as well, including                                                     The 2009 Academy Awards were a
his part in the XMen movies as           Best Director (Danny Boyle), Best           Best Animated Feature went to             success despite the much-discussed
Wolverine, graced the stage as he        Cinematography, Best Film Editing,          Disney’s Wall-E, Best Costume             pall cast over Hollywood by the
hosted the prestigious awards show.      Best Original Score, Best Sound             Design to The Duchess, Man on Wire        economic crisis, and the Oscars
Not only were his witty remarks          Mixing, Best Original Song (Jai             was Best Documentary Feature, and         look to continue their successes for
                                                                                                                               many years to come.

SAT or ACT, It’s the Grade That Counts                                                                                                          By Mackenzie Gavel
As most students in Northport High       (www.actstudent.org). The quote             total of 3 hours and 45 minutes to
School anticipate the joys typically     actually does a rather decent job in        complete. Another draw which most
associated with the arrival of spring,   summarizing the main difference             students find rather appealing on
many juniors are, unfortunately,         between the two tests. Though both          the ACT, is the fact that there is no
trapped in their rooms, slaving          tests are often accepted by many            penalty for guessing. ACT scoring
away in an attempt to prepare for        four-year universities, the tests           is based purely on the number of
standardized tests – including           themselves are structured rather            correct responses, compared to
college testing. The SAT and ACT         differently. While the SAT focuses          the SAT, on which a quarter of a
are the two well-known contenders.       on math and English, the ACT also           point is deducted for each incorrect
A question many juniors face during      has a section composed of questions         response given. The SAT, however,
their months of preparation is: what     directed towards the test-taker’s           is requested/required more often
is the benefit of taking the SAT over    knowledge of the sciences. Though           by college admissions offices for
the ACT, or vice versa?                  some students may find this tedious,        reasons beyond the scope of this
                                         the ACT test, in a way, compensates         article. Many students, are likely
  “The ACT is an achievement             by setting the total testing time at        to feel more comfortable taking a
test, measuring what a student has       a “mere” 2 hours and 50 minutes             test they know about, and gravitate
learned in school. The SAT is more       (plus an additional 30 minutes if           toward the test their parents took.
of an aptitude test, testing reasoning   the student is also completing the          Taylor Hanley, a current freshman
and verbal abilities.” states the        “recommended” ACT Writing Plus).            at Northport High School, said,
ACT Corporation on their website         The SAT, on the other hand, takes a         “My parents took the SAT when
                                                                                     they were applying to colleges, and
                                                                                     I just feel better taking a test that I
                                                                                                                           seek admission requires a certain
                                                                                     know more about. I’m sure the ACT     score on a specific entrance exam.
                                                                                     is just as great, but the SAT is just As always, you should consult your
                                                                                     something with which I’m more         counselor for in-depth, professional
                                                                                     familiar and comfortable.”            guidance. So, really, what it comes
                                                                                                                           down to, juniors, is this: take the test
                                                                                     Whether you decide to take the that will help you shine the most in
                                                                                     ACT or SAT is generally up to you the admissions office of the colleges
                                                                                     - and you alone. No one can make you want to attend. Oh yes, and get
                                                                                     this decision for you, and both tests good grades in school.
                                                                                     have their perks and downsides.
                                                                                     There are many factors to take into
                                                                                     consideration, not the least of which
                                                                                     is whether the college to which you
       Arts and Entertainment
                                                                                  8




We The Living Concert Enlivens Northport                                                                                                           By Carina Livoti

On Wednesday, February 26, We
the Living performed a benefit           The Schools for Schools Project
concert at NHS to support the            is an outgrowth of the Invisible
Schools for Schools Project.             Children movement. This unique
About one hundred attended the           initiative rallies schools from all
band’s lively performance, and all       over the world to raise money to
thoroughly enjoyed themselves.           rebuild the education system in
Kristina Guariello, who went to the      war-torn Northern Uganda. Though
show, described the performance          northern Uganda was once home to
as “energetic, fun, and cool.” Band      some of Uganda’s finest schools,
members spent considerable time          the education standards have since
after the show selling merchandise,      dropped and are in dire need of
                                                                                      pursuing higher education after a       Funds raised by the Schools for
signing autographs and chatting          attention. Students lack adequate
                                                                                      receiving such a lackluster post-       Schools project at Northport High
with students. We the Living has         facilities and supplies; an entire
                                                                                      primary education. To prepare these     School go directly to Atanga
been on a benefit tour for Invisible     school may consist of only three
                                                                                      young minds for their lives and the     Secondary school. With growing
Children for months, performing          or four classrooms in very poor
                                                                                      future of their country, the Schools    support from the student body, the
at various venues and donating its       condition and student-to-teacher
                                                                                      for School project is working to        group hopes to continue to increase
profits to the cause. They plan to       ratios are as high as sixty to one. In
                                                                                      rebuild ten of the region’s most        awareness of the plight of Northern
return to Northport High School          addition, children who are fortunate
                                                                                      promising secondary schools.            Ugandan children and to raise more
next October for another concert.        enough to go to school have difficulty
                                                                                                                              funds.


Elegant Hedgehogs? Yeah, Right.                                                                                                                      By Celia Bever

The first thing that caught my           the hotel, brings them together and          sure her secret stays
attention about The Elegance of the      makes them realize all the things            hidden. But the
Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery, was         that, despite their intelligence, they       effort seems rather
of course its title. Eager to discover   had never seen before.                       conceited, as none of
what the elegance of the hedgehog                                                     the wealthy tenants
actually was, I read the inside of       The first third of the book is good,         of the hotel notice
the cover. Nothing there pointed to      to say the least. It is a back and forth     her enough to care
an answer. It did, however, present      narration between Paloma and Renée           about her IQ, even if
what appeared to be an interesting       and is made up of short chapters             they knew how high
storyline.                               that discuss life, culture, beauty,          it actually was. As
                                         intelligence, and class. Although            this consumes Renée,
The book centers on two female           there is no action to keep this part         Paloma is shoved
characters who are absolutely            of the story moving, nothing about           aside, only making
brilliant but go to great lengths to     it is boring or monotonous. Every            brief    appearances
hide it from the world. The elder        segment is thought-provoking and             to reinforce the
protagonist, Renée Michel, is a          captivating. For example, in one of          central storyline. So
fifty-four-year-old concierge in an      Paloma’s “Profound Thoughts” (a              rather than having
expensive hotel in Paris, the Hôtel      project of hers before she dies is to        more of Paloma’s
de Lassey. She is careful to hide        write as many “Profound Thoughts”            charming “Profound
any evidence that she isn’t actually     as     possible),      she    describes      Thoughts”,          the
the bumbling, simple moron she           interactions between her sister and          reader is treated to
pretends to be. Rather, Renée is         some of her friends, young people            some of Renée’s
more intelligent and more cultured       considered the “elite” for their             nuttier observations,
than any of the residents of the hotel   social-consciousness and high level          including a page-
who look down on her, when they          of education. But Paloma says, “The          long ode to Ozu’s
aren’t downright ignoring her. The       only difference I can see between            bathroom. “The toilet
other protagonist is Paloma Josse,       Colombe, her friends, and a gang             paper is a candidate for sainthood,”    eloquence don’t necessarily make
younger daughter of one of the rich      of ‘working class’ kids is that my           she says, without any trace of humor.   a novelist. Her lack of storytelling
families that occupies the Hôtel de      sister and her chums are stupider.           The end of the book is surprising       ability hurt the majority of the book.
Lassey. Paloma is twelve years old       They drink and smoke and talk as             and satisfying (although probably       So the question is, should Barbery
but more in tune with the world          if they were from the projects.” She         only to me), but the last half had      have stuck with just a string of short
than her educated, “socially aware”      goes on to report conversations in           become so sappy and exasperating        essays, or was she right in attempting
family. Overcome with the belief         which they manage to fit the words           that it was too far gone to make any    to add a storyline? While the former
that life has no meaning, Paloma is      “metaphysical ontology” into the             significant, positive impression.       wouldn’t really have been a novel,
preparing to commit suicide on her       same breath as “fly, yo?”. It’s this                                                 as the book progressed it began to
thirteenth birthday, immediately         kind of biting social commentary The Elegance of the Hedgehog                        seem increasingly preferable to the
after setting fire to her extravagant    that gives the book its charm.           was originally published in France          latter upon which she settled. My
apartment. Although they live in                                                  in 2006 and was only recently               advice is to read the first 130 pages
the same building and have more          But then the novel starts to develop translated to English. It met                   of Hedgehog, because they are
in common with each other than           a plot. All the ridiculous, even world-wide acclaim, although the                    definitely worth reading, and then
with anyone else in the hotel,           stupid, aspects of the story that were reasons for this are far beyond               forget that the rest exists.
class distinctions keep Renée and        previously forgivable come pouring my understanding. Barbery is no
Paloma from ever realizing their         out. As Ozu begins to discover doubt an intelligent woman and
similarities. That is, until Ozu, a      Renée, Renée becomes even more an eloquent writer, but Hedgehog
kind Japanese man who moves into         paranoid and obsessive to make proves that intelligence and
       Arts and Entertainment
                                                                                 9




Watching Watchmen Worthwhile                                                                                                                       By Scott Berman

Watchmen is the long-awaited            for the person responsible for the           his emotionless attitude. Malin      its style, characters, chain of events,
graphic novel-adaptation that had       Comedian’s death. Meanwhile, we              Akerman (Silk Spectre II), Patrick   and storyline from page-to-screen
for years been deemed un-filmable.      meet another hero who glows blue,            Wilson (Night Owl II), and Matthew   the best it possibly could. However,
There have been many different          and has almost literally become a            Goode (Adrian Veidt) are also        if you’re not familiar with the
points over the years where this        god. His name is Dr. Manhattan,              very good in their roles. However,   source material you may find
movie was supposed to be made,          and although he has the power to             the two actors that truly help add   yourself confused by this movie.
but production never ended up           save the world, he apparently does           depth and a real sense of anger to   It’s not like the Dark Knight; not all
happening. But now Watchmen             not use it because he has lost many          the film are Jeffrey Dean Morgan,    of the viewers are already familiar
is finally here in all its glory, and   of his human emotions. The other             as the Comedian, and Jackie Earle    with the characters in the story,
it’s probably the best adaptation       main costumed heroes are Night               Haley, as Rorschach. Rorschach       like audiences were with Batman
possible of this complex graphic        Owl and Silk Spectre, who begin to           was probably my favorite character   and the Joker. These characters are
novel.                                  fall in love amid the chaos of their                                              not as famous as those household
                                                                                     because he technically is not really a
                                        secret lives. Any other attempt to           hero at all. He is a psychopath with names, and may be hard for
The story takes place in an alternative describe the complex plot of this            harmful and destructive behavior,    someone who’s never read the novel
1985, with Richard Nixon beginning movie would be nearly impossible.                 though in a way is trying to do what to understand. Personally, I only
his third term as president. The                                                     he believes is right for the world.  read a few chapters before I saw the
streets of New York are gritty, dark, Watchmen was an extremely                      He is a fascinating character with   movie, and I thought the movie was
and violent. Within New York lives complex graphic novel filled with a               his shape-shifting mask full of ink  incredible. I always give a movie
a group of costumed heroes that lot of flawed costumed characters,                   blots that mirror his personality.   props for not taking the easy way
used to be loved by society, but are strong plot, and a powerful sense of                                                 out by spoon-feeding everything to
now hated by practically everybody. style. It contained a world that may             The movie takes place in 1985 the audience. The book, as well as
One night a depressed retired hero seem a little too close to our own.               and mimics the contemporary the movie, was daring in taking the
named the Comedian is murdered The movie carries every one of these                  climate and events. Watchmen’s risk of being complex and making
by a masked person who breaks into elements in the best way it possibly              story revolves around the threat of you think for a change. Watchmen
his apartment. Another hero named could. It stays true to the novel, and             nuclear war and global destruction, is a great movie, and despite its
Rorschach, who appropriately only changes a few details. The                         and the characters mostly try to do long running time of 163 minutes,
wears a mask with shifting ink blots, memorable characters are very well             the right thing for the world, but one I never found boring at all.
believes that someone is picking off portrayed and acted as well. Dr.                sometimes have trouble seeing the Watchmen is a fascinating graphic
costumed heroes to begin their own Manhattan is played very well by                  point in doing so. This is a great novel-adaptation that deserves to be
agenda of destruction. Rorschach Billy Crudup, who manages to keep                   film that stays true to the original seen by anybody who likes movies
begins investigating and hunting the character interesting despite                   graphic novel while transitioning complex, dark, and absorbing.


Late-Night’s Newest, if Nervous, Member                                                                                                              By Jesse Feitel

The newest addition to NBC’s late-      surgery so he could read the cue cards
night lineup is Jimmy Fallon, the       during the show. He also launched a
popular comedian and television         popular blog on the show’s official
star, who takes over the nightly        website with pictures, comments,
12:30 am spot. Fallon took over         and videos explaining how he and
from Conan O’Brien, who had             the crew were preparing for the
held the position since his popular     show’s premiere. A major question
version of the show debuted in          in the minds of the viewing public
1993. It was previously announced       was who would serve as the house
and reported that NBC was in the        band for Fallon’s new show, and if
process of completely shaking up        they would match up to the great
and rearranging their late night        choices for O’Brien and Leno’s
lineup by the fall of 2009. The first   shows. It was in an interview on
piece of the puzzle was moving Jay      Leno that Jimmy admitted that
Leno out of his popular Tonight         popular Grammy award-winning
Show slot at 11:30, and moving          American hip hop band The Roots
Conan into that prestigious role,       would be his house band. Fallon           actually came out into the aisles of        that they had done much work on
once dominated by comic genius          also gave details about the format        the studio audience and wowed us            improving the show’s content, but
Johnny Carson. This announcement        of the show, which apparently             with their antics. But it was Fallon        the nervousness of Fallon remained.
left two questions in the minds of      would be aimed at teenagers and           himself the audience was there to           In agreement on the matter were
viewers: Who would replace Conan?       college students who are typically        see. He came out and gave a nervous         major newspapers, whose opinions
What would happen to Jay? NBC           up during the late hour the show is       monologue, understandable, in light         seemed to focus on Fallon’s need to
quickly answered by naming Fallon       aired. The program originates from        of this long-anticipated moment.            relax. I must say that I have watched
to O’Brien’s spot, and by making a      Studio 6B in 30 Rockefeller Center        Guests were invited seemingly               the program as often as I can since
highly publicized, extremely risky      in New York City, the same place          because they were in the building           it debuted, and its content has
move to put Leno at a nightly spot      Johnny Carson started his hosting         at the time of the show, since the          steadily improved in both humor
at 10 pm on NBC.                        duties for NBC.                           performance Fallon was taking part          and intelligence. Fallon has “calmed
                                                                                  in was strictly for practice, and not       down” and settled into his role. For
Once the kinks of the dealings were     I was lucky enough to attend the actually broadcast. After viewing                    a host only a few weeks into a new,
sorted out, the attention turned to     first, that’s right, the first, test show the show live, I was content as it          grueling routine, he has mastered
how Fallon would handle his new         that Jimmy Fallon did for his new was exactly what I was expecting:                   it. It is necessary everyone keeps
role. He had spent many months          program in February. Sitting front Fallon’s usual antics combined                     watch on this promising show, and
preparing for his debut on March        row, and ready to be entertained, I moderately funny writing into an                  the progress it has made, and will
2, including undergoing Lasik eye       was blown away by the Roots, who hour-long talk show. When I saw                      continue to make every night.
                                                                                  the premiere in March, it was clear
       Arts and Entertainment
                                                                               0




Dead Harmony is Dead Right                                                                                                                     By Mackenzie Gavel


Well, we’ve heard them sing at the
Variety Show. We’ve experienced
their exuberant performances during
Valentine’s Day. And now the group
we’ve all grown to know is about to
finally release its annual CD.

The Multicolored Ties, Northport
High School’s all-male a capella
group, just recently completed
their new album entitled “Dead
Harmony,” which is to be released
to the public on April 11th. An
immensely talented group of young
individuals, this CD features the
musical stylings of all the members
of the Ties.

So, just what can listeners expect
to find when listening to “Dead
Harmony?” Well, their harmony
is certainly anything but dead.
Featuring a total of twenty-one
songs, the group ranges from
singing heartfelt melodies such as       both unique and appealing to offerNot wanting to give away any of                   captivate any listener with the love
My Girl and Brown-Eyed Girl, to          any listener.                     the surprise, let me just hint that               and joy conveyed in their music.
more upbeat harmonies including,                                           track number twenty, entitled Steve               Basically, “Dead Harmony” is well
but not limited to, MMM Bop and          Unlike the more traditional, Uncut, is definitely something to                      worth the money. It’s a CD which
Get a Job. My personal favorites         conservative CD’s with which check out. After listening to “Dead                    will most definitely outperform any
of the CD would have to be Blue          many of you may be familiar, The Harmony,” it’s clear The Multi-                    negative inference drawn from its
Moon, For the Longest Time and In        Multicolored Ties never fail in Colored Ties are not only incredibly                title, and deliver songs that will
the Still of the Night. All the vocals   their pledge to deliver enormous gifted artists, but moreso guys who                remain among the favorites of
and lyrics on this CD have something     amounts of comedic entertainment. simply know how to effortlessly                   listeners for years to come.



Propagandi Strikes Fifth                                                                                                                         By Matthew Cove

Supporting Caste, released on March      most interesting bands currently           seem dissonant, but in which there
10th, finds Winnipeg’s Propagandhi       producing music, a characterization        is a great deal to appreciate. This
in lock-step with expectations           which Supporting Caste reinforces          combined with Chris Hannah’s
– stylistically, musically, and          strongly.                                  voice and vocal style may cause
thematically. Propagandhi’s fifth                                                   many of the songs to seem almost
full-length album showcases a        One thing that has remained constant           austere upon first listen, but with
sound continuing to evolve away      over the course of Propagandhi’s               continued engagement comes an
from the pop-punk-skate-punk         existence is the presence of overtly           ever-increasing appreciation of the
style that defined the band’s early  political themes in its lyrics. The            uniquely melodic spin Propagandhi
work. Its debut album, How to        band’s members are left-wing,                  places on its heavy musical style.
Clean Everything, could have fairly  anti-war vegans, and their lyrics              Propagandhi’s lyrics are generally
easily been mistaken for the work    make these things plain. But while             plainly written prose, adapted to the    “Potemkin City Limits,” and
of a more intelligent and talented   Propagandhi is devoted to its                  tunes to which they are sung, and        “Without Love,” an assertion that
incarnation of NOFX.                 politics, the band somehow avoids              its songs rarely feature discernible     “without love, breathing’s just the
                                     being annoying in expressing                   choruses. Some suggest that the          ticking of…an unwinding clock,”
Since the departure of bassist John itself – a task at which many other             writing style detracts from the music,   are among the album’s best. But the
K. Samson, however, Propagandhi’s bands have failed. Propagandhi                    but, on the contrary, Hannah’s ability   titular “Supporting Caste” steals the
music has progressively incorporated is convicted and angry, but not                to create highly melodic tunes with      show as its namesake’s best track,
more and more elements of hardcore petulant, and far from whiny, and                lyrics hardly designed to be lyrics is   featuring some of the album’s best
and even thrash. The heavier sound this generally prevents the politics             an admirable achievement in itself.      lyrics and its best-crafted guitar
has turned off some fans of the from interfering with the music.                                                             riff.
band’s earlier work, but has placed                                                 Supporting Caste opens strong
Propagandhi in a fairly unique More              than     ever    before,           with “Night Letters,” one of the         Propagandhi’s fifth full album picks
niche – that of a band characterized Propagandhi’s musical precision                album’s best tracks, and doesn’t         up where the band left off on its last
by a punk rock ethos and aesthetic shows through on Supporting Caste,               look back. “Dear Coach’s Corner,”        release almost four years ago, and
but driven by musical elements which is the band’s first release as                 essentially a socio-political rant       develops the band’s unique sound
drawn from several distinct genres, a four-member, two-guitar group.                of sorts in the form of a letter to      further. In doing so, Supporting
including punk and metal. This Throughout the album, Propagandhi                    Canadian hockey commentator              Caste stands out as what is sure to
dynamic has helped to make attacks listeners’ ears with pounding                    Ron MacLean, “Human(e) Meat              be one of the best albums of 2009.
Propagandhi one of the freshest and instrumentation that may initially              (The Flensing of Sandor Katz),”
The Rag                                                                                                                                          April , 2009

Rag Nixed, No Yearbooks Until August                                                                                                                    By Taylor Hanley

First, a few facts: the 2009             publications. This means that this
yearbook is created by members of        is the last issue of our newspaper.
the yearbook club with help from         The Rag will be no more, and the
the journalism class, which also         yearbook will be on hold.
helps produces the Northport High
School newspaper, The Rag. The      Yearbooks are a tradition at most
school paper has been around for    American high schools. Each year,
many years. If you read The Rag,    many of the senior students look
you already know it has covered     forward to getting their friends, peers
–and provoked– some major issues    and teachers to comment and sign
throughout the year. Although       the book for the sake of memories.
they seem harmless to the student   The yearbook is definitely a great
body, the superintendent has been   source of memories and laughs.                      In what is bound to be a highly            when to come to the school in
actively monitoring The Rag, and    Although some people think it is no                 controversial, and anger-provoking         August to collect their yearbooks.
feels some of the published articlesbig deal whether or not they receive                move, this year’s yearbook has been        Books will be distributed in reverse
have caused too much controversy    a yearbook, one concerned senior                    delayed, due to articles previously        alphabetical order, to further insure
and bad publicity.                  said, “I’ve been looking forward to                 published by The Rag. Yearbooks,           control. Although this will mean
                                    the yearbook, why wouldn’t I want                   though ready, will not be distributed      most seniors will be unable to have
Because of this, the superintendent to remember my friends from high                    until late August, after every page        eachother sign their books, their
arranged with the school board school?” It seems most students                          has been deemed acceptable.                parents can sign them.
to cancel support for student –and their parents– would be upset                        Seniors will be notified by e-mail
                                    without a yearbook.


Stimulus Grant Funds Hi-Tech Plans                                                                                                                       By Vicky Walters

A large grant given to Northport         Northport’s purchasing agent Susan
High School in the past week             Shutowich pointed out, “Macs are a
from President Obama’s stimulus          great deal more expensive than the
package, has generated a plan for a      average PC, and even with our large
new style and protocol of education.     stimulus grant, it’s silly to spend
The plan was discussed in a top          so freely.” The full amount of the
secret Board of Education meeting        federal grant has yet to be disclosed,
held on Monday, March 30th in a          but speculation has it at well over
locked room on top of the L-Wing         the two million dollar mark.
Staircase. The plan is so new and
secret, only a select few know of its     According to the people in power,
existence, but The Rag has never         the laptop distribution will work
been squeamish about getting down        similarly to the rental of a calculator
and dirty in the quest for truth.        except that instead of renting
After much protestation from senior      one annually, the laptops will be
members of the Board, an abridged        distributed at the start of a student’s
copy of the new plan for the future      freshman year and are to be returned
of Northport High School was             the week before graduation day at
released into the safe hands of The      the end of the student’s senior year.          Luft, “I find it rather ironic that the    assume that after the first three tests
Rag Editors for purpose of unveiling     The computer engineering classes               teachers haven’t realized that it’ll be    or so, teachers will give up on the
said plan to the student body.           will work as NHS’s personal IT crew,           ten times easier to covertly instant       idea and just revert to hand-written
                                         the upper levels will be offered the           message across the room than it            tests to save themselves the hassle
Over      the    coming       summer     opportunity to come in on Saturdays            would be to pass a note or send text       of battling it out over test-room
months, our school will undergo a        for minimum wage twice a month                 message when we all have laptops           booking times.
complete technological makeover.         to fix up all the technical issues             out anyway.” Lindsay’s statement
Smartboards will be installed in         the average teenager encounters.               raises an interesting point, if it’ll be   Even though all these changes are
every classroom, and all teachers        According to the administration, the           so much easier to pass notes, won’t        sure to be quite the culture shock
will be instructed in their use. Every   idea behind this action is so each and         it be even easier to cheat? As of          to Northport’s relatively traditional
classroom will be given a new            every student can bring a computer             now it seems that teachers are one         lifestyle, the general consensus is
television and computer; no longer       to each and every class, allowing              step ahead. Yes, the new initiative        that they will, in the end, be for
will teachers be forced to rent          quicker note taking and easier access          includes tests that will be taken on       the better. Certainly the issuing
televisions on a daily basis from the    to information at all times. Lockers           the computer, but it also includes         of “school” emails will make it
AV department, and all teachers will     will be redesigned to include charge           the creation of specialized “testing       much easier to contact friends
be issued “tiger stripe” cell phones     stations and a specially designed              rooms.” These rooms will include a         and acquaintances, and the charge
for emergency contact purposes.          shelf to hold the laptops; also every          ‘blackout device’ which will phase         stations in lockers will make life
Most importantly, however, are           classroom will be equipped with                out all wi-fi access from the room         much easier for those who have a
the innovations directly affecting       enough surge-protected power                   (exact specifications for the devices      knack for forgetting to charge their
the student body; starting this fall,    strips so no student will have the             are as yet, undisclosed) and desks         cell phones. It is surprising certainly
every student will be issued a laptop    excuse of a dead battery. The hope             separated by curtains to prevent           that it is Northport pioneering
for the remainder of their stay at       is that students who already have              over-the-shoulder cheating. Tests          this adventure into the world of
Northport High. At the moment            computers at home will be able to              are to be distributed on flash drives      technology, but it is commonly
the district is heavily interested in    designate one computer for play and            at the beginning of the period -           accepted by teenagers to be a good
pursuing an exclusive contract with      one for work, thus making it harder            teachers will be provided with             thing. Teenagers were never going
Sony, which is willing to provide        for them to be distracted when                 enough flash drives for each student       to slow down, and it’s about time
Northport with discount laptops as       working. One concern, however,                 at the beginning of the school year.       that the administration saw it fitting
part of their new ‘student outreach’     is that this new policy of constant            The standing plan is to build two          to catch up with us.
program. Naturally some students         internet access during class will just         such rooms per wing, one each per
are a little put-out that the district   lead to a more advanced form of                department area, which may make
has chosen PC over Mac, but as           passing notes. Says junior Lindsay             scheduling tests a little tricky. Many
The Rag                                                                                             2                                                                         April , 2009




   SPORTS
Tiger Mascot Name Dumped by Board                                                                                                                                                   By Matthew Cove


District opts for Matinecock Tribal Name as “environmentally and socially correct” to replace endangered species
Northport’s sports teams will no                  thing we want.”
longer be known as the Tigers. In an              Although there have been no specific
unexpected decision, the Northport-               reported cases of tigers themselves
East Northport school district                    expressing outrage at Northport’s
has chosen to drop the traditional                use of their name, image, and
Northport mascot and team name.                   animal costume mascot, the growth
Superintendent Dr. Mary Lou                       of political correctness as a key
McDermott announced on Monday                     standard has led to the question of
that all of the school district’s teams           whether it is really appropriate to
would be shedding the name Tigers                 identify the school district’s sports
and will instead be identified as the             teams after a living animal. “After
Matinecocks, starting next school                 all, tigers have rights and feelings
year.




                                                                                                         Baseball team members take name (and building sign) change in stride. “Let’s just get on with the
                                                                                                         game!” says Chief DeMartini

                                                                                                         The new name, announced by Dr.                    to Northport tradition, and think
                                                                                                         McDermott, will be the Northport                  it will demoralize many athletes
                                                                                                         Matinecocks. The name is taken                    come next season. “I don’t want the
                                                                                                         from an American Indian tribe                     teams I support to be named after
                                                                                                         originally native to our local area.              some Indian guys … Northport is
                                                                                                         The school board has suggested that               the home of the Tigers, and only
                                                                                                         the new mascot and name will be                   the Tigers,” stated one angry senior.
                                                                                                         much less likely to offend, since no              Some, however, appreciated the
                                                                                                         one could say if any Matinecocks                  reasoning behind the decision. One
Stunned, Girls’ Track Team members shed tears of sorrow at news of name change
                                                                                                         were still alive to take offense. The             such junior suggested, “The new
Dr.    McDermott        gave     little           too,” said one member of the school                    image of a native warrior would be                change has been made for valid
explanation, but stated that the                  board. “The use of the tiger as our                    just as effective as a tiger in striking          and important reasons … We can’t
main reason for the name change                   mascot has, in the opinion of the                      fear into the hearts of opposing                  afford to offend an entire species,
was a concern over the perception                 school board, contributed to a widely                  teams. The teams’ new logo has                    and the new name will ensure that
of the school district based on its               held stereotype-based view of tigers                   yet to be announced, but board                    everyone is ultimately happy.”
mascot. “The school board and I                   as ferocious killing machines,” he                     members insisted the ferocity of the
worry that our current mascot may                 added. “This is unfair to the entire                   great Matinecock fighters would be                It will a painful transition, but only
be offensive to a great portion of the            species, and studies have shown that                   emphasized.                                       time will tell what the ultimate
world’s tiger population,” stated Dr.             many tigers have low self-esteem,                      Reaction to the announced change                  legacy of our new identity as
McDermott. “And that is the last                  making them vulnerable to attacks                      has been generally negative. Many                 Northport Matinecocks will be.
                                                  such as this.”                                         students see the change as an insult




                                                                                                                                 Editors in Chief:
                                                                                                                            Matthew Cove•Vicky Walters
                                                                                                                       Staff: Taylor Hanley•Celia Bever
                                                                                                                   Samantha Lowenkron•Scott Berman
                                                                                                                     Sarah Holzmann•mackenzie gavel
                                                                                                                         Jesse Feitel•Olivia Calandra
                                                                                                                         Amanda Levy•Noel Purcell
                                                                                                                         Principal: Mrs. Irene McLaughlin
                                                                                                                          Faculty Advisor: Bob Runyan
                                                                                                                  Published by and for the students of
                                                                                                                         Northport High School
                                                                                                                         Northport, New York 768
                                                                                                                          TheNptRag@gmail.com
Sports Editor Jesse Feitel and Editor-in-Chief Matt Cove congratulate Celia Bever, Vicky Walters,
and Scott Berman on the occasion of their being awarded Bronze Quills for Best Reporter, Best
Page One Layout, and Best Arts Review at Adelphi University’s annual student press day.

				
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