Gadaffi’s disgusting reign of terror deserves to fall

Dear Gaddafi,

I hope you are enjoying a massage and bonbons during this difficult time. Though your country is on the brink of a civil war, everyone needs to relax and know his/her position in life. Thankfully, being Libya’s leader means living luxuriously while those beneath you suffer in poverty.

By Melissa Moore

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

Dear Gaddafi,

  I hope you are enjoying a massage and bonbons during this difficult time.  Though your country is on the brink of a civil war, everyone needs to relax and know his/her position in life.  Thankfully, being Libya’s leader means living luxuriously while those beneath you suffer in poverty.

  I mean, honestly!  How could these people do this to you?  You came to power in a benevolent coup d’état before thoughtfully providing anti-Western radicals with weapons, money, or anything else to fight so-called “imperialism.”  Even after the coup, you humbly did not accept the rank of general, but instead remained a colonel.   

  In 1973, you declared you would cleanse Libya from the “politically sick” and create a people’s army to protect your rule.  The opposition that did arise would quickly be put down by murder.  Your speedy disposing of dissidents by public execution is to be admired.

  And your school systems!  How clever to think as Hitler and brainwash children to think like you!  Your insistence on not teaching students foreign languages to leave them ignorant is pure genius.

  Your war policy is also commendable.  Impressively, you instigated the genocide in Darfur, and though you did fail to obtain nuclear weaponry, your attempts were admirable.

  History speaks for itself.  In 1972, you thoughtfully assisted and financed Palestinian terrorist groups.  In 1981, you contemplated the murder of Ronald Reagan and applauded Egyptian president Anwar Sadat’s assassination.  Three years later, you commenced your plans for acts of terrorism in the US, preparing for a “race war” to “settle scores with whites.”  You have been accused of ordering the Lockerbie bombing, which killed 270 innocent souls was a commendable example of flawless terrorism.

  Despite about 24.3 million people with AIDS living in Africa, you intelligently stated that HIV is a “peaceful virus” and that “if you are straight you have nothing to fear from AIDS.” 

  After all that you have done for your country, why would they protest against you?  Even your Defense Minister (whom you promptly jailed) refused to shoot Libyans.  The rebels, however, are not Libyans, as you claim.  “All my people with me, they love me all,” you stated.  “They will die to protect me, my people.”

  It must be so hard on you.  After restricting the rights of all your people and exploiting Libya’s resources for your own gain, you must be shocked they have the gall to oppose you.  It seems, however, that you cannot accept that fact.  Once you do, maybe you will realize that al-Qaeda are not leading these attacks.    Face the facts.  Something needs to change.

  Sincerely,

  Reality

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Boston Globe Scholastics Art Awards: Contest honors highest number of winners in school history

Out of the 567 Gold Key recipients in Massachusetts honored at the Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards, four of these honors were awarded to students from Manchester-Essex, art teacher Marion Powers said.

By Melissa Moore

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

Out of the 567 Gold Key recipients in Massachusetts honored at the Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards, four of these honors were awarded to students from Manchester-Essex, art teacher Marion Powers said.

Eighth-graders Ben Alger and Julia Whitten, junior Samantha Nieberle, and senior Rachel Jones received the awards.

According to Powers, Manchester-Essex did better than all other schools of its size in Massachusetts and better than many larger schools as well.  The school had the highest number of winners in its history.

In both the middle and high school, 13 entries were awarded a Silver Key and 14 received an Honorable Mention, Powers said.

“I’m very happy, very proud of our art students and our program,” Powers said.

Jones was awarded a Gold Key for her senior portfolio in photography, consisting of eight images and a statement.  According to art teacher Caroline Epp, this is the first time in a long time that a Manchester-Essex student has received a Gold Key for a photography portfolio.

“I’m very proud,” Epp said.  “I’m particularly happy for Rachel Jones.”

The Boston Globe Scholastic Art Awards judges select the recipients of these awards based on excellence in three criteria: originality, technical skill, and emergence of a personal vision, Powers said.  Despite Powers’ not liking “teaching to contests,” Manchester-Essex “had a strong showing,” she said.

The results of the competition show how dedicated Manchester-Essex art students are, Epp said.

“I am thankful for the support from the administration and community in supporting the art program,” she said.

“Our program will only become stronger,” Powers said.

The Gold Key and Silver Key artwork will be displayed in the State Transportation Building until April 7.

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Citylab successfully extends students’ knowledge

Boston University’s interactive student program, “Citylab,” visited the biology classes to aid students in hands-on lab experiments.

By Ellen Burgess

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  Boston University’s interactive student program, “Citylab,” visited the biology classes to aid students in hands-on lab experiments.

  From Feb. 7-11 the Citylab bus came loaded with the equipment necessary for the experimental lab students would be performing. The bus remained parked in the teacher parking lot for the duration of the week. 

  “Citylab’s purpose was to enhance the bio curriculum by providing hands-on experience in biotechnology,” high school biology teacher Dr. Maria Burgess said.

  “Citylab can also offer our students the opportunity to perform high-end bio tech labs,” science department chair Erica Everett said.

  According to Burgess, students from the CP level to the AP level classes participated in the event, although performing different labs. The sophomore biology classes studied hemoglobin protein structure, a protein that carries oxygen in the red blood cells of vertebrates, while the AP students studied gel electrophoresis, a process used to compare the size of different strands of DNA.

  “We had specific goals. For the AP students, we performed a lab important for the AP exam, and for sophomores we did an electrophoresis lab involving sickle hemoglobin and normal hemoglobin,” Everett said.

  This year was the sophomores’ first time attending Citylab; however, AP students attended the lab while sophomores, resulting this year in their second time in the environment.

  “I did the same lab last year in Boston, and doing it again was interesting since it was in a bus that still had all the equipment necessary. Though it was the same, it felt new and different since it was in a different location,” AP Biology student junior Jeffrey White said.

  “I would say it was pretty cool that we got to use real samples from people with anemia,” sophomore student Kurt Statz-Geary said.

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Seniors start the party early

The Class of 2011 enjoyed a night of Chinese food and games during one of their last night’s together as a full class.  In the dining hall the senior class had a catered Chinese dinner from Horizon in Gloucester. They worked up a sweat as they bonded over silly games including the crowd favorite, ‘the balloon game’.  This was a game where kids tied balloons to their ankle and tried not to get it popped by their classmates. The last one standing was Elliot Duff.  It gave the seniors an opportunity to bond and enjoy each other’s company before graduation and before the beginning of their quarter long internship experience, SCORE.

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Robotics team builds robot for FIRST competition

The Manchester Essex Regional High School robotics team, FIRST Team 2084 RobotsByTheC, is building a robot to compete in the FIRST robotics competition, an international competition between schools across the world as far ranging as Brazil and Israel […]

                The Manchester Essex Regional High School robotics team, FIRST Team 2084 RobotsByTheC, is building a robot to compete in the FIRST robotics competition, an international competition between schools across the world as far ranging as Brazil and Israel. FIRST, founded in 1989, is an organization founded Dean Kamen (the guy that invented the Segway) to inspire young people to join the fields of science and engineering. RobotsByTheC has spent every day of the past six weeks going though the design process to build a robot.

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Increase in FY-12 budget causes need for override

With the FY-12 budget still at approximately $20.5 million, the school district is looking for an override vote from both Manchester and Essex.

By Kaitlin McDonagh

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

 With the FY-12 budget still at approximately $20.5 million, the school district is looking for an override vote from both Manchester and Essex.

  In order for this to happen, each town must vote on the budget and vote on whether or not to have an election for the override at their town meetings. If both of these motions pass, an election to pass an override will be held in each town shortly after.

  The FY-12 budget is 2.1% higher than the FY-11 budget, resulting in a 4.5% increase in assessments to the towns. Because towns cannot legally exceed a 2.5% tax increase due to Proposition 2.5 without passing an override, the school district is hoping both towns will vote to approve the override, legally allowing the towns to increase taxes by over 2.5%.

  In the current 4.5% budget increase, the assessment to Manchester is $11,162,457 for operating costs and $1,668,000 for debts. The assessment to Essex is $6,378,268 for operating costs and $727,171 for debts.

  Currently, there is no set value for the override. Both Manchester and Essex are in the process of deciding upon a potential amount.

  According to the district’s financial director Avi Urbas, the main cause of the increase in the budget was the decrease in income from outside sources to pay for the spending, including aid from the state.

  “Specifically, town and district spending alone might not exceed the limits, but because of potential reductions in state reimbursements, taxpayers would have to pay for a greater percentage of the spending than in prior years,” Urbas said.

  If the override does not pass, the school district will have to decrease the budget by finding ways to raise revenue or cut spending in certain areas.

  “The amount of the potential cut is not yet known and will be discussed between the district and towns, but it could be several hundred thousand dollars,” Urbas said.

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Harry Potter theme park envelops series, creates authentic experience

Chocolate frogs, a virtual dragon chase, and a refreshing glass of butterbeer are merely pieces of the fantastically realistic Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla.

By Rebecca Lynch

INDPENDENT EDITOR

  Chocolate frogs, a virtual dragon chase, and a refreshing glass of butterbeer are merely pieces of the fantastically realistic Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla.   

  Shops from Diagon Alley are incorporated into a replica of the village of Hogsmeade, which leads up to the remarkably realistic re-creation of Hogwarts castle. The authenticity of the park is the heart of the awesome experience for fans of the series.

  Everything about the park is designed to make visitors feel as if they have entered Harry’s world. The creators fleshed out the smaller details to truly transport visitors into the books and movies. All staff members wear robes or some other costume, the colors of the shops’ interiors match those in the movies, and all architecture is seemingly taken straight out of the movies.

  In the films, music plays a huge role in defining Harry’s world. In the park, scores from the movies are being played everywhere. The music fits each area. Upon entering the park, visitors hear the same music that plays when Harry first steps into Diagon Alley. Classic themes from the first movie swell around the castle. Lively music from the Quidditch Cup is played in The Three Broomsticks.

  An impressive a cappella group occasionally performs various scores vocally in the gap between the Hogsmeade and Hogwarts. 

  The highlight of the park lies within Hogwarts on The Forbidden Journey. Groups of four fly through various rooms featuring different parts of the world. Some rooms feature interactive props such as the dragon’s head breathing hot steam, spitting spiders, and the chill-inducing Dementors. Other rooms feature a video screen where riders follow Harry and Ron through flying around Hogwarts and then in a Quidditch match. The entire ride is surprisingly realistic and intensely thrilling.

  The park only has two other rollercoasters: one designed for children and a crazy twisting and flipping one meant for rollercoaster enthusiasts. With only those options everyone flocks to The Forbidden Journey, making the wait-time extremely long.

  The shops are not designed for crowds. Some require a wait line to get in, and the space inside is so crammed that shoppers are climbing over each other to move to the next section. Store products are also limited. There’s one for signature candy from the series, another for joke products, one for wands and journals, and another for series merchandise. In the ultimate place for Harry Potter fans, the product selection should extend beyond the basic apparel, mugs, and stuffed animals. 

  Besides the rides, the wonderfully rich butterbeer makes up for the frustrating crowds. It can be bought cold or frozen and both types feature cream soda with butterscotch. The delicious frothy topping tastes like shortbread cookies.

  The park has one restaurant from the series: The Three Broomsticks. The ordering process was designed for crowds, where patrons order at a computer station and then wait in line for the food. Only five meal types were available, but because they were already prepared, the serving system was efficient. The food wasn’t fantastic, but the flavor and density of the meal made it satisfying overall.

  The restaurant itself features all wooden architecture and a variety of seating. The tables and chairs appear sturdy yet worn, capturing the atmosphere portrayed in the books.

  Created atmospheres such as in The Three Broomsticks is the exactly what makes the theme park the perfect place for any fan. The details are well-designed and fun to find. If you listen closely, you may hear Moaning Myrtle in the bathrooms.

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Snow days lose excitement, happiness

After five snow days so far this winter, the once exciting break from school has become a reoccurring nuisance.

STAFF EDITORIAL 

  After five snow days so far this winter, the once exciting break from school has become a reoccurring nuisance.

  In early January, and the entire student body was begging for a day off. 

  Students were so excited in the hype of the season’s first storms that they made the calls themselves. Assignments due on the day of prospective storms were ignored, as everyone was sure that school would be cancelled. 

  Failing to do work was hardly an issue though, as the desire for a day off was so new and strong that if school had been held, about a third of the student body would likely not have shown up anyway.

  However, five snow days and a delayed start later, the excitement has worn off.

  Although the last day of school is currently June 23, the realization that each snow day slowly sucks away summer causes them to lose their childish charm. 

  The continuous interruptions are also at fault for a lack of momentum in school work, making the idea of a five-day week something to laugh at. The combination of snow days and drop days causes students to feel like their class is always a day away, draining them of all initiative to work.

  Although missed days are added to the end of the year, MCAS and Advanced Placement exams are not pushed back, elevating the annoyance of missing class.

  According to Superintendent Pamela Beaudoin, measures will be taken if the threat of going to school in July becomes legitimate.

  “There is no hard fast rule stating when school has to end, but because of the complications that arise with contracts and family plans, the School Committee would vote on Saturday schooling and vacation cuts if we were edging up on July,” she said.

  Once the benefit of New England’s bitter winters, snow days have become an enemy, an annoyance that makes students beg for school.

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‘Robots by the Sea’ constructs robots for FIRST competition

Although the robotics class and the robotics team have a lot of the same members, the two operate completely separately. The robotics team is an independent program, started about 5 years ago, and was not affiliated with the school until about 4 years ago, according to junior member Sean Halloran.

By Piper Browne

INDEPENDENT STAFF

  Although the robotics class and the robotics team have a lot of the same members, the two operate completely separately. The robotics team is an independent program, started about 5 years ago, and was not affiliated with the school until about 4 years ago, according to junior member Sean Halloran.

  The team has 24 members. Halloran is this year’s team captain, and Learning Center teacher Robert Meltz is the adult leader. Juniors Ben Scarafoni and Peter Goulakos are co-captains. “The team is a lot like running a business. We have a corporate structure, and we raise our own funds, and we budget our money on buying the supplies we need,” Halloran said.

  Although the class and the club share some of the same members, they are still very different. “The big difference is that we raise our own funds and participate in the FIRST Robotics Competition, which stands for ‘For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,’” Halloran said.

  In the First Robotics Competition, the team is FIRST Robotics Team 2084, and their name is “RobotsByTheC.” They meet all year round to work on small projects and to fundraise, and in the first week of January, the team went to the national kickoff event in New Hampshire where they were presented with the game of that year.

  The game this year, “Logomotion,” consists of robots from three different teams moving around inflatable shapes and putting them on pegs at the end of the field to form the FIRST logo.

  After the game is presented, the teams have six weeks to build the robot. “These are six weeks of intense work,” Halloran said. “We meet every single day at the school in room B137 and go through the design process of researching, prototyping, and testing.”

  Last year, the team placed 11 out of 53 teams at the tournament, and they made it to quarterfinals before a mechanical failure rendered them helpless. This year, the competition is April 7, 8 and 9, and they hope to be one of the four teams to move onto the National competition in St. Louis. If the team wins Nationals, they will get to meet the president at the White House, according to Halloran.

  Despite problems this year with budget and snow days, the team has created a great robot, according to Halloran. It has a mounted camera to send video back to the people driving the robot, an action claw mounted on an arm capable of reaching nine feet, and an accelerometer to detect impacts on the robot.

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Students’ artwork displayed at Sovereign Bank

The reception will be Saturday, March 26, from 9:30 to 11:30 in the morning. Refreshments will be served and everyone is encouraged to go! The Sovereign Bank is next to The Coffee Cup, 17 Union St. in downtown Manchester.

At the beginning of March, art teacher Marion Powers set up an art exhibit at Sovereign Bank in downtown Manchester. The exhibit features work from both middle school and high school students, and has impressed customers who go to the bank. Marion Powers signed up for the spot at the bank two years ago because of limited space and availability. The exhibit will be set up for all of March, and at the end of the month, there will be a reception at the bank held to show off our school’s artwork. The reception will be Saturday, March 26, from 9:30 to 11:30 in the morning. Refreshments will be served and everyone is encouraged to go! The Sovereign Bank is next to The Coffee Cup, 17 Union St. in downtown Manchester.

Some of the students’ whose work is on display, and the teacher who submitted the work:

Samantha Nieberle  – Ms. Epp
Rachel Jones – Ms. Epp
 Alex Clarke – Ms. Epp
 Lila Hughes – Ms. Epp
 Ryan Reed – Ms. Epp
 Christine Walder – Ms. Epp
 Katie Cochand – Ms. Epp
 Jodie DeWitt – Ms. Epp
 Amy Fraser – Ms. Epp
 Emily Arntsen – Ms. Epp
 Sean Halloran – Ms. Epp
 Chloe Gothie – Ms. Epp
 Mina Hostage – Ms. Epp
 Molly Crehan  Grade 8 – Ms. Powers
 Patrick Byrne Grade 8 – Ms. Powers
 Cole Spenser Grade 8 – Ms. Powers
 Julia Whitten Grade 8 – Ms. Powers
 Lauren Coogan Grade 8 – Ms. Powers
 Jackie O Grade 8 – Ms. Powers
 Craig Carter Grade 8 – Ms. Powers
 Melissa Moore  – Ms. Powers
 Abby Biggar  – Ms. Powers
 Michael Chlemecky – Ms. Powers
 Eastan Ehlers  – Ms. Powers
 Anna Heffernan  – Ms. Powers
 Isadora Decker – Lucke  – Ms. Powers
Jamie Rynkowski  – Ms. Powers
 Sarah Lewicki – Ms. Powers

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