Ceramics students design tiles, create busts

Ceramics is one of the challenging electives offered by the high school art department. Right now the students are working on finishing up their coil pots and tiles and just beginning their busts […]

Ceramics is one of the challenging electives offered by the high school art department.  Right now the students are working on finishing up their coil pots and tiles and just beginning their busts. Coil pots take a total of 3 weeks to complete and are very challenging for beginners in the class. The tiles are one of the easier assignments.

Students have many different ideas about ceramics and take it for various reasons. Freshman Alex Stasiak said, “I took this class because I really wanted to do hands on work rather than a writing and listening class.” Another student, freshman Mina Hostage, said, “I really wanted to be more artistic.” Overall students appreciate that Manchester Essex Regional High School has ceramics class.

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The Sound Waves raise money for the Class of 2012 during concert

The Sound Waves, the high school a capella group, held their own concert to benefit the Class of 2012 on Thursday, April 28 in the high school auditorium […]

The Sound Waves, the high school a capella group, held their own concert to benefit the Class of 2012 on Thursday, April 28 in the high school auditorium.  Under the direction of Donna O’Neil, the group performed a set list of 11 songs consisting of “Sign, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours,” “Yesterday,” “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” “Lullabye,” “Bad Romance” (arranged by senior Connor Hoff), “No Rain,” “In My Life,” “Loch Lomond,” “That Lonesome Road,” “Fix You,” and “Africa.”  Members of the group consist of sophomore Laurel Barrie; juniors Caroline Wood, Savannah Repucci, Katerina Eichenberger, Leanne Ciccone, Morgan Kennedy, Allie Freed, Ellen Burgess, Emmett Snyder, and Ian Gillis; seniors Nick Bouwer, Piper Browne, Connor Hoff, and Tatiana Lyne.

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VIDEO: Manchester Essex Varsity Sailing team

The Manchester Essex Varsity Sailing team has had a strong season so far.  The team practices every day, except for Sunday, from three to seven which helps in their success.  The team is ferried to the boating dock where they rig up and head out into outer Manchester Harbor for practice. Thesailing teamuses the summer sailing 420 boats that belong to the Manchester Sailing Association. The MSA lets the sailing team borrow the boats for the spring season.

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Girls’ tennis team defeats Lynnfield 3-2

This spring, with many newcomers, the girls’ tennis team is much larger and exciting, consisting of varsity and junior varsity players of all ages. The team practiced for two weeks before its first game against its longtime rival, Lynnfield. After beating Lynnfield 3-2, the team played against Pentucket and won 5-0 […]

This spring, with many newcomers, the girls’ tennis team is much larger and exciting, consisting of varsity and junior varsity players of all ages. The team practiced for two weeks before its first game against its longtime rival, Lynnfield. After beating Lynnfield 3-2, the team played against Pentucket and won 5-0.

During all home matches the junior varsity walks from the high school to the tennis courts on Brook Street behind the elementary school. The varsity team plays at the Manchester Athletic Club on three indoor tennis courts. Although the varsity and junior varsity is separated at all home matches, the team is always together at weekly practices and mostly together for away games.

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New volleyball club starts practices in gym

The volleyball club had their first meeting and practice on Tuesday, April 26 in the high school gym. The team members are juniors Maddie McNamee, Nabila Muhmud, Lindsay Rose, Jelisa O’Hara, Bharti Parris, and sophomore Ellie Mortillaro […]

The volleyball club had their first meeting and practice on Tuesday, April 26 in the high school gym. The team members are juniors Maddie McNamee, Nabila Muhmud, Lindsay Rose, Jelisa O’Hara, Bharti Parris, and sophomore Ellie Mortillaro. The volleyball instructor is math teacher Sarah DeLuca. The club meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 2:30 to 4 p.m. and is always open to new members.

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Conflict in Libya: Should the United States have become involved? – Pro

When President Obama announced the U.S. was willing to take military action against Colonel Muammar al-Qadaffi of Libya, it was easy to jump to a conclusion: the country is getting involved in another war.

By Kaitlin McDonagh

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  When President Obama announced the U.S. was willing to take military action against Colonel Muammar al-Qadaffi of Libya, it was easy to jump to a conclusion: the country is getting involved in another war.           

  This idea, however, is not as inevitable as some may believe.

The United Nations Security Council voted on March 18 to authorize a no-flight zone over Libya and to “take all necessary measures” to protect the Libyan citizens.

  The no-flight zone, according to the BBC, “establishes a ban on all flights in Libyan airspace to help protect civilians,” with exceptions for flights the U.N. states enforces the ban and humanitarian flights.

  On March 19, France, Britain, and the U.S. began a series of air raids on Qadaffi’s forces to aid the Libyan rebels. Without this air raid, the rebels would have been overrun.

  According to the New York Times, rebel forces were able to gain control of the city of Ajdabiya on March 27, a city in eastern Libya, a day after allied airstrikes against Qadaffi’s military in eastern Libya. Clearly, foreign aid has helped the African country.

  Despite the success, opponents of U.S. involvement in foreign matters may criticize the Obama administration: Why should the U.S. get involved in crises that do not pertain to this country?

  It doesn’t matter whether or not the U.S. has any stakes in Libya; the issue became international once Qadaffi began attacking his own people. It’s impossible to ignore the immorality of this act; hundreds of citizens were dying, often in peaceful protest, because a tyrant ordered his military to murder them.

  If something as horrific as this were to occur in the United States, the government would have no qualms about sending in troops to resolve the situation.

  At this point in the Libyan revolution, politics should take a backseat to protecting the lives and basic rights of human beings, regardless of the different nationalities.

  For those who still believe the issue is a matter of diplomacy, not morality, consider this: the United States has relinquished control of the entire campaign to NATO. The Obama administration is already preparing to remove several U.S. warships from Libya. The situation won’t get out of control; the U.S. is not the only country involved in protecting the Libyan citizens, and the government is already preparing to lessen its presence.

  According to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the U.S. will be finished with the situation in Libya from anywhere between a few months to a little over a year. To protect the lives of innocent Libyan citizens and preserve their rights to life and liberty, this is a small price to pay.

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Conflict in Libya: Should the United States have become involved? – Con

Korea. Vietnam. Iraq. All these countries are prime examples of American involvement that ended in nothing more than a cease-fire with few to no true results.

By Melissa Moore

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  Korea.  Vietnam.  Iraq.  All these countries are prime examples of American involvement that ended in nothing more than a cease-fire with few to no true results. 

  The situation in Libya will end no differently.  Even if Muammar al-Qadaffi is ousted, little will be altered with American involvement.

  The United States’ interference in foreign countries throughout history proves that any success in Libya is unlikely.

Korea’s separation at the 38th parallel after World War II directly caused the Korean War.  America, supporting South Korea, entered the war too strong, causing China to enter the conflict to assist fellow Communist country North Korea. The war ended in a stalemate and the country remained split.

  In Vietnam in the 1960s, the United States supported the unpopular, pro-Western leader Ngo Dinh Diem, causing the majority of Southern Vietnamese citizens to despise America.  John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson strived to avoid involvement in Vietnam. 

  Johnson maintained a policy of limited warfare; however, the conflict quickly escalated to a full-blown war.  Few Americans supported the war, the United States ended the fighting with a cease-fire, and Vietnam was re-united under Communist rule after the Americans left.

  The conflict in Iraq began with American beliefs that Iraq was collecting weapons of mass destruction. Though dictator Saddam Hussein was overthrown in 2003, the country remains in turmoil. 

  These examples directly relate to the situation in Libya today.  The Korean War is a prime example of what could happen if Americans strike Libya too hard.  Qadaffi would not hesitate to call in any allies he may have to preserve his power.

  The Vietnam War shows how the policy of limited bombing and involvement is not successful.  Barack Obama plans on utilizing this strategy in Libya.  He wants to show that Americans will support the revolution with arms, but he does not want to commit many troops to the cause; however, this involvement could easily escalate to America being committed to supporting the cause with a large number of troops.

  As in Iraq, Americans hope to oust a dictator.  However, since Iraq is still in turmoil without a strong leader, the same is likely to happen in Libya. Even if America is successful in helping Libya, many coups d’état will likely take place.

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Tech Talk: iPad 2

Now faster, thinner, and lighter, offering FaceTime and Smart Covers, Apple’s innovative iPad 2 is on sale.

By Hannah Daley

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

   Now faster, thinner, and lighter, offering FaceTime and Smart Covers, Apple’s innovative iPad 2 is on sale.

   With a dual-core A5 chip, the iPad 2 can do twice the work at once, making multitasking even smoother. Owners can also use it for 10 hours before having to charge it, according to Apple.com.

   Thirty-three percent thinner and 15 percent lighter, it also makes traveling easier.

   Not only is it quicker, thinner, and lighter, but it also offers great quality in terms of images and video.

   Compared to the first iPad, the iPad 2 has nine times the graphic performance and consists of two cameras, one on the front and one on the back.

   The camera on the front is used for video chatting, which is known as the feature “FaceTime,” and the back camera is used to take videos. The back camera also serves as a convenient way to show something to a video-chat friend while still seeing his/her face.

   In addition to the 9.7 inches of high-resolution display with a 178-degree viewing angle, the iPad 2’s LED backlighting serves as a main component, making every image crisp, vivid, and bright.

   Although sold separately, the iPad Smart Cover serves as an accessory and protector.

   Sold in leather or polyurethane in 10 colors for $39, the Smart Cover folds in several different ways and contains built-in magnets that cling to the iPad for a perfect fit.

   The iPad with only Wi-Fi costs $499, $599, and $699 for 16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB, respectively. Ipads with Wi-Fi and 3G (the service network) cost $629, $729, and $829.

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Band members venture to Montreal for performance, tour during week in Canada

Led by director Joe Sokol, 64 band members traveled to Montreal, Canada on March 18 for a weekend trip and performance at the Olympic Stadium.

By Morgan Kennedy

INDPENDENT STAFF

  Led by director Joe Sokol, 64 band members traveled to Montreal, Canada on March 18 for a weekend trip and performance at the Olympic Stadium.

  According to Sokol, the band left Manchester on Friday at 6:30 a.m. and arrived in Montreal at 12:30 p.m.

  After arriving, the band ate lunch and prepared for a 40-minute set at the Olympic Stadium, home to the 1976 Summer Olympics.

  The band performed for passing tourists in the lobby of La Tour de Montréal, a tower at the Olympic Stadium, with a set of nine songs including “O’Canada,” “Eagle Mountain Overture,” and “A Beatles Medley,” Sokol said.

  According to senior Grace Gillette, the performance was a success.

  “We had a great concert this year. There were more fans than we expected, and Mr. Sokol was asked to sign his first autograph,” she said.

  According to Sokol, the rest of the weekend included various activities and tours. The group took a guided tour of Montreal on Saturday, and band members were given time to shop and eat lunch on their own afterwards.

  On Saturday afternoon, 10 students visited a museum with art teacher Marion Powers, a chaperone on the trip, while the rest of the group went ice skating.

  Junior Brianna Malik enjoyed the freedom to choose which activities she wanted to do.

  “I liked that we had options on this trip. Whether you went to an art museum or ice skating was entirely up to you,” she said.

  According to Sokol, other activities included dinner at a sugar shack and a visit to Montréal Biodôme to see animals in a variety of ecosystems.

  Gillette said the weekend was well spent.

  “The whole trip was a blast. We all had fun going out to dinner, walking around the city, and just hanging out in the hotel,” she said.

  Sokol said his favorite part of the trip was watching the students have fun together.

  “One night at dinner I looked at the students and thought, ‘This is what it’s all about, being together like this,’” he said. “The students are always practicing, and it was neat to kick back, have fun, and enjoy each other.”

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‘Femme Fatale’ sure to be a fan favorite, lacks appeal needed for non-Spears fans

On her third album since her triumphant, post-breakdown, return to music, Britney Spears proves once again that she’s not going away anytime soon.

By Maura Driscoll

INDEPENDENT EDITOR

  On her third album since her triumphant, post-breakdown, return to music, Britney Spears proves once again that she’s not going away anytime soon.

  Though bound to be a highly successful album, “Femme Fatale (Deluxe Edition),” is nothing out of the ordinary or outside of Spears’ comfort zone. It has the same feel as her most recent albums, “Blackout” and “Circus,” and there are no surprises with this new set of tracks.

  Spears delivers her standard music, which for diehard fans is just what they were looking for, but those who have never been supporters, or are disgusted with the music industry, will undoubtedly turn up their noses at the music.

  Auto tuned to death and digitally edited to the point where Spears often sounds robotic, “Femme Fatale” brings nothing more to the table other than sugary, computerized songs fit for nothing but remixes and the club scene, playing into the current dubstep craze.

  Pre-released singles “Hold It Against Me” and “Till The World Ends” rapidly spread across radio stations and climbed the charts within the first week of their respective releases.

  Despite the fact that it’s cluttered with many of the same sounding tunes, “Femme Fatale” does have a few hidden gems worth checking out.

  “I Wanna Go,” an upbeat song that you can’t help but want to dance to, is one of the bright spots on the album. Its addictive hook and fun whistle effect make for an enjoyable track, although severely computerized.

  Another song off the album that fans are sure to love is “Gasoline,” which is typical Spears. The transitions from upbeat and catchy verses to a darker and edgier hook makes for an enthralling, though somewhat redundant, track.

  If listeners are willing to look past the heavy handed editing, autotuning, and regrettable introduction of dubstep in almost every one of the album’s tracks, “Femme Fatale” provides party perfect songs but lacks the depth and range of talent Spears is sure to still possess; the reintroduction of which would have been a welcomed change of pace.

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