Thursday, January 31, 2019

Massabesic Girls Soccer

Written by Hannah Samson

During fall sports, girls soccer hit a bit of a rough patch. With many injuries occurring and illness frequent, the girls soccer team was always at a disadvantage. However, they played their hearts out, leaving everything on the field. With a record of 0-10 they never gave up and played in very close games. Injuries throughout the year varied from concussions to sprained ankles. 

With starters getting injured younger players were forced to step up. In one particularly close game against Westbrook, two players got hurt, which shook up the team leading to a loss of 3-2. 

The JV team, however, had a more successful season winning almost all of their games. Megan Collupy is the JV coach and Jamie Alonso is the Varsity coach for the girls. Overall, the girls had quite a season and the seniors will be missed next year.

In this photo is Hayden Zielinski, Skylar Renaud, Shea Lane, Fiona Green, Sarah DesVergnes, Julia Helms, Hannah Samson, and Emily Baker.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Extinction of the Northern White Rhino

Written by Madison Bors

The Northern White Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros Sondaicus) is a species of rhino often found in East and Central Africa, south of the Sahara. These rhinos like to graze in grasslands and Savanna woodlands. As of a number of months ago, this species was considered very endangered. On March 19, 2018, the last male Northern White Rhino was put down after suffering from “age-related complications,” says The Guardian. 

As of March 19, 2018, there are only two Northern White Rhino females left. Some people and scientists are worried that this extinction may be part of an even bigger mass extinction going on around the world. Colin Butfield, who is a campaign director at WWF (World Wildlife Fund) said that this “was a wider tragedy and was highlighted as a wider crisis”. This is concerning for not only scientists, but the people who care for these animals as well.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Massabesic Field Hockey Fights Until the End

Written by Micaela Jacobs

The 2018 varsity field hockey season was quite a successful season for the young team. The ending record for the season was, 5 wins and 9 loses, but 7 of the games were lost by only one point, proving that the team was very competitive throughout the whole season. The team ended up making it to the Southern preliminary game, where they versed Cheverus. The atmosphere was intense and emotional throughout the whole game. At half time Chervus was up, 3-1, but the Mustangs came out strong in the second half and ended up tying the game, 4-4.

In overtime the lady mustangs worked very hard, but couldn’t pull out the win. Cheverus got a penalty stroke, and with all of the Mustangs watching and cheering on their goalie, Cheverus landed the ball in the back of the net and secured the win. The ladies were very upset and down on themselves, but throughout the season they all created a strong bond and got better as the season progressed. Can’t wait to see how they do next Season. Good luck lady Mustangs!

Massabesic Varsity Cheerleading

Written by Devyn Hussey

Saturday, January 5th the Massabesic Varsity Cheerleaders took to the mat at Massabesic Middle School for the MCCA (Maine Cheering Coaches Association). The team has worked hard on and off the mat getting ready to host this competition, and continued working hard that day to only get one penalty. Lewiston won over the other eleven teams in class A; Massabesic finished in 10th.

The competition team will be traveling to Gorham High School for the Gorham Invitational on Friday, where 14 teams are competing. With Massabesic Varsity cheering making some changes to their line-up, they secured a 7th place finish. The Biddeford Tigers won the tournament.

The Massabesic Varsity Cheerleaders headed to South Portland to compete at SMAA on Saturday the 19th. This competition continued the trend of improvement with all of their stunts, tumbling, and dance steps being successfully landed. At SMAA there were 14 teams and Thorton Academy took the win. Massabesic Varsity Cheerleading took 7th. MHSVC will be heading to Augusta for the Maine Regionals on the 26th. 

Government Employees Struggle Through the Shutdown

Written by Julia Helms
Today is January 25, 2019 and the government shutdown has been in place for almost four weeks. This has had a very large effect on many things such as national parks, loans, jobs, and services to provide for the nation’s people.

Since the government shutdown began 800,000 employees have missed two paychecks. Some employees affected are park rangers, TSA agents, border patrol, post office workers, and people on welfare. Many states and towns are helping these people by allowing them access to food banks and charitable donations. Federal employees are worrying about if they'll still have a place to live when the government shutdown is lifted, because they aren't able to pay their mortgages. Many of these employees have already received letters from their banks stating that their home will be going into foreclosure if they miss another payment.

Federal funding for people and projects such as the Native American reservations across the country are nonexistent. These reservations receive money to help pay for staffing and maintenance of health clinics and food pantries. They now have to use their own money to pay for this, so other services aren't being taken care of. Roads aren't being plowed, so people aren't able to leave their homes to buy food, clothing, or other things they may need. Since a lot of people’s salaries rely on federal funding they aren't getting paid. This is resulting in desperation and hardship among our nation’s working class individuals.

Giant Ice Disk Spotted on the Presumscot River

Written by Cody Charette

On Wednesday, January 16th, a giant ice disk was seen spinning in Westbrook, Maine on the Presumpscot River. The city of Westbrook posted some pictures, and the drone shots look stunning. Before people start claiming it as the work of aliens, let me explain what an ice disk is and how it forms. According to The New York Times, they occur when “a pile of slush freezes in an eddy or a piece of ice breaks off from another and begins to rotate. As it turns, hitting rocks and water, the sides are shaved down.” This causes the ice to form a disk, that slowly rotates due to the flow of water around it. Ice disks are quite rare and occur in slow moving water in cold climates.

This particular ice disk is special, though. Average ice disks are usually 20 to 30 feet in diameter, whereas the one spotted on The Presumpscot River is an estimated 300 feet in diameter. In the picture below, you can see that the ice disk is larger than the nearby parking garage on the shore. It may not be aliens, but it’s still quite a sight to see!

Yellow Vests Protest in France

Written by Oliver Robidoux

In 2018, France planned to pass a new gas and diesel tax. This started protests from “Yellow Vests,” a group of people who began protesting while wearing neon yellow vests to mimic road workers. This has been happening for the last month and is one of the most significant social mobilizations in France’s recent history. At least 280,000 protesters took to the streets in urban, suburban, and rural communities across the country, burning cars, blockading highways, and fuel depots, and engaging in battles with police and motorists. During this time they demonstrated against aforementioned planned rises in gas and diesel taxes.

On December 1, three people died after protests in France turned violent. On December 3, “the yellow vests” canceled the scheduled meeting with the prime minister, claiming they were receiving death threats. This shows just how much power this protest has.

Gilets Jaunes Colere = Angry Yellow Vests

French police have started to crack down on protesters, making dozens of arrests of violent protests. Police in the capital used water cannons and tear gas as scuffles broke out at the Arc de Triomphe, on the ninth consecutive weekend of protests. Thousands of officers were deployed across Paris. This is where the majority of the protest’s street clashes and vandalism have occurred. The police have resorted to tackling the protesters, and blockading parts of the center with riot police.

Big Changes Coming to the Massabesic Schedule

Written by Delia Harms

There are some proposed changes coming to Massabesic High School that will alter daily life drastically. The main change is a seven block schedule (6 classes and one Mustang Time period) for the upcoming school year. Classes will meet every day for 48 minutes eliminating Green and White days. Advisory will also be replaced with what is called Mustang Time. The goal of this schedule is to create more time per class per semester and ideally increase achievement levels throughout the school. According to Principal Hand, “this schedule will allow us to address the Math and English gaps many of our students have while meeting the needs of all learners.” He goes on to add, “ It will increase instructional time in a course per semester while moving away from long instructional blocks that have created a lot of downtime in a student's schedule.”

With the reworked schedule graduation requirements have also needed adjusting. The overall number of credits required to graduate will eventually be brought down to 20 credits, lowering gradually over the next couple of years. The largest changes in this credit count will be a drop to 3.0 credits of math, history, and science whereas 3.5 is currently required. More details about the graduation requirements will be released soon.

Some downfalls to this schedule have also been recognized. One major problem being that the number of classes available in a semester is going to be reduced from eight to six. This will make it more difficult for students to fit in all of the classes they need to take and find time for the electives they enjoy and/or need to take to be ready for their career and education after high school. For instance, a Freshman coming in will now have six available blocks to work with. If they wish to take all four core classes, a foreign language, and Wellness (which is required), that leaves no time for electives. The shorter blocks will also make it difficult for some classes to function the way they currently do. For example, an art class uses time at the beginning and end for set up and clean up and would then be lacking in time to actually work on their projects.

A lot of thought has been put into how students can work around these complications and find the opportunities they are looking for. The “Mustang Time” is the additional block in the middle of the day (replacing advisory) that will help address some of these concerns. It may be used to help provide time to AP classes to complete labs or assessments. It can also be used for students to do independent studies and find other ways of getting involved in their areas of interest. However, because of this, other activities and clubs that currently take place during advisory will need to be moved to outside of the school day.

The schedule will be brought to the school board to be voted on on February 23rd and more information will be released soon.

The Overnight Popularity of AirPods

Written by Ethan Paquin

AirPods are wireless headphones that were first produced by Apple in 2016, and after this Christmas they are everywhere. Some students who received these as a gift have even started to use phrases such as, “it smells like ‘broke’ in here.” Some feel as if they are a waste of money (AirPods will cost you $159), while others think they are the best earbuds around. Whatever your opinion, we can all agree that the product has blown up. However, that got me thinking; did AirPods become popular because of the bandwagon, or did they become popular because they are a good product?

To some, Apple AirPods are considered to be the best product the company has produced in a long time or even the best Apple product ever. AirPods connect to devices quicker and much more efficiently than standard bluetooth devices. Simply by opening the case they come in, a window will appear on your Apple device asking to allow them to connect. This is just one of the many features that make the AirPods a well thought out product. However, not surprisingly, these are not the only wireless headphones on the market. The brand Ikanzi has a pair of wireless earbuds that function in much the same way. They feature very good sound quality, and the case can also double as a power bank to charge mobile devices or other USB-connected devices. Plus, they cost a mere $55, much cheaper than Apple’s version.

AirPods are a popular piece of technology among students. One idea behind their sudden popularity is the concept of bandwagoning. The bandwagon is a fallacy meaning the most popular opinion is right. For example, a group of people could start wearing a new type of shoe and gain attention for it, which would create the thought that “if everybody else is doing it, I should too.” Some students, when asked on why they purchased AirPods, gave similar answers; they wanted to be able to listen to music while they charge their phone. With the release of the iPhone 7, Apple did away with the headphone jack. There are still ways of using wired headphones such as an adapter or Apple brand earbuds that come with a lightning plug directly instead of the tradition ⅜” jack, ut with AirPods, it is possible to charge your phone while listening to music, because they do not require use of the single lightning port.

Even if you believe AirPods are a waste of money and a horrible product, we can agree that Apple has produced a successful and quality product.

Lady Mustang Reaches 1,000 Career Points

Written by Emily Jacobs

Kenzy Ouellette, the starting point guard for the Lady Mustangs Basketball team, has accomplished the goal of reaching 1,000 points in her high school basketball career. In their game against Noble Kenzy achieved this milestone, and continues to raise her point total as the season progresses.

Kenzy has played on the Varsity team here at Massabesic since her Freshman year, the reason why is evident when you see her. Kenzy worked hard to reach her goal; working with the AAU team the Maine Firecrackers, strength training with coach Harry from OA sports, and working with Coach Abiola of the AAU team Thunder. All this hard work has paid off for her. She has been awarded, and has accepted, an athletic scholarship to the college of Saint Anselm, a D2 school.