Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Pete Buttigeig: Is America Ready?

By Delia Harms

Pete Buttigeig is a 37-year-old democratic mayor of South Bend, Indiana. He announced his presidential candidacy in early April. He is the first openly gay person to run for president. Many people are wondering: is America ready to elect a gay president?

For the most part, the polls say yes, we are ready, but there may be a different story behind the numbers. An article on CNN by Harry Enten states, “A new Quinnipiac University poll finds that 70% of voters (including 86% of Democrats and independents who lean Democratic) say they are open to electing a gay president.” (Enten) However, according to that same poll, “36% of voters (including 40% of Democrats and independents who lean Democratic) think the United States is ready to elect a gay president.” (Enten) One theory behind the difference in these two numbers is that people actually do not think that they are ready, but are not willing to admit that so instead say others are not.

This concept has shown up before in the history of presidential elections in 2007 for Obama and in 2015 for Hillary Clinton. The majority of voters polled said they were ready to elect an African American, then female president, but most said the country was not. However, there is one major difference in the statistics. Today, there are 25% of Americans who say that they are not willing to vote for a gay man, no matter what his qualifications are. In 2007 and 2015, less than 5% of Americans said they were not willing to vote for a qualified African American or female president, respectively. (Enten) This shows that our country holds more prejudice towards gay people than they do towards African Americans or women. Part of this may be that voting age people have had less time to “adjust” to the concept of gay people. People who are younger than voting age or who are young voters may be more willing to vote for a gay man because that is not an unusual concept to them.

In an interview with Raymond Buckley by Jeremy Peters, Buckley is talking about Chris Papas, a gay congressman elected last year. He says, “Not one person that I know of said, “Oh, I’m voting for him because he’s gay,” or, “I’m voting against him because he’s gay.” That is such a victory, such a huge leap.” (Peters) This is an important part of this discussion. It is not the fact that Buttigeig is gay that makes him qualified or unqualified to run for president. We should be looking at him and considering his political opinions just as thoroughly as any other candidate. We should be making our decision based on that, not basing the decision the fact that he is gay.

Bombings in Sri Lanka

By Julia Helms

On Sunday, April 21, 2019 a series of bombings occurred on the island nation of Sri Lanka. They are suspected to have been carried out by Islamic extremist group ISIS, with the mastermind, now dead, being Zahran Hashim. 

Eight bombings took place from 8:45 to 9:05 a.m. local time. The targets are said to be Christians and U.S. led coalitions. Easter masses being held at St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo, St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, and Zion Church in Batticaloa were among the targeted locations. Luxury hotels, Shangri La; Colombo, Cinnamon Grand, and Kingsbury as well as Dehiwala Zoo and Mahawil Gardens were also bombed. A failed bombing attempt on a fourth hotel helped lead Sri Lankan officials to the Islamist group now blamed for the assault. 

An estimated 253 people died which included 38 foreigners from the U.K., Denmark, Portugal, India, Turkey, Australia, the Netherlands, Japan, Switzerland, Spain, Bangladesh, the U.S., and China. Among the dead were Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen’s three children Agnes, Alma, and Alfred, celebrity chef Shantha Mayadunne, and a man who saved many lives by stopping the bomber from entering the church, Ramesh Raju. 

The aftermath of the tragic attack is devastating. Not only for the family members of those who where tragically lost, but to the nation as a whole. Parents are without children, children are without parents, husbands and wives no longer have their spouse, and all of their other family members are in mourning. Sri Lanka is also in mourning as their entire tourist industry is almost gone and the economy is suffering. Hotel booking is down 186% and cancellations are up an average of 70%. No bookings for trips and/or hotels have been made for this year.

Cyclone in Mozambique

by Madison Bors

Mozambique is a nation in East Africa that has quite a few popular beaches on its coastline. Recently, with all the high winds, there was a cyclone that really took a toll on the country of Mozambique. People are living in fear and don’t feel safe in their own homes or even schools anymore.

Houses were destroyed and lots of people lost their lives. At Eduardo Mondlane Primary Completion school, 32 out of 48 classrooms were destroyed. Nearly, 300,000 kids, including the 508 that attend the Primary Completion school have had the disastrous winds interrupt their learning and education. People are frustrated, because they want kids and students to have a good education, but its hard when the only thing they can focus on in class is how they no longer have a house and they may have just lost a family member because of the high winds.

The country is taking action to rebuild, but lots of communities are rebuilding in fear that the same thing will happen again, but it will be worse. Some places feel money is being wasted just for more high winds to take down what was just rebuilt. Antonia Manuel Tom states, “I'm scared if another cyclone comes, it will take our house and the wind will blow us all away,"

No child, or anyone should have to live in fear that the next day their house may not be standing and they may not get to talk to some family members again.

Also, in Mozambique, kids, even without the winds, aren’t getting enough to eat. One of the young girls that attends Eduardo Mondlane Primary Completion has no textbooks or notebooks. The wind just takes more and more of a toll on the students every time. It’s crazy to think that over 600 schools, that kids were attending and receiving an education in, were completely destroyed.

Cyclone Fani Slams Into Western India Coast

by Cody Charette

Friday, March 3rd of 2019, India was hit with the strongest tropical cyclone in the past 20 years. Because of this, over 1 million people were evacuated from Odisha alone, with hundreds of cyclone shelters being set up along the coast. Mass evacuations were started in Bangladesh as well before the cyclone reached them. Officials aimed to evacuate 2.1 million Bangladesh citizens by Friday night, according to cnn.com.

The winds reached speeds upwards of 125 mph, and flooding was reported in many areas. When the cyclone hit Odisha state, it had the power of a category 4 hurricane but weakened as it moved through India. Storm surges of up 10-15 feet destroyed many buildings and homes in low-lying areas, and even worse, 35 people were killed and millions are left homeless.

India's coast guard and navy deployed ships and helicopters for relief and rescue operations, and army and air force units were on constant standby to evacuate citizens in vulnerable states. 56,000 officials were deployed as of May 3rd in Bangladesh for evacuation and rescue operations as well.

The Water Crisis in Flint

By Aiden Harris

On March 22, 2012, the Genesee county announces that the Karegnondi Water Authority will build a pipeline from Lake Huron for the county to use, saving money, and swapping off of the Detroit water system, a month later the city council of Flint Michigan, decides to use Flint’s river water until the new pipeline is built. In these following years Flint City Council tells the general motors plant to stop using highly chlorinated water, because of concerns it could corrode engine parts, but this costs them 400,000 so the company could switch to a neighboring township.

On January 2, 2015, the city warns locals that the water could contain harmful chemicals, like disinfectant byproducts. These chemicals could cause a higher risk of cancer, but the water is still deemed safe to drink by the general public.

On February 26, 2015, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency notifies the MDEQ (The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality) that the water has Lead levels of 104 parts per billion of lead. That's seven times higher than the federal action level of 15 parts per billion.

Next month, the council decides to try to switch to Detroit water, but the state appointed emergency manager vetoes this. People file lawsuits against the city, with claims stating that the river water is a health risk.

So then finally, flint switches to Detroit's system, but the residents of flint file a federal action lawsuit against 14 state and city officials, because they knowingly exposed their citizens to harmful water. Fast forward from November 2015, to April 2018, After the MDEQ declares that lead levels in the Flint water supply are no longer a problem, Governor Snyder announces that the free bottled water program, part of a $450 million state and federal aid program, will end.

Girls LAX Helping Out the Community

By Micaela Jacobs

This 2019 lacrosse season has been going really well for our lady Mustangs, with a record of 5-0. They aren’t just doing great on the field, but also with their fundraisers. These fundraisers help fund the team, but they also help our community out a lot. The first fundraiser of the season that these girls did was on April 18, 2019, when they took a trip down to Camp Sunshine to help clean up the outside of the camp. They did this so that the people who go there will have a great experience along with an amazing view and its landscape outside. Camp Sunshine is a place where children with life-threatening illnesses can get away for a little bit, along with their families. The people at the camp were so amazing and all of the girls felt so great to be helping out people in such a way.

The team also did “rent a team”, which is when the girls pick one day and will go around to peoples houses that needed help with moving things, doing yard work, or anything of that sort. They have been doing this for a few years now and it is pretty popular thing around the community that people love having them do. There was so many people that booked for this year, that some had to be moved back until next year.

Should The Reconstruction of Notre Dame Be a Priority?

By Ethan Paquin

For centuries, the people of Paris had enjoyed the architecture of the iconic Notre Dame cathedral, or Notre Dame de Paris. It is considered by many people to be the best example of Gothic French Architecture. Construction began in 1160 and completed in 1260. The medieval Catholic cathedral had been admired for centuries. But on April 15th, 2019, disaster struck. Officials believe a short circuit may have caused the cathedral to go up in flames. The fire made one of the spires fall and destroyed most of the roof. This event has been nothing short of a tragedy. However, 1 billion dollars has already been raised to rebuild. As great as this is, is using all this money to build a church less than a month after it burned necessary? I think that the reconstruction of the Notre Dame cathedral should not be prioritized over charity, scientific research, and help for the homeless.

One thing the reconstruction of Notre Dame should not be prioritized over is charity. I, for one, believe that these organizations that help others get what they need should be put forward instead of the construction for a church. While Notre Dame is a symbol of Parisian culture, it still needs to be recognized that charities help people and animals get the help that they may need. For example, the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants a wish for children with critical illnesses. They give children in hospitals the chance to have something they have always wanted for their entire life. Charities such as this one are very good causes to donate to and deserve to have people donate to them rather than the construction of a cathedral.

Another thing that the reconstruction of the Notre Dame cathedral shouldn’t be prioritized over is scientific research. Some kinds of scientific research can help improve humanity as a whole. For one, scientific research has found treatment for diseases like Malaria and there have gradually been breakthroughs in the treatment of cancer. Another thing beneficial from scientific research is the improvement of space exploration. Currently, scientists are working on ways to be able to land on Mars and make it habitable in case the Earth becomes unable to have us live on it. This should be put before Notre Dame because it is necessary human life.

One more thing that should be put before Notre Dame is help for the homeless. These people don’t have homes to go to at night. They most commonly are unemployed. They don’t have money for food, or clothing, or anything, really. Thankfully, organizations such as shelters have been set up in order to help and support them. and should be put before Notre Dame because those who are less fortunate can still get vital things like food and shelter until they are able to find employment and these organizations will not need to be vital to them.

Now, don’t get me wrong. The Notre Dame cathedral has been important to the people of Paris for a very long time. It is indeed important that people of a certain culture have something that they cherish in their community. Then again, it could simply be because this article is coming from the perspective of an American who has never experienced this building, but from said perspective, the cathedral is what it is identified as; just a building. It is great and even inspiring that the people of Paris have already devoted money to rebuild this beloved piece of Parisian architecture. However, we must also recognize that it shouldn’t be put before causes that are vital to improving society. Scientific research can benefit humanity as a whole, and charity and shelters give important help to those who are less fortunate than others.

The Boy Scouts Scandal

By Devyn Hussey

For many years, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has covered up documents about sexual abuse among troop leaders and others. In 2012, there were 5,000 leaders and volunteers named on the BSA blacklist, known as the “perversion files.”

A researcher that worked for the BSA, to look at files from 1944-2016 testified that she identified 7,820 abusers and 12,260 victims of this crime. In the years between 1970-1992 there was more than 130 cases across the country where men abused the boys. Many predators slipped back into the BSA by falsifying personal information.

In some cases, many officials failed to document the abuse reports causing the abusers to stay in the BSA. The leaders that got caught for abuse were put on probation, but still got to work with the boys. Less than 50 cases the BSA expelled the leaders that were abusing the boys only to come to find out that they re-entered the BSA and were abusing boys again.

There was one case in 1970 that a scoutmaster in Indiana sexually assaulted a 14-year-old boy. After being convicted of the crime he went on to Illinois to join another troop there and then was convicted of abusing another boy. He later admitted that he abused over 100 boys. There was another case that had a leader in Minnesota that went to jail for sexual abuse, but later on re-joined his troop after he went to jail.

The BSA are just starting to screen and do background checks on all leaders and volunteers since 2017. There has been 5 cases of sexual abuse reported in 2019. The BSA has paid over $15 million dollars to cover up sexual abuse among the BSA.

Maine Bans Styrofoam

by Lillian Roberts

The State of Maine has become the first in the United States to ban styrofoam. This being because styrofoam is not recyclable and takes too long to break down. It is also bad to burn it because it releases deadly toxins that can damage your lungs and your nervous system. Styrofoam also absorbs toxins more than other plastics and damages animals that mistake it for food. 

Small businesses are no longer going to be able to use styrofoam cups, containers, and trays. Violators of this law can face up to $100 in fines. "Maine has proven itself an environmental leader once again, this time in eliminating disposable foam containers that have become a common, costly, and deadly form of plastic pollution," said Sarah Lakeman

Article 13 in the EU

By Oliver Robidoux

Article 13 is a law that has passed in the EU “which prohibits banishment and guarantees freedom of movement. Article 13 of the European Union Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, which would expand legal liability for websites.” This means there are a lot more and stronger copyright laws on the internet. Throughout Europe there are two main opinions towards this passing which are; people against it who said the vote heralded the death of the internet, while supporters congratulated themselves for saving the livelihoods of starving artists and “giving US tech giants a poke in the eye.”

From the time this article has passed, it has affected many European people. If you’re an internet user in Europe, chances are the way you use platforms like YouTube and Facebook are going to change drastically in the coming years. For example, you may see many forms of censorship on the internet. Critics have said that this would lead to controversial pre-filter systems, where everything from memes to GIFs are blocked from online platforms. Tech giants are affected because they must ensure their platforms aren’t open to copyright breaches.

Girls Lacrosse Start Out the Season with a Bang

by Emily Jacobs

The girls lacrosse team has started off their season with a record of 4-0 in their first 4 games. The first game of their season they crushed Thornton academy with a total score of 13-2. Their second game against Yarmouth was not an easy win the girls had been down by a couple points the whole game towards the end of the game it was tied 9-9 and with 10 secs left the girls lacrosse team scored to win it with a score of 10-9. The third game of the season was another blowout against Bonny Eagle with the score ending at 19-5; during this game defenders Sarah DesVergnes scored as well as defender Emily Stinson which was an exciting moment for the team. Fourth game of the season was another win for the girls against South Portland with the score being at 16-7, they came out strong and ready to make the players around them better. The girls have been working their butts off on and off the field, so make sure you go and support them in their next games!