Volume 2 Issue 4
Photo by Gwen Wojewodka
Volume2 Issue 4
Peters Township High School
264 East McMurray Road
McMurray, PA 15317
Meet the Staff
Managing Editor-In-Chief: Mike Schuck
Online Editor-In-Chief: Katie Denning
Layout Editor-In-Chief: Matt Sikora
Period 1 Editor-In-Chief: Erin Masta
Period 3 Editor-In-Chief: Gabrielle Brinsky
Layout Editors: Val Gobao and Joe Grossi
Entertainment Editor: Conor Jackson
Life & Style Editor: Molly Doehring
Special Features Editor: Christine Manganas
Sports Editor: John Galatic
People Editor: McKenzie Fritz
PT Focus Editor: Amanda Moore
Staff Writers: Layout Staff:
Jake Achenbach Katie Finn
Savanna Schweitzer Kurt Werner
Smoke Signals is produced five times a school year by the students of the Media II, III,
and IV Journalism staff at Peters Township High School. Staff Advisor is Mrs. N.
Sitler. Commentaries, reviews, and opinion columns are the express opinion of the author
and not of Smoke Signals, its advisor, or the Peters Township School District.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
“When people walk
slowly in front of you in
“Answering a question
with a question”
Table of Contents
“When fast food people forget to give you
a straw when you go
through the drive thru”
“When people pick
at their nails”
Lady Gaga Concert
Blurring the Lines
Life & Style
Fashion Focus: Prom
Media Dept. Wins Award
World Ending in 2012
Which Side Are You On?
Are you a Jet or a
Shark? As the PTHS musical
West Side Story approaches,
the line between the sides is
drawn. Senior Sara Cavolo
was cast as a Jet. Yet, which
gang is the best? Cavolo describes her experience in
the musical and what side
she would choose.
Q: Why did you decide to
try out for the show?
A: West Side Story
has always been my favorite musical and when the
opportunity came to learn
more about it, I jumped at it.
Q: What is your favorite
part about being a Jet?
A: My favorite part
of being a Jet is learning all
of the dance moves. I like being able to act out emotions
Q: What's the most difficult
part of being in the show?
A: The most difficult part of being in the
show is the commitment.
It's a very time-consuming
process, but it's all worth the
Q: What is your favorite
scene of the musical?
A: My favorite
scene is the “Mambo” because it's the biggest scene
of the show. Everyone comes
together and all sorts of
Q: If you weren’t cast as a
Lady Gaga: The Monster Ball
When it comes to
concerts in Pittsburgh, the
pickings are slim. However,
when a big name in music does
decide to visit, tickets are sold
out in seconds. Luckily, Lady
Gaga has graced Consol Energy Center twice during the
course of her Virgin Mobile
Monster Ball Tour on September 5, 2010 and February 26,
singer wowed audiences in
flashy costumes and backdrops.
Her set list was mainly composed of her top hits, such as
“Just Dance”, “Poker Face”, and
“Paparazzi”. It also included
several of her lesser-known
songs from her album titled
“The Fame Monster”, such as
“You and I” and “Money Honey”. Her encore performances
were “Bad Romance” and her
newest hit “Born This Way”.
While Gaga definitely
had her own share of crazi-
Jet, which side would you
rather be on?
A: I would rather
be a Jet because I like to
learn new styles of American dance in that time period. It's so upbeat and fun!
Cavolo is true to
her side, but she supports all
of her fellow thespians.
“I know this is going to be a great show, and
I'm so proud of everyone for
all of their hard work,” she
West Side Story
is directed by Mr. Kuharcik and Mrs. Barefoot, with
choreography by Mrs. Deliere, and musical direction
ness during her performances,
the audience was even crazier.
Around 90 percent of her fans
emulated her, copying her hair,
makeup, and outfits from her
music videos and award shows.
She might be crazy
and controversial, but Lady
Gaga is definitely quite a performer. Her dancing made
her stand out against her 25
backup dancers, as if her outfits
hadn’t already. Her backdrops
included a forest, a street car,
and a city street. Gaga amazed
audiences of all ages, and even
called a member of the audience before performing her hit
by Mrs. Fox and Mr. Perrotte. The show will be performed on April 7-9th at the
high school. Tickets will be
presold for the event. Which
side are you on?
Photo by Katie Shultz
West Side Story is a modern interpretation
of a Romeo and Juliet story. Directors Mr.
Kuharcik and Mrs. Barefoot have been preparing since January for the show. Above, the
Sharks and Jets are preparing their opening
single “Telephone” and invited
the member and his family to
join her backstage for pictures
and autographs after the show.
She may be notorious,
but Lady Gaga has definitely
made an impression on Pittsburgh.
Photo By Lexi MIller
What is the first sign of spring?
Gage Fremer, 9
Alexa Kennedy, 10
“People wearing flip
Kyle Hutter, 11
Becca Lee, 12
“Flip flops and
Simple Steps for Composting
Instead of wasting
your money on expensive gardening supplies, save money
and the environment by using
compost. Compost, a mixture
of decayed plants and other organic materials, is used by gardeners to enrich the soil. It is
also called “black gold” by gardeners since it is rich in nutrients. Numerous organic wastes
in the kitchen that tend to be
thrown away, can now be used
to start an eco-friendly garden.
While composting may seem
complicated, it is a very simple
process and can be fun to do to.
First, a composter will
either need to be purchased or
built. Composters can be purchased from various websites,
are inexpensive, and can be
used year round. Before purchasing a composter, check to
for this key feature: compost
bins need to have good drainage. If water is not drained the
compost bin, it can suffocate
helpful bacteria and invites
pests such as mosquitoes or raccoons. The compost bin should
also have a lid to keep rain and
snow out of the bin. Even if
there is a drain at the bottom of
the bin avoid putting too much
water into it; water that trickles
Photo By Steph Hammell
through the compost can wash
away useful nutrients. However,
if you keep the lid on your com-
post bin all the time, check and
make sure that there is enough
water. Without water, materials
don’t break down easily if they
are too dry or too wet. The general rule is that the materials in
your composter or compost pile
should be moist, like a rung-out
The ingredients of
your compost are also important. The compost will need
plenty of cellulose-rich, carbon
material along with nitrogen
rich kitchen scraps. The ideal
mix is 75% “brown” material
and 25% “green” scraps by volume. Or if you are doing it by
weight, its about a fifty- fifty
mix of nitrogen rich and carbon
rich materials. That means for
every pound of kitchen scraps,
it’s good to have a pound of
leaves. Green or brown does not
refer to the actual color of the
items going in the composter;
it is short for saying nitrogen
rich or carbon rich. “Brown”
material includes dried grass,
leaves, and shredded newspaper, which take longer to break
down than “green” vegetable
peels, fruit rinds, and organic
scraps from the kitchen.
Photo By Steph Hammell
With these simple
steps, making compost for your
garden can be done in a few
Kick-Starting Good Vibrations
House, neighbor to Subway and Donut Connection in Waterdam Plaza,
offers a breath of fresh air
to PT’s claustrophobic music scene. They offer music
lessons, recording sessions,
promotion workshops, and
concerts. In other words,
David’s spans just about every aspect of the music biz.
As if that wasn’t enough, it
doubles as a coffee shop.
The entire set-up
is brand new, having just
opened in 2010, and the
relaxed atmosphere is one
that almost gives a feeling
of relief. Mental to-do lists
melt away as you settle in.
Keep in mind that
David’s isn’t just for the
prodigies with perfect pitch
who can play five to six instruments. Everyone enjoys
listening to music, and that’s
more than enough reason to
stop by. If you suddenly feel
the urge to become a one of
those prodigies, simply walk
across the room and sign up
“We are really trying to make more high
school students aware that
we are a safe, family friendly,
local place for them to come
anytime to hang out, have
coffee, smoothies, other
beverages, use the Free Wifi,
and have a great place to
come anytime,” said David
Judith Avers, and Vicky Andreis are just a few of the recent performers at David’s,
but besides the professional
concerts, one of the most
appealing features is the
Open Mic Nights. Anyone
can perform at these events,
which are usually held at
7:30 on Saturday nights, and
admission is free. Open Mic
Nights are a haven for musical purists. Each musician
or group presents whatever
they can give and nothing
else -- no auto-tune, overdubbing, or pitch correction
in sight. It’s a great opportunity to hear honest, unpredictable live music.
the best news of all is that David’s has potential to become
a Peters Township staple.
Imagine a tight-knit group
of all ages coming together
to share music while simultaneously contributing to the
community. That’s the premise of David’s.
Check out their website at
Photo by Mike Schuck
The signature “house and clef ” logo displayed on the front of David’s Music House
on Route 19. Their website is www.davidsmusichouse.com.
Ready For the 2011 NFL Draft
Looking toward the 2011 Draft, this is an in-depth analysis of the top NCAA college football players. These are my predictions for each player, why I think they deserve the spot that I gave them, and which team is going to choose who.
Carolina Panthers: Da’quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
Denver Broncos: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU
Bowers is just one of the top prospects expecting to be the #1 pick. The
new head coach for the Panthers, Ron Rivera, is a defensive-minded guy
and will most likely use his #1 pick on Bowers. He will immediately be
an inevitable comparison to Julius Peppers if he is indeed the #1 pick.
With athleticism and strength, Bowers will be a double-digit sack artist
with years to come no matter where he ends up.
Last season Denver had one of the worst defenses in the league. The
Broncos have some serious issues in the secondary which would could
be improved with the help of Patrick Peterson, who is the most talented
prospect in the draft. Peterson is a rare physical who is 6’1 and weighs in
at 222 pounds. If Hall of Famer Champ Bailey resigns and the Broncos
select Peterson, The Broncos will have one of the best cornerback tandems in the league.
Buffalo Bills: Marcell Dareus, DL, Alabama
The Bills desperately need to upgrade on both sides of the ball and there
is no one else worthy of such an early pick. Everyone thinks the Bills
need a player like Cam Newton for their offense, but the Bills seem content with Ryan Fitzpatrick. Alabama’s Dareus is a perfect lineman for
their front. Dareus isn’t as flashy as Alabama’s Fairley, but he has proven
that he can single handedly take over games. This is the type of player
the Buffalo Bills need.
Cincinatti Bengals: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn
With Carson Palmer demanding to be traded and saying “I will never
set foot in Paul Brown Stadium again”, this would be a big hole to fill
under center. Cam Newton is the obvious choice for the Bengals if
Palmer leaves the team which I see him doing. Cam Newton is the best
quarterback in the draft and arguably the most athletic prospect. The
Bengals always seem to choose talented players with question marks
and Newton definitely qualifies for that. He’s built like a tight end being
6’6 and 250 pounds. He ran a 4.5 at the combine and has a very strong
arm. I can also see the Bengals taking A.J. Green if Ocho cinco and
Terrell Owens leave.
Arizona Cardinals: Robert Quinn, OLB, North
I can see The Cardinals choosing a quarterback with this spot, but I
think they will choose Robert Quinn. He missed last season after a
suspension in his role in the Chapel Hill agent scandal. People have
forgotten how good Quinn actually is. They will go back and watch
his sophomore film and workouts to see how dominant and great he
really is. He is the most talented pass rusher in the draft and I think the
cardinals will benefit from choosing him. They have an awful defense
and he will really give them that spark they need on that side of the ball.
Good Luck Text
Terrible towels have stopped waving and Sunday is just another
day. The blood wound of black
and gold has been closed as Steelers fans put a Band-Aid on their
tailgates and touchdowns. It’s not
such a “great day for hockey” as
the Penguins suffer through their
biggest slump of the year. As
Pittsburghers wake up to the bitter cold weather and dark dreary
skies, it only reminds them of
what was once the City of Champions. With a Steelers loss in the
Super Bowl, all hope gone for the
return of Geno and little for Sid,
and not a thought for the Pirates,
the Steel City needs a little relax
ation and a little motivation to carry on. The jerseys must come out
of the closet, as a new pastime for
Pittsburgh has finally hit the city:
Yinzers Yoga. When Fleury accidentally lets five goals in the net,
just use the “ MCL Malkin” move.
When the Pirates reach a new record for the number of consecutive
losses, “Let’s Go Bucs” will help you
cope. As Steelers fans anticipate
the new season only to receive an
NFL lockout, do the “We almost
won the Super Bowl” pose. For
every depression there’s an expression. Help Pittsburgh return to
its rightful position as sports best
Pray For Championship
Let’s Go Bucs
JG: Due to the obvious recent struggles of the Pittsburgh Penguins, I do
not think the team will enjoy much success without the contributions of
star centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Sure, they might make it to
the playoffs. It is just terribly hard to have faith that this depleted squad can
win even one best-out-of-seven playoff series. The Penguins simply do not
have enough depth to compete with the likes of Philadelphia or Washington on a consistent basis. Who knows what kinds of injuries could occur
in the upcoming months? Granted, the addition of Kovalev and Neal will
be a helpful asset to an otherwise struggling hockey team. However, these
players are part of the supporting cast. Pittsburgh needs a leader on the
ice, and without Crosby or Malkin, the rest of the team is left in disarray.
MF: Although the Penguins are currently struggling, I believe they can
definitely come back, even without Crosby and Malkin. Even though
the offense is riddled with injuries there are still numerous players that
have a lot of talent and skill. These players, such as Max Talbot, Tyler
Kennedy, Pascal Dupuis, and of course Jordan Staal, are usually out
shined by the team’s “stars.” With so many injured, they have a chance
to step up to the challenge. Also, the Penguins defense has stayed intact,
with the only exception being Brooks Orpik, while both Marc- Andre
Fleury and Brent Johnson have had decent games as of late. So even
though it makes it more difficult to win without Crosby and Malkin,
the team is in no way failing without them. Despite the numerous injuries, the Penguins are still second overall in the Atlantic division and
fourth overall in the East-
ern Conference. Though it may be an uphill battle, I have no doubt
that the Penguins can come back stronger than ever. A little adversity
never hurt; look at our last Stanley Cup season.
JG: The question is not whether the Penguins can make it to the playoffs. They will probably limp into the playoffs and lose in the first round.
However, if Crosby returns, that is a different discussion. But for now,
there is not much hope for him to come back. As for Pittsburgh’s most
recent Stanley Cup season, the team struggled immensely before the
firing of Michel Therrien. There was a lack of leadership in terms of
the head coach. When the organization hired Bylsma, that all changed.
With the combination of Bylsma’s impressive coaching style and Crosby’s charisma, the 2009 Penguins were virtually unstoppable. It is the
only reason this team enjoyed success. Now that Crosby is gone, the
players seem to have lost the confidence he instilled in them while he
was playing. Barring the miraculous, the 2010-2011 season will have a
MF: Sure, Crosby is definitely a driving personality on the team.
However, he is not the only leader. Players like Pascal Dupuis, Chris
Kunitz, and Matt Cooke are all powerful forces in the locker room
and on the ice. They all possess wisdom and maturity that Crosby,
being so young, could never be expected to have. With players coming back from injuries on a daily basis, I believe that by the time the
playoffs roll around, the Penguins will have a team that is a force to
be reckoned with.
Blurring the Lines: Bullying
Physical and verbal bullying have been around
for ages, however, cyber bullying has recently shocked
society with its tragic consequences. Before the age
of computers, when most people thought of bullying
they envisioned the cliché scenes from movies where
students steal lunch money, shove others into lockers,
and tease them about their appearance. But now, bullying has expanded beyond the confines of the school
and follows the victims within the walls of their own
Locally, a cyber bullying event occurred in
Beaver County when an unidentified person created
a Facebook page called “Beaver County Hoez.” This
site took photos of unsuspecting, under aged girls
from their own Facebook pages and paired them with
“fictitious bios of sexually explicit” material (wtae.
com). The site has been removed numerous times,
but continues to reappear. Each time the site returns
with thousands of fans, consequently causing the girls
to feel embarrassed over something they did not do
and worried about how it will affect their futures.
State troopers are currently investigating the problem
and are prepared to prosecute the perpetrator.
On the national level, another Facebook cyber bullying situation occurred in Florida. Two teenage girls
got in a fight with their best friend and then created a
Facebook page where they posted photoshopped pictures of their former friend’s head onto explicit images (dailymail.uk).
Additionally, doctored photos are not the only
embarrassing images uploaded online; videos are also
posted at the expense of the victim. Recently, a video
emerged of a teenage boy in Philadelphia being bullied because of his race and that he was weaker than
his harassers. His tormentors recorded the bullying
incident as they pulled him through the snow, hung
him from a tree, and suspended him from a fence
Students are also bullied due to sexual orientation.
When a gay Rutgers student’s private life was streamed
live, he felt so victimized that he consequently ended
his life by jumping off a bridge. His roommate thought
uploading a video about his sexual orientation would
be funny but is now facing charges.
Cyber bullying usually starts in smaller doses
and sometimes the bully does not even recognize that
he is hurting others. Learn what you should do if you
see someone being bullied or if you may even be a
You may be a cyber bully if you…
-Send nasty text messages, emails, or social
-Post cruel pictures, videos, or comments
-Use someone else’s user name to spread ru
mors about others
You may physically or verbally
abuse others if you…
-Punch, shove, or hurt others
-Spread rumors or tease others
-Exclude others or even convince other people
to “gang up” on others
Why do people bully?
-Because others do it
-Because you want to hang out in a different
-Because it makes you feel better than another
-Because it keeps you from being the next bul
If you do bully…
-Imagine how it must feel to be the victim
-Just stop bullying
If you see bullying…
-Stand up for the victim
-15%-25% of students believe they are bullied.
While, 15%-20% admit to bullying others.
-Kids who bully are more likely to skip school,
drop out, smoke, drink, and get into fights.
-Up to 160,000 students stay home every day
because they are afraid of being bullied.
-“60% of boys who were bullies in middle
school had at least one criminal conviction by
the age of 24.”
(Information courtesy of www.stopbullyingnow.
A Peters Township Focus on Bullying
Everyone knows that girls can be catty and guys try to
act tough, but when does the joking cross the line? There is a
huge difference between joking and bullying that students don’t
seem to understand. Cyber bullying has become a huge problem
in Peters Township High School. Guidance counselor and bully
prevention expert Mrs. Laux was able to shed some light on the
issue by sharing her knowledge on the issue.
She first pointed out how so much technology has
forced a change in their approach to bullying. Before, the attacker was obvious and could be avoided with some effort. With
the introduction of cyber bullying came the transition from a
physical approach to a psychological one.
“Students always have either their cell phones or computers with them, so there is no privacy. It’s as though the bully
can enter inside the victims home,” said Laux.
Knowing that someone can hurt you no matter where you are
can begin to destroy a person’s mental stability.
“There is no digital citizenship, or respect for each
other,” said Mrs. Laux.
When a victim is continuously cyber bullied, they
experience increased anxiety and depression.
“Victims are 1.9 times more likely to commit suicide
when cyber bullied. It has become a huge problem because 30
percent of kids grade K-10 have experienced bullying,” stated
People cyber bully because technology gives them two
things: anonymity and disinhibition. This means that the bully
or bullies have the ability to remain faceless and guilt free; they
never have to see the victim’s reaction. Those who cyber bully
are too cowardly to see the damage they are doing because they
know it is awful.
How can we stop it? Mrs. Laux is calling for a wholeschool approach. If students can learn the difference between
tattling and telling, we could all be better off.
“Tattling is just getting someone in trouble. Telling is
protecting yourself,” she said.
Style Savvy Shopping: Prom 2011
ruffles, as well as strapless and
sweetheart cuts, to complement
its feminine undertone. The
most important tip to remember about this trend is to find
a color that is not too close to
your skin tone; otherwise the
dress will end up washing you
out. This style is meant to emphasize your girly side, so don’t
go too wild or dramatic with
your makeup. Hair should be
pulled back into a simple bun
or an effortless half up-do in
order to show off the shoulders
and neckline. Keep jewelry to
a minimum. Try one big piece,
like a statement necklace. Add
simple studs and possibly a
bracelet to tie the look together.
Re-emerging in the
2011 season, the one-shoulder
dress is proving to be one of
the most popular prom dress
styles again. This high-fashion
trend is sure to make a lasting impression while accenting
your shoulders as well as your
facial features. Styles range
from cross-body straps to the
classic one-shoulder design. If
you choose the one-shoulder
style, be sure to keep jewelry
to a minimum. Try something
dramatic, such as drop earrings.
Also, be sure to shy away from
any clunky jewels or shoes. As
for hair, try a side ponytail or an
up-do. The whole point of the
one shoulder style is to show
off your shoulders, so covering
them up would defeat the purpose.
Dresses courtesy of
Sorelle Bridal Shop.
When it comes to prom style, there’s only one way to look
like a boss. Cufflinks are what will essentially set you apart from
the other haters. There are many styles to choose from, engraved,
tuxedo, or anything a stunner can imagine. Without cufflinks you
cannot stunt in a tuxedo. Imagine trying to build a house without
nails. Get real with yourself, and buy a pair of these stunner cufflinks.
The most dramatic style
this season is definitely the
high-low trend, which combines a short hem in the front of
the dress, and the classic, floorlength evening gown hem in
the back. This potentially solves
your biggest problem: choosing between a short and long
dress. With the high-low style
you get the best of both worlds.
Many of the dresses are made
in the mermaid or drop waist
styles, which add to the glamorous effect you’re going for. You
can go a little more dramatic
with makeup; try a smoky eye.
Voluminous curls or waves
tie in perfectly with this look.
To complete the ensemble, a
chunky pair of earrings and an
Spring is in the air
and prom will soon be here.
Finding the perfect dress can
be a stressful experience if you
don’t know what you’re looking for. Surely you don’t want
to regret your choice, either.
Below are some of the hottest
trends in dresses this year that
you should keep in mind while
One of the biggest trends
this year is nude and pale
pink dresses. This movement
has taken Hollywood and its
award show season by storm.
Starlets such as Halle Berry,
Mandy Moore, and Scarlett Johansson have flaunted
this timeless look on the Red
Carpet this year. This neutral
trend features a lot of lace and
Life & Style
rally beautiful look only a few
steps are needed. First, cover
the lids in a creamy bronze
shadow that compliments your
skin tone. To keep this lasting
all day layer a shimmery powder shadow over top. Next, on
the inner corners of your eyes
dab a peach colored cream
shadow. This simple touch will
really wake your eyes up even
on those early mornings. Add a
thin line of brown liner to the
bottom inner lash line and coat
lash with black mascara and
you are ready to
A Colorful Eye: Sometimes a pop of color is just what
you need to have a little fun.
What better place to put it than
your eyes? The key to this look is
keeping everything else simple.
Start with a layer of moisturizer
on your eyes for easy blending.
Thinly line the top and bottom
lash lines with black eyeliner.
Go over top of this thin line
with your favorite brightly colored eye liner. Cover lids with a
shimmery champagne shadow
to subtly brighten your eyes.
Finish by coating top and bottom lashes with two coats of
The Colorful Eye
prep lids with a creamy base,
such as an eye cream or primer for easy blending. Continue
by rimming the top and bottom lash lines with the same
black pencil as before. Layer
a navy colored pencil over top
of the black liner and blend
with a fluffy shadow brush for
a smudged look. Dust a silver
shadow on the lids, as well as a
darker shade in the crease and
corners of the eye. To complete this look, coat top and
bottom lashes with two coats
of black mascara.
The Natural Eye: An
everyday wearable look is vital. To accomplish this natu-
The Natural Eye
The Smokey Eye
No matter what the
occasion may be, there is always a perfect look for your
eye makeup, and it can be the
best accessory to your outfit.
As makeup has become an art
of self expression, these three
wearable styles will never fail.
The Smokey Eye: This
look is a great compliment
for a night out. Although the
dark shades can be intimidating, it is easier than ever with a
few quick steps. The first trick
to getting the smokey look is
coating your bottom inner lash
line with a black pencil. Be
sure not to use a sharp tip as
this area can be sensitive. Next,
The Spring Workout
These exercises are
sure to tone you up for summer
and give you the body you have
This first exercise is
focused on toning your upper
legs. To do this, flip an exercise ball upside down and step
on top of it. Once you step on
the ball, begin to do squats as
you would on the floor. The ball
gives the exercise the element
of balance. Make sure as you
do the squats, you keep your
chest up and sit back as you
squat, not just down. To make
this exercise more effective, you
can hold weights in your hands
and as you squat down keep the
weights by your sides. As you
stand up bring the weights up
to your chest.
This next exercise focuses on your sides. To do this,
sit on the floor and pick your
feet up. Twist your body from
one side to the other. This exercise is most effective if many
repetitions are done at once.
If you want to tone your sides
more, a medicine ball can be
used to make the exercise more
difficult. This final exercise is
to be done with a partner. Lay
flat on your back and have your
partner hold your feet above
your head. The partner holding
your feet throws them down,
and while they do this you need
to control and slow your legs
down so that they do not touch
the floor. There should be at
least six inches between your
feet and the floor at all times.
Teacher Prom Pictures
Congratulations PTHS Media Students
The PTHS Media Department competed in the Teachers of Video and Television (TVT) 24-hour Film Challenge on February 5th and 6th.
At 3:00 pm on Saturday, all 21 teams from western PA logged on to YouTube and received a genre (mystery), a prop
(gloves) and a quote (“things aren’t always as them seem”). The challenge was to create a 3-5 minute movie that
incorporated all three components. The finished piece had to be planned, shot and edited in the 24-hour window.
The Media Department is proud to announce that the PT team, Frick and Friends, placed 3rd in the event. The team was:
We are so proud of the kids for all of their hard work and dedication to “camp” here at
PTHS overnight to produce this great finish product, “Discovery at Dinner.”
Photo by:Erin Masta
Shown above are participants of the Mega
Junior Conference, a musical collaboration
between several US schools and one in
Taiwan. Students from PTHS, North
Carolina, Florida, Ohio, and Taiwan were
all electronically connected to each other to
share idea on music, and compose a song as
a group. The purpose of the conference was
to “widen the students’ perspective” said
Mr. Barney. There are more conferences
scheduled for later this year.
Photo by Mrs.Frick
The annual Photography Gallery was held
from February 24-March 10, 2011 at the
Peters Township Public Library. On the
opening night parents and students gathered to see the portfolios and meet the
photographers. The event was a good opportunity for the students to showcase
their talents and share them with the community.
PTHS Seniors Sign
National Letters of Intent
The following students competed and placed in the Junior
Engineering Technical Society (JETS) Teams competition on
Thursday, February 24th:
1st Place Junior Varsity (9th and 10th grade team)
Josh Bowman, Josh Larimer, Karan Sharma, Cheng Wang, Jake
Wilhelm, Matt Perryman
On Wednesday, February 2, five students from Peters Township High
School signed National Letters of Intent to play sports at the collegiate
level next fall. There members of the state champion girls soccer team
were on hand to declare their intentions to play at the next level along
with two members of the varsity football team. The students and their
colleges are Shelli Spamer,North Carolina State University, Shannon
O’Connor, Long Island University, Karen Jackson, Slippery Rock University, Austin Hancock, Fordham University, Nevin Hagman, Bucknell
Also, the following students competed and placed in the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS) competition on
Saturday, February 19th:
Jennifer Mikec (Perfect Score), Allison Cecelia (Perfect Score),
Maple Chen (Perfect Score), Jen Cashman (Exemplary Award),
10 other students
Lend a Helping Hand
Since students have
spent countless hours volunteering, the administration
has introduced a new activity.
Interact, a new club formed
by Presidents Merissa McKnight and Melissa Bittner, is
a club that focuses on volunteering. It was established with
the idea that if just one person
could do something to help,
imagine how much a group
of people could. Mrs. Laux is
the guidance counselor that
helped bring it all together. She
lends the club the CRC room
for meetings and even brings
in bagels. These three people
really built Interact from the
“I wanted to have a
club at our school solely based
on volunteering,” said President Marisa McKnight. “There
are so many kids in this school
who want to help but don’t
know where to start.”
and their parents.
an amazing experience,”
Purkey, “I don’t
think that I have
Since the group is relatively ever met such
new, they have only had a few nice people, even
chances to really put their skills though they have so little.”
to the test. Interact organized
After the event at The
a charity drive where they colSchool for the Blind, every
lected socks and oversized
coats and donated them to a single member who attended
homeless shelter. The club also the field trip felt that they had
volunteered at the School for brought back something much
the Blind in Pittsburgh. Each more than just volunteer hours
member brought in arts and and they are all exciting for fucrafts and set up a huge card- ture trips to come.
making table for the students
Photo by: Julia Gauthier
This club is a worthwhile time
investment that is more than
just something to put on your
As Laura Purkey said,
“If you want to make a difference in the world, why not start
It’s the End of
bbie Ra all!”
lea Pla , baby!”
A Favorite TV Show
ite pair of
Taylor Young, 11
Trent McPherson, 10
APiece of Sports Equ
Harry Hunter, 12
“My protective cup.”
Hannah Caso, 12
“My left soccer cleat.”
“V for Ven 12
Blurring The Lines
Imagine the scenario; it’s Dec. 21, 2012 and catrastrophe strikes. The Mayans were right, it’s really
the end of the world! But, never fear, PTHS is leaving a time capsule to preserve the legacy of the human
race. So, How do you want to be remembered? What
would you leave behind?
A Favorite Book?
“And then there
None by Agatha
Christian Viau, 11
“ The Cat in the H
by Dr. S
mis , 10
“Being a G
Park Bogan, 11
“Don’t Stop B
kstrom , 10
“Being a T
“We R Who W
“Tamoga , 12
There’s an App for That
Apple’s App Store
200,000 apps available for
download, made by over
28,000 creators. With the
release of the iPad and
Verizon’s recent introduction
of the iPhone, creators are
coming out with new apps
to make life easier every day.
Whether it is designing your
own personal drink from
Starbucks, keeping up with
the latest sports updates, or
even using a flashlight, Apple
has discovered a perfect
app for every occasion.
For those who are
looking to kill some time
during study hall or in the car,
there are thousands of games
and quizzes to keep you busy
for hours. Top-selling apps
such as Angry Birds, Jenga,
Doodle Jump, and Skee-
Ball are purchased almost
every day and considered
favorites among Apple users.
for the perfect restaurant
or movie, Urbanspoon and
Database) can help book
tickets and reservations online
with the press of a button.
“I love being able
to get on my iPod and
reserve a table and tickets
at the same time. I never
have to worry about missing
out on the newest movie
or waiting in line forever,”
stated senior Alyssa Trier.
are raving over the Nike+
running and GPS apps.
When lacking motivation,
these applications track your
progress and even provide
cheering and compliments
Twitter is a social networking site that allows you
to “follow” anybody from A- list stars and music artists to
ordinary people. The main difference between Twitter and
Facebook is that Twitter is based more on status updating rather
than uploading pictures and chatting directly with friends.
Twitter allows you to follow your favorite celebrities and get
updated on what they’re currently doing. It’s a great way for them to keep
in touch with their fans and give them a glimpse into their daily lives.
Many high school students here have joined in the
Twitter craze. It’s so appealing because teens enjoy following their
favorite celebrities and they get to know them in a more laid back
Here is a list of the top ten most followed people on Twitter from
Lady Gaga(ladygaga)-8,490,984 followers
Justin Bieber(justinbieber)-7,721,775 followers
Britney Spears(britneyspears)-6,991,441 followers
Barrack Obama(BarrackObama)-6,795,810 followers
Kim Kardashian(KimKardashian)-6,511,603 followers
Ashton Kutcher(aplusk)-6,385,103 followers
Katy Perry(katyperry)-5,981,685 followers
Ellen DeGeneres(TheEllenShow)-5,978,579 followers
Taylor Swift(taylorswift13)-5,451,450 followers
Oprah Winfrey(Oprah)-5,168,999 followers
from friends to keep you
going. Calorie Trackers and
Fooducate can keep people
on track with their diets and
health plans. For those who
are willing to endure a rigorous
workout, a Biggest Loser
app featuring trainer Jillian
Michaels can be purchased.
Many apps are geared
toward making life a little
easier. Yellow Pages, Google
Earth, and even remote
controls for your television can
be accessed through your iPod,
iPad, or iPhone. Scanlife is a
highly popular application that
allows you to snap a picture
of any product, view prices on
the Internet, and even bid on
eBay or Craigslist for it. When
looking for a deal, Coupon
Sherpa is the app for you. This
application does the work of
searching, clipping and cutting
coupons electronically and
provides users with a barcode
that can be used at various
stores. Yowza!! is another app
that permits people to plug in
a zip code and receive coupons
and deals for stores near you.
From useless bubble
wrap popping and voice
synthesizers to Twitter and
iBooks, Apple has provided
consumers with thousands of
entertaining applications that
are truly giving Apple 200,000
ways to make the life better.
Photo by Erin Masta
The ABC family hit television show Pretty Little
Liars has captivated the minds of young teens everywhere
working, to answer this the one burning question: who
is “A”? The main storyline of the show is that the girls
are trying to solve the murder of their best friend,
Alison. The mysterious “A” texted them right after the
funeral telling them that she was still here. “A” sends
the liars texts, e-mails, letters, notes, writes on their
mirrors, windows, and just seems to know where the
liars are at all times. So the question is…who is “A”?
Sophomore Kelly Johnson stated, “I think “A”
is Mona and I think it was Ian who killed Alison.”
On the other side, junior, Danielle Steitz said, “I think
“A” is Jenna because she has the most reason to hate the girls.”
The show’s electric atmosphere keeps viewers
glued to the television. Pretty Little Liars ended its season
on March 21 st; if you missed this season you can check out
all of the episodes on ABCfamily.com and see if you can
decipher who “A” is.
Test Drive Unlimited
Grant Taylor iPod List
Five years ago, the first Test Drive Unlimited was a highly
ambitious game that placed players on the beautiful island of
Oahu along with an abundance of highly desirable cars and the
freedom to drive over 1000 mi of open roads. Coupled with
this, there were hundreds of races and challenges to compete in,
the ability to buy luxurious houses with grand garages to store
cars, and a constantly-connected online experience in which
players could cruise with or race against other people online.
Now in 2011, TDU2 has aimed to stick to its roots, while
adding more cars, a richer online experience, more challenge
types, variable weather, a day/night cycle, and an entirely new
island off the coast of Spain – Ibiza. On paper, this sounds very
promising, but sadly it turns out to be less of a better-crafted sequel.
Up f r o nt ,
the game is rather
The graphics are
terrific – much
smoother than its
p r e d e c e s s o r ’s .
Also, the list of
cars is droolworthy and the
attention to detail
But there are just
too many flaws and
that prevent the
car game, the most
is how well the
controls feel in
correlation to what
Photo by Greg Marsh
you see on screen.
A g g r a v a t i n g l y,
the steering sensitivity
touchy causing the slightest movements of the joystick to lurch
your car left or right. Even worse, the cars have inconsistent
handling. Rear-wheel-drive cars spin out far too easily, making
them nearly impossible to drive. There is also an utter lack of
options. In TDU1, you could adjust the steering sensitivity,
change your seat position in the cockpit view, and assign alternate
commands to the buttons on the controller. Yet, in the “improved”
sequel, none of these options exist. The soundtrack is short,
“Rocket Man” by Elton John
“Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls by
“Hit Me Baby One More Time” by
“You Belong With Me” by Taylor
“Black And Yellow” by Wiz Khalifa
online isn’t as seamless as it claims to be, and some
cars have tinted windows, making driving in the
cockpit view hard in the day and impossible at night.
With TDU2, it ends up being a love/hate
relationship. If you can get used to the quirks,
and you love driving games, it’s worth a purchase.
Otherwise, save your cash.
That’s So Cliché
students, we are told to avoid the
use of clichés in our writings.
Despite the popular belief that
this is because teachers desire
originality, I have analyzed a
few of the most popular clichés
and found out the real reasons
behind their discrimination by
watching paint dry. Using this of them with the same
phrase to express boredom is
over-exaggerating your current
state of monotony. However, if
you feel the need to experience
paint drying but do not have
any paint, feel free to read
anything written by fellow staff
writer Matt Lison.
It’s like watching paint dry
Killing two birds with one
You cannot say this
unless you have actually taken
the time to watch paint dry. I
can tell you, from experience,
that there is nothing in the
world as boring as actually
Have you ever tried
throwing a rock at a bird? If
you can throw a rock at a bird in
midflight, try out for the Pirates.
It is next to impossible to hit an
airborne bird, but to hit two
stone? Yeah, that is not going
to happen. If you really need
to express how you performed
two tasks at one time, use a
phrase such as, “multitasking.”
confusing phrase. You cannot
dig yourself into a hole. If the
hole is already there then you
can only fall into it.
You’re digging yourself into a
Who is love? Is she
pretty? My point is that love
is not a person. It is more of
an inanimate object, no, an
inanimate idea that is only a
figment of our imaginations.
More so, if love was a person,
the odds are that he or she
would not be blind. Take it
from Noah Calhoun in The
Notebook, Allie Hamilton is
This is a very
controversial cliché. I know
how people can just keep getting
into more and more trouble.
What I do not understand is
why they would spend so much
time digging a hole when they
could be trying to fix their
problems. Also, this can be a
Love is blind
World news in the last several months has been marked by
tensions throughout the Middle
East and North Africa. Demonstrators have protested against the current functioning of their governments,
mainly leadership. In countries such as
Tunisia and Egypt, revolutions have occurred, and in Bahrain and Yemen protestors seek greater freedoms under the
law. Many results could potentially arise
from these conflicts, including the resignation of leaders, the formation of a new
governments, and possibly international
Currently one country
under the spotlight of the world is Libya.
Americans should pay close attention to
the struggles of the Libyan people as they
clash with Dictator Moammar Gadhafi,
as this conflict could spark a major increase in the price of oil.
Libya ranks 12th among the
largest oil exporters, and anti-Gadhafi
rebels are reporting that they control
more than half of the nation’s refineries.
protests have escalated to major
Gadhafi Losing Libya riots and attacksresultgovernments
of these ac-
Although these opposition forces continue to export and manage the refineries in
the same manner, the safety of these refineries and other refineries throughout
Middle Eastern and North African states
facing socio-political tension cannot be
assured. The current protests throughout North Africa and the Middle East
will continue to be a major spectacle,
as such widespread and large-scale opposition has not occurred over so many
countries for several decades.
Libya draws attention because
leader Muammar Gadhafi refuses to meet
the demands of his protesting nation.
Beginning in mid-February, Libyans led
by human rights activists demonstrated
against government corruption and Gadhafi’s injustice. First gathering outside
a police station in the city of Benghazi,
tions is only a determination of
Gadhafi to continue ruling (who has
ruled the nation in a dictatorship since
a coup takeover in 1969), the resignation
of government officials, and the dissolving of many military units.
Now, as the opposition in Libya slowly
liberates cities, they fight against Gadhafi’s remaining forces and African mercenaries. This act is a strong symbol of
Gadhafi’s injustice against his people,
and clearly depicts that Gadhafi will not
accept compromise or a peaceful resignation as an option in the country’s conflict. Although many observing nations
had their criticisms of Gadhafi’s actions
so far in the uprising, his turn to the use
of mercenaries against his own people
has drawn much more negative attention as his actions “violate international
legal obligations and common decency”
as stated by Hillary Clinton (NPR.org).
Should we Share The Shale?
Marcellus shale drilling has
become as much of a hot button issue as the health-care
debate and legalization of gay
marriage. However, unlike
the other two, the drilling is an
issue hitting close to home for
residents of Peters Township.
Marcellus shale is found in
the Appalachian region of the
northeastern United States.
Pennsylvania happens to sit
atop one of the largest deposits in the entire country, and
therefore is highly coveted
amongst energy companies.
Our copious bounty may
prove more of a curse than
a blessing however, depending on what side of the “Great
Shale Debate” you stand on.
“There’s just no substitute
for it,” says Ron Hallinger, a
site supervisor for Range Resources, one drilling company
for marcellus shale. “We stick
to the laws set in place for us,
provide an opportunity for
work, and bring a lot of money
into the areas we work in.”
Many residents agree with
Hallinger, including the Peters
Township legislative council,
the board responsible for the perienced increased income,
maintenance and development and now have more money to
of the township. Marcellus spend, creating a better place
shale drill sites on Peters’ prop- to live.
erty would be a huge source of Making just as passionate a
income for the
case is the optownship. The
position to the
panies pay rent
to the township
that we’re gofor the land
ing to have
they work on,
to deal with
pay any private
this. I know
ers whose land
live in places
they use, and
with well sites,
a list of addiand it’s misertional fees conable. They’re
kept awake all
hours of the
day, deal with
have shown a
and noises, and
the work vehiin the quality
cles are tearing
of living. For
up their roadexample, the
c om mu n it i e s
Pennsylvaactivist here in
Photo by Hardy Kern PT.
nia have ex-
For all of the necessary equipment to be brought into a site,
large trucks must drive to and
from the site almost constantly.
There are issues with the smell
of the excavation, the light
given off by the machinery, the
occasional flames shooting up
from the exhaust piping, and
the inherent pollution given off.
Many informational meetings
have been held in the municipal building and library, some
in favor of the drilling, and
some against it. The township
meetings leading up to the decision were often volatile, with
very involved and opinionated
residents on both sides of the
issues in attendance.
Ultimately, the township has
decided to allow drilling in Peters Township. Currently, ordinances are being reviewed and
rewritten to further regulate
drilling practices. All changes
made are done with the best interests of the residents in mind.
Though the drilling has yet
to start, the issue of Marcellus
shale drilling is sure to continually cause controversy. So, all
things considered, should we
share the shale?
This article is not
meant to scare people out of
eating or drinking different
foods, it is merely an attempt to
raise awareness of what exactly
is in the food we are eating.
Cancer is the second leading
cause of death in the United
States. According to the American Cancer Society, there have
been over 1.5 million new cases
of it reported and over 500,000
cancer-related deaths. Is it preventable?
As the search for the
cure for cancer continues, numerous steps can be taken in
order to decrease the risk of
getting it. The problem is that
most people do not know these
steps or even the causes of cancer. The scary part is Americans
eat many cancer-causing foods.
One of the most controversial and common cancercausing foods is milk. According to the Central Statistics
Office, around 500 million liters
of milk are produced for human consumption each year.
Thus, it’s a very important part
of most Americans’ diets.
The Cancer Prevention Coalition seems to have
different opinions about milk.
Through research, they have
found that dairy farmers inject
a genetically-engineered bovine growth hormone, rBGH,
into cows in order to increase
milk production. This injection
causes cows to produce up to
20% more milk. However, the
same injection also increases a
growth factor linked to human
cancer development called IGF1. Yet, dairy farmers are still allowed to inject cows with rBGH
because the FDA says that it
does not pose health risks. Additionally, the FDA also failed
to investigate the long-term
effects of the injection. (www.
researcher, Dr. Chad Stone,
states that acrylamide, a hu-
man carcinogen associated
with ovarian and endometrial
cancers, is being consumed
every day and most people do
not know it. It is a well-known
tumor causing agent and a potent neurotoxin, which not only
affects the brain, but on the
reproductive system as well.
When foods are heated to 248
F, they form this human carcinogen. For example, a bag
of potato chips may contain as
much as 500 times the amount
of acrylamide than the World
Health Organization allows.
They also contain hydrogenated
oils and trans fat, which both
have been found to increase
the risk of developing cancer.
Also, Dr. Stone’s research reveals that doughnuts
are even a cancer-risk. The fact
that they are deep fried, contain
high levels of sugars, and are
based on heavily refined carbohydrates make them dangerous,
for these are three major classes
of cancer causing foods. (www.
Cookouts on a warm
sunny day should be concern
free; enjoying some burgers,
lemonade, and cancerous hot
dogs. Nothing could be better.
Wait, cancerous hot dogs? According to research done by the
University of Minnesota, hot
dogs have cured meat and are
preserved with sodium nitrate,
which are leading causes of
However, there are
alternatives. For example, almond milk is a safe alternative
to regular milk. It tastes a little
different and does not have the
potential risks that regular milk
has. If you are still trying to get
your hot dog fix, there are sodium-nitrate-free hot dogs available. Instead of doughnuts and
potato chips, try sticking to the
fruits and vegetables, which researchers found to have cancerfighting elements.
What In the World
Why get a tattoo when you can add a useless organ? The
Australian “artist” Stelarc has given new meaning to the term
“body art” by growing an ear on his arm. After years of searching for a surgeon, he found someone to grow an ear using his
own skin cells and then implant it on his left forearm. Since ears
don’t exactly belong on arms, he almost lost the entire appendage
after one of the surgeries. That’s a stupid risk, considering that
the ear doesn’t even work. But don’t fret; Stelarc considers the
entire process worth it. To enrich humanity further, he plans to
“embed a tiny microphone in it to enable others to ‘hear’” what
his arm hears. Sounds like the new internet rage!
While some people have trouble maintaining a relationship with one spouse, Ziona Chana, an Indian man, has
thirty-nine. He, along with the wives, their ninety-four children,
and their thirty three grandchildren all live under one roof; talk
about a long wait to use the bathroom. Chana, the head of a
polygamous Christian sect creatively called “Chana,” will “go to
any extent to marry” and once “married ten women in one year.”
Also, he likes to have seven or eight wives by his side, attending
to him at all times. American rappers take note—this guy is the
Some people can’t handle a splinter in a finger for a
day, so imagine the discomfort of having a rusty piece of knife
shrapnel embedded in your skull for four years. Until recently,
Li Yuhan of China lived with this affliction, suffering from
severe headaches, breathing issues, and bad breath. The knife
piece broke off when a robber stabbed Yuan in the lower jaw;
somehow, no one realized a four- inch piece of metal was left
behind. Miraculously, it missed important arteries and spinal
structures and lay for years without infection. Chinese surgeons
removed the piece without further injury, their success being
heavily lauded and promoted by the Chinese government. This
reeks of Commie propaganda.
Layout Design by Denée Renz
Matty Smith, 1
Evan Wetzel, 1
This month’s student work section features contributions from various
types of art including Technology Education, Photography, Ceramics and
Art. Thank you to all of these talented artists for sharing their work.
“Two peanuts walk into a bar.
One was a salted.”
“Two snowmen are standing
in a field. One says to the
other, ‘Funny, I smell carrots too.’”
“Knock Knock. Who’s
there? Owl’s. Owl’s who?
That’s right owl’s hoohoo.”
“What do you call a monkey in
a mine field?
“Why was six afraid of seven?
Because seven, eight, nine.”
“Why did the house call the
Because it had window
“There is a blue house.
Everything is blue. It’s only
a one story house. What
color are the stairs?
There aren’t any stairs.”
“Knock, Knock. Who’s there?
You know. You know who?
That’s right avada cadabra!”
“What’s black and white and
red all over?
“Why’d the cookie go the
Because it was feeling
“Why did the football coach go
to the bank?
To get his quarter back.”
“Why can’t dinosaurs talk?
Because they’re dead.”
“What do you call a fish
with no eyes?
“What’s the difference between
chopped beef and pea soup?
Everyone can chop beef, but
not everyone can pea soup!”
“Where does the one legged
“What’s the range of a tuba?
About 10 yards if you got a
“Why did the chicken cross the
To get to the other side.”
“What did the man say
when the picture fell
on his head?
I’ve been framed!”
“What do you call a deer
with no eyes?
I have no eye-deer.”