Smoke Si gn al s
February 2009 • volume 40 • issue 04 • Peters Township High School
Congratulations Dance Team!
All photos submitted by Mrs. Deliere
Dance Team Wins 3rd Place at
On February 1, The Varsity Dance Team
competed in the National Championships at Walt
Disney World and brought home the third place
trophy. From across the country, the UDA National
Dance Team Championship, one of the most prestigious championships in the nation, brings the
best high and junior high school dance teams to
compete. There were an estimated 10,000 spectators in attendance, and out of sixty-one teams, the
PTHS dance team shined.
The competition took place at Disney’s Wide World
of Sports Complex located at the Walt Disney
Resort in Orlando, Florida. Dance teams striving
to reach the national level are evaluated at UDA
summer camps in order to qualify for the compe-
tition. In 2008, approximately three hundred high
schools and All Star dance teams were selected
to compete at the National Dance Team Championship. The teams compete in divisions based on
team size, grade/age level, and category (jazz, hip
hop, pom, and high kick).
Barbara Deliere and Nique Deliere are the team’s
coaches, and senior Laney Smith captains the varsity team. “I’m really proud of everyone. We work
really hard as a team, and have been practicing
since last April,” stated senior Leah Nobers. “Our
dedication was definitely rewarded.”
The competition will be featured on ESPN, and will
be broadcasted on Sunday, March 1 at 2:00 pm
reaching more than 90 million homes.
Classrooms of the Future
Peters Township High School teachers received a grant from Classrooms for the Future, or
CFF, a unique program that takes on the initiative
to transform how students learn by providing their
classrooms with advanced technology. With the
world rapidly progressing technologically, the community is also in the process of adapting to these
exciting shifts in order to enhance the quality of student learning. The time has to come to upgrade the
outdated and inconvenient chalkboards to interactive whiteboards, overhead projectors to laptop
computers, and VCRs to web cams. The CFF committee expects the modern equipment to be ready
for student use for the second semester.
Funded by a state grant of more than
$200,000, CFF ensures that it will render funds
over the next three years so that all high schools in
Pennsylvania may participate in this program. CFF
is supplying 240 laptops, as well as whiteboards,
cameras, and projectors to be installed in the classrooms of teacher volunteers. These participants
(Mr. Cervenak, Mr. Demascal, Mrs. Groninger, Mrs.
Kocan, Mrs. White, Mr. Redilla, Mr. Hitchens, and
Mr. Luxbacher) attended online training classes and
received further training in the subject. Mrs. Morriston serves as their CFF coach. Dr. Hajzus is also
involved in the program, attending CFF meetings
and evaluating teachers using various designed instruments. With this training, teachers will be able
to incorporate “online learning” techniques into their
classrooms using the BlackBoard system. This is
a software system that allows teachers to deliver
classroom content via the Internet. CFF teachers
Doug Cervenak, Erin Boni, and Chris Hitchens piloted the BlackBoard program in the 07-08 school
year. “The CFF program is efficient because it gives
us access to more equipment and tools to utilize
technology in classrooms,” Erin Boni remarked. “It
will also benefit by improving student loaning.” The
faculty strongly believes that introducing the concept of cyber learning will help students transition
into college and post-secondary education.
“It will be different to adjust to these changes, but I know it will be worth it when I go off to college,” said junior Colleen Lugar.
By upgrading technology, students have
the opportunity to receive a futuristic education and
teachers have a chance to experience an added
convenience to the classroom. The CFF program
continues to make great strides as they transform
the way students learn at Peters Township High
Gift Card word
- page 9
your job status
- page 5
Inside the Historic
Inaguration of President
- page 3
skating down the
- page 11
Smoke Signals is produced
eight times during a school year
by the students of Media II, III,
IV Journalism and extracurricular staff at Peters Towship High
School, 264 E. McMurray Road,
McMurray PA 15317. Telephone: 724-941-6250 x.5379.
and opinion columns are the
express opinion of the author
and not of Smoke Signals, its
advisor or the Peters Township
School District. Member of the
Pennsylvania School Press
First Day of
Ides of March
If Pets Had
Gabrielle Brinsky, Amy
Burzotta, Averi Clements,
Conor Jackson, Ian Jackson, Colleen Lugar, Monica
Paterra, Kaitlyn Richert,
Matt Schilling, Matt Sikora,
Shelby Miller, Paige Burris,
Marc h 2009
Hines Ward Uses Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber
With Super Bowl XLIII as motivation, Steelers
wide receiver Hines Ward made the conscious decision
to begin using a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to aid
his recovery from a sprained knee. Ward took serious
precautions and bought the oxygen chamber, which
can cost as much as $15,900, and began to use it in his
home. For one hour a day, number 86 sits in the chamber
while it promotes the production of red blood cells and
accelerates his healing process.
After seeing remarkable differences in the
rehabilitation of his injury, Ward has become reliant on the
oxygen chamber, as it aids the treatment of infection by
enhancing white blood cells and potentially germ-killing
antibiotics. Additionally, the oxygen chamber doesn’t
decrease his energy, allowing the professional player to
recover while still participating in NFL games. By spending
time in the chamber every day, Ward is allowing his body to
stimulate the growth of new blood vessels in the locations
with reduced circulations: his injured knee.
“I think it’s great that Hines Ward took control of
his situation and made the best out of his injury. He works
really hard and strives to succeed in his performance,” said
senior Emily Boccardi.
Ward went through extra rehabilitation on his right
knee in preparation for SuperBowl XLIII that took place on
February 1 in Tampa Bay, Florida. His right knee, injured
in the first quarter of the AFC Championship Game, has a
slight MCL (medial collateral ligament) sprain. To continue
his healing process, Ward had the chamber shipped to
Tampa for a strenuous week of rehab before the game.
Along with the oxygen chamber, Ward also iced his knee
every three hours.
“It’s cool to think how devoted Hines Ward is to
playing well,” stated senior A.J. Metz. Leading the Steelers
with eighty-one receptions for 1,043 yards, this season has
been his best season statistically since 2003. Hines Ward
is the Steelers’ career leader in receptions, yards, and
touchdowns, and his talent proves his devotion.
Musical Dedicated to Film Stars
This year’s annual musical is entitled
“Little Mary Sunshine” with book, lyrics and music
by Rick Besoyan. It is a satirical musical, which
pokes gentle fun at the musical genre, which
was most popular on Broadway at the turn of the
century: the Operetta!! The entire production is
being dedicated to the 1930’s film team of Jeanette
MacDonald and Nelson Eddy who popularized the
Operetta in eight major musical films for MGM.
The show’s director, Mr. Wood, has been an avid
MacDonald-Eddy fan since the 1950’s.
This funny musical will feature hilarious
performances from Drew Caliguiri as Big Jim,
Kelsey Boze as Little Mary, Harrison Buzzatto as
Billy, Lindsay Bayer as Nancy, Erika Hubbell as
Ernestine, Wesley Groll as Oscar, Hardy Kern as
Chief Brown Bear, and David Robbins as Yellow
Feather. The Forest Rangers are portrayed by
Tyler Deiley, Marco Femiani, Justin Gaab, Kyle
On January 20, 2009, history was made. In the
presence of an estimated 1.5 million Americans, the first
African-American president, Barack Obama, took office
in the United States. Most found it nearly impossible to
escape the media coverage of such an historic event. As
invigorating as watching the event on television was, it
can be assumed that many viewers wish they could have
attended. PTHS junior, Ben West, was fortunate enough to
be present at the inauguration.
A passionate supporter of President Obama, West
says the best part of the experience was actually seeing it
“I jumped on board with the campaign a year
and half ago. And now, I was finally witnessing what I
wanted before my very eyes. As for the next four years, I’m
What In The World...?
Gramling, Cole Marks, John McGovern, Evan
McIntyre, James Northrop, Tom Norton and
Ben West. The young ladies from Eastchester
Finishing School are portrayed by Lynnsey Garlick,
Annemarie Hall, Elizabeth Hammell, Stephanie
Hammell, Meghan Fitzgerald, Sarah Leech,
Angela Mikec, Katie Schultz, Ellie Stanchak and
Assisting Mr. Wood are Mrs. Donna Fox,
Orchestral Director, Mr. Dave Walsh, Technical
Director, Mrs. Caryn Kuhn, Thespian Troupe
sponsor, Linsey VanNewKirk, Assistant Director,
Taylor Laster, Stage Manager and Mr. Ryan
Perrotte, Choral Director.
The musical will be staged Thursday, March
5, at 7:00 PM and Friday and Saturday, March 6
7 at 7:30 PM. Tickets will be on sale for $5.00 for
students and seniors and $7.00 for adults at the
door for all performances.
International groups such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The Food and
Drug Administration (FDA) have found health dangers in
peanut products. These groups traced salmonella back to
the Peanut Corporation plant in Blackely, GA. They found
out that the plant knew their products contained salmonella,
but still continued to ship the merchandise. Records show
twelve past salmonella outbreaks at this facility.
“It is inconceivable that the FDA or the state
of Georgia allowed a plant like this to operate,”
commented Seattle personal-injury attorney Bill
Marler in a Scientific American website.
The state reviewed the plant and never
found a trace of salmonella, but the FDA conducted
an inspection and quickly found strands. The FDA
found two strands of the bacteria as well as a fourth
strand, which is linked to 501 illnesses and eight
deaths since September. Young children, the elderly,
and people with weak immune systems are the
victims at highest risk.
“One-fifth of the ill people are under age
five,” authorities told New York Times.
The inspections uncovered many hidden
health hazards that could not have had simply
happened overnight; the factory had been in horrible
condition for a while. The Georgia Food Plant was
still operating with mold growing on the ceilings and
walls and long gaps in its roof. The Georgia State
Agriculture Department found grease residue, dirt
buildup, dirty surfaces, and gaps in warehouse doors
the perfect size for rodents to enter. A huge health
danger in their facility was the rust residue that could
easily enter into finished or unfinished products.
After receiving news of contamination and safety
problems, the plant did not take on the responsibility
of cleaning up the firm.
FDA member Michael Rogers said, “The plant
clearly violates a good manufacturing practice.”
Salmonella is a dangerous sickness; in some
cases, it requires antibiotics or even hospitalization.
Symptoms include fever and abdominal cramps. The
investigating organizations are still looking into the
plant and what to do about it. The FDA sent out many
recalls for crackers and products with this peanut
butter. The most cases were reported in New York,
Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee, and Missouri.
Inside The Inauguration
looking forward to see how Obama deals with the world’s
West’s day began at six am when he woke and
began the long trek to the Capital Building. He then waited
for two hours, in the cold, in the line to the entrance gate.
The line alone was a sign of what was to come.
“When you looked towards the capital, there was
no grass visible. Every spot was covered with people, even
the statues,” West stated. Next, they had to go through a
security checkpoint and find a spot with a good view. A half
an hour later, the ceremony began.
“As for the ceremony, it was kind of anti-climactic
because it was so cold. But we saw [Obama swearing in]
and left. We saw Bush’s helicopter flying away on our way
back.” West stated.
If there was any benefit to watching the
inauguration at home, it was escaping the cold. “It was
freezing,” West said, “I don’t think people can grasp how
cold it was. Still, the fact that so many were present despite
the weather shows how important President Obama and
what he stands for is to people.”
According to West, the inauguration was not
exactly perfect. The temperatures were not exactly ideal,
lines were endless, and attendees couldn’t hear everything
very clearly. Even so, West was glad that he went. “It was
an amazing experience to be with all those people and
witness such an historic occasion. I would go again in a
heartbeat; it makes you feel strangely patriotic being that
close to the capitol,” he said.
Compiled by Katie Ellis
In high school, everyone checks Facebook constantly in order to be updated on their friend’s relationship status; the whole school
knows the second a couple breaks up. Now imagine that your husband of six years posted a message announcing your divorce
– before he tells you. That’s exactly what happened to Emma Brady of Blackburn, England. She claims that they were not having
any relationship problems, and did not hear of the divorce until her best friend from Denmark called to see if she was all right.
Kentucky the penguin is afraid of water. He’s the only one of 24 penguins at the Saffordshire zoo who refuses to get into the icy pool
habitat, and for a good reason: 11-year-old Kentucky was born “a bit of a runt” and has had a molting problem for his entire life. His
feathers aren’t as thick as the other penguins’. He walks around on the rocks instead of swimming with his friends, providing endless
entertainment for the patrons of the English zoo.
China has officially banned “non-accredited personnel” from acting as medical personnel on television and internet websites. At least
12 “doctors” have been found selling fake medicine under false names on various television stations across eastern China. Earlier
in February, five men were arrested for selling a fake diabetic drug that has been linked to the death of at least two people.
A Hindu organization is planning to launch a new soft drink made of cow’s urine, which is considered sacred in many parts of India.
Many Hindus consider the urine to have medicinal properties and often drink it during religious festivals. The product will be sold
nationwide, but they are hoping to break into the international market.
who is your ideal
- Kathleen Brown
- Steven Wagner
A World Away: An Interview with Pasha
Everyone has felt out
of place at one time or another,
but imagine going to an entirely
different country where no one really
understands you. I gave Moldovan
foreign exchange student, junior
Pasha Guranda, a chance to
share his views on our world.
PG: PTHS is more fun because
there are so many more people
my age. My school in Moldova
is considered big, but there are
only about one hundred kids.
TM: What is your overall
impression of the people in the US
after spending some time here?
PG: I find that people are generally
the same here as the people in
Moldova. Americans all appreciate
the values of integrity and honesty.
PG: I have been told that Americans
are more egocentric, care a lot
about money, and are totally
ignorant to the rest of the world. I
am lucky I did not meet any of these
“minuses” of America. Everyone
Photo by: Amy Burzotta
says it’s because Peters is a “bubble.”
TM: What do people in
Moldova think of Americans?
PG: The first and biggest group of
people hates almost everything about
Americans. They are influenced by
post-Soviet ideas and still think there
is a hidden political fight between
America and Russia. (Moldova is a
satellite country of the USSR) The
second group is much smaller and loves
Americans. They enjoy the culture and do
their best to get out of their motherland.
TM: What kind of extra
curricular activities are you in?
PG: I do sports and forensics (debate).
I’ve never seen people take sports so
seriously before. Especially football;
it’s very brutal. I will always remember
the emotions of the first football game
I ever saw against Baldwin. The guys’
commitment is really amazing. I didn’t
know that seventeen and eighteen yearold guys could take something so seriously.
TM: How does American
culture compare to that of Moldova?
PG: The lifestyle here is so busy you can
spend the whole day doing fun important
things and at the end of the day realize
that you did nothing. American malls are
like a paradise. You can feel the whole
power of American in the mall in USC.
It’s sophisticated, it smells good – it’s
like a small America. I think it’s hard for
Americans to realize what excitement
I feel each time I enter the mall.
TM: Do you look forward
PG: I very rarely feel homesick. I feel
bad when I remember how life is at home
compared to here in the US. Still, some
Americans are not satisfied with that.
Blockbuster to Offer Videos On Demand
- Kayla Graniger
Save yourself a trip to the video store, because
Blockbuster has a brand new way of receiving On Demand
movies through the cable on your television. Blockbuster has
partnered up with 2Wire Media to provide a box connected to
the television that will allow the signal to be transferred in to a
“Faster than it takes to make popcorn, your movie will
be ready,” said Jim Keyes, Blockbuster chief executive officer,
in a Tech News World interview.
This new alternative to viewing movies is much more
convenient, and also has a rather low cost. Customers who
decide to buy twenty-five rentals for $99 will receive a DVD
player for free. The wide movie selection that Blockbuster
On Demand provides, will be accessible for thirty days, once
downloaded, but as soon as a viewer begins to start a movie,
viewing time for that movie will only be available for twentyfour hours. Extra movies will cost between $1.99 and $3.99 per
Although the widely popular service Netflix has had
the top spot with online movie rentals, Blockbuster is expected
to surpass Netflix due to its ability to receive recently-released
videos rather than having to wait two or three years. Also, they
provide a different type of technology for the download that is
thought to be superior to that of Netflix.
“You might have heard a lot about streaming capabilities
[quicker downloading]. We think progressive download is a higher
form of streaming, for the following reason: It really comes down
to quality,” said Keyes. “The reality is that even if a home has
sufficient bandwidth, streaming requires always-on connectivity.
Download needs only a one-time connection.”
Beyond the Bubble: Animal Friends
No-Kill Shelter and Resource Center
- Matt Subosits
February is Adopt a Shelter Rabbit Month, so we focus on helping our four-legged friends in need at Pittsburgh’s Animal
Friends non-profit, no-kill shelter for dogs, cats, and rabbits.
With Many Americans having to cut back on spending, pets are often seen as an unnecessary expense. Housing foreclosures
also have many owners feeling obligated to dump their furry family members. An estimated six to eight million dogs and cats alone
are abandoned; left in the streets with no means of shelter, food, or companionship. Sadly, three to four million of these animals
must be euthanized. And while it is impossible for no-kill shelters like Animal Friends to save each abandoned animal in the area,
the volunteers and staff have helped place over 2,200 dogs, cats, and rabbits with loving families each year.
In addition to the shelter, Animal Friends has an array of other programs from obedience classes and pet-assisted therapy to
a low-cost spay and neutering service. The professionals at the resource center also take part in local animal cruelty investigations
Animal Friends has recently received “pawfulls” of publicity, including an appearance on the Today Show (NBC) and articles
in the Wall Street Journal and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. And yes, they’re on both Facebook (you can “become a fan”) and
If you’re interested in adopting a new member into your family, want to spend time volunteering at the shelter, or just feel like
making a donation, visit www.thinkingoutsidethecage.org.
Your Heart and Cheerios: They
they may raise your cholesterol levels.
With soluble fiber being the key
ingredient in lowering cholesterol, eating
the three cups a day of Cheerios will only
provide three grams, which is simply not
enough to provide a substantial amount of
progress. It would be an extra three hundred
calories, not including the milk. If the lowcholesterol Cheerios diet were to work, you
would need to watch the incoming sources
of cholesterol to help your heart that you
are consuming. Eating Cheerios alone is
not the best way; It is just not practical for
someone to replace two meals a day with
a bowl of Cheerios for an entire six weeks.
If you want to do your heart a favor,
eating Cheerios is a good start, but do
not solely depend on them to lower your
cholesterol. The most effective way is still to
minimize the amount of animal products you
eat. Meat, eggs and cheese are beneficial in
moderation and provide nutrients, but if your
serious about lowering cholesterol levels,
do your heart a favor and try cutting back.
We have all heard that Cheerios has the
power to lower your cholesterol, but does it work?
Heart disease is the number-one threat to the health
of women in America. Institute reports that one in
three die of heart disease. Lets treat our hearts right
and make a commitment to eat more Cheerios.
Oats, as a core ingredient, power
Cheerios. Think of oats as a sponge, soaking
up the cholesterol in your system. Cheerios
are made with one hundred percent natural
whole grain oats, and is the only cold
cereals proven to lower cholesterol build up.
A clinical study proved that eating two
1.5-cup servings of Cheerios cereal daily for six
weeks reduces bad cholesterol about four percent
when eaten as part of a diet low in saturated fat
and cholesterol. “I love Cheerios and after eating
them for breakfast everyday, my doctor says my
cholesterol is lower,” Stated junior Beth Herder.
Cholesterol is a bully when it comes to
you and your heart. It is a waxy substance that is
built up by eating animal products. This nuisance
clogs the arteries, and is known to put a toll on your
health by causing strokes and heart complications.
However, it does serve a purpose in the
body to an extent. It helps us to create certain
hormones and plays an important role in the
nervous system and the brain. Every day, our
bodies make 800 to 1,500 mg of cholesterol to
keep us healthy. Beyond that, we should not
be consuming more than 300 mg of it daily.
Dairy products such as cheese and yogurt
are high in fat, and when not eaten in variety,
One cup Cheerios 0 mg
One cup skim milk 5 mg
One large egg 210 mg
Eight ounces yogurt 5 mg
Three ounces shrimp 150 mg
One ounce cheddar cheese 30 mg
Although we are still in the winter months, it’s
not too early to start thinking about spring. While fall
2008 was filled with deep, dark colors such as blue
and purple, spring of ’09 will mostly be immersed
in light, bright colors along with neutrals. The dark
blues and purples will be lightened to palace blue
and lavender. Lemon yellow and different vibrant
greens will also be seen on the runways. According
to Pantone, the worldwide color standard leader,
these spring colors will “provide optimism and
stability” for a spring wardrobe. Pantone is the
most widely recognized color standard in the world,
and is used as an important tool in the fashion
Bright and bold prints will be extremely
popular this spring and even into the summer.
Patterns ranging from polka dots all the way to
parrot like prints from iconic designers such as
Diane Von Furstenberg and Peter Pilotto.
The spring styles will be a revival of the
seventies and eighties. Don’t throw away last
summer’s jumpsuits, for they will be even trendier
this spring. Other things to look for are pencil skirts,
tubular mini dresses, sheer bandage dresses, and
jersey crop tops. Embrace the frills and lace of the
season and be sure to layer clothes. Mix neutral
colors with something bright to create a very instyle look.
Wash The Winter
Facebook May Affect Your Status
*Recommended no more than 300mg of
cholesterol intake daily
Social networking sites such as
Facebook and MySpace may be a great way
to keep in touch with friends and show off the
more interesting aspects of your life. However,
many don’t realize that what they put on there
may been seen by more than their close
friends. Employers are now beginning to look
on Facebook to screen out potential employees,
and what they find may be held against you.
A survey by Ponemon Institute showed
that 23 percent of hiring managers use social
networking sites to do background checks on
job candidates, and 35 percent use Google to
look up other information. This practice isn’t only
reserved for before someone gets the job; just
ask the banker who lost his job after photos of
him partying on a supposed sick day surfaced
on his Facebook profile.
Colleges are also joining in on the
Facebook screenings. The educational company
Kaplan conducted a study of 500 colleges, and
10 percent of the admissions officers used
social networking sites to see what they could
learn about an applicant. Shockingly, 38 percent
of the officers said that their impressions on the
students were negatively affected after viewing
their online profiles.
“My profile is set to private, so no one
can see my information but my friends,” said
junior Katie Ellis. While setting information to
private or restricted may keep out the average
user, that doesn’t make it safe by any means.
Thirty-three Twitter accounts were hacked into
earlier in January, including an administrator’s
account, and MySpace is infamous for its poor
security. Additionally, Facebook states in its
your personal information to private companies.
Between the outrageously low temperatures and
terrible winter conditions, two-hour delays and cancellations have been a common occurrence. Such days may
be exciting, but sometimes the winter blues can take a
toll on your mood. When the roads are bad and you’re
stuck in the house, sometimes there is not a lot to do.
If you are feeling down during the winter
The sadness that some people may feel during the winter months is called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This condition affects twenty percent of
the American population. People who have this disorder are always depressed in the wintertime. They feel
like they have no reason to do exciting things or even
continue with their daily routine. Other symptoms include
over-eating, over-sleeping, and extreme exhaustion.
To fix this disorder, bright light therapy and a
diet change have been proven to help. However, tanning beds are not considered bright lights and should
not be used for treatment. If your case of SAD is more
serious, a doctor may prescribe medication to help
with the recovery process. Also, setting a goal, such
as losing weight for summer or a house project, can
keep you occupied during the cold months. Sometimes,
planning a vacation to a hot spot could be the cure.
Options are endless to keep yourself busy. The first thing
is getting caught up on sleep. When there is a two-hour
delay or cancellation, it would be best to get well rested;
a good night’s sleep isn’t common for high school students. It’s a good idea to get caught up on work when
school is cancelled. For example, get homework, college
stuff, and cleaning done. If you would like to make this a
fun day, there is sled riding, watching movies, or just relaxing. However, If you would like to get brownie points
with your parents, you could always shovel the driveway.
You can make a day off school very productive
and exciting if you are feeling the winter blues.
We asked 50 boys the following question:
Top Ten Best So ngs
for Valent ine’s Da y
How Much is Too Much to Spend on Your Valentine?
Iris – Goo Goo Dolls
Collide – Howie Day
Wonderwall - Oasis
Amazed - Lonestar
Hey There Delilah – Plain White T’s
I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing - Aerosmith
Bleeding Love – Leona Lewis
You Me - Lifehouse
Bless the Broken Road – Rascal Flatts
#1: My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion
A Girl’s View of Valentin
A Boy’s View of Valentine’s
st comValentine’s Day is the mo is bad,
mercialized holiday. Ch e you kidding
tine’s Day? Ar
e’s Day, I think
me? When I think Valentin big secret that
Victoria’s Secret. I think th all these years
s been keeping
is that she secretly cre ate underwear
Day; they sell more intim any other day
on Valentine’s Day than
of the year!
Flowers are all over th s kind
on Valentine’s Day. I th good and can
of cool – flowers smell table. They’re
really spice up a kitchenmmitted the sin
still stupid. Yes, I have co ls, but it never
of buying flowers for gir estment. Valinv
turns out to be a good reserved for siny should be
gle people. I, sadly, still point in my life,
get to celebrate it at this celebrate: they
but single people should of a relationdon’t deal with the stress
on ValenTo sum up my thoughts u know
tine’s Day, I would like thing like that)
lfriend (or some
that my gir
that said “happy
received a text message at’s it. That is it.
valentines day btw”. Tharound Saturday
Then again, she wasn’t uld say we celor Sunday. I guess you co lly.
ebrated Friday, but not rea d.
Now I’m embarrasse
When I think about Va
Day, I imagine som
sweeping me off my eone special
that does not always feet. In reality
but it’s still nice to have ppen to me,
al gesture from someo an occasionthat they care about yone that shows
Every Valentine’s Day
, I enjoy
spending it with they
My dad always comes ho ople I love.
ris chocolates, and my me with Sarusually exchange cards. friends and I
not require you to spen This day does
boyfriend or girlfriend d time with a
with your friends and . Having fun
as enjoyable as spending mily is just
it with a significant other.
Valentine’s Day to m
that you show everyo
about how much they ne you care
to you. So when search really mean
for someone, somethi ing for a gift
isn’t always necessary;ng extravagant
is always greatly apprec a simple card
We asked 50 girls the following question:
What Would You Rather Receive for Valentine’s
Did You Know...?
ht by wom
85% of all Valentine cards are boug
15% of Americans send flowers to
Valentine’s Day (Men, too!)
there are on
For every six men looking for love,
women who are looking as well
e since 200
904 Numbers have been nationwid
red roses a
39% of Americans choose a dozen
flowers of choice
V alent ine’s D ay T hrou gh th e D eca de
Eve ry Feb rua ry, lo ved one s
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th e tra dition o f th e mo st rom an tic day tel y,
yea r pro gre ss as we pus h in to 20 09. o f th e
“A Walk to Remember”
Senior Nicole Provident
“My Bloody Valentine”
Junior John Brindley
Top Ten Best Books to Read on
Valent ine’s Day
“PS, I Love You”
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
A Walk to Remember
The Great Gatsby
Gone with the Wind
Junior Anna Wassilchalk
Sophomore Justin Gompers
#1: Romeo Juliet
We asked 50 people the follow
What is the Best Restaur ant for
What is the Best
Sophomore Dani Hume
Inadequate Role Models
To see commercials regarding charities in Africa or India are common in today’s
media. Celebrities are often shown endorsing
such charities or even sponsoring ones of their
own. While all of these organizations are tremendous, raising millions of dollars for those
in need, many Americans are ignorant of the
poverty in our own backyard. Over 50 students
were recently surveyed at Peters Township
High School regarding the awareness of poverty in Appalachia. Four out of every five students were not aware of the poverty, and some
did not even know where Appalachia is located.
Appalachia, a mountainous region
of the eastern United States, stretches from
southern New York down to Alabama. Home
to some of the poorest people in America, the
central area of Appalachia in the heart of the
mountains can be compared to a third world
country. Poverty, chronic depression, toothlessness, and high rates of drug use haunt the
lives of over half a million people. The average family in this area makes a per capita income of less than $1,000 a year, according to
www.arc.gov, and many live in trailers. The education taught in schools is poor, and the majority
of teenagers do not graduate from high school.
There is no happy ending for the
large majority of the Appalachian people.
Those born into poverty, die in poverty.
The awareness of the poor quality of life in Appalachia is important because
these are our fellow Americans who are suffering. We take for granted our health, education, homes, and families because we
were all born into a stable environment. Unfortunately, some people were not as lucky.
In 1964, President Lyndon B. Jonhson brought attention to the Appalachian region and since then, many improvements
have been made. The ARC was created to
build roads and provide government funding, and create jobs. While progress is being
made, there is still much work to complete.
Interested in helping the people
of Appalachia? Many non-profit organizations have been formed to raise money for
the region. One of the larger charities is the
Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) gathers
funds for children and provide food, clothing, and toys to families throughout the area.
Michael Phelps has won fourteen Olympic
gold medals. Shia Labeouf has won eleven different
awards, including the Rising Star award, Best Actor,
and a daytime Emmy for his superb acting skills. Ty
Pennington is the host and carpenter on Extreme
Makeover: Home Edition, giving families in need the
chance to start over with a new home and life. Miley Cyrus, the incredibly popular star, has millions of
fans and millions of dollars for her acting and singing. However, do all of these “inspirational” and “successful” people really deserve the credit they have?
Michael Phelps is a successful, record-breaking Olympic gold medalist. According to www.cbsnews.com,
on December 29, 2004, Phelps was charged with driving under the influence. On January 31, 2009, he was
caught smoking marijuana. Heroic? I don’t think so.
Shia Labeouf starred as Louis Stevens on the
popular Disney show Even Stevens that aired until 2002. Many people love his performances in his
movies such as Transformers and Disturbia. Six
years later, on July 27, 2008, this star was charged
with a DUI This was horrible for his reputation.
TV host Ty Pennington changes the way
Is it Worth the Money?
In one year, the average
person sees about 20,000 commercials. That’s about 333 hours
of commercials a year. Television
is the best proven way to advertise
a product. The prices of producing
commercials and buying airtime
depend on the channel and popularity of the show that is airing.
The cost of producing a national
television commercial goes for
about $350,000. Lower production commercials cost is around
$1,000. In 2008, a thirty-second
Super Bowl commercial sold for
about $2.7 million. This year’s
Super Bowl commercials were
sold for a minimum of $3 million. This is not a major increase,
and due to the slow economy,
not many companies wanted to
advertise this year. Many of the
car corporations and FedEx do
not have the funds to pay for
What gift would you want to receive?
Who do you want to spend it with?
Chad ocho cinco
If you could go anywhere on Valentine’s Day
where would you go?
What’s your best Valentine’s memory?
In the fifth grade at St. Louise, my box
won the ribbon for funniest box and
ever since I’ve had this false sense that
May 7, 2007, he was charged with a DUI and
paid a $5,000 bail according to www.usatoday.
com. “I love the show. I was very disappointed
whenever I heard that he received a DUI. I was
surprised because I didn’t think he’d ever do
something like that.” stated junior Kelsey Boze.
If you say “Miley Cyrus” to a room of ten year
olds, they’ll scream about how much they love
her. However, recently she has had many photo
scandals of herself doing numerous inappropriate things. What message does that send to her
fans? That it’s okay to do these improper acts?
These stars believe that they can get away
with anything, because they are famous. This
is not the case. People aspire to be like them,
these “inspirational” people are sending the
wrong message. The things they did were inexcusable, and they got off very easily. These
stars need to understand people look up to
them, and they need to get their acts together.
these commercials, and since
sales are down, they do not
feel the need to waste money.
One of the biggest surprises resulted from the Doritos ad campaign, which held a contest to see
who could create the best Super
Bowl commercial. The winner
of the USA Today poll gets one
million dollars if his commercial
is the most popular one aired.
The Doritos “snow globe” ad
won top honors, surprising many
people; for the past ten years,
Budweiser has taken first place.
Budweiser has a professional
commercial production company
that makes all of their ads. The
two brothers that won the USA
Today contest were on a low budget and still managed to do the
unthinkable and beat Budweiser.
Now companies are wondering
if it is even necessary to have a
professional production company make their commercials.
The local favorite was
the new Polamalu commercial,
a remake of the old Coca-Cola
ad with “Mean” Joe Greene.
Clydesdale Rescues Love From
the Circus” took second and
the “Budweiser Clydesdale
Learns New Trick” took third.
Bridgestone’s “Mr. and Mrs.
Potato Head Nearly Crash”
took fourth, and Doritos
“Crunch Gives Man Super
Power” took fifth. Surprisingly, the Polamalu commercial
was given seventeenth place.
According to statisticians, it is still worth the money
to advertise during the Super
Bowl, even in today’s economy.
i n e’s D a y
Va l e n t
What gift would you want to receive?
Who do you want to spend it with?
If you could go anywhere on Valentine’s Day
where would you go?
The Capital Grille
What’s your best Valentine’s memory?
In the elementary school, when we made
the boxes and everyone had to put cards
and candy in them
Can you crack the coffee code?
Unscramble the letters to spell out the phrase
and be entered into a drawing to win a $25 gift
card to Starbucks.*
By: Emily Estep, Opinion Editor
Taken, the story of a retired spy trying to
get his abducted daughter back, grabs the audience’s attention beginning, middle, and end. Liam
Neeson plays a self-described ‘ex-preventer’ who
is trying to build a better relationship with his estranged daughter when she is kidnapped. Many
critics are comparing it to the “Bourne” trilogy because of the intense action throughout. This comparison really shows off the highlight of the film:
Taken somehow managed to make 56-year-old
actor Liam Neeson into a better action star than
actors half of his age, all in a mere 91 minutes.
Directed by Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas), Coraline is almost as
creepy and almost as good. The film centers
on a little girl, Coraline, who has just moved to
a new home, has no real friends, and is ignored
by her parents. Fortunately for her, she stumbles across an alternate universe where all of
these things are the exact opposite. She subsequently becomes more and more attached to
this world, and begins to find it difficult to control.
The major flaw of Coraline are its 3-D effects. The
extra dimension brings nothing positive to the film,
adding only a shade of darkness, nausea, and
a couple more dollars to the price of the ticket.
*Submit your answer with the cutout below to Mrs. Sitler in room A114 to enter your
name into the drawing.
Fishtank: In Lieu of Snow Days
Arguably the best film of the year,
Slumdog Millionaire has already won numerous awards, and been nominated for the Best
Picture of the Year. It features the adventures
and the love story of a young Indian boy named
Jamal, a ‘slumdog’ who has just miraculously won the Indian version of Who Wants to be
a Millionaire. The majority of the movie occurs
through flashbacks, where the audience learns
why Jamal knew the answer to each question
on the show. In addition to its absorbing story,
Slumdog Millionaire has a brilliant score, beautiful fresh faces, and promises to make viewers
feel good about the movie choice they just made.
THIS CUTOUT MUST BE TURNED IN
WITH YOUR ANSWER TO ROOM A114
IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR THE
STARBUCKS GIFT CARD!
NO CUTOUT = NO QUALIFICATION!
5 Mid-Majors to Watch
Now that the euphoria of the
Super Bowl is over, March Madness
seems right around the corner. At
this stage in the season, everybody
is talking about teams like Uconn,
Pitt, North Carolina, and Wake
Forest; and rightfully so. The teams
that really get looked over are the
mid- majors (a college basketball
junkie’s term for a small school from
a small conference that is good
enough to make an impact in the
tournament). I have picked five midmajors from different conferences
that have the ability to knock off a
big conference powerhouse.
basketball fan who is worth their
salt knows the name. Although they
play in the West Coast conference,
where they have only two difficult
opponents (St. Mary’s and San
Diego), they play a rigorous out
of conference schedule each year.
This year’s edition of Gonzaga’s
opponents such as Tennessee,
Oklahoma State, and Maryland.
The Zags sport wins in all of the
above-mentioned games, although
they have close overtime losses
to the now #1 Uconn Huskies and
#10 Memphis Tigers.
We now go to Atlantic 10,
a conference that is notorious for
producing strong mid-majors. The
A 10 champs this year will most
likely be the Xavier Musketeers who
are undefeated in the conference
and hold a 21-5 overall record.
Xavier’s showcases thus far
include big wins against Virginia,
Virginia Tech, and Memphis.
The Musketeers are coached by
Pittsburgh-native and former Pitt
point guard Shaun Miller. This is
Miller’s fifth year as head coach at
Xavier, and he boasts an all- time
record of 113-43 there. It is not only
the coaching that makes Xavier a
contender in the Big Dance every
year; they have a very deep bench
The Latest in the WWE
despite their lack of seniors.
Davidson is a small school
from the Southern Conference
that burst onto the scene during
last season’s NCAA tournament.
They are 22-5 overall with a 152 record in their conference. The
Davidson Wildcats are led by rising
star Stephen Curry, who averages
almost thirty points per game and
has led his team to dramatic wins
against WVU and NC State.
Robert Morris is a team that
you might think I put in this article
simply because they are local, but
quite the contrary. RMU is flying
under the national radar because
they are in the Northeastern
Conference, which has historically
not been a very strong conference
in the tournament. The Colonials
have only lost two games in their
conference so far, despite a nonconference schedule where they
were somewhat shaky. Before
conference play started, it looked
Pro Bowl Moving to Miami
The excitement of World
Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has
been fueled by the addition of new
matches and rivalries. With superstars
such as John Cena, Randy Orton,
Triple H, and Shawn Michaels, the
WWE has obtained large fan bases.
Randy Orton has proven himself to be
the biggest star in the group by winning
the Royal Rumble and having a title
match at Wrestle Mania. With John
Cena being the World Heavyweight
Champion, it will be a hard feat for
any other wrestler beat him in No Way
With its famous elimination
chamber, the No Way Out event will
most likely be one of the most popular
pay-per-view programs of the year.
This match features six wrestlers,
including two that begin the match in
the ring and four that wait to be called
in at any given time. After 3-5 minutes,
a door opens at random and another
wrestler is added to the two already
competing in the ring. This process
continues until all of the men are
released. Wrestlers are eliminated by
pinfall or submission. “I will not come
out anything but the winner at No Way
Out,” said John Cena (www.wwe.
com). There is another elimination
like another typical Robert Morris
year, with a winning record but no
NCAA bid to show for it. Despite
thumpings from teams such as
Xavier and Pitt, the Colonials have
virtually run the table in the NEC,
routinely beating teams by 15 to
20 points. Robert Morris is a prime
candidate for the first round upset
The Hilltoppers of Western
Kentucky are another team that
sprang onto the big stage last March,
and it looks like they are poised for
another run. You might remember
wins against Drake and San Diego,
boosting them to their first Sweet
Sixteen in thirty seasons. With
last year as a platform, they have
knocked off well-known programs
such as Georgia and Louisville in the
early part of their schedule, and are
12-3 in the Sun Belt Conference
chamber match for Smackdown. The
Smackdown wrestlers include Edge,
Triple H, Big Show, Vladmir Kozlov,
Jeff Hardy and Undertaker. The Raw
wrestlers include wrestlers John
Cena, Kofi Kingston, Rey Mysterio,
Chris Jericho, and Mike Knox. The
winner of these matches will contest
for a championship at Wrestle Mania.
The rivalry between brothers
Matt and Jeff Hardy continues to rage
in Smackdown. This was especially
demonstrated at the 2009 Royal
Rumble, when Matt hit Jeff with a
steel chair and cost Jeff the WWE
Championship Belt. The suspected
reason for the incident was Matt’s
jealousy of his brother, who won the
WWE Championship in 2008.
In Raw, Randy Orton is having
trouble keeping his job after he punted
WWE chairman Vince McMahon in the
face and knocked him out. “The reason
why I did it because I struggle with
IED: intermittent explosive disorder,”
said Orton (www.wwe.com).
competition that takes place on the
mat, the WWE will continue to be a
great source of entertainment for fans
Every year, the Super Bowl comes to a conclusion and the Pro Bowl
is played a week later. The Pro Bowl is interactive with fans allowing the
fans to choose which players to be sent to Hawaii but the Pro Bowl lost
some of its luster because it’s no longer being played in Aloha Stadium.
The 2010 Pro Bowl has been moved to Dolphin Stadium in Florida,
and will occur the Sunday before the Super Bowl. The NFL’s vote to change
the time and place of the Pro Bowl isn’t very ideal for the players.
“I just think you take away from everything the Pro Bowl means,”
said Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. “I don’t understand it all.”
(NFL.com.) Viewers don’t favor the idea of moving the game from Hawaii
either. 77% of fans that replied to a poll on NFL.com stated that they would
prefer the Pro Bowl to stay in Hawaii.
“Although it may bring more festivities to the two weeks leading
up to the Super Bowl than just Media Day, having the Pro Bowl played
before the Super Bowl will not only take away from the teams preparation
but will also cut the attendance of players playing in the Pro Bowl due to
all the missing Super Bowl players,” said senior Jake Nowe. Nowe could
be correct because no player would give up preparation time to play in the
Super Bowl for the Pro Bowl. There is a major difference between a ring
and a fancy hotel.
Even now, evidence of the Pro Bowl’s lack of appeal is starting
to show; tickets for the 2009 Pro Bowl sold much slower than usual, with
roughly 5,000 tickets left on the market as of January 29, 2009. The tickets
are normally sold out by the first few days on the market. Selling at fortyfive dollars for the cheapest seats, the Pro Bowl is starting to lose its appeal.
The Super Bowl had no problems with selling out, even with some of the
tickets rising to $1,000.
Depending on how fast the tickets sell next year, the location of the
Pro Bowl may continue to change. Maybe these all-star games are just
losing their charm. The place and timing of the Pro Bowl might not be the
problem, but we will find out in less than a year.
What is Who is the best football team in the NCAA?
“When a player has ten points in
at least two categories.”
Liz Cronin ‘09
“When a player has more than
ten in two ways in basketball.”
Clayton Evans ‘12
“Well, I guess a double and
a double would be a
Zach Malanos ‘09
Skating Down the Competition
The hockey team is no stranger to success.
The team has won the Penguins Cup in 2002, 2003,
and 2005, and were PIAA State Champions in 2002
and 2003. The past few seasons haven’t held up to
the strong reputation of success the program has
maintained, but 2009 has been a different story.
The 2009 team came into the season with
high expectations. Head coach Rick Tingle had many
talented players to work with and up to this point in the
season they have all played up to their potential. Led
by Colin Fawcett, Jake Achenbach, Dave Rigatti, and
captain Drew Williams, the team has started the year
with a stellar 12-5-1 record, which is good enough to
give the team the top spot in their section. All the early
success hasn’t gotten into the players heads though.
“We have played really well up to this point.
We have won some games, but we still have serious
work to do,” junior Kevin Hough said. “This season
isn’t over yet.”
The team has played well, but some players
individually have excelled. Senior Colin Fawcett, who
leads the team with twelve goals and twenty points,
made the PIHL All Star Game, along with fellow
seniors Dave Rigatti and Drew Williams. The
three seniors had a good time in the exhibition
and enjoyed the opportunity of playing alongside
some of the stars they have grown accustomed
to playing against.
“The All Star game was a great time. It was
a good experience for me and my teammates,”
Fawcett stated. “It was an honor to be out on the
ice with my talented peers and just get to mess
All the success thus far in the season has
been great, but this team has goals that go much
further than succeeding in the regular season.
This is the year the team expects to get back to
the type of success its predecessors had. That
means returning to glory in the postseason and
capturing the Penguins Cup and possibly a PIAA
“We are a solid group of guys. We have
high expectations for ourselves,” Captain Drew
Williams confidently proclaimed. “I think we can
go far this year and I know many of the guys in
the locker room feel the same way I do.”
B o y Wsh a B ai ss k oeutr b a l l
’ t y
goal this season?
“To win the WPIAL
“To win a WPIAL title“.
“To pin kids”.
Captain Drew Williams gives a pregame speech to the team before the game against Thomas Jefferson.
They say that time flies when
you’re having fun, but for football fans,
time doesn’t fly – it simply disappears.
However, after the Super Bowl, time
reappears… and it stops. Sunday and
Monday nights that were once spent
screaming obscenities at a television
are now spent doing such crazy tasks as
homework. One might even sink so low
as to be friendly to a fan of a rival team.
And while it all seems okay at first, the
bitter truth is that the lack of football will
inevitably take its toll on fans across the
country, rearing its ugly head in the form
of an annually occurring psychological
disorder known as ‘Football Withdrawal’.
While the disease itself can only be
cured by the onset of the next year’s
preseason games, there are ways to
reduce the severity of its symptoms.
Upset Social Life: While the
off-season may not affect a true fan’s
relentless desire to talk about football,
the same may not be true for his or her
friends. But fear not, communication
rookie, for there are online discussion
boards designed specifically for such
predicaments. In both the on- and offseasons, fans everywhere can talk
about games, roster changes, and
team drama by more modern means.
The most popular Steelers discussion
board can be found at www.steelers.
com/fanzone/mboard, but fans of
other teams can find their own online
community by browsing the team’s
website or using a search engine.
Gameday Cravings: When
one is used to devoting multiple nights
a week to watching football, sudden
disruptions brought on by the end of the
season can cause problems in neural
functioning (or so it seems). However,
there are several options that one may
explore to ease the transition. The NFL
Network, offered by several television
companies, is the ailing football fan’s
dream come true. The NFL Network is
just what its name implies: all football,
all the time. The solution can also be
found online through youtube.com or
nfl.com, where multiple videos of game
highlights can be viewed for free.
Excess Free Time: With an
average of twelve to fifteen hours
per week spent watching football
during the season, the time left
over after the season’s end can
cause problems for someone
whose life revolves around the
sport. The most productive way
to fix the problem would be to
apply for a job at a sporting
goods shop, which, in addition
to encouraging work ethic, will
also provide a bit of spending
money – perfect for buying that
ridiculously overpriced Super
Bowl hat-shirt-DVD package.
If the adrenaline rush is what
makes football appealing, one
would also be advised to take
up a school sport of his or her
Football Withdrawal is not a lifethreatening condition. With the
right resources, even the most
desperate fan can find small
comfort before the next race to
the Super Bowl begins.
“To make states
individually in the 100
“To win a medal at the
indoor state final held
at Penn State.”
- Christian Bransetter
If you could date any celbrity, who would it be?
Freshman Madison Creehan Sophomore Angelo Toscano
Junior Alisha Johns
Senior Jace Cavanagh
“Helga G. Pataki”
If you could create your own candy heart, what would it say?
Freshman Zach Partyka
“I love tacos”
Sophomore Caitlin Relich
Junior Anthony Gatto
“I don’t know”
Senior Paula Simmons
“Paula is perfect”
What do the Teachers think?
“Read my mind”
The PT Minute
Winter Formal January 2007
Senior Jack Hareza
How long have you been dating?
Who wears the pants in the relationship?
We don’t wear pants
What color are her eyes?
How did you two meet?
Same group of friends
What’s the cutest thing she’s ever done for you?
She brought me a monkey for my surgery
Senior Stephanie Cotugno
How long have you two been dating?
Who wears the pants in the relationship?
What’s his favorite color?
Where did you go for your first date?
What’s the most unique thing he has done for you?
Jack made me go through a scavenger hunt around his
house and asked me to prom at the end!
Winter Formal January 2009
“Happy Valentine’s Day”
With THE PINTOs
Where did you two meet?
Track; we were both coaches
Who wears the pants?
Depends. We share the pants
How long have you been married?
Two and a half years
What are the biggest pet peeves
about each other?
Him: She doesn’t do dishes
Her: He doesn’t cook
Most memorable vacation?
Taking three and a half weeks to
drive cross country to California