Mar. 2009 Smoke Signals Issue 5


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Mar. 2009 Smoke Signals Issue 5

  1. 1. Smoke Signals March 2009 • volume 40 • issue 04 • Peters Township High School The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail Mr. Barry Wood Guest Writer Congratulations Boys Basketball Team on WPIAL Championship! Ian Jackson Staff Writer A team with no weaknesses usually becomes a team with very few losses. That’s exactly what the PT boys basketball team did, and they made the entire Peters Township community proud with the first WPIAL basketball title in school history. They stormed through the playoffs with wins over Thomas Jefferson, Central Catholic, and Penn Trafford. Those victories set up the championship game against Mt. Lebanon. Lebo handed Peters one of their two losses during the regular season and PT came out ready to avenge that loss. They would go on to defeat the Blue Devils, 60-54, and Peters Township was crowned WPIAL Champions of the 2009 season. “That win was so great. I was so proud of the team and I was happy to have played one of my best games of the season,” said junior Craig Wolcott. “It was unbelievable. The fans were great, and that made it even cooler.” When Gary Goga took over as head coach of the boys basketball team, the program was in disarray and piling up losing seasons. They had a solid group of core players, but they still seemed to struggle year in and year out. Coach Goga changed all that. He brought with him a winning attitude and a totally new game plan. His teams would shoot the three, and they would shoot it often. Steve Radke, Pat Russo, Craig Wolcott, and Nick Wilcox led the 2008 team. That team had the most successful season in quite a few years and would finish the year with a solid 16-9 record. Even though they were bounced from the WPIAL playoffs in the first round, the season gave the players hope for bigger things in 2009. “Coming into the season we really believed that we had a great group of players and that we would build off last season. We just need to figure out who would take that place of the guys who graduated,” senior star Stephen Radke stated. To say the team achieved “bigger things” this year would be a colossal understatement. The team had success early, starting the season with an unbelievable 17-1 record. The emergence of Craig Wolcott, Corey Wilcox, and Phil Horensky gave the team exactly what it needed to compliment stellar Almost all students enrolled at PTHS at one time or another have studied about the life and times of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson in one of their English classes. Now students will be able to “meet theses guys in person” when the acclaimed play “The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail” by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee is presented on our stage under the direction of Mr. Wood. Appearing in this thought-provoking drama and Ben West as Thoreau and James Northrop as Ralph Waldo Emerson. Supporting roles will be undertaken by Erika Hubbell as Lydian Emerson, Taylor Laster as Thoreau’s mother, Harrison Buzzatto as John Thoreau, Justin Gaab as Bailey, Drew Caliguiri as Ball, Lindsay Bayer as Ellen, Tony Lages as Sam Staples, Charlie Meyers as Edward Emerson and Anthony Wagner as Williams. The citizens of concord will be portrayed by Olivia Bayer, Kaitlyn Corbett, Tyler Deiley, Meghan Fitzgerald, Kyle Gramling, Melissa Jarrett, Mike Jasek, Ryanne Konno, Sarah Leech, Cole Marks, Angela Mikec, Lauren Spinabelli, Zach Tabler, and Linsey VanNewKirk. Sarah Leech will provide music on the flute and the drums will be played by Renée Wunderlich. Assisting Mr. Wood on this production is Mr. Dave Walsh, Technical Director, Mrs. Caryn Kuhn, Thespian Troupe Sponsor, Renée Wunderlich, Assistant Director, and Kaleigh Fitzgerald, Stage Manager. The drama will be staged Thursday, March 23, at 7:00 and again on Friday and Saturday, March 24 and 25, promptly at 7:30. Tickets will be available at the door for all performances!! seniors Steve Radke and Nick Wilcox. Horensky and Jon Kovac would consistently knock down the threes that Coach Goga desired the team to shoot, Corey Wilcox anchored the defense, Wolcott totally ran the team from the point guard position, and the team had the ability to pound it inside at will with Radke. Even though the team would eventually go on to be tripped up by Central Catholic in the state playoffs, the boys gave us all something to cheer for and made the entire community extremely proud. “I had a great time playing for basketball here the past few years, but this season, I will never forget. The way we came together and achieved our goal was great,” Radke explained. “Next year I think this team will be right there again, and maybe even go for back-to-back titles.” Library Arts Cafe Page 4 Opinion Odyssey of the Mind Champs! page 3 Features The Emily Correal Experience Page 11 news Sp o r t s Inside Bartram House Bakery Page 8
  2. 2. reference March 2009 Sunday 22 Monday 23 Tuesday 24 National ChocolateCovered Rasins Day National Goof-Off Day 29 30 Smoke Signals Wednesday 25 Thursday 26 Friday 27 Saturday 28 Make Up Your Own Holiday Day 31 March 2009 Oranges and Lemons Day April 2009 1 April Fool’s Day 5 6 7 First Simpson show aired 1987 12 14 20 21 Garlic Day 28 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. E-mail: Commentaries, reviews, and opinion columns are the expressed opinion of the author and not of Smoke Signals, its advisor or the Peters Township School District. Member of the Pennsylvania School Press Association. ASSISTANT EDITOR Andrea Briggs 10 11 15 17 16 18 22 Look-Alike Day 23 24 William Shakespeare born 1564 29 25 Plumber’s Day 30 National Prime Rib Day Smoke Signals EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Renée Wunderlich Amanda Bynes born 1986 First Public Library Opened Kindergarten Day 27 Jet Li born 1963 4 Leonardo Da Vinci born 1453 Easter Sunday 26 3 9 World Health Day 13 19 8 2 Luck of the Irish! NEWS EDITOR Stephanie Cotugno FEATURES EDITORS Dana Hoelle Bridget Stasenko OPINION EDITOR Emily Estep SPORTS EDITOR Taylor Relich MARKETING EDITORS Paige Burris Shelby Miller STAFF WRITERS Gabrielle Brinsky, Amy Burzotta, Averi Clements, Conor Jackson, Ian Jackson, Colleen Lugar, Monica Paterra, Kaitlyn Richert, Matt Schilling, Matt Sikora, Bethany Suchy LAYOUT EDITOR Emily Correal LAYOUT TEAM Paige Burris, Shelby Miller, Taylor Miller MANAGING EDITOR Katie Ellis ADVISOR Mrs. Sitler Maze courtesy of:
  3. 3. news March 2009 Dance for the Cure Stephanie Cotugno News Editor THON (the IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon) is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. The dance marathon took place at Penn State University during the last weekend in February to raise money which will be used to provide emotional and financial support to the children, families, and researches involved with pediatric cancer. Throughout the year, THON raises funds and awareness with the hope that participants help move towards finding a cure for all childhood cancers. Since it’s founding in 1974, the organization has grown exponentially. With over 15,000 student volunteers and 700 dancers, THON continues to make an impact. While people make donations, students dance. This year, the event earned a breaking record of $7,490,133, to benefit The Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Children’s Hospital. The Four Diamonds Fund was designed for the sole purpose of THON’s fundraising efforts. THON and The Four Diamonds Fund proudly support each other, having raised more than $52 million to The Fund since its establishment. The four diamonds symbolically represent courage, wisdom, honesty, and strength, which the cancerous son of the fund’s creators, Charles and Irma Millard, believed where the traits he believed were necessary to overcome cancer. “I had never heard of THON, but it sounds like a really amazing fundraiser. It is really cool how so many Penn State students come together for a better cause,” said junior Louie Wickstrom. With the hope of making a difference in the life of a child, the fund helps pay for the cost for treatments that insurance does not cover, as well as the various other expenses that may be present. Funds also help support the medical team that cares for the children along with the pediatric cancer research through grants and the Four Diamonds Pediatric Cancer Research Institute. As the college fights to conquer cancer, their motto continues to be “together we will find a cure.” Odyssey of the Mind Emily Estep Opinion Editor The lone Odyssey of the Mind team currently in practice at Peters Township High School has won the regional championship and will be going to states in April. The team consists of juniors Olivia Bayer, Emily Estep, Ben Gauthier, Melissa Jarret, John Wawrose, and Ben West. Although the program is little known, Peters Township has been participating in Odyssey of the Mind for years. The current team, with slightly different members each year, is not new to the states competition. In fact, they have made it there four times in the past and even went to the World Championship in the sixth grade, and placed 16th of 60 teams. According to the Odyssey of the Mind website, the program is “an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college.” In the program, students use their creativity and teamwork to solve problems that range from building mechanical devices to presenting skits, What InThe World...? What in the World…? usually based on literary classics. The United States has thousands of teams, and twenty-five countries participate worldwide. This year, our representative team’s problem was ‘the lost labor of Hercules.’ The team had to re-enact one of the 12 labors of Hercules and a team-created ‘lost labor’, include a god from Greek mythology and an original mythological creature, and explain why the ‘lost labor’ was lost. Junior member Olivia Bayer said, “We were still creating our set at 11 pm the night before. Our win at regionals was basically a miracle. I am very hopeful that we can really improve before states and maybe even win.” Bayer was a member of the team when they went to worlds in sixth grade. John Wawrose and Melissa Jarret have been in Odyssey of the Mind together since the third grade, with the exception of the middle school years. The entire team is working hard to achieve their goal of reaching the World Championship. Smoke Signals Drop Everything And Read : PT Tradition Gabrielle Brinsky Staff Writer DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) Day is a holiday in which schools, libraries, and bookstores across the country are asked to host a day deadicated to reading. Believe it or not, it is actually a legitimate holiday recognized on US calendars. Held on April 12, this day is in celebration of author Beverly Cleary’s birthday, lead by the National Educations Association (NEA), Parent Teacher Association (PTA), The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), and the General Federation of America Foundation (NAA). One of Clearly’s most famous fictional characters, Ramona Quimby, is the girl responsible for spreading the importance of literature and encouraging families to make reading together on a daily basis a priority. Students always voice their favorite books, but until recently, they had no idea what their teachers enjoyed reading-- until now. PTHS librarian Mrs. Morriston and senior Adrianna Carbonara have come up with a project involving our high school teachers and their favorite novels, biographies, and other works, making posters with teachers and their favorite books displayed on them. “The objective was to promote reading with our posters,” explained Carbonara, who helped create the posters after she was prompted by Mrs. Morriston. Peters Township High School’s librarian asked Adrianna Carbonara, junior Amber Doerr, and senior Alana Chapman to help make the posters, which included lists of our teachers’ favorite books. These three students took pictures and posted posters at the end of every aisle in library. In order to encourage teachers to participate, Carbonara sent out a letter to them asking for their favorite reading material. She said that many teachers joined her in her fight to bring students to read. Compiled by Katie Ellis Xiao Nan, a female Chinese athlete, has won over forty medals since graduating high school. However, Nan had been having suspicions since childhood that she was not actually a woman, and recent hospital tests confirmed what she already knew: she had male chromosomes. Nan threw out at least thirty of her medals and has given up all of her previous sporting events. She is currently undergoing surgery to become a man, a process that will take a minimum of nine months. “911, what’s your emergency?” The appropriate response to this question is never “The [McDonald’s] manager just took my money and won’t give [it] back, [and is] trying to make me buy something off the menu I don’t want.” That’s just what 27-year-old Floridian Latreasa Goodman said in one of her three phone calls to 911 on March 3. After the fast food restaurant ran out of Chicken McNuggets, Goodman reportedly told police that she had received her change and was told that McDonald’s had run out of the nuggets. When she asked for a refund, the manager refused and told her that she would have to choose something else on the menu. When police told Goodman that she was not, in fact, experiencing an emergency, she replied by saying, “This is an emergency. If I would have known they didn’t have McNuggets, I wouldn’t have given my money, and now she wants to give me a McDouble, but I don’t want one. This is an emergency!” Goodman has been issued a written notice to appear in court for the abuse of the 911 communications system, and will most likely have to pay a fine. Kokomo, India: a 26-year-old man was taken into custody after using shoe spikes to climb twenty feet up a utility pole and becoming stuck. The man, whose name has not been released, begged his neighbors not to call police even though he was hanging from a climbing strap around his waist. When police finally did arrive, they discovered that the man had two outstanding warrants for arrests and was wanted for stealing copper wire from other utility poles in the area. In an attempt to stay out of jail, the man told police that he “was just trying out his new shoe spikes,” though they did not believe him. Police in Canterbury, England had to call upon the general public for assistance while attempting to catch a wild animal: a two-foot long white rabbit (about the size of a small dog). Officers chased the rabbit for more than ten minutes at 2:30 in the morning before asking eight bystanders for help. The rabbit was chased for more than 200 yards before it was caught, and police determined that it was someone’s pet, as it was accustomed to being handled. The rabbit has ironically been nicknamed “Tiny” and is being held at the Barton Veterinary Hospital until someone claims him.
  4. 4. features March 2009 Speak OUT What is Your Favorite YouTUbe Video? “Strange Kid Singing.” - Chris Cain Senior Smoke Signals Best New YouTube Videos Monica Paterra Staff Writer Every year, videos are uploaded by Youtube users that viewers cannot get enough of. You may remember “Charlie Bit Me” or “Laughing Baby Ethan.” While those videos were fun to watch numerous times, 2009 has brought many new videos, adding to the “Youtube Hall of Fame.” Ranging from a variety of subjects both serious and hilarious, these videos are guaranteed to keep your attention. Scoring over 115 million views since its release, the video titled “Evolution of Dance” takes the top spot with not only the most viewers, but showcases dancing through the years. For six minutes, one man gives viewers the opportunity to see dancing styles starting in the 1950’s through present day. He certainly has the motions down pat with his fluid moves. The crowd in the video during his performance is clearly enjoying his performance. “Bizkit the Sleepwalking Dog,” is another hilarious new video that was recently added. With close to five million views, it shows that humans are not the only ones to have bad dreams. It is funny to see the dog flailing his legs as if he is chasing a cat. During his dream, Bizkit runs into a wall, which obviously wakes him up. Lastly, one of the more noted videos is called “David After Dentist.” David, an articulate and intelligent seven year old boy, is being filmed by his father following a dental procedure. The dad happened to have his video recorder with him and caught some very humorous remarks by his son while under the influence of laughing gas. During your spare time, Youtube is one of the first places we all go to for a good laugh. “Evolution of Dance,” and “Bizkit the Sleepwalking Dog” are two of the many gems of videos to find on this entertaining site. Many more of these thrilling videos are to come that will keep America laughing. Library Arts Café Colleen Lugar Staff Writer “Trash Can Jim.” - Joel Magnotti Junior “Charlie bit my finger.” - Chloe Burns Sophomore “David after the Dentist.” - Kelly Lewis Freshman The silence has been broken and the coffee served. From March 9-13 the PTHS library was taken over by the Library Arts Café for the ninth consecutive year, this time with the theme from the board game Clue. From Monday to Friday, the entire school was entertained by ideas organized by the library staff. Every day brought a new and exciting talent PTHS had to offer. Monday, the Media Department showcased photography and movies. Finally, a chance for media students to prove that all their wandering around in the halls was for a good reason. Vocal music followed on Tuesday, with singers showcasing everything from Broadway to classical tunes. The female barbershop quartet,Synchronized, composed of juniors Julia Devine, Melissa Jarrett, and Hannah and Lauren Hobbs, performed their four-part harmony, photos by Amber Doerr serenaded the audience. Wednesday, art classes showed off their skills, proving just how much creativity is in our school. Acrylic paints, ceramics, and graphics and design were all displayed and demonstrated by advanced art students. Thursday was nothing but drama in the library. Theater made an appearance on the second-to-last day, entertaining the audience and teachers who thought they were just coming in for a muffin, but instead taking a seat as the actors’ talents captured them. “I think Library Arts Café is a great opportunity for different groups to showcase their unknown talents,” said junior Molly Hanley, an active member of the makeup crew for the thespian troupe and alumni of Theater Arts I, II, and III. Rarely do rock bands and libraries come together, but the Library Arts Café made it happen Friday. Bands such as PITA, Beginning is Beckoning,65 Watts , and others were selected for the chance to ‘rock out’. The 2009 Library Arts Café proved to be a successful way for students to learn about the hard work and entertainment value involved in the performing arts.
  5. 5. features March 2009 Music Department Strives for Excellence in Chicago Kaitlyn Richert Staff Writer the city, competing musically, and making memories with their friends. The various groups competing in the Heritage Music Festival have been preparing for the trip for months. The Mighty Indian Marching Band, representing Peters Township as the largest student activity in the school, plans to work hard and have fun while competing. Under the direction of Drum Majors Ricky Palacios and Sarah Leech, the band is looking sharp and is determined to return home with a Superior rating. While each Department group competes, the other Peters groups will witness each performance and have the opportunity to cheer on their classmates. All musical groups are scheduled to perform in a local Chicago school auditorium and the Drill Team and Silks are scheduled to perform in a gymnasium. The Peters Township Music Department will hopefully bring home several Superior awards to demonstrate their hard work and effort throughout the past year. The talented and hardworking group of students is undoubtedly ready to prove their motivation when they depart for Chicago on March 25. Bag Winter, Get Ready for Spring Staff Writer Beyond the Bubble: American Diabetes Association Renée Wunderlich No outfit is complete without a complementary purse, bag, or tote. These feminine accessories are the perfect way to add color to a wardrobe spice up a look. The upcoming warm weather will bring a wide range of different clutches and purses to choose from. Take advantage of these fabulous trends, which mix fresh new styles and classic designs. According to fashion reporter Gill Hart, “A handbag is one of the easiest and cost-effective ways to update your wardrobe for spring summer 2009.” A variety of colors are in stores for this spring and summer. Neutral colors (shades of brown and beige) along with cheery colors (corals and oranges) will be accessible. The colors can be displayed on many different styles of handbags. The classic “chain purses” can be commonly seen on the runways. Designers such as Marc Jacobs and Prada will mimic the trend. Braided or woven purse handles will also be available, giving character to even the simplest of bags. Whether an oversized clutch or a large tote bag is preferred, new trends like fringes and quilted patterns will be shown on many handbags. Embrace the new handbags of the warm weather months ahead and find the bag of your dreams. There will be many styles from which to choose. Editor-in-Chief About 7.8% of the American population has diabetes, a disease which prohibits the body from producing the proper amount of insulin (an essential hormone found in the blood) needed for the necessary break-down of sugars and starches. Amazingly, one quarter of these people are unaware of their potentially life-threatening illness. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is working not only to spread awareness, but to also to support research for the prevention, and possibly cure, of this disease. They currently hold fundraisers and educational events at both the local and national levels. Perhaps the Association’s greatest asset is the people they serve – those men, women, and children who are living with Type 1 or 2 diabetes. From nutrition and fitness guides to managing a healthy life style, the ADA website provides diagnosis resources, general FAQs for concerned patients, and Bethany Suchy FAshion Every two years, the Peters Township Music Department takes a five-day trip for a music competition. In previous years, trips have been to Myrtle Beach, Virginia Beach, and Disney World, but this year the music department will arrive at a new destination: Chicago. In late March, students participating in choir, concert band, marching band, drill team, silks, orchestra, jazz band, and wind symphony will have the opportunity to establish themselves as accomplished and hard working individuals by competing in groups. While the trip is taken to musically compete, the Music Department has developed a number of entertaining activities to complete before the competition begins. One day includes a morning of sightseeing in the city, visiting various museums and aquariums, and attending a Dinner Dance cruise. Additionally, the Music Department students will have a chance to see the Blue Man Group, and spend a few hours shopping on the ‘Magnificent Mile.’ “I’m really excited to be in Chicago for the first time,” confided junior Heather Powell. “It should be awesome to see the Blue Man Group perform because they have a lot of energy.” Generally, the students are very ecstatic about visiting Smoke Signals even a “Sugar-Free Recipe of the Day”. If you, a friend, or a family member has diabetes, support the search for a cure. You can make a monetary donation through the website in the form of a standard check or as wedding/party favors for loved ones. You can volunteer your time in various walks for awareness, such as the Association’s Step Out or Tour de Cure, or become a sponsor for the event. You can also wear the ADA “Support the Cure” wristband (much like the Live Strong yellow wristband for childhood cancer) to show your support. There is no known cause for diabetes, though studies suggest that both genetics and environmental factors like a lack of physical activity and diets low in valuable vitamins and minerals affect how susceptible an individual may be. To learn more about diabetes, sign up for the ADA online newsletter, or to find out how you can get involved, log on to Courtesy of
  6. 6. Horoscopes Aquarius January 20 - February 18 Pisces February 19 - March 20 Aries March 21 -- April 19 Taurus March 20 - May 20 Gemini May 21 - June 21 You are very direct While you value your and assertive when independence more than You are reliable and The ides of March have it comes to getting Others may see you anything else, you’ll need hard working, which you a bit depressed, things done, but this as a bit of a scatterto be especially carewill come in handy though you are cresometimes backfires brain, when really you ful not to overstep your ative enough to keep when you are with your during the fourth nine just have a lot on your boundaries this month. weeks. Be generous While you find your yourself busy through friends. Be aware of mind. Take a with your advice to oth- breath and takedeep adventures to be excitthis time of blustery how you communicate things ing, others may perceive Pittsburghian weather. to others; your con- ers, but not before you one day at a time. hear them out. you as out of control and fidence may be perrebellious. ceived as vanity. Leo July 23 - August 22 Virgo August 23 - September 22 Taking charge comes Your thoughts march in neatly filed lines, but naturally to you. Use this to your advantage your room, your locker, and practically everywhen grouped with thing else is far from others who are barely orderly. Take some motivated. Be cautious of your temper, time to reorganize your as it has a habit of get- space and you’ll find yourself in perfect ting you into awkward balance. misunderstandings. Libra September 23 - October 22 One of your greatest strengths is your ability to adapt. This will come in handy, as there are big changes in your future. Just be sure that you recognize the opportunities when they come around. Scorpio October 23 - November 21 Sagittarius November 22 -December 21 June 22 - July 22 Don’t let your dreams of the future distract you from the here and now. Try not to isolate yourself from your friends – you’ll find that you need them more than ever this month – and make an effort to share thoughts with those around you. Capricorn December 22 - January 19 You’re naturally cautious of new situations, You may find yourself Capricorns are generand that’s generally a and with unexpected free ally hard working you good thing. This month, determined, and though, eliminate your time this month. Use suspicions and take a that time to your advan- are no different. Just rechance on new and difmember to take time for ferent ideas. Share your tage and be careful not yourself and relax! It’s to waste it – take a trip experiences with your friends or take them with with friends or catch not always a bad thing to let loose and just be you on your adventures up on schoolwork. a kid. – you may have more fun than you expected. Photo By Alina Chapman For St. Patrick’s Day 2009, the Campus Life kids toured the South Hills Village Mall in their Leprechaun regalia. Senior Alina Chapman (far right, with the fun glasses) said, “The best part was the looks from the other people in the mall!” The Green Competition is a newer tradition for Campus Life, and Michelle Ward (third from left) won $25 for wearing the most creative green outfit. Andrea Briggs Cancer The Other March Madness Assistant Editor Ah, the springtime. Winter is wrapping up, snow has ceased to be an issue, and the weather is now warm enough that you can actually go outside without having to don three pairs of socks and a scarf. It’s a time when households are upturned by cleaning and the Winter Blues find themselves suddenly pushed aside, replaced by another, stranger feeling: Spring Fever. “Spring Fever,” a phrase made popular in a poem by Mark Twain, is a general feeling of excitement and restlessness brought about by the onset of spring. As the days grow longer and lovelier, we’re bound to feel glad that spring has sprung. This phenomenon has its roots in science: Increased sunlight causes our bodies to release higher levels of serotonin, causing us to feel sunnier ourselves. In the springtime, our bodies also stop producing so much melatonin, the chemical that controls the sleep cycle. Less melatonin in our systems means that we will be more alert and wakeful. Anthropologists have also suggested that our ancestors would have been in a sluggish state during winter, in a sort of pseudohibernation. When spring arrived, they would suddenly find themselves in a heightened flurry of activity after the winter, with increased hunting, recreation, and procreation. Modern humans now find themselves afflicted with the leftovers of the mechanisms that caused this activity at the turn of the seasons thousands of years ago. Another reason for the sudden boost in energy could be the fact that flu and cold season dies off in the spring, and after the holidays we tend to change our diets to consume more fruits and vegetables that provide us with nutrients we’ve lacked during winter. Even with all these possible causes of spring fever, one specific reason for the malady hasn’t been confirmed yet. In the meantime, toss the sweatshirts aside in favor of shorts, and when March 20 rolls around, watch out so that you too aren’t struck down by this mysterious affliction.
  7. 7. Ten Reasons to Despise March Emily Estep Opinion Editor 1. NO DAYS OFF FROM SCHOOL. 2. As if #1 wasn’t bad enough, school starts in the dark. 3. All 500 calories contained in a delicious, but evil, shamrock shake. 4. The horrid movie season: post-Oscars, pre-summer blockbusters. 5. The dreaded third quarter grading period. Classes are terrible and so are your grades. 6. Deceiving weather/spring fever. 7. The SAT, SAT prep courses, the PSSA, the ACT… 8. Constant talk of March Madness. 9. The frustration of not being of Irish descent. 10. Conditioning for spring sports begins. Loving Leprechauns Stephanie Cotugno News Editor St. Patty’s Day isn’t just for the Irish. The holiday is a festive celebration, a day when the Irish can share their luck. Internationally, St. Patrick’s Day has the power to bring friends and family together into a fun, exciting atmosphere. From leprechauns to green everywhere, St. Patty’s Day captures the youth in everyone. Starting at a young age, Americans have grown up to love the green holiday. With every year bringing on a new tradition, St. Patty’s Day has become one of the most fun holidays. The Irish may have started the joyful holiday, but Americans have jumped right on the bandwagon with the desire to party through all of the festivities. With the help from stores and restaurants like McDonald’s with Shamrock Shakes, the media makes ignoring St. Patty’s Day an impossible task.So honestly,the only appropriate action is to celebration the day and wear a ‘Kiss me, I’m Irish’ shirt. PTHS’ Final Four Contest Homeroom ________________________ Name ____________________________ In honor of March Madness, Smoke Signals is sponsoring a school wide Final Four contest! All you have to do is predict the final four basketball teams, the championship game, and the winner of the championship, and the score of that final game. All brackets must be completely filled out to qualify, and MUST be turned in to room A114 by March 27, 2009. The winner will receive a $25 Starbucks gift card. Happy guessing!
  8. 8. opinion March 2009 Smoke Signals Bartram House Bakery: A Variety of Tasty Treats Bethany Suchy Staff Writer There’s a new place in the neighborhood to eat lunch or purchase tasty treats. The Bartram House Bakery, located along Route 19, recently opened just a few months ago and is already a favorite place to eat among the Smoke Signals staff members. Walking into the bakery, the first thing that can be seen are the shelves of cakes and pies that make mouths water, followed by windows of cookies, cupcakes, and other baked goods. The velvet cupcakes covered in icing, slightly bigger than the size of a softball, are irresistible. Along with the various sweet desserts, a lunch menu is available. Sandwiches, soups, smoothies, and salads can be purchased and eaten in the seating area provided. Mini margaritas (small sandwiches consisting of a sliced baguette, fresh tomatoes, basil, and a generous amount of melted mozzarella cheese) are a recommended lunch pick. The bright and cheery atmosphere of the little shop makes the bakery even more appealing. The small cozy seating area is a perfect place to meet up with friends for lunch or for a dessert anytime of the day. The shop’s high ceilings make it appear much larger than its actual size, so a crammed- in feeling never crosses one’s mind. The staff of the Bartram Bakery tops the experience off. Friendly and accommodating, the bakers and cashiers are constantly smiling. During my first lunch visit at the bakery, I was given complementary pepperoni rolls- by far the best pepperoni rolls I have ever eaten. “I am so glad I stumbled across the Bartram Bakery,” said junior Rachel Sunday, “I love all of the chocolately desserts, especially the cupcakes.” Stop in a try one of the many delicious foods in the Bartram Bakery. Food and customer satisfaction is guaranteed. A warm plate of Bartram House Bakery Pepperoni Rolls Spring Forward Matthew Sikora Staff Writer With the change in weather, people are spending more time new movie coming out that is sure to give you a thrill. Going out to eat at outside. The fresh air is great, and the morning dew is good for the plants. a restaurant is entertaining and gives you a break from eating at home. If This is giving people a chance to get you are at a loss for what to do, go outside and spend time in the sun. camping. This gives you a chance There are many activities that to experience what goes on you can do in the morning without outside during all hours of the day. freezing. Many people enjoy jogging or walking as a way to wake up and experience get them started for the day. If you downtown enjoy sleeping in, then there is even the more to do in the afternoon. Playing The Carnegie Museum is a place pickup football, Frisbee, or wiffle where you can enjoy the history ball are great ways to sharpen your of Pittsburgh. Pirates games give talent athletic you a chance to watch some major conditioning. Want to see who the league players. There are also best your many ways for you to help out the friends together and play a game community through the different of paintball. Fishing and golfing are charity walks. If you’re in Pittsburgh also among the best ways to relax the right time, you can even see a and meet new people. The equipment Pirates game or go to the zoo to and improve sharpshooter your is? Get may be pricey, but it is well worth it. Those who are less active Experiencing the different activities outside. can enjoy gardening. Think of all your possibilities for the night. There is always a He Said If you really want Pittsburgh, during possibilities summer; are endless. experience the different animals. The spring gives you a chance to spend time outside and experience the different weather. Now that the sun is shining and the She Said Amy burzotta What time do you get up in the morning? 6:35 What time do you get up in the morning? What’s the first thing you do when you get home? What’s the first thing you do when you get home? Play X-Box or sleep Eat or take a nap 6:40 What time do you usually go to bed?? What is the best class of the day? Gym go the Ian Jackson 11-11:30 to What time do you usually go to bed?? 11:30 What is the best class of the day? English
  9. 9. opinion March 2009 Smoke Signals The Businessman: Amy Burzotta Young Entrepreneurs in PT Staff Writer Students have great aspirations and dreams. One goal that many students have in common is starting their own business, which takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Someday, these students may accomplish their goal in entrepreneurship. However, some students don’t want to wait for “someday”; their day is today. According to, owning a business at a young age is becoming a popular trend and is helping the economy to recover. Chris Schuck is a senior here at PTHS. He is highly involved and talented in the mediabroadcasting department. Schuck decided to put his skills to great use and open his own business. I interviewed him to ask him all about his thriving production and any advice he may have for aspiring businessmen. What is the name of your business and what do you do, ex- actly? StudioV Editing is the name, and what I do is create custom videos for people such as tributes, highlight videos, weddings, etc. What made you want to have your own business? I wanted to make money for college. People said that I had a talent, and I felt that maybe I could make something out of it. Why you enjoy it? I enjoy it because I am able to help people remember their memories for years to come. How long have you been running this business for? I started my business last year during the summer. Where do you run your business? StudioV Editing is run out of my house. I have three editing suites on my computer and an By: Emily Estep, Opinion Editor Watchmen Rated R HD Panasonic camera. Do you have any advice for students here who want to start their own businesses? They should start right away. Don’t let anyone say you can’t make it. As long as you can think of an effective idea, you can succeed. Chris Schuck is an example of a person who uses his talent to make great memories for people. Whatever your skill is, go out and use it. You never know just how successful you may be. Why Do We Watch the Watchmen? Andrea Briggs Assistant Editor In 1986, a comic book read the graphic novel was published that over and over again, changed everything. It picking apart each took the image of the su- panel for tiny details perhero that America had we may have missed come to know and turned the first dozen times it on its head, shattering we’ve looked there? convention and pushing Not for the the comic medium to its faint of heart, Watchlimit. A cult favorite for men explores weighty decades, Watchmen has issues such as moralrecently resurfaced as a ity, self-identity, the pop culture phenomenon, concept of God, the its popularity skyrocketed meaning of life, and at by the movie released on the core of everything, March 6. Fans of the dark it questions humanity comic remind us of Twi- itself. The depth of the lighters in their fierce loy- story is almost enough alty to the characters, and for some readers to of Harry Potterites in their drown in, but lends itself expansive knowledge to objective analysis. of the story and Watch- Part of the reamen universe. But what son we care so much makes Watchmen so is the characters. Their special? What makes us flaws act almost as a mirror, reflecting ourselves off the page, and now, the silver screen. From the apathetic Dr. Manhattan, who “knows how everything fits together except people,” to the Comedian, who realizes that life really is just one big joke, the characters in Watchmen force us to look at ourselves in a different way and acknowledge that we too are not perfect. Even the villainous Ozymandias has reasons for his actions that we can’t deny, and through his master plan we must also determine whether sacrificing millions for the greater good is in fact more noble than the heroes’ actions to stop the possible destruction. Fans across the board were nervous at the prospect of seeing Watchmen turned into a movie, and writer Alan Moore even opted to remove his name entirely from the project. How could a comic that covered so much be stripped down and transformed into a film? Debates raged throughout fandom and the Internet, and tensions were high. The fact that Watchmen could generate such intensity among the fans speaks volumes, and hopefully the love people hold for this comic will never die down. Fishtank: The Aftermath Editor-in-Chief Movie Reviews Incredible effects, terrific actors, and based on arguably the greatest graphic novel of all time, Watchmen is a whole new experience. It challenges the conventional idea of what superheroes should be and shows the audience how people who put on costumes and fight crime would actually act. The story takes place in an alternate 1985 after Nixon has been elected for five terms, and the U.S. is now on the brink of nuclear war with Russia. Someone has killed “The Comedian”, and fellow masked hero Rorschach is on the case. Watchmen can truly be described as visionary. The Last House on the Left Rated R This remake of Wes Craven’s 1972 original is without a doubt just as intense and gruesome as its predecessor. The Last House on the Left is not for the faint of heart. A young girl is assaulted by a group of thugs who then unknowingly stumble into the girl’s home to stay the night. Let’s just say her parents are not so hospitable when they realize who the boys are. The majority of the film is of the parents’ grotesque, torturous revenge. Although the movie is perhaps overly indulgent in its violence, it does satisfy a craving for those who love justice. The Last House on the Left stands out among most horror-movie remakes as above-average. Race to Witch Mountain Rated PG Dwayne Johnson sure has a thing for family films. But I’m not complaining, because he’s one of the few reasons to give this movie any kudos. Johnson’s talent is and charisma is what holds Race to Witch Mountain together. What is essentially a good family movie with nice effects and a fun idea falls flat of its original and really lacks much to captivate the mind of anyone over the age of ten. Johnson plays a cab driver who picks up two young teens who not only have supernatural powers but also are on, believe it or not, a race to Witch Mountain. Overall this is a good kids’ film, but has the potential to be much better.
  10. 10. 10 sports March 2009 Matt Schilling Smoke Signals Making a Racket Staff Writer Denis Waitley, a motivational speaker and writer, once said, “Losers live in the past. Winners learn from the past and enjoy working in the present toward the future.” The boys tennis team will need to learn from their past to win the WPIAL Championship this year. They won every regular season game last year and were projected to win in the WPIAL finals, but lost the final game at Shady Side Academy. The team will need to learn from their mistakes and build on their success to get back to the WPIAL Championship. Techniques during practices have changed for this year’s season. Harder and longer workouts have been placed into the team’s training schedule. The team hopes that the new practices will carry them through the playoffs. Innovative techniques for this season include: suicides, serving practices, backhand swings, and smash tactics. The team pushes themselves to win by even wider margins this year. Last season, they were able to blow out ten of the thirteen teams they played, winning five to zero, against Trinity, Ringgold, Montour, Bethel Park, Moon, and Chartiers Valley. The closest game was against rival Upper St. Clair, the team that managed to score the most points against Peters; who hadn’t beaten them in the past five years. “It feels great to finally beat Upper St. Clair,” said Manuel Castillo. “It felt like a weight was taken off of our shoulders.” Unfortunately, the boys will not be playing Upper St. Clair during the regular season. “I’m very disappointed that we will not be playing Upper St Clair but we still have the motivation to get ourselves back to the WPIALs” said Manuel Castillo. The tennis team has twelve regular season matches, beginning with a home match against Fort Cherry on March 16, 2009. They continued to show their competitive nature by beating Fort Cherry, five to zero. The team will play against rival Chartiers Valley on March 27, 2009 and then finish the regular season at the end of April with a finale at home against Bethel Park. With a challenging schedule, the boys tennis team will need to recall their past in order to improve their future. Penguins Trade for New Playoff Life Taylor Relich Sports Editor About a month ago, if someone said the Penguins would be playing for as high as a four seed in the Eastern Conference in March, you would think he had never seen the Penguins play this season. The Pens have went from an Atlantic Division bottomdweller to playoff contender in about the time it would usually take to climb two points in the standings. This phenomenon has not come easy, however it was once again Ray Shero, GM of the Pittsburgh Penguins, to the rescue. Everybody remembers the Marian Hossa deadline trade that Mr. Shero orchestrated to spur the Pens to an Eastern Conference championship, and he has done it again. Maybe our beloved Pittsburgh club isn’t hauling in any big stars like Hossa, but the Pens certainly filled some gaps in their lines. On March 4, in the last hours before the trade deadline, the Penguins acquired right-winger Craig Adams off of waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks. On the same day, the Pens snatched 38 year-old veteran Bill Guerin from the New York Islanders for a conditional draft pick. Adams seems to be the slightly more impressive pickup, having posted 89 points this season before joining the Penguins, but Guerin should prove to give Pens some veteran leadership that they badly need in order to make a playoff run. Sending forwards Miroslav Satan, Tim Wallace, and Bill Thomas down to the Pens’ minor league affiliate, Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton, completed the Penguins deadline day frenzy. Satan’s departure to the minors will hopefully jumpstart goal production in the dubiously overpaid “star.” Ray Shero’s genius is not by any means limited to deadline deals. On February 26, Shero struck up a deal that sent Ryan Whitney to Anaheim in exchange UnderReview UnderReview “I do whatever comes to mind” Tom Norton ‘10 for forward Chris Kunitz and prospect Eric Tangradi. This trade has worked to perfection so far, as Kunitz has managed five points in his first three games with Pittsburgh. All these moves and trades might end up stimulating one of the most spectacular turnarounds in recent Penguins history, and with Dan Bylsma now at the helm, the Penguins are using a much more aggressive scheme that is taking teams by surprise. Instead of the typical dump and chase offense and zone defense we are used to seeing the Pens play, Bylsma has the Pens carrying the puck into the zone and pressuring more on defense. The Penguins are not a lock for the playoffs yet. “I have been pleased with the Penguins’ comeback after the All-Star break, but I think that they need to take this current streak as far as they can,” said senior Bill Campbell. It is well known that the Pens will need to defend their current fifth spot in the Eastern Conference from solid hockey clubs biting at their heels, such as Carolina and Montreal, but they also want to move up in the conference standings as to avoid a first-round match up with Boston or New Jersey. Who is the best football team in the NCAA? How do you freestyle? “As a member of the swim team I chose water to show off my free style” Colleen Lugar ‘10 “Usually I just catch a flow and go with it” Mr. Sussman
  11. 11. sports March 2009 Connor Jackson The Emily Correal Experience Staff Writer One of the most outstanding and arguably one of the best female basketball player in Peters Township High School history is Emily Correal. The four-year letterwinner owns all of the points and rebound records in school history. Correal was the Observer Reporter’s First Team All District and “Player of the Year”. She was named one of the Post Gazette’s “Fabulous Five.” Correal was ranked by ESPN as the top 100 HoopGurlz, nationally ranking #68 overall and #12 for forwards. With her senior year ending, she finished with 1,832 points, over 1,200 rebounds, and 300 blocks during her high-school career. The 6’3” senior started on the Averi Clements varsity team as a freshman and led the team with an average American Camp, which of fourteen points per game and over eleven rebounds per made her noticeable game, and was also on the Almanac Elite second team. for over 20 Division 1 colleges. Correal chose to go to William and Mary because of their beautiful campus, prestigious academics, and the fact that she will be able to have a immediate impact on their basketball team. “After my official visit at William and Mary, it was clear that this is where I would like to spend the next four years of my life playing basketball and getting a top education,” she stated. Correal is also an excellent student, achieving the high honor roll and receiving the Emily accepted the McDonalds All-American Award at the pep assembaly academic achievement By Mrs. Boni One of Correal’s most admirable achievements is award. She plans on being named a McDonald’s All American. Emily played for studying in Business and an AAU team called the Western PA Bruins for four years. Communications while at She was selected to play in Michael T. White Top Ten All William and Mary. Swim Team Finds Success at WPIALS 11 Smoke Signals Sports Briefs r B o y ’W h oB ass ykoeu t b a l l s i sports idol? Boys Basketball “Bob Knight” - Derek Redding ‘09 Girl’s Basketball Girls Basketball “J.J. Redick” - Samantha Higgins ‘09 Wrestling Wrestling “Luke Palamides” -Matt Mauer ‘11 Staff Writer As one of many athletic teams who qualified for WPIALs this year, the boys and girls swim team brought home another top-four finish. With the first day of competition setting the standard for greatness and the second day raising the bar even higher, all of the swimmers had a considerable amount of pressure placed upon them. But they withstood the challenge, and it showed in their performances. In addition to all of the boys’ swims resulting in a personal best time for the season, the team, which finished fourth in the tournament, managed to break several school records. The relay team of seniors Sam Pletz, Casey Dunleavy, Jason Grimm, and freshman Andrew Rich broke the record for the 200 freestyle relay. Additionally, Sam and Jake Pletz, Rich, and Grimm broke the thirty-one-year-old 400 freestyle relay record. The girls team, which achieved a third-place finish at the WPIAL competition, also made significant changes to the record books. Senior Maggie Walker individually broke not only the school records for the 50 and 100 freestyle, but also the WPIAL record in the same race. Walker, along with senior Katie Riesmeyer, junior Ashley Sherwin, and freshman Sarah Howard, also broke the record for the 200 freestyle relay. The 400 freestyle relay team of Walker, sophomore Lauren Cassano, Riesmeyer, and freshman Cassandra Rupp took home a gold medal. Most of the female swimmers also achieved their best times during the event. The WPIAL tournament proved to be a satisfying experience for all of the swimmers. For some of the younger athletes, it was an exciting first-time challenge. But for some of the team’s veterans, the event was like a last goodbye to the world of swimming— in high school, that is. Many of the talented seniors will be moving on to collegelevel competition to extend their athletic skills as well as their education. As one of the team’s most talented athletes, senior Sam Pletz will be attending Kenyon College, which boasts the best Division III swimming program in the country. Pletz, who has watched the team develop since his sophomore year, feels confident that the younger swimmers will continue to push the Indians to more success as they continue through their high school careers. “All of our younger swimmers have a lot of potential… and will develop into great swimmers and leaders,” said Pletz. For the Indians, the WPIALs proved to be a fantastic example of the rewards of hard work and dedication. Waking up at ungodly hours of the morning just to jump into the pool to practice is certainly not for everyone. But when the result rewrites the record books, it is hard to question the forces that drive the swim team. Hockey “Mario Lemiux” Swimming - Julian Scheirer ‘09 Swimming “Michael Phelps” -Casey Dunleavey ‘09 Indoor Track Indoor Track “Usain Bolt” -Jay Young ‘09 By Casey Dunleavey The swim team cheers one of their teammates to victory at Pitt.
  12. 12. Voices Hall in the What is your favorite book? Freshman Pat Kelly “Twilight” Sophomore Matt Lindner “Harry Potter” Junior Anthony Gatto “The dictionary” Senior Lauren Ray “The Shack” What is the best book-to-movie? Freshman Josh Graff “Flags of our Fathers” Sophomore Kara Hunter “Harry Potter” Junior Mallory Karavolis “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” Senior Casey Dunleavy “The Notebook” What do the Teachers think? Miss Daerr “To Kill a Mockingbird” Mrs. Baker “The Notebook” Mr. Kochirka “Boom” The PT Minute Senior Nicole Provident Best period to have lunch? Period 6 Most creepy dream? I was climbing Mount Everest Best locker location? Top floor If you could live in one room in the school... Foods room Carry books or backpack? Carry books Senior Drew Caliguiri Best period to have lunch? Never had it! Best locker location? By Mr. Scott’s room If you could live in one room in the school..... Theater Carry books or backpack? Backpack One class that you wish you taught? Musical Theater Mrs. Dodson-Rosenburg “Clueless” Teac her Min WITH MRS. KOCAN ute Best period to have lunch? Period 6 Most creepy dream? My sister-in-law was a monster, chasing me Best locker location? Near guidance If you could live in one room in the school... B207 Carry books or backpack? Backpack