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Denebola » Adam Goldstein http://www.denebolaonline.net The Award-Winning, Official School Newspaper of Newton South High School, Newton, MA Fri, 17 Jun 2011 02:00:19 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.0.2 Students de-pants for charity drive http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/02/10/students-de-pants-for-charity-drive/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/02/10/students-de-pants-for-charity-drive/#comments Wed, 10 Feb 2010 08:59:19 +0000 Adam Goldstein http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=3593 In an effort to raise awareness about the Turnaround Teens for Jeans program, senior Ben Chesler organized and planned the No-Pants Monday event that took place on February 8. Over 40 students assembled at the Turnaround office at the beginning of homeroom, dropped their pants, and donated nearly 70 pairs of jeans by the end of the day.

Chesler’s inspiration for the event came from his WISE (Woodlands Individualized Senior Experience) project. Based on missions such as the No-Pants Subway Ride performed by the Improv Everywhere group, Chesler attempted to bring a bit of comedy and spontaneity to everyday life at South.

“[It was] an opportunity to do some good while combining it with something creative, he said.

Chesler thought of the idea during a homeroom announcement for the Teens for Jeans program.

The program works to collect used jeans and distribute them to homeless teens around the country. The drive accepts various-sized jeans that are in good condition and will donate them to a local Aéropostale store.

Aéropostale will send the first 100,000 jeans collected and match each pair with a pair of new Aéropostale jeans. All other pairs collected after the initial 100,000 will be distributed to local charities and homeless shelters.

Students saw the event as a fun opportunity to get involved. Senior Samantha Mankin believes that the event offered students a tangible way of understanding what it is like to not have clothes to wear.

“It makes it a little more real that we’re taking off our own pants, she said. “We get dressed everyday and now, we have the option to donate [one pair of jeans] and still have more to choose from the next day.

Chesler discussed the plan with Principal Joel Stembridge who, according to Chesler, was in full support of the idea. Housemasters, however, were initially concerned about students in underwear and proposed that students just wear shorts instead. Chesler and the administration eventually agreed to certain dress conditions and the event went on as planned.

“I understood their concerns but I wanted the illusion of kids coming to school and taking off their pants, Chesler said. “You can have that illusion without it being inappropriate.

The administration asked that female students participating in No-Pants Monday wear shorts or tights under boxers and male students, compression shorts or briefs. Housemasters reserved the right to determine whether or not a student’s attire was appropriate.

Mankin believes No-Pants Monday successfully spread the word about the Teens for Jeans fundraiser.

“We’ve seen the boxes around the school [prior the event], but no one really felt obliged to do anything about it, Mankin said. “This was a good way of getting people involved.

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South reflects on Brown’s victory http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/02/10/south-reflects-on-brown%e2%80%99s-victory/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2010/02/10/south-reflects-on-brown%e2%80%99s-victory/#comments Wed, 10 Feb 2010 08:37:58 +0000 Adam Goldstein http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=3638 In a special senatorial campaign that drew much national attention, Massachusetts unexpectedly elected Republican candidate Scott Brown over Democratic candidate Martha Coakley. Brown, the first Republican senator in Massachusetts since 1953, represents the 41st vote in the senate to sustain a filibuster and potentially put on hold President Barack Obama’s plans for change.

“I really wanted [Coakley] to win because it seemed a vote for Coakley was a vote for Obama’s Health care plan, sophomore Paul Brid said. 67 percent of Newton voters voted for Coakley. The election brought significant national attention and a visit from Obama because if Brown became the 41st Republican in the senate, the Republicans would have the votes they need to hold up legislation.

Senators have the right to speak as long as they want about a bill unless 60 out of the 100 senators vote to commence the voting. To put the voting on hold is to pass a filibuster. Republican leaders who disagree with Obama’s plans want to filibuster as long as possible. This prevents bills from getting to the senate floor where the Democratic majority might well pass them.

Senior Eduardo Morales believes that Brown’s victory is a wake up call to all Democrats.

“Massachusetts isn’t always going to be blue, Morales said. “And if Democrats want our vote, they are going to have to cater to our needs.

Despite Massachusetts’ reputation for voting democratic, junior Zach Rothchild feels that Coakley ran an “awful campaign. “The anti-Brown commercials just made her seem mean-spirited instead of illustrating who she really was and what she stood for, he said.

History Department Head Marshall Cohen was more optimistic about the repercussions of Brown’s election.

“I think if he wants to get re-elected in two years he will vote more moderately than expected, and he won’t get re-elected if all he does is filibuster, Cohen said.

Cohen also added that Brown voted for Massachusetts’ health care plan. Massachusetts in the only state that has universal Health care in the US, and the universal Health care bill proposed on Capitol Hill is mirrored after the one in place in Massachusetts currently.

During the campaign, Brown was reported as having said “I believe that all Americans deserve Health care coverage, but I am opposed to the Health care legislation that is under consideration in Congress and will vote against it.

In 2006, though, he was reported as having said, “In Massachusetts, I support the 2006 Health care law that was successful in expanding coverage, but I also recognize that the state must now turn its attention to controlling costs.

Morales believes that though some things are meant to be dealt with at the federal level, Health care is not one of them.

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Pilot policies prove to be promising http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/12/23/pilot-policies-prove-to-be-promising/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/12/23/pilot-policies-prove-to-be-promising/#comments Wed, 23 Dec 2009 08:29:21 +0000 Adam Goldstein http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=3384 As the first semester comes to an end, the attendance and hallway policies enacted at the beginning of the year reach the end of their pilot stage.

Principal Joel Stembridge reports that he is pleased with the policies thus far. 

“The policy on no eating in the hallways has been successful, he said. “No students are eating in the hallways.

Many students, however, remain frustrated with the hallway policy. Sophomore Allie Haber understands the reasons for implementing the hallway policy, but does not believe that such a strict policy is necessary.

“It was pretty gross last year, but completely banning food in the hallways was harsh, she said. “I believe there is a happy medium.

Stembridge claims that he is aware of how students feel regarding the policy and hopes to hear students’ ideas, reforming the policy where possible. 

“I never expected students to feel good about the ’Ëœno eating on the floor policy but it is just safety, he said. “I’m still very willing to hear from students about ways to improve the lunch time atmosphere and lunch time community.

A hallway subcommittee has been formed in the South Senate to discuss the policy with Stembridge.

The attendance policy, also known as the “N policy, has stirred some discontent among students as well. The policy states that if a student has a three unexcused absences or nine tardies for an A-Block class, that student receives an N, or a mark signifying that the student earns no credit for that class.

Assistant Principal Mary Scott believes “the reason for creating the policy was to reduce the number of seniors walking in with a late pass in one hand and a Dunkin Donuts coffee in the other. The policy has been effective in reducing that.

Cutler house secretary Janice Ingemi was pleased with the new policy because it “cut down on the amount of students straggling into the house offices throughout first block, which allowed the house assistants to concentrate on other areas of their jobs.

Stembridge also feels that the policy has been successful. “There were not a huge number of students who received N’s from first term first period classes.

The A-Block policy has significantly reduced the number of N’s received from first block classes for term one this year as opposed to term one in 2008. Last year, students received a total of 17 N’s during first term, but this year they only received seven–a 59 percent decrease.

Scott noted that “it is easier for teachers to take attendance on their computers now so students must have received the message that there would be stronger enforcement of being tardy.

Although Stembridge does not immediately plan to enact any new policies, he says that he hopes to listen to students and find out ways in which to better the school.

“I don’t foresee implementing anything to start second semester, but I am looking forward to conversations about improving the school for all students, he said.

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Uganda bill bans homosexuality http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/12/23/uganda-bill-bans-homosexuality/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/12/23/uganda-bill-bans-homosexuality/#comments Wed, 23 Dec 2009 05:40:24 +0000 Adam Goldstein http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=3446 A bill in the Ugandan Parliament that would criminalize homosexuality if passed has met international opposition. 

There are currently around 500,000 gays out of a population of 31 million in Uganda, according to gay rights groups. 

Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda but the bill would widen the offenses and increase the punishments.

The current bill involves the following provisions:

1.) Gays and lesbians convicted of having gay sex would be sentenced to a minimum of life in prison,

2.) People who test positive for HIV may be executed, 

3.) Homosexuals who have sex with a minor, or engage in homosexual activity more than once, may also receive the death penalty.

The bill forbids the “promotion of homosexuality, which would ban organizations working in HIV and AIDS prevention.

Anyone who knows of homosexual activity taking place but does not report it risks up to three years in prison.

If the bill passes, a witch-hunt that has already begun would intensify. 

Ugandan tabloids have already begun “outing homosexuals regardless of the truth of their accusations. 

Many worldwide organizations have condemned the bill and have called upon nations to cut Uganda off from foreign aid, which currently make up 40 percent of the countries budget.

“This draft bill is clearly an attempt to divide and weaken civil society by striking at one of its most marginalized groups, Scott Long, director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Program at the New York-based Human Rights Watch, said in an interview with CNN. “The government may be starting here, but who will be next?

Despite the worldwide opposition Ugandan officials claim that the bill is simply “democracy at work. 

The bill is intended to “protect the traditional family by prohibiting any form of sexual relations between persons of the same sex, says David Buhati, a member of parliament who tabled the bill.

A poll taken in the summer of 2009 indicates that most of Uganda agrees with Buhati. 

The poll found that 95 percent of people were opposed to legalizing homosexuality. Prominent Ugandan Christian and Muslim leaders also agree with the actions the bill would take, but their beliefs are not similarly found outside of Uganda.

In the United States Christian leaders released a statement on December 7 condemning the bill. 

“Regardless of the diverse theological views of our religious traditions regarding the morality of homosexuality, in our churches, communities and families, we seek to embrace our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters as God’s children, worthy of respect and love, the statement said. 

The bill is currently in committee, and many international figures including Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the United States Government have attempted to reason with President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda to seemingly no avail.

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Setti Warren looks to reform education http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/11/25/setti-warren-looks-to-reform-education/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/11/25/setti-warren-looks-to-reform-education/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2009 08:45:58 +0000 Adam Goldstein http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=3133 Mayor-elect Setti Warren won a tight election on November 3 with help and support from students, and looks forward to instituting educational reforms in the upcoming year.

Warren hopes to improve the Newton Public School system by decreasing class sizes, increasing the environmental friendliness of the buildings, and devoting more hours to the professional development of teachers.

“We need to make sure we can find and keep the most qualified teachers in the classroom, he said.
In an attempt to protect the environment, Warren plans to institute a policy that increases the amount of reusable bottles used within the schools.

Warren also wants to ensure that the school buildings match the city’s high educational standards.
“[Some] buildings are deteriorating and are not conducive to learning, he said.

Given the budget restrictions in the city, Warren intends to find new ways in which to finance the city and education, such as creating partnerships with nonprofit organizations like Boston College, Mount Ida College, and Lasell College.

Other money-saving plans include taking an inventory of Newton’s municipal infrastructure, performing cost projections in all city departments, and allocating money accordingly to the schools. Warren intends to promote a budgeting approach that would comprehensively view the expenditures of all city departments and attempt to find spots in the city where money can be saved.

Several students made a difference by participating in Warren’s campaign, and Warren hopes to keep the student influence in his administration.

“Students had a huge impact during my campaign, Warren said, “and I am looking forward to weekly student contributions once I take off on January 1.

Senior and Warren campaign volunteer Ben Chesler recalls his jubilation when the mayoral election results came in. Chesler believes that student influence is what put Warren “over the top.

“Students got involved in the campaign and got excited about Warren and then went home and got their parents excited, Chesler said. ­“I am certain students changed at least 463 votes [the margin by which Warren won].

Warren believes that Newton’s most important task in the next few months is finding a new superintendent.

“We have to make sure the right superintendent leadership is hitting those marks, Warren said.
History teacher Rachel McNally feels the next superintendent should have a vision for Newton’s schools.

“The next superintendent must be someone who has the ability to cooperate with all of Newton’s constituents, McNally said.

School Committee Vice Chair and long-time Newton resident Claire Sokoloff believes that Newton can benefit from Warren’s responsible management skills.

“Setti Warren will be an excellent mayor [as he is] very knowledgeable, Sokoloff said.

Although sophomore Jaclyn Freshman did not follow all of the mayoral election, she is “hopeful that, after hearing some of the changes that Setti wants to make, that he would make them.

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Alex S. Jones http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/11/25/alex-s-jones/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/11/25/alex-s-jones/#comments Wed, 25 Nov 2009 05:35:20 +0000 Adam Goldstein http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=3260 Alex S. Jones is a journalist and and author. He covered the press for The New York Times, and is currently director of the Shorenstein Center at the JFK School, Harvard University. His latest book, Losing the News (2009) is reviewed in this Section.

Q: How did you come to run the Shorenstein Center?
The reason I came here, I was at the New York Times and I wrote these stories about the Bingham family [noted Louisville publishers who were selling their family newspaper], and I won a Pulitzer Prize.

And I was approached about doing a book on the Binghams. I went to my Editor at the Times, and I asked him what he thought, and he said, Why don’t you write a book with your wife? (She worked with Time magazine.) So that’s what we did, and the book was published. We were then persuaded to do a second book, on the Sulzberger family, which meant I had to leave the Times.

I knew about the Centre very well because it’s a singular place and a very important place as far as journalism is concerned. We do research, teaching and we engage the issues of the day. We are not just retrospective, backward, we try to engage what’s going on¦now.

Q: What is it like for you to run the Centre?

It’s fascinating, because the thing is that at Harvard, the Kennedy School is something like the nuclear core of public affairs. Just about anyone who is anyone in public policy or journalism makes it through here. This is where the students and faculty and the public’€most of these events are open to the public’€this is where they come.

Q: What did it mean to be around a newspaper as someone very young?

I’m in the 4th generation of a newspaper family, from East Tennessee. I grew up in a world of the small town in which my family owned the newspaper, and my father ran it, was the general manager, and my grandmother was the publisher.
By the way, the first two generations, if you count that way, were both women, which is very unusual; my grandmother and my great-grandmother. And they are both in the Tennessee newspaper Hall of Fame.

I’m from a little town, where Davy Crockett in fact was born. My grandmother got into the newspaper business because her husband, my grandfather, was a lawyer and an alcoholic, and he got drunk one night and signed a note for a tiny little newspaper, the smallest of three weeklies in this town, and my grandmother was adamantly against it.

But there was nothing she could do, and finally he was not able to take care of the family, and she had to go down and take it over. And she ended up owning both of the other newspapers.

She would tell me the story because the reason she was able to do what she did, own both of the other newspapers, was that they were drunk¦and she was sober. [Laughs.] Which is I think, pretty accurate.

We all ate together [in our family], and I can’t remember a night’€there were five of us’€when my father didn’t get a phone call, there was almost always someone complaining about something. Either complaining they didn’t get the paper, or, because of something in the paper.

And that’s just the way our life was. But it was a life in which we felt very deeply laced into the fabric of the community. In fact, my family still has that newspaper. We’re still operating this family newspaper in an environment where family newspapers have gone the way of the Dodo bird.

Q: Did you set type in the print shop?

I not only set type, I ran a Linotype machine, not only that I’ve got a mark here on my wrist from the hot lead. A squirt. They used molten lead to set the lines of copy, it was like a typewriter and steel letters would fall down a matrix, and molten lead would squirt up against them and be molded.

And if the little steel letters were not aligned exactly right lead would squirt through right on to you’€you remember that, vividly, believe me.

But the thing that really amazes me now is not that dramatic change in technology, and I was down there at the presses and typesetting machines every summer, down there in shorts and sandals, and my job was melting the lead from those used lines of type and then re-casting the lead into what we call ‘Ëœpigs,’ the bars of lead that were hung over the ‘Ëœpots’ where they melted, and made the lines of type.

In other words, I was twelve years old and basically wandering around operating a blast furnace. Now, you would probably get arrested nowadays if you tried or allowed a youngster to do something like that. But then, nobody thought anything about it.
My job was to go around and gather up the lead and put it in the furnace and melt it and then pour the liquid lead into the molds to create the pig. So I was working as a twelve year old with molten lead. That’s not a good idea! [Laughs.] Different times.
Q: What were the stories in your Greeneville newspaper?

It was a community newspaper, and it had all kinds of stories. The most popular feature in the newspaper was my grandmother’s Saturday column, which was called “Cheerful Chatter. And it was very much her’€she was a great writer; my grandmother ran the editorial page, and she was Hell on Wheels.
She was about five feet tall and this was the kind of woman she was’€She was in her eighties or nineties and she lived right next door to the newspaper. And there was a Sports editor, named Tiny Day. (His name was Claude but he was known as ‘ËœTiny’ because he weighed about 350 pounds and was absolutely immense.) My great-grandmother’€Tiny told me this story himself’€summoned him one day to her ‘ËœParlor’ in her house across the street.

And he was very frightened of her, she was a formidable character; she once said to me, I have always thought of myself as a tall woman.

And Tiny said he walked with great trepidation into her Parlor, and she sat there glowering at him, said, Sit down! And he sat down, and she picked up her cane and went Wham! And kept whacking him, and said, Stay off my damned flowers! [Laughs.] You see, he was parking his car where she had flowers. That’s the kind of person she was, she treated everyone that way.

Q: How would you compare your experience working on that paper, with working on the New York Times?

An interesting question. I worked on two newspapers, that one and one even smaller, and I feel like everything important that I learned about journalism I learned before I went to the Times. These were lessons I learned about reporting and fairness, ethics and facing people as a reporter who are powerful, confronting them with information that is going to make them mad’€things like that you can only learn the hard way.

I don’t mean I knew everything, I certainly didn’t know the way to do journalism the way The New York Times expected me to do it. But I knew everything that was really important, essential. It is comparable to being able to write to being able to twitter and operate the web, the newer technologies in an effective way.
Learning how to write is something you can apply to anything. Those other skills are much easier to learn, but if you know how to write grammatically and clearly, that’s going to be an enormous asset to you and not something you can learn easily.
I think it happens both by study and learning in school in a formal way and by reading, I believe by reading more than anything else. I have no idea how what I just said is going to play out in time to come but it is the thing I believe what I learned with those two smaller newspapers. I came with certain principles; I had a standard against which I could measure whatever was to follow. Measure, and then apply.

Q: So do you believe there has been a major shift in standards, in principles and practice, in journalism?

Of course many things have changed, and they’ve changed over time and, more recently, abruptly. Digital technology is the future, we know that.

My book is essentially not about what’s happening so much as journalism values I feel are important, and I hope can be retained in this new digital world. I believe the values are more important than the way they show themselves, whether digitally or on paper or whatever. The point is that these traditional values belong in a digital world. Exactly how they can be applied is the question.
Q: What was the business transition from those East Tennessee newspapers and The New York Times?

The business was the same business, but just a different scale. The “plan was selling advertising to support the operation and, also, to do a public service in the form of producing news that people needed, news that was important. That, plus the sports page, comics, and the crossword puzzle.

The model is broken for The New York Times and my family’s newspaper in the same way. It is a model that was based on there being a near-monopoly on things like classified advertising for cars and houses and things like that. Having the dominant advertising distribution vehicle in a community meant something financially.

You know for the last several decades in many communities there has only been one newspaper, and that newspaper has done very well, thank you.

Now, you have a situation in which the revenue stream which formerly supported this public service mission is greatly threatened by the fact that classified ads on Craig’s List is free. How do you compete with free?

The web does things better than any newspaper on print can. The idea of searching for a house or a car by looking over classified ads rather than going on line and searching digitally makes no sense. Some may do it but that’s certainly not the future.

And that shift has cost newspapers dearly because that was a huge source of revenue. That’s pretty much gone, they’re doing their own on-line search centers and are working to make some money from that. Many in really bad trouble however have big debts, largely because they have gone and bought other newspapers, at inflated prices, and they have these debts on the books.

They are in bankruptcy and how they will solve that is they are going to have to stiff the people who loaned them the money.

Q: Will these print newspapers need to change how they write so it is more like the web?

Well, my belief is there will be two different things. I think that newspapers like traditional ones offer something useful, and they would be wrong if they change. They are a place where people go to get news that they trust, and that is not calculated to appeal to young people’s tastes as calibrated by humor or style.

If you are going to try what’s really going on with health care reform’€and you care about it because it involves decisions about insurance and your children and spouse and parents’€you will go to a place where you feel the information is reliable, and gives you the nitty-gritty.

You may go to John Stewart for being John Stewart, a witty and imaginative and satirical “take on an issue or individual. His insights may help you better understand a topic or acquire a new perspective on an issue. But you’re not going to go to him to find out how to deal with health care reform, what it will mean for you. But that doesn’t mean you don’t go to John Stewart, if you see what I mean.

I believe there will be a form of news much more of the web culture as I’ve described. Think of it this way, when television went into the news business’€which was not as you may know immediately’€basically they started by having newspaper people read newspaper stories on television.

It was movement, it had to have pictures supporting voice, it was a style of writing that was much more concise and not in standard newspaper style. Much more condensed, stories were much shorter. But it was true to the medium, and people began over time to explore the medium’s potential.

TV? People sit back and watch, it’s entertaining but if it doesn’t move, if the screen doesn’t have something that speaks to you why, you flip the channel.

That is why policy is something television rarely touches, because policy rarely has engaging pictures, or if it does, it’s done in a way that is not very valuable’€often it’s something anecdotal, the story finds someone who exemplifies an issue and the television way is to do a dramatic rendering of that.

Q: What is it you are paying for with a newspaper?

Well, [the newspaper] is not assembled by magic, it’s the product of an enormous amount of work that is done to save you the trouble and time to do it yourselves. But a lot of people seem to spend a lot of time wandering and roaming around the web to find what you and I might locate in twenty pages of print.

Q: So you don’t believe in ten or twenty years there won’t be an overarching internet news source that has the same power as the Globe or Times?

There may be. But my guess is, it will be called, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, CNN, or something along those lines.

There may be some that come from a pure web place, and establish themselves. But having the web is not a news source in the same way; it’s an aggregator of blogs. That’s not what I am talking about.

It is not as though on line sources do not break news; they have a lot of people out there feeding them. But when, for example, The Huffington Post does something, the reason it has power is when these other news organizations pick it up, then its force is accelerated.

That process I believe will not change. These news making brands tend to be too valuable, they are the accumulation of past value. The trick is to adapt them, and keep the brand.

Q: Given those limitations, what would you judge the best news on television?

Right now I watch Katie Couric, I think they do more serious news than anyone else. They did a whole week recently on Afghanistan; their ratings plummeted of course. Some might say the interview with Sarah Palin was decisive, the ability and willingness to challenge is impressive.
But I think there will also be something on line, that reflects that culture, news as humor, as video games, blogging, something that will be irreverent. It won’t be accurate but that won’t matter, it will be fun and entertaining and that will be that.
What will be bad is that if only entertainment survives, and the other kind of news does not.
Why? Because I do not believe the former is enough, that will not get the job done because it is too easy to manipulate. It is too easy to be glib; to be opinionated without substance or substantiation, too easy to avoid reporting because reporting is expensive and talk is cheap.

That’s cable news in a nutshell. Cable news in prime time, especially FOX, is an entertainment channel so far as I am concerned. It is calculated to be entertaining with political combat as the entertainment; a kind of reality show. It has a narrative thread, a point of view, but these are entertainers.

If news were as entertaining and as crowd-pleasing as entertainment shows, we would have news shows in prime time. We’ve always had entertainment in prime time and that’s what the cable ones are doing where they are doing, whereas CNN, which is less entertaining is not doing so well in the ratings because it is competing with entertainment.

Q: How will this center influence our generation?

We are not geared to provide programs for teachers and students, as such. But we do recognize the world we are entering is a digital one. Our mission is to find ways to preserve the values of serious journalism in that digital world. To that extent, we are going to be reaching out to your digital generation, because that’s the world that is coming.

It also means we are going to try to preserve what the Shorenstein Center stands for, serious journalism on serious subjects; reported, not just talked about.

We are going to try to influence policy that supports that, find new economic models that will do that, best practices that will do it. We want to present to the public novel and engaging ways of presenting these principles and those individuals who are acting out those principles. We want those individuals sustained.
We don’t have the resources to reach directly to schools but what we can do, through media literacy efforts’€in every school’€is work to raise awareness, and you are always welcome to our events. They are, for the most part, open to the public, and we would love to have you here at them.

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6 of 8 committee seats contested http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/10/21/6-of-8-committee-seats-contested/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/10/21/6-of-8-committee-seats-contested/#comments Wed, 21 Oct 2009 09:43:43 +0000 Adam Goldstein http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=2885 Six out of eight School Committee seats will be contested in this year’s upcoming election on November 3, the most in the Newton’s history.

Some members of the Newton community feel that this, along with the mayoral election and the interim superintendent, may be signs of city instability, though many remain optimistic.

Naomi Davidoff, a parent of two current and one former South student, remains “cautiously hopeful for the school system.

“The school system is one of Newton’s major assets, and I believe it is still strong, she said.
School Committee member and South parent Claire Sokoloff, whose seat is being contested this year, believes that there is a good balance in the School Committee.

According to Sokoloff, four of the nine seats, including that of the mayor’s, are being contested because of retirement and end-of-term related reasons.

“The new blood is very important, and the three other members whose seats are being contested should be re-elected to balance out the board, Sokoloff said.

English teacher and Newton resident Robert Jampol believes the number of seats being contested is a fluke.

“Turnover on the School Committee happens in cycles, and the large number of open seats [in] this election does not reveal anything fundamental about the Newton schools, Jampol said.

Jampol feels that Newton schools, although not perfect, will remain strong.

The call for change has many factors, according to Newton residents.

School Committee candidate Sue Flicop believes that the “North ordeal, a heavily debated city-wide issue, motivated several Newton residents to get involved in politics.

“The amount of change in the School Committee reflects the state of the current economy, Flicop said.

“With the large amount of money that was poured into North, it seems many residents of Newton want to get their ideas heard, Davidoff said.

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Obama receives Nobel Peace Prize http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/10/21/obama-receives-nobel-peace-prize/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/10/21/obama-receives-nobel-peace-prize/#comments Wed, 21 Oct 2009 04:10:06 +0000 Adam Goldstein http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=2911 President Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize on October 9, making him one of only three American presidents to receive the prize.

The award came as a shock to many, and countless politicians worldwide debated over whether or not Obama had accomplished enough to deserve it.

He was picked because of his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples, the Nobel Committee said.

Others were more dubious of Obama’s worthiness.

“The real question Americans are asking is, ‘ËœWhat has President Obama actually accomplished?’ chairman of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele said.

Senior and president of the Conservative Student Union Mika Braginsky had similar thoughts.

“When I first heard about it I thought it was a joke¦it showed the measure of adoration for Obama which isn’t born out of policy and important decisions, she said.

Despite obvious objections in the political world, the committee stands by their choice to award Obama the prize.

“Who had done more¦in the previous year to enhance peace¦than Barack Obama? the Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjorn Jagland said.

Athough initially surprised by the Nobel Committee’s choice, Obama believes that the prize represents a “call to action to work harder to spread peace, whether it be bringing home troops from Iraq and Afghanistan or working to resolve conflicts between other nations.

“I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations, Obama said.

The prize undoubtedly puts pressure on Obama to come through and truly create peace throughout the world and to live up to other such winners of the peace prize as Nelson Mandela and Yasser Arafat.

Obama has vowed to donate his winnings, $1.4 million, to a charity.

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2016 Olympics to take place in Rio http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/10/21/2016-olympics-to-take-place-in-rio/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/10/21/2016-olympics-to-take-place-in-rio/#comments Wed, 21 Oct 2009 04:09:34 +0000 Adam Goldstein http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=2917 Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 summer Olympics was shot down on October 3 despite great efforts by many, including President Barack Obama. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil was elected the host city, the first South American city to host the Olympics.

The two other candidates, along with Rio and Chicago, were Madrid and Tokyo. In the days leading up to the vote, Chicago and Rio were said to be the top two candidates.

Then, surprisingly, Chicago was eliminated in the first round of voting. There were four rounds of voting to select a city; the city with the least votes in each round was eliminated.

It came down to Madrid and Rio, and Rio received more than double the votes of Madrid.

The loss for Chicago was devastating. Over $50 million was spent over four years to enhance Chicago’s bid.

Additionally, because Obama spoke to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to aid Chicago’s case, no one believed Chicago’s bid could have been better, and the city was sure to host the event .

Many blamed the relationship between the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the IOC.

“It was a defeat for the USOC, not for Chicago, IOC member Denis Oswald said.

The city expected to win. Thousands had gathered in downtown Chicago for a victory rally.

“I think probably the world is still not real keen on America, expectant Chicago citizen Marshall Burt said.

Others had more insidious explanation for the events. “I think there were a lot of people saying, if we don’t get it, we’ll support you, but we’ve got to stop Chicago, IOC member from Canada Richard Pound said.

Rio also had a very strong bid. The fact that the Olympics had never been held in South America was a strong point in their favor.

But Chicago had unique features in its favor as well, including a subway highway system made to transport millions of people every year, an element Rio does not have.

“Today is the most emotional¦[and] most exciting day in my life, President Luiz Incio Lula da Sliva of Brazil said.

“Ive never felt more pride in Brazil¦ We aren’t the United States, but we are getting there, and we will get there, he said.

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Golf and rugby to be Olympic sports http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/09/30/golf-and-rugby-to-be-olympic-sports/ http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/09/30/golf-and-rugby-to-be-olympic-sports/#comments Wed, 30 Sep 2009 05:56:24 +0000 Adam Goldstein http://www.denebolaonline.net/?p=2715 Golf and rugby are now one step away from becoming Olympic sports. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) selected golf and rugby out of a field including baseball, softball, squash, and roller sports on August 13.

The MLB was not as flexible as the other sports associations, and scheduling issues was one the main reasons baseball was not suggested for induction into the Olympics.

The full IOC will vote in Copenhagen on October 9, and a majority vote will most likely officially induct golf and rugby into the Olympics.

The key characteristics needed to become an Olympic sport include youth appeal, universality, popularity, good governance, respect for athletes and respect for the Olympic values. Golf and rugby are both international sports with many of the top players and teams not being from the United States and Europe.
Baseball was not picked for the olympics primarily because it of scheduling issues.

The format of the golf championship will be that of a regular golf tournament. That is, 72 holes of stroke play, as opposed to team play, which is used to determine the Ryder Cup champions. Golfers believe that this method will be a more fair way of determining an Olympic Champion.

There will be a men’s and women’s championship each consisting of 60 of the world’s top players.

The presence of golf in the Olympics should boost development of golf and golf courses worldwide because many governments only fund Olympic sports.

Golf was held in the Olympics in 1900 and 1904 Olympics and since then golfers have been working to get it back. Golfing legend Jack Nicklaus played a major part in lobbying for golf.

When asked if he would play, Tiger Woods arguably the best golfer to ever play the game, said, “If I’m not retired by then, yeah. Woods will be 40 by the time of the Olympics in 2016.

Padraig Harrington, three-time major champion, said, “I’d love to be an Olympian. Doesn’t that sound good? Imagine us being Olympic athletes. I think it would be fantastic for golf. As a golfer, I would think we have all the credentials to be Olympians.

Rugby fans around the world are just as thrilled about the soon to be existence of rugby in the games. Rugby was in the Olympics between 1900 and 1924. Since then, rugby officials have been working as hard as golf fanatics have to get rugby back into the Olympic games.

The format would be different from regular rugby events: there would be only seven a side as opposed to the usual 15 a side. The addition of rugby in the games would open up many opportunities for medals in countries that have lacked success in the past.

“The Olympic Games would be the pinnacle of the sport for all our athletes, International Rugby Board president Bernard Lapasset said.

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