Colorado Welcomes Bellbrook’s ROTC

By Sarah Rovinsky

Bellbrook’s AFJROTC’s annual trip to Colorado was a success! Cadets spent 5 stress-free days enjoying the scenery,warm weather, and making memories. Here are the highlights.

Day 1: After arriving at the airport at 5 a.m., and a short flight following, the students departed for the Air Force Academy for a tour and lunch. Students on campus gave personal tours to our cadets.

Day 2: Cadets woke up for a tour and lunch at Fort Carson, followed by the Garden of the Gods. Then cadets left the spectacular view for the Space Foundation Discovery Center. Later that night, cadets in each room created skits for a lip sync battle competition.

Day 3: Cadets explored the Caves of the Winds, crawling around in total darkness in some parts and getting extremely dirty. On the descent from the caves, the bus got stuck on a sharp turn. The cave guides chauffeured the trapped students to their next activity, a dinner show at Iron Springs Melodrama & Dinner Theatre shared show tunes, cheesy jokes, and took volunteers from the first few rows.

Day 4: In Mystery Quests, cadets showed leadership, problem solving, and team building in escaping an elaborately locked room. Later, cadets walked 1,053 feet above the Arkansas River on the Royal Gorge Bridge.

Day 5: On the last day, cadets wandered the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and gave their final goodbyes at the Denver International Airport.

https://drive.google.com/a/bss.k12.oh.us/file/d/0B9ZmQyrc8oipOHZ2Q2NLcUthNDA/view?usp=sharing

Bellbrook Teacher Organizes Pie Day 5K

By Sarah Rovinsky

March 14, BHS teacher Pam Schultz hosted a 5k.  Participants walked following a path mapped out inside the high school.  Anyone interested met in Mrs. Schultz’s room (146), willing to walk 7 laps around the building and finish in about 45 minutes.  Water, grapes, cheese, and pie in honor of Pi Day were provided. Mrs. Schultz collected donations with the money going to the Larry Will Scholarship fund. Larry Will is the late father of Chip Will, BHS math teacher.

According to Mrs. Schultz, “My New Year’s resolution was to do a 5k each month for a charity.  My husband and I walked New Year’s Day to raise money to end human trafficking, February was the American Heart Association, and here we are in March! We just decided since we were walking we could open it up to others too.  We had 7 at BHS and 7 at BMS walk last month.  I think we have about the same tomorrow. I have organized it myself and bought snacks but I am really just keeping it simple.  If we get 2 people, we will walk together.  If we get 100, even better!”

Unlike “Fetch,” the Mean Girls Musical is Happening

by Kasen Stephensen

Tina Fey confirmed that a Broadway Musical inspired by the 2004 pop classic “Mean Girls” is in the works. The original cast, including Tina Fey, will not be recalled to reclaim their roles. Fey hopes to cast some “interesting people no one has seen before.”

Fey is collaborating with her husband, and composer Jeff Richmond as well as the lyricist Nell Benjamin.  The musical is planning to be completed by the Mean Girls 15th Anniversary in 2019 and they are currently working out act placement and climatic songs.

Songs over key phrases like “Fetch” and “October 3rd” will definitely be included in the show as well as spotlight songs for supporting characters like Damian, Gretchen, and Regina George.

The Hypocrisy of Chris Rock and the Oscars

On February 28, 2016, comedian Chris Rick hosted the 88th Annual Academy Awards amidst accusations that the Academy lacked diversity and left out African-Americans from nominations. Some African-American actors like Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith boycotted the awards show.

It was surprising then that Chris Rock, who is also African-American, would go forward and tell a racist joke against Asians. In setting up the joke, Chris Rick introduced three Asian children, two boys and one girl, dressed in suits and carrying briefcases, as “dedicated, accurate and hard-working accountants Ming Zu, Bao Ling and David Moskowitz”– who were accountants from PriceWaterhouseCoopers – the firm that calculates the Oscar votes, playing into the stereotype of Asians as math whizzes. He went on to say that “If anybody is upset about that joke, just tweet about it on your phone that was also made by these kids,” making a reference to child labor in Asia.

Children acting as accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers take the stage at the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 28, 2016.   REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni  - RTS8GOV

Children acting as accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers take the stage at the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 28, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni – RTS8GOV

Talking to Laura Kung, who is the mother of Estie, the eight-year old biracial actress in the skit, revealed that they did not know she and the other boys would be the butt of such a racist joke until rehearsals, which was after they had signed the contract for her to appear at the Oscars. Hearing criticism from well-known Asian-Americans like actress Constance Wu and NBA player Jeremy Lin fueled the rage many Asian-Americans felt. Being the voice for many Asian-Americans, Jeremy Lin tweeted: “Seriously though, when is this going to change?!? Tired of it being ‘cool’ and ‘ok’ to bash Asians smh #Oscars.” However, trying to look at the bright side of things, Estie’s mother is correct by saying that a positive factor from this controversy is that it has sparked discussion about anti-Asian racism and bashing in America. Getting people to talk about a sensitive issue and educating them is a good first step in change.

Officer Peter Liang – Scapegoat?

by Henry Wong

Rookie NYPD Officer Peter Liang was convicted of manslaughter on February 11 for killing unarmed African-American Akai Gurley in a Brooklyn housing project. Liang awaits sentencing on April 14, 2016, and could face a maximum of 15 years in prison for second-degree manslaughter charges. He was also found guilty of official misconduct for not helping 28-year old Gurley after he was wounded and bleeding.

Liang was making a vertical patrol with his partner on November 14, 2014, when his gun went off, ricocheting off a wall in the dark stairwell and hitting Akai Gurley in the chest. Liang testified that he accidentally pulled the trigger after he was startled from a loud noise in the stairwell. Gurley’s girlfriend, Melissa Butler, testified that she tried resuscitating him while Officer Liang stopped for a short time and proceeded down the stairs.

This case comes at a time when the police have been under extreme national scrutiny in many cases where an unarmed African-American was killed by police. Convictions of police in the line of duty are rare. Many Asian-American groups are convinced that Liang was convicted because he was not white, as a scapegoat for what has been going on in the national debate of police policies and conduct in African-American communities.

Asian-Americans are reminded of the 1982 Detroit case of Vincent Chin, who was brutally murdered by two white men who thought he was Japanese and blamed him for the economic crisis in the auto industry at the time and were set free. To many Asian-Americans, Liang’s conviction is another miscarriage of justice and should be reversed.

Spotting the Spotted…Salamander

By Anna Starkey

For a brief moment each year, a creature of the mud slowly emerges, ready to partake in its annual journey.  This migration is not for food, nor is it for a warm winter home.  Instead, the small, slimy creature chases streams, searching for an ideal body of water to lay its young.  This creature is the spotted salamander, and it has eluded Bellbrook High School’s Environmental classes for years.  However, last night, March 9, the tables turned.

BHS’s AP Environmental class spends the majority of the year discussing ecology, wildlife, and current issues within the world’s ecosystems.  While the class participates in multiple activities and labs, the favorite among students is known as the annual “salamander monitoring.”  As a requirement for the class, students meet a few nights after school at the local Sugarcreek Reserve to assist the EPA and Sugarcreek Park District in the monitoring of the area’s spotted salamander population.  In the past, students have discovered at most 10 salamanders during their hunt.  Due to perfect conditions this year, over 100 hundred salamanders were spotted migrating into the park’s vernal pools.  The amount of moving salamanders was so immense that members of the EPA had to ask students to leave due to the danger of accidentally stepping on one of the organisms.

So, what makes this year the best?  A variety of factors contribute to whether or not salamander monitoring will be a success.  First, the weather conditions must be ideal.  Salamanders prefer the first warm rain of the season to come out from hiding.  Second, as a realtor would say: location, location, location.  Salamanders prefer to mate and  lay their eggs in vernal pools, seasonal bodies of water, in order to avoid predators.  To observe the salamanders’ migration, one must find a vernal pool, ideally near a creek or stream.  Finally, timing is crucial.  The salamander’s journey occurs for only a brief period over the course of just a few nights.  If one is to witness the migration in its entirety, it is best to begin searching directly after the first warm rain.  Once the movement begins, salamanders wait for no one.

Thanks to ideal conditions, BHS’s 2015-2016 APES class was able to have the experience of a lifetime and witness one of nature’s many miracles: the migration of the spotted salamander.  Now, to wait until the eggs hatch…

 

 

 

Kathryn Smith Makes NFL History as First Female Coach

By: Harmony Takhar

It seems women are making history everyday. Becky Hammon made history in the NBA last year by being the first female coach. This year, Kathryn Smith is making history by being the first female coach in the NFL. She is the assistant coach to the Bills and appointed to a special teams quality-control role.

Smith is originally from New York and attended St. John’s University. She wasn’t hired outside of the team. The position was a promotion, in fact. She was previously the administrative assistant for the Bills.  Smith initially started working in the NFL for the Jets as an intern. Before that, she even worked as a student manager for the St. John’s University’s men’s basketball team.

Sources:

Rodak, Mike. “Five Things to Know about Bills’ Kathryn Smith, First NFL Female Coach.” ESPN. N.p., 21 Jan. 2016. Web. 2 Mar. 2016.

Perez, A.J. “Meet Kathryn Smith, the NFL’s First Female Full-time Assistant Coach.” USA Today. N.p., 22 Jan. 2016. Web. 2 Mar. 2015.