And the Lockout Continues…

By Colin Barile

138 days ago the NBA began its lockout.  Meetings started shortly after in New York City featuring NBA players, owners and executives.  The lockout has been torturing fans and has caused the NBA commissioner to cancel all the games in the entire month of November.  The lockout has very complex parts that some don’t understand, they can understand the loss of  games and possibly the season, but if you go inside the meeting doors and listen to what the players, owners and NBA executives are discussing you will probably go CRAZY!

The main topics they are discussing are the percent BRI (Basketball Related Income) and if they are going to adopt a hard cap.  First let’s discuss the BRI, the player want 53% and so do the owners.  The players have said over and over again that they will not give in to the owners until there 53% is met.  The owners have offered a max of a 50%-50% split, but the players were not impressed.  They have made it clear that they will not budge from there demand of 53%.  Now the hard cap is a new salary cap that the NFL and NHL use.  Right now the NBA has a soft cap which allows teams to go over the cap, but they will have to pay a tax on whatever they exceed the cap by.  The most NBA owners want the hard cap because it would stop the bigger market teams like the Lakers, Heat, Mavericks, and Knicks from spending a lot more on players than the lower market teams like the Kings, Hornets, Thunder and Grizzlies.  If a hard cap is adopted then lower market teams would have better chances at signing top level free agents.

A scary thought that may become a reality is if the players union decertifies then that may almost guarantee the loss of this season.  If this happened it would mean that the players union would dissolve and it would allow them to pursue antitrust lawsuits against the league.  In this case it is very risky, but may be the only option for the players to get what they want.

My solution to end the lockout is to give the players their 53%, which is less than what they had in the last CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement).  They got 57% in the last one.  Also adopt the hard cap; this will change the league forever if this cap was adopted.  It may be for the better, but I can’t see the future so I wouldn’t be able to tell you.  Some experts say it will benefit the league, but some experts also say it would hurt the league.  In my opinion I believe that if the league was to adopt a hard cap the league would benefit from it but also hurt from it if that makes any sense.  Let me explain, it would defiantly make the league more interesting with teams being closer in ability causing closer games, but it would take away from having those top teams that everyone loves to hate.

With the lockout still going strong I honestly feel that there will not be a season this year.  As much as that hurts me to say both sides are just way too far apart to get a deal done in time for any of this season.  Hopefully I am wrong and we can get back to watching Carmelo Anthony and the rest of the New York Knicks win that championship New York desperately needs.


Restaurant Review: Potato Republic

By Ben Gelman

Potato Republic is a great restaurant with friendly people and great service.  The fish and chips are so good and the fries are really good too.  What makes this place unique is that you can get different types of dips with your fries like Caesar, pesto and Jamaican curry and there are at least another 20 to choose from.  My friend likes the Health Salad with Grilled Chicken; all of the salads are fresh and tasty.  I have also enjoyed the Penne a la Vodka.  The burgers look scrumptious and they also offer a variety of toppings like vodka sauce, marinara sauce and jalapeño, just to name a few.  They are open for lunch and dinner, their cuisine is American but there is some Italian food served as well, their price range is ($9-$15), and their business hours are from 10am to 10pm daily.


Who are the “Bronies”?: Unlikely Fanboys of My Little Pony

by Sarah Dinkes

With the new season of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic on the Hub having just started, an unusual group of fans have been enthusiastically watching the new episodes. The show is supposedly intended to attract young girls, but the show has an extremely large fanbase of males as young as fourteen to as old as thirty-five. They have called themselves the “Bronies”, which is short for “Bro Ponies”. These Bronies have made fan videos, fan art, and even fan websites for the enterprise. One famous fansite created out of the love for the show is Equestria Daily, which posts fan comics, stories, and art. It was created by Shaun Scotellaro, a Brony known online simply as “Shaun”. When having an interview with Wired.com, he stated, “Honestly, if someone were to have told me I’d be writing a pony blog seven months ago, I would have called them insane.” But now that “pony blog” gets about 175,000 views daily.

There are multiple reasons for the increase in the number of Bronies. Some say the show brings a feeling of nostalgia for older cartoons, while others say that it has a good look and storyline. The executive producer of the show, Lauren Faust, who also produced The Powerpuff Girls, admitted that she actually thinks it’s great that the show has attracted a larger audience than was thought it would. In a phone interview, she said, “The fact that they [adult men without little daughters] did [watch the show] and that they were open-minded and cool enough and secure in their masculinity enough to embrace it and love it and go online and talk about how much they love it — I’m kind of proud.” The Hub network has been seen to even be trying to create even more Bronies than there already are. In an early promo video for the new season of the show, the Hub had the main ponies sing a parody of Katy Perry’s famous single, “California Gurls”, which they renamed “Equestria Girls” for the mainland of the show. The following line was in the song: “Our Bronies hang out, too.” It seems that the Bronies have been embraced, after all!

Shaun commented that “the current toys are good for the originally intended target audience of 7-year-old girls … but Lauren Faust and the team behind the actual cartoon did an amazing job of accidentally targeting us [Bronies] instead.” Many people expected the halt of new episodes over the past summer would end the Brony epidemic, but Shaun said that this has only made the Bronies fonder of the show. With Lauren Faust recently stepping down as executive producer to consulting producer, the Bronies hope that the new episodes will be enough to satisfy their need for “pony-fabulousness”.


Club Update: Art Honor Society (September through November)

Over the past two months, the Art Honor Society has been involved in many activities and projects that you may have seen around Clarkstown North.

    One project Art Honor Society as well as the student council has been involved in is the 9/11 memorial. During lunch periods, members of AHS asked students: “10 years later, what does 9/11 mean to you?” Responses ranged from “hope” to “the niece of a survivor.” Pictures of students were then taken with their statement in front of either a red or blue background. Ultimately, all the pictures were gathered and put together to resemble the American flag.
Another project Art Honor Society has organized is a summer clothes drive. Gently used clothes are being sent to Guyana (South America) through Crissy Ramdat and her family. During their prospective trip to Guyana in April, they will be driving around villages in an open back truck and handing out clothes to people in poverty. So, as you are cleaning out your summer wardrobe, don’t throw away those shorts yet! Donate them! Help someone who is in need! We will be accepting gently used shoes and summer clothes (including jeans) until December 23, 2011 (the day before Christmas break.) Boxes are located in the Main and Annex offices, Art rooms in the X-wing, and rooms 239 and 214.
The third project we are involved in is the Art Inclusion Project. Art Honor Society members worked with special needs teens, our own age, to create pinch pots out of clay. Despite the fact that some members that never worked with clay, they were still involved. All members and the advisors that participated in this activity are acknowledged in their willingness to become involved in community service, spending their time making new friends in the community, and keeping the company of those who need it most.
By now, everybody has probably seen our last project on the wall of the main, which is currently in progress. The idea of the Inside Out project was first created by the artist J.R to make a statement about the “personal identities” of the people that participate in this project. Introduced here at North by Ms. Dunn, we adapted this project to make a statement against bullying. Our vision is “One face, One body” and we commit in the statement: “We stand strong and together against bullying. We believe in acceptance, tolerance, and celebration of diversity in our school community.”  We are asking people, from all grades to participate in this opportunity. For $10, have your picture taken answering these questions: “What do you stand for? What do you represent? What makes you unique? What makes you special?” You can make your story heard, while at the same time, take a stand against bullying.


A look at the intial pictures pasted on the wall of the Main.

Using our common interest in art, Art Honor Society is collaboration between its members, other clubs in our school, and our community. Embodying the values of AHS, we continue to become engaged in many other services towards our community. All in which we will continue to update you with over the school year.


Pep Rally For Unity

On October 20, Clarkstown North held a “Pep Rally for Unity,” a response to the cancellation of the original Homecoming Pep Rally. Though there was not as much spirit in the hallways as there was for Homecoming, purple and gold were still eminent. Despite the troublesome weather, there was still an enthusiastic spirit present: The second the bell rang, students rushed to the gym, ready to be entertained. No longer were there frowns on the students’ faces from the previous week’s events. As the sports teams waited in the cafeteria, ready to make an entrance, the cheerleaders got everyone pumped for the North vs. South game to come. The cheerleaders, the most spirited students in the school, displayed to the students the importance of being a unified student body. The National Anthem, sang beautifully by Jolie Denburg, reminded the students the importance of unity. As the sports teams arrived, students were able to appreciate all the teams that represent North during the fall season. Each team had a moment to express themselves and show off their spirit, while the crowd cheered them on. In order to keep the students more entertained, the students played tug a war: Freshman vs. Sophomores, Juniors vs. Seniors. The seniors took the victory against the juniors because of their strength and enthusiasm. Surprisingly, there were no sore losers in the game. Tug a war was a great activity to keep the students entertained, while they cheered on their classmates. Finally, to conclude the wonderful ceremony, the dance team performed. As usual, they were excellent and truly represented the talent of Clarkstown North. The “Pep Rally for Unity” was an extremely fun event for the students, allowing students to take a break from their work and enjoy the talent and spirit of Clarkstown North. The rally truly showed how North is one big family that always stays strong, even in the face of conflict.