Sony silences “The Interview”

This past Wednesday, Sony Pictures announced the cancellation of The Interview, a movie set to be released in theaters on Christmas Day, in response to the alleged terrorist threats made against movie theaters by Kim Jong-Un, leader of North Korea. They vowed to distribute it “somehow,” but did not announce any plans.
The comedy stars American actors Seth Rogan and James Franco as two entertainment who snag an exclusive interview with the North Korean dictator. They are then asked by the CIA to assassinate him. Sony had announced that they have “no further release plans” for this film, according to the New York Times.
Prior to this announcement, the movie premiere had already been cancelled in New York City due to reported threats made by hackers, who pilfered sensitive and confidential data from Sony and published it on the Internet. Other leading theater chains began cancelling their screenings as well.
Threats consisted of a terrorist attack upon any theater that showed the film. Kim Jong-un himself gave an ultimatum back in June, stating that if the United States does not ban the film, North Korea will be “resolute and merciless” in response.
Sony Pictures has also suffered from a recent security breach, this past week. This cyber-attack has been declared to be one of the most damaging on an American corporation. Followed by this, Sony has been pushed in to a more difficult position. Not only taking an economic hit, but this business faces a loss in a large source of income, nearly millions as “The Interview” strikes out.
With Sony’s unexpected decision to no longer press forward with the film, criticism from celebrities on social media platform Twitter, arise also. Actress Mia Farrow goes on to describe Sony as “a disgrace.” Actor Rob Lowe, who makes an appearance in the film, tweeted, “Wow. Everyone caved. The hackers won. An utter and complete victory for them. Wow.”
Apparently, the North Korean dictator’s wish was America’s command as screening of the film has been canceled. Those familiar with the Constitution of the United States and freedom as citizens understand that one of our major moral tenets as a leading country—a super power – pertain to freedom of speech and expression. We as a country should not find ourselves in the position of having to negotiate with terrorists.
The move to cancel the premiere of this movie is one that many Americans were shocked to see. Sony’s decision silences what staunch believers of the first amendment fight for everyday. To depict the assassination of a leader (an unstable one at that) is an absurd premise, however the right to produce, screen and watch this comedy is completely our right, especially within our own borders.
That being said, Kim Jong-Un would have been better off to ignore this film’s distribution and its content. The Interview is certainly not the first movie to place North Korea in the comedic limelight. It’s not the first parody made involving North Korea.
In 2004, Team America: World Police had made its debut on the big screen. This movie mocked Kim Jong-Un’s father and former dictator, Kim Jong-Il, for our entertainment. Kim Jong-Il and North Korea had no public reaction, seeing as it was just a movie. Now, in 2014, it had been reported that Paramount has placed a ban on the film, ordering it not to be shown in certain theater chains after seeing the recent events involving Sony and terrorists.
The United States as a nation must reflect and understand that once we slowly start to give in to the demands and threats of foreign nations we must also brace ourselves for the reality that we might never recover the rights we sacrificed.
Safety in such circumstances as this one has been raised as a concern. But what about our freedoms? No matter the situation, are we supposed to just abandon our rights and all that we stand for when someone’s feelings are hurt? Our rights as American people are supposed to be protected and celebrated, so why give them away when the going gets rough?
President Barack Obama has publicly spoken on the matter, saying how Sony Pictures “made a mistake” by crossing out the comedic film. Mollifying Kim Jong-Un wasn’t an option in his eyes, despite what the movie giant had already done. “That’s not who we are,” the president said. “That’s not what America’s about.”

Dealing with the Drama Behind the Sports Scene

Drama isn’t something reserved for the stage. Every year, in every season, sports teams deal with lots of issues that have nothing to do with athleticism: jealousy, playing time, disagreements and personality clashes to name a few. Naugatuck High School athletes participating in fall sports this year are no exception.

During this past fall season, Naugatuck sports teams have faced the challenge of dealing

The 2014-15 girls soccer team.

The 2014-15 girls soccer team.

with these types of confrontations in their own close-knit families. This can be detrimental to their self-esteem as well as their quality of play.

The level at which each team plays can fluctuate from high to low, depending on how closely bonded the team feels.

NHS social worker Joanna Dinkle said, “As a social worker, I estimate that 50% of a team’s performance has to do with the connectedness of the team.”

The 2014-15 volleyball team.

The 2014-15 volleyball team.

The NHS girls’ soccer team, for example, has juggled its own “drama.”

“There are some problems with certain girls but we get over them. The problems that affect us are mainly with the coaches,” said NHS girls’ soccer player Jasmine Grey.
Some athletes feel like their opinion does not matter much in comparison to their coach’s.
Cassidy Baranowski, also on the team with Grey, agreed by saying, “The coaches don’t always listen to our opinions. We would solve more problems if they listened more to players.”

Girls soccer coach Sean Dunn is aware of the problems that sometimes plague the team, and takes these matters seriously. But he also feels that coaching the girls to deal with their problems independently is an important life skill he tries to promote.
“It all depends on the level of conflict. I mostly have the girls try to resolve it on their own but if it becomes serious, I will of course step in to assist them,” said Dunn.
Extending beyond the soccer team, the NHS girls’ volleyball team members can attest to being drawn into these situations as well.
“Drama between players always distracts me. The coaches tell me to play loose, but it’s hard to with all of the tension,” commented an anonymous member on the team.
Girls’ volleyball coach Kevin Wesche offers one solution to the issue of drama when it crops up between his team members. “My resolution is open dialogue. We have a conversation between the whole team.”

NHS Dean of Students and Athletic Director Tom Pompeii explains that the coaches’ responsibilities and contributions when confrontation occurs within their team.
“A coach’s job is the same as mine: they have to be firm and discipline, but also aware and understanding. The difference between them and myself is that coaches are the first line of defense and that makes them have a direct effect on the culture of the team,” noted Pompeii.

With any sport, a team needs to be able to work past differences in order to coexist.
NHS girls volleyball player Jenna Massicotte stated, “Whether it’s on the court, whether it’s off the court, whether it’s with teammates or coaches, a strong relationship is key.”

Q&A: WTNH’s Teresa Dufour

Teresa Dufour, The Weekday Morning Traffic Reporter on News 8’s Good Morning Connecticut, after Teresa switches roles and hosts her show Connecticut Style.

 

> What inspired you to work in the news career?

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Since I was a child, I always wanted to be a reporter. I wanted to find a story and tell a story. I couldn’t picture myself sitting behind a desk, there’s something challenging and fun about live tv that keeps you on your toes.

> where did you attended college?

University of Connecticut, Storrs.


> Was being a journalist your first choice in your career?

Yes!

> How was your first experience as a Traffic Anchor?

I had been on TV for four years prior to reporting the traffic. It takes a little getting used to standing in front of the green screen, so, for about a month, people were patient with me, and then it clicked!

> How did you get into being a news junkie?

You have to find a passion and run with it. I like finding the facts and getting them out there.

> Were you nervous on the first day of the job?

Of course! I wasn’t just making a mistake at my job, I was making mistakes for the entire state to see on tv!

> As a morning Traffic anchor, is it difficult to wake up every morning so early?

I wake up at 3 each morning. It’s not fun. I’ve been doing it for 8 years now and you don’t ever really get used to it, but hey, I could be doing worse jobs!

> After college, where did you go from there?

After UCONN I worked behind the scenes at WFSB channel 3 and NBC30. I was a producer and worked at the assignment desk. I then took a job as a radio news anchor in Hartford, but really wanted to be on TV. My first TV job took me to Monroe, Louisiana where I was the anchor/producer for their 5pm and 9pm newscasts. After two years there, I was hired as a general assignment reporter back at WFSB 3. That eventually turned into traffic reporting. Four years ago I left Channel 3 and joined News 8 where I report the traffic on Good Morning CT and Host my show, Connecticut Style.

> Is anyone else in your family in the journalism business?

No

> Who choses your outfits? Is there a stylist on staff or do you get to pick your own clothes?

I pick and own all my own clothes. I try my best to mix and match and not wear the same thing in a month. I have a pretty big closet!

Editorial: The Chokehold of Injustice

On July 17 Eric Garner said his last world known words, “I can’t breathe.” Eric Garner was a 43 year old African American male and father of 6 kids in Staten Island, NY.

Officer Pantaleo, a white male, and other officers on the scene forcefully arrested Eric Garner.  Officer Pantaleo held Mr. Garner in a chokehold while other officers piled on him to hold him down. Throughout the assault Garner repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe.” When it came to the point that he actually couldn’t, Garner died.

Why didn’t the officers listen to Garners pleas? What was the need for the choke hold when there was already several officers on top of him?

What was the point of his arrest?

Mr. Garner was a peaceful man protecting his civil rights. Mr. Garner was accused of selling loose cigarettes without tax, but where is the evidence? All around the country protests have occurred in the fight for justice for Garner. But not only for him but for the fight against racism in our country.

“I can’t breathe,” he said, and neither can we. This case is breath-taking. It is shocking that a man, an innocent man, died with no justice. That his murderer, who was sworn in by God and the people of Staten Island, N.Y., who should have been his protector, could ignore his pleas and not receive justice.

Are we protecting this man because he is white or simply because he wears a badge?

Take A Stab At This New Game

Assassin’s Creed Rogue is the last installment to the three-game Kenway saga. Assassin’s Creed Rogue truly takes advantage of its hardware, and despite being last gen, the game is beautiful. The textures are fantastic and the game runs smoothly with little to no hiccups in the frame rate.   Rogue is a game very similar to is predecessor, Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. Having played Black Flag for an extensive

acroguecoveramount of time myself, I could tell you that the games are very similar in terms of controls and game play. It seems that Ubisoft just copied the game engine from the previous version to this one. So it basically all plays the same aside from minor changes.

Although, not all similarities are bad. Rogue incorporates some of the best elements from Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed lll. You get the swashbuckling pirates of Black Flag along with the revamped iconic locations of Assassin’s Creed lll. It even melded in some of the soundtrack from my favorite game of the series, Assassins Creed ll, which gives the game a classic, nostalgic feel.

It’s not all about things from previous titles, however. Rogue brings its own uniqueacrogue1 things to the table: a new perspective and a fresh story. Rogue’s story breaks the mold and gives you something different that shows a different side of the tale. In Assassin’s Creed games, players always tend to assume the role of an assassin, which is exactly where Rogue starts off. You soon see that this completely flip-flops as you carry out Shay Cormac’s story. Shay started off an assassin – disrespectful and never on time, but his mentors recognized his potential. So they sent him on a mission only he could carry out. After an unexpected turn of events collapses the city where the mission took place, Shay becomes fueled by rage and returns to his mentors. After they throw him out, he plots to steal key objects of the order. While doing this, his mentor returns, which causes Shay to run. In the process, he is shot in the back and falls off a cliff into the ocean.

This is where Shay’s journey with the opposing side, the Templars, begins. After he is saved, Shay begins to try and make amends to the world with the Templars. He works against the Assassins in his journey to save the world.

The Verdict

Assassin’s Creed: Rogue is worth the money because of its replayability and twisting storyline. If your in the mood to feel some Assassins Creed nostalgia, or you’d ever wondered how the antagonist of the games work this is definitely worth your time and money. This is not a game I would regret buying.

–         OLD GAMEPLAY                                        + GREAT STORY

+ NOSTALGIC FEEL

+ REVAMPED LOCATIONS

7.8 out of  10

All Things Being Equal?

Last month, Harry Potter actress Emma Watson spoke to the United Nations in New York City promoting the campaign “HeForShe.” The ongoing campaign is one that is working to get men involved in the feminism movement and the fight for gender equality.

But what does NHS believe about equality?IMG_0080

“I believe that the only thing that separates men from women is a women’s ability to become pregnant,” English teacher John Carino said, adding that he considers himself a feminist. “Women are sometimes put in a place of submission. I try to help young ladies who have been harassed.”

NHS Athletic Director Thomas Pompei also considers himself to be a feminist. In Emma Watson’s speech, she describes how women are often paid less than men, even if they perform a job identical to their male co-workers. “I believe that women should most definitely receive equal pay,” said Pompei.The athletic director pointed out that some women who also serve as an athletic director may receive less pay, not because of their gender but merely based on the teacher’s contract and salary structure, such as in towns like Wolcott or Watertown.

Principal Janice Saam said, “I don’t think gender, race or religion should impact equality. As long as you’re qualified for the job, you should be paid accordingly.” Saam also stated how even though she considers herself to be a feminist (especially after Emma Watson’s re-definition of the word) she hasn’t really received the chance to necessarily “promote” it, however, she said, “Every opportunity that I have to correct someone’s perception that might be faulty, I will do so.”

Students also had plenty to say about feminism. Junior Amanda Valentin considers herself to be a feminist. “If men get involved, it would make feminism stronger. Not just women can fight for equality,” she said.

Junior Brianna Durante doesn’t see any difference between the genders. “I believe that women have just as many rights as men and can do anything men can do,” she said.

“I believe in equal rights,” said Senior Smay Joseph. “What’s the difference between men and women?”

Naugy Volleyball Falls To RHAM In Second Round

After defeating Guilford 3-1 in the first round of the Class L tournament, the Naugatuck girls volleyball team lost to undefeated RHAM High School 3-0 (12-25, 9-25, 20-25) last Thursday in Hebron.

While Naugy was unable to win a game against last year’s state champion, who will likely take the trophy again this year, Coach Kevin Wesche was very pleased with his young team’s performance throughout the game.

“I think we did very well considering what we were up against,” Wesche said.  Our girls showed a lot of class, a lot of grit, a lot of fight.  We made them burn two timeouts in the last game, which they are not accustomed to.  We ended up losing that game but we still gave them a good run for their money.”

A good run for their money, indeed, and that is what the Greyhounds have done all year long.  After a tough first loss of the season to Woodland, who is in the state semifinals, Naugy went on a five-game winning streak, including a win against Torrington, which co-captain Erika Andreoli says was the biggest win of the year for them.

“It was a big win especially because they beat us three times last year,” said Andreoli, a key server for Naugy in her past two seasons.

Wesche, after finishing last year as one of the premier teams in the NVL, saw his team, again, towards the top of the league, and was not surprised by his team’s success this season despite their inexperience at the Varsity level.

“I think they matured and developed throughout the season,” said Wesche, whose Greyhounds finished the regular season with yet another winning record of 14-6 and received the 15 seed out of 27 in the Class L tournament.  “We had a very inexperienced front row back in August but they became very experienced by the time the season finished up thanks to our senior leadership.”

That senior leadership is headed by Naugy’s three captains, Kara Klimaszewski, Lauren Burns, and Erika Andreoli.  Andreoli says that her co-captains and herself were responsible for keeping their team together throughout the season, through the highs and lows.

“We all had different personalities but the same role,” stated Andreoli.  “There were some points in the season when there was some tension because we were facing a hard opponent, so we called team meetings to talk things over.  We tried to keep the team up and together because in volleyball, that is very important.”

Also, Klimaszewski occasionally came in on Wesche’s front line to provide her leadership to a young group, which included Nicole Healy, Olivia Rotatori, and Alexa Blazas, while Teree Perkins and Ally Mezzo would also rotate in.  Burns was quite astounded by this young front line and says that they all stepped up this year because they did their job.
“They really stepped up for our offense,” said Burns.  “They hit, blocked, and were able to serve for us.”

Every one of these girls will be returning to Wesche’s squad next season, and that makes the coach very optimistic, despite the losses of the 2015 graduates.

“I think they will come back strong next year,” Wesche said.  “We will have strong and experienced front line.  That came with the leadership and example from the seniors that we had this year.”

 

 

 

NHS doesn’t tolerate intolerance

The news is filled with judgments – sports teams, fashion, celebrity expectations. But is this judgment always called for?

Three recent news stories have brought this judgment into question, one of which is Wal-Mart’s plus size Halloween wear category being labeled as  as “fat girl costumes.” They have publicly apologized  on Twitter.

Mrs.Nunes, a guidance counselor at  Naugatuck High School, said, “People should be more concerned about themselves and their values.” Mrs.Nunes tries to help students realize that they are worthwhile, valuable members of society. She believes that Wal-Mart’s “error” was very “unprofessional.”

In another story, a man at a Dallas airport was attacked for wearing a pink shirt. The attacker assumed the color of the shirt meant he was gay, and the verbal argument between the two turned physical. Bystanders helped remove the attacker, who was soon taken away by police.

Veronica Archeki, a Naugatuck student, said, “It’s disgusting how people associate colors with gender; guys tend to be more limited.” Art teacher Dr.Steve Kobylenski agrees, saying that “pink is a man’s color.”

When asked for the reason for his attack, the man replied, “Because this is America, that’s why. The same reason you get to live, to breathe, to walk black,” according to The Daily Mail online.

In “7 Things I Can Do That My Black Son Can’t,” written by Calvin Hennick, a white father expresses concern about his black son’s privileges, For instance, he can “lose my temper in traffic” and “loiter in wealthy neighborhoods,” while such actions could put his son in harm’s way.

Dr.Kobylenski expressed hope that this wouldn’t be the case. As far as equality in his classroom, he tries to treat everyone fairly no matter what race, size, or sexuality. “I think the media perpetuates stereotypes,” Kobylenski noted.

How strong is security at NHS?

Reaction at Naugatuck High School to the Seattle school shooting last month was strong. “Of course it’s upsetting; there seems to be no value for human life,” commented Elaine Mulhall, a math teacher at the school.

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New scanners will require badges to enter the building during school hours.

Recently, Jaylen Fryberg, a IMG_7576student at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington state, killed three people when he opened fire at his school, including himself. He was a 14-year-old freshman. Fryberg was also very well-liked with lots of friends. He had recently broken up with his girlfriend, but could that have been the only trigger for this act of violence? His rampage came to a sudden end when a teacher grabbed his arm and he turned the gun on himself.

This incident in Seattle raises questions for faculty, parents and students in  Naugatuck: Is Naugatuck High School safe?

James P. Leary, dean of students, said, “I don’t think we have the manpower to check what students bring to school. I’m not sure if we want something like that here.”

What Leary is referencing are metal detectors at the front entrances and random checks of lockers and backpacks. But what procedures are currently in place? “Protocols we would take in a situation like this would be: security force, student honesty, and doing the right thing. This is supposed to be a safe place,” said Leary.

Matthew DaSilva, school resource officer with the Naugatuck Police Department, said that when considering school safety, officials debate the rights of the individual against the security protocols taken.

Elaine Mulhall, a math teacher at the high school, had different view on school security. “I think it’s getting to the point where students are going to have to walk through security, but I feel we are not safe anywhere.”

The Seattle incident shocked students at the high school. “I wouldn’t know what to do in that situation. It’s scary to even think about,” said sophomore Ronahi Musa.

If put in a similar situation where a student had a weapon Mulhall said would “protect as many people as I can.”

Additionally, Mulhall noted, “There are a lot of good kids doing bad things.”