Adieu, News


Dear Village Community,

As the school year comes to an end, a page of Village School history is turned. Last year, the idea for an online school newspaper was brought up to the student body with the goal of bettering Village School’s ‘image’ among other teachers and students in the district and the Great Neck community. The Newspaper started as a club, but had little support from students and we struggled to find time to meet during the school day.

This year, the paper started again, this time with tighter deadlines and a solid group of committed students. Towards the end of the semester though, there was still not enough productivity and commitment to continue the club, so something had to change. Rumors arouse about the idea of a mixed Newspaper/Yearbook class for the second semester. To me, this showed just how much the faculty supported the paper and believed it could thrive under proper supervision and with proper guidance.

Through the leadership of Ms. Lauren Gengo, our English teacher, almost every member of the class has been able to produce a thoughtful and insightful article every week throughout this semester. The articles submitted have not just been your typical hard news stories, but have ranged from a movie review on a zombie chick-flick, to a personal piece on a not- too- fun experience with a dog. In this way, students were given a means of speaking their minds on topics they might not be so quick to discuss with others. The students of the class know that every word they type is not just earning them credit in the class, but that their hard work is putting the Village School one step closer towards a “clean slate”, which for us, means a better image of the school in the community.

It has been a pleasure working with this news team and Ms. Gengo throughout this semester, and I hope that next year, there will be just as much, if not more, support and drive to continue The Villager, and to further better our image, while allowing the students a creative outlet to express themselves to the world.

Until next year,

Solomon Shapiro, Student Editor- in- Chief


A Phantom Dream

By Gabriel Cohen

images-1Like many high school students, I often think about cars I’d love to own. For me, my future dream car is The Rolls Royce Phantom EWB (Extended Wheel Base) (series II).  The Rolls Royce is one of the most expensive sedans in the world, and prestige; the Rolls Royce will give you the sense of royalty. Charles Stewart Rolls and sir Frederick Henry Royce founded Rolls Royce Motor Cars. 1906 the company was created, it was known as Rolls Royce, later the name was changed in 1973 to Rolls Royce Limited after the jet engine production failure. During the 1990’s the name was changed to Rolls Royce Motor cars. Rolls Royce is still an English car manufacture except BMW owns the rights to the company. Since 2000, V-12 BMW engines were used in the cars, and later on BMW bought the company out. There are many different Rolls Royce’s that have been created and produced. The Rolls Royce Shadow had the biggest production out put to this date. But the one car that I love and want is the Phantom Rolls Royce. Today there are two Rolls Royce “Families”, the Ghost and Phantom, well now the limited edition Wraith, which was brought back into production. The Phantom family is the larger of the two families. Four series II models in the Phantom family compared to the Ghost. The Phantom is bigger than the Ghost and the now limited edition, Wraith. Well, I can sit all day just talking about the different cars and the history behind it, but what I really would love to own is the Phantom EWB.

When speaking to one of the dealers of Rolls Royce of Long Island, he answered some important questions about the car. Here on Long Island, there is a large number of people who lease and buy Rolls Royce cars. One car that is purchased is the Ghost, but the Phantom Drop Head Coupe is in highest demand. When speaking to the dealer, he mentioned the different possibilities of what one can do to enhance the car. A customer can purchase a basic model with only the mandatory instruments and enhance it all the way up to the ridiculous, such as adding 24k gold finishings inside the car.

In dealing with third party companies such as Mansory, a company that takes the car and replaces the inside and outside with their own kits,  Rolls Royce, while they recognize companies like Mansory, Rolls Royce only deals with Rolls Royce.  Those seeking services offered by companies like Mansory must purchase the car and then work with Mansory independently.

But let’s get back to the amazing features of this dream car. On the exterior, the car features a black paint job with a chrome finish on the grill and rims of the car, and 5% tint on all six windows, a  retractable hood ornament and sleek LED headlights give the car a futuristic but modern look. There’s not much that I would customize on the exterior of the car, but the interior is a different story.

The Phantom EWB’s chassis uses 500 different parts, which are welded precisely, welded together and checked by laser-guided machinery. Rolls Royce is one of the few cars in the world were you can sit in an authorized dealership and customize the car before buying it and putting it into production. It boasts a V-12 BMW engine that can take the car from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. Inside the cabin, I’d chose black Italian leather seats with black stitching. The dashboard and doors would have The car would have mahogany wood and a silver lining would throughout the entire car. In the rear, of there would be an entertainment system with a state of the art sound system.

Even though this is a dream car, it is possible. Remember, if there’s a will there’s a way.

Special thanks to Rolls-Royce of Long Island

Speacial thanks to Seth from Rolls-Royce of Long Island

Thanks to Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Heroic Woman Saves Students

By Elliot Esterman

UnknownSuzanne Haley, a paraprofessional at Briarwood Elementary School, was hiding with kids under desks when the Tornado in Oklahoma struck and destroyed 17 miles of land. While protecting her students, the leg of a desk impaled her calf muscle which, injuring her greatly, but because it didn’t hit an artery, she most likely will not have to have her leg amputated.

Images of her leg are very graphic and accordingly, were blurred, but this website  has links to an uncensored photo of her injuries:

Many people now call her a hero for saving the lives of many children in her school. During the tornado, she asked one of the kids to check some pressure she was feeling on her leg, she thought that her leg was stuck under some heavy things, but the child screamed and said that it was in her leg, and surprisingly, she remained calm and could hold herself up.

Her initial visit to the hospital, they said that they could not cover her medical fees, but later she was covered. A fund was set up in her name to help her pay for more medical expenses, and to buy a new car, but all the children she protected and herself are all safe and recovering.  Suzanne Haley is a testament to the heroic acts that occurred that day in Oklahoma.


Poetry Corner with Amanda Long


Amanda Long, poet.

Amanda Long, poet.

The Truth

We believe that honesty is the best policy,

But we love to lie

And we fight

Just to get the blood pumping through clotted veins.

Because the most epic love,

Only lasts for never

And love is harder to feel than to find–

Taking an overdose today,

And hoping tomorrow will be better

Because they tell you it will be

And they tell you to be happy you’re alive.

But we only live long enough

To watch others fall apart

And watch ourselves become





She looks at me with glassy eyes,

As she mirrors my intentions–

Following, mocking my escape.

So, I sat there

And stared at her–

Ripples scattered across her face

And across my mind

Both knowing

that what was once alive is gone



Muhammad al-Durrah Incident = America in Favor of Palestine?

This is a screenshot taken from the footage from that fateful day.

This is a screenshot taken from the footage from that fateful day.

By Eli Cohen

Jamal al-Durrah was the only one to survive the Muhammad al-Durrah incident that took place in the Gaza Strip thirteen years ago. During the second intifada, which was a Palestinian uprising that took place from 2000-2005, was known to be period of intensified Palestinian–Israeli violence. The uprising was infamously known to have caused dozens of suicide bombing attacks in large cities in Israel such as Jerusalem which led to the deaths of hundreds of Israeli civilians. Besides the reactions and plans explained in the media by Israel, what was happening in the Gaza Strip during the attack was unknown during the first few years of the uprising.

A Palestinian cameraman named Talal Abu Rahma, was one of the few who was in the Gaza Strip filming for news corporation France 2. On September 30th, 2000, Rhama took cover behind concrete when the area he was filming in was being attacked by supposedly IDF (Israeli-Defense-Force) soldiers. Rhama took his camera and filmed across from him to film Jamal al-Durrah and his son Muhammad hiding behind small cover. the minute long footage shows Jamal shielding his frightened son from the gunfire. The footage then goes on to show the boy crying and the father waving, then a burst of gunfire is heard again and dust fills the air, after which the boy is seen slumped across his father’s legs. The boy died at the scene; he was only 12.

For years, this video has been very controversial, because Rhama claims that the shots were from Israelis and their were no signs of them stopping. Thirteen years later, the controversy is a heated one. Jamal claims that he’s ready to exhume his son’s body and show the world that his son was killed by Israeli bullets. “I would like to show the world the truth, and I am sitting in front of my son’s grave and ready to accept an international independent investigation commission including Arabs,” he said. “If Israel agrees, I am ready to open the grave.”

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, said ” It is important to focus on this incident, which has slandered Israel’s reputation. This is a manifestation of the ongoing, mendacious campaign to delegitimize Israel.” American delegates working in the Middle East see this as a fault on Israel’s part. They even gave Rhama a job at CNN, and hope to see if he can help shed light on this story. Muhammad al-Durrah’s story has become an important symbol in the Palestinian struggle for statehood. Israel says that the false narrative of al-Durrah’s death has been used to justify terrorist attacks against Israel and worldwide anti-Semitism. One thing’s for sure, a young boy lost his life, and he is just a small reminder that so many more have died since, which could be prevented if peace was given a chance, and I, personally, think we’re on our way.


Farewell, SNL

Fred Armison as Prince, Jason Sudeikis as The Devil, Bill Hader as Stephon.

Fred Armison as Prince, Jason Sudeikis as The Devil, Bill Hader as Stephon.

By Solomon Shapiro

At the end of season 37, both the comical Kristen Wiig and the hilarious Andy Samberg made their departs from SNL. Season 38 ended this past week with an amazing job done by Ben Affleck as host, but the attention of the night was focused on Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, and Jason Sudeikis. Prior to the night, Hader had announced his departure from the show; Armisen did not announce his departure until the final skit of the night, wherein he portrayed, Ian Rubbish, the musician he introduced a month ago in the “History of Punk”. Sudeikis also made his announcement after the show, with an emotional embrace with Armisen and Hader.

Armisen will forever be known for his portrayals of President Obama, Prince, Steve Jobs, David Paterson, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Garth, opposite Kristen Wiig in Garth & Kat), along with countless other political figures. Although most were comical and outstanding, who can forget ‘The Californians’, a stereotypical Californian drama, that frankly fell short of being anywhere near funny. Armisen was the most senior member of SNL, being on the show for 11 seasons, his title has been passed on to Kenan Thompson, who has been on the show for 10 seasons.

Sudeikis has portrayed celebrities A-Z, some being Adam Lambert, Dane Cook, Donald Trump, George W. Bush, Bon Jovi, Mitt Romney, Robert Downey, Jr., Wolf Blitzer, and let’s not forget his hilarious depiction of the devil.

Now onto what I consider to be the saddest of the departures, throughout his 8 years on the show, Hader had not only portrayed Julian Assange in 2010, John Boehner, Clint Eastwood, and Dr. Oz, he has built a cult-like following around his Weekend Update character, Stefon. Stefon started as a character on season 34, where two brothers played by Ben Affleck and Hader were hired to write a movie. The first brother had good ideas, but Stefon gave the worst, but most hilarious ideas for the movie. From there, Hader’s ‘Stephon’ character exploded into the most- loved Weekend Update guest.

Stefon faithfully served as Weekend Update’s extremely flamboyant New York City Correspondent, always recommeding the absolute worst places to visit in NYC. His nightclubs always had “strange” names, some being Crease, Taste, Slash, Ounce, BOOOOOOOOOOOOOF, HEYYYYYYY!!, UHHNNNH, and BAAAAAAAA-BAANAM. These clubs were always the creation of some messed up guy, with crazy attractions like tweakers, ‘a child’, and always having some sort of outright wrong but hilariously un-PC one- two punch at the end.

Stefon character writer, John Mulaney, would often change the rehearsed jokes right before Hader took stage so as to catch him off guard, leaving him to burst into laughter during the sketch. So when the audience saw Hader covering his mouth during the skit, holding back laughter (which became a signature move), it was in the very moment that he had just read the outrageous joke for the first time.

The departure of these three SNL icons will force Lorne Michaels [SNL creator/producer] to search for new talent. Hopefully, the departure of Hader, Sudeikis, and Armisen is not the beginning of the end of SNL.


Meyers for Hire

Seth Meyers, showing good form in his weekly SNL appearance, "Weekend Update".

Seth Meyers, showing good form in his weekly SNL appearance, “Weekend Update”.

For Village Update, I’m Solomon Shapiro, and this is tonight’s top story. Jimmy Fallon recently announced that he is moving to The Tonight Show, after Jay Leno announced his departure.  Here’s hoping it isn’t like last time when Conan O’Brien famously took over for Jay Leno, and then Leno suddenly wanted to return.

With Jimmy Fallon leaving Late Night  to take over for Jay Leno, there is a spot open on late night TV that needs to be filled, but who has the ability to be comical every night of the week?!  Well, the results are in, and the new host of NBC’s Late Night is… Seth Meyers.

Seth Meyers is no stranger to comedy, starting his career as a member of the Northwestern University improv sketch group Mee-Ow, nor is he a stranger to NBC, as he has been the lead writer of Saturday Night Live since the 2006 season, and anchors the only weekly skit, Weekend Update. I can’t think of anyone better to take over for the great comedian, Jimmy Fallon, than Seth Meyers. Every week, he delivers his hilarious views and interpretations on local and world events of the week on Weekend Update, and writes some of the funniest skits SNL has today. Surely, he can handle this new gig.

The question on my mind is if Meyers will be able to continue to churn out his comedic genius for SNL while also hosting a nightly show on NBC. I believe that Meyers will be able to balance both careers. His comedic style on Weekend Update is very similar to the skits and parts of Jimmy Fallons Late Night Show, showing that he is the right choice. I for one, being a frequent viewer of both shows,  am very pleased with the choice to give Meyers his own show, and hopefully so does the public.  For Village Update, I’m Solomon Shapiro.

Bulldozers Destroy One of Belize’s Oldest and Largest Pyramids

By Tyler Plaksis

A Bulldozer plowing through ancient ruins.

A Bulldozer plowing through ancient ruins.

Today in Belize, while building a road, construction workers stumbled upon a Mayan pyramid buried in the hillside they were ripping apart. The company constructing the road claimed the workers did not recognize what they were tearing through until they found a hollowed out tunnel in side of the hill that they where demoing.”This is one of the worst [wreckages] I have seen in my entire 25 years of archaeology in Belize,” John Morris, an archaeologist with the Institute of Archaeology stated. Jaime Awe, director of the Institute of Archaeology, said he was sickened by the destruction. Morris said that the construction company must have been aware of the site’s significance. “There is absolutely no way that they would not know that these are Maya Mounds… even for you guys as laypeople can look and you’ll see the building,” he said. So now, because of construction workers’ ignorance and accused disregard for history, there is one less Mayan pyramid.

Aurora Shooting Suspect Requests a Plea of Insanity

By Gabriel Cohen

James Holmes, Aurora theater shooting suspect, during an arraignment hearing.

James Holmes, Aurora theater shooting suspect, during an arraignment hearing.

In July 2012, James Holmes took part in a Colorado movie theater shooting during the midnight premiere of “Dark Knight Rises”. James Holmes walked into the movie theater and opened fire at the people watching the latest Batman movie. Before committing his crime, he yelled out, “I am the Joker!”.  Recently, James Holmes officially entered his plea of insanity. Judge Carlos, who has been in charge of this case, has been reluctant to allow for the insanity plea, but is allowing for the defendant to make his case about why he should be allowed to plea insane. Although the decision hasn’t been made, the judge has until May 31 to make his decision. In order to have the insanity plea work, Holmes has to cooperate with doctors in an extensive mental evaluation.

Prosecutors are pressing for the death penalty, saying Holmes is not insane. Much evidence points to his crime being pre-meditated: walking into the theater with full body armor, booby trapping his apartments before heading to the theater, accumulating ammunition, and scouting the movie theatre before the shooting. The prosecutors are trying to show that he had clearly planned the act, and that he is not insane. The defendants are trying to push for the insanity plea because Holmes had been seeing a psychiatrist before the shooting; planning an act does not necessarily mean he doesn’t suffer from some sort of psychosis.  But, defendants don’t want to push for the plea yet because, if found guilty, they know it can also be the cause for his receiving the death penalty. If Holmes is acquitted for his actions, he will spend the rest of his life in a mental institution.

2013 Met Costume Institute Gala: A Review

By Amanda Long

Every year, the Metropolitan Museum of Art holds an extravagant gala. The selected A-list attendants gather together to display their interpretation of the artistic theme. This year’s theme was, “PUNK: Chaos to Couture”. “Punk’s signature mixing of reflexes was fueled by artistic developers, such as Dada and Post Modernization”, said Thomas P. Campbell (Director and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum of Art). “So, it makes sense to present this exhibition in a museum that also shows the broader output of those movements.”



Singing sensation, Beyonce, wore a black and orange Keso dress with over -the -elbow gloves and boots to match. While she looked absolutely gorgeous, the look wasn’t quite as stunning as last year’s.

Kim Kardashian walked up the red carpet with Kanye West. She was dressed head to toe in a floral patterned dress which shocked with gloves attached to the dress. Many fashion critics declared it a “fashion don’t”.

Kim Kardashian in full floral

Kim Kardashian in full floral

Miley Cyrus strutted in a fishnet dress by Marc Jacobs. Her dress definitely reflected the theme and of course, was an original choice.

Miley Cyrus in all her fishnet glory

Miley Cyrus in all her fishnet glory

Anne Hathaway punking out with her new blonde hair.

Anne Hathaway punking out with her new blonde hair.

Anne Hathaway looked stunning in her dress by Valentino.  Her hair and makeup corresponded perfectly with her outfit.

Jennifer Lawrence went with a simpler dress. Ankle length, with matching shoes made upped the ante of the simple silhouette. Her face veil definitely added a bang to her attire.

Zooey Deschanel was a rebel, walking in with her signature bands swept to the side. She wore a blue seersucker gown, custom designed by Tommy Hilfiger.  Of the dress, Hilfiger said, “The dress was an original, quirky and fun take on the punk theme.”

Jennifer Lawrence, with veil.

Jennifer Lawrence, with veil.


Zooey Deschanel, fresh faced and dressed in seersucker, pushed against the punk theme.