On March 7th, Florida lawmakers passed a bill that would put some restrictions on firearms and also allow some school staff to be armed. The bill raises the age to buy a firearm from 18 to 21, and requires gun sales to have a 3 day waiting period. Other provisions of the bill are an increase in funding for school security and an expansion of mental health services. People who have been deemed mentally incompetent by a judge or have institutionalized will be unable to buy a gun. Under the new laws, police would be able to bar a person deemed dangerous by a court from owning firearms for up to a year. It would also ban bump stocks, a kind of device that allows guns to fire extremely fast. The bill still needs to be signed by governor Rick Scott before it goes into effect.
Looking for a place to satisfy your craving for falafel or savory kabobs? The new Greek restaurant, Greek Xpress, can fulfill your desire for Greek food for sure! Located conveniently at 37 Great Neck Road, it’s accessible after a busy day of shopping in town or quick bite to eat on your way to the library.
You can reach them at (516) 570-6814 and can order directly from their website (www.greekxpress.com) or from sites like GrubHub or Seamless. Upon clicking on their site itself, you’re given the choice of delivery or pick-up, and can also contact them through their Facebook page (www.facebook/gxgreatneck) as well. Some menu features are fresh dips made-to- order, garden salads, appetizers, specialty entrees, dinner specials, and even burgers. Additionally, they have an ice cream bar, kid-friendly entrees, and healthy smoothies.
I went to the restaurant in an attempt to try to speak with the owner, and he politely declined, saying that he was too busy and had to help his customers. Even though I was disappointed, the trip still paid off – I was able to witness the movement vibe of the restaurant. Customers seemed very happy and delighted with their meals. I saw that the restaurant seemed to have a lot of business as well. The staff were polite when dealing with
hungry customers and also allowed me to take pictures of the restaurant. They seem interested in serving this town Greek food efficiently and at an affordable price, as well as motivated to serve their customers.
The menu boasts that their food is “fresh”, “Greek,” and “delicious,” that their
lunch specials, available Monday through Friday are “amazing.” The restaurant is environmentally-friendly and only includes napkins, utensils, and other single-use items on take-out orders by request only, as stated on the bottom of the menu on the last page. They also offer vegetarian options such as spinach pie, zucchini fritters, and falafel. It is a casual eatery with affordable dishes that makes this a place for everyone.
There is not a set column for entrees on the menu and instead they sort it by what types of food. For example, all the different types of burgers are grouped together and all the different dinner specials are grouped together. They have many different foods to offer and they really seem to want to get as many different groups of people through the door as they can.
On Valentine’s day, Nikolas Cruz, a former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, entered the school armed with an AR-15. Cruz was wearing a gas mask and threw smoke grenades before pulling the fire alarm. This caused students to exit their classrooms into the hallway, where Cruz opened fire. He shot at least 31 students and staff before he was captured by police. The death toll is 17, and students who were in critical condition have stabilized, since the writing of this article. Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
A junior at Lebanon High School felt that she should make an anti-bullying video after her classmate committed suicide as a result of bullying. Emily Gipson, the creator of this video, posted it to YouTube and it went viral. The video was recorded in a classroom at the high school after school hours. Because she was not authorized to use this classroom after school hours and didn’t have permission, Gipson got into trouble. It was not the video’s content itself that got her into trouble.
The content of this video was asking for people to be respectful of each other. In the video, Gipson says, “Welcome to Lebanon High School, where you come to be
analyzed from head-to-toe every day by people you don’t even know.”
Gipson had said in response to News 4, a local Lebanon news station, “I’ve seen problems with bullying, problem with bullying not being dealt with, and I feel like some things are just put aside.” Gipson also had said that the video is for anyone who feels like they are getting bullied and also spoke about how she recognizes that bullying occurs in every school. “Anywhere I can make a difference I’d love to,” said Gipson.
Gipson has indeed made a difference in people’s lives with this video – she says she’s received numerous messages from people who watched her video, and that these were all extremely supportive messages. One girl even said the video saved her life.
The punishment Gipson received for recording this video in a classroom at school was two days of in-school suspension.
I understand that the school had to take some sort of action as Gipson did not receive consent to use the classroom and anything that is filmed on campus can be interpreted as school district endorsement, which is why students’ need to get approval first. And, most likely, the school district did not disagree with what Gipson’s message was at all. However, I still do not feel that this punishment was fair. Although Gipson should have asked to use this classroom first, I feel like her video was such a good deed that she should have been given a lesser punishment and actually given some praise for what she did!
I think that they should have done a one period or week’s detention, but not in-school suspension. Gipson deserved to see the video her effects have had in her school and how good her deed was. At the same time, however, she does need a little bit of a gentle reminder that she cannot film videos in classrooms without permission. Therefore, I think detention is a better idea than two days of in-school suspension. The school administrators should also talk to her, and perhaps the entire school, about why students cannot film videos in classrooms.
The idea behind the video was to help her peers and teens in general think of themselves in an increasingly positive matter. Because she wasn’t screaming into the void like thousands of other anti-bullying videos and notably saved lives, I feel that they should have recognized her good deed in some way.
As a student who has been bullied a lot in the past, I know that I would’ve heavily benefitted from a teen my age making this video. It’s people who witness bullying and other forms of hate but don’t do anything who seem, to me at least, the most harmful – these are the bystanders who could have helped, but did not. And when a bystander steps forward and stands up to a bully, through any means possible and in an effective way, it really makes a difference. This video made a huge difference in people’s lives and I feel that that matters more than whether or not Gipson had gotten prior consent to use a school classroom as a backdrop to her powerful and positive message.
Donald Trump was known as an extremely wealthy businessman just a little over a year ago. Today, he is the known as the most important man in the world as leader of the United States of America.
In 2015 he started the Trump and Pence: Make America Great Again campaign and ran for office and in early 2017 was sworn in as President. Since then, he’s been notorious for his poor decisions as the leader of the free world, has been under investigation, and has been accused of firing anyone who undermines his position or fails to pledge allegiance to him.
Early this year, the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and the DOJ (Department of Justice) have been under heat after the release of the Nunes Memo: a 4- page memo incriminating the Bureau and Department of abuse of their surveillance systems against Trump/Carter Page and their ties to Russia. The 4- page long memo was created by Devin Nunes early 2018 to discard Democratic officials. Then, on Monday, February 5th, 2018, another memo was released. Adam Schiff, a democratic congressman created a 10-page memo that is to serve as the Democrat’s ‘side’ of the story. Many officials say that with this political battle against major surveillance agencies and Donald Trump, things don’t look good for Trump or the Republican party.
On February 5th, 2018 a White House official claimed that they, too believe that these things do not look good for POTUS and the Republican Party. “I think it’s going to be very hard for The White House, like it was hard for the Republicans on the committee, to block the release of this,” Mr. Schiff told reporters after the vote. “I am more concerned that they would make political redactions.”
The whole memo conflict has taken its tolls on both parties with both sides claiming that the other is lying, almost as if it’s a game of “she said/he said.” We still do not know whether or not or how the whole fallout will be solved. The end of the fallout could potentially lead to a solution where one party is more pleased with the outcome. A hypothetical solution would be POTUS firing major FBI officials, again, however this time he’d fill their spots with people that would not be as opposed to him. We aren’t sure what’ll happen next, however we know something major will happen, maybe to one party or both.
On Tuesday, March 7th, the Statue of Liberty temporarily went dark from 10:00 PM to 11:30 PM. With her entire body and robe completely covered in darkness, only her crown and torch was left glowing on the New York Harbor. Ironically, the incident took place on International Women’s Day, making timing of Lady Liberty’s blackout appear all too coincidental to some. Although the official twitter account of the Statue of Liberty National Monument posted the morning after the incident, “Some lights on the Statue were temporarily off tonight. Likely related to new emergency generator/Hurricane Sandy recovery project work,” some viewed the glitch as intentional. Organizers of the Women’s March called on thousands to strike on “A Day Without a Woman.” Some believe that perhaps America’s most illustrious woman took the opportunity to be the very first to speak and protest on the special day. According to the Women’s March website, their group’s strike intended to acknowledge, “the enormous value that women of all backgrounds add to our socio-economic system, while receiving lower wages and experiencing greater inequities, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment and job insecurity.” Lady Liberty making her presence known during the effort was not gone unrecognized by the group, and the official Twitter account of the Women’s March posted, “Thank you Lady Liberty for standing with the resistance and going dark for #DayWithoutAWoman.” Others who also saw deeper meaning in Lady Liberty’s break from her normal illuminating self also took advantage and went to Twitter to post their opinions. Raymond Braun posted, “CNN has just reported that the Statue of Liberty has gone dark tonight. Power failure or social commentary?” Aparna Nancherla posted, “Apparently the Statue of Liberty lights went out due to a power failure. But I would argue women are also protesting due to a power failure.” Unfortunately, the activists were shut down to the idea that the recent happenings were purposely caused. Jerry Willis from the National Parks Service provided an explanation as to why everything happened the way it did, “ The temporary, unplanned outage occurred after a lighting system controller was switched off to change out faulty lighting equipment. When the repair was completed, the lighting system controller wasn’t properly reset, leading to the outage.” Deeper meaning and symbolism can still be found, for everything does happen for a reason, and Lady Liberty could not have picked a more perfect time to draw attention to herself. Fortunately, she has now gone back to her usual, shining self.
Okieriete “Oak” Onaodowan, who played Hercules Mulligan and James Madison in the Broadway hit Hamilton, is set to replace Josh Groban in the new musical Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812.
Onaodowan will play Pierre, a wealthy aristocrat going through an existential crisis. Groban will depart the show on July 2, and Onaodowan will replace him the day afterward and stay until September 4. This will be his fourth Broadway show after Cyrano de Bergerac, Rocky, and Hamilton.
The musical, often called simply Great Comet, is an electropop adaptation of a seventy-page portion of War and Peace. Onaodowan, the son of Nigerian immigrants, will play opposite Denée Benton as Natasha, so the two leads will be played by black actors despite the show taking place in nineteenth-century Russia.
“Having the opportunity to have two black actors star is, to me, irrefutably huge,” Benton said to the New York Times about the casting choice. “Actors of color definitely feel the limitation to have to tell the stories the world has decided are your own, when if you look at the breadth of characters handsome white males can play, they’re given access to the whole range. It’s exciting to have that same opportunity.”
Onaodowan, who is known for his range and versatility as an actor, will have to learn to play the accordion and focus more on singing than rapping, giving audiences a chance to see more of his skills. “It’s very different from what I’ve done before–there’s a lot to dig into,” he said.
Congress recently released what they want the federal budget to be for the next 10 years. With the U.S. approaching nearly $20 trillion dollars in debt, Congress is doing everything it can to try to balance the budget and reduce this burden of debt as fast as possible. The budget deficit of Fiscal Year 2016 was $587 billion. This year it is set to be around $443 billion and be exactly the same for 2020 and not balance it until 2026. This plan would accumulate more debt than we have accumulated in the past 8 years. This is only if we follow the same tax plan as we have followed under Obama and Trump plans to cut taxes for everyone – so this will most likely be much, much worse. The three things the U.S. government spent the most on in 2016 are healthcare, Social Security and Unemployment Benefits, and the military which add up to 76% of the budget. You would think the HBC would want to start making cuts to these or try and find out how to carry out these programs in in cheaper, yet still efficient way. But no, they do not. $120 billion is added to military, no changes to Social Security are made to try and control the increased spending every year, and Medicaid spending is cut slightly while Medicare spending is still being allowed to expand every year with no changes to the program. Major cuts however are made to education (2% of the budget), public broadcasting (> 1% of the budget), and agriculture (3% of the budget).
There are countless ways to balance the budget in faster and more efficient ways. In 2016 the US spent more on military than the next seven countries behind us combined. The next country behind us, China spent $155.6 billion dollars on military last year, just a little more than 1/4th of our $585 billion dollars spent. Adding $120 billion to this will make us spend more than the next 10 countries combined. Some might say that this is necessary for defense against terrorism. They should see where our troops are stationed. The US has troops stationed in six out of seven continents on the globe and in 74 countries. We could put more troops in the Middle East and still fight terrorism more than we need to and still cut military spending almost in half. We even spend $5.9 billion dollars a year paying for the military of other countries.
The US also spends the most in the world on healthcare. This might come as a surprise to you, considering the US does not have universal healthcare like many other countries in the world. I’m sure the first thing that just popped into your head is, “Well our population is higher than those countries”. That is a natural thing to think and would be a good argument if it made a difference. The US federal healthcare spending is 17.7% of our overall GDP and 9% of the US is uninsured. The next country behind us, The Netherlands’ federal healthcare spending is 11.9% of their GDP and has universal healthcare. We spend the most in the world on healthcare by far and we have 9% uninsured. In countries like Canada and many European countries, healthcare is very cheap because of how cheap their medicine is. Opening up trade for medicine with these countries would bring the cost of our medicine down and ultimately making healthcare must cheaper. We do not need single-payer to have universal healthcare either. Many countries have achieved universal healthcare without single payer. Germany has achieved universal healthcare through a mix of public and private insurance. Their spending on healthcare is 11% of their GDP (7th highest in world) and their life expectancy for average citizens there is 81.0 years as opposed to our 78.7 years. The US can follow this system and save a lot of money while still having very high quality insurance. While making cuts to Social Security is not wanted by most people and is immoral, we can stop the growth of Social Security spending by raising the retirement age from 62 to 66 or higher. Critics of raising the retirement age would say its not right to give people a longer working life and take less time away from their retirement. If Social Security is going insolvent soon, then it is better for this generation to get less than for every generation 20 years from now to get none. We should also cap benefits so that the rich and others who do not need social security at all don’t receive it. This may also seem unfair and almost seem like discrimination if everyone is paying into it their whole lives, then everyone should get it back. Again, it is better for some to not get it than for every generation after 2035 to get none at all.
If the US were to do all outlined above and raise individual income taxes on the upper middle class and up, balancing the budget would be no problem. Cutting taxes when $19 trillion dollars in debt is plain irresponsible. This is not fiscally conservative. Cutting back on education spending is going to do little to nothing to reduce the deficit and will be harmful for America’s children. The HBC needs to cut back on what we actually spend excessively on and possibly reinstate PART (Program Rating Assessment Tool) in order to get rid of waste and balance the budget. While private citizens have no say in the budget we can vote in people who can vote on the budget. Our next chance is in 2018; vote safely and smartly.
A billowing trail of clouds from an airplane high up, flying across the sky can mesmerize children and adults alike. While it’s beautiful to some, to others, it is a very concerning and scary sight. Air traffic has become very common throughout the recent years, so it”s not a rare sight to see these streaks from the planes, but some folks know the truth: that they themselves and everybody else are being polluted with toxins. It is very hard to tell the difference between a contrail and a chemtrail. A contrail is just condensation from NORMAL, commercial planes which are used for transporting passengers and cargo.
But here’s the big giveaway. The model that is normally used for The UN (United Nations) has proved the fact that we are being poisoned by our own government. These streaks in the sky are heavily polluting us with aluminium, barium, lead, arsenic, chromium, cadmium, selenium, and silver. This has all lead to various and deadly health problems and diseases such as neurological effects, heart damage, eyesight issues, reproduction failures, immune system damage, gastrointestinal disorders, damaged kidney, damaged liver, hormonal problems, and more. The government is doing this in hopes of population reduction. They are known to have used these chemtrails as biological testing agents on the population, while they continue to just say it’s no more than water vapor. If you are are still skeptical, do yourself a favor and watch this video of Rosalind Peterson, the president of Agriculture Defence Coalition, addressing the United Nations on using chemtrails, geoengineering, and weather modification: https://youtu.be/L5is16A8pfw.
There is also a leaked document from the U.S government literally said they are going to use said methods: (http://www.geoengineeringwatch.org/documents/19680002906_1968002906.pdf0
On March 12th, the U.S launched a long-anticipated 800 million dollar missile defense system in Romania, sparking international controversy. An additional system is currently being built in Poland, which is expected to become operational in 2018. The missile defense system, also known as the “Aegis ashore system”, will be operated by NATO, historically a coalition against the Soviet Union, and has already been certified for operations by Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. In the same address, the Secretary General also insisted that the system is purely for defense purposes. U.S officials say that is intended for defense specifically against “rogue states”, such as Iran.
The fortuitous timing of the defense system’s completion coincides with recent controversy over Russian aggression in Ukraine and Georgia, among other threatened bordering nations. In spite of these recent imbroglios, Russian officials have shifted the blame to the U.S, claiming that the missile defense system violates the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which was a bilateral agreement between the U.S and the USSR. In fact, there is no evidence that the Obama administration has any plans to challenge Russia in the immediate future; back in 2009, Obama canceled a similar Bush-era plan to station land-based interceptors in Poland and the Czech Republic. At the time, many members of NATO were concerned that the U.S had totally abandoned the missile defense project. It is speculated by experts that the Obama administration was in the process of trying to repair relations with Russia by signing an arms reduction treaty, also known as the “New START” treaty, thus signalling that the missile defense system truly was not directed towards it.
It seems that Russia was not convinced by Obama’s gesture of good faith, and has already responded by implementing a railroad-based missile system. Russia has also drawn support from Belarus, which pledges to aid Russia in countering NATO’s missile defense program. Belarus and Russia have already established a “union state” and continue to strengthen military ties. The Belarusian foreign minister simply recited concerns similar to those posed by the Russians, saying that NATO actions have only increased tensions.