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Very Super Tuesday
By Owen Tucker-Smith
On Tuesday, March 1st, your parents will go and vote for either one of the republican candidates or one of the democratic candidates in the 2016 Massachusetts Primary. Its called Super Tuesday because many states vote on that day. But for Williamstown residents, it's even more super. They vote to OK the upcoming building project. Lanesboro votes for the project on March 15th.
Back up... The MGRHS proposed building project has been out for a while now. The project would both renovate and build new things, Building new classrooms, which would be put on the three floors seen below, and renovating the front of the school. If you did not attend the preview meeting at MG, here is a snapshot of the design:
|Plan for the proposed building project|
The project would in all cost 64.8 million dollars, With the payments split between the two towns, Williamstown and Lanesborough. (Lanesborough giving about $10.6M and Williamstown giving about $22.3M. The rest of the price of the building project would be covered by the MSBA, or the Massachusetts School Building Authority. Below we have listed some reasons that people are for or against the project:
- The people against the building project are mainly led by two Lanesborough selectmen, who argue that
- Williamstown is not paying their fair share
- Williams College is not paying their fair share
- And they above all are against the tax increase that would occur if the building project went forward. Iberkshires states that “If approved, the project would add between $353 and $393 to the tax bill of an average home in Lanesborough. It would add $505 and $750 per year on an average tax bill in Williamstown.”
- Mount Greylock as a building is, as you probably know, not in great condition. It has problems such as:
- Oversized structure
- non-code fire alarm systems
- dysfunctional heating systems
- non code security and air quality
- hazardous materials
- In addition, it is true that Williams did pay 5 million dollars, a lot, towards the project. Supporters think that the two Lanesborough selectmen shouldn’t be complaining about this.
- As for the taxes, supporters point out that if we don’t make this building, we will still need to do repairs, and the MSBA won’t fund those repairs! So taxes will still be higher.
Last week, Lanesborough sent out a survey that asked town residents about their opinions. The results of the survey stated that 49% of takers didn’t support the project, 42% did, and the rest said none of the above or didn’t answer the question. However, many people question the reliability of this survey. And many think that this survey is a chance for supporters to take a voice to try to convince others.
So there you have it. There’s what people are arguing for. It’s not that simple, though. An official summary report on the MG building project can be found here, and the website of the MG project can be found here.
What do I think? I think we need this project. We need a new school, with the condition that it is in now, and we are being given a great chance by the MSBA that we need to take. Who knows what will happen to the district if this project doesn’t go through. I say it is time to build a new school, and that starts this Tuesday.
By Maddy Art
As you know, the 2016 election season is in full swing. So far, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina for Republicans have all had their primary or caucus. For an explanation of a caucus and a more in depth description of the Iowa caucuses, click here. The Democratic primaries in South Carolina are on Saturday, and then twelve states and one territory will vote on Super Tuesday: March 1st. Here is a list of the winners from the primaries and caucuses that have already occurred.
by Rose Gotlieb
Recently, Supreme Court Judge Justice Antonin Scalia passed away of natural causes at age 79. Now that Scalia is gone, there’s going to be a showdown between the parties, and it isn’t going to be pretty. Since Supreme Court Justices have the job for life, it’s very important whether the judge is Republican or Democrat.
So who gets to appoint the new judge? The president - who, at the moment, is Obama. The problem is, whoever he picks has to be approved by the Congress - and they don’t like Obama much. They’ve said they’re going to block anyone - no matter how qualified they are - that Obama chooses, and wait until the next president is elected, who they hope will be Republican. Obama is reportedly gunning for Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, who he hopes will appease both parties. We’ll see.
by Rose Gotlieb
You may remember hearing about a terror attack in San Bernardino, California last year that killed 14 people. While investigating the case, the FBI found one of the shooter’s iphones. They want to break into it.
Can’t they just ask Apple to open it? It’s not that simple. As part of Apple’s whole security thing, they can’t actually unlock their own iPhones. But the FBI still wants Apple to unlock it by making a special new operating that allows them to. A judge ruled in favor of the FBI. However, Apple still refuses, saying that it would compromise customer privacy and if it fell into the wrong hands, it could be disastrous.
Because basically nothing can happen without dear old Donald being mentioned, I feel obligated to mention that the Trump has called for a boycott on Apple.
Uber Scary News
By Maddy Art
On Saturday evening, Jason Dalton went on a shooting spree in Kalamazoo, Michigan and killed six people. Dalton was a driver for Uber, a taxi service in which cars are summoned using their app. Dalton had passed the background checks for Uber drivers, and sources say that this violence was shocking coming from Dalton. The first shooting was around 5:45 pm, and they continued for around seven hours after that. He picked up and required fares from customers in between shootings. Among those dead and injured are Tyler and Richard Smith, father and son who were shot dead at a car dealership, and a 14 year old girl who was shot in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel. Although originally thought to be dead, she is now alive and in critical condition. Police took Dalton into custody later that night, but authorities feel confident that more deaths would have occurred had he been left longer. The motive of Dalton is unknown, but it is suspected that the killings were deliberate.