Friday, February 26, 2016

The Week of 2/22/16 in a Glance

Hi Everybody! We hope all of you had fantastic February breaks, and that you are all getting back into the swing of school again. Lots has been happening lately, and we have captured these events in five new pieces for you. We hope you enjoy them!

Thanks for reading,
the 'Glance editors

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:

Proposed Schematic Design.jpg
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.

Election Update
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.

*Clinton: 49.9%
Sanders: 49.6%
*Cruz: 27.6%
Trump: 24.3%
Rubio: 23.1%
Carson: 9.3%
Kasich: 1.9%
*Sanders: 60.4%
Clinton: 38.0%
*Trump: 35.3%
Kasich: 15.8%
Cruz: 11.7%
Rubio: 10.6%
Carson: 2.3%
*Clinton: 52.6%
Sanders: 47.3%
*Trump: 45.9%
Rubio: 23.9%
Cruz: 21.4%
Carson: 4.8%
Kasich: 3.6%
*Trump: 32.5%
Rubio: 22.5%
Cruz: 22.3%
Kasich: 7.6%
Carson: 7.2%

The Judge
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.

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Week of 2/1/16 in a Glance

Hi Everyone! Hope you all are getting excited for February break, happy about the "snow" that fell today, and most importantly, that we have officially entered election season! We've got three articles as well as an update following up on an article from our last post this week. Read, comment, and enjoy!

- The Glance editors

Clinton Nearly Trumped, Trump Was
By Maddy Art
Monday night, the Iowa caucuses occurred. Iowa is one of thirteen states that opts to use caucuses, rather than primaries, to elect their party’s representative. Now, what the heck is a caucus, you wonder (as I did three weeks ago). Caucuses can not easily be put simply, but I will attempt. Both caucuses and primaries usually take place in public spaces (schools, churches, town halls) that are accessible to be utilized for this purpose. Primaries are essentially just secret ballot elections where members from each party vote for who they want their party’s presidential candidate to be. However, caucuses work differently for Democrats and Republicans. Republican caucuses are quite simple: voters write the name of the candidate who they want to win on a slip of paper. On the other hand, Democratic caucuses are not done by secret ballot. Essentially, voters stand in the section of the room dedicated to their candidate of choice. Whichever section has the most voters wins that precinct (individual caucus). If a candidate does not receive at least 15% of voters at any given precinct, their voters must join another candidate’s section. This is where it can get uncomfortable, as voters can (and do) attempt to persuade their friends, neighbors, and colleagues whose section to join. It seems as if, if you live in one of the thirteen caucusing states, peer pressure lives on after your teenage years.
So on Monday, Cruz beat out Trump 27.7% to 24.3% for the Republicans. Meanwhile, the Democratic caucus had some more drama. Clinton ended up winning by only 0.3%! Sanders finished with a total of 49.6%, and Clinton had 49.9%. (I know that math doesn’t add up, and I believe rounding may be to blame for that.) The Democratic results were so close that the winner wasn’t decided for a while after the caucus itself. In the meantime, Clinton thought she had one and gave a speech thanking voters for her victory. Her win had not yet been announced at the time of the speech. The closeness of the race for the Democrats shows that Bernie is doing better than predicted. Feel the Bern.
The next state to determine its choice representative with be New Hampshire, with a primary on February 9.

This Week in Terrorism: Syria and Nigeria
By Owen Tucker-Smith
Two important terrorist attacks occurred this week, one in Syria and one in Nigeria. We will explain what happened in both them.
This past weekend a triple bombing occurred near Syria’s capital in the suburbs. The result? Dozens and dozens of people were killed. Bad timing? Really bad timing. The bombings occurred right as peace was supposedly going to spread. Peace that was supposed to end the Syrian civil War.
Back up, please... If you have been reading the Glance, you probably know about the Syrian civil war. It is a civil war that has been going on for five years in Syria, President Assad versus many rebels that are trying to get rid of him. Throughout the war over a quarter million people have been killed. And ISIS, as we have said before, thrives in war struck places. They have gained more and more power as the war has gone on. We, (the US) and some other countries are on the side of the rebels while Russia and Iran are on the president’s side. And ISIS is just another big enemy floating around. Now that everyone just wants ISIS out, there is a slightly larger chance that peace could be made.
So what exactly happened? The UN was trying to lead a peace talk to end the civil war. The last time they did this, in 2014, it didn’t go as planned. It failed. This was “take two.” But ISIS Didn’t want peace, so naturally, they bombed Syria. Like peace wasn’t already hard enough to make. ISIS just keeps getting in people's’ ways.
Over the weekend, Boko Haram struck again, attacking Northeast Nigeria and killing many children and adults alike. The president’s promise he would keep the country under control? Promise broke.
Who are Boko Haram? Boko Haram is a terrorist group, an Islamic Extremist one specifically, which is a group that promotes violence to follow specific styles of Islam. Do you remember two years ago when terrorists kidnapped over 200 girls? That was them. Boko Haram has been killing and killing in Nigeria. Tens of thousands are dead because of them.
The attack? A while ago a president was kicked out of office in Nigeria and a new one was elected, on who “promised to get things under control.” This didn’t happen. Boko Haram killed at least 86 people, many of them being children. The protective forces were under armed, and backup didn’t come for hours. Looks like the president didn’t keep his promise...

Update: The Ziki Virus
By Owen Tucker-Smith

If you read Maddy’s entry the other week, you know about the Zika virus, a mosquito born disease. It has been traveling faster and faster as time goes on. Recently, the World Health Organization decided to declare it a global public health emergency. They better stop it quick, because Brazil, where the virus is thriving, is hosting the olympics this Summer. If you’ve read our article about the Rio olympics, you know what bad shape Rio’s in to host. This just adds to that pile. And by the way, the virus is officially on this country. But don’t panic, it was in Texas. The really important part is that the victim was not bitten by a mosquito. The virus was passed through sex, which marks the first time someone has gotten it not from one of those nasty little bugs.

No, Not “Breakfast”
By Rose Gotlieb

So… scrambled eggs? Ha. I said Brexit. That is the official term for the UK exiting the EU. In case you didn’t know, the EU (The European Union) is 28 countries, including UK that works together on stuff like international trade and negotiation. The EU kind of needs the UK to be part of their clubhouse, because the UK - (England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland) - has a big economy. The UK, however, kind of wants out.
Why doesn’t the UK like the EU? Basically, they think the EU is ruining their chances. At everything. They think the membership card cost is way too high - billions of pounds a year, and not much in return. They don’t agree with all the clubhouse rules, either - they think there are too many rules on business. They want their borders back, too, and want to lower the amount of people going to the UK to work. They say they don’t want to become the “United States of Europe”. (Are you insulted or what?)
Does everyone want to split? Nope. They’re about halfway split - some people want to just chill out. They think that the EU makes trade easier and that all the immigrants help economic growth. They also think that Britian’s social status will be hurt if they’ve got no friends to sit with at the lunch table.
Are they breaking up the band then? Well… not exactly. Nobody can agree. So they’re going to do it the classic way - a show of hands. Who can vote? Anyone over 18 who are British, Irish or Commonwealth citizens and who reside in the UK, along with UK citizens who have lived in a different country for less than fifteen years. Members of the House of Lords and Commonwealth citizens in Gibraltar will be eligible, but citizens from EU countries besides Ireland, Malta, and Cyprus, will be excluded.