Friday, April 15, 2016

The Week of 4/11/16 in a Glance

Hello Everyone,
First, if you read our last post and you were confused, we hope you realize that it was actually an "april fools" post. This week, our four pieces are all real, even Rose's (Some of us didn't even believe that one at first) Next, we want you to remember that we love suggestions on what to write about! Email us at with any topics you want to learn about. We hope you enjoy this week's glance.
-The 'Glance editors

Equal Pay Day
By Maddy Art

         I wish that, with a title like this, I could be writing an uplifting post about how women miraculously will now be getting paid equally to men. Nope. Tuesday, April 12 was equal pay day, the day that marked the amount of time that it took into 2016 for women to make the same amount of money that men made in 2015. To clarify, that means that it took women fifteen and a half months to earn what men made in twelve. Hooray. Although the gender pay gap has been reduced in the past decades, the average woman still earns just 79 cents for every dollar earned by a man. Moreover, the gap increases when you take data focusing on women of color, particularly black and Latina women. So, how can this be legal? Well, it technically violates the Equal Pay Act of 1963 for women to be paid less than men for similar work, but due to abundant loopholes, it still happens customarily. In 2014, legislation to attempt to reduce the gap came a few votes short of passing. While paychecks are certainly not the only means of measuring gender equality, Equal Pay Day is a good reminder that there is still a ways to go for women to be treated equally to men.

The Breakthrough Starshot Project
By Rose Gotlieb

Let’s just say that the russian billionaire Yuri Milner really wants to find E.T. Last year, he invested 100 mil - a lot more than Kim Kardashian’s engagement ring - in the effort to look into the skies for extra-terrestrial activity. This year, he’s decided to take a 25.6 trillion mile step further by sending a bunch of tiny spacecrafts to the closest star system, Alpha Centauri.
Won’t that take about a trillion years? With the help of genius Stephen Hawking, Milner proposes an entire fleet of postage-stamp-sized spacecrafts with meter-wide sails to fly out. Because of their small size, they would travel faster - with the help of a laser beam sent from Earth. Ever seen Doctor Who? It’s pretty much that. They would move about one-fifth the speed of light and reach their destination in 20 years.
What’s the catch? $5-10...billion. But if anyone can do it, Stephen Hawking can.

Religious Freedom or Discrimination?
By Owen Tucker-Smith

This past Thursday, Mississippi’s governor signed a religious freedom bill that quickly became controversial. The “freedom” bill gave businesses the option to not serve members of the LGBT community because of their religious beliefs. A lot of this kind of action has been happening recently, though. This isn’t a first.

What? Recently North Carolina passed a bill that stated that local governments didn’t have the power to pass any sort of anti-discrimination laws. It also made transgender citizens use the bathroom of their biological sex, not of their preference. After this law was passed there was also huge controversy, even from large businesses. For instance, PayPal, an online payment company, was planning on opening a center in North Carolina. Plan scratched. PayPal didn’t want to be located in a place of such discrimination.

What’s this new bill? The governor claimed that the bill was passed to expand religious freedom after it had been minimized last year (when the supreme court allowed gay and lesbian couples to be married). Key word: marriage. Because the law was passed, gay and lesbian citizens can be denied services such as marriage licenses, wedding venues, or even flowers for their wedding because of the person’s religious beliefs. They can also be denied of other services such as housing, and business.

How do people feel? As you would expect. There’s been protesting. Lots of protesting. Some think that this bill does really protect people's’ religious rights, some think it doesn’t. Many, like us, believe that laws like this are just ways to slowly pick away at the progress that we made last year when the supreme court passed their law. Every bill that is made like this one and North Carolina’s is just another form of discrimination. A large step backwards.

Another Update on the Zika Virus
By Owen Tucker-Smith

We’ve talked about the Zika virus before. It is that mosquito born disease that gave joint pain, rashes fever, and was dangerous for pregnant women as it was connected to birth defects. The CDC has acted on it as much as they could, but recently the virus has been spreading extremely fast, through the Caribbean, Latin America, and finally the US. The first sign of the disease  in the US was in Texas, and it was passed not from a bug, but by sex (we’ve attached an article about it, 2nd one down) The virus has spread through many states. Recently the not-so-magic number was 12. Now the CDC has announced that it is present in 30 states, a more than double increase. And there’s more bad news. We thought that the virus was a large threat mainly to pregnant women, but scientists in Brazil say no. They have found that the virus may be linked in some way to a brain disorder, which opens up the field to all adults

Friday, April 1, 2016

The Week of 13/32/17 in a Glance

Hey Guys,
We hope you've been enjoying the weather. And excited for that snow day. We've got some boring stuff for you guys to read. Because honestly, who cares about the news? In our opinion, if it doesn't directly effect us, we don't care. So you're probably better off if you spend your time instagraming.
-The 'Glance Editors

Snapchat: Disappearing?
By Maddy Art

      Are you one of the approximate 100 million people who send photos daily though the app Snapchat? If so, you unfortunately may soon lose all of your streaks. As you may know, Snapchat released an update earlier this week introducing somewhat major changes. For example, the stories of your friends play automatically, one after another. That is all fine, but the issue comes into play with the new stickers that you can now send in the chat feature. A small company based in Philadelphia is supposedly suing the popular social media platform, because many of the doodles on these digital images were apparently taken from their website without proper permission. If they win the lawsuit, which is looking likely, Snapchat will not only have to pay a hefty fee, but will either be required to completely reboot the app and its users, or get rid of the app altogether. This could be the end of Snapchat’s story.

Sprucing up the Spruces
By Rose Gotlieb

For a while now, Williamstown has been debating on what to do with the area that was formerly the Spruces Mobile Home Park. As you may know, a few years ago a river flooded and caused big problems at the Spruces. However, the Williamstown Selectmen have finally made a decision on what to do with the area after an interesting proposal was made to them last week.
What proposal? Six Flags, the amusement park, has noticed that many people from Bennington, North Adams, Lanesborough, Williamstown, and other nearby towns and cities have been going to Six Flags, and they think it would be profitable for them if they had a location nearer to our towns. They saw that the Spruces was “up for grabs” and they offered an undisclosed amount of money for it. In addition to the money that they are paying for it, they would also be able to make the river less of an issue, making it safer for the people of Williamstown.
Was this put to vote? No, actually. Because of the 28th amendment, which says that as large company businesses (which includes amusement parks) can build what they want on land they buy as long as they pay their high taxes, the town didn’t get a say.
What are they going to do? Well, if you’ve been to Six Flags, you’ll have a basic idea. It is going to be a full-blown amusement park, with rides, cotton candy, and “much more”. Among the plans that they’ve released, they showed a roller coaster that offers a panoramic view of the purple mountains called the “Greylock Lightning”. They are also planning on painting the stately lions at the front of the park gold. April Fools, in case you didn’t notice. The first two sentences were true - the rest definitely weren’t.

The New Mount Greylock: Top 10 Things to Know
By Owen Tucker-Smith

On March 15th, the Mt. Greylock building project was approved in Lanesborough. It had been approved in Williamstown on March 1st. Now that we are getting a new building, some people are wondering about the details. Some decisions have been made, and we have established a list of the top ten most important things about the new building.

10: No vending machines, maybe a Starbucks to replace them.
Apparently now the vending machines aren’t giving the school enough money for what they are worth. So the school is considering replacing them with a more profitable option, a Starbucks right outside the lunchroom

9: No paper
YES (Youth Environmental Squad) has won. Greylock is going green. All paper will be replaced with dry erase boards that ARE THE DESKS. Yes, the desk tops are whiteboards.

8: No bells
This past September, 3 students and 1 teacher died from either shock or ear infection after “being surprised by the bells.” For this reason, the school has decided to take away the bell schedule for the new school. Teachers will release students when the lesson is over.

7: Strict internet blocking system
Many websites and apps will be blocked in the new building, including snapchat (if it exists) instagram, twitter, facebook, wikipedia, sparknotes, candy crush, and all pizza ordering websites, which have become recently very popular in class among juniors and seniors.

6: Uniform
There will be a school uniform. This uniform for boys will be a red tux, and for girls will be a red dress. This is due to many teachers complaining that they could not concentrate on teaching when students were so informally dressed.

5: The band room will be on a separate premise
Miles and miles away. Recently, administrators in the main office have passed out and developed ear infections due to listening to the blasting sound of the middle and high school blands. It is just too loud to be anywhere near other humans.

4: We’re going solar!
And YES strikes again. This is sort of self explanatory. When it is dark out, or cloudy, classes will be forced to watch a movie as they cannot see the teacher’s lesson.

3: No books
That’s right, everything will be done on ipads. This is due to students’ shoulders actually falling off because of the heavy weight of textbooks in their backpacks. The library will be replaced most likely with an apple store.

2: Art will be replaced by karate
The school has decided that karate is much more useful for students considering possible zombie apocalypses in the future (Last year some students after playing to much Black Ops decided to try to start a zombie apocalypse by walking around with their hands sticking out.) When will art help in a zombie attack on the school?

1: No teachers
Teachers take money to have. They are too expensive, apparently. In the new building, there will be robots standing at the front of the room with ipads standing as their heads, playing Khan Academy videos. It is much more cost efficient.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Week of 3/21 in a Glance

Hello all! Hope everybody has a wonderful Easter, if you celebrate!

By Maddy Art

    For the first time in eight-eight years, the president of the United States has taken a trip to Cuba. Why is this a big deal? Well, the United States has historically had a rocky relationship with Cuba. Issue the countries have had with each other include differences of opinion on human rights, the USSR docking missiles on the island, which appeared as a threat to the United States, and persistent communism. Due to these and other reasons, a trade embargo was set on Cuba in 1996. A trade embargo limits or restricts commerce with the country. Recently, the countries have once again begun to share diplomatic relations, the US has reopened its embassy in Cuba, and travel restrictions have lessened. By taking this trip, Obama is hoping to get the message across that the trade embargo is overkill.

Water Hearing
By Owen Tucker-Smith

This past week, EPA head chief Gina McCarthy and Michigan governor Rick Snyder played the blame game as they sat in court. They were at a hearing for that mess that happened in Flint a little while ago.

What mess? A while back, Flint’s water supply was switched from Detroit’s supply the Flint river for financial reasons. It was supposed to be beneficial as it would cut costs. It might’ve cut costs, but it wasn’t beneficial. The river has high amounts of iron, and children tested in Flint had doubling levels of lead in their blood. (Hint, hint, we wrote a post on all this, 2nd one down.) The problem was, nobody noticed enough, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the governor didn’t act on the issue soon enough, and that is where this hearing comes in.

What did they say? McCarthy from the EPA wouldn’t apologize, saying that the EPA wasn’t at the helm of the ship in terms of the water when the crisis occurred, state management was in charge. She said that it was the state officials that didn’t require that the water be tested. Snyder also blamed officials, but ones at the Michigan department of Environmental Quality. He said that they were telling him that the water was safe. So it was “a miscommunication issue.”

The result? Lawmakers didn’t care about who the two blamed. Many said that the governor should have pushed against the state officials, and the EPA should have acted more strongly and taken a larger role. Lawmakers asked both to resign. They didn’t.

At a glance: These two really messed up, and they are truly not taking enough blame for themselves. Cue steady waves of criticism flowing into their mailboxes.

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Week of 3/14 in a Glance

Hello everybody! Hope everybody is doing well. In addition to this week’s news, we would like to notify you all that Lanesborough approved the school building project! It won with 55.9% of the vote. So, we will be getting a new building! Thank you for reading, and remember to comment and remind your friends to read as well.

North Korea
By Rose Gotlieb

This week in Pyongyang, North Korea, a 21-year-old American tourist was sentenced to fifteen years in prison with hard labor.
Why? Apparently, the tourist attempted to steal a propaganda banner from his hotel. When North Korea asked him why, he said that it was a trophy for his friend’s mother, and she wanted to hang it up in her church. He also said she offered a used car worth $10,000 dollars to him for it, and if he didn’t make it back, his mother would get 200,000 dollars. Apparently, he needed the money.
And anything else we should know? Well, tensions have been high between
North Korea and the US ever since North Korea tested its nuclear bomb in the winter. So this is just another drop in the bucket.

Ankara News
By Maddy Art

    On Sunday, March 13, a car bomb attack in the capital of Turkey caused considerable damage. At least 37 people were killed and over 100 more were injured. It is likely that this is the workings of Kurdish separatists, either from Turkey or Syria. Turkish Kurds have been fighting to become independant from the country for decades, and this often leads to violence. For example, the Turkish government suspects that a separate attack last month in Ankara was also the fault of a Kurdish group. Not only has the Turkish government had issue with Kurds in their own country, but they are now encountering problems with Kurds in Syria, which is directly south of Turkey. To further complicate matters, both Syrian Kurds and Turkey are helping the United States in various ways in the fight against ISIS. Because Turkey is having issues with both ISIS and Kurdish rebels, it puts them in a rough position.

The Pinky Promise
By Owen Tucker-Smith

Two days ago, Obama started to play congress’ minds. He nominated a new judge to the supreme court, and basically dared them to turn him down like they said they would to anyone that Obama nominated.

Back up... A little while ago, a judge from the supreme court died. His name was Antonin Scalia (We wrote an article about his death a little while ago) Of the supreme court justices, Scalia was the super conservative one, so to keep the court in the same balance as it was, another super conservative candidate would need to be elected. And these judges aren’t picked for four or eight years, like the president. They serve for life, so this is an important decision. Here’s the way new justices are brought by into the court: the president nominates them, and then congress either approves them or rejects them. The thing is, congress is currently run by republicans. So they made a pinky promise to reject whoever Obama picks. Why? Because maybe a republican will be elected president and they will nominate someone that congress really likes! But now, Obama is forcing Congress to think about that pinky promise...

Who did he nominate? Obama nominated Merrick Garland. Who is this guy? Well, he is the highest judge in the court of appeals in DC. So, he has experience. But the more important part is that he is known for being loved by everyone; he is pretty moderate, and both sides of the aisle kind of like him. So Obama’s thinking is that Garland, because he is known for appealing to everyone, might get in the way of Congress’s pinky promise and make them think twice.

So how are they responding? Pinky promises are stronger than you may think. After Obama dared them to turn down such a good nominee, they leaned back towards their vow to block Obama’s nominees. But people do break away from the crowd, and with a nominee like Garland, this is not unlikely to happen. But congress is still trying as hard as they can to keep their promise, even with this hard psychological element on hand.  

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Week of 2/29 in a Glance

Hi all! Hope this news makes everybody's week more interesting! Middle schoolers - don't forget that you can email us with questions or suggestions.

Super Tuesday
By Rose Gotlieb

This Tuesday, not only did Williamstown vote on the new school, (which was approved), but Massachusetts and other states voted on something much bigger on the National scale. Here’s who won which states:
Donald Trump - Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia. He now has 319 delegates.
Ted Cruz - Alaska, Oklahoma, Texas. He now has 226 delegates.
Marco Rubio - Minnesota. He now has 110 delegates.
John Kasich - 0. He now has 25 delegates.
Ben Carson - 0. He now has 8 delegates.

Hillary Clinton - Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia. She now has 1052 delegates.
Bernie Sanders - Colorado, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Vermont. He now has 427 delegates.
To win their party’s nomination, Republicans must have a total of 1,237 delegates. Democrats need 2,382 delegates.

A Supremely Powerful Decision
By Maddy Art

             Do you remember two decades ago? Me neither, but America remembers it as the last major case that the Supreme Court heard on abortion. That is about to change. On Wednesday March 2, the Supreme Court heard a case about a controversial Texas law. This law requires all abortion clinics to be in hospital conditions. While this sounds like a good thing, opposers are saying that the laws do not actually provide aid to women's health in any way, shape, or form. On the contrary, the law only makes it much harder for women who are in need of an abortion to have access to one. The Supreme Court has ruled in the past that abortions are legal in all 50 states, so that is not up for debate. However, laws like these make abortion clinics much more scarce. Defenders of this law claim that they are in favor of it because it is beneficial to women's health, but speculation has occurred as to whether those opposed are really just opposed because they would like as few abortion clinics as possible. Another complication: the Supreme Court currently consists of only eight justices (as opposed to nine), due to the recent  death of the very conservative Justice Scalia. Having an even number of justices means that an even split is entirely possible, and in this case, probable. A decision will likely be made by June. Here is yet another instance of a primarily male panel making decisions about women's reproductive rights. Yay.

If you are unsure of what an abortion is, click here.

Go Leo!
By Owen Tucker-Smith

This past Sunday, the academy brought the best of the filming industry to Hollywood to see who was the best. Among the top issues in this year’s academy awards were diversity and Leonardo Di Caprio.

What about diversity? This year, no Black actors were nominated for an academy award. With events going on around the country, this timing isn’t so great. Many people decided that the academy was racist for their choices of nominees. But this isn’t the first year for this to happen. Last year, of the 4 actor categories and 20 nominees, none of them were black. Protesters on social media used the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, but that just turned into #OscarsStillSoWhite. And the emcee was Chris Rock, a Black comedian. And in his opening monologue, he really stepped out there. He spared no one, criticizing both sides. After talking about the “liberals” who “don’t hire black people,” he got right to the point, asking, “Is Hollywood racist? You’re damn right Hollywood is racist.” But it wasn’t that simple. He also criticised the protesters who had started boycotting the Oscars, like Jada Pinkett Smith. Rock was harsh, at a time that this harshness was appreciated.

Who won? Well the only person that really won was our Leonardo DiCaprio. He got a standing ovation, because people were thinking, finally! This was Leo’s sixth nomination, but first win at the Academy Awards! He won best actor for The Revenant. Best Picture went to Spotlight, a film about investigations of priests molesting young boys. Spotlight also got the award for Best Original Screenplay. Brie Larson one Best Actress for her role in Room. Other award winners were:

  • Mark Rylance, Best Supporting Actor, Bridge of Spies
  • Alicia Vikander, Best Supporting Actress, The Danish Girl
  • Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Best Director, The Revenant
  • Writing’s on the Wall, Best Original Song, Sam Smith
  • Inside Out, Best Animated Feature Film
  • Amy, Best Documentary Feature
  • The Hateful Eight, Best Original Music Score
To get a full list of Oscar winners, click here

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.