Changes to “The Bush” at Millersville causes controversy

By Harrison Wallace

The Bush’s plowed land where the new dorms and parking lot will be constructed. (Photo by Harrison Wallace)

The Bush’s plowed land where the new dorms and parking lot will be constructed. (Photo by Harrison Wallace)

The Bush, a wooded plot between Creek Drive and Centennial Drive or between Pucillo gym and Millersville’s new student parking lot, has been used to help students learn, getting job experience in the field and, now,  a living area. Now, the future of this plot of land is the subject of some debate.

The university created new dorms and a parking lot next to the bush property, and within this caused a bit of plowed area for a drainage pond.

Some at the university are unhappy with the changes to this piece of land.

Robert T. Smith, dean of MU’s science and math departments, told LancasterOnline, “I wish we had known in detail what was going to happen.”

“We’re trying to channel our anger, not unleash it,” said Daniel Yokom, a biology professor at Millersville University, to a staff writer at LancasterOnline.  “I saw people weeping in the hallways when they heard the news.”

This is also the underlying anger with this new construction to the Bush which is that faculty, staff and students were not let in on the construction until after the decision was made.

“It was in the Bush where I learned about the invasive qualities of non-native plants and what types of removal and restoration techniques are best,” said Rebecca McCabe, a student at Millersville university.

Dr. Ken Miller, a retired biology professor from Millersville University, told LancasterOnline, “Taking field trips out here brought people together with the beautiful wildflowers in the spring.”

The biggest difference will be finding in ways to use the Bush for the biology classes.

“For the short term, the Bush has lost some species diversity, and it is likely that weedy, non-native plants will grow up in their place unless we actively manage and restore the Bush, but in the long term no major effects will occur,” said Dr. Chris Hardy, a botany professor at Millersville, in an email.

“We can monitor what begins to grow in newly formed edge habitats,” said Andrew Wolfgang, a student at Millersville university.

Another good reason to do this is for the student’s living arrangements.

“Well, the Bush was hurt because of construction of new dorms. The new dorms should attract new students to the university,” said Dr. Hardy.

Some students and faculty criticized the way the project was handled.

“So many departments and classes could have assisted with the design and planning, for example Aquatic Biology could have designed water infiltration methods from pervious surface to rain gardens,” said McCabe.

“There could have been a better way to do this,” Hardy said.

Music Fridays bring musicians to downtown Lancaster

By Elizabeth McIlhenney

Many people know about Lancaster’s First Friday, but what about Music Friday? On the third Friday of every month, the musicians of Lancaster County come out to the city and play on the sidewalks and street corners, or are hosted at select restaurants, stores and galleries.

A plethora of music styles are represented,  and with every turn, there is a new melody. Meandering the streets of Lancaster, walking down Gallery Row or maybe North Queen Street, one might hear a one man band on one street corner and a folk singer just down the way, with a vibrant sunset as a backdrop. During Music Friday, especially popular in the summer, people of all ages come to listen. Children accompanied by their parents play with the toy instruments set out by some musicians, and small crowds gather around to hear the artists’ music.

Next, stop by Building Character or Art and Glassworks. Art and Glassworks, for example, pays musicians to come and play in their courtyard, and opens their doors to the public for a free concert. One employee at Art and Glassworks, when asked about what she liked most about Music Friday, she said that she “liked to see the recurring faces.” This seems to be a common theme with Music Friday. People stop make sure to stop by and see their favorite musicians, and regular listeners are always greeted with a smile and a hello.

Another event, though not free, is the Signature Concert at Tellus360. This concernt features more acts, or special guests each Music Friday. Tickets are $10.

Partners and sponsors who make Music Friday is a long list, including the Mayor’s Office of Special Events, Music for Everyone, Series 42, Millersville University, and many more. On the the Mayor’s Office of Special Events website, www.lancastercityevents.com and the Music Friday link http://www.lancastercityevents.com/events/event-music-friday.asp there is more information about the events taking place in Music Friday, and some of the artists that are to play. The December Music Friday is set for December 20.

“The Walking Dead” contributes to zombie popularity

By Abbey Bailey

As long as you don’t live under a rock and have some sort of access to modern-day technology, you’ve probably heard of the “The Walking Dead.” The show is based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, who also writes the show. It is on AMC, which have brought you other hits such as “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men.”

The show is based around a Georgian sheriff, Rick Grimes, who falls into a coma due to an injury on the job and wakes up about three months into the zombie apocalypse. He survives by being locked inside his room; when he wakes up, he discovers the hospital graffitied, blood-spattered and utterly wrecked. One of the most iconic images of the show is the hospital doors that say “DON’T OPEN. DEAD INSIDE.” We see a pale, long-fingered zombie hand reach through the gap in the padlocked entryway towards Rick.

Season one is a mad scramble to stay alive, but seasons two and three build up an extensive plotline behind the “illness” that turns people into zombies, and how to keep protected, if it is even possible.

Currently in its fourth season, “The Walking Dead” has developed a large, almost cult-like following of obsessed viewers, myself included. After each episode, comedian Chris Hardwick does an hour-long segment called “Talking Dead” where cast and crew members of the show, celebrities and other superfans discuss the plot line and deeper meanings of that night’s episode.

Zombies have taken the place of vampires over the last couple years. People’s interest in zombies peaked in the summer of 2012 when reports came out of Miami, FL of a man mauling another man while on bath salts, a drug that has similar effects of cocaine and meth. The man was rumored to behave in a zombie-like manner, and this event got the public thinking about zombies and their behavior, or the possibility of a zombie apocalypse. Their increased popularity has resulted in movies like “World War Z” (June 2013) and video games like “Dead Rising 3” (November 2013) for Xbox One.

Penn Manor senior Caitlin Mahoney is a devoted follower of “The Walking Dead.” When asked why she loves the show so much, she said “It’s different from all of the other shows and movies about zombies. I like the way they presented the apocalypse. It gives the image of zombies a new perspective, and I think it helped to bring in a lot of new fans of the creatures.”

What would you do in the zombie apocalypse? Photographer Beth Cardwell of Lampeter-Strasburg is another avid “Walking Dead” fan and has a zombie survival kit her husband put together for her as a Christmas gift.

“I keep it in the front of my closet. This was put together as a zombie survival kit but it can also be useful in case of other emergencies,” says Cardwell. The supplies are pulled together in a handy waterproof backpack. It contains:

  1. hunting knife – it’s better to stab the zombies in the head. Gunshots attract them.

  2. tarp, duct tape, poly rope – for making shelters

  3. baseball bat

  4. waterproof matches and fire starter

  5. sewing kit

  6. MREs – made-ready meals

  7. solar powered radio + flashlight + phone charger – it gives your phone enough charge for one phone call

  8. first aid kit and handbook – because someone has to play doctor

  9. extra blanket, hand towels and bandana

  10. batteries

  11. face guard – because getting zombie guts on you is gross

The first three seasons of “The Walking Dead” are available on Netflix. The show is on every Sunday night at 9 on AMC. On October 29, the program was renewed for a fifth season.

Hunters prepare for rifle season opening

By Cameron Rebman

The annual rifle season opens in Pennsylvania on Monday. For many men and women that means taking off of work or school to go into the woods and wait for a big deer to walk by. Penn Manor School District will be closed for the day.

Every year rifle season is a big deal for many people in Pennsylvania. Killing a deer gives people a chance to provide food for their family and have plenty of it for a long time. Many people take deer hunting very seriously.

In order to hunt in Pennsylvania, potential hunters are required to pass a hunter’s safety course. To earn your hunter’s safety course, hunters must attend a class for a few hours throughout two days. In these classes an instructor teaches you about gun safety, common sense while you are in the woods and other important things you will need to know while you are hunting. At the end of the two days, you take a test to see if you passed the safety course.

You also need a license to hunt in Pennsylvania. When you have passed the hunting safety course, you are eligible to purchase a license. A hunting license is approximately $20 at stores such as Kmart, or Wal-Mart. You will need to purchase a hunting license every year.

Senior Connor Ream said that he is looking forward to rifle season this year.

‘’I’ve been hunting for six years now, and the biggest buck I’ve got is a nine-point buck, so I’ll be looking for a bigger one this year.’’

Shoppers plan for approaching Black Friday sales

By Wyatt Stoeckl

Wal-Mart which is open 24 hours a day, starts its Black Friday sales at 6 p.m. along with Best Buy on Thanksgiving Day. (photo credit: Elvert Barnes via photopin cc)

Wal-Mart which is open 24 hours a day, starts its Black Friday sales at 6 p.m. along with Best Buy on Thanksgiving Day. (photo credit: Elvert Barnes via photopin cc)

Probably one of the most well-known shopping days of the year is Black Friday, when people rush to shopping malls to get deals on gifts. About $59.1 billion was spent over Black Friday weekend in 2012 according to CNN, which was up from 2011 at $54.2 billion.

Senior Kelly St. John is going shopping this year to buy gifts for Christmas. Last year she said that it was very overwhelming because of all the people, but she found what she was looking for.

“It was worth the craziness because of all the good deals, but it was really crowded,” said St. John.

To other people Back Friday is just a form of entertainment.

“It is a unique experience that is more of a tradition than a means of acquiring Christmas gifts,” said Millersville resident Darron Young.

On the rare occasions that he does buy something, he usually finds what he is looking for.

Many stores are opening on Thanksgiving day this year. Kmart will be opening its doors at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving day. Toys R Us is opening at 5 p.m. which is three hours earlier than last year. Park City is opening their doors at 8 p.m. along with Bon-Ton, Kohls, OfficeMax, J.C. Penny, Rockvale Outlets, Sears and Staples. Tanger Outlets will open at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving day.

“Working in the retail business for five years, I know how busy it can get over holidays,” said Young. “I think stores opening at midnight gives enough time that it doesn’t take away from Thanksgiving and relaxing with friends and family.”

Thanksgiving weekend traditions vary

The Millersville Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day benefits families in the community by asking the competitors to donate two non-perishable items for the local food bank.

The Millersville Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day benefits families in the community by asking the competitors to donate two non-perishable items for the local food bank.

By Bart Huber

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend is right around the corner.

Nearly everyone has something going on Thanksgiving weekend, whether it’s going hunting, Black Friday shopping or just relaxing with family and friends and enjoying the weekend.

A popular Thanksgiving run called the Turkey Trot happens every year on Thanksgiving day in Millersville. It’s the 41st year of the Turkey Trot. It’s a 5K run/walk for all ages with registration starting at 7:15 a.m. The race begins at 9 a.m. Spectators and competitors are asked to donate two non-perishable items to the local food bank.

People go everywhere for Thanksgiving, near or far. Peter and Sophie Savage of Washington D.C. are traveling up to Lancaster County to have Thanksgiving with the in-laws. They talked about the morning of thanksgiving and how the boys of the family and their dad go out to shoot clay birds, while the women of the family help cook.

Eva and Marcus Benner of Millersville have already left for Maine to visit family, which is a 10-12 hour drive. They say that they will be eating a Thanksgiving meal with the Benner’s.

Amanda Herr of Solanco is going up to her aunt and uncle’s for Thanksgiving Day. Herr says she will be going to an annual football game called the Turkey Bowl at her church on Saturday.

After Thanksgiving Day people do an assortment of things, like Black Friday shopping or hunting on Monday, December 2, the opening day of rifle season.

For some Black Friday is the time where they get all their holiday shopping done, for others it’s a chance to get that great deal you can only get on Black Friday.

Blain Wissler of Hempfield is having cousins sleeping over Thursday night and will be going Black Friday shopping the next day.

The Monday after Thanksgiving, the Penn Manor School District has off and the first day of rifle season begins.

The Benner’s have always gone hunting on the first day of rifle season and this year will be no different.

The Herr’s are also going hunting Monday, as they always do. Herr describes this as her favorite part of the Thanksgiving break.

Tyler Groff of Penn Manor is an avid hunter, who is hunting Thanksgiving morning, Friday and Saturday for geese and small game. He will also be hunting Monday for the first opening day for deer rifle season.

Creative writers make difference at Penn Manor

By Steven A. Monserrate

The Creative Writing Club is one of the main influences on the  creative writing community at Penn Manor, providing students with a space to share ideas and improve their writing. Here, students in the Creative Writing Club work on a new prompt during the meeting on November 26. (Photo by Steven A. Monserrate)

The Creative Writing Club is one of the main influences on the creative writing community at Penn Manor, providing students with a space to share ideas and improve their writing. Here, students in the Creative Writing Club work on a new prompt during the meeting on November 26. (Photo by Steven A. Monserrate)

Many Penn Manor students are involved in a growing community, which organizes the writers of the school together to improve their writing.

These students participate in the Creative Writing Club, take a class or write in their free time.

They are having an impact at Penn Manor by supporting freedom of expression and providing an open atmosphere so that the students can say and write what they want, without judgement.

Junior Harrison Wallace became interested in writing because of his friends.

“In seventh grade, myself and two other friends started to write a story, it inspired me to keep on writing.” he said.

Wallace wants to go to IUP or Millersville to study script writing or cast directing, because it will help him understand the story and the characters and how the entire story relates to the audience.

Wallace commented on the creative writing community.

“I feel like they just express themselves and therefore we’ve had people open up about a lot of stuff.”

Junior Eliezer Griffis is also a member of the Creative Writing Club.

“I write because it’s relaxing… there’s so much in my mind, I need to put it down somewhere,” said Griffis.

Griffis said that he wants to write a book about the Navy, which he feels is overlooked by many today.

“There aren’t many books about the Navy. I want to be able to write a story about what the regular Navy does,” said Griffis. “It’s all about the Navy Seals, the Marines or the Army. The Navy deserves some credit.”

Griffis commented on the Creative Writing Club.

“[It is an ] inviting atmosphere, fun, yet mysterious because you never know what you are going to do.”

Like many, Griffis joined the club and will take the class not only to have a good time with his friends, but to learn more from the authors who are already involved with the community and to teach and share ideas with others.

Mrs. Mayo, an English teacher at Penn Manor, is the advisor of the Creative Writing Club.

“It started when a former student came to me the last day of school and said that there needed to be a creative writing club and that I needed to do it. I said that I didn’t have time but he said that I needed to make some.”

The club started the following year, and about twenty or so people attended. As word spread however, the club grew.

“It is bigger than I ever planned or expected, but everybody works so well… When I saw the amount of people who joined the club, I honestly thought that I’d have to do something about it, but I decided not to and it’s worked out pretty well.”

The club has a goal of helping the students think outside the box. With the talent that has been demonstrated by the students, we’re getting more open with expression, according to Mrs. Mayo.

“It’s amazing because everything that we do in club because I can say, ‘Let’s do this!’ and there’s no grade, no judgement, no complaints. We come in with some crazy ideas and sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t,” said Mrs. Mayo.

She also mentioned that the club has, “an atmosphere of absolutely no judgment, everyone can feel comfortable being themselves.”

Some of the club members post their works on Penn Manor Expressions, a site that allows students to post their writing where others can see it.

English teacher Mr. Scott Hertzog will teach creative writing this spring. The class is a place where people can come to write and get feedback while also getting a new learning experience on different forms of writing, including different types of poems, short stories, novels and novellas.

“When people come to creative writing class, they look for a way to express themselves through their writing.” Mr. Hertzog said. “What is interesting for me is that in creative writing, there’s almost no topic that I can’t write about — there’s really no limit.”

The class has students write frequently. Some of the writing styles are not easy, so practice is always emphasized.

“Some do it for the grade, but others want the piece to be the best that it can be,” Mr. Hertzog said.

Mr. Hertzog mentioned that the club and class are pretty well mixed, saying that out of the 22 or so students who will attend the class, about half of them are already involved with the club.

“I hope that the passion that the club members have will join with that of the classes attitude as well,” he said.

How soon is too soon for Christmas?

By Cassie Kreider

The tree and decorations at the center of Park City Mall. (Photo by Cassie Kreider)

The tree and decorations at the center of Park City Mall. (Photo by Cassie Kreider)

The turkeys meant for Thanksgiving dinner are still merrily unaware of their fates when the first wave of Christmas everything arrives. Flyers featuring children with exaggerated glee clutching fairies and action figures fill the Sunday paper’s ad section. Commercials highlighting the need for a Barbie Dreamhouse play over and over again on the television. But is all this holiday cheer coming too soon for some people?

It is true that the holiday season starts fairly soon, what with retailers showcasing the toys they believe will be their bestsellers this year and consumers scrambling to get the best bang for their buck. But this year the Christmas Creep seems to have set in especially early and with a late thanksgiving and earlier hours for Back Friday shoppers.

An article written for the Daily Finance says that the explosion of Christmas ads may be due to the fact that there is no presidential election this year.

“The presidential election served as a bulwark of sorts, holding the public’s attention and making it more expensive for retailers to run television ads in October. This year, retailers have free rein to take over the airwaves in the fall.”

Kimberly McMullen, an art teacher at Penn Manor High School, said that she definitely thinks Christmas is advertised for too early, but she also understands why companies feel compelled to do so.

“This is the money making season for many big name companies, but buying from local artists or local business’ can help the economy, it helps everyone.”

Christmas ads add weight to Lancaster's Sunday Newspaper. (Photo by Cassie Kreider)

Christmas ads add weight to Lancaster’s Sunday Newspaper. (Photo by Cassie Kreider)

McMullen believes that Christmas should, at the earliest, be advertised after Thanksgiving. She is bothered when she sees ads for the holiday season at the end of October.

She believes that today’s views of Christmas are, “totally skewed,” and considers the most important things about Christmas are, “family. Having everyone home for the holidays, and (partaking in) family traditions.”

“Yes. It (Christmas) isn’t about the stuff or getting the best deal and outdoing each other. No, it’s about loving and caring and showing compassion,” said Mrs. McMullen.

Senior Katie Myers showed obvious distaste at how early Christmas is advertised.

“It’s (the advertising) getting absurd. I mean kids are going to start wondering what Thanksgiving is…” Myers joked. “I think they shouldn’t advertise any earlier than the week before Thanksgiving; and all that should be advertised is Black Friday sales.

She went on to say that she personally loves ads for the holidays, and that she thinks herself a nerd because she loves getting the Sunday paper and looking through all the sales.

Comet football granted opportunity to play in Ireland

By Matt Tulli

Comet football could play here at Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland in August 2014.

Comet football could play here at Croke Park in Dublin, Ireland in August 2014.

Penn Manor will possibly be scheduled against Cedar Cliff next year, but the location of the game is not exactly where you would expect.

The Global Ireland Football Tournament (GIFT) has chosen 12 schools across the country to play a game overseas at Croke Park Stadium in Dublin, Ireland, and Penn Manor is one of those 12.

Last year, seven high school football teams, two Canadian high school teams, two Division III college teams and a United Kingdom All-Star team all participated in GIFT. GIFT has produced over 100 games in 20  countries since 1996. Last year, it produced games in Italy, Mexico, Finland, Greece, Panama and France.

American Football has gained popularity in the British Isles over the past few years — the NFL has had an annual game in England every year since 2007, and Ireland hosted an NCAA game in 2012 featuring Notre Dame and Navy. Next year, Penn State will play Central Florida at Croke Park on August 30.

GIFT started talking with Cedar Cliff because of that team’s relationships with Penn State, like freshman tight end Adam Breneman who played at Cedar Cliff, and Scott Lackey, the Cedar Cliff defensive coordinator and former Penn Manor coach.

Penn Manor was chosen because of its recent success (winning percentage of 70 percent and 55 All-Section 1 All Stars). Also, Penn Manor and Cedar Cliff squared off in the District Three AAAA playoff in 2012, with Penn Manor coming out victorious 43-10.

One important factor will be raising the money to travel to Ireland.

“The cost is about $3,400  per player/coach,” said Athletic Director Jeff Roth. “And none of the money would come through Penn Manor School District.”

The funds will be raised by events like a chicken BBQ, raffles and a Cadillac dinner.

The cost for a family member or friend to attend is $3,499 . The funding that the teams come up with will be used to fund airfare, accommodations, tours and a ticket to the Penn State-Central Florida matchup. Alumni and supporters of the high schools would also be able to travel with the teams if they purchased a ticket.

The trip will last from Tuesday, August 26 until the departure on Sunday, August 31.

Roth said that all varsity and junior varsity players who “commit to trip, help raise funds, and stay committed through the spring and summer will be able to attend.”

The projected roster is roughly 50 players, 12 coaches (varsity, JV and freshmen), a trainer, an equipment manager and a webcaster. That will probably be about 75 players and coaches. It will be all current freshman, sophomores and juniors.

Rumors of drug targeting children found to be false

Although there have been many Facebook warnings about a form of meth that resembles pop rocks, those rumors have been found to be false.  photo credit: Super Cuppett via photopin cc

Although there have been many Facebook warnings about a form of meth that resembles pop rocks, those rumors have been found to be false.
photo credit: Super Cuppett via photopin cc

By Sarah Sanchez

A type of methamphetamine called Strawberry Quik, is a drug that many claim is targeted at children. Nakedsecurity.sophos.com claims that many say the drug looks like pop rocks and tastes like strawberries. The story is so catching that it has been spread across Facebook recently. The website shares that Facebook users are sharing warnings about this strawberry-flavored crystal meth.

A writer for the NakedSecurity website, Grahm Cluley stated, “The message, which is sometimes distributed with an image of what appears to be pink- coloured crystallized methamphetamine, claims that children are being targeted with drugs that taste of strawberries.”

Strawberry Quik has been a drug scare since 2007. Drug dealers were said to be disguising meth coloring and flavoring to make it more appealing to children. The case was widely spread throughout the media but no cases of children using flavored meth have been verified.

Donna Leinwand of USA Today reported candy-flavored meth stirring concern among police and abuse prevention experts because they believe drug dealers might be marketing this drug to younger people.

Webarticlesrus.com concluded that these rumors are false. They found that the story about ‘strawberry quik’ is a hoax. The website states that the Drug Enforcement Agency public affairs officer, Barbara Wetherell, has found no evidence to substantiate that Strawberry Quik or any other form of flavored meth exists.

The website also shows that in March 2007, the DEA announced it received reports of drug traffickers offering candy-flavored meth for sale in western and midwestern states from california to Minnesota in the form of colorful crystals resembling pop rocks.

As of June 2007, experts confirmed that local drug enforcement agencies may have confused samples of colored meth as a flavored variety of this drug.