Friday, March 29, 2019

The Beauty of Musical Theater

By: Emily R Young

As winter sports come to a close, the weather becomes warmer and the spring activities commence. Throughout this transition, the musical theater department is still in the process of perfecting it’s craft: from memorizing lines and cues, fixing lighting, sharpening dance moves, correctly placing set pieces, delivering strong acting and more, musical theater kids don’t get enough credit.
The phrase “musical theater kid” does not strictly apply to those acting on stage- it includes the crew that works tirelessly behind the scenes. No matter if someone is an actor or crew member, each individual contributes to a larger whole- a family that puts on one big show. As Julia Dieffenbach stated, “it really is a tight-knit group”. Nick Cobb, who has been a crew member for 2 years now, further added “its like a second family to me.” Every person fits part of a puzzle piece that creates a magnificent production.
In the theater community, there is a widely known ceremony that recognizes outstanding performances by high school theater programs. Created in 2003, the Freddy Awards restore passion and meaning to musical theater by enhancing and rewarding the local high school theater programs: such as Hackettstown, Easton, Belvidere, Emmaus, and more.  Throughout the occasion, there are awards in categories such as: outstanding use of lighting, outstanding costume design, outstanding performance by an actor in a lead role, etc. How then, is our school involved in such a spectacular occasion? North Warren Regional is fortunate enough to be able to participate in the Freddy Awards. Each musical, including ours, is viewed by judges and has the potential to be nominated or even chosen for particular awards. The awards are an immense honor due to the prestige nature of the event, and the fact that around 30 other schools are involved.
This year, North Warren Regional’s musical production is Mamma Mia, which tells the story of Sophie (Daniella Archilla), who secretly invites three of her possible fathers to her wedding to find out which one is truly hers. It also follows her mother, Donna (Caroline Copen) during the preparations of the wedding and throughout Sophie’s secret plan. Filled with laughter, drama, and disco, Mamma Mia is an unforgettable show worth every penny.

Showtimes for Mamma Mia are this Friday and Saturday at 7:00pm, and Sunday at 3pm. Student tickets are $10, adult tickets are $14, and senior citizens are FREE! The first 50 people that show up to each show will receive 50% off their tickets! Please support the drama department!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

The Blairstown Diner: New Owner, Old Charm

By: Joey Licata
In January 2019, Blairstown Diner owner and resident, Peter Apostolou, sold the historic Diner to Frelinghuysen resident, Gary D Wishnia. Petey, as he is affectionately called, sold the diner because it reminded him too much of his father, Pete Sr., who passed away in January 2018. Petey had been running the diner with a heavy heart, until he started talking to Gary.
Petey and Gary started communicating a while ago when Gary moved to the Frelinghuysen area back in 2014. Gary told Petey whenever he thought of selling the diner to let him know. Well that time came around a year after the passing of his father. Petey contacted Gary and then the transfer of ownership happened.
The Blairstown Diner, founded in 1949, is an old-school, small town diner beloved by locals, visitors, and Friday the 13th movie fans. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, everything is reasonably priced, making it affordable to bring your family out to eat. This year, it celebrates its 70th Anniversary. All locals and new visitors enjoy the diner because it is one of few original style diners still around.
The diner was featured in the original Friday the 13th movie in 1980, and in the movie, Plasterhead. On every Friday the 13th, locals and tourists come from all over the tri-state area to dine at the historic diner and meet the cast of the movie. On Friday the 13th, visitors have the chance to see the locations of where the movie was filmed, then stop by for a bite to eat.

Gary Wishnia has owned the diner for about two months now and is making a lot of great changes;  and makes sure all of the Friday the 13th movie fans know they are welcome. He created a website as well as an Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter page. Although he is making quite a few changes in the way the diner looks, prices, and food will not change. Gary’s plan is to bring as many new faces into the historic diner all while leaving its old fashioned charm.

Grades and Genesis: The New Good Book?

By: Adriana DeFuoco and Sumaia Naga

Genesis is the new parent, teacher, and student portal being used at North Warren Regional. Many thoughts and opinions have been circulating about how the new program is working and how people are adapting to it. People are curious as to what bugs and glitches have occured since installing the new system, or if there are any at all. Genesis was formally installed over the summer of 2018, replacing Infinite Campus, which had been the portal for several years. The students and teachers at North Warren were asked about their thoughts on the new program compared to the old one. Infinite Campus supported North Warren in past years, but since Genesis replaced it, the students and teachers are still adjusting to its differences.
When the teachers were asked about how they feel toward Genesis, they gave a lot of feedback. They were asked which program is better. Ms. Serzan explains that “Infinite Campus was much more user friendly” and the “app [Campus Portal] was very easy for the students to use.” Genesis, not having an app, can make it harder for the students to get the help they need and track their progress. The Infinite Campus app “from the students’ perspective, was very useful [but] there is more functionality when it comes to Genesis,” according to Mr. Kudrak.
Then, we asked North Warren’s students to share their thoughts. One responds with her thoughts on both programs saying that,“Infinite Campus was so simple and Genesis is more complicated.” Another says, “Infinite Campus was better because it had an app and you could get a notification on when your grades came in.”  If they were to go back to Infinite Campus, “the only thing they would want to keep was the schedule from Genesis.” Additionally, another student says that Genesis “doesn’t really show you your grades as well as Infinite Campus did.” One student vehemently expressed his dislike for the new system: “It’s annoying, it’s slow, it’s not good. It’s ugly too, and it’s horrible. The layout is not great. It looks like a seven year old put it together.” On the other hand, some “[don’t] think it’s that bad” and “don’t really have any complaints.”

Be the end of the school year, some of these thoughts and opinions about Genesis  might change. Students and teachers seem to need more time to adjust and figure out the new program.

The Truth About NWR Recycling

By: Emily Young 

With landfill space decreasing and pollution increasing, the need for environmental change is growing significantly. Recycling is important for multiple reasons, including that it helps tremendously in reducing waste and saving energy. Hearing rumors that North Warren does not carry out it’s recycling system  was appalling and unbelievable to say the least. According to several students, janitors were seen dumping both the recyclables and trash into the same container at the end of the day. What is the real story behind this rumor? It was time to find out.
North Warren Regional has been very successful in finding ways to eliminate waste in the past. A hydration station was placed in the high school to encourage the use of reusable water bottles, and paper towel dispensers were even replaced with electric hand dryers. Just recently, printer codes were established to help maintain and limit the amount of paper being used. These steps were taken to, of course, save money, but to also be environment friendly.
Due to North Warren’s green status, the said rumors about recycling seemed very improbable. The Patriot Press was lucky enough to land an interview with custodian Judy Cook to get more information on the recycling system. Cook explained that both recycling and trash receptacles are put onto barrel casters for easier handling at the end of the day. They are then wheeled into the back janitorial office, near the band room, and separated into larger containers according to their bin. In short, the trash is put into the trash container, and the recycling is put into the recycling container.
As stated in NJ’s School Recycling Manual, “...recyclables collected by the school are products; NOT TRASH.” The interview held with Judy Cook confirmed that North Warren Regional stands with this message. NWR’s environment-friendly history did not match up with the speculation of an unprincipled recycling process. The rumor of this school having a “corrupt recycling system” can be concluded inaccurate altogether.