For the first time since the Republican Revolution in 1994, voters have elected a democratic majority in Congress. Now, with a 51-49 majority in the Senate and a 232-201 majority in the House of Representatives, the Democrats can pass the legislation that they've wanted to for the past 10 years. But with a Republican White House and divisions within their party, they may find it hard to get enough support for their bills. With topics controversial across America and in the Capitol, representatives will vote based on their loyalties: with their party, with their constituents or with their own initiative.
Last fall, Danny Scheer, a 2006 Blair graduate, posted photos of himself "looking really stoned" on his MySpace profile as a joke. Though the Communication and Arts Program senior seminar teacher John Goldman told Scheer to take down the post so he would not run the risk of colleges seeing it, Scheer thought the whole incident was an empty threat. But Goldman's concerns may not be unwarranted.
This just in: recently, two teenaged girls from a local high school were kidnapped, blindfolded and held hostage by approximately eight male assailants during the school day. Fortunately, they were rescued before any physical harm ensued, though the extent of the emotional harm has not yet been determined. Details after this commercial.
Last March, President Bush signed the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act (CMEA) into law as part of the Patriot Act. Pharmaceutical drugs containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine (PSE) and phenylpropanolamine (PPA), common decongestants found in Sudafed and Claritin-D, are now available only behind the counter in your neighborhood drugstore, and require photo identification to purchase. The law's intent, according to the Office of Legislative Policy and Analysis, is to regulate the sale of drugs used to make methamphetamine or amphetamine, both addictive and dangerous drugs. But instead of stopping meth addicts from mixing their brew, the CMEA harasses customers with the common cold.
Although much of the fervor surrounding it has dissipated, the ID policy and other administrative decisions remain a mystery to the school's students and parents. While the media-dubbed "student uproar" has subsided, this lack of understanding raises a legitimate concern about the overall communication in all school matters between the administration and the Blair community.
Reports of schools changing athletes' grades to meet eligibility caused a ruckus in the Blair community last week, with parents, students and administrators all weighing in on the issue through listservs, newspaper forums and chats with athletic teams.
D.C. faces what police chief Charles Ramsey has declared a "crime emergency." To grapple with it, on July 11, the D.C. government declared that the 12 a.m. curfew for all resident and non-resident teenagers 16 and younger was pushed to 10 p.m. Although the curfew represents an admirable effort to reduce the number of robberies and weapons offenses committed by young people, it is too controversial a crime-fighting tool to stand on its own. Unless officials move to support the new curfew with other anti-crime initiatives, it should either be pushed back to 12 a.m. or repealed. Furthermore, the latest anti-crime measures should also recognize the prevalence of adult crime and address the needs of at-risk adults, rather than targeting only adolescents.
A black ninja walks through the 150s hallway, stealthily slipping by the Expedition Club's colorful display of an erupting brown paper volcano with red and yellow streamers flowing out. A few feet away, a bold poster of graffiti art showcases the Hispanic Club's culture, proclaiming "Orgullo y Cultura" (pride and culture), as it hangs in the 160s hallway amongst the oversized dominos dangling from the ceiling.
At a glance, Blair's new ID Policy seems daunting and uncalled for. Saturday detention? For not wearing a small plastic rectangle? However, when examined more thoroughly, the administration's new ID policy is a sure step forward.
Even Blazers who agree IDs have a security benefit have to admit there are everyday inconveniences to the plastic cards. After all, they cost Blair money to create and replace, they are small and easy to lose, they get tangled in backpack straps and jewelry, and few students even understand their purpose. If Blair administration would like students to wear IDs, resorting to detention, suspension and other major punishments for intimidation is not the best way. The ID process should be convenient and fair to all students. While the current proposal's inclusion of two free temporary IDs is a good start, it has a long way to go before it will be fair.
At a time when college frenzy can begin the moment a student steps through the doors of high school, Harvard has just taken a step toward making the frenzy last longer.
Every year, 195 million trips are taken on our capital's overcrowded and under-budgeted Metro rail. The "Purple Line" also known as the Bi-County Connector, is a proposed extension of the Washington area's railways. Connecting key stations like Bethesda, Silver Spring and New Carrolton, this expansion would offer the average commuter a break from long traffic delays and offer a cheaper, cleaner alternative to driving.
After last spring's test administration of the High School Assessments (HSA) for Algebra, Biology, Government and English, the U.S. Department of Education made the decision to allow Advanced Placement tests to be used as a substitute for the HSA so students would not have to be burdened with so much test taking for graduation. One flaw, however, mars the plan: students do not find out the results of their AP exams until after they would typically take the HSA in May.
While most Americans are lounging the summer heat away, going to baseball games and taking dives in the neighborhood pool, 6,000 miles away a conflict rages on in the Middle East. For the past three weeks, Israel and the militant Shiite group, Hezbollah, in southern Lebanon, have been engaged in fierce fighting. The daily headlines are grim: scores of innocent children killed in Lebanon, barrages of rocket fire raining on Israel. Hundreds of both Israeli and Lebanese civilians have been killed or wounded in the conflict, as well as four UN observers and a handful of foreign nationals. The United States needs to take a more active approach if we want to disarm a malicious terrorist organization and stop the horrific murder of Lebanese civilians.
For a state that prides itself on its schools, Maryland's pension plan is an embarrassment and an obstacle to attracting and retaining quality teachers. Maryland's teacher pension plan ranks 51st in the nation - dead last. Retired Maryland school employees receive just 38 percent of their peak salary, half as much as in neighboring Pennsylvania, according to the Maryland State Teachers Association (MSTA).
The warm weather that usually comes with spring has only just begun to assert itself, but the race for Montgomery County Executive seems to be growing hotter by the day, as could be seen in a debate held in Silver Spring last week between candidates Ike Leggett and Steve Silverman. Despite leaving many issues still unsettled, especially issues regarding mass transit and the purple line, both candidates left this early debate having thoroughly established their platforms when it comes to real estate and hopring and the warm weather that usually comes with it has only just begun to assert itselfme ownership.
A depressed sophomore contemplating suicide who checked himself into a George Washington University Hospital was sent a letter by the University's administration stating that his "endangering behavior" could result in his suspension or expulsion unless he withdrew from school, according to a March 10 article published in The Washington Post. In the meantime, Jordan Nott, the student, was barred from the campus.
It rises majestically from the Forest Glen Metro stop, flying high into the air, running parallel to Georgia avenue before soaring over the Beltway on- and off-ramps, ducking under the Beltway itself and making a landing next to what, in the mind of some bureaucrat, is a spot of vital importance to pedestrians: the parking lot of some town homes.
Two weeks ago, Maryland State Senators passed "Andrew's Law," a provision named for former Blair student Andrew Helgeson, that would require every Maryland high school to have an automatic external defillibator. State legislators have taken the first step to improve an inadequate environment for student health in schools but why stop at defibrillators? MCPS should make cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and First Aid training a requisite for all teachers at all levels of education in the county.
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