• Philadelphia Curfew Strikes Controversy

    On August 8, 2011,  Mayor Michael Nutter imposed a 9 PM curfew for all persons under the age of eighteen. Many are opposed to this idea, but not for reasons that would typically come to mind. On philadelphia.cbslocal.com readers are allowed to comment on recent articles, including those concerning the recent curfew.

    One person said, “the government shouldn’t have to play the role of parent and police. These black kids are coddled by their black leaders and communities and it’s time to stop… These black kids just grab whatever they want… I say for everyone downtown to carry tasers and give them a little taste of people standing up for themselves.” Another went as far as to say, “here’s how you deal with it: send in the national guard and just give the shoot first ask questions later command; end of flash mob and save on welfare and food stamps.”

    The worst thing about this situation on the web is that out of roughly three hundred comments, maybe ten of them took a stance that either stood up for the mayor, or the kids involved in these crimes.

    The recent curfew that has been imposed on the Center City and University City areas of Philadelphia has been described as practical but temporary. This curfew was enacted because of recent and harmful flash mobs.

    Flash mobs are  predetermined meetings between people to perform an agreed upon act. Flash mobs can be “bad” or “good”. In this case however, these Philadelphia flash mobs have caused injury to more than a few people.

    The last one, occurring on July 29, involved around twenty to thirty teenagers. Four people were beaten and robbed during this incident and one was hospitalized afterwards.  Four of the attackers were arrested, including an 11-year old. Almost all of these “flash mobbers” have been identified as African American.

    As seen above, many people commenting on an article written by the local paper on August 8, were seemingly opposed to the curfew, but only because they believed citizens should take the law into their own hands. Numerous people recommended shooting the kids involved in these mobs. Others referred to these children by using derogatory names and a good amount of people commenting on this article felt that the teenagers participating in these flash mobs are nothing but “thugs”.

    Reading some of these comments further reinforced my opinion that this 9 PM curfew is completely necessary for Philadelphia and any other city where violence has escalated to such a height. Not only is it important to prevent any harm that could be caused by these organized flash mobbers, but to prevent any harm that could be done to African American teenagers in fear of another flash mob.

    Just as society has seen in a case such as the Japanese internment  in WWII, innocent people could also be put to blame for the actions of their race. To this day, the internment camps in WWII are an incident that America has come to be deeply ashamed of. The attitudes towards African American teenagers in Philadelphia seem to have a few parallels to the attitudes of many Americans living in the U.S. in the early 1940s.

    In Philadelphia there seems to be way too many self righteous vigilantes, who obviously believe in the saying, “an eye for an eye.” Well maybe they haven’t heard about another saying, “two wrongs don’t make a right.” Sure, these children should have serious consequences for their actions, but by enforcing a curfew, these flash mobs can be stopped before they happen. This eliminates violence on both sides.

    The government has not only a right to enforce a curfew for teens, but also a duty to in circumstances such as these. Hopefully, Philadelphia will see a decrease in violence and skeptics will be silenced.

  • Foreign Exchange Student Comes to Pueblo West High

    Marius Trnka is a German foreign exchange student from Wiesbaden. Wiesbaden is a small town just 15 miles from Frankfurt, Germany. “Wiesbaden is like Pueblo, and Frankfurt is like Denver to me,” Marius said. Wiesbaden is a wet, green, and cool city, with temperatures reaching the mid 70’s for their summer. Wiesbaden is only 30 feet above sea level. “It is extremely hard to breath here. Especially during soccer practice!” Marius complained. In Germany, the primary language is German, but it is required that they learn English in school.

    Marius attends a school in Frankfurt. In Germany, the schools are  much different from here in America. They don’t have as much school spirit asstudents do here at Pueblo West High. When asked about the classes that they have in school Marius explained, “Every day is different. Classes are different, so are the hours that we attend.” Teachers walk from one class to another, while the students stay in one class room.
    In Germany, they do not have any school teams. In one school, they have 5th  through 13th grade; and there are only 900 students in the school. but students do not drive to school,  matter what age they are. “No one drives to school here; mainly because gas is $10 per 4 liters.” That is basically $10 per gallon in America.
    When asked about how he likes PWHS, he responded, “It’s good. The students are nice and so are the teachers,”  He  enjoys having a soccer team that he can play on, and he loves his weight class. “I never had that before,” Marius said. He also likes walking to class and being able to move around throughout the day.
    Marius has been in Colorado for about 3 weeks now, and he loves the hot weather here. He said it was a change from the cold, rainy weather that is experienced where he is from. He also exclaimed, “The people here are nice, and they accept me for who I am and [accept] my language.”

    Marius is staying with a family of 3, here in Pueblo West. He does not live with a student who attends Pueblo West High, but he finds a way to get around the school with students and the teachers. His host parents are very excited to have them and love his personality.  “They’re cute,” Marius laughs, “My house family is very nice and treats me great! I do miss my family and friends though.”
    Marius came to Colorado to learn the language and the culture.
    Marius is very interesting and funny when you sit down and talk to him, and  he feels welcome and appreciated here at PWHS.

  • Cynthia Nobles Joins Pueblo West Staff

    Cynthia Nobles is one of many new teachers here at Pueblo West High School, and she is teaching Personal/Business Finance and Marketing 1. She taught Intro to Business, Finance, Health Careers, and Word Processing before coming to our school in Pagosa Springs.

    “I was a pirate…Arrrr,” she jokes.

    Nobles enjoys that there are many programs for our students at Pueblo West High and there is a lot of variety in our school.

    “The students seem very dedicated and have a wide variety of interests. They are very friendly and pretty accepting of each other that I can tell. Everyone just seems to get along with each other” Nobles explained of her opinion on our students.

    When asked if she liked her co workers, Nobles exclaimed “Oh! They’re great, just the best! The thing that surprised me is that they reached out to me even before I came. During the summer they were emailing me and making sure if I had any questions, just to ask.”

    Nobles decided to become a teacher in an unplanned manner. She had a lot of science and business in college but she was aiming to open up her own veterinary practice. Her husband went into graduate school and she believed that they both shouldn’t go at the same time. So, Nobles went into work right after college and started coaching a youth 14 and a youth 16 boys soccer team. It was there that she discovered that she was fond of that age group and liked giving instruction and watching them succeed. She applied all those ideas and decided to go back to school for a year to become a teacher.

    Noble went to Cal Poly Pomona College in California. She is very logical and science and math are her favorite subjects to study.

    The craziest thing she has done was go Sand Tobogganing in Tangalooma Island, Australia with a group of students from all over the country. There she also got to feed wild dolphins in an enclosed area. Her favorite kind of ice cream is black walnut and her main hobby is sailing. Nobles hopes to have a good year here at Pueblo West High School.

  • District 70 Proposes Bond Issue and Mill Levy

    District 70’s bond issue and Tax Levy promise to improve its schools. The general aim of the Bond Issue is to add several physical features to at least 6 schools, as well as some changes district-wide.

    Plans for Pueblo West High School include the addition of ten classrooms, an auditorium, a 6-lane swimming pool, eight tennis courts with lighting and fencing, a new track, artificial turf, landscaping, and an auxiliary building. The proposed cost for the changes at Pueblo West High alone is $21,554,720. District-wide the cost will add up to $35,000,000. The mill levy adds up to about $3,373,738.

    In the last two years, D70 has faced serious budget issues. The district has had to make some major changes, including the introduction of the four day school week. Considering these issues, it is reasonable to wonder where the money for the bond issue and tax levy will come from. The answer to that question is taxpayer money. An estimate states that the combination of the mill levy and bond issue will cost about $3.20 per month for a $100,000 household and $11.67 per month for a $100,000 commercial property.

    These tax add-ons may not seem like a lot but year after year bond issue and mill levy proposals do not pass. The last time D70 received a tax increase was in 2002, which was nine years ago. “We need to get Pueblo West out to vote,” says Principal Martha Nogare. “We just want to make sure our high school is a complete school. We have so much to lose if it doesn’t pass.” The decision is set to be made November 1st and Pueblo West citizens are encouraged to get out and vote.

  • Wagner Climbs to the Top

    A common misconception about the person that the students, as well as staff members, at Pueblo West High School depend on to organize and see out all the events that happen throughout the year, is that he is simply the Athletic Director. He is much more than that though. The proper name for Jamison Wagner is Activities Director. As a new administrator at the school, his job is to make all major decisions concerning any club, sport, or extracurricular activity that goes on at Pueblo West.

    Wagner has proven to be well-rounded, with experience in many fields. He co-owns a very successful business, Marble Slab, and was formerly the head DECA advisor, a math teacher, and coach at Pueblo West. He also went on to play basketball in college. Now he can add Activity Director to that long list.

    While working at Cañon National Bank, Wagner got a call from the high school, at which his wife worked at the time. They asked if he would like to become a teacher and start a DECA program at the school. At that point he had no idea what DECA was, but he was up to the challenge. In order to start a new DECA branch he had to do some research and figure out how it operated. Wagner headed to Pueblo County High School to observe their program in hopes of learning enough to create a successful club at Pueblo West. After recruiting for a few weeks, 71 students joined the new business-based club. Since then, DECA has done nothing but grow and help students better their future in numerous ways.

    Wagner was an exceptional basketball player in his prime. He was picked up on a basketball scholarship by Bismarck State College in North Dakota as a shooting guard. A teammate of his went on to be the general manager of the Denver Nuggets, allowing him to organize trips like Nuggets Night for the students in DECA. Thanks to his college basketball career, Wagner became Coach Kersey’s assistant coach for four years.  Coach Kersey had to take a leave of absence due to health issues and Wagner became the  boys’  basketball head coach. Around the same time he had 3 kids within 3 years of each other. He wanted to have more time to help out and spend time with his children, so he resigned as the head coach.

    The new, experienced, Activity Director is working on emphasizing the importance of sports and other activities in the lives of students at Pueblo West High School. “My biggest goal is to get as many kids involved as possible, whether its basketball, cross country, DECA, or choir. My belief is, the more that students are involved in, the better attendance will be and the harder they will work in class.”