Category Archives: Community

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Behind the scenes of Scientology

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Stephanie Pedrotti
Photo Editor
stephaniepedrottiesg@gmail.com

Scientology is a religion founded by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard in 1955. Scientologists believe in “truth,” they don’t think that we were put on this earth by a “God,” and they believe that “the ultimate goal of Scientology is true spiritual enlightenment and freedom for all.” People who practice Scientology believe that we were brought here by “Xenu,” who they believe created us and put our souls on Earth.

There are over 10 million Scientologists in the world, which is what helped Scientology become an official religion. Some actors, such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta, are involved in Scientology. You’re probably thinking “wow, that’s so cool!” However, there are some things that they don’t tell you about Scientology.

There are different levels of Scientology, the highest of which is the “Sea Org.” The Sea Org is above everyone else. Being in the Sea Org may sound fantastic, but you can’t have any kids, or they force you to get an abortion. Also, when you’re in the Sea Org, you don’t live with your significant other. All the women live in one house and all the men live in another. You also never eat dinner with your significant other. Compared to today’s society, this is utterly different from how people live outside Scientology.

When you’re in Scientology, you can’t talk to someone who isn’t in Scientology, or you’ll be reported and fined $500. This forces people to pay the Church and gives the Church more and more money. Basically, the Church of Scientology is all about money.

Also, in Scientology, they don’t believe in normal medication, but in vitamins. If you have a mental disorder, they’ll give you vitamins to help cure your mental problems. Sometimes they’ll also lock you in a dark room for days at a time in an attempt to cure you.

There is a woman who tried getting out of the Scientology, Leah Remini. She has a show called “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath,” in which she tries to expose the Church of Scientology. The Church is attempting to get her to stop exposing them.

Remini is trying to get with almost all the people who have escaped Scientology to hear their stories. Most of them have said that if some of their families left Scientology, they had to completely disown them and vice versa. Imagine having to completely disown your family because they don’t believe in the same things that you do.

According to Remini’s show, Scientology tries to completely control your whole life and make sure that you don’t do things against the Church’s beliefs; when you do go against Scientology beliefs, all hell breaks loose and they frame you for things that you didn’t do.

Year of the Rooster

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Alexis Faley
Staff Writer

Chinese New Year, also called the Spring Festival, is a celebration that affects the lives of millions of people worldwide. It is a time when people gather together to appreciate one of the world’s richest and most historic cultures. So what exactly is Spring Festival? Why is it significant and how is it celebrated?

The holiday is dependent upon the lunisolar Chinese calendar. Because of this, the date varies slightly every year. In 2017, the festival began on the eve of the New Year, Jan. 27, and will continue until Feb. 15.

One celebration in particular took place at St. Clair Shores public schools, on Jan. 27, where a number of exchange students gathered to partake in holiday activities. The event embodied many important aspects of the Spring Festival.

The celebration was held inside the school dorms. The building where exchange students live was transformed into a beautiful celebration hall filled with authentic food, a plethora of holiday decorations, and various performances put on by the exchange students. Performances included singing, dancing and comedy. The building was adorned with the color red in the form of red lanterns, red paper decorations, red signs, and more.

One young man explained the significance of the color red in Chinese culture. He said that an ancient Chinese legend told the story of a man-eating monster called Nian. Nian only came out to eat people on New Year’s Eve. Eventually, the people discovered that Nian was afraid of loud noises and the color red, so they hung red lanterns and ornaments and lit fireworks every New Year’s Eve to scare him away. The tradition of hanging red decorations and lighting fireworks on New Year’s Eve is still an important part of Chinese culture today.

All throughout the night, the students performed act after act. Each one was unique. The performances included a violin/piano duet, many beautiful dance routines ranging from more traditional to modern styles, a number of vocal performances – including one from a former Chinese opera singer, and a violin/drum/guitar trio. The night was concluded with a few choir arrangements of traditional Chinese songs sung by all of the students and staff.

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Mosquitoes: How to prevent breeding and disease

Andrew Kovacsstopmosquitoes_456px
Staff Writer
andrewkovacsesg@gmail.com

The American Mosquito Control Association held their 31st annual conference on Feb. 1 and 2 at the Blue Water Convention Center. More than 100 people attended the event, including 20 speakers. The speeches covered a variety of topics revolving around the control of the mosquito population.
Mosquitoes can be a huge risk to human health. According to their website, the AMCA’s purpose is to enhance public health through the suppression of mosquitos. The AMCA intends to improve our quality of life by formulating and enacting methods to eliminate these troublesome insects; this was also the purpose of the annual conference in Port Huron.
The AMCA is a non-profit organization founded in New Jersey in 1935, said AMCA North Central Director Mark Breidenbaugh at the conference. As Breidenbaugh stated, there are more than 1300 members of the AMCA worldwide, some of whom are scientists, students and employers/employees involved in mosquito control businesses.
Breidenbaugh said the AMCA is the leader in promoting the highest standards of professional mosquito control. They provide information and testimony to the government in order to impact policy decisions regarding mosquito-borne disease.
Dave Webb, a professor of biology at SC4, attends the conference each year. “The goal of mosquito control organizations is to protect human health by controlling mosquito populations,” Webb said. “Mosquitoes can be a serious nuisance, but more importantly, they transmit many disease-causing organisms. Malaria, yellow fever, West Nile virus, Zika virus, Dengue fever and many others are transmitted by mosquitoes.”
Any average person can easily help to control mosquito populations; one does not need to be an entomologist to do so. The AMCA suggests various simple steps that people everywhere can take to help limit mosquito populations and disease.
Because mosquitoes are notorious for breeding in stagnant water, it is important to watch out for areas where water can collect, and prevent water from collecting in those places. Bird baths, old tires, buckets, unused plant pots and more are areas where mosquitoes can happily breed and thrive, so those items should be disposed of.
Larger areas that collect water (for instance, ditches) might be a community issue, although many of the smaller areas where water gathers can be eliminated by the layman.
Unbeknownst to the homeowner, some water could be contained and trapped in less obvious areas, such as in the plastic tarps that cover pools or boats, so those locations should be checked and emptied accordingly.
More information about the American Mosquito Control Association, including ways to contact them and many alternative methods to impede the breeding of mosquitoes and the diseases they carry, can be sought at www.mosquito.org.

Obama says goodbye

Robert BurackObama, Chicago, USA - 10 Jan 2017

Sports Editor/Webmaster

bburack16@gmail.com

After eight years of holding the most polarizing job in the world, Barack Obama took center stage to address the nation one last time. The speech took place Wednesday, Jan. 10, from his hometown of Chicago.

“It’s good to be home. My fellow Americans, Michelle and I have been so touched by all the well-wishes we’ve received over the past few weeks. But tonight, it’s my turn to say thanks,” the former president said to start the night.

He went on to discuss the how change can happen, as it can come from ordinary people. He credited the founders of the country for allowing changes and improvements to make the nation a better place.

Looking back at his eight years in office, Obama said he believes that if he had known the outcome ahead of time, he would have been filled with joy. He went on to add, “If I had told you eight years ago that America would reverse a great recession, reboot our auto industry and unleash the longest stretch of job creation in our history…”

One of the notable improvements made was the building of bridges with Cuba. As of now the two countries are on the best terms in years.

Another highlight of his presidency was capturing the man he calls “the mastermind of 9/11,” Osama Bin Laden, after the years of anxiety the terrorist caused not only the United States but large parts of the world.

“And secure the right to health insurance for another 20 million of our fellow citizens – you might have said our sights were set a little too high,” Obama said when looking back at the success of passing the highly controversial Affordable Care Act.

According to a recent poll from Fox News, 50 percent of the country approves of Obamacare. That same poll approved Donald Trump at seven percent less.

As Obama reminisced over his run as president to a highly emotional Chicago attendance, he assured the country that the transfer between him and Trump would be as smooth as possible.

“I committed to President-elect Trump that my administration would ensure the smoothest possible transition, just as President Bush did for me.” This was done to make sure the country remains as wealthy and powerful as ever.

The former president made it clear he had one focus: “the state of our democracy.” He added, “the idea that for all our outward differences, we are all in this together, that we rise or fall as one.”

Bringing up the point that there have been many scary moments in the history of the country, Obama stated that “There have been moments throughout our history that threatened to rupture that solidarity.” He said the future of protecting this country is on our children, making it all the more important to give them the opportunity to get educated.

Obama was proud to reveal the unemployment rate is near a 10-year low and the cost of healthcare is rising the slowest it has in a massive 50 years.

Obama went on to express how happy he is with the country’s progress, but that there is still a long way to go. In particular, he still has concerns over “the laid-off factory worker; the waitress and healthcare worker who struggle to pay the bills.”

Transitioning to thanking those he loves, he started off with his wife Michelle. “For the past 25 years, you’ve been not only my wife and mother of my children but my best friend.” He thanked her for taking on the role she did, even though she never asked for it. Obama ended his thoughts on her by saying she didn’t only make him proud but “You’ve made the country proud.”

Next up were his daughters. “Malia and Sasha, under the strangest of circumstances you have become two amazing young women.” Obama stated that that of all he has done in his life, the thing he is proudest of is being their dad.

Obama moved on to his vice president, “the scrappy kid from Scranton,” Joe Biden who was the former president’s first and best choice as nominee. Obama said it wasn’t just his success as VP, it was that they became like brothers.

As the speech wound down, Obama stated, “My fellow Americans, it has been the honor of my life to serve you.  I won’t stop; in fact, I will be right there with you, as a citizen, for all my days that remain.  For now, whether you’re young or young at heart, I do have one final ask of you as your president – the same thing I asked when you took a chance on me eight years ago.”

The 44th President of the United Stated ended his speech, telling all Americans the story is yet to be written. “Thank you. God bless you. And may God continue to bless the United States of America.”

Movie theater opens near SC4

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Therese Majeski

Copy Editor

thereseagnes@gmail.com

 

Sperry’s in downtown Port Huron, unoccupied for well-over a decade according to the Times Herald, is now home to the self-described “boutique” theater, Sperry’s Moviehouse.

“Our theater has been open for just over a month. It opened on Dec. 15,” said assistant theater manager Kaitlyn Szczepkowski.

Szczepkowski also stated that Sperry’s Moviehouse does offer student rates. “We do have a student ticket price that’s seven dollars, and then it jumps up for the evening price,” she said.

Based on pricing available at sperrysmoviehouse.com, this is a 25 cent reduction from the standard daytime ticket price for adults; students also receive a $1.25 discount on evening showings.

Sperry’s Moviehouse is poised to be a versatile entertainment and dining venue for the area, offering 12 screens divided between the first and third floors and a second-floor dinner house.

Szczepkowski believes that the theater fills a need in the community. “We’re actually downtown Port Huron…it’s more convenient for people that live in this area versus having to  head all the way over to the North End,” she said. “I’m hoping it brings more life to downtown…it’s busy, but it could be busier.”

The dinner house attached to the theater is not yet open but will be in the near future. “I believe around the tenth of February…Valentine’s Day we’re going to do a ribbon cutting,” assistant restaurant manager Keith Gram said.

According to Gram, patrons will be able to place online orders to the dinner house when they reserve their tickets and their food will be delivered to them at their seats in the theater.

Sperry’s Moviehouse is also working towards showing more than the standard blockbuster offerings. “We’re looking into independents and…also doing special features,” Gram said. “That’s all a negotiation with studios.”

Construction remains ongoing.

 

 

 

 

Furry friends educate families

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Earth Fair 2016 a hoot
Mel Buskirk
Copy Editor
Earth Fair took place this past Friday and Saturday, April 29 and 30, at Goodells County Park. Hundreds of people attended each day to learn about the environment, local ecosystems, and techniques to be more eco-friendly.
Attractions included beekeepers, a show on birds of prey, petting zoo animals, horses, family-friendly workshops, and venders of organic and “green” products.
For more information on the events that took place, participating in next year’s Earth Fair, or to donate to the Earth Fair, go to earthdayfair.com.

Educational environmental fun

Free Earth Day Fair in St. Clair County
Mel Buskirk
Copy Editor
Nations of people worldwide will be holding celebrations for the 46th annual Earth Day this Friday, April 22. Though it will be a week after Earth Day, the people of St. Clair County will have their own festivities to celebrate the planet we live on and how to conserve it. Earth Fair will be held in Goodells County Park on Friday, April 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This free, family-friendly event will have plenty of educational exhibits, talks, and shows to attend. Shows include the “Lords of the Sky Show” which exhibit different birds of prey and their importance to the local ecosystems. Live hawks, owls, eagles, and vultures will make an appearance at the show.
Talks will be held at the Earth Fair in the Columbus Bible Church in the Historical Village every half hour. Topics for these talks include beekeeping, spinning wool, local wildflowers, learning to reduce waste, polishing Petoskey stones, and much more.
Trolley rides will take tours through the Historical Village and give fairgoers the chance to explore buildings built in the mid-1800s. The trolley will also make rounds through the parking lot, at restrooms, and at the playgrounds.
A couple of quieter attractions will also be available on site. The Butterfly House Exhibit provided by the Master Gardeners of St. Clair County allows fairgoers to walk through an enclosure surrounded by a variety of different species of butterflies. The St. Clair Conservation District will be holding a sale of evergreens, flowering trees, shrubs, hardwoods, and local wildflowers for fairgoers to purchase and plant at home.
Trees and shrubs won’t be the only thing for sale at the Earth Fair. Over 60 local vendors will have their own booths set up for fairgoers to browse their wares and services. Exhibitors from Powder Puff Pacas, Stable Dreams, and Tigerbunny Acres Farm will be bringing animals to exhibit and pet at the fair.
Food will also be available at the fair. Sweets from Michigan Candy, Inc. and Sweet Lane Fudge Factory will be sold along with other goodies from Just a Poppin, Lucky Lunch, Maria’s Tacos, and St. Clair County Farm Museum.
Since 2003, the St. Clair County Earth Fair has celebrated the local community and environment. For more information on the events of Earth Fair, the event map, or directions to Goodells County Park go to www.earthdayfair.com.

Fighting the tax on feminine hygiene

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Michigan bills to ease monetary menstruation woes
Jamie Koebke
Business Editor

The fear and panic that sets in when you think you’ve started your period in public and aren’t sure if you have a tampon, is unlike any other panic that is felt. You run to the bathroom just to realize that you don’t have any nor do you have a quarter to buy one. Fuck, there go your favorite undies.
The price for a 36 count of Tampax Pearl at Meijer is $6.99 plus the state’s six percent sales tax. This is roughly $7.41 a month. That’s also only if the women buys tampons, that’s not counting if they buy pads or panty liners. Due to Toxic Shock Syndrome, it is not recommended to wear only tampons.
A pack of Always overnight pads is $7.29 plus tax and a pack of Always panty-liners is $4.19. Monthly a woman is looking at $19.83. Assuming the woman started her period when she was 13 and starts menopause at 51, the women will be spending roughly $9,110 throughout her life on feminine hygiene products.
State Representative Sarah Roberts has proposed a bill that will eliminate sales tax on any feminine hygiene products. Roberts has also proposed a bill that will make feminine hygiene products available for free in public schools and state buildings. The Detroit Free Press says having a tampon tax is basically a punishment for women, when they have no control of their menstruation.
If passed, Michigan will not be the first state to eliminate the tax, five states have already eliminated the tax on the products; five other states have no sales tax at all.
Michigan has tax exemption on things that are considered to be necessary, groceries, prescription drugs, even newspapers. Yet women are paying taxes on feminine hygiene products for something that they can’t change, something they were born with.
Another reason Roberts has proposed these bills is to help with the idea that menstruation has to be a dirty little secret, people know about it, yet most men still say “ew” or cringe when anything about a period is mentioned. The idea of a young girl not being able to get a feminine hygiene product at school because she’s ashamed to ask for one or because there are none available for her, is the point behind the second bill.
Periods are something that men will never experience, so the question is… if men used these products would there be a tax on them? Would they be as expensive as they are? Would this even be an issue?
You opinions on these bills can be heard! 
 State representatives: Go to house.michigan.gov or call 517-373-6339.
 State senators: Go to senate.michigan.gov or call 517-373-2400.

Six years and counting, ‘Stache Bash still a hit

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‘Staches for the masses
Nick “Chico” Hernandez
Managing Editor
Dapper gentlemen, beautiful women, eager attendees, and an uncountable length of mustache hair filled the American Legion Hall March 26 for the 6th Annual ‘Stache Bash. At 7 pm the doors opened; by 8pm, the hall was filled by all manner of people of all ages and sizes, along with the soothing tunes provided by The Mountain Babies, a local band.
‘Stache Bash is a charity event, hosted by Blue Water Social Club, where the proceeds are donated to Thin Blue Line of Michigan. According to tblofmi.com (the official website), “The Thin Blue Line of Michigan is a non-profit organization, which exists solely to assist and support the families of injured or deceased officers of law enforcement agencies within the State of Michigan.”
This years ‘Stache Bash raised $3,267 for Thin Blue Line of Michigan, a slight decrease from the $3,935 raised in 2015 but still infinitely better than $783 raised at the first ‘Stache Bash back in 2011. Either way, the money goes to people that need it.
A good portion of the donation money is raised when the ‘staches are auctioned off to the highest bidder. Just like with any auction, the dollar signs can add up quickly and usually does.
Besides raising money for Thin Blue Line of Michigan, local businesses also peddled their wares. Among them were Literacy and Beyond, Big Bear Body Care, and Loud Music and Apparel. Thin Blue Line of Michigan also had a table set up as well.
In addition to local businesses, ‘Stache Bash memorabilia was sold as well from shirts to key chains. A 50/50 raffle and random drawing (which gave away gift baskets from Kate’s Downtown, Lynch’s, and many more) encouraged many to open their wallets before the ‘stache auctioning began. A ‘stache themed seesaw was also present.
Among the men with twirly, long, or simply silly mustaches, many other people donned fake stick-on mustaches that were handed out at the cash bar.
Ryan McInnis of the Blue Water Social Club said, “We began to question whether we would do it [‘Stache Bash] or not, but we had an overwhelming vote to do it.” McInnis also said that the American Legion donated the hall for them to use and that he is “honored” and gave “props to the American Legion” for letting them host ‘Stache Bash there.
Todd Bailey, the event coordinator for this years ‘Stache Bash, said it wasn’t hard to set up the event but that he would’ve started earlier if he could. Bailey said the event took only one month to set up, but that he also had a lot of help and had a great group of people to work with as well.
Drake West, 33 from Port Huron, said this was the “best ‘Stache Bash yet.” He added, “I always look forward to it.”
Kevin Davis, 37 from Port Huron, said he shed “A single manly tear for the fallen ‘staches.” As he played with his fake mustache, he added that he had “a big smile for the money raised for Thin Blue Line.”

Presidential Primary may be over, but it’s not too late

How and where to register to vote in Michigan
Mel Buskirk
Copy Editor
With billboards and signs everywhere, commercials on every television, and memes dominating Facebook, it is easy to see that it is a presidential election year. While the primaries may be over in Michigan, it is not too late to have a say in who shall be our country’s leader for the next four years.
Michiganders who were registered to vote by February 8 of this year had a say in the presidential primaries. According to nytimes.com, Donald Trump won the Republican Michigan primary with 36.5% of the registered Republican vote with 483,751 votes. Bernie Sanders won the Democrat Michigan primary with 49.8% of the registered Democrat vote with 595,222 votes.
According to Michigan.gov/sos, in order to vote in the general presidential elections, you must be registered by October 11, 2016. In order to register to vote in Michigan you must be a U.S. citizen, be age 18 by Election Day, be a resident of Michigan, and be a resident of the city or township you’re applying to register in.
To receive an application go to the local Secretary of State branch office, the local clerk’s office, the Department of Human Services, Department of Community Health, the Department of Labor and Economic Growth, or online at Michigan.gov/sos. Remember when applying, the same address used for your driver’s license or state ID must be used for registering to vote.
After registering to vote, the city or township clerk will mail the voter’s registration card. The card will state the registered city/township, county, ward, and precinct. It will also state the following districts where you reside: US Congressional, State Senate, State Representative, and School District. The card will also state the address of the polling location for those districts.
If you have any questions on where to vote, where to register, or if you are registered, check out Michigan.gov/sos.