Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Occupy Wall Street Hopes for Change

By: Suli Rivera - Tamarez
The citizens of the United States seem to have had enough with the banks of the country. On September 17th, hundreds of people gathered to rally on the streets of Bowling Green New York otherwise known as, Wall Street. The protesters were mainly around the age of 20, some newly graduated from college and having a hard time finding a job in this economy.

"I have a master’s degree from a top university and $135,000 in student loans (and growing). I've lost 2 jobs in 3 months. I can't afford my antidepressants, but need them more than ever. I'm lucky enough to have friends that live with me, but that won’t last forever. What then,” asked a young woman on her Tumblr account. It seems that now more than ever, the world is pushing young people to get higher degrees for better jobs, but those jobs aren't what they expected and instead are laying off because they can't afford employees.

Facebook has again started a movement. We witnessed as Egyptians were brought together by the social media engine to revolt and demand a just government. In Libya, the citizens demanded the demise of Gaddafi. Facebook helped organize these protest, and once again, people were brought together to bring change by the social network.

"Like our brothers and sisters in Egypt, Greece, Spain, and Iceland, we plan to use the revolutionary Arab Spring Tactic of mass occupation to restore democracy in America", says the official Occupy Wall Street website. Many protesters are looking at what the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, once warned as fuel to their fire. "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. “

As for if the protest will actually bring about change, many believe it to be. Since the protest started in New York on September 17th, other rallies in major cities have begun to organize. A large number of Americans have lost hope in the system, and in cities such as Boston, Baltimore, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C they are making it known. Most recently, Hartford has joined the band wagon of what sources are calling “Occupy Hartford” for all who are against economical inequality and greedy government. On October 11, over 100 people were arrested in Boston for participating in Occupy Boston.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Band Snags 1st Place @ North Adams

By: Amanda Welch, Co-Editor

After a hard lost to Lewis Mills High School at the Bristol Mum’s Parade, the Torrington Marching Band redeemed themselves with a grand come back, by winning last Sunday’s North Adams Fall Foliage Festival Parade in North Adams, Massachusetts.

THS was up against 7 other high schools from New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, including the Red Raider’s largest competitor, Lewis Mills. Torrington’s first place finish was their first since 2008, and their second for this parade. Mills, who was last year’s winner, took second place.

Bridget Bertoldi, drum major, believes that THS went in ready to win. “Looking in everyone’s eyes, I knew everyone wanted it.”

Senior Joe Kuleaza actually had tears in his eyes over the win. “It was so surreal, it was the biggest accomplishment, because we did something that past band members couldn’t do.”

Wayne Splettstoeszer, Band Director, shared in the enthusiasm. “It feels amazing to win! It was a difficult parade and the band has been working extremely hard.”

The Torrington Marching Band has changed their appearance and attitude this year. The marching band has recently purchased new uniforms. Splettstoeszer says “it was time.” The previous uniforms had been in use for 26 years.

“The new uniforms are much lighter than the last,” says Sophomore Devon Donovan. Along with the new uniforms is a new banner created by Sophomore Makenzie Welch. Welch felt that the “the old banner did not match the uniforms, so I was asked to create a banner that would match.”

Senior Krysten Zuffelatto believes the band has become more of a family this year. “It hasn’t felt like this since 2009.”

Band members feel this improved moral contributed to the weekend’s win. Senior Sarah Barrios summed up by saying, “Closer is better.”