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Congratulations to Mrs. Turner and Dr. Pierre

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Congratulations to Mrs. Turner on being selected as Park Vista’s nominee for the 2018 Palm Beach County School Counselors Association School Based Counselor of the Year. Dr. Pierre was chosen by PV’s School Counseling Department to be PV’s nominee for the 2018 Palm Beach County School Counselors Association School Based Administrator of the Year.

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r/toxic

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There is a place for most everyone on the Internet: Twitch for gamers, Pinterest for fashionistas; there is even an entire subreddit dedicated to Demi Lovato’s thighs. However, there are also places for the most dangerous and twisted minds on Earth. Forums are often a breeding ground for hate groups, and can be accessed by anyone, even minors. Internet forums can become the worst kind of support group, as members do not see the errors in their ways.

There are various types of toxic forums  There are forums that range from promoting eating disorders to body shaming young girls. The most famous, and arguably the most dangerous, forums are those of the incel variety. Incels are a group of men who hate women’s rights, more attractive men and themselves. The most famous incel, Elliot Rodgers, killed six people at the University of California due to his own personal anguish and depression.

The incel subreddit was so hateful that Reddit banned it. Reddit is a privately owned business, so they are fully within their rights to remove any page for any reason. However, these forums can easily find a new home on the web. The First Amendment protects the freedom of speech, and hate speech is still protected. However, does hate speech on the Internet cross a line when it is encouraging such devastating behavior?

The Constitution says no, and so does AP US History teacher Mr. Strackman.  “Sadly, these forums should be protected. When the government suppresses something, it just makes the subject more appealing. Let people who engage in dangerous discussions online ruin their own lives.”

This is not the first time the debate about hate speech has come to America’s attention. After the fatal killing at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville (where a white supremacist drove his car into a group of people), people wondered how far the protection of hate speech should stretch. Now, it is being argued that certain online forums need to be banned before they can incite anymore real world damage.

AICE International History teacher Mrs. Matyskiel agrees there needs to be limits to the freedom of speech when regarding online forums. ”The radicalization of any idea is not good. When something causes real life destruction, it should not be protected.”

America’s approach of just letting hate speech pass without repercussions might not be the best strategy. “I think the United States needs to consider adopting the freedom of speech practiced in Europe,” said AICE Global Perspectives teacher Mrs. Finn. “Freedom of speech is allowed, but there are specific limitations that do not tolerate hate speech. If it can be proved that a forum is causing real harm, it should be removed.”

However, if the freedom of speech is limited to prevent toxic online forums, it is sure to cause backlash from many in the country. As of right now, the debate will continue, and the forums will continue to pollute the Internet.

This is not to say all forums are dangerous. Forums can be a way for someone to anonymously discuss their favorite things with other fans. However, when the topic of discussion can permanently harm the user, it is best to seek real help from a professional. As of now, hateful forums are protected under law, but future controversies may cause the government to reconsider.

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“Plane Pull” to benefit Special Olympics of Florida

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“Plane Pull” to benefit Special Olympics of Florida

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On Saturday, Sept. 29th at 10 A.M. there will be a “Plane Pull” event at Palm Beach International Airport to benefit Special Olympics of Florida.

Park Vista has created their own team and is currently looking for 15 boys or girls who would be willing to join.

This event is completely free and all are welcome to attend.

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Prosthetic progress

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Prosthetic progress

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High school and college students in Cincinnati, Ohio, have recently presented a new form of prosthetics that could make prosthetics more accessible to handicapped children. The prosthetics, hands made out of plastic, can be delivered to the patient within a week. These hands help children perform basic activities, such as riding a bicycle or catching a football. However, these plastic prosthetics are not meant to replace more advanced ones, but rather give quick aid to financially struggling families.

Using the city’s medical records, the students find eligible patients who could benefit from the prosthetic. The hand must be fitted for each patient and blueprints are made before production. A 3D printing program, called e-Nable, provides access to virtual designs the students use to 3D print the prosthetics.

Although this volunteer project is currently exclusive to their city, the students’ commitment to helping young citizens is sure to inspire communities worldwide. The plastic prosthetics could spark a revolution in the medical field that will provide better access for handicapped children. The effort made by these students has helped start the conversation about the need for better prosthetics and soon the whole world may be aware of the cause.

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Zoo’s harsh reality

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Zoo’s harsh reality

© Splash News

© Splash News

© Splash News

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Outings to the zoo have been enjoyed by people globally for generations, but the accumulating evidence of animal abuse and mistreatment could make even the most faithful visitor rethink their decision. In zoos, animals are separated from the rest of their species and forced into isolation. A study done by the Captive Animals’ Protection Society found that 41% of animals in captivity could not identify their own species. Additionally, animals are forced to live in enclosures that do not provide enough space and resources for the species. The enclosures are designed purely to enhance the experience of visitors and do not prioritize the health or happiness of the animals.

        Animals forced to become performers are subject to tough conditions and abuse. The tasks they perform are unnatural and place their bodies under extreme stress. One popular documentary, titled Blackfish, told the story of a performing killer whale that killed multiple people. This film has spread awareness and many have boycotted whale performances and places such as SeaWorld.

        Zoos have shown they have no interest in the animals’ well-being and their sole purpose is to create a profit for the people in charge. Boycotting zoos, circuses and similar places will help show people’s’ support for the animals and force the large companies in charge to prioritize the wellbeing of the animals.

 

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Out-of-this-world accommodations

Aurora Space Hotel will launch in 2021

This+is+a+model+of+how+the+Aurora+space+station+will+appear+in+space%2C+engineers+are+in+the+process+of+making+the+hotel+now+this+is+just+a+model.
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Out-of-this-world accommodations

This is a model of how the Aurora space station will appear in space, engineers are in the process of making the hotel now this is just a model.

This is a model of how the Aurora space station will appear in space, engineers are in the process of making the hotel now this is just a model.

Photo courtesy of CNN.com

This is a model of how the Aurora space station will appear in space, engineers are in the process of making the hotel now this is just a model.

Photo courtesy of CNN.com

Photo courtesy of CNN.com

This is a model of how the Aurora space station will appear in space, engineers are in the process of making the hotel now this is just a model.

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If $80,000 is lying around in one’s bank account, then traveling to the Aurora Space Hotel should be on the vacation list. Aurora Station Space Hotel will be the first hotel in space and, according to National Geographic, the hotel will launch into low Earth orbit (LEO) around 200 miles from the Earth’s surface and will be about the size of the cabin of a large private jet. Guests can come aboard for the “low” price of $9.5 million dollars, which rounds up to about $791,666 per night, or one can pay in instalments if they put down an $80,000 refundable deposit. The company behind the Aurora Space Hotel is Orion Span; they have now opened the doors for space tourism. The hotel is promising an extremely ambitious launch in 2021, and guests can come aboard in 2022.

The Aurora Station was introduced April 5, 2018, marking the debut of the first space station and luxury hotel combination. Only six people can stay at a time, (including two crew members,) for a 12-day journey where they will live like real astronauts. Guests will orbit Earth every 90 minutes, so they will get to experience 16 sunrises and sunsets every 24 hours. This hotel has accommodations similar to the Breakers: luxurious suites, Wi-Fi, incredible views and a garden. Guests may also participate in research experiments such as growing edible plants (which they can take home as souvenirs) and livestreaming with people back home through high speed Wi-Fi.

This luxury vacation cite includes an astronaut certification that one must acquire in order to go into space. Orion Span has turned a 24-month space training program into three months for guests, which includes an online course. According to the Orion Span website, early certification units are theory-oriented and completed on one’s own pace using the Orion Span Astronaut Certification (OSAC) App online. The goal of these units is to gain an understanding of basic spaceflight, orbital mechanics and pressurized environments in space. The OSAC App is currently in development and expected to be released in 2019. Orion Span then conducts mid certification units at their state-of-the-art training Facility in Houston, Texas. In-person training begins no later than three months prior to launch to Aurora Station.

“I would definitely go to the space hotel I have always loved space and I enjoy going on adventures, I even went to space camp as a kid,” said Science teacher Dr. Pearson.

This hotel is definitely out of this world but, unfortunately, so are the prices! Not many people will be able to experience it due to the extreme cost and training. Orion Span will most likely cater to private space tourists and government space agencies. If Aurora Station is successful, the company wants to launch identical modules and build a private space station. According to National Geographic, the hotel is currently under construction in Houston by the engineers who built the International Space Station, while Orion Span develop software for it in the Bay Area. Aurora will reinvent the hotel business and their locations if successful.

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Yuda bands

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Yuda bands

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The Student Government Association (SGA) is teaming up with the Yuda Band company, a non-profit organization with a goal of breaking multi-generational poverty by combining education with value and leadership training. Park Vista made a pledge to raise money for Vangilista Muditi.

Muditi’s parents split-up when she was 7 years old, and her mother passed away in 2013. Since then, she has been living with unrelated people and financially struggling, so much so, that she was forced to leave school. Her dream is to become an economist and receive further education. Through Yuda Band sales, she can achieve these goals.

Each Yuda Band is $7 and are available for purchase in room 4-108 or from any SGA member. Below is a brief video about the Yuda Bands company. Help Vangilista’s dreams become a reality!

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Boynton Beach Mall mourns store losses

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The current atmosphere at the Boynton Beach Mall compares to an old-western movie: tumble weeds and a dusty parking lot. Most students at Park Vista forget to consider the Boynton Beach Mall as an option for weekend shopping outings. In recent years, the Disney Store, Dairy Queen, Mrs. Fields, Bucca De Beppo, JCPenney, Dillard’s, Build-A-Bear, Toojay’s and other stores/restaurants in the Boynton Beach Mall have either closed or relocated. Now, the mall is an empty shell of what used to be a lively and bustling place.

The reason behind store closings is up for speculation. One possible reason for the mass withdraw of franchises is the “domino effect”, where one store “falls” causing several more to “fall”. One of the large anchor stores, (main store that draws shoppers in), at the Boynton Beach Mall was Dillard’s. When Dillard’s closed, it forced smaller stores to bring in more customers. Thus far the smaller stores have not been able to bring in the revenue that the larger stores once were. This means Dillard’s closing could have been the beginning of the end for the Boynton Beach Mall.

With stores such as H&M, Charlotte Russe, Foot Locker and Victoria’s Secret/Pink still in the mall, why teens do not shop there seems odd. It could be due to past dangerous incidents that took place at the mall.

On Dec. 24, 2006, a shooting took place in the mall between two men in rivalry gangs. One man was killed and, although no civilians were harmed, the Boynton Mall’s reputation received irreparable damage, teens and their parents became scared. Since then, smaller incidents have occurred there such as, constant loitering, break-ins, fights, gang violence and a recent incident where a 67 year-old women was trampled after people claimed a nonexistent gunshot was fired.

English teacher, and mom of two, Kristina Vissa feels uneasy about shopping at the Boynton Beach Mall. “I don’t feel as comfortable walking through the mall after the Christmas Eve incident, especially since I have little kids, and they have fewer store options compared to the Wellington Mall,” said Vissa.

What demographic or age group does the Boynton Beach Mall aim to please, since teens do not usually partake in shopping there? How do the stores still existing there stay in business, if they lack the regular teen patrons? Compared to the Wellington Mall, the Boynton Beach Mall is smaller, older, quieter and less busy. On a Saturday at the Wellington Mall, one would expect to see hundreds of teens roaming the various stores while the Boynton Beach Mall’s stores are vacant.

Sophomore Marlee Guinan, does not go to the Boynton Beach Mall to shop, “There is not a lot of stores there, and it is also pretty sketch.” She opts to go to the Wellington Mall for her shopping outings instead.

It is no surprise business at the Boynton Beach Mall has been slower, due to previous violence and store losses, but the few Park Vista students who work there have first-hand experience on the trials and tribulations the mall is facing.

Junior Samuel Silver works at Journey’s in the Boynton Mall in the summers. “It is not as packed as it used to be, the stores that closed are mainly the stores that brought the most customers, so I feel like nobody goes there anymore,” said Silver. “If it is not during season or a sale, Journey’s is not busy.” If Silver were buying shoes, he would purchase them from Journey’s at the Boynton Beach Mall due to his employee discount, but for any other item, he would go to the Wellington Mall. “Wellington has a lot more stores and Boynton is a lot smaller,” he said.

Another tribulation the mall is facing is the grip online shopping currently has on society. More people are now gravitating towards buying items with just a click of a button, where one does not even need to leave their house.

“It’s convenient, I don’t have to drive my kids, and I save time,” said Vissa.

Online shopping appeals to busy moms like Vissa who cannot afford to spend time shopping and browsing for hours. “All the malls are suffering because not a lot of people are shopping in the malls. Online shopping is definitely adding to the mall’s downfall.”

The next question for The Boynton Beach Mall, how much longer can it survive for? The Boynton Beach Mall was established 1985 and renovated in 2001, decreasing in the amount of shoppers each year. If the rapid withdrawal of stores and lack of customers continues, it will be difficult for the Boynton Beach Mall to stay open much longer.

 

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Tablets vs. Textbooks

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Tablets vs. Textbooks

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Public and private schools around the world have different ways of educating students, whether it be using advanced technology or old-school textbooks and chalk-boards. Although tablets are increasingly being used in the classroom, many educators dislike the idea of technology teaching their students; they prefer using their voice and knowledge to educate. Is the use of a tablet is the next step of evolution in education?

Pro Tablet

According to the US Department of Education and studies by the National Training and Simulation Association, tablets help students learn material faster because it can reduce the time students take to reach a learning objective by 30-80%.

The average tablet holds anywhere from 8 to 64 gigabytes of storage space and hundreds of textbooks and learning links. Although tablets are less expensive than printed textbooks, they are also easier to break. The FCC found that schools end up saving $250 per student when teaching with digital textbooks. Junior Rachel Mateuszczyk, countered by saying, “I prefer tablets because there is updated information and we could search up stuff.

Pro Textbook

Books have been around since 2400 B.C., when the First Dynasty wrote the first textbook in Ancient Egypt. According to tablets vs. textbooks on procon.org, people who read print text tend to remember and learn more than those who read digital text. Many believe tablets have too many distractions as students pay attention to the extra apps and games on the tablet, instead of the work at hand.

Around four-fifths of students aged 8-18 tend to multitask while using digital media. Textbooks do not have a problem of freezing, glitching or crashing in the middle of a lesson.

“I feel like if we had tablets, we wouldn’t do any work,” said junior Angelina Aitola.

In conclusion, both good and bad come out of each of these learning tools. Everyday life is easier and faster when there is technology in hand, but that allows the risk of fake news. Textbooks on the other hand, provide true and useful information. For now, educators will have to agree to disagree and allow students to use the teaching tool that suits him/her best.

 

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Storms are coming

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Storms are coming

SGA

SGA

SGA

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     Hurricane Harvey + Hurricane Irma + Hurricane Jose + Hurricane Maria = a total of four major hurricanes this year, making 2017 one of the busiest hurricane years on record, according to www.weather.com.     

     Hurricane season, which spans from June 1st to November 30th, is a stressful time of the year. People all across the nation begin preparing once hurricanes actually form; however, because of the devastation Harvey left in Texas, people in Florida were all the more prepared when Irma began to head their way.

    Hurricane Harvey hit Texas Aug. 25, 2017. Thousands of people were evacuated before and after the hurricane made landfall, and many more were left without a home following the Category 4 storm.

    Hurricanes Irma and Maria also caused their fair share of damage. Hurricane Irma left its mark on many islands, including Anguilla and St. Martin, in early September. It also affected Puerto Rico and Florida. Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico Sept. 20, 2017, and has caused the entire country to lose power and many to lose their homes.     

     Why are all these hurricanes forming so quickly and so violently in the Atlantic? It is because this is a La Niña year. La Niña is the cooling of the water in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of South America. El Niño, which has been the leading weather pattern in the oceans for the past two years, is the exact opposite of his sister, La Niña. La Niña causes a change in pressure and temperatures in the ocean and that is what helps  hurricanes form.

   “The grip of one of the strongest El Niños in recorded history is loosening, and in its place it appears that the cool flipside, La Niña, is arriving”, wrote Dennis Mersereau for Mental Floss.

    Low pressure, specifically, causes hurricanes to form because water vapor releases the heat of condensation which warms the surrounding air; however, when there is little to no wind shear, heat can condense and cause low pressure systems.

    Junior, Jakob Ocasio, said, “The destruction caused by the hurricanes has been crazy! All the damage, all the rain and all the people who lost their lives. I can’t help but wonder: is there anything else we could be doing to help?”

    Ultimately, when low pressure systems cause hurricanes to form, there is no easy way to get rid of them. It is not often that a hurricane of a high category will dissipate because warm waters of the gulf strengthen them. Usually they make landfall or drift out into the ocean before eventually dissipating. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria strengthened and tore through many countries and completely decimated places that once attracted many tourists, destroying their economy, and it may take years for them to rebuild what once was.      

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Million dollars richer

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Million dollars richer

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Ever wondered how it would feel to win the lottery? Imagine receiving one million dollars “on accident.” Many people can agree that one million dollars is a significant amount of money that could be of great use for most people. However, if the money was not meant for that person, should they still spend it?

Officials from the Walter Sisulu University stated, “A university student in South Africa who discovered an erroneous deposit of $1 million in her financial aid account spent more than $60,000 of the fortune before authorities realized the mistake.”

The amount of spending that the student had done in a short amount of time caught the attention of one of the students at the school. Then the officials were alerted and later, the media.

According to Walter Sisulu University (WSU) spokeswoman Yonela Tukwayo, “The student will be liable for the money she has already spent.”

No further information was stated about the student to protect her identity, which is protected by the laws in the country.

“With all of that money I would take it and disappear from everyone,” said Senior Nicholas LaPlace.

Some students believe that keeping the money for themselves would not only be selfish but terrifying to have such a burden on their back.

“I would be terrified, are you kidding me! I am someone who believes in karma,” said junior Allison Iannacone.

It is hard to believe that accidentally receiving one million dollars can happen to a regular person. The public would most likely be skeptical about the idea of taking one million dollars for free without any drawbacks.

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Malala Yousafzai Accepted at Oxford University

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Malala Yousafzai Accepted at Oxford University

Malala Yousafzai gives a speech at the Youth Takeover of the United Nations

Malala Yousafzai gives a speech at the Youth Takeover of the United Nations

Photo courtesy of Pintrest

Malala Yousafzai gives a speech at the Youth Takeover of the United Nations

Photo courtesy of Pintrest

Photo courtesy of Pintrest

Malala Yousafzai gives a speech at the Youth Takeover of the United Nations

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A freshman in college now, but forever an academic activist, Malala Yousafzai is continuing down her educational path (after a hard time getting there) and inspiring the lives of young college-bound high schoolers.

Born in Pakistan, July 12, 1997, she became an activist for womens’ education at a young age. She was shot by the Taliban, a terrorist group who fights against the education of women, Oct. 12, 2012. She miraculously survived the attack and began promoting equal education on an international scale.

“She is really empowering to other girls especially in countries where education is limited. Those who live in poverty should fight for what they want because anything is possible.”, said Junior Melanie Saint Jean.

Now, at the age of 20, she has been accepted to Oxford University in order to  study politics, philosophy and economics. Yousafzai was so excited that she tweeted about her acceptance into the esteemed university:

“So excited to go to Oxford!! Well done to all A-level students – the hardest year. Best wishes for life ahead!!”

Morgan Bussius, a junior at Park Vista, said, “Hearing about her being accepted into Oxford made me really happy because it was an example that if we put our hearts to something that means so much to us then you will achieve something in return.”

Yousafzai will continue to inspire women everywhere in the world to fight for their equality and personal beliefs, no matter what, and enlighten  people all over the world to push boundaries and not settle for what they know is not right.

 

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