Canisius and Western Michigan Both Top Softball in Doubleheader

by Humera Gul

Central Connecticut State University lost two games on March 10, in the Under Armor Series Tournament in Tampa, Florida. The First game was against Canisius, and the second was against Western Michigan. Canisius Golden Griffins beat CCSU, 3-1, while Western Michigan beat the Blue Devils 2-0.

Sarah Oglivie hit a double to left center in the second inning, then later scored on an Emily Cronin single. That was the only run for CCSU Blue Devils against Canisus.

Canisius would go on to tie the game in the third, until the bottom of the sixth inning. The Blue Devils went on to give up two scores in the sixth inning.

Alex Casanas got her first start of the year, only allowing three hits, one run and walk though four innings before being pulled.

Oglivie took over pitching and struggled to finish the game. In her two innings, she gave up five hits and two runs.

Canisius pitcher Madi Weathers threw for all seven innings. She only allowed two hits, one run and two walks.  She also struck out five different players.

Western Michigan started the game well, going three for three and grabbed one run right in the first inning. Emily Sargent would start the second game for CCSU, but they were shut out by Western Michigan.

Sargent pitched the entire game and allowed only five hits and two runs. She gave up two walks and had one strike out.

Western Michigan pitcher Jordan Kurth played close to a perfect game, after pitching the entire thing and allowing three hits and no runs. She struck out three players and never allowed a base on balls. Kurth faced a total of 25 batters and had a pitch strike ratio of 106-68.

CCSU had one final opportunity in the top of the seventh inning, when Oglivie and Brittany Camara were out to third and second base. Emily Cronin tried to make a comeback with an opportunity to bring both girls home. She went on to bunt the ball to get to first base, but it was snuffed out and the inning was over.

Letter To The Editor: Teacher furlough days are harmful to helping state budget

Teacher furlough days are harmful to helping state budget

by Drew Michael McWeeney

After speaking with Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Mark E. Ojakian last month, it is positively sinful that he and Governor Malloy are continuing to support the idea that state teachers in the state should voluntarily use unpaid leave as a kind of “furlough day,” in order to close the budget gap for our state’s economic crisis.

This is fantastic when some people, like Ojakian, get a free car, car insurance, an over $300,000 salary and free vehicle repairs.

Ask a teacher who makes under $90,000 a year, has $500 a month in student loans, pays for their own car and insurance, to take unpaid “days off” – and see what they have to say.

Furlough days do not work for state teachers; classes need to be taught. Students need feedback and help with material that is being taught. Teaching positions are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. generally, but that is only part of a teacher’s workday.

When I become a teacher, would I even dare to furlough the almost countless hours I spend after my students have left school and I am planning for the weeks and months ahead? Would I take a furlough day when my papers are due to journals on tight deadlines? Would I furlough the hours when I sneak out of bed the next day at 5 a.m. to squeeze in another hour or two of work? What about when I have to give up my time on weekends to work on writing IEPs, 504s, behavior modification plans and lesson plans? (Which teachers currently do, and are not paid for.)

Teachers in this state donate hundreds of hours a year beyond what their contract requires, and now CSCU President Ojakian and Governor Malloy want more. They both need to stop calling this situation a “budget crisis.” It has been this way since I entered college four years ago. A crisis cannot be permanent by definition, and the budget cannot be fixed by having all state teachers work for free. They do enough of that already.

I love how some, such as Governor Malloy and President Ojakian, assume that shared sacrifice means simply getting just a little bit more out of those who cannot afford it. Teachers in this state already donate a large portion of their salary to pay for retirement health benefits they might never see. Literally, teachers have to fork over cash twice a month because the state made promises they knew they could never afford.

Not to mention, President Ojakian and Governor Malloy forgot to say how much of their earnings they will give back to the state. How many furlough days for you, Mark Ojakian and Dannel Malloy? Check your privileges, for your salaries are too high for the work you both do.

No wonder why people – especially teachers – want out of Connecticut.

Drew Michael McWeeney, 21, of Wolcott is majoring in early childhood education and music performance and is a teacher candidate at Southern Connecticut State University. His website is www.drewmmcweeney.com.

It’s Arsène Wenger Time to Leave

by Dillon Meehan

In the fall of 1996 Arsenal dismissed their manager Bruce Rioch after a series of disputes with board members. Following his departure the board decided to bring in Arsène Wenger, a figure who was relatively unknown by the English media.

It was a rough start, he came in with a focus on sports science and nutrition. Before his tenure, it was standard procedure for players to often drink in the locker room and go out on their off days. Yet Wenger changed all of that.  He banned his players from drinking and junk food, he encouraged them to avoid red meat and replace it with chicken. Apart from diet, he had his players injected with vitamins and use Creatine to recover from games and training.

A year later, he became the first foreign-born manager in the English Premier League to win the “double,” by capturing both Premier League title and the F.A. Cup.

Four seasons later, in 2002 he would repeat history by leading Arsenal to another double. But he wasn’t done; in 2004 Arsenal became the first team since Preston North End 115 years prior to go undefeated throughout an entire season, and the first to do so in a 38-game season.

He had revolutionized the game in eight years; but he had also plateaued.

In 2006 the club finished fourth in the Premier League, a first for Wenger. On top of that, the club blew a lead late in the second half against Barcelona in the Champions League final. At the start of the summer, the club built a new stadium which was supposed to cement Arsenal as one of premier destinations for the top players in the sport, but in reality it was the opposite.

The owner and board elected to choose prioritize financial success over improving the team.  Instead of bringing in players, they began to lose some of their best.  It started with Sol Campbell, Lauren and Rober Pirès in 2006.  A year later Thierry Henry, the clubs best player, left for Barcelona.

That was only the beginning, in 2009 the club started a trend of sending their best players to Manchester City, first with  both Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure in July 2009. Two years later the club sold another two as Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri both left.

The following year in 2012, Robin Van Persie would also leave for Manchester, this time going to United.

Over the past decade, Arsenal have become a shadow of the club they once were around the turn of the century. The club has now lost in Champions League Round of 16 in seven straight seasons. They have repeatedly blown chances to win the Premier League title. The only silverware they have to show are two F.A. Cup titles in 2014 and 2015. But that competition is essentially worthless now, with the majority of clubs using their B-teams to compete in it.

This season has been particularly awful for Wenger and his squad. Earlier in the month, they suffered an embarrassing lost 10-2 on aggregate against Bayern Munich. While fans thought it couldn’t get worse Arsenal managed another embarrassing 3-1 against West Brom.

The former perennial title contenders now sit in sixth place tied with Everton.  With Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United all looking to have rebounded from their slow starts it is unlikely that Arsenal will even be able to contend for a Champions League spot, and even worse, finish below their London rivals Tottenham for the first time since the inception of the Premier League.

Arsène Wenger has a choice; either tarnish his legacy as one of the games greatest coaches, or resign. If he stays he will likely see the clubs two best platers Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil leave this summer, further plummeting his squad.

If he reigns he can either take a spot as the club’s Sporting Director, or take a job elsewhere. Following PSG’s embarrassing defeat to Barcelona and their performance in Ligue 1, there is a chance that Unai Emery could be fired or resigned. This would open the door for Wenger to finish his career in an easier league with a much better squad.

All Time Low Takes Experimental Shift with New Single

by Thomas Redding

All Time Low is a pop punk band that originated in Baltimore, Maryland, formed in 2003. They have been a part of Hopeless Records for most of their career, but will now be releasing their upcoming album on Fueled By Ramen Records, which is also the home of bands such as: Paramore, Panic at The Disco, Young The Giant, and Twenty One Pilots. They announced this surprise record label switch just a day before the new single and music video for the single was released on Feb. 17. Based on fan reviews of the new single, there is excitement in this change of sound for the band, giving them assurance that the label change was the right choice for them.

Their new single, “Dirty Laundry” sounds somewhat experimental for the band. Typically known for pop-punk hits like, “Dear Maria Count Me In,” this song takes a different route for the first half. They are starting to add more electronic features with the release of each preceding album, and are speculated to head towards a total pop sound. This new track is still a song you can jam out to, yet the verses and first two choruses are softer and more eerie than anything the band has released before. The electric guitars don’t kick in until the last chorus, giving it a burst of energy. This ending gives it a small trace of the pop-punk genre that their albums once consisted of.

The band had mentioned that there was some experimenting being done during the recording process, which is understandable for a band that is now close to 15 years old. They are looking for something different to play live, while also trying to market themselves and differentiate themselves in a highly formulaic genre. So far, fan reactions to the track have been mostly positive, and the pre-order merchandise bundles have been selling fast. These sales further the notion of success with the experimentation in the upcoming album.

Some believe that this track may just be one of its kind, and that there will still be pop-punk songs on the album. There is a chance of this, and that would be quite interesting to hear a wide range of sounds coexist cohesively on their album. However, each of All Time Low’s albums have a distinct sound. One can tell the difference between albums almost right away, so one might assume that this album will have similar sounding tracks to that of “Dirty Laundry.” This is most likely to happen because the first single typically is a summary of what the album will sound like.

Overall, fans are quite excited to see a “new” All Time Low. Their previous album, “Future Hearts” debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, selling 75,000 copies in its first week. It’s expected to see around the same, if not more. While All Time Low isn’t necessary “mainstream,” they can sell out stadiums fairly easily. Their fans are typically “die- hard fans” that will pay almost $200 to see them. For a band in the pop-punk genre, they are on the high end of popularity and recognition.

All Time Low is about to embark on a large tour this summer, hitting almost every House of Blues venue across the United States, along with some large concert halls along the way. The closest stop for anyone around here would be in New York City on July 31, at the Central Park Summerstage. Their new album, “The Last Young Renegade” will be available June 6, and pre-orders are available on iTunes and at www.alltimelow.com. I would rate this track an 8/10.

There is Little Proof Citizens are a Concern

by Lorenzo Burgio

 

Blue Devils Grab Second Win Against La Salle

by Humera Gul

Central Connecticut State’s softball team beat La Salle, 3-0 on March 11. Emily Sargent pitched her second consecutive complete game, recording her first shutout of the season. She allowed one hit in seven innings, while walking three batters and striking out two. Sargent improved her record to 2-4 this season.

Alexis Debrosse tripled on a hit to left field on the first at bat of the game for CCSU.  Emily Cronin reached first, on an error allowing Debrosse to score and take a 1-0 lead. Brittany McNulla then doubled to left center, scoring Cronin to give the Blue Devils a 2-0 lead.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Sarah Oglivie would single to right field and eventually score as Tori Constantin doubled to left field, giving the Blue Devils their third and final run.

Debrosse went up to bat four times. She was an offensive weapon for the Blue Devils again. She scored a run and a hit, striking out two times.

Emily Cronin had three at bats and one hit with one run scored and one RBI.

Oglivie went up to bat three times.  She also had one hit and one run.  Despite being a freshman, Oglivie has had a lot of impact as of late.

La Salle pitcher Reilly Gearhart threw a complete game with nine strike outs.  She allowed three runs on seven hits. Gearhart is now 1-3 when she starts for La Salle.

La Salle had no answer for CCSU, and weren’t able to score a single run the entire game.  La Salle’s lack of offense didn’t help their chances as they only had one hit, their only other offense came from three walks.

Simple And Delicious Easter Dessert

by Lauren Lustgarten

If you’re looking for the perfect dessert to make for your guests this Easter, we have the one for you. These cupcakes with toasted coconut and Cadbury Eggs are the perfect combination of presentable, simple and delicious – something you just can’t pass up.

First, prepare the cake mix of your choice according to the package. Place the cake mix in cupcake holders and bake according to the package directions.

To make the frosting, mix together cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Once the cupcakes are baked and cooled, frost them with desired amount.

To toast your coconut, spread evenly over a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for five minutes. Top the cooled, frosted cupcakes with the coconut and as many Cadbury eggs as desired and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • Store bought cake mix, prepare with ingredients according to package
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 package Cadbury eggs
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 stick of butter, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

blink-182 Announces Deluxe Edition Album with New Songs

 

by Matt Balogh

After the release of their album “California” last July, blink-182 had been met with all types of attention: among the band’s fan base, the new followers, and the unforgiving group of fans that bash any post-Tom Delonge recordings. Delonge was blink’s former guitarist, co-lead vocalist and founding member of the band. After complications with scheduling for an upcoming album between the band members, the unthinkable had happened for the group.

Delonge had notified the group that he was leaving to focus on his own projects around mid-2014, leaving the band without their guitarist. Soon after, Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio filled in, and later was confirmed a full-time member of the band.

Considering Alkaline Trio’s style in the punk rock genre, fans expected blink to completely return to their roots in energetic fast punk music. As a very talented guitarist and vocalist, Skiba fit in perfectly, but fans had grown upset over the absence of Delonge’s signature slurred vocals.

“California” gave the band a massive popularity spike and even earned them their first Grammy nomination for Best Rock Album. Compared to their past albums, this one lacked in strong songwriting. The songs were catchy, however, very basic and songs didn’t differ much from track to track.

Under the production of Goldfinger’s John Feldmann, the 16-track album seemed to feature a little too much filler. The 30-second joke tracks seemed to only be placed in there just to get old fans off their back about losing their sense of humor. The album did spawn a handful of solid songs that will work very well blended in will their usual live set-list.

To promote the release of the upcoming deluxe edition of “California,” the band had released a new single, “Parking Lot.” The song is more upbeat, in the vein of “Cynical,” appealing to the band’s old fans who crave Travis Barker’s faster drumming. With lyrics putting even more “west-coast glorification” into the album, the band doesn’t cover any new ground. A nice homage was paid to Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” was paid in the chorus lyrics, adding a quirky spin on it.

The deluxe edition adds 12 extra songs to the album, making it worth the money. Pre-orders will be available through the band’s official site, expected to be released May 19.

 

Faceboook Begins Fighting Fake News

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Major steps have recently been taken by Facebook to combat the spread of fake news and ultimately help decrease the amount of misinformation the public is exposed to.

The new feature on the social media sight flags stories that are disputed by the Associated Press and Snopes.com

When someone tries to share an article that is disputed, Facebook displays a warning that informs about the user that the information is disputed. Then a second pop-up that lets the user know Facebook is adhering to Poynter’s non-partisan code to distinguish that the article may have false information.

Facebook then links the user to pages on Snopes.com or on the AP website that explain why the article is labeled as disputed.

Individuals are able to ignore these messages and still post the article on their timeline, but directly below is a warning that says, “Disputed by Snopes.com and Associated Press.”

This feature apparently began a few months ago, but recently is making its appearance on social media where users are noticing it.

The model that Facebook chose to inform the public about fake news, and to tame the spread of fake news throughout social media, could be what the country needs.

Individuals who want to share questionable articles could be deterred if they are repeatedly informed that it is disputed by reputable fact-checkers.

This combats the spread of fake news from two angles; by informing the individual sharing the news and anyone who may come across in on Facebook.

This lessens the possibilities for people to become misinformed or play a part in the spread of fake news.

As it is a progressive step in the fight against fake news, this model of sifting out misinformation needs to be seen on other social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.

This model could even be seen going as far as flagging memes that spread made-up facts and ideas.

Among the most recent flagged articles that was seen and shared on Facebook was a fictionalized story: “Trump’s Android Device Believed To Be The Source of Recent White House Leaks,” from “The Seattle Tribune.”

The story carried the disputed label with the links to AP and Snopes.com explaining why the story was not real.

According to USA Today, the articles that do end up getting flagged not only have the label, but they also get pushed down on people’s newsfeed.

As sharing regardless of the disputed label is a personal preference and there is no clear solution to stopping that in the near future, hopefully more and more Facebook users will get the hint to just not share it at all.

If Facebook users respond the right way, only then should other social media platforms follow Facebook’s lead.

Softball Gets First Win Against UPenn

by Humera Gul

The Central Connecticut State University Softball team got their first win of the season, 6-3 against University of Pennsylvania on March 9. The game was at Eddie C. Moore Field in Clearwater, Florida. The game uplifted CCSU’s record to 1-5. UPenn dropped to 4-6.

Emily Sargent pitched a complete game for the Blue Devils. She struck out three and walked three, while giving up a total of nine hits and three runs, with only two earned.

Sargent stopped many attempts by the Quakers early in the game.  For the Blue Devils, Brittany McNulla and Brittany Camara played strong the entire game. McNulla had the team’s first hit and Camara began the rally in the sixth inning. Alexis Debrosse walked on four balls to first base in the sixth inning.

UPenn made two pitching changes to stop the rally from CCSU. However, it fell short as CCSU scored two more runs. Maddie Landry scored on a hit-by-pitch and Sarah Ogilvie brought in Camara with a single.

McNulla went up to bat four times and had one run and three hits and allowed a run. She went up to bat with a vengeance each time and hit three times in her four opportunities.

Kerri Dadalski went up to bat a total of three times. She had one run and one hit, and had 3 RBIs. Dadalski had a double play that sealed the game for the Blue Devils.

Debrosse went up to bat three times and had one run and no hits. She got the base on balls and could score for the Blue Devils and struck out once. Debrosse proved to be patient and took a base on balls delivered and scored off that base as the Blue Devils put together a good finish.