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Damage and Delay After Wed. Night Wind Storm

Last night, nature led another severe sneak attack on the Northeast—Westport included—ravaging the area with unprecedented wind damage and destruction.

“Two trees fell on my house and ruined my bathroom,” Emily Macdonald ’16 said. “So now I have no wall.”

Macdonald wasn’t alone.

“It was ridiculous. It woke me up in the middle of the night because my bed started shaking,” Jon Pacilio ’14 said.

News sources said that in its northward climb from the south, the storm claimed two lives: one in Tennessee and one in Georgia. Though it peaked at gusts of 81 miles per hour, the storm fortunately calmed down by the time it reached New England. The highest recorded gusts in Connecticut reached 61 miles per hour—58 miles per hour in Westport.

“I was in the fetal position for half the night,” Jackson Ward ’16 said.

Daisy Laska ’16 was also shaken. “I slept in my mom’s bed, I was so scared,” Laska said.

However, for some of Staples’ heavier sleepers, the noise was nothing but a lullaby. “I slept like a baby,” Leo Andruik ’15 said.

Tyler Crowder ’14 agreed. “I slept through the whole thing.”

With 3,221 reported outages, according to Connecticut Light and Power, 26% of Westport is currently out of power, and nearly 13,000 in Connecticut. And while some students may have enjoyed the show and the opportunity to sleep in, the destruction worried many locals. Trees also blocked off several major roadways, such as North Avenue.

“We had big tree limbs go down, all our power lines are down on our street and we were blocked on one side of our street because the transformer came down,” said Library Media paraprofessional Margaret Parkhurst.

Due to the damage, the Westport Public Schools called a two-hour delay. Despite the destruction, many of Staples’ students were pleased with the delay.

“It was nice because I got to sleep in.” said Denzel Robinson ’15.

For most, it was quite a surprise. Even Jacob Meisel, Westport’s Weather Whiz, had predicted last night only that a few delays were possible.

“I woke up at 6:50,” remembered Brandon Braswell ‘15. He said he was worried when he saw the time and ran to his mom, who told him school had been delayed.

According to News 8, many schools and districts around the Westport area were closed or delayed from the storm. Along with Westport, Weston also had a two hour delay.

However, many felt that the two hour delay wasn’t enough. In fact many schools in Fairfield, including Ludlowe High, were closed for the entire day.

There was a general sentiment that Superintendent Elliot Landon made the wrong decision, given the local destruction. “[The superintendent] should’ve given us the whole day off,” said Ross Dener ’13.

“I think we shouldn’t have had school,” agreed Adam Kaufman, ’15.

It was less a matter of the weather this morning, and more a question of the destruction.

“A tree branch fell on the power lines so I couldn’t leave my house.” said Kari Flicker, ‘15.

Rachel Shapiro ‘13 was nervous when she woke up. ““I had to look out my window and make sure that my car was still in my driveway,” Shapiro said.

With falling trees and down power lines, not even a two hour delay eased students’ struggle simply getting to school. Most estimated it took anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes longer than usual to get to school.

School staff had difficulty getting to Staples. Media Center paraprofessional Raspati Horrigan said, “One tree fell in my backyard and there are branches all over my driveway. It took me 15 minutes to clean up my driveway so I could leave. It’s crazy!”

Reporting by Julia Bender, Alexandra Benjamin, Aidan Clarke, Alexa DiLuca, Tyler Finley, Kaila Finn, Barbara Foster, Chase Gornbein, Jessica Gross, Deanna Hartog, Jonah Levine, Casey Lu, Michael Mathis, Alison Morrison, Sydney Newman, Ian Offenberg, Kell Pogue, Blake Rubin, Aaron Samuels, Katelyn Settos, Kevin Smith, Gabrielle Titlebaum

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Cadence Neenan
Cadence Neenan, Web Managing Editor
By the age of 18, most kids have not yet chosen their favorite word. In fact, most teenagers have never even thought about such a question. Perhaps a few have been asked on a “Getting to Know You” sheet handed out by English teachers on the first day of school. But in that case, most probably just mindlessly scribbled words onto their sheets such as “literally,” or “totally,” or “dude.” Cadence Neenan ’15, on the other hand, has thought about this deeply. Her favorite word is “loquacious.” Neenan grew up in a home that fostered a love for all things English. With her mom as a former Staples High School English teacher and her dad as a librarian, Neenan was destined for a love affair with vocabulary, grammar, and reading. “My mom always used to read to me ever since I was little,” she said. “I love to read because I was raised to be a good reader.” In school, Neenan has opted to create a heavy course load that reflects her love of English and reading. AP Lit, AP Lang, AP Euro, and AP Gov are just a few of the difficult classes Neenan has chosen to take on. For Neenan, however, much of the learning and “fun with English” goes on outside the class material. “The other night, I was reading a poem during English class,” Neenan said. “I really liked it, so I brought it home and showed my mom. We spent the whole 45 minutes at dinner rhetorically analyzing it and talking about the devices the author used. It was so fun.” Alongside typical English classes, Neenan has also become a part of Inklings to exercise her love of writing. After taking Intro to Journalism, she fell in love with newspaper writing and, since then, has proven herself to be an essential Inklings player, as she is now the Web Managing Editor. “When I found out that I got Web Managing I had a panic attack because I was so happy,” Neenan said. “I like being a managing editor because I love the freedom the web gives me to be creative with my ideas.” Neenan also plans to use her journalism and writing skills in college and, later, in her career. “In college I want to study political science, but I am considering using that to go into journalism,” Neenan said. “Going into journalism with a focus on politics is what I am really interested in.”
Cheyenne Haslett
Cheyenne Haslett, Web Managing Editor
Grace Kosner
Grace Kosner, Video Editor

Lights, Camera, and Grace Kosner is in action. This will be the second year in a row that Grace Kosner ’14 will take on the role of being a Video Editor for Inklings. From a young age Kosner has been exposed to the media in all different aspects. Her father is the head of the media for ESPN, her older brother majors in screen writing and her grandfather was the Editor in Chief of many prominent newspapers. These newspapers include Newsweek, New York, Esquire magazines and the New York Daily News.

 Although, Kosner has been introduced to many different aspects of the journalism world, her true passion within the field is creating videos. According to Kosner, making videos has been very beneficial. “I’ve gotten more mature in that I recognize that everyone has a great perspective worth considering despite how they may seem on the surface. After interviewing different types of people and traveling to film them in an environment where they are most comfortable, I get to understand them in a more tangible way,” said Kosner. Her passion for videos made Kosner realize that Inklings would suit her well. Kosner’s desire to be on top of things and creating well-crafted videos will be an asset to the Inkling’s staff this year.
Alex Greene
Alex Greene, Photo Editor
She may have been waived out of the Introduction to Journalism class, but Photo Editor Alex Greene ’13 is no beginner. Fresh from a National Geographic Student Expedition trip to Peru, Greene plans to bring the expertise she practiced this summer to the front pages of Inklings during the school year. When she’s not snapping photos, Greene enjoys participating in other unique activities that not everyone can say they have tried in their lives. As an avid member of the Staples Swim Team and a co-captain of the Girls’ Water Polo Team, the leadership that a role on Inklings requires will be no stranger to her. “What most people don’t know about water polo is that it is actually extremely aggressive,” she said. “We even have drills where we practice appropriate ways to kick people.” Greene plans to bring those fighting qualities to the Inklings staff for the 2012-2013 school year. Eager when faced with new challenges, she plans to tackle what the advanced class entails with the same motivation that she approaches the pool with. The student body should be prepared for a shock when they see Greene’s world-class pictures grace the pages of Inklings throughout the school year. She may be new to the staff, but she is far from inexperienced.
Jordan Shenhar
Jordan Shenhar, Web Managing Editor
Jordan Shenhar loves hanging out with his friends-as long as he’s arguing with them. No, he doesn’t have anger management issues; he’s just extremely political. Shenhar participates not only in Inklings, but also in the student-run club JSA. (Junior State of America) Shenhar participates the most in this club to gain time doing one of his favorite activities: arguing about politics with kids his age. Or, as Shenhar says, “[I] take part in one of my favorite activities, arguing with liberals.”  Shenhar is a libertarian, a more unusual party that advocates for small governmental interference. Always wanting to discuss politics even more, Shenhar runs the Young Libertarians Club at Staples. However, don’t assume that Shenhar is a driven, cold-hearted politician. He loves visiting his family in Israel, where he never feels stressed. He is in awe of the good weather there, and accounts many of his greatest moments to spending time there. And of course, he loves sports. Shenhar says “And for most of my life I've been enslaved by the Mets and the Redskins, my two favorite teams to which I devote excessive amounts of time in exchange for them crushing my hopes and dreams.”

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