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Issaquah, Washington
December 23, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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December 23, 2009

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THE ISSAQUAH PRESS SECTION BY TEENS FOR TEENS ABOUT TEENS GET INVOLVED Natural Helpers Listening skills are the most important aspect a Nat- ural Helper can have, accord- ing to Natural Helpers Presi- dent Karen Lin. The stereo- By MBelle Dvorak type of the apathetic teen need no longer apply; in many ways, kids are seeking to destroy indifference and encourage awareness. Motivated by tackling issues, such as suicide and depression, drugs, alcohol and eating disorders, Nat- ural Helpers are the students nomi- nated by their peers as the kids to talk to, the ones who want to make a difference in the lives of others. Travel the tunnels of Skyline High School after school on a Wednes- day, and you would find a group of students learning about major teen issues and putting together events for the purpose of awareness. Natural Helpers are there to lis- ten and inform. Recently, the club presented the Youth Suicide Pre- vention program, and through presentations in the classroom sought to enlighten their teens of the crises others may face. "It's not just helping people. It's listening and understanding what teens go through," iin said. "Who knows, it could help yourself with some issues you possibly have." Natural Helpers meets Wednesdays after school at Skyline High School. This Is your RAKE-up calll Families unite for Christmas,a universal sea- son of hope, joy and light. Un- noticed stood a man huddled in the deserted streets on a By Rachel Osgood frigid winter night. From her kitchen window, a woman caught sight of the man and gestured him inside for a hot drink. The man hesitantly accepted, but hastily ate in her kitchen. This random act of kindness changed the life of the woman, as acts such as this have inspired people universally. Brianna Fowler-Under, presi- dent of RAKE or Random Acts of Kindness Everyday club, brought the desire to perform acts of char- ity to Issaquah High School. So, what is RAKE? The goal of the club is to improve the high school atmosphere through the unification of the student body. The students involved seek to bet- ter their community on an individ- ual and personal level. Through minor gestures of kind- ness daily, these students are on a mission to "inspire change and ac- ceptance through the exchange of love," Fowler-Linder said. The Random Acts of Kindness Everyday club meets Mondays after school at Issaquah High School. Learn more about upcoming events or becoming a member by e-mailing b.fowlerlindergmail.com. The giving tree Every year, Lib- erty High School's Key Club hosts a giving tree in the main office of the school, a tradition met with great enthusiasm by the student body. By Daniel The tree was up Pickering from Nov. 30 to Dec. 14, and the gifts received were given to five needy families in the Liberty area. This year, student participation was high. "We had tons of gifts, every tag on the tree was taken and there were tons of gift cards," said Carl Fraley, vice president of Key Club at Liberty High School. The giving tree is only one of the events the Key Club runs. The student organization is also plan- ning a canned food drive for Mar- tin Luther King Jr. week, and will donate the proceeds directly to the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank. "Our main goal is to help out the community around us and make it a better place, and to in- spire kids to get out of their daily routine and go help oth- ers," Fraley said. Key Club meets every Tuesday morning in Liberty's staff lounge. One step forward, two steps back A look at the future of gay politics t had been two months since peti- tioners against Senate Bill 5688 qual- llied Referen- dum 71 for the ballot. For two months, the By EhdkAIdm Washington LGBT community actively fought to extend the rights of same-sex domestic partnerships. After two months, their efforts paid off. On Nov. 3, Referendum 71, the "everything but marriage" bill, was approved by Washington state voters 53 percent to 47 per- cent -- a victory for Washington's gay and lesbian community. While domestic partners' rights have been growing in steps since the creation of a do- mestic partnership registry in 2007, the passing of R-71 ex- panded the rights and protec- tions of same-sex domestic part- ners to that of married spouses -- the ability to take family and medical leave when a partner is seriously ill, the right to workers compensation coverage, and in- surance coverage and group pol- icy rights. While R-71 didn't explicitly con- cern same-sex marriage, opposi- tion to the referendum made this a primary tool in combating the measure. Currently, the U.S. fed- eral government recognizes mar- riage as a legal union exclusively between a man and a woman un- der the Defense Marriage Law. Similar stances of opposition have been recently displayed on a state level. Also on Nov. 3, Maine voters rejected a ballot measure 53 percent to 47 per- cent, in turn repealing the legal- ization of same-sex marriage passed in May. Earlier this month, the New York state Sen- ate rejected a measure that would have made New York just the sixth state to allow gay mar- riage, becoming the 31st state to reject same-sex marriage when put to a popular vote. When it comes to the argument of civil rights for the LGBT com- munity, decisions have not always been in their favor. But with a ris- ing generation of teen voters preparing to mall their own bal- lots, America may soon see a shift in regard to gay politics. Teens today are exposed to gay culture in a more positive and tol- erant atmosphere than ever be- fore. Today, there are more than 3,000 U.S. high school gay- straight alliances -- clubs in- tended to promote a safe and sup- Thespians take the lead at Ikme Act Festival or many high school students, theater is a very in- fluential aspect of their life. The schools in the Issaquah School District have many talented per- formers, and the Bellevue One Act Festival is an opportu- nity for them to showcase their talent and dramatic creativity. The festival is an all-day event at Belle- vue College, where high ByAlexTucker school actors come from around the state to perform one-act plays. The rea- son this particular drama event is different from other theater festi- vals is that One Acts are com- pletely student-based. "One Act performances are en- tirely student run," said Is- saquah High School Drama Club Vice President Sarah Meyer, a senior. "They are student-di- rected and acted. Some are even student-written." The festival lets students take the lead and unleash their cre- ative genius by directing or per- forming a short play without adult influences. A lot goes into putting together BY ERIC CLARK Alanna Recline, a senior at Issaquah High School and an actress in a play at the One Act Festival, rehearses with Sarah Meyer, also a senior at IHS and director of a play. a One Act performance. It "takes about two months, be- cause usually we audition in De- cember and then we go on winter break," Meyer said. "We have a few rehearsals over break, but it doesn't really get intense until af- ter break. We mostly rehearse in finals week." The festival typically takes place at the end of January. One Acts are popular among drama students, and the festival is an enjoyable experience for every- one involved. They are "a tremendous learn- ing experience as an actor and a director," Meyer said. "The adju- dicators give us tips about what we did right and wrong, and we can take that back and apply it to our future theater experiences. Also, we get to see all of the other schools perform, so we can learn from that as well as from the ad- judicators." Meyer is directing a One Act this year, and she has acted in them in the past. "This will be my third year go- ing, and I love it," she said. ,t Movie: "Precious" is a film adaptation of the award win. ning novel "Push" by Sapphire. Clareece "Precious" Jones is 16, illiterate, overweight and abused by her troubled family. However, she finds hope in a school when a teacher helps her begin a new life. As she is preg- nant with her second child, she learns a valuable lesson that "life is hard...short...painful...rich. Life is Precious." TOE HOT" Li,00T" By Olivia Spokoiny ,i Book: "Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations,' by Alex and Brett Harris. Through humorous real-life stories, Alex and Brett Harris are starting a movement that encour- ages youths to rebel against the low expectations of their culture by challenging themselves, and start a "rebehtion" for a better future. ,i Album: "The Fame Monster,' by Lady Gaga. The new "queen of pop" shares her deepest fears and discusses the dark side of being in the limelight. WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 23 2009 PAGE C 6 BY STEPHANIE YI Students at Skyline High School, above and at left, get together to talk about issues in a meeting of the school's Gay-Straight Alliance. All three schools in the Issaquah School District have student GSAs. The clubs at Skyline, Issaquah and Liberty are among more than 3,000 such clubs at high schools in the United States. portive environment for LGBT youth and their straight allies -- that are registered with the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Net- work. These include GSAs in Is- saquah, Liberty and Skyline high schools, as well as the Pacific Cas- cade Freshman Campus. In 1997, high school GSAs numbered only about 100. With the youth of today cur- rently breaking cultural bound- aries between LGBT and straight communities, the political climate prepares itself for strides of change. Here's how to find the perfect gift on a budget The holi- day season has become an increas- ingly difficult problem in these hard economic times. Many of us By Olivia Spokoioy lack the time and money to search for the per- fect holiday gift for our family and friends -- especially teenagers. It is a common misconception that the "perfect gift" has to be something impressive, new or ex- pensive. In fact, there are endless ways to be thrifty and creative. Unique Ideas v' Start with a photo. Decorate it, frame it and add your own artistic flair. Handmade gifts are both meaningful and personal- ized, for they cannot be dupli- cated by anyone else. v' Throw a white elephant gift exchange. Invite your closest friends and family for a night of holiday fun. Everyone who brings a gift leaves with another, and also leaves with the experience of getting together with people for the holidays and sharing. Create a coupon book. Make a booklet of promises of evenings out and breakfasts in bed. It is the little things that count and the most personalized gifts that people will remember for years to come. There is no better way to express kindness, love and appreciation during the holidays. REPORTERS Ehfik Aldana, Skyline High School, jor Michelin Dvorak, Skyline High School, senior Rachel Osgood, Issaquah High School, sophomore Daniel Pickering, erty High School, junior Max Smith-Holmes, Skyline High School, senior Olivia Spokoiny, Skyline High School, sophomore Alex Tucker, Issaquah High School, junior LOGO Carla Mokin CONTACT US \