24/7 News



School choice comes to Riverview High School

Kayla Pluer ‘17
    Riverview High School is proud to announce it will be joining the other four high schools in Sarasota county, to make five Sarasota county school choice high schools in the upcoming 2015-2016 school year.
   “For as long as I can remember Riverview hasn’t had school choice, even when I worked here in the 90’s we didn’t have it,” said Katrina Ward.
    For those that do not know what school choice is, it means students are able to attend their school of choice even if that student lives outside of the school district.
    For many years Riverview high has been closed to school choice and the only way students could attend
Riverview when living outside of the school district, is by going into the International Baccalaureate or commonly referred to as the IB program.
    For past years Riverview wasn’t able to open up school choice because there wasn’t space available, but due to the prediction the Sarasota school district has made; there will be room for new faces.
    “I swear the school district has a crystal ball, every year they are able to guess the number of student that are going to enroll here and next year they say we’ll finally have room for student’s outside the district,” said Glenn Wachter.
    This opening of school choice will not only bring a whole new opportunity to students that were not able to attend Riverview before, but this also will bring new faces to Riverview to meet.
    “I can’t wait for next year! My best friend’s been trying to come to Riverview since my freshman year and now she’s going to be able to!” said Sunny Smith ’17.
    “I’m excited to meet new people next year, and even see people that have wanted to attend Riverview that live out of district that I know,” said Starla Wilson ’17.

Gas price drops; driving now fits student budgets

Jenna Tarifa ‘16
    All over the nation, gas prices have been on a steady decline. Only 365 days ago, the average gas price was $3.31 per gallon; but today the prices have dropped more than a dollar.
    The reason behind the sudden drop in gas prices is that the price of oil has become significantly lower than the price it was this summer. This is becuase the United States is prouducing more oil on its own soil. For example, Oklahoma, Texas, and North Dakota, have doubled their oil production in the last six years.
    "It's great that the gas prices have gotten cheaper because now I can save more money and put some away for college," said Brandan Callaghan, '16.
    The leading state for the cheapest gas prices is Missouri, averaging at about $1.83 per gallon. However, the island of Hawaii is still at $3.48 per gallon. The reason Hawaii's prices are higher than other states, is becuase the oil has to be shipped to this island.
    Some of the cheapest places to buy gas in the Sarasota area are the Orion Gas Station located on Stickney Point Road, inbetween Swiff Road and Tamiami Trail, and the Marathon Station located on Tamiami Trail.
   "The lower gas prices mean I'll have more money to spend on food!" said Gabie Simunovic, '17.
    According to 'Everyday Money', it is expected that the price for gas in more cities across the country will dip below two dollars a gallon.
    "It's nice not to spend all of your paycheck on a tank of gas," said Callaghan, "now I have a little more money to spend on other things."
    Not only are the cheaper gas prices helping the average family save money, but also helping the economy. The extra money that people are saving on gas, is being spent on other goods and services, which is helping the local and national economy.

Paris terror attack against free expression riles world

Nick Kaufman’15

    On Wednesday, January 7th, 2015, havoc erupted in Paris where three terrorists ended up killing 12 innocent civilians, one suspected in a fatal attack on a policewomen and four other hostages, the other two specifically targeted the Charlie Hebdo newspaper print company.  Many European history experts shared their opinions for what this event could mean for the future of France.


   “One should be able to express themselves in writing and pictures but the editor for Charlie Hebdo printing company took it way to far.” said Dr. Baeszler, a European history teacher at Riverview. “Yes, you do have the freedom of speech, but you do not have the freedom of hate speech.” 

    The names of the two that attacked the newspaper were Said and Cherif Kouachi. Their motive for this attack was said to be due to a long history of the newspaper publishing cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad in a non flattering way. The main target for this attack was the editor of the newspaper, Stephane Charbonnier. He was a well known cartoonist who had a long history of writing cartoons that not only depicted the prophet Muhammad but all other religions as well. He was a big defender of the right of free speech.
   Said and Cherif Kouachi are said to have had ties to radical Islamist extremists. Said was living in Yemen in 2011 working with Al Qaeda, and receiving weapon training. Cherif, the younger of the brothers, has had a long history of anti-Semitism and wanted to go to Iraq to fight against American forces

Touchdown Philae

Nick Kaufman '15


    On November 12, the world looked on in anticipation as the Philae lander from the Rosetta spacecraft made the first-ever controlled touchdown on a comet. An endeavor over ten years in the making, the Philae lander made the first “on-site” analysis of a comet, sending back data to Earth that will be analyzed to determine the composition of the surface.


    Ten years ago, on March 2, 2004, the Rosetta launched from French Guiana and traveled 3,907 days to the comet named Churyumov-Gerasimenko with several goals. Largely, the Philae lander is meant to collect samples from the above and below the surface in order to determine its composition. Already, scientists have determined from data sent back was that the magnetic field of the comet oscillates at 40-50 millihertz. Additionally, scientists discovered a large amount of water ice on the comet, proved that the comet is “not nearly as soft and fluffy as it was believed to be.”


    However, some say that the Philae landing cannot be called a total success. After its first descent, the lander bounced three times before coming to a rest leaning against a rock, roughly one kilometer from its original landing site. In its current location against the rock, it is unfortunately subjected to near total darkness. On the morning of November 18, the Philae obtained data from all instruments whose operation did not require any mechanical movement. Soon, electrical power in the darkness dwindled rapidly, in correlation with the download rate for data sent back, until it finally came to a stop.


     While it has lost all communication capability, scientists remain hopeful that by August 2015, when the comet has moved much closer to the Sun in its orbit, the lander’s solar panels will receive enough solar energy for the European Space Agency to reawaken it.

Kiltie Band takes superior overall

Abby Donnelly '17


    After countless rehearsals after school, hard work in the summer at band camp, and many outstanding performances at Riverview’s Varsity football games; the Riverview High school Kiltie band won their 56th Superior Overall award.


    The Kiltie band participated in the Florida Bandmasters Association, or FBA. The band was tested against other bands in the county for the Superior award.


    Chuck Evans, director of percussion, stressed that the award was not a competition against other bands, but it was an evaluation.

The band was rated in their marching and the music that they played. They were also rated in categories of percussion, general effect, music, and auxiliary marching and maneuvering.


    The band received these ratings from six different judges; one for each of the categories but the “Music” category has two judges.


    “I was pretty nervous in the beginning but once I stepped onto the field with everyone, I just put my all into it and it really paid off,” said Skylar Cressey ’17.


    As goals for the future go, the band will have another opportunity to receive superior ratings in February when they compete in the District Concert Music Performance Assessment. The band will also attend the State Music Performance Assessment in May.


    “One of our main goals is just to maintain our superior like we have for the past 56 years,” said Austin Warner ’17.  


    “We are in the planning stages to take the Wind Ensemble to Atlanta for a festival in March,” said director Mark Spreen.


    The band will also present three more concerts this school year all starting a 7:00 pm in the RPAC.

Food Drive story

Jazmin Giovino '17


    When thinking about Thanksgiving, one might picture a table set up with an enormous turkey, mashed potatoes, pies, bread rolls, stuffing, and an ongoing amount of delicious food. Unfortunately having a Thanksgiving feast, let alone having food at all may not be possible for everyone. Thanks to the wonderful

    All Faiths food bank and the helping hands at RHS, help can be provided to give food to those in need.


    Thanksgiving is the holiday all about being appreciative and grateful for what you have and giving back to the community. On the Saturday before Thanksgiving (November 22nd), Riverview High School students were sure to pitch in and help out at the food drive.

This food drive was held at RHS bright and early from 8am to 12pm in the parent pick up loop and was supplied by none other than All Faiths food bank.


    According to Jenna Wiles, 17’ there were stations set up with food to pass out and the food drive basically worked like a drive through. Each person who came to Riverview to receive food was given turkey and a bag of dry food.


    “I had a great time helping out at the Food drive. It’s amazing how everyone can just show up and work together to accomplish something so big and help so many families. It makes me feel good to help others, and not to mention I even got community service hours for it.”


    This food drive on the 22nd wasn’t just a onetime deal either. In fact, every other Tuesday, Riverview High School students come together and meet outside the school in the parent pick up loop to assist with more All Faiths food bank food drives. These students are volunteering their time from four to six after school to give back to the community.


    “I love being a part of the food drives that take place at Riverview. All Faiths food bank is such a wonderful nonprofit organization and helping them to help others is my pleasure. Knowing that just giving a couple hours of my time can benefit so much is incredible and I hope everyone will come out to volunteer sometime.” said Claire Johnson, 17’.

25 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Rachel Stone '15

     November 9th marked the 25th anniversary since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The collapse put an end to the infamous wall, the separation within a single country, as well as marked the breakdown of communism in Germany. At least this is how we view this event in history. Many of us forget about the citizens that experienced this for themselves.


    Ruth and Volker Suhr are a married couple from Germany visiting the United States for a marathon. This couple were Berlin residents when the wall was set in place, they were born on opposite sides of the wall.


    “My husband was born on the East side of Germany, we did not meet until after the wall fell and migration was allowed,” said Ruth Suhr.


    When the wall was in place, travel was difficult, the only movement allowed was done by the governments. Citizens with Eastern Germany backgrounds are motivated to travel more than those from the West.


    “Seeing the wall fall was unbelievable, many of us couldn’t believe that this was really going on. People were crying, the walls separated families and friends, it didn’t seem real,” said Volker Suhr.


    Just over 25 years, Germany has changed, but has not forgotten their past. In order to celebrate the milestone, a nine-mile chain of lighted balloons were set up along the path where the wall was and the balloons were released around the same time the announcement of the end of the wall.


     “This isn’t something we imagined happening, even meeting each other was by chance, tomorrow we’ll fly home to Germany to celebrate the event that brought us together,” Ruth Suhr.


    The fall of the Berlin wall was not just a political success, it led to social success as well. Real families were affected by the divided country, however, its end brought a few happy memories for some.

Check out the new UTC Mall 

Ashleigh Urich '18

Liana Kaikova '17


    October 16, 2014 was the grand opening for the University Town Center (UTC) mall at 140 University Town Center Drive. This mall is 888,000 square feet and has over 100 restaurants and stores for people of all ages such as Victoria Secret, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macys, Pacsun and more.

    “It’s really nice! It has my favorite stores, new and old and there are so many of them, I could stay in there for hours,” said Blythe Dondonville ’18.

    People were very excited for the new mall to open mainly because of all the new stores it has, but some people expected more from the mall than what they got the first time they went.

    “As great as the new mall is, it wasn’t what I expected. “I thought it would be better because it was spoken so highly of, and before it opened, there were a lot of rumors about there being a really nice movie theater and food court, but it has neither of those,” said Giulia Thompson ’18.

    Students also really liked the décor of this giant mall. The modern but beautiful chairs and lights really make the mall look great and classy, and the water fountains placed all over the inside and outside are really cool and unique and compliment the mall.

    “The mall décor is really pretty and gives the mall a really fancy but cozy look, I really love it!” said Laney Smith.

    As much as everyone liked the mall, they all have at least one complaint. The most common complaint was that one of their favorite stores wasn’t added in or that there wasn’t a movie theater, but the one that mostly everyone Is complaining about is how there is no food court. Most people said that they don’t go to a mall to eat, they go there to shop. So, they would rather “be able to get a quick meal or snack rather then go to a nice fancy restaurant,” they explained.

    Even though everyone had at least one complaint, the UTC mall was definitely a success and even though it has its flaws, nothing is perfect, and overall, everyone loves it!

Ye Olde Renaissance Feaste Celebrated Once Again by the Riverview Choir

Kiela Popovich, ‘18


     Hear ye, hear ye! Riverview Choir’s annual Renaissance Feaste is fully underway and ready to be celebrated by students, parents, and teachers alike. 

David Verdoni, choir director, has all of his choruses participate each year in the RHS Choir Renaissance Feaste, a medieval-themed concert and dinner held on December 6, 7, and 8 at St. John’s Methodist Church.


    The feaste is one of many different concerts held throughout the year, but is easily the most recognized. Each year, the mixed choir, chamber choir, advanced ladies choir, beginning ladies choir, and now even the men’s choir gather together to sing a plethora of renaissance and Christmas music to celebrate the holidays with a twist of medieval fun. To make it even better, chorus students from neighboring middle schools are also invited to join in and sing as “mini minstrels,” performing two to three of their own songs per school as well as participating in the finale.


    For this year’s concert, each chorus will be singing some of their own music that they have learned throughout the weeks prior. For the explosive grand finale, the Christmas classic, “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!” will be performed. All chorus students involved from both middle and high school will be singing a part in it.


    “It’s a wonderful experience,” said Verdoni. He finds that Renaissance is a great way for singers to come together and enjoy chorus, while still learning challenging music and having a fun time.


    “It’s a fun time and we get to do things that we couldn’t do anywhere else,” said Nicole Sherman, ’17. Sherman is in advanced ladies choir, having sung already once in the Feaste her freshman year. She is also in the annual “Wench’s Dance,” a student choreographed dance that the advanced ladies get to perform right before the dinner.


    Another chorus student, Taylor Burell, ’17, said that the Feaste was “one of the best things to do all year.” Burell, like many others, plan to stay in choir and enjoy the experience again and again as she goes through high school.


    The Renaissance Feaste is made up of two parts: the concert and the dinner. For the concert, the different choirs and the middle school choruses perform their music. Afterwards, a medieval-themed feast is put on with acting and further singing from strictly the high school students. Members of the audience may enjoy skits by the “royalty,” the Wench’s Dance, and the Beggar’s Carol, a song sung by the beginning ladies while going around with a felt hat for coins.


    No matter who you are, the Renaissance Feaste is a fantastic way to spend your time as well as to see the brilliant works of the RHS chorus program.

Kilties achieve 56 consecutive years of superiors 

Annelise Anderson ’18

Alyssa Nasi ’18

Charlee Rincon ’18


    Florida Bandmaster’s Association (FBA) evaluation of Riverview High School’s Kiltie Band was Oct. 25. The 205 members were assessed by six judges at Manatee High School in Bradenton.

    This was Riverview’s fifty-sixth consecutive year making the ranking of superior. There are five different rankings bands can receive—poor, fair, good, excellent, and superior – with superior being the highest ranking of them all.

    This event occurs every year, approximately 15 high schools from district participate. The six judges who are in charge of the standings of the schools’ performances each play their own individual part in grading the schools’ bands. One judge is assigned to each category of percussion, auxiliary, marching and general affect. The last two judges judge the music as a whole.

    Students prepare for this all year round, as it is a very important day to them. Their ranking determines how hard that section works every day in that class. Acquiring a superior rank is a prize all in its own. Some students even get a little emotional when the results are shared with them.

    If you want to attend next year’s FBA meeting, tickets are $7 per adult and $5 per child between the ages of 5 and 12. All proceeds go towards future FBA events for all bands in the district.

Has Disney hit desperation? At least, Frozen arrives

Rachel Stone ‘15
    While Universal Orlando is flourishing with the openings of Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley in Universal Studios, Disney is having a hard time keeping up! Believe it or not, the Disney Company’s Revenue has dropped a full 46%. The parks have suffered a drop of 12%.
     Why is this? Mainly because tourists are rushing to Universal. At Universal, a one day pass can be purchased online for $96, in contrast, a one day Magic Kingdom pass sells for $99. Along with charging more for a pass, Disney upped the prices for their Halloween Event, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, from a max of $73 for anyone 10 or above in 2013, to a max of $77 for anyone 10 or above in 2014.
    “I think Disney feels that they can exploit families by raising the prices because they are “Disney.” I would go to Universal over Disney because not only are the prices cheaper, but the park appeals more to my age,” Adriana Fernandez ’15
    Clearly price inflation hasn’t been profitable enough to get Disney back in business especially considering their Halloween event isn’t drawing in the expected crowds. Universal, on the other hand, has been profitable with Halloween Horror Nights where lines maxing out in the parks and at the event.
How does Disney plan on regrouping from this financial blow? The next move was removing three popular attractions from the Lake Buena Vista theme parks within five weeks of each other. I’m sorry to say that Disney’s Hollywood Studios has lost The American Idol Experience and The Studio Backlot Tour. EPCOT will no longer feature Maelstrom, removed from The World Showcase, a ride featuring Norwegian culture.
    “Norway is going to lose the one attraction that highlights their culture and their country. Maelstrom is one of my favorite attractions, it has created many memorable moments for me and I’m sure it has created just as many memories for others. The removal of this ride is disappointing,” Anthony Rivera ’16.
    How is shutting down rides going to boost Disney’s income? Luckily, Disney has the movie Frozen coming in to save the day! This movie has had the highest gross income since the 1994 film The Lion King. However, Frozen’s insanely high income isn’t enough to save the company. To boost sales EPCOT is going to replace Maelstrom with a Frozen attraction that is set to come out in 2016.
   “Disney is obviously more interested in revenue than culture. I believe for Disney as a whole, it is recognizing the new demand for “Frozen Culture,” and since Disney is not a source of culture but rather entertainment, I see nothing wrong,” Kenneth Richardson, ’15.
    Sadly, as times get rough, Disney is getting desperate in order to turn their financial standing around. While the company believes shutting down some favorite attractions is the solution, Disney fans can’t help but be sentimental about the original attractions and protest. While this chapter is closing, Disney is opening a new one, revolving around our favorite, yet overexposed Disney movie, Frozen.

IB juniors recognized at pinning ceremony

Allie Mullin ’15
    The IB Program is highly praised by students, teacher, and college admissions officers all around the globe. All of the articulate and hard work put in, all of the sleepless nights, and even the rigorous sudy, all become worth it in the end.
    Every year, after the first quarter ends, IB juniors and seniors participate in the IB Pinning Ceremony, in which every IB senior places a pin on the shirt or dress of an IB junior, symbolizing the official welcoming into the IB Program. This year’s IB pinning was held on Oct. 28, and friends in the audience could feel the anticipation and excitement in the RPAC.
    “It’s a big moment for IB students because it means you’re officially an IB student,” said Bridget Cushing ’15.
IB Pinning is also very exciting for the parents of students—one can imagine the pride of knowing a child is academically exceptional?
    “It doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but it really is, finally being recognized for the hard work we’ve put in for two years and will put in for two more,” said Kate Block, ’14.
    IB students were rewarded with a cookie cake at the end of the ceremony.

Miami passes two-state Florida resolution

Ryan Lay’15
    As an increasing number of Americans become aware of the very real threat that is global warming and rising sea levels, a city in South Florida is calling for a drastic change, which it believes is the only way for Floridians to take climate change preparation into their own hands.
    On Oct. 7, Vice Mayor Walter Harris proposed a resolution in favor of splitting the state of Florida in half, so that South Florida would become the fifty-first state. The resolution, however, will likely not make it too far. In order for Florida to be split into two states, the resolution would have to be approved by not only Florida’s state legislature, but also the US Congress.
    The city commission of South Miami claims that the state government has all but flat out ignored their pleas for legislation regarding climate change.
    “It’s very apparent that the attitude of the northern part of the state is that they would just love to saw the state in half and just let us float off into the Caribbean,” South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard said. “They’ve made that abundantly clear at every possible opportunity, and I would love to give them the opportunity to do that.”
    The resolution makes clear Southeast Florida’s helplessness to sea level rise in addition to the appeal for secession. It speaks of sea level rise estimates of three to six feet by the end of the century, which would have disastrous consequences for Floridians, leaving thousands upon thousands of square miles of Florida underwater.
    If this bill made it all the way to Congress and was passed, it would yield numerous effects specifically for students at Riverview. For example, students living in Sarasota‚ a proposed county of South Florida‚ would be forced to pay out-of-state tuition at UF, FSU, UCF and UNF, among others. The Bright Futures scholarship program as we know it would likely only remain in North Florida, while the new government of South Florida would have to to create its own program.
   Some Riverview students have voiced their concerns about the immediate effect this would have on their college educations.
    “As far as legislation is concerned, the two-state solution could definitely be desirable. But, personally, I would consider the other problems that could arise, such as paying out-of-state tuition to colleges that used to be part of your state,” Julia Stringer ’15 said, adding “but South Florida would be able to pass more beneficial laws on its behalf, if it were its own state.
    As Florida gubernatorial elections drew to a close on Nov. 4, Florida remained under a Republican governor’s control, with Miami-Dade counties voting in a majority for Charlie Crist. Certainly, it will be interesting to see Mayor Philip Stoddard’s political reaction to this, and whether or not the two-state solution really has a chance.

Local institute finds hope for Alzheimer's cure

Lana Hall ’15
    New Alzheimer’s research has emerged from the Roskamp Institute in Sarasota County. The research started when a new enzyme was discovered that is common in all three triggers of the disease. Scientists discovered that the enzyme can be shut off by a chemical in a common blood pressure medication.
    According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. It worsens over time and is the most common form of dementia. One in nine adults are affected by Alzheimer’s disease.
    “Since I know people who have this disease, I’m really hoping this new research breakthrough turns out well,” Ashley Patterson’15.
Teacher Pat Bliss agreed.
    “This disease robs a gifted person of everything in life. How wonderful this treatment could be,” she said.
Research about the correlation between blood pressure medication and Alzheimer’s started 10 years ago when scientists wanted to see if a common blood pressure medication helped combat plaque buildup in the brain.
    Clinical trials involving 500 Europeans are happening right now. If everything goes well with the clinical trials, a new drug could emerge in five years.

School shooting in Maryville could impact high school campus restrictions

Nick Kaufman ‘15
    On Oct. 24, a shooting took place at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington. The shooter was named as Jaylen Fryburg a 15-year-old freshman at the high school. The location was in the cafeteria where Fryburg invited several friends to have lunch with him via text. The students that had received the text message had absolutely no idea what was going to happen next. 
    Jaylen Fryburg was described by most close to him to be a great person to be around and very high spirited. He was even voted Homecoming King the previous week during the Homecoming football game. The only evidence found that may have revealed Fryburg’s rage was a Twitter post showing his depression.
    The victims in this case were around the same age as Fryburg, one being his cousin. Three were injured, and four were pronounced dead. Fryburg and one other student died at the scene and the other two, who had life threatening injuries, died in the hospital.
This serious tragedy made students like Alexa Borrero ’15 think more about gun control.
    “It’s sad to hear about things like this happening and even sadder this it’s seemingly becoming more frequent. I think this tragedy will definitely call for tighter gun control in the future,” she said.
    This leaves a thought in some Americans’ heads: will the occurrence at Marysville High School tighten restrictions and safety precautions on high school campuses? During the recent elections, Washington passed Initiative 594, legislation expanding background checks for all firearm sales. Time will tell if this legislation will make a difference.

"Find My iPhone" app can save lives

Skyler Hardesty ’16
    We’ve all heard of the iPhone and the wonders it can do for us. From checking your bank account, to catching up with social media, your iPhone does many of your daily tasks, but what many people do not know, however, is that it can also help save your life.
Many people are quick to think that there’s no way a simple-to-use, yet complex, phone could potentially save your life, but Melissa Vasquez would beg to differ.
    Vasquez has had the app “Find my iPhone” on her phone to help her if the chance ever came across. Thinking she would only need it for when she lost her phone, she was wrongly mistaken. Vasquez had been missing for 17 hours before Officer David Cameron searched her home and noticed that she had an iPad equipped with the app as well. After starting up the app on her iPad, he was able to locate her iPhone in a matter of seconds.
    Vasquez was found in a 500-foot ravine, stranded, after a car accident. Her car, equipped with OnStar, sent a message to the police saying she was trapped but the police found no evidence of the message or her location.
Vasquez was quickly found after Cameron located her car, and she was taken to Regional Medical Center.
    This app was simply made for people with any Apple products, that if they were to lose their iPhone or it was perhaps stolen, they would be able to locate it from any other phone or even an iPad in this case. But, as you can see, this app can do a lot more than just locate a stolen phone.
    To Vasquez, this app is a life saver, and to everyone else who has downloaded this app, it can do just the same for you.

New radar gun detects drivers who are texting

Julie Lichterman ‘16
    The dangers of texting and driving have been so heavily embedded into the minds of adolescents across the globe in an effort to prevent unnecessary deaths.
    The most common way this message has been delivered is by allowing teens to sign a pledge to never text and drive (the pledge can be taken at itcanwait.com). However, for some teens, signing a pledge just isn't enough to permanently tear their thumbs away from a "short" text to their BFF while behind the wheel.
    Luckily, new advancements in law enforcement technologies are being made to ensure these teens keep to their word.
According to the HNGN news source, the Virginia-based company ComSonic, has developed a radar gun that allows cops to detect drivers who are texting.
While this device is still being tested, it is sure to revolutionize the roads when released to law enforcement.
technology works by picking up radio frequencies that are unique to cellphones-similar to the devices used by cable technicians to detect a leak.
   Riverview's School Resource Officers (SROs) were hopeful that such a device could limit the number of drivers using their phones behind the wheel.
This is one of the many advances being made to make the roads safer, and knowing it may be used on the roads soon, has new drivers feeling safer.
Riverview Sophomore, Madison Miller, is excited that new advances are being made towards a safer driving experience.
   “Because I'm going to start driving soon, I will feel much more comfortable knowing that fewer people will be texting while driving because of this technology,” Miller said.
    While this technology may not be available for years to come, it's certainly a step forward in the preventive measure of unnecessary deaths caused by careless drivers.
    No matter the age, or years on the road, one phrase will remain: “it can wait!”

Ram News streams school news to classes daily

Jennifer Nechanika '15

Jacob Reeves '15

Luana Pezan '18

Michael Capelluto '18


    Ram News is Riverview’s very own news broadcasting channel that streams every morning at 7:30 a.m. into every classroom on campus. Current school events, upcoming activities and important dates are some of the topics discussed by Ram News. Everything from Friday night’s football game to information on where to buy class shirts to when tryouts are for Riverview sports teams—it’s all covered and delivered by the Ram News team.

    As co-anchor, Tyler Brady ’15 is a part of the Ram News team. Brady has been with Ram News for two years now and said that what he enjoys most about Ram News is the equipment he gets to use.

    “Regular maintenance, being articulate when on air, and being punctual” are some of the most important responsibilities and qualities of the Ram News team. Members of Ram News must be punctual so that the news can be delivered to the entire school on time and must be clear when delivering the news. Brady also stated that there are two teams within Ram News that rotate on a two-week schedule, doing multiple different jobs which include anchoring. At the moment Brady often fills in for anchors that cannot make it.

    As one of Riverview’s primary news sources, Ram News is an important part of every student’s day in making sure that students are up-to-date on what is happening at school and outside of school. Students like Brady make it possible for students to be involved as much as possible in extracurricular activities such as sporting events, fundraisers, clubs, dances, pep rallies and meetings. Tune into Ram News at 7:30 a.m. everyday to see what’s up!

Planetarium gives young Sarasota students tours of oceans and space

Madison Wilson ’18

Brixton Yorker ’18

Peter Adams ’15 and

Zach Raphael ’18


    Riverview is known for its beautiful campus, the competitive sports teams, and of course the smart students that inhabit the school. What some may not know about is the Stars to Starfish program that informs younger children about the different planets in the solar system to the many species of fish in the ocean.

    The program was started when Riverview privately raised over $600,000 to build and fund Stars to Starfish. The program teaches both math and science concepts and lets elementary schools explore worlds that they may have never known about. Stars to starfish sees daily students on fieldtrips, adding up to 8,000-10,000 students a year.

    The field trip begins with the elementary students entering a dome-shaped room to view a short film on planets. They are then escorted to the aquadome to experience touch tanks and learn about the various creatures of the ocean, such as the clownish. All the while, the young children are being taught by Riverview’s own students.

    “The recognition for Riverview is cool because not many schools have it,” said Jason Mocherman, the astronomy and planetarium supervisor, about Riverview having a planetarium.

    Mocherman also helped design the cove lighting system that contains 256 LED colors. The planetarium will also be having upcoming improvements, such as a laser light system. Today the planetarium is the largest school-owned facility in the state.

    The Stars to Starfish program is an amazing way to educate younger students on the incredible night sky all the way down to the ocean blue.

    Teaching the minds of young students and acting as role models to them, Mocherman said, “are only a few of the amazing qualities of Riverview High School.”

Keepin' it classy-dressing to fit Fancy Friday 

Lexie Molinary '17


    How fancy is too fancy? Most students at Riverview high school think a full blown suit is outragous to wear to school. But for five boys here at rhs it’s a little bit different.

    Riverview’s former student Sam Weaver ‘14 started fancy Friday in an attempt to bring class and sophistication to our school.

    With Weaver ‘14 graduated this year students Nick Altomare ‘17, Jack Miller ‘17, Murray Alfored ‘16, Nick Lewis ‘16, and Michael Moore ‘14 took it upon themselves to follow in his footsteps in an attempt build this traditon.

    Not only do these students want to bring back class to Riverview, but Altomare ‘17 said “I want to get used to be comforatable in business atire. Once you graduae and go into the work force you won’t be dressing casual.” and Moore ‘16 believes “If you look good, you feel good.”

    Miller ‘17 heard about fancy friday from Altomare ‘17 and decides he might do it one Friday and since then he’s been doing it almost every Friday since. He believes it’s a good tradition to start and he wants to be appart of that.

Robarts Arena College Night draws large crowds

Allie Mullin '15


    College night: A night to collect information about potential schools, see the qualities of the campus, and get a feel for what life after high school really is.

College night at Robarts Arena on October 8th consisted of over a hundred in and out of state schools representing all they had to offer. Whether you want the full college experience or not. They offered a variety of information on courses including online and in class, living on or off campus, dozens of brochures on their educational programs, and every detail on different scholarships.


    “After talking to Southern Scholarship Foundation, I found out that all around Florida there are rent-free scholarships for students who have gone above and beyond expectation.” said Camila Barrantes '16


    Many foundations around Sarasota were there to give their information about scholarships and how to apply to them. One of the most popular grant programs in Florida is Bright Futures. If you haven't began your application for Bright Futures, you can began to do so by getting started on your community service hours and work on keeping your GPA at least at a 3.0 deadline is December first. According to college night, there's endless amounts of scholarships available to everyone for almost anything you are looking to go into after high school.


    Some representatives had more insight to offer than others, as they went to the school or have children that graduated there or are currently enrolled. They informed students on a different type of perspective because they have actually been through the experience. Representatives tried their hardest to work with students and answering all their questions, convincing them on why their school is the right choice for them. Representatives did this at a fast pace so everyone could get the information needed . Students were informed on tuition costs, dorms, costs of living off campus, food plans, and more. Students also learned about how to prep for college and living on their own.


    College night was overall a night to be informed and learn all about schools around the U.S. and to get just the littlest taste of the future

Enterovirus 68 raises health concerns

Carlie Costello '15



     Enterovirus 68 continues to spread as several children are hospitalized nationwide. The disease seem to target mostly children and adolescents, and causes severe respiratory illness and partial paralysis.


    "This is dramatically more than the impact of EV-D68, but we are familiar with flu, while EV-D68 is something that seems new and noteworthy." says Dr. Andrew Pavia, chief of pediatric infectious diseases.


    The virus started in Colorado when in a span of two months twelve children mysteriously got paralysis and the flu, which then spread through California and all the way to Tennessee and a few cases in northern Florida. 

According to cdc.gov, symptoms include fever, runny nose, sneezing, trouble breathing or weezing. It can spread through saliva, sputum or mucus. There is no known cure or treatment for this surprise disease, but medical and disease researchers have been hot on the case, determined to help these children affected.


     It is currently unknown how EV-D68 started, but there have been different forms throughout the years or cases in small numbers since 1987. However, numbers have interestingly been greater than ever this year. Medical squads have gone as far as hosting training designed to help first responders detect the presence of enterovirus or the Ebola virus in patients, how to treat those who may be infected and how to prevent the spread of the virus, like The Nottingham Ambulance Squad and many other paramedics.


    So what should you do to protect you or your children?Cdc.gov says avoiding close contact with sick people, washing your hands often, covering your coughs or sneezes and avoiding touching your face are some precautions. Experts say flu shots may be beneficial for prevention and take extra precaution if you or a loved one has asthma. Go to the doctor if you find yourself wheezing or coughing excessively. If you do find yourself sick, stay home.

Mirror removal reflects vandalism

Kayla Pluer '17 


    A surprise discovery was made on the first Monday of the school year when students found out that the mirrors in the bathrooms were oddly gone, leaving an empty space on the wall and empty space in one's phone camera roll. 

    But where’d they go? Who in their right mind would take out mirrors?

    The reason is that they were taken out early this summer during an inspection of the school.

    During the inspection, school officials discovered the vandalism to a majority of the mirrors, acquired over the 2013-2014 school year by students.

Since they were abused by students, the school decided to completely get rid of them.

    “I wasn’t even aware that they were taken out over the summer till everyone got back to school on Monday, it was a surprise for everyone,” said Mr. Wachter.

    “I was so confused going into the bathroom Monday morning and the mirrors were gone, I’m not going to lie I was excited to take some pictures,” said Natalie Raszka '17.  

    Sadly, due to a select amount of students abusing the mirrors, Riverview will be without them. Apparently, mirrors will be disappearing in other local high schools, or have already disappeared due to the same problem.

Record EOC Scores 

Lana Hall '15



    The 2014 U.S. History EOC, which was taken in May, had an exceptional outcome this year. 16 of the students who took the exam set the curve with a 100%. 

    The U.S. History End of Course exam is a statewide assessment, accounting for 30% of the student’s overall U.S. history grade for the year. The passing score is a 397, however all 16 students received a score of 475, which is considered a level 5. Passing scores were determined by a panel of educators and professors.

    The pressure was high for students taking the EOC due to the 40% failure rate that was expected for the 2014 EOC. Students taking the exam who are planning on going to college were encouraged to pass the test with a level 3 or higher. 

    “My hard work throughout the year and doing tons of practice tests helped me get a perfect score on the U.S." said Jared Carr '15

ISIS Terrorizes Middle East

Nick Kaufman '15


    Has ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) brought itself to a screeching halt by taking American lives or has the terror just started? This question rings a bell in many Americans heads as they watch the news in discomfort. 

    When asked if he believes the views of ISIS are emblematic of all Muslims, Yusef Abaza ’15 said, “No, ISIS is a fundamentalist group, so they take small phrases out of context, and act upon them in a way that the majority of Muslims frown on.”

    The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is considered one of the most dangerous terrorist organizations in the world. ISIS’ goal is to establish a state covering comprised of portions of Syria and Iraq. ISIS utilizes a system of fanaticism and run a disciplined organization, making them extremely difficult to uncover individually.

    ISIS does have weaknesses, however, for example, it runs the risk of rapid expansion, making them more dispersed and weaker as a whole.

The group has a great deal of confidence and control as they terrorize many innocent civilians.

    President Obama and many other national leaders called for a conference in Paris to devise a plan to defeat the terrorist organization. As a result, France and the United Kingdom have pledged to take flights over the Isamic State and survey what is happening to provide intelligence for military efforts. Other countries have also joined the coalition in providing training and support for Syrian rebels fighting the ISIS terrorists. These efforts in addition to the United States continued selected bombing of targets are the best hope for defeating this terrorist threat. 

New York Climate March Largest in History

Ryan Lay '15


    With an estimated 310,000 demonstrators, it would be an understatement to call the Sunday, September 21st Peopleís Climate March a success. Filling up the streets of middle-Manhattan with demands for global leaders to take up arms in the fight to avert catastrophic climate change, these hundreds of thousands of demonstrators made history in participating in the largest climate march in history.

    Early Sunday morning crowds began to gather around Columbus Circle as music and chants filled the city streets, fueled by drums, cheers, and horns, symbolic of sounding the alarm to the crisis. 

    The crowd was comprised of many different people, including environmental activists and elected officials, including Senators Chuck Schumer, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Bernie Sanders. The actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo also joined the crowd. Many people additionally traveled from countries that climate change directly affects, with a large turnout specifically from activists from the Philippines. 

    The crowd became so large that the event organizers report having to politely ask people to disperse, simply due to the crowd literally taking up too much space, and overcrowding onto other streets.

    This carefully planned date forced events to take place just several days before the United Nationsí 2014 Climate Summit at its headquarters in midtown Manhattan; organizers had hoped that the marchís message would be spoken of at the summit. 

    In addition to this extremely successful march in New York, over 3,000 other related climate events took place the very same day, spanning 162 countries around the globe. “I think it’s apparent that people are slowly gaining a true understanding about the global warming epidemic, and this is shown by the attendance at the march. I think this is a positive sign, showing us Americans in a better light, as a more proactive and caring nation,” said Harrison Chona,’15.

Ebola Cases 

Courtney Bolema '17


    If the flesh-eating virus wasn’t “tasty” enough for students, then be prepared to hear what new virus has been going around.

    “The flesh-eating virus sounded really gross, but the Ebola virus doesn’t seem like it would be that bad,” said Jared Green ’18.

    Ebola is not common here in the United States, but it is very common in West Africa. Luckily there hasn’t been a big outbreak since 2007, but now the virus has come back even stronger than it previously was.

    “The virus seems really scary, and that it could really hurt someone, and I hope we’re trying to find a cure for this cause,” said Shannon Abbe ’17.

    Scientists have been studying this particular virus for decades now. This is probably one of the hardest codes to crack to find out how to help the people who need the cure. Since December of last year all the way to today, in just one year’s time, 4,700 have been infected and nearly 2,700 people who were infected unfortunately didn’t make it and had passed.

    “The virus really scares me, I think that everyone need to wash their hands more often because I don’t want to get sick.” said Eddie Ledwith ’17.

Ebola is extremely infectious but not extremely contagious. It is infectious, because an infinitesimally small amount can cause illness. Laboratory experiments on nonhuman primates suggest that even a single virus may be enough to trigger a fatal infection. 

    Humans can be infected by other humans if they come in contact with body fluids from an infected person or contaminated objects from infected persons. Humans can also be exposed to the virus, for example, by butchering infected animals.

    Symptoms of Ebola typically include: weakness, fever, aches, diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain. Additional experiences include rash, red eyes, chest pain, throat soreness, difficulty breathing or swallowing, and bleeding (including internal).

    Typically, symptoms appear 8-10 days after exposure to the virus, but the incubation period can span two to 21 days. 

    Ebola is currently infecting West Africa and if people don’t start taking precautions then we could have another outbreak in the United States again. To donate money to help get the research needed to stop this deadly virus from killing anymore people a great website would be

www.doctorswithoutborders.org/our-work/medical-issues/ebola which has all the information need to help save lives of people around the world.

All Access Pass

Juliette Chero '16


    The older we get the more privileges we are given and earn. Starting from freshman year and building our way up to seniors we become the top dogs. This for most means we get automatic special rights. The class of 2015 has the amazing opportunity to purchase an all access pass that guarantees no waiting in lines and takes a little bit of the stress from the exhausting senior year.

    Events held by the senior board such as Mr. Riverview, Homecoming, Grad Bash, Prom and Air Band can become extremely crowded and booked. By having the pass it allows seniors to have first serve. Without a doubt seniors will be the first to be attended.

    Waiting in line becomes inexistent for those who have the pass. Seniors would be able to just walk up to the doors of the event and expect their ticket to be waiting there for them already paid for.

    “Students do not have to worry about events selling out. They are also immune to price hikes that sometimes happen with our bigger events.” Says Joshua Mocherman.

    The cost for an all access pass is $210 and includes an awesome Senior T-shirt plus free Senior Board club dues. This pass is only available for current 2015 seniors and can be purchased in Mr. Josh Mocherman’s room 5-344.

    “I think that it’s a really good way to make money because it benefits seniors in such a nice way and it goes towards our senior board. I’m highly considering getting one.” says Rachel Yoder.

   Seniors deserve a break here and there and what better way to feel like a senior then to be treated as royalty. Feeling as VIP guest might turn out to be the highlight of senior year.

New Assistant Principal 

Jenna Tarifa '16


    One of the new smiling faces at Riverview High school is the new assistant principal Mark Gilliland. Gilliland has been floating around the Sarasota County School District previously teaching at Venice and Booker Middle and being an Assistant principal for 14 years at 5 other schools in the county. Gilliland loves the tradition that Riverview continues to have.

    "It is my Alma Matter.  I graduated from RHS in 1979 and had 7 brothers and sisters attend here before me," said Gilliland.

    Returning to the school, Gilliland is looking forward to attending volleyball and football games. "I was also in the Kiltie Band during my High School years," said Gilliland, "I look forward to seeing them perform."

    After graduating from Riverview, Gilliland attended The Florida State University receiving a BA in Political Sciences and later attending Nova Southeastern attaining his Masters in Education Leadership.

    When not in the office you can find Gilliland anywhere near the water. He enjoys fishing, boating, spear fishing, and diving with his family. Gilliland has two children, a daughter that attends FGCU and a son that is a junior here at Riverview.

    Gilliland would like to make sure that every student at RHS can attain their goals after graduation.

    "I would like to empress on the underclassmen to give it 100% to ensure all of their goals are within their reach when they graduate," says Gilliland, " it's hard to watch students who spent their freshman and sophomore years not paying attention to their GPA."

    Gilliland is excited to watch all of the students grow up since he has known many of them since middle school.

    "I look forward to working with the Staff and Students to make sure Riverview High continues to be The Best High School in Sarasota County." said Gilliland.

New Mall Opens October 16

Jenna Tarifa '16

     880,000 square feet of luxurious shopping will be opening its doors to the public on Oct. 16, 2014. The Mall at University Town Center will be bringing a new variety of shops and stores to the Sarasota area.


    "It'll be cool to have something new in Sarasota because I feel like I'm going to the same places all the time," said Brandan Callaghan '16.

    The new mall will feature three anchor stores including, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macys and Dillard’s, along with many other retail shops and boutiques. 


    For the food enthusiasts, several new restaurants will be coming to the mall as well. These restaurants include BRIO Tuscan Grille, Cheesecake Factory and The Capital Grille. These eateries, along with many others, will satisfy hungry shoppers.


    "I'm very excited for all the new stores and restaurants," said Bambi Rae Brown, a local Sarasota resident, "especially for Crate and Barrel, the Z-Gallerie and Cheesecake Factory."


    Many Sarasota residents are excited to have a new place to shop with a variety of stores and restaurants. The new mall will house stores and restaurants that local residents have not had easy access to before. 


    "I'm so excited to get our very own Anthropoligie that isn't an hour away," said Alley Fairly, '16, "I think the mall will have everything we're looking for considering there will be new stores that some of us have never heard of."


    Creating this luxurious new shopping center is The Taubman Company and Benderson Development. The developers are located the mall just north of Sarasota, off of I-75 and University Parkway.


    "I will be there the first or second day it is opened. The only thing I'm not looking forward to is all of the traffic and road construction around the mall," said Brown.


    For most people, the traffic will not deter them from experiencing the new mall because most people are looking forward to having a new place to shop in the area.


    "I can't wait for the mall to open so I can shop around with friends and family," said Callaghan. 

Dress code changes Riverview’s look

By Jenna DaPello ’15


    As the new school year begins, stricter rules are being enforced to ensure an even more effective learning environment. 


    “I believe the new dress code is best for everyone at school, so we can focus on learning and not inappropriate clothing distractions,” said Jessica Jones '12.


    For girls, the guidelines of the new dress code include shirts that cover all aspects of the torso as well as cleavage. Skirts, dresses and shorts must reach mid-thigh length while standing up. For all students, pants should fit correctly and not sag. Pajamas are not permitted whatsoever, as well as sunglasses and hats. Shoes are always required, and attire must not be sexually suggestive or offense.


    “I don't think that the school is being too hard on us. We come here to learn, not to socialize. When you get dressed in the morning, you should have a pretty clear understanding of what’s appropriate and what’s not,” said Cassidy Nesbitt. '11


    If students don't follow the dress code, they will be penalized with a series of four offenses. The first offense  includes a warning and a mandatory change of clothes. The second offense includes a detention as well as a change of clothes. The third offense is Saturday school and a change of clothes. The fourth offense is in-school restriction, and if the student continues, he or she will be suspended for the appropriate time.


     “I feel that some people abuse the dress code and that ruins it for the kids that don't. There are certain aspects I agree with, but sometimes it's taken to the extreme,” said Kassie Fountain '12.


    In essence, the dress code is being enforced to ensure the students at Riverview the most productive education they can possibly have.

Students Fear Flesh Eating Virus

By Courtney Bolema '17


    As the school days approach, and the summer nights are coming to an end there is one entity that is still thriving for the taste of summer. The flesh eating virus has become corrupt problem for everyone that is living on the west coast of Florida. Especially in Siesta Key, the biggest tourist attraction.


    “I think the chances are very slim of getting the virus but there is always a possibility of getting the disease and should keep an eye out for the signs and symptoms.” said Deborah Berman the chemistry instructor.


     The flesh eating virus has been an on continuing problem for the past two years here, Sarasota Florida. The flesh eating virus is very rare but a serious bacterial infection known as necrotizing fasciitis. This dangerous infection is most common in the arms, legs, and abdominal wall and is fatal in 30%-40% of cases.


    “I didn’t even know that there was a virus at the beach, never stopped me from going.” said Lily Capersio ’17.


    Most people weren’t even concerned or knew that there was a nasty virus swimming around in the beach water. It won’t affect most but People with chronic medical conditions such as a condition of diabetes or who have weakened immune systems are at an increased risk of developing the flesh eating virus. Another way to catch this virus is to go swimming at the beach with an open wound or sore.


     “I feel scared swimming at the Siesta Key beach.” said Haley Perkins ’17.


      Many of the people here have the same feeling that Perkins has but the water is still safe to swim in. Epidemiologist Michael Drennon has looked and analyzed the water and the virus actually is always in the water it is just more present when the water is warm. People are just a little hectic about the virus now because we have had a death here in the local area. Unfortunately the person who has passed was older and had a poor immune system which affected him drastically in the end when caught with the virus.


      The flesh eating virus can be a harmful for very few but it will most likely not affect a lot of the people. So when its spring break or winter break but will still be up towards the hundreds, it will be safe to go swimming but just make sure to always take a precaution before going into the water.

IB, therefore I succeed in all aspects of life

By Rachel Stone, ’15


   Everyone expects the best, and that’s exactly what the teachers of the International School of Geneva strived for back in 1986. An idea that was initially present in only seven schools has grown into a World School, present in 148 countries, in a total of 3,882 schools, including Riverview. 

    The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program has been developed into a college and life preparatory curriculum to “develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect,” (IBO.org). This is achieved through the Learner Profile which lays out the attributes students should acquire throughout their time in the program. Students are encouraged to practice well- roundedness by studying: their first language, a second language, an experimental science, a history, a math, and an art.


    “I think that to a certain extent it helped me realize what my morals and beliefs are; and realizing those allows me to comprehend my strengths and weaknesses,” Xenia Chikankova, ‘15.


    The level of academic and personal growth students achieve from the program’s curriculum is becoming admired by both colleges and business owners because IB prepares its students for adulthood.

    Over the past 45 years, schools have recognized the benefits IB has to offer, which is why 3,882 have adopted the program. As of this year, Sarasota County hosts 4 schools that offer the IB curriculum in them. Two of which are high schools.


    “Having the program in these schools is a good and a bad thing. The program does a good job preparing students for college and giving them an accelerated learning experience but it is not for everybody. It can be overwhelming for some students, and also having so many candidates makes it seem less important because the program is available to so many students,” Jacob Tuck, ’15. 


    While there are pros and cons to every story, students can agree the program does succeed in teaching students college readiness and valuable life skills.

Informing students of Middle Eastern Conflicts

By Julie Lichterman, ‘15


    Conflict escalates in the Middle East, while related American news declines. Meanwhile, American teenagers are likely the least informed on the issue, many of whom don’t realize that many of these conflicts revolve around adolescents their age—from the teens on the streets, to the ones making a difference.


    The most recent Israeli conflict began seven weeks ago, when three teenage boys (aged 16, 16, and 19) were kidnapped by the Palestinian-Islamic fundamentalist group: Hamas. This was only the beginning, as the current death toll sits at about 70 Israelis and about 300 Palestinians.


    Precautionary-sirens  (alerting civilians of incoming missles) affect daily life, and even walking outside can be dangerous. Yet, many American high school students know nothing about this conflict. During a recent interview session with some Riverview students, it became very evident that they had no idea of the conflicts occuring in the Middle East whatsoever and were very suprised to hear about its affects on innocent civilians.


    Not only this, but these Riverview students admitted to believing Israeli teens were different from them.This disconnect seperates adolescents from the best way of understand these conflicts: making a connection. Israeli teens are really no different from American teens. They hit the beach on the weekends, use social media religiously, and know all the lyrics to popular American songs played today (these are the words of experience).


    In a recent “What’s App” interview with Israeli teenager Amit Ben Yaakov, Yaakov said, “since the attacks have begun, we are afraid to go outside at all.”

She says the whole ordeal has become very stressful, and it has altered her everyday life.


    “If I’m outside of my home, and I hear a siren, I first check to see if there are any children or bystanders around, and then I run to the closest safe-place.”


    Of the Riverview students interviewed, 3/4 of them said they would be afraid for their safety to visit Israel. Yaakov, doesn’t want Americans to believe Israel is a “war zone,” and said, “we are living here, and if nobody wants to come, it’s just their loss. War is really is not a common thing. Maybe once every few years we are in a war like this, but that is all.  And either way, we love Israel even now despite the missles because we know that at the end of the day we have a safe place to call home.”


    Another underestimated aspect to understanding the conflict is knowing which media is biased. One of the best resources for attaining unbiased, Israeli information would be through Neil Lazarus on his Smart Phone app, or Twitter(@awesomeseminars). After attending a recent seminar in Israel by Lazarus himself, his dedication to providing non-biased information became very obvious. Along with Lazarus, is a newly-formed club for teenagers interested in Middle- Eastern conflicts. “United Youth” is a Lakewood Ranch-based club run by teens, Jared Dipsiner and Nicolás Dangond Uscátegui. The two work together to inform other teens about this information in an unbiased environment.


   People around the world die every day, conflicts grow stronger in many countries around the world- but Israel is a second home to many Americans. As Yaakov said, “being well informed is the first step.”