By: Cassandra Ly, Grade 12
It’s a weekday afternoon and you go down to the local supermarket to pick up some chicken for dinner. You take a look at the prices and the wide variety of brands that are available for you in the meat aisle. You also catch the expiry date before making your choice. You pick up the plastic-wrapped tray containing five pieces of chicken breast with the best-before date…eight days in the future. To you it’s acceptable, but what the label is not telling you is that it has been re-wrapped. Recently, trays of numerous meats at a Real Canadian Superstore in Coquitlam were discovered to have been given new best-before dates. Think again: Are you going to pick up that tray now?
A frequent customer by the name of Roidon Lamb is shocked by the finding and contacted CTV after a hidden-camera investigation caught employees rewrapping salmon steaks. What does this mean for all meats then? Are they all re-wrapped? Are all best-before dates extended beyond the original time? As Roidon continued to question the freshness and, most importantly, the health effects of the meat, the employee that was asked mentioned that it will be okay as long as they are stored in the fridge. At the Superstore in Richmond, salmon steaks were stamped with a best-before date seven days into the future.
If you consider the freshness of all foods, even other Metro Vancouver butchers and Food Specialists approve that eight days is a very long time. Aaron Pighin, a butcher at the Windsor Quality Meats located on Main street, mentioned that chicken is best moved in about two days’ time…and definitely not eight. Superstore defended its name by stating that their shelf-life frequently goes through “microbial testing and sensory evaluation.” However, this isn’t enough to fully know whether the meat is fresh enough and sanitary to consume. According to the government, store managers are their own judges in regards to the freshness of the meat; in other words, no packaged-on and best-before dates are required.
This changes the way we view meats at big-chain supermarkets, like Superstore. The livelihood of people could be greatly affected. Roidon Lamb is hoping to see a push for regulations for both packaged-on and best-before date labels on all meats. So, now, before you take that tray of chicken breast to the check-out, look at the best-before date, question and consider if that time is appropriate for consumption.
By: Angela Ho, Grade 10
Over the past year, Windermere’s organic garden has drastically evolved, with new additions attracting the attention of not only the Windermere student body, but also of neighbourhood schools and of other members all over the community. If you have ever looked at the garden through the windows surrounding the courtyard, you might have noticed a big, commercial, hot-tub-looking object sitting on one side. Well, that is in fact an Earth Tub, which is an enclosed composting machine that features powered mixing that speeds up the decomposing processes. After digging trenches around the garden in August, electricity was installed, meaning that the Earth Tub will finally be put into use starting this school year! If properly managed, fresh compost should be available for use in a matter of 3-4 weeks. And, how can you be a part of this? Simple! You can contribute just by tossing your fruit and vegetable leftovers into the compost bins located around the school.
During the hot months of summer, student volunteers dedicated their time to maintain the garden. All the days of watering, fertilizing, and weeding have paid off as plants are flourishing and productive. Some of the things that were harvested include tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, garlic, potatoes, cilantro, basil, and a wide range of berries. It doesn’t end there; other crops such as radishes and squash have yet to be harvested! Some produce had been donated to a Collingwood program and to the Renfrew-Collingwood Senior Society, and some had been taken home for volunteers to enjoy. The garden is currently run by two grade-12 students, Brendan Chan and Cassandra Ly, as their leadership project. This school year will bring exciting new projects. We promise students not only tasty treats, but also the opportunity to experiment and discover.
By: Cassandra Ly, Grade 11
The TV turns on and there you are: face to face with a large, perfect, mouth-watering burger. Theannouncer introduces the bigger, better taste with the freshest ingredients that include strips of bacon, Monterey Jack Cheese, and fresh-cooked beef patty. At that moment, all you can think of is getting your hands on that burger. Wait one second! Before you get into the car, bus, or bike to head down to what seems like a door of heavenly goodness, have you thought about why burgers or your other favourite snacks tastes oh-so-delicious? What is it about the ingredients? There’s quite an obvious answer for everything: salt.
By: Cassandra Ly, Grade 11
We’re back from what probably feels like the shortest week of the school year; Spring Break flew by in a flash. We’re getting back into our usual routine: waking up early, but still staying up late. Catching up on new units for classes, while reviewing what we’ve learned so far. On top of that, we’re also heading full on into third term. That means an endless amount of activities are flying our way. So, here’s the scoop:
SPRING HOOPS 2010 – Boys and girls of all grades have been invited to join Spring Hoops, happening during lunches for boys and Friday mornings for girls. This is a great opportunity to have fun, work with your friends, and have some friendly basketball competition! Check it out during lunch or after schools to show your support!
By: Cassandra Ly, Grade 11
It’s getting late and, you’re finishing up your art project. Three sharpies have been used up; right as you go for the final details of all the things that can possibly happen the darn ink runs out. Let’s say Superstore is closed for the week for maintenance. Where do you go now to buy a new package of Sharpies? Wait, isn’t there that new Supercentre that just opened not too long ago? What was it called again? I think it started with a W. W for Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart isn’t just one of the most successful retailers today; it is also the largest company, and one of the fastest money-makers in the world. How fast you might ask? Americans spend approximately $36,000,000 a day at Wal-Mart. In smaller terms, that’s $20,098 profit every single minute, of every day, of every week, of every month; you get the picture. Just a little less than the average annual income flows into the company every minute. Mind boggling or what? Two words to describe them = BEYOND RICH.
By: Cassandra Ly, Grade 11
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. For those couples out there, are you wondering about the perfect gift for your significant other? What about those of you just looking for a gift for a good friend or family member to show them your love and appreciation? The typical rose and chocolate combination may seem like a great present, but have you ever thought of other gift ideas? In particular, alternative gifts which are not just eco-friendly and ethically made, but also hold significance, and are creative?
1.) Local florists & Greenhouses – Roses are grown in third world countries where workers are exploited. Also, large amounts of pesticides are used daily. Instead, buy a bouquet of locally grown flowers at your neighbourhood florist or buy seeds to grow together as a surprise! www.organicbouquet.com
By: Cassandra Ly, Grade 11
There is no doubt that being a Canadian girl is one of the most fortunate roles to have in society today. Why would that be you ask? We are currently living in a world of conflict and environmental disaster; a world lacking in proper medical aid and equality between the sexes. You then realize that girls are living wonderfully here. However, I’m not talking about the lives of girls in Canada, but those living in developing countries. The experiences of these young girls are horrific and unimaginable. All this time, has there really been true equality in regards to women rights? I feel ashamed not being able to stop these cruel actions that are inflicted on girls the same age as me, nightmarish torture that strips them of their freedom and integrity. Don’t you?
By: Cassandra Ly, Grade 11
Do you have a pet at home? Dog? Cat? Bird? How about a ferret? Just a thought: How would you feel if your furry or feathery friend became an endangered species? Gradually disappearing? It’s reality and it’s the truth. Our animals are slowly dying. Not just a couple hundred species, approximately more than 1000 have been placed under the Endangered Species Act, and the numbers are continuing to rise. The environmental, social, and trading impacts on our world are beyond what we as humans could have ever imagined. Evidently, it has caused our natural world to deteriorate at an appalling rate. I look at these images of animals and think to myself: What has our world become of? The 10 animals listed below have been declared the most endangered species in our world, according to the World Wildlife Fund. We all are capable of preserving the lives of animals, no matter how big or small.
By: Cassandra Ly, Grade 11
When was the last time it was known to everyone that protesting, a simple display of civil disobedience, has transformed into something disastrous and even deadly? Recently, there have been many of these so-called “peaceful” protests occurring in China. This is in regard to many issues including employment, safety, and security demands in different aspects of the Chinese society. These dangerous protests have occurred in the city of Urumqi, Xinjiang; starting off as a crowd of citizens demanding change to the public health system to having paramilitary policemen being brought in.
So, what is the reason for this hysteria? In early September, many incidents of syringe stabbings were reported in the city of Urumqi. Approximately 600 citizens became victims of these arbitrary stabbings, and fortunately only 100 cases “showed any sign of injury.” Innocent people have been targeted on crowded buses and other well-populated areas in the city. Due to the dangers of these “hypodermic syringe needles”, many parents have been very concerned about the safety of their children at school, especially since the H1N1 flu and many other diseases are infecting more and more people.
By: Cassandra Ly, Grade11
The many, many countries that exist in our world live under different forms of healthcare, economic values, and one of the biggest driving forces to these factors, the government. Some may be more open to the outside world, encouraging citizens to put in their opinions while others rather keep themselves isolated. North Korea or also known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is a single-party and self-reliant state, currently run by Kim Jong-Il, the president. Therefore, many limitations are enforced towards not only North Korean citizens, but also visitors of the state. Laura Ling and Euna Lee, two young journalists are reporters for Current TV, an Al Gore run production located in San-Francisco. Laura Ling, 32 and Euna Lee, 36 were detained by guards at the North Korean border on March 17th, 2009 for “illegally entering the country.” They were taken in for filming and interviewing female refugees that were near the border of China, which was officially announced in May.
By: Cassandra Ly & Emily Chan
Everyone has that special day once a year to celebrate with their loved ones with more and more fun as the years fly by. On Wednesday, July 1st, 2009, come down to celebrate Canada’s 142nd birthday here in our community at Renfrew Community Centre. Youth Celebrate Canada Day core committee is holding its 13th annual event with exciting new games, entertainment, crafts, prizes, and the best of all, food! Starting from 1:00 – 4:30, you have plenty of time to enjoy Canada Day with your family and friends. Come check it out; this event is going to be a blast!
By: Cassandra Ly, Grade 10
Windermere’s Organic Garden has not just flourished with many new fruits and vegetables in the past few months but has also grabbed the attention of many people in the community. People from different schools and organizations have dropped by to take a peek at the small but powerful changes that the garden has made at Windermere. A few have even donated money to the green cause, including Zenith in Action presented by Coast Capital Savings. Bonnie Ha and Chanel Ly, currently grade 11 students are taking on the project of the Organic Garden in their grade 12 year. At the Zenith Conference in mid May, they presented the project in front of a panel of judges. In the end, they received a $500 grant that will go towards the finances needed with purchasing rain barrels or the installation of an irrigation system in the garden.
By: Puneet Riar, Grade 11, Emily Chan, Grade 10 & Cassandra Ly, Grade 10
Congrats Jason! You are June’s warrior of the month! Why do you think you were nominated?
JD: I was probably nominated because people were intrigued by my amazingly good looks or they rigged the election. I’m 92.5% sure it’s the second one though.
LOL! Well you won, so whatever! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
JD: Well, I have 2 legs which are nice to have especially since I love sports. I do everything around it; read, write, eat, sleep, talk, breathe. If sports were a woman, I’d marry her.
So, you were recently voted valedictorian. How does it feel to be valedictorian, Mr. Valedictorian?
JD: Becoming valedictorian was very cool, especially since I was chosen by my fellow grads and it wasn’t a random choice. It’s very humbling.
By: Jason Costa, President, Student Council 08/09
The 2009/2010 student council is as follows:
President - Nathan Dinh
Vice President – Cassandra Ly
Secretary – Lily Le
Treasurer – Bobby Lau
Communications Officer – Amy Wu
Publicity Officer – Venus Wan
Sports Representative – Alivia Ma
Community Service Liaison – Chanel Ly
VDSC Representative – Sarah Xie
Social Events Coordinator – Ping Na Huang
Grade 12 Representative – Kathy Tran
Grade 11 Representative - Yuge Liu
Grade 10 Representative – Farrah Bui
Grade 9 Representative - Amy Bui
Grade 8 Representative – To be elected in Fall of 2009/2010 School Year
Members at Large - Maria Vriniotis, Will Savvedra, Harminder Bhachu, Humayra Uddin, Hardeep Gosal
Congratulations to all those that ran for Student Council as well as those that were elected into next year’s Council!
By Cassandra Ly, Grade 10
Each country has its own diverse culture and unique national treasures that hold history and stories; Egypt has its pyramids, England has its crown Jewels, and in Canada – our treasures are what make up the backbone of our country. One of those treasures includes our media broadcasting station, CBC. It is one of Canada’s most popular public broadcasters with its bilingual radio and television services. Currently, CBC is suffering from a hectic situation of planning 800 job-cuts this summer due to the nation’s recession resulting in the economy entering into a state of debt. However, a few private networks including CTV and CanWest have been reported to be excused by the government. As opposed to public broadcasting who obtains all funds from the public; including donations, specific taxes, and funding from the government. Since this is so, public broadcasters are known as “non-commercial” networks that air more educational programs and documentaries that are deemed ‘less attractive’ to the mass market, such as The Passionate Eye and This Hour Has 22 Minutes.
Ever thought about keeping a few chickens in your backyard for fresh eggs? Recently, Vancouver City Council introduced a new policy, which allows residents to keep backyard chickens. There are many cities in the United States and Canada with a similar bylaw, including Seattle, Washington D.C., New York City, and Victoria. Of course, within the bylaws, there are many points to consider. If this proposed bylaw passes, residents are able to raise chickens as early as June. The proposed by-law raises much debate from Vancourites. Some are in favour of this new policy, but some residents and animal welfare groups are against the idea.
As you walk to the cashier of the supermarket with your hands full of groceries, place it down onto the conveyor belt, and pay for the total, it is rare for the cashier to ask paper or plastic. Instead, they would ask, “Would you like any bags?” The majority of supermarkets give out plastic bags that customers usually use only once or twice. Where do they end up after that? Most of the bags end up in the landfills with other garbage that cannot decompose for thousands of years. If they don’t go into landfills, they’re literally floating around in huge masses in the sea. The plastic that ends up there cannot be easily scooped out, as it means extracting all the smaller organisms as well. Burning plastic bags is one solution, but pollutes the environment and increases the greenhouse gas emissions in the process. On top of that, plastic bags are mistaken as food by animals, such as turtles. They clog their airways or intestines, causing animals to suffer painful deaths.
By: Cassandra Ly, Grade 10
There is nothing better than being able to walk outside into the school’s courtyard to see the wide variety of fresh and organic vegetables and fruits that are being grown. In only 2 years, the organic garden has flourished with potatoes to broccoli to tomatoes and even raspberries and blueberries. With the dedicated work of students and teachers, Windermere’s organic garden has become very, very successful. Recently, 7 new beds were built, adding on to the previous 5. These 12 beds will be the holders of parsley, cilantro, onions, lettuce, and many other vegetables, coming soon in the spring. On top of that, a salad bar will be in the cafeteria very soon, giving students the opportunity to make their own salads. The organic garden also has a great composting system, where students empty out the distributed bins throughout the school every few days.
by Cassandra Ly
Purple snow or orange snow?
Lina Phan – Grade 10
Chitha Manoranjan – Grade 12
-Purple Snow. Orange snow looks too much like something else. – _ -
by Nicole Yu
Kylie Rondpre, Grade 9: Oh. I will give more to the needy; I will help raise awareness [for] poverty, not only other countries, but also our own; I will reduce waste; I will gain super powers and save the helpless; I will show my appreciation for others, [and] I will accept what comes to me.
Nicole: That’s great!
Kylie: I will also read to old people, hahaha.
Allison Ferreira, Grade 8: In 2009, I will… hm… I will try to volunteer in the community more!
By Cassandra Ly
Who ever knew adding together a few feet-tapping, hip-shaking beats along with some brain-racking math formulas and rules could make a musical? In this case, a “high school mathical?” Windermere’s Athena Arts program hosted its first ever musical with its creative storyline written and produced by Maggie Przyborowska, directed by Mitchell Agostinho, and choreographed by Aiden Farrell and Natasha Pheko; the masterminds behind this successful production. Parents, teachers, administrators and other students also made great contributions. “The Number Devil,” a fiction, fun kids’ book written by Hans Magnus Enzensberger about a young boy who has dreams of the number devil visiting him was the inspiration to the creation of the mathical. Songs ranged from old-school classics including “Beat it” to “YMCA” to modern catchy beats including “Rehab.” Instead though, these songs were drastically altered from “Beat it” to “Cheat it,” from “YMCA” to “mx + b,” and from “Rehab” to “Math class.” The hard work of more than 30 grade 8 & 9 Athena students along with the help of a few Nootka students paid off with their great dance moves, acting, singing, and overall presentation. High School Mathical is definitely a one-of-a-kind production and was entertaining and a joy to watch.
by Cassandra Ly
Chanel Ly: A newer, shinier, faster, red road bike.
Nathan Dinh: A better, faster, stronger city bike.
Chanel Ly: Are you talking about your own bike?
Nathan Dinh: Nooo… I’m just trying to make fun of yours.
Dan Calud – Grade 10: Money and goodies.
Mr. Rymer: Jaguar XKE 1967-1969.
Cassandra: Would you like a new watch with that?
Mr. Rymer: Sure, definitely!