Summer date ideas

By Dani Leach

Summer’s coming and the weather is finally starting to heat up. Take a tip from Mother Nature and add a little heat to your love life, as well. Here are a few ideas to spark your passion:

Car Wash

After all the snow from this past winter, your car is probably covered in dirt and salt from the road and it could probably use a good cleaning. Turn this tedious chore into sudsy fun by getting your significant other to help out. This idea gets both of you in your swim suits. Soak each other while spraying down your cars to keep cool in a playful way.

Have a Picnic

Pack up some of your favorite foods and find the prettiest park. Set a playful mood by creating a playlist full of fun summer songs on your iPod. Bring along some fun things to do for after you finish your delicious lunch: a ball to play catch, a kite to fly if there’s a light wind, or a game of checkers. There are a couple different places you can have a picnic: Parvin State Park, and Landis Park, and Bridgeton City Park.

Beat the Heat

The heat can be stifling when it gets further into the summer season. Cool off by hitting the beach, relaxing by the pool, or even running through the sprinklers at home. Have flirty splash fights and make up games to incite a little playful competition. Offer to help your date with sunscreen to turn up the heat a little.

Drive-In Movie

Having privacy in your car rather than sitting next to a stranger during a movie is what makes a night at the drive-in so romantic. You can bring your own candy and snacks and avoid the ridiculous movie theater prices. There are also no other people around to get mad and shush you for talking or showing each other a little affection.

Go for a Drive

When the weather gets nice, going for a drive with the windows down and the radio turned up is so much fun. You can pick a destination or just drive around aimlessly, stopping anywhere that looks interesting. There are so many cool places to visit in South Jersey: lighthouses, beaches, Wheaton Village and zoos.

Carnival Night

Find an amusement park nearby and let the smells of popcorn, cotton candy, and funnel cake take you back to when you were kids. Play a couple rounds of mini golf, race each other in go carts, and play games to try to win stuffed animals. At the end of the day, take a ride on the Ferris wheel and watch the sun set at the top. If you can’t make it to an amusement park, set up your own games in your backyard. Check out websites such as carnivalsavers.com for some cool ideas.

Get Nostalgic

Spend a day doing all the things that you used to when you were kids. Dig up your favorite movies from when you were younger and have your significant other bring some, too. Round up all of the blankets and pillows you have and make a blanket fort in your living room. Make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch and big, crazy ice cream sundays for dessert. Eat them in your fort while watching the movies and let your inner child take over.

Don’t let the summer heat keep you from having fun. Use these ideas to do something different than usual with your significant other.

 

Special summer plans? Escape with a good book

By Brittany Kilpatrick

Summer may still be a few months away, but soon enough it will be here. No matter where a person spends their summer there is bound to be some down time. For those who love books, summer is the perfect time to devour a good read. The question is what should a person read this summer? Here are a few books that you may enjoy.

For those who love a good murder mystery The Lying Game may be the choice for you. This series is a mixture of murder, suspense, and thriller all tied together.  For an added twist the point of view is that of a ghost.  The author, of the series, Sara Shepard describes it best when she says that Sutton Mercer lives “A charmed life.” She has everything a person could wish for.  Sutton lives in an affluent neighborhood, and has endless assess to credit cards, and designer clothes. In addition, she has loyal family and friends. What could go wrong?  Well it seems that Sutton lived life licentiously. She liked to push buttons, which is best demonstrated through The Lying Game. The Lying Game is a series of pranks that her and her friends would play on each other and on others.  Apparently, Sutton took one prank too far. Sutton goes missing, but no one notices because, in a twist of fate, Sutton’s twin sister Emma ends up being mistaken as her. She is then thrown into Sutton’s life and discovers that her sister is dead. The problem is that if she tells she may suffer the same fate.  Sutton, in spirit, tags along to her sister and watch as Emma tries to put the pieces together.

Those who enjoy reality television, and all that it has to offer, may find an interest in L.A. Candy and its spinoff The Fame Game.  L.A. Candy is a series about four girls that get chosen to be on reality television. The main character Jane is the-girl-next-door type. Her naivety leads her into a web of deception, and drama. A life that seems so glamorous quickly becomes a nightmare. In The Fame Game the story takes a new perspective filled with new and old characters alike. This time the story’s main character is the troublemaker, Madison Parker, from the original series. Madison is determined to be the star this time around, but things may not go as planned.  In both L.A. Candy and The Fame Game the reality behind reality television is revealed. The final book in The Fame Game series is released on June 11th, 2013. 

Science Fiction enthusiasts may find their match in The Hunger Games. The story takes place in a society that takes over after North America is destroyed. In this society, people are selected in a lottery to be featured in a brutal competition known as The Hunger Games.  In this televised event the competitors complete until, traditionally, one person remains alive. Who will survive The Hunger Games?

Pop culture enthusiasts may enjoy the personal accounts of the popular television producer and personality Andy Cohen featured in his book Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture. His love for television led him to a future of interviewing celebrities, and creating addictive reality television.  From his failures to his successes and everything interesting in between, readers can get glimpse of what makes addictive television. 

No matter what genre a reader enjoys there are many books to meet those interests.  Hopefully a few of these selections will be enjoyable for you. The summer can be an enjoyable time of year, why not make the most of it with a good book? 

 

Gun trafficking control problem a national crisis

By Hezekiyah Luster

Gun control is not just a state problem but is a national problem as well. Gun control appears to have become a problem overnight situation. Innocent by standers and children are constantly being terrorized by those with illegal gun possession. Illegal gun possession is defined as owning a gun that is not registered. Each state has different laws concerning their gun policies. 

According to http://www.huffingtonpost.com, “President Obama has indicated a move towards strengthening federal gun control measures, but the reality is that the majority of gun legislation in the U.S. is enacted at the state level. That has brought broad variations across the country, with states taking different approaches to issues ranging from sales, permits, licensing, and self-defense and carry laws.” 

New Jersey made some changes to their gun control laws. Lehighvalleylive.com reports, “The newest measures of gun laws include banning suspected terrorists from obtaining a permit to purchase a firearm and reducing the maximum rounds of ammunition in a legal magazine from 15 to 10.” 

In New Jersey, firearm owners are required to get a lifetime Firearm Purchaser card for the purchase of rifles, shotguns or handguns. To purchase a handgun, a separate permit is needed from the local police department for each handgun to be purchased and expires after 90 days. http://www.huffingtonpost.com also stated, “California has always been a leader on the issue of gun safety.” Each state’s gun laws and procedures are different. 

Some states are stricter on gun possession than others. All states should have an equal desire for the mass gun possession to change. Many people have weapons that are unaccounted for which is a serious problem. So, be careful where you travel to and from now a days. Another source, gunvictimsaction.org stated, “ On an average day in the U.S., guns are used to kill more than 80 people, injure almost 300 more, and commit approximately 3,000 crimes. Since John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, more Americans have been shot and killed on our own soil than in all the 20th-century wars combined.” 

Guns are controlling the streets everywhere we turn. So help us control the gun problem by not partaking in it. Gunvictimsaction.org posted, “Gun shows have been called ‘Tupperware parties for criminals’ because they attract large numbers of prohibited buyers.” A loophole in federal law allows unlicensed or “private” sellers, many of whom work out of gun shows, to lawfully sell or transfer guns without conducting a criminal background check. Gun show dealers have been known to advertise to criminals with signs that read “no background checks required here.” The excessive illegal gun activity needs to dwindle and bring peace to our neighborhoods in turmoil. Stopping the illegal gun activity would cause fewer  mass killings, and would save lives.

Drugs: A big problem, quietly receeding?

By Brandon Read

Sometimes when watching the news in the morning or late at night, it is just unbelievably amazing how drugs in America are taking most of the limelight in the news. Unfortunately, once someone has started to use a certain drug for a long period of time, that person starts to become addicted to it. Whether it is regular prescription drugs or plain illegal substances, once one gets completely hooked onto these substances becomes very detrimental to their health later on in their life. 

According to an article in the New York Times, Brett Favre, former professional quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, stated that he was addicted to painkillers and checked himself in the National Football League’s substance-abuse program. Favre, over the duration of his time in the game of football, had had numerous surgeries because of the hits he would take from opposing defenders on the field. In order to be relieved of the pain of the surgery he began to take painkillers non-stop. Favre had suffered a seizure in the hospital after having surgery on his ankle. Favre also stated to that New York Times article, “During this last surgery, a surgery on my ankle, I suffered a seizure in the hospital. Because of that I sought help through the NFL [National Football League]. I think the best thing to do was get some help.” This is a perfect example of becoming dependent on any type of drug, and how detrimental it can be.

Not only is it detrimental to a person’s health, but having drugs illegally can be a Federal offense. According to the Coalition against Drug Abuse, estimates of drug related crimes and arrests totalling 725,150 people who were arrested on drug related crimes from January to May 2012. In 2011, the National Institute on Drug Abuse states that there was an increase in the use of amphetamines in high school seniors had grown to 8.2 percent. According to the Coalition against Drug Abuse, the cause of this could be because of overscheduling and intensified academic competition.

  However, there is some good news about what is going on with this issue. According to the Coalition, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has found that there was a huge drop in the use of drugs among younger teenagers. This helped police redirect their enforcement resources to different age groups. Prevention programs can also be credited with helping this trend due to its successful outreach to the younger generations of people. Within the past decade, the DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration] catalogued in their studies a downward trend of 39,770 people abusing drugs in 2000 to 30,922 in 2010. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a study was conducted in 2010, that two groups of people with mental illnesses had different percentages in drug abuse. Those that received treatment more than doubled with 25.8 percent to 12.1 percent that did not receive treatment. So you see, there are still some problems with drugs in our society. However, there are some things being taken care of to help combat these issues as well.

Unfortunately, according to ScienceDaily.com, a recent study was conducted which revealed that prescription drug abuse has rapidly increased. According to Dr. Asomukmar Buvanendran of Rush University Medical Center, Professor from the Department of Anesthesiology, in Chicago states, “The harsh reality is prescription drug abuse has become a problem in our society. We hope the results of this study will aid physicians in effectively treating patients who struggle with prescription drug abuse, as well as encourage wide spread patient education about the safe use, storage and disposal of medications.” In a three year span from 2007 to 2009, prescription drug abuse increased from 20 percent to 22 percent. It’s anyone’s guess of how much prescription drug abuse has increased since this test was conducted. There is, however, some good news to this story as well. According to the results of this study, abuse of illicit drugs has gone down over the past couple years. From 2007 to 2009, illicit drug abuse dropped from 36 percent to 28 percent in a three year span. 

In this day in age, it appears that anyone will try to get their hands on any type of drug due to their uncontrollable addiction to them. Though it seems that the problem of drugs in America seems to be calming down slightly, some problems are not solved all in one night. It is still shocking, however, that people will still abuse drugs after this information is revealed. Until people can realize their problems with drugs and seek help, it will never end. There is still a long way to go before drug addiction, misuse, or abuse can be controlled and out of our society, and, more importantly, out of our lives. 

 

CCC, Playball!

By Brandon Read

Well CCC, it is that time of year again where it starts to warm up and everyone is talking about the upcoming Major League Baseball season, with Opening Day set for March 31. This warm weather also means that CCC is about to start Dukes Men’s baseball and Women’s softball. 

Both the CCC baseball and softball teams are excited to start their seasons. Their anticipation can be summed up by the amount of practice they have put in since early January. Dukes Softball player Rosemarie Barnes, when asked if she was excited about softball season starting, she responded, “Heck yes!” The things that excites her about softball are, “Just sweating in practice, and just seeing the progression throughout the season of getting better and long road trips with your coaches and teammates just to be annoying, or just to make jokes and make memories. That and diving right after like it’s been raining and just having fun.” 

The CCC Dukes Baseball team, according to DukesAthletics.com, started their season February 23rd. So far the CCC Dukes baseball team is off to a good start. A lot of credit can go to the hard work they put in at practice. According to CCC’s Head Coach, Keith Gorman, “Obviously the main goal is to win a national title. I mean that’s it but we don’t talk about it that much. We talk about the little things that win games, and that’s our main goal every day, to play one pitch at-a-time and more importantly compete one pitch at-a-time. We want to win every pitch.” 

Gorman is excited for the season himself because he believes, “Baseball is great because there is no clock in baseball. You can be up whatever the score is and no one is laying down for you. You got to go out and pitch, if you’re the home team and you go up in the top of the 6th[inning] or the top of the 8th the other teams got a chance.” He also went on to say, “That’s what’s special about this game is that there is a constant competition and it’s the most individual team sport you’ll ever be in.” Coach Gorman’s expectations can be described in three words, “Compete, Toughness, and Composure.” He believes if they can do that, they can be successful. 

 

Behind athletics: Coach Mike Doughtie

By Brandon Read

CCC, do you ever wonder about what goes on behind the scenes of the Athletic Department? Ever wonder who tends to the athletic complexes here like the soccer fields, the baseball fields, or the gym for basketball season? Well, one of the important pieces of this organization is that of Athletics Assistant/Assistant Basketball Coach Mike Doughtie. Recently, Doughtie had sat down for an interview to give the people a better insight of what exactly he does. 

Doughtie aspired to major in sports management when he went to college at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. He has a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and Sports Studies, with a Sports Management Option. While at Rutgers, he participated in several organizations that helped him gain experience and steered him in the right direction. Along with those organizations, he completed an internship as the Football Operations intern for the Trenton Steel. The Trenton Steel was a local Indoor Football League team which has recently folded. When asked where his love of sports all started, he responded, “I played three sports [basketball, football, and baseball] most of my life and throughout high school. That’s where my passion started, so it only made sense for me to pursue a major in a field that I knew I could relate to.” 

Doughtie applied for the job here at CCC when he had just graduated from Rutgers. When he read the description of what he would do as part of the job he said he immediately applied. When he came in for the job interview with Athletic Director Bob Amundson, he said that he realized he and Amundson shared similar goals and as a result he knew he was in a good position. As for the Assistant Coaching job, Head Coach Arthur Horn was in search of an assistant to help with the basketball team and Doughtie had a passion for the game of basketball. 

Some of the skills he possesses as the Athletics Assistant are communication/people skills so he can be approachable for all student athletes to better their experience and in order to communicate with other Athletic Directors or assistants as well. Some other skills he needs for his position are basic computer skills in which he does programs for all CCC sporting events. He reverts back to his experiences with the Trenton Steel for the work he accomplishes at CCC. He made himself very flexible with what he did there which helped him with his work ethic when he arrived here at Cumberland.

So what is there that one would not think an Athletics Assistant would do, you might ask? Well, if you are ever passing by the baseball, softball, or soccer fields early in the morning you will see Doughtie painting the foul lines and out-of-bounds lines for the games that take place at these complexes. 

Doughtie’s future goals are to work for a professional sports organization or for a Division 1 University Athletic Department someday. However when asked about his job here he states, “I am grateful for the opportunity that he [Bob Amundson] gave me to prove myself.”

 

“Les Miserables“ for fall production at CCC

By Brandon Read

Well CCC, it looks like we are in for another great year of Professor Bradshaw’s productions in the 2013-14 Cumberland County College school year. This coming fall, the Cumberland County College Drama Club will be performing the beloved musical, Les Miserables. The story of a reformed thief, Jean ValJean, being chased by the ruthless Inspector Javert. According to NJ.com, anyone who would like to see this musical can get an up-close and personal viewing of this famous production on November 21, 22, 23, and 24. Auditions will take place during the 2013 spring semester at Cumberland County College. Any students who would like to audition for this production, “Come on out.”

As mentioned before, Professor Bradshaw will be the director of this iconic musical. She herself has acted in this production before, and had recently sat down for an interview to share some interesting information about the beginning stages for this production. Bradshaw stated, “Les Mis was a dream-come-true for me. After college, I moved to New York and began my performing career with one goal: to perform on Broadway. To get there, I continued studying voice and acting in New York, and took every opportunity I could to be a working actor by performing in Dinner Theater, Summer Stock, Regional Theater and tours, which culminated in my Broadway debut in Les Miserables.”

When Bradshaw went to audition for Les Mis, she mentioned that she and her husband were expecting their first child. She went to the audition anyway and the producers cast her for the first National Tour of Les Miserables. She states, “The rehearsal process was very intense but very exciting to work with the director and the entire creative team from the Broadway production. Eventually, I was transferred from the tour to the Broadway Company. It was quite a thrill, my dream came true, my Broadway debut.” Les Mis is an ensemble show which means that each actor has many different roles with the exception for the part of Jean Val Jean and Inspector Javert. Bradshaw mentioned she was one of these ensemble actresses during her time in this production, where she played four different parts.

Now, everyone is probably wondering, “Wasn’t there just a movie version that came out in theaters in late December?” The answer is yes, and people may have a feeling that this may be the reason why CCC is performing this production. To put this pre-conceived notion to bed, Bradshaw responded, “I actually decided to direct Les Mis at Cumberland County College long before the movie was released. However, until a few months ago, the licensing rights to Les Mis were not available. The very first day Les Miserables was released to community theaters, I immediately obtained the rights to produce and direct Les Miserables at the college.” There are numerous film versions of this beloved story, however according to Bradshaw, seeing the actual production of Les Mis is far better than watching the film. Bradshaw states, “The movie version was certainly packed with stunning visuals, expressions and emotions which only camera angles and close-ups can achieve. Live theater is a completely different experience. Every live performance is unique, real-time intimate relationship and chemistry between the performer and the audience.” Bradshaw compared the differences of watching the movie and the actual production to, for you sports fans out there, watching a good football game on TV compared to sitting on 50 yard line seats at the actual game.

Professor Bradshaw certainly has an idea of what she has in mind for this production. She states, “I wanted our students to experience a taste of what it was like for me, beginning with the rehearsal process, the music, the story , and being part of the finest and longest running musical in history,” and that it is, “an experience of a lifetime.”