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Volume 17, No. 7 - December 13, 2010

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 Writer's Index




 Elliott Blatt/

I'll take you to Wixom...

By Monica Blaze in WIXOM, Michigan, U.S.A. – A small city, often missed in the blink of an eye – or at least misinterpreted – is where I live.

Everyone knows everyone here. As the year progresses, everyone figures out they know more people than even they thought they did.

I’ll take you through a year of my city, and by the end, you will know everyone who lives in Wixom.

In the winter, it’s not hard to find children and even young adults sledding down the hill. They fly down on their plastic presents from Saint Nick, behind the middle school, which happens to be, basically, my backyard.

There are holiday parties and everyone, young or old, is eager for Santa Claus to come on December 25.

Generally, a good six-some inches of snow blankets the ground. The fountain in front of the Wixom Public Library freezes over and is available for a blade from a pair of ice skates to sketch it beautifully. 
Read whole story

-- NEWS --

Higdon displays 'magic as a composer'

By Kiernan Majerus-Collins in HARTFORD, Connecticut, U.S.A. -- Jennifer Higdon, a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer from Philadelphia, had her piece Road Stories for concert band premiered by The Hartt Symphony Band Friday.

She also received an honorary doctorate of music from The University of Hartford, which includes The Hartt School of music, dance and theater.

Robert Carl, a professor of composition at the university, said Higdon is “one of the most performed” composers in America.

“She’s always hit the home run when she had to with her pieces,” said Carl. Read whole story


  Read Samantha Perez's stunning journal of hope and survival during America's worst natural disaster.

An Oregon city finds itself a terror target

By Talon Bronson in PORTLAND, Oregon, U.S.A. The idea that someone sought to set off a bomb during the city’s recent Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Pioneer Park has unsettled the Portland community.

“It’s something that feels weird, knowing it could happen here. I mean, it didn’t happen, but just that it almost did,” said Josiah Miller, 22.

Since the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s arrest of Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, for allegedly seeking to bomb the ceremony – officials said he didn’t know the bomb was fake when he tried to set it off – residents have a shared feeling of disillusionment.

“I think almost everyone is going to feel like that, like it’s something that isn’t real, Brandon M. Sanders, 19, said.

After all, people said, Portland isn’t New York City or Los Angeles. It’s not a place where anyone expects to become the target of terrorism.

“My entire family was there,” Sanders said, shaking his head.

“It’s scary, and weird, to think that they could maybe not be here anymore,” he said.  Read whole story

Bomb scare hits home for Portland teen

By Talon Bronson in PORTLAND, Oregon, U.S.A. – I’m not much of a holiday spirit kind of guy, but I love the Christmas tree lighting celebration in Portland. I understand why the carols and the cocoa draw thousands of people to the ceremony each year.

What I can’t understand is why a young man my age would want to blow it all up.

I was there with my family in Pioneer Courthouse Square last Friday for the holiday festivities, but it wasn’t until I got home that I learned federal agents had arrested 19-year-old Mohamed Osman Mohamud, accusing him of plotting to set off a bomb there.

The day of the tree lighting was a crisp fall day, though it felt like winter. I was simply glad that the bipolar weather that had recently decided to nest upon the valley’s surface was giving the rain a break.

In Portland, we are definitely used to feeling soggy, since rain is prevalent most of the year. But my family had come to the city for the day to see the tree lighting, and I wasn’t looking forward to standing in the open public square without an umbrella as the drops poured down.

We got to the square at about 5:45 p.m. My nose was numb, and I could see the red tinge of chill on my sister’s cheeks. But hey, like I said, no rain.

The tree lighting in Portland is a beautiful thing, and even for me – someone  who has never professed to be much of a ‘holiday spirit’ kind of guy – it really is fantastic.

Everyone is smiling, everyone is singing (well, almost everyone . . . you can’t have a crowd of well over a couple thousand, and not expect a few grinches, I suppose) and cups of cocoa and coffee are in nearly every hand.

Cocoa says Christmas for me, and a deep whiff of peppermint-flavored chocolate makes the scene of the tree, the band on stage, and the people, just perfect.

So I will always wonder why someone would want to destroy such a thing.  Read whole story



Police brutality in keeping with government's anti-student agenda

By Noah Kidron-Style in LONDON -- Students from all over the United Kingdom took to the streets in protest last Thursday against the proposed rise in university tuition fees and cuts to education funding. Read whole story



Harry Potter remains magical in Deathly Hallows, Part 1

By Nancy Hsu in BRISBANE, Australia With all the caliber and heart-wrenching warmness of the previous Harry Potter movies, the latest installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, does not disappoint. To describe the movie without giving anything away, I have to say that I laughed, cowered in fear, cheered in fights, cried for loss and welled up with joy for victory. Read whole story

New Harry Potter will touch fans' hearts

By Roohani Deshpande in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India -- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One, which opens in a world which is dark and dangerous, resulting from the rise of Lord Voldemort, lives up to the high expectations of its fans.

The film is gripping and surprisingly emotional.  Read whole story

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