Packers’ lack of activity in free agency is wasting Rodgers’ good years

By Greg Bintz, Aviator staff writer

Unless you’re Tom Brady (his motto is “LET’S GO!”), “All In” is one of the most-used sports team mottos.

Our own boys basketball team uses it, the Cleveland Cavaliers use it, and now Aaron Rodgers has presented it as to what the Packers need to do to start winning championships. After all, 107.5 FM The Fan’s Harry Sydney, a former Packers running back coach, put it the best way after the Packers’ blowout loss in the NFC Championship Game: “They are wasting Rodgers’ talent.”

Not to mention the Packers wasted Brett Favre and won just one Super Bowl in the 16 years he was here in Green Bay. Sixteen years? C’mon, man.

The reason for this (Rodgers even mentioned it on ESPN Radio’s “Wilde and Tausch” Thursday afternoon) is because of the lack of free agent signings the Packers make. Quite obviously, when the Packers sign free agents, they do better.

In the summer of 2014, Ted Thompson shocked lots of people by signing Julius Peppers. Next thing everybody knows, the veteran linebacker has multiple pix-sixes and forced fumbles, and helped lead our defense into the NFC Championship Game.

In the spring of 2016, Thompson signed Jared Cook. Next thing everybody knows, he catches a complete duck from Rodgers that set up Mason Crosby’s dagger in Dallas.

Again people, it’s proven.

Now, we’re in the beginning of a new NFL season with free agency started up and running faster than John Ross’ 4.22 40-yard dash.

The Packers should really dive into free agency. We need a middle linebacker. Well, we could go and sign Dont’a Hightower. However, per multiple sources, the Packers are “intrigued” in signing Joe Thomas (it’s also hard not to say that we just overpaid Nick Perry, who is probably petting his cast in celebration of a new contract).

It’s the same thing with the cornerback position, because we need many of those too. Logan Ryan is sitting wide open out there. Hold your horses, though. Per CBS Sports’ Brian Jones, the Packers are also “intrigued” into signing Davon House.

Why would we sign a guy that we cut two years ago and was one of our reserves riding our bench? That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. About 95 percent of the time, I never understand what Ted Thompson is thinking. I mean, we’re sitting here re-signing OUR PUNTER before any of our main concerns. How ridiculous is that?

In conclusion, we just need to sign, sign, sign, and sign some more. I know the process of free agency isn’t easy, but the Packers have plenty of cap space to get it done. Look at a team like the Patriots: in 2014, they signed Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, resigned Logan Ryan, and went on to win the Super Bowl. You could even throw in the Browns. They just signed J.C. Tretter, two other offensive linemen, traded for Brock Osweiler (and now trying to trade Osweiler for Jimmy Garoppolo), and signed Kenny Britt. Sorry, but could anyone say what the Packers have done so far?

Also, if anyone reading this article wants to go back and read my “Packers’ offseason moves need to start with defense” article, much of what I mentioned is being rumored to happen. Example: drafting T.J. Watt and Christian McCaffrey.

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a team rely on a draft and win a title multiple times. It’s time to go to the bank and spend some money.

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Genocide awareness needs to be bigger part of social studies curriculum

By Emma Jo Hirschy, Aviator Editor-in-Chief

Those who are not educated on history are doomed to repeat it. Across the world, we have witnessed genocides; however, we have yet to learn about genocides other than the Holocaust.

At least 18 genocides have occurred since the early 19th century. Currently there are genocide emergencies in eight different countries (Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Somalia, Central African Republic, Myanmar: Rakhine, Nigeria: Boko Haram, Borno State), according to the Genocide Watch organization. In the case of the genocide emergencies, actual genocide is underway. At the same time, the Genocide Watch organization also identified Burundi to be under a genocide watch, when early warning signs indicate the danger of mass killing or genocide.

In almost every genocide, we observe the five steps of genocide. Those steps include the following: the country has a population in trouble, the country creates a state of emergency, the country finds a scapegoat, the country identifies and separates a group of people from others, and then the country concentrates and eliminates that group.

Predominantly, we associate the five steps of genocide to the Holocaust. In Mr. Oslund’s World Issues class at De Pere High School, we are expected to know the steps, for we are also expected to be able to apply them to other genocides in history.

Unlike most of the history curriculum at DPHS, Oslund taught us something new for a change.

On the first day of the genocide unit, Oslund asked the class if anyone was aware of the Armenian Genocide, which was Hitler’s inspiration for how he carried out the Holocaust the way he did. Not one of us rose our hands in the class, indicating that we knew about it.

Then he introduced us to the Rwandan Genocide and once again, nobody knew about it, even though it just occurred in the 1990s.

Following that, he handed us an article and told us to read it. It was about the Rape of Nanking, another genocide that next to no one in the class new about.

It is important to note that majority of the students in the the World Issues class this semester are seniors, with a few sophomores and juniors. The seniors have been through all of the social studies classes that DPHS requires a student to take to graduate, yet none of the seniors knew about these genocides.

The world has repeatedly watched genocide occur one after another. By having students learn about the five steps of genocide and previous genocides, identifying genocides across the world will help prevent future ones.

If DPHS continues to not educate our student body on genocide, the school is just contributing to the next genocide that happens. The key to ending genocide is awareness and education.

Redbirds blast Homestead, prepare for sectional battle against North

By Greg Bintz, Aviator contributor

With about 1:30 to go in the game, De Pere girls basketball coach Jeremy Boileau sent out all the seniors except for injured guard Lauren DeMille, who was given a fist bump by Coach Boileau. It marked the end of the last game the seniors would play in De Pere, and it ended very well.

A blowout 71-49 WIAA regional final victory over Mequon Homestead sends the Redbirds (22-2) to Ashwaubenon to face FRCC rival Sheboygan North (18-6) in a sectional semifinal on Thursday night at 7 p.m.

Junior Annie Schneider went 3-3 from 3-point land, scoring 15 points. Rachel Kerkhoff tacked on 16 more, guard Olivia DeCleene added 8 points, and senior Lizzie Miller ended her playing days on Kowalcyzk Court with 19 points. The Redbirds shot 7-10 from downtown while shooting 73.7 percent inside the lane.

Homestead was led by Marquette commit Chloe Marotta, a junior, who played all 36 minutes and had 22 of the 49 points for the Highlanders.

“[The key to the game] was stopping number 23, Chloe Marotta. She takes the majority of their shots and she’s a big part of what they do to win games. Our goal was to make her really work for her points,” Boileau said of the Highlander center.

Just about halfway through the second half, Homestead went nearly 4 minutes without a basket. They ended up shooting 39 percent.

Meanwhile, De Pere took advantage of Homestead’s 11 turnovers and shot 60 percent.

Even though De Pere beat Sheboygan North both times they met this year, and just the fact that it’s the playoffs, playing the Raiders a third time doesn’t mean an easy task.

“We just need to keep believing and doing what we’re doing and keep our energy on defense up and continue to work as a team,” Boileau said of preparations for North.

Girls open tourney with win over Preble

By Greg Bintz, Aviator contributor

A late scoring spree led by guard Olivia DeCleene and sophomore Rachel Kerkhoff helped De Pere put away Green Bay Preble 59-44 in the first round of WIAA regionals Friday night in De Pere.

DeCleene finished with 11 points, senior Lizzie Miller finished with 13 points and Kerkhoff, who made consecutive three pointers to give De Pere a 15-point lead, finished with 12 points.

The game started slowly, with #15-seeded Preble leading as many as 5 points before De Pere came back to go up 29-26 at the half. Missed free throws by the Birds were a part of the reason for Preble’s early success.

With the win, De Pere hosts #7-seeded Homestead tonight at 7 p.m.

 

International Week at De Pere HS

Photos by Aviator staff

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PewDiePie attack clearly a case of irresponsible journalism

By Aidan Rogan, Aviator contributor

Ever wonder what it’s like being an Internet comedian on YouTube?

It may seem like a great job. Everyone would love you, you’d get paid to make videos every day or so, you’d be your own boss, and you could interact with fans and make content that you enjoy. Seems like a dream.

That’s the life of Felix Kjelberg, the YouTube gamer/comedian with 53 million subscribers who goes under the name of “PewDiePie”. I’m almost certain you’re heard of him, seen him, or are subscribed to him. He’s a staple of YouTube, the biggest channel by far, the king of the Internet. And I’ve got to hand it to the guy; he’s hilarious. He’s supported by Maker Studios, a YouTube network that is run by Disney, of all companies.

But it seems that a few people aren’t happy about Felix’s success.

On Feb. 14, 2017, The Wall Street Journal published an article titled “Disney Sever Ties With YouTube Star PewDiePie After Anti-Semitic Post”. The three writers of this article, Rolfe Winkler, Jack Nicas, and Ben Fritz, explain how PewDiePie had made nine “posts” in the past six months promoting anti-Semitism and featuring Nazi propaganda. The article then went on and stated that The Wall Street Journal itself went to Disney, the owners of his network, and inquired why they supporting this content.

Winkler, Nicas, and Fritz are lying to you.

These “journalists” (it feels disgusting to call them this) did not find nine “posts” promoting Nazis or anti-Semitism. They did not expose PewDiePie as a racist. They did not go to Disney to protect YouTube from the evil of a 27-year-old Swedish comedian. This blasphemic article was written for one purpose and one purpose alone: To damage PewDiePie’s channel.

And they did some damage.

After being bullied by WSJ, Disney needed to protect itself. It was an entirely PR move, and I understand why they did this. They needed to protect themselves from the storm about to hit.

Disney completely dropped PewDiePie from Maker Studios, meaning Felix is no longer under contract. And, as a reflexive move to avoid negative press, YouTube then removed PewDiePie from their preferred advertising tier (which recommended his channel first to possible advertisers on YouTube) and cancelled Felix’s pay-to-view YouTube Red series, “Scare PewDiePie”.

And, of course, other mainstream news sources picked up the story and accused Felix of being a racist.

But what actually happened?

Basically, Felix had included two jokes in past videos that some may find distasteful, if the context is removed. The first came when he discussed a new program that YouTube had tried to start called “YouTube Heroes”, that would reward users points for reporting “negative content” (how specific). In the video, Felix compared the new system to Nazis, and, as a joke, edited in a clip of himself watching a Hitler speech online.

The second is a bit more controversial, though. In a video discussing a website called Fiverr (where you can pay anyone five dollars to do anything), he decided to see how far he could push the limits of what you could do by paying two men to hold up a sign that said “DEATH TO ALL JEWS”.

Now, these jokes may seem a fair bit inappropriate if context is removed. But, within context, while these jokes are pushing the limits a bit, they are about as far from Hitler and the Nazis as “The Lego Movie” is to “The Blair Witch Project”. The last thing I would expect someone to do is remove the context behind all these jokes, accuse Felix of being an anti-Semite, and try to pass it off as “news”.

But that’s exactly what they did. And people bought it. Never mind the fact that these “posts” that WSJ used as evidence (even though these were just 10-seconds snippets from videos) had no context. Never mind the fact that Felix has freedom of speech. Never mind the fact that The Wall Street Journal had no reason to cut and paste parts of PewDiePie’s channel in their article, or even be snooping through it in the first place, just so they could have “evidence” behind their false narrative. Never mind the fact that they took a moment in one video where he points to something above him, and tried to pass it off as a Nazi salute.

They wanted to attack him. Why?

Because Felix isn’t The Young Turks, or BuzzFeed, or The Verge, or any of the other mindless, clickbaiting, pandering, pathetic excuses for Internet content that value obnoxious titles like “Senator Kid Rock?”

PewDiePie, as a channel, doesn’t fit the mainstream media’s false view of the world. Felix talks about controversial topics, and to them, that’s bad. You can’t talk about anything controversial; you might offend someone. The more bland, the better. Shouldn’t it be worrying when news outlets sound like something straight out of Fahrenheit 451? Felix is everything Hollywood, the mainstream media, and the political elite hate: a successful, regular guy.

The mainstream media tried to condemn PewDiePie for merely using his freedom of speech. He’s just an Internet personality cracking dumb jokes, but apparently that’s not allowed nowadays.  

After this explosion set off by WSJ, other YouTubers came to PewDiePie’s defense and called out The Wall Street Journal and the other news outlets for attempting to slander Felix.

What makes this entire incident so important is that, which a simple publication of a slanderous hit piece, it could end an entire channel.

But what if PewDiePie wasn’t the biggest channel on YouTube? What if he couldn’t get his voice heard by more than 53 million people? The Wall Street Journal, their slanderous journalists, and all the other pathetic excuses for “news” that jumped on their bandwagon would’ve gotten away with it, no questions asked.

And that’s the worst part. They have this power. And they don’t deserve it at all.

 

Lingering concussion issues prompt math teacher to research, seek solutions

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By Emma Jo Hirschy, Aviator editor-in-chief

On the night of November 13, 2015, Stephanie Schauer participated in a student-staff dodgeball tournament. Just like everyone else who played, Schauer walked into the event in hopes of having a fun night; however, she would have never expected that night to change the rest of her life.

When a dodgeball made contact with her right eye, her head snapped back and was met with the wall behind her.

“I remember getting hit in the eye, but I had no idea that my head actually hit the wall until somebody told me it did,” said Schauer.

After a few seconds of blackness, Schauer was subjected to horrible head pains, dizziness, and blurring. By the next day, she knew something was wrong.

It is going on 15 months since Schauer was diagnosed with a concussion and still she says that she is only 80 percent healed. After the injury, it came to a point where she was incapable to make it through an entire day without severe headaches, dizziness, and blurring.

Her problem-solving skills decreased significantly, making it hard to teach.

“Being a math teacher, I can usually add up numbers really fast,” said Schauer. “I would actually have to pull up a calculator to do that basic math, and I still do sometimes.”

Because of the symptoms brought along with the concussion, Schauer had no choice other than take a break from school to get the much-needed rest to heal. She missed an abundant number of days because of it and still has issues dealing with her symptoms.

To this day, Schauer has headaches, blurriness, dizziness, and an extreme lack of sleep.

“It was to the point that I was unable to concentrate, think, and it was a pounding sensation,” said Schauer. “When I get a super-bad headache, it brings out dizziness and nausea at the same time.”

Along with the everyday struggles Schauer faces, she was inspired to make a change by educating people and raising awareness about concussions.

“Just from me talking to the staff members and sharing my story, my symptoms, and my struggles, I knew the focus had to be put there to educate the staff,” said Schauer. “A lot of times when a student has a concussion and they are sitting in class, they don’t know that they have symptoms. They aren’t willing to share those symptoms, they don’t know they get extra time, and they don’t know that they really aren’t supposed to be taking tests.”

As apart of her project to educate people on concussions, Schauer sent out a survey to all DPHS staff.

Said Schauer: “You can tell that we need more education from it. They are very open to getting that education and I have think they have offered a lot of suggestions on how we can do that. I think by working together, and if we try to create a team of some sorts to put it all together, we can improve what we already have.”

From the survey results, Schauer will compile the information and look for comparisons between the responses. From there, she will be writing a thesis paper on her research and the impacts of concussions.

“Hopefully next year I can present it to the entire school or make some kind of Concussion 101 brochures or pamphlets to tack up on the boards in classrooms,” said Schauer. “Then there is that resource on how to help those students actually in the room.”

 

For real! Fake news making media literacy more difficult

By Emma Jo Hirschy, Aviator editor in chief 

Back in mid-October, President Barack Obama banned the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in U.S. schools.

While that may seem crazy to you, many people across the world believed it. Receiving more than 2.1 million shares, comments, and reactions on Facebook within two months, ABCNews.com.co published the statement and got exactly the response it wanted.

The misconception that the real ABC News published it shook the Facebook community. Not to mention, the article page even suggested that the story was viewed more than 110,000 times.

Not only did the Obama pledge ban hoax gain the public eye, but also stories that are just too hard to comprehend to be real did.

“Pope Francis Shocks World, Endorses Donald Trump for President, Releases Statement”

“ISIS Leader Calls for American Muslim Voters to support Hillary Clinton”

“Trump Offering Free One-Way Tickets to Africa and Mexico for Those Who Wanna Leave America”

According to a survey by the Ipsos Public Affairs and BuzzFeed News, American adults were fooled by fake news headlines 75 percent of the time during the 2016 Presidential Election. Also, in almost every case, the fake news was found on social media, but most commonly Facebook.

Not only have there been fake articles about politics, but about crimes too. Some of them are just too funny to be true.

“Woman Arrested for Defecating on Boss’ Desk after Winning the Lottery”

“Cinnamon Roll Can Explodes inside Man’s butt during Shoplifting Incident”

“Florida Man Dies in Meth-Lab explosion after lighting Farts on Fire”

“Fake news allows people to believe what they already believe, whether it is true or not,” said Mr. Roup, who teaches broadcast journalism at DPHS. “We have created these alternate realities for people where you get online and you see things people write, or you talk to people, and what they say doesn’t make any sense.”

It is evident that the proliferation of fake news is a huge issue now that Facebook had to step up its efforts to tackle it head on.

“I think it is a gigantic issue,” said Mr. Oslund, a DPHS social studies teacher who teaches a World Issues class. “ It is an issue that, unfortunately, people aren’t paying attention to because people don’t actually take their time to check their sources anymore.

“At the same time, you look at the United States and you say OK, what is going on in the news? Yet the No. 1 news story for three days is ‘Beyonce is pregnant!’ Who cares? The same day that Beyonce’s pregnancy announcement came out and everybody lost their minds, 25 people were killed in Aleppo! Who cares if Beyonce is having twins? We care. We are focused on things that don’t matter. I think that is part of the proliferation of fake news as well, because we focus so hard on things that really don’t matter.”

In a recent survey the Crimson Aviator sent out to all De Pere High School students, 151 out of the 191 responses said they receive their news from social media (79 percent overall). With that large of a percent of DPHS students receiving their news from social media, it’s important for students to be more attentive for what they are reading.

If you come across an article that suggests something like a Florida man dying in a meth lab explosion after lighting his fart on fire, chances are that it is fake.

Check your news sources. Don’t share it, don’t retweet it, don’t repost it without knowing it is factual.

Both Roup and Oslund recommend that students check news sources before believing what they see online.

“I think [students] should always look to see where the information comes from,” Roup said. “If it’s a web page, ask who’s sponsoring it and why there might be a potential bias.”

Said Oslund: “Go to multiple news organizations, credible news organizations, not the link on Facebook. Even some of the bigger news organizations have been picking up bad news. I always recommend foreign news sites like BBC.”

 

Redbird logo might be getting alternative look

By Abby Allcox, Aviator staff writer

Walking into De Pere High School, one will find Rowdy the Redbird everywhere.

Most often he comes in the form of a redbird head used on everything from letterhead to student clothing. It is a logo De Pere High School takes pride in, but Rowdy may be getting a makeover soon.

Imaginasium, a marketing agency, has offered the idea of an enhanced logo as part of a rebranding effort for the high school. Although only a small part of the rebranding efforts, adding an alternative logo is one option the high school is exploring.

Before anyone starts to panic, the enhanced logo is not a done deal, as De Pere High School Principal Nick Joseph explained.

“They are proposing it as a possible option,” Mr. Joseph said. “It would be up to us to decide if we like it.”

The way it has been presented is that the new enhanced logo would be an alternate option to use if the school chooses. The idea is for staff to give feedback on the redbird head and have Imaginasium go back and improve the logo until there is a consensus.

“I honestly haven’t made up my mind about it yet. I like our current logo. I always have,” Joseph said.

Asked when it would be shown the the student body, Mr. Joseph explained it was unclear.

“Maybe never, maybe next year, I don’t really know,” he said. “We have had just one round of feedback.”

Joseph said that one possible location for the new logo is the gym.

“One idea they have is on one of the gym walls (to have) a floor-to-ceiling giant redbird head,” he said.

The enhanced logo is not supposed to be drastically different from the current logo, and there is no plan to phase out the old logo. Joseph also suggested the possibility of keeping the current redbird head for clothing.

“We are not going to go remove every single redbird head on everything,” he said.

 

Mrs. Pollard retires after 19 years as attendance secretary

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Mrs. Pollard’s last day was highlighted by a surprise fire alarm in brutal cold. Florida will be a little warmer. — Staff Photo

By Emma Jo Hirschy, Aviator editor-in-chief 

It has been an eventful 19 years for De Pere High School attendance secretary, Georgiana Pollard, who on Feb. 2 completed her final day before retiring to Florida.

In the past 19 years, Georgiana spoke with both students and parents on a daily basis, taking phone calls and writing passes.

“Attendance at schools is a big thing and everyone seems to have more than one child, so you really get to know the families,” said Georgiana.  “I have been here long enough that I even met somebody here when I first started and her son is here now.”

Now that she is retired, Georgiana says she will miss both her co-workers and students the most.

“It’s very hard to leave a place that you’ve been at for 19 years. I will miss the students and my co-workers tremendously,” she said.

After moving down to Florida, Georgia and her husband plan to travel a bit. Also, Georgiana plans to get back to horseback riding since it has been something she has loved all of her life. She also confessed her excitement to be able to spend more time with her grandchildren, who also live down in Florida.

“I just want to wish everybody good luck and tell them how much I will miss them,” she said.  

Deb Rocheleau has taken the place of Georgiana as Attendance Secretary.