The North Star http://opsnorthstar.com The student news site of Omaha North High Magnet School Tue, 19 May 2020 20:52:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 Unprecedented times lead to unprecedented sacrifices http://opsnorthstar.com/5118/uncategorized/unprecedented-times-lead-to-unprecedented-sacrifices/ http://opsnorthstar.com/5118/uncategorized/unprecedented-times-lead-to-unprecedented-sacrifices/#comments Sun, 10 May 2020 20:44:56 +0000 http://opsnorthstar.com/?p=5118 The city and hospital where this is located is purposely left out in addition to the last name to protect the source.  

Aside from the sliver of sun in the horizon, the sky remains dark. There are few cars in the parking garage but even fewer on the streets. As they walk into another 12-hour shift, large makeshift triage tents, where they assess COVID-19 patients from most critical to least critical, pass their vision. They see the refrigerator truck parked in the loading dock that will act as a makeshift morgue should the need arise. There are lines of workers waiting to go through body temperature scanners. The basement of the hospital is lined with broken ICU beds, where nurses who cannot go home sleep.  

The hallways are empty. There are no families or visitors. The unit is solemn. There is no more joking that gets them through a shift. The tension can be sliced with a knife. The mask goes on and another battle begins.  

This is life now for thousands of healthcare workers. From sunup to sundown, they spend their days chipping away at an iceberg with no end in sight.  

What once were 8-hour shifts have turned into 12 or even 16-hour shifts. The body aches from 16 hours on their feet are the least of their worries. There are bruises on the bridges of their noses. Headaches from the tension. However, the majority of the pain comes from the situation.  

The long hours and extra shifts add to the stress on their bodies. It is hard to eat a good meal or drink the adequate amount of water when a nurse is running from patient to patient. There are no families, so nurses have the obligation to become that hand to hold. In this line of work, they are accustomed to death, but no one could foresee the rising death tolls of COVID-19 related deaths. While nurses know the challenges that come with being a nurse, this pandemic brings up new challenges and exacerbates old challenges. 

For nurses like Jaimie, an ICU nurse at a hospital in a hotspot city, she was always able to relieve herself of what happened that day when she went home to her family. For several weeks of this pandemic, she was left to come home to an empty house.  

It was early on in this pandemic that personal protective gear (PPE) began to run thin. 

The ICU that Jaimie worked at has turned into a COVID-19 ICU where they are primarily treating severe COVID-19 patients.  

Two weeks ago, the nurses were given one N-95 mask and asked to keep it in a plastic specimen bag. This is the only form of mask that is known to filter out COVID-19 particles due to the respirator and the seal on it. They are meant to be thrown away after use. Several days later, the protocol changed to a surgical mask on top of the N-95 mask, in order to protect the few N-95 masks left.  

“All of these things once banned by the CDC are now being approved. It feels wrong. I am lucky enough because I have some N-95’s that family gave me that will last me a little while,” Jaimie said.  

At this current time, she is forced to wear a size medium mask, even though she is a small. That is on the rare occasion that she can get an N-95 mask. This makes it so that there is no seal to the face, meaning it is not fully protecting against COVID-19 particles. She uses surgical masks and bonnets made by family to protect herself once the PPE ran out. Her glasses act as a makeshift face shield. In this case, something is better than nothing. 

“We should have been more ready than this,” Jaimie said. 

Under these conditions, Jaimie is exposing herself to the virus every shift. She could get the virus at any one of her shifts and bring it home to her family, unknowingly. Because of this, she felt that she was left with no other option to protect her family but have them leave until the situation lessens.  

This meant Jaimie had to say goodbye to her eight-year-old son and almost six-month-old baby girl. 

The day she made the decision her husband asked her ‘is this worth it? What if we say goodbye to you now and we say goodbye for good? Are you doing this for the money or for the oath you took?’ 

“That is what the oath is for, times like this. You don’t see nurses taking the easy way out. You didn’t sign up to be a nurse and not do this,” Jaimie said.  

When Jaimie went to work on her next shift, she said goodbye to her family and when she came home, the house was empty.  

Jaimie is not the only nurse to make this decision. Many nurses do not have a place they or their families can go so they sleep in their cars or on broken ICU beds. They may live too far from the hospital and do not have enough time to go home and come back.  

Yet, they are not only sacrificing their physical health and their families, but healthcare workers must also sacrifice their mental wellbeing. 

“Of course, we see patients that pass, but it’s weighing on us to see one after the next. It seems like every five minutes that we hear another COVID patient is tanking. We try to forget when we come home,” Jaimie said.  

For those long weeks Jaimie came home to no one, she would spend her days off on a video call laughing with her baby or doing virtual school with her son. Recently after several weeks of being away, Jaimie had to make another decision to let them come back home. The distance between them was taking a toll on her baby’s health. 

Jaimie said that see feels like she missed a lot in those few weeks. Her six-month-old has become more vocal and flips over all the time.  

“There was a moment where she didn’t seem to recognize me. And that was heartbreaking to know that I put her in that position,” said Jaimie. 

With the new living arrangement, Jaimie wears a mask when in contact with her family, and distances herself. 

“My son keeps talking about ‘I wish we could hug’ or ‘Can we hug after you shower?’ How do you tell your eight-year-old son, who isn’t going to want to hug you for much longer, ‘no we can’t [hug]’? It’s heartbreaking,” Jaimie said. 

One of the hardest parts for healthcare workers in this position is not seeing that light at the end of the tunnel. They are making sacrifices without knowing when the end of it all will come. Jaimie explains that it is up to everyone to make small sacrifices, so they do not have to make any more large sacrifices.  

 “The people who don’t [self-isolate] are just making our jobs harder.  They are dragging out the time that we have to be away from our children and cannot hug them,” Jaimie said. 

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OPS does not grade work over COVID-19 closure http://opsnorthstar.com/5116/news/ops-does-not-grade-work-over-covid-19-closure/ http://opsnorthstar.com/5116/news/ops-does-not-grade-work-over-covid-19-closure/#respond Sat, 18 Apr 2020 20:48:00 +0000 http://opsnorthstar.com/?p=5116 On March 15th, 2020, Omaha Public Schools (OPS) announced school would be closed to slow the spread of the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). This came after the federal government released social distancing guidelines of no more than 50 people should gather in one place. 

Since then, every school district in Nebraska has been closed by an executive order of the Governor for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year as the federal government has banned public gatherings of more than 10 people through April 30th. 

With schools closed, many students and parents are left wondering what the next steps will be. 

In an email to students, Melissa Comine, Chief Academic Officer for OPS, said, “The work completed during third quarter before our district closure will be used to determine second semester grades for the 2019-2020 school year.” 

However, Comine continued, “Because of such unprecedented circumstances, students may work with their classroom teacher to complete or redo work turned in before spring break to improve their final grade.” 

As far as state requirements go, the Nebraska Board of Education has waived state testing and hours in school requirements of Nebraska schools. 

“Education rules and regulations should be your last concern. You cannot make bad decisions right now if you are focused on the safety, well-being, and basic needs of your children and communities,” Matt Blomstedt, Commissioner of the Nebraska Board of Education said. 

All school districts, however, will be required to provide the state a plan of how they will continue learning during the closures. 

Lynne Smith, assistant principal at North High, said that teachers will be sending “enrichment activities once a week to all students,” through Office365. 

These activities will not be graded. 

In a survey of 134 North High students, 69% are not motivated to do their new schoolwork during the closure. Of those, a 42% plurality is not motivated because the work is not graded. 

One student responded, “[It isn’t graded], it doesn’t seem worth it.” 

Jeremy Maskel, communications director for OPS, said that teachers are expected to be checking their email or using another platform to “keep in touch with their classes.” 

According to data provided by North, 90.8 percent of North students have been issued a one to one device and should have access to school email. 

Despite this, about 15% of North students surveyed said that the program the district is putting forward is “unorganized” or they aren’t receiving the support they need to succeed. 

One student surveyed wrote, “I’m a hands-on learner, so without teachers I don’t feel motivated at all.” 

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Medical Police: Netflix’s Most Recent Medical-Action Parody http://opsnorthstar.com/5094/entertainment/medical-police-netflixs-most-recent-medical-action-parody/ http://opsnorthstar.com/5094/entertainment/medical-police-netflixs-most-recent-medical-action-parody/#respond Wed, 26 Feb 2020 18:08:25 +0000 http://opsnorthstar.com/?p=5094 Medical Police, a Netflix original that premiered on January 10th of this year, is an ironic parody of the highly popular, over-dramatized shows that portray life as a doctor or police officer. Shows like Greys Anatomy, Bones, The Good Doctor, Law and Order, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Chicago P.D. have become increasingly popular, and as a result, shows like Medical Police have spawned a new genre of intentionally exaggerated plotlines and acting. 

The series follows the life of Dr. Lola Spratt (Erinn Hayes) and her partner, Dr. Owen Maestro (Rob Huebel), two pediatric doctors from São Paulo, Brazil, trying to stop the spread of a deadly virus. The pair travel across the world to various locations like Berlin, Italy, Florida, Latvia, Shanghai, and Bhutan where they meet several interesting people played by popular actors and personalities such as Michael Cera, Randall Park, Jon Hamm, Tom Wright, Craig Robinson, and YouTube personality and late-night show host Lilly Singh. 

The plot begins when Lola Spratt sees two patients with similar rashes on their necks. After making the connection to a possible unknown disease, CDC secret agent, Sloan McIntire, leads Spratt and her partner, Owen Maestro, to a secret CDC lab and tasks them with finding the origin of the virus and a way to cure it. The first episode came off as almost stilted, with unnatural dialogue and attempted irony that didn’t come through as intended. 

After that, Spratt and Maestro’s journey takes many unexpected turns involving identical twins, plaster face masks to hack facial recognition, dramatic poker games, and Chinese prisons. The pair also (as expected) gets together in episode eight, after an incredibly awkward encounter where they realized their hotel room had only one bed. 

Towards the end of the series, Lola reunites with her college virology professor, who work together to recover Spratt’s thesis which may contain a way to develop a cure for the virus. The search for the laptop containing the copy of her thesis involves a bidding war over a desk with a wealthy baroness and running from bioterrorists who have overtaken the São Paulo Childrens Hospital. When the thesis is finally found, the laptop is shot and destroyed, requiring another way to recover her thesis. 

Luckily, Owen Maestro has been working on an experimental procedure to recover lost memories. He operates on Spratt in a hidden room in the hospital. Lola has a vivid hallucination of her virology professor and remembers that she had the cure to the virus tattooed on her arm the whole time. 

The style is very reminiscent of shows like The Santa Clarita Diet, with its sarcastic tone and deadpan humor. Several small stylistic elements, such as slightly repetitive dialogue and timing help the irony land more soundly. However, there were many instances where the attempted style of humor didn’t come through, and it came off as poorly scripted with unnatural acting. 

Although I don’t expect any upcoming Emmy nominations, Medical Police is a quippy and amusing show that is short enough to finish in a weekend with only ten twenty-minute episodes, and it isn’t too complex to watch while texting or working on something else. The humor can occasionally come across as forced and contrived, but just a few of the show’s redeeming qualities are the brief appearances by popular actors and the deadpan ironic style that we don’t usually see in medical/police dramas. Unless the show gains unexpected popularity, I don’t believe Medical Police will be renewed for a second season, but I would recommend it as a casual show to watch if you need ideas. 

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“Music to Be Murdered By” Murders Ears http://opsnorthstar.com/5092/entertainment/music-to-be-murdered-by-murders-ears/ http://opsnorthstar.com/5092/entertainment/music-to-be-murdered-by-murders-ears/#respond Mon, 24 Feb 2020 18:20:14 +0000 http://opsnorthstar.com/?p=5092 Rapper Eminem, whose real name is Marshall Mathers, released a surprise album once again. “Music to be Murdered By,” was released on Friday January 17, 2020. This follow-up album to 2018’s “Kamikaze,” which was also released without a warning, was announced on his Twitter just after midnight. He borrowed the title and cover art for “Music to Be Murdered By” from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 macabre album of the same name. 

Eminem’s 11th studio album, “Music to Be Murdered By,” contains 20 new tracks with a runtime of 1 hour and four minutes. The rap legend may have embraced and taken advantage of an era where streaming is at an all-time high but doesn’t take notice of the short attention spans. 

The album begins with “Premonition (Intro),” a song that slams the critics who slammed Kamikaze, which began with a track that slams critics who slammed “Revival. Eminem is angry because after over 20 years in the rap game and countless album sales he still doesn’t get the respect he feels he deserves. One issue is that he keeps on going back to year-old grudges.  

The problem for him lately is that proving oneself is just a matter of “spitting bars.” He does this on “You Gon’ Learn” (featuring Royce da 5’9” and White Gold) and the rest of “Music to Be Murdered By” with precision. Most of his verses follow the same design. He opens the track with slow taunts, he then finds the flow and begins rhyming words just to rhyme, and finally he jumps into his well-known hyper speed flow that requires a read-through from Genius to understand what he’s saying. 

Over half of the songs sound like nothing on rap charts right now, which isn’t meant to be a compliment. The verses on “Stepdad” make for a murder fantasy but the singsong chorus sounds like it’s trying to parody itself. The features of pop artists only worsen this, for example, Skylar Grey adds a mellow vibe to the rap-rock song “Leaving Heaven,” and Ed Sheeran does the same with “Those Kinda Nights,” which clearly sounds like a remold of Liam Payne and Quavo’s song “Strip That Down.” 

Eminem has taken pop-rap songs to the number one spot on charts with tracks “Love the Way You Lie” and “The Monster,” both featuring Rihanna, but this strategy makes no sense on an album whose sound and aesthetic are obviously meant to re-establish him as a shock-rap artist. 

One good thing is that “Music to Be Murdered By” does have a good number of lyrics that are bound to make headlines. He uses the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing on “Unaccommodating (featuring Young M.A).” He raps, “But I’m contemplating yelling ‘Bombs away’ on the game, like I’m outside of an Ariana Grande concert waiting.” This is because he’s going to “kill the rap game” which means trivializing one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in British history and poking at the trauma of a 26-year-old woman. 

The thing about this is, rap has no rules, and Eminem has been doing this for over 20 years. The main issue with this is that just six songs later, on “Darkness,” he recreates the actions of the gunman who open fired on the 2017 Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas. He juxtaposes the shooter’s preparation with the pre-show ritual of a nervous musician. He highlights the narcissistic streak that runs through so many white, male, domestic terrorists. The song ends with a compilation of footage reporting on the Las Vegas shooting and various school shootings. 

“When will this end? When enough people care,” Eminem’s website currently reads below a link to the “Darkness” video. He has spent the past 20 years glorifying violence and spewing misogynistic and homophobic criticism, he even does so across most of “Music to Be Murdered By,” but this song deviates from that mentality.  

A song like “Darkness” would usually be a touching statement from another artist, but Eminem doesn’t deserve an awe-struck reaction. Instead, the song just adds to the disjointed nature of “Music to Be Murdered By,” another album of the artist’s that is weighed down by over used tactics and soulless lyrics. In a career full of headline-grabbing provocations, perhaps the one Eminem can no longer sell is sincerity.  

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Fear More Than A Hall-sweep http://opsnorthstar.com/5090/opinion/fear-more-than-a-hall-sweep/ http://opsnorthstar.com/5090/opinion/fear-more-than-a-hall-sweep/#respond Mon, 24 Feb 2020 18:15:08 +0000 http://opsnorthstar.com/?p=5090 “North has terrible halls.” 

Familiar words for students of Omaha North High, but if one had never attended then they might be led to believe the paint was chipping, or the ceilings were scarred by water damage. They wouldn’t be wrong, but they probably wouldn’t have gotten the intended message. 

At North High, it’s well known that the hallways during passing period typically do not fall under the definition of organized. Going around the school, it’s not hard to find a teacher or security guard who will say those 4 familiar words. 

It’s not hard to get pushed, or shoved, or bumped, or yelled at, or knocked over, either. Many assume it’s because students are violent and aggressive, pushing their way to class and not caring about other’s safety, possibly intending to rough up another kid. I’d argue that’s wrong.  

No one has ever intentionally drove me into the side of a locker, but I’ve certainly been in the wrong place when someone is rough housing with friends. In the middle of the hallway, of course. 

If you’re a student who struggles with trauma, anxiety, and I’m sure much more, then the halls can turn from a way to travel, to the trigger for a panic attack. Personally, I struggle with an anxiety disorder. Passing by hundreds of people in a loud, cramped space while constantly being at risk of being shoved for no reason? Not helpful when you already find your classrooms overwhelming. 

While these seem like little things, they can impact students in much larger ways. For me, it meant not coming to school. The thought of dealing with such direct discomfort on top of overwhelming classes kept me in bed. On occasion, I would want to stay home but attempt to “tough through it,” which typically just put me in the counselor’s office, unable to function properly, for a class period or two. Sometimes I just went home early. 

There are many possible solutions, but as a student who struggles with this personally, my main want is to have less people in the halls. Other schools in the district, such as McMillan Middle School, have a wide variety of systems for handling the number of kids in the hall at a given time. At McMillan, this involves having different bells for different grades. 

For North High however, this solution isn’t quite so straight forward. We have a large number of mixed classes, and so releasing one set of students before the other creates a gap in the time that they have together as a full class. I’m positive that there are good solutions to this, however, like having bell work during those times. 

Whatever the best solution may be, our current situation is not it. I think the school system in general could do a lot more to assist with student mental health, and this is a good first step. Not even just for student mental health, but for student safety, teacher safety, and the sake of not driving teachers further to insanity. 

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JACKBOYS doesn’t know “WHAT TO DO” http://opsnorthstar.com/5088/entertainment/jackboys-doesnt-know-what-to-do/ http://opsnorthstar.com/5088/entertainment/jackboys-doesnt-know-what-to-do/#respond Mon, 24 Feb 2020 18:09:49 +0000 http://opsnorthstar.com/?p=5088 After Travis Scott became a superstar off his album ASTROWORLD and his 2019 single HIGHEST IN THE ROOM it felt right that he’d head back into the studio soon. Travis brought his label mates from CACTUS JACK in Don Toliver, Sheck Wes, and Luxury Tax 50 all with him to make JACKBOYS. A moody, spacious album that is lopsided at best and wastes amazing production with lack luster artist performances at worst. 

JACKBOYS is pegged as “collaborative” album but it doesn’t even get close to splitting the workload. There is one Sheck Wes song, one verse from Luxury Tax 50, two Don Toliver, one transition song, and the final three are for Travis Scott. It doesn’t take a mathematician to point out this is extremely unequal in its load.  

While Sheck Wes and Luxury certainly use their limited time to its fullest Travis does not. Despite being on all but one song the album Travis often sounds like he is shilling it in. Static, flat, and unemotional sum up his performances on GANG GANG and HIGHEST IN THE ROOM. Out of place sums up his roles on OUT WEST and GATTI. Especially on “GATTI” Travis simply can’t find a pocket to rap on. It is hands down the worse song. The one silver lining is Don Toliver, the burgeoning star puts incredible emotion, passion, and a unique spin on the three tracks he’s on. 

It doesn’t help that the features take up so much space on this already short seven track album. The features routinely outperform the artists who are supposed to be the main selling points of JACKBOYS. Rosalia brings immense passion and energy to HIGHEST IN THE ROOM, a song with a mediocre Travis Scott coasting on auto tune. Young Thug delivers an energetic and bouncing performance but ultimately unoriginal and forgettable one on OUT WEST that accounts for another weak Travis performance. The only features who fail to deliver are Quavo and Offset on HAD ENOUGH. They sound awkward on and stiff on the almost r&b beat which Don Toliver is far more comfortable on.  

However, there is one thing that is consistent across the whole album. The moody, atmospheric production is JACKBOYS strongest feature by a mile. Whether it’s the powerful and booming synths on HIGHEST IN THE ROOM that bless the outro, the haunting guitar and orchestra in WHAT TO DO? all courtesy of producer Mike Dean, or the soaring, moody, and tasteful samples on OUT WEST and HAD ENOUGH. There is almost too much to gush about, too bad the artists don’t abuse the top-notch production. 

JACKBOYS had the ability to be great. Its powerful production is borderline wasted with uninspiring verses and choruses. When an album is only seven tracks long you expect it put its best foot forward every song. JACKBOYS is only a couple verses away from putting that forward because of its already stellar beats. Hopefully we see what the CACTUS JACK label is truly capable of soon. 6.3/10 

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Netflix re-vamps the infamous vampire king in new ‘Dracula’ adaptation http://opsnorthstar.com/5086/entertainment/netflix-re-vamps-the-infamous-vampire-king-in-new-dracula-adaptation/ http://opsnorthstar.com/5086/entertainment/netflix-re-vamps-the-infamous-vampire-king-in-new-dracula-adaptation/#respond Mon, 24 Feb 2020 18:06:09 +0000 http://opsnorthstar.com/?p=5086 Netflix’s newest horror mini-series, Dracula, revives the iconic blood sucker in a whole new light. The threepart tale aired on the January 1st through the 3rd, on both BBC One and Netflix. The show’s mature rated movielength episodes consist of blood, gore, and stomach wrenching scenes. 

Dracula vaguely follows the writings of author Bram Stoker, the original creator of the character. In a 18th century gothic horror, the king of vampires goes head to head in a battle of wits with Sister Agatha Van Helsing (Dolly Wells), a nun in an 18th century convent and descendant of the infamous Van Helsing family of monster hunters. Her fascination with vampires leads her to an interview with one of Dracula’s undead victims. As he tells his story, Count Dracula (Claes Bang) finds his way to the victim and threatens Helsing and all the nuns in the convent. This standoff scene between Helsing and Dracula is made uncomfortable by the distasteful nudity of Dracula himself. 

After the vampire king visits the convent, he plans to travel to London and the New World. He travels by boat, developing an omniscient murder mystery storyline. The second episode concludes with a 123year time change. 

The show jumps from the 18th century to modern times, and it’s difficult to follow along with the plot. The third episode introduces new characters without depth or development, including Zoe Van Helsing (Dolly Wells) a descendent of Agatha, who’s character does not get enough screen time to fully shine. Dracula struggles to understand modern technology and its filled with cheesy and deadpan comedy that doesn’t land. 

Screenwriters Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat are famous for writing BBC’s version of Sherlock, and their brilliance and expertise shines through in the first two episodes of the show. However, it seems that they were overwhelmed with ideas in the last episode, as it’s a complete struggle to understand and enjoy. 

The beginning is arguably perfect. The suspense and mystery surrounding the Count and Transylvania draws the viewer into the mystery. Even though we’ve seen countless Dracula adaptations, this one stands out, adding a twist on all the myths that we thought we knew about the blood sucking count, making the show different from all before it. We see his vulnerabilities in the past, but the writers test the boundaries of these vulnerabilities, something we haven’t seen done with this character. While the show’s writing gives Claes Bang the spotlight and support he needs to be an excellent Dracula, he just can’t fit the part. 

Dracula is known to be mysterious, threatening, scary, and most importantly charming and seductive, and frankly Claes Bang did not fit that role well. He was perfectly mysterious and scary, but he lacked in charm. However, he did make up for some of it in his persuasive voice and character, but it just was not the same.  

This adaptation easily could’ve been the greatest Dracula we’ve ever seen, but the ending and poor casting choice and portrayal of Dracula made it difficult to beat many of the past versions. 

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry leave the royal family http://opsnorthstar.com/5084/opinion/meghan-markle-and-prince-harry-leave-the-royal-family/ http://opsnorthstar.com/5084/opinion/meghan-markle-and-prince-harry-leave-the-royal-family/#respond Mon, 24 Feb 2020 17:58:34 +0000 http://opsnorthstar.com/?p=5084 2020 started with a bang for the royal family of Britain. The newlywed Duchess of Sussex Meghan, and Prince Harry decided to take a leave of absence from their royal duties. They have also decided to give up royal titles and state funding. 

The move came as a surprise and received a lot of backlash. A lot of people are blaming Meghan for “ruining” the royal family. 

Since they are very close to the queen, they have decided to opt back in for family elements. As for political efforts, they will no longer be participating in the royal Rota system.  

The queen says they have found a way to support the family. “I recognize all the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their decision for a more independent life.” 

They did not consult anyone in the royal family before announcing this. They feel entitled to and are striving to have a private life, for their son. 

They want to raise him in the royal tradition but also focus on the next chapter of their lives. 

I personally feel like this new approach in the royal family could be good, since they are looking for change. Old keys don’t open new doors.  

Since the announcement, they have been in Canada. This move was for privacy as they have a bad relationship with British media. They have even compared it to the time Princess Diana’s car fatally crashed after running from paparazzi.  

Meghan has had her fair share of racism since marrying Prince Harry. But I think the headlines regarding her son was the final straw. 

This move was the right thing for them to do. If they give up public funding, I don’t feel like they are entitled to make public appearances.  

 

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When will the #oscarsgotitright trend start? http://opsnorthstar.com/5082/opinion/when-will-the-oscarsgotitright-trend-start/ http://opsnorthstar.com/5082/opinion/when-will-the-oscarsgotitright-trend-start/#respond Mon, 24 Feb 2020 17:55:23 +0000 http://opsnorthstar.com/?p=5082  According to NBC News, the 2019 Academy Awards were the “first to award more than one  black woman by the end of the night”. These three women are Regina King, Ruth E. Carter and Hannah Bleacher.  

King won “Best Supporting Actress” for her role in “If Beale Street Could Talk”. Both Carter and Bleacher won for their work on Marvel’s blockbuster film, “Black Panther”. Bleacher won for “Best Production Design” and Carter won for “Best Costume Design”, almost 30 years after her first nomination for “Malcolm X” in 1993 

According to the Academy Awards, King is one of the 24 black women to have been nominated for “Best Supporting Actress’” and is one of eight who have won.  

The first black woman to be nominated and win would be Hattie McDaniels for her role as “Mammy” in the 1939 fil adaptation of “Gone with the Wind”. During such a tremulous time for black people in America, it was though that, McDaniels’ win as a victory for black people and win that will continue to set us for success with the Oscars.  

 It would take 21 years for another black woman to be nominated for any Academy Award. In 1954, Dorothy Dandridge became the first black woman to be nominated for “Best Actress in a Leading Role” for her role as “Carmer Jones” in the movie, “Carmen Jones”.  

Now even though Dandrige was nominated, it wasn’t until 2001 when a black woman won an Oscar for “Best Actress in a Leading Role”. Halle Berry won for her role as Leticia Musgrove, a widowed woman whose love interest executed her husband on Death Row. 

For 2020’s Best Actress nominees, Black-British actress Cynthia Erivo was nominated for her portrayal of Harriet Tubman. She Is the first black woman to be nominated for Best Actress since 2012 when 9-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis was nominated for her role as “Hushpuppy” in “Beasts of fthe Southern Wild”. 

Between McDaniels win and Cynthia Erivos nomination, black women were nominated for “Best Supporting Actress” 24 times, and “Best Leading Role” 12 times.  

In 91 years, there were 89 times where white women were nominated for “Best Actress” alone, while not a single Native American woman has won anything, let alone nominated.  

I feel like the lack of representation in nominees and winners are because of who the Oscar voters are. 

In 2012, the Los Angeles Times reported that 94% of Oscar voters are white and 77% of voters are male. Now this does not mean that the Oscar voters are racist, there could be a lack of understanding the role. For example, “The Color Purple”.  

In 1985, Whoopi Goldberg’s role as “Cealie Johnson” in Oprah’s adaptation of Toni Morrison’s “The Color Purple” earned Goldberg a “Best Actress” nomination at the Oscars. Unfortunately, she didn’t win which hurt the black community. I can only imagine that back in the 0’s it was much closer to 100% white for the Oscar voters.  

I feel that the lack of diversity is directly related to the lack of diversity in nominees and winners. Fixing this would make the Oscars more inclusive and more entertaining to watch, considering that it won’t be the same few people each year. 

In Berry’s acceptance speech, she mentioned that her win “opened a door” for other women of color, but in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, she is “heartbroken that no other woman of color has been able to walk through that door.  

Quite frankly, I’m a little heartbroken too. I haven’t seen a woman who looks like me win “Best Actress” in my lifetime. I’m tired of saying “#oscarssowhite”, I want to say “#oscarsgotitright”. 

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ID changes for TSA in late 2020 http://opsnorthstar.com/5079/news/id-changes-for-tsa-in-late-2020/ http://opsnorthstar.com/5079/news/id-changes-for-tsa-in-late-2020/#respond Thu, 20 Feb 2020 18:22:29 +0000 http://opsnorthstar.com/?p=5079 TSA is changing their identification requirements. Starting on October 1st, 2020, every person traveling by air that is over the age of 18 will need a Real ID to travel within the US, said TSA. A Real ID compliant card includes any driver’s license form of ID that could have been used before.  

 

Real ID compliant was an act set in place because of 9/11 to have more security for traveling. For most people traveling, this won’t be an issue as they have a passport or drivers license. As for the others where their ID isn’t Real ID complaint, they will need a new one.  

 

A compliant Real ID will have either a white star in a gold circle or a black start in the stop right corner. A non-compliant Real ID will have “Federal Limits Apply” or nothing in the top right corner.  

 

Some states have started issuing Enhanced Drivers Licenses. Those are Real ID’s and will allow border crossing into Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean only by land and sea, not by air.  

 

While TSA has changed their identification requirements, there are no plans of changing anything else that are public right now. Passengers can still bring liquid up to 3.4 ounces in a container, said Transportation Security Administration.  

 

TSA.org has all of the information that a passenger needs to know about what to bring on a carry on or a checked bag. 

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