The Circus is in Town

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Photo Credit: Christian McLamb

The Big Apple Circus came to town on May 19 in Cunningham Park, Queens. This classic tent style circus gives the viewers a better feel for the event. The one ring circus holds about 1,700 people so it has most of the audience close to the action. With the 16 rows of seating available, this makes it an enjoyable experience for all.

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Newly renovated tent
Photo Credit: Christian McLamb

The Big Apple Circus are also displaying a new tent this year that is better climate controlled and the newly built rounded cupola frame. This new cupola frame allows them to open the roof to release the warm air from inside. “We try to renovate this tent every year to make the experience better and better,” said Guillaume Dufresnoy, who is General Manager and also Artistic Director of the Big Apple Circus.

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Photo Credit: Christian McLamb

“We bring the children every year to the Big Apple Circus because it is a lot of fun and helps bring in summer,” said Stephanie Horan, fifth grade teacher at P.S. 203. “They also get to enjoy animals do tricks that they usually see on television in person,” said Horan.

The circus will run from May 19 to June 16th in Queens and after that they will travel to Charlestown, Rhode Island. Although there are other circuses like Universal Soul and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, the Big Apple Circus sticks to the classic feel with the big tent and small audience. This still makes them a popular circus worldwide.

Long Island City Arts Open

To kick off the third year of this five day festival, Jeffery Leder opened his gallery displaying art from Jorge Posada. The 2013 Long Island City Arts Open will run from May 15th to the 19th. “To be able to start the festival with my art gallery is an honor,” said Director Jeffery Leder, one of LICAO’s development directors

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Animus Corpus III $6,000

“This festival helps bring back culture and the appreciation of art to New York City,” said Susan Lebowitz, a native of Long Island City for the last 15 years.

This festival displays musical performances, films and galleries of fine art. The first three days of the festival involves the viewing of art galleries in different sections of Long Island City giving all people the chance to display the art in areas that are convenient to them.

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Urban Walls XIV $900

Colombian artist Jorge Posada opens up his solo exhibit of all his abstract paintings and drawings that are up for sale. His artworks often depict a cross between figuration and abstraction. “I use the human form to explore the body and the rituals of violence which are present in our global society,” said Posada. His works of art range from $500 to $12,000.

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Movement I and Movement III each $1,000

“His unique style of art captivates me and I plan on purchasing one of his paintings,” said Robert Johnson, a 67-year-old retired lawyer from Chelsea in Manhattan. “I enjoy art, so I try to attend as many art galleries as I can,” said Johnson.

Mr. Met and two Mets visit P.S. 92 for the 12th annual “Reading Rally”

Latroy Hawkins and Robert Carson

New York Mets Robert Carson and LaTroy Hawkins join mascot Mr. Met at P.S. 92 in Corona, Queens for the 12th annual “Reading Rally.” The Mets organization works with P.S. 92 every year as they assign various children to read once a week with an employee. The “power lunch program” runs from November to May as they also sit down and have lunch with them.

“I love participating in this program because I feel I am inspiring them to read more books in school,” said Tyler Maland, who works in Marketing for the New York Mets. “This is my third year doing this program and I plan on coming back year after year,” said Maland.

Latroy Hawkins is a 22 year veteran in the major leagues and in his first season with the Mets. “Reading is the key to success” said Hawkins as he finished reading the book “If You Give a Pig a Pancake,” by Laura Numeroff. “

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3rd, 4th and 5th graders surround Mr. Met

This program encourages a lot of our students to read as many books as possible so they can also be successful,” said Pasquale Baratta, Principal for the last six years at P.S. 92.

Robert Carson, a second year pitcher on the Mets attends this event for the first time and plans on attending again. “I do feel me and Latroy (Hawkins) made a difference today because we can inspire them to keep reading and be just like us one day,” said Carson.

“I believe all schools should establish reading programs like this because all these children look up to these famous people on television,” said Jessica Rosinsky, a fifth grade teacher at P.S. 92.

Tough Season for Outdoor Track and Field

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Shaquille Hodge running the 200 meters
Photo Credit: Verity Rollins

The Outdoor Track and Field team was unable to continue their indoor season success due to the cold weather and lack of dedication. “I have a core of five guys and three women who are at every track meet and every practice,” said Head Coach Mark Benjamin who is in his second season at York. Some of the athletes are unable to participate for the York Cardinals this season due to family issues and trying to focus on academics. “I understand these student-athletes have other responsibilities besides track, but unfortunately it is hurting our program,” said Coach Benjamin.

Coming off third and fifth place finishes in the Indoor Track and Field season, Coach Benjamin hoped to build off that. “Our effort is not at 100 percent and we need to change that before the championships,” said Coach Benjamin.

The York Cardinals has had a subpar season but remain optimistic heading to the CUNYAC Championships on May 3rd. “We definitely have what it takes to do well but we to tighten our form and fix the minor mistakes,” said Senior Christopher Peguero who is also team captain. “I like helping the younger runners by helping them fix their stride and always open to answering questions from them,” said Peguero. “He’s not the most vocal leader but when he talks, people listen,” said Coach Benjamin.

“I feel the best runner this season is Christopher because he has the best time in the 400 meter and helps us a lot as a leader,” said Sophomore Jesus Medina.

Junior Kemillia John has been the leader for the women all season. Coming off her all-star season in Indoor Track and Field, John feels the weather has made a big impact on the team’s performance this season. “The meets have been cold but I think we will run a lot better when it is warm at the CUNY Championships,” said John. John ran a seasons best 27.03 in the 200 meter dash and earned two top five finishes this season against fields of 28 competitors.

The bright spots to the outdoor season have been freshmen Shaquille Hodge and Michael Tomlin. Shaquille Hodge received all-star honors with his second place finish in the 4×400 meter relay at the CUNYAC Indoor Track and Field Championships. Hodge also feels the weather has been a big reason for the lack of success this season. “The wind has been a huge factor because you are already tired towards the end of the 400 meter and the wind slows you down even more,” said Hodge.

Michael Tomlin, coming off a torn ACL in his senior year at high school has competed well all season in the triple jump and the long jump. Tomlin highest finish this season came at the Queens College Invitational when he came in second at the triple jump. “I feel we can do better but we are getting stronger and stronger,” said Tomlin.

Three York College Students give Learning Session about Art and Music in Video Game class

Jonathan Serano, Kimberly Sarmiento and Adebayo Fayemi

Jonathan Serano, Kimberly Sarmiento and Adebayo Fayemi

Jonathan Serano, Kimberly Sarmiento and Adebayo Fayemi are three students who took the class Art and Music in Video Games. This information session about the class was ran by Professor Tom Zlabinger who works in the music department and Professor Sarah Katie Gillespie who teaches art history.  “Video games are important to our culture because it is in circulation and if ignored you would not understand 2013,” said Professor Zlabinger.

Professor Tom Zlabinger and Kimberly Sarmiento show videos of her research

Professor Tom Zlabinger and Kimberly Sarmiento show videos of her research

Each student spoke about a different aspect they researched on video games. Jonathan Serano discussed cut scenes in video games. Cut scenes are visual concepts that are used in video games to show the plot in the story mode. “Cut scenes tie in with the story mode so as the character develops, you feel what the character does,” said Serano.

Kimberly Sarmiento spoke about the lack of female video game developers and how women are rarely used as main characters. Sarmiento believes the reason why they don’t use women as main characters is because it is about what attracts the consumers.

Adebayo Fayemi explains music in video games

Adebayo Fayemi explains music in video games

Adebayo Fayemi rarely played video games before this class but discovered a new fondness for video games. Fayemi researched the concept of music in video games and how the music can affect the player’s mood. “Sound helps put you in a different mindset while playing video games,” said Fayemi.

This learning session gave many York College students more insight on the different factors they don’t pay attention to while playing video games. Accountant major Ramesh Sugrn attended the session out of curiosity. “I don’t play a lot of video games but after listening to these students I will play more unpopular video games,” said Sugrn.

Cardinals Lose in Championship Game but Earns Berth in ECAC Volleyball Tournament

On April 12th, the York Cardinals’ lost to the Baruch Bearcats in the CUNYAC championship game. They lost the game in three straight sets but did clinch a berth in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) division three tournament. “We are disappointed we didn’t win the championship but we will redeem ourselves and win the ECAC tournament,” said Coach Andre Titus Jr. who is in his 14th season as the head coach.

The Cardinals pulled off the upset and defeated the Hunter Hawks which was the second best team in the conference. The Cardinals lost both meetings against Hunter but never lost confidence. “We can beat Hunter, we just have to keep our focus and finish strong,” said Freshman Nathaniel Brandenberg. After they reached the semi-finals against Hunter, their confidence elevated and they beat them in five sets to reach the championship game.

Soon after their hard fought win against Hunter, they faced Baruch. The fatigued Cardinals dug deep in the championship game but only came close to winning one set in the end. “The fatigue had a slight impact on the way we played but Baruch outplayed us,” said Coach Titus. York lost (25-11, 25-20, 25-10) which showed they weren’t very competitive. The Bearcats finished the CUNYAC season with 33 wins and only five losses. They played a near perfect game hitting most of their spikes on York and only committed one error. “Congrats to Baruch but we will be back next year,” said Jon Sardea, the sophomore setter and defensive specialist for the Cardinals.

York finished the season with 24 wins and 15 losses which is a record for the most wins in a season. With this solid record, they have been invited to play in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division Three tournament. This tournament consists of eight teams with four teams in the north bracket and four teams in the south. York is the number three seed in the south bracket and will play Ramapo College. They have not played Ramapo College since 2007 so this will be a different look for the Cardinals. The host team in the south bracket is Stevenson University, so the Cardinals will travel to Owings Mills, Maryland to play in this two game tournament to decide the ECAC South champion.

The York Cardinals hope to end this season on a high note and win this championship. They are looking for their first ever ECAC championship on April 20th.  “We know we can win this tournament but we have to execute effectively,” said Coach Titus.

Six Cardinals earn all-star honors in Track and Field

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             The City University New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) and the U.S. Army has selected six members of the Cardinals’ indoor track and field team to be on the 2013 all-star team. These individuals were chosen based on their efforts overall in the season and in the CUNYAC Indoor Track and Field Championships on February 24th. Members who place first and second during this track meet automatically qualify to be an all-star. Steve Burnett, Shaquile Hodge, Jesus Medina, Christopher Peguero, Tarik Weekes and Kemillia John were the Cardinals who earned the right to be an all-star.

            “Its bitter sweet to make the all-star team because we wanted to win the race instead,” said Senior Christopher Peguero. Shaquile Hodge, Jesus Medina, Christopher Peguero, Tarik Weekes finished second in the 4×400 meter relay with a time of 3:31.49 just less than four seconds after CCNY finished in first. “We were neck and neck through the whole race but they maintained that small lead and we couldn’t close the gap,” said Peguero. Peguero also finished fourth in the 400 meter dash and qualified for the 200 meter final.

            Tarik Weeks was the best runner for York all season and proved it during the championships. Weeks won the 400 meter dash with a time of 50.49, edging out CCNY’s top two runners Donald Dibari and Anthony Barnes. “He ran a great race and proved he’s one of the top runners in CUNY,” said Head Coach Mark Benjamin. Weeks also came in second place in the 800 meter dash with a time of 2:02.50.  

            Steve Burnett was the lone Cardinal to win any field events at the Indoor Track and Field Championships. Burnett won the weight throw with a distance of 12.60 meters and edged out CCNY Samuel Nkema by .01 meters. The suspense increased when Nkema’s last throw appeared to be further than Burnett’s throw but was just short. “We were definitely nervous but were happy that Steve pulled it out,” said Coach Benjamin.

            Kemillia John was the lone lady Cardinal to make the indoor track and field all-star team because of her overall performance during the season. John finished third in the 200 meter dash with a time of 26.78 and ran the 400 meter dash in 1:05.67 finishing fourth. “She had an overall good season for us helping the team with top finishes,” said Coach Benjamin.

            CCNY finished in first place for both the men and women’s teams during the CUNYAC Indoor Track and Field Championships. The York Cardinals finished third on the men’s side and fourth for the women. The Cardinals didn’t have the finish they expected to the season but finished strong with the six CUNYAC all-stars and placed first in two events during the championships. “We are going to work harder so we have a better result for the upcoming Outdoor Track and Field season,” said Coach Benjamin.