All posts by thefcbagpiper

The mission of the Bagpiper is to provide an open forum for the unrestricted exchange of ideas and opinions and to ethically report factual school, local, and world news to the high school community while objectively explaining the meaning and significance of the news to better educate the reader, and entertain the readers using acceptable journalistic devices.

Coordinators prepare for Harvest Homecoming

By Christina Belcher
Features reporter
For 43 years, hundreds of eager people flock to down town New Albany to partake in the fun fall festival at Harvest Homecoming. The 2010-2011 Harvest Homecoming Committee [HHC] president Kerry Nicolas plans the upcoming events taking place the first weekend in October.  


Bagpiper: What is new this year? 
Kerry Nicolas: “Our new event is the Riding Lawnmower Races for ages 18 and over, which is at the 4-H Fair arena on Sept. 25.  You can get details about the race or any other events on the Harvest Homecoming Committee website.  We also have a new souvenir this year.  It is a Harvest Homecoming keychain.  It will be for sale at the HHC Souvenir booth.”
BP:What are some of the traditions surrounding Harvest Homecoming? 
KN:”The Pumpkin Decorating event is our oldest event and a longtime tradition.  The Parade, the Balloon Race and booths days are definite traditions that many people look forward to.  There are many other traditions also: such as the kids events, our entertainment, etc.”

BP:Why is Harvest Homecoming so popular? 

KN:”Harvest Homecoming is so popular because it’s like a large community reunion with great food, craft booths, events and entertainment where people can run into someone they haven’t seen in years.”


BP:What is one thing someone should know about Harvest Homecoming if they have never been before?  

KN:”They need to know that Harvest Homecoming has something for everyone, no matter what age. We have many different food booths, craft booths, events and entertainment for everyone’s taste.”


BP:What’s your favorite activity to do at Harvest Homecoming?  

KN:”My favorite activity at HHC is eating lots of different foods and enjoying the entertainment .  I’ll go get a sandwich, etc. and go sit where there is entertainment to eat my food.  That’s if I have the time.”


BP:What’s one thing everyone should make sure to do at this year’s festival?  

KN:”Everyone should make sure they take advantage of what our different booths have to offer as well as our great entertainment and events.  There isn’t just one thing, there are many things they should do to enjoy the festival.” 


BP:What goes into planning Harvest Homecoming? 

KN:”We plan all year for the festival, starting right after the festival ends for the next year. The vice president meet ten times a year and the Board of Directors meet five times a year. It takes a lot of work and many hours, by hundreds of volunteers, to run the Harvest Homecoming Festival.”

What is your favorite thing about Harvest Homecoming? What is your favorite food?

Carmen Schreiber, Grade 11 I love selling chocolate covered bananas in a banana suit, and my favorite food to get is chicken and dumplings.

Courtney Wells, Grade 9, My favorite ride is called twister and my favorite food is the corn
Alex Lawsterer, Grade 11,My favorite thing about Harvest Homecoming is definitely the food stands and I always get a pork chop sandwich.Mathew Oser, Grade 10, I just walk around and talk to my friends. My favorite ride is the gravitron.
Mathew Oser, Grade 10, I just walk around and talk to my friends. My favorite ride is the gravitron.

Columnist speaks out against abortion

Garret Receveur
Forum Editor

I am pro-life. Always have been, always will be. Abortion is one of the worst crimes any human being can commit, up there with genocide. The victim is defenseless and does not know what is happening. My stance on abortion puts me more on the conservative side of the political scale.

More often than not, I find myself cheering on the Republican in the presidential elections rather than the Democrat. I like to think that I have no affiliation with any political party, but this obvious bias for Republicans says otherwise.

Yet, I do not always agree with everything a Republican president does during his term(s), nor do I always disagree with the Democratic president’s policies.

Take June 20, 2007 for an example. On that day, former President George W. Bush issued a veto, which overruled a measure attempting to remove Bush’s ban on embryonic stem cell research. Until that day, I had supported almost all of Bush’s policies on multiple occasions. But this was not one of those times.

His presidency ended sourly over a year later, due to the worsening economy and his ultra-conservative policies, which even a Republican like me could not stand.

Then Barack Obama was elected president of the United States. Those who know me know that I detest Obama, his policies, and his idea of radical change. The numerous bailouts will not fix the economy; the Obama-care health plan is completely unnecessary and socialistic. But that is another column.

Recently, Obama has started to move onto my good side, despite his ultra-liberalism. Perhaps most important is his removal of the stem cell research ban, a monumental decision, up there with his removal of combat troops from the Middle East.

The two most recent presidents passed groundbreaking laws about stem cell research, both of their positions loosely defining their presidency. So what is it about embryonic stem cell research that makes, or breaks, a presidency?

Stem cells are unique cells that we are all born with. They have the ability to transform into any kind of cell the body needs, whether it be a heart cell, a brain cell, or even a simple skin cell.

This is big news for the medical community. Is grandpa dying from Alzheimer’s? Transform a couple stem cells into brain cells. Is he struggling with diabetes? Generate some pancreas cells. The possibilities are literally endless.

However, the best kind of stem cells to harvest can only be harvested from embryos. And this is where the controversy starts.

More often than not, the embryos are killed when scientists harvest the stem cells. At first glance, this is a premature form of abortion and my pro-life self should not support it in the least. Why then do I support it?

Abortion is the killing of a living being before it is born. But I do not consider an embryo a living being. A living being must have the ability to perform complex actions, including but not limited to motion, production of energy, and transport of that energy throughout the organism.

This criteria means that embryos are not alive until about the fifth week of pregnancy, which is the time their brain and heart start to function. Until then, I do not consider them alive. Therefore, feel free to harvest stem cells from them until we find a better way.

There is a group of scientists out there who are working on a way to convert adult skin cells into stem cells, but it has not produced the same versatility. That is the magic of embryonic stem cells. It can be easily transformed into any kind of cell in the human body. Once an organism is born, the cells pretty much stay the same type of cells throughout the organism’s lifespan.

The best time to harvest stem cells is before the fifth week of pregnancy. Think of all we as a species could accomplish with access to a ready supply of stem cells. Debilitating diseases like stroke or Alzheimer’s would be a distant memory. Paraplegics or victims of muscular dystrophy would gain full use of their limbs again.

With all the promise of this field of research, it makes little sense for one to restrict it. I am pro-life and have never been in support of killing an unborn child, but the promise of major medical advancements and ability for numerous people to pursue a life of happiness is too great. Sometimes, you have to be willing to sacrifice one life to save millions.

Band marches forward

Senior Chris Sinclair stands with the rest of the band after warm-up, preparing to march down to the field.” I think it's fun and the audience really enjoys it.(I like) performing in general," said Sinclair. Photo by Paige Thompson.Sophomore Jacob Bauman and junior Zach Kayrouz check Bauman’s cuffs while forming a block to march onto the field. Kayrouz enjoys the adrenaline, his section and the many weird traditions when performing at football games. Photo by Paige Thompson
During the national anthem, color guard members junior Jenna Scharffenberger, sophomore Shelby Kaiser , freshmen Krista Carlisle and Laura Estar watch the band march on. “I like (color guard), we have lots of cool work. You can show what you you’re trying to get across,” said Estar. Photo by Paige Thompson
Sophomores Christian Thomas, Brian Young and Senior Jacob Novak walk off the field to change after performing the national anthem and school song. “Me, Jacob Novak and Brian Young are a quirky group of individuals and we like to wear the kilts,” said Thomas. Photo Paige Thompson

Violence and the good guys

By Danielle Rehor

We are all taught as small children that fighting is bad and not to punch your little sister in the nose. But what about the guys on TV? What about Sergeant Martin Riggs and Sergeant Roger Murtaugh from Lethal Weapon? It is acceptable for them to be violent because their victims are the bad guys?

As children, we are always told do not fight or argue with our siblings, parents, or friends. We must get along with others or else we are told we will have no friends. We are warned time and time again to follow the golden rule.

If we are not to fight, why can the guys on TV and in the movies do it? They scorn the bad guys, they fight, often kill them, but they do not get in trouble. In fact, they get rewarded: they get the fast cars, the hot chicks, and have the loyal best friends.

Just like the violent good guys get rewarded, shows such as “Bad Girls Club” pay people to badmouth others and fight with each other. People actually watch shows that are about people who cannot control their emotions, so they cuss them out.

If we are always watching movies where some guy is just pulverizing anther person, does that influence our actions at all when we are angry or upset?

If we do not learn how to control ourselves at a young age, we will grow up and will not know how to handle ourselves in a professional environment. We get some bad news or someone else gets the promotion we wanted, what do we do? We cannot punch our boss in the nose or key our coworker’s car as they would in a reality TV show. We do not have the same heroic freedoms as the people in those shows.

We have to learn, before getting out in the real world, that violence rarely ever solves problems.

It agitates problems, causes people to stop talking, and severs relationships. But it does not solve problems.

While on vacation once, we rented a condo and apparently parked our boat in the wrong spot. When we woke up to drive to the lake, we could not. Some one had gotten so mad they took the air out of two tires of every single car in the parking lot, keyed our boat, and poured beer on someone’s dashboard.


How does that help a situation? If anything it took us longer to leave their parking spot because we had to fix the tires. The people automatically assume that we parked there just for convience, when in reality we didn’t know better.

So the next time we see something wrong being done, do not just assume it was purely malice and not a mistake. The next time we feel like popping an annoying kid in the mouth, take a step back, compose yourself and walk away. Do not be a Dr. Hannibal Lecter, because we all know that is not going to end well.