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“THE WINDOW TO YOUR WORLD” PPS pitches new deal to site council Tuesday
After more than 100 students gathered downtown to picket in front of City Hall for two hours and two staff members spoke to the board on Monday, May 24, district officials revealed their latest plan to Benson’s site council Tuesday morning. The new plan keeps Benson open as a four-year academic and Career and Technical Education high school, and allows students in PPS high schools to transfer to Benson for CTE classes their junior and senior years if there is room, according to site council member and teacher Gwen Whitmore. “The city hall protest was fabulous!” teacher Maggie Parker said. “Well-organized, everyone was well-behaved and all the signs provided were very helpful. I think it made a big difference.” Health Occupations teacher Katie Meyer and basketball coach Troy Berry spoke to the board Monday night. Their comments were “wellplanned and graceful statements to the school board,” Matt Pellico, science teacher, said. “They truly represented Benson with class and character.” Math teacher Amy Slaughter agreed. “It was a proud day to be a teacher at Benson High School.” The district’s new plan came after weeks of rallies, marches, hearings and testimony from students, parents, teachers and community members. Here’s a recap of how this story has developed during the last three weeks:

Tech Pep
LILY ZHAO Tech Pep Reporter After the PPS District's proposal was confirmed on Monday night at the school board meeting on April 26, students were triggered and sparked to respond. Anger and rage rose out and students wanted to save Benson from undergoing the changes of possibly becoming a two-year vocational school. A “silent walkout” was organized through Facebook and via texting. The walkout expressed ■ See HISTORY, Page 4

THE MARCH TO SAVE BENSON ........... PAGE 4 TECH SHOW COVERAGE ...................... PAGE 5 SENIOR BABY PICTURES ..................... PAGE 8 PROM COVERAGE ................................... PAGE 9 MAY 2010 VOLUME 90, NO.6

Students protest the proposed change of Benson to a two-year skills center for juniors and seniors on April 27. Through texting and facebook, students organized the walkout during sixth period. (Photos by Rob Melton)

Health Occupations Major

Is this the last paper edition of Tech Pep ever? Are newspapers dead? Where are we now and where are we going next?
We take a look back at our history, and a look forward to the future and the brave new world of news that lies ahead. Along the way, we thought you’d like to see how our nameplate and “look” have changed over the last 90 years. Our staff looks at Benson’s history from a contemporary perspective. Enjoy! ■See HISTORY, Page 16

Alumnus, organizer John Slaughter has been fighting to save Benson since the moment the news came out. An alumnus himself, his inspirational voice fills the school at community meetings, rallies and marches. We asked him a few questions recently and here’s what we learned. What was your initial reaction to what was going to happen to Benson? My initial reaction was one of disbelief. I was flabbergasted and jaw dropped. I felt like our school was blind-sided and kind of disrespected. Like our school wasn't appreciated. What are your reasons for saving Benson? I want to save BHS for hundreds of reasons. I don't know where to start. I want to help save BHS for the current stu ■ See SLAUGHTER, Page 5

Health Occupations Major

Communications Major

Sophomore Major

What are they trying to do?
RACHEL BENJAMIN Tech Pep Reporter "Why change the school that works?" This is the question that many of us Benson students are wondering. When Superintendent Carol Smith proposed her plan to change our school from a four-year to a two-year focus school, students and staff took quick action to show that they were not pleased with the decision. The plan, proposed on April 26, is an 88-page document laying out one primary recommendation to revamp PPS high schools, beginning with the 2011-12 school year. In the document, Smith says that Benson will see "dramatic changes." The plan Smith has proposed is for our school is to operate as an “intensive half-time program for 11th and 12th grade students from across the school district," meaning our school will no longer be a four-year school, but a two-year focus school where students learn the skills here at Benson in half the time it has taken us. ■ See PLAN, Page 5

Sophomore Major ■See LEADERS, Page 3

PAGE 2 ■ MAY 2010



Editor’s Note
SANDRA VAN Tech Pep Editor I've been Editor of the Tech Pep for one-and-a-half years. There were ups and downs with the paper. We've come a long way from hundreds of errors, stories turned in late, and missing deadlines. But in all truth, when we think of the Tech Pep now, we've gotten better and better. Now students know that there is a school newspaper (Don't lie, you didn't know), and that is amazing. All of this is thanks to our Tech Pep staff. This is the most amazing group of members that I've ever worked with. We may get sidetracked but we always bring you the story. This is a group of hardworking, dedicated, and proud Benson students. As an editor, I thrive on dependable staff members. Here, with the 2009-10 Tech Pep staff, that's all I've ever had. Senioritis? Not in here. Our seniors are also completely dedicated to creating the window to your world. We've had eight seniors here and they work just as hard as any other student here. I wish them amazing futures and hope that they keep the Tech Pep in their hearts as they soar through achievement after achievement. I know they'll have successful lives wherever they go in life and from the Benson students, thank you, for putting your hearts into Benson and giving us a school that we look forward to. Mr. Melton. He is the backbone of our Tech Pep Family. He’s worked behind the scenes to teach, edit, and advise all the Benson reporters. He's worked at Benson for sixteen years and has been working in high school journalism for 31 years. He has a charismatic nature and

Taking a break from the work of producing the monthly Tech Pep student newspaper are, from left: Kyle Bocian, Ethan Dedrickson, May Wu, Lily Zhao, Vanny Chao, Luehna Abuan, Daniel Drakos, Sandra Van, EJAkins, Rachel Benjamin, Fana Habtemariam, Ephrem Diribsa, Diadira Pedro-Zuncax, Bryce Howell, PhuongTran and Samuel Tsehaineh. Not Photographed: Philip Melson, Laura Ramirez, and Tomas Patlan. always is full of optimism. Tech Pep is one of his number one priorities and is always working to bring us the news. He's never finished teaching and I'm sure that in his own philosophy, no one is ever finished learning. We all wish him here at Benson a wonderful retirement and that he gets the vacation he deserves.

Meet the Tech Pep staff
SANDRA VAN Tech Pep Editor Journalism was an amazing opportunity to improve my communication skills and to learn different types of ways to report the news. It taught me how to take control without being aggressive or too passive. Many people didn’t know that I turned down being editor many, many times. A good number of the staff already voted me to be editor and I didn’t want to disappoint Tech Pep so I took the job and it has really helped me in a number of ways. Some things people don’t know about me is that I’m an insane dancer and I have a collection of beanie babies! EPHREM DIRIBSA Tech Pep Sports Reporter I enjoy writing about stories I think people will enjoy. Tech Pep has gotten me into writing in a more expressive way instead of just being informative like my past work. Something most people might not know is that I was born in Ethiopia. I play soccer as well, I'm beastly wild :) EJ AKINS Tech Pep Reporter "I am the paper." I'm actually shy at times. When people first meet me I'm kind of shy. I'm really good at making people smile. Tech Pep is fun, we are a great source of information. We do great journalism work. Journalism has helped my writing skills tremendously. It has benefited me in communicating. LUEHNA ABUAN Tech Pep Reporter Being a part of Tech has gotten me more involved with school. I feel like I have really contributed. I am now a better writer and I have also really improved my communication skills. Something people don’t usually know about me is that I used to do baton. I'm also! RACHEL BENJAMIN Tech Pep Reporter Tech Pep is cool. Its one of my funner classes because Laura's in it. It has helped me become a better writer. Some people may not know that I'm smart. I'm also a good cook. I really like to make seafood fettucine. KYLE BOCIAN Layout Editor Journalism is hard work but I like it. It’s worth all the stress. Tech Pep has really improved my writing, reporting skills, communication skills and how I view events. I view them like a news reporter, not like an ordinary critical person. Something people don't know about me is that I play guitar and sing, and I am an insane biker who just finished building his new bike. DEMETRIUS COX Tech Pep Reporter (mentor) Tech Pep is awesome. No body does it like we do it. If it wasn't for Tech Pep I wouldn’t have gotten my connections. I've really gotten organized by being in journalism. Something people don't usually know is I'm a rock star, I play the guitar. I Don't listen to music people expect me to. My dream is to be on stage. I really have an ear for music no matter what genre or era. I'm a secret poet. THOMAS PATLAN Photographer Editor First Semester It was fun and sometimes stressful working with the Tech Pep. There weren't a lot of people in Tech Pep first semester and it felt like on some days everyone was running around trying to get things done before the dead line. All the sports photography definitely helped me hone up on my photography skills. I was the only person on Tech Pep to go to sporting events and take pictures first semester. I am the nicest person at Benson! and I am a huge PC nerd. I am very good at World of Warcraft, a very fast typist, and I am pretty good with Photoshop. My favorite TV shows are Breaking Bad and Lost! DANIEL DRAKOS Photography Editor Second Semester Tech Pep was a lot more work then I expected. It honestly has taken away from all of my other classes I’m in. Although it does take lots of time it’s really satisfying to see your work published and people actually reading it around the school. Something people might not know is that I’m a low key nerd. I can also play about every instrument with strings. BRYCE HOWELL Sports Editor Whenever I make fun of someone and they think I'm joking. I am, but only half the time. I like making fun of people, it’s true. Not in a bad way though. I really make people laugh. "Bro, you should be in a movie, no joke," exclaimed a friend. I really enjoy going downtown. I go like every weekend. Tech Pep is really a good paper. We cover most things going on in the school. People discover things from us. Sometimes people come up to me and they say they like my stories and that feels good. It has really helped me mature as a writer. Helped me because it made me a little more social. I have become more accepting towards other views. It has really helped me grow as a person. ETHAN DEDRICKSON Tech Pep reporter Tech Pep is the coolest paper in the world and I love it to death (thumbs up). Journalism has really improved my critique and my responsibilities. Something people don’t usually know about me is that I have diabetes. Some of you might see me around school doing magic tricks. SAMUEL TSHAINEH Opinion Writer I really like being an opinion writer. It’s great. I get to express myself. It has really helped me in my editing skills. When I read a newspaper now I catch things that I would have never noticed before. I’ve become a stronger speaker. Being a part of journalism you become more confident on how you feel about things. People don’t usually know that I’m not much of the loud guy. I don’t really get excited, I’m pretty chill and laid back. I’m not boring, just calm. Something people say about me is that I’m a really good storyteller. VANNY CHAO Advertisement Manager I think Tech Pep really binds our school because kids have it in their hands. They get to see what’s happening in the school. Tech Pep has really helped me manage my time and to be more involved. Something that most people don’t know about me is that I know more pick up lines then the average guy. I can also cut hair! LILY ZHAO Tech Pep Reporter I like getting my work published in the Tech Pep. I really enjoy being a part of the team; where everyone gets their news from. Besides signing, I like to hit tennis balls and I really want to learn karate. MAY WU Tech Pep Reporter Most people don't know that I like to sing in the shower. I think I'm pretty good at doing nails, oh and I collect nail polish! I think Tech Pep is what completes us as a school because its the things going on at Benson all put into one newspaper. Everyone gets to learn about each other and see what's going on around here. Tech Pep has really kept me up with our current events and has helped me with my writing skills. LAURA RAMIREZ News Editor This is a great class. You learn a lot of life skills such as working with people and you learn how to seek news. Writing is a passion of mine, I really like to write. It helps me towards wanting to be a journalist. You can go into the industry with the basic formatting that we learn. Something people don’t usually know about me is that I look forward to going home after school and watching Sponge Bob. I can also dance in heels for five hours straight! PHUONG TRAN Tech Pep Reporter Tech Pep is a good way to get the word out around school and to keep everyone up to date at Benson. It has really helped me realize that I'm really lazy sometimes and when i need to buckle down, I actually really have to! Something most people don't know is I text with a lot of smileys. I'm also great at telling jokes :) DIADIRA PEDRO-XUNCAX Opinion Editor Tech Pep is an awesome school newspaper, very awesome! Journalism has helped me learn how to express myself in words and take responsibilities. Some people might not know I have great taste in music. Something else is I can sleep forever! ESPERANZA RENDON Proofreader I feel accomplished when I see my stories and pictures on the paper. It has given me a taste of my future career, its going to help me in the fashion industry. I love the outdoors as well as camping. I also really love little kids! I really have an eye for fashion and I also like reading a good book.


but it’s gonna be sad during soccer without hearing you yell and laugh. Hope your upcoming year is full of whatever you want in it." Anonymous

MAY 2010 ■ PAGE 3

Goodbye to the seniors. . .
SANDRA VAN Tech Pep Editor To Bing Yang, "Bing, I’m gonna miss you so much. We still need to go watch a movie together! Don’t forget me!" Love, Luehna Abuan

To Nina Nguyen, "You are definitely an inspiration to us all, but to me you were even more. Nina, you were a role model. I always laugh when you call me your 'mini me' but there is underlying truth to that. You're a beautiful fun loving girl with aspirations that amount to the clouds. You taught me how to be stern and how to be lovable without being a pushover. You're the Big Mama on campus here in high school and I hope you continue to inspire others while you begin your life as an adult in college. Don't forget your tennis babies." Love, Sandra Van

To Marcus Beldon, "Ah! You're such a great guy! Even though we barely got to know each other this year I will miss you a lot. Hope you keep in touch after you don't see me all the time like you do now!" Isabel Sanchez

can start our business with my dad’s money! Make sure to come back and visit because my grandma will miss you too much. Woodstock b*tches for life!" Love, Janine Rillera

best for you sis." Love, Destiny Camara

To Tracy Romero, "OMG, you're graduating! Congrats! I'm so proud for you,

To Joyce Dang, "Girrrl, I can never think of a dull moment when we’re together. You’ve been my biggest enemy since 4th grade, and my best friend since 6th. I miss our late night walks, jet skiing adventures, and week long sleepovers. You’re that person that I can talk to about all my insecurities. You’d make me mad with your blunt personality, but you tell it like it is without caring what people think. You know why? BECAUSE YOU DO YOU. Have fun at U of O, but not too much fun! You need to graduate so we

To Selam Kanassay, "I've known you since we were little. I used to love hanging with you even though you didn't. Now that we're older, you have just been a great impact on my life. I just want to thank you for everything. From being my friend to the sister I never had. From taking me to camp for the first time to making a dance to carryout! LOL =) I hope and pray you do really good in college and hope to see you often later in the future." Anonymous

To Sean Rice, "I enjoyed having you as a mentor my freshman year. You showed me the way to stay on task and have fun at the same time. Your personality is just one of kind and every time I'm around you it just brightens my day because you have such a good sense of humor." Your mentee and SEI fam, Roneisha

remembered me here in high school. I think you are such a wonderfully funny girl with lots of spirit and I just love being around you. We had some pretty memorable things and I wish you luck with your future. Maybe I'll run into you again, BUT OF COURSE YOU'LL KEEP IN TOUCH WITH ME! I love love love you!" Love, Vanny Chao

To Esperanza Rendon, "To my sis. Wow we've been through so much! I enjoyed you being apart of my family, caring about me and being a person I could come to for anything. I'm so proud of you for making it through senior year. I wish the

To Brenda Dao, "You're graduating! Yeah! Thanks for all the rides to school because I'm too lazy to drive. Next year I get your room!! Then the year after that you better prepare. I'm going to be signing up for OSU! See you there!" Love Sandra Dao, "The greatest sister in the world"

To Teresa Huynh, "I love you so much! Do you know how much I'm going to miss you? The first time we met you were practically my best friend and I'm so lucky that you

To Claudia Escobar, You know I would write a senior letter to you! Your my favorite person in math class no offense to the other kids but you are! If it weren't for you I think I would have died in there a long time ago. We make a good team. Its really sad to see you go. I remember freshman year spanish I thought to myself who is this girl? She's really cute and she's got this swag to her. Then when I saw you in Pre-Cal I was happy to see you again. Have fun in college and don't forget about this girl name May (Luna). Love, May Wu


Five students lead charge to save Benson
■ LEADERS, from Page 1 PHUONG TRAN Tech Pep Reporter In Senior Chelsie Brown's last year at BHS, and even before she asked to join the Dirty Thirty, she was approached by them in the effort to help save Benson. Chelsie is the seventh generation in her family to have attended Benson and she says she wouldn't be who she is if she haven't gone to school here. She wants future generations to have the same opportunities as herself. Junior Dionna Johnson is one of the student leaders or Saving Benson because she believes it isn't fair for underclassmen since they wouldn't have the same opportunities as Juniors and Seniors. Junior Victor Trinh is in this because he wants to speak up and stand up for Benson. He wants our school to show its unity and ability to display and mobilize our social networks. He's working hard among other student leaders in trying to change the superintendent's mind. Sophomore Zane Kelley has such hopes for Benson because of how it has impacted him, those around him and those that have graduated and are now alumni. He says, "It's empowering to be a Benson student when all this is going on. It's hard to resist getting involved." Sophomore Emily St. Martin helps through spreading the word about the petition and forum meetings. She wants as many people to come as possible.

Remember when...
From pep rallies to water fights, volleyball to winter formal, seniors remember four great years of great memories during their time at Benson, the nation’s finest.
BY RACHEL BENJAMIN Tech Pep Reporter Vicki Lam "I remember the time when we had nap time."

Seniors remember great moments from the last four years
for my health occ rotation freshman year. Never has medical terminology been so fun and easy. She was the best and will always be the best.”

Christina Doan "I remember the time when...oh yes I remember that time too."

Catalina Vu "I remember the time when Collette stabbed Jason in the cheek with an explorer."

Chelsey Brown "I remember the time when in my Freshman electric class, I was taller than Mr.Wong already but one day I wore high heels and was way taller than him. He told me I wasn't allowed to be taller than him. Haha. I used to ask him to get things from high shelves and he would jump on the counter to get it.

Andrew Nguyen "I remember the time when on the first day of school, a senior or junior bumped into me, and we almost got into a fight. He backed off, wimp."

Jenna Osterman "I realized that my own beliefs were the most important to my own well-being."

Ebony Foreman "I remember the time when the class of 2010 had a water fight. That is honestly my fondest memory."

Reggie Moore "I remember the time when the first day of high school sucked, man. Senior year has been a whole lot better."

Chad Deem "I remember the time when me and a couple of my friends ripped our shirts off at the homecoming football game."

Jaimi Smith "I remember the time when I was on the volleyball team and none of the girls could get along and one time we all got into a fight, then after that we all got along."

Diana Chourarath "I remember the time when winter formal junior year was awesome!"

Zhi Yan "I remember the time when I had my first job."

April Cha "I remember the time when I was an incoming freshman, and I got so lost walking around the school; and in English class my teacher talked about Freshman Friday to see if we knew or thought it actually happened, and everybody looked at each other like...WHAT??"

Paige Lawson "I remember the time when my friends have always been there for me."

Bryce Howell "I remember the time when we had the pep rally in the front of the school with the basketball team sophomore year. CRACKING!"

Esperanza Rendon "I remember the time when I always went shopping with Gaby. I love you Sharice, you're the only one who held it down with me for four years! Bye EJ, I remember the times when you asked me every single day if I would be your girlfriend and me turning you down!"

David Remington "I remember the time when one time I was sitting in the library and there were kids talking about the fun times they got expelled for bringing a gun to school. I felt reassured in the great community."

Phi Tran "I remember the time when Ms.Larsell brought a kitty to class that she found on the street."

Nina Nguyen "I rememebr the time when I had Katie Meyer

Cchico Bailey "I remember the time when Cchico did "Single Ladies." He's so amazing."

PAGE 4 ■ MAY 2010
■ HISTORY, from Page 1 the students’ strong disapproval of the proposal. At first, a small number of students planned to walk out, while others debated whether they should “skip” class and if they'd get consequences for supporting it. Would this 'walkout' be successful? On Tuesday, April 27, at the sound of the bell, swarms of students arrived out to the front of the school after fifth period. Hundreds of students were soon planted across the lawn, alongside the paint that read “90 years and still cruisin’.” Enthusiastic students held signs and were ready to start the Silent Walkout. Silent might not be the word, as a couple of chants broke out amongst the crowd. Several students along, with Mr. John Slaughter took the lead, with Slaughter raising a sign that read “DATA proven facts” about Benson’s history. The scene not only caught the attention of drivers passing by the school, but also the media. Benson's Silent Walkout was featured in The Oregonian, KATU news and OPB. Students were interviewed and expressed their opinions about the plan. The walkout was only the beginning of events for Benson students. The public will be seeing more of Benson. Benson is “The school that works," with dedicated Techmen who are here to learn and are passionate about what they do here at Benson. This walkout event showed that Benson students care about the future of their school and if anything, they will not stand silent. Benson Techmen WILL fight and do anything for their voice to be heard. "Why ruin our school?" asked one student. seemed as if she would find a way around it. Instead of answering the question to the best of her ability she would only respond in appreciating our school spirit. That doesn't help the situation we’re in because she was pointing out the obvious. Everyone knows Benson has some of the best school spirit in Portland. Whatever happens, students hope Benson stays a four-year school.


LILY ZHAO Tech Pep Reporter Benson supporters showed up to the first community meeting on May 6 held in the auditorium ready to fight. Benson students, alumni, teachers, parents and the community quickly filled the seats in the house. Decked out in bright orange and blue, people brought signs and posters with messages to defend Benson. But most importantly, these people brought their voices. The sign-up list for speaking to the Board members and superintendent was flooded with names shortly before the meeting officially began. One after another, people courageously walked up to the microphone and delivered their speeches, comment or opinion. Cherilyn Brown, a freshman, started out the testimonies, followed by her older sister senior Chelsey Brown. "I feel like she was just there to make us feel like our voices were being heard,” Chelsea said, “but they really weren't. She just smiled and stood there and said "thank you." She didn't answer our important questions. I know what a good program Benson has. I want other kids to have the same opportunity as me. This whole proposal just doesn't make sense. “Benson's a piece of my family history,” Chelsea continued. “I'm the 7th generation. I really hope that nothing happens to Benson. I'll be heartbroken if anything happens. We all know she probably already has made her decision but we tried," Chelsey sighed. Parents as well as teacher also made data-enriched statements. Staff including Elisa Wong and Coach Leon McKenzie made strong and loud statements about why Benson is a successful school and where it stands today. And if the speeches weren't already good enough, junior Victor Trinh shared a poem he wrote. (See page 11.) Many freshmen and sophomores also went up to speak, with some that got emotional and couldn't hold back their tears while talking about how Benson has impacted their lives and how it's the place where new friendship is made that will last for a lifetime. The School Board requested that the audience stay quiet until the end of the meeting, but the audience couldn't be silenced, with cheers and applause that repeatedly exploded throughout the auditorium. That's another proof of just

On the march to school district headquarters, Abriana McKinney waves her sign at passing motorists.

how much spirit and supporters Benson have. One parent told the story about how her middle school son came to the Benson Tech Show and immediately made the decision, "Mom, Benson is where I want to go. Benson is my home." "The superintendent and the school board aren't really listening to us,” said senior Catalina Vu. “That's okay though, the people of Portland and the surrounding area are hearing about us, whether they want to or not." Whether we were able to change their minds or not, everyone did a fine job of representing Benson. Benson is filled with creative and intelligent students, with graduates that have gotten very far in life with their Benson diploma – doctors, machinists, web-designers, carpenters, you name it. Joanne Crawford, a wellknown substitute here at Benson commented, "You guys are like machines of knowledge. For 10 years, I've been to all the schools, and I see Benson as the best." Benson is truly a good school, preparing students for the future. They should never mess with the dreams and goals of Benson students and the students who wish to come to Benson. "You're barking up on the wrong tree!" said McKenzie.

DANIEL DRAKOS Tech Pep Reporter On May 10 more than 700 Benson students, parents, and alumni gathered, united to save Benson. Led by student leaders and John Slaughter, this group marched proudly to the PPS district building proudly displaying Benson colors and holding their Benson signs high. When asked her opinion about the march senior Catalina Vu responded, “It was good, there was a lot of parental and alumni support.” But it wasn’t only the parents and alumni that marched with students, teachers joined as well. Jeanette Pelster herself was leading chants shouting “four year school!” The support, however, doesn’t even stop there according to junior Kwabena "KB" Boateng. “We had people from Grant, Jefferson, St. Mary's Academy,” said Boateng. “They have nothing to do with what's going on, but they believe in the reason why we did what we did. To save our school that has been more than successful for 90 years.” As many of you know Benson holds the second highest graduation and it’s also the most ethnically diverse school in the district. Upon reaching PPS, Benson supporters rallied around Slaughter who had hopped on the shoulders of junior Victor Trinh. The group had one last cheer before entering the PPS building to support those students presenting to the board. As the group quickly flooded the first room, people were herded into smaller side rooms where they could watch the meeting ■ See HISTORY, Page 5

John Slaughter states the facts with his 65% poverty, 75% minority, and 95% graduation rate poster.


SAM TSEHAINEH Tech Pep Reporter Benson is going to be a two year career technical high school, Superintendent Carol Smith said. Seniors and juniors will attend half their day at their neighborhood school and the rest of their day at Benson. She also said PPS would be providing transportation between both neighborhood schools and Benson. Most of these statements were made at the Benson meeting that occurred before Tech Show, on April 29. Many people showed support for Benson and how much love they had for their school, though the problem that many kids are complaining about is that there voices aren't being heard by the school board. Laura Ramirez, a junior at Benson, says the Superin– tendent’s plan isn’t good for Portland. Many students are convinced the superintendent is stubborn and doesn't realize what she is doing to a great school. John Richards, a sophomore at Benson, said, "She is just doing what is the easiest and fastest way to get rid of Benson." Every time a student would ask Carol Smith a question it

Junior Shawn Chan holds up the sign with a simple yet valuable question.

Seniors Joyce Dang and Brenda Dao taped their mouths to demonstrate their voices being unheard.


April 19 Supt. Smith tells faculty something is up with the school redesign plan that has changed Benson’s protected status. April 26 High School Redesign plan presented to school board. April 27 Benson students walk out of their sixth period of class in protest. April 29 Students, through texting and facebook, arrange an after school meeting with the superintendent. May 3 Superintendent listens to Benson faculty response to the plan for more than an hour. May 4 Benson community sounds off at a two-hour hearing held in the auditorium. May 10 Students, parents, alumni, staff, community members march from Benson to PPS Headquarters to save Benson and testify at school board meeting. May 11 Students begin circulating petition calling for a vote of no confidence in Principal Steve Olcajk after he announces his support for the plan at the school board meeting. Faculty circulates a petition calling for a vote of no confidence in the principal. Benson community testifies at another community meeting at Madison H.S. May 18 Roosevelt Community Forum on proposed High School Redesign. May 22 Jefferson Community Forum on proposed High School Redesign. May 24 Students picket city hall for two hours. Katie Meyers and Troy Berry testify at school board meeting. May 25 District representative discusses new plan with Benson Site Council, proposes a four-year academic and CTE high school, with students from other high schools wait-listed for openings during their junior and senior year in CTE program. June 21 School board votes on final plan.

MAY 2010 ■ PAGE 5

STUDENTS SPEAK OUT Huge attendance at show
■ HISTORY, from Page 4 take place. Rousing speeches were given by Benson students like sophomore Zane Kelley who talked about how he moved all the way from Eugene for Benson. Over all, opinions on the march were high, and everyone felt like it had a powerful effect. Unfortunately for us all, the night ended with a betrayal, as students, alumni, parents, and teachers watched Benson’s Principal support the changes they fought so hard to prevent. LUEHNA ABUAN & LAURA RAMIREZ Tech Pep Reporter Benson's 90th Tech Show turned out to be a great success with fun attractions and tons of Benson support. All over the school, each class and major were busy entertaining guests and showing what Benson students work so hard to do. Every classroom and hallway was filled with exciting attractions and events. As HOSA was grossing everyone out with pig guts and relaxing them with massages, VICA was all about contests and showcasing its stuff at show The Spanish rooms were beating up piñatas and NHS had their traditional delicious root beer floats. The band room was a hot spot decorated as a 'casino night'. There was jazz music, poker tables, refreshments, and even karaoke! The freshman carnival was a crazy party with face painting, a gorilla, popsicles, and of course the best prizes ever, candy! Each Freshman P.E. class did a great job with their sport games, making the tech show gym an unforgettable night of fun. Jenny Steckler discusses a set of dental xrays The Health Occupations majors were edu- with a parent at Tech Show. cating Tech Show wanderers. Dentistry had PowerPoint presentations, x-rays, model pouring, polishing, amalgam procedure, and of course free tooth brush kits. The Nursing Department had students taking blood pressure and giving massages. In Anatomy and Physiology students were dissecting pigs, eyes, and bones, as well as the oh so exciting reaction test. Health Occupations also had EKG tests, blood testing, and the beautiful medical display boards posted around the whole health occupations area. The health occ majors represented our school beautifully, showing all of our talents and skill. Communication showSenior Dylan Hallberg explains how an aircraft engine works to cased student photography guest at Tech Show in D-wing automotive area. and playing past student videos. The radio station offered tours of the stu- architectural drawings and three-dimensional dio by student DJs, who were on the air both models. Manufacturing demonstrated welding and nights. offered metal artwork for sale. A car rally was held in the parking lot, with Tech show was an unforgettable night with custom cars on display. Construction featured a log sawing contest, crazy unique attractions, and an increased support for Benson. All the students worked so a nail pounding contest, and student projects. hard to put this masterpiece together, and it Cutting boards were for sale, too. turned out to be outrageously fun and successElectric featured the ever-popular electric ful. Once again Benson has held up its tradichair, flying chair, and other electrical wonders. Drafting and Architecture featured student tion of having a fantastic 90th Tech Show.

BRYCE HOWELL Tech Pep Reporter A large crowd of mainly Benson and Jefferson supporters piled into the cafeteria of Roosevelt High School on Tuesday May 28 at 6 p.m. as another Portland Public Schools High school redesign meeting got underway. A number of Benson and Jefferson alumni, staff, parents, and students spoke to a mainly stoic and quiet school board. Jefferson voiced support for the redesign plan while Benson held their ground as a beacon to the Portland Public Schools district. A notable voice from the Benson family was Senior Esperanza Rendon who, with her mother Angela Rendon, spoke out for Benson. The meeting lasted well into the 9 o'clock hour, which was surprising as the board usually closes meetings at 8:30 p.m. It showed that maybe they are interested in the opinions of those who will be affected the most by their decisions.

What school you from!!!? BENSON!!! What school you from!!!? BENSON!!! Put it up for your mascot!!! TECHMEN!!! This was the major chant of John Slaughter and the Benson community on May 24 in front of City Hall. They were shouting in to the ears of Portland Mayor Sam Adams. Many drivers passing the building honked to show the dedication the community has to keep Benson a four-year comprehensive high school. There were plenty of signs showing all the different thoughts and views on keeping Benson open. Benson teachers and even alumni also attended the protest. News broadcasters such as Channel 12 news were present. The protest was peaceful and everyone had a cheerful time and hopefully the mayor got the message.

ESPERANZA RENDON Tech Pep Reporter People gathered at the Portland Public Schools building for another meeting regarding the High School redesign plan. The board members deliberated and discussed the plan between them; showing who is more aggressive and ready to force this plan into action. It was

apparent that some members are very set on the idea of turning Benson into a two year vocational school, and other members remain on the fence about the idea. Benson supporters rocked “Run BHS” T-shirts and listened respectfully during the meeting. Three students spoke out, giving the board members insight on what it is really like to walk the halls of Benson, bringing up the question, “Why ruin the school that works?” Nina Nguyen, a senior, spoke specifically on the importance of a four-year health occupations program, stating that students begin learning about the human body as well as medical terminology their freshman year. And without this critical knowledge students will not be prepared to enter this major as a junior. Troy Berry, Benson’s security guard, suggested that they close another school, such as Lincoln, Grant or even Wilson, instead of Benson. As the meeting progressed, the heat turned up and comments began stirring up emotions, both good and bad. Aside from discussing the redesign plan they also approved the budget plan for next year. Do you see Benson as a two year vocational school, or do you see it as a four year technical school that works and thrives for excellence?

Benson worth fighting for
■ SLAUGHTER, from Page 1 dents and future students. My nephew is an incoming 8th grader, and my 3 month old daughter loves BHS. I'm fighting for the teachers. I'm fighting for the history and legacy of Simon Benson. I'm protesting for a free, technical education. Integrated academics is the trend of future in education, and that is what we do at BHS. Can we do it? I do believe we can save BHS. Our numbers and facts don't lie. Our school works. It is successful and warranted in our community and city. Parents want to send their kids here. Students want to be here. We just have to continue sending them emails and letters. We have to remain positive and keep pushing towards our goals. What other adult figures are working to save Benson? Other figures leading the way are Katie Meyers, Kathy Skatch, Amy Slaughter. Will Smith, Jeanette Pelster, Tim Hryciw, just to name a few. Leading the parent push are Ms. McCurdy, Mr. Kelly, Mr. Howard. Ms. Biggs, and Ms. Warren, Coach Sanora & others. What did you think of the first community meeting held at Benson? The first community forum meeting went as expected. Many angry parents and students. The district tried to defend their proposal, while the community wanted to give the superintendent a piece of their mind. Was it successful? I think it was a success. We didn't get to hear from a lot of speakers and testimony, but we've been heard for a while now. And we will continue to speak and protest until change is made!!! When did you go to Benson? I graduate in 1994, the best year, and I majored in Architectual Drafing. I was voted most spirited and the next Martin Lawrence. Tech got it right. I run the mentoring program and I also coach football at BHS.

How will plan work?
■ PLAN, from Page 1 The plan is for students to attend their neighborhood school for academics, and then attend Benson for their vocational class. Many students have expressed concern with the plan, stressing it would be a hassle for them to go back and forth every day just to take their major class. The district is accepting public comment for 30 days, including at least two public meetings. During these 30 days, Benson students, alumni, and staff are taking advantage and showing the district they are opposed to the proposal. Following the public gatherings, the board will hold two additional public meetings and plans to vote on the redesign June 21.

PHUONG TRAN Tech Pep Reporter It’s only during severe situations that we come to realize something truly great. Benson Polytechnic High School was opened in 1919 as an all-boys school and spread across nine acres. Throughout its history, Benson has gone through many changes that have shaped the school to how it is now. From its name change of Portland School of Trades to the current to having block periods every day except for Friday to just regular bell schedule, Benson have shifted and twisted itself to fit the mold of Portland. The latest controversy involving the school that works is a proposed redesign to converting Benson into a skills center. If this proposal is passed by the school board, the change would initiate in the

opinionfocus Proud to go to Benson What else
PAGE 6 ■ MAY 2010
2011-2012 school year and all those who still choose to attend Benson will have to split their days between their neighborhood school, the trimet and here. Many have spoken out about this issue, whether they’re students, parents, faculty members or just bystanders. Their opinions are bold and meant to make a statement. There have been protests, petitions, news reports, voices of support and voices of disagreement. In my opinion, in this situation the ones who care are the ones that matter. And the ones who care the most are Benson students. This current chain of events has really brought out our school spirit, it has unite us for a common goal. And what is this school but the faces in its halls and those whov are proud to say “Hello my name is… and I go to Benson Polytechnic High School.” LUEHNA ABUAN Tech Pep Reporter Everyone has been buzzing about the Portland Public School Redesign Plan. Changing Benson into a two-year technical program will completely destroy Benson's tradition. I say, why change Benson in the first place? Why do we need such random change anyway? Superintendent Carol Smith says the purpose of the plan "was higher performance and greater equity in quality of education." Obviously everyone is doing fine as it is, so why change it! I think the school board believes that Benson is just so successful, that they want to spread the joy to all the other schools. Most schools already have special programs that other schools don't have and those schools are doing just fine. Having such diverse schools is exactly why Portland Public Schools are unique. Each school has a special trait and that is why their students chose to go there. Why force every school to be like Benson? The redesign plan will destroy our tradition, and will alter every other Portland Public School's tradition as well. With this drastic change there's bound to be endless problems. For example how does the school board propose to transport each and every student to their magnet or technical school? If we're putting so much money that we supposedly have into this crazy plan, why can't we spend the money


could we do?
on simply keeping Benson open. Why not use the money to supply more books, computers, supplies, and even a crazy idea like paying the teachers. Then there is the issue of changing the technical programs from a four-year curriculum to a faster two-year curriculum. How are students suppose to learn what we've been learning for four years, in a matter of only two years? I know from experience that Health Occupations is a difficult major and definitely takes more than two years to even learn the medical terminology. How can the school board expect to change the foundations of our learning while we're in the midst of it? The school board hasn't been answering our questions so how can we expect that this plan will work one hundred percent. It's a risk we're not willing to take. I think that instead of changing Benson into a two-year technical program, we should just keep it as four years, keeping its tradition, and start doing the application process again. Why change the school that has had so much history and success in it? It makes no sense. Keeping the school as it is, disrupts no other schools and continues the learning. If students truly want to enroll and are dedicated to the technical programs at Benson, they can apply. This would keep a serious atmosphere and most importantly doesn't destroy Benson's history.

Sonic the Hedgehog four?
ETHAN DEDRICKSON Tech Pep Reporter Recently, SEGA announced their new project, "Project Needlemouse" as a new, entirely 2-D Sonic the Hedgehog Game to be released in the summer of 2010. With the decline in popularity of the newer, 3-D Sonic games, this became a major turn around for the fan community. Several reactions to the idea of "Project Needlemouse" were positive, as most long-time Sonic fans such as myself strongly support the older, simpler games, before the franchise turned 3-D. On February 4th, 2010, the official title of "Project Needlemouse" was announced to be Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1. I grew up to playing Sonic the Hedgehog, and Sonic the Hedgehog 3 was one of the best games I've ever played. It originally was released in 1994, and for that time, ended the single-title SONIC THE HEDGEHOG series. Platforming on the Sega Megadrive (Genisis), it was still a 16-bit side scroller, but was still widely celebrated for the incredible game play. Sonic the Hedgehog 4 features totally revamped graphics, such as the use of Sonic's newer design, and a smoother, cleaner feeling. Although this is new age and cleaner than the older games, the style affects the feeling of the game, as opposed to the reminiscence feeling of the good old days on the Megadrive. The game is said to only feature Sonic the Hedgehog, and his nemesis, Doctor Robotnik. I feel like the exclusion of other, extra characters is a brilliant turn, as the stories in each game begin to get ridiculous and confusing as they introduce more and more characters. Some characters are even used for one game and scrapped shortly after. However, with Sonic the Hedgehog 4, the reintroduction of using only Sonic and Dr. Robotnik is reminiscent, and provides for a simpler "save the day" storyline. The website published a brief teaser trailer for the game, and an interview with Sega's Ken Ballough who acknowledged that "old-school Sonic fans have long asked to see Sonic return to a more 2-D style of gameplay" and stated that "Needlemouse is that critical first step that brings Sonic back to his 2-D roots." I personally feel like the turn towards recreation of the 2-D games is a brilliant idea. For a long time, fans have desired a return to the simpler times of the blue hedgehog's adventures. Despite the revamp of the graphic scheme, the return of a cleaner, simpler time, and recreation of Sonic the Hedgehog's career is a positive step towards the franchise's future. Being a long-time sonic fan, I greatly appreciate the idea of a 2-D reminiscent game. Although change is inevitable, I feel like this is certainly a positive step in SEGA's plan for the blue hedgehog. Any updated information about the game can be found at

Arizona immigration law

Welcome new officers
Elected student body officers for 2010-2011 were Khalid Osman, president; Abiola Aderonmu, vice-president; May Wu, treasurer; and Sandra Dao, secretary. Elected senior class officers were Rose Lily Trang, president; Erica Wu, vice-president; Mai Khanh Trang, treasurer; and Janine Rillers, secretary. Elected junior class officers were Khang Truong, president; Nikhil Kishore, vice-president; Lorita Chen, treasurer; and Gabe Elias, secretary. Elected sophomore class officers were Matthew Mattson, vicepresident; Kevin Truong, treasurer; and Amy Le, secretary. The office of president is still open. Freshman class officers will be elected next fall. This might be one of the last years of Benson and we must make the next year special. Next year's going to be great, so support our newly-elected student leaders. They do more then you think just because you don't see it sometimes doesn't mean its not there.Welcome future 2011 student council and class leaders.

Land of opportunity only if you don’t look like an immigrant
DIADIRA XUNCAN-PEDRO Tech Pep Opinion Editor Being stereotyped is hard. Imagine being stereotyped for how you look. Imagine being stereotyped because you are brown, among the streets, just minding your own business and not causing any harm. Now, a police officer comes your way. You didn't do anything bad, so you aren't worried. The officer asks to see your "papers." You tell him you don't have it with you at the moment, but you are legal. He asks you to put your blistered brown hands behind your back. Only you did not know you are being deported because of the way you look. Now, imagine all the chaos going on around you. The thing is that nobody is aware of are the tradegies going on around the world, and no way to voice your opinion. In a heart beat, you no longer have human rights. Because you are brown, you look dirty, you look like an alien. Believe it or not, this could be the future. To be pulled over anytime. Being watched, all the time, and you can't do anything about it. On April 30, 2010, this bill was signed. Governor Jan Brewer, of Arizona, signed what might be the toughest, strictest bill on immigrants, illegal immigrants. This bill is what makes the United States look bad. Barely passing through racial discrimination, it's still around. Now, this bill makes everything worse. Just when you think you have a chance to be successful, a chance to live day to day, a chance of freedom, it is all taken away. Illegal immigration has always been a problem in the United States, or we think it is a problem. It is a problem if you think about the drugs being smuggled from wherever to here. But, most likely when you hear "illegal immigrants" you automatically think what? Mexican? Right? Well, there are pros and cons to that. You work hard, you get work done, and you create a living for yourself. It might not be much, but you don't complain. You have food, water, shelter, and clothing. Or you can look at it in another way. You're brown, you look dirty, you look uneducated, you look like you deal drugs, and you look like you only cause problems. Face it, most of these "aliens" are just trying to live! They are just trying to help raise a family. What I'm trying to say is this: This bill is unfair, racial, and most of all, it's being a stereotype. Deporting someone because of how they look is like saying "Oh, you're not cool because you're _____" Fill it in with whatever, it's still rude and a stereotype. If you really think about it, immigrants think of America as the golden land, the land of opportunity. It is no longer any of this. It's just a big land of racial discrimination and people who stereotype. The whole reason for this bill being passed is because they want to reduce the crime rate. Well, Brewer, have you ever thought about this? If there are thousands of police men/women out there looking for "aliens," that's all they have time for. Meaning, your cops will be too busy looking for brown dirty people rather then the REAL criminals. Fair bill? Thought so.

Get off the road bikes!

SAMUEL TSEHAINEH Tech Pep Reporter Aren’t you tired of having bikers get in your way on the road? Its like bikers do it on purpose. I hate when bikes slow down traffic. Portland was the number one city in the U.S to have bikes on the streets. But according to KPTV 12, Minneapolis has edged us out for the number one spot. Now, if Minneapolis has more bikers than Portland does, I don't even want to go visit Minneapolis. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with riding your bike because it reduces your carbon foot print and is a healthy exercise to get in. But if you get in the way of my car, then we have a problem. I hate when bikers clog up the rode, I mean there is a reason why you have a bike lane, and if you don’t have one then just stay all the way to the right of the road. It is the law for cars to yield to bikes but some bikers abuse this and just ride all over the road. Sometimes when it seems there going to let you pass they get back in the middle of the road. For many drivers this is really irritating or stressful. The driver never knows what the biker will do or even know if the biker knows that the driver is there. Maybe if drivers and bikers communicate better on the road there can be a reduction in car and bike accidents a year.



MAY 2010 ■ PAGE 7

Addressing critical questions on the causes, effects of the BP oil rig explosion
McClatchy Newspapers

Obama: 'I will make sure oil spill stops’
BY STEVEN THOMMA Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON (MCT) — Under pressure to step up his response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, President Barack Obama tried to assure the country Thursday that he and his administration are in charge and working feverishly to clean up the mess. "My job is to get this fixed," Obama said a day before leaving for his second tour of the Gulf since an April 20 oil rig explosion triggered what's now acknowledged to be the worst spill in the nation's history. "I take responsibility. It is my job to make sure that everything is done to shut this down. ... The federal government is fully engaged. And I'm fully engaged." The U.S. Geological Survey said new estimates show as many as 25,000 barrels of oil rushing into the Gulf waters each day, or as much as five times energy giant BP's original estimate of 5,000 barrels a day. At the new rate, nearly 38 million gallons of crude oil is polluting gulf waters, killing animals and threatening fragile marshlands. USGS Director Marcia McNutt cautioned that the numbers were all preliminary and "highly dynamic." The scientists and engineers on the team are getting new data and "will continue to refine and update the estimate," she said. BP announced Thursday evening that it had temporarily halted pumping mud into the drill hole after 10 hours of trying to stop the spill, but declined to say whether the "top kill," as the risky procedure is called, was in trouble. BP said it would resume pumping mud later Thursday. Even if the effort to seal the leak works, the cleanup took on new urgency as researchers from the University of South Florida said they had discovered a big, previously undetected plume of oil underwater about 22 miles south of Mobile, Ala. While hoping that the top kill would finally stop the leak at the ocean floor, Obama said he would use his visit to the region Friday to discuss stepped-up efforts by the federal, state and local governments to protect the Gulf Coast or clean up oil that's already washed ashore. "Our concern regarding these contaminants is they have the potential to be incorporated in the food web," said David Hollander, a chemical oceanographer who's a lead investigator in the research mission. "The first ecological impact of this spill is the effect on coastal habitats, including marshes, beaches and estuaries. The second threat to nature would be the impact on the food webs. That is what's at risk." "This manmade disaster is now the largest oil spill in our nation's history, topping the Exxon Valdez by twice as much," said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, RFla., referring to the 1989 tanker spill in Alaska's Prince William Sound. "The federal government needs to step up to the plate and demonstrate the leadership that BP has failed to show. I am hopeful the 'top kill' operation will bear fruit, but the ecological and economic damage has been done, and there is no turning back from that." With a preliminary report on the oil spill in hand, Obama announced several interim steps: _Suspending planned exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean off of Alaska until at least 2011. _Canceling a pending lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico and a proposed lease sale off the Virginia coast. _Continuing an existing moratorium on any new offshore drilling and suspending the issuance of new deepwater well permits for six months. _Suspending action on 33 deepwater exploratory wells being drilled in the Gulf of Mexico.

The April 20 rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico has left BP officials and federal, state and local government authorities with an unprecedented ecological and economic disaster. The mission for those involved is extensive. The oil must be capped to keep hundreds of thousands of gallons from continuing to spill in the Gulf. That could take months. Containing the oil spill and cleaning up the oil washing ashore is a massive effort that is expected to require people working from the delicate marshlands of Louisiana to the white-sand beaches of Florida. That could last months, too. The rig explosion also has set off a national debate over the future of offshore oil-drilling. That debate has already begun and could last for years to come. It’s being argued on Capitol Hill in Washington and in the state capitals throughout the Gulf coastal states. Below, we have assembled a list of some of the most pressing questions and answers to this unfolding story.
Q: When did the rig explode and when did it sink? A: The Deepwater Horizon


Oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig well swirls in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana on Thursday, May 6, 2010.

Rig disaster players
Companies involved with the Deepwater Horizon rig that exploded, creating a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico: World’s third largest oil company, headquartered in London; project operator with a working interest in the well; hired Transocean’s rig to drill the well World’s largest offshore drilling operator, based in Switzerland and Houston; owned and operated the rig

offshore drilling rig exploded at approximately 10 p.m. on April 20. The rig was located in the Gulf of Mexico, about 45 miles southeast of Venice, La. Of the 126 people on the rig at the time of the explosion, 115 crew members were accounted for. The Coast Guard actively searched for 11 individuals. Search and rescue was suspended at 5 p.m. on April 23. None of the 11 were found. At approximately 10:20 a.m. April 22 the oil rig sank with about 700,000 gallons of diesel fuel. The rig was found on April 23, sunken and upside down approximately 1,500 feet northwest of the blowout preventer.
Q: How much oil is leaking? A: Using satellite images and

Houston-based manufacturer of oil and gas industry equipment; provided the rig with a blowout preventer – a device designed to stop uncontrolled flow of oil or gas – but the part apparently failed to operate

Oilfield services company based in Houston and Dubai; provided several services to the rig, including cementing on the well to stabilize its walls

Justin Main, a volunteer with the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, Miss., inspects the body of a sea turtle found dead on the beach in Pass Christian, Miss., on May 2, 2010. An unusually high number of dead sea turtles have been found on beaches in Mississippi recently.

From left, Lamar McKay, president and chairman of BP America Inc., Steven Newman, president and chief executive, Transocean Ltd., and Tim Probert, president, global business lines and chief health, safety and environment officer of Halliburton, testify before the Senate on May 11, 2010.

South Korean company is the world’s largest shipbuilder; built the Deepwater Horizon, completed in 2001

Anadarko, a large, independent, Texas-based petroleum company; has nonoperating interest in the well
Source: Reuters, Hoovers, the companies Graphic: Pat Carr © 2010 MCT

computer models, oceanographers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict the ruptured well 5,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf is gushing about 5,000 barrels (or 210,000 gallons) of oil a day. But a National Public Radio report Friday questioned that amount. Steven Wereley, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University, analyzed videotape of the seafloor gusher for NPR using a technique called particle image velocimetry. He estimates the leak is releasing 70,000 barrels per day into the Gulf.
Q: Who is working on plans to stop the leak? A: An international team of

more than 460 vessels — including airplanes spraying chemical dispersants and boats laying booms and skimming oily water. Controlled burns also have been used to reduce the spread of oil, according to the Unified Area Command, a coalition of federal, state and local government agencies working together with BP and other private parties.
Q: What are the potential environmental impacts from chemical dispersants? A: When the oil spill occurred,

P E T T Y O F F I C E R 3 R D C L A S S TO M AT K E S O N / U. S . C O A S T G UA R D / M C T

scientists, engineers and oil drilling experts from the government, private industry and academia are working round-the-clock at BP offices in Houston to find a solution to the leaking well. However, BP Group CEO Tony Hayward acknowledged the spill and BP’s efforts to resolve it are unprecedented. “There is an enormous amount of learning going on here because we are doing it for real for the first time,” he said. Kent Wells, a BP senior vice president, compared the efforts to cap the leaking well to ‘‘trying to do heart surgery at 5,000 feet.”
Q: How is the oil leak being capped? A: After failing to place a 78-

Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the offshore oil rig Deepwater Horizon on April 21, 2010. The rig, located in the Gulf of Mexico about 45 miles southeast of Venice, La., exploded on April 20 at approximately 10 p.m.

ton, 40-foot-tall steel and concrete coffer dam over the largest leak and into the seafloor, BP has launched a new containment and capping effort. BP engineers now say their best chance to control the underwater oil leak is to insert a six-inch-wide tube into the jagged pipe leaking on the Gulf seabed. Three undersea robots worked on Friday to position the tube into the larger of two leaks

— the one releasing about 85 percent of the oil. If the inserted tube fails, then BP officials have a backup plan: lower a steel and concrete dome called a “top hat” over the leak. The top hat — four feet in diameter and five feet tall — would be attached to a drill pipe, which would siphon the oil to a ship at the surface. BP officials said the small size of the “top hat” should help avoid the formation of the slush-like hydrates that thwarted the earlier cofferdam effort by clogging its opening and making it too buoyant to form a watertight seal against the seafloor. To make certain, the “top hat” will be warmed with hot water and injected with methanol, a solvent whose use underwater required EPA approval. Engineers also plan to attempt a so-called “junk shot,” which foresees shooting shredded tires, golf balls and knotted rope into

the well at high pressure to clog it and stop the flow. That effort won’t be ready until later in May. BP also has begun drilling one of two relief wells, which most experts consider the best, longterm solution to stopping the oil spill. The relief wells will intercept the leaking well about 31/2 miles below the surface of the Gulf. Engineers would then inject cement to seal the leaking well. However, the relief wells likely will not be completed until August.
Q: How many states are affected? A: Four states are in the poten-

the U.S. Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency authorized BP to use chemical dispersants on the surface of the water. BP also was authorized to conduct tests using dispersants underwater, at the source of the leak. The effects of those dispersants on the environment are still widely unknown, however. Evidence from spills treated with dispersants show dispersion of oil can reduce overall environmental impacts by limiting damage at the sea surface and shore. However, dispersants also can increase impacts on the upper 30 feet of the water column because that is the area where the oil breaks up.
Q: What is the estimated economic impact on the Gulf Coast states? A: Without knowing the extent

Commerce, Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency have coordinated the federal response and overseen BP’s response. The government has set up 14 staging areas in four states — Mississippi, Florida, Alabama and Louisiana — to help protect the coast line. Authorities say more than 460 vessels are responding on-site, including skimmers, tugs, barges, and recovery vessels to assist in containment and cleanup efforts — in addition to dozens of aircraft, remotely operated vehicles, and multiple mobile offshore drilling units. About 13,000 people are working the on and offshore response to the oil spill, with an additional 2,500 trained volunteers.
Q: Who is responsible for paying the cost? Who is legally responsible for the oil spill? A: So far, cleanup, drilling the

tial path of the spreading oil spill: Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. Wind conditions and sea currents could spread the oil to any and all of the states.
Q: What is being done to rid the oil from the water? A: To contain the oil slick and

of environmental damage, it is impossible to assess the economic impact of the oil spill on the Gulf Coast states. Estimates are likely in the billions. The Gulf of Mexico boasts one of the world’s most productive fisheries and a coastline ringed with rich, varied and fragile marine life. Tourist-magnet beaches also are at risk of being adversely affected.
Q: Who is leading the cleanup operation? A: The cleanup operation is

keep it from reaching shore, response teams have deployed

being coordinated by BP and federal, local and state governments. The U.S. Coast Guard, departments of Homeland Security,

relief well and other costs have reached $450 million, according to a BP fact sheet. BP has repeatedly said the company is the responsible party and will make sure the spill is cleaned up fully. Currently, there is a $75 million cap on an oil company's liability for economic damages. The White House is asking Congress, as part of an oil response package, to lift the $75 million cap on liability. On Tuesday, Lamar McKay, the president of BP's U.S. operations, said: “Let me be really clear: liability, blame, fault, put it over here. We are dealing with — we are the — we are a responsible party. Our obligation is to deal with the spill, clean it up, and make sure the impacts of that spill are compensated, and we are going to do that.” President Barack Obama has said repeatedly that that BP and any other responsible party will pay for all costs of stopping the spill and cleaning it up.
Daniel Chang and Jennifer Lebovich are reporters for the Miami Herald.

PAGE 8 ■ MAY 2010



Which senior is that?

See if you can match up the seniors to their baby picture








We didn’t want to make this too easy, so we threw in a couple of extra photos to confuse you. Trouble is, we lost the key and now we don’t know who they go with, either! Nevermind, found it. See below.

Liz Girres

Ebony Stewert

Zac Fuentes

Jarald Caldwell

Sierra Peters

Maggie Kowatch

Frankie Duong

Esperanza Rendon

Jenny Steckler

Answers: A. Jarald Caldwell B. Ebony Stewert C. Liz Girres D. Frankie Duong E. Esperanza Rendon F. Jenny Steckler G. Zac Fuentes H. Sierra Peters.



MAY 2010 ■ PAGE 9

Seniors dance the night away at Prom
BRYCE HOWELL Tech Pep Sports Reporter There was an aura around The Acadian Ballroom on May 15 at could not be denied. Many of the seniors who usually dress down put on their best for the night of their lives. They arrived in limos of every kind. Someone even came to prom in a Rolls-Royce (You did it big Snoogs). The tuxedos were fitting the guys well and the dresses! Oh the dresses! The girls out did themselves! Different kinds, different colors, all of them perfect! The dj for the night, Juggernaut, was playing all the hits from beginning to end. Many people found themselves sweating profusely and needing to step away from the dance floor for at least one song; but would find themselves still on it after they would hear another cut being played. Many couples there took photos and there were even people taking group photos. All in all many memories were made that night and countless facebook photos were taken. It was a truly fantastic night. Thanks again to the prom commitee for all their hard work and to the staff for being great chaperones as well and letting people actually dance!

Top (left to right): Seniors Carmen Seto, Phung Nguyen, guest, Charlie Ta, and Peter Le. Bottom (Left to right): Seniors Ana Huang, guests, and Michelle Chen.

Right: Seniors Teresa Huynh and Kevin Neun Bottom Left: Seniors Perry Freund and Chloe Thornes Bottom right: Seniors Victoria Nguyen and Tracy Trieu Top: Seniors Marcus Belden and Jenny Steckler Top Left: Seniors John Hart and Octavia Clark Top Right: Senior Joyce Dang and Alumni Josh Harvey

Above: Senior Jennifer Benjamin Above: Senior Bing Yang and Junior Erica Wu

Above: Ivan Preciado and guest

Left: Seniors Eileen Toms and Ian Hankins Right: Seniors Andre Pennington, Ashley Nguyen, Emily Nguyen, Sierra Peters, and Mark Kemp

PAGE 10 ■ MAY 2010

We asked our seniors if they had any final words for each other, and here’s what they said.


Senior Plans
Seniors start a new chapter in their lives. We asked them what was next. Here’s what they said:
BRYCE HOWELL Tech Pep Reporter Alan Casas–He will be attending a two-year college in Portland, OR. Andre Pennington–He is going to a 2 year college down in Salem, OR. Andrew Nguyen–He is attending Portland community college for two years and then attending the University of Oregon after that. April Cha–She is attending Portland Community College in the fall. Bing Yang–He is going to Portland State University in the fall. Bobbysue Eriich–She will be going to International Air and Hospitality Academy in Vancouver, WA. Bryce Howell–He will be attending Hampton University in Hampton, VA. Catalina Vu–She will be attending Oregon State University. Cchico Bailey–he is attending Paine College in the fall. Chad Deem–He recently joined the Navy and will be attending a two year term at Portland Community College. Charlie Ta–He will be attending Oregon State University. Chelsey Brown–She will attend two years in community college then apply to Southern Oregon University or Pacific University. Chris Wilson–He will be attending Portland Community College. Christina Doan–She will be attending Portland State University in the fall. Chu Wu–He will be attending Syracuse University in Syracuse,NY. Daniel Torres–He recently joined the navy and will be going to a four year college here in Portland, OR. Diana Chan–She will be attending University of Massachusetts-Amherst in Amherst, Mass. Dianna Chourarath–She will be attending Portland State University in the fall. Ebony Foreman–She will be attending University of Las Vegas in Las Vegas, NV. Ebony Stewert–She is going to attend Mt. Hood community college in the fall. Eileen Tom–She will be attending Portland State University in the fall. Ephrem Diribsa–He is attending the University of Oregon. Fana Habtemariam–She is going to Mt. Hood Community College.

Final farewells offered
Diana Chan "Goodbye, Bryce Howell. I'll miss you "

Most of all I’ma miss Essi — she’s one of the few girls just that didn’t give me any play even though she agreed to us getting married, peace."

Liz Girres "It’s not goodbye, It’s see ya later."

Andre Pennington "Dear Senior class I’m going to miss all my of you. Without this opportunity of going to school with ya’ll I wouldn’t be me... I’ma miss all that ever walked the hallways with me.”

April Cha "I want to thanks, Mrs. Lloyd (Kathy Lloyd) for working so hard to get clinical sites for her senior class, and I want to thank her for letting me be able to have a great experience at Cascade Physicians.”

Andrew Nguyen "Goodbye to anyone I wont see again"

Andre Pennington "Thanks to all my fans & friends. YEE!"

Justin Johnson "The class of 2010 is the best in the world I love all ya’ll peace out."

Fana Habtemarian "Goodbye to Bons, most important Cchibon! OKAY."

Esperanza Rendon "I’m going to miss always shopping with Gaby! I love you Sharice, you’re the only one who’s held it down with me for four years! Bye EJ! I’m going to miss having you ask me every single day if I would be your girlfriend and me turning you down!”

Anna Tran "Goodbye Mr.Fall and Mr. Adler. Thank you for being so so so understanding throughout my HS years. xoxo"

Sierra Peters "I will miss Benson but it has been a long four years. So much has happened too many good memories that will never be forgotten."

EJ Akins "Dear Benson I will miss all of you guys! Don’t worry I’ll be around probably in da beav.

Sean Rice "Goodbye to all my teachers that I liked and all my Friends.”

Stanford goes digital
BY LISA M. KRIEGER San Jose Mercury News SAN JOSE, Calif. (MCT)– One chapter is closing – and another is opening – as Stanford University moves toward the creation of its first "bookless library." Box by box, decades of past scholarship are being packed up and emptied from two old libraries, Physics and Engineering, to make way for the future: a smaller but more efficient and largely electronic library that can accommodate the vast, expanding and interrelated literature of Physics, Computer Science and Engineering. "The role of this new library is less to do with shelving and checking out books – and much more about research and discovery," said Andrew Herkovic, director of communications and development at Stanford Libraries. Libraries are the very heart of the research university, the center for scholarship. But the accumulation of information online is shifting their sense of identity. For 40 years, the metal shelves of the modest Physics and Engineering libraries were magnets to thousands of students and faculty, including Nobel Prize winners Douglas Osheroff, Robert Laughlin and Steven Chu, who now directs the U.S. Department of Energy. On the wall of the Physics Library are 16 original prints by photographer Ansel Adams, dedicated to pioneering physicist Russell Varian. A cardboard cutout of a cheerful Albert Einstein greets visitors. A playful collection of clocks – illustrating the randomness of time – decorate a wall. The future library – on the second floor of "The Octagon," the centerpiece of the university's new science and engineering quad that opens later this year – will offer a stark contrast. It is only half the size of the current Engineering Library, but saves its space for people, not things. It features soft seating, "brainstorm islands," a digital bulletin board and group event space. There are few shelves and it will feature a self-checkout system. It is developing a completely electronic reference desk, and there will be four Kindle 2 e-readers on site. Its online journal search tool, called xSearch, can scan 28 online databases, a grant directory and more than 12,000 scientific journals. Several factors are driving the shift. Stanford is running out of room, restricted by an agreement with Santa Clara County, Calif., that limits how much it can grow. Increasingly, the university seeks to preserve precious square footage. Adding to its pressures is the steady flow of books. Stanford buys 100,000 volumes a year – or 273 every day.

"Most of the libraries on campus are approaching saturation. For every book that comes in, we've got to find another book to send off." –Andrew Herkovic, Stanford
"Most of the libraries on campus are approaching saturation," Herkovic said. "For every book that comes in, we've got to find another book to send off." This fierce competition for space on campus means that many, perhaps most, books will be shipped 38 miles away to a Livermore, Calif., storage facility. Stanford's plight is not unique. Four miles off its Durham, N.C., campus, Duke University has a highdensity storage facility, with shelves 30 feet high, to hold 15 million books. Harvard's repository is 35 miles away in the rural town of Southborough, Mass. "You just get to the point where you're busting at the seams," said Lori Goetsch, president of the Association of College and Research Libraries and dean of libraries at Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan. – which stores its books more than 80 miles away, in Lawrence. The sciences are the perfect place to test bookless libraries, librarians say. In math, online books tend to render formulas badly. And those in the humanities, arts and social sciences still embrace the serendipitous discoveries made while browsing. Johanna Drucker, UCLA professor of information studies, asks: "What version of a work should be digitized as representative? Leo Tolstoy's original Russian text? Or the Maude translation? Should we digitize the sanitized version of Mark Twain's classics, or the originals?" But technical information is readily and conveniently accessed online. "Physics was one of the first disciplines to really develop a strong electronic presence," Goetsch said. Science and engineering students agree, saying there is little nostalgia for paper. "As far as research articles go, physics publication is already essentially entirely online," said physics graduate student Daniel Weissman. "And old journal editions from before the Internet era have largely been digitized, so you can get those articles online too. So that just leaves reference books – and yeah, you're starting to see more and more of those in online versions, too."

Band presents last concert ever; features alumni
The Benson Band had their annual spring concert. This Concert features several different bands playing, including the Jazz band, Symphonic band, Concert band, and drum line. There were also small ensembles included, such as a Clarinet Quartet, and a small Brass ensemble. The Concert was on Thursday evening, and lasted most of the way into the night. This year, the band is said to feature some returning alumni in the Jazz band, accompanying the rest of the band. “Oh great golly gee, this concert sure is going to be off the hook!” says Junior Daniel Drakos reluctantly. Contrary to most beliefs, the concerts are often fun, and enjoyed by the audience. Even the band members find them interesting. The Spring Concert was on Thursday, May 27th.

Tech Pep
Founded September 21, 1920 The Tech Pep is published bimonthly by the journalism students of Benson Polytechnic High School. Tech Pep is a member of ASNE/MCT Campus High School Newspaper Service and uses all wire content with permission. The American Society of Newspaper Editors is a nonprofit professional organization whose members are the top editors of daily newspapers. MCT Campus is a website operated by McClatchy/tribuine information services. Snail mail: Tech Pep, Benson Polytechnic H.S., 546 N.E. 12th Ave., Portland, OR 97232 Phone: 503-916-5100 ext 77211 Web: www., Email:,

Sandra Van -- Editor-In-Chief Laura Ramirez -- News Editor Vanny Chao -- Advertisement Manager Diadira Pedro Xuncax -- Opinion Editor Bryce Howell -- Sports Editor Kyle Bocian -- Layout Editor Luehna Abuan, EJ Akins, Rachel Benjamin, Demetrius Cox-Lincoln, Ethan Dedrickson, Ephrem Diribsa, Daniel Drakos, Esperanza Rendon, Phuong Tran, Samuel Tsehaineh, May Wu, Lily Zhao Rob Melton, Adviser 1995–2010. Putting the final issue to bed.



MAY 2010 ■ PAGE 11

Media, modern technology aid in ‘Save Benson’ organizing
LUEHNA ABUAN Tech Pep Reporter It is impossible to find a teenager who doesn't have a cell phone. It's even harder to find a teen that has a cell phone, and text messages all their friends instead of calling them. Texting has taken over our lives! Text messaging has become teens’ new and improved social media, taking communicating to a whole new level. On Tuesday, April 27, almost all the students and staff of Benson walked out of school during sixth period as a silent protest against the PPS redesign plan. Besides all of Benson's students and staff being such great supporters of the school, the walk out would not have been as successful without the wonders of text messaging. According to iTextSpeed, the average speed of a teenage texter, is 65 words per minute. Text messaging has improved our lives in a way that lets us communicate faster with numerous amounts of people. Technology has gone so far in ways of communication. We've gone from carrier pigeons and messengers taking days to reach each other, to text messages within seconds. The power of cell phones with teenagers is stronger than any other communication source. Almost all the students of Benson who had a cell phone received at least one text message about the walk out. I was asking around for names of the people that started the texting, but there were too many to count. Sophomore Zane Kelley commented, "Many people, too many to really name actually, started the texting. In the messages that I sent out, I told people to pass the message on to everyone that cares about Benson in their contacts. By making it easy for people to pass along the message, you can convey information to a large number of people faster than a celebrity rumor in Hollywood." When I asked people who sent the texts or who received them, most of them said they got it from more than one person, and others said they just got it and forwarded it to all of their contacts. Freshman, sophomores, juniors, or seniors, it didn't matter who you got it from, the cause was that important. Benson's support has grown increasingly after the walk out. Meeting after meeting, through text messages, e-mails, or word of mouth, information about Benson has spread all over the city, and is hopefully making a huge statement to the school board. Adding to the texting magic, Facebook has become the internet's most popular social media. Facebook gives people the opportunity to make their own groups and pages for anything they like and support. After the walk out, Benson support grew to unbelievable heights as knowledge of the plan spread around. Zane Kelley (sophomore), created the Facebook page "Saving Benson Polytechnic High School." Young bright minds like Zane knew that the internet would be the perfect setting to gain support for such a great cause. "Once I saw what Benson students were capable of achieving, as far as being able to show up at the same place at the same time, as demonstrated at the walk out, it occurred to me that if I found a way to unite everyone in some way, we could be able to coordinate better." Creating your own page on Facebook usually gets a few supporters, but this page ended up gaining more than 1,700 followers. "At first I didn't think the page was going to be this popular. The night I created it, it had about 16 members, the next day it was at 116, that's when I realized the amount of people that were and still are willing to get behind this cause." Zane was also one of the people that "Jumped on the band wagon" with the text messaging for the walk out. He ended up starting most of the texts dealing with the school board meeting on April 29 as well. Students like Zane have made Benson students stand out from the other schools. Benson students love their school and are willing to fight for Benson, using every resource possible. Forward the next text message you get. Join every Facebook page. Support Benson. Save our school!

Student says PPS paper on Big Ideas ‘offensive’
VANNY CHAO Tech Pep Advertising Manager The PPS website gives their beliefs on the reasoning for the redesign. The 16-page article titled "The big ideas behind the Big Ideas" explains "research" that was undergone to help create the proposal. The URL for this is at: files/high-school-system/Big_Ideas_ Research090505.pdf. This article shows "How Portland Public Schools derived possible models for a high school system that better prepares all students for successful futures." Junior Sherry Liao read this statement and found it plainly offensive. She continually addresses their emphasis on poverty and minority students. She says, "Benson is able to prove it completely wrong." The 16-page paper speaks about equity, engagement, relations, behind-the-scenes research, "feedback from stakeholders," and other such reasons to reach their four objectives: –Increase student engagement so that more students are inspired and involved in their education –Increase graduation rates/decrease drop out rates –Close the achievement gap so that race and ethnicity no longer predicts success –Ensure that all schools are in high demand by students and staff Sherry admits that she personally took her concerns and emailed the school board, when they replied with an email stating that they, themselves were "offended." "Basically they are offended by what they are saying," Liao states. In expanding her beliefs, Sherry went on to research two-year schools that are similar to what Benson's future may look like. There may be only two in Oregon she says, and their graduation rate she remembers was 93%. Benson comes close at 91%. "What's the point?" says Sherry. "If minority students are doing well and what we are doing works than why change? I think that’s really stupid." John Slaughter also has a similar view point. He says, "Why they want to close us down doesn't make any sense whatsoever." The ideas behind the big ideas are supposed to support the redesign. Mr. Slaughter calls them "ludicrous." He concludes, "The proposal's terrible. It doesn't address significant issues."

500 AAYLC students sign Benson petition
VANNY CHAO Tech Pep Advertising Manager About 600 high school students from different Oregon School districts attended this year's Asian American Youth Leadership Conference on April 30. This number includes 32 of our very own students and our chaperones Elisa Wong and John Slaughter. Every year AAYLC instills their participants with the value of discipline, leadership, self-esteem, rewards achievement, and team building. Unity and community unity was displayed this year when a last-minute position was made to make the important announcement. The bold Mr. John Slaughter got into the spot light after his introduction on that Friday and moved his audience. "On a count of three, every body say 'GO TECH!'" And the crowd says, "GO TECH!" Slaughter than went on giving the stand on why Benson should continue being part of the community and tradition. Benson has the most AP students in the district. Benson has the most scholarship recipients in the district. Benson has the most scholarship applicants who go to college, stay, and graduate. Benson has a: 65% poverty, 75% minority, 95% graduation rate. At the end of the day, over 500 signatures were signed. At this year's conference, Benson made a great step to "fight the power." Slaughter says, "I'm very optimistic and hopeful that there will be a change. More things are going on, there's still more to do.”

Recent NYC terrorist attack haunting reminder of 9/11
PHUONG TRAN Tech Pep Reporter On the Saturday evening of May 1, a parked Nissan Pathfinder on the corner of 45th and Broadway set an alarm off for New Yorkers with the smell of seeping smoke and cracking noises coming from inside the car. Within minutes of the happening, police officers and firefighters were already at the location, blocking people away from a possible mishap. Better safe than sorry. With Time Square evacuated, the bomb squad took over, breaking in through the back windows of the vehicle. Inside they found two 5-gallon cans of gasoline, three 20-gallons tanks of propane, more than forty firecrackers wrapped in duct tape with open ends, two alarm clocks connected with electrical wires and a gun locker weighing in at nearly 250 pounds. Inside the metal locker contained a pressure cooker and 120 more M-88s firecrackers. All the materials just mentioned are locally available in New York. Luckily, the ignition source failed to set off due to a malfunction. Detectives were able to track down the buyer of the SUV and were able to catch the suspect on the night of May 3. Faisal Shahzad thought he was home free while sitting aboard his flight to Dubai at JFK Airport, but was taken under arrest for accusations of being behind the attempted bombing in Time Square. As for our president's respond? President Barack Obama stated in confidence, "As Americans and as a nation, we will not be terrorized. We will not cower in fear, we will not be intimidated. We will be vigilant and we will protect and defend the country we love."

30 DAYS A poem by Victor Trinh
30 days to change a life, What would you do. 30 days to change a life, What would you choose. If 30 days would change your life how hard would you work To make sure that in those 30 days your voice was heard. See our spirit, see our passion, our bond, and our pride Witness true dedication as we fight to keep Benson alive. Whether a senior, junior, sophomore, or a freshmen We've all assumed the title of a Techmen. So it's in our blood to never give up That's why we stand here fighting and asking why us. So in these 30 days you have to decide I ask that you think and please take your time. Because these 30 days effect many lives And one of those lives just happen to be mine.

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MAY 2010 ■ PAGE 13

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Students ask why band must suffer
DANIEL DRAKOS Tech Pep Photo Editor The Benson Band has a long and proud history, serving the school since the time of its inception. Over the years the band has changed many things but one thing has remained constant. The bands commitment to representing Benson and showing that Benson is not merely a trade school but a high school, full of people with diverse and varied interests. Even with its wonderful performances and strong student commitment, the Benson Band is being cut. Josh Lindsay, a junior and band member who has had the privilege of playing in the band since 7th grade remarked, “It’s just ridiculous to see this class cut. Music is a huge part of my life and of the lives of the rest of the band. If this cut would have taken place last year I would have transferred to my neighborhood school.” Josh’s opinion is shared by most of the band, who have gotten up early every day to attend band, a zero period class. To add insult to injury, the band was cut at a time when it was struggling to organize itself. Mr. Dan Foster, who has been Benson’s band director for 16 years and is himself a Benson graduate, was going to the doctor for a checkup when he found out he was at major risk for a heart attack or stroke. The doctors made a preemptive strike and Mr. Foster ended up undergoing a triple bypass surgery. This surgery put him out of commission for a lengthy period of time. The students in band where shocked at this startling event, as Mr. Foster had not appeared unhealthy at all. When news that he was recovering well and without complications reached the band, students rejoiced. Then the administration contacted Mr. Foster’s wife and asked her to relay the message that band was being cut for next year.. This news also reached the students of band and their parents. One Benson parent said, “ Mr.Foster may have been a bit eccentric but he was an amazing teacher and he had a profound effect on all of his students. This cut is a disgrace.” Benson Band students pushed past the frustration that was vexing them and with the help of some Benson Band alumni and some guest band directors, performed fantastically at Tech Show. Band students also showed their support for their community and the diversity of not only Benson but also Portland as a whole by marching in the Norwegian parade. Now that he has had time to

Skills USA students strive for nationals
DANIEL DRAKOS Tech Pep Photos Editor As many of you know students competing at Skills USA on a state level did very well, taking 1st place in many events such as Automotive and Web Design. But what now? You may ask. Well now comes the challenging part: National Competition. But before students even have a chance to be concerned about nationals they need to raise the money to get there about $1100 a student. Mrs. Ganoe, with the help of Skills competitors, has headed up most of the fundraising efforts running the Snack Shack during Tech Show along with selling t-shirts and sweatpants to both students and alumni. Individual majors have also helped raise money for students attending nationals. Communications for instance, did a large number of the senior photos supporting Skills and saving the senior class a lot of money. The Benson buttons that have been circulating are also going to support Skills USA. With these strong efforts skills students are sure to make it to Nationals and with their Benson education they are sure to win as well.

Dan Foster helps senior Ana Huang learn to direct band. recover from surgery, Foster says, “When I came to Benson I was a drafting major, but my major was not important. My real passion was music. I started teaching music at Sellwood Middle School and eventually moved to Cleveland, but I came back to Benson because I wanted to give kids the opportunity I had. I could have stayed at Cleveland or Sellwood, both of those places have a band program that is in no risk of being cut , but I choose to come to Benson and I will never regret that.”

Experienced staff retiring this year
VANNY CHAO Tech Pep Advertising Manager This is a list of faculty members who have announced their retirement. Other retirements are planned but have not yet been announced. 1) Who, what? 2) How long have they been at Benson? 3) What will you always remember? 4) Last words to your students? Whether we seize it depends on our attitude and work ethic.

Rice family:
Generations of Portland families send their children to Benson
SAM TSEHAINEH Tech Pep Reporter Sean Rice is a senior class president on the verge of graduating here at Benson High school. Everyone knows him for being involved in many school related activities whether it be here at Benson or somewhere else. You always see him hosting most of are assemblies or pep rallys. He is apart of Skills USA and the diversity club. One thing most people may not know about Sean is that he wasn't the only Rice to go here. Before he came to Benson his father and his grandfather went here. He is the third generation of his family to keep the legacy going at Benson. Its almost been a month since the school board chose to change Benson into a two-year career technical high school. Sean was one of many students in the fight to keep Benson alive. How do you feel about what's happening to Benson? It doesn't make sense. Due to Benson's history why make these changes? Why do you think a lot of your family members came to Benson? They wanted to be a part of the tech classes. Did you come to Benson because of your family tradition or because you chose to? I came to Benson because of the tech classes and they had a lot more to offer than any other public school. In what years did you family members attend Benson? My dad did in 1986 and my grandpa in the early 60's. How many generations of your family have gone through Benson? I will be third. Do you think were doing enough to save Benson? If not what else? I think we are becuase we've been to all the meetings and we've had a march. Do you want your future kids to go to Benson? Yes, I would like the same Benson experience to come in generations of my family.

1) Ms. Eames, Honors Chemistry, Honors Biology, AP Biology 2) 25 years at Benson 3) I will always remember that our kids apply what they learn in their CTE classes in their academic classes. They are practical smart, not just book smart. 4) Shoot for the starts and you might land on the moon. What doesn't kill you might make you stronger. Seek for understanding, not just grades. I would like to thank them all for everything they have taught me. I look at my students as my product. Did I make a good product? Did I improve? I hope that I have... I'm going to miss them. Come back to see her at Techshow! She expects to see you there!

1) Mr. Rob Melton, Journalism, Sophomore, and Freshman English 2) 16 Years at Benson 3) There is energy and creativity here you don't see at other schools. 4) Stories are powerful. People deny it, but it’s true. (Don’t believe those people.) Use your life experience and your senses to paint a picture of your story. Show, don’t tell. If you can plant a secret message in your story, all the better. I talk and write with our elected officials regularly, and I tell them stories about my classroom and school. They listen carefully, are grateful for the stories, and it does make a difference.

1) Ms. Goodwin, English 7-8 2) 14 years at Benson 3) I'll always remember that the students had fun and how warm they've been. They're more accepting of people, that's the big pitch. 4) I don't know any good words of wisdom; Encourage students to go on and do the best they possibly can.

1) Mr. Mckenzie, Benson's student counselor and Track coach 2) 25 years at Benson 3) The array of beautiful and talented students from all different cultural backgrounds. No other school operates like we do. 4) God gives gifts and talents to all of us.

sportsfocus Tennis players give it best shot

MAY 2010 ■ PAGE 15

Tennis team displays tremendous sportsmanship, receiving many comments from other schools and parents.

LILY ZHAO Tech Pep Reporter To wrap up the season, Benson's tennis team stepped up to the net for the tennis district's tournament. These tennis players gave it their best and applied what they had learned throughout the season to their game. With swift forehands, powerful volleys, and aggressive approach shots to finish the game off, many made it into the final round; a step closer to state.

As for the players who didn't win their 1st match, they did very well in the consolation round, also making it into the finals. Each member played well, while surviving the scorching sun. Although Benson didn't win any medals, they still enjoyed the nice weather there and supported their teammates; while getting a good tan of course. "If you looked at it, it didn't seem like me and my partner did that well. But to me, I feel like we did our best and we had a lot of

fun out there. We had a very close game with a lot of deuces," said junior Tabina Nguyen, a doubles player. The Benson team jumped on the courts eager to play and they demonstrated great sportsmanship, receiving many comments from other schools and parents about how nice the team was. Way to show yourselves Benson!

Singles: Nina Nguyen Lily Zhao Christina Truong Luehna Abuan Doubles: Noelle Phan & Tracy Trieu Abby Delgado & Joyce Dang Hoan La & Sherry Liao Tabina Nguyen & Mary Dang

Big talent, small team
BY RACHEL BENJAMIN Tech Pep Reporter Our track team is known for the production of great athletes and taking track meets by storm. Over the past few months though, our track team has dwindled down in size; but in the small number great success has been achieved. Coach Leon McKenzie stated about his team, "There's still a number of talent, we're not bankrupt by any means." Coach McKenzie said that the team has the lowest number of athletes ever this year. He credits students’ grades and academics as the reason why the team is so small. The team has finished the season championships at Lewis & Clark College, and a number of the athletes have proceeded to the finals, which are held in Eugene May 27-28. Coach McKenzie says, "We are a big meet team, and we have performed well at all of our big meets." McKenzie is pleased with his team's performance. His ultimate goal is to have as many boys qualify for state as possible, and give the girls the opportunity to qualify and win a trophy since the team is "accustomed to winning."

Singles: Jason Mah Jeffrey Pham Chu Wu Alex He Doubles: Shane Wilson & Jing Wu Khanh Huynh & Jason Ma Mike Truong & Jason Trieu Sanjay Battin & Davioun Love

BRYCE HOWELL Tech Pep Sports Editor Okay Tech this is the deal. The baseball season is over. The team finished with a 6-15 record. We did not win the playoffs. Why did their season go so badly? I sat down with senior leader Michael Meza to get the low down and he spoke about what seems like their biggest faults. "Not hitting the ball, not having good pitching for the entire game, and people are battling injuries. As well as just making mental mistakes that cost us at vital moments. Defense downfalls." What could have helped to assist in making the playoffs? "Not screwing up" says Michael "and having better defense." But that is not a reason for us to stop having hope in them! The next season has a positive outlook! "Next season will be better for us because we are going down to 5A and we have a chance to be more competitive. PIL competition will be easier to play in. We have made steps to starting to improve." But don't get it wrong they enjoyed the season regardless, "We had fun, we knew that playoffs was going to be hard to make the playoffs so we tried to make it as fun as possible". So the final outlook until the next season looks positive and not all is lost with this band of brothers repping Tech. So I hope to come back next year for Tech Show and hear their leading their division the next time I check up on them. And they better be in the playoffs too. Or else (Joking people please no chaing me with baseball bats around school ok?).

Baseball Woes

Turf field planned for Buckman Field
BRYCE HOWELL Tech Pep Reporter Since I have been at Benson, the rumor that never seems to stop is the one about a new field. Specifically, a turf field! Official games being played there! Suspense would always build among the soccer, football and track teams who oftenuse the outdoor facilities. But nothing would ever come out of it except a large amount of broken dreams. That was always how it was, until this year. This year I heard that St. Mary's, the girl's school located in the middle of downtown with no outdoor facilities of their own, was going to share it with Benson. I hate rumors. I love facts. So I went to the head of our athletic program, Mr. Bruce Alton, for the lowdown on all issues surrounding the field. The truth was truly eye-opening for the whole situation. "We have been working on planning a field renovation. The fact is we could never get the money to pay for it. But recently the Portland United Soccer Club put up two-thirds of the money for it. The rest is being paid for partially by Portland Parks and Recreation and also by St. Mary's, who is donating money to be able to use it for their athletics outside as well." He also added that, "The main reason for the field being upgraded is because they want to put two soccer fields in. Also they are redoing the track." It sounds great on paper and I am excited to see what comes of this. But I wanted to get other people's opinion on the matter as well. I contacted Mr. Mckenzie, who has a legendary 25 years as track coach here, to get his thoughts. "It's well overdue,” he said. “Even though it will be utilized by other teams, it is an upgrade for Benson. We knew Parks and Recreation couldn't do it on their own. It will be great for the public as well. Lots of people go jogging out there." So this is a positive thing for Benson? "Oh of course," he exclaimed. "Definitely. The field as is right now is unusable. There are many dibits in the field and athletes get hurt just running out there. Our outdoor athletics facility is probably one of the worst in the state and any upgrade is a good one." So there is optimism amongst the athletics department for the field. But is turf enough? Not for McKenzie. "We need a regulation-sized track. It would cost money but it would nice. Lights completely around the field would be nice, too. That way we could host games, track meets, and practice sports longer. It would attract more attention to Benson because we are centrally located and people would want to use our facilities more often; it would get them inadvertently involved with Benson." So hopefully this field renovation is the beginning of many more improvements to our school to come. Hopefully though, this is pure fact and not fiction.

Sports team captains look back on year

What are some perks of being captain? "I was captain of the team for two years in a row, and it is nice being able to support the team and help coach them from the sidelines. Are there any finals words you have for your team? "If you want it, you have to go for it, so stay in practice!"

BRYCE HOWELL Tech Pep Sports Editor 1.What did you enjoy most about being a captain?2. What was the hardest thing about being a captain? 3. What is your favorite memory during your time as a captain?

1. "I enjoyed taking a leadership role on the team." 2. "Making sure everyone was at practice and at games." 3. "Being announced as a captain in front of the whole team."

How has being captain changed you? "This leadership role has made me a better person in the ways of molding me even more into the motherly person that I am. I have learned to communicate better in a more positive way instead of nagging all the time. I have also became a sociably approchable person, which I was not three years ago.

1. "That you could speak more to the coaches more." 2. "The coaches expected alot more from you." 3. Going up to the other players of other teams and shaking their hand. Because it let me know that I was representing my team as a leader."

Reflecting back on this past year as captain, what do you remember the most about your leadership role? I remember the sisterhood that the squad had. All the laughter shared, the ups and downs and most of all the happiness, as well as pressure I felt while we performed. My coach looked to me to be the responsible one, the one who was ready and on time. I am really going to miss the cheerleading squad.

1. "The privilages that came with being a leader." 2. "Being in the spotlight and taking on different responsibilities." 3. "Our last game against Grant we beat them in front of baseball scouts. It was a great feeling."

1. "You were more involved with making the team more successful." 2. "If anything went wrong on the field it was me being responsible and taking the most heat." 3. "When we played Wilson this year and we got down in the first quarter. The other captains and I made a motivational speech and after that we began to whoop on them. We ended up winning the game."

What is the best thing best thing about captain? Having people see me as a leader, as well as having to make decisions for a group of people instead of just for myself.

PAGE 16 ■ MAY 2010

The first Tech Pep was published 90 years ago. (See top left.) The printing program from Jefferson was moved to Benson over the summer of 1920. Reproducing a photograph at that time was timeconsuming, expensive and difficult to do well. Tech Pep has always been at the forefront of the printing revolution. Spot color was used almost immediately, in the 1930s, but it meant running the newspaper through the press twice for each side of a piece of paper, which took extra time. Boys set all the metal type by hand, locked them in a chase for each page, and put it on the press to be printed one sheet at a time, much like using a rubber stamp. In the 1960s, the Tech Pep began using photo offset reproduction, which greatly improved the reproduction of photos. For most of its history Tech Pep was printed here at the school. Eventually high-speed presses allowed us to print full color (or four-color, CMYK, as we call it). Tech Pep used full color for the first time in 2001 (See 2001 paper below) to compete with the full-color world of web sites and blogs on the internet, and for a more diverse student body. The newspaper staff redesigned the Tech Pep to take full advantage of the color possibilities, and to use each page to focus and fully develop stories by and about students and their community. Over the years the Tech Pep has been distributed as a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly. During war years, because of paper rationing, Tech Pep was not printed regularly. We present a visual history (left and below) of the Tech Pep newspaper at Benson Polytechnic H.S. and all of the nameplates we have used in the last 90 years. You’ll catch a glimpse of student life over the years. From its inception, the Tech Pep has captured the voice of teens and the style of the times. Tech Pep has always done a good job of chronicling the daily life of the students at Benson. We know the history of the Benson seal, school fight songs, school boards attempting to shut it down, and much more, because it’s in our bound volumes. (Will future electronic versions of the paper be as easy to track down?) There are no longer printing presses at Benson and the Tech Pep is printed commercially. Students in Communications now run the KBPS radio station and the school’s web page. In addition, they study photography, video, and print design. Tech Pep used to be typeset and printed by printing majors, but even so, many of its staff members over the last 15 years have been Communication majors. Tech Pep has experimented with an online presence at, and at our first site, This year we blazed new trails using Google docs to write, share and organize our stories on the Tech Pep server cloud and edited them simultaneously. The staff submitted all stories and photos electronically to our group folders and web albums using Picasaweb. We expect Tech Pep’s future to be as bright and pioneering as its past. --Rob Melton, adviser 1995-2010


This was the first Tech Pep to be printed in full color.

Tech Pep received an “Excellent” rating from Northwest Scholastic Press in this year’s competition, in addition to individual staff awards.



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BENSON POLYTECHNIC HIGH SCHOOL “THE WINDOW TO YOUR WORLD” PPS pitches new deal to site council Tuesday
After more than 100 students gathered downtown to picket in front of City Hall for two hours and two staff members spoke to the board on Monday, May 24, district officials revealed their latest plan to Benson’s site council Tuesday morning. The new plan keeps Benson open as a four-year academic and Career and Technical Education high school, and allows students in PPS high schools to transfer to Benson for CTE classes their junior and senior years if there is room, according to site council member and teacher Gwen Whitmore. “The city hall protest was fabulous!” teacher Maggie Parker said. “Well-organized, everyone was well-behaved and all the signs provided were very helpful. I think it made a big difference.” Health Occupations teacher Katie Meyer and basketball coach Troy Barry spoke to the board Monday night. Their comments were “wellplanned and graceful statements to the school board,” Matt Pellico, science teacher, said. “They truly represented Benson with class and character.” Math teacher Amy Slaughter agreed. “It was a proud day to be a teacher at Benson High School.” The district’s new plan came after weeks of rallies, marches, hearings and testimony from students, parents, teachers and community members. Here’s a recap of how this story has developed during the last three weeks:

Tech Pep
LILY ZHAO Tech Pep Reporter After the PPS District's proposal was confirmed on Monday night at the school board meeting on April 26, students were triggered and sparked to respond. Anger and rage rose out and students wanted to save Benson from undergoing the changes of possibly becoming a two-year vocational school. A “silent walk-out” was organized through Facebook and via texting. The walk-out expressed ■ See HISTORY, Page 4

TECH SHOW COVERAGE ...................... PAGE 5 SENIOR BABY PICTURES ..................... PAGE 8 THE MARCH TO SAVE BENSON ........... PAGE 4 PROM COVERAGE .................................. PAGE 11 MAY 2010 VOLUME 90, NO.6

Students protest the proposed

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