Tag: MD

Sugar Rush

Words: Amy Myers

Coke or Pepsi?

Soon this question will not be relevant on county-owned property due to the soda ban signed by Howard County executive, Ken Ulman. This means that at locations like Centennial Park or the Miller Branch Library, a water vender will replace the soda machine’s spot next to the sodium-and-fat-filled snack machine. While the motive may be to create a healthier Howard County, the efforts may seem slightly frivolous.

With the ban based solely on sugary drinks, the county seems to pick out soda as the culprit to poor nutritional habits. Instead, according to myfitnesspal.com, a 12 ounce Coke bottle with 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar can be traded for a Hostess Honey Bun with 410 calories and 28 grams of sugar. The total fat of a Honey Bun? 22 grams. These delectable treats are commonly found in vending machines, just like the sugary drinks being banned.

With these statistics, it is plain to the eye that sodas are being blamed for much more than a 12 ounce bottle can hold accountable for. Does that mean we should rid the county of the snack machines as well?

Sure, if the county is willing to replace Cheetos with carrots in vending machines.

The problem is that we are concerned more about the unhealthy snacks being provided, rather than the mental attitude that should be changed. Focusing on hiding the cookie jar from the public only helps until they find a different treat to satisfy their sweet-tooth. Instead, gym memberships could be endorsed by lowering prices, encouraging free seminars, and offering a vending machine with healthier choices available. Most importantly, the county needs to let the people choose their own dietary decisions.

It is not the job of the county to smack the back of our hands with a ruler each time we reach for a soda. It is fair to enlighten us with an alternate route that would lead us to a more wholesome lifestyle, but our rights are threatened when they limit even small choices like availability of soda machines. With a restriction like the soda ban, we limit the ability of people to choose healthy lifestyles for themselves. After all, what would you choose? Coke, Pepsi, or Dasani?

The Spectacular Winter Spectacular

Article: Paul Didwall

Photos: Caitlin Martin

Ellicott City, MD – If The Winter Spectacular were a movie, and you were to watch a trailer for it, quotes would sequentially appear on the screen with sayings such as, “10 out of 10,” “Five Stars,” “Centennial Amazes Again,” “There is a reason it is called The Winter SPECTACULAR.” The annual Centennial High School event was held on November 29 and 30 this year, at 7:00 PM in the CHS auditorium. Tickets were $10 a piece and could be purchased at the door or in advance.

Prior to the 7:00 start time, the Madrigals sang the audience in to the room with songs from their repertoire. The show then started off with Santa’s journey to CHS, featuring a comical video of him driving in to the Centennial parking lot blaring holiday music, and then running in to the school getting each performing group ready for the show. Santa, played by Benjamin Evans, and two of his reindeer, Jillian Loeffler and Sarika Reddy, got the performances stared by welcoming the entire cast on stage to perform There’s No Business Like SNOW Business! Santa and his reindeer continued to keep the audience entertained throughout the night with the story of their trip around the globe.

Madrigals then took to the stage to perform Deck the Halls!, and returned at various intervals to wow the audience with more holiday tunes. The Centennial Dance Academy – an after school program for younger dances that was introduced last year – was the second group to take the stage and had a considerable number of performances throughout the night. Each Musical Theater performance was very enthusiastic and well put-together, making it easy to enjoy.

Junior and Senior Dance companies wowed the audience on many occasions including a detailed group performance of The Nutcracker Suite, featuring a solo by senior Madison Croxson. After a few more dances, a phenomenal iteration of Sleigh Ride was performed by the Strings. The show continued on with more dances, musical theater performances, and singing from the Madrigals, as well as more details of the story being told by Santa and the Reindeer.

By this point of The Winter Spectacular, it was time for Jazz Band to take the stage. The Jazz band performed Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas, with flawless vocal accompaniment by Anne Marie Demme. Strings played another great song between the execution of the two Jazz band songs. After the various performances by the various performing arts groups, the entire cast was again brought back in to the auditorium to collectively perform Feliz Navidad. The Band provided the instrumental music, Madrigals and Music Theater sang the lyrics, and dancers filled the auditorium aisles to dance and pass out festive candy canes. The Jazz Band then returned to play the crowd out of the auditorium, with a drum solo from Kevin Lehr.

The night should be considered a success by all involved. Congratulations to the cast and crew of The 2012 Winter Spectacular on a fantastic job.

If you missed the chance to visit this event on Thursday, I would urge you to attend tonight’s (11/30/12) performance at 7:00 PM in the CHS auditorium.