Tag Archives: Beacon

The Beacon has a new home: ReadMyBeacon.com

We are proud to announce that, after many arduous hours on Dreamweaver, a team of students has designed a new site for the Beacon.

Visit the new Web page at www.ReadMyBeacon.com.

After you check it out, send us an e-mail: Beacon@pba.edu. Let us know what you think of our new clothes.

All new Beacon content will appear on ReadMyBeacon. In the fall, it will be the place to go for news, features, opinion, sports and photo essays.

We’re excited about the opportunity to serve the school in a more contemporary format, so if you have suggestions about online features you’d like to see on ReadMyBeacon, leave us a comment and let us know.

Although the Beacon Blog won’t be updated anymore, we would like to thank everyone for making this fantastic experiment a great success.

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Happy April Fools Day!

On page 8 of our March 29 issue, we’ve played a little prank on PBA. Where you would normally find a photo essay and the Looks page, you instead have three Onion-esque takes on PBA life. These stories are fictional labors of love, each written to bring a smile to your face. Read through, leave us comments and let us know what you think. Each story is listed below in its entirety with some pretty amazing artwork (if we do say so ourselves). Continue reading


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Cancer cluster affects animals

By Kristina Webb
Copy Editor

Acreage resident Gail Bass never expected what she saw from her window about five months ago.

The creature perched on her bird feeder looked like a squirrel, but it was covered in tumors.

“It was strange because I noticed the one and it kept getting worse,” Bass said.

Photo courtesy of Gail Bass

The tumors covering the squirrel varied in size, and the number of tumors increased over the next three months. Then, Bass said, the cold snap came and she hasn’t seen the squirrels since.

The Acreage, a pastoral community in western Palm Beach County, is the focus of a state investigation into whether or not a pediatric cancer cluster exists in the area.

Bass wonders if there is something making animals in The Acreage sick.

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Jupiter drug treatment center seeks funding

By Ashley Duchesneau
Contributing Writer

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office reports there were 300 drug overdoses in 2008, one every 27 hours. Seeking to address that problem, Jupiter officials have approved plans for a $3.8 million substance abuse treatment facility.

With approvals in hand, SRS Development Company LLC now seeks funding for the center to help those suffering with alcohol and drug addiction as well as mood disorders. The planned facility is an expansion of Jupiter Counseling at River Place and Transformations at Jupiter Counseling.

The facility will provide detoxification services for illicit drugs, prescription medications and alcohol dependency.

Planners say the community now has no facilities to help people facing serious problems of drug addiction and mental health issues.

“We’re responding to increasing demand for alcohol and other drug treatment services, close to home,” said Sarah Sacks, CEO of SRS Development Company. Sacks is a licensed clinical social worker who is also a certified addiction professional.

Alcoholism and drug addiction need to be treated with dignity and respect, said Sacks. “These are individuals that are suffering with no treatment available.”

Some people needing treatment cannot find facilities that will accept their insurance, Sacks said.

She is committed to providing quality treatment at a reasonable cost utilizing insurance.

The proposed site for the center is 1.4 acres off Indiantown Road and Center Street.

The initial phase of the project will be a 10,000-square foot building to house a 30-bed inpatient medical detox facility with comprehensive screening for mental health issues.

SRS obtained a Small Business Administration loan, and seeks other funding as well.

“The need for additional funding is still very much a reality,” said Sacks, “and I sincerely believe the people of Jupiter are committed to being a part of the solution.”

“The Town of Jupiter has gone far too long without having this essential kind of facility,” said Dr. Philippe Martineau, a psychiatrist practicing in Jupiter. “We simply cannot let that situation remain. Sarah has been on the front lines in the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction right in our community. We are grateful for her tireless efforts to shepherd this project through.”

“Treatment really does work,” said Sacks. “We’re pleased to offer a place – right here in Jupiter – where people can receive safe, quality treatment.”

For more information about the planned substance abuse facility, call (561) 575-2020.

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Families seek federal assistance for cancer cluster

By Kristina Webb
Copy Editor

A map covered the wall of a guest bedroom on the first floor of Jennifer Dunsford’s house.

Although not updated since December, the map looked as though it had a horrible case of the chicken pox. Blue, red and yellow dots were scattered across the expanse, representing different types of cancer diagnosed in The Acreage, a rural community in western Palm Beach County.

“We are bombarded,” Dunsford said, adding the cause may come from an abundance of factors surrounding her neighborhood, also home to several Palm Beach Atlantic University students.
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How great is our God

By Michele Kappas
Contributing Writer

Psalm 46:1-4: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.”

Jan. 12 is a day that Haitians will never forget as their foundation was literally shaken. Before the earthquake, 80 percent of the population lived below the poverty line. The devastation surrounding this country is unfathomable, and one can only cringe at the increase in death and destruction.

But on Feb. 12 things started to change.

Photo by Amanda Ulik

For many around the world this weekend kicked off the celebration of Mardi Gras, a huge event in Haiti. On the one month anniversary of the quake, President Rene Preval stated on national television he was canceling Mardi Gras and called Haiti to three days of fasting and prayer to God.

This statement shocked many in Haiti, a nation with many practitioners of voodoo. Preval spent time praying himself from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. in a church for those three days. Continue reading

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‘Secret Life’ character lacks ‘Grace’

By Chris Hernandez
Opinion Editor

“The Secret Life of the American Teenager” is a show on ABC Family that chronicles the life of Amy Juergens, portrayed by Shailene Woodley.

Amy, a teenager who gets pregnant in high school, must learn how to deal with being a mother at 16. Apart from the show’s main story line, the series is full of sub plots that revolve around teenagers dealing with sex.

One of these teenagers is Grace Bowman, played by Megan Parks. During the span of the show, Grace has gossiped about everyone, physically fought over guys, blamed her sexual sin for the death of her father and attempted to become an example for an abstinence club.

I forgot to mention the fact that Grace is the show’s token “Christian” character.
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Supercar Experience rolls into West Palm

The Palm Beach Supercar Experience rolled onto Flagler Drive on Saturday. Even with the rain, the event drew huge crowds to the downtown area.

Ferraris, Lamborghinis and other luxurious, powerful vehicles were displayed. Each privately owned automobile was selected for its unique qualities. Many are one-of-a-kind productions.

Several students from one of PBA’s advanced production classes attended the media event last week at Palm Beach International Raceway, and the Supercar Experience on Saturday.

Click here to view a slideshow of images and audio from both events.

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New West Palm Beach Waterfront opens with a bang

By Evelyn Ticona
Managing Editor

An estimated 80,000 people attended the inauguration of West Palm Beach’s new downtown waterfront on Saturday, Feb. 20.

Palm Beach Atlantic University students were part of the evening’s entertainment along with live music, a Cirque Majik performance and fireworks.

Mayor Lois J. Frankel first envisioned the waterfront project six years ago. The city tore down its old library and built docks, gardens and a waterfront pavilion. The project cost $30 million.

Click here to view a slideshow of images from the Waterfront opening

Click above for a slideshow of images, with photos by Evelyn Ticona and presentation by Casey Elia.

Frankel has seen this project as a key to drawing more people downtown.

The events Saturday included PBA’s improvisational comedy showcase, A Live Improv Comedy Experience (A.L.I.C.E.) and a performance by the PBA Dance Ensemble.

The spectacle of the night was Cirque Majik’s performance, with more than 30 acrobats suspended from ropes and wearing multicolored costumes.

Following the performance, a spectacular fireworks display lit up the sky.

At the end of the night, a disc jockey gathered people from different ages together around the stage to dance and enjoy music until 11 p.m.

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Correction on article ‘Acreage seeks resolution in court’

In an article in today’s edition of the Beacon, an article describes how four families in The Acreage filed a lawsuit against defense contractor Pratt & Whitney.

On Friday, after the issue had gone to print, the lawsuit was dismissed by the plaintiffs. For more information, you can read the Palm Beach Post article here.

We will have continuing coverage of the investigation into the cancer cluster in The Acreage, including an in-depth look at possible causes in our next issue on March 22.

If you are a PBA student living in The Acreage, let us know. We’d like to hear what you have to say about the investigation.

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Technology inspires new major

By Kristina Webb
Copy Editor

Palm Beach Atlantic University’s School of Music and Fine Arts has given its church music major a fresh make-over to keep up with modern worship.

Unlike church music, the new worship leadership major gives students the opportunity to learn about worship in a contemporary setting.

Roget Pontbriand is the founding director of popular music at PBA, and designer of the new program.

“Education has to change with the times,” Pontbriand said. “You can’t really teach antiquated practices. You can do that in a classical music program, but you can’t do that with worship. It’s a living, breathing situation.”
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SIFE seeks to help migrant farmworkers

By Kyle Beck
Contributing Writer

Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) at Palm Beach Atlantic University has teamed up with the Farmworker Coordinating Council (FWCC) to help migrant workers with their finances.

They plan to assist a few migrant workers in starting and maintaining their own businesses.

The Farmworker Coordinating Council, a non-profit organization, began in 1978 to assist farm workers caught without jobs during an especially difficult winter. Today it is a social services agency addressing the barriers to basic needs faced by farmers in Palm Beach County.

The council serves over 30,000 migrant farm workers and their families in the community. FWCC’s mission is to promote self-sufficiency and improve the quality of life of migrant and seasonal farm workers through education, advocacy and access to services.
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Palm Beach County catches Spring Training fever

By Jose Bautista
Contributing Writer

Major League Baseball is officially back, almost. A total of 15 MLB teams will hold their spring training games in the state of Florida in 2010.

Besides the state teams the Florida Marlins and Tampa Bay Rays, the Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals will all call Florida stadiums home for exhibition games until the regular season begins on April 4.

Pitchers and catchers started reporting to training camps on Feb. 17, and position players began reporting on Feb. 22.

Spring training games are fun for fans because of the return of baseball action after five months off.

The tickets are cheap, so you can enjoy the games live in a larger group than regular season games.

You also get a first look at new acquisitions and prospects, as well as a chance to watch your favorite players test their skills after the long time off.

Teams playing closest to Palm Beach Atlantic University are the Marlins and Cardinals, who play their spring training home games at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, and the Mets, who host their games at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie.

Both stadiums are north of West Palm Beach.

With the Cardinals the only team out of those three to make the playoffs last year, the Mets and Marlins will surely use these exhibition games to showcase their young talent and measure the health of their stars in limited play.

Exhibition games for the Marlins begin against the Miami Hurricanes at Roger Dean Stadium on March 3, while the Mets begin a day earlier against the Braves. The Cardinals will face off against the Mets on March 5.

According to TicketMaster, tickets for both at Roger Dean Stadium start at $8 for the standing room-only section of the stadium, and go as high as $35 for box seats. An additional $5 is required for parking.

For the Mets games at Tradition Field, www.MLB.com offers tickets starting at $6 and going as high as $20.

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Student’s sister skates in Olympics

By Anna Zetterberg
Assistant Managing Editor

At 20 years old, Biba Sakurai is an Olympic short-track speed-skater representing Japan. But Sakurai’s age isn’t the only connection she has with students of Palm Beach Atlantic University. She is also the sister of PBA student Toma Sakurai.

Biba and Toma Sakurai

“I did not feel like she was in the Olympics until I watched her on TV,” Toma said. “When I saw her name and the game, it really hit me that she is an Olympian and the Olympics are only held every four years.”

Biba Sakurai has been skating since first grade. At 5 years old, she began figure skating but changed her focus to short-track skating after being scouted by a coach. She gave it a try and fell in love with the adrenaline-filled, fast-paced sport. Continue reading

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PBA grad turns a passion into a career

By Jennifer Rodino
Features Editor

Sometimes people think that after graduation life tends to slow down and be less chaotic, but not for Jarad Russell.

Russell, 22, graduated from Palm Beach Atlantic University in December 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in history, and continues to be very active at PBA while attending graduate school.

Before attending PBA, Russell began his college experience at Appalachian State University in North Carolina. Russell explained that the transfer to PBA gave him “a chance to shine and be involved.”

“PBA really shaped my life and it was the transition that I needed,” Russell said. “Since PBA is such a small school, this allowed me to look at all the opportunities God was placing in front of me and really get my name out there.”

Russell immediately became involved in a variety of organizations at his new school, PBA.
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Getting groovy at Groovolution

By Katie Witham
Sports Editor

Tired of the same boring workout?

Typically people go through the routine of cardio, weights and crunches. This can quickly grow dull, leaving exercisers in a rut.

New exercise studio Groovolution hopes to fix this problem by offering such classes as fire dancing, hula hooping, and belly dancing.

Heather Foy runs the studio, which opened Feb. 5.

Foy grew up practicing ballet and jazz dance, but said she didn’t really take it seriously.

At age 19, she began belly dancing, then quickly added fire dancing as well.

“The first time I saw fire dancing I said, ‘You have to teach me how to do that,’ ” Foy said. “I’ve been addicted to dancing ever since.”
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Beacon Features: Wahba gives credit to God

By Eileen Louissaint
Contributing Writer

Dr. Wagdy Wahba has recently earned two accolades for his spiritual and academic impact at Palm Beach Atlantic University. In January, the chapel in the school of pharmacy was named in his honor.

In February, the university named a scholarship after Wahba for students who exemplify strong Christian character and leadership. Five hundred dollars will be awarded to a pharmacy student each April.

“It is very humbling and a great honor,” Wahba said. “I must credit God first and second Dean Brown.”

Also, the annual Rumble with Chains alumni basketball game trophy was renamed on behalf of Wahba after a unanimous vote by players before the tip-off at the 2010 game.

Wahba serves as associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences and interim senior associate dean of the Lloyd L. Gregory School of Pharmacy.
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Mokikami Gardens offer Japanese legacy in Delray Beach

The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is a unique experience. The gardens and museum are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. They offer an intriguing look at the Japanese culture and lifestyle. The Morikami offers rock gardens, art and sculpture exhibits, a gift shop and waterfalls that are breathtaking. For more info visit www.morikami.org.

All photos by Christina Cernik, Photo Editor

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Musicians unite for Haiti relief

By Evelyn Ticona & Jen Rodino
Managing Editor & Features Editor

Singer-songwriter Shaun Groves urged the Palm Beach Atlantic University family to support Haiti relief by watching the upcoming “Help Haiti Live” concert Saturday.

DeSantis Family Chapel served as the stage to host Groves last week.

Groves also offered a free concert in chapel Tuesday night where, along with his performance, Groves sent a message about salvation and God’s purpose for us in life.

The relief concert will take place at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville at 8:30 p.m., and can be seen live online at www.helphaitilive.com.

Groves is a partner of Compassion International, a child development organization that sponsors children from third world countries.

He said it took Compassion International longer than expected to put the concert together, leaving little time to promote.

Photo by Christina Cernik, Photo Editor

“We want you to help us spread the word,” Groves told the crowd.

Big Kenny will host the concert and singers like Mat Kearney, Brandon Heath, Dave Barnes and Matt West will perform for free to raise funds for the earthquake relief.

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Lynn inspired by lives of service

By Collier Rice
Contributing Writer

On Jan. 12, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake rocked the island of Haiti. The total destruction was covered by local and national media outlets.

The loss of life was staggering and far-reaching. In such close proximity, South Florida felt the aftershocks.

While many are scrambling to rebuild the nation, let us remember those who ventured to Haiti before the tragedy, to spread education, hope and love.

Lynn University in Boca Raton is a private school of approximately 2,400 students. A team of 14 students and faculty was in Haiti as part of “Journey of Hope” mission at the time of the earthquake. Eight were evacuated shortly after the quake and returned to campus. However, six were left unaccounted for.

Weeks went by as the search continued, each day becoming more difficult. As rescue workers sifted through the rubble of the Hotel Montana where Lynn students and faculty were staying, South Florida held its collective breath, waiting for answers.

On Jan. 27, Lynn University president Kevin Ross said it was time to grieve.
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