Could Trump End DACA Program? By Alexia Myers November 22, 2019 The Supreme Court justices are considering whether or not to let Trump end the DACA program, which has saved 700,000 young immigrants from deportation. No decisions have been made yet, but the court's liberal justices expressed their concerns about their decision to let Trump shut down the program. The other justices showed they would not question the administration’s reasoning. Although the justices have many disagreements between them, they came together to agree that those young immigrants who signed up for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) relied on the program so much and they were unaware that this program could ever be taken from them so quickly. President Trump, in 2017, gave his thoughts on the program in a Twitter post stating, “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated, and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military?” However, in court, his representative expressed quite the opposite, stating, “Many of the people in DACA, no longer very young, are far from ‘angels’, some are very tough, hardened criminals.” Contrary to that statement though, the program has strict requirements for young people who hope to be eligible for DACA status. Applicants are to show they have not committed any serious crimes and need to show they were either a high school graduate or a veteran, and if they are younger than age 30. Young people all over the world depend on the program, many people have shared concerns about what might happen to these young people. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch said he has doubts about whether it’s the Supreme Court’s job to review the administration’s decision to get rid of the program. It seems, after the day’s arguments, that President Trump may be able to shut down the program.
Russian Ability to Disconnect From The World Wide Web By Neo Mongeau November 15, 2019 On November 1st, the Russian Federation finalized and put in effect a bill starting a national network where Internet service providers are being controlled by a Russian telecom agency. This telecom agency is a part of the Russian government, the Federal Service for communication. What this does is put the Russian Internet in the hands of the government. At any time the Russian government could set up a walled-off version of the Internet. According to Russian news, the bill provides a secure Internet service. It will also have its own web address system, leading citizens to more Russian sites. Russia may find difficulties in fully accomplishing their goal of a walled-off Internet. Even with this bill in effect, their Internet was designed to be open with the rest of the world. With Virtual Private Network being accessible right now, the Russian government will have difficulties getting this idea to work. VPNs allow someone to make it appear as if their computer is in another country, giving them access to things that may be blocked in their country. Because of the VPNs, even a complete rework of the Russian Internet would fail to stop Russians from gaining access to an Internet that transcends what is acceptable, based on the government’s bill.
Kincade Fire Blazes Over Sonoma County Kamea Bailen November 8, 2019 Wildfire season hits California as the Kincade Fire blazes across Sonoma County. The blaze started on October 23. The Kincade Fire continues to expand due to weather conditions and heavy gusts of wind passing through and creating a challenge for the firefighters as they attempt to contain it. As of October 31, the fire had burned nearly 80,000 acres across the county. According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, they stated that “47 structures were damaged” and “266 structures were destroyed,” including over 130 homes. 200,000 civilians were informed to evacuate the area as strong winds created more impact among the already dry conditions. Even though many people were able to come home, there are still about 5,000 people under mandatory evacuation orders. As of October 31, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported 60 percent of the Kincade Fire is contained as winds are slowly dying down. Four injuries were stated in the report, involving both civilians and crew members. The cause of the fire still remains under investigation.
Measles Reported in Disneyland By Neo Mongeau November 8, 2019 Last Tuesday, public health officials confirmed that a resident from Los Angeles County with measles visited America’s beloved amusement park, Disneyland. The individual in question went to Disneyland on October 16th- anyone who was at the park on this date could be at risk of developing measles within 21 days. What makes this situation troublesome is the person with the infection visited multiple places before entering Disneyland. They were also reported entering a Starbucks on the same day around 7 A.M. Public health officials have reported if you were at the Starbucks at 3006 S. Sepulveda Blvd in the LA area or Disneyland itself, you are at risk of measles. Officials are currently trying to urge anyone who visited Disneyland or Starbucks to go and get themselves tested for measles, as many people don’t have vaccinations for it. Better to be safe about the situation rather than be sorry later on. In 1014, California had a major measles outbreak due to the same situation- someone was reported visiting Disneyland with the virus. Public officials are currently trying to avoid a repeat of this situation. That year, over 120 people were infected during the holiday season. If you visited the South Sepulveda Starbucks or Disneyland in LA recently its best to be safe and ask your healthcare provider about the situation.
California Stops Punishing Kids for School Lunch Debt By Mariya Hussain November 1, 2019 State laws regarding children’s’ nutrition previously ensured that all students were provided food at school if their families were unable to afford it. When these families went into debt for school lunch, the children were often given “alternative” meals of lesser cost, such as saltine crackers with cheese and milk. Recently, California Governor Gavin Newson signed a bill that will prevent students from being singled out this way by ensuring everyone, regardless of their economic background or debt, is provided the same school lunch options. This action was inspired by third-grader Ryan Kyote from Napa County who used his personal allowance money to pay his entire class’s lunch debt so that everyone could enjoy a nutritious meal at school. His generosity brought awareness to the humiliation that many kids face in having to eat alternative school lunches, which act as a telltale sign that they cannot afford “normal” school lunch. The opposition wonders what is going to happen to all of the unpaid lunch fees. If all students are allowed lunch at school despite their debt, would these families ever repay it? Or would they just enjoy the free ride? Essentially, the goal of this law, once in place, is to encourage inclusivity for students and prevent shaming, which is a step in the right direction toward equality, even if there are potential repercussions that need to be worked out.
Fire Season Hits Southern California By Kamea Bailen November 1, 2019 On October 10, fire broke out in Southern California around the Los Angeles area. According to the Public Health Officials in the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the Saddleridge fire affected the air quality of the following areas: San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, and the San Gabriel Mountains. The destruction of the fire burned more than 8,000 acres and wiped out 107 structures. Two people were found dead. They both suffered heart attacks. One of them included a park ranger who patrolled the affected San Fernando Valley parks. Furthermore, eight firefighters “suffered minor injuries.” As reported by the Los Angeles Fire officials, the fire began under a “high voltage” transmission tower. Some officials and even some of the public claim that power lines may be at fault. More than 70 homes had to evacuate the area. On Tuesday, October 23 the department claimed that it was 97 percent contained.
California Increases School Start Times By Neo Mongeau October 25, 2019
On October 15, Governor Gavin Newsom put out a new law in the state from which all students can benefit. This law pushes back school start times for every school in California. Middle schools will have to push back their start times to 8 a.m., and high schools will begin at 8:30 a.m. or later. With this change, school systems will have to sort out release times across their districts, leading to later release times. Unfortunately, for students that are juniors and seniors in high school, these changes will not be implemented until 2022 or 2023. However, younger students can look forward to the extra sleep that this law will allow them to get. This law was made due to extensive medical research on sleep deprivation in students. Essentially, starting school later can assist with students’ performance in school. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention backed the law citing research on this very issue. Their research shows that less sleep leads to lower grades and higher drop-out rates. As of right now, school administrators and staff are having issues with this new law, stating that it will negatively affect after-school programs. This could lead to teachers staying longer hours after school as well. For now, school times will continue as normal until 2022 or 2023. When that time comes, we will see how this law affects our schools.
PG&E Power Outage By Emma Gore October 25, 2019
Last week, millions of The Pacific Gas and Electric Company customers across 35 different counties in California were left without power. Local areas such as the Bay Area were affected by the power turn-off. PG&E had announced the news beforehand, explaining that high winds were a safety hazard to land and people. The company’s greatest concern was being potentially sued again after last year’s wildfires. Those fires were partly caused by the electric work done by PG&E. With many local citizens scared of being in the unknown, the majority of customers were furious with the company's decision. People did not understand the arguments made about the practicality of the decision. Not only would millions be unable to use lights and charge their phones, they also wouldn’t be able to get gas, use household appliances, or even use working street lights. The change wouldn’t be for only a day or two either; the company talked about the outage being potentially 5-7 days long. Luckily, our hometown of Tracy was not affected by the electronic disturbance, and nearby cities were not affected for more than a week.
Hong Kong Vans Boycott By Camila Saenz October 18, 2019 On October 7, a boycott of the shoe brand Vans began. From trashing the shoes to burning them, the boycott of these shoes has become worldwide. Every year, Vans hosts a shoe customization competition. In the competition, people submit a pair of vans with their own customization on it for a chance to have their shoe design approved and sold. A Canadian competitor submitted a shoe design that many would say was “synonymous” to Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests. When the design was completely removed from the competition without a second look, Vans fans were very upset. The removal of the design was brought to people's attention quickly. Less than 24 hours, #vansboycott was trending both on Twitter and Instagram. Pictures of empty Vans stores, shoes in the toilet, and some even getting burned were going around online. Vans advertisement team tweeted, in response to the boycott, "As a brand that is open to everyone, we have never taken a political position and therefore review designs to ensure they are in line with our company's long-held values of respect and tolerance.” The boycott is continuing. It is unclear when the protests will end.
What Happened At The Area 51 Raid By Neo Mongeau October 4, 2019 The infamous Area 51 Facebook event that was scheduled for the 20th of September took place last Friday. The event originally spooked residents of Rachel, Nevada. Rachel is a small town of 50 residents, and the creator of the Facebook event, Matty Robberts, planned to host a festival in the town. The residents of Rachel believed the town would be filled with thousands of people, which their small town cannot handle. However, the event in Rachel went better than the residents had initially thought. The event only peaked at 3000 people through September 22nd. Everyone in the desert had clean water and food. People showed up in their best alien and meme attire and had a blast. The festivities in Rachel didn’t stop people from showing up to the actual Area 51 site. However, this went better than anyone thought. No one got shot at the gates or sent away by gate guards. There was a large crowd at the back gate. People showed up in their best meme, alien, and conspiracy theory attire. Gate guards were only there to act as a deterrent to anyone actually trying to storm the base. The gate guards were laughing and having a good time with the internet meme lords and conspiracy theorists. Those same guards were taking pictures with people from the crowd as well. All in all, everyone had a good time. The guards were the least bit worried when people actually ran up to the gate. Unfortunately, no aliens were seen or broken out of the mysterious Area 51 facility. However, 2 people were arrested at the gate and 7 were arrested at the Alientsock event in Rachel. None of the arrests were due to aliens or breaking through the gate to the facility. Overall, the event went well, everyone had a great time telling alien jokes and looking around the gate to the base.
Climate Strikes Fight For What’s Right Kamea Bailen, environmentalist columnist October 4, 2019 On Friday, September 20, climate strikes began around the world bringing attention to locals for our need to change the climate. Greta Thunberg, a 16-year old Swedish climate activist, began skipping school on Fridays during August of last year. Thunberg would protest outside of the Swedish Parliament in order for them to take action and combat the changes in our environment. She inspired many people globally, especially the millions of youth who walked out of their schools to take part. There were 4,638 events that were scheduled among 139 countries. In New York alone there were around 250,000 protestors on the street fighting for action to take place. Additionally, France, Ukraine, South Africa, Turkey, London, Japan and Germany had around 1.4 million protestors in total. Currently, there are more regions following the strike. On September 23, Thunberg went to the United Nations Climate Summit in New York and stated in her speech, “The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say - we will never forgive you.” Earlier on September 20, during the rally, she exclaimed, “Why should we study for a future that is being taken away from us?” Hundreds of thousands of people watched and listened to her empowering speech. Taking a strike is a productive and informative way of showing our government that the inaction to change and better our climate is unacceptable. If we continue to use fossil fuels and damage our environment, our future would literally “be taken away from us.”
A Trip to Fly High in the Sky Ends Dangerously By Kamea Bailen September 27, 2019 What began as an eventful and visual trip in the sky suddenly became a chaotic and dangerous tumble to the ground. On September 12 at around 9:30 a.m., a hot air balloon crashed near Las Vegas, Nevada. Nine people were involved, including the pilot. Seven passengers were injured. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, it was recorded that although many more had been injured during hot air balloon accidents, there were 21 people who died between 2000 to 2016 in the United States. Fortunately, no one was killed during this crash. As the hot air balloon went into the landing, an unknown cause led to the pilot, as well as four other passengers, to be tossed from the gondola, the basket that holds the riders. In addition, the balloon continued to drag itself for another half a mile. By then the four other passengers were dislodged from the basket as well. People were sent to the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada for further treatment. One woman had to be taken to the hospital by a helicopter due to more serious injuries. The crash is currently under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Felicity Huffman Sentenced to 14 Days in Prison By Alexia Myers September 27, 2019
On September 13, Felicity Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison for her involvement in the college admissions scandal. Along with jail time, Huffman will be paying a $30,000 fine and spending one year after her release on supervision. Earlier in the case, Huffman had gotten off with one month of jail time with a $20,000 fine. Huffman’s attorney asked she be given one year of community service instead. The actress is said to have spent approximately $15,000 to ensure her daughter got into one of the most prestigious schools in the U.S.. Huffman is the first person to be punished for this crime. Lori Loughlin, who could be facing as much as 20 years in jail, is also involved in the controversy in regards to getting her daughters full scholarships to the University of Southern California through sports programs. Huffman sent a letter to judge Indira Talwani last week in which she tried to explain why she gave $15,000 to increase her daughter’s SAT score. She stated “what I have done is the opposite of fairness. I have broken the law, cheated the educational system community, betrayed my daughter and failed my family.” Just last Friday it came out that Huffman pleaded guilty to committing postal fraud. However, her letter was not enough. Thousands of people on all social media platforms all over the world expressed their outrage towards the situation. The main reason for their anger is because of past injustices to underrepresented groups, many women and men of minority groups have been put in jail for life for harmless crimes. These people believe Huffman, a white woman, doesn’t deserve to be let off easy for such a serious crime while other minorities are suffering from life in prison for committing smaller crimes. There were 51 parents indicted of the college admissions scandal, We’ll just have to wait and see what becomes of their futures as they will be next to face the judge.
The Second Interstellar Object Has Been Discovered in Our Solar System By Emma Gore September 27, 2019
Within a few years, future astronomy missions conducted by NASA will take place thanks to the latest discovery of an interstellar object in our solar system. With NASA only discovering two known interstellar objects in our solar system ever, the discovery is very rare. Even though most interstellar objects pass outside of our solar system, this is only the second one to originate outside of our solar system. The first interstellar object, discovered on October 19, 2017, was named Oumuamua. Scientists were only able to gather a few hundred observations and it was never identified as an asteroid or a comet. The object was too fast to study. C/2019 Q4 (Borisov), the most recent interstellar object to fly through our solar system, is like no other. Not only have scientists concluded that it’s a comet, but the time frame to study C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) is much larger than that of Oumuamua's travels. NASA has already been forming a complex plan to intercept the comet for research. Although the mission wouldn’t occur until 2030, NASA is hopeful missions beyond then could also take place. The agency also intends to develop stronger telescopes to detect interstellar objects much earlier in an attempt to prepare for future missions.
President Revives Space Command By Neo Mongeau September 13, 2019 The United States Space Command has been on a 17-year hiatus, until August 29th when President Donald Trump unveiled a new and improved Space Command. The new and improved Space Command is a division within the Defense Department. This is due to the fact that a new branch of the armed forces requires congressional approval. The Space Command traces its roots back to 1982. It was a division in the Air Force. Space operations were its primary and original mission. The original Space Command had space and missile system centers join the command. The new and improved Space Command that falls under the Defense Department now directs all national security operations in space. The leadership of the new command has been given to Joseph Dunford, a General for the Air Force. Gen. Dunford led the Air Force Space Command for three years. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said, “to ensure the protection of America’s interest in space, we must apply the necessary focus, energy, and resources to the task - and this is exactly what Space Command will do.” Gen. Dunford is a part of this focus and energy. Secretary Esper also spoke on how the Space Command is a step towards an additional armed service. He says, “As a unified combatant command, the United States Space Command is the next crucial step towards the creation of an independent space force as an additional armed service.” The President and Vice President are very set on getting an efficient space force.
Milpitas Shooting Scare By Camila Saenz September 6, 2019
On August 25, a shooting scare occurred inside the Great Mall of Milpitas. A smash and grab robbery was mistaken for gunshots. At around 7:45 emergency dispatchers began to receive calls from people claiming to hear gunshots in the mall. Soon after the call, the mall was evacuated. Two search teams arrived at the premises looking for evidence of gunshots. At 10:54pm, they declared that there was no evidence of gunfire and named the case a smash and grab robbery of Vatial Jewelers. Amayrani Gomez, a victim of the scare, says it all happened so quickly that there was no time to think of what it was. Gomez claims that after the distant yell, the sound of broken glass followed and everyone ran towards the exits. This was not the first scare the mall has had this month. On August 17, four teenagers attempted to rob clothing From Victoria’s Secret. They knocked down several stands in the store. People nearby began to run but soon realized the four teenagers were caught by mall security. The three suspects from Sunday evening have not been caught . Security cameras show them wearing dark clothing. Police are still on the lookout and have posted their pictures online.
Amazon’s Fires Continue to Heat Up Our Environment By Kamea Bailen September 6, 2019 The record-breaking fires continue to spread through the Amazon forests. The ecosystem becomes troubled as 20 percent of the world’s oxygen is affected by the spread of fires killing nature and releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In Brazil, the amount of fire has dramatically increased during July and August, the driest months of the year. It is said that the possible causes of these fires are due to farming and ranching. Although, President Jair Bolsonaro stated that he thinks that this was set up by the non-governmental organizations in response to funding cuts. Since August 22, more than 2,500 fires have been active. So many states are affected that smoke is visible from space as it expands over the forests. In response to our affected ecosystem, many countries have taken part to help decrease the fires and save our planet. But, on August 27, Bolsonaro declined the offer of $22 million from foreign governments and sent 43,000 troops instead. According to USA Today, the Amazon absorbs two out of 40 billion tons of carbon dioxide. As the fires continue to increase, the greenhouse gas increases as well. Globally, without the Amazon forests, our climate will change and temperatures will rise. In order to prevent further forest fires, taking more control of deforestation is necessary, as well as trying to sustain our agriculture.
Background Checks on Ammunition, Prop. 63 By Neo Mongeau August 29, 2019 On July 1st 2019, the state of California passed Proposition 63. Prop. 63 is a law that requires ammunition vendors in California to run background checks on individuals purchasing their ammunition. Vendors were overwhelmed before July 1st as people came rushing into stores to buy as much ammo as they could before the law went into effect. After the tiring days before the law went into effect, vendors were still overwhelmed. State ammunition vendors had to learn how to conduct the background checks. This caused long delays for ammunition purchases. Some purchases took longer than 15 minutes. The wait times would increase if an individual was not in the computer system, up to several days. Mandatory background checks are not the only new addition to the ammunition purchasing system. California residents are no longer able to purchase ammunition out of the state. Residents cannot bring ammunition out of the state as well. Some Citizens are reporting that these restrictions are unnecessary. Governor Gavin Newsom disagrees with these citizens. He pushed for Prop. 63 to keep residents safer. He says, “I championed Prop. 63 because it is beyond time that we take common sense actions such as these to keep deadly ammo out of the wrong hands and protect our communities.” Governor Newsom has a lot of people backing these new changes as Prop. 63 was approved by voters back in 2016. As of now, only time will tell if this law was an unnecessary addition or a law that actually benefits California residents.