Ocean Protection Council Agrees to New Plan In California By Kamea Bailen March 13, 2020 The Ocean Protection Council approved the Strategic Plan to Protect California’s Coast and Ocean 2020 - 2025 on February 26. It was agreed upon by representatives from the environmental and marine business groups. The plan aims to “minimize ecological effects of ocean warming by protecting, restoring or recreating 10,000 acres of coastal wetlands by 2025.” The plan sets out to navigate threats to California’s ocean, such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, and pollution. It focuses on four primary factors: ocean access and equity, climate change, blue economy, and biodiversity. According to OPC, the first part of the plan is strategizing on how to protect California’s coastal communities and that “the coast will be able to withstand at least 3.5 feet of sea-level rise by 2050.” It is said that it could be done by restoring wetlands and creating oyster beds that can mitigate the sea-level rise effects. The next section of the plan is to set goals by engaging with other groups. This can be through California’s tribal communities as well as governments in part of the ocean policy. The final step aims toward the building of the “blue economy.” Based upon the World Bank Group, a source for financial and technical assistance to developing countries, they define the blue economy as the “sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, the improvement of livelihoods and jobs, and preserves the health of ocean ecosystems.” From previous studies, the International Panel on Climate Change found coastal ecosystems “under stress from intensified marine heatwaves, acidification in the ocean, loss of oxygen and sea-level rise.” The members of the council are currently looking at a $4.75 billion climate resilience. However, the plan depends on existing state bonds such as the environmental license plate fund.
House Votes to Ban Flavors in All Cigarettes By Emma Gore March 13, 2020 As an attempt to lower vaping and tobacco use in the young part of our population, the House voted to ban the sale of all flavored cigarettes, including regular and electronic ones. The case last Friday was taken on in an attempt to lower the illnesses and deaths among the population that is using these deadly devices. Appealing flavors to the young Americans are mint, mango, gelato, and cotton candy. In reality, the flavors make the dangerous act look less dangerous or simply harmless. Nancy Pelosi stated, “ The measure was necessary to stop the tobacco industry from targeting a new generation.” The vote was a close 213-195 call in the House last week. In addition to the prohibition of flavored cigarettes, the bill also will require the Food and Drug Administration to place colored pictures on the cartons to show the deadly health effects of smoking. With this new bill headed to the senate, we can only hope that the statistics for youth smoking and vaping will decrease dramatically in order to help save this generation from the deadly effects of smoking.
Vanessa Bryant Sues Helicopter Operator Over Crash That Killed Kobe Bryant By Emma Gore March 5, 2020
At the Staples Center in Los Angeles California, Lakers and Kobe Bryant fans joined together to mourn the deaths of the iconic basketball player, his daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven others after the tragic helicopter accident last month. This week, it was announced that attorneys for Vanessa Bryant filed a lawsuit against the company that operated the helicopter that crashed last month. The lawsuit against Fillmore-based Island Express Holding Corp. and Island Express Helicopters states, “there was a failure to use ordinary care in piloting the subject aircraft.” Due to the tragic and sudden passing of Bryant’s daughter and husband, her attorneys didn’t immediately respond to questions from the press. Bryant will be represented by Munger, Tolles & Olson, and Robb & Robb to settle the court case. The attorney for Island Express, Teri Neville stated, “ This was a tragic accident” and didn’t respond to the press’s questions. The lawsuit accuses Bryant’s longtime pilot, Ara Zobayan, of “several acts of negligence including failing to abort the flight, failing to monitor the weather, and failure to keep a safe distance between natural obstacles and the helicopter.”
Will Google Lose Millions of Chrome Users? By Camila Saenz March 5, 2020 Like all apps, Google made an update recently, but it seems that many users were so unhappy with it that they may quit the app. Many devices automatically have Google and Chrome installed on them. It turns out that all of these devices with Chrome have been invading users’ privacy. According to Google, the new Chrome update is called, “ScrollToTextFragment.” This has many more “benefits,” making it easier to use the app. From now on, users can decide whether to store their passwords on the app itself or on Google Cloud. Many users were not happy with this because either way, the company gets access to all their passwords due to the fact that users have to select an option. According to Forbes, this update is connected to a deep website with lots of deep linking into hidden websites. They have not revealed what these “deep linking to hidden websites” actually lead to, which is why users have quit the app. The invasion of privacy, as well as keeping everything else about the update in the dark, does not look good for the company.
Tennessee Republicans Against Getting Rid of ‘Tampon Tax’ By Mariya Hussain February 28, 2020 Many states outside of California- including Arkansas, Tennessee, and Florida- partake in what is known as a sales tax holiday, in which sales tax is eliminated on select categories of products for a weekend, generally to promote back-to-school supplies shopping. Certain items are not included in the tax exemption, and what is and is not included varies per state. On Tuesday, February 11, Democratic Senator Sara Kyle of Tennessee proposed a bill of eliminating the tax on period products such as pads, tampons, and menstrual cups during this holiday, but Republican Senator Joe Hensley argued that people would buy too many during this time and cost the state too much money. According to nydailynews.com, the average woman spends approximately $120 per year on her period. Senator Kyle pointed out that Tennessee receives about $133,000 in taxes on these products out of the state’s $40 billion budget, suggesting that this tax exemption will not harm the state but do wonders for those in need of the products, which is essentially the purpose of a tax holiday in the first place. Democratic Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal also suggested in 2018 to make these sanitary products free. She compared them to toilet paper, which is provided in every public facility. “No one walks around with a personal roll of toilet paper for public emergencies or expects to put a quarter into a machine in exchange for a square of toilet paper in a public restroom.” Tampons, pads, etc. are a necessity for everyone who has periods, yet many struggle to afford them. Democrats continue to fight for at least a tax exemption on menstrual products as a decision on the bill has yet to be agreed on.
Mike Bloomberg Pays Social Media Influencers to Make him Sound Cool By Ronan Quenery February 21, 2020 The billionaire businessman Mike Bloomberg is paying you if you say cool comments about him.Bloomberg has already spent more than $300 million United States dollars on advertising, and he could spend up to almost $1 billion if he continues at the current pace. The Bloomberg campaign is paying any influencers that has more than 100,000 followers on a social media network to post why they love Mike Bloomberg. They do this by beginning a campaign in Tribe, which is a branded content marketplace, that can connect social media influencers with the brands that they want to advertise to their followers. An example of one of the advertisements would be one’s post of,“Are you sick of the chaos & infighting overshadowing the issues that matter most to us? Please express your thoughts verbally or for still image posts please overlay text about why you support Mike.” The campaign copy tells would-be Bloomberg stans under the heading “Content We’d Love From You,” asking influencers to “Show and Tell why Mike is the candidate who can change our country for the better, state why you think he’s a great candidate” (Bixby “Mike Bloomberg is paying ‘Influencers’ to Make him Sound Cool”). Tribe offers brands, and presidential campaigns, the ability to request custom made content from influencers. If the brand, or presidential campaign, accepts the result, then the influencer is compensated. As a result, in this case Mike Bloomberg will pay any Social Media Influencer from any network $150 to advertise him on how they should support him.
Nancy Pelosi Tears Up President Trump’s Speech By Emma Gore February 21, 2020
Nancy Pelosi, the speaker for the House of Representatives, has spent the past few months making a case for President Donald Trump’s impeachment. On February 4th, President Trump held his State of the Union Address. Within the last few seconds of the presidential speech, Pelosi tore up her copy of his State of the Union Address behind the president’s back. As an impulsive decision, she ripped up the speech four times with the entire crowd and millions of viewers watching. Not only did Pelosi destroy the speech, but President Trump also refused to shake her hand during the entire evening, even when she stuck her hand out as a friendly gesture. A few days after the speech, President Trump stated, “ First of all, it’s an official document. You’re not allowed, it’s illegal what she did. She broke the law.” President Trump also tried to back the rest of the Republican Party by declaring they were all in agreement of the act being illegal. Last Thursday, Pelosi explained she tore up the address because as she read through it, she began to see the “compilation of falsehoods.”
Powerful Winter Storm Hits the Southeast and Travels Up By Kamea Bailen February 21, 2020 At the beginning of February, the Southeast of the United States was hit with severe storms and flooding. Days after, the storm traveled to the Northeast, hitting Maine, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and New York. According to Poweroutage.us, southeastern states Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia dealt with many outages. It was recorded that, “North Carolina faced the most on Friday with 136,000 people powerless.” However, on Saturday morning, in New York, there were 60,000 people left powerless as well. Warnings for dangerous travel were made across the eastern Great Lakes into Maine on Friday due to heavy snow (National Weather Service). Officials claimed, “there were five storm-related fatalities in Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee.” Homes were destroyed in Mississippi and Alabama along with mudslides in Tennessee and Kentucky. Forecasters from the Washington D.C. area stated that the storms may have been the cause for the tornadoes that occurred there. Heavy rain and flooding occurred in North Carolina and Virginia. Ralph Northam, Governor of Virginia, declared that “more than 500 people in Southwestern Virginia were displaced by flooding and needed rescue from their homes.” On Friday, February 8, the Storm Prediction Center had 200 wind reports. It was noted that Turo, Massachusetts had the strongest wind report of 80 miles per hour. In addition to the five people who died, there were over 300,000 homes without power.
California Bans Suspensions in Schools By Neo Mongeau February 14, 2020 A new law is being put into effect in California in which middle and elementary school students can no longer be suspended for defiance. This new law is ssentially an addition to the previous law that made it so students in grades 1-3 cannot be suspended for the same reason. Students who show defiance and pose a problem for the class can no longer be suspended in an attempt to lower the rising suspension rates. This law can save students’ grades, as students with high suspensions generally fail more classes. This is supposed to improve student success rates in schools. This new law should help those districts that regularly have more than 1,00 suspensions a year. However, this law also poses a risk to teachers, as teachers cannot simply remove a student who is causing an issue for the class. Students will be able to successfully get away with a lot more in school. These students causing issues can pose a risk for the class as a whole as people will get distracted and the teacher will be busy dealing with the disruptive student.
Australian Floods and Storms after Bushfires By Ronan Quenery January 29, 2020
Currently, Australia is going through their wildfires in the south of the country, but the north of Australia is going through floods.In Queensland, the state received heavy rainfalls thatput out some wildfires, but the wet weather is causing major flooding. The flooding caused many bridges and crossways to be closed, but there is no severe damage so far. Biologists are beginning to search for any survivors and any wild animalsthey hope to find such as koalas,kangaroos, and wallabies. Floods aren’t the only hazard that appeared after the wildfires. Some natural hazards that appeared after the rain included intense gustsof wind that picked up the dust and churned it into the air, causing dust storms. Towns were hit by hail storms that had the ice stones as a size of a golf ball.Last, Australia’s Funnel-Web spiders have appeared in moist areas. These creaturesare dangerous. An ecologist in Curtin University in Perth named Kingsley Dixontold the Associated Pressabout his perspective of how much these natural disasters caused so much destruction. He stated, “I don't think we've seen a single event in Australia that has destroyed so much habitat and pushed so many creatures to the very brink of extinction," (Hagen “Heavy rain brings flash floods to parts of eastern Australia as bushfires rage on”). Overall, Australia is going through terrible natural hazards which caused so much destruction, but fortunately the country is being supported globallyin fightingthe storms.
Turkey's Earthquake By Lysha Goff February 7, 2020 On January 24, 2020 at 9:55am, a magnitude 6.7 earthquake occurred near the town of Sirvice in the eastern Elazig province and affected not only Turkey, but Syria, Georgia, and Armenia. It lasted about 40 seconds. Fifteen aftershocks came along with it. The original quake was reported as a 5.4 magnitude. It caused ten buildings to collapse. Rescue teams came and spent all of that Friday and Saturday in the extremely cold temperatures digging, drilling, and looking for any survivors in the fallen buildings. In Istanbul, Turkey, it was confirmed that at least 36 people died and over 1,607 were injured and needed to be hospitalized. Two days later, fortunately, 45 people were rescued from the collapsing buildings. As of this day, 76 buildings had been reported destroyed and 645 were severely damaged due to the earthquake. Around 500,000 people were able to feel this earthquake. Government departments all around have started taking certain measures to secure the safety of the citizens following this earthquake. As a reminder that a quake could affect anyone, during a live broadcast on Edessa TV, while the four anchors were discussing that day’s topics, everything around them started shaking.
Coronavirus Impacts The Market By Neo Mongeau February 7, 2020
With the coronavirus causing concern in the public, Chinese markets have taken a hit. Oil, aviation, furniture, and metals are some of the major industries that have been impacted. China is the second largest in the oil industry, but with the threat of the virus, the oil prices dropped. The amount of oil being produced has now been cut back as a result of the prices dropping. The food market took a big hit too, with offices, malls, food courts, factories all being shut down. Catering companies in China use palm oil a lot for their food, and the prices of palm oil dropped by 10%. People have stopped buying food products in the attempt to stay away from other citizens who may have the virus. Traders expect more businesses to shut down temporarily since reduced consumption of food products is expected to increase. Aviation has probably had one of the biggest impacts. Plenty of flights have been canceled and people are refusing to fly, causing jet fuel prices to drop. This ended up hurting more refineries and exporters. In fact, fuel in general has been majorly impacted, as gasoline demand dropped to the lowest it's been in years, which is hurting gasoline exporters just like the aviation side of travel. China expects the worries to persist or possibly get worse before this issue is solved.
Supreme Court Allows Trump to Enforce New Immigration Policy By Emma Gore February 7, 2020
Last Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court voted 5-4 to allow President Donald Trump to block immigrants looking for permanent residency in America. This law will only apply to immigrants who are likely to use housing assistance, food stamps, or even government-supported healthcare for any period of time. The majority of votes for the policy were conservative justices including John Roberts, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh. People against the policy believe it is a “wealth test” which completely undermines the whole idea of the American dream that the United States seems to promote. New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez said, “The American dream isn’t a private club” and declared the policy to be “shameful.” “It is very clear the US supreme court is fed up with these national injunctions by judges who are trying to impose their policy preferences instead of enforcing the law,” said Ken Cuccinelli, deputy secretary at the United States Department of Homeland Security. He went on to explain that at some point the Supreme Court needs to end using their personal wants in the ruling for and against laws.
Coronavirus Spreads Throughout China Kamea Bailen 23 January 2020 In December, the Coronavirus began to spread rapidly in Wuhan, China. The virus carries symptoms that are similar to pneumonia. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the virus can be spread from animals to humans and through human interaction overall. As of January 23, in China, around 650 people were affected by the virus and at least 17 of them died. According to CNBC and the World Health Organization, some places the virus traveled to include Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia. In the United States, the first case was announced on the 21st in Washington. Due to the quick spreading of the illness, China began to quarantine certain cities, including where it began- Wuhan- but also Beijing, Huanggang, Ezhou, and more are expected in the coming days. Public places were being closed off to the 11 million and more people living in Wuhan. Traveling also became restricted in the country for safety precautions and had blocked any way of traveling in and out of Wuhan. Since the confirmation of the case that occurred in the United States on January 21, traveling is taken with heavy caution. The patient was a young man who had recently left Wuhan and traveled back to Seattle, Washington. However, he quickly began experiencing pneumonia-like symptoms. Authorities claimed that he made contact with about 16 people on his way home from the trip. The World Health Organization is currently taking measures, testing patients and discovering ways of how else the Coronavirus is spreading.
Highschool NASA Intern Makes Discovery After Three Days By Emma Gore January 23, 2020
Last week, Scarsdale High School student, Wolf Cukier, discovered a new planet during the third day of his NASA internship. He claims to have been looking through data of eclipsing binaries, stars that look like a single light to the human eye but in reality are two stars in orbit around each other, and thought he had found a stellar eclipse. However. it turned out to be a planet. The newly discovered planet, TOI 1338 b, is the first planet to orbit two stars. Planets that orbit two separate stars are called circumbinary planets. TOI 1338 b orbits the two stars every 15 Earth days. One of these stars is significantly larger than our Sun while the other is only about 30% the size of our Sun. Even though the highly advanced 17-year-old made the huge discovery, he will not be allowed to name the newly found circumbinary planet. Instead, the planet will have a TOI number, a way to name planets without giving them a complicated title, hence its name, TOI 1338 b.
Protesters Rally Against War in San Francisco By Kamea Bailen January 23, 2020 After tensions started to increase between the United States and Iran, questions were raised among people of whether or not we were on the brink of going into war. In response, on January 4, thousands of protesters gathered on Powell and Market Streets of San Francisco to protest the possibility. To take action, organization groups Code Pink and the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism planned events in cities across the U.S. as a way to help prevent war from starting again. Thousands of attendees held up signs and yelled out their concerns as they marched around the corners of the streets around noon on Saturday. The quotes on some of the signs included “No war on Iran” and “The U.S. out of Mid-East.” Many worried that U.S. military action in the Middle East will get worse and cause collateral damage. Members from Democratic Socialists of America, Party for Socialism and Liberation, Veterans for Peace and Jewish Voice for Peace also attended the rally in San Francisco. Speakers claimed that, overall, if the war were to happen, it would cause consequences for both regions, and that it could “potentially turn it into a global conflict.” Code Pink set up another rally event to occur again in San Francisco on Saturday, January 25 at noon on both Powell and Market Streets. More areas are listed on the Code Pink website for further information about January 25.
Puerto Rico Earthquakes By Neo Mongeau January 17, 2020 A string of earthquakes has been hitting Puerto Rico in the last week, the worst of them being a magnitude 6.4 earthquake. This quake left residents without power and hundreds of buildings damaged. Puerto Rican residents have moved their belongings out of their homes in fear of aftershocks. The buildings are so badly damaged that they can crumble during an aftershock. People are currently stuck outside their homes and city infrastructure is also damaged. There is no power and no water; most of the island remained without electricity until last Wednesday, many days after the quakes. Around 250,000 people are still left without water. However, the Puerto Rican Government and National Guard arrived with food, water, medical equipment and anything else people will need. President Trump has also authorized a disaster declaration allowing more supplies to be delivered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Shelters have also been established allowing those who have lost their homes a place to stay. In certain parts of the island, it may take up to a year to restore power. The island’s primary generation stations for power have been damaged severely. As of now, there are still many people without power, running water, and a place to stay. Authorities are trying their best with the situation and say they are working on solutions.
Donald Trump v. Iran By Emma Gore January 17, 2020
Last week the United States government announced the official killing of Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani. Since then, outbursts from not only the Iranian people but also from Americans have been broadcast all over the news. The Iranian population is infuriated by the killing of their top general while many Americans are left wondering why President Donald Trump ordered the United States government to kill the general. Many Americans fear the start of World War III, and it has started a trending topic online on social media networks such as Twitter and Instagram. President Trump claims he sent the orders in order to prevent a future war and not to start a new one. The country is divided over the President’s decision while Iran has started multiple riots and protests against the U.S. Even though the attempt was to avoid a terror threat, the act has created a promise to start a war. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps stated there would be “ hard revenge” towards the United States for the killing of their leader.
Helicopter Hit By Drone By Neo Mongeau December 16, 2019 Last Wednesday, a news helicopter in Los Angeles had an interesting incident occur. A helicopter for KABC-TV had to make an early landing. The pilots heard a large collision towards the back of the aircraft, believed to be the helicopter’s rear rotor. Everyone onboard initially believed it to be a bird. After a precautionary landing, the pilots discovered that the helicopter had in fact been hit by a drone flying twice the legal height. This drone damaged the helicopter’s stabilizer and rear rotor. Drones are currently not allowed to fly above 400 feet; this drone was above 1,000. This incident has sparked a conversation about drone regulations. This is not the first time a drone has hit an aircraft above the legal height. Drones can cause major damage to aircraft above the legal height. With the speed that these aircraft travel at, hitting a drone can be devastating to parts of the vehicle. In early incidents aircraft actually got their wings blown off by drones. The pilots in this latest incident got off lucky with minor damage. This incident is now adding to the debate about drone safety and regulations. The Federal Aviation Administration currently has an open investigation on what kind of drone hit the aircraft and where the destroyed drone may be located.
Alameda Boat Fire By Alyssa Rangel December 6, 2019 On November 27, a boat fire in Alameda caused diesel fuel to leak into the marina all the way to the Oakland estuary. Reportedly, it was a large amount, which raises questions on how this could affect the areas around the spill. Diesel fuel is commonly known to cause cancer but it has many other dangers. Cardiovascular and respiratory health effects are side effects of exposure to diesel. The biggest problem is the pollution and soiling of natural elements, contributing to climate change. These are raising concern for neighbors of the fire and community members. Liz Williams of ABC 7 news was quoted saying, “This morning I walked out my door at 10 am and was just inundated with a fuel smell.” As oil is hard to remove from other liquids, experts are recommending to let it evaporate naturally. Although this may be a good idea, some are advising against it. The water can spread out even further, causing more damage to people’s health. There needs to be a quick solution so no more harm is caused. No one was injured as a result of the boat fire, but many will be from the diesel oil.
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.