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CONTENTS COPYRIGHT 2013 L.A. ELEPHANTS The balancing act of keeping zoo elephants By Veronica Tossberg One controversy in Los Angeles is the debate about whether or not the elephant enclosures at the Los Angeles Zoo are adequate or not. The main problem is that some people think the enclosures are not adequate. One of these people is Aaron Leider, who filed a lawsuit against the city alleging that the zoo had poor habitats for the elephants. Some people agree with Leider that the elephants are living in poor conditions, but others believe that the habitats are perfectly fine, such as Zoo director John Lewis. Some of the critics of the enclosures, who support Aaron Leider’s argument, are animal rights groups such as In Defense of Animals. One victory for these critics was when Judge Segal concluded that the L.A. Zoo exhibit for elephants was “not a happy place.” Another critic of the conditions elephants are living in is the animal rights group Last Chance for Animals. According to them, “Since 1975, 11 elephants have died at the L.A. Zoo.” Some of the supporters of the enclosures are Zoo director, John Lewis. According to Lewis, the judge’s opinion was based off of limited and inaccurate information, the Los Angeles Times reported. Yusef Robb, director of communications for the city of Los Angeles, said that the issue is a balancing act between the learning experiences provided, and the conditions the elephants are kept in. The zoo is a department of the city. Veronica Tossberg is 12 years old. She is in 7th grade and goes to Eagle Rock Jr. Sr. High school. She likes scary movies, roller coasters, and her dog Lucky. She likes journalism because she likes to write and enjoys spending time with her friends there.

IPADS FOR STUDENTS Implementing technology in LAUSD classrooms By Eddie Song iPads in the Los Angeles Unified School District? Never thought of it, huh? You thought they were the haters of electronics! BUT NOOO. They actually started to pass out iPads to LAUSD schools. This was supposed to help children without internet access and not near a library. This was mostly for schools that are in the LAUSD that don’t have much money to get internet or computers. iPads were going to be distributed to all of the LAUSD schools but students at one of the first schools that received the iPads “hacked” the iPad by getting around the firewall. They supposedly “hacked” the iPads by going on to Facebook, Twitter, Twitch TV, Instagram, YouTube, iTunes, Netflix, etc. This reporter asked Dan Moren from Macworld some questions regarding iPads in the LAUSD: Good Times: What do you think about giving every kid


FIXING THE L.A. RIVER Yes or no? By Kaylin Lopez Does the L.A. River need fixing? The mayor is asking the federal government for $1.08 billion dollars to make the river better. Currently, there is a lot of trash in the water and some on the bike path. There isn’t a lot of nature or wildlife in the river. Also, there is cement surrounding it. The mayor wants to add more habitats and plants, and get rid of the cement wall around the water. There are two sides to this project. Most people agree that it will be a good idea to make the river better, but the United Chambers of Commerce in San Fernando Valley believes the mayor should think about what people who live along the river might lose. A lot of people like the idea of improving the river because it is important to them and it might help the environment around it. People want to be able to ride kayaks on the river and ride their bikes along the side of it and not see plastic bags, plastic bottles, or even shopping carts in the water. “One of the projects I’m fighting for is the full implementation of Alternative 20 to revitalize our Los Angeles River,” Garcetti wrote on his official blog. “In addition to providing recreation and green space in our city, Alternative 20 will generate 4 times the amount of jobs as the other proposals.” While many people in Los Angeles are supporting this project, others worry about the people around the river. Sean McCarthy is a member of United Chambers of Commerce in the San Fernando Valley. McCarthy says that the city can do this project with less than half the $1.08 billion dollars.The people from this group also think the mayor should think about some of the people this project will affect. “The river revitalization could require that some

iPads from LAUSD? Dan Moren: I think the iPad has proven to be a great tool in the education environment, and giving kids access to technology—especially this kind of easily deployable, affordable, and powerful technology—is a necessity. When I was a kid, a few of my classrooms had Apple IIs in them; we’ve come a long way since then! Computers and tablets open up so many cool possibilities for teaching and learning. But at the same time, they must be deployed thoughtfully and where they’ll have the best impact. GT: Would you fund this? DM: As a taxpayer? Sure. Again, I think we can’t overestimate the impact of education, and coming as I do from a family of teachers and librarians, it’s important that we do what we can to provide the best educational environment possible for kids. It’s definitely something worth investing in. Just as long as we’re still funding teachers and educators—technology is great in service to education, but it’s not a wholesale replacement. GT: Do you think the problems of getting the iPads “hacked” has a solution? DM: Well, yes and no. Apple provides good tools for helping administrators and others manage and deploy

The L.A. River. Photo by Dave Bullock.

people sell their businesses and leave the area. In other instances, the river revitalization will cause their apartments or homes to be condemned. If businesses are closed other people may lose their jobs,” he says. The main thing the mayor wants to do is to take down the cement wall that goes all around the river on both sides. Before the cement was put up, the river used to flood a lot. Because of this reason people worry that the river will start flooding again without something to block it from going into the streets. Representatives from his office have said that they are working on plans to keep the river from flooding while making it look natural and beautiful. The mayor really wants to do this project and representatives from his office say they are going to keep trying to get the money to complete this project. In October Garcetti took a trip to Washington D.C. He went and talked with President Obama, members of Congress, and administration officials to inspire them to fund the project. When he came back from his “little trip”, he took the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A), Gina McCarthy, on a tour to see the LA River. Kaylin Lopez is 13 years old and in 7th grade at Bancroft Junior High School. She enjoys school, and her favorite subject is Algebra. Her favorite thing about journalism is she gets to work with great tutors and write articles. (she enjoys writing better than reading).

large installations like this. That said, kids are curious, and some will always figure out a loophole. Back on those Apple IIs we used to have, I remember managing to “hack” them every once in a while, getting into the Control Panels or dropping into a command line prompt where my friends and I could write terrible BASIC programs. But I consider that a valuable part of my education too! GT: Has this worked in other districts and cities? DM: I know there are other districts that have attempted this, but I don’t think any have done so in the scale that LA is attempting. I know a South Carolina district is starting rollout soon, and there are some innovative curricula being designed in other places. A teacher and developer named Fraser Speirs has done some great work at his school in Scotland with iPads. But LA is certainly the most ambitious, and how things play out there may provide a template for future cities and districts. A lot of thanks to Dan from Macworld for answering my questions. Thanks, Dan! Eddie Song likes journalism because it keeps him entertained, and he now knows how to make amateur newspapers at school as projects!

GOODTIMES FOOD TRUCKS By Natalie Sanchez What has a hard shell, beef or chicken, cream, and cheese? It’s TACOS! You might get tacos at Taco Bell, King Taco, or Del Taco, but many people get them at taco trucks. In Los Angeles alone there are over 200 gourmet food trucks! One political issue for food trucks is competition with restaurants. According to Daniel Duong of Rolling Burger Barns, some restaurants are okay with the idea of having a food truck near them, but others think food trucks will take away their business. There are certain times where you have a reservation at a fancy restaurant, and while you’re walking you see a taco truck. Daniel said that rarely people say, “Let’s go to the taco truck instead.” They usually still go to their reservations and say, “Next time, we’ll go to that food truck.” Billy Petrou of Good Greek Grub said, “The city [of Los Angeles] has embraced their food trucks and supports them.” Another political issue for food trucks is food safety. Food safety is very important because if they give bad food their business could get in big trouble. Daniel gets his food at US Foods and Sysco. He said it is pretty unheard of in the food truck industry because it is more expensive than Smart & Final, but it is safer. So if the food is bad, they can trace it back to the farm and the specific cow. It is important for food trucks to have the right permits. “Some cities require certain items in your truck to receive a permit, but most of L.A. county is the same,” Billy said. “We only do business in L.A. for this reason.” Natalie Sanchez just celebrated her 12th birthday! She likes journalism because she gets to meet new people, write, and learn new things.

GRAFFITI ON THE STREETS By Christina Lee Graffiti can be found on the streets, buildings, signs, cars, and trees. Some people consider graffiti art and others don’t. Some people think graffiti is creepy because it has unreadable language and has gangster pictures. Graffiti artists use words and characters. They use lines and shapes to make the words and color too. Yusef Robb, director of communications for Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti’s office, said people can call the city at 311 to report for graffiti cleanups. He said people don’t like graffiti because “it makes you think about gangsters. When someone does graffiti they are painting on someone else’s property. They are breaking the law. This is our neighborhood and not theirs.” However some people like graffiti because they find it is art and amusing to look at. The want to have places where they can do graffiti without getting in trouble with the government.

SWEATSHOP ALTERNATIVES American Apparel’s local sources By Arianna Mah-Candelaria Many popular shops worldwide are in business with sweatshops. Sweatshops are small industries in thirdworld countries that have poor kids and adults working in their factories. According to the Independent Institute workers in sweatshops get very small wages (between $0.13 to $2.38 per hour) for a very long working period (sometimes more than 70 hours a week). Though many stores use sweatshops, there are some stores that have decided not to use them at all. For instance, American Apparel has not used sweatshops before and believes that it was a good choice to make. “We pay fair wages to [our] employees, provide healthcare, subsidized public transportation, medical clinic, and more. That combined with our state-of-the-art facilities creates a great environment, which is reflected in the quality of our pieces. Each piece is made with care, by workers who care,” said Nichole Williams, senior marketing manager of American Apparel. Instead of using sweatshops in other countries, American Apparel has four facilities in and around Los Angeles. Also, “The average sewer with experience at American Apparel is [currently] making about $13.00 to $18.00 an hour, almost twice the federal minimum [wage],” stated Nichole Williams. The following is a Q&A with Nichole Williams:

THE POLLUTION PROBLEM By Joon Kim For many days, places are polluted and winds are blowing plastic bags and cookie wrappers. Littering isn’t the only pollution problem. People are tearing down trees and having oil spills on the ocean. Cars and other transportation that runs on gas isn’t good either. Never fear, nature lovers, there are solution to this problem.

Good Times: Where is the clothing made that is sold at American Apparel? Nichole Williams: The majority of our products are made within one of our 4 facilities in and around Los Angeles. In the handful of cases where we don’t produce a product ourselves, we work with manufacturers who share the principles we’ve built our business around. For our Made in USA nail polish line, we have partnered with a factory located just a few miles away from our headquarters in Los Angeles. GT: Why did American Apparel decide to go against sweatshops, unlike many other stores? NW: The idea of being sweatshop free was bred out of wanting to try something different. Being able to provide excellent conditions for workers was very important to us as well as having the opportunity to oversee the entire process. We have control over what we make for the entire production process, instead of blindly outsourcing. GT: Are people willing to pay for the clothing sold at the store even though the clothes are more expensive than many other stores? NW: People are willing to pay for quality pieces. There are definitely people who will purchase pieces because they are made sweatshop-free in the USA, but for the most part I think people just love our brand! Arianna Mah-Candelaria attends Eagle Rock Junior Senior High School. She lives with her sister, brother, mom, dad, and dog Charlie. She likes to write to learn new interesting facts improve her writing skills.


“Young people are extremely powerful,” said Torin Dunnavant. He is a senior manager of community engagement for Treepeople. Treepeople was founded by a 15-year old boy named Andy. He still works in Treepeople, showing that kids can make a difference.

Obamacare (The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) when the website opened the site crashed and people got impatient because they waited so long to use the site and had to wait again. Obamacare was released on October 1st and so many people rushed onto the website to get this affordable healthcare that they made the website crash. Maybe they must have made it crash after the first day it was released, but technically speaking so many people got onto the website that it overloaded the system. It has been two months into the shutdown of the website.

“Solar-power doesn’t solve all the problems, but it’s an option we have to pursue,” said Yusef, who works in the mayor’s office with Marie. For example, imagine if you rode a car that runs on solar power in the rain. It wouldn’t be working very well.

Obamacare has now opened up, but it can only take in 50,000 people and 375,000 people logged on the first day it opened which was on December the 2nd. Even though it just opened back up, there is still a lot of work to do. It might be fully operational by 2014.

Two solutions to pollution is to always remember to recycle and pick up trash. And don’t forget Arbor Day on April 10, where you plant a tree that day, and Earth day, which is celebrated on April 22. Pollution is a huge problem to earth. Someone needs to do something about this.

One place like that is in Venice Beach. An organization there named I.C.U. supports using public walls for graffiti if artists get a valid permit. Information about it can be found on the website: VeniceArtWalls. com. Artists needed to sketch first before I.C.U will approve. In 2007. I.C.U made new rules. People could paint only on weekends and not on weekdays. But there still were complaints that they were vandalizing. Stash Maeski, the director of I.C.U. defended the the rights of graffiti artists. “My goal is to provide opportunities for artists to create great public art in such a way that it will add to our visual environment and be appreciated by the public,” he said on the website. Christina Lee is 9 years old. She likes candy.


Joon Kim is 10 years old. He goes to Third Street School and wants to be an author when he grows up. What he likes about journalism is making comics for his articles.

BIG STORES VS. SMALL STORES By Ivan Paz Christmas is a holiday when we spend our hard earned money and allowances on gifts for family members. To some people the question is whether to shop at big chain stores, little 99 cents store, or small businesses. Some people think that small stores are better for the neighborhood and make more jobs. In Echo Park we only have one big chain store Walgreens and I like to shop there more than little stores. Walgreens has cheap solutions to holiday and stocking stuffers under 15 dollars. Christmas can be stressful because of shopping but Walgreens takes away the stress by giving cheap prices. You don’t have to drive around to get good deals on black Friday. Here are some cheap gifts: • makeup kits for $5, $10, $15 each • toys starting at $9.99 • stocking stuffers for $1 Ivan, age 11, Gabriella Charter School. He likes journalism because he can write about the things he loves.





By Monica Lee

By Rachael Kim

The new fashion in the streets are bicycle lanes. They allow bicycles to ride in the streets like a free bird flying in the sky. People have many opinions on bike lanes. They are a good idea to have in the community for some people and a very bad idea to others. Bicycle lanes are everywhere in the local lanes. According to the L.A. Times, “Cities large and small have rapidly painted bike lanes, to the approval of cyclists and the anxiety of drivers who believe they are losing their grip on the road.” Bicycle lanes can be dangerous since there could be accidents. Bike lanes cause crossing conflicts and the roads can be dangerous for these bicycle riders. Bicycle lanes can be a good thing though. They make cyclists ride on the streets instead of the sidewalk. Riding bikes does not pollute the air. It is fair to have bicycle lanes because cars and motorcycles can ride in the streets, so bikes should be allowed to roam in the streets too. Personally, I think that it is a bad idea to have bike lanes because cars need to make turns, but bike riders can get in their way. Another reason is that cars could

FIXING L.A. BASEBALL TEAMS By Jason Lee The MLB offseason has kicked off and the two teams in Los Angeles are looking to fix the problems that may have caused them to have missed their opportunity to advance in the playoffs. The two teams that are beloved to all throughout Los Angeles are the Dodgers and the Angels of Anaheim.

The Los Angeles Dodgers were the better team this year and they want to keep it that way. The Dodgers look to start the next season smoothly and in order to do this the Dodgers should sign or trade for more players. Moves that are likely are listed below: 1. Trade or sign for another starting pitcher - The Dodgers acquired Ricky Nolasco before the trade deadline last season and the move turned to be a good one up until September when Nolasco started to look shaken. And pitcher Dan Haren has yet to pay off. If the Dodgers want to be back in October baseball, they need to make a better move. The Dodgers should be looking for a pitcher to pitch well after their trio of Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Hyun-Jin Ryu. The biggest pitcher on the free agent market this year is probably Mashahiro Tanaka. Arguably one of the best pitchers in Japan right now, Tanaka is probably the Kershaw of Japan. Tanaka is a fit to the Dodgers but right now MLB is having trouble getting a posting system deal in Japan. If the deal does not go through a trade for a pitcher is likely. A pitcher like David Price, the ace of the Tampa Bay Rays, is a possibility. 2. Solving the Outfield Dilemma - With the rise of Yasiel Puig, three all-stars and a could’ve-been-rookie of the year outfielders, the Dodgers have to trade one of their fielders. Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are two outfielders teams may trade for; although a trade with Kemp is

crash into bike riders and it would be a serious matter. No one likes traffic, and bicycle riders are very slow and cause many drivers to be mad. There are bulletin boards saying that every lane is a bicycle lane, but that is not true. If every lane is a bike lane, then our community is in big trouble because the bike riders are slower than a car, bus, or a motorcycle so there would be more traffic in the world. I also think that it is a good idea to have bike lanes, because bike riders need a place to ride their bikes. They can’t ride on the streets all the time because of the crowd of people. Bikes are fun to ride and a good exercise. Bicycles are like cars, so they should be treated as one. After thinking about it, I think about the safety of a bike rider and the risks that could happen. It could be a good idea, but if many people die from a bike accident, then they should not have bikes roaming in the streets.

L.A. schools may separate English Language Learners from students that are fluent in English. Some people argue about whether English Language Learners should or should not be separated. One argument for English Language Learners being separated is that they will fall behind on their vocabulary. But, other people argue that if English Language Learners do get separated, they will not learn English from other fluent students, who could have a little bit more vocabulary and could know big words that some teachers never heard about. Some people who argue that ELL kids should be separated think kids struggle with understanding ELL students. For example, ELL kids could sound weird, like if a Korean student went to an American school, the Korean student would talk with a Korean accent. Other people argue that ELL kids shouldn’t be separated because it will cost money to hire new teachers, and it will also cost money to build several new classrooms for the ELL students. Many people at 826LA speak different languages such as English, Spanish, French, Korean, Japanese, and Russian. In a survey of students and volunteers at 826LA, about 14 people said that ELL kids should not be separated, and 3 people said that they don’t know. It is really amazing that 0 people said that ELL kids should be separated!

Monica Lee is twelve years old and goes to Eagle Rock Junior and Senior High School. Monica loves to hang out with friends and journalism provides her with work and friends.

Rachael Kim likes journalism because she wants to become the most famous kid in the whole wide world and she likes to write just like she loves reading.

drawing attention, the Dodgers really should look to trade Ethier. Ethier has less than three years left on his contract and is slowly losing contact. However, statistics show that Ethier hits better in any other park than when playing at Dodgers Stadium. Kemp is another name in the trade rumor cloud, but if traded the trade would be the worse trade in Dodgers history. The Dodger was injury prone and was not able to keep a healthy status, but with Matt Kemp back the Dodgers have more power than before.

the Angels need to focus on maintaining good health and to make sure the power stays until September. They could go after power hitter Robinson Cano; however, that looks unlikely due to the amount of money that is owed to players like Josh Hamilton and Mike Trout. Newly acquired third baseman David Freese provides power but he has had his ups and downs throughout the season last year.

3. Improving the Bench and the Bullpen - The Dodgers have already lost two of their infielders in free agency and the third might be on the move. The Dodgers lost utility men Skip Schumaker and Nick Punto. The two most important bench players the Dodgers had are gone. The Dodgers also have to find new arms in the bullpen as reliever Brian Wilson is looking to move. JP Howell had many teams expressing interest in him and other pitchers like Carlos Marmol have teams offering better deals. The Dodgers could trade for new players or even bring up their minor leaguers earlier than expected. Dee Gordon will definitely get some playing time and if the Dodgers could re-sign Mark Ellis and get Stephen Drew the bench would be balanced. If the Dodgers lose third baseman Juan Uribe, the Dodgers could move Hanley Ramirez to third and trade for shortstop Elvis Andrus. As for bullpen pitchers, the market does not offer much; many of the pitchers are old and might be retiring soon.

The Los Angeles Angels are looking to add more players as they did horribly with several all-stars and MVPs on the team. Below are three ways the Angels can improve their team if they are looking for some action in October: 1. Power - The Angels struggled with hitting and the reason for that was health. Players like Albert Pujols constantly saw themselves on the Disabled List. Now that rival teams like the Texas Rangers gained power hitters,

2. Pitching - What more can describe the Angel’s nightmare last season? They had the worst pitching staff in the game. The Angels went to work early as they added sidearm throwing Joe Smith to the bullpen. However, the Angels need to find a solution to their starting pitching. Bartolo Colon, the free agent pitcher that played with the Oakland Athletics, was a surprise last year for the A’s. You can bet he will return to Oakland, but if he receives a better deal from any contender he will move. Colon is most likely going back to Oakland, but you don’t know what the Angels will do. The Angels have had surprise signings in the past year so look for them in the Colon deals. 3. Maintaining a Balanced Season - If the Angels want to go back into October baseball they need to do well by maintaining their wins and losses. They need to find a balance and a rhythm. With the Texas Rangers and the Oakland Athletics a s the two best teams in the American League West, the Angels need to work hard to be back in first or second. The Seattle Mariners are also a contender and they could stop the Angels from moving along. The Angels will need to play beyond .500 baseball. The Angels will need their star players Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton, and newly acquired David Freese to maintain their health. The Dodgers need Matt Kemp to maintain his health and their lineup will be one of the best; with power after power hitters the Dodgers will have no problem with offense. The Dodgers have power and momentum. They have chemistry in and outside of the ballpark. Hanley Ramirez and Clayton Kershaw are two captains that can lead the team to another playoff run.

GOODTIMES GT: What is the most important thing in your life? KS: Um… I think I would say music. And a very close second would be my friends.

Q&A with FLAMING LIPS’ DRUMMER KLIPH SCURLOCK By Andres Mah-Candelaria On November 1, 2013 (The Day of the Dead), I saw the Flaming Lips at the Santa Barbara Bowl. It was their last show of the tour to promote their new album The Halloween Blood Bath. It all felt like a dream because Gumby was there with a rainbow wand, and there was a girl dressed as Wonder Woman on a bear’s shoulders and a gorilla next to the bear. The bear and gorilla were both people in costumes. They were on the stage for the Flaming Lips’ act. I was in the pit with my dad! But I’m only 9 years old. I don’t know how I survived when there were a lot of adults. I just focused on the band playing. There are five people in the band: Wayne Coyne (singer), Steven Drozd (guitar, keyboard, and backup vocals), Derek Brown (guitar), Kliph Scurlock (drums), and Michael Ivins (bass). Kliph Scurlock, aka Clifton, aka the roadie for the Flaming Lips in 1999, aka the drummer for the band from 2002-present time agreed to an interview. I got to interview him because my dad tweeted everyone in the band and Kliph was the first to respond. Before the show started, we met with Kliph backstage in the dressing room and I asked him some questions.

GT: What was it like setting the record for the most shows in 24 hours? KS: It was very weird and tiring and… Yeah, because we were obviously up for longer than 24 hours straight getting the first show set up and all of that. So by about midway through, when it got to be 4 in the morning, my body telling me I should be asleep, whereas I was going into another club to play another show. And it was like, “What? What are we doing?” And then get back on the bus and and, “Uh… What?” It was a lot of fun but it was very, because we’ve never done anything like before or since, but it was very surreal. And it was very hot. The air conditioner on our bus broke. And we were in the South in the middle of summer. And we were all sitting there with our shirts off trying not to touch each other. GT: That would be the worst. KS: Yeah, because it was so hot! But I’m glad we did it. I wouldn’t change any of it at all. The whole experience was great. GT: Were you the roadie for the band in 1999? KS: Mmhmm. That’s when I first started roadying for ’em. GT: Did you expect to play drums in the band? KS: No! I never did. And then when it came, it just came really suddenly and it was a surprise. And I think it’s a good thing that it happened so quickly because if I’d been given any time to think about it I probably would have psyched myself out and messed it up, because they were my favorite, favorite, favorite band for… for… GT: A long time? KS: A long, long, long time.

Good Times: What’s the coolest part of being famous in a rock band? KS: The coolest part? I mean, for me it’s just being able to play music all the time. I love music, and listening to music, and playing music, and getting to do that every day is my favorite part. But probably my second favorite part is that I actually have gotten to meet a lot of musicians that I really admire and become friends with some of my favorite musicians. That’s pretty amazing.

GT: And now you’re playing with them. KS: And now I’m the drummer, yeah. It’s really crazy. And I think if one of them would have said, “Hey, in two weeks you’re going to start playing drums for us,” I probably would have, in that two weeks, completely freaked myself out, instead of, “Hey, go play some drums.” And then I just had to go set up drums, and then I’m playing drums, and then it was later that [I realized], “Oh wow, I’m playing drums with The Flaming Lips. Oh, this is too weird!” But it was too late because I was already doing it.

GT: Why do you love sushi and cats? KS: [laughs] Why do I love sushi and cats? Well, I love sushi just because I think it’s the most delicious food I’ve ever eaten. And I’ve always loved cats. I think they are all beautiful and just funny, interesting creatures that you can never figure out. And they’re endlessly amusing and they’re fun to cuddle with and to play with. I mean, I love dogs too, but I’ve always been more of a cat person.

GT: Do you have advice for kids who want to join a band? KS: Yeah, I would just say practice as much as you can, listen to as music as you can, so you just take in all different types of music. And the biggest piece of advice I would say is just play with as many other musicians as possible. I mean I spent years in school band learning rudiments and how to read music and all of that stuff, and that was all invaluable, but the most that

V O LU NTE E R AT 8 2 6 L A ! 826LA, a non-profit tutoring center for students and


I’ve learned is when I’ve played with other people and learned how to make what I’m doing fit in with what someone else is doing to collectively create a song or a piece of music. GT: My final question is for the issue of the newspaper that I’m doing. Do you think politics are important? KS: I do. I think they’re very important. I think people should owe it to themselves to stay informed about what’s going on, because ultimately, when we vote someone into office, for however long their term is, they’re going to make whatever decisions they want. And so it’s always good to know where people stand when you’re voting, that you try to get somebody that feels the way you do about things. Yeah, I do think they’re important. But, I mean, that’s just me. I have several friends that don’t care about politics at all and I still love them with all my heart and think they’re wonderful people. Andres Mah-Candelaria attends Eagle Rock Elementary. He is 9 and likes journalism because he gets to talk to cool people and write stories.

Interview with Jeff Kinney author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series Joon Kim Student reporter Joon Kim recently interviewed Jeff Kinney prior to the release of his new Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, Hard Luck. Joon: How long did it take you to write your new book? Jeff: It took me about eight months! Joon: What gave you the idea for the eighth book and the previous eight books? Jeff: I just wanted to write stories that made people laugh! So I tried to remember funny things that happened to me as a kid. Joon: How many books are you going to write? Jeff: At least ten! Joon: Right about now! Joon: Where did you get the names Rowley, Fregly and Rodrick? Jeff: Rowley was from a town in Massachusetts. Fregley is meant to sound like “freckly.” Rodrick is a just a hard-sounding name which seemed like a good fit for the character. Joon: Did you encounter a cheese on the blacktop at school, just like in the first book? Jeff: Yes! We had cheese on our church parking lot playground! Joon: How did you feel when the movies were made? Jeff: It was exciting to see my work on the big screen! Joon: Thank you for your time!

The Good Times is written by the students of the 826LA in Echo Park Journalism workshop.

budding literary enthusiasts ages 6–18, is looking for adult volunteers in every shape, form and skilled capacity, and for all hours and days of the week.

Write as at: Check out our website at:

1714 W. Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026

826LA Good TImes Vol. 5 Issue 3  

The Good Times newspaper is written by young journalists, ages 8-14, at 826LA in Echo Park.

826LA Good TImes Vol. 5 Issue 3  

The Good Times newspaper is written by young journalists, ages 8-14, at 826LA in Echo Park.