Beverly Hills, Calif.
Beverly Hills High School
Volume 86, Issue Three · October 26, 2012
Students partake in politics
BHUSD increases API score
Candice Hannani Feature Editor
Jessica Saadian Staff Writer
As the election nears its finale, students are immersed in the political highlight of the year by watching debates, researching candidates and rooting for their political party. Although most students will not be eligible to vote, those enrolled in history teacher Roel Hinojosa’s AP Government class are guaranteed to dip themselves into political waters through their two electionrelated projects. In one project, students have been assigned to a specific congressional race and must examine the demographic, economic and cultural factors involved. The second assignment requires students to become politically involved through methods ranging from donating money to a campaign to working at voting polls booths on Election Day, the latter of which senior Heidi Hart plans on doing. “The project has made me more invested in the political process and question the very way our political system works, like how the Electoral College is a valid system for choosing a president,” Hart said. Hinojosa attributes the reasoning behind the assignments to his support for “big projects” and his desire to have his students fully appreciate politics. “I like for the students to be involved in long term projects where they see their ideas evolve as they get introduced to more information and their understanding of an issue shifts,” Hinojosa said. “Of course, you can only gauge that after having spent several weeks, in some cases months, on a project. It’s not something you can get from one day to the next.” Students agree that Hinojosa’s projects have further opened their eyes to politics. “Mr. Hinojosa’s projects require activity from kids, and they are a mirror of the political process,” senior Jason Ketchum said. “We search for answers instead of being given the answers. I feel that they are vital to the class’s goal.” Hinojosa mentioned that he has more projects in store for his classes, including one that focuses on the ideological biases in different news organizations.
The Academic Performance Index (API) scores have been delayed due to a cheating scandal within the state, in which some of the test material from the California Standardized Tests (CST) was posted online. This scandal, in which Beverly was not involved, has led to a breach of security and an investigation that pushed the release of the API scores to mid-October instead of August. This year’s scores went down from those of 2011. In 2012, Beverly received an API score of 868, a drop of four points from the 2011 score of 872. The overall combined scores for kindergarten through eighth grade were greater than Beverly’s. The district’s overall score increased by one point, obtaining a score of 892. “It [the decrease in score] is such a small amount that I’m proud of the overall work we did. The teachers and students work really hard and it shows through our API score,” Chief Academic Officer Dr. Jennifer Tedford said. While the English and science departments’ scores varied on test subjects, social studies scores and math scores as a whole increased and decreased, respectively. “It’s really about giving your best effort and not giving up, and I would say the same for teachers,” Tedford said. “Every single student needs to be supported to succeed [on the CSTs]. The teacher should be the kind that makes sure every student does well on the exam.” According to Tedford, staff members are helping students for the CSTs by being more aware of the state’s and Beverly’s data. Teachers are also working together to look at each other’s tests to see where their students are struggling the most. That way, teachers are able to help students understand any concept they have trouble with. Additionally, Governor Jerry Brown has proposed a new bill for the API that states that the scores will not solely be based on the test scores, but will incorporate other academic-related aspects, such as the graduation rate.
Photo courtesy of RICK MINARS
Remembering Coach Darren Dru Davies Ryan Feinberg Print Editor-in-Chief
The smile of Darren Dru Davies will forever be remembered by Beverly’s soccer program and within the community as a whole. At the age of 30, Coach Darren was claimed by a heart attack in the early hours of the morning on Wednesday, Oct. 10. Davies coached at Beverly for five years. Beverly’s soccer program, AYSO Region 76 and AC Milan Soccer Academy all had the privilege of being coached by Davies. But as head coach Steve Rappaport says, “Darren was more than a soccer coach. He was a life coach.” The absence of Coach Darren will be felt greatly in his coaching abilities by the players and coaches alike. “He had the unique talent to coach both the exceptional athlete and the player that lacked experience or self-esteem,” Rappaport explained. “Age and experience had no boundaries for Darren.” Although each player copes differently with the loss of the coach, mentor and friend, one
thing is certain: the teammates have proven to support each other and leave no teammate behind in processing the loss of such a meaningful person. “We’re sticking together as one and getting through this,” varsity captain Elijah Lichtenberg explained. “The thought of winning a championship this year for him is getting us through all of the sadness and hardship.” On Oct. 14, the community congregated to commemorate the life of Davies. Although remembering one who has deceased is bitter, the service provided a sense of closure to the sadness associated with the loss, and a sense of beginning to the positive remembrance of a life well lived. Those who had the pleasure of being in Darren’s presence understand his passion for soccer was endless; it is no wonder that his last night alive was spent playing soccer with lifelong friends. As Lichtenberg said, “He taught the boys how to care for one another and the importance of being on a team and playing for each other every time we step onto the field.”
[continued on page 2]
Breaking the ice: freshman figure skater wins recognition page 8
Homecoming activities unite Norman Nation page 2 Bevanon brings students together page 5
October 26, 2012 Highlights
Board members discuss subway
The Metro subway may go under the campus depending on if Measure J passes or not. DANNY LICHT
Michelle Banayan News Editor Superintendent Gary Woods and Board of Education members Lisa Korbatov and Lewis Hall came on campus to discuss opposing Measure J and specifics regarding the Metro subway possibly going under the campus on Thursday, Oct. 11. Students who were members of ASB, Service Learning and Highlights were in attendance. Measure J is a tax measure that focuses on completing transit projects such as the tunneling under campus, known as the Westside Subway Extension. The BHUSD Board of Education unanimously voted to oppose Measure J on Tuesday, Oct. 9. The subway is planned to span 140 feet, passing under the Swim-Gym and front lawn. There will be two tunnels, one per subway, and the zone of influence around each tunnel will be 30 feet. Beverly Hills High School is supposed to be the first school in the state of California to have “heavy rail under instructional
buildings,” Korbatov said. The California State Board of Education requires a high school campus such as Beverly should to be about 40 acres, when taking into account the number of students enrolled. Because this school is currently about 24.3 acres according to the Los Angeles County Office of the Assessor, it is being built in “phases and stages,” versus all at once. However, if the subway is built, then it will go directly under where the school was planning on expanding. “We’re half the size we should be, even less than half. We don’t have the luxury to put 2,000 kids somewhere else and just rip up the campus and build it again in two months,” Korbatov said. “We need to build it in phases and stages. [Where Metro wants to put the subway] was the first phase and stage we were going to start building.” In addition, according to Korbatov, there would be methane gas and hydrogen sulfides in the tunnels, which “is very serious stuff.” Yet in a recent study performed by
Metro the levels of hydrogen sulfide and methane gas in the Century City area are respectively “non-detectable” and “less than those encountered along Red Line in downtown Los Angeles where tunneling was accomplished safely.” “The tunnels constructed under BHHS and Century City can safely be constructed and operated in soils containing subsurface gases,” Metro said. Despite this, Korbatov and the rest of Beverly Hills are determined to prevent Metro from tunneling under the high school. “I am telling you now, they will not get under that high school,” Korbatov said. “We will do whatever it takes, we will stop them at every turn, we will turn off any and all money spigots and we will oppose Measure J. Because they are not going to run over this community.” Korbatov asks that students call or email board members to inform themselves on the topic so that they will be able to accurately express their opinion on the matter.
Students participate in Spirit Week Robert Katz Assistant Web Editor Normans deliver “Cirque du Beverly” Homecoming Homecoming week, held from Monday, Oct. 22, through Friday, Oct. 26, has featured a series of themed days to inspire Norman spirit and cheer, leading up to the homecoming football game on Friday night, when Beverly will face off against Hawthorne High School. The year’s homecoming events will carry the theme of “Cirque du Beverly,” based on the style of circus companies such as Cirque du Soleil. “Big-top”-themed decorations were hung throughout the school, while the spirit assembly held on Tuesday was presented with circus music played by the school band, along with Principle Paysinger acting as the circus’s “ring leader.” The first day of Homecoming week, Breast Cancer Awareness Day, on Monday, Oct. 22, encouraged students to wear pink in support of awareness of the disease. On Twin Day, Tuesday, Oct. 23, pairs of friends dressed identically. Pajama Day allowed students, to attend class adorned in their PJ’s on Oct. 24.
ASB Junior Representative Daniel Kahn explained Throwback Thursday, Oct. 25’s event, as an adaptation of a popular online tradition. “We incorporated the common social media trend of uploading old pictures of oneself every Thursday,” Kahn said. “It’s free to personal interpretation. You could wear clothing trends from middle school, stuff like that.” Thursday also featured Normapalooza, a fair in which clubs and other school organizations sell food and other goods on the front lawn to raise money. Today, Friday, Oct. 26, is Homecoming and Norman Spirit day, in which students are encouraged to buy spirit packs and wear homecoming apparel. From 5 p.m. until the start of the football game, junior Jonny Elkouby will DJ at the tailgate. “The tailgate will have great food trucks, other food vendors, homecoming accessories, and entertainment,” Kahn said. “Everyone should be there.” After Friday’s football game, sophomore and DJ Cole Plante will perform at a concert outside the Swim Gym. It will begin at approximately 9 p.m. and continue until about 11 p.m.
“We were tossing around ideas for performers and ultimately decided that Cole was the best choice,” Kahn said. “He was excited for the prospect and insisted that the paycheck, which is required by his sponsors, be entirely donated to the BHHS band.” Plante entered his performance with strong hopes, looking to positively impact the evening’s dance through his own prowess as a DJ. “Being able to perform for our school is really an honor,” Plante said. “I have a lot of Norman pride and love showing it in any way, so what better way than to bring my own personal concert experience and combine it with a traditional high school homecoming dance?” Students such as senior Alex Janney expressed enthusiasm in regard to Friday. “I’m excited to see who ends up winning and I hope to see a lot of people there, spirited and ready to win the game,” Janney said. “I’m also looking forward to the boba truck that’s going to be outside during the tailgate.” A daily gallery of each homecoming event is available on www.beverlyhighlights.com.
API SCORES [continued from page 1]
“I’m sure we’re going to be getting [new information about API] over the course of this year. Before we hit testing next year, additional information is going to help us understand how API scores are going to be tabulated in the future,” Assistant Principal Toni Staser said. According to Teresa Watanabe’s article, “California limits role of student tests in API scores” in the Sept. 27 issue of the Los Angeles Times, the “1,000-point index, which is currently based entirely on student test scores, has been criticized as an inaccurate gauge of campus quality even as it is widely used by parents to choose schools and real estate agents to sell homes.” “We don’t really know how that [Governor Brown’s proposed bill] is going to work until it is implemented and how it will affect us, the students or the school My guess, based on the [Los Angeles Times] article, is that it might be a positive change for our high school,” Principal Carter Paysinger explained. Beverly recommends that students do not take the CSTs lightly, for although scores may not overturn a student’s college application process, they can determine the resources a student may have to exceed academically. “The API says a lot about your school and your academic program. It’s really for people that are looking to compare everything,” Paysinger said. “[People] compare schools or compare cars. And the API is one way to compare schools. How the school is doing academically. And of course, in anything that goes out publicly, we want to make sure to put our best foot forward.” Paysinger strives to reach the schoolwide goal of earning an API score of 900, and once the school reaches that point, a new goal will be set. “We just have to continue what we are doing and work really hard on not only the information we are teaching our students, but also on retention, so that kids remember what they’ve learned in September, October and November,” Paysinger said. According to Tedford, students should be rewarded for their achievements and be provided with information about the data in order to increase next year’s API score. Jessica Saadian
KEY DATES October 26: Cirque du Beverly tailgate and homecoming football game starting at 5:00 pm. November 4: PTSA is hosting an SAT and ACT workshop in the EDC from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm. November 14-17: The fall play “No Child” is playing the Salter Theater. November 15: Submissions for annual PTA “Reflections” Contest due to your house office. December 12: Submissions for Voices Around the World due to room 238.
October 26, 2012 Highlights
QUICK READS Beverly Hills Education Foundation holds annual Apple Harvest Fair The Beverly Hills Education Foundation (BHEF) will host the seventh annual Apple Harvest Fair on Beverly’s front lawn from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4. Apple Harvest Faire is a festival for everyone in the community to commemorate the partnership between the BHEF and the residents of Beverly Hills. It will provide the community with local-sponsored food, games, photo booths and rides. “Among this year’s new thrilling rides and activities, the Mercedes Benz Driving Academy will provide ‘Distracted Driving Course’. Anyone with a learner’s permit or driver’s license can put their driving skills to the test,” BHEF coordinator Tracy Platt said. BHEF also raises funding for the Beverly Hills Unified School District by getting sponsorships from local services such as Audi Beverly Hills and Fresh Brothers Pizza. “The BHEF Board of Directors felt it was important to host an annual familyfriendly event that would bring students, parents, teachers and staff from all five schools together,” Platt said. Students looking for an opportunity to earn service points can also participate in activities at the community service booth. Kevin Park
To learn more about the Apple Harvest Fair and how you can donate, scan the QR code to the left!
Art Club assists Smith’s students
Senior Stephanie Ordaz assists junior Devlin Bernstein in an art project. MARGUERITE ALBERTS
Marguerite Alberts Staff Writer The Art Club spent sixth period on Thursday, Oct. 18 helping the students of the WorkAbility Program with an art project chosen by club president, Sasha Park. “I’ve been looking for something to do with the art club for a long time and every member wanted to help the community with his or her artistic talent,” Park said. After hearing that WorkAbility Program Specialist Reiona Smith-Ysaguirre wanted to do an art project with her students, Park offered the help of the Art Club. Students drew their dream job on the
inside of a small card that Park created and painted the outside cover, composed of popsicle sticks. Park chose this specific project because the studen ts are learning about jobs. “I wanted to let them know that the door of opportunities is always open and they can achieve whatever they want,” Park said. Both the club members and the students benefited from spending time with each other, and doing arts and crafts. Junior Adar Thou enjoyed “making new friends and witnessing a lot of creativity.” The students enjoyed telling others about their dreams. “I liked how I could show people what I
want to be when I’m older,” junior Jason Banafshian said. It was a function for both members of the Art Club and the students. The event combined the passions of working with others and art. “I love working with people, and I felt it would be a great way to just let loose with paints and crayons,” Thou said. The project with the students also related to Park’s “potential dream” of becoming an Art Therapist. “I believe that art can make people happy and it’s a great educational tool,” Park said. Park intends to do more projects with the WorkAbility students every month.
4 opinion Students should proudly celebrate school spirit
October 26, 2012 Highlights
Jessica Lu Staff Writer Bring home the school spirit Normans, it’s homecoming. Though homecoming has many exciting aspects, there is a less praiseworthy side to the event: those students who simply show apathy toward school-wide events. For them, having school spirit spells out a death sentence. This should not be the case, whether we are talking about athletes or mathletes. Homecoming should bring out the best in us. There is nothing more discouraging than being glared at by the “nonconformists” for following the spirit days. They love pointing out that wearing pink does not cure the disease and that Throwback Thursday should have remained a hashtag, and that Twin Day is full of clichés. The days leading up to homecoming are not supposed to carry some deep meaning or initiate a movement. Rather, events encouraging and celebrating school spirit, such as Homecoming, are meant to unify the students in terms of both apparel and mindset. We should not have to take these
matters so seriously to the point that the event loses its fun. Students also find the need to ridicule the homecoming elections. True, the nominees are not selected based on academic or athletic merit, but this is not the given criterion. In fact, the only restriction on the winner is grade. The title is not an honor like valedictorian, nor is it as coveted as prom royalty. We have to accept that sometimes, being popular and well-liked can win awards. So let us change the dynamic of nonspirited and have them realize that cheering on Beverly is not supposed to be serious or profound. Spirit week has ended, but there are always College Tuesdays and regular Spirit Days on Fridays. Some teachers even encourage black, orange and white with the incentive of extra credit. Tonight, go cheer on our team against Hawthorne, and do not fret too much over how much the nominees deserve to win. And quite honestly, four short years at Beverly is what you make of it: so let us appreciate our school and show our true colors.
Cell phones prove useful for class Pasha Farmanara Chief Web Editor While discussing a play in English, the class stumbled upon a phrase in the play not even the teacher could translate. I, reached into my pocket and began to look up a translation for the sentence. As the page was loading, I was caught. “What is that under your desk?” “Nothing.” “Give it to me.” “But I was loo--” “Now.” I had no argument. My teacher had the right to take away my phone. As I proceeded on to the walk of shame, holding out my precious iPhone, I squeaked, “I found out what the phrase means.” As I reached out to give her my phone she asked, “What does it mean?” I told her the meaning and then she
allowed me to keep my phone. That night my thoughts led me to a very interesting question. What would school be like if phones were allowed? I began to ponder of all the things I would be able to do, such as record a lecture, take notes and even have a back-up calculator. The longer I thought about it, the more ideas I was able to came up with. I always hear about how private schools are giving iPads to their students, which allow them to use paperless textbooks. Those schools allow students to not only take advantage of e-textbooks, but to also use the other handy tools the tablet performs, like agenda, graphing calculator, dictionary, flashcard maker and more. At Beverly, many students carry smartphones, which can do almost anything an iPad can do. We should be allowed to use our technology in the same way those kids at private schools do.
Teachers, I understand, don’t want students using their phones because they think student will take advantage of the privilege by either texting or tweeting. Games on calculators, doodling and even dozing off would be replaced. This, I believe, is a small price to pay for all the pros cell phones offer to students. Also, some teachers believe we shouldn’t be dependent on cell phones because they can break, be stolen, or malfunction. In this case, the student would simply be responsible. If we choose to trust our phones, we should have to face the repercussions when it fails us. Students would have a number of new tools and resources at their discretion. This is a decision that would send Beverly into the future, improve the learning environment, and allow students to look up translations plays without getting their phone taken away.
Editorial Facebook posts better democracy As the presidential election approaches, a new group of political pundits have hijacked social media: high school students. Indeed, the talking heads at Fox News and CNN have been drowned out by the Facebook statuses of adolescents. Evidently, our secondary education in social studies and government have been extremely effective, what with teenagers asserting themselves as political aficionados. Should high school students, most of whom have not yet studied U.S. Government at all, let alone in depth, assert themselves as political scientists? After all, the reason the voting age is 18 is to prevent uninformed minors from influencing policy. Critics of these statuses might say that these minors are wasting their time and energy by discussing something they cannot impact. Furthermore, many of these statuses might be factually inaccurate or misleading. Yes, some of the statuses and subsequent debates launched via comments on Facebook are ignorant, but so is the electorate. Rather than look down upon the amateur political chatter, we should encourage such discourse. What better way to comprehend lessons from AP U.S. Government than to discuss them in groups, even if those group discussions take place on Facebook? Not
only will students advance their understanding of civics, but increase their inclination to make a difference and vote if and when they are eligible. In the 2008 presidential election, an election with a historic voter turnout, only six out of ten eligible voters decided to vote. If these student exchanges improve voter turnout, we should com-
mend, not condemn, such activity. As long as the political chatter does not devolve into verbal assault, students have every right to utilize their First Amendment rights. Elections occur only once every four years, so we should take advantage of this special time to react and respond, even if the exchanges take place on social networks.
The Staff Ryan Feinberg and Julia Waldow Editors-in-Chief
Michelle Banayan News Editor
Mabel Kabani Opinion Editor
Candice Hannani Feature Editor
Danny Licht Culture Editor
Benjamin Hannani Spotlight Editor
Arman Zadeh Sports Editor
Oliver Gallop Graphics Editor
Pasha Farmanara Chief Web Editor
Robert Katz Assistant Web Editor
Dami Kim Social Media Director
Sasha Park and AJ Parry Cartoonists
Marguerite Alberts, Celine Hakimianpour, Zoe Kenealy, Jessica Lu, Brenda Mehdian, Alex Menache, Jessica Saadian and Max Stahl Staff Writers
Gaby Herbst and Katie Murray Advisers
The mission of Highlights is to inform and entertain the community of Beverly Hills in an accurate, objective, timely and well-designed manner. This newspaper is produced by the Advanced Journalism class of Beverly Hills High School, 241 Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90212. Send letters to the editor to email@example.com. Feedback is appreciated. Follow @bhhighlights on Twitter. Visit beverlyhighlights.com every day for news updates. Follow us on instagram at bhhighlights. Ads are not endorsed by BHUSD. The journalism program is sponsered by PTSA and BHEF.
Correction to “‘No One’ for all” printed in the Oct. 12 Issue :
The fall play is titled “No Child,” not “No One.” Anyone can audition for the musical, but students have to be in TAW to act in the fall play.
October 26, 2012 Highlights
Students unite: Project brings students together
Top row (from left to right): Signs by Valerie Deutsch, Eli Forouzan, Ericka Puyat. Bottom row: Signs by Josh Rosenberg, Sinclair Shannon, David Javidzad.
Mabel Kabani Opinion Editor Bevanon has been taking over the school by transforming the previously plain doors and walls of classrooms and hallways to becoming the backdrop of the graphic design class’s newest project. Bevanon is a project that was assigned to the graphic design class in order to capture the attention of students all over the school, and to some extent, it worked. “I was walking in the halls of the science building and all of a sudden, I see all these really funny pictures,” junior Sam Levy said. “I can relate to them and they make me laugh, but I don’t really know who made them or what their purpose is.” Graphic design teacher Debra Joseph,has been searching for a way to display her class’s work throughout the school and she believes that Bevanon is the best way to so.
Though the project needed to be intriguing, it also had to incorporate graphic design and what the students were currently learning. “In [a classroom] discussion, we considered the work of artists and designers who make work by emphasizing social observations and then posting their work in a clandestine manner,” Joseph said. Joseph, as well as the entire class, felt that posting signs under the moniker of “Bevanon” would be a fun and creative activity to display the work of the class. The project would also help the class practice a concept they were taught in class, “Gorilla Art fare,” a form of art in which art pieces are set in a similar area to send the same message. Joseph believes that this activity was a success in the way that Bevanon specifically and effectively communicated its ideas to viewers.
“This project is about finding the ‘essence’ of a subject and to inform the viewer about something of importance to the public at large,” Joseph explained. “Immediate and practical communication is the primary function of a road sign and so students were encouraged to choose a subject matter that related to their life in the Beverly Hills High School community.” The entire project took a total of three weeks with a specific procedure: to conduct research, determine topics, and find effective images juxtaposed with commentary that convey the message of the illustration using either humor or irony. Graphic design students such as senior Josh Rosenberg thoroughly enjoyed the creative nature, in addition to the intent of the project. “It was not necessarily the most difficult project, but at the same time it had an extremely intriguing goal,” Rosenberg said.
“Mrs. Joseph was attempting to get us to think outside the box, all the while forcing us to fit our ideas into one tiny square.” Students also appreciated not only the fact that they were able to unleash their creative instincts on this activity, but that Bevanon was also a fun experience. “Though it was a little challenging to think of relatable topics to post on signs, it was enjoyable,” junior Eli Fouruzan said. “We put them up during school when the halls were empty and I personally think that was one of the most fun parts.” Overall, Joseph believes the students did well in copying the real job of designers, which is to create informational pieces in a manner that guide the viewers’ thought process in a certain biased direction. “Whether it is a poster, a cereal box, a motion graphic, or a ‘way-finding’ system through a parking lot, these signs all communicate,” Joseph said.
A Brief History of Student Unity In recent years, multiple organizations and movements have attempted to unite the student body with varying degress of success. From ASB’s enthralling homecoming themes to SOSA’s elusion to Bevanon’s ubiquity, there have been various approaches to bringing students together.
2008-2010: Orange Fever/Feel the Glow A breakout of Norman spirit spread through Beverly with the Orange Fever campaign. ASB members, encouraging the contagion, wore medical facemasks and claimed to have caught “orange fever,” as did spirit packs. A common slogan for the campaign tempted students to “Catch the Fever.” The campaign became a cheer epidemic, infecting students across the campus with Norman spirit. The Fever, however, dissipated by the next year with “Feel the Glow” failed to generate equal buzz and interest. Feel the Glow centered around “glowing,” with ASB selling glow-in-the-dark T-shirts which would glow in the stands during Homecoming night. Robert Katz
2010-2011: SOSA SOSA (Students on Special Assignment), an anonymous student group founded and disbanded during the 20102011 school year, had one rule: do not talk about SOSA. Known for its secretive nature and semi-exclusive initiation process (technically any student who exhibited school spirit could join), SOSA’s purpose was to bolster school spirit, primarily by generating curiosity about the group. It is difficult, though, to measure how successful SOSA was in achieving its goal. There is no system that quantifies school spirit. SOSA’s termination after its first year, though, suggests that the organization was ineffective. Max Stahl
2012-2013: Bevanon School spirit has reached new heights as students cannot help but notice the amusing Bevanon flyers around campus. Everywhere you look, you are surrounded by the comical flyers created by the graphic design students. These flyers have unintentionally united many students around campus, and have created something to buzz about. As students come together to poke fun at the accurateness that makes up what Beverly is truly about, you cannot help but find yourself laughing at the flyers posted outside your favorite teachers classrooms. Beverly has surely reached it goal as school spirit surges. Celine Hakimianpour
October 26, 2012
Red, White and You Educate yourself on four major state propositions
Photos of President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney from WHITEHOUSE.GOV and USA.GOV. Page graphics by OLIVER GALLOP. Sources for story below include THE SACRANMENTO BEE, BARACKOBAMA.COM, MITTROMNEY.COM, USA TODAY and 2012.CANDIDATE-COMPARISON.ORG.
Obama, Romney differ in stances on social, political, economic issues Jessica Lu Staff Writer
Candidates’ foreign policies contrast Obama: Although Obama previously increased military presence in Afghanistan, he plans for cuts in the size of the Army and Marine Corps that would slice $487 billion in military spending over the next decade. He opposes any military action in Iran unless there is no other way to stop nuclear weapons from being developed. In Syrian politics, Obama plans primarily to use pressure from the international community, instead of immediate military action, to resolve conflict. He is in favor of a new round of peace talks in the Arab-Israeli conflict to discuss border laws. He also sought penalties from China for unfair trading and would not regard China as a currency manipulator. Romney: By adding almost $100 million to the Pentagon budget in 2016, Romney hopes to increase the strength of the armed forces. He also advocates for ending the war in Afghani-
stan by 2014. Romney wants the U.S. to pose as a stronger military threat to Iran. Romney is in favor of covert U.S. action in Syria instead of military intervention, unless absolutely necessary. He pledges to provide more military assistance to Israel and threatens to label China as a currency manipulator.
Obama, Romney create plans to reduce deficit, change tax rates Obama: Obama wants to call for spending cuts and revenue increases to help pay off the debt. He also wants to repeal tax cuts for households with incomes over $250,000. Additionally, Obama would continue implementing Wall Street and automobile industry bailouts that began under George W. Bush. He favors tax breaks for U.S. manufacturers producing domestically or bringing back jobs from overseas, and he would enact tax penalties on outsourcers. Obama would raise taxes on the wealthy and encourage stimulus spending to reduce the deficit.
What the students think... “I think Barack Obama will win because he is already president and Mitt Romney doesn’t really have a chance.”
Matthew Rasson, 9
“The debates were pretty good. I think they were a tie. There’s not one guy winning. They both have a chance right now.”
Romney: Romney wants to cap federal spending at 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in four years with unspecified spending cuts. He is in favor of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Romney plans to lower taxes and regulations, balance the budget and make more trade deals with other countries. He claims that under his administration, people would have unemployment savings accounts instead of jobless benefits. Bush tax cuts on households earning more than $250,000 would become permanent and corporate tax rates would be lowered to 25 percent.
also plans to continue the Race to the Top educational program under his second term, double funding for Pell Grants and establish a college tax credit aimed to provide higher education for more citizens. In addition, his G.I. Bill is designed to assist veterans and service members in getting a college education. Romney: Romney supports the federal accountability standards outlined in the No Child Left Behind law. Although he agrees with the student testing, charter-school incentives and teacher evaluations that take place under Race to the Top, he believes major educational decisions should be made at the state level.
Candidates differ on federal, state roles in education
Obama, Romney plan to promote coal, gas, energy advancements
Obama: Obama would approve waivers that free states from the requirements of the No Child Left Behind law. This would mean that states, not the federal government, would plan out their education systems without needing to adhere to the No Child Left Behind law. Obama
Obama: Although Obama has ordered a temporary ban on deep-water drilling due to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, he wants more oil and gas drilling long-term. Already, he has achieved first-ever regulations on heattrapping gases that are said to cause global
warming. He has also passed regulations on toxic mercury pollution from power plants. Obama plans to invest heavily in green energy, embracing nuclear power as a clean source. Due to environmental concerns, Obama has delayed his decision on the northern leg of Keystone XL pipeline. Romney: Romney plans to promote coal, natural gas and nuclear energy development and continue to drill in pre-approved areas. He agrees with opening the Atlantic and Pacific outer continental shelves to drilling. These areas include Western lands, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the offshore of Alaska. Although he does not support cap and trade legislation, he is in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline. He also plans to invest in energy research and new car technology.
Politicians create plans for health care Obama: Obama has put the U.S. on a path to universal coverage due to the Supreme Court’s upholding of the mandate for everyone to have
insurance. In 2010, he signed the health care overhaul bill and Affordable Care Act. Under the former, insurers are not allowed to deny coverage to people with pre-existing illness and tax credits will be implemented to subsidize premiums. The latter affects Medicare company abuses. He provides for contraception in his plan, supports equal price for the same coverage for women and defends Roe v. Wade. Romney: Romney believes that health care decisions should be a state issue. Under his plan, those who are “continuously covered” over a certain time frame will be protected from losing their insurance if they fall ill, leave jobs or need to change policies. Individual taxadvantaged medical saving accounts would be expanded and savings could be used for insurance premiums, as well as for personal medical costs. Romney believes that individuals should purchase their own health insurance and that insurance should be allowed across state lines. Romney would not require insurance companies to provide contraceptives and wants to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“You can’t really tell who is going to win. I believe Obama is going to win because he has experience from the past four years.”
“I think Barack Obama is going to win, but Mitt Romney is gnarly. Obama makes our country look like a joke and Mitt Romney doesn’t.”
“I thought the debates were less than smart because they just kept ranting about the same things over and over again.”
Kimberly Montano, 12
Nicole Veneracion, 10
“The debates were interesting. Obama was better at speaking except for the first debate because he was more passive and Romney was more active.” Propositions descriptions by ALEXANDRA MENACHE and OLIVER GALLOP. Graphic by JULIA WALDOW
October 26, 2012 Highlights
Aspiring photographer starts profitable business
From left to right: Bracht displays “The Tale of Tethys,” “Polychromatic,” “Liberated Trammels” and “Impotent Attempts.” Courtesy of BRITTANY BRACHT
Mabel Kabani Opinion Editor Senior Brittany Bracht, an aspiring photographer, has taken an interest in photography ever since she discovered that her “abstract and almost surrealist nature” blended together to create works of art. Though Bracht initially started taking photos as a hobby, she has since become a photographer for LEAP Foundation at UCLA, a program to accelerate success in teens and adults. Bracht has even started her own business that she claims is successful because of her keen observation on life. “When I was younger, my mom would enlighten me often about why friends acted the way they did and how I should respond in return,” Bracht said. “This allowed me to gain greater perspective on why people responded to certain events in a particular way and to have a great amount of self-awareness at a very
young age.” Bracht claims that her developing curiosity of the world, highly perceptive senses and analysis of others’ actions are heavily encouraged in her house due to her mother’s background in sociology and her grandmother’s experience as an artist. Bracht’s family’s support motivated her to explore facilities and programs in which her creative and curious nature could flourish. In this search, Bracht also discovered Photoshop, which ultimately led her to her current passion in photography. Bracht attributes a large amount of her success to Beverly’s photography program. She claims that photography teacher Timothy Briggs has always critiqued her photos in an unbiased way, which helped her improve the quality of her photos. She also says that he “was one of her biggest supporters.” “Brittany’s work shows that she doesn’t just come to class and work. She has
spent countless hours honing her skills on her own time,” Briggs said. “She has mastered the fundamentals of the camera and composition and has gone beyond the basics.” As Bracht’s photography skills developed, her friends and family began to notice and openly appreciate her talent. Soon, Bracht began to receive emails requesting her photography services. “At the time, it sounded absurd to hire a 15-year-old to shoot head-shots, but profit is profit and I wasn’t willing to let the opportunities pass by me,” Bracht said. “However, with tremendous pressure on my shoulders to produce quality photos, I decided that paying jobs weren’t worth the stress until I perfected my practice.” As Bracht’s photographs began to become recognized on a more professional level, her desire to perfect her practice increased and her confidence boosted.
Bracht then began her photo business. “I had sold three pieces in two months’ time and banked a lot more money than I could have ever imagined,” Bracht said. “My work in this field has ranged from book-covers to audition tapes to simple Photoshop retouching on Bat Mitvahs.” Bracht’s success in the field has led her to believe that joining art programs in college could hinder her creativity. She hopes to expand her knowledge in cultural diversity as well as potentially start a career in business, anthropology or sociology. Bracht’s advice to students who yearn to pursue a career involving photography is to start making connections and understanding the business aspect of the field. “Knowing how to network, produce good work consistently and be passionate about what you do should be enough to get where you want to be in the ever expanding realm of art,” Bracht said.
Freshman skates her way to national competition Brenda Mehdian Staff Writer She sees the crowd and thinks about her long practices and all the work she and her team put into this performance. Taking a deep breath, Lee walks onto the skating rink, ready to amaze her audience. Freshman Debbie Lee is about to take the ice at the 2012 National Synchronized Skating Competition with her team of over five years. Lee and her synchronized figure skating team of 16 girls, Fusion, skated their way into the competition held in Worcester, Mass. on March 1-3, 2012. The team played against others from the Pacific Coast, East Coast Lee and her team perform during a national figure skating competition in Massachusetts. Courtesy of DEBBIE LEE and the Midwest. Performing to a mix of Stevie Wonder songs, they Synchronized skating is a type of figure Preparation for the competition began snatched 13th place. skating in which eight to 20 skaters during March 2011. Lee and her teammates “Before the performance I was just perform the same moves together at the practiced four days a week anywhere from thinking about how hard my team and same time. Skaters are judged based an hour and a half to almost three hours. I had worked for this. Even though I on their teamwork and speed and their In addition to team practices, the team was nervous toward the beginning of performance’s difficulty level. members also practiced individually. the performance, as we continued, my “I think that we almost have to work “Practices were really tiring, but I confidence built up and overall, I was twice as hard as individual skaters definitely think it was worth it because incredibly happy with our performance,” because we need to be in unison with one the practice is what made us confident Lee said. another,” Lee said. so that we would be able to put our best
foot forward. I think we did the best we could and there is nothing I would change about our performance. These practices played a huge role in our success,” Lee said. Fusion is currently ranked first in the Pacific Coast and 12th in the nation. The team has competed at Sectionals and approximately 15 different competitions in California, and has placed first in all of these competitions. In addition to receiving recognition at a Los Angeles County meeting last summer, Lee and her team have also been featured on national television. Lee began skating at the age of five and joined the team at age six. Head Coach Jenny Rose Hendrickson has coached Lee since 2010. “Debbie was a leader of my team when we went into our first season at an International level,” Hendrickson said. Although she does not plan on skating professionally, Lee wants to skate on a collegiate team in the future. “When I first started, I knew this was the sport for me. When I am skating, I just get a really good feeling,” Lee said.
October 26, 2012 Highlights
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October 26, 2012 Highlights
Choirs learn teamwork in Idyllwild Marguerite Alberts Staff Writer In order to gain choral experience and bond with their fellow singers, Madrigals and Minnesingers went on separate trips, over the weekends of Oct. 12-14 and Oct. 19-21, respectively, to the town of Idyllwild, Calif. Music program director Joel Pressman began the tradition of going to Idyllwild 17 years ago. The trip includes games, singing practices and football games. At Idyllwild, time is spent participating in group bonding activities such the “Don’t Cross The Line If...” game in order to become closer. “Don’t Cross The Line If...” is an icebreaker game where a theoretical line is drawn between those who have done the verb that completes the phrase “Don’t cross the line if...” and those who have not. Due to bonding activities, the weekend spent at Idyllwild provided the opportunity for the Madrigals to become closer to one another. “Idyllwild improves our group’s relationships because it’s the first time all of us get to spend a lot of quality time together,” senior Sadie Katz said. “Ev-
At the Madrigals’ retreat in Idyllwild, director Joel Pressman aids students during a rehearsal activity. Photo courtesy of SADIE KATZ
eryone gets really close after going to Idyllwild.” During the trip, students spend practices learning new songs either as an entire group or in individual groups. Afterward, the groups come together again to perform the songs as a united choir. Members of the Madrigals contribute a lot of their success to their yearly trips to Idyllwild. “Without this experience our group would never be close enough to having the success that we have had in the past,”
junior Evan Rennie said. The following weekend, Pressman went back to Idyllwild with the Minnesingers, the all-female choir, and Irene Gregorio, the pianist for both Madrigals and Minnesingers. The Minnesingers also saw improvement in their performing skills from the rehearsals in Idyllwild. “As opposed to the rehearsals at school, we were able to go into sectionals and we were able to really focus on our own sections’ notes before singing together with
the whole choir,” junior Shanna Benji said. Overall, students were satisfied by the trip and the experience they gained. “My favorite moment of the trip was when Mr. Pressman vocalized the separate groups and our sound completely changed,” junior Jasmine Gass said. Madrigals will be singing the Star Spangled Banner at the Homecoming Game, on Friday, Oct. 26. The Minnesingers’ next performance is at their annual Holiday Concert.
October 26, 2012 Highlights
Hiatt authors compelling novel
A farewell to Chartwells Student reviews the B.C. pre-mortem
‘Living with Your Past Selves’ offers a slice of his decades-long teaching career pelling and engrossing though the rest of the novel. Another of Hiatt’s successes is the rich cast of characters he animates to support (or hinder) Taliesin in his quest. Among them are Taliesin’s best friend, Stan, a logical but temperamental brainiac; Nurse Florence, the smoking-hot, sagacious school nurse; and Carrie Winn, the imposing and enigmatic founder of Santa Brígida. Hiatt makes sure to develop each character, primarily through his or her relationship with Taliesin. For the most part, the characters’ actions are believable, although from time to time one may say or do something a little odd. Regardless, the characters, unfailingly well designed, fluidly guide the plot to its climax and resolution. One element of the novel may surprise
Photo courtesy of BILL HIATT
Max Stahl Staff Writer “Those who can’t do, teach,” the old adage goes. English teacher Bill Hiatt begs to differ. In his first published novel, “Living with Your Past Selves,” Hiatt unloads his three decades of teaching experience into the story of Taliesin (pronounced tal-ee-ES-in) Weaver, a highschool junior flush with the memories of his past lives: a long line of Taliesins dating back to the days of King Arthur, King David and the creation of the world (although the current Taliesin acknowledges that the latter is likely “hogwash”). Taliesin, by instinct, puts on the façade of an ordinary teenager making his way through one of life’s critical junctures. His fate is inescapable, though. One ancient Welsh monster foretells Taliesin’s death, another attempts to manifest it and suddenly, the façade is all but compromised. There is an evil power latent in the small California town of Santa Brígida, and only Taliesin, navigating through a series of doubtful alliances and menacing mythological foes, can defeat it. The plot, the novel’s greatest strength,
‘The novel is a labor of love.’ is well paced and skillfully woven. Nothing happens without a reason. Gripping encounter after gripping encounter keeps readers on their toes throughout the entire book, with the occasional burst of teenage drama thrown in to give both the reader and the characters a chance to breathe between battles. Welltimed revelations are scattered throughout, serving to reveal various characters’ dimensions. The beginning of the novel is somewhat shaky, as Hiatt attempts to merge exposition with plot, with mediocre results. By Chapter 6 the plot seems to find its footing, and it remains com-
‘The plot is well paced and skillfully woven.’ readers: its sexuality. Sex is prevalent throughout the novel, whether it be in the form of a joke or a fantasy or a failed seduction. Indeed, there are many parts of the book that do not seem to be written by Bill Hiatt at all. Seldom in class would Mr. Hiatt refer to something as “definitely a WTF moment.” But Taliesin Weaver does. And that’s the point. This is a novel written for teenagers, narrated by a teenager. Although the book as a whole is splendidly wrought, it does bear a few flaws. Chief among these is its dialogue, which at times feels unnatural, perhaps a bit strained or overly formal, especially for teenage speakers. Hiatt seems at times unwilling to let go of the grammar and writing style to which he has become so accustomed as an English teacher. More than once he explains to the reader a concept, such as the irony of a situation, that the reader likely could have deduced without the explanation. Such nuisances do make the book somewhat less immersive, but as a whole they have a negligible impact on the quality of the novel. One of Hiatt’s greatest successes of the book is his ability to skillfully and concisely capture the essence of high school life and the entire teenage experience: social conflicts, young love, unyielding stress, the whole shebang. That is what is so important about this novel. Bill Hiatt did not write it for Bill Hiatt. He wrote it for his students. “Living with Your Past Selves” is a labor of love, dedicated to the students who “have provided much of the inspiration for this novel,” as Hiatt remarks in his acknowledgements. “Those who can’t do, teach,” the adage sneers. But “Living with Your Past Selves” proves otherwise. Not only did Hiatt write a novel, but he wrote it as a result of his years of teaching. Perhaps the adage should read, “Those who teach, can do.”
A turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes and chipotle mayonnaise at the B.C. DANNY LICHT
Danny Licht Culture Editor
When the chartering of Chartwells promised a revitalization of our cafeteria, last fall, the school was excited — and for good reason. “Be seen at the B.C.,” the so-cheesy-it-works tagline of the Beverly Café, lured in a new crowd of customers who were turned off by the stereotypical cafeteria food that preceded it. But not all were convinced: could a cafeteria break the all-American cliché of mystery-meat stews? Being a potential customer, I was optimistic; but being a human being, I was nonetheless skeptical. Perhaps by miracle, my doubts shed as the cafeteria progressively became the swankier “café” it aspired to be. The B.C. got a new coat of paint. Its meals began to earn school-wide envy. Its chocolatechip cookies were craved, its croissants flaunted. The Café introduced Beverly Drive classics: Chipotle-style burritos and Subway-style sandwiches. It baked cinnamon buns and chocolate cakes; it grilled burgers and quesadillas. In short, the once-cafeteria valiantly broke the shackles of an unbreakable stereotype. Alas, it has truly earned its tongue-in-
‘The cafeteria progressively became the swankier ‘café’ it aspired to be.’ cheek status of “café.” But that metaphor goes only so far. “Café” implies a low-key, small-scale restaurant. The B.C., on the other hand, is plagued by its awfully long, awfully pushy, awfully awful lunch line. A large number of customers cut each other in line, some because they want to wait with friends, some because their hunger is more important than everyone else’s. Others, though they are more rare, wiggle through the dense crowd apologizing with excuses. One day last week,
for example, a girl, who insisted she was not cutting, pushed toward the front. Someone indignantly asked her why. She responded something inappropriate for any sort of respectable publication, which scarred all who heard it for life. In even more euphemistic terms, the line is very uncomfortable.
At nutrition, students self-serve freshly baked croissants, in addition to cookies and breakfast sandwiches at the B.C. DANNY LICHT
In spite of its flaw, I frequent the café daily, happily eating fresh-baked cookies and cold-cut fruit, chicken-studded nachos and chipotle-mayo sandwiches. I even flaunt them on Instagram. Unfortunately, my lunches have been less perfect since the tragic disappearance of Izze drinks and the unannounced appearance of terribly sweet Snapple and expectedly sweet Coca-Cola, diabetes be damned. It is a hard-knock life I live, but I struggle through it valiantly, just like the café did. So when I heard about Chartwells’ premature termination of its contract with the district, I became distraught. I am going to miss their cookies and quesadillas and burgers and nachos. They were not the best I have ever had, but they were unquestionably Chartwells, dinstinctly B.C. Good food, not S.O.S.A. or Homecoming games, is the highway to my heart and my spirit. I have great expectations — those awful things! — for Choicelunch, the incoming food provider, as do my peers, and I wish them luck, for all our sakes.
October 26, 2012 Highlights
Forman tackles national goal, scores milestone Arman Zadeh Sports Editor Out of over 16.3 million public high school students in the country*, only a fraction of their names manage to reach the eyes of the public. Senior Jared Forman, however, has managed to make himself seen. Recently ranked by Max Preps as the number five high school punter in the nation, Forman reflects on how football has shaped his life. Standing at 6’2” and weighing 190 lbs., Forman averages about 12 yards per catch, over one tackle a game and about 45 yards per punt at his positions of kicker, linebacker and tight end. Forman’s kicking average of 45 yards per punt has earned him the number five spot on Max Preps. Forman has played the game since he was a young child and credits the sport for building his strength physically and mentally. “I always grew up playing flag football and I had always been too big to play Pop Warner, so tackle football at Beverly was an obvious choice,” Forman said. “Plus it built me up for other sports such as basketball and baseball.” The story of Forman’s foray into punting began after football practice in 2009 as Forman and his close friend, Parker Davis, decided to pick up some footballs and practice punting. During Forman’s freshman year, the football team was in need of a designated punter, and Forman saw this as an opportunity to step up to a challenge. “Upon doing so, I kicked natural spirals, and immediately, I became punter,” Forman said. Over the years, Forman has worked with the school’s Coach John Johnson
Jared Forman directs his teammates on the field. ARMAN ZADEH
Jared Forman expressing his love for footbal during Spirit Week. OLIVER GALLOP
and Coach Steve Geanakos to improve his overall football game, but more importantly, his punting. “Geanakos has taken me under his wing and taught me all there is to know about punting,” Forman said. “I like to say I’m lucky. But I’m blessed to find out I had this talent all along and I hope to walk on and punt at whatever university I go to.” Although Forman has dedicated much of his time to football, he understands
that academics always come first. With three AP courses, Forman states that he rarely goes to sleep before midnight. As a part time job, Forman also works on a construction site. When asked how he balances his hectic schedule Forman simply stated, “Like any other student at Beverly, I work hard during the week and play hard on the weekend.” Forman’s hard work is reflected in his accumulation of awards. Athletically,
Forman was an honorable mention last year on defense while academically, Forman is part of the National Honors Society and Principal’s Honor Role. “I love sports, but education will always be my priority,” Forman said. Forman hopes that the Normans successfully reach CIF playoffs and he becomes a part of First Team All League. The team’s next game is today against Hawthorne and is the determining factor for the Normans’ hopes for a playoff run. Football has always influenced Forman’s life as it has introduced him to now familiar faces across campus. “Coaches are my second dads and teammates are my brothers,” Forman said. “When I am down they are there for me.” Forman says football has taught him something greater than the sport itself: determination. “Football has taught me to never be scared of a challenge,” he said. *Numbers from US Census Burea Report of 2008.
Illness grips boys’ water polo at recent tourney Zoe Kenealy Staff writer Boys’ water polo competed in a tournament against rival schools, La Habra, Redondo, Rancho Bernardo and Torrance High School during the weekend of Oct. 19-21. Although the tournament was “not the team’s best performance,” according to head coach Rob Bowie, he believes that the team will grow and learn from its mistakes, bettering itself as the season progresses. “Even though this tournament wasn’t our best performance, I know that we will better ourselves as the season goes on because we are all dedicated players. Even though we didn’t show our strengths quite as much as we could have I still have confidence in all the players. We are prepared
to practice harder and put in 110 percent every time we go in the water,” Justin Kim said. The team has not suffered major injuries yet this season. However, this past weekend the team lost goalie Hans Tercek after its first game due to Tercek’s reported illness. Despite the loss, the team muscled through the tournament with Beverly’s frosh-soph goalie Kevin Solemani substituting for Tercek. “Our frosh-soph goalie played well, but I think he was kind of shell shocked to play against varsity players,” Bowie said. Devyn Maggio, Bernardo Di Pietro and David Hakakian were also absent due to illnesses throughout the course of the tournament. Through Bowie’s eyes, the replacement players did well considering the circum-
David Hakakian looks for an open shot against the Samo goalie. Photo courtesy of ASHLEY BANAYAN
stances, even though they were “thrown into a fire against the varsity players.” The Normans feel they did not play their best throughout the tournament; however, “during the second day of the tournament we played really well,” David Prokopenko said. The only school that Beverly beat was Torrance. Torrance is a team that Beverly is familiar with, as the team has played Torrance before and therefore is able to adjust to the team’s playing style. “During a match with Torrance, we played the best as a team we’ve played all season,” Prokopenko said. This improvement came from the fact that the boys played as a team, rather than simply playing as individuals. “We actually played Redondo better this time even though we were missing a lot of
players,” Bowie said. “We played Redondo earlier in the year and they beat us 20-7.” During this last tournament Beverly played Redondo and lost 9-18. Although not a winning score, the difference in the numbers were much less dramatic and therefore gives Beverly hope in its future games. Bowie feels that the boys must consistently put as much effort into their practices as they put into their matches. The team keeps in mind that in its most recent tournament a considerable number of players were missing, and its upcoming matches should bring far more favorable results, assuming the entire team is able to compete. The team now prepares to face Samo on October 29 in one of their final games before CIF playoffs begin.
David Prokopenko draws back to shoot against Samo. Photo courtesy of ASHLEY BANAYAN
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