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highlights

Beverly Hills, Calif.

Beverly Hills High School

Volume 85, Issue Three · October 28, 2011

Calling all 99: Time to occupy

Austin Grant-Dixon Spotlight Editor What is the Occupy Together movement? A Tea Party for Democrats? A bunch of rowdy college drop-outs? Or a collective movement of the masses in the name of democracy? It is none of these. Claiming to be the 99 percent, the participants range from janitors to school teachers, college students to lawyers, and everyone in between. Originating on Sept. 17 in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park, Occupy: Wall Street evolved into Occupy: The World in a speed and furor that closely resembles that of the Arab Spring. There has been an abundance of skepticism surrounding Occupy Wall Street and its satellite movements around the world. They promote democratic functions, allowing all to participate and open their doors to more radical groups and individuals. The Occupy movement is divided by city and within each city lie differing factions. The individual factions propose and vote on measures and actions to be taken by the collective. The Occupy movement lacks both formal leadership and organization, but that aspect seems to have no effect on its momentum. Occupy Wall Street’s domino effect sprouted up hundreds of similar movements all around the world including in London, England; Dublin, Ireland; Berlin, Germany; Kiev, Ukraine; Beijing, China; Taipei, Taiwan; Sydney, Australia and Cape Town, South Africa.

The movement has devolved into a universal platform that protestors could use in an attempt to root out what they believe to be an injustice. New York is especially affected by this, with the most recent targeting of Spectra Energy, as protesters broaden their crosshairs in order to “end the domination of big money interests,” according to occupywallst.org. Occupy Wall Street spearheaded the campaign against Spectra’s newest pipeline project, claiming imminent environmental destruction as well as contamination of the water supply. Controversy quickly ensued, fueled by the Spectra pipeline disaster in San Bruno, Calif. in 2010. Offering real-time updates on all of the occupy events throughout the world as the “unofficial hub in solidarity with Occupy Wall St,” occupytogether.org reported 1,588 different cities’ participation on Oct. 20.  In the United States, the movement has been a mostly peaceful one, with isolated incidents involving both protestor and law enforcement aggression. Socially, the Occupy movement has a widespread impact all over the world. With collapsing economies in Europe and a slowing one in the U.S., people have been able to express their discontent with their respective governments facilitating corporate greed through, literally, occupying its land.  Claiming that they will “no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%” the Occupy movement can best be described as the masses’ civil disobedience that has no intention to neither cease nor desist. 

Inside this Issue... Page 3

Page 10

Page 16

Orange Fever symptoms include chills thanks to Haunted Homecoming.

Seniors Austin Mills and Hunter Rice launch clothing venture: FrostBite LA.

Profiles: Norman participants in riflery, equestrian vaulting.


10 arts&style

October 28, 2011 Highlights

Lights, camera, fashion: Dreams become reality Celine Hakimianpour Staff Writer Lights, camera, fashion: Dreams really do come true Nahal Yashar’s dreams came true, as she was crowned winner of the fashion contest. This shows a bright future again for Nahal. The sound of fans cheering Nahal Yashar’s name could be heard from a mile away as it echoed through the walls of the room. As Yashar walked onto the stage, her smile said it all. Yashar’s hard work and dedication finally paid off as she shared the title of Winner by participating in the fourth annual O’Neill Generation Next fashion show. Yashar immediately sparked an interest in fashion last October when attending a Teen Vogue party. From that moment on, Yashar knew her true passion was to be part of this so called “fashion world”. The Teen Vogue O’Neill Generation Next fashion contest gives girls around the state of California a chance to show their true talent and passion towards fashion. Each girl in the competition received a theme. This theme was represented in their dress and handbag designs. Yashar’s theme was “ Blame it on Rio, Brazil”, which had a great contrast of colors and designs. “I submitted my sketch and did a mini interview. I got a callback two months later telling me from 1,000’s of applicants’ I was chosen, along with five others,” Yashar said. During the six-month preparation process, Anya Violet, her mentor, accompanied Yashar. Violet helped lead Yashar through

her designs, sketches and logos. “When I design my own outfit, it’s about what I want to show people about me. It puts me in my own little world, expresses what I’m feeling, and most importantly, it makes me happy,” Yashar said. Leading up to the event, Yashar received much support by her friends and family, especially her sister, Niaz Yashar. “My sister and I both love fashion. She inspires me and she taught me it’s cool to be weird and to show how I’m feeling in my clothing,” Yashar said. For Yashar, the contest wasn’t about winning or losing. It was all about the experience she gained through the whole process. She enjoyed every moment of it, and her hard work and determination truly did pay off. The event had finally arrived. Cameras flashing, the red carpet, the fans, it was all so exciting. You could feel sense the anxiousness running through Yashar’s veins as host, Lousie Roe welcomed her onto stage. Roe also helped welcome the band “Everest,” as they played a few songs for the crowd. “It was so overwhelming, I got anxiety attacks and I was so nervous. But overall, I was grateful and so excited about what was about to happen,” Yashar said. Yashar received $5,000, which she said she would use for Art/fashion School. Yashar also received an internship that would be held this summer with O’Neill, and also received exposure in Teen Vogue along with her dress being issued in O’Neill’s 2012 spring/summer collection and will be sold at PacSun.

Models wearing Nahal Yashar’s designs are (clockwise): Elyse Taylor (official O’Neill model); Faith France (senior); Crystal Audigier (Beverly graduate); Agnes Azria (Wildwood); Nahal Yashar (center). PHOTOS BY SAYEH MOHAMMADI

Students launch FrostBite LA: ‘crispy and fresh’ Benjamin Hannani Feature Editor Seniors Austin Mills and Hunter Rice’s launching of FrostBite LA, their new clothing line, might as well be a real life episode of “How to Make It in America”: both feature two young entrepreneurs making a name for themselves in the ever-competitive world of fashion. Inspired by their passion for clothing, the two students started the business earlier this month and achieved rapid success. Within five days, the line’s website, frostbitela.com, had received over 25,000 views. “The plan was to create a line for teens, inspired by teens, created by teens,” Rice said. The two designers first contemplated starting a clothing line toward the end of the previous school year. In the months following their initial brainstorm, they gave the idea more thought and realized the clothing line was an opportunity they wanted to pursue. Subsequently, the boys had to create designs, send them to their

manufacturer and most importantly, mar- describes our logo and something that ket the brand. While Mills and Rice have people would like. [The name] kind of debeen attracting potential customers at Bev- scribes how we want the clothing line to be: erly, they arranged for students at other cool, crispy and fresh,” Mills said. schools to promote FrostBite L.A., utilized FrostBite LA is not the first clothFacebook and Twitter, as well as distrib- ing line to be launched by Beverly students. uted stickers and bracelets. Matthew Neman (Class of 2008), who The purpose of the line’s name, FrostBite started TUFF Apparel, as well as Charlie LA, was to deBennett (Class scribe the essence of 2011) and of the brand but Terrence Lewis also to be ap(Class of 2011), pealing, Mills who both founded said. Rice, who SASTO, created came up with the their clothing name, was aimlines while they ing to capture were in school, the essence of the too. What sepabrand and entice rates FrostBite consumers. LA from the pre“We wanted [a vious establishname that was] ments, according cool and hip, but to Mills, is the at the same time line’s maturity something that Seniors Austin Mills and Hunter Rice founded FrostBite LA. and mass appeal. DANNY LICHT

“We feel FrostBite is a little more mature and well-rounded. We connect more with students with our line and what people like. It’s a clothing line of all ages and it’s new, different,” Mills said. For its fall collection, FrostBite LA offers six clothing items, consisting of t-shirts and sweaters, as well as two limited edition items inspired by the senior class. However, Mills revealed that the winter collection, which will be available on December 1, will feature an expanded catalogue. Besides offering sweatshirts and T-shirts, the line will also sell accessories in its winter collection, though Mills and Rice did not specifically identify what accessories. Despite the line’s designer quality, Mills and Rice decided to keep product prices cheap to better accommodate customers. Mills expressed his desire to monitor prices so that potential customers could afford to purchase FrostBite LA’s clothing “without having to empty out their pockets.” “We feel like we’re young entrepreneurs and we really wanted to get this clothing line going and out there,” Mills said.


arts&style 11 Ingredients of horror films demystified Costumes:

October 28, 2011 Highlights Danny Licht Opinion Edditor

Nobody craves horror per se: they desire the rush and fill of emotion, and that is what horror gives them. Following is a list of what I feel makes a great horror film, and the movies that best demonstrate these qualities:

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Shannon Toobi Staff Writer

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Suspense:“The Birds” A Hitchcock masterpiece (as they all are) “The Birds” is the quintessential piece of suspense. Suspense is the most basic element of horror because it is the anticipation of fear. Often, suspense can be even scarier and more emotional than fear itself. At one point, Melanie Daniels (played by Tippi Hendren) sits, smoking a cigarette, in front of a school house where murderous birds build up, which she does not know until the schoolchildren are just about to be let out into the school yard.

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Isolation:“The Shining” A tale of red rum and paranoia, “The Shining” offers viewers a glimpse into the horrifying world of captivity, where the prison is an expansive hotel. The impossibility of escape is terrifying in itself, even without the film’s plot. The husband and wife (played by Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall) are hotel-sitting at a snowed-in resort with their son, and the isolation gets to their minds. It is as much mental isolation as it is physical.

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Disillusionment: “Rosemary’s Baby” Without giving away the horrifying and scarring ending (“What have they done to its eyes!?”), the scariest aspect of “Rosemary’s Baby” is that it leaves the viewer questioning everything and everyone because of what is unveiled throughout the film. After seeing the film, we all become French philosophers.

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Score: “Psycho” A film’s score can create fierce tension out of simple moments. Hitchcock’s most famous film, “Psycho,” utilizes the score to underscore the tension. The best example is the shower scene because of its trademark pulsing strings. Even if you haven’t seen the film, you’ve heard the haunting strings, as they are used for all sorts of purposes, from cartoons to haunted houses.

Costumes:

Austin Grant-Dixion Spotlight Edittor

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Humor: “Drag Me to Hell” Hitchcock, the father of modern thrillers, often used humor to sometimes ease and sometimes tighten tension. Like many, and arguably all, modern horror films, “Drag Me to Hell,” if viewed with a sadistic state of mind, is often as hilarious as it is terrifying. It is self-deprecating in the best sort of way: self-aware of its ridiculousness enough to provide the viewer with suspension of disbelief, but not too much as to lead the viewer to not take the film seriously.

Remember the days of having mom stitch up a Halloween costume for you? Witches, pop stars and princesses seem to have been trends from a different lifetime. It appears as though we’ve come a long way from the days of trick-or-treating, haunted houses and pumpkin carving as now its all about raging house parties and a competition of the costumes: which girls can stand out the most, while also looking fabulous in the act. Nowadays, girls use Halloween as an excuse to look their best while wearing as little as they can get away with. Sexy nurses, French maids and bunny costumes accompanied with fish-nets and bejeweled bras now roam about, tarnishing the childhood costumes we remember from the Halloweens of our youth. Girls are constantly criticized and critiqued by guys and fellow girlfriends when it comes to dressing up. Whether something is too revealing or not revealing enough, it seems difficult to find a medium. Halloween is a day when the criticisms should cease and girls can be creative. Be something you’re not for a day, without the conscience in your mind wondering what others are thinking of you. Halloween is your one chance to take a break from your average self and have fun with it, so why not take advantage? Make a statement with your costume because whether it’s cute and traditional, or bold and sexy, it’s the one day when it doesn’t matter. 

A boy’s view on Halloween dress

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Realism: “Paranormal Activity” Because of its meticulous attention to detail, “Paranormal Activity” seems not only real, but that it happened to each person who watches it. The viewer vicariously feels the same emotions as the protagonists. It is so realistic with its use of arguments and the cameras and the life-like CGI. It was the first film in a long time that made me question the dark.

A girl’s view on Halloween dress

1. Bird by Bless Bai Photo by Alex Menache 2. Connor Safran 3. AJ Parry 4. Connor Safran 5. Alex Menache 6. Ryan Lennon

Some may view Halloween costumes as getting more and more progressive each year; it just depends on their definition of “progress.” Annually, skirts are getting shorter, shirts are getting tighter and skin is progressing its way into view with each passing Halloween. So many stigmas are unfairly applied to the fairer sex when it comes to costume choice. Halloween is a time when the most conservative of people choose to throw caution to the wind and bare their true selves to society, sometimes quite literally. There is nothing wrong with showing a little bit of skin. Today’s society encourages it, and who are we to reject society’s wishes? Confidence, empowerment and sex appeal can all be displayed within the bindings of our contractual obligations, just use your brain. The fact of the matter remains: we attend an institution of higher learning and must conduct ourselves as such. There are ways to tastefully express or bare oneself. We all know what follows, bends or breaks the rules. There is no excuse for sitting in House A with a referral. Don’t be afraid to leave something to the imagination. It’s fun, keeps us guessing and it keeps my email free of the repeated sending of the dress code. Wear lace with grace, high heels with zeal, and be hot to trot this upcoming Halloween.


October 28, 2011 feature 12 Highlights KBEV strives to conquer new medium: Internet Bless Bai Staff Writer With nearly 200 students enrolled in nine classes associated with KBEV, Beverly’s own student-run television station that airs on channel six, students have the freedom to develop their own shows. In the process, students gain skills of how to interview their guests effectively and learn practical business techniques useful not only to broadcast journalism. “Everyone is doing interviews,” KBEV’s Media Director Romeo Carey said. “Everyone’s job is to focus on interviews and cultivate business.” Junior Jack Ross, director, producer of “Fantasy Football Live” and anchor on “Norman News,” is already seeing brighter plans and projected changes for KBEV this year. “There’s more of an effort to get the word out,” Ross said. Some students stay at school until past midnight to finish filming shows and getting them on air. Ross, for example, stayed at school until midnight on Open House, which he describes as the biggest night of the year for KBEV. “I’ve stayed here until 3 a.m. filming board meetings,” sophomore Dorian Elgrichi said. Senior Victoria Mamatova, a sports anchor, is one of the many students who interviews her guests in the hopes of developing a broader understanding of their world.

Junior Elijah Lichtenberg and senior Brian Emrani edit a show for KBEV OLIVER GALLOP

“I have my own comparative politics show. I take foreign exchange students and interview them about their world and culture and government,” Mamatova said. KBEV, which already streams some of its shows on its online website, is expanding its viewership by making its shows available through its own server. “Now I’m going to take the curriculum and use interview techniques to develop

personalities and develop shows with the intent to put all these shows on a server,” Carey said. In this plan, each student producer will get the opportunity to stream his/her own interviews and shows via separate channels. “We’re going to design our own KBEV YouTube. You create the whole YouTube presence with all of these shows,” Carey

said. While the project is still currently in the process of being built, KBEV continues to air and refine its shows. The shows with the most viewership include “The Norman News,” “KBEV Sports,” “DMD-Music Series” and “Let’s Talk Politics” with senior Max Schwartz. “I love what I do and that’s why I continue doing it,” Schwartz said.

Mathematics program gets foreign assistance

Samantha Caplin observed differences in American and British math classes ZOE KENEALY

Hae Lee Staff Writer You might travel to a nearby hospital or school to volunteer, but would you travel 5,456 miles to do so? Samantha Caplin did. She was the new British teacher with

an awesome accent that every student seemed to be talking about. Caplin, from the small town of Hertfordshire, located north of London, studied and lived in Birmingham for the last four years, where she taught math at

two schools. As a volunteer, she switched classrooms every period within the math department to get a taste of what was expected of each class. “My role changed from class to class from TA, to supporting the teacher with answering questions as well as giving notes to the students,” Caplin said. “Although I also spend at least five minutes a class being asked about England and to say things in my accent, it’s interesting to see how much people know about England. I like to give out facts that people do not already know...like London is about the same size as L.A. and England is smaller than California!” She taught at Beverly for about two months and shared the similarities and differences she found interesting between the schools in the U.S. and of those in England. “In England, we don’t have the same schedule and classes everyday, we have a variety of classes during the week ranging from history, geography, science, English,

math and Religious Studies. Also, most school do not have lockers and sports are taken much more seriously in America which is great, and I wish it was like this in England,” Caplin said. In regard to Beverly’s math courses, she noted that the math curriculum is very far off between the two countries, as England teaches all math as one subject. Algebra, geometry, numbers and statistics are split up throughout the year, normally one each semester. Algebra is the most similar similar to the English curriculum, while geometry and calculus are very different. The terminology used, is different too. For example, the word “parentheses” does not exist in England. Caplin departed back to England on Monday. She expressed her gratitude for all the friendly staff and students around the school. Before heading home, she told Highlights that she sincerely enjoyed being a part of the math department in her time here and wishes that Beverly Hills was in England.

America vs. England: Who has better schools? Classes

Schoolwork

Schedule

Sports

Winner: U.K.

Winner: U.K.

Winner: U.S.

Winner: U.S.

The typical British schedule is from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., with no block periods. In contrast, most schools in America start earlier, around 8 a.m. While the U.K. does have an accommadating schedule, British students do not enjoy the luxury of being dismissed at 1:45 p.m. like Beverly students whose days end after sixth period.

The four main sports for boys in the U.K. are basketball, hockey, soccer and lacrosse. In U.S. high schools, football teams are dominant, while basketball comes in a close second. The decisive difference: the main sport of British girls is netball. Netball? Sorry, but that is no match for the intensity of girls’ volleyball.

Both countries have classes of about 30 students which last about 50 minutes. The main differences are that the British grading system spans from “A” through “G” (“E” is not a letter grade in the U.K. either) and tardies do not affect students’ grades. In the U.K., “U” means ungraded and “C” is considered passing.

Just as in America, schools in the U.K. also have midterms and finals. However, the significance of exams differs. At Beverly, final exams are not very serious, while at Beverly, they generally account for 20% of a student’s grade in the class. Also, teachers in the U.K. typically assign homework once a week. Enough said.


feature 13 Dreammakers turns teens’ dreams into reality October 28, 2011 Highlights Shannon Toobi Staff Writer

“Dreammakers” is a teen-produced show focusing on the achievements of our nation’s best and the obstacles they faced in order to reach their goals. “Dreammakers” aims to target the teenage demographic through revealing the struggles faced and triumphs achieved by stars on the show. Each episode features an ambitious student beside a professional. For example, an aspiring skateboarder, also known as an “up-and-comer,” would be paired with a professional skateboarder. Juniors Zoe Josephson and Quinn Forrer are two of the five student founders of the show, who are working with other founders from Lou Dantzler Preparatory High School. The semi-scripted show will not begin shooting until March or April to allow the students involved in the production process time to train. Although the role of the founders in the show is yet to be revealed, Josephson and Forrer work to deal with all the aspects of the developing process. Part of their duties will include establishing the main message of each show and working alongside fellow students from Thomas Jefferson High School in Virginia, who are putting together a “Dreammakers” website. The founders of “Dreammakers” work

Dreammakers teen producer Zoe Josephson behind the camera ALEX MENACHE

through the program Success Through the Arts to find their up-and-comers striving to reach a goal, whether it be academic, musical or theatrical. In comparison, the high profile stars on the show are found via connections. “Celebrities are usually happy [to be working] alongside students in an attempt to achieve things similar to their own goals,” Josephson said. Josephson first got involved through working alongside her stepmother, who

has had experience in the entertainment industry. “I’ve been working with my stepmom in entertainment. We’ve worked closely with the program Success Through the Arts for years and that’s where the whole idea for the show really rooted from,” Josephson said. Although the message of the show sends a strong message to teens about achieving their dreams in life, it also provides an opportunity for teen producers to work

Green project returns for third year

alongside industry professionals. “Production of the show will provide participating students with real-world training and experience in media production, as well as build skills in highly collaborative, creative, technical work,” Josephson shared. Jeff Sobel, “Dreammakers” producer, works with the teens to guide them through the production process by helping them with the development of the show and training them for their numerous roles. Sobel is optimistic about the show’s future outcome. “To our knowledge, ‘Dreammakers’ will be the first nationally broadcast television show developed and produced by teenagers. We hope it will become a model program for other schools to emulate and eventually produce enough content to create a franchise or even its own by-kidsfor-kids television channel,” Sobel shared. Even though only details of the show are being put into place now, the teens have high ambitions for their new upcoming show. “’Dreammakers’ gives students an opportunity to work in the industry at a young age and experience a potential future career, and we’re excited to have a chance to be a part of the whole process,” Forrer said.

Going Green The architecture program is continuing its green project, which has been available to students since 2008. Taught by Melony Bronder, architecture students have been learning the benefits of environmentallyconscious building. Below a few students share their thoughts on going green: “I like knowing that green architecture combines creating a building and saving the environment without sacrificing functionality,” senior Gabe Laemmle said.

Senior Gabe Laemmle skteches his blueprint for the green architecture project OLIVER GALLOP

Michelle Banayan Staff Writer Green architecture is on the rise for architects all over the world, and students studying architecture through ROP are no exception. This form of architecture is an environmentally friendly, cost effective and more sustainable form of regular architecture that increases the longevity of a building. Green architecture was introduced to architecture students in 2008, when Melony Bronder, the current teacher of Beginning Architecture, Advanced Architecture, Commercial Building and Urban Planning, and Beginning Ceramics, first started working here. Due to her interest in the subject, she made it part of her architecture curriculum and has been teaching it ever since. “It is becoming the standard in architecture, to try to make buildings green, so it is important that [the students] start learning about it. I have been slowly introducing the concept of green architecture to my students, but I am trying to slowly emphasize it more each year,”

Bronder said. Green architecture focuses on the orientation of a building, which is the way a building faces in respect to the sun with the goal of maximizing sunlight. Also, because most buildings must be updated every 70100 years, the usage of green architecture increases the number of years it can go without being remodeled. “This style of architecture employs various techniques such as environment efficiency, alternative energy sources and environmentally friendly building materials. All damages to the environment are permanent, so the sooner green architecture becomes major, the better,” architecture student senior Gabe Laemmle said. Since green architecture is becoming the norm in its field, the beginning students know only that type. They are not quite familiar with non-green architecture as of right now. But, they will later learn about non-green architecture and how it differs with the eco-friendly type. Not all architecture students will be going green, however. They will choose whether

or not to go green based upon their own personal interest. The students are given fictional clients to pick from, each of whom has his or her own desires for a building. If students are not taking part in green architecture, it is simply because they do not want a client who requests it. The main purpose of green architecture is to benefit the environment, and the students are reacting positively and are eager to help. “Right now, the environment is in a pretty bad shape due to pollution from all types of transportation vehicles, factories and more. We have to find a way to help repair all the damages. I really like how you could save energy and reuse a lot of materials. It is much better for the environment,” architecture student senior Megan Berookhim said. Though there are three levels of architecture, the advanced students, who are aware of the concept and rules of green architecture, have not done any work with it yet this year; only Beginning Architecture has started implementing it into their plans.

“I like green architecture because it saves energy and it makes buildings look very natural and clean,” freshman Daniel Aghachi said.

“Green architecture is something that will become more popular in the future and it is definitely good for the environment,” senior Megan Berookhim said. “I like green architecture because it reduces CO2 emissions, which can lead to global warming,” freshman Raven Castro said.

Photos by OLIVER GALLOP


14 homecoming

October 28, 2011 Highlights

Tuesday, Oct. 25 Spirit Assembly spooktacular

The Spirit Assembly, hosted and organized by Heather Harrison and ASB, was held on Tuesday, Oct 25 as one of the many events to raise school awareness and excitment for Friday’s Haunted Homecoming. A video introducing the “missing student” Carri Sigrant was shown to get students in the mood for the spooky theme of the event. Student groups and members of the student body also spoke and performed at the assembly. Photos clockwise from top: ASB President Tyler Neman acted as emcee. While standing on the outer aisles of the auditorium, marching band performs “Thriller” to close the assembly. Senior Panchapol Chan conducts the Madrigals in “America the Beautiful.” Senior Matt Spector advertises varsity football, as senior Cameron Countryman, impersonating head coach Donald Paysinger, and seniors Julian Jackson and Madison Moore look on.


spotlight 15

October 28, 2011 Highlights

The potential future of the BHUSD school board

Frances Bilak Bilak, whose husband is a second-generation BHUSD alumnus, is running “as a grassroots candidate...[who] will take a position that I don’t necessarily have,” but instead do “what the community wants.” She would like to “solicit whatever residents and professionals who are out there who want to help me.” “I really believe that because I’m not part of some inside group...I can be a fresh face,” Bilak stated. On politics: “I can really get along with everybody. I believe that reasonable minds can differ. You can agree to disagree...everyone doesn’t need to like each other, but you must respect each other...and move on.” Priorities: Bilak believes that it is imperative that the district “set[s] a finite anti-bully policy...that would apply to each school.”

Brian Goldberg

Lewis Hall

Noah Margo

Dr. Goldberg has served four years on the school board and is running for a second term. He would like to “see a cultural change in our district...[which] takes time to solidify.” He believes that the past two years with the new board majority has caused the district to “turn a corner,” and cites increased graduation requirements that satisfy the A-G guidelines, increased API scores and effective administration of all five schools as evidence of this change.

Hall moved to Beverly Hills three years ago because of his younger daughter’s desire to switch to attend a school with a large Advanced Placement offering. He feels that his relative newness “isn’t helping [him] get elected, because [he doesn’t] have the connections other people have, but if [he is] elected, it definitely will help [him].” Hall cites an Akira Kurosawa film that stresses the idea that “you’re alive when you’re useful” as inspiration for his run.

Margo is running as a write-in candidate; he contemplated a run prior to the filing deadline, but felt that Andy Licht and Damien Bean, who have since dropped out, were highly capable. A graduate of Beverly Vista and the high school, Margo professes to “understand what the best in the country feels like... we’re getting to be that again.”

On politics: “I think people confuse civility with being nice. The board meeting is not a public meeting; it’s a meeting held in public...I’ve never witnessed what I’d think of as uncivility.”

On politics: “I’m not a politician, I’m an educator.”

Priorities: Technology integration, challenging curriculum, fiscal responsibility, building concerns

Priorities: “I really care about the kids... it’s my way of pacying back what [the schools] have done fr my daughter.” One point of Hall’s platform is increasing the Ivy League acceptance rate from Beverly.

On politics: “There’s no politics. It’s public service; we don’t use those words...It’s more than okay to disagree, but it’s not okay to dislike. We need to check our egos at the door in an amicable way.” Priorities: Margo believes that policy should reflect the “best interest 0f the child, not the parent.” He heavily emphasizes positivity in discourse and encourages school parents to vote, as they are commonly the lowest voting bloc in local elections. Mallika Sen Photos courtesy of respective campaigns

School board candidates: a more in depth view Sayeh Mohammadi Arts&Style Editor

Candidates Brian Goldberg, Frances Bilak, Lewis Hall and write-in candidate Noah Margo are in the race for three open seats for the Beverly Hills Board of Education. Frances Bilak targets bullying. “I believe in an anti-bullying policy that is well defined, easy to understand and consistently enforced throughout the district is necessary so kids feel safe and secure as they move throughout the schools,” Bilak said. Lewis Hall, currently a teacher at Otis College of Art and Design, says the issues he would work hardest for are to raise academic standards and API scores and improve building safety. “I would make sure that the schools are safe, and jump into this right away because the seismic situation concerns me,” Hall said. Beverly has become a hot target for new building operations and the Board struggles to vote on each controversial topic without causing concern in the community. The proposed plan of a subway route that would base about 70 feet under one building at Beverly before curving through Constellation Boulevard raised ongoing complaints by residents, parents and high

school students, who believe it should run further north, passing under Santa Monica Boulevard. In recent years, complaints of uncooperative teachers have increased, and administrators have begun looking at new approaches in assessing teaching standards. Goldberg believes the district should hold teachers accountable, “We need to hire and have site administrators who are willing to do their job and write up teachers who just can’t cut it.” College admission also plays an important role in students’ lives, most importantly for juniors and seniors. “We recently raised our graduation requirements to be in line with the A-G requirements for the UC system. I also believe we need to hire a director of college admissions for the BHUSD,” Goldberg said. Margo believes college admission and motivation should begin at home, admitting, “We should have parent workshops because really that should come from home.” “Parents should be the ones to inspire their kids to go to a four-year college, even if they didn’t,” Margo said. This year, the Board was presented with

Perspectives: Ex-candidates Damien Bean Bean dropped out of the race prior to the ballot dealdline, citing “reservations [he had] all the way through...on the time commitment,” Bean said. He received “a lot of disappointed calls,” but maintains that he is “unlikely to run again.” Bean feels that the elected members must be able to make excellence a priority. He states that the MTA tunnel is a non-issue, as funds indicate that the likelihood of construction is low. He endorses Goldberg and Hall; he believes that the former has done a good job in his tenure and the latter has “the right temperament” and is “wellversed in education concepts.”

the option of adopting the International Baccalaureate (IB) academic program. Either by integrating it into the Advanced Placement (AP) program in use today, or by replacing the AP program altogether, in order to increase the academic profile of Beverly students. Adding the IB program would further increase their chances of being admitted to prestigious schools across the nation. New teaching methods, including the incorporation of technology, have raised questions about how much money to spend and what technology and programs to spend these funds on. Some board members did not feel as strongly about the importance of technology and saw it unnecessary to spend thousands on the “luxury.” “Technology in our schools is almost a dual edged sword until we find a way to take SmartBoards and iPads and disintegrate them directly into the core curriculum,” Margo said. “The core curriculum is the most important thing and the technology we request has to support that.” Beverly recently proposed applying these technologies, and in some cases, replacing textbooks. Although the state has suspended any adoption of such program until 2016, it is an option schools will be

investigating and hoping to initiate in the next three years. Measure E funds have also become a hot topic for candidates. Hall plans to spend Measure E funds for purposes such as professional development training for teachers. Each candidate believes they have all necessary qualifications in order to make BHUSD an excellent and academically successful district. Bilak said, “having the background as an attorney for almost 24 years I can think critically, research documents and can hit the ground running once I have all the documents.” Margo admits he has “been on the receiving end of the educational policy making and [he] can lend a unique insight to the results of policy making.” Goldberg is “ready once again to roll up [his] sleeves to do the hard work necessary. [His] pledge to you is to focus on the vital issues, providing new standards of excellence for all of our students.” “I’ve been living and breathing education my whole life,” Hall said. “I have no political ambitions I don’t have my ego in my pocket,” Hall said. “If success is here it’s not going to be mine it’s going to be a community success.”

Andy Licht Licht dropped out on Sept. 21, but his name will remain on the ballot. He felt that it was not “fair to people [to remain in the race]; they [were] so much more committed.” Licht found that “people were incredibly supportive” of his decision. He refuses to officially endorse a candidate, but indicated that he would “like to see [Goldberg] and [Margo]” on the board. Although he has made it clear that he would resign if elected, he stated that “[people] have the right to vote for me...and let the chips fall where they may.”


16 sports

October 28, 2011 Highlights

Unique sports live in Norman Nation adjacent Shooter Lee aims for ROTC, military Wendee eyes vaulting nationals in KY Ryan Feinberg Sports Editor

Chanan Batra Staff Writer

Making a switch from archery to riflery, senior Lee Han Bin, who is commonly known as Leo Lee, has been through quite a journey regarding intramural athletics. Bin took up archery in April of 2009, feeling a sense of national pride to his family’s country of origin, South Korea; he also started archery “to be a more concentrated person.” Bin practiced archery at Rancho Park for about two hours daily. Because time did not permit it, Bin was unable to continue archery when he made the decision to take up riflery; he stopped archery at the beginning of Oct. 2011. Bin plans on going to the military, so he feels riflery is a more useful tool than archery. Photo courtesy of LEE HAN BIN Specifically, he plans on going to the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps for two years in the UC system. “I want to be part of the military, so I am learning pretty much the basics,” Bin said. The switch is proving to be a good one, for Bin enjoys riflery more, mainly because of the fact that riflery exhibits “more range and power.”

Equestrian vaulting involves landing flips and going through gymnastics routines…on a moving horse. Senior Sarah Wendee, who was introduced to the sport by her father, has been participating in and competing in equestrian vaulting for six years, and though she has accomplished a great deal in this time period, including consecutive trips to the Equestrian Vaulting Nationals the past two years, she is only getting better. “Every time I mount my horse, I get this adrenaline rush that drives me to perform as best I can,” Wendee said. “If I can stay healthy and in shape this year, I would love to win nationals with my team and compete at the collegiate level.” To stay in shape and master equestrian vaulting, an intense practice schedule is essential.

“In the summer I practice twice a day, every day,” Wendee said. “During the school year, I practice Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, and sometimes Sundays.” By the time competitions come around, Wendee and her team are primed to perform. Last year at the Equestrian Vaulting Nationals in Denver, Colorado, Wendee and six teammates p l a c e d s e c o n d as a team among stiff competition. T h i s August, the team, w h i c h practices in and repPhoto courtesy of SARAH WENDEE r e s e n t s Pasadena, will travel to Kentucky to try and win Nationals, solidifying Wendee and her teammates as one of the best Equestrian Vaulting squad in the country.

SAMO takes a big win Arman Zadeh Staff Writer

Tight end Madison Moore anticipates a pass from quarterback Brandon Adams. OLIVER GALLOP

On Friday, Oct. 21, the Normans lost a hard fought game to the Santa Monica Vikings, 36-14. “It hurt. We could’ve won the game,” Head Coach Donald Paysinger said. As a result of the loss, Beverly now stands tied at second place in Ocean League, with a record of 1-1. Along with being injury-plagued due to previous contests, the game had to be stopped numerous times in order for players to regain strength after taking hard hits from Santa Monica players. Although the team lost, Paysinger believed the group played excellent on both offense and defense. Running back Frank Brown had an impressive performance, with two touchdowns; he scored once in the first quarter and once in the third. Paysinger believed that injury, miscommunication, and a worn out team all contributed to the team’s unsuccessful night. Paysinger says the loss will not affect the team at all as the Normans prepare to host Inglewood on Friday, Oct. 28, in their Homecoming match. “We [are] coming for Inglewood,” wide receiver Cameron Countryman said.

Varsity girls’ volleyball strengthens in league

Varsity girls’ volleyball currently stands second in Ocean League with a 4-3 record. They most recently beat Inglewood 3-0 in games on Thursday, Oct. 25. OLIVER GALLOP


2 news

October 14, 2011 Highlights

BHEF hosts Apple Harvest Fair

Michelle Banayan Staff Writer The Apple Harvest Fair takes place on Beverly’s front lawn on Oct. 23. SAYEH MOHAMMADI

Michelle Banayan Staff Writer The Beverly Hills Education Foundation (BHEF) hosted the sixth annual Apple Harvest Fair on Oct. 23. Residents of Beverly Hills came together on Beverly’s front lawn for one common goal: to raise the maximum amount of money possible for the Beverly Hills Unified School District, while having a great time through community service, rides, games and giveaways. “Whenever I go to the fair, I give

donations, go on the rides and help the other people out,” sophomore Isaac Abginesaz said. Many families, companies and the City of Beverly Hills helped sponsor the event. Community service activities such as making sandwiches and knitting hats for charity were very popular with middle and high school students. Many kids also enjoyed the cookie and pumpkin decorating and pumpkin patch. “I like volunteering at the booths. It is one of the best experiences I have had there,” junior Rebecca Hakhamian said.

There were new additions to the game booths at the fair. Students and groups, like Beverly’s Lacrosse team, were mostly the ones running the booths. The dunk tank, one of the new game booths, was present at the fair. Residents were able to dunk people, two of whom were BHEF School Board Candidate Noah Margo and El Rodeo Vice Principal Kevin Painter. Also, for the first time, attendees of the fair were able to win a chance to appear on the show “Modern Family” or tickets to a Galaxy soccer game through a raffle. There were six rides at the fair that appealed to every age group: the ferris wheel, EuroBungee, Paratrooper, Pirate Ship, Swing and Train Rides. The last four rides were new additions to the fair. Vendors such as Gaucho Grill, Taberna Mexicana, Mickey Fine and Cake Diva all attended. Plus, the Beverly Hills firemen held a barbeque and the Beverly Hills police were selling “cop corn” (pop corn). The layout of the fair differed from that of previous years. Instead of having all the rides in one place, they were spread out across the entire high school front lawn. “We were working to make the lines [of the rides] shorter and faster than last year. We spread the rides out so they were not all in one spot and so we could have better line control,” BHEF Director of Operations Lynda Curland said. As of print date, the amount of money raised at the Apple Harvest Fair is unknown. However, BHEF has high expectations. “Each year, the Apple Harvest Fair improves through better rides than the previous year, more community service participation, new vendors and, most importantly, more money raised for our schools,” Curland said.

Normans invade annual AIDS walk Dami KIm Staff Writer A sea of red and orange Normans flooded San Vincente Boulevard in West Hollywood at the 27th Annual AIDS Walk on Oct. 16. Beverly was among the 30,000 participants of the ten-kilometer walk through the streets of West Los Angeles and Hollywood in a fundraiser to support AIDS service groups. The AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) and 24 other organizations, including Project New Hope and Camp Laurel, received $3,005,014 in total from the walk to help promote the efforts in discovering new treatments to stop or subside further infections from AIDS. Along with Beverly’s service learning class, about 125 students participated on Sunday, according to service learning adviser Michelle Halimi. “I think it’s important for students to feel like they are part of a good cause in our county,” Halimi said. “Things are

changing, and we can see that because there were no protestors against AIDS walk or gay marriages this year.” Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and West Hollywood Mayor John J. Duran opened the AIDS walk ceremony with a speech about the community’s response to AIDS/HIV service programs. Jennifer Lewis closed the opening ceremony by singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” by Rodgers & Hammerstein. Senior Donya Enayati, from the service learning class, has been an annual participant of the AIDS walk. “Although this is my fourth time at the annual AIDS walk, I get really excited each year to get outside and walk six miles to help support a great cause in our community,” Enayati said. Many of the students looked forward to participating in the event for the first time. One of the students, junior Caroline Jimenez, was introduced to the fundraiser by her friends. “This is my first time involved in the AIDS

walk, and I am so excited to be part of it,” Jimenez said. However, some students such as Ericka Puyat, felt that the event needed more advertisement in order to to get more student involvement. “I think if we had more information announced by our school for the event would get more people to be interested in it,” Puyat said. Service learning formed a committee that was determined to raise awareness at school to increase participation. According to Enayati, it has been a great success with over 100 students participating each year. Service learning is open to anyone with an application and an enthusiastic spirit to help the community. According to Halimi, Service learning will be involved with more upcoming events such as the Thanksgiving food drive, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)/ Multiple Sclerosis (MS) soccer game against Milken High School, and a new recycling program.

PHOTO BY DAMI KIM

Quick Reads Madrigals visit Idyllwild for the weekend The Madrigal Singers recently came back from a trip to Idyllwild, a small town about 110 miles from Los Angeles. After a trip to China during the summer, the group is back and ready for a year of musical performances. On Oct. 14, the Madrigals left the City of Angels for the mountain community of Idyllwild, where the group got to spend time with one another while rehearsing music. Senior Eugene Ko, co-president of Madrigals, participated in the weekend retreat to Idyllwild. “Idyllwild is our trip to bond with all our members and to rehearse all the music we have set for the year. We played a few games to get to know each other better,” Ko said. According to Madrigals instructor Joel Pressman, the trip allowed the singers to work on a month’s worth of music during the course of just one weekend. “I can truthfully say that [the Madrigals’] music reading improved noticeably after the intense rehearsals at Idyllwild,” Pressman said. “I have a lot of new singers, and my goal for them is to be more experienced and skilled, so we’re working a lot in fundamentals.” The group is currently preparing for performances coming up later in the year, such as the Homecoming game, the teachers’ appreciation event and the annual choral festival. Sarit Kashanian

Orchestras hold Baroque-themed concert In an era where everything is focused on moving forward, the concert and chamber orchestras visited the Baroque time period of music during their concert on Oct. 20. The title of the concert predominantly reflects Baroque pieces that were played. However, one Christian hymn, “Sine Nomine,” was also performed, resulting in the addition of “beyond” to the theme. The first orchestra concert of the year usually occurs in December, but orchestra and band director Bill Bradbury wanted his students to get a feel for the concert experience before then. “I think it is good for students in a performance organization to have a performance target earlier in the year to prepare for,” Bradbury said. The concert and chamber orchestras both have new aspects. Concert orchestra welcomed back a harpist, sophomore Soraya Sadeghi, after not having one for a period of time. Although the chamber orchestra is mainly composed of upperclassmen, sophomore and first chair violist Avital Simone is in the minority for being one of the few underclassmen in the group. “I like the exclusive aspect of chamber orchestra, and being part of it gives me a sense of accomplishment,” Simone said. This concert was free; however, baked goods were sold to benefit the music program. There will be another concert with the Symphonic Band and both orchestras on Dec. 22. Michelle Banayan


3 news

MONDAY

October 28, 2011 Highlights

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

From left to right: Junior Jack Ross forces down a sandwich in Monday’s sandwich-making competition. Senior Malina Nasab and junior Allison Wolff prepare to bob for apples in Tuesday’s obstacle course. Seniors Ezra Laemmle and Madison Moore dress up and act as cheerleaders in Wednesday’s Powderpuff event. Krisha Deaver’s classroom door ties for first place on Thursday for the door decorating contest. ARMAN ZADEH

Haunted Homecoming conjures up school spirit

Brenda Mehdian Staff Writer Orange and black coat the school as Beverly gets hyped for Homecoming. With the timing of Homecoming coinciding with Halloween, this year’s theme is a Haunted Homecoming. Throughout the week, activities have had a spooky twist to them meant to excite the student body for Homecoming and spread school spirit. On Monday, ASB began selling spirit packs sponsored by the PTSA for five dollars each. The packs included a bag, vampire fangs, a glow-in-the-dark spider ring, black and orange sunglasses and a t-shirt. “The theme of Haunted Halloween was seen throughout the week through the events we held and the decorations we put up. Every aspect of Homecoming week tied into each other and told a story, all

the way from our assembly to the halftime event at the Homecoming game,” Junior Vice President Megan Yee said. From the beginning of the week, lunchtime activities were held on the front lawn. On Monday the nominees for homecoming court were announced. Nominees participated in an activity which tested their sandwich making abilities. On Tuesday students participated in an obstacle course in which the sophomores came out victorious. The Spirit Assembly created a buzz around campus with a video about Carri Sigrant, the fictitious ‘60s Homecoming nominee who mysteriously disappeared after losing the competition for Homecoming queen. Along with the video, sports teams, cheer, Madrigals and Dance Company made stage appearances.

“When the scary part of the video ended and it said some spirited message, I thought it was over, but it sure wasn’t. I have to say, it got me,” junior Jonny Lalezari said. Normapalooza and Powderpuff both took place on Wednesday. During Normapalooza, a fundraiser for school clubs, students bought tickets to purchase food and participate in activities, including throwing wet sponges at teachers. In the Powderpuff event, the varsity football players and the varsity cheerleaders switched positions and dressed up as each other. “I really look forward to Normapalooza, not only because of the good food, but to see the other cool stuff sold by clubs. It’s really funny watching the football team dress as cheerleaders. It really lifts out school spirit,” sophomore Rebecca

Nourafshan said. The door decorating contest was judged on Thursday during sixth period to see which door was the scariest. Teachers Aubrie Amelang, Melony Bronder and Krisha Deaver tied for first place. Students have the option of paying one dollar to write messages that Coach Leonard Mitchell, the game’s commentator, will announce during the half time show. The homecoming court will also be shown during that time. “Band will be playing ‘Thriller,’ cheer has a special routine planned, and Dance Company has been practicing a very scary new dance,” junior ASB member Talia Banayan said. With Homecoming only a few hours away, ASB hopes to extend school spirit throughout the entire student body and get everyone excited for the big game.

Robotics in preparation California textbooks towards future goals to teach gay tolerance Hae Lee Staff Writer “Mor power, mor teamwork, mor ingenuity, mor torq.” This is the team motto for the MorTorq Robotics Club. The competition season starts in January, and new Robotics Club members are currently getting to know each other and learning basic robot structures and their support functions. Robotics training began with the selection of joining the build team, producing animation or being involved in business or programming during an eighth period class designed exclusively for MorTorq called Entrepreneurship and Marketing. The club meets a few times a week to work towards its ultimate goal: representing Beverly Hills at the National and World championships in April. “I think that the club’s main goal is to train new recruits in everything so that we can continue to have a strong team in the future years. Also, to be really competitive candidates for Chairman’s Award [the most prestigious award offered at robotics competitions] and, of course, to have a good robot,” senior Anna

Khananashvili said. Robotics will meet almost every day during the six weeks of the build portion in January and February. Also, there are workshops offered on selected Sundays to educate the members on safety guidelines, procedures, and uses of specific tools. “We do several workshops which usually involve professional mentors. Last Sunday, we did a build workshop with a machinist who taught the students about safety in a shop and how to use various tools,” Robotics mentor Kevin Bowers said. The next competition will be held on March 17 at the Long Beach Convention Center. This will determine whether or not MorTorq will compete at Nationals. The challenge of the game will not be announced until the first day of the sixweek building period in March, in order to make sure every team in the nation starts and ends the building of their robot in the six weeks alloted. “Last year we were able to water-jet cut our team number into the design of our robot. We look forward to creating another cool machine that can represent Beverly Hills and show the community the amazing work our students will be doing. Our team is one of the few teams nationally that prides ourselves on being student designed and student built,” Bowers said.

Mabel Kabani Staff Writer Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a mandate declaring that contributors of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community will be a mandatory addition to public history textbooks from grades K-12. This makes California the first state to adopt such a law. The Democratic majority in the state legislature agreed on the implementation of this bill and passed it in July on a party line vote of 45-29. “History should be honest,” Brown said to the Huffington Post. “This bill revises existing laws that prohibit discrimination in education.” Republican lawmakers and conservative groups believe that this law is forcing children to learn about and accept homosexuality, which some parents find inappropriate. “Jerry Brown has trampled the parental rights of the overwhelming majority of California fathers and mothers,” Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia. com said to CBN News. “This new law will prohibit textbooks and teachers from telling children the facts that homosexuality is neither healthy nor biological.” Some parents and teachers believe that this addition is necessary to prevent children from growing up and becoming narrow minded and ignorant adults as long as the subject manner is handled in an appropriate manner.

“As long as these concepts will be handled tastefully, I wouldn’t mind students at such a young age learning this. As a history teacher, I know that portraying such delicate subjects in a more positive light will increase tolerance,” history teacher Pete Van Rossum said. “However, students in elementary school have such an innocence that will eventually go away. So only the basic idea needs to be taught, if at all, because this innocent phase doesn’t last long as it is.” Gay contributions and achievements are not the only concept that will be added to the new textbooks. Other topics regarding tolerance towards Pacific Islanders, Muslims and the disabled will also be taught. “There isn’t room for discrimination of any kind in our classrooms, our communities, or our state,” Dean Vogel, president of the California Teachers Association, mentioned to the Huffington Post. High school teachers who take upon this more democratic view believe that the lessons will not make a big difference in their class discussions. “As an AP history teacher, conversation [about homosexuals] usually comes up. So I personally will not feel affected by this law and I don’t think any of the other teachers at this school will either,” history teacher Malia Frutchy said. The updated textbooks are to be released when California is in a better economic state. The estimated year is 2015.


4 opinion

October 28, 2011 Highlights

Dream Act provides undocumented Californians financial aid to promote their higher education

For AB 131: a teacher’s perspective Gaby Herbst Adviser We’ve all heard the term “the American dream.” You know, the one that promises home ownership, 2.5 kids, a dog and a college education? This dream is one of the reasons immigrants have flocked to the United States for over a century. And now, the state of California has taken its own step to make part of this dream a reality. On Oct. 8, Governor Brown signed the California Dream Act (AB 131) into law. According to the state website, current law allows “undocumented students [to] pay resident tuition rates if they have graduated from a California high school and affirmed that they are in the process of applying to legalize their immigration status. Effective January 1, 2013, AB 131 will make this limited pool of students eligible to apply for Cal Grants and other state aid.” A previous portion of the California Dream Act (AB130) will allow these students to apply for private sources, as well. The state also estimates that only one percent of Cal Grant funds will go to students who can apply for financial aid under AB 131. That’s right, people. One percent. That’s all. And that one percent may represent up to 2,500 kids. We’re not talking about “illegal aliens,” here. This law will help thousands of hardworking kids, kids who did everything right once they set foot on American soil. Kids who followed all the rules, worked hard, kept their nose to the grindstone, participated in community and school groups. Kids whose parents

brought them here to give them the opportunity that we all strive for: to attain the American dream. I’ve worked with these students. Many of my undocumented students did not even know they were illegally brought into the country until they wanted to register for the SAT only to find out they did not have social security numbers. Imagine living your whole life thinking you were an American citizen, being the best you could be, only to find out that your parents brought you here (illegally) for a better life, and you can’t have one due to no fault of your own. Students who benefit from AB 131 and AB 130 are good people. They are good students. They are good members of their communities. They want nothing more than to be good Americans, and participate and give back to a system that gave so much to them. The California Dream Act allows our state to fulfill the dreams and promises of our immigrant nation. The California Dream Act allows these kids to be one step closer, not only to fulfilling the American dream, but to play a role in the future of making this a better America for everyone.

Against AB 131: a student’s perspective Lilia Abecassis Staff Writer

On Oct. 8 Governor Jerry Brown signed the second half (AB 131) of the California Dream Act bill, which allows undocumented students access to state-funded scholarship money. The bill sparked debate amongst California citizens, especially families with college-bound students. It will take effect in January 2013. T h e “Dream” in Dream Act is an acronym for Development, Relief, and Education cartoon by Sasha Park for Alien Minors. It gives away money to people who are not taxpaying citizens of the state. In a perfect world, it would be great if the state could help everyone in need, but unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, so when given the option, legal citizens should have priority when receiving the limited amount of financial aid money. We are in an economic crisis with a state unemployment rate of 12 percent, and it is having an obvious effect on public education. The rising UC tuition is making it harder for middleclass families to afford to send their children to college. With an 18 percent increase since last year, the UC tuition has doubled since 2005. Tuition is $13,200 per year, but with books and all other costs, the total is around $31,000 for

Editorial Bilak makes controversial remarks

P

ublic servants at every level of government must be held accountable to a certain standard of comport-

ment. Campaigns are undeniably fraught with missteps, from amusing malapropisms to career-ending affairs. Some of these errors are forgivable, as they often result from the intense pressure of a campaign, while others are gross violations of acceptable conduct. Frances Bilak’s treatment of senior Max Schwartz falls into the latter category. Schwartz, a member of kbev and host of its “Let’s Talk Politics,” attempted to schedule a televised debate for Nov. 4, the last Friday before the Nov. 8 election. All four candidates initially accepted his invitation, but Bilak withdrew at a later date, citing an objection to the scheduled time, which coincided with the Jewish sabbath. It is hard to fault Bilak for adhering to religious dictates; however, her handling of the situation demonstrates poor judgment. Bilak’s ultimate selling point is her espousal of a strict, uniform anti-bullying policy that brings teachers, in addition to children, into the fold. Bilak’s desire to cover adults under this

policy does not seem to extend to herself. The peak of her ridiculousness is in her threats: in an email, Bilak told Schwartz she would let “the newspapers know tomorrow as well as the synagogues,” as revealed by Beverly Hills Patch. Threats are bullying. Since the incident, she has allegedly reached out to Schwartz. However, in a blog post on Sunday, the candidate coolly mentioned that she “spent time with so many people,” including the Schwartz family. In a statement to Patch, Jennifer Terrell Schwartz, the mother of Max, said, “Frances approached us at the Apple Harvest Faire and repeatedly asked to take a picture with us. Considering everything that had happened, I considered this to be in the worst possible taste. But wishing to model a behavior of forgiveness for our children, [my husband] Mitch and I briefly engaged her in conversation and quickly moved on,” Schwartz wrote. “This has been a difficult experience for our family and friends, and one that we are eager to put behind us.” Bilak’s misconduct with Schwartz and his family—including her bullying, deceit and name-dropping—express her tremendous inadequence to serve on the Board of Education.

Frances Bilak responds to “the incident”

“I feel that it was really a terrible misunderstanding of emails and communications. And, you know, I’ve reached out to Max [Schwartz] and his family [and they] accepted my apology. I would say to those people [who believe Bilak bullied Schwartz] that none of ‘em called me. And you actually need to question those people who don’t ever go to the source, and find out, you know, perhaps, all their facts. But the fact is [that] I went to the source, and I apologized to Max and his parents. And I did that privately because I don’t believe that things need to be done grandstanding. And I’ve always believed that when people make mistakes that you need to go to the person that you make the mistake with to ask them for forgiveness because when you need to make big issues out of it, then it appears as if you’re not truly looking at the person but you’re looking at the impact of the issue. And it’s as if you’ve forgotten the person. I was concerned about Max, and so I went to Max. You know, I went to Max. You know, I didn’t feel that anybody else was important. He was important. So as to anybody else saying anything? They can believe what they want to believe. I went to Max and his parents. They were the people who were important to me.” Minimally edited for clarity.

students living on campus. The average California household earns around $54,400 a year, but when college tuition cost is subtracted from that, the average family isn’t left with much. This is why financial aid is so crucial and can make a difference as to whether or not a student attends college. Any funds should be awarded to citizens who pay taxes in the state of California. Supporters of the DREAM Act argue that helping illegal immigrants afford college will assist them with having a better future and career, but they fail to realize that aliens who receive scholarship money won’t be legalized and they won’t even be able to utilize their degree after graduation. Scholarship money is limited and should be given to citizens, rather than illegal immigrants. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Dream Act could cost between twenty two million and forty two million per year. Eighty eight million dollars of privately funded financial aid will also be available to any student who qualifies for it, legal or not. This lowers the chances of citizens receiving part of this money. Of this, thirteen million will be from a sum of money specifically for low-income, documented students, according to the Southern California Public Radio. The already-fierce competition for scholarship money will be even more competitive when illegal immigrants are added to the picture. In addition, admission to colleges will be much more difficult. Illegal immigrants will be more likely to apply to colleges knowing they can receive financial aid. When it comes to a limited amount of financial aid, recipients should be legal, taxpaying citizens, not undocumented immigrants.

The Staff Nathan Ong and Mallika Sen Editors-in-Chief

Candice Hannani News Editor

Danny Licht Opinion Editor

Benjamin Hannani Feature Editor

Vincent Brock and Julia Waldow Centerfold Editors

Sayeh Mohamadi and Chandra O’Connor Arts & Style Editors

Austin Grant-Dixon Spotlight Editor

Ryan Feinberg Sports Editor

Sayeh Mohammadi Business Manager

Oliver Gallop, Alex Menache, AJ Parry and Ginelle Wolfe Staff Photographers

Bless Bai, Sasha Park and AJ Parry Staff Cartoonists

Lilia Abecassis, Michelle Banayan, Chanan Batra, Celine Hakimianpour, Mabel Kabani, Sarit Kashanian, Zoe Kenealy, Dami Kim, Hae Lee, Brenda Mehdian, AJ Parry, Shannon Toobi and Arman Zadeh Staff Writers

Gaby Herbst and Katie Murray

Advisers This newspaper is produced by the Advanced Journalism class of Beverly Hills High School 241 Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90212.

Corrections from Highlights (Volume II, Issue One; Volume II, Issue Two): Vonzie Paysinger, not Donald Paysinger, was interviewed on page eleven; Jay Solnit’s name was misspelled on page five.


opinion 5

October 28, 2011 Highlights

Locals dramatize subway’s issues Danny Licht Opinion Editor

“We need to hire lobbyists, attorneys and PR people,” board member Steven Fenton said. “This keeps me up at night,” board president Lisa Korbatov said, calling it “a juicy target for terror.” Although this doomsday anticipation may come across as indicating a cataclysm, the above quotations refer to something a tad different: the improvement and extension of the Los Angeles Metro Rail. The MTA plans the subway extension to run underneath our school, which has struck a nerve with some in our town. Many, if not all, of the nervous protesters concerns, however, are dramatized to a point of invalidity. One major worry is the possibility of a terrorist attack via the subway’s tunnel, which is absurd. Should we students be taught to live in fear? Should we the community halt the progress of the county Los Angeles because of potential, unwarranted terrorist threat? Should we be so pretentious as to assume that our school is so important to the functioning of America—akin to the World Trade Center, White House and Pentagon—that it should be annihilated by radicals? Really the sole valid worry is the fee of war. Millions of dollars from the Measure E bond would be spent in this battle against the MTA, a battle where the district will likely prove nothing but martyrdom. The extended subway will better our greater community, will provide Californians with jobs and will not affect our schooling. Furthermore, the ability to easily and cheaply travel Los Angeles will give motivated students the priceless opportunity to extend their educa-

The Inbox tion far beyond Moreno Drive and the provincial Beverly Hills bubble. Put it like this: you know pipes (the nontobacco kind)? And how they’re everywhere? And how they provide easy transportation? How they are necessary for our well-being? And how most of us rarely notice them nor appreciate their potential? Think of the subway as a pipe, just a little bigger. the inbox

Your editorial criticism (“Quality, not quantity, when hiring and firing new teachers,” June 17, 2011) on what you called “teacher tenure” suffers from both factual errors and a misunderstanding of how California’s due process system for teachers actually functions. In 1976 California legislated the Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA) that provided for collective bargaining and due process rights for teachers in K-12 public education. K-12 teachers in California do not have tenure regardless of the fact that most people call it such. Another factual error occurred when you stated that “a teacher who had been teaching for three years at one school will be tenured, while a teacher transferring to the school after 20 years of teaching will not be tenured and will be given a lower salary [Mr. Horowitz’s italics].” You make this statement in regard to your complaint that a teacher’s salary should not be based upon experience but rather on teaching ability. What this means, of course, is that those administrators who fail to eliminate ineffective teachers during the two (and sometimes more than two) years before due process rights are earned will be the same administrators who will be determining which teachers deserve merit pay for effective teaching. Furthermore, you are incorrect when stating the 20-year teacher beginning at

a new school will be given a lower salary than the three-year teacher. More importantly, BHUSD’s recent past, when the most significant problem was ineffective administrators provides yet another reason why both seniority and due process rights are important in public education. Finally, your statement that once teachers earn “tenure” they “do not have any other motivation to continue teaching at the same former [higher] standard” insults all teachers who have dedicated their careers to educating children. Administrators should do a better job hiring and evaluating new teachers and perhaps California’s due process procedures need revision. Yes, there are ineffective teachers who should leave the profession. But you should know that teachers themselves are the biggest critics in these situations since we all get blamed for the problems that result. If the editorial staff of Highlights is truly serious about finding ways to improve public school education, let me suggest the following. I believe an honest discussion about the problems that do exist and perhaps efforts to bring about reform will yield both greater understanding of the issues and perhaps the means to resolve them. I personally am ready to meet with any members of Highlights to begin this effort. Stewart Horowitz Social Studies Dept. I would like to clarify any misperceptions that may have resulted from the article “Adjustments in Foreign Language Dept. affect class options and sizes” in your last edition (October 14). While it is true that we have expanded the Chinese program to three classes this year and we have lost a full-time Spanish teacher, we have lost only one section of French. The loss of the one French section has

contributed to a great increase in the numbers in most of our French classes, as the loss of the Spanish teacher has increased many of the Spanish class sizes. My own five French classes are in fact bigger than they have ever been, with two classes at 30 [students] and the others close behind. To my understanding, the reduction of class sections in both French and Spanish are mostly due to the effects of budget cuts district-wide in these difficult financial times. The French program has in fact maintained its numbers over time pretty consistently and besides the loss of the one section this year has not seen a recent reduction in popularity overall. In terms of other measures of relative “popularity,” we have had a huge increase this year in French Club membership, which is now bigger than it has ever been before (over 50 active members); we have had increasing voluntary participation in the National French Contest given every year; and most of our students actively participate in our National French Week activities and our annual Cabaret event at the end of the school year. As a department, we are pleased to offer so many options of languages for students and we even have a number of students who take more than one language simultaneously. We hope this will continue, as we also hope to be able to expand our offerings in every language. Corinne Carlson Foreign Language Dept. Chair Even if the topic seems completely drab, reading Danny Licht’s articles is like eating chocolate. I always look out for them. Joel Yadidian, senior · Letters should be emailed with the writer’s name and grade level or position to beverlyhighlights@


6 homecoming

October 28, 2011 Highlights

Haunted Homecoming events induce Orange feverish excitement, extend through the week

Clockwise, from left: Krisha Deaver’s door was one of three winning doors in the decorating contest. The varsity football and varsity cheerleading teams pose in their Powderpuff uniforms on Wednesday, during Normapalooza. Aubrie Amelang’s door was another winner of the decorating contest. The sophomore homecoming nominees participate in Tuesday’s obstacle course. Senior Ezra Laemmle is hoisted in a cheerleading stunt, while senior Brandon Adams attempts a toe touch. Photos by OLIVER GALLOP and ARMAN ZADEH


October 28, 2011 Highlights

homecoming 7

Clockwise, from left: Students throw sponges at teachers in the Vocal Music Department-sponsored booth at Normapalooza. Senior Lucy Licht announces the obstacle course rules on Tuesday. Senior Eric Simsolo gets into the cheer spirit. Senior Kristen Abajian plays quarterback in the Powderpuff game. Cheer squares off in Powderpuff.


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Highlights

centerfold

struggling Americans. Members of the group are angered by the top one percent of Americans who are “getting everything,” as stated by their official Tumblr page. According to Nelson Schwartz and Eric Dash of the New York Times Co., Wall Street bankers see the protestors as “a ragtag group looking for sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll,” describing the discord between bankers and the 99 Percent. Based on a survey conducted by the Baruch College School of Public Affairs of 1,619 demonstrators, 64 percent of protestors are under the age of 34, 13.1 percent are unemployed, 87 percent earn under $75,000 annually, less than 30 percent belong to a political party and 66 percent are regular Facebook users. These are the people who make up “The 99.” Whatever or whomever the protestors represent, their global spread is an indication that demonstrators have stroked a sensitive topic relatable to people all across the globe.

On July 13, 2011, Adbusters Media Foundation, a nonprofit anti-consumerist organization, kicked off a plan to assemble 20,000 people on Wall Street in New York, to begin an occupation on Sept. 17 that would last two months. Known as “Occupy Wall Street,” this movement has gathered thousands of followers across the country and other parts of the world. Although its message is not always clear, the movement’s goal is to eliminate big corporations who they claim are buying government policies, receiving government bail outs when they are deemed “ too big too fail,” or given tax breaks that demonstrators believe should go to the 99 Percent, according to numerous articles from the official Ocuppy Wall St. website. The 99 Percent refers to a popular group whose beliefs coincide with those of “Occupy Wall Street” and describe themselves as

Danny Licht Opinion Editor

OCCUPY HONG KONG and red. Numbers of objectors fluctuated from 40 to 500 people throughout the day. For the most part, the protest was peaceful. There was one encounter between the protesters and the police over banners hung up; however, after little resistance, the banners were taken down. Although most rallies revolve around single policies or issues, this protest broadly focused on capitalist inequalities. Demonstrators hoped that their protest would trigger a discussion or a reevaluation of capitalism and its role in the gap between the rich and the poor.

Shannon Toobi Staff Writer Occupy Central took to the streets of Hong Kong to protest the monopoly power of big corporations and the evils of capitalism on Oct 15. The protests were a response to Occupy Wall Street rallies launched in New York a month ago. The public demonstrations took place at the Exchange Square and later moved to the HSBC headquarters, where some passionate protesters stayed overnight in tents draped with anti-capitalism banners written in black

OCCUPY ITALY to the Basilica of St. John Lateran. Many believed in a peaceful movement, but a mass riot soon ensued. A handful of Occupy Rome activists burned police vehicles, smashed windows, overturned cars, set fire to banks and shops and threw rocks at policemen. Police released waves of teargas to fight off the demonstrators. By the time the conflict ceased, seventy people were injured and all hopes of reconciliation between police and protestors were lost.

Julia Waldow Centerfold Editor Violence and chaos exploded in Rome when demonstrators protested against the Italian government on Oct. 15. Many of these activists were frustrated with Italy’s economic crisis, lack of growth, inconsistent legislative policies and budget cuts and tax increases under Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s rule. Initially, the protesters’ goal was to march from a square near Rome’s central train depot, past the Colosseum and ultimately

A.J. PARRY

85 high school students were polled on October 27, 2011

OCCUPY LIBYA/EGYPT Sarit Kashanian Staff Writer Protests in the Middle East go wild as the “Occupy” movement spreads from Wall Street to other parts of the world. What may be considered the largest general strike in Lebanon’s history is currently occurring in the nation, where The General Labor Confederation demands higher wages, in addition to other orders. Outside the Council of Ministers’ offices on Oct. 19, The Teacher Unions’ Coordination Committee of Lebanon held a sit-in demanding that teachers be paid a salary similar to that of other occupations, and that inflation be adjusted. Demonstrations grew so severe that the teachers’ union went on strike, crippling the nation’s education system. Unlike the peaceful occupations taking place in the U.S., nations like Egypt are becoming increasingly more hostile and resentful toward their governments. Egyptians’ grievances include corruption in government elections, restrictions on free speech and press and poor living conditions. Tension turned to bloodshed when, on Oct. 9, the army police of Cairo killed more than 20

Coptic Christian protestors petitioning against the burning of a church. While rebelling against the injustices taking place in their government, some protestors were run over by military vehicles and others were shot. The military blamed the protestors for the outcome of the conflict, claiming that the Copts incited a fight with the Muslims. Leaders in

rights. Following Tunisia’s and Egypt’s example earlier in the year, the Libyans retaliated against Gaddafi’s rule and started a revolution that the UN would involve itself in on many occasions during the subsequent months. Finally in his hometown of Sirte, Gaddafi was discovered while in hiding.

Europe and the U.S. began to question the ability of the military council to protect human rights. All the world’s eyes turned to Libya when, on Oct. 20, tyrannical dictator Muammar Gaddafi was pronounced dead. For years Gaddafi sentenced his people to authoritarian laws and abolishment of basic civil

Libyan rebel forces captured him alive, shot him in the head and beat him as he bled to death. Although the “Occupying” taking place in the U.S. anticipates a greater awareness in the citizens and their government, the same movement may foretell serious trouble in Middle Eastern countries.

OCCUPY LOS ANGELES

OCCUPY SOUTH AMERICA

Sayeh Mohammadi Arts&Style Editor

Vincent Brock Centerfold Editor

The Occupy LA movement has brought together thousands of unsatisfied residents of the 99%. Throughout California, activists have joined to demand reform. On Oct. 14, about 300 former Unite Here Local 11 union workers and Occupy LA activists held a demonstration outside of the Hotel Bel-Air entrance. Beginning Oct. 4, Occupy LA activists camped outside of City Hall, protesting against the new economic policies which they believe benefit the large and wealthy American companies, rather than the “99%,” who are not among the one percent of the wealthiest Americans. The demonstration included live music, displayed artwork and an open microphone for protestors to voice their concerns or ask questions about new policies. Canyon Grove, who refused to say where he studies communications and coaches lacrosse, participated in the demonstration. “We have the power as the 99% to make a difference, we have rights as Americans and the government needs to honor that,” Grove said. He and his friends played music, held signs and told the crowd their hopes for the future. Overall, Grove felt the demonstration was a success, and felt like it was a family that had come together to support itself. “You can just feel the energy here, it’s so powerful.”

As global protests spread to South American countries demanding reform in government, economic structure, corporate power and poverty, students and young adults included in the ‘silent majority’ have been everything but silent. Protests in countries such as Chile, Argentina and Columbia have addressed issues that are not very relevant in demonstrations in other areas of the world. In early October, huge Chilean protests, better known as the ‘Chilean Winter,’ took place to remove the for-profit school system currently in place. With one of the worst higher-education rates and almost no state participation, it comes as no surprise that many protesters have turned to violence due to almost no reform made by the government. Very quickly, peaceful objection has evolved to tear gas fights between riot police and students, as well as burning barricades in the streets and physical violence. Despite huge requests in education reform, South American demonstrators’ demands are similar to those occupying Wall Street in New York City. During the last couple of weeks, an Argentinian group known as ‘Los Indignados (the indignant ones), helped flood the Congressional Palace of Buenos Aires, urging changes caused the separation of social classes, the global economic system and unemployment.

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Hackers vow to destroy social protesting networks

OCCUPY ALL STREETS

OCCUPY WALL ST.

Arman Zadeh Staff Writer

October 28, 2011

There is a supposedly good-intentioned association that vows to destroy Facebook on Nov. 5. But I don’t care. This computer-hacking group called Anonymous (which, by definition, makes it not anonymous) may be related to a hacktivist group that goes by the same name, or the author of “Beowulf.” In early August the group posted a twominute, instantly-viral video on YouTube, which begins with a Romanesque epic tune and eases into a Siri-toned voiceover. A black-and-white U.N. crest is filled with a headless suit and topped off with a question mark. The headless suit warns us that the “medium of communication [we] all so dearly adore will be destroyed.” At this point, I’m just about shaking. Here’s where it gets complicated. The larger hacktivist group, Anonymous, has said that it does not—or no longer does—support the anti-Facebook effort. And, recently, the subsidiary or independent Anonymous group has removed its official video from YouTube. This larger group has made other, similar attacks in the past. Recap: there may be one group who just denies its involvement with its subsidiary, other there may be two groups, with one that pretends to be associated with the larger group because of its prominence. The larger group’ first effort, Project Chanology of early 2008, was a protest against the tax that the Church of Scientology requires its followers to pay. The group is hostile and unforgiving, as their slogan explains. “We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.” Last year, the Oregon Tea Party used this jingle on marketing material. A few hours after this appeared on the party’s website, a new message appeared: “Anonymous: We appreciate your resources

OCCUPY LONDON Dami Kim Staff Writer WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s speech of constructing the law rather than destroying the law rang throughout the crowd of protestors on at the steps of London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral Oct. 15, 2011. With reminders of earlier August protests resonating in Londoners’ memories, this protest was rather peaceful. In northern London, Tottenham, a police officer shot a man in a taxi on Aug. 7. This

on fire. With this occurrence in mind, police officers equipped themselves with riot gear and lined with the streets around the St. Paul’s Cathedral. However this was unnecessary as protestors only protested with some signs and small group talks according to Time. The ‘Occupy’ movement stands against the greedy and wealthiest corporations internationally across the globe and will continue to be held in 951 cities in 82 countries, according to CNN. Londoners

tragic enigma prompted the disturbed Tottenham community to perform violent riots against police officers. According to the Tribune, an estimate of 200 rioters threw petrol bombs and set three police cars, a bus, banks, shops and a supermarket

plan to achieve their goals of forcing the government to reconstruct laws to improve financial crisis since it has unrightfully gambled with citizens’ money with government cuts through unnecessary corporate powers.

and admire your tactics. You have taught us more than you know. As requested, we are no longer using the ‘anonymous’ quote.” Maybe there is some bite to their bark. In following this theme, the vendettaagainst-Facebook video melodramatically and monotonically alert the viewer that “Facebook has been selling information to government agencies.” Just take a pause and really let that marinate. Imagine the positively horrific consequences of Congress knowing my favorite band. (By the way, if Facebook weren’t telling Nancy Pelosi her sole desire—to know what you have been listening to on Spotify— Congress could probably friend request us and we’d accept. Remember that fake Asian bombshell who added you a couple months ago? It was actually John Boehner.) This liberty bell continues to chime with fancy words like “clandestine” and “settings.” But beyond this five-dollar lingo, the scariest part of the whole video is just the thought that someone took the time to verbally attack Facebook (and with fancy words at that). Near the conclusion, the headless U.N. crest tells the viewer that free services really mean “they’re making money off of you and your information.” And what that means is that Facebook is giving advertisers access to our basic information (i.e. as liked pages) to taylor advertisements to individual tastes. So if Facebook is giving me a topnotch, constantly evolving social media service for the toll of personally-selected advertisements, so be it. I like free a lot and I hate bad advertisements more. If all I have to give up for Facebook is some New York advertising agency knowing that deep down I actually like Ingrid Michaelson, so be it. The bottom line is that—proven only by keen eyes and a boyish naïveté—Facebook is not malicious, and we have no need to be suspicious. Let’s just keep calm and carry on.

OCCUPY SPAIN

Ginelle Wolfe Staff Photographer

Throughout Spain, cities such as Madrid, Seville and Barcelona have joined together in demonstrations. Beginning five months earlier than the Occupy movement in the U.S., groups of over 200,000 people in Spain have been protesting since May 11, 2011. The protestors go by the name of the Indignados, Spanish for “angry ones.” The protestors are trying to influence politicians for the upcoming elections. If successful, the Indignados will receive more benefits. The Indignados are opposed to the fact that 1% of the population controls 30% of all the wealth and seek a more equal distribution of capital. As Europe deals with various suffering economies and the Euro, the Spanish bank is using citizens’ tax money to bail out struggling countries such as Portugal and itself. The bank’s actions angered many Spanish citizens and created national debt. Due to lack of money, Spain has been forced to enact spending cuts in healthcare and education. This added to citizens’ discontent. Because the European economies are linked through the European Union, Europe’s protests are different than those in the U.S. Due to the economic connection between European countries, the failure of one economy will greatly affect every other European economy.

Oct 28  

Beverly Hills Highlights Vol 85 Issue 3