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The city and district face problems redoing the “incompetent, borderline fradulent” pool construction.


Junior Alleyna Meehan moved from Are men’s and women’s differences Paradise to Burlingame after the biological or social? Claire Hunt and Camp Fire burned down her home. Charlie Chapman battle it out.


A look at the work that went into winning the football CCS Championship in the Ocean division.


December 18, 2018

Issue 4 Vol. 120

FDA regulations do not mean change for Juulers PHOTO BY TYLER IDEMA

Juuling remains a popular activity for students despite regulations.


Sports Editor

Since the founding of Juul in 2017, the San Francisco based company has grown exponentially, earning a revenue of over $1.1 billion. A large portion of the product’s success can be attributed to its popularity among adolescents. It has been close to a year since Juuling was last reported by the Burlingame B, and Juul use is still widely prevalent around Burlingame High School. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally cracked down on Juul because of its popularity among teens. The FDA threatened to ban Juul sales, causing to the company to remove fruity flavors from gas stations

and make their process for buying Juuls online more strict. Although these regulations seem to hinder young teens’ Juul use, they may not have much of an effect. “Changes in Juul won’t make a difference. The flavors that Juulers buy are still in gas stations, and there are always people and ways to get the flavors you want besides just ordering off the website,” said a Juuler at Burlingame who would like to remain anonymous for fear of repression. According to Truth Initiative, 74 percent of teens in April 2018 purchased their Juuls from a physical retail location, 52 percent received them through social sources, and only six percent bought Juul products online. This statistic

implies that the recent changes made by Juul will not affect teen clients because most teen Juulers did not buy their Juul online before Juul added restrictions. “I think there is a much higher risk now for addiction, and there is high availability for [Juuls],” health teacher Laurie Hudelson said. “It is very concerning to me. Also, they are little, discreet and they closely resemble a USB drive so they can be easily hidden.” Juuls measure only around 3.5 inches, allowing teens to easily hide and keep these devices for long periods of time. The size and availability of Juul only make it easier for students to stay addicted.

JUUL continued, page 2


Band, choir put on holiday concert Upstairs bathroom closure creates chaos


Senior Reporter

Wind Ensemble plays their second to last song, “Vesuvius.” PHOTO BY LILY PAGE

The lights began to dim in the auditorium at Burlingame on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. and silence and stillness ensued. Then, a flurry of yellow and blue stage lights pointed at the center of the stage where the jazz band stood. An introduction by the Burlingame band director, Kristin Kunzelman, acknowledging the audience followed. She then walked to the podium, lifted the baton, and the classic “In the Mood” by Joe Garland began. “I think the jazz band overall did really well, everybody put out their best effort and I think our hard work paid off. For the next concert, we should focus on the blend of the sounds and tones from the band and make sure that no instrument is too overpowering,” said junior Camden Stuart, a performer in jazz band. In total, the jazz band played four pieces: “In the Mood,” “Channel One Suite,” “Recorda Me” and “Barnburner.” After the last piece ended, Kunzelman walked to the microphone and introduced the concert band, who played “Awakening Hills,” “Metrodance,” “Pixar Movie Music” and “The Holly and the Ivy.” “I enjoyed ‘The Holly and the Ivy’ by Tom Wallace the most because I liked the festive theme and thought it was perfect for the holidays,” said junior Olivia Vina from the concert band. “But I think the audience enjoyed ‘Pixar Movie Music’ more because it includes familiar melodies such as ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’ and the main theme from Ratatouille.” The final intermission occurred and the wind ensemble prepared to play their four songs: “Folk Danc-

Burlingame High School concert choir sings “Toboggan for Two.” es,” “Molly on the Shore,” “Vesu- formed and was followed by the vius” and “Midnight Sleighride.” Burlingame concert choir, which The next night was the Burlin- sang “Ilumina Oculus Meos” and game and San Mateo choirs’ con- “Toboggan for Two.” cert in the San Mateo Performing “My favorite song was ‘TobogArts Center. The concert began at gan for Two’ because the music 7 p.m. with Shawn Reifschneider, was very complex and each secthe director of both choirs, in- tion, individually, worked really troducing the Burlingame High hard to understand it,” said junior School choir and the San Mateo Sophie Aziza from the Burlingame High School choir. The San Ma- concert choir. teo chorus began the concert with The San Mateo choir concert, “A la Media Noche,” a traditional chamber singers and combined Puerto Rican carol and “In Win- choir concerts performed later that ter” featuring a solo by Ariana Lac- night. Finally, the holiday concert son. After the San Mateo chorus, ended with “Hallelujah Chorus” the choruses from both schools sung by the combined choirs, combined and sang two songs. alumni and anyone who wanted Then, the Burlingame chorus per- to join in.


Staff Reporter

In mid-November, a sign reading “Bathrooms temporarily closed” appeared on the door of the second-floor girls’ restroom in the A building. Since then, the lack of a bathroom has caused long lines in other bathrooms during brunch and lunch. Students needing to use the bathroom during class, especially in the language wing where the closed bathroom is located, must go out of their way to use the restroom. “We had had a series of problematic issues in there—a lot of trash, different levels of vandalism—and we cleaned it up,” Principal Paul Belzer said. “We tried to get up there to help supervise, and then a while back there was a more overt act of vandalism.” The administration felt that it was unnecessary to have four restrooms open, and closed the upstairs A-building bathroom because it is smaller than the other bathrooms and missing needed supervision. However, as soon as class ends, lines form out the doors, most noticeably in the downstairs A building but also in the C- and F- building girls’ restrooms. “I always go to the bathroom upstairs after fourth period, and now I can’t, and then the lines downstairs are too long. So I just don’t go during breaks, and I have to use my class time to use the restroom,” sophomore Melanie Gordon said. “I end up having to decide between eating lunch and using the bathroom.” As a result of the loss of the upstairs bathroom, students now wait in long lines, sacrificing their lunch or break time when

there is a functional restroom which some students believe would drastically minimize these wait times. “They’re punishing everyone when they should only be punishing those who are misusing the bathrooms,” sophomore Sydney Roncal said. Spanish and Italian teacher Giuseppina Heyer observed that students who leave during her class to use the bathroom must go downstairs or to a different building. As a result, they miss valuable class time and instruction. While it’s not an ideal situation for students to miss class, Heyer recognizes the responsibility of both the students and the administration in taking care of the bathroom. “We cannot monitor the bathrooms all the time, especially if we are teaching. Students need to be on the lookout for what is going on and take responsibility for the cleanliness of an environment that is for all of us,” Heyer said. Belzer hopes that the bathroom will eventually reopen if students respect other bathrooms on campus. The administration is more inclined to reopen the upstairs bathroom if they see less vandalism in the other restrooms and less trash and disarray in other facilities. “I hope that the bathrooms get reopened soon for the benefit of everybody, but I think that students that use the bathroom need to be responsible for the maintenance of the bathroom,” Heyer said. As of this paper’s publication, the boys’ restroom in the first floor of the A building has also been closed.



December 18, 2018


Staff Reporter

In November 1997, Burlingame planned to build a new pool. Originally scoped out to be the typical six-lane, 25-yard pool, a generous donation from an anonymous philanthropist gave the district enough funds to build the pool we have today: 20 lanes each measuring 25 yards with the ability to flip the lane lines into long course (8 lanes measuring 50 meters), the district’s first and only Olympic size pool. For nearly a decade, the postswim and swim lessons occur simultaneously, while also providing jobs for many swim instructors, lifeguards, coordinators and coaches. The pool served as an asset to both the school and the community, an aquatic center that could easily host high school sports and clubs. However, over the years, many have uncovered problems with the original pool construction. “The construction job was incompetent, borderline fraudulent, but the construction company has since gone out of business so we can’t seek compensation from them.” Mayor Michael Brownrigg said. In 2014, the district and the city understood that the pool was very expensive to maintain given its broken state, and larger repairs were necessary. Over two months

in 2015, minor pool repairs were completed that sufficed for a time. However, in March 2018, the district and the city agreed that the pool needed a much larger repair to maintain functionality under heavy usage. The project was estimated to last from June through September 2018, with programs moved to the pools at Capuchino and San Mateo. However, once the repairs began, it became clear that the deck needed more than just a fix, given its critically flawed condition. The repair deadline was initially pushed to October 2018, then December 2018. Eventually, the district made the decision to halt repairs, tear up the old pool completely and build a brand new one. “Do it once and do it right,” Brownrigg said. This complete repair does not just increase the price tag from two million dollars to six and a half million dollars but requires a slew of certifications from the state architect. Currently, SMUHSD is working to obtain clearance to begin construction. Simultaneously, the city and the district are currently discussing what would be a fair allocation of the cost for the new pool. However, assuming the funding is obtainable as soon as the construction is cleared, the pool will be completed as of December 2019 through March 2020.

The pool construction is now at a $6.4 million price tag. Aside from the construction, the aquatic community has taken a severe hit from the prolonged closure. As previously mentioned, the facility had been used by the school and by Burlingame Aquatic Club,

A race until the gavel bangs: Mock Trial prepares for their first case


Staff Reporter

Mock Trial is preparing for their first competition, which will take place on Jan. 4. Mock Trial is a part of the Constitutional Rights Foundation, a program implemented in San Mateo County through the San Mateo County Bar Association. The Bar Association is comprised of a group of lawyers in the community who volunteer to help students prepare for their mock trials. Students first receive a contrived case and are assigned to either the defense or the prose-

cution. They are then required to build their cases on both sides. “We are going through the case packet. We are also writing the lines of questioning for our witnesses and writing opening and closing statements,” Co-President Clara Kennedy said. During the competition, the team argues their case in front of a judge and jury comprised of volunteer lawyers who eventually reach a verdict. The side that gains the most points due to their arguments and role-playing wins the competition. Every Tuesday, the Mock Trial club meets in history teacher Jim Chin’s room, joined

meaning both school and club water sports are relegated to whatever nearby pool space can be found. Students interested in expediting the construction can send an email or letter to members of

the SMUHSD board of trustees telling them why they value the Burlingame pool and how a sped-up construction job would be beneficial for themselves or the community as a whole.

JUUL, continued from page 1 According to the anonymous juuler, they have been smoking juuls for a year now, and smoke almost everyday. That dependency on Juul is a result of the high levels of nicotine that Juul contains. One Juul pod has the same amount of nicotine as a full pack of cigarettes, making this product highly addictive. Juuling has also been proven to cause adverse health effects. Impulsive behavior, and bad decision-making are direct results of Juuling, and according to Mrs. Hudelson, “Juuls contain a lot more Benzoic Acid compared to other e-cigarettes, which can be dangerous to the body. It causes

by the Burlingame team’s volunteer lawyer, Dennis Zell. “I do it because I think it’s important to teach students the rules of law and how a trial works and how the law works,” Zell said. The Mock Trial team has eight attorneys: four for defense and four for prosecution. Since five of those attorneys were seniors last year, the team has more underclassmen than in the previous year. “Our team right now seems pretty strong. I’m actually pretty impressed with the freshmen I see this year, and the seniors have been really on top of everything,” Chin said.

damages to the lungs, damage to the airways, it can cause coughing, and it can cause asthma.” Even though the NASAFDA regulations were a step in the right direction for Juul, the social trend it has created is going to require drastic changes in order for it to stop. Juuls motto has been to be an alternative for adult smokers, but so far they have instead created a fun craze for teens. “Nicotine is a really tough addiction, it’s harder to get off nicotine than it is any other drug… once you are hooked now, it’s a lifelong addiction, and that is exactly what tobacco companies want,” Mrs. Hudelson said.


THE BURLINGAME B STAFF Teacher Adviser: Melissa Murphy

Sports Editor: Tyler Idema

Editor-in-Chief: Vishu Prathikanti

Chief Photographer: Hanna Sato

Managing Editor: Lily Page

Copy Editors: Tekla Carlen Caden Thun

Design Editor: Allie Kennedy Business Manager: Moya Liu Webmaster: Ben Neuman

Senior Reporters: Charles Chapman Darrion Chen Claire Hunt James Lowdon Annie Sun

Staff Reporters: Alec Abramson Hubert Chen Wesley Chen Ethan Gardner Mark Habelt Amelia Harris Jacob Lubarsky David Mehran Aidan O’Sullivan Allison Szetu Rachel Yap Caroline Yeow

Policy Statement:

Dennis Zell, an attorney adviser for the Mock Trial team, reviews the case file to prepare students for their upcoming competition. Correction


Burlingame pool construction is a puddle of trouble

Last issue, a story about the shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh falsely indicated that one of the victims, Rose Mallinger, was a Holocaust survivor. The Burlingame B apologizes for this error.

The Burlingame B is a student-run newspaper with the sole purpose of providing an open forum for student expression. Anything printed represents the opinion of the writer, but not necessarily that of the The Burlingame B staff, the administration or faculty of Burlingame High School, or any person affiliated with the San Mateo Union High School District. The Burlingame B does not discriminate against race, political orientation, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. Although The Burlingame B will never refuse to publish guest submission based on the aforementioned factors, we reserve the right to edit or not publish them.

Letters to the Editor:

Disagree with the writers? Bring your letters to the room A120 or email them to <>. Letters may be considered for publication. The Burlingame B reserves the right to edit for clarity, length and accuracy. We welcome all comments.


December 18, 2018

Barber twins on Brexit The ongoing struggle to recycle BY JAMES LOWDON Senior Reporter

Free is not free at NYU BY WESLEY CHEN

Staff Reporter

In August, the New York University (NYU) School of Medicine announced that the institution has decided to go tuition-less for all planned future years, with full scholarships worth more than $50 thousand given to every student regardless of need or merit. While this announcement is by no means unprecedented, this is the first time a school with the reputation of NYU has done such a thing, and sets a positive example for other medical schools across the nation. While tuition will be covered, other fees will not be, resulting in dues of about $25 thousand from every student per year for housing as well as other minor fees. The school is offering additional scholarships to help cover these fees, though these would be based upon merit and need rather than a general basis. The NYU decision was spurred by the “overwhelming financial

debt” faced by its graduates, with the average debt of $184 thousand per student incurred upon a four year graduation. This new plan could potentially erase that debt entirely, considering students would be receiving around $200 thousand dollars over four years in their free tuition. The cost of medical school has dropped immensely thanks to this change, and with luck, other schools will follow this trend and make college cheaper for all of us. It is important to note that NYU’s medical school only accepts around 5 hundred undergraduate students every year. For larger programs and larger schools, such a tuitionless program may be years in the future, if at all possible. Considering the number of private grants which are used to fund the tuitionless idea are increasingly rare and competitive, schools will have to try harder than ever if they hope to secure enough money to help their students later in life. PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

NYU’s medical school has decided to combat the rising student debt by going tuitionless for the foreseeable future.

BY HANNA SATO Chief Photographer

Since SMUHSD switched to a new districtwide recycling program two years ago, members of the student body have voiced their concerns with its ability to properly dispose of the massive amounts of recyclable products produced daily. Under current recycling regulations, a recycling bin with a single piece of trash, like a banana peel, is considered contaminated. The whole bin must be thrown out and none of the materials can be saved. Despite the numerous questions students have posed, it still remains unclear who has the power to change the recycling system on campus. Earlier this year, Co-Associate Student Body President Lily Navab and Freshman Class President Zoe Steinberger approached the district with their concerns. Their hope was to implement the same

recycling standards from the city of Burlingame in the school’s system. Currently, the city of Burlingame uses multiple facilities to properly dispose of all waste products. Electronics are recycled by Green Citizen, WhatBin instructs citizens as to where specific waste products go and Recology handles the sorting and recycling of other products. However, the city has no jurisdiction within the school district to implement the same recycling policies and protocols. “I spoke with someone from Recology and Burlingame City Hall about getting recycling and compost bins at BHS and on Burlingame Avenue, but we were turned back to BHS because they couldn’t solve the problem,” Steinberger said. Similar to Steinberger and Navab, junior Jeffery Chen, president of the Environmental Club, is looking for a more sustainable program. Chen is working on a

petition to the district in order to find more answers. The petition aims to pose questions about the current recycling program and what changes can be made. Chen hopes it will also bring attention to the issue to have the public acknowledge the problem. “We want the district to be transparent with the public about our recycling policy and work with us to make it better,” Chen said. “The fact that we’re needlessly wasting resources is disappointing.” Chen is currently working in partnership with the Agriculture and Environment Club at Mills High School, which has also expressed concern about the recycling program. Their goal is to research the district’s current policy and potential solutions. The two clubs plan to attend district meetings in order to have their questions answered and contribute to the conversation. PHOTO BY HANNA SATO

On June 23, 2016, the British people voted to leave the European Union (EU), a political and economic union that establishes a single market among its 28 members. Since then, Brexit has dominated British and international political discussion for over two years as members of British Parliament grapple with the ramifications of leaving. Most notable of the consequences for leaving is the ratification of a deal with the EU relating to citizenship. The United Kingdom has until March 29, 2019, before the U.K. begins the process of leaving the EU. Seniors Clara and Margaret Barber have British relatives living within the U.K. who have stressed their concerns over the Brexit vote and its consequences. “We were in England visiting family a few days before they voted on Brexit and most of the family was very worried about the results and would openly voice their opinion,” Clara Barber said. EU Parliament has both political and economic control over its member states, in order to maintain the European Single Market, which guarantees free movement of goods, capital, services and labor, called “the four freedoms.” Leavers, that is, those who voted for Brexit, are angered by the control the EU has over British law. Leavers are particularly angered by the cost of being in the EU, immigration laws,and the restrictions and trade regulations of the EU. Remainers, opponents of the Leave campaign, argue that the economic ramifications of leaving the EU are too great and that the other non-economic benefits of

the EU, free and easy immigration and the diplomatic influence and ease it offers, are far too great to give up for what many Remainers consider to be minor inconveniences. The Barbers’ family fears how Brexit will affect their livelihoods, and more broadly, the British economy as well. “They are really worried . . . [about] how it will affect their businesses or other aspects of their everyday life,” Clara Barber said. “One of our uncles works for a fruit distributor that works with other countries in the EU, so if the U.K. left the EU, it would cause major problems for the business,” The British public has voted 52 percent to 48 percent in favor of Brexit. However, about 73 percent of all members of Parliament favor remaining in the EU, meaning that most members of Parliament are worried about the potential of a “no-deal” Brexit. A “no deal” Brexit, would mean that the U.K. would leave the EU without a two year transition period agreed upon for any deals between the U.K. and EU. The U.K. would see far more independence from Europe than any other deal, but also none of the benefits of the EU and major economic ramifications. So far, the argued options for Brexit include “no deal,” Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal, a possible deal argued by the opposing Labour party, and even a new second referendum for the British people to vote on whether or not to leave the EU that has been proposed by Remainers. As of this article’s publication, the UK has yet to decide on a deal, which must be negotiated with EU Parliament by March 29, or else a “no deal” Brexit will occur.


Environmental Club president Jeffery Chen is working to petition the school district to make changes to the current recycling program.


December 18, 2018

Influence of the fire on businesses BY AIDEN O’ SULLIVAN

Staff Reporter

On Nov. 8, 2018, an area just east of the town Paradise, California went up in flames as a poorly managed transmission tower blew, sending molten materials into dry vegetation, starting the campfire fire. Now completely contained, the campfire has been classified as the most destructive fire in California history and burned over 150,000 acres of land. Not only was the fire destructive, but the side effects of the fire were extremely hazardous. A haze of smoke drifted from the fire to the bay area, reaching up to 250 in San Francisco on the air quality index. With the air quality so poor, it made a major impact on day to day life in the Bay

Area, as no one wanted to be outside in the dangerous air. As few people went out outside while the smoke was looming over Burlingame, many local businesses’ sales decreased as well. Razan Ghishan, a worker at Sweet Citrus juice bar on Broadway, discussed the impact the smoke had on business. “Business was pretty slow,” Ghishan said. “Not many people wanted to go out, and the people that were still out were the ones going to work and school still.” Although Sweet Citrus was generating less income compared to an average day, various supplements, ginger and wheat grass shots for example, were a large source of revenue. “Most of the people coming in were actually taking different sup-

plements to fight the air quality, and boost their immune system,” Ghishan said. The Burlingame location of Village Host on Broadway was another business affected by the fire. “We had a lot of deliveries; not many people were coming at all,” Ryan Davis of Village Host, a local pizza restaurant, said. “Nobody wanted to leave their homes.” The smoke even affected the temperature conditions inside of Village Host. “It was really hot in there,” Davis said. “We couldn’t get ventilation because the way we use our air conditioning is it pulls from outside, so it’s pulling smoke in and causing hazards, so we had to keep Paradise, a town of over 26 thousand people, was destroyed as a result of the Camp Fire that ravaged Butte County. The fire was the it closed.” deadliest in California to date.



Camp Fire victim Alleyna Meehan moves to Burlingame BY TEKLA CARLEN

Copy Editor

When junior Alleyna Meehan first prepared to evacuate her home in Paradise, California last month, she did not realize how serious the threat of fire was and began to pack her clothing. Only after she understood the fate her house would soon suffer did she begin to take gifts from her great-grandmother and photo albums from her room, knowing she would probably never return. She was right. It took all of eight hours for the Camp Fire to obliterate her hometown of over 26 thousand people, where Meehan had

lived since the third grade. Only two of her family members’ houses remained standing. Meehan took a picture at 7 a.m. when there first seemed to be a real peril. By 10:30 a.m., she was fleeing in a car and recalled thinking for a second that she might not make it out. Meehan had known that there was going to be danger nearby—it was not the first time a fire hit Paradise—but she did not know how severe the damage would be. She described the experience as “the perfect storm” because of coincidentally intense wind that made the Camp Fire so devastating on the day it reached her town. “A lot of times [I’d been] warned

about evacuating from a nearby fire, and so after a while I just started to think that it was not an imminent threat,” Meehan said. “But then that morning, the sky was really smoky, hazy and I was like, ‘Wow, this seems a lot closer than most of them had been.’” Meehan acknowledges that Paradise has a long journey on the way to anything that resembles recovery. The problem, she explained, is that most of the town’s residents have not been able to return. Amidst all the chaos, it is unclear who plans to come back to Paradise and who, like Meehan’s family, has left for good. Many people are currently staying in Chico or Durham,

both 30 minutes away by car. Meehan also had classmates at Paradise High School who moved to Oregon and Montana. “[The Camp Fire] broke up the community in all honesty,” Meehan said. “A lot of people are trying to say this will bring us back together, but it really destroyed and took homes and things from people, including myself.” Meehan, her mother, her sister and her pets were living in their Paradise home at the time of the fire. They decided to come to Burlingame because her grandmother lives here, and her family has visited often. She lived in San Mateo before moving to Paradise eight

years ago. Coming to Burlingame has been overwhelming for Meehan because the academic environment is more intense than her previous school, but she is adjusting to the change. “You don’t think it’s going to happen to you,” Meehan said of the tragedy. “I remember hearing about some of the fires nearby … but then having it actually happen is this whole other experience that you can’t even fathom. It really makes you value things that are important in your life, just little necessities you don’t think about and then you just start to miss once it’s all gone.”

Smoky skies and poor air quality Canceled school day threaten student health and wellness will not be made up Design Editor

On Nov. 14, northern California became the region with the worst air pollution in the world. As smoke spread from the Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive fire ever to burn in California, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Burlingame rose to a level rated “unhealthy” by the Environmental Protection Agency. Although the short-term effects of breathing smoky air are significant, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), reports that healthy individuals should see no long-term consequences. According to UCSF, the most harmful particles in the air are PM2.5 particles, which can work their way deep inside the lungs due to their small size. PM2.5 particles cause inflammation by injuring the lung chemically. Although regular dust or comfort masks do little to protect against smoke inhalation, N95 masks are designed to filter out these particles. Another concern comes from the presence of toxic materials in the air. Most of the particles emitted from the fire come from the burning of wood, but particles emitted from burnt man-made objects, such as cars or furniture, could be more dangerous. N95 masks can prevent inhalation of some toxic particles, but they can not block toxic vapors or gases. In an effort to limit student and staff exposure to smoke, Burlingame adopted shelter-in-place procedure. All physical education classes were held indoors, and sports games and practices were canceled. The heating, ventilation and air conditioning system was



Juniors Anna Bronzini and Danielle Jaworski wear N95 masks to avoid inhaling harmful particles. also shut down initially. Addition- said. “I went outside for probably ally, the district sent health aide five minutes, and then I coughed Ana Herold surgical masks, which for two hours.” Senior Abigail Nix, who also she distributed. While the air quality was poor, has asthma, reported a similar exHerold assisted students who perience. “I walked outside that first day came to her with smoke-related ailments by giving them space to that I really noticed the smoke, rest indoors or helping them ar- when it was all orange and hazy, and literally within 30 seconds range to return home. “What I would say we saw I was coughing. I was thinking, most at school was trouble breath- ‘Oh no. This is not good,’” Nix ing, sore throats and headaches,” said. “My asthma has gotten a lot Herold said. “You could also have better, but the smoke really triggered it. I took my inhaler every irritation in your eyes.” For students with respiratory morning.” Still, Nix was thankful that the conditions such as asthma, however, the impact of poor air quality AQI in Burlingame had not risen higher. on health can be more severe. “My friend who goes to UC “I tried not to go outside for the entirety of the week when the Air Davis bikes to her classes and she Quality Index was above 150 in continued to bike in the smoke, the warning zone, but, even when but then she fainted and fell off it was moderate, whenever I went her bike,” Nix said. “It’s crazy how outside I noticed that my lungs it felt really bad here, but it was so just hurt,” senior Kate Linenbach much worse in other places.”


Senior Reporter

As a result of unhealthy air quality due to smoke from the Camp Fire in northern California, all San Mateo County public schools, including the San Mateo Union High School District (SMUHSD) locations, were closed on Friday, Nov. 16. Although prior to Nov. 16 other schools in the Bay Area such as the University of California- Berkeley had already canceled due to health concerns, SMUHSD schools remained in session. “The air was getting worse; a lot of schools in the county had already canceled, but we decided to stay in session for the time being,” Superintendent Kevin Skelly said. “We know it’s disruptive to parents when kids aren’t in school since they have to make arrangements. And I reasoned that the filter and ventilation systems in our schools are better than those in students’ homes.” However, as the air quality became progressively worse and as

other schools began to cancel classes, SMUHSD reconsidered its decision. SMUHSD District code BP 3516.5 “authorizes the superintendent or designee to close a school site, to change the regular school day schedule or to take any necessary action when adverse weather conditions or other emergencies warrant.” In other words, the protocols for closing SMUHSD schools are more called play-byplay, instead of having a set checklist or standard. “After consulting with other superintendents in the country and with SMUHSD principals, we made the decision to cancel school for Friday the 16th,” Superintendent Skelly said. After this decision was made on the afternoon of Nov. 15, an email and voicemail recording were sent out to all SMUHSD students and parents to notify them of the cancellation. The lost school day on Nov. 16 will not be made up. “I’ve been working in California schools for 30 years, and this is only the third time I have had to cancel school,” Skelly said.

SMUHSD code BP 3516.5 “authorizes the Superintendent or designee to close a school site, to change the regular school day schedule, or to take any necessary action when adverse weather conditions or other emergencies warrant.”




December 18, 2018

Service Commission hopes to build on success of Pancake Breakfast BY VISHU PRATHIKANTI


(Right) Senior Caroline Icardi and cheer coach Lynn Currie eat their breakfast together. Service Commissioners sold tickets to both teachers and students. Service Commission hopes the success of the Pancake Breakfast will give the group momentum to plan other events later in the year.



On Wednesday, Nov. 28, the Service Commission held their annual Pancake Breakfast. The event was held to raise money for Service Commission apparel, and despite taking place inside the Alumni Room rather than traditionally outside, the breakfast was considered a success. “A lot of faculty and teachers showed up which was pretty nice,” Service Commission Co-President Ethan Biddle said. “[It was] a pretty good showing honestly.” The Pancake Breakfast marks a turning point in Service Commission after the team had to transition to new leadership under Assistant Principal Markus Autrey. “[Biddle] and the other guys have been very helpful leadership-wise,” Autrey said. “I think I’m getting my sea legs.” However, Biddle reported that efficiency decreased as a result of Autrey missing meetings at the beginning of the year. Consequently, Service Commission has lost

members. Meeting attendance was suffering and commissioners “lost faith,” according to Biddle. Despite this, because of the success of the Pancake Breakfast, Biddle remains optimistic for the future, and hopes to restore the Service Commission to its former status. “[Because] the Pancake Breakfast was pretty successful, people are going to realize ‘ok, Service Commission is still a thing,’ and now that stuff is actually going on, people are starting to show up again and we are getting our numbers back.” Autrey too remains positive despite describing the job as having a “learning curve.” With the help of the class, he aims to fill the shoes left behind for him by Fred Wolfgramm, who previously held the position of dean and head of Service Commission. “I think I finally understand what the group is traditionally to the school and what their expectations are and what they want it to be,” Autrey said. “So I think I am finally in sync a little bit.”

(Top) Seniors Athina Costelli and Andrea Avillez enjoy their breakfast while chatting with each other. (Right) Senior Allison Bottarini puts a pancake onto her plate. The Pancake Breakfast offered students pancakes, orange juice and an assortment of fruits.

The culture of drinking with parents From Broadway to Burlingame Avenue BY CLAIRE HUNT

Senior Reporter

According to national surveys, 90 percent of all alcohol consumed by high school students is through binging, and teenagers are more likely to binge drink than any other age group. Parents are liable for any damage or injury done under their supervision. If a drunk teenager gets in the car and starts driving, the parents, or whoever supplied the alcohol, are responsible for the accident. It is also still illegal for adults to supply alcohol to underage children that are not their own. “I see why most parents would be against it because, like my parents, they don’t want to be responsible for what happens to any of the other kids,” Puzon said. “Not necessarily because of the drinking but just the aftermath, like if kids don’t get home safe or if there’s an accident.”

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California laws allow those under 21 to drink in a private location with a parent, guardian, or spouse age 21 or older. Some parents have started allowing underage drinking at home to teach moderation and healthy drinking practices, a controversial method which remains the topic of many debates. “By monitoring it, [parents] can regulate how much [kids] drink and know that they have been exposed to alcohol. So you know how they would react and their tolerance, and the kids learn from previous experiences,” senior Paolo Puzon said. “In the future, when they’re in college and they’re drinking, they’ll know how much they can drink and how they act around alcohol because, if someone goes to college and it’s the first

time trying it, they might go over the top or have a bad experience.” Studies from the US National Library of Medicine of Health have looked into the effectiveness of parents allowing kids to drink. Having parents provide alcohol for a party was related to a higher likelihood that a teen would report consuming alcohol in the past 30 days, whereas drinking with parents had a protective effect on drinking behaviors. “I think that parents should let their kids try things at home,” senior Jada Ganim said. “But I also think that parents need to understand the culture of high schoolers in general and understand that they’re going to try a bunch of new things and that it’s okay if they do it, as long as you’re aware that they’re doing it safely. So don’t completely restrict them because then they’re just gonna want to do it and you’re not going to know.”

Burlingame Avenue’s cousin, Broadway, is home to many local restaurants such as Cafe Figaro and Sesame. rents continue to rise and smaller BY TEKLA CARLEN businesses struggle to stay afloat.” Copy Editor Centro Pizza stands out Broadway and Burlingame among the other restaurants on Avenue have always been differ- Broadway, more like Burlingame ent. Designer stores, successful Avenue’s Rise and Delfina than chain franchises, as well as local anything on its own street. In a shops line “the Ave,” as it is af- town where a one-bedroom apartfectionately known, and it is al- ment’s rent costs well over two ways impossible to find parking thousand dollars a month, small in the evenings and on weekends. businesses have trouble justifying Broadway is less of a hotspot, but the expenses needed to maintain it has a different culture. More of a storefront. Stores like Athleta its businesses are hyperlocal and and North Face have moved in on family-run. Burlingame Avenue as local ones “Usually I prefer going to Bur- such as Books Inc. and Cherlingame Avenue because it’s clos- imoya have left. Not everyone er to the high school and it has sees this as a bad thing, however. boba shops,” junior Anna Bronz- Junior Caitlin O’Flaherty is one ini said. “However, I like how the of the people who does not beatmosphere on Broadway is com- lieve Broadway is changing. She fortable and down-to-earth, and I prefers Burlingame Avenue “only like the restaurants on Broadway because it’s closer and has more better.” options and more parking.” She Bronzini has worked at Pres- usually goes to Broadway with a ton’s Candy and Ice Cream specific purpose, while she will go since August, and the upsides of to Burlingame Avenue whenever Broadway that she lists are the she gets bored. ones that have always set it apart Burlingame Avenue is a busier from Burlingame Avenue. Even commercial area than Broadway, so, Bronzini is one of the people and preferences for the former who believes that Broadway may correlate with its convenient lobe headed toward future change. cation and the target audience of “Broadway is becoming more its stores. Bronzini and her peers like Burlingame Avenue, especial- believe that if Broadway could ly now that [Earthbeam Foods] reach the same demographic as closed because of high rents and its counterpart, it would receive [Centro Pizza] moved in,” Bronz- more business. Whether this ini said. “I think that in maybe 10 would be a positive or a negative years Broadway will look a lot like change is another question. Burlingame Avenue does now as

alumni athletes

“Really focus in; the four years go by really fast… cherish each moment and work hard during the offseason.”


Full profiles of each athlete can be found online at

“My time at BHS was very fun,” Engelmann said. “Being able to be a Burlingame Panther was a true honor for me, and I would not trade the memories I made on the baseball field and in the classroom for anything else.”

Profiles by Mark Habelt, Ben Neuman and Aidan O’Sullivan Design by Allie Kennedy

LEAH GOLDMAN “In order to stay on top of my schoolwork and maintain the grades I wanted as well as perform in the pool, I had to make a lot of sacrifices. Usually, that meant sacrifices in the social department, which was hard, especially as a freshman when everything was new and I didn’t want to miss out on anything. Luckily my teammates were in the same boat.”



GREER CHRISMAN “BHS did wonderful things shaping me as an athlete … I made some of my best friends through sports, learned soft skills as a teammate and a team leader, created relationships with my coaches to help progress my abilities and [learned] how to work hard to achieve the things you want.”

NIKI REYNOLDS “I learned that no matter how sick, tired or sore you are, if you pulled an all-nighter for an exam worth 80 percent of your final grade that day, when you walk on the pool deck, all of that is gone. You give everything you have each day.”

PHIL CAULFIELD “In order to move up, it’s all about consistency. You have to be able to prove you can play at each level and prove yourself,” Caulfield said. “For me, my defense is always going to be there, but if I’m able to hit consistently, I can move up.”

“I remember going to BHS games in middle school and seeing the student section go crazy, and I always wanted to be a part of that. I felt like I had a responsibility to the school and to the city to perform really well, so I think playing at BHS really brought out the competitive side of my personality that I don’t always show.”



December 18, 2018

Are gender differences now caused by biology or society? Gender differences are rooted in Gendered social confines are biology perpetuated by culture Scientific evidence proves that significant biological differences exist between the sexes. These differences are not necessarily a bad thing, and help to create a diverse and rich society. Senior Reporter

In recent years, there has been a cultural movement arguing expressions of traditional masculine and feminine traits are solely due to societal influence. This theory dispenses with the idea that an individual’s genotype, specifically relating to gender, can alter behavior and personality. The denial of biological differences between men and women ignore a plethora of scientific and sociological evidence in an effort to forward a misguid-

Intrinsic cognitive differences exist between the sexes. ed ideology that places feeling over fact. While it is undeniable societal expectations can shape behavior, it is similarly inane to argue no physiological difference exist between men and women. The evidence to support this is not only anecdotal; recent academic research confirms the long-standing assumption that cognitive differences exist between the sexes. A 2017 article published by Stanford Medicine found significant sex-based cognitive differences in the makeup of the brain, which supported a more general assertion made by the author that behavioral differences were the result of biological evolution. The paper also presented several sociological studies of primates to draw similarities to human infants. In one specific study, 34 rhesus monkeys of both sexes were presented with different childrens toys. The male monkeys were found to prefer toys with wheels as opposed to the females, who preferred plush toys. These differences in preference reflect what many humans expect of their own children: women are often drawn to toys reflecting babies and encouraging nurturing while boys like toy trucks and tools. It would be difficult to argue these

differences are the result of a simian patriarchy meant to manipulate the young. While primate studies are not directly transferable to humans, it does provide striking evidence that intrinsic cognitive differences exist between the sexes. Interestingly, biological differences between men and women are almost universal across different cultures. For example, in almost every culture around the world, the responsibility to fight and defend the people is placed upon men, while women are tasked with nurturing children and caring for people. If the differences were not biological, it would be reasonable to assume different cultures would create different gender roles. These root differences still manifest themselves in our society: the nursing and teaching professions are majority women while the military and law enforcement are largely filled by men. It is unreasonable to argue almost every culture around the world created roughly the same expectations of gender roles on their own, with no connection to biology. Opponents of the idea that cognitive differences exist often claim such opinions are rooted in “misogyny.” However, simply stating differences exist does not pass judgement on what traits are superior. For example, across populations, men are shown to be more aggressive and confrontational while women are more agreeable. It is hard to argue agreeability is necessarily a bad trait, while the same could be said for being confrontational. Acknowledging basic scientific fact does not need to be condemned as sexist. In fact, by saying sex-based differences are inherently misogynistic, people are wrongly forwarding the idea that feminine traits are not equally valuable. The presence of diverse personalities and temperaments makes the world an interesting place and ensures all types of people are valued for their own strengths.



While women and men are biologically different, the extreme divide between the sexes in our country is based on a traditional social hierarchy which confines both genders to antiquated stereotypes. BY CLAIRE HUNT

Senior Reporter

Society puts manhood in a box. From infancy, we have been molded to accept an archaic ideal of masculinity, and its consequences in our society are severe and far-reaching. The standards we apply to men are unrealistic and harmful. The social norm that the man must be the pursuer of women leads to a culture of sexual domination and abuse. The western concept of masculinity leads to a culture of gender inequality and repression. For men, it can lead to a life of trying to measure up to society’s idea of manhood. Studies by the Chicago Medical School (along with countless others) have shown that there is little difference in the neurological wiring of men and women at birth, and the small differences that do occur are soft-wired, meaning they are influenced by experience and environment. Scientific evidence has shown that the divide between the neurology of men and women also increases with experience and intellectual bias, proving that it is our gendered society that influences our gender disconnect. Throughout history, the world has seen matriarchal societies like the Minoa or Mosuo thrive under the leadership of women. Ancient Cretan societies, ruled by women, were less likely to engage in war and more likely to succeed economically. These societies show that man’s propensity for power is not innate, and women can rule just as well as their male counterparts. It is social repression based upon gender that has led to a male-dominated political hierarchy in modern society, not man’s biological superiority in leadership. The pay gap between the genders is not due to a biological disposition for different careers, but to basic sexism ingrained in our society. The United State’s Department of Labor revealed that the earning deficit between genders is not a cause of unequal education,

as “in recent decades women have outpaced men in educational attainment … Although women are now working in more fields than ever, they are still more likely to work in lower-paying jobs than men are, and they remain underrepresented in many occupations.” Women make up less than one in three chief executives, and just one in six software developers. Conversely, only 9 percent of the nursing industry, 2.5 percent of preschool and elementary school teachers, and 5.4 percent of secre-

The standards applied to men are unrealistic and harmful. taries and administrative assistants are male. The social construct of masculinity, defined by power and dominance, has excluded men from fields traditionally designated for women. For millennia, society has used the excuse that men and women are biologically different to support the repression of both genders. Women were not allowed to attend schools until only a few hundred years ago, as their ‘natural tendency’ was for empathy and nurturing, not academics. Men were not allowed to show weakness or emotion, venture into fields typically reserved for women, or be the primary caregiver in their families. If we continue to argue that the differences between men and women are strictly biological, therefore the divide between opportunities of the two are innate, we are no better than those who said women are naturally inferior because of the size of their brains. The year is 2018, not 1718.

Flex time changes student outlook on learning Letter to the editor BY ETHAN GARDNER Staff Reporter

More schools in the SMUHSD district, including Aragon High School and Mills High School, have implemented a “flex time” in the middle of the day. This gives students a free period, in which they can do homework with friends, see teachers for help, or rest in the middle of a stressful day. Burlingame High School should consider implementing a similar idea, as it would help break up stressful schedules and provide students with a flexible time to accomplish what they need. This would be similar to office hours, but would give students a more structured period. Many students complain about the daily stresses of school, and I believe a flex time can help resolve much of this stress, and allow students to have more free time at home. It will allow students the

flexibility to get done what they need: reducing a heavy night of homework, studying for a big test they wouldn’t otherwise study for, etc. The school day often seems long and packed, and the addition of flex time can help break this up by adding another longer break into the schedule.

“I would talk to my teachers and collaborate with other students on homework, or study for upcoming tests” The flexibility gives high school students the freedom to choose how they want to spend their time. “I would talk to my teachers and collaborate with other students on

homework, or study for upcoming tests,” junior Anya Smith said. Smith believes flex time would be a beneficial addition to our school schedule. Additionally, BHS can implement other amenities during flex time, including short 30-minute classes that students can choose to take. If students don’t want to talk to teachers, do homework, or study, they should be able to take a short class that is directed at teens and is interesting and stimulating. A series of STEM classes, for example, could be open for students in order to educate them in a more unconventional way. At Aragon High School, for example, they used to have a Biotechnology class during their flex time. This drew a lot of popularity, and could be an exciting, optional activity to add. Some may argue that having a period during the day with too much freedom would result in a lack of work, but people often

have busy after-school schedules and it can be difficult to get homework done. An enforced period during school will encourage students to work harder and get their work done, rather than use the time poorly. Students will be more inclined to do what they need to do, because it benefits them. “There is about a 20% attendance at office hours,” Principal Belzer said during a student council meeting. However, a flex time could increase the amount of kids that meet with their teachers and get necessary help. People can be busy after school and lack the time to go to office hours, but with a flex time students will be more capable of seeking out help. Implementing a flex time will increase student efficiency, and provide students with the flexibility they desire. Burlingame could benefit greatly from the addition of flex time into the bell schedule.

From Alessandro Franco,

I am writing to dispute some statements from the article in the November issue about aircraft noise from SFO Airport. Aircraft inbound to SFO on the BDEGA3 arrival procedure cross the BRIXX GPS waypoint (directly overhead SFO) at 11,000 feet and at a significantly lower power setting than departing aircraft, thus generating less noise. The only time that arriving aircraft are low enough to generate enough noise to be noticeable, let alone loud is when they are descending onto final approach, over the San Francisco Bay, clear of noise-sensitive areas.

See full letter online at


December 18, 2018

Got (foot)balls? Rethinking our definition of school spirit The glorification and preeminence of the ‘football team’ is not an old idea nor unique to Burlingame High, it is time for a paradigm shift.

thusiastic of on-campus organizations, perhaps through wearing red or showing up at games. I will admit, this certainly sounds nice and dandy. But I would argue that Burlingame’s approach to school spirit grossly defies this ideal. We’ve narrowed an otherwise broad definition to include (principally) the football team at the expense of other student organizations. Maybe it’s why many students, parents and teachers have qualms about the very issue of school spirit at BHS. Consider the rallies that we have each school year. The only one that actually celebrates an impending school function is the Little Big Game rally. There is no school-wide celebration of students in arguably more productive lines of work, such as the various on-campus service clubs. While I recognize that the glorification and preeminence of the ‘football team’ is not an old idea nor unique to Burlingame High, it is time for a paradigm shift.


performers, but the event is, after all, named for the game itself. Therefore, it is fair to say that my Imagine that we are watching a (or your) “spirit” is defined by game of football without knowing your participation and celebration anything about it. We don’t know of the football team. what a touchdown, field goal or interception is. Nor do we understand why so many people are jeering in the stands. What would the game look like? A bunch of men (or boys) toppling one another and physically endangering themselves in front of an audience of their fans and peers. It sure sounds distasteful, and that’s probably because it is. So then why is it a metric in determining “Panther spirit”? I thought about this extensively as I watched our football team emerge from the locker room flanked by enthusiastic cheerleaders at this year’s Little Big Game rally. Ostensibly, almost an hour of that school day was set aside for Before we go any further, let’s the purposes of ‘fostering school define ‘school spirit.’ The comspirit’ before the big matchup. monly accepted definition revolves Sure there were other aspects and around being supportive and enBY ALEC ABRAMSON Staff Reporter


A red smoke envelops the football field. Can we lift it? Fundamentally, the sport of rivalries, why are we encouraged football is not consistent with the to pelt insults at others simply bevalues (or at least assumed values) cause they attend another school? of BHS. If we value non-violence, And if we value the health of our why do we support young adults students, why do we even play this tackling one another and injuring sport in the first place? Yes, this structure is ingrained themselves? If we value equality, why is it an only-male sport at the into our school culture. But only forefront of our athletic program? we can start the process of changIf we value diplomacy and con- ing it. structive solutions to (self-created)

Why “financial adulting” should be The crimes of the taught in high school Crimes of Grindelwald The purpose of a secondary education is to prepare students with basic knowledge to enter the workforce. Though it is important that I know that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, I still don’t know how to manage my money (which explains why I never have the extra three dollars to buy a Starbucks bagel at the end of the week.) If I intend to pursue a job in the field of chemistry, I will benefit from taking AP Chemistry. However, whether you want to be an world renowned chemist or a coffeehouse barista, everyone is going to be an adult. Eventually, everyone will require knowledge about personal finance management. High schools often place personal finances education in an economics class, having it be a small unit in the curriculum. Some high schools even abandon teaching economics as a whole. Therefore, alongside academic training, high schools should include instruction on personal finances. I often hear my parents complaining about their 401k’s and the stock market crashing, but I

have never payed attention to their conversation because I expected that I would learn about these things in Economics class. In the current Economics class at Burlingame, there are only short subtopics about how economics affect the average person. Topics that are incorporated into the framework of

“The AP content doesn’t address financial literacy very well” -McDermott the curriculum include: what does it mean to be financially literate, how do worldwide markets affect me, how does the federal budget affect ordinary people; and what does it mean to pay taxes? “The new Framework has a general question, but doesn’t specify how to achieve financial literacy. However, the AP teachers struggle

to incorporate financial literacy given the large amount of content to cover for the AP test. The AP content doesn’t address financial literacy very well,” History and Government/Economy teacher, Matthew McDermott said. According to a survey conducted by Ramsey Research in 2016, nearly two out of three high school students who had taken a personal finance course reported they were already earning an average of $3,000 a year. A high majority of the same group said they were in the habit of creating monthly budgets for their money. And 20% already owned a car they paid for themselves. If students lack the knowledge needed to manage their finances, the consequences can lead to debt. These consequences highlight the importance of teaching personal finances in high school. Being prepared for the world outside school does not only mean being qualified for the job, it also means how to manage your money after getting the job. If high school wants to stress the importance of learning how to solve a triangle, they should also incorporate personal finances into the curriculum.

A moderate response to page 8 BY DARRION CHEN Senior Reporter



Crimes of Grindelwald is a cinematic letdown from a familiar franchise.


Visual Effects

Character Development

Overall Plot

BY DAVID MEHRAN Staff Reporter From the immensely popular Harry Potter franchise comes the second installment of a series of prequel movies to the original Harry Potter storyline. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a prime example of a franchise relying on cinematic clout instead of quality to sell tickets. The movie is a jumbled mess of half-finished plotlines, unrelated characters and a dizzying array of special effects that, while visually stimulating, add little value to the story. The movie begins when Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), the antagonist, escapes his bondage from the American Ministry of Magic and forms a group of pureblood magic followers dedicated to the vow of keeping nonwizard “Muggle” lineage out of the magical world. This goal is now overly familiar to the franchise as being the same as Voldemort’s, the villain in the eight original Harry Potter movies. As the movie progresses, many characters join the struggle to assumably intervene and stop Grindelwald’s ambitions. The two sides don’t meet, however, until the last half-hour of the movie, making the plot less about fighting Grindelwald and more about following the quirky Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) in myriad disconnected adventures

around the world. The sporadic short scenes involving Grindelwald seem to serve as a nothing but a reminder to the director that they’re giving Johnny Depp a hefty paycheck. Before the conclusion, we follow many different plotlines with a wide variety of characters, one which involves a snake-woman and a custodian breaking out of a traveling circus, and another involving a nonwizard man desperately trying to reunite with his magical fiancee. The immense plot build-up and the introduction of many forgettable characters ends in a final graveyard showdown that is as confusing as it is out-of-place in a movie that has taken place primarily in downtown cityscapes. The only redeeming factors of the movie lie in the moderate suspense built up through the set design and music track, as well as the diverse array of special effects. For those who haven’t seen the precursor to the movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, let alone any of the original Harry Potter movies, this movie will be immensely confusing, with little material that non-Harry Potter fans will understand. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald propels the Harry Potter prequel story forward but struggles to exist as a standalone movie with any individual merit.



Boys struggle with new roster and hard season BY TYLER IDEMA

Sports Editor Coming off a season where they went 4-20, basketball has switched gears, kicking off with a consolation championship win at the King’s Academy tournament and a dominating performance against South San Francisco. The Panthers’ young team seemed to have promise after their early success, but after losing to Hillsdale 65-40 on Dec. 7, the Panthers have found themselves on a three-game losing streak going into a challenging matchup against Serra. “Playing Serra helps us to prepare to play the teams in our league. We are young and inexperienced but we have a lot of tough minded boys who want to be coached and want to compete at a high level and as the season goes on we will get better,” coach Jeff Dowd said.

Basketball Girls face early-season

Staff Reporter The Panther soccer team has transferred the momentum from last season’s Norcal semifinal team into a fast start, winning three of its first four games. After a wakeup call against Homestead in which they lost 4-1, the Panthers kicked it into high gear, crushing Scotts Valley 4-1, beating Santa Clara 2-1 on the road and shutting out San Mateo 3-0. The impressive early season play has led to high aspirations among the players. “It’s a new team and we’ve got high expectations,” junior defender Liam Griffin said. “We lost 12 seniors from last year’s team, but we have some exciting, energetic new players. We’re gonna win the league, just like last year.” However, adversity has already reared its ugly head, as four start-

ers—Kai Galia, Aidan Burke, David Shatsky and Matthew Lau— have suffered injuries. Also, as Griffin mentioned, the Panthers have had to overcome the loss to graduation of four 2018 PAL first team players (Gabe Hyman, Jared Johnson, Evan Glatt, and Sean Rodriguez) as well as a second team player (Marcus Lau) and an honorable mention player (Dakota Lillelund). Beginning with Friday’s matchup against a 3-1-1 Sequoia squad, the Panthers will enter league play trying to keep pace with South San Francisco, which has already amassed a 5-0-1 record, scoring 16 goals while only conceding 3. After Friday’s home game against Carlmont, who BHS beat twice last year by a combined score of 7-0, the Panthers will take a 19day break before facing Aragon at home on Jan. 9.

Three weeks into an injury-riddled season, the girls basketball team is 3-6. Though the Panthers are yet to have held a practice attended by all 12 athletes on the roster, morale is high and the team’s outlook is optimistic. “We have really good chemistry,” junior forward Brianna Grossman said. “This year especially, we’re very close-knit on the court and off the court.” That chemistry has proven vital in allowing the team to weather a storm of injuries and sickness that has seen players unable to play in games due to pneumonia, a concussion and a knee injury. “We can’t practice our offense as much and be ready for games, but it’s made us stronger as a team because we’re working harder,” said senior guard Katrina Bernabe.

Apart from having an unfortunate tendency to get injured and sick, this year’s Panther outfit is smaller and faster than teams in years past. “We look to run and then we also look to exploit other teams’ defenses as much as possible,” head coach Joe Dito said. The team’s tallest player is 5’9, so it has been playing an uptempo, quick-trigger brand of basketball that is a slight departure from how it has played in the past. As the year progresses, the team should come increasingly closer to perfecting its new style of play. Currently, the aftermath of a gritty, 12-point comeback win against Everett Alvarez on Dec. 8 has the Panthers in high spirits, and the roster will soon regain its full strength as injured players return. The team’s next game will be against Capuchino on Dec. 21, at BHS.

The team huddles up as coach Joe Ditto explains the schedule during a Monday night practice. They continues to practice regularly despite absences from injuries and illness.

Girls start on right foot


Staff Reporter The Girls Soccer team kicked off their season at the tail end of November, and so far, they show no signs of breaking their undefeated streak. The team, with a record of 5-0-1, started their season with victories against Capuchino (2-0), Sequoia (30) and Capuchino again (1-0). They also had one tie so far with Saratoga (0-0). But their most notable games of the season was against Hillsdale and Monta Vista, where the team shut them out with the score of both games being 7-0. The girls have since competed in their first tournament of the season against Kings Academy, and defeated them with a score of 4-2. “We are working well as a team … we have a really strong offense and defense along with a midfield that is giving our offense many opportunities [to score],” junior goalie Sophia

Young said. The team has stayed strong, despite its loss of talented seniors from last season. “We did lose a number of seniors last year,” coach Philip DeRosa said. “[However,] we did pick up three freshmen that have been very helpful this year, and that was a pleasant surprise.” So far, their chances of ad-

vancing this season are much greater than last year when the team ended with a record of 5-46, one game away from advancing to the Central Coast Section (CCS). “So far it seems like we’re a pretty strong team and this could potentially be the year that we’ll go to CCS,” Young said. PHOTO BY JACOB LUDARSKY


Copy Editor


Junior Slater Bolstad evades a defender in a game against Homestead. The game marked the first defeat for the Panthers this season.



Ryan Ballout takes a shot during practice. The team practices most nights a week.

adversity from injuries


Dowd is looking to take a different approach this season, focusing on practicing a more defensive playstyle. “We are trying to be a balanced hardnosed, defensive-oriented team that looks to get the ball inside while penetrating to the basket and creating scoring opportunities off the catch,” Dowd said. Dowd believes his playstyle will work as his team endures more experience on the hardwood together. This year, the Panthers are a very young and inexperienced team on the Varsity spectrum, with Davor Koprivcic being the only player with significant minutes last year. With the addition of five freshmen and a new starting five, the Panthers will look to get better as the season continues. After Serra, the Panthers will have the home court against Capuchino, and they will look further to their second tournament, the Norcal Invitational, on Dec. 26.

Boys work with new team toward victory

December 18, 2018

Freshman Ella Macko attempts to advance the ball down the field.

Dennis J. Murphy

Your Peninsula Neighbor 415.310.7956 |


December 18, 2018

A historic run for Burlingame High School football team BY TYLER IDEMA

Sports Editor

The Panthers silenced the crowd after quarterback Jordan Malashus slung a 28-yard pass to his brother Devon Malashus on the Panther’s first drive of the game. After the Panthers went up 21-0 in the second quarter, hopes of a CCS championship win were looking dim for the Scots as the Panthers started another menacing drive near the end of the first half. Coach Philipopoulos put a dagger in the game by calling a trick play

in which Jordan Malashas passed backwards to Devon, who then proceeded to pass it to a wide open Chase Funkhouser down the field for a touchdown. “We just saw the way Carlmont was lining up when we were in trips, and the way they were playing that formation. We ran the actual slip plass in the other direction earlier in the game just trying to set it up a little bit and they didn’t change there alignment and

so we pretty much knew it would be there and it was,” Philipopoulos said. With the win in their grasps, the Panthers counted down the minutes towards their second championship in school history. “It felt good. It was a fun opportunity to make sure everybody got some good reps in the game, and it was nice to get the W and the shutout,” Philipopoulos said. PHOTO COURTESY OF ETHAN KASSEL

After making their way to the top of the PAL Ocean playoff bracket, BHS football defeated Carlmont in the Central Coast Section (CCS) Championship on Saturday with a score of 38-0, marking the second championship conquest in Burlingame’s history. Their last win came in 2004 when coach John Philipopoulos’s squad defeated the Seaside Spartans 3835. The Panthers made a statement in the playoffs, outscoring their three opponents 132-19, and shutting out the Carlmont Scots in the championship. This championship run started off against Mountain View, where the Panthers handily defeated the Spartans by a score of 45-7. The Panthers found success on the ground, putting up 339 rushing yards and five touchdowns as a team. Youcef Benchohra led the team with 109 yards, and both Curtis Lauti and Lucas Meredith put up two rushing touchdowns to secure the Panthers’ first playoff win. “We are very fortunate that one of the strengths of our football

team is our offensive line,” coach John Philipopoulos said. “And we have a talented backfield as well: we have six kids we could hand the ball off to. So I think the combination of great blocking up front and some talent in the backfield led to some good rushing gains.” Next, the Panthers got home turf against the Overfelt Royals, who beat the Santa Clara Bruins in the first round by a score of 50-14. The Royals padded on 517 total yards against the Bruins, and was a team to watch for the Panthers. The Panthers scouted Overfelt during the regular season, and were able to explode on offense at the start of the game, scoring 29 points in the first quarter alone. For their final game, the Panthers rode down to Sequoia High School to play against the Scots. The Scots looked confident, with their crowd filling up the entirety of their side of the stands, and they were not to be underestimated. “Their stands and fan support was definitely better than ours, and their win off Independence gave them some momentum, but after the first quarter it was lopsided, and we knew it was pretty much over by then,” tight-end Connor Kall said.


Burlingame defeated Carlmont by a score of 38-0 to win the Division IV CCS championship.

Wrestling looks to build Three runners compete at state finals off strong performance BY AMELIA HARRIS Staff Reporter




Junior Kyle Bothelho prepares to take down his opponent during a preseason match at a Half Moon Bay competition.

It’s been two years since a cross country runner from Burlingame qualified for a state championship according to head coach Steve O’Brien. However, this year three athletes managed to move past Central Coast Section (CCS) championships and go to California Interscholastic Federation state championships. Sonja Dommen, Lavinia Van Hamel Platerink and Brendan Creeks all qualified for the race held in Fresno on Nov. 24. They were all surprised but excited that they qualified, as they were also the only members of the team to qualify for CCS. “I was really happy because I did not expect to make it,” Creeks said. “I was predicted to finish 11th in the [CCS] race but I finished seventh which was the final spot.” Dommen, Creeks and Van Hamel Platerink spent the season training in hopes of qualifying for the race. They’ve been training since summer, going on long runs, doing time trials on the track and practicing at their course, Hallmark Park. The day before the state

ment and experience.” Dommen placed 48th out of 214 people in the Division III girls race and Platernik got 108th in the same race. Creeks finished at 149th out of 203 runners in the boys Division III race. “They were great teammates and supported each other and [it was] a wonderfully motivating experience for our athletes,” O’Brien said.


Coming off a strong season last year, the Panthers’ wrestling team is looking to capitalize on their youth and make a run for CCS. This year, the team will be without the help of Scott Atkinson or any other of last year’s seniors; their absences forcing junior Kyle Botelho and other wrestlers to step up. “We have a young team but everyone’s picking it up quick so I think we’ll do well,” Botelho said. Personally, Botelho is striving for a deep individual run this sea-

son. After coming up just short of State competition last year, he is aiming to win the highly competitive CCS and place well at states. In addition to some familiar faces from last year, the team has many new additions. Among them is Junior, Alex Wilson. “I like to dominate in my free time so [wrestling] lets me express my energy in a positive manner,” said Wilson of his motive for joining. All said and done, the mostly inexperienced Panthers’ wrestling team is eager to show the rest of CCS what the’ve got.

meet, they drove to Fresno early to walk the course and see what it would be like. Despite this, Dommen says that racing at such a high level was nerve wracking. “The competition was insane; we ran among nationally ranked runners, which was intimidating at the beginning. I was the most nervous I have ever been,” Dommen said. “The race went by quickly, so I was just trying to cherish the mo-

Sonja Dommen finished 48th out of the 214 participants in the DIII girls race at cross country state championships.

Sonja Dommen is Burlingame’s cross-country superstar BY CADEN THUN Copy Editor

Sonja Dommen takes her place at the start line, weaving through a densely packed assemblage of 214 of the best high school cross-country runners in California. She is nervous, but confident. Wrapped around her wrist is a bracelet inscribed with the phrase “I can and I will.” On someone else’s wrist, the words on the bracelet would be vapid and cliche. On Dommen’s, they are a blunt statement of truth, perfectly encapsulating who she is as a runner and as a person. Only a junior, Dommen is already one of the most prolific cross-country runners in Burlingame history. But the journey she took to where she is today was a winding one—one that tested, but ultimately strengthened her.

Ironically, Dommen entered the high school cross-country scene as someone who had never competitively run before. “It started as another way for me to just be outside and kind of enjoy myself,” Dommen said. “I was probably one of the slowest people.” While Dommen’s claim that she started out as one of the slowest people may or may not be true by the end of her sophomore cross-country season she was clearly Burlingame’s best runner. She was primed for a state championship appearance when, in the days leading up to the Central Coast Section (CCS) championship, she was hit with a sinus infection. She ended up missing the qualification for states by a few seconds. Almost in tears, Dommen’s coach told her “If Lebron James

didn’t make states he would be in the gym right now training.” The words stuck with her. That spring, she established herself as one of Burlingame’s best track athletes, only to strain a tendon in her calf right before finals. “That crushed me,” Dommen said. “But it definitely lit a fire.” Dommen trained diligently that summer, careful not to overdo it while still maintaining her fitness. She headed into her junior cross-country season more optimistic than ever before. But in early October, a pivotal time for cross-country training, Dommen’s ankle started throbbing after a long run. “I couldn’t even run one lap,” she said. “I went to the doctor and they said ‘just stay off of it until it doesn’t hurt.’” The injury (an ankle sprain)

resulted in Dommen missing nearly all of October. She easily could have folded and accepted that the season just wasn’t meant to be, as most other runners in her position probably would have done. But she did exactly the opposite. She replaced five-mile runs with acupuncture, and track workouts with swimming. She went to spin classes and worked on her upper body strength in the weight room. When she got the okay to run again, she eased into it, starting with slow, one-mile treadmill runs. “There were definitely some days I was in the gym parking lot by the pool. I was cold, I didn’t have anyone else to swim with. And then I always thought ‘just think of how you felt last year when you didn’t make it to states. If you could do this one workout

and make it to states, would you?’” The answer was always yes, and sure enough, Dommen was at states a month later. This time, there was no calf strain or sinus infection to hold her back, and she finished 48th out of the 214 runners in the race. “Having these injuries has taught me that you just have to be grateful for the moment that you’re in and be grateful that you’re able to run, and just cherish the experience,” Dommen said. Dommen will certainly be cherishing every remaining second of her running career. Some of her current goals are to get through track season healthy, go back to states and run in college. Above all, Dommen is focused on “just carrying that fire.” Anyone who knows her knows that she can, and, more likely than not, will.


Student Life

December 18, 2018

Students advance their theater in- Burlingame University terest in Young Playwrights Project obtains new computers PHOTO BY MOYA LIU


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On Monday Dec. 3, actors from TheatreWorks rehearsed junior Tekla Carlen’s play before the final performance. bring his audience a more optimistic outlook on life. Nelson’s play tells a story about a superhero who is sick of being taken for granted and decides to become a villain. In spite of the superhero’s hurt feelings, he later realizes the evil deeds he is committing are wrong. With the support of his friend, he overcomes the evil within and becomes a hero again. “He realizes that what others think of him doesn’t matter. He’s doing the right thing and staying true to who he is, a good person, and that’s what’s important,” Nelson said. “Things aren’t as bad as they seem. Not everything has to be taken so seriously, and the world isn’t as dark as it’s portrayed. No matter how bad things seem, there’s always good out there.”

Aside from the final productions, young playwrights enjoyed experiencing a new style of writing. “I really enjoyed that this project allowed me to try a new writing style in a structured environment,” Arcoleo said. “We had a teacher and deadlines which I think is really important because it forced me to finish my play and write it in a way that would allow it to actually be produced.” In addition, Lavilla attributes her success as a young playwright to her classmates. “Hearing the various opinions of my peers and seeing the interpretations that my classmates had for my characters were a particularly important part during the entire editing process,” Lavilla said.

Staff Reporter

Burlingame University is an adult transition program that resides in the first floor of the F building. Although students at Burlingame University do not attend rallies or dances with other students, they are still a part of the campus. Most recently, Burlingame University made a $10 thousand purchase of 30 new Acer Chromebook 16s with the help of a GoFundMe page. These new computers have enabled students to engage in technology related curriculum much more effectively than before. “We are starting online bank-

ing, [and] without the speed [of the computers, the Burlingame University students] wouldn’t be able to budget online,” staff member Steve Meyer said. “They’re able to plan things out ... I have students plan a trip all the way to Washington [state].” The new Chromebooks have also given students a sense of normality since now they have swift access to the internet, much like other Burlingame students outside of the program. Previously, Burlingame University had older, outdated laptops. “Before, [the students] dreaded [the laptops]. It was technology that wasn’t fun [or engaging],” Meyer said. PHOTO BY HUBERT CHEN

On Monday, Dec. 3, students sat down to watch their peers’ plays showcased by professional actors in the school theater. Advanced drama students were paired up with professional playwrights for two months during the Young Playwrights Project, culminating in one night of performances. The six best works were performed on Monday, and were written by senior Carmen Lavilla, juniors Tekla Carlen, Maddie Greene and Jack Nelson and sophomores Isabella Arcoleo and Julia Li. The purpose of this playwriting competition was to encourage high school students to write and advance their interest in theater. “Home,” written by Lavilla, focuses on a girl who has to come out to her family yet faces losing support from her family. For Lavilla, the most important thing was to create a story that illustrates the difficulties a LGBTQ teen faces without proper support. “I meant to demonstrate how support systems are needed in times when people are going through massive changes in their life and when they are coming out in an unwelcoming home,” Lavilla said. While Lavilla intended to portray the frustration in life, Nelson wanted to spread positivity and


Burlingame University students Alex Millan, Mariana Cabeza and Jehu Ayala use their newly obtained Acer Chromebook 16s.

Inside a practice session with the improvisation team Managing Editor Students were chaotically placed around the Alumni Room. Each stared blankly ahead, as if they were alone. Some muttered, others roared. Some stayed in place, others rolled around on the carpet. “Okay, now you’re 55,” shouted a man wearing a red Burlingame quarter-zip sweatshirt. Two minutes later, “Now you’re 75.” Biweekly practice sessions present the opportunity for members of the Burlingame Improvisation and Theater Enthusiasts (BITE) to be vulnerable. In front of an audi-

“Hi, I put a crayon up my nose and now I can’t remember good.” -Jack Nelson ence, the cardinal rule of improvisation is to keep going, even if a joke lands poorly or a scene takes an unexpected turn. If someone asks a question, the answer is always “yes and...” But here, the improvisers are free to step into new roles, from vodka connoisseur to middle-aged guitarist, and laughingly shrug them off if the fit isn’t perfect. Jared Abbott, the man with the red Burlingame sweatshirt, glanced at his watch and called time. Abbott coaches BITE and is a special education instructor at Burlingame University. He began calling on students to share with the group their reflec-

tions on experiencing the aging process. “I liked 55 because I was going through a midlife crisis,” senior Max Sigler said. Another student, junior Jack Nelson, described how he enjoyed age 75 the most because he was “happy for once.” The next activity, Abbott explained, was to be similar yet to different. The improviseors would repeat the aging intervals, but with a twist: they had to act as characters with genders different from their own identities. Moreover, the improviseors had the task of portraying these genders authentically, rather than using the stereotypes of either “falsetto cheerleader” or “senior football player who wants a drink.” The Alumni Room filled with a cacophony of voices. Senior Suzanna Longworth adopted an English accent. Nelson began banging on a podium emblazoned with a “Burlingame Panthers” banner. (In a later skit, Nelson joked, “Hi, I put a crayon up my nose and now I can’t remember good.”) Junior Zoe McCarthy occupied the opposite corner, where she slid to the ground and raised her fists in the air. Along another wall, sophomore Finn Platkin played air guitar. At one point, sophomore Aiden Mendoza leaped over Platkin, who was sprawled out on the floor. After ten minutes, Abbott called everyone out of their positions. They gathered in a circle in the middle of the room and discussed the nuances of gender and age in improvisation. “You can be a 75-year-old and not hunch over and look like you’re going to die with every breath. You can be a 55-year-old woman not chasing around a bunch of kids,” Abbott said.



While playing an improvisation game called Hitchhiker, students acted as wine moms, film noir detectives and a group of Germans, all named Hans, who were jubilantly snacking on schnitzel. “This is quite a Hans-ful,” one student quipped. Students improvised monologues about the people they predict themselves to be several decades from now. Senior Suzanna Longworth assumed the role of a floundering middle-aged actor arguing with her companion. “He was trying to be like, ‘you can’t act anymore because you don’t make money,’ and I was like, ‘I know,’ ” Longworth said.

Members of the team spent time during the practice session exploring the emotions of sadness and lust, which were described by team advisor Jared Abbott as “...particularly difficult for high schoolers to act out.” He also noted that stereotypes such as “falsetto cheerleader” and “senior football player who wants a drink” are also common on stage.

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December Issue