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Welcome Back Panthers!


September 26, 2017


What’s Inside?


Peer tutors in the library are being paid this year. Article by Senior Reporter JAMES LOWDEN


Photo Editor


Burlingame Police are implimenting body cameras. Article by Senior Reporter JILLY ROLNICK.


Try out a fun matching game to get to know the new staff. Spread by Design Editor STELLA LORENCE


The decision to shrink national momuments is a mistake. Op-Ed by Senior Reporter LILY PAGE


The Yldefonzo brothers have started their own business. Article by Senior Reporter SAHSA BENKE


Check out an update on fall sports. Accurate to the date of publication.

PHS now mandatory for students behind in credits

Football season has officially begun! The Panthers are 4-0 to start the season, but despite the Panthers winning start, participation in football is down at the varsity level. Hear from Coach Philipopoulos and senior players on why numbers are down and how the Panthers have continued to succeed despite the numbers. See the story on PAGE 3 by Editor-in-Chief MAGGIE MURDOFF.

State legislature seeks to mandate delayed high school start times BY CHARLES CHAPMAN

Managing Editor

On February 13, 2017, California State Senator Anthony Portantino introduced Senate Bill 328, which amends the California Education Code to require middle and high schools to start no later than 8:30 a.m. The bill, which is co-authored by Senator Richard Pan, mirrors a proposal that the San Mateo Union High School District Board voted to not pass in a four-to-one decision last spring. The March 23 meeting, during which the board made a decision to not implement a late start for each of the schools it governs, which includes Burlingame High School, was the subject of copious amounts of public comment. The public spoke for over two hours with universal condemnation of the proposal to alter start times. Trustee Marc Friedman was the sole member of the board to support the proposal. Friedman, who testified in front of the Assembly Education Committee in support of SB-328, stands by his support of implementing a later start, telling the B that “the science is overwhelming that later start times will benefit adolescent students.” In a June 2016 press release issued by the American Medical Association, the association called “on school districts across the United States to implement middle and high school start times no earlier than 8:30 a.m.” The AMA traces its recommendation to research that claims “sleep deprivation may result in hypertension, metabolic disorders (including diabetes) and impaired

immune function.” However, the AMA does not present research connecting schools that have implemented later school start times to improved student success or health. On May 5, 2017, the bill passed with 25 ayes and 13 noes on the Senate floor. State Senator Jerry Hill, who represents the San Francisco Peninsula, voted in favor of the bill. On Sept. 1, 2017, SB-328 passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee with 12 committee members voting aye. The bill was amended on Sept. 5 to extend the mandate to all charter schools while also clarifying the date at which the legislation would go into effect. The previous July 1, 2020, deadline for schools to adopt the policy was amended to allow for districts with district wide collective bargaining agreements that are set to expire after that date to adopt the policy once the agreement ends. Although the bill failed to pass in an assembly floor vote on Sept. 14 it is likely that the bill will receive additional consideration and votes in January. At the board meeting last spring, many of the parents who attended to plead their case to the board discussed traffic concerns, specifically in communities where changing the start time later would cause the commute to high school to coincide with the beginning of other schools in the area. In Burlingame, the public elementary and middle schools start at 8:30 a.m. In communities such as San Mateo and Foster City, parents reported personal experiences of increased commute times when attempting to drive to school later in the morning.

Sophomore Diana Milne said that although she, in theory, would support an effort by lawmakers to allow students to sleep more she does not think the bill would benefit her. “I would have to get up early because I would have to walk to school,” Milne said. “I can’t get a ride if the start time is later.” Milne’s justification for her disapproval of the bill was echoed by many working parents at the board meeting last spring who claimed that a delayed start would disproportionately affect families with working parents, whose obligations prevent them from accommodating a later drop off time. Burlingame High School Principal Paul Belzer told the B that although he has not yet read the bill thoroughly enough to pass judgment on it says that he prefers “local bodies to make decisions.” Although Belzer, who attended the board meeting last spring, acknowledges the importance of public opinion, he argues “that sometimes the board needs to make decisions based on what is in the best interest of the students.” Belzer’s assertion echoes the sentiment of Friedman who, during the meeting of the board, questioned the boards apprehension to implement a mandatory later start by saying “how could we [the Board], after seeing the research, could look the public in the eye and not do this.” The bill, if approved by the Assembly next year, still faces a potential veto by Governor Jerry Brown, whose opinion on the proposed legislation has not been made clear to the public.

Peninsula Alternative High School is ditching the “alternative” component of its name due to a new policy mandating that all students falling behind in credits in San Mateo High School District schools attend the continuation school. PHS’s new status contrasts their former alternative school status, in which students were able to choose whether to attend the school, even if they were determined to be at high risk for completing an inadequate number of credits for graduation The continuation school status will begin with warning letters sent to juniors with 100 or fewer credits and seniors with 160 or fewer credits. If these students don’t show academic improvement with the help of their counselors within six weeks, placement at PHS is mandatory. Once a student catches up on credits and improves their attendance and behavior, they may return to their original campus. “Our plan is to save more students,” PHS principal Ronald Campana said of the new policy. Despite some negative feedback involving the rhetoric of the continuation status, Campana said, “It provides more flexibility and opportunities to serve students creating programs to meet their needs for graduation.” PHS had been a continuation school before. In 2009, it began its transition into the alternative school status after an audit by San Mateo Union High School District on PHS’s transcript exceptions drew criticism to the credit-earning structure. Continued on page 3

Pennisula High School, previously under the classification of alternative high school, changed their policy to help students make up lost credits.



September 26, 2017


Canvas pilot program receives mixed views from students

Senior Keara Brosnan uses her Canvas account for select classes. the California State University BY PRISCILLA JIN schools. In order to integrate the Business Manager new system, a few teachers have This year, the district has de- been selected to use it for their cided to pilot Canvas, the school classes this year, while the rest still management system used by rely on Schoolloop.

For almost all students, Schoolloop dominates their lives at Burlingame High School. Students check and update their Schoolloop accounts daily to check their schedules, homework, reminders for tests and quizzes and announcements of school events. It has become an indispensable part of communication between students, parents, and teachers. Canvas, which has proven to be radically different from Schoolloop, has caused confusion among students and teachers, especially because of the dual-use of the two sites. Senior Tyler White, who has been using Schoolloop all throughout his middle and high school careers, finds that having to switch between both accounts is tedious. “When Canvas was first introduced, I was confused as to why

we had to use that instead of Schoolloop,” White said. “Having all classes on Schoolloop and then having one or two on Canvas seems somewhat pointless.” “It is frustrating to have one class on Canvas and my other classes on Schoolloop,” Senior Nate Potter agreed. While the dual-system that has been implemented this year may be tiresome at first, many students like Potter have noticed that there are advantages to Canvas that Schoolloop lacks. “Submitting files through Google Drive is much easier.,” Potter said. Also, you can edit your scores to see how your grade will change in the grade book.” Similar to the new features students can use on Canvas, there are many advantages to the new system that facilitate the teaching

process as well. “Canvas comes at learning management at a very different angle,” English teacher Ms. Farley said. “It has the capability to deeply integrate the curriculum itself.” One feature on Canvas that Farley appreciates is the interactive element that it brings. “For example, it is easy for a teacher to use a threaded discussion and have everyone see that work, but also grade them in a timely fashion,” Farley said. Canvas provides a unique new way of connecting teachers, students, and parents that is different from the data-focused Schoolloop. “Schoolloop’s job is primarily to communicate information,” Farley said. “Canvas tries to integrate all that together to try and explain what notes or project caused that data or grade.”

Paid tutoring incentivizes students to help fellow peers BY JAMES LOWDON Unlike previous years, this year’s peer tutors are now being paid hourly for the tutoring of their fellow students. Peer tutors are available every day, with the exception of Friday, after school in the academic center to help students with their academics for free. The students being tutored will not have to pay as their hourly commission of $11.25 will come from the BHS Parent’s Group. The shift to paying tutors is less about solving problems with previous years tutoring, as it is a simple case of compensating tutors for their commitment. However, math teacher Ms. Kreppel, one of the leaders of the tutoring

group, believes that pay will add structure to tutoring. “We haven’t had paid tutors before, we just had volunteer tutors,” said Ms. Kreppel. “So with the structure of tutors being there on certain days, and kids going to their tutors weekly, hopefully, we will get more students going to the academic center.” Tutors had to go through interviews and were selected by Ms. Kreppel and Ms. Cosenza. In the end, sixteen students were selected, with the ability to tutor peers in Math, Science, English, Social Science, Health, and Languages. Kreppel said, “They are an amazing batch of individuals that are able to tutor lots of different topics.” Although it may not be the primary reason, by allowing com-

pensation for their work more students were attracted to this opportunity. “I think the pay has incentivized others to do tutoring,” said junior peer tutor Maxim Yu. “I’m not sure if it is the main reason for others to join, but it is certainly a reason that I joined.” The peer tutors have each been assigned a day of the week to tutor in the academic center, with four students working at a time. “There will be consistently available people there to help out at all times and then kids will be comfortable with going to the same tutor every week when they know they are going to be there,” Kreppel said. The new tutors are available to help any student from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the academic center.


Senior Reporter

Junior Maxim Yu tutors sophomore Aidan O’Sullivan about math as part as the academic center free after school tutoring program.


September 26, 2017

Pennisula High School Continued

Since then, PHS has added two more periods to its daily class schedules, instituted an on-site credit recovery program called “OSCR” and implemented career technical education programs for food services and hospitality. However, enrollment dwindled. “With the [alternative school] policy, there was a lack of motivation,” AP Government teacher Matthew McDermott said. “When kids could makeup credits at their [original] schools, it hurt enrollment.” McDermott, who taught at PHS for nine years, agrees with Campana’s reasoning. When faced with the option of staying at one’s original school or traveling up a colossal hill to an unfamiliar campus, students often chose the former option. PHS’s continuation status is hoped to increase enrollment while maintaining the progress made with the CTE programs in recent years.

Panther football sees decline in participation


Editor-In-Chief The Burlingame varsity football team is experiencing a decline in participation this year at the varsity level, with about 15-20 kids choosing not to return to the team this year, according to varsity head coach John Philipopoulos. “[Our numbers] have made us better,” senior captain Savaun Brown said. “Everyone has to take reps, and we’re all in a lot better shape because of it” “Once one person misses practice though, that’s when it starts to hit us hard,” senior captain John Dryden said. “We don’t have those numbers, and we don’t have anyone on scout teams, and that’s what messes with our skill level a little bit.” This downward trend is not quite unique to Burlingame; high school football participation is dropping throughout the nation. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, “Participation in

11-player football was down 25,901 from the previous year… an overall decrease of 2.5 percent.” This is the second consecutive year of a 2.5 percent decrease in nationwide football participation, and the increase in concussion awareness is a major factor in this decline. “I think that there’s a lot of information coming from the media about injuries and things of that sort that are maybe impacting people’s opinions about football and whether they want to participate as well,” Philipopoulos said. Football-related injuries, specifically concussions, have been in the media spotlight for over a decade. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (C.T.E.), a degenerative brain disease linked to chronic head trauma, has been a concern to parents, coaches, and schools across the nation, specifically following the the 2015 film Concussion and the New York Times story called “110 NFL Brains,” following the study of


Lieutenant Boll models an Axon Body 2 camera that will become standard for all officers as of October. BY JILLY ROLNICK using them by Oct. 31, 2017. The privacy. Copy Editor BPD started training officers to “It will show the whole story,” use the cameras on Sept. 19. Rumbaugh said. “It protects The Burlingame Police DeThe BPD adopted a 5-year everyone.” partment plans to implement the agreement with Taser InternationThe use of body worn cameruse of body cameras on all street al Inc. to equip officers with Axon as will not affect how officers do officers by the end of October due to growing local and national Body 2 cameras and storage. The their jobs and may instead impact BWC clip onto an officer’s pocket how citizens interact with the concerns about police force. or belt with a strong magnet and police, said Boll. “We don’t have a problem “Body cams can only help with citizen complaints or big city will be worn at all times by uniformed non-administrative police community-police relations,” problems,” Lieutenant Robert officers. senior Diego Escobedo said. “It’ll Boll said. “They are mainly to While the cameras are always just be a way for people to feel capture evidence and protect the on, they are not always savsafer around the police, and an citizens and officers.” ing the video, Officer Heather extra safeguard or incentive to The decision to start using Rumbaugh, the school resource guarantee nothing illegal hapbody cameras comes at the recofficer, said. In order to record, pens.” ommendation of the 2015-2016 officers must press a button on Nearby towns and cities inSan Mateo County Grand Jury. the camera which will capture cluding San Mateo, Hillsborough, The jury investigated the issue Menlo Park and Foster City have and wrote a report urging that all video from the previous few moments up until the officer already or plan to use BWC’s as San Mateo County towns approve turns the recording off again. well. a plan to implement the use of The officers can also turn off the body worn cameras (BWC’s) by cameras in order to respect citizen Nov. 20, 2016 and start actually


Teacher Adviser: Melissa Murphy Editor-in-Chief: Maggie Murdoff Managing Editor: Charlie Chapman Design Editor: Stella Lorence Business Manager: Priscilla Jin

Webmaster: Vishu Prathikanti

Staff Reporters: Tekla Carlen Madeleine Greene Chief Photographer: Claire Hunt Sofia Guerra Tyler Idema Allie Kennedy Copy Editor: Moya Liu Jilly Rolnick Ben Neuman Hanna Sato Senior Reporters: Annie Sun Sasha Benke Caden Thun James Lowdon Payton Toomey Lily Page Logan Turner Page Desingers: Darrion Chen

staff are USA football player safety certified. All of these changes have made a positive impact on head-related injury numbers at Burlingame. “I think if you look at our concussion numbers they are down,” Philipopoulos said. “Two years ago they were very low. We had a few last year, more than we may have anticipated, and right now I don’t think we have one in the program.” With all of the changes and new technology at BHS, it’s surprising that numbers are still down at the varsity level. NFHS suggests that this decline points to the growing concerns of parents and players about concussions and other injuries. Philipopoulos asserts, however that Burlingame’s decline may just be an irregularity. “I also think could be an anomaly. I think that the varsity numbers will be back next year, looking at who we have this year.”

Think Globally, Act Locally! Keep B-Game Green!


Burlingame Police Department to adopt body cameras by October

111 former NFL player’s brains to reveal that all but one had C.T.E. All this attention to the dangers of playing football certainly does factor into the decline in participation, but it has also had its advantages in making the game safer. In 2014, Assembly Bill 2127 was passed, limited contact practices and set stricter guidelines to prevent concussions. The legislation also implemented a “graduated return-toplay protocol of no less than 7 days” after diagnosis of a concussion or head-related injury. Burlingame specifically has made very positive changes in making their game as safe as possible. “We are fortunate to be in a district is very supportive of athletics,” Philipopoulos said. “District standard is the Riddell flex helmet. It’s the best technology, so that’s what we are using.” Burlingame also teaches tackling according to the USA football model, and all but the newest member of the coaching


Paper goes in the classroom bins, while bottles go in the blue bins! Do your part to make our school enviornmentally friendly!

Policy Statement:

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.


4 Paulina Stalder BY ANNIE SUN

Staff Reporter

Instructional aide Paulina Stalder is one of the new additions this year to the Burlingame High School staff. Prior to her current job at Burlingame, Stalder worked as a flight attendant, a position she held for 15 years. “I didn’t know that [teaching] was something that I would enjoy. Teaching was never something I thought I

would get into. I thought I would be flying for the rest of my life”. For Stalder, her transition to her new work environment has been an enjoyable change. “I just think that the people are great here. I am really enjoying the relationships I’m making with other staff, teachers, aides and the students have been wonderful”.

Matching: New Staff Edition! ANSWER KEY

Olivia Krakower BY CLAIRE HUNT

Staff Reporter

Burlingame High School’s new Speech and Language Therapist, Olivia Krakower, grew up in Cupertino, was homeschooled until she was 15-years-old, then took classes at De Anza college. She attended Rice University, gaining a double major in psychology and cognitive science, then received her graduate degree in Indiana. After acquiring her teaching

Sharon Berber

Ivan Martinez



Staff Reporter

Sharon Berber has recently been welcomed into the Panther community. Berber is a school psychologist and her office is located in F118. Berber received her master’s degree from James Madison University in Virginia. She has greatly enjoyed her time at BHS so far. Berber’s passion for psychology began early,“I took my first psychol-

Staff Reporter ogy class when I was a high school student, and I just loved it. I declared my major as psychology before I even started college. ” In her new role at Burlingame, Berber will utilize her experience as a psychologist and her communication skills to work with Burlingame’s students.

Ivan Martinez is excited to begin his career teaching special ed at Burlingame High School. He was not always sure he wanted to be a teacher, though. Martinez got his undergraduate degree in criminal justice, and he was almost positive that he was going to pursue a career in that direction. “Never in a million years did I see myself as a teacher,” Martinez said.

Katherine Castillo-Lima

Kara Moore



Staff Reporter

This year, the Burlingame High School faculty welcomes Katherine Castillo-Lima, a new instructional aide. This is Castillo-Lima’s first teaching position, and she is impressed with the attitude and dedication of Burlingame students. “I believe everyone is very positive,” Castillo-Lima said. “Everyone comes to learn, and everyone is very friendly.”

After growing up in San Francisco, Castillo-Lima is excited to be back in the Bay Area pursuing her goal of becoming a school psychologist. She enjoys helping students, particularly those with special needs. Castillo-Lima appreciates this opportunity to work closely with the student body and looks forward to a successful year.

Kara Moore, a new math teacher here at Burlingame High School, hopes to pull her experience teaching in Utah, the District of Columbia and Russia to help Burlingame students succeed. “I love that [BHS is] more outdoors,” Moore said. “Utah is way too cold to have that, so everything is in one building ... There’s a lot fewer kids and more grades here.”


Staff Reporter

Staff Reporter for four. “I hope to establish a level of understanding about math, that math has its uses outside of the math classroom,” said Edwards. Edwards looks forward to contributing to the BHS community this year and getting to serve as a mentor for all of his students.

Joanne Michels, a new mental health and wellness counselor at Burlingame High School, is excited to be a part of the team working to provide support for students. Michels recently worked at Gunn High School, where she also helped to provide wellness support for students, families, and staff. Now, she works part time at both Burlingame

and Hillsdale High School. Michels emphasizes the immense amount of resources available for students on campus and her hopes to help students navigate through high school and overcome adversity. Reflecting on her time thus far at Burlingame, Michels said: “It’s just been a very warm, caring environment.”

William Peightal

Glen Fries



Staff Reporter

Staff Reporter

High School and a teacher at Terra Nova High School. On how Burlingame differs from the other places he has taught, Fries says, “There is a lot of involvement by the students, staff, and parents in the school community.” Fries is looking forward to the upcoming year here at BHS.

William Peightal is the newest member of the Spanish Department, teaching Spanish One in the second half of the school day. The first half of the day he spends teaching Spanish at Mills High School. Peightal, who formerly taught at Yorba Linda High School in Yorba Linda, has spent his whole life studying language, much more than solely Spanish. He is fluent in En-

Andre Kelley

Annette Blackman



glish, German, Italian and Spanish. Despite the fact that he is a Spanish teacher, Peightal describes his relationship with Spanish as a very complicated one. “It wasn’t until I was 19 and studying German in Berlin that I made best friends with Spaniards,” says Peightal. “That’s when I found the motivation to actually learn Spanish.”

Staff Reporter

Staff Reporter

Although Andre Kelley is new to Burlingame, he has been working in the school district for nine years, previously working at Hillsdale and Peninsula. Kelley is also a football coach and enjoys his job as an instructional aide because he loves working with kids and feels it is important to give back. In his short time at Burlingame,

Moore moved to California this summer, and she chose to teach at BHS because it was the best fit. “There are things just with the school culture, like teachers’ culture of collaboration … There’s a great culture of success. Students succeeding, excelling, wanting to do well,” Moore said.

Joanne Michels


Glen Fries is a new special education teacher at Burlingame High School this year. Fries attended Homestead High School in Cupertino before going to Tufts University. After college, Fries worked in both finance and law before going into the teaching profession. Prior to teaching at Burlingame, Fries was an aide at Mountain View

“It was a professor at Skyline college that saw it in me, even then. And she was like ‘you need to be in education, you need to teach.’” Martinez is now in his fourth year teaching, having taught three years at El Camino High School. So far, he loves his new job at BHS. Martinez’ passion for teaching stems from the “opportunity to inspire, every day.”

Staff Reporter

Ethan Edwards Ethan Edwards is the newest edition to the Burlingame High School’s Math Department and teaches both Geometry and Algebra II. Edwards received his bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Cruz and his masters from UC Davis. He has just entered his sixth year of teaching, having taught at Dixon High School for one year and at Summit Prep Charter School

credential, Krakower started teaching at the Pacific Autism Center for Education, where she has spent the last six years. Splitting her week between Burlingame and Mills, Krakower is enjoying her first year working in public schools. “I love working here and it’s been awesome,” Krakower said.

Kelly has felt welcomed into the community. “I really appreciate the all-around help from the staff, admin, and students - it’s a good environment,” Kelley said. As a new teacher, he looks forward to learning about his new students and getting to know them.

Annette Blackman is a returning to Burlingame high school as a speech and language therapist. She retired from that same role after over 30 years of work, and she had worked with most of the schools in San Mateo County. As a speech and language therapist, Ms. Blackman works with students that have difficulty with speaking and language processing issues. Ms. Blackman’s

field of work of helping students can often be challenging. “First thing is getting the student to buy in, coming into speech, because they don’t get credit for it. And they have to believe that the time spent is beneficial to them” She explained. To her, Burlingame is one of her favorite schools to teach because of all of the friendly students and staff.

Design by Stella Lorence



In defense of the unprotected frontier

Harvey is an anticipated disaster BY SOFIA GUERRA

Chief Photographer PHOTO BY OF LILY PAGE

This lake in theWind River mountains is an example of the type of land that activists are worried could be destroyed as a result of the loosening of regulations on federally protected lands. BY LILY PAGE

Senior Reporter

There was a time around fourth grade when I became enamored with environmentalists, naturalists, and ecologists. The most joy I ever got out of school at that point was Outdoor Education at Jones Gulch. Our humble campus was dotted with green recycling bins and decorated with the now annoyingly simple mantra, “reduce, reuse, and recycle.” It seemed everyone was doing something to fight climate change, and that every single one of us would take part in that fight even after our pledges to become naturalists faded. Now that droughts and torrential downpours have held California lawns hostage for years, we as Americans are as apathetic as ever. Many of us care, but not quite enough. Last year, when I asked several groups of random students about what it would take for them to do something about climate change, responses became increasingly repetitive. A lot of students wouldn’t go into detail. Something extreme would have to happen: a disaster. It would have to be close to home and have a devastating effect on people in Burlingame. But seeing the perfect storm of eco-political malice and natural catastrophes that have occurred since those informal interviews, we must ask ourselves how much tragedy must occur before we take our next steps? Hurricane Harvey, breaking records as well as the precipitation map color system, has left

meteorologists with their jaws on the ground. An entire metropolis was shut down; families were left without homes; suburban havens were almost completely underwater. When people’s cars and pets were spared, they still had to keep in mind the chemical waste and electrical hazards haunting the waters that seized their homes. Harvey has claimed more than 70 lives in Houston, and Irma has taken 30 more in the Caribbean and Florida. Upon close inspection, the precedence of these storms is clear. Not only have Harvey and Irma wrought rains of Biblical proportion, but they caused an economic firestorm. Up to $180 billion in damage, skyrocketing gas prices across the country, and unapologetic price gouging has taken a toll on the U.S. economy. The mayors of both Houston and Miami, according to the Miami Herald, agree that climate change has compounded the impact of the storms. Nevertheless, we risk letting it become an isolated tragedy rather than a wake-up call. But that’s not to say that we haven’t made progress locally. Burlingame’s Citizens Environmental Council formed as a fiduciary program from Acterra Action for a Healthy Planet, a nonprofit based in Palo Alto. It has been a sovereign nonprofit since 2016, advocating city-wide policy changes, funding scholarships for students pursuing environmental careers; and encouraging environmental science educational campaigns around the city. Additionally, the

Bay Area has participated in environmental events like the September 16th International Coastal Cleanup Day. On campus, the number of environmental clubs at this school has increased from zero in 2015 to four as of 2017. “Natural disasters are exacerbated by climate change,” Keala Uchoa, president of the new Plant-Based club said. “In fact, natural disasters of great magnitude are manifestations of climate change and should give all of us some perspective and purpose when thinking about climate change.” Nevertheless, many of us are not making the connection between climate change and devastating natural disasters quick enough to encourage policymakers to make a change, which is evident in Houston’s infrastructural damage. It’s time we start making changes to our carbon footprints because climate change is no longer a partisan issue. A global increase in Atlantic temperatures has compounded Harvey and Irma’s vicious winds and increased the storms’ capacities to carry rainfall for longer periods of time. This means that cities as far inland as Memphis, Tennessee are feeling the impact. We need to act as enthusiastically as we did when we were kids and with the same urgency as modern scientists. We need to advocate for change and encourage environmentally conscious policies that will lessen Mother Nature’s wrath.

of national monuments: it blurs the line between lands with clearly-defined purposes for usage. “It’s a toss-up between: is nature more valuable or human development more important?” Senior Alexander Wolf, who is currently investigating public land usage in his senior inquiry project, said. National monuments have historical significance for the indigenous groups that have lived in these areas for thousands of years. In such context, Zinke’s decision is just one more middle finger aimed at Native American communities, a generous splash of salt in the open wounds left by the Dakota Pipeline debacle and four hundred years of blatant disrespect. Bears Ears National Monument, for instance, is home to over 100,000 archaeological sites with spiritual importance to many local tribes. A total of thirty tribes united in 2015 to form the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition to attempt to protect these sacred lands. They proposed a federal-tribal collaboration in regards to land management, yet, in light of this country’s treatment towards its native inhabitants, it appears likely that their request will be denied. Early American pioneers sought to conquer the frontier, to prove their dominance over nature by laying waste to it. The current generation has the responsibility of coming to terms with the destructive legacy of our forefathers. Not only will our response to such widespread destruction determine the character of our generation, it will profoundly influence the generations of tomorrow. As the environmentalist Da- A Houston resident inspects the flooding damage from Hurricane Harvey’s record-breaking rains. vid Brower once said, “We don’t inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” BY DARRION CHEN The reality is that facing such a Senior Reporter colossal issue as “saving the environment” feels like staring down into a deep, dark abyss; a good, honest look at what natural disasters the future might hold could make even the boldest person feel weak and small. It is terrifying to acknowledge the consequences of our relationship with the wild. But equally terrifying is the thought that for every well drilled for a temporarily larger inventory of oil, every potash deposit mined for a few more bags of fertilizer, every strip of land carved to bits like a Thanksgiving turkey, we sentence our descendents to confinement in a concrete jungle. “It seems like in some places, there’s more pavement than soil,” Patheal said. “Now, that’s not true for the whole country, of course, but to limit and take away those places, well, we have so few that are left.”

“Buffer zone”


After months of consideration, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke submitted a proposal to President Trump on August 18, 2017 with the goal of shrinking the size of several national monuments. The decision to slice-and-dice the protections on these lands comes at a time of great conflict between local ranchers and developers eager to make a profit, Native Americans with ties to the land, and conservationists attempting to oppose an administration that flirtatiously endorses coal and oil companies. On the surface, the issue seems primarily an environmental one, but this conflict demonstrates that it is also saturated in historical, economic, and social importance. Drastically modifying the boundaries of national monuments has an impact of such magnitude across the contours of society that such an impulsive decision can only be characterized as nearsighted in the long run. “They say they’re going to trim around the edges, take off a little bit, but these places are getting smaller and smaller every year,” physics teacher and avid outdoorsman Adam Patheal said. “There should be some things that we value as a whole nation, some things that we can say, from a top-down federal level, should be protected.” At one point, the federal government did, in fact, value places with historical and geological worth. In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act into law. This piece of legislation gave presidents the jurisdiction to protect wilderness areas with particular historical, geological, and archaeological import. “Those three things needed to be true in order in order for them to become national monuments, and if we’re going to change them out of national monuments, then we’re basically saying that whatever site was there didn’t matter in the first place,” science teacher Alex Kirkpatrick said. “And I don’t think that’s true because they went out of their way to set it aside in the first place.” Kirkpatrick, who is a former member of the Forest Service, emphasized the differences between protections on lands belonging to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Forest Service, and National Park Service. While BLM lands were created for development, such as fracking or mining, national parks and national monuments placed protections on land meant to be preserved for educational or tourist-use. That’s why conservationists are alarmed at Zinke’s decision to shave off parts

September 26, 2017

Student Life

September 26, 2017


The Yldefonzo Broth- Aether United is the video-gaming ers’ Filmmaking and company created by two students Entrepreneurial Success BY LILY PAGE

Senior Reporter


Senior Reporter

make the decisions,” as Zheng said. In addition, fans can even receive money depending on how much they invest in the team with their ethereum tokens, “Think of it like Kickstarter,” Cheng said. “If we reach our goal, depending on your investment, we’ll give you a percentage of the utility tokens in total.” “United” was pasted on at the end for moral reasons. The two founders wanted, according to Cheng, “to unite everyone together, regardless of what they are: investor, player or management.” In an industry dominated by young white and Asian men, Zheng and Cheng hope to diversify the esports community by creating a culture of inclusiveness within their company and team. That was the inspiration behind Aether United’s catchphrase, #bettertogether. As he adjusted the earbuds dangling around his neck, Cheng said, “We’re hoping to be the first crowd-powered esports team. We listen to the fans because, ultimately, that’s the only way we can survive as a company.” PHOTO COURTESY OF RYAN CHENG


Cris and Patrick Yldefonzo, pictured above wearing pieces from their new line of merchendise, have started a video production company. Their company creates documentary and fictional shorts.

Burlingame High School junior Ryan Cheng and Middle College junior Justin Zheng have founded an esports company and corresponding team; its name is Aether United. Already treated like any other professional sports industry in European and Asian countries, esports, or the competitive playing of videogames, has yet to reach comparative peaks of popularity in North America. Nonetheless, it has blossomed relatively quickly. Numerous internet cafes and gaming stores have popped up in the Bay Area in the last ten years, including the Razer store in San Francisco, which hosted Aether United’s most recent tournament. Cheng compared esports tournaments and basketball games to highlight their similarities. He described how two teams, comprising of at least five players respectively, face off using a single game. The difference: one takes place on a computer screen. For instance, in League of Legends (LoL), one of the most pop-


After starting filmmaking freshman year, brothers Patrick and Cris Yldefonzo have built a name for themselves as filmmakers and entrepreneurs with their website “”, which showcases all of their short films, jobs for clients, and their new line of merchandise. At age 15, Cris Yldefonzo, now a senior, began making simple family vacation movies about their road trips around California as well as their stays in Mexico. From then on, they branched out to vlogs, which are short video blogs that chronicle daily life, and finally to creative and self-interpreted short films. Patrick, a junior at BHS, who took to filmmaking after his brother, focuses on the editing and acting aspects of filming, while Cris’s main job is directing. Their pursuit of entrepreneurial success is rooted in their love for filming. Through the Burlingame High School elective Art of Video, and help from teacher Steve Erle, Cris and Patrick have been able to work on projects outside of school, like their current documentary for Betsy Franco. Betsy Franco, the mother of famous actors James and Dave Franco, holds a workshop at Palo Alto High School for kids to help edit her new book, “Metamorphosis: Junior Year.” Cindy Lynch, a friend of Mr. Erle’s, reached out to the class to find students to make a documentary about the workshop. Cris and Patrick have been working on filming a behind the scenes look at the work Betsy Franco is doing with fellow film students. “Mr. Erle knows Cindy Lynch, who knows Tom Franco.” Patrick said, “Cindy needed students to film the Franco’s film workshop. The class is full of students building and giving insight to Betsy Franco’s writing, and then creating a film from that. Sometimes James Franco drops by to give insight as well.” As well as the project with the Franco’s, Patrick and Cris have done videos for other clients, including a video for a personal trainer based in San Mateo. Cleveland Hughes, the personal trainer, hired Patrick and Cris as a way to promote his business through video. The brothers have made videos for clients as a way to branch out to businesses rather than just focusing on movies for their class Art of Video. “Elizabeth Zell knew [Cleveland Hughes] and she told us he was looking for some people to help him make a video advertising his business,” Patrick said.

The Yldefonzo brothers were awarded Best Film of Show Award at the annual film festival held at BHS by Mr. Erle. The film festival contains 4 categories, Best Documentary, Best PSA, Best Music Video and Best Short film. “Phase I,” the winning film, is a mystery short film that is directed by Cris and acted in by Patrick. “‘Phase I was actually a plan B [for the film festival]. We were originally trying to enter into the music video category but that didn’t work out, [so] we came up with some shot ideas we wanted to use first and created the story around that idea.” Besides Mr. Erle’s film festival, the brothers also entered in the “Clear the Air” film festival where they got second place for their movie on climate change. One project Cris and Patrick have been working on for a while now is their website, “dogdayz. xyz.” “The reason for our website is to have all of our content on one page.” Cris said, “We wanted to show businesses and other companies what we could do.” The website not only showcases their favorite short films and PSA’s, but also their new line of merchandise. “The shop is really to make money to make new videos.” Cris said, “But we fell in love with creating merch for our friends. It was actually pretty successful, and it’s cool to see your friends wearing the sweatshirts and shirts you created.” With the first season of their merchandise sold out, the brothers have been working on the second season featuring a collaboration with Kekoa, another students’ merchandise startup, made by Luke Eichensehr. The brothers gave an explanation to their unique website name “Dog Dayz” by explaining the in depth reasoning for their brand and logo. The logo, a dog sitting on a lounge chair, is featured on almost all of their merchandise in season 1. “Dog days can be characterized as the hottest period of the summer,” Patrick said enthusiastically, “we named it after the star “Sirius” that appears in the dog days of the summer.” Cris added, “dog days are the really hot and humid days in July that make you feel sluggish, which is why the logo is a dog napping on a chair.” “My favorite part about filming is really editing it when it’s all done.” Patrick said, “I like to see my friends’ reactions and watching the final project. It’s cool to visualize something and see how it plays out.”

ular games played competitively, two teams face off on a virtual battlefield inside the game. Every player in each team huddles over their own computer, and controls a single avatar. The words in the company’s name,“Aether” and “United,” each have unique meanings, and together they represent the team’s values as a whole. In Greek mythology, the being Aether was worshipped as the personification of light in the upper sphere of the heavens. Cheng and Zheng liked the name because it reminded them of the sky. It also sounds similar to “ethereum,” a pre-existing bitcoin-like online currency that Cheng and Zheng hope to employ to revolutionize the esports world. Normally, a company that owns an esports team would make decisions independent of its fans’ opinions. However, Aether United will operate on a basis in which fans vote on t-shirt colors, team coaches, and even team-members for its team using ethereum tokens. In other words: “They give us the money, we get the team, they

Zheng and Cheng converse with their CEO and The founders of Aether United meet with fans at a Web Designer after school to make decisions about recent esports tournament their company orgaAether United, an esports company they started. nized at the San Francisco Razer store.

Sports Updates



Webmaster The Panthers have had a strong start to the water polo season so far with a 17-4 win over Carlmont on Sept. 6, a 10-5 win against Half Moon Bay on the 13th, and a 8-5 win vs Woodside on the 20th. This season the Panthers welcome the addition of a coach Austin Carr, who despite being the new coach, was not new to the team. Carr was the assistant coach at the Burligame Aquatic Center this summer.

“I’ve been working a lot with these guys for a while now,” Carr said. “I know a lot of their strengths, a lot of their habits and it’s been easy to transition in and work from our success in summer over at [Junior Olympics] and carry that momentum over into this season.” “[Carr] really meshes with the team, and I think we work well together,” junior Jason Shevach said. Their next home game is Senior Brady Kiesling gets against Menlo Atherton on ready to shoot in a game Wednesday, Oct. 4. against Half Moon Bay.


Boys water polo

Senior Reporter As one of the most popular sports at Burlingame High School, cross country remains welcoming while also offering an intensely competitive environment. Only being a few weeks into the season, the team has already prepared both physically and mentally for the meets. “For the beginning of the season, the team has been performing really well.” Junior Paolo Puzon said. “We had some summer practices which helped improve

our level of fitness and mindset going into the season.” The cross country coach, Obbie, is largely responsible for fostering the fun yet challenging atmosphere that embodies the practices and meets. The team remains upbeat about their chances, despite losing a lot of talent. “Although we lost a lot of our senior runners that were on varsity, the team seems even stronger now due to all the people who have intentions of racing and sim- Senior Alex Wolf leads a workply just supporting one another.” out during practice. Puzon said.

Girls water polo Copy Editor


Senior Reporter

Wu and Rachel Maxwell and senior Clare Lei, the team looks to be in a good position to place well in the league. “Right now we are really working on our communication and our offense,” Sullivan Wu said. “But, a lot of people have stepped up to the plate and we are looking pretty good.”


Senior Reporter After a lackluster 2-3 record in preseason games, players on the varsity volleyball team are feeling the pressure to defend their Central Coast Section title. “This season is going well so far and it’s only the beginning but we are starting off strong,” junior Fiona Garrett said. As the season picks up, challenges appear more frequently, as they do in any sport. “Every team faces challenges

Girls tennis BY DARRION CHEN

Senior Reporter

Junior goalie Tovia Sobel blocks a shot during a scrimmage.

man orientation, back to school night, and the AYSO opening parade.” “In the next six weeks we will be practicing for the Little Big Game,” Esguerra said. “We have a new choreographer so the whole team is super excited to see what they have planned for the routine.” As well as a new choreographer, cheer has also hired a new stunting coach for the season. “The stunting coach will hopefully teach us some new and exciting stunts to show off in future performances,” Esguerra said. PHOTO BY SASHA BENKE

JV Cheer does their opening routine at the “Welcome Back” rally on September 1, 2016.

The girls tennis team has started off their league season with a victory over Mills High School, providing the team with confidence. Outside of matches, the team focuses on the importance of team chemistry. “Our chemistry is good,” coach Bill Smith said. “We have many seniors contributing to the team, from the daily cheer to practice itself, so everyone wants to play more.” Senior Nicole Malik echoes this notion. “The team is cool because we have skilled players in addition to beginners, and we can


Design Editor Cuts were made to the Girls’ Golf team for the first time this year. The final roster consists of 18 girls out of the 36 who tried out, with the “top six” set to play matches. “If I had the capacity, I wouldn’t cut anyone,” coach Joe Dito said. He hopes not to have to cut anyone next year, saying that if there’s enough interest he plans to petition to the school to create a junior varsity team. “I understand why they did

throughout the season,” Garrett said, “and our biggest block right now is working well with other players because of all the new sophomores and juniors on the team. Time and bonding will fix the team chemistry eventually.” “One reason why we lost one of our most recent games to Notre Dame Belmont was because we slipped up in the last couple of points. It was a super close game so it affected us greatly. Our energy wasn’t strong in the beginning either, so we had to make up for Senior Edwena Wong scores it in 5th set.” three aces in the Wooside match.

cater to both types of players,” Malik said. “Even as a beginner, they have a chance to get better and play against players who are a higher level than them.” “Coach is helpful, and the group is great,” freshman Elisabeth Weimar, who is excited to be on the team, said, “especially the upperclassmen who are very motivating.” Due to the strong confidence in the team, exhibited by individual skills during matches and exemplary teamwork during practice, the team has set their aims high. “We have our league playoffs marked in the schedule,” Coach Sophomore Allie McHugh Smith said, confident in the team serves in a match against Scacred Heart Cathedral. playing to that caliber.

it and next year there hopefully won’t be and hopefully there will be a JV team,” senior Camryn Kenneally, one of the top six, said. “It’s hard because there already isn’t a lot of girls who play golf,” senior top six player Mackenzie Fornesi said, “so thinking of having to cut girls - it’s kind of scary for next year, not knowing who’s going to try out again.” The team, which has already played a tournament and a match against Hillsdale, plays its next match on Friday, Sept. 29 against Aragon.


Under the leadership of several new coaches and varsity captains junior Pia Esguerra and seniors Ashley Kung and Maddie Hawley, the cheer team is working hard to perform at a higher level. For the past few weeks, cheer has been kept occupied with preparing for football games and beginning of the year festivities. “Other than cheering at games,” Esguerra said, “recently we’ve been involved with fresh-

The Panthers line up on defense against Mt. Pleasant at the home opener. The game was a shutout with Burlingame winning 54-0.



Football has had an outstanding start to the season, starting off 4-0 with wins over Mt. Pleasant, Sequoia and Alvarez. Senior Carlo Lopiccolo is the team’s starting quarterback for the second consecutive year. Lopiccolo, along with seniors Andrew Slaboda, Savaun Brown, and John Dryden are captains for the 2017 season. Two of the senior captains, Dryden and Brown, expressed a lot of excitement for what the rest of the season has in store.

Girls volleyball


The varsity girls’ water polo team looks to improve on last year’s losing record and secure a spot in Central Coast Section playoffs this season. The team won its first game two games against Carlmont on Sept. 6 and Sequoia on Sept. 13 and is optimistic about the rest of the season. The senior-heavy team has already switched up its offensive and defensive strategies from last year, according to varsity coach Perry Wu, a former All-American high school player and Division I college player. “We should be one of the more competitive teams in CCS,” Wu said. “But it is also a competitive year.” With three returning 2016-17 Peninsula Athletic League AllLeague Teams players, including senior captains Allison Sullivan


“We’re looking forward to SHP and Little Big Game,” Dryden said. The annual game against Sacred Heart Prep will take place October 27 at 7:30 pm at SHP, and the 90th annual Little Big Game is at San Mateo this year at 11 a.m. Most recently, the Panthers played Menlo Atherton at home last Friday. For scores and highlights check out our game recap at The next home game is on Oct. 20, when the Panthers will take on Aragon High School.







Cross country


September 26, 2017

Senior Camryn Kenneally swings for the first hole in her match against Aragon.