Page 5: Students talk about sexting and its effect on their relationships.
Redondo Union High School
XC Number 8
Tomorrow is the Senior barbeque. The theme is Woodstock, so come in hippie clothing. Food will be included in the ticket price.
631 Vincent Park, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Students to be affected by summer school cuts
Information The ASB Finance Office is open for student business at the following times only: before school, after school, snack, and lunch.
By Danny Garzon 2.
1. Students dance at the Bright Lights, Big City winter fantasy dance. The dance was held at the Crowne Plaza in Redondo Beach. 2. Juniors Hayley Lane and Shayna Stuart laugh while dancing. There was a bigger turnout at this year’s dance. 3. Sara Maltinsky and Kyle Klebe dance after being crowned winter formal king and queen. 4. Daniel Gonzalez and Jennifer Bass rest at a table. Dance Guard decorated the event themselves. 05. Two Students dance on the dance floor. The DJ this year worked for free, which helped keep ticket costs down. PHOTOS BY LYNDSAY MULL AND LISA INOUE
The College and Career Center student visit times are before and after school, at snack and at lunch. The center is closed during class hours except by appointment.
March 2, 2010
Page 4: Students share gold medalist Evan Lysacek’s coach to become better ice skaters.
Auto Club-10 California Scholarship Federation- 301 Chess Club- 64 Fellowship of Christian Athletes- 823 French Club- 808 Heal the Bay-205 4.
by Allie Goldberg
For the winter fantasy dance last Saturday, Bright Lights, Big City, ticket sales fell short but was a “major improvement” from last year’s dance. Dance guard’s goal was to sell around 250 tickets, but only 186 tickets were sold. According to Dance guard captain Nicole Alexander, senior, this year’s dance was low budget compared to last year’s. “Last years planner was very expensive,” she said. “This year, we decorated ourselves, and the DJ didn’t charge, and neither did the photo company.” Alexander feels the dance was successful.
Did you make a New Year’s resolution to be more organized? If so, Planners are now only $2.00 each while supplies last! Get one now and be organized for your new semester assignments. Purchase in room 202. Sign-up for Grad Night 2010! Forms are in the Administration hallway or at redondounion.org under links. Cost $80 until April 30th, $100 after. Turn in completed forms and payment to Michaelle Obear in the Administration building. This event is separate from the senior class Disneyland allnighter. In March the Theatre department will be putting on a Musical Review. Tickets are $5 presale, $8 at the door. Purchase at ASB window. Are you signed-up to play in the Dodgeball tournament? You must come to a mandatory meeting this Friday, February 26th, in room 219 during lunch. All captains must attend and all team fees must be paid. Feel free to come to room 219 to pay early. You can also still sign-up a team. See you Friday! Leader for a Day participants: Reminder that there is a meeting today, Feb 22nd during lunch in room 219. See you then! The High Tide is now available online. See: www.hightideonline.org
Tuesday: Partly Cloudy 62˚/51˚ Wednesday: Mostly Sunny 61˚/48˚ Source: www.weather.com
High Tide What’s Inside... Pages 2......................News Page 3...................Opinion Page 4,5,6..............Features Pages 7,8..................Sports
“It looked like people were having fun. People were actually dancing for most of the time,” Alexander said. According to co-assistant captain Savannah Irving, the DJs and photographer’s willingness to work for free was “really a big help, and extremely cool of them.” Overall, even though the dance was not a huge money maker, Irving feels as if the team succeeded. “Since there was no party planner, we all had to step up. It was a lot of work, but I think that people really had fun and enjoyed themselves,” Irving said
Cafeteria no longer accepts credit due to budget constraints By Josh Hillsburg
As the result of a large debt caused by students not paying for their meals, cafeteria credit has been discontinued. “It should have never been started in the first place,” food service manager Ann Zimmerli said. Last school year, the district implemented a program allowing students to purchase cafeteria meals on credit. However, many students were using the credit but not paying the balance they owed, placing them in debt to the cafeteria. “Steven [Keller, Superintendant] said we were just supposed to feed everybody,” Zimmerli said. “Before last year, students were never allowed to pay on credit.” Once it became evident that the school was losing money, the district decided to discontinue the program to prevent further debt. Many students, however, still have not paid their debts and are now being asked by the cafeteria staff for
the money they owe. “Some people are paying up. Others are complaining. They think they can get meals without paying and get unhappy when we tell them they can’t,” Zimmerli said. “We have a problem with some students paying the balance they owe, but they’re still not paying for their meals.” Another issue that has resulted in the accumulation of debt is a failure to process free or reduced lunch applications, which has resulted in underprivileged students having to owe money for meals they are supposed to receive for free or at a reduced price. These application have to be submitted annually or the student does not receive these benefits. “There have been problems getting some of the applications processed,” Zimmerli said. “Some [applications] have gotten lost and students end up owing money. Parents are complaining that ‘my kid’s meals are free, why do the
owe thirty dollars?’” The cafeteria staff has faced difficulties in collecting the money that is owed. “The biggest problem we’re having now is that there is no way to take the student’s money and give them their meal when they are in debt. We have to go through this 2-step process to get it right,” she said. Zimmerli predicts that it will be a long time before the debt is completely paid, but is hopeful that the issue will be settled soon. “It’s going to be a while before students pay up,” she said. “Hopefully, we can get this cleared up in a month or so.” Zimmerli believes that this issue has compromised the cafeteria’s productivity as an enterprise. “This is a business. You can’t run a business when customers are owing thousands of dollars,” Zimmerli said.
Acadec heads to state competition By Emily Sutton
The Academic Decathlon team placed sixth out of 60 teams earlier this February its best placement yet. The team is currently preparing for the state competition in Sacramento on March 15. “This year’s team has recieved the highest score Redondo Acadec has ever gotten,” Coach and teacher, Julie Ferron said “We had the best year ever.” The students are continuing to work hard and prepare themselves for the upcoming contest on March 15. “In preparation for state, we are reviewing the subjects we know the least. This strategy will help us raise our overall scores at the state level and hopefully receive more medals,” Pearl Tobay, junior said. The team also placed second out of 66 teams in the most publicized event, Super Quiz, where students answered questions about the French
Revolution. “We are more than satisfied with the outcome,” Ferron said “We placed much higher than expected.” The team also did well in the other ten events in the competition. “All of RUHS decathletes received medals for certain categories, such as mathematics, interview, essay, and others,” Tobay said. PHOTO COURTESY OF CYNDI WICKS The students went into the competition with high aspirations Both Acadec teams pose at the awards ceremony in Montebello. The first team placed sixth overall, and the second team placed second in their division. and a modest attitude. “All schools participating in Acbe in the top ten, and most of us already knew ademic Decathlon dream to place first. How- that our team would go to the state competiever, as we prepared for the competition, our tion,” Tobay said. goals were very real - we knew that we had to
Because of the current state of the economy, budget constraints will make summer school this year unlike previous years, according to Assistant Principal John Newman. Only necessary classes that students have to retake will be offered through the school. “We’re not sure yet, we’re trying to decide what classes we are going to offer, we’re going to offer a maximum of eight sections, eight classes, which theoretically would be eight subjects. We’re trying to determine what classes were going to offer based on need, student need, and the priority goes to students who would be seniors next year so we’re looking at classes right now that this years juniors just failed, at the first semester, and that’s where we’re starting with our list,” Newman said. According to Newman, students that will be most affected will be underclassmen and students wishing to take extra classes. “I don’t know how it will affect them, hopefully it won’t affect very many of them, because we’re trying to make sure that we offer what those students are going to need in order to make up a class so that they can graduate, so I’m hoping that
“I know that its going to affect all high school students whether it be the seniors graduating this year or the students who want to take classes while still in high school, for those who want to get a head start on their college careers, there will be a significant effect.” –– John Newman it’ll have a very minimal effect on them, some of them may have to go elsewhere to take classes, like El Camino, or another community college. Last year, we were one of few local districts to offer free summer school,” he said. However, this doesn’t mean that summer school will be nonexistent this summer. “We will also have summer school for pay, like we did last year through Marymount College. We are partnering with them again this year, and we’ll probably be able to offer more through Marymount College because we’re offering less for free. I think its five hundred dollars a class, but what summer school we do have will take place on this campus,” Newman said. According to Robin Dreizler, Director of Outreach and School Relations at El Camino College, cuts have already been made at the communtiy college level. “I know that its going to affect all high school students whether it be the seniors graduating this year or the students who want to take classes while still in high school, for those who want to get a head start on their college careers, there will be a significant effect,” Dreizler said. Dreizler says that cuts are due to funding that they get from the state. “It’s a difficult time right now, we’re in a bad situation, this state financial crisis that we’re in, and we’re, right now, serving way more students than we are getting funding for,” Driezler said. High school students planning to take summer classes at El Camino will have to have to wait for an appointment during the last two days of the registration period in order to find an open class. Spencer Peak, sophomore, is disappointed that these cuts may hinder his academic future. “I was planning on attending summer school this coming summer to get ahead, but now, because of these cuts, I won’t be able to. It’s very disappointing,” Peak said. Even though cuts will be made, Newman is glad that the school district still offers free summer school. “I think we are fortunate to be able to offer any free summer school at all when so many districts have cut it completely,” Newman said.
March 2, 2010
School board assesses effects of budget cuts
With Measure C-funded improvements underway, the school cafeteria is next on the list. School board members have discussed new features–from glass walls to LCD TVs–but the main goal is to give the old building a new image.
new on the
by Kelsey Chung
The school board is planning to build a new cafeteria starting either this November or next January. However, no decisions are final as the school board is still in the process of deciding whether the cafeteria should be rebuilt or remodeled. The final decision of the new cafeteria will be made in the next few weeks. Two board meetings ago, the school board began discussing about a new cafeteria with Principal Mary Little, architect Nathan Herrero, and Senior Project Manager Steven Nelson. Like the other construction work around school, the cafeteria will be funded by Measure C. Measure C is a $145 million general obligation bond that will fund classroom and school facility improvements throughout the district. The money from Measure C can only go into projects that were written in the contract. Also, the money can only be used for structural remodeling and not for supplies or furniture. Two years ago, Measure C had created specific budgets for each project. But according to Assistant Principal John Newman, the set budget for the cafeteria has actually increased due to the faltering economy. “We’re able to get things done for cheaper prices and now we’re a little over $3 million under budget. The economy is actually benefiting for us,” Newman said. With this extra money, the school now has the option of either remodeling the cafeteria, meaning keeping the structure, or rebuilding the cafeteria, meaning tearing down and rebuilding the building. Upon visiting the cafeteria several months ago, Herrero said that the cafeteria is made of concrete walls, so structural change can’t be made unless the entire thing was torn down. If the cafeteria was only remodeled, the only things that could be done are adding new lights or changing its interior. Although tearing it down would cost about $1 million over than “modernizing” it, the school board could reallocate some of the extra money to the cafeteria. According to Newman, rebuilding the entire structure would be more logical. “If it was just remodeled, we would eventually have to tear it down and rebuild it in 20 years. And at that time, we would probably have to pay more than what we would pay now,” Newman said. School Board Representative Evan Christensen, senior, has actively participated in the board meetings in giving student input about the new cafeteria. In his opinion, the best way to go would be to rebuild from scratch since the current cafeteria is a such an “eyesore.” “If we were to level the old building and build a new one, we would have so many more options opened up to us in the ways of arranging the kitchen and dining areas. They might even be able to figure out a better system for getting the food so the students do not have to wait for 15 minutes in line anymore,” Christensen said. “Also, if we were to build a completely new cafeteria, we would be sure that our investment would last for the
next 50 years rather than if we just modernized it.” As for the food service workers in the cafeteria, there is a unanimous agreement that the cafeteria definitely needs remodeling. Alilia Moniati, who has worked i n the cafeteria for six years, believes that they cannot wait any longer. “The place is too old. The ceiling tiles are falling on us, and the
shelves we have are too old too. We don’t have enough refrigerators and the electricity often dies when we’re trying to cook,” Moniati said. One of main problems that Moniati, Newman, and Christensen have observed is the wait and lines for food. “Kids are waiting in lines for too long. When they wait for so long, they begin to cut others and be rude
“Kids are waiting in lines for too long. When they wait for so long, they begin to cut others and be rude to get food more quickly. I think we need to have an open place where we can give kids their food without instead of having all the food dumped into a closed off and crowded space.” —Alilia Moniati to get their food more quickly,” Moniati said. “I think we need to have an open place where we can give kids their food, instead of having all the food dumped into a closed off and crowded space.” By rebuilding the cafeteria, the many problems that exist today would be addressed and fixed. “It would be more efficient and functional. We would have wider doors so students can enter and
exit more easily. Lines would be improved because the food stations would be spread out, like a buffet style,” Newman said. In addition to the improvements made for the students, the whole cafeteria will be made more efficient for the workers as well. Moniati hopes certain changes
will be made to the cafeteria. “We need to get all new, modern appliances to make the kitchen more modern. If we made the hallways behind the cafeteria wider, it would make it easier for us to move the food in and out,” Moniati said. Although nothing is definite, there are some possible ideas regarding what the reconstructed building will feature. “The quad side would be made of all glass so you would be able to see through, and the grass area in front of the building would be gone. It would be concrete and we’ll have some plants around it. We might put a patio there. And the cafeteria, with the see-through window, would tie everything together,” Newman said. “Also, we might put TVs in there and show videos, sports highlights, and news.” Other students have also been able to offer input about the cafeteria. Three weeks ago, Assistant Principal Amy Golden went to ASB to ask for the students’ opinion and randomly chosen students who don’t go to the cafeteria were pulled out from classes to ask them what they would want in a cafeteria. Newman believes this “modernization” will attract students more. “I think students will spend more time in there and have a stronger desire to spend more time because it would be more attractive,” Newman said. Although he worries that the new cafeteria will mean that all of the lunch lines will be in the same building instead of being spread across campus, Christensen cannot wait for the new cafeteria to be built. “I am excited for the fact that we might get a new cafeteria. If this building is well-designed and built, it could completely change the atmosphere of our campus. It would give a new, clean atmosphere to buy and eat your food,” Christensen said.
ASB finds success and hope for Haitians n The schoolwide Money Run for Haiti held February brought six thousand dollars in cash to aid victims of the January 12 earthquake that caused devastation throughout the country. by Camille Duong
The schoolwide fundraiser for the Haiti relief efforts raised six thousand dollars, triple the amount intended, with an estimated 90 percent of the school involved, which is enough to send six shelter boxes to Haiti. According to English teacher and ASB adviser Sherie Gross, the fundraiser was a huge success. “We thought we would only double our goal,” Gross said. According to ASB Presidet Sara Maltinsky, the fundraiser is a huge accomplishment. “I thank all the students who contributed,” Maltinsky said. “The school was really unified for this cause.” The idea was brought about when Principal Mary Little approached School Relations Officers Konrad Schreier, senior and Sarah Song, sophomore. “We got the idea and we presented it to Ms. Gross, and when she approved we put it to a class vote,” Song said. According to Song, the original idea had been to collect money and canned food to donate, which would then be donated to the relief efforts in Haiti through the Red Cross.
“We were not planning on sending shelter boxes when we first decided to fundraise,” Song said. “Ms. Little came up with the shelter box idea, which was a lot simpler.” The shelter boxes provide necessities enough for ten people. According to Gross, the student body can see where the money goes within the next couple of weeks. “We can track the shelter boxes to see who they are helping,” Gross said.
“I thank all the students that contributed. The school was really unified for this cause.” —Sara Maltinsky According to Maltinsky, the school will be able to track the shelter boxes at all times. The fundraiser was more than just raising money for the relief efforts. “It is proof that the school and community can come together for a cause,” Gross said. “I am really proud of our school.” The shelter boxes help show that we care about the situation in Haiti and that our school is willing to help other countries, according to Song. “It is nice to see because this has nothing to do with our school or even our country but we still care,” Maltinsky said. As of right now there are no plans to have another fundraiser for the earthquake that occurred in Chile. “I have not been approached,” Gross said. “Maybe it will happen, maybe not.”
Haitiby the numbers Amount of money $6000 raised to aid victims of the earthquake
Estimated percentage of the student body that participated in the money run
Number of shelter boxes that will be sent to the victims of the earthquake
Number of people that will be catered to with the 6 shelter boxes purchased –Compiled by Joy Ohiomoba
n With more budget cuts facing the RBUSD, the school board is considering a variety of ways, such as staff cuts, to balance the district budget and keep cuts from directly affecting schools. by Julia Uriarte
Superintendent Dr. Steven Keller visted Redondo on Monday, Feb. 9 to discuss balancing the 2010-2011 budget and possible state cuts. Last year the district felt some relief from the $3.6 million in federal stimulus and was able to keep layoffs to a minimum. However, according to Keller, the loss of this federal stimulus money puts a strain on the district. “It’s not a fun time. It’s getting to the point where districts that have been well managed like ours are feeling the crunch,” Keller said. According to Principal Mary Little, the money lost from federal stimulus is just the tip of the iceberg, as the state has yet to announce its budget. “How much more the state is going to cut we don’t know at this point,” Little said. While cuts are unavoidable, both Keller and Principal Mary Little are trying to keep the budget cuts from effecting the school as much as possible. “While there will be some effect at the high
“The good news is that when you do an early retirement you get fewer layoffs or no layoffs. Every position that moves or retires we say ‘do we need that job?‘” —Mary Little school level, we’re trying to keep cuts as far away from the classroom as possible,” Little said. However, according to Little, staff cuts are inevitable. “Since personnel is 85 percent of our budget, we have to cut there to make a difference,” Little said. To try and offset some of these cuts, the district is offering an early retirement package. “The good news is that when you do an early retirement, you get fewer layoffs or no layoffs,” Keller said. “Every position that moves or retires we say ‘do we need that job?’” However, this package will only save the district money if enough people agree to retire early and fewer people are re-hired. “The only way to save money is to get people to retire two to four years early and/or not hire behind those positions,” Keller said. However, the early retirement package will only save the district money if enough people agree to retire. But according to Little, the package is not meant to force people into retirement, but just to encourage them to do so. “The idea was to get people who were thinking about retiring but not quite there yet to make the decision,” she said. The state is also offering some aid to districts; by allowing them to cancel summer school, incorporating the money alloted for summer school back into the budget. “[The state is] basically daring us not to have summer school,” Keller said. Although the district isn’t going to such drastic measures, they are cutting K-8 middle school and limiting high school summer school. “Summer school will only be for credit recovery, not for improving grades,” Little said. According to Keller, the district will become more strict when it comes to enforcing policies in order to cut costs. “The days of being generous and saying ‘Okay, we’ll allow this’ are gone,” he said. This includes increasing class sizes and trying to improve attendance. However, according to Keller while attendance rates can improve they are already relatively high. “Comparatively, we have very good attendance,” Keller said. “Compared to most high schools we probably have one of the highest attendance rates in the South Bay.” Despite all the cutbacks, Little urges students, parents, and staff to remain optimistic. “It’s just a really rough time and we all have to work together with the hope that the future will be a little brighter,” she said.
March 2 , 2010
Immigrant assimilation too radical
Letters to the Editor
If you have an opinion about one of the articles published in the High Tide, we welcome letters to the editor. We reserve the right to edit them for content, grammar and space constraints. Letters must be signed, and are not guaranteed to be printed. Please bring signed letters to room 209.
High Tide Editor-in-Chief: Sonya Egan Managing Editors: Danielle Lew; Austin Pritzkat News Editor: Molly Simon; Claire Simon Opinion Editor: Jackson Greer Features Editors: Ashley Pournamdari; Julia Uriarte; Sophia Lykke; Dylan Futrell; Jonathan Martin; Jake Collins Sports Editor: Jessica Cascio Photo Editors: Daniel Fallon; Erika Gavitt Copy Editors: Josh Hillsburg; Joey Hoy; Brittney Madera; Adam Ammerntorp; Mark Rieth Cartoonists: Josh Hillsburg; Asad Nazif Staff Writers: Vanessa Alarcon; Cody Anderson; Victoria Balding; Ramya Bhaskar; Shannon Bowman; Claire Chiara; Kelsey Chung; Alexis Curtis-Olson; Michael Cross; Brianna Egan; Kaelee Epstein; Josh Fogelson; Daniel Garzon; Allie Goldberg; Ulises Gonzalez; Garrett Gutierrez; Meglyn Huber; Bethany Kawa; David Kawa; Steven King; Anthony Leong; Elisa Martinez; Cammille Mitchell; Asad Nazif; Alexandra O’Hagan; Joy Ohiomoba; Alison Peet-Lukes; Madeline Perrault; Alix Politanoff; Melissa Rosero; Allison Salazar; Alyssa Sanchez; Derek Sarno; Katie Scheyer; Laura Shodall; Casey Smith; Shelby Stitch; Shayna Stuart; Emily Sutton; Emily Vavrek; Anneliese Wilson; Alyssa Wolf Adviser: Mitch Ziegler The High Tide dedicates itself to producing a high-quality publication that both informs and entertains the entire student body. This newspaper is a wholly student managed, designed and written newspaper that focuses on school and community events. The High Tide is published by the journalism class at Redondo Union High School, 631 Vincent Park, Redondo Beach, CA 90277. Advertising is $7.50 per column inch, $6.00 if paid in advance. For information call (310)798-8665 ext. 2210. Signed commentaries and editorial cartoons represent the opinions of the writer or cartoonist and in no way reflect the opinions of the High Tide staff.
Attendance necessary for budget California’s budget cuts are rapidly draining educational funds, and with the advent of the governor’s new proposal, many issues are left in limbo. Nevertheless, the bottom line for our district (and most other California districts) is that our schools’ Average Daily Attendance (ADA) is the bulk of our revenue- up to 88%. The district has already outlined possible actions to compensate the total $3.6 million budget reductions, such as keeping only full class sizes. For example, a class of 10 kids, which would previously have been all right, will likely not exist. Increases in Grade 9
Math and English class sizes, and staff reductions for all parties will likely occur. But the most relevant of all actions would be the mailed requests to parents for payment on students’ vacation absences, which is long overdue. Though the RBUSD has a relatively high attendance rate compared to other schools, even a 1 percent increase can make a difference, monetarily, for the entire district. Students and families need to understand that the district is in a financial crunch. Unfortunately, the recent mock seniorditch day only proves how oblivious we still are. Right now, the most pressing question is
does the majority of the student body know the financial implications of attendance? Each year, the school may receive just a few reimbursements from vacationing students’ families. Obviously, this is only a small fraction of students’ families honoring an unenforced district policy. While this occurs, attendance revenue rates have dropped drastically from 20072008’s $6,148.31 per student peak down to 2009-2010’s $5,251.49. That’s roughly a $1,000-per-student decrease. Multiply that by the student body and it becomes clear that the pressure for higher attendance rates is not unwarranted.
Student parking affected by construction Due to the ongoing construction on the auditorium and new administration building on Diamond Street, parking near the construction sites has become difficult for students. This causes Kaitee Scheyer many to be late to classes, to get ticketed because of parking illegally and in general causing a greater inconvenience for students who drive to school. Many students have complained about being late to class in the morning due to lack of parking. Why not leave five minutes earlier in the morning to prevent yourself from being that last person looking for a space? This would be an easy solution to the problem. The real question, though, is how fair is it to ask students to change their schedules when the
construction is not their problem, and shouldn’t be? When it comes down to the student’s opinion, couldn’t teachers and administration be more lenient on the amount of tardies students get in regards to finding parking? Construction should not affect academics. There are plenty of solutions that could prevent students from being late to classes. Another solution is carpooling. If students could carpool with each other, they would not only be pressed to be on time, but it would definitely help to solve the parking problem—less cars, more parking spaces. Why not give students an incentive to carpool? Designated parking spaces or preferred parking for people who carpool. Carpooling is not only a solution to the parking problem but is also environmentally beneficial. Since our school is in an affluent area, there is a greater percentage of people who drive to school than other districts. If more students are
driving to school, carpooling is not unreasonable to ask of the students. As students frantically drive through the streets and parking lots by the school, there are certain unauthorized spaces that students are not allowed to park in that are unclear, therefore getting a ticket by the end of the day is not uncommon. Every Thursday and Friday street cleaning takes place on streets around Redondo like Diamond and Vincent. This causes a major problem for parking and adds to the decreased amount of parking for students on Thursdays and Fridays. Half of the parking places on the streets are closed off. Construction is not an excuse for academics to be interrupted or for students to have this inconvenience. If there is a problem that causes a burden to students, it should be solved with the help of both the students and faculty members who are responsible for matters like these.
Lately in France there has been uproar over the actions French president Nicolas Sarkozy has taken in trying to ban the Muslim veil in order to assimilate the MusAlix Politanoff lims into France. In June, Sarkozy declared that the burqa was not welcomed in France, and that Muslim women must adapt to the French culture. Sarkozy states that the burqas are not a “religious sign” but one of “subservience,” and that France could not accept women who are “prisoners behind a screen.” Sarkozy is trying to assimilate the Muslims into the French culture, but he’s created a controversy in trying to do so. Even though France is known for its efforts toward ethnic assimilation, it seems that Sarkozy’s strong comments and opinions were not the best way to go about it. According to an opinion poll in the French magazine Le Point, 57% of voters support the ban, and while a proposal was brought up to ban the burqa, no law has been made yet. Recently Muslims have gone to the French streets protesting over the ban, increasing the tension between the French and Muslims. Banning the burqa would only cause more problems and would stigmatize the Muslims, leading to more riots. France isn’t the only country that has been gripped with racial problems. In 2009, Switzerland made a constitutional amendment banning the construction of minarets, the tall onion-shaped structures on Islamic mosques (Fox News). This seems to be an expression of intolerance rather than one of assimilation. This act makes it seems that the Swiss are just trying to attack the Islamic people’s freedom of belief. Italy has had its share of racial problems as well. Lately there have been increased tensions between the Italians and African immigrants living in Rosarno. Starting in 2008, violent protests broke out over the shooting of six African immigrants. These protests and riots have worsened over the past two years (New York Times). These European countries have trouble with the immigrants living in their countries due to the simple fact that they feel threatened by the immigrants. Instead of trying to assimilate the immigrants in a gentle process, they have taken drastic action. Immigration poses a problem in every country, but maybe some of these European countries should look at the U.S. as an example. The U.S. has always been successful in assimilating the immigrants without taking away any of their rights.
Senioritis can affect post-high school life
Is a prestigious college really worth the cost?
Second semester, senior year. The one time in a high schooler’s life that “doesn’t count.” The misconcepAsad Nazif tion stems from high schoolers’ believing that their grades don’t matter; after all, their transcript has been sent in with their college applications. But, that isn’t to say that you shouldn’t relax. Go to the beach, hang out with friends, remove yourself from a scholarly state of mind. However, remember that all play and no work makes Johnny a college reject. Colleges can easily remove an acceptance they have bestowed upon you; more formally known by the collegiate world as “rescinded acceptances.” Bad grades, a symptom of senioritis, is a clear indicator to colleges to take back your acceptance. The college admissions reviewers aren’t stupid. They will clearly notice a tank in your grades, especially if your grades fall below C’s. According to the LA Times’ Larry Gordon’s article “No Slack for
Is attending an expensive university worth the cost of admission? It’s important to ask oneself this question Garrett Gutierrez in preparation for deciding what to do with one’s life after high school. Sure, Harvard might have the prestige, but a state university might be a more appropriate option for someone who doesn’t want to get into debt because of student loans. It comes down to one factor: costbenefit analysis. If one is guaranteed to earn a higher net income after graduating from a more prestigious university regardless of the price of the initial investment, then it’s a more viable choice to attend such an institution. A hypothetical situation for one to consider: A Stanford graduate and an Arizona State Univerity (ASU) graduate both get similar jobs at different companies. The Stanford grad starts at $90,000 a year, and the ASU grad starts at $60,000 a year. In this scenario, it seems obvious that the Stanford grad
Student Slackers,” the current economic recession is forcing colleges to nitpick all of their applicant’s details, and with a poor maintenance of grades, the colleges will be quick to drop you. With increased competition to colleges (“No Slack for Student Slackers,” LA Times) and a downhill economy, colleges are becoming more intolerant to students’ senioritis. The fact is that most students don’t pay their way into a four year school. Their tuition is paid, mostly, with financial aid. From a purely fiscal point of view, why would one give charity to a slacker? The fact of the matter is that it doesn’t matter what type of college you go to, whether it be public or private. Regardless, these institutions expect to see you work hard, and if you can’t hold up your end of the bargain why should they hold theirs? Sure, the definition of maintaing grades can change when comparing two separate colleges; for instance, Ivy Leaugues will require the same output as your sophomore and junior years while public in-state universities will allow an individual some leeway.
Succumbing to senioritis has its consequences as well. Its easy to start, but hard to stop; laziness becomes a way of life, practically an addiction. I’ve suffered from senioritis, probably just apathy, for several years. It wasn’t until recently that I was able to control my lethargy and begin working more. Senioritis can affect you well be-
yond your senior year. You were lazy in second semester, but still got accepted? You’ll still be lazy in college, and it’s tough to overcome it. Relax and unwind, but don’t take your tranquility too far. Why let your hard work thus far go to waste? Second semester, senior year. Just another semester in a high schooler’s life.
has the upper hand. But what if the Stanford grad is $200,000 in debt, yet the ASU grad had enough money to pay for his education without getting into debt? Is it worth it for the Stanford grad to spend several years of his life in debt, slaving away at his job just to break even? The Harvard grad will probably catch up with the ASU grad in terms of income eventually, but after how long? And consider the other expenses both will have to pay for, like houses or apartments, and cars, and modern convienences. Different research institutions have come to contrasting conclusions in regard to whether or not attending a prestigious university is worth the debt and initial investment. It’s difficult to say for certain if a prestigious university is worth the cost, but one fact remains: those with a four-year diploma tend to be paid higher than those who head straight into the workforce after high school. For most people, college attendence tends to pay back in the long run. Go to the college that offers the programs you find interesting. Most research has shown that college major matters more in terms of salary than the particular college you attended.
March 2, 2010
Dessert theatre provides new experience for drama club by Mark Rieth
Without an auditorium and without money, the drama department is still able to present Dessert Theatre—a combination of monologues, improvisions, a short musical performance, and desserts to compliment the experience. According to senior Christian Murphy, a performer in Dessert Theatre, producing this play has been challenging. “Because the play is a bunch of differ-
2. PHOTOS BY MAX PITTMAN
1. Freshman Vicky Artaza performs from a scene in “The Importance of Being Earnest,” by Oscar Wilde. 2. Seniors Eric Beack and Jayda Knight perform improv during scene changes.
ent events put together, each part only rehearsed once a week. So instead of everybody rehearsing together, we had to break it up, which meant we didn’t get as much time to practice,” Murphy said. Senior Sara Hill, co-president of Drama Club, believes lack of unity was a result of the split rehearsals. “It was hard to feel connected with the rest of the cast because, unlike other plays, we almost never rehearsed together,” Hill said. Because the auditorium is under construction, the drama department had to find a different location for the play. “Not having a stage to perform on makes things difficult. A week before the show, we were sure we were going to perform in the bingo room, but then we switched to the Redondo Beach Playhouse,” Hill said. “Theatres are specifically designed to help you be seen and heard. An empty hall would not have been conductive to audio and visual entertainment.” All rehearsals for Dessert Theatre were completely extracurricular. On top of that, the drama department has a new teacher, Justin Baldridge. According to Murphy, this change in leadership is something that the drama students will have to adjust to, if they haven’t already.
“The fact that there’s a whole new drama teacher who’s introducing a whole new drama program is one obstacle,” Murphy said. Still, Murphy believes Baldridge works well with his students and is up to the challenge of leading drama. “I don’t think the drama depart-
“It was hard to feel connected with the rest of the cast, because unlike other plays, we almost never rehearsed together.” —Sara Hill ment under Mr. Baldridge is any less organized, even though we don’t have an auditorium and many of the veteran performers aren’t in the drama class. Mr. Baldridge is a very professional and organized director.” According to Baldridge, the $7,000 of debt has limited what the drama department has been able to produce. “We’ve only been able to come out with minimal productions and not any real plays,” Baldridge said. “It also means more money out of the students’ pockets.”
Church opens skate park
Beale makes over 300 visits to Disneyland by Casey Smith
Senior William Clark Beale arrives at the Disneyland entrance. A man scans his pass and he walks through the gates. The familiar sight brings him joy. As Beale and his friends pass under the Main Street Railroad, he tells his party members that he is off to get Fastpasses for Space Mountain. Shortly after, Beale heads straight to Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, where he starts off his day in Fantasyland. Beale says that he is not obsessed in any way, but he does love Disneyland. Although he has lost count of how many times exactly he has been to the theme park, through a series of calculations he can average it out to be more than 300 visits. This love for Disneyland began when Beale was in second grade. His mother, who works the night shift at a hospital where she is a registered nurse, would come home tired day after day. In order for her to get the sleep she needed, Beale’s father wanted to come up with someway to get everyone out of the house. “My dad would take us to museums, parks, zoos and such every weekend until we eventually caught on to the idea of getting Disneyland Annual Passes,” Beale said. Beale and his family grew to love Disneyland like it was a second home. “When the kids and my husband got the Disney passes he could take them on a Saturday or Sunday when I was sleeping off the
night shift,” Adrienne Beale said. “I would know that they were some place that everybody liked having fun.” Since getting his of passes almost eleven years ago, Beale has made it a custom to visit at least two or three times a month. He has even come so far as to see wait times, how crowds are moving, and even view live webcam feeds of going on in the resort from his phone. He has also named his phone after “Bucky,” a puppet that is no longer in use at the park. Beale’s peculiar ways are not out of the ordianary, according to his sister. “I think its pretty neat how he knows so many things. And out of all the weirdness, I think he’s too awesome to be called weird or stupid. He‘s a really cool dude and I love him,” Beale’s sister Evelyn said. Beale also understands that giving your name out to people isn’t the greatest idea, but in this case he reconsiders. “I’ve had many cast members recognize me from my many trips,” Beale said. “I am on a first-name-basis with quite a few cast members.” One would think that after so many trips to Disneyland, Beale would have many ‘privileges’ or ‘opportunities’ that other visitors at the park don’t. “I can’t really say I get any ‘special privileges,’ but I do tend to... have things work out in my favor,” Beale said. “For example, depending on who is running the Tiki Juice
Bar, I may get a slightly-larger-than-averagethough-not-so-large-as-to-be-conspicuousto-the-leads-who-may-walk-by-at-any-moment Dole Whip.” Even though he could take things like this to his advantage, Beale reveals that he’d much rather be part of the “streetmosphere”. This includes being involved with peformances when a member of the audience is pulled onto the stage, as well as entertainment around the park like musicians, jugglers and such. He also enjoys being a helpful member although he is not part of the staff. “My favorite thing about touring the parks is seeing and helping everyone else, both in and out of my circle of friends, both cast member and guest, that fraternal nature,” Beale said. “That ability to talk to anybody present and to help them have fun; that is my Disneyland.” Beale’s regular visits to Disneyland may seem like an addiction to others, but he doesn’t think of it that way. “I wouldn’t call it an obsession,” Beale said. “I can go without it for a couple months and still be ok.” Although this may be true, he admits to never being tired of the resort. Beale believes that every time he goes, there is just another combination of attractions to experiences, as well as something new to learn about the history of Disneyland. Everyone definitely has their own sense
by Victoria Balding
PHOTO BY DANIEL FALLON
Senior William Clark Beale wears his Disneyland essentials including his pins and anual pass. In his hands, Beale holds some of the many tickets to Disneyland he has purchased. He has visited Disneyland an estimated 300 times.
of escape. Some resort to drugs and alcohol while others tend to turn their heads toward music, dancing, sports and others things of the sort. Beale on the other hand looks at things from a different perspective. “Me, I’m a Renaissance man, I have a variety of interests and fields that I pursue and participate in,” Beale said. “Disneyland is just like music, or drama, or drugs, or humor, or any of the other myriad things that are part of your life. Disneyland is that part of me.”
Rowe uses skateboarding sponsorship to give back to community by Josh Fogelson
Junior Cody Rowe is so dedicated to skateboarding, that when he needed a half pipe to skate on, he built one in his backyard. It is a dedication like that which has earned Rowe a sponsor. Rowe is sponsored by Soul Performance, a local skate shop in Redondo Beach. He has always skated, but starting in sixth grade his interest in the sport grew. By seventh grade, he had sent a video to
Soul Performance showing off some of his tricks. “At the time no one really skated that much and [the sport] was starting to pick up momentum,” Rowe said. “I had a lousy tape by today’s standards, but I guess I made it.” It was not pure talent that earned Rowe his sponsorship though. Sheryl Brog, wife of Soul Performance owner, Mike Brog, said Cody had something special that oth-
PHOTO BY JON MARTIN
Junior Cody Rowe does an indie grab. He is currenty sponsored and helps spread a positive attitude among his fellow skate boarders. His sponsors appreciate his positive attitde the most.
er kids did not. “He’s not the kind of kid who tries something once and then gives up. He puts his mind to it and he’s going to keep doing it until he gets it, and not just right but superb,” Brog said. Rowe’s drive and dedication to skateboarding has kept him the sponsor to this day. As part of his sponsor, Rowe receives free clothing with the Soul Performance logo on them, which he wears when skating around and to the occasional competition. The sponsorship is more then just an agreement to wear clothing though. Rowe is good friends with Sheryl and Mike Brog, and can call Soul Performance his home. “If I’m ever desperate they will support me any way they can,” Rowe said. Rowe is not sponsored to win competitions and just purely advertise, but instead to act as a good role model in the community. “He’s just a good representative. Not just in skating, but in how to be a good member of society. He could be the best skater in town or in the state and have a bad attitude, but we’re not going to sponsor you, no matter how good you are,” Brog said. “It’s the overall picture, and he’s the overall guy.” Rowe is against large, corporate skateboard companies, preferring smaller, family-run businesses, like Soul Performance. “[Corporate shops] are trying to make money off of skateboarding,” Rowe said.
Hill agrees that the debt has required more personal contributions from cast members. “We haven’t had to increase the ticket prices, but we’re being more creative with the costumes and the set,” Hill said. “In Dessert Theatre, the furniture is either from a member of the cast, from Mr. Baldridge’s classroom, or from the playhouse itself. All the costumes are from our own closets except for the hats in the chorus line.” According to Murphy, Dessert Theatre allowed students to present their talent for acting and also help to raise much needed money for the drama department. Murphy expects the performance to be a crowd-pleaser and to run smoothly. “As far as performance, I predict the production to be a success. We have talented actors in Dessert Theatre. I hope for the best as far as revenue goes, but it’s not as certain. It’s difficult to predict the sizes of the audiences,” Murphy said. Hill remains optimistic, believing that the performance will generate a substantial amount of revenue and help the drama club. “With Dessert Theare and Caberet, Drama is hoping to be done with debt,” Hill said.
“It’s owned by people who don’t skate. They just make the money. They view it as some kind of hobby, like the yo-yo.” Skateboarding is more then just a hobby to Rowe, which is one reason he enjoys being sponsored by Soul Performance, a company that is more interested in skateboarding then in just making money. “One of the reasons we have this skate shop here is to be a positive part of the community and give these kids a place to come and to learn,” Brog said. Because of his dislike of corporate skateboard companies, Rowe doesn’t like to call his arrangement a sponsor. He says sponsors are associated with large companies. “I guess you can call it a sponsor, but it’s more I rep the shop,” Rowe said. One of the reasons Rowe is so dedicated to skateboarding is the relaxing effect it has on him. “You come home from a hard day of school and you need something to unwind and I find skateboarding is that thing I unwind to,” Rowe said. Rowe also enjoys being a part of the larger skateboarding community. “I know a lot of people,” Rowe said. “When I’m skating around I’ll meet fellow skaters.” Whatever the reasons are for Rowe’s continued love of skateboarding, his attachment to the sport has no end in sight. Skateboarding has become something more then just a hobby for Rowe “It’s a lifestyle,” he said.
Some people may view the Hope Chapel as just another church or a commonly known place to skate, but to senior Gabe Martenson it’s a place where he gets a chance to give back to his community and help spread faith. Martenson has been attending Hope Chapel for his entire life and is currently a part of the youth group. Twice a week he volunteers at the skate park, which his church created, in Hermosa Beach. “The church owns the building, so when the lease was up we decided it was a great opportunity to find a way to give back to the community,” Martenson said. He believes the skate park offers a safe atmosphere for teens. “Teens can feel comfortable to hang out with friends or do homework in a safe environment,” he said. Although the skate park is not strictly for religion, the staff would like to open up the skaters to new ideas to help the youth incorporate faith into their daily lives. According to junior Jordan Garcia-Perez, who has been skating at Hope Chapel for the past couple months, the skate park does attract more people to the Hope Chapel. He attended a mass there himself. “I think in a way they do lure in skaters into religion,” Garcia-Perez said. Even though some people view it as just a place to hang out, the people managing it hope for something more. He wanted to show kids a place where they feel comfortable and at home, and possibly become interested with the church itself. “If we are patient and wait maybe we can show skaters that youth group is fun,” he said. Although the skate park is not strictly for religion the staff would like to open up the skaters to new ideas to help the youth incorporate faith into their daily lives. “Kids will not only come in to skate and have fun, but will also give teens beliefs that schools don’t provide,” Skate Ministry Director Clarence Mazza said. He believes that through this teen center he will be able to share his faith with more adolescents. “Last year we took over twenty-five skaters through the entire book of John and I was able to establish personal relationships with some of the skaters who are now my close friends and attend church with me,” Mazza said. He hopes to continue making personal relationships and more close friends through the skate park. Mazza came up with the idea when he noticed an increase in the number of skaters in the South Bay. The rapidly growing rate of skaters has Mazza separating middle school skating times from the high schools skating times as an attempt to control the crowds. He is hoping he will be able to help many skaters through the skate park. “As a church we take in anybody and with most people using drugs and with broken families we need to spread more knowledge of Jesus to people and give them a deeper meaning in their life, heart and soul,” Mazza said.
March 2, 2010
In the spirit of the Olympics Inzer and Wilton share a common love for hockey by Shayna Stuart
Junior Zac Inzer and freshman Nick Wilton cheer on the USA hockey team as it beats Canada (5-3) in aspiration to one day be part of an Olympic team. “I was jumping up and down for about an hour after USA beat Canada. It was amazing,” Wilton said. Wilton started playing hockey when he was four due to a family history in the sport. “A lot of my relatives on my Dad’s side play hockey so I guess I just fell into the sport as well,” Wilton said. Wilton plays center for the Anaheim Junior Ducks at Anaheim Ice, the same place the professional Ducks hockey team practices. “We practice a lot and it’s a far drive so I have to stay prioritized,” Wilton said. Junior Zac Inzer also plays ice hockey. He started seven years ago, after playing roller hockey for three years prior. “The Mighty Ducks movies that my Dad bought me when I was little inspired me to play hockey. I would watch them non-stop every day,” Inzer said. Inzer plays defense for the AA Junior Kings club team and travels every weekend for tournaments and games. “We practice about five times a week and play at all different rinks throughout California,” Inzer said. Both Inzer and Wilton agree that the hardest part of hockey is not the skating, but learning how to play the game correctly. “You’ll see something and then in a split second your momentum will have to change. This is all while trying
to avoid getting knocked,” Inzer said. Inzer and Wilton know the dangers of hockey because of fighting experiences and believe that it is all part of the “fun in the sport.” “Hockey is fast pace but also aggressive. It takes a lot of coordination and skill to be able to handle it,” Inzer said. Due to the lack of a hockey team at the high school, Inzer may attend a prep school that offers a hockey program. “I was offered an opportunity last year to attend a prep school in northern California but I wanted to spend one more year here,” he said. Inzer believes that if he attends a prep school, he will secure his chances of playing hockey in college. “Hockey is more popular back east, but that’s what I like about it. I didn’t want to do something ordinary. I like the feeling of being different,” he said. Similarly, since the school does not have a hockey team, Wilton qualified for independent P.E, but he still wanted to take regular P.E. for more exercise. “It’s hard to balance all of the classes, but it usually works out because of the block scheduling,” he said. With the winter Olympics yhis year, Inzer and Wilton both aspire to return to Canada, the hockey capital of the world. They both have visited Canada already for invitational hockey tournaments. “We stayed in Vancouver and it was just beautiful. The hockey was great too,” Inzer said. Wilton agrees with Inzer. “It was definitely the coolest thing I’ve ever done and we played some great competition there,” Wilton said. However, according to Nick’s mother, Nilsa Wilton, the price of playing hockey can be extremely high.
“The gear alone costs up to about $1,500 and that’s not including traveling,” Nilsa said. The gear includes of a typical hockey player includes a jersey, skates, pants, shoulder pads, knee pads, socks, elbow pads, and a helmet. These are all essentials when playing hockey. Nilsa believes that the traveling is good for exposure to scouts, but also burns a big whole in her pocket of $10,000 or more. “Hopefully it will all pay off one day when I’m cheering him on at the Olympics or watching him in the NHL,” she said.
Wilton and Inzer hope to one day play at the professional level. Wilton has already been scouted by the Western Hockey League (WHL). “I will make my decision in a couple of years, but I would have to be crazy to pass up an opportunity if it arose,” Wilton said.
2. PHOTOS COURTESY OF ZAC INZER AND NICK WILTON
1. Zac Inzer makes a pass during one of his games. Inzer plays for the AA Junior Kings hockey club and practices five times a week. 2. Nick Wilton reads the game during one of his games. Wilton plays in Anaheim for the Anaheim Junior Ducks. Both players have high ambitions for their futures in ice hockey.
Artaza trains with renowned olympic figure skating coach
Confessions of a Canadian
by Cammille Mitchell
Most Americans see Canada as their ugly hat, a foreign desolete nation full of empty tundra and Inuits, with the occasional slaughter of a baby seal thrown in for good measure. Or perhaps we’re seen as maple syrup loving socialists, whose healthcare program Jonathan Martin hurts the commonwealth and First Person endangers our citizens. But Canadians are simply some of the kindest people on earth. They see everything as an opportunity to learn. It’s this mentality that helped Canada to win so many golds this year at the 2010 Vancouver olympics. Since this was the first home olympics since Calgary in 1988, and we had never won a gold at home, everything was riding on this years’ Canadian athletes to make new records and make sure our dreams ofwinning gold at home was accomplished, and it was. Canadian’s everywhere wore scarfs and shirts that read “believe” and chanted as Alexandre Bilodeau won Canada’s first gold and assured Canadians everywhere that this years olympic games would be bountiful for the Canadian team. From there the gold medal count just kept on rising. Canada rose in the standings. We went from sixth place, to fourth place, to third place. But all the while, national hope was riding on the mens’ hockey team. A gold in mens’ hockey seemed incredibly far off. We lost to the U.S. team in the round robin and it became unusually uncomfortable to be Canadian. Never in my life have so many expletives been lobbed at me because of my team Canada jersey. Nor have I met so many people who have an incredibly strong hate for Canada. It’s a sad thing because we’re both neighbors and we are both in an economic relationship with each other. I’ve never understood people’s extreme hatred for something they don’t understand specifically other people or other cultures. But with the negativity came a lot of positive comments. People I didn’t know were rooting for team Canada and supporting us in our search for a gold where we wanted it most. If you ask any Canadian what they would want a gold medal in if they could have any, everyone of them would answer hockey. And a rematch with the USA team meant everything for a defeated Canada. Canada’s gold medal was riding on the final event against the USA. With winning the gold medal in hockey, Canada’s national spirit has risen tremendously and, once again Sidney Crosby, the talented Penguins player has held his place as a Canadian icon. Although the U.S. team was not an easy rival, Canada overcame and received the only gold that really mattered. Even though we had a rough olympic beginning, we managed to set a new olympic gold medal count record with 14 golds and a total of 26 overall medals, and to win a gold in both mens’ and womens’ hockey, not too shabby for a country with a population of 33 million people. We’ll have to see where Canada ends up at the next Olympic games. No doubt after this year’s games gold will be in our sights.
Freshman Vicky Artaza first began figure skating at age nine, and now she is on her path to becoming a professional figure skater with plans to go all the way to the Olympics. Two years ago Artaza was looking for a new coach to train her when she came upon famous figure skating coach Frank Carroll and has been training with him since. “I chose Frank because he has a lot of experience and he is a renowned coach. He is very nice and cares about his students. This Olympics is his 10th and he has also been inducted into the Figure Skating Hall of Fame,” Artaza said. She dedicates six days a week in the mornings and afternoons to training with Carroll, in addition to lessons with other coaches to ensure her success in the sport. “It is very expensive to train with Frank Carroll as opposed to another coach because he has trained many professional skaters. He charges about $45 for 20 minute as opposed to other coaches who charge $40 or $30 for a 20 minute lesson,” Artaza said. Since training with Carroll, Artaza has gained the same experience and training as other successful figure skaters that have trained with him in the past. “He probably has a lot more experience than some of the other coaches. He has trained many skaters such as Michelle Kwan, Timothy Goebel, Linda Fratiani, Christopher Toland, Evan Lysasek, Mirai Nagasu, Carolina Kostner and a few others. It really is an honor to be working with him,” Artaza said.
With the extra time and money put into her lessons, Artaza receives the benefits and improves due to her commitment. “To improve and become a great figure skater you need to practice, practice, practice, listen to your coaches, learn from your mistakes, and always try your best,” Artaza said. Artaza’s parents are very supportive of her goals and hope for the best. “We hope she will be able to do her best, no matter how far she can go. She loves the sport and we always try to support her in following her skater dreams,” Monica Ferrini-Artaza said. Artaza’s parents see great benefits in her commitment to figure skating and appreciate what it has to offer their daughter in the future and the lessons she is currently learning. “We think the ice skating affects her life in a very positive way because through the sport she learns discipline, she learns to be focused, to have a goal in mind and we believe that she will take those life experiences in all other aspects of her life. Ice skating gave her the opportunity to make a lot of friends from all over the US and the world who we believe she will treasure for life,” her mother said. With the help of her experienced coaches and supportive parents, Artaza plans to achieve great accomplishments through her figure skating. “I hope to go as far as I can in skating. Maybe one day I’ll make it to the Olympics,” Artaza said. Despite the pressure and the daily exertion Artaza experiences, she does not plan on giving up her dream.
PHOTO COURTESY OF VICKY ARTAZA
Artaza performs during one of her routines. She trains with olympic figure skating coach Frank Carroll, the same coach as gold medalist Evan Lysacek.
“In every skaters life, there is usually a time where you consider quitting. There are times when I feel overwhelmed or frustrated, but I never feel frustrated enough to quit figure skating.” Artaza said.
Olympic figure skaters train locally at Toyota Center by Christina Mehranbod
nThe Toyota Center in El Segundo has raised olympic figure skaters such as recent gold medalist Evan Lysacek. From Olympic gold medalists Misty May Treanor and Kerry Walsh to Lakers’ basketball players Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, the South Bay is notorious for being the home of some of the nation’s best athletes. El Segundo’s Toyota Sports Center is not only the practice home for the L.A. Kings and the Lakers, but also the home of three figure skaters currently participating in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Toyota Center hosts the practices of Olympians Evan Lysacek and Mirai Nagasu, representing the United States, as well as Carolina Kostner, who represents Italy in the Winter Olympics. Evan Lysacek’s gold medal brought much pride for the ice skaters at the Toyota Center due to the fact the United States had not taken gold in that event since Brian Boitano in 1988. “Everyone [at the rink] has been really excited about his accomplishments at the Olympics. I remember that
the hours before and after his skate, my Facebook newsfeed was filled with all my skating friends updating their status to ‘Go Evan!’ At the rink, everyone was talking about how exciting [his program] was,” Notre Dame Academy junior Eren Harrington said. According to Harrington, an employee of the Toyota Sports Center, the “phones have been ringing off the hook” due to increased enrollment for the ice skating
“I have, as a lot of the girls, skated with [Lysacek]. We skate on the same ice as him at times. He’s a really nice, down-to-earth guy.” —Eren Harrington summer programs. Even public ice sessions, which welcome skaters of all levels, have been been more crowded since Lysacek’s win. The 2010 Winter Olympics also proved to be monumental to Frank Carroll, coach of the three Olympic figure skaters from the Toyota Center, as Lysacek is his first student to become an Olympic gold medalist. Parras Middle School eighth grader Jullianna Kadel has been coached by Olympic coach Carroll on multiple occa-
sions at the Toyota Center. “When I am in a lesson with him I tend to be a little nervous but he really knows how to get into a skater’s head. Standing next to him gives you a proud and excited feeling,” Kadel said. Knowing Carroll’s success with all his figure skaters constantly inspires Kadel to push herself and put much more effort into her skating. Although she was at first intimidated by Carroll, she quickly learned that he truly cares about his skaters and wants them to succeed. With the variety of skaters at the Toyota Sports Center, many girls have not only been coached by Frank Carroll, but have also skated side by side to the Olympians at the rink. “I have, as a lot of the girls, skated with [Lysacek]. We skate on the same ice as him at times. I’ve held conversations with him. He’s a really nice, down-to-earth guy,” Harrington said. The inspirational mood in the air at the Toyota Center continues to bring in more skaters and people interested in taking up the sport. According to Harrington, Lysacek’s gold medal brought a sense of pride to the center that has affected the skating of many. “[Lysacek] is an amazing skater, and seeing how all his hard work and training paid off for him, and how far it took him, inspired me to continue my training, and not give up even when it gets tough,” Harrington said.
March 2, 2010
Who wears the pants... on ice? Over ski week, the majority of my time was spent discovering the wonders of the 21st Winter Olympiad. With not much else going Adam Ammentorp on in my life, I column became an avid fan of these Vancouver Games. Sitting in awe of the stoic manliness of the male figure skaters, I suddenly realized how ridiculous this whole thing was. Evan Lysacek was wearing a gold snake pinned to his skin-tight unitard, with perfectly coiffed hair and flowing, spinning hands. And I’m supposed to believe he has a girlfriend? At least Johnny Weir is honest with himself. Donning a crown of roses and hoisting an even more splendid bouquet to share with the world, Johnny Weir affirmed the thoughts present in many viewers mind. He was a man’s man. Packed with testosterone after a splendidly masculine performance, Weir knew who he was and let everyone know, sequins and all. After chuckling over Weir’s garish display of affection for the crowd, I suddenly realized that maybe he really is the man. I certainly don’t have the balls to go twirl in circles on the ice, wearing nothing but a thin layer of bejeweled nylon. I’m honestly impressed with these athlete’s cajones and the physically demanding sport that they excel in. Not being able to do any of these feats myself makes me respect each skater’s performance, no matter their costume. While not nearly as flamboyant or spectacular as figure skating, womens’ hockey became a ritual for me to watch every morning. Although it lacks the deft leaps and artistic spins of figure skating, women’s hockey makes up for it in brute force and aggressiveness. Like any man, I’m able to admit that I am a bit sexist. It’s the truth. So when I first began watching womens’ hockey, I was expecting a watered down, more effeminate version of hockey (more along the lines of figure skating). I was shocked to see that I was wrong, which is something I am still coping with today. Womens’ hockey was no tea party. When the U.S. team wasn’t scoring goal after goal on each opponent they faced, they were busy knocking heads and giving the crowd something to cheer about. With this revelation about hockey’s intensity, I began to see just how backwards my thinking was in regards to sports. I wouldn’t have the balls to play hockey with these women, and I certainly wouldn’t have the balls to don a unitard and sequins and perform quadruple-two loops, where the only thing between me and a broken nose was a quarter-inch thick steel blade. That’s the beauty of the Olympics: it encompasses all aspects of sports, whether it be hockey, skiing, curling or even figure skating. There’s something for everyone, and whether or not you think it’s a “sport,” one must always respect the level at which it’s being done. After all, have you ever tried doing a triple axle in full make up and costume?
Soccer finishes season in CIF game by Madeline Perrault
Girls’ soccer lost to Edison, 1-0, in the first round of CIF after an overtime win against West. “[In the West game] unfortunately we got a hand ball in the box. I think in this scenario the ref really should have let it go, but either way they converted on their [penalty kick] which gave them a spark. It gave them enough confidence to get them back into the game,” said coach Shelly Marsden. The team managed to beat West 4-2 with two goals by sophomore Samantha Witteman in overtime, which gave the team a more desirable draw for CIF, according to Marsden. Then the team ended its season with the loss to Edison. “It sucks that we lost, but it was a good way to end the season. We made it to CIF playoffs,” sophomore Erinn Middo said. Middo, who has been injured the majority of the season, came back to play goalie for the final two games. “It was kind of unfortunate because the team felt used to playing in front of Lydia, [and] Erinn does not have as much experience playing,” Marsden said. The team does not associate the loss with the goal keeper problems though, according to Marsden. “Erinn played exactly how you want your goalie to play. She was fantastic,” she said. “Into the game the girls realized that
we had a good chance to move forward [in CIF] and then unfortunatley the momentum shifted.” The goal was a dribbling play down the right side when Edison player Brianna Webster scored in the 65th minute of the game. “It was one of their only oppurtunities in the game,” Marsden said. The game changed after the first half and suddenly the ball was on Redondo’s half for the rest of the game, according to Middo. “Then [the Edison team] started winning the ball in the air, and I think that’s when the momentum shifted. We started kicking the ball into the air and we would lose it. We played too much into their game plan,” Marsden said. For the majority of the game, Redondo dominated, according to Middo. “We kept our composure and tried to make as little mistakes as possible in the defense and as a team,” she said. “Unfortunatley they just broke us down a bit in the second half so this girl got through, and she just took a point blank shot and scored.” According to Middo, the team is glad it made it to CIF. “I’m really proud of our efforts this year and that we beat Costa twice,” she said. “We worked together and really supported each other. We worked really hard to get as far as we did. I’m looking forward to improving next season.”
PHOTO BY ERIKA GAVITT
Sophomore Samantha Witteman tries to bring the ball to the goal. She scored two goals in the game against West.
Ponce no longer playing for ODP team by Laura Shodall
Due to a lack of players in her age group, senior Jazmin Ponce stopped playing in the Olympic Development Program. n
For the past three years, senior Jazmin Ponce has been playing soccer for the Olympic Development Program (ODP), missing
chances to be a part of the school team. But by coming back to the team this year, Ponce brought positive aspects to the team. ODP is a program in which people around the same age play against players from other states and compete for the championship. “ODP also can put you on a regional team,” Ponce said. “And if you can make the women’s national team.” According to Ponce, being a part of ODP means that travel is frequent, therefore keeping her from being a solid part of the school team.
“ODP would have me to travel to several places within the country. I’ve been to Idaho, Oregon, and Arizona for ODP before.” Ponce missed out on playing for ODP this year due to a lack of players in her division. “[My division] ended last year because some girls in my age group [who I would play with] went off to college,” Ponce said. “I wasn’t that upset, though, because I finally got to play with the team and go on to CIF.” Despite not being able to play for the program, Ponce is happy to be back playing for the Redondo team.
“All the varsity girls are amazing, and I’m really going to miss them next year,” she said. “But it’s really nice being able to play with them again.” Sophomore Erinn Middo, goalie, says that the team’s performance has improved with Ponce’s return. “Because Jazmin has been back, we’ve been doing excellent in games and practices,” Middo said. “She’s a positive force on the field and we play off of her intensity to win games. Just her being there now for the practices and games has automatically made us play better as a team.” Coach Shelly Mardsen agrees. “She brings a level of ability to practices that pumps the other girls up,” Marsden said. “Since she has been back, she’s been able to attend all practices and games, and brings 100% to all of them.”
“She’s a positive force on the field and we play off of her intensity to win games. Just her being there for practices and games has made us play better” —Erinn Middo
PHOTO BY JAKE COLLINS
Senior Jazmin Ponce moves past defenders, bringing the ball up the field in a game against Leuzinger. This season, Ponce had a record of 16 goals and four assists.
Marsden said that the extent of Ponce’s absence from the team was drastic. “She missed 5 pre-season games finishing out her club commitment, 2 league games for ODP, and then 3 more games to attend a U20 National Team Camp,” Marsden said. Now, with Ponce back on the time fulltime, Marsden believes that she really ups the atmosphere. “She has an amazing sense of humor,” she said. “She makes the team relax and have a lot fun.” Middo credits the success of the season to Ponce’s return from ODP. “She’s just so motivating and helpful,” she said. “We couldn’t have done it without her.”
Ski week affects sports teams’ preparation for season by Joy Ohiomoba
While many students spent Ski Week relaxing and going on trips, athletes spent the break practicing for their respective sports. According to girls’ lacrosse coach Tom Borgia, some athletes planned vacations and could not make it to practices. “We didn’t have everyone at practice. Only about seventy percent of our girls were at the weekend practice,” he said. Due to the break, two star lacrosse players were injured with biking and sledding accidents that may not have occurred during a regular week, according to Borgia. Sophomore Patrick Borgerding of the track
team also agrees that vacations during the school year can be disadvantageous to sports. “Track and cross-country are such large sports, so it’s hard to keep tabs on all the runners,” he said. “It gives people an opportunity to skip practice without many consequences and then it makes them weaker and not as prepared for meets.” On the other hand, some coaches feel that Ski Week did not play a role in attendance. According to pole vault coach, Dave Dill, attendance was very high over the break. “A lot of kids came to practice. They all enjoy coming and though there were a few that didn’t attend because of family vacations, it didn’t make much of a difference,” he said.
Boys’ volleyball coach Duncan Avery feels that the break was useful since there are no longer two gyms for use due to construction. “Ski Week was actually beneficial for practice just because of the gym availability,” he said. “We have such a successful basketball program and with one gym, it’s harder to find a convenient gym time since basketball players need to use the gym. Over ski week, basketball teams were at play-offs so the gym was available to have quality practice.” Like Avery, track and field coach Julie Ferron feels that Ski Week was beneficial. According to Ferron, because of the break, the coaches were able to hold longer practices and players didn’t have to worry
about the stress from homework. “[Ski Week] allowed us to adjust practices so that everyone wasn’t out here [at the field] at the same time, so the field was not as crowded,” she said. Ferron believes that adding Ski Week this year did not make much of a difference. “There’s really no benefit or negative side. When in a varsity team, athletes know they need to practice everyday,” she said. Softball player, senior Maiya Tallakson agrees with Ferron. While she would have liked to take a vacation during Ski Week, she understands that athletes have a commitment to their respective sports. “Personally, I’m very dedicated to softball;
I’ve given up a lot for it. But a lot of the time, I’ll choose softball over vacations,” she said. “My vacations are usually the places the team travels for softball events.” Sophomore Annie Park of the girls’ basketball team also feels that, regardless of breaks, athletes need to make sacrifices to have a successful team. Girls’ basketball, like most teams, often has practice during vacations and on weekends. “We’re used to having practices over breaks so [Ski Week] wasn’t a big difference,” she said. “Once you are on the team, you have to make a commitment, and one of those commitments is making to all the practices so you don’t let your team down.”
March 2, 2010
Score vs West: 83-82 W Overall Record: 11-15 Key Players: Brian Few, Jordan Ichiama
Score vs West: 63-44 W Overall Record: 19-7, Bay League Champions Key Player: Davion Goodall
Score vs West: 46-43 W League Record: 9-1
Score vs West: 38-32 L League Record: 0-8
Score vs West: 0-0 T League Record: 6-1-2, Bay League Champions
Score vs West: 1-0 W Overall Record: 16-1-2, Bay League Champions
by Allie Goldberg
The girls’ junior varsity basketball team finished first place in Bay League, with a League record of 9-1. According to sophomore captain Rachel Parsons, the girls won most of the games easily, with the exception of Penninsula and Mira Costa. “We lost to Penninsula in the pre-season because we goofed off at practice, and weren’t really focused,” Parsons said. However, according to Parsons, once season came, the JV girls stepped up the intensity. “I felt our team really persevered through our games and practices to accomplish our personal and team goals,” Parsons said. The team’s only League loss was to Mira Costa. Coach Chirs Bouche believes that the girls started the season with “raw talent,” however they eventually “developed great mentality for the game, and displayed a lot of perseverance.” “As the girls were so young, I really enjoyed watching them develop,” he said. “That was the most rewarding thing for me.” Sophomore Ashley Nakamura believes the new coaches are more familiar with how things are done on varsity than a typical JV coach. “They know the difference between the levels and prepared us so the transition hopefully won’t be as shocking,” Nakamura said. Parsons has mixed feelings about having multiple coaches. “[Having more than one coach] was good as we got different perspectives and opinions, but sometimes it got confusing,” she said. Nakamura agrees. “Each [coach] would want a drill done differently so some drills were never consistent,” she said. However, Parsons and Nakamura both feel as if having more than one coach was overall beneficial. Bouche agrees and stated that he not only had “extra hands,” but also the additional coaches helped with “seeing things [he] didn’t really see.” According to Bouche, before the Bay League games began, the team got together and set both personal and team goals. “Setting personal and team goals helped us achieve success,” Bouche said. Parsons feels as if these goals had a direct correlation to the success on the court. “[The goals] helped us to stay on task and accomplish our goal, being Bay League champs,” she said.
PHOTO BY JAKE COLLINS
Senior Dylan Irwin shoots past a Peninsula defender during a regular season game. Redondo finished third in League.
Basketball loses in CIF by Kaelee Epstein
After making it to the second round of CIF the boys’ basketball team placed third in Bay League. The team lost 48-58 against Murrieta Valley High School on Friday, Feb. 19. Throughout the first half the team played strong, according to Boyd. “We played a promising first half, keeping the score close and never letting up our drive,” junior Brandon Boyd said.
However, after halftime the team “lost some of its intensity.” “We came out pretty strong but when the third quarter came around we started to die down, and gave up,” senior Jamar Cannon said. In the fourth quarter the team let Murrieta get ahead. “We played a competitive game for three quarters. Then [Murrieta] got up by six or eight points and we started fowling them but they made their free throws pushing them
ahead even more,” coach Tom Maier said. The team made various mistakes that contributed to the loss. “There were many turnovers and missed opportunities. If we prevented the turnovers, got more rebounds, and took advantage of having the ball in our possession we could have pulled out a win,” Cannon said. Also, the players were not shooting as well as they have before.
“Our shots were off. They just weren’t falling in like they normally do. We didn’t make as many threes as we normally do and were not taking advantage of the shots we took under the basket,” Boyd said. Cannon who is the team’s top scorer, was suffering from a tailbone injury and therefore wasn’t able to play his best, according to Boyd. “Honestly I don’t think I played as well as I normally do, I might have let my team down a little,” he said. With Cannon not at his best, senior Dylan Irwin played a good game. He was the teams top scorer and top rebounder. Boyd also played a good game according to Cannon. Overall the team needed more power and force during the game. “If we came out with more fire I think the ending result would have been different,” Cannon said. The loss was a disappointment to everyone. “We played a really strong season, keeping up with some of the best teams. We were hoping to come out placing first or second in Bay League so placing third was sort of a let down. Even though I’m disappointed I am still proud of the team, third place isn’t terrible,” Boyd said. Despite the disappointing loss, junior Austin Moore understands the causes. “They were a good team, ranked number one in our division for most of the year, but if we played our game we could’ve played better and beaten them,” Moore said. Maier also sees the loss as “obviously” disappointing but doesn’t think the loss was a surprise. “We lost to a better team. They are a 5 seed team while we are a 12 seed team,” he said. After a tough season Maier thinks the game was a success. “The highlight of the season was winning both the Maui Classic and the Christmas Sea Hawk Classic. We had a roller coaster of a season alternating between wins and losses, but had a great group of kids and parents,” he said.
Girls’ basketball ends season by Claire Chiarra
The girls’ basketball team completed Bay League play second in League with a 7-3 record but lost to Long Beach Jordan in the first round of CIF. “We went into the game confident and never gave up but [they] just had more talent than us, ” Rachel Scarlett said. Although the team fell behind early in the game, they did not give up. “We never really gave up,” Riki Murikami, junior, said. “That kind of sums up our team.” According to senior Erica Hepperle, Long Beach Jordan’s team is athletic and good, but the girls still knew they had a chance. “Every one of us played our hardest, regardless of whether we were up, down, or neck and neck,” she said. Due to its 7-3 league record, the team feels they had a successful season. “We were always looking for major improvement from last year,” Hepperle said. “[Coach Enriquez] feels we have come a long way, even from the beginning of season [play].”
PHOTO BY ERIKA GAVITT
Junior Ashiana Antar drives down the line against a Penninsula defender in a League game.
The team worked to improve the relationships between the players and overall team morale. “We bonded like sisters,” Scarlett said, “and gained character that can help us in and out of basketball.” The team also focused on improving their playing. “We worked to improve our offense because we struggled with recovering the deficits in games where we didn’t come out strong,” Hepperle said. According to Washington, the team also spent a lot of time trying to perfect their defense. “[Coach Enriquez] tells us to pride ourselves on defense, because it wins championships,” she said. “Even though we didn’t win anything like that, we constantly found ways to make our defense better.” The team acknowledges certain mistakes that plagued them throughout the season. “We definitely struggled with turnovers and missing easy shots,” Murikami said. “This really hurt us because we had less opportunities to score.” The selflessness of certain players caused problems in the long run for the team. “We were always trying to make the extra pass,” Washington said. “Our good shooters would pass up their own shots, and that definitely hurt us.” Despite the obstacles they faced, and the loss to Long Beach Jordan, the team is pleased with the season’s overall turnout. “We ended on a pretty good note,” Scarlett said. “[The only thing wrong] was that we didn’t get Bay League like we wanted.” Although several seniors will be leaving the team next year, the remaining players have high expectations for the next season. Many of them have been playing together for three years already. According to Murikami, the team has learned to value possession of the basketball more, and shows
Track forms pole vaulting team by Olivia Loveland
He sprints 75 feet down the runway carrying a 13 foot pole, plants it into the ground as his pole flings him feet first into the air. At the peak of his height he turns his body, releases the pole and falls back into the pit, staring up at the eleven foot bar he just cleared. Before Redondo track had a pole vault team, meets were more difficult to win because they always got swept for points in that event. There was a need for pole vaulters, but the sport is uncommon and there was a lack of experience. “Something about kids these days is that they don’t want to try anything that they’re not already good at. No one knows how to do pole vaulting and its weird, bending and twisting around in the air. As a result no one wants to do it,” coach Bob Leetch said. Not only was there a lack of people willing to learn how to pole vault, but raising enough money for the costly event was another issue. “Committing to a pole vault team meant being committed to raising $12,000 for a certified pit and $300 per pole,” Leetch said. However, when juniors Jon Ruiz, Jason Tarango, Emily Saliba, and Alex Oetzell were looking for something new to try after their freshman season of cross-country, they found pole vaulting to be an alternative to track. “Freshman year everything was foreign to me, and we had little to work with. There were only three veteran vaulters who were relatively new themselves, and Dave Dill who eventually became our coach,” Oetzell said. Dave Dill, the father of Cody Dill, ‘09, a pole vaulter, had little experience in coaching pole vaulting but went to coaching clinics in order to provide the team with a coach. “I saw an opportunity to create a team rather than lose nine points every meet,” Dill said. While scrambling to get a pole vault team together, the team had to be creative to gain more pole vault knowledge. “He told us to go on YouTube, and that he was doing the same thing.” Saliba said. Currently, the team has emerged as a strong squad with over ten members who hold their own fundraisers, attend clinics, and compete in meets outside of the track and field team. “Now I feel like [we are] more of a team rather than just a bunch of kids messing around. . .The first year we were experimenting and didn’t know if we were going to go any where with it, but Dave Dill stepped up to be our coach and made it happen,” Tarango said. According to Dill, the athletes are showing promise in practice and on the boys side, Max Neibergall is expected to vault 11’ 6’’ and Jason Tarango 11’. “They are doing the most difficult and athletic event in track and field which means they are committed to excellence. The most important thing is that they love to pole vault and make a contribution to their team,” Dill said.
PHOTO BY DANIEL FALLON
Senior Ella Smith shoots the ball over a defender during a league game.
great potential for what’s to come next season. “It’s been rocky in the past,” she said, “but we’re going to finally be able to put it all together and be successful.” According to Scarlett, the team is going to make changes that will be beneficial in next year’s season. “We need to work on our offense and scoring,” she said. “We need to become a more aggressive team.” Although she will be graduating this year, Hepperle recognizes the improvements her teammates must
make in order to achieve their goals next season. “[Our lack of ] boxing out and rebounding caused some of our losses this season,” she said. “[The team] needs to work on crashing the boards and making sure their opponents don’t get offensive put backs.” Washington, who is also graduating this year, believes the team is going to go far next season. “Knowing how hard they work,” she said,” I think all of [the team’s] wishes will come true next year.”
PHOTO BY ERIKA GAVITT
Sophomore Max Niebergall pole vaults at a Monday practice.
Moped Junior Monique Singer rides a moped as an alternative to driving an automobile.
by Bethany Kawa
The loud engine roars and her hair slaps her face as she rides past the cars and pulls into the school parking lot. With stares from drivers in surrounding cars, she gently pulls off her helmet and parks her red 2002 Honda Elite 80 moped. For junior Monique Singer, this is the only form of transportation available. [continued on back]
March 2, 2010
February 25, 2009
Beginnings n Alfred Wertheimer’s photos discovered Elvis Presley before the fame and fortune and showed the man beneath the crown. by Anneliese Wilson
Before he was “the King”, Elvis Presley was a young man discovering new-found fame. The Elvis at 21 exhibit in the GRAMMY Museum displays the intimate moments captured on camera by photojournalist Alfred Wertheimer. Hired by RCA Victor to promote Presley as a newly signed artist, Wertheimer captures “fly-on-the-wall” images that reveal Elvis’ charisma. W hether kissing his date or listening to a fan, Wertheimer caught it. Being an Elvis fan, I was slightly worried that the exhibit would be another corny tribute to Elvis. I entered on the second floor, only to find myself wrong. I looked around and wondered where to start. As I made my way to a picture of Elvis reminiscent of Marlon Brando, I heard the first chords of “Don’t Be Cruel” from another room. I entered the room only to find a small theater. I sat down and watched as Elvis sang and charmed his way through songs. I was so mesmerized by his charm, that I didn’t realize it was clips from his 1956 and 1957 appearances on “Stage Show” and “The Ed Sullivan Show.” I was rushing to see all of the exhibit, but I couldn’t help being drawn into Elvis’ charming nature on film. I felt like another girl in the audience, minus the bleeding mascara. W h e n I e x i te d t h e t h e ate r, I b e gan to view the brilliant pictures on the wall. I looked on with others at the photos of Presley, expecting to see pictures with boring captions like ‘Elvis and fans’, but instead there were quotes from Wertheimer along with the descriptions. I gazed at a picture of Elvis reaching out to a sea of hysteric girls, which at first didn’t seem much, but the caption helped describe it all. It has Wertheimer stating, “I guess he felt that somebody should be photographing him because one of these days he was going to be famous... I didn’t know at the time, but I would soon understand that first of all, he made the girls cry and second, he permitted closeness.” ItookanotherlookatthephotoandsawtherawenergythatElvis had. As girls cried and grabbed on, he gave full attention to them. Other photos show Elvis’ sincerity towards fans. One picture is of him reading stacks of fan mail. Again, Wertheimer’s commentary grabs your attention. He talked about Elvis ripping up the letters and felt that ‘what’s between [him] and them isn’t anyone else’s business.’ Along with the other photos, the museum provides a section that has former possessions of Elvis and related memorabilia. Included are his first guitars and a pair of his favorite white shoes. The museum showcases photographs that allow us to peer into the world of a fresh-faced Presley. The exhibit runs until March 28th, and the photos can also be found in the book “Elvis 1956”. I wal ked out of the mus e u m s at i s f i ed to s e e t h at Wertheimer had captured Elvis and his beginnings truthfully.
The GRAMMY Museum Located on the corner of Olympic Boulevard and Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles, on the campus of L.A. LIVE. The Museum entrance is located on Figueroa Street.
Tickets Prices range from $10.95-$12.95 Group tickets available for $10.00 for groups of ten or more.
Show Dates The exhibit will run through March 28
More Information For more information about the show visit: www.grammymuseum.org
A young Elvis poses for a promotional poster for his hit song “Jailhouse Rock.” “Jailhouse Rock” was a song written for Elvis by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and became one of Elvis’ first hits. The song now sits at number 67 on Rolling Stone’s list of “the 500 greatest songs of all time.”
March 2, 2010
Griffith observatory hosts star parties by Garrett Gutierrez
Ever since the invention of the telescope, man has gazed into the stars looking for answers to life’s great questions. Around the same time, man began cursing the clouds for obscuring his view of the cosmos. In modern times one can find amateur astronomers cursing the clouds surrounding the Griffith Park Observatory. One day a month, the Saturday closest to the half moon, the Los Angeles Astronomical Society (LAAS) hosts public “Star Parties,” atop the Griffith Park Observatory. At these Star Parties, LAAS members bring their private telescopes for the public to view the cosmos. At most Star Parties one can find 300 to 400 people gathered on the lawn in front of the Observatory entrance, most huddling around the telescopes, waiting for their turn to view something out of this world. Although the Griffith Observatory website states that Star Parties occur between 2:00 p.m. and 9:45 p.m., getting a good view of the heavens is uncertain, and poor weather can result in a Star Party ending prematurely. However, even if most of the telescope bearers leave the party early, one can usually find at least one telescope and its owner on the lawn, determined to stay until the observatory closes. Although the last Star Party ended fairly
quickly due to the clouds that surrounded the hilltop observatory, one could still see Mars through the infrequent gaps in the clouds. One tiny gleaming reddish white planet may not make the journey to the Observatory worth the trouble of traffic, parking, and gas, although the view of the city and the moon is spectacular. It’s mind-blowing to think that in a city flooded by light-pollution, one can find a haven where the stars are still viewable. If one arrives too late for a Star Party, or if looking at the stars loses its glamour after a while, one can always journey inside to take a look at the many exhibits the Observatory has to offer. The observatory owns a Tesla coil that is certain to fascinate small children, causing them to press their faces against the glass surrounding the coil in order to get a better look, much like the way insects are drawn to light bulbs. Around the same vicinity of the Tesla coil, an exhibit exploring the history and importance of astronomy offers the viewer a fun way to educate themselves. If one heads downstairs, one can explore a model of the solar system, learning about each planet as one walks around the exhibit. Although the Observatory cafeteria fails to impress, visiting the Observatory is well worth the drive, whether its for the Star Parties or for the exhibits. Parking is free, and there’s
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no entrance fee. If you’re overcome by a compulsion to spend money, the light shows are worth the seven dollar ticket price, and there are plenty of interesting items in the gift shop.
Quick Takes Upcoming releases in albums and movies. They’re fresh, they’re new, and they’re here.
[Movie] Releases March 5 Alice in Wonderland Brooklyn’s Finest March 12 Green Zone Remember Me She’s Out of My League Our Family Wedding March 18 Rango March 25 Sucker Punch
[Album] Releases March 2 Jamie Foxx- “Body” Rogue Wave- “Permalight” March 9 Gorillaz- “Plastic Beach” Liars- “Sisterworld” Monica- “Still Standing” Josh Rouse- “El Turista” March 16 The Whigs- “In The Dark” Ludacris- “Battle Of The Sexes” Peter Wolf- “Midnight Souvenirs”
Aulicino moves into foster care to escape hardships
Calo became emancipated in order to gain more freedom and safeguard her plans for the future by Brittney Madera
Growing up is one of the inevitable truths of life. However, some must grow up faster than their peers and take responsibility for themselves early on. Senior Megan Calo is one such individual, as she was granted emancipation on Feb. 2 at Edelman Children’s Court. Calo made the decision to become emancipated in September mainly because she found it difficult to apply to college as an independent student. “Becoming emancipated [made] it possible for me to be able to pay for college... Senior Megan Calo [and it] allows
me to apply to scholarships and grants that of myself in all aspects.” After receiving consent from her parents, would require my parents’ information. As I have limited contact with my parents who Calo had filled out the necessary documents are living in Michigan, getting the required and forms to become an emancipated mihelp and information from them for col- nor and had sent it to the Los Angeles Sulege or grant applications would have been perior courts in October. In January, Calo went to court for her emancipation, out of difficult if not impossible,” Calo said. For the past three years, Calo has been the concern of how she was going to support herself. living in Redondo Beach with her aunt EMANCIPATION: “The state basically wanted and uncle, who sup“At home though, the emphasis on to make sure I port her through the being self-reliant is being constantly was not going to emancipation process. enforced.” “Even though I be made an offi–Senior Megan Calo have been living with cial adult only to my aunt for the past three years, she was end up homeless, or on welfare,” Calo said. Even though Calo is almost 18 and her not legally my guardian or legally responsible for me,” Calo said. “I still live with my time as an emancipated minor would be aunt and uncle, under the agreement that short-lived, she found it necessary not only I maintain high grades in school, good at- for trying to get into college, but it also tendance, and be responsible for taking care makes things more convenient for her.
“As my parents are still living in Michigan and we have a very limited relationship, just becoming a separate entity from them has made living my life in California much easier,” Calo said. “Having to explain my situation between my aunt and my parents to schools, doctors, or any ‘official’ entity of day to day life made things difficult, especially when information from my parents was required beca use I was, and still am, a minor.” According to Calo, life for her isn’t that much altered from before she was emancipated as she has been self-sufficient .
by Brianna Egan
Her mother was addicted to drugs. Her mother’s boyfriend was abusing her. With three siblings by her side and depression setting in, she could not bear her surroundings any longer. This was the life of sophomore Jasmine Aulicino before her life began its process of recovery when she was placed into the foster care system almost two years ago. Now, after moving between cities throughout the South Bay and living in two foster homes, Aulicino has grown to appreciate the foster care system. She acknowledges that she escaped the drugs and abuse. “I know that it was for the best that me and my brothers and sister went into foster care because I don’t even know where we would be right now if this didn’t happen. If we weren’t in foster care, we would have been a lot worse off,” Aulicino said. Aulicino is currently living with her biological younger brother, a foster sister, and two foster parents who, coincidentally, are close family friends. In addition, she makes regular visits to her grandmother’s house, with whom she maintains a strong relationship. “I consider myself very fortunate to be where I am today,” Aulicino said. Her youngest brother and sister, ages four and two, respectively, live with her paternal grandparents. Though it is a challenging Sophomore Jasmine Aulicino
DREAM WISH WANT
INDEPENDENCE YOUNG PERSEVERANCE ADULTSFREEDOM
REDEFINING WHAT IT MEANS
“Right now, as is true with most seniors, I am stressing out over completing and raising funds for attending college,” Calo said. “At home though, the emphasis on being self-reliant is being constantly enforced.”
DREAM WISH HOPE
STRENGTH INDEPENDENCE YOUNG FREE ADULTS DREAM WISH HOPE STRENGTH FREEDOM PERSEVERANCE HOPE ALONE
Students from different backgrounds share how they adapt to non-traditional homes
Salazar reflects on her relationship with a friend in the juvenile detention system
Cathcart perseveres despite difficulties with housing situation by David Kawa
Sophomore Tennelle Cathcart is surprised to be labeled as “homeless.” The district labels Cathcart as a homeless student because she does not currently have a permanent place of residence within the district boundaries. However, Cathcart does not feel that she lives in a “ h o m e l e s s” situation. “I’ve never thought about myself as homeless. It’s not like I come Sophomore Tennelle Cathcart to school with holey clothes. I have food. I have my own car,” she said. Cathcart and her mother are currently renting a space at a friend’s home. “It’s a house, but it’s not our house. It’s only temporary. It’s not like we are there
She believes her situation is shocking to forever,” she said. To Cathcart, the residence feels like those who do not know her. “People would not even think I would home. “It’s just because it’s not our real ad- be in this situation. Right now makes me dress. I mean I consider it my real house. very, very motivated to do well in the future, ” she said. I painted my own room wall and ev- DISPLACED: Cathcart is not ashamed of her erything,” she said. “We’ve slept in a car, and then we situation. Cathcart moved went to a hotel in the ghetto. It was “I told my mom from South Carocrazy hearing shootings, and seeing not to be embarlina to California. “When we were prostitutes. I saw it in the movies, but I rassed because we could use it as tesin the South, we never thought it would be real life.” –Senior Tennelle Cathcart timony. I told her had a pretty good sized house. When looks aren’t everywe moved here, we didn’t think it would be thing,” she said. ACE, Alternative Classroom in Educathis hard to get along,” she said. The family hopes to find a permanent tion, teacher Cindy Hoy has taught “homeless” students in the past and has familiarresidence. “Right now I’m just moving from place ized herself with their struggles. “They could be living in a hotel in Torto place. We moved from Redondo to Compton, and now we are in Gardena. I rance, be considered homeless, and can apjust follow my mom wherever she goes,” ply to go to school here,” Hoy said. Cathcart stays positive for the future. she said.
“Hopefully when [my mom] gets a job, we will be back on our feet,” she said. With her mother pregnant and working a part-time job at Macy’s, Cathcart must take the responsibility of housekeeping. “It seems like I have to be the ‘mother’ sometimes. Sometimes I have to cook, and sometimes I have to clean. I’m only 17, and it feels like I’m the one with the child. My mom is my priority right now,” she said. Even though they are getting along at the moment, Cathcart admits that she has seen much harder times. “We’ve slept in a car, and then we went to a hotel in the ghetto. It was crazy hearing shootings, and seeing prostitutes. I saw it in the movies, but I never thought it would be real life,” she said. Despite the challenges, Cathcart appreciates her life in California. “I love the life here, the culture of it, the beauty. Everyone wants to come to California,” Cathcart said.
separation, she visits them periodically. is soon to “hit rock-bottom.” “[The separation] is really hard but it Though eventual recovery from drug could have been worse,” Aulicino said. addiction may take years, Aulicino has deAulicino appreciates the benefits the veloped a passive but positive attitude confoster care system provides, including free cerning her mother’s current condition. therapy sessions. “I’ve learned not to worry so much “I’ve had a therapist for over a year now, about my mom because there’s really nothand she’s really helped me. I’ve developed a ing I can do for her now; it’s all her choice. lot of good skills with handling situations, But I’m definitely not going to make the thanks to my therapist,” she said. bad decisions that my mom did,” Aulicino In addition, she is grateful for the rela- said. tionships she has developed while being in Aulicino has recognized the direct effect foster care. of her mother’s drug abuse. “I have friends who are in the foster care “I don’t think kids realize how bad drugs system and others who have gone through are for you–– that once you start young, similar things. [I] always have someone to like my mom did, it takes tons of ‘rehab’ relate to,” Aulicino said. to fix. Some people don’t understand that However, Aulicino points out that there addiction is a disease, but I’ve known that are drawbacks to the state-regulated child- all my life,” she said. care system; namely, its slowness to reguAulicino has discovered some challenges late funds. when presenting her life story to others. “At the same time, [the system] can be “In other people’s eyes, they don’t unslow at getting things done. My foster mom derstand what I’ve had to deal with,” Auright now has been waiting for [reimburse- licino said. ment] right now and she hasn’t gotten it However, she believes she has been yet,” Aulicino said. able to inspire her Aulicino has FOSTER CARE: friends. come to terms with “I know my “A foster care home is really just her past, including like any other home.” friends care about the death of her fame so they’re really –Sophomore Jasmine Aulicino ther early in her life proud of me and and the traumatic memories she has of her my family for what we’ve gone through,” mother. Aulicino said. “From as far back as I can remember, Aulicino realizes that her experiences I’ve always known that there was some- have strengthened her confidence and her thing different about my mom and that future. drugs were always around me,” Aulicino “I would say I’m comfortable with said. where I am today. I’m still going through Though Aulicino is not in constant tough things but I’ve learned how to hancontact with her mother, she fears she has dle them a lot better. I have goals and plans abandoned the rehabilitation process and for my future,” she said.
by Allison Salazar
I got a call this past Saturday from an 818 area code. I was shocked when I realized it was from my friend Damian, whom I hadn’t heard from in two months since he had gone to juvenile hall. Senior Damian Castillo-Rodas was charged with assault and theft last year, having “jumped” and stolen from a freshman. When I first met Rodas, a then-hardworking student, we became good friends. However he started hanging out with a different group of friends in his junior year and lost interest in school. “I started hanging out with the wrong people. Now that I look back on it, they led
Senior Damian Castillo-Rodas
me here. I don’t want to blame them for fix things with his mom. Rodas called me what happened, but I think if I would’ve once or twice a week after that, and things listened to the people who really cared seemed to be working out for him. However, his case became more compliabout me, I would be in a better place in cated after he ran away. I knew he would my life,” he said. After violating his probation and being have to be incarcerated, but I had no idea sentenced to house arrest, Rodas ran away for how long. I didn’t hear from him again until after and was homeless for two weeks. “There was just so much going on at the New Year’s. Rodas wrote me a letter extime. I didn’t know how to handle it, and plaining everything that had happened: he was sent to Sylmar I decided that running away was my JUVENILE HALL: Juvenile Hall inonly option. Look“If I’m lucky they might let me out stead due to overcrowding. ing back now, it was earlier. I just want to show my parents Rodas was immature and only sentenced to six made things harder,” that I have changed and that I have learned from this.” months in juvehe said. –Senior Damian Castillo-Rodas nile hall, but the Rodas spent judge had agreed nights at friends’ houses and applied for different jobs so that to count the one month he had been under he could pay for his food and other neces- house arrest as part of his sentence. He has served one month in Central facility but sities. He told me that he would be staying must serve four more months at the facility with his uncle to help him until he could in Sylmar or transfer into a military camp
with the possibility of early release. “If I’m lucky they might let me out earlier. I just want to show my parents that I have changed and that I have learned from this,” he said. I didn’t hear from him for a month after replying to his letter. When I got his phone call, Rodas told me that he was at Juvenile Camp Fred Miller in Malibu, where he will serve three months of his sentencing. Although miles away and missing out on his senior year, Rodas wants to make things right. He plans to catch up on his credits, graduate, and go to college after being released. While his plan may take longer now, the only thing that matters is that he isn’t giving up. “I miss my freedom, but this is good because it stopped me from messing up more. When I get out I am going to do everything right. I am going to get back into school and get a job and a car. Being in here sucks and is boring. I’m never coming back to jail,” Rodas said.
March 2, 2010
With Kina, It’s
by Sonya Egan
Just by looking at its cover, Stairwells is an obvious product of acoustic singer/songwriter Kina Grannis’s personal and charming touch. Her unmistakable handwriting graces the cover and inserts, and the watercolor motif seems just the thing that this Mission Viejo native and popular Youtube artist would paint on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The 24 year-old USC alumnus “crashed the super bowl” two years ago, winning the Doritos contest and a record deal with Interscope Records. Yet, Stairwells, her first album since winning the contest, is an entirely independent effort. The result of her break away from Interscope Records, Stairwells is a delightful blend of acoustic, folk and pop that is as “Sincerely, Kina” as her first album Sincerely, Me. The sincerity of her music is most notable in “Delicate,” a tune that she asked her Youtube followers to name. As the name suggests, Grannis’s voice is delicate, revealing an intimate vulnerability to this usually upbeat artist. At the end, the music stops and the listener is left with only Grannis’s raw and emotional voice singing “How did you know that I couldn’t be/ What everyone wanted me to be.” “Stay Just a Little” is another emotional and meloncholy song coupled with equally haunting lyrics. And, as with many of her songs, she adds her own harmonies, adding a new dimension of feeling and character. In her online release party, she said that “Stay Just a Little” was the hardest song to produce, but the most important for her. “We found it in the end,” she said. “But the way you produce a song
Singer Kina Grannis creates her new album, Stairwells, independently from her previous record label, Interscope Records. can really change its personality.” Speaking of personality, Grannis maintains a good mix of her own through lighthearted pieces like “Valentine,” “Stars Falling Down,” “Back to us” and “Mr. Sun,” which are playful yet still retain the maturity and sincerity that is Grannis’ style. Of the four, “Stars Falling Down” is the funnest, with background music, the right dose of Garageband, and even Grannis herself on the glockenspiel. “Mr. Sun” is another lighthearted peice that reflects Grannis’ ability to see beauty in the things around her. Lying on the floor of her new, empty apartment, Grannis came up with the lyrics to “Mr. Sun.” “This little song called ‘Mr. Sun’ just came out of me,” she said. But perhaps the most anticipated song on the album is her hit single “Message From Your Heart.” Stairwells, though, presents a never-before-heard version of her best-selling song, with added percussion, keyboard and an upbeat tempo. In a CD that she claims is filled with her “babies” (songs), Kina Grannis stays true to herself and to her style, by making good, clean, honest music that she clearly puts her heart into. While many mainstream artists today rely on autotune or flamboyant outfits to attract listeners, Grannis’ attractiveness lies in her ability to be honest and unpretentious. Cordoba guitar in hand, all Grannis needs to create enjoyable music is her delightfully simple sincerity. And that’s exactly what most of us need to hear.
Courteeners alters previous upbeat sound on new album, Falcon by Ulises Gonzalez
Manchester, England: The birthplace of the “indie” music scene. It began with bands like The Smiths and Joy Division and has continued over the years with The Stone Roses and Oasis. Most recently a new group has emerged out of this musical hub to continue Manchester’s proud lineage of indie and pop groups. The Courteeners definitely have some big shoes to fill, but so far they definitely have not been a disappointment, especially with their latest album, Falcon. The music ranges from being simplistic and stripped-down to having more complex electronic elements in the songs. They have one drummer, a bassist, and two guitarists, one of which also is the singer. Despite these elements of success, The Courteeners are completely forgettable since they do not have some of the stranger elements some other bands have. Where this group stands apart is in the way it can take such a simple and essentially old sound and make it sound new and refreshing. For example, “No You Didn’t, No You Don’t”, one of the singles off the band’s first album, St. Jude, perfectly illustrates how the band can take a simple sound and make it memorable and enjoyable to listen to. The song is as simple as could be, yet still remains in the back of your head, making you want to give it another listen. The band has managed to take the simplistic
approach they used so well in their first album and take it further on Falcon. It still differs very much from St. Jude in the sense that this record much slower paced. Even the singles off of Falcon such as “Sycophant” and “You Overdid It Doll”, which are meant to be the fastest and most popular tracks off the album are nowhere as fast or as upbeat as the singles off St. Jude. Although this latest album has a much more mellow, almost melancholic sound, it still maintains the band’s distinguishable sound and charm. From the first second it is pretty much a catharsis of emotion on lead singer Liam Fray’s part. The emotional lyrics is balanced with very pleasant melodies, otherwise so much emotion would get overwhelming after the third song. Unlike their previous album, there is less intensity in the actual music itself. Instead it seems as if the intensity has been concentrated into lyrics, which seem deeper emotionally and much more introspective this time around. Overall, it is not as upbeat of an album as St. Jude, but Falcon’s calmer sound seems to have much more to actually say. So far The Courteeners have shown with St. Jude and Falcon, that they can be successful at a wide range of sounds and styles. Whether listeners look for deep and emotional music or a more upbeat and aggressive music, The Courteeners can do it all. They have certainly made Manchester’s long list of musical forefathers proud.
March 2, 2010
// Lightning Reviews //
Nick Jonas Who I Am
ONE ONE Alice in Wonderland Tim Burton’s latest movie Alice in Wonderland is a continuation of Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s novel. The story picks up 13 years after the original story ends. Alice (Mia Wasikowska) returns to Wonderland and finds that it is quite different. The film was shot entirely with green-screen, and the actors act against tennis balls and each other instead of with scenery and props. In this sense, the actors performed quite well. The animation behind the live action characters is believable and seamless. Although the movie does not utilize 3-D technology as well as the recent Avatar did, it is not used simply to throw objects out at viewers. The film added depth to the beloved characters of Lewis Carroll’s books. Even with this addition, the film retains Carroll’s original perfectly sensible silliness and uses many direct references from the book. ––Alex Curtis
Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief is based on the series by Rick Riordan. Percy finds out that he is the son of Posiedon, the Greek god of the sea. After someone steals Zeus’s lightning, Percy is blamed, and Hades steals Percy’s mother as collateral for the lightning. Percy decides to disobey his trainer and tries to save his mother by bargaining with Hades, rather than telling Zeus. Although the film relied heavily on digital animation for many of its visual effects, the end result was graet. Though the readers of the book may be a bit disappointed by the changes from the book, the movie itself was well put together and had a very interesting plot. Overall, a great success. Two thumbs way up. ––Vanessa Alarcon
The Wolfman, a remake of the classic directed by Joe Johnson, keeps to the original storyline. Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro) returns home after hearing that his brother Ben (Simon Merrell) has disappeared. Shortly after he discovers that his brother is dead, he is attacked by the same monster that killed Ben and is cursed to transform into a monster every full moon. Many complain that it is an “unnecessary remake,” but when are remakes ever necessary? “Wolfman” certainly brings together all the key elements that made the original an instant classic while furthering their effect with modern technology. The only thing that certainly should have been improved was the digital animation on the Wolfman. He is terribly fake and moves as if he weren’t truly part of the scenery. The recent strides in digital technology only expose the poor visual effects of the film. Overall, the movie was a thrilling remake of the classic, despite its poor visual effects. ––Alex Curtis
Nick Jonas takes a break from his brothers as he pairs up with The Administration to release his new album, Who I Am. This Jonas proves that he is all grown up with this new, retro-soul vibe. Their single, “Who I Am”, initially sounds like a typical pop-rock song but grows on you with with its less Disney-approved attitude and an edgy yet heart-felt sound. Although the beats sound the same as the rest of the songs, there are some respectable tracks, such as “Olive & an Arrow” and “Vesper’s Goodbye,” that display a deeper feeling than the others. Overall, the album contains songs that follow the same lyrics just on different tempos. However, if you must get your helping of Jonas, only buy a couple of songs for a small sampling. ––Meglyn Huber
Shutter Island Shutter Island, directed by Martin Scorsese and based off the novel by Dennis Lehane, follows U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his partner (Mark Ruffalo) as they try to prove the horrors that are happening in the asylum on the island. The film uses common elements of both horror and film noir to create a foreboding atmosphere. It is apparent as the movie progresses that Teddy is not completely sane; it seems that the longer he stays on the island the more he hallucinates and has dreams in which his dead wife tells him things he later learns to be true. The ending was brilliantly crafted in such a way that the entire movie supports it, yet no one could have seen it coming. It would be interesting to see it a second time with knowledge of the ending, simply to pick up on the minor details which hint at the finale. Overall, it is a great suspense. ––Alex Curtis
[march 2, 2010]
THE ANCHOR [ENTERTAINMENT]
Teachers ride mopeds for cost and convenience
Singer utilizes moped to save time, money, and effort [continued from front]
Singer started riding her moped in December due to her busy schedule. “It is the only mode of transportation that I have because I have a free period and I tutor directly after school. I have to be able to get there in a timely manner,” she said. To receive her license, Singer signed up for a weekend MSF (Motorcycle Safety Course), and took a permit test. However, it is a requirement to have a driver’s permit in order to get the motorcycle license. “The benefits to riding a moped is that I could get around by myself even when I had a permit,” she said. Singer has a motorcycle M1 license, but the minimum is an M2 permit, which is for motor vehicles under 150cc (an engine size). For safety reasons, Singer wears the required DOT-approved helmet, but her mother is still concerned about the dangers. “My dad is fine with me riding a moped since he got it for me, but my mom thinks it is too dangerous for me to ride,” she said. Although a car is faster, Singer chooses to ride a moped because it is more affordable. “Cars are definitely faster, but more expensive. My moped is only 80cc, so it doesn’t go very fast. I
by Derek Sarno
paid $900 for the moped, and my insurance is $10 a month, and my gas is around $3 a week,” Singer said. Though there are many benefits to riding a moped, there are also disadvantages. “I like riding mopeds because they are much cheaper than driving a car, but it’s a pain when it comes to grocery shopping because I have to make round trips,” she said.
Mopeds are so much cheaper than driving a car.
- Monique Singer
“It’s also a bummer when it’s raining because I always get soaked, even with rain gear. The road is also very slippery when it rains, which makes it difficult to ride,” she said. As for now, Singer plans to continue riding her moped to and from school. “I will continue riding as long as it takes for me to be able to afford a car or motorcycle,” she said.
She slides the slick gloves on her hands and turns the key in the ignition. The engine roars to life. The wheels explode on the highway like a slug from a .45. Make way for this moped. Teachers at school are riding the wave of popularity surging beneath the moped. The economy was the chief reason history teacher Brooke Mata decided to make the switch to a moped, “We got 70 miles per gallon,” she said. “Gas was too expensive.” The mileage was also a major factor which led Special Ed. Teacher Marie Koorson to convert to the two wheel craze, “I save money on gas and get over 100 miles per tank of gas,” she said. Besides the obvious attraction of less money spent on gas, the size of the vehicle can be practical as well. “On sunny days when there is no parking at the beach I can always find parking” Mata said. Safety is an issue, however, as the moped is considerably smaller than the majority of other vehicles on the road. “I don’t feel safe on it, really,” Koorson said. Mata’s view on the moped is different however, “If you are aware then [it is safe]” she said “It’s not youself you have to worry about, it’s the other drivers.” Despite the size of the motorbike, it can comfortobly carry two people and some cargo. “We have a little compartment on the back or you can just wear a backpack” Mata said . Money is saved in places besides the gas as moped prices rest at just about $1,000 and “vespas in particular never really depreciate in value” Mata said.
Are four wheels better than two ? A comparison between automobiles and mopeds, motorcycles, and other two-wheeled vehicles
The luxury provided by automobiles results in a much higher price tag. Add insurance to that, and a car is a much more serious investment. Automobiles, despite what their name implies, are less mobile than their two wheeled brethren, having to park and follow traffic rules, just like everyone else. Automobile fuel consumption varies greatly. Car tires wear down every 30,000-50,000 miles, as opposed to motorcycles’s 11,000 miles Automobiles provide state of the art technology designed to protect in the event of a crash. You’ll be grateful to have an airbag if you get into one, as opposed to flying through the windshield.
As one can expect, mopeds and motorcycles cost much less than their automobile counterparts. However, they must also buy safety gear, which can run from $500-$2000 With fewer wheels comes higher mobility. Mopeds and motorcycles have the ability to weave between traffic, and fit into tight parking spots. Mopeds are much more efficient than automobiles, but mostly depends on the driver’s nature. Vespas can acheive up to 60 MPG, but can be much lower if the driver is throttle-happy. The main problem with 2 wheels. They lack the protection automobiles provide, are not as visible to drivers, and weaving in between cars can be dangerous without cumbersome safety gear.
–compiled by Nathan Flowers