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October 14, 2011 1401 Artesia Blvd. Vol. LXII Issue 2 www.lavistamchs.com

Opinion Should affirmative action be part of California admissions? Page 7

AP scores, new plans released BY MICHELLE MCKENNA STAFF WRITER During their Sept. 21 meeting, the   Manhattan   Beach   Unified   School District board members reviewed and analyzed the Advanced Placement test scores and results from spring 2011, which were released by the College Board in August. In the 2009-10 school year, of the 1,165 Costa students who took an exam, about 75% scored a three or higher, which is a passing score. During the 2010-11 school year, 1,144 of the 1,468 students, which is roughly 80%, who took AP exams achieved scores of three or higher. “The AP scores are always high,” Costa Principal Ben Dale said. “We have high performers, which is awesome. There’s no radical change with the scores this year.” Between the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years, the number of students taking AP classes increased by 116, with a large increase in various AP sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics classes. See ‘AP Scores’ on page 4

Sports

Arts

Theme

Online

The Mustang girls volleyball team wins a decisive victory against Peninsula High School.

“The Ides of March,” which stars actors Ryan Gosling and George Clooney, gets rave reviews.

Check out the master plan to Mira Costa’s BB renovations.

Get access to the exclusive movie review about “50/50,” starring Joseph Gordon.

Page 20

Page 17

Pages 10-11

Gray pleads not guilty to sexual misconduct counts

MBPD confirms the instructional assistant was also arrested on unrelated counts of assault with a deadly weapon, spousal battery and false imprisonment earlier this year. BY DANNY KELLEHER EXECUTIVE NEWS EDITOR Mira Costa instructional assistant Christopher Wayne Gray pleaded not guilty on Oct. 7 to nine counts of sexual misconduct allegedly with a Mira Costa minor after being arrested at Costa by the Manhattan Beach Police Department on Oct. 5. Gray, 27, has been a district employee since November 2010 and, according to an Oct. 6 MBPD press release, was arrested on counts of unlawful intercourse and lewd and lascivious acts with a minor, among other acts that were allegedly committed “on or around” June 20, 2011. “This is something that never should happen,” Mira Costa Principal Ben Dale said. “When something like this does happen, it’s just a tragedy.” According to MBPD Public Information   Officer   Stephanie   Martin, the victim’s parents visited the MBPD station on Oct. 4. Detectives immediately opened an investigation, and Gray was arrested the next day at Costa. “We are here to both educate

COURTESY MANHATTAN BEACH POLICE DEPARTMENT

GRAY AREA: 27-year-old Christopher Gray (above) was arrested on Oct. 5 on nine counts of sexual misconduct. The alleged victim is a Mira Costa minor. and be educated,” Dale said. “You start to think that you’re more than a teacher, that you’re a  friend,  that  you’re  a  confidante,   that you’re something more than

a teacher. At the end of the day, we’re teachers. We have to maintain that distance.” The alleged victim was confirmed  to  be  a  Mira  Costa  minor  

in an Oct. 6 email from Superintendent Dr. Michael Matthews to the district community, and the MBPD press release stated that it is unknown at this time if there are any other victims. “I ask that you join me in doing everything possible to respect and protect the privacy of the student and the student’s family,” Matthews said in his email. No information was mentioned in the community message from Matthews regarding Gray’s history of felony charges. According to Martin, Gray was arrested earlier this year by the Los Angeles Police Department on counts of spousal battery on May 10 and spousal battery, assault with a deadly weapon and false imprisonment on June 8. “We get near immediate notification   when   an   employee   is   charged with a crime,” Matthews said. “If the crime for which an employee is arrested does not have a direct connection to his or her employment, our ability to act upon that may be limited until there is an actual conviction.” See ‘Christopher Gray’ on page 4

Mira Costa hosts its annual College Fair in the Fisher and small gyms BY ARI GEVOV STAFF WRITER Mira Costa’s College and Career Center held its annual College Fair in the Fisher Gym and small gyms on Oct. 4 from 7 to 9 p.m., with 138 college representatives attending. At the College Fair, students could talk to college representatives, pick up brochures and sign up for university mailing lists.

“It was really busy,” junior Lily Hubbard said. “Everyone had brochures and was running around talking to representatives. But even with so many people, the fair   helped   me   figure   out   which   colleges I should think about.” Mira Costa and Redondo Union High School alternate hosting the College Fair every year. “The reason behind having a fair is so kids can see where they might   fit,”   Costa   CCC   counselor  

Katherine Folkman said. “Students look at schools they have never even heard of to understand the application process.” At 7 p.m. Costa and Redondo seniors were allowed to enter the fair, followed by the rest of the student body at 7:30 p.m. Costa parents were let through the doors at 8 p.m. so they could pick up pamphlets with their children. “I think the College Fair is really great,” senior Payton Buck-

JESSICA HANLEY/ LA VISTA

OH THE PLACES YOU’LL GO: Stephanie Tengels, a representative from the University of Denver, discusses the college admissions process and the requirements to attend a university in Colorado with junior Ben Sands.

ley said. “It allows you to look around at all the different types of colleges out there.” Before the College Fair began, the CCC held a dinner in the cafeteria for representatives and set up booths. Student Government and the maintenance staff helped with preparations. “If it weren’t for the maintenance staff, we wouldn’t be able to go through with the fair,” said Folkman. “They are so friendly.” Student Government members helped direct people around the fair   and   passed   out   flyers   and   bags for brochures. “I had to set and clean up the college booths and help while talking with college representatives,” Student Government sophomoreclass President Joe Luck said. “At the  beginning  it  was  difficult,  but   it ended up going very smoothly. The College Fair was busy, but it was well organized.” Parent volunteers helped to place each college in the gyms and make programs. Space was still an issue this year, but the Costa CCC counselors felt that overall the College Fair was successful.

“This   is   the   first   year   that   we   had to turn colleges away,” Folkman said. There is an invite list that is sent out to hundreds of colleges and universities months in advance. Every year the College Fair is planned for the same week in October and is coordinated in conjunction with the El Camino College Fair, ensuring that college representatives that attend the El Camino College Fair will be in town for the high school fair. “Basically we plan the fair the May prior,” Folkman said. All the guidance counselors, volunteers, administration members and CCC counselors made sure everything went as planned by going back and forth between the gyms. According to various university and college representatives, the College Fair was a success and attracted many students. “I think the College Fair is fabulous. There are so many kids interested in college,” Temple University representative Greg Royston. “What you want is to see kids get excited, and these kids are excited.”


CALENDAR

October 14, 2011

COMMUNITY October

15 Hermosa Beach is hosting Pumpkins in the Park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The new location is at Edith Rodaway Friendship Park. Come dressed up in a Halloween costume for the event’s festivities.

16 Hermosa Beach Women’s Club Pancake Breakfast is at the Clark Building in Hermosa Beach. The event is from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Tickets are $8 per person or $15 for two people.

29 The Teen Center is hosting its 24th annual Family HalCONNOR WRIGHT /PHOTO EDITOR

LIFE ON CAMPUS: In second period on Oct. 11, senior students voted for one boy and one girl out of 12 nominees to become Homecoming king and queen. The ballots consisted of every nominee’s name along with their activities in and out of school.

CAMPUS

21

Homecoming king and queen is announced at the Homecoming football game during half time.

October

15 The PSAT takes place at 8 a.m. at Costa for those who registered for a spot.

17 The Homecoming lunch activities take place in the quad at lunch time.

22 Homecoming Dance “Rolla’ Costa” is at 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets are on sale now.

28 There is a PACE Assembly during second period from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

31 The

18 The In-N-Out truck visits Costa during lunch for the

Honor Roll Lunch. All students that received at 3.5 GPA or more  can  walk  down  to  the  main  office  area  for  their  free   In-N-Out lunch.

20

The National Honors Society Induction Ceremony takes place in the cafeteria at 3 p.m.

Halloween costume contest takes place during lunch. There are many different categories for groups and singles.

4

Mira Costa’s fall play, “You Can’t Take it With You” premieres at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium .

Overheard

20 There will be a UC Application Workshop during lunch time for all students in the College and Career Center.

20 The Prism Concert begins at 7 p.m. and

ends at 8:30

p.m. in the auditorium.

Sports OCTOBER 14-19

CONNOR WRIGHT/ LA VISTA

18 Girls tennis plays against Palos Verdes at 2:30 p.m. at Palos Verdes High.

18

Boys water polo competes against Redondo Union High School at 3 p.m. at Costa.

18

Girls volleyball travels to Laguna Beach to compete against Laguna Beach High School at 5:30 p.m.

19 Mira Costa girls tennis plays a game at

3 p.m. against Santa Monica High School at Mira Costa.

The 21st annual Friendship Circle Walk begins on Manhattan Beach Boulevard down by the strand and pier area. Registration beings at 8 a.m. and the walk starts at 9 a.m. Come support the Friendship Circle by participating in this fun, healthy event.

31 Manhattan Beach holds its 21st annual Pumpkin Rac-

es down by the pier on Manhattan Beach Boulevard. The Pumpkin Races starts at 12 p.m. and end at around 6:30 p.m. Kids and parents can dress up in their Halloween costume and bring their own decorated pumpkin on wheels for racing.

www.lavistamchs.com

OCTOBER 19-26 Girls volleyball plays at Mira Costa High School at 5:15 p.m. against Palos Verdes High School.

20 The

boys water polo team travels to Palos Verdes High School for the game at 3 p.m.

21

The Homecoming Mustang football game is at 7 p.m. against Palos Verdes High School.

25

Girls tennis goes to West Torrance High School to compete in their match at 3 p.m.

25

The girls volleyball team travels to West Torrance High School to compete at 4:15 p.m.

26 The girls tennis team travels to Valley

College, located in Irvine, for its match against Harvard Westlake High School at 3 p.m.

“50/50” fails to beat the odds of being exceptional. Jonathan   Levine’s   newest   film,     stars   Seth Rogen (Kyle) and Joseph GordonLevitt (Lerner) pictured to the left.

OCTOBER 27-NOVEMBER 4

27

Costa against Alamitos.

31

-Stephen Giovati on Homecoming Spirit Week

14

17 Boys water polo plays at 3:30 p.m. at

Howloween Hoedown at the Redondo Beach Dog Park located on 190th street. Bring your pets dressed up for a costume contest and prizes.

I’m excited for Spirit Week because it’s when the court shows who they really are to all the students.

27

Costa competes in a home football game at 7 p.m. against West Torrance High School

30 From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Redondo Beach is hosting the

ON THE WEB

14 Girls volleyball competes in the Asics 19 CA Challenge in Torrey Pines.

loween carnival from 12 to 4 p.m. There will be a costume contest from 1 to 1:30 p.m. for children ages 5 and under to 12 years old. A haunted house, carnival games, face painting, and food will be at the carnival.

Girls volleyball plays against Peninsula High School at 5:15 p.m. at Costa. Mira Costa High School hosts the 3 p.m. girls tennis match against Peninsula High School.

1 Boys water polo plays at 5 p.m. at Costa for its game against Peninsula.

1

Girls volleyball travels to Redondo to compete against Redondo Union High School at 7 p.m.

2 Girls tennis competes in the Bay League Singles. Time and place will be annoucned.

3 The boys water polo team travels to Re-

dondo Union High School for its game at 3 p.m.

4

Costa football travels to Leuzinger to compete at 7 p.m.

KATIE BELKNAP/ LA VISTA

GOLDEN ARM: Dylan Cobert defends the ball from an opposing player. Costa beat Damien High School, 10-8, on Oct. 8.


October 14, 2011

NEWS

La Vista

3

Mira Costa’s choir, orchestra, band prepare for annual Prism concert BY CAMILLE JUTON AND EMILY LOCKWOOD STAFF WRITERS Mira Costa’s band, orchestra, and choir will be performing at the Prism concert, an annual show that features separate performances from each musical group, on Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. in the Costa auditorium. Some participants feel that the concert is a challenge because it takes a lot of practice to play these  difficult  pieces  from  different genres. “The Prism concert is really challenging because the pieces are tedious to play,” orchestra member junior Allie Campbell said. “It requires talent because of the short amount of time we are given to prepare.” Not many practices are held during the summer, resulting in only a few months of preparation to showcase Costa students’ natural abilities. “Because the concert is exJESSICA HANLEY/ LA VISTA tremely early in the semester, it is difficult   for   students   to   learn   the   challenging pieces,” choir teacher BAND TOGETHER: The Mira Costa band practices “Festive Overture” by composer Dimitri Shostakovich and “After a Michael Hayden said. “We per- Gentle Rain” by composer Anthony Iannacconne in preparation for the Oct. 20 Prism concert. form an advanced level repertoire “Auditions to be a part of the In addition to “Festive Overthat most high schools wouldn’t chosen to participate in the Prism be touching, and if they were it concert. Students go through Prism ensemble for band are held ture” by Dimitri Shostakovich, would be around May, when they competitive auditions and work in spring, and those who make the Costa band will also be for several hours on their as- it are selected to be in the next performing “After a Gentle have had time to learn it.” Select students of the different signed pieces to be chosen to be year’s fall concert,” band teacher Rain” by Anthony Iannaccone. Joel Carlson said. The choir will perform “O Vos Mira Costa musical groups are a part of the show.

Mones” by Gesualdo, “There is Sweet Music” by Edward Elgar, and “Richte mich Goot” by Felix Mendelssohn. The orchestra will play “Serenade for Strings” by Josef Suk, “Fantasia on Greensleeves” by Ralph Vaughn Williams and “Blue Fiddler” by Soon Hee Newbold. “In orchestra, we work diligently to master and learn the different songs we perform in the Prism concert,” orchestra member senior Merrick Chai said. “In class we study the background of the song, and on weekends, almost everyone has a private lesson to help teach them songs on a deeper level.” Choir, band and orchestra are all playing in the concert, but they are not performing the pieces together. Each section is highlighted at different times during the concert. The musical groups have different ways of learning to master their repertoire, but each one comes to the same fundamental elements. “For choir we put all the sections—soprano, alto, tenor and bass—in separate rooms and they work hard to teach each other all of the notes in each song. Then we bring everyone together and put the entire production together,” Hayden said. “I am really looking forward to seeing all of their hard work pay off in this upcoming concert.”

MBUSD board postpones decision on new district bullying program BY ARI HOWORTH STAFF WRITER Since suspending the Sept. 21 vote on the adoption of the School Safe Ambassadors program within the district, the Manhattan  Beach  Unified  School  District  Board   CLAIRE KEIFER/ LA VISTA has begun fortifying and substantiating the TAKEN WITH US: (From left) Seniors Lily Granados and Duncan Gregory rehearse their lines for the potential bullying prevention program in upcoming fall production of “You Can’t Take It With You,” which will open the night of Nov. 4 in the preparation for the upcoming vote. Mira Costa auditorium. The program would establish certain students as “ambassadors” that would come from various social groups throughout the district’s schools and ideally would serve to intervene in bullying by using different methods of nonviolent communication taught by the program. BY DANNY KELLEHER for opening night.” “It’s the student ambassadors who would EXECUTIVE NEWS EDITOR This semester’s production will feature a drive the prevention and be the source of double cast. Each cast will perform in three the program,” Board President Bill FourThe Mira Costa High School Drama De- of the six shows. nell said. “Teachers would also be trained partment has begun practicing for its up“That’s one of the reasons I chose this in the same manner that students would.” coming fall play, “You Can’t Take It With production,” Mathews said. “So many of MBUSD board Vice President Ellen You,” which will open on Nov. 4. the students that tried out had great audi- Rosenberg motioned at the Sept. 21 meetThe fall production, which will be held tions, so Luke and I chose to do a double ing to postpone the vote, which was schedin the Mira Costa auditorium, is a former cast in order to show off how many great uled for that day. The plan is now schedBroadway   feature.   This   will   be   the   first   performers we have.” uled to be voted upon in November. time Costa’s Drama Department has perAccording to Mathews, the production “The  board  questioned  the  efficiency  of   formed the show. has  a  variety  of  benefits  in  addition  to  the   the program,” Rosenberg said. “I didn’t “Our guest director, Luke Yankee, sug- practicality of the cast. have any problems with the program; I just gested several shows, ‘You Can’t Take It “I really like this show’s moral, [which needed to understand what it was, as it is With You’ included, and I chose it because is] to live life to the fullest,” Mathews said. different entirely from other bullying preit is so classic and fun,” Drama Department “I know it’s often overused, but it’s such a vention programs.” chair Carol Mathews said, good thing to remember in life.” The program would cost approximately The play is set in 1936 in New York City Junior Buster Baer looks forward to $37,000    in  its  first  year.  This  money  would   and is centered around the lives of two very moving from the lead of “All Shook Up,” be used mainly for training of the desigdifferent families, the Sycamores and the 2011’s spring musical, to what he feels is a nated leaders, but also for other communiKirbys, who are meeting each other for the more dynamic role in “You Can’t Take It cation within the community. District Exfirst   time   during   a   dinner   for  Alice   Syca- With You.” ecutive Director of Student Services Ellyn more and Tony Kirby’s engagement. “I’m very excited to be ‘Grandpa,’” Baer Schneider hopes to receive a $10,000 grant “This story is so insane and hilarious; I said. “Everyone who is participating is ex- from the district’s insurance collaborative. think everyone will really like it a lot,” ju- cited and happy with their parts; I really “The Board wanted to see more infornior April Barajas said. “I’m very excited hope the show does well.” mation on how the bullying plan would be

Drama Department begins rehearsal for “You Can’t Take It With You”

implemented,” Fournell said. “We wanted more details about the plan, especially how we would communicate with parents.” It has not been decided if upon its hypothetical passing the program would be used in all of the district’s schools, as each school already has anti-bullying programs in the form of either assemblies or curriculum-based activities. Board members have also questioned the effectiveness of the new program’s proposed tactics. “I do not believe that at a high school level it [the program] would be extremely effective,” Costa student board member Mackenzie Austin said. “Most bullying occurs in middle school, so I think that elementary school implementation would be the most effective.” If the plan were to pass, it would be put into action no later than January. The board would use the time between November and January to learn more about the program by talking to other districts that use the SSA program. “The elementary principals thought that it would be better if we started the program in January,” Board member Ida Vanderpoorte said. “We haven’t received any update on the item [since the decision to push the vote].” The board hopes to gather the information on the program before the deciding vote in November. If approved, the board hopes to have it up-and-running in the schools before January. “I think of [the bullying plan] more as a student culture initiative,” Fournell said. “Over time, as these students move through their school years and as additional students are trained year over year, we should have a large number of students aware and equipped to deal with all kinds of bullying.”


4

La Vista

NEWS

October 14, 2011

New Technology, Entertainment, Design conference series to come to MBMS BY ALEX WYCOFF STAFF WRITER

the conference wasn’t effective.” dents  always  benefit,”  Manhattan   A group of Mira Costa student Beach Middle School Principal volunteers will serve as chap- John Jackson said. “The more enThe Technology Entertainment erones at the event, helping to compassing and knowledgeable and Design convention is com- ensure that the transitions from the teachers are, the more they ing to Manhattan Beach on Oct. event to event go smoothly for the can express varying viewpoints. 22 and will be held at 9:15 a.m at adults in attendance. MBMS is excited about hosting EMMA SALZMAN/LA VISTA Manhattan Beach Middle School. “This convention will be full of this event, and we look forward RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE: Mira Costa Student Government makes the final TED  is  a  nonprofit  organization   not only speeches but chances to to learning new ideas.” that holds conferences to promote be engaged,” district SuperintenThe theme of this event will preparations for the Jungle Dance, which will take place tonight. “ideas worth spreading.” TEDx, a dent Dr. Michael Matthews said. be “transforming learning.” Prefaction of the organization, func- “It’s an active event.” vious conferences have focused tions to hold local, self-organized Te a c h on innovation, “This is a really great way vitality, love, enevents under the guidelines of ers, busiTED conferences. ness leaders, to come up with new ideas, ergy, food, oil, BY ANGELINA VOLUCCI Homecoming dance is new this “The idea of TED is that it’s city council no problem. It’s learning in creating stronger STAFF WRITER year. In past years, most aftera meeting of creative people,” m e m b e r s communities, degame dances have occured in a whole new, far more or- sign, and more. event organizer and Costa Eng- and commuMira Costa Student Govern- September and early October. ganic way than before.” lish teacher Shawn Chen said. nity activ“TED is a ment is hosting a jungle-themed This action was taken due to con“Everyone will get together and ists are all great group to dance in the cafeteria tonight at flicting  schedules. share ideas in a way that gener- expected to have around 9:30 p.m. following the Costa “We’re hoping the change will Shawn Chen ates sparks of intransitive ideas.” attend the in this day and football game against West Tor- allow for better attendance at the This particular TED conference event as guests. age,” junior Nick Matson said. rance High School. dances,” Knudson said. will have 18 featured guests and “It’s just one more example of “The videos it has online are a The “Jungle Dance” is the Student Government hopes to focus on the future of education, showing Costa as the center of the very fun, but it’s also really cool second of a series of after-game attract students of all grade levels with topics such as graduation education universe today,” Costa to be able to draw that insight.” dances designed to increase stu- to the Jungle Dance. rates, improving communication Principal Ben Dale said. “We Though regular TED confer- dent  spirit.  The  first  was  Septem“Having more people provides design and improving teaching have more and more examples of ences require an invitation in ber’s rave-themed dance. for an energetic atmosphere,” methods being presented. the nation looking to us for vision order to attend, anyone can purCo-commissioners of enter- Becker said. “[We thought about] who we and inspiration. Our students and chase a ticket for this event on- tainment juniors Makenna KnudTickets will be sold for $3 to really want to hear from regard- staff certainly deliver on that cru- line at tedxmanhattanbeach.com. son and McKenzie Becker, and those with an ASB marker and ing the future of learning,” head cial need.” General admission tickets are auxilary to entertainment junior for $4 to those without it. of the Manhattan Beach TEDx The school district will pay the $100, and the convention runs McKenzie Swart led the prepara“We want to increase school project John Marsden said. “If $100 entrance fees of multiple from 9:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the tions for this event. spirit,” Activities Director Lisa they [the guests of the event] MBUSD teachers. MBMS MPR and gym. “It’s been hectic because we’re Claypoole said. “We hope to condon’t walk away with at least 20 “Any time teachers get a chance “This is a really great way to planning Homecoming too, but tinue to plan more fun events, ideas about education that they to hear different points of view or come up with new, innovative we’re managing,” Knudson said. such as the upcoming ‘Casino haven’t thought of before, then different thought processes, stu- ideas,” Chen said, The dance’s proximity to the Night’ in November.”

ASB plans Jungle Dance

Invisible Children Club fundraises for Africa

‘AP Scores’ from page one “I’m really pleased that we’re seeing students’ interest has grown in participating in STEM AP classes,” MBUSD Executive Director of Educational Services Carolyn Seaton said. “This shows motivation.” Beginning in the 2012-13 school year, the College Board will implement new curriculum to AP classes. These changes will reduce the amount of content taught in AP classes; however, what will be taught in class will be covered in more depth. “What I have heard about [cutting content for AP classes], I really do not like,” Costa history teacher Bill Fauver said. “It’s much too sophisticated, based on the thematic approach. It’s too hard to implement for most kids. It’s too much detail. To me, the solution that is right for high school students would be to split the AP courses into two years, allowing for both content and detail.”

According to Dale, College Board’s AP system feels challenged by the International Baccalaureate program, a newer system that also prepares students for college-level courses, because colleges weigh IB the same as AP. IB requires less breadth, but more depth, which is an approach that College Board will be trying to move toward with its changes to AP curriculum. According to MBUSD board members, the changes to AP curriculum will limit criticism about lack of depth in teaching. “My guess is the changes [to the AP program] are going to be better, if they meet their goals,” Seaton said. “A lot of the time, we get criticized in education for trying to teach a whole lot in a short time, but without much depth. To me, real learning happens when you can go in depth with a subject and make a lot of connections to see things from multiple perspectives.”

‘Christopher Gray’ from page one

SEKI SHIWOKU/ LA VISTA

VISIBLE: (From left) Seniors Mary Williams and Riley O’Connell sell shirts with Invisible Children ambassador Jacob Watson on Oct. 6 at Costa during the Invisible Children Club’s t-shirts fundraiser to aid child soldiers in Africa and help them escape violence.

Teachers were expected to attend one of two morning meetings that Dale held on Oct. 6 in order to be made aware of the situation and be prepared to answer potential questions from students. According to numerous students, there were multiple teachers who perpetuated information involving the history of the crimes that has not  been  publicly  confirmed.  Dale,  however, maintains that none of the unsubstantiated claims that have spread were provided under his supervision. “I said that he [Gray] was hired last November and worked at the middle school, and that he came here this year with a student with whom he was an aid from the middle school,” Dale said. “They [the teachers  who  told  their  students  unverified   information] may have drawn a conclusion from that.”

Gray’s Oct. 7 hearing was held at the Torrance Courthouse. As of the end of the hearing, Gray’s bail is set at $900,000. He remains in custody at the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department correctional facility. If Gray does not post bail, his second hearing will held on Oct. 24 at the Torrance Courthouse. Throughout the course of the investigation, he will be on administrative leave. According to his email, Matthews plans on strictly following the law for the district’s course of action upon the investigation’s completion. It remains to be seen whether changes will be implemented at Mira Costa in the future as a result of this incident. “I don’t like it that this has to happen for all of us to stand back and go, ‘Oh yeah, we’re teachers and you’re students,’” Dale said. “It’s just a mess.”


OPINION

October 14, 2011

La Vista

5

Mira Costa should adopt proposed bullying program By alex White Staff Writer

The Manhattan Beach Uniopened a new bullying policy and intervention program for discussion. The program will effectively combat both violent and nonviolent forms of bullying through increased student empowerment and more direct administration response in a cost-effective and This new plan, called the Safe School Ambassadors Program, is offered by Community Matters, a nationwide corporation which boasts high success rates in other school districts. Since 2000, the program has been successfully implemented in almost 900 schools, and Mira Costa should adopt it too. The goal is to make students “ambassadors” of their school, who will identify bullying and prevent it at the source. They work not only with students but

also parents and staff to help all members of the school environment get involved and take a proactive stance against violent and non-violent forms of bullying. The idea of selecting students to directly intervene in and prevent instances of bullying will prove an effective tool in countering these cases. A study conduced by Edutopia, an independent education evaluation foundation, shows the Safe School Ambassadors Program as a useful method in limiting violent and non-violent forms of bullying, with reductions up to 60% across several states. Although the program is effec-

not need as much aid as other sites in relation to violent bullying. According to Vice Principal Goy Casillas, Costa had no sus-

pensions in all of last year due to students threatening or causing ucation Code section 48900(a). Even though combating vio-

raMie laNdiS/ la ViSta

lent bullying is not an issue at Mira Costa, it still will work with younger children. A 2007 study conducted by Georgia State University showed increased effectiveness in violent bullying prevention programs with ele-

mentary-level students as compared to high school pupils. However, the program will successfully deal with other forms of bullying. In the 2010-11 school year, administration suspended four students because they “engaged in [acts] of bullying, including bullying committed by means of an electronic act” (Ed Code section 48900(r)). The Safe School Ambassadors Program would take proactive steps to limit these occurrences. Another strong point of the program is its relatively low cost. Safe School Ambassadors costs $37,000, and $10,000 will be covered by MBUSD insurance, according to district outlines. The $27,000 price tag of the program should be seen as a bargain compared to hiring an additional guidance counselor,

whose starting salary could easily top $50,000, according to current state employment projections from the California Employment Development Department. Opponents of the proposal state that high school students will not Safe School Ambassadors Program because bullies will not be dissuaded by the reprimands of fellow students. However, schools participating in this program have proven that simple bystander involvement is crucial in reducing and preventing multiple forms of bullying. The MBUSD Board is schedmonth, and board President Bill Fournell has stated that the proposal will likely be passed. The Safe School Ambassadors Program will no doubt prove an effective addition to Mira Costa’s anti-bullying agenda. It will provide a safer and more constructive learning environment with little cost to the district.

Tdap requirement will prove beneficial By alex loSSoN Staff Writer Private and public schools across California could seriously Tetanus, Diphtheria and Acellular Pertussis Bill. This vaccination requirement will protect students statewide by requiring vaccinatussis, or whooping cough. California State Legislature recently passed Assembly Bill 354, which requires all students in grades seven to twelve to have a Tdap booster shot. If the student has already had the vaccination before the bill was implemented, he or she will not need to get a second booster. Whooping cough is a bacterial respiratory virus that is found primarily in infants. It is also much harder to cure in adolescents and adults than in infants. The whooping cough epidemic has reached a 70-year high with over 13,000 cases reported in 2008 alone. Another component of Assembly Bill 354 is the Personal Belief form. This form simply states that

if a family does not believe in immunization, then the child does not need to get vaccinated. However, if there is a pertussis dents will be promptly removed to prevent further illness. These return to school once the outbreak crucial step in quelling the spread of disease. The Tdap vaccination plan is an important way for California to prevent the debilitating and sometimes deadly effects whooping cough has had in the past. It is critical to the health of California and Mira Costa to keep up to par with preventing today’s diseases in every way possible. The Tdap vaccine has been licensed and available since 2005, which makes it much more reliable than many others. The vaccine was formulated to inoculate infants and toddlers, but in response to the recent outbreak, its use has spread to young adults. The bill also allows leeway for those who do not believe in immunization, but with the conse-

quence of not attending school. However, this should not be a problem for most people because many drug stores sell Tdap boosters. According to the CDC, the only severe side effect of Tdap is the swelling of the arm, unlike the mandated HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) shots which can cause severe symptoms like seizures, hair loss, swollen lymph nodes and death. Infants and young children are usually vaccinated, but the vaccine’s properties wear off dramatically around pre-teen years. Requiring students to get this booster will ensure they are up to date on vaccinations and are properly immunized. It is also highly recommended but not required that teachers and staff get vaccinated as the disease could still spread easily. Assembly Bill 354 is an important addition to California’s health and education system. Vaccinations may be hassles in everyone in the future, creating a healthy and productive learning environment.

Top ten things to do instead of going to Homecoming 10. Do your college applications. Seriously.

8. Invade a small Latin American nation; you are now an actual king. 7. Host an anti-Homecoming “rager” 6. TiVo “Thursday Night Football.” Watch that instead. 5. Plan a coup d’etat and overthrow the Homecoming king and queen. 4. Occupy Wall Street. School dances are nowhere as fun as getting maced by the NYPD. 3. Run for the republican nomination for president. It’s an open 2. Go to Knott’s Scary Farm. Actually ride a roller coster. 1. Really, do your college apps. You need to do them. - alec lautaNeN aNd Michael PoWell/ oPiNioN editorS, daNNy kelleher/ NeWS editor aNd dylaN fair/ theMe editor

“Caylee’s Law” lacks focus, does not address problems of negligence By Nick Block Staff Writer The recent Florida vs. Casey Anthony verdict has resulted in numerous demands for state laws that prevent parental negligence. These laws place strict requirements on families and law enforcement in cases involving missing or murdered children. Despite the noble goals of legislators, the laws have too narrow of a focus and are not effective justice system. Casey Anthony was arrested for the alleged murder of her -

cient amount of evidence to convict her. Despite the fact that she did not take action on her daughter’s disappearance for 31 days, she was acquitted by the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida Due to the media’s coverage of the trial and the emotional nature proposed “Caylee’s Law” in order to hold parents accountable for missing children. Proposed state laws arbitrarily stipulate that parents have 24 hours to report a missing child and one hour to report a child-victim of murder under the threat of misdemeanor or possible felony

charges. These arbitrary regulations for murdered and missing children place an unreasonable burden on families and law en-

mum, three hours; the one hour rule doesn’t hold ground. For the past 10 years, according to the FBI, the infanticide rate has remained at around Caylee’s law is only motivated by 55% of all reported child murders. The reality is that this one publicized case

forcement. If the law states that if a parent doesn’t report a murder within an hour he or she will face jail time, then law enforcement will have to go through costly processes to According to the National Crime Information Center, the time of death can only be recorded with an accuracy of, at mini-

yet murder still occurs; parents who murder their children would not be dissuaded by the provisions in this law, which will end up inconveniencing innocent, grieving parents. Harsh punishments for crimes do generally deter criminals, but in this case, the punishments are not logical. The proposed laws likewise

violate the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure. Mandated self-reporting of a missing or dead child constitutes an acquisition of evidence without a warrant. Furthermore, using the reaction time of parents as evidence holds them to unfair standards of judgement. The law is not as effective as it could be. The law has been motivated more by anger than by a of establishing arbitrary rules for parents and attempting to change the justice system, because of the actions of one individual, the system that has worked for 200 years should be preserved.


6

OPINION

La Vista

October 14, 2011

EDITOR’S NOTE Editors-in-ChiEf Kyle Allen ZAcK Rosenfeld Managing WEb Editor KAtie BARgeR Managing Editor RoBin JAnottA Copy Editor eRic Zheng nEWs Editors dAnny KelleheR, executive JoAni gillAm AvA Klein opinion Editors Alec lAutAnen, executive michAel Powell mAggie RoBAK arts Editors hAnnA mcguiRe, executive dylAn fAiR ZAcK gill LifE Editors Alex PARducci, executive cARly montAn eRicA schneideR thEME Editors duncAn gRegoRy, executive JAKe mAhR emmA RosenBAum sports Editors ZAne fRAnKlin, executive RyAn eRicKson RegAn estes RyAn fRAnKlin CaLEndar Editor logAn schlossBeRg artist RAmie lAndis photo ManagEr connoR wRight photo Editor lelAnd lesneveR businEss ManagEr JeRome RedmAn assistant businEss ManagErs nicK BlocK AngeinA vollucci CirCuLation ManagEr JessicA wu troubLEshootEr John goodlAd advisEr michAel mcAvin staff WritErs RyAn BARney, lAcy cAno, ARiAnA givAv, ReBeccA hext, JuliAnA hoft, ARi howoRth, nicK hodges, cAmille Juton, Kyle KhAtchAdouRiAn, eliZABeth Kneisley, emily locKwood, Alex losson, Alec mARchAnt, michelle mcKennA, AmAndA newell, KRistellA PAPPAs, hAnnAh PRoctoR, symPhAnie RosARio, isAAc siegemund-BRoKA cAsey suBlette, luKe tRimBle, RAchel wess, Allie welZel, Alex white, Alex wycoff photographErs ellA BAnAch, KAtie BelKnAP, nicole fisheR, will goodwin, cARinA glAsseR, JessicA hAnley, clAiRe KeifeR, emmA sAlZmAn, seKinAh shiwoKu, stePhAnie sAKAhARA EditoriaL board Kyle Allen, KAtie BARgeR, JoAni gillAm, RoBin JAnottA, dAnny KelleheR, AvA Klein, Alec lAutAnen, michAel Powell, mAggie RoBAK, ZAcK Rosenfeld, eRic Zheng lA vistA is the student newsPAPeR of miRA costA high school. content, which is the ResPonsiBility of the lA vistA stAff, is not suBJect to AdministRAtive APPRovAl. unsigned editoRiAls Reflect the oPinions of the newsPAPeR, while oPinion columns RePResent the wRiteR’s view only. AdveRtisements do not necessARily Reflect lA vistA viewPoints. lA vistA, An oPen foRum, welcomes signed letteRs on toPicAl issues fRom the mchs community. they mAy Be mAiled to michAel mcAvin in the AdministRAtion Building mAilBox oR sent to lAvistAoPinion@gmAil.com. they mAy Be edited foR length And clARity. foR Ad RAtes, contAct lAvistABusiness@gmAil.com

Our commitment to journalism keeps us motivated By Zack Rosenfeld editoR-in-chief

Mira Costa community that students had little voice in campus policy, even if it affected their daily lives.

We put in the effort to interview everyone involved in the situation and provide correct facts to the community. Additionally, the La Vista staff Mustang Morning News recently We put ourselves through the work-in- strives, “to make [our] readers care.” interviewed our staff in a story titled: “What it takes, La Vista.” In this re- tense process because in the end, we feel as Many students ask me about the presence of stories about the school disport, MMN showed a behind-the- though we are making a difference. trict on the front page instead of other scenes look on how we produce our We wrote an editorial explaining a new types of stories. These issues may not be paper during “Production Nights.” We were asked about getting through way to run student government to give familiar to the average reader, but district these three days of hard work and dead- students something it never had: a voice. decisions affect everyone, and reporting on lines. I thought the question should have Months later the principal and student them is crucial to keeping students, staff leaders met to form the Student Leader- and parents informed. been less about “how” and more “why?” Finally, we want, “to make a differOver the summer, at a journalism work- ship Council in which student opinion was ence.” As a staff, we put ourselves through shop, Orange County Register reporter Secondly, we want, “to bring out the the work-intensive process because in the Larry Welborn gave a lecture titled “Why Journalism?” He gives four reasons why truth.” There is no better example than our end, we feel as though we are making a difjournalists put themselves through this story about the arrest of instructional assi- ference. Whether we are presenting news tant Christopher Gray. After teachers and to the community, giving our thoughts on process. So, why do we do this? staff were informed that he was arrested for alleged sexual misconduct with a minor, we know that we are providing an important service to the community. For example, last year our staff showed the rumors spread across campus.

STAFF EDITORIALS

Application of Vitality City Livability Plan will aid all In light of the recent approval of the South Bay Master Bike Plan by Manhattan Beach commissioners and its upcoming review by the Manhattan Beach City Council, the Vitality City initiative has

tation of the South Bay Master Bike Plan would develop an area-wide network of pedestrian paths to make South Bay streets more open to “active transportation,” like walking or cycling.

tangible to residents. Manhattan Beach joined with the Beach Cities Health District and the cities of Hermosa and Redondo Beach to take part in This initiative, which is part of a nationwide program, aims to promote healthy, active lifestyles. Vitality City’s Livability Plan has four main goals: building a network of “complete streets” and public spaces that promote active living, providing safe and enjoyable walking or biking conditions, prompting sustainable transportation choices and creating healthier and happier people. While these goals seem vague on the surface, they have very tangible and effective applications. For instance, the implemen-

The plan includes an effort to increase active transportation by constructing “complete streets.” These streets, which have shown to increase property values, promote all forms of transportation by including safe, clearly marked crosswalks with long walk signal periods, islands in busy streets and bike lanes that separate sidewalks The Liveability Plan includes redesigning roads by building roundabouts, islands and mini traf-

to reduce accidents and improve pedestrian safety. Additionally, the fact that Vitality City is largely volunteer supported will provide a dedicated and cost-effective support base. Ramie landis/ la Vista The bike plan would introduce over 31 The kind of improvements suggested in new miles of new bike path to Manhattan the Vitality City program have been proven Beach, greatly improving the accessibility to raise home values and are measures that of cyclists to Manhattan Beach roads. This a progressive and health-conscious city expansion would cost $1.15 million over like Manhattan Beach should already have. the course of 20 years, with many grants to Vitality City’s Liveability Plan merits serithe city along the way. ous consideration.

Vetoing of AB 165 will ultimately keep Costa strong On Oct. 8, California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed Assembly Bill 165, which would have made it illegal for school districts to charge students mandatory fees for any educational activities. If passed, the

tan Beach Athletic Foundation, which runs the summer school, raised enough funds to provide classes free of charge. The bill also would have required districts to regularly prove that they were not violating the law, even if no parent or stuto. Although it had honorable intentions, AB 165 would have placed unrealistic detion to the law. mands on schools, which would limit eduThis idea is entirely impractical. School cational opportunities for students. districts already struggling with state budThe bill stemmed from an Ameriget cuts do not have the resources to can Civil Liberties Union investiga- AB 165 would have placed unrealistic de- comply with this bureacratic and tion that found several school districts mands on schools, which would limit edu- pointless requirement. in violation of the California Edu- cational opportunities for students. The one merit of the bill, however, cational Code, which requires equal is its application to textbooks. Disopportunities in education be available to For example, the district could theo- tricts would have to provide textbooks to all students. The 1984 California Supreme retically be liable if a student that made students in AP classes, who normally have Court case of Hartzell vs. Connell made it a donation received more playing time or to purchase their books, that could not afillegal for schools to base participation on a better position in an organization than a ford to purchase them. This is a relatively fees or fee waivers. student that didn’t, even if those decisions simple application of the law that would AB 165 would have furthured this end were based entirely on merit. only require the purchase of more textby not only making it illegal for schools to Furthermore, Costa’s summer school books. charge fees for extracurricular activities, programs would not have been able to exist Unfortunately, many implications of the but also for schools to place “explicit or as they do now. Summer school programs proposed bill are not this simple. implicit” pressure on students or parents to effectively require students to pay for the The spirit of the law, to provide equal make a donation. classes they take. opportunity, is applaudable, but the state Although on the surface this goal apIf AB 165 had passed, summer school legislature should consider a more realistic pears admirable, in practice it would have would only have been legal if the Manhat- plan to accomplish this end. At Mira Costa, there are a variety of sports and extracurricular programs such as La Vista, Model United Nations and nearly every on-campus sport that rely on student donations for operating costs. The district would have had to prove that students faced absolutely no pressure to make donations to extracurriculars they were involved in.


OPINION

October 14, 2011

La Vista

7

PRO/CON

Does affirmative action address racial injustice? PRO:

Affirmative action rights past wrongs

BY MAGGIE ROBAK OPINION EDITOR Affirmative   action   was   created   in   order   to  compensate  for  centuries  of  racial  injustice by helping minorities escape poverty. Although  generally  unpopular,  affirmative   action initiatives have been successful in creating and improving diversity. While  some  criticize  the  policy’s  effectiveness,   making   up   for   centuries   of   injsutice   takes   time.  Affirmative   action   programs have made a difference in creating equal opportunity for minorities. According to a report from the U.S. Department of Labor,  affirmative  action  has  helped  5  million   minorities and 6 million women move up in the workforce since its creation, proving the success of the program. A new bill (SB 185) being considered by California Governor Jerry Brown has reignited  the  debate  over  affirmative  action.  If   passed, race and gender will be considered in the admissions process at California’s public universities. SB 185 reintroduces affirmative  action  initiatives,  15  years  after   a  ban  on  affirmative  action  principles  were   imposed by Proposition 209. The bill will bring back much needed programs to increase diversity and equal opportunity. In 1997, Proposition 209 eliminated all affirmative  action  programs.  This  had  a  detrimental  effect  on  the  progress  affirmative   action previously made. In 1995, a study conducted by the University of Michigan, showed that minority students constituted 21% of the freshman class in the University of California system; however, in 1998 (after the Proposition 209 took effect) only 15.5% of the entering class consisted of minorities,  despite  a  significant  increase  in   the number of minority high school graduates in California. According to the United States Department of Labor, 72.7% of college graduates is  currently  employed.  Therefore,  affirmative action programs improve the success of minorities and should not have been eliminated. Education and a work environment are best if they are diverse. A workforce or school   is   the   most   effective   if   it   reflects   society as a whole because with diversity comes many different perceptions and new ideas. Most public universities produced a   significant   decrease   in   admissions   of  

CON:

minority students, which creates a less diverse atmosphere and a feeling of isolation with minorities. While   many   criticize   affirmative   action, stating that it leads to discrimination against other races, this is not true. Affirmative  action  initiatives  do  not  state   that a minority is a higher priority than another. The initiatives do not support the sole domination of these groups. SB 185, if passed, would allow universities to once again consider race and gender when admitting students. However, it does not allow the universities to give preference to a certain race. Opponents   say   that   this   policy   is   not   effective in decreasing poverty and improving the quality of lower-level education.   While   they   may   be   correct   that   affirmative   action   is   not   the   most   effective   way to accomplish these tasks, these are not   the   goals   of   affirmative   action.  Affirmative action initiatives were created to increase equal opportunity, not for the elimination of poverty. The cause and need for affirmative  ac-

Programs fail to address fundamental issues

BY MICHAEL POWELL OPINION EDITOR

ucation quality among African-Americans by basing performance on tests, which disproportionately hurt minorities. American treatment of minorities has The stress on the use of tests ultimately been shameful. From African slavery, to hurts African-Americans, who are born into Chinese prison camps, the effects of this higher rates of poverty and into unfunded treatment are still around and will not school   districts.   Instead   of   using   affirmacease to exist anytime soon. However, the tive action as a remedy to the problems of federal and state policies, based on the idea minorities, the government should aim to of  affirmative  action,  have  not  been  effec- fix  the  fundamental  problems. tive in bettering the condition of AfricanProponents   of   affirmative   action   claim   Americans and other minorities and are in that  it  is  beneficial  for  society  and  educaneed of reform. tional   institutions   because   it   diversifies   For the past four decades, the states and campuses, decreases poverty and levels the the federal courts have provided for quan- playing  field  for  minorities  who,  they  claim,   titative   preferential   treatment.  Affirmative   would otherwise stay impoverished. action, however, has a long way to go in Affirmative   action   actually   furthers   the   order to accomplish its intended goals. Ac- class divide within minority committees cording to the National Poverty Center of by  catering  to  qualified,  well-­educated  mithe University of Michigan, 73% of impov- norities, while failing to address the proberished children are either black lems that keep the rest of the community or hispanic. The realimpoverished and unprepared for higher ity is that federeducation and employment. al meaCalifornia’s  SB  185  introduces  affirmative  action  initiatives  for  the  first  time  since   Proposition 209 eliminated such programs in 1997. This bill allows race to be used as a way to make selections among equally qualified  candidates  for  UC  college  admissions.  Someone  who  is  outright  unqualified   sures do not would not be hired solely based on race betackle the root cause of the 1978 Supreme Court ruling in causes of poverty. Regents of the University of California v. Thus, the solution Bakke that outlawed the use of race as the does not lie in racial sole criteria. preferential treatment; tion initiatives Legislation encouraging the use of race it lies in the pursuit of in- as one of the factors for college admissions stems from centucreased general employment and employment does not help minorities ries of maltreatment of miRAMIE LANDIS/ LA VISTA of all Americans. norities and women, not from meet  the  “equally  qualified”  guideline  for   Federal statistics, dating back to 1975, affirmative   action.   Without   qualified   canpoverty and poor education. Opponents   also   claim   that   people   who   show that whites have nearly double the didates,  affirmative  active  is  rendered  useare  more  qualified  than  minorities  may  not   educational advantage over minorities. less. SB 185 doesn’t focus on eliminating be treated fairly. This situation is similar Furthermore, 49% of black and hispanic economic barriers to educational inequality to that of the national Supreme Court case students attend high-poverty schools. and doesn’t truly help the disadvantaged. The state of California and the federal Regents of the University of California v. Therefore, state and federal laws that proBakke. However, this bill clearly states mote  affirmative  action  are  just  addressing   government should initiate a comprehenthat California State Universities can con- symptoms of the greater problem of wide- sive program that combats poverty and the low quality of education. Instead of focussider race and gender along with other rel- spread poverty. Affirmative  action  attempts  to  curb  this   ing on race, California should focus makevant factors and cannot accept a person trend, but it is not a long-term solution. To ing  candidates  more  qualified,  thus  getting   solely based on race. Affirmative   action,   overall,   has   been   address the inequalities in education and rid  of  the  need  for  affirmative  action.  Only   effective in combating discrimination incomes, the government should end crip- then will the letter of the law carry out its and providing compensation for those pling programs like No Child Left Behind. intended spirit; to ensure that all AmeriAccording to a study at UC Berkeley, cans, black or white, have a truly equal wronged in the past. A continuation of the policy will diversify campuses and will NCLB perpetuates the problem of low ed- shot at economic success.

ROVING REPORTER

Should ethnicity be considered by colleges in admissions?

PHOTOS BY SEKINAH SHIWOKU / LA VISTA

“No, because it should be based on mental capacity and knowledge instead of what you are.”

“No, because it is unfair if colleges base decisions on race or religion.

“No, I believe in a blank slate. It should be based on what a person has accomplished academically.”

“No, because everyone should get an equal opportunity to college  admission.”

“No, because it is unfair to those that work hard but don’t qualify  for  affirmative  action.”

Kim Kolton Junior

Allyson Sandoval Sophomore

Tim Kelly Math Teacher

Andy Donatelli Freshman

Ca’Che Jones Senior


8

La Vista

LIFE

October 14, 2011

Mira Costa senior Chris Kuo rolls away from two lung collapses BY CARLY MONTAN LIFE EDITOR

Tragically,   a   second   collapse   in the same lung occurred this year  in  September  during  the  first   Costa senior Chris Kuo builds week of the school year. Again, his life around piano, church and the pneumothorax was unsolicitbeing an active student, but two ed, but this time it was more painsudden lung collapses have tem- ful and harmful to Kuo. porarily halted his life progress. “I cannot inhale smoke, and I On Nov. 25, 2010, Kuo’s must stay away from any strenufriends and family were shocked ous activities such as tennis, to discover that his left lung went which I play at Costa,” Kuo said. through a 38% pneumothorax, In order to help Kuo breathe which is more commonly known properly, doctors performed suras a collapse of the lung. Since gery  to  remove  the  fluid  that  had   Kuo had been healthy until this accumulated in his lungs. At the affliction,  his  doctors  at  Torrance   same time, a second preventative Memorial Hospital deduced that surgery in which his lungs were it was a spontaneous collapse stapled to their inner lining keeps with no apparent cause. his  lungs  from  deflating. “After   the   first   lung   collapse,   “Although surgery is a frightI could not do a lot of activities ening event, I did not want to see for 2 to 3 months afterward,” Kuo my other lung collapse in the fusaid. “I did not want to cause an- ture,” Kuo said. other collapse anytime soon.” Kuo was admitted to the hosPneumothorax is a medical pital on the day of the collapse condition in which the space be- and had surgery two days later. tween the wall of the chest cavity This  left  a  couple  days  of  recovand  the  lung  fills  with  air,  causing   ery where he practiced breathing the rest of the lung to collapse. exercises.  These  stretches  helped   Kuo’s case was spontaneous, but re-­inflate  his  lung  and  rebuild  the   collapsed lungs are most com- muscles in his chest. monly caused by trauma to the “Chris was all ready to get back chest cavity. into class despite being in the “Chris was very brave through- hospital for a while,” Costa ecoout his entire situation,” senior nomics teacher Adam Gezci said. Ricky Wedeen said. “ Although “If he can do that, students with traumatic, he pulled through both lesser  issues  like  the  sniffles  and   collapses with determination. He coughs have no excuse for not is a true inspiration to his family, keeping up with their classes.” friends and peers.” Thankfully,  fellow  Costa  senior  

CARINA GLASSER / LA VISTA

CARINA GLASSER/ LA VISTA

BREATHING EASY: Senior Chris Kuo suffered two left lung collapses over the past two years. Since his release from the hospital, Kuo has been unable to participate in strenuous physical activity. He focuses his time on keeping up with his academics and maintaining his love for the piano. Hannah Shuler delivered schoolwork to Kuo while he was hospitalized so that he could be prepared for the number of tests he had to make-up upon his return. “I’ve known Chris since elementary school, so I knew I had to help him in some way when he was sick,” Shuler said. “I really care about my friend, so I brought him his school work and a getwell-soon cake.” With no further treatments,

Kuo is slowly building back his life. He regularly attends two different churches and a youth group that participates in community service  affiliated  with  Habitat  for   Humanity, which meets on Friday and Sunday. “I like my church and youth group  because  I  can  find  support   and love there,” Kuo said. “It is an   environment   that   I   can’t   find   anywhere else.” Constricted to minimal move-

ment, Kuo’s study of the piano is a main focus in his life. He can play and express himself without losing his breath or ripping his   staples.   Those   who   are   close   to Kuo are just glad that he’s all right. “If it were me with the collapsed lung, I would have been more apprehensive about the surgery,” Wedeen said. “Of course, he was the one reassuring me that he would be all right.”


LIFE

October 14, 2011

La Vista

9

ROLLA COSTA HOMECOMING COURT BY JULIANA HOFT STAFF WRITER The opportunity to participate in the Homecoming Court is an honor for 12 seniors. The students will dress up for spirit week, make a Homecoming video and dance at the annual pep rally, along with the football game and the dance the following night. Costa junior and seniors elected the couples highlighted in this story to the Homecoming court. Stephen Giovati and Kelsie Martel were both nominated by the Growing Great Club. Along with being the president of the Growing Great Club, Martel is also involved in Until There is a Cure Club and Letters of Love. Giovati is also in Team LA and is the starting running back on the football team. “I hope to bring enthusiasm and school spirit to Costa,” Martel said. “I am really looking forward to participating in the pep rally dance and the overall experience of being on the court.” The Student Government and the Mira Costa cheer and song team nominated Homecoming couple Alec Weaver and Riley Versfelt, respectively. Along with her involvement in cheer, Versfelt is also a devoted member of Friendship Circle. Weaver has been involved in Student Government for three years, president of Team LA and plays varsity football and lacrosse. “I am looking forward to dancing with all the couples at the performance for the Homecoming Pep Rally,” Versfelt said. Club 2012 nominated Trent Fuji, and Black Scholars Union nominated Ca’che Jones. Fuji

participates in Model United Nations, is the senior class president, the president of National Honor Society, and a member of the varsity swim team. Jones is an active member of Costa cheerleading and Charitable Couture Club. “We think that we will be able to bring our fun-loving personalities, sense of humor, grace and enthusiasm to the court,” Fuji and Jones said. “We are also both excited to dance with everyone at the  pep  rally  which  will  definitely   be a fun experience.” Eli Rivas, nominated by the Drama Department, and Mackenzie Austin, nominated by Model United Nations, are another excited couple on the court. Austin is the current ASB vice president, MUN secretary-general, an advisor on the Student Leadership Council, a student representative on the Manhattan Beach   Unified   School   Board,   on   the Costa varsity basketball team, and president of the Young Republicans’ Club. Rivas plays varsity football, Drama Club vice president, the Improv Club president, Comedy Sportz team member, member of Latino Scholars Union and a member of MUN. “I will bring the noise, bring the funk, bring the heat and bring the carne asada,” Rivas said. “You want it? I’ll bring it. Real talk.” Michael Diaz and Haley Orzeck were both nominated by Baja Club. Orzeck is one of the Co-Presidents of Baja Club along with Diaz. He is also involved in National Honor Society, California Scholarship Federation, Latino Scholars Union and is the senior class vice president on Student Government.

Prince Eli Rivas and Princess Mackenzie Austin

CONNOR WRIGHT/ LA Vista

LOOP-DA-LOOP: ASB campus morale junior Danielle Kay (Above) posts announcements for this year’s Homecoming events. The Homecoming King and Queen will be announced at halftime of the football game on October 22. “I am so excited about the big opportunity that I am given and the honor that it has brought me, and I hope to be as enthusiastic and spirited as I am capable of,” Orzeck said. The  final  couple  of  the  court  is   Travis Taylor and Victoria Torresboth of whom were nominated by Student Government. Torres participates in the Relay for Life Club, volunteers at Reading Partners, is a member in advanced dance, and is currently the ASB secretary. Taylor is Costa’s Student Government president, participates in track, ecology club and is the captain of the crosscountry team. “I look forward to bringing new energy and charisma to this year’s court and making Homecoming 2011 unforgettable,” Torres said. In the week of Oct. 10-14,

the court will participate in the Homecoming game and dance. Costa’s court must also participate in Spirit Week; Flannel Funday Monday, Tuesday Twin Day, Wizard Wednesday, Animal Fursday, and Green and Gold Day. However, the Court will be dressed up in costumes of different themes. Spirit Week is going to consist of the Homecoming Court games and participating in contests. “The Court will have their own fun little dress-up challenges, and to end the week, we will have an annual Homecoming Pep rally with performances by band, cheer and dance; intros by the winter sports team captains; and a special appearance by the Homecoming Court itself,” ASB campus morale junior, Danielle Kay said. ”

Prince Travis Taylor and Princess Victoria Torres

Motto: “Aint nothin betta.” Motto: “So much funk.” Mackenzie’s Favorite Movie: “My Best Friend’s Wedding” Victoria’s Favorite Movie: “Bridesmaids” Travis’ Favorite Hobby: Playing soccer Eli’s Favorite Band: Arctic Monkeys

Princess Haley Orzeck and Prince Michael Diaz Motto: “We are going to take you down Baja style.” Michael’s Favorite Movie: “Lion King” Haley’s Favorite Type of Music: Hip-Hop

Prince Stephen Giovati and Princess Kelsie Martel Motto: “We are like boogers; you just have to pick us.” Kelsie’s Favorite Movie: “The Notebook” Stevie’s Favorite Hobby: Football

After the Homecoming queen and king are announced at half time of the football game, there will be the Homecoming dance located in the Fisher Gym from 8 to12 p.m the following night, Oct. 22. The theme of this year’s Homecoming dance is “Rolla Costa.” The students will be able to play classic carnival games including a dunk tank for staff members and a funhouse. Snacks such as cotton candy and popcorn will be provided throughout the night. “ASB went off of the red and white tent theme, along with other typical attractions that would be found at an old-fashioned carnival,”commissioner of entertainment Makenna Knudson said. “I am looking forward to how everything turns out, and I hope a lot of people attend.”

Princess Ca’che Jones and Prince Trent Fuji Motto: “We go hard in the paint.” Trent’s Favorite Movie: “Avatar” Ca’che’s Favorite Type of Music: R&B, Hip-Hop and Pop

Princess Riley Versfelt and Prince Alec Weaver Motto: “We’ll brighten your day!” Alec’s Favorite Movie: “Inception” Riley’s Favorite Music: Anything that is fun and happy.


12 La Vista

LIFE

October 14, 2011

Costa  English  teacher  Alan  Zeoli  clarifies   the kung-fu-sion in and out of the classroom BY ELIZABETH KNEISLEY STAFF WRITER

be ended quickly with as little damage as possible done to the body. It takes years of training to master the sport. “I honestly don’t anticipate getting   into   fights;;   I   really   find   that   what is most meaningful to me are the ways that the practice of

“Practices can be rough and physical, but in my opinion, the study of Aikido is like the study Many adults stay in shape by of  literature:  there  is  no  fixed  endrunning or lifting weights, but point when one has exhausted the few know about the rigorous art possibilities,” Zeoli said. of Aikido. No matter what move he is perAlan Zeoli is not an ordinary fecting or what book he is analyzMira Costa English teacher; he ing, Zeoli knows that also has a unique passion for this “I like to share with my students there is always more to martial art. He shares the lessons that I have someone that I look up improve upon. he learns from practicing Aikido “One cannot say that to and to learn from.” with his family and students. he   has   completely   figZeoli attended UCLA for his ured literature out and English teacher Alan Zeoli bachelor’s degree and later atthat there is nothing tended Pepperdine University Aikido has application in daily more to think about. The process where he obtained his master’s life,” Zeoli said. “For example, is much more important than the degree. He is now in his 10th year rather than trying to resist some- product; the road is more interof teaching and currently teaches thing straight on, the idea is to esting  than  the  final  destination,”   freshman and AP English. keep one’s equilibrium and bal- Zeoli said. “I have been doing martial arts ance to solve the problem.” Zeoli practices Aikido in Torfor about seven years,” Zeoli said. Aikido, like all other martial art rance two to three times a week. “My close friend and former col- forms, takes practice, concentra- Sometimes he practices with his league, William Brown, has been tion, motivation and discipline. two   sons.   Brown   has   influenced   studying Aikido, a form of mar- Zeoli explains that when a martial Zeoli by expressing his view on tial arts for many years, and he art   fighter   is   on   the   mats,   he   has   the philosophy behind Aikido and persuaded me to check it out.” to be present mentally and physi- being an extraordinary teacher of Aikido is a defensive art form cally; otherwise, he will get hurt. the art form. that includes many submission The competitor has to focus on “It isn’t so much that I was locks, holds, kicks and punches. his attacker and be prepared for looking to try a martial art that Its  form  is  designed  so  a  fight  can   the next move. made me take up this practice, but rather, the way that Brown explained what he was doing that piqued my interest,” Zeoli said. The most valuable experience Zeoli has gained from participating in Aikido is to appreciate constructive criticism. In the classroom, for example, instead of reacting angrily from a poor grade on an exam, a student can learn from his or her previous mistakes to improve herself greatly. “I like sharing with my students that I have someone that I look up to and learn from,” Zeoli said. “I have someone into whose hands I LELAND LESNEVER/ LA VISTA can put myself with such trust that AIKIDO-KEE: English teach Alan Zeoli participates in the highly rigorous mar- I simply say, ‘Thank You’ when I am taught something.” tial art of Aikido and uses what he learns from it while teaching his classes.

SEKINA SHIWOKU/ LA VISTA

SMART GUY: The daunting challenge of going through high school is divided by 12-year-old freshman Sam Reinehr. He is in many advanced classes.

Youngster on Costa campus ic memory. He has the ability to visualize information after he has seen it. It takes him only one time Sam Reinehr is not your aver- of learning something to have it age freshman. After testing out stick with him forever. of 2nd and 7th grade, Reinehr “I  find  it  interesting  that  somehas entered Costa as a 12-year- one so young is taking classes that old freshman, with a challeng- upperclassmen take,” sophomore ing course load and a spot on the Wesley Smart said. wrestling team. Reinehr’s strongest subject in In  his  first  year  of  high  school,   school is math. He is currently Reinehr has already taken on a competing in a competition run difficult   schedule.   A   few   of   his   by the United States of America hardest courses include pre-cal- Mathematics Talent Search. It culus, chemistry, AP music theory consists   of   five   extremely   diffiand Latin. cult problems, one of which takes “Remembering things comes almost a month to complete. really easily to me, but only if it Reinehr is also competing in an is something that interests me,” upcoming math worldwide comReinehr said. “I really enjoy math, petition run by the American Reand to me it is an honor to be able gional Mathematics League. to attend Mira Costa so early in “Sam has really inspired me to my life. I know taking classes at be the best student that I can posCosta will lead to future success sibly be. He is already competing in life.” in an international math competiReinehr has a passion for Costa tion,  a  difficult  task  that  few  kids   wrestling. He joined the wrestling accomplish,” junior Kira Hagateam last summer and decided to man said. stick with it through his freshman Although Reinehr has a busy year. Due to its no-tryouts policy, life in and outside of class, he the team consists of roughly 70 manages to keep his stress level wrestlers, of which at least 30 are relatively low. He makes sure to freshmen boys. make time to do the things he en“I think that it is awesome that joys such as video games and goSam is already taking classes at ing on the computer. Mira Costa,” senior Kelsie Martel “It is pretty amazing that Sam said. “His intelligence will really is only 12 years old and is already help represent our school.” a freshman at Mira Costa high Reinehr also has a photograph- school,” Smart said. BY ALLIE WELZEL STAFF WRITER

A healthy lifestyle made easy with the help of Vitality City BY NICK BLOCK STAFF WRITER

helps determine which programs are need- bus forms walking groups for children died in the three beach cities. rected by one or two volunteers. “Research is a major factor in Vitality Vitality City volunteers have found that Get your vitals here! The secret to liv- City’s decisions,” co-leader of Bike Project these programs help with exercise and soing healthier and longer is out with the in- Dawn Wilcox said. “New bike lanes and cializing in the community. troduction of Vitality City, which plans on bike racks have the possible long term ef“Vitality City has discovered that social implementing bike paths and racks in the fect of increasing people’s life spans.” networks can help you live longer,” Hoary South Bay. Leadership Manhat“I hope that adding bike lanes and bike racks The Vitality City committee is respon- tan Beach, an organizasible for some of the most recent health tion focused on willing to the city will help take cars off the road.” programs in Manhattan Beach, Redondo leardership qualities in Beach and Hermosa. Backed by intensive local students, has been Senior Travis Taylor research, Vitality City has taken an initia- working hand-in-hand tive to better understand that small changes with Vitality City to install bike rack’s said. “As you age you tend to have fewer in people’s behavior can lead to longer and throughout the community. With the instal- friends to do outdoor activities with, so healthier lives. lation of bike racks in beach cities, Lead- through a strong network you have more “Vitality City gives the resources that ership Manhattan Beach hopes that more of an incentive to stay active.” make it easier to make healthier choices,” people will have a safe place to park their Vitality City is also responsible for the Bike Rack Group leader Bill Hoary said. bikes. However, since more people have implementation of a program to create betNational Geographic and Vitality City been riding their bikes for exercise, there is ter food choices. Restaurants and schools created The Blue Zones Project. Through an even greater need for more bike racks. this project, researchers have been identi“We only had enough funds to put in a fying which communities across the world limited supply of bike racks because the have large populations of people that reach plan is completely run by volunteers,” fathe age of one-hundred. Many of these cilitator of the Bike Rack Program Kathleen communities have a healthy environment Terry said. “There are a lot of people that without typical environmental issues such are asking for even more bike racks, so we as pollution, so the people live longer. are  glad  that  we  indentified  this  need  and   Researchers  have  identified  many  other   hope to impliment more in the future.” factors that contribute to a population’s Vitality City’s other programs include health, whether it is a small change in daily Maoi walking and walking school buses. routine or a difference in the environment Maoi walking allows neighbors to put tothat lead to healthier lives. This research gether walking groups. The walking school

have been considering healthier options for their menus and school lunches. The Blue Zone   researchers   have   identified   different   areas that create bad eating habits. “We have put a lot of thought into healthier eating habits,” Hoary said. “Vitality City has been encouraging restaurants to offer food on smaller plates and to make healthier desserts. “ LMB has recelntly focused on Vitality City projects. Such projects include: volunteer Mira Costa students who are eager to protect the environment and allow people to have healthy lifestyles. “I hope that adding bike lanes and bike racks to the city will help take cars off the road and decrease pollution levels,” senior Travis Taylor said. “If Vitality City works to its full potential everyone will be able to live healthier and longer lives.”


October 14, 2011

LIFE

La Vista

13

Alumni musical groups rock the Hometown Fair Band Battle BY KYLE KHATCHADOURIAN STAFF WRITER

Although talent for the Battle of the Bands comes from all over the South Bay, two current CosSouthern California’s South ta bands shined throughout the Bay has long served as a musi- event. Singer/Songwriter Brancal hub, pumping out hordes of don Hafetz and the dub/cover overwhelmingly talented bands band 310 both took to the stage to including Black Flag, Circle Jerks perform their set. and Suicidal Tendencies. “My band has not been togethThis past weekend, the 39th er that long, and it’s great to be annual Manhattan Beach Home- able to play with bands that have town Fair Battle of the Bands was been together for so long,” senior no exception from the musical Christian Rogers said. talent present in the Manhattan Mira Costa alumni band TemBeach community. poral   Love   won   first   place   for   With a $500 prize on the line, their performance and closed Costa student, alumni and other the battle of the bands competilocal bands gathered in hopes of tion with an encore performance. serenading the judges and right- The  judges  made  their  final  decifully receiving the hefty prize. sion based on Temporal Love’s “I believe the battle is a great “unique abilities” with the guitar opportunity for talented Costa and vocals. As Temporal Love students looking to get their name left the stage, the fair asked Mira out in the community,” junior Costa alumni and last year’s winJackson Webster said. ners of the competition, GoodfelThe Battle of the Bands com- las, to come back and play a show petition is an intrinsic part of the for the crowd to keep the musical Hometown Fair culture. In the vibe going. past, the competition has proven “I could not believe how good to be an essential starting point some of the bands were this year,” for many local bands’ eventual senior Nick Fender said. “It was a musical careers, including those really close competition.” of Costa alumni Allura, Three’s It was not until Temporal Love Company and Goodfellas. took to the stage that the audience “I  find  it  really  interesting  that   was treated to their old-school many Costa bands started out classic rock sound, inspired by playing small gigs like Battle of ‘60s and ‘70s musical artists like the Bands and were later able to Jimmy Hendrix. Brandon Hafetz become well known,” senior Mi- also joined Temporal Love on chael Cassen said. stage after a few songs. If the

fair’s stage manager had not told the group to end its set, Temporal Love would have had no problem playing until the fair closed. “I’ve played shows with Temporal Love before, and it was definitely a thrill to get to play with them another time,” Hafetz said. Brandon Hafetz played a morning set, during which he had no problem quickly drawing the attention of several fair-goers. Hafetz’s jam-packed show included three authentic numbers, including a new version of his original song, “Angel Eyes.” Hafetz did nothing short of pouring his heart out on stage as he performed solo. The atmosphere changed with his different and alternative style of music. “I won the Battle of the Bands last year, and it was great to be able to play again, to close the show,” Goodfellas Connor Morey said. “I encourage all young bands to paticipate.” Soon after Hafetz’s set, “Crime Scene,” a band of 12-year-olds, performed their own style of classic rock hits including “Dream On” by Aerosmith and “Heartbreaker” by Heart. Crime Scene ended the competition in second place and was awarded $250. Mira Costa band 310 found Crime Scene’s set hard to follow as they powered through some similar classic rock and modern

COURTESY OF BRANDON HAFETZ

COURTESY OF CHRISTIAN ROGERS

SHREDDING: (Top) Brandon Hafetz performs his early morning solo set. (Above) Recently formed Mira Costa band 310 rocks out a few cover songs. day covers. 310 played their part while on stage but could not muster up enough praise as the battle continued and more bands took the stage. “I have played in the Battle of

the Bands before, but I did not have   the   opportunity   to   get   first   place, until now. It’s a new year and my band and I knew what we had to do to win,” Temporal Love member Tyler Bozeman said.

Senior foreign exchange student Camilla Autorino says “Ciao” to Italy and “Hello” to Hermosa Beach and to Mira Costa High an American school and began to learn English. This was a priority in her family because Autorino’s When in Rome, do as the Ro- grandmother was originally from mans do; when in Manhattan the United States. In fact, AutoriBeach, do as Italian exchange no herself has dual citizenship in student, Camilla Autorino, would Italy and the United States. do. A 17-year-old Roman native, “When deciding which counAutorino, moved to the South Bay try I wanted to spend my fourth at the end of August to immerse year of high school in, I knew that herself in American culture. I wanted to be in a place where In four short weeks, Autorino English was spoken,” Autorino has become well-acquainted with said. “I’ve always spoken English the beach lifestyle of an average to my grandmother at home, so teenager in a Southern California I’ve always felt very comfortable beach community. when speaking the language.” Unlike most foreign exchange Originally, Autorino considstudents,   Autorino   speaks   fluent   ered spending a semester abroad English. Although she was born in New Zealand. However, when in Rome, Italy, her family moved her grandmother’s cousin, Linda to Romania when she was only Jo Nota, visited the Autorino four years old. family country home in Umbria, While in Romania, she attended Italy last year, she presented the BY ERICA SCHNEIDER LIFE EDITOR

idea of having Autorino come to her home in Hermosa Beach for her semester. She would not only have the opportunity to study abroad but also to live with a member of her family. “I was excited about the opportunity to come to Southern California,” Autrino said. “I especially liked the idea of being able to stay with a family member, and of course, I was looking forward to being near the beach.” Autorino has found that the school system in Italy is unlike the American system. For example, in Italy, students are placed into one of several different high schools depending on their abilities and career interests. The high schools are geared toward preparing students for their future occupations, rather

WILL GOODWIN/ LA VISTA

GRAZIE: Foreign exchange student Camilla Autorino is sucessfully integrating herself into the Costa senior class. She is enjoying her time in America through going to school and participating in beach sports like surfing and volleyball. Although Hermosa Beach has a very different culture from that in Italy, Mira Costa is making her transition smooth.

than a general college education. Schools   in   Italy   are   classified   as   Scientific,  Classical  Studies,  Arts,   Linguistics, or Trades. “I   attended   the   scientific   high   school,” Autorino said. “There, I was preparing to attend a university where I will study medicine, so I can eventually become a surgeon. Most colleges in Italy are not  that  difficult  to  enter,  but  the   medical colleges are known for being more selective.” Since coming to America, Autorino has also noticed differences in the social activities of teenagers here, versus those in her native country. For example, at the age of 16, Italian teenagers are given the opportunity of going to the local discos and pubs where they are permitted to order alcoholic beverages like wine and beer. In addition, teens can get licenses to drive scooters and “micro cars” at the age of 14. “It’s been interesting to see the differences in the culture here in America compared to what I am used to in Italy,” Autorino said. “The discos and locales in Rome are always packed with teenagers who love to dance. I’ve noticed that in California there aren’t many places like this for highschool-aged kids.” According to Autorino, there are other differences between her native country and the U.S. There, high school students are required to attend a gym class for

two hours a week in school, and sports leagues are privately operated through club teams outside of school. “I  find  it  really  interesting  that   sport activities are such a major part of the high school experience,” Autorino said. “In Italy, there is a separation between sports and academic work. “ For boys, popular athletic activities include soccer, rugby and crew, while girls often participate in  volleyball  and  track  and  field.   Autorino  played  on  a  field  hockey   team for four years, although it’s not known for being a very popular sport in Italy. “Since we don’t have high school sports teams, I’ve really enjoyed attending Mira Costa sporting events,” Autorino said. “I love attending the Costa football games because in Italy we don’t have American football. It was also really entertaining to watch the cheerleaders and the band; it’s so different from anything I’ve seen in my country.” Since her arrival in the U.S., Autorino has been enjoying other local   pastimes   such   as   surfing,   stand-up paddling and volleyball. Autorino plans to leave Mira Costa before the semester is over in order to celebrate the holidays with her family in Rome. “I have really enjoyed my stay in California so far. Mira Costa has helped me make a smooth transition into the American lifestyle,” Autorino said.


14

ARTS

La Vista

October 14, 2011

“Dark Souls” provides hours of fun, despite its punishing difficulty BY ZACK GILL ARTS EDITOR “Dark Souls,” the new video game by From Software, gives its players emotional sensations incredibly  similar  to  ones  experienced by people dealing with real life: everything from staggering frustration to the thrill of accomplishment. Video games have notably declined  in  difficulty  since  the  heyday of the arcades, so in an age where video games like “New Super Mario Bros” literally take over for struggling players during hard   levels,   the   infuriating   difficulty of action role-playing game “Dark Souls” is refreshing. “Dark Souls” is among the best video games of 2011 in providing players with a wonderful sense of discovery, surprisingly strategic gameplay, and fascinating online features, in addition to an incalculably  high  difficulty  level.     “Dark Souls” is a semi-sequel to   2008’s   Playstation-­exclusive,   “Demon’s Souls.” Both games consist of mostly the same gameplay (with some variation), have separate storylines and universes. The story of “Dark Souls” is incredibly vague and cryptic. Basically, the player controls an costumized Undead hero of his or her own creation who is supposed to rid a gothic-fantasy world of horrific  monsters  and  demons.

COURTESY VIDEOGAMES.TECHFRESH.NET

SOUL SEARCHING: With its incredible difficulty, From Software’s new action role-playing game, “Dark Souls,” does not provide the player with an in-game map or even the faintest idea of what to do next, but it does give the player an incredibly gratifying sense of accomplishment. Make no mistake: “Dark Souls” lives up to the hype that christened it as one of the hardest games of this generation. The game is brutal and unforgiving. If players accidentally attack merchants or other crucial non-player characters, they’ll be forced to   fight   them   to   the   death.  After   these characters are killed, they disappear from the game forever. There also is no way to reload past saves if a player makes a mistake because “Dark Souls” is constantly auto-saving to prevent exploitations.   Players   do   not   get   an in-game map, either. These

features make every little victory in “Dark Souls” euphoric for gamers. People play video games for gratification,   and,   despite   its   difficulty,  “Dark  Souls”  provides  the   most invigorating sense of accomplishment since the days of memorizing enemy layouts in arcade games. The game’s features almost feel conspiratorial in their difficulty;;   as   players   progress,   they actually feel as if they are outsmarting something greater than themselves. Although the game is primarily single-player, “Dark Souls” has

“NBA 2K12” scores with new features BY ALEX WHITE STAFF WRITER With a probable NBA lockout on the horizon, soon basketball players and fans alike   will   have   to   get   their   basketball   fix   from the virtual world. The newly released “NBA 2K12” is a wonderfuly designed game with more in-depth features and realistic gameplay than ever. 2K Entertainment puts out an “NBA 2K” game every year. Improvments have been made on the already-great aspects of the game, like the “My Player” mode and the association mode. Compared to last year’s edition, “NBA 2K12” builds off the good and eliminates the bad. The “NBA 2K” series has been the best selling NBA video game franchise for several  years  now.  The  series  was  first  released   in 1999 and has gained fans steadily over time and is now the most popular name when it comes to basketball video games. In a world where video games are getting  endlessly  more  complex,  “NBA  2K12”   maintains an impeccable attention to detail. Even little things like broadcaster dialogue has  become  more  interesting  and  specific.   The menu layout is still easy to navigate, and a new home screen makes access to your favorite game modes a breeze. As far as game play goes, things are mostly the same. One featured improvement was the shot stick. Now the vast array of shot types and layups that a player can do with simple joystick movements is amazing. Designers also made the teammates and opposing players much smarter on both sides of the ball. Defensive players are better at dropping off bad shooters and not buying pump fakes as often as in previous 2K games. Perhaps   the   most   exciting   new   feature   of the game is the NBA’s greatest mode. Players can choose from 15 NBA legends

COURTESY HRY-NA-PC.CZ

SLAM DUNK: “NBA 2K12” builds 9pon the sucessful basketball video game franchise by adding realism and depth to its gameplay. and play a historic playoff game to unlock the chosen player’s team. This classic game has the ultimate old-fashioned style with an old-school scoreboard and courts without three-point lines. Driving the lane with Gail Goodrich and giving a quick pass to Wilt Chamberlain in the Los Angelesfabulous Forum is a pure delight. Most people’s favorite feature of the NBA 2K series is the “My Player” mode, which has many new improvements. The created player’s salary now plays a larger role and gamers can spend cash on skill points and other items to improve their game. The game is not without its faults. The pace is very realistic and may be a tad too slow for some players. The amount of   flashy,   highlight-­type   dunks   and   other   cool plays has gone down again to make the game more life-like. “NBA 2K12” has a  very  steep  learning  curve,  making  it  difficult for new players to get used to the style of play and controls. With great gameplay and new features,“NBA 2K12” is the best NBA video game on the market. “NBA 2k12” is available in stores nationwide for $60.

a lot of multiplayer functionality that it shares with predecessor “Demon’s Souls.” Players can leave messages of advice (be it truthful or otherwise) that will show up in other players’ campaigns. Players end up relying on these messages heavily, which often warn of traps or bring hidden treasures to light, in addition to providing a bizarre sense of community and comaraderie. Players can also invade each other’s   games   to   steal   experience points from each other, and in a feature new to “Dark Souls,” players can also summon friendly

players to help them tackle bosses. There’s something invigorating in realizing that players aren’t alone as they progress through “Dark Souls.” Combat is simple but satisfying   and   surprisingly   fluid.  While   players pretty much only get two attacks - a normal attack and a slower, strengthened attack - they must also take positioning into consideration. Downright evil AI means enemies are programmed to swarm and charge players. Nothing quite compares to the thrill of luring enemies out and taking control of a dangerous situation in “Dark Souls.” Skillful players can also parry attacks and perform deadly backstabs to add more and more depth to create some   surprisingly   complex  combat for a game with attacks. Difficulty   is   going   to   be   the   deciding factor of “Dark Souls” for a lot of people. “Dark Souls” doesn’t   explain   its   mechanic   to   gamers, nor does it clearly tell them what to do. Some gamers will   find   a   rewarding,   enriching   experience  that  will  change  their   view of video games as an art form and at how they draw emotional responses from players. Others will   find   that   they   purchased   a   $60 paperweight after they quit “Dark Souls” 15 minutes in. “Dark Souls” is rated M and is available in stores nationwide for the  Xbox  360  and  Playstation  3.  


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October 14, 2011

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Bjork’s “Biophilia” exceeds hype BY ALEC MARCHANT STAFF WRITER The multimedia project and eighth studio album from the Icelandic queen of experimental dance-pop, Bjork, embraces innovation and creativity with open arms. Bjork’s latest album, “Biophilia,” stays true to her character and has no qualms with expressing herself and venturing into unknown musical territories. Bjork came into the spotlight in the ‘90s with heavy beat-based material and anything but ordinary public behavior. Seven albums, two children and one swan dress later, Bjork began work on her newest album: 10 songs that correspond to their own individual iPad apps titled “Biophilia.” Bjork covers a wide range of earthy topics with this new album. However, this album has a different feel than previous ones. More mature and less defined,   “Biophilia”   has   a   murky   atmospheric discomfort that gives the album a very raw and personal ambience. Bjork uses her standout voice more mysteriously, catching the listener’s attention with small and layered sounds. She then expands that same sound into a cacophony of magic with the bouncing and beating of bass and synth. All these components combine to create something unheard before. Opening up with “Moon,” a lullabylike track which comments on the moon’s cycles, Bjork gives a crystal clear image of what is to come on the rest of the tracks. Ominous tones, sharp noises, and erratic voice   fluctuations   are   foreshadowed   the   moment Bjork capriciously uses her unusual voice to enhance the simplicity of her melody in the song’s chorus. With the obvious standout tracks “Crystalline” and “Mutual Core,” she experiments with different musical styles such as drum and bass, acapella and all the pseudo pop worldly overtones that have always been associated with Bjork. She uses her Icelandic mystique to her advantage for this album and allows it to transpose into the music, creating a more invited rhythm. Bjork has created her own instruments to further her unique sound. One of them, called the Sharpsichord, a gigantic circular rotating harp, uses 11,520 pins and needles on a giant spinning wheel to cre-

ate a stringy noise. The Sharpsichord is one more reason to extol Bjork and praise her inexplicable immunity to failure. Three of the 10 iPad apps, “Virus,” “Crystalline” and “Moon,” have been released, allowing an up-close look into the life and musical background of Bjork. She and her close team of artists and thinkers have created something beautiful: interactive editions of the songs containing essays, games, art and instruments. Points of creativity, innovation, talent and design all touched, “Biophilia” is a masterpiece. Bjork has done it again, taking such simple everyday occurrences and transferring them into beautiful melodies. “Biophilia,” while not everybody’s cup-oftea, gives hope to a seemingly decaying period for music, that artists, no matter their age, can bring something new to the table. “Biophilia” was released on Oct. 10 and is available on iTunes and stores nationwide. “Biophilia” apps are available on the Apple App Store.

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ICELANDIC INDIVIDUAL: “Biophilia,” Icelandic art rocker Bjork’s first new album in four years, continues her streak of innovative and tunefully experimental albums.

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BLAST OFF: Indie rock band We Were Promised Jet Packs (left to right: Michael Palmer, Darren Lackie, Sean Smith and Adam Thompson) continue to please fans with the new album “In the Pit of the Stomach,” which features greater experimentation than their debut release.

We Were Promised Jetpacks’ album “In the Pit of the Stomach” impresses become  more  fluid  and  mature,  which  adds   quality to the band’s sound. Most of the band’s creative tunes come soley from the band’s instrumentation. The Since their discovery on MySpace, it has guitar work does not stray far from its postbeen nothing but smooth sailing for indie punk roots, but it does build more of an rock band We Were Promised Jetpacks, atmosphere, varying its jagged lines into and the journey continues with their sophomore of a wash at times. more album, “In the Pit of the Stomach.” A track that completely unfurls, like The band’s debut album, “These Four “Boy in the Backseat,” gains more from Walls,” features playful, introspective lyrexploding while staying structured, rather ics paired with fast-paced rhythms and than building up throughout the track. noise-rock guitar riffs. “In the Pit of the While the band is improving its sound Stomach” takes the energy found in “These and adding tone within its scope, it needs Four Walls” and launches it in a new directo watch the line between a consistent tion. The album shows the band is maturaesthetic and a repetitive album. Similar ing without losing its original sound. “Medicine,”  the  first  single  from  the  new   sounding songs throughout “In the Pit of record, is a clear example of the new path the Stomach” don’t necessarily equal cothat the band is heading toward. The song herence, but rather, unoriginality. It seems like the band has realized its sticks to head-nodding beats and steadily sound on just its second album, but it still builds up to a feverishly catchy chorus. has plenty of space to explore. The song The original noise-rock sound is still there, “Act on Impulse” toys with expectations. especially toward the end of the track. It grows patiently but resists a full release However, We Were Promised Jetpacks at  the  first  expected  peak.   finds   themselves   looking   for   innovative   More intriguing, the early part of the ways of conveying their brand of indie song suggests the sort of explorations the rock. Glockenspiels have been cast off for band could make within tighter limits, cresynthesizers, which hum under guitars and ating more effective music with an expandgive an ‘80s vibe to the album. ed palette but in a decreased space. The track “Pear Tree” reveals the proWe Were Promised Jetpacks may have gression of We Were Promied Jetpacks. found their style for now, but this album The fundamentals are still able to be heard, hints that nothing has settled yet. “In the Pit however, and the band gives more comof the Stomach,” released Oct. 4, is availposition to the song. Playing with more volume and structure allows the track to able on the internet and stores nationwide. BY KATIE BARGER MANAGING WEB EDITOR

Feist perfectly utilizes nature to express emotion in new album “Metals” BY JAKE MAHR THEME EDITOR When digging into the history of solo musicians, one will often  find  fluctuations  in  an  artist’s   popularity with the release of a new album. Feist, however, only seems to be able to escalate her position in the music industry. Feist’s fourth album, “Metals,” propelled her into a higher realm of the musical world. With an incredible incorporation of nature and an extensive variety of moods and feelings, Feist has outdone herself with this new collection of tracks. From starting out with a shaky first  album,  “Monarch  (Lay  Your   Jeweled Head Down),” to becoming an overnight sensation with her hit single “1234,” Feist has transformed herself into one of the top solo artists of our time. The Canadian singer-songwriter has performed as a solo artist and as a member of the indie rock group Broken Social Scene, but has received the most attention as

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SHE FEELS IT ALL: Singer-songwriter Jessica Feist’s new album, “Metals,” derives a variety of complex emotions from listeners, transitioning from tuneful grace to dissonant sorrow. an individual. Her second album, “Let  It  Die,”  and  her  third,  “The   Reminder,” were critically acclaimed and won Feist numerous Grammy awards and other noteworthy nominations. From the stark landscape featured on the album cover, to the lyrics and instruments used in each of the songs, the idea of

nature is employed profoundly throughout the album. This is seen in moments such as when she describes a sunset as the joining of a circle and a line in “The Circle  Married  the  Line.” The theme of nature and the mystical world it embodies combined with Feist’s dreamy, acute voice brings in a sound similar to

that of Florence + the Machine without an English accent. This resemblance is seen in songs such as “A Commotion,” which incorporates a slightly darker side that can be found in most Florence + the Machine songs. The array of feelings and emotions that are used within the songs span to the extremes of joy and sorrow. On one side of this spectrum is the beginning of the album, which includes the songs “The Bad in Each Other” and “Graveyard.” This part of the album has a more upbeat, energetic, stomp-to-the-rhythm feeling that contrasts beautifully with the end of the album. Although the pace slows down after  the  first  five  tracks,  there  is   no decrease in quality. Feist does a perfect job arranging the different strings and vocals to coincide with the rhythms that stand out so well in the album. Feist also isn’t afraid to allow a little anguish and sorrow seep into a few of her songs. The track “Anti-Pioneer” reveals the dilem-

mas brought about by post-nationalism and dwells on the image of  how  our  “flag  changes  colors.” The more jubilant portions of the album occur during the selfexplanatory “Bittersweet Melodies” and the song “Comfort Me,”  which  is  filled  with  a  large   congregation of singers who help Feist brighten up the mood during the numerous chants. The closing song on the album, “Get it Wrong, Get it Right,” expresses Feist’s effort to connect this album back to a simpler, more natural world. The combination of the nonchalant jingling that occurs in the background accompanied  by  Feist’s  nature-­filled  lyrics   sets the song up perfectly to drive that more rustic feel she has been striving for. “Metals” transcends the listener into a state of tranquility. The panoply of feelings that range from euphoria to utter sorrow and confusion create a diverse listening experience. “Metals” is available in stores nationwide and as an internet download.


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October 14, 2011

The sixth season of “Dexter” reflects the realities of its stars BY LUKE TRIMBLE STAFF WRITER “There are times in our lives when everything seems to go wrong; despite our best efforts and for no apparent rhyme or reason, tragedy strikes, and there are other times when everything goes just perfect.” These words, spoken by Michael C. Hall’s Dexter Morgan, forsensic blood spatter analyst by day, serial killer by night, perfectly emobody the start to the newest season of “Dexter.” America’s favorite serial killer has returned to take a slice out of Sunday evenings for the sixth year. This season presents Dexter in a different, increasingly human light. The writers have decided to tackle religion this year, and this presents an unlikely dilemma: what exactly does a serial killer believe in? Viewers gain unique insight into the moral bindings of one of television’s darkest minds. This season shows the results of Dexter’s examination of his own morale code and the principles of religion. Oddly, his life has aligned in such a way that everything seems to be looking up for Dexter. Hopefully it will this way.

To further these sudden changes of fortune, the writers revisit the memories of Dexter’s high school days, providing more detail into his tortured early life. Unsurpsringly, Dexter Morgan made it through high school generally unnoticed; however, his adulthood transformation attracts the attention of almost everyone in his graduating class. During Dexter’s high school reunion he is forced to keep his composure in the limelight of his old   classmates.   He   finds   himself   in a position most serial killers do not  wish  to  find  themselves  in. With the growing popularity of “Dexter,” the actors involved become increasingly scrutinized by the public, and their personal lives prove to be equally entertaining. In January of 2010, Hall was disagnosed with Hodgekin’s Lymphona but announced that he was cancer-free later that year. While the authenticity of Hall’s post-chemo hair might come into question, the break up between on-screen siblings Dexter and Debra (Jennifer Carpenter) remains a subject of curiosity. The new season offers viewers the first  chance  to  see  if  the  chemistry between post-divorce Hall and Carpenter will remain succesful.

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DARKLY DREAMING: Fan favorite Showtime program “Dexter” returns for a sixth season with Michael C. Hall’s reliable performance as the titular serial killer, as well as guests Edward James Olmost and Colin Hanks as new villains. What can only be imagined as incredibly awkward for the pair translates to continued television gold; there is notably diminished shared camera time and general discomfort seems apperent. Looks of unease creep across Carpenter’s face in multiple scenes. This habit is argued by audiences whether its simply thespian abilities or genuine emotion. Only time will tell if the newly single couple can continue its on-screen magic. Besides Debra’s sudden degra-

dation, the rest of the cast delivers the solid acting performances audiences have come to expect. Whether he’s boogying to ‘80s classics or electrocuting crooked paramedics, Hall plays the role of Dexter  Morgan  flawlessly.   Each actor steps into his or her character so naturally that its entirely plausible that a real-life serial killers could emulate the dark passenger. The absence of any real suspense thus far is overshadowed by the looming threat of a possibly apocalyptic (as well

as religious) killing duo (Edward James Olmos and Colin Hanks). Audiences can only expect greater things to come given the track record of previous seasons. This season will not mark the end of the show, as many audiences believed it would. With a seventh season recently ordered, hopefully the show’s writers will begin to work towards an ending that fully captures the iconic character. “Dexter” needs to work towards a conclusion. It airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. on Showtime.

Showtime’s new TV thriller “Homeland” features exemplary writing and performances BY ARI HOWORTH STAFF WRITER

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CAN I GET YOU’RE NUMBER?: In “What’s Your Number?,” Anna Faris terribly portrays the dumb-blond character that she typically plays

“What’s Your Number” is a flop BY AMANDA NEWELL \\ STAFF WRITER

The majority of current psychological or political thriller series attempt to encompass large and pertinent subjects, a task commonly too large to be pulledoff effectively; however, this is not the case with Showtime’s new drama, “Homeland.’ “Homeland” proves to be intelligent and compelling through its grueling depiction of the repercussions of war, its chilling portrayal of mental instability and its heartwarming representation of love between a reunited family. “Homeland” follows Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), a stubborn and hardworking Central Intelligence Agency analyst on the outs with her co-workers. Mathison suspects Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody (Damien Lewis) of being an operative of Al Qaeda upon his rescue after eight years as a prisoner of war.

The show is reminiscent of a less action-packed but smarter version of Fox’s hit, “24.” The pilot contains explicit language, violence, and nudity, as warranted by the freedoms of premium cable channel Showtime. “Homeland” is Showtime’s highest rated pilot in eight years. Danes’ performance is the strongest aspect of the show. Her character handles her extremely stressful job with stubbornness and determination. On top of this, she deals with a mental health disorder similar to depression. Danes gives the character an interesting new depth as it is slowly revealed that Mathison may be mentally unstable. Lewis compliments Danes’ excellence with his own stellar performance. Though pre-war Brody is not seen by the viewer, it is heavily implied how much he has changed and how war extremely affected him. Lewis portrays him as almost evil, yet adds a tragi-

immensely. With an unsatisfactory and completely predictable ending, viewers ultimately reRomantic comedies all follow ceive a stereotypical lovey-dovey the same outline: the girl predict- romantic comedy, lacking any ably falls in love with the “good creativity or originality. guy” that was there for her all There is nothing endearing or along. Director Mark Mylod’s relatable about any of the charac“What’s Your Number?” does ters. The main characters and supnot stray from this trend, making porting cast collectively lacked the movie a boring comedy and a depth contributing to their dull waste of time and money. performances. Evans’ character      Mylod’s  film  lacks  every  qual- portrays a typical playboy, which ity that an authentic and creative ultimately leads to his lackluster movie should have. The storyline performance. There is very little is completely predictable from character development, if any can beginning to end. Its foul humor be found at all. and   crudity   fall   flat,   with   very   Despite obtuse, vulgar humor few clever comedic moments to generally   dominating   the   film,   relieve them. there is the occasional scene with After a life of promiscuity, Ally clever banter and interplay beDarling (Anna Faris) convinces tween the cast. If only Faris and herself to revisit each of her exes Evans could branch out from their to see if she overlooked her soul- stereotypical roles, they would be mate. Along the way, Ally meets a lot more successful. Until then, her womanizing neighbor, Colin they will always be recognized Shea (Chris Evans). Ally and Co- as the brainless characters they lin track down her exes, and the choose to play. two of them advance their mis“What’s Your Number?” disapsion, as well as their relationship. points with its expected, overstatCOURTESY VIDEO.TVGUIDE.COM “What’s Your Number?” uses ed story line and a very overdone a clichéd and predictable setup. romantic ending. “What’s Your TERRORISM TANGO: Showtime’s new drama, “Homeland,” features stunning The  film’s  conflict  is  aimless  and   Number?” is rated R and playing performances from Claire Danes and Damien Lewis, as well as great writing, vague, botching the whole plot in theaters nationwide. direction and pacing.

cally remorseful feeling to the character, successfully gaining sympathy from the audiences. Because it is not on network television, “Homeland” features more adult content, a privilege that the network uses to its distinct  benifit.   The freedom of pay-cable allows it to make the atrocities of war more realistic and terrifying. It contains a few shocking scenes of Brody’s violent torture while being held prisoner that show the horrors of captivity, allowing viewers to fully empathize with Lewis’ experiences. Morena Baccarin is excellent as Brody’s wife, who has attempted to move on from Brody in his absence and has started a romantic relationship with his best friend. Baccarin oozes emotion at her seems, as the viewer realizes it is only a matter of time before the character cracks. Baccarin brings forth this varied array of emotions in an uncomfortable but truly hard-hitting scene in which she sees her husband’s   torture   scars   for   the   first   time. Homeland’s script is anything but predictable. Each plot point adds an unsuspected twist and intense advance into the story. The dialogue is clever, especially in regards to the witty banter between Mathison and her former boss and friend, Saul Berenson (Mandy Patinkin). “Homeland” has so far proven to be an engaging treat for fans of psychological or political thrillers with strong performances. “Homeland” airs on Showtime on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.


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October 14, 2011

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“Dream House” foundation crumbles BY ALEC MARCHANT STAFF WRITER A critically acclaimed director, ensemble cast and an intriguing thriller/horror premise all combine and work together in the newly released, “Dream House,” but  somehow  the  film  gets  terribly   lost along the way, resulting in a mediocre   film.   Best   described   as   a waste of talent, “Dream House” only provides the feeling that you have just wasted a night on the town  out  at  the  cinema. After moving into a seemingly idyllic new home, a family of four soon (Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Taylor Grear and Claire Grear) learns of a brutal crime committed against former residents of the   dwelling.   “Dream   House”   features interesting aesthetics and an entertaining premise but falls short  of  anything  worth  seeing. With bland writing and even drier acting, audiences are left with   nothing   to   be   desired.   Scene  after  scene,  the  film  seems   contrived and forced, “Dream House” is void of any creative ambivalence.  

The   film’s   director,   Jim   Sheridan,   director   of   acclaimed   films   “My Left Foot” and “Get Rich or Die Tryin,” was a promising addition  to  the  fall  project.  With  an   obvious track record of successful films,  Sheridan’s  “Dream  House”   should have had a locked-in audience  and  a  fantastic  story  to  tell.   However, it did just the opposite, and it ends in an abysmal failure that, toward the end of its production, alienated the director and  even  the  actors.  Poor  promotion from the studio further indicated a lack of faith in the quality of  the  film. The family, headed by Will Attenton (Craig), sets the story up to be  a  promising  thriller.  With  their   new house, new neighbors and new life, things equate to being nothing  but  boring.   The atmospheric set-up lasted about an hour too long and clouded the somewhat entertaining parts of the movie, resulting in greater ennui, and even more dislike  for  the  film.  Twist  after  twist,   the  film  loses  its  believability  and   becomes something of an unoriginal,  talentless  joke.  

With all plot elements put into perspective,  the  film  ends  with  its   story  in  a  full  conclusion.  Abruptly, “Dream House” comes to be one  of  the  worst  thrillers  of  2011.   A waste of time and money, Morgan   Creek   Pictures   does   nothing   more than create a movie that will most likely lose the company money,  respect  and  fans. All in all, the movie is everything it should not be, and the fact that both its directors and topbilled actors abandoned it, makes it   even   worse.   Taking   itself   too   seriously and starting with a slow beginning, only to lead to an even slower ending, “Dream House” is not  a  picture  worth  seeing.   Offering less than promised, “Dream House” began as something that could have created a fantastic   film-­going   experience,   but fails to resonate with die-hard thriller  and  horror  fans.   An embarrassment to the actors, to director Sheridan and to Morgan   Creek   Pictures,   “Dream   House” should be avoided by audiences.   “Dream   House”   is   now   playing in theaters nation-wide, and  is  rated  PG-­13.

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HOUSE CALL: (Left to Right)Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz portray the Attenton couple in Jim Sheriden’s new horror film, “Dream House,” which tries strives for intensity and terror but falls incredibly flat, displaying poor writing, lazy performances, and sloppy filmmaking.

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METALLIC MAYHEM: Hugh Jackman (right) trains a boxing robot in “Real Steel,” Sean Levy’s surprisingly entertaining new action film.

“Real Steel” packs a punch BY DYLAN FAIR ARTS EDITOR Trying   to   create   a   quality   film   centered   on   fighting   robots   is   a   challenging  task.  When  these  robots participate in a professional boxing  league  as  well,    audiences   of “Real Steel” can easily see the skill and talent required by director Shawn Levy and lead actor Hugh  Jackman. “Real Steel” shows a surprising amount  of  real,  organic  emotion.   Despite shameless product placement  and  a  clichéd  script,  the  film   is carried by a powerful performance  from  Jackman. “Real Steel” tells the tale of Charlie   Kenton   (Jackman),   a   washed   out   ex-­boxer   and   dead-­   beat dad who to make ends meet participates   in   robot   boxing   leagues  around  the  country.   Charlie’s   son   Max   (Dakota   Goyo) discovers an old, brokendown  training  robot  named  Atom.   This new companion unites the estranged father and son on their ultimate quest: to become World Robot  Boxing  champions.   “Real  Steel’s”  point  of  success   comes from the heartwarming relationship   between   Jackman   and   Goyo’s   charecters.   Their   ability   to connect on camera demonstrated by snappy banter and eventual tear-jerking acceptance is touch-

ing enough to keep audiences intrigued  and  fully  engaged.   The robotic designs are incredibly life-like, with each hinge, joint and ball-and-socket seemingly  serving  its  proper  function.   The   boxing   scenes   themselves   look  almost  as  genuine  as  fighting   robots probably can (most likely due  to  Sugar  Ray  Leonard’s  collaboration  with  the  film).   However, “Real Steel” has some  weak  points.  For  one,  its  impossible to look past the ludicrous amount   of   product   placement.   Watching   robots   powered   by   HP   computers  fight  while  Max  drinks   a  perfectly  positioned  Dr.  Pepper   is  shameful  to  say  the  least.   The most notable error in “Real Steel” is that an underdog story can only be told so many ways before  it  becomes  redundant.  Another minor fault of “Real Steel” is   a   very   conventional   script.   While strong acting can make up for many of its faults, transforming “Rocky” into a robot is something that simply cannot be ignored.   Despite minor setbacks, “Real Steel” is charecterized by strong chemistry  between  castsmembers.   This  film  perfectly  fills  its  niche,   an entertaining piece of cinema that can be enjoyed more than once.  “Real  Steel”  opened  on  Oct.   7  and  is  in  theaters  nationwide.

Clooney’s political drama “The Ides of March” fully utilizes all-star cast BY ISAAC SIEGMUND-BROKA STAFF WRITER

democratic presidential candidate Mike Morris  (Clooney).  Morris  and  Myer  work   in close quarters, along with the calculated It’s   hard   to   turn   on   the   TV   nowadays   and composed Senior Campaign Manager without being hit by a campaign bus of Paul  Zara  (Philip  Seymour  Hoffman).   political   propaganda   and   exaggerated   As Myer becomes dangerously involved controversies.  What  one  doesn’t  see  is  the   with   the   opposing   candidate’s   campaign   nauseating backside of politics, the corrup- manager,  Tom  Duffy  (Paul  Giamatti),  and   tion and grief that director George Clooney romantically involved with intern Molly portrays so well in his new political thriller, Stearns (Evan Rachel Wood), his life and “The  Ides  of  March.” Morris’  campaign  begin  to  crumble. Stephen Myer (Ryan Gosling) is the juIn  a  conversation-­oriented  film,  the  style   nior campaign manager for prospective and   substance   of   dialogue   is   key.   Intelligent,   finicky   dialogue   fills   the   skin   of   a   tense, winding plot that is as realistic as it is  nerve-­racking. “The  Ides  of  March”  is  an  intimate  film— the majority of the action is conversation between  two,  sometimes  three  individuals.   Politics   are   often   aggrandized   by   media,   but Clooney displays them on a personal level with interpersonal relationships and their  deterioration. To   imitate   the   current   era   of   extreme   political controversy, Clooney does a meticulously perfect job making “The Ides of March”  seem  frighteningly  legitimate.  The   sharp political debate, astute and sweeping speeches and continuosly pounding sense of tension all mimic that of a true presidential  campaign. COURTESY IMAGES.MOVIEPOSTERSHOP.COM Political  thrillers  usually  deal  with  matPOLITICAL PRATFALLS: “The Ides of March,” ters   of   corruption—right   versus   wrong   in   actor/director George Clooney’s newest film, a   political   environment.   While   “The   Ides   of March” unquestionably does this well, it captures the tension and drama of politics.

also considers the happy and sad aspects of politics.  Because  of  the  film’s  personal  nature,  characters’  emotions  are  not  discarded   for universal themes of corruption and evil but rather are highlighted and broadened to heartrending  proportions.   The heavily emotional side of “The Ides   of   March”   allows   its   cast   to   exhibit   seamless   acting.   Clooney’s   artful   control   of   facial   expression   reveals   both   genuine  

decency   and   a   vulnerable   morality.  Wood   captures  Stearns’  broken  mindset  with  convincing teary-eyed despair and a despondent  tone  of  victimized  helplessness. In “The Ides of March,” pessimistic intelligence and dramatic tension are combined in a uniquely personal take on modern elections  and  carried  out  by  an  exceptional   cast.  “The  Ides  of  March”  is  rated  R  and  is   playing  in  theatres  nationwide.

COURTESY WORDPRESS.COM

TURN THE BEAT AROUND: The Drums (Jonathan Pierce, Jason Graham, Connor Hanwick, Miles Matheny) bore listeners on new album.


18

SPORTS

La Vista

A closer look at “boom-shakalaka” and the voice of Mira Costa football BY HANNAH PROCTOR STAFF WRITER All Mira Costa football fans are familiar with the catch-phrase, “boom shakalaka,” yelled every time a major event occurs in the game, but the man behind the voice is far more interesting than the phrase itself. Patrick “Buzz” Burke, also known as “The Talk Guy,” has grown up in a musical background, working at radio stations with prominent music stars such as Neil Diamond. He has also been recognized for his speaking ability as a radio host and has been a speaker on radio shows on KLOS and KROQ, earning him widespread recognition from all of his fans. “I love to talk and announce, which makes this hobby incredibly fun for me,” Burke said. Burke became the announcer for both the Costa team and a semi-professional team, the South Bay Skulls, after his three children attended Mira Costa. His upbeat announcing at football games has entertained fans for 20 years. “It’s funny and he always knows what he is talking about because he’s been at the school for so long,” junior Connor Matthews said.

LELAND LESNEVER/ LA VISTA

TO BE ANNOUNCED: Mira Costa football announcer Patrick “Buzz“ Burke shows his enthusiasm for the school at the entrance of Waller Stadium . Burke has become a constantpresence at Costa games and the voice past and present students connect with the Mustang football team. “I think he is really entertaining,” junior Nick Matson said. “It’s great that we have a vibrant announcer like Mr. Burke to really liven up the games and get everyone involved.” The players on the team also appreciate the enthusiasm that Burke brings to the football games. The exciting announcing he provides at football games gives the team encouragement that it would not otherwise have. “One of the reasons why home games are so much better than away games is because of the

familiarity of it all,” junior Jack Hadley said. “Everything, including the familiar voice of our great announcer, gets us more excited for our games here at Costa.” Burke looks forward to many more years supporting Mustang football and continuing to bring his unforgettable catch-phrase to the ears of Costa students. He enjoys entertaining the crowd through his energetic and knowledgeable commentary and is glad that the Mira Costa football program has given him the ability to do so. “I look forward to helping Costa, not only with football, but with the school as well,” Burke said. “I love the Mustangs dearly, and I lend a hand in any way I can.”

October 14, 2011

SPORTS BRIEFS Cross Country On Oct. 8th, the Mira Costa boys and girls cross country teams ran at  the  Central  Park  Invitational  in  Huntington  Beach  for  the  first  time   in eight years. The  girls  team  finished  first  overall  in  the  race.  Senior  Kelli Sugimoto led  the  team,  finishing  third  overall  with  a  time  of  17:59,  and  senior   Jenna Tong finished   sixth   overall   with   a   time   of   18:13.   Sophomore   Abby Hong  followed  closely  with  a  time  of  19:10,  followed  by  senior   Vivien Cherrette,  who  finished  the  race  at  19:12. “We had never run this race before so it was new and exciting,” Sugimoto  said.  “We  performed  extremely  well  for  our  first  time.”   Costa boys placed second overall with senior Adam Perez placing ninth  overall  at  15:43  minutes.    Senior  Zachary Adler  finished  second   for  Costa  with  16:01,  followed  by  senior  Travis Taylor with a time of 16:03,    and  senior  Sammy Nunan at  16:18.   “We felt good about how we did as a team but not individually,” Perez said. “And we were pleasantly surprised with second place.” The next meet takes place on Oct. 22 at the Mount Sac Invitational.

Girls Tennis The Mira Costa girls tennis team packed their bags and hit the road Oct.  11  against  Peninsula  High  School  for  the  third  Bay  League  game   of the season. The girls suffered their worst loss of the year, dropping their  overall  record  to  7-­5-­1  and  their  Bay  League  record  dropping  to   1-­2.  The  Mustangs  lost  by  a  final  score  of  16-­2. “We need to improve on our accuracy for our volleys and our consistency,” junior Carly McGuire said. “We’ve had some issues maintaining focus, but overall I think we’ve been working really hard.” Costa was being shut out for most of the match until the last two sets, in which doubles pairs McGuire and junior Alex Waller as well as sophomore Sidney Ascher and freshman Mai Nojima were able to win  for  Costa  by  scores  of  6-­3  and  7-­6,  respectively. Costa looked to bounce back in the next match against rival Redondo on yesterday at home. Due to time of publication, however, scores were not available. “We’re going to work on a lot of reactions on volleys, serves, and returns,” McGuire said. COMPILED BY REBECCA HEXT/ STAFF WRITER AND RYAN ERICKSON/ SPORTS EDITOR

Soccer takes Král on intercontinental journey to new home at Costa BY REGAN ESTES SPORTS EDITOR

is in clubs,” Král said. “I played for a club in the city where I live called SFC OPAVA. After I leave America, I’ll need to join a Outside of the United States, soccer is new club and play in a league with men one of the most popular sports in the world. instead of playing with only other boys For Tomáš Král, soccer is what links him around my age.” to his new friends in America. This winter, Král plans to join the boys Král has come to America from the Czech varsity   soccer   team   as   either   a   midfielder   Republic and is spending one semester of or forward. Aside from his knowledge of his senior year at Mira Costa while staying soccer, Král brings an upbeat attitude and with a host family. dedication to his brand new team here at Král began playing soccer when he en- Mira Costa. tered  school  more  than  10  years  ago  in  his   “He grew up playing soccer and he folhome country. Because of soccer’s popu- lows the top teams in the world,” boys larity in the Czech Republic, Král and his varsity soccer coach Gary Smith said. “He neighborhood friends started playing soc- knows what good soccer looks like and he cer at a young age and eventually joined performs that way.” club teams when they were old enough and Král is looking forward to comparing his ready to play. whole experience in the United States to “At home, we didn’t have any school the life he had while living in the Czech teams, so the only way we can play soccer Republic. Král is excited to share his foreign talents with the Mira Costa boys varsity soccer team. “I’m curious,” Král said. “I don’t know anything about how well soccer is played here or how many spectators attend the games. I’m looking forward to comparing the whole soccer experience with [the] Czech [Republic].” Smith is optimistic about Král and the Costa season with him joining the team. He hopes that the skills and abilities that Král has developed while playing in his home country of the Czech Republic will help his teammates learn and develop as players and people. “Tomáš has a very good attitude and work ethic,” Smith said. “He is very respectful EMMA SALZMAN/ LA VISTA and friendly. He has good soccer skills and makes  smart  decisions  out  on  the  field.  The   JUST FOR KICKS: Senior Tomáš Král, born and players notice that and enjoy having him raised in the Czech Republic, fine tunes his soc- on the team. He deserves to play, and I’m glad to give him the chance.” cer skills at a varsity soccer practice.

NICOLE FISCHER/ LA VISTA

ACE IN AMERICA: Sophomore Paula Cenusa practices on the hard courts of Costa preparing for a Bay League match on Oct.6 against West Torrance.

Romanian-born student joins Costa BY CASEY SUBLETTE STAFF WRITER

“She   fits   in   well   with   the   team   despite   the cultural differences,” coach Joe Ciasulli said. “She plays very well under the Sophomore Paula Cenusa is a Romanian- circumstances.” born citizen who has developed a love for Preparing to come to America was not an tennis and is now a student at Mira Costa. easy task for Cenusa. In Romania, she atThe bilingual tennis player is adapting to tended a public school before transferring the school system, adjusting to life at Costa to the English-speaking Cambridge High and making many new friends. School where she learned English. After Cenusa has had a long journey from Ro- two years, she transferred to one of the top mania to the United States. She came to academic schools in Romania before movAmerica because of the greater possibili- ing to America with her family. ties with education and tennis. “I’d like to get into a college for tennis,” “Living in America is just what she Cenusa said. “If I don’t get in for that, I needs,” Paula’s mother, Mariana Cenusa, would like to for my other activities.” said. “It is a good way for her to develop as Outside of tennis and adapting to her a tennis player and as a girl.” new school, Cenusa has many hobbies inCenusa’s  6-­7  record  does  not  reflect  how   cluding acting, singing and writing poetry. she has been playing. She has had a hard “These are my passions,” Cenusa said. “I time transitioning from the clay surface in would like to turn them into more than that. Romania to the hard court surface here. These things make up my life.” “The   transition   has   been   difficult,”   CeNow in America, Cenusa’s future is in nusa said. “The ball slows down on the her hands and she has many opportunities. hard surface and is harder to get to.” Cenusa has made new friends and is adaptWhile in Romania, Cenusa had many ac- ing to the American culture. complishments. She was ranked 25th in the “I am happy to be a part of Mira Costa,” country and was the county champion of Cenusa  said.  “I  hope  I  can  fulfill  my  pasher home area three out of four years. sions here and contribute to the team.”


SPORTS

October 14, 2011

TEAM RECORDS Sport Overall Girls Tennis

Bay League

Wins Losses Ties Wins Losses Ties 7 5 1 2 1 -

Cross Country

-

-

-

-

-

-

Football

1

4

-

-

-

-

Girls Volleyball

7

6

-

3

0

-

Boys Water Polo

7

10

-

0

1

-

Girls Golf

9

0

-

2

0

-

TOP PERFORMERS

Chase Caprio (Senior) Football

Maddy Klineman (Senior) Girls Volleyball

Caprio ran for a touchdown in the loss at Chaminade on Sept. 30.

Klineman totalled 17 kills in the Mustangs’ win over Penninsula.

Sydney Ascher (Sophomore) Girls Tennis

Dylan Colbert (Senior) Boys Water Polo

Ascher won a match against Peninsula High School on Oct. 11.

Colbert’s   five   steals   helped   Mira   Costa beat Damien on Oct. 8.

La Vista

19

Mustangs’ four leading golfers shoot their way to top five finish in Knabe Cup Tourney BY AMANDA NEWELL STAFF WRITER The Mira Costa girls golf team selected to play in the Knabe Cup tournament on Wednesday. After six hours and 18 holes of golf, the girls beat out 18 other schools to finish  in  the  top  five. The girls’ successful placing in the tournament prepares them for their future CIF playoff games at the end of October. “We played real solid today,” coach Tim Kelley said. “Our scores are good enough for a post-season bearth. This play is giving us high hopes for the team we have here in the near future.” Costa’s record now stands at 9-0 for this season, and the team will wrap up its last few league games within the week. “For our next game, I’m hoping we break a score of 200,” Kelley said. “We have all set pretty high standards for ourselves and the team and, hopefully, we play our best against Peninsula.” Four of the team’s usual seven girls were selected to compete in the Knabe Cup Tournament. Kelley chose juniors Kari and Raquel Gordon, and sophomores Megan Kim and Mika Pascual because of their past individual experience with the tournament and the golf course. “I chose the top players of the team, girls that were most comfortable and already experienced with playing six hours in a row,” Kelley said. “The other three girls will   definitely   contribute   to   the   team throughout our post-season run at a CIF championship.” Kim led the Mustangs to their fifth-­place   finish   in   the   tournament by shooting a 73 on the par 74 course. Pascual followed with

LELAND LESNEVER/ LA VISTA

IT’S TEE TIME: Freshman Taylor St. Germain begins her swing on the opening hole of the Mustangs’ away match at Peninsula P.V.C.C. on Oct. 11. The Mustangs placed fifth overall in the Knabe Cup Tournament on Oct. 12. a score of 81 overall, and Kari and Raquel Gordon added scores of 83 and 88, respectively. “Overall, the team did well and came together as one to all do well collectively,” Kim said. “It felt really good at the end of the day to place  fifth  with  the  four  girls  we   took to the tournament.” As the team’s season comes to an end, the CIF Team Divisional Tournament will take place on Oct. 27, and the CIF matches for Individual Regionals, where the girls will have to qualify to compete separately, start on the 31st. “We are going to CIF in a few weeks, and I think that we are definitely  ready  as  a  team  and  individualy,” Kim said. “We have been preparing all season for this

opportunity,   and   I   am   confident   that we will do well and make a real solid run towards a title.” As for coach Kelley, he is fully aware that the team is playing at a high level and ready to move onto the CIF playoffs. “I believe we will have a couple of girls qualify for Individuals,” Kelley said. “As for CIF, I have high hopes for the girls, and I am confident  we  will  make  it  through   the  first  couple  of  rounds.  Win  or   lose, it’s a great experience for all of them to have.” The team’s next game following the tournament was Oct. 13 against Peninsula High School at Chester Washington golf course, but results were not available at the date of publication.

Balls of fury unleashed upon Costa Adam Perez (Senior) Cross Country

Jenny Johnson (Sophomore) Girls Golf

Perez placed ninth running 15:43 at the Central Park Invitational.

Johnson led the Mustangs with a score of 39 in their Oct. 4 win.

DIGITS

5 9 20

goals scored by waterpolo’s Matt Thorton against Damien.

consecutive games won by girls golf to start the season. inches: the length of hair on the head of cross coun-

try’s Adam Perez COMPILED BY RYAN ERICKSON, REGAN ESTES, RYAN AND ZANE FRANKLIN/SPORTS EDITORS

If ASB-sponsored sports tournaments were famous sports tournaments, then the Ping Pong Tournament would be Michael Vick’s dogfighting  ring.  The  entire  population doesn’t know about it, but the people who are involved are really hardcore. Seriously. Daniel Debevec works out his quads for those hard spikes. Dominic Costa’s obvious muscles? Ping Pong. He doesn’t even play football. At the Fifth Sense, we love watching the Ping Pong Tournament. But we’re sad that it has to end with a winner that’s only bested some Manhattan Beach locals. While some beg to differ, these cannot be the best of the whole world. So we’re doing something about it. After giving up on the idea of team sweatpants, we were

able to come up with the funds to send this year’s winner to China for the World Table Tennis Championship. However, this year’s WTTC will be sponsored by none other than us, The Fifth Sense. We’ve got quite the plan. First, we’ll be changing the location to the island from “Balls of Fury.” Unfortunately, due to budget constraints and international law, losing contestants will live. The second setback occurred when Christopher Walken informed us he wouldn’t be able to host the tournament until 2015 due to his sleep schedule. We’ll have to settle for the next best thing: Michael Cook. As contestants continue to move  up  the  ranks,  modifiers  will   be added to the rounds. Also, paddles will be replaced with iPads (watch Ben Dale sob),

playing in the library (watch Ms. Lofton sob) or being forced to actually watch “Balls of Fury” (watch society sob). With such a high-class tournament, we will need high-class competitors to participate. Watch Mr. Debevec, with his aforementioned large quads and pristine backhands (we were promised extra credit), take on the likes of Ben Dale, the entire Los Angeles Lakers (because, lets face it, we can’t let them roam freely, seeing what they do DURING A GAME) and the Mira Costa football team after last issue’s insult. With all of these rules, only one item remains to be seen: the prize. The winner of this year’s tournament wins an all-expenses paid trip out of his or he classroom when watching next year’s “School Rules Video.” Zing.


20 La Vista

SPORTS

October 14, 2011

Girls volleyball digs out a win on the road in Bay League over Peninsula BY HANNAH PROCTOR STAFF WRITER

thers at 20 points. “The girls really took care of our side of the net defensively toThe Mira Costa girls volleyball day against Peninsula,” assistant team won a close match in three coach Nancy Reynolds said. “We games against the Palos Verdes perfected the fundamentals of the Peninsula Panthers on Tuesday. game and did not let the Panthers Costa’s record now improves to go on too many long winning 7-6 overall on the season and 3-0 streaks over us, which is a key in Bay League. component to winning.” Although Costa has a history of This  year,  five  players  are  playbeating the Panthers on the road, ing   varsity   for   the   first   time,   so   the Mustangs were proud of their the lack of varsity experience success and the way in which they provides a unique obstacle. The came together as a team. players have had to work harder “We had really good chemistry to develop team chemistry and as a team today,” junior Kelsey adjust to the faster pace of play McIntire said. “We practiced all seen at the varsity level. week on being on the same page Since the start of the season, for every point.” the Mustangs have begun to coCARINA GLASSER/ LA VISTA The   Mustangs   won   their   first   alesce and play with the type of game against Peninsula, 25-22. SMACK THAT: Junior middle blocker/outside hitter Lexi Millington soars above the net for a kill attempt over three awareness that the coaching staff Kills by senior captain Maddy onlooking Peninsula defenders during the Mustangs’ three-game sweep of the Panthers on Oct. 11. has envisioned since the start of Klineman and junior Lexi Milthe season. lington helped the Mustangs to the Mustangs’ win. the  next  game  with  a  final  score  of   are all having fun on the court, we “We really stepped it up in evclimb up the scoreboard and pull “As a team, we passed better 25-21. Even though the Panthers almost always play our best vol- ery aspect of the game so far this out  a  close  win  in  the  first  game   than we have all season,” Bain had built long point streaks, Costa leyball as a team.” season,” McIntire said. “The main of the match. said. “We also served and re- played well and squeaked out the Mira Costa swept the Panthers thing we have going for us is our Klineman and Millington led ceived with consistency, and we second win. and  won  the  third  and  final  game,   team chemistry and communicathe team in kills; Klineman had felt that we fought harder than Peninsula suffered from many 25-20. The lead changed hands tion on the court.” 17 kills and Millington had six. Peninsula did. Overall, I think we unforced outs and misses during multiple times during the third The Mustangs looked to continJunior Corie Bain led the team in played a great game.” the second game, giving Costa game and neither team fell behind ue their winning ways in their next assists with a total of 25. Despite losing a short argument easy points in addition to the by more than two points until the game against their Bay League riSenior captain Katie Warshaw between coach Lisa Zimmerman those which they had to put in very end. val Redondo Union High School led the team in digs with a total of and the referees over whether a work to earn. This trend was eventually at home on Thursday, but results eight. It was all of the individual Mustang player had touched the “We had a lot of fun in this stopped for good when the Mus- were not available due to the time efforts combined, though, that led net, Costa pulled through and won game,” McIntire said. “When we tangs took the lead over the Pan- of publication.

Costa Football falls back at Newport Harbor BY REGAN ESTES SPORTS EDITOR

quarter  with  a  field  goal  by  senior   kicker Gavin Jernigan with 2:24 left to play in the quarter. At the After starting the season slow- end  of  the  first  quarter,  the  Musly, the Mira Costa football team tangs led the Sailors 3-0. This traveled to Newport Harbor on would be the only time that the Oct. 6 to try to add a second win Mustangs led the entire game. to its record. “We  played  really  well  the  first   The Mustangs came out full of half,” Coach Don Morrow said. energy  with  a  strong  first  quarter,   “We should’ve left at halftime, but were ultimately shut out in the but unfortunately we didn’t. We last three quarters. The Newport lost   the   fire   we   started   out   with   Harbor Sailors, however, had an and couldn’t get it back.” explosive second half, scoring During the second quarter, the 33 unanswered points after be- Mustangs were unable to make ing  shut  out  by  Costa  in  the  first   any big plays to extend their lead. quarter, en route to a 33-3 win in Newport, however, managed to Newport’s favor. rack up both a touchdown and a “Our offense wasn’t playing at field   goal.   Costa   was   unable   to   the level we had practiced earlier answer, and the Sailors took a in the week,” senior quarterback commanding 10-3 lead over CosChase Caprio said. “We ran into ta going into the half. some situations we couldn’t get The Sailors started the secourselves out of, and it really hurt ond half with a 52-yard kickoff us in the long run. We held New- return for a touchdown to take port in the beginning of the game, a 17-3 lead after kicking for the but they broke some big plays that extra point. The play swung the we couldn’t recover from.” momentum permanently in New Costa  capped  a  successful  first   port Harbor’s favor, and the Mus-

RICK ALVES/ LA VISTA

RUN THIS TOWN: Senior running back Brandon Edmonds breaks a tackle for a first down in the Mustangs’ loss to Chaminade on Sept. 30.

tangs were unable to recover. “We are trying to work on our game plan,” Morrow said. “We know that defensively we did not produce a threat to Newport Harbor’s offense, and we were a mess all around. We all know that we are better than that.” To add to Costa’s struggles, Newport blitzed the Mustangs during the third quarter, handicapping Costa’s offense. The Newport defense forced two Mustang interceptions, both of which resulted in scoring plays for Newport. “We’ve really been working on our passing game and trying to light   a   fire   there,”   Morrow   said.     “We haven’t so far. Our protection, our play calling, it’s all a mess right now. That’s something that needs improvement, but I’m confident  we  will  improve.” By the end of the game the Sailors had added 16 more points to  make  the  final  score  33-­3.  The   Mustangs are now 1-4 heading into   to   their   first   game   of   Bay   League play. “We put in a new offense during the week, and it worked well in   the   first   part   of   the   game,   but   then we reverted back to the old offense and it kind of stalled,” Caprio said. The Mustangs face West Torrance tonight at 7 p.m. in Waller Stadium  and  look  to  win  their  first   Bay League match of the season and improve their overall record to 2-4. “We are going to work on our offensive game this week for league play,” Caprio said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to make the necessary improvements in order to be ready for Bay League.”

KATIE BELKNAP/ LA VISTA

JUSTIN TIME: Senior Justin Pratt dodges a defender and drives for a shot on goal in Costa’s win over then second-ranked Damien on Oct. 8.

Water polo nabs win at home BY CASEY SUBLETTE STAFF WRITER Coming off of losses to Palos Verdes, Penninsula, and La Canada, the boys water polo team needed a win. The Mustangs upset the secondranked Damien Spartans, 10-8, on Oct. 8 at home. “The game couldn’t have been better,” Coach Jon Reichart said. “It was the best game we have had played all season.” Senior goalie Matt Grollman had   two   saves   to   start   the   first   quarter. However, Damien struck first   in   the   game   with   two   quick   goals. The Costa offense then kicked it into gear near the end of the  period,  ending  the  first  period   with four unanswered goals. In  the  first  minute  of  the  second   period, junior Jimmy Bissel kept up the offense by scoring another goal. Damien then answered with three quick goals. Another goal by the Mustangs gave them the lead as the halftime buzzer sounded with a score of 6-5. “We started off slow,” Grollman said. “We eventually improved

throughout the game.” The third quarter was closely contested, but the Mustangs were able to keep their lead thanks to tough defense by Grollman and senior Justin Pratt. “I feel I played well, but I tried to focus on defense,” Pratt said. Damien nearly took the lead with four minutes left in the fourth quarter, but junior Mitchell Trainoff stole the ball and scored the eventual game-winning goal. Senior Matt Thornton then added an insurance goal to bring the final  score  to  10-­8. “We needed that win,” Grollman said. “We are ready for league play.” Thornton led the way in scoring  for  Costa  with  five  goals. “We are playing like a team,” Colbert said. “I haven’t felt that amazing in a long time.” Costa faced Peninsula on Oct. 13 in its second Bay League match, but results were unavailable at time of publication. “After   this   win   we   are   definitely excited to face Peninsula again,” senior captain Josh Huttinger said.


Issue 2 (Vol. LXII)