Page 1


Hannah McDermott sings on, winning the Spotlight Awards Competition. Page 14


Boys lacrosse repeats last year’s loss, losing against Foothill in an emotional 19-5 game. Page 20

Entertainment Eden’s Bliss’ new EP shows that they can try new things and still rock. Page 15


Look for a slew of new album reviews, including Fleet Foxes.

May 20, 2011 1401 Artesia Blvd. Vol. LXI Issue 10

MBUSD admits lack of communication with film company By Leo Shaw Editor in Chief and Abby Watkins News Editor


N. Hale high: Rapper Snoop Dogg (right) holds what is alluded to as marijuana in a Mira Costa locker hall on May 8 in a YouTube video. During shooting, alleged illicit activities occurred, leading to the cancellation of the permit.

Alleged illegal activities occur on Mira Costa campus during shooting of “High School” By Leo Shaw Editor in Chief and Abby Watkins News Editor Various alleged illegal activities occurred on campus on May 8 and 9 in connection with the production of “High School,” a comedy film starring rappers Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa. Despite Manhattan Beach Unified School District reports at the time indicating otherwise, several students as well as someone involved in the film’s production reported the use of marijuana and

at least one teacher’s office was vandalized during filming. A YouTube video uploaded by Pro Reese, who was present at the shoot on Sunday night, shows Snoop Dogg holding what Reese alludes to as marijuana in a Mira Costa locker hall, as well as an unknown figure smoking outside of a classroom. Although the substance could not be confirmed as marijuana, tobacco use on campus is also against district policy and the California Education Code. “They took advantage of a good faith agreement about filming a G-rated kids’ show,” Principal

Ben Dale said. “They created a distraction on campus and unwittingly contributed to a stereotype of our school that is unfair.” Students present at the shoot have also alleged that people working on the film’s production and Costa students were smoking marijuana on the set on May 8. “We walked right through a scene and were herded into a group of actors,” junior Luke Trimble said. “We saw their entourage smoking what looked and smelled like blunts.” See ‘Illegal Activities’ on page 3

Manhattan Beach Unified School District officials took responsibility on May 10 for a lack of communication and implementation of facility use guidelines that allowed the shooting of a film on campus that is inconsistent with the values of the district. District officials attributed the mistake to a change in the company that occurred after the district issued a facilities use permit. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Steve Romines initially approved a facilities use application for The Loop Entertainment, which assured Facilities Coordinator Jiji Mara by e-mail that the content being filmed was G rated. “It was going to be a G-rated film,” Romines said. “It evolved into something else.” According to a MBUSD press release on May 10, the film’s production was switched from the Loop Entertainment to another firm that the district had no previous contact with. The company that arrived on campus on May 8 was The Yard Entertainment. “It turned out to be a film that gives a picture of high school that we don’t condone,” Romines said. “There was a mistake in this whole process, and it was my mistake.”

According to Romines, the MBUSD business office did not communicate with the makers of the film between the time the permit was issued and May 10, when he called the film’s producers to cancel the permit. No MBUSD administrators knew that the film starred Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa or featured drug use until concerns were voiced after filming took place on May 8 and 9. “Once we learned the true subject matter of the movie, we immediately canceled the contract,” Romines said. “The district will not be receiving any facility use fees for this canceled project.” Although the application requires the signatures of the principal and vice principal of a school site, Mara confirmed that no administrator had given prior approval in this instance. In addition, Dale indicated that he was not given an application to approve and had never been part of the approval process in any way. “I didn’t even know I had a signature block on there,” Dale said. Though the administration was not involved in an official capacity, Vice Principal Paula Spence had been in contact with the production company since May 2 and was present for both days of filming. Spence also assisted the production company in locating filming locations on campus. See ‘MBUSD’ on page 3

Forbes Magazine ranks MBUSD sixth overall district in nation By Joani Gillam and Maggie Robak Staff Writers In its “Best Schools for Your Real Estate Buck” list released on April 26, Forbes Magazine ranked the Manhattan Beach Unified School District as the best school district for median real estate values of $800,000 and up and sixth overall best school district in the nation. Forbes drafted the ranking in partnership with GreatSchools, a non-profit organization with the aim of bettering the quality of education in public schools. Forbes, in conjunction with GreatSchools, evaluated more than 200,000 public school districts in 17,589 towns, in all states except Nebraska. The Forbes ranking was based on test scores, such as API scores and standardized test scores, as well as the academic progress of randomly

selected students. “[The Forbes news] came to us as a total surprise,” Mira Costa Principal Ben Dale said. “It’s spectacular. It really highlights the excellence of Mira Costa as a school.” To assess MBUSD and other school districts, GreatSchools also used the most recent data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which is reported twice a year by the Institute of Education Statistics under the Department of Education. GreatSchools ranked Mira Costa High School and all other MBUSD schools 10 out of 10 in education quality. “I think it’s really great for the district,” junior Christine Inouye said. “I believe it accurately reflects the education we receive here at Mira Costa, which many students take for granted.” This honor came to MBUSD two weeks after Mira Costa

was selected as one of 97 public schools to be recognized as a California Distinguished School by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. “The recognition from Forbes and from being named a 2011 California Distinguished School just proves that when our school and our students perform well, everyone benefits,” Dale said. MBUSD and community leaders say that the Forbes report will have a positive effect on the district by attracting new homeowners with resources and means in addition to lending prestige to the schools themselves. “This honor will encourage others to move into the district,” Dale said. “These new community members will be highly involved in the schools and will have a positive effect on the district. The value of our community will increase because of this ranking in Forbes.”

Madison Swart/La Vista

ROUNDING SECOND: Employees of speak to Mira Costa seniors about the entertainment business during one of seven senior seminars while freshmen through juniors take STAR tests.

Page 2:

May 20, 2011


Community May:

20-26 Redondo Beach Art Group Art Exhibition: The RBAG will host a juried exhibition featuring various South Bay artists at the Manhattan Beach creative arts center. The exhibit will run from Monday to Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 24 Hermosa Beach City Council Meeting: The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Council Chambers, located at 1315 Valley Dr.


CBVA Beach Volleyball Tournament: The professional men and women’s volleyball tournament will take place all day at the Hermosa pier.

28-30 Fiesta Hermosa: The biannual fair will include over 300 vendors, food booths, rides and entertainment. Festivities will take place along Pier Avenue, Hermosa Avenue and Pier Plaza in Hermosa Beach each day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Carina Glasser/ La Vista


Rocking the relay: Seniors Joey Nichols (left) and Max Wolmuth perform with their band “Thiftis” at the Relay 4 Life event on May 14. Community members walked in the 24-hour relay at Waller Stadium to raise money for cancer research. In addition, groups of Costa students hosted booths and festivities such as face painting and a three-legged race.

7 Manhattan Beach City Council Meeting: The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.




23-27 Dodgeball Tournament: Teams of six students and teachers will compete at lunch on the tennis courts. A tournament bracket will be posted outside room 40.

26 All Awards Ceremony: Seniors will receive various awards and scholarships such as Student of the Year and Book awards during second period in the auditorium. 27 Fashion Show: Costa’s fashion design class will host a fashion show featuring student models and designs in the auditorium at 7 p.m.

30 Memorial Day: No school due to the holiday. 31 Scholar Quiz: The first round of competition begins during lunch in various rooms. Competition will continue everyday at lunch until the final round on June 7 in the auditorium during 4th period.


Late Start: School begins at 9 a.m. due to a faculty meeting.

9 Blood Drive: The UCLA drive will take place in the gym from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 9 and 10. All donors must complete a donation form available in the ASB room.

10 The Pops Concert: The Costa orchestra will perform modern pop music including “Toxic,” by Britney Spears, arranged by Robert Anderson, and “Superman,” by John Williams. The performance begins at 7 p.m. in the auditorium.

Hermosa Beach Artwalk: The work of more than 60 local artists will be displayed at the community center lawn on Pacific Coast Highway and Pier Avenue. The event will include musical performances and food. South Bay Farmers’ Markets: Manhattan Beach: Located at Morningside and 13th Street, the market is open every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and during the summer (after Memorial Day) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hermosa Beach: Located at Valley Drive and 11th Street, the farmers’ market is open every Thursday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. rain or shine. El Segundo: Located at 760 S. Sepulveda Blvd. in the Whole Foods parking lot, the “Raw Inspirations” market is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday.

On The Web Watch a video about the recent Marine Biology tall ship expedition to the Channel Islands. The five-day trip left from Long Beach’s Rainbow Harbor on April 16.


4 Junior and Senior Prom: The event will take place at the Universal Studios Globe Theater in Burbank from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. 6

Bach to Broadway: The Costa choirs will perform classical Bach in the first half of the concert and broadway music including “Masquerade” from “Phantom of the Opera” after intermission. The concert begins at 7 p.m. in the auditorium.

7 Ed Council Meeting: The meeting begins at 2:15 p.m. in the guidance office.


Courtesy Alex Ott

View an interactive map of where Costa seniors will attend college next year. See exclusive information and videos about the controversy of the filming of Snoop Dogg’s movie “High School” on the Mira Costa campus.

Leland Lesnever/ La Vista

FUNKY FRESH: A woman purchases strawberries from a local vender at the Manhattan Beach Farmers’ Market. The market is open every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in downtown Manhattan Beach and features organic fruits, vegetables and flowers as well as fresh artisan-prepared foods.

Track and Field: May 22: Individual Mustangs will compete in CIF Finals at Cerritos College. May 28: Pending CIF Final results, individual Costa athletes will compete in the California Masters Meet at Cerritos College. June 4-5: Pending Masters Meet results, individual Mustangs will compete in the CIF State Meet at Buchanen High School.

Carina Glasser/ La Vista

marcus my words: Senior Marcus Egeck looks down field during Costa’s 19-7 home victory over Agoura Hills on May 7.

Softball: The team competed yesterday at Lakewood versus the Lakewood Lancers . Results were not available at the time of publication, but pending a victory Costa will compete in the third round of CIF.

Kendall Busby/ La Vista

NOT A BELLY ITCHER: Senior Sean Isaac prepares to pitch as junior first baseman Ryan Franklin gets into ready position during the Mustangs’ 2-1 home victory over the Palos Verdes Sea Kings on May 10. The Mustangs finished Bay League in fourth place with a record of 5-4.


May 20, 2011

La Vista


Administration implements new policy to reduce drug use at Prom By Dylan Fair Staff Writer The Mira Costa administration is instituting intensified security to prevent drug use at this year’s Prom, in response to a group of students who were caught using drugs last year and recent discipline issues among students, according to administrators. As part of this new policy, security will screen all buses and transportation upon entry to the grounds, including mandatory Breathalyzer tests for all people entering the theater. “Recent developments, as well as Prom’s issues last year, have made myself and the staff nervous for this year’s Prom,” Principal Ben Dale said. “I am very disappointed because certain students on campus are projecting the stereotype that people outside of Mira Costa have about us. For that reason, security will be highly increased this year.” Consequences for violating school policies have also been heightened for this year’s Prom. Staff members will enter the buses, and, if any suspicions arise, the school resources officer will be called over to investigate According to the administration, if the SRO confirms any illicit behavior on a bus or other vehicle, the students under the influence on the bus will receive

a five-day suspension. In addition, the bus and all students on it will be sent home and have their parents notified. Seniors will not walk at graduation, and students from other grades will not be permitted to attend next year’s Prom if intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

“I think this security increase is probably more about deterring potential illegal activities and less about actually catching them in the act at Prom.”

In addition to the administration’s new policy, Student Government announced on May 6 that Prom will be held at the The Globe Theater at Universal Studios, which has been reserved since 2009. The building is composed of pieces from multiple former movie sets, including a set of a vintage Parisian street. “We all thought it was a re-

ally awesome idea to take one scene and blow it up to an entire theme,” junior class President Mackenzie Austin said. “What makes this Prom really interesting is everything doesn’t have to directly correlate, as the theme is a Parisian party, but you can also take a trip to a ‘50s diner.” Student Government also hopes to utilize the high profile

venue to bring more variety to this year’s Prom and promote activities other than dancing and photo booths. Some unique options that SG wishes to include this year are the use of stilt walkers, as well as Parisian mimes. “I’m sure that everyone who attends and abides by the new security will have a great time,” sophomore Sawyer Fuller said.

Levi Schoenfeld Senior “I think this security increase is probably more about deterring potential illegal activities and less about actually catching them in the act at Prom,” senior Levi Schoenfeld said. “People are less likely to do drugs if they know they will be punished severely.” Although some students do not mind the new policy, many students believe that this policy is too stringent and may not deter those possibly breaking the rules. “I think it’s unfair that you could get punished just because somebody else in your bus did something wrong,” junior Talia Bondelli said.

“Our Student Government has done a really fantastic job with this year’s Prom. ”

Leland Lesnever/La Vista

PARTy planning committee: (From left) Junior Zach Adler, sophomore Rachel Humphrey, and Activities Director Lisa Claypoole look over prom forms. The administration is implementing a policy to decrease possible drug use.

‘Illegal Activities’ continued from page one Khalifa also posted several messages that referenced marijuana use to his Twitter account on the days that filming occurred. It is unknown whether or not he was on the set at the time, but Khalifa tweeted “got high” at about 3 p.m. on Monday and also tweeted “waken…baken…” on both Sunday and Monday. Physical education teacher Theresa Tower also reported theft and vandalism of personal belongings from her office. According to Vice Principal Paula Spence, the production company has assumed responsibility for the thefts and offered to reimburse Tower directly. “It may not have been related, since there were so many people here on campus coming to watch, but we really don’t know,” Tower said. “I put out the information that my office had been gone through, and that information was forwarded to the production company. They offered to reimburse me immediately, which was very cool.” In addition to the illegal events that occurred on Sunday, junior Carly Montan and her mother Helen Wilt witnessed a dark-colored BMW attempting to drive down the main stairs to the administration building plaza.

The car was reportedly driven by teenagers and incurred severe damage, leaving a bumper and other debris behind. Maintenance and Operations has since turned the car’s license plate over to the Manhattan Beach Police Department. “I was more shocked than anything that anyone would be so reckless and stupid as to destroy their car in a quick attempt to leave the school,” Wilt said. The Mira Costa administration was not officially involved in overseeing the filming and was not initially aware of these events. Spence was the only administrator present during the shoot and has indicated that she observed no illegal activity during the hours she was present. “There was some questionable language, but there was no illicit activity,” Spence said. Although the district revoked the production crew’s permit to film on Tuesday, the events of the shoot have since become a subject of controversy in the community and at Mira Costa. “Those inside and outside of our organization that relish seeing us fail or struggle are having a good time with this,” Dale said.

‘MBUSD’ continued from page one According to Mara, a 30-day processing period for approval of all facilities use permits stipulated on the application was also not observed. Romines indicated that the company is required to complete an application but in practice, the process is mostly conducted by e-mail. “They define what they want to use and why they’re using it,” said Romines. “A staffer contacts the production company, and I check with my staff. Nobody filled out any forms.”

However, Romines acknowledged that a lack of communication between the district office and the film’s producers allowed the production of a film whose values were inconsistent with those of the district to occur. He indicated that the district would be revising the process it uses to approve facility use applications that the district receives in the future. “We’re going to take a look at all of our board policies for facility use. I’m going to ask a lot more questions,” Romines said.



La Vista

May 20, 2011

Olson benches multiple Mira Costa Baseball players for final five games of season after players admit to past marijuana use By Diane Lee Staff Writer According to Mira Costa baseball coach Cassidy Olson, he benched several players for the last five games of the season after they confessed during an April 28 practice to smoking marijuana. Olson did not permanently remove any of the members who confessed from the team. The students did not receive any discipline from the school because the incident did not occur on school grounds. “There was no evidence that what went on was related to school in any way,” Dale said. “This incident didn’t affect the campus climate or classes, and I felt that what Coach Olson did was enough.” Olson said baseball coaches began to look into the matter after hearing rumors of students engaging in illegal activities. During practice on April 28, the coaches asked players to come forward if they wanted to confess to any activities that breached the contract they signed at the beginning of the school year. “We take drugs and alcohol very seriously, and we’re always vigilant about those issues,” Ol-

son said. “Since we have four oncampus coaches, we can easily hear what is going on among the players.” Following a Manhattan Beach Unified School District board policy that says any disciplinary actions against students will not be released to colleges, Mira Costa did not inform any colleges about the incident. According to School Resource Officer John Loy, there will be no legal action taken against the students because they are not punishable by law. “We can’t arrest people for confessing to doing drugs,” Loy said. “We can only help them. The only time we can arrest people is when we catch them under the influence or in possession of illegal substances.” According to an article in the Beach Reporter, many parents of the baseball players have complained about the way in which the coaches handled the incident. However, Olson and Dale said that many of parents’ claims were false and unfounded. “Everything in the Beach Reporter’s article was false,” Dale said. “It portrayed Coach Olson as being heavy-handed with the players, but he wasn’t. He did not force the students to confess. He

Kendall Busby/La Vista

HUDDLE UP: The Mira Costa baseball team gathers around coach Cassidy Olson (center) before the first pitch against Palos Verdes in their fourth game since the players were benched after admitting to marijuana use. asked the students to confess if they wanted to.” Olson denied parents’ claims that he began looking into the matter because a parent of a player informed him about the illicit activities, that he forced the players to run until they confessed or that certain seniors have lost their college scholarships. “Both the school administrators and the coaches feel strongly that we handled the situation in the best interest of the kids,” Olson said. After losing multiple important players, the Mustangs baseball team finished their season

with a 17-14 overall record and 4-6 Bay League record, falling just short of an at-large berth in the CIF playoffs. With their season and a chance at playoffs in jeopardy, the Mustangs traveled to Palos Verdes to earn a CIF spot. After seven innings, Mira Costa lost 3-1 and did not make the playoffs, ending their season. “The season ended on a bittersweet note,” Mira Costa senior Sean Isaac said. “We came together for a few games at the end and played well, but it wasn’t enough to get us in the playoffs. Our boys had a nothing-to-lose

attitude throughout the year. We were in the hole in league, and we forced ourselves to grind it out.” Prior to the game at PV, the Mustangs took on the Sea Kings at home, pulling out a 2-1 win. In a very close game, runs were rare for either side, but the Mustangs scored two early runs in the third capped by a squeeze bunt by sophomore Keyon Allen. “The season was full of ups and downs,” Isaac said. “We had a lot of talent this year. But in the end, we were our own worst enemy though, usually beating ourselves rather than getting beat by the other team.”


May 20, 2011

La Vista


STAR test incentives demean Mira Costa academics By Joani Gillam Staff Writer In an effort to improve Mira Costa’s standardized testing scores, the Costa administration will offer a group of 40 students a trip to Disneyland in exchange for partaking in an incentive program. Though the goal of this program is reasonable, simply rewarding a small minority of students for its efforts on the standardized tests should not be the administration’s main priority and shafts other hard-working students. The students selected were those that were closest to reaching a higher category in each content area on the test: advanced, proficient, basic and below basic. The administration hopes that by implementing this program, these students will have the incentive to move up to a higher category by getting better scores on the STAR tests, thus raising Mira Costa’s overall Academic Performance

Index score. It is understandable that the administration wants to improve Costa’s API score, but simply catering to the needs of 40 children is not equitable for all others. The current incentives program will not award the highest-scoring students or those that improve the most. Rather, it rewards the few students that just randomly happen to be near a higher scoring category. The administration feels that because the majority of students are already performing well on standardized tests, it would be more effective to focus on key groups of students that have the potential to get better test scores in

order to raise Mira Costa’s test scores as a whole. Because Mira Costa received a high API score of 898 last year, which was calculated in part from Costa’s STAR test results, it is hard to deny that raising this score will be challenging; however, enticing 40 kids to do well is not the answer. If the administration is going to

implement an incentive program to improve test scores, all Mira Costa students must be included. It would be more effective and equitable if there was a reward for the homeroom class that scored the highest on the standardized tests. Giving the winning classroom a small prize, such as cheap gift cards, would be much more cost efficient and equitable than sending a predetermined few students to Disneyland. However, disregarding the inequality of this program, providing incentives for students has a key downside: students will no longer be performing for learning’s sake, but rather for Keely Murphy/ La Vista rewards. In the

Plastic bag ban aids Manhattan Beach By Danny Kelleher Sports Editor In July 2008, the City of Manhattan Beach enacted an ordinance that banned the distribution of plastic bags at the point-of-sale for all retail establishments within the city. Although the ban has been suspended, it should immediately be reenacted as it does not violate any laws and is proven to help the environment of Manhattan Beach. An organization called the Save the Plastic Bag Coalition argued that Manhattan Beach did not comply with the California Environmental Quality Act by failing to conduct a full Environmental Impact Report prior to the ban and appealed to the Los Angeles County Superior Court after the ban was enacted. In February 2009 the ordinance was subsequently suspended, but the city appealed to the California Supreme Court in April 2010. A verdict has not been reached about whether the Los Angeles court made the right decision. The case was heard by the California Supreme Court on May 4

short run, incentives for excellent performance will provide an initial push for higher test scores, but the real question is: how much will students learn? It is valid to argue that the incentive for performing well on the STAR tests is that high scores will benefit the community and, thus, the school. In order to continue raising the API score and receiving these benefits, Costa must find innovative new techniques. Incentives for all students and not just a small minority, incentives for teachers and preparation classes for students are possible solutions. However, Costa should not have to resort to bribing 40 students to obtain higher test scores and should avoid this strategy. Although it is a valiant effort to improve Mira Costa’s overall test scores and API score, the recently implemented incentive program for standardized testing lacks equality and is twisted effort in improving students’ learning.

Stahdard DSniatioh

2011, and a verdict is expected within 90 days of the hearing. The City of Manhattan Beach is completely justified in banning plastic bags, and the California Supreme Court should rule in its favor. The opposition to this ordinance is unfounded because the city did in fact collect research prior to passing the ban. The coalition has argued that the report lacks a specific section dedicated to potential consequences. Although this is true, the CEQA doesn’t explicitly require a separate section for potential consequences; just that they be included in the report. The city’s report has potential consequences scattered throughout its report, making it entirely valid. First, the numbers in the report demonstrate plastic bags’ truly damaging effects on the environment. According to the statistics shared in the report, approximately 6 billion plastic bags are consumed per year in Los Angeles County, out of which only five percent are recycled. Additionally, plastic bags made up 25 percent of the litter found in 30

different storm drains in a 2004 study conducted by the City of Los Angeles. Based on these statistics, it is abundantly clear that allowing plastic bag usage in the city has a substantially negative effect on the environment of Manhattan Beach. In addition, a ban would also encourage shoppers to use environmentally safer cloth bags. It is ridiculous that the ordinance has been suspended for the last two years despite these alarming numbers. The Save the Plastic Bag Coalition is essentially a lobbyist group for the American Chemical Council, and isn’t actually representative of citizens’ viewpoints on plastic bags. Due to this fact, the arguments of the coalition do not account for the negative impact of plastic bags on the city’s environment. The coalition’s fight for the suspension of the ordinance has only hurt the living environment in Manhattan Beach. The ban on plastic bags within Manhattan Beach needs to be resurrected as soon as possible.

season. Participating on a sports team is a privilege and a choice for students; therefore if an athlete does not agree with a coach’s rules and punishments, he or she should not be on the team. However, having one general policy to cover all sports is not feasible. If such a policy were created, the broad nature might create loopholes and exceptions. Each sport is different and the relationships between coach and athlete vary, so a one-size-fits-all policy wouldn’t work very well in reality. For example, policies in separate sports may vary with regards to offseason practices. Therefore, allowing coaches to

which is the five-time defending Division II state champion. Saugus has an ethics policy created through collaboration between coaches and athletes. Such policies clearly outline the rules and punishments for the team, includCoaches of individual teams should establish and ing behavior distribute their own specific policies for every team that occurs at the start of each season. outside of school-sancof the season. Though these poli- tioned events. cies cannot cover all situations This unified effort, which may that occur, they can establish a serve as an example for Costa coach’s philosophy and detail athletics, ensures a clear undervarious rules and consequences. standing of the rules and encourThis strategy has worked for ages athletes to push teammates other athletics teams like the to follow rules for the benefit of Saugus girls cross country team, the team. However, it is important

Top Ten ways to prepare for Scholar Quiz 10. Hit the gym. Strong triceps yield strong point totals. 9. Catch up on all those episodes of “Jeopardy” that you wish you had gotten around to watching. 8. Tell everyone how good you are. If you say it enough, it might come true. 7. Spy on color guard’s practices in order to develop new flagraising techniques. 6. “Accidentally” let Singiser know that the comments on Daily KOS from “Singiserismylyfe47” are in fact written by you. 5. Befriend Alec Lautanen. 4. Get yourself sitting in that number two seat. It’s all about the placement in the flag judge’s eyes. 3. Work on your trash talk. There ain’t nothing that cuts to Team Zobel’s morale like some old-fashioned schoolyard smack. 2. Study... Just kidding; that’s super lame. 1. Give up. La Vista’s A-team will be stopping at nothing. - Kyle Allen, Eric Zheng, and Casey Zirbel/ Opinion Editor and Danny Kelleher/ Sports Editor

Mira Costa sports discipline policy needs to be completely revamped By Allie Campbell Calendar Editor In light of the recent scandal involving the Costa baseball team, many have called for a uniform sports discipline policy. Though legally the school administration cannot formally discipline a student for his or her actions at non-school related locations, individual organizations like sports teams may discipline students. Therefore, Costa’s Athletics Department must establish some broad uniform rules regarding discipline. Coaches of individual teams should establish and distribute their own specific policies for every team at the start of each

adopt their own specific policies is much more practical. Currently, many Costa athletic teams such as girls soccer and boys volleyball already outline and distribute their policies to student athletes at the beginning

that while students can submit ideas, the coach still has the final say regarding discipline. In addition to a team’s individual set of rules, coaches should meet under the athletic director to establish a few uniform rules to solidify Costa’s stance on athletic ethics. For example, the consequences for getting arrested should have predetermined punishments. With a set of collective rules built in to individual policies, Costa’s athletic teams could create a better guideline for disciplining student athletes. These actions can provide consistency for students and, hopefully, eliminate future controversies.



La Vista

May 20, 2011

Editors’ Note Editors-in-Chief Adam Robak Leo Shaw Managing Web Editors Jason Boxer Daina Rama Copy Editor Laura Vaughn Managing Editor Trevor Thorpe News Editors Robin Janotta J. Zack Rosenfeld Abby Watkins Opinion Editors Kyle Allen Eric Zheng Casey Zirbel Entertainment Editors Rose Graner Duncan Gregory Audrey McKenzie Features Editors Alex Parducci Kelly Rethmeyer Allie Rosen Theme Editors Katie Barger Alec Lautanen Connor Wright Sports Editors Danny Kelleher Hanna McGuire Emma Rosenbaum Calendar Editor Allie Campbell Web Editors Isaac Siegemund-Broka Shannon Hagedorn Carly Montan Iktae Park Arts Editor Keely Murphy Photo Editor Jacqueline Peha Business Manager Will Wong Assistant Business Manager Lisa Duckers Technical Editors Wiley Davis Jerome Redman Circulation Editors Benjamin Whistler Jessica Wu Adviser Mike McAvin Staff Writers David Copeland, Braden Currey, J. Ryan Erickson, Regan Estes, Dylan Fair, J. Ryan Franklin, Zane Franklin, Zack Gill, Joani Gillam, Juliana Hoft, Ava Klein, Elizabeth Kneisley, Sandor Kopitz, Diane Lee, Haile Lidow, Katie McGregor, Nicolette Olson, Michael Powell, Maggie Robak, Logan Schlossberg, Erica Schneider, Justin Tam, Matt Wah Photographers Kendall Busby, Lindon Chen, Carina Glasser, Jessica Hanley, Leland Lesnever, Stephanie Sakahara, Madison Swart Editorial Board Kyle Allen, Jason Boxer, Robin Janotta, Daina Rama, Adam Robak, Zack Rosenfeld, Leo Shaw, Trevor Thorpe, Laura Vaughn, Abby Watkins, Eric Zheng, Casey Zirbel LA VISTA is the student newspaper of Mira Costa High School. Its 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 represent the newspaper’s viewpoints. LA VISTA, an open forum, welcomes signed letters on topical issues from the MCHS community. They may be mailed to Mike McAvin in the administration building mailbox or emailed to lavistaopinion@ Letters may be edited for length and clarity. For ad rates, please contact our business manager at

After pushing the boulder uphill, finally a rest By Adam Robak and Leo Shaw Editors-in-Chief For the staff of every passing year, producing La Vista is a labor of love. And if that’s a cliché, it’s an apt one; there is a professional level of reporting and editing that goes on in room six, as well as a familial bond. A word of advice is scrawled on the desk in one of our offices that reads, “You manage chaos; contribute, don’t create.” It has been our pleasure and pride to manage that chaos as it has produced a year of excellent student journalism. There is another quote somewhere in the room that shouts, “Even if you try to succeed, you’ll probably FAIL!” This has also rung true. There hasn’t been a staff of La Vista in recent years that hasn’t set its goals too high, and we’re no exception. We came into this year with a list of ideas longer than Obama’s campaign platform, succeeding in some areas and faltering in others. This year was the second of our website’s infancy, and it is crawling when it probably should be starting to walk. We

Even the pride of a freshly printed paper only lasts until the next story conference, when we start pushing the boulder back uphill. So as we hand off the reigns to a new management staff that will be sure to move La Vista to unimaginable heights despite their impending over-planning and difficulties, we can reflect on our experiences here in room six and at The job of managing La Vista’s production cycle Mira Costa. Our time here at Mira and planning its long-term development is an Costa has largely been almost Sisyphean struggle, from issue to issue defined by this strangely and year to year. consuming newspaper, and we have had a hand On the other hand, the physical paper in its growth from a nerdy print-only looks better than ever. We are printing publication to a multimedia organization. multiple, thoughtful staff editorials each is- We’ve labored through the 2 a.m. producsue, informative and timely news and more tion nights, frantic days stemming from a breaking news story, and the long editorial thorough sports coverage than ever. The job of managing La Vista’s produc- meetings. tion cycle and planning its long-term deAs these experiences come to a close, velopment is an almost Sisyphean struggle, and we stop obsessing over miniscule from issue to issue and year to year. When Costa administrative policy decisions and we bring up the quality of content in most school board meetings, we can only hope sections, the few that need work stick out, that we made a positive impact, however and when our reporting shines, we look to big, on this organization and Mira Costa as a whole. improve our editing. haven’t delivered on consistent daily updates or a full integration of social media, and our timely online news coverage has been spotty at best. Still, as the several comments, Facebook shares and Huffington Post story to our breaking coverage of the Snoop Dogg story have illustrated, our web presence is growing fast.

Staff editorial

The MBUSD, VP Spence responses to Snoop Dogg’s “High School” expose gaps in facility-use process The approval of the facilities permit to film Snoop Dogg’s movie “High School” to film on Mira Costa’s campus on May 8, 9 and 10 and the immediate aftermath exposed a lack of oversight, communication and due diligence on the part of the Manhattan Beach Unified School District with Mira Costa’s administration. The informal and unorganized process that the MBUSD followed in approving the facility use permit allowed the filming of a movie on Mira Costa’s campus that clearly conflicts with the MBUSD’s values and goals as an educational institution. According to Assistant Superintendent Dr. Steve Romines, the MBUSD originally provided The Loop Entertainment, a Disney subsidiary, with a permit to film at Mira Costa. However, Romines said that production changed hands and the permit was transferred to The Yard Production, which planned to use it to film “High School.” The MBUSD’s facility use policy requires that an outside organization complete the “Application for Community and Commercial Use,” which can be found on the MBUSD website, to lease district facilities. If the application is completed fully, it is approved by the selected school’s principal, vice principal, district office and the director of maintenance and operations. However, this process was not followed when the MBUSD granted The Loop Entertainment a permit to film. Additionally, according to multiple administrative officials, this form is usually not utilized fully. Costa Principal Ben Dale said he had never seen the form he should have been provided in order to approve any use of the Mira Costa campus. Had the MBUSD thoroughly vetted the project by consistently communicating with producers, it would have learned that the permit it issued had changed hands and that the The Yard Production, the new holders of the permit, had changed the content.

In fact, simply asking for the working title and leading cast of the film would have revealed its objectionable content. Minimal investigation would have given MBUSD reason to revoke the permit before filming of the movie even began. Although Vice Principal Paula Spence was on campus during filming on May 8, the Costa administration has said she was not acting in an official capacity. If she or a district representative had been explicitly tasked with monitoring production, they would have realized that the film’s content was not as it had originally seemed. In addition to the MBUSD failing to monitor the activities going on during the filming, Spence failed to act responsibly as

well. Spence said that by May 2, six days before filming began, she knew that both The Yard Production and Snoop Dogg would be using the campus to film. Although Snoop Dogg has also taken part in projects that convey positive messages, Spence should have expressed skepticism of the man who regards himself as this era’s Cheech and Chong and broughtthese concerns to the district. This kind of communication and common sense could have started an inquiry into the true nature of the film and prevented production of the film from even starting had she contacted the district. According to the MBUSD press release, two days of filming aroused suspicion that the content of the film promoted illegal activity. The MBUSD then rescinded the production company’s permit to use the campus before the third day of filming could take place and refused any compensation for the first two days of filming. By waiting to act until May 10 to cancel the permit, the MBUSD allowed filming of “High School” to continue an extra day, despite complaints to both Spence and the MBUSD that the film centered around highly objectionable content and that alleged illegal activities were occurring on campus during filming. The school district must take steps to prevent a similar situation from arising in the future by reforming the application for facility use process. MBUSD should also do basic research into any project that requests the use of its facilities to ensure that its content is consistent with MBUSD’s educational goals. It would be wise for MBUSD to monitor the use of its facilities by any outside group, ensuring that the group does not abuse its use permit. Most importantly, it is imperative that the district maintain communication with all groups involved in any lease of its property, including the lessees and school administrations.

Keely Murphy/ La Vista


May 20, 2011

La Vista


La Vista’s seniors say goodbye to Room Six

Photos by Leland Lesnever/ La Vista

Copy Editor and Hermosa Beach resident Laura Vaughn sheds her shyness to share her self-affirming high school experiences in La Vista, Model United Nations and school clubs. By Laura Vaughn Copy Editor For the past three years as a member of La Vista, I have dreaded writing this article. This is not because I dislike heartfelt goodbyes or because I can’t come to some sentimental conclusion about my high school experience. Instead, I have dreaded my senior goodbye because I’ve never wanted to write an opinion piece. I am most certainly an opinionated person. I know what I think and I know what I believe in, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I feel the need to share those beliefs with my peers. I came into high school as the quiet girl who likes to listen and observe in the classroom, not dis-

cuss my ideas. Four years later, I’m older, wiser and somehow still that girl. Coming to Mira Costa as a student from the Hermosa school system, I had no idea what to expect. In middle school, I knew the first and last names of all 100 people in my grade and probably their parents too. To satisfy my lack of familiarity with everyone and everything, I threw myself into electives. I played tennis, debated in Model UN, joined multiple clubs and became involved in journalism. Through these various programs, I met amazing people that I never would have gotten the chance to know otherwise. I gained a dynamic and interesting group of friends outside of

my tight-knit circle of Hermosa companions. Throughout my four years at Mira Costa, these people

have been by my side as I’ve grown up and learned countless lessons about this crazy world we live in. In high school, everyone takes a different course. Even though I chose to be involved in campus organizations, I know plenty of other students who chose completely different paths. Somehow, everyone turned out just fine. Students often go through high school thinking that every decision must be controlled and calculated or else they will fail miserably. They view high school as a whirlwind experience that changes everything. I disagree. Honestly, I think that high school is just the process of growing up a little bit more. High school didn’t change me, but it

did give me four years to mature as an individual on my own. As a freshman, I wondered who I would be when I graduated from Mira Costa. But what I have come to realize is that we decided who we are a long time ago. I have undoubtedly changed in many ways throughout the past four years, but at the end of the day I know that I am never going to be the girl who wants to write for the opinion section. But I can’t imagine being any other way, nor would I ever want to be. My experience has led me to the conclusion that you don’t have to change yourself; you just have to grow up and let life happen. And who knows, you might surprise yourself along the way. After all, I did write this article.

Managing Web Editor Jason Boxer looks back on trading the basketball shorts for Weezer albums and skinny jeans By Jason Boxer Managing Web Editor

Features Editors Kelly Rethmeyer and Allie Rosen reflect on their friendship By Kelly Rethmeyer and Allie Rosen Features Editors One of us was dressed in black and white polka-dotted sweatpants as a playful dalmatian. The other was covered in sequins, feathers and glitter from head to toe and had dubbed herself a “glamour gal.” Halloween 1998 was the first of many together, and an early indication that we were different, to say the least. The contrast in our alter egos as seen through our choices in Halloween costumes, we later discovered, also extended to our organizational skills, hobbies and pet peeves. Over the years, we have tried everything from playing the violin, to tennis, swimming, summer camp and Girl Scouts. Through these experiences, we have had the opportunity to explore our different interests and have discovered that today, we are still merely an extension of the dalmatian and the “glamour gal” that we were in kindergarten. After 13 years in the Manhattan Beach Unified School District, we have discovered the importance of taking advantage of the many opportunities offered not only through the schools, but also through the community. By trying everything, we have found a

niche in academics, community service and journalism, and determined that music and acting are not exactly our forte. Rather than creating opposition between us, our differences have united us in ways we never thought possible. As we worked together to complete our Girl Scout Gold Award projects and as editors on La Vista, we were able to take advantage of our different talents to achieve more than we could on our own. In ninth grade, we began working with an organization that feeds the homeless. Looking back, we can say that this organization has played an important role in our personal development and strengthened our friendship. With that said, find your passion and pursue it. It is likely that the same spirit you had in kindergarten is still there. It is also probable that even if your passion is offbeat or unique, there is a class, club, teacher, or peer who can make that dream a reality. As we venture 3,000 miles from home next fall, we feel prepared to embrace the next chapter in our lives. We have tried new things along the way, have remained true to our individual values, and are ready to create a whole new set of memories. And if all else fails, we will only be a one-hour train ride away from each other.

I wore basketball shorts to school every day in seventh grade. There’s nothing wrong with basketball shorts, and if show up to Mira Costa every day with the bottom half of an old MBYB jersey, I think that’s wonderful. I have since grown into a skinny jeans man, however, and I hope to explain myself with this article. I used to make fun of almost every activity that I now count as an important hobby. Every high school cross country meet at Polliwog Park was an opportunity for seventh grade Jason to make fun of scrawny kids in short shorts. Although I did enjoy “Alladin Jr.” very much, almost every Manhattan Beach Middle School play seemed like an extracurricular for the strangest people in the

school. Even the ComedySportz team wasn’t cool enough when I saw them perform at MBMS. I’m literally a card-carrying thespian today, and the combination of long-distance running and improvisational theater has defined my high school experience.

I really changed. Drama kids replaced athletes, and Weezer message boards replaced fantasy baseball leagues. Tight pants replaced basketball shorts. My silly development into a wannabe indie kid is probably pretty typical of the change that most teenagers seem to experience, but the simple fact that it occurred is something I should be very thankful for. Somewhere, in all of this green and gold madness, there is a pair of skinny jeans for every single person on this campus. You’re allowed to make mistakes, change your mind and, hopefully, discover who you want to be. If you’ve actually made it this far in this article, I hope you’ll allow me to suggest this for you: try new things while you’re here. You only have four years to find yourself, and you should strive make the most of it.

Entertainment Editor Rose Graner imparts her knowledge By Rose Graner Entertainment Editor I recently watched “Zombieland,” a movie in which the main character outlines his rules for surviving a post-apocalyptic wasteland populated by the rabid living dead - a place not entirely

unlike high school, all things considered. For my senior goodbye, I’d like to impart my own three rules for surviving high school. Rule one: admit defeat. Let’s face it; if you’re here at all then the situation is already much less than ideal. Acknowledge that you will not get everything your way. The grades, the classes, the friends that you want—they’re not all going to come your way. Accept that the only contentment you’ll really achieve will be the feeling of satisfaction you get when you perform to the best of your abilities under whatever circumstances you’re in. Rule two: challenge yourself anyway. Take AP Euro. Go for advanced English classes. Join that club. Try out for badminton. If it looks scary and new and the people doing it look relatively happy, then give it a shot. It feels way

worse to regret not trying than it does to try and not be spectacular. Rule three: chill out. Challenging yourself doesn’t mean running yourself into the ground. If something isn’t working out, quit. There’s a lot of competition in high school. Do you want to know a secret? It all means absolutely nothing. Forget the competition. It’s not worth your time. Push yourself to your own limit, not theirs. Your teachers and peers aren’t exactly the undead—and high school isn’t exactly “Zombieland”—but you and I both know you still need some help. High school is pretty tough. These rules won’t solve every problem that you’ll encounter, but they’ll help you out a lot. Above all else, keep an open mind, stay calm, try new and difficult things and remember that it’s impossible for everything to work out.



La Vista

May 20, 2011

More of La Vista’s seniors provide their parting words Photos by Leland Lesnever/ La Vista

Managing Web Editor Daina Rama continues to grow By Daina Rama Managing Web Editor

Editors Audrey McKenzie and Jacqueline Peha look forward to their futures By Audrey McKenzie Entertainment Editor And Jacqueline Peha Photo Editor From the moment we step on campus freshman year we are programmed to make each choice carefully with one goal in mind: getting into the perfect college. But is that really the point of high school? These four years mean something more than that; they symbolize a transformation from childhood into adulthood. Once this time is gone, you can never get it back. Don’t waste all of your time at Costa anticipating the future; live in the present and enjoy every single moment. Not everything will always go as planned, but in our experience, we’ve found that we have learned the most from the mistakes we have made. High school will slip away in an instant, so take advantage of this precious time. Explore your passions, step out of your comfort zone and take risks. This safety blanket won’t be wrapped around you for very much longer; make good use of it while you can. As much as people like to make fun of Mira Costa, this school truly has so much to offer. We chose to take advantage of the journalism program, but there are a plethora of other opportunities as well, from Model U.N. to yearbook to band. Getting involved in a department at Mira Costa or even a few shapes you as a person and helps

guide you through your four years. Since becoming a part of La Vista, we have gained skills that will carry over to college and into the real world. Some of the experiences we wholeheartedly recommend are the international school trips. We went on the France trip last year, and it completely changed our lives. Prior to that trip, we didn’t even know each other, and now we are the closest of friends. Take that risk and go on a trip even if you don’t know anyone. As we immersed ourselves in a culture different from our own, it opened our eyes to new ideas and people. You will undoubtedly walk away from the experience with new friends and memories that will last a lifetime. As much as academics and the activities we chose defined us, the people we met impacted us most. There are many different types of people here, and as great as it is to find a group of people who have interests similar to yours, from our experience, it is a blessing to break free from that. The opportunity to get to know a wide array of friends is what has changed us. Don’t pass up the opportunity to broaden your horizon, because the people you meet will impact your life in more ways than you can imagine. We cannot tell you that the people you meet in high school will be your friends for life, but they do influence the decisions you make and help make you the person you become.

There is no doubt that there is a lack of school spirit at Costa; however, that lack does not reside within the four-walled chambers of my heart. I am extremely proud to say that the experiences I have had at Costa and the people I have encountered have shaped me into who I am today. My tenure in the Model U.N. program has instilled within me a passion for world issues. Without a doubt, the South Bay is its own little bubble; Model U.N. allowed me to step outside it for hours at a time and care about something bigger than the beach and the ArcLight theater catastrophe. Model U.N. has also shown me that although I’m a petite person, I can still have a strong, resounding voice that is worth listening to. In other words: looks can be deceiving, size doesn’t matter, etc. All of those aphorisms actually contain bits of truth. The time I have dedicated to La Vista has also been extremely

important to me. I have befriended many people I would not have even met under normal circumstances, some of them being the most hilarious, kind and spontaneous friends I have ever encountered.

Being involved on campus in Model U.N. and La Vista, as well as in various clubs over my four

years at Costa, has pushed me to widen my horizons socially, which I am sure has effectively prepared me for the next four years I face at University of Califonia Santa Barbara. I won’t go so far as to say that I bleed green and gold, because I don’t. But I will never forget my years here at Costa. I will never forget a certain chemistry teacher’s meltdowns during my sophomore year, and I will deeply miss hearing “beep beep” coming from the world’s friendliest janitor. Sure, some of the teachers are incredibly frustrating most of the time, but so are most of the people in the world. I would say that dealing with them for four years is an adequate gateway to acquiring sufficient patience for those out in the world. Mira Costa has taught me so much and has prepared me for my time outside of Manhattan Beach. I have spent the last four years of my life as a Mustang: Now, however, I am looking forward to spending the next four years of my life as a Gaucho.

Sports Web Editor Shannon Hagedorn reflects upon her experiences at Costa and welcomes the start to a new life By Shannon Hagedorn Sports Web Editor You see the seniors discussing college applications. Then, you see them lugging around their AP books. You see them wearing their college sweatshirts. You wish you were one of them but think, nope, I’ll never get there. Then, there’s this magical moment when it finally hits you. As everything you’ve known for the last four years comes to a close, you realize you’ve made it and you’re moving on. Everyone always says that high school flies by and that you should, therefore, appreciate every moment. Maybe there should be a different connotation for the saying - perhaps it’s not the same “appreciate” as when you are savoring a dessert, but rather valuing the lessons and the life skills

learned along the way. After four years of cross country and track, three years of Model U.N. and two years of journalism, I have tested my limits, grown as a person and prepared to venture into the real world. Above all else, I have learned that things happen for a reason and that life has a way of guiding each and every person. If you are true to yourself and honest in your pursuits, you will be rewarded appropriately. The process works; the journey prevails. So don’t resist it, don’t sweat it and just go with it. With help, support and inspiration from our teachers and our peers, we make it. The people who understand the pain, who share in the joy, who impart the wisdom of their life perspectives, these are the people who define the journey and, ultimately, de-

fine the individual. Thank you, Mira Costa. Thank you for the friendships, mentors, lessons, experiences and knowledge. I am ready for Notre Dame and the rest of life!

Managing Editor Trevor Thorpe learns from his mistakes and is ready to confront future challenges By Trevor Thorpe Managing Editor Finding just the right topic for this “reflection” of high school was a difficult task. I could easily dwell on cliché topics like my tough college decision, the importance of electives in the process of “self-discovery” or how to survive the SAT’s. However, among the important lessons that we as high school students will learn, the most important insight that this fine institution has to offer is the following: at some point, you will fail. That is not to say that each and every one of us is going to receive an F in a class. However, we must

realize that in high school, like in life, we begin with certain expectations that we cannot meet. At some point, all of us will not live up to a specific goal that we established for ourselves in high school. Whether that failure is simply the inability to score a goal in a soccer game, or on a larger scale, a rejection from the college of our dreams, all of these shortcomings help us grow. A failure to do well on an exam, for example, will expose a student to his or her poor study habits or lack of preparedness pertaining to a certain topic in a class. A student should use this failure to mend any weaknesses and be ready in the future.

In terms of a student not being admitted to his or her ideal college, this occurrence is by no

means the end of the world. Rather, it demonstrates that the school was not the optimal university for this specific student. There are so many great universities out there and an admission to a single one is ultimately not that important. I have learned that the best thing to do is maintain a positive attitude no matter the circumstance. My high school experiences have taught me not to dwell on what could have been, but rather on what I can do to improve myself and avoid future pitfalls. When I attended my very first Model U.N. conference, I was a horrendous debater and felt overwhelmed by everyone. In fact, I was the only delegate from Mira

Costa in that committee who did not win an award. However, I did not let this stop me from pursuing this program. Rather, I utilized this experience to identify my weaknesses and correct them in order to succeed in future debates. Through the years, I have managed to become a formidable delegate in Model U.N. Had I given in to the disappointment that followed my shortcomings, I would have missed out on the wonderful lessons and people I have experienced through that program. The fact is we will all face failure at some point in high school, but it is important to face these weaknesses and learn from them.


May 20, 2011

La Vista


Southern California’s coolest edible trend: frozen yogurt Compiled by Shelby Adair, Katie McGregor and Krista Roberts

With the appeal of a healthier snack, convenient locations and inviting atmospheres, frozen yogurt has increased in popularity among Mira Costa students in the past six years. Frozen yogurt was introduced in New England in the 1970s by H. P. Hood as a soft serve dessert under the name “frogurt.” The fad then expanded as more businesses opened to sell frozen yogurt and popularity grew among the public. Frozen yogurt sales continued to grow into the 1980s and 1990s. Today, this frozen treat has been reborn as a fad here in the Southern California. Recently, frozen yogurt chains have become a rising trend across the South Bay. Though frozen yogurt has existed for over 40 years, its popularity resurfaced when the first Pinkberry store opened in 2005. What began as a small business in West Hollywood became a new craze, reviving the obsession for frozen yogurt from the 1980s. Today, lines at Pinkberry can last for over 30 minutes, which coined the yogurt as “the taste that launched 1,000 parking tickets.” “I really enjoy Pinkberry’s lychee flavor. I also prefer Pinkberry for their original idea,” junior Noel Castellanos said. “They blazed the trail for other frozen yogurt chains to rise in the market. I just prefer the original.” The customization aspect of frozen yogurt adds to its appeal. For example, at Pinkberry, customers choose the flavor of frozen yogurt they want and add toppings, ranging from fruits to candies. This style has been duplicated at the other chains across the South Bay. Each yogurt can become a unique personal creation, with an endless variety of combina-

tions. After Pinkberry, several other frozen yogurt chains opened. In the South Bay alone, several frozen yogurt chains compete for business with almost identical flavor choices and toppings, including Pinkberry, Yogurtland, Lotus, Froyo Life, Tutti Frutti and Menchie’s. “Tutti frutti is my favorite because they offer a multitude of flavors and toppings,” sophomore Anthony Romo said. “It’s also not as expensive as other places like Pinkberry. And it’s awesome because I can just walk there because it’s so close to school.” With such similar businesses, each yogurt chain must have something unique and special to attract customers. Customers say they value the flavor selection and quality, topping selection and quality, yogurt quality (firmness, softness, etc.), price, location and store ambiance. Essentially, the ideal store has a lot of flavors and topping choices, cheap prices, prime locations and a good vibe to eat at. Pinkberry is the most well known due to its popularity in West Hollywood. It currently has two local stores, one in Hermosa Beach and another in El Segundo. Pinkberry is more expensive than other chains, since it sells its yogurt by size, rather than by the ounce. Though Pinkberry has a wide variety of toppings, it offers fewer flavors and is not self-serve. “Without toppings, the cheapest is $1.95, and the most expensive is $6.95. I feel that our quality of yogurt is higher than other yogurt chains.” Pinkberry employee Alexis Morony said. “As well, we are part of the National Yogurt Association, which means that there is less sugar in our yogurt cultures, while others have more.” The other five frozen yogurt chains are

self-serve, with prices set per ounce. Yogurtland has two locations in the South Bay, one in Manhattan Beach and one in South Redondo. Yogurt and toppings are sold for 30 cents an ounce. Other stores include Lotus, which is located in Hermosa Beach near the pier, and Tutti Frutti, located in Manhattan Beach by Costa. “I like Lotus because I can save money, and I like Yogurtland because of all the awesome flavors,” senior Steven Montoya said. “But after going to Lotus I can go to the beach or walk down the strand.” With such strict competition, frozen yo-

gurt stores strive to go above and beyond to create the ideal atmosphere and offer the best yogurts to their customers. Yogurtland is the most popular among Costa students, and in the past year its popularity has only increased. With great selections of yogurt and fun employees, it is no surprise that the lines often run out the door. “My favorite yogurt place is Yogurtland. I love to grab a quick yogurt after practice or on weekends,” freshman Adrian Navarro said. “It has many flavors to choose from and is cheap. And did I forget to mention it’s delicious?”




Krista Roberts/ Staff Writer

Yogurtland: Junior Mia Haas-Goldberg is picks out toppings for her frozen yogurt from the dozenss of choices availible at Yogurtland in Manhattan Beach.

What are Costa students’ favorite frozen yogurt chains? Seniors

Courtesy of

Courtesy of



Courtesy of

Tutti Frutti


Information provided by student-run polls

Why do you think frozen yogurt is so popular?

“It is easier to access because there are so many different locations like Pinkberry, and Tutti Frutti.”

“When it’s hot outside during the summer, I think it’s nice to have a cold treat, like frozen yogurt.”

“You get to make it your own and be creative with all of the different toppings and flavors.”

“It’s because summer is coming up/ Also because frozen yogurt is supposedly healthier than ice cream.”

Aiden Daye Senior

Nicole Potvin Sophomore

Kellianne Safarik Senior

Gavin Jernigan Junior



La Vista

May 20, 2011

Relay For Life at Costa raises money and awareness for cancer By Erica Schneider Staff Writer One student’s dream of raising awareness and money for cancer was fulfilled on May 14 and 15 at Manhattan Beach’s first-ever Relay For Life. Junior Eliza Gesten transferred to Mira Costa at the beginning of her sophomore year. Inspired by her grandmother who fought and eventually died from cancer, Gesten was determined to bring the American Cancer Society’s fundraiser to her new school and community to raise awareness. “We brought the event to this community to raise money, find cures and fight back, so future generations won’t have to be devastated by this dreadful disease,” Gesten said. The Relay for Life is a volunteer-driven, 24-hour event that gives participants an opportunity to raise awareness about cancer and help save lives. People of all ages form teams in which each member strives to raise at least $100 for the cause by walking continuously around a track. Teams are asked to have a member on the track at all times to illustrate the fact that “cancer never sleeps.” Volunteers and survivors come together to celebrate those who have fought, survived and lost their lives to cancer. Approximately 20 teams made

Carina Glasser/La Vista

FIGHT FOR LIFE: Members of a relay team walk in order to raise money for cancer research through the American Cancer Society on May 14. up of middle and high school students as well as community members participated in this year’s event. Following the national anthem, which was performed by the Mira Costa vocal ensemble, participants prepared for the daylong event with a yoga warm-up. The first lap of “victory” was led by a group of cancer survivors wearing their symbolic purple shirts. “It was inspirational to watch as the cancer survivors led the rest of the volunteers around the track with smiling faces,” team member and junior Riley O’Connell said.

Throughout the day, a number of activities were provided for the participants’ enjoyment, including a balloon toss, a “stuck together” team lap, a dance competition and a scavenger hunt. A kid’s carnival consisting of face paining, manicures, pedicures, tattoos and whip cream pie throwing was a successful means of raising even more money and providing entertainment. “The process of planning events was definitely long,” entertainment chair and junior Jenny Anderson said. “However, watching as everyone enjoyed the activities we helped plan was re-

Carina Glasser/La Vista

TEAM TIME: Teams of up to 20 people participated in the walk, each with its own unique theme. Some teams chose to sleep on the field over night. ally rewarding.” There was a varied line-up of entertainment throughout the day and even the night. A number of solo artists and student and adult bands, including Eden’s Bliss and The Stick and Stones, helped create a festive environment. Mira Costa’s Comedy Sportz team presented a number of improvised skits, which were well received by the crowd. “The day was filled with a mix of serious and light hearted moments,” chair team organizer and junior Carly McPherson said. “The entertainment and activities helped create a feeling of com-

munity, and I know everyone felt good about the great event.” The relay culminated in a Luminaria Ceremony, where participants remembered those they have lost to cancer. Throughout the day, participants had the opportunity to buy and decorate luminaria bags in memory of lost loved ones. The event raised a total of $57,000. “It wouldn’t have been possible without the support from our teams’ members, sponsors and cancer survivors,” Gesten said. “I’m so happy that my vision for this event was finally put into action and was so successful.”


May 20, 2011

La Vista


Third annual percussion concert drums to the notes of success By Elizabeth Kneisly Staff Writer The Spring Percussion Festival, “Drum the Planet,” gave the members of Mira Costa’s percussion ensemble a solo opportunity to create unique music and get the audience’s feet tapping. This third annual festival took place on May 6 in the Mira Costa auditorium. In two clinics before the show at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. , professional players taught percussion students and the audience the different elements of percussion. Finally, at 8 p.m., the entire Mira Costa percussion section put on the show. “I went and watched the percussion festival with my friends and learned so many new things about percussion,” sophomore Lucas Commiso said. “My favorite parts were the clinics where I got to try out the instruments and play along in the audience with the students.” World-renowned drummers Ron Powell and Lalo Davila hosted the two clinics before the concert. Powell displayed the different types of instruments used in Brazilian Samba music, while Davila demonstrated and talked about Afro-Cuban drumming. At the

end of the clinics, Powell and Davila gave everyone instruments to play along with. “I had a great time getting to work with Powell and Davila during the clinics,” sophomore Costa percussionist Zack Thomasson said. “I think they definitely added to the show and made the whole thing a lot more fun to be a part of.”

“Overall, the concert was awesome. All of the students played really well, and it was such a good crowd to entertain.” Joel Carlson Band Director The show’s theme, “Drum the Planet,” featured a wide selection of percussion music from all around the world. The students played seven pieces in their concert, including “Sarengetti,” “Marimba Flamenca,” “Dill Pickles,” “Sambach,” “High Voltage,” “Samba and Clean Sweep”. Davila performed along with the students in Marimba Flamenca, High Voltage, and Samba. Powell performed in Samba. “I liked how the concert was

creative in the way that they not only demonstrated their musical skills by playing on regular drums, but also by playing on more common objects, such as brooms like in the song ‘Clean Sweep,’” senior Zeena Bhakta said. Over 100 people attended the clinics, and by the end of the night about 700 people filled the auditorium seats to watch the concert. The festival was also sponsored by Row-Loff, Zildjian, LP, Marriott, Evans Drumheads and Innovative Percussion Inc. Some of the musical sponsors provided a demo-center for audience members to test out different percussion instruments. “It was my first time playing in the percussion concert, and it was a really fun and exciting experience,” sophomore Costa percussionist Casey Choi said. “I especially loved Powell’s clinic because at the end we got to play all of his instruments with him. We had this really awesome jam session at the end.” Video clips of the Mira Costa Spring Percussion Festival can be found at manhattanbeach.patch. com. “Overall, the concert was awesome. All of the students played really well, and it was such a good crowd to entertain,” band director Joel Carlson said.

Madison Swart/ La Vista

THE BEAT OF THE DRUM: Top, senior Caley Versfelt (left), sophomore Emerson Nichols (center) and junior Sammy Nunan (right) perform. Above, seniors Danny Padilla (left) and Ryan Kay perform the comical song “Dill Pickles.”

Annual Scholar Quiz competition marks nearly a quarter of a century at Mira Costa By Nicolette Olson Staff Writer

Leland Lesnever/ La Vista

JAVA JUMP-START: Teacher Mitch Williams will offer AP computer science to sophomores, juniors and seniors who have met certain math requirements.

AP computer science provides introduction to programming By Zack Gill Staff Writer Mira Costa students have many options for class selection. Advanced Placement Computer Science will be yet another new option vying for the attention of aspiring computer programmers and hobbyists next year. Video game design and computer graphics teacher Mitch Williams is teaching one section of AP computer science a for the 2011-2012 Mira Costa school year. Students entering the 10th grade who have completed geometry and received an A in algebra 1-2 are eligible to take the course. “It’s a full-year course that should get you a semester of computer science class credit for a college,” Williams said. The class will only be offered if enough students decide to take the course. “At the information session, we had about 30 students show

up, so I’m pretty confident I’ll have a full class next year,” Williams said. The AP Computer Science curriculum expects students to be competent in the Java programming language and Gridwork by the end of the year. However, programming knowledge is not a pre-requisite to take the course. “I don’t have a lot of programming knowledge,” junior Ryan Chase said. “That’s one of the reasons I want to take the course; I can broaden my knowledge.” The College Board provides various tools to aid students in learning programming. Gridwork is one of the programs that students are expected to learn about in preparation for the AP exam. Students around the country complain that skills learned in high school are never used in reallife situations, but AP computer science may be the exception. “I feel like this is going to be a course that will be incredibly beneficial to me in science and in life,” Chase said.

The plans for the Mira Costa Scholar Quiz began over breakfast at the Hermosa Beach IHOP 24 years ago. In 1987, AP U.S. history and CP block world history teacher William Fauver founded Scholar Quiz with the help of Gary Hartzell, a previous Mira Costa principal. “Hartzell knew that I was on the winning Quiz Bowl competition at UCLA,” Fauver said. “He indicated that he would like to do a similar competition at Mira Costa that involved questions from all different subjects taught at Costa.” Shortly after Hartzell talked to Fauver, Jim Ruderman, a previous government teacher, and Jerry Quigley, a retired history teacher who now substitutes at Mira Costa, were brought on board.

“In 1988, interest was so intense in the Scholar Quiz that we expanded to 64 teams and asked for assistance from the PTSA to help man the rooms.” William Fauver History Teacher “Hartzell, Ruderman, Quigley and I formed the framework of the Scholar Quiz competition during a breakfast meeting in Hermosa Beach in 1987,” Fau-

ver said. “We planned how many teams we would allow, how many questions were to be used and the difficulties of the questions that were to be included.” The first competition fielded 32 teams. Ruderman, Quigley and Fauver wrote all of the questions and answers themselves to ensure that they ranged across the academic curriculum. “In 1988, interest was so intense in the Scholar Quiz that we expanded to 64 teams and asked for assistance from the PTSA to help man the rooms,” Fauver said. “The PTSA has been an integral part of the competition ever since.” Fauver, Ruderman and Quigley soon realized that the task of Scholar Quiz was enormous, and they found that writing the questions themselves was too time consuming. At that point, they enlisted the services of a question writing company who introduced the famous lightening rounds into the competition. “Another addition was made to the Scholar Quiz in the mid‘90s,”Fauver said. “Mira Costa initiated the awarding of the Sean Barnes Memorial Trophy. The trophy, located in the Administration Building, has the names from every winning team in the competition.” Fauver ran the Scholar Quiz competition with help from the PTSA committee until 1998. Starting in 1999, Steve Singiser, current CP U.S. history teacher and AP government teacher,

joined on. Singiser had won the Scholar Quiz as a senior at Mira Costa in 1991. “When I took over, Fauver was

“I’m really excited for Scholar Quiz this year. I’m planning to form a team soon, and we are going to study a lot so we can go far in the competition.” Chris O’Brien Junior starting a new family and was too busy to run the Scholar Quiz,” Singiser said. In 2008, Singiser started writing for a political blog and could no longer continue organizing the Scholar Quiz competition at Costa. At that point, the PTSA took over the task of running the competition. “The PSTA budget funds the prize money and the teacher lunches during the competition,” PTSA member Chris Gregory said. “In addition, we organize the sign-ups for the students, seed the teams and make the brackets.” This year, Scholar Quiz will begin on May 31 with 64 teams consisting of four members. The final match is scheduled for June 7. “I’m really excited for Scholar Quiz this year,” junior Chris O’Brien said. “I’m planning to form a team soon, and we are going to study a lot so we can go far in the competition.”



La Vista

May 20, 2011

Senior Hannah McDermott shines at Spotlight Competition By Hanna McGuire Sports Editor Senior Hannah McDermott has struck a note above her competitors by winning the Music Center Spotlight Award for classical voice. Not only has McDermott’s talent taken her to competitions like this, but it has also given her the opportunity to attend The Julliard School next fall. For four years, McDermott has competed in the Spotlight Awards competition, where Southern California high school students perform in categories ranging from jazz instrumental to ballet. In McDermott’s division, 350 students made the first cut. From there, the vocalists sang two songs to the panel of judges, and then 15 semifinalists were chosen. Those who were picked received lessons from and worked very closely with professional opera singer Cynthia Munzer. “The people at the Music Center are so nurturing and they want you grow as a young artist,” McDermott said. “I’ve been participating in this for four years and every time I come back, there is such a friendly feel; it’s the most incredible experience.” Out of the 15 semifinalists, two students were selected as finalists. McDermott and the other finalist, senior Daniel McGrew from Orange County, performed

on April 30 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in front of about 2,500 people. “I wore this beautiful red wedding dress; it was amazing,” McDermott said. “All of the lights were on me, and although I was nervous, I was having so much fun.” For her final performance, McDermott sang the French piece “Que Fais – Tu Blanche Tourtelle.” McDermott received $5,000 for winning, while McGrew earned $4,000. Overall, more than $100,000 in scholarships was awarded to participants. McDermott was not the only one excited by her victory. Since she was three, her family has been watching her transform into the award-winning artist that she is today. “Hannah is so impressive, and we are so proud of her,” mother Anne Marie McDermott said. “All of those kids are amazing and have trained so hard; Hannah is no different.” McDermott first fell in love with classical music when her grandmother took her to her first opera. Since then, McDermott has been inspired by opera singers like Luciano Pavarotti, Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland and Marilyn Horne. “My grandma really got the ball rolling for me,” McDermott

said. “She used to blast Pavarotti on the radio, and I just loved it.” Given McDermott’s interest in music, it was only natural for her to apply to music schools. After auditioning at 10 schools and receiving multiple acceptance letters, McDermott decided to attend The Juilliard School in New York City. “When we found out that Hannah had gotten in, we were ecstatic,” Anne Marie McDermott said. “I knew that Juilliard was where she wanted to go, and I think it’s a perfect fit for her.” Being accepted to Juilliard is no small feat. McDermott considered the application process the most strenuous and exhausting audition that she went through. “I flew out to New York with my mom and sang two songs for the entire faculty,” McDermott said. “Then I met with a diction coach, had an ear training test, an interview and finally a written test. Overall, it took about five hours.” About 600 students apply to The Juilliard School each year, and only about 60 are chosen for live auditions. According to The Juilliard School’s website, the percent of students admitted is 7.4 percent. McDermott was not only accepted, but she also received a scholarship. “Applying to music school is

Carina Glasser/La Vista

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Hannah McDermott won the Spotlight Awards Competition. She plans to attend The Juilliard School and pursue a career in opera. very different than applying to normal colleges because of the prescreening CD’s and the auditioning,” Anne Marie McDermott said. “Taking Hannah to all of the schools was like the ‘Amazing Race’ because we never knew what she was going to have to face at an audition.” After Juilliard, McDermott hopes to attend graduate school for singing and reach her ultimate

goal of becoming an opera singer. Regardless of where she ends up, McDermott knows that music will always be a part of her life. Her next recital will be on June 12 at the Trinity Lutheran Church at 1:30 p.m. “Singing feels like a natural way to express myself,” McDermott said. “Music is a universal language; everyone take something from it.”


May 20, 2011

La Vista


Editor’s take

Fall television season suggests increased gender equality By Rose Graner Entertainment Editor An unprecedented amount of television shows that have been picked up for the fall season have female leads—at least 10 so far. Although this may not spell out a lasting trend, it is an extremely heartening indicator that casual sexism in entertainment fields is finally beginning to fall by the wayside. Of course, sexism has not disappeared entirely from modern American society. Accordingly, some of these shows are standard cheesecake fare and not at all revolutionary; a “Charlie’s Angels” reboot is in the works and Sarah Jessica Parker is producing what is essentially a D.C.-flavored version of the television series “Sex and the City.” However, for each demeaning and simplistic portrayal of women in the upcoming television season, there is one show that promises to appeal to basic feminist sensibilities. For instance, J.J. Abrams (of “Lost” and “Fringe” fame) is known for featuring well-rounded, strong female characters, and he has had not one but two female-led pilots picked up for fall. The fact that studios are willing to sign two female-led shows from the same high-concept, high-budget creator means that the industry has at least some faith in television viewers’ ability to prize good entertainment over all-too-prevalent vestigial sexism in our culture. The trend of increasing gender equality in television programming is not limited to shows featuring Abrams’ particular brand of sci-fi drama programming.

Though Jon Belushi remarked openly and often that women were unfit to be comedians, the success of female-led comedies like Tina Fey’s “30 Rock” and Amy Poheler’s “Parks and Recreation” have initiated the breakdown of this stereotype. As a result, many major studios have picked up comedies with female leads—most notably a series based on Chelsea Handler’s highly-acclaimed and startlingly irreverent memoir “Are You There, Vodka, It’s Me, Chelsea,” which features a dynamic and independent female lead actress. Indeed, increased representation of female performers and writers is not limited to just television. Producer Judd Apatow (“Superbad,” “Pineapple Express”) has a spotty track record with feminism. He tends to portray male characters as loveable oafs whose casual sexism is charming rather than offensive and has been known to make female characters whiny, petty creatures. The most effective creative forces can change with the times, though, if the way that Apatow has stepped up recently on the feminist front by producing the female-written and acted ensemble comedy “Bridesmaids” is any indication. In short, the upcoming fall season’s crop of women in television is extremely promising. It suggests that women are gaining recognition as performers and writers that even 20 years ago they would not have been societally capable of achieving. Sexism still affects many aspects of life, but it is actively losing its grasp on popular culture, to the benefit of television and film producers and consumers alike.

Courtesy Eden”s Bliss

Courtesy Eden’s Bliss

JUst like heaven: Mira Costa Junior Michael de Virgilio (vocals and guitar) records for the band at left; “EBEP” cover art featuring a bird of paradise (by Mira Costa junior Kevin Kumagai) at right.

Eden’s Bliss experiment on new EP By Alec Lautanenn Theme Editor In an era where the high school music scene tends to be overpopulated with imitation lo-fi garagerock bands that sing generic, sappy lyrics, Mira Costa student band Eden’s Bliss differentiates itself on its latest EP, “EBEP.” Eden’s Bliss is comprised of juniors Brandon Hafetz (vocals, sound production), Michael de Virgilio (vocals and guitar) Ari Stern (percussion), and Mira Costa sophomore Jackson Webster (saxophone). They have played numerous events at Mira Costa and at the Hometown Fair’s Battle of the Bands as well as at West Hollywood’s well-known hot spot, the Whisky A Go Go. The six-track “EBEP” debuted on Saturday during a performance at Relay for Life. The EP contains impressively precise instrumentation from all members of the band as well as lyrics that are well versed, thought out and simply entertaining. The album starts out with the oddly titled track “I Am the Purple One.” Although the actual

meaning of the song is far from clear, the lyrics don’t necessitate one. With lines like “purple cows make purple milk” and “generous grapes give healthy living,” as well as intriguing instrumentals, the song starts the album on a quirky note. Eden’s Bliss vocalists Hafetz and de Virgilio deliver their lyrics with both skill and simplicity. They don’t go out of the way to sing overpowering vocals that drown out the band’s strongest elements. This easygoing style works well with the band’s slowpaced instrumentals and alternating vocal sections. Another strong point of “EBEP” is Stern’s percussion. Stern’s jazz-inspired beats complement the groovy guitar and bass sections very well to create an alternative-jazz fusion. They were even impressive enough to be notable during the band’s live showcase at Relay for Life. Stern’s drum sections on “EBEP” are vibrant and original enough to be noticed and appreciated by listeners but not so overpowering that they drown out the band’s vocals and other instruments.

Webster, a relatively new member, appears on the closing track, “Finally,” playing the saxophone. Just when the album is about to end as a simple, predictable alternative record, the added saxophone comes in and instantly makes the band more versatile. The instrument augments the new jazz sound of the band and was a brilliant move on the part of Eden’s Bliss. One of the most respectable and impressive aspects of “EBEP” is Hafetz’s production quality, especially since he produced the album himself. There isn’t a single instance in the EP where any one instrument or vocal part overpowers another, and all components mesh well. “EBEP” proves just what Mira Costa’s more musically inclined students are capable of producing. Eden’s Bliss has created an album that isn’t obnoxiously and excessively loud or overtly and markedly emotional. It’s an ideal combination of their new and old style that leads to promising growth in any band. “EBEP” is available in its entirety on Eden’s Bliss’ page.

Death Cab’s ‘Codes and Keys’ proves to be dull, underwhelming By Zack Gill Staff Writer Alternative rock group Death Cab For Cutie has always loved somber lyrics and juxstaposes them with cheerful guitars. Band members Chris Walla and Ben Gibbard have said that on their new album, “Codes & Keys,” the group has stepped away from the largely guitar-centric sound that has won them success and acclaim. While experimentation with sound is certainly a worthy endeavor for any band, with the new album “Codes & Keys,” Death Cab For Cutie has failed for the first time. Without the redeeming upbeat pop sensibility of previous works, the album is unrelentingly drab and consistently boring. Death Cab For Cutie began as singer/guitarist Gibbard’s solo project, and he remains the most famous member of the group. He was further renowned for his electronic side project, The Postal Service. Chris Walla, lead guitar-

ist and producer for most of the band’s output, remains an integral part of the group’s sound. 2009’s “Narrow Stairs” was Death Cab For Cutie’s largest commercial success. While the album contains some of Death Cab’s saddest songs, it feels loose, lively, and spontaneous throughout. “Codes & Keys” completely loses the surprise and spontaneity

of Death Cab’s previous efforts. In fact, the only surprise here is how bad the album is. It seemed like Death Cab was having a great time recording “Narrow Stairs.” Here, they seem to be going through the motions with “Codes & Keys.” Lead single “You Are A Tourist” makes an attempt to replicate some of the sunnier atmosphere and musicality of songs from

“Narrow Stairs,” like the tracks “...Cath” or “No Sunlight,” but instead the vocals sound overproduced and the instrumentation is bland. The album is also completely repetitive. There are some quiet vocals and slow guitar riffs; however, soul seems to be unfortunately missing from the equation entirely. “Some Boys” and “Portable Television” seem almost as




it’s just gibberish: On Death Cab for Cutie’s new release, “Codes and Keys,” frontman Ben Gibbard fails to make an enthralling sound that lives up to the high expectations set up by the band’s previous releases.

if they are the same song with different lyrics. “Some Boys” is in a higher key, but a dissonant guitar line plus whiny vocals seems to be the formula that defines each song on the album. However, two tracks stand out and grab the listener on repeat spins of “Codes & Keys.” “Underneath the Sycamore” blends together wonderful percussion, solid vocals from Gibbard, and a pretty irresistible keyboard line. “St. Peter’s Cathedral” combines some of the only memorable guitar work on the entire album with chirpy acoustic guitar chugging throughout the song, and perhaps the only memorable chorus on the album. After “Narrow Stairs,” it seemed like Death Cab For Cutie was going in a wonderful new direction; “Codes & Keys” proves that prediction wrong. The album isn’t just a regression; it’s an insult to fans. “Codes & Keys” is available digitally and in stores on May 31.


La Vista


May 20, 2011

Branagh’s ‘Thor’ entertains but stretches itself too thin By Zack Gill Staff Writer Marvel Studios’ latest comic book adaptation, “Thor,” substitutes many of the usual action film tropes for a feeling more Shakespearean, with brotherly betrayal, political intrigue and hubris in abundance. Renowned Shakespearian actor and director Kenneth Branagh is at the reins of “Thor,” bringing a keen visual eye as well as extensive experience and skill working with actors. However, in its attempt to inflect standard popcorn fare with higher-brow theatrics, “Thor” fails to provide either exceptional action or drama. Thor the god of thunder (Chris Hemsworth) is about to take the throne of mystical realm Asgard from his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) until his brother Loki (Tom Riddleston) tricks him into an act of aggression against the rival race of frost giants. Odin strips Thor of his godlike powers and banishes him to Earth, where he is taken in by a kindly astrophysicist (Natalie Portman). A cliched relationship ensues, while Loki attempts to steal Odin’s throne and ensure that Thor stays on Earth. The performances are of a caliber much higher than the average action movie. Newcomer Hems-



Hammering it in: Branagh attempted to imbue “Thor” with both lighthearted humor and dramatic action, which detracted from the film’s overall impact.

Greek gods: “Thor’s” diverse cast includes Academy Award-winner Natalie Portman and the relatively unknown Chris Helmsworth.

worth (previously seen as Kirk’s dad in the first five minutes of JJ Abram’s “Star Trek”) portrays Thor as gleefully energetic and believably arrogant. His gradual transformation into a kinder, more patient hero feels organic. Hopkins portrays Odin with much of the power that has propelled him to stardom. Not a stranger to genre films, just last year Hopkins called in a dismal performance in Universal’s “Wolfman.” That’s not that case here. The Hopkins in “Thor” is passionate, yet restrained, in what is easily his best performance since 2005’s “The World’s Fastest Indian.” There are a lot more peripheral characters, including Rene Russo

mance definitely helps. Loki is driven by self-loathing and ambition, traits with which any viewer can safely identify. Scenes with Loki, Thor and Odin pay greater homage to “King Lear” than “Superman.” Perhaps this is intentional with Branagh helming the film, and nevertheless, the dynamics between Loki and his kin provide the most compelling scenes of the film. However, the film’s visual style is inconsistent. “Thor”’s prolific production designer Bo Welch has created some incredible, fantastic worlds throughout his career. About half of the film takes place in Asgard, which looks incredible; everything is shiny and sparkly.

who portrays Thor’s mother. It’s wonderful to see Russo in a film role again, but a viewer must wonder why she took “Thor.” Her character is dreadfully underwritten, receiving only about 10 lines. Increasingly reliable Idris Elba puts in a scene-stealing performance as stoic Heimdahl, a sort of omniscient watchman and friend to Thor and his allies. Natalie Portman is around, too, as Thor’s romantic interest. She isn’t annoying but any somewhat competent actress could portray the barely-written role. Loki is one of the more interesting movie villains from Hollywood in the last few years, and Riddleston’s unnerving perfor-

Scenes on Earth are a little bit more drab. The crew built an entire town in New Mexico as a set for “Thor,” and while it looks pretty interesting, it just can’t compete to the visually arresting spectacle of Asgard. Perhaps that’s the point, but dull is dull. Viewers will be entertained by “Thor,” but the film certainly isn’t life-changing. In fact, the near-absurdist “Fast Five” has better action sequences and is probably more fun overall. With such an over-saturated summer, only comic book devotees need to go out of their way to give this film a view. “Thor” is rated PG-13 and is playing in theatres nationwide in 3D, 2D and Imax 3D formats.


May 20, 2011

La Vista


‘Hobo With a Shotgun’ shoots lower than the stars By Alec Lautanen Staff Writer When seeing a movie titled “Hobo with a Shotgun,” the audience holds certain expectations. The film is expected to be an amateur piece of cinema with plenty of blood-curdling violence and gore. “Hobo With a Shotgun” fulfills just that, presenting itself as an enthralling homage to previous slasher exploitation films while delivering scene after scene of campy ultra violence and many freakish characters. If viewers expect a legitimate and thoughtful film, they’ll be sorely disappointed. But as far as the genre of action and horror exploitation goes, “Hobo with a Shotgun” does not fall short. Through many scenes of overthe-top cruelty and violence, the film is enjoyable to watch and at times funny. Characters are as eccentric as they are unbelievable, but this only supports the exaggerated concept of the film. “Hobo with a Shotgun” started off as a fake movie trailer shown before Quentin Tarantino’s “Grindhouse” just as similar film “Machete” did. It won much praise, and went into production in spring 2010. It starts off with the titular character, always re-



Home, home on the shooting range: “Hobo With a Shotgun” is a relatively low-budget production with few high aspirations; in general, it just hopes to portray a slightly absurdist snuff film and succeeds admirably. ferred to as “Hobo” and played by a grizzled Rutger Hauer, riding (by train, no less) into a lawless town that has descended into chaos. By night, groups of violent and sadistic teens roam the streets (think “A Clockwork Orange”), terrorizing any and all people they run into, with special antagonism toward the homeless. Their leader, “The Drake” (Brian Downey), instills fear in the entire town with his two sons, Ivan (Nick Bateman), and Slick (Gregory Smith). Of course, Hobo is not pleased with any of this and goes on a vigilante-like spree of murder and

intimidation, using only a shotgun. One of his first acts is saving a prostitute named Abby (Molly Dunsworth) from Slick’s abuse. His heroic actions quickly draw the attention of The Drake and Ivan, who set off to exterminate Hobo at all costs. “Hobo with a Shotgun’s” greatest strength is its ability to both encapsulate elements of ‘80s slasher films and combine them with new action and horror exploitation films like “The Devil’s Rejects.” Cinematography and production design also play a significant role in this film. The result is dystopia and a Mad Max-esque

setting that retains the look of a kitschy colored city. The film also succeeds in producing an extremely likeable protagonist. When Hobo first arrives, his only goal is to buy a lawnmower in a pawn shop to start a yard care business. However, after witnessing the absolute anarchy into which the city has descended, he chooses the shotgun instead. During his work, he also delivers a string of amusing and straight-faced one-liners, such as “We’re going on a car ride to hell. And you’re riding shotgun.” It’s impossible not to root for Hobo. His evil counterparts, The

Drake and his sons, complement Hobo’s demeanor well with overly enthusiastic and unbelievably disturbed characters. Constantly sporting matching leather jackets and Wayfarers, Slick and Ivan approach every act of cruelty with maniacal laughter and overt gratification, contrasting with Hobo’s sincerity and providing some amusing confrontations. Out of all of the merits of “Hobo with a Shotgun,” the most amusing is the creativity put into some of the brutal killings. Writer John Davies’ imagination is extreme at some points and downright repulsive at others. Deaths range from severing someone’s spinal cord with an ice skate to setting a full school bus on fire with a flamethrower. “Hobo with a Shotgun” will no doubt please people who are fans of the slasher genre. Audiences who see the film for any reason except for the rugged and intimidating Hobo or gruesome murders will not be amused. The film is less than 90 minutes and has barely made $12,000 since its release; however, it has all the makings of a cult classic. “Hobo with a Shotgun” is unrated and is available from Verizon FiOS pay-per-view prior to its relatively wide-release Los Angeles debut today.

The Antlers’ ‘Burst Apart’ delves deep into cohesive soundscape By Justin Tam Staff Writer Brooklyn, New York-based indie rockers, the Antlers, promised an album with less dramatics. Two years removed from their conceptual, emotionally devastating label-debut, “Hospice,” the band’s sophomore release, “Burst Apart,” is here. It proves just as emotionally complex as its predecessor while artfully maintaining a balance between tense, melancholic ambiance and lush soundscapes. The band features Peter Silberman (vocals and guitar), Michael Lerner (drums) and Darby Cicci (keyboard, trumpet and banjo). Combining subdued drums with gentle, almost ambient melodies, the Antlers prove themselves masters of mood and atmosphere. Their first album on Frenchkiss Records, “Hospice,” was a rarely ambitious and successful modern concept album. Both heartbreaking and epic in its narrative of a soured relationship between a dying patient and a hospice worker, the Antlers began with a forceful revelation. “Hospice” was both anthemic and ambient and so emotionally stirring that it seemed to convey and make tangible its extended theme of hope in the face of hopelessness. With musical composition similar to that of their first label-album, “Burst Apart” is an exercise of sonic and atmospheric mastery. However, in this record the Antlers flesh out their sound with greater emphasis on instrumentation. Silberman’s haunting croon and falsetto inhabit and lend another texture to the more distinct melodies on the album which themselves are abridged by vast, almost ethereal washes of sound. Combined, the album is far less focused on the melodrama



Not burst apart: In an interview with “Consequence of Sound,” Antlers drummer Michael Lerner described the writing process on the new album as “really, you know, straight-up democratic.”

Explosions: The Antlers’ “Burst Apart” has received an adundance of critical acclaim.

self as a testament to the Antlers’ ability to bring a degree of power to their music and, rather than crush listeners with despair and malaise, comfort them with the soothing sounds of their music. However, the Antlers have not become just another pleasant indie band; in fact, it is quite the contrary. The album’s closer, “Put the Dog to Sleep,” exemplifies their ability to make uniquely tortured but beautiful music. The track, at once spectacular in its wrenching lyrics and its triumphant sound as Silberman, marks the end of both a difficult relationship and the culmination

of the album. “Burst Apart” is a fantastic foray into what an album can achieve and be standing alone: a rousing, passionate collection of songs that inspire both reflection and contemplation in equal parts. The Antlers’ new album proves that they can make extraordinary music without an overarching concept behind it. “Burst Apart” is a powerful album about love, love-lost, and the possibility of moving on. It is available on iTunes, vinyl and CD both online and wherever music is sold.

and lyrics of “Hospice.” The Antlers really seek to distance themselves from their label debut in “Burst Apart.” The opening track, “I Don’t Want Love,” is a brash and soaring piece, characterized by Silberman’s swooping vocals and upbeat guitar, despite the obvious solemnity of the lyrical content. Though less significant in the context of the album’s themes and motifs, the song “Hounds” demonstrates the band’s ability to generate emotion and aural splendor without sounding bombastic through the use of trumpets and desolate-sounding vocal half-whispers. Matching the increased instrumentation, Silberman’s lyrics are no slouch; sometimes it seems that he is loudest when he’s barely singing. On “Rolled Together,” the vocals take a backseat to the jazzy guitar and drums as Silberman repeats two haunting lines: “Rolled together with a burning paper heart...we’re about to burst apart.” The quiet desperation and romantic imagery is simply moving. The album distinguishes itself fantastically from its predecessor, displaying it-



La Vista

Softball overcomes five-run deficit, achieves victory in first round of CIF By Ryan Erickson Staff Writer Unrelenting perseverence paid off for the Costa softball team in its May 18 home game against Righetti. While staring down the face of elimination, the Mustangs pulled off a dramatic 8-7 win that came off of an extra innings walkoff double during the last out of the game and was the climax of a five-run comback for Costa. “I never thought that we were going to lose this game,” junior catcher Katie Saunders said. “We’ve rallied a lot of times this year to win games, and I genuinely believed we were going to come away with a win.” The Mustangs played their following CIF game yesterday away against Lakewood, but results were not available at the time of publication. On May 18, Mira Costa sent its ace pitcher junior Breanna Kelly to the mound, who was looking for her 16th win of the year. Righetti followed with its own pitcher in senior Michaela Valencia, who had only let in two runs in the team’s game against Paso Robles. Righetti was the first to score in the game, getting four consecutive hits against Kelly in the first

inning and earning three runs. Costa also got a run across in the first inning off of a solo home run by Saunders, who was slated at second in the lineup. Three more scores by Righetti in the second inning left Costa in a 6-1 hole after the top of the second. “I struggled a little bit in the first three innings, but then in the fourth I took a deep breath and just relaxed,” Kelly said. “From then on I was able to focus and make good pitches. That was how I didn’t allow them to score all the way until the eighth inning.” The score remained the same until the sixth inning, when senior Chloe Krasnoff hit a threerun double with the bases loaded to bring the Mustangs within two runs. The very next inning, sophomore outfielder Taylor Glover hit an RBI double and scored off a wild pitch to tie the game at 6-6. “We never panicked, even when we had our backs up against the wall,” coach Dick Amberik said. “Someone always comes up clutch for us late in games, and we believe we’re always going to make it interesting.” Following a Righetti run in the top of the inning, the Mustangs staged a comeback in the eighth. Saunders came up to bat with two outs and senior Kamyle Glover

After nine years of coaching below the varsity level, Jeff Amaral is preparing to bring his knowledge and love of the game to the court as the new coach of the Mira Costa boys basketball team. Amaral was offered the position about three weeks ago when former coach Henry Myar resigned. Amaral was an assistant coach for the team at the time and feels that taking over next year will be a natural transition for him. “I’ve been coaching different basketball teams since I was 19,” Amaral said. “I loved the competitive nature of the sport as a player, and I still enjoy it as a coach.” As the assistant coach this past season, Amaral has seen the players grow and believes he knows what they need to improve upon, both as individuals and as a team. “We have many different types of players to tailor to our strengths,” Amaral said. “We need to utilize our speed by playing quicker and more fast-paced.” In addition to assistant coaching, Amaral is also an advisor for students at Manhattan Beach Middle School. “Mr. Amaral is really nice and has always been responsive and helpful,” MBMS eighth grader Jamie Kelleher said. “He is very well-liked at my school.” Chase Crandall, the only freshman on the varsity lineup last season, has high hopes for next year’s team led by Amaral. “Jeff is doing a great job bringing us together,” Crandall said. “He always reminds me to stay positive, and he helps me achieve my personal basketball goals.” Although the team will be losing seven seniors, three of whom were starters, Ama-

Sports recaps Girls lacrosse ends their season in first round of CIF In the final 16 seconds of the first round CIF game on May 4, Agoura High School’s girls lacrosse team scored to end the Mira Costa team’s season with a final score of 6-5. With 20 seconds left, Costa blocked Agoura’s shot to keep the score at 5-5 and give Costa temporary relief. In the next play, Agoura recovered the loose ball and scored. “Overall, we had a really good season,” senior Sarah Moraitis said. “It’s just a little disappointing to lose so early in CIF.” Seniors Moraitis, Jackie Dotemoto, and Megan Difley consistently fought in the backfield to keep Costa competitive and proved vital to maintaining the close game. Defenders Moraitis and Dotemoto stopped many of Agoura’s attempts while Difley’s play in goal deflected many of the shots. Costa’s season ended with a final record of 10-2 in Bay League and 12-8 overall. “This year, we have gotten so close to all of the seniors,” sophomore Taylor Pool said. “Next year will not be the same without them. They have taught [us] how to improve, and we all appreciate that.”

Boys Golf loses regionals, David Kim follows in CIF individuals Carina Glasser/La Vista

eye on the prize: Junior Breanna Kelly winds up for a pitch in softball’s CIF win on May 18 over Righetti. and Taylor Glover on base. With a 1-1 count, Saunders drilled a double off the wall that brought in both of the runners, dramatically ending the game at 8-7 in the Mustangs’ favor. “I was just trying to stay up the middle and get on base for my teammates,” Saunders said. “We believe and trust that anyone on our team can come through in the clutch. Today, I was the one who came through at the very end.”

Boys basketball team replaces Henry Myar with Jeff Amaral as head coach By Hanna McGuire Sports Editor

May 20, 2011

ral is confident that the team’s depth will lead to success next season. “We have good underclassmen who will hopefully mature into better players and improve the team,” Amaral said. “I will also focus on rededicating ourselves to getting stronger and faster.” Amaral, who played basketball for Costa when he was a student, knows competing as a Mustang first-hand. Players on the team say they appreciate Amaral’s coaching style and connection with them. “Jeff is a great leader on the floor,” junior Darren Draper said. “He creates great chemistry between players on and off the court. I respect him because he relates.” Amaral says that he loves to see his players improve and go on to college. “My players mature and learn, becoming better basketball players and students,” Amaral said. “Seeing where their future is going to take them is very exciting.”

Kendall Busby/La Vista

All the support for amaral: After the resignation of Henry Myar, Jeff Amaral was named the head coach of Costa’s basketball team.

Two is the number of returning varsity golfers from last year’s team, while three is the number of starting freshmen on this year’s golf squad. Despite the low numbers, Costa was able to have a successful season. The team ended at 18th place in a field of 21 in the second round of CIF playoffs in Palm Springs on May 12. Junior David Kim led Mira Costa with a 75, while senior J.P. Harper shot a 76 and junior Krishna Shegron added a score of 79. Despite these successes, the Mustangs could not surpass Santa Margarita, Westlake and Servite High School, the three schools moving on to the third round of CIF. “I’m disappointed,” Kim said. “But instead of sitting around and moping, I’m going to work hard to lead my team again next year.” Kim soared through the first round of Individual CIF playoffs but was eliminated in the second round after shooting an 80 on May 16 at Los Posas golf course in Camarillo. Out of 120 golfers, Kim missed the cut by two strokes. “I feel like we left a lot in the tank for next year,” Kim said. Compiled by Ryan Franklin and Matt Wah/Staff Writers and Danny Kelleher/ Sports Editor


May 20, 2011

TEAM RECORDS (as of May 20) Overall Sport

Bay League

Wins Losses Ties Wins Losses Ties Boys Lacrosse 17 10 4 3 Girls Lacrosse 12 8 10 2 5 Boys Golf 9 6 2 Swimming Girls Track 6 1 3 1 1 1 Boys Track 7 1 4 1 Boys Tennis 12 12 4 5 Softball 21 6 8 2 14 6 Baseball 17 4 2 8 Boys Volleyball 33


La Vista


Boys tennis falls to Calabasas in CIF By Hanna McGuire Sports Editor Despite being down 0-4 in the last set of the final round of the boys tennis match, junior Daniel Juhasz and senior Steven Korda continued to fight. With determination, Juhasz and Korda took home the match win at 7-6 (7-4). Although Calabasas had already won the match at that point, the never-give-up attitude of the doubles tandem proved that Costa was not going down easily. In this first round CIF away match on May 11, the boys tennis team fell to Calabasas, 15-3. The doubles team of sophomores Michael Carella and Ben Sands won one set at 6-1. Senior Chris Stanbrook and sophomore Tom Wissel also captured a set at 6-1. “We lost to a team who was surprisingly good,” coach Joe Ciasulli said. “But it was great to

see Daniel and Steven play with such competitive spirits.” Getting into CIF was no easy feat for the boys. After tying League with Redondo, the two teams had to face off to secure a CIF spot. Costa overpowered the Seahawks, 12-6. “This three-match set against Redondo was the highlight of the season,” Ciasulli said. “That competitiveness is what high school sports is all about.” Costa finished the season 1212 overall and 4-5 in league play. “We had a decent season,” Carella said. “But we lost matches that we should have won.” Facing the loss of five seniors, all of whom were starters, the team is focusing on improving doubles. “Our doubles players need to be more consistent at the net and close out games,” Wissel said Along with the five seniors,

Costa will lose Juhasz and senior João Sawaya, who are both foreign exchange students who will return to their respective countries next year. “I’m going to miss all the guys,” Juhasz said. “I’m sad that I won’t be on the team next year.”

Kendall Busby/ La Vista

soft serve: Senior Chris Stanbrook takes a swing in Costa’s first round CIF loss to Calabasas on May 11.

Costa badminton reaches CIF semifinals D.J. White Boys Volleyball

Austin Hafdell Boys Lacrosse

Despite losing, senior White had 15 kills in Costa’s CIF semifinal loss to Mater Dei on May 14.

In Costa’s CIF semifinal loss to Foothill on May 14, junior Hafdell scored two of Costa’s five goals.

Ben Sands Boys Tennis

Ashlee Dotson Track

The sophomore’s May 11 doubles win was one of three victories in Costa’s loss to Calabasas.

The junior ran a 12.38 in the girls 4x100 on May 21, and qualified for the CIF finals.

Meghan Von Behran Softball

David Kim Boys Golf

In Costa’s 9-5 win against Palos Verdes on May 12, junior Von Behran had seven RBI’s

Junior Kim shot an 80 in the second round of CIF individuals on May 16 at Los Posas golf course.

DIGITS CIF rank of the Costa boys volleyball team going into its May 14 match

1 against Mater Dei. The Mustangs lost, 3-2, with scores of 27-29, 2520, 14-25, 25-18, and 9-15.

number of goals scored by junior Dakota Randall for the boys lacrosse

6 team’s final two games. Randall has been on the bench for the entire season up until these games due to a spinal injury.

of wins junior pitcher Breanna Kelly has pitched for the girls soft15 number ball team this season. Softball took home the Bay Leauge title on May 12 against Palos Verdes.

By Danny Kelleher, Hanna McGuire, and Emma Rosenbaum/Sports Editors Photos by Lindon Chen, Kendall Busby, Jessica Hanley, Leland Lesnever and Stephanie Sakahara/La Vista

By Emma Rosenbaum Sports Editor Not many students at Costa are aware that a badminton team is a part of the school’s Athletic Department. This year, the team reached the CIF semifinals. “I put a team together nine years ago when my daughter showed interest in the sport,” coach Rocky Wilson said. “In the first year, the team had nine players. Now we have 34 boys and girls.” The Mustangs claimed the third-place title for CIF this year, making its ninth CIF run. “People think of badminton as a backyard sport, but it is actually very competitive,” senior captain Gina Alfandary said. The team doesn’t see badminton as a backyard sport. Players practice every Tuesday and Wednesday at the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club for two hours.

“Badminton is a fast-paced sport, and that’s why I love it,” freshman Sean Wong said. “But our team wasn’t persistent enough to continue to CIF finals.” Because very few schools have a team, even of the closest badminton leagues are far away. Costa organized its own games against schools from different leagues in order to gain enough points to qualify for CIF. “We are really fortunate to have a badminton team,” Alfandary said. “Several schools had to drop it because of lack of funding.” The Mustangs also competed in tournaments this year. They placed second in both the Pasadena and Azusa tournaments, and won Costa’s hosted tournament. “We put a lot of effort into this season,” Alfandary said. “We won all games but one.” The team lost, 14-7, in the CIF semifinals to Mark Keppel High School in an away match.

“We got stuck in a more difficult bracket,” Wilson said. “If we had been in a different one, we might have made it to the final.” Despite the loss, members still enjoyed the season because of the camaraderie that comes with being on the team. “Everyone on the team pushes each other to do better,” Wong said. “Having many great players helped us get far.” One of the more successful players on the team is senior captain David Copeland, who only lost a total of three matches. “We all worked really hard,” Copeland said. “I’m happy that I was able to help the team get as far as we did.” Although the team will be losing nine seniors, Wilson is optimistic about next season. “We’re losing great players, but we have a lot of strong freshmen” Wilson said. “I’m confident that the team will stay competitive.”

We’re leaving La Vista and Costa on a high note We’ve yammered. We’ve preached. We’ve promised to organize multiple events involving several Mira Costa student organizations and then completely failed to follow up. In short, we have ruled this campus for the past 10 or so months. But now, as the seniors on this staff choose to write sappy reflections on their spoiled suburban lives instead of fully carrying out their duties to cover the opinion and features sections of this newspaper (see pages 7, 8), we too must say goodbye. Now before you hop in your dark-colored BMW, cruise down a few flights of stairs and arrive at room six to wag your finger at us

for dragging down the quality of La Vista with yet another ridiculous sports column, pause for a second. The reputation of Mira Costa High School is currently residing at the highest of possible echelons. Our Forbes ranking is high, our API score high, and, even though our Sea Hawk rivals probably manage to fly pretty darn high, a recent track and field upset proves that not even they can achieve as highly as the Mustangs. As the great modern-day philosopher Snoop Doggy Dogg once said, “It’s so easy for a kid to join a gang, to do drugs... We should make it that easy to be involved in football and academics.”

This, my friends, is philosophy in its highest form. This man understands what it means to be a Mustang. He embodies the spirit of green and gold. If you aren’t convinced yet, read on: a Google search of “Snoop Dogg quotes” provides this second gem: “When I’m no longer rapping, I want to open up an ice cream parlor and call myself Scoop Dogg.” We’re going to follow in Snoopy Dogg’s pawsteps as we make this final goodbye as the B.O.O.Y.A.H. boys. Come next year, we want to be able to open up La Vista to see that Costa is just as great. Then we’ll take another bite of Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked, straight from the case.

Sports 20 La Vista Boys lacrosse takes home second-place title in CIF championships By Emma Rosenbaum Sports Editor One year ago, the Mira Costa Mustangs fell to the Foothill Knights in the Southern California Lacrosse CIF Championship. On May 14 of this year, the Mustangs played the Knights in the Southern Section Lacrosse Championship at the Sea Hawk Bowl, and the Mustangs once again left with the second-place title following a 19-5 loss. Costa coach Chris Jewitt, aware that the Knights had won four titles in a row prior to Saturday’s match, went into the game anticipating a hard-fought match. “I think if our defense plays smart, then we can capture a win,” Jewitt said before the game. Foothill started the game with five unanswered goals. Costa senior Tajee Mobley scored late in the first, making Costa’s first

Jessica Hanley/La Vista

stick ‘em up: Senior Cody Smith takes the ball up the field to score Costa’s fourth goal in the CIF Championship lacrosse game on May 14. Costa lost the game and brought home the second-place title. mark on the board. The goal came off of a ball slash by senior Cody Smith. Foothill senior Erik Adamson then scored his second goal of the game, closing the first period at 6-1. To start the second period, senior Tom Farrell assisted junior

Austin Hafdell on a goal that snapped the top corner of the net. The team was unable to score for the rest of the period, and Costa ended the first half behind, 13-2. Farrell scored his first goal of the game to start the second half. Foothill then responded with an-

other goal. Soon after that, Smith stole the ball on defense and pushed down field, scoring an unassisted goal on the play and ending the period at 14-4. “The offense was having difficulties,” Smith said. “You have to put the team on your back.”

May 20, 2011

The final period of the game started with a goal by Foothill’s senior Josh Peterman. Hafdell intercepted a Foothill pass to make Costa’s last goal. Foothill’s final score came on a shot that whipped past senior goalie John Mayfield, ending the game at 19-5. “I saw the opening and ran in and shot,” Hafdell said. “I wanted to score so badly for my team.” Although disappointed by the loss, Jewitt acknowledges that Costa was outmatched. “We got beat by a much better team,” Jewitt said. “But we played until the end.” The loss wraps up an otherwise triumphant season for Costa. Costa acheived a 17-4 record accompanied by the Bay League title. Jewitt hopes that these achievements do not get overshadowed. “This has been a great exciting season,” Jewitt said. “The guys should be proud of themselves.”

Mater Dei upsets volleyball Costa finds success in CIF track Prelims Dotson also competed in the “We wanted to run for each B J. R F in CIF quarterfinals match other, because we knew it could 100-meter and 200-meter races. S W y


By Zane Franklin Staff Writer The Costa boys volleyball team accomplished a rare feat this season, losing only two of 35 games. But in an unexpected end to its season, the team suffered a loss in the CIF quarterfinals against Mater Dei High School. The Mustangs fell to the Monarchs in five games with final scores 27-29, 25-20, 14-25, 25-18 and 9-15. The game took place at Mater Dei’s gym on May 14. The Mustang volleyball team ended its season with a near-perfect record of 33-2 overall. “We battled hard,” senior D.J. White said. “We give a lot of credit to Mater Dei and their team because they definitely deserved to win this one.” White led the attacks in the first game, allowing Costa to dominate in the begining. However, Mater Dei senior Zach La Cavera and junior John Zappia caught the Mustangs off guard with aggressive kills. The Monarchs came out with energy that Costa was not prepared for, and the Mustangs fell 27-29 in the first game. “Unfortunately, we ran into a very hot Mater Dei team at their

Madison Swart/La Vista

white lightening: Senior D.J. White goes for a set in Costa’s loss to Mater Dei on May 14 in the CIF quarterfinals.

home court,” coach Mike Ninnis said. After stepping up their defense, the Mustangs matched the Monarchs in the second game by getting the ball to more players and past the Monarchs’ tough defense. Plays from White and juniors Chris Orenic and Karl Acres helped Costa finish strong with a win at 25-20. “We spread the ball around a lot,” Ninnis said. “Our passing cleaned up, we got some good plays and things were clicking.” Mater Dei returned with overwhelming energy and overpowered the Mustangs. Costa was outmatched and ended the third game 25-14. “They came out with a lot of energy while we didn’t,” junior Michael Debevec said. “I would say their crowd got to us.” Spikes by Acres helped the Mustangs gain an early lead in the fourth, showing Mater Dei why they received the number-one seed in the CIF playoffs. They extended the match to a fifth game with a comfortable win at 25-18. The Mustangs were hammered by Mater Dei’s hitters in the final game, though, and could not gather enough energy to stage a comeback on Mater Dei. The Monarchs closed off the last game with a score of 15-9. White led the Mustangs with 15 kills and four blocks, while Acres and Orenic followed close behind with 12 kills each. Senior setter Kameron Bain aided the team 40 assists. “D.J. had a tremendous senior year,” Ninnis said. “I can really go right down the list. Everybody helped the team.” After two highly successful seasons, Costa has high hopes of doing well again next year despite the loss of several key seniors. “We’re losing some seniors, but we are going to have a pretty solid team with all of the players returning,” Debevec said. “It should be another good season.”




When schools from all over Southern California come to compete in one meet, it is very difficult for a team’s players to excel enough to stand out among the crowd. But of the 14 female Mustangs who competed in the CIF prelims on May 14, eight are moving on, a high concentration for so many competitors. To accompany them, two of the eight Costa boys from prelims will be competing in the CIF Finals on May 21. Moorpark High School hosted the prelims on May 14. In the first round, the girls 4x100 meter team, composed of freshman Camille Mills, sophomores Taylor Foland and Kirby Benson and junior Ashlee Dotson finished second and set a school record with a time of 49.14.

have been the last time running together,” Foland said. Juniors Charlotte Barnett and Claire Barnett joined Dotson and Foland in the girls 4x400-meter relay and got second at 3:58.99.

Stephanie Sakahara/La Vista

run foland run: Sophomore Taylor Foland sprints the 400 meter in the CIF preliminary meet on May 14.

She qualified for both with times of 12.38 and 25.42, respectively. Senior Aryn Foland won the 1,600 meter with a personal record of 4:57.61. Other Costa qualifiers were senior Savannah Pio and junior Kelli Sugimoto, who finished the two mile in 10:53.16 and 10:58.96, respectively. Junior Acacia Moore qualified for the next round with a time of 15.54 in the 100-meter hurdles. Senior Brett Douville will be the lone Mustang distance boy moving on after running his 800meter race in 1:55.59. Coach Bob Fish is very optimistic about how the Mustangs will perform in the next phases of the CIF season. “Saturday was an excellent day for us,” Fish said. “I’m proud of our group.”

Swimming sends individuals to compete in CIF following Bay League success By Danny Kelleher Sports Editor No matter the sport, it is very difficult to compete against 83 opponents. The Mustang swim team encountered this when it traveled to Long Beach’s Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool to compete in CIF on May 4 and May 6. Of the four total events that Costa competed in, the girls 4x50 team’s third-place finish in the consolation finals at 1:41.17 was the best of any race for the Mustangs. Despite missing the firstplace prize, the race time broke the school record. “This year, the field was really fast in CIF,” Bartlett said. “We didn’t place as well as usual even though we set school records.” Senior Marisa Purcell’s times in both the 100 backstroke and the 100 freestyle earned her spots in the finals, although she did not place in either event. “Marisa was the key ingredient to setting the school record [for

the 4x50],” Bartlett said. “She had to swim [in the 100 backstroke] right after, and I think she was tired.” Despite qualifying for the finals in the 100 butterfly event, senior Erik Yan was unable to attend the meet for personal reasons. Because of this, no Costa boy swimmers competed in the finals. “It was disappointing, but there were more important things to attend to,” Yan said. Just a week before the CIF meets, the Costa team traveled to Redondo to compete in the Bay League finals. The girls took

home the Bay League championship from the Bay League finals at Redondo Union High School, and the win not only marked Bartlett’s first Bay League title as coach but also served as the team’s first Bay League win in more than 10 years. The boys team got third place. Although many members of the team will be leaving, the returning swimmers plan on maintaining the high standard that was set this year. “We definitely have a chance to improve,” sophomore Meriel Mitsakos said. “As a team, my goal is to become more unified.”

Leland Lesnever/La Vista

bullet with butterfly wings: Senior Erik Yan swims in the 100 butterfly event at the Bay League Championship meet on May 6. His time of 52.17 broke the previous Mustang record.

Issue 10  
Issue 10  

May 20, 2011 1401 Artesia Blvd. Vol. LXI Issue 10