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Volume XX, Issue 4

SPARTAN La Cañada High School

February 3, 2010

LC Ranks Among the Top Schools in Nation

Joseph Kim Spartan Staff

But La Canada’s excellence does not end here. LCHS is ranked as the 15th best school in California, and fifth best o, Spartans! This year, La Canada open enrollment high school in CaliforHigh School was ranked 80th nia. In Southern California, LCHS is ratout of almost 22,000 public high ed the best open enrollment high school. schools in the nation by U.S. News & Open enrollment high schools are schools World Report’s inaugural nationwide poll. that are not selective about accepting stuThus, LCHS dents. Many of was placed the higher scorin the Gold ing schools have Medal List of merit-based enU.S. News, rollment (acceptwhich is a list ing only higher of top 100 performing stuhigh schools. dents) or are The rankings charter schools were based that can select primarily on the students school stuwho may attend, dents’ perforgiving them a mance on state significant edge tests, although over open enrolldisadvantaged ment schools. students’ per- The front of La Canada High School It is also imformance and By Kevork Kurdoghlian portant to note how the schools’ LCHS beat its rival San Marino this time success in providing the college-lev- around. Although San Marino received a el coursework were also considered. higher API score this year *921 compared LCHS received the score of 67.9 to LCHS’s 899), San Marino failed to on College Readiness Index, which is a place in the top 100 high school ranking measure of the degree to which students list. Compared to our College Readiness master some college-level material. The Index score 67.9, San Marino scored 60.8. schools were ranked based on this crite- “It’s very exciting,” said Aurion. This number is a weighted average dra Pittman, principal of LCHS. “It’s a based 25 percent on the AP or IB participa- result of team effort – students, teachtion and 75 percent on the quality-adjusted ers, and staff members all contributed AP or IB participation rates. We received to support and meet the high standards.” a score of 3.6 on the Quality-Adjusted AP Two years ago, LCHS was Exams Per Test Taker, which focused on ranked 95th. Last year, it was out of the average number of tests that received the Gold Medal List. Now, let’s celpassing scores on AP or IB test per stu- ebrate our comeback and keep up dent taking and passing at least one test. our academics to maintain our rank!


LC Sends Aid To Haiti Ian Balisy Spartan Staff


n January 12th, 2010, at 1:53 p.m., an earthquake of magnitude 7.0 struck the country of Haiti and within an hour, help was already on the way from the U.S. Unfortunately, Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world and would have an extraordinarily difficult time trying to rebuild the country alone. However, the UN promised $500 million dollars and the U.S. has already contributed $100 million plus some 2000 marines, firefighters, and many more volunteers helping rescue people trapped under rubble of the huge earthquake. Analysts have estimated around 200,000 dead and at least 1.5 million left without homes. The horrific aftermath of the earthquake has left Haitians helpless to provide food supplies, medical aid, and rescue forces for themselves. The UNWFP (United Nations World Food Program) is expecting

What’s Inside

Claire Irvine, Matt Arkfeld, Elizabeth Hwang, Lisa Gillespie , Katherine Chapman

Choir Students Unite at Malibu Beach By Alice Grubb Jones Spartan Staff Many La Canada High students were looking forward to January 8th for more than the end-of-the-week appeal. After a successful winter assembly and announcements, Concert Choir took a two-hour drive up to Malibu. At the Gindling Hilltop Camp, they had the opportunity to advance their musical skills through rehearsals and new music, and learn more about their peers. Between group activities, such as team building games, and personal time to work and relax, Concert Choir was understandably eager for this trip together. This retreat was only two days long; the choir arrived back on campus at ten at night on Saturday, January 16th. However, the time spent together brought about a new unity among the singers. This retreat was meant to provide the students with a closed environment to work on their

to increase the number of people supplied from the current 67,000 to 97,000 by Monday, January 18. The news is not all bad, though. There are many charity and volunteer organizations helping to send donations as well as volunteers to the desperate country. Some of these organizations have posted advertisements for the websites on such popular sites as YouTube and Facebook. On Facebook, many support groups have been created in order to make more donations and some of these pages were even created by high school students. Some of these support groups have as many as 277,000 members and have donated huge sums of money in order to aid in Haiti’s recovery. Many students at La Canada High School have joined these support groups and have even donated money to relief organizations. Since the minimum donation on the American Red Cross for Haiti website is ten dollars, groups and clubs at high school allow

Kogi BBQ Truck page 2

personal and group sound. Without the interruption of bells and bustling students, the development of individual ranges and skills now benefit the choir as a whole. Mr. Brookey, the choir teacher, was very enthusiastic about the chance to work with his students. He announced, “I’m very excited to be taking Concert Choir on this retreat and am thrilled that so many of the kids are able to participate.” He added, “I am sure we will have a fantastic time and a wonderful musical experience.” His positive spirit and motivation are infectious inside and out of the choir room, and it showed in his singers as they gathered to leave on Friday. Transportation was a big issue, however, some volunteer choral parents offered to drive the students up and back free of charge. After some schedule reorganization, the road to retreat was paved with potential. With smores, chords, beaches, and melodies, Concert Choir had a wonderful weekend.

students to contribute, even if they can only spare a single dollar. On January 19th, the German Club at La Canada High School went around to classes during STEP to collect money for the American Red Cross for Haiti foundation. One German Club officer estimates that they’ve raised around $250 from this one day. “It’s nice to know that people care enough about what’s going on in the world to try and contribute and it gives me a sense of pride, being a part of this fundraiser. It’s truly inspiring, that students are concerned and willing to try and help people who have been dispossessed and displaced by this tragedy,” said Kyle Gosselin, La Canada High School German Club officer. As the conditions in Haiti worsen, with no form of government or infrastructure and almost everything destroyed, hopefully even more organizations and fundraisers will lend a hand to help Haiti recover from its current state of devastation.

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Questions, comments or contributions? Contact us at

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February 3, 2010

La Cañada High School

news LCHS Senior Starts Renegade CLUB NEWS AcaDec Sets Literary Magazine Up for Success Ameer Khan Spartan Staff


ometimes it is easy to grow wary of the same old The magazine, although not bound by any newspaper. Headline, kicker, byline, and bam: kind of deadline, is due to be published around midthe news story. Haven’t you ever wanted to read March. However, given what we know about Mr. something a little different? Something trippy? Some- Burten, I judge the public will be seeing it sometime thing that is stimulating to the imagination? Well, if in May, possibly his way of surreptitiously associyou have, you are in luck; the illustrious senior Michael ating his magazine with the springtime jubilation. Burten has decided to start his own literary arts magazine. But there is of course the question of mula. And its not the kind propagating Brtiney Spear’s most We all know that Michael and Scott are going to need recent redneck escaptades. some Benjamins The idea took root and Jacksons to when Mr. Burten visited get this little enand studied at Brown Coldeavor going. lege in the summer of 2009. Well, that fact is There, he met friend Scott about all Michael Ellman, and the two were inknows about their stantly intellectually drawn fiscal situation. to one another. The meta“Ha. I’m physics and ionic forces an artist; I don’t bonded together and bore have money. I’ve the fruit of two great minds. got some good M r. B u r t e n j o Karma saved up, cosely explained to me the though. Maybe process by which the idea the universe will came to fruition: “Scott and provide.” Or I have similar tastes in writmaybe his parents, ers, writings, and women- so but who knows. we hit it off relatively fast. The imWe decided that we should portant thing to collaborate on something. realize about this And then it hit me (or him, magazine is that it my memory is fuzzy) like is an unveiled, una manatee smacking into a censored collecrowboat. We should create tion of proclaimed a magazine where artists truths by teenagand writers of any age, race, ers. And those religion, belief system, or truths are undepolitical tilt can publish niably the most something without competiveritable of them tion or fear.” The magazine, Michael Burten is enthusiastic about his literary magazine. all, despite what according to Mr. Burten, will consist of anything ranging old geezers might say. Michael will publish his magazine from poems, stories, treatises, essays, pictures, paint- independently, and he has yet to decide where it will be ings, drawing, ramblings, lies, and pretensions from distributed. So, please, if you have something you want to artists and writers who are friends or acquaintances of say, contact Michael. He will not turn you down. You are Michael or Scott. Michael told me, “Hell, we’ll take good enough. Your words, pictures, paintings, and dooabout anyone or anything we can get.” The contradic- dles are worth scores more than you believe them to be. tion in desired content basically sums up Michael.


Kogi BBQ Truck Kicked Out

A Korean-Mexican fusion taco truck famous for its Twitter updates is asked to leave La Cañada’s Memorial Park By Emily Kim Spartan Staff On January 8, a popular food truck was told to leave La Cañada. The Kogi BBQ taco truck stopped by La Cañada for the first time that Friday night and arrived in front of Memorial Park at 6:30 p.m. It was set to leave around 9 p.m. but the police arrived at around 8:00 p.m. and the truck was shut down. The front of the Kogi Truck. Credit: Google Kogi BBQ representaThe food fanatics who follow the Kogi tive Alice Shin told the La Cañada Valley Sun that the truck via Twitter arrived even before the truck arpolice told them to “skedaddle.” According to the police, rived. Those who arrived later to avoid long lines the Kogi truck needs a city business license in order to were disappointed that the Kogi truck was asked sell food, but only one food truck (Judith’s Food) has one to leave. The truck did not receive a citation. as of now. The truck did not, however, receive a citation.

Hailey Williams Spartan Staff La Cañada High School’s Academic Decathlon has been cracking the books and cramming their brains with last-minute knowledge in order to get ready for their much-anticipated competition in three weeks, which is to take place on the thirtieth of January and the seventh of February. Academic Decathlon is a club at LCHS that welcomes all who are willing to learn, no matter what a student’s grade point average may be. The team originated about eight years ago and is now run by Miss Hong. Presidents of the group are Gabrielle Badie and Tim Joo, both seniors. This year’s theme is theme is the French Revolution, and topics that will be covered in the competition are literature, music, art history, math, economics, speech and interview, and science. The literature book that the students have been assigned to read is Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, which takes place during the French Revolution. Students will be given multiple-choice questions to test their knowledge on all of these topics during the competition. Academic Decathlon has been studying since last May, and began meeting as a team three times each week throughout July and August to read and prepare as a team. They have also been given a STEP period in order to have more time to ensure they are ready for the competition. Even with all of this time devoted to preparation, LCHS’s team is still at a disadvantage, since most schools have an entire class period devoted to studying and practicing for the competition. “I think we’ll do well,” says Courtney Schulte, a three-year member of Academic Decathlon. “We’ve been practicing a lot and have a really dedicated team.” The fist day of competition is the speech and interview day. On this day, students are asked to give a prepared speech and an impromptu speech. Later, they will be interviewed by judges and asked questions about a variety of subjects, from where the students see themselves in five years to who they believe is them most influential American in today’s society. The second day of competition is devoted to taking seven multiple-choice exams, writing an essay, and participating in the Super Oral Quiz that covers the topics that the teams have been assigned. There is a point system in the competition. Points are given according to the student’s answers and individual scores are added together at the end of the competition to compose a team score, which determines the team’s placement in the competition. Once high school per state is chosen to advance to finals. California’s representatives have placed first or second in the country every year except for one in Academic Decathlon’s entire history. With this much pressure, it’s amazing that members can sleep at night. “I know that when the day comes we’ll all be frantically cramming last-minute for that last name, that last formula, that last date, but what’s mattered is the time we’ve been putting in all along. I’m confident we’re going to come home with a lot of individual medals and hopefully a strong team score will follow. Either way, it’s a fun experience and I can’t wait to return to competition this year,” says Gabrielle Badie, president of Academic Decathlon.

Suggestion Box in Office Katherine Propper Spartan Staff

There are many issues facing our school. Whether it’s the construction, the parking, the over crowding, or the under funding, we can’t deny that some problems plague our school. If you passionately agree that our school has problems and you wish to voice your opinions and concerns, contact Johnny Wu, the student representative on the school board. If you can’t find him, there will also be a suggestion box in the office where you can write your concerns and put it in the box. Not only that, but if it is something you really care about, you can attend the school board meetings and speak. The meetings are the second Tuesday of every month on Cornishon Ave. They are open to the public. Go there and use your voice!


February 3, 2010

La Cañada High School


Sanitation Sensation: A Smelly Day for APES Mixing business with pleasure, students see our watern January recycled 5 , Dr.and Ewoldsen’s AP Environ-



mental Science classes visited the Hyperion Wastewater Treatment Plant to learn more about how L.A.’s water is treated and recycled for daily use. As part of their current study of water, students were exposed to the machinations behind the daily process of separating solid waste and harmful substances from our most precious resource. As the oldest and largest of Los Angeles’s wastewater treatment facilities, the Hyperion Treatment Plant has served a key component in the city of L.A.’s waste disposal system. Although designed initially as a raw sewage discharge point into Santa Monica Bay, the onset of innovation and population growth compelled the plant to gradually upgrade to a full secondary treatment plant. Now one of four facilities supporting the city and the surrounding metropolitan area, Hyperion separates and breaks down our discarded and excreted wastes. On a daily basis the plant will go through 360 million gallons, or 3.5 Rose Bowls, of wastewater a day. The end result is an average of three million gallons of sludge, which is split among landfills and farms as fertilizer. As part of a tour that numerous school groups and foreign delegations take every year, La Canada students saw first hand how all things flushed down toilets are removed from their liquid component.. Transported by a Disneyland-esque tram through the complex, they explored the primary treatment facility Headworkshome to candy wrappers, plastic toys and the like- and the underground network of piping necessary to run the plant. The stench of manure permeated throughout. Hardhats and hairnets were

The welcome sign at the City of Los Angeles waste water treatment center. worn as standard safety procedure, and answers were sought to questions to complete Dr. E’s assignment for the day. Amidst a litany of unfamiliar chemical terms like ferric chloride and sodium hydroxide, one was immersed in an alphabet soup of advanced language. Despite the underlying academic nature of the trip, most of the day was enjoyed at the adjacent Dockweiler State Beach, where the Senior Bonfire

2009 PSAT Results Released David Mkrtchian Spartan Staff


anuary 5, 2010 the majority of juniors received their PSAT scores. After picking up their scores, juniors spent STEP listening to Ms. Spangler’s brief explanation of the PSAT and the college process, specifically at University of California universities. The specific aspect of the PSAT that piqued the interests of students was the Score Index, which determines whether the National Merit Scholarship Association considers a student for scholarship. To students at La Cañada High School, the PSAT is yet another standardized test that fulfills part of their college applications. Ms. Spangler’s observations have led her to believe that student do well because the “parents are invested in the education of their children.” For juniors who recently received their scores, it is important to consider that in the Grand Scheme of the college application, the National Merit awards and statuses are not as important as the test-taking experience. According to Ms. Spangler, “the value lies in the fact that it is a great resource for improvement and recognition of test-taking ability.” La Cañada High School can

proudly claim that this year we have had fourteen National Merit Semi-Finalists. The PSAT scholarship process contains three tiers. After receiving their scores, students above the 96th percentile are “Commended” and given a Letter of Commendation. At this point California students begin to suffer a slight disadvantage because National Merit selects the top 16,000 students out of this pool for Semi-Finalist status. For Californians, because of the amount of students there are more high scores and thus the qualifying scores are even higher. This year’s scores for California students could range from 216 to 218, a fact that maddens borderline students. At this point in the process students submit extra academic and extracurricular information to National Merit to become Finalists. It is only after this long ordeal that students become eligible for various scholarships. La Canada High School can proudly claim that this year we have had fourteen National Merit Semi-Finalists. The PSAT ultimately is one of many standardized tests that contribute to reaching a great college, but it is definitely neither the only one nor the most important one. While juniors are riding this emotional roller coaster they should keep everything in context and enjoy the ride.

was held. Students could be found playing football and working on their tans, with frequent airplane takeoffs from LAX to pass the time. For seniors, it was a welcome respite from college applications. The experience overall thus was more enjoyed by students than the earlier trip to Cabrillo Aquarium in September. As Greg Lee said, “There is less work to do this time. We don’t have a huge packet to complete.”



Green Club Will Sell Eco-friendly Bottles Margo Hartley Spartan Staff


he Spartan Green Club is once again planning to sell reusable aluminum water bottles in an effort to help the La Canada High School campus to be more environmentally aware. The Club is hoping to discourage students from using plastic water bottles in order to help our Mother Earth by providing a bottle with a cool design for a reasonable price of $7-10. It has been discovered that certain types of plastic, mainly which used in producing water bottles and baby bottles, contain a chemical known to the scientific world as Bisphenol A. A study by the CDC estimated that 92.6 percent of Americans age 6 and above had measurable BPA in their bodies. BPA has been linked to brain problems in fetuses and children as well as prostate and breast problems in adults. There are ways to avoid this, as some plastic bottles indicate the level of BPA in the plastic. However, the easiest way would be to replace the plastic bottles with reusable, environmentally friendly ones, such as those to be sold by the Green Club in the coming year. Last March was the first time Green Club began selling the water

bottles, and they plan on starting the sale up again this March. The water bottles will be sold probably somewhere near the textbook room so everyone will see them. According to the club advisor, biology teacher Ms. Wheeler, the club isn’t trying to raise money for any particular reason, just for the simple reason of reducing plastic use on campus. Ms. Wheeler isn’t sure if the design will be the same as last year, a green bottle with the reduce, reuse, recycle sign on it, or if there will be a new design. The bottles last year ran for around $7-$10, and Ms. Wheeler predicts that they will be the same price this year as well. According to Wheeler, “the sales went through the roof. They were very popular products, which made the Green Club hopeful that the use of plastic bottles would be reduced.” However, although the bottles were popular merchandise, the Green Club didn’t profit very much because all the members of the club received free water bottles in order to advertise for the products. Aluminum water bottles are a great substitute for plastic water bottles, and come in many different colors and designs. They hold more water, keep water cooler and fresher longer, and are not as damaging to our environment. Please help Green Club make our planet healthier by purchasing a water bottle!


February 3, 2010

La Cañada High School


Program to Advance Safe Disposal of Drugs

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Station begins program to collect prescription drugs, illegal narcotics, and drug related paraphernalia for safe disposal. By Alicia Kim Editor-in-Chief

Don’t flush your medicine down the toilet!


ith the green revolution taking a firm hold in society, people are recycling, buying organic food, and incorporating

what they can into their lifestyle to help the ailing environment. But there is an issue that is not as widely known—the improper disposal of drugs. When disposed of in the wrong places, drugs can severely damage the environment. To prevent further harm to oceans and soil, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Station has installed boxes where the community can dispose old prescription drugs, illegal narcotics, and drug related paraphernalia. These boxes are open to the community 24 hours a day, are not video-recorded, and are safe from questioning from the police. Each box is color coded for a different purpose: red for biohazard syringes, green for illegal drugs and blue for prescription drugs. They are located at the Lomita Sheriff’s Station at 4554 Briggs Ave. The drugs that are collected are sent to an incinerator. T h i s e ff o r t t o s t o p d r u g s f r o m b e ing dumped into sewers has been very successful. Since its start the program has collected more than 8,700 syringes and 850 pounds of drugs. When people accumulate prescription and over the counter medicine, they often do not know what to do with them they are old or expired. Some choose to flush them down the toilet or throw them away in the trashcan. These drugs end up in the sewer or landfills, which contaminate our water supply and soil, creating an environmental hazard. Several universities have studies the effects of pharmaceutical drugs on animals, especially those that live in a water environment. A University of Georgia researcher found several tad-

poles that were exposed to Prozac that had morphed into undersize frogs, which make them vulnerable to predation and environmental stress. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that anti depressants can have a profound effect on shellfish, and can dramatically inhibit sperm activity in some aquatic organisms. For those who are seeking other methods of disposal, there are many other options out there. One of the safest ones would be to ask your pharmacist if they have drug-recycling programs in place. Some hold periodic drives to collect expired medicine. Either way, they will take your expired medication and see that they are disposed of in the proper manner. An at-home method of disposal involves more care and time. In order to ensure that no animals or children could in any way get to the drugs, first take old pills, pulverize them and place the residue in its child-safe container. Then place these containers either in a zip lock bag or plastic bags, which would secure the container. However, beware that this is not a completely safe method because leaks may still take place, and plastic does not degrade easily. Some organizations donate expired medicine to Third World countries, if a pharmacist determines that the drugs may still be used. A quick search on the Internet will allow you to find the closest location that would receive any donations. Do not forget that while our medicine is helping our health, we shouldn’t let our environment suffer instead.


February 3, 2010

La Cañada High School

news LCPC Styles Their Soles Michelle Phillips Spartan Staff


n Monday, December 6th, nearly a hundred teenagers gathered at La Cañada Presbyterian Church to decorate shoes as part of the “Style Your Sole” event. The scene consisted of hundreds of puff paint markers, artistic teens, and bleach white pairs of TOMS shoes. In preparation for the event, these teens, sold pairs of white TOMS shoes to their friends and family. At forty-four dollars a shoe, they were told that with every pair that they would sell, another would be donated to a child in Africa or South America. The youth leader at the church, Faith Greiner, reported that about 172 pairs of shoes were sold. The group decided to organize the “Style Your Sole” event because they wanted to “care for people around the world,” according to Greiner. After learning the statistic that “there is a large majority of people who do not have shoes around the world, Greiner was motivated to start doing whatever she could to be a part of the change of this statistic. While walking around the campus these past few weeks, I couldn’t help but notice numerous students wear-

ing these creatively decorated kicks. Chris Lazo, a senior and contributor to the cause, “loved walking around and seeing all the creativity of the people who decorated shoes.” During the decorating party he was “thinking that these pairs of shoes meant that someone who didn’t have shoes before this event will now have shoes.” This thought made him smile. Many students, like Chris Lazo, were involved in the church’s fundraiser, as buyers, sellers, or both. Don’t miss the crazy and creative designs of your fellow students on these stark white alpargata-designed kicks. They vary from smiley faces, to stars, to multi-colored spirals. La Canada Presbyterian Church is planning on doing this event again sometime in the future. Their main goal by being involved in these projects is to do “something t h a t Jesus cared about” claimed Faith. They are certainly continuing to spread the love as they are planning to work with the ONE Foundation, as their next project. Continue to keep updated on the events of La Canada Presbyterian Church as they are doing good around the world, one project at a time.

Malia Mailes Crowned As Miss LCF Queen By Naima Vogt Spartan Staff

Ms. Spangler and Mr. Mohney are Founders’ Day Award Recipients By Krishna Rajagopalan Spartan Staff


ecently College Counselor Sally Spangler and AP English teacher Rick Mohney received the prestigious Founder’s Day awards. These awards are given to people who have gone the extra mile to help students or have done something special that makes them stand out. The award is given once a year and the students nominate the people who are given the award. Mrs. Spangler is always ready to assist students with college related information as well as questions related to SAT and PSAT as well as 21 st Century Institute. She is very good about regularly sending e-mails out to students in order to keep them informed about college visits, SAT and PSAT testing and other college related information. She is always present at college visits to answer student’s questions. She also holds yearly meetings for students in grades 11-12 to discuss the procedure for applying to college as well as how to send college applications and get recommendation letters filled out. Her door is always open to students for elaborate questions as well as those last minute questions that need an immediate response. Mr. Mohney is a very well-respected AP English teacher whose teaching style appeals to students. He always has an interesting story to tell his students and has a very fun personality. He was probably one of the first teachers on the students’ minds to be nominated for this award. He helped the students with the statues that were in the front of the school. Founder’s Day is a time to think of that special someone who has done something that made you feel good or did something out of the ordinary. Now it is time to start pondering about whom that someone will be next year. There are many special people around La Canada High School who could be given the award. The million-dollar question is who that person will be. I recently talked to Mr. Mohney and asked him how he felt about receiving the Founder’s Day Award and what his thoughts were regarding the Founder’s Day Award. He didn’t know at all that he would be receiving the Founder’s Day award and was very surprised when he received it. He didn’t know what the Founder’s Day Award was prior to receiving it. Now that he has been given the award, he believes the award carries a personal some meaning to it which is that he has been dually diligent in doing his job. He believes it is nice to be commended by one’s students and staff members because you feel a sense of satisfaction and importance.

On Thursday, January 14th, the Miss LCF coronation ceremony took place at the La Canada Country Club. La Canada’s Chamber of Commerce crowned La Canada High School’s own Malia Mailes queen. The 2010 court’s princesses are Holly Shreckengast, Kenzie Heaton and Sarah Marchetti from La Canada High School and Kirstene Locker from Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy. “I’m extremely humbled and honored to have been crowned queen. I definitely wasn’t expecting it!” enthused Malia Mailes, “All the girls are so talented in so many ways that I’m grateful to be a part of the group, and I can’t wait to spend time with them this year.” “As Queen, I don’t necessarily have more events to attend than the other girls but I do have the responsibility of being a liaison between the Chamber of Commerce and the court for scheduling. I figure out who is available and who isn’t, and coordinate that with the Chamber and with other community groups that want to schedule us. I also work closely with our advisor, Jill Sayre, who has been a really kind and helpful to us all,” explained Mailes. The many perks of being on the Miss LCF court include the ‘freebies’; such as gowns, jewelry and cosmetics. Merle Norman, where the court gets their make-up done, donated a cosmetic bag filled with make-up to the girls. All girls on the court have to wear matching gowns and ended up choosing a chocolate brown dress from Bloomingdales. Holly Shreckengast admitted, “It was hard choosing the gown as a group because they didn’t have many dresses in all our sizes.” During my interview with Holly Shreckengast, she gladly offered advice to sophomores who wish to apply and dedicate themselves to competing for Miss LCF, “Try out. You have nothing to lose and it’s a great experience. I think everyone should try out; it’s definitely one of the coolest experiences I’ve had in high school.” Being on the court comes with many responsibilities. The girls are expected to behave respectably throughout their year-reign, to think reasonably and act honorably around their peers and during their public appearances. They are very active in all the Memorial Day festivities of La Canada, and attend various other social gatherings and local celebrations. In addition, the court has to volunteer at elementary schools. The recent rainstorms unfortunately caused their first scheduled event to be cancelled. Their next event will be their first mixer with the Chamber of Commerce at the end of January. Among the events are many ribbon cuttings, Fiesta Days Memorial Day Weekend Celebration and a special appearance at the Montrose Christmas Parade. Mrs. Spangler Photo: Erica Moore Mr. Mohney Photo: Joao Teixeira


February 3, 2010

La Cañada High School


Freedom from Finals By Alice Grubb Jones Backpage Editor


s finals peek their heads around the first semester finish line, students are starting to feel pressured to get their grades up. Parents are receiving notifications if any student is doing poorly in their classes, the teachers are assigning what feels like a whole year’s worth of homework a night, and after school extra curriculars and sports don’t help this situation either. Last week, I read a news article about midterm stress at Chapman University, and a student run organization on campus came up with a solution to ease the panic. A week before finals started, they had puppy stations outside of the Chapman library as a furry study break from school stress. These canines were from a local pet store that would rent out animals such as lizards, snakes, and cats to parties. With this welcomed distraction from tests, Chapman students rejoiced at the opportunity to play with these puppies before going into the library to study. With the rising stress levels in La Canada’s halls, we should follow in Chapman’s footsteps. I’m not saying rent 400 dogs to wander around school to boost spirits, but a few puppies stationed outside the IRC, front office, or North Gym might give students a chance to relax and brighten their day with some down time with the dogs. This uncovers many problems for the administration, however. Where to get the dogs, how to keep them contained, and how to avoid overly excited students from trampling over puppies. These issues could be solved if this Furry Friends for Finals idea passes at La Canada. It has been psychologically proven that people that play with their dogs have reduced levels of stress, so why deprive LCHS students from playing with the pooches? The final schedule is set and announced, late assignments are bombarding teachers as students frantically try to raise their grades, and what we all need is some puppy lovin’. During lunch, it would be nice to walk over and pet, play, even talk to some puppies to give ourselves a muchwanted break from the stress. Even the administration and teachers need a break. All I ask is that La Canada gives Furry Friends for Finals a chance. The results could benefit the school’s academic performance as well as all of our psyches.

Made in USA: An American Manufacturing David Mkrtchian News Editor


fter seeing one of my notebooks melt in my hands after spilling water on it, I was angry. Before I had spilled the water on this notebook, its binding was deteriorating after only two weeks of use. Succumbing to a popular stereotype, I assumed this notebook was produced in a sweatshop in Asia. It wasn’t. It was “Made in U.S.A.” Amidst this collapse of the American economy, many have rallied against the exportation of manufacturing jobs overseas and over borders. American manufacturing has steadily been declining since the 1950s. In 1958, 28% of employed Americans worked in manufacturing; in 2008, only 8% did so. In 1958, there were 14.6 million factory workers; in 2008, only 12.7 million Americans worked in factories. Not since the industrial revolution in the mid-19th century has manufacturing occupied such a small relative share of the American economy. Many conservatives have rallied to these statistics as a clarion call to try to regain manufacturing jobs in sectors like the failing American car industry through protectionist policy. But the recent decline in manufacturing jobs is a direct representation in global trends turning towards jobs with greater levels of education. The shift in American manufacturing is merely a result of market economics. Companies based in America and abroad are exporting employment because they are finding more highly qualified workers at cheaper wages and less taxes. Companies that create manufactured goods that do not require an advanced degree find it more profitable to conduct business in other countries. To some extent, this shift is the result of the dawn of the technological era, where more qualifications are necessary in the fields of science and mathematics. But American educational standards have remained stagnant. California

The binding is falling apart on this US made notebook at the beginning of its use. graduation standards require only two years of math when our competitors in places like China are pushing for higher and higher standards. The only way America can retain economic growth and get more jobs is to transition our workforce to more high-tech roles that require higher education like other nations. Germany has successful transferred their manufacturing strength through innovating their educational system. A typical school day starts at 7:30 or 8:00 in the morning. Classes are on a college-style schedule, with some courses offered only two or three times a week. Although their school year is ten months long, they have more frequent breaks, and ultimately they have more days of school (220 in Germany to 180 in the U.S.). Teaching, as a profession, is held in much higher regard in Germany, and the teachers likewise enjoy a higher standard of living compared with their American counterparts. Their system creates incentives for better teachers while offering an atmosphere more conducive to learning rather than the American “grinder”. The United States’ future rests in our education now more than ever. Like our healthcare system we need prevention, not treatment. We need change now for a future tomorrow.

Why Homework Stinks By Joao Teixeira Photo Editor


eing a senior and having submissively endured the burdens of homework for several years, it has come to my attention that all homework is virtually pointless; not that I haven’t been skeptical about this ever since the first grade. My brother, currently a kindergartener and learning how to read, the other day brought home a book to read for homework entitled “Nat the Fat Cat.” Enthusiastically, he did as instructed. The next day he returned from school upset that the teacher had handed him the same book to take home. The instructions, this time, were to “learn” the book in order to check out the sequel, “Nat the Fat Cat II,” I presume. Passively, and a little less willingly, he memorized the book. You should know that my little brother, though being somewhat of a disobedient free spirit, is also a very curious kindergartner; passionate about learning and an enthusiast of the National Geographic, Discovery and History Channel. Yet to do “well” in school, these types of traits do not play as effective of a role as ideally they should (in fact, an overenthusiastic kid is often deemed too energetic and put into place with ADHD medicine). I have noticed that this is so, not solely in the arena of finger painting and ABC’s, but in that of honors and AP classes as well. We all agree that there exist many flaws in our methods of education. However there is a blatant defect that teachers are universally responsible for and is never depicted as an adversary of education (at least by those who provide it). Parents insist on it; teachers enforce it, to their greatest satisfaction; and AP students live under its numbing reign. I am talking about Homework. Work! Work! Work! Or else, you will never succeed! If you don’t learn (to be miserable) now, you will surely be miserable later. The homework in advanced classes is too much, too boring, too futile, and overall uninspiring. Every year, most teachers deviate from their primary duty of teaching and motivating students, and downgrade their courses into sweatshop classes for which only the

select few possess the will power. How are we all supposed to find our calling, when we are inundated with ridiculous amounts of busy work (that teachers know the vast majority of students will copy anyway)? Many teachers argue that the large amounts homework, supplementary to advanced classes, is essential in learning for mastery. That it helps to practice, I will not argue with; but it is disappointing to realize that a lot of the same teachers, who rigorously apply this philosophy, are the ones guilty of giving poor lectures, failing to involve their students, and never once putting us on the spot to see if we actually learn anything or if we just copy the two hour long assignments in SSR. The truth is, and I see it all the time, that many students who perform diligently on their tests, quizzes and essays receive less credit just because they march to the beat of their own drum. It is as if what the system intends for us – please excuse my stoner talk – is to have us conform, preparing us for boring jobs and lives. The hard work and commitment that classes of higher educational value require discourage most students from taking them. And is this not the ultimate paradox of what education has become? That school is teaching us to not want to learn. Teachers should realize that if a student performs diligently on tests and is an active participant in class, his homework should not be a deciding factor in his grade. In other words, the ability to meet deadlines does not determine the value of a student, who maybe prefers to retire to other, more productive activities after school. I have trouble believing that only by meeting multiple deadlines will a teenager ever become a competent student and contributing member of society. How beautiful, if everyone could just do what he or she wanted in life? Passion, and not hopeless subservience, would drive society; Procrastination and “party-poopers,” alike, would be nonexistent; and in the morning, as we walk out on our front lawns to grab the paper, neighbors would turn to us and say, “good morning;” and actually mean it. I know an epicurean society is practically impossible given our modern standards, but it is not something that we should not at least aim for. And what better place to inspire people and instill hope in life than at school?

The Spart Editor-in-Chief Alicia Kim Managing Editor Denny Choi News Editor Emily Kim David Mkrtchian Opinion Editor Terese Rutkowski Katherine Propper Features Editors Michelle Phillips Tamar Bezjian Christi Choi Gina Yoon Rebecca Han

Repo Grace Amico Ian Balisy David Belcher Michael Belcher Margo Hartley Ameer Khan Joseph Kim Christophe Labelle


La Cañada High School

February 3, 2010


Our Ever Growing Problems For The Future By Tyler Stenzel Guest Writer


e all wish that 2010 and the years to come will bring prosperity to the United States, or at least economic recovery. However, for the most part, there are several major impediments to economic recovery, and my intention is to bring them to your attention. When the recession hit and the banks began to fail, Washington’s main response to the crisis was to bail the banks out. It enacted $700 billion dollars to bail out the banks and then $850 billion for domestic spending, and most recently passed a $447 billion spending bill for 2010. The U.S receives its money from the Federal Reserve, a privately owned bank, which prints money out of thin air and loans it to the U.S on interest. Obama trusts chairman Bernanke and the Federal Reserve, although I believe the Federal Reserve caused the housing bubble, with low interest rates and easy credit following the 2000-01 dot-com burst; but that is a whole other story. The attitude that spending is the solution for recovery is prevalent amongst politicians in Washington. Spending is not the solution, but the problem. Savings and production are the key to economic recovery, not consumption and deficit spending. The problem with the United States is that it has become a consumer nation, rather than a producer. We have the world’s most acute trade deficit of some $800 billion annually. This means that we import and consume way more than we export and save. Our national debt

Got Opinions?

Backpage Editor Alice Grubb Jones John Gregg Photography Editor Margaret Beesley Joao Teixeira Business Managers Alexandra Van Wie Ben Chon Advisor Mr. Ben Powers

orters Sarena Lu Erica Moore Krishna Rajagopalan David Rhee Naima Vogt Hailey Williams Helen Won

nation. Instead, he is just promoting a short-term cure which will hurt more in the long run. It seems to me that he is more of a puppet to the banks and corporation. My predictions for 2010 are this: the unemployment rate will continue to drop, and more houses will be foreclosed. I think that the stock market will dip again. We will continue to borrow, and the dollar will continue to drop. Inflation and hyperinflation are very likely. I also foresee taxes being raised, and important funding to the public will be cut to make up for the discrepancy. We will continue to fight in the quagmire of Afghanistan and Iraq, and further our military intervention with other countries, which has proved more detrimental to our country than beneficial. Let’s hope that I am not right for the majority of those… As for the avid stock investors out there, I would advise them to invest in foreign markets and to put money in commodities, agriculture, gold and other precious metals. You can read this, ignore it, dismiss it as “conspiracy”, but these are facts and have a great deal of weight on the outcome of our future. I don’t want to stand around and watch my country go to shambles. The future of our country and the debt we have sits heavily on our shoulders. We can change it and make a difference, not just in the economic sense, but also for the government as a whole- but there needs to be a starting point. I want to start a new club 2nd Semester called “Common Sense” in which I hope to organize student meetings in which we can discuss important international and domestic issues. Just as we fail to have serious discussions in schools we fail to have these discussions as a nation. Gandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” We need to fix our problems and be that change.

Write an article and bring it to Mr. Powers’s Room (203) or drop in the silver box in the IRC! Or email it to us at

Finding Time For Ourselves

tan Staff Sports Editor David Choe Kevork Kurdoghlian

totals over $12 trillion and we rely on foreign nations to buy our bonds to keep the dollar propped up. (When fiscal liabilities such as social security and the interests on our debt are taken in to account, the debt exceeds well over $50 trillion). The U.S savings rate is at a negative, and the dollar continues to fall amongst other currencies. The more we continue to spend, and neglect to save and produce, the deeper the hole becomes for the US dollar. This highlights a major problem. Nations such as Japan and China will eventually realize that we are never going to pay them back, as we will keep borrowing with no sight of return. Once they realize this they will stop lending us money, causing the US dollar to collapse. In the long run, we are more of a burden than an asset to the countries of Asia That is the long-term problem. The policies Obama is currently implementing are not effectively working and are increasing the size of our inefficient government. It troubles me that we have such a spending mentality in this country. Our government seems to think that we need to spend our way out of the recession. Spending is what created the problem, and it’s not the solution. Some say that the recession is practically over and that we are recovering, but this is far from true. The unemployment rate is still around 10 percent (12% in C.A) and there is still a high rate of home foreclosures. Obama has only created government jobs thus far, which are not productive to the overall economic health of the country. It’s a pity that Obama used taxpayers’ money to bail out his corporate friends and put the burden on the American taxpayer. Obama is an intelligent politician, but it seems that he fails to discern the most important problems with our

By Krishna Rajagopalan Spartan Staff


hese days people are so busy that it is almost a chore to be able to find time to ourselves. A student’s typical day consists of school and work. Once we return home we have to attend to our household responsibilities such as laundry, and checking e-mails. Once we do all of that, it becomes hard to have some leisure time to read the newspaper or watch sports. Finally we have a chance to enjoy some leisure time, to read the newspaper, or watch sports. One thing we will never be able to change is the amount of hours in the day. Therefore, we have to learn to budget our time more efficiently so we can get more things done in a day. For example, we could make a list of things we have to do on any given day and start from the top of the list and work our way to the bottom. This way, everything gets done and we are not left at the end of the day feeling hopeless and frustrated that we didn’t get ‘that’ something done. Another thing we can do is devote a certain amount of time to each task that we have to do, but this can be hard sometimes because some tasks may take longer than others. But everyone is glad when Friday rolls around because it is a time to recuperate, just like the holidays are. Then we have

two days to relax from whatever we had to get done during the week. Especially in Southern California, weekends are a special time because we have sunny weather for the majority of the year. Thus Southern Californians can enjoy the great outdoors whether playing a round of mini golf or going hiking on one of our many trails. This is a way to rejuvenate the stress of the work-week. Another way to let go of the stress during the week is to set aside some time everyday to do deep breathing since you can “let go” of all the week’s stress and focus on your inner self. Many people look forward to all the breaks they get in a year. This is because of how busy we are at other times. Breaks give us a time to sit back and ponder about things that we may not think about in our everyday busy lives. It also gives us time to do things that we enjoy such as traveling, reading, and spending time with family. In today’s world the idea of a “family dinner” is starting to diminish because everyone in a given family has a very different schedule which makes it difficult to coordinate with other family members. On the other hand, on holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas we are given a day to eat a family dinner. One thing most families should start doing despite setbacks is to plan

a yearly family vacation. This vacation can be something for just the immediate family or even extended family. This vacation should be put on the calendar once planned so no one forgets. In today’s world reminders can be sent in a number of different ways such as Facebook, Twitter, and E-mail and simply by text messaging. As the saying goes, “The more the merrier” so why not add more people to your vacation? Overalvl, finding time for ourselves these days may be hard, but it is important to continue to find that time when you are free to do whatever you want. So go out and plan a day that you will be sure to enjoy, and most importantly free of obligations.


February 3, 2010

La Cañada High School


Get Ready for Date Night! By Hailey Williams Spartan Staff


eed something to do this Saturday night? Take her to a roller rink! Moonlight Rollerway, besides being the coolest retro place in all of Los Angeles County, is a great place to take a gal out. Instead of paying about twelve dollars a ticket for a movie that only lasts two hours, Moonlight Rollerway costs just under eight dollars from eight o’clock to eleven o’clock on Friday and Saturday nights. You can even stay as long as you want, provided that you leave before the doors close at eleven o’clock. Rentals consist of only traditional four-wheel skates and are three-fifty a pair. Rather than sitting through two hours of your life, and possibly wasting it on a horrible movie, go Pasadena Ice Skating Center 310 East Green Street Pasadena, CA 91101

to the rollerway, get out on the rink, and skate around a bit with your date. Impress her with moves, dance with her, and just have fun. About once every hour the rollerway plays the Macarena—now doesn’t that sound like a good time? There is also a disco ball that spins during that little number. Off the rink, you can play video games and grab a bite to eat. But don’t forget, this is a gamily establishment and there will be younger children there. If you can’t keep it PG, don’t bother coming. Bring a camera with you, or tell her to, so that you can capture some of the memories you’re bound to want to remember. This is a popular place on the weekends, so make sure to get there a bit early! If you’re not into partying like it’s nineteen seventy-five, maybe you should head over to the Pasadena Ice Skating Center If your date is more into frolicking in a “winter wonder-

land”, this is definitely the place to go. General admission is seven dollars, and rental skates are three dollars a pair. Times of public sessions vary, so you might want to check the Skating Center’s website before you head over there. The Ice Skating Center is a great place to go for some fun. If you already know how to skate, impress her and help her out. Or play dumb and she’ll wind up teaching you. If you get tired of the skating, there are always some video games and hot cocoa on sale to warm you up off the ice! But boys—this is important—no matter how corny it is, if she falls you must help her up and sneak in a kiss. This is cute for a girlfriend or a first date, unless she’s a “no kiss on the first date” kind of girl, then you might want to abandon that idea. No matter where you choose to go, you’re sure to have fun on your Saturday night date!

The Addresses

Moonlight Rollerway 5110 San Fernando Road Glendale, CA 91204

Can You Control Your Dream? David Rhee Spartan Staff It’s not often that people ponder the inner workings of such a common bodily process such as sleep. With all the fervent studying and homework sprees that run deep into the night, such a miracle like sleep is rarely looked into. However sleep, when broken down, is a complex process that when understood, can be used to free the limits of the body. One particular phenomenon intertwined within the realms of sleep is the elusive lucid dream. A lucid dream is a dream This would be an example of a lucid dream where you are involved in your dream. in which one retains coneasily manipulate dreaming have been reported. Such sciousness and control, thereby allowing the dreamer to techniques require the dreamer to have a decent control manipulate how the dream plays out. The possibilities of dream recall and embed “reality checks” into his or to lucid dreams are endless. By learning to control the her lives. By checking for a constant that exists in the experience of lucid dreaming, one is able to shift into real world, such as a wristwatch or particular real-world a realm in which boundaries are only set by his or her link, it is easier to realize when one is dreaming and mind while retaining the restoring benefits of sleep. when one is indeed in real life. By constantly utiliz Lucid dreaming is rare. Most people are ing reality checks, it becomes easier for the person to able to achieve their first lucid experience by ado- realize that they are dreaming in the middle of a dream lescence, only to reminisce on the experience until which allows them to take control with their minds. their next. However, there are cases in which people Lucid dreaming, however, is still a shady are gifted with the blessing of innate lucid dream- topic. One complaint directed toward lucid dreaming is ing. There is no need to be jealous however, as the the possibility of addiction to this personal storybook. ability to warp sleep can be achieved with practice. Biologically, humans are limited to a certain amount of As one of the most incredibly rewarding REM sleep, which is the certain stage of sleep in which experiences of naturally occurring human experi- lucid dreaming is commonly experienced. Furthermore, ences, lucid dreams have triggered study since the lucid dreams tend to reflect the status of the mind in late 1890’s. Research has yielded much information reality. Therefore, the only way to reap the rewards on the topic, even producing technology that makes of understanding the inner mechanisms of the mind it easier to fall into lucid sleep such as special face is through living a wholesome life in the real world. masks. Besides such technology, natural ways to more

Eminem Refills Joseph Kim Spartan Staff


ast month, multi-platinum hip-hop artist Eminem released Relapse: Refill, an extension of his sixth studio album Relapse. In this CD, Eminem only included seven tracks. These tracks are essentially throw-away tracks from the “Relapse” that carry the same feeling of lightness and lack of seriousness. Also, there are no guest appearances in this album except for Dr. Dre on one track. Eminem shows definite mastery in technique with distinct ������������������� ���������� flows and rhyme schemes, but the songs overall ����������������������� ��������������� lack substance and message. It’s an album worth purchasing, ������� though. The album opens up with “Forever,” which is ������������������������������������������ slimly ����������������������������������� disappointing not because it lacks quality, but because it was already featured on the “More Than a Game” soundtrack. Other than that, it’s a classic song featuring arguably the best emcees in the game������������������������������� right now��������������������� . Drake, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and Eminem all deliver tight verses. “Hell Breaks Loose” is the first previously unheard track��������������������������������������������� in �������������������������������������������� the album, featuring Dr. Dre. Eminem and Dr. Dre flow back and forth, switching up the flows as they rap. Although it’s visible that Eminem ghostwrote Dre’s verse, Dre’s speedy rap is impressive. The combination of dark piano keys and violins serve to intensify the beat. In the third track “Buffalo Bill,” Eminem spits in that “accent,” which might turn some people off. The title is an allusion to the serial killer in Silence of the Lambs, and Eminem delivers detailed tales of murder in his distinct style. This track reveals Eminem’s twisted side. “Elevator” underlines real issues in Eminem’s life such as people taking shots at him, fans that harass him, and the consequence of his ver���� ses and rap�������������������������������������������� . His reference to his deceased best friend Proof is noteworthy. Eminem also refers to Clay Aiken and Adam Lambert, spurring some controversy. “Taking My Ball” is another comical song in the album. He flows well, and it’s a solid song. Many celebrities are mentioned, such as Kim Kardashian, Tara Reid, Sarah Palin, Mischa Barton, Rosie O’Donnell, and Heidi Klum. The sixth track is “Music Box,” which is similar to Relapse’s “Underground” and this album’s third track “Buffalo Bill.” Em rhymes in the perspective of a killer, and the beat is suitable for his fierce delivery. It’s another song that demonstrates Eminem’s ��������������� distorted������ side. The last track is “Drop the Bomb on Em,” which is one of the purposeless songs. He ��� flows well������������������������������������ and it marks ���������������������������� the end of album well. Refill is exactly what the title tells – an extended serving of Relapse. The songs are neither fresh nor heavy, but they are good enough to satisfy the ���� fans who like���������������������������������������� to listen to comical or twisted verses.


February 3, 2010

La Cañada High School

Features Michael Choi: Army Boy David Rhee Spartan Staff


Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse are waiting for you!

Get A Day, Give A Day at Disneyland By Krishna Rajagopalan Spartan Staff


ecently, Disney Company announced a program that would probably interest all of us for a very good reason. This program is called the Give a Day, Get a Day Program which celebrates volunteer service in the community. In return for giving a day of service to a non-profit organization you are given a one-day admission to the one of the Disneyland Resort’s theme parks. This is very special because you are being rewarded for giving one day of service to the community. A program such as this one can easily stimulate more and more people to reach out to their community. It is not everyday that you can get a free ticket to the happiest place on Earth. In order to participate in this program you have to go to the Disneyland website and look for the link which says Give a Day, Get a Disney Day. Once you see that link you will directed to the Hands On Network site which is the agency that finds you a volunteer opportunity. You can choose whichever opportunity seems the most interesting to you. Once you find an opportunity the directions are very straightforward. You will be contacted by the organization for which you want to volunteer within five days. They will let you know if there is a project for you based on your availability. You would then go and finish the sign up process in order to redeem your ticket to Disneyland once you volunteer. If you enjoy your volunteering you might want to ask the organization if you can volunteer on a regular basis. I have done a lot of volunteering and have enjoyed whatever I have done. The Hands On Network also has an awards ceremony every year for those people who submit their volunteer hours to them by April. This might be an added incentive to get those volunteer hours in. You are eligible to submit your hours if you volunteer at a non-profit institution. If you would like to find a place to volunteer you can go to the Hands On Network website and search based on where you live. Volunteering is indeed a great thing and so each and every one of us should feel motivated to do some type of volunteering. So when you feel that you are becoming bored go out and help prepare food for the homeless or donate to a canned food and toy drive.

ichael Choi, a sophomore at La Canada High School, is a student like any other, attempting to balance the rigors of studying for AP Euro and pre-calculus along with socializing with friends. Michael’s weekends, however, stray from the norm. From the hours of 6 o’ clock in the morning until the afternoon, Michael dedicates his time in a police academy, learning skills that he hopes will help him achieve his goal- to serve his country by enlisting in the Delta Force. The Delta Force is an elite branch of the U.S. army, specializing in counter terrorism, counter insurgency, and military assassinations. Although not much is known about this covert organization, one can tell the Delta Force is neither the general infantry nor easy to get into. Michael’s dream was inspired three years ago when he was 12. Sparked by a figure he respected during his boarding school days, Michael’s army ambitions were born. Ever since his moment of conversion, Michael began to train his physical along with mental characteristics. Michael hopes to attend West Point, arguably the most esteemed military academy today. It is easy to tell that Michael’s dreams are not easy to achieve. Michael responds, “I don’t think it’s that hard as long as I stay focused. I’m working towards a goal that I really want to get to and it comes naturally that the path to that goal is one I enjoy.” The path Michael mentioned regards his time spent in the police academy. One would guess that spending time in a police academy wouldn’t be too relaxing. Michael can agree with that. Michael testifies with an awkward smile, “It’s part of the course, but I’ve been tazed, pepper sprayed, and hit by a stinger grenade. It hurt, but it’s training. The motto of the marines is ‘pain is weakness leaving the body’ and I agree with that.”

Michael Choi, a smiling army boy. Along with being the subject of a series of weapons solely meant to subdue a human being, Michael must go through rigorous physical training. Michael says, “We run like five miles a day and that’s our warm up. It’s worth it.” As Michael explains the troubles he must endure, one can notice the ambition in Michael’s voice. Through it all, Michael Choi, sophomore, police cadet, and student, lives life to its highest potential each day in order to achieve one goal. That goal is to become a part of the Delta Force.

Places to Enjoy Nature In La Canada Flintridge

windy and it is difficult for the cars to slow down and see you. This takes you from Alta Canyada and Descanso Gardens, up Chevy Chase and near ll of us at La Canada High School are Commonwealth and Wooleigh. You can even familiar with the restaurants and shops go further and end up at the High School, an that center around Foothill Boulevard. estimated 9 mile run. If your feeling you need to But not very many stuchallenge yourself even dents are aware that bemore, try and finish your hind this everlasting street run by sprinting Michithere are beautiful trails gan Hill once or twice! and places to run and hike, If your tired of runwhether you want a long, ning in La Canada, try scenic run, a hilly chalgoing other places. San lenge, or just a place to jog Marino is also a beautior walk with your friends. ful area to run in, es One place to go pecially near the Hunwhere you can experience tington Gardens and the the pleasure of trails and the streets that lead to San greenery of forest and trees Marino High School. is the Hahamongna Park/ If hiking is more of Arroyo Seco trails. You come Hahamongna Park your area, try the trails upon creeks, campsites, and the desert, and can and canyons up the Angeles Crest Highway. go for either a long 5 mile run or a short jog if Cherry Canyon is fun, and Switzer Falls is another preferred. However, I recommend you run with beautiful scenic tour of the trails and forest. If a friend, because it can be sketchy and it is easy you feel like seeing A-list stars, Runyon Canyon to get lost. You can also start at Hahamongna is the place to be. This area is all hills, up and and run down the trails that take you to the Rose down, and there is not much scenery, but stars Bowl, another fun and social place to exercise. are constantly being spotted working out here. One of my personal favorite places to So whether your walking the dog, run is the Berkshire Trails and the Descanso hiking with friends, or training for the L.A. Gardens area. It is a very hilly run, and you have Marathon, La Canada and other areas close to to be careful of the traffic because the roads are us offer an array of trails and places to exercise. Margo Hartley Spartan Staff


10 February 3, 2010

La Cañada High School

Sports Spartans Feast as Champions Varsity Baseball Looking Good… This Holiday Season La Canada Boys’ Varsity Basketball sees flawless victory over the winter vacation By Alexandra Van Wie Spartan Staff


he Boys’ Varsity Basketball team started off their winter break on the right foot Saturday, December 19th when they captured the title in their very own La Canada Holiday Classic with a sterling record of 4-0. The true challenge in this tourney sat squarely in the title game against longtime rival St. Francis although it was still no walk in the park beating three other esteemed teams. On that Saturday, the Spartans slayed the Knights 57-46 against in familiar environment of the North Gym. The 11-pt. margin between schools was a full 8 points higher than the 3-pt. margin exhibited in the schools’ last scuffle during the summer. In this game, however, the Spartans’ limited rotation helped build a strong force all throughout. The names of that force were Jeff Grigg, Mike McGlashan, Rocky Moore, and Omar Rady. Junior Mike McGlashan earned the title of Tournament MVP with the most points scored in the game- 14. The senior guards also earned their places in this tourney with relentless 3-point shots, which is claimed by Coach Hoffman to be LC’s number one attack. Grigg and Rady were both named to the All-Tournament first team. These boys also scored no less than nine points apiece. This was by no means a four man effort, howeve, as the cincher for victory relied on the teamwork of the players and a style that is best characterized by one word: physical. By halftime fate seemed secure with a 36-22 lead. Extensive defense from LC’s star guards gave way to eight 3-point shots one after another. That night, La Canada was spot on. It was not just this one game that made the Spartans shine during the season of giving, though. In the singular week preceding break the team amassed three other victories. On Tuesday, December 15th, LC took on Lincoln High School and came out 69-

Mike McGlashan, tournament MVP goes up for a lay up. Photo Credit: Alexandra Van Wie 40. Two days later they opposed Village Christian and won 73-59. The boys then ended their 2009 studies going toe-to-toe with the Saugus Centurions and a 50-39 victory. On top of all of this, the LC Spartans have only faced one loss this season with thirteen games already under their belts. All in all, one may say they are doing pretty well so far.

Attention: We Want You too !

By Joao Teixeira Photo Editor


ast year, LC Baseball made it all the way to CIF semifinals. As a result, this year they have been promoted to Gold League, making CIF aspirations a little less tangible. Nonetheless the team maintains a positive and confident attitude. “We take it very seriously,” said outfielder Jack Gilbert, who heroically threw out his arm in a play from second to first at a recent game, “A lot of the new kids think they can come into the program and screw around, but it’s not like that: We practice hard and we have fun.” With Winter Ball (pre-season in baseball lingo) now under way, Varsity is looking at a promising season. Although not all schools participate in Winter Ball, La Canada has performed well against the teams it has played so far. “I think we have a shot at the title this year,” said Adam Overgaard when asked about the season, “Monrovia is the favorite, but we will make CIF again.” The positions are pretty much set and, like any good baseball team, LC has a strong group of speedy, efficient Asian-American players: Michael Lee who plays second base, and Tim Kim and Kevin Suh in the outfield. “We have got a lot of depth at pitching so far and it looks like our hitting is getting where it needs to be,” said Overgaard, “but our defense needs to get better if we want to win league.” The team has all new coaches this year, Mr. Ballard being the only one to return. Last years JV coach is now the assistant Varsity Coach and Overgaard said, “he was the JV coach last year and he didn’t get good reports, but I think he will be good this year.” The morale is a little lacking. The team is still recovering from the scandal that occurred two years ago. But they stay focused and their strong bonds keep the team together. The future looks promising for LC Varsity Baseball. Up and coming freshman Anthony Mizrahi is an unstoppable starting Varsity catcher. The JV team on the other hand is “going to have a rough season to put it gently” said one Varsity player.

The Spartan Track team eagerly waits for athletes to step up to the plate and show what they have this year. By Krishna Rajagopalan Spartan Staff


or those of you interested in doing Track this year, training is currently going on for both long and short distance. Coach Casey and Coach Lust are working with players after school to get them ready for the upcoming season. Coach Casey is working with Sprinters and does a variety of running exercises as well as stretching. Coach Lust works with the long distance team and prepares them for running the one and two mile events. The Track team is currently looking to recruit any interested runners, sprinters, or hurdlers. The team meets under the awning right by the BB room, which is Mr. Zimmerman’s room right now. The more people our team can get the more exciting our team will be this year and the more competition there will be for who is chosen for the team. Those people who recently finished cross-country might consider joining the track team because they can put their running skills to great use. The first day of Track and Field is on February 8, which gives the team plenty of time to get in shape.

Right now the preseason is off to a great start and the team is practicing everyday in order to be prepared for a great upcoming season. The track coaches are all very excited about the upcoming season. Coach Casey, who is the sprinting and hurdles coach, said, “We are very excited for our upcoming season, and we are also excited about our old and new players”. Coach Zimmerman wants to say an enthusiastic “Beat South Pasadena”, while Coach Lust, the distance coach, said, “Track is great, we love Track”. Regular Track practice is every day after school and the timings are based on which coach you have. The Track meets are normally on Thursdays but can occur on a Wednesday. If you want information as to when the meets are scheduled, you can go on the La Canada High School website, click

on Teachers, and then scroll down until you see the link for Mrs. Lust’s website. Once you click on that you will see a link that says Scheduled Meets 2010, and you can click on that to see when the track meets are. We are looking forward to a great season of Track and hope to see any of you interested runners out there.

11 February 3, 2010

La Cañada High School

Sports Hart Failure Spartans Soccer Shut Out Hart in JV Boys’ Final Game of the Preseason Soccer demolishes Hart High O School By Naima Vogt and Micheal Belcher Spartan Staff

By Erica Moore Spartan Staff


n Tuesday January 5th, the La Canada Boys’ Junior Varsity Soccer Team played a home game against Hart High School. It was an intense game as both teams were at their competitive peaks. The Spartans proved victorious with an impressive score of 4-0. There were slide tackles and generally sneaky play from both teams, each trying desperately to get control of the ball. In an attempt to obtain a penalty kick, players from across the field fell to the ground waving to the referee that they had been hurt. It seemed that I had only noticed this because I was holding a camera and was later informed that it was “just the way soccer is played.” Throughout the game, our team played with La Canada spirit cheering their teammates and maintaining good sportsmanship. Each time our team would score a goal those on the bench, and those brave enough to withstand the cold in the bleachers, would stand up and wildly cheer. The game was full of excitement as a soccer game should be in the sense that there were penalty kicks, throw ins, missed calls and arguments. Overall the match was comprised of a encouraging and competitive environment. Nic Tourani, a dedicated athlete part of the Junior Varsity team stated, “We played a good game, had a lot of fun and knew the Hart High School team didn’t stand a chance.” The team has progressed into the Rio Hondo League and is now playing for their spot as League Champions. Come out and support our great team!

n Tuesday January 5, 2010, the Spartans’Boys Varsity Soccer team dominated the Hart Indians in a grueling game at 3:30pm, winning 5 to zero. The Spartans stormed out the first half, dominating Hart’s defense, with three goals to none. Junior Matthew Cannata scored the two first goals, 16 minutes into the first half. Juniors Cameron Meeker and Arash Mahboubi also scored goals. Senior Agassi Bagramyan scored a fifth goal, erecting the score to a whopping 5-0, twelve minutes before the end of the game. La Canada shut down the Indians on defense, stealing the ball over 16 times in the first half alone. All the shots the Indians did take were successfully blocked by Junior goalie Jack Hale, proving his ability as an excellent defensive player. “La Canada held them firmly on defense,” Malone Shepherd ran to the goal and left the competition behind him. explained spectator Tyler Stenzel, Photo Credit: Christophe LaBelle “but at the end, we came out on top.” The Hart Indians were put at a disadvantage due to several yellow cards, giving the Spartans even more motivation than they had initially brought onto the field. A yellow card went against the Spartans on Agassi Bagramyan for celebrating after a goal with an “obscene gesture.” Hart’s complete shutout by the end of the match made this encounter relatively easy compared to previous ones. The Spartan’s Head Coach Ritson was not present at the game, so Assistant Coach Nedeff had the pleasure of coaching the Spartans solo in the last pre-season victory. “We played consistent with our approach,” he commented, “This year’s Varsity team is stronger than last year’s, the players are older and more experienced which helped improve our in games this season.”            Tuesday’s game brought an end to the team’s pre-season, with a total record of ten wins, two losses and one tie. Coach Nedeff hopes the team will remain ‘undefeated’ and player Diego Ruano clamed that “CIF is ours!” “The Spartans looked like a well rounded and robust team, and I have high hopes for their playoff run,” said Tyler Stenzel after the game. The Spartans first Rio Hondo league match will be on Friday January 8 2010. Everyone, from the Arsha Zare made his way around Hart defenders with a fake move. fans to the coaches, to the players, is optimistic about the possibility of winning Rio Hondo League. Photo Credit: Christophe LaBelle

Shannon Denney Scores 42 Points in One Game By Ben Chon Business Manager

“I feel really good about it, but I just really had a lucky game,” Shannon humbly stated in regards to her outstanding basketball record. La Canada High School history was made when Senior Shannon Denney scored 42 points against local academic rival San Marino in a girls Varsity Basketball game. Amazingly, Denney scored 9 more points than the opponent’s entire team made, with the final score being La Canada 76, San Marino 33. Shannon broke the past school record held by Melissa Lords, who held it since 1993. When asked how she was able to do so well during the actual game, she replied, “Well, I was being guarded by smaller girls; therefore, it wasn’t hard to shoot over them and my shots just happened to fall.” Shannon also graciously credited her teammates, stating that they “definitely helped out a lot and worked hard to get the ball to [her].” Shannon has been playing basketball since the age of 12, and due to her height, is an effective and consistent center. Denney has been playing for the La Canada High School girls Varsity Basketball team since last year, and is clearly a very valuable member and contributor to the team. When asked about her plans after high school basketball, the senior responded, “I’m pretty sure I’m going to play in college. Probably at Lewis and Clark College in Oregon.” La Canada wishes Shannon the best of luck!

Shannon smiles remembering her success.

By Michelle Phillips


Back Page Four Play By Naima Vogt Spartan Staff

Gina Choi

If you could hang with What is your favorite Do you think having a What was your any musican, who item of clothing that Winter Formal was a favorite movie of ‘09? would you choose? good idea? you own?

Michael Jackson

Morgan Devaud

I’d definitely choose Bono!

Scotty Blaisdell

Billy Mays... That is my answer.

Luke Nielson

February 3, 2010

Jack Johnson

Yes Man.

The Hangover, hands down.

Ingloriuos Basterds.

Sherlock Holmes.

Valentine’s Day Special Do you want to send your Valentine a special message in a whole new way? Why not put it in the newspaper! For $1 you can submit your love note to our representatives at lunch and break next Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday the 9th-11th.

My brown moccasin shoes.

Monte Carlo would have been better because no other school has it.

My cowboy boots.

Winter Formal was a great idea; it was an extra occasion to get dressed up!

My slippers.

It was a better idea than Monte Carlo.

My jeans, ‘cause they’re so comfortable! The location was great.

Mission Aid Michelle Phillips Featurs Editor


s you all know, Haiti is in great need of aid after a disastrous earthquake struck the country a few weeks ago. On February 19, a group of ten to fifteen doctors, led by senior Ameer Khan’s father, Dr. Faisal Azam Ali Khan, is going to Haiti to provide medical care to the Haitian people. Despite widespread efforts by organizations such as the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders, there is an everpresent necessity for more aid. The need for individual efforts and contributions is always pressing in times of disaster such as this. Any form of contribution, regardless of how petty, would be greatly appreciated by both the medical team and the people of Haiti. If you would like to donate to this endeavor please contact Ameer Khan for details about the trip. It is guaranteed that your donations will go directly to aiding Haiti of this disaster.

Volume XX Issue 4  

Volume XX 2009-2010