Page 1


Ralston Valley Xpress NEWS EDITOR Mike DeGrace

Friday, March 5, 2010


Opinionated? Confused? Lonely? Visit to make a comment, vote in a poll or write to us.

The Deer Creek School Shooting


Xpress editors and reporters on Bruco Strong Eagle Eastwood and Deer Creek “It bothers me that I was a little bit late,” he said. “It bothers me that he got the second shot off.” Regardless, it can be said that lives were saved because of the heroic teacher. During emergency drills, Dr. Benke would tell his students that if anything ever happened, he wanted to be able to do something about it. And now he has. “What was going through my mind,” Benke recounted to CNN, “was that I promised.” Spoken like a true hero, Dr. Benke. - Connor Randal, Special Coverage Editor

THE FACADE: Deer Creek Middle School in Littleton. The seemingly calm exterior does not let on to the fact that on Feb. 23 the school was the site of a shooting during which two students were injured. Photo courtesy of Jefferson County Public Schools

Columbine vs. Deer Creek Deer Creek Middle School is only three miles away from Columbine High School, the location of a horrific large-scale killing in 1999. And now both schools have had madmen pointing guns at them. Similar to the Columbine massacre, the shooting at Deer Creek happened just after a fresh layer of snow fell. While no fatalities were left in the wake of the more recent outrage, two students were wounded. Thankfully, their injuries weren’t nearly as bad as they could have been. One huge difference, other than the death toll, was that the gunman was a 32-year-old man, not a student. The suspected would-be killer was Bruco Eastwood, a man with a very violent past. In March, 1996, Eastwood was arrested on a felony charge of threatening two people with a knife at Westminster Mall, for which he pled guilty. Soon after, a temporary restraining order was placed on him to prevent him from carrying firearms or other weapons. About a month after that, according to a police report, Eastwood “held a black colored 22 caliber automatic against Dustin Fishburn’s right temple and said, ‘If you ever take anything from me again or piss me off, I’ll kill you.’” In 1997, the deranged man pleaded guilty to third degree assault and was sentenced three years’ probation, mental health counseling, anger management, domestic violence classes, and was forced to forfeit his firearm. The list goes on. “He’d sit down at the table and [talk to] three or four people that weren’t there. He knew he had problems and I knew he had problems,” said War Eagle Eastwood, the suspect’s father. Lately, all Bruco had been talking about was his freedom, which seemed to preoccupy him, as he was neglecting the various chores on his father’s ranch. “I hope he’s listening to me because he’s

lost his freedom now,” lamented War Eagle. “If his freedom meant that much to him, he’s lost his freedom now.” That sounds pretty close to Eric Harris’ and Dylan Klebold’s story: They also had many warning signs. The destructive duo, under usernames such as “Rebdoomer” (Harris) and “VoDKa” (Klebold), had many Web pages which hosted files for video games like Doom and Quake, as well as openly expressed hatred for those in their neighborhood. Harris and Klebold fooled everyone, though. Their threats and slanderous insults were discovered, and, although they were punished, they were let off the hook early on for playing the authorities; that is, they left good impressions on everyone responsible for correcting their behavior and were passed through the system early. The similarities are terrifying. - Rachel Brown, Spotlight Reporter *** Dr. David Benke: A True Hero Dr. David Benke, a Deer Creek Middle School math teacher and track coach, doesn’t think of himself as a hero. Everyone else in Colorado seems to disagree. Including the nearly 5,500 people who have fanned the facebook page “Dr. David Benke… A TRUE hero!” During the chaos that ensued as Bruco Eastwood blatantly began firing at innocent students after school, Benke, a 6’ 5” former college basketball player, was watching students boarding the buses. He reacted quickly, tackling the gunman and holding him down as he was preparing to fire again. “He was trying to rack another round,” said Benke, “I knew he couldn’t get another round in before I got to him, so I grabbed him.” The heroic action was bittersweet for Benke though, as he wished the end result were a bit different.

*** RVHS Responds to Shooting On Feb. 24, the morning after the shooting at Deer Creek Middle School, schools across the country, but particularly in Jefferson County, sat down to address and evaluate their emergency response plans. “We met as an administrative team and as a BERT team,” said assistant principal Mike Finnefrock, “to review things already in place.” The Ralston Valley Building Emergency ResponseTeam (BERT) comprises administrators, security personnel, counselors, school psychologist Peter Kailus and School Resource Officer Blaine Engdahl. This group met to review the plans RVHS already has put in place. “We reviewed what we would have done; we role played,” said Finnefrock. BERT is confident that the emergency plan Ralston Valley already has in place is sound. Therefore, students, faculty and parents will not see any changed to emergency procedure as a result of the shooting at Deer Creek. According to Finnefrock, all schools in Jefferson County, including Ralston Valley, have been trained in the incident command system, which they use in times of emergency. Although, for safety and security reasons, Finnefrock was reluctant to reveal too much information regarding what the school would do in case of an emergency, he did remind students that RVHS’s off-site evacuation point is Van Arsdale Elementary, located just south of the school on Alkire Street. - Michael Auslen, Editor-in-Chief *** RVHS’s Emergency Plan With the recent events at Deer Creek Middle School, Ralston Valley, as well as other local schools, is not only reassuring their own emergency plans but also finding ways to help out. Ralston Valley, with all other Jefferson County Schools, run under an incident command system which tells the emergency response team what to do. The Emergency Response Team consists of 12 people, each of whom take care of three jobs. In the event of an emergency, one radio call would signal all the team members to proceed with their job. This only takes a matter of a few seconds. “As a part of the Emergency Response Team, my job is to run the command station

and be in charge of talking to the police,” said Principal Jim Ellis. All members of staff, even if not part of the Emergency Response Team, have a job as well. In the event of a lockdown, to prevent someone like officer Blaine Engdahl from rushing into a room, Jefferson County schools came up with the red card, green card system. In the event of a lockdown, the teacher in each room will slide out either a green card to signify that everyone in the room is safe or a red card so the Emergency Response Team knows someone is harmed or needs help. The Ralston Valley response team is not only used for our school emergencies but is also helpful to other schools as well. This past week, Ralston Valley administration as well as counselors were sent to Deer Creek to help the students cope with the drama of the recent events. Whenever an emergency happens anywhere in Jefferson County, Ralston Valley is aware and the Emergency Response Team is available to help. Our school’s response team is always on the site with back-up plans and back-up response team members. - Rachel Trujillo, Spotlight Reporter *** The Beauties of District Communication When the Deer Creek Shooting sparked commotion throughout Jefferson County and worry from hundreds of parents, the school district did it’s best to keep families in the loop. First, a voice recording announcing the situation was sent out, then mass emails in an attempt to keep parents of both Deer Creek students (and everyone else) aware, which allowed Deer Creek parents to pick up their children at a separate location away from the school. The statement that was released immediately following the incident read: “Parents and staff of Jeffco Public Schools: This is an emergency message, please listen carefully. There has been a shooting incident at Deer Creek Middle School. The suspect is in custody, the weapon has been taken away. Two students were injured; we don’t know the extent of their injuries at this time. All other students are accounted for and safe. Currently, we have a crisis team in place working with the Jeffco sheriff ’s department. Parents and students are being reunited at Stony Creek Elementary. All students are safe at this time. We will pass on updated information as it becomes available.” So it relayed the information and did its best to keep everyone calm. But was it too much? At the homes of many Ralston Valley faculty, staff and students, a school located far north of the shooting incident, as many as three phone messages and four emails were delivered by the district, including one at 6 p.m. the night after the incident occurred. - Connor Randal, Special Coverage Editor

Local Aid to Distant Disaster

Arvada steps up to help Haiti’s devastated populace get their feet back on the ground. Rebecca Raymond News Reporter

The recent earthquakes in Haiti have left 3 million people in need of emergency aid. The Red Cross and the UN’s World Food Program rushed to assist in the recovery and relief efforts. Although Haiti is receiving much global-scale support, contributions made by local-scale fundraisers and benefits are extremely valuable as well because they go to individual communities in dire need. People do not realize the power and potential they have to change reality for others. Becoming involved in projects which assist those in need seems like a daunting task to some. RV senior, Rachel Walters is an example of a local citizen who was not intimidated by the initial “getting started” aspect. In partnership with local café and music venue, the D-Note, in Old Town Arvada, Walters organized a fundraiser for Haiti Relief. With a $10 donation, partakers watched the local band, the

Jagtones perform. The fundraiser collected $1,100 total. The money will be given to the organization, Samaritan’s Purse, which will in turn provide basic needs like sanitary water and food for orphans in Haiti. Walters contacted the organization and shared her idea, which lead to their successful efforts. What can students do to help? “Realize people are more willing to help than you would think. They are in the same boat, they just don’t know how to get started,” said Walters. “Be fearless.” Join clubs at school which participate in relief efforts, such as Care Team, Spanish Club, Whoa Club and French Club. Becoming part of a club is an easy way to make such a difference in the lives of others. “It’s surprising, helping someone else comes full circle. It enhances your experiences and opens your eyes to what the real world is really like. We are sheltered with our circle of friends, often times not aware of our global surroundings,” commented Walters.

Put yourself out there; realize what the real world is really like. It’s extraordinary what you receive in return. What personal fulfillment you feel. Walters is not the only local citizen to play a role in the relief efforts for Haiti. Arvada schools have organized donation efforts and raised money as well. Lincoln Academy Charter School recently collected 294 pairs of jeans for children in Haiti. They partnered with clothing store Aéropostale and “Jeans for Teens” to collect the used clothing. In addition to the clothing, Lincoln Academy held a special Hat Day for students and a Jean Day for staff. Students donated $1 to the Haiti relief effort to wear the hat of their choosing. Staff donated $5 to wear jeans all day. They collected $535 total, which was also donated to Samaritan’s Purse. Communities have the capability of making huge differences in the lives of earthquake victims in Haiti and people in other parts of the world who are suffering. All it takes is unity for one common goal and determination to achieve

the objectives set in order to effectively provide aid. In order to alleviate suffering in Haiti, communities like Arvada must come together, work together, and believe in the power of people. Seemingly small efforts translate into huge changes for neighborhoods, towns and cities, just like ours across the globe which are in need. United we stand, divided we fall.

PERMANENT CAMPING TRIP: Haitians camping out in a temporary shelter. Any and all contributions toward Haiti are appreciated. Photo courtesy of Stefano Zannini

Ralston Valley Xpress


Ashley Haramaki Spotlight Reporter

rhopus, that was believed to be a subspecies of mongoliensis. This raptor was hardly much larger, being 11 feet long and five feet tall. However, it was what the artistic team of Jurassic Park used as reference for their movie creations. During production of the film though, the monsters we know were discovered. This beast was Utahraptor ostrommaysi, coming in at seven feet tall and 22 feet long, and weighing in at 1500 lbs. It is known primarily from its killer toe claw, that alone being nine inches in length. Being enormously dangerous is not all these raptors are known for. It has also been found that they hunted in packs, fighting until the death for even a single meal. CAT scans of several skulls have also told paleontologists that raptors, specifically Deinonychus, had large occipital lobes. And what can this mean? That these creatures have night vision, that’s what. But enough about raptors. Other animals were included in the novel as well. The next, perhaps being the most famous dinosaur in the world, would be Tyrannosaurs rex. Tyrannosaurus is shown to be an unintelligent but deadly brute. It was, in fact, quite smart. The most common misconception thanks to the novel is that if one stood still, Tyrannosaurus rex would do nothing more than become frustrated and stamp its feet, unable to find its potential prey. This was due to the theory that the occipital lobe of Tyrannosaurus mirrored that of frogs. Last time it was checked, Tyrannosaurus was no amphibian. Tyrannosaurus was quite capable of

A long song for Concert Choir Teddy Dwyer Spotlight Reporter

We want to know your opinions on these issues. Visit to make a comment, vote in a poll or write to us.

Joshua Nelson

The famous story Jurassic Park turns 20




Jurassic Jubilee 2010 marks the anniversary of a story that has both fascinated and haunted the minds of people for twenty years now; a cautionary tale warning against screwing with what is already dead. That story is Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. The famous scaly savages of Isla Nublar will forever be remembered, whether for their fear factor or for their sense of realism. While the novel did not quite become as famous until its 1993 movie release, it has since been a pinnacle dinosaur fiction novel, which remains very readable even today. However, one must take into account how scientific theories were when it was written in 1990, and how they are now. One of the biggest examples would be the Velociraptors. In the movie and novel, they are depicted as being six foot tall, 13 foot long monsters. They are also said to be smarter than humans, going so far as to open doors. However, most people are shocked to learn that this is far from the true face of raptors. Velociraptor mongoliensis is no monster. In fact, it’s more like a large clawed dog. Velociraptors measure at no more than around seven feet in length, and three feet in height, half the size of their Nublar cousins. They also were not smart enough to open doors. But, it is not to say they weren’t deadly. Being run down by an Irish Wolfhound sized lizard at 60 miles per hour in the hot desert sun is no joke. But then one has to wonder why the raptors of the film and novel were depicted as they were. At the time, there used to be another raptor, now known as Deinonychus antir-

Friday, March 5, 2010

seeing, and especially smelling, everything out. It was the apex predator of North America millions of years ago, and to suggest otherwise would be completely foolish. While correcting what has already been written is fun, it is much more exciting to present what is fresh and unknown to most of the public world. One revisited theory is that of dinosaurs being warm blooded. While initially thought to be so, the theory died out after the Victorian era, where the image of dinosaurs became that of slow, fat, and stupid lizards. With the coming of the 1960s, however, the idea began to scratch the surface, with an addition; that dinosaurs were more closely related to birds than lizards. This suggestion stems from the fact that they stood upright, something reptiles are incapable of doing. And when looking at saurapods such as Brachiosaurus, it is without a doubt they possessed fourchambered hearts. In fact, a duck-billed hadrosaur called Willow was discovered in recent years with its heart perfectly preserved. And with how many chambers? Four, of course. Another recent discovery, made right here in the USA just last month, was the find that Sinornithosaurus millenii was poisonous. The venom of Sinornithosaurus comes primarily from its saliva, similar to the Komodo dragons of today. “As if they weren’t scary enough! But it doesn’t surprise me,” says Senior Olivia Koval. One of the biggest discoveries, quite possibly since the discovery of dinosaurs themselves, is their true colors. Just last month, it was found that Sinosauropteryx prima was in fact covered in russet and white feathers. Score one for gingers? Certainly so. Especially when the gingers can eat your face. It has been a long journey for the paleontological knowledge that the world possesses, but even longer for the fossils


they study. From being depicted as boring, lumbering beasts, to being shown as the quick, cunning, and ruthless animals they truly were. One can only guess what will be found next. Who knows, one day, it might be possible to recreate them. But it is then that one most look to Jurassic Park for guidance. Science, when left in the hands of ‘”spoiled rich kid scientists”, as Ian Malcolm calls them, is a dangerous tool. One must take everything with a hint of caution and respect; lest it come back to bite a chunk out of our spines.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST: The genetic monsters of Jurassic Park versus how they were in reality. Velociraptor mongoliensis lived in the deserts of Mongolia 67 million years ago. Photo courtesy of Universal Studios and the San Diego Natural History Museum

Bands You Oughtta Know:

RED Mike DeGrace News Editor

Ralston Valley’s concert choir will be performing a 45-minute Requiem song on April 13th. The length of the song will require tremendous talent and endurance by the choir. Requiem is a song that is usually performed in a Catholic church during funerals. The word comes from Latin, meaning “to rest”. It is usually performed with a giant group of musicians; much like it is going to be for the concert choir concert. Check the music hall for times and locations.

Beard of the Month Evan Gaston Spotlight Reporter

The beard of Mr. Joshua Sattin has long been a fixture of the Ralston Valley community. Mr. Sattin has long sported a full, black, marvelous, beard that has contributed to the control that he exhibits over his students. There is no doubt that Sattin’s beard is part of the reason that his students have experienced such mathematical success. There are few certainties of Ralston Valley, but Mr. Sattin’s beard has long been one of them.

RED, a Christian rock band from Tennessee, was formed in 2004 by twin brothers Randy (guitar) and Anthony (bass) Armstrong, Michael Barnes (lead vocalist), Jasen Rauch (guitar) and Hayden Lamb (drums). While the band does not claim to produce fully Christian music, the members’ faith is a very important part of their music. In fact, the band name, RED, symbolizes the blood of Jesus Christ and is short for “redemption”. The band’s debut album, End of Silence, was released in 2006, and was nominated for a Grammy at the 49th Grammy Awards. “Breathe Into Me,” the album’s first single, was immensely popular and peaked at No.15 in the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart. The single also won the “Rock Song of the Year” award at the 38th GMA Dove Awards. The band went on tour in 2007 and has toured with numerous big names such as Flyleaf, Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, Chevelle, Seether, Puddle of Mudd, Shinedown, Staind, Papa Roach and Sevendust. Rauch has recently helped out Ben Burnley on Breaking

Benjamin’s new album, Dear Agony. Rauch helped Burnley write “I Will Not Bow,” “Hopeless,” “Lights Out” and “Without You.” Rauch has also composed three tracks for Pillar’s new album, Confessions; “Whatever It Takes,” “Better Off Now” and “Not Without a Fight.” In 2008, RED fired Lamb and hired Joe Rickard who was formerly with the band The Wedding. Rauch, who has stopped touring with the band, continues to write for RED but has chosen to leave the life on the road and instead spend the time with his family. In 2009, the band produced its newest album, Innocence & Instinct, and debuted on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart at No.15. The album sold over 39,000 copies in its first week alone. The album features 10 songs, including the first radio single, “Death of Me.” The deluxe edition was also released which featured four additional tracks including: “Forever,” the music video of “Death of Me,” photo gallery and behind-thescenes “Making of Innocence & Instinct” video documentary.

The band began its tour with Saving Abel, Pop Evil and Taddy Porter on the Class of 2009 Tour. The band will soon begin touring with Pillar and The Wedding on their new tour, “Nothing and Everything.” In March 2010, the band will be touring with Breaking Benjamin, Thousand Foot Krutch and Chevelle. RED, staying true to a hard rock/alternative sound, offers listeners a good blend of strong melodies and powerful lyrics. The band plays on the fringe of what Christian music should sound like, but nonetheless has an easily spotted theme of Christianity in the message of the lyrics. RED’s strong guitar riffs combined with the heavy lyrics and uplifting message is a good motivational support for listeners. “Each song is a very cathartic experience,” says Jake DeGrace. “You just really get into it. RED has a really intoxicating sound; its just easy music to like.” This is the reason that RED is one of the bands you oughtta know!

Red Cup: n High School


Commercialization Alcohol, drinking and the mainstream media Ashley Pajor

E Managing Editor

ver since we are young children, we are relentlessly attacked by the media. They bombard our young minds early, so that their products have seeds in our heads that gradually spring up and grow as we grow, until it is in full bloom and we accept their product. This process is in our lives from beginning to end, especially if “the end” is caused by one of their products. Advertising has been around since products were created, whether it’s a farmer selling a bushel of cabbages, or more relevantly, a large company hawking their alcoholic product. When thinking of alcoholic advertisements, television ads seem to come to mind first, and that’s no accident. Of the television young people watch, 45 percent of the commercials are alcoholic related. Not only is it heavily represented via television, but you are targeted by that advertisement. Me? You think, why yes, indeed you. And not a general you either, these ads are created for your specific gender and interests. Are you a man? Do you want to be interesting and surrounded by hoards of beauty queens and supermodels? Well obviously, you want to be like “the most interesting man in the world” who, coincidentally, drinks Dos Equis. If not a man you are a woman, and don’t you want to be the fun flirty girl at the party all the guys can’t stop staring at? Well, drink some Coors and you’ll be the star of the show. While these are just a few examples of specific ads, the general idea is the same for them all. Use their product, and become whatever you want to be. Not only do the alcohol-selling companies invade our television time, but they also invade our print media, be it newspapers or magazines and everything in-between. The same basic concept is the same, target a group of people and make them think their product is amazing. Ever notice how if you look in one of your mom’s homemaker magazines the ads are much different then say your dad’s sports magazine? Or even your own set of magazines, all of the advertisements

are different in their presentation and kids from doing all the bad things they style because they are designed to hit mention. your target group, just like the television At the beginning of the millennium, commercials. these sorts of ads were very common Each ad in your mom’s magazine is and seemed to be almost every other designed to interest her and what she commercial. Now, however, their numbers wants and idealizes. It’s not like you’ll find have been greatly reduced, showing up an ad for the latest version of some beard less and less on the TV. For better or trimmer in there, it’s the wrong audience, worse, only time will tell. and the alcohol industries know that. Whether it be through television So they design their ads to rope you ads, radio broadcasts, books, magazines, in based on what you like, and they know product placement or even in newspapers, that’s what you like because you’re reading advertising and its influences have become that magazine. impossible to escape. While the majority of the advertisements for alcohol are in fact in favor of it, there are now several campaigns warning the dangers of alcohol. Responsible drinking campaigns are popping up all over the place, warning people about the dangers of drunk driving and underage drinking. The Drink Aware campaign has been working to educate people about how to drink sensibly and avoid binge drinking. Another popular one is the Above the Influence campaign, which seems to rotate its subject matter every so often. From alcohol to weed to crack to meth, they are trying to spread the word. The problem with these campaigns however, is that they don’t seem to be working. In reality, they seem to make the situation worse. When adult figures tell a younger person to do something, the younger person is more inclined to spite them, and do just the opposite. RIGHT ON TARGET: Clever, targeted advertising and inticSo these ads haven’t really done much in the ing product labels aid in the alcohol industry’s pull on society. It even targets young, underage consumers in an attempt to way of discouraging convince them to buy its products. Photo by Ashley Pajor

Fast Facts Drinking Mustangs



(123 random students polled)

Marketing Money Liquor Industry Advertising Expenditures 1999-2007 (Adams Business Media, Liquor Handbook)

1999 Total: $321,416,500 Print: $304,254,900 TV: $2,921,100 Radio: $14,240,500

2000 Total: $377,013,300 Print: $351,857,500 TV: $4,268,300 Radio: $20,887,500

2001 Total: $406,669,700 Print: $378,259,400 TV: $6,018,200 Radio: $22,392,100

2002 Total: $408,130,900 Print: $363,115,900 TV: $18,400,200 Radio: $26,614,800

2003 Total: $390,710,200 Print: $327,220,900 TV: $40,018,200 Radio: $23,471,100

2004 Total: $357,313,400 Print: $357,313,400 TV: $67,755,300 Radio: $14,223,200

2005 Total: $443,015,800 Print: $329,047,800 TV: $102,158,500 Radio: $11,809,500

2006 Total: $464,249,800 Print: $319,692,100 TV: $118,617,000 Radio: $25,940,700

2007 Total: $547,035,400 Print: $410,169,400 TV: $118,226,000 Radio: $18,640,000

Clear the Airwaves Top 10 Broadcast (TV and Radio) Advertising Brands in 2007 1. Bacardi 2. Captain Morgan 3. Crown Royal 4. Baileys 5. Smirnoff 6. Jack Daniels 7. Tanqueray Regular 8. Di Saronno 9. Hennessy 10. Southern Comfort

Cartoon by Sarah Piersky

March 5, 2010  
March 5, 2010  

Volume 10, Issue 6