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EXECUTIVE BOARD Peter Tang Sandeep Peddada Cindy Huang Nina Kamath MEMBERS Christy Chao Claire Chu Alisha Dua Melanie Fuentes Hansaa Gopalakrishnan Virup Gubba Tyler Koteskey Megan Lee Kathy Li Vinay Nittur Aditi Pradhan Vishwaesh Rajiv Roopa Shankar Achyuth Sriram Lauren Tai Kimberly Tan Kevin Xie Sherry Xu Olivia Zhu

INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Message from Youth Com- 1 missioner: Peter Tang Organizations May Reuse Community Centers

1

Governor Vetoes Bill to Loosen Arts Graduation Requirements

2

Prop 14: An Analysis

3

Social Host Ordinance

3

The Search for a New Police Chief

4

Interview with Reema 5 Khare: Reflections Program Chair Prescription Drugs: An Economic Conspiracy?

6

Youth Feature: Saloni Gupta

6

Photography, Artwork, Poetry

7

Upcoming Events

8

1 Voice VOLUME 2, ISSUE 1

OCTOBER 2010

San Jose Youth Advisory Council of District 1

Message from Youth Commissioner: Peter Tang Hi everyone! My name is Peter Tang, and I am the new Youth Commissioner for San Jose District 1. The former commissioner, Kavya Shankar, has done an amazing job leading the Youth Advisory Council for the past three years and representing the 10,000 youths of San Jose District 1. She now attends Harvard University, but her legacy lives on with us. This year, as the new Youth Commissioner, I have several new goals and plans for San Jose District 1. First of all, I’d like to include more and more youths in making a difference in the city. The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is still open for ap-

plication, but participation isn’t just limited to the YAC! The Youth Commission’s subcommittees are open for any high school student to join. Youth participation is strongly encouraged, because these subcommittees are specifically focused on issues involving the teens of the city. We have subcommittees for planning events, improving academics, and keeping youth centers in use. Make a difference in the city by showing up to any of these! The Youth Advisory Council is interested in making the city a better place and in representing the youth to our city leaders. In order to do so, we’ll

Youth Commissioner Peter Tang

need your input on what you want to see in the city. Feel free to contact me at YouthCommissioner @sjdistrict1.com.

Organizations May Reuse Community Centers By: Olivia Zhu

For many teens in San José, local community centers have the best place for homework help, art programs, or simply a healthy environment. Usually located near parks, these centers have been ideal for many afterschool sports and games

around the community; even the Youth Advisory Council of District 1 meets at the Starbird Center, a community center located in Starbird Park. However, due to the city’s budget crisis, teenagers will be forced to find other places to host these activities. Rudy Navarro, a mem-

ber of the Reuse Property Management Team explained that the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Services (PRNS) was recently forced to close some of the community centers to keep other public places open 39 hours per week. The PRNS, says Navarro,

Did you know? Typewriter is the longest word that can be made using the letters on only one row of the keyboard.


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Organizations May Reuse Community Centers (Cont.) will try to ―keep community and neighborhood centers open by collaborating with non-City operators to provide services that benefit San José residents.‖ The reuse process means groups like Boys and Girls Club, cultural organizations, and theater and arts programs will be given former community centers to organize activities in theater, leadership, and recreation. At the moment, a few community centers such as Starbird are still operating; unfortunately, most of them will shut down by June 30, 2011. Though these oth-

district and one in Grace and Edenvale locations respectively. The current ―reused‖ centers will also remain open in the meantime.

er organizations may reuse these centers, there is no guarantee that this is the case. Another troubling fact is that the youth in our community will not have access to this key service in the interim. To counter this problem, the city will still provide multi-service hub community centers: one in each

As Navarro points out, the youth of San Jose can help our neighborhoods. He suggests acting in ―shared self interest, and [continuing] to influence decision -making by having a place at the decision-making table.‖ For ways to help, contact www.sanjoseca.gov/prns/ facility_reuse.

Governor Vetoes Bill to Loosen Arts Graduation Requirements By Tyler Koteskey

On September 29th, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed Bill AB 2446, which would have cut language and art graduation requirements for high schools. Current state law mandates that, in addition to English, Social Studies, Math, Science, and P.E. requirements, students take a year of either foreign language or visual/ performing arts courses in order to graduate from high school. AB 2446 would have allowed students to substitute a vocational education course for the previous art/language requirements. Supporters of the bill argued that it would allow for more opportunities for vocational education, giving high school students more options and decreasing dropout rates. While Schwarzenegger supports the

expansion of vocational education opportunities, he withheld his support from the bill because he was worried that it didn’t limit new potential costs to school districts. Opponents of the bill asserted that the legislation reduces standards that should be kept stringent in order to prepare more students for college careers, arguing that this bill would create a two-tier system of high and low standards for graduation. Especially ardent opponents of the bill were language teachers who argued that language skills are increasingly necessary in a state

as diverse as California. According to the most recent Census reports, California ranks as the state with the number one percentage of residents (39%) who speak a foreign language at home. Had the legislation passed, it would not have affected many school districts, such as San Jose Unified, which already require that students complete the A-G course curriculum. The A-G curriculum is a list of courses that the UC System requires for students to apply for admission. As education reform continues to be debated, policymakers will have to continue to balance, fiscal concerns and differences in education philosophy to create the best possible public education system for San Jose and California.

Did you know? Each year, teenagers spend $5.5 billion on alcohol.


VOLUME 2, ISSUE 1

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Prop 14: An Analysis By Kimberly Tan

Proposition 14, passed by voters in June of 2010, is restructuring the way the primary and general election for state and congressional offices are held. In the status quo, each county must prepare a different ballot for every political party, and only voters affiliated with that party are allowed to acquire this ballot. Under this new system, however, all primary elections will be merged into one, where voters can vote for any candidate they wish to, regardless of their party affiliation. An individual affiliated with the Republican Party, for instance, would be able to vote for a Democrat in the primary election, and vice versa. The two candidates with the most votes would then continue onto the general election, regardless of party preferences. This means that the two candidates could be affiliated with the same party.

Proposition 14 passed with 2,868,945 votes, or 53.73 percent, versus 2,470,658, or 46.27 percent of the voters against the proposition. Advocates of the proposition, including Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado, support the idea of having ―equal access to the ballot‖ for all individuals and strongly believe that the general election should be between the most qualified two candidates in the aggregate rather than just the preferred candidate from each party. They also assert that it would give minor-party candidates more access to votes. People who voted against the proposition, however, worry that

it will actually exclude third-party groups from the general ballot. The Green Party is currently planning to file a lawsuit contesting the removal of party primaries, fearing that it will be excluded from the ballot in all contested elections. Other opponents have voiced concerns about a provision in the proposition that bans write -in ballots; although the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed the banning of write-in ballots, these opponents argue that the proposition would allow write-in votes that would then have to be discarded, which they believe violates California’s constitution, which guarantees that every vote would be counted. Proposition 14 is scheduled to take effect for elections after January 1, 2011. To read more about Proposition 14 and its pros and cons, visit http:// www.smartvoter.org/2010/06/0

Social Host Ordinance By Megan Lee

1,700 students die every year from a death that could be easily

avoided. Almost 600,000 are left seriously injured by the same means. What could possibly cause so much damage to so many students within one year? The answer: underage drinking. Underage drinking has been a problem that has plagued society for years. Most alcohol-related teenage deaths appear to be a result of underage drinking at high school parties. Preventing high school students from underage drinking may be an easier task for the government with a new legis-

lation that might be enacted in San Jose. The Social Host Ordinance (SHO) is a law that will make hosts of parties where alcoholic beverages are present responsible for any underage drinking that may occur on their property. Authorities hope that the penalties and fines of the SHO will significantly prevent underage drinking and the injuries or deaths that it may cause. There are three types of SHO

Did you know? Donald Duck comics were banned in Finland because he doesn't wear pants.


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Social Host Ordinance (Cont.) laws that fall under different jurisdictions and have different penalties. The State Criminal Social Host Law could charge hosts with misdemeanors in addition to the standard monetary fine and/ or up to one year in jail. The State Civil Social Host Law allows private lawsuits based on charges of negligence for injuries. However, under California law, the State Civil Social Host Law is not viable as private lawsuits cannot be made under civil statutes. In addition, under California law, hosts are not responsible for injuries

caused as a result of consumption of alcohol. The last category of SHO laws is the one that will be most likely enacted in San Jose. The City or Municipal Ordinance has three subcategories of punishment. The first, infraction, involves no jail time whatsoever, but has the standard monetary penalty which varies in different cities. The second, misdemeanor, may result in the host facing jail time and a monetary penalty, depending on the circumstances. Finally, re-

sponse costs recovery ordinances, have no monetary or jail time penalties whatsoever. However, under the response costs recovery ordinance, hosts would have to pay any fees that are incurred when emergency services have to arrive on scene at the party. The potential effectiveness of Social Host Ordinance laws is currently up for debate, but the legislation itself is due to appear before the city in the months to come.

The Search for a New Police Chief By Achyuth Sriram

This year, Police Chief, Rob Davis, is retiring after working for the San Jose Police Department for 30 years. This leaves the city of San Jose with a huge responsibility to shoulder: finding a replacement for the position of Police Chief. San Jose City Manager Debra Figone will submit a candidate for Police Chief to the City Council for their confirmation. Figone and her assistants have been holding community outreach meetings throughout San Jose to make sure that they receive quality input from the community about what qualities the people believe the City should look for in a candidate. On September 27th, the Youth Advisory Council representatives from all over San Jose took part in one of these meetings. The commissioners and others they brought along had a roundtable discussion with one of Debra Figone’s assistants and talked about the key aspects that

the youth would like the new police chief to address. We were all given a list of questions that helped spark ideas and thoughts that the youth need the new Police Chief to address. These included questions about current issues in San Jose, the experience and track record of the new Police Chief, the skills and characteristics that he or she should have, and what we, as youth, are willing to do or contribute to ensure his or her success. Some of the main topics that arose were cases of student violence, the presence of drugs and bullying in schools today, and the lack of trust between the youth and the San Jose Police Department. We also contributed ideas about what the youth wish to see in the new Police Chief and the about possible candidates. Together, we were able to come up with a list of questions that the interview panel may ask the potential candidates for the position. It was a life-changing experience to know that we as youth

truly do have a voice in the community. The process for finding a new police chief will not be rushed, a guarantee from the City Manager’s office. Hopefully, with the community’s input, San Jose will hire a new Police Chief that will bring the city back to being the safest big city in the US. If you would like to send in your own suggestions about who would suit San Jose the best, you can contact Teri Black and Company, the senior executive recruitment firm who is conducting the search for possible candidates for the Police Chief in San Jose. You can go to the following website, http://www.tbcrecruiting.com/ contact.aspx and provide your own opinions and ideas about the recruitment of the new Police Chief of San Jose. Make sure your voice is heard as well.

Did you know? Approximately 240,000 to 360,000 undergraduates will ultimately die from alcohol-related causes.


VOLUME 2, ISSUE 1

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Interview with Reema Khare, Reflections Program Chair By Aditi Pradhan

Reema Khare, Reflections program chair, program that encourages youth to create art. Q: How did you get involved with Reflections? A: When my daughters [Eesha, now 15, and Sowmya, now 12] were in elementary school, they entered the program, and I judged one of the categories. The year after, the person who was heading the program left, and asked if I could do it instead. I thought that it would be a good way to be involved. Q: How do you think reflections helps young people express themselves? A: Creativity is a great outlet. Whichever medium you choose, if you can dance, if you can draw, if you can paint, it’s a creative out-

look for the person. This is like a great outlook for a community where people are very academicoriented. There is no getting A’s. People can be creative, participate, and have fun. Q: How are topics chosen? A: The National PTSA chooses the topics every year. Students can actually also participate by suggesting topics for the next year. There is a form through which students can submit topics, and the National PTSA reviews all the suggested topics, then choose their winner. Q: So how you do feel about the topics and how do they relate to young people? A: This year, the topic is ―Together we can‖ and that really has to start with the [youth] coming together, no matter their backgrounds. There aren’t any rules [about] your art - that is

entirely up to you. It’s a very open -ended topic. It’s everybody’s own perception of the topic. Q: Why do you think creativity is especially important today? A: We all have to be creative. Creativity is the basis for imagination. I also think that creativity is important for oneself. It’s very important to feed the mind. If you are working on any article, it’s your own thought process that goes into it. That’s what encourages and motivates people to do good things in life. If you have done something, or you have written something, or created something, and people appreciate it, that experience is more selfappreciative than anything else, and everybody needs experiences like that.

Prescription Drugs: An Economic Conspiracy? By Sherry Xu

Everyone knows that there are a variety of drugs – from the pharmaceutical to the recreational. Although the majority of the news regards the illegal recreational drugs, pharmaceutical drugs also have a darker side. The shocking reality is that the drug industry overcharges for their ―miracle medicines‖, and they tend to make an obscene amount of profits off these sales. For example, a tiny bottle of antibacterial eye drops for curing pinkeye can cost up to $100 or more, and a 100 milliliter bottle of insulin could cost at least $110. Every year, dozens of FDA-

approved drugs are yanked off of shelves when patients start to develop and display medical complications or die from taking them. In some cases, there have even been accusations that drug companies actually conspire to make people ill for profit, when there are natural cures that will take care of their problems. I think all these accusations are groundless, although many of these prescription and pharmaceutical drugs seem to be overpriced. Expensive medication makes it harder for low-income families and the elderly to receive proper treatment. However, accusing drug companies of purposefully withholding cures or to

turn a profit is unjustified. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalls many drugs every year, but only due to the side effects that are rare or are a result of long term use. However, the FDA does test all of the drugs before they are released to the public, and these drugs must be shown to be effective with no side effects to pass the FDA’s standards. Accusing the drug manufactures of purposefully keeping people sick is illogical since drugs have to meet the high standards of the FDA. Although there is no surefire way to determine if a drug is safe or not, ask your doctor about the medicine before you take it.

Did you know? The strongest muscle in the body is the tongue.


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Stop Practicing Selective Sympathy By Anthony Ding

What with the declining financial health of the US economy, public interest these days has been centered on the stock market … and puppies. Public outcry against animal abuse has demonstrated a healthy aversion towards harming animals and a surprisingly desensitized opinion on harming humans. Although animal abuse is certainly a very large concern, people should not flip out over the death of six puppies when thousands of men and women are dying worldwide from cruelty and abuse. Another troubling statistic shows the total cash donations to the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to be $32,242,134 for the 2009 fiscal year. The human rights group Amnesty International ended the 2009 fiscal year with a comparatively measly $3,367,059. Clearly, the public believes animal cruelty is a much more deserving cause than human cruelty. While it is true that the

difference could be partially accounted for by the fact that there is more than one human rights group and people might have donated to other groups besides Amnesty International, that doesn’t explain how PETA received nearly 10 times the amount in cash donations in comparison to what Amnesty International received. Events about animal abuse have caused massive outrage from the public, yet not nearly as much anger was incited about the 4,417 men and women who have died as of Sept. 7 in the Iraq War; unfortunately, animal suffering affects us more than human deaths do. There have been accounts where animal rights groups passing the brink of acceptance. In the documentary The Cove, a film on the dolphin meat industry and the

slaughter of dolphins, the film crew illegally trespasses on private property and practices invasion of privacy. For a nation built upon justice, we curiously choose to remain silent when the law is broken in the name of animal rights. Although animal cruelty is a large issue worldwide, so are human trafficking, oppression, classism and genocide, among others. Even as individuals, we need to put less emphasis on animal rights, and more on human rights. This is not to say that we should ignore animal suffering. Preventing animal cruelty should still be high on our list of priorities; however, we need to reevaluate our priorities and put more emphasis on human rights. What good is protecting animals when we can’t even protect ourselves?

Youth Feature: Saloni Gupta By Shreya Nathan

―One click to change a life: sounds like a scam at face value. Saloni Gupta, however, has found a way to make that click count. Since June 2009, Saloni has used a microcrediting company known as Kiva to give small loans to individuals across the world. These loans allow families out of poverty by ―helping them achieve economic self-sufficiency and financial stability [through their own businesses]‖ Saloni says. Earlier this year, Saloni attended a Kiva Social in San Francisco, where she met and spoke with Matt Flannery, Kiva CEO and Co-Founder, as well as Premal Shah, President of Kiva. Her visit sparked their interest, and they later posted about her in

their blog and newsletter. To date, Saloni has given out 121 microloans, benefitting women in 26 countries, from Peru and Mali to Tajikistan and Ukraine. Saloni recently stated in her blog, Miss Economist, ―a loan is

“Learn how what you love can help others.” not only money, but also an opportunity.‖ She targets women in third world countries specifically because ―women are the anchors of not only their households, but of their societies. In the village

community, women have such a strong influence.‖ The money that fuels Saloni’s microloans comes not only from her own pocket, but also from a personal business that she started herself. What began as an artistic pastime evolved into Cherish, founded in 2008, which sells handmade and personalized fabric memory boards. Saloni sells these boards to ―add a nice touch to anyone’s room‖ and uses her profits to finance her Kiva loans. Saloni’s advice to others is to ―learn how what you love can help others.‖ She anticipates that this type of global empowerment will continue to play a significant role in her life and career for many years to come.

Did you know? The flea can jump 350 times its body length...it's like a human jumping the length of a football field.


VOLUME 2, ISSUE 1

Photography

Artwork

PAGE 7

by Marissa McPeak

Marissa McPeak is a junior at Archbishop Mitty High School. She developed a passion for photography after discovering Deviantart.com, a community-based art website. In the future, she hopes to become a professional photographer for weddings or photo shoots. She hopes to develop her abilities she can one day become a photographer.

by Joshua Huang

Heaven’s Teardrops

by Kimberly Tan

Glassy droplets spill onto the tasseled expanse beneath her feet, the rustling of autumn leaves clashing with the din of distant jackhammers. Her itinerary lay blank, gray pages turning quietly to dust, and although her lungs sear like icy bullets, her feet continue pounding over the landscape, each stride taking her farther from the past she longs to erase

Poetry Corner

Night

by Roopa Shankar

Night kneels across quiescent sky as shadows begin to scab her sheaf skin and her eyes thin like brooks as black sea breaths heave a sigh of loneliness. But the stars wrap around her hair like waves that adorn a forlorn shore and the birds fly home and rest beneath her moon breast.

a Vagrant, they had called her, whispering that her attire was untidy, her manners unrefined, above all, her appearances unsuitable, and only He, with hair like silken gold and thread, used to hold her withered palms in his, and she had entrusted herself in him, until he chose another, unstitching the patches he had mended in her shattered soul. And as darkness seeps onto the field in which she lies she peers through her doe-like eyelashes, vision studded with glassy beads, and watches Heaven’s teardrops destroying the remnants of her footprints from this earth


Upcoming Events

San Jose Sharks Games What: San Jose Sharks VS Atlanta Thrashers Where: HP Pavilion

Halloween Flashlight Tour What: Special 65 minute flashlight tours will be ongoing at the landmark

525 W. Santa Clara St.

Where: House

San Jose, CA 95113-1500

525 S. Winchester Blvd.

When: October 16th & 19th 7:30 PM

San Jose, CA 95128

Comics Workshop

When: October 16, 23, 29, 30, and 31! 6:30 PM — 12:27 AM Tickets are priced at $45 each and include a souvenir flashlight.

What: Raina Telgemeier, artist of Smile comics, will be hosting a Comics Workshop. In this fun event, Ms. Telgemeier will do a hands-on workshop discussing different drawing and writing techniques. Where: Milpitas Library When: October 20th

Winchester

Mystery

Circuitry Class What: Kids at least 9 years old will have a chance to use electronics to build cool devices that can do all sorts of things in this in this FREE circuitry class.

Disney on Ice: Mickey & Minnie’s Magical Journey

When: October 30th, 1:45 PM

What: In this ice skating spectacular, everyone’s favorite childhood Disney character will make an appearance!

California’s Great America Halloween Haunt

525 W. Santa Clara St. San Jose, CA 95113-1500 When: 24th

October 20th—October

What: ―All the Fear is Here‖, advertises California’s Great America as it begins promoting for its annual Halloween Haunt festivities! Attractions include a plethora of Scare Zones, Mazes, Rides, and Shows. Where: America

California’s

4701 Great America Pkwy

Additional Info: Tickets are $34.99 presale, $39.99 at the door, $54.99 for two, $19.99 for a season pass holder.

Driving Miss Daisy

Where: Intel Museum

Where: HP Pavilion

When: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in October, from 7 PM to midnight

Great

What: A Pulitzer prize winning play about the journey of friendship. This meaningful play follows the friendship of two very different, yet very similar people who help each other through life. This play was considered a delight by the New York Times! Where: Theatre on San Pedro Square 29 N. San Pedro St. San Jose, CA 95110 (408) 979-0231 When: November 12 - November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Donation What: Donate to the Starbird Youth Center’s annual Thanksgiving dinner for members of the youth center! Key donations include: turkey, ham, potatoes (10lb bags), gravy, stuffing mix, butter, spices (salt/pepper), rolls, corn, pumpkin pie, whipped cream, drinks, paper plates, napkins, utensils, and paper cups.

Santa Clara, CA 95054

Did you know? Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2-6 years of age.


1 Voice Fall 2010 Edition