Page 1

Vol 57 Issue 6

April 2012

Culver City High School

THECENTAURIAN What are you doing this Friday?

Pages 6-7

Student brands making it big

Staff Ed: The state of ASB

Pages 10-11

Page 5

The people have spoken Elections result in runoffs by Redmond Stephan

mier Simon. The newly-elected ASB Vice President, Robert Myers, ran the event, introducing candidates and giving brief opening and closing statements. This year’s candidates for

(See ELECTIONS, p.2)

Staff Writer

Sarah Handler/The Centaurian

“I VOTED” stickers were sported by students who voted in the ASB election on April 17. With no clear winner in the presidential race, run-off elections will occur within the next two weeks.


Overnight break in

Returning grad night

Petty theft and vandalism

by Kiley Chang

by Oscar Mendina & Tabish Khatri

Reporter Assistant Principal Lisa Cooper faced a dilemma. Unable to secure the preferred date for Grad Night at Disneyland (right before a furlough day), Cooper instead opted for a place on the waiting list and sought other options. One of those options was Grad Night


Reporters Campus security cameras recorded what appeared to be a young male breaking in to room 129 the evening of March 8. Psychology and sociology teacher David Mielke, who teaches in that classroom, reported the break-in on March 9 to Head of Security Ted Yant. Mielke’s

iPod and speakers were apparently stolen and a mysterious salt-like white substance was left scattered on desks. Yant then notified the police who came and took fingerprints left by the suspect. The suspect had entered the room from the front window, which was unlocked. The cafeteria also had fingerprints, leading police to believe the suspect had tried to break in there without success. Mielke was first alerted about the break-in when his students

(See BREAK IN, p.2)

In with the new Wi-Fi installation has begun throughout campus, more changes to follow soon by Jessica Marin Editor-in-Chief The flyers inundated the hallways, the daily announcements recited it like a prayer each day; “help raise $50,000 for new media lab.” Back in October, the AVPA Foundation initiated an ambitious fundraiser to raise money for a state-of-the art media lab. The fundraiser only raised $2,500,

despite this, the new media lab is soon to become a reality. Plans to create a media lab on campus have been in the works since 2010. A state-of-theart media lab would enable the school to offer courses in sound engineering and graphic design amongst others. The media lab would only consist of Mac computers with the latest versions of programs such as Pro-Tools and

Final Cut Pro. The lab will be located in room 73 and available for all students to use as early as next school year. The estimated total amount of money for the media lab is $60,000. Funding for this and other projects in store for CCHS comes from the LA County Office of Education. Over the years, CCHS has accumulated funds that the district now plans

(See WIFI, p.2)

Runoff elections will be held Thursday, April 19, and Tuesday, April 23, to determine who will win the contested spots of ASB President and Commissioner of Athletics in the recent election for next year’s ASB officers. This comes after a change in the process for running for ASB office. The redesigned process included a vetting process for candidate platforms, which was designed to ensure strong commitment from ASB officers. An unintended effect of this was that many categories only had one candidate on the ballot. This year’s election included a rally on Thursday, April 12. An extended lunch period was orchestrated to work in conjunction with the rally in order to allow the candidates to expound their platforms before the student body and the spare time at the end was allotted for questions directed at the presidential candidates, Martin Beer, William Davis and Ray-

New voice Club Council to come by Aaliyah Wilson Reporter One opportunity for student expression that’s missing this year is the House of Representatives, a monthly meeting between ASB officers and students appointed from each homeroom. The program, abolished two years ago, was designed to allow ASB officers to hear students’ opinions and to spread information about school events and issues. Next year a new program, Inter Club Council will take the empty space left by the House of Reps. The ICC will be made up of

(See ICC, p.2)

Club h t r Ea Do your part to save the earth! RECYCLE YOUR OLD ELECTRONICS -

Cell phones iPods Chargers Cameras

In room 16




Volunteers Not Wanted Union files grievance against elementary school aides by Nicole Martin Opinions Editor There is a stereotype that El Marino Language School students tend to excel more than students from any other elementary school in Culver City. There might be some evidence for that. This year, parents at El Marino hired 20 teacher aides, allowing teachers more time to teach. Not only does this give a clear advantage to the students attending El Marino, it caused the Association of Classified Employees (ACE) to file a grievance. The Association of Classified Employees includes everyone that works for the schools, excluding the teachers. ACE members include janitors, secretaries, teacher aids and more. The ACE filed a complaint on February 16, 2012. The grievance was filed in regards to the parent-funded aids for multiple reasons. Through parent-funded programs, wealthier schools have an advantage which creates a skew in the elementary education system. Also, when parents hire teacher aides, they replace potential school-funded jobs. The aides that are hired are not members of the union; therefore they are a form of free-lance la-

bor. The school could potentially avoid paying for employees who receive the benefits provided by the union, jeopardizing those who are in the union. The issue is not a new topic in California, situations similar to this have occurred throughout the state before. As seen at Petaluma School in Sonoma County, where employees began a protest against parent volunteers. Additionally, in Sacramento’s Twin Rivers Unified School District, employees filed a complaint due to the use of AmericCorps volunteers. Ultimately the situation came down on to the hands of the CCUSD. The school district responded to the issue of the 20 aides, saying it was beyond their purview. The ACE is prepared to move on, the next step for them is to file a formal grievance through the district, citing the points of the contract they feel have been violated. Potentially, the ACE will have to file with the Public Employees Relations Board (PERB), which could take a long process. Debbie Hamme, head of the union, stated she would prefer to deal with the situation at the lowest common denominator, and not go to the PERB.

Technology upgraded (WI-FI, from page one) to use to make changes. Some changes will be noticeable in the upcoming school year. Wi-Fi was recently installed on campus. Installation began during spring break.The main controller was installed in the Tech Center, while routers were installed in various classrooms. At this point, only the administration and Technology Technician, Mary Van Loo know the password for the Wi-Fi. However, the next time the COWs roll into classrooms, students can expect a significantly higher speed in the Internet connection. Spending for the Wi-fi totals $30,000. The media lab and the Wi-Fi are only two of the many plans that strive to further connect CCHS to today’s technology. Inspired by the Media Lab, possibilities of a film studio on campus are now being explored. Currently in its research stages, Principal Dylan Farris and ROP counselor Marion Serra have been visiting local neighboring schools and observing how the schools assembled and organized their film studios. A film lab on campus would allow AVPA film students to do more in an environment similar

to that of a professional studio. “We want to be aligned with our local media (SONY),” Farris said of the film studio he envisions. A film studio would not only be exclusive for the use of AVPA film students, but for the general student population as well. The ROP cooking class room is encompassed in the plans to update the technology on campus. According to Farris, the equipment in the culinary classroom was state of the art when it was first installed in the 1950s but is now outdated. Renovations for the kitchen are currently in the first stages of development, so far administrators have contracted a designer for the ROP kitchen facelift. A kitchen renovation totals $170,000. The estimated total spending for these projects, according to Farris, is $300,000. The money left over from the media lab, WiFi, and the kitchen renovation will go toward the film lab. “I want the growth of CCHS to happen while I’m in office,” Farris said. “I’m excited to improve the things we have on this campus.”

Manon Schlemer/The Centaurian

RALLY: Candidates for ASB office introduced their platforms to a lunchtime crowd on April 12.

ASB (ELECTIONS, from page one) various positions used the rally to hammer home points that seemed to reflect on the current ASB administration. Candidates insisted on increasing communication about school events, holding more pep-rallies for sports teams and proposed to make next year memorable. Presidential candidate Martin Beer proposed change through protest, saying, “Let’s cause a scene.” Jordan Slaffey, candidate for Commissioner of Publicity, went so far in her speech as to say she was, “Overqualified.” The day before the election, ASB Advisor, Carlos Valverde

Break in (BREAK IN, from page one) notified him about a white substance on their desks. Mielke did not believe them until he saw it himself. He did not say much about it except, “Let’s play a little music and we’ll clean this up.” When Mielke went to his drawer to play music on his iPod, he noticed his iPod and speakers were missing. He then notified the security office. When asked about how he felt the rest of the day, “The only tough thing to get through during the day was not having music. We always play

ICC (ICC, from page one) presidents or selected representatives from each club and sport on campus. They will meet once a month during fourth period with ASB officers to discuss upcoming events such as Club Fair, dances, and Spring Fest as well as fundraising opportunities. The House of Reps disbanded due to its perceived ineffectiveness. According to ASB Vice President Robert Myers, some students who attended the House of Reps meetings did so just to get out of class. Also, Senior and

said, “So far everything has run smoothly and the way I will measure its success is by looking at the number of voters that make it to the poll tomorrow.” Only 12 percent of the student population voted, according to ASB and 40 percent of those who voted were in the Junior class. There will be a runoff election on Thursday, April 19, to determine whether Will Davis or Raymier Simon will face Martin Beer in a runoff election for ASB President on Tuesday, April 23. Thursday will also be the day of the runoff election for Commissioner of Athletics between Brandi Finney and Jessica Faber. The following is a complete list of the elected administration for next year: Kalena Kettering - ASB Vice

President Sarah Handler - ASB Treasurer Jordyn Whitcomb - ASB Secretary Bathool Syed, Harper Schoenfeld - Commissioners of Activities Nicole Valle - Commissioners of Athletics Jordan Slaffey, Kayla valentine Commissioners of Publicity Sam Newman - Senior Class President Alexa Madden - Senior Class Vice President Zach Alamillo - Junior Class President Chris Galang - Junior Class Vice President Natalie Saucedo - Sophomore Class President Justin Steagall - Sophomore Class Vice President

music in the room!” Mielke said. He said he understood that someone would break in somewhere to steal things, but he did not know why they left that white substance on his desks. “I don’t think any of my students would do this,” Mielke said. “I would be shocked if any of them would.” The suspect has not yet been identified but CCPD is hard at work to find the culprit. In a more recent break-in, two high school and two middle school students were caught vandalizing room 17 at the high school the evening of April 12, according to Yant. The vandals emptied the

fire extinguisher, setting off the fire alarm, which brought security guards to the scene, according to English teacher Dan Richardson, who teaches in that room. They had also poured fish food and hand sanitizer in the aquarium, killing three fish. The same students were held responsible for vandalizing a middle school classroom earlier that evening. Break-ins seem to be on the rise, as there were three at Farragut and two at El Rincon this school year, according to Yant.

ASB member Corrine Fuentes, says there was a “lack of excitement” at the House of Reps meetings. In response to the accusation that only students who are in clubs will be represented at the ICC, Myers said, “We pretty much want everyone to be in a club.” The ICC is “just kind of an encouragement for people to get involved on campus.” However, these meetings aren’t the only link to ASB officers. “There is always the ASB drop box for students [uninvolved in club activities] who want their voices heard,” Fuentes said, referring to the suggestion box in front of room 16.

Many students who have heard about the ICC believe everyone’s opinions should be heard, regardless of their club involvement. Freshman Arlene Valdes, who participates in AVID, Speech/ Debate and K-pop club meetings said, “People who are involved versus people who aren’t might have different opinions, but it still affects everyone in the end.” The ICC will be in full swing next school year, but according to Fuentes, ASB might give it a trial run in the remaining weeks of this school year to “give a preview, to see responses.” Look out for it during your 2nd period/ homeroom class.

3 One earth, let’s



What’s in the box New club grows produce fresh from the school campus by Stephanie Liem Reporter CCHS has introduced yet another club on campus. The Green Thumbs Agricultural Club, advised by algebra teacher, Keao Tano, is the first club of its kind. With the approval of Principal Dylan Farris, the Green Thumbs club is cultivating the school’s first ever “farm.” For the past two months the club has diligently worked on building boxed plots of land, situated outside Tano’s classroom. It took several fundraisers to raise money for the wood and nails. The plots, expected to bloom in May, hold fruits and vegetables

including lettuce, peas, tomatoes, carrots, apples, and melons. The club’s main goal is promote green education and sustainability within the teenage community. According to Green Thumbs President, CCHS senior Amanda Melchor, the club plans to sell their vegetables and fruits next school year at the local farmers markets. Originally, Tano and club members thought about raising chicks, but the district’s strict policy prohibiting animals on campus blocked the idea. According to the club’s agenda, members of the Green Thumbs Club will attend Culver City Garden Club meetings every first Tuesday of the month, continue to cultivate plant and vegetable growth, and work on the “farm”

during the weekends. Tano’s motivation for starting the club is his belief that “it is important for all of us to be green and sustain ourselves through gardening.” The club meets every Tuesday during lunch in room 105.

Photo courtesy Allie Zakin

Students attending summer school this year will use computers to redeem credits Staff Writer When students think of summer school, they think of being stuck in a boring classroom, forced to retake the class they failed the previous school year. This year, in an effort to make summer school more successful, CCHS has implemented some changes. Summer school is designed to help students make up missing credits that they have accumulated as a result of failing a semester or more of a class. The most in demand classes are “Geometry, Biology, and English because they

are the most commonly failed.” Principal Dylan Farris said. This year, CCHS has decided to incorporate the Odyssey computer program in classrooms. Odyssey is a computer program that will teach students lessons through videos. Odyssey is an online teaching tool that offers a variety of choices to accentuate a student’s learning experience. Of the many tools Odyssey offers, teachers can choose colorful animated video to reinforce lessons. Multiple choice questions follow the videos. If students get an answer wrong, Odyssey reteaches the lesson. Odyssey is in a video chat format or flash animation with charts and

other visual aids. With use of this program, summer school would be “blended learning because it’s half of a traditional working class and half of the online class,” Principal Farris said. Using the Odyssey program, students are able to complete courses they have failed. “Summer school is only for remediation, it is only for students who have a D or an F in their final semester grade,” Counselor Daniel Fagas said. This year, some classes are not available due to the budget crisis. As a result, summer school will be provided to students on a first come first serve basis.

Culver Park on the Move El Marino Language School expansion prompts CPHS relocation to Adult School by Sam Page Reporter Culver Park Continuation High School (CPHS) will be relocated to the Culver City Adult School site on Overland Blvd. to allow the El Marino Language School to expand. CPHS is a small campus located just next door to El Marino. It provides “troubled students with exemplary programs designed to give them a second chance to stay in school, graduate, and move on to better lives and careers,” says the school’s website. The school has been located in the El Marino neighborhood since 1979 with no real problems between the two

very different schools. However, El Marino has recently asked the school board for permission to use the buildings housing CPHS. They plan to use these classrooms to provide full-day kindergarden classes. Previously, CPHS was slated to move to the bungalows behind Culver City Middle School. CPHS English teacher Karen Lanier said that she and many of her fellow teachers felt that a move to that location would not be catastrophic, but the bungalows being used as a schoolhouse was unacceptable. The bungalows were built in the 70’s. They need to be tested for asbestos, fixed up, and remodeled to be the “turn around

Students encourage others to keep their planet clean

GREEN LOVE: EARTH club members pose with posters they made to encourage students to recycle.

Summer retake remake by Ana Cordero

protect it

place” that Culver Park has become, explained Lanier. “It’s not a problem to move the school. But there needs to be a school,” Lanier said. Since hearing the news of the location change, Lanier said, This is “a really great location for us.” CPHS Interim Principal Rosalind LaBriola feels that a new location is not as much of a worry to her as are the new surrounding schools. She says that there are many negative misconceptions about Culver Park. She hopes that “wherever they move, [the students] will be embraced.”

by Tabish Khatri Staff Writer Culver City High School’s newest club on campus, EARTH Club strives to educate and inspire students to go green. Meeting every Monday during lunch in room 74, EARTH Club’s main goal is to teach students the importance of helping the environment. “We only have one earth, so we need to take care of it,” President Allie Zakin said. Zakin, a junior, was inspired to create the club after noticing students on campus throwing away old worksheets instead of recycling them, as well as noting the widespread use of plastic water bottles instead of reusable aluminum bottles. Despite being fairly new, the club has done much. During spring break EARTH Club


members coordinated a successful Ballona Creek trash pick up where they collected seven bags of trash. On campus, members go from class to class, emptying teachers recycling boxes. Their latest project is the electronic drop off. Students and teachers who have old cell phones, chargers, iPods, etc. can drop items off in room 16. Simply throwing away eletronics is harmful to the environment because if electronics are not disposed of correctly they can have toxic effects on the environment. Recycling electronics reduces land mining which can also be detrimental to the environment. Despite the clubs busy schedule, Zakin insists that EARTH Club is fun, she hopes EARTH Club will impact people and that they’ll go home and do little “green” things like take shorter showers and turn lights off as they leave a room.

go on sale starting April 25. This year, there is a pricing structure for buying tickets: from April 25(DISNEYLAND, from page one) 27 the price is $75 also known as at Six Flags, which was the origi- Three Day Blitz, from April 30 nally planned Grad Night. How- to May 11 the price will increase to $80, and from May 14 to May ever, the plan changed. “Once we found out that we 23 the price will increase to $85. were up on the waitlist, I asked Students must also meet the rethem [Senior Class Council and quirements for Grad Night which seniors] and the students actually include: zero detention hours, no said they would prefer to go back more than four unexcused abto Disneyland so that’s why we sences or truancies to any one period, no more than seven tardies took the date,” Cooper said . Grad Night will now be held at to any one period, and student’s Disneyland on May 24, to the de- can’t be on the fourth quarter “No light of many seniors. “I’m excit- Go list.” A pre-approved list of ed. I’m not a big fan of Six Flags seniors will be passed around to at all and Disneyland is kind of all Government and Economics like tradition, so I thought break- classes during the week of April ing it this year wouldn’t be fair,” 16. Grad Night for the Class of 2012 is indeed a special night as senior Alexa Argumendo said. “I’m really excited for Grad 2012 seniors will be able to go Night and I was hoping it was go- to both Disneyland and Califoring to be there this year because nia Adventure in one night. 2012 I’ve had friends who’ve gone also marks the last year in which on it previously and they’ve all Disneyland sponsors Grad Night raved about how good it was,” as next year, Grad Night will be hosted at California Adventure. senior Megan Hayes said. Tickets for Grad Night will




City goes for gold

Run for their lives

Culver students excel in ROP programs

Even if you missed the ASB elections, there s still something to run for

Photo courtesy of ROP

WINNER Alexander Khan by Tabish Khatri Reporter The ROP Student of the Year award is a countywide competition that is held for students who have been recognized by their ROP teachers as extraordinary students. The ROP Student of the Year award nominees from Culver City High School were Ben Humphrys who was nominated for animation, Alexander Kahn was nominated for cooking, John Pelico III was nominated for animation and lastly Alison Tsau was nominated for advanced digital photography. Culver Park High School student, Michael Burke was also nominated for retail marketing. Burke and Kahn won silver medals; while Humphrys, Tsau, and Pelico III won bronze medals in the LA County ROP competition. The ROP Student of the Year program

has been providing awards for more than 20 years. Each year, thousands of ROP students are selected from schools around the county. According to ROP career counselor, Mary Kay Gaskin, students are chosen by their teachers who’ve identified them as above average students. Students who qualify for this opportunity have to present a sample of their best work to three panelists. After that, judges evaluate the work and select gold, silver, and bronze medal winners. On the CCHS level, there is a Student of the Month award where recognition is awarded to students who excel in their class work for an entire month. The students who get awarded this, receive a certificate, and get interviewed. Their interview and picture is taken and displayed in the hallway. According to Gaskin, local businesses are interested in ROP Student of the Year and Student of the Month winners since they offer many internships and job opportunities to the winners. ROP classes allow students to sample careers they are interested in. “I want to go further into the field [of animation]” said Humphrys, who plans to pursue animation in college. Some classes are what students are interested in majoring in or related to their jobs after high school. People who get nominated for the competition usually take the opportunity to see if they would like to go further into the field of that subject. “I am dedicated, good at what I do and I like what I do,” Kahn said.

Pink slime unveiled Considered edible and safe by FDA by Aurora Nunez News Editor The media dubbed it “Pink Slime” however the proper term is lean finely textured beef (LFTB). Ever since the pictures of a pink soft-serve like substance went viral, people have questioned where their meat is coming from, some even reevaluated their eating habits. It horrified conscious meat eaters everywhere, wondering if LFTB was in their meals or not. LFTB comes from scraps, mostly meat that was not fully removed from the bones of steak or not used in beef cuts. Leftover meat is placed in a centrifuge, a piece of equipment that spins and separates the fat and the meat. Using a quick-freeze technique and ammonium hydroxide, the remaining meat is pink and used as a filler in ground beef to make it leaner. A mixture of water and ammonia, ammonium hydroxide is used to kill bacteria such as E-Coli in the meat. Ammonium hydroxide is not only used in meat, it is also used to treat cereal and cheese. It is a common practice in commercial food production although ammonium hydroxide is also found in household cleaning products, and is an ingredient in homemade bombs. At a press conference, US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack declared LFTB to be “healthy, safe and generally less expensive.” Although it is considered a safe procedure, due to public outrage McDonalds, Taco Bell and Burger King are among the

restaurants that have promised to stop using LFTB in their products. “I think it’s irresponsible for restaurants or stores to serve it knowing it’s so unhealthy,” Chemistry teacher Mariah Fontijin said. “If the public was better informed they would know to avoid it.” The CCHS cafeteria provides hamburgers every day -- 85 are distributed on nonburger bar days. On days with a hamburger bar, 200 to 350 hamburgers are distributed. “To the best of my knowledge the meat that we’re working with does not [use LFTB],” CCUSD Director of Food Services Julie Garcia said. Garcia dislikes the term “pink slime.” “I don’t like it. It was coined by the media as ‘pink slime’. The picture they [the media] are showing is not even beef it is chicken.” Garcia ensures that the chicken in school lunches is not LFTB. “I use whole muscle. You’re getting the actual breast,” Garcia said. Meat processors have been quick to comment when it comes to LFTB. “I have letters from [the school’s] processors that say they do not use lean finely textured meat,” Garcia said. According to an official statement by the United States Department of Agriculture, it will offer schools more choices regarding the purchases of ground beef products. Therefore, next year schools can choose to use LFTB in their cafeterias. Despite this, CCHS will not be using LFTB. “Though it will increase food cost,” Garcia said.

by Elizabeth Moss Trends Editor The American Cancer Society (ACS) will host their annual Relay for Life on the Helms Field track this May 19-20 to support cancer victims and survivors. The 24-hour run begins at 9 a.m. on May 19 and ends at the same time the next day. The event kicks off with a Survivor and Caregiver’s Lap around the track and inspirational stories. People form teams, collect donations and walk the track in shifts with teammates. The following morning the runners will be provided a free pancake breakfast, in thanks to the Culver City Fire Department. Mari Takahashi, captain of team TNT, will be among those spending the night. “It’s a really good event,” she said. She was co-captain of the same team last year before becoming its official team leader. “A lot of us [on the team] have

relatives who had or have cancer.” In addition to the activities taking place, the ACS encourages both runners and non-participants to order a Luminaria: candle-lit bags dedicated to people who have survived, are battling, or have lost their lives to cancer. They are placed around the track to light the runners way from 9 p.m. to sunrise. A team has also been organized for recently diagnosed math teacher and soccer coach Dave Sanchez, simply called ‘Team Sanchez.’ “Once we found out that he got cancer, everyone was really shocked,” said Bathool Syed, co-captain with Senior Michael Rummelsburg. “Because he was here for so long, we want to do something to honor him.” Team Sanchez estimates that about 50 people will come to support. Anyone can walk or join an existing team, but you need to raise $100 if you’re under 18 and want to spend the night. “It’s an amazingly fun day and you’re giving back to your community,” said Linda Hirsch, Event Chair for this year’s relay. For those staying after 10 p.m., “We have movies and free pizza,” she said. To create a team or join an existing one, log onto You can donate and purchase Luminaria bags there as well.

Pizza politics Kids ask all the toughest questions by Nicole Martin & Emily Wood Opinions Editor and A&E Editor Students and parents packed into the Ivy Substation on the evening of March 14 for a chance to get to know Culver City candidates for the city council before the city council election on April 10. The event, formally called Ask 2 Know, was a forum for students ages K-12 organized by Michelle Mayan, to advance her goal of getting more young people involved in politics. Students had the opportunity to ask candidates questions regarding a variety of issues important to them. To begin, the six candidates, Jim Clarke, Scott Malsin, Stephan Murry, Mehaul O’Leary, Megan Sahli-Wells, and Andrew Weissmen were each given two minutes for opening statements. After opening statements, the forum opened up to student questions. Eric Bergstrom, a senior at CCHS, asked the first question, regarding environmental issues in Culver City. Sahli-Wells, seemingly the most passionate about environmental issues, explained the importance of a mandated re-usable bag policy in Culver City, and the importance of “green education” in schools.

Throughout the forum lighting-round questions occurred to break up the seriousness of the issues, with younger students in mind. Each candidate had 30 seconds to respond, forcing candidates to attempt to provide witty and creative answers under pressure. However, a majority of the forum focused on more to-the-point questions, such as senior Marilyn Liu’s inquiry regarding widespread accusations that the Culver City Police Department awarded unfair treatment to young drivers and ethnic minorities. O’Leary seemed shocked by the clear approval of the question by the audience, which applauded, and said that the council had not realized that the issue existed prior to it being brought up in the forum. He promised to look into the matter carefully. The forum ended with closing statements. All of the candidate stressed the importance of their specific agendas, and the importance of voting and participating in local city government. O’Leary particularly stressed how important it is for students to attend council meetings in order to bring issues to the attention of the council. Earlier this month the election was held and Weissman, Clarke, Sahli-Wells and O’Leary won City Council seats.



Staff Editorial


On the Verge of Collapse ality, there hasn’t been a successful way for students to voice their opinions or concerns. The House of Representatives has been defunct for two years and the proposed Inter Club Council, which is supposed to replace it, has yet to meet with only 10 weeks left in the school year. The assemblies coordinated by ASB are notorious for being meaningless, disorganized, and obnoxious. For example, the “What not to wear” portion of the homecoming assembly seems to be an opportunity for attentionseekers to prance around stage and show off their bodies. Assemblies usually end with female Illustration by Edna Voguel students “booty dancing” on stage with no correlation to anything regarding This year the many problems associated the assembly. The impression ASB has created among with ASB have been abundantly clear. Drama, disinterest, and lack of dedication have the student body, their own peers, contribmade this year’s ASB ineffective and un- utes to their negative collective reputaresponsive to students’ needs. Even those tion. There are realistic changes that ASB seeking to continue involvement in ASB could work to accomplish, such as giving next year realize the problem, running students the right to use their cellphones on platforms promising to “ensure unity at lunch, but ASB’s commitment is queswithin ASB” and “make ASB a family tionable at best. They failed to make a once again.” Adding to the dysfunction, a profit at their Hot Dog on a Stick Fundmajority of the candidates ran unopposed, raiser, cabinet members have failed to plan making nearly every candidate this year a team-building activities, and ASB fails to adequately represent itself and students at shoe-in. ASB is designed to represent the student mandatory school board meetings. To ASB’s credit, they held pep rallies body and address student concerns. In re-

every Friday at lunch, and attempted to get the school more excited about football season. The Arroyo Grande pep rally was a televised success, but that mostly depended on the fact that it occurred during class time. ASB’s creation of a student section in the bleachers at the football games was laudible, with more students attending football games and increasing school spirit. But after football season, spirit diminished, even despite the successes of varsity girl’s basketball and varsity girl’s water polo teams. Why did ASB not capitalize on the school spirit coming out of football season to keep students interested in other seasonal sports? According to ASB President Lukas O’Connor, his efforts to create more of these pep rallies were shut down by the administration as they would take up valuable class time. Perhaps one source of the problem is the motive of ASB’s top elected official. “I did it for college; it looks good on my resume,” said O’Connor when asked about why he ran for President and got involved with ASB. Furthermore, O’Connor has joined the ranks of the many students illicitly selling snacks for thier own profit. Even with the administrations emphasis on getting to class on time, O’Connor apparently doesn’t see the need to follow this expectation. An ASB President should be a model citizen. Former Vice President Eliud Evans resigned from office second semester because as he told reporters, “I had a hard

time making it to the [school board] meetings. I’ve been too busy with lacrosse.” Still, ASB has accomplished some things for students this year: there was a successful Homecoming Dance and a new Winter Formal Dance, some successful fundraisers, Pennies for Patients Drive, and a few members do dedicate their time to “keep the show running.” Special Event Coordinators Layal Bishara and Mariah Watson have continued to keep the blood drives running successfully with much student support. Commissioners of Athletics Morgan Ball and Paris Fields manage to keep pep rallies going. ASB Advisor Dr. Carlos Valverde works tirelessly to support ASB and ensure that it is a truly student-run organization, yet without strong and dedicated student leadership, his guidance goes unrewarded. ASB has spent the entire year holding up a curtain to cover its drama and faults, failing to realize the curtain is filled with holes which allow the entire student body to see what is truly going on. The reforms designed to fix this unprecedented mess, such as rallies and candidates being required to have a platform, will only work if elected official are held accountable to their campaign promises.

Get Kony off of my computer screen! by Redmond Stephan Staff Writer Invisible Children has gone through a lot in the past two months - releasing one of the hottest viral videos on the web and dealing with the criticism thereof. The whole public masturbation fiasco,

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and finally reaching a point where Oprah - yes, the rich one - donated two million dollars to the Non-Profit Organization. It’s been rough, especially since the very medium that allowed their video message to spread so quickly is also spreading the raw facts about the situation in Uganda. As you may have learned the video, there is a now infamous man named Joseph Kony who commands the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)- a group that is composed primarily of kids that Kony had kidnapped and then forced to fight his war and promote his agenda. This group originates from Uganda and, as of this time, remains at large in Africa. Of course the video failed to mention that the LRA and, by extension, Joseph Kony are no longer in Uganda. They have not been in Uganda since 2006, and their terror-

ist activities have been declining in Uganda since 2005. The facts are so distorted that the Prime Minister of Uganda released a video that referred to the presentation of the facts in “Kony2012” as, “...not true.” But that’s not even the biggest scam involved in this two-bit hustle. According to the 2011 Invisible Children Annual Report, $2.2 million was spent to help Ugandans afflicted by LRA activities. A roughly equivalent amount - according to an infographic on The Guardian - was spent on “Production Costs.” A rather broad category to pour a fifth of a budget into, at least in my opinion. Furthermore, some victims of Kony’s terror even claim that Invisible Children is too little, too late - according to an article published by The Telegraph. In this article, one victim whose left arm was chopped off claimed the video would not bring back

Editor-in-Chief Jessica Marin

The Centaurian Staff

Faults with Invisible Children

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Design Editor Morgan Faulkner

The Centaurian is a public forum, pubFeatures Editor Sarah Handler lished by journalism A&E Editor Emily Wood students. Comments Trends Editor Elizabeth Moss and editorial opinions Opinions Editor Nicole Martin expressed in The CenSports Editor Kourtney Brodnax taurian are those of the Staff writers Ana Cordero, Kristian Punturere, staff and do not represent those of Culver Redmond Stephan City High School, its Reporters Tabish Khatri, Oscar Medina Online Editor-In-Chief Kourtney Brodnax administration, student government, or Culver Adviser Penny Schulte City Unified School District.

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the missing limb. Another person, a former LRA soldier, said that the video was too late to make an impact, and that the Kony the video portrays is not the Kony that resides in the jungles of central Africa today. While it is great and noble to start a lobbying group to get the government to continue a deployment of U.S. Military forces to Uganda - which is the stated goal in the video - it would be best to focus efforts on that objective. That would mean something closer to 40 or 45 percent of funds going to forces fighting Kony or a total switch to congressional lobbying. Instead, what the group accomplished by producing a video like “Kony2012” was to get a whole lot of people talking about the past - and nobody has ever won a war being fought in anything but the present.

Get high on writing!

Write a Letter to the Editor




Guess What Time it is?

: 04 20


The term “420” did not derive from a police dispatch code, the number of active chemicals in marijuana, Hitler’s birthday, or tea time for pot smokers in Holland. According to Steven Hager, editor of High Times, the term 420 originated in 1971 from a group of San Rafael High School students who would meet at that time of day to smoke pot. The term then spread way beyond San Rafael through the Grateful Dead and their dedicated pot-smoking fans.

Getting marijuana legalized is not an easy task by Nicole Martin OPINIONS EDITOR The 2010 mid-term elections addressed a controversial issue: the legalization of marijuana. On the ballot was the measure known as Prop 19 or the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, which would have made the use of marijuana in the state of California legal. Prop 19 would have also provided the local governments the ability to tax and collect fees on marijuana-related items and authorize criminal and civil penalties. The measure was voted down by 53.5% of California’s population.

Do you think marijuana should be legalized? Why or why not? Compiled by Sarah Handler

Elana Bachrach, Grade 11 “Yes because the benefiets outweight the potential harm.”

Four different organizations have filed separate measures to legalize the drug within the state. The different measures competed with each other; this turned out to be their downfall. Groups had until April 20 to file more than half a million signatures to proceed and have their initiatives on the ballot. None of the groups came close to meeting success. Through polling, it was found that the odds of the measure passing were 50-50. Since the number did not seem promising, the organizations decided not to pursue the initiative. Bill Zimmerman, a California political consultant who has worked on 31 initiatives including Proposition 215, which was a potential legalization bill, agreed that the numbers looked terrible. From Prop 19, Zimmerman learned, “that legalizing marijuana would be a diffi-

Dangerous even from the K by Patrick Gardner

Where did 420 come from?

Prop 19: What’s next?

“Medical”: A m

The stoner might s “I get my weed from dispensary, so it’s clean Fair enough, but j because it’s prescrib pot doesn’t mean it’s harmful. According to the 20 Monitoring the Fut Survey, conducted the National Institute Drug Abuse (NIDA), 2.8% of students in the 10th gra reported that they smoked marijuana on a daily ba while 15.9% admitted to having done it in the past mon Just as it is easy to grow addicted to prescription me cation, the availability of marijuana for medical purpo will cause individuals to eventually grow abusive of drug, using it only to get high, disregarding any me cal benefits. People will potentially lie about nonexist conditions in order to obtain the drug, thus exposing it t range of new, illegal, and dangerous purposes wider th the fat little cannabis buds themselves. While propone to the legalization of “medical” marijuana argue that may be useful in relieving pain in cancer patients (w ever-rising levels of THC), it may, ironically, worsen situation. Cannabis smoke inflicts further damages to user; according to the NIDA, the drug holds 50% to 70 more carcinogenic, defined as “having the potential cause cancer” by the New Oxford American Dictiona hydrocarbons than tobacco, and because it is comm for those who smoke the substance to hold the smoke for longer durations, the toll is even greater. Though is arguable that the effects of carcinogens (only pres when the drug is smoked or burned), can be avoided inhaling a vaporized form of the drug, by eating the h (in an edible form such as brownies), or by drinking (in a tea known as “bhang”), the most common, and most realistic, manner of taking it is by simply light up a joint.

cult sell.” 2012 is a presidential year, and because of that, more voters will turnout for the election. More legalization votes would have turned out, as well as more anti-legalization votes. This would most likely have ended in the close call of Prop 19. Last time the proposition was on the ballot, the measure failed by only 400,000 votes. The many donors to the marijuana initiative followed the belief that it would solve many of the problems with medical cards. In California, personal possession of marijuana is punishable by a fine of $100. Additionally, a majority of marijuana purchases are through medical cards. A myriad of citizens believe that a measure would solve the abuse in the system. Although Californians won’t be voting on legalizing marijuana this year, Colorado will be voting on a similar proposition on November 6, 2012. Currently, many pro-legalization groups in California are hoping to succeed in adding a measure to legalize marijuana on the 2014 ballot.

Jason Cañas, Grade 9

Sufyan Shaikh, Grade 10

Kelly Nolan, English teacher

“No, because it’s harder to determinet if someone is high, unlike alchohol, [making it alot more unsafe].”

“Yes, because it relieves people of stress and pain when they most need it.”

“I do think people who are in “No, because I don pain can benefit from medipoint in legalizing cal marijuana use. However, I’ve read that it’s resulted in criminal activity, which puts the community at risk.”

Ricardo Navarro



misunderstanding Green is good

Kush Doctor


Marijuana has been used since as early as 3000 BC and has continued to be present in society ever since. The fact that alcohol is now the only socially and lawfully acceptable drug for recreational use in America is unfair. Alcohol carries a multitude of health risks, and for those who do not wish to partake in its consumption there is no legal alternative for a recreational modifier of consciousness. While one may argue that all mind-altering drugs should be banned, the failed Prohibition Era in America, and the debacle that is the ongoing War on Drugs, proves that humankind’s demand for drugs will always create suppliers. In fact, according to a World Health Organization study, demand has grown so much in the U.S. that we are the number one consumer of drugs in the world, despite having some of the most stringent laws. Marijuana is currently a Schedule I drug. The Federal government deems it has a high potential for abuse, has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and there is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug under medical supervision. Classifying marijuana as a Schedule I drug is completely in contradiction with the facts: Marijuana is far less addictive than alcohol and tobacco (“Development of a rational scale to assess the harm of drugs of potential misuse,” The Lancet, 2007), multiple states have created medical marijuana laws and research has revealed a plethora of medical uses for the drug, and there has never been a recorded incident of death from a marijuana overdose. People caught with possession of marijuana- nonviolent criminals who were neither selling nor trafficking- are sent to jail where they contribute to the overcrowding of prisons and squander taxpayer dollars. Jon Gettman, Ph.D., in his 2006 study “Marijuana Production in the United

Prescriptions for the pot shops DESIGN EDITOR







Even though medical marijuana is not legal under the federal law, it is legal at the state level in 14 states, California being one of them. The Compassionate Use Act passed November 5, 1996, made medicinal marijuana legal in California. Dispensaries are the positive alternative to buying marijuana off the streets. They supply patients marijuana without pesticides, mold, and other unknown dangerous substances. Dispensaries allow patients to know exactly what they’re getting, according to an article on According to another article in the LA Times, supporters of medicinal marijuana complain that “the Obama administration isn’t honoring its own policy from 2009, when a top Justice Department official advised U.S. attorneys not to go after ‘individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.’” In April of 2010, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa decided to shut down hundreds of pot shops by capping the number from an estimate of 1,000 shops to 70, though roughly over 100 still remain in LA. Currently pot shop owners are under stricter regulations. They are required to pay an additional licensing fee of $1,595.

Along with the vast number of dispensaries, thirty doctors prescribe medical marijuana in Los Angeles alone. According to the Medical Marijuana Identification guidelines, patients can get prescribed cannabis for many reasons ranging from “cancer, anorexi a , AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.” Patient must be at least 18 years old to be eligible for a cannabis card. In order to receive a cannabis card, an individual must fill out a form explaining their health problems; they are then prescribed marijuana by a doctor. California has easier registration procedures for those who wish to obtain a cannabis card. People who wish to get a cannabis card can go to a local marijuana dispensary and inquire. In other states like Washington and Maine registration is harder. Having a cannabis card does not allow a patient to drive with medicinal marijuana, except from the cannabis club to their residence. Also, the marijuana must be in the trunk or out of the drivers reach. Additionally, it is illegal to drive after taking the medicine because it does impair drivers.


H e p a t i t i s C


by Morgan Faulkner


A look at some of the regulations for patients with medical marijuana cards


n’t see the g it.”

by Zach Gamlieli


o, Grade 12

If alcohal is legal, why isn’t marijuana?


009 ture by on ade asis, nth. edioses the editent to a han ents pot with the the 0% l to ary, mon e in h it sent d by herb g it the ting

States” shows that approximately $42 billion is spent on marijuana prohibition annually. Legalization would clear up space in prisons, remove the strain placed by the sheer amount of nonviolent offenders on the judicial system, and allow for $42 billion to be allocated towards education, health care, tax cuts, and more. California recognized the financial strain of marijuana prohibition; in 2010 Governor Schwarzenegger decriminalized the possession of less than one ounce of marijuana and it is now just an infraction for which a ticket can be issued and no jail time can be sentenced. A concern for many against legalization is that legal regulation would make it easier for minors to acquire marijuana. The opposite is true. Studies, such as one conducted by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, have shown that it is more difficult for minors to obtain regulated substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and prescription pills than it is for them to obtain marijuana. Prohibition increases criminal activity by nature, and the violence associated with marijuana trafficking would be eradicated if it were legalized. According to The U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, sixty percent of the cartels’ income is from marijuana distribution; legalizing marijuana would put them out of business and end the violence. Back in 1989, as documented by the New York Times, a Federal judge, as well as a former Secretary of State and a Nobel Prize winning economist, called for legalization because it would end violence, un-clutter the judicial system, and increase tax-revenue. Since then the number of legalization proponents has only grown. The health effects of marijuana are another concern for those against legalization. A long-term study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (a government entity), has shown that smoking one joint a day, every day, does not impair lung function. Regardless of whether marijuana is harmful or not, legalization should still take place. Tobacco and alcohol both have proven detrimental health effects, but they are still legal. As long as adults are made aware of the health risks they should be allowed to consume marijuana just as they are allowed to consume tobacco and alcohol. Prohibition has failed in the past and it is failing now. The War on Drugs is resulting in senseless violence that can easily be stopped. It is high time we legalize marijuana.


say, the n.” just bed not

One may reason that marijuana is of the least dangerous drugs, for there have been no recorded deaths as direct results of the drug. The harms of the substance, however, occur beyond the primary stages of use. For example, driving under the influence of marijuana increases the danger on the road, which may ultimately cost the lives of innocent people. According to a review of nine studies from Columbia University, 28% of deceased drivers and some 11% of drivers engaged in car accidents had been under the influence of various drugs, marijuana being the most present. Another nine studies compared at Dalhousie University in Canada revealed that driving shortly after the intake of marijuana doubles the possibility of becoming involved in a car accident. Is getting high really worth the death of an innocent little baby, sleeping peacefully in the back seat of the car? Marijuana has been shown to lead to later use of more addictive substances, defining it as a “gateway drug.” The Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at, again, Columbia University found that the use of marijuana in adolescence increases the chance of becoming addicted to cocaine by 85%. Though various claims deem cannabis non-addictive, cocaine is the second-most addictive drug after heroin, according to The Lancet, an English medical journal. Similarly, a study conducted on 1,934 Australian 14- to 15-year-olds who used marijuana revealed that, at the age of 24, 12% of those students had used amphetamines in the past year. Upon using cocaine and amphetamines, one may experience heart attacks or strokes, or even die. The use of marijuana should not be legalized for medical purposes, for it is likely to be abused and may therefore worsen a patient’s conditions that it was originally meant to treat, increase the likelihood of automobile accident, and serve as a “gateway drug,” creating a desire to take stronger substances. In order to prevent legislation in favor of medical marijuana, hospitals and medical facilities must take initiative in drug awareness programs at local schools and in entire communities, informing the public that the dangers of marijuana outnumber its benefits. The prohibition of medical marijuana will ensure the wellbeing and safety for people of all ages.


y r u nj



8 The rock arrives



Excitement rises over Levitated Mass

by Kristian Punturere STAFF WRITER Levitated Mass, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s latest piece arrived on Saturday, March 10th. Levitated Mass is a 340 ton megalith that will sit centrally above a 456 foot long concrete lined slot, creating the illusion that the rock is suspended in air. Visitors will be able to walk under the megalith as the concrete walk way descends fifteen feet below the mass before it ascends again on the opposite side. The piece has already received worldwide attention and is expected to become a “destination artwork” for the local, national and international public. “Just seeing the rock from far away is really intense and I’m really excited to see it,” senior AVPA Art student and LACMA intern, Edna Vogel said, “ I guess the feeling knowing that your under that extreme amount of weight is really exciting.” During its 105-mile long trip from Riverside County to LACMA, some citizens expressed concerns regarding the incredible cost of transporting the solid marble rock, and the impact that it could have on those businesses and homes along the route. Despite these concerns, the project has actually had some beneficial effects on the local economy. In fact, the cost of the project is being entirely privately funded. Additionally, a great deal of the privately raised funds have gone directly back into our local economy through payments to construction teams, transport services and permit fees that have been paid to a total of twenty two cities in four different counties for the transport of this mass, not to mention the fan followers who have come out to see the rock as it stopped in various cities along the way, where they spent money.

The artist behind this wondrous addition to LACMA’s plethora of art work is Michael Heizer. Heizer was born in Berkeley, California in 1944, and later attended San Francisco Art Institute briefly before moving to New York where he established his own studio. He also owns a ranch where he produced large scale sculptures such as Nine Nevada Depressions and Displaced/Replaced Mass. His 1969 artwork Double Negative, which is now owned by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, inspired artists for multiple generations. Major exhibitions of his art have been presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Foundazione Prada, Milan, Italy; Museum of Contemporary Art, LA and the Rijksmuseum Kroller-Muller, Otterlo, Holland. Transporting the megalith is Emmert International, a company that transports large infrastructure. Traveling at a slight five to eight miles per hour, it took eleven nights of transport for the enormous rock to reach its final destination. A 260 foot long and 32 foot wide transporter had to be custom built to enable even weight distribution of the rock over 196 wheels. This method was used to prevent road damage, and the route for transportation had to be predetermined and many permits had to be acquired for this titious yet worth it task. Along the way to LACMA, however, the rock received some unanticipated attention. “While they were transporting it a lot of people came out to see it and they were throwing parties and they were like dressing in flintstone costumes and whatnot,” said senior AVPA Art student and LACMA intern, Marylin Liu, “It was just really cool seeing so many people excited about it.”

Be smart and visit Boetti’s art by Cheryl Hoffman REPORTER Seeking a peaceful afternoon that consists of exhibits and artwork that will enthuse one’s curiosity and inspire the senses? Then by all means visit the exhibit, Order and Disorder: Alighiero Boetti by Afghan Women. Quietly perched in the northern campus of UCLA within the UCLA Fowler Museum, this exhibit will be on display from February 26 to July 29. And with the current state of the economy, this exhibition is a good entertainment op-

tion to students--the Fowler Museum is free of charge. The exhibition Order and Disorder: Alighiero Boetti by Afghan Women explores central themes of unification and peace. The artist, Alighiero Boetti was inspired by the traditional style of Afghan embroidery presented by unknown Afghan women that he had encountered while working in the city of Kabul in the 1970s. The Afghan women who created what was to be later assembled by Boetti are victims of concentration camps within Afghanistan, and therefore, their identities remain undisclosed. The emotions and devotion

Hungry for more?

by Aurora Nunez NEWS EDITOR It’s an old axiom: books are almost always be better than the movie. No matter how long the wait, how great the reviews, or how expensive the movie budget--The Hunger Games is no exception. With only two hours to fill, details had to be condensed. For the friendly PG-13 rating, the violence and amount of gore had to be minimized--it does not compare to that described in the books, nor that of the Japanese film, Battle Royale, to which the Hunger Games trilogy is often compared. The Hunger Games, written by Suzanne Collins, takes place in a futuristic, desolate, North America now renamed Panem. After years of war over the remaining forsaken continent, the land has been divided into 12 Districts, formerly 13, that are under the control of the Capitol, a rich and vain city where the presidency is located, and the authority over the districts. Seventy-four years ago the Districts rebelled against the Capitol, and as punishment for their actions, one boy and one girl is collected from each District at random to represent their home in the annual Hunger Games. As tributes, teens are to fight to the death and the last person standing goes home a victor. The Hunger Games are televised throughout Panem for the Capitol’s entertainment and as a reminder to the Districts that they have the power to grant or destroy life. Our protagonist, Katniss Everthat went into the works created by these Afghan women will remain a curious mystery to those who witness their embroideries, which reveal an altering geopolitical world from 1971 to 1994. Boetti is only able to portray the true potential of these three categories of embroidered artworks to a certain extent, for even he remains in the dark in regards to gaining knowledge of these women and the inspiration that lies behind artwork they created. Nevertheless, the mystery behind these pieces does make for an intriguing visit, for every mystery sparks a sense of excitement within the viewer’s imagination. One especially impactful art piece in the collection is one of the various wall-sized world maps, known simply as Mappa, with countries filled in with the colors and symbols of their flag; however, this map also has something that no other map in the exhibition has. The seascape of this map is pink, for the Afghan women

deen (Jennifer Lawrence), is a hunter who makes her living by selling what she hunts in the forest at the Hob, District 12’s black market. After a mining accident that killed her father, her mother fell into a depression and Katniss was left to provide for herself and her younger sister, Prim. During the 74th annual Hunger Games Prim is chosen as a tribute. Katniss volunteers to take her place. The film cuts out significant characters from the book. Madge Undersee, who gives Katniss the mockingjay pin as a gift, was never in the film adaptation, and leads to the question of how a second movie will work, considering the significance of the pins origins in the second movie. Anyone who read the books could tell you what an Avox is: a Capitol prisoner whose tongue has been cut out and can no longer speak. Katniss encounters an Avox in the books, where they are a reminder of the Capitol’s intolerance and harshness, but these silent slaves had no direct communication with Katniss other than serving food in the movie. During the arena scenes it all hangs on Jennifer Lawrence’s acting. She is quiet most of her time in the arena, which makes sense considering that she could be killed for giving herself away, but gives the problem of insufficient interest. The occasional and much-needed moments of comedic relief are provided by Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), District 12’s alcoholic mentor, and the clips of Katniss’s best friend Gale (Liam Hemsworth). The benefits of having the Hunger Games film, which was created with the aid of Suzanne Collins herself, was being able to see the games in the perspective of the Capitol. Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) gushes with happiness as the history of the Hunger Games is recited at the reaping. Capitol television personalities Caesar Flickerman and Claudius Templesmith provide commentary and explain the terror that are the Trackerjacker bees. We even get to meet Seneca Crane, the head-gamemaker with the amazing beard, behind the scenes as he conducts the games. In a hauntingly memorable scene, a solemn Haymitch watches Capitol children play with plastic swords, reenacting death scenes of the past Hunger Games in which he was a mentor. The film has received good reviews overall and has raked in $302.5 million. Catching Fire, the next book from the series is under film production and to be released Nov. 22 of next year with a new set of additional cast members. who created it, living surrounded by nothing other than land, did not have the traditional sense or training when it comes to creating maps.The idea of this error only excited Boetti, for it represented to him the idea that every culture, religion, and individual is entitled to his or her own perspective of the world and its layout. One viewer, Sharon Friedman, shared her opinion of the exhibition as a whole saying, “I wasn’t sure of the artist’s message at first, however, I then realized it was because I was looking too closely.” Friedman’s statement goes to show that it is easy for us to overlook the importance of something when we are looking too closely. However, if we take the time to step back and look at it from a different perspective then it may become clearer. This exhibition tests the viewer’s clarity of thought and perspective, and challenges human preconceptions, which makes it all the more exhilarating to go and see.


APRIL 2012

Sweeney Todd makes a deep impression


Filling the streets with horror and terror, AVPA Theater’s performance of Sweeney Todd was an overall success.

by Sarah Handler

Features EDITOR Last month, AVPA theatre members gave a magnificent performance of Sweeney Todd, directed by Jon Kellam, co-directed by Jill Novick, and assistant directed by Justin Forsythe. Telling the dramaturgy of a demon barber seeking revenge on the malicious judge who raped his wife and seized his daughter. The show opened with creepy music and intense starring, as the cast vividly depicted the true theme and atmosphere of Sweeney Todd. Although the first act began with a somewhat rocky start, the second act was extremely well performed. Fogg’s Asylum and City on Fire were among the best scenes, after which point the show truly picked up and became exciting. The play came to an exciting and exhilarating end, culminating a pleasingly portray the story. The acting itself, however, was impeccable. The Beggar Woman (Kayla Guirguis) made the show as she embodied her character, owned the stage, and charmed the audience, walking through the seats and making the show an intimate theatrical experience for everyone in the audience. In addition, Sweeney Todd (Christopher Clark) exemplified Sweeney Todd exceedingly well taking control and powering the production. Moreover, Mrs. Lovett (Marti Skoler) became the highlight and stole numerous laughs and she lit up the stage. The set was ingeniously by designed by Mia Torres (no students designed the set but the head of the set was Marlee Goldshine and the set itself was managed by Tara Griffo, and students

worked to prepare the set) to be versatile enough to suit the needs of all of the scenes in the play. Not only did it evoke the true spirit and the experience of Sweeney Todd, but also grasped the attention of the audience. Set designers made a wise choice using only simple props that emphasized the quality and impact of the pure acting. From the flour, dough, razor, coin wallet, caged birds, key and a meat grinder, these little additions were delightful extras that transported the audience, even though unfortunately, the birds were fake. Without a doubt, the highlight of the show was the sliding chair. It created suspense, elevating the show to another level. Also noteworthy was the lighting design by Eric Mitchell with mentor Christopher Stokes, which entranced the audience and set the dark and creepy tone of the play. The makeup and hair were well done, designed by Alicia Simmons, emphasizing the darker tone of the play, and made the ac-

tors and actresses look truly creepy. The Beadle’s (Attiyah Joseph) makeup was especially frightening. Though Tobias Ragg (Tristan Price) faced some difficulties with his wig, Johanna (Georgia Funnel) had a beautiful blonde hair-piece that perfectly embodied her character. The gray streak in Skoler’s hair was a nice touch along with the overall look of Clark. Furthermore, the wonderfully detailed costumes donated by Sony allowed the characters to come to life and embrace the many personalities of their characters. This was particularly evident in Pirelli (Tristan Price) and his purple Willy Wonka costume. The live orchestra music, provided by AVPA music students and directed by Tony Spano Jr., was also a high point, helping to smooth over other difficulties: the play suffered significantly as the singing of some characters was persistently off pitch and unpalatable. Terrible accents, difficulties with sound effects and the microphones, and other technical difficulties detracted from the charm of this play, but the live music throughout somehow managed to keep the true emotion of Sweeney alive. Still, a select few of the vocalists, including Kayla Guirguis and Clark, carried the show with their talents. While AVPA theater’s production of Sweeney Todd possessed numerous flaws--primarily issues with vocalists--overall it captivated the audience while presenting a good rendition of a brilliantly written story. Photographs courtesy of Masayo Benoist

Famous fashion photographer dies Lillian Bassman’s life is honored with a solo exhibition at the Peter Fetterman Gallery. by Ana Cordero Contributing Writer Lillian Bassman, an innovative American fashion photographer and art director, recently died in her home in Manhattan at age ninety-four. Bassman was herself a luxurious and cherished vision of the modern woman, and is widely regarded as one of the greatest twentieth century fashion photographers, in the ranks and friends with Irving Penn and Richard Avenon. Her memory is being honored with a retrospective exhibition, Lillian Bassman, A Life: 1917-2012 at the Peter Fetterman Gallery in Santa Monica.

Bassman was born June 15, 1917 into an immigrant family, and to survive she worked as a textile designer and fashion illustrator before working at Harper’s Bazaar with Alexey Brodovitch, a russian photographer and art director. Bassman later married Paul Himmel, who she met when she was just 15 years old, and together they struggled through economic difficulties. Himmel studied and taught art while Bassman modelled for artists in the morning to pay for her painting lessons in the afternoon. Bassman worked with fine art photography and transformed these photographs into incredible masterpieces through her darkroom efficacy. Bassman’s fashion images were

unique, appearing in the Harper’s Bazaar magazine from the 1940’s to the 1960’s, her work was categorized by the elegance and grace she used while working with professional models. In a book that talks about the life of Bassman, art critic and journalist, Deborah Solomon said, “The women who appear in her photographs tend to be tall and attractive and they have the kind of seductive expression that comes from keeping secrets.” The Peter Fetterman Gallery is having an exhibition of all the paintings that Lillian Bassman created. There is a secret behind every picture in the exhibition, a secret about the lives of women. All the photographs contain a sharp contrast between dark hues and sterile whites, an intriguing chiaroscuro, and all include a beautiful woman posing for the camera. Among Bassman’s most popular

pictures was Fantasy on the dance floor, with model Barbara Mullen posing as a girl in a beautiful dress ready to go out and dance. Another famous picture is Mary Jane Russell, in which the depicted figure looks professional and not afraid of anything. The way these pictures are taken would grab anybody’s attention, since they have effects of black and white colors with bleach outs and soft edges with the use of tissue and gauze. The most popular models of the 21st century loved to work with Bassman. Captivated by the way Bassman could transform the human body into a form of art, many models sought to work with Bassman in the hopes of being transformed into a part of her artistic vision. Bassman’s works will be on view at Peter Fetterman Gallery in Santa Monica until 9 June, 2012.




Clothing brands blow up on campus

Ilustration by Mohammed Khan

Banned Stand Burgeoning student-made brand FTP finds roots in rebellion by Elizabeth Moss TRENDS EDITOR “I just had an idea of making clothes,” said Zachary Clark, founder of FTP, or kcufThePopulation. The brand had an unintentional beginning, back when Clark would steal sweaters from Goodwill and add his own iron-ons. “I started selling sweaters for five dollars.” That was two years ago; now, with a copyright and more designs, the business has legitimized - and expanded. Yamen Sanders, fellow classmate and friend, came on board not long after FTP’s inception. Unsurprisingly, student followers still

Check out what’s trending...

opt to wear FTP gear around campus, despite the administration’s recent ban on the merchandise. “It’s original,” said senior Guido Budani, an avid wearer of FTP merchandise. “It stands for, like, not being a part of society.” Junior Carlie Whittaker’s opinion runs in much the same way. She invests in the street wear company for what “it stands for:” not being a part of the crowd. “They’re teenagers doing something that adults usually do,” she said. “I hope it gets really big because it looks like they’re working hard.” The company strives to inspire “uncensored creativity” and hopes to reach customers nationally one day, Sanders said. “I see it getting bigger everyday,” Clark said.

It’s Obscene New brand popular with seniors by Kristian Punturere STAFF WRITER

“Holy Trinity in the mirror, where I see my only enemy, your life’s cursed, well mine’s an obscenity.” This line, from the song “The Joy” by Kanye West, inspired the name for clothing brand, Obsinity. Founded four months ago by senior Austin McFerran, Obsinity, like many other student-run companies, promotes a message of positive self expression and individuality. The brand began as a hat company with designs drawn cleanly on snapbacks by McFerran himself, and has now expanded to selling T-shirts. Selling hats for around $20 and T-shirts for about $15, the company has become

popular among McFerran’s peers. He has received much support and assistance in promoting the brand from his fellow seniors who make up the majority of his customers. “When so many rules are imposed on us teenagers, the simple act of wearing an Obsinity tee can give us a sense of freedom and rebellion,” said senior Amina Sulejmanagic regarding Obsinity. “It gives us a sense of individuality and the power to skew what can often be considered a negative connotation, to more of a lifestyle that is deemed as a form of teen spirit.” But like any striving young entrepreneur, finances are of top concern. “I actually have a lot of people wanting and waiting on stuff, but there is definitely more of a demand than there is a supply,” McFerran said. With several student startups on campus, competition appears to be steep. “I wouldn’t say I’m competing,” McFerran said. “There isn’t really a set companywide goal that we’re all trying to reach.” However, he acknowledged, “I guess it causes people to criticize or compare two companies to each other.” McFerran hopes to eventually go mainstream and open up his very own store in the distant future. “I would say it’s up in the air, but I’m pretty confident that it’ll happen,” McFerran said.

Photos by Morgan Faulkner and Kourtney Brodnax


11 Hype Trends

Bella Bolla


From rulers to Royal/T

Sophomore’s business kills

by Morgan Faulkner Design editor James Yukawa’s journey to establish BubbleItUp.Inc began with a class project. “We had to do an English project for Mr. Mortenson’s class and we had to do a cover sheet,” said Yukawa, owner of Bolla and BubbleItUp. Inc. “I had some left over blue construction paper and I started cutting up shapes and at the end the bubble was born.” Shortly after, he began decorating friends’ binders, shoes, and whatever else he could get his hands on. This led to today’s fast-growing Bolla clothing brand and BubbleItUp. Inc fine art company. Saturday March 17, marked the two-year anniversary of Bolla clothing and accessory CO. To celebrate how far the company has come, Yukawa teamed with local art cafe Royal/T to exhibit a new collection titled “All City Killers.” This collection is a part

of a pop-up shop that will run until April 21. The opening of the pop-up shop was such a success that the line to get into the event extended out the door. There was a huge throng of attendees ranging from friends, family, and fans that even the Culver City Police Department made an appearance to shut it down. The 400 plus crowd of people that showed up to the event titled “It ain’t fun if the homies can’t have none,” were in part because Yukawa invited everyone who supported him throughout his journey. “I had to make sure all the homies were there to take it in with me,” Yukawa said. The idea for the event was so that Yukawa could thank all his family and friends for their support. BubbleItUp.Inc focuses on design and consists mostly of freelance jobs, while Bolla embraces the street art side of design, incorporating it into a clothing and accessory company. Yukawa chose the Italian name for bubble, “bolla”

by Kourtney Brodnax SPORTS EDITOR for his clothing line so it could match the logo of his company BubbleItUp.Inc. Bolla is a unique brand since it was not created for a specific type of person. “My company is a lifestyle brand focusing on art/design culture, skate culture, fashion culture, and popular culture,” Yukawa said. “My customers vary from little kids in love with the Bubble logo, to the average streetwear customers, all the way to celebrities enjoying accessories we have to offer.” With the rise in Bolla’s popularity, Yukawa not only wants to extend his clothing line, but also improve the quality of the clothes. On top of it all, Yukawa hopes to “launch more creative events for the public.”

Sister Act Ramirez sisters’ start-up is for real

by Sydney Hibbs REPORTER Student-made brand, Realist, has been trending all over the Los Angeles area. At Culver High, stickers are placed on lockers and grey crew-neck sweaters roam the hallways on a daily basis. Practically everywhere you look you see the word “Realist” with the famous design of a pyramid and birds. For only having been in production for two months, they have already sold over 80 items totalling more than $1,000. Founders of Realist, Rose Ramirez and her sister Rocky Ramirez, want customers to instantly wonder what the word “realist” means to them when they see the merchandise. “Different people have different in-

terpretations of what a realist truly is,” Rose said, “It’s a person that lives in the here and now, not thinking ‘if only this and if only that.’” However, by definition, a realist is someone who tends to view or represent things as they really are. In the end, there is no right or wrong interpretation. Viewers will take a second look at the product in order to analyze the meaning. Senior Robert Myers has seen the Realist merchandise around school and has his own view on the brand. “I really like the back of the sweaters,” he commented, “It says, ‘Reality shows no mercy.’ To me, it tells the audience to live in the present and not worry about the future because the right now is what affects us the most. As a senior, I want to live in the mo-

ment and this phrase really projects that idea.” Rose is shocked by the popularity of their new brand. It has seen much success, reaching customers not only at Culver City High but at schools like Santa Monica High and Culver City Middle School. The brand isn’t just specific to one single group of people; it has spread to different grade levels and cliques. “I didn’t even know how far it would go, but I’m really happy it’s gone this far,” Rose enthusiastically stated about the prosperity of her brand. The Realist brand has a wide variety of clothing products. They sell baseball tees, yoga pants, hoodies, and much more. The merchandise ranges from $10-$30 depending on the product. It is also available in different colored lettering. The Ramirez sisters are currently working on a website so consumers can easily purchase merchandise trouble-free.

Stickers plastered on bathroom mirrors and iPads, pins clipped onto book bags and hashtags on Twitter inspires the students of Culver City to believe in the hype. This recent underground clothing establishment, created by sophomore Jordan Bentley in 2009, is now the most wellknown label on the Westside of Los Angeles, but can be seen as far as the South Bay in North Torrance. Bentley got the idea from a low-key Internet site, “I was influenced by this website called Hypebeast that featured clothes,” Bentley explained. As “hype” is one of the most commonly used slang terms amongst teenagers, Bentley wanted to use it to represent his brand. To set himself apart, he simply subtracted the “e.” Hy-

pLAnd started with a box logo much like that of the skater brand Supreme. Now three years later, accompanied by a new spring collection design, Bentley is now the hype of Culver City. “It took time to grow and at first I only sold occasionally. Now I sell everyday,” Bentley said. HypLAnd is very affordable, ranging from $10-30 and targets middle and high school students. The most popular HypLAnd items are beanies, sweatshirts and crewnecks. But within the next year or so Bentley will be expanding his business by creating crop-tops and tanks for his girl supporters. And if customers don’t want to wait for their items to arrive by mail, Bentley does bring items to customers upon request. With the new spring logo now available, the excitement on campus is palpable. “Everybody from school is wearing it and sometimes on the weekends I see people wearing it,” Junior Todahtiyah Forbes said. But HypLAnd is only the beginning for this young mogul. “I want to be an entrepreneur and start another line for adults,” Bentley said. HypLAnd is just the base for his future career in the design field. Follow his success on www., mention Bentley on Twitter @HypLAndClothing, hashtag #HypeKills and go like it on Facebook and Tumblr at HypLAnd Clothing.

Come to room 41 for an opportunity to win two tickets to the concert.



Serving it Centaur style Eat our dust Boys volleyball refurbishes for future seasons

Track and field sprints past competition by Allison Kelly REPORTER

The CCHS track team is off to an explosive start in their season. These ninety sprinters, long-distance runners, polevaulters, hurdlers, and other field players have won all four meets thus far and expect to continue doing well. They practice every day after school, rain or shine, attend weekend meets, and work in the weight room. With over 15 years of combined coaching experience, Tom Fritzius , along with Jahmal Wright, Melody Tillman, and Venus Jewett, say they aim to win the Ocean League Championship, and believe that the

Kourtney Brodnax/The Centaurian

BOYS’ BIG BLOCK: Sophomore Josh O’Cana(right) and junior Nathan Mosher (left) who both stand astoutly at 6’1, denies the Santa Monica Vikings.

by Eli Bowie REPORTER

Coming off a winning season in 2011, the boys volleyball team is back to work. They managed to take second place in the Ocean League last spring, and even made it all the way to the CIF semi-finals playoff game. Unfortunately, they lost to the dominating San Gabriel Matadors, who were undefeated in league play. The varsity team is significantly smaller this season after losing ten seniors last year, including two team captains. The new eleven-man roster includes sophomores Chris Galang, Wesley Dixon, and Josh O’Cana, juniors James Chandruang, Nathan Mosher, Cody Gartner, Kris Wade, Salvador Deleon, and Kempee Deguzman, and senior team captains, Aarman Kani and Daniel Feifer. The team’s coach, Joe Manzo, who is in his second season with the team believes

his strongest player this year is Feifer. Looking at the stats, Feifer is one of the most consistent players on the team, along with Dixon, another outside hitter, who leads the team in kills and aces. “This season is more of a rebuilding season for us, but we’re moving faster than we thought,” Coach Manzo explained. He said that without the ten seniors of last year, there were many holes to fill but the team has adjusted nicely. The team is battling it out for first place in the Ocean League with their biggest competitor, Beverly Hills. While expectations aren’t as high as last year, the team still looks to make a playoff run down the road. “The future is looking good. Culver City has a lot of great athletes,” Manzo said.

boys track team has a shot at winning the Southern Section CIF Championship. Fritzius’ day-to-day goals are to make running enjoyable, have his athletes perform better, and give them opportunities to pursue their events in college. The team’s biggest competition this year comes from Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, but their main focus is improving their own personal records. The recent increase of volunteer coaches and parents helping with the high and long jump pits have also contributed to the team’s success. Many of them were sprinters, long-jumpers, or experienced in other events when they were in high school or college, their specific knowledge has aided the Centaurs to victory. April 19 the Centaurs face cross town rivals Beverly Hills at home followed by an elite-only meet at Mt.San Antonio College on April 21. The last seasonal dual meet against Santa Monica is away on April 26 subsequently leading into league pre-lims. Sophomore Lauren Kelly says, “I’m excited about the upcoming meets and I’m sure that everyone will do great!”

Win some, lose some Softball double header against Santa Clarita Canyon Cowboys

Kourtney Brodnax/The Centaurian

HOME RUN: Senior Taniya Ross, rounds second base and scores for the Centaurs against Morningside. The game was an easy win, 18-0.

by Jessica Marin EDITOR IN CHIEF The April 4 varsity non-league softball game against Santa Clarita Canyon High School, started with a hot stick -or so it seemed. Senior third base, Taniya Ross made an impeccable bat as the Canyon cowboys pitched. Up the ball went, came down, and landed right inside of a Cowboy mitt. The JV Canyon team cheered the promising start to the game, singing loudly and obnoxiously on the sidelines. Their excitement was short lived as our Lady Centaurs were the first to score. The girls made run after run, racking a whopping five points during the first inning. The Canyon mothers sitting on the “City” side could be heard muttering “they’re just rusty” about the Cowboys losing and indeed they were correct. Shortly after, Canyon stepped up their game and left our Lady Centaurs in the dust. Canyon made run after run, finishing the game at 15-5.

Run to room 41 to write for the sports page


The double header that followed, cemented Canyon’s reputation as a powerhouse, they creamed our girls with a score of 18-0. Senior first base, Michelle Mallahi said of the loss, “we’ve had some really good games but also some really bad ones, sometimes we don’t play to our potential.” Despite drastically losing against Canyon, the girls are 2-0 in league. Head coach John Sargent says of what he expects for the girls in the remainder of the season, “with practice, they should have a good season, we are trying to position ourselves for playoffs.” Playoffs aren’t until next month and the championship isn’t until June. Until then, the girls will play rivals, Santa Monica, Hawthorne, and Beverly Hills. The Lady Centaurs will also compete in the El Segundo Tournament later this month. On April 17, the girls played Morningside at home and won 18-0. Their next game is also at home, against Beverly Hills on April 19.

Spring sports upcoming games Boys Tennis Inglewood 4/19

Golf Windward 4/20

Track Beverly Hills 4/19

Boys Volleyball Inglewood 4/19

Softball Beverly Hills 4/19 Swimming Beverly Hills 4/19

Baseball Hawthorne 4/19

Girls LAX Beverly Hills 4/20

Boys LAX Beverly Hills 4/20

The Centaurian  

Vol 57 Issue 6