Salinas High School
Broken System: A Love Story Michael Liu & Ricky Maciel Online Editor & Feature Editor
The ASB leadership is known as the representative of the students, the voice of the campus, the one establishment where students can officially take charge and make a difference. Some students would agree with these views while others would claim that ASB is a corrupt and inefficient organization. Most, however, probably remain clueless about how the ASB actually operates. The nature of student representation, as our staff reporters found out, does not just involve ASB but rather our entire administrative bureaucracy. In order to really understand ASB, one must examine its processes and policies. Besides being active on Twitter, ASB also maintains a needed presence in all of the school’s fundraising, clubs, sports, and other private student activities that require monitoring. The student leadership has always claimed that the way it operates is transparent and straightforward. . “ASB almost is always run by the students,” says Ariana Montes, President of ASB, “In the classroom the power is divided 50/50 between us and Ms. Bracco, but outside of that about 90% of the control is by students.” Indeed, entering ASB can be one of the best choices a student can make during his or her high school years. “Being in ASB lets you make decisions that affect the entire school,” continues Ariana, “As for benefits, we get free admissions to games for work and plenty of community service for required activities.” Brittney Long, the ASB Commissioner of Academics, agrees. “People won’t understand ASB if they don’t have all the facts. ASB runs everything from sports to fundraisers; everything goes through us. We spend so much time outside school that it’s almost like having a full-time job.” When our staff reporters interviewed students on their position on ASB, most responded with a confused look and shrugged their shoulders before
The ASB building will stand before the positive and negative criticism of the student body.
you that this school is more concerned with social activities than it is about academics.” Mr.Cornelio, an outspoken critic of both the positives and negatives of ASB, offers a different take on the subject. He admits to the flaws within the organization but instead points the problem to a broader issue in the school system. He maintains that while schools need to teach their students to the best of their ability, not all important learning happens in the classroom, and not all that is learned in a classroom is important. He says, “Teachers need to realize that it’s not all about their egos, their classrooms, or their paychecks. There is a social aspect of school that students must learn while they are here in order to fully develop as human beings. Teachers who act as though the world revolves around their classrooms often become obstacles for ASB, as they can influence their actions simply by filing complaints to them. For example, when teachers complained about the music being played too loudly during lunch, ASB had to stop it. In the end, the teachers become a special-interests group.” When most students think of the Salinas High leadership government, they see an institution with a single authority to dictate what happens on campus. Yet the Salinas High ASB is only one of the pieces of the complex hierarchy of power dynamics known as the public school system. “ASB’s power is swamped by superiors,” says Austin. “For approval, you need to have the support of the board of trustees and administrators. A lot of the board trustees don’t even visit our school much. How can they decide what the students should get?”
going back to loitering with their friends. However within the student body, a few vocal supporters and critics have been found. “I think ASB is very helpful and works hard,”says John Ko, (‘11). “They’re pretty much the lynchpin of the Salinas High society.” Austin Bennett, (’11), meanwhile, is popular for his open expression on what he believes is wrong with the organization. “I’m glad they’re there, they have good intentions and help give the students a voice, but some people are in there for selfish reasons such as the title and recognition that comes with being a member of ASB. A lot of kids in there are slackers and don’t deserve to be, because the people there who take their job seriously get all the burden of the tasks the slackers don’t accomplish or don’t do right.” Teachers also hold strong opinions on the student government. One teacher who wished to remain anonymous lamented, “It seems like students See Broken Page 3 in ASB are always skipping classes to do other things. It just goes to show you
From the Editor’s Desk The Flashlight is back this year and its bigger and better then ever before. For those of you who do not know me, I am Joseph Caballero (’11) Editor-inChief of The Flashlight for 2010-2011. I would like to start by saying that my staff and I are fully aware of the mistakes our first publication had, and our staff has learned from them. I promise to improve the quality of our newspaper throughout the coming months. If you feel that there are some aspects of the newspaper that need improvement feel free to email me at SHSTheFlashlight@gmail.com, subject line: Editor-in-Chief and I will be glad to address any issues the student body has with the newspaper. Overall on our first issue, there was an abundance of positive criticism. I have not yet been directly told about the negatives the newspaper possessed, which is a good thing. However, I have been
Joseph Caballero (‘11) 2010-2011 Editor-in-Chief
Features Page 2:
Features Page 3:
A Trick is a Treat Trick or Vandalism Letters to the Editors
confronted from some who were confused with our opinion column. The opinion column is where students of Salinas High School will post their personal opinion toward a specific topic. “Off Campus” was the kick-off to our opinion column and was merely a staff reporter’s personal opinion. Facts and/or resources are not necessary. If you have anything to comment towards our past and future topics, you are welcome to post it onto our Facebook page or anonymously at Formspring.me/TheFlashlight. I encourage all of you to submit an opinion to The Flashlight. See Editor’s Page 7
Table of Contents Features Page 4:
Arts & Entertainment Page 5:
Features Page 6:
Sports Page 7:
Secrets Down Under
Less is Whore
Athlete of the Month
Continued Broken System: A Love Story
Features Page 7:
Continued Editors Desk Continued Fashion Phases
A Magical Kingdom A Psychiatric Ward
Features A Trick is a Treat
Bell and Harder reversing the role of Trick or Treaters
Brittney Horner Feature Editor It was just past sundown and front porches were lighting up sporadically down the various streets in Las Palmas 2—one of the b est neighborhoods in Salinas for trick-or-treating. While most kids were adding the final touches to their witches and demon costumes, a group of Salinas High School students were unloading a front door from Kyle Harder’s car. It was still a bit early, so no one was out yet, but the group walked towards the first house. Dressed in bath robes and slippers, Max Bell (’11) and Lizzie Prader (’11) braced themselves as Kyle Harder (’11), set the wooden door right up against the actual front door of the house and rang the doorbell. An elderly lady opened her door only
to find another door! Taken back, she gasped and then took a moment to read the sign taped on the second door that read “Knock”. She tapped lightly on the wooden door, likely anticipating something scary on the other side. Sure enough, it doesn’t get much scarier than two guys, dressed in bathrobes, holding candy. Bell exclaimed “Aw, don’t you look so cute!” and Harder added “Here, have some candy”. The woman laughed heartily and the practice round was deemed a success, so the group moved on to the busier streets. The group made it a point to do something different at every house. Behind every door was a new trick. For instance, at one house, two women opened up the group’s door to find a shirtless boxer, Phillip Bezouska (’11), laying on their porch. Jake Singley (’11) faking surprise and guilt, looked from his boxing gloves down to “knocked out” Bezouska, up to the two women and then back to his boxing gloves. Singley, during his attempt to run away, got caught in a decoration spider web and could not untangle himself. The two women continued to stare at Bezouska nervously for two minutes straight and then began to throw candy at him, attempting to “wake” him up. One young wife opened her front door and, realizing another doors was there, called for her husband. “Look! Come look at this!” She exclaimed. After three loud knocks, Tara Storm (’11) and Kristie Pedrozo (’11) opened the door and the couple was greeted by the entire group singing the National Anthem,
initiated by two SHS choir students, Brenna Swanston (’11) and Kalah Siegel (’11). After processing the song the group was singing, the husband put his hand over his heart, although no one had a flag. Children and parents that were around the house cheered loudly on the especially high part “ov’r the land of free—” the note in which everyone of course could hit. At the end of the song, the group got a congenial round of applause and developed a crowd of followers as they moved on into the street. Resembling scenes from Monster’s Inc., the group stopped random children and their siblings in the middle of the streets with the door. Timid kids would approach the door saying “What’s behind it? What’s behind it?” The braver the kid, the more candy the group gave them when he decided to knock. Despite the caution of Erin Gray (’11), the boys decided to go to one last house with the door but without their robes. Although the boys thought the last prank would be on a stranger, one whom they’d never see again, they unknowingly ended up on the porch of a SHS’s Alumni, Matt Cole, in their boxers. The moral of the story is that when one door closes, just bring your own door. And wear clothes.
“An elderly lady opened her door only to find another door!”
Trick or Vandalism Zach Teeter Sports Editor Tp’ing and egging are popular choices for the late night trick. It may be for fun, or out of love, no matter which it is, Tp’ing and egging are still illegal. California Penal Code Section 594 states that there is a $400 to $50,000 dollar fine, and the possibility of county jail to state imprisonment for up to one year. They cover the entire house, everything from the trees, the cars, the fence, anything that can be cover will be. It is only an irritation for the family that has to clean it up, but it may be traumatizing for the younger portion of the family. The little siblings will be too scared to stay at home, thinking someone will come again. Egging can also causes a lot of harm. Egg whites can deteriorate vehicle and house also they can easily break a window or dent a car. Many people have been egged as a form of protest, but that was because they were doing something that was purposeful.
Egging and tp’ing are not the worst things that can be done to a car or house. Keying the side of a car or slashing its tires, are horrible things you could do. To go to such extremes you would do so out of anger or respite, not for the joy of it. Putting bologna on part of the car and leaving it to dry can also cause damage, when the person attempts to remove it, the paints comes of with it. Mostly everyone has been Tp’ing at least one time. Peer pressure is a big component in the decision to participate, or not. If you don’t go, you will be looked down upon, if you do go, you’ll have to clean it up. Why is it considered bad to take the high road out? Has the world changed so much that just because you have integrity, you’re looked down upon? Maybe it’s because of the parents. Many parents actually buy them the toilet paper, and to drive them to the house. By taking their kids out, they are teaching them that it’s ok to trash private property. Who is more at blame for this mischief, the parents or the
Letters to the Editors: All questions below were submitted anonymously through our Formspring at Formspring.me/TheFlashlight
Can anyone submit an article or do you have to be in journalism class? Anyone can submit an article, whether you are in the journalism class or not. You will be mentioned as a guest reporter though, and must follow the same rules and policy that have been established in the journalism room. Feel free to drop by the class room and leave your article, we look forward to people submitting free lance articles.
What happened to the Editor-in-Chief from last year? Who is the editor this year? Are you guys the same as the Yearbook? Last year’s Editor-in-Chief was David Aguilar. He has graduated and is now attending Cal Poly University. This years Edior-in-Chief is Joseph Caballero. For your last question, we are not like the yearbook, we release monthly editions of student written articles that bring you the insight of your school and community.
A prime example of the mess vandilism can cause.
kids? The parents teach the kids it’s accept able, but the kids actually go out and do the damage. The parents are supposed to be the people in the kids life that tell them what’s right and wrong but by their teachings, all they are helping the kid to become is a nuisance to all of the general public.
The Flashlight would love student interaction! We welcome advice, questions, comments, pictures and even articles. All you have to do is message us on Facebook. com, or if you would like to be anonymous, leave your question/comment on Formspring.me/TheFlashlight or email us at email@example.com. How often do you publish and how are you distributed? We publish once a month and distribute the newspaper before first period on our release date.
Features SECRETS DOWN UNDER
Salinas High Schools very own eerie basement.
Lupita Uribe & Sonia Lopez Associate Editor & Sports Editor Every school has crazy rumors spread to incoming freshmen to test how gullible they really are. Ever heard of the underground bowling alley and shooting range here at Salinas High? As crazy as this might sound, these are actual facts, not rumors. After questioning several faculty members, details came to the surface that may surprise some of our readers. It started off as a shooting range in the early 1900s and being that it was underground, it served as a perfect place for the FBI to train. It also doubled as an alternate option for physical education classes. Another rumor is that the military would train down there as soon as Salinas High students were old enough to sign up, but that just remains as another unproven story. According to an older teacher, in the 1920s, school officials decided that a shooting range was not suitable for high school physical education and it got transformed into a bowling alley. Bowling was
definitely a great alternative to the shooting range, but it did not last long. Several years after the bowling alley was built, asbestos, which can kill if inhaled for long periods of time, was discovered and most of the walls were ripped apart. The bowling alley was set to be rebuilt and remodeled, but the new equipment required the whole place to be rewired since it would be electrical. That seemed like too much work and money for the school and it was just left to be part of the past. It is a fact that there really was a bowling alley and shooting range; curious to know the location? Most students that have been near the text book room may have noticed a door that seems to have been cemented halfway into the ground. That door led to what was once a place for students to have fun bowling while earning their physical education credits under the old (small) gym. Although that entrance is blocked off, there is an alternate door near the girl’s restroom in the inner court. Another entrance is a trap door that is not easily accessible below a hallway in the theater arts center. Now that it is known for a fact that these places are not just another rumor, students will surely attempt to find a way down there. Unfortunately, all accessible doors are locked and only a selected few have the special key to unlock them. Don’t think you can somehow come across a key and have unlimited access because whenever any school key goes missing, it is immediately reported and all school locks are replaced. The secrets from down under must remain a mystery. Luckily, we came across a faculty member that holds one of the exclusive keys. Entering this forbidden place was quite an experience. What was once a bowling alley
and shooting range, now appears to be a cryptic, dungeon styled storage space. The place is full of dirt, old trophies, unused materials that the school does not want to get rid of yet, and carvings on the walls with student’s names dating back to the 1920s. As unlikely as it seems that this creepy place once held fun times in the distant past, old bowling pins were found. They appeared to have been sufficiently used to prove that they were relics of an underground past that the staff and students have learned to overlook. Another thing found was angled, numbered walls that could have served as bowling lanes of the past, though Evan Eisner (’13) states that it is more likely to have been the shooting range. Little by little, pieces of our school’s forgotten history comes to surface and we learn that not only was the gym expanded to underground, but in the 1930s there were three rooms added to the gym which we believe to be rooms 130, 131, and 132. In an old issue of The Flashlight, an article stated that one of those rooms was decorated with mirrors and served as an aerobics and dance class. Another of those rooms was turned into an office (Room 132) and is now mostly off limits to students. For future reference, remember that not all doors at Salinas High lead to dull, uninteresting spaces, for you never know what secrets lie on the flip side.
Bowling Pins from old times still linger down under.
“What is more important, academic knowledge or human development?”
Broken Continued from page 1 The lack of freedom ASB has with its duties gives rise to a different kind of sentiment. “I think Ms. Bracco is doing a really great job handling the situation she’s in,” says Mr. Cornelio. “But with the staff, there’s a lack of accountability. ASB is supposed to be primarily for the students so why does it have to go through other parties to take action? I think Ms. Bracco is in a vice. On one side, she has the student body she needs to serve. On the other, she has the school board she needs to please. So what happens when these two obligations conflict?” Ms.Bracco herself weighs in on the debate over the precarious balance of power between the government and the governed. Sports Editors
Sonia Lopez, Zach Teeter Entertainment Editor
“We can’t please everyone all the time,” says the strong-willed Activities Director. “The ASB needs teacher support and we’re lucky to have a good relationship with the the board unlike other schools. We have to pick our battles and try to somehow get as much support as possible for our actions. If you want something done, go to the people who can do it. Don’t just complain.” The frustration students may have against ASB ultimately boils down to the question of how the school itself could change. In the end, what kind of school should Salinas High be and who should have the right to decide? What is more important, academic knowledge or human development? Every structure has its flaws but in a society where popular sovereignty is a key part of our lives and where too many have become used to taking the backseat, it is up to us to shape the future of Salinas High.
The Flashlight Editor-In-Chief
Desiryn Gonzalez, Carolanne Garibay
Brian Horne, Kaitlin Sandoval, Lupita Uribe
David Saucedo, Krystin Marks
Brittney Horner, Ricky Maciel
Top: ASB class: A day of governing school affairs Bottom: Ms.Bracco advising the student leadership
Miguel Jimenez Fundraising Director
Jaime Guzman Historian
Michael Galmes Staff Reporters
Ilsa Petersen, Tyionna Gordon, Kyle Tankesley
Features LESS IS WHORE Lexi Swanston Fundraising Director When in costume shops, walking down the kids section, notice how innocent the outfits are-a pumpkin, pirate, and fairy. Now head to the adult/ teen section-the pumpkin barely fits, the pirate has become a ‘treasure’ hunter and the fairies dress is shorter; cleavage has become her best friend. What happened? Have girls started to crave attention, and has showing more become the answer? But what really goes through a girls mind when starting their Halloween shopping, a guys mind when seeing these costumes, and your opinion on this choice of clothing once a year? Brandon Garis (‘11) explained, “All the time you see girls wearing something revealing and then just sticking bunny ears on their head to make it a ‘costume’. If it’s not a true Halloween outfit, I don’t agree with it.” Has media flushed out our once
known knowledge of what looks classy; watching shows like Jersey Shore, starring Italian Americans, who go clubbing constantly in skimpy outfits to simply get attention along with other trashy reality TV shows. Adam Mendoza (’12) commented on this fashion statement saying, “The reason girls dress in such a way, is because our generation has just gotten more clueless about what men perceive women as. More or less as an object when dressed in that certain fashion, than someone that they’d want to get to know.” Do girls really think being that revealing is how you get something you want, that less clothing will get you the right guy, and are breasts the new accessory in order to get heads turning? “When seeing a girl dress in a skimpy costume, my mind automatically thinks they’re just seeking attention from everyone.
They obviously want to show as much skin as they can,” says Cindy Cardenas (’11) as she reminiscences on why girls believe that this is how you earn respect with naked confidence. No one can truly tell you how to dress or change your mind, but maybe Bruno Mars is right, in the end, you’re beautiful just the way you are.
“Cleavage has become her best friend.”
Exit sign going onto the mysterious haunted road
Dominique Perez & Kaitlin Sandoval Entertainment Editor & Associate Editor The following stories are from websites and living persons that can be checked on by own record. Salinas, California. Home to an estimated 144,000 citizens, but may it also be the residence to spirits of the unknown? If people really knew what happened years before, would they still feel at home in their community? Stories of unexplained noises, movement, and sightings have been passed on for years with believers standing by their experience, keeping the hauntings of Salinas alive. Old Stage Road is known for many hauntings throughout the years, one of the most infamous hauntings go back to the 1900s, where a dark haired woman suffered through a tragic death. One late night, a woman walked innocently along side the road unaware with what would befall ahead of her. As she walked a man drove up and offered the lady a ride. She accepted his generous offer; although the man had no intention of deeming good karma. Shortly after he picked her up, the man steered off of the empty road and brutally attacked and raped the woman in the fields. With his deed done and her body limp and destroyed, he decapitated her and threw both her body and head into the dark fields. As time progressed, residences recall sightings of a woman walking down old stage road cradling her head beside her. Some residents say they have picked up a woman strolling down the long road and she vanishes from their vehicle where the hideous crime took place. On the opposite side of town we have the famous bell tower, the heart of our very own Salinas High School. Jennifer, a student from the past has made the tower her dominant post to search for her love’s heart. Students have said that Jennifer is searching for her long lost boyfriend, Adrian. Jennifer asks students to tell Adrian goodbye for her, and shortly after she disappears. It is said that she can be
spotted around 11:00 pm to 12:00 pm near the bell tower. Another rumor of the bell tower was about a girl who got stood up by her prom date. The self conscious girl was so devastated that she could not bear to live, driving her to commit suicide by hanging herself from the bell tower. Lupita Uribe (’11), one of the few students who have been allowed in the bell tower states, “The bell tower felt strange, like you can feel the history within its walls.” No one may know what else has happened up there throughout the years. Found directly in front of Salinas High we find an inconspicuous building known as Elischer’s Driving School. Bill Casy, manager of Elischer’s told of eerie events that took place during his early to recent episodes of his career. When Bill first started working at Elischer’s, he remembered the weird feeling as he saw old furniture still in place from what use to be a dental office in the 1900s. He confides that one time when he was falling into unconsciousness on an ancient sofa, he saw a black shadow standing over him. He was then incredulous when he felt pressure on his face and neck causing him to use “all his strength” in order to get up. As soon as the incident occurred he threw out the mysterious furniture. He also frequently hears sounds of someone’s footsteps walking up the stairs to the entrance, but when he opens the door no one is in sight. Working nights might not be the best idea for this building; Bill recalls a night when he heard loud music coming from the first floor only to see that it was completely vacant when he went to check it out. “I’m not scared,” he explains. “I think there is a split dimensions that the spirits are living in,” he says as he refers to the movie, The Others.
Old student desks stored away at Elishers Driving School
Blocks from Old Town Salinas, we have 132 Central Avenue, childhood estate of world known writer John Steinbeck and also home to unsolved activity. The Steinbeck house was built over the grounds of what used to be a hospital, but is now a restaurant where volunteers and staff have experienced strange incidents. When arriving for work volunteers put their clothes upstairs hanging up in order to change into their uniform. At the end of their shifts, they would always find their clothes on the floor perfectly folded. The volunteers thought it was a joke and spoke of the incident out loud. The manager over heard and told the volunteers that it wasn’t a joke, but there was a spirit who rearranged items. There have been things disappearing and reappearing in the most bizarre places. An incident occurred when staff found a kitchen utensil in the bathroom sink. People predict that this spirit might be John’s aunt, a notorious prankster who had died from pneumonia at the house. Visitors feel there is a spirit of a woman at the top of the stairs. We can never be too certain of what is fact and fiction in these situations; all we have are our eyes and our imagination. Nonetheless, we might never know what secrets are bared in Salinas’s walls.
“He decapitated her and threw both her body and head into the dark fields.” The alleged haunted bell tower where Jennifer resides
Arts & Entertainment Scream Factor
Krystin Marks & David Saucedo Copy-write Editors Motion pictures, movies, have been coming out since the late 1870s; however; the first horror movie ever made was in 1896 by a French Filmmaker Georges Melies. He named it Le Manoir Du Diable also known as The Devils Castle and it was only about 3 minutes long. Not only was this the first horror movie ever made, but it was also the first vampire movie. The story is about a bat that flies into an old castle who then transforms himself into an evil spirited vampire named Mephistopheles. He then conjures up a young girl and numerous supernatural creatures. One of these creatures he summons up flaunts a crucifix in a pursuit to vanish Mephistopheles forcefully from the castle. It was initially made in an attempt to humor the audience, but instead was made as a horror flick. Since then, thousands of horror movies have been made. What
makes scary movies so scary though? When asked, Gisel-a Velez (‘13) says, “A movie is scary if it shows a lot of blood and torture, and stays on your mind throughout the night. It makes me need a night light”. Does it seem like every year, the horror movies produced are becoming more and more predictable? The basic plot for most horror films is having a killer going around murdering people while others try stopping them. Not always being successful. Another typical scene in horror movies is when the girl goes looking for the killer, or she stands there screaming like if she’s just waiting to die. An example of this plot would be Scream. In the beginning, the killer calls a high school student, Sidney Prescott, on the phone and starts playing with her mind and asking her personal and irrelevant questions. Stupidly, she continues talking to him and answering the phone. Another idiotic scene is when the killer is chasing the girls, but the girls always seem like they aren’t running as fast as they can, and they always have to look back which in turn slows them down. Looking back on it, Scream was very popular at the time of its release. Now, however, it isn’t as great of a movie as others. On the other hand, the movie Saw, is not predicable at all. No matter which one you watch there are always astonishing surprises you never would have guessed. For instance, in the first Saw, the psychotic mastermind ended up being the “dead” man lying in the
middle of the floor. Not many could have known that outcome. When asked what she liked about scary movies Antoniette Turcotte (‘11) says, “Surprises, like when something pops out of no where.” It appears to be that Saw is an extremely successful with the fact of its release of 7 movies and each one never being the same as the other. We asked Amanda Marks, army reserve, what she defined as something scary she says, “When little kids are involved and they become possessed by a demon, or when its true like The Fourth Kind. That is ultimately the scariest.” Obviously, horror movies have come a long way since the 1890s. Our thoughts of horror have evolved overtime, and in the future we will hope to see less predictable movies. However, scary films will never get old for the simple fact that people are always looking for that thrill and the ohh-my-goshness!
Fashion Phases: I love Boobies
These braclets can be seen all over campus.
Carolanne Garibay Photography Editor Not only does the month of October bring exciting events such as Halloween, but is officially designated as Breast Cancer Awareness month. Many organizations have designed products that raise money to help find a cure for cancer. One product, in particular, has begun a trend. ‘I love boobies,’ ‘Check yourself,’ and “I love your boobies’ bracelets
yourself,’ and “I love your boobies’ bracelets are seen on the wrists of many students. What makes these bracelets so popular? Are they worn for the catchy phrases, or to support the fight against breast cancer? While some enjoy accessorizing their wrists with these suggestive bracelets, others wear them to show support in the prevention against breast cancer. While cancer is a serious and frightening issue, these bracelets are an upbeat way to raise awareness, especially among teens. Sometimes the phrase is a positive way to remind us of loved ones who are battling or have passed away from this disease. One woman writes, “I lost my sister to breast cancer a year ago. ‘Pinktober’ makes me incredibly sad/angry/frustrated that, for all the pink in the world, there is still no cure in sight. I first saw one of these on one of my students, and when I saw it, I laughed out loud, especially in thinking about how much my sister would have LOVED these.
I’m so tired of feeling sad about this. Your campaign has given mourners something to smile about. Thank-you.” See Fashion page 7
“Are they worn for the catchy phrases, or to support the fight against breast cancer?
Flashlight Funnies/Artworks The Flashlight welcomes your talent, feel free to stop by room 704 and drop off your own comic, art, cartoon, poem, etc. We also accept them digitally throught facebook at Facebook.com/TheFlashlight or email at SHSTheFlashlight@gmail.com. Please submit your work in pen.We look forward to seeing what the school campus provides to The Flashlight.
Cartoon and Art submitted by Anthony Sarmiento (‘11)
Features Liu and Horner in the Controversial Corner The Debate on Genetic Engineering
“There’s no Gene for Fate” Brittney Horner Feature Editor It lurks from shelves in the supermarket, it threatens the future of competition, and it contours our way of life. Genetic Engineering, also referenced as “genetic modification”, is the human manipulation of an organism’s DNA in a way that does not occur in nature. Most people acknowledge the positives of eliminating disease, accentuating desired traits, and potentially designing perfect beings, but only some are aware of the risks associated with the ecological roulette being played. Few are concerned with the ethics of genetically engineering plants, but even fewer are aware of the potential harm shuffling information between completely unrelated species has. So far scientists have spliced an anti-freeze gene from flounders into tomatoes and strawberries, an insect-killing toxin gene from bacteria into corn and cotton, and even genes from humans into pigs. However, according to Dr. Steinbrecher, gene splicing lacks precision. She writes, “The ‘new’ gene can end up anywhere, next to any gene or even within another gene, disturbing its function or regulation . . . [which] enhances the risks of unpredictable effects.” An example of this was when genes for the color red were placed into petunia flowers. Not only was the color of the petals changed, but the new gene decreased the flower’s fertility and altered the growth of the roots and leaves. There have been altruistic attempts to use genetic engineering to help third world countries by making widespread foods more versatile, such as putting Hepatitis B vaccines in Bananas and Vitamin A in Golden Rice, but altering genes is not a quick fix to the broad issues of world hunger. Rebekkah Tucker, Secretary of Future Farmers of America (FFA), admits that “Although . . . these advancements sound great, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) have raised concern . . . There is probable chance that these laboratory-created crops will crossbreed with natural, wild crops. This will greatly affect the biodiversity in our world, especially when using herbicides. When some herbicides, such as glyphosate, are sprayed onto a field, they kill virtually all living species except for the transgenic crop designed to be resistant to it. Many believe that . . . if this continues to occur, all native plants to that area will be lost.” Another major issue people have with GMO’s is that plants develop resistance to pesticides which is detrimental to beneficial insects. Brian Tokar, a Biophysicist, discusses the issue in his book, Redesigning Life. Tokar claims, “Crops have been engineered to produce a bacterial pesticide toxic to specific types of field pests. Pests can develop resistance to these pesticides. They can harm beneficial insects like ladybugs, honeybees, and monarch butterflies.” For instance, potatoes, one of the first genetically engineered foods, were designed to combat pests, but the negative effects to helpful insects are such that the use of genetically engineered potatoes has declined significantly. In fact, major corporations like McDonald’s
have rejected genetically engineered potatoes altogether. There is also the matter of food allergies. By switching around the DNA, one may unknowingly consume a peanut gene in a non-nut food, which could be fatal. A similar situation has already occurred; what is known as the “Taco Bell Shell Controversy”, corn was recalled because a particular toxin gene spliced in from bacteria made a protein that was likely to cause allergies in humans (New York Times, Sept. 26, 2000). Another terrible possibility as a result of engineering plant DNA is that of biological warfare—using genetically engineered plants to partake in an ultimate food fight in which an entire population could be wiped out by poison purposely hidden inside of food. Many do not, or possibly cannot not, question the ethics of genetically engineering animals because it is the source of so much aid to mankind, such as insulin from pigs to help diabetic patients. However, some have discovered the consequence of these tests on animals. For instance, The Lancet, a British medical journal, published data that showed laboratory rats which were fed genetically engineered potatoes had severe problems with their digestive and immune systems, and the development of their vital organs. Ms. Hess, a respected Statistics teacher at Salinas High School, received her Master’s in Immunogenetics from UC Berkeley. She recounts stories in which the performing of such tests [tests where animals are given potentially harmful treatments in order to prove whether they are or are not okay for humans] is rather inhumane. When it comes to genetically engineering humans, many wonder where it is appropriate to draw the line and whether designing organisms is ethical. Michael Sandel, a Professor of Political Philosophy at Harvard University, contends that designing a baby not only rids the child of its autonomy but redefines parenthood and the concept of unconditional love. Some of the issues that evolve when parents are given control over the DNA of their child are exemplified in the film Gattaca in which a natural man faces competition with various genetically enhanced humans, including his own brother. He narrates, “I belonged to a new underclass, no longer determined by social status or the color of your skin. No, we now have discrimination down to a science.” By genetically enhancing individuals, whether it is by height, intelligence, or even health, many aspects of competition become biased. For example, insurance companies who discover a child has been genetically altered to not possess recessive diseases will charge that individual less than someone whose parents could not afford to have their child genetically modified to eliminate recessive diseases. Genetic engineering interferes with natural selection. Jurassic Park got it right. Dr. Ian Malcolm said, “God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs” in which Dr. Ellie Sattler responds, “Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth…”—just another example of the horrors of genetic engineering. Science must accept that there’s no gene for fate.
“Playing God and Doing It Right” Micheal Lui Online Editor
For every new technological and scientific advancement humanity has, there have been those who fear for the worst. The image of a mad scientist or of a society consumed by its creations has been perpetrated in science fiction movies and novels and has reinforced our doubts. Genetic engineering is considered by many to be unethical, a way for us to “play God”. Yet despite these claims, genetic engineering has much more potential benefits than problems. Disease is one important area where genetic engineering can make a huge difference in the world. With genetic engineering, diseases such as cancer or AIDS which are incurable today could be eliminated. This alone would change the lives of millions for the better and be worth it. Genetic engineering, however, could also fix hereditary diseases and birth defects, ridding future generations of possible suffering. Plants and crops also stand to profit from this technology. By genetically altering them, plants and crops can be made to be more naturally resistant to pests. This would in turn reduce the need and usage of pesticide and herbicide, both which are a detriment to the environment and our own personal health as well as make agriculture more efficient in general, allowing us to meet the food demands of a growing global population. Perhaps the most exciting prospective of genetic engineering is not only curing the ailments humans have, but also making so that we can have better traits. It is here that many people object. Using genetic engineering to improve ourselves is unnatural and tampers with fate they say. If that is the case, then what about everything else we have done to make our lives better? Wheelchairs and braces aren’t “natural” but are consider essential for those who need it. The difference with genetic engineering is that the improvement won’t be external and instead be something inherent to us, thus speeding up the natural process of evolution. It is true that genetic engineering could be abused and cause more harm than good. However, if our society utilizes it responsibily, the benefits would be enormous. Genetic engineering is a double-edged sword but that doesn’t mean it is a danger to us. All it indicates is how dependable we ourselves are to exercising new found power.
The Controversial Corner Responses In response to last months Controversial debate, Christian Ocon (’11) argues that “Just because a substance is legalized does not mean that we will be encouraged to consume it”, it is necessary to consider the message being sent when something is deemed “legal” and the effects legalization will implement on society. The reason something is made (or in this case kept) illegal is because it has been deemed detrimental to society. By legalizing marijuana, there will be advertisements on TV, in magazines, on posters, etc., in an attempt to sell the product, so I ask, are not advertisements a form of promotion?
Features Editors Continued from page 1 The Flashlight staff and I have come up with a reasonable policy that addresses our purpose as your school newspaper we plan to take an initiative too. The Flashlight is responsible to attend to the following: •The Flashlight must include school related articles. •The Flashlight is expected to attempt to increase school spirit as well as aid in unification of the student body and staff at Salinas High School. •The Flashlight must give insight to different views in order to express a variety of opinions with the intention of satisfying the readers. •The Flashlight must ensure that all claims made within the publication are completely factual. •The Flashlight must publish content that is relevant to the newspaper and readership. •The Flashlight must make the effort to excite its audience. •The Flashlight will attempt to get noticed outside of the school in order to entertain and draw in a larger audience than the people affiliated with Salinas High. •The Flashlight will evade generalizing individuals.
The “Check Yourself” Braclets also from Keep a Breast Foundation
•The Flashlight will respect all races equally. •The Flashlight will show no tolerance for the promotion of illegal activities within the publication. •The Flashlight promises to value the privacy of those around it. We have established this strict and reasonable policy in order to provide the reader with the knowledge of how and why our articles are created. I would also like to inform you that The Flashlight is a student run newspaper. This means that our advisor Ms. Olivares can only advise us to follow certain rules and can not intervene in removing articles. Only I have the power to scratch articles I deem unethical. I assure you that I did not hesitate to scratch articles from our first issue. Twenty-two articles were assigned at the beginning and in the end we published eighteen articles. These articles were mainly scratched for having poor grammar, a bad sentence structure, and/or for not making any sense. Finally, I would like to thank the staff and students who have supported The Flashlight up until this point. The Flashlight would like to recognize Mr. Heckmann for giving the student body a journalism class, Ms. Gannon for allowing The Flashlight staff the use of her class-room to conduct our layout,
ASB for starting the whole thing with a generous donation of $800, and last but not least The Flashlight staff who came out on top to produce Salinas High Schools one and only newspaper The Flashlight! ‘Till Next time, Joseph Caballero, Editor-in-Chief
Fashion Continued from page 5 According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women. It is estimated that this year, 200,000 cases will be diagnosed in women, and 40,000 women will die from it. Though many women battle breast cancer, there are rare cases diagnosed in men. Fortunately, over the years, death rates due to breast cancer are declining, and there are over 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States. The Keep a Breast Foundation, the creators of the bracelets, recognizes “every month as breast cancer awareness month,” not only the month of October. The foundation’s mission is “to help eradicate breast cancer by exposing young people to methods of
The 2010-2011 Flashlight Staff excluding a few.
prevention, early detection and support.” Through fundraising, Keep a Breast hopes to “increase breast cancer awareness among young people so they are better equipped to make choices and develop habits that will benefit their long-term health and well-being.” Because of these bracelets, Keep a Breast foundation has become very successful in their campaign to increase breast cancer awareness in adolescents. The foundation has over 22,000 friends on their MySpace page, and over 11,000 members on their Facebook fan page. On MySpace, the foundation states they “are composed of lovers. fighters. dreamers. survivors… action. strength. hope. love. belief in awareness… lovers of boobies.” People have posted their critiques of these bands, and how breast cancer has affected them. When you slip that rubber, “I love boobies’ band upon your wrist, stop and ask yourself, ‘why am I wearing this bracelet?’
Sports Athlete of the Month:
Desiryn Gonzalez Photography Editor Senior athlete, Brian Morton has been recognized as this October’s Athlete of the Month. Brian (’11) is a returning varsity water polo player this year. He has played water polo all four years of high school. Brian is an exceptional athlete and a studious person. Brian has received plenty of recognition and praise for his skills in water polo. Last year, he was awarded most valuable player by Salinas High and T-CAL’s. He also made the Pacific Coast Training team, played on the Stanford Club team, and he participated in the Junior Olympics and received a silver medal. In the previous season, Brian set a school record, scoring a total of 103 goals. It can be unanimously agreed that Brian is very deserving of all his awards. Brian loves the game of water polo and is truly good at it. When Brian was
asked what is necessary to perform so well, he replied, “To be a good water polo player, it doesn’t require size, athleticism, or aggressiveness to the extent that one needs thought.” Brian says he loves the game of water polo because it is a sport that combines individuality and teamwork. He believes the best part of playing though, is having the support of teammates during not only games, but the entire season. School is the one thing that comes as a priority to Brian, over water polo. He takes his studies seriously and works very hard to achieve good grades. After graduating, Brian hopes to go to college and pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. He hopes to go on and receive his Master’s in Microbiology and eventually get a P.H.D. in Immunology. While attending college, Brian plans to continue playing water polo by participating on the water polo team there.
Features A Magical Kingdom Jaime Guzman & Joseph Caballero Advertisement Director & Editor-in-Cheif Is everything that you see, taste, hear, touch, or smell real? Or is it just information interpreted by your brain. Hallucinogens can alter a person’s perception on reality, also referred to as a hallucination. An anonymous student who has experimented with hallucinogens said, “I saw animals, wolves and giraffes.” that of course, were not really there. The drug the student took was salvia, a plant with hallucination properties. It works by blocking signals from the conscience mind to the rest of the body. “I felt it instantly and it felt like waves were ripping through my body…I was lying down on a wheel, spinning on milk.” says another Salinas High student. There are also many other drugs that can do this; PCP and Nitrous Oxide are examples. Plants are not the only living organisms that cause hallucinations; some fungi and animals can cause
hallucinations as well. Though, some hallucinogens, for example the “deadly nightshade”, are extremely toxic and can kill within moments after being consumed. The hallucination the first student experienced was “mild” by his terms, though seeing animals that don’t exist is most likely more than a “mild” experience . If people see something that is not there they can not act according to reality. In doing so taking a hallucinogen drug can not only harm the person taking it, but also the people around them. Halloween night is all about the sweets and goods, but sometimes there are weirdoes out there that will tamper with candy, and a hallucinogenic can be highly apart of this. You are walking down your street trick-ortreating. You are given a candy in which you notice is slightly open. Uncaringly you eat the candy, and immediately notice some
“effects”. What would you do? Tell your parents, a friend, the owner of that house? Or would you take matter into your own hands and contact the police? This is why most parents inspected your candy when you were younger, to protect you from an outsiders harm. On Halloween day remember to keep realism with you and check your candy or you’ll end up seeing the pretty ponies around you with sharp horns running toward you. In the end Halloween should be a fun and enjoyable night, so be safe and have a Happy Halloween.
“...I was lying down on a wheel, spinning on milk.”
A Psychiatric Ward Miguel Jimenez Business Manager “The worst part of being in a Psychiatric Ward is the Doctors,” says a 17 year old patient in an adult mental facility. People in a mental ward need to be carefully watched by trained specialists. There are different levels of monitoring for the more serious of cases. While some may be non-aggresive, there are others that are violent and may be provoked for no reason, in the Encyclopedia OF Mental Disorders, one Dr. says “that a good example would be people with Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED) a disorder characterized by impulsive acts of aggresion that may even be planned”. Although some argue that they don’t deserve or shouldn’t be there, specialists affirm that although people with a mental illness may seem calm or under control, they are likely to be provoked in a way that would make them feel threatened and may hurt
someone unintentionally. There is a story of a man who almost trampled a little girl as he was desperatly running away from the devil that he claimed was chasing him(ExperienceProject. com). There are a lot of issues with it being better to release the calmer patients or the patients with a minor illness so that staff can concentrate on the more severe cases. However, the problem is that they could do harm to themselves or go with complete strangers that are potentially dangerous. Ms. Pratt, a Psychology teacher at Salinas High School, claims that if patients are to be released, it should be handled by trained specialists on a case-by-case basis. Whether patients are released or not Psychiatric Nurses will continue to argue about the patients ability to maintain normalcy in the outside world.
Have A Happy Halloween! The Flashlight Staff would like to thank Ms. Gannon for allowing us to use her classroom for our layout.