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SB 270 Intends to Implement Ban on Plastic Bags: Paper or Paper?

JADE LIEU Staff Writer

“Paper or plastic?” This is the frequently asked question in stores nationwide that provide bags at their checkout stations. But what if stores did not supply the bags at the checkout counter, but rather had customers bring their own? After three unsuccessful attempts to ban single-use plastic bags, California lawmakers compromised to make a bill on Jan. 23, which banned single-use plastic bags from grocery stores. California will be the first state to ban singleuse plastic bags. As a result, Californian shoppers will have to bring their own reusable bags or pay 10 cents for a paper bag at the checkout area. The new bill, formally known as Senate Bill 270, will apply to grocery stores and supermarkets starting July 2015, eventually extending to pharmacies and liquor stores by 2016. “[This bill] is a good idea because it will encourage people to use reusable shopping bags. Single-use plastic bags pollute the environment and use up fossil fuels,” environmental science teacher Daniel Hyke said.

ISSUE 18, VOL. 104


According to a statement by state senator Kevin de Leon in the LA Times, the new proposal will dramatically decrease the number of plastic bags found on beaches. The state will retool manufacturing plants

by tapping into the recycling funds and extract $2 million. The bill will require reusable bags to be at least 20 percent recyclable material

and strong enough to withhold 100 uses, and will be expected to rise to 40 percent of recycled content by the year 2020. According to the LA Times, the 10 cent fee is intended to reimburse the retailers while also encouraging shoppers to bring their own reusable bags. Many argue that the new ban will cause more harm than good, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. Manufacturers of single-use plastic bags will be damaged economically by diminishing the need for workers. This also inconveniences shoppers, as most people rely on the grocers to supply them with plastic bags. Some say that if they buy products from a store, they expect a bag to be given to them for free. “They’re making us pay for paper bags, it wastes our money and not even half the population recycles paper. There will still be litter and waste so it [doesn’t] really solve much,” sophomore Jackie Lam said. MOOR graphic by GENEVIEVE THIPATIMA

South First Street Reverts to Two-Way

SHELLEY LIN Staff Writer

In December 2013, the Alhambra City Council held a meeting in which members approved the decision to revert South First Street back into a two-way street. The change also affected North First Street, which became a one-way street between Main Street and Woodward Avenue. The street was briefly closed for sandblasting, pavement preservation and striping before it returned back to two-way. “I think the two-way [street] is great because it’s easier for drivers to get to places faster and the multileveled parking lot is probably going to be used more,” sophomore Simon Voong said. The changes are meant to help the construction of a multilevel parking structure on North First Street and Main Street, resulting in an increase in traffic, according to the Alhambra Source. Parking will increase in the downtown area during construction of the Mosaic Parking Structure, which is scheduled to be completed by late November, as said during the Alhambra City Council meeting. “I don’t really like the change. Now it is more difficult to get to the other side of the street with all the busy cars,” sophomore Keona Chau said. Angled parking has been removed from South First Street to allow cars more space to drive through. Despite the change to First Street, Second Street will remain a one-way street to divert more cars from Main and increase pedestrians’ safety while crossing the street, according to the Alhambra Source.

Kristie Sham to Represent AHS at 2014 Girls State BARRY CHEUNG Staff Writer

California Girls State is a week-long leadership program of the American Legion Auxiliary Department of California that takes place during the summer. The program was created in 1940 to increase awareness and knowledge of governmental processes while learning about what comes with citizenship. Schools in California are to send one female student a year to become their representative at California Girls State. The delegate is selected by her academic performance, dedication to community service and potential as a leader. This year, AHS’ delegate is junior Kristie Sham. “I am so honored to be able to

be able to represent [AHS] as the Girls State delegate! When I found out, I was incredibly excited because this sounds like a great, unique experience for me to meet students from all [of]

Girls State is “where the young women leaders of today learn to be the leaders of tomorrow,” according to the Girls State Alumnae Foundation. Their goal is to provide an educational opportunity that establishes the ideals and principles of American government for the delegates that attend. In addition, to show the vision that ordinary people are the people working for the betterment of society. “My main goal as a leader is to be reliable and continue working hard to ensure success for those after me. I want to lay the foundation to ensure others in the future will have the opportunities I have had to grow as a youth leader. In the future, I hope to find myself in a community of determined, ambitious and focused learners,” Sham said.

My main goal as a leader is to be “reliable and continue working hard

to ensure success for those after me. - Kristie Sham California. It sounds like a great program and I can’t wait to attend,” AHS’ 2014 Girls State representative Kristie Sham said.

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When Politicians Stop Caring About Health Care CAROLINE REN Editor in Chief With President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address and House Representative Cathy McRodgers’ response, health insurance plans are once again shoved into the limelight. However, what many fail to address in the squabble over the Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as Obamacare, is that the American health care system is far more deeply flawed than is commonly presented. Hospital bills charge for tests, dressings, care by length of stay, drugs, therapy and various other services that rack up thousands of dollars in charges that devastate the uninsured and underinsured. There is no set standard for how much a hospital service costs. According to Forbes, the average cost of treatment for a patient at the Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in New York is $7,044, while the average cost at the Bayonne Hospital Center in New Jersey is $99,690. The two hospitals are less than 20 miles away from each other. In a society driven by greed, both hospitals and private insur-

ance corporations have disregarded ethical standards. When hospital costs go up, so do insurance premiums, resulting in net gain for both parties. Neither really checks or balances the other as it should, meaning that costs simply keep steadily increasing while patients must either pay hefty sums for their treatments or be denied care because they cannot afford to pay. Compared to other nations, America charges far more for hospital care, to an extent that has become downright ludicrous. According to the Washington Post, each day a person spends in an American hospital could mean anywhere from another $1,514 to $12,537 added onto the bill, while the cost per day in Argentina, Spain, South Africa, the Netherlands, France and Chile is under $1,000. Despite the enormous disparity between costs

in the U.S. and costs elsewhere, our health care is not significantly better in terms of quality,

ing on hospitals, physicians, dentists, pharmaceuticals and administration in the health care system is higher in the U.S. than in many other OECD nations as well. What House Republicans need to realize is that instead of fruitlessly attempting to repeal an act that they have failed to remove or defund in over 40 instances, they should be working together to fix a corrupt health care system that takes advantage of the lack of governmental regulations. Making sure that citizens are adequately insured is an important issue, but Congress has become so fixated and single-minded about Obamacare and even the same brand-name that they repeatedly waste time drugs that are used elsewhere can that could be spent figuring out cost up to five times more here. how to centralize hospital prices Something to keep in mind the way other countries do so is that not all countries spend that costs don’t fluctuate wildly. equally, since income disparities In essence, the root of Amerdo exist, meaning that residents ica’s health care problem resides of richer nations will spend more. in more than how citizens come However, according to the Organ- about their insurance, and until isation for Economic Co-opera- Congress learns how to do its job, tion and Development (OECD), we are left waiting for change, Americans have around the same watching as the U.S. continues to income level as people from fall behind in progress and hoping Switzerland, yet we spend $3,000 with our fingers crossed that the more per person per year on health hospitals we should be able to trust expenditure than they do. Spend- don’t drive us into bankruptcy.

Bribery: Short-term Gain or Long-term Pain? CINDY LUO Staff Writer Who isn’t motivated by certain incentives? Some parents promise their kids rewards such as a delectable meal, longer time on the Internet or a new album for the excellent grades they earned or chores completed without nagging or complaints. Following the famous motto “no pain, no gain,” this educational mode uses a previously determined gain to encourage children to reach their goals through hard work. Generations of parents have offered rewards to kids. However, the concept of bribery brings up questions as to what happens when kids solely focus on the incentives,

ignoring the actual learning process. In other words, rewards are causing children to strive for a prize, and not for their futures. Not all kids are mature enough to grow without wanting or desiring more to stay motivated. Bribery and making deals with kids provide short-term gains but longterm pain. A bribe stops a negative behavior such as procrastination or leaving work half done, but over time kids may start to rely on the prize and forget the value behind hard work. If this attitude is instilled at a young age, it will most likely stay with the kids throughout their lives, as they go through motions for a paycheck at a job, instead of further improving themselves or working toward things they love.

Motivation should come from within and work should be done for its own rewards, such as the satisfaction and pride of accomplishing things, overcoming obstacles and a deeper understanding of responsibility. An innate drive for high achievement and a thirst for knowledge should be the incentive instead of a material object. Well-deserved praise is a better motivator than any material reward that parents can provide kids with. A resultant sense of competence and mastery from completing challenging tasks should be reward in itself, but compliments can also help motivate kids to continue working hard, especially throughout difficult times.


Once Upon a Time OLIVIA CHEUNG Editor in Chief At one point in my life, children’s books were all I knew. I spent my summer days scouring the library, collecting books to read in my favorite corner in the children’s section. I remember singing the rhymes and laughing at the characters’ obliviousness. Eventually, though, I grew up and was told that the books I once loved were “too young” for me; I was taught to dissect Dickens and Faulkner instead, focusing on how character development reinforced themes. Analyzing complex literature is an astounding feat, but one shouldn’t dismiss the importance of children’s books. While the former may utilize motifs and SAT vocabulary and the latter prefer colored pictures and size 24 text, they both communicate critical messages to their audiences. A prime example would be Dr. Seuss’ Oh! The Places You’ll Go! Though I admit the rhymes are what kept my seven-year-old attention, its message is what reassured my clueless 17-year-old self. As a college-bound senior, I’m asked every moment, by friends and family alike, what college I want to attend or which career I want to invest in—questions that I have no answers for. Oh! The Places You’ll Go! was a muchneeded reminder about the direction my life is gearing toward. A direction. As long as I remain in motion, there’s no real loss. So, the next time you’re at the library, visit the children’s area. Shamelessly browse until you find a favorite and proudly check it out. There’s no age restriction to learning life lessons. MOOR graphics by SIMON ZHAO

The Abuse and Misuse of Freedom JOSEPH NEY-JUN Staff Writer The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights grants freedom of speech, but nowhere does it include freedom of harassment. Over the past few years, an animal rights activist group named “Progress for Science” has done more than harass the UCLA science department. The group’s name is actually quite deceiving, as they are actually out to hinder scientific progress, experimentation on primates being the primary focus of their protests. The group has employed violent protests in the past, such as firebombing the houses of professors, according to Speaking of Research. Recently, 45 members of the UCLA community rose up and protested the protesters. In 2008, UCLA dealt with groups similar to Progress for

Science like the UCLA Primate Freedom Project, and the Animal Liberation Front. The UCLA Newsroom reported that the Liberation Front publicly advocated violence to stop the animal experimentation. The Newsroom also reports that the Los Angeles Superior Court ordered them to stop. While they were forced to halt their activities, this one court order did not stop groups like Progress for Science from continuing the same tactics. Constitutional or not, it is not right to violently harass or show total disrespect to anyone. Freedom of speech is a license to speak freely about one’s own ideas intelligently, not to verbally abuse individuals as a means of protest. Many more of these types of groups are squandering their First Amendment rights by targeting individuals rather than intelligently challenging them.



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Varsity Basketball Cruises Past Bell Gardens, Winning Consecutive Games


COUP DE GRÂCE In the few remaining minutes of the final quarter, AHS senior Elijah Collins unhesitingly sinks his free throw, bringing yet another point boost to the already winning Moors. SIMEON LAM ed, the crowd stood up to Moors had just defeated Staff Writer give a standing ovation for the Bell Gardens Lancers the performance by the Al- to even the series between As the final buzzer sound- hambra varsity squad. The the two teams on Jan. 31

This win was important not only in the standings, but also for the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) qualifications. Facing Bell Gardens, who defeated them by one point in overtime in their last matchup, the Moors looked to avenge that loss at home. After all of the pregame festivities and warm-ups, the Moors took the court, coming out with a fast start. However, foul trouble hurt the Moors, with three starters picking up two fouls each. After leading by as much as 12, the Lancers then cut the lead to four heading into the second quarter. With the score 20-16 in favor of the Moors, both teams traded baskets with the game staying fairly close. By halftime, the Moors led, 39-37. After adjustments were made in the locker room,

the Moors came out strong again. They stepped up both their offensive and defensive intensity, giving up 12 points in the third quarter to the Lancers. They scored 24 in this quarter, capped off by three consecutive 3-point field goals by their guards. Starting off the fourth quarter, the Lancers made a late push, cutting the deficit down to only seven with about six minutes to go. But that was as close as they would get, as the Moors subbed their starters back into the game. Guards Miles Ford and Elijah Collins led the Moors to the finish by hitting key free throws and driving for layups. With about a minute to go, the starters were finally pulled, receiving a booming cheer from the stands. With a final score of 86-68, the Moors pre-

vailed in their second matchup with the Lancers. “The team fought through adversity and showed a great deal of discipline throughout the game,” captain Ricky Martinez said. “We locked down players and played as a team.” The Moors are now advancing forward after beating both the San Gabriel Matadors and the Bell Gardens Lancers. “This game [showed] how big a threat we really are in league,” captain Ryan Gerardo said, “I think we [will] build off this win by staying strong defensively and offensively.” Despite this momentum, the team lost 61-71 to longtime rivals, the Mark Keppel Aztecs. The Moors currently have a season record of 3-4, which ranks in third place in the Almont League standings.

Sochi Winter Olympics Receives Ambivalent Responses Due to Security Threat WESLEY TSAI Staff Writer In January of 1924, France held the world’s first ever Winter Olympics. Now, ninety years later, we have the 2014 Winter Olympics, which will be held in Sochi, Russia, where the snow has yet to fall. However, there have been major disputes among the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and the Circassians, a group of Adyghe people native to Caucasus. The Circassians demanded Russia to cancel

the Olympics or apologize for the 19th century deaths that the Circassians viewed to be a massacre. Two centuries ago, Tsarist forces killed tens of thousands of Circassians and hundreds of thousands more were driven to exile. The Circassians feel as if the IOC are having the Olympics on a burial ground and requested the location to be changed. If these demands are not met, some have threatened to fight back with violence. However, this is not the only issue. Many threats have been sent in to the

IOC. The Winter Olympics are being held in a country with an active insurgency capable of coordinating attacks, two of which were suicide bombings in December. Within seven months, the Chechen, a Caucasian ethnic group of the Nakh people, have issued two statements targeting the Olympics. According to NBC News, these threats are meant to be revenge for the blood that has been shed by the Tsarists whether it be in Afghanistan, Somalia or Syria. Vladimir Putin, Rus-

sia’s fourth and current president, has stated that he has increased security by 60,000 police officers and that there will be maximum security during the two-week span of the Winter Olympics to ensure the safety of both the fans and the athletes involved in the Games. “We have a perfect understanding of the scope of the threat and how to deal with it and how to prevent it,” Putin said, according to New York Times. Although Putin stated that he knows how to

cope with the problems, some people disagree. “I believe that even with so much security, the safety of the people is still endangered. They’re not only going to be physically damaged, but mentally too. They’ll have the constant worrying of whether or not the attack will occur,” senior Vivian Fan said. Professional athletes such as Dustin Brown, an American hockey player, and Julia Mancuso, an American alpine ski racer, also feel that the event is potentially unsafe for

athletes and spectators. “Anybody who’s not concerned is probably lying, I think it’s fair to say there’s some concern there,” Brown said. However, foreign delegates around the world voiced different reactions. “We are coordinating with them. We’ve looked at their plans, I think we have a good sense of the security that they’re putting in place to protect not only the athletes themselves, but also visitors there.” President Barack Obama said, according to The Guardian.

Michael Williams, losing returners due to academic ineligibility and having a team comprised primarily of freshman this year were the two main challenges this season presented. “As a team, we have grown up. They are better now than they were two months ago. We do have a long way to go, but the potential and diligence is there for next season,” Williams said. can each motivate one another and hold each other responsible for the overall performance, then that is unique to them. Whichever adapts to the team, captain or no captain, is perfectly acceptable. However, a team’s success and failures cannot be attributed to one person. It’s each player’s task to find their way to work together in crunch time. Only then can the team find their unique dynamic.

Wrestling Team Ends Season Fourth in League, Qualifying 10 to CIF KAYIU WONG Staff Writer The AHS wrestling team is typically one of the dominant powers during the winter season of Almont League. The Moors faced a losing season for the first time in four years, ending with a record of 4-5. However, during their league finals on Feb. 1, the team fought hard

in qualifying for the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) preliminaries. Held through a tournament process, league finals determined the top three athletes from each of the 14 wrestling weight classes throughout the six schools in Almont League. These athletes ultimately advance from Almont League to the first round of CIF games. From Alhambra, ten wres-

tlers qualified and will be advancing. From previous years, past performances made the Moors honorable contenders in CIF. “The team really stepped up during finals. Everyone fought hard dur-

ing their matches and I was surprised how tough they were performing. I am very proud of them

[...] I could tell they wanted a place in CIF,” captain Peter Sosa said.

Before the league championships, the team was victorious in the season’s last few matches. The Moors defeated the San Gabriel Matadors on Jan. 22 with a score of 57-18 and the Mark Keppel Aztecs on Jan. 29 with a score of 27-3. Overall, the team concluded the season in fourth place behind Schurr, Montebello and Bell Gardens. According to Head Coach

high school teams often designate one or a few players as the captain of their sport. Many argue about the purpose of what seems to be a figurehead title, but it appears as though captains can be determining factors in a group’s journey. An ideal captain plays the role of a coach’s assis-

tant. They must be knowledgeable of their sport, as any other player must be. However, what separates a captain from any other player is their ability to inspire their team. They are the ones that should be at the forefront of any huddle to encourage their team to give their best effort. They are the ones that should be giving pep talks when the players feel defeated or too tired to continue. But most importantly, they are the ones to hold

their players accountable. Captains have a responsibility to be able to read a team’s performance and carefully approach players. They should neither scold nor pamper the team. As with any leadership role, these commanders must be able to both compliment and criticize others without being perceived as a pushover or a nitpicker. These defining aspects lay out the proper role of a captain. Executed perfectly, a captain can push

their team to success, if not in the win column of a scorecard, in the amount of effort established. However, what appears to be a timeless role may not be addressed in every team. Some groups find they benefit without the presence of a set captain. It’s worth noting that team chemistry plays a role in determining if a dominant leader is necessary. If a team openly agrees that they can interact with each other well enough that they

Captains: To Lead or Not to Lead? KEVIN KONG Sports Editor Leadership has always been an abstract idea. People find themselves struggling to define it. More frequently, people wonder about its role in success. Similar to those in professional leagues,

Peter Sosa MOOR photo by SHANNON KHA

February 2014 - Week 2  
February 2014 - Week 2