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Volume 50, Issue no. 5 • Rio Americano • Sacramento, CA • January 27, 2012

Online at: •



@RioMirada •





Juniors discover family histories see pg 2


SOPA internet law deserved its defeat see pg 7



photo by jarett hartman/editor-in-chief Teachers Jennie Scott and Jason More go through employee ballots for whether or not to change start time. The results came after months of compiling research and presentations to faculty.

JARETT HARTMAN EDITOR-IN-CHIEF After an official vote taken by the Rio faculty determined that there would be no change in start time for the 2012-2013 school year. The final vote was 57 percent in favor of not moving the start time, while 43 percent of teachers were in favor of moving the start time by 30 minutes. Despite a straw poll taken in December showing over 60 percent of teachers support, those opposed

to the change attacked the research presented by the parent group STEPS in the weeks that followed the poll. In addition, a survey mailed home to parents found overwhelming opposition. For STEPS members, the results have been “disappointing.” “Although we are disappointed with the final outcome, we can understand it and we’re extremely grateful to all of the teachers for their time, professionalism, and careful consideration

of the science in order to put students first,” STEPS representative Joy Wake said. Teacher response to the change has been mixed throughout the process, while both parent and student input has been generally in favor of keeping the current start time, according to Mirada survey data. “There’s people who set their schedules around school times. Not just the students, but also parents and siblings,” computer teacher Tom Sullivan said. “For me, I have to commute

a lot to get her, and I’d just be sitting in traffic longer.” However, other teachers don’t agree with the opposition. “Whatever is best for the kids,” Physical Education teacher Brian Davis said. “I feel that students should’ve had more voice.” Since last February, the STEPS committee has lobbied for a later start time. The official vote came after months of compiling research, holding informational forums, and presenting to faculty.

STATE SENATOR LOBBIES FOR DIGITAL TEXTBOOKS Representative tries to reduce cost with new online materials


Sophomore skis and releases albums see pg 9

Many students and parents agree that textbook prices are too high, but soon they might be free. Darrell Steinburg, the President Pro Tempore in the Senate, wants to create a digital textbook library for California students by 2014. Steinburg hopes to use $25 million to provide

these materials for 50 lower-division courses at UCs, CSUs and community colleges. This library would be available online for free or available in print for $30 or less. According to the College Board, students spend upwards of $1,000 on books. Of course, the burden can be lessened by renting, buying used, or downloading digital textbooks but not all textbooks are available these ways. Despite the benefits

of helping students lower costs, the plan faces many obstacles. Professors worry the free e-books won’t meet standards or the books won’t suit the needs of all types of students. However, these problems are still apparent in traditional textbooks. Open-source textbooks, another option for many students, can be freely distributed and edited but are generally lower quality than copyrighted books. • Due to the length of

textbooks and the expertise needed to write them, it is hard to control the quality of these books. Early last week, Apple made a push in the direction of digitizing textbooks. Apple’s iBook 2 is an application for the iPad that allows textbook author to sell textbooks directly to students. According to Global Equities Research, SEE TEXTBOOKS • Page 3

While standardized test scores have been a source of concern for Rio, test results from College Board provide a strong reason to believe that Rio has had success in recent years. Rio has risen to one of the top three in the San Juan Unified District with regards to scores on the SAT. In first place is Mira Loma High School with an average SAT score of 1853. On their heels is Rio Americano with 1706. Trailing in third is Bella Vista High School with 1633. These scores, in addition to statewide standardized testing, create a more holistic view of the testing achievements of Rio. Scores on the Advanced Placement tests in August have also peaked this year. Compared to the rest of the state of California, Mira Loma, El Camino, and Rio Americano scored much higher than the rest of the competition. On average, 73 percent of Rio scored high enough for college credit. The only two higher at earning college credit are Mira Loma with 91.7 percent and Bella Vista with 74.4 percent. It is also important to point out that out of all the schools in the San Juan Unified School District, Rio Americano has the most students taking AP tests with 35.2 percent of the student population filing into the Little Gym and Library in early May. “I think it proves that our school it hard working,“ senior Heather Horton said. Fellow senior Hailey Ferko attributed to the success to multiple factors. “I think students come to Rio with intelligence and drive but I think there are programs that help strengthen study skills,” she said. Despite recent questioning of the testing abilities of our high school, these nationwide tests put perspective to our academic achievements. With Advanced Placement and SAT scores on the rise, Rio Americano can expect future success with other standardized test scores.

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Annual heritage project helps third-year students learn about their past ROBIN HWANG & JOHN FERRANNINI MIRADA STAFF The annual junior Family Heritage Project has caught juniors collecting old photos and interviewing their grandparents, all to discover their family’s links to the past. “My great-grandfather, whose name is Huey Butler, owned a small liquor store in Longview, Texas,” junior Sade Butler said. “He sold moonshine to support his family during Prohibition.” As part of the project, students made scrapbooks in which they included research on their primary country of origin, family stories, traditions, recipes, photographs of their families, and interviews of their oldest living relatives. After turning their long research about their family to their teachers, students in Miss Scotts’ and Seibel’s English classes had heritage parties on Jan 10 that gave good opportunity to present their families’ own cultural recipe and have shared any unique culture of various countries. While students enjoying eating all the different cuisines of the world, they presented the history of the cuisine and how it is related to their family history. Some students entertained the class by dancing a traditional Greek dance. Alex Remiticado, who is Greek, showed Greek dance along with other classmates who are also Greek. Soon later, other students in Ms. Seibel’s class started to learn dance and had fun. “The heritage party is really cool to see other people’s heritage project. It’s a good way to know the person and person’s background,” said Taylor Coggeshall. Junior Caroline Stauffer found out one of her ancestors tried to assassinate Adolf Hitler in an event which inspired the movie Valkyrie. “My ancestor was Claus Von Stauffenburg, who tried to kill Adolf Hitler by setting up two bombs in one of Hitler’s meetings,” said Stauffer. “However, he failed to assassinate Hitler because one of the bombs that was in a suitcase was moved during the meeting and Hitler lived.” Some students discovered the details of their ancestors who came to America. “My family were farmers who immigrated from Portugal and came all the way to Sacramento to have a better life,” junior Heather Prizmich said. “I still celebrate my Portuguese heritage every year by going to the Portuguese festival in Clarksburg, California.” Other families didn’t come to

Students share harvest from the Family Tree

America until recently. Junior Ninos Alkhon immigrated from Iraq when he was a baby. “After I was born on Oct 9, 1994, my family decided living in Baghdad was not a suitable place to live because the killings of Christians was increasing and the fall of Iraq was becoming clearer after the Gulf War, ” said Alkhon. “So my parents planned to smuggle out of country.” Alkhon’s parents hired a man to drive for the family to past the borders. They reached a point where a guard wanted to stop Alkhon family so he shot at the car to scare them. Nevertheless, the driver kept driving. After this brush with death, they got through the border but they had to hide jewelry, money, and Alkhon’s father’s work papers because guards would take it. “My mother packed her wedding video, and the guards had to sit and watch the entire video to make sure that there wasn’t any intelligence being leaked.” said Alkhon. “Finally, the guards let my family go and that’s when my journey to America began.” Junior Stephanie Whalen told her story. “My family and myself come from Palermo, Sicily, Italy. When I came to this country, I learned how different my family was,” she said. “We were introduced to spaghetti and meatballs, which to us

authentic Italians, is quite appalling. We were also introduced to grocery stores, which are so much larger than smaller bakeries and delis that we were accustomed to. My family still keeps all of its traditions and language, but we’ve also learned to adapt to become Americans. I’m very proud to say I am Sicilian American.” “When interviewing my mom, I learned that she grew up with a maid in the house,” junior David Behrmann said. “Apparently, it was common to have a maid in the house to clean the house, etc. She also had tons of cats and lived in a large house on a big piece of land which she could go out and explore whenever she wanted. I found a resemblance of myself in my mom in that she loved to be outside and active just like myself. However, it is much more expensive now to have such a big part of land as a backyard, so I just explore where I go.” “It was a good opportunity to learn about my ancestors of generations from the past,” junior Sachi Britto said. “It is important to look back your family history and learn about your roots, especially when we’re living in a time when most people don’t know a good amount of information about their family.”

Devin Farrell

Kelly Hou

On my mother’s side, I still have Nana Foxx, my great grandmother, who is 96 years old. So her cousin Charles married the daughter of the man who invented the polio vaccine. His name was Dr. Jonas Salk. My great grandfather, Michael J. Foxx, played in the minor leagues for the New York Yankees Farm Team. Nana Foxx skied to school during winter time because she lived in Vermont.

My grandfather on my mom’s side was a diplomat from Taiwan. He was sent to different countries for work, one of them was the Phillipines where my mother was born, and eventually Panama where they would settle and where my mom met my dad. My other grandpa died before my dad was born in 1972. I’ve heard various stories about the cause of his death that there is no way to figure out the truth. Some say he was playing football when he got hit so hard on the chest that

photo by ella isaguirre From top to bottom: Junior Alex Remiticado teaches his fellow classmates how to perform a Greek dance. Students bring food from their culture to share with others. Junior Courtney Bigelow looks throgh her heritage scrapbook.

he broke two ribs. Others say he had cancer, was stoned to death for trying to escape China, or died because of a superstition.

Colette Hodges

My family was well-known and respected throughout Sacramento. I did not realize my grandfather (mom’s dad) and my own father were so influential. I was surprised to learn the buildings and people my grandpa and dad were connected to. I am proud of them, and I hope I can be like them when I’m older.

Molly DuPont

While writing my heritage project, I examined my purpose. By looking back to old journals, poetry, and diaries I had written, I was able to pinpoint the day, place, and moment that a cause became my life’s purpose. Since then, that cause has transformed my family into an accepting, liberal, and open unit. We have been different since the moment homophobia first exposed itself to me. And out of the hateful reality of its existence, we have grown something beautiful out of love.


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The new semester has brought a new ceramics teacher to Rio. Rene Worley took over for Susan Morrison, who is now filling Worley’s old position at Del Campo. Worley has taught ceramics, beginning and advanced drawing and painting, digital photography and photoshop, studio art, and, for five years, elementary art. However, ceramics has a special meaning for Worley. “Ceramics feels like life to me,” she said. “What I mean by that is that life is both fragile and enduring. We must nurture this ancient medium and coax it into beauty.” Adds Worley, “I also like that it can be functional as well aesthetic. More than anything, I like that students are compelled to create with it. It is the collective unconscious of the art world.” Worley’s husband, English teacher Matthew Valencich, also works at Rio. “It is easy to work with someone who is my best friend,” she

said. This will be Worley’s 13th year teaching. Worley attended Tulare Union High School in Tulare, where she took art classes for four years. “When I was a junior, I started taking ceramics, art, and art his-

specialist),” Worley said. During this time she worked at Howe Avenue, Kenneth Avenue, and Twin Lakes elementary schools. “I then got the ceramics position at San Juan High School and was there for five years,” she said. “I then was at Encina for one year and then Del Campo for one and a half years. Now finally, and decidedly lastly, Rio Americano.” Her predecessor Morrison had been serving as a long-term substitute last semester, and was not eligible to apply for the position. She is now filling out the year in Worley’s former position at Del Campo. Leslie Cusick, the school’s longtime ceramics teacher, died of brain cancer in October. When asked why she chose Rio, Worley said, “I came to Rio because of several factors: better facilities, supportive staff, involved parents, close to home, husband is here and daughter will be here, and last but certainly not least, the best students in the district.”

Ceramics feels like life to me SUSAN WORLEY

tory at the local community college in Visalia,” she said. “The idea [of becoming a teacher] originally stemmed from my parents when I was in college that I would be good at teaching,” Worley said. “And as many kids go, I promptly went another direction, which in my case was to train to be a chef and later, pastry chef.” However, Worley later went on to become an art teacher. “I first started teaching as a TECAT (elementary travelling art

photo by edmond yaghoubian/mirada staff

HORSE BACK RIDER JUMPS OVER HER COMPETITION TAYLOR COTTINGIM MIRADA STAFF How long have you been riding horses? I have been riding horses for almost 4 years. When did you first start? I started riding horses when I was 10 years old. How did you first discover horseback riding? About 5 years ago my dad was dating a horseback riding trainer named Aimee. One day she took me out to the barn and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve never been so passionate about something and I can’t imagine my life without horses. What makes riding truly special? Horseback riding is a unique sport because you’re either natural at it or you’re not. It also keeps you out of trouble and keeps you physically fit. Do you have a particular favorite horse to ride? I’ll never forget my favorite horse, Natalia, because she was more than a horse, she was one of my best

friends. She was the most athletic horse I’ve ever ridden and I jumped her up to 4’7’’, which wasn’t even her maximum height.

Riley Benvenuti, 10

Do you plan to pursue this as a career? As soon as I turn 18 I’m going to become a professional horseback rider and trainer. Hopefully I’ll be able to open my own business someday too. What are your future goals of this sport? The goals I want to reach with this sport are becoming a professional, becoming a trainer, to go to the Olympics and open my own training barn. How do you keep active and involved? Our barn goes to about 15 horse shows a year, I work for Aimee at all the shows, and school all the clients’ horses, but I only bring my horse to about 5 shows a year. We go to local shows in Elk Grove and Rancho Murieta and we also go to shows as far as LA, Sonoma and Menlo.

photo courtesy of riley benvenuti

TEXTBOOK: Paperback books may be a thing of the past FROM Page 1 a company that tracks Apple’s performance, more than 350,000 textbooks were sold in the first three days. The firm also estimated that it will cut production cost by 80%, lowering the price of textbooks significantly. Steinburg is trying to get traditional publishers to help, but the textbook industry claims to have already made strides in lowering costs for students. Consumers previously advised the industry to develop new licensing agreements and online content. Publishers are reluctant to lessen the burden

further. Steinburg hopes such a policy will become the norm. “What we need here is a statewide push to say this is the policy of the state of California,” Steinburg said. Nonprofits and private companies have already started to add additional titles that are currently being used in college classrooms. Steinburg hopes traditional publishers, college faculty, and foundations will contribute to the proposed system, submitting bids to create new content.

photo by shauna milesi/editor-in-chief Sophomore Gabe Saca holds on to the vandergraph in Mr. Baird’s fifth period physics class, causing his hair to stick straight up. This experiment is one that takes place every year and is meant to teach the students about electricity by getting them involved in a fun way.

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photo by mike mahoney/mirada staff Senior Thomas Snider stands behind the counter of his workplace, Capital City Loan and Jewelry on Auburn Boulevard. The pawn shop provides Snider with many memorable moments, Snider says.

TOMEK BURAS MIRADA STAFF Pawn shops: sleazy places where thugs can sell stolen property. This is, of course, a common misconception, as popular shows like “Pawn Stars” on the History Channel have provided the general public with a more pleasant perspective of pawn shops. Senior Thomas Snider knows this better than most anyone. He works at Capital City Loan & Jewelry, a local pawn shop. “I’ve been working there for over a year,” he said. “I’ve learned a lot from the pawn shop.” He enjoys learning how to communicate and deal with people,

even when they present somewhat undesirable situations. Capital City has a few locations. The shop at 5656 Auburn Blvd. specializes in tools and large appliances, although it also stocks a variety of musical instruments (especially guitars), iPods, lap tops and jewelry. “We just had a run on big-screen TVs when student loans came in,” Snider said. One of the most interesting parts of the job is the people Snider works with and the costumers he meets, he said. “The guys who work here are always cracking jokes,” Snider said, while getting his photo taken for the Mirada. One co-working asked him if his picture was going on a calen-

dar of pawn shop workers. “You going to be February?” he asked. The wide range of customers has proved to be an interesting experience for him. “I see a lot of different characters in there,” Snider said. Also, with the rising popularity of pawn shops, business is good, Snider said. But the recession and slow economic recovery have been a mixed blessing. “With shows like ‘Pawn Stars,’ pawn shops have been brought to a brighter light and people have realized that their item are safe with us,” he said. “However, many people think we’re doing great because of the recession, but the fact is that we’re getting hurt too. Less people

PRICES RISE AGAIN FOR UC’S CHRISTINA SIEVING MIRADA STAFF Over the last ten years, college tuition has more than doubled at most California colleges, making it increasingly harder for students and families to pay for a college education. A current database shows that two-thirds of California’s largest colleges charge at least twice as much as they did ten years ago. The database, which looked at 200 California schools, revealed that the average increase of college tuition was 123 percent. For example, tuition at local school Sacramento State rose from $1,874 to $5,195, while UC Davis rose from $4,072 to $11,958. In the past decade, California has had the highest rise in tuition compared to other states. With college tuition on the rise, high school seniors are nervous

about how it will affect them when they go to college. “Personally I think it sucks,” senior Katherine DuPont said. “Any normal personal cannot pay for that. You can take out all these loans, you can get scholarships, but a lot of people can’t even get through all four years, especially with siblings. Even with grants and stuff, you’re going to be in debt for a long time.” DuPont’s older sister, who is currently a junior in college, has experienced the high increase of tuition firsthand. “[She] has to work hard to keep her grades up because she needs a 3.5 grade point average to continue getting the grants she’s getting, so that’s a huge stressor for her,” DuPont said. Some students are considering private schools because they offer a wider range of financial aid. “That’s why I want to go to a private school,” senior Ian Hayward-

Balash said. “They can afford better financial aid packages for their students, generally speaking, so I would prefer to go private because I can’t afford California tuition.” In May, prices are expected to rise as a result of a $100 million mid-year budget cut from the state. As a result, prices at community colleges are expected to rise ten dollars from their current $36 per unit. With tuition at its highest, students are relying heavily on loans, leaving many of them in debt for years after graduating. About 56 percent of students who earned bachelor’s degrees at public colleges in 2009-2010 graduated with debt, with an average burden of $22,000, with 65percent at private nonprofit schools graduating with an average debt load of $28,100. With college tuition increasing at high rates, it will likely become an even bigger problem in the future.

are picking their stuff up, but at the same time less people are coming in to buy stuff.” Pawn shops work by providing short-term loans to costumers who offer their belongings for collateral. The shops are often popular with people who lack credit for a traditional loan. Interest rates are similar to those of a high-rate credit card. If they do not repay the loan the pawn shop can sell the objects. Snider believes pawn shops are a growing industry. “People can find great deals on things ranging from high-end jewelry to tools to electronics to bikes. We basically have everything except for guns and kitchen appliances. Those are gross.”

Pawn Shop Facts Customer Statistics 51% Female 49% Male 6% Asian 14% Latino 21% African American 59% White 31% New Customer 69% Repeat Customer Source psychology today

UC APPLICATIONS UNAFFECTED BY LARGE TUITION INCREASES MAX FENG MIRADA STAFF The increase in tuition hasn’t stopped students on their road to a higher education. It may be presumed that when the prices dramatically increase in the UC system, the amount of applicants will go down. Yet this dramatic increase in price has not damaged the amount of applicants. In fact, 161,000 people who applied in the UC system, with a 19% increase in freshmen applicants. Senior Victoria Bergeron said the rise in tuition didn’t make her reevaluate her college choices. “I knew tuitions for UC’s were increasing, but regardless I still applied because I worked too hard to not apply now,” Bergeron

said. With state budgets expected to be cut even further, the UC’s tuition will most likely continue to rise. Currently only 7% of students at UC’s are from outside of California, but in a attempt to raise more money, schools have increased the amount of advertisement outside of the state. Increasing the number of out of state students in the University of California system would benefit the schools revenue greatly considering the fact that nonresidents pay $36,000 in tuition while residents pay only $13,000. That raises the question: when will the price of education in the UC system reach a point at which students stop applying? This is a question that many hope will never be answered.



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New law regarding gay history in schools is slow to get moving

Schools foster cheating

KATHERINE DUPONT MIRADA STAFF On July 14th, Jerry Brown signed a bill, requiring public schools to add the history of sexual minorities to their curriculum. Under the SB48 law, the California Board of Education and public school districts must acquire text books and/or other supplemental material that consists of contributions from sexual minorities. As of January 1st, the SB48 law was put into effect. Governor Jerry Brown says, “History should be honest,” strongly supporting this new law. This new curriculum will not be implanted into text books and into the hands of students until 2015. For the time being, supplemental material is being sent to public school districts. Teachers have yet to get this supplemental material. “The history teachers have not been given any materials or direction on teaching gay history,” US history teacher Maria Deville said. “I am not sure they know what they are going to do.” The law has left much confusion for some school districts, for there has been little state guidance on what material to teach.

photo by elina zhuk/mirada staff Teacher Gary Blenner teaches his AP US history. Blenner will have to change his classes to fit the new curriculum this year.

The California Department of Education has not laid out specific curriculum, the state officials leaving the door open to school districts on how they wish to comply. “When we discuss the Civil Rights unit, I can incorporate the issue of gay rights and discrimina-

Gay History Timeline The gay and lesbian community has influenced many events in history. Now, some of these events will be incorporated into the pubic school class room and curriculum. Here are some of those events.

June 27, 1969

Police in New York City raided the Stonewall Inn, a Greenwich Village gay bar. Three nights of rioting took place and the homosexual community fought back against the government-sponsored system that persecuted sexual minorities. The

Stonewall Riots became the defining event that marked the start of the gay rights movement around the world.

November 1977

Harvey Milk became the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California, when he won a seat on the San Fransisco Board of Supervisors.

November 7, 1978

Proposition 6, also known as the Briggs Initiative, was the failed initiative that would have banned gays, lesbians, and anyone who supported gay rights from working in public schools.

tion towards the homosexual community and also their contributions,” says Deville. Gay rights advocate groups such as Equality California now keep a close eye on districts, making sure they are keeping to the over arching law.

November 27, 1978

Harvey Milk was assassinated by former supervisor Dan White.


The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was instituted, permitting closeted gays to serve in the U.S. Military.


Vermont becomes the first state in the country to legally recognize civil unions between gay and lesbian couples. The law states that “couples would be entitled to the same benefits, priveleges, and responsibilities as spouses.”

Although, teachers are getting little information on this law. “I have heard little about this from the district-- most of the publicity is coming from the Mirada,” US history teacher William Taylor said.

November 2008

Proposition 8 passed by 52.2%, eliminating rights of same sex couples to marry.

June 17, 2009

President Obama makes the first major initiative in his campaign promise to improve gay rights, allowing the same-sex partners of federal employees to receive benefits.

December 18, 2010

Obama repealed the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy.

V.P. LEAVES SCHOOL Want to Vanessa Adolphson departs for job at New San Juan High advertise in the newspaper? APRIL DOWNES MIRADA STAFF

* * * * * * * Email the Mirada at themirada2012

After eight years at Rio, Vice Principal Vanessa Adolphson is leaving at the semester break to work at New San Juan High School. She was asked by the district to go fill the spot of another Vice Principal. She is leaving with excitement for the new road ahead of her. New San Juan is located on Greenback lane and is focused on preparing its students for college and career paths for the 21st century. No doubt, Adolphson will be a helpful addition to their campus and students. Before her eight years at Rio, Adolphson worked at Adult Education and El Serrino Counseling and teaching art. “Ms. Adolphson was one of the only adult figures that pushed me to be the best I could be and stand behind me while I did it,” said senior Cesar Olivares. Another student, senior Alaina Rossi describes Adolphson, “I respect her a lot. She is a woman of authority who is both strict but also approachable and nice.” Her presence on campus will be missed, says many students. “She was a lovely woman,” junior Blaire Murray said. “She had a shrewd, sarcastic sense of humor. I’ll miss her protecting presence on campus.”

photo by april downes/mirada staff

Although she is excited to start in her new position, she leaves the students, parents, and staff of Rio with “total sadness.” Rio was her first site as a Vice Principal and is sad to leave but her memories of Rio will stay with her forever. “Thank you,” Said Adolphson, “to the students, staff, and parents for the support you gave me over the years.”

When good people are being punished by the system, maybe it is time we stopped examining the people and start examining the system. According to the School Library Journal 95 percent of high school students admitted to cheating. The definition of cheating in this context ranges anywhere from sharing homework to hiring someone to take the SAT for you. Imagine punishing 95 percent of a school; detention, Saturday school, on-site, suspension and expulsion would be so common, it would be easier to find people in the detention room or at home than in a classroom. It would be weird to know more than a handful of people without breaches of integrity, making them practically meaningless. Of course, that would never happen, as it would obviously put the majority of the education system out of work. But the rare, unlucky few who are made examples of, are obviously not deterring the masses. Maybe you can blame it on the Internet, with websites selling original essays, and plagiarism has become as easy as control C, control V. Maybe you can pass it off on the example that has been set by the adult world, the richest people in the world win the fortunes on the back of others. Maybe our generation is too entitled. And maybe, just maybe, it has something to do with the education system, a system that has churned out identical results for students across the map. This problem is that the education system is not really about education at all. It is about numbers and acronyms. “What was your SAT score?” “What was your ACT score?” “How many AP’s did you take?” “What is your GPA?” The weight of those questions obviously has pressured and stressed students to the limit. But the real question that every high school senior is asked several hundred times a day is, “What college do you want to go to?” The question is not what a general one about your plans after high school. It is almost always about college (who turn your entire application into another number), making college the only “viable” future for so many students. So when the system is not going to take the time to know you, it is so easy to justify why students need to make that score higher, or help a friend who needs that score to be higher. Collaboration is celebrated outside school, as is specialization of tasks. But most of all it is the widespread necessity, that breeds widespread cheating. It becomes the same level of morality as the hungry stealing to feed themselves out of requisite. Cheating is not a moral absolute, it is a gray area, but the administration won’t treat it that way. They punish students who simply need to get high scores and good grades because otherwise they won’t “succeed.” A student in auto-shop might be able to build a car on their own, but a C in English or History is going to ruin their dreams of being an engineer. There are endless examples like that but the bottom line is: going through high school is not about learning anymore, it is only about the appearance of learning. Of course people are going to break the rules in a broken system. The education system is about scores and not education, and cheating is a way to raise scores without becoming educated, it is exactly what the system is promoting. How can we punish people for breaking the rules when the education system rewards it?

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CLUB LIST Anime and Magna Cookies and Cocoa Cooking Evil Villain Appreciation French Fuse Genocide Intervention and Prevention Gay Straight Alliance Interact International Cooking Jewish American Culture Just for the Health of it Kayaking Key Lacrosse Last Line of Defense Model U.N. Outdoor Adventure Laser Tag Raiders With A Vision Reading and/or Writing and Beyond Chess Model Rocketry Young Democrats Young Republicans Environmentalist Rugby Ski and Snowboard Skim Table Tennis Ultimate Frisbee Upper Natoma Rowing World Awareness World of Warcraft

photo by jarett hartman/editor-in-chief Senior Simon Edber eats mini chocolate chip pancakes at a recent lumber jack club meeting. The club meets every other Friday where they make a large variety of pancakes.

LUMBERJACKS FLIP TO POPULARITY JOHN SOCKOLOV MIRADA STAFF The classic image of a lumberjack: flannel, thick beard, smooth jazz, and, most importantly, pancakes. To attain this immaculate image is the goal of the members of the Lumberjack club. Thomas Snider is the president and founder of the club. Many experiences led Snider to found the club including his love for the mythical folk hero, Paul Bunyan. “Well, Thomas is a lum-

berjack and idolized Paul Bunyan.” Said Michael Woodbury, the clubs vice president. “Because he grew up admiring Paul and eating pancakes, he wanted to make a club.” The club sports over 20 members who faithfully attend the club meetings. You will find Snider in the band room with his electric griddle. They meet every other Friday, or, as the members say, “at the will of the Lumberjack gods”. He serves many variations of the classic breakfast dish.

Although the club may seem like it’s all fun and games, the club’s advisers affirm that it is a serious affair. “It is all business. There is no laughter” said Woodbury. According to the members “anytime we meet it’s the best experience this side of the Mississippi.” The message of the Lumberjack club has expanded beyond just the Rio Americano chapter. Students at University of the Pacific have plans to start their own organiza-

FUSE CLUB PROVIDES A UNIQUE FUSION OF RELIGION AND FUN LAUREN KIRSCHKE MIRADA STAFF Interview with club president Katherine Dupoint What do you do in your club? We have discussions on life issues and how to better reach the fellow students of our school through the same love that Jesus showed when he walked the Earth. Why did you name it that? We want to light a “fuse” in our community, whether one sees that as the light of God helping others through us or just as a help to be there for others when many are not or don’t think to be. Why did you make this club? Christianity tends to have a bad name in public high schools because often the people who call themselves Christians don’t act like the Jesus that they claim to

tion, which will remain in contact with the original club. This fledgling club, only started in 2010, has expanded far beyond the expectations of its creators. The future of the club remains strong as well. Many underclass members have committed themselves to furthering the cause. “Yes, we have a couple proteges in the farm system” said Woodbury, “most importantly Connor Jang.” In the end, the members of the Lumberjack club hope to convey a message much more profound than


follow. This club is a way to help Christians be comfortable in what they believe in and feel inspired and prepared to live that out in every day life.

Interview with club president Ilana Weisberg

How many people are in your club? About 10-15 people come weekly, but there’s usually someone new who drops in each week to hear a particular topic.

What do you do in your club? Eat cookies, discuss recipes, and drink hot chocolate. We also make cookies and bring them to the homeless shelter periodically throughout the year.

What’s the best experience in your club? The best experiences have been when kids have opened up about their lives. It’s really been awesome to be able to be there for each other when things in life fall apart or become difficult.

Why did you name it that? We eat cookies and drink hot chocolate

Can people still join? Yes, we always welcome new people to the club, Christian or not.

facial scruff and soft woven fibers in checked patterns. “We plan on beginning a program to feed the homeless members of our community with pancakes” said Snider, “our program, Pancakes for the Homeless, will be initiated in 2013. According to many of the club-gowers they joined to achieve their ultimate goal of world peace through elimination of poverty. People can still join at any time, simply talk to any of the advisers and join them in the pursuit of Lumberjackdom.


Why did you make this club? My friend Julia Butterfield and I wanted to start a club, together we came up with this idea last year and this year shes an exchanged student in France so I’m continuing it. How many people are in your club? Around 30, only 15-20 are active

What’s the coolest thing you do? Probably when we donate cookies to a local homeless shelter, everyone makes cookies and we drop them off after school What’s the best experience in your club? We are all friends and get to know each other, its a very friendly environment Can people still join? Yes, but only if they are going to make cookies at least two times this year When do you meet? Wednesdays at lunch What do you hope to achieve with this club? Just being a bright spot in our members week



Opinion The Mirada Rio Americano High School Rio Americano Mirada 4540 American River Dr. Sacramento, CA 95864 (916)971-8921 ext. 80 Editors-in-Chief Jarett Hartman Shauna Milesi News Editors Tomek Buras John Sockolov Opinion Editors Taylor Cottingim John Ferrannini Graphic Artist Katherine DuPont Features Editors Eleanor Newcomb Ella Isaguirre Sports Editors Geoffrey Hurner Thomas Snider Photo Editor Austin Hicks Web Editor Brad Conidaris Business Manager Christina Sieving Staff Writers Fie Brandt Theadore Buffington Preston Danford April Downes Katherine Dupont Max Feng Brooke Key Lauren Kirschke Brigitte Novak Karly Pfanner Sydney Steele Valana Stiles Advisor Mr. Michael Mahoney

Published monthly during the school year by students in Rio Americano’s newspaper class, the Mirada is the independent voice of the students and the campus. The mirada welcomes story ideas, comics, letters to the editor and opinion pieces from all members of the school community. Submit articles to the box in A3 or the main office. Contact the business manager (by visiting room A3, writing to the above address or calling the adviser’s voice mail) for information on advertising. We welcome advertising, but reserve the right to refuse any ad.


Since rain has neglected Sacramento, the campus no longer experiences inches of unavoidable watery hallways that once guaranteed soaked shoes and icy feet for the rest of the day. The beaming rays of sun makes for happier students and the day cozy warm by noon.


The dances are usually great fun. But sometimes the music can be a total buzzkill. More often than not the song choices are outdated and already overplayed on the radio. Most of it is synthesized rap . Some people like it, but there should be more variety.


After lunch the grounds are covered in waste. It’s absolutely ridiculous how people can’t clean up their mess. With all the garbage cans spread throughout campus it shouldn’t be that hard to walk three feet to put your garbage away. Quit being a slob.

GOVERNMENT PUSHES TO TAKE AWAY PRIVACY There are two bills working their way through Congress which would seriously restrict freedom on the internet. The Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, and the PROTECT IP Act, or PIPA, are designed to curb piracy of coyprighted material on the internet. While these bills may be well intentioned, they would infringe on our freedoms to an unprecedented extent. The two bills would force internet service providers (ISP’s) to not link to websites which contained copyrighted material without the owner’s consent. The government would also ban search engines such as Google and Yahoo! from linking to such websites. Therefore, if someone uploaded a copyrighted song or last night’s ‘Real Housewives’ to Youtube, all of Youtube would be inaccessible to anybody until the video was taken down. No wonder so many people are writing to their congressmen, many probably for the first time in their lives. There are four reasons in particular why these bills should not become law. First of all, they would stifle innovation on the internet. Over the past twenty years, there has been an explosion of innovation because the internet has been from government regulation

so far. When the next Mark Zuckerberg comes to a venture capitalist seeking the money to start the next Facebook, the risk will be too high to invest. Imagine how many websites would not exist if these bills had become law ten years ago. In the middle of this economy, we simply can’t afford to stop the growth of the internet and kill jobs before they’re created. The government should try and fix the economy, not stop it’s growth. Second of all, there are serious concerns that these laws might violate the First Amendment to the Constitution, which declares that Americans have the right to both

freedom of speech and of the press. Both the Heritage Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union have said that the law imposes restrictions on freedom of speech. After all, who is the government to tell Google who they could or could not link to? Shouldn’t a search engine decide that for themselves? Third of all, if these bills became law, they would hurt internet security. People obviously still want to watch Youtube even if the government tells them that they can’t. Prohibition, for example, didn’t stop people from drinking. Banning marijuana didn’t stop people from smoking it.

In order to reach websites which the government has stopped anyone from linking to, people will inevitably use servers which are less safe in order to access the website. Fourth and finally, this bill simply gives too much power to the government. Are we really prepared to give the government the power to regulate the internet? The internet may be the only place in America where one can speak their mind without any government interference. There are no free speech zones or protest permits there. Do we want to give our freedom to do what we want, when we want, on the internet to a government which America is rapidly loosing trust in? How do we know that at some point, a future government won’t use this law as precedent to eat more of our freedoms? If we give an inch, they’ll take a mile. Of course copyright infringement on the internet is a problem, but the solution is not to pass bills which stifle innovation, kill future jobs, hurt the economy, violate the Constitution, hurt internet security, and take too many of our personal freedoms. There has to be a better way. This editorial represents the views of the editorial board of the Mirada.


Dear helicopter parents, it might be time to loosen the reigns on the sore throat of your suffocating child. Helicopter parents, for those unaware of the term, are adults who continuously indulge in overly strict parenting methods, and who constantly keep close tabs on their teen’s every move. As teenagers age, they come to desire more freedom and independence; it’s only natural. There is some driving force within us to act like adults but with less responsibilities at the moment. We haven’t left our training wheels but we still want to cycle up that big hill without Mom or Dad pushing us up every time. It’s time we learn to elongate our new wings and prepare for flight before eventual departure from the nest. Sometimes we will do silly things, say something we don’t mean, or just sit down and cry out of frustration at harsh circumstances. The beauty of humanity is the absence of perfection but the infinite room for opportunity. There must be a balance in parenting between freedom and

discipline so that it doesn’t produce the opposite effect of its original intention. That means that if parents constantly suppress their teenagers, soon they will start to rebel to compensate for the lack of independence. If you don’t let your kids have sleepovers, wear the clothes that they like, read the books they want to read without them reading them first; paint their nails or shave their legs; spend time with friends without close supervison; walk outside the house after 4pm, have a cell phone, or if they do, you constantly

Illustration by katherine dupoint

are calling and texting to know of their whereabouts, it gets tiresome and is a little too extreme. This just encourages your kids to compensate and find quiet ways to live under the radar of their helicopter parents. Sometimes parents participate a little too much in their kids’ lives. That is not to say that it is not out of love, but out of respect these parents should give a little breathing room. While bad behavior should result in proper discipline in order to establish social ethics, it can be easy to quickly push over that edge

to extremities. Especially at the high school age, it is crucial for your teenager to learn to think and act for themselves. They are leaning towards adulthood now, it’s time to be a little more lenient. Maybe that means you should put your poor child’s phone down, stop reading their text messages, and go watch that recorded episode of “The Bachelor” you missed last night. There isn’t a kinder way of saying, “give them some space and get back to your own life; quit living vicariously through your child by trying to influence every decision that they make.” If a helicopter parent engages in such ridiculous behavior, how is their kid going to learn how to live on their own? What about if they go to college? Are you going to move into their apartment when they’re 25 years old and still call every hour and regulate any communication? For those in the extreme cases, it is time to back off. Of course, this doesn’t mean let your kids run wild. Everything in moderation. Senior Taylor Cottingim is an opinion editor of the Mirada.

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DREAM ACT SPLITS VIEWS DREAM Act a Nightmare DREAM will help America


Revenge of the birds It’s 12:42pm again and students are ducking for cover as seagulls again ceaselessly launch what seems like white missile fire upon unsuspecting students. It seems as if everyone at Rio hates them. Ask any student around the school; most will give you the same answer. There is only one reason why the seagulls are swarming students as soon as that lunch bell rings: littering. “They will never go away,” said Biology teacher Kim Bump. “As long as kids leave their lunches out, it’s impossible.” If the students start picking up trash after lunch, it will not only purge the campus of ugliness but hopefully get rid of those rats with wings. It’s time for you litter bugs to gain some respect for our school. This campus is not your garbage can. Display some consideration for others around you. Take responsibility for your poor habits by making a step toward behavioral improvement. Sure, maybe your lunch is biodegradable and yes, you could throw it on the ground, but it will only make things worse for everyone at lunch. “If students stopped leaving trash around, the seagulls would be gone in maybe a week,” Bump said. Throw your trash away for the good of the school, not to mention your fellow students who fear for their lives during break and lunch. They are desperately hoping and praying that they won’t get pelted with the foul white bullets from a menacing divebombing gull. In the meantime, students seem frantic in their attempts to avoid the frothy white rain of feathered beasts. Such havoc is comparable to the enormous crowds in Spain running from the vicious bulls out for their blood. You never know who is going to get hit next. It’s time that we unite and annihilate the vermin that defecates our school on a daily basis. The birds are vicious fiends which only is destroying our campus and which is frightening the freshmen. Lets face it, we all hate them and crave to be rid of them forever. The only logical way to get rid of them is as simple as extending your hand, grabbing your trash, and on the way to class, just throwing it away. To some of us it is an exhausting load of work. Nonetheless, if you did pick up your leftovers it would make the seagulls go away and make everyone happier. It’s time for all of us to do our duty and save ourselves from these mosters with wings. Junior Theadore Buffington is a staff writer for the Mirada.

TAYLOR COTTINGIM MIRADA STAFF California has become a nanny state. After passing the DREAM Act children under 16 whose parents are illegal aliens can now receive financial aid for college. This idea is completely irrational. These people are not citizens; they cannot vote or legally contribute to our economy. Our UC’s and state schools are already impacted. As students, it is completely unfair to provide immigrants the opportunity to go to college by removing some of the standards that we have to meet to be eligible to apply for colleges. We don’t need to increase the competition for space with people who do not belong to our state in the first place. These illegal aliens are not our responsibility; we are not obligated to take care of foreigners who do not belong in our country in the first place. If they want to go to college they need to pay for it themselves; we can’t just feed them their education when we have enough American students struggling for financial aid. Citizens must come first, illegals can lap up the remains after we help our own people. American citizens should be our priority. If we can’t take care of ourselves, we surely won’t be able to help these people. If you don’t have a social security number, cannot provide for the well being of the state, and cannot legally contribute to the economy, then you don’t exist. If you don’t have a social security number, you

can’t work the white collar job that you’ve been training for by attending college. Therefore, these people will only have to regress to migrant worker jobs. And just because these people are granted conditional legal status, doesn’t mean they have to learn our language or assimilate into the wider culture. How convenient for them. Under the DREAM Act, once an illegal has applied for conditional residency, they now wield government amnesty, a pardon, until their application is assessed. This means they can’t be deported until the application is taken care of. Isn’t that pleasant? Unfortunately for us, the DREAM Act will just incite chain migration, supporting further illegal immigration as millions of foreigners infiltrate our borders in hopes of obtaining legal residency for their children. Why are we encouraging illegal immigration? Has California lost its brain? Clearly as a state, we enjoy damning ourselves into more conflict. So let’s review here. Who is now going to pay for these illegals? We are. In our taxes and our tuition. Guess what seniors? That means you. The price of college will soar. Do we really need that right now? Aren’t our parents hurting enough financially from the recession? California is not compiled of superheroes. We can’t save the world from everything. We can’t keep assigning more government regulations and responsibilities without first finishing what issues we have started. The DREAM Act is unrealistic and silly for us to have such high expectations, especially now. Before we send ourselves deeper into debt by paying for foreigners who contribute nothing in taxes, we should fix our financial crisis first.

ELLA ISAGUIRRE MIRADA STAFF America is a nation which was founded on the backs of immigrants. Millions of people have come to these shores throughout history seeking freedom and opportunity. But does this mean that we who are legal citizens, have an obligation to help the newcomers? No. As a nation, of course our obligation is to our own citizens. Nevertheless, there is truly no good that will come out of simply ignoring them. No matter what anybody says, illegal immigrants are not going to just disappear from this country. Eventually, those who have illegally crossed the borders will figure out a way to contribute to American society, most likely through work paid under-the-table. Illegal work not only works as a detrimental factor against the economy, it also takes job opportunity away from other Americans. Is there a way to ensure that those of illegal status eventually become citizens of the U.S.? Certainly. The surefire manner of going about this is through education. Education can make or break a society. Part of the reason why the United States has been successful is because of our education system of elementary schools, high schools, colleges, and universities. We can insure that those of il

legal status eventually become citizens through education by passing the California DREAM Act, which consists of two pieces of legislation: AB 130 and AB 131. AB 130 provides students with illegal status with the opportunity to access private scholarships. AB 131 grants access those same students access to California funds. Nowhere in the bills does it state that this money will be taken from students who are American citizens. The purpose of these bills are simply to help those who otherwise would not have access to a higher education to go to college. The more educated a society, the better it is able to develop new ideas; to cooperate as a unified body; and finally to compete on the world stage. As an example, we must look no further than Finland and Norway. Finland and Norway have high percentages of literate citizens. Coincidently, they have economies faring far better than that of the United States. In the People’s Republic of China, students are intellectually challenged through collegiate level classes like calculus. But, unlike the United States they take this course in elementary school. China may come one day to rule the world, at least in the economic sense. If the United States wants to compete on the world stage, it needs to heighten its educational standards by finding a way to educate all of it’s inheritance, both legal and illegal. Essentially, the United States must step up it’s game and find a way to educate all of the members of it’s society. Regardless of anyone’s citizenship status, everybody is entitled to a good education. Senior Ella Isaguirre is a features editor of the Mirada.

Senior Taylor Cottingim is an opinion editor of the Mirada.



Millions of people have come to America seeking the freedoms that are enshrined in our Constitution. If an American is accused of a crime, he has the right to a lawyer, to a speedy, public, and fair trial, and the freedom from cruel and unusual punishment. It is these values which make America great and for which we stand. When Barack Obama became our 44th President, he said that we will give these rights to every person - even those who are actively working against the United States. When he was inaugurated, the President said “As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.” Unfortunately, the President has given up on his promise. On New Year’s Eve (when nobody was paying attention to the news), the President signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. The Act allows the President to detain anybody - even an American citizen - without charge or trial simply because the government

illustration by katherine dupoint

says that they are “suspected” of terrorism. From this President, we expected better. A law which allows the leader of the country to kidnap it’s own citizens off the street and put them into military prisons under the auspices of ‘safety’, is something that sounds more like it belongs in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union than in the United States.

Is this the company that we want to keep? Benjamin Franklin once said, “Those who would sacrifice essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither.” We cannot fight a war against terrorism to spread democracy abroad, if to win we have to stifle democracy at home. The Founding Fathers knew just how important our rights

really are. They’re not given to us by government, they said, they’re “endowed by our Creator.” Since the War on Terrorism began, we’ve been told that we need to ignore the ideals which have made our country great if we’re going to win. We’ve been told that we need to forget the 4th Amendment and allow the government to search our e-mails, telephone records, and text messages without a warrant. We’ve been told that we need to forget the 8th Amendment, the Geneva Conventions, and morality itself, and allow the government to torture people. We tried Japanese soldiers for water boarding after World War II, and now our government has the gaul to say that it is no longer considered torture. Now the government is telling us that we need to sacrifice the fifth and sixth amendment and allow even American citizens to be detained without charge or trial just because they are suspected of committing a crime. “As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.” Junior John Ferrannini is an opinion editor of the Mirada.



Features ROCKING OUT ON AND OFF THE SLOPES photo courtesy of gwendolyn giles

Sophomore Gwendolyn Giles excels in both skiing and music ELEANOR NEWCOMB MIRADA STAFF Sophomore Gwendolyn Giles is more than an average high school student. As one of the members of the local duo Dog Party, composed of her and her sister, she’s experienced music in a way few other teenagers have. “My younger sister Lucy and I started the band when I was in sixth grade and she was in fourth,” Giles said. “We both played instruments, and a family friend who owns a record

label, Zach Goodin, told us one day that we should try playing together.” The girls are now signed to Goodin’s label, Half of Nothing Records. Giles first started playing guitar in fourth grade after experimenting with other instruments. “I used to play flute, but didn’t like it much, especially because I had braces,” she said. “Guitar seemed like the best choice.” Her sister Lucy, who plays drums in the band, began learning soon after. “We really like bands like the Ramones,

photo courtesy of gwendolyn giles

the White Stripes, and X right now,” Giles said. “My sister has a full-sized Ramones poster in her room.” The girls have accomplished a lot in their four years as a band. They just released their vinyl record, P.A.R.T.Y., on Dec. 30. They also have a self-titled EP that came out two years ago. Their original songs are on subjects many teenagers can relate to – “School, parents, and the feelings that come with growing up,” Giles said. One of Giles’ favorite experiences in the band was over the summer. “We toured in the Southwest, through Southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico, playing house parties and clubs,” she said. They’ve done shows at many other venues as well, including Old Ironsides, the Crest Theatre, Luigi’s pizzeria, and Concert in the Park downtown. “Music will always be a big part of my life,” Giles said, even though she’s not sure yet about what she wants to do after high school. The girls practice at their house daily. When asked about what’s coming up for the band, Giles said, “We were invited to do a Euro tour this summer.” It would be her first time in Europe, and the trip would last about a month depending on whom they toured with. “A family friend is also on the show ‘Finding Bigfoot’ on the Discovery Channel, and he wants to get Dog Party on the show,” Giles said. “That would be really exciting for us too.” However, Dog Party is not Giles’ only pastime she’s dedicated to – she and her sister are also members of the Squaw Valley ski team. “My mom owns a ski shop, so skiing has always been a big part of our family,” she said. “I’ve been racing for eight years so far.” This is her third year on the team at Squaw, and based on her age, she’s at the J-2 level. “I first learned to ski on Dollar Mountain in Idaho,” she said. “My grandparents live

there half the year.” She was on the Sugar Bowl ski team as well before switching to Squaw. Many of Giles’ weekends are spent skiing, usually for training. She and her sister attend competitions as well. “Last year, I participated in Junior Olympic qualifiers, and my sister will this year,” she said. “The top five in the qualifiers get automatic placement at the Junior Olympics on the US ski team.” She didn’t qualify herself, but she has friends who have been on the team. “It’s a cool feeling to be able to say you know someone on the US ski team,” Giles said. Giles also had the opportunity this semester to attend Forest Charter School in Tahoe, a school that is mainly ski team based. “If I went to the school, I would train on weekdays and come back to Sacramento on weekends, instead of having just the weekends to train,” she said. “Ski team would also count as my PE class.” However, her family decided it would be better for her to stay at Rio and pursue her studies further. With everything going on in her life, Giles has to be capable of managing school as well. “I have to be really on top of my schedule all the time,” she said. “Usually I won’t be able to start my homework until after band practice.” She tries to make sure band gigs don’t interfere with school, and because of this, they don’t have any shows planned in the near future. However, managing school doesn’t seem to be too much of a problem – Giles is also a very good student, with a 4.0 GPA her entire freshman year. “It’s sort of hard to handle school, the band, and ski team sometimes,” she said. “But I love everything I do and definitely plan on keeping with it.” With that sort of attitude, she’s bound to go far in whatever she pursues.

NEW YEARS’ RESOLUTIONS BRING NEW CHALLENGES VALANA STILES MIRADA STAFF Every new year starts with one question, “What is your new years resolution?” For some, a new year means new beginnings and many new fresh starts from the otherwise unsatisfactory year. The most common of new years resolutions is to have a better year than the last, which helps most people have a more positive new year. Another more common resolution is to lose weight. New diets and work out schedules are made,

which only a handful of people follow. Some people even choose the easier resolutions, such as: cutting down on cellphone usage, spending less time on Facebook, or even making more of an effort in the classroom. “My new years resolution this year is to eat healthier and become more outgoing and mature,” said freshman Victoria Lizarraga. “Although I’m not sure how well I will follow it, I think on a scale of one to 10, It would probably be about a six. But I see myself following it because they’re things I’ve wanted to work on for a while.”

Some didn’t make resolutions at all this year, either because they don’t feel like it, or they have other reasons. “I didn’t make a new years resolution this year,” said sophomore Tamsyn Heimbichner. “There was really nothing I felt that I needed to do or change. I just enjoy my life as is.” Others have bigger plans this year. “My new years resolution is to enjoy high school life as much as I can, I think I’m doing well already,” freshman Anne Brown said. “Good grades, great friends, but still I feel like I haven’t done enough to make

my high school experience memorable. So, I’m aiming for more.” As the year goes on many minds will be changed, so of course its easier to make more than one resolution, and freshman Kayla Cook is doing just that. “My new years resolution is to do better in school as well as making new friends during the school year and in the summer,” she said. “To do that I’ll just have to focus more in class, ask more questions and balance friends and schoolwork.” But of course, how does changing one thing each year do more for

you in the long-run? What if you make a resolution but never carry it out? Most people think that small changes can make for amazing results in their future. Others believe that if you do something big, you don’t have to do it again, or you get used to doing it. “Everything in your life is a part of it altogether. Therefore, everything you do affects you as one whole, even if the change only lasts a month.” Heimbichner said. “And whatever you change about yourself at the beginning of the year should last as long as you expect or want it to.”

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Three Rio students contribute their art to this year’s River Cats Art of Baseball calendar ELEANOR NEWCOMB MIRADA STAFF The Sacramento River Cats release a calendar every year to expand and promote exposure to the arts. This Art of Baseball calendar is presented by Aaron Brothers. The calendar features drawings by elementary, middle, and high school students from around the greater Sacramento area. They accept submissions throughout fall of 2011 from any students who wish to have their creative talents showcased. This year, three Rio students were featured in the calendar. Senior Katherine DuPont, junior Caroline Stauffer, and sophomore Kyle Lawson all submitted drawings and had their artwork accepted to be shown throughout the pages of the calendar. The Sacramento River Cats, through grants from The River Cats Foundation, Inc., produce the calendar as part of their aim to promote and fund arts in the Sacramento community. Many of the these projects are displayed throughout Raley Field, including the stadium pillar tiles created by local students, as well as artwork from several local professional artists. This year, the River Cats will celebrate local student artists with a special Art Day presented by Aaron Brothers at Raley Field on April 15, 2012, when the team plays the rival Reno Aces. Lots of different Rio students have been featured in many of the past River Cats calendars. It’s a good opportunity for students with artistic talents to be recognized throughout the community for their great ability.


The consumer electronics marketplace is crowded with earphones, which might be stereophonic music to the ears of retailers, but can make finding the right set of buds a headache for music-loving buyers. Here are three reviews to help make things a bit easier if you’re in the market.

SkunkJuice Earphones $36.99

Magnum Earphones $49.95

iP-595 iMetal Earphones $79.99




The SkunkJuice Earphones are your standard pair of earphones with a pretty cool design. The use of magnetism enables up to four different people to listen to the same device while using their own earphones, and that’s an awesome feature. The sound is quite impressive for the price. If you like a lot of bass in your music, but are okay not having a control panel or a microphone built into the pair, then these earphones are for you. The only problem I found with the pair is the connection between the earphones and the rest of the cord; it adds enough weight to cause some discomfort to wear. Overall, for a sub-$40 pair of earphones, they are very impressive.

The Magnum earphones are among the best sounding pair I have ever heard. They’re heavy on bass, but not so much to overpower a song. They fit comfortably in your ear, and with the included “MagNeat” that uses magnetism to make the cord shorter, they are amazing. With the “LoveBud” built into the earphones, up to four people can plug their own pair in and listen simultaneously. The pair is built with a control panel that has the ability to answer or end phone calls, -but lacks a microphone to talk into. Overall, for about $50, you’re getting a pair of earphones with very good sound and features.

The earphones were clearly made with Apple devices in mind. The pair is Apple-certified, insuring that all the features of the earphones are fully functional with Apple devices. A control panel allows you to play, pause, skip and turn the volume up and down all from your earphones. While the pair does work perfectly with any Apple device, the same can’t be said for other brands. When I tried out the pair with my PC, I was not able to use the provided control panel, and, thus, the only way to adjust sound was from my computer. When not using the PC, the sound is pretty good and worthy of my recommendation.

SEE MORE Sophomore Max Dickstein is a product reviewer on YouTube. He receives products from companies to unbox and review for a larger consumer market. See more of his reviews at unboxtechnology.



SAY WHAT? How long have you been dating? Caroline/Kyle: It will be five months on February 9.

Caroline Fong & Kyle Jacobson, 12

How did you meet? Kyle: We’ve been friends since freshman year.

What drives you craziest about each other? Caroline: We are both extremely indecisive. We will stand around for 5 minutes trying to decide what we want to do. Kyle: Sometimes I can’t tell if she likes math or me more...

What is your favorite thing about Kyle? Caroline: He is such a sweetheart and he makes me laugh. And he looks really good in his Eagle Scout uniform.

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you two? Caroline: One time on the freeway when I was driving I almost hit a car twice. Kyle: It was terrifying.

What is your favorite thing about Caroline? Kyle: I strive to be the best person I can be when I’m around her.

The best part of dating is _____? Kyle: Being able to call her “dude” and not be judged by others. Caroline: Not having to pay for dinner! -Shauna Milesi

photo by jarett hartman/editor-in-chief



Quinn Zidar, 11

Rikki Devlin, 12

Isabelle Lasalle, 12 photo by brooke key/mirada staff

What is the first thing you notice about a guy? Whether he has a mohawk or not.

What is your best pickup line? Babe, your beauty makes the morning sun look like the dull glimmer of the moon.

What is your best pickup line? Oh my gosh, your pupils are so big.

How do you get a girl’s attention? The Bend and snap.

How do you get a guy’s attention? I make super flirty faces.

What do you look for in a girl? A good sense of humor.

What do you look for in a guy? I look for Jake Gyllenhaal and Quinn Zidar. What is your dream date? A guy that would go to yoga with me, and be good at it. Then he would sing me a song. Do you believe in kissing on the first date? If a person’s really magical, then yeah. And if they have luscious lips.

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What is your dream date? Going to the beach and having dinner at Fats. Do you believe in kissing on the first date? Heeecckk yeah. What is the nicest thing a girl’s done for you? Saw me on the side of the street and gave me a ride home. Who is your celebrity crush? Jessica Alba.

photo by eleanor newcomb/mirada staff

What kind of car is it? A ‘63 Ford Falcon, she’s red. When did you get your car? I bought it for myself at the beginning of senior year. What is your cars name? Her name is Bettie, named after Bettie Page.

stuck down, or the other time when my brakes wouldn’t work on Christmas... both were terrifying incidents. Who’s your favorite person to have in your car? Daniel Callahan and Luke Sheridan, without shirts on.

What is your favorite part about your car? My leopard interior.

Have you gone on any fun trips? No, I don’t trust my car outside of residential areas.

What’s the fastest you’ve gone in your car? The Falc has flown at 75 mph.

Where is your favorite place to drive? Highway 1.

What music do you play while you’re driving? 94.7, and 96.9 when I’m feeling frisky.

Why did you choose the car? My dad showed it to me and I fell in love, I asked a few friends what they thought about it and they said it fit me, so why not? Plus there is no other car like it in overflow.

What is your worst memory in your car? The one time my gas pedal got

-Brooke Key

-Eleanor Newcomb

Mike Zohn, the co-owner of a store that specializes in bizarre and one-of-a-kind objects, has found something that really isn’t seen every day. His store, Obscura Antiques and Oddities in New York City, has recently obtained a two-headed pig that was freeze-dried for 50 years. Other objects in the store are monkey race cars and artworks made of hair. An Australian man who was leading a group of snorkelers in Western Australia was attacked by a shark – but he fended it off in a great way. When the tiger shark bit his arm, David Pickering was able to punch it with his free arm to escape. He then warned fellow snorkelers and swam 300 feet to shore so he could go to the hospital. He said the worst thing was that he couldn’t tell if the shark was “coming back for seconds.” At the annual Pennsylvania Farm Show, giant butter sculptures are a big attraction. The winner this year, with a 1,000 pound sculpture of a boy leading a calf through a field, will be broken down to power a farm. Steve Reinfold is the farmer who will be using this energy, and he’s certainly no newcomer: he often uses leftover food waste from a nearby Walmart as fuel. Mexico City police arrested a thief who rode his skateboard to his robbery attempts. Sergio Ledesma was arrested after attempting to rob two banks and whispering threats to the tellers. He was still waiting at the counter when the police came, but even if he had managed to escape, the police wouldn’t have had a hard time in catching him. Stories compiled by Eleanor Newcomb from news reports.


MAKE A RESOLUTION TO FIND NEW MUSIC THIS JANUARY ‘I Don’t Want Love’ The Antlers The Antlers have expanded their sound from the haunting, storytelling songs of their first album ‘Hospice’ to the more ambient sounds in their newer album ‘Burst Apart.’ This song is a very soothing one, with a slow melody and a tuneddown vibe that provides a chill atmosphere for the most relaxing of days. ‘Hot Like Fire’ The xx The xx, a British group, captures the sensual attitude of this song originally performed by Aaliyah and brings a whole new sound to it. The juxtaposition of the female and male voices on the track makes for an interesting and unique sound that’s not prevalent in a lot of today’s music.

‘GfC’ Albert Hammond, Jr. This song is simply catchy, with its drumbeats, guitar riffs, and lyrics that are easily sung. Hammond’s quirky British accent adds a good dimension to the song as a whole and it’s a simple but infectious track that will certainly be on repeat.

‘Dance, Dance, Dance’ Lykke Li Swedish artist Lykke Li gained fame when Drake sampled her track ‘Little Bit’ in one of his songs. However, this song is the standout on her first album. Her unique voice is highlighted perfectly in the uplifting, exciting track that’s perfect for lifting your spirits.

‘Zebra’ Beach House This song is very ambient and calming, starting with simple guitar picking and harmonizing vocals. After the first chorus, it becomes more musical, with snare drums and different percussion instruments that aren’t usually used in many modern songs. The vocals are soothing and almost ethereal in sound – Beach House is a great duo that has wonderful vocals and a lovely sound.

‘Like It Or Not (Version 2)’ Architecture in Helsinki You will be hooked at the first sound of this song – it starts off strong with brass instruments and chanting vocals, and gets even stronger as it goes on with appealing lyrics and a purely enjoyable sound. The band utilizes so many different instruments and vocals that it makes it hard not to dance or sing along. ‘Year Of The Tiger’ St. Vincent St. Vincent brings a stronger, almost haunting sound to her new album, ‘Strange Mercy.’ This song is one of the highlights from this album. The drumbeats accentuate but don’t overpower her unique vocals, which seem to echo through your ears. It’s a calming and yet exciting track.

‘Wrapped In Piano Strings’ Radical Face This song in specific has beautiful guitar and piano melodies accompanied by harmonica, and his voice in highlighted and manipulated incredibly well.

The songs for this month’s playlist were chosen by features editor Eleanor Newcomb.

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REVIEW: SHABU FONDUE BRIGITTE NOVAK MIRADA STAFF Oh mon dieu, it’s a fondue restaurant that’s not French! If you love French fondue you’ll love Shabu Japanese Fondue. It’s located at 1730 16th Street and a lot cheaper than The Melting Pot. Shabu isn’t nearly as fancy, either. It’s a quaint, usually empty, place with simple decor nestled in the heart of Midtown. As the name would suggest they offer traditional shabu shabu cooking, which essentially mirrors the dinner course at The Melting Pot. If you still aren’t familiar with that type of cooking, essentially you just cook your own food in various soup bases. The name shabu shabu refers to the “swish swish” sound as you cook. The choices of soup bases for cooking your meats and vegetables are shoyu (soy sauce based), miso, chicken broth, or kombu (seaweed based). If you like miso soup even a little I would completely recommend the miso base. It is also important to note that for four extra dollars you can get additional counter pots. After choosing a base, you choose your meat. Vegetarian options are also available

and all of the meat entrées come with vegetables. Options include beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and seafood. I’ve been to Shabu a few times now and my favorite is the beef. The lamb is probably the least impressive option. After that there’s barely any time before you get your food. The servers bring out raw strips of meat, the plate of vegetables, and a few sauces. They then instruct you on the suggested cooking times. Shabu shabu is much quicker than traditional fondue. It’s usually only necessary to cook the meat for 15 seconds and the vegetables depend on your personal preference. Usually I find that Shabu gives you plenty of food but they also offer an all you can eat option which includes beef, pork, lamb, and chicken. Shabu also allows you to add additional sides should you want more of a particular item. If you aren’t feeling adventurous, Shabu also offers sushi, curry, and udon. However, as the name would suggest the highlight is the shabu shabu. No matter what your food preferences are you can’t go wrong with Shabu Japanese Fondue. The next time you’re in Midtown, ditch the normal restaurants and head to Shabu.


Another highlight from Strange Mercy is the song “Surgeon,” conveying a sort of paralyzed, dreamlike state. The line “best, Annie Clark, otherwise known as St. finest surgeon, come cut me open” was takVincent, has received critical acclaim en from Marilyn Monroe’s diary, and Clark throughout her career as a musician. She said it really “resonated” with her in terms was featured on the soundtrack of The Twi- of situational depression. Indeed, the lyrlight Saga: New Moon and has collaborated ics and atmosphere of the song do portray with artists such as Kid Cudi and Bon Iver. a person almost frozen in time and life. The Her musical style, noticed for its wide array final minute of the song, however, shows the of instruments and arrangements, has been use synthesizers and electric guitars in a tredescribed as a feeling between happiness mendous way, almost shrieking with excitement followed by a drastic, instant stop. It’s and madness. stark and exciting However, and draws your ather third album tention. “Strange Mercy” is In the title her best yet. Clark track, the delicate wrote the entire tones of the synth album while in and guitar and Seattle, WashingClark’s graceful ton, an isolation voice are a conexperiment that trast to the picture she described a drawn by the lyr“cleanse.” She felt ics: a young child, she was experienca parent in prison, ing an information and a real threat overload in New in the refrain. She York City, where states, “If I ever she was previously meet the dirty living. This album policeman who is certainly more photo courtesy of roughed you up, personal than her no I don’t know previous two – the what.” It’s unsure lyrics convey mesexactly to whom sages that deeply she speaks, but it conveys a devil-may-care relate to her life and various situations. attitude not previously shown in her other The album opens with “Chloe in the Afalbums. ternoon,” the title drawn from the 1972 film The strong guitars come back once again by Éric Rohmer, about a man caught between his wife and his affair with a women in “Northern Lights,” with a sound like ranamed Chloe. Clark has acknowledged the dio static. Clark disclaims the fickleness of influence of the film, but takes the story to a relationship, comparing it to a pendulum a darker place, full of deeply cutting guitar swinging back and forth. The use of screamriffs. The unusual time signatures and ar- ing guitars only accentuates her voice this rangement of the song is attracting as well. time as she sings to the beat, inflicting into Contrasting with her sweet voice, the song your mind a sense of urgency and attitude is a perfect opener – it draws you into the all rolled into one. St. Vincent takes the pretty/ugly conalbum and doesn’t let you go until the last trast to a raw power in Strange Mercy. The song. tracks featuring driving guitars are only In “Cheerleader,” it seems she is declaring her independence from her past – she strengthened and accentuated by the more says, “I’ve played dumb when I knew better/ ballad-style songs. Every single song draws Tried too hard just to be clever” which is a you in more and really can stand on its own frank contrast to the naiveté of her first re- as a single but combined into an album, the lease. The pounding of the repeated I’s em- songs demonstrate emotions that are both genuine and cryptic. She’s certainly reached phatically states her determination. a new high in her musical realm.



photo by brigitte novak/mirada staff

‘HAYWIRE’ COULD HAVE POTENTIAL, BUT FALLS COMPLETELY FLAT BRAD CONIDARIS MIRADA STAFF If you’re looking for a movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat, then “Haywire” is not the movie for you. Right off the bat the movie is set up with promising previews, but does not fulfill your expectations. I was expecting an action-packed movie, when all the movie really consisted of was a lot of dialogue and very few action scenes. The movie has the possibilities of a very good plot. A CIA asset is betrayed by the government after being set up during a mission, then seeks revenge. The only problem was the director lacked the capabilities of making the plot clear. The opening scene didn’t make any sense until later in the movie, which makes for a bad start. You’re then left with multiple scenes consisting of only dialogue. After the first 30 minutes I found

it hard to not fall asleep. The ending had a little more action in it, but everything that happened made no sense because the backbone of the movie was not solid. Overall the movie had about 95 percent talking scenes and five percent action - there were 15 to 20 minute scenes of the characters just talking in hotels. The plot jumped around so much with absolutely no intro as to explain what was happening. Flashbacks were featured many times throughout the film, but it was unclear as to what the flashbacks were referring to or whether something was even a flashback in the first place. As for the acting, retired MMA fighter Gina Carano did a decent job acting given how bad the movie was. However, the fighting scenes, which were her best, were very short. Additionally, there weren’t many. Not much can be said about the rest of the cast, they just had to talk most of the time.

Because of how hard it is to actually pay attention to the movie, the whole plot is very unclear and confusing. Leaving the theater

the only thought on my mind was “What did I just watch?” I’d have to give “Haywire” a rating of one out of five.


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14 Sports


Varsity Women’s undefeated in Capital League FIE BRANDT MIRADA STAFF Off to an undefeated start in league, the Lady Raiders are going into this Friday’s game against rivals El Camino with three wins under their belts. With a difficult schedule in preseason, the team managed to fight through many tough games in order to keep a good record. “Preseason has definitely been tough for us, but I think we handled it very well,” co-captain Elizabeth Moulton said. “I’m very happy with our playing.” Each player on the team has improved

during the preseason and everyone is now focusing on league, where there’s no time to fool around. League is the real deal. The girls won their first league game against Rancho Cordova 41-29. After an exciting last week with two wins against Whitney and Mira Loma, the girls are practicing hard for Friday’s big game. After a defeat the previous season, the girls beat EC in a tough fight over the summer. “We want to make a good game, we want to hang with them and play smart,” Moulton said.



photo by aaron boulger /mirada staff

Louis MacLuaghlin and Jason Hughes, with their classmates’ help, perfrom the tinikling dance in the large gym for the physical education final.



Dance unit in P.E. makes most freshmen cringe. That is until they get in the swing of it. Or the Pata Pata of it. Or the tinkling of it. The dance unit required coordination, cooperation and courage--or at least enthusiasm to perform a routine in front of 40 classmates and a teacher who recorded the performance on an iPad. The final had a multicultural focus as group four to 10 students presented dances from around the word that they had worked on over winter break. Kavon Jonoubei’s group did tinikling, a dance from the Philippines that consists two dancers hitting two bamboo poles to the beat of their music. The rest of the group jumps in and out of the moving poles. “The dance was fun for sure, we had a lot of fun.” Jonoubei said. Several of these dances are

cultural. The tinikling dance originated in the Philippines and includes two dancers hitting bamboo poles on the ground. Chinese ribbon dancing was another one of these cultural dancing, and it consists of a group of dancers waving red ribbons around simultaneously with their dance partners. Swing was another one of these dances and it was originated in the 50s, here in the states. The dance consists of two partners dancing to jazz music, twisting in and out between each others arms. “At first it was awkward, but then it got more fun, because we started to get to know the dance, freshman Rachael Kaulen said. Most people who hated the dances did the simple ones, like the Loraspa. It’s a dance that originated in Mexico and it has a group of people in a circle shuffling their feet and swinging •


photo by aaron boulger/mirada staff

Zach Van and Alexis Miller perform the Chinese ribbon dance in P.E.

Ski season takes a powder When I tell people that I’ve only gone skiing 16 times this season, TOMEK their faces BURAS become quite distorted by the shocking fact that I have thrust upon them. “Why, that’s absurd! It has not rained or snowed in months!” they say. And this is a true statement (excluding the rains of last week). Were it not for the snowmakers at Heavenly and Northstar, I would have been suffering from severe skiing withdrawals. Most decent people can point out that it has not rained in quite a long time (once again, not counting last week’s rains). For devoted skiers and snowboarders, this fact burns in our minds as the scorching sun burns in the sky of the central Sahara during the summertime. Last year, around this time, the Sierras were experiencing heavy storms that dumped over 6 feet of snow in one sitting. At the present moment, if one were to go up to said mountains, one would think it were the summertime (excluding the fact that it is about 40 degrees during the day and there are patches of ice on the ground). There is literally not a snippet of natural snow to be found on the ground in the Tahoe area (well, there is now, since it snowed last week, but that’s irrelevant). Of course, when one looked up to the spectacular peaks of surrounding ski resorts such as Heavenly before it snowed, there appeared to be an abundance of snow. This was, however, a rather cruel deception, as all of the snow was made by large water-freezing machines connected to reservoirs on the mountain. I am lucky enough to be a mainly park-specific skier, so the lack of a satisfactory snow pack did not really concern me. I do have friends, though, who enjoy skiing/riding through trees and down steep powder lines. They were, more likely than not, throwing a fit because of the fact that their typical skiing and snowboarding spots were dry rock gardens dusted with a thin layer of snow from the far-off snow-blowers. Although it is not impossible to ski on man-made snow, there is simply no substitute for Mother Nature’s very own. Man-made snow has a tendency to have funky consistencies. At the beginning of the day, it might be straight-up ice with a layer of sand-like snow on top. Later into the day, as it gets warmer, it may turn into a sticky, slushy, mess that causes you to remain at a speed hitherto unknown to science. Fresh snow, especially when made in Mother Nature’s own sky factories, has a consistency that is simply indescribable. It has the perfect amount of grip, yet it has the perfect amount of slickness at the same time. It also provides the ideal cushion when taking spills in the park. Anyways, now that it has snowed, I’m feeling good and you should too.

Page 15




showed the raiders were ready to be taken serious. “Yeah the win against Whitney was huge and it really united us,” said Harrison Ashen “the pieces are starting to fall in place” The team hoped that their new found harmony would elevate their game. The team then went on to defeat Mira Loma in a promising victory with a final score of 66-46. “We were hitting on all cylinders” Jensen said. “We cant wait to play El Camino” After a home game against Antelope, the team is back on the road against rival El Camino at El Camino on Tuesday January 31. They are looking for some crowd support from the Rowdy Raiders in hope to beat the Eagles. “It’s a lot easier playing with the Rowdy Raiders cheering us on” said Margarines “it’s like having another player on the court”

THOMAS SHNIDER MIRADA STAFF After a rocky start in non-conference games, the varsity men’s basketball team heads into their fifth league game against El Camino. The team is playing strong and they have their sights set on the playoffs. “We are just coming together and playing like a team” power forward Peter Margaris said. “Everyone knows their place and the offense is finally flowing.” While Jude Aka has missed several games, Peter Margaris and Mason Pigman have stepped up giving a much needed inside presence. We lost a lot of games that we should have won” senior forward Basil Okoroike said. “We weren’t playing to our full potential.” With a few wins under their belt the team is confident and hopes to put the tough losses from non-conference games behind them. “We struggled a bit earlier in the season but we now understand the plays and defensive rotations,” Margaris said. “ We keep improving every game” The team is finding their identity as they look to use their massive amounts of athleticism to overcome their lack of size. “I think we can beat anyone if we use our speed” said Jake Jensen “We can’t let other teams get com-

UP NEXT photo by austin hicks/photo editor Junior Zach Suarez dribbles the ball past the opposing team, the Mira Loma matadors. Suarez is a lead scorer for the varsity team.

fortable when playing us”

In their win against Whitney the team came together to beat a

skilled squad and a team with an impressive record of 13-4. The win

at El Camino When: Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. Where: El Camino

NEW KINGS COACH BRINGS ‘SMART’ GAME STRATEGY SYDNEY STEELE MIRADA STAFF After an intense summer of rumors about a move, and then the ridiculous lockout, the Sacramento Kings kicked off the season with a win against the Los Angeles Lakers. The “back in black” team is stacked with a wide range of talent. Marcus Thornton leads the team in points with an average of 17.5

points per game, and in steals with an average of 1.8 steals per game. Newly traded DeMarcus Cousins is a wall under the net and leads the team in rebounds and blocks. After recent rumors of conflict between Cousins and the Kings franchise about a trade request, Cousins decided to stay with the team and continue being a driving force on the court. Tyreke Evans leads the team in

assists and is recognized as a dominant team member on and off the court with a close second to Marcus Thornton with an average of 15.3 point per game. Fan favorite, Jimmer Fredette, is not particularly dominant in a single area of play, but is noted as balanced and consistent player. The roster consists of 14 strong willed and competitive men who are rumored to be an “ill-meshed”

team, especially after the Cousins controversy. The team holds a 6-13 record after beating the LA Lakers and New Orleans Hornets. Kings were defeated by the Portland Trailblazers, Chicago Bulls, NY Knicks, Memphis Grizzlies, and the Denver Nuggets. The Kings fired head coach, Paul Westphal, and welcomed Keith Smart on January 5. Smart

was head coach for the Golden State Warriors on the 2010-2011 NBA season. Smart has 22 years of experience under his belt as both a coach and a player. The team needed a coach to connect with the players, and after the arguments between Westphal and Cousins, Smart was a good match for the team. After the win against the Denver Nuggets, Cousins hugged Smart in celebration.

BUY YOUR YEARBOOK TODAY! PRICES: $68 per book, $5 for engraving *only cash and checks accepted in financial office

Prices go up February 20th! SENIORS: deadline for purchasing an ad in the yearbook is Feb. 3 Thank you!

-the Tesoro

Page 16


INJURIES PLAGUE WRESTLING TEAMS RECORD PATRICK O’NEILL MIRADA STAFF Short on members and short on luck, varsity Wrestling is now facing an uphill battle to unbalance their record. With an even record of 2-2, they have enough time to turn that ratio into their favor, and thus increase their odds of winning league. The season is still young, but they have many obstacles in their path. Their first and third matches fell short of victory, losing to Whitney and rival El Camino, but having won their second match against Cordova and their third over Mira Loma, it’s clear that the team is in an uphill battle, but with the right mindset they will come out on top. The shortage of team members is costing the team vital points, because if there isn’t a wrestler in a weight class, that match becomes a forfeit and the other team gets points. Senior Gabe Fuentes is the heaviest wrestler on the team at 171 pounds, and with four classes above him with nobody to fill, the team is suffering. Before the season, Fuentes lost roughly 18 pounds to drop to 160, but found difficultly maintaining his strength at that low of a weight. With Senior Patrick O’Neill dealing with an injured shoulder, the spot for 171 was open and Fuentes took it. Now he is functioning better than ever and is looking forward to

Freshman Enzo Long prepares to pin his opponent and finish the match with a half nelson and leg ride at the varsity duel match.

a healthier season at a more comfortable weight. Injuries overall have managed to take a toll on the team.

The sport is very physical and consequently hyperextensions, dislocations, concussions, and even skin disease are common sites on the

mat. O’Neill is out for the season due to multiple sustained injuries to his left shoulder. Sophomore Petya

Topov is out indefinitely because of his right arm, and Junior Ian Willis is temporarily out due to complications with his knee. Luckily, the wrestlers that are healthy enough to work are in fantastic condition. Their cardiovascular systems have reached inhuman levels in the case of endurance, and their strength is caliber of what every wrestler should aim to be. What counts higher than all else however is technique, and that is what is focused on the most with the team. If they don’t have proper technique, their athleticism will not suffice when paired with the top wrestlers of the region, and for that reason the varsity team slaves away on perfecting the many skills utilized out on the mat.As long as O’Neill remains the only person to be permanently out of competing, and the other injured wrestlers return soon, the team has a solid chance of taking league. Their next match is against Antelope on February 2. If the team walks away with a victory, their record will move to 3-2, and will be that much closer to winning league. A win will boost morale, and intensity will increase practice, if this timeline ensues, then the team will be in a good way for the rest of the season. The match takes place in Rio’s large gym at 6 pm.

photo by austin hicks/photo editor Sophomore Daizy Wilson jukes the Mira Loma matador defender for a scoring basket.



photo by aaron boulger/mirada staff Freshman Mayla Macardie and Nick Burchett (left) and Isabella Gonzales and Nick Tisler (right) perform their dance number. The dance unit is a part of the p.e. class every year and is often a favoriite among the students.

DANCE: P.E. DANCE UNIT TEACHES FRESHMAN OLD TIME DANCES FROM Page 14 around their rotating partners. The people who liked the dances were always more enthusiastic. They would think of choosing something more complicated, like Swing. Students from Arden Middle School knew the dance well because they had done it in eighth grade P.E., but students from other middle schools have never even heard of the dance. It’s hard for the people who have never

done it. Overall, the dance unit was a mixed experience for everyone. Some people absolutely despised of it, but others agreed it was pretty fun. Some would choose the dances that had little movement, like the Mexican Loraspa or the African Pata Pata, but others challenged themselves and chose the harder dances, like Swing and tinikling. It was obvious some people wanted to do it, as others weren’t so into it. It was like a giant mood swing, the mood just changed

between the different dances enthusiasm wise. Some of the dances were really disappointing, they had no uniform and barely even practiced. But the other dances showed they actually wanted to do it. They were all wearing matching clothes, and they actually showed decent enthusiasm while performing. This was a heavily opinionated unit, a lot of people disliked it, but some really did like it.

Setting the high standard for a great week, Elizabeth Moulton broke the all-season three-point record, with 52 three-pointers. After hitting her fifty-second three-pointer in the Mira Loma game, Moulton walked backwards down the court holding up her follow-through smiling like never before. “I’ve worked hard for it, I’m really happy and excited,” Moulton said. Along with Elizabeth is another record breaker this year. Just a couple of weeks ago, junior center Samantha Riel broke the all-season record for blocked shot. She has 32 blocks so far this season. Also this week, sophomore Maddie Dickman moved up to varsity to help a low-staffed team. She had a great first game against Mira Loma, hitting two three-pointers and finishing the game with 10

points. Senior co-captain, Jaime Dixon, was named player of the week leading the team in defense with 17 steals in two games. This year has been quite successful for the Lady Raiders. They started out ranked eighteenth in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 2 Rankings, but have fought their way up to eleventh place. Down by 5 at halftime against Antelope Wednesday night, the Raiders pulled of a great 2nd half, scoring 21 points in the 4th quarter. The game ended with a 53-47 victory for the Lady Raiders. From both coaches and players, expectations are high on going into playoffs. “Our coach said we had to win 6 games to probably make playoffs, but we want to win more than that to improve our power-rankings”, Moulton said.

January Issue  

Rio Mirada

January Issue  

Rio Mirada