Homeless in Visalia charged cart fines


Staff Writer

This photograph was taken by Maddy Heeszel

This photograph was taken by Maddy Heeszel

Last month, the city of Visalia released a new law stating that homeless could no longer push around their belongings in shopping carts. Police now have the right to fine homeless $50 for having a cart. Homeless people are given the option to either store their personal items at a rescue mission or store them in a large trash bag given by the city.


It’s understandable that Visalia officials would want to prevent stores’ carts from being taken and would want to find a way to make our city to look more presentable, but a $50 fine for a homeless person? How would they even be able to pay the fine? This new regulation is useless considering that the majority of homeless people would not be able to afford to pay the fines. Could there be a better way to approach this situation?


In this case, charging fines would not be any help and would only cause more issues. More and more homeless people would be unable to pay the $50, and it would cause more trouble for them and for our city. A homeless person is homeless for a reason; they have little to no money, therefore, they most likely won’t be able to pay the fines that they are charged. They are fighting for their life with the little money that they do have, and they shouldn’t have to pay $50 of which they can’t afford.


Instead of punishing homeless for taking carts, should we find alternatives? Yes, the city is providing trash bags for them so they can carry their belongings, but they’re still taking it as far as to charge them ridiculous fines that they don’t even have the money for. How could we fix this situation?


Dogs getting a safety upgrade


staff writer

People aren’t the only ones who are put in danger when joining law enforcement or the military. In the past few years law enforcement has started training dogs to sniff out drugs or bombs on suspects. With these dangerous missions these dogs are put through, k-9 dogs are killed by people trying to escape when being sniffed out for drugs or bombs. With the growing danger these dogs are put in, they need better protection against criminals. This is causing an increase in bullet and knife proof vests being funded towards the k-9 dogs. The vest are being government funded, as well as community funded by the locals who support the local police departments.


The reason the vests are also bullet as well as knife is a part of the dogs training. They are trained to attack and bite down on the aggressors right arm to cripple him. However with the dogs focusing on the right arm of the aggressor, it leaves his left arm free. This also leaves the dog open to a knife attack from the free arm. Thus, the knife proof part of these new vests come into play, allowing superior protection from this danger. They are also comfortable for the dogs as well and not at all cumbersome. They have a unique design to insure a proper fit for the dog. Also, the vests are a three piece design with adjustable Velcro and elastic straps at the shoulders and for the girth of the dog. This ensures the dog will have a snug, safe, and comfortable fit for their vests.

However, the safety does come at a fairly hefty price. The vest costs about 970.00 dollars each for the protection these dogs received. However it can be an investment as well, not just for the dogs safety but for the fact it takes extensive training, time, and money for these dogs to be ready for use in the field. So the vest can be considered a long term investment in the animal. Either way there are new ways and methods to help the k-9 cops keep their canine partners safe from criminals.


Visalia’s best pizzas


Staff Writer

This photo was taken by Maddy Heeszel.

This photo was taken by Maddy Heeszel.

There are many different restaurants in Visalia that have delicious pizzas to offer. A few of the best ones happen to be from Pizano’s, Planing Mill, Chili’s, and Round Table. With their unique pizzas, they’re definitely considered the tastiest in town.


1. Brown Sugar & Spice from Pizano’s

If you’re tired of having marinara sauce on your pizza, then the Brown Sugar & Spice pizza from Pizano’s is right for you (Image of Brown Sugar & Spice pizza shown to the left). Unlike most pizzas, this one has brown sugar glaze as the sauce and is topped with pepperoncinis, cracked red pepper, and ham. Brown sugar on pizza may sound gross, but it’s actually really good. This pizza has the perfect combination of sweet, savory, and spicy.


2. Thai Pie from Planing Mill

Thai food is usually pretty spicy, and from eating this pizza, you can get a similar flavor. Spicy food lovers would love this pizza. It has chicken, roasted garlic, serranos (chilis), peanuts, onions, and cilantro. The chilis help to give it a nice kick, but trust me, you will need a couple of drink refills just to eat a few slices. Once you take a bite of the Thai Pie, you’ll never want to stop, even if your burning tongue disagrees with you.


3. California Grilled Chicken Flatbread from Chili’s

For those who are wanting a variety of flavors, then the California Grilled Chicken Flatbread from Chili’s is definitely the right option. This appetizing dish has tomato sauce, grilled chicken, applewood smoked bacon, monterey jack, mozzarella, cilantro, homemade pico-de-gallo, sliced avocados, and is drizzled with roasted garlic aioli. Its creamy and flavorsome taste will drive you crazy.


4. Tomato Pesto Flatbread from Round Table

For a more simple pizza, try the Tomato Pesto Flatbread from Round Table. This pizza contains a creamy pesto sauce, mozzarella, basil, tomatoes, and is brushed with garlic olive oil. The ingredients may seem bland, but their pesto sauce gives it a nice, creamy taste, and the basil adds a good flavor to it.


5. Maui Zaui from Round Table

The Maui Zaui is a sweet and spicy pizza that has red sauce, ham, bacon, pineapples, tomatoes, and red & green onions. This pizza is sweet and spicy, but not too spicy, which gives it a nice Hawaiian vibe. With a mix of different flavors, your taste buds will taste nothing but amazement.


You have just witnessed the five top pizzas in Visalia. From the the Thai Pie to the Tomato Pesto Flatbread, you’ll be sure to find a delicious pizza you can claim as your new favorite. These pizzas have unique and nearly indescribable tastes, which will be appealing to just about anyone. Which pizza will you try? Will you try the unique Brown Sugar & Spice pizza, the spicy Thai Pie, the flavorsome California Grilled Chicken flatbread, the simple (but delicious) Tomato Pesto flatbread, or the hot and sweet Maui Zaui? The choice is yours, but no matter which pizza you try, you’re sure to love it.


Having trouble finding love? Marry yourself!

I married me- Janet Bonilla

This picture was put together by Janet Bonilla.


Staff Writer


If you tell anyone that you’re planning to marry yourself, they will most likely giggle and say, “You’re crazy! That’s not even possible!” The “I Married Me Self-Wedding In a Box” isn’t an act to make fun of. It’s a new found self notion to express the love and dedication one has towards oneself. You can’t love anyone if you don’t love yourself first right?


Has the thought of marrying yourself ever crossed your mind? Well, look no further! The married couple, jewelry designer Jeffrey Levin and consulting expert Bonnie Powers have officially made this act possible. They have made this performance seem like something not so out of the ordinary. This new item on the market is called, “I Married Me Self-Wedding In a Box.” The box contains a handmade ring, ceremony instructions, three “Promises To Me” and an affirmation card for every day of the week.


The “I Married Me” kit gives people the chance to celebrate their single lives. The couple is currently trying to raise money for their invention on the crowdfunding platform of Indiegogo. You may want to know what the price is for this unique ring. For only $300, you can get the perfect holiday gift for a relative or maybe even for yourself.


There might be some confusion about what wearing the ring actually pertains to. Wearing the ring isn’t explicitly stating that you’ve given up on love. It’s actual purpose is to lift you up and give you an opportunity to celebrate yourself for once! While it’s an affordable alternative to crazy expensive wedding ceremonies, there is just one setback. Don’t you think you deserve a ring that costs more than $300? Come on, treat yourself.


Note: Bonnie makes it clear that wearing the ring is only stating that you are a positive person and that you love yourself. She even mentions that learning to love and care for yourself before committing to a person can help amplify your emotional state on a deeper level and can instantly boost your health. Bonnie Powers speaks of this as an act that should be done. She uses her past experience from her own wedding to show proof that this act instantly makes people become enlightened with joy. Should you approach this method and consider marrying yourself? It’s entirely up to you!



Christmas treats


Staff Writer

Christmas time is all about food! From holiday parties, to family traditions, food is the best part about the Christmas season. There are so many delicious treat options to bake and make for any kind of jolly event. You can make gingerbread cookies, sugar cut-out cookies, peppermint bark, and so many more. Another fun thing to do as a family is build a gingerbread house. Together, you can use your creativity to make your own gingerbread house with candies and frosting galore. This is a fun activity to do at this time of year because it is fun to stay cozy indoors while it’s cold outside..

Baking yummy Christmas treats for your family and friends is such a sweet and personal way of giving. Christmas time is definitely the season of giving, so don’t spend money on gifts when you can just bake savory treats for all of your loved ones. Sugar cookies are always a great option because you can make cut outs such as Christmas trees, angels, snowflakes, and reindeer. These are so cute and fun to decorate. This is such a great activity to do as a family with some holiday music playing. You can do many things to have yourself a cheerful, holiday spirited winter night!

What better way to top off your holiday treat with some hot cocoa? This warm drink is very delightful in the winter time, keeping your hands and throat nice and warm. A fun way to prepare hot cocoa is to add some marshmallows or some whipped cream to top it off. If you are wanting to spice up your hot cocoa, you could even add some pumpkin spice or maybe even some candy cane! Warm drinks are such a lovely addition to any holiday treat.

Food is love around Christmas time. Having treats in the kitchen is the best way to bring everyone together. If you are in the giving mood and have a joyful spirit for the holidays, spend some time in the kitchen and get to bakin’!


New staff joins Miner family: Mrs. Neufeld


Staff Writer



This photo was taken by Yailin Ledezma.

One of the most energetic new staff members is Mrs. Neufeld! She is our new Physical Education and Health teacher here on campus. Mrs. Neufeld has been teaching fitness for almost 18 years, and has been a classroom teacher for two and a half years.

Inspired by Mrs. Luna, her high school P.E. teacher, Mrs. Neufeld decided to take on the same career. The way her own teacher had the ability to teach and make her class laugh is really what inspired Mrs. Neufeld. In time, she followed Mrs. Luna’s steps and became a PE teacher. Mrs. Neufeld now enjoys the great things teaching has brought to her, like the students. We do owe great thanks for Mr. Clyburne, who contacted Mrs. Neufeld as soon as there was an opening for a teacher’s position. Mr. Clyburne always mentioned to her how great our school was. She explains, “He was right! The staff and students are wonderful to be around!”

Besides teaching, Mrs. Neufeld enjoys knitting, reading, eating, watching movies, and watching British TV shows. We know her for being very cheerful during rallies. She shares that she has become prideful for our school as she meets more students. Finally she exclaims her hopes for the future here. “I would very much like to be here 10 years from now. Unless of course there’s a zombie apocalypse, then I want to be on a boat near a tropical island,” she jokes. As we can tell, she is very charismatic. We look forward to having her here on campus!


New Playstation 4 game system


Staff Writer

New Playstation 4- Courteney Kauffmann

This photo was put together by Courteney Kauffmann.

Hot off the market came the release of the new Playstation 4 game system. Over one million of these gaming consoles were sold within the first 24 hours of availability in various stores in America, as well as some in Canada. Seven years since Sony has released a new system, and it has had to face stiff competition with Microsoft’s new XBox One, which just came out recently. The PS4 was priced at $399 in the United States and the Xbox One was sold at $499; they both offer many improved graphics for realistic effects. Processors would get the advantage of having faster game play and being able to view a lot of exclusive video games. In New York, Sony rented out the entire Standard High Line Hotel in Manhattan, where roughly 500 people showed up to watch a light show of video-game scenes as they waited for the midnight launch of the new game console.


Some of the new features that are made for the new console include greater social interaction during the game play, a redesigned controller with a touch pad interface, and expansion of streaming entertainment choices. These were just some of the few. Over the next few months, Playstation 4 consoles will go on sale for other countries around the world, with the final launch date set for February in Japan. Analysts expected the demand for the system to oustrip supply throughout Christmas, making it difficult for people to get their hands on one. A lot of people are excited to play old favorites with new-console capabilities. Literally thousands of people lined up across America at their local store or Best Buy to be one of the first to play. It is expected to be a very big success with thousands of fans.

What Crosses the Line?

by Daria Jones

Staff Writer

These days, with all the different types of social media (Twitter, Instagram, Vine, etc…), it can be difficult for many people to realize what might be “crossing the line” of appropriateness. It is too often that people get offended, hurt, or embarrassed by things that others say to or about them. It’s becoming an everyday occurrence, where people are simply turning to staying away and turn anti-social because of Twitter fights, offensive posts, or hurtful messages.

But what’s the difference between playfully teasing and legitimately going too far? It’s come to light that everyday people aren’t the only victims; celebrities, too, get offended by remarks sent or said to them. Even NFL player Jonathan Martin has come forward about a case of one of his teammates crossing the line in teasing and bullying. The teammate bullying Martin allegedly sent him texts using racial slurs and threatening his family. Even though the man accused of bullying said it was “all in ‘good old’ making fun,” Martin obviously did not feel the same way.

This isn’t the only current case of inappropriateness and hurt feelings. There are many that happen everyday, some on a much larger scale than others. Several months ago in September, a thirteen year old girl was driven to suicide at the cause of Facebook bullies. What can we do to prevent this? A general rule is to think before you type or text.  We were taught to “think before we speak” in elementary school, yet it’s something that isn’t well-applied in many high schools and colleges around the country. If you wouldn’t like it said to you, then why would you say or send it to somebody else?



College Rivalry


Staff Writer

This photograph was taken by Sonali Sama

This photograph was taken by Sonali Sama

College rivalries have been a long time tradition in our adolescent years. Some may consider them as friendly pranks, others see them as felonies. School rivalries have become a nationwide trend. The following pranks are some of the famous college pranks in history. Personally, I find school rivalry quite amusing. Examples of some of my favorite ones are listed below.



UCLA and USC rivalry has to be the most famous between all colleges. It began in 1941 when USC stole a 295-pound victory bell from UCLA. Other battle of stunts include planting 20,000 gold-and-cardinal-painted crickets in UCLA’s library, kidnapping USC fans and chaining them to fire hydrants, and numerous sneak assaults on statues of Tommy Trojan and UCLA’s Bruin Bear.



In 1899, UC Berkeley students stole Stanford‘s ceremonial ax after a baseball game, sparking a century of dueling shenanigans. In addition to back-and-forth ax-nappings, the Stanford students tweaked various Palo Alto freeway signs to say “Stanfurd,” interfering Cal’s halftime marching band with tiny motorized cars, and unleashing mice in each other’s campus libraries.



On the night before the Yellow Jackets were set to arrive in Auburn for an 1896 game, Auburn students greased the train tracks leading in and out of the local station. When Georgia Tech’s train came into town, it skidded through town and didn’t stop for five more miles. The GT football team had to make the trek back to town, then went on to lose, 45-0.


In 2006, a star point guard from USC got punked in a majorly embarrassing way. Gabe Pruitt, who played with the farm team versions of the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers before heading to Europe, struck up a Facebook friendship with Victoria, a cutie from UCLA. Little did Pruitt know, Victoria was a made up account. Unfortunately, naive Gabe was hooked and soon decided to give “Victoria” his number. This soon turned into a courtside taunt when fans of the opposing team decided to chant them. Pruitt, who had been shooting 79% at the free-throw line that season, was only three of thirteen from the line that particular game.\


College rivalry never fails to capture the attention of many people. It also never fails to appall witnesses. Whether its by vandalizing the school campus, or kidnapping the school mascot, school rivalry is tradition that is eternal. The scandalous works of many college students is so enthralling to learn about. There is nothing wrong is some friendly pranks that are well thought out. I say, “Keep the pranks coming!”

Shopping on a budget


This photograph was taken by JANET BONILLA

This photograph was taken by JANET BONILLA


You don’t necessarily need to look out of style in this tough economy we’re experiencing. With a little thought and some planning, you can shop for trendy clothes on a budget. Knowing what you already have, what clothes you need and what clothes you want to get will allow you to spend your money carefully and not end up with unnecessary items in your closet that you can agree were a total waste of money. Knowing where to look for bargains will give you the best of both worlds– cute,  fashionable clothing, and more money in your pocket. Knowing how to properly do this will surely grant you some steals!


Fashion shopping on a budget is easy, that is, if you know what you’re doing. I don’t care what anyone says, that feeling of pride you get when you find an amazing deal is so amazing! As a child, I remember shopping with my mom at her favorite budget-friendly stores every weekend. My mom would give us a couple of dollars, slightly like an allowance, and let us get our shop on! I would always end up with a Hello Kitty item or colorful scented nail polish. Oh, those were the days!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind paying full price for an item if I absolutely love it. I also believe the saying, “You get what you pay for.” That’s something you need to keep in mind when shopping too. But, there are definitely ways to get great quality fashion with only a few dollars. Instantly granting you a whole lot of extra money in your pocket. You don’t have to spend an awful amount of money for a great fashion sense!

Here are the rules to live by for a closet full of clothes without breaking the bank:

Step one: Visit Budget and Designer Retailers and Outlets


These type of places were made for people who are seeking fashionable clothing at a low price! I love shopping at stores like Target, Kmart, JCPenney, Old Navy, Marshalls, TJ Maxx (LA location, grand opening in Visalia) and Ross. You might become surprised on how you can easily find cute clothing at a fraction of the cost of high retailer stores.

Step two: Visit thrift stores and go garage saling!

This is probably the best advice that can possibly be given. You never know what you’ll find. I personally love going thrift shopping and garage saling. More than likely, you’ll find items of clothing that no one really has. I love finding pieces of clothing that nobody around me has. It makes your wardrobe original. Plus, when you go garage saling, you can easily get unique items for a dollar or less!

Step three: Always pay in cash!

Never pay with a credit card. Paying with a credit card makes you feel the need to overspend. Often than not, you will make unnecessary purchases. Always pay in cash. That way, you are more careful about how your money is being spent. Having cash in hand will make you want to get more for your money.

Step four: Go shopping alone

When you go shopping with others, often than not, they will make you hurry up. When you hurry up, you get anything and don’t think twice about what you are about to purchase. When you go shopping alone, you can actually have time to go to various locations and get most for your money.

These are the rules I go by when I go shopping. If you take these steps into consideration, you most likely will have money in your pocket and most likely, a closet full of clothes. Who said you had to spend an outrageous amount of money when you go shopping? Clothes don’t make you. It’s up to you to make the clothes!