by BRIDGET CAHILL
Rivalries are common fun among the Visalia high schools. However, the line needs to be drawn when it comes to destroying other’s property. On the Wednesday night during Battle week, people jumped the fence and entered the Golden West pool deck. Unknown people left a mattress on the side of the pool with profanity spray painted on; the tarp racks were pushed into the pool after most of the tarps had been pulled off.
Golden West’s pool was also vandalized earlier this summer. Someone smashed the record board, threw the glass in the pool, and spray painted over all the names of the record holders. The two recent incidents have been costly. The vandalism occurred the night before the water polo teams were set to duke it out for the annual Battle for the Paddle. There are still rumors circulating about who trashed the pool. Most of Golden West believes that it was the water polo team; some people are lead to believe that it was students at Golden West trying to make El Diamante look classless. However, it very well could have been students at El Diamante trying to make a funny joke. No one found it comical. It reflect poorly on the school as a whole and fueled Golden West’s fire to win both the Paddle and the Saddle. The vandals still have not been caught and probably won’t be. This action not only looks bad on the people who did it, but it also makes the water polo teams look like poor sports. Is that the reputation we want our school to have? People need to realize that they represent El Diamante on and off campus.
This prank was unnecessary and makes the school look trashy. Rivalry week is supposed to fun, but it is not give students the right to vandalize the rival schools.
by Tommy VanTichelt
Coming from someone in this year’s senior class of 2015, a former member of the Marching Miner, being good friends with many of my peers who are in the drama department, and of course, writing for the school newspaper, I’ve seen quite a few things wrong with the way our school handles these subjects. As well as the fact that we idolize our sports (mainly football). I’ll try to say this as professionally as possible, but the truth is, it sucks! Coming from the perspective of the band, we deserved far more recognition than we got. We had repeatedly taken first at the Visalia Band Review for 10 years in a row, as well as taking home the banner for championships multiple times. Not to mention the hard work and dedication that band takes. Despite what people think, band is not an easy thing to do when your teacher will settle for nothing less than the best in his students.
I’ve also heard that our old yearbook room, that they used to use, was replaced with couches and projector so the football team can watch replays and highlights. Not to mention they already spent money on EXPANDING the weight room which required a lot of work and all the while messing up our blacktop while doing it. Leaving rubble and large cracks behind. All for the better of our sports, right? Because that’s what makes the most money. Have you seen our biology books? They’re destroyed. Another thing to mention would be the fact that the computers in our computer labs are starting to become outdated and most of the time far too frustrating to even use. Another thing that bothers me would be the fact that our drama department and all performing arts, for that matter, don’t get nearly enough attention as they should. Drama puts hilarious one-acts on every year. And trust me when I say this, they’re hilarious; plus they work hard to make it happen. And this goes for all performing arts, band, drama, choir, orchestra,dance, you name it. This school does not revolve around football the way they think it does.
by SHELBY JEHLE
So as we all know, for the past few years the Hunger Games Trilogy has been all the hype and now we are going onto the third movie in this series on November 21st, 2014. As exciting as this already is for many people, I now have some news for you… The Hunger Games is going theatrical, like literally on a stage live in front of an audience! So what do we think of this?
Usually live performances are amazing and many movies have gone to the stage like Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beat, etc., but should The Hunger Games? If you notice there’s a common occurrence…Those are all Disney films and they were all cartoons, and The Hunger Games is already live actors just on screen. I compare this situation to actors like Jennifer Lawrence herself who take on a major memorable role and then attempt to go onto other films as a whole new character. It is hard to see her as any other character other than Katniss. This situation might be like that too where if this majorly know trilogy tries to change its stage and tries to go to an actual live theater people may not respond to well.
The great thing about The Hunger Games the way it is, is that we can go to the theater with our blankets, candy, popcorn, and snuck in drinks and just watch Peeta and Katniss do their thing on the big screen for a modest price. Now if they move on to a stage that by the way is in London, yes I said London right next to Wembley Stadium that is being built specially for this event, then I’m about a good 94% sure that not many people from this neck of the woods will see it. So all in all, if you are willing to spend the few thousand to get to London, England and see this new production that will be coming out in 2016 then this is great for you, but to all the normal people out there I’m sure you’re completely fine sticking to our nice comfy theaters right here in town just a short 5 minute drive from home and only costing you around $20. Maybe in the future if and when this production reaches our Fresno Staples Center this could be something interesting to go see, but for now The Hunger Games should just stick to the big screen, I mean they’re already making millions off of these films so going stage is not really necessary.
by ELEXA SIERRA
Not to be a downer on the fist-pumping, music-blaring, and voice-losing screams that come with every spirit-filled rally, but our are chants for victory an even louder cry to the dangers that surround high school students and their hungry rage for school rivalry?
It is all fun and play, high school football games; but is it more than that? Is there a deeper safety issue circling school rivalry of our town or any town for that matter? Log onto twitter the night of saddle or cowhide, students of rivalry schools are tweeting back and forth vicious comments defending their high school. Given, these comments are harmless… most of the time. Rewind to about a month or two ago, Mt.Whitney is playing Tulare Western on a usual Friday night game. Whitney loses: players, students, and fans are upset and things start to hit the roof. A student went as far as to threaten the lives of Tulare Western students due to the loss of the game. This is our town, these are our students, this is actually happening and it is important to take these things seriously in retrospect.
Now, not only are our peers talking the talk of school rivalry, but they are walking the walk of even physical assault and crime in the name of the game. As we all know, sabotage of the local schools are a must for one of the biggest games of the season. But what these kids do and how far these “pranks” are taken are a serious community issue. Schools have been victim to profanity laced graffiti, campuses have been trashed, and even students have been assaulted (the stolen mascot head). Not so friendly anymore is it?
It would be false to say that these students participate in school rivalry out of pure anger and hatred for other schools. No, in fact is it purely out of fun and spirit, and the opportunity to be about of something that is happening here and now in their very own schools. Nonetheless, there is always room to improve the tradition of high school rivalry, while still having fun.
by MICHELLE PEREZ
Social Media has done it again folks! Unless you live under a cave, most of the world now knows Alex from Target. Alex, being a normal guy who happened to have his photo taken while packing groceries, has been turned into a teen hearthrob.
When I first saw this on my twitter feed I did not think much of it, considering it was not a big deal. Although, I was wrong. Not even an hour later, Alex from Target was EVERYWHERE. At that moment, it came to my realization that this is what the world has come to. Except, I can not blame Alex from Target, but instead blame the ones who supported this insignificant fame.
Furthermore, it is incredibly shocking for me to see my generation make complete fools take out of themselves. Here is an idea! This generation should start focusing more on solving global issues than following the latest Twitter trends! Especially, since teens had the power to make Alex worldwide, it only makes me question what would happen if teens supported the awareness of those global issues worldwide?
Aside from the madness of the Alex from Target controversy, it is only realistic to say that this will eventually blow over. As well as another person will become internet famous and take his place. Therefore, I can only accept that the social media cycle is never ending. I only hope that this generation will choose to make someone who has done good for this world be the next phenomenon.
by Mikkel Smith-Lee
US Researchers have started posting their findings about how bad sugary drinks are. Not like this is a new topic, but they have been trying different tactics to reach US teens. They have started posting signs about how much exercise it takes to burn off those sugary drinks. “The most effective sign said it took five miles to walk of the 250 calories in a sugary drink”.
“What our research found is that when you explain calories in an easily understandable way such as how many miles of walking is needed to burn them off, you can encourage behavior change.” This was stated by study leader, Dr. Sara Bleich, associate professor at the Bloomberg School, John Hopkins University. By not just telling teens that sugary drinks are bad for you, the study shows that if you give them some real-life reasons, the habit of purchasing the sugary drinks goes down.
By translating the calories in the drinks into the amount of exercise needed to burn off those calories, teens were able to take a more realistic approach to what they put in their systems. The researchers put the signs up for six weeks and found that 59% of teens interviewed while exiting the stores changed what they were buying into non-sugar drinks. Before the signs were put up, 98% of drinks bought in those same shops were sugary ones. They also claim that larger bottles of the sugary drinks went down from 54% to 37%. That is amazing considering one can of fizzy drink contains around nine teaspoons of sugar. That is a considerable amount of sugar not being consumed.
The other plus to this study is that if the warning signs are kept up, fewer and fewer sugary drinks will be bought and consumed. With the ratio of 1:4 adults and 1:5 children in the UK are obese, and 1:3 children in the US are obese, this could significantly help in the health of our citizens. Anything that can help promote obesity-prevention or weight loss is a good thing!
by ASHLEIGH LEA
Social Media Manager
The definition of addiction is “compulsion engagement in naturally rewarding behavior”. Recently, a family member of mine was harmed by addiction and it is not the first time. The power of addiction can destroy relationships, health, and your future. How does addiction even work? On http://www.psychiatry.org/addiction, I read information on how addiction triggers the brain. Whatever substance that is used can bring a sensation that is enjoyable leading a person to be addicted to it. Then neurons, which is a nerve cell, changes due to that use of substance over and over again. These neurons give out neurotransmitters that gives impulse to nerve cells. Addiction can come from something little than drugs and alcohol, it can come from sugar, caffeine, etc. Nevertheless, it is damaging. It is easy to shrug at people who say “Take care of your body!” but they are not wrong. Whether you are the person who is an addict or know someone who is, there is help to conquer that monster. My family member was checked into the Tarzana Treatment Center, a facility that deals with addiction for all ages. This center goes through many services to find the recovery a patient needs. Depending on patients behavior they have the option to do what is called “output services”, meaning that the patient can receive care while being home with family or loved ones. Receiving help is a hard decision to make, as a person who knows someone going through this addiction I am relieved that my family member went and got help. 23.5 million people who are 12 and older needed drug and alcohol recovery, which is stated in an article from 2011 (http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-statistics). Kids are being influenced younger and younger therefore addiction isn’t just for older ages, it can also start out young. Youth can be influenced by their families or other people around them to abuse substances. As a high school student, everyone around me talks about drinking at parties or smoking marijuana. It never really appealed to me to be involved in that kind of scene, but I would like to encourage those people to be careful. The reason for substance abuse has a meaning behind it. It is your own duty to take initiative for your life to find help.
by CAMILLE PANGGAT
Finding out that you have an inoperable brain tumor and that you only have, at the most, only a couple of years to live can dishearten any person pretty quickly; more so, finding out months later that now, you might not even make it to the end of the year. However, Lauren Hill is not just like any other person. Lauren, despite having Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma or DIPG, a pediatric cancer that currently has no cure and a survival rate of less than 10%, has chosen to be brave and to face what some may see as a lose-lose battle head on. She has chosen not let this setback prevent her from living her life just the way she dreamed.
Hill, a freshman basketball player at Mt. Saint Joseph University, is determined to fight through and play in a collegiate basketball game. Hill achieved just that on November 2 as the NCAA approved the waiver to move up MSJ’s season opener. Fulfilling her dream, Lauren was able to make her collegiate debut: the opening game of the season, in front of a sellout crowd with its share of celebrities such as Pat Summitt, Elena Delle Donne, Tamika Catchings and Skylar Diggins. Hill went on to score the first basket of the 2014-2015 college basketball season and played for 47 seconds in her team’s win over Hiram. Lauren finished the game with a total of 4 points.
However, Lauren’s influence has gone way past the sidelines of the basketball court. Lauren’s story went viral in social media websites and has opened the eyes of society to DIPG. Lauren has since started a campaign called #Layup4Lauren, which is designed similarly to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. As Lauren’s tumor often causes her to become dizzy and forces her to shoot with her non-dominant hand, her campaign challenges people to spin three times before making a layup also with their non-dominant hand. All donations from this campaign will go straight to The Cure Now Foundation, an organization devoted to fighting childhood cancer. On November 13, Lauren presented a $176,186 check to The Cure Starts Now Foundation and says at the presentation at Children’s Hospital that she feels “like almost a superhero.”
by HANNAH JOHNSTON
On November 11th, El D volleyball took on Golden West in the Battle for the Spandex. In the first set, the Miner’s showed they came for a win, beating the Blazers 25-14.
The Blazers, however, did not give up. They came back in the second set winning 25-21. The third set was yet another blow to the Miner’s. Golden West took a second victory 25-19.
The Lady Miner’s continued to push through coming back in the fourth set, beating the Blazers 25-20.
Through out the night, Ashley Phillips helped lead the Miner’s with her fifteen kills.
The nerves where at an all time high as the Miner’s began the fifth and final set. The lady’s nerves, however, did not get the best of them. The beat Golden West 15-10, winning the game, and the “Spandex”.
by HANNAH JOHNSTON
It is time to break out the cardigans, the hot cocoa, and start the bonfires – Fall is here. Although the weather hasn’t been quite as cold and raining as some may like, the other aspects of Fall are still making their appearances.
Stores are placing shorts and summer clothes on clearance, while they stock up on jeans and hoodies. High waisted shorts and crop tops are being stored away while we break out our scarves and boots.
Starbucks is bringing back the signature “red cup”, and McDonald’s is stocking up on their seasonal coffees. Pumpkin pies are present at stores all over town, and peppermint hot cocoa is a fan favorite.
Fall is not just a change in weather, fashion, or treats; it a sign of the holidays soon to come. Thanksgiving is right around the corner – along with Christmas and the New Year, and holidays mean vacation!
Fall is also a change in mood. The long, late nights of summer are over, and the cold, foggy days are soon to come. But what’s the one thing that comes to mind when you think Fall?. . . Whether it be the change in leaves, a time for bonfires, a chance to curl up and watch movies, or a change in weather, Fall is a beautiful season, and although the valley is not covered in snow or stormed with rain, Fall is still here – in the little ways.