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Entertainment Magazine Volume 69, Issue 1

Spider-Man Sticks To Sony

The beloved Spider-Man is leaving Marvel studios, and will now be completely in the hands of Sony. After three different renditions of the character, it looks like there will be another. Back in the 80’s, Marvel sold their film rights for Spider-Man when superhero films were not the box-office-breaking movies that they are today, and they resorted to licensing many popular characters to other film studios in order to stay afloat. In 1999, Sony snatched the rights of Spider-Man and started the classic Spider-Man trilogy that was first released in 2002, starring Toby Maguire. Back in 2012, the series rebooted with Andrew Garfeild as the new Spider-Man. While the re-boot received generally mixed reviews, an agreement in 2015 allowed Marvel to share the character with Sony. Sony would function as the financier of the films, and Marvel would serve as the creative producer. Along with the deal, Marvel got the merchandising rights, collecting 5% of box office revenue on the first day of release, while Sony cashed in on the rest of the film’s profit. Notably, Marvel also had the rights to integrate the character into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which led Tom Holland to debut in Captain America: Civil War in 2016. He then appeared in four more Marvel movies, including two Avengers movies and two stand alone films.

     The split reportedly stems from a deal that Marvel’s parent company, Disney, sparked with Sony. Supposedly, Disney wanted to co-finance the Spider-Man films in order to get a larger share of the profits. They offered to strike up a 50-50 deal with Sony, meaning both companies would split the financing and profits for the movies equally. It’s said that Sony refused the deal, which means a different future for Spider-Man, and he won’t be taking Iron Man’s role like Marvel intended. Sony confirmed the rumors of the split when they went to Twitter to release the news that Marvel’s Kevin Fiege will not be producing the future Spider-Man movies, stating, “We [at Sony] are disappointed, but respect Disney’s decision not to have him [Kevin Fiege] continue as a lead producer of our next live action Spider-Man film.” Fiege is a Marvel film producer and has been the president of Marvel Studios since 2007. His major role in producing the two recent Spider-Man films causes fans to question what Sony plans to do with Tom Holland’s character, without Feige. 

       It looks like both studios are holding on to their decisions, which in turn welcomes a new reality, where Peter Parker is not going to carry the legacy of Tony Stark. Though the future of Spider-Man looks bleak, actor Tom Holland is hopeful in saying, “The future for Spider-Man will be different…but it will be equally as awesome and amazing, and we’ll find new ways to make it even cooler.”

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Magazine Opinions Volume 69, Issue 1

Why Are There So Many Mass Shootings in the US?

by Katelyn To

When there have been more mass shootings this year than there have been days, that’s when you know America has a serious problem. There have been a staggering total of 255 mass shootings as of August 5th this year; that’s 255 too many. America needs to take action before this number continues to increase.

Donald Trump can cry mental illness all he wants, but what he should be crying about is gun control; according to USA Today, there is little to no correlation between mental illness and shootings. He and some reporters even blame violent video games, (yet Japan and South Korea are bigger consumers of video games than the US, while still boasting some of the lowest violent crime rates in the world.) Out of the three countries, the US is the only country with mass shooting rates this high. 

So, what exactly do they do differently? For starters, both countries have very strict gun laws. Japan, in particular, requires all citizens to take a day-long class, pass tests, go through evaluations, and repeat the process every three years to be allowed to own and use a gun. As a result, they maintain one of the lowest gun violence rates. 

Other countries also lack something that we don’t, which seems to become more and more prevalent in America every day that Trump is in office: white supremacy. Coincidence? Maybe not. Recently, a 21-year-old white man shot and killed 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. He is a huge Trump supporter, which was made clear on his Twitter profile. He posted a photo of guns that were positioned on the floor to spell out “Trump,” along with a caption exuding his loyalty to him. He’d also liked many of Trump’s own tweets, and to make matters worse, he’s a white supremacist. The shooter had driven ten hours just to get to El Paso, making it clear that it was no random target location, and later it was found that he did so in response to the “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” More specifically, the shooter had written an anti-immigrant manifesto prior to the attack, which stated his support for the gunman who killed 51 people in a mosque in New Zealand, and revealed his extreme case of xenophobia, or prejudice against people from other countries.

Multiple things may come into play when attempting to determine the reason for America’s gun addiction. But two things can be known for sure: gun regulation needs to happen now, and Trump isn’t doing anything to help it.

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Features Magazine Volume 69, Issue 1

Miles Hall Tribute

“This makes me feel like I need to live life everyday like Miles did to fulfill myself,” says Mason Reese while commenting on the death of Miles Hall. He passed away on June 2, 2019, and was not only a son and a friend, but a light in this world who brought laughter and joy into every conversation and room he walked into. Hall left momentous impacts on the people he left behind. His family and friends describe him as an extremely intelligent person with many ambitions and a good soul.

With a passion for music, Hall learned to play piano when he was 15 years old. Using that skill, Miles started making beats and expressed himself by rapping and creating music. Junior Mason Reese a close cousin to Hall fondly remembers the conversations they had,  “He used to be really good at skateboarding, people used to think that was going to be his thing,”  said Reese. 

Religion also played a big part in Hall’s life, which Oscar Amen, a family friend, believes was a huge help in tough times. “He was really into church and religion which was a really good thing for him at the time…[and] gave him hope for better things and it helped him look at a new way of life.”

Miles was gifted with a personality that easily rubbed off on people, “He’d make a lot of jokes, it was always something minor to make you laugh, make you smile. He’s always making people smile.” He was known for keeping a brave face in situations that were stressful and having a tangible calmness that made his friends feel like everything would be okay. Amen easily recalls old memories about Hall’s loving and charitable personality. “He was a really helpful person. There’s a story about him going over to neighbors house and trying to be friends with their dog because he thought the dog didn’t like him. He was a really good soul, a beautiful person.” Reese and Amen both mention the way Miles was easily able to make the people he loved feel special and heard while giving insightful advice. Amen says, “I thought it was really cool of him to be able to come into conversations and ask questions that no one else would ask and they were very intelligent: he was always super smart and he didn’t have to work at it.”  Miles is described  as endlessly curious by Reese, “He’s always willing to learn, everytime we hung out he’d ask a volley of questions, and it was really cool because I’d never met anybody that asked me so many.” 

The footprint Miles left behind won’t have to be remembered because he has impacted and changed every person he’s met for the better. Whether it be his charismatic and amiable personality, or the warmth he had that drew so many people to him, Miles was a light in every way. Reese puts it best: “I want to keep Miles in my memories and hopefully people who knew him or didnt know him will keep him in theirs.”

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Entertainment Magazine Volume 69, Issue 1

Back to School Fashion

by Zeyada Negasi, Mya Rafferty, Christy Knudson, and Jane Wilson

Freshman Anthony Costa is wearing an MTV graphic t-shirt with distressed jeans. He pairs the outfit with chunky white sneakers and a chain necklace.
Junior Almira Tiqueis wearing a multicolor wrap-around blouse with boyfriend jeans, and a collection of bracelets on one arm.

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Magazine News Volume 69, Issue 1

Time Again for First Gen

The focus for the First Gen Program at Las Lomas, officially started in February of 2018 by Anne Fuller, Amy McNamara, and Carol Thompson, was to help both students who have parents that did not graduate from a four-year college and students who come from low-income households. Thompson, a college advisor who works closely with Anne Fuller in the College and Career Center, alongside Elaine Chan, said, “It became evident that some students had more questions and just needed more help.” While all the schools in the Acalanes District have the program, Las Lomas has the largest percentage of First Gen and low-income students. Thompson says the first generation or marginalized students are helped when planning, “Out a four-year path to college, looking at possible majors, finances, extracurricular activities, scholarships, etc.” 

The program helps students to identify an affordable career and college path. Because the district is diverse, “The goal was established to meet the needs of all students.” Currently, the program is busy with Seniors and their college applications for the fall, though any First Gen student can drop into the College and Career Center to make an appointment or make one through the Las Lomas website. 

One veteran of the program, which has had 200 students, was Tim Lee, who graduated in the summer of 2019 and is now a freshman at UC Riverside. Lee said he “was helped with filling out [his] UC and CSU applications step by step and…received advice from [Chan, Thompson, and Fuller] on how to navigate in my high school journey to prepare for getting into colleges.” He was recommended scholarships, and the advisors helped revise the essays he wrote for the applications. Graduating alongside Lee, Dorsa Heydar-Bakhtiari currently attends UC Santa Cruz. Ms. Fuller told her about the program at the beginning of her junior year and Heydar-Baktiari received a lot of assistance with her college applications and essays. She said the advisors and Fuller are “dedicated to helping the students,” and motivated her during her senior year, and that the program helped her receive scholarships. Heydar-Bakhtiari learned how to search for job and volunteering opportunities to appeal to colleges, and as an immigrant, she said she “needed guidance to navigate the complex college process and reach [her] goal.” 

Thompson said, “Who wouldn’t want all students, regardless of background, to have equal opportunity to be fully prepared to succeed in life beyond high school?”

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Magazine Sport Volume 69, Issue 1

Isaiah Newell Commits to Oregon State University

Senior Captain and three star football player Isaiah Newell has had quite the journey. During his high school career, he has been heavily recruited by big name colleges such as Oregon State, University of Arizona, Arizona State, University of Hawaii, University of Southern California, and many more. With all these offers on his plate, he has had a lot to think about before his senior season. 

As most people around the community have heard, Isaiah recently announced his commitment. He decided that he will continue his football career after high school at Oregon State University. Oregon State has pursued Newell the most, and he showed no hesitation in wanting to join their program. I recently spoke with Newell, and he expressed to me that the commitment process wasn’t all that stressful, and did not take long for him to know where he wanted to go. While visiting the campus at Oregon State, he said he “felt at home.” 

“They really care about you as an individual, not just a football player,” said Newell while speaking about the coaching staff. The way he expressed how he knew what his commitment was is very clear: “I don’t know how else to really explain it, but it’s like once you get a feel for it, you just know what you want.” Clearly, Oregon State made Isaiah feel important and wanted. 

When asked if there was a lot of outside noise with people trying to give him suggestions on where to go and things of that nature, Newell replied that a lot of people would tell him that these schools were cool and that he should go to this school or that school, but he never paid attention to others.  Usually high school athletes commit around the same time, which is closer to February, but Isaiah has a special story, as he decided to commit on August 15th of this year. “I wanted to focus on my high school team so we can win a state title, and I wanted to commit on my father’s birthday so that it would be special,” said Newell. Isaiah Newell’s high school career has been one heck of a story, and he is going to continue that this season.

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Magazine Sport Volume 69, Issue 1

Over The Net and into a New Season

School is back in session and sports have already started. One of these sports is girls tennis. The team is going to face a very tough schedule this year, but the team is ready to take charge and put together a productive season. The team will have practices Monday through Thursday, and matches falling mainly on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

A new year means new team members, and the tennis team is no exception. The team this year has 12 members on the varsity team, including two new freshmen joining them this year, which, as an anonymous member states, is “good, because there were no new people last year.” To give more insight, Nadia Grenville, a senior who is a member of the Varsity team, said that she is “…really excited about the season and new members… they all bring a new dynamic to the team…” She went on to state that  “two years ago, we lost almost all out seniors.” Last year, there were no new freshmen, and only sophomores and juniors, so it’s “…really great to bring some new blood to the team!”

The team is also looking forward to a fresh season in 2019, as Grenville puts it, “I’m really excited about the upcoming season and the past four years have been some of my best memories at LL.” This year they have great coaches which will really benefit the team. Even though the matches will be tough, she said that “it’s nothing that our girls can’t handle.”

Finally, when asked what was different about this season, Grenville said that, for her, being an upperclassmen and one of the captains, made her realize that, “throughout my four years I’ve always looked up to the older girls on the team and were so inspired by them. I didn’t realize how different it would feel to be a senior and lead the girls on the team.” She says that her co-captains are amazing role-models for the team, and she thinks that this will make a positive impact on the team. Grenville says that she is enthusiastic for the coming season and playing alongside her team. “I’m very excited for this year and want to savor every moment of it!”

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Magazine Sport Volume 69, Issue 1

Putting into Girls Golf

This August the girl’s golf team swung into action. Las Lomas enters the year with high hopes as they had 2 players make the NCS playoffs last season: Junior Elizabeth Contreras and senior McKenna Dixon. Contreras and Dixon also made the second team in the DAL (Diablo Athletic League Foothill Division. With both new and returning players, the Knights are bound to have a very successful season.

The head coach Michael (Mick) McEwen has high hopes for this year’s season: “Last year was good. [It] went as expected I would say, but we did pretty well. We had two girls [who] made NCS.This year we have a chance to make NCS as a team.” The Knights look to improve from last season. One of their biggest goals is to win the league title and qualify for NCS as a team. “Ultimately the goal is to make the girls have fun and fall in love with the sport of golf. This year looking at the league, the goal is that we’ll beat Acalanes and Campolindo and qualify for NCS as a team.”

Las Lomas played Acalanes on Friday, September 20th, and Campolindo on Tuesday, October 1st.  Qualifying for NCS as a team would be a big deal for the knights. Girls golf NCS works differently than other sports because there is a championship in which the entire team competes and another one where only chosen individual players compete.

Coach McEwen’s coaching experience and the many seniors on the team look to lead the team to success. Coach McEwen praised this year’s seniors for their leadership, “We have seven seniors this year. They all are pitching in different ways …  As seniors, they’re really good at keeping morale up and making the new players feel welcome.” Good leadership from any high school sports teams seniors is one of the biggest factors to the team’s success. Coach McEwen also had praise for freshmen player Samantha Pierce. “[Samantha] is a freshman and is one of our top four players I would say. We are very excited for her future and season this year.”

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Magazine Sport Volume 69, Issue 1

Girls Volleyball Spikes into the 2019

by Cael Hill

The girls volleyball team seems to be facing a lot of ups and downs this year. Last year they didn’t do too bad, but this season is definitely looking good. New sophomores moving up from last year to the varsity seem to be making quite the difference on the court, replacing the seniors lost last year. In both practices and games these new players are making major contributions on the team. There is also a talented freshman on the team, Nadya Novichkova, who shows much promise regarding her career in volleyball. 

Volleyball might look easy, but it’s quite a complicated sport, there is the setter, the outside hitter, the opposite hitter, middle blocker and the libero. There are six players on the court at a time with subs during the game. Scoring is difficult to keep track of because everyone is doing their best to keep the ball from touching the floor within the boundary. New players to volley ball have to work very hard in order to make the team. Let alone be sophomores and freshmen on the varsity team.

Though pure talent can’t really save an entire season, practice makes perfect and this team has a vigorous schedule, which makes it hard to keep up. The coach watches clips of games and takes careful and precise notes to improve their game in practice. In order to do this the players and coach both have to realize and accept their mistakes made during the game, and in this process they improve heavily. That’s why their overall play has been solid so far this year. Since practice makes perfect and their practice is so difficult, winning the championship may not be too far fetched of a dream to happen. 

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Magazine Sport Volume 69, Issue 1

Boys Water Polo Splashes into a New Season

by Cael Hill

The Las Lomas boys water polo team is like a well oiled machine: they know what they are doing. Head coach Steve Mann and his assistants have been coaching water polo for well over 14 years now. Therefore, our school has always been a threat when it comes to water polo. This year seems no different, with new incoming players helping out the team and its chemistry. Although we have lost a few seniors, new incoming freshmen and sophomores have really improved the team, while the players from last year have also improved. So far this season, it seems as if our boys Water Polo team has no real competition. They have gotten off to a strong start destroying their opponents. Last year, we went 16-10, having a 6 win difference. This year, it will surely be higher, as the team is currently undefeated.

Connor Rankin, JV captain and varsity player, stated, “The coaches believe we need to work hard to get better, but they think that if we try hard enough we could be the best.” Practice isn’t the only thing the team need. The players knowing one another is also a big part of it. “This year, we are working on being more connected and spirited as a team in order to have a close bond,” said Rankin. Contributing to this is their pasta feeds where they all gather and bring a dish to wherever they decide to meet up;. It’s not just eating, it’s really connecting with one another. This connection helps new players like freshman, Jack Richards, and Tommaso Bravi, a new student from Italy, feel comfortable joining and being apart of the team.

In order for the players and coaches to get better, they watch films and tapes of former water polo players to improve their game and coaching. They also use their practices to do the same. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays before school you can see them playing from 6:30 to 8:00 am working hard in the pool. They also practice after school doing passing, shooting, and defending drills, as well as timed laps. They are also in the weight room, usually working on legs for treading water and staying on their defender. All of this hard work will pay off when it comes to the games; it’s showed it the past, and it won’t be any different this year. It may be the beginning of the year, but it’s obvious how the rest of the year will go. There is no doubt that this year will go swimmingly for the Las Lomas boys water polo team.