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Magazine Sport Volume 69, Issue 2

Stellar Start to the Season

We are nearing the end of the Knights regular season play and looking towards the playoffs. Before Friday, the Knights were rolling with three straight league victories winning by over 21 points each game blowing out Miramonte, Acalanes, and Alhambra. The Knights were firing on both sides of the ball scoring a total of 146 points between the three games while only allowing 34 points. before ultimately losing to the Cougars on friday. Your Knights are currently holding a solid record of 8-1 in regular season play and 3-1 in league play. On friday Las Lomas came into their second league game still undefeated facing off against a very hungry Campolindo team who just came off a recent loss to Acalanes the week before. 

Unfortunately, friday was not Las Lomas’ day as they fell in the game 31-14. Their two scores both came on the ground with Elijah Lash scoring the first touchdown of the game and Isaiah Newell scoring the final one with only seconds remaining, making the score a little more respectable. Las Lomas are now tied for second place in league with Acalanes(LL holds the tiebreaker).It was the first time the Knights have been held to under three scores all year, as well as the most points the defense has allowed all year.It  was a rough game for sure but Las Lomas has to forget about it and focus on the next game up which is on Friday November 1 against Northgate.Las Lomas has dominated this matchup in the past most recently having obliterated them just last year by a score of 63-0. This is also one of the most anticipated games of the year not just because of our history with Northgate, but because of Northgate’s improvement from last year after they only won a total of one game last year. The Broncos are 6-3 so far this year having already surpassed their win total from last year. It figures to be one of the tightest Battle of the Creek’s in recent years. 

The Knights, after Northgate game, will be looking ahead to the playoffs hopefully getting a top seed in NCS. Las Lomas is looking to go far again this year in NCS after a heartbreaker last year in the final in brutal conditions. The team needs everyone’s support for this big game on Friday so please come out and cheer on your Knights as they face our rival Broncos in an important game for both teams. Go Knights!

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Magazine Sport Volume 69, Issue 2

The Boys Are Back In Town

Las Lomas basketball is coming back and we are ready for it.Last season, the Knights had an overall record of 13-17, 3-9 in league. This gave them the 14th seed in the Division 2 NCS playoffs. The knights were expected to lose to 3rd seed Cardinal Newman, but they pulled off the upset with a score of 64-57. They then went off to face 11th seed Tamalpais and beat them in a close game with a score of 49-45. With wins against these two teams, this qualified the knights for the CIF state playoffs as all teams who make their regional playoff semi-finals are qualified, not just the winners of the bracket like other sports. After the NCS round was over Las Lomas ended up the 2nd seed in the northern section of the CIF Division 3 championship. Unfortunately, the Cinderella run was cut short by Foothill High School in the first round when the knights lost 57-62. 

However, this year is sure to be better than the last. The knights have 7 returning seniors, and three returning juniors, two of which got pulled up for playoffs, as well as Elijah Lash a De La Salle transfer. This core group of seniors brings much-needed experience to the team and will have to help train 1st-time varsity players who were on Junior Varsity last season. This year’s players bring size to the team, something they struggled with in earlier years. Junior, Marco Balestrieri stands at 6-4 220 and Senior, Elijah Lash is 6-3 230. These two are sure to be a dominant force in the paint for the team. This year’s team is sure to be a force to be reckoned with.

This season will be head coach Jason Rockwell’s 2nd year as the coach for Las Lomas. Rockwell is a former assistant coach for De La Salle basketball. As an assistant coach, he helped lead the De La Salle to a NorCal championship. 

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Magazine Opinions Volume 69, Issue 2

Do the Disney remakes live up to the hype?

by Mateo Requejo-Tejada

In the past few years Disney has been pushing out remakes from left and right trying to generate the same positive reviews and cash flow as the original movies made. A description on Rotten Tomatoes for the live action  The Lion King  reads, “While it can take pride in its visual achievements, The Lion King is a by-the-numbers retelling that lacks the energy and heart that made the original so beloved-.” Some of Disney’s live-action remakes have received very positive reactions with audiences and critics, such asThe Jungle Book, however most of the movies weren’t really able to recreate the same spark that attracted a cult following like the original ones did. One of these movies that did terribly is the live action remake of Dumbo, which according to Rotten Tomatoes, received a 47% rating among critics and a 50% among audience. 

The lack of popularity among some of the remakes could be attributed to the fact that none of these stories are new to the viewer; they’re the same plot, characters, and settings with minor changes. These stories are predictable and it’s difficult to give full appreciation for the art and story because it feels like something that’s already been done and is just another way for Disney to make even more money. Although if Disney were to try and stray too far away from the original movies it might cause a backlash among fans because it is far different from the original beloved movies that were made by Disney.

 A good example of this is when it was announced that a black actress named Halle Bailey was cast as Ariel for the live action The Little Mermaid. People reacted by arguing whether or not she is a terrible choice due to the fact that she is black and in the original movie the imaginary animated mermaid, known as Ariel, is white. There are still some movies such as Aladdin  that were given poor scores from critics, but very high scores with the audience members (which is common among movies however the difference between the two in some movies was noticeably large) . Aladdin  scored the high audience rating of 94% and the low critic score of 57%. Disney will continue to make movies that sell lots of tickets and attract parents and kids to movie theaters, yet there is no secret that all these live action remakes that have been promoted, such as The Lion King, are essentially a rerelease of the original movies.

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Magazine Opinions Volume 69, Issue 2

Don’t Be a Fossil Fool

The world is moving steadily toward a climate catastrophe. Human caused climate change is real, and it needs to be discussed. Earth’s climate is now changing at a faster rate than ever recorded in modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities. Something so detrimental to our environment should not by any means be brushed aside or saved for a later discussion. We see glaciers shrinking, sea levels rising, and unusual weather patterns. We see human migration levels rising in Africa and Latin America, sending climate refugees to Europe and the United States. Scientists have seen these changes occurring for years, and it’s about time we take action. 

Doubting the scientific evidence proving that by burning fossil fuels for energy, humans are changing nature itself, is no longer an option. We are interrupting the delicate balance that our planet has to keep us alive and are putting our own survival at risk. Yes, the climate does naturally change without human impact, but what many refuse to believe is that we are rapidly accelerating the process. We know that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere. We know that humans are burning fossil fuels, releasing huge amounts of carbon pollution and trapping more and more heat in the atmosphere. This proves that humans affect the rate at which we see our climate changing today.

Today, we are at an important turning point. Climate change is no longer considered a theory, an abstract threat lurking in the future, it is upon us. If Americans are ready and willing to engage in a war against climate change, we can prevent this problem from turning into a disaster. We must fight these battles with urgency. We must act. 

There are many ways that we can begin combating climate change. The Global Climate Strikes occurring all over the world are a great place to start. Spreading awareness and making our voices heard is extremely important. Tens of thousands of people ranging from infants to senior citizens gathered in San Francisco as part of the Global Climate Strike just weeks ago. 

The march wound past House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office, The Black Rock Building, Bank of America, Amazon Go, and PG&E before ending up at Justin Herman Plaza. Many Las Lomas students gave up hours of their own education to make their voices heard. We can’t make the decisions for big oil companies or the government, but we can push for climate justice. During the dramatic march in San Francisco, students and other concerned citizens chanted: “Tell me what democracy looks like. This is what democracy looks like.” This certainly is what democracy looks like.

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Features Magazine Volume 69, Issue 2

Nextdoor: Racism Affects Las Lomas

by Grace Gonsalves and Molly Scanlon

“‘Colored individuals who don’t belong in OUR neighborhood,’” read the Nextdoor post concerning Las Lomas student Senior Ana Manto and her friends. 

They were hanging out in their car, talking and driving around on Halloween night. “My friend in the driver’s seat was making the revving sound while driving through the neighborhood although we weren’t going dangerously above the speed limit,” said Manto. A group of parents got “so startled from the sound that although we apologized, they were still aggravated because they thought we were a threat to other trick or treaters.” They parked the car, and the parents surrounded it and threatened to call the police. “We eventually fled the situation and left the car where it was parked to get the next day.” It was later that night when Ana noticed a post on Nextdoor referring to her and her friends. She said, “They implied how us “reckless” kids didn’t belong in their “white” neighborhood.”

Racism is not uncommon in Walnut Creek, and the post concerning Manto is not the only one she has seen, “I saw a post about colored kids hanging around in a park late at night. Although they weren’t doing anything that could cause any harm, they were still being targeted through this app due to the strongly white community that they we’re in.” Another student, Junior Jessica Hallock said, “Obviously I’ve seen it online. I myself have never experienced it, but I know a few people who have.” Most Las Lomas students are not on Nextdoor as often as say Instagram or Snapchat, but there are still a lot of Las Lomas users: “I normally just check it because [of] what’s going on in the community and I know a lot of other Las Lomas kids [use it], I see them on there all the time. There’s definitely a little Las Lomas group on the app,” said Senior Graham Rossi.

Racist cyber bullying is not uncommon, and social media seems to be a perfect forum for it,“I mean all you need is a cell phone. Anyone can use it,” said Rossi. Nextdoor has particular systems in place to stop cyber bullying (see Issue 1), but they don’t prevent it from appearing in the first place, and it can take hours or days for the posts to be taken down, often after emotional or social harm has already been done. Mr. Bruce Giron from Las Lomas Administration said, “I feel that people filled with hate will spread the negativity in any way they can.” 

He added, “I would hope that people would walk around with the goal..[to] minimize…the negative effects of their actions. I believe that like the butterfly effect, our actions have the ability to echo throughout the Universe. My goal is to echo positivity.”

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Features Magazine Volume 69, Issue 2

Las Lomas At Its Loudest

by Sebastian Squire

When one attends a football game the atmosphere can be overwhelming. Football players and fans run back and forth while screaming and taunting one another. The smell of hot dogs and nachos waft on the air above the field, but a critical piece to this event is sometimes overlooked.

“I think it brings a lot more excitement to the game,” said Sophomore Nico Wells, a member of the Pep Band, “If somebody scored a touchdown and you didn’t have a band playing, it wouldn’t bring as much energy and chaos to the game.” Armed with instruments such as saxophones, trumpets, and clarinets, these students arrive before the Varsity football games andplay musicthrough the end. A lesser known instrument used in the Las Lomas Pep Band is the sousaphones. “The sousaphone is used because tubas are quite heavy and could easily [be] damaged in the stands,” said Ms. Ravina the overseer of the Pep Band. “In addition to weight issues, the tubas we have at our school include a bell that faces upward. In a situation where you are needing volume, the frontward facing sousaphone allows for more sound to be projected.”

The pep band plays upbeat music to energize the atmosphere. “The music designed for pep band almost always has drum grooves written into them, and are often upbeat or based on energy-creating ideas,” said Ms. Ravina. When asked his favorite song, Wells said “Crazy Train,” without a moment of pause. As a result of decades of student leadership, “[Pep Band] is a great example of students leading students and students committed to bringing spirit to our school. In addition, much of the music we play has been arranged and/or written for the pep band by former and current students,” said Ms. Ravina.

Although the band is a fixture of every Las Lomas home game, the funding is much less predictable: “I can’t imagine [our arts programs] functioning at such high levels without parent support, both financial and volunteering,” said principal Tiffany Benson. These parent contributions are coupled with parcel taxes, or flat tax rate for any property in an area. Some are measures A and G whose purpose is “to help preserve science, mathematics, arts, music, and foreign language courses,” according to the 2018 Las Lomas budget record. Some of this money is given to the pep band through music donations. The revenue and generous donations have aided our arts programs, allowing them to prosper and grow and will be crucial to the future of our pep band.

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Magazine Opinions Volume 69, Issue 2

R.I.P Pop

Today new music is all about hip-hop and rap artists such as, YNW Melly, Young Thug, DaBaby and NLE Choppa. Pop artists with once amazing hits seem to be running out of ideas. Now many pop songs are repetitive with their music. The artists seemed to have had a purpose in writing the lyrics they did and they had a soul in their voice when singing, but now each song you hear sounds the same, with such similar beats, lyrics, melodies and meanings. If every song sounds the same, then how is the pop genre ever going to continue to succeed? Today’s pop is now just songs about how much they miss their ex or vise versa. Along with fame and money, most songs incorporate inappropriate language or actions in the messages of their songs.

 The closest thing we see now to pop is large artists, like Billie Eilish, whos genres are indie-pop. They make very simplistic, soothing songs for the most part. We can always look forward to listening to throwbacks like Britney Spears, but today rap and hip-hop is slowly taking over our playlists. Obviously some people are still going to get hooked on a new Taylor Swift song or Ariana Grande album, but these artists no longer take over the music industry the way they once had. Pop music is basically now made up of computerized sounds and auto tuned voices, with lyrics we have been hearing in pop songs for years now. Some artists still have good taste and don’t make their songs just EDM with weird lyrics to match an extremely colorful, confusing music video. Slowly but surely the whole pop genre will most likely just completely lose its hold on people, just like other genres in the past. Rap music seems to be thriving, almost anywhere you can ask someone what they listen to, and they will say rap. Today’s rap may be a sort of gibberish rap, but it has energy in its lyrics and beat that keep people bobbing their heads with it. Although pop music is no longer a big hit, you can always listen to the good old pop hits and remember the good times when artists once made original touching lyrics that came from their hearts.

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Features Magazine Volume 69, Issue 2

Students Go Back to Fifth Grade Camp

by Caroline Johnston

Kissing banana slugs, hiking in the forests, wandering through tidepools and singing campfire songs; these are the things that define fifth grade camp. Many students look back at their time at fifth grade environmental camp as the highlight of elementary school, which is why so many Las Lomas students return to the camp to be counselors. Junior Campbell Zeigler said, “I [want] to be a counselor because I remember Outdoor Ed being really fun and I wanted to go back.” Other Las Lomas students experienced fifth grade camp for the first time as a counselor such as Junior Kamryn Dudwal, who moved to Walnut Creek after fifth grade. She said, “I was most looking forward to meeting new people and experiencing something new that I had never had the opportunity for in the past.” 

Being a camp counselor is a great way to improve your leadership skills, and to receive community service hours. Many students also enjoy being counselors for the camp because it is a great way to disconnect and enjoy nature. Each counselor is in charge of around nine kids, but sometimes two counselors will be paired together and put in charge of a larger group of about twelve kids. The counselors lead the kids on hikes and other outdoor activities, as well as stay in a cabin with them overnight.There are also people at camp called “naturalists” who are older than the highschoolers and lead the informational activities at camp. The counselors also have disciplinary power through a check system so that the kids don’t get out of hand. Being a counselor is a big responsibility; Ziegler said, “I expect it to be a little challenging, especially trying to get all the kids to listen to me.” From 9:45-10:45, when the kids are already asleep, some of the counselors are allowed to leave the cabin to go work on homework with the other counselors while some are required to stay and patrol the kids. These roles switch off every night. However, several Juniors who were counselors last year said that they did not get as many breaks as they were promised before they went to camp. 

During the week, everyone spends one day at the beach exploring tidepools and nearby marshes. There are also night activities such as a big dance with all of the cabins, referred to as the “Barnyard Boogie” where all the kids are encouraged to square dance with each other. Another day there is usually a skit night where each cabin creates and performs a skit in front of all the other cabins. Counselors and naturalists also lead their kids through a night hike in the forests of the camp. The program takes place in October and November, so it requires counselors to miss a week of school. This deters a lot of people from participating, because of how much homework, projects and tests they would have to make up. However, Dudwal said, “My teachers were encouraging and I had the opportunity to make up all the work that I missed that week.” The camps are either four or five days long, depending on the elementary school. A lot of the time, environmental camp takes place at Camp Loma Mar, near Pescadero, which is about an hour and forty five minute bus ride from Walnut Creek. 

Overall, the majority of the students who have returned to camp as a counselor have enjoyed their time there and learned a lot about leadership skills and responsibility.

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Features Volume 69, Issue 2

Book of the Month: If We Were Villains

If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio is a thrilling story involving murder, betrayal, and Shakespeare. The novel concerns the lives of seven theater majors, including the main character Oliver Marks, in a murder mystery at the fictional Dellecher Shakespeare conservatory. Oliver Marks serves 10 years in jail, for a murder he may or may not have committed, and Detective Colbourne is determined to find out the truth before he retires. The seven students normally play the same roles offstage as onstage: the villain, hero, tyrant, temptress, ingenue, and the extra. Except when the casting changes during their performance of Julius Cesar. Grudges and jealousies arise, and one of them is found dead. The students now have to act off stage too, to the police, each other, and themselves, as they try to convince everyone they are blameless. 

     Even though I’ve always struggled with Shakespeare, the excerpts inside the novel really make the story. Characters quote lines to each other in day-to-day conversation, which sounds weird, but it actually helps you understand the characters better. They speak the lines simply enough that I can understand them without having to look anything up, which never happens when reading Shakespeare. The lines always pertain to what situation the character is in, and it even shows some insight to the problem that the author struggles to show through descriptions. The novel made me even more interested in Shakespeare. I already knew some plays, like Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and when a character quoted a line from something I recognized, it was exciting. But when a character quoted something I didn’t know, or the students performed something I had never heard of, like King Lear, I was tempted to look it up. The novel mixes the murder mystery and subplots among Shakespeare stories to the point where the entire novel feels like a new Shakespeare play. 

     The diamond in the rough of this story is in the characters. While the imagery is beautiful and the plot is suspenseful, the characters in the novel are really what made this story so good. Oliver, the main character, is a bit of a wallflower, with conflicting feelings for more than one of the other students. Filippa is loyal and cares about her friends. Richard is hot headed and  aggressive. James is helpful and humble. Meredith is confident and a strong female character. Wren is shy, but smart and creative. Alexander is quick-witted and sarcastic, mostly there for comic relief (and he was my favorite). I related to each character differently, which made them more likable, even the ones the readers aren’t supposed to like. 

      This novel is captivating. I was sleeping or driving. It was sophisticated and beautifully written, and I couldn’t put it down. I read the whole novel in two days. From the first page, I felt like I was right alongside Oliver. When the murder happened, I felt like I was the one witnessing it, not reading about it. For anyone looking for a fantastic murder mystery novel, with incredible characters and suspense, this is the right book. 

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Entertainment Magazine Volume 69, Issue 2

Trick or Treat, Yourself!

by Alyssa Clouston

There is no better way to get into the Halloween and Fall spirit than to make some simple, spooky crafts. Crafts are exciting and fun to do for any age, especially during the holidays. They are also a fun way to decorate your room, house or office.

One fun Halloween craft to make is a lollipop ghost. In order to make this craft, you’ll need two to three dryer sheets, a lollipop, one rubber band, a ribbon, and a sharpie. Once you have all your supplies, lay them out and get to work. First, you’ll want to take your dryer sheets and cut them in half, then cover the lollipop with the dryer sheets.,To secure them, wrap the rubberband around the lollipop. Lastly, tie a ribbon around the ghost’s neck, and draw its face. Enjoy your newly made ghost.

An equally engaging craft to help decorate for the spooky season is a witch hat ornament. You are going to need to get a cardboard cutout of a hat, paint of any color and some ribbon. Make sure you lay newspaper down to paint over to avoid making a mess. Take the hat cutout and place it on the paper and paint the scariest design you can think of. After letting it dry, finish it off by tying a ribbon to the top, and hang it in the area of your choosing. 

To really embrace the Halloween spirit, make a candy filled pumpkin. You need white and orange tissue paper, candy of your choosing, rubber string, and brown paint. Take the white tissue paper and cut it in half, then put some candy inside the paper and wrap it into a ball. Once it’s bound up tight, take the orange paper and wrap it around the white paper, tie the string around it very tight. When it’s tied, dip the tip of the pumpkin into the brown paint and let it dry, creating the stem of the pumpkin. As soon as it is dry, cut open the pumpkin and enjoy your candy.

Crafts are an amazing way to have fun, get in the Halloween spirit, and decorate your home. If you’re ever in need of a cute, easy Halloween craft, you can always use the lollipop ghost, the witch hat ornament, or the adorable candy pumpkins.

MATERIALS 

GHOSTS: 

Dryer Sheets

Lollipops (of your choice)

Rubber Bands

Ribbon

A Sharpie

ORNAMENTS: 

Cardboard Cutout of a Hat

Acrylic Paint

Ribbon

PUMPKINS: 

White Tissue Paper

Orange Glitter Tissue Paper

Candy (of your choice)

String

Brown Acrylic Paint