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News Sport

Women’s Waterpolo Takes Home NCS Title and Their First State Qualification.

WALNUT CREEK— The 2022 season for women’s varsity waterpolo was nothing short of impressive and historic.

After ending regular season 18-10, the team blew their way through competition to land themselves a spot in the North Coast Section Division 1 Championships. The game ended successfully as the women’s team brought home the title after taking down Amador Valley on November 12, the final score 6-5. The win was not only a demonstration of the immense talent and drive, but it also meant their appearance in state playoffs for the first time in program history.

“It was really rewarding to know all our hard work—morning practices, tournaments, games, etc—had payed off,” said junior player Caroline Nicol. “The energy from all of us [making state] was remarkable. Even with some ups and downs, we always had a ‘next play’ attitude… which definitely a reason that won us our game.”

Senior Tiernan Lynch makes a pass in their first state playoff game against Clovis East (CIF Playoffs, Nov 15).

Women’s waterpolo moved on to play Clovis East at home on November 15, yet lost their first state playoff, 6-12.

Senior Kayla Morse reflected back on her last season with the team, “Winning NCS was a surreal experience… Our team grew so much since our first game and making program history was an amazing end to the season.”

“The looks on the faces of the players and their families, it doesn’t get better than that! I’ve rewatched the game probably ten times already and can’t help but smile every time we score,” said head coach Ryan Sevilla. Sevilla has coached water polo for ten years, eight of those years with Las Lomas, and is looking towards the future of the team, “We’re not going to get complacent – we’re incredibly proud of the 22-23 season, but this team has high hopes for next year and this is a big offseason for the players. I know they’re ready for the challenge that lies ahead and I’m excited to see how much we can improve by next August.”

Waterpolo will begin practices over the summer and the 2023-2024 season will begin during August.

Junior Teagan Claus rushes to save a ball (CIF Playoffs, Nov 15).
Freshman Lily Palma moves to get the ball closer to Clovis East’s goal (CIF Playoffs, Nov 15).

Written by BROOKE KILLGORE

Photos by ROWAN SHEA

Categories
Issue 5 Magazine News

Pipeline Leak at South Broadway

By Eric Wickboldt

On November 9, 2004, an explosion erupted in Walnut Creek. Energy company Kinder Morgan neglected to mark a bend in one of its gasoline pipelines, killing five workers and injuring four others attempting to install a water main in the same location. 

Sixteen years later, on November 20, 2020, a leak emerged on the same pipeline at South Broadway near Las Lomas. Officials had detected a pressure drop, prompting them to shut down specific segments of the pipeline. Workers repaired the leak later in November, but not before tens of thousands of gallons of gasoline escaped into the gravel bed backfill underneath the San Ramon Bypass flood channel. The gasoline found a preferential pathway and traveled slowly north down the channel until it met up with the Walnut Creek channel near Civic Park, where it escaped from below the concrete through a crack in an expansion joint. When Kinder Morgan found out on December 2, it sent workers to deal with the issue and establish a cleanup operation. 

The leak did not result in the same devastation as the 2004 explosion, and the situation is now under control. However, the leak disappointed many residents nearby, irritated at the way that Kinder Morgan and the city of Walnut Creek have been handling the situation. 

“[In] the short term, the noise and the construction activity and the smell of gasoline has affected us in our home,” said Jeff Thomas, a resident of Greenway Drive whose house borders the Walnut Creek channel and who lives one street away from where the operation is taking place. “It has kept us up at night and really bothered our pets, our dogs and our chickens and our bees.” He went on to state, “Long term, this could [have] a potential effect, one [on] my property value, but also environmentally…does it affect my ground water…[and] the trees in my yard?”

Bob Lindfors, whose residence is less than 50 yards from where the cleanup is taking place and whose street served as an access area for the intersection between the channels, echoed similar concerns about disturbances and soil contamination: “I advise anyone with property along the channel to ask for soil borings and testing of soil and groundwater samples to assess whether fuel products have migrated.” Lindfors also expressed discontent towards Kinder Morgan as well as the city of Walnut Creek’s job of communicating the issue to nearby residents: “City officials seem distanced from the problem. As far as I can tell, there has been ZERO outreach from the city of Walnut Creek.”

Thomas reaffirmed this concern about a lack of communication, stating, “There was this kind of quagmire of misinformation…or no information for nearly two weeks.”

In addition to disturbances, environmental worries and lack of communication, both Thomas and Lindfors expressed concerns about the safety of the situation, concerns that a perceived lack of effective communication from Kinder Morgan or the city of Walnut Creek amplified. Lindfors mentioned, “At first there was palpable fear in the neighborhood about possible ongoing leaks and explosions (remembering the 2004 explosion).”

Thomas stated, “I’d like for this to be resolved as quickly as possible and for minimal harm to our community and our environment. I realize that the pipeline is a vital artery to supply safe gasoline and fuel to our community, but that we have to be vigilant about maintaining it safely and preventing any environmental emergencies or disasters.”

The cleanup is still ongoing. As of January 11, Kinder Morgan has recovered 17,409 of the estimated 31,500 to 42,000 gallons of gasoline.

Categories
Issue 6 Magazine News

Crisis at the Capitol

By Sienna Lapointe

Graphic By Veronica Genkin

On January 6, 2021, supporters of former president Donald Trump gathered in front of the Washington, D.C. Capitol, which first began as a peaceful protest to dispute the results of the electoral college votes in the 2020 presidential election. Before noon, large crowds of Trump supporters gathered in front of the Capitol as Trump prepared to go onstage to deliver his speech. Soon after, Trump told his supporters to walk to the Capitol, so they followed. “You have to show your strength,” he said. 

Capitol Police arrived to help control the crowd. According to The New York Times, “About 20 minutes before Trump’s speech ended, some people in the Capitol crowd harassed officers posted at the barricades and started to get physical. Others followed suit, until they violently overwhelmed the police and breached the building’s outer perimeter.”

Rioters on the west side broke into the building around 2:15 p.m. Two minutes later, as they reached the stairs next to the Senate chamber, the Senate was called into recess. Rioters continued to enter the building by breaking a window and entering through the door, on the northwest side. More than five minutes after the first rioters broke into the building, the House also went into recess. All of Congress was evacuated. 

The mob became very violent and started dragging and beating officers. Rioters chased an officer to the top of a staircase where there are entrances to the Senate chamber in both directions. The officer only had a baton. Explosives were found. 

Five people died from the events that took place at the Capitol, while dozens more were injured. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick was beaten, a rioter was shot, and three others died during the rampage. 

Three Las Lomas freshmen expressed their opinions on this attack. “The people storming the capitol had no reason to, other than the fact that their candidate did not win. It was inhumane, disgusting, and this definitely proves white supremacy to be true,” says Natalie Puttavon.

Lily Doherty said, “The people who chose to do that put a lot of people’s health at risk and put some political leaders in scary situations.” 

“The storming of the capitol has changed my mindset on America and its citizens,” says Sydney Liao. The storming of the capitol was a horrific moment in history that left many Americans shocked and disturbed. 

Categories
Entertainment Magazine Volume 70, Issue 4

The Undoing: The Whodunit I Can’t Stop Thinking About

By Eric Khodorenko

Graphic from HBO

The Undoing, HBO’s new murder mystery starring Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman, follows Grace Fraser, (Kidman) a therapist living a privileged, wealthy, and seemingly perfect life in New York City with her husband Jonathan Fraser (Grant). However, the murder of a mother at her son’s rich and exclusive private school upsets the peace and her life begins unraveling as the police become increasingly suspicious of her husband as the murderer. 

To say that The Undoing is a whirlwind of emotions is an understatement, every episode there is a new cliffhanger leaving you drastically rethinking your conclusions on who the murder is, and seemingly putting doubt on the most obvious suspects, as your generic whodunit tends to do. The constant reassessment of characters had me on the edge of my seat; once I started The Undoing I couldn’t stop and I was always left considering my own wild theories at night on the outcome of the show. The acting performances of both Kidman and Grant are spectacular, but Grant in particular comes out of his 2000’s rom-com identity and becomes a properly convincing actor. Grant’s charm oozes in every scene he is in and he convincingly begs Grace to trust that he could not have been the murderer, and Grant consistently hits the mark every time. Kidman also portrayed a struggling wife well, but the consistent “shocked and terrified” face became a bit stale towards the end.

The most important part of The Undoing is its ability to recognize the force of privilege and wealth. It showcases how the rich control the world; when much of the evidence leads to Jonathan, he is able to fight the case with staggering ability, and it becomes apparently obvious that if they weren’t a rich, white family living in New York City, there would be no doubt in keeping Grant in jail and quickly moving to conviction. That’s the beauty of The Undoing, it’s an exciting mystery story that keeps you thinking, but it also has a powerful message that emphasizes the power of privilege and wealth. 

Categories
Entertainment Magazine Volume 70, Issue 4

Boys State Documentary Review

By Brodie Zeigler

Graphic By Jennifer Notman

BOYS STATE | AFI DOCS

Winning the Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, Boys State is an unrestrained examination of our current political condition. Filmmakers Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine create a film both audaciously vibrant and incredibly energetic, detailing the events at the American Legion’s Texas Boys State in 2018. Throughout the nation, many states hold an annual event and program that brings high school boys and girls together to hold mock elections, the most prestigious being the one for Governor. Differing state to state, these programs offer teenagers an insight into the inner workings and experiences of American politics and democracy. Pitting the federalists and nationalists against each other, each party creates a platform, elects a party chair, and nominates a candidate for Governor. Examining the events at the Texas Boys State in 2018, Moss and McBaine create a film of overflowing energy, using the backdrop of the passionate youth as a representation for our nation today. 

Boys State follows four individuals in particular: Ben Feinstein, Robert MacDougall, René Otero, and Steven Garza. Moss and McBaine begin their journey with Feinstein, a Reagan-loving double amputee who becomes the Federalist Party chair. Next, Boys State follows MacDougall, a Nationalist candidate for Governor during the primary who exchanges morality for popularity. Otero acts as the Nationalist Party chair, but with the influence of the position, he faces racial discrimination and political backlash. Finally, there’s Garza, the true core of Boys State and the heart and soul of the week-long program in Texas. Coming from a modest background as a second-generation immigrant, Steven Garza is the soft-spoken heavy-hitter of the program, and the self-titled “dark horse” of the nationalist party. Not only representing the different backgrounds, experiences, and views of our current political system, these four boys represent the passion of the generations to come. 

Boys State is filled to the brim with energy, an undeniable attraction that thrusts the viewer’s eyes towards the screen and glues them in a matter of minutes. A raw portrayal of the patriotism, passion, and division of these thousand young Texans, Moss and McBaine’s film seems like an event. With abrasive framing as well as quick and shaky camera movements, Boys State is both an extremely polished film and yet a deeply human one as well. Supplying something new to each viewer, Boys State capitalizes on the potential experiences of its audience, lighting a spark for every potential gas leak in the room. Whether it’s the touching vulnerability of Garza, the alienation that Otero faces, or the unbridled ambition of Feinstein, there’s something for everyone in Boys State. However, some viewers may get more out of its touching portrayal of the hope and aspirations of its main subjects. The attention paid to the Nationalist and Federalist parties, elections, and members is quite lopsided. It’s apparent who Moss and McBaine intend the viewer to root for, as they spend as much time humanizing and examining them as possible. This isn’t to say the decision harms the film’s eventual impact, but it doesn’t come across as obviously motivated either.

Boys State culminates thousands of different views, conflicts, and positions on issues throughout the world today, and applies a fascinating focus group: the youth of today. Questions of morality in politics, the importance of the truth, and the surprising appeal of victory at the expense of your opponent, circulate throughout the campus. MacDougall believes that politics should be a game, and even if that means abandoning his individual views so that he can win over the crowd, so be it. Garza believes that people shouldn’t sign a bill not having read it beforehand, applying a very hands-on and personal approach to his campaign. Feinstein supports the necessity to get his hands dirty in order to claim victory, and while Otero dabbles in the sport as well, he believes a good politician isn’t necessarily a good person. Add to these different belief systems the vulnerability, blinding desire to win, and varying backgrounds of these boys and you are in for an enthralling film.
Without any prior knowledge of the events at Boys State or even the program itself, Moss and McBrain craft a mesmerizingly intriguing film. A testament to not only the skill of the filmmakers themselves, and the intensity of the subject matter, but also the emotions and people represented. Comical, boisterous, ebullient, and above-all motivated, the population at the 2018 Texas Boys State is one of undeniable passion and energy. Boys State feeds on this energy, multiplying it with its precise and flowing editing, unconventional camera shots, gorgeous cinematography, and spirited pacing. Not many films, especially documentaries, can make their audience cheer, cry, and scream the name “Steven,” and yet Boys State is unlike any film I’ve seen before. Poignant, awakening, inspiring, and tremendously entertaining, Boys State is a film that needs to be seen across the nation.

Categories
Magazine Sport Volume 70, Issue 4

Where are Senior Knights Playing Sports in College?

By Charlie Pentland

Graphic by Yiying Zhang

For many, it’s a dream to play collegiate sports. Student athletes will dedicate hours of hard work for the opportunity to play at the next level. Las Lomas, regarded as one of the best academic schools in the district, has also seen many students and alumni go on to play division one, two and three sports. The senior class of 2021 has produced many athletes who will go on to play at the highest level of collegiate sports, division one. 

Playing on varsity as a freshman and averaging 22 points per game her junior season, Rose Morse has been instrumental for Las Lomas on the court. She has been a leader on the girls’ varsity basketball team and is now committed to the University of California, Riverside. Morse described Las Lomas as the place where she learned to be a good teammate, leader and hard worker: “Playing for Las Lomas has taught me a lot of lessons; how to be a good leader and the value of hard work.” Morse went on to talk about what drew her to play at UCR. She discussed how UCR made her feel valued and how she liked what the coaching staff had to offer. “I chose UCR because I felt like they wanted me and needed me. A lot of the colleges that were talking to me made me feel that they already had someone of my skill and that they just wanted me to fill a spot, whereas UCR wanted me because they felt that they believed in my potential and that I would be a valuable player for the team.” Morse continued by saying: “UCR also has a new coaching staff that I felt like I connected to very well. And not to mention that I’d be playing for Nicole Powell, a former WNBA player.” 

For many seniors, male and female, who play water polo, the lack of sports on campus this year is heartbreaking since they will not get to play their senior season. While this ends many playing careers, senior Renee Fleeming will get to continue playing water polo at San Jose State next fall. “I chose SJSU because, along with the gorgeous campus and great location, it offered me the opportunity for a good education and to continue my water polo career at a D1 level.” Fleming, who played on varsity all four years of her high school career, mentioned how Las Lomas coaching really took her game to the next level. “Las Lomas truly helped prepare me because I was given the opportunity to improve my skills and play against – and with – some of the best athletes in the country. I was/am a captain junior and senior year, which really helped my leadership skills improve, and I was able to learn how to communicate and instruct in ways other high schools and programs don’t allow. What I was able to achieve through Las Lomas and high school water polo will really help me when I get to start playing at the college level, because after four years as a varsity athlete, I am stronger and smarter than when I started.”

Former Las Lomas defensive end Troy dela Vega recently committed to continue his football playing career at the United States Air Force Academy. Troy relocated to Utah with the hopes of playing a football season and getting the opportunity to play for a football scholarship. Located in Colorado, the Air Force has produced eight players who later went on to play professionally in the NFL. Troy also reflected on his time at Las Lomas and credited Head Coach Doug Longero and Assistant Coach Mike Ivankovich for some of his success on the field: “Las Lomas helped me get prepared for the next level by teaching me how to lift weights, as well as Head Coach Longero and my other coach, Coach Ivankovich, teaching me how to be a better football player by spending time on me to get me where I am today.” When asked what drew him to play at Air Force, dela Vega said, “Air Force is just a great fit for me and my family. Also, it was a great decision. I chose the Air Force because it’s gonna set me up for life.” dela Vega went on to say, “One of the main things is that I am going to be able to play college football at the next level on TV, which has always been my dream.” It is important to note that Troy did transfer out of Las Lomas to Park City High School in Park City, Utah, to have the opportunity to play his senior season, where he had a total of four sacks in 12 games.With the Las Lomas administration trying to salvage what it can for sports this school year, student athletes are still finding ways to play at the next level. This senior class has produced many athletes who will have the opportunity to play all across the country at the highest level in their respective sports, and The Page looks forward to honoring more seniors for their athletic accomplishments.

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Entertainment Magazine Volume 70, Issue 4

My Year Through Books

By Grace Gonsalves

Graphic By Jennifer Notman

  1. Home for the Holidays by Heather Vogel Frederick ⅘ stars
  2. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston 5/5 stars
  3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 5/5 stars
  4. Love & Gelato (L&G #1) by Jenna Evans Welch 3/5 stars
  5. Second Change Summer by Morgan Matson 5/5 stars
  6. Love & Luck (L&G #2) by Jenna Evans Welch 5/5 stars
  7. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins ⅗ stars
  8. How to Be Bad by E. Lockhart ⅖ stars
  9. The Geography of Lost Things by Jessica Brody ⅘ stars
  10. With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo 5/5 stars
  11. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng 5/5 stars
  12. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson ⅗ stars
  13. One of Us is Next (One of Us is Lying #2) by Karen M. McManus ⅗ stars
  14. This Lie Will Kill You by Chelsea Pitcher ⅖ stars
  15. American Royals by Katharine McGee ⅘ stars
  16. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton ⅘ stars
  17. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Miss P #1) by Ransom Riggs ⅘ stars
  18. Bridget Jones (BJ #1) by Helen Felding ⅗ stars
  19. Hollow City (Miss P #2) by Ransom Riggs 5/5 stars
  20. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (BJ #2)  by Helen Felding ⅘ stars
  21. Sea Change by Aimee Friedman ⅗ stars
  22. Hope and Other Punchlines by Julie Buxbaum 5/5 stars
  23. The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen ⅘ stars
  24. Library of Souls (Miss P #3) by Ransom Riggs 5/5 stars
  25. Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between by Lauren Graham 5/5 stars
  26. Summer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider ⅗ stars
  27. I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski 5/5 stars
  28. Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham ⅘ stars
  29. Amnesty by Aravind Adiga 5/5 stars
  30. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan ⅗ stars
  31. A Map of Days (Miss P #4) by Ransom Riggs ⅗ stars
  32. Hamlet by William Shakespeare ⅘ stars
  33. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien ⅗ stars
  34. The Guest List by Lucy Foley ⅘ stars
  35. Fable by Adrienne Young ⅘ stars
  36. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo 5/5 stars

The Lost World by Michael Crichton ⅘ stars

 I began the year with a reading goal of 25 books, which was supposed to be challenging. I usually read a lot in the summer months, but I barely bet my 22 book goal for 2019, so I did not expect to read 37 books this year and as it turns out, meeting that goal was not the hard part of my 2020. 

Now for a disclaimer. I shall tell the story of my year in books without referencing the titles themselves so if you like, reference the list above as you read. 

My story starts with #1, an old holiday favorite that I read in January. I was too busy to read anything else until the start of shelter-in-place, when all of a sudden being busy seemed like a forein concept. At first, I only read a couple of books for my English 3 Honors course, but then six romantic traveling books later, it was June first and cute European boys weren’t filling the void anymore. 

That’s when I discovered book #10, a truly fantastic read, the complexity of teenage life mixed with racial minority struggles and urban living. I did find it difficult to focus on a fictional character’s suffering though while I witnessed the death count of the pandemic rise steadily higher.

Honestly, book #11 was the first one of the year that I was actually excited to read. I had recently finished the television series, and I wanted to compare and contrast the two versions. If you’re going to read any of the books on my list , this is the one, but to do it right you should watch the television series on Hulu first because the two are quite different, artwork of different mediums.

Books #12, #13, and #14 were an easy break from complex stories. I enjoyed some light, terribly written mysteries that I wouldn’t recommend to anyone, but dumb, fast reads might be necessary for a future boredom distraction guide.

#14 on the other hand was centered around  such a fun, different concept that I couldn’t cringe at the royalty theme. My friends know that I have never watched Disney princess movies, and so the fact that this is even on my list is a surprise. To this day, I have not let Disney spoil my  mind. I do not need princes to save me, and my parents  aren’t going to get shipwrecked, so when I tell you to check out #14, I can assure you that feminism did not die in its pages.

But I did have to balance out the prissy princess stuff with #15. This one was a bit boring, maybe super boring, but when I was paying attention to the audio book, the scientific set up was fascinating. It offered me some much needed, well-written action-adventure.

In early summer, I did something unthinkable. I went. In person. To Barnes & Noble, where I picked up #16. It was fantastic, surprising, a bit terrifying, and everything I had expected, and that goes for the trip and the book.

The rest of my summer consisted of #17 to #29. Looking back at that now, I wonder, was I okay? It seems that I needed a lot of distraction. At least the reading wasn’t screen time.

None of these summer books were quite outstanding, but one of them hit an inner chord. It was #27. I read this book two times in 2020, I have no idea when the first time was, but the second time was quite literally on the beach while I tried to suntan my anxiety away. It resembled the ultimate European backpacking trip I have dreamed of taking with my best friends after we graduate high school. This book made the loss of that dream easier. 

I read books #30 and #31 in September; #30 I listened to while I did my dog walking job, and #31 I distinctly remember reading at the Pacifica State Beach while my parents debated with their anti-vaccine friend. 

I don’t remember when my class read #32, but I think liking Shakespeare is in my genetics. Let’s just say my parents found me a total of 15 Shakespeare related books from our house when I told them we were reading it, but you don’t see any of those books on my reading list now do you.

I took a break from reading in October, a time when I began feeling a bit more social, but come November, #33 and #34 happened.

#35 was very captivating, and I have never wanted to be a poor pirate more, probably ever. The distraction level was 100%, and I loved the gruff main character Fable. 

Now for December, children must be advised not to do this at home. Drowning out thoughts with well-written books is not healthy; it adds more complex ideas instead of less. #36 is fabulous and should be read like a normal book, not a Netflix binge, and yet I listened to #36 and #37 on the couch for the entirety of December 5th.

As I write this, it is mid-December and I have started reading Lord of the Flies. I don’t think I will finish it for a while, I definitely chose a bit of a downer. 

When it comes to next year, my reading challenge for 2021 will not have a number. It’ll be “stay sane.”