Category Archives: News/Op-Ed

News/OP-Ed: Califonia Reacts To Gavin Newsom’s Shut Down of Schools Across State

by Joshua Lucero

Due to the unexpected rise of COVID-19 (the CoronaVirus), the majority of schools all over California have made the preemptive decision to physically shut down for an indefinite amount of time. Students were given an alternate version of school from home, online education.

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The main reason behind this difficult decision is the number of cases that have steadily risen in California. “The number has surpassed 31,000 and is continually on the rise”, said the LA Times. To attempt to ‘reach the curve’ and decrease the spread of this pandemic, entire local areas are being shut down, including schools, restaurants, malls, and many other commonplace areas. The governmental response to COVID-19 has received a widespread amount of different reactions all over the state of California.

Many families all around the state and the nation are beginning to see the true nature of the effects of the virus, as most people have been overbuying products and supplies for their homes. An active request has been in effect for social distancing, but it seems to be easier said than done and it shows through the people’s response toward this request by the government. 

There has been a shut down of malls, bars, roller coaster parks, gyms, and anything else that the public actively uses that is considered “non-essential”. This is all because of the request by California Governor Gavin Newsom’s administration that advises people to stay indoors and out of public spaces.

As a result of many of these spaces shutting down, there has been an influx of people in public parks and around the neighborhoods. In addition to this “common fad”, many teens and young adults have looked towards social media as a way to cope with the concept of being cooped up in one’s house and looking at the same four walls every day. 

The increase of social media awareness to COVID-19 has created trends that bring life to these “locked up” teens. For example, there have been many challenges such as “see 10 do 10”, which means someone would post a video of themselves doing 10 push-ups and nominate several different people to do the same. This is what is keeping teens occupied with all their free time of being indoors during this extremely challenging time. Another challenge that was going on was “#LetTheKidsPlay”. This is a trend that evolved around the student-athletes who had to sacrifice their season because of this pandemic plaguing the US as a whole. 

Especially in high school and college students who are a part of the senior class of 2020, there is definitely a change in their mindsets over what school meant to them. Senioritis is seemingly no more, many seniors are at the point where they actually miss school.

The rising class reaction to this pandemic seems to be even more depressing every day that physical school is shut down. Social media has covered this anxiety by having a platform for people to publish photos and videos on how the class of 2020 will most likely not be able to participate in events such as grad night, prom and even potentially, graduation.

When Governor Newsom says, “Please stay indoors”, it is for the right reason, not to be selfish but to protect the entire population of 40 million or more Californians who are at risk. 

It is for good reason that California is on lockdown, it is to help achieve the curve in the growing numbers of people afflicted by COVID-19 and to end the spread. 

Citing a model that state planners have been using, Mr. Newsom said that the coronavirus could infect 56 percent of Californians, or more than 25 million people, over eight weeks.” said the New York Times. 

Personal feelings aside, and no matter what the reaction of the individual person is towards this pandemic, it is crucial for the livelihood of every human being living in America, to stay indoors as much as possible and listen to those who are trying their best to help stop the spread of this pandemic. 

News/Op-Ed: Doing Our Parts to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

by Emilio Ceja and Ma’A Gaoteote

The recent pandemic outbreak of the coronavirus, COVID-19, has spread across nations. Over 400,000 people worldwide have tested positive for the virus, which started in Wuhan, China and spread quickly since reaching Europe, namely Italy. The virus has reached the United States, which now has the 3rd most cases of any country with over 600 fatalities. 

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The Coronavirus although an easily spread virus can be slowed down through simple steps that can be done by everyone. If more people take these simple measures seriously during this time of California state as well as national “lockdown,” Californians and Americans at large can do their little part to help avoid a further spike in new cases, which has led to a death toll that just yesterday increased by more than 100, according to reporting from CNN.

Of course, the most important thing that one can do is avoid contact with those who have been infected with the virus or been around others who have. Beyond that though, it’s important at this stage that we follow the Governor’s and the Presidential Task Force’s recommendations to “stay at home” and practice at least six feet of social distancing.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth because the virus can easily spread through these sinual areas. Make sure to consistently clean and disinfect surfaces that are often touched by you and others, such as desks and countertops, with disinfecting wipes. Do these things whether you’re symptomatic or not. In order to minimize the possibility of getting the virus, it is strongly recommended to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds multiple times a day.

The contagious virus can be spread through the air, along with being able to spread through touch. This has led to the statewide and nationwide “lockdown” period to help prevent the spread of the virus. This recommended quarantine has been established primarily to prevent large crowds of more than ten, and schools have been cancelled as well.

The spread of COVID-19 can become a more serious issue if the proper steps are not taken to prevent it. Be sure to practice social distancing to the best of your ability, wash your hands, don’t touch your face and clean surfaces that are often touched. Stay safe Braves!

News/OP-Ed: From NBA Players to Our Everyday Lives, “Coronavirus” Has Been Felt Throughout The World

by R.J. Johnson

How serious is the “Coronavirus” or “COVID-19”? With COVID-19 being a new disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are still in the works of finding out how severe the illness might be and what causes it. 

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So far, one of the most important things that we know about COVID-19 is how easily it spreads from person-to-person. The main way that the virus has spread is through close proximity with other people through respiratory issues like coughing or sneezing. Droplets admitted from the mouth or nose can make its way onto people nearby, possibly being inhaled into the lungs. 

According to the CDC, people are most contagious when they are most symptomatic. Although people mainly spread the virus through being visibly sick, the CDC believes that some spread might be possible before visible symptoms are shown. A recent example of this would be an NBA player from the Utah Jazz in Rudy Gobert. 

“I have gone through so many emotions since learning of my diagnosis…mostly fear, anxiety, and embarrassment,” Gobert wrote.

Having recently been diagnosed in the past few days, Gobert appeared to be perfectly healthy before his diagnostics. Shortly after Gobert was diagnosed with Coronavirus, his teammate Donovan Mitchell was too.  In an interview, he jokingly had touched all off the microphones with his hands before concluding. This contamination of surfaces and objects has been found to spread Covid-19 according to the CDC.

“The first and most important thing is I would like to apologize to the people that I may have endangered. At the time, I had no idea I was even infected,” wrote Gobert.

Since the Coronavirus outbreak has taken off, we have seen an obvious shift in everyday life that has not been quite welcoming. There have been travel bans, leaving people stranded in countries that are not their own all over the world. Professional leagues such as the NHL, MLS, and NBA have all shut down due to the Coronavirus. There have also been colleges across America that have shut down such as Georgetown University, University of Florida, Michigan State University, and University of California, Los Angeles. 

After seeing plenty of universities temporarily close down the school, each state’s respective elementary, middle, and high schools all began to shut down as well. For many schools, online instruction is being offered to students to keep everyone up to speed with their work. 

Should we be missing out on school, work, and sports? As of right now, America is the 8th leading country in total Covid-19 cases and wants to continue to keep that number as low as possible. There are 135,837 confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide. Even with 70,427 people recovered and 4,990 deaths, there are still 60,420 currently infected patients worldwide according to Worldometer which is keeping track of the virus spread in real-time. 

The goal for scientists across the world is to slow down the spread of the virus so that they could study it more in-depth and develop a cure for it. There is currently no vaccination for the Coronavirus, but researchers in the U.S. National Institutes of Health are in the early stages of development. The first phase of the clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine is set to come within the next couple of months. 

The world moves fast and is ever-changing, waiting months for a vaccination like this might take an even larger toll on certain countries’ trade economies than expected. There is always room for the world to recover from this virus, it is just a matter of how and when. 

Until we find a vaccination, the best ways to try and avoid obtaining the virus are by not sharing food items, keeping your hands away from your face, refraining from unnecessary physical contact with items or people, and washing your hands as frequently as possible for twenty seconds at a time with soap and water!

News/OP-ED: Biden Sweeps on Super Tuesday, Sanders Takes Home Biggest Prize of The Night

by Timothy Levine, Executive Editor

With the majority of Super Tuesday results being accounted for, Joe Biden had the biggest night with a dominant performance that saw him win ten of the 14 states, Bernie Sanders won the delegate prize of California and Bloomberg disappointed winning zero states and suspending his campaign.

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Following the suspension of both Buttigieg and Klobuchar’s campaigns and their endorsements of Joe Biden, it appeared that Biden would get a strong boost from moderate supporters who would rally behind him. This prediction turned out to be true, as Biden exceeded polling expectations and dominated in the states he won, winning big in the south and stealing Minnesota and Maine that went to Bernie in 2016.

Biden’s victories were not only significant in vote percentage but delegates as well. Many of the states he won, he swept in delegates and now has the delegate lead with 564 delegates. This comes from a huge surge of votes in the south and a big surprise victory in Texas, a state that polls had leaning towards Sanders before Super Tuesday. Following his rocky start, it appears that the party has found a new frontrunner in Biden and one that will have a lot of momentum heading into the final parts of this nomination race.

While Biden was the winner of the night, it was not the worst possible performance for Sanders. Coming into Super Tuesday, Sanders appeared to be unstoppable, looking to seal the nomination with dominant showings throughout the states except for the south. However, Sanders was left with just four wins in the states of Colorado, Utah, Vermont, and the biggest delegate state of California. California was still a big win for Sanders, but the race was closer than anticipated and one that Sanders needed an immense lead to garner a large majority of the delegates.

Elizabeth Warren had a very poor performance, winning zero states include Massachusets where she is a Senator for. Warren will have to reassess her campaign and suspension seems imminent as there is no clear path forward to a nomination. If Warren was to suspend her campaign, Bernie Sanders may get a boost in support, as they both share the progressive wing of the party. However, some of the older voters may rally behind Biden when considering electability and defeating Trump.

Bloomberg had the worst night of the candidates and suspended his campaign as well this morning. Spending over 200 million dollars on his campaign, Bloomberg is left in fourth place with only 53 delegates. His suspension will most likely give Biden another surge and lead to an insurmountable lead that pushes him to the nomination.

With the majority of the states still without their primary election, anything could happen, however with the momentum that Biden has and the rallying of the moderate lane behind him, it is now Biden’s race to loose heading to the convention.

News/Op-Ed: People the World Over Pay Tribute to Kobe and Gianna Bryant

by R.J. Johnson

Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant’s death has slowly begun to set in for several people across the world that felt a special connection to Kobe whether they knew him personally or not. 

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Kobe set a standard for those who looked up to him, a drive that required consistency and work ethic. The “Mamba Mentality” is what Kobe gave to the world before he passed. His mentality was fierce, and many have decided to show recognition and give thanks for what he did for them.

Los Angeles is leading the charge in showing remembrance for Kobe. Not only with the memorial service they hosted for him, but with the constant love being shown around the city. There have been several sightings of vehicles sporting Los Angeles Laker colors, with designs relating to Kobe. Notable vehicles have been Joe Carbonara’s Lamborghini Huracan and an i8 BMW which both have designs of Kobe and Gianna Bryant along with their jersey numbers as well. Even the Los Angeles Metro busses have also given tribute, with “RIP KOBE” being placed at the head of all of them.

Plenty of Kobe Bryant murals have also gone up all over LA County, giving fans from everywhere a place to go and honor the legend. Kobe’s influence didn’t just stop in LA, it made its way across the world as well.

In Berlin, Germany on January 27th, there was a minute long moment of silence for Bryant before a game between Alba Berlin and HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim Bundesliga Basketball teams.

Not only basketball, but soccer also recognized the legend and his daughter.  AC Milan, one of the best teams in Italy, had fans hold a banner in honor of Kobe and Giana Bryant during the Coppa Italia Quarter Final match.

“Rest in peace. Kobe and Gianna forever together!”, the banner read.

Another sport that you wouldn’t expect Kobe’s impact to stretch into has been tennis. Nick Kyrgios from Australia warmed up wearing a number eight Kobe Bryant jersey prior to his Men’s Singles fourth round match on day eight of the 2020 Australian Open.

The NHL also had teams remember Kobe, especially the Nashville Predators, who held a moment of silence for Bryant and the 8 others who tragically lost their lives.

Kobe Bryant was definitely bigger than basketball, and there are some people that wanted a bigger reminder of that every day. From high school and college students, to professional athletes, many have been seen getting some new Mamba ink. Players such as Shareef O’Neal, Lebron James, Anthony Davis, and Odell Beckham Jr. have all gotten tattoos to honor Bryant.

People didn’t just look up to Kobe as an athlete but as a professional as well. By being at the pro level for so long, Bryant also learned to be a great father to all four of his children.

Kobe’s mentality was not something that just stopped and started on the hardwood, it exceeded all expectations with his mindset being a key contributing factor to everything off the court. A prime example of this mentality is when Kobe ruptured his Achilles tendon, then shooting and draining two free throws instead of being carried off the court. Bryant was a warrior. One that did not back down from anything.

The time and dedication that he put into every single thing he did made it seem like he was obsessed, but Kobe was just focused. The world misses Kobe and will continue to do so.

The biggest way that the world will continue to commemorate the legend of Kobe Bryant is by yelling “Kobe!” either while shooting a crumpled piece of paper into a trash can or a ball into a basket.

Kobe Bryant was born August 23rd, 1978, and was drafted into the NBA in 1996 at seventeen years old meaning that he spent half of his life as a professional basketball player. His legacy as a man is what was important to the spirit of Los Angeles alive. Kobe’s hunger to be great and second to none is what propelled him into stardom throughout his career. If there was ever a tough shot, Kobe Bryant was going to take and make it.

NEWS/OP-ED: Biden and Sanders in Two-Horse Race Ahead of Super Tuesday

by Timothy Levine, Executive Editor

With the results of both Nevada and South Carolina, the field has narrowed down and it appears to be all Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden heading into Super Tuesday.

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The Nevada Democratic caucus took place on February 22 and saw Senator Bernie Sanders surge to victory, amassing nearly 50 percent of the votes. This caucus was followed by South Carolina’s primary election that took place this past Saturday where Joe Biden had a similar performance that saw him gain 48 percent of the vote in a dominant showing. These are both vital in building momentum for the upcoming Super Tuesday.

The Nevada Caucus awarded 36 delegates, of which frontrunner Sanders was able to get 24 with his 46.8 percent of the votes. This was a huge win for Sanders and one he was hoping would build momentum for South Carolina, but more importantly Super Tuesday. Sanders was followed by Biden in Nevada who received nine delegates of the strength of his 20.2 percent of the votes. The only other candidate to receive delegates was Mayor Pete Buttigieg who got three delegates and 14.3 percent of the votes.

This was a very disappointing night for Senator Elizabeth Warren who failed to receive any delegates and only nine percent of the votes. She will need to strongly exceed expectations on Super Tuesday to have a viable path forward.

This Saturday featured another primary race in South Carolina, one that sees greater Super Tuesday implications in terms of momentum. Biden was able to dominate here, giving himself 39 delegates and 48.4 percent of the votes. The reverse of the Nevada results saw Sanders come in second with 20 percent of the vote and 15 delegates. These two were the only candidates to gain delegates with Tom Steyer coming in third with eleven percent of the vote.

This was a very poor performance for Steyer who was polling as high as twenty percent in the state earlier in the week and one that led him to suspend his campaign entirely. He was also not the only candidate to suspend their campaign, as both Buttigieg and Klobuchar have suspended their campaigns as well. This is a very surprising drop out for Buttigieg, as he had won Iowa earlier in the race and seemed to be a top tier candidate going forward. However, with poor polling in Super Tuesday states and his momentum being halted with Nevada and South Carolina results, it would be difficult to see a path forward to the nomination. Klobuchar’s suspension was a bit more predictable, as she has been polling even worse in Super Tuesday states and has little momentum left from her early results.

With all three of these candidates dropping out and Klobuchar and Buttigieg planning to endorse Biden, this gives Biden a strong wave of momentum heading into tomorrow’s primary elections. Klobuchar, Buttigieg, and Biden were all the more moderate of the remaining candidates, so it would be safe to assume the majority of their supporters would go to Biden now in a race that sees Sanders completely taking over.

Sanders has a double-digit lead in California in terms of polling, consistently above thirty percent. California is the single most important state in the Democratic primary race and Super Tuesday with 415 delegates up for grabs. He is followed by Biden, who is polling between 15 and 20 percent, but if Sanders can win big here, the race will be all but over.

Another candidate who is polling fairly well in Super Tuesday states is Mike Bloomberg, however, in the majority of these states including California and Texas, he is only polling in third place. Bloomberg will need to win at least one of these states to have a chance for the nomination, but if looking for a more moderate lane, he may want to put his resources in endorsing Biden.

At this point, it is Sander’s race to lose, but if moderate voters join together under Biden, he has a chance to win big on Super Tuesday and allow for a contested convention that could hurt Sanders if he does not outright win the nomination.

News/OP-ED: Sanders Emerges as Frontrunner, Buttigieg Leads Moderate Lane

by Timothy Levine, Executive Editor

With the results of both the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary being released, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders stand apart from the field in a tier of their own with Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren having disappointing showings.  

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The Iowa Caucuses took place in Iowa on February 3, 2020. Normally, the night of the Caucus would be full of speeches going over each candidate’s results, however, the results were delayed and America had to wait six days until 100 percent of the results were reported.

The Iowa Caucus result delay stems from the integration of a new app The Iowa Democratic Party commissioned Shadow Inc., a for-profit technology company, to build according to The New York Times. This app was supposedly plagued with “coding” errors and many volunteers helping to run the caucus were unfamiliar with how to log in and use the app. The party stated that these issues caused “inconsistencies with the reports” and the investigation required time, which led to the delay according to Vox.

With the results now 100 percent reported, Pete Buttigieg can finally be declared the winner with 13 delegates and 26.2 percent of the votes. He holds the slimmest edge over Senator Bernie Sanders with twelve delegates and 26.1 percent of the votes. These two are in a tier of their own with Senator Elizabeth Warren and Former Vice President Joe Biden falling behind with eight and six delegates respectively. The only other delegate awarded went to Senator Amy Klobuchar who garnered 12.3 percent of the vote. Candidates Andrew Yang and Tom Steyer left Iowa empty-handed with zero delegates each.

The New Hampshire primary took place this Tuesday with results quickly following polls closing that evening, unlike the debacle that was Iowa. With the results currently at 98 percent reported, network projections have given Sanders the win with 25.7 percent of the votes and nine delegates. A strong showing from Buttigieg, following his momentum from Iowa, gave him a strong second-place showing with 24.4 percent of the vote and nine delegates as well, thanks to New Hampshire’s tier rules with delegate distribution. The only other candidate to gain delegates was Klobuchar with 19.8 percent of the votes and six delegates in a rather surprising showing for her, surging to third place.

Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden both failed to gain any delegates with less than ten percent of the votes and finishing in fourth and fifth respectively.  This is very disappointing to both campaigns, as they hoped to pick up momentum for later primary elections. Biden, who was once considered the heavy frontrunner, is now in fifth place in total delegates and will need to win big in upcoming primaries. 

In other primary news, Andrew Yang has officially suspended his campaign following poor showings in both Iowa and New Hampshire. A long-shot candidate, Yang was able to surpass many career politicians in terms of fundraising and polling, however, these frustrating results for the Yang campaign give him no clear path forward to win this primary election.

The next primary election will be held in Nevada in the form of a caucus on February 22. Nevada awards 48 delegates, 36 of which are pledged based on the results of the caucuses. This will be an important state to win to gain momentum going into Super Tuesday, where 1357 delegates will be up for grabs.

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