CLASS OF 2018

SPRING SEMESTER

Teachers and school board clash over new LAUSD superintendent

By Gretta Goss

The school board voted Austin Beutner to be the new superintendent of Los Angeles Unified School District on May 1st. The school board seems enthusiastic about the new leader’s abilities, however LA Unified school teachers appear to be troubled about the prospect of a superintendent who does not have an educational background.

 

Beutner, a former Wall Street banker, served as first deputy mayor of Los Angeles for more than a year. He was the publisher and chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Times. In 2011, he was appointed First Deputy Mayor and Chief Executive of Economic and Business Policy for Los Angeles, where he oversaw “economic development activities” for the city of LA including the three critical infrastructures: LAX, Port of LA, and Department of Water and Power. Beutner is also the founder and chairman of Vision to Learn, a program that provides students with free eye exams and glasses to kids in LA Unified. He became a major candidate for the spot of LAUSD superintendent in April, and the school board finally settled on Beutner, likely due to his background in leadership and finances.

 

The overall job of a superintendent of a school district is to make day to day decisions about educational programs, staff, finances, and facilities. He is the leader of the school board and must work with the school board and with principals to meet educational goals in schools. This job will be particularly difficult for an LAUSD superintendent, because of the sheer size of LA Unified, with over 900 schools and 187 public charter schools.

 

The school board voted Beutner in 5-2, with Scott Schmerelson and George McKenna voting against him, and Garcia, Melvoin, Rodriguez, Gonez, and Vladovic all in support of Beutner. It appears that Beutner became the top choice because the school board recognized that using conventional solutions to all of LAUSD’s major problems was not and would not be successful.

 

Nick Melvoin, school board Vice President, is confident that this new superintendent “can bring some innovative thinking to this.” He says that change is necessary in LAUSD, claiming that “the status quo is not good enough for our kids.” He recognizes the need for a new perspective in LAUSD.

 

“Austin Beutner is well prepared to address the fiscal crisis we are facing and put us on a more sustainable path,” said board member Kelly Gonez. She is confident in Beutner’s financial abilities, and hopes he can build the district up after years of financial crisis.

 

LAUSD teachers, however, are skeptical of Beutner, his lack of educational background, and his support of charter schools. Two former LAUSD teachers wrote letters to the editor of LA Times, expressing their opinions about Beutner and his future as superintendent.

 

“Let's not allow the superintendent of schools to interfere with the free and appropriate education of L.A. students,” said Ben Miles, and LAUSD teacher. He has hopes that Beutner will not have too much influence and will not affect the students ability to learn. “If history is any guide, neither [Austin Beutner or Richard Carranza] will be able to achieve his stated goals because the systems are too big. Yet no one dare mention breaking up the behemoths into manageable size,” claimed Walt Gardner, another former LAUSD teacher.

 

In an interview with Andrea Caruso, a teacher and coordinator of the Grant High School College Prep and Digital Arts Magnet, she revealed that she does not have a lot of faith in Beutner’s ability to lead based on his inexperience. She claims his financial background will not be beneficial to our school district because schools cannot be treated as businesses, and students cannot be treated as consumers. She believes Beutner will not have the ability to place himself in the shoes of LAUSD students and teachers, and therefore will not be able to make decisions that will benefit them.

 

Although teachers feel uncertainty about the school board’s decisions, what they all have in common is their hope that the new superintendent will be successful in the coming months.

Lasting effects of Van Nuys violence on youth

By Luca Leroy

In recent years Van Nuys has become plagued with crime and rampant with violence.

Crime rates have risen dramatically since 2015 and all violent crimes rose an extreme 12%, and only continued rising with the each following year, according to the Daily News. This continuous rise in violence posses a serious threat on the children, and their future lives.

Violent crimes entail, rape, aggravated assaults, homicides, robberies, and more. The violent crime rate continues to grow with every passing year, according to crime statistics conducted by the commanding officers of the L.A.P.D. in this area.

In the past six months there have, roughly, been “326 violent crimes, 51 property crimes, and 5.8 crimes per 10,000 people.” The rate of “5.8 crimes per every 10,000 people,” is the highest of all the areas surrounding the Van Nuys area. Within those “326 violent crimes,” in the past six months, there have been “125 robberies, 182 aggravated assaults, 18 rapes, and one homicide,” according to L.A. Times maps.

Though there is no exact idea why the crime has risen so much, it is speculated that the crime rise could be attributed to the surprising increase of homeless in the area, which has risen up to a surprising 36% in recent years. However, the homeless are not excessively violent, according to the Daily News.

Violent crimes have been the primary focus because of the effects it has on people, specifically children.

In proximity to three elementary schools, two high schools, and one continuation school, were two assaults, one robbery, two thefts, two thefts from vehicles, and one case of grand theft auto, with crime so close to places of education, it is no wonder children are exposed or even victims to the crime.

Children exposed to violent crimes can react differently, some develop serious ailments and have extreme changes in behavior, other children can become fearful and stay home, some can have trouble sleeping, and complain of “vague symptoms.”

Many children exposed to violence can experience or develop similar symptoms to actual victims. Many children exposed to, or victims of, violence can succumb to a lifelong behavioral change, referred to as, the “cycle of violence.”

The cycle of violence is the repetitive path, along many generations, that violent crime causes.

It begins when a child falls victim to violent crime, or even if the child is exposed, then the “cycle” leads to “behavioral, physical, and psychological problems,” which frames the symptoms introduced above as well as symptoms such as self harm and other critical ailments.

It then leads to academic failure pointing any child toward an uneventful life and symptoms of this can include increases in anger and, in extreme cases, attempts at suicide.

The following step, would then lead to early alcohol and substance use, and oftentimes abuse, eventually leading to more self hatred.

As a result of this downward spiral, children may indulge in delinquent acts that then lead them to a life of criminal activity, activity that will most likely be violent in nature, violence that will be viewed or acted upon innocent children that are helpless against these crimes.

The “cycle of violence” can very well happen to any child, another possibility is a development of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or the appearance of signs such as extreme aggression and self-destructive intents, according HealthyChildren.org, a site detailing child health and health care.

Violent crimes, or any crimes, can do more than the crime committed, they can seriously injure the mental state of both the victim and witness.

There is no solution for all crime in the world or even in a local neighborhood, and there is no real solution for the effects of crime on children, or anybody, but everybody can help people that are affected in these ways.

The best thing to do is console those in situations that are in situations such as these.

Professional help would do the most for those in need, because non-professionals may very well just make everything worse. So for those in need, seek help.

Homeless and struggling migrants wait outside the U.S. border

By Alma Vardevaryan

Currently, at the U.S. border in Tijuana, over 300 migrants are waiting to come into America. Migrants have risked all they have for the opportunity to come to America for safety and a better life for their family. President Trump is having the process of admitting them in take an excruciatingly long time that is not ethical and moral as they need help.

 

The migrants have come from all over Latin America and are seeking asylum. All migrants have endured difficulties from traveling long and far by foot, train, or caravan facing homelessness, hunger, fatigue, and poverty. Even though they have been through such harsh conditions that have taken months for some, they are left at the border only to wait again.

 

In a recent interview, CNN journalist Khushbu Shah, spoke with one of the migrants Gabriela Hernandez. Hernandez, pregnant and mother of 2, has been walking and riding a caravan to reach the U.S. border, escaping violence in Honduras. Hernandez and her children were one of hundreds of families traveling to the border for the chance of having a life of safety.   

 

Hernandez’s struggles included sleeping outside in the cold, not having money for food, and walking for miles while carrying her boys when they got tired. Upon arrival at the border, the US was not allowing people entry because they had reached maximum capacity. The next day, the asylum process begun with her. On the first day, the caravan of originally 1,200 arrived—over 300 made it—and 8 people, including her family, were admitted into America.

 

Kirk Siegler from NPR also interviewed migrants, one of them Deana Quczada from Honduras, escaping gang violence as they harmed her family. When arriving at the border and hearing about the capacity limit, she began to lose hope, but was certain she was not going to go back to her homeland.

 

Also interviewed by Siegler was Jean Stevenson Dorvil from Venezuela on an expensive and dangerous journey lasting 6 months. He came before the caravan of migrants another 6 months ago and is currently still waiting at the border. He left Venezuela seeking asylum for hopes of working in America and helping his family back in Venezuela as living there is expensive. Each migrant at the border has faced numerous challenges and are determined not to go back to their homeland.

 

As of May 2, 28 migrants of the hundreds were admitted into America. The asylum process is very tedious, but the long time America is taking is affecting the migrants as they are suffering from it.

 

Aida Toma, 17-years-old graduating high school to attend California State University, Northridge, came to America in 2014 for a better life. “I would be living a poor life deprived of everything,” she explains if she were currently living in Romania, her homeland. “They have one dream, to come to America for a better life,” she begins on her view of Trump’s actions for those currently waiting at the border, “so if they are sitting at the border being held from their dream, then they are still living in the place they want to get rid of so badly.”

 

Liam McConville, a 26-year-old teacher at College Prep & Digital Art Magnet in Grant High School teaching U.S. History, AP Human Geography, and AP Psychology, is a citizen of the U.S. and believes migrants coming to America is a good thing because of diversity and unique experiences being shared to the American culture. “I think America was founded on ideals and values of immigrants coming to this country for a new life and what makes America so special is the multicultural ‘melting pot’ dynamic, so his actions sort of take away the things that makes our country the most special,” shares McConville on Trump’s behavior; however, he understands the caution U.S. is taking, but also believes a faster method could be used.

 

Today, migrants still remain waiting at the U.S. border. Volunteers donate food, blankets, and other resources to them. The migrants are on their own, relying on others, and waiting to be admitted in America for safety. We should be doing anything we can so Trump speed up the process and allow them into America.

Immigrants live in total fear, more so now with Trump as president

By Emily Castellon

Unjust actions towards immigrants can be traced back to the 1950s when hundreds of immigration agents scouted through the southwestern area of the U.S. They gathered immigrants, packed them into trucks, ships, and planes and sent them back to Mexico. This was known as “Operation Wetback.”

Immigration is often a controversial topic, especially in the United States. Today, immigrants struggle to create a better life due to the hardships they face in America―like ICE and Trump’s administration being cruel and unjust towards immigrants. Many families leave their country to escape poverty-stricken conditions, while others flee from brutality. Although immigrants try to find economic opportunities, many instead face more financial need.

 

In an article by the American Psychological Association argues that “ one million children under 18 and 4.4 million under 30 living in America out of the estimated total of 11.1 million undocumented immigrants living in [the U.S.].” The number of undocumented adults is higher than the number of undocumented children and it’s tough when the children can only pray for their parent’s safety.

 

ICE agents have been appearing in various sanctuary cities and force immigrants to leave. Being undocumented creates hardships for immigrants and their families, especially now that sanctuaries are slowly disappearing leading to higher chances of being deported, causing families to be broken.

 

The thought of immigrants sacrificing themselves to have a better life but being seen as inhumane and denied from that is devastating. People immigrate to the U.S. to find a better life but are faced with having to live in constant fear because of ICE.

 

No one considers what immigrants endure on their journey to the U.S. Many are caught and sent back but only after being in jail for days, others disappear while traveling, while a few become too ill to continue and die before they can make it. The difficult part is that once people arrive, not everyone is lucky enough to have somewhere to stay; they come unprepared because of how badly they need a safe haven.

 

People like Ali Tarzi, who is from Kuwait, Afghanistan, fled in 1981 due to the Soviet invasion and came to the U.S. as a refugee in 1983. He states that he has always felt like he belongs in American because he came when he was young; however, since 9/11 he has “only felt like an immigrant twice,” after 9/11 and now during Trump’s presidency. He feels uncomfortable at airports because he gets pulled over occasionally for screening. “Maybe it’s not random and maybe I am being singled out.”

 

Many come to the U.S. at a young age and grow up in the only place they can remember. Being seen as different is upsetting because all they ever sought for is safety.

 

A friend of mine (who wishes to stay anonymous) immigrated from Tijuana, Mexico at the age of 5 with her mom and her older brother after her parents separated and decided it was best to find a better life. Although her and her brother had visas, her mother didn’t, making the trip from Tijuana to Bakersfield more terrifying than it already was.

 

“I was scared and upset because I was leaving my whole childhood behind but I was more scared for my mom because she risked her life for my brother and I.” Jane Smith is now a resident but despite not being categorized as an “undocumented immigrant” her time living here, she still feels like an outsider in the country she’s growing up in.

 

Because our current society has sculpted the image of immigrants being unwanted and unwelcome in this country, Smith still feels like she has to “work twice as hard than everyone else who has always had opportunities so that [she] can stand out” because she thinks “it’s scary how someone like Trump can simply take away all the opportunities [she has] worked hard for and everything [her] family has faced will all be for nothing.” She states that she’s “also scared that a person like Trump won’t give [her] the chances to succeed in this country just because [she’s] an immigrant.”

Illegal immigration: students and educators share their thoughts

By Joshua Zollo

Illegal immigration is an issue which is close to home for many Americans - documented and undocumented. According to FAIR US, 12.5 million people living in the US are undocumented immigrants. Approximately 6.9% of them have children in public schools.

 

I talked to a local public school educator in Los Angeles, English teacher and magnet coordinator Andrea Caruso, regarding her opinion on undocumented students. Caruso said “These [students] are shut out and all because they happen to be born in a different country... It’s heartbreaking because these students worked their asses off, they want to contribute, they want to be a part of something larger and they can’t. All because they don’t have a social security number and through no fault of their own... It’s very confusing for students who have based their identities on their academic achievements and their contributions that they make to school and society in general... This is all they’ve ever known.”

President Trump and his cabinet have taken a strong stance against illegal immigration and have made outlandish claims about immigration causing an increase in crime. Recently, Trump’s Department of Homeland Security released a report which dishonestly claimed that those who entered the country via a lottery system were more likely to be tied to terrorist attacks.

 

The Cato Institute found that lottery visa holders actually killed only eight of 3,037 Americans murdered by foreign-born terrorists since 1975. According to NPR, new studies found the dramatic influx of undocumented immigrants did not drive up rates of drug and alcohol arrests or the number of drug overdoses and DUI deaths. Furthermore, in 2015, criminal conviction and arrest rates in Texas for undocumented immigrants were lower than those of native-born Americans for murder, sexual assault and larceny.

 

These studies show that youthful undocumented immigrants engage in less crime than do legal immigrants or their U.S.-born peer s and increased undocumented immigration since 1990 has not increased violent crime over that same time period.

 

Those opposed to immigration often cite rare cases of violent crime committed by immigrants . For example, on April 27, 2002, Ronald da Silva was standing with a friend in front of his house when he was shot and killed by an undocumented immigrant who had been deported previously. The undocumented immigrant received a sentence of 21 years in prison but will be released in 2020.

 

On March 30, 2007, Tessa Tranchant was killed in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Tessa was sitting at a stoplight with her friend when Alfredo Ramos, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who was intoxicated and speeding, rear-ended her car. Ramos had an extensive criminal record, but due to Virginia Beach’s sanctuary policies, he was never detained. He was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

 

On January 31, 2016, Sarah Root from Omaha, Nebraska was killed when her SUV was rear-ended by Eswin Mejia, a Honduran undocumented immigrant, who was street racing. Mejia was charged with motor vehicular homicide but was released on bond.

 

However, these few cases do not provide an accurate depiction of the majority of people who enter this country illegally, contrary to what the Trump Administration might want the American public to believe. According to Politifact.com, unauthorized immigrants are responsible for only 1.6% of crime in the U.S.

 

I talked to Daniel Romero, a senior at Grant High School in Van Nuys, CA, who was only granted citizenship two years ago, after 15 years of living in the country undocumented. When asked how feels about young people like him being in danger of being deported Romero said “It’s just not fair. They didn’t ask to be brought here. They’ve lived their whole life here and now there’s a possibility of them being sent back. That’s not cool.”

 

Romero continued on to explain that just like millions of other immigrants, he identifies as an American. “I don’t participate in my [Salvadoran]... culture. I am American.” This is a sentiment I know millions of illegal immigrants all across the country share.

Opposition to sanctuary state laws arises as Los Alamitos opts out

By Mikayla Borresen

In March of 2018, the small and usually quiet city of Los Alamitos was rocked with controversy over a city vote. The tiny city hall, built to seat 40, was packed to the brim as people gathered for the event. Outside, groups supporting and opposing the vote grew, and it wasn’t long until heated arguments broke out among the crowds. The debate: whether or not to opt out of California’s sanctuary state laws.

 

In the end, city officials voted 4 to 1 to opt out. Officials from Los Alamitos stated, according to Citylab and LA Times, stated that the laws violate the federal supremacy clause.

 

“The way sanctuary laws pass is that they conflict with the U.S. constitution, and specifically with our oaths of office to uphold and support the constitution,” explained mayor Troy Edgar, as reported by Citylab.

 

These laws have, since their inception, been a great source of controversy for California. Officials from Jeff Sessions to Donald Trump have come out against it, debating the legality of these laws. Despite being signed a year ago, these laws remain at the center of contemporary debate, as Los Alamitos may not be the only city to opt out.

 

The ‘sanctuary state laws’ are contained within bill SB-54, signed into law in 2017 by governor Jerry Brown.

 

“These are uncertain times for undocumented Californians and their families, and this bill strikes a balance that will protect public safety, while bringing a measure of comfort to those families who are now living in fear every day,” Jerry Brown stated on the day of the signing, as reported by the LA Times.

 

The laws described in this bill limit the ability of state organizations to cooperate with federal immigration agencies. This includes withholding the release dates of some criminals, criminals who are illegal immigrants, from federal agents. It is written in the bill that it will “prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies, including school police and security departments, from using money or personnel to investigate, interrogate, detain, detect, or arrest persons for immigration enforcement purposes.” This is a source of great controversy, as the law prohibits local police from investigating or prosecuting cases of illegal immigration.

 

These restrictions have been questioned due to California’s current issues with immigration. Immigration has always been an important but heated debate, since it is something that affects all of California. California has one of the highest amounts of illegal immigrants in the country- in 2015, the Pew Research Center estimated the state having about 2.6 million unauthorized immigrants.

 

“The bill risks the safety of good law enforcement officers and the safety of the neighborhoods that need their protection the most,” stated Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as reported by Fox News.

 

SB-54 is not the only thing up for debate in terms of legality. Los Alamitos is a charter city, which- as described by Carmel & Naccasha LLP- has greater control over laws involving ‘municipal affairs’, while still being subject to laws determining ‘state affairs.’ The difference between municipal and state affairs is a fluid concept. Immigration is a state-wide issue, but SB-54 determines restrictions and guidelines involving local city organizations- like local police. Out of the 481 cities in California, 86 of them are charter cities like Los Alamitos. Thus, other more conservative cities- like those in the San Diego and Orange counties- are considering following in Los Alamitos’ footsteps. California’s four largest cities are charter cities- this including Los Angeles. So, it is not impossible that this debate could come to LA.

 

Since California cities like LA have such high numbers of undocumented immigrants, the debate over immigration is a hot topic. It is undeniable that the state has to do something about it- but the route it should take is the question. Cities like Los Alamitos have made up their mind, choosing to opt out of SB-54. We are yet to see if more will follow suit, or if the debate will make its way to LA.

It’s not just Flint; San Joaquin’s water is also causing health problems

By Armenuhi Mkrtchyan

Over 1 million California residence are exposed to unsafe water, and are contaminated with nitrate putting approximately 254,000 people in health risk. 99% of the population rely on groundwater exposed with nitrate and residence face multiple health complications.

April 2014 Flint, Michigan was under a severe water crisis. In order to save money, the state switched the water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River. It was unfortunate that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality failed to treat the harmful water, all of the cities iron and lead from the pipes leached into the drinking water. It resulted to people getting sick, causing skin lesions, memory loss, depression, major concerns about Legionnaires disease, miscarriage and childhood development. This became a major turning point for Flint and the residences, estimate of 8,000 children exposed to lead. The new generation that has been contaminated leads to cumulative years of poor health.

Even though this incident occurred away from California, that does not mean that it is impossible for something this drastic to occur near us. In the contrary in the year 2016 San Joaquin Valley, was suffering from water contaminated by pesticides, arsenic, nitrate and uranium. It is given that 300 communities in the United States should be cautious of the water they consume and nearly half of the 400,000 impacted residence in the San Joaquin Valley. Most San Joaquin’s residence rely on groundwater, however is contaminated with manmade and natural occurring toxins. The most widespread groundwater contamination is nitrate and can have a major impact on not only adults but infants limiting oxygen, causing lethargy, dizziness and death.

Dr. Ed Hernandez, the state senator from the 22nd district, is campaigning for safe drinking water in the valley and the state. The Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund is funding in order to help ensure that every California household has access to clean water. “A bill is being passed that would institute a nominal fee on water bills across the state, less than 1 dollar a month per household."

Dr. Ed Hernandez also “met with Bertha and her family at their home in the small town of East Orosi. She brought [him] a crystal-clear pitcher of water that appeared innocuous. However, it harbored unsafe levels of nitrates.”

Daily tasks such as washing their hands, taking showers or cooking are simply unsafe. Capital Public Radio reporter Ezra David Romero states that “the low-income families in the valley live from a water supplying system 1 mile away from 66 percent of the residence living in San Joaquin Valley ...will provide clean and safe water.” When surveyed about accessibility to clean water systems.

The state legislatures have established and guaranteed clean water source in homes at a fairly low price. Presented a larger and equitably distributed sources of funding for drinking water upgrade. Communities got involved in improving their constituents access to clean water.

Flint, Michigan after this four year issue will remove lead exposure lines from the homes of children born in 2018, “which will protect more than 350,000 children and yield $2.7 billion in future benefits,” states The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

This repair of the water in the whole city will take an exceeding amount of time, and would cost an estimated $2 billion. Even before the pipeline in the city is fully secured, Michigan National Guard supplies the residence with bottled water.

Take in consideration as a resident of California, or even as a person who drinks approximately a cup of water a day to know that it is possible for you and your loved ones to have severe consequences due to lack of acknowledgement for the water from the state government. Thousands of children not only in Flint, Michigan but also San Joaquin Valley are struggling to find a source in helping them through the illnesses caused by the fault of the state.

What have the children done to receive such brutal future, stuck in hospitals looking for a cure? What would you have done as friend, family, parent and a resident if you knew there would be a possibility that your life was on the line from man made toxins?

California’s next major earthquake: not if but when

By Bronson Zell

Seismic activity is unavoidable in California because it sits right above multiple fault lines, including the San Andreas fault line which runs vertically the length of California. This fault has been building up massive amounts of tension for over 100 years. Eventually it’s going to snap and release a major earthquake on California. This will have a potentially devastating impact on southern California. What can you do to protect yourself?

 

Earthquakes can be extremely devastating to cities that are unprepared or have no means of recovery. California has had many major earthquakes in the past, such as the 1906 San Francisco earthquake which received a 7.8 on the Richter scale classifying it as a major earthquake. The fires started by the earthquake were the most devastating part, burning 80% of San Francisco.

 

Although California has minor earthquakes daily, California is actually in an earthquake drought. The last major earthquake was the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, over 100 years ago. The central-southern part of the San Andreas fault hasn’t slipped since 1857. Over this time the stress in the fault line has been growing. Eventually the energy is going to be released all at once and California is going to be hit by “The Big One”.

 

The last major earthquake that hit Southern California was in 1857 and received a 7.8 magnitude on the Richter scale. Luckily at the time the area wasn’t extremely populated. If a major earthquake were to hit the Los Angeles area today it would be catastrophic. Potentially affecting more than 18.7 million people. With a maximum magnitude of 8.2 on the Richter scale it would rupture the San Andreas fault through Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino. Every city in Southern California would be affected.

 

The death toll of such a major earthquake in Southern California could be one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history potentially killing almost 1,800 people. That number could easily rise if the earthquake hits during the fire season. The fires could potentially wipe out huge portions of the greater Los Angeles area.

 

One of the main problems during an earthquake is the damage to the infrastructure. Every freeway that passes over the fault line would be shifted 15 feet in a different direction. The aqueducts could also be destroyed which would stop the flow of 88% of Los Angeles’ water supply according to Lucy Jones, a world-renowned seismologist and author of the book “The Big One”.

Along with freeways and waterways, there is also a large threat to the power lines. Power could be lost throughout the entire western United States. It would take days if not weeks to get the power back up and running in Los Angeles.

 

Los Angeles has many guidelines and regulations put in place to protect the city from earthquakes and to help speed up the recovery. These include building codes and emergency plans that are designed to lessen the impact of an earthquake. These guidelines are important, but they won’t protect everyone. There are also many buildings that don’t meet the regulations because they were built so long ago.

 

What can you do to protect yourself during an earthquake? Identify any potential hazards in your home such as a large shelf that is not fastened to the wall. Keep heavy items on the bottom shelves. Anything that has a risk of falling and breaking should be properly secured. Flammable products should be stored in closed cabinets on the bottom shelf. Check for any structural defects in the house or the foundation and get an expert to inspect anything you find.

 

Identify the safe places at the home both inside and out. Tables and desks provide good overhead protection during an earthquake from any falling debris. Staying away from glass or windows that could shatter. Help to educate your family and everyone else living in your home as well as though in your community. Get supplies such as flashlights, first aid, extra food, water and put them in an accessible location. During the actual earthquake drop, cover, and hold until the shaking is over, but be warned sometimes the first earthquake is actually a foreshock preceding a much larger earthquake.

President Sargsyan of Armenia grabs power and spreads global support

By Ani Tsolakyan

Each year on April 24th thousands of Armenians gather at Little Armenia on Hollywood Boulevard and march all the way to the Turkish Consulate as they hold Armenian flags and posters while shouting for recognition.


“Turkey run,Turkey hide, Turkey is guilty of Genocide,” scream the triggered citizens.

As a nation just like any other we expect equality, freedom and justice and without these key cores in life it becomes hard to receive scrutiny towards the issue.The U.S leaders are being ignorant for what damage this genocide has caused, many states across the world have come to a conclusion that they will recognize the genocide but despairingly leaders such as President Trump refuse to define it as a “genocide.”

“We underscore the importance of acknowledging and reckoning with painful elements of the past as a necessary step towards creating a more tolerant future” stated President Trump.

Facts like this are what cause a form of tension perceived by Armenians around the world.The Armenian Genocide has become an extensive topic worldwide therefore the amount of support being given surpasses the continuous lies. Due to the disrespect not only Armenians but many others have joined our movement and march with us on April 24th, it’s a special day in which we remember and appreciate our ancestors that have battled for the united culture we have today.

On April 24, 1915 approximately 1.5 million Armenians were massacred by the Turkish government, as a goal was set to exterminate our race from the world they made sure these innocent individuals were persecuted by actions such as hanging them, starving them, and raping the women. Events very similar such as the Holocaust are commended all over the world but even after 103 years of fighting, decades of protesting and days of no sleep the Armenian Genocide is still not recognized. The Turkish officials deny the Genocide and don’t acknowledge the fact that this event has took place which has now set several states on foot to demand for justice. How can you systematically eliminate a race of humans but still have the power to deny that such an attempt was made without a sense of guilt?

In 2015 the constitutional referendum of Armenia had decided on a law to pass the presidential powers to the Prime Minister of the country, last month however the Republican Party had voted Serge to this position without giving other candidates a chance to vote their opinion. This choice had led to unexpected protests day and night, Serj Sargsyan the president who had been voted into term twice in a row was being hated and objected against by his people. One day of an angered group of people protesting for justice led to 11 days of protest day and night until Sargsyan had decided to resign on April 23rd leaving the whole race of people content both in the U.S and Armenia.

”The street movement is against my tenure. I am fulfilling your demand,” said Sargsyan.

The negative events that take place always lead to a positive outcome, they strengthen the relationship between Armenians as a race whether we are side by side or miles apart and prove to the leaders that we are united and nothing can put our demands to an end. Now being led by opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan our nation has faith that we will reach peace with his help, Armenians all around the world are celebrating and proving that we the people will fight and demand for justice.

As a child with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who all live in Armenia it’s heartbreaking hearing about what’s occurring and not being able to be there to make a change, throughout these two months with all the events taking place I have learned that distance can’t interfere with the amount of compassion we have as a race. At this point throughout the past two months my fear had been the violence, the amount of stress and tears are indescribable. Imagine not seeing your family for years and viewing protests on tv where they are ready to shoot, scary thoughts process through your mind don’t they?

Just like William Saroyan says in a famous quote, “I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people whose wars have been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered.Go ahead, destroy Armenia. See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing, or pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world,see if they will not create a New Armenia.”

 

Now, not only have Armenians come together in order to spread their word but we have also gained support from countries such as Brazil, Russia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy to continue our movement and create a message to our President.Now as we all think of this issue it’s important to not divide into beliefs or races but rather join together to spread positivity and support.

Dangerous evidence discovered by Israel impacts people worldwide

By Lemai Vaknin

The countries involved in the Nuclear Deal must decide their next move as Israelis fear the outcome of Netanyahu’s news.

On April 30, 2018, the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, revealed stolen Iranian nuclear plans. Israeli spies discovered the warehouse storing the files in safes in February of 2016 and created an operation led by Mossad chief, Yossi Cohen.

These files, 55,000 printed pages, 55,000 files and 183 compact discs, were stolen overnight this past January from the warehouse which was located in Shorobad District, Tehran. The files consisted of incriminating documents, charts, presentations, blueprints, photos, videos, and more.

The delay of publicly revealing the files was due to the fact that the majority were written in Farsi, which is why Netanyahu invited professionals from all over the world to translate and analyze the documents. This discovery proves that Iran’s secret Atomic Archive has been lying for years and betrayed the international nuclear agency by hiding an extensive plan to build an arsenal of nuclear weapons.

Netanyahu stated through Twitter on May 8th that Israel opposed the nuclear deal from the start for this very reason. As we exposed last week, since the deal, Iran intensified it’s efforts to hide it’s secret nuclear weapons program, so if you leave all of this unchanged, all of this combined is a recipe for disaster, a disaster for our region, a disaster for the peace of the world,” he stated.

“I am worried because this news could affect us negatively very soon, especially if Iran feels threatened enough to start a war with us,” explains Judy Ohayon, a 65-year old resident of Beit She’an. She said Israel had been trying to tell the world that the nuclear deal with Iran is too risky and hopes that now the countries in the deal see that Iran is untrustworthy.

A 21-year old lone soldier, currently serving in the IDF, whose identity can not be revealed for safety precautions, confessed that being away from home is hard, but he is there as a symbol of protection for the people of Israel which to him makes his duty all the more important.

“Being a lone soldier away from home for a solid year, I can soon be granted permission to go back for a visit, but because of the tension building up here in Iran there is always the possibility that I would have to be called back into war and keep home out of mind,” he said. “It’s my job to protect the people of Israel and these news, as good as they are so that people know the truth about Iran lying, affect citizens here negatively. Bomb shelters opened up this week as Israel waits for Iran’s attack”.

The worries of Judy and the lone soldier quickly became Israel’s reality. On May 3, 2018, Iran fired twenty rockets into the Israeli- controlled Golan Heights and as a result of many Hamas members trying to infiltrate the border separating Gaza and Israel, Israel defends itself with military defense mechanisms. Hamas officials have confirmed that 50 of 62 Gazans killed in the border violence were Hamas terrorists.

This news doesn’t only affect the middle east but also affects the United States and five other countries. Iran’s regime made a deal with the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, China, and Germany back in 2015.

A few days after Netanyahu’s public announcement Trump made a decision to pull out of the nuclear deal, while the rest of the countries involved continue to believe the deal is the best way to withhold Iran from accessing nuclear weapons.

On May 8th, Trump announced his decision through a video posted on Twitter. “ I am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal,” he declared. “We will not allow a regime the chance, death to America, to gain access to the most deadly weapons on earth.”

The importance of such evidence is that it allows the countries involved in the nuclear deal to fully know what they are involved in and gives them an opportunity to decide for themselves if they wish to continue being a part of a deal with Iran.

This has created a change in the lives of many people around the world, so how has this affected you?

© 2015-2019 by Max Cecil.