August 2019 is when the devastating Australia Bush Fire began, and has been on a path of destruction ever since. On November 12, 2019, the Greater Sydney region declared the fire a “catastrophic fire danger” for the first time since the introduction of this level in 2009 and a total fire ban was in place for seven regions, including Greater Sydney. The Bush Fires has destroyed an estimated 21 million acres or 32,000 square miles, destroyed over 2,500 buildings (including over 1,900 houses) and killed 25 people as of January 5, 2020. It was estimated that close to half a billion animals in New South Wales were affected by the ongoing fires, with an estimated over one billion animals having lost their lives so far. The bushfires are regarded by the New South Wales (NSW) Rural Fire Service as the worst bushfire season in memory. In December 2019, the New South Wales Government declared a state of emergency after record-breaking temperatures and prolonged drought exacerbated the bushfires.
The main causes of the fires have been linked to record-breaking heat, record-breaking drought, lightning strike, and alleged arson. Over 180 suspects have been arrested in connection with the deadly bushfires in Australia, but no one has been charged. Thousands of people have been left homeless, with many in rural areas going days without electricity and drinking water. Record high temperatures and severe drought are making it difficult to battle the devastating fires. Firefighters from New Zealand, the United States and Canada have offered their help to fight the fires, especially in New South Wales.
In mid December 2019, a NASA analysis revealed that since August 2019, bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland had emitted 250 million tons of carbon dioxide. As of January 2, 2020, NASA estimated that 306 million tons of carbon dioxide had been emitted by the fires. In comparison, Australia's total carbon emissions were equivalent to 535 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2018. The prolonged drought has damaged the forests’ ability to regrow, and the excess carbon dioxide gas will cause even more issues.
On New Year's Day 2020 in New Zealand, a blanket of smoke from the Australian fires covered the whole South Island and gave the sky an orange-yellow haze. MetService, the head meteorology company of New Zealand, stated that the smoke would not have any adverse effects on the weather or temperature in the country. The smoke moved over the North Island the following day, but began breaking up and was not as intense as it was over the South Island the previous day. Wind from the Pacific Ocean has slowly helped to dissipate the smoke over the South Island.
Reporter: Myles Witte
On Tuesday December the 3rd, Costa Mesa's Estancia High School student attendance plummeted with many students missing school due to the potential threat of a school shooting during the days of the 3rd, 4th, or 5th of December posted to a social media account.
This occurred due to an instagram post made by a minor from Estancia who uploaded two disturbing pictures Monday night, of a male holding a gun with text saying "sometimes you just gotta say **** it and cause a mass shooting at Estancia High School on December 5th, 2019 at 11:35 AM." Many students after viewing the photos decided to warn other students, and stayed away from school while other students chose to attend school with students like Senior, Diego Almanza saying, "I was still going to have school no matter what” and Senior, Makai Walker who also said, “I went because I feel like a real threat would not publicly announce their intentions".
The threat was automatically taken to the local authorities and was quickly investigated by the Costa Mesa Police Department and Estancia High School working together to ensure the safety of the students. More information was brought up Tuesday morning that the CMPD arrested two individuals and it was determined the gun seen in the picture was a BB gun. Although there was no credible threat the school community will remain vigilant for any future threats.
Reporter: Lorenzo Sevilla
On September 24, 2019, a formal impeachment process began for current President Donald Trump after Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi announced that six committees would undertake formal impeachment inquiries after reports about controversial interactions between Trump and the country of Ukraine. Today, November 13, 2019, the impeachment hearings began in Capitol Hill.
The Republican Party has controlled the majority of both the House and the Senate in Trump’s previous years of presidency. Currently, the Democratic Party has control of the House, and has launched numerous investigations into Trump’s actions and finances in the past.
In 2016, after President Trump was elected to office, the Democrats passed a bill that would require all presidents to divest any assets that could be a potential conflict of interest, and failure to do so would be considered a high crime, which could lead to possible impeachment. In fact, when Trump was elected into office, many different interests groups began efforts to impeach Trump.
The impeachment process began in September of 2019, when an unknown whistleblower submitted a complaint to U.S. Inspector General Michael Atkinson that President Trump was attempting to pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into launching an investigation into former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter during a phone call on July 25, 2019. Joe Biden is well known for being the Vice President of the United States under the Obama administration and is also a member of the Democratic Party. It has been reported that the purpose of the phone call was to have the Ukranian government prevent corruption in their politics and how they should begin that process now.
On November 13, 2019, the Impeachment hearing began. George P. Kent, a senior State Department official, and William B. Taylor Jr., the top diplomat in Ukraine, were the first two witnesses to be questioned in the Impeachment hearing. Democrats and Republicans will be taking turns throughout the hearing asking questions of the witnesses.
Reporter: Myles Witte
On Wednesday, October 23, 2019, Estancia Link Crew showed Halloween Town. TK burger truck hold dinner from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m followed by the movie.
People brought their own snacks during the movie and came with PJs, blankets, and pillows. Ms. Moore who is a Link Crew coordinator said, “The idea behind Unity Night is to bring everyone together as equal and to stand against bullying.” Joselin Rivadeneira Estancia senior and second year of Link Crew stated, “the movie wasn’t really good, I fell asleep during the movie that’s how boring it was but from there I really enjoyed the food and I enjoy going with my friends.” More than 100 tickets were sold for this annual event to behold again next year
Reporter: Amairani Sandoval
Showing school spirit was not a popular thing at Estancia High School. Of course there were always a handful of people, but it wasn’t too popular to participate. Most of the time, students didn’t even know about most events. However, this year has changed. Estancia students have been showing more school spirit and participate more than the previous few years. As there has now been more people showing up for events and dressing up than the previous 2 years.
It seems that most school spirit, such as going to sporting events, dressing up for spirit week, and participating in general, has gone up especially in the upperclassmen. When one goes to a sporting event, such as football, the stands are filled with juniors and especially seniors. “There’s been a lot more people at the footballs than ever before like last year it was just band and some parents,” said Daisy Salinas, an Estancia senior. They’re usually dressed in whatever color the spirit day is or are wearing school colors. During the homecoming assembly, on October 11th, there was lots of cheering and lots of people dressed in their blue and white.
School spirit has become much more popular at Estancia because students are more involved. Many people in ASB, clubs, and sports are always posting online about, not only their events, but other events happening related to the school. The club instagram accounts post a wide variety of events such as sports, spirit day themes, and events related to the arts department. Since more people are joining clubs because their friends are in it or started it, those accounts have a pretty good following. This trend seems to make many people aware of things, which causes them to participate more.
Social media and communication between the students sparked the beginning of high school spirit at Estancia, and it will hopefully stay throughout the school year.
Reporter: Viviana Arroyo
Everyone tends to hate or at least strongly dislike school food so people complaining about the food is not new, but people not liking the drinks is becoming a regular complaint. People tend to be okay with the juices Estancia gives because it usually tastes like the juice they’re supposed to be but recently, the juice has been tasting weird.
People say the juice tastes gross and weird, almost like it’s expired. Some say the apple juice tastes too sweet, or watered down. “Sometimes the apple juice is too sweet and other times it taste like nasty water,” said Kenia Rocha, an Estancia senior. The orange juice usually tastes sour and sometimes expired, same with the berry juice. “The juice always tastes bad like it tastes bitter and spoiled even if it isn’t expired,” said Athena Nova. So when students get a juice, it’s usually a shot in the dark. One never really knows if one will get a normal juice or a box filled with gross liquid.
There are a few theories on why the juice tastes the way it is. Maybe they are just using expired juice without them knowing. Maybe they just left them in the fridge and containers for too long until they started absorbing the boxy tastes of its container.
Whatever it is, it will hopefully stop soon because students are tired of not knowing if their juice will taste sour or normal. “It happens all the time. It has come to the point where every time I get juice I have to throw it away,” said Athena Nova. School food disappoint people and now, even the juices are disappointing.
Reporter: Viviana Arroyo
On Monday, October 7, 2019, the campus of Cal State University Long Beach (CSULB) was on lockdown. At around 2:10 P.M. on Monday, Campus Police received an email containing violent threats to both the campus and students of CSULB. At 3:50 P.M., Campus Police released a tweet advising students who are not on campus to stay away from campus, and the ones on campus to stay inside, lock their doors, and stay safe. University Police Chief Fernando Solorzano said that the threat did not involve weapons. Shortly after 4:20 P.M., campus police released an updated tweet saying the situation was clear and the campus was safe once again.
During the lockdown, many students took to social media to not only show their distress, but to also show the people a major campus problem with the ineffective door locks. Millie Nguyen, a student at CSULB said, “Our classroom is really old so they actually couldn't lock so we had to like prop a chair against the door.” Numerous videos on social media were posted showing classrooms with desks shoved up against doors.
By early evening, many students started a petition to have the university update its classroom door locks to provide a safer environment for the students. A university spokesperson said that they will be investing roughly $500,000 into the university to retrofit the classrooms so they will be able to lock and protect students.
After the suspect was found and arrested, Campus Police believe that the suspect was working alone. The name of the suspect has not yet been released.
Reporter: Myles Witte
On Tuesday, September 24, 2019, the dangers of vaping nabbed another victim. The second vaping related death in Kansas has increased the nationwide number to 9 deaths this year, with the first happening on August 23, 2019. Each day, more and more information has been found on the dangers of vaping, and why it could be even more dangerous than traditional cigarettes.
The use of tobacco products has been around for hundreds of years, but until recently, the tobacco industry has been changing. The first design for the electronic cigarette (e-cig) came in 1963 with Herbert A. Gilbert patenting a design for an electronic vaporizer to replace the commonly used tobacco plant and paper. It was not until 2003 when Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik created the first modern e-cig.
Since 2003, e-cigs have become more and more popular over the years with them being easier to use and more readily available, as well as the abundance of different “juice” flavors that appeal to the consumer, and especially minors.
More than 90% of e-cigs and e-cig products are made in China, and in China there are no regulations on these e-cig products. Dr. Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said that, “E-cigarettes are unregulated, which means that we don't know what's in them.” The ingredients in the juice is causing many different health problems, and since they are not regulated, it is harder to trace the ingredients. The main ingredient found by researchers in over 500 vaping related cases is Vitamin E acetate. Vitamin E acetate produces toxic vapors that can coat the lungs, damage lung cells and trigger immune responses that can be deadly as time continues.
On September 10, 2019, it was announced that the Trump administration would soon ban flavored e-cig juice. With this ban also comes an investigation into one of the biggest e-cig companies in the world, Juul. It is only a matter of time before there e-cig companies will be investigated. Although this has only been a problem for a few decades now, this is just the beginning of a battle in the e-cig world.
Reporter: Myles Witte
Estancia High School will be undergoing some changes this upcoming school year. Estancia’s current pool will be updated to a brand new Olympic size pool. According to Mr. Tolzda, Estancia’s vice principal, the new facility will be named Estancia’s Aquatic Center. Additionally, the girls and boys locker room will be remodeled along with the pool. The construction of this project began Friday, May 3rd, 2019 and will finalize February of 2020 just in time for the upcoming water polo season.
The new pool will be built on the blacktop area right in front of Jim Harryman gym. The area where the anterior pool was located will be remodeled into an outdoor lunch area that will also be used for future dances and assemblies. New mobile lunch tables will be purchased so that it will be easy to remove them for other future activities, such as outdoor dances, banquets, etc. The locker rooms will be remodeled by small sections so that physical education students can still make use of the locker rooms to change.
Both projects and construction will be safe for students to be around. The fencing around the construction area will remain to keep people safe until the project is completed. Tolzda informed, “They have a safety inspector on sight, his main job is to walk around the area making sure that it’s safe not only for the workers, but for the students as well.'' Currently the project is on track to meet the completion date.
Reporter: Jeraldy Gomez
Estancia's 2019 prom was held at The Mansion nightclub on Saturday night June 1. The dance started at 7 pm and ended at 10:30 pm.
At the start of the dance it was a bit slow but it didn't take long for people to get their groove on. There was a game room where you could play Super Smash Bros as well as Billiards but was not accessible to students because the cues could be used as weapons. There were sacks like strawberries and bananas that you could dip into a chocolate fountain. There was also salted chips, rice krispie treats, cookies and small sandwiches. The whole time people were dancing and singing along to songs. An Estancia High School senior, John Mojica said, “Prom was really fun, I enjoyed my night.”
Throughout the night, multiple mosh pits were going off, but was later stopped by a teacher. Towards the end of the dance the Prom king and queen were being announced. Raul Gonzalez was chosen as Prom King and Mackenzie Mcintyre for Prom Queen. After the announcement the dancing kept going. It wasn't only students dancing at this point but some teachers as well. An Estancia High School senior, Georgina Gonzalez said, “Prom was fun with my friends and so was the photo booth.”
Reporter: Brian Luna