Trapping Young Lives
Drugs and alcohol are becoming a regular part of the lives of adolescents today and they have easier access to them. This year at Estancia High School administration has had to deal with related issues the very first week of school and it continues to be a problem. There are many high schools having similar problems, where freshmen are choosing to partake in risky behaviors. Consequently, there has been suspension and expulsion, but is that truly helping? The trained dogs just come and sniff throughout the school to see who has possession of any substance. Due to these circumstances, there is a greater chance that there are more students under the influence that do not carry substances around school. There should be a three-part program that would consist of: improving our prevention system, drug testing, and help for those who need it.
One can’t help getting slapped with smoke clouds while entering the school bathroom. Since, there is no faculty or staff that enter the student bathrooms, most of the time these students do not get caught. Sometimes there are even students who are vaping in classrooms, with teachers oblivious to this occurring. Recognizing there are some people who have family problems, difficulty adjusting themselves to a new country, or even pressured to get involved in drugs; and play the game to fit in. There are so many ways people can do healthy coping, yet it is avoided just to feel “good” for a couple of hours.
On average, a human loses “…a gram of brain mass per year” after the age of 20 assuming if you are healthy (Brenda Hefti). According to The Drug Policy, when students had a physical dependence to drugs before the age of 18 their IQ level dropped 8 points until reaching the age of 38. If a good majority of this generation becomes dependent on drugs, how will they be capable of taking care of themselves, much less their parents some day.
Some may argue that drugs and alcohol have a health purpose and people should not be denied the access to it. National Institute on Drug Abuse states, marijuana plants have two cannabinoids “…that are of medical interest are THC and CBD.” Unfortunately, a good majority of people are not using it for healthy purposes. The Mayo Clinic informs us, that alcohol with moderate use can help, “Reduce your risk of developing and dying from heart disease, possibly reduce your risk of ischemic stroke (when the arteries to your brain become narrowed or blocked, causing severely reduced blood flow), [and] possibly reduce your risk of diabetes.” Do we truly use these substances those ways?
Unfortunately, banning drugs and alcohol consumption is not an option; especially since these two concepts can provide medical benefits. Schools have prevention by enforcing the service dogs to sniff the school and allocate if there is any drug or alcohol in position. As well some schools have guest speakers that only come once a year, and talk to students about drugs and alcohol abuse. That becomes a temptation for young people; unfortunately the negative impact does not show right away. This is a not enough only coming once, shows how the people who come to inform also consider this a joke, if they are not following up after it. Maybe a partnership like the one Estancia has with the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, that will be following up once a month might be the game changer for freshmen. I believe this is a great opportunity for all ages, and strongly believe it should be accessible to everyone. It should be mandatory for these students to get help to break this “cool” habit. It should be optional if the rest of the students want to go learn about it.
Acting now is essential with freshmen and these habits can be broken if they receive the attention and the help that is necessary. Prevention is needed to stop the spread, and making it harder for these activities to go unnoticed at school. Another factor, is random drug testing to discover which students need to be approached. Lastly, help; the mentor or advisor should be devoted into the student care not just neglecting everything they are doing. Adolescents are still sensitive at this age, therefore the mentor or advisor should be assigned to create an impact in their lives, but if they show no care it can only push them to remain with their habits. The key for this problem is improving prevention methods, random drug testing, and more help.
Reporter: Jennifer Neri
Since schools waste up to 80 percent of recyclables, schools make a huge impact when or if they recycle. Recycling is in fact cheaper than trash disposal which helps the environment and school budgets. There’s every reason for schools to recycle, but why doesn’t Newport Mesa Unified School District recycle?
The district partners with waste hauling contractor Ware Disposal Inc., where at least 50% of trash that is collected from the schools and offices is taken from the landfill and recycled per state of California requirements.
Ware partners with the Madison Materials transfer station which handles and sorts trash, recyclables, etc. They claim that Ware picks everything up with one vehicle and no longer requires source separation on the part of schools. “This saves time, reduces traffic and promotes a safer environment for our schools,” as stated by the NMUSD website. Although Ware Disposal makes recycling and getting rid of waste easier, the school could help make separating recyclables and waste more manageable by having blue or green recycling bins beside the trash cans around Estancia’s campus.
Many students like Yuridia Zarate, a sophomore at Estancia High School, says, “I use plastic water bottles and during school I don’t know where to dispose [of] them and I don’t like throwing it[them] away in the trash.” Many students, in fact 38.5% of students who are concerned about the environment, believed that the district does not recycle and 30.8% believed that the district expected them to recycle themselves. With the presence of recycling bins the students and staff gain the habit of keeping the school and environment a clean place. Generally, people will most likely not do it on their own unless there are bins. Savanna Ortiz, a Estancia High School sophomore claims that, “this is a step closer to a happy and peaceful environment for students and staff.” Our environment will not improve unless further steps are taken into consideration, like adding recycling bins around Newport Mesa campuses.
When recycling bins are introduced to the schools, they surely can earn some money, so why throw away bottles when Estancia can get money for the school? It would be a wiser option because it is cheaper and beneficial for the environment. Samantha Sanchez, a sophomore at Estancia High School, believes that, “since the students use a large amount of plastic and aluminum it would be better for...our school to get recycling bins.” Not only will adding recycling bins beside each trash can on school campuses “be a good way to bring a small amount of funds into Estancia as well as educate students on what items can be recycled, but perhaps Estancia could use those funds to support some of our lesser known clubs or groups on campus. Maybe we could work out a system that whoever volunteers to take the bottles/ cans to the recycling centers would be able to keep the money for their clubs,” one of Estancia High School’s special education teacher, Crystal RIncon responded.
Recycling makes an impact on our environment. It can also be a positive step towards Estancia’s contribution to improving the environment on a local scale and can hopefully influence students outside of school to make a global impact.
Reporter: Guadalupe Olivarez-Mendoza
Animals are Friends not Food
I care about animals. I think that goes without saying, but I'm going to say it anyway. I also care about the planet I live on, as well as my health. There are multiple types of diets that exist, hundreds, but the average American eats a shocking amount of 222.2 pounds of red meat annually. In one lifetime a person will consume a staggering 7,000 animals. Most people aren’t aware of how unhealthy it is to eat meat on a regular basis, but the truth is, the consumption of animals will shorten your lifespan.
In Michael Ruhlman’s article, “Why It’s Ethical to Eat Meat” he states, “Our eating animals is good for the animals. They exist because we care for them, and we care for and raise their offspring. If spit-roasted dodo bird had been delicious to eat, I’d wager the dodo bird would still exist.” I’d like to argue that the dodo bird became extinct because it was being eaten by Dutch sailors and hunted by invasive species in 1662. It was hunted so easily because the bird was defenseless and the processing of animals that exists today did not back then.
Ruhlman also says, “To put it as simply as possible, then, to give up eating what made us who we are possibly endangers us genetically and socially.” Personally, since cutting meat and dairy products out of my diet I have noticed significant changes in my body and health. I have dropped excess body fat, my skin complexion is glowing, I no longer get pimples that would appear at random before, my energy level is high and my depression is no longer an issue. I feel happy to be healthy and to know that by myself I will save approximately 200 animals a year.
Farm animals today are forced to breed and are put into warehouses and cages. Chickens are crammed into cages with tens of thousands of others, with nothing to do but eat, sleep and defecate. They are unable to walk more than a few inches and are fed corn their entire short lived lives, and fattened up to 5 times their normal weight. Many chickens die from constipation, with broken legs caused by the weight that they carry that disables them. When they are big enough they are crammed into wire cages to be shipped to slaughterhouses with no space inside. In transport they can't spread their wings and are forced to urinate and defecate on one another. In order to keep the birds from pecking each others’ eyes out due to the confined space, part of their sensitive beaks are cut off and millions die from the stress of the journey.
The reality is that consuming meat opens doors to health risks such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, contributes to erectile dysfunction in men, and also makes it harder to maintain a healthy body weight. Yet even with all this information available to consumers the demand for meat is on the rise.
Research shows that cramming billions of animals on factory farms is a major explanation for climate change. According to Haley Hansel’s article, How Animal Agriculture Affects our Planet, “every second, 1-2 acres of rain forest are cleared for grazing livestock or growing animal feed. Up to 137 plant, animal and insect species are lost every day because of the destruction of these biodiverse regions of our planet.” The amount of cow, duck, chicken, and pigs, being bred and fed has led to an excess amount of manure which releases greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gasses include carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide which are all major contributors. According to PETA a non profit organization which stands up for animals rights claims, “It is more ‘climate efficient’ to produce protein from vegetable sources than from animal sources.”
The bottom line is, if you care about the environment, as well as your health and want to stop climate change, stop eating meat, dairy, fish and eggs. Even minimizing the amount of meat and animal products will make the slightest difference in your health and on our planet. Alternative foods are fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, kidney beans and plant based milk or tofu. The way we currently grow, process, slaughter and distribute meat is unhealthy and unfair to animals who don’t have a voice to defend themselves. Be the voice that stands up for animal rights.
Reporter: Claudia Arce
Paris Baguette Review: Costa Mesa
Recently opened, Paris Baguette on 17th street in Costa Mesa was where I decided to spent my lunch this week. The first thing I noticed was the wide selection of authentic French pastries and sandwiches.
The spread of pastries included all flavors of macaroons, croissants, cakes, cookies, and along with this, there was a huge selection of sandwiches for both meat lovers and non-meat lovers. I decided to go for a chocolate croissant and a smoked sausage bread -- sweet and savory. I also chose to try their iced chai as I am a huge lover of chai. My total came to about $10.90, a pretty reasonable price.
After a couple of bites of each of my pastries, I was taken back to my winter in Paris. The croissant resembled the very same croissant I had at a small cafe next to Montmarte. The sweet chocolate chips combined with the layers of flaky pastry created the most perfect combination. Along with this, the sausage roll was delicious and satisfied my savory cravings.
Overall, I enjoyed my time at Paris Baguette. Not only is the food good, but the ambiance was very warm and inviting. I think it would be a place perfect for studying for a big test or even grabbing a cup of coffee with a friend. With all this being said, I would give Paris Baguette 9 /10 because of its variety of options and its comforting setting.
Paris Baguette is for anyone looking for a new place to simply chill out and have a sweet or savory snack. Service was very efficient and fast. The hospitality was great due to the fact that I was offered samples as soon as I arrived. Along with this, the price range was fair for the amount food I received. I will definitely be returning to Paris Baguette to satisfy my Parisian food cravings with pastry and sandwich prices varying from $2-$6.
Reporter: Cosette Terriquez
L&L: Costa Mesa Review
Image by Cosette Terriquez
This week I tried the new L&L Hawaiian Barbecue on the corner of Wilson and Harbor in Costa Mesa. The first thing I noticed when I entered the building was the long line of people. This gave me comfort in knowing that the place was well loved.
The menu had a plethora of options including a BBQ chicken bowl, Loco Moco, Fried shrimp, and Chicken Katsu - all Hawaiian classics. I decided to go for my favorite Hawaiian dish: Chicken Katsu. Knowing that Hawaiian portions are generally pretty large, I went for the mini Chicken Katsu plate for $5.99. This plate included authentic Chicken Katsu, macaroni salad, and a scoop of rice. The portion size was large (as I expected) so I ended up sharing with my peers. I also decided to choose a classic Hawaiian drink: a delicious Hawaiian Sun Lilikoi Passion to wash down my food.
Overall, I enjoyed my food thoroughly. I thought the chicken was very crispy and delicious and made me remember the exact same Chicken Katsu I ate when I traveled to Hawaii two years ago. Along with the complementary mac salad and rice added additional islander flavors and perfected the entire meal. With all this being said, I would give L&L a 8/10 simply because of the huge portion sizes (which most would be okay with).
I would recommend L&L to anyone who is searching for local Hawaiian food or just wants to try something new at lunch time. Service only took about 5-7 minutes for my meal to come out and I made it back to school with lots of time to spare. The hospitality was great and my food was delicious. Along with this, the price range was great for the amount food I received. I will definitely be returning to L&L to satisfy my island food cravings. Entree prices vary from $4-$10.
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Reporter: Cosette Terriquez