Growing up without a father is undeniably one of the most incessant social issues facing America. Father absence is an issue that has raised concerns about the way children are being raised and the behavioral effects it can induce. Whether it is caused by a divorce, constant work occupancy, or death, more and more children are being affected by this matter and it cannot continue to be disregarded.
Why is this important? It could be affecting you, someone close to you, and even your own children. The absence of a father should be addressed to any couple thinking or preparing for parenthood. According to National Statistical Offices, ¨Nearly 320 million children worldwide are living in a single-parent household, mostly in mother-only families.” Each day more and more additions are made to these statistics. How would you feel if your child was added to this count? The American Institutes for Research reported that 90% of homeless and runaway youth are fatherless children. Parental love is irreplaceable to a child. Based on the U.S Dept. Health Census, “63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.” This indicates that fatherless children are at a higher risk for despondency and suicide. “Compared to children living with married biological parents, those who had a single-parent are more likely to face abuse and neglect,” as stated in Child's Bureau. This implies a possible effect on children being brought up by a single parent. Legal rights and obligations of parents state “Raising a child requires vast responsibilities, such as, protecting your child from harm, providing your child with food, clothing, and a place to live, financial support, safety, supervision and control, medical care, and an education.” As reported in How Women Who Grow Up without a Father are different, “Nearly 90% of women who lost their fathers reported finding emotional lifesavers in the forms of their friends, family members, coaches, therapists or stand-in father figures.” This reveals how fatherless daughters look to receive the self-assurance a father is supposed to give to themas a result of a fatherly absence.
Children are naive and can be greatly impacted at a young age. If you are not disposed for the responsibilities that come with being a GOOD parent to your child, then take suitable action! Some people may argue that the absence of a father is also the absence of disruption. In When Children Are Better Off Fatherless by Michelle Weldon, an assistant professor of journalism at Northwestern University claims, “In the cases where the father is far from heroic – even abusive – his absence is also the absence of the chaos, anger, pain and disruption he would bring to his family.” Critic Michelle Weldon has a valid point about fathers having their deranged moments, but it is immoral to believe that the absence of a father can also be the absence of something perfunctory. The Fatherless Daughter Project was formed to help girls and women see that they no longer have to fall into the statistics of their stories, but that they can rise with a new awareness of their strength and follow their calling, turning their pain into power and their story into purpose (TFDP). Unless you want your daughter to turn to the Fatherless Daughter Project or your son to feel forsaken, be prudent.
Contributing Writer: Erika Lopez
Prescription drugs have taken the lives of more than 100,000 people every year since 2008. Today over 7.5 million Americans abuse some form of pharmaceutical drug, these drugs require a prescription by a doctor in order to obtain them. In fact, many users first got their hands on these drugs through the help of their trusted physician, however many also acquire them illegally. It has become an epidemic which seems to have no remedy, no patient ever expects to become addicted to the medication prescribed by their doctor because they entrust these doctors to do them no harm. Nevertheless, over 25 percent of patients admitted to the emergency room will later develop some sort of chemical dependency, it is a growing epidemic that all medical professionals are aware of and still nothing is being done to prevent it. Many physicians are not following guidelines when it comes to prescribing and withdrawing medications, they also allow pharmaceutical companies to advertise products to their patients and therefore are responsible for the pharmaceutical drug crisis in the United States.
This crisis did not occur overnight, it has flourished into a massive dilemma over the course of several years. The United States makes up a total of 5 percent of the world’s population and is responsible for consuming 75 percent of the world’s pharmaceutical drugs. Doctors know that there are guidelines to be followed when prescribing any kind of medication, especially when it comes to opioids. However, in many cases these guidelines are not followed which is how several people still have access to these medications. Recent studies have shown that prescription drug use has increased by 85 percent in the past 2 decades according to CDC data, and today more than 70 percent of Americans take at least one prescription drug. Part of the problem is that doctors are no longer concerned with the well-being of their patients but rather how much money they can get out of them, which is why pharmaceutical drugs are in high demand. Many times doctors prescribe medications which will cause side effects and will then prescribe medications to subside the side effects of the original medication, which leads to over-prescribing. In June of last year Dr. Regan Nichols was charged with five counts of second degree murder due to over-prescribing medications. Evidence proves she prescribed over 3 million doses of narcotics to patients within a five year time frame. Within those five years, ten of her patients died by drug overdose. Doctors play a big role in this epidemic, however they are not the only ones at fault.
Pharmaceutical companies play just as big of a role as doctors when it comes to this nationwide epidemic, they flood the hospitals with thousands of different medications and encourage doctors to try their products. These companies advertise their products to doctors with misleading information and leave out important factors such as addiction potential. Due to these instances many state and local governments enacted lawsuits against certain pharmaceutical companies and many hospitals no longer allow for companies to send representatives to advertise to their staff. Many may argue that those at fault are not doctors or big pharmaceutical companies but rather those consuming the drug. Although the user is responsible for him or herself it is undeniable that most users would have never been exposed to these drugs without the help of a physician.
In order to reach the goal of sobriety in the United States doctors must consider all alternatives when prescribing addictive medications and big pharmaceutical companies need to stop pursuing money and consider the lives at risk when they advertise highly addictive drugs. Only then will the drug epidemic in the United States begin to diminish.
Contributing Writer: Janette Medero
When I was younger, I longed to get home from school, like any other kid, to go outside and be free; ride my bike around the block, connect with friends and let my imagination run free. Today´s adolescents come home to a black screen engulfing their surroundings, by providing a virtual world, causing them to become glued to the screen for hours on end. Video Games are becoming harmful towards the health of adolescents affecting their social, physical and psychological aspects of life.
Your childhood up to your teenage years are the years that you´ll never forget. It's a time to experience life, have fun, learn from your mistakes, and discover yourself as a person. This is something that those may lack if they are too busy being glued to a remote controller. The problem is that adolescents would rather live their life through a virtual world than to actually live their lives to the fullest. Video games are affecting the social aspects of life. So many kids spend every possible moment in front of a screen, whether it be from a phone, tv or computer, that it is now an obsession. This problem has gotten so bad that in 2009, an addiction recovery program called reStart was put into place. This program is for ages 13-30 which shows that this is a problem that has affected a large number of people of varying ages. This therapy program requires the patient to take a 45-90 day abstinence from electronics.
According to Dr. Greg West, a researcher and associate professor at Montreal University, brain scans have shown that once you have hit the 90 hour mark of playing video games, you start to lose the grey matter of the hippocampus. The less grey matter your hippocampus has, the increased risk you have of developing neuropsychiatric illnesses such as PTSD, depression, alzheimer and schizophrenia. If it were my brain, I wouldn’t want to have my life taken away because of video games. How far did this issue have to plummet that we have to tear away teens, young adults and adults from a computer screen?
It has been proven, through the studies conducted on young adults, that as the amount of time playing video games went up, the relationships between their peers and family decreased. In addition to relationships, videogames have also affected the response to different situations and outside stimuli. In a “Singapore study: Kids who play friendlier video games tend to have a sunny outlook”, evaluates the prosocial attitudes and behavior of children. Kids who spent more time playing friendlier and more strategic video games reported more prosocial behaviors. And when presented with the social scenarios, these kids were also less likely to attribute hostile intentions to other people. By contrast, kids who spent more time playing violent video games showed fewer prosocial traits and were more likely to attribute hostility to others.
With this evidence, it shows that video games aren't necessarily bad when they aren't violent. At the end of the day, it comes down to the parental control of what their children are playing and regulate time allocated to the gaming console. Researchers argue that videogames enrich the mind by increasing hand- eye coordination, reaction time, strategic out-of-the-box thinking and the mind's ability to process. They are referring to the video games without violence that scores players on how accurate they can shoot and what they can collect. These video games that are more of a benefit to your mind than a hindrance aren't as popular. Kids tend to gravitate towards the violent games that give an adrenaline rush.
Around 155 million people play video games at least three times a week, affecting the physical appearance of the gamer. Sitting down, your back hunched over with eyes strained isn’t exactly good for our health. Instead of playing video games, one could be spending time outside in the fresh air, doing some sort of physical activity and keeping in good shape or even catching up on sleep that will increase your physical and academic performance. Jerry Kennard PhD., who is a chartered psychologist, an Associate Fellow of the British Psychology Society and an author, states that, “too much time on the video console can cause muscle pain, obesity, seizures, sleep deprivation, lack in motivation, aggressive behavior and a lack of vitamin D”.
Looking at how video games affect the social, physical and psychological aspects of a person, players have to know what they are getting themselves into by spending uninterrupted hours immersed in another virtual world. To help prevent obsession and minimal negative effects, players need to balance the time spent on the console and time spent with loved ones and getting physical activity. Parents must also be more educated on the effects that video games have on their developing child so that boundaries can be made. If they can’t be controlled when they are younger, who is going to be there for them when they can’t effectively socialize, control their emotions or struggle with physical movement. People must pay attention to the effects before it consumes you; holding you back from the real world and all the opportunities that come with it.
Contributing Writer: Taylor Steadman
Since 2014 and 2015, the Black Lives Matter movement has had a monumental place among many social and political issues. The movement brought about many debates leading to a group of people who did not agree with the hashtag and the creation of “All Lives Matter”. Sadly, people still don’t understand the importance of Black Lives Matter as a movement and why All Lives Matter deflects from the discrimination and injustice that is a constant issue for black people. The Black Lives Matter website describes where the beginning of the movement started. “In 2013, three radical Black organizers—Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi—created a Black-centered political will and movement building project called #BlackLivesMatter. It was in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman.” The hashtag started to blow up online and on the news in 2013 and 2014 and then #AllLivesMatter followed. The “All Lives Matter” ‘movement’ was created to debase the “Black Lives Matter” movement and the main issue is that most people feel like Black Lives Matter is a way to exclude everyone else from being recognized as an important person. As a young, black female who has lived in the U.S. her entire life, I am aware that the black community faces issues that occur undoubtedly on a regular basis. Black Lives Matter is not used to decrease the value of all other lives, it is basically a way of saying, black lives are in specific immediate danger and require immediate attention. There is no logic in stating the obvious by claiming all lives matter because that has always been an implied truth. Those who preach “All Lives Matter” in response suggest that all lives are in equal danger or face equally severe issues which invalidates the specific troubles that concern people who are black. Imagine that there is a a street full of houses and one of them is on fire. If the firemen showed up and started to water all the other houses first, people would ask, “Why won’t you put out the fire at that house first?” Imagine hearing the firefighter say, “Well, all houses matter and we should treat every house equally as if they all need the same kind of help at the same time.” This is the way of thinking that causes people to feel like they are not being truly heard. All Lives matter should cease to exist because there is no reason to combat or distract from a major issue in our society.
In an interview conducted by George Yancy-an author and philosopher- with Judith Butler who is a professor in the department of comparative literature -and the program of critical theory at UC Berkeley- Butler states, “When some people rejoin with “All Lives Matter” they misunderstand the problem, but not because their message is untrue. It is true that all lives matter, but it is equally true that not all lives are understood to matter which is precisely why it is most important to name the lives that have not mattered, and are struggling to matter in the way they deserve.”
If the Black Lives Matter movement is the way that people of color feel they can call for action and bring attention to their struggles, there should be no debate because everyone deserves to feel that their well being is considered important.
So what can people do to change for the better? The truth is that all change takes time and an issue this grand may take more time than imagined. For starters, people need to be more aware and educate themselves because knowing the cause of the movement can help people sympathize. There should be a distinct shift in the idea that it is morally correct to devalue the purpose of the Black Lives Matter Movement. There must be a decrease in the use of “All Lives Matter” because there is no reason to protest a positive protest.
Contributing Writer: Queen Ceruti
It is that time of year when seniors must start applying to colleges. Try expanding horizons and consider applying outside of California. It is commonly known that about 90% of applicants to UC schools are California residents. Try something new and apply in different locations through out the USA.
It is beneficial to apply to schools on the East Coat like New York City and take a tour of the New York University campus. NYU is a college unlike any other. It is spread throughout Manhattan in various buildings through out the city. With professors that are at the top of their field; receiving Emmys, Grammys, Abel Awards, etc. the students are ensured to learn from the best.
Although NYU is a relatively difficult school to get in to with an acceptance rate of 19%, there are plenty other options through the East Coast that offer great educations. From Villanova to Johns Hopkins, the opportunities are endless.
Choosing an East Coast school is not only a chance to experience seasons, but also is a chance to be even more in touch with history. Being among what was once the original Thirteen Colonies will help students learn even more about the nation and gives a great sense of pride to Americans. Choosing an East Coast school may create a unique college experience.
It is with this being said, that Estancia seniors should step out of their comfort zones and try something new. Whether applying to NYU or any other East Coast school, there are numerous opportunities for students to create a college experience unlike any other. During this application season, I urge all Estancia seniors to consider applying East Coast.
Reporter: Cosette Terriquez
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
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
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
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.
For more information visit
Reporter: Cosette Terriquez