Picture this… The year is 1962 and the Civil Rights Movement is forming as President Kennedy works with leaders across the country to form indeed, “a more perfect union.” With segregation and cruel acts of racism and bigotry still prevalent across America, the true story’s main character is ready to embark on a concert tour in the deep south. As an African-American piano player and intellectual genius, Dr. Don Shirley is eager to earn respect as an equal, and as an accomplished pianist. Searching for a driver that will also provide protection on the harrowing journey, Shirley finds an unlikely match; from the heart of the Bronx, Tony “Lip” an Italian-American tough guy takes on the challenge.
The two very unique individuals from completely different cultures and walks of life form an unforeseeable bond that connects with the hearts of all people. On a two month journey through the south, the two men learn about each other and overcome perceived stereotypes and severe racism.
Filled with humor and authentic conversation of issues that question the heart and character of mankind, the remarkable true story provides valuable life lessons and individual moral self introspection.
Deeply enthralling and pleasantly enjoyable the powerful portrayal of true equality and mutual respect connects with the audience at a poignant time for our nation.
“The Green Book” is a transformational film that should have a lasting impact on its own. Truly Oscar worthy for both the acting, story-telling, and phenomenal cinematography.
BY: RYAN YOUNG
In the last couple of weeks, two well-known celebrities took their own lives after feeling it was the only way to relieve their pain.
Kate Spade, a beloved fashion designer out of New York known for her cheerful and fun designs, felt that there was no other way than to end her life.
Anthony Bourdain a fun television host that traveled the world tasting food and experiencing different cultures was left feeling the same hopeless pain.
These two famous individuals were known for their outward lives of fun and happiness yet their inward lives were full of pain and anguish.
These tragedies have become a way to common phenomenon.
Many might ask themselves how could such a fun person with a job that everyone wished they had feel so hopeless?
In society today there has become a strong emphasis on pleasing oneself and amassing as big of a fortune as possible. Society continues to reject fundamental Christian values and any moral foundation.
These cherished individuals lacked the most important structure for one’s life— a relationship with Almighty God and a belief that they are never alone.
With technology readily available and the increase in cyber bullying via social media, it is more and more important to have a strong foundation of faith.
If you believe that amassing a fortune, earning a special degree, or driving a specific car will bring you complete happiness, examine the tragedies that are taking place every day with people that supposedly have it all.
BY: RYAN YOUNG
Disaster just cannot seem to go away with the recent hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria, horrible earthquakes in Mexico, the fires in California, the Las Vegas Massacre and most recently the horrible church shooting in Texas. Though these disasters have caused people to suffer, it has also brought people together in unification.
Many Americans and people worldwide have sacrificed their time, talent and treasure to help rebuild communities that have been devastated by natural disasters and crippled by terrorist attacks.
To date, more than $300 million has been donated to the Red Cross for hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Many other organizations have been a viable place for donations such as United Way and Samaritan’s Purse.
Celebrities have donated to multiple organizations and have started their own funds to help with relief efforts, including actor Kevin Hart, who challenged other celebrities via social media to donate to the relief efforts, and Houston Texans linebacker J.J. Watt, who started a campaign also through social media that raised $27 million. These charitable acts are true signs of Americanism.
Among the celebrities that donated money to the relief were actors Leonardo DiCaprio, who donated $1 million to the United Way Harvey Recovery Fund; Sandra Bullock, who donated $1 million to the Red Cross; and Arnold Schwarzenegger who donated $100,000 to Watt’s campaign. These celebrities with very different points of views are coming together.
We should all follow what these celebrities have done and help out in any way we can, whether that means spending time rebuilding communities, giving money, donating blood or even being kind to the families that are going through a hard time.
Not only have celebrities contributed in this time of despair, but also churches nationwide from big to small have helped to rebuild communities. In Houston alone, hundreds of volunteers from multiple churches, including Christ the Redeemer Church with more than 800 volunteers, donate and help clean homes destroyed by Hurricane Harvey.
Also, major companies across the country have donated their materials and money for relief, including Wal-Mart, Bank of America, Home Depot, Starbucks and PetSmart.
After a tragedy, people can feel isolated, depressed and angered, but it is important for everyone to come together and show love to the people who lost so much. These celebrities and companies in many cases do not agree on a number of things yet they are able to get past their differences and come together.
Locally on the Carmel High School campus many teachers have started funds to help with relief, as well as in the school’s library which hosted a Donkey Kong game to raise money. After the horrible mass murder in Las Vegas many people were able to donate blood and give money to help those who were hurt or provide comfort to the relatives that lost a loved one. Most recently people have come together to rebuild the communities that have been devastated by the fires that have spread across California, which have left families without homes and people separated from loved ones.
Now it is time for all Americans to come together and bring comfort to the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas.
In a time when people are so divisive and alienating, these disasters have brought back what Americanism really is. People have responded from all walks of life, regardless of race, religion or political persuasion. Neighbors are helping neighbors, organizers and workers are using their talents, and people from everywhere are sending in their treasure.
President Donald Trump gave a speech in which he called for unity: “In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one—and it always has. We call upon the bonds that unite us—our faith, our family, and our shared values. We call upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community, and the comfort of our common humanity.”
It is time for all Americans to get past the things that separate us and instead back to showing love for our country and the great people that live in it and help to make it prosper and grow.
With all the tragic events that keep taking place in our communities, it may seem hard to find anything positive to look to, but the unity that has been taking place in the last couple of months has reminded me this is what Americanism truly is.
BY: RYAN YOUNG
When consumers go to any grocery store or convenience store in California, they are forced to decide if they want to purchase a paper bag for 10 cents of bring their own reusable bag. But how did this issue begin?
Senate Bill 270 was passed on Sept. 30, 2014, banning plastic bags from most stores and creating a 10-cent bag tax for any consumers wanting a bag. This bill was passed by the senate and approved by the governor without a single Californian voting for it.
About two years later, Proposition 67 was put on the ballot to ban the sale of plastic bags and create the 10-cent tax in all of California. The choice for voters was to vote yes on Proposition 67 or to vote no and keep Senate Bill 270, but there was no option for voters to remove Senate Bill 270, which they had never voted for. On Nov. 8, 2016, California passed Proposition 67 and became the first state to ban the sale of plastic bags.
This new law became known as the “bag tax.” In order to have a bag for one’s groceries, one would have to pay 10 cents per bag. However, the 10 cents that each individual pays per bag does not go to any environmental initiative as one might assume, but instead to the company required to sell the bag. As stated in the law, “stores are allowed to keep the resulting revenue.”
This law created to discourage the use of paper bags by taxing the consumer with a 10-cent fee started with the classic plastic grocery bag. They were easy to make and cheap to produce; however, over the years these, plastic bags began to fill the streets and pollute the ocean.
One problem that plastic bags have are that they are not biodegradable, which means that they are unable to break down.
“Plastic can do much more harm in the ecosystem,” comments Joseph Mello, a chemistry and biology teacher at Carmel High School. “It never goes away. It does not ‘break down’ into naturally occurring matter as a paper bag will.”
“Plastic bags are also extremely light and easily carried and blown into the ocean where animals ingest them,” junior Elijah Smith says. “Although they are inexpensive, they are not environmentally friendly. “
Surprisingly, the solution that many people believe solves the plastic problem—paper—is questioned by some.
“In a dry landfill, paper bags don’t degrade any faster than plastic bags,” notes garbologist Bill Rathje, director of The Garbage Project, of the Archaeology Center of Stanford University. “In a normal, well-run landfill, paper bags do not biodegrade any faster over at least 40 years than plastic.”
Also, paper bags weigh roughly 10 times more than plastic grocery bags, which take up a lot more space in the landfill, according to the Grocery Industry Committee on Solid Waste. Paper bags easily rip and cannot withstand the rain.
Paper bags were once the answer to problems with the plastic in the environment. They were argued to be biodegradable and easily recycled. But with the emergence of the reusable bag, paper was instantly ruled out.
Many people go to the grocery store with their reusable bags now. But how many uses of a reusable bag justify the environmental impact?
According to a study done by Claire Thompson, a Stanford graduate, one would have to use a cotton bag 131 times to make an environmental impact when compared to plastic. Her thinking is that in order to make a reusable bag, it requires a lot more resources and energy than that of a thin plastic grocery bag.
BY: RYAN YOUNG
With both major political parties debating over a proper solution for gun violence, and with the recent massacre in Parkland, Florida, local gun owners of Monterey County have strong opinions on what they believe should be done to prevent future school shootings.
After the mass shooting in Parkland, shook the nation, many Americans came to the realization that something drastically needs to change in order to prevent future attacks on innocent children. The Republican Party focused its efforts on increasing background checks, arming teachers and addressing mental health concerns.
“Changes that should be made to protect students in schools are to train and issue firearms to teachers or administrators if they are willing,” says Hunter Garrison, executive director of the Monterey County Republican Party and a CHS graduate. “If I was to have a child in school and there was a shooter on campus I would feel much safer knowing there are multiple adults on campus trained to use a firearm and able to address a hostile scene. This is a common sense action school districts can take to insure the safety of their students.”
Currently, President Donald Trump has met with students, teachers and community leaders, formed multiple commissions in order to study the option of raising the minimum age for buying a gun to 21 and increasing background checks, as well as discussing expanding and reforming mental health programs.
On the other side of the aisle, the Democratic Party proposed a ban on AR-15 assault rifles and raising the age to purchase a gun to 21.
“We support a common-sense ban on deadly assault weapons and devices used to turn rifles into automatic weapons such as bump-stocks, as well as the expansion of universal background checks,” says former CHS librarian Elena Loomis, the current vice chair of the Monterey County Democratic Party. “We also support keeping firearms out of dangerous hands by expanding firearm prohibitions to those who, based on past behavior or condition, are deemed at risk of acts of violence.”
Multiple Democratic senators and lawmakers are supporting rallies and protests advocating for stricter gun laws, as well as participating i bipartisan discussions on the proper solutions that need to be reached.
But what do gun owners think?
“I think whenever mass shootings occur they are quick to politicize it and say that all gun owners are bad,” says CHS junior Kristofer Kimes, whose parents own guns. “They quickly say that the government should take guns away from law-abiding citizens, which is wrong and unconstitutional. When 9/11 happened we didn’t blame the planes, did we? Or when the Boston bombing happened, we didn’t blame the bombs? No, we blamed the people behind the weapons. I don’t think you should blame the gun, but instead the person using it to commit horrible atrocities.”
A possible solution being discussed on both sides of the aisle is the possibility of raising the minimum age to purchase a gun to 21.
“I think that between 18 and 21 people can change a lot, and honestly that change can prevent someone from being violent and possibly hurting others,” says Marianne Tucker, a local gun owner and mother of CHS senior William Tucker.
A common theme expressed on the Democratic side is the idea that the weapon used in the Parkland shooting is part of the problem, and that a ban on assault rifles is one of the many solutions for gun violence. However, many gun owners say otherwise.
“I believe blaming guns for the horrible shootings taking place is a reflection of a misguided societal shift to a sensation and emotional response rather than an intellectual and fact-based approach,” says Chris Curtiss, a local gun owner and father of CHS junior Noah Bernal.
Tucker’s son, William, also disagrees with the proposed ban on assault rifles.
“I completely disagree with the proposed ban on assault rifles,” William says. “Virginia Tech shooting killed 33 people and that was done with two pistols. The Fort Hood shooting killed just about as many people as Parkland, and that was done with one pistol. A pistol in many cases can do as much damage as an assault rifle.”
With many gun owners speaking up and making it clear that the proposed ban on AR-15 assault rifles is not the proper solution, there are also some who are suggesting other methods as well as the ban.
“Number one is to have more extensive background checks,” says CHS sophomore Hana Kamler, whose parents also own guns. “I don’t think anyone should just be eligible for guns. I think we could look at a potential banning of semi-automatic weapons as well. Lastly, and most importantly, is to just be more aware as a society in general. If you see a person who looks alone, we should try to comfort that person and try to help them fit in. If there are any signs that that person is going to shoot up the school, it needs to be reported. We could have armed school police too. Just increasing security around schools in general will help.”
Curtiss’ son, Noah, is less concerned about the type of gun and more concerned about the inaction of law enforcement.
“I think that there needs to be less focus on the fact that an AR-15 was used, and more focus on why certain criminals were allowed to continue their plan without interference,” Bernal says. “Pertaining to the Parkland shooting, the FBI knew what he was saying on social media, Instagram knew what he was posting, the local police department had already received 18 calls pertaining to the criminal, only 16 of which were reported, and the list goes on. Why aren’t we focused on the FBI and why they didn’t do something?”
The FBI had multiple reports from people who knew the killer, Nikolas Cruz, but did not follow the proper protocol or take the necessary steps to preventing the horrible massacre in Parkland. The FBI, local law enforcement and the on-campus police officer have come under fire by the president for their inaction.
“When it came time to get in there and do something, he didn’t have the courage, or something happened,” President Trump said. “But he certainly did a poor job, there’s no question about that.”
Many people in the Republican Party believe that arming teachers and putting trained officers on campus will prevent future school shootings, and while the armed school officer was unable to step up in Parkland, just weeks ago a school officer in Maryland was able to stop a school shooter before any casualties took place.
Ric Swanson, a local gun owner and U.S. Marine whose son Jonathan Swanson is a junior at CHS, proposes a unique proposition that he believes will not only help prevent future school shootings, but also provide jobs for veterans.
“Seeing as many of my family members and myself have served in the military and seen firsthand what happens to our veterans when they arrive home, I say that we should employ the homeless and jobless veterans as armed guards on our campus,” Swanson says. “Two birds, one stone. Because nothing is more valuable than the lives of our children. I think we owe it to our veterans, they’ve sacrificed so much for this country already, it is only right that we take care of them the way they have taken care of us.”
BY: RYAN YOUNG
The sunny weather, the waves crashing on the shore, the smell of hot dogs at a baseball game—what could possibly be wrong with California? While California is a nice place to live in terms of the weather, that is literally the only benefit.
Right now the state of California is being sued by the federal government and 13 other states for obstructing justice and allowing illegal immigrants to roam free and commit crimes with little to no punishment.
Governor Jerry Brown recently pardoned five convicted illegal immigrants. These immigrants were not innocent family members trying to provide a better life for themselves and their family; instead, they were convicted of horrible crimes such as assault, kidnapping, robbery, drug dealing and abusing their families. Governor Brown, in an effort to remain popular with the open-border leftists, has now threatened the lives of all inhabitants of California, by putting the lives of convicted criminals above those he was sworn to protect.
Not far behind Governor Brown is Libby Schaaf, the mayor of Oakland, who warned the entire Bay Area of an impending Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation. Schaaf prevented ICE from deporting hundreds of convicted criminals who were hiding in California. Not only did she obstruct justice, but she threatened the lives of ICE agents who were tasked with confronting and preventing future crimes.
The level of lawlessness taking place in California is unimaginable. State laws prevent local police from cooperating with ICE officials and force all employers to warn their employees if ICE makes a request for paperwork.
Many people in California believe that what President Trump is doing is racist and that he is comparing immigrants to criminals, but what is being forgotten is that if you enter America illegally, it is in fact a crime.
Currently, counties in California are also standing up to the state’s sanctuary policy. Orange County recently voted unanimously to join President Trump’s lawsuit against California’s sanctuary policies.
“We cannot let the state begin cherry-picking which federal laws it decides to follow,” Orange County board supervisor Shawn Nelson said at a March 7 public meeting. “As supervisors of this county, we all took oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and bear true faith and allegiance to it against all enemies.”
With the state fighting internally and against the country, it is only a matter time before all hell breaks loose, and sanctuary policies are not the only downfall of California.
With liberal ideals and philosophies controlling the state, it must be a good place to live, right?
California’s income tax rate for the wealthy is the highest in the nation, yet California has the highest poverty rate in America. Not only does California have the highest income tax rate, but it has the highest sales tax, and the state of California has been ranked the worst state for business for 12 years in a row.
California also has the highest gas tax in the nation and continually increases registration fees for drivers, yet California’s roads are ranked 49th in quality, while traffic is ranked the worst in the country.
The fact of the matter is California has been taken over by liberal agendas and illogical reasoning. It has become virtually impossible to raise a family, buy a house or have any extra spending money here.
Since Trump became president, the majority of elected officials in California have done everything in their power to stop him from establishing the rule of law. The state has threatened to secede from the union and form their own “socialist paradise” of high taxes and open borders.
Many Californians have had enough of their state being taken over with liberal agendas that have only crippled the state and caused devastation. A movement to form a new state and break away from California has emerged. The “New California” state has received support from people all across the country. With 37 of the 58 counties in California approved to join the state, and with the possibility of a California three-state initiative being put on the 2018 ballot, conflict will soon ensue.
BY: RYAN YOUNG
After a new tax bill was passed in January, Walmart gave away bonuses and raised its minimum hourly rate for employees. The company made these positive changes, though, on the same day they shut down 63 affiliate Sam’s Club stores
With the end of President Donald Trump’s first year in office, many changes have been made, both beneficial and burdensome, that will affect the next generation of students entering the workforce. Among the most notable changes is a new tax bill that was passed at the beginning of 2018, which changed the corporate tax rate for businesses from 35 percent to 21 percent, the lowest since 1939.
This change has led to many major companies providing one-time bonuses as well as raising minimum hourly wages. Among many companies to make salary changes and give bonuses were AT&T, who offered their employees a one-time bonus of $1,000; Comcast, who also gave a one-time bonus of $1,000; Fifth Third Bancorp, who raised its minimum hourly rate to $15; and Wells Fargo, who also raised their minimum hourly rate to $15.
Another change in the new tax bill is the near doubling of standard deductions, money that can be subtracted from a person’s overall tax.
“The standard deduction increasing will save some money for young individuals going into the job market,” CHS history teacher Joe McCarty says, “because most young kids don’t have enough deductions to itemize.”
Although many individuals, corporations and young adults could benefit, families could be hurt.
“Before the Act, taxpayers subtracted $4,150 from income for each person claimed,” writes Kimberly Amadeo, president of worldmoneywatch.com and author of multiple economic books. “As a result, some families with many children will pay higher taxes despite the act’s increased standard deductions.”
Another important legislative change that will impact the next generation of workers is an executive order passed by President Trump that allocates $200 million each year to grant funds for the areas of science, technology, engineering and math.
“I think it’s very important that there’s funding there, but it has to be more than just funding,” CHS math teacher Juan Gomez says. “I personally have trouble understanding the let’s-just-give-$200-million, because $200 million is a drop in the bucket.”
While President Trump has passed an executive order that will supposedly help STEM students, he has also decreased reserve funding for the Pell Grant. This grant is a key source of support for mainly undergraduate students looking to further their education.
“Anything you can do to make college more successful is a good idea,” lawyer and CHS history teacher Bill Schrier believes.
The new budget bill has reduced reserve funds for the Pell Grant by 3.9 billion, but it is important to include that the Pell Grant Award has increased by $100 for recipients.
Another executive order signed by the president is one that expands apprenticeships in America. According to the order, “Expanding apprenticeships and reforming ineffective education and workforce development programs will help address these issues, enabling more Americans to obtain relevant skills and high-paying jobs.”
Among many other changes to impact future workers are the creation of 1.7 million new jobs from companies deciding to no longer operate offshore and the success of the stock market at an all-time high.
When asked if Trump has had any effect on these changes, Schrier says, “It’s a fool’s errand to attribute economic change one way or another to any individual, including the president.”
BY: RYAN YOUNG
On June 12, 2017 President Trump and newly crowned “chairman” Kim Jong Un made history together when they shattered the separation of the past and formed the very first steps to peace.
Throughout the last year President Trump and Kim Jong Un have participated in a war of words. The two leaders have thrown insults at each other, even going so far as to compare the sizes of their nuclear buttons and their capabilities.
While many in the mainstream media have criticized President Trump for his bold rhetoric, the proof— let’s just say—is in the progress.
In less than half of a term as president, Donald Trump has successfully brought Kim Jong Un to the peace table. Through harsh words, demonstrations of military strength, and determination to protect America, the 45th president is proving how valuable his deal making skills really are.
President Trump was the first American president to ever sit down with the North Korean official, let alone cancel the meeting before doing so.
Before the June 12 Summit President Trump made perfectly clear that he would not tolerate any disrespect or threats by the regime.
President Trump canceled the summit after Kim Jong Un made disrespectful and slanderous remarks about Vice President Pence. The cancellation of the summit showed North Korea and the world that President Trump is not messing around—that he is not looking at the summit as another political feather in his cap.
The result of President Trump’s cancellation of the summit, was Kim Jong Un’s main general hand delivering an apology letter and request to reinstate the June 12 summit.
This bold, some might view risky cancellation decision by Trump, gave the president the upper hand and opened up a more honest and productive meeting in the newly reinstated summit.
Kim Jong Un came to the peace table with understanding, respect, and determination to make a deal that not only would benefit his country and America, but the world.
Behind closed doors, which just to translators, the two world leaders were able to agree upon the full denuclearization of North Korea, as well as the safety and security of North Korea’s citizens.
President Trump also received Chairman Kim’s promise to bring all American soldiers remains from the Korean war back home to the families that have eagerly awaited their loved ones return.
While many in the media will continue to minimize or marginalize these historic accomplishments and agreements reached, we the American citizens see and acknowledge what took place on June 12, 2017 and will forever remember and be grateful.