The circus has events ranging from the Elephant Extravaganza to the White Tiger Spectacular. One event, though, The Boxing Kangaroo, has caught the attention of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).
They claim that Javier Martinez, the kangaroo owner, has repeatedly violated the Animal Welfare Act for putting Rocky, the kangaroo, in physical torment. Also they say that Martinez has broken state law by operating in California without a permit and for causing animal-human combat.
PETA has filed their complaint with the California Fish and Game Department in an attempt to stop the circus. Javier claimed that this accusation was misplaced when he told Orlando Sentinel, “PETA knows nothing about Kangaroos. What we do on stage is play with the animal. We don’t taunt him. He sits on the back legs and moves the front paws back and forth because it is his natural behavior.”
Cuinn Griffin, the director of the circus, said, “Martinez has no violations and has never been cited. We do not put someone in the ring to fight the kangaroo. It’s not a boxing match. There is no violence whatsoever. These PETA reps have never seen the act.”
PETA also claims that two kangaroos have died within the circus as they were touring around California. They have produced no evidence for this statement and the circus denies it.
The California Fish and Game has inspected the Circus twice and have found no Kangaroos. Inspectors will watch the zoo’s performances to make sure that there is no cruel kangaroo fight, especially since there is no permit for the Kangaroo.
Delcianna Winders, PETA’s director said, “Forcing kangaroos to box is an act that should have gone out with the cruel carnivals and freak shows of the early twentieth century. Restraining and terrorizing a kangaroo is obviously cruel and in California it’s also illegal.”
The Piccadilly Circus is coming soon to the OC fair grounds to provide fun and entertainment for Orange County.
In this year's JPL(Jet Propulsion Lab) MESA(Math Engineering Science Achievement) Tournament, schools had to build an apparatus that could kick a football over a field goal and into a trash can. Participating schools included schools from Pasadena, Diamond Bar, Los Angeles, Temple City, and, of course, Costa Mesa.
The JPL MESA Tournament took place last Saturday at Orange Coast College. Each school's challenge was split up into three trials where they would attempt to kick a football into a trash can using a contraption they built. According to Ms. Ras, one of the coordinators of the MESA Club, "We didn't do as well as we hoped but we hope to do better in the MESA Competition in March.”
The CMHS team's apparatus was able to kick the football near the trash can in the first trial, but missed its target in the last two. The mechanism is best described as a wooden frame and leg with a hammer attached at the end, which swung down and kicked the football. After the competition, the contraption was dismantled, due to its large size, so it could be be transported.
The band performed their 2011 field show, "A Modern Tale of Love," which is a modern interpretation of the classic tale of Romeo and Juliet. The music selections included: "Somewhere," "Time of My Life,""Just the Way You Are," and "Uprising."
The band had been preparing for this show since late August. Starting with their first competition October 8th, their competition scores have been recorded and were used to determine if they were one of the top 10 3A bands at their regional competition November 5th.
This season has proven to be a very successful one.
"I'm very proud of Mesa's performance. That was the reward," said director Sandy Gilboe.
For some, it was the last of many.
"Only one word can describe this season for me: amazing! The band this year has been filled with a huge amount of energy, pride, and commitment. I'm very happy to say that this was my senior year of marching band. I've had the privilege to lead such a great band and group of people," said drum major Chris Henrriquez.
Now that marching season is over, the band is now preparing for their Christmas concert on December 7th. After that, they will begin their concert, Drumline, Jazz Band, and Small Ensemble seasons.
Our Costa Mesa High School Marching Band and Color Guard brought their season to a close Saturday, November 19th at the SCJA State Band Championships at Huntington Beach High School. CMHS competed against nine other bands in their 3A division, and received ninth place with a score 65.4.
Virtual Enterprise is a business class run completely by the students. Since the start of school, the V.E. classes have been hard at work creating their business plans and strategies for the upcoming competition in Bakersfield at the Rabobank Arena.
Third period V.E.'s company, Abeille, is, in the words of CEO Raquel Friedmann, “A fictitious beekeeping business.” Friedmann's primary job is to run the class along with CFO (chief financial officer) Edith Esparza.
“We just mailed off our business plan to Bakersfield along with our catalog, commercial, website, and newsletter. We are trying to make a spectacular business presentation that will get us to nationals,” Friedmann said.
“Some of the things we are trying to accomplish right now,” said Esparza, “are preparing the company for the competitions. In the business plan team we have written our script for our oral presentation. Now we just need to memorize our lines and of course rehearse our presentation until it is perfect.”
The IT department, lead by Vice President Daiton Hawks, has designed the logo and banner, created a commercial, and put together a website. They have also made business cards and ID badges for everyone in the class, plus all teachers traveling to Bakersfield.
Students have their goals set high. Walter Garcia, Vice President of Sales said, “I am looking forward to qualifying to nationals and winning it!”
Vice President of Public Relations Elena Perez is excited for “winning state competitions and moving on to our next win in New York!”
Hawks wants to end high school with a “Successful and fun year with all the great people in Abeille.”
Vice President of Human Resources Laura Vasquez said she is anticipating “creating a working culture for our class. [I am] ready to compete in more Human Resources competitions. However, the most important thing is gaining more experience. I love my position. This is something I really want to major in.”
The competition takes place from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 in Bakersfield's Rabobank Arena.
The CMHS Virtual Enterprise classes are working hard on “the road to Bakersfield”. Third period V.E. has their own way of doing things.
The crowd at first sat hand in hand closely together, chanting along a walkway of the school until campus police felt that this became a danger and disruption to the rest of the UC Davis campus. Armed policemen warned the group by displaying pepper spray cans before spraying the demonstrators.
While some protesters at Davis stress that their movement isn't the same as the Occupy Wall Street movement because they are focusing on other issues, their uproar came at a significant time for Occupiers across the U.S. This protest brought back uncertainty among law enforcement about how much force police should use to control protesters.
Students expected thousands of newly informed supporters to show up for a planned rally and general assembly on Monday, Nov. 21, during which they called for the resignations of the school's Chancellor and the UC Davis police chief. If Chancellor Linda Katehi declined, students planned to force the issue at an upcoming meeting of the UC regents. "Students are much more engaged right now than we've ever seen," said Nick Perrone, a graduate student and union organizer who is part of the movement at Davis.
Members of the crowd gathered at the scene screaming and crying out in response to the officers actions; chanting, "Shame on you," at the officers while fellow protesters were led away. The officers returned minutes later with helmets on and batons drawn to clear the rest of the crowd.
Of the several hundred people gathered, ten students were arrested and nine students affected by the pepper spray were treated at the scene, while two were taken to hospitals and later released, university officials said.
The movement continued around California where several hundred other protesters in Oakland tore down a chain-link fence surrounding a city-owned vacant lot and set up a new encampment five days after their main camp near City Hall was torn down.
“They obviously don't want us at the plaza downtown. We might as well make this space useful,” Chris Skantz, 23, told the San Francisco Chronicle. The protesters passed a line of police surrounding the lot without a struggle, used wire cutters to take down the fence and pulled down "no trespassing" signs, the Chronicle reported.
"I supported Occupy Oakland," a nearby resident of the UC Davis town, Sherbeam Wright, told the Chronicle. “At this point I don't know what they stand for anymore.”
UC Davis students protested last Friday, November 18, in response to the increasing cost of tuition and in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement. What started as a peaceful protest soon turned into a mass pepper spraying and several arrests by campus police trying to “make their way through the disruptive crowd of rowdy students.”
Hubbard at the Airport Courthouse,
photo from the Daily Pilot.
The Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers recently conducted a vote of no confidence concerning the Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) superintendent; the person in charge of the district.
Dr. Jeffrey Hubbard, the NMUSD Superintendent, has been with NMUSD since July 2006. He worked as superintendent of Beverly Hills Unified School District (BHUSD) for three years before moving to NMUSD.
A vote of no confidence is a process in which union members state that they have no confidence in the ability of a person or group of people to perform their duties. In this case, the Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers (N-MFT) conducted a vote that asked union members whether they believed Hubbard could do his job as a superintendent considering his trials.
Hubbard is currently facing charges for allegedly giving an illegal pay raise to a BHUSD employee, Nora Roque, when he was superintendent there. Roque is now employed in NMUSD under Hubbard. The exact amount of money given to Roque remains unknown.
In the past, Hubbard was accused of two more felony charges, both from his time in BHUSD. Hubbard was charged with unlawfully giving $20,000 to another BHUSD employee, Karen Christiansen, along with a raise of $350 per month for her car allowance, bringing it from $150 to $500 a month.
Karen Christasen exitting a court-
house, photo from OC Register.
E-mails between Hubbard and Christiansen containing sexual innuendos were discovered, dated from 2005 to 2008. Hubbard later apologized for using his district email for personal matters.
Hubbard was also granted “more than $125,000” in a five month paid leave to prepare his legal defense. He requested the paid leave retroactively in January, receiving payments from December 2010 onward. The board approved the request in a 6-1 vote in which only Katrina Foley voted against it. Hubbard returned to the district on July 5, 2011.
Christiansen has also been charged with illegally accepting the pay raise and car allowance, in addition to over $2.2 million in contracts from four counts of conflict of interest. Hubbard’s preliminary hearing was in January 2011. Both Hubbard and Christiansen have pleaded not guilty. Christiansen, however, was found guilty of her charges and faces up to eight years in prison.
On October 20, the N-MFT sent ballots to each union member. The votes were tallied, and on November 8, N-MFT presented its results to the NMUSD Board of Education at the District Office.
At this District Board meeting, Kim Claytor, the President of N-MFT, presented the results of the vote of no confidence. She talked for three minutes, and was followed by several other speakers concerned with the vote of no confidence. One woman claimed that Hubbard was not performing adequately as superintendent. The meeting continued as usual after the 10 minute presentation.
“For months now, the union has received phone calls concerning the fact that our superintendent requested to be placed on paid leave so he could prepare for his defense at the same time students in some of our classrooms lacked books and supplies. The union members were concerned because we have been receiving reports from the District that the budget is so tight that we had to have employee layoffs which resulted in cuts to services for students and families. Our members felt the length of the paid leave was excessive and ended up costing the District more money than was budgeted since the District then had to pay the interim superintendent too,” said Claytor in an e-mail.
She added that other concerns included the “superintendent's decision making processes regarding hiring upper level administrators and modeling acceptable behavior on the job.”
Of N-MFT's 959 members, 379 participated. This translates to a 39.5% voter turnout. To put it in perspective, the 2008 presidential election yielded a 56.9% voter turnout, according to the United States Election Project.
Hubbard with attorney, Salvatore
Ciulla and a friend,
photo from O.C. Now.
The results of the ballot were that 91.2% of union members who voted said yes to the vote of no confidence, meaning they have no confidence in Hubbard’s ability to do his job.
“Our concern is that he will continue to be distracted by his defense. We want him to defend himself, we hope he did not do the things for which he is being charged, and we hope he is treated with fairness by the justice system. Our members are also disturbed by his request for paid leave to prepare for his defense - other employees would have to use sick time or take unpaid leave and we are quite certain none of us would be granted over five months of paid leave,” said Claytor.
Karen Yelsey, a member of the District Board of Education, said, “Sixty-four percent of the teachers did not vote no confidence in Dr. Hubbard. The Board of Trustees, which has much greater knowledge of Dr. Hubbard's performance, has expressed confidence in his leadership. The majority of the Board of Trustees has an abiding commitment to the concept of due process, that one is not guilty until convicted.”
Walt Davenport, NMUSD Board of Education President said, “Dr. Hubbard can do, and is doing, his job. Other than the financial issues stemming from Sacramento, the district is in great shape. If you do the math, approximately 37% of total union membership voted to support the no confidence resolution. In my experience, whenever there is a vote of this type, those who choose not to vote do so because they are OK with the status quo. This leads me to believe that if 100% of the membership had voted the resolution of no confidence would probably have failed.”
Yelsey added, “It would be interesting if NMFT would take a vote of no confidence in the union leadership. I wonder what that result would be.”
At Costa Mesa High School, the community has mixed opinions of Hubbard and the vote of no confidence.
“I completely agree with this vote of no confidence. If a teacher was accused with what Hubbard did, they would face far more serious punishment than what he got,” said a veteran CMHS teacher.
“I would support [the teachers] because they are most involved and affected. NMUSD has a strong group of teachers who know what they’re doing and I support them,” said Alyssa Hatton, senior and ASB president.
Others are opposed to the vote of no confidence, meaning that they support Hubbard as a superintendent.
“I voted no, but I’m somewhat mad that we used union dues to pay for the vote,” said Mrs. Sheldon, a long time teacher at CMHS.
“I don’t agree with [the vote of no confidence]. I feel that people don’t have enough information from both sides to make a judgment,” said Jennifer Piatti, a CMHS parent.
Most CMHS students were unaware of the vote of no confidence when asked about it.
“Yeah, I definitely don't know anything,” said junior Rachel Witter.
“Um no, sorry,” said freshmen Jeirany Chavez.
“Hmmm I don’t really know about that!” said junior Trista Bell.
“I honestly have no idea!” said Melissa Michaels, senior class ASB president.
As for the Board of Education’s next action about the vote of no confidence, member Katrina Foley said, “nothing.” She said that it’s clear that most of the Board of Education supports Hubbard.
Foley also commented, “I have a concern that the priorities of the administration aren’t focusing on ensuring that the funding allocation have a direct impact on students for education, activities, and athletics.”
Laura Boss, of the Public Information Office of Newport-Mesa, said, “Because of his pending legal case, he is not at liberty to address any of the issues, including those such as the vote which is a result of circumstances created by his legal case.”
Hubbard's court case in the Los Angeles Superior Court began on November 10. Hubbard said that once his trial ends he will explain everything. The outcome of his trial remains uncertain.
Below is a letter from Jeffery Hubbard and his response to the vote of No Confidence as of October 21th.
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Both first and third period Virtual Enterprise (V.E.) classes changed the association of Costa Mesa V.E. from eco-friendly sanitation products to animal protection and rescue. The Great Park Wildlife Center, first period V.E's business, is a rescue center that contains 90% rescued animals; unlike zoos which capture animals from the wild.
Brooke Morrow (CFO), Cesar Chavez (CEO), Caitlyn Brock (VP of Marketing), and Ashley Neppl (VP of Accounting), Meghan Clevanger (Director of Sales), and Harry Do (Director of Accounting) have all been working around the clock, nervous with anticipation for the all-important Bakersfield event.
Though there were a few changes, from revising the script and changing some of the teams, in the words of Chavez, “We made the right choice, though there might have been some flukes, our team has potential and commitment.”
The path to Bakersfield has been long and at times frustrating, as Morrow highlighted in recounting Mr. Sciacca’s comment on the unmotivated teams, “You guys aren’t passionate about this company.”
Despite this, many fond memories were also created.
“Finally mailing off all our paperwork after spending four hours at Kinko’s was amazing,” said Neppl, with Brock in agreement, “We were all together on a Saturday and finally mailed everything off and we were all hugging and were so excited to have it all done.”
All members of the company shared the same excitement and anxious anticipation for the long awaited event.
“We only have 12 minutes to win their hearts,” said Morrow when speaking of their presentations.
They will be working from now until the big day on “cutting out unnecessary items, putting in an introduction and conclusion, and practicing it all with a lot of passion.”
“It is a lot to live up to, but if we continue to put in work and get things done we may have a chance to place in Nationals. We want our business scripts and the 2012 VE class as a whole to be remembered at school and many other places as The Great Park Wild Center,” concluded Morrow.
As Thanksgiving break approaches, Business academy Virtual Enterprise seniors conclude their last week of practice and preparations for the 7th annual California Virtual Enterprise Business Plan Competition at the Rabobank Convention in Bakersfield.
“The cost of college tuition has risen three times the rate of inflation, which is about a seven to eight percent increase annually.” There are also, “15% of students dropping out of college within the first year and only about 40% graduating in four years or less.” The financial risk of college is increasing. Lyle Higger and Carol King of Academic Financial Services presented all the major steps, statistics, and costs to consider when sizing up the price tag of college.
The financial aid process includes three main steps. First determine the EFC, or expected family contribution, then find how much of a family’s financial resources should be available to help pay for a student’s education. Finally, analyze financial aid packages based on what is offered, what is covered, and if the plan can cover your areas of interest or concern.
The workshop also taught attendees how to write to colleges to determine how much aid they are entitled to, “down to the penny.” It also included a college and career planning assessment tool to help students choose their major field of study and find which college would be best for obtaining the financial aid needed.
Higger, a counselor at Loara High School in Anaheim, has been a college aid coordinator for 12 years, a licensed financial planner since 1981, and has taught economics for 19 years. In the past he has helped “put kids in Harvard, Stanford, and Yale.”
Higger made sure to also state the importance of not only performing well academically, but being a well-rounded, involved student of the school and community in order to be competitive in college admissions by stating, “It’s not just your SAT or GPA, it’s your DID,” meaning what you did above and beyond what was asked of you.
Academic Financial Services, located in Fountain Valley, has been in business for 28 years, allowing many students to attend the college of their choice with financial assistance. 123college, its affiliate, has also been working on retirement planning, college funding, and financial aid since 1994.
Academic Financial Services also has an affiliation with Kaplan Co. which is known to provide SAT and ACT preparatory lessons, as well as books and online help. Higger added in regards to this affiliation, that taking both tests “will be worthwhile,” because while colleges are very interested in students with high SAT scores, they are also very interested in the ACT, another college aptitude test.
Last Tuesday, juniors and seniors of CMHS, along with their parents, were invited to a complimentary financial aid workshop held on campus.
Recently, Honda has made public their newest creation, the Asimo Robot. This is a small robot that can do virtually anything. Compared to the prototypes, this latest version of the Asimo Robot has more intelligence, better coordination, and better physical capabilities. Developers have also made it so that Asimo's legs are stronger and better able to move in long strides.
Honda has also reconstructed the Asimo so that it is now better able to interact with its surroundings by equipping it with multiple sensors. These sensors allow the Asimo to sense another person's movements and anticipate the direction that he or she is going to. Sensors were also placed on the fingers of Asimo in order to make it capable of performing miniature tasks such as uncapping a bottle and pouring a cup of tea. If the Asimo can execute tasks such as lifting a pencil, then think of all the other things it could do!
You could have your very own personal helper, assisting you with your everyday chores or maybe even help you with your homework if improvements in technology allow it. The Asimo is so helpful apparently that Honda was thinking of releasing it in Japan in order to help in cleaning the power plants in Fukishima which were devastated by the tsunami.
With the help of the Asimo, we would be moving our generation into a new technological era in which technology would be a part of our everyday lives.
The historic Balboa FunZone will soon be replaced by ExplorOcean, an ocean themed educational center.
The famous merry-go-round was shut down this past September after the landlord, the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum, refused to renew the attraction’s lease in July. The merry-go-round was first listed on eBay for $149,999, but the owner discounted the item in order to keep it local. It is to be moved somewhere in Westminster, CA, along the 405 freeway, so that people can still go visit it. The bumper cars and Scary Dark Ride were closed back in September 2006 despite groups of old traditionalists having formed groups on Facebook to try and preserve the Balboa FunZone.
The nautical museum plans run about $40 million. They plan to have a “4-D” sensory theater, submarine simulators, and other family oriented attractions.
ExplorOcean revealed its design for the park back in October and is set to open gradually over time.