Fatal Shooting in California Bar, 12 Dead

by Kaya Garza

Image via Frederic J. Brown / AFP/Getty Images

Twelve people, including a sheriff, were killed late last night by an unidentified gunman at Borderline Bar & Grill. He shot himself afterwards. A dozen of people are injured. It is unclear if this attack is terrorism.

Ventura County Sheriff’s department responded to the sound of gunfire at about 11:20 p.m.

More updates to come.

One Can Can Make a Difference

by Sierra Maldonado

Rockwell Charter High School is doing a food drive for local families that need food for Thanksgiving.

There are more than 2,000 homeless people across the state of Utah. Donating even just one can of food can help someone not go hungry this holiday season.

How it works: Beginning tomorrow, November 7, there will be a box for each grade to donate their cans in the library. When you donate, the librarian will have you count your cans and fill out a can to hang up on the poster in the hallway. The grade with the most cans donated will win a pizza party!

It’s not just canned food you can donate. We accept other non-perishable food items, as well. Here are a few ideas of things you can bring:

– Canned beans
– Canned soup
– Canned fruits
– Canned vegetables
– Canned meat
– Cereal
– Rice
– Peanut Butter
– Pasta

These are things that food banks need the most, but any and all non-perishable food donations are welcome. If every student donates just 5 cans of food, we will have almost 2,500 cans of food to donate! Let’s help people in our community have a memorable Thanksgiving.

The canned food drive begins tomorrow, November 7, and ends Friday, November 16.

Students campaign to bring cheer team to Rockwell

by Ashlee Milton

Photo: Rockwell’s cheer team in 2014.

Three students are working together to bring back the Rockwell High cheer team.

“We all want to come together to bring something more to Rockwell,” said Rockwell sophomore Kiera Barker. “It would be cool to show support for the sports teams by cheering at their games.”

Mikayla Tanner, Skilin Hacking, and Kiera Barker are some of the girls advocating to bring the team back. The last time Rockwell had a cheer team was in 2014 and was ended due to all the participants graduating.

“We all want to come together to bring something more to Rockwell. It would be cool to show support for the sports teams by cheering at their games.”

– Kiera Barker, sophomore

Mikayla Tanner, a senior at Rockwell, has had some experience with cheer and tumbling for about a year and a half. She brought the idea to Misty with the intentions of starting a team to help all feel like they have a place at the school.

“I think a lot of people at Rockwell could benefit from having a cheer team here,” said Tanner. “I want to be part of creating a place for people to feel included and feel like they can bring more spirit to the school.”

Having a cheer team would help bring more people to the games and more spirit to the school.

Image via Sydnie Holland

Terror shooting at Pittsburgh Synagogue

by Kaya Garza

Image via AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Saturday, around 10am, an anti-Semitic terrorist attack was perpetrated against a Jewish congregation at Pittsburgh Tree Of Life synagogue. 

Robert Bowers, the gunman armed with a AR-15-style assault rifle as well as a handgun, yelled “All Jews must die!” before opening fire at 9:45 a.m.. 

Eleven people died and six were wounded. Among those who died was Rose Mallinger, a Holocaust survivor.

“As of [Sunday morning], a 61-year-old woman is in stable condition, a 70-year-old man is in critical condition, a 55-year-old male police officer is in stable condition, and a 40-year-old male officer is in critical condition at UPMC Presbyterian,” the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported. “At UPMC Mercy, a 27-year-old male officer is in stable condition. Another male officer has already been released.”

Multiple police officers were injured in the effort to stop Bowers from leaving the synagogue, and were among the wounded taken to the nearest hospital.

After around twenty minutes, police asked Bowers to surrender. He is currently in police custody.

Among those who lost their lives:

Joyce Fienberg, 75
Richard Gottfried, 65
Rose Mallinger, 97
Jerry Rabinowitz, 66,
Brothers Cecil Rosenthal, 59, and David Rosenthal, 54
Married couple Bernice Simon, 84, and Sylvan Simon, 86
Daniel Stein, 71
Melvin Wax, 88
Irving Younger, 69

A vigil was held Sunday to honor them.

“Maybe if people couldn’t just get AR-15’s, things like this wouldn’t happen,” said Kat Pinheiro. “We need better gun laws. Not better security at a synagogue.”

Kavanaugh takes Supreme Court

by Kaya Garza 

Image via Consequence of Sound

Earlier this year on July 9th, President Donald Trump elected Judge Brett Kavanaugh as the new Supreme Court nominee after Justice Anthony M. Kennedy announced his retirement.

This created quite a tempestuous political frenzy, as opposing parties raised their concerns over the possible rescinding of landmark case Roe v. Wade. Kavanaugh‘s nomination subsequently made America strongly polarized, brewing a harsh storm of altercations concerning the upcoming midterm elections this November.

But allegations of sexual assault against the longtime judge have made Kavanaugh not just a nominee, but America’s newest pinnacle of notoriety and scandal.

The first allegation was attested by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a Californian psychology professor, through a letter sent to democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein. She claimed that Honor Brett Kavanaugh sexually and physically assaulted her when they were in high school at a party. She requested that Senator Feinstein keep it a private letter. After a series of confirmation hearings and arguments between Republicans and Democrats, Sen. Feinstein released Dr. Ford‘s letter. The New York Times picked it up rather quickly, and soon the world began to hear about it.

Kavanaugh denied these allegations. Allegations detailed by Dr. Ford very explicitly; events that she said made her fear for her life. She precisely recalled that he pinned her down on a bed, tried to remove her clothing, and covered her mouth so no one could hear her scream.

Kavanaugh “categorically and unequivocally“ denied such events ever took place.

These weren’t the only allegations: Deborah Ramirez, a women who claimed they went to school together, said that Kavanaugh exposed himself to her despite her disdain. Another woman claiming to have known him in the 80s declared him to be unfit for the Supreme Court Justice position, detailing events of gang rape and violence. Neither of these allegations or any others have been investigated.

To any inquisitive young American, events like these appear to be critical, and that, on any other day politics never feel this urgent. Dozens of students have pre-registered/registered to vote, shared opinionated posts on nearly every social media realm, some even outraged enough to call Utah’s senators and urge others to as well. In my time researching this issue, I’ve seen careful examinations everywhere I look; precise dissections of both Ford and Kavanaugh‘s statements dominated the right and left sides of the political spectrum. A deep mistrust for the government had also began to emerge: people asked whether or not our country is prepared to uphold justice.

Although Dr. Ford‘s lawyers asked for a FBI investigation, it didn’t supervene. The Senate Judiciary Committee then requested that both Ford and Kavanaugh testify in front of the panel and quite frankly the world and its descendants.

On September 27th, the testimonies were finally commenced. Dr. Ford stood before over a dozen senators, attorneys, journalists and lawyers. She quietly described her traumatic experiences with sincere caution.

“I am here today not because I want to be,” she said, her voice shaking slightly. “I am terrified. I am here because I believe it is my civic duty to tell you what happened to me while Brett Kavanaugh and I were in high school.”

When asked if the events at question have ‘destroyed’ her family, she timidly responded that they were just fine.

Dr. Ford also clarified psychological damage done to the brain after traumatizing events, and when given questions she could not remember exact details to, she stated that she simply could not remember. Not a mince of hesitation but was detectable in her tone. It seemed as though her confidence carried her through, filled in all the gaps.

Senators like Cory Booker (New Jersey) and Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota) diligently defended and heroicized her for her sacrifice.

“You are opening up to open air hurt and pain that goes on across this country. And for that, the word I would use, it’s nothing short of heroic,” Booker stated.

Ruffling the ever so stringent feathers of American politicians, the mood shifted once it was time for Kavanaugh’s testimony.

“Eleven days ago, Dr. Ford publicly accused me of committing a serious wrong more than 36 years ago when we were both in high school. I denied the allegation immediately, unequivocally, and categorically. The next day, I told this Committee that I wanted to testify as soon as possible, under oath, to clear my name,” he began.

Kavanaugh spoke about his childhood, his treasured memories with his dad, his hard work in high school. He got sincerely and acutely emotional; he sipped his water every chance he got, as though he couldn’t avoid crying without it. Although to him it must’ve felt like so many were opposed to him, senators like Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) fought Kavanaugh’s combatants like a soldier.

“This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics. And if you really wanted to know the truth, you sure as hell wouldn’t have done what you’ve done to this guy,“ he spat.

Some important things to note are that the testimonies were not apart of a court hearing, no one violated the Constitution, and that Kavanaugh cannot be convicted.

To support Dr. Ford, one could point out that she had told over a dozen people about the assault, roommates and friends of Kavanaugh explained he did in fact become aggressive when drunk, his cryptic yearbook references didn’t help, and she passed a polygraph test.

On the flipside: it took her a long time to come out about it, Kavanaugh‘s calendars indicated his apparent absence during the events in question, and that dozens of colleagues came forward to defend his character. How could he, after years of public service, be capable of such atrocities?

There were no bipartisan conclusions after these testimonies, and an FBI investigation was called by the President in partial thanks to Sen. Jeff Flake (Arizona) for his change of heart when facing women challenging his vote.

A woman named Ann Maria Archila cornered the cordial senator, all while being recorded, said: “On Monday, I stood in your office. I told you of my story of my sexual assault,” her voice quivering. “I was sexually assaulted, and nobody believed me. You’re telling all women that they don’t matter.”

Although the Senator didn’t say much, something shifted. He considered more carefully what was before him, and his power in the matter. Archila and another woman in the elevator, Maria Gallagher, have been fighting ever since— even after the confirmation.

I decided to sit down with both Attorney/Teacher Tim Heise, who, by a slight margin, favored Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony.

“How do you think this situation was approached?” I asked a forethoughtful Heise. He pondered on the question carefully before answering.

“Since it isn’t a court of law, it’s mostly just political theater. This isn’t a court hearing, it would be very different if so. I don’t have any trust in Congress through these proceedings. It reminds me of Clarence Thomas,” Heise said.

I nodded attentively and further asked if he thought either testimonies were credible.

“Well,” he paused. “Both have the right to be questioned in a court of law. That isn’t happening. I don’t think it was very credible.“

“Do you think an FBI investigation is necessary?“

“Yes. But I also don’t think there’s much to investigate. Although I find her to be trustworthy, I don’t think the polygraph was enough on her part.“

Heise explained that false accusations concern him, and that naturally, sexual assault should be taken seriously. But he didn’t  know how this might change sexual assault cases in the future.

“I think the media limbo is irritating. The whole world is watching. The amount of vicious political speech and divide is absurd, but I don’t think it’ll change upcoming elections much. The parties have been divided for a long time. I hope Utah’s senators take middle ground.“

“I favor Kavanaugh but only by a slight margin. Although I respect women who don’t come forward sooner, it would’ve made her more credible.“

One last question, the one I deem to be most important: “What would you hope for students? How should they approach this, and situations like it?“

“I encourage them to question everything,“ he states firmly. “They shouldn’t rely on media or politics. Know who you are because everything will always be this confusing, and government lies. No matter what happens, I don’t like the outcome. Someone’s life is ruined, both possibly.“

To counterbalance this articulation, I also sat down with someone of an opposing view, Historian Amy Holt.

“How do you think this situation was approached?“ I asked her. She answered very precisely, with all of my questions— I knew she had taken the time to formulate how she felt.

“I do think it was fair. I think both sides were taken seriously. I also think she was very credible. And to him, nothing was out of the ordinary. I think he discredited himself when he answered questions about his yearbook, he wasn’t forthcoming at all.”

“Do you think the investigations are necessary?”

“Absolutely. Everyone should think so.”

After asking her if she thinks this’ll change politics, she explained that #MeToo definitely aided this era’s confrontation with sexual assault. She’s glad that it’s inspired women to come forward, especially when it concerns important positions like the Supreme Court Justice.

She also mentioned that she’s ashamed with senators who voted without thinking, carelessly forgetting to invest time and consideration. Things like this should always be taken seriously.

And lastly, I asked: “What should students and voters do when facing such issues?”

“Vote. Get all information. Don’t rely on your parents, you’re all old enough to form your own opinions.”

In the days during the investigation leading up to the final vote, President Trump expressed his opinions to a Mississippi rally, saying: “I had one beer. Well, do you think it was — nope, it was one beer. How did you get home? I don’t remember. How’d you get there? I don’t remember. Where is the place? I don’t remember. How many years ago was it? I don’t know.”

Trump wasn’t the only person against Dr. Ford, as dozens of predominantly Republican senators and congressmen dismissed her statements because she could not recall every detail.

This has altered our view on sexual assault forever. It’s raised questions like:

“What if that were me?”

“What do we do if this happens again?”

“Since it’s so hard to prove, who do we trust?”

Every American should asked themselves and their government these questions.

On October 4th, the FBI investigation was released to the Senate Judiciary Committee. After a thorough evaluation, the final vote was held.

Two days later, the astringent partisan aggravations came to a halt, when Kavanaugh won the vote 50-48.

This pariah of a man was sworn in the day after as the United States Supreme Court Justice. His wife and daughters stood beside him as he placed a hand on the Bible and the other in air. Outside, indignant protestors bellowed their lamented sentiments with posters and fists in the air over what must’ve felt like betrayal.

Never have I seen so many people of all collars and cultures know so much about a “political“ case like this. Never have I seen so many people educate themselves on an issue of such gravity, nor have I seen such a stark divarication.

I asked some students how they felt about the whole debacle: the allegations, testimonies, and whether or not they agree with the Senate vote that confirmed Kavanaugh.

Senior Brendan Southern was among those who don’t agree with the confirmation.

“I don’t think Dr. Ford is lying. It’s difficult though, because it’s so hard to prove and it’s been so long. Despite all that, I don’t think he should’ve been confirmed, based on his demeanor and actions before the Senate.“

Another thought to consider is one coming from Junior Ethan Hadlock, stating very empathetically:

“I feel if he was guilty, he definitely shouldn’t be appointed. It’s serious. I believe Dr. Ford did experience something. But I don’t think he did it. There just wasn’t enough evidence.“

I ask you to use your newly equipped knowledge, to avail your American obligations. Consider how this case may affect the future, your descendants. Ponder on your voice, your place in democracy. Consider whether or not our senators voted in the best interest of our country. Consider every angle and ask what’s right, because this concerns the Supreme Court, the highest court of the land.

“Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.”

 

– George Washington, 1737

10 Albums to Add to Your Summer Playlist

by Kaya Garza

Are_You_Experienced_-_US_cover-edit10. “Are You Experienced” by The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Not only is Hendrix the greatest guitarist of all time, he’s a phenomenal lyricist and performer. My grandma explained to me the day she got the record back in 1967.

“I was with my girlfriends, and back then Rock N’ Roll wasn’t very accepted by our parents, so we went behind their backs and bought the LP record anyways,” she said. “We played that every day in the summer.“

FMacRumours9.”Rumours“ by Fleetwood Mac – “My go-to summer album is Rumours by Fleetwood Mac,” said Rockwell senior Alexa Camargo. “I really like that album because every single song on it really speaks. I kind of get a light, airy vibe from it, but the songs are also about deeper things. I don’t know, it just feels like a good summer album to me. Also, Stevie is a goddess.”

bruce-springsteen-born-in-the-usa-expanded-edition-2-cd-2c5d8. “Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen – I, myself, am not the most patriotic, but when Born In The U.S.A. comes on, I can’t help but want to throw some tea in a harbor and light up a bunch of red, white and blue fireworks. They call Springsteen ”The Boss” for good reason.

7. “40 oz. to Freedom” by Sublime – How could I not throw in a Sublime album? Sublime are the gods of summer laziness, and this album is the CD that’s in all of our dad’s old junk drawer. So if your plan is sleeping in everyday, having fun all night- this is perfect for you. Tell me, are you a badfish, too?

220px-Kendrick_Lamar_-_Damn6. “DAMN.” by Kendrick Lamar – Kendrick Lamar may very well be the voice of the era, delivering the cold truth with a punch. From the daring track “XXX” to “HUMBLE,” Kendrick never fails to speak to his listeners in a way no one else can. This country needs a bit of work- and Kendrick won’t shut up about it. And neither should you.

5. “Traveller” by Chris Stapleton – This was me and my mom’s favorite album last summer, perfect for trips to Moab or Lava Hot Springs. Stapleton isn’t like many other country artists, as he brings back the true spirit of the genre. Influenced by some of the greats like John Denver and Hank Williams, Stapleton writes his heart out and can speak to every American. Give it a try.

4. “Odyssey” by HOME – “This album is iconic in the synthwave genre,” said Rockwell sophomore Connor Mackintosh. “The main highlight of the album, Resonance, is a simple but great track that inspires a unique feeling of melancholic nostalgia. It’s best experienced with your close friends on a long, nighttime drive in the middle of the a3321951232_5summer.”

3. “Dazed and Confused” Soundtrack – If you haven’t seen the movie, I’d recommend watching it sometime this summer. It’s witty, exciting, and could make anyone want to go back to the 1970s. And it’s got Matthew McConaughey, so that’s a plus. But the best thing about this film is the soundtrack. Iconic songs like ”Low Rider“ and “School‘s Out“ make for an excellent Friday night, whatever your plans may be.

2. ”Exodus” by Bob Marley (and The Wailers) – I was named after a Bob Marley song so maybe that makes me a bit biased, but no one can argue that Bob Marley is a true icon and ambassador of peace for the entire world. Best for vacations- (specifically Jamaica), the pool, or on the weekends.

1. The Black Panther Album (Inspired By), Kendrick Lamar, SZA, The Weeknd, and more – 53285814Black Panther is the most iconic movie of the 21st century- I’m ready to fight anyone on this. Kendrick Lamar and SZA’s “All The Stars” is by far the best track- one to listen to at any point in the summer. Jam out to it with the sun roof open, at a party, barbecues, or just hanging out with friends. You can’t be disappointed.

10 Years: 10 Changes at Rockwell

by Kaylee Birnbaum

Rockwell turned 10 this year. Here are 10 changes to Rockwell in the 10 years it’s been open.

IMG_0026

Original plans for Rockwell when it opened in 2008.

1. Appearance. A big and probably most obvious change to Rockwell is its appearance. The brick in the commons didn’t used to be painted blue, it used to be plain brown brick. There’s been a few changes to the gym as well. The wood floor used to be a darker wood and the words “posse” and “outlaws” above the bleachers weren’t there. The most recent change to Rockwell’s appearance are the images and quotes on the ceilings in the hallway.

2. Uniforms. Boys and girls both were required to wear khaki pants and any color button up polo of their choice. The dress code was actually picked by the students themselves nine years ago. Mr. Beck did it this way so that if the students were to complain about uniforms, it would fall back on them. The idea behind uniforms is that we are a Charter school and we had a certain image to keep.

13315617_10154099400176368_1098101864439835510_n.jpg

Four of Rockwell’s teachers who have been here since it’s opening in 2008: Mr. Hull, Candice, Ms. Holt, and Mr. Young.

“I didn’t really like the whole uniform thing,” said Andy Young, a current teacher at Rockwell who has been teaching at Rockwell since its opening. “I don’t believe a uniform makes you smarter.”

 

The uniforms only lasted for, roughly, the first two years of opening.

3. Sports. Rockwell’s sports weren’t always a part of the UHSAA (Utah High School Activities Association). In its first year, Rockwell sports were not part of this association. In its second year, though, the drill team was the first to compete in the UHSAA. Rockwell won the state basketball title that year.

4. Clubs. Rockwell used to have some really unique clubs. There was a D&D club, a chess club, a snowboarding club, and even golf.

“We have really become a more unified school,” said Rockwell teacher Amy Holt, who has been teaching at Rockwell since its opening. “I think that’s because of all the sports, clubs, and programs we have had through the years.”

5. Cheerleaders. Even though Rockwell has never had a football team, we did have cheerleaders at one point. They cheered for the boys and girls basketball teams and also at the volleyball games. It was a fun way to bring school spirit and energy to our sports games. Due to drama with the girls, Rockwell decided to discontinue the cheer team.

IMG_9003

Rockwell Girls Varsity Basketball team 2013-2014.

6. Enrollment. There were more students enrolled here at Rockwell the first year of opening than ever before. There were roughly 600-630 students the first year with up to 30 students in some classrooms. The average amount of students is 530; we currently have 503 enrolled. Once Westlake opened in 2009, we lost about 200 kids.

7. Cafeteria. The cafeteria used to be called “the outpost.” People claim it was more like a store rather than a cafeteria. They had food and snacks that you could buy and the food was catered for a little while.

8. Teachers. Just like any other school, we’ve gained some and lost some. We’ve had a lot of teachers come and go in the last 10 years.

IMG_5418.JPG

Mr. Young in Rockwell’s early years.

“Charter schools are difficult,” said Holt, “especially if you are a first year teacher.”

Mr. Beck has done a great job in unifying our school.

“I think the main thing is teaching, and Rockwell can be more challenging than most,” he said. “I give teachers a hard time because I feel that they need to have all their crap together.”

9. Student Involvement. Students are getting more involved. That’s an important part in becoming a school is to be involved and aware of all that’s going on around. Being involved is also a good way to be able to be social.

10. Change. The last and biggest and change of Rockwell is that it will always be changing. There are things that can always be improved in ours and every other school. It’s about figuring out what works and what doesn’t.

“Every year seems to bring new challenges with incoming generations,” said Candice, one of Rockwell’s administrators. “We’re excited to see what the future has in store.”

Changes at our school have been positive thanks to the administration, faculty, and all the students who have gone here. Happy 10th birthday Rockwell.

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