1e16e701-3af7-435c-a92a-ffaf6b70eb4a-The Comet - November 2010

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					  THE COMET
      W E S T C H E S T E R
Volume 61, Issue 2
                                           H I G H         S C H O O L ’ S                      F I N E S T
                                                                                                                          N E W S           S O U R C E
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Fall 2010
Viewpoint:                                                                                                                                                                 Title I funds
Westchester                                                                                                                                                                provide
Charter School?                                                                                                                                                            financial
Can the local public
school compete with a                                                                                                                                                      Jorge Gallego
community charter                                                                                                                                                          coordinates the
school?                                                                                                                                                                    schoolwide program.
by Taylor Moore                                                                                                                                                            by Arianna Nesbeth
Editor In Chief                                                                                                                                                            Contributing Writer

         Could the public                                                                                                                                                          So, what does it mean
school known as Westchester                                                                                                                                                when people say Westchester
High School be coming to an                                                                                                                                                High School is a Title I school?
end? Could it be replaced by                                                                                                                                               According to the Department
the new Westchester Second-                                                                                                                                                of Education, Title I is “a fed-
ary Charter School?                                                                                                                              Photo credit: Drew Love
                                                                                                                                                                           eral program that provides fi-
         Headed      by Ann                             Coach Seka Edwards congratulates the team on their win.                                                            nancial assistance to schools
Wexler, several local commu-                                                                                                                                               with high percentages of poor
nity members of the Westch-
ester neighborhood have
                                    Westchester HS celebrates Homecoming                                                                                                   children to help ensure that all
                                                                                                                                                                           (Continued on Page 4)
gotten together and created a       Game: Comets defeat Dolphins, 21-7, and head to playoffs.
proposal for a new charter          Dance: Kalin Scott-Wright and Lonzorod Record crowned King and Ty
school called Westchester Sec-      Coleman crowned Queen.                                                                                                                 Volunteers
ondary Charter School. The
proposal was sent to LAUSD
on November 1. They are aim-
                                    by Khayla Bowen
                                    Managing Editor
                                                                                 where several female candi-
                                                                                 dates for the Homecoming
                                                                                                                              ents, and a lot of alumni gath-
                                                                                                                              ered to cheer on the Comets in
                                                                                                                                                                           help parking
ing to have the new charter
school approved and open for                 Homecoming Week
                                                                                 Court stood in containers of
                                                                                 ice. The intent wasn’t clear
                                                                                                                              its quest for a win and to be el-
                                                                                                                              igible for the playoffs. Alumni
                                                                                                                                                                           lot traffic
Fall 2011.
         This proposal was cre-
                                    has come and gone, but the
                                    Comets did not disappoint in
                                                                                 since all of the contestants
                                                                                 managed to keep their feet in
                                                                                                                              members of the Cheer squad
                                                                                                                              and Drill team also returned to              flow
ated because many of the peo-       proudly showing its school                   the ice for the entire lunch pe-             dance along with their current
                                                                                                                                                                           Kevin Anderson makes
ple involved see no progress at     spirit. The usual flyers telling             riod. The last one featured                  student counterparts to support
Westchester HS from its en-         students “Vote for Me!” for the              several lively performances                  the football players.                        sure students get
rollment to test scores. To         various Homecoming Court                     from the Cheer and Drill teams                        The halftime show had               through the lot safely.
them, it seems as if everything     positions plastered the hallway              as well as an introduction of                a lot of fanfare. Leadership
is getting worse, that there is     walls and building doors,                    the Varsity Football team.                   teacher Yavonka Harriston-                   by Meggan Mut
no hope for Westchester, and        telling everyone it was that                          During each pep rally,              Brown lead the procession of                 Opinion Editor
nothing within the school or its    time of the year again. A series             voting was held for the Home-                cars with the campus tractor.
student body is getting better      of traditional events happened               coming Court, but according                  Each vehicle featured mem-                             P O W O W  P a r e n t
         The plan for Westch-       throughout the week to get stu-              to event organizers from the                 bers of what would become the                Kevin Anderson and several
ester Secondary Charter             dents excited and pumped up                  Leadership class, it was diffi-              Homecoming Court. And, it                    other “Good Samaritans”
School is to re-establish an ex-    for the game and the celebra-                cult to get people to partici-               ended with a spectacular fire-               gather every morning in front
emplary high school that the        tory dance.                                  pate.                                        works show that got the atten-               of Westchester HS, suited in
community will support. Its                  There were three pep                         The week began to                   tion of the entire stadium.                  florescent orange vests, in an
purpose is to make the school       rallies during the week. The                 end with the Homecoming                               The Comets went on                  attempt to smooth the flow of
a more welcoming and safe en-       first one featured the under-                Game. It was the last football               to defeat the Dolphins, 21-7,                traffic that gathers there every
vironment for students, teach-      classmen in the ninth and tenth              game of the regular season,                  and qualified themselves for                 school morning as parents drop
ers, parents, and community         grades, while the second one                 and it pitted the Comets                     the CIF Football Playoffs.                   off their children and faculty
members.                            featured the juniors and sen-                against the Palisades HS Dol-                “Let’s go! Need I say more? I                and staff come to work. Why
         Another goal is to         iors. The second one also fea-               phins. The stands were filled                am full of fish tonight. Good                are these brave adults essentia-
         (Continued on Page 4)      tured an endurance test of sorts             to capacity as students, par-                         (Continued on Page 7)                        (Continued on Page 6)

View this issue in full-color via
our website and by email at

Op/Ed                       2-3                    Photo credit: Robert Rojas                       Photo credit: Drew Love                 Photo credit:                   Photo credit: Robert Rojas
News & Features             4-7     OP/ED                                        NEWS & FEATURES                              ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT                         SPORTS
Arts & Entertainment        8-9     TOO ILLITERATE TO FUNCTION?                  60 DAYS LATER...                             THE BOY WHO READ                             THE DRILL TEAM
Sports                      10-11   Is the school newspaper necessary?           Principal Carr fits right in with us.        A reflection on the Harry Potter series      Who are those red pants hotties?
Miscellaneous               12
                                                                   Page 2                                         Page 5                                       Page 8                                    Page 11
Fall 2010                                                                                                                                                                    
Page 2                                                              Opinion    
                                                   Illiteracy: An Undeniable Trend Among Our Generation
                                                   by Meggan Mut                                the most. Their lives weren’t             kind of sad. They struggled               do with students with the un-
                                                   Opinion Editor                               about literature, writers, and            with reading at a high school             willingness to learn?
                                                                                                books like mine, but rather               level, and most continue to do                     But assuming things
                                                            Remember elementary                 about being cool. I soon found            so. So, hate developed, hate              about these illiterate teenagers
                                                   school when our favorite                     out that being cool meant not             for literature, hate for writers,         is not fair. Intelligence isn’t
                                                   teacher gathered us around and               liking literature. All the cute           and all forms of text.                    necessarily lacking because
                                                   explained to us the essence of               boys were bad, and none of                         And now, here I am               they aren’t able to read or write
                                                   words and the importance of                  them liked to read. That was              writing an editorial about illit-         at a college level. Many of the
  So, what do                                      literature? Remember those
                                                   fun and exciting trips to the li-
                                                                                                the new wave that started our
                                                                                                illiteracy among high school
                                                                                                                                          erate Westchester students in
                                                                                                                                          our high school newspaper, yet
                                                                                                                                                                                    students are brilliant, but have
                                                                                                                                                                                    never taken the opportunity to
  you think?                                       brary and how excited we were
                                                   to run up to the shelves and
                                                                                                                                                                                    advance. But, why waste tal-
                                                                                                                                                                                    ent? As human beings we have
                                                   pick out our favorite book?                                                            “And now, here I am                       an obligation to ourselves. We
                                                   Reading was the grandest thing                                                                                                   should be willing to better our-
                                                   to us; we couldn’t wait to go
                                                                                                                                            writing an editorial                    selves daily especially in re-
  Discuss our                                      home and read two lines of a                                                               about illiterate                      gards to our own individual
                                                   page to our parents. It was a                                                          Westchester students                      intellect. I mean, success
  stories and                                      warm new sense of independ-
                                                   ence. We didn’t need some-                                                               in our high school
                                                                                                                                                                                    means to strive and, regardless
                                                                                                                                                                                    of the struggle, we owe it to
  share your                                       one to tell us what signs meant;
                                                   we could just read them our-
                                                                                                                                           newspaper, yet can I                     ourselves to do just that.
                                                                                                                                                                                             There’s a point where
                                                                                                                                          expect anyone to read
  comments                                         selves. We loved it as a child;
                                                   we were always the first to                                                                      it?”
                                                                                                                                                                                    we wake up one morning and
                                                                                                                                                                                    we view our world differently.

    on our                                         raise our hand volunteering
                                                   ourselves to read, scribbling
                                                                                                                Photo credit: Drew Love
                                                                                                                                                                                    It’s not all sunshine and rain-
                                                                                                                                                                                    bows; we see it for what it re-

    website                                        our name on every paper.
                                                            But then something
                                                                                                students. The culprit was
                                                                                                image and idiot immaturity.
                                                                                                                                          can I even expect anyone to
                                                                                                                                          read it? Doesn’t sound so log-
                                                                                                                                                                                    ally is. Our life and our future
                                                                                                                                                                                    is balanced between a scale of
                                                   happened. We got older, we                   Intelligence is only attractive           ical, does it? So, why am I               cause and effect. What we do
                                                   got homework, and reading                    to us when we’re older.                   writing this? Am I wasting my             now determines what we are in                                   was for squares. Reading was                          When we are young,               time?                                     the end. We progress individ-
                                                   a new discovery, a thrill, and               the bad, cute ones are cool.                       Is The Comet just a              ually. But, if we don’t fuel our
                                                   then became old, run-down,                   And so, there was the mold we             front, so the community can               mind, what is it that we are
                                                   and tired. We only ever read                 set for ourselves, and that’s             think we are intellectuals and            making ourselves become? Il-
                                                   because we were assigned to                  what everyone tried to be. In             that we actually care about our           literacy and the inability to ar-
                                                   do so. How did all this hap-                 middle school there were no               school? If I’m not writing this           ticulate is setting our
                                                   pen?                                         fails. We all passed through              story for the students because            generation up for failure.
                                                            Through         middle              our years whether we knew the             they can’t or refuse to read this,                 Learning has become
                                                   school, it was obvious to me                 material or not. So, when high            why is my position the Opin-              mandatory, not voluntary. This
                                                   that my fellow classmates                    school came, those “cool” non-            ion Editor of The Comet? Why              is what our generation needs to
                                                   hated one of the things I loved              readers were not so cool, but             am I still typing? What can we            own itself up to.

                                                                                                A Letter from the Editor in Chief
      W E S T C H E S T E R

                              H I G H   S C H O O L ’ S   F I N E S T   N E W S

                                                              EDITOR IN CHIEF
                                                                                  S O U R C E
                                                                                                by Taylor Moore
                                                                                                Editor in Chief
                                                                                                                                          able to experience it the way I
                                                                                                                                          did, if not better.
                                                                                                                                                   I am a leader for this
                                                                                                                                                                                    many things to be a part of, and
                                                                                                                                                                                    I would love if the students
                                                                                                                                                                                    knew more about each ex-
                                                                                                          I am happy to intro-            paper and in this school, and I           tracurricular activity so that
The Comet is a student-run                                       Taylor Moore                   duce myself as Taylor Moore,              am proud to help lead it in a             they are more involved be-
newspaper that is published quar-               
                                                                                                the 2010-2011 Editor in Chief             new direction. I want the Edi-            cause all of our students should
terly for the Westchester High
                                                           MANAGING EDITOR                      of The Comet, Westchester-                torial and Writing Staff to take          be active in something they
School community.
                                                             Khayla Bowen                       High School’s Finest News                 The Comet to a higher level               enjoy doing.
EDITORIAL POLICY                                                      Source. I am so happy to fi-              and to get all of our writers                      So far, this group of
The Comet accepts unsolicited let-                                                              nally have this position. I have
ters from students, faculty, staff,                  NEWS & FEATURES EDITOR                     been involved with the school
and alumni as well as press re-                           Cassey Norwood                        newspaper since my sopho-
leases from on-campus and off-                                                                  more year, which was my first                                                        “I want the Editorial
campus organizations, but cannot                                                                year here at Westchester.
guarantee publication. The Comet                            OPINION EDITOR
                                                                                                Being the head of the Editorial
                                                                                                                                                                                     and Writing Staff to
                                                               Meggan Mut
reserves the right to edit or reject
                                                                   Staff has always been a goal of                                                      take The Comet to a
all submissions, including articles,
editorials, or other contributions it
                                                                                                mine that I wanted to make                                                            higher level and to
                                                                A&E EDITOR                      sure I accomplished.
deems objectionable.
                                                               Obaid Yousfuzai                            Writing has always
                                                                                                                                                                                     get all of our writers
The views expressed in the Opin-
                                                              been an interest of mine since                                                       more involved in the
ion section do not reflect the
                                                              SPORTS EDITOR
                                                                                                I was a little girl. And, Jour-                                                          newspaper.”
views of The Comet, Westchester
                                                               Anthony Okray
                                                                                                nalism became an interest of
High School, or the Los Angeles                                                                 mine when I got to Westch-
Unified School District, but are                                                                ester. I grew a love for it dur-                          Photo credit: Drew Love
solely the views of the writer. Un-                            PHOTO EDITOR                     ing my sophomore year when                more involved in the newspa-              Editors and Writers are de-
signed editorials reflect the opin-                               Drew Love                     I got the chance to interview             per, such as covering sports              pendable and responsible, and
ion of The Comet Editorial Staff.                                   and report on others for stories.         that don’t get a lot of spotlight,        I am excited to work with
CONTACT US                                                                                                I remember my first             helping clubs that need mem-              them. I am lucky that I am a
                                                            COPY EDITOR
Westchester High School                                                                         story for the paper when I had            bers, and publicizing other               part of this newspaper. I am
                                                           Ashanti Ridgeway
c/o The Comet Newspaper                                      to interview another incoming             events that happen that not too           looking forward to work with
7400 Manchester Avenue                                                                          Staff Writer. As the inter-               many students are aware of.               this staff for the remainder of
Los Angeles, California 90045                                 DESIGN EDITOR                     viewer, now having experi-                        I believe that The                the school year. I know for a
                                                                Justin Fulcher                  enced both sides of the role, I           Comet is able to make this                fact that they will accomplish
Phone: 310-338-2400 x424                                       was able to learn how to ask              change in the school if more              great stories and that we will
Fax: 310-410-1067                                                                               questions, what I needed to do            students took interest in it. It          all be successful. I  hope that,
Email:                           BUSINESS MANAGER                        and what not to do, and what it           would be great to let the stu-            each year, this newspaper pro-
                                                          Rodney Witherspoon
                                                                                                felt like to be on the other side.        dents know what is going on in            gresses, and that it gets better
Facebook: TheCometNews                                                                                    Seeing my name in               the school and to help them get           for every generation.
Twitter: TheCometNews                                       FACULTY ADVISOR                     print made me feel like I ac-             involved in what they want to
                                                                Robert Rojas                    complished something, and I               do.                                       Taylor Moore is a Senior.
                                                                     hope that this year’s staff is                    Our school has so                                                                                                                                                                  Fall 2010                                                               Opinion                                                                                        Page 3
Rainbows and Religion                                                                                              Courageous Conversations
by Taraysha Pitts                  discrimination from family                  it. They’ll feel that the world
Staff Writer                       members and peers.                          is against them, that they have     Regarding School Reform
                                            We need to stop turn-              no purpose, and, without one,       by Crissina Johnson                         and pillar of autonomy for
         I’m a homosexual,         ing a blind eye to this problem.            what’s the point of living?         Parent Contributor                          Westchester schools resigned.
African-American girl, grow-       Studies show that gays account                      When I saw the disap-                                                   Finally Drew Furedi, LMU
ing up in a Christian home.        for a third of teen suicides.               pointing look in my mother’s                 In May 2007, I                     network partner Executive Di-
When I came out to my family       Which means they are 300%                   eyes or see acts of such hatred     founded a parent organization               rector, resigned from LMU to
and some of my friends, many       more likely to commit suicide               from organizations such as the      for the purpose of increasing               work for LAUSD and Amy
questioned my religious views      than heterosexuals. So, al-                 Westboro Baptist Church, I          parent involvement and im-                  Orringer, LAUSD”s IDesign
and if I thought I would go to     though many feel they are jus               recognize how easy it is to cast    proving student outcomes on                 liaison and Ramon Del Cuerto
heaven. This question roamed                                                                                       the campuses of Westchester                 left due to district cut backs.
around my head everyday                                                                                            High and Orville Wright Mid-                The last bastion of this reform
since then and I’ve finally                                                                                        dle School. Within 30 days of               effort, Mr. Stephen Rochelle,
come to a conclusion: Yes!                                                                                         starting, our fledgling organi-             was “displaced,” and the
         The Christian religion                                                “Many people believe                zation was thrust into the tide             IDesign Office of Learning
teaches God’s love for his chil-                                                                                   of “autonomy.” Autonomy                     and Leadership dissolved.
dren and, although the homo-                                                    that all homosexuals               swiftly became the “catch-all”                       So much for the 5 year
sexual         lifestyle      is                                               will be condemned to                phrase representing the discon-             commitment to our schools,
disappointing to Him (based                                                       Hell... This is my               tentment of parents and com-                students and families; so much
on Leviticus 18:22 - “Do not                                                                                       munity members of the                       for “autonomy”; so much for
lie with a man as one lies with                                                       opinion.”                    Westchester Family of Schools               the countless man hours of non
a woman; that is detestable.”),                                                                                    with LAUSD and their failure                educators rallying around their
I do believe he’ll let me into                                                                                     to support our poorly achiev-               schools with renewed hope and
the Kingdom, along with other                                                                                      ing middle and high school and              vigor. The rug had been pulled
                                                    Photo credit: Drew Love
liars and cheaters, considering                                                                                    provide an atmosphere where                 from under us, and our schools
we’re all sinners.                 t voicing their opinion, speak-             judgment when you have no           students could receive a qual-              were not, are not the better for
         Many people believe       ing down on a gay teen’s                    emotional attachment to the         ity education.                              it. So, what does this commu-
2010 has been a very accepting     lifestyle is damaging them                  situation.                                   In response to the                 nity of parents, teachers, stu-
year for homosexuals. I held       mentally and emotionally, and                        Being romantically in-     community’s vow to “go char-                dents and neighbors do? Stand
this opinion for a great deal of   it can eventually become fatal.             volved with someone of the          ter” if certain demands were                idly by and continue to entrust
time before I recently became                Being judged hurts.               same sex is not a choice or a
aware of the “Homosexual           Not because we’re overly sen-               form of sexual satisfaction.
Suicide epidemic.”        Many     sitive, but because it’s nothing            It’s something that exists in
young gay people have killed
themselves, including Tyler
                                   we can change. If you get
                                   made fun of for your shoes, all
                                                                               your heart. No matter how
                                                                               many people try to frighten us
                                                                                                                                                                “Status Quo has
Clementi, a college student        you have to do is stop wearing              out of our sexual orientation                                                   failed us, all of us
who jumped off a bridge after      them or go exchange them for                using religion, we still aren’t
being publicly humiliated on       a better pair. You can’t ex-                able to get rid of something                                                     and the time has
the Internet after his roommate    change your heart.                          that lives within us. No sin is                                                  come to make a
broadcasted him engaging in                  So no matter how                  greater than another; Just as
sexual acts with his lover. This   tough someone’s skin is, if you             God loves heterosexuals, he                                                          change.”
was an extreme display of          put it in their head that they are          loves us too.
overdue exasperation and           worthless and that “God hates
many of it is because of the       Gays,” they’ll begin to believe             Taraysha Pitts is a Senior.                    Photo credit: Crissina Johnson

The single life isn’t always the simple life                                                                       not met, LAUSD developed
                                                                                                                   the IDivision or IDesign
                                                                                                                                                               the fate of our failing schools
                                                                                                                                                               in the hands of a rapidly de-
by Jessica Blackwood                        The thing that I have              don’t have anything planned I       Schools which promised to                   clining, unreliable, unrespon-
Alumna Contributor                 learned, being in a relation-               can always hang out with him.       grant our schools with trans-               sive school district?
                                   ship, is that I wouldn’t have it            It’s a comforting thing to know     parency, joint decision making                       No. Not this time.
          We started going out     any other way. Sure the inde-               that I have someone there for       amongst all stakeholder                     Not our parents and stakehold-
the first day of my freshman       pendence is great and going                 me, to tell things to and talk to   groups, district and administra-            ers. We have worked too hard.
year. It has been a little over    out to party with your friends              and who will make me feel           tive accountability, power over             We know too much and have
two years since that day.          sounds fun but I would rather               better when I’m feeling down.       our own budgets, facilities,                come too close to turning our
          College is usually the   just stay home eating popcorn                        Whether you’re single      curriculum, bell schedule and               schools around for us to apa-
best years of our lives, you                                                                                       staffing or a “charter-like”                thetically stand by and do
meet people, you make mis-                                                                                         structure. Over the next year,              nothing. This is a new day in
takes and you learn from them.                                                                                     a myriad of Town Hall Meet-                 education. Communities and
It’s the time where you grow as                                                                                    ings, group sessions, conversa-             parents have been empowered
a person, and learn what you                                                                                       tions, mobilization, planning,              to effect change, good change,
want in life. It’s our chance to
                                                                                  “It’s a comforting               visioning, designing and vot-               and positive change on behalf
be independent and free.                                                        thing to know that I               ing would take place. Many                  of the students who attend their
          Going back to August                                                  have someone there                 were hopeful that the district              schools. Long gone are the
21st 2008, if I would have cho-                                                                                    would follow through with this              days of limited educational
sen single life versus being in
                                                                                 for me... when I’m                new innovative alternative to               choices and communities and
a relationship, my life would                                                      feeling down.”                  charter, but far more were                  parents alike are keenly aware.
be very different.                                                                                                 skeptical and proceeded with                Families have choices, com-
          If I would have chosen                                                                                   great caution.                              munities are unapologetically
the other pathway I would                                                                                                   Less than six months               taking matters into their own
have meet a lot more people,                 Photo credit: Jessica Blackwood                                       into this new system, this inno-            hands and new legislation
people who may have become         and watching movies with                    or in a relationship, it doesn’t    vative, autonomous structure                [Parent Trigger] has opened
my close friends. Partying         him. I have someone that will               matter just as long as you’re       began to unravel. The Execu-                the door and is paving the way
would have been a thing to do      help me, inspire me, tell me the            enjoying what you do.               tive Director and driving force             by empowering parents to re-
and I would have felt obligated    truth even if it hurts or tell me                    I’m sure I could have      behind IDesign, Kathi Lit-                  form the schools that have his-
to go out instead of staying       when I’m wrong and most of                  met a lot of cool people and        mann, was terminated as was                 torically underserved and
home all alone. I would have       all someone that loves me.                  experienced different things        Superintendent David Brewer                 failed their students!
learned to be independent and               He has influenced me               being single but then I             who had thrown his full sup-                         Such is the case in
to rely on myself for things in-   in so many good ways to be a                wouldn’t be who I am now and        port behind the concept prom-               Westchester. Weary of the
stead of others. The friends       better person and to get in-                I wouldn’t have the best friend     ising that the district would be            rhetoric, political posturing,
that I did make would have         volved and from that I have                 I have now, my boyfriend.           fully supportive and commit-                collective bargaining agree-
been the people I spent the        gotten to meet so many people.                                                  ted to this reform effort for no            ments and district policies
most time with and I would         I don’t have to worry about                 Jessica Blackwood, Westch-          less than 5 years. School                   which have only served to do
have probably made mistakes,       what my plans are for the                   ester HS Class of 2008, is a        Board member, Marlene Can-                  students a grave disservice,
lots of them.                      weekend because even if I                   Junior at CSU Monterey Bay.         ter, another huge proponent                         (Continued on Page 12)
Fall 2010                                                                                                                                 
Page 4                                                                News & Features                                               
Title I funds The first two months of school...

              Photo credit: Robert Rojas
        Jorge Gallego

(Continued from Page 1)

children meet challenging state
academic standards.” It might
sound bad, but the benefit is                                                                                                                 Photo credit: Drew Love, Taylor Moore, and Robert Rojas

government funding that the
district itself has been unable
to provide to Westchester HS.                    View our photo galleries at
         The school’s Title I
program is coordinated by for-
mer Foreign Language teacher
Jorge Gallego. He is responsi-             Viewpoint: Westchester Secondary Charter High School?
ble for making sure that the
school maintains its Title I sta-          (Continued from Page 1)
tus and that it uses such funds
to benefit as many of Westch-              make the school more student
ester’s students as possible.              and teacher-friendly by having
         Free monthly lunch                “smaller class sizes” and
tickets and fee waivers on AP              “longer passing periods.” That
exams, ACT and SAT tests,                  gives students and teachers
and college applications are               more opportunities to build ac-
the immediate benefit of being             ademic relationships. It im-
a Title I school. For example,             plies that test performance and
AP exam fees are regularly $87             scores will be higher as well.
per exam. With a fee waiver,                         The plan is to have a
the fee is reduced to only $5.             more diverse and high-achiev-
That is good news for qualify-             ing group of students with
ing students who have several              more of a rigorous curriculum
AP classes and need to take                to help them meet the demands
exams for those classes. With-             of college. The plan is also to
out it, the cost may be cost-              improve and restore programs
prohibitive for college-bound              that have been canceled in the
                                                                                                                                                                           Photo credit: Robert Rojas
students.                                  public school due to budget                                Westchester HS: Home of the Charter Schools?
         In the beginning of the           cuts.
school year, students were pro-                      The plan states that it   Westchester High School has        that this school really is a per-    enroll in their schools.
vided lunch applications and               wants to establish a campus         to prove itself to the commu-      fect fit for me. I love chal-                 Westchester        High
were constantly encouraged                 that is a safe and welcoming        nity that there are good things    lenges, and I do my best work        School is not the only school
and reminded by Gallego and                environment for students, fac-      happening and that it is im-       when I’m under pressure,”            potentially affected by Westch-
other teachers to turn them in.            ulty, and staff, and parents.       proving in all of its weakest      Carr said.                           ester Charter Secondary
According to Title I rules, as             The plan also states that it        areas.                                       Carr also said, “Being     School. Orville Wright Middle
long as 40% or more of a                   wants “to manage our school                  Carr also said, “We       a competitor is a part of my         School is affected, too. The
school’s student body qualifies            as efficiently as possible, thus    have many incredible teachers,     personality. When I realize          new charter school plans on
for free or reduced lunch, the             restoring the confidence of po-     countless academic opportuni-      that there are people who            opening with Grades 6 through
school itself qualifies for Title          tential community partners          ties, championship athletic        would like to see our school         9 at the start and then add-on
I status and the funds that                who can provide additional re-      programs, and a huge variety       fail, it brings out my competi-      an additional grade level each
come along with it. Westch-                sources.”                           of extra-curricular activities.”   tive instincts. I don’t like to      following year until it reaches
ester passed that figure, ensur-                     The idea of a new         Carr has been trying to tell the   lose, especially when I’m            Grade 12.
ing its Title I status.                    community charter school is         community that Westchester         fighting on behalf of some-                   A community charter
         Title I has already paid          not new. The Westchester            High is capable of becoming        thing as meaningful as Westch-       school may put the jobs of
for various materials at                   community has been planning         and being the best if everyone     ester High School.”                  teachers at both schools in
Westchester HS, including                  to take action on this issue for    would just be willing to work                Carr is passionate         jeopardy since some may be
technology. Last year, a com-              several years.                      together and get to that point.    about fighting for Westchester.      displaced or laid-off with de-
puter cart with several dozen                        Westchester       High             There are some people     He believes that “every person       clining enrollment.
PC laptops and two Smart                   School Principal Robert             that believe that Westchester      deserves the opportunity to at-               Many teachers like
Boards were bought with such               Canosa-Carr believes that           High is capable of improving,      tend a high-performing public        Social Studies teacher Andrew
funds. They have been placed               Westchester High can and will       yet there are other people that    high school and to receive a         Kamm are concerned about the
and used in various classrooms             fight it. In an email interview,    have no faith in any potential     college-preparatory educa-           people as in the students, fac-
to give students access to better          he said, “The best way for us to    success. But, even with all of     tion.”                               ulty, staff, and parents, not the
instruction.                               respond to this charter proposal    these issues that he is dealing              Charter schools do not     change itself. He says, “My
                                           is to get the word out about all    with, Carr still believes that     give its student body that op-       honest belief is that the system
With contributions by Robert               of the great things that are hap-   this job was meant for him.        portunity; they get to pick and      and structure are not as
Rojas.                                     pening at our school.” So,                   “What I’ve realized is    choose who and who does not                  (Continued on Page 12)                                                                                                                                                             Fall 2010                                         News & Features                                                                                                 Page 5
Upward Bound helps Comets go to college                                                                                Q & A with Fred Page
by Cassey Norwood                                                                                                      by Khayla Bowen
News & Features Editor                                                                                                 Managing Editor

         In high school, it is al-                                                                                             This article was originally supposed to be an interview
ways important to identify the                                                                                         with the new Spanish teacher Maria Dillon. But, she said, “No.”
people and programs that can                                                                                           So, I looked for somebody else that was willing to talk to me,
help get you into the college,                                                                                         and I found the always friendly and welcoming teacher Fred
university, or vocational school                                                                                       Page. This year, he is the new AVID Elective teacher for the
of your choice. And, in some                                                                                           Tenth Grade AVID group. He graciously accepted the chance to
high schools, it is especially                                                                                         sit down and talk about what it’s like to teach AVID.
hard to stay informed on who
or what can help you.                                                                                                  Q. So you’re the new AVID teacher. Do you like the change?
         There are the obvious                                                                                         A. “Yes, very much so.”
programs to join such as the
sport teams or student govern-                                                                                         Q. I know that you care about all of your students. I know that
ment even your local leader-                                                                                           you’re a very personal and straightforward teacher. Is there any
ship chapter. Even though                                                                                              difference between regular students and AVID students? If so,
these programs seem the most                                                                                           what is it?
ideal programs to join, they                                                                                           A. “Yes, there’s a difference. I won’t say brighter, but more fo-
may not suit everyone.                                                                                                 cused on their education. I consider them a family. Though they
                                                                                           Photo credit: Drew Love
         Some people may                     Upward Bound meets in the College Center.                                 are very talkative, there are more positives than negatives.”
want to join clubs that fit their
personal interest. Groups like       funded organization of pro-        prepare for higher education                   Q. Were you chosen to teach this class or did you request it?
Key club for those who want to       grams that are committed to        such as college. The students                  A. “No, I did not request it. I graciously accepted the offer. I do
give back to their community,        providing educational opportu-     receive instruction in litera-                 have a teaching credential that allows to me teach in many dif-
or Theater Production for those      nity for all young teen regard-    ture, mathematics, and science                 ferent subjects.”
who want to pursue into the          less of race, ethic background,    on college campuses after
entertainment industry, and          or financial problems. It was      school, on Saturdays, and dur-                 Q. So, you’re very valuable to Westchester HS. Do you ever feel
even Def Poetry club for peo-        originally created by Congress     ing summer vacation.                           like you’re being taken advantage of?
ple who enjoy writing angry          to serve students with low-in-              The most familiar Up-                 A. “I’m blessed to have a job in this day of age. I love Westch-
poems.                               come families and whose par-       ward Bound program to                          ester; I’m very loyal. I came here after my business ventures and
         For the kids that are       ents never graduated from          LAUSD is Upward Bound                          years of substituting. Westchester made a home for me; I will
trying to be college bound           college. A lot of Trio programs    Classic. The Class division fo-                be here until I retire.”
should pay a visit to their col-     often benefit from a “host”        cuses on things like tutoring,
lege office. There are a lot of      such as colleges, universities,    finical aid, and has a job place-              Q. Based on your two months of experience with the class, would
helpful pamphlets and flyers         and community colleges.            ment center. If one was truly                  you like to continue being an AVID teacher or just do it temporar-
for programs with a variety of                One of Trio’s many        college-bound, Upward Bound                    ily... because we all know Westchester HS is notorious for the
opportunities.       The most        programs that is most popular      is a program that dedicates all                temporary and not what’s permanent?
widely known being Trio.             is Upward Bound. Upward            of its resources to their stu-                 A. “I would love to stay an AVID teacher. I think it’s a great
Trio is a nationwide, federally-     Bound helps young students to      dents.                                         thing, the AVID program. It should be implemented throughout
                                                                                                                       the entire school, instead of just two or three specific classes.
Need help filling out college applications?                                                                            There are schools entirely AVID; Westchester could benefit from
                                                                                                                       it very much.”
by Khayla Bowen
Managing Editor                                                                                                        As we all know, the surrounding Westchester community has
                                                                                                                       very bad impressions of our school. Whether it is because of our
          CSU/UC applications                                                                                          inability to keep a principal or our ability to maintain low aca-
are due Tuesday, November 30                                                                                           demic achievement, the community isn’t in favor of us. So, I ask
for all Seniors who want to                                                                                            Mr. Page:
apply to campuses such as
UCLA, UCSB, CSULB, and                                                                                                 Q. Do you think AVID can improve Westchester HS and the com-
CSUN. Before you apply                                                                                                 munity’s outlook on us?
make sure you’ve researched                                                                                            A. “AVID will be a definite help, big time help. We need to do
all of the information concern-                                                                                        something.”
ing your GPAs, A-G require-
ments, and SAT and ACT                                                                                                 Mr. Page praises Principal Carr for the work that he is doing.
          Waiting until the last                                                                                       A. “I like Principal Carr... He’s got an open door policy. He’s
minute isn’t smart, but getting                                                                                        accessible, easy to talk to – When you go to his office, no matter
everything taken care of in a                                                                                          if he’s busy, he always stops what he’s doing to address you, and
timely fashion is. Think of it                                                                                         when he says he’s going to do something, he does it.”
as syncing yourself out of a fu-
                                                                            Photo credit:
ture. Be diligent and responsi-                   Are you applying to a UC school?                                     I’m sure that Mr. Page is one of the best people to listen to when
ble. Applying for college is the                                                                                       it comes to who’s best for leading Westchester HS since he him-
first step to expanding the pos-     throughout your high school        Robert Rojas, “I like to write                 self has been here for at least fifteen years. Well, I had a suc-
sibility of a bright future. Visit   career. Hopefully, they will       about a memory that I have of                  cessful interview, frankly my first. Thanks, Mr. Page. or Westch-             write their positive views of      the student from class.”
ester HS’ College Center to          you.                                        Social Studies teacher
learn all you need to accom-                  These letters are extra   Andrew Kamm says, “I write
plish almost every high school       proof of your character and        what I think they -- the school
student’s main goal: College.        work ethic, and they will give     -- want to hear, like the stu-
          Where do you go for a      universities more to look at       dent’s leadership abilities, de-
college recommendation let-          and learn about you. Accord-       sire for success, ability to
ter? Well, first of all, they are    ing to, a col-       complete work, and additional
only required for those apply-       lege recommendation letter is      responsibilities like having a
ing to UC schools and private        a tool you can leverage to         job or taking care of a sibling.”
colleges.                            make your college application               During the admissions
          This is the part of the    more powerful.                     process it’s hard to standout
college entrance process that’s               It takes more than a      and be noticed by colleges.
fun if you think about it. You       great personal statement and       The recommendation letters
get to visit your favorite teach-    extra-curricular activities.       add a personal element to a
ers, coaches, counselors, and                 Teachers base their       regular application and make
school administrators that           letters on differing things. Ac-   ink on paper say more about
you’ve gotten to know                cording to English teacher         you.                                                                                             Photo credit: Drew Love
Fall 2010                                                                                                                               
Page 6                                                        News & Features                                                     
Principal Robert Canosa-Carr: Two months in...
by Rodney Witherspoon                                                                                                                                 for the offense.
Business Manager                                                                                                                                                “I’m trying to figure
                                                                                                                                                      out how to move all of the
         “My job is to give you                                                                                                                       teachers and students up to the
the best education you can pos-                                                                                                                       next level, from 75% to 95%,”
sibly get,” Principal Robert                                                                                                                          he said.
Canosa-Carr vowed to the stu-                                                                                                                                   There is a great mis-
dents at Westchester High                                                                                                                             conception that there is mini-
School over two months ago.                                                                                                                           mal communication between
Today, his goal is still intact.                                                                                                                      Westchester and the on campus
         “I love the students                                                                                                                         Lou Dantzler Preparatory.
here. They’re the ones that                                                                                                                           Though fences are up, interac-
keep me sane,” he stated.                                                                                                                             tion is not completely disre-
“When I’m in this office, 90%                                                                                                                         garded.
of the things I have to handle                                                                                                                                  “We meet on an on
are problems… I love being                                                                                                                            going basis,” he stated in refer-
able to go out on campus to in-                                                                                                                       ence to the charter school’s ad-
teract with the students.” The                                                                                                                        ministrative team. “We’ve
interaction is evident as he                                                                                                                          been pretty collaborative so
makes it a point to be known                                                                                                                          far, but it has been a pretty dif-
                                                                                                                         Photo credit: Robert Rojas
within the student body.                  Robert Canosa-Carr addresses the student body at the Welcome Back Parade.                                   ficult situation.”
         For instance, Carr first                                                                                                                               Even with the cama-
largely blessed the student         he noted.                          stances of such drastic changes     enacted under Carr’s guidance              raderie, there is competition,
body with his presence at the                Though communica-         in the school’s economic state.     was the expansion of the Mag-              considering that many of
year’s first pep rally last Sep-    tion, which the soft-spoken                 “In a budget crunch        net program’s successful de-               Westchester’s own past stu-
tember. Showing off not only        Carr     highly     emphasizes     when things need to be cut, our     tention policy and tardy sweep             dents now attend the other
his dance skills, hilariously ex-   throughout the school, is al-      choice is to let things slip and    plan to the community school.              campus. He said, “It chal-
ecuting the perfect “Running        ways something in need of im-      become a less effective school      With the expansion, there has              lenges us to serve our students
Man,” Carr proved to be a           provement, there are other         or put in more work than we         been a significant decrease in             well, and communicate well
great tactician by taking ad-       areas in which he and the fac-     have to and go above and be-        tardiness during the last several          with our community.”
vantage of the student social       ulty must focus on, including      yond,” he stated.                   weeks.                                               On a positive note, ob-
gathering. “I just feel honored     organization.                               “The next step is                   Also new at Westch-               served numbers show that a
to be principal over students of             “Starting out organiza-   about the classroom experi-         ester is a system that utilizes            great deal of Seniors are on
this caliber.”                      tionally, we need to be more       ence,” he continues. “I think       the identification cards and an            track to graduate.
         As far as relations        efficient… Many of the things      that we have taken strides for-     electronic database to track tar-                    To this he says, “Con-
with the faculty and staff, as-     around here are done spur of       ward in changing the culture of     diness and other attendance                gratulations… and when you
similation and cooperation was      the moment, rather than            the school in general and cre-      dilemmas. For example, a stu-              move on, don’t forget about
smooth. “People are very wel-       planned ahead,” he said.           ating a more positive feel on       dent who is tardy is scanned               Westchester.” Surely, it looks
coming and receptive to my                   He applauds everyone      campus.”                            and immediately assigned a                 as if Principal Carr will be here
ideas and working with me”,         for coping under the circum-                One notable change         warning and then a detention               for a long time.

                                    Wonderful Volunteers Help Morning Traffic Disaster
                                    (Continued from Page 1)

                                    lly risking their well-being and
                                    almost getting hit by cars every
                                    morning? The answer is sim-
                                    ple. They want to keep stu-
                                    dents safe from having to
                                    dodge traffic and other obsta-
                                    cles just crossing the parking
     Visit us at                    lot.
                                              Assistant Principal                    Cynthia Hill believes the vol-
                                    unteers are helping to keep
                                    traffic at a minimum and keep
  for stories on                    students safe. She says, “Yes,
                                    if no one was out there, the
    Academic                        traffic would be worse. There
                                    would be a lot more conges-
  Jacket Night,                     tion.”
                                              On occasion, the traf-                                                                                              Photo credit: Obaid Yousufzai

   the Science                      fic blocks the intersection of           The Westchester HS Parking Lot is sometimes just as bad as the 405 freeway.
                                    Manchester and Hastings.           helpful volunteers willing to       work.”                                     our school.”
 Bowl, the CIF                      Sometimes, students who get        do their jobs, we need parents                He isn’t the only                          When asked how can
 Football Play-                     off the public bus block the in-
                                    tersection as they cross the
                                                                       willing to do theirs.”
                                                                                 In order for traffic
                                                                                                           teacher who has had problems
                                                                                                           with uncooperative parents.
                                                                                                                                                      the school completely fix the
                                                                                                                                                      morning traffic problem, Hill
 offs, and other                    street, regardless of lights and
                                    right of way.
                                                                       congestion to cease, parents
                                                                       need to be ready and willing to
                                                                                                           Several teachers have gotten
                                                                                                           honked horns and even minor
                                                                                                                                                      says, “The drop-off needs to be
                                                                                                                                                      at the Auditorium; if the drop-
   Westchester                                However, these volun-    abide by the basic rules of the     fender benders with drivers                off point was right in front of
                                    teers are doing exactly what       road.                               who insist that the parking lot            the Auditorium, then there
    HS news                         the school needs to do, to keep              English         teacher   is their own personal freeway.             would be no congestion to deal
                                    the traffic in control. They       Robert Rojas says, “It irritates              Rojas also says, “I              with.”
                                    take time out of their day to      the heck out of me that some        don’t like it when the kids get                      For a lot of students,
                                    wake up early every morning        kids get out of the car, then put   off the bus and just walk across           it’s the thought that counts. “I
                                    and direct traffic for free.       on their hoodie, then put on        the street when there’s a red              think it’s very nice of the vol-
                                              To make traffic run      their backpack, and then have       light. When I see the angry                unteers to put up with some
                                    more smoothly, Hill says, “If      a conversation with their par-      faces of community members                 people’s attitudes so I can
                                    we had more volunteers, there      ents, all while the traffic backs   driving to work and waiting for            cross the street,” says Senior
                                    would be almost no conges-         up behind them. Both parent         a bunch of kids smirking at                Shanice Watkins.
                                    tion. But, it’s mostly the lack    and child have absolutely no        them and slowly walking                              Regardless of the situ-
                                    of cooperation from the drivers    freaking consideration for the      through their light, I see why             ation, praise most definitely
                                    of the vehicles. If we have        rest of us coming to school and     the community doesn’t care for             belongs to the volunteers.                                                                                                                                                                     Fall 2010                                       News & Features                                                                                                           Page 7
Westchester HS celebrates Homecoming                                                                                                                            RIP: Bobby
(Continued from Page 1)            huh?” Much of them were set        buttoned their shirts, while the         geous, and it was nice seeing
                                   already, figuring out if they      ladies kicked off their heels            everyone dressed up.”                            Tillman
job tonight, fellas,” said Foot-   were or weren’t going to take a    since the dance floor was hot.                   The party continued
ball Captain Robert Douglas.       date, which cute sexy dress                Overall, the night was           into the night. A post-Home-
“Let’s hit that young dance        went with those perfect mask       fun. According to birthday               coming “tradition” was cele-
floor tomorrow night and do        and shoes. Facebook statuses       boy Narrion Thompson, “The               brated by many students who
that stanky leg. I’m just pop-     throughout the week included       dance was cool. Everyone was             gathered at Roscoe’s Chicken
ping,” he continued.               one from Senior Kalin Scott-       having fun and, once the clock           and Waffles for the favorite

       9th Grade
  Marquis Kavoisiea Ford                                                                                                    12th Grade                                       Photo credit:
  Marquise Elaina Walker                                                                                                                                                 1992-2010
                                                                                                                  King Kalin Scott-Wright                                Bobby Tillman went
      10th grade                                                                                                  King Lonzorod Record                          to Orville Wright Middle
   Duke Lejohm Tale                                                                                                 Queen Ty Coleman                            School and had many friends
 Duchess Monisha Griffin                                                                                                                                        who went on to attend Westch-
                                                                                                                                                                ester HS. These are some of
                                                                                                                    Prince Joshua Prince                        his friends’ words:
       11th Grade                                                                                                   Princess Denise Tillis
  Knight Manfred Mason
                                                                                                                                                                “This is one of the hardest
    Lady Hanna Haile                                                                                                                                            things of my life. My best
                                                                                                                                                                friend, my brother Bobby Till-
                                                                                     Photo credit: Drew Love                                                    man passed away. I never been
                                                   The 2010 Homecoming Court                                                                                    through nothing like this be-
        Saturday, November         Wright, “Trying to figure out      struck 12, I turned 17! Nice             after-party grub and hangout.                    fore, and I never thought my
13 was the day of the Home-        the right outfit” and another      way to start my birthday.”                        Before any fun could                    brother would be the first
coming Dance. Sponsored by         from Student Nicholas Clay-                  There were many ex-            be had, everyone who wanted                      loved one I lost. This is ex-
the Leadership class, the dance    ton, “Learning to tie a bowtie     pectations for the dance, espe-          to attend the dance had to visit                 tremely hard for me because
had the usual excitement and       is frustrating.”                   cially from Seniors. According           either the Main Office or S-4 to                 knowing what kind of person
mystery with its “Masquerade                Spacious floors and       to Senior Drew Love “The                 receive a Homecoming Dance                       Bobby was. He was harmless,
Ball”-theme with attendees         sparkling lights like wildfire     music wasn’t diverse enough              contract. Students who wanted                    wouldn’t kill a fly. Rest In
wearing sparkly masks all          set the mood to dance and so-      for me, even though I wasn’t             to attend the dance had to sign                  Peace Bobby Maurice Tillman.
around. This year’s dance was      cialize with friends and dates.    partying because I was taking            the contract, agreeing to a code                 Love you bro”—Derek Tis-
held from 8pm to midnight at       For the first hour and a half,     pictures for Journalism. I               of behavior at the dance. The                    dom, WHS Class of 2009
the California Science Center      people were standing around        would’ve liked there to be a             contract was the students’ as-
in Exposition Park.                just mingling like wallflowers.    mix of genres.”                          surance to the school that they                  “Bobby was a son, a best
        For many students, the     There was a little drama with                However, Senior Tay-           would act appropriately.                         friend, and a friend. Many of
day was spent preparing for the    the DJ being late, but after he    lor Moore said, “This year was                                                            you may not know Bobby, but
dance and getting ready for        was set-up, the dance was on.      better than last year. I had so          With contributions by Robert                     the people who have been
people to say “Oh. You fancy,      Guys took off their ties and un-   much fun. The place was gor-             Rojas.                                           blessed to be a part of his life
                                                                                                                                                                can tell you that he was an
                                                                                                                                                                awesome person just so full of
                                                                                                                                                                life. The death of Bobby Till-
                                                                                                                                                                man was one that should not
                                                                                                                                                                have happened, but when God
                                                                                                                                                                calls one must answer. Every-
                                                                                                                                                                one should see this and realize
                                                                                                                                                                violence is never the answer no
                                                                                                                                                                matter how mad you are. His
                                                                                                                                                                last moments were awful but
                                                                                                                                                                his life will remain present in
                                                                                                                                                                everyone's heart. We’ve lost
                                                                                                                                                                an Angel just his mother said.
                                                                                                                                                                Bobby, my love, we love you.
                                                                                                                                                                See you later my friend.”—
                                                                                                                                                                Dominique Jackson, WHS
                                                                                                                                                                Class of 2009

                                                                                                                                                                “Bobby Tillman was loved by
                                                                                                                                                                everyone he met. He never
                                                                                                                                                                meant any harm to anyone and,
                                                                                                                                                                if anything, always tried to
                                                                                                                                                                make friends. He was a good
                                                                                                                                                                friend and was very humorous.
                                                                                                                                                                He was involved with helping
                                                                                                                                                                the youth, and he actually had
                                                                                                                                                                something going for him. It’s
                                                                                                                                                                sad that his life was cut short
                                                                                                                                                                due to the ignorance of others.
                                                                                                                                                                His death was very tragic and
                                                                                                                                                                touched the hearts of everyone
                                                                                                                                                                who heard the story. People
                                                                                                                                                                who did not even know Bobby
                                                                                                                                                                felt the pain of his death. His
                                                                                                                                                                absence will not be forgotten.
                                                                                                                                                                The boys who did this to him
                                                                                                      Photo credit: Drew Love, Taylor Moore, and Robert Rojas
                                                                                                                                                                will get what they deserve.
                                                                                                                                                                But, God took him because he
                                                                                                                                                                was too good for us here on
  View our Homecoming photo galleries at                                                                                                       earth. Bobby you will truly be
                                                                                                                                                                missed.”—Jocelyn Robinson,
                                                                                                                                                                WHS Class of 2009
Fall 2010                                                                                                                                  
Page 8                                                        Arts & Entertainment                                                   
Harajuku     How to shop on Black Friday
             by Obaid Yousufzai
Barbie vs    Arts & Entertainment Editor

Pop Princess for trying to savearen’t blamed
                                 themselves a
                                         few extra dollars nowadays. In
                                         the state of this economy, cut-
                                         ting coupons and scouting for
                                         “two for one deals” are consid-
                                         ered more smart than anything
                                         else. For this reason, Thanks-
                                         giving week is one of the most
                                         anticipated times of the year.
                                         But, it’s not only because of the
                                         Thursday. It’s rather because
             Photo credit:
                                         of the day that follows: Black
      Minaj or Rihanna?
                                         Friday.                                                                                                                        Photo credit:
by Sarah Bruce                                     Black Friday is the day            Some Black Friday ads from major retailers have already been leaked online.
Staff Writer                             right after Thanksgiving Day,
                                         where a number of big retail           your nearest Best Buy, and                   DVD lovers will find      deal of miscellaneous products
         Pop or Hip-Hop?                 chains slice their prices down         spenders shouldn’t hesitate to      plenty to be happy about this      out there that are just aching to
During the middle of Novem-              to staggering prices. Busi-            grab a pair of Skullcandy Ink’d     shopping season. Target is         be picked up on Black Friday.
ber, what album will you be              nesses open earlier, where cus-        Earbuds, as they are available      now stocking certain DVDs,         An iPod Docking station at Big
picking up? Nicki Minaj’s,               tomers even camp out in front          for the cheap price of $10 in-      such as Casino Royale starring     Lots now falls down to $28,
Pink Friday or Rihanna’s,                of the stores, awaiting to stam-       stead of its usual $20.             Daniel Craig, for the low, low     and nobody would be blamed
Loud. Two totally different al-          pede their way through the                       Video game buffs          price of $1.99! The price of       if they grabbed a SlickTouch 4
bums made by two equally ex-             clear glass doors.                     won’t be disappointed this hol-     Blu-Ray players have also          GB MP3 Player during their
traordinary ladies.        Even                    For all the electronic       iday season either. Radio           plummeted, as a Sony Blu-Ray       visit for $28.99. Old Navy has
though they have both collab-            junkies, Black Friday will do          Shack is offering the new           player is now a cheap $94 at       new select hoodies for men at
orated on each others’ albums            nothing but treat you well. The        Xbox 360 Slim for $199, and         your local Target. Many new        $12, and WalMart carries
on two tracks called “Raining            Samsung Seek for Boost Mo-             Target boasts a PSP Bundle at       movies, including Paranormal       Mens’ Jeans for just $8 dollars.
Men” and “ Fly,” the two                 bile users drops from its $149         the price of $179, which in-        Activity, Get Him to the Greek,              Black Friday has
artists will be in competition           price to $69.99 at Radio Shack.        cludes The Karate Kid movie         and The Lord of the Rings Tril-    something to offer for every-
due to their albums dropping             The newest version of the              on UMD, Little Big Planet,          ogy, are available for DVD.        body, and if you aren’t plan-
the same week.                           Apple 8 Gigabyte iPod Nano is          and a 1 GB Memory Stick.            And, for all online Amazon         ning to give yourself a rest
         On the album Pink               available for $149, and the Flip       And don’t pass on the opportu-      users, The Harry Potter 1-6        after all the turkey consump-
Friday, Minaj gets down and              Video HD can also be picked            nity to head to Big Lots for        Collection is now available for    tion from the night before, you
dirty with tracks like “Roman’s          up by video fanatics for $130          their latest deal: “Buy 2 Games     Blu-Ray at a practically free      should definitely get your list
Revenge” and then soft and               as opposed to its normal price         that cost 10 Dollars or less, get   price point of $29.99.             together early and be prepared
sweet with tracks like “Your             of $200. Both can be bought at         1 free.”                                     There’s also a great      to fight for what you want.
Love” and “Right Through
Me.” This is Minaj’s first               Reflection: Why I read Harry Potter
album after many years of
making mix-tapes under the               by Robert Rojas
minor music label, Young                 Faculty Advisor
Money, which is run by rapper
Lil Wayne and affiliated with                      Sometime last night as
such artists as Drake and Tyga.          this issue was being printed,
         On Rihanna’s Loud,              folded, and bundled to ship to
there is more of a fun tone,             school, I was sitting in Row J,
mostly based on today’s new              Seat 29 in the IMAX theater at
pop. Some of the album’s                 the Rave for the midnight
tracks include, “California              showing of Harry Potter and
King Bed,” “What’s My                    the Deathly Hallows, Part 1.
Name,” and a sequel to the               This time, I didn’t camp out or
most criticized abuse tale,              line up for hours. This time, I
“Love The Way You Lie.”                  didn’t carry swag or wear a
This will be Rihanna’s fifth             costume. Actually, the last
album and last album under               time I went to a late show, I
her co-label SRP. The singer             told myself I’m too old for this.
just signed a deal with RocNa-           But, an exception needed to be
tion, ran by her mentor Jay-Z            made for the second to the last
                                                                                                                                                                     Photo Credit: Robert Rojas
and affiliated with artists like         movie in a cultural phenome-
                                                                                                      English teacher Robert Rojas practices his “spells.”
Kanye West and Willow                    non that started thirteen years
Smith.                                   ago with a book.                       started going to and lining up      store in Piccadilly Circus for     and a family dressed like the
         After listening to most                   I didn’t get into it until   for midnight releases. In 2003,     Harry Potter and the Deathly       Malfoys. It was the proverbial
of the tracks on Pink Friday,            about seven or eight years ago.        I spent the night at Barnes &       Hallows – I again, also didn’t     ground zero of all literary
Minaj’s lyrics will have you             I wanted to know what every-           Noble Manhattan Beach for           get my book until 1am.             things Harry Potter.
frazzled and begging for more            body was talking about: “some          the chance at Harry Potter and               I thought to myself                It took me about two
and her collaborations are even          stupid story about a boy wiz-          the Order of the Phoenix since      several times about what a         hours to walk back to my hos-
better so I say that this is a           ard” as I called it at the time. I     I didn’t put my name on the         waste of energy, money, and        tel, after wandering lost
good buy. As far as Loud is              took the first two books with          waitlist – I didn’t get my book     time it was to go so many thou-    through London at night. I
concerned, this is probably one          me on a weeklong business trip         until 1am. In 2005, I thought       sands of miles just for a book.    stayed up until 4am reading the
of Rihanna’s best albums be-             to Seoul, South Korea, expect-         I’d avoid the bookstore crowd       I even thought to myself about     book and then reading again
cause it has something for               ing to finish possibly, probably       and buy Harry Potter and the        leaving the line. But, I didn’t.   after a few hours of sleep. I
everyone; but, if you aren’t a           at least one of them by the time       Half-Blood Prince at Ralphs                  There was a group of      finished it in about 24 hours.
fan of pop or reggae, this isn’t         I got back. I finished Harry           Westchester – Apparently, a lot     Norwegian tweens dressed in                 When I left London, I
for you.                                 Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone        of people thought of that too,      Hogwarts robes in front of me      saw a lot of people, especially
         So, what do you                 on the plane ride there, and I         so I didn’t get my book until       and a couple of train conduc-      adults, reading that last book
think? Do you think Nicki                finished Harry Potter and the          1am.                                tors who called in sick to work    on the sidewalk, the tube, and
Minaj’s breakthrough as a new            Chamber of Secrets after a                      And, in 2007, I went       behind me. Every few min-          even on the plane. Whatever
artist will succeed or do you            night in the hotel.                    all out, traveling to London        utes, a costumed character         J.K. Rowling did, she changed
think she will crumble under a                     It was because of the        and waiting over ten hours in       walked by, including a Quid-       the world... all over a story
professional like Rihanna?               Harry Potter book series that I        line behind Waterstone’s book-      ditch Field, Hogwarts Castle,      about a boy wizard.                                                                                                                                                                               Fall 2010                                         Arts & Entertainment                                                                                                              Page 9
Internet Killed the Video Store
by Obaid Yousufzai                                                                                                                                                                 Gamefly works simi-
A&E Editor                                                                                                                                                                lar to Netflix, shipping video
                                                                                                                                                                          games straight to subscribers’
         It used to be the per-                                                                                                                                           doorstep. For a 6 Dollar
fect night in: Head to the video                                                                                                                                          monthly fee, gamers get their
store, rent a couple flicks, pop                                                                                                                                          selected games through the
some popcorn, plant yourself                                                                                                                                              mail without a due date, as op-
on the couch, and kill your                                                                                                                                               posed to renting from a video
evening. It didn’t matter if you                                                                                                                                          store where you must return
were by yourself, spending                                                                                                                                                the product in less than a week
time with your significant                                                                                                                                                for 6 dollars per movie. With
other, or surrounded by your                                                                                                                                              a bigger selection and more
entire family for a movie night:                                                                                                                                          convenience for the customer,
You knew you were in for a                                                                                                                                                going with Gamefly for your
cozy night.                                                                                                                                                               gaming needs, rather than a di-
         This scenario is much                                                                                                                                            minishing library at the video
rarer nowadays.                                                                                                                           Photo credit:   joint, makes total sense.
         Rather than flying off                       Blockbuster needs to watch its behind if it wants to stay in business.                                                       Despite filing for
the shelves like they did almost                                                                                                                                          bankruptcy in September
a decade ago, the DVDs at                 date.                                     and fast-food restaurants. With           puter at no extra cost. Users               2010, Blockbuster Video still
your local Blockbuster Video,                      With      Blockbuster            the availability of a Redbox              also have the ability to watch              has 3,300 stores continuing to
Hollywood Video, or Video                 rentals costing about 5 dollars           machine now outnumbering                  directly on their television, via           operate. With everything that
Club have slowly but surely               and with a return date usually            the locations of a Blockbuster            Xbox 360, Playstation 3, or                 gave video stores its appeal
began to pile up.                         being about 5 days, it didn’t             or any other video store chain,           Nintendo Wii gaming con-                    now adapted and improved by
         With Netflix opening             take long for members to real-            it is no surprise that DVD                soles. And, with all the cheap              its competition at lesser
up its rental-by-mail services            ize that they were spending               rental joints are hurting in              pay-per-view options that tele-             money, it’s no wonder that
in 1999, subscriptions at local           more money and time than                  more than one aspect of the in-           vision providers have to offer,             they’re heading for the gutter.
video stores have steadily de-            necessary. And in the state the           dustry. And, for only a 1 dollar          some of the wonder as to why                When the surprise that video
creased, and stores continue to           economy has found itself in,              cost per rental, people are start-        video chains are failing contin-            stores are now starting to carry
have a lesser amount of cus-              there is almost no hesitation in          ing to point toward the red and           ues to evaporate.                           books, posters, and paintings
tomers arriving at their retail           saving money.                             less toward the blue.                              Perhaps the one place              disappears, it’ll be understood
establishments. With Netflix,                      As if right to the door                   Video stores are also            where the video chains do one-              that they’re past their heyday.
subscribers can create a queue            step wasn’t accessible enough             wounded in an area in which               up Netflix and Redbox is in the                      But, for now, the
of DVDs that arrive one, two              for people, Coinstar released             almost everything finds a way             video game department. Most                 stores are still around and
or three movies at a time (de-            Redbox, a vending machine                 to plunge itself into: the digital        video stores have games up for              those faithful to their local
pending on which subscription             that dispenses members DVDs               world.                                    rental for all different sorts of           video joint are still walking
you have). DVDs take about                and Blu-Rays, in 2005. Red-                        Netflix offers all               consoles, giving it somewhat                through their doors. The only
one day to arrive in members’             box now has over 22,000 ma-               members the ability to stream             of an edge over its DVD com-                thing that remains is the won-
mailboxes for a monthly fee of            chines located across America             specifically live movies and              petition.                                   der of how much longer the
$8.99 a month, with no due                in pharmacies, grocery stores             television series to their com-                    Enter Gamefly.                     doors will be there.

The Comet Staff recommends the following alternatives to boredom...
          Movie                                     Music                                Technology                                  TV Show                                  Video Game

           Photo credit:               Photo credit:                   Photo credit:                  Photo credit:                  Photo Credit:
          Due Date                        My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy                The Apple Store                          The Walking Dead                         Call of Duty: Black Ops
        Todd Phillips                              Kanye West                                Apple, Inc.                                 AMC                                        Activision

         Those who loved the                       We may all stop fidg-                     Everything Apple that                     The thirst for zombies                      Call of Duty: Black
humor of The Hangover were                eting with our fingers and bit-           you ever wanted is available at           has now officially been                     Ops has to be one of the best
the same people filling up the            ing down our nails until we are           the Apple Store, out of the box,          quenched when The Walking                   games for PS3 and XBox 360
seats in Due Date. Fans were              left with bleeding skin out of            on display, and ready to go --            Dead premiered on Hal-                      this year. You can tell they put
craving more laughs from                  anticipation for Kanye West’s             They want you to play with the            loween. The show comes on at                time and money into the graph-
Zach Galifinakas for a chance             next album, My Beautiful Dark             rows of iPads, iPhones, and               a student’s worst nightmare,                ics, sound effects, and game
at another hilarious showing.             Twisted Fantasy. It will be re-           iPads. For some of us, that’s             10pm on a Sunday night, but I               play. The single player option
         Peter          (Robert           leased on November 22, 2010               the closest we’ll ever get to             choose to stay up to watch                  is fairly standard for a shoot-
Downey, Jr.) is getting ready to          on Roc-A-Fella Records, fol-              having so many of those ex-               dead people live again and                  em-up game, but the online op-
fly from Atlanta to visit his             lowing up with a deluxe edi-              pensive, trendy electronice de-           walk the earth.                             tion is the best part. The
wife. But after an issue with             tion set to be released later.            vices around us. And, if you                       I am pretty sure that              environment and weapons in-
the awkward Ethan (Galifi-                         So you think, “Why               don’t buy anything, at least              everyone who has ever seen a                tensifies the game play with all
nakas), Peter is banned from              should I get his album when               there’s free Internet. Just re-           zombie film has had the taste               the options in your arsenal and
the plane and now must drive              I’ve practically heard it all in          member to sign-off your Face-             of an unquenchable thirst for               the hiding spots.
across the country with Ethan             the Runaway video? West has               book and Gmail accounts                   more gore and violence. I can                        A new game mode
before his wife gives birth.              taken his artistic capability to a        before you walk away and let              personally vouch for feeling                called Zombie mode is also
         The film boasts a good           mind boggling high, creating              somebody else                             the need for more zombie                    available. Zombie mode is sin-
deal of humor, though sporadic            five different controversial                       By the way, it’s not             killings after the credits start            gle player or multiplayer
at times. Overall, Due Date               cover arts, along with the                just a place to buy Apple stuff.          rolling. I don’t know if its the            where you can go and kill
doesn’t quite have the charm              longest music video in history.           All stores offer free technical           “Apocalyptic”-feel or people                zombies. Call of Duty: Black
that seen in The Hangover, but            As he has implied himself, he             support, and some stores, par-            just want to see other people               Ops is actually worth buying,
Galifinakas will surely keep              may be a “douche bag,” but his            ticularly the Santa Monica one,           bite other people until body                and I recommend you do so if
you entertained for the greater           musical genius outweighs his              offer free classes on how to use          parts are everywhere, but the               you like war games or just like
portion of the flick.                     ego.                                      its hardware and software.                people want more.                           good games in general.

Due Date is in theaters now.              My Beautiful Dark Twisted                 The Apple Store has various               The Walking Dead broadcasts                 Call of Duty: Black Ops is
                                          Fantasy will be available on              locations throughout the                  Sunday nights at 10pm on AMC.               available in stores now.
                                          Monday, November 22.                      Southern California area.
Fall 2010                                                                                                                               
Page 10                                                                            Sports                                         
What is AP                                 Boys Football: The Homecoming Game and the Playoffs
                                           by Anthony Okray
Sports?                                    Sports Editor

                                                     The Westchester HS
                                           Comets faced off against the
                                           Palisades HS Dolphins for the
                                           last game of the regular season
                                           in what was a battle between
                                           two teams with the same
                                           record, 5-4. It was Westch-
                                           ester’s Homecoming Game,
                                           and, in the end, the Comets
                                           beat the Dolphins, 21-7.
                                                     Last year, the Comets
                                           defeated the Dolphins, 20-0, so
                                           they came in looking for a re-
                                           peat performance. This year,
                                           the game was the same.
                                                     The Dolphins scored
                                           the first touchdown, making it
                                           7-0. But, after that, they were
              Photo credit: Robert Rojas   unable to score again.                                                                                                  Photo credit: Robert Rojas
  Teacher Tim Lenderman                              The Comets score                                        The Comets beat the Dolphins, 21-7
                                           after a 98-yard kick return by
by Terrel Emerson                          #10 Ralph Gordon that got to        high stakes game since it deter-   Kalin Scott Wright and #5 Dar-    Coaches Ruffin Patterson,
Contributing Writer                        the second yard line. #9 Nick       mined which team got to go to      ryn Walton. #9 King also con-     Seka Edwards, Chuck Russell,
                                           King scored the ball on a yard      the playoffs and which one got     tributed to the total amount of   and David Bradley. The play-
         An exciting new way               sneak making the score, 7-7.        to stay home.                      yards. Westchester also put up    ers attribute their success to the
to survive your classes is about           After that, the Comets put up                Westchester HS, 6-4,      over 100 yards, passing with a    direction and leadership of
to begin at Westchester High               two more rushing touchdowns         will square off against San        catch from #11 Anthony            their coaches.
School. Physical Education                 and stopped the Dolphins            Pedro HS, 7-3, for the fist        Okray, a touchdown pass to
teacher Tim Lenderman and                  every time they tried to score.     playoff game on Friday, No-        #10 Gordon, and completions       With contributions by Robert
Coach Mike Moutrie have                              Since it was Westch-      vember 19. The Comets hope         to #4 Kache Palacio and #8        Rojas.
thought up of a program that               ester’s Homecoming Game as          to punish the Pirates in its       Antoine Mitchell.
will help all athletes make it             well as the last regular game of    quest for the CIF Playoffs.                 The Comets weren’t
through high school. They call             the season, there were a lot of              Westchester HS’ play-     looking to show any signs of         Follow our
it AP Sports.
         “It is a program to
                                           happenings in the stadium.
                                           The halftime show included a
                                                                               offs contention really started
                                                                               when they played University
                                                                                                                  weakness this game; they
                                                                                                                  planned on playing “Smash
                                                                                                                                                     game coverage
tutor athletes, help prepare               parade with the Homecoming          HS during the previous week.       Mouth Football” as Coach
them for SATs and other tests,             Court riding past the packed        The Comets tamed the Wild-         Ruffin Patterson would say,
and just to improve their over-            stands. There was even a fire-      cats, 54-7, gaining over 400       and they definitely did.
all GPA’s,” Lenderman ex-                  works show.                         yards running the ball, with 3              Westchester had an-       TheCometNews
plained. “This is designed to                        The game itself was a     key touchdowns from both #33       other great season under
help athletes put together ad-
mission packets for prospec-               Boys Football: “The Mother’s Bowl”
tive colleges and universities.”
         The program would                 by Anthony Okray                    was organized and started by
help athletes maintain at least            Sports Editor                       coach Ruffin Patterson four
a 2.0 GPA without any Fails to                                                 years ago. The last several
be eligible to play sports. “We                     On Friday, October         years were successful and this
would like to look at 5-week-              22, this Varsity Football game      year the same.
grades and determine individ-              against Hamilton was dedi-                   Patterson says, “The
ual and group GPA’s,”                      cated to the team’s mothers         Mother’s Bowl/Breast Cancer
Lenderman said. “By the 20                 and to Breast Cancer Aware-         Awareness football game was
week grades, we hope for an                ness Month and called “The          started to show appreciation to
increase.”                                 Mother’s Bowl/Breast Cancer         all Comet Mothers. Often
         Both Lenderman and                Awareness football game.”           times, moms have played dual
Moutrie saw a need to help                          The game was dedi-         roles (Mom and Dad) in the
athletes improve in their aca-             cated to the many loving moth-      rearing of some of our ath-
demics, espcially in their study           ers who are sometimes               letes.” Patterson also said,
habits and skills. Some ath-               overlooked for their outstand-      “My mom was very active in                                                          Photo credit: Robert Rojas

letes are perceived as bad stu-            ing part in these young men’s       my sports career.  This is our          The Senior Football players honor their mothers.
dents, so they are trying to help          lives when in fact sometimes        way of saying ‘Thanks, Mom’
fix that stereotype by teaching            the fathers are not there to help   and ‘We love you.’”
them how to be better students.            lead the way. They work hard                 The event is touching.
         “Our short term goal is           to raise their sons and they de-    “I thought it was sweet and it
to get going at Westchester                serve the honor.                    made me really emotional,”
High and hope other schools                         It was also dedicated      said Taylor Moore.
follow suit,” Lenderman said.              to Breast Cancer Awareness                   Westchester was com-
He hopes to branch the pro-                Month to show that it is not        ing off of an unbelievable and
gram out from California and               forgotten, that it is recognized    stunning loss to Fairfax the
to other states.                           by not only people who deal         week before, losing 24-13, put-
         Lenderman would like              with it, but people whom            ting them at 3-3. Westchester
all athletes to be involved.               would like to support it.           rebounded against Hamilton
“This is for athletes who have                      The        Westchester     and redeemed themselves with
messed up in the past and have             Comets Football team and            a win.
been told ‘Hey, tough luck.’               coaches wore pink to acknowl-                There was so much
Many athletes give up because              edge it. Many of them wore          hype around this game because
they have been told that so                pink tape and all of them had a     last year Westchester pulled off
many times before,” he said.               small pink ribbon on the back       an upset on Hamilton’s turf,
         Lenderman put it sim-             of their helmets.                   defeating them 14-10, with a
ply: “Everyone deserves a sec-                      This is the fourth an-     late touchdown to put the
ond chance.”                               nual Mothers Bowl/Breast            Comets up 14-10, by Anthony                                                         Photo credit: Robert Rojas
                                           Cancer Awareness game. It           Okray Jr. #11.                               Anthony Okray, Jr (#11) and his mother                                                                                                                                                                      Fall 2010                                                                Sports                                                                                           Page 11
Girls Tennis: Season In Review                                                                                               Drill Team
by Obaid Yousfuzai
Arts and Entertainment Editor

         When it comes to
most organized teams, the fans
know what to look forward to
and what to expect out of the
their squad for the upcoming
season. However, this didn’t
apply too much for the 2010
Girls Tennis team.
         This year’s roster con-
sisted of many new faces, as
well as a few returning from
the previous season. With 14                                                                     Photo credit: Drew Love                                                       Photo credit: Taylor Moore
of last year’s players graduat-                      Captain Alaura Bernal supports the tennis team.                          Several of the Drill Team members pose for the camera.
ing this past June, many return-
ing Comets looked to accept                  long as we keep staying ener-      makes it much easier on all of               by Shanice Watkins                   music to satisfy the dancers on
bigger roles heading into this               gized and maintain our work        us. Our goal as a team has al-               Staff Writer                         the team,” says Jonice Watts, a
year’s campaign.                             ethic, making the right adjust-    ways been to have a good time                                                     first year member on the team.
         “This season is critical            ments when necessary, then         while continuing to win, so if                        Performing       Friday              There were stirs of
in terms of gaining experi-                  we’re definitely on the right      we keep doing what we’re                     nights, performing at halftime       conversation as to why the
ence,” says Coach Kandy                      track.”                            doing, we will be alright,”                  during football games, per-          Drill team sticks to their same
Chain, who returned for an-                           But Chain wasn’t the      Bernal said.                                 forming at pep rallies, all while    cadences, such as Drill team’s
other playoff run. “We got a                 only one steering this squad                The Westchester Ten-                sparkling in their dazzled uni-      all-time favorite “Goodies,”
fantastic group of girls here                closer to success. Newly ap-       nis Team started off its season              forms are what they are known        “BBH,” and “Fan Fair &
who are extremely energetic                  pointed captain Alaura Bernal,     at Venice, which resulted in a               for. Yes, I’m talking about the      Drive.”
and have tons of enthusiasm.                 a Senior, carried much of the      0-7 loss against the Gondo-                  drill team. With 30 girls in                  Cadences are kept to
If they continue to work as                  responsibility.                    liers. The Comets quickly                    total and 5 serving as captains,     be the same as a sign of respect
hard they have been through-                          “We did take a bit of a   bounced back with a solid 5-2                the Drill team is the largest at-    to be passed down each year.
out the course of the season,                hit when we lost the seniors,      win against the Home Fairfax                 tachment to Westchester HS.          Alumni often come back and
we’ll gain tons of momentum                  considering many were on Var-      Lions                                                 Drill team is now a         participate in the yearly Home-
by the time playoffs roll                    sity,” says Bernal when asked               The season pro-                     combination of what used to be       coming Game and participate
around.”                                     about the new personnel. “But      gressed, and Chain’s Comets                  the Drill team, the Dance team,      in performing cadences and
         Despite the confident               we’ve already gotten off to a      pushed its way to another play-              and Short Flags team.                swaggers.
outlook, Westchester’s veteran               quick start and, if we keep        off berth, before ending their                        “I really miss flags!                The Drill team’s coach
coach Chain understood that                  working hard, we’ll bounce         season with a close loss against             But Drill team is fun too,” says     is Eboni Spears, an graduate of
she will be spending much of                 back quickly.”                     the North Hollywood Huskies.                 former member of Flag,               Westchester HS, Class of 2008
the season adjusting to the                           The new senior Cap-                With a number of new                Tiffany Ashcraft, now a Drill        who was on the dance team
team’s new additions.                        tain also believed that the        faces, a consistent voice in                 captain. Because the Dance           when she attended the school.
         “It is a little different           progress made throughout           Coach Chain and a constant                   team and Flag team were un-                   When asked how she
this year when you consider all              practice has been nothing short    focus throughout every prac-                 able to find faculty sponsors,       felt and what she loved about
the new faces. But with Alaura               of astonishing.                    tice, the Comets now have a                  they were forced to either join      being their coach, she said, “I
Bernal at the top as our cap-                         “It’s amazing when        foundation of young, excited                 the Drill team or be shut down.      honestly feel like its a big re-
tain, we’ll have tons of experi-             you think of how quickly           players for the next few years                        “I don’t think it’s fair.   sponsibility and I take it very
ence along the way. And as                   we’ve bonded as a team, which      to come.                                     We’re two different squads.          seriously. It’s hard at times,
                                                                                                                             There’s never a balance be-          but it’s what I signed up for.”
                                                                                                                             tween Drill and Dance,” says         Eboni has supported the team
                                                                                                                             first year member Meggan             since the summer time. She
                                                                                                                             Mut.                                 helps with routines, keeping
   View our                                                                                                                           Drill team is a march-
                                                                                                                             ing unit that performs drill
                                                                                                                                                                  the team in order, and teaching
                                                                                                                                                                  the ladies how to be ladies.
photos galleries                                                                                                             based on military drills. Now
                                                                                                                             that Drill, Dance, and Flags are
                                                                                                                                                                           Although drill team
                                                                                                                                                                  has had their ups and downs,
                                                                                                                             combined, they have had to           they all agreed that it’s some-                                                                                                            change things to fit every dif-      thing they love to do. From
                                                                                                                             ferent group.                        performing in front of the
 TheCometNews                                                                                                                         “We still do drill, but     school for assemblies to per-
                                                                                                                             we also dance as well. That’s        forming in parades is what
                                                                                                                             why sometimes at the pep             they do.
                                                                                                                             rally, we’ll dance to recorded
                                                                                                Photo credit: Robert Rojas

Fall Sports Schedule 2010                                                 (from

                                             9/3       @Pasadena      32-7 (W)                      10/22       Hamilton             13-7 (W)
                                             9/11      Sylmar         32-0 (W)                      10//29      Venice               13-22 (L)
     Boys Football, 6-4                      9/17      Jordan         18-19 (L)                     11/5        @University          54-7 (W)
                                             9/24      Locke          0-14 (L)                      11/12       Palisades            21-7 (W)
                                             10/1      Leuzinger      52-13 (W)                     11/19       @San Pedro           TBA
       Photo Credit:
                                             10/15     @Fairfax       13-24 (L)                                                                                         Read our
                                             9/22      @Fairfax       7-0 (W)                       10/11       Venice               1-6 (L)
                                             9/27      @University    3-4 (L)                       10/13       Fairfax              N/A                                 stories
                                             9/29      LACES          0-7 (L)                       10/18       University           5-2 (W)
      Girls Tennis, 3-9
                                             10/4      Hamilton       2-5 (L)                       10/20       @LACES               0-7 (L)
                                             10/6      @Banning       Rain                          10/21       @Hamilton            1-6 (L)
                                             10/7      @Palisades     0-7 (L)                       10/27       Palisades            1-6 (L)
      Photo Credit:
                                             9/22      @Fairfax       3-2 (W)                       10/13       Fairfax              0-3 (L)
                                             9/27      @University    0-3 (L)                       10/18       University           2-3 (L)
                                             9/29      LACES          3-0 (W)                       10/20       @LACES               N/A
   Girls Volleyball, 2-12                    10/4      Hamilton       1-3 (L)                       10/21       @Hamilton            1-3 (L)
                                             10/7      @Palisades     0-3 (L)                       10/27       Palisades            0-3 (L)
                                             10/11     Venice         0-3 (L)                       11/4        @Maywood             1-3 (L)
       Photo Credit:
Fall 2010                                                                                                                                 
Page 12                                                           Miscellaneous                                                     
                                                                                                                   Courageous Conversations
                                                                                                                   Regarding School Reform
                                                                                                                   (Continued from Page 3)            of discovering some system or
                                                                                                                                                      plan that would support the
                                                                                                                   parents and neighbors and          work that would need to be
                                                                                                                   teachers are moving out in the     done to turn the school around.
                                                                                                                   only ways they know how to         Although I fully understand
                                                                                                                   salvage, completely reform,        the logic behind the develop-
                                                                                                                   improve and restructure their      ment of the Westchester Sec-
                                                                                                                   schools and do what is in the      ondary Charter School, and
                                                                                                                   Best Interest of the Children.     individuals refusing to con-
                                                                                                                            As Westchester High       tinue down the path of broken
                                                                                                                   continues to perform poorly        promises left by LAUSD in the
                                                                                                                   with only a mere 20% of our        aftermath of “autonomy,” I
                                                                                                                   graduates being prepared for       strongly feel that any such
                                                                                                                   college, according to a recent     school will further jeopardize
                                                                                                                   Academic Audit conducted by        the very existence of Westch-
                                                                                                                   Ed Trust West, coupled with        ester High as we know it. In an
                                                                                                                   the financial woes of LAUSD,       effort to save Westchester High
                                                                                                                   cutbacks, RIFs, and our declin-    and to retain a fully compre-
                                                                                                                   ing enrollment, parents have       hensive high school which
                                                                                                                   every right to explore viable      services all students, I am
                                                                                                                   options for their children.        much more a proponent of
                                                                                                                   Some choose to simply disen-       converting Westchester High
Oooh, sweet candy!                                                                                                 gage and enroll their children
                                                                                                                   elsewhere. Others have cho-
                                                                                                                                                      (the entire campus) to a charter
by Betsy Paredes                                                               funny, and so much more, but        sen to take matters into their               The handwriting is on
Staff Writer                                                                   what made me fall in love with      own hands and develop their        the wall. The face of public
                                                                               him was his personality.            own charter school [Westch-        education is changing. There
         No people I’m not                                                              He always knows how        ester Secondary Charter            has been a paradigm shift and
talking about delicious good                                                   to put a smile on my face even      School] in hopes of providing      those who are truly interested
tasting candy. I am talking                                                    when we have the worst of           their and other students an ex-    in children receiving a quality
about that four-letter word                                                    times because some way we           cellent educational experience.    education which prepares them
some people are scared of:                                                     get through it like every strong             As a resident of this     to compete in the global arena
love. What does it mean?                                                       couple. I’m glad David is in        community, the parent of a 7th     and achieve success in the
How does it feel? Where does                                                   my life; he keeps me going and      grader currently attending         fields of their choice are forg-
it even come from? Everyone                                                    is there for me when I need         Orville Wright Middle School       ing ahead and exercising their
has a different opinion or per-                                                him. He’s my best friend and        and the parent of two former       right and ability to snatch the
spective about it, but love hit                                                he will always be in my heart.      Comets, I have deep concerns       fate of their children out of the
me when I least expected it and                                                I love him with all my heart        regarding the future of Westch-    hands of a failing system. Sta-
my boyfriend, David Gonza-                        Photo credit: Robert Rojas   and nothing will ever change        ester High and have done my        tus Quo has failed us, all of us
lez, has everything to do with      is nothing to be scared of be-             that. People might think its        due diligence to secure all        and the time has come to make
it. Every girl wants that per-      cause its the best feeling ever.           just puppy love, nothing seri-      available information in hopes     a change.
fect guy that’s treats her right    I do agree with the saying                 ous but I know it’s something
with love and respect and that
won’t cheat. Where do those
                                    “Don’t judge a book by its
                                    cover” because David turned
                                                                               very serious not only to me but
                                                                               to David also. Almost a year
                                                                                                                   Westchester Secondary
guys go? Well I don’t have to
look any further because he’s
                                    out to be a very different guy
                                    than what I thought he would
                                                                               into our relationship and my
                                                                               feelings towards him keep
                                                                                                                   Charter School?
already been found.                 be. He was always serious and              growing each and every day. I       (Continued from Page 4)            what will happen if the campus
         David, a half Colom-       quiet, but once I got to know              love you David and thank you                                           gets too crowded with several
bian, half Salvadorian guy          him he was the total opposite.             for everything and every mo-        important as the people within     schools on the site.
from New Jersey captured my         David is such a genuine per-               ment we have shared and we          them.”                                      “I think if we get more
heart and showed me that love       son, he’s very loving, caring,             still have to come. I love you.              The way that this char-   students at Westchester High,
                                                                                                                   acter school may affect current    plus the students at Lou Dant-
A day in the life of a Stat Girl                                                                                   public school students can be
                                                                                                                   really good or really bad. It
                                                                                                                                                      zler, and have incoming stu-
                                                                                                                                                      dents for the new charter
by Ashanti Ridgeway                                                            upside is that I always have a      has no effect on the Class of      school, it will be too crowded
Copy Editor                                                                    front seat to the games. That’s     2011, but it does on the follow-   here and then Westchester
                                                                               really the best part, being up      ing classes at Westchester         High’s needs will be over-
         Being a stat girl is not                                              close and personal, not just        High.                              looked. We may not do as well
always easy; sometimes boys                                                    with the players, but also with              “If this were to happen   as the other two schools that
whose hormones are raging                                                      the coaches, helping them spot      to Westchester, the following      will be on the campus,” Fresh-
and are still teetering on the                                                 out the flaws in a play and how     generations will never get to      man Sarah Bruce said.
line between maturity and im-                                                  to fix it and what player to put    experience the many traditions              A new charter school
maturity harass you. Other                                                     in the game during a certain        and work that we all put into      has its fair share of pros and
times you have the football                                                    play. I love that I’ve learned so   the school. I could see the        cons, but the fact is that
girlfriends who are on defense                                                 much about football through-        school changing its demo-          Westchester needs to improve
because you’re a cute girl                                                     out my life. It helped me to        graphics and, unless the com-      significantly in order to prove
around their “property.”                                                       gain respect among the              munity sends their kids here,      themselves to the community
Sometimes it’s hard to stay fo-                                                coaches in order to be able to      Westchester might become           that they are the best choice for
cused being a teenage girl sur-                    Photo credit: Drew Love     lend an opinion that they actu-     abandoned,” says Senior Eman       teens that live in the neighbor-
rounded by teenage boys who                                                    ally take it into consideration.    Hardaway.                          hood. In an email interview,
love the same things you love.      counting all the tackles the                         Being around guys all              Many students like        Wexler said, “If the faculty at
Most times it’s more fun than       players get. Sometimes I also              the time is a plus and a minus;     Eman question what will hap-       Orville Wright Middle School
antagonizing though. Football       help with the stats for offense,           everyone knows that boys play       pen if Westchester High does       or Westchester High School
is one of my loves, growing up      but that’s very seldom. For                around a lot, and they love to      not have enough students to        would submit their own charter
around all boys makes it easy       Varsity, I mostly do special               pester girls, but sometimes it’s    exist anymore with a compet-       application, I would happily
to love football and understand     teams, which is kick-offs, kick-           fun to be around all you really     ing charter school or wonder       step aside.”
it.                                 returns, punts, and punt-re-               know. Growing up I never re-
         Taking stats is fairly
easy; all it takes is some quick            Most people would
                                                                               ally had bonding relationships
                                                                               with girls, and I’ve always         View this issue in full color
on the spot math skills. I take     think that my job is hard, but it          gravitated more to boys than
stats for the JV defensive line,    really isn’t. Although it in-              girls which makes it fun.            at
which mostly entails just           volves thinking and math, the

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