United Nations Report: We Have Ten Years to React to Climate Change

By Berthalidia Acosta

For many years, climate change has been a major problem for our world. Unfortunately, it has only been getting worse as the years go by.

In order to try to solve this problem, scientists and climate researchers are suggesting to keep global warming from rising more than 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F). However, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report saying that in order to reach this goal, it would require 40-50% reduction in emission by 2030. This means a carbon-neutral world with no additional gases in the atmosphere.

Although this may seem impossible, many say that it could happen with the help of new inventions to remove greenhouse gases from the air. The IPCC report also brings hope by suggesting various ways to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. A few tactics they suggested were growing more forests and burning biomass fuels instead of fossil fuels.

Day by day this problem becomes worse and can lead to more severe problems. Some of the problems caused by climate change include: more heat waves, droughts, sea levels increasing, intense hurricanes, glacier melting, etc. We need to act fast, and even the little things you do count. Recycling, carpooling or driving less, reduce waste, turning off the lights and electronics, and plant a tree, are just a few things to do to help.

2018 Midterm Voter Suppression Successful in Georgia, North Dakota

By Magdalena Villasenor

For decades, several states continue to push more regulations to allow citizens to vote in their state. In the recent midterm elections, Georgia, run by a Republican legislature, the recent midterm election governor’s race consisted of a white Republican man named Brian Kemp, running against a black Democrat female challenger named Stacey Abrams. Kemp was also the Secretary of State of Georgia until he resigned on November 8th to start making the transition to run for the governorship. The Secretary of State is in charge of elections, and voter registration.  Kemp, being the Secretary of State, made a regulation that has caused 53,000 voter registration applications to be put on hold. The regulations were set forth in order to ‘stop voter fraud’ by making it mandatory that each document (driver’s license, Social Security card, etc.) have its information match with each other exactly, and if not, they would be put on hold; in other words, citizens would not be able to vote.  “Georgia’s population is approximately 32 percent black… but the list of voter registration on hold with Kemp’s office is nearly 70 percent black” (Associated press).  It seems that this is just another way to manipulate the race in favor of Brian Kemp, by Brian Kemp. Before the new regulations, the race was very close, but due to this set back, Stacey Abrams lost the race by a slim margin even with the endorsement of celebrity Oprah Winfrey.  Stacey Abrams filed a lawsuit to make the rejected absentee and provisional ballots counted, but it was too little too late for Abrams.

In North Dakota, there was a new regulation for voters set two months before the midterm elections was set to take place in order to ‘stop voter fraud’ by making it mandatory that each voter have a personal mailing address on their ID.  In North Dakota there are many Native American reservations that do not provide individual mailing addresses, let alone street names or house numbers. 

Tribal IDs now have to have personal addresses, but this is impossible when Native Americans on reservations have P.O. boxes.  This entirely alienates Native Americans on reservations and effectively bars them from their legal right to vote. 

The election was between a white Democrat female named Heidi Heitkamp who had the majority support of the Native Americans and was in reelection against a white Republican male named Kevin Cramer. This happened back in 2014, the law/ regulation was sent to the Supreme Court by the federal district court in North Dakota that blocked the Secretary of State to make any new regulations for voter registrations. It was then later decided that the lower courts will decide its outcomes.  The law passed in 2018, but is unconstitutional and discriminatory, as Native Americans were two times more likely to lack a qualifying ID.  In North Dakota there is no pre registration to vote, so now that this regulation passed, IDs were made free for a limited time at Native reservations’ polling places, when they normally cost roughly $10.  Most Native Americans received  their ID and began the process to vote when their new county assigned addresses.  So far 500 Native Americans have renewed their ID’s in order to vote as of Oct. 31.

Since the elections have passed, Heitkamp lost the race to Republican Senator Kevin Cramer. In the last elections, Heitkamp won the race by a mere 3,000 votes thanks to the strong influence of Native American voters, and now lost by 35,139 votes.

President Trump Sends 5,200 Troops to Mexican Border to Stop Migrant Caravan

By Alessandra Reynoso

On Monday, October 29th, news broke out about a large migrant caravan, and our president made it clear that the United States will not allow a large migrant group to enter our country illegally. President Trump held true to his claim that he will send over 5,200 troops to the Mexican border, where and the main focus will be in Texas, Arizona, and California, to prevent the migrants from making it into America.

It is believed that the president made this issue a big deal because during that week, a mass shooting and valid bomb threats from some of his supporters were in the headlines during a heated midterm election season.  To distract from those events, President Trump tried to return the headlines back to being focused on migrants – a rallying issue for many of the president’s supporters.  President Trump claimed he would send over 5,200 U.S. troops to the border we have with Mexico, not counting the 2,100 National Guard members already there on duty since last April.

On Tuesday, October 30th, an AP reporter traveling with the migrants stated that most of the migrants are women and children seeking asylum after fleeing their homes, away from the harsh violence of their homelands. President Trump responded to that by making a statement saying that tent cities will be built as asylums for those migrants who are seeking help, but only if they apply for the asylum. Although that sounds a bit supporting towards those people who seek help, President Trump also stated that if any of the migrants throw rocks towards our military (which did happen to Mexican soldiers), U.S. troops will be commanded to treat those thrown stones as gunshots, and to shoot at them without hesitation, but with the intention to wound, not kill.  Yet on November 2nd troops are training for a range of scenarios in bases in Texas and Arizona.   

Since the midterm elections, little has been reported on the migrant caravan, and President Trump has made no further comments about it.  Perhaps it truly was a strategy to rally the president’s base of supporters during a crucial election season and distract from scandals.  Nevertheless, many migrants are still on the move, searching for new opportunities in Mexico, Guatemala, and the United States of America.

Canada Legalizes Cannabis Nationwide – Nearly Runs Out

By Nikole Kimble

Many people are forming long lines, honking horns, and cheering to celebrate this event being passed. Canada legalized cannabis at a nationwide level and it is the second country in the world to do so. After Canada legalized the recreational use of cannabis, they are already running out of supply. Many stores are having trouble to keep up with the demand because so many people are going into them at once. Some stores have even closed down until the stock problem is fixed. The supply in general is just a mess. People are also allowed to carry up to 30 grams of recreational cannabis with them. A study shows about 15% of Canadians will buy cannabis in this year alone.

Pancreatic and Prostate Cancer Awareness Months of September and November – Did You Miss it?

By Marianna Reynoso

November is the awareness month for pancreatic cancer. If you didn’t know, pancreatic cancer is cancer that begins in the organ lying behind the lower part of the stomach (pancreas). Pancreatic cancer is very rare and it affects individuals from the ages 41-60+, more than younger children. Pancreatic cancer has claimed many lives and it’s up to us to find a cure even though it takes a lot to cure any type of cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that 55,440 people (29,200 men and 26,240 women) were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the year of 2018 as of now. And about 44,330 people (23,020 men and 21,310 women) have passed away due to pancreatic cancer as of now in the year of 2018.

September is the awareness month for prostate cancer. In case you didn’t know, prostate cancer is a cancer in a man’s prostate, a small walnut-sized gland that produces seminal fluid. Prostate cancer is very common and it  affects individuals mostly from the age of 60+. The American Cancer Society estimates that there are 164,690 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States as of now in the year of 2018. There is also an estimate that there have been 29,430 deaths as of now in the year of 2018 for the United States.

So when the time comes again, take some time to reflect on the severity of these cancers, among the many other hazards we face.

“Support the Fighters, Admire the Survivors, Honor the Taken, and Never Give Up Hope!”

Florida Man Mails At Least 12 Bombs to Top Democrats Around the Country

By Nicci Contreras

Potentially explosive packages were delivered to well known Democrats, actor Robert De Niro, former Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, and even CNN’s offices in New York City.

According to USA Today, all of these suspicious packages have been targeted at well known Donald Trump critics.  Law Enforcement believed all of the packages came from the same source, and they were right, according to the latest updates from the investigation.

Most of these packages had six Forever stamps and a computer-printed return address for “Debbie Wasserman Shultz,” which is a Florida Congresswoman’s misspelt name. These packages were also mailed in manila envelopes.

According to Business Today, the suspect for these attempted attacks was arrested the Friday after. He was identified as Cesar Sayoc, 56 of Aventura, Florida.  

Luckily, no one was injured by these explosive packages.

Mass Shooting at Pittsburg Synagogue

By Adin Ross

A mass shooting in a Jewish Synagogue on the date of October 28, 2018 took place in Pittsburg, taking the lives of 11 innocent people. The gunman, whose name will not be mentioned here, was part of an anti-semitic cult.  He expressed how he felt about Jewish people on social media, writing many vicious and brutal tweets talking about the race.  The suspect will be sentenced in accordance with roughly 29 felony charges that he is accused of. 

All of the victims that died were over the age of 54; the oldest attendee, who was thankfully late to the service, was 90 years old and a Holocaust survivor.  It is very heartbreaking to survive a nightmare like the Holocaust, only to be threatened with death in America at the hands of a violent anti-semite.

Although this story made national headlines for days, Americans have become terrifyingly numbed to the breaking news of further mass shootings.  Violence and hate laws seem to be declining and getting worse, resulting in more mass shootings and violent acts. The way that mass murderers can be prevented is for people to have awareness about how serious these massacres are and be cautious. Every victim woke up on a Saturday morning looking to praise their God and instead, many lost their lives due to hatred and misconceptions. I truly believe that mental health is a very serious issue in today’s society and the lack of understanding on the topic creates tragedies all around the world.  

Brazil Hangs on a Thread with New President Jair Bolsonaro

Brazil could crumble to the ground with electing their recent President, Jair Bolsonaro. Whether or not this is seen as a mistake depends on the person, but Bolsanaro’s beliefs could only make you dislike him.

Many Brazilians have made it clear that they are disgusted with their new president, and are sickened by his long history of offensive, rude remarks regarding women, black people, and homosexual men.

Bolsonaro said the following in a speech he gave out about a year ago regarding black settlement in Brazil founded by the descendants of slaves, “They do nothing. They are not even good for procreation.” It is also reported that he refers to black people as “animals” who in his opinion “should go back to the zoo.”

In the year of 2014, Bolsonaro got into a heated conversation with congresswomen Maria de Rosario. Ms. Rosario claims that he encourages rape, and in response, Bolsonaro said, “I wouldn’t rape you because you don’t deserve it.” He later said that he was not a rapist, but if he was, he wouldn’t rape Ms. Rosario because she is ugly and “not his type.”

In an interview with Playboy magazine in 2011, Bolsonaro said that he would be incapable of loving a homosexual son, “I would prefer my son to die in an accident than show up with a moustached man.”

Our hearts are with Brazilians and we hope Bolsonaro does not ruin the human spirit of Brazil.  All we can do is say that we wish Brazilians the best, and we are hoping he does not implement policies that violate or alienate entire groups of Brazilian minorities.

CRISPR and the Ethical Dilemma of Human Genetic Modifications

By Juan Macias

Human. It is such a simple term to describe the people a person surrounds themselves with. Being human is having the ability to think on one’s own and pursue those thoughts with free will.  Being human is making mistakes and learning from them.  Being human is having distinct characteristics that set them apart from their peers.  In the mind, each person is different and imperfect, allowing each person to be their unique selves aside from just their physical aspects. At first glance, flaws are just part of genetics and are part of being human, but what if humans could adjust themselves to their pleasing and omit, or discard, perceived flaws?

Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats of genetic information, commonly referred to as CRISPR or Cas9, is a genetic engineering tool that allows humans to edit the gene sequences of DNA.  Being able to change gene sequences would give people the opportunity to modify the functions of their genes.  Depending on who you talk to, this new discovery may be the answer to the inherent flaws that lie within the human body, or a tool that will create very serious questions concerning ethics. 

In the first experimental stages of CRISPR in 2013, this gene modifier proved to provide a cure to diseases such as cystic fibrosis, cataracts, and fanconi anemia. This same technology has opened the doors for agricultural industries to tweak the gene sequences of their crops in order for them to survive different climates, last longer, and even provide higher yields.  This new tool has countless benefits that people can prosper from. People can live longer to live a long and fulfilling life without having to worry about the new wave of problems that will arise as we age.

As useful as this tool is, it has also sparked a complicated debate, with many people asking if this is ethical to alter a human’s genetics.  The CRISPR process has the potential to modify humans to fit specially requested features, or in other words, to create a genetically engineered baby. 

On November 25, 2018 He Jiankui released a statement that he had created a pair of twin girls – Lulu and Nana – using CRISPR.  Immediately, people began to criticize Jiankui, claiming his work was “horrifying,” “monstrous,” and “‘profoundly disturbing.”  Others saw the other side to what CRISPR can offer.  For many, CRISPR violates their beliefs in humanity and what it means to be human because they weren’t sure how accept these “humans” as people, or natural creations.

The world is changing, and people will change with it.  Change is a big part of being human because we learn to adapt to our environments in order to react accordingly. There is nothing abnormal with being afraid of change – fear is typically our first instinctual reaction to change.  However, people must decide if they encourage important change.  The change that CRISPR offers is potentially revolutionary for humanity.  Being human is being able to choose what we feel is right based on reasoned conclusions.  So, is CRISPR ethical?  That will be for all of humanity to decide.

Help Make The World A Better Place

By: Callie Vincent

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Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. During the month of May,  the Woodlake Family Resource Center educates the public and raises awareness for those who struggle with mental illness, as well as their families.

The Children’s Art Exhibit will be held on May 12th, from 11am to 1pm right after the Woodlake Rodeo Parade is finished. The Family Resource Center will open gates for folks to come and visit! This event will be held at the new Woodlake City Plaza across the street from the park.

 

The Family Resource Center has 25 providers that will be presenting and outreaching for their agency and program. There will also be door prizes for children, and art will be displayed from all school aged children, representing what a happy and healthy family is to them. Some artwork displayed by clients of mental health will represent their own interpretation of receiving mental health treatment. Live entertainment and door prizes will also be at this FREE EVENT. It will be a day of celebration and awareness for mental health.

 

This community event is also a great opportunity for student’s to get Community Service Hours done! Help would be much appreciated. If interested, contact counseling for more information.

 

Recently the Woodlake Family Resource Center also held an event called Blue Ribbon Day where Child Abuse Prevention was celebrated for the month of April. It was held on April 12th with a great turn out from the community of Woodlake. Raffles, ice cream, photo booths, and a lot music were enjoyed at this free event. Every individual who attended Blue Ribbon Day played a role in creating a safe, stable and nurturing environment that is central to the great childhoods that all children deserve.

 

Thank you to the Woodlake Family Resource Center for all their hard work on making our small community of Woodlake a safe and happy place for everyone. They are located on 168 Valencia Blvd Woodlake, California 93286 and can be contacted at (559) 564-5212.