Monthly Archives: December 2016

Covington Hollydaze Proves to be Colossal Success

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by Nick Shepard – Staff Reporter

This year’s Covington Hollydaze events, was a big success, attracting hundreds of citizens over this past weekend. The fun kicked off on Friday night, with the Float-In Holiday Movie, at the Covington Aquatic Center. Those participating could swim and float in the pool, while at the same time viewing a holiday movie. There were games all night, and chances to win fun prizes.
Saturday began with the annual Reindeer Dash 5k at 8AM, which had a main goal of raising food for the Maple Valley Food Bank and ended up with a turnout of around 120 people. Participants could either pay five dollars for entry, or provide five non-perishable food items. The first 100 participants were given reindeer antlers and goody bags.
Kentlake had a strong turnout in the race, taking the first four and seventh places overall. Nick McClure, who came in 2nd place, said he was “excited to place so highly,” and that the run was “a great experience”. His brother, Hunter McClure, came in 3rd, and Zack Harrison came in 4th. Krista Matuska came in 1st for women and 7th overall.
Directly after the run was the free pancake breakfast at the city hall for all the tired runners, along with other activities, such as photos with Santa. Participants also had the opportunity to donate food or cash to local food banks.
After breakfast, festivity-goers headed over to the craft bazaar at Jenkin’s Creek Elementary School, where they could look for gifts or handmade items from fifty different vendors.
Ending it all was the community tree lighting ceremony, where in the freezing cold hundreds of people gathered around the Don Henning Roundabout to watch the main Christmas tree and the surrounding shrubbery being lit. There was cocoa, singing, holiday music, craftmaking, cookie decorating, and Santa even showed up at 5:30.
All in all the Covington Holidaze events were successful in stirring up the cheer and getting our community ready for a fun holiday season.

Mannequin Challenge is Popular Among Everyone

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by Gunner Ellsworth – Staff Reporter

“Black Beatles”, this song is a real crowd pleaser. Find out how the song By Rae Sremmurd and Gucci Mane has swept the music world, and initiated a viral challenge further increasing its popularity. The song took down Closer by the chainsmokers for the number one spot on the billboard hot 100 list. It didn’t stop there though.
The song by Sremmurd and Mane has actually initiated its own #challenge. Following the #runningman challenge to the song “My Boo” comes the #mannequinchallenge, this challenge involves a group of people staying completely still, while the camera man walks slowly around capturing all the best poses, while the song “Black Beatles” plays in the background.
This challenge has many famous people doing it. The entire Milwaukee Bucks NBA basketball team including superstars like, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Jabari Parker, did this on their team jet, this just helped shoot Black Beatles farther up on the billboards. Odell Beckham Jr. one of today most recognized football players was even caught doing this challenge pre-game. Other pro sports teams and famous people have done this challenge and it just increases its popularity.
Like a High school even Kentlake has picked up on this trend. Classes like Mrs. Best’s sixth period class have even participated. This challenge had the class frozen as if in a normal moment, but the song “Black Beatles” was playing in the background.
Many cool things have been done with this challenge, one group of personal trainers even indulged in this doing some pretty epic, (and strenuous) poses. One man was holding a flagpole, this tricky pose involves using your hands grabbing a pole and making your body perfectly horizontal to it. Holding this for a silly challenge may seem extreme but with a challenge this popular anything could happen.

Holiday Tree Show Raises Money for Children’s Hospital

by Jessica Pahutski – Staff Editor

Right around this time of year, many families look for the perfect festive decorations to put in their home, although they have children with serious health problems and can’t find the time or the money to buy any. To help these families, several “Festival of Trees” events are held to raise money for pediatric medical facilities.
Usually held in a convention center or other large room, the Festival shows off dozens of decorated trees and wreaths with themes based around things like classic Christmas movies and sports teams. After a few days’ showings, an auction takes place with the proceeds going to local hospitals. The fundraiser started in Salt Lake City in 1970 and has spread to at least 20 separate locations in the US and one in Canada.
Organized by MultiCare since the early 90’s and held in the first week of December at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center, the Festival of Trees has raised more than $30,000,000 for Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in 30 years. According to the official website, over 15,000 people attended last year alone. Along with the usual public days, MultiCare employees, their families, and volunteers can tour the grounds early.
Over 800 volunteers put in dozens of hours to make it happen and it shows. Live music and occasional video presentations about the history of the event add to the feeling of cheer that surrounds the venue. Though it can be easily assumed that each 8-foot tree would cost an arm and a leg to buy in a store or at an auction, no monetary amount can compare with the atmosphere of charity that can be felt just wandering from one end of the exhibition room to the other.

Cuban President Fidel Castro Dies After 50 Years in Power

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by Yareli Rodriguez – Staff Reporter

Fidel Castro, after almost 50 long years of being in power at Cuba, died of natural causes at the age of 90. Since his death had been announced by his brother, Raul Castro, the people had gone out to pay their respects. According to NBC, China had also paid their respects to Castro by leaving flowers near the Cuban Embassy in Beijing, China.
While many believed that Castro was a good leader, many others disagree— he remained an icon of rebellion, but he also controlled everything about Cuba. As a dictator, he did not allow anyone to enter or leave beyond the Cuban borders, and whenever the people had tried to escape, they would either be sent to jail, or would be executed.
As well as mourning his passing, many celebrated the death of the dictator. Cuba had been left in the hands of Fidel’s brother, Raul Castro, he plans to carry out Fidel’s plans of keeping Cuba a strictly communist country. “Yes, we will overcome any obstacle, turmoil or threat in the building of socialism in Cuba,” Raul told Cuba.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Raul had taken “steps to open up Cuba’s economy… giving Cubans greater freedom to travel abroad.” While Fidel had made it clear he didn’t want Cubans leaving the country, Raul made it easier for Cubans to travel.
Although Raul Castro promises to continue Fidel’s legacy of spreading communism, he declared that he would step down in office in 2018.
Fidel Castro’s passing came as a surprise and left many in shock, whether it be from relief that Cuba’s dictator had passed, or of sadness that Cuba had lost what many considered a charming leader. Though half the country is still mourning, it is unknown what Cuba’s future holds now that Fidel is no longer in power.

Brazilian Soccer Team’s Plane Crashes: Only Three Survivors

by Tatyana Ivanchuk – Staff Reporter

Just thirty minutes short from their destination the plane crashed. With only six survivors a plane filled with Brazilian soccer players crashed Monday November 28. The pilots reported electrical problems. The engine was fried, there were reports that the plane had ran out of fuel. Though even with this information, the reason for the crash is still up in the air.
When the Red Cross arrived there was no fire which seems to be the reason why there are a few survivors. Luckily, the plane was out of fuel because if there was fuel in the plane then it would have caused an explosion, but since there was no fuel in the plane there was no fire. Only six out of the seventy-seven people survived this tragic crash. Unfortunately, only three of the six crash are still survivors here recovering from their injures, the other either died before they got to the hospital or at the hospital.
According to daily mail, Erwin Tumiri was a crew member on the plane that went down with the Brazilian soccer team, Chapecoense.
“During the situation, many stood up from their seats and they started to shout.” Said Erwin Tumiri. What Tumiri knew was if he kept calm and put his head down, that he would be less at risk. “I put the bags in between my legs to form the fetal position that is recommended in the accidents.” Tumiri said, he believes this procedure is what saved his life.
The crash happened when they were flying out from Santa Cruz they crashed in an area called Cerro El Gordo near Medellin. And the Red cross had arrived at the scene at 10:30pm.
The team was set to play at the Colombian club Atletico National on November 30th. The match would have been the first leg of the South American Cup Finals.
A couple days later on December 3rd, 2016 half of the Brazilin city came out to the Chapecpense stadium to watch soldiers carry the team in coffins out to the stadium. In the stands the fans cried out and chanted the name of their idol. As the soldiers carried the coffins in the rain, the friends and family of the players were waiting to see them.

Snowmen Endanger Children Across the Globe

 

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by Madison Marko – Op-ed Editor

Every holiday season our children huddle around the fire and stare outside, wishing desperately to be graced by the presence of small, white flakes falling from the sky. They, understandably, want to sled down a hill and be rebirthed by the cold air rushing by their pink cheeks. They also yearn to, less understandably, exercise friendly competition by pelting each other with snow and frolicking around.
Lastly, inexcusably, they want to build feeble versions of people. This outdated practice takes little to no creativity to produce, sets impractical body standards, and builds short-lived attachments that disappear in a puddle of the innocents’ tears.
Snowmen need to go.
Three balls, stacked one on top of the other, biggest on the bottom, smallest on the top. They are lifeless figures adorned with warm hats, scarves, carrot noses, pebbles for their mouths, twig arms, and beady black button eyes.
Everyone pictures the same thing. If a child wants to build a snowman, they will produce some version of this horror, joining the ordinary and applying no creative efforts on their part. People want to be inspired by snowmen, not subdued by mediocre garbage ushered into the world by everybody and their dog. There is no use for creators to waste away in the cold if they are providing no intellectual benefits for themselves or for those around them.
With this seemingly inevitable façade comes an unsettling body standard set on today’s youth. If these frozen forms are truly a representation of men, albeit portrayed in frosty form, children are brought into the crude reality of what we expect of people in society.
To succeed, to fit in, you much be cold, motionless, have three distinctive lumps, stick-thin arms, a grotesquely long nose, and soulless, unblinking eyes. These ideals are utterly unachievable and discourage our youth, as well as try to force them into molds they can never fill.
When they bring the snowman into the world, they also develop a close-knit bond with it—a bond that most definitely does not stand the test of time. As soon as the sun warms the brittle air, the end it near for the child’s cold companion. Their friend will slowly return to the ground, water dripping off its shell.
Losing this pal could be viewed as a positive, for it teaches them that nothing is permanent, especially good things, and relationships fade through time. These are sure to be the lessons people want to learn in their tender childhood years.
To protect our youth, we need avoid the traditional practice of snowman building. It has little intellectual benefit, creates unrealistic body standards, and teaches questionable lessons at a young age.

Black Friday Undermines Meaning Behind Holidays

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by Fiona Higgins – Staff Reporter

Whether you love Thanksgiving or hate it, one thing cannot be denied: Thanksgiving is meant to be a time of family, not commercialism and shopping. There is the rush to shop for food and sure, maybe some disagreements, but the sentiment is still there. Love, family, friendship, togetherness and being thankful for what you have in life… that’s what Thanksgiving is supposed to be about.
That is why Black Friday could not come at a worse time.
Obviously, the crazy 50% deals at almost every store like Macy’s and Kohl’s are a steal, and when every single little item the entire store is advertised as a “perfect gift for the whole family”, it seems like it could be the best day ever. But, take a step back and reconsider.
The day after Thanksgiving, the holiday of caring and being thankful, we immediately go out and fight tooth and nail for a 40%-off Xbox or flat screen TV at Sears. In essence, we disregard all of our lovely moral standings we held so dear the day before.
To go along with this negativity, Black Friday is dangerous. This year alone, two people have died and four more were injured in stores on their Black Friday shopping spree. Throughout the years, various organizations like BBC, CBS and NBC news have reported on this atrocities, which include but are not exclusive to, a worker dying in a Long Island Walmart after getting trampled by a stampede of shoppers in 2008 (NY Daily News), an 11-year-old girl being sent to the hospital after being hurt in a Black Friday crowd in 2013 (Norwalk Reflector), and a shirtless man using a belt as a whip outside a Vancouver Black Friday sale just this year (CTV News). Countless videos on multiple streaming sites show people wrestling with each other, pepper-spraying each other, and participating in other violent acts during the Black Friday mania.
While a lot of Black Friday has transitioned online, there are still a lot of people who choose to do their shopping in-store. Even with Cyber Monday happening just a few days later, the citizens of the United States and abroad will still take the risk of getting trampled to death to get a new set of bath towels.
Even stranger is the fact that many stores, including Macy’s, Walmart, Apple, and Nordstrom started doing Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving. That’s right, they could not wait 12 hours to get those deals out. Starting sales this early could cause people to rush or even miss Thanksgiving, choosing cheap furniture and kitchen appliances over family and thankfulness.
There’s nothing wrong with having a giant nationwide sale in the holiday season. Honestly, it makes sense that we would; Christmas and other winter celebrations often involve exchanging gifts, and it is nice to get them for a huge discount. However, given the catastrophes and frankly disrespectful day that we have chosen to place it on, it would be much better if we as a society chose not to support this strangely disturbing tradition, at least not on the day it is currently on.

Biggest Losers in the Shocking “Year of the Choke”

by Gunner Ellsworth – Staff Reporter

2016 is officially the “Year of the Choke.” Never before have there been so many unbelievable “choke” moments in this small amount of a time. A “choke” moment is, for example, if someone did 99 successful bottle flips in a row, and then proceeded to miss the next one. Many of these chokes have occurred, mostly in the sports world, but even outside of it.
All the choking began in the NFL. Blair Walsh, in the conference semifinals, two games away from the Super Bowl, missed a 27-yard field goal to win the game with 25 seconds left. This ended up sending our Seattle Seahawks to the conference finals against the Carolina Panthers. Twenty-seven yards may seem like a long distance, but as a professional kicker that should be easy.
It didn’t stop there though, the Carolina Panthers who beat our Seahawks in that conference finals game were an undefeated team. Lead by Cam Newton, the team had not lost a game all year.
They went on to face the Denver Broncos, a team who most people thought would be eliminated by the New England Patriots weeks prior. The Panthers lost that game, despite being favored to win heavily. This “choke” was a huge upset of the NFL.
The “choking” continued even after the football season was over. In the NBA, the Golden State Warriors led by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson was in its prime coming off the NBA Championship against the Cavaliers in 2015.
The team was unstoppable in the 2016 regular season, winning 73 games— the most games ever won in history, topping Michael Jordan’s 72 wins. The Warriors probably felt on top of the world going into the 2016 playoffs.
They coasted through their first opponent, the Houston Rockets, and proceeded to easily beat the Portland Trailblazer. Then came the Oklahoma City Thunder, who had barely taken a win against the San Antonio Spurs, and now were faced with a game against the Warriors.
Lead by Kevin Durant and Russel Westbrook, the Thunder acquired a 3-1 lead. The Thunder proceeded to “choke”, losing their next three games and the conference finals. The Cavaliers, having a blatantly easier conference, blew all their opponents out of the water. They were the team matched up against the Warriors in the finals.
The Warriors thought they had the game in the bag, acquiring a 3-1 lead. In the history in of the NBA, no team had ever come back from a 3-1 lead in the NBA finals. LeBron James, leader of the Cavaliers, was determined to break this streak, and he did.
The Cavaliers won the next three games thanks to an outstanding performance by James and Irving as well. Just like that the Warriors had the biggest choke thus far.
And then it was baseball season, and the Cleveland Indians were destroying the Chicago Cubs in the World Series. Not only did the Indian’s have the tradition of “The Curses” on their side, the Cubs were down in the series 3-1. The odds of a team coming back from that far behind to win were slim. But the Cubs persevered in game 5, again in game 6 and brought themselves back to even.
The final game took 10 innings to complete, survived a rain delay and each team was ahead at some point. The Indians even came back in the eighth inning with a gigantic homerun, how could the lose? But they choked and lost by 1 in the 10th inning; the Cubs curses were broken.
The final “choke” is not sports related; it is political. The 2016 election was arguably the most heated one of all time, many liberals hated republican candidate Donald Trump, and many conservatives hated democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Trump was obviously behind, even with Clinton’s email scandal and many other things contributing negatively to her campaign. Despite this, Clinton seemed like the obvious winner for the election. Many still had hope though, that America could become great once again, under president Trump.
Come election day, many conservatives were hanging their heads, waiting for another democratic president. Then, Trump took the nation by storm. He won a ton of swing states and was very quickly in front of Clinton. He then proceeded to close out the election beating Clinton, and giving conservatives everywhere something to be happy about.
Sports, politics—there is no denying that this year is truly the “Year of the Choke.” What will 2017 have in store? Let’s hope more breathing.

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Educating About All Holidays Encourages Inclusivity

by Lauren Killgrove – Photo Editor

As children, we are taught about other religions and their traditions, but yet Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Rosh Hashanah, Ramadan, and thousands of other religious holidays aren’t as widely recognized outside a classroom. Christmas is the holiday that gets the spotlight.
According to Gallup, a company that makes public polls, 96% of American adults celebrate Christmas. And though that 4% may seem small, people would be surprised at just how many people around them don’t celebrate the holiday.
A person can look all around them and find many people who do not celebrate Christmas. This person could also be unaware at just how many major religious holidays there are. It is unfair and shows ignorance and limited inclusivity when other religious holidays are not as widely recognized as Christmas and other Christian holidays.
On top of the lack of recognition of major religious holidays, it is also concerning as to how unknowledgeable others can be about different religious holidays. There are many misconceptions about many holidays, such as how Hanukkah is the “Jewish Christmas” when it is truly about rededication. The main reason it is recognized is because it is close to Christmas time, hence the “Jewish Christmas.”
What many don’t realize is that Rosh Hashanah is the more important Jewish holiday. The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah is followed by Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Most view Hanukkah as the more important holiday since it is the one that gets more recognition because of its almost simultaneous timing to Christmas. Also, many don’t know what Ramadan, the Islamic holy month where Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, is.
These holidays reflect a major part of a person’s belief system, and an important part of a person’s life. The more we focus on one belief, the more we separate ourselves from learning and connecting to those who believe in different things. When we do this, we are creating a divide between us and our peers, our neighbors. If we continue to neglect other religions, we will only further isolate everyone. Society should become more aware of other religions and traditions so we can all celebrate and understand one another.

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Thanksgiving Overshadowed by Winter Festivities

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by Amelia Ransom – Staff Reporter

Immediately after Halloween, most people’s minds skip over the idea of thanksgiving and miss the importance behind the holiday. Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy time with family and to recognize all the things you have to be thankful for over the past year. Just because you do not necessarily get presents does not mean that Thanksgiving is not important too.
Erica Little, a freshman, said, “Thanksgiving is one of the most important holidays every year. It is necessary to spend time with family and be thankful for the things that you have. It is not all about the food, it is more about love, the thankfulness and the joy that goes around at the start of the holiday season. Thanksgiving is about reminiscing on everything that you are thankful for.”
Some people start decorating for Christmas after Halloween as if they forgot about the importance of Thanksgiving. Others wait until thanksgiving is over before setting up the tree. Thanksgiving is a time to really sit down with your family and share the things you are thankful for. Waiting until after Thanksgiving to set up decorations, gives time to clean up from having family over the past week, and pays respect to the often-forgotten holiday and what it represents.
Little, who celebrates Christmas, said that she would prefer to decorate earlier, but her family waits until after Thanksgiving. “If it were up to me, I would decorate my house for Christmas in the summer, but it is not, so my family usually decorates the week following Thanksgiving. My parents do not seem to really like having the tree up before Thanksgiving, or any of the decorations like stockings or wooden Santa Clauses around, but again, if it was a perfect world and I had everything my way, we would have our tree in our office from July to January.”
It may seem easy to overlook thanksgiving, but do not let the excitement overshadow Thanksgiving. It is a time to be thankful for everything, eat good food, and enjoy time with your family.