Category Archives: Megan Monahan

Iceland Takes Action Against Pay Inequality

by Megan Monahan – Staff Writer

Iceland’s taking a leap forward for women’s equality by making it illegal to underpay woman with a possible fine of five hundred dollars to any company who does.

Worldwide many are applauding Iceland for becoming the First Country in the World to require equal pay for women. This plan has been coming to action since March of 2017 with Iceland’s Prime Minister Bjarni Bendeiktsson stating on last years International Women’s Day that, “Gender quality benefits all of us.” The law is the first of its kind at the National level and applies to all countries with more than 25 employees. Companies must undergo certification every three years to ensure that their pay policies follow the rules. “There is a standard which we have already taken up,” said Bendeiktsson, “but not all are following it.”

Many are speaking up about the new legislation praising Iceland for its step toward women’s equality. American tennis player Billie Jean King stated that, “Iceland again leading in the quality movement. A new Female Prime Minister, and a Parliament where nearly half of its members are women. Equal representation benefits everyone!” King is not the only one praising Iceland’s efforts. CEO Sam Smethers, a women’s rights supporter said that equal pay “isn’t just about women’s interests.” She emphasized that “Holding women back holds our economy back. Tackling gender inequality and discrimination is good for business and for all of us.”

The United States is trying to follow in Iceland’s footsteps and is attempting to close the wage gap. Some of these attempts have been successful, however the wage gap still remains wide. In January 2016, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the most recent date showed that women were still earning “83 percent of men’s median weekly earnings,” which is a point two percent increase from 2012. The only state that is taking strong effort in trying to close the wage gap is Minnesota. Minnesota has its own gender pay equity law that has been in place since December 31, 2012, however it is yet to prove a major difference in the wage gap.

Ex-Mas: Christmas with Divorced Parents

by Megan Monahan – Staff Writer

What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you think about Christmas morning? Some of you are thinking about the brightly colored Christmas tree sitting in your living room lit up with lights. Others are thinking about opening presents that were sitting there waiting under the tree. Others simply don’t know because they don’t celebrate Christmas. For me the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Christmas morning is the fact that I have two of them.

The joys of Christmas morning for me include; waking up in warm flannel pajamas and running into my mom’s room, jumping on her bed, and pulling her up with an enticing cup of coffee so that we could go downstairs to open presents. Or, in my case, wait until my dad came over to open them with us. Picture this: a firm knock on the door causing a small child to catapult over the side of the couch and around the corner to fling open the door to see there smiling father looking down on them. The waiting and surveying over a warm cup of hot chocolate brought me more joy than opening the presents themselves because I knew that the minute that doorbell rang it would be like we were our own small family again.

Christmas time was always sacred to me when I was a small child and quite frankly still is. The holiday season to me represents the outward expression of joy, love, and family. Three things that my parents made sure that I always experienced. The Christmas I was 12 was the first Christmas ever where I didn’t see my dad. My mom and I went and visited my Uncle in Eastern Washington and no matter how hard I tried, no matter how hard we all did it just didn’t feel like Christmas without him. That is the year I really realized what Christmas was about for me. It wasn’t about the giving or receiving of presents, the decorations, or even the delicious treats that you munch on. The holidays are about spending as much time with you family and telling them how much they mean to you.

Pros vs. Cons: Thanksgiving Edition

Pro: Thanksgiving is Important in This Society

by Symantha Edwards – Staff Writer

America has a view of a traditional family Thanksgiving, everyone gathered around the table, with dad about to carve the turkey. Pure happiness, right? But let me be the one to tell you (if you have not figured it out by now) that not everyone has that perfect family. We live in a country that is diverse and different, which is really important to our society as a whole. I am here to tell you that thanksgiving is still important no matter who you are, how weird your family is, or what you believe.

Although in elementary school we were told it all started with the pilgrims coming to America and meeting the Indians and eating all sorts of delicious food together (though this is far from reality), I believe that the values of the holiday itself are even more important that the history. We as a society and a world tend to focus on the negative. Just look at the news; maybe every 15th story is something positive, but the rest is depressing and is designed to make you feel hopeless.

Thanksgiving is not only a time to stuff yourself with all sorts of carbs and food and watch football, but a time to appreciate all that we have. Whether it be you are grateful for your new iPhone 8, or your just happy that your mom is your mom, its important to remember these things in order to stay sane.

So let us think of Thanksgiving not as an ancient tradition, but as a time to eat food and love life.

Con: Thanksgiving’s Men, Myths, and Legends

by Megan Monahan – Staff Writer

As the holiday approaches, many are excited to eat a homecooked meal, spend time with their families, and enjoy the festive fall decorations that adorn many homes and neighborhood. However, think of this, Thanksgiving was taught and created from a lie.

The origins of the holiday are not based off the common idea that the pilgrims and the Native Americans came together and had a giant feast and lived in harmony therefore after. The holiday’s origins actually have nothing to do with the United States at all. It is a hybrid of a three-day Pagan Harvest Festival where they celebrated the good harvest, and a Christian religious holiday where they thank God for all the gifts that he has blessed in their lives. This hybridization along with the myth of the “Great Feast” has placed us in the religious fat fest that thanksgiving is today.

Thanksgiving itself wasn’t made a national holiday until 1863 when Lincoln proclaimed it a national holiday of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” that was to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. (history.com) As Thanksgiving is blatantly a Christian holiday ignoring the separation of church as state, and not taking into consideration that others who are not Christian do not celebrate it. Therefore, making it a national holiday is being inconsiderate of those who do not share the Christian faith.

With the basic idea of thanksgiving being that you are supposed to be spending time with your family and friends and thinking of everything that you must be thankful for how did it morph into eating dinner at 4 pm and lining up outside the door of your favorite store or mall for hours just so that you can get the TV of your dreams for a slightly discounted price. With 23% of all shoppers camping out before the clock strikes midnight to get into the stores first according to statistic brain. Thanksgiving has become almost solely about food and fighting for the death for a sale. Without remembering the true purpose of Thanksgiving, bringing people together, then the holiday will continue to be used for capitalistic purposes.

Riverdale Builds Suspense with Second Season Premiere

by Megan Monahan – Staff Writer

The highly anticipated season premiere for the second season of Riverdale aired Oct. 11, leaving viewers stunned and begging for more. The new season jumped 400% in teen viewer audience with 3.3 million total viewers. The CW believes that this is because of the shows streaming on Netflix and its contract stating that a week after the season finale the entire season will be uploaded to the streaming site.

The much-anticipated season 2 premiere did not let fans down as it was packed with drama, romance, and death. Fans were left at the previous season finale wondering what was going to happen to Fred Andrews, Archie’s father, who was shot at Pop’s diner by the “Black Hood.” The Black Hood, also known the Angle of Death by Pop Tate is Riverdale’s newest vigilante killer who is not afraid to get their hands dirty.

As Fred Pulls through from his injuries he is taken in a dream like state where he relives all the memories and major events he would’ve missed if he had died from his injuries. Many viewers however found it odd that he mainly fixated on Archie’s relationship with Veronica instead of those of his wife, or even his short term affair with Hermione Lodge. The fixation on his sons life with his high school girlfriend emphasizes the fact that without Archie Fred is incredibly lonely especially since he and his wife were separated for a majority of the first season.

On the other end of the hospital Penelope Blossom is recovering from severe burns across her entire body and acute smoke inhalation. Which she suffered from running back into Thornhill to save a family portrait after Cheryl Blossom set the house ablaze to restart their family. As Penelope was recovering from her injuries in her hospital bed Cheryl threatens her by grabbing her breathing tube and telling her that she is only alive because Cheryl allows it, and very clearly makes her understand that the abuse of power that the elder Blossoms have, is over.

On the other end of town Ms. Grundy is strangled by the “Black Hood” with her own Cello Bow immediately after the end of her music lesson with her new student who is the same person that she is having an affair with like she was with Archie at the beginning of the first season.

Community Earthquake Preparedness

by Megan Monahan – Staff Writer

September 19, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit Mexico City claiming at least 200 lives and thousands of buildings damaged residents in the Pacific Northwest wonder what will happen when the “Big One” finally happens?

With the Mexico City earth quake leaving thousands displaced and an estimated 2 billion dollars in damage leaving the west coast wondering, “what will happen when the big one happens?” The West Coast has been hearing that they need to prepare for when the predicted 10.0-11.0 magnitude earthquake that will hit the West Coast in the next 20 years. More than 4.5 million people In Washington and Oregon will be impacted when the “Big One” hits. One of the greatest risks that come with earthquakes are buildings collapsing causing injuries, damage and sometimes death.

The earths outer layer is made up of giant tectonic plates that are always sliding past creating seismic activity. The Juan de Fuca plate that under the North American plate have been grinding against each other for eons and get stuck for 200-300 years at a time. Scientists say that Washington is 100-116 years overdue from another massive earthquake that will shake the region. In addition to this an underwater fault will break once the earthquake occurs possibly causing a tsunami that will wipe out the entire city of Seattle and hundreds of small seaside towns stretching from the Vancouver Islands to the Northern Coast of California.

Here is what to do to prepare for when the “Big One” occurs. Pay attention and learn from the Mason County Cascadia Rising Drills that happen yearly, where they have a mock tsunami and earthquake drill that helps them determine what works and what doesn’t in the case of an emergency. Create an emergency preparedness plan for your home, school and work. Make sure you identify the best places to seek shelter in your building such as, sturdy desks and tables, the frame of a strong interior door. In the event of an earthquake makes sure you stay away from all large furniture, mirrors, windows, kitchen cabinets and anything that won’t be stable during the quake. Make sure you teach everyone how to signal for help if they are trapped.

Another thing to do in preparation for any natural disaster is learning basic CPR and first aid, and if you don’t know it, make sure that someone you are with does. Local Red Cross centers hold monthly classes along with having online courses. Decide a rallying point for all your family to meet at after the quake and immediate aftershocks have stopped. Learn also how to turn off all the utilities in your house, especially your gas line. Develop routes with several methods of getting home after the quake has happened because you never know when a quake can happen.

Make sure that you also have 7-10 days of food and water stored in a waterproof bin, also containing first aid supplies, batteries, flashlights, candles and matches. Other things that are useful in an emergency kit are, fire blankets, foldable rain ponchos and a CB radio that you can use to contact someone for help if you are trapped without power and cell service.

In the event of an earthquake at Kentlake students and staff “drop, cover, and hold” under desk. Once the shaking has stopped admin and security will assess the building for any structural damage. After that happens there will be an announcement for students and staff to go out to the football field just like we do during fire drills and follow all of the check-in protocols.

World Ending Catastrophe or Climate Change?

by Megan Monahan – Staff Writer

With all the recent natural disasters that have occurred it leaves some begging for the answer to one simple question. Is the world ending? Sorry to disappoint, but no, the world is not ending. In fact, it’s actually something much worse. Climate change.

Climate change is the evil child produced from factory use, gas emissions from cars, the usage of electronic items, the beef industry, oil spills, and fracking. The combustion of these fossil fuels and other greenhouse gases releases high amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Many believe that climate change only effects the polar ice caps, however those people would be wrong. The issues that are present because of climate change is yes, the melting polar icecaps but also changing rainfall patterns, global temperature spikes, and an increase of frequency in hurricanes.

Now I know what many of you are thinking, wait what? Did you just tell me that the old wives tale of climate change is the reason that parts of the south are in ruin with thousands of people without homes? Yes, I did; and here’s why. Hurricane Irma was as strong as it was because of the 1.2 to 1.8-degree Fahrenheit warmer water temperature, which allowed the warm water to seep deeper in the ocean. That combined with weak high-altitude winds, which help end the storm, made Irma the most devastating hurricane we have seen in the United States since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Hurricanes however are not the only thing that is being caused by climate change. The oceans themselves are becoming more and more acidic every day. And this is how it’s happening. The ocean plays a massive role in maintaining the Earth’s carbon cycle balanced. However, as more and more carbon dioxide is released in the atmosphere the ocean absorbs a lot of it. When the ocean and the carbon dioxide combines with sea water it reacts to create carbonic acid. This carbonic acid is the reason that the oceans are more acidic and why the coral reefs are decaying and dying across the world.

KEA Approves Two-Year Contract

by Megan Monahan – Staff Writer

The Kent Education Association, the union that represents educators in the Kent School District, recently approved a two-year contract August 29, two days before the school year began.

The contract includes the two-hour early release Wednesdays and a 2.3 percent cost-of-living increase that was approved by the state Legislature for the current 2017-2018 school year. The 2.3 percent cost-of-living increase helped with the grocery and gas price inflammation amongst other things. Due to the current budget crisis, additional pay was given by the district.

The contract is not the only significant change that will be happening in this school year. There are 55 unfulfilled teaching positions throughout the Kent School District that will not be filled throughout the year. Christie Padilla, KEA President, said, “the district is choosing not to fulfill teacher positions as a cost saving method. They’re hoping by raising class sizes and not hiring as many teachers this year that they’ll be able to save the money that they borrowed from the capital bond project.” Padilla emphasizes that, “It really feels like the teachers are taking the brunt of the budget deficit unfortunately.”

In addition to the 55-unfulfilled teaching position there are three administration positions at the district office that will not be fulfilled. The union feels the hiring ratio between administration and teachers is disproportionate. Padilla said, “Well, it is in our opinion that is does not equate. That the district chose to make cuts that would impact our students the most and did not make cuts where it would impact students the least.

The 2016-2017 school year was not the first year that the district ended in debt, and it isn’t the first-time teachers are speaking up about it. “Teachers met with Dr. Watts and the chief financial officer with the district almost monthly,” said Padilla, “and we showed them that their ending fund balance, which is the district savings account was being depleted and that they were overspending.” Even though the union forecasted the budget deficit, the district believed that their forecasting’s were accurate and didn’t listen to them, inflating the budget deficit we have now.