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Green Friday

Santosh Muralidaran

     With the intent to promote the outdoors and nature rather than shopping and merchandise on Black Friday, the California State Park Foundation offered a limited amount of free “Green Day Passes” on Nov. 25, allowing pass holders to visit state parks for free. Over 13,000 passes were available, and a significant portion of the passes were obtained before Black Friday, causing many free passes to run out. The free day use parking pass was available for 116 state parks across California, including popular destinations such as Big Basin and Red Rock Canyon State Parks. The ultimate goal of Green Friday was to build appreciation for California State Parks and to generate support for the State Park Foundation. The Save the Redwoods League, California State Park Foundation and the State Parks Agency funded and supported Green Friday by purchasing the 13,000 passes and distributing them to various parks. With their allocated number of passes, these parks allotted the Green Friday passes by a first come first serve basis to anyone who requested them. Green Friday is expected to continue annually for several more years. Green Friday existed on Black Friday in 2015 as well, yet there was an increase of more than 140% of state parks who participated in Green Friday this year.

     By Nov. 20, 24 out of the 28 state parks in the Bay Area, Santa Cruz Counties and Monterey counties had already given away all their Green Passes. Portola Redwoods State Park in La Honda, California, one of the several California State Parks that sold out of Green Day passes prior to Black Friday, saw many visitors on Nov. 25.

     “I think [the green passes] get people out, which is most important. You are supporting something other than just franchises. State Parks [are] really important to keep around and they need the funding. I am an advocate for people getting out [into nature],” Camille Oneto, park aid worker at Portola Redwoods State Park, said.

     Morris, another volunteer at Portola Redwoods State Park, also favors nature over shopping, and views Black Friday, a time of congested malls and shopping outlets, as a perfect time to gain exposure to nature. “What would you rather do,” he remarked, “come in with nature and be out where the air is clear [and there are] small crowds, or get into crowds where people are fighting over objects?”

     Jordan Castillo, a former graduate of Cupertino High School from the Class of 2005, did not own a Green Pass because it sold out yet still embarked on the trails of the Portola Redwoods and admired the nature. Said Castillo, who was traveling with a companion, “I am not looking to spend money today. I think Thanksgiving is one of the last holidays that has not been [fully] commercialized and [is] still about family. It is nice to keep that going through the rest of the weekend [...] Get outside, see some waterfalls [and] check out the redwoods.”

     A similar trend existed with many visitors at this state park. “I do not have a lot of money to spend today, so I thought I would spend it with my friend out in nature,” Amy Anderson, another park visitor, said while observing the map of the various hiking trails at the park’s visitor center.

     Overall, with improvements from last year and a large portion of the passes sold, many California State Park volunteers and visitors were satisfied with the result.

News Briefs

Esha Radhakrishnan

On Tuesday, October 8th, American businessmen, and politician Donald Trump was elected as the 45th president-elect of the United States. As a Republican candidate, he won by 270 electoral ballots beating Democratic candidate and former U.S Senator and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton who received the popular vote. During his concession speech, Trump spoke about his plans to improve our economy, relations and refurbish the American dream.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for great economic change by demonetizing the ₹500 and ₹1000 banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series and introducing the new ₹500 and ₹2000 notes of the Mahatma Gandhi New Series in an attempt to wipe out counterfeiting and corruption within the nation. Citizens only have until November 24th to exchange all physical copies of these cited currencies, causing the epidemic of widespread congestion at banks all across the country

An earthquake of a 7.8 on the Richter scale hit New Zealand on November 14th bringing great damage to buildings and houses, stranding thousands near the epicenter.  A local state of emergency has been declared, urging the evacuation of Kaikoura, a coastal town on the South Island. The movement of the Hundalee fault line caused the raising of seabeds, changing the eastern seacoast of the South Island. The condition of the vibrant marine wildlife at the coast is unclear as only navy rescue vessels have tread near the shore. 

















Cupertino Acts as Polling Place

Anshul Rajwanshi

For the first time in the school’s history, Cupertino High was designated a polling place for the general election. The poll was set up in the entrance to the theater and was staffed by seven election officers, three of whom are students at Cupertino High School. Four people could vote at a time. In total, 195 ballots were processed at the Cupertino site, while 191 signatures were counted. This shows that the polling was carefully done as there were only four ballots in possible question.

    Voting went smoothly at the polling location with only a few poll watchers showing up every three hours, and they kept within regulations and were polite. There were no issues among the election staff and the staff were able to open and close the polls on time. Voters were able to drop off mail in votes or vote at the polling place itself.

    Junior Prachin Anne served as a student election officer. Said Anne, “It was pretty fun and I was able to learn a lot and I was able to help people and I felt proud in helping the community.”

College Essay Lab

Xinyi Zhang

     As the end of 2016 approaches, seniors across the district rush to complete their college applications on time while maintaining their busy daily schedules. Writing applications that will ultimately determine one’s future college is both physically and mentally taxing, but Cupertino High School’s recently established College Essay Writing Workshop aims to relieve some of the stress in the essay-writing process.

    The workshop has two stages: several on-campus presentations from college admissions counselors about traits of successful applications and follow-up revision sessions held in various classrooms, tailored to help students meet those requirements.

     Organized a year ago, the project was a response to growing student concerns and questions about effective ways to tackle college applications. Staff members and teachers have worked together to formulate the best course of action to give seniors the advice they need.

    Said Jessica Yazdani, one of the project heads, “We wanted students to get insight on what a good college application should look like … the entire process is designed to give students tips that come straight from the admissions offices.”

    In late September and early October, three admissions officers from three different universities were invited to Cupertino High School to address common questions during the application process and give examples of responses to past essay prompts. Then, students seeking specific guidance had the option to sign up for a feedback workshop, where English teachers from CHS looked over their essays.

    Said Monique Machado, a literature teacher who was present at the feedback workshop, “We ask students to bring in the [application] that they would like to have reviewed ... at the lab, the teachers look for specifics that most [colleges] are looking for, and edit a hard copy of their application to make sure it is heading in the correct direction.”

    This October, 70 seniors were reported to have attended the editing workshop, a step up from the number of participants last year. After hearing positive responses from the students, Ms. Yazdani and Ms. Machado both wish to develop the program in coming years.

     “Expansion is worth the effort. I heard that students were appreciative of the lab … many said that they were more confident about their applications afterwards,” Yazdani said.

     Hopefully, the future contributions of the literature teachers and the College and Career Center staff will continue to aid seniors in one of the most stressful periods of their academic careers.




Anti-bullying week

Esha Radhakrishnan and Gene Kim

        In light of National Bullying Prevention Month, Cupertino High School will continue its anti-bullying campaign throughout the rest of October. The ASB Community Link and Campus Connection commissioners have planned several events to not only discourage bullying but also to emphasize its relevance to the student community. So far, students have been asked to wear blue on National Stomp Out Bullying Day, the first Monday of October. The daily announcements featured insightful facts and statements about bullying. Students also participated in a larger video project, in which individuals wrote hateful comments that bullies had said to them on inflated balloons, shared personal instances of bullying, and then expressed their victory on overcoming their adversity by stomping out the balloons at the end of the video.

           Another project the ASB commissioners planned for the second week of October is a school-wide survey. Students were able to share empirical stories and or encouraging comments on the subject of bullying, which were then be compiled into an organized medium, such as a video or pamphlet. The powerful student expression will also portray how relevant bullying is at CHS, considering how absent it may seem at first glance.

           All of these events were specifically planned to inform and encourage students to take a stance against bullying.

           “The point is not to raise money. [The campaign] is for raising awareness and to help anyone who is battling through it,” senior Brendan Lin, a Community Link commissioner, said.

           Bullying is a significant issue that is relevant to every student at CHS The commissioners

genuinely hope to influence an anti-bullying mindset to create a safe

atmosphere for all CHS students.

           Said Campus Connection officers senior Frank McMullin and junior Rhea Lamba, “We do sincerely hope this campaign makes a difference at our school. Bullying is an issue that has affected a lot of people, and that is why we are doing it.”

Below is the video mentioned above. It can also be found on the ASB Facebook page

Tournament of the Bands

Christina Shao, Saagar Sanghavi and Matt Webb

From nine in the morning to nine in the evening, marching bands and color guards from 22 schools came to compete in the 46th annual Tournament of Bands at Cupertino High School on Oct.8, 2016. Participants ranged from local Bay Area schools to bands from as far away as Oregon. Several middle schools also competed in the tournament.

Senior Shivani Maisuria is the drum major of the CHS marching band and thus serves as a leader for the members. “Since I was young, I had seen bands lining up on Stevens Creek every year for Tournament of Bands. I always thought that it was so cool! I always wanted to be one of them, and then I became one of them!” Maisuria said.

The event featured a parade march down Miller Avenue and Stevens Creek Boulevard in the morning, a percussion competition in Main Street in the morning, a “drill-down” in the afternoon, and a field show competition in the evening.

“Tournament of Bands is like the culmination of the work we’ve done throughout the season,” said junior Ishaan Singhal, band member. “It signifies halfway through the season, and we can compare ourselves to other bands to see what we need to improve.”

During the field shows, each performance features a unique theme. This year, the CHS band performed a show titled “The Complexion of Emotions,” that was based off of the popular 2016 movie Inside Out. Some schools even incorporated a story into their performance. A favorite among the audience, Branham High School’s show included everything from an Eiffel Tower to a bride throwing a cake at a performer.

Said an eight-year-old spectator whose older brother performed for Branham High School, “[I came to the Tournament of Bands, because] I wanted to see my brother get hit in the face with the cake!”

Band students practice so extensively that the movements and sets can become second nature.

Said band member and sophomore Shunji Nezu, “Despite it being the performance at Tournament of Bands, for me it was just another run through.”

    The band has worked to improve themselves in marching technique and musical ability over the past two years. “We’ve set higher expectations for ourselves, and Tournament of Bands is a lot more meaningful to us now in that way since we have a lot more to bring,” band member and junior Sam Berdichevsky said.

Organizing the event proved no easy feat, but the Cupertino Band Boosters benefited from numerous parent and student volunteers.

“It feels like we have a really great community sense,” Maisuria said. “There are so many parts that move in order to make this event work, and I feel proud when we have this event because it is our home territory.”

As a host school, Cupertino aims to foster a successful event overall. “We are the hosts for TOB, so we always represent our school and band well,” Maisuria said “When I  meet other drum majors at awards ceremonies and such, I always say, “Thank you for coming; thank you for giving us a chance to serve you.”

The event was ultimately a huge success, and the school hopes to continue the great tradition next year.

Sixth Annual Volunteer Fair

CHS Prospector

    This past Saturday, the Sixth Annual Volunteer Fair was held at the Lexus dealership of Stevens Creek to raise awareness for various community associations and charities in the Bay Area. Spokespeople from select organizations set up booths and interacted with the audience, seeking potential high school volunteers.

   The dealership opened its doors to the public from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m on Sept. 24. Over 35 nonprofit organizations and charities were present at the fair, including the American Cancer Society, the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, Hope’s Corner, Christmas in the Park, Breakthrough Silicon Valley, the Family Giving Tree and Walden West Outdoor School. Interested participants spoke to the representatives who eagerly offered information about their organization, such as its goals, needs, and backgrounds.

   Said one representative from Christmas in the Park, “I speak out because I love everything my [organization] does and want to share my passion with the young, ambitious people here today.”

   As the event’s sponsor, Lexus of Stevens Creek is proud to partner with the associations that help make society a better place. Holding the fair is one of many ways in which the dealership thanks the community for its continued support.

   Says their website, “We believe successful companies should share as much as they gain with their community, and thus we partner with people and organizations that help us help others.”

   There were feelings of gratitude on both sides.

   “This event is one of the few that provide us with a superb chance for community interaction and recruitment; we give deep thanks to our long-time hosts,” another representative said.

   All spokespeople look forward to next year’s fair and the continued growth of their respective associations.

Main Street Opening

Elena Chang, Anshul Rajwanshi, Esha Radhakrishnan and Santosh Muralidaran

Cupertino has long been a developing suburb in the Bay Area. Amid controversy over continuing commercial development, Main Street Cupertino officially opened on 17 September 2016 at 10:30 AM with a ribbon cutting ceremony officiated by Jerry Rice, a well-known former Forty-Niners football player. The Cupertino High School Proud Pioneer Marching Band and Color Guard opened the parade, followed by various performances by the Fremont High School Marching Band and Color Guard, the San Jose Fire Department and many more. Additionally, free popcorn was provided and various advertising booths were set up around the main street downtown area. With people coming over from all around the San Jose area, this event had all kinds of entertainment. Including the various performances in the parade, there was a Mobile Secret Word Hunt that people entered for a chance to win $800. Bike Valet service was also provided from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM.

     Jerry Rice, the former wide receiver for the 49ers and one of the officiants at the event said, “Vallco is probably the next move that we need to make because this area here is a treasure and it is going to be a big attraction for so many people.”

    A large number of locals at this event were excited for the new opening of Main Street and called for the further development of Vallco Mall into Vallco Hills. Revitalize Vallco and the Sand Hill Property Company, a real estate company in the Silicon Valley, had three tents set up to canvass support for their legislation.

Said Reed Moulds, managing director at the Sand Hill Property Company, “This is a great time to not only celebrate what we have done, but to also look ahead...We finally have a downtown emerging. Main Street is going to be a part of that, but it is a small part. Once we start looking at the opportunity that Vallco presents, [it will] create a social heart for the community.” Notably, the sizable opposition to Main Street and Vallco’s further development could not be found at this event.

Main Street, located directly next to Cupertino High school,  now features many recently-opened or soon to opened restaurants and shops. Target, 85ºC and Tea Chansii, for example, are now up-and-coming or running businesses in this area which will make Main Street, in the eyes of the Vice Mayor of Cupertino Savita Vaidhyanathan, “a place for everyone.”

Said Vaidhyanathan, “[This Main Street area] used to be a pumpkin patch. Can you believe it? Slowly and surely, it has evolved.” Indeed, Main Street has evolved to become what locals can now call “downtown Cupertino.”         

For photos of the event check out our "Main Street Opening Photo Gallery"

Apple Releases iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

Utkarsh Tandon

On September 7th, at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, Apple released the new version of its flagship iPhone line, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Although the phones look strikingly similar to previous models and controversially exclude a headphone jack, the new camera systems and water resistance features give the phones a sense of uniqueness and superiority.

The new phones come in an additional Jet Black glossy finish that significantly changes its look and feel. Additionally both the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus include immensely different camera systems, with the 7 Plus sporting a dual camera that provides higher-quality zoom pictures and the 7 having a single camera with improved optical stabilization.

San Francisco is the First City to Provide Paternity Leave

Rishi Nair

The city of San Francisco on April 5th made huge strides, becoming the first city in the nation to require that employers provide new parents with six weeks of fully paid leave time to spend with their newborns. Proposed by San Francisco City Hall Supervisor Scott Wiener and unanimously approved by the city Board of Supervisors, the plan intends to extend the state’s current paid leave provisions. The state of California pays 55% of a parent’s salary over a six to eight week leave period, and San Francisco businesses are now obligated to pay the remaining 45%. This legislation will bring a huge wave of relief for parents struggling to make ends meet in the highly expensive city. A particularly important part of the proposal is that it includes same-sex couples and single mothers and fathers, making it supportive of all new parents. The proposal’s deadline will be set for January 1, 2018, giving time for small businesses with 20 or more employees to implement the policy. Companies with less than twenty employees are exempt from the legislation.

The U.S. has long lagged behind the world’s other industrialized nations with regards to parental leave, being the only one that does not guarantee paid maternity leave. Wiener articulated this issue telling SF Gate, “There’s been a growing awareness in the United States that our parental leave policies as a country are completely out-of-step with the rest of the world,” he said. “When you do have good, paid parental leave, worker productivity goes up. It’s good for the employer, it’s good for the parents, and it’s good for the child.” Paid parental leave is now more commonly seen as a necessity to ensure the healthy growth of families. The main idea of the proposal is that parents should not have to choose between caring for their kids and making enough money to support their household.

The new proposal for San Francisco parents comes after the successful implementation of similar benefits specifically for San Francisco city employees with newborn children. The proposal will not apply to businesses that already currently offer generous paid leave plans. Wiener hopes San Francisco’s measure will encourage other cities, states, and eventually the federal government to implement such paid parental leave plans so that the nation may close the gap with other developed countries that offer guaranteed paid leave.


Thumbnail Image Courtesy of LiveScience

Tino Spring Fest

Isabel Lin and Jenn Zaratan

The afternoon of Friday, April 22, the school hosted its very first Spring Fest. Filled with free games, food, and performances, the festival drew out many students and teachers.

The festival was set up in a similar manner to that of a carnival -- in the decorated, music-filled quad, people were free to move about and choose activities as they pleased. The booths, which were spread out throughout the quad, varied from henna to aiming ping pong balls into a cup; in one popular game, participants were given ten attempts to pitch a dime into water jugs. Tickets were awarded to winners and could be redeemed for small prizes such as stamps. Each game booth was run by enthusiastic student volunteers who patiently explained game rules. At the end of the night, a raffle with valuable prizes was drawn from.

In addition to the activities, Spring Fest also offered free snacks for participants to enjoy, such as chips, crackers, and Rice Krispies. Food trucks were also present for participants to purchase comfort food such as nachos. Unfortunately, the hotly-anticipated and heavily advertised T-pumps pearl milk tea ran out about an hour into the festival.

“[I came because] everyone was advertising the free food, the free boba, [but] my favorite part was watching all the performances, [and] just hanging out with all my friends [...] outside of school,” freshman Divya Rao said.

The student performances, which seemed to be the highlight of the event, celebrated and showcased Cupertino High’s talented student body. Performances included dances from Latino Club, Tino Dhankan and Korean Club. Cupertino’s improv team Comedy Hour also made an appearance. Each performance was scheduled throughout the night, along with onstage games played by volunteer participants. The night closed with a performance from the music group Mass98.

Although many were incentivized to attend (and later, disappointed) by the tempting free boba, the Spring Fest still managed to make a positive impression on many of the students and faculty; the variety of activities and performances, paired with the laid-back and open setting, brought a certain uniqueness to the event compared to others held at the school. An overall successful event with an impressive turnout, Spring Fest could very well become a valued tradition in the future.

Photos Courtesy of Jenn Zaratan.

Recent Discoveries in STEM

Mark Wang

Google’s AlphaGo defeats Go World Champion 4-1
Google’s AlphaGo defeated the South Korean professional player Lee Sedol in a series of 5 Go games held in Seoul, South Korea in early March. AlphaGo is a computer program developed by Google’s Deepmind and was trained through thousands of regular game matches online before the match against Lee Sedol. The match was highly speculated to be in favor for the human player before the first game had begun, but the AI proved this assumption wrong by winning four out of five games against Lee Sedol. AlphaGo plays the ancient Chinese game of Go by using an algorithm that imitates human intuition.

Courtesy of Google

Courtesy of Google

Additional Resources:

Harvard Business Review: AlphaGo and the Limits of Machine Intuition

Google Official Blog: What we learned in Seoul with AlphaGo

MIT Technological Review: Five Lessons from AlphaGo's Historic Victory


Discovery of Gravitational waves
Physicists in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) have finally discovered gravitational waves using a gravitational wave detection equipment. The discovery now becomes a solid scientific evidence to a nearly century old theoretical prediction made by Albert Einstein in his General Theory of Relativity. Gravitational waves were found when physicists detected laser fluctuations caused by gravitational waves caused by two colliding black holes. By studying the frequency of the waves, physicists can infer the masses of the two black holes. 

Courtesy of GIZMODO

Courtesy of GIZMODO

New Species of Octopus Found
Scientists from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has discovered a small octopus deep in the Pacific Ocean floor near the Hawaiian islands and think that they may have found a completely new species of octopods. The small octopus was dubbed “Casper” by social media for its white, ghostlike appearance. The small octopus was found when scientists were trying to collect geological samples using remotely operated vehicle Okeanos Explorer.

Courtesy of NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Hohonu Moana 2016

Courtesy of NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, Hohonu Moana 2016

Math Professor Solves Three Centuries Old Theorem
British professor Andrew Wiles of the University of Oxford has won the prestigious $700,000 Abel Prize by providing proof to Fermat’s Last Theorem. The math problem of Fermat’s Last Theorem has lingered since 1637 and stumped many of the greatest mathematicians for centuries. The problem behind Fermat’s Last Theorem is "There are no whole number solutions to the equation xn+ yn = zn when n is greater than 2." Wiles came across the math problem when he was just ten years old growing up in Cambridge, England and spent years to tackle the problem.

Courtesy of Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

Courtesy of Charles Rex Arbogast/AP


Thumbnail Image Courtesy of WIRED.

Presidential Fact Sheet

Delanie Medina and Meilinda Sun

Ted Cruz
John Kasich
Marco Rubio
Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton
Bernie Sanders 



Hillary Clinton 

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Education: Supports Common Core and charter schools, supports free pre-K, believes that college should not be free but should be affordable. Wants a no-fly zone in Syria

Foreign policy: Support Iraqis in the fight against ISIS, giving US troops non-combat roles but “greater flexibility” on the battlefield.

Economic Policy: Raises capital gains tax, opposes TPP, tax cuts to the middle class, paid family leave

Health Care: Supports Obamacare and funding for Planned Parenthood
Climate Change: Supports the Clean Power Act, wants to increase the frequency of renewable energy. Wants either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system

Same-sex marriage: Supports SCOTUS’s decision to make same-sex marriage legal across the nation

Abortion: Pro-choice

Gun control: Comprehensive federal background checks, assault weapons ban

Criminal Justice: Reducing mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenders, loosen marijuana restrictions, end private prisons

Race relations in America: Supports funding law enforcement training, ending racial profiling, making body cameras universal, and creating national guidelines for use of force

Equal pay: Wants pay transparency and to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act

Refugee crisis: Current refugee vetting process is enough, accept refugees who pass

Minimum wage: Supports raising the minimum wage to $12
Immigration: Supports Obama’s executive action on immigration and DACA


Bernie Sanders 

Courtesy of Flickr

Courtesy of Flickr

Education: Free early childhood education, make all four-year public colleges and universities free, pay for it with a tax on “Wall Street speculation”

Military: Cut the budget

Foreign policy: The US should be involved, but Muslim countries must spearhead the fight against ISIS, does not support US ground troops fighting ISIS. Russia should join NATO, supports sanctions on Russia

Economic policy: Very outspoken on income and wealth inequality, wants to raise the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour, break up banks that are “too big to fail”, reinstate Glass-Steagall, opposes TPP, NAFTA, and CAFTA. Create jobs by building infrastructure (roads, bridges)

Health care: Obamacare is a good first step, but it doesn’t go far enough –– advocates a single-payer public health-care system, expand Medicare

Climate change: caused mainly by emissions released from burning fossil fuels, calls for putting a tax on carbon pollution, repealing fossil fuel subsidies, and making investments in energy efficiency and clean, sustainable energy

Same-sex marriage: Legalize it nationally

Abortion: Pro-choice

Gun control: Assault-weapons ban, close “gun show loophole”

Criminal justice: Legalize marijuana, close private prisons, end the death penalty

Race relations in America: Strengthen police-community bonds, new national police training program, make police departments release police shootings and deaths data

Equal pay: Pass Paycheck Fairness Act

Refugee crisis: Current refugee vetting process is enough, accept refugees who pass

Minimum wage: $15.00 per hour

Immigration: provide illegal immigrants with a pathway to citizenship or legal status, don’t build a fence, let DREAMers stay


Ted Cruz

Courtesy of Flickr

Courtesy of Flickr

Education: Wants to abolish the US Department of education, giving more opportunity to states and localities. Opposes common core

Military: Expand funding for the military

Foreign policy: End the Iranian nuclear deal and undertake more aggressive action to fight ISIS. Believes in a stronger American presence in global affairs

Economic policy: Advocates a flat tax, approve the Keystone pipeline. Wants the US to become energy independent by capitalizing on the US’s energy resources

Health care: Repeal and replace Obamacare

Climate change: Does not believe climate change is caused by human action

Same-sex marriage: Believes marriage is between a man and a woman, and supports religious freedom laws

Abortion: Defund Planned Parenthood and ban partial-birth abortions. Supports parental-notification laws and is pro-life in general.

Gun control: Defends the second amendment and has been praised by the NRA

Refugee crisis: Does not support allowing Syrian asylum seekers into the US

Minimum wage: Don’t raise the wage

Immigration: Stop funding for sanctuary cities, increase deportations, and prevent visa overstays for illegal immigrants. End Obama’s immigration executive order. Also wants to decrease the number of legal immigration and cites unemployment as a factor in this decision.



John Kasich

Courtesy of Flickr

Courtesy of Flickr

Education: Believes that more power should be handed to the states and localities and supports school choice/voucher programs and expanding charter schools. In Ohio, Kasich capped tuition increases and froze them for 2017. 

Foreign policy: Wants to train and arm Ukrainian troops to counter Russian aggression. Supports “Freedom of Navigation” operations to counter China’s presence in the South China Sea. Supports helping the Kurds fight ISIS.

Economic policy: Opposes a capital

Health care: Believes that Obamacare drives up the cost of health care. Wants to repeal and replace Obamacare. Opposes “episode-based payments”, in which individuals pay for the different aspects of treatment separately

Climate change: While Kasich believes that climate change is caused by human activity, but that Americans should not “overreact” to it

Same-sex marriage: Believes that marriage is between a man and a woman, but has stated that “the Supreme Court has ruled and it’s time to move on.”

Abortion: Defunded planned parenthood in Ohio. Opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the life of the mother

Gun control: Supports concealed-carry laws and opposes Obama’s recent executive actions. He has called upon legislators to ban the sale of guns to individuals on the “no-fly list”

Minimum wage: supports “reasonable” wage raises

Immigration: Opposes mass deportation and wants to give law-abiding illegal immigrants the ability to remain in the country, allowing a path to legalization. Kasich wants to secure the border and expand guest-worker programs



Marco Rubio

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Education: Opposes common core, believes that more power should be handed to the states and localities. Wants to expand vocational training programs and to require colleges to release information regarding average income of students who graduate (“Student Right to Know Before You Go Act”). Student loan payments should be contingent on income.

Foreign policy: Opposes the Iran Nuclear Deal and wants to assemble a Sunni coalition to fight ISIS.

Economic policy: Opposes a tax on capital gains and dividends. Proposes a 25% cap on corporate income tax and small business rate (instead of 35% under the current law for corporations and 39.6% for small businesses). He also proposes a 35% cap on individual taxes.

Health care: Wants to repeal and replace Obamacare

Climate change: Doesn’t believe that climate change is caused by human activity, and environmental regulation hurts the economy

Same-sex marriage: Opposes it

Abortion: Nominally opposes abortion without exceptions, although his position is disputed

Gun control: Does not believe gun control will reduce gun violence

Refugee crisis: Opposes taking in Syrian refugees because the background check process is insufficient

Minimum wage: Opposes raising the minimum wage

Immigration: Opposes amnesty and mass deportation. His plan allows illegal immigrants to stay, but does not grant them citizenship



Donald Trump

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Education: Pledges to end common core, believes education should be handled at a local level. 

Military: Wants to expand the military to unprecedented sizes

Foreign policy: Would be willing to work with Russia to fight ISIS

Economic policy: Value-added tax

Health care: Wants to repeal and replace Obamacare with a planning giving states more autonomy and increasing the amount of insurance plans for sale to increase competition

Climate change: Does not believe that climate change is caused by human activity

Same-sex marriage: Believes marriage is between a man and a woman

Abortion: Is pro-life and has defended Planned Parenthood

Gun control: Opposes gun control in the name of the Second Amendment

Refugee crisis: Wants to create “safe zones” in Syria so that refugees do not need to leave their country. He opposes accepting Syrian refugees into the US

Minimum wage: Opposes raising the minimum wage

Immigration: Has advocated building a wall between Mexico and the US –– a wall that Mexico will pay for. He wants to eliminate H1B Visa (guest-worker program) abuse but has stressed the need for more skilled workers in America


Thumbnail Image Courtesy of CNN.

Career Fair 2016

Saagar Sanghavi

As most continue to explore new fields of study while focusing on their interests to make decisions, the upcoming Cupertino High School 3rd Annual Career Fair is just around the corner to help students with the challenging process and hopefully bring new opportunities and ideas to members of the student body.  With over 60 professionals covering diverse fields such as anesthesiology and real estate marketing, the fair is poised to be a success. 

“There’s definitely a lot that students can learn, whether it be confirming their passion, or finding a different subject that they’re interested in,” college and career advisor Ms. Arranaga said. “A lot of students think that there’s a certain idea of how a career can look, but it isn’t until you’ve actually experienced it or asked questions about it when you start to really understand what that job description or career role looks like. 

“The people that are coming out are professionals in their industries, so they’ve been in their fields for a long time,” Arranga added. “We can definitely learn from these members of our community and this is a great time to do so.”

When it comes to selecting sessions, there is a wide variety of choices. Students are encouraged to focus on their main interests and aspirations while exploring new opportunities. 

“Choose something that you’re interested in!” Arranaga said. “However, I also encourage students to look outside of the box, because by exposing yourself to different things, you can either confirm your passion or discover something new about yourself. I encourage all students to do that: to find something that they like and learn about it, but also go to something different, and learn about that as well.  At the end of the day, you can have a career for five years and turn that into something else for another twenty.”

Said Arranaga, “Using the feedback after last year’s career fair, we asked [students] which careers they would like to see next year. From that list, we reached out to community members and staff to try to get them here, and for the most part, we did. We did get an FBI agent, we got a chef, unfortunately we did not get a professional athlete but we did get a sports physical therapist from Stanford, so that should be really interesting.”


Thumbnail Image Courtesy of The Blue Diamond Gallery.

A Month in Review

Delanie Medina


Thumbnail Image Courtesy of Pexxels.

Mark Zuckerberg's Donation Announcement

Mark Wang

Courtesy of Flickr.

Courtesy of Flickr.

On December 1, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, announced in a letter to their newborn child that they will give 99 percent of their Facebook shares, around $45 billion, during their lives to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. They stated that the money that they will give away will be used for “advancing human potential” and “promoting equality.” 

For Zuckerberg and Chan, advancing human potential can be anything such as improving education, curing diseases so that humans can live longer, healthier lives, strengthening the access to great ideas, harnessing clean energy while strengthening environmental protection, and promoting entrepreneurship in order to solve the listed areas above. On the other hand, they stated that promoting equality is about allowing these advancements in human potential to trickle to every parts of world, not just the developed part of the world. 

To achieve their mission, Zuckerberg and Chan stated that their investments in these areas of improvement must be a long term endeavor because these tough challenges “require very long time horizons.” For example, they will invest innovative technology that “make the internet more affordable and bring access to unconnected areas” and participate in shaping educational policies in partnership with leaders all around the world. Furthermore, they emphasized that their investments in educational technology will improve access to obtaining skills, eventually enabling millions to get out poverty. 

However, despite the couple's optimism for a better future, some critics have scrutinized the couple’s decision to donate all of the promised amount to Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which is incorporated as a limited liability company, or LLC for short. Critics pointed out that by giving their fortune to an LCC, they could reduce their taxes or have substantial amount of oversight over their investments. 

Zuckerberg has so far responded that “[they] receive no tax benefit from transferring [their] shares to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative” while he claimed by doing so, they would “gain flexibility to execute [their] mission more effectively.” Moreover, Zuckerberg said that any positive income they earn from their investment will be reinvested into their mission.


Turkey Trot - Fall 2015

Jennifer Zaratan

Just two days before Thanksgiving, on Nov. 24, Cupertino held its annual after-school Turkey Trot. As a tradition, all students and staff were invited to run, with prizes and pumpkin pie set up for afterwards. Participants were also encouraged to wear costumes in the spirit of the festivity. Sadly, none ended up doing so. 

The Turkey Trot is divided into two parts: a two mile long race, and the less competitive “fun run”. Although one was considered a “race”, both were recreational and had runners with a wide range of experience and paces. The course of the race started from track, but then continued onward into various other parts around campus, including onto the nearby street and around multiple fields. 

Said cross country runner and sophomore Debarshi Basak, “I came out last year to run with my friends and I saw that it was a fun experience. […] This is a more […] relaxing race than cross country where everything is competitive. […] You get to have fun with your friends and you don’t exactly have to focus on competition and everything about winning.” Basak took first place with a total time just over ten minutes, and received a medal along with a mini turkey for his prize. “[Before the run] I said I would at least try and see how well I could do, and I guess, that was [carried out] today in the race.”  
ASB advisor and history teacher Wes Morse helped to coordinate the run, while student volunteers helped set up, keep times and direct the runners through the course. Said Morse, “We want to keep it fun and light and not have it be overly serious. I think having silly fun traditions at a high school is kind of a cool thing. This appeals to a different kind of pioneer; we have powderpuff, and we have capture the flag, and we have a run.” 

The Turkey Trot is a fairly new tradition that started at Cupertino just five years back. The idea was partly inspired by a similar race called “the Watermelon Run” held at Fremont High School. Former ASB advisor and Fremont High School alumni, Jeff Rosado brought the idea of a run to Cupertino and even inspired other Cupertino teachers to compete against Fremont in their tradition five years ago. In addition, retired Cupertino history teacher Jay Lawson had personal ties to the prospect of a Turkey Trot as well. 

Said Morse, “His dad started the very first Turkey Trot in Cupertino, and he did it at his K-8 school. […] As coincidence would have it, my wife’s great aunt was the very first winner of the Turkey Trot in 1949. And so, one of the things that Mr. Rosado in his ASB class was trying to do around 2010 or 2011 was look at some Cupertino traditions that they might be able to bring back. […] We thought just kind of a little casual kind of fun run might be kind of a fun thing to do.” 
As a recreational event solely for the community’s enjoyment, the Turkey Trot is one of many school traditions that serves as a reminder there is a more lighthearted and spirited community aspect to high school, beyond the academics. 


Gallery Courtesy of Jennifer Zaratan.

ASB Plans to Reform Student Senate

Lily Marvin

Courtesy of Jason Muñoz

Courtesy of Jason Muñoz

At the suggestion of ASB president Ishan Sharma and ASB vice president Micheal Munson, the Student Senate will be reforming in the hopes of getting more participation from the student body.

At the beginning of every school year two students are chosen from each of the third period classes to be the Senators for said class. Once they are chosen, Senators are supposed to attend meetings in the ASB room during tutorial. At these meetings students discuss everything from the morning announcements to winter formal tickets. This provides ASB a chance to get input from the rest of the students as well as give information for the Senators to pass on to their third period classes.

Student Senate is intended to be an easy way to get information out to the student body. However, having meetings during tutorial has caused problems with attendance. 

[Attendance] wasn’t really consistent at all and no one really came to the meetings. Overall it just wasn’t a very efficient system. We figured it wasn’t working and if we were going to have a student senate it it should actually help [ASB] and actually mean something. That’s why we decided to revise the process.
— Michael Munson, Senior

The new Student Senate will be much smaller. Instead of requiring each third period class to have a representative, Senators will now be asked to apply. Although the numbers have not been finalized ASB is expecting to have twenty to thirty Student Senators. Representing each grade, Student Senators will meet at lunch instead of tutorial. At these meetings they will no longer be required to bring information back to their classes. Instead they will be in charge of giving ASB input as well as helping to promote events.  Once this change takes place the purpose of the student senate will change. 

[Student Senate] is going to turn into more of an input group rather than an output group because, while we will certainly encourage them to go out and tell people they won’t be assigned to a specific group to do that.
— Mr. Morse, ASB Advisor

To replace the Senators as an information source ASB will continue their other means of advertising. Announcements for events can be seen online, on the bulletin boards and decorating the cross bard in the main hallway.

With new meeting times, fewer, more committed members and different obligations ASB hopes that this new Student Senate will be better equipped to represent the student body.  


Inside Scoop: Chipotle E-Coli Outbreak

Aishwarya Laddha

November 20 Update:

As of today, there have been reports of illness via Chipotle in Minnesota, Ohio, New York, and California stemming from the same strain of E-Coli found in the Oregon and Washington cases. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, released an update today regarding the recent E-Coli outbreaks at numerous Chipotle locations nationwide.These incidents were reported from Chipotle restaurants in Turlock, CA, Akron, OH, Amherst, NY, and Burnsville, MN. 

However, Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said, “Due to the timing of reported visits - in late October and on Nov. 6 - Chipotle does not believe it is necessary to close those restaurants.”

The total number of infected individuals has risen to 43 and 16 in total have been hospitalized. The age range of those affected is two to 94 years old. There have been no deaths.

For more information, check out the FDA Official Website.  

November 19 Update:

This last month, numerous Chipotle restaurants in the Pacific Northwest region closed following reports of E-Coli at certain locations. 

Since then, the contamination has been isolated to eleven restaurants in only the Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon areas. There were 19 reported cases related to the bacteria in Washington and three reported cases in Oregon, involving an unknown type of food. Of those 22 cases, health officials said eight were hospitalized.  

According to a New York Times article, Chris Arnold, the communications director for Chipotle, said, “We have closed 43 restaurants in those markets out of an abundance of caution.”  Chipotle, in an official statement, affirmed that the outbreak has been cleared and taken care of:

“All 43 restaurants in the affected area will be opening again soon. To ensure there is no ongoing risk of this in [Chipotle] restaurants, [Chipotle] has taken a number of steps. [They] have tested food, restaurant surfaces and equipment in [their] restaurants. To date [they] have received more than 2,500 test results, all negative for E. coli.”

Chipotle has been directly updating its customers through their website about the situation and the numerous precautions and safety measures they have taken following the incident. According to their official page, Chipotle has been working alongside government agencies at all levels to ensure stringent food safety measures are in place. Chipotle has also conducted nationwide deep cleaning and sanitization at all locations. The 43 restaurants that closed, have had all their ingredients replaced as well. 

Yet, the cause of the outbreak has not been determined. By the time illnesses were reported, the offending ingredients were either consumed or no longer served in the restaurants. However, Chipotle was able to confirm that the E-Coli did not stem through its employees.

To those affected by the contamination, Chipotle has reached out and offered assistance. Chipotle stressed in its statement how the safety of its customers and integrity of its food supply is and has always been their top priority:

“We offer our deepest sympathies to those who have been affected by this situation, and will continue to cooperate with health authorities as they look to conclude the investigation.”


Thumbnail Image Courtesy of The Standard Daily.