Posts tagged ‘California’

November 19, 2012

Southern California has many options for celebrating Halloween

By Krista Brooks

Published Wednesday, October 24, 2012 – The Daily 49er

For the young generation in Southern California, Halloween isn’t just a one night celebration; it is spread out for a couple of weeks. From decorating the home to choosing the perfect costume, the occasion is fun for many.

There are a wide range of fall festivities to participate in, harvest festivals, haunted mazes, special showings of horror movies in theatres and trick-or-treating spotlight the wide range of characters and costumes. Last year, the psychology department set up a haunted asylum attraction on campus. This year they will follow up with a zombie-filled department.

Off-campus, theme parks like Knott’s Berry Farm and Universal Studios Hollywood transform into scary attractions filled with horror. This is meant for a particular audience that is into Halloween for the fright.

For another audience, dancing is the plan for this season. Halloween is one of the holidays where the rave scene goes all out. Spring break events don’t necessarily celebrate Easter, and summer raves aren’t particularly thrown for a holiday event.  Many Electronic Dance Music (EDM) lovers follow these raves around California as if they were following a band’s tour. Whether it be in March or August, these committed music lovers dress up in something different than their everyday clothing.

Sounds a lot like our annual Halloween traditions, huh? EDM enthusiasts go all out for festivals throughout the year but go the extra mile to stand out for this particular holiday. Going to a rave that is not Halloween-themed may not look any different than college parties. This season is for those dedicated attendees to show off their best rave outfits.

Southern California is a hot spot for these music festivals where people come from around the state to attend. Escape from Wonderland is held in San Bernadino at the NOS Events Center. To decipher the event from other festivals, there will be mazes, horror art installations and three haunted houses. This event attracts EDM lovers as well as horror lovers.

In Los Angeles, there is HARD Haunted Mansion’s Day of the Dead. This festival is focused more on the Dia de losMuertos side of Halloween and not about glitzy and flashy glamour. This event is held Nov. 3, the Saturday after Halloween.

Monster Massive was once a very popular Halloween rave until 2010 when 40 people were arrested and 16 were hospitalized. The following year, the event was cancelled last minute, but thankfully most were reimbursed for tickets. This year, the event is the same day as Escape from Wonderland, at Downtown Los Angeles Center Studios.

Whether it be trick-or-treating or raving, be safe this Halloween. EDM enthusiasts, you’ve had plenty of practice dressing up don’t fall short on the day it counts.

Krista Brooks is a junior journalism major and the assistant opinions editor for the Daily 49er.

November 19, 2012

Prop 38 vs Prop 30 two enter, only one or none can survive

By Krista Brooks

Published Monday, October 22, 2012 – The Daily 49er

Election time is approaching fast. Now is the time to research, to focus our interests and make a decision on which propositions and candidates to choose.

We’ve all heard of Proposition 30, hopefully. This initiative will directly affect our campus and student population.

Gov. Jerry Brown has supported his state’s education system this year by approving the merger of two initiatives: the “Millionaire’s Tax” and “Brown’s First Tax Increase Proposal.” Prop. 30 will impact universities, community colleges and K-12 schools in California.

It will raise sales tax from 7.25 percent to 7.50 percent for seven years. The personal income tax increase will affect taxpayers earning an excess of $250,000. These tax increases will be distributed, 89 percent to K-12 schools and 11 percent to community colleges. This is a way to help balance the ongoing budget crisis by having the wealthy bracket in our state give back to its youth for prosperity.

If this fails to pass, the Cal State University system will face a cut of $250 million. For CSULB, our tuition will rise by at least 5 percent. In the case that Prop. 30 passes, students will be reimbursed for this semester’s tuition hike.

Yes, it’s true! We will be paid!

The money credited to a student’s bill or bank account will be about $498.

Our university prepared for potential cuts like this one last year and raised the tuition prior to the election year to make the potential increase less severe to students.

Prop. 30 runs into a catch-22 situation because it intersects with a related initiative, Prop. 38. “Our Children, Our Future: Local Schools and Early Education Investment Act” will increase taxes for 12 years, if not reauthorized. These tax increases will affect all taxpayers earning more than $7,316. This means more people will have to pay, and for a longer time period than Prop. 30.

During the first four years, these collected taxes will be distributed, 60 percent to K-12 schools, 10 percent to early child development programs and 30 percent to repay our state’s debt.

Prop. 38 is very similar to Prop. 30 with the same hopes to give back to the state’s educational system and youth. So why is it a catch-22?
Only one of these propositions can pass this year. If both pass, the proposition with the greater number of votes will be instated and the other will be thrown out.

This competition between the two propositions should be a boost of motivation to make sure voters’ voices are heard.

Even though the two are competing, they are both similar in the fact that they will help our state’s budget and education system.

However, the tax increase will affect more wallets with Prop. 38, and its failure will not lower the funding already promised to these educational facilities, as Prop. 30 would for universities in California.

Krista Brooks is a junior journalism major and the assistant opinions editor for the Daily 49er.

October 17, 2012

Gas prices should not affect the upcoming presidential election

By Krista Brooks

Published Tuesday, October 9, 2012 – The Daily 49er

Yesterday gas prices in CA rose to an average high of $4.66 a gallon.

This means that California’s average gas price has risen to be higher than that of the nation’s former most expensive gas state, Hawaii, which is $4.39.

The regular gas price average in the U.S. is $3.81 currently, but the cheapest available gas in Long Beach as of yesterday was $4.54.

The highest price reached $4.92 at one point.


Gas has almost become $5 per gallon here in Long Beach.

This is surprising because gas prices normally go down before an election.

In California alone, we are paying towards gas typically 40 to 50 cents more per gallon than anywhere else in the country.

For years, many have pinned the gas price hikes on the sitting U.S. president, blaming him for mishandling the situation.

Even so, gas prices do not greatly affect the vote when election season finally rolls around.

As of last year, the U.S. supply of oil increased the most since 1970.

Under President Obama’s term, the amount of drilling for oil has escalated for 10 percent of the country’s current demand.

According to the Republican Party’s independent energy campaign, the prices in gas will increase if Mitt Romney is elected. While prices will rise, more jobs will be created for drilling, and more oil will be available.

However, as we can see with the Obama administration, the increase of the amount of drilling and oil will not lower these outrageously high prices.

Just as before, prices are more than likely to escalate if we drill more.

As enticing as it is to exclaim “drill baby drill,” the odds are demand will remain the same and be ineffective in lowering prices.

Beyond rising prices, the current gas situation has turned several desperate drivers into thieves. In Roseville, Calif., there were about 1,100 gallons of gas stolen from a Shell station, worth more than $4,500. These gas thieves were caught, yet only 1000 gallons were recovered.

These prices are higher in CA due to a fire at the Chevron Richmond refinery in August, which reduced oil production. This refinery supplies 8.5% of total petroleum products to the Petroleum Administration for Defense District 5, which includes CA.

Prices have also escalated from the organic chloride contamination that shut down the Kelleman-Los Medanos pipeline, which proved 85,000 barels or crude oil a day to supply the San Francisco Bay Area.

We experienced another setback yesterday in our local area, Torrance, CA. The ExxonMobil refinery that supplies 149,000 barrels daily to the LA area suffered from a power outage shut down.

Due to these setback and shutdowns, the low supply will hurt our wallets for hopefully just a bit longer. Energy experts predict that lower-quality gasoline may be introduced to our state, which other US states have already taken advantage of. This gas will cause more pollution, but will ease the severe spike in price. Our state already has high levels of pollution, and this gas should be used only temporarily.

Despite setbacks at the pump, hopefully California residents will be able to separate gas prices from the real issues when voting in this election.

Krista Brooks is a junior journalism major and the assistant opinions editor for the Daily 49er.

September 5, 2012

Our View: Carbon emissions taxes will sink CSU budget

Se below

By Krista Brooks

Published Tuesday, August 28, 2012The Daily 49er

Effective Jan. 1, 2013, a cap and trade program will be implemented, affecting the Cal State University and University of California, and forcing the systems to pay the price for high levels of carbon emissions.

These facilities will be charged a fee for emitting greenhouse gases.

Either go green or pay the green. Cap and trade is a solution projected to reduce California’s carbon emissions by a substantial amount.

The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, also known as Assembly Bill 32, mandates the state reduce the level of carbon emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020.

University of California, Los Angeles is projected to pay the most — up to $8.4 million.

The rate of carbon credits is predicted to range from $10 to $40 each.

The resulting fee for both university systems could be as much as $28 million a year.

But this can, and will rise.

The legislation, once in place, will have no limit on how much tax credits would cost at a given time.

The choice to reduce carbon emissions is essentially optional.

Businesses with the money can continue to emit as much greenhouse gases as they want, as long as they buy the appropriate amount of credits. Only when a business can’t afford to will it be forced to change its behavior. Businesses without the extra cash or capability of lowering emissions will have to face the consequences.

We can only hope the fee is too much for big business to ignore. Small businesses have no choice.

As for us students in the CSU and UC systems, we will pay the price. The $28 million in potential fees is just another expense to tack onto our budget and our campuses will be affected regardless of how far our efforts go to lower emissions.

Long Beach has taken several steps to lower our carbon footprint already. Not only is the city becoming more and more bike-friendly, it has taken action in improving public transportation.

Many buses are now hybrids and routes have been extended to accommodate more public transporters.

All plastic bags have been banned from grocery stores in Long Beach and paper bag alternatives cost 10 cents each. This encourages shoppers to use reusable bags instead of disposable bags.

Cal State Long Beach has incorporated water fountains on campus specifically to refill water bottles and canteens, which lowers the amount of plastic bottles.

These improvements were made by the city of Long Beach and CSULB, before the threat of a fee.

The steps taken towards a greener city should be rewarded rather than taxed. With dismal state support, this bill will continue to suck us dry of every last penny.

September 4, 2012

Legalizing marijuana in Colorado will not increase drug’s usage

By Krista Brooks

Published Wednesday, July 25, 2012 –The Daily 49er


At an event hosted by the American Enterprise Institute, a panel of experts predicted that legalizing marijuana in one state of the U.S. will lower the price of the product in all other states, therefore encouraging more people to be attracted to the drug.

Author Jonathon Caulkins, who co-wrote “Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know” warned that the effects would be enormous and the price decline could be up to one quarter less of the current price in New York.

Caulkins said this price drop would make marijuana less risky to produce and sell, which would encourage more to smoke marijuana.

Oregon, Colorado and Washington will vote this November on a ballot initiative that would allow possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for those 21 and older.

Since Colorado has been regulating medical marijuana, the price of the drug has decreased. The percentage of voters in favor of legalizing the drug in this state has not increased accordingly.

Mason Tvert, co-director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, supports Amendment 64, which licenses marijuana cultivation facilities to provide marijuana only to licensed retail stores and product manufacturers. It is illegal to transport marijuana out of Colorado right now, and it will remain just as illegal to do so if Amendment 64 is adopted by the voters.
Tvert disagrees with Caulkins’ opinion that legalization in one state will lower the drug cost across the country. Tvert stands behind keeping the prices high to limit the usage.

“Marijuana is currently universally available, and it will remain that way regardless of whether Amendment 64 is adopted,” said Tvert. “The question is whether we would prefer marijuana be strictly controlled and sold by licensed businesses in a tightly regulated market, or whether we want to continue with the current system in which it is strictly uncontrolled and sold by criminal enterprises in the underground market.”

In Caulkin’s prediction of the prices lowering, I don’t believe more and more non-smokers are going to be turned on to the idea. Most reasons for people not participating in the drug are legal, moral, health and productivity issues. Those who are against engaging in the drug most likely won’t be ecstatic to hear that the prices have dropped, considering that he or she probably didn’t know the former prices.

The decision to legalize marijuana in Colorado should not directly affect other states in this business. The price drop may lower the criminal side to marijuana, which would be beneficial to the business.

If the price drop does encourage a significant increase in the number of marijuana users, it would be worth getting rid of the violence and crime associated with the drug.

September 4, 2012

More states should allow children to carry sunscreen at school

By Krista Brooks

Published Wednesday, June 27, 2012 – The Daily 49er

In Tacoma, Wash., a mother of two found her daughters badly burnt after school, and requested sunscreen be made available to them during hot sunny days.

Her request was denied.

In 49 of the 50 states in the U.S., it is forbidden for children to apply or carry sunscreen with them to class. California is the only state that allows SPF lotion at school.

Yes, even students in Hawaii have to leave their sun block at home, unless they have a note from their doctor.

Sunscreen is recommended by doctors, teachers and parents to provide much-needed protection from the sun. It’s purchased in the impulse-aisle in grocery store next to gum and lip balm.

Without sunscreen, we are susceptible to harmful rays from the sun, that can lead to very serious skin cancers and more.

The mother blogged about her pale-white children being terribly burnt on a day that began with rain.

In no way could she have anticipated a sunny day.

Dan Voelpel, Tacoma school district spokesman told ABC news, “Since so many additives in lotions and sunscreens cause an allergic reaction in some children, we really have to monitor that.”

In this defense, Washington school district’s focus more on the select students with allergies. Meanwhile, skin cancer can affect anyone.

The most critical time to seek protection from the sun is before the age of 18. This is the time when 23 percent of the skin damage is caused to one’s body. Every decade adds another 10 percent of skin damage after age 18.

Sun block is not a prescribed medication. It is purchased over-the-counter.

With the recent scares of melanoma, the most critical form of skin cancer, schools should focus on how to protect children from the sun’s harmful rays.

The law forbidding any students to carry or apply sun block at school in any state is ridiculous. It’s dangerous and I am glad to say we live in the one state that does not follow such poppycock. Living in a place where it reaches temperatures of 115 degrees, it seems unreal to live without it. Wear your sunscreen everybody, protect that skin this summer!

May 18, 2012

The Next Step in Evolution (Origami Style)

Following the story of evolution and how humans have impacted their environment.
A student project at Cal State Long Beach, (made with paper puppets by journalism students with little to no origami skills.)

October 29, 2011

Holocaust exhibit opens in University Library

By Krista Brooks

Published Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011 – The Daily 49er

After 20 years of traveling the world, “The Courage to Remember” Holocaust exhibit has returned to California, and will make a special debut in the Cal State Long Beach University Library today at 3 p.m.

Funded by the Foundation for California, the third floor will have a free public display of more than 200 original photographs from 1933-45.

The exhibit is from the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, and it shows a series of 10 stories that have been viewed by more than 20 million people in more than 35 different countries.

There will be speakers from the community at the opening, including Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster, Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Rabbi Adlerstein and Holocaust survivor Gerda Seifer.

The 42 panels were chosen to be in the school library rather than at the art museum on campus, so that the displays were more interactive with the public — not just pictures on the wall.

“The message is still very timely, hate crimes are still happening today,” Foundation President Rod Wilson said.

In addition to the full-color visual series of “The Courage to Remember” exhibit, three identical series will be traveling the state for the next 12 months.

The stories told will be focused on four major themes: Nazi Germany (1933-38), moving toward the “final solution” (1939-45), annihilation in Nazi-occupied Europe (1941-45) and liberation — building new lives.

“This exhibit serves as a reminder that the power is in all of us to make a difference in our community, school and city,” Wilson said.

The exhibit is free of charge and will be on display until Oct. 16.

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