200,000 Northern California residents lived and were evacuated for fear that the eroding wall that holds the water back from the Oroville Dam, will crumble and wash them away. The Oroville lake reservoir behind the Oroville dam is overflowing and threatening to blow. Reservoirs that were once at record lows are at capacity or overflowing.
“It’s crazy to think that after years of California struggling to make it through the drought, suddenly we have way too much water to handle. And what really irks me is how carelessly our government manages our water supplies. I think that if they took the time to figure out how to manage and distribute our water properly, we wouldn’t have struggled as much as we did when the drought hit.” said Junior Lynn Thomas.
Californians endured emergency mandatory water restrictions, since 2012, to ensure we don’t use what little water we have left. Now it seems we have too much water, and nowhere to put it. Which leaves Californians asking the question of whether or not the drought is over. The answer is yes and no.
Although this years rain has been the heaviest in decades and made a huge dent in the drought, it is not enough. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Northern half of the state is drought free, while much of the middle and southern portion is still in moderate to severe drought. Meaning that for now, the water restrictions will not be lifted.
It will take years for California’s overburdened groundwater reserves to recharge. Groundwater is unlike surface water, which can recover during a few days of heavy precipitation. Groundwater recovery often takes years or decades. Groundwater systems are also relied upon more heavily during times of drought. So, although our surface water problem has been taken care of, the recovery for groundwater, if possible, will take several to many years to accomplish.
“I honestly thought that the drought was over because of the excessive amount of rain we’ve had the past couple weeks, so I’m shocked to learn that we are still struggling to fill the groundwater reserves. So, I think it would be a good idea to keep the water restrictions up until then. Maybe we can be more lenient with the restrictions, but they should stay in place,” said Senior Evelyn Hurtado.
The amount of rainfall Northern Californians have endured as of late has been drastic and quite frankly, extremely hazardous. Residential roads, as well as highways, have flooded. Power outages, fallen trees, and many other life threatening situations have conspired, leaving Californians praying for the rain to stop. Roads have closed down causing hours worth of traffic, closed off highways including 101 and more.
“The commute to school the past couple days has been problematic. Coming from East side San Jose, the flooding had shut down he main highway I drive on to get to school, causing me to miss class,” said Senior Sneha Anisingaraju.
“Everything that California has endured because of our low water levels is truly devastating. Not only have we suffered from a drought here, but also our world as a whole is in distress. I hope what people learn from this is how downward our environment is going and how real global warming is. I’m praying for more understanding and change to happen regarding how we will go forward and to care for our planet in a more healthy and loving way. We only have one Earth, and we can’t jeopardize and neglect it,” said Senior Mya Grove.
If you have been on social media over the past year, you have probably seen a post or two titled “2016 is the Worst Year Ever.” While there have been a list of things that may not have gone your way in 2016, this past sports year has given us plenty to be thankful for. 2016 was full of crazy comebacks and impact plays that will be cemented in our memories for years to come. Here are a few of the highlights that made this past sports year so great.
2016 NCAA Basketball Championship: Villanova Guard Kris Jenkins hit a buzzer beater 3 pointer to beat North Carolina 77-74. North Carolina guard Marcus Paige hit an incredible three as he double-clutched in mid-air to tie the game at 74 with 4.7 seconds left. With the game tied, Villanova’s senior point guard drove the length of the court before passing the ball to Kris Jenkins for the game winning 3.
2016 English Premiere League: Leicester City opened up with a 5,000-1 chance of winning the EPL and miraculously came through to win. NDNU student Luis Ortiz said, “What Leicester City did will never happen again. Compare it to an NBA D-League team winning the NBA Finals.”
2016 NBA Finals: Cleveland Cavaliers defeat the Golden State Warriors after being down 3 games to 1 in a best of 7 series. This series still stings for the many Golden State Warriors fans in the Bay Area, but to discredit the greatness of this series would be unwise. For the first time in the NBA Finals, a team down 3 games to 1 had won 3 straight elimination games to win the championship. After Cleveland won games 5 and 6, game 7 in Oakland was an instant classic. Down the stretch Lebron James had an epic run down block on Warriors Forward Andre Iguodala’s lay up attempt. Then with 52 seconds left in the game Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving hit the go ahead 3 pointer to finish off the Warriors.
2016 World Series: Chicago Cubs win their first World Series since 1908. They were done 3 games to 1 against the Cleveland Cavaliers in a best of 7 series. Game 7 was an epic back and forth game that saw the Cubs winning in extra innings by a score of 8-7.
2016 NCAA Football Championship: The Clemson Tigers defeated the previously unbeaten Alabama Crimson Tide 35-31. Clemson Quarterback Deshaun Watson threw a two-yard game winning touchdown pass to receiver Hunter Renfrow with one second remaining in the game.
2017 Super Bowl: The Atlanta Falcons were up 28-3 on the New England Patriots. The Patriots made a historic comeback to create the first ever overtime in Super Bowl history with the score tied at 28. The Patriots went on to score a touchdown on the first drive in overtime to win 34-28. The previous record for a Super Bowl comeback was 10 points. With nine minutes left in the 4th quarter, ESPN gave the Atlanta Falcons a 99.6% chance of winning.
As for Bay Area fans, 2016 had its ups and downs. It was encouraging to see 4 out of our 6 major sports franchises make the playoffs. However it is still difficult to get over how the Warriors and Giants ended their playoff seasons by giving up huge leads. The Sharks went as far as they ever had by making it to the Stanley Cup Finals, but sometimes getting that close only makes the loss hurt more. And we never got to see the full potential of the Oakland Raiders. It seemed that they had hit their peak as they scored 5 consecutive touchdowns against the Indianapolis Colts in week 16. Then Derrick Carr broke his femurand they were quickly eliminated from the playoffs two weeks later. NDNU Junior George Jimenez said, “I was almost expecting something like this to happen because us Raiders fans had to be reminded that we can’t have nice things.”
Through it all, the 2016 season gave us amazing games. Many of us will be telling our kids about how Cleveland beat the Warriors, and how the Cubs finally won the World Series.
CNN writer Brandon Griggs said, “Between wars, terror attacks, a toxic presidential election and a rash of celebrity deaths, it has been a pretty lousy year for the world. But when it comes to historic moments in sports, 2016 was a champ.”
February is Black History Month and NDNU’s Black Student Union hosts many events to celebrate. The purpose of these events is to educate other NDNU students about the history of African Americans in the United States.
“To me it means a month to recognize and appreciate all the black activist this country has had and continues to have today,” said freshman Antionette Watson, a member of the Black Student Union at NDNU. “It is a month to remember all the things black people had to go through just to be considered human beings in America.
Black History Month is not only celebrated in the United States, it is also celebrated in Canada. Another country that celebrates Black History Month is the United Kingdom but there it is celebrated in October.
Now Black History Month is celebrated throughout the country and many universities, like NDNU. These universities host events to spread awareness through the university’s Black Student Unions. They not only want to spread awareness of the hardships African Americans have gone through, but also on the accomplishments and achievements African Americans have had in our country.
“The Black Student Union is supposed to be a club that supports black empowerment and black students, but here at NDNU it is just a club that has events for you to attend,” said Watson. NDNU’s Black Student Union has a lot of growing it has to do but it is starting of on a good note, spreading awareness and having multiple events that everyone on campus is welcomed to join.
The Black Student Union is something that is recently gaining numbers in students at NDNU and this year for Black History Month they are putting on a movie for anyone at NDNU to attend every Tuesday. The movies consist of movies that have African Americans as the main character and others even touch on the history of African Americans. Another event they hosted this year was a fashion show on Wednesday February 22, 2106. The theme of the fashion show was culture explosion.
Although not every student is involved with the Black Student Union NDNU on it’s own teaches students about the history of the many different cultures and races in America. “I don’t remember learning much about any positive history of African Americans even during Black History Month before college,” said sophomore Xochitl Vazquez. This seems to be a common theme when talking to the college students that attend NDNU.
“I feel that at NDNU I am exposed to more African American history,” Said Vazquez. “Especially being a Political Science major and taking multiple history classes that don’t just cover basic history like in high school.” This just goes to show that NDNU and the Black Student Union try to expose its students to the history, hardships, and accomplishments of the African American community.
Although the N.F.L. is still wary of gambling and its potential influence on games, the league has dismissed those concerns in order for the Oakland Raiders to move forward to move to Sin City in the very near future.
On Thursday January 19, the Oakland Raiders applied to relocate to Las Vegas. This would be a bid that will test the league, which has stridently opposed sports gambling for decades. Relocation of the Raiders would require approval from at least 24 of the 32 teams, and the earliest the owners are expected to vote is late March, when they are to meet in Phoenix. The Raiders have said they want to move to Nevada because they have failed for years to find a replacement for their home at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, which is one of the oldest and most decrepit stadiums in the league. Local government officials have said they cannot pay a large share of the bill for a new sports facility, something the Raiders have demanded. “We’ll give them the home that Oakland couldn’t”, says Zach Ginter a former NDNU student and Las Vegas resident, “The city has been needing a sports team for the longest time. I know that the stadium cost along with gambling and betting may be a concern for the league, but I think in the long run it will benefit greatly to the city and the N.F.L.”
“The Bay Area won’t be the same without the Raiders”, said Brandon Davis, a local Bay Area resident, after the finding about Raiders abrupt move to Las Vegas. “I’ve been a Raiders fan for all of my life. My dad used to take me to Raider games when I was younger, it makes me upset that I may not possibly be able to do that and continue the legacy when I get kids.” However while most people in the Bay are upset about the Raiders sudden move, Jessica Beltran, a SoCal resident who plans to move to the Bay Area after graduation, thinks that the Raiders moving maybe a better plan in the long run. “I believe that Raiders moving will be good for the 49ers. With one team gone the Bay can focus more on having one main football team. Gold and Maroon looks better than black and white anyway.”
The Raiders tried to leave Oakland last year but failed to persuade the owners of other teams to let them build a new stadium in SoCal with the Chargers, who last week announced their move from San Diego to Los Angeles. The Raiders owner, Mark Davis, who also had talked with officials in San Antonio, began meeting with lawmakers in Nevada, who ultimately agreed to contribute $750 million in hotel taxes to help pay for a 1.9 billion dollar domed stadium that Davis wants to build in Las Vegas. However, the city plans to earn all that money back in five years time.
When it’s all said and done, Vegas needs a sports team more than the Bay. Why? The Bay already has a numerous amount of professional teams, it will help generate more money to the league itself, and to the hotels in Las Vegas. In addition Vegas is way more adept to handling the demands that a major football team needs. Oakland didn’t have enough income to support the Raiders and a move was definitely in the future, nonetheless, Raiders fans didn’t think it would come this quick. Las Vegas has more resources and a bigger area to expand than the Oakland Raiders in the Even though the Raiders 1.9 billion dollar football stadium will set them back a couple hundred million dollars, the long term results for the team moving will definitely out way the negatives.
A team winning or losing is often in the hands of referees, not just the players. There is an enormous amount of pressure dealt with by referees from making correct decisions, consistently being analysed and criticized, to being threatened with their lives.
Referees must make calls that change the course of sports history. In the 1976 NFL playoffs with the Patriots up by three points, in final two minutes, referee Ben Dreith called roughing the passer on New England’s Sugar Bear Hamilton after he hits Oakland QB Ken Stabler. Raiders went on to score a touchdown in the final minute to win 21-17, and ultimately win the Super Bowl. If Ben Dreith did not make the correct, “roughing the passer call,” the Patriots would have won the game. Raiders one missed call can change the course of history.
Apart from making correct calls, referees must withhold their biases and give both teams equal rights and protection. Referees are expected to be consistent with their judgement. If the referee makes one sided calls it will change the outcome of the game. The coaches and players have a high expectations of integrity from the referees. Wilcox High School, located in Santa Clara, varsity soccer coach, Ryan Jenkins says “The outcome of every games lies in the faith of the referee’s ability to make good decisions.”Frequently referees are faced with a situation where it is difficult to determined what happen during the play, therefore their decision is more so based on their judgment. Referees must quickly analyze the situation, scramble through their understanding of the rule book and make a legal decision based on the rules that will ultimately decide the outcome of the game. If the call is made one way it is expected that the same call will be made if the situation was for the opposing team. Often we find that is not the case and experience player or team biases from referees which eradicates opportunities for teams success. “They can be crooks. If the referee has something against you, they will make calls against you. I often walk into my games and think, oh no… not this guy, because I already know how the game is going to go. This has cost me drastically in a championship game, I felt so cheated,” said Adolfo Ramirez, a soccer player that participates at Off the Wall indoor soccer facility in Santa Clara.
Referees are analyzed and often criticized for their choice of calls. There is ongoing pressure from their respective leagues to make correct calls to maintain their employment. The media is often the biggest critic of these referees. Sportscasters often headline referee missed calls or unfairness in game judgment. Referees often receive threats from players, owners and fans, some can even be life threatening. When asked, what is the worse threat you have ever received from anyone? Juan Romero, referee from Off the Wall replied “I had to put a game to a stop entirely one day because I ejected a player. He openly disagreed with my call, going on to telling me that he will have me taken care of. Now I don’t what he meant by taken care of but from his demeanor I felt as though he was threatening my life.”
On February 3rd, 2017, Tom Brady became the only quarterback in NFL history to win 5 Super Bowl rings. This feat has Brady in the discussion for being the best quarterback of all time and possible in NFL history.
“I would have thought he was an all American in high school and the first round pick in the NFL draft,” said Senior Matt Richardson. That storyline sounds so plausible for arguably the best quarterback of all time, but in reality, he’s journey couldn’t have been more different.
Brady’s journey to being arguably the best Quarterback of all time started right here, in San Mateo County. Tom Brady grew up in San Mateo just a few miles from campus. He attended St. Gregory’s kindergarten through 8th grade and went to Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo. The Brady family have donated tons of money to both schools and even have a part of the school named after them at St. Greg’s, called the “Brady Science Lab”.
At Serra he begin his freshman year on the football team as a backup quarterback and even played other positions on the team. Growing up he was a normal kid, “I’ve had better natural athletes than Tom Brady,” said his former coach at Serra Tom Mackenzie.
Brady has come a long way from his years at Serra throwing touchdowns to Hall of famers and NFL greats. But before the super bowl winning touchdown passes his first touchdown was in a scrimmage to his high school teammate John Kirby.
“It was in a scrimmage up in St. Ignatius, I have the VCR tape somewhere and it was time for the backups to go in and it was his first play, the first play my DB fell down, he threw one up to me and next thing you know it was a 60 yard touchdowns.”
Brady graduated from Serra in 1995 with multiple division I offers to play baseball but decided to walk on at the University of Michigan to pursue his football career. When Brady go to Michigan he was the 7th quarterback on the depth chart and didn’t see a snap for his first two years on the team.
Brady started his Junior and Senior year at Michigan, doing a fine enough job to be a lightly regarded prospect for the NFL. With the 199th overall pick in the sixth round of 2000 NFL draft, The New England Patriots drafted Brady. In his first year Brady once again was riding the pine, but after an injury to the starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe in his second season, Brady finally got the nod to start for an NFL team. After that, Brady never looked back leading the Patriots to a Super Bowl victory that same year.
16 years later, 7 super bowl appearances, five Super Bowl wins, four Super Bowl MVPs and two League MVPs later San Mateo’s hometown hero, is now in consideration for the best Quarterback of all time. Brady’s story is a perfect example of never giving up on a dream regardless of how many people doubt you