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Many rare species face dangers with adjacent development.
Many rare species face dangers with adjacent development.

A Threat to National Parks

By: Daniela Paris

The United States National Parks have become a source of pride for its citizens ever since their creation. From the insanely clear, deep lakes of Glacier National Park, Montana, to the 350-feet-tall trees of Redwood National Park in California, to the gushing geysers of Yellowstone, the national parks instill a sense of wonder to everyone who sees them, whether it be in real life or simply in a picture.

According to CNN, the National Park Service now cares for 409 park sites spread over more than 84 million acres, but all those parks began with just one: Yellowstone. The famous park, now one of the most visited in the country, first opened on March 1, 1872. More than 200 species of animals make their homes in the park, according to yellowstonevacations.com, along with hundreds more that live in parks across the country.

Other than Yellowstone, the National Park Service cites August 25, 1916, when President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service, as the official start to the parks and monuments that many say make the country great. This organization became responsible for protecting the then 39 parks under the Department of the Interior. Called the "Organic Act," the act aimed to regulate and preserve the areas known as National Parks.

The parks seem to be under threat, however. In recent months, more and more reports of U.S National Parks being under threat have surfaced. Nationalgeographic.com gave one example of the threats national parks face: adjacent development. While federal law prohibits development within any national parks, development can still happen in close proximity to them, and this can have adverse effects. Just a few of the parks with adjacent development problems include the Grand Canyon, with uranium prospecting on its rim, and the Everglades, with sugar producers fouling water with phosphorus pollution.

The Guardian reported in September of 2018 that the Trump administration's decision allows oil and gas drilling within as little as ten miles from national parks and wildlife migration corridors, which animals instinctively migrate on in the winter. This decision may create a negative impact to some of the wildlife in areas surrounding the oil and gas drilling.

For example, the Trump administration auctioned 150 thousand acres of land for fracking in proximity to Utah national parks. According to the Center for Biological

Diversity, "fracking in these areas threatens sensitive plants and animals, including the black-footed ferret, Colorado pikeminnow, razorback sucker and Graham's beardtongue". The site also claims that fracking will worsen air pollution and use extreme amounts of groundwater.

The Trump administration's goal in all of this remains to shift the country's focus towards energy: producing it, increasing its efficiency, etcetera. They claim that the land they have authorized for development and fracking falls outside of national parks, and therefore can be developed on because the Organic Act does not protect it. However, conservationist groups argue that the Organic Act's language implicitly bans the administration's actions. The Act states its purpose as protecting and conserving the national parks and "[leaving] them unimpaired," which they claim makes the government unable to authorize any actions that would, even inadvertently, harm the parks.


How Students Prepare for Finals

By: Olivia Davis

Finals approach faster each year; with exams arriving after winter break, most students don't know where to begin. Each student has their own way to prepare for exams; whether students actually study or just wing it, the following students share their techniques.

"I usually look over my notes the night before and study them quickly."

-Ashton Bissette (10)

"I don't study very much, but I spend a lot of time reassuring myself that I know the content. When I go in, I look over some of the material, but that is all I do."

-Madelyn Rice (12)

"I usually study the first two nights before it."

-Emma Markusen (9)

"If the teacher doesn't give me a study guide, then I make my own; write it in a notebook, find the answers and study that and re-write it again."

-Kelsea Thompson (12)

Reality of Civil Rights

By: Neda Dabbagh

In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. stood among thousands of people in Washington, D.C. His voice and words progressed the nation - bringing hope to those who fought for freedom, equality, and their civil rights. Years have passed, but the idea of complete freedom and equality has not been fully established.

With the continuation of discrimination against African Americans, achieving true civil rights has been postponed. Formal segregation may have been eradicated, but in sociological terms, people of color face unfair treatments and difficult living conditions. According to USA Today, African Americans' "incomes have risen and poverty rates have declined, but a mammoth wealth gap remains, along with persistently high unemployment rates." These difficulties arose based on the discriminatory living conditions - segregated, impoverished neighborhoods - and the continuation of many inequalities that African Americans face today. Even with the Civil Rights Act accommodating for public acceptance and fairness, modern-day society allowed for "nearly six in 10 African Americans [to] live in segregated neighborhoods".

As John Skrentny, Professor of Sociology and Director at the University of California, San Diego, explained, the severity of unemployment rates for African Americans "is partly because... the civil rights story has receded in the public eye, and the government's focus has shifted". African Americans still suffer from the same pain Martin Luther King experienced in his life. The civil rights movement seemed to end with his death. King wanted to abolish any possibility of unemployment and increase the number of jobs available for those struggling below the poverty line. According to The Conversation, Senator Bernie Sanders projected similar ideologies. During the 2016 presidential primaries, he advocated "equality for all people, economic incentives for working families, improved schools, greater access to higher education and for anti-poverty initiatives".

Serkute Abebe (10)
Serkute Abebe (10)

Serkute Abebe, sophomore at Apex Friendship, created the Black Student Awareness Club which works "towards academic and social excellence [by] working with our community," explains Abebe. The club usually has African American guest speakers in the law or medical field to discuss with students how to achieve such goals. They also participate in volunteer work for African American communities that have been forgotten. "A lot of people are uninformed... but if [people] see that there are different colors, different ideas, different ways of thinking, that you can change your mind and your opinions than you can have a better understanding of people's lives". 


Titanic II:

Would You Go On The Voyage?

By: Daniela Paris

In the early hours of April 15th, 1912, the RMS Titanic famously sank after hitting an iceberg, killing an estimated 1500 people in what most know as one of the biggest modern tragedies. The boat never reached its final destination of New York City: it sank just four days into its voyage. 106 years later in late October of this year, according to ABC News, Blue Star Line announced its plans for a Titanic II. This ship, a near-replica of the original Titanic, will set sail on the same day and along the same route as its predecessor, most likely in 2022. Not long after the announcement, articles and opinions began to roll in. Students at Apex Friendship High had varying responses when asked if, given the opportunity, they would board the Titanic II.

Gabby Bergquist (12)
Gabby Bergquist (12)
Fedora Castellino (10)
Fedora Castellino (10)

"No, because I get really really seasick. If I didn't get seasick...yeah. I'd just jump off if we hit an iceberg."

"I would not. Why would you remake something that caused such a catastrophic disaster? I personally think that's not respectful."

Sophia Anspaugh (9)
Sophia Anspaugh (9)

"Probably not, I don't like boats or large bodies of water."

Alex Bryant (10)
Alex Bryant (10)

"Since it does have modern protocol, like having enough lifeboats, and better signaling to other boats, and hopefully a better captain...I'd like to see what it was like. That would be cool to try that out.

Jeraldine Mcghee (10)
Jeraldine Mcghee (10)

"No, probably not. It seems like it might not work out like they want to. Why would you repeat history? That's what everyone says, don't repeat history. That's why we go to school and we take history. And now they're trying to make a replica with more safety precautions, and they're trying to take the exact same route. That just does not seem smart to me. I don't think I would [go on the Titanic II]."