WINNER 1st Prize, NHHS Print Journalism by Kiori Snyder

Think Before You Speak

“Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me”…right?  Truth is, emotional damage leaves a greater impact than physical damage on an individual.

I feel that when attending a large public school that facilitates students of all different backgrounds, ethnicities, socioeconomic classes, and minorities, the subject of discrimination should never be taken lightly.  As I walk through the halls everyday I can’t help but hear terms such as “that’s gay” and “retarded” being thrown around as if they mean nothing.  Society today doesn’t realize how they are affecting the feelings of others when they use discriminating language. Why do we do this, to build ourselves up at the expense of bringing others down?

With the pressures of being a teenager in high school, discrimination at school should be that last thing on our mind. Luckily, our school houses clubs that bring the students together, such as BRIDGES, an active club on campus with many diverse members. They promote non-discrimination with various activities and their “That’s W.H.A.C.K.” (Words Hurt And Can Kill) campaign.

BRIDGES president, senior Mary Clare Doolin, feels “it is wrong that people are being discriminated against because of something they can’t help or change.”

Spanish teacher, Ms. Branch also does her part in promoting equality.  In her class room, if a student uses any type of controversial language, they must face their consequences by putting money into her “Swear Jar.”  Branch feels that although her efforts only help a little, they “make the students aware” of their actions and how they can affect others.

Principal Michael Vossen believes that “the priority of the school should be to have a positive learning environment” for all of the students and that “respect should be part of the school’s culture.”

No one should ever fear coming to school will cause pain and suffering upon them; to combat the prejudice we face at our school, students must come together and treat others the way they should be treated.


WINNER 2nd Prize NHHS Print Entry: Yosemite Field Study

By Sheyna Holmes

Newport Harbor Field Trip to Yosemite

The bus explodes with laughter and chatter as we depart for Yosemite National Park.  I sit in a crowd of unfamiliar faces that are destined to become friendly and familiar ones.  As we putt along, our bus chases countless rainbows that crane over highways and peek over rolling hills.  After roughly nine hours of playing games, eating, and trying to sleep, we arrive in Curry Village where cabins are waiting for us.

The morning reveals fresh and untouched snow that rounds and softens everything in sight.  Throughout the course of the trip, we manage to hike, snow shoe, cross-country ski, and even crawl through caves.  We soak up every sight while hiking through the valley and are grateful to be in the moment with no stress or responsibilities.  As I hike I observe snow dolloped on charcoal colored rocks and snowflakes lightly swirling through the air.  Our first challenge is to crawl on our knees and shuffle on our backs through pitch black spider caves.  I wiggle and shift through tiny spaces and trust the person in front of me to warn me about what is ahead.

After a night of angry snow bombs on our roof, we map out our plans to reach the Muir Cabin in the Merced Grove.   A bus drops us off at the trail head and we begin to blaze our own trail using snow-shoes to reach the cabin that is a mile and a half away.  Everything is an untouched winter wonderland.  The trees arch over from the weight of the snow and appear like figures out of a Dr. Seuss book.  All ten of my toes go numb and I feel like I’m walking on nubs.  As dusk approaches us, we reach the cabin with burning thighs and hunger in our stomachs.  We make ourselves at home and sleep on the bare wood floor.

We awake the next morning with sore ribs and hips and are notified that all the roads are closed.  This means we have to hike eight miles back to our new camp at Crane Flat.  We begin our trek with determination and bellies full of oatmeal.  After hiking for three hours, we receive good news that the head Chef at Crane Flat is coming to rescue us.  We are taken back to Crane Flat where we receive the best night of sleep yet.

We spend the last day cross-country skiing and enjoying the simplicity of life.  On this trip, all social cliques united, clocks became insignificant, and dependency on electronics dissipated.  I realized how small I am in the grand scheme of things, but what I do can negatively change the big picture.  I learned to be less wasteful and leave no trace of myself in the wilderness.  The unfamiliar faces turned to familiar and I returned home with total relaxation, unforgettable experiences in my memory, and a new mind set.


Rad Pad: Architecture and View Make Splash Together

Infinity spa and pool overlook all of Newport Harbor

Readers of “Rad Pads” posts will notice that I only run these once every couple of months.  In fact, there is no schedule for these posts, as the very idea is to be selective.  This property happens to qualify, and for the first time, is also one of my listings.  Once in a while, I get a self promotion pass.  This stunning contemporary residence with walls of glass rests on the front row of exclusive Irvine Terrace.  Sited on a prime lot with commanding views of Newport Harbor, Balboa & Catalina Islands, and the Palos Verdes peninsula, it is not a stretch to say these are the best views in town.  At night you get Catalina sunsets and sparkling lights of the peninsula and Balboa Island.  During the day one is entertained by passing yachts and an occasional regatta in the bay.  Nothing is ever the same.  Built in 1997 and extensively remodeled in 2004/2005, the home’s gorgeous and engaging architecture takes full advantage of the one-of-a-kind location, with well placed windows and thoughtful angular room arrangements to capture views.

Corona del Mar luxury
Striking contemporary architecture

Improvements include simple, yet elegant home automation for systems, audio-visual, and security components.  Hardscape and softscape elements are accentuated by subtle lighting that makes the home pop in the nighttime hours.  The open floorplan is great for entertaining by the sea.  Wall space and lighting was designed for display of art, including custom architectural fixed frames for print photography.

Intimate firepit area overlooks Corona del Mar jetties

Main entry just inside private outer security gate

The infinity spa and pool on the bluff feel as if they are one with the Pacific, and are surrounded by intimate firepit areas. The Irvine Terrace neighborhood is blessed with proximity to the best Corona del Mar, Newport Beach, and the Riviera Coast have to offer.  For more on this listing, Click here.

*Co-listed with Keith Randle.

Front row positioning on exclusive Irvine Terrace bluff