What Will We Miss about Davis?

Within the next few months, the seniors will graduate from high school and enter the next stage of their life. Some students plan on attending colleges or taking a gap year; others plan to head straight into the workforce. While some students may travel far away, others may stay close to home. Ready to leave high school behind, one cannot help but reminisce about their life in Da Vinci and Davis.

Once the seniors graduate, they will be sent off to various colleges, from Lewis and Clark to Grinnell. Leaving Davis, these seniors cannot help but miss some of the aspects of their hometowns. Some students will miss their favorite restaurants and snacks, others will miss the sense of safety Davis has provided. Sarah Oide says she will miss the sense of community that she has found, as well as her friends and family here. Andy Knox says that he will miss the ability to walk around Davis any time at night and feel safe.

Along with leaving Davis, the senior class will be leaving our small, project based learning community.  Students will leave friends they have known since 7th grade, as well as all the teachers they have created strong bonds with. Oide and Senior Bailey Robinson-Burmester will miss their teachers, from Mr. Bell and his inspirational talks to Maestra and her unchallenged sass.  Robinson-Burmester says, “Most of all, I will miss my fellow senior classmen, many of whom I have known since 7th grade, some longer, and who have made every day at Da Vinci memorable, challenging, and fun.”

Before the seniors leave for college, make sure you say goodbye to them. Cherish the time you have left with them, and show your appreciation for their friendship.  

Cherish Every Moment Under the Glowing Lights

Da Vinci Senior Valerie Alden took pride competing at the Summit Championships. Over 500 teams got the National Honor  to compete at the Summit Nationals in Orlando Florida The Summit is an invitational competition only given to the best teams all over the United States. To receive this invitation, hard working cheer teams have to practice diligently for years. The coaches are dedicated to helping the athletes get to where they want to go which is The Summit. University Cheer Force had 7 cheer teams along with 1x world champ team at the Worlds.  

“I was really excited about the 7 teams that went to Summit and the 1 worlds team” said Coach Dwayne

Valerie had some magical moments made with her teammates from University Cheer Force as they hit zero. Her team had no technical errors or deductions. She was amazed when she was on the sideline cheering on other athletes seeing other top cheer teams in the US in one place. As her cheer team was preparing for the performance , there were varsity staff workers talking about her team about to take on the stage

“Going backstage it got darker  hearing the big loud arena I had to prepare mentally and physically, my heart was beating like drums and tears were coming down my cheeks, I went to the side to do my confident power stance two friends taught me and hearing the varsity staff in the background saying  ‘Twisters are about to take the floor.’ I knew I had to go out and do my best”.

Valerie and her cheer team took the summit stage as the spotlights are shining bright on their faces, the crowds cheering and when the routine ended the arena got loud and crazy

Valerie Alden states “It’s the loudest cheering I’ve heard from the audience ever, it was neat that other teams and parents were watching us, the sportsmanship is amazing. All athletes were respectful of each other because all of are the best in the US, I’m so proud of myself”

Bro-entines Day

February can be a time of romance and togetherness and a time to celebrate with your significant other. For some though, Valentine’s day is a time to wander aimlessly around your house, eating ice cream and binging Netflix. It seems that many women have come up with an idea that makes Valentines day fun for everybody, no matter of relationship status. The idea is called Galentine’s day and is set on February 14, the day before Valentine’s day. The Basic idea is that a group of female friends get together on the 14th and have fun together, eating food, playing games and just having a good time overall. While this sounds like a great idea, but two Da Vinci Seniors, Blayne Clegg-Swan and Haadi Shaw, have an idea to spread Valentine’s spirit to everybody.

If you asked people around Da Vinci who they thought the two best guy friends were, you would probably hear the names Blayne Clegg-Swan and Haadi Shaw more than most. Both had very interesting ideas and opinions about ‘Bro-entines Day’ the male version of Galentine’s Day. “We need it to happen” said Clegg-Swan, when asked about the possibilities of an official Bro-entines Day. Shaw also chimed in saying “Bro-entines day should take up two days […] it should be a group of friends who celebrate being single […] but not as emotional as girls”. They both think it should be a holiday that all single guys should be able to celebrate. “We should have a brunch, with chocolates,” said Clegg-Swan, while Shaw nodded in agreement. If you are wondering what qualifies you to celebrate Bro-entines day, it’s pretty easy, “all you have to do is be a single guy” stated Shaw.

Whether you want to celebrate Bro-entines Day with that special friend you have or you want to celebrate it with you entire sports team, it is about time there is a holiday for single guys. While there is not attention on this holiday yet, Clegg-Swan and Shaw seem determined to make this happen, for the sake of all single men out there who feel sad on Valentine’s day.

Women and Mr. Kwan in STEM

“An Evening Celebrating Women in STEM” took place this year on Tuesday, January 29 in our own MPR. Hosted by the Explorit Science Center, The American Association of University Women, and DVCA, this event was a hit for girls of all ages throughout the Davis area.

This evening event boasted a panel of six female scientists in occupations ranging from the Chief Economist at the California Department of Finance, who examines trends that occur over people and money across the state, to a retired Laboratory Director of the California Department of Justice DNA Lab, who studied the tiny things within us that make each person different. Attendees learned about each panel members’ education and the path that each took to their current positions. Teigen Johnson, a Da Vinci junior, observed that, “Each woman had a passion for their career and it was great to hear about their personal experiences and what fascinates them about their individual fields.”

After the panel introductions, smaller groups of attendees had the opportunity to speak with each woman. Johnson added, “I learned that you can reach high places and become successful and happy, without having a plan or knowing what you would like to do while you’re still just in high school.” Leaving with another bit of wisdom, Johnson notes, “No matter your gender, just be determined and work harder than those around you.”

The beauty in events like this are in the unique experiences and interactions for everyone attending – even to Mr. Kwan, our famed Physics and Chemistry teacher. Mr. Kwan also attended this event, pointing out, “Your career path is very subject to change and that’s okay and that you should do what interests you so you can do it for a long time. It’s not just a job, it’s a career.” This is universal, whether or not you are looking to be a woman in STEM, or to be a world renowned florist. Taking the time to find what you love and enjoy becomes worth it.

Ultimately, the lessons from the event can be repurposed in many walks of life. It’s important to keep in mind that it’s okay to not have a perfectly defined education and career plan, as long as you also work hard, are determined to succeed, and to seek things that bring you joy. On a final note, Mr. Kwan reminds everyone, “It’s definitely an event that will continue to happen and should happen again.” Keep an eye out for a flyer for the next event!

Fyre Festival

In 2017, over 5,000 people bought tickets to a mysteriously luxurious event expecting Coachella on a private island, but what they got was more like William Golding’s Lord of the Flies.

In 2016, Billy McFarland needed a way to promote his new talent booking app, Fyre. Essentially what the app did was it allowed normal people, for a fee, to have some celebrity hang out with them, or perform for them, or anything along those lines. Now what McFarland and his team came up with was a luxurious music festival on a private island, with great food and famous people and amazing scenery.

It was a chance for people to be able to escape their lives- but only if they could pay upwards of $1,000.

In conception, the plan was solid, and for a little while, McFarland and his crew were feeling confident. They hired many famous models like Kendall Jenner, Emily Ratajkowski, and Bella Hadid to shoot videos to market the festival. This phase of the plan culminated when around 250 influencers simultaneously posted an orange tile on their Instagram, reaching millions of people.

It was a perfect they were selling what appeared to be a dream, and people bought it. Issues started to arise, however, when the cost of putting on the event started to increase.

With dwindling funding and rising expenses, McFarland came up with a plan to get even more money from the attendees. In an attempt to make the event “cardless and cashless” they created a mobile paying device called “Fyre Bands” that the participants could load with cash ahead of time and swipe payment at the festival. He suggested loading $400 for every day that they planned to attend, and through this, Fyre was able to acquire another $800,000 dollars.

Fast-forward to just hours until the guests are set to arrive, and a huge rain storm hits the island of Great Exuma. This was absolutely the final straw and is the factor that demolished any possibility of the event being salvaged. The “villas” (which were actually hurricane relief tents with mattresses) were soaked by the rain rendering them unusable.

Trying their best to fix things before people arrived, the guests were taken to a beach party and provided with alcohol so they would (hopefully) forget that they were not getting the luxury experience they had paid thousands for. Unfortunately, people noticed after being there for six hours that something was up. Eventually, buses arrived and led all of the attendees to a very rude awakening.

Not only were their living quarters destroyed by rain, but the food was also far from gourmet with salad lacking dressing, and a sandwich comprised solely of one slice of cheese. These conditions caused the rich to revolt. People were stockpiling mattresses, toilet paper, and pillows. This was obviously brought on by a gross misrepresentation of the actual event but also because there were not nearly enough resources to cover all of the attendees.

After the disaster of the first night, people just wanted to leave, which was impossible due to the fact that the high volume of travelers overwhelmed the Great Exuma airport. Because of this, the already furious attendees were forced to stay at the airport with a lack of food and water. Eventually, they were all flown back to Miami and many of the participants decided to take legal action against Fyre.

In total, there were seven lawsuits filed against different people within the Fyre company. The first was a class-action lawsuit filed by Daniel Jung for millions of dollars on behalf of over 150 other participants that claimed Fyre breached their covenant of good faith, had negligent misrepresentation as well as many other things. The other six lawsuits had similar claims and all wanted a large sum of money as reparations for the damage and loss the event caused.

The lawsuits were not the only legal action brought upon by Fyre Festival. On May 17th, 2017, Billy McFarland was arrested for wire fraud. Later, he pleaded guilty to another count of wire fraud and was accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of defrauding investors by doctoring documents that lead investors to believe that the Fyre app was making much more money than it actually was.

The legal proceedings culminated when McFarland was tried on October 18th, 2018 and sentenced to six years in prison and had to pay $26 million dollars for wire fraud. McFarland is currently serving his sentence at the Federal Correctional Institute: Otisville.

Since then, two documentaries have been made about the scandal and this publicity has helped to crowd raise funds to compensate the people that had been left unpaid after Fyre Festival fell apart.

Although this story seems hilariously ridiculous from the outside, once you look closer the damage that it left in its wake becomes more evident. Thanks to Fyre Festival, all can laugh, but also have more caution about what is to be found on the internet.

The Dems are in the Building

On Thursday January 3, history was made in the United States government as the new, diverse freshman class was sworn in as part of the 116th Congress. The group included 42 new women and raised minority numbers to 55 African-American members, 45 Hispanic members, seventeen Asian-American members, and ten openly LGBTQ+ members. The class also included other firsts such as Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn) as the first Somali-American member to serve along with one of the first Muslim women, and Rep. Debra Haaland (D-NM) as one of the first Native American members.

Among the powerful women sworn in is Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who becomes the youngest woman ever elected to Congress at only the age of 29. Ocasio-Cortez’s platform includes the abolishment of ICE, medicare for all, and tuition-free public college. However, her progressive platform has not come without consequence. The representative has faced brutal attacks on her character, policies, and background from both Republicans and Democrats. Florida Republican Ron DeSantis went as far as to describe Ocasio-Cortez as “that girl … whatever she is.” Former Senator Claire McCaskill described the representative as “nothing more than a bright shiny new object.” However, Ocasio-Cortez didn’t come to Congress to mess around. She mocks her critics in a nasally voice. “We’re not scared of you,” she says, “we’re laughing at you!”

Along with Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, and Haaland, Congress will be joined by Veronica Escobar (D) and Sylvia Garcia (D), the first two Latina congresswomen from Texas. Andy Kim (D-NJ) makes strides as the first Korean-American elected from his state, along with Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass) and Jahana Hayes (D-Conn), who became the first African-American women to represent their states. Angie Craig (D-Minn) and Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) join the House as open members of the LGBTQ+ community, and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich) becomes the first Palestinian-American woman to serve. In fact, she swore in wearing traditional Palestinian attire, as did Rep. Haaland, who wore Pueblo attire.

Rep. Debra Haaland (D-NM)
Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn)
Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Tex)
Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH)
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn)
Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ)
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich)
Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Conn)
Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Tex)

Davis Police Officer Killed During Active Shootout

A Davis police officer was shot and killed on Thursday evening while responding to a traffic accident near the areas of 5th and D Streets downtown. Officer Natalie Corona was immediately rushed to the University of California Davis Medical Center in Sacramento where she passed. The gunman was found dead on Friday morning from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The suspect fled the scene resulting in an active manhunt that lasted from 7 p.m. Thursday evening until just before 1 a.m. Friday morning. UC Davis WarnMe systems had issued a shelter-in-place for students on campus and police were advising citizens to stay clear of the downtown area and remain indoors until further notice. Neighboring police departments from Vacaville, Woodland, Rancho Cordova, and even as far as San Francisco arrived in Davis to assist the Davis Police Department.

Around 10 p.m. on Thursday evening, police stated that they had a lead near the area of 5th and C Street which was later narrowed to a house on 5th and E, directly across from the Davis fire department. Police stationed outside the home until 1 a.m. Friday morning when the suspect was confirmed dead from a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Currently, there is no information regarding the suspect’s identity or the reason for the shooting. Police Chief Darren Pytel stated that the “case is currently under investigation, and there’s an active investigation going on. At this point, we’ve turned over the criminal investigation to the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department. They told us that they would take the lead, and we’re allowing that to happen.”

Pytel addressed the press in a statement around 11:50 p.m. Thursday evening regarding Officer Corona. Corona was 22 years old and had recently graduated the police academy in August of 2018. According to Pytel, Corona had finished field training right before Christmas and had only been on her own for a couple of weeks. She is survived by her parents; her father Merced Corona spent 26 years as a Colusa County Sheriff’s Deputy.

“She was just an absolute star in the department and somebody that pretty much every department member really looked to as a close friend, a sister,” Pytel said. “Natalie was just full of life and full of energy and just an absolute pleasure to be around. She loved being around everyone in the department and she just worked like you can’t believe.”

This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

Performances in Winter Feast

One of the most memorable fixtures of Da Vinci’s Winter Feast is the student talent show. In previous years, students sang, played instruments, and even brought together bands. Among this year’s performances, we saw senior Valerie Alden’s heartfelt rap and a band of juniors take the stage with a performance of Moby Dick by Led Zeppelin.

Behind their amazing performances were hours and hours of practice. From choosing the words of her song to practicing and perfecting it, Alden explains the story behind her song, “I’m thanking Da Vinci for all they’ve done to help me three years.” Her expression in her music was to leave an impactful message. “Because I’m a senior and I’m excited and sad to be leaving the Dino family and I thought I would say thank you in a unique way.”

Seniors Sam McGlynn, Aleksei Kaufman, Alex Weinshilboum and Nico Chequain sing a rendition of ‘Mine Diamonds’ with sophomore Aaron Eckey

Speaking to her experience in the genre, Alden says, “With rap I can get out my feelings. I enjoy making music because I’ve been rapping since 9th grade . It’s fun and healthy way to get out your emotions and feelings.”

One way that Carter Luck, John Campi and David Carlip was able to display their musical expertise was through their thoughtful song selection, chosen for its solos. Another difficulty their group encountered was finding a song, despite their lack of vocalist. Luck notes, “Since we didn’t have a vocalist, we tried to find songs without vocals and a focus on solos.” Their song was a great display of their talents, while being mindful of their constraint.

Senior Eric Aguilar rips on the guitar during a performance of The Eagles’ Hotel California

Like Alden, Luck also had a background in his music, but instead of with rapping, with playing the drums. He says, “I have played drums for about five years. I like being in the zone and playing cool solos.”

2018 Da Vinci alumni Camilo Rodriguez and Carson Janke perform an original song

Through all of the performances, the souls of each student shined, as they displayed not only just a performance, but something they each loved.

2018 Horoscopes

Mercury stays in retrograde until the 5th of December. Because Mercury is the planet of thinking and communication, when it’s rotation is backwards, it affects scheduling, judgement, and innovation. Read more about how your sun sign will be affected during Mercury retrograde.

Aries (March 21- April 19): Being quick witted and fast moving, it’s frustrating to be in a rut for Aries. For Aries during this time it’s hard for them to move forward when everything seems to be going back. If you’re not thinking consciously, then your words will come off as hurtful. Be patient, this funk will pass.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20): Generally a calm and collected sign, Taurus isn’t used to making impulsive decisions. However during this time Taurus won’t think twice about making a decision. There are pros and cons to your actions, you’ll be less mindful of your personal relationships and money but you will be taken out of your comfort zone. Consider whether it’s worth it when it comes to these decisions.

Gemini (May 21 – June 20): Mercury is Gemini’s ruler, so when it’s in retrograde Gemini’s whole world is off– But luckily due to Gemini being a mutable sign it can make the best out of a bad situation. When you see road blocks these next few weeks, try to attempt to think outside of the box and find another route.

Cancer (June 21 – July 22): This is a trying time for Cancers. Cancers will be receiving information (or misinformation) that they will send them into a spiral. Cancer will want to retreat to your own private island. Isolating itself isn’t the answer, it will stop Cancers from fixing problems. Force yourself to take action, face issues head on.

Leo (July 23 – August 22): Being a fixed sign, Leos love being in control and when they’re embarrassed, they get angry. Leo’s will be getting into situations where they will lose control and the spotlight, but they must try to keep their cool. Getting too aggressive will lose acquaintances respect and even friendships.

Virgo (August 23 – September 22): Virgo is ruled by the planet Mercury, so when it’s in retrograde, everything is off for Virgo. Virgos are heavily dependent on organization, reliability, and logical thinking. When this is all off, there’s not much left to lean on. Leaning on it’s adaptability from being a mutable sign and your practical side from being an earth sign are the only things that are going to keep Virgo sane during retrograde.

Libra (September 23 – October 22): Most Libras tend to think that relationships are the most important thing– So when communication gets skewed it can feel isolating. People from your past will also be brought up again, whether it’s old friends or someone you barely knew. Libras should be committed to finding ways to stay in touch with these people.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21): Scorpio’s secrets will end up coming out one way or another in the next few weeks. They should be conscious of who they tell it to because they will have no control of what those people will do with the information you give them.

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21): Now is not the time to travel. Expect in one way or another your plans falling through. Whether it’s your car breaking down or people flaking out on you, it will happen during retrograde. You should consider finding your friends that are close to you and spending time with them.

Capricorn (December 22 – January 20): Your master planning and ambitions will be on hold these next few weeks. You will have to rely on others, and because you’re a cardinal sign, you’re used to taking the reins and doing everything yourself. Be patient and wait for these weeks to be over, then you’ll be right back on track.

Aquarius (January 21 – February 18): When technology fails, it will anger Aquarius. Aquarius is dependent on it to not only stay in contact with others and finding information. In the end this Mercury Retrograde will make you stronger, if you take the time to find alternate ways to stay in contact with others and finding information.

Pisces (February 19 – March 20): Pisces’ intuition will be clouded during Mercury’s retrograde. Now is the time to fall into daydreams and get into your own head. You’ll find solutions there.

Remembering 41

“Where we goin’, Bake?” former President George H.W. Bush asked, prompted by a visit from longtime friend and former Secretary of State, James Baker. “We’re going to heaven” Mr. Baker responded, “That’s where I want to go” Mr. Bush uttered.

It was on that day, only 13 hours later, at 10:10 PM,  that President George H.W. Bush’s monumental and prestigious story would come to an end. Minutes before, former President George W. Bush received a phone call, where he was informed his father had just moments to live. Put on speaker phone, unsure of whether or not he could be heard, he said “Dad, I love you and you’ve been a wonderful father”. Despite suffering from Vascular Parkinsonism, making breathing and speaking incredibly difficult, “I love you, too” his father responded.

Surrounded by family, pastors, caregivers and aides, Mr. Baker characterized his passing as “gentle”, noting that “If those things could be sweet, It was sweet”.  Shortly after death, the former President’s body was flown from Texas to Washington D.C., in the Presidential Plane on a journey aptly named “Special Mission 41”. His body laid in the rotunda of the United States Capitol from Monday, December 3rd at 7:30 PM to Wednesday, December 5th, at 7:00 AM. Following a memorial service at the national cathedral, he was flown back to Texas where he laid at Texas A&M university for a short while, before being buried in his Presidential library. President Bush now lays next to his wife, Barbara Bush, and his daughter, Pauline Robinson “Robin” Bush.

George H. W. Bush is often cited as one of the most impactful single-term Presidents of the United States, and It’s not hard to see why.  Graduating from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, he had already been accepted into Yale University when he made the decision to not attend, and instead to enlist in the U.S. Navy Reserve. At 18 years old, he was the youngest pilot in the United States Navy. During his service he was shot down by enemy combatants over the pacific ocean. After graduating yale with a B.A. in economics he refused a job at his father’s prestigious banking firm, and instead worked manual labor for an oilfield supply company. In 1964, he ran for U.S. Senate but was defeated by future President Lyndon B. Johnson, but just 2 years later he became the first Republican to ever represent Houston in Congress. Vying again for that Texas senate seat, he was again defeated. However, his efforts did not go unnoticed. President Nixon tapped H.W. Bush for Ambassador to the United Nations in 1971, Chairman of the Republican National Committee in 1973, Director of the C.I.A in ‘76, and special Envoy to China in 1974.

He would end up running for President in 1980, but as the story goes, his party gave the nomination to President Ronald Reagan. Shockingly, President Reagan tapped H.W. Bush to be his Vice President, and they won in 2 of the largest political landslides of American history. What would end up being his final stint of public service, he was elected President in 1988. While in office, he signed the landmark piece of civil rights legislation known as the “Americans with Disabilities Act”. A committed environmental activist, President George H. W. Bush appointed the first professional environmentalist to lead the E.P.A and signed a series of landmark environmental bills in the form of the “Clean Air Act”.

Former President George H. W. Bush lies in state in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, in Washington. (Pool photo by Morry Gash via AP) (Morry Gash)

President H.W. Bush is understandably lauded for his foreign policy. In 1989, Bush’s foreign policy team became aware of a coup brewing in Panama, aiming to take out military dictator Manuel Noriega, but refused to aid the coup, calling it “unorganized” and “sketchy”. Though congressional Democrats criticized the President for failing to seize an opportunity, his instincts proved correct. Bush would lead “Operation Just Cause” a few months later, which successfully brought Manuel Noriega back to the United States and sent him to prison. President Bush also presided over the reunification of Germany after the Cold War, and negotiated a historic arms control agreement with the Soviet Union. Most notably, President George H.W. Bush received congressional authorization to begin “Operation Desert Storm” and in less than 2 months, Bush had successfully ensured the sovereignty of Kuwait and the defeat of Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi military. Bush’s successes, and his failures were informed by a 23-word creed: “Tell the truth. Don’t blame people. Be strong. Do your Best. Try hard. Forgive. Stay the course. All that kind of thing.”

Lights shining on the U.S. Capitol the night that former President George H.W. Bush arrived, December 3rd, 10:32 PM. (Blayne Clegg)

What was a lively, bustling hall filled with tourists and guides, myself among them, was turned into a solemn funeral hall for a titan, overnight. Standing shoulder to shoulder with Americans from all across the country, we mourned the loss of a dedicated public servant. Standing in the rotunda, with my eyes enamored by the deep blues and powerful maroons of the American flag draped over his casket, I had no concern for the latest controversy at the top of my twitter feed. Being able to hear the echo of tear drops hitting the floor, and of fathers pulling their sons just a little closer than normal, made me nostalgic for a period in time I never got to experience. Watching the changing of the guards, who saluted for hours on end, stood in stark contrast to the status quo of American politics: toxicity, resent, and triviality. There is no rule, no natural law, that says that nations like America must exist, or will continue to do so. It is Much like a ship, we require renewal, upkeep, and maintenance, and it isn’t easy. We require a captain, and that captain might not always be your fist pick, but nonetheless, captain they are. Before you hit send on your provocative tweet, or impugn his motives, or offer your snide disregard, sympathize with the difficulty of what being that captain entails. George Herbert Walker Bush was given a single opportunity to be that captain, and with a steady hand, he stayed the course, and we are all better off because of him.