Summit Briefing: Week of 2/22/21

A car drives through a snow covered street in Spring, Texas.

David J. Phillip/AP via Insider.

Your Summit Weekly Briefing

 

By Alex Tananbaum and Ashwath Vimal 

 

We’d like to remind our readers that, while we try to remain unbiased, we are ultimately human, and that may show through in our writing. This is especially true of the “Actions” section. 

 

1. Summit: “Monster High” and diversity

In the article “A Look Into ‘monster High’: Why Diversity In Kids’ Media Is Important”, Alex Diaz explores diversity in children’s toys, in particular Matel’s “Monster High” line. Monster High dolls are akin to Barbies but modeled after monsters. Also unlike Barbies, they use different face molds for each doll. Diaz writes that almost every character having a unique face shape “…teaches children to embrace their individual features rather than try to model themselves to the traditional beauty standard.” 

 

I absolutely loved “Monster High” growing up, and learning more about diversity within the dolls was absolutely fascinating. I was also interested to learn that some of the dolls, who each have their own backstories, are coded to be LGBT+ (they could not be explicitly so as Mattel, the company that makes “Monster High”, would not allow it). 

 

2. General News: Texas still experiencing the aftermath of the snowstorms 

Check out this article written by Prep Editor-in-chief Jovani Alejandro Contreras diving into how Texans are still reeling from the storms and how it has caused power outages and temperature drops. 

 

 

3. Covid-19: 500,000 lives lost to COVID-19 in the U.S.

 

The United States has officially lost 500,000 lives to COVID-19.  President Joe Biden spoke on this horrific death toll, saying, “We have to resist viewing each life as a statistic or a blur or on the news. We must do so to honor the dead, but equally important care for the living, those they left behind.” The American people must not succumb to the feeling of sorrow at this statistic but must keep pushing forward as we have been for the past year. President Biden, along with, First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff participated in a candlelight vigil at the White House. 

 

We especially have to keep pushing forward now, as even though case numbers have been declining, the number of cases to do with high contagious variants of COVID-19 has increased.  Dr. Peter Hotez is especially wary of the UK variant of the virus, stating that the death toll will start to increase much faster once again if the variants spiral out of control. 

 

44.1 million Americans have been vaccinated with one out of the two doses they need, with 19.4 million receiving both doses. That means about 5.9% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, which is not at all close to the goal of 70%-90% to consider the COVID-19 pandemic over. States like Texas are still reeling from the aftermath of the recent snowstorms, experiencing vaccine delays. 

 

While the case and hospitalization numbers have been declining, with weekly average cases especially going down, Americans still need to be cautious and take the same necessary precautions to protect themselves and others from the virus. 

 

If you have been vaccinated, you should still wear a mask outside, as the vaccine may take weeks to fully protect you, and you may still be able to spread the virus to others. Many Americans have also found out that wearing masks not only protects you from COVID-19, but also from the cold winter air, with experts saying that masks may have to be worn next winter as well. Remember though, as Dr. Francis Collins says, a mask is just a helpful tool to protect you and others from COVID-19, and wearing them is not a political statement. 

 

Stay Informed: CNN reports live, bite-sized updates on Coronavirus here.

 

4. Politics: Biden on immigration

On his campaign page, now-President Joe Biden promised some fairly left leaning immigration reforms, the core six being:

 

  • Take urgent action to undo Trump’s damage and reclaim America’s values
  • Modernize America’s immigration system
  • Welcome immigrants in our communities
  • Reassert America’s commitment to asylum-seekers and refugees 
  • Tackle the root causes of irregular migration 
  • Implement effective border screening 

 

Today, let’s look at how President Biden is implementing the first three of these ideals. 

 

  1. “Take urgent action to undo Trump’s damage and reclaim America’s values”

Biden has, in many ways, begun this process. He has created a task force focused on reuniting children and families separated at the border, halted construction of the border wall, and lifted the travel ban on majority Muslim countries, among other things. He has also solidified protections for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows immigrants who arrived in the country illegally as children protections from deportation. 

             2. “Modernize America’s immigration system”

Biden has sent a bill to Congress that would aid in this one. Called the “U.S. Citizenship Act,” it would provide clear paths to citizenship, supplement current border control with new technologies and protect at-risk immigrants, and much more. Though the bill would likely gain the necessary votes to pass with Democrats holding majorities in both the House and Senate, Republicans could still filibuster, in which case Democrats would need an additional 10 Republican votes, which may be unlikely.

             3. “Welcome immigrants in our communities”

This is a more complicated one. President Biden has ended Trumps “remain in Mexico” policy, which forced those awaiting immigration hearings to do so in border shanty towns in Mexico, though he has not unenrolled those already in the program. He has also increased aid for Liberians living in the United States. 

However, after a federal judge blocked his attempt to delay deportations for 100 days, his administration has deported hundreds of immigrants, including 900 Haitians. Many of the deportations are in conjunction with a Trump-era policy limiting refugees due to COVID-19. Activists have expressed concern over how high the deportation number is. 

 

Will President Biden continue to uphold and expand the above tenants? Unfortunately, only time will tell. However, whether or not the U.S. Citizenship Act passes Congress, and in what form, is certainly something to look out for as an indicator. 

 

 

5. Sports: Santa Clara County Lifts High School Sport Restrictions 

Many COVID-19 sports restrictions will officially be lifted in Santa Clara County and other counties this Friday, Feb. 26. For now, only outdoor sports are allowed to start or continue, as it is safer to participate in outdoor rather than indoor sports during the pandemic. Dr. Sara Cody had this to say on the matter, “We have been fighting COVID in Santa Clara County for over a year. We recognize the toll of the pandemic on everyone’s mental, physical, and spiritual health, and the need to balance the risk of COVID with other human needs.” Sports like football, baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse, water polo, and rugby have all been approved to move forward. This is very good news for the sports world in Santa Clara county, as this county has had the most restrictive COVID-19 related guidelines. 

 

In the Bay Area, almost all counties should be able to return to sports with this new restriction lift, with the exception of Contra Costa and Solano countries, which did not meet the right case threshold. 

 

Palo Alto junior Blake Chase expressed extreme joy over the decision, saying, “Think about the emotion that these kids put in and invest. At the end of every football season, there are tears,” Gifford said. “End of math class? No tears.” Many students are excited to be able to play sports again, with the Blossom Valley Athletic League with 24 different Santa Clara County schools set to start many of their outdoor sports season this coming March until April. The Santa Clara Valley Athletic League is also set to to start and end at around the same time.   

 

6. Entertainment: New Disney Movie Cruella Set to Hit Theaters This May, New show Superman & Lois premiering today

Disney’s new up and coming movie Cruella, had it’s trailer hit 71 million views per source, beating out trailers for movies like Aladdin and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Cruella is a movie about the antagonist and villainess of the 1996 movie 101 Dalmatians. The movie is set to release on May 28, with rumors saying that it will experience a release on the streaming platform, Disney+. However, that remains to be seen, as there has been no official confirmation that the movie will release on Disney+, in theaters, or both. The movie is directed by Australian director Craig Gillespie and stars award winning actress Emma Stone (The Amazing Spider Man, the Amazing Spider Man 2) in the role of Cruella, with the movie being set in the 1970s following her in her journey to become a fashion celebrity. 

 

The highly anticipated show, Superman & Lois, is set to premiere today, Feb. 23, with a two hour long special on The CW Network at 8 p.m. ET/PT. This show is a spin-off of the CW show Supergirl, and part of the fan-proclaimed “Arrowverse”, stemming from the now ended show, Arrow. Superman & Lois stars Tyler Hoechlin as the couple Clark Kent/Superman and Elizabeth Tulloch as Lois Lane, along with other notable cast members like former Degrass: The Next Generation star Stacey Farber as Leslie Larr. The show follows the couple as they return to their hometown of Smallville with their sons, Jonathan and Jordan Kent, neither knowing their father is Superman. The series will continue to air on Tuesdays after today at 9 p.m. ET/PT for a 15 episode run for its first season. 

 

7. Weather

Atlas (West Seattle): Highs this week will stay in the high 40’s to low 50’s with today-Weds’ being 47℉, increasing to 48-49℉ Thurs-Sat, and finally 50℉ Sun-Mon. Lows will remain in the mid 30’s to low 40’s with today’s being 35℉, 38℉ Weds, 40℉ Thurs, back down to 37℉ Fri and up to 40℉ Sat-Sun. This week will be a cloudy one as well: today will see scattered showers, then partial clouds Weds. There will be scattered showers again Thurs, showers Fri, partial clouds again Sat and finally showers again Sun-Mon. Bring an umbrella, wear a mask, and have a good week. 

Summary: Highs in high 40’s-low 50’s, lows in mid 30’s-low 40’s, scattered showers, showers and clouds. 

 

Olympus (Tacoma): This week will be a cold one, with highs resting in the mid 40’s to low 50’s: today’s will be 46℉, Wed-Sat’s 47-48℉ and Sun-Mon’s 49-50℉. Lows will range from the low 30’s to low 40’s, with a 32℉ Tues, 38℉ Wed, 40℉ Thurs, 35℉ Fri, 39℉ Sat-Sun and 37℉ Mon. Clouds will be the theme this week, with a partial cover today-Weds, scattered showers Thurs, showers Fri, partial clouds again Sat and scattered showers and showers again Sun-Mon. Stay dry, wear a mask, and have a good week.

Summary: Highs in the mid 40’s-low 50’s. Lows in the low 30’s-low 40’s. Partial clouds, scattered and more regular showers. 

 

Sierra (Seattle): This week’s highs will rise overall, with today-Weds’ being 45-46℉, 48℉ Thurs, down to 46-47℉ Fri-Sat and finally back up to 49℉ Sun-Mon. Lows will vary throughout the  30’s with today’s being 33℉, 37-38℉ Wed-Thurs, down to 36℉ Fri, up to 39℉ Sat-Sun and finally back down to 37℉ Mon. This week will also be a rainier one, with showers almost every day, with the exception of Weds and Sat, which will see partial clouds. Stay dry, wear a mask, and have a good week. 

Summary: Highs in the mid-high 40’s, lows throughout the 30’s, showers and partial clouds. 

 

Denali (Sunnyvale): This week’s highs will start of very warm and slowly cool, with today’s being 74°F, Wed 68℉, 65℉ Thurs-Fri, down to 61℉ Sat, back up to 65℉ Sun and finally down to 60℉ Mon. Lows will stay uniform with today’s being 44°F, then 41-42℉ the rest of the week. Expect sun most days, though today and Thurs will be partially cloudy, Sat cloudy and Mon full of scattered showers. Soak up that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.

Summary: Highs starting in mid 70’s and ending in low 60’s, lows in the low 40’s, mostly sun with some partial clouds, clouds and showers. 

 

Everest and Prep (Redwood City): Highs this week will start in the low 70’s and fall from there, with today’s being 73℉, Wed 66℉, 62℉ Thurs-Fri, 60℉ Sat, up to 62℉ Sun and back down to 57℉ Mon. Lows will remain in the 43-44℉ range with the exception of 45℉ Tues and 41℉ Thurs. The majority of this week will be sunny, with the exceptions of partial clouds today and Thurs and partial showers Mon. Soak up that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.

Summary: Highs starting in the low 70’s and falling to the high 50’s, lows in the low-mid 40’s, mostly sun, some partial clouds and partial showers. 

 

K2 (El Cerrito): Highs this week will start in the high 70’s and fall from there, with today’s being 77℉, 67℉ Wed, 65℉ Thurs, back up to 67℉ Fri, down to 63℉ Sat, up again to 66℉ Sun and finally down to 60℉ Mon. Lows will range from the low to mid-40’s at 46℉ today and 43-44℉ Wed-Sun, with the exception of a 42℉ low Thurs and Mon. This week will also be a sunny one, with the exception of partial clouds Tues and Thurs and scattered showers Mon. Soak up that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.

Summary: Highs starting in the high 70’s and falling to the low 60’s, lows in the low-mid 40’s, mostly sun, some partial clouds and showers. 

 

Tam (Richmond): Highs will range from the mid 70’s to the high 50’s this week with today’s being a whopping 76℉, Wed 67℉, 64-65℉ Thurs-Fri, 63℉ Sat, 65℉ Sun and 59℉ Mon. Lows will range from the mid to low 40’s, with today-Wed being 46℉ and 43-44℉ the rest of the week with the exception of a 45℉ low on Fri. The week will also be sunny, with the exception of partial clouds Tues and Thurs and scattered showers Mon. Soak up that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.

Summary: Highs starting in the high 70’s and ending in the high 50’s, lows in the mid 40’s, mostly sun with some partial clouds and showers. 

 

Shasta (Daly City): Highs this week will range from the high 60’s to mid 50’s with today’s being 67℉, Wed 63℉, 59-60℉ Thurs-Sun and 56℉ Mon. Lows will range from 45-46℉ with the exception of a possible 47℉ Wed. The week will also be sunny, with the exception of partial clouds Tues and Thurs and partial showers Mon. Soak up that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week. 

Summary: Highs in the high 60’s to mid 50’s, lows in the mid 40’s, mostly sun, some partial clouds and showers. 

 

Tahoma (San Jose): Highs this week will start in the mid 70’s and end in the low 60’s, with today’s being 75℉, Wed 69℉, 67℉ Thurs, 65℉ Fri, 62℉, back to 67℉ Sun and back down to  61℉ Mon. Lows will stay in the low 40’s, with today’s being 43℉ and Wed-Mon being 41-42℉. This week will also be majority sunny, with the exception of partial clouds Tues, clouds Sat and partial showers Mon. Soak up that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week. 

Summary: Highs starting in the mid 70’s and ending in the low 60’s, lows in the low 40’s, sun most of the week with some clouds and partial showers. 

8. Cooking: Steamed chocolate cake

This quick, easy recipe yields an incredibly soft cake without the use of eggs or a mixer. The original recipe calls for a chocolate ganache topping—however, I found including it made the cake very chocolatey (and I love chocolate). I’d suggest topping with sweetened shredded coconut instead.

Via Delmira Cooking. Adapted by Alex Tananbaum. 

 

Ingredients

Cake:

120g (¾ cup + 3 tbs) All purpose flour

25g (3 tbs + a heaping ¼ tsp) Cocoa powder

1/2 Tsp Baking powder

1/4 Tsp Baking soda

125g (½ cup + 2 tbsp) Sugar

1/2 Tsp Vanilla 

220 ml Milk

50 ml Cooking oil

1/2 Tsp Lemon juice

 

Topping:

Sweetened shredded coconut

 

  1. Grab a 9 inch cake pan. Grease the bottom but not the sides. Not greasing the sides actually helps this type of cake rise. 
  2. Grab your pot and steaming basket. Fill the pot with just enough water so that the water does not touch the bottom of the steaming basket (this will probably be around half way full). Set the pot on medium heat. Heat until boiling
    1. Don’t have a steamer? Find alternatives here.
  3. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda together into a large bowl. Stir in sugar.
  4. Stir in vanilla, milk, cooking oil and lemon juice. Continue to stir until smooth.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Cover the pan with tin foil—this makes sure no excess moisture gets into the cake as it is steaming.
  6.  Place the tin foil covered pan into the steamer basket and close the lid. Steam until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, around 30 mins.
    1. I am aware the video says an hour. However, they use a deeper pan than I do, which causes the cake to cook for much longer.
  7. Once the cake is baked, remove it from the steamer and remove the tinfoil. Allow it to cool inside of the pan.
  8. When ready, turn cake out onto a plate, top with sweetened shredded coconut and serve!

 

*Bonus Jasmine Milk Tea Recipe: 

By Keith Dinh

For those of you who are too lazy to go out to buy some boba, or staying safe by sheltering in place, check out this recipe for a single serving of jasmine milk tea. I prefer a stronger, moderately sweet milk tea, so as taste is subjective, adjust the ratio of ingredients to suit your taste. 

 

Ingredients

 

  • 4-6 grams of loose leaf jasmine green tea (this can be substituted for 2-3 jasmine green tea bags) 
  • ½ cup of just-boiled water — for best extraction, brew at 180 degrees fahrenheit; 82 celsius 
  • ¼ cup of milk — whole milk works best 
  • 12 oz glass filled with ice 

 

Method: 

 

  1. Brew tea in hot water for 3-5 minutes 
  2. Strain and press out extra tea from leaves (or bags) 
  3. Stir in sugar to taste 
  4. Pour hot tea mixture into glass of ice and top with milk 
  5. Stir, add your favorite toppings, and enjoy 

Editor’s note: Keith’s tea is famous in the Summit News Team circle. I am definitely going to be making this tomorrow.

 

 

9. Actions: Texas, immigration

Editor’s note: each week, I will be posting petitions to sign/actions to take to support the BLM movement, ICE detainees, and other important matters. Remember, your voice counts, so use it.

 

  1. If you have the means, donating to one of these Texas organizations could be incredibly helpful in aiding those affected by the extreme weather currently being experienced there.  
  2. Sign this petition to ask the federal government to ramp up aid to Texas.
  3. Support the Biden-Harris immigration bill. 

 

And, as always:

  • Watch or listen or listen to this playlist. All advertisement revenue goes to Black Lives Matter. I currently have it on in the background as I am writing this brief. Do not skip the ads, the donations will not go through otherwise.

 

  • Watch or listen to this video. All advertisement revenue goes to various aid organizations easing the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Please note it is blocked on school Chromebooks due to being in the “Entertainment” category

 

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