Summit Briefing: Week of 5/17/21

Featured image: A Los Angeles Fire Department helicopter drops water on the Palisades Fire in Topanga State Park. PHOTO CREDIT: CNN
Your Summit Weekly Briefing

By Alex Tananbaum and Ashwath Vimal

 Disclaimer: Though the Weekly Briefings are no longer tagged in the Opinions section of Summit News and we try to remain as unbiased as possible, our opinions may show through in this article, especially in the “Actions” section.   

1. Summit: America’s education system, AP tests

When I was younger, my dad encouraged me to read more classics to both expand my vocabulary and reading comprehension. I read Great Expectations, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Pride and Prejudice, and The Great Gatsby, among other things. However, all of these books had something in common: they were written by white authors from the Western world. Thankfully, my dad’s view of what makes a “classic” has evolved. However, the same cannot be said for the American school system. In their article “America’s Education System Is Stuck In Place”, Staff Writers Donovan Pelton and Kazuma Posley examine why the texts and history taught in U.S. high schools is so white, interview Summit teachers, and suggest alternatives such as Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie* and Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. 

On a personal note, I have recently enjoyed Freshwater by Awkwaeke Emezi, Cemetery Boys by Aidan Thomas, Little and Lion by Brandy Colbert and The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. 

We Need Diverse Books has a great list of where to find books by a variety of authors with different identities here.

Remember to shop at your local bookstore if possible or, better yet, your local library. 

Reminder: AP testing begins this week. Make sure to use your school-issued Chromebook and complete exam set up one to three days before the test. Find out how to do this here. Make sure you know when your test is and to arrive 30 minutes before its scheduled start time. Find the AP test schedule here.

*I believe that it must be noted that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been accused of transphobia in the past. While the Vox article linked previously breaks down the issue in a unbiased way, I believe that nonbinary Nigerian author Awkwaeke Emezi’s views on the matter should also be considered. I read Americanah before I knew about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s statements, and am honestly not sure if I would read it again in light of them. However, it is a great book. 

2. General News: Los Angeles Fire

A suspect for starting the Palisades Fire in Los Angeles was arrested on arson charges on Sunday for starting a fire in Los Angeles. The suspect is a homeless, 48 year old man named Ramon Santos Rodrguez, and he was caught when he came out from a brush near the fire. A Los Angeles Fire Department helicopter spotted a man near the fire along a brush on Saturday, where he was seen starting even more fires.  However, the people trying to apprehend them had to retreat because of the quickly growing fires.The fire has burned 1,325 acres and is 23% contained, say the Los Angeles County Fire Department. As a result, the evacuation order in the area around Topanga Canyon. The fire started this past Friday, which caused 1,000 people to evacuate 20 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. No building or structures were damaged or burned from the 785 threatened. 

Right now, more than 500 firefighters are trying to extinguish the fire, with 300 trying to reach that goal over the weekend. The fire is burning in a region with a lot of “…dense, thick material…oily plants that have dried out because of the drought.” says a firefighter. They are trying to make sure the fire does not reach these flammable areas to decrease the amount of danger. However, these conditions along with the gusty winds that are supposed to come in the very near future, containing and taking this fire down will be a challenge. Furthermore, California’s drought that has been happening for weeks may start another bout of wildfires like the one that happened this past fall season.  

3. COVID-19: India’s new variant 

A COVID-19 variant that first surfaced in India during February has now spread across the globe, dubbed the B.1.617 variant. This variant is believed to be a big cause of the large surge and relentlessness of the virus in recent months. It was classified as a “variant of concern”, only the fourth one to be bestowed that title. The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that this variant is most likely more contagious than any other, but more research has to be done to reach a final conclusion. Furthermore, the United Kingdom has also warned its populace that a sub-type of the B.1.617 variant will become the most dominant one soon. In America, on the other hand the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said that this variant is not at the top of their priorities as of now and has been labelled a “variant of interest”.. 

Research conducted in India has shown that the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines should be able to provide protection against this new variant in a series of trials. While the vaccine does protect someone against this variant as well as it would against the typical version, it still worked well. However, more studies need to be done to determine how the vaccine would fare against the variant in the real-world. Dr. Chris Witty, a chief medical officer in England, has said that this newer variant falls in the middle of the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants in terms of resistance to current vaccines. 

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

4. Politics: Major Supreme Court hearings and decisions

The Supreme Court is set to hear a case that has the potential to overturn Roe v. Wade, with proceedings set to start October and a decision expected by June 2022. AP Gov students will remember that Roe v. Wade established that the right to an abortion is protected under a person’s right to privacy, as dictated by the constitution, though certain restrictions are not prohibited. This is why strict, near total bans on abortions have been able to pass in certain states recently, though many are being contested in court, including the aforementioned Mississippi law. The case, Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, involves a 2018 law that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy with limited exceptions. Current precedent set by the Supreme Court dictates that abortion restrictions cannot be set prior to fetal viability, typically 22 weeks or later. Mississippi argues that the viability precedent should be reexamined, stating “It is well past time for the Court to revisit the wisdom of the viability bright-line rule.” Meanwhile, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a Mississippi clinic that offers abortions, argued that the court should not even take the case: “In an unbroken line of decisions over the last fifty years, this Court has held that the Constitution guarantees each person the right to decide whether to continue a pre-viability pregnancy.” Conservative Trump-appointed judges Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh are expected to vote in favor of Mississippi, as they have made similar decisions in the past, as are the other conservative justices, though Justice Amy Coney Barret could be a wild card and Chief Justice John Roberts voted against the same Louisiana law the aforementioned judges favored, citing prior court decisions. Meanwhile, the Court’s liberal minority is expected to vote in favor of Jackson Women’s Health Organization. 

The decision to hear Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization comes after a Monday Supreme Court decision that its April ruling declaring juries must come to a unanimous decision when convicting for a serious crime does not apply retroactively, meaning those sentenced by split juries in the past would not automatically be eligible for a retrial. Louisiana, one of the two states that allows split juries, has 1,500 inmates convicted on such terms and have exhausted their appeals. 80% of them are Black. The law dates back to the Jim Crow era and was designed to target African Americans. 

5. Sports: Kobe Bryant inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame 

The now deceased former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame this past Saturday. His wife, Vanessa Bryant, spoke at the commemoration, honoring her deceased husband and saying that he was “one of a kind.” Michael Jordan, widely considered as the greatest basketball player of all time, was also with Ms. Bryant on stage during her speech. She thought it was appropriate to have his idol and long-time friend help induct her husband into the hall of fame, saying that “This means so much to us.” Other hall of fame inductees include former champion and Boston Celtics power forward Kevin Garnett and San Antonio Spurs legend Tim Duncan, who won five championships during his career. Duncan, an on-court rival of Kobe’s and Garnett’s, thanked them in his speech saying, “You guys demanded the best out of me, and it brought the best out of me. Thank you, guys.” Inductees for the next hall of fame class include Paul Pierce, a former champion and teammate of Garnett’s, and two time champion and 11 time All-Star Chris Bosh.

6. Entertainment: MTV Movie & TV Awards

The MTV Movie & TV Awards were presented this past Saturday with Snoop Dogg as the event’s DJ and Leslie Jones as the host. For the non-traditional awards, Scarlett Johannsen won the Generation Award for her decorated acting career and Sacha Baron Cohen won the Comedic Genius award for her due to his major influence and contributions to the genre of comedy. The Trailblazer award was once again not given to anyone this year. For the traditional awards, “WandaVision” won four awards, among them being “Best Show” and awards given to Kathryn Hahn and Elizabeth Olsen for “Best Villain” and “Best Performance In A Show” respectively. Other multiple award winners include Anthony Mackie, with “Best Hero” and “Best Duo” along with Sebastian Stan for his performance in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”. The now deceased Chadwick Boseman was also honored for his performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom ” for “Best Performance In A Movie ”. Additionally, Bretman Rock won “Breakthrough Social Star” and BTS won “Best Music Documentary” among the unscripted awards. 

Note: Click here for a full list of winners

7. Weather

Atlas (West Seattle): Highs this week will rise overall, with today-Weds’ being 57-58℉, Thurs 64℉, Fri 69℉, Sat up to 73℉ and Sun-Mon down to 66-67℉. Lows will rise as well, starting at 43-44℉ today-Weds, then ascending to 46℉ Thurs, 48℉ Fri, up to 51℉ Sat and down to 49℉ Sun-Mon. While today will see scattered showers, the rest of the week will be partially cloudy. Stay dry, wear a mask, and have a good week.

Summary: Highs in the high 50’s-high 60’s, lows in the mid-high 40’s, scattered showers and partial clouds. 

 

Olympus (Tacoma): Highs this week will start in the 58-59℉ range today-Weds, then rise to 64℉ Thurs, 69℉ Fri and 74℉ Sat. Highs then will drop to 67℉ Sun-Mon. Meanwhile, lows will range throughout the 40’s, with today-Weds’ being 41℉, Thurs-Fri 44-45℉, Sat 49℉ and Sun-Mon 46-47℉. While most of the week will be partially cloudy, Tues and Sun will see partial showers. Find some sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.

Summary: Highs in the high 50’s-low 70’s, lows throughout the 40’s, partial clouds and showers.

 

Sierra (Seattle): This weeks highs will start in the 57-58℉ range today-Weds, then rise to 63℉ Thurs, up again to 68℉ Fri and 72℉ Sat, then down to 64-65℉ Sun-Mon. Lows will remain mostly in the 40’s with today-Weds’ being 42-43℉, then up to 45℉ Thurs, 47℉ Fri, 50℉ Sat, down to 47-48℉ Sun-Mon. Most of the week will be partially cloudy, with the exception of scattered showers today. Stay dry, wear a mask, and have a good week.

Summary: Highs in the high 50’s-high 60’s, lows throughout the 40’s, partial clouds and scattered showers.

 

Denali (Sunnyvale): Highs this week will actually drop quite quickly then rise again, with today’s being 71℉, then down to 66℉ Weds-Thurs, back up to 70℉ Fri, 73℉ Sat and 76-77℉ Sun-Mon. Lows will also jump around a bit starting at 48℉ today, then down to 46-47℉ Weds-Thurs, back to 48℉ Fri, 50℉ Sat and 51-52℉ Sun-Mon. Visible weather will begin at fully sunny today, then partially cloudy Tues-Weds, then fully sunny again until Mon, which will be partially cloudy. Enjoy that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.

Summary: Highs in the high 60’s-high 70’s, lows in the high 40’s-low 50’s, full and partial clouds, full sun.

 

Everest and Prep (Redwood City): Highs this week will rise fairly steadily, starting at 66℉ today, then down to 63℉ Weds, back up to 65℉ Thurs, 68℉ Fri, 70℉ Sat and 72℉ Sun-Mon. Lows will remain in the 47-48℉ range today-Fri and then rise to the 49-50℉ range Sat-Mon. Meanwhile, today will be fully sunny, Weds cloudy, Thurs-Fri fully sunny again, Sat partially cloudy, Sun fully sunny and Mon partially cloudy again. Enjoy that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.

Summary: Highs in the mid 60’s-low 70’s, lows in the high 40’s, full sun, full and partial clouds. 

 

K2 (El Cerrito): This weeks highs will bounce around a bit, starting at 72℉ today, then down to 69℉ Weds-Thurs, 71℉ Fri-Sat and up again to 74-75℉ Sun-Mon. Lows will remain in the 48-49℉ today-Thurs and rise to 50-51℉ Fr-Mon. Meanwhile, today will be fully sunny, Weds cloudy, Thurs-Fri sunny again, Sat partially cloudy, Sun fully sunny and Mon partially cloudy. Enjoy that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.

Summary: Highs in the high 60’s-mid 70’s, lows in the high 40’s-low 50’s, full sun, full and partial clouds. 

 

Tam (Richmond): Highs this week will dip, but don’t worry, they’ll come back up! Today’s high will be 71℉, then drop to 68-69℉ Weds-Fri. It will then climb back to 70℉ Sat and 74℉ Sun. Meanwhile, lows will start in the 48-49℉ at the beginning of the week (today-Fri) and end in the 50-51℉ range (Sat-Mon). While today will be sunny, Weds will be cloudy, Thurs-Fri sunny again, Sat partially cloudy, Sun sunny again and Mon back to partially cloudy. Soak up that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.

Summary: Highs in the high 60’s-mid 70’s, lows in the high 40’s-low 50’s, sun, full and partial clouds. 

 

Shasta (Daly City): This week will be a colder one, mostly sitting in the 56-57℉ range from today-Sat, then climbing to a whopping 58-59℉ Sun-Mon. Lows will remain in the 49-50℉ range throughout the week. Meanwhile, today-Thurs will be cloudy, Fri sunny, Sat partially cloudy, Sun sunny and Mon partially cloudy. Find some sun, wear a mask, and have a good week. 

Summary: Highs in the high 50’s, lows in the high 40’s-low 50’s, sun, full and partial clouds. 

 

Tahoma (San Jose): This week will experience a drop in the middle, starting at 71℉ today, then falling to 65℉ Weds, 67℉ Thurs, back up to 70℉ Fri, 74℉ Sat, 77℉ Sun and 79℉ Mon. Meanwhile, lows will climb a bit more consistently with today’s being 48℉, then down to 46℉ Weds, back up to 48℉ Thurs, 49-50℉ Fri-Sat and 53℉ Sun-Mon. While today will be partially cloudy and Weds-Thurs fully cloudy, Fri will be sunny, Sat partially cloudy again and Sun-Mon back to full sun. Enjoy that sun, wear a mask, and have a good week.

Summary: Highs in the mid 60’s-high 70’s, lows in the high 40’s-low 50’s, partial and full clouds, sun. 

8. Cooking: Cheesy Enchilada Casserole 

By Culinary Envy on Allrecipes

 

Ingredients:

Cooking spray, butter, etc to grease the pan.

 

10 (6 inch) corn tortillas, cut into quarters

1 (8 ounce) package sharp Cheddar cheese, cubed

1 onion, chopped

1 (3.8 ounce) can sliced black olives

 

1 (16 ounce) can green chile enchilada sauce

2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Spray/grease an 8-inch baking dish. 
  2. Arrange 1/3 of the tortillas over the bottom of the prepared dish. Spread 1/2 the Cheddar cheese, onion, and olives over tortillas. Spoon 1/3 of the green enchilada sauce and 1/3 of the Mexican cheese on top. Repeat layering with 1/3 tortillas and the remaining Cheddar cheese, onion, and olives. Spoon another third of the sauce and Mexican cheese on top. Finish with the remaining tortillas, sauce, and Mexican cheese. Cover with aluminum foil.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until cheese is bubbly on top, about 10 minutes more.

9. Actions: George Floyd, infrastructure bill

Editor’s note: The “Actions” section includes petitions to sign, prompts and scripts to write officials with as well as other opportunities to engage in your local, national and global communities.

 

  • Join a virtual day of action to honor George Floyd.
  • Urge Congress to keep the climate-conscious aspects of the new infrastructure 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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