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Bassnectar performs at the 2014 Coachella Festival PHOTO CREDITS: WikiMedia Commons, Drew Ressler

Summit Weekly Briefing of 1/17

Your Summit Weekly Briefing

By Ashwath Vimal, Angela Hwang and Ethan Ignatovsky

Staff Writers


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. Welcome back from the long weekend! We hope you enjoyed your extra day off from school and took the time to research what Martin Luther King Jr. did for Americans if you only know the basics! As we come back to school, stay safe and be cautious as the Omicron variant is rapidly spreading. Be on the lookout for emails from your school, as you may be switching to an online school soon!
  2. Read this article on Denali school lunches (by Nathaniel Medley and Joshua Schermann), this article about opinions on Covid guidelines at Denali (by Meiru Chen, Sophia Garcia and Karissa Tsang) and this article on the effectiveness of the Summit model (by William Giblin, Vibhu Gogineni and Ariana Perez), 

General News: 

  1. The Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, was involved in a hostage situation this past Saturday. On that day, Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker welcomed an unknown man (now known to be Malik Faisal Akram) into the synagogue, talked with him and found him to be your average person. However, the stranger’s true colors were revealed when he pointed a gun at the back of the rabbi, leading to a four-person hostage situation. Nearby residents were evacuated by the police as soon as they arrived. Throughout the church livestream (which was supposed to allow viewers to watch the prayers that were going to occur that day), people could hear Akram shouting obscenities, talking about how he was not a criminal and how he just wanted to talk to convicted terrorist Aafia Siddiqui. While Akram only threatened and never harmed the hostages, he got increasingly more aggressive during the last hour of the situation. The remaining three hostages (one was released earlier) were able to escape when the rabbi threw a chair at Akram, allowing them to exit without a single shot being fired. The rescue team that arrived was able to enter the synagogue, with the result being the eventual death of Akram. There should be no further threats that stem from this, officials stated.
  2. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has come under fire after it was revealed that he was having large gatherings during strict COVID-19 lockdowns. While polls tell us two-thirds of the public want to boot Johnson out of office, getting rid of him may prove very difficult. However, triggering a vote of no confidence may do the trick. The process is tough, but even if the result is not the desired outcome, Johnson’s reputation will be sure to tank. Rumors are flying about this situation, from how the U.K.’s top political leaders are trying to get Johnson out of the office to how Johnson’s loyalists are trying to combat their efforts. Only time will tell whether or not these rumors are true. 


  1. C.D.C. Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, revealed some new data regarding Covid-19 hospitalizations via Twitter on Tuesday. The data revealed the number of unvaccinated people admitted to hospitals in Nov. 2021 for Covid-19 or Covid-19 related reasons was 13-times higher than the number of vaccinated people admitted for the same reasons.
  2. Pfizer released the results of three studies, showing that their antiviral drug Paxlovid is effective in stopping the replication of the Omicron variant in cells. Pfizer’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Mikael Dolsten, told CNN, “These data suggest that our oral COVID-19 therapy can be an important and effective tool in our continued battle against this devastating virus and current variants of concern, including the highly transmissible Omicron.” The F.D.A. gave the drug emergency use authorization to treat mild to moderate cases of Covid-19 in children 12 and up who are at high risk of severe disease. The drug is also known to help adults battling Covid-19 if it is taken within a few days of symptoms appearing.
  3. In the past two weeks, Australia, Argentina, Egypt, Canada and the island nation of Curaçao have all been added to the C.D.C.’s list of countries categorized as the highest-risk for travel, in terms of the travelers’ risk of obtaining the Covid-19 virus. 


  1. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Ukraine could see an attack by Russia “on very short notice”. He also warned Russia there would be “confrontation and consequences” if they decided to attack. Last month, the president approved $200 million more in aid to Ukraine; however there is no evidence that Mr. Blinken or the Biden administration promised Ukraine any specific aid in their conflict with Russia. 


This past weekend was the wildcard round of the NFL playoffs and there were six total games. Let’s briefly go over them.

  1. Las Vegas Raiders 19 – Cincinnati Bengals 26: Joe Burrow has firmly cemented himself as one of the best Quarterbacks in the NFL in only his second season in the league. The former number one overall pick led his team to their first playoff win in 31 years. There was some questionable officiating during the game, however interim coach for the Raiders Rich Bisaccia made it clear that the game was not lost due to officiating.
  2. New England Patriots 17 – Buffalo Bills 47: It might’ve been a freezing cold 7℉ in Buffalo, but the Bills were on fire, with quarterback Josh Allen leading them to victory with five touchdown passes. The Patriots led by rookie QB Mac Jones were just outmatched, Jones threw two interceptions and the defense had no answers. It was a disappointing end to an overall successful rookie season from Jones.
  3. Philadelphia Eagles 15 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31: The reigning superbowl champions made it look easy against Jalen Hurts and the eagles. Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes, leading his Bucs to the victory. Hurts was picked off twice, and the Eagles will go into the offseason wondering if he was their answer at Quarterback.
  4. San Francisco 49ers 23 – Dallas Cowboys 17: The 49ers won a crazy one on the road in Dallas. The 49ers were firmly in control through the first 3 quarters of the game before the Cowboys started to come back. The Cowboys had a chance to win it on their final drive, but with 14 seconds left on the clock Cowboys QB Dak Prescott decided to run the ball. This led to some confusion and the Cowboys didn’t give the ball to the umpire to spot the ball leading to the umpire bumping into Prescott trying to spot the ball as fast as he could. By the time the ball was spotted and snapped, the clock had ran out.
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers 21 – Kansas City Chiefs 42: After 18 years in Pittsburgh, Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will start the next chapter of his life. His final game as a member of the Steelers didn’t go as he wanted it to but even he admitted that they didn’t stand a chance against one of the best teams in the league. Roethlisberger ends his career in Pittsburgh with 418 touchdown passes, 64,088 passing yards, and two super bowl rings. Patrick Mahomes threw five touchdowns leading his Chiefs to the win in Roethlisberger’s farewell party.
  6. Arizona Cardinals 11 – Los Angeles Rams 34: In what could’ve easily been the closest game of this wildcard round the Rams made the Cardinals look silly, or maybe it was just the Cardinals that made themselves look silly. Cardinals QB Kyler Murray only averaged four yards per throw to go along with his 55% completion rate, Murray also threw two interceptions including a very avoidable pick six. Rams QB Mathew Stafford got his long awaited first playoff win, throwing two touchdowns in the process to Odell Beckham Jr, and Cooper Kupp


  1. While the three movies following the original horror-slasher movie “Scream” were not the most critically acclaimed, the fifth movie in the franchise (Jan. 14, 2022), with the same name as the first, has blown past its previous three predecessors. The movie has already achieved $30.6 million at the domestic box office in its opening weekend, even beating Spider-Man: No Way Home, which had $20.8 million. With the original three cast members (Courtney Cox, Neve Campbell, David Arquette) returning for the movie along with notable actors such as Jenna Ortega, Dylan Minette and Jack Quaid, this movie was bound for success. The film does a fantastic job at replicating the “format” of previous “Scream” films, and along with its constant mocking of classic American horror movie tropes, it is a great service to the fans. Even though the identity of the killer is not the hardest case to figure out, like with many “Scream” movies, the events that happen before the big reveal is what makes this movie enjoyable. However, some of the performances from the lesser-known actors were not the greatest, leaving you to not care about the fates of some of the side characters. Overall, though, this movie has definitely successfully rebooted the franchise and leaves room for future sequels to come.
  2. The Coachella Valley Music and Art Festival is finally returning after a two-year “break” due to the pandemic. This year, music buffs will be able to experience this blockbuster event from April 15-17 and April 22-24, headlined by popular artists such as Billie Eilish, Kanye West, Harry Styles, Lil Baby, Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion and more. With the recent surge of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, fans will have to hope the three-day concert will not be canceled.
  3. Tragedy hit the entertainment industry on Jan. 9 of this year, with the shocking passing of American film and television personality Bob Saget. Most known for his role in the “Full House” franchise, many of his former castmates shared their condolences, among them Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen and John Stamos. The cause of death has yet to be discovered, but Saget’s family does have a history of heart attacks. The beloved actor’s burial was held at Mt. Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles this past Friday, with a larger memorial being planned for a future unconfirmed date.


Atlas (West Seattle): Highs will hold steady this week: 47℉ everyday except Wednesday. Lows will rise slightly this week: 37℉ on Friday, 36℉ on Saturday and Sunday, 35℉ on Monday, 36℉ on Tuesday and 38℉ on Wednesday. There will be clouds all week.

Summary: Highs at 47℉, lows in the mid 30’s, clouds.


Olympus (Tacoma): Highs will hold steady this week: 47℉ everyday. Lows will rise slightly this week: 37℉ on Friday, 35℉ until Monday, 36℉ on Tuesday and 38℉ on Wednesday. There will be clouds all week.

Summary: Highs at 47℉, lows in the mid 30’s, clouds.


Sierra (Seattle): Highs will hold steady this week: 47℉ everyday except Wednesday. Lows will rise slightly this week: 37℉ on Friday, 36℉ on Saturday and Sunday, 35℉ on Monday, 36℉ on Tuesday and 38℉ on Wednesday. There will be clouds all week.

Summary: Highs at 47℉, lows in the mid 30’s, clouds.


Denali (Sunnyvale): Highs will hold steady this week: 66℉ on Friday, 65℉ until Monday, 64℉ on Tuesday, back to 65℉ on Wednesday. Lows will rise slightly this week: 41℉ on Friday, 44℉ on Saturday, 42℉ until Tuesday and 43℉ on Wednesday. It will be sunny all week.

Summary: Highs at in the mid 60’s lows in the low 40s, sunny.


Everest and Prep (Redwood City): Highs will drop slightly this week: 64℉ on Friday, 63℉ on Saturday, 62℉ on Sunday, 61℉ on Monday, 60℉ on Tuesday and 62℉ on Wednesday. Lows will also drop slightly this week: 45℉ on Friday, 44℉ on Saturday and 43℉ until Wednesday. It will be sunny all week.

Summary: Highs in the mid 60’s, lows in the mid 40’s, sunny.


K2 (El Cerrito): Highs will drop overall this week: 64℉ on Friday, 62℉ Saturday and Sunday, 61℉ on Monday, 60℉ on Tuesday and 61℉ on Wednesday. Lows will also drop: 49℉ on Friday, 43℉ on Saturday and Sunday, 42℉ on Monday and Tuesday and 43℉ on Wednesday. It will be partly cloudy all week except Sunday and Monday.

Summary: Highs in the low 60’s, lows in the low 40’s, partly cloudy. 


Tam (Richmond): Highs will drop overall this week: 63℉ on Friday, 61℉ on Saturday, 60℉ on Sunday, 58℉ on Monday, 57℉ on Tuesday and 60℉ on Wednesday. Lows will also drop overall: 50℉ on Friday, 46℉ on Saturday and Sunday, 45℉ on Monday and Tuesday and 46℉ on Wednesday. It will be sunny all week except Tuesday when it will be a bit cloudy.

Summary: Highs in the low 60’s and upper 50’s, lows in the mid 40’s, sunny.


Tahoma (San Jose): Highs will fall slightly this week: 67℉ on Friday and Saturday, 66℉ on Sunday, 67℉ on Monday, 65℉ on Tuesday and 68℉ on Wednesday. Lows will rise slightly: 40℉ on Friday, 43℉ on Saturday, 42℉ on Sunday and Monday and 43℉ on Tuesday and Wednesday. It will be sunny all week. 

Summary: Highs in the mid 60’s, lows in the low 40’s, sunny.

Cooking: Cheesecake

By Sam Merritt on Sugar Spun Run

Serves 12


Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon white or brown sugar
  • 7 Tablespoons butter melted


  • 32 oz cream cheese² softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • ⅔ cups sour cream 
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs room temperature, lightly beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 325℉
  2. Prepare Graham Cracker crust first by combining graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and brown sugar, and stirring well. Add melted butter and use a fork to combine ingredients well.
  3. Pour crumbs into a 9” Springform pan and press firmly into the bottom and up the sides of your pan. Set aside.


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl (using a hand mixer) add cream cheese and stir until smooth and creamy (don’t over-beat or you’ll incorporate too much air).
  2. Add sugar and stir again until creamy.
  3. Add sour cream, vanilla extract, and salt, and stir until well-combined. If using a stand mixer, make sure you pause periodically to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula so that all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
  4. With mixer on low speed, gradually add lightly beaten eggs, one at a time, stirring just until each egg is just incorporated. Once all eggs have been added, use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl again and make sure all ingredients are well combined.
  5. Pour cheesecake batter into prepared springform pan. To insure against leaks, place pan on a cookie sheet that’s been lined with foil.
  6. Transfer to the center rack of your oven and bake on 325F (160C) for about 75 minutes. Edges will likely have slightly puffed and may have just begun to turn a light golden brown and the center should spring back to the touch but will still be Jello-jiggly. Don’t over-bake or the texture will suffer, which means we all suffer.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool on top of the oven³ for 10 minutes. Once 10 minutes has passed, use a knife to gently loosen the crust from the inside of the springform pan (this will help prevent cracks as your cheesecake cools and shrinks).
  8. Allow cheesecake to cool another 1-2 hours or until near room temperature before transferring to refrigerator and allowing to cool overnight or at least 6 hours. Enjoy!


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.

This actions section will be in light of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

And, as always:

  • Watch or listen or listen to this playlist. All advertisement revenue goes to Black Lives Matter. 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-issued Chromebooks due to being in the “Entertainment” category

Feature image at the top of the post:

Bassnectar performs at the 2014 Coachella Festival PHOTO CREDITS: Wikimedia Commons, Drew Ressler

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