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September 28, 2020
Volume XXXVII | Issue IV
Welcome back, sunshine! This newsletter’s content is fire: The NFL sparks controversy by paying respect to the BLM movement while gender reveal parties spark wildfires. If that isnt heated enough for you, get toasty with our "Warm Days" Spotify playlist. Is this heat wave is getting to you yet? Stay cool as a cucumber with our staff writers take on TikTok discrimination or a cold-hearted opinion on third parties in the United States. If these articles spark interest in you, consider guest writing for The Talon. Happy reading!

Menlo Park protesters march in reaction to Breonna Taylor indictment

By Anika Sikka and Mira Sundar
Tomoki Chien
Protesters took to the streets of Menlo Park on Friday, September 25, in reaction to the grand jury indictment in Breonna Taylor’s case. Tha Hood Squad and Justice Vanguard, two local community service and awareness groups, organized the march, which began in Kepler’s Courtyard in Menlo Park and moved toward the Menlo Park Police Department. Click here to read the full story.

STEM stress at LAHS

By Anika Sikka
 Natalie Wei
The choice between taking a STEM honors class as opposed to its college preparatory counterpart is a tough one, one made more difficult when neither of the options fit your learning needs. Click here to read staff writer Anika Sikka’s take on the solutions addressing the difference in rigor between honors/AP STEM classes and their college preparatory counterparts.

Pipe dream to pilot: Kate’s journey into the air

By Nathaniel Joffe
Courtesy Kate Koralevskaya
Although senior Kate Koralevskaya’s fascination with aviation began with toys and model planes, she never expected her first co-pilot to be a plushy companion. Soaring over California’s beautiful landscape, Kate has managed to achieve her childhood dream of becoming a private pilot while still in high school. Click here to read about her path to the skies.

City Council Candidates Forum

Elections are coming up! The Talon will be participating in the Los Altos City Council Candidates Forum this Wednesday, September 30, at 7 p.m. Show up to inform yourself on candidates’ values and policies! To attend, click this link or view our livestream.

Warm Days

By Elli Lahdesmaki

When life gets rough, I like to hold on to my dream of relaxing in the summer sun, just letting off steam.”
Olaf, Frozen

Inspired by the current heat wave,
this playlist is a mix of old and new songs. Global warming, but make it music.


MVLA plans hybrid in-person return for this semester

By Olivia Hewang and Natalie Wei

Elyssa Kennedy

The Mountain View–Los Altos School District is currently planning a hybrid return to campus in cohorts for this semester, according to Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer. Initially, students will return in cohorts of up to 16 students. Students with special needs, English as a second language  and disengagement — absences and missed assignments during distance learning — will be prioritized. There are no short-term plans to send the entire student body back to campus yet. Click here to read the full story.


Texans and Chiefs — linking arms and sparking controversy

By Anika Sikka and Mira Sundar
Emily Zhu
The Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs linked arms in a moment of silence for those killed by police brutality before their game on Thursday, September 10. The LAHS football team aims to show a similar act of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Click here to read the full story.

Oakland Athletics clinch playoffs spot: Boon or bust? 

By Garv Virginkar and Barrett Wong
Via Wikimedia Commons
The Oakland Athletics (A’s) have made the playoffs in a non-wildcard position for the first time since 2013. While many fans are hopeful that this is the start of something bigger, all the signs point to the team performing poorly. Click here to read senior writer Barrett Wong and staff writer Garv Virginkar’s opinion on the future of the A’s.


College and Career Center: Coordinating futures and impacting lives 

By Allison Bricca
Elyssa Kennedy
Tucked away in the library building, the College and Career Center is a place for students to get advice and plan their futures. Coordinator Andrea Gorman has helped students find volunteer work, actively search through colleges and contact employers for the past five years. As she transitions to part-time at LAHS, Laura Duran has been added to the team to continue helping students find the path that’s right for them. Read more here.


Kulture à la Kaavya: Gender reveals are bull

Column by Kaavya Butaney
Emily Zhu
A colorful firework burns bright blue at a gender reveal, and one silly mistake leads to a massive, massive fire. The first time I heard about the El Dorado catastrophe, I didn’t really understand why it was such a big deal. But then the absurdity occurred to me: A party started a fire that literally killed someone and burned down thousands of acres all because “it’s a boy!” Click here to read Copy Editor Kaavya Butaney’s take on how problematic gender reveal parties are.

Third parties have always had little success, but whose fault is that?

By Garv Virginkar
Olivia Hewang
Aside from a few notable exceptions, third parties in the United States have been relegated to the sidelines of politics for almost as long as they’ve been around. While the odds aren’t exactly in their favor, third parties have nobody but themselves to blame. Click here to read staff writer Garv Virginkar’s take on third-party success in the United States.

Arts & Culture

Are you worth more than a cucumber?

By Kaley Kwan
Emily Zhu
I was scrolling through TikTok, as one does, when I came across this delightful little nugget: A white teenage boy staring at the camera while text illustrating monetary values scrolled across the screen. He had, delightfully, taken it upon himself to appraise the different races. Read here to find staff writer Kaley Kwan’s response to the ranking of the Asian race below a cucumber.

Cuties: Not so cute after all

By Naomi Ichiriu and Anika Sikka
Via Netflix
When Sundance-winning French film “Cuties” came out on Netflix, we were expecting to watch another hour-and-a-half long movie with a cliché plot and unrealistic expectations for teens. We were instead met with a jarring film that was thoroughly uncomfortable to watch. Click here to read staff writers Anika Sikka and Naomi Ichiriu’s take on themes of the movie.

Tickets To My Downfall: Machine Gun Kelly’s successful pop punk debut

By Kathrina Welborn
Via Wall of Sound
After a decade-long career in rap, Machine Gun Kelly has successfully transitioned into the pop-punk scene with his 2020 album “Tickets To My Downfall.” Produced by Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, the album is reminiscent of ’90s and early 2000s pop punk music, a near-180 from his 2019 album “Hotel Diablo,” which sits firmly in the rap genre. Click here to read staff writer Kathrina Welborn’s take on “Tickets To My Downfall.”
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