In California, A High School That Cheers A-R-A-B-S

Posted on 13th February 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Last week, Coachella Valley High School came under fire for the name of its mascot — the Arab. The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee sent a letter to the school, complaining about the way the mascot depicts people of Arab descent. The complaint made the school national news.

At Coachella Valley High School last Friday — a game day — instead of getting ready for kickoff, students were stopped by television camera crews as they left campus. One by one, in their team jerseys and painted faces, they defended their mascot.

“It’s pure pride, you know?” said Sergio Ortega, a freshman at the school. He plays on the school football team. For him, the Arab mascot is all he knows. “My parents, my grandparents, they’ve been Arabs, and I don’t see nothing wrong with it! It’s just to show us that we’re strong. We’re strong Arabs, you know?”

But here’s the thing; they’re not Arabs. Or even Arab-Americans. The student body of Coachella Valley Unified School District — and most of the entire region — is 99 percent Latino.


Santa Cruz is part of California ‘Dreamers’ Campaign

Posted on 13th January 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Even though summer is over, Santa Cruz is still about to have another day in the sun.

On film, anyway.

Santa Cruz is one of 18 locations shown in a new California “Dreamers” television commercial that promotes tourism in the Golden State. The 30-second ads started airing nationally this month.

The scene featuring Santa Cruz shows a guitar-strumming girl sitting on the jetty with Walton Lighthouse behind her, as a sailboat cruises the Monterey Bay in the background. The girl pulls a music headset off her ears and asks, “huh?” The scene is part of a quick series of montages with short bits of dialogue.


Tours enchant visitors to Hearst’s hilltop California estate

Posted on 13th December 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

SAN SIMEON, California: The coastline that parallels Route 1 in central California is so breathtaking that you might be forgiven for missing the zebras on the opposite side of the road. And that huge chateau perched far off on the hillside? Almost unnoticeable at highway speeds.

Both belong to the legacy of larger-than-life newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst, who chose this surprisingly unobtrusive spot along the Pacific Coast Highway to build his 165-room estate.

Now overseen by the state park system, the site known as the Hearst Castle is worth a side trip if you’re driving between San Francisco and Los Angeles. An array of tours offers a glimpse into the lifestyle of the rich and famous that, while not quick or cheap, is not something you’ll soon forget.

The Mediterranean revival-style property designed by architect Julia Morgan occupies land in San Simeon that had been in Hearst’s family for decades. The original acreage had few amenities and the publisher reportedly told Morgan in 1919: “We are tired of camping out in the open at the ranch in San Simeon and I would like to build a little something.”


With Yosemite closed, tourists shun California community

Posted on 13th November 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

(CBS News) GROVELAND, Calif. — The impact of the government shutdown has gone far beyond Washington, far beyond the federal workers who were furloughed. The shutdown was an especially hard blow to folks in California, who have not even begun to recover from devastating wildfires.

Groveland, Calif., the Western gateway to Yosemite National Park, depends on park tourism. The massive Rim Fire chased visitors away in August and wrecked the summer tourist season. Now the park shutdown has shut down the fall season.

“I’m not able to make any of my bills,” said Pamela Harris, the owner of the Pine Mountain Deli here. “That’s why I have to be out by the end of the month. Can’t pay my rent, can’t pay my electricity, can’t … I’m gonna leave here in debt.”