Category Archives: national news

March: This Month in History

By Edmund Shryock

There have been a great deal of historical events that have taken place within the month of March. All of us know about the events of last March (2020) which now overshadows previous historical events and achievements. Now let’s take a look back at five historical events that have taken place in the month of March.

  1. The Ratification of The Articles of Confederation:
  • On March 1st, 1781, The Articles of Confederation were ratified, creating the first taste of a Government in the United States after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Although the Articles remained as the governing body of the U.S. Government until the end of the Revolutionary War in 1789, there were major flaws within it. It created economic disorganization among the 13 States and there was no executive leader. This paved a way to a signing of the current U.S. Constitution that is the backbone of current American Politics. 
  1. Franklin D. Roosevelt was Inaugurated as the 32nd President of The United States:
  • On March 4th, 1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated and was faced with getting the United States out of the Great Depression. He was offering a New Deal to America and bringing a much needed breath of fresh air to this crisis. In his Inauguration Speech, he would go on to say the famous words, “Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…” This would rally the American people and cause him to win 3 more elections.
  1. Ulysses S. Grant became commander of the Union army:
  • As the Civil War had been raging on for almost 3 years, the Union Army was in need of a new general. On March 9th, 1864, Ulysses Grant would be commissioned as the commander of the Union forces. Grant would go on to fight in numerous battles against the Confederate leader General Robert E. Lee. Eventually, Lee was defeated at the hands of General Grant’s army. This popularity of his successes in war helped him win the White House, becoming the 18th President of the United States. 
FILE – In this March 23, 2010, file photo, participants applaud in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, March 23, 2010, as President Barack Obama signs the health care bill. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
  1. Obamacare is passed through Congress being signed into law:
  • On March 23, 2010 in former President Barack Obama’s second year in office, he helped form a Universal Healthcare Reform Bill. This bill was going to allow healthcare to be offered to all Americans. However, this bill created enormous backlash from the Republican party believing it to be unconstitutional. This was the start of a majority of the division we see today in Washington. However, Obamacare was effective and popular among people who could not afford healthcare, helping Obama’s reelection in 2012.
  1. The United States buys Alaska.

The Russian Empire at the time was looking to sell its Alaska Territory as it was across the Pacific Ocean and hard to defend. Also, Alaska was very sparsely populated. America was willing to purchase Alaska, however the Civil War postponed the sale until after the war. President Andrew Johnson’s Secretary of State William Seward set a deal to pay $7.2 million for Alaska, which was only about 2 cents per acre. So on March 30, 1867, Alaska was purchased by the U.S. However, Alaska would not be granted statehood until 1959, almost 92 years after the purchase.

“Help is Finally Here” : Stimulus Checks Help Those in Need

By Daisy Penaloza, News & Opinion editor

Finally.

In the last couple of weeks, much to the relief of many, Americans began seeing a rise in their bank accounts. That is because the stimulus checks have finally started arriving; and, more are on the way!

How did this come about?

The American Rescue Plan is a 1.9 trillion dollar economic stimulus bill created by President Joe Biden and signed into law on March 11, 2021. This bill includes many benefits for people who qualify.  

This stimulus bill will bring aid to small businesses and communities as well as many others in need.

This new plan covers just a small portion of what is needed in order to rebuild what was of incredible destruction from the previous years, from the United States last administration. We all know how much of a struggle those last four year were.

Anyways, enough about that. It’s time to focus on the new, the better. We’ve finally got some good coming our way, let’s see what that’s all about.

This new bill incorporates many needed factors from creating millions of additional jobs to advancing racial equity. Many people will finally see their window of opportunities arise.

As President Joe Biden stated, “It’s time that we build an economy that grows from the bottom up and the middle out. And this bill shows that when you do that, everybody does better.”

With this new plan, Americans are hopeful that the country will begin to recover from not only the consequences wrought by the traumatic pandemic but also from the period of national upheaval and unrest.  

See our related story for more insight on the American Rescue Plan.

Stimulus Checks From Government

By Carter Balbuena 含光君

The new $1.9 trillion COVID-19 Stimulus Bill proposed by President Biden has been signed by the Senate and the President himself, so here’s what the bill includes:

Direct Payments

Most likely, the first thing people are wondering about is the stimulus check, specifically how much they’re getting, and if it’ll be enough to support them. Those eligible are as follows: individual people get $1,400 per person if they earn up to $75,000 per year and for couples if they earn up to $150,000 per year. This means that for a family of 4–two parents and two children–they would receive a check for $5600.

Unemployed Benefits

Now, those that are unemployed get $300 a week, which was originally proposed as $400. This will extend up to September 6, 2021.

Public and Education

Over $128 billion in grants is being given to schools, which includes funding for colleges, transit agencies, housing aid, child care providers, and food assistance. $7.5 billion is being sent to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to aid the COVID-19 Vaccines.

Other Benefits

Child tax credit has been increased to $3,000 for ages 6-17 and $3,600 for children under 6. As for couples earning $150,000 a year and individuals earning $75,000, this amount is reduced. However, those that are eligible for full credit will get payments up to $300 per month starting July and lasting until the end of the year. Additionally, $7.25 billion is included for a small-business loan program known as PPP which allows for more nonprofits to apply and also includes larger nonprofits to be eligible.

Check out more on the American Rescue Plan and the stimulus checks.

Return to School Opinion: What Choice Would You Make?

by Eliza Rodrigueza

School is a big part of a student’s life and it will prepare them for adulthood, but since 2020 students have been in distant learning and taking classes over Zoom. If given the option to go back on campus, I wanted to see what the students would choose, so I created a Google survey and asked students to participate. 

My question was simple, If high schools were to open again and you were given two options to choose from: (1) going back on campus, or, (2) staying home and continuing to do distance learning, which one would you choose?

Out of the fifty students who responded to the survey, the results were pretty close. 52% said they would opt to return to campus while 48% stated they would remain home.

When asked about her choice to continue distance learning, Cadet Paula Huerta stated,  

“I personally do not think it is safe enough to go back. My dad is very prone to getting sick and it could be very risky. The vaccine is out but it doesn’t mean it is a cure.”

Personally, I agree with what Huerta has said because it is not yet safe to go back to school even if the vaccine has been released.

Cadet second class Briana Guvara shared that, “Yes I would go back on campus because distance learning is very distracting.”

Staff Sergeant Mia Martinez states, “I would like to go back on campus because I need to get out of the house. And because I miss seeing my friends even if we are conversing from 6 feet apart.” It’s easy to understand that students miss seeing their friends. 

Those wanting to return to school have valid reasons. The distractions at home can really get in the way of learning, and all of us miss socializing with friends. 

What to Consider?

In January, Harvard Health Publishing released information on the Coronavirus Outbreak, and it stated that younger kids can get COVID-19 too. 

Still, Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District just reopened elementary schools beginning Monday, March 29th. But unfortunately, there has been no vaccine released for younger children under the age of 16.

Therefore, I don’t believe that it is safe to send them back to school; younger kids are very naive, and they do not always listen to what adults tell them to do. They may not wear their masks. They may share them with friends.  If it is not safe for high school students, why would they send little kids to go back to school? 

Just because a vaccine was released there are still many possibilities where it can go wrong and turn out for the worst. 

UC Davis and WebMD both published articles that share why many people are still hesitant to take the vaccine.

The decision about whether or not it is safe and advisable to return to school remains quite controversial. 

If you were given the option, which would you choose? Sound off in our comments section.

A Review of President Biden’s First 3 Months

By Edmund Shryock, Political Correspondent

Starting in the month of March, President Biden’s administration has achieved a major breakthrough, providing relief to the millions of Americans who need it. Through Congress, Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion dollar Coronavirus Relief Bill was passed. This however, came with strong objections from the Republicans. Through the passing of this bill, almost every tax-paying American will receive a $1,400 stimulus check. Finally, with the steady decline in new Coronavirus cases, Joe Biden pushes for a nationwide school re-opening plan.

In the month of February, Biden increased the number of vaccine doses that were being shipped across the country, increasing the amount of people getting vaccinated to approximately 2 million people per day. This slowly started to reduce the spread and infection rates. A new vaccine under the company Johnson & Johnson was approved and provided only a one-shot dose. This was backed by President Biden’s strict mask mandates and messages to continue practicing social distancing.

Starting on January 20th, President Biden would set in motion numerous “campaign promised” executive orders, numbering at 17 orders on the first day. These executive orders consisted of addressing the Coronavirus Pandemic head on. An example of this would be the 100-day mask challenge, asking Americans to wear masks for 100 days. Also, continued to pause people having to pay for student loans and federal student loans. Finally, he put a freeze on foreclosures and evictions to March 31.

President Biden’s executive orders on Inauguration Day also reversed a great number of orders that the Trump Administration had previously signed into order. Joe Biden signed for the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and put a halt on withdrawing from the World Health Organization. Biden also lifted Trump’s travel ban on immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries. Finally, he also stopped the construction of the southern border wall, thus removing the national emergency declaration to fund it.

These first 3 months of the Joe Biden Presidency sets the mood for what we can expect from our President for the next 3 years. This also shows how, under Biden, this pandemic will start to diminish thanks to the vaccine roll out. Lastly, it offers hope and help to those all around the world, making the U.S. no longer just “America first” but also more towards our “Allies first.”

Women’s History month Gallery

By Abby Corado

To mark International Women’s Day, the Bugle celebrates March as the month of women’s empowerment! In honor of Women’s History Month, we have a gallery of seven international female figures that have made an impact for women collectively.

Opinion: “For the People” Act a Step Forward

By Andrea Arias

The House of Representatives passed an important bill to help expand voting rights called the For the People Act, also known as H.R. 1, on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. Some of the changes this bill would make include expanding the voting pool, mandating independent redistricting, ensuring voting rights, requiring presidential tax returns, and increasing election security. All of this comes after the mass amounts of voter suppression in the 2020 election, especially in states like Georgia and Arizona.

H.R. 1 will expand the access to mail-in voting and absentee voting, which were some of the ways to vote during the 2020 election. During the 2020 election, there was much controversy about mail-in voting due to misinformation and several statements made by former President Donald Trump and his campaign. Despite the misinformation, many Americans made the decision to vote from home, largely because of the pandemic. 2020 was the year with the most mail-in voting, having about 46% of voters voting from home, according to Pew Research. By making mail-in and absentee voting more accessible to Americans, it would give many people with disabilities and people out of the country the ability to vote without having to present themselves at a polling place.

H.R. 1 will also expand the voter pool, which means that it would make voting more accessible to people over the age of 18. It also includes things like automatic voter registration, restoring voting rights to people with completed felony sentences, and a reversal of state voter ID laws that would allow citizens to make a sworn statement affirming their identity if they were unable to produce an ID. With automatic voter registration, the struggle and almost endless process of applying to vote will become much simpler and quicker.

Gerrymandering is a tactic used by politicians to favor one party or the other. By doing this, the politicians are able to gain more votes in their districts and win elections much easier. While “mandating independent redistricting,” may sound crazy, it would just require states to redraw their congressional districts every 10 years. By doing this, it would lessen the influence of gerrymandering, which has long been a political tactic on both sides. While a great addition to the bill, if passed, it would not take effect until 2030 due to decennial census.

It is no secret that during Donald Trump’s presidency he hid his tax returns, never releasing them and fighting legal battles to keep them hidden. Well, H.R. 1 would require the president, vice president and candidates to the White House to release their annual tax returns. It would also require the president and vice president to fill out a financial disclosure form within 30 days of taking office. This would prevent presidents from having a financial conflict of interest like the ones with Donald Trump. This clearly seems to be the motive in adding this section to the bill.

By adding more security at the ballots it would crack down on voter intimidation tactics and the spread of misinformation. This would also hopefully make voters feel safer on their way to vote and while at the ballot. This was also a big story during the 2020 election, where many Trump supporters would stand outside polling places to prevent many people of color from entering.

H.R. 1 will also take aim at “dark money,” which would require organizations to disclose their large donors and also creates a system for small donations.

On the importance of H.R. 1, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stated, “Our democracy is in a state of deep disrepair. During the 2020 election, Americans had to overcome rampant voter suppression, gerrymandering, and a torrent of special interest dark money just to exercise their right to vote. Across the country, people of all political persuasions — including Democrats, Independents, and Republicans — are profoundly frustrated with the chaos, corruption and inaction that plague much of our politics.”

Lastly, to ensure voting rights, H.R. 1 would, “improve voting protections that civil rights groups say have been eroded, notably by a 2013 Supreme Court decision.” The court decision mentioned is Shelby County (Alabama) v. Holder, the Supreme Court’s decisions threw out a section of the 1965 Voting Right Act which stated that states with a history of voter discrimination would have to obtain “pre-clearance” from federal officials before making election changes. By making this change, the Supreme Court has allowed many states and districts to get away with voter discrimination for years now, which this bill is trying to eradicate.

Although passing this bill would be a huge win for voters everywhere, many Democrats believe that this bill will not get past the Senate due to the very slim majority Democrats hold. Many Republicans continue to fight the simplification of the voting process, even passing laws in some states to make it more difficult to vote–the state of Georgia, for example–as well as passing several laws that would discriminate against many voters and make the application process more difficult for new voters.

Texas Battered by Snow Storm

By Mathew Ruiz

It was the week of February 13, 2021 when an unusual snowstorm hit Texas, leading to massive damages including power outages, no water, no electricity, and very limited supplies, including food.

The storm left millions of people in a very dire situation. Many of their houses’ pipes burst open causing water to gush and flood the floors. This led to the point where they had to boil water from the snow for the heat inside their homes. The storm was so bad that it also delayed the federal government’s delivery of Covid-19 vaccines which had caused many other shortages.

In one of the most unexpected snowstorms of early 2021, approximately 58 people died, including an 11-year-old boy who froze to death. The parents of this young child filed a lawsuit of $100 million dollars after not having any electricity. In Houston, a woman and her 7 year old daughter died inside her car while it was parked and running in the garage in an attempt to keep warm. Most families were cooking outside, charging phones in their car and using snow to melt and shower. All of the wild chaos made it very difficult for hospitals to take care of patients.

While some schools were open in Texas, the storm then led to them being closed for several days as their crews would have to repair pipes, damages, and clean the classrooms. The horrific snow storm temperatures were the coldest it has been since the year of 1989. Driveways were covered in snow, and without a car or road access, it was difficult for the residents of Texas to go to their grocery stores. The only way to get there was by walking. When residents could drive, the weather conditions caused more than 450 car accidents between the days of Sunday and Tuesday in the Houston area alone.

The stores looked like it was the beginning of Covid-19 all over again. There were long lines to get in, all shelves were empty, including all toilet paper and wipes. Water, first aid kits, and food were also eventually completely gone. When you’re in a situation like this, you don’t know what to do; so, some people started panicking.

Overall, around 290,000 Texas residents were left without power and more than 22 million other people across the South were put under frigid temperatures in the coldest winter of their lives.

COVID Vaccine News Round-Up

By Hermaione Sanchez

For all of us, the goal should be to get vaccinated and reach herd immunity in order for this pandemic to be over. According to experts, 85% of Americans need to be vaccinated in order for this to happen. As of February 8, 4,746,539 vaccine doses have been given out. About 40 million people live in California, and of these, only 9.6% have received the vaccine.

Here’s a round-up of more vaccine news:

  • Health-care workers were first on the list for these vaccines, along with long-term care facility residents. 
  • On January 13, Governor Newsom announced accessibility to those 65 and older. 
  • Newsom also announced major vaccination sites like Dodger Stadium, Disneyland, CalExpo, PETCO Park in San Diego, and more.
  • On January 25, it was announced that the next phase will be giving accessibility to age-based groups.
*Availability and distribution depends on the country and the doses provided. It is always best to check up on your county’s information and stay updated to see if you or anyone you know qualifies.

As of the first week of February, L.A. County has received 1.2 million doses, and 89% of those have already been used. 184,000 doses were received last week, too. Many of those were saved as a second dose. 218,000 doses are expected to be received this week and more than half of those are going towards the second-dose vaccine. In L.A. County, as of February 8, only those aged 65+, health care workers and residents/staff at long-term care facilities are eligible for the COVID vaccine. Those eligible can make appointments through this link: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/ncorona2019/vaccine/hcwsignup/ 

In L.A. County, starting on February 16, those in need of the second dose were able to obtain it at Pomona Fairplex, the Forum, Six Flags Magic Mountain, The Los Angeles County Office of Education in Downey, Cal State University Northridge, Balboa Sports Complex and El Sereno. Proof of the first dose will be needed in order to enter and get vaccinated.

Meet California’s New Senator: Alex Padilla

By Monse Juarez

When California Senator Kamala Harris became the new Vice President, her spot had to be filled by somebody new. Enter Alex Padilla.

Alejandro Padilla was chosen by California’s Governor Gavin Newsom to fill Kamala Harris’ seat in the senate for the remainder of her term. Newsom’s decision does not come as a surprise considering Padilla’s extensive experience as a public servant in California.

Senator Padilla and his family have been residents of Los Angeles since his mother and father immigrated to the United States from Mexico. After graduating from high school, Padilla attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At MIT he earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. After attending MIT, he was selected to become Los Angeles City Council President. He made history as the youngest Los Angeles City Council President. He later became a part of the state senate in 2006 and he went on to represent that people from San Fernando Valley.

During the time that Padilla served as a state senator, he managed to pass over 50 bills that helped the issue of climate change. Alejandro Padilla’s already extensive accomplishments led him to become the first Latino Secretary of State that California has ever seen. Padilla has been breaking racial and socioeconomic barriers since he first began his journey as a public servant in the state of California.

Kamala Harris only needed two more years to finish her term as a senator; so now that Mr. Padilla is filling in for her, a lot of politicians are watching. If Senator Padilla proves to be a productive and effective senator, it could mean that he would be able to get re-elected with the support of his party.

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