A New Law For San Ramon Youth Curfews by Sarah Chi
On May 1st, 2012, the San Ramon council held a hearing whether to put a daytime curfew for juveniles in effect. Daytime curfews start at 8 am and continue on until about 3 pm. The daytime curfews mean that students walking around town by themselves could be questioned and even get in trouble with the law for being out during school hours on school days.
If the youth curfew is put into effect, San Ramon police will be able to question minors found in violation. With the first defiance, the student would be given a warning and the parents would be notified. On second violation, the student and the parents will be charged with a violation and could be fined up to $100 or $200 if the second violation were within 12 months. The fine leaps to a maximum of $500 for additional violations within a 12-month period.
According to the representatives of the law, daytime curfews would also encourage high schoolers to not drop out of school. Police Chief Scott Holder said, “Sixty percent of all juvenile crime is committed on weekdays between 8am and 3pm.”
There is already a nighttime curfew from 10 pm to an hour before sunrise. “It is a way to help us actually prevent crime,” Peterson told the council.
Contra Costa District Attorney Mark Peterson is encouraging daytime curfews as part of a countywide crime prevention effort. Peterson spoke to the San Ramon City Council at a meeting and said he intends to convince every city in the county to promote daytime curfews. Already at this stage, El Cerrito, San Pablo, Richmond, Pinole, Concord, Pittsburg and Hercules have daytime curfews.
According to Peterson, the youth curfew would, “actually help us prevent crimes and save money.” In the end, youth curfews could be a helpful addition.
Position of Power by Allison Schiffman
You must have seen the signs. Literally, there are signs all over the campus - it looks like Mr. Law re-decorated with colorful posters! Since early May of 2012, potential student council members have been campaigning for their positions.
Suppose you wanted to run. What would you have to do? Well, first of all, you would have to have attended the meeting on Wednesday, May 2, before school! Then, you would have had to fill out an application, which could only be attained by attending that mandatory meeting for anyone running for the positions.
What position would you run for? If you are currently a seventh grader, you could potentially be president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, or activities chair. If you are a sixth grader, your options are more limited. If you’re an eighth grader, you probably aren’t following the elections anyway.
A lot of people campaigning this year are probably wondering what it will be like in that position of power. Well, it’s not the same for everybody, but almost everyone enjoys it. Lindsey Dudley, current treasurer, said, “My favorite part of being in the student council is being involved in decisions. And you help make things happen.” See, even as treasurer, you have power. It’s not just math!
During election time, two-thirds of the school can vote at lunchtime. No one knows how many actually will vote, but one thing’s for sure: everyone running will be trying everything to get votes! So, whether you’re thinking about this year’s elections, of thinking ahead to running next year, this is the entire process. Pretty simple, right?
After School Sports Recap by Tracey Counts
After school sports gives students a chance to try all different kinds of sports from Flag Football to Track and Field. The different types of sports are: Volleyball, Boy’s Basketball, and Girl’s Basketball, Flag Football, Track and Field and Golf! Volleyball is a very active sport that allows all students to try and see if they like the sport and if you are good then you can try Club Volleyball.
“I love to play Volleyball because even though I am not the best player on the team I still like to try new things with my friends,” says Melissa Mathison. Flag Football is a good sport to play after school because if you like to play it in P.E or you just like the sport “Football” you should play Flag Football. It is very active and there is a lot of running, but that shouldn’t stop you from having a good time playing this sport.
Track and Field is the most active sport here at Pine Valley because there is a lot of running, but if you love to run and you are really active then you should try this sport. Boy’s Basketball is the same as girls but more intense with pushing and shoving. Girls Basketball is less intense and they don’t push as much as the boys. Golf is a fun sport to help students learn how to play golf.
If you found out this year that you had a lot of spare time with nothing to do, try after school sports in the fall. Next year Dodge Ball and Badminton will be added to the list of available after school sports. They are really fun and the sport you play gives you the exercise you need!
Battle of the Books Team Ready for Challenge by Noah Gonzales
Battle of the Books is a club at Pine Valley for students who love to read. Battle of the Books is having a Jeopardy-style competition at Dougherty Valley High School on May 15th 2012. At the competition, Pine Valley is going up against Iron Horse, Diablo Vista, and Charlotte Wood.
Competitors are divided into teams, then asked questions that have to do with a selection of various books. The books are Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce, East by Edith Pattou, Giver by Lois Lowry, Freak the Mighty by Rodman Phillbrick, Red Kayak by Priscilla Cummings, Things not Seen by Andrew Clements, Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages, and Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman.
Pine Valley’s team this year consists of Sarah Kaskel, Jacqueline Hsing, Gurshawn Sidhu, Parmik Mehra, George Yu, Sanika Kulkarni, Luke Campopiano, Robert Li, Sarah Chi, David Webster, Aileen Villalpando, and Chad Wakamiya. Let’s hope Pine Valley brings home the gold again this year!
Great America or Discovery Kingdom: Which Do you Want? by Akarsh Rao
Eighth graders, we all know that June 13th is the day that we all go to a theme park. During the past few years, eighth graders have spent their day at Great America. But last year, the students took their trip to Six Flags: Discovery Kingdom. Now what is the difference between the two? Well, in Great America you have multiple roller coaster rides to choose from, couple thrill rides, and few water rides. But most of the rides in the park are meant for families with children between the ages of 5 to 11. So if you want more shows than rides, than Great America is the place for you.
But, if you are more of a person that likes a lot of thrill rides, than Six Flags: Discovery Kingdom is your destination. In this theme park, eight roller coaster rides and a lot more thrill rides. And new to the theme park is the Superman: Ultimate Flight! This park has a mix between the kids that want to go to every roller coaster they see, and the kids that want to take it easy and see the zoo part of the amusement park. So eighth graders, what do you prefer, Great America or Six Flags?
Guess the Teacher ????? by Rachel Gasparini
* Favorite color: Lavender
* Favorite food: Nachos (with steak, chicken, etc.)
*Majored in: Instrumental Music
*Born in: Greensville, South Carolina
*Favorite Animal: Panda
*Siblings: four brothers and four sisters
*Favorite places to visit: France or Ireland
*Works at PV and Cal High
Answer to Guess the Teacher: Mrs. Mottaz
Day on the Green by Savannah Garcia
Day on the Green is coming closer every day! It is the day most of us have been waiting for. This year, a talent show will be available to all singers, dancers, and musicians and will be taken place on Day on the Green. Day on the Green will once again be lots of fun as it was last year. It is very different from “Field Day” back in Elementary school, because of many things. Day on the Green is a time to relax and walk around with your friends. Field Day is almost like a challenge to beat your friends, but in a fun way. They are though similar too! They both have Teachers’ vs. Students’ softball games, and a time to be a kid with your friends when having fun.
The student store will be selling things such as popsicles, drinks, and ice cream. Gwen Tessman says, “Day on the Green is the time to just have fun with your friends. To just let go of being serious and break away from the usual routine in school.” Who agrees with her? On this event, you can walk around a part of campus, watch the Teachers’ vs. Students’ softball game, face paint, and play volleyball or a ton more! This day will be once again remembered by many.
Hot Weather = Misery by Alisa Horiike
Summer is here, and so is the heat. Some love the high temperatures, some can’t stand it; and for good reason. Too much exposure to direct sunlight can cause dehydration, which can lead to headaches, which can lead to being in home all day while praying for your headache to disappear. A good way to avoid headaches is plenty of water and a hat so your head isn’t exposed to the sun as much. Another “bad thing” about the heat is that too much exposure can lead to sunburning (without sunscreen, of course), skin cancer, aging skin, damaged eyes, and a damaged immune system.
Lela Reagan says, “I don’t like summer because I get really sweaty and I get thirsty quickly.” See? Even other people agree that the heat isn’t enjoyable. Also, while it’s summer and school is still in, gym can be a pain. By the end of the period, you’re sweatier than usual and you’re craving water. Now that it’s warm once again, stay hydrated and don’t stay out too long.
10 Things to do Over Summer by Kieran O’Connor
1. Go to the Cal High pool
2. Relax and enjoy a day of summer
3. Go to a summer camp and have the time of your life
4. Spend a whole day at the beach
5. Have a fun time at an amusement park (Disneyland, Discovery Kingdom, Great America, etc.)
6. Spend a day with your best friends
7. Go camping (and if you can’t go to the outdoors, camp in your backyard)
8. Go see a movie
9. Go on a road trip
10. Watch a movie series, but backwards
The Pine Cone:
Editor in Chief:
Tracy Elizabeth Schluntz
Staff Writers: Nicole Baer, Shaelah Burke, Sarah Chi, Sophie Cipolla,
Tracey Counts, Savannah Garcia, Rachael Gasparini, Noah Gonzales, Brandon Graham, Kaitlin Groleau, Alisa Horiike, Stephanie Jahncke, Emma Kroger, Sammy Morgan Nicholson, Kieran O’Connor, Jamie Quilalang, Sydney Quilalang, Lela Reagan, Allison Schiffman, Charlotte Tan, Sophie
Vergara and Stephanie Yip.
Blogmaster: Akarsh Rao
Questions? Comments? Suggestions?
Contact Mrs. Schluntz at
Or leave a note in her box in the office.
Dress Code: The Bad Side of Warm Weather by Sydney Quilalang
Have you been following Pine Valley’s dress code policy? Recently, some students at Pine Valley have been getting dress cuts. Girls have been getting dress cuts for having their shorts shorter than their pinky length, which is too short according to the dress code and will have to change into P.E. shorts.
On the first day of spring checkup, first period teachers had to check their student’s attire. Over 10 girls had a dress cut from their shorts! Some students such as Kylie Arnold agrees with the dress code and said, “I think it will be disturbing for students if others wear inappropriate clothing. We are fortunate that we don’t have to wear uniforms like many others, so we shouldn’t complain and wear the appropriate clothing.”
On the other hand, some students totally disagree such as Miranda Amaral, “I think the dress code is kind of unfair because some girls have really long arms and legs, so it’s harder for them to obey the code.”
What is your opinion of the dress code?
Locker Room Theft on the Rise by Emma Kroger
People not locking lockers has lately been a problem. A few people even had some very important valuables stolen! Everybody knows that going into somebody’s locker, backpack, or personal belongings is bad, but that didn’t stop the unknown thief.
Annelise Downey said, “My pants got stolen and whoever stole them was stupid because my UGGs were in there too.” Mrs. Bowman made special announcements to all the girls about the situation. It was said that this person seemed to be in 3rd period P.E.
After these reports, extra care on locking your valuables and expensive things in your locker has become much more important. Also, once it seems that everyone is done changing, all the doors are locked right away so absolutely nobody can get in. Some items were returned to their owner and some stay gone in the hands of another person.
Hopefully this has taught the lesson to lock up your valuables and other things.
Fifth Graders Visit by Lela Regan
Think back to fifth grade, when you and your classmates eagerly awaited the day when you were to visit your next stage in life, middle school. Were you full of excitement, or slightly nervous? No one knew what the new school would be like, or how the other students were going to act. All their thoughts were based on stories heard from older kids or siblings.
Des Jower says, “I was excited to visit Pine Valley for the first time, but I was a little bit anxious to see my new teachers and make some new friends.” Now Des is having a great time at PV.
Fifth graders will visit Pine Valley on May 15, to have a taste of their new school. They will listen to Mr. Law and be taken around the school to see classes and basically just to look around. Remember how you felt on that intimidating day and relate to them so they may have a nicer trip.
Playing for Breezy by Kaitlin Groleau
Brianne “Breezy” Bochenek has been fighting cancer since last fall. Breezy was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, bone cancer in her left leg. She is a competitive, dedicated soccer player from the East Bay who is about 10 years old. The cancer in her leg causes her to no longer play her dream sport, soccer. She had many options to choose from to deal with cancer, but she decided to amputate her left leg. Soccer players from all over donated money to help raise money for Breezy.
They even made a charity event for her! On April 21st, 2012 teams and other kids who faced cancer came to the event located at Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon. Around 3,000 people came to the event! It was like a carnival except you were doing it for a good cause. There was face painting, temporary tattoos, bean bag toss, cake walk, etc. Breezy was also handing out shirts to everyone! There was a huge parade with Breezy in the front supported by dozens of soccer players in the back, holding up signs! Sydney Pandolfo said, “I think the Breezy game was very inspirational. It showed that people really do care. It was very fun and memorable.” Finally, a soccer game, Cal against Stanford competed against each other. It was a great event for raising awareness for an amazing cause!
Upcoming End of Year Activites by Nicole Baer
Fun stuff to do for Pine Valley students! One activity is the eighth grade promotion party. The event is for eighth graders only and is being held on Friday, June 8th from 7pm to 10pm at Pine Valley. Have fun eighth graders!
June 12 is Day on the Green. It is a great and fun event for the whole school to celebrate one long (or short) school year.
Also, the eighth graders are going to Six Flags! Time for the eighth graders to have fun on their last days of middle school.
Project Review: Or What We Did This Year by Charlotte Tan
From sixth to eighth grade, Pine Valley students have to create projects every year. This tradition has been continuously used to make learning more fun. Let’s take a review on the projects we’ve done.
In sixth grade, we worked on the 3D Nile Project, Mummy Maker, created chitons using bedsheets, string and a belt, and many more things in just Core! Mr. Wulff said, “I like the Greek Interaction the best, even if it isn’t a set project.” In Math, we created the graphed cartoon pictures and Egyptian pyramids. In sixth grade Science, we made model volcanoes and recorded our own Weather Channel. This only the beginning though.
In seventh grade, students worked on the Medieval Manuscript, Renaissance Magic Book, Japanese Mons, and the Chinese Contribution Poster in Core. In Science, we solved the Felix Murder Mystery, created the Photosynthesis/Respiration Movie, and the Darwin Newsletter. In Math, we did the M&M Lab and made Word Problems.
Finally, we have come to Eighth Grade. In Core they created the Civil War Journal, Immigration Diorama, Medicine Pouch and the Correspondence Book. The Solar System PowerPoint, Moon Observation, and Science Fair were contributed from Science. Math had us complete the Pi Project and the Golden Ratio Project.
These are some of the interesting projects that we have done or will do. Some of the projects are from Geometry and some from Advanced Pre-Algebra, so don’t count on doing these. You might get a different Core teacher than Mr. Wulff, so don’t be so sure! All of these projects will appeal to at least some of the students here at Pine Valley.
Promotion Information by Samantha Morgan Nicholson
Almost every one is looking forward to promotion. Some people might be a little scared to be going to high school, but overall the eighth graders are excited to be going to high school. At the promotion party, we will have finger foods, and maybe a photo booth.
Boys: Boys have to wear shirts and slacks or shorts, a tie or jacket are optional. NO tuxedos or parts of tuxedos.
Girls: Girls can not wear anything that is strapless, no mini-skirts, bare backs, low cut tops, or bare midriffs. You can wear spaghetti straps. Girls can NOT wear heels less than one inch wide. The heels will sink into the turf and track at Cal High, causing injury to the students, and damage to the grounds!
How Do You Feel About Hot Weather?
Hot Weather = Summer Vacation! by Shaelah Burke
Hot weather is totally great. There are many terrific reasons to love the hot weather! When you think of hot weather, what do you think of? Fun in the sun! You can do so many things in the hot weather.
One of the reasons that hot weather is the best weather is because hot weather equals summer, and summer equals no school! Hot weather means that you can wear summery clothing like tank tops, T-shirts, shorts, skirts, flip flops, and sandals. You can also hang by the pool in your bathing suit and get wet. Hot weather means you will never feel cold when you get out of the pool. You can go to the beach and actually get in the water when it is hot outside. Another great activity in the hot weather is relaxing on a beach towel catching some rays.
Hot weather also means hanging in your backyard with friends and family having a BBQ. Hot summer nights are the best! Take an evening bike ride or go to the park. Hot weather brings on cravings for refreshing, cold, icy drinks such as iced tea and lemonade. So when you are complaining about the hot weather remember, it means we are closer to summer vacation!
Summer Plans by Jamie Quilalang
With the end of the school year coming up, summer is right around the corner. Kristie Poon says, “This summer I will be traveling to New York, Japan, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. I’m also going to hang out with my friends. There’s no time for sleeping this summer!”
Other students might just stay home and relax. Going to camps is another great way to enjoy your summer. Learning something new and making new friends is a great way to create a memorable summer. Andrew Rosas says, “I’m going to a week long boy scout camp called Wolfborro.”
Summer isn’t just about going places and relaxing, it’s about having fun. For others, doing sports is where it’s at. Kate Emerson says, “I’m doing softball this summer because I love it!”
Whether it’s traveling across the country or staying at home, summer is a great time to create memories with new adventures.
Dear Puma... by Stephanie Jahncke
Every night before a test, I study so hard until late at night because I had other activities too. During the next day, if my class is after lunch, I would study during my lunch period. Please give me some advice on how to have good study skills.
Trying to Study
Dear Trying to Study,
I think that the best way for you to study even though you are busy is to learn ahead when the test is going to be and just set aside about 20 minutes every day. This way you can be well rested for the oncoming test, as well as being able to relax.
My brother is always up really late and he’s always yelling at the game he’s playing. Whenever I ask him to keep it down, he tries to but then starts to yell again. I never get any sleep with him yelling. What do I do?
Dear Sleep Deprived,
If you can’t get any sleep, you could try to tell him that he needs to close his door or maybe to play a different game. If he continues to keep you from getting any sleep, then you should ask him to maybe go to bed earlier or do something different. It might be time to get Mom and Dad involved.
I have a friend who just lost a close relative. She seems very sad but I’m not sure how to comfort her. I feel that if I bring it up she will either get mad at me or start getting emotional. I want to help her get through it but I don’t know how.
If you feel like you can’t talk to your friend directly then you can show kindness in little ways to help her feel better. If you decide that you should talk to her directly, you should think about what to say ahead of time so that you can offer more than just your presence. If you give her good advice then she might come back to you next time she needs someone to be at her side.