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  • In the morning of Sept. 23, 2023, members of the Ventura  County Community gathered together at the Collection in Oxnard, Calif. to celebrate and support those with Alzheimers and other dementia. Hosted by the Alzheimers Association, the Walk to End Alzheimers event was a huge success raising over $107,000 towards ending Alzheimers, along with connecting the community.


    Walk to End Alzheimer’s: Photo Essay

  • An enormous, eye-catching paper mache octopus is situated at the start of the ArtWalk exhibition on Main St., Ventura, greeting attendees as they enter the event. Inspired by Ventura’s natural environment, this work of art highlights the abundance of sea creatures that call our oceans home.


    ArtWalk: Showcasing Ventura’s creative crowd

  • As students start to settle into the new school year, exciting activities planned in the quad help keep the morale high. Foothill Techs sports teams have started to pick up speed and students are now settling into their classes.


    FDP-TV: Season 2, Episode 3

  • A scenario thats unfortunately all too common in modern gaming is a videogame having a less than stellar launch. However, there are times when the developer has the luxury to go back and turn the game into a respectable piece of media, such as No Mans Sky.


    When a videogame redeems itself

  • Also referred to as a red tide or an algae bloom, the brilliant blue waves are caused by phytoplankton that emit blue light when disturbed. In previous years the event has been rare to find, occurring sparsely. Recently, primarily during the summer of 2023, bioluminescent waves could be seen splashing the shores of Ventura County.


    Bioluminescence: Wonders of the bright blue ocean

  • On Sept. 21, 2023, the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) Girls Volleyball took a devastating loss of 3-1 in a league game against Bishop Diego High School. Students, Addi Fallon 25, Zac Crist 24 and Petra Falcocchia 24, show their support with colorful face paint. Many students also dressed to the theme of the game, which was cowboys and cowgirls.

    Girls' Volleyball

    Girls’ volleyball beat by Bishop Diego 1-3 in hard fought game

  • Throughout the city of Ventura, pollution is washed down to the beaches through rivers and gutters, depositing cups, bags and other various trash onto our beaches and into the oceans.


    Just how deadly is stormwater runoff?

  • The charming exterior of Butter and Fold attracts many customers at all hours of business. From the elegant teal and gold color scheme to the waft of freshly baked breads, it’s impossible to simply pass by without taking a peek inside.


    Butter and Fold: The perfect place to satisfy your pastry cravings this fall

  • At the Olivas Links Golf Course, on Sept. 21, 2023, the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) girls golf team faced off in a league match against Bishop Diego. The Dragons played well and won the match with an overall score of 249-303. Pictured above, Maddie Wicks 26 concentrates as she putts her ball toward the pin, finishing hole five with three over par.

    Girls' Golf

    Recap: Girls’ golf takes Bishop Diego 249-303

  • On Sept. 22, 2023, Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) competed in their first Tri-County Athletic (TCAA) league meet. Foothill Tech races with five girls on varsity, including Danika Swanson-Rico 25, Bennett Rodman 26, Kalea Eggertsen 26, Emma Anderson 26 and Isabella Efner 25. They warm-up on the start line, exchanging words of encouragement and waiting for the queue to begin the race.

    Cross Country

    Cross country starts off strong at first league meet of the 2023 season

  • With beloved melodies and nostalgic anthems dating back over a decade, fans and general audience members alike enjoy singing along to her award-winning album, Fearless, from 2008.


    The Eras Tour: an adventure spanning 17 years of music 

  • On Sept. 21, 2023, Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) boys water polo hosted a home game against their opponent Malibu High School (Malibu). With lots of splashing, Ethan Ortiz 24 attempts to find an open teammate to give Foothill Tech an advantage to win their league match.

    Boys' Water Polo

    Recap: Boys’ water polo bested by Malibu

  • Students of Foothill Tech try to make button pins of their own design at Back to School Night. This college and career class provides an opportunity to learn life skills and creativity.


    Foothill Tech welcomes parents and guardians at Back to School Night 2023

  • In the teen show “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” an adaption of the popular Young Adult novel, protagonist Belly Conklin navigates her love life in a triangle between brothers Jeremiah and Conrad Fisher.


    “The Summer I Turned Pretty”: In Defense of the Fisher Boys

  • During F.I.R.E and lunch, members of the Associated Student Body worked hard to prepare an assembly line of delicious In-N-Out for the Class of 2024.


    Class of 2024 connects through In-N-Out Burger and festivities

  • On the sunny afternoon of Sept. 19, 2023 girls tennis played against the Villanova Preparatory (Villanova) School Wildcats. The tennis team huddles together and chants in a pregame ritual before beginning their matches.

    Girls' Tennis

    Girls’ tennis triumphs over Villanova in first league match

  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is the much anticipated sequel to the critically acclaimed and beloved video game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Announced in 2019 by Nintendo at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, Tears of the Kingdom was released on May 12, 2023 after nearly four years of waiting. Since its release, the game has been met with widespread acclaim from critics and fans alike. The game directly follows the events of its predecessor, building upon them and expanding an already immense world. Writer Kelly Quinn shares his thoughts.


    “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” is victory for gaming

  • The three cakes that were reviewed were Lemon, Pumpkin Spice and Red Velvet all topped with a generous amount of cream cheese frosting.


    A dive into Nothing Bundt Cakes: America’s largest specialty cake company

  • Comprising of 12 songs, Olivia Rodrigos new album GUTS is her second studio album and was released on Sept. 8, 2023. Rodrigos first studio album, SOUR, released in 2021, was critically acclaimed and beloved by fans, making her second album long anticipated. Writer Isheeta Pal takes on the task of listening to GUTS and reviewing it, delving into its key themes and messaging.


    Album Anatomy: “GUTS”

  • A sign displayed in the store highlights the unique vendors in the store as well as promoting shopping from local artists.


    Hey! Friends shows Ventura why shopping locally matters

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The red glow of the Woolsey Fire silhouettes the Camarillo mountain range as winds pick up. Credit: Stefan Fahr / The Foothill Dragon Press

Wake up! The past passive talking points about climate change are irrelevant. We are not experiencing a “global warming hiatus” such as one that allegedly occurred between 1998 and 2012. Climate change is real! It is not a nightmare independent of reality. It is a reality.

Current events point towards this cruel reality. It was not a nightmare when hurricanes devastated the lives of people on the East Coast. It was not a nightmare when fires scorched Paradise to the soil. It was not a nightmare when the Deep South froze last winter. No longer can we pretend it is an illusion; climate change is a real concern.

California is the epitome of this nightmare with its drought. While the majority of Northern California has managed to escape from the clutches of the drought, the city of Ventura as well as the majority of Southern California has yet to receive a respite.

California has also been beset by a change in the jet stream. The jet stream used to go from west to east, but as a result of climate change, it has changed direction to north to south.

While a change in wind direction may seem inconsequential, it has had disastrous ramifications: longer and more extreme Santa Ana wind conditions than ever before.

The combination of the drought and the change in the jet stream culminated into a disaster for Ventura: the Thomas Fire.

On Dec. 4, 2017, the “wildfire” began its reign of terror over Northern Ventura County which would prove to be an unimaginable nightmare for Venturans as the wildfire became the biggest in California’s history at the time. Nonetheless, the fire left many people questioning how this could happen to Ventura.

[divider]Causes of the Fire[/divider]

A year later, SoCal Edison admitted that mismanagement of their equipment sparked the Thomas Fire. However, many more factors contributed to the magnitude and destruction of the fire. 

In the 1800s, fires regularly covered California but didn’t reach as great of a magnitude as the Thomas Fire did. Before fire suppression tactics were implemented, natural fires would clear the vegetation frequently. However, with less vegetation to burn, wildfires were less devastating. However, after the implementation of these prevention tactics, there was a distinct drop in the number of fires. Consequently, vegetation accumulated in forests and hills, which in turn left more fuel for fires to consume and expand.

Thus, while these tactics appear to be logical at some point (less fires are better), they have assisted in amplifying the devastation of the Thomas Fire. The devastation included 100-foot tall tongues of flame devouring anything that stood in their ways─ there was little the firefighters could do.

But what made the fire so devastating? Fires in the past have been more easily contained than this one. The answer lies in California’s large population of about 40 million. As there are more people, more housing is needed. Since most of the easy, reliably safe housing spots have been taken (such as the ones out in the open), people venture further into the unsafe zones (hillsides, etc.) in order to provide all of the housing that the population in California needs.

Take for example the development on Andorra Lane in Ventura. The development had been in construction for years until it was completed in the year before the Thomas Fire. This development had been pushing up against the hillside to provide the extra housing that Ventura needed. However, after the fire now, there remains nothing but burned out bases of the houses that had stood there.

While Edison may have started the fire, they aren’t the only ones to blame for it.

[divider]Impacts of the Fire[/divider]


Ventura was left with two types of effects after the Thomas Fire: immediate and long-term.

The immediate impacts were in the air quality. For two weeks, Venturans were forced to wear face masks to prevent inhalation of particulate matter from the smoke. These effects─respiratory irritation and shortness of breath─ were most detrimental to people with asthma or the elderly. Other temporary health effects included eye irritation, nausea, reduced alertness and nasal irritation.

The heavy rain that occurred weeks after the Thomas Fire resulted in a mudflow near Montecito. Due to the fire, the soil had been heated up and solidified in the cooling process. This created a hard surface unable to be penetrated by liquids. Thus, the rainwater slid off the soil like ice and collected itself and top layer dirt. The mudflow caused structural damage and claimed multiple lives.

The long-term impacts begin with the devastated wildlife along the hillside. While the larger animals are able to escape the danger, smaller creatures are deterred by their size and inability to cover much ground. The population of creatures includes rabbits, mice or juvenile coyotes. As a result, a reduction of these creatures will impact the food chain in the long run. Without the small creatures, the bigger creatures won’t be able to receive the nutrients found in plants such as nitrogen or phosphorus which can affect the ecosystem of Ventura.

In addition, the hillsides have not been able to recover from the fire as they had not experienced such change for years and will need time to adapt to the changes. In addition, there is a low probability that seeds will sprout and grow due to the lack of rain in Ventura.

[divider]Fire Prevention[/divider]

In order to avoid these effects, measures must be placed. However, there is no easy way to prevent a fire. Fire is something that humanity has tried to prevent. As the most recent fires plaguing California suggest, there is no definitive answer to controlling them. As a result, there are only strategies to minimize the damage of fires.

One of the easiest ways to limit the damage of fires would be to move out of the foothills. As more humans populate the planet, more housing is needed which leads to construction being pushed into the foothills. This is ineffective, as people would not be willing to give up their homes as housing conditions in California are not suitable for many.

Thus, prevention of fires turns in a different direction. Currently, the fire prevention strategy is to create control burns in order to control the spread of fire. However, based on the multitude of large fires that have occurred in the past year, the strategy obviously isn’t working all too well. The solution then is to increase control burns near the foothills which will minimize the chance of fire spreading into the suburbs in the future.

Cartoonist Rachel Chang believes that having both our policy makers and the electorate understand factual, scientific analysis is critical to making wiser and more informed policies, even beyond climate change debates. Credit: Rachel Chang / The Foothill Dragon Press
Cartoonist Rachel Chang believes that having both our policy makers and the electorate understand factual, scientific analysis is critical to making wiser and more informed policies, even beyond climate change debates. Credit: Rachel Chang / The Foothill Dragon Press

As mentioned earlier, the Thomas Fire was a product of rampant human-caused climate change. Thus, a measure of prevention is imperative to limit the severity of climate change. However, for the largest effect to be had against future fires, action must be taken on the state or federal level. Indeed, research has been done that stresses immediate action to be taken against climate change in order to combat the increased risk of destruction that comes from the climate that we’re living in.

But President Trump disregards these findings. He’s cut back regulations against coal mines and coal power plants, all in the names of jobs as well as the idea of climate change being a Chinese hoax. But coal, a fossil fuel, produces greenhouse gases that trap heat in the planet, exacerbating the problem. Additionally, climate change has widespread consensus (97% or more) by most unbiased scientists, that it is indeed humans who are causing this change.

However, backed by money from coal and oil advocates, the GOP has refused to take measures against climate change. As a result, the GOP has ignored the consensus against human-caused climate change and has continued to support President Trump’s agenda of destroying the climate.

It’s time for the general public to take a stand and wake up and face the nightmare of climate change. Though it may be easier to kick the can of climate change further down the road, the only way to even potentially limit the possibility of another Thomas Fire and other future disasters is to limit the effect of human-induced climate change through political action.

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