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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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Album Anatomy: “Bewitched” by Laufey

Mi Nguyen
In Laufey’s latest album “Bewitched,” released on Sept. 8, 2023, she brings a jazzy and soothing take on the journey of love. Following the success of her previous album, “Everything I Know About Love,” her sophomore album comprises 14 songs, each bringing their own unique spin that is sure to bewitch the listener. Join writer Lily Toreja as she reviews each song and delves into their individual meanings.

14 beautiful tracks detailing growing up, falling in love and moving away from home enveloped by an achingly sweet jazz sound are the newest additions to the repertoire of Icelandic-Chinese jazz singer Laufey. Having found overwhelming success in 2022 and into 2023 with her orchestral sound and the certain stylized lilt in her vocals, she comes off the heels of a festival-filled summer and will enter fall with her North American tour.

Reminiscing: Tracks one through three – “Dreamer,” “Second Best” and “Haunted” 

She reminisces on a lost love, contrasting both hope and longing, resolve and defeat. Coupling her opposite feelings strategically incorporates an element of foreshadowing to her personal growth.  She opens the album with softer piano and guitar melodies, juxtaposing typically sanguine major keys with wistful, yet hopeful lyrics—a tribute to the elegantly discordant nature of jazz. In an Aug. 2023 interview with Zach Sang, the singer describes how she found her sound following her first heartbreak in Boston: “I spent every weekend going to New York … and I wrote in my journal ‘I have to take back my city and take back my life’ and I went back to my dorm room after this New York trip … and [it’s] just something clicked, I was like so excited […] I think I’ve found my sound.”

Realizing: Tracks four through six – “Must Be Love,” “While You Were Sleeping” and “Lovesick

With the help of someone new, she realizes her strength and second-guesses her reclusive tendencies. The relationships her songs are about are most understood to be romantic, but they can also be interpreted as self-reflective—a conversation between an older and a younger self. In conversation with Zach Sang, one can almost experience her growth vicariously through this album: “I was such an orchestra nerd, I moved to Boston from Iceland … and all of a sudden I had this new identity of being a young woman, being a musician … Just being a young woman in a new city, all of a sudden I had these new experiences to write about.”

In an interview with NPR, Laufey speaks on “balancing the two worlds” of older jazz listeners and younger audiences, paying homage to jazz greats Chet Baker and Ella Fitzgerald while “introducing something new.” 

Farewell: Tracks seven through nine – “California and Me,” “Nocturne (Interlude)” and “Promise

She bids a scenic, bittersweet farewell to an impassioned relationship, painting the classic California to New York backdrop for track seven. Similar to how the album began, she’s in a state of flux—thinking about the past while in a wholly different present. “Nocturne” serves as the album’s piano interlude and listening closely, one can distinguish the melodies of “Bewitched,” “California and Me” and other tracks on the album. “California and Me” adds the orchestral elegance of the LA Philharmonic and the dips and swells in the song, particularly the chorus, are truly wonderful.

Reprisal: Tracks 10 through 12 – “From the Start,” “Misty,” “Serendipity and the title track, “Bewitched

The album’s concluding tracks, most especially the last and title track “Bewitched,” explore love growing with time in “From the Start” and the overwhelming feeling of good luck in “Serendipity.” Social media took quite the liking for “From the Start” as it became popular on TikTok and Instagram prior to the album’s release. Lighthearted and grateful, the album draws to a close with a reminiscent pick-me-up.

Favorite track: Letter to my 13-Year-Old Self

From Laufey to herself in a recent Instagram post: “I tell her to continue forging her own path, chase her dreams and drown out the voices that tell her to conform. With this album, I feel I’ve done exactly that.” “Letter to my 13-Year-Old Self” is about realizing how far you’ve come from your childhood and doing the unexpected, growing out of your insecurities and following your passion. As a music lover, sentimentality isn’t interchangeable with any other aspect of a wonderful album—I’ve found this track to be extremely personal and like Laufey to her younger self, I too “wish I could go back and give [myself] a squeeze.”

Final thoughts

“Bewitched” was an exquisite showcase of lyrical excellence, orchestral magnificence and a graceful ode to both tradition and trend. Overall, a wonderful album with personal connections to love, loss, heartbreak and growth.

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About the Contributors
Lily Toreja, Writer
I sew, I love mochas and I would most likely die for you if we have a five-hour phone call.
Mi Nguyen, Illustrator
First-year illustrator. Self proclaimed connoisseur of late night reading.

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