By Amelia Keller
With the controversy surrounding President Trump's phone call with the Ukraine president, there's been lots of Washington buzz about the whistleblower's reports and Trump's accusations of treason.
But what exactly is a whistleblower?
A whistleblower is defined by findlaw.com as "a person who learns of unethical or even illegal activity within their company or government, and reports or refuses to participate in it."
Federal whistleblowers are protected by the Whistleblower Protection Act. The statute was passed in 1978 and essentially states that whistleblowers are doing the right thing by reporting misconduct in the government and that it is in the best interest of the American people not to prosecute them.
This protection is in place to encourage people in the know to come forth when wrongful acts are being committed by people in power. By offering this grace, we ensure that our government and legal system will remain open, honest, and fair.
By Rori Wagner
The largest measles outbreak, since 1992, is underway this year, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), with 981 cases so far.
The New York Times also broadcasts the topic and mentions how half the cases are found in children under 5. This is unusual since children this age are normally vaccinated against the illness.
With this in mind, it is commonly thought that the lack of vaccinations is the main cause of the rise in measles.
But why exactly does this happen? What reasons are there for not getting vaccinated?
For this case, more adults are forgoing vaccination since a report has linked it with autism.
However, most experts are not in support of this for a few reasons. One of which is the lack of evidence and support it gets from the rest of the scientific community.
This makes the claim fall under fake or pseudoscience. Pseudoscience specifically is the false presentation of theories as scientific fact. This is separated from science by a few characteristics.
Rachel Carney, a CCAHS science teacher, explained this by stating, “Science explains the natural world with evidence through theories that are regularly tested (cell theory, evolution theory). Pseudoscience has little to no evidence and usually cannot be replicated.”
You can also differentiate pseudoscience and science through a variety of methods including Alvin Goldman’s tips for a credible source.
Jesse DiLorenzo, another CCAHS science teacher, reveals his methods of doing this as he proclaimed, “I look at whether the science is using appropriate methods to interpret all angles of the evidence and uses basic science skills of observation and interpretation.”
There are also differences within pseudoscience itself. One type is more deadly, like with the measles, and shows the negatives of fake science. The other is less harmful and impactful.
An example of this is astrology. Astrology falsely informs people that their personalities are linked to their birth date. Many don’t take this to the extreme and it causes little to no negatives in a person’s life.
Pseudoscience, in general, can do more than impact our lives and Carney and DiLorenzo point this out by demonstrating the impact of it on the scientific field.
DiLorenzo broadcasted, “I think that pseudoscience makes people doubt real science, but that isn't a bad thing. Questioning and investigation is what people should be doing.”
Carney opposes this and stated, “The natural sciences continue to give us accurate information about the universe and we know this by the data and evidence they provide. [Some pseudoscience] can be fun to read about as long as you do not take it as fact.”
By Shelby Moquin
We live in an era of change, especially concerning the climate. From hurricanes to extreme temperatures, Mother Nature is unpredictable, and Texas has recently received her wrath.
Houston has been through its fair share of treacherous weather. In 2017, Houston was slammed with Hurricane Harvey which killed one-hundred-and-seven people and caused billions of dollars in damage. For the past couple of weeks, Texas has been faced with multiple storms, dumping inches and inches of water on land.
Tropical Depression Imelda did a number on the Houston and Beaumont area, the death toll is already at five, and emergency services are still performing search and rescue missions. And over thirty-six inches of water fell in just under three days.
Many are commenting on how climate change has impacted the amount of rain and flooding are increasing across the globe. The trapping of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere caused warmer oceans and warm air to rise, increasing the chance of a thunderstorm to be created. This allows for more opportunities for torrential rainfall and life-threatening flooding.
Iowa has also had its fair increase in storms. September is almost over, and temperatures are just beginning to fall below seventy degrees. Humidity has been off the charts making it hotter and the air even stickier.
People are also noticing something peculiar about the weather lately. Hurricane season is from early June to the beginning of November, and last week, there were more than six tropical storms and depressions that have appeared, which is an extremely large number. More storms means a greater chance for one to reach land and cause damage.
With this being only halfway through the hurricane and storm season, the question arises, how much more can we expect?
By Rivor Johnson
More than 228,000 students have experienced gun violence in their school since Columbine in 1999. Read that again. 228,000.
School should be the place that students feel safe. It’s where teenagers spend the majority of their time and to feel in danger while being there is heartbreaking.
The pure fear that at any moment during the seven hours a day students are in school, someone could walk through the door holding a weapon. You could experience the pain, the death, the fear, the blood-- everything could be tragically changed for the rest of your life. That is enough for kids not to even want to show up. It all boils down to fear.
Along with that, what happens to the kids who don’t make it out? Yes, they probably have the typical funeral, but are they remembered? Are they thought of as brave? Are they recognized? Or are they thought of as the unlucky ones who couldn’t get away?
According to NBC Washington, there is a group of high school students who are working on making a yearbook to memorialize school shooting victims. This yearbook’s purpose is to give some recognition to the students who lost their lives.
The students who made the book stated that this yearbook is for the kids who, “never made it to their senior prom, who never walked during graduation and who never got to write ’have a great summer’ on the inside pages of their own yearbooks.”
It turns stomachs to see, “ANOTHER SCHOOL SHOOTING” pop up on the TV while watching the news. It’s heartbreaking and it will never get better unless our society does something about it.
The students plan to make 535 copies to give to Congress to pressure them into doing something. Things will never get better unless we all try to fix something. We can’t fix the past, but we can help save the future.
By Audrey Bunten
Summer is approaching quickly and there’s no better way to spend it than at some local events. There are many different events this summer including parades, concerts, and festivals. There’s something for everyone of all ages.
Another popular event in the summer is the Johnson County Fair. This takes place from July twenty-first to the twenty-fourth. This is a free fair so anyone can enjoy it. They have livestock and a petting zoo.
Looking for something to do for the fourth of July? Head over to Coralville for the annual 4th of July parade at ten in the morning and free family-friendly activities. Stay close by for fireworks at night on July 4th. The lead vocalist from Journey, Steve Augeri, is performing a free concert on July 3rd at eight at night in S.T. Morrison Park.
The North Liberty Blues & BBQ takes place on July thirteenth starting at ten in the morning. This is a family-friendly event that has live music all day long. Kids also love the art activities, inflatable rides, and the petting zoo.
Have some fun at a home Kernels baseball game this summer in Cedar Rapids. These family-friendly baseball games are the perfect way to spend a summer night. There are fun activities, a variety of food vendors, and there’s also a gift shop.
By Shelby Moquin email@example.com
Carnivals and fairs are a global phenomenon; kids love them, they have great food, and they remind adults of their childhood. With summer quickly approaching, it marks the beginning of fair season in Iowa. The Iowa State Fair (August 8th-18th) has been a tradition for years, providing food, entertainment, and food for all.
This year the Iowa State Fair has a star-studded line up of performers and enough rides and attractions to keep visitors busy the entire eleven days. The free entertainment part of the fair includes performers such as Maddie Poppe, a small town woman from Iowa who won the hit show American Idol, Sweet Tea Trio, and an A Cappella group Kazual.
The Grandstand entertainment (which involves purchasing tickets compared to free entertainment) includes groups like The Chainsmokers, Zac Brown Brand, Dan + Shay, and Luke Bryan who is headlining. Average tickets prices for tickets to see these groups range from $27-$85.
Let’s not forget about the attractions The Iowa State Fair has! They offer a wide range of thrill rides at three levels: Thrill Ville, Thrill Town, and Thrill Zone. Thrill Ville is geared towards families who want to have good, clean fun. The rides are not only fun but are “spectacular, and jaw dropping” according to iowastatefair.org.
Thrill Town is for the younger children who attend the fair. The location of the rides are convenient and absolutely enjoyable for little ones. Thrill Zone is the complete opposite, and not for the faint of heart. The rides guarantee you’ll be thinking about them even after the fair is over.
The Iowa State Fair isn’t only for great attractions and entertainment, it also attracts a large amount of 4H participants. Hundreds of people flock to the fairgrounds to compete in livestock competitions, horse showings, FFA, 4H, and even a talent show.
And of course, you can’t forget the wide variety of food vendors. Caramel apples are extremely popular as well as the traditional fair foods such as funnel cakes, corn dogs, chicken, hot dogs, and delicious burgers and fries.
Even foods that you would expect to be at a fair will make an appearance such as pork belly on a stick, pickle poppers, chicken livers, fresh guacamole, and Polish sausage. Gluten free and vegetarian options will be available. And if you are over twenty-one, there will be plenty of options for alcoholic beverages. See you at the state fair!
The fairgrounds pictured above.
By Lilly Shrock
Yellowstone National Park is off to a rough year so far. With the casualties and earthquakes, the park isn't seeing clear skies and stable grounds.