Video: 50 Questions with Ethic – Song captain chats candidly

Interviewed by MAURICIO PLIEGO



Come join Ethic News as they interview Redlands East Valley High School senior Brooklynn Rios. Rios responds to questions about Associative Student Body (ASB) and song for the Redlands East Valley Wildcats. As always, Rios answers fast, controversial “this or that” questions at the end of the interview.

Video: 50 Questions with Ethic – Wildcat Drum major chats candidly

Interviewed by KENDRA BURDICK



Come join Ethic News as they interview Redlands East Valley High School senior Jennan Foutz. Foutz responds to questions about marching band and the 2022 marching band show for the Redlands East Valley Wildcats. As always, Foutz answers fast, controversial “this or that” questions at the end of the interview.

Video: Students show their skills in Redlands East Valley’s Talent Show


On Nov. 19, Redlands East Valley Highschool hosted the annual talent show at 6 p.m. in the Blackstone Theater located on campus. The show consisted of 14 students of all grades who showcased their talents for three cash prizes for the top three winners. The first place winner, Eric Napoletano, won a one-hundred dollar cash prize for his performance on the drums playing “Tom Sawyer.” The packed crowd was also treated with a surprise performance from the Eduskators, the REV teacher band of Doug Porter and Andrew Hoch. 

Photos: Redlands Christmas parade returns to downtown after two years


Redlands’ annual Christmas parade returned to downtown Redlands on Dec. 4 after two years. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Christmas parade was restructured as a drive-thru parade, which took place in the Redlands Sports Park parking lot. In 2019, the parade was cancelled twice due to rain.

This year’s theme was “An Unforgettable Christmas.”

The parade consisted of decorated floats and vehicles, musical performances, appearances from community groups and more.

The parade is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Redlands.

A 2021 white Dodge Challenger Scat Pack with a Jack Skeleton design drives through the Redlands Christmas parade in downtown Redlands on Dec. 4. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

The Redlands East Valley High School cheer team waves to spectators during the Redlands Christmas parade in downtown Redlands on Dec. 4. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

Members of the Yucaipa Rainbow Coalition, a LGBTQ+ club based in Yucaipa, hold signs during the Redlands Christmas parade in downtown Redlands on Dec. 4. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

Citrus Valley High School sophomore Destiny Marin Ramos represents Citrus Valley Black and Gold Brigade in the Redlands Christmas parade in downtown Redlands on Dec. 4. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

A Junior Girl Scout from Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council troop 680 rides her scooter during the Redlands Christmas parade in downtown Redlands on Dec. 4. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

The Grinch makes an appearance dancing during the Redlands Christmas parade in downtown Redlands on Dec. 4. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

Beaumont (right) and Chino Valley’s (left) decorated fire trucks contribute to the Redlands Christmas parade’s conclusion in downtown Redlands on Dec. 4. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic News photo)

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Video: 50 Questions with Ethic – Wildcat athlete chats candidly

Interviewed by MAURICIO PLIEGO


Directed by ISAAC MEJIA

Come join Ethic News as they interview Redlands East Valley High School athlete Laviel Pickett. Pickett responds to questions such as “What his go-to-hype song is before a game,” “If he’s ever slid into someone’s Dm’s,” and more. As always, Pickett answers fast, controversial “this or that” questions at the end of the interview.

Video: 50 Questions with Ethic – Involved Wildcat senior chats candidly

Interviewed by MAURICIO PLIEGO


Directed by ISAAC MEJIA

Come join Ethic News as they interview Redlands East Valley High School senior Sadeen Elfaqir. Elfaqir talks about her life inside of school, what her favorite hobbies are and much more including some fast, controversial “this or that” questions at the end of the interview.

(ELLA FITZPATRICK/ Ethic News video)

Video: Getting know to Citrus Valley’s newest principal Maisie McCue


Maisie McCue, Citrus Valley High School’s newest principal sits down to answer questions based off her past experience as a principal, her goals for Citrus in the upcoming year, and her impact at Citrus Valley both in the present and looking to the future.

Photos: Wildcats show creativity on ‘Anything but a backpack’ spirit day


Photos by AVA LARSON

Spreading to spirit weeks across the nation, the “Anything but a backpack day” trend has escalated in popularity as students approach unique alternatives to bringing their backpack to school.

Redlands East Valley High School held their “Anything but a backpack” spirit day on Wednesday, Oct. 28 as a part of their Halloween spirit week.

The idea is for students to creatively store their school supplies in a carrier that isn’t their everyday backpack. Although the possibilities were endless on what students brought, among some of these substitutes were ice coolers, strollers, mop buckets, suitcases and trash cans.

Photo 1: Redlands East Valley High School seniors Ebony Staten and Jalyn Gilkey bring a double baby stroller and a rolly chair on Oct. 28. (AVA LARSON/ Ethic News photo)

Photo 2: Redlands East Valley High School junior Raquel Van Diest pulls a mini metal shopping cart on Oct. 28.  (AVA LARSON/ Ethic News photo)

Photo 3: Redlands East Valley High School sophomores Haylee Lyon carries a bindle alongside her friend Ashley Ranabauer on Oct. 28.  (AVA LARSON/ Ethic News photo)

Photo 4: Redlands East Valley High School sophomore Jesse Mendez holds a Pampers Swaddlers box on Oct. 28. (AVA LARSON/ Ethic News photo)

Photo 5: Redlands East Valley High School junior Davinson Porto (left) pushes junior Xaviar Guardado (right) in a wagon on Oct. 28. (AVA LARSON/ Ethic News photo)

Photo 6: Redlands East Valley High School senior Kieran Robson carries a piano bench decorated with fake spider webs on Oct. 28.  (AVA LARSON/ Ethic News photo)

Photo 7: Redlands East Valley High School junior Seth Bruer stands next to his mini fridge on Oct. 28.  (AVA LARSON/ Ethic News photo)

Video: 50 Questions with Ethic – Wildcat executive president chats candidly 

Interviewed by MAURICIO PLIEGO


Directed by ISAAC MEJIA

Come join Ethic News as they interview Redlands East Valley High School Associated Student Body Executive President Shannon Cockerill. Cockerill answers questions about her life inside and outside of school as well as some fast, controversial “this or that” questions at the end of the video. 

Photos: Dragons end softball season with 3 home runs against Birch


Orangewood High School participated in their last softball game of the season on Oct. 13 against Birch High School, hitting three home runs and concluding their season with a win.

Orangewood High School senior Jocelyn Gomez runs to first base versus Birch High School on Oct. 13. The OHS Dragons are coached by Mark Perkins. (DEBBIE DIAZ/ Ethic Photo)

Orangewood High School junior Jesse Navarro pitches to Birch High School on the Oct. 13 softball game. Navarro is the Dragons’ main softball pitcher. (DEBBIE DIAZ/Ethic photo)

Orangewood High School senior Jocelyn Gomez prepares to bat versus Birch High School on Oct. 13. As as senior in the last game of the season, Gomez played her last softball game. (DEBBIE DIAZ/ Ethic photo)

Orangewood High School junior Alicia Zaragoza waits for the coach to announce safe or out on the Oct. 13 softball game versus Birch. “Zaragoza is our best first baseman,” says OHS senior Jocelyn Gomez. (DEBBIE DIAZ/ Ethic News)

Orangewood High School senior Jocelyn Gomez rounds first base in the Oct. 13 game versus Birch High School. As a senior in the last game of the season, this is the last softball game Gomez plays for the Dragons. (DEBBIE DIAZ/ Ethic News)

School Talks podcast, ep.1: Talking with an Orangewood teacher about 9/11



ZNIA SEWARD: Hey this is Znia.

MIA MEDINA:  This is Mia. 

SEWARD:  We’re school talks with Orangewood High School and we were interviewing Ms.Sachs about the 9/11 and how she felt about it. Enjoy. 

MEDINA:  Okay so we’re just  going to ask you some questions about 9/11. So the first one is What were you feeling at that moment when you found out that the planes crashed? 

SEWARD: As you were watching it .

STEPHANIE SACHS: Disbelief and horror.


SEWARD: And if you explain it was everything moving quickly or slow did it feel like it was real? 

SACHS:  It was surreal nothing like that had ever happened and history and truly people could not believe what they were seeing.

MEDINA: Okay and our next question is: At that moment what were you doing like then?

SACHS: I was getting ready, my whole family was getting ready. All my kids had to go to school, so we were watching. We had on a news channel and my one daughter screamed, “Mom come see this,” and then we just stood there transfixed watching.

MEDINA: Okay, so since 9/11 are there some things from that day that have stuck with you forever or anything? 

SACHS: To see the buildings in New York collapse where I had been; to see them turn to dust and see the rubble. I will never forget the look on peoples faces as they were covered in just sut 

from all the ashes.

MIA: Yeah.

SACHS: Never forget that. 

MIA: Was it traumatizing to just kind of sit there and watch it all happening and you have no way of doing anything at that moment?

SACHS: Absolutely. For one thing, we didn’t know what was going on. The first plane hit; we thought it was an accident. Oh my gosh. What happened that a plane could go so far off course? And then when the second building was hit, we realized it was intentional and then we heard that there was another plane in Pennsylvania and there was another plane in Washington, DC.

SEWARD: Did you know anybody affected by this traumatizing event?

SACHS: I did not know anyone who was there personally that day. Life has definitely changed for those of us who remember 20 years ago. 

SEWARD:  Do you feel like the event could have been preventable in any type of way? 

SACHS:  No. Not at that point in time because our country is open to all people from all over the world, right? So we were not suspicious that anybody hated us so much that they would try to do something as horrific as that. 

SEWARD: Do you, when I say preventable, I mean so much preventable such as in like the before the plane as the plane is getting hijacked do you feel that the captain or anyone else like that could have possibly called out or anyone in the building could have evacuated beforehand? 

SACHS: You know, no. Cause people just didn’t know what was going on now as far as in Pennsylvania when the people on board that plane realized that. That plane was actually — they think — going to a target in Washington, DC, that they actually brought it down. They sacrificed  their own lives to try to storm the cabin to prevent them from flying into, you know, another building so they did take action but as far as, you know, in the buildings, the united nation those twin towers were huge. I mean, you know, what they did was hit just right in the middle, right where they knew the beams would be able  to melt which would then cause everything to come down. It’s really amazing, not amazing, I mean horrifying, how that one day changed and there was no like now, looking at certain groups of people — I’m trying to decide how to say that — looking at certain groups of people with suspicion now because of the ethnicity of the people who carried out those actions.

SEWARD: After the 9/11 effects do you feel that the people of the United States, in general, around the world the way their views looked at you know these type of people and how they associated this entire specific race to all terrorisim — do you feel that, that was so much of — how do I say this — kind of like a flight or fight type response to everything? Because of the traumatizing events that took place, or do you feel that people were being cruel?

SACHS: Everybody wanted an outlet for something. Everybody wanted to be able to blame somebody and of course it’s wrong to identify a certain group of people. There’s good and bad people in all the people of the world, but it was easier for people I think to get over the pain and the shock of what happened to focus on certain groups of people.  

SEWARD: Do you personally feel like you yourself has viewed anyone differently or looked at  any type of anything differently: planes, firemen, or people just in general? 

SACHS: I think the first responders became more recognized as heroes, and it was very obvious that they put their lives on the line. So many of them died. Those that didn’t die right then often suffered tremendous respiratory damage. 

SEWARD: Cause of the fire. 

Ms.Sachs: Cause of breathing in all, we didn’t know all the chemicals that were in the building  composition that you know they were subjected to breathing. Personally, it’s hard objectifying certain people. I was raised that with everybody you don’t look at race, religion, creed.   

SEWARD: People are people. 

SACHS: People are people, so I was fortunate being raised that way. 

SEWARD: If you can tell our generation one thing to somehow in the future, look at signs or take action about anything you know, what would you tell us, or even just general information that this generation should know, what would you tell us?

SACHS: To be aware. Just like we say, “If you see something, say something,” I think that applies all around. You know in looking back, why were those people taking plane lessons? You know, but it’s just you have to be aware of everything around you. You can’t just assume something. Just be aware and, you know, it doesn’t mean be critical. It just means be aware. Be aware and don’t be afraid. 

SEWARD: Do you feel that any these you know this specific suspects and people involved in this do you believe that their families are traumatized or you know if they feel more like of a outcast or anything like that because of something their family members did? 

SACHS: Um Probably but if we’re talking about actually what’s going on right now is one of the they think masterminds of 9/11 is actually on trial right now in Guantanamo, um the others died  most of the other people died um and in the culture they live in their probably celebrated because they got over on you know they considered the United States evil so. 

SEWARD: And how do you feel we as United States people and you know how do you feel we can make these other countries all included more comfortable with the thought were just like them? You know, we’re not too — most of us aren’t –that privileged. Most of us, we have our own struggles and problems. So how do you feel we as this generation and the further generations and even past generations could possibly change how we react and treat these other countries?

SACHS: You know, in realizing that we’re no better and no worse. The United States has some things that they should not be proud of over the years. Slavery was one thing, right? How could we have thought that it was right to treat people as objects? And there have been other things. So if we accept that, we might have certain things that we can share and give to other countries that would help them. We, likewise, have to believe that they can also share and improve our country as well. 

Another random silence 

SEWARD: Um and also with the events going on around that area, now how do you feel that this can also be prevented? If they just so might take action, what can we do as people to prepare ourselves for the absolute worst.? 

SACHS: You can’t, you really can’t. Again just be aware of things going on around you. You know when we talk about like earthquake preparedness here in california, okay we can have the food and have the water and blankets the batteries all those things. 

SEWARD: But nothing ever prepares you to lose things.To lose all of what you have.  

SACHS:  And you can’t live being afraid of everyday so you can just prepare yourself as best you can.  

Video: Citrus Valley “Enchanted” homecoming information

Created by EMILY WALOS


The executive cabinet of the Associated Student Body at Citrus Valley High School, seniors Jenna Negrete, Madeline Hernandez, Tora Bruich and Arianna Nelson, share information about the upcoming Homecoming Dance. The dance will take place on Sept. 25 on campus. (EMILY WALOS and BELLA ESPINOZA/Ethic Media)

After 16 months of not being able to return to campus due to COVID-19, Citrus Valley High School has announced that they will hold a Homecoming for the 2021-22 school year. The dance will take place on Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. and will last until 11 p.m.

The location of the dance will be one of both familiarity and novel as it will take place in the school at the Citrus Valley quad. However, it will be transformed into a fairytale atmosphere as this year’s theme is “Enchanted.” Citrus Valley Associative Student Body is working with the production company Props AV to put on the event as they will provide the decorative elements of the dance.

Ticket prices for the dance are $65 with ASB, $70 without. Prices will increase on Sept. 20 to $70 with ASB and $75 without. The last day for students to purchase tickets is Sept. 23.

Each student will be required, before buying their ticket, to sign and turn in a dance contract which they are able to receive from the Citrus Valley finance office.

This year, Citrus Valley is allowing guests to attend the event, meaning students of Citrus Valley are able to invite other students from any other school as well as bring any graduate to the dance. The guest must sign a contract and purchase a ticket. The last day to turn in a guest pass is Sept. 22. 

Audio: 20 years after 9/11 Orangewood teachers recall shock and disbelief


Three teachers at Orangewood High School recall when they first heard about the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks: Mark Perkins, physical education teacher, Norma Beckwith, social studies teacher and Louise Gonzales, mathematics teacher.

Mark Perkins, P.E. teacher

Audio recording of interview on Sept. 10, 2021 with Mark Perkins, physical education teacher at Orangewood High School, on what he remembers about the 2001 attacks on the twin towers. Perkins recalls shock.

DEBBIE DIAZ: What were you doing on the day the twin towers were hit?

MARK PERKINS: I didn’t find out about the twin towers until I woke up that morning and then — I don’t know how I knew it was on the news — but it was on the news. Oh, I know how I knew it was one the news. I had a cousin, my wife’s first cousin, he was doing his residency at the closest hospital to where the twin towers fell. When they were bringing victims in, they were bringing them to his hospital. So he called us just to let us know how he was okay. So that’s how I found out that morning about the twin towers. Does that answer your question?

DIAZ: Yes. What was your reaction when you first found out?

PERKINS: I would say the biggest reaction is shock. I would say, you know, my wife grew in a country, she was born in Africa, she grew up in a country where there was war and that kind of — the kind of behavior that happened in the U.S. on that day was like what she remembered happening in the country that she grew up in Malawi in Africa. And nothing like that had ever been seen before in America. So it was just shock the fact that bad guys could come in and do that to us, and we just let it happen.

PACHECO: No one have responsibility.

DIAZ: Do you know anyone that was affected physically by the attack?

PERKINS: Like I mentioned earlier, my cousin was in his second year of residency at one of the hospitals, so he got to see a lot of the victims that were brought in. So I can’t say that specifically victims, but it was interesting hearing. I mean he could look out his hospital window, and he could see the towers smoking and on fire. You know, when they collapsed, he was a first hand witness to that kind of a thing. So it was interesting to hear from his perspective.

Norma Beckwith, history teacher

Audio recording of interview on Sept. 10, 2021 with Norma Beckwith, social studies teacher at Orangewood High School, on what she remembers about the 2001 attacks on the twin towers. Beckwith recalls disbelief.

DIAZ: What were you doing on the day the twin towers were hit?

NORMA BECKWITH: Getting ready to go to work, to teach at Clement Middle School.

DIAZ: What was your reaction when you found out?

BECKWITH: Disbelief initially. You know, when the first plane hit, it was like “What is going on?” But when the second one hit, I  knew we were under attack. And then fear. Fear.

DIAZ: Do you know someone that was affected physically by the attack?

BECKWITH: No, surprisingly on the West coast I knew absolutely no one. I mean, I knew of people, friends who knew people, but I was not impacted personally — my family, my friends — but, just am forever saddened about 3,000 plus lives that were lost.

DIAZ: Right, a tragedy, right.

PACHECO: Do you believe in any conspiracies?

BECKWITH: I absolutely do not believe in conspiracy theories. We were attacked by the terrorists, Al Queda. There is no conspiracy. They’re out to ruin our way of life.

Louise Gonzales, math teacher

Audio recording of interview on Sept. 10, 2021 with Louise Gonzales, mathematics teacher at Orangewood High School, on what she remembers about the 2001 attacks on the twin towers. Gonzales recalls shock.

DIAZ: What were you doing on the day the twin towers were hit?

LOUISE GONZALES: I had just gotten to my classroom, getting ready to teach for the day.

DIAZ: And what was your reaction when you found out?

GONZALES: Shock. Shock. I didn’t really know what was going on.

DIAZ: What went through your head?

GONZALES: I just…shock. Like, “What’s going on?”

DIAZ: Do you know of someone who was affected physically by the attack?


PACHECO: Do you believe in any conspiracies about the attack, like the government, or…?


PACHECO: You just believe it was a terrorist attack?


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Photos: Redlands students share what helped them persevere through the distance learning school year

Originally published in La Plaza Press


Distance learning has been a struggle for many students of the Redlands Unified School District. However, this unprecedented year has not extinguished them from learning new hobbies, and spending quality time with pets and family. This collection of photos shows who and what possessions have provided students with a sense of permanence during the rapidly changing school year.

Mia, a 12-year-old dog, enjoys running around fields and parks. Despite Mia’s age, her owner Isabella Verjat, a junior at Redlands High School, still takes her for regular walks. (Courtesy of Isabella Verjat)

Paul McClure, Redlands High School junior, presents the yoyo that he practices with. McClure was inspired to learn how to yoyo after finding an old one in his house. (Courtesy of Paul McClure)

Valentine Edwards, a junior at Redlands East Valley High School, shares a picture of their cat, Duchess. (Courtesy of Valentine Edwards)

Redlands High School junior Sophia Feduska shows off an apple and raspberry pie she baked. During quarantine, baking quickly became one of her pastimes. (Courtesy of Sophia Feduska)

Kai, a one-year-old dog, enjoys hanging out with his owner, Redlands East Valley High School junior Abigail Gates. (Courtesy of Abigail Gates)

“My longboard helped me through the online learning school year, because it allowed me to focus on something besides my schooling,” said Redlands East Valley High School sophomore Aileen Corpus. She further said that “the community I have become a part of through my longboard is just amazing.” (Courtesy of Aileen Corpus)

Tyler Ardnt, a junior at Redlands East Valley High School, shows off his dog Grizzly, a two year-old husky-malamute, sitting comfortably in a cardboard box. (Courtesy of Tyler Ardnt)

Josie Burdick, a fifth grader attending Crafton Elementary School, reads books to help her get through distance learning. She enjoys reading adventure books, along with historical books to relax after a long day of learning online. (Courtesy of Josie Burdick)

“My dogs Hank and Ollie helped me stay loved,” said Redlands East Valley High School freshman Lily Shaw. (Courtesy of Lily Shaw)

Video: Back on campus

Originally published in La Plaza Press


(MIA ARANDA/ La Plaza video)

After a prolonged period of time that students were adapting to distance learning, April 19 marked the day that high school students in the Redlands Unified School District were able to return to school if they opted to. However, things on campus didn’t look quite the same as they did prior to the pandemic. Students now have to wait in a line to get their temperature checked before entering the campus. Instead of daily bulletins through the intercom system, principals and staff give frequent reminders for everyone to wear their masks and to social distance. Signs on the floor indicating the correct direction to walk in the hallways were also implemented to steer students from greater exposure to each other. Although all procedures and directions have been executed for the safety and health of everyone on campus, in-person school isn’t what students are entirely used to.

Video: Redlands East Valley artists encourage voter participation

Originally published in La Plaza Press


In order to encourage others to vote, the art teacher at Redlands East Valley High School, Tracy Massimiano, made a video titled, “Vote 2020” featuring her students’ artwork.

Students from Advanced Studio Art, Drawing CP, and Art CP drew symbols of the United States and political parties. The bald eagle drawings were made by students from Drawing CP, and the elephant and donkey pictures were created by Art CP and Advanced Studio Art. Illustrations of Captain America are also displayed as part of a daily draw assignment Massimiano assigned. 

The video art show includes appearances from Redlands East Valley staff along with the artwork. Photos of teachers with their “I Voted” stickers and mail-in ballots show they have already casted their votes. 

Voting is encouraged for all registered and eligible U.S. citizens 18 years or older.

Photos: Attendees show support for family, speak against discrimination at Highland vigil for fruit vendor

Originally published in La Plaza Press


After mother of four and fruit vendor Marlen Benitez, 28, was struck by a car at her fruit stand off of Highland Ave. on Oct. 13, the local community of San Bernardino county stepped up to show support for Marlen and her family. The video recording of the incident shows the driver slowing down before speeding up and directly hitting Benitez and her fruit stand.

Angel Mendez-Flores set up a GoFundMe page on Oct. 15 to help defray the costs of medical expenses for Benitez and support her four children. After a mere three days of sharing, the page has surpassed its goal of 75, 000 dollars with approximately 2,400 donors.

Mendez-Flores posted on the GoFundMe page on Oct. 18 that Benitez had woken up from her coma after being in critical condition at the Loma Linda University Medical Center.

Lyzzeth Mendoza, Community Engagement and Policy Associate of the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice, organized and led a community vigil for Benitez on Oct. 18 at 5 p.m. at Highland Ave. Participants had to wear masks and were encouraged to bring poster signs and flowers to show their respects.

Lyzzeth Mendoza of the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice leads the vigil for Marlen on Highland Ave. on Oct. 18. Mendoza describes the importance of street vendors in local communities. (MIA ARANDA/ La Plaza photo)

A “Justice 4 Marlen” sign is shown posted on a pole that attendees first saw as they arrived. The sign reads “vendedora atropellado por un racista [vendor run over by a racist].” (MIA ARANDA/ La Plaza photo)

Attendees are shown holding white roses to honor fruit vendor Marlen Benitez. These roses were handed out to attendees prior to the start of the vigil. (MIA ARANDA/ La Plaza photo)

Renato Gonzales of San Bernardino says “Los que al traves del cellular, escuchen. Por favor, pasen la voz: Que no se siga corriendo el odio. Por que no venimos aqui a espresar odio. [Those with a cell phone, listen. Please spread the word: that hate does not continue to run. Because we don’t come here to express hatred.]” Gonzales continues ” Por el contrario, venimos a espresarnos de una manera en la que queremos que esta cuidad y todas las cuidades nos aceptan como ser humanos con dignidad, con respeto, con unida. [On the contrary, we come to express ourselves in a way in which we want this city and all cities to accept us as human beings with dignity, with respect, with unity.]”(MIA ARANDA/ La Plaza photo)

Attendees were encouraged to bring poster signs to also show their support for street vendors as they often face discrimination and hate. (MIA ARANDA/ La Plaza photo)

An attendee from the audience volunteers to speak during the event. One of the signs he placed earlier for Benitez had been vandalized. He says, “I got angry. I got angry that there are sick, disgusting people out there in the world that hate people cause they’re from a different area or have different color of their skin. And I’m glad that all of us are here and there’s an outpouring on social media right now for Marlen and for their family. It’s very important to show the sick people in the world that there’s good people out here who care and who won’t take this . . . from anybody. We’re here. We’re here to love our people. They’re good people. They’re just out here to work. God bless you everybody, thank you. Glad you’re here.” (MIA ARANDA/ La Plaza photo)

A woman unrelated to Benitez gathers with the family, giving them her condolences and shares that her son had been killed. She says, “Y a veces nos discriminan porque simplemente hablamos español [And sometimes they discriminate against us because we simply speak Spanish].” (MIA ARANDA/ La Plaza photo)

A sign is shown at the vigil featuring the Virgin Mary and in orange letters, “Familia Benitez” in respects to Marlen Benitez and her family.

A man rallies up the crowd toward the end of the vigil and starts a chant for the audience to repeat. During his speech, he says, “Aqui estamos, y no nos vamos. Y si nos hechan, nos regresamos. [We are here, and we’re not leaving. If they throw us out, we’ll return].” (MIA ARANDA/ La Plaza photo)

Following the conclusion of speeches, an attendee puts a battery-operated tealight candle on Benitez’s vigil. The event finished approximately at 6:30 p.m. (MIA ARANDA/ La Plaza photo)

In|Dignity exhibit invites East Valley students to learn about Inland Empire community members through their stories


Duan Kellum, Redlands East Valley High School Ethnic Studies and English Language Development teacher, speaks about the InDignity Exhibit that was available for viewing in the school’s theatre building from Dec. 2 through Dec. 6, 2019. (Brooke Mgafilike/ Ethic video)

The In|Dignity exhibit, featuring life stories of Inland Empire community members who have faced discrimination or challenges throughout their life, was featured the week of Dec. 2 through Dec. 6 at Redlands East Valley High School.

Duan Kellum, Ethnic Studies and English Language Development teacher at REV, worked along side Robert Clarey, REV principal, to bring the In|Dignity event to the school. 

Several life-size posters displaying themes and stories of diverse people in the Inland Empire were displayed in the In|Dignity exhibit which took place in the theatre building at Redlands East Valley High School during the week of Dec. 2 through Dec. 6, 2019. (Amelie Palacios/ Ethic Photo)

The week-long event was featured in the REV theater building. The exhibit room was filled with large posters along with featured photos of people followed by first-hand accounts of meaningful life experiences.

Some of the stories included experiences like having bipolar disorder, struggling with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), recieving hate for being transgender, and severly abusive relationships.

The students of REV were able to experience the stories of courage told at the exhibit through traditional exhibit viewing and the use of modern technology.

Not only were students able to walk through the exhibit and read more than twenty different stories, but there was also a way to listen to each person’s voice. At the bottom of each poster display, there was a QR code to pull up each individual’s story through a cell phone and listen to the audio of each them telling their story in more detail. 

Students at Redlands East Valley reading the stories of people from the In|Dignity exhibit. (Amelie Palacios/ Ethic Photo)

If a student’s parents did not want them to attend the In|Dignity biography presentation, they had the option to opt out. A form was handed out to students in one of their classes to inform parents of the content of the presentation and to provide them with the option to not have their student attend.

Kellum said, “I have had the opportunity to read all the stories and they all are amazing, heart wrenching, and inspiring. To me it reinforces the reality that we all are\have\will experience some form of adversity. In a way, it’s an extension of Synergy.”

Students write and post comments in response to the different stories from the In|Dignity exhibit. Students could write their names or remain anonymous, and the post-its were readable by other visitors. (Amelie Palacios/ Ethic Photo)

As the week went on and more students got to experience the event. Kellum said that “what really moves [him] are the comments left by students and staff. They demonstrate that we as a community have the ability to connect with individuals and have authentic human interactions via stories and photos.”

Kellum said that when he first went to the website and started to read the different stories, he felt it was a great idea. The California State University, San Bernardino In|Dignity exhibit website has more information which can be reached at this link

According to the website, Dr. Arianna Huhn and Dr. Annika Anderson “received $15,000 from the California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, to support the CSUSB Anthropology Museum” in the exhibit.

They  “hope that audiences of the exhibition will emerge from In|Dignity with more empathy and insight for disadvantaged ‘others,’ and a pledge for making a difference in the community through open-mindedness and civic participation.”

Student Voices video: Do you think it’s important to be bilingual and why?

Originally published in La Plaza Press


Victor Basurto“It’s important to know Spanish because you can use it at work and they can pay you more.”
Joseph Pernett“It’s important to be bilingual because when you go to the university they give us extra points.”
Rober Ebrahim“It is important to be bilingual because you can apply for jobs and it’s good for jobs and it’s also good because you get to know so much more about our world.”
Norman Henriquez“I think it is important to be bilingual because in the future, when you get future jobs or just in a workplace in general, there could be people who speak different languages and a lot of time, a lot of languages are similar so if you are able to understand at least one different language, you will be able to understand what other people are talking about and like when you are in a workplace, like if you wanted to become a doctor or you wanted to be something, it’s good to be able to understand who you are talking to and the services you are doing, it’s easier to provide for people if you can understand them.”
Todd Jackson“Yes, I think it is important to be bilingual because you can communicate with more people like you can travel and be able to understand more people and its easier too. Like you can take Spanish and already know it and yeah, it’s just better all around.”
Ernesto Gomez-Cornejo“I think it is important to be bilingual because you can express more culture and you have more of a mix for everybody like you can make more friends and meet more people when you are bilingual.”
Kenny Ricks“I do think it is important to learn Spanish because especially with the job market who are looking for people who speak Spanish for bilingual opportunities and also I think it is more important because learning about other cultures is always fun and exciting especially when you can meet new people and try new foods and stuff.”
Jade Herrera“So I think being bilingual is very important because you have an advantage when you are applying for jobs like when you apply for a job and you are bilingual, you are automatically going to catch the attention of whoever is hiring you and I also think it’s important especially in the workforce because you will able to connect with much more people and you will be able to speak your second language so you will be practicing too. I also think that it’s beneficial because you have much more media in your hands. You will be able to access great songs, great television series, and books in that other language so you will have much more great things to look over.”
Joel San Juan“Practically speaking, it is a very spectacular benefit to speak Spanish and English in a fluent way because it has given me the privilege of when I travel to Mexico, for example, it has been a great privilege to speak Spanish completely well and at the same time it has also been incredible that I can speak Spanish with people from other parts of Latin America, for example when I go to Los Angeles or when I am doing business.”
Ulises Gregorio“I say that it is very important to speak two languages because you can live together with many people and help many people speaking Spanish.”
Blake Bergman“Okay so it is very important to be bilingual because like if you want to talk to people in like a different language like you get to talk to them and stuff and it’s also good to like meet other people who speak different languages so you can more understand the human connection and stuff.”
Donecia Campos“I think it is important to be bilingual because it offers an opportunity to be able to communicate with others, not only using a language you have learned but like another one. It’s easier and a lot more fun being able to use different vocabulary words and saying it in a certain way.”
Rosemary Ventura“I think is important to be bilingual because you are able to communicate with others who speak that language and are able to help them.”
Matias Bianca“It’s important to be bilingual because I can translate with my friends.”

Video: Blackhawks narrowly beat Wildcats in Comedy Sportz battle of improv

Redlands East Valley High School’s senior Ethan Manansala refereed the Comedy Sportz match between REV and Citrus Valley High School at REV’s Blackstone Theatre on Thursday, Nov. 29. Comedy Sportz is competive improv played in two halves where two teams, the red and the blue, are given points based on audience laughter and applause from a wide selection of games. The final score was 40-41, with Citrus Valley winning the match. (MIA ARANDA/ Ethic video)

Video: Diverse acts featured in Redlands East Valley’s annual talent show


Highlights from Redlands East Valley’s annual talent show in the Blackstone Theater on Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. (MIA ARANDA / Ethic video)

The Redlands East Valley High School Talent Show took place on Nov. 30, 2018 in the Blackstone Theater. With over 20 acts performed, Julia Richardson won first place with her gymnast act, James Wellman earned second place with his robotic dance, and Leilani Baldwin got third place by singing “When He Sees Me” from the Broadway musical, “Waitress.”  

In addition, the audience was treated with several teacher performances. REV math teacher Chrissy Luther performed a gymnast act. The Academixx, a band made up of REV staff members, Doug Porter, Kurt Clements, Joe Gianni, Andrew Hoch, and Kristen Maloney, played a couple songs.

Baking with Bella: Grandma’s chocolate pie



Family gatherings during Thanksgiving call for delicious meals and tasty homemade desserts. Chocolate pie is a classic holiday treat, perfect for your contribution to the table filled with many delectable foods. This quick and easy chocolate pie recipe uses common ingredients that can be found in your kitchen cabinets right at home. This recipe is from


½ cup cocoa

¼ cup cornstarch

3 egg yolks, beaten

1½ cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon salt

2 cups milk


Always clean work surface and wash your hands before cooking. In a pot, mix cocoa, cornstarch, beaten egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and salt. Add milk gradually over medium heat while stirring. Cook until thick. Pour into pre-baked pie shell and refrigerate.

Mom and Pop Shop Talk: Redlands Vinyl Records owner keeps it old school

MIA ARANDA/ Ethic video
BLAKE BERRY/ Ethic photo


David Bernal is the owner of Redlands Vinyl Records and Collectibles, located at 214 E. Redlands Blvd. in Redlands.


RICHARD BUNNER and BLAKE BERRY, ETHIC STAFF: How long has this place been around? What are people searching for the most here?

DAVID BERNAL, REDLANDS VINYL RECORDS OWNER: This particular store has been here for five years. The average record buyer today is between the age of 15 and 25. So you’re looking at pretty much all the current stuff that’s out today. You know, the popular things and all the mega-big-bands from the past: Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd. Those are the big sellers and, of course, anything new.

BUNNER: What is the most searched genre?

BERNAL: You’re looking at rock’n’roll and hip hop as pretty much the main two genres.

BUNNER: Do you sell laser disks?

BERNAL: We do have some. We have pretty much all formats. We have 8-tracks, cassettes, laser disk, VHS, DVD, blue-ray; we have albums, 78s, 45s, pretty much everything we have.

BUNNER: Your store looks kind of small on the outside, but once you walk in it is huge. Would you like to comment on that?

BERNAL: We have a little bit of something for everyone, so its very diverse; its a mixture. I don’t really have things broken down into categories. Everything is kind of A through Z in different sections. So its fairly easy to find something; you just have to look around.

BUNNER: What is your favorite record?

BERNAL: Don’t have a favorite. There’s just too many years of great records. So I can’t really say I have a favorite.

BERRY: What is your favorite genre?

BERNAL: I listen to everything. I have an appreciation for just about all genres. If somebody is good at what they do, then its kind of hard. If you love music its difficult to get pigeon-holed into one genre, then you can’t really say you love all music. People become programmed into one thing. They walk around with blinders and forget about everything else, not realizing there’s 500 years of written music and then you’ve got 100 years of recorded music. Then, you have all of these different styles, so if you’re a music lover then you can’t just say, “Well, I’m only into this.” Well, that’s unfortunate for you because you’re missing everything else and there’s just so much.

BUNNER: I notice that projector back there. What’s that from?

A: What we do is we run films. Every Monday night we do film screenings; its free, we do it at 7:30. We run everything in film, so its old school to go inside with the vinyl being old school and everything analog. We do that on Monday nights, and we’re always running something. We do old projectors, old films, everything.

Redlands East Valley’s Coach Lunsford develops character on and off the field

Redlands East Valley senior and football co-captain Brady Sheehan interviews REV football coach Richard Lunsford on the Oct. 5, 2018 episode of REVWeek. (Deven Rees, Rachel Garcia, Brandon Kotlareczyk/ REV Advanced Video Production)


“Be elite; in the classroom, community, and on the field.”

As the new Redlands East Valley High School football coach, Richard Lunsford helps his players develop their character on and off the field with this mission statement.

Lunsford first gained interest in football because he and his family were avid Chicago Bears fans. This love of football inspired him to play on the football team at Lowell High School in Lowell, Indiana and in college at Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana. At Saint Joseph’s, he majored in Physical Education, which allowed him to teach P.E. at high school.

Prior to working at REV, Lunsford taught and coached at the following high schools: Clark in Indiana, Finley in Illinois, Kankakee Valley in Indiana, Edison in Indiana, and Arlington in Riverside, California.

While coaching at Arlington High School as the head football coach, Lunsford led his team to a 14-18 overall record, 5-10 record in the Inland Valley League and two appearances in the CIF playoffs within his three season run.

For his sixteenth year of coaching, Lunsford chose to work at REV because of the opportunity “to coach top level high school athletes against top level opponents.”

Lunsford said that he felt extremely welcome when he came to REV and was thrilled to be a part of this family and community. In addition to being a football coach, Lunsford is also a Physical Education teacher at REV.

Redlands East Valley varsity football players share words about Coach Lunsford. (Mia Aranda/ Ethic infographic)

Lunsford expects his players to abide by his aforementioned mission statement on and off the field. He wants his players to greet their teachers everyday when they walk into the classroom with a hello, a smile and, preferably, a handshake. He even checks back with their teachers to make sure that this is happening.

Lunsford stresses the importance of education and wants to ensure that all of his players are doing their best in the classroom and on the field. He hopes to model the behavior that he expects from his players every day.

“I am a teacher before a coach,” said Lunsford, “so I want to make sure all of my athletes are learning and working up to expectations.”

In addition to his team motto, Lunsford has also started a new tradition at REV where teachers can sign up to hang a varsity player’s jersey in their classroom on Fridays to show their support before the football game that night. Because there are over 60 players on the varsity roster, Lunsford reminds teachers that signups are first come, first serve.

Players will come to their assigned teacher in the morning to drop off their jersey and have been told to introduce themselves if they have not already met their supporting teacher as well as to thank them. The teacher will have that player’s jersey hung up in their classroom until the end of the day when the player will pick it up before their game later that evening.

Outside of school, Lunsford enjoys playing with his two puppies and working out at CrossFit. He stated that his wife supports him, is very understanding during football season and is always there to help give him advice.

When asked for a fun fact about himself, Lunsford mentioned that he didn’t eat green beans from age six to thirty-four.

In the Oct. 5 edition of REVWeek, Lunsford says, “If I had anything to say to every kid out there, I would say love yourself, love yourself and be yourself and stay true to yourself throughout your life. It will take you a long way.”

The Redlands East Valley 2018-19 varsity football team at the homecoming game versus Colony High School at Dodge Stadium in Redlands on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018.  Coach Lunsford led the team to 48-14 defeat over Colony.  (Samantha Barajas/ Ethic Video)