Valencia’s Chrystal Aluya sprints to victories in 100 and 200 at Trabuco Hills Invitational

MISSION VIEJO – In the early going of the Trabuco Hills Invitational and Distance Carnival on Saturday, Orange County sprinters were getting outdone by athletes from out of the county.

Then Valencia High School sophomore Chrystal Aluya stepped on the track for the girls 100 meters race. Aluya won in a personal-best time of 12.07 seconds, and returned to the track later and won the 200 with a PR time of 24.72.

The effort earned Aluya the award for the best female sprinter for the two-day meet.

Depending on how other sprinters around the state performed on Saturday, Aluya’s times should be among the fastest in the state this season.

“I’m just really happy with how I did today, especially since I PR-ed in both events” Aluya said. “My start was good in everything and my form is coming together nicely.”

Aluya, who will compete in the 100 at next Saturday’s prestigious Arcadia Invitational, was among a group of county girls who took home first-place medals.

Santa Margarita sophomore Lauren Memoly won the 400 in 55.85, setting a school record and earning a spot among the fastest 400 runners in the state.

Memoly, who is running track for the first time, started the race in an outside lane, was passed by Cienna Norman-Thomas of Citrus Valley, but then blew by Thomas in the final 30 meters.

“Since I was in an outside lane, I wanted to keep up the speed because I knew there would be people coming up behind, and in the last 100, give it everything I got and see what it gets me,” she said.

Memoly also finished third in the long jump.

Throwers Alejandra Rosales of Marina and Kyliegh Wilkerson of Trabuco Hills finished first in the shot and discus, respectively.

In the shot, Rosales was in fifth place after her first three throws, then proceeded to PR on each of her next three, finally hitting a mark of 38 feet, 10 inches to win it.

“The first three throws were really rough,” Rosales said. “My coach said you need to get your stuff together.”

Wilkerson won the discus with a mark of 138-06 and Rosales was second at 137-04.

Capistrano Valley Jolie Robinson cleared 5 feet, 5 inches to win the high jump competition.

On the boys side, Christopher Cooper of Woodbridge ran a personal best 48.89 to win the 400. That time will likely move him up near the state leaders this season.

Cooper was a late add into the fastest heat after being inadvertently entered into the wrong event.

“I was really happy when I was able to get into the fastest heat,” said Cooper. “It was really helpful because I wanted to run a fast time today.”

Orange County swept the top three spots in the high jump with Edison’s Aiden Garnett, Deyten Zepeda of Rancho Alamitos and Santa Margarita’s Agbonkpolo finishing first, second and third, respectively.

In invitational distance races that were held Friday, Santa Ana junior Maria Hernandez won the 3,200 in 10:52.53 and Capo Valley’s Carly Corsinata ran second in the 1,600 invitational in 5:04.20.

Laguna Beach sophomore Mateo Bianchi won the boys 3,200 invitational in 9:25.60.

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Lawsuit in retaliation for not caving in to sanctuary state law: Letters

Re “Gov. Gavin Newsom targets Huntington Beach with lawsuit over affordable housing” (Jan. 25):

Not even in office a month and Gov. Gavin Newsom along with Attorney General Xavier Becerra is suing the city of Huntington Beach for failing to build a little over 500 low-income houses for low-income workers.

If the housing quotas aren’t met, Newsom has stated he will withhold funds through taxes that the city residents and businesses pay the state.

Let’s not forget that Huntington Beach is not part of the sanctuary state, that we still abide by the Constitution and federal laws of the United States.

This is a way for the governor to get back for not caving in to being a sanctuary city. When President Trump wanted to stop the flow of federal funds to sanctuary states there was uproar from the Democrats.

I hope Huntington Beach City Attorney Michael Gates takes this court case to the Supreme Court if need be.

It seems like this state can break federal laws and get away with it. A country that doesn’t believe in the rule of law ceases to be a country.

— Tony Barone, Huntington Beach

Armed FBI raid for white-collar crime was excessive

Re “Stone indicted by special counsel” (Jan. 26):

You failed to report the truth in the article. Roger Stone was arrested at 6 a.m. by 29 FBI agents with bulletproof vests and guns drawn.

Stone has been indicted for what is basically in the same category as a white-collar crime. He posed no flight risk and is not dangerous. If he had been a liberal Democrat, the FBI would have called him and asked him to be ready for a limo to take him to FBI headquarters.

Guess who was there to record all of the happenings? CNN of course. Now how did they know when and where the arrest was to take place? Do you suppose the Trump-hating FBI would have leaked this information to CNN?Another example of the newspaper managing the news rather than reporting it.

— Paul L. Sandoval, Mission Viejo

Dems and spending money

The Democrats are willing to spend money for all types of border security. Just so long as it is not effective.

— Roxy Foster, Long Beach

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Manny Pacquiao wins 60th career fight with seventh-round knockout

  • Lucas Matthysse of Argentina, left, shields himself from Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines, during their WBA World welterweight title bout in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, July 15, 2018. Pacquiao won the WBA welterweight world title after a technical knockout in the 7th round. (AP Photo/Yam G-Jun)

  • Manny Pacquiao, center, of the Philippines listens to his trainer during WBA World welterweight title bout against Lucas Matthysse of Argentina in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, July 15, 2018. Pacquiao clinched his 60th victory with a seventh-round knockout of Argentinian Matthysse, his first stoppage in nine years. (AP Photo/Yam G-Jun)

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  • Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines, right, fights Lucas Matthysse of Argentina during their WBA World welterweight title bout in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, July 15, 2018. Pacquiao won the WBA welterweight world title after a technical knockout in the 7th round. (AP Photo/Yam G-Jun)

  • Manny Pacquiao, left, of the Philippines fights Lucas Matthysse of Argentina during their WBA World welterweight title bout in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, July 15, 2018. Pacquiao won the WBA welterweight world title after technical knocking out Matthysse on round seven. (AP Photo/Yam G-Jun)

  • Lucas Matthysse of Argentina falls after receiving a punch by Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines during their WBA World welterweight title bout in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, July 15, 2018. Pacquiao clinched his 60th victory with a seventh-round knockout of Matthysse, his first stoppage in nine years.(AP Photo/Yam G-Jun)

  • Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines prays before his fight with Lucas Matthysse of Argentina during their WBA World welterweight title bout in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, July 15, 2018. Pacquiao won the WBA welterweight world title after knocking out Matthysse on round seven. (AP Photo/Yam G-Jun)

  • Lucas Matthysse of Argentina, left, lands a left at Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines during their WBA World welterweight title bout in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, July 15, 2018. Pacquiao won the WBA welterweight world title after knocking out Matthysse on round seven. (AP Photo/Yam G-Jun)

  • Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines, right, strikes Lucas Matthysse of Argentina during their WBA World welterweight title bout in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, July 15, 2018. Pacquiao won the WBA welterweight world title after a technical knockout in round seven. (AP Photo/Yam G-Jun)

  • Lucas Matthysse, left, of Argentina falls after receiving a punch by Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines during their WBA World welterweight title bout in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, July 15, 2018. Filipino boxing legend Pacquiao clinched his 60th victory Sunday with a seventh-round knockout of Matthysse, his first stoppage in nine years, that will help revive his career. (AP Photo/Yam G-Jun)

  • Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines, right, strikes Lucas Matthysse of Argentina during their WBA World welterweight title bout in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, July 15, 2018. Pacquiao won the WBA welterweight world title after a technical knockout in round seven. (AP Photo/Yam G-Jun)

  • Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines, left, celebrates after defeating Lucas Matthysse of Argentina during their WBA World welterweight title bout in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, July 15, 2018. Filipino boxing legend Pacquiao clinched his 60th victory Sunday with a seventh-round knockout of Matthysse, his first stoppage in nine years, that will help revive his career.(AP Photo/Yam G-Jun)

  • Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines poses after defeating Lucas Matthysse of Argentina during their WBA World welterweight title bout in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, July 15, 2018. Pacquiao won the WBA welterweight world title after knocking out Matthysse on round seven. (AP Photo/Yam G-Jun)

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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao clinched his 60th victory Sunday with a seventh-round knockout of Argentinian Lucas Matthysse, his first stoppage in nine years, that will help revive his career.

Pacquiao, 39, said his “convincing victory” in the World Boxing Association welterweight title fight, his 12th championship win, showed age isn’t a barrier.

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He rebounded from his disappointing loss last year to Australian Jeff Horn and his victory could extend his boxing career that had taken a backseat to his political life as a Filipino senator.

“This is it. I am back in boxing,” Pacquiao said. “I am not done. I’m still there.”

“It’s just a matter of time. You have to rest and get it back and that’s what I did.”

He said training with new coach Buboy Fernandes, after parting ways with longtime trainer Freddie Roach in the lead up to the fight, was effective and that he felt in control from the start.

“At the beginning of round one, I had in my mind that I could control the fight but our strategy is to be patient, to take time, don’t rush, don’t be careless like we did before,” he said.

His aggression knocked Matthysse down on one knee in the third and fifth rounds. A third knock down in the seventh round led Matthysse to spit out his mouthpiece, causing a frenzy among Pacquiao fans in the stadium.

“I am not boasting but…I think he’s hurting from my punches. Every punch that I throw, he’s hurt. I think he’s scared of my punches,” Pacquiao said.

Matthysse, who won 36 out of 39 matches by knockout, hailed Pacquiao as a “great fighter, a great legend” and said he will take a break after his loss.

“This is part of boxing. You win some, you lose some,” he said.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad also attended the fight, the biggest boxing match in the country since the 1975 heavyweight clash between Muhammad Ali and Australian Joe Bugner.

“I would like to congratulate Senator Manny Pacquiao for giving us pride and bringing the Filipino nation together once more,” said Duterte, who flew to Malaysia earlier for the bout ahead of an official visit.

Duterte said in a statement that Pacquiao has proven himself again as “one of the greatest boxers of all time” and that the win will cement his legacy in the sport.

Scores of screaming Filipino fans in the stadium waved flags and chanted “Manny Manny” throughout the match. Pacquiao’s rise to fame from an impoverished rural boy to one of the world’s wealthiest sportsmen over his 23-year career has made him a national hero.

Pacquaio said he will return to his senator work for now but won’t be hanging up the gloves just yet.

“I am addicted to boxing. I really love to fight and bring honor to my country. That’s my heart’s desire,” he added.

In the other title fights, Filipino Jhack Tepora defeated Edivaldo Oretga of Mexico with a knockout to win the interim WBA featherweight title. Venezuela’s Carlos Canizales defended his WBA world light flyweight title against China’s Lu Bin, stopping him from making history by becoming the first boxer to win a major world title in just two career fights. South African Moruti Mthalane won a close twelve round unanimous decision over Pakistan’s Muhammad Waseem to capture the IBF flyweight title.

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NBA Free Agency: Will the Lakers land LeBron James and Paul George?

The NBA’s free agency period is days away and the speculation continues to grow for the Summer of LeBron (James).

Follow along throughout the offseason for live updates and news regarding your favorite NBA teams including the Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers.

Top 5 free agents to watch this offense:

  • LeBron James
  • Paul George
  • Chris Paul
  • DeAndre Jordan
  • Julius Randle

The top two free agents, James and George, have been teammates during All-Star Games but this offseason provides them the opportunity to play an entire season together.

While George has expressed interest in coming to Los Angeles and James is looking to find the right team he can finish out his career with, the glue that can hold this together and make it possible for a team like the Lakers would be Kawhi Leonard. The Lakers have reportedly re-engaged in trade talks with the San Antonio Spurs for Leonard. If Leonard is traded to LA, it could be the first of several dominoes to fall in the favor of the Lakers.

Los Angeles Lakers headlines:

 

Los Angeles Clippers headlines:

 

A Twitter List by JHWreporter

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Coachella 2018: It’s Beychella, so we asked Beyoncé fans about their gateway songs

After Beyoncé turned the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival into Beychella on Saturday, April 14, we were ready to talk to the Beyhive about Beychella, Part 2, on Saturday, April 21.

Photographer Watchara Phomicinda and reporter Vanessa Franko roamed the fields of the Empire Polo Club in Indio during Coachella to ask people about the song that got them into Beyoncé. Many went old school with Destiny’s Child, but we also found some newer fans.

  • Alex Brown, 30, traveled from Oakland to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif. on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The Destiny’s Child hit “Bills, Bills, Bills” was the song that introduced her to BeyoncŽé. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Alex Brown, 30, traveled from Oakland to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif. on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The Destiny’s Child hit “Bills, Bills, Bills” was the song that introduced her to BeyoncŽé. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Eoin Herbert, 32, who is originally from Ireland but now lives in Sydney, Australia, poses during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif. on Saturday, April 21, 2018.  He said that “Crazy in Love” was the song that got him into BeyoncŽé. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Eoin Herbert, 32, who is originally from Ireland but now lives in Sydney, Australia, poses during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif. on Saturday, April 21, 2018. He said that “Crazy in Love” was the song that got him into BeyoncŽé. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

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  • Nicole Caldwell, 24, traveled from Atlanta, Georgia, to see BeyoncŽé at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif. on Saturday, April 21, 2018. She hoped to hear “Sorry” from the album “Lemonade.” (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Nicole Caldwell, 24, traveled from Atlanta, Georgia, to see BeyoncŽé at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif. on Saturday, April 21, 2018. She hoped to hear “Sorry” from the album “Lemonade.” (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Tyler Drewitz, 30, during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif. on Saturday, April 21, 2018. He remembered getting into Beyoncé because of “Independent Women, Pt. 1,” the hit song Destiny’s Child had on the “Charlie’s Angels” soundtrack.  (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Tyler Drewitz, 30, during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif. on Saturday, April 21, 2018. He remembered getting into Beyoncé because of “Independent Women, Pt. 1,” the hit song Destiny’s Child had on the “Charlie’s Angels” soundtrack. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Lily Nwafor, 24, of Springfield, Massachusetts, during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif. on Saturday, April 21, 2018. Nwafor said Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name” was the song that turned her on to BeyoncŽé. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Lily Nwafor, 24, of Springfield, Massachusetts, during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif. on Saturday, April 21, 2018. Nwafor said Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name” was the song that turned her on to BeyoncŽé. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Arturo Solorio, 31, of Palm Desert, sported a head modeled after that of DJ Marshmello while he walked around the Empire Polo Club during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif. on Saturday, April 21, 2018. He said his BeyoncŽé gateway song was Destiny Child’s “Survivor,” as he sang a few bars of the chorus.
(Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Arturo Solorio, 31, of Palm Desert, sported a head modeled after that of DJ Marshmello while he walked around the Empire Polo Club during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif. on Saturday, April 21, 2018. He said his BeyoncŽé gateway song was Destiny Child’s “Survivor,” as he sang a few bars of the chorus.
    (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Patrick Rappleye, 29, of Chicago, during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif. on Saturday, April 21, 2018. Rappleye said he and his brother were forced by his mother and her friends (and their daughters) to go to an NSync concert many years ago. On the way out, he was handed a Destiny’s Child sampler with “Say My Name” on it. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Patrick Rappleye, 29, of Chicago, during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif. on Saturday, April 21, 2018. Rappleye said he and his brother were forced by his mother and her friends (and their daughters) to go to an NSync concert many years ago. On the way out, he was handed a Destiny’s Child sampler with “Say My Name” on it. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Da’Nard Mack, 30, left, and DarŽ Ajijo, 29, of Detroit, Michigan, both agreed that Destiny’s Child’s “No No No” and the song’s remix, was the hit that got them into BeyoncŽé during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif. on Saturday, April 21, 2018. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Da’Nard Mack, 30, left, and DarŽ Ajijo, 29, of Detroit, Michigan, both agreed that Destiny’s Child’s “No No No” and the song’s remix, was the hit that got them into BeyoncŽé during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif. on Saturday, April 21, 2018. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • Diana Do, 21, of Arlington, Texas, said “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” was the first song that got her into BeyoncéŽ during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif. on Saturday, April 21, 2018. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

    Diana Do, 21, of Arlington, Texas, said “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” was the first song that got her into BeyoncéŽ during the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif. on Saturday, April 21, 2018. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

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See our photos from Coachella 2018:

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Why Cal State Fullerton students are studying topics ranging from makeup to zombies

  • Pink anemone Anthopleura elegantissima defends its territory in intertidal zones from anemones it isn’t related to. (Thinkstock photo)

    Pink anemone Anthopleura elegantissima defends its territory in intertidal zones from anemones it isn’t related to. (Thinkstock photo)

  • Anthopleura elegantissima, also known as the aggregating anemone or clonal anemone, is the subject of a Cal State Fullerton study. (Thinkstock photo)

    Anthopleura elegantissima, also known as the aggregating anemone or clonal anemone, is the subject of a Cal State Fullerton study. (Thinkstock photo)

  • Fennel might produce biochemicals that persist in the soil, discouraging the growth of competing species, shows a study by Cal State Fullerton scientists. (Photo by Kyle Gunther)

    Fennel might produce biochemicals that persist in the soil, discouraging the growth of competing species, shows a study by Cal State Fullerton scientists. (Photo by Kyle Gunther)

  • Kyle Gunther looks at fennel, an invasive plant in California’s grasslands, not far from the Cal State Fullerton campus. (Photo by Melissa Hesson)

    Kyle Gunther looks at fennel, an invasive plant in California’s grasslands, not far from the Cal State Fullerton campus. (Photo by Melissa Hesson)

  • Fennel growing in Rancho Santa Margarita. The plant can cover thousands of acres, pushing out native flora. (Photo by Kyle Gunther)

    Fennel growing in Rancho Santa Margarita. The plant can cover thousands of acres, pushing out native flora. (Photo by Kyle Gunther)

  • Cal State Fullerton math students plugged various values into this equation to come up with the most cost-effective route a touring band could make through 32 cities.

    Cal State Fullerton math students plugged various values into this equation to come up with the most cost-effective route a touring band could make through 32 cities.

  • Erick Aguinaldo studies sexual objectification and gender socialization at Cal State Fullerton. (Photo courtesy of Erick Aguinaldo)

    Erick Aguinaldo studies sexual objectification and gender socialization at Cal State Fullerton. (Photo courtesy of Erick Aguinaldo)

  • Cal State Fullerton students used a zombie apocalypse to model the spread of a virus through a population. (Thinkstock photo)

    Cal State Fullerton students used a zombie apocalypse to model the spread of a virus through a population. (Thinkstock photo)

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Erick Aguinaldo is used to being asked why he’s into makeup.

The Cal State Fullerton psychology student chuckles and explains why he researches how perceptions of attractiveness and competence vary depending on how much makeup women wear.

Raised by a single mother, with two younger sisters, Aguinaldo said he was hyper aware of how women are treated differently. He remembers guys checking out his mom when they’d be out together. As he got older, he realized he was engaging in similar behavior.

“There was always a little piece of me that was like, that’s wrong. You have little sisters at home.”

Now Aguinaldo studies sexual objectification and gender socialization, hoping to boost knowledge of how discriminatory and even violent attitudes develop so they can be nipped in the bud at an earlier age.

“If we can get there when they’re boys instead of men,” he said, it’s a lot easier to change that behavior.

Aguinaldo was one of more than 110 Cal State Fullerton students, mostly from the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, who displayed their research in a poster presentation March 22. The event at Titan Student Union was part of a week of science and math activities that included tours of labs and a symposium on stem cell research.

Common research themes included climate change, using math to solve everyday problems and competitive strategies of survival.

In some cases, the students had completed their research and, under guidance from a professor, were preparing a paper to submit to a scientific journal. In other cases, research was ongoing and they projected what they thought it would show.

Here are some of the research projects presented:

Makeup perceptions

Working with Jessie Peissig, professor of psychology, Aguinaldo is collecting photos of 30-35 faces with no makeup, light makeup and heavy makeup. He will then bring in subjects to rate the faces on attractiveness and perceived competence.

Based on existing studies in the field, he expects to find that faces with light makeup are rated significantly higher than the others. But he’s most interested in whether those findings vary between subjects who believe makeup is just a social construct and those who believe it boosts confidence.

If someone says they don’t like makeup but rates made-up faces higher, he said, it could be further evidence that makeup enhances already attractive features.

Concert tour

When you think of a band touring the country on a swing through 32 cities, who thinks about math?

Melissa Wong and Eduardo Martinez do.

The students, under Roberto Soto, assistant professor of mathematics, used math to come up with a route that would maximize resources and minimize costs for such a tour.

Based on a 2017 study for a 15-city tour by researchers at the University of Miami, the CSUF study simulates a band traveling to and performing in each of 32 cities once, and compares the cost of the tour when computed manually vs. through a mathematical equation called a “relaxed cost function.” Other factors — such as maximizing weekend dates, building in rest periods and accounting for venue availability — complicated things.

The best route configured manually covered 10,042 miles. The best one configured by the equation covered 5,522 miles. (The cost analysis didn’t account for trashed hotel rooms.)

Zombie apocalypse

Math also comes in handy when dealing with zombies, especially zombies carrying a viral disease such as rabies.

Also under the mentorship of Soto, math students Roberto Hernandez, Oscar Rocha, Nicole Nguyen and Anthony Andrade used differential equations to model the spread of a disease such as rabies, which causes neurological abnormalities closely resembling zombie behavior. They wanted to find out, if rabies were to mutate so it infected extremely rapidly, how long before the entire global population became infected.

The results aren’t pretty.

The students’ model predicts that less than 1 percent of the population in a densely populated area would remain uninfected after 30 days. In less densely populated areas, the numbers flip, with less than 1 percent infected.  In the most dire scenario, the population would have about 10 days to act promptly.

“Ultimately,” concluded the students, “we noticed that our best chances at individual survival during a zombie apocalypse would be living secluded from large cities where the probability of coming into contact with a zombie would be much higher.”

Good to know.

Enemy anemones

Life can also get pretty ugly in the intertidal zone, even without zombies.

Grad student Alexis Barrera’s poster documented “Clone Wars,” the battle among anemones in the intertidal zone. It was one of several projects examining how climate change affects the natural world.

Working with Jennifer L. Burnaford, associate professor of biological science, Barrera studied the aggregating sea anemone, Anthopleura elegantissima, which reproduces by cloning itself. Each “family” of cloned anemones keeps to itself on the rocks of intertidal zones, maintaining a no man’s land between itself and neighboring families. If an unrelated anemone encroaches on its territory, the defending anemone wields its tentacles like weapons, depositing burning chemicals on the aggressor.

“It’s actually an intense battle for these little guys that you wouldn’t think is happening in the intertidal zone every time you go out there,” Barrera said. “It’s like clone A against clone B all the time.”

Barrera wanted to see how the anemones would defend themselves as their water warmed up. She put one group in warm water and one in cool, then pushed unrelated pairs of anemones together in each.

She hypothesized that the warmer water would decrease aggressive behavior because the creatures would spend so much time healing themselves. But her preliminary results show the aggressive behavior actually increased; more anemones encroached and more anemones fought back.

The longer they’re engaging in such behavior, however, the less time they’re spending on such things as feeding,  Barrera said. That could be a problem.

Grasslands battle

Other skirmishes appear to be taking place in California’s grasslands.

Kyle Gunther and Tilly Duong investigated how fennel plants manage to so effectively displace native plants from their original habitats, often taking over thousands of acres. Such invasive species are one of the major threats to native flora such as California poppies.

It could be that the fennel just removes nutrients from the soil, Gunther explained. Or it might be leaving something behind.

The students hypothesized the second option — that fennel is allelopathic, producing a biochemical that negatively affects the growth and survival of other organisms. They devised an experiment measuring how three native plants grew in various soils, including one in which fennel had grown and been removed. Even when the soil in which the fennel had grown was amended with fertilizer, though, the native species didn’t grow well.

Gunther presented the paper last summer at a conference in Oregon, where he stayed at an Airbnb. In the backyard? A huge fennel plant.

Gunther and Duong, working with Joel Abraham, associate professor of biological science, also teamed up on a study to see whether elevated carbon dioxide — which scientists consider a cause of climate change — might increase the dominance of non-native California grasses at the expense of native grasses. Defying their hypothesis, the elevated levels did not appear to impact the competitive outcome for either native or non-native grass.

Mortality model

Gabriel Martinez uses partial differential equations to analyze data about migration and mortality. It’s a far cry from his job just a few years ago designing pages for Excelsior, a Spanish-language newspaper that like the Register is part of the Southern California News Group.

“It kind of took a turn and now I’m here,” he says of the career that took him from graphic designer to aspiring physics student to mathematician. After all, the placement exam he took when he decided to return to college put him in pre-algebra. “I had a lot of things to learn,” he said.

Martinez credits the university’s Graduate Readiness and Access in Mathematics program for helping him get where he is today.

His research with team member Freddy Nungaray, under research adviser Laura Smith, assistant professor of mathematics, attempted to estimate the mortality rate for the U.S. population for various age groups. The students took a mathematical equation commonly used to model population and incorporated the effects of migration.

They discovered that birth and death data alone are insufficient to depict the nation’s population. Immigration and emigration must be included as well. Without them, the students came up with negative values, which meant people were coming back to life, “so we knew something was wrong with the model,” Martinez said.

Either that or a zombie apocalypse.

 

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Coach Create constructs your dream bag

Craftsmanship is at the core of the Coach legacy. Dating back to its founding in 1941, the brand created a sleek New York look that culminated in Coach’s most notable accessory: the handbag. Decades later, under the guise of Stuart Vevers, the fashion house returns to its artisan roots with the Coach Create experience.

While some shoppers may prefer to start the Coach Create design process on the web, the best way to try this customized service is in person and in the store.

At South Coast Plaza’s boutique, the Coach Create bar sets the stage for a luxurious fashion experience. A dreamy leather workshop carved out in the back of the store transports visitors to another time. Spools hang from wooden racks, large swaths of exquisitely dyed leather drape down the walls, hand-drawn pencil sketches hang decoratively on a pinboard next to a picture of a skilled craftsman who the two men working diligently behind the bar apprenticed with in New York.

The dream gets better once you discover that personalizing your bag goes beyond a hand-stamped monogram. Oh, they can do that, too. But, Coach’s supple leather hangtags are only the beginning. After selecting from a variety of letters, numbers and more than 100 custom Coach stamps – Sprightly palm trees, breezy sailboats, sweet ice cream cones and quirky throwbacks such as a cassette tape (a nod to anyone who remembers the ’90s) – clients can further customize their own unique look by adding colorful flourishes such as Western-inspired Prairie rivets, Coach’s signature Tea Roses and quirky Souvenir pins. The attitude-packed metal pins are shaped as emojis, lightning bolts and rockets. (Our fashion team thinks the Rexy dinosaur pin could be a future collector’s item.)

Coach embraced its past and remembered what had once made the brand iconic: Craftsmanship. Its roots helped revolutionized its image. Coach designed the leather goods displayed inside the store, but clients leave South Coast Plaza’s Coach Create bar feeling as if their precious piece of fashion was crafted just for them.

 

Coach, South Coast Plaza, (714) 979-1771 :: coach.com

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Trial begins for Fountain Valley man accused of kidnapping, mutilation of marijuana dispensary owner

By Paul Anderson
City News Service

SANTA ANA >> A 38-year-old man teamed up with two high school buddies to abduct a marijuana dispensary owner from his Newport Beach home and torture him into telling the trio where they erroneously believed he had stashed $1 million in profits in the Mojave Desert, and when that failed, they cut off his penis and threw it away, a prosecutor told jurors today.

Kyle Shirakawa Handley is charged with two counts of kidnapping for ransom, aggravated mayhem, and torture, all felonies, with a sentencing enhancement allegation for inflicting great bodily injury. If he is convicted, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Handley’s attorney, Robert Weinberg, deferred making an opening statement in the trial.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Heather Brown told the jury that three men wearing ski masks broke into the Newport Beach home on the peninsula and abducted Michael Simonian and his landlord, Mary Barnes, about 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 2, 2012.

The victims were bound with zip ties, gagged with duct tape and blindfolded, Brown said.

The trio spent about 20 minutes “ransacking the home” before stuffing the two victims into a cargo van, where Simonian was “repeatedly” shot with a Taser, beaten with a rubber pipe, burned — possibly with a blow torch — and kicked during a 90-minute drive to the desert, the prosecutor said.

Barnes smelled methamphetamine being smoked in the van, she said.

The trio affected what sounded like bogus Spanish accents as they demanded to know where Simonian buried $1 million in cash, Brown said. But the victim, who worked in a “heavy cash” business because banks won’t accept medical marijuana profits for deposit, had not buried any money in the desert, she said.

Ultimately, the kidnappers slashed off Simonian’s penis and threw it out the window, Brown said. They left behind a knife for Barnes, admonishing her to count to 100 before trying to find the knife so she could cut herself free, Brown said.

Barnes was found about a mile away, walking on Route 14, her hands still zip-tied, Brown said. A Kern County sheriff’s deputy spotted her and came to her aid.

When authorities returned to the off-road site where the two were abandoned, they found Simonian covered in bleach and badly beaten, Brown said. The bleach was used in an attempt to erase DNA evidence, she said.

The case was a whodunnit as Simonian had no idea who might want to rob or attack him, the prosecutor said. Police lucked out, however, when a neighbor spotted a suspicious looking pickup truck with a ladder that arrived at the Barnes residence, but no one seemed to be doing any work there, Brown said. She gave police a license plate and investigators learned it was registered to Handley, Brown said.

Handley grew up in Fresno with co-defendants Hossein Nayeri, 39, and Ryan Anthony Kevorkian, 38, Brown said. Nayeri made headlines last year when he escaped from the Orange County Jail.

Handley and Nayeri were marijuana growers and Simonian befriended Handley earlier in 2012, taking him on two trips to Las Vegas, Brown said. It was on those trips that Handley likely saw the dispensary owner spending $15,000 for posh hotel rooms and gambling up to $5,000 nightly, she said, and came up with the buried loot theory.

Investigators found a zip tie in Handley’s Fountain Valley residence that had Kevorkian’s DNA on it, Brown said. A blue latex glove found at his home had DNA on it matching Nayeri’s, she said.

On Sept. 26, 2012, Nayeri led police on a chase in Newport Beach and got away, but police recovered his vehicle, which had surveillance cameras and GPS trackers in it, Brown said. Videos in the Chevrolet Tahoe showed hours of surveillance of the residence where Simonian lived with Barnes and her boyfriend, Brown alleged.

Another break came when Nayeri’s wife, Courtney Shagerian, went to claim the Tahoe from the Newport Beach impound yard, the prosecutor said.

Shagerian cooperated with authorities and helped them trick Nayeri, who fled to Iran when Handley was arrested, into getting on a plane in the Czech Republic, where he was taken into custody, Brown said. Investigators wanted to lure Nayeri into the Czech Republic because, unlike Iran, it is easier to extradite a suspect from that country, Brown said.

The GPS trackers she helped obtain showed Simonian had made trips to the Mojave Desert, so they figured he buried his cash there, Brown said.

Police working undercover picked up a towel Kevorkian used at a health club and used the DNA on it to make a match to the zip tie at Handley’s home, she said.

“I expect you will be saddened and sickened” by the evidence in the case, Brown told the jury. “But, also, you’ll be thoroughly convinced of Kyle Handley’s guilt in this case.”

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Long Beach State pulls away to beat Pepperdine

MALIBU — Bryan Alberts hit a career-high six 3-pointers on the way to a 20-point night, as Long Beach State’s pace was a key in a 78-71 nonconference victory over Pepperdine at Firestone Fieldhouse.

Long Beach scored 16 points on the fast break and forced Pepperdine into 16 turnovers. The 49ers also did an excellent job sharing the ball, making 21 assists with just 12 turnovers.

A 10-3 run gave Long Beach a 35-26 lead with 2:41 left in the half, but Pepperdine (3-7) took advantage of a series of LBSU turnovers to pull even at 35-35 by halftime.

Out of the locker room, the defensive pressure that helped Long Beach (5-7) open its earlier lead proved effective again, and Alberts made four straight 3-pointers to extend the lead to nine again.

The Waves answered again, tying the score at 51 on a 3-pointer from Eric Cooper Jr., but a layup by Deishuan Booker started a 13-2 run for the 49ers and they never led by less than six the rest of the night.

Gabe Levin added 16 points with six rebounds and a pair of blocked shots for Long Beach. Alberts added four assists and two steals, while Booker finished with 12 points with six assists.

Long Beach next faces Eastern Michigan on Saturday, Dec. 16.

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Video: Friday Night Football Wrap-up for Week 8

OCVarsity’s Dan Albano and Steve Fryer have some fun while discussing what happened in the Orange County high school football scene on Friday, Oct. 20.

They discuss the upsets, the near-upsets, the fantastic performances that made it such a memorable night.

 

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