Teen Pulse

  • Teacher Feature: Gary Houfek

    Gary Houfek is more than just a history teacher. He has a humorous personality, boisterous laugh, knack for “speaking” to crows and a massive cheese hat to boot.
    Of all the teachers at Los Alamos High School, none has more craze and charisma than Houfek, which makes for an unforgettable character. He grew up in Wisconsin, the land of cheese and Green Bay Packers, back in the days when, according to him, “you earned an A!”
    Teen Pulse staff members Owen Bradbury-Aranda, Alexandra Hehlen, Kenzi Hunsaker and Lily Johnson put the teacher to the test and asked him a few questions about his life in high school.

    Where did you go to high school?
    “Appleton West High School, in Appleton, Wis. I graduated in 1971. My first year after high school I worked for the FBI in Washington, then I went to Madison and I was actually contemplating pre-law. But by the ’70s, I just wasn’t into it.

    What were you like in high school?
    “Believe it or not, I was pretty much a knucklehead. I was manager of the basketball team and we took state junior year.”

  • After almost 20 years, all eyes are still on Tupac

    “You said don’t go to war unless I got my money behind me. Aight, I got my money right here, now I want war.” — Tupac Shakur (1971-1996).
    Those familiar with late rapper Tupac Shakur’s music will recognize the quote as being from his final song, “Against All Odds” on the album, “Makaveli: The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory.”
    Throughout the years, Tupac has become known for more than just his music. He’s perhaps most synonymous with his prophetic final songs alluding to him being gunned down and killed.
    His vision became a reality on the Las Vegas Strip on Sept. 6, 1996, when he was shot several times. He had just attended a boxing match at the MGM Grand. He died seven days later on Sept. 13.
    To further fuel the rumors that the rapper staged his own murder, many of his albums were released posthumously.
    It was known that he was facing financial and legal issues at the time of his death, thus giving him a motive to make an exit. Seventeen years after Tupac’s death, his 1996 effort — and rap’s first double album, “All Eyez On Me,” still reigns as the best-selling rap album of all time.
    Following his release from prison in 1995, after an alleged sex abuse charge, all eyes were on Tupac.

  • Suicide is not the solution

    Why a teenager with their whole life ahead of them would commit suicide is a question that haunts communities all over the country — Los Alamos is no exception.
    And though, according to the New Mexico Department of Health, Los Alamos County has one of the lowest suicide rates in the state, residents still experience grief every time a young person decides to take his or her own life. 
    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide not only affects the family of the deceased, but it also affects the health of others in the community, causing shock, anger, guilt and depression. 
    There is no single cause of suicide, but the most common are depression, mental illness, alcohol, or drug abuse, a history of previous suicide attempts, a family history of suicides, or a stressful life event or loss.
    It’s the third-leading cause of death among 10- to 24-year-olds in the United States and the second cause of death among this young age group in New Mexico. 
    Boys are more likely than girls to die from suicide. In addition, females are more likely to report attempting suicide than boys. 

  • Cartoon by Tommy Stepan and Ethan Aulwes
  • Youth Activity Center Schedule 09-15-13

    Monday: Foam art
    Tuesday: Sunflower spitting contest
    Wednesday: Movies and munchies
    Thursday: Relay games
    Friday: Wii Friday

    The centers are open from 3-6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; and from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday. Memberships are free and open to all third through eighth graders. 

  • Help save some shelter pets

    The Los Alamos County Animal Shelter Friends of the Shelter is in serious need of foster homes for their overflow of animals.
    The Friends of the Shelter organization was founded as a no-kill shelter, but with their recent conditions, they have discussed having to euthanize animals.
    Here are some ways you could help:
    • Foster an animal if possible.
    • Notify pet lovers about fostering an animal.
    • Urge friends or family about fostering a animal or volunteering at the shelter.
    • Walk a Friends of the Shelter animal and think about fostering or adopting 

  • Explaining the strike on Syria

    With all the talk about strikes against Syria flooding the news airwaves, it’s only natural that one would be curious about what’s going on. To help clear the air, Katey Green and Angela Workman came up with a series of questions and answers about Syria.

    Q: What’s happening in Syria?
    A: Syria is at civil war right now and the use of chemical weapons (gases and toxins that are illegal throughout the world) has been proven to be in use.

    Q: Why is the USA getting involved in this?
    A: Syria called for an intervention (a plea for protection to prevent another chemical attack)
    Q: What are some of the other nations doing about this?
    A: France, Great Britain, and Russia have all stepped in and are trying to solve this crisis, but Bashar al-Assad (the president of Syria) has threatened that anyone who steps in will “pay a steep price”

    Q: What chemical weapon is in use?
    A: Sarin (a man made chemical that is considered the most toxic and powerful of its kind. It kills quickly by damaging the lungs and nervous system.)

    Q: How many people have been killed by this gas?
    A: 1,400 people, 400 of those being children

  • Word on the Street 09-15-13

    Teen Pulse staff members asked LAMS students, “Who’s your favorite football team?”

  • Meet the 'Beak' Staff

    Editor’s note: As part of a collaborative effort between the Teen Pulse staff and the Los Alamos Middle School ‘Beak’ staff, LAMS journalism students in Sherri Bublitz’s class will contribute material for the Teen Pulse page every other week.

  • Word on the Street 09-08-13

    Teen Pulse staff member Owen Bradbury Aranda asked students, “How do you feel about ‘Breaking Bad’ coming to an end?”