San Marcos High School ~ Santa Barbara, CA

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Happy Happenings

Kaitlyn Caldow
Butterflies in the Ellwood Perserve in Goleta.

With so much negativity and hardship in the world right now, it is important to focus on the happy things too, and remember that good things are going on. That is what this column is all about, focusing on the positive. 🙂

“I think it’s important to have a positive outlook on the world and I think if you just focus specifically on negative things it’s harder to push towards positive things. If you think about changes that are happening for the better and focus on that, it’s easier to push towards more positive things,” said senior Ryken Hammond.


Improvements to the Goleta Monarch Butterfly Grove – Goleta


The Goleta City Council approved the Monarch Butterfly Habitat Management Phase 1 Implementation Plan on October 17. The plan is funded by the State Coastal Conservancy, as well as Cal Fire, who have contributed a total of $5.6 million to restoring the Ellwood butterfly grove. 

“Decisive action to restore critically important habitat for the western monarch butterfly is necessary at Ellwood,” said George Thomson, Goleta Parks and Open Space Manager, to Serena Guntez NoozHawk reporter.

The goal of the project is to replant over 1,200 eucalyptus and native trees, as well as to plant more than 100,000 native plants that will provide an increase in nectar sources for monarchs. The council also wants to remove thousands of dead eucalyptus trees and install a new irrigation system. They hope to add a footbridge to ensure that everyone has equal access to the butterfly grove. They also want to increase signage, improve viewing areas, and add more emergency access points. 

The monarch butterfly population has decreased by over 95% in the past years. The Ellwood overwintering site has been ranked fourth out of hundreds of sites in priority to conserve. With time, the Goleta City Council hopes to restore the monarch population to what it once was. 


Grave Disability Bill – California


On Tuesday, October 10, 2023 California Governor Gavin Newsom signed off on the Grave Disability Bill. The design of the bill is to help individuals suffering with mental health as well as to help the increasing number of homeless individuals in California. There are currently over 171,000 homeless people in California, 82% of which have reported a serious mental health condition according to CNN. The bill expanded the definition of “gravely disabled” in order to provide support to people who are unable to help themselves either due to an underlying mental health problem, or abusive drug and alcohol use.

“We are working to ensure no one falls through the cracks, and that people get the help they need and the respect they deserve,” said Governor Newsom to CNN. 

 The bill allows courts to appoint another individual to make legal decisions regarding medical treatment for an individual who might otherwise make inappropriate choices for themselves. The bill is designed to help individuals stay out of prison. 70% of incarcerated people were at one point homeless and 43% have struggled with mental health. 

As stated by the American Psychiatric Disorder, “Experiencing incarceration is associated with subsequent depression and bipolar disorder.” 

The intention of this bill is to provide more people with the help they need so that they do not end up on the streets or behind bars. 


Rockefeller Christmas Tree – New York


This year’s tree has been chosen! It weighs 12 tons and is approximately 80 feet tall. Chosen from Vestal, New York, it will arrive at Center Plaza on November 11. The annual tree lighting ceremony is scheduled for November 28, with talk show host Kelly Clarkson hosting a two hour special for the lighting. The lighting ceremony dates back to 1933, but the first tree was put up in 1931.  Keeping with tradition, the tree is a Norway Spruce, chosen for its perfect cone shape. 


AI Support in Cancer Research – UK


 Two weeks ago in the United Kingdom, AI was able to determine the aggressiveness of certain types of cancer quicker than a biopsy.  Researchers at the Royal Marsden Foundation Trust as well as the Institute of Cancer Research England were able to determine the aggressiveness of sarcoma tumors on CT scans.  

“This kind of technology has the potential to transform the lives of people with sarcoma – enabling personalized treatment plans tailored to the specific biology of their cancer,” said Dr. Paul Huang, group leader in molecular and systems oncology at the ICR, to Robin Eveleigh.

The AI is able to analyze CT scans for results that are twice as accurate as a standard biopsy report. This technology is potentially lifesaving in identifying high-risk patients. Research continues to be done to see if this technology can be applied to other cancer variations. 

Thanks for reading!

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About the Contributor
Kaitlyn Caldow
Kaitlyn Caldow, Staff Writer
Kaitlyn is in 12th grade at San Marcos High School. This is her first year as a staff writer on the Kings Page. She enjoys running, reading, travel and going to the beach. Her favorite school subjects are English and History. She loves spending time with her friends.
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