Veterans Day

By: Wanish Tortes-Mcginnis

 People still to this day are confused about the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance of people who fought and have fallen in wars; we honor and mourn for their courageous acts and bravery for this country. Wars that can be tied to Memorial Day are World War 1, World War 2, Vietnam, Korea, and the Afghanistan and Iraqi Wars.

 Veterans Day was not always called Veterans Day.  On November 11, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the day as Armistice Day, in honor of the anniversary of the surrender of Germany the year before. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the Germans came to an armistice with the Allied Powers, thus effectively ending the war. In 1954 the holiday changed from Armistice Day to Veterans Day because America had already been in two wars, World War 2 and Korea. Instead of just honoring veterans of World War 1, the U.S Congress decided to honor veterans of all wars.  

Here at Pleasanton High School, there are at least three veterans who have served and are now teaching in the classroom. First, Chief Danny Pitts, who teaches law, served in the United States Army for 21 years and retired as a Sergeant First Class.  Mr. Steve Wusterbarth served in the United States Army Reserves as a PFC Specialist for two years. COL(Ret) Chris Wynder Chris Wynder served 27 years in the United States Army and retired as a Colonel. Finally, COL(Ret) Elvin J. Nuells served in the Army for 30 years as a Command Sergeant Major. Thank you to you all and any others that were missed for your service and the things you sacrificed so that we could be free. 

In closing, it is hoped that by knowing a little more about Veteran’s Day, perhaps we can all act a little kinder, and smile and thank a Veteran when you see them in a store, at a game, or just enjoying the sunshine. 

Socially-distanced Thanksgiving

By: Libby Sanchez

Thanksgiving is a time when families travel long distances to be with their loved ones and celebrate together. It’s a day full of good times and usually ends with a turkey dinner and whatever sporting event is being broadcasted. Unfortunately, under the strict circumstances of Covid-19, this year traveling increases the risk of getting infected and spreading the virus to your loved ones. Although it may be hard to just stay home this year with immediate family, it may be the best idea. 

Staying home shouldn’t prevent you from having a great time with your family and doing yearly traditions. Try preparing annual recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of catching Covid-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve direct contact with others. Maybe consider having a virtual dinner and sharing your recipes and visiting with the rest of your family that way.

Although, it’s understandable to still attend a large family dinner and celebrate like you do every year. If this is the route you plan on taking, make sure you and your family take the proper precautions. Bring along hand sanitizer and apply before and after touching someone, that way you and the person you’ve touched are less likely to be spreading germs. It’s also highly suggested to still be wearing a mask when not 6-feet apart, especially if you have family who travels from far places. This helps prevent your germs from spreading onto loved ones. Another great idea is to wipe down places you’ve sat at, that way germs are less likely to be passed onto clothes. 

Even though holidays aren’t the same this year because of the virus, it’s still important that everyone has a great time. That being said, we also need to make sure that we’re doing that in the safest way possible. Have a safe break! 

Love and Monsters: A Post-Apocalyptic (Almost) Romance

By: Kori Miller


With a year as chaotic as this one has been, it’s not exactly easy to find a feel-good film that’ll take you somewhere new. Between the seasonal horrors, aimless cartoons, and senseless action films, where’s the originality? Fortunately, director Michael Matthews decided to break the trends and give us a well-deserved post-apocalyptic quest film. With Dylan O’Brien and Michael Rooker, Love and Monsters might be what you’re looking for.

Love and Monsters follows a burned-out colony dweller, Joel, seven years after the monsterpocalypse took over the world and forced humanity underground. His life has been less than exciting since he gave up everything he once loved for safety. That is until he contacts his highschool sweetheart’s colony over the radio and falls for her all over again. Desperate to rekindle the flame he lost in his teen years, Joel ventures on to the surface with a sole mission: find Aimee. 

Films like these have a very important responsibility; they have to build a convincing universe for our characters to explore. The monsters in this movie are spectacular, each extremely unique and with their own strengths and weaknesses. They blend seamlessly into the world around them. The characters, albeit a bit campy, all have unique motivations and personalities. O’Brien doesn’t hit every time, but his emotional scenes have you hurting for the character in ways you wouldn’t expect.

Other than being good fun for two hours, there’s not a whole lot of comprehensive substance to Love and Monsters. We’re led to believe it’s a romantic quest, but it ends up being less than that. It’s bittersweet with minimal payoff. The universe and its diverse creatures end up being more interesting than the plot itself, reminiscent of similar films like Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them from 2016. It’s a perfect example of filmmakers who put their hearts in the wrong places, making the movie in itself an identity crisis on the big screen.

If you want a quick getaway from the painstakingly boring reality we live in, Love and Monsters is the perfect way to elicit a smile. It’s cute, heartfelt, and genuine when it needs to be. However, if you want something challenging, I’d politely redirect you to another film.

Love and Monsters currently holds a rating of 90% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7/10 on IMDB.

History and Origins of Thanksgiving

By: Kiarra Sanchez

Native Americans and Pilgrims first Thanksgiving.

Many people know the origins of Thanksgiving. However, it has been slightly forgotten due to the media industry putting their own twist on it. Here is the true history of this well known holiday:

The American concept of Thanksgiving was developed in the colonies of New England. Its roots can be traced back to the other side of the Atlantic as well. Both the pilgrims who came over on the Mayflower and the Puritans who arrived soon after brought with them a tradition of providential holidays—days of fasting during difficult or pivotal moments and days of feasting and celebration to thank God in times of plenty.

In September 1620, a small ship called the Mayflower left Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers—a group of religious separatists seeking a new home where they could practice their faith and others drawn in by the promise of prosperity and land in the New World. After an awful and uncomfortable crossing that lasted 66 days, they dropped anchor near the tip of Cape Cod, far north of their intended destination at the mouth of the Hudson River. One month later, the Mayflower crossed Massachusetts Bay, where the Pilgrims began their work of establishing a village at Plymouth. Through the first brutal winter, most pilgrims stayed on the ship, where they suffered from exposure from the elements and contagious diseases.

In March, the remaining settlers moved to land, where they met an Abenaki Native American who greeted them in English. He came with another native american, Squanto, who was sold into slavery. He taught the pilgrims how to catch fish, cultivate corn, extract tree sap, and eventually helped forge an alliance with the local tribe Wampanoag.

In November of 1621, the Pilgrims’ first corn harvest proved successful. Governor William Bradford called for a celebratory feast and invited a group of the fledgling colony’s Native American allies, including the Wampanoag chief Massasoit. Now remembered as America’s “first Thanksgiving”.

2020 Presidential Election

By: Kori Miller

If 2020 wasn’t hectic enough, it’s election year in the United States. Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, ran for his second term this year as the Republican candidate. He ran against former Vice President and Senator Joe Biden, who ran as the Democratic candidate. Biden’s name is not one that is unfamiliar in politics; he has served a total of 44 years in our government. Trump, on the other hand, served his first four years in politics as the leader of our country after a career in business and as a television personality. The two have faced off against one another in debates and interviews, but what it really comes down to is the votes.

As of November 17th, Joe Biden has taken the popular vote with 79,046,356 votes, Donald Trump following with 73,320,694. The electoral college currently sits at 290 votes for Biden as opposed to 232 for President Trump. As of today, Georgia has yet to submit its official ballot counts. 

Suspicion of voter fraud due to the increased use of mail-in ballots has called for multiple recounts and lawsuits. While Georgia has currently issued a recount to ensure accuracy, Trump’s team has filed lawsuits against Michigan and Pennsylvania to stop certifying their election results until later this month to give more time for the campaign to handle its legal challenges prior to the federal deadline of December 8th. Because of this, we may not have confirmed or accurate results until much later into the month. 

As it currently stands, Joe Biden is projected to be the US president-elect, and he and Kamala Harris are set to take office on January 20, 2021. Biden has expressed big plans for his term, including a stimulus proposal, a reversal of Trump’s immigration policies, lowering the Medicare eligibility age, a full-fledged COVID-19 team & plan, rejoining the Paris agreement, and many more.  

True Crime Vol. XVI: The Byron David Smith Killings

By: Victoria Chavez 

17-year-old Nicholas Brady Schaeffel and 18-year-old Haile Kifer.

On October 3, 1789, George Washington issued his Thanksgiving proclamation, designating for “the People of the United States a day of public thanks-giving” to be held on “Thursday the 26th day of November,” Since then, Americans have celebrated every Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday in November. Most citizens spend the day eating and enjoying the company of their loved ones, but for the families of two Little Fall teens, their day was spent in disbelief and sadness. 

The Byron David Smith killings occurred on Thanksgiving Day of 2012, when Haile Kifer, 18,  and Nick Brady, 17, broke into the home of Bryon Smith, 64, in Little Falls, Minnesota. Smith was retired from the U.S. State Department, was never married, and had always lived alone. Prior to the murders of the teens, Smith’s home had been burglarized at least half a dozen times over the last few months. He had only reported one previous burglary to the police, and investigators only found evidence of two previous burglaries. These burglaries sparked anxiety in Smith and led him to begin wearing a holster with a loaded gun in his home, as well as stashing water bottles and granola bars in the basement. 

On November 22, 2012, Smith drove his vehicle down the road, parking it in front of a neighbor’s home. Later that day, Kifer and Brady broke into Smith’s home. Video surveillance captured the teens looking around the property prior to the break-in. From Smith’s own account he told police when he saw Kifer, who he suspected was responsible for the burglaries, driving towards his home, Smith turned on a recording device he owned. When he returned to his home, Smith removed the lightbulbs from the ceiling lights and positioned himself in a chair that was obscured from view. He then waited 12 minutes until he heard Nick Brady break into his basement. Smith shot Brady twice on the stairs, and once in the head after he fell to the bottom of the stairs. Smith then made taunting remarks to Brady’s body, wrapped it in a tarp and dragged him into another room. 

Smith then went upstairs, and 10–15 minutes later, he ran back down into the basement, reloaded his weapon and took up his previous position in the obscured chair. Minutes later, Kifer entered the home and could be heard calling her cousin’s name. As she made her way down the stairs, Smith shot her. She fell down the stairs and Smith can be heard on the recording saying “Oh, sorry about that” after his gun jams, followed by Kifer saying “Oh, my God” very quickly; Smith shoots her again, multiple times in the torso, in the midst of which she screams “Oh, my god!” He repeatedly called her derogatory names and then dragged her into the other room, tossing her body on top of her cousin’s, and shot her one final time under the chin, killing her. Audio and video of the events were recorded by Smith’s security system.  The deaths were not immediately reported to police. Smith waited until the next day to notify police of the shootings, claiming he “didn’t want to bother the police on Thanksgiving.”

 This case sparked the debate about the Castle Doctrine. Legal analysts have stated that the initial shootings most likely would have been justified under Minnesota’s laws, but that the extra shots were not justified once any threat had been removed. A number of aspects of the case were noted by police as being inconsistent with self-defense. Smith had moved his truck earlier in the day, claiming he had done so in order to clean his garage. Prosecutors argued at his trial that it was an attempt to make the house look abandoned in order to lure the burglars into his home. In addition to his home surveillance system, Smith also recorded at least 6 hours of audio on a digital recorder in the basement of the residence.  Prior to the break-in, he is heard saying “In your left eye.” and “I realize I don’t have an appointment but I would like to see one of the lawyers here.” These comments raised suspicion due to the fact that Kifer was shot in the left eye and he later did request a lawyer. On April 29, 2014, Smith was found guilty on two counts of first-degree murder with premeditation and on two counts of second-degree murder after three hours of jury deliberations.

Many still defend Byron Smith and believe it was his right to shoot the trespassers. Others think justice was served to a cold hearted man that did not see past his evil. One thing is for sure though, two young souls were lost that day, and with them went the love and joy of those who got the chance to know them. 

Poll of the Month – November

Is The Nightmare Before Christmas a Christmas or Halloween movie?

By: Dillon Myers

Ever since its release in 1993, people have been debating whether Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is a jolly Halloween movie or a spooky Christmas movie. Here at PHS, we got curious as to what you feel on the matter and decided to ask. At first, Halloween weighed heavier than Christmas, but as time went by it began to even out. The results are shown below:

We would also love to thank all the Veterans for their great service to our country!

Sweet Treat

By: Eileen Jaksik 

It’s that time of the year again, time to get out your recipes and bake some goodies. There are lots of sweet treats you can make for your Thanksgiving dinner. I decided to share these yummy Oreo cookies that look like turkeys with you. Here are the ingredients so you can go ahead and get started… 


  • Package of original Oreo cookies
  • Package of Whoppers chocolate malt balls 
  • Package of Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups 
  • Package of Candy Corn. 
  • Mini eye candies
  • Royal Icing in colors, tan, white, yellow, orange, and red 


Use picture for reference 

  • For the tail of the turkey, separate the Oreo in two pieces in order to make the tail feathers (candy corn) stay up in the cookie filling. 
  • Use the white Royal Icing as “glue” and put a thick line on the bottom of the separated Oreo cookie. 
  • Begin to put the Candy Corn in the top of the separated oreo with the white piece of the Candy Corn in the oreo filling. 
  • Lay the top half of the Oreo cookie with the Candy Corn on top of the second Oreo.
  • cookie, use more white icing as “glue” if needed. Let dry. 
  • Take out the Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, cut about ¼ of the peanut butter cup to make it lay flat on the oreo. 
  • Use the tan icing as “glue” to stick the Reese Peanut Butter Cup to the oreo Let dry. 
  • Check the Oreo cookie with the Candy Corn and make sure it is dry, if dry then use the tan icing as “glue to stick the whopper to the back oreo.  
  • Add the mini candy eyes to the head (the whooper) of the turkey, then using the orange icing add a small nose. let the nose dry for about 30 seconds. When the nose is dry add the red waddle with the red icing. Allow time for this to dry also about 30 seconds.
  • Add two Candy Corn facing down as arms, use icing as “glue”. Let dry. 
  • Use yellow icing to draw out the feet on the turkey on the base oreo. 
  • Let it dry for 1 hour.

Poem of the Month


“When Autumn leaves

Are falling

And  Thanksgiving time

Is near

It warms the heart 

To think all of those 

Who mean so much 

All year.

Happy Thanksgiving.”

By: Unknown

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Hope y’all are going to have fun and relax with the Thanksgiving Break coming up. I hope y’all are being safe when y’all see your grandparents or any other family members for Thanksgiving. I chose this poem because I want you guys to remember that Thanksgiving is about being with the ones you love.


The Passionate Poet



By: Ricky Fabrow

Aries: You shall either travel excessively or have some business with people who are farther away from your home. You might soon enter a period of financial and professional growth. It would also be a very good time to reassess your investments. Any Home Renovation or construction related projects will be high on your agenda.

Taurus: This December promises a lot of success and joy. Whatever job you do your income and efficiency will show great improvement and with romance in the air your beloved will seek commitment. Avoid agreeing so you can be a standing guaranteed for others, it would lead to embarrassment and legal problems. Matters relating to property will take shape during the month´s end and would prove to be positive. 

Gemini: A mysterious force of energy will help you in your need for many important projects without the assistance of anyone. You shall make more money than usual but also expected. There will be very distant travel overseas which will bring joy and happiness with a chance to reunite with an old relative or friend. Be careful with your partners or best friends.

Cancer: This December there will be very little time for socializing however you will enjoy the time you do spend with your family. You will have attracted many people with your creative ideas and will be known this month.

Leo: It is very likely that your income shall increase greatly this month from many things. The people you meet will inspire you to work harder and better. The health of near relatives and friends might cause some worry but will ultimately be nothing.

Virgo: You will take more actions for yourself rather than others and work far harder than before. You might have to travel a distance to find the true cause of your actions and purpose. Students this year will be very successful in their work.

Libra: You’ll be needing lots of comfort this month as you’ll go through an unfortunate series of events that will leave you feeling tired and sad, but a good friend by your side will always help the situation.

Scorpio: If you work somewhere, that place shall change during your time there not knowing if it will be good or bad until it is done, but in the end it will be much better for you. It would be very wise to save up for the month because something unexpected will happen that’ll cost you greatly.

Sagittarius: This December there shall be new opportunities from very unexpected moments. You will find success in many things as well as fairness in most things you will do. It is best to not look at any side of a situation but consider others viewpoints before deciding.

Capricorn: People will look at you for inspiration and make certain decisions. Your partners and colleagues will respect you greatly for carrying certain problems on your back for the team. There will be a jealous friend around so watch out.

Aquarius: There might be some accidental communication problems with friends. Be sure to always double check your work as you will have more wrong than you think. You will get great support from friends and family for any situation.

Pisces: You will enjoy meeting new people and visiting many places. You will be looked up upon the young so be careful with what you do and always try to be inspirational. You will get lots and lots of love.

Halloween Movie Recommendations

By: Kori Miller

One of the best elements of the spooky season is its movies. Many timeless horror movies draw inspiration or a setting from Halloween, making for some timeless classics to watch over and over again. So this October, I’m going to put some of my all-time favorites into the spotlight. I tried to primarily include movies you probably haven’t seen, so enjoy!

Hereditary (2018, R) – Starting the list off strong is a psychological folk-horror that’ll disturb you long after the credits have rolled. Hereditary is an Ari Aster film that follows the estranged happenings that come across the Grahams after their matriarch passes away. Things seem to keep getting worse for the family, and I guarantee you’ll never be able to predict the ending. 10/10

Little Shop Of Horrors (1986, PG-13) – If horror isn’t quite your style, Little Shop Of Horrors might be. It’s a dark comedy musical about a man-eating plant that also happens to be an amazing singer. We follow Seymour, an unfortunate employee at a floral shop after he comes across a fly-trap looking plant with a taste for human flesh. Unsure of what to do, he entertains it… But how long exactly can that go on? 8/10

The Fly (1986, R) – Sometimes all you need to complete your Halloween night is a bit of good ol’ fashioned body horror. The Fly is a film about science, teleportation and… A human fly hybrid. Yeah, it’s pretty gross. 8/10

Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988, PG-13) – The title for this one is kind of self-explanatory. Killer Klowns from Outer Space is a classic movie about teenagers being terrorized by, you guessed it, killer clowns from outer space. It’s quirky, bizarre, bordering abstract, and a lot of fun to watch with friends. 6/10

Raw (2016, R) – This French movie isn’t exactly for the weak-stomached. A vegetarian girl entering veterinary school partakes in her first bite of flesh as a part of the school’s initiation and immediately undergoes a strange transformation in cravings. She simply cannot get enough meat, no matter where it comes from… including humans. 9/10

What We Do in the Shadows (2014, R) – Ending on a lighter note, What We Do in the Shadows is a mockumentary-style comedy written by and starring Taika Waititi. It follows a group of vampires from various time periods living together in a flat in New Zealand, and they don’t exactly get along. Our characters spend a majority of the runtime arguing about the dishes or whose turn it is to take out the trash. It’s an ironic setting for immortal killing machines and a perfect spooky comedy. 10/10 

Well, those are the handful of films I’ve selected as my go-to’s for the season. I hope you find something you’ll love this fright night, and please remember to stay in and stay safe! Happy Halloween!

Honorable Mentions: Edward Scissorhands (1990, PG-13), Gremlins (1984, PG), Midsommar (2019, R), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007, R), Heathers (1988, R).

True Crime Vol. XV: The Murder of Peter Fabiano

By: Victoria Chavez 

Smoke Bomb Jack-O’-Lantern

The Crime 

Joan Rabel and Goldyne Pizer sat quietly parked outside a home located in Sun Valley. The pair waited in silence as they watched the lights go out. It was time to strike. 

Rabel whispered under her breath to Goldyn, “Alright, do it” Goldyn then exited the car  dressed in jeans, a khaki coat, red gloves, and heavy makeup that she covered up with a domino mask. She walked directly to the home and stood there for a few seconds before ringing the doorbell. 

Peter Fabiano awoken when the doorbell rang. He looked at the clock and questioned why someone would be here at this time of night. As he walked down the stairs it occurred to him that it might be a late trick-or-treater, so he grabbed the bowl of candy on the table and opened the door. He looked at the mysterious black figure and asked, “It’s a little late for this, isn’t it?” 

“No,” was the last word Peter Fabiano ever heard as Pizer lifted a brown paper bag and shot Fabiano. Pizer didn’t wait to see if Peter was dead, or if anyone had seen her. She ran back to the car where Rabel was waiting. 

As Pizer got in, Rabel leaned over and kissed her, saying, “Thank you.” The two women left and quickly burned the clothes they were wearing in case they contained any trace evidence. Afterwards, they returned the getaway car to the friend they had borrowed from earlier that day. When the two women had completed their mission, Rabel said to Pizer. “Forget you ever knew me.” Then they went their separate ways.

The next day Pizer realized she still had the gun, so she rented a locker at a Downtown LA department store and kept it there where she thought it would be safest. 

The Investigation 

The loud boom woke his sleeping wife, Betty Fabiano, she quickly ran downstairs only to find her husband barely breathing.

Betty ran to her police officer neighbour’s home, who called in the Valley police department. Peter was taken to Sun Valley hospital, where he was pronounced dead from the gunshot to his chest. 

It took a few days for Betty to compose herself but soon she did and was able to speak with the police. She told them that she heard two voices coming from downstairs, a man, and someone that sounded like a man pretending to be a woman.

Police initial thought was that this was the work of a gang. It was not uncommon for a random gang killing to occur during those hours of the night, although they didn’t think Peter Fabiano had relations with any gangs since he was just an owner of a successful salon. 

When questioned about who would want to harm Mr. Fabiano, Betty knew exactly who was responsible. She told police she believed it was an “ex-friend” Joan Rabel.

After weeks of no leads and a cold trail, law enforcement finally caught a break when a gun had been found in a locker at a department store. A ballistics test confirmed a match to the gun found to the bullet fired into Peter Fabiano. The police soon learned that this gun belonged to Goldyne Pizer. 

On November 12, Pizer was arrested in connection to Peter Fabiano’s death.  In the interrogation room, she confessed to everything, telling police that it was all Rabel’s idea. Rabel had coerced her into killing Peter; she didn’t even know the man. They then interrogated Rabel, but she refused to tell the truth and insisted that she knew nothing about the crime. The police got a warrant after hours of interviewing her and getting nowhere. 

The murder weapon, she said, had been bought with money Rabel had given her. Pizer told how they had been planning the murder for weeks. The two of them had driven by Fabiano’s home before, and Rabel had pointed out Peter to her, so she would recognize him when the time came. 

What was The Reasoning Behind The Murder?

Peter and Betty Fabiano met in the late 1940’s while living in New York. Peter left the Marines and began trucking when he first laid eyes on Betty, a new divorcee with two kids. They quickly married soon after. 

The four of them then moved to LA and opened up two beauty salons; at one of these salons Joan Rabel was hired. This is how she came into the picture. 

As the business began to grow, Betty and Peter’s marriage fell apart. It soon was a loveless marriage. This turmoil caused Betty to move into Rabel’s home. 

When they moved in together people started to make note of the close relationship of the two girls; but this was the 50s, so no one would have thought the two were a couple. 

Word eventually got around to Peter which turned out to be enough fuel to motivate him to fix his marriage. Betty vowed that she would never see Rabel again. 

Soon after Betty went back to Peter, Rabel realized that her girlfriend was serious about fixing her marriage. Soon after she had lost Betty, Rabel found Pizer and started telling her how horrible of a man Peter Fabiano was and that he had to die.

The Trials 

Before their trial started in December, both women had to meet with three psychiatrists. The courts seemed to believe that due to their relationship with each other, the trials could be corrupt. Pizer was very open with the psychiatrist as she had been with the police. She was quoted saying, “I had no motive, personally. Whatever motive I had was to please Joan. I was always easily influenced. I have been impressionable and always trusting.” Rabel on the other hand never spoke a word and declined to testify. 

Pizer got on the stand and told the events of what happened that night. Rabel refused to tell the truth, but was seen smiling when Pizer was giving her tearful testimony. Both women were charged with first-degree murder, but through a plea deal, it was reduced to second-degree murder. Each woman was sentenced to 5 years to life in prison though they were eventually released. Afterwards, Rabel and Pizer changed their names and were never heard of again. A short crime for the cold murder of an innocent man. 

Poll of the Month

By: Dillon Myers

‘Tis that time of the season once again, where candy flows from the stores to baskets to your mouth. Candy corn was originally invented in the 1880s by George Renninger, who worked for Wunderlee Candy Company at the time. However, it was the Jelly Belly Company who popularized the treat, naming it “chicken feed” in 1898. This absurd title was due to society’s belief that corn was a food not for humans, but for chickens’ consumption. Here at PHS, we conducted a survey to see what people like you thought about candy corn. The results are below:

Fun Fact: October 30th, the day before Halloween, was dubbed National Candy Corn Day.

Sweet Treats

By: Ricky Fabrow

This is the season to get spooky and dress up as a random fictional character just to get some free candy. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t make your own spooky treats instead of eating pre-made ones, this one’s all about the bats so let’s begin, shall we? So, first here’s what you’ll need.


  • 15 Double Stuf Oreos
  • 1/2 cup chocolate wafers
  • 20 candy eyeballs


  1. Take 5 of the Oreos and carefully cut in half. Separate the pieces and scrape off the filling. Each Oreo will give you 4 “bat wings.” Take 2 of the Oreo pieces and insert into the cream filling of an Oreo then press down on the Oreo to help it stay in place.
  2. Add the chocolate wafers to a microwave-safe bowl and melt about 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.
  3. Using a spoon, scoop a little of the melted chocolate on top of the Oreo. Then use the back of the spoon to evenly spread the melted chocolate over it.
  4. Gently press 2 candy eyes on the Oreo to resemble the bat eyes. Repeat until all the Oreo tops are covered with the chocolate and the candy eyes have been added. Place in the fridge or freezer until the chocolate is set.
  5. Keep stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

The batch of oreo cookies that could be made

And after that, Bam! You’ll be able to enjoy your bat oreo cookies in no time. A very simple, quick and delicious treat to enjoy either by yourself or perhaps even with friends.

Poem of the Month

“It is the night when

Skeletons and goblins can be seen

It is the night when

The little girl in white has eyes that are green

It is the night when

Frankenstein has risen from the dead

It is the night when

Ghost that were trapped now have fled

It is the night when

The vampires hunt for fresh blood

To satisfy their thirst

Beware people around the world

Because today is October 31st”

By: Unknown

Happy Halloween everybody! I hope you are being safe on this spooky holiday. Be sure to wear your mask and stay six feet away from other people when you go trick or treating. This poem was chosen because it’s Halloween season and I wanted to incorporate different costumes.


The Passionate Poet


By: Adelena Vera 

Aries (Mar. 21-Apr. 19)- Are you looking forward to improved communication and fewer technological glitches as Mercury goes into retrograde on November 3? If this backwards transit has negatively affected one or more of the relationships in your life in the last few weeks, you can look forward to them getting back on track soon. The mighty planet Mars, also goes direct while in your fiery sign on the thirteenth, giving you the strength and stamina to not only compete with the best but to win! Your courage and confidence are at all-time high levels, ensuring that no matter what you try, you can basically will yourself not to fail. The brilliant sun enters fun-loving fellow fire sign Sagittarius on the twenty-first, lighting up your world with the excitement you’ve been trying to capture in unhealthy ways lately. You still might be in the mood for risky behavior, but the Archer helps you opt more for adrenaline-producing activities like cliff diving rather than eating or drinking to excess.

Taurus (Apr. 20-May 20)- Your lovely home planet Venus squares Jupiter, the planet of destiny on the sixteenth, which could make you question whether something (or someone) was truly meant to be. The more you second-guess yourself, Taurus, the more the magic fades. Logic has less of a place here than sheer belief. Positive thinking makes all the difference. Love gets complicated when Venus is paired with Scorpio, also starting on the twenty-first. Venus isn’t always comfortable in Scorpio’s secretive world, which could cause you to cover up things you’re usually much more open about. A financial situation could worsen if you aren’t willing to share the details, which could lead to money or legal problems down the line. The sun partners with the exciting fire sign Sagittarius for a month starting on November 21, at which point you might turn into an adrenaline junkie. For a typical Taurus who usually likes to play it safe, this will be a huge departure. Don’t blame loved ones who question your actions now. They only have your best interests at heart.

Gemini (May 21-Jun. 20)- you can’t wait for mercury to come out of retrograde and start communicating again. It’s nice to say everything that’s on your mind. Mercury then forms a quick square to serious Saturn in Capricorn on the sixth, bringing harsh opinions and rigid thinking that you aren’t used to dealing with. You’re one of the zodiac’s best communicators, and while you’ll try to keep your debates as open-minded as possible, you can expect to bump up against some pretty narrow-minded people now. The thirtieth brings a special full moon and lunar eclipse in your sign that can put into sharp focus issues surrounding your siblings (or those you consider brothers and sisters). This can be a time of healing if you’re willing to keep the lines of communication wide open.

Cancer (Jun. 21-Jul. 22)- Can travel, technology, and communication finally get back to normal when Mercury leaves its dreaded retrograde cycle on November 3? That’s the hope, Cancer. And because it’s paired with relationship-focused Libra now, you can expect all those romantic misunderstandings to start to fade with the shift in momentum. On the tenth, Mercury reenters Scorpio, where it was for most of its retrograde cycle, and it’s time to keep things on the down low. Although your curiosity will be off the charts, you’ll be hesitant to share any information you learn. If you share any gossip now, it will only be with your BFF, not on social media. The sun enters Sagittarius on the twenty-first, welcoming in a month of adventure. Embrace this opportunity to explore your wild side as you let go of inhibitions and start to take more risks. Resist the urge to plan. Spontaneity leads to the experience of a lifetime.

Leo (Jul. 23- Aug. 22)- You, Leo, are looking forward to Mercury coming out of retrograde on November 3rd just like everyone else. This will allow your communication to slowly get back on track and it will immediately start repairing a personal relationship that’s gone off the tracks these last few weeks. November 19th brings a Venus-Saturn square that’s accompanied by more than its share of angst and disappointment. Sometimes it seems like no matter how hard you try, you can’t make things turn out the way you want them to. Patience is not your strongest trait, but this is the time you need plenty of patience. Venus enters mysterious and magnetic Scorpio on November 21, at the same time the sun enters adventurous Sagittarius. During this time, you might be attracted to all the wrong types of people now, and vice versa. It’s hard to ignore intense chemistry, but sometimes it pulls you in the wrong direction.

Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)- During the time of the retrograde, you can find yourself looking forward to your life heading in a more positive route. Whatever has been going wrong, it will all start going right again with Mercury’s forward motion. The Mercury-Saturn square, on the 6th, will make it hard to focus on the detail of a certain professional situation, but you will pride yourself on getting the job done. This could be a disappointing time, so keep focused on the future, not the moment. The sun enters the fire sign Sagittarius on the twenty-first, welcoming in a month of dares and risks, but you will test your waters slowly. You are willing to embrace exciting moments, but you most likely will not totally lose yourself in them.

Libra (Sep. 23- Oct. 22)- Your communication issues will get right back on track, faster than some other signs, during retrograde. Your home planet Venus squares expansive Jupiter on the sixteenth, bringing good luck that won’t last long. You’re more than ready to have fun, and if you have work waiting for you, it might get shoved aside in favor of a good time. It probably can wait, but you might have an unpleasant surprise waiting for you when you finally get back to it. November 21 will bring exciting energy into your life and your need for knowledge won’t be filled. You’ll want to learn more about other people and their life experiences. Life is meant to be lived to the fullest, and you’re ready to embrace it head-on. The full moon and lunar eclipse in intellectual Gemini on November 30 pique your curiosity, but you might not get all the answers you desire. An inability to focus on just one thing or listen completely now keeps you restless and somewhat disappointed in the kind of people you meet.

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 21)- When you want to get to the bottom of something, you can’t be stopped, and right now you’ve got your sights on a fascinating topic or person that you can’t quit obsessing about. Your gaze is intense as you stare into the unknown. When desire meets effort, you’re virtually unstoppable. If there’s an obstacle in your way, it’s about to get decimated. A new moon in your sign on November 14 helps you explore your shadowy side, which could spell trouble for other people. When you fully embrace the dark parts of yourself, you might get in touch with some raw, otherworldly forces that can’t be stopped. Luckily, you know your personal limits very well.Venus pairs up with your intense sign on the twenty-first, but this isn’t an ideal partnership. Your control issues are too much for someone now, and your incessant need to be right comes off as elitist and egotistical. Yes, your confidence is a turn-on to some, but at what price?

Sagittarius (Nov. 22- Dec. 21)- The sun enters your outgoing sign on the twenty-first, giving you a whole month of adventure and growth to look forward to. You love to expand your world by traveling and meeting people from different cultures, but if that isn’t possible, take a different path home from the store or try a new cuisine. New learning opportunities are everywhere, even close to home. As loving Venus squares Jupiter on November 16, you have a very brief but potent window to take advantage of the extremely good fortune that comes your way. Take a chance and see where it leads, Sag. You love to take risks, and they can pay off big now.

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 19)- You’re all business when it comes to stating your opinions and beliefs, and you have little patience for anyone who wants to challenge you. There will be times this month when you’re open to what others have to say, but this isn’t one of those times. Loving Venus enters sexy Scorpio on November 21, at the same time the sun pairs up with fiery Sagittarius. There is a lot of electricity in the air now, and you should be feeling yourself. Make a move that takes others by surprise. You don’t like to show off very often, but your moves are too good not to show them off now! When Neptune goes direct while in Pisces, the sign it rules, on the twenty-eighth, some realities will be exposed that you can’t ignore. You know that safe little dream world you’ve been floating along in? It’s about to be shattered, Capricorn. Luckily, you can handle the truth.

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 18)-It’s been some time since communication issues have been on track, and the ending of this retrograde cycle is a time of relief. With Mercury in fellow friendly air sign Libra, you can make new friends easily now. You’ve been able to elude the truth for a long time now, but you can’t do it anymore. Your fantasies and daydreams are still a good distraction, but they aren’t a substitute for seeing things as they really are. The full moon and lunar eclipse are in fellow air sign Gemini on the thirtieth, illuminating areas that affect travel, communication, technology, and siblings. Make necessary changes that will aid advancement in these areas, Aquarius. This lunation is the perfect time to tie up loose ends as you anticipate the future. Getting closure matters.

Pisces (Feb. 19- Mar. 20)- You open up more easily when Mercury goes into retrograde. You can sense that there’s less of a chance of being misunderstood now, which is one of your biggest fears. Try to make up for your lack of communication for the last few weeks now that talkative Mercury is working for—not against—you. Romantic Venus pairs up with Mars-ruled Scorpio on November 21, so you’ll be feeling extremely physical. There’s nothing wrong with expressing your feelings through touch, but some people might misinterpret it. Make sure you make very clear the line between platonic and romantic feelings. Your home planet is in your indecisive sign when it finally goes direct on the twenty-eighth, and you can use this progressive energy to confront an idea or opinion that has seemed out of place lately. No matter what age you are, you can always make a change. Face the truth head-on, and make your next choice based on reality, not fantasy or daydreams.

The Donkey Lady

By: Kristina Mertz
Many tell of the old folk tale known as The Donkey Lady, in this tale she haunts Donkey Lady Bridge on Applewhite road in San Antonio. To you, the name of the bridge might seem laughable, however, the name has a sinister backstory that has a spine-chilling fateful end.

The tale is so ancient, that nobody knows the true story, however it has been around long enough to have many versions. Supposedly, the story starts with a family of farmers who lived just outside of San Antonio. The father of the family, murdered all of his children and set his house on fire. Instead of killing his wife he left her horribly disfigured. Because of the fire, her hands were melted down to stumps, which resembled donkey-like hooves. The skin on her face was so charred it looked almost elongated adding to the donkey like appearance. As the Donkey Lady grieves the loss of her children and seethes with the sting of betrayal from her husband, she haunts Elm Creek and those who try to cross.

The Donkey Lady Bridge on Applewhite Road. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier from the San Antonio Report

The Donkey Lady is a very popular tale all across the San Antonio area. Numerous people try to explore the area to see if they can catch even a glimpse of her infamous spirit. There are real life stories of experiences where people have had the feeling of being watched, but others say they saw something out there. Some hear the clapping of hooves when they visit, while other people claim to have seen a woman with a donkey-like face peering back through the car window. The best way to get her attention is by honking your car horn.

If you ever get the lucky or unlucky chance of visiting The Donkey Lady Bridge over Elm Creek in San Antonio, make sure to keep an eye out for her, she’s always watching.

DIY Halloween Costumes

By: Kiarra Sanchez

Most people may not have the time to go out and buy costumes or they simply cannot, thanks to everything going on in the world. Here are some simple DIY costumes you can make at home:

Alice Angel for Girls:

Not all costumes have to be scary; you can be a sweet little demon sent from above. Alice Angel is from a horror video game by the name Bendy and The Ink Machine. If you have a black dress this will be very simple. Here are the steps:

  1. Find yourself a plain black dress to wear. If it has sleeves that’s even better!
  2. Make a bow out of white ribbon and pin it to the collar of the dress. 
  3. If you have white gloves, go ahead and put them on. If not, that’s okay. 
  4. You can sew a pair of horns onto clips, paint a headband that already has horns white, or make paper horns and hot glue them to a headband or hair clips.
  5. Finally, find a pair of black heels or flats.

This is the simple way to make a cute costume for yourself. If you don’t wanna do anything spooky, this is a perfect costume for you. 


Steampunk for Boys:

You can do a lot of things with cardboard. One of many things you can do with this material is make some cool steampunk gadgets. 

  1. Find a formal shirt
  2. Optional: overalls or a vest
  3. Find some formal pants. Although if you don’t have any, jeans will work just fine. 
  4. Find a good amount of large boxes (3-5)
  5. Think about some cool gadgets you might wanna make to go with the costume.
  6. If you don’t have a tophat, make one out of cardboard and paint it a darker brown
  7. Make some little steampunk style charms like small gears.
  8. Optional: Make a nice pair of goggles

There’s many possibilities when you have creativity and just some simple cardboard. Steampunk is the coolest thing you can make with this kind of material. It’s a cool look that’ll be easy to pull off.


Couples Costume:

There are many different different kinds of costumes out there for couples. A few of them are scary, some cute. This time we’re going to discover a funny one. Ratatouille costume.


  1. Find a grey dress if you have one
  2. Make a pair of ears. You can make these out of cardboard and hot glue them to a headband.
  3. Get your makeup out ladies and put some whiskers on your face. Don’t forget the nose.


If you don’t have a chef’s outfit, it’s okay! Here’s another way you can pull this off. 

  1. Find a white button up shirt and ask your girlfriend to sew more buttons on it.
  2. Ask your girlfriend to borrow a white skirt, you don’t have to.
  3. Black pants
  4. Red shoes
  5. Make a chefs hat out of paper

That is a very easy way to pull off this costume.

Even if you don’t have the time or money, there are some easy DIY costumes you can make at home. These are the most simple steps for a few costumes that you’ll hopefully give a try.

The Lighthouse: A Maritime Nightmare

By: Kori Miller

Movie Poster for The Lighthouse (2019)

Modern directors and a higher demand for quality in films has created a breeding ground for exceptional horror movies. Directors like Ari Aster and Jordan Peele are single-handedly reshaping the genre, and it’s a welcome change. In this instance, it’s Robert Eggers stepping up to the plate with his latest horror film, following The Witch in 2015. With a short and sweet filmography, he has already proven himself to be capable of masterpieces. In 2019, he released The Lighthouse.

The Lighthouse is a psychological horror film that follows Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson), who is serving a contract job as an assistant to a lighthouse keeper (Willem Dafoe) for a month on an isolated island off the coast of England. As the two are eventually stranded with no contact with others and seemingly no hope, the only thing left for them to do is ration their food and pray for the best. However tensions rise as secrets emerge, and the two cannot stay away from each other’s throats for long.

This film has a gritty style, being shot entirely on black and white 30mm film and with a 1.19 to 1 aspect ratio to make it appear older and more sophisticated. This, matched with the combined production value and filming location, makes the real elements almost indistinguishable from the staged ones. And against all odds, it manages to fuse a surprising element of comedy, almost in self-awareness.

The actors are entirely convincing, which ironically poses a challenge for a western release. The filmmakers studied journals kept by old lighthouse keepers to develop convincing accents for the actors to dawn in the film. Due to the unique dialect, the plotline is difficult to follow without aid. This normally wouldn’t be a threat to conventional psychological films, but The Lighthouse is uniquely dialogue-based and a good portion of its relevant scenes require a lot of attention. Additionally, the film’s themes and imagery are rather disturbing which makes it unsuitable for a general audience. These factors create a following for the movie with a very specific taste. Despite the quality, not very many casual film fans took much interest upon its release.

As one of the best-received films of 2019, The Lighthouse holds a rating of 90% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.5/10 on IMDB. 

True Crime Vol. XlV: Remembering 9/11

Two first responders comfort each other as they look at the chaos.

By: Victoria Chavez

At 5:45 A.M. Hijackers Mohamed Atta and Abdul Aziz al-Omari pass through security at Portland International jetport in Maine. The pair aboard a commuter flight to Boston Logan International Airport, where they would then connect to American Airlines Flight 11. 

7:35 A.M. Passengers, including five hijackers, board Flight 11 at Gate B32 in Logan International Airport, Boston. 

8:14 and 8:15 A.M. The terrorist attack and kill pilot Captain John Ogonowski and First Officer Thomas McGuinness of Flight 11 and take control of the aircraft. At this time 51 passengers and 5 hijackers (Marwan al-Shehhi, Fayez Banihammad, Mohand al-Shehri, Hamza al-Ghamdi and Ahmed al-Ghamdi) board another flight. 

8:20 A.M. American Airlines Flight 77 takes off from Washington Dulles International Airport for Los Angeles. The aircraft carried 65 people, including six crew members, 53 passengers and five hijackers. 

8:46 A.M. The first plane crashes. American Airlines Flight 11 strikes the North Tower of the World Trade Center, traveling at hundreds of miles per hour and carrying around 10,000 gallons of jet fuel. The flight crashes into floors 93-99 and severs all three emergency stairwells, trapping hundreds of people above the 91st floor. 

9:03 A.M. The second plane crashes. United Flight 175 strikes the South Tower on floors 77-85. Two of the three emergency stairwells are rendered impassable and most elevator cables in the area are severed by the crash, trapping many on floors above the impact and in elevators.

9:37 A.M. American Airlines Flight 77 hits the Pentagon. 

9:59 A.M. The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses from top to bottom. It had been covered with flames for about 56 minutes. Over 800 workers, including first responders, died during this time. 

10:03 A.M. Passengers on Flight 93 take down the four hijackers in the cockpit and crash land it into a field near Shanksville, Somerset County, Pennsylvania, killing all 33 passengers and seven crew members on board. 

10:28 A.M. The North Tower of the World Trade Center collapses. Over 1,600 are killed. 

It has been 19 years since this tragedy has occurred. While it forever left America scarred with a taunting message, we still continue to honor those who died and those who gave their lives. We will never forget 9/11.

Poll of the Month

By: Dillon Myers

Aah wings. Wings can be eaten for snacks, celebrations, BBQs, and more.  Lemon pepper, Hawaiian, hickory smoked, or garlic Parmesan, boneless or bone-in… there are many options. Here at PHS, we were curious as to if people preferred bone-in wings or boneless wings and here are the results:

Stick-in Around for This Treat

The classic caramel apple

By: Adelena Vera

Are you looking for a sweet autumn treat? Try this simple recipe that is loved even by culinary artists. Caramel apples are a delicious and quick dessert that almost anyone can do.


  • 6 Granny Smith apples
  • 6 wooden sticks
  • 14 ounces of unwrapped caramel
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Nuts or sprinkles (optional)


  1. Prepare a pan with parchment paper, then wash your apples 
  2. Stick the wooden sticks ¾ of the way into the stem end of each apple and place aside 
  3. Combine the caramel and water into a saucepan and heat over low, stir often until the caramel is melted 
  4. Stir in vanilla extract
  5. Dip each apple in the caramel 
  6. Sprinkle the desired toppings on the apple while the caramel is still hot, then place the prepared pan.
  7. Let cool, then enjoy!


Poem of the Month









You are as

The sun.



And Stunningly


Never change.

By: Unknown

This poem speaks out to me because no matter what people think of you remember to stand strong and stay standing. Don’t let your spirits down just because of what people tell you. Be yourself, there’s nothing wrong with it!


The Passionate Poet



Aries (March 21- April 19): Aries have a full moon that appears on the 1st, showcasing your intense approach to life. During this month, you will feel drawn to speaking your mind and following your desires. Don’t be surprised if you butt heads with someone else, due to everyone wanting to say what they please in October.

Taurus (April 20- May 20): You will learn a valuable lesson this month, but as you move forward, you will find it becomes easier to express yourself.

Gemini (May 21- June 20): This time is set to pack a particularly emotional punch, and while it may be easier for this sign to accept, that does not mean that it will be easy either. Don’t attempt to go against the flow; instead, follow your ambitions and work smarter, not harder. 

Cancer (June 21- July 22): It will be wise to follow your gut this month. October will give you a leg up when it comes to finding your way around the world. The new moon on the 16th will point you towards home.

Leo (July 23- August 22): This month, you will notice a need to buy stuff. There’s nothing wrong with wanting new things, but make sure you don’t lose sight of what’s actually valuable.

Virgo (August 23- September 22): During October, a sudden warmth and sense of generosity will come over you. Harsh words will be replaced with open ears and you will find greater joy in agreeing with others.

Libra (September 22- October 23): This month, you will find yourself seeking out tasks that suit your skills. Your commitment to equality makes you a leader, especially during a time as crazy as 2020.

Scorpio (October 23- November 21): During the month of October, time with your friends will bring smiles to your face and joy into your heart. Love and relationships will feel chaotic starting October 31st. Expect an emotional outburst, but don’t assume it’s negative.

Sagittarius (November 22- December 21): A romantic connection to someone could reach a boiling point early in the month. It does look like an ending is near for you and the person you’re dating. There is one caveat to this- if you have the opportunity to go back to someone you used to love, it’s possible the full moon will help you find resolution. 

Capricorn (December 22- January 19): The full moon on October 1st will bring emotions to the surface. You may hear news of someone that can anger you. It’s also possible that a situation that you have invested in will reach a disappointing outcome. It may be rough, but you will come back from it.

Aquarius (January 20- February 18): Finances are looking sweet this month. You are likely to receive money from any source besides your paycheck. A beneficial financial opportunity is likely to arise through someone of great power and importance.

Pisces (February 19- March 20): As the month opens, you may find that a hasty decision involving money is causing many problems. The best thing you can do is take a step back, assess the situation, and begin moving on. You can always make more money and this experience may have taught you a valuable lesson.