Tag Archives: Ashton Smith


Almost forty percent of Millenials (people ages 18-29) have at least one tattoo, according to a 2010 Pew Research Center study. The media-saturated culture in which they grew up may be a reason.

“Mainstream media, musicians and athletes — they were the jocks in school, and they were heavily tattooed,” said Kathouse Inc. Tattoo shop owner Cooper.

These Millennials may be trying to be part of the “cool crowd”, but tattoos still may not be completely acceptable to the rest of American society. Companies do have the right to refuse service to people because of their tattoos. For example, Disneyland’s company policy for tattoos states that visible tattoos that could be considered inappropriate are not permitted.

“As a business owner, you reserve the right to refuse service to anyone based on no reason at all, and if [a tattoo] is one of your reasons, then that’s one of your reasons,” said Juan Gomez, owner of Casa De Carlos Restaurant in Porter Ranch. The California Restaurant Association gives restaurant owners the right to implement neutral patron conduct rules, dress codes or other neutral admission policies that are equally applicable to all persons regardless of their sex, color, race, gender identity, disability or other protected characteristics.

“I’m pretty sure I’ve been [seated] in certain places at restaurants,” Cooper said. “I know I get followed [in stores], and I know I get treated differently by police officers.”

Tattoos can also have an impact on employment. Salary.com found that 76 percent of respondents said a tattoo or a piercing can hurt an applicant’s employment opportunities, although only 4 percent reported actually being discriminated against because of body art.

“My third tattoo ended up being on my hands, and we call those ‘job stoppers’,” said tattoo artist Brian, an apprentice at Kathouse Inc. “Every time I had an interview I had to cover my hands.”

Although Brian said he had some bad experiences with finding employment, Forbes Magazine reported in 2013 that some industries and some employers may be getting more relaxed with the idea of employee ink.

Many states, including California, have regulations about the process of getting and giving tattoos. California law requires that you have to be 18 or older to get a tattoo. California Department of Public Health regulations for tattoo parlors set sterilization, sanitation, and safety standards for tattooing, permenant cosmetics, and body piercings.

“We all take our blood borne pathogen [tests] to learn about cross contamination,” Cooper said. “The city comes in, we pay our fees, and [we] put [the certificate] on the wall.”

The popularity and acceptance of body art continues to grow.

“I don’t see it as a trend,” Cooper said. “I see it as something we just tapped into, and I think it’s going to keep on going.”


Moderator: Ashton Smith

Anchor: Nick Popham

Producers: Mirna Duron and Nick Popham

Reporters: Anna Akopyan, Mirna Duron, Nick Popham, Ericka Sims and Ashton Smith

Social Media: Anna Akopyan and Ericka Sims

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The Outsiders

Common sense would suggest that candidates for powerful elective office be knowledgeable and experienced, but some of this year’s presidential candidates seem to be using their lack of experience in government as a selling point.

The United States is one year away from electing its next president, and the leading candidates — Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and Ben Carson — are all trying, in one way or another, to sell themselves to voters as ‘outsiders.’

“There are no outsiders really,” Pierce College Political Science Professor Denise Robb said. “We always end up with the person experienced in government. An outsider would be someone with no experience. Trump, for example, is an outsider.”

Trump is a billionaire real estate mogul and TV personality on NBC’s ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’.

Carson, Trump’s closest competitor, is an author, philanthropist and retired neurosurgeon, who became famous for separating conjoined twins.“I am never going to be politically correct since I am not a politician,” he said during an appearance on CNN.

On the Democratic side, Clinton and Sanders have both been spent decades working in government and politics, yet both are trying to adopt this ‘outsider’ label.

Article II, Section I of the Constitution says that in order to run for the office of president, a candidate must be a natural born citizen of the U.S.; he or she must be thirty-five years of age or older, and have at least a fourteen year residency in the country. Even though these basic qualifications to run for office aren’t much, some experts say voters consider more than that.

“American politics is determined by money,” Los Angeles Valley College History Professor Michael Powelson said. “The reason why Trump is leading is because he’s a multimillionaire. With money you can do what you want despite the [lack of an] education.”

Powelson said he thinks that no matter which candidate wins, there will be only one true victor: “Wall Street.”

Still, Powelson said he doesn’t believe these ‘outsider’ candidates have a chance of making it to the national elections.

“Hillary Clinton is going to be the Democratic nominee, especially now that [Vice-President Joseph] Biden has said he’s not going to run, and Bernie’s numbers are starting to fizzle,” CSUN Political Science Professor Tyler Hughes said.

Moderator: Nick Popham

Anchor: Ashton Smith

Producer: Mirna Duron

Reporter: Anna Akopyan

Social Media Editor: Ericka Sims

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The Power of a Picture

The image of a toddler’s body washed up on a Turkish beach was published and shared across the world.  The powerful image caused an international outcry over the refugee crisis in Syria, but it also raised some questions about ethics in photojournalism.

“Photos with children are always difficult,”CSUN Journalism Professor Stephanie Bluestein said.  “Any dead body is a touchy subject, but certainly when it’s a child. Having said that though, this photo really made a difference and it put this crisis on everyone’s radar, and people are starting to pay attention.”

In the early days of photojournalism, photographs of 19th century battlefields in Crimea and in the United States had great impact on people.  Mathew Brady and his crew of photographers took pictures of dead Confederate soldiers which portrayed the horror of war in ways people hadn’t seen before.

Images of dead American soldiers are not acceptable to most readers today, and many images of death remain controversial.

“I think the people need to see what’s going on,” Los Angeles Daily News photographer David Crane said. “It’s important.  Whether it’s horrible or beautiful, it’s important.”

“My only concern is that running too many dead body photos could desensitize, and perhaps has desensitized, the public,” Bluestein said. “But then on the other side, if you don’t run it, then you’re not really telling the truth, [or] letting the public know what’s going on.”

The 1930 image of a lynching in Indiana shocked people with its graphic and disturbing nature, and with the fact that it was also sold as a postcard.

“The impact of this photo is not just what’s happening there,” Crane said.  “It’s very surreal if you look at the faces of the crowd; it’s as if they’re there on a picnic.”

Dorothea Lange’s photographs of families affected by the Great Depression left a lasting impression in the minds of viewers.  The image of a migrant mother shows a family in despair, and opens the eyes of today’s viewers to how bad it was during that time.

“Any time you can take a concept like the Depression and humanize it, then it’s going to touch people’s hearts,” Bluestein said.

The humanization of the refugee crisis in Syria, achieved by the photograph showing young Aylan Kurdi lying face down on the shores of Turkey, touched hearts across the world, ultimately showing that there is power in a picture.

Moderator: Ericka Sims

Anchor: Mirna Duron

Producer: Nick Popham

Reporters: Anna Akopyan and Ashton Smith

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Catching Zzz’s

How can sleep improve your quality of life?

Experts say getting the right amount of sleep contributes to energy, productivity, memory, concentration, and overall physical health, and growing evidence suggests college students are particularly likely to skimp on sleep, not realizing the dangerous effects.

“It is very important to get sleep,” said Dr. Saimir Thano, a CSUN University Counseling Services psychologist. “It plays a repetitive role, psychologically as well as physiologically. It helps the brain create hormones that help new pathways for concentration and memory, and it sort of plays the role of a battery re-energizing our body. At times, it has been found that sleep produces certain hormones to fight common illness and help organs rest.”

A study published in the current issue of The Sleep Journal said people who sleep fewer than six hours per night are more likely to catch colds than those who sleep seven hours per night, and reach what experts call full rest.

“The goal is every night to get into REM sleep,” said REM Sleep Labs’ Angie Simon. “There are different sleep cycles, but if your body does reach REM sleep, then you’re getting that good quality sleep that you want. However if you have a sleep disorder, the sleep disorder will stop you from getting to that REM sleep.”

The first part of REM sleep lasts about ten minutes and the final part may last up to an hour, according to The Better Sleep Council. People don’t feel well rested if they don’t get REM sleep.

“The best route is to weigh out all your options and figure out what exactly is hindering your sleep and why you need assistance to sleep better,” Simon said. “The best way to figure that out is by getting properly diagnosed by getting the test done in a sleep lab.”

According to the National Sleep Foundation, untreated sleep disorders can cause heart disease, stroke, depression and diabetes.

“Depending on the person, some individuals may need more — some less — but on average research recommends seven to eight hours — nine at the most — but different individuals may need different amount of sleep,” Thano said.

‘Early to bed’ actually is good advice: experts say every hour of sleep between the hours of 9 p.m. and 12 midnight is equal to two hours of sleep after midnight.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says the best way to increase performance on final exams is to study the day before, and then get a good night’s sleep.

“Studies have shown that those individual students that do overnighters, their GPA tends to be lower in general, and that’s because the brain needs to rest, and when it does, there are new pathways for memory and attention,” Thano said. “When you cram and do everything in one night, your brain is not able to create those new memories…It is best for students to study during the day versus the night before.”

The National Sleep Foundation has found that while asleep, people have the ability to combine different experiences in the parts of their brain that generate problem-solving skills.

“When you are getting good sleep your overall well-being is better,” Simon said. “[Sleep] makes you want to exercise, it makes you want to eat healthier, you feel better about yourself, and you are not as sluggish.”

“Everyone should use the bed only for sleep and sex, and nothing else,” Thano said. “If you’re studying in bed, or lying and just watching Netflix, then your body gets used to it, [and you say to yourself] ‘this is what I do in bed; I watch and read and do other things.’ Taking that away really makes a difference.”


Moderator: Anna Akopyan

Anchor: Nick Popham

Producer: Ericka Sims

Guest Booker: Ashton Smith

Reporters: Mirna Duron and Nick Popham

Social Media Editors: Nick Popham and Ericka Sims

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