by Lee Benson
His gold bicycle shines in the sunlight, as Shaquan “Sip” Washington locks it outside of McClymonds High School. He is one of only a handful of students and teachers who ride their bicycles to school. “It’s not just eco-friendly, it’s practical,” says Washington.
Today is different: no lock, so the sophomore rolls his Schwinn inside and parks it in Officer Humphrey Garret’s office on the second floor. In West Oakland, where Bikes 4 Life founder Terry Coleman helps kids fix bikes on 7th Street and sometimes organizes Rides for Peace, bicycles take on a different meaning: they are cheap transportation but they can also be also dangerous.
Two bicycle riders were robbed near West Oakland BART on May 8 (and blogged about it).
Just six weeks ago, McClymonds student Frenswa Raynor was riding his bicycle near the downtown area when police mistakenly identified him as a robbery suspect. He was shot in the jaw.
And there are plenty of bicycle thefts. Just a few months ago, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon broke up a major stolen bicycle ring. Police say most of the stolen bicycles are sold at flea markets in Oakland.
So why do McClymonds students (and teachers) ride their bicycles to school? Necessity or style?
“I ride my bike to school everyday because my parents work and do not have enough time to drop me off at school,” says Washington.
For Rahquille”Roc” Jackson, a sophomore at McClymonds, “it’s way more convenient than walking.” He adds, “I live down the street.”
For Kelton Reynolds, another sophomore at McClymonds, it’s a way to stay in shape. “As a varsity football player, I look for ways to exercise and strengthen my muscles. This is as effective as me running the track around the football field.” Long term substitute teacher Michael Curry claims that ,”I ride my bike to school occasionally because gas prices nowadays are too high to drive to school everyday.”
Billy Stevens, a freshman on the McClymonds basketball team says that it has double benefits for him, too. “I ride my bike to school because I need to save money and I can get my exercise as well.”
Not all students agree. Luckie Lovette, a junior at McClymonds, prefers to walk. “It’s better exercise and I don’t have to worry about where to park it.”
Is My Lipstick A Lethal Weapon?
Danny Sola, senior, applies Jordana Squeeze ‘n Shine “I hope my brand’s not toxic.”
by Sana Saeed
Lipstick makes your lips silky and bright. It may even make you feel more feminine.
But it may be hazardous to your health.
So says the latest study by University of California at Berkeley researchers, who found metals in every one of 32 lipsticks and lip glosses like Burt’s Bee that they tested. These metals included lead, cadmium, manganese and chronium, which are used as color additives.
“It scares me that (metals) are getting in my skin,” said Danny Sola, a senior.
In a small study published last week, researchers asked teenage girls to hand over their lipsticks and glosses and tested them for toxic metals, including lead and cadmium.
Even though the metal content was different for each brand, researchers found that women who apply lipstick two to three times daily can ingest a significant amount—20 percent of the daily amount that’s considered safe in drinking water or more—of aluminum, cadmium, chromium, and manganese.
Women who slathered it on (14 times a day or more) met or surpassed the daily recommended exposure to chromium, aluminum, and manganese. Lead, a metal that humans should avoid, was detected in 75 percent of the samples.
Darlisha McClothen wears Maybelline Baby Lips. “I never thought of lipstick as being dangerous.”
Students said they expected the government — specifically The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — to protect them from dangerous cosmetics. “It’s very horrible, so horrible (that the FDA is not looking out for us), ” said 16-year-old Katina Degraffenreed, whose favorite brands were on the list. “Now, I won’t wear it much, now that I know it has lead.”
Right now, the FDA regulates how much of these substances can be in pigment, but doesn’t specify how much metal overall is allowed in a tube of lipstick. And the FDA itself doesn’t test the dozens of dyes used in cosmetics or set the maximum amounts of metals in them, UC Berkeley researcher Katharine Hammond told The San Francisco Chronicle.
As for students, not all are ignoring the study. “From now on, I’m using olive oil,” said Sola.
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Tagged cadmium, chromium, danger, hazard, lead, Lethal Weapon, lipstick, Mack, manganese, McClymonds, metal, teens, toxic