Earth Day celebrated through hip-hop songs

Archie Hill raps a song to children from Juan Cabrillo Elementary School during a presenation at the Malibu public library on Friday, April 25, 2014.

Archie Hill raps a song to children from Juan Cabrillo Elementary School during a presenation at the Malibu public library on Friday, April 25, 2014.

Hip-hop music and environmental awareness merged at a post-Earth Day celebration at the Malibu Library on Friday, April 25.

Archie Hill, founder of Third Rock Hip-Hop, presented a video version of the first four chapters of his upcoming five-chapter book, “Third Rock and Friends: A Trip to the Beach” to a crowd of about 25 children from Juan Cabrillo Elementary School.

“The kids are the ones who are going to make the difference,” Hill said. “They’re the ones that are going to run the planet after us. So if we can get a generation of kids to just own that, then I think that will make a big difference in years to come.”

The video featured characters modeled after items representing environmental activism. Third Rock and his sister, Little Rock, had heads shaped like planet Earth, Big Binny was a recycling bin with muscular arms, T-Can was a trash can, Traxx was a bulldozer that works in a landfill, and PC Otter was a sea otter that lived in the ocean.

In between chapters, Hill performed environmentally themed hip-hop songs, such as “Pick It Up” and “Landfill Blues.” All of the songs in the video were written by Hill, and the lyrics to the songs were displayed on the projector so the audience could follow along.

Hill said hip-hop music was a good way to reach children because it is a genre of music that they are already listening to.

Rhonda Phillips, who narrated the video, could not wait to get started on the project when she first met Hill.

“As soon as I heard it I was interested,” Phillips said. “It was a no-brainer.”

Children from Juan Cabrillo Elementary School choose books given away by the Malibu Library after a presentation from Third Rock Hip Hop at the libarry on Friday, April 25, 2014.

Children from Juan Cabrillo Elementary School choose books given away by the Malibu Library after a presentation from Third Rock Hip Hop at the libarry on Friday, April 25, 2014.

Phillips also feels that teaching kids at an early age is the best way for them to potentially make caring about the environment part of their daily lives.

“It’s a better idea when you teach kids at a young age because they are more likely to continue the habit throughout their lives and teach others,” Phillips said.

Tobias Gehardt, who illustrated Hill’s book, was introduced to Hill through a mutual friend. He was happy to have the chance to use his skills to benefit children.

“I’ve always kind of had an interest in [illustrating] children’s books,” Gehardt said. “I think this was a good opportunity for me to get experience doing it and work with somebody.”

At the end of the presentation, Hill gave the children from the elementary school stickers with characters from the video printed on them. The kids were also treated to free books provided by the library.

Hill began writing hip-hop songs about the environment in 2006 when he wrote “Think Green,” which was about global warming. Since then, he has been invited to many elementary schools to use his hop-hop music to teach kids about being environmentally conscious.

Even though Hill has written all of the songs featured in the video, he wants the children to focus on the characters.

“I wanted the rap to come from the characters’ perspective, like this is him rapping, not me,” Hill said.

Phillips said Hill’s project has the potential to make it to kid’s television, and believes that its potential does not stop there.

“I think that we can only get better as it expands,” Phillips said. “In my mind, there’s no limit.”

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Glow in the dark egg hunt draws teen crowd

Dozens of children scatter to find Easter eggs filled with prizes during the glow-in-the-dark Easter egg hunt event on Friday, April 18, at Bluffs Park.

Dozens of children scatter to find Easter eggs filled with prizes during the glow-in-the-dark Easter egg hunt event on Friday, April 18, at Bluffs Park.

As the sun set over the horizon in Bluffs Park, young residents of Malibu lined up just outside the Pony baseball field in hopes of finding glowing eggs filled with prizes.

After the last glimmer of light flickered away into the night, the gates opened and dozens of children scrambled to gather as many eggs as they could.

Jackie Valencia brought her 11-year-old son Nicolas to the glow-in-the-dark event, as well as her two younger children. She said her favorite event was the egg hunt.

“We do come here every year since [Nicolas] was a baby, actually,” Valencia said. “So it’s kind of an annual Easter tradition for us now.”

The egg hunt was part of a glow-in-the-dark themed event on Friday, April 18. Other activities included a laser tag course and a photo booth lit by black light in which children and parents could take pictures with an actor dressed as the Easter Bunny.

Children also jumped in inflated bounce houses and battled in a tug-of-war-type game in which two players had to put a ball in their respective baskets while being tied to each other.

The event, which is in its second year, was specifically for teens ages 11-17 in order to include the teen age group in community events, said Adrianna Fiori, recreation assistant for the City of Malibu.

“We try to service our community here in Malibu, and part of that is the teen community,” Fiori said. “We decided to do the teen egg hunt to include the teens in the event as well.”

A group of Malibu children prepare to play laser tag during the glow-in-the-dark Easter egg hunt event at Bluffs Park.

A group of Malibu children prepare to play laser tag during the glow-in-the-dark Easter egg hunt event at Bluffs Park.

Fiori believes having the event tailored to teens gives them an opportunity to enjoy themselves independently.

“Most of our events are family events, and sometimes the teenagers don’t want to come along with their parents,” Fiori said. “So this is an event where they can come and be in a safe environment and be kind of on their own and have fun, as well as get to participate in the holiday.”

Valencia and her children also participated in the event before the teen egg hunt, Easter Hoppening, which is geared toward younger children. Valencia said her and her family were at the park since 3 p.m.

“We enjoyed the park as well,” Valencia said. “Between the two events, we just were hanging out, playing frisbee and watching the sun. It was a really fun day.”

Inside the glow-in-the-dark eggs, participants in the hunt found various types of candy. Also in the eggs were gift certificates or promotions donated by some of the event’s sponsors.

David Reeder, a Malibu resident who brought his daughter and two of her friends to the event, said he enjoyed the local feel of the night.

“Any time you get an event like this where it gathers families and people that are definitively local, it feels nice,” Reeder said.

Fiori said she enjoys watching the children out and about in the community.

“It’s just fun to see the kids, especially the teens, have an outlet to come and have fun, be with their friends and just do something fun,” Fiori said.

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Tough doubles play produces close loss for MHS

Dillan Orian hits a forehand shot against Oak Park on Wednesday, April 2, at Malibu High School.

Dillan Orian hits a forehand shot against Oak Park on Wednesday, April 2, at Malibu High School.

The Malibu Sharks tennis team lost 10-8 in a round-robin tournament Wednesday, April 2, against the Oak Park Eagles.

Senior Gabe Rapaport won all three of his matches against his opponents, only losing four out of 18 total games. His first match was against his rival David Goulak, and this was Rapaport’s first win against him in high school play.

“David and I are best friends, pretty much,” Rapaport said. “We hit together all the time and we play doubles together. It was a good win for me.”

Rapaport felt his win against Goulak could have gone either way.

“We were on serve for the whole match,” Rapaport said. “At 5-4, I was able to break him, and I made a couple of lucky shots, but it’s always so tough with Dave.”

Sharks head coach Todd Montgomery said it was good that Rapaport was able to finally beat Goulak after losing to him in the past.

“That’s nice that Gabe got to get that match back,” Montgomery said.

Dillan Orian also had a strong outing in singles play, winning two of his three sets, 2-6, 6-2, 6-1. Freshman Will Kish struggled during his matches, however, losing all three.

Kish’s final set against Jack Berner went down to a tiebreaker, but Kish hit a ball into the net on the final rally, sealing the 7-6 victory for Berner.

Despite Kish’s losses, Montgomery was pleased with his play.

“Even though he lost all three [matches], he competed better than he has all season so far against a tough team,” Mongomery said. “His mental toughness and his competitive focus is improving.”

Malibu freshman Will Kish hits a serve in a tennis match against the Oak Park Eagles on Wednesday, April 3, 2014 at Malibu High School in Malibu, Calif.

Malibu freshman Will Kish hits a serve in a tennis match against the Oak Park Eagles on Wednesday, April 3, 2014 at Malibu High School in Malibu, Calif.

Montgomery thinks his team is getting better, even though they may be lacking in the age department.

“This year, we have a very young team,” Montgomery said. “[There are] a lot of ninth and 10th graders that don’t have that much competitive experience, so they’re just really learning. There’s a lot of improvement and some of the younger guys are really learning to win and getting better and better.”

In doubles play, the tandem of Harrisen White and Jesse Weinstein notched victories in all of their matches (6-4, 6-1, 6-2), but the other two doubles pairs were unable to win any of their sets.

Rapaport continuously cheered for and encouraged his teammates throughout the afternoon, even while in the middle of a game. The team aspect is why he keeps playing high school tennis, Rappaport said.

“I want our guys to do well and I think they’re getting better every day,” Rapaport said.

Montgomery said that at this point in the season, his has begun to hit its stride, a trend he has seen in recent years.

“Last year was kind of similar where, in the second half of the season, they’re competing better, they’re mentally sharper and their strokes are just more consistent,” Montgomery said.

After the spring break holiday, Malibu has two more matches to play before gearing up for the CIF playoffs. Montgomery said those games should prepare the Sharks for the fiercer postseason competition.

“Hopefully, we’ll keep the motivation high so that when we get into the qualifying round of CIF, we’ll be ready to face tougher teams,” Montgomery said.

The Sharks will travel to Nordhoff High School for a road match against the Rangers on April 22.

Malibu senior Gabe Rapaport hits a serve in a tennis match against the Oak Park Eagles on Wednesday, April 3, 2014 at Malibu High School in Malibu, Calif.

Malibu senior Gabe Rapaport hits a serve in a tennis match against the Oak Park Eagles on Wednesday, April 3, 2014 at Malibu High School in Malibu, Calif.

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Sharks swim for five CIF bids

Caroline Pietrzyk does a backstroke in a swim meet versus the Nordhoff High School Rangers on Wednesday, March 26 at Malibu High School in Malibu, Calif. 

Caroline Pietrzyk does a backstroke in a swim meet versus the Nordhoff High School Rangers on Wednesday, March 26 at Malibu High School in Malibu, Calif.

The Malibu Sharks swim team swam strong on Wednesday, March 26, coming away with a total of five automatic CIF bids in a meet against the Nordhoff Rangers.

Freshman Farah Stack earned two of the bids with wins in the 200-yard freestyle and the 500-yard freestyle.

Junior Logan Hotchkiss finished with a time of 2 minutes 5.03 seconds in the 200-yard individual medley, also earning him a CIF bid and almost beating the school record of 2:03.09.

Girls’ head coach Tim Segesmen was proud of his team and said they are starting to get better with each meet.

“For those that are putting the time and effort in, it’s starting to show,” Segesman said. “I’m seeing a lot of improvement on the [junior varsity] side, which is great.”

The Sharks won the majority of their events by wide margins on Wednesday, but had some close calls.

In the 200-yard freestyle, junior Alec Wilimovsky and the Nordhoff swimmer were neck-and-neck with every lap, but Wilimovsky prevailed with a time of 1:51.62, about one second faster than the Ranger.

Malibu junior Logan Hotchkiss does a breaststroke in a swim meet versus the Nordhoff High School Rangers on Wednesday, March 26 at Malibu High School in Malibu, Calif. 

Malibu junior Logan Hotchkiss does a breaststroke in a swim meet versus the Nordhoff High School Rangers on Wednesday, March 26 at Malibu High School in Malibu, Calif.

Later, in the 50-yard freestyle, junior Owen Franz also beat a Ranger swimmer by just over a second with a time of 23.14 seconds, earning him an automatic CIF bid.

Boys’ head coach Mike Mulligan felt the reason for his team’s success was the talent of his swimmers.

“What allowed us to win was our depth,” Mulligan said. “They have some really fast guys, but our depth helped us in our freestyle events.”

As a whole, the Sharks beat Nordhoff in total meet points, 383-221. Malibu also earned 13 consideration CIF bids at Wednesday’s event.

One of the considerations was earned by junior Caroline Pietrzyk with her win in the 200-yard IM. Pietrzyk also won a track and field race in the Marie Smith Malibu invitational on March 20, breaking two records in the process.

“Caroline is a talented young lady,” Segesman said. “She’s great in swimming and she’s very good at running. That’s what’s nice, she brings a strong swimming background to us. She works hard with her club program, so we’re thrilled to have her come out. We hope to see some of the good results as we go along.”

Segesman felt the team’s strong performance is a sign of things to come in regards to the league championship in April.

“It gives us an idea of where we have to go in the next four weeks to see if we can win this league title,” Segesman said.

Mulligan feels Malibu has the potential to win the title this year.

“If everybody swims to their potential and swims their best times of the year, and we don’t get any disqualifications, I think we have a really good chance,” Mulligan said. “If we can just continue to go the way we are and everyone is healthy at the end of the year, we have a good chance. But you have to get in the pool and swim and you never know.”

Malibu’s next swim meet is at home against the St. Bonaventure at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 2.

Malibu freshman Seamus Harringtonin swims freestyle in a meet versus the Nordhoff High School Rangers on Wednesday, March 26 at Malibu High School in Malibu, Calif. 

Malibu freshman Seamus Harringtonin swims freestyle in a meet versus the Nordhoff High School Rangers on Wednesday, March 26 at Malibu High School in Malibu, Calif.

 

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