Beyond the Bricks: Week of 10/21
by Tyler English | published Nov. 6th, 2019
Circus Bear Attacks
A video released by NBC on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019 shows how a small circus performance turned into a nightmare for parents, children and the performers.
The show is a part of a Russian circus in the city of Olonets. The trick is called “Clubfoot and Garden Wheelbarrow,” where a large bear pushes a wheelbarrow while standing on its hind legs. The bear is prompted by a handler with no barrier between the bear, the handler and the crowd.
The Washington Post reported that things took a turn for the worse as the trainer made his way around the animal.
In the video, the bear grabs the trainer and puts him on the ground. Fellow trainers tried to intervene by kicking and hitting the animal. As a result of the attack, the man refuses to tour with the animals despite receiving only scratches.
Lyudmila Misnik, the circus manager, told Russian media that the bear was spooked by flashing cameras in the crowd. Trainers and tamers of the animal claim that the aggression of the animal was brought on by joint pain and sickness. This linked the bear's aggression to increased pain during performances.
High School Student Speaks Out
A U.S. judge sided with a high school girl, blocking her suspension on Oct. 24, 2019. BBC reported that Aela Mansmann, 15, was accused of being bullied by school officials after she posted a note in the bathroom.
The case began back in September 2019 when Mansmann posted the note reading, “There’s a rapist in the school and you know who it is.”
Her school, Cape Elizabeth High School, responded by suspending Mansmann on Oct. 4, 2019; this behavior can be classified as bullying. Mansmann took responsibility for posting the message in the bathroom, but her legal team contended against the school’s claims.
BDN Portland reported that the message was calling attention to the unaddressed problem of sexual assaults. Mansmann’s attorneys claimed that punishing her could lead to victims feeling discouraged about coming forward.
Shael Morris, Mansmann’s mother, is quoted as saying, “All my daughter ever wanted was for students to feel safe speaking out about sexual assault. I’m so proud of her for standing up for what she believes in."
California Wildfires Continue
The wildfires across California continue to scar the landscape. With dry and strong winds fueling the fires, parts of wine country and numerous residential areas are feelings the effects.
As of Friday, Oct. 25, 2019, the largest of the fires is currently burning in Sonoma and Los Angeles County. In total, the fires have taken over more than 30,000 acres. Residents can look at online fire tracking maps to know which areas to avoid, how severe the fires are and how close they are to the flames.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection lists eight active fires. Some of these are major life-threatening fires encroaching on residential areas, while others are less life-threatening and more harmful environmentally.
Something that residents outside of California. may not fully understand is that some fires may be small, but their location is detrimental to the environment and people’s way of living, reported Time.
The fires have caused issues with utilities. Numerous counties have lost power and natural gas supplies; as a result, counties have shut off lines to ensure that natural gas does not pass either under or around potential risk areas. These counties and others alike are issuing evacuation notices, and upwards of 2,000 people have been ordered to evacuate the town of Geyserville,