Polaris Week of 3/22/2021

I’m Ellen, your newsletter writer, here to provide you with a weekly line to The North Star and the news. Here, we’ll break down big events worldwide and keep you updated on what’s going on right here in Naperville.

First up, deadly shootings in Georgia and Colorado.

AAPI stands for Asian American and Pacific Islander.

This past week, there have been two deadly mass shootings -- one in Atlanta, Georgia and one in Boulder, Colorado.

In Atlanta:

  • On March 16, eight people were killed at three massage parlors, six of them Asian-American women and the seventh and eighth a white man and woman.
  • The suspect, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, has been charged with eight counts of murder. The motive behind the attacks remains unclear, but Long reportedly cited sexual guilt being the reason for the attacks. Long had been a customer at two of the targeted parlors and had previously been treated for sexual addiction. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said that the massage parlors were “legally operating,” yet it is not clear if the massage parlors were offering sex services. The motive behind the attacks remains unclear.
  • The shooting comes in the midst of many racially-motivated hate crimes across the country. People of all ethnic backgrounds are coming together in solidarity to protest these attacks and stop AAPI hate.

In Boulder:

  • On March 22, 10 people were killed in a shooting at a grocery store. The victims’ ages range from 20-65, including one police officer.
  • The shooter, 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, was also arrested on a misdemeanor charge in 2018, but pled guilty and paid a fine to resolve the case. He has been charged with 10 counts of murder.
  • Colorado Governor Jared Polis ordered flags to fly at half-mast for 10 days for the 10 victims. He also spoke with President Biden about tightening gun laws. Biden called for new legislation including but not limited to banning assault weapons and high-capacity weapons. "This is not -- it should not be a partisan issue. This is an American issue. It will save lives, American lives. We have to act," Biden said.

Next, coronavirus updates.

Covid concerns are rising as airports see record numbers of people traveling for spring break. Here's what you need to know:

  • On Sunday, more than 1.5 million people passed through airports, the most since the pandemic began. This was the 11th straight day that TSA screened over one million people, with many heading to popular vacation hotspots like Florida. Police in Florida are struggling to control the crowds of people on spring break, and on Sunday Miami Beach officials announced an emergency curfew, from 8 P.M.-6 A.M., for up to three weeks to deter congregating groups of tourists.
  • A U.S. trial of the AstraZeneca vaccine found it to be 79% in preventing all symptomatic infections, the company announced. No serious safety issues were found, and government officials and health experts hoped this would restore confidence in the vaccine. However, just hours after the results were released, a group of medical experts penned a letter to the company and federal officials saying that the company jeopardized the integrity of the trial and that the effectiveness of the vaccine was actually between 69-74%.
  • On Monday, West Virginia announced that all adults are now eligible for the vaccine, becoming the third state, after Alaska and Mississippi, to do so. New York Governor Andrew Cumo also announced that all residents 50 and older could sign up for a shot starting Tuesday, in an attempt to meet President Biden’s request to make the vaccine available to all adults by May 1.
  • In Illinois, a mass vaccination site in west suburban Forest Park will open this Friday. The site will be run by the Illinois National Guard, and will be capable of administering 1,000 doses per day at the start.
  • As of Wednesday, 14.84% of Illinois residents have been vaccinated.

Finally, the Loyola Rambler's unusual good luck charm.

Last Saturday, Loyola University Chicago won against the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Let’s take a look at the Loyola University Rambler’s chaplain and good luck charm, Sister Jean:

  • In 2018 and again this year, the Loyola Ramblers have reached unexpected victories with Sister Jean Dolores Schmidt, who is now 101 years old, as their figurehead.
  • In the 2018 March Madness tournament, Loyola got to the final four as a No. 16 seed, beating Virginia, a No. 1 seed, and Tennessee, a No. 3 seed. This year, Loyola, ranked a No. 8 seed, has beaten Georgia Tech 71-60, and Illinois, 71-58. The Ramblers play Oregon State on Saturday, March 27.
  • Sister Jean started working in Chicago in 1961 at Mundelein College, which was later absorbed into Loyola University Chicago. Sister Jean started helping out with men’s basketball and evolved into its chaplain in 1994. She was inducted into the Loyola University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017.
  • She was able to travel to Indianapolis for this year’s March Madness because she has already been vaccinated.
  • Sister Jean is famous for praying before basketball games, including praying for the player’s safety, sportsmanship and the fair calling of the game. She also offers some of her own strategies in the prayers, like praying that the Ramblers score early in their game against Illinois.
  • Sister Jean said that she hopes Loyola can go far after beating Illinois and get into the Elite Eight.

Take a look at the North Star's latest Heads Up Huskies, also found on our Instagram.

This week, Polaris Recipes presents lemon kale pesto.

Lemon Kale Pesto: This zesty, light kale pesto makes for the perfect pasta sauce. Traditionally pesto is made using basil, but this fresh, healthy take incorporates kale instead. Simply combine ingredients and blend in a blender or food processor until smooth. If using as a pasta sauce, combine with cooked pasta in a saucepan, adding in ⅓ cup of reserved pasta water and cooking on low heat until pasta is coated.

  • juice of one lemon(save zest for a garnish)
  • 3 cups kale(roughly chopped)
  • ¼ cup pine nuts(walnuts will also work)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic(minced)
  • Salt +pepper

This week in Naperville North news....

Next week is spring break, so there won't be a newsletter. But before we go, make sure to check up on the new schedule that starts when we come back.

This week's news was written by Nora, Jeanine, Zayna and Ellen

And after all that news...

And after all that news, take a break with this week's mini crossword puzzle from our graphics editor, Faith. One of the clues? The art of lettering.

Want to know more?

Check out the North Star website for more in-depth stories, and Heads Up Huskies on Instagram for your Naperville North updates.

Thank you for joining us here at Polaris, and I look forward to bringing you more news after spring break!

- Ellen

Image citation:

Gorski, Patrick. “Sister Jean.” SB Sports, 30 Mar. 2018, www.sbnation.com/college-basketball/2018/3/30/17180116/sister-jean-loyola-final-four-ncaa-nba.