Charles Kong

Name: Charles Kong
Position: Online Op/Ed Editor
Graduation Year: 2009
Charles Kong loves to play tennis. Actually, he likes to play sports in general. He tries not to procrastinate, but his success rate varies. He likes listening to music and using the computer, and loves Jackie Chan movies. He is super excited for Chips, even though he was forewarned that there's a lot of work involved. Whenever he has time other than doing something he needs to do, he will try to fall asleep on his comfy bed. Sleep is good…

Stories (36)

Time to legalize

By Charles Kong | April 12, 2009, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Last month, California legislator Tom Ammiano introduced the nation's first bill that would legalize, regulate and tax the commercial use of marijuana in California. Not only will the revenue generated help California's crumbling economy, the regulation of marijuana may also lead the nation one step closer to ending the war on drugs by eliminating the underground industry.

The benevolent bag tax

By Charles Kong | March 1, 2009, 11:50 p.m. | In Op/Ed »

Last Tuesday, D.C. Council member Tommy Wells introduced a proposal that, if passed, would charge shoppers five cents for each plastic and paper bag they use from grocery stores, convenience stores and other businesses in D.C. The bill, called the Anacostia River Cleanup and Protection Act of 2009, aims to raise money to clean and restore the Anacostia River and dissuade the use of new bags.

Rising costs, limited access

By Charles Kong | Jan. 5, 2009, midnight | In Op/Ed »

For most upperclassmen, winter break is about scheduling fun around college applications. But even once those acceptance letters start rolling in, the stress of payment is only beginning. In a time when the economy has officially entered into a recession, when state and local budgets are in serious deficit, when jobs are being lost by the thousands, when families are losing their homes to foreclosure and when a federal bailout plan has yet to demonstrate its success, the rising costs for college have never been more overwhelming.

River of water needs a massive plan

By Charles Kong | Dec. 26, 2008, midnight | In News Blog »

Shouts of joy rang throughout the SAC during 5A lunch on Tuesday as news of an early release day quickly spread from table to table. Some students exited in a rush to get to their lockers, others remained to hang out one last time with their friends. Getting out two and a half hours early the last day before winter break seemed too good to be true.

Legal but unethical

By Charles Kong | Dec. 3, 2008, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Imagine that a college student is given the chance to gossip about anything he or she wants, uncensored with the guarantee of anonymity. Now imagine that everyone from 500 different colleges is given the same chance, and the result is Free to use, JuicyCampus is an anonymous online forum that encourages people to gossip about campus-related or other topics of their own choosing. Popular tags this week include "girls," "hot," "sex," "gay" and "frat." Blog entries revolve around topics that are derogatory, profane, obscene and racist. Threads on campus hook-ups, freshman sluts and overweight students are all the rage.

Maryland laws are a go

By Charles Kong | Nov. 5, 2008, midnight | In Op/Ed »

In an attempt to improve teenage driving safety once again, the Maryland General Assembly has passed three laws that took effect in October. These laws increase the length of validity of a learner's permit to two years, require every student driver to have a learner's permit when driving on Maryland roads and allow parents or guardians to be notified when their underage driver receives any moving violation.

A small but God-like black bag

By Charles Kong | Oct. 6, 2008, midnight | In Connections Blog »

There was a small black bag sitting on a cafeteria table today at the beginning of 5A lunch, alone and unguarded. A girl approached the table and, not knowing what to think of the lone, small black bag or who it belonged to, quietly sat down in her normal seat. Moments later, her friends came in and, also disregarding the small black bag, sat down with her. It seemed like another peaceful and uneventful lunch period, until the very angry owner of the small black bag appeared at the scene.

Earlier is safer

By Charles Kong | Sept. 28, 2008, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Although controversy over the legal drinking age began 80 years ago during the Prohibition movement, the debate has heated up once again. Two weeks ago, presidents from over 100 colleges prepared a proposal calling for lawmakers to lower the drinking age from 21 to 18. Maryland universities that signed the statement include Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland, College Park, Towson University and the College of Notre Dame.

PRO/CON: Voter ID requirements

By Charles Kong Monica Wei | June 3, 2008, midnight | In Op/Ed »

The Supreme Court voted 6 - 3 on April 28 to uphold Indiana voter identification laws, ruling that states can require voters to show IDs before allowing them to cast ballots. Some states have long required voters to identify themselves at the polls, but no state had a requirement for a current government-issued photo ID until Indiana and Georgia passed such legislation in 2005. These ID requirements promise to prevent voter fraud, but some people argue that the voter ID laws suppress voting, especially by minority and would-be Democratic voters. Should states take advantage of this ruling and require voters to present IDs before allowing them to vote?

A dazzling "Crystal Skull"

By Charles Kong | May 27, 2008, midnight | In Movies »

Though 19 long years have passed since the last Indiana Jones movie, fans have never been more excited about Steven Spielberg's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." Given that the three previous installments, "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Temple of Doom" and "The Last Crusade" earned $1.2 billion worldwide, many may contend that the newest film in the series was made entirely for the green, but this is not the case. Though "Kingdom of Crystal Skull" has its share of flaws, it brings an adventure filled with humor, wit, romance and excitement that will leave a smile on everyone's face.

An alluring "Kingdom"

By Charles Kong | April 22, 2008, midnight | In Movies »

Chinese martial arts have dazzled Western cultures for decades, and ever since American producers hit the jackpot with kung fu flicks, the public has had a soft spot for Hong Kong superstars Jackie Chan and Jet Li. With "The Forbidden Kingdom," martial arts fans can now have their dreams fulfilled as Chan and Li team up together for the first time ever. Though the action sequences lack the fervor and intensity of previous Chan or Li films, the combination of light comedy and a fascinating fantasy tale make "The Forbidden Kingdom" an alluring piece of entertainment for kids and adults alike.

A dim sum to remember

By Emily Hsiao Charles Kong | April 18, 2008, midnight | In Entrées »

Though traditionally made during the Chinese New Year as a symbol of prosperity and growing fortunes, the Chinese turnip cake is a dish enjoyable at any time. It is commonly found as an item on dim sum menus, but no restaurant turnip cake can ever compare with the homemade version, stir fried with shrimp, mushrooms and Chinese sausages, then steamed and pan fried to a golden brown. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the delicious taste of Chinese turnip cake slowly melting in your watering mouth.

BOE President Nancy Navarro to run for County Council

By Charles Kong | April 13, 2008, midnight | In Local »

Montgomery County Board of Education (BOE) President Nancy Navarro is running in the April 15 Democratic primary for the County Council District Four seat, formerly occupied since its creation by 17-year councilmember Marilyn Praisner, who passed away Feb. 1. Navarro will run against Democratic candidates Don Praisner, Marilyn Praisner's widower, Pat Ryan and Steve Kanstoroom.

Four AP classes to be eliminated

By Charles Kong | April 9, 2008, midnight | In Local »

Four Advanced Placement (AP) courses will be eliminated after the 2008-2009 school year, College Board announced in an e-mail to teachers last week.

PRO/CON: Curbing parental control

By Sean Howard Charles Kong | March 29, 2008, midnight | In Op/Ed »

A three-judge panel of the California District Court of Appeals ruled on Feb. 28 that parents statewide who do not have teaching credentials can no longer home school their children. The ruling stems from a case involving eight home-schooled children who claimed that their parents were abusing them. Citing a 1953 ruling in which another appellate court rejected a challenge to California's education laws, Justice Walter Croskey ruled that parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children. But parents argue that the approximately 166,000 home schooled students in California will be forced to enroll in conventional schools - an enormous undertaking. Should Maryland, with its 24,329 home-schooled students, follow in California's footsteps?

Junior varsity spring sports previews

By Emily Hsiao, Charles Kong, Monica Wei | March 26, 2008, midnight | In Blair »

Following the varsity squads, Blair's four junior varsity spring sports teams also look forward to competitive, fun seasons. All four teams are relatively young, as the junior varsity lacrosse program is new to Blair, and both baseball and softball lost most returning players. But confidence from coaches and players promises several successful seasons.

Kids-only no more

By Charles Kong | March 13, 2008, midnight | In Features »

There was once a time when video games were for little boys who came home from elementary school each day determined to advance to the next level in Duck Hunt, beat the next boss in Donkey Kong and save Princess Peach from the evil Bowser. A grown man who played was considered a dismal loner with no girlfriend, an introvert who lived with his parents or a couch-potato who ignored life's problems by gluing his eyes to the computer screen.

"Jumper" falls flat on its face

By Charles Kong | Feb. 19, 2008, midnight | In Movies »

Teleportation has a high place superpower wish list. One would think that a film about a man who can travel to any place in a blink of an eye would be fascinating. But the stunning special effects alone do not make "Jumper" worth seeing. Directed by Doug Liman, who brought us the energetic "The Bourne Identity" and "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," "Jumper" lacks the action and excitement its premise promises, and combined with a confusing plot and mismatched characterization, all its potential ends up wasted.

Blair workgroup initiates Honors and AP class support program

By Charles Kong | Feb. 17, 2008, midnight | In Local »

Blair's Honors-AP workgroup has made plans with the University of Maryland (UMD) to implement new support mechanisms for students enrolled in Honors and Advanced Placement (AP) classes this semester, according to program coordinator Myriam Rogers. The plan includes an after-school tutoring program, which will begin Wednesday, and a half-credit fifth period support class.

Three seats on Board of Education to be refilled in 2009

By Charles Kong | Feb. 10, 2008, midnight | In Local »

Montgomery County voters will cast their ballots in the Board of Education primary election on Feb. 12, narrowing the field of five candidates in the At-Large race to just two. Two other seats - for District Two and District Four - are also up for election but will bypass the primary as there are two or fewer candidates running in each race. Students who will turn 18 on or before Nov. 4 will be able to vote in accordance with recently passed legislation.

Eight Blazers named candidates in Presidential Scholars Program

By Charles Kong | Jan. 27, 2008, midnight | In Local »

Eight Blairseniors were among the 47 students in Maryland to be selected as Presidential Scholar candidates, as released by the U.S. Department of Education on Jan. 17.

"One Missed Call" misses the mark

By Charles Kong | Jan. 7, 2008, midnight | In Movies »

Ever since the $129 million box office hit "The Ring," American producers have become increasingly obsessed with Japanese horror remakes. "Dark Water," "The Grudge" and "Pulse" are all examples of J-horrors filled with psychological delusions, poltergeists and possessive spirits. But there's a thin line between cunning creativity and extreme desperation, and director Eric Valette's remake of Takashi Miike's 2003 "One Missed Call" indubitably crosses it with an incoherent plot that borders on hilarity.

A canned food drive to feed ourselves

By Charles Kong | Dec. 26, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

The Student Government Association (SGA) collected a record-breaking 5,393 cans in this year's canned food drive, 3,272 cans last year and 2,456 cans in 2005, all of which were donated to the Rainbow Homeless Shelter in White Oak. Although the purpose behind the food drive is respectable, the incentive students receive to bring in cans – such as this year's breakfast party for the three winning classes – has caused not only a shift from the concern for the homeless to the selfish wants of a reward, but also a loss in the whole meaning of charity.

"This Christmas" is sure to be bland

By Charles Kong | Nov. 27, 2007, midnight | In Movies »

For the past several years, director Preston Whitmore has been in the dumps, especially after the scoreless production "Crossover." "This Christmas" appears to be no different—it is an ambiguous, confusing and dull movie that is as banal as the title itself.

A heartwarming "August Rush"

By Charles Kong | Nov. 19, 2007, midnight | In Movies »

After a disastrous experience six years ago with "Disco Pigs," a violent and twisted romance, director Kirsten Sheridan has rearranged her mindset with "August Rush," a light-hearted family film. Instead of showcasing a hysterical mess with crime at its center, "August Rush" brings forth a fountain of music and magic that is bound to compel even the coldest people to sniff back a few salty droplets.

Fire drill takes place during sixth period

By Charles Kong | Oct. 29, 2007, midnight | In Local »

Blair held a planned fire drill during sixth period today at 12:44 p.m., completing four out of the 10 required fire drills per year, according to Business Manager James Funk.

New extended-hours program undoubtedly a plus

By Charles Kong | Oct. 19, 2007, midnight | In Op/Ed »

Blair has been forced to adapt to numerous changes this year, from a new grading system to a modified dress code. With High School Plus finally comes a change that should be agreeable to most everyone. After being piloted at four high schools last year, High School Plus is now running at all high schools for ninth and tenth graders across the county and will completely replace Evening High School by 2009.

Blazers triumph over Titans

By Charles Kong | Oct. 18, 2007, midnight | In Blair »

BLAZER FIELD, Oct. 18- The night started off with enthusiastic cheers from players and parents of both teams, applauding the seniors for their efforts and contributions at their last home game. Music and drums echoed through the night. With raised spirits, the Blazers took charge of the game early on, and wrapped up their home season with a 4-0 finish over Einstein, bringing their record to 5-5-1.

Staph infection confirmed in Montgomery County

By Charles Kong Pia Nargundkar | Oct. 17, 2007, midnight | In Local »

Eleven cases of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), an antibiotic-resistant strain of a bacterial infection, have been confirmed in schools throughout Montgomery County, according to Stephanie Evers, Nurse Manager of School Health Services. No cases have been documented at Blair, but precautions are being taken, Blair nurse Debra Bitonti said.

Panthers crawl past Blazers

By Charles Kong | Oct. 9, 2007, midnight | In Blair »

BLAZER FIELD, Oct. 8- Blair's varsity field hockey team suffered their first home game defeat today, bringing their record to 3-4-1. The Blazers were unable to connect throughout the game and committed numerous fouls and fumbles which led them to fall to Paint Branch's lone goal.

Blair topples Knights

By Charles Kong | Oct. 4, 2007, midnight | In Blair »

BLAZER FIELD, OCT. 3- The Blazer's home field advantage paid off once more as Blair's varsity field hockey team defeated Wheaton in their third home game, bringing their record to 3-3-1. Playing with consistency, the Blazers attacked Wheaton's goalie circle throughout the game which earned them the 5-0 win.

Blair tramples Rams

By Charles Kong | Sept. 25, 2007, midnight | In Blair »

BLAZER FIELD, SEPT. 24 - Blair's varsity field hockey team pulled off an easy 5-0 victory over the Rockville Rams today, bringing their record to 2-2-1. Effective communication, clean passes and strategic positioning were vital to the team's success.

Large class sizes persist despite population drop

By Charles Kong | Sept. 25, 2007, midnight | In Local »

Class sizes have remained the same despite a drop in the overall student population. Student enrollment for the 2007-2008 school year was higher than projected, according to assistant principal Myriam Rogers, causing large class sizes to remain a problem at Blair.

Blazers and Rockets end in draw

By Charles Kong | Sept. 21, 2007, midnight | In Blair »

BLAZER FIELD, Sept. 5 - Blair's varsity field hockey team walked off the field with a tied score of 1-1 with Richard Montgomery today, bringing their record to 1-2-1. The Blazers' lack of cohesion and failure to capitalize on scoring opportunities stopped them short of victory, ending the game in a frustrating, scoreless double-overtime.

Blazers surpass Wildcats

By Charles Kong | Sept. 5, 2007, midnight | In Blair »

BLAZER FIELD, SEPT. 5 – Blair's varsity field hockey team began the season with a victory today, earning a well – deserved 3-2 win over Walter Johnson. A combination of aggressive offense, effective communication and teamwork gave the Blazers the edge during the game.

"Rush Hour 3" loses its rush

By Charles Kong | Aug. 12, 2007, midnight | In Movies »

The first "Rush Hour" was captivating. The second was amusing. "Rush Hour 3" is everything but entertaining. In spite of the Chris Tucker's light comedy and Jackie Chan's swift moves, this third installment of the cop duo has grown to become nothing more than a hackneyed rehash of what was once enjoyable and exciting.

Images (3)

Photo: vfockey9.5

By Charles Kong | Sept. 5, 2007, midnight

Captain Helen Anderson skillfully maneuvers the ball around a Walter Johnson attacker.

Photo: Cuellar

By Charles Kong | June 7, 2007, midnight

Photo: Cuellar

By Charles Kong | June 7, 2007, midnight

Spanish teacher Karla Cuellar returns to Montgomery County after attending Seneca Valley High School.