Tovin Lapan

Freelance Journalist

What's Next for the Great Barrier Reef? - Pacific Standard

The boat slid out of dock in Port Douglas, Australia, with 30 eager divers on board, gliding past a saltwater crocodile languidly cruising the shoreline. As we started the hour-long journey to our Great Barrier Reef dive site, the underwater beasts were far from my mind.
Individuals struggling with the mysterious, debilitating disease are finding relief in an unlikely place: the boxing gym, where patients battling uncontrollable tremors are transformed into fighters. By Tovin Lapan Through the strain on Kevin Krejci's bespectacled, reddening face, a flicker of a smile flashes as glove hits canvas, a spray of sweat punctuating every hit to the heavy bag.

Students Cry Foul About Paying More for Sports

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - Andy Pinedo likes sports. He just doesn't want to pay more so other people can play them. As sophomore at the University of California-Santa Cruz, Pinedo voted "no" last year in a referendum about whether he was willing to hand over another $270 a year to support his school's Division III teams, above the $1,221 in fees the campus charges now.
"This ain't no En Vogue concert, this is a Stevie concert!"
Each morning, denizens of the San Diego-Tijuana border area turn on their radios to get the news like everyone else around the country. But along with the weather forecast (most likely sunny and 75 degrees), sports scores, and top headlines, listeners also hear the wait times at the border.
It was Frederick Hutson's first ride on "Con Air." He boarded in Las Vegas while pondering what awaited him at trial in Florida, where he had been shipping hundreds of pounds of marijuana for the past four years. It was October 2007, and Hutson had just been indicted along with 10 comrades after a year-long federal investigation.
Tovin Lapan | Photo: iStockphoto | November 17, 2015 At dawn, Madeline Wales woke up, carefully stowed and concealed her things, and took her two dogs out for a walk. She had to be out of the storeroom in the San Francisco nonprofit-formerly her place of employment and, for more than a year, her makeshift home-before it started buzzing with activity.
Every year in California thousands of parents choose names such as José, Andrés and Sofía for their children, often honoring the memory of a deceased grandmother, aunt or sibling. On the state-issued birth certificates, though, those names will be spelled incorrectly. California, like several other states, prohibits the use of diacritical marks or accents on official documents.
The Twittersphere was quick to show its wit when news broke that a law proposed in the Nevada legislature would allow medicinal marijuana for animals. Quips rolled out about "cat cannabis" and finding the "Snoop Dogg" in your own dog.
When the citizenship process goes smoothly, it typically takes five or six months for someone to go from application to taking the oath of allegiance. In the case of Lebanese immigrant Abdul Nasser Karouni, it's been almost two years, and a lot of scrutiny in airports ...
MEXICALI, Baja California - Another Diaz family reunion, the seventh since November, is wrapping up at Casa Hogar, an elderly care home in this humid Mexican border town. A total of six family members have made the trip from Las Vegas to see the oldest of seven siblings, Francisco Diaz Jr., 40, who is the youngest resident of the care facility by at least 30 years.