Things That Matter

Authorities Have Presumed That The Family Of 5 Celebrating Their Dad’s Birthday Are Dead

We are still learning more about the passengers who were on that commercial diving boat that caught fire earlier this week off of the coast of California. Named Conception, the boat’s mayday signal was picked up by the U.S. Coastguard during Monday’s early morning hours. With authorities believing that there are no more survivors, search and rescue has now become a recovery mission to retrieve the bodies of the 34 unaccounted passengers.

Identification of the Conception’s missing passengers has become priority and is helping us to learn more about those who lost their lives in that tragic accident.

Among the 34 still missing is a family of 5 who were enjoying a yearly diving trip.

Twitter / @latimes

Sisters Evan Michael Quitasol, Nicole Quitasol, and Angela Quitasol were on the Labor Day diving trip with their father and step-mother when the boat burst into flames. The family was celebrating their father Michael Quitasol’s birthday which was on Wednesday after the trip. Michael was an avid diver who tried to plan yearly trips for his favorite hobby.

The tragedy comes after a fourth sister, Evita Olson, celebrated her wedding just this past August.

“The biggest thing for me is that on August 17 my sisters were in my wedding,” Olson told BuzzFeed News. “Angela was my maid of honor. She sang me a song for her maid of honor speech. Everything was so normal then…and now they’re just gone.”

On the same day that the search for survivors was called off by the Coast Guard, the girls’ mother, Susana Rosas, made a post on Facebook confirming their disappearance .

Facebook / @Susana Solano Rosas

Angela Quitasol taught 7th-grade science at Sierra Middle School in the same community she and her sisters grew up.

“For Angela, students were her focus,” a statement from the school district read, acknowledging the teacher’s death. “She shared her passion for science with them and greeted them every day with a high five and a bright smile. We are all deeply saddened by this terrible incident and hold her family, and all those affected, in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.”

Evan Quitasol was a nurse who worked at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Stockton, California.

We were extremely saddened to learn the tragic news that one of our nurses, Evan Quitasol, was on board the Conception,” the medical center said in an issued statement. “We held a prayer gathering in our Chapel this morning to offer comfort and support to our hospital family. Our hearts go out to all the families and loved ones of those on board the Conception.”

Nicole Quitasol lived in Coronado and worked at the Nicky Rottens sports bar.

“Nicole was such a smart, loving, energetic and adventurous soul. She will be greatly missed,” shared Nicky Rottens CFO Bryn Butolph. The bar has set up a Go Fund Me that will help the girls’ mother, Susana Rosas, pay for funeral costs for her three daughters.

Father, Michael Quitasol, and step-mother, Fernisa Sison, were said to be a loving couple who doted on their children.

Twitter / @DougJohnsonFX40

Sison’s daughter, Nisa Shinagawa, shared in an interview with KTXL that the couple lived for their kids, oftentimes working several jobs each just to make ends meet. However, now that their children were growing up and getting jobs of their own, the couple was enjoying the opportunity to spend more time together on the things they loved.

“It was a dream of Michael’s to get back into scuba diving,” Shinagawa explained. “When him and my mom got together, they wanted to start doing more things in their lives for themselves…they had lived their lives for us.”

As of now, funeral services for the family of five are still in the works while funds are raised to cover the burial expenses. We hope the families impacted by this tragedy get all the help and support they need during this painful time.

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Jussie Smollett Speaks Out For The First Time In Months About His Alleged 2019 Attack— ‘They Won’t Let This Go’


Jussie Smollett Speaks Out For The First Time In Months About His Alleged 2019 Attack— ‘They Won’t Let This Go’

Nuccio DiNuzzo / Getty

In early 2019, “Empire “actor Jussie Smollett found himself thrust into the public spotlight of scrutiny after it was reported that he had been the victim of a hate crime. His original claim initially prompted public outrage and a flood of support from fans. Then, nearly three weeks later, the public was shocked to learn that Smollett had been charged with disorderly conduct and the false filing of a police report after it was determined that the attack had been staged. Worse? Officials suspected that Smollett himself had choreographed the entire attack from start to finish. In March of 2019, the actor was charged with 16 counts of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false police report that claimed two men attacked him while yelling racist and homophobic slurs at him.

Since then, the charges against Smollett have been dropped but his reputation remains tarnished. The court of public opinion has determined that he is a liar and fabricator. Ultimately he was dropped from his role on his show and he has remained relatively silent about the issue.

Now, a year after the alleged attack Smollett is speaking out about the controversy in a rare interview.

On Wednesday, the actor made an appearance in an Instagram Live conversation with author and activist Marc Lamont Hill. During the interview, Smollett addressed his ongoing trial calling the situation “frustrating, to say the least.”

“It’s been beyond frustrating, and I certainly am not going rogue,” Smollett explained. “I’m still taking the advice of my attorneys and everything like that, but I don’t really see, honestly, what staying quiet has really done, like, where it has gotten me. … It’s so much bigger than me.”

Smollett went onto share what the past year has done to him and shared that his legal team recently filed a motion against his indictment. The motion is set to be reviewed in court on Thursday. “I believe I have to give it up to God,” Smollett explained before adding that he thinks the legal motion will fall in his favor.

“They won’t let this go,” he explained. “It doesn’t matter — there is an example being made. And the sad part is that there’s an example being made of someone who did not do what they are being accused of.”

Addressing accusations that his original claims were all a hoax, Smollett said that “From the very, very beginning, it was set up to seem like I was lying about something or everything.”

Smollett claimed “there would be no reason for me to do this” and called the accusations “bulls—,” before adding that the “last thing” hew would ever want to do is “be portrayed as a victim.”

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The Motion Picture Academy Just Dropped Diversity Requirements For Oscar Nominations And It’s Pretty Lit


The Motion Picture Academy Just Dropped Diversity Requirements For Oscar Nominations And It’s Pretty Lit

Andrew H. Walker / Getty

Equity is coming to the Oscars.

The Academy Awards have long received critique and backlash for their lack of effort to ensure diversity among its nominees. The criticism of these practices dates back to its first show in 1929. Since then, only 6.4% of academy award nominees have been people of color. Since 1991, only 11.2% of the academy’s nominees have been people of color. What’s worse, according to research, white actors have managed to build their careers on winning Oscars for roles in which they played the parts of POC. In fact, more women who are white have won Oscars for brownface and yellowface portrayals of women of color than actual actresses of color.

This year, the Academy is finally making an effort to change.

On Tuesday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced they made new eligibility requirements for the top prize at the Oscars.

Under the new guidelines for the ceremony’s Best Picture award, films are required to meet two out of four standards. They are: “on-screen representation, themes and narratives; creative leadership and project team; industry access and opportunities; and audience development.”

“We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry,” the Academy said in a statement.

The new changes will be required in the Best Picture category starting with the 96th Academy Award which will air in 2024.

“The aperture must widen to reflect our diverse global population in both the creation of motion pictures and in the audiences who connect with them. The Academy is committed to playing a vital role in helping make this a reality,” Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a joint statement.

The academy’s newest requirements outline that “films must have at least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors represent an underrepresented racial group, with at least 30 percent of all actors in minor roles from underrepresented groups.”

It gets better though! The show will require those submitting projects to ensure diversity and inclusion behind the camera as well. The academy is also encouraging projects to ensure women who are either part of an underrepresented racial or ethnic group, and part of the LGBTQ+ community as well as people with disabilities.

Here’s to a better award show!

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