a product message image
{' '} {' '}
Limited time offer
SAVE % on your upgrade

Page 1

XPRESS

MARCH 2020

SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY MARCH 2020

1


XPRESS

XPRESS MAGAZINE

Editor-In-Chief Amy Bigelow Art Director Malakai Wade Photo Editor William Wendelman Managing Editor Wilson Gomez Copy Editor Patrick Tamayo Multimedia Editor Paige Acosta Online Editor Sam Joson

Contributing Writers Clara Applegarth Paul Kelly Fernando Martinez Ryce Stoughtenborough Andrea Williams Shelley Wang Diani Ellis Contributing Photographers William Wendelman Emily Curiel Maddison October Sandy Scarpa James Wyatt Dyanna Calvario Tahjai Chan Special Thanks Joanne Derbort Kim Komenich Laura Moorhead Rachele Kanigel Amber M. Weher

Find our playlists on Spotify at Xpress_Magazine

@xpressmagazine

@XpressMagazine

@XpressMagazine.11

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

S

pringtime is just around the corner, and in the Bay Area we’ve had to bid Karl the Fog a warm farewell. Sunnier days and budding flowers are now a welcome change around campus, making it tempting to skip class, but alas, the Xpress staff have been busy working hard on this second

edition. Writers have been out in the field and around beehives to report the stories you are about to read — from the bee decline to service dogs, cultural erasure to female body image. Our eyes have glazed over computer screens, double- and triple-checking drafts. We have relentlessly teased our photo

editor for the one job he has — please don’t quit, Will, you deserve another gold star. And my art director and I have thoroughly enjoyed picking out every font featured in this issue. I’ve had fun bringing this magazine to fruition with the Xpress staff. Amid inhaling over 40 LemonMint Ricola cough drops, I’d 2

gladly sit in another field again and have flowers repeatedly thrown in my face to get the sequence you see above. It is with my deepest pride and greatest pleasure to present our second issue of Xpress Magazine for spring 2020! X


MARCH 2020

BY JAMES WYATT

Service Dogs 101

BY RYCE STOUGHTENBOROUGH

Capturing Life from the Half-pipe BY ANDREA WILLIAMS

4 8 12 16

Culture Cannot be Erased BY PAUL KELLY

Processing Life’s Problems One Laugh at a Time

20

BY FERNANDO MARTINEZ

Honey, let’s not shrink the bee population

INDEX

A Day in the Dirt

22

BY CLARA APPLEGARTH

Body Image Flashback

28

Safety Nets on the Golden Gate

32

BY SHELLEY WANG

BY DIANI ELLIS

Food for Thought & Your Wallet BY MADDISON OCTOBER

34

Meet the Team Behind Xpress

38 3

On the Cover Honey bees gather on the edge of their comb at Garden for the Environment in the Inner Sunset in San Francisco, Calif. On Feb. 27, 2020. (Sandy Scarpa / Xpress Magazine)


XPRESS MAGAZINE

A Day in the Dirt A glimpse of green in a sea of gray: Three community gardens thrive in urban San Francisco Photo Story by James Wyatt

Located at the corner of Larkin and McAllister streets sits a community garden in lieu of a grocery store with a produce section. The Tenderloin is one of the San Francisco neighborhoods classified as a “food desert,� which motivated the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation (TNDC) to create a space for the community to grow their own. Community gardens can now be seen inhabiting many diverse communities across the area of San Francisco. 4


MARCH 2020

A hanging garden was installed to utilize limited space. Marcela Ot inspects a plant growing inside one of the fabric pouches that is typical of a hanging garden. In an urban environment, hanging gardens ensure that smaller plants such as herbs and succulents have adequate light.

5

Community members work together to make their garden a successful and useful resource, benefiting the neighborhood in a variety of ways.


XPRESS MAGAZINE

Located at 780 San Bruno Ave., Potrero Hill Community Garden was established in the early 1970s and is a great location for a community garden with stunning views and beautiful light.

Golden light bathes Henry Wimmer as he ends the day watching the sunset over Potrero Hill Community Garden. Wimmer has lived in the neighborhood since the 1990s and frequents the gardens weekly.

6


MARCH 2020

7


XPRESS MAGAZINE

Service Dogs 101: Intro to the good boys and girls of the Bay Area.

Cloud Galanes-Rosenbaum lays on her living room floor next to her service dog Billie in San Francisco, Calif. March 1, 2020. (Emily Curiel / Xpress Magazine) Story by Ryce Stoughtenborough Photos by Emily Curiel

T

he first time Billie, a sensory processing service dog, saved the life of Cloud Galanes-Rosenbaum, 33, was during the 2015 San Francisco Pride Parade. Galanes-Rosenbaum, a Castro District native, who has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), experiences severe panic attacks when she experiences too much sensory input — blaring music ac-

companied with hundreds of bellowing voices can trigger attacks. She said that during these moments, she goes into a “fight or flight” response, a survival mechanism that enables people to act quickly during perceived life-threatening situations, causing her to become unaware of obstacles and people around her. Because of this, Billie is trained to bring her owner back to reality.

One of the [Pride] floats was driving by and I didn’t see it. I was just panicking, trying to get out of there,” Galanes-Rosenbaum said. “And [Billie] walked right in front of me and stopped and just locked up. So, it was [either] trip over the dog or come back to reality.” Galanes-Rosenbaum said she walked directly into her carob-colored Australian Kelpie, clearing the haze of her panic enough 8

for her to walk into a corner and remove herself from the crowd. Billie successfully analyzed the situation, sensed her owner was in danger and acted. The tactic of going against her owners will — walking in front of a moving obstacle — is called intelligent disobedience; a life-saving skill taught to service dogs like Billie. “I did break down and ugly cry like a crazy teenager,” Galnes-Rosenbaum said. “But it’s better than


MARCH 2020

dying … and it’s just — oh God, it tears me up when I think about it. She’s saved my life so many times.” Service dog partnerships could be seen as symbiotic with how they communicate without words. There is an unspoken agreement of trust between a handler and their dog that is tested every day by the world around them. Though the relationship is critical — a service dog’s utmost priority is its handlers safety. The bond between the two embodies nothing but unwavering devotion. “She’s opened me up,” Galanes-Rosenbaum said. “She’s taught me a lot about interacting with people [and] that I don’t have to be scared of everyone.” According to the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service dog is a working animal — not a pet — that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. There is a vast spectrum of service dogs trained for several disabilities and conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder and visual impairment. In contrast to service dogs, therapy and emotional-support animals aren’t covered under the ADA because they don’t perform a special task for a handler. Galanes-Rosenbaum, who personally trained Billie and is currently studying to make service dog training a profession, broke down the three categories. “In California, and most reasonable states … a service dog is a specific dog, with a specific task, for a specific disability and a specific person. If you can’t meet all of them, they’re not a service dog,” Galanes-Rosenbaum said.

Galanes-Rosenbaum said that a number of animals, from dogs to peacocks can be considered emotional-support animals. However, these animals are

is an assistance animal,’ register them as an [emotional-support animal] and present it to your landlord,” Galanes-Rosenbaum said. “They’ll let you in.”

“She’s opened me up. She’s taught me a lot about interacting with people. That I don’t have to be scared of everyone.” - Cloud Galanes-Rosenbaum

considered pets and aren’t allowed in public spaces. In California, emotional-support animals are covered under the Fair Housing

Therapy animals are actually the opposite of these two categories since these cuddly creatures provide comfort to others instead of their

else,” Galanes-Rosenbaum said. “If you have a crazy poodle that just goes up to everyone and wants to lick them, that dog could be a therapy dog.” West, a posh poodle who sits and poses when he thinks you’re taking his picture, only becomes a lively pup as soon as his “Service Dog” vest is removed. SF State Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate student Anna Goose, 26, received West in August 2015 as an alert dog for her narcolepsy — a chronic sleep disorder that consists of overwhelming daytime drowsiness and

Anna Goose looks at her service dog West in San Francisco, Calif. Feb. 26, 2020. (Emily Curiel / Xpress Magazine)

Act — a law established in 1968 to put an end to housing discrimination based on race, sex, religion, etc. This means people with mental and emotional disabilities can legally live with their emotional-support animal in no pet policy homes. “Legally, all you have to do is get a letter from your doctor that says, ‘yes this

handler. Therapy dogs — and local celebrity cat Duke Ellington — can be spotted on the SF State campus surrendering to belly rubs from eager students. “[Therapy animals] don’t need to know how to ignore pets. They don’t need to know how to sit quietly under a table because they’re there for someone 9

sudden attacks of sleep. Goose, originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, met her coily-haired companion at Pawsibilities Unleashed — a non-profit in Frankfurt, Kentucky dedicated to providing service dogs and service dog training to persons with disabilities. West is the first dog Goose has ever owned.


XPRESS MAGAZINE

“My disability does not happen all the time,” Goose said, referring to the sleep attacks. “I call it ‘episodes,’ some people call it ‘flare ups.’ But the short version is, [West] can tell me before it’s going to happen.” As for the long version, Goose trained West to pickup scent changes in her hormones using frozen samples of her saliva labeled with the date, time and severity of a sleep episode. Liz Norris from Pawsibilities Unleashed said some dogs naturally pay attention to a change in body scent and become keenly aware of it. If that dog were to become an alert dog, it would need to first be taught an “alert” signal — a consistent physical signal that the dog gives every time it smells a change in scent. For Goose, this signal is a firm nose nudge to her leg from West. “Whenever I was having an episode, I would take one of those round cotton swabs and stick it inside my cheek so it would absorb the saliva,” Goose said. “Because whenever ... whatever hormones are flowing in your body, those hormones are also in your saliva. ... At first you just have [the dog] smell [the cotton round] and then you have them smell it and do a specific alert signal. And then you have them smell it and wait for them to do the alert by themselves.” Goose is quick to mention that during all of this training, West is constantly being rewarded with treats and a swift “good boy!” The goal for West is to have him be able to do the alert on his own 85 to 90% of the time. These days, he can pick up her change in scent and alert her five to seven minutes before an episode is about to occur. The purpose of these early alerts is to give Goose enough time to take her medication, a stimulant to help her stay awake and get to a safe spot. As with any visible variance, Goose’s life with West has drawn a spotlight on the two that hasn’t always been the brightest. Because Goose’s disability, like many, is invisible to the public eye, she sometimes encounters uninformed

comments from community members. “Sometimes the biggest challenges we face are the ones that other people can’t see,” Goose said, after a long pause and a few quick glances to West. “And when it is a disability that other people can’t see, in the body of the person [who] is disabled, it’s magnified a thousand times because of the assumption by everyone else that they’re OK when they’re not.” Goose sometimes debates whether having a service dog is a blessing or a curse with this new-found attention that isn’t always friendly. Goose said one time a man sneered at her on San Francisco Muni when he didn’t believe West was a service dog. Life with West has brought her cuddles and a reason to get out of bed in the morning. “Not always on time,” Goose said with a grin. “But like, I have to get out of bed at some point because I’ve got someone else to take care of. It’s not just about me anymore. There’s another creature that needs attention and love and needs to be cared for.” Daisy Soto, a 27-year-old SF State student who has Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) — a degenerative eye disease — received her service dog Miles from Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) in 2016. Soto sweetly calls Miles her “Holiday Dog” because he was born on April Fools’ Day and she got him on Halloween. Although the two exude nothing but confidence when they stride to class, Soto was initially apprehensive about having a guide dog because she got so comfortable with using a cane. “At first I was kind of like, ‘I don’t know how much a guide dog would really improve my form of travel,’” Soto said. “I knew that it would allow me to walk faster, but beyond that I was like ‘I don’t know how much I’d be able to trust a dog. How much it would really help out in terms of my mobility.’ But I was very intrigued, so eventually I ended up applying for [a dog].”

10


MARCH 2020

Daisy Soto cuddles her service dog, Miles in San Francisco, Calif. Feb. 26, 2020. (Emily Curiel / Xpress Magazine)

Soto’s doubts were reasonable considering a guide dog’s purpose is to lead their handler to a destination safely and undistracted. But Soto said it comes naturally to the two. And because guide dogs are so thoroughly trained — they go through a year’s worth of training with a volunteer handler before enduring intense guidance and safety tests with professional trainers. Soto said she assumes Miles just knows what he’s doing. “He was so good from the beginning,” Soto said.

“Obviously [guide dogs] make little mistakes. They’ll run a curb or brush you against a person, little things like that. I guess he’s never given me a reason not to trust him. With him, it comes instinctively.” Soto’s trust in Miles was tested a month after they left the GDB training facility. During a rainy night at a traffic-heavy roundabout, Soto almost crossed in front of a car she didn’t hear. Miles took the initiative to pull Soto backward away from the car. “I call him ‘my best lit-

tle bud’ [because] he’s always there when I’m sad or stressed. He always seems to know,” Soto said. One of the many things Soto’s learned from Miles is patience. She said the big thing with her and Miles — because she’s kind of a control freak — is giving him the chance to be successful and take control. “He’s taught me to relax and trust him a lot more. My friends kind of say [Miles and I] have little couple arguments where I insistently try and tell him to go one way and he ig11

nores me and sits down. And then eventually we go his way, and he’s right and it’s really frustrating,” Soto said, chuckling. X


XPRESS MAGAZINE

Capturing Life from the Half-pipe T

he entrance to the darkroom at San Francisco State University feels more like an entrance to a time machine than a printing room. The door consists of a small circular space, just big enough for about three people, with spinning metal walls that enclose its travelers in complete darkness before opening up on the other side and revealing the low, red glow of the darkroom. It takes time for the eyes to adjust. The space has everything needed to print film. An enlarger projects negatives onto photographic paper, leaving invisible imprints on the light-sensitive paper. People hover over tables with plastic bins, each filled with a different chemical. Photography professor Sean McFarland talks to students

Photo by Tahjai Chan

12


MARCH 2020

Photo Courtesy of David Gutierrez

“A negative can go two ways: I can get it scanned and then printed at Costco or I can put this negative in the darkroom, put it on light sensitive paper, expose it and run it through the chemicals and make an authentic piece of art. And that’s the magic. That’s what keeps me super hooked … I get pure fucking joy off seeing my photos in a physical form.” - David Gutierrez

13


XPRESS MAGAZINE

Photo Courtesy of David Gutierrez

and watches as one places the seemingly blank piece of paper into a bin with the developer. “It’s a pretty magical process,” McFarland said. The blank, almost-silvery surface of the latent print gets immersed in the clear, chemical mixture and begins transforming. While watching the metallic looking image slowly gain depth and clarity in the liquid, it is hard to feel anything except magic. David Gutierrez is a former student of McFarland. Gutierrez looks back on his time at SF State’s photography department fondly and describes McFarland as the “Jedi Master” to his “young Padawan,” the man who taught him how to go the final step and

print his own negatives. “A negative can go two ways: I can get it scanned and then printed at Costco or I can put this negative in the darkroom, put it on light sensitive paper, expose it and run it through the chemicals and make an authentic piece of art,” Gutierrez said. “And that’s the magic. That’s what keeps me super hooked. … I get pure fucking joy off seeing my photos in a physical form.” Gutierrez is a well-known and beloved photographer in the local Bay Area skateboarding community. He is known on Instagram as Flava Dave, and to others as just Dave. His sense of humor, energy and positivity is contagious.

At 23 years old. Gutierrez’ photographs have been featured in magazines like “Thrasher” and “Skate Jawn” and his film photography has been displayed in several small shows throughout the city. As a life-long skateboarder as well, McFarland loved seeing the photos Gutierrez would share while taking his classes. Now, a few years after being in his class, McFarland still follows Gutierrez’ and his photography today. Before moving to San Francisco in 2015, Gutierrez grew up skateboarding and shooting digitally in Castro Valley since he was 13. “Growing up, all I would shoot was my friends skateboarding,” Gutierrez said, laughing. “I wouldn’t shoot 14

the birds. I wouldn’t shoot the squirrels. I wouldn’t shoot the trees. I wouldn’t shoot the bridges. I only shot my homies skateboarding because that was the only thing I thought was sick at the time.” Watching skateboarding videos with professional skate photographer Giovanni Reda on the side as a hype-man inspired Gutierrez. Gutierrez said that to him Reda was the “media man” of the group, full of personality and always hyping everyone up, and that attracted Gutierrez to being a skate photographer even more. Although Gutierrez was exposed to film photography in high school, he only shot digital for a long time.


MARCH 2020

After high school graduation, Gutierrez attended Camp Woodward, a popular action-sport summer camp, and met influential film photographer Travis Mortz through the camp’s digital media program. While teaching a photo class at Woodward, Mortz noticed a “spark” inside Gutierrez and immediately gravitated to him. Gutierrez brought a film camera with him to the camp and under the guidance of Mortz he began to learn about processing film and the history of photography before the digital boom. He personally taught Gutierrez how to process film at home without a darkroom. Mortz wanted to immerse Gutierrez into the process. “There is more to the process if you want to get

the picture you want,” Mortz said. “Dave really picked up on that.” After his experience at Camp Woodward and learning how to do at-home-processing, Gutierrez dove deeper into film. Through studying other photographers and learning from mentors, like Mortz and McFarland, he began to see the beauty in everyday life and the photographic potential of these things. Skateboarding will always be a topic of Gutierrez’ photography, but as he ages he is finding inspiration in more places, things and emotions. He has also grown appreciative of the long and complex process — even if that means waiting six months to see what

is inside a single roll of film. “I feel like I’m blessed with a lot of beautiful moments and there’s a lot of stuff I want to capture,” Gutierrez said. “I’m learning that with all these beautiful moments there’s a fair amount of sad and grief moments and I feel like me being a photographer is also learning how to capture all these different emotions.” Time is intrinsic to the process. From the moment you take the first picture on

relevant after the creation of digital cameras and gets people hooked on it. And Gutierrez is hooked. You can always find him with a film camera hanging from his neck — and sometimes a second one stuffed in his pocket — hyped and ready to shoot anything that inspires him. “These are my memories, other people’s memories, in physical form,” Gutierrez said. “It’s pretty magical. I feel like that’s why I’m kind

“It’s the photographer and the way they laid it out. … The way they presented it is what makes it beautiful, not whether it’s film or digital,” Gutierrez said. X

Photo Courtesy of David Gutierrez

a roll of film, the light from that specific day and moment is preserved on film. That image sits in secret, in the dark, for days or weeks or months or however long it takes to finish the roll and develop the negative. Only until this process is complete can you print the negatives and bring to life a moment from the past — almost like a time machine. Perhaps it is this quality about film that keeps it

of addicted to it.” Although film holds a special place in Gutierrez’ life, he often shoots skateboarding digitally, most recently getting one of his images — a gnarly shot of his friend and local skater Logan Bonner flying through a gap in a tree — ran in “Thrasher Magazine.” Gutierrez believes that taking great photos is about more than just the format in which the photo is taken. 15


XPRESS MAGAZINE

Culture Cannot be Erased — A Central American Perspective Story & Illustrations by Paul Kelly

16


MARCH 2020

Honduras

S

canning the sanguine walls, dripping with paraphernalia, it was easy to miss the Nicaraguan flag enamel pin and modest portrait of Guatemala’s national bird: the resplendent quetzal. They stood as the lone representatives of Central America on a predominantly Mexican wall. Aurora Macha, member of the Latinx organization La Raza, commented in a slightly factitious, but serious tone, that there should be a portrait of Nicaraguan poet and revolutionary Daisy Zamora in the La Raza office. Frequently being misidentified as Mexican is a rite of passage for Central Americans in the U.S. One might assume and perceive this as benign ignorance. Sadly this is not the case. The ever-worsening political situation of Central America has resulted in more than 38,000 unaccompanied children and

nearly 104,000 people migrating as families to the U.S.-Mexican border, according to a census report conducted by the Migration Policy Institute. These migrants mainly originate from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras; with Guatemalans compris-

Mexican neighborhoods and are now pushing for greater recognition of Central American achievement and artistic legacy. A fight against, what is often perceived by Americans, as the default Latinx experience. Macha, who is of Nicaraguan and Guatemalan descent, said that the only time she had ever seen a Guatemalan in a major motion picture was for a fleeting comedic moment in the 2009 children’s film “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.” “It was the short dude who was like a cameraman … that’s the only representation that I remember as a kid. … Most of the media representation [of Latinx people],” Macha said, “is either Mexican or Puerto Rican.” This Mexican-centric model has also historically had the unfortunate effect of propagating negative stereotypes and perceptions of Central Americans. Macha said, for the most part, not much else

“When people think of Central America or even now when they think of Nicaragua. They think of this really sad desolate country and we are so much more than that.” - Gabriela Aléman ing 49% of those migrating as families. These three nations, also referred to as the “Northern Triangle,” have been experiencing high rates of gang violence and governmental instability. Many within these communities, are now finding homes in predominantly 17

is allowed to surface to the top in terms of knowledge on Central American culture. In Macha’s experience, the general Mexican perception of Central Americans is that they all “speak like sailors, that Guatemalans are all borrachos (drunks) and that Nicaraguans se creen (think highly of themselves).” Local Chicanx social-rights activist, Adalí Rodrigiuez, found themselves hardpressed when asked how much knowledge concerning Central Americans existed within Mexican communities. They had a few

Nicaragua


XPRESS MAGAZINE

National flower of El Salvador “Flor de Izote”

moments of internal struggle before answering. “We don’t really think about [Central Americans], you essentially don’t exist,” Rodrigiez said. Mission-based artist Gabriela Aléman said this long-standing sense of cultural and linguistic isolation is often compounded by the difficulty involved in finding spaces or events that are geared toward Central Americans. “It was the first time I had access to Nicaraguan culture arts in my life,” said Aléman, who is of Nicaraguan and Salvadoran descent, on joining the Nicaraguan nonprofit cultural group “Chavalos de Aquí y de Allá,” (Children from Here and Over There) where she is now a board member and key figure. “It’s been very transformative,” Aléman said. “It’s been very holistic and been very anchoring in my Nicaraguan identity. … I think that the Mission in particular doesn’t really center on non-Mexican or non-Chicano voices.” Aléman, who describes her digitally produced art as being reactionary in nature, spoke of the necessity to humanize the Central American community through representation, artistic and otherwise. “When people think of Central America or even now when they think of Nicaragua,” Aléman said. “They think of this really sad desolate country and we are so much more than that.” An unfortunate and more than frequent byproduct of Mexican cultural hegemony is the loss of

national flower of Belize “Black Orchid” 18


MARCH 2020

knowledge related to the cultural, intellectual and artistic achievements of Central Americans outside of the community’s direct influence. Guatemalan poet, Liza Estrada, commented on the fact, with quiet frustration, that in many instances Mexican traditions are known internationally, leading to those unfamiliar with Central American traditions to try to understand Central Americans through the monolithic lens of Mexican values. This is a growing phenomenon with more and more social nuance in the art world as the migrant crisis worsens. Estrada recounted an incident during a visit to the Chicago Art Museum. The piece on display, an installation meant to honor the deaths of migrant children, had a profound impact on Estrada initially. Upon further inspection, Estrada discovered that the work did not make one mention of the children’s country of origin. Estrada said the installation did not mention that these children were primarily of Guatemalan and indigenous origin. Their origin was left under the vague categorization of Latinx, ambiguously Mexican to those freshly arriving to the issue. “These immigrant children are dying and people talk about it like it’s just happening to Mexico, when the reality is the majority of the people in there [are] from Central America,” Estrada said. “There is no specificity on the issue and doing so is harmful ... a lot of folks will say, ‘we are all the same (Latinx people), you’re breaking us apart.’ And it’s like, no, we’re not. If you see that as separation

have been hearing, since the beginning, that there’s not enough Afro-Latinx representation in Latinx spaces,” Velazquez said. “Places maybe like La Raza or M.E.Ch.A. (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán) or other historical organizations … don’t necessarily address the

because we’re finally focusing on Central Americans that’s a you issue.” A relatively new group at SF State, known as Central Americans For Empowerment (C.A.F.E.), has been attempting to inform others on Central America, while simultaneously providing a conclave for Central Americans.

El Salvador

Belize

“We try to educate ourselves,” C.A.F.E. outreach coordinator Jose Vasquez said. “[To] educate others and empower them in a way that we can know about every different culture in Central America.” The organization’s meetings usually revolve around a point of discussion, said Damaris Velazquez, C.A.F.E. ‘s president. “Our topic [for Feb. 26] came about because we

anti-blackness in our communities … so that’s usually how topics come about. It’s like what’s urgent? What do we really need to know about or discuss?” Macha said, recently, La Raza has been attempting to combat and counteract the Mexican-centric manner of understanding Latin American culture. “I know [La Raza] is seen as a Mexican organization. We’ve been trying to reset 19

that for like the past two or three years. … [Members of La Raza have] been very accepting towards it,” Macha said. “Mainly because they know that it’s important to include all people in some way somehow, or at least more than just the Mexican-centric culture.” Political turmoil combined with the phantasmagoria of online communities has allowed for a greater sense of solidarity and connectedness with relatives and issues in respective homelands. Aléman, who publishes and distributes swarths of her work via Instagram, said social media often provides a news outlet for Central Americans that is not always available through conventional Latin American news outlets. “It’s only because of the internet that we’ve ever been able to, meet each other, like know that we exist,” Aléman said. Veleaquez elaborated on how being part of C.A.F.E. has afforded her the chance to feel the importance of community. “It’s just very comforting, finally feeling accepted … not being ashamed of your own culture … like we can all finally say like, ‘hey, we have a place to be in.’” X


XPRESS MAGAZINE

Processing Life’s Problems One Laugh at a Time How comedy allows us to process the news, mental illness, and life’s meaninglessness. Story by Fernando Martinez

T

he stage setup for the comedy show at Oakland’s All Out Comedy Theater consists of a lone, black microphone perched on top of its stand, sitting in between an elongated black-cushioned armchair. “The jokes you’re gonna hear tonight will be about mental illness. We’re not OK, and that’s OK,” said a comedian who goes by the stage name Wonder Dave, welcoming an audience of twenty-somethings to “Mental Health Comedy Hour.” At this Bay Area comedy show and beyond, humor is utilized as a means to deal with all that is going in the world and in our heads. This may have already been true in times past, but today’s comedic material is arguably the most serious, yet simultaneously hilarious. After President Donald Trump ordered the airstrike that killed Qasem Soleimani, head of Iran’s Quds Force, he celebrated with an attitude similar to a fraternity brother winning at beer pong, as the people of Iran mourned in their streets and denounced the United States. Meanwhile, many social media users seized this possibility of going to war with Iran as comedic material. The #WorldWarIII hashtag

trended on Twitter after the news of Soleimani’s assassination broke. Twitter users articulated their dread of World War III by poking fun at their new year optimism being burst by the world already on the brink of war — only three days into the new decade. But why did so many people respond to something as serious as a possibility of war with humor? “Humor is very disarming,” said comedian Kristee Ono, who along with Wonder Dave created “Mental Health Comedy Hour.” “As far as defenses that come up with topics. That laugh, a lot of times, is a laugh of recognition of, on some level understanding, what this whole fucking thing is about. It’s a good way to package something that somebody else may not listen to you otherwise. So you’re giving them a way to absorb it.” In other words: to cope. Of course, the first major event the world went through in the new decade was its possible destruction due to a dangerous game of global-political chess. It’s through making memes, tweets or jokes laced with dark humor that we can regain a sense of control over matters that we don’t have a say in, even when we feel

like we should. Today’s meme phenomenon isn’t only limited to potential global warfare. Whether it is the COVID-19, mass shootings, the Trump impeachment or climate change, there are memes for it. In each instance, these online jesters are trying to make sense of the absurdity of life. During this age of heightened dark humor, some comedians are channeling it in their standup comedy sets in a self-deprecating manner to deal with just about everything: sex, mental illness, existential dread or just having to be themselves. Comedian Julie Ash is one such comic and frequently performs at “Mental Health Comedy Hour.” “For some of us, making fun of suicide, making fun of death and all of that is carthartic, but to some audiences it isn’t carthartic,” Ash said. “And I think that’s part of the challenge of being a comedian. You have to realize ‘OK what audience am I working with? Are they going to like me talking about this? Or am I gonna make it so funny that even people who think they may not like it will laugh anyway?’” Joking about something as serious as suicide may

20

sound heavy, but it can be done with great thought and consideration. “I defintely have a lot of jokes about suicide. I think it’s about 10 to 12 minutes all together and it is always really hard to sell it to people as a thing that both I am OK and safe, and that this is a thing that people need to talk about,” Ono said. “Being silent is even scarier. So, it is a fine line to walk, as far as ‘What are people going to think?’ And there’s a lot of things in my delivery that I do have to convey to people. Like smiling while saying it and being playful when I say it because they need to know that I’m not gonna fucking leave here if this is a bad set and go end my life.” These stand up comedians aren’t just making fun for the sake of making fun, but rather, to reclaim the parts of their lives they often don’t feel they have control over. “I think there’s a lot about like, finding your voice and having your experience witnessed and having control over the narrative,” Ono said. “That is very important in stand up for me.” Stand up comedy also offers a unique opportunity for comedians to truly


MARCH 2020

be themselves without the filters of a television show or film script. “I mean, that’s my preference towards standup as opposed to doing sketch [comedy] or acting, which are all things I’ve done. But I really just like being myself and getting to tell my own stories,” Wonder Dave said. “Just being me on stage, that’s my favorite. It helps me.” Ash and Ono deliberately don’t do political jokes. Not due to any apathy or callousness for the state of the world, but instead to not contribute to an oversaturated sea of bad (usually Donald Trump) jokes. “For me, specifically, I try to stay away from political humor. It’s not that I’m afraid to talk about it cause I’m a liberal and I’m proud of being a progressive and I would be happy to share my views. My problem is just that comedy specifically, so many comedians are already doing it,” Ash said. “When it comes to politics, late night talk show hosts have it covered — Trevor Noah, John Oliver, Samantha Bee,” Ash said. “So, it’s like, what Trump joke am I gonna be able to write that’s original?” Bad, done-to-death Trump jokes aside, the working structure of standup comedy still lends itself as a way to address, deconstruct and ultimately ridicule the political atmosphere. “I appreciate that kind of standup in general as a mechanism of recognizing how absurd everything is and making it a tolerable thing to ingest as a person living in this world,” Ono said. “I would rather watch comedians talk about topical news and political stuff

Wonder Dave said. “And Kristee and I have, in addition to finding joking about our mental health struggles funny, we also found therapy to be helpful. So, we thought it would be nice to demystify therapy a little bit and to bring on a therapist to talk about their jobs and have them see like, ‘Here’s a person. You can talk to this person. We’re talking to

than actually watch the news because it is a fucking bummer. ... I’ve heard some great jokes about taking down capitalism, like it’s great, but it’s hard to do that. It’s a very hard thing for people to do.” Part of the mission of “Mental Health Comedy Hour” is to work to de-stigmatize mental illness. Every show tries to help those in

Comedian Wonder Dave at the “Mental Health Comedy Hour” Photo Courtesy of Baruch Porras Hernandez & the San Francisco AIDS Foundation

the audience. Literally. A mental health professional is usually part of the line up and joins the hosts on stage for a brief, but very informative conversation. “One of the things we wanted to do with this show was to openly talk about mental health and mental illness, specifically,”

a person right now.’ And we do want people to get help because I feel like the people who would be attracted to a show called “Mental Health Comedy Hour,” might also be attracted to going to therapy.” A through line to all these — internal and external — worries is existential dread. 21

A feeling of life bearing no meaning. A feeling some people find great relief in relishing in the fact that we all are going to die one day. Ono is one such person. “As far as existential dread goes, I find great peace in knowing that none of this is going to matter or is going to be remembered,” Ono said. “Because my anxiety is that people are judging me and that I’m gonna get kicked out of society. So, it’s like, if nothing matters, then if in a hundred years no one’s gonna remember any of this, then I feel freer to kind of carry on as a person.” But for Ash, this unavoidable conclusion to life serves as the catalyst for her anxiety about life, during and after it. “Death is what I fear, yeah. I fear other people judging me and stuff. But for me, it’s like, I don’t wanna die, because all of this stuff that I have. I’ll lose it. But all the bad stuff will be gone too, so that’s nice,” Ash said. “Anytime that you create art that’s almost like a symbolic immortality because you’re creating that thing. So once you die, you’ve still created all of that. So, I think subsciously, we think it’s a way of dealing with that.” Everyone seems to have their own way of handling what life throws at them. “I think that’s where depression helps me out because I wanna fucking die. That’s how depression and anxiety work in tandem,” Ono said, laughing along with her fellow comedians backstage, momentarily suspending that loud silence that comes with being alive. X


XPRESS MAGAZINE

Honey, let’s not shrink the bee population Story by Clara Applegarth Photos by Sandy Scarpa

Honey bees come and go from their hive at Garden for the Environment in the Inner Sunset in San Francisco, Calif. On Feb. 27, 2020. (Sandy Scarpa / Xpress Magazine)

22


MARCH 2020

T

he honey bee is the glue that holds ecosystems together through pollination. An insect so small, but so gargantuan in its purpose. ut honey bees are being threatened as the climate grows more extreme and human interaction, in the form of deadly pesticides, harms them. In July, President Trump put sulfoxaflor, a pesticide that acts as a deadly infiltration to bee colonies and which was banned in 2016 under the Obama Administration, back on the market. The bee decline is happening before our very eyes, and perhaps even in our own backyards.

keep a good equilibrium that includes keeping a temperature of 93 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. When the queen runs out of eggs and sperm, the hive will prompt her to create her successor. “She’ll lay 10, 12 eggs that develop into queens. Those nine to 12 come, fight it out, like “Game of Thrones,” and that’s how the strongest survives. She goes out to mate, and when she mates she returns to the hive.”

THE HEART OF THE NATION

queen is dependent

B

H

oney bees are intelligent creatures and have several ways in which they maintain the hive, as well as the queen. It’s important to know a few basics about a hive in order to understand the effects of these pesticides on honey bees. “They’re way smarter than we are,” said Marc Johnson, board member of the San Francisco Beekeepers Association (SFBA). “There’s a hive intelligence. The queen is dependent upon the hive and the hive is dependent on the queen. I explain it as a superorganism, like our bodies, we have a heart that supports the rest of our body, and the rest of the body supports the heart and the queen, in that sense, I call [it] the ‘heart of the nation.’” he queen lays eggs and while the hive works around the clock to

T

23

“They’re way smarter than we are.

There’s a hive intelligence. The

upon the hive and the hive is dependent on the queen.

- Marc Johnson ueens mate with Q male bees, known as “drones,” that usually

reside by the surrounding area of a hive and are much larger in size. Their main function is to attempt to successfully mate and impregnate the queen bee, according to Perfect Bee, a website dedicated to all things bee. “[The queen] lays two types of eggs,” Johnson said. “She lays a fertilized egg and an unfertilized egg. The unfertilized egg is a male bee, they’re larger. They have one job in life and that is to mate with the next queen. The fertilized egg is a female worker bee.” A queen bee will lay roughly 2,000 eggs, both


XPRESS MAGAZINE

unfertilized and fertilized, per day, if the hive is healthy, the drones are healthy and the queen is healthy, according to the Orkin website. Each bee has a life span of six to eight weeks, Johsnon said. But the queen bee’s life span can range up to two to three years. This is where the hive intelligence, if met with systemic pesticides, becomes compromised.

honey bees by contact of one colony member. There are a variety of ways it can be treated on a crop. “Sulfoxaflor can be dripped into the soil. It means that they can be sprayed on the foliage,” Loarie said. “They can even

after it eats a certain amount of the treated plant crop.” The problem with systemic pesticides is that when farmers spray it on their crops, it gets into the roots, which enters the soil. It can then enter the water supply and any other plac-

THE RISE AND FALL OF SULFOXAFLOR ulfoxaflor first came S to be in 2013, when it was registered by the

Environmental Protection Agency and listed under names such as “Transform” and “Closer.” It was an attempt to find a highly effective insecticide against those insects that began to show a tolerance for other neonics. WHAT IS SULFOXAFLOR? It showed high success rates with less applicareg Loarie is an tion, according to an artiattorney at Earthcle published by the EPA. justice, a law firm that “I was the attorney represents environmenthat represented the tal conservation efforts beekeeping organizathroughout the nation. tions challenging the Loarie works directEPA’s decision to register ly with beekeepers, as sulfoxaflor for the first well as nonprofits who time back in the Obama protect bees and other administration,” Loarie pollinators. He is well said. “That litigation reversed in pesticides, sulted in sulfoxaflor bespecifically sulfoxaflor. ing initially taken off the ulfoxaflor is “difmarket, and then subferent than most stantial restrictions on pesticides in that it is use put in place.” systemic,” Loarie said. oarie represents “You spray them on the non-profits that crop and the insect eioften sue the EPA, such ther comes into contact as the Pollinator Stewwith the spray directly, or ardship Council, Inc. comes into contact with (PSC), who won the case the residue of the spray that first took sulfoxaflor on the foliage and dies off of the market in 2016. more or less immediately “We, in the beekeepon contact.” ing world, we saw that ulfoxaflor is what and said, ‘Wonderful, is known as a “neanother toxic systemic onicotinoid.” According Marc Johnson, Board Member of SF Beekeepers Association and education outreach, holds a pesticide has been regframe of honey bees from the hive in San Francisco, Calif. On Feb. 27, 2020. (Sandy Scarpa to a fact sheet on Texas / Xpress Magazine) istered for use on bee-efA&M AgriLife Extension’s fective crops,’” Executive website, a neonicotinoid be used as seed treatments es near the sprayed crop. Director of LEAD for Polliacts on an insect brain the for you to see in a bath herefore, if sulfoxa- nators Michele Colopy said. same way nicotine does in of the pesticide and then olopy’s duties are to flor is sprayed anythe human brain. It stimu- planted and as the plant where near crops that are bring small farmers lates receptors that cause grows. The actual sprout is pollinated by honey bees, and non-profits like the Sierra responses in the nervous toxic to insects. That means there’s a good chance that Club together and educate, system, and if it doesn’t that the insect doesn’t nec- it will get into their system as well as collaborate on adkill a honey bee, it can be essarily die sort of immedi- and act as a cancer. vocacy. spread and threaten other ately after contact. It dies “When we reviewed the

G

S

L

S

T

24

C


MARCH 2020

registration we said, ‘we’re not happy with this because the EPA clearly stated, our best professional hunch is, ‘this should be okay.’’ We took them to court on that, because professional hunches are not science,” Colopy said. “The Trump administration, can just say, ‘well, it’s a different assessment. It’s not the same and tough.’ The Trump administration can do what they want. That is why there are so many non-governmental organizations, nonprofits, that have to sue to stop things.” ow Colopy and other nonprofits are returning to court to fight the same battle they had won merely three years earlier. “Right now the EPA is paralyzed,” said bee researcher Randy Oliver, who conducts his studies in Grass Valley, California. “It would take getting rid of Trump — the Trump administration has the EPA scared to shit.” Oliver is a noted high school biology teacher turned bee researcher, who conducts his own studies on his property. Oliver believes that while different pesticides do harm beneficial insects, bees are healthier than ever. Oliver sees honey bees as livestock, with power in numbers. “Think of under your own kitchen sink,” Colopy said. “All the different chemicals that are under there, the

cleaners, the furniture polish, different shampoos — mix it all together, that’s what they’re spraying on your food as it’s growing.” Colopy believes diversification in the crops that honey bees pollinate are necessary for thriving colonies, and as little intervention with chemical agents as possible. “This is the other issue we get into this industrialized agriculture,” Colopy said. “Like almonds, you have 1,300 square miles or more of one crop. It’s bad farming. It’s bad land management. It’s not supporting a balanced ecosystem. It’s only supporting greed.”

N

DOUBLE DOSE: PESTICIDES AND CLIMATE CHANGE s if having chemicals that directly harm honey bees A wasn’t enough, the world is also battling the climate crisis, which threatens all species.

“During wintertime, the bees just cycle down. That is a normal part of the behavior. We have two things that have happened in the past couple of years that affect our bees. One is there are 25,000 more cars on the road at this point in time [than] there were five years ago because Uber and Lyft,” Johnson said. “The air is different. That affects, again,

25


XPRESS MAGAZINE

both sense of smell and sense of sight. So [a honey bee] may not see flowers or smell flowers the same exact way. And we seem to have a honey drop off at that point in time.” t’s not just the sight and smell of honey bees that are negatively impacted by climate change, though. “We should be concerned. We know that the insect biomass globally is just being decimated. It’s an accumulation of things. It is the overuse of pesticides — especially those pesticides that have these long half-life,” Colopy said. “One application of a

I

“We as humans — to fix this — have to get off the drugs, which are pesticides. It really all comes down to money. It comes down to consumers understanding that if you buy a pesticide, and you make your neighbor sick or you make yourself sick, [it’s] your own darn fault,”

- Michele Colopy

toxic is going downstream killing other invertebrates in the water. So it is causing problems for even the insects that we are killing, and we are killing an awful lot of beneficial ones,” Colopy said. “Those beneficial [insects] were to be there to feed birds, to feed the fish, to feed the frogs [and] to feed other critters. When we destroy the bottom of the food chain, everything else moves down.”

he problems conT tinue to mount when harmful remnants

pesticide might last in the soil for up to three years if it gets into the water and stays down in the sediment where the sun can’t help to break it up.”

get into waterways. “Then you have a flooding issue. That sediment that’s

Fresh honeycomb sparkles in the sun at Garden for the Environment in the Inner Sunset in San Francisco, Calif. On Feb. 27, 2020. (Sandy Scarpa / Xpress Magazine)

26


MARCH 2020

WHAT CAN WE DO? ohnson paused over his large latte that J had a swirled design in it and hung his head low to try and find his words.

“I don’t think we’re taking enough care of our farming communities and their use of pesticides. So many of these [pesticides] are supposed to not be harmful to honey bees, but we know that they are,” Johnson said. “If the bees go away, we’re in deep doo-doo. Thirty percent of our food is pollinated directly by the honey bees.” olopy said hope is not entirely lost, even though chemical companies compromise government, which compromises policy, which in turn, compromises the environment. Colopy and her team said the four biggest things we can do is to eat organic foods, eat a diet specific to our geographical location, purchase local and support local beekeepers. “We as humans — to fix this — have to get off the drugs, which are pesticides. It really all comes down to money. It comes down to consumers understanding that if you buy a pesticide, and you make your neighbor sick or you make yourself sick, [it’s] your own darn fault,” Colopy said. “The pesticide company doesn’t care. While we have regulations, those regulations are not really saying buyer beware. People think that well, ‘if [the] EPA registers it, it must be safe.’ It is a product meant to kill, therefore, it is not safe.” X

C

27


XPRESS MAGAZINE

Body Image Flashback

How the media can impact body image and self-esteem for women Story & Illustration by Shelley Wang

T

he early 2000s was “so fetch” as former mean girl Gretchen Weiners would say — from the Juicy Couture with Uggs sweatsuit fashion phenomenon, to the birth of primetime reality TV and celebrity tabloids galore. Specifically, tabloid mania created a large amount of backlash for celebrity women and their bodies. In an August 2017 interview with Vogue, actress Jennifer Aniston said, “I think the problem is the tabloids and the gossip columns taking the human body and putting it in a category. They’re either fat-shaming, body-shaming or childless-shaming.” The media transcends much farther than just what’s in the magazines, but seeps into TV and movies. The influence of the media begins much sooner than one would think. SF State Women and Gender Studies professor Renu Cappelli said it begins when we are little and aspire to be like the characters we see in books and cartoons.

“It’s a part of how we play, ‘you’re this character and I’ll be this character’ and then that’s when it gives the representation enormous power to shape how we want to be,” Cappelli said.

Louis Vuitton purses to the release of the Razr phone. While there’s been plenty of trend inspiration from magazines, a lot of tabloids pick apart celebrity women and their lifestyles — wear-

“I remember the first time I got measured I was a 27 inch waist at 17-years-old and they told me to come back when you lose three inches.” - Soleil Black

Today many people use social media and the internet to stay culturally connected and search for the latest scoop on their favorite celebrities. Twenty years ago, magazines were the main source that provided young teens with the latest trends like the multicolored, monogrammed

ing the wrong dress to award shows, who needed to lose a few pounds and women checking out of rehab. “We see celebrities profoundly criticized or just scrutinized for what they’re wearing and that inspires us to spend money trying to be on-trend or be like what is shown,” Cappelli said.

28

The scrutiny and exposure of celebrities heavily emphasized women to oversexualize themselves as well. According to an article by Julia T. Wood — and Lineberger Distinguished Professor of Humanities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the media portrays women to be oversexualized which can then impact one’s own self-esteem, especially for young girls. Wood wrote that hypersexualized women are usually shown as young, thin, beautiful, passive, dependent and often incompetent and dumb. This connects to the types of women that were displayed in the media during the early 2000s in movies like “The House Bunny” and “Mean Girls.” “At this point, it’s disappointing that sex sells so easily. I am more impressed with promoting creativity and intelligence. Making our minds sexy, not just our bodies,” said Sophia Villaseñor, who is a student teaching a course on


MARCH 2020

29


XPRESS MAGAZINE

self-alignment this semester. Wood’s research also touched upon how the media “pervades our lives” and how the misrepresentation of gender affects how one sees themselves and what is wanted of men and women. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, between 69-84% of women are dissatisfied with their bodies. The issue begins when society starts putting celebrities on a pedestal assuming they are different than anyone else. Psychology Today said that “celebrity worship syndrome” is a real mental health issue that can be described as an obsessive addictive disorder. A person can become overly involved and interested in a celebrity’s persona and all the details about their personal life, which can mean that any “mistakes” or changes made by them are highlighted as life-ruining. The power of media and its tendency to hyperfocus on celebrities, has largely impacted their relationship to their own body. Singer-songwriter Demi Lovato continuously gets criticized in the media over her weight, causing her ongoing eating disorder. In her 2017 documentary, “Simply Complicated,” she said, “Body image, what I wish I could be eating. What I wish I could be eating next.

What I wish I didn’t eat, you know it’s just constant.” To this day, people rarely want to come out and share their personal struggles. A few years ago, it was almost unheard of. It was the era where the media drove Britney Spears mad enough to shave her head and later bash a car window with an umbrella. Whether anyone would like to admit it or not, the media affects everyone. The media is almost inescap-

Cappelli remembers how “very, very thin, white women were what was upheld as the standard.” Reality TV became mainstream with shows like “America’s Next Top Model,” “The Simple Life,” “The Real Housewives,” “The Hills” and “The Bachelor” all coming out within a few years of each other. All these shows had one thing in common: showing off the life of beautiful and thin women competing for

“At this point, it’s disappoint-

ing that sex sells so easily. I am

more impressed with promoting creativity and intelligence.

Making our minds sexy, not just our bodies.” - Sophia Villaseñor able and Cappelli explains that it “affects all of us on some level. Even if we think of ourselves as ‘I’m not like that. I’m unique and different.’ We’re still responding to it in some way.” In the early 2000s, the “desired” look was light hair, fair-skin, colored eyes and an hour-glass figure. Those seen as desirable were young, white, blonde women like Paris Hilton.

fame or fortune. Even in popular scripted dramas, all the main character’s in this era were white and thin; for example “Gossip Girl,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Beverly Hills 90210.” Looking back, there was little representation in terms of ethnicity, body type or even hair color. SF State student Soleil Black saw firsthand how vicious and non-inclusive the

30

modeling world could be. “I remember the first time I got measured. I was a 27-inch waist at 17-yearsold and they told me to ‘come back when you lose three inches,’” Black said. “The thing I do like about [modeling] is I feel confident when I’m doing it but there are so many negatives because they don’t care about your personality or what you like to do. All they care about [are] your measurements.” Black ended up stepping away from modeling because it was starting to affect her. She wanted to eat less and workout more. As a result of her experiences, she wouldn’t wish for her future daughter to become a model until she is much older since children are much more vulnerable to criticism. Black emphasized the importance of loving your body. “There are always going to be opinions no matter how tall or skinny you are,” Black said. “Don’t let anyone’s opinion affect that. It’s your body and strictly yours.” Almost two decades later, more women of color are taking lead roles and leaving their marks on the lives of developing females. Though there is still so much more improvement that needs to be done, social movements and brand campaigns over the years have made women feel like they are


MARCH 2020

regaining their power. The #MeToo and Time’s Up movements have made tremendous strides in raising awareness of sexual assault against women and have emphasized the toxicity in the gendered portrayal of women. In addition to new, all-body inclusive brands like Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty lingerie line, several established brands have begun new campaigns, like Dove for Real Beauty, aimed at previously ignored demographics. “I see some improvements in terms of body types, as far as modeling, maybe not in high fashion,” Cappelli said. “But the same thing with makeup. There is more representation other than white faces.” With the media consciously including women of different skin colors and body types, the world’s definition of “beauty” is evolving. Bodies like Lizzo, Ashley Graham, Megan Thee Stallion and Chrissy Metz encourage diversity and change in young girls’ lives that were not seen as commonly in the early 2000s.

X

31


XPRESS MAGAZINE

Safety Nets on the Golden Gate Story by Diani Ellis Photo by Dyanna Calvario

S

ince it’s opening day in 1937, the bridge has had on average about 30 people each year take their lives by climbing over the edge and leaping off. Recently, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors has decided to go further with building a barrier to prevent suicidal jumpers. With figuring out the best way to do that, the net barriers came into play. The nets will be placed 20 feet below the bottom of the bridge and extend 20 feet from the bridge. When a jumper falls into them, the impact will break a few bones, but may also save lives. After figuring out what would be installed, the board needed to figure out where the millions of dollars for the project was going to come from, moving the end date of the project to 2023, instead of 2021. According to the Golden Gate Highway

documenting the bridge for over two years now, about six to eight hours a day. “The net has good intentions and will save some lives. But some things have unintended consequences and I think the net will be one of those. In 2019, 28 people jumped from the bridge. But what I don’t hear people talking about is how many interventions there are. Right now Bridge Patrol intervenes on about 200

and Transportation Board, the project will cost $211 million. The funding will come from federal and state grants, as well as bridge tolls and donations. However, when the project was released to the city of San Francisco, some residents weren’t as happy with the idea, as the board expected them to be. “I’ve been documenting the construction of the net since the first few beams were installed,” Jake Ricker said. “From everything I’ve seen and learned, from my time on the bridge I’m 100% against the net.” Ricker, a 32-year-old photographer, has been

32


MARCH 2020

people a year,” Ricker said. “The problem is not the bridge and strangely enough the way things operate right now. Hundreds of people a year are getting saved and some are getting help for the first time in their lives by coming here. I think the net will possibly cost hundreds of lives a year but because those numbers are so high elsewhere, the net will always look like a success.” According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, over 40,000 people in the USA commit suicide each year;

making suicide the 10th leading cause of death. And out of the “10 Most Popular Suicide Spots on Earth” The Golden Gate Bridge falls second on the list, right behind the Aokigahara Forest on Mount Fuji in Japan. “I honestly believe people come to this bridge to seek help. Almost 90% of the calls I’ve got from a suicidal person at the bridge has been a cry for help. So many notes left behind from a person that jumped stated, ‘If someone tries to help me, I won’t jump.’ They are coming to this bridge to live, I truly believe that,” said Stacey Herring of SF Suicide Prevention, a community-based telephone crisis center. Although the number of

jumpers is extremely high; the number of people talked off the edge each year is higher. And the bridge patrols have a lot to do with it. Bridge patrol officers are required to not only have experience working in security, emergency responder dispatching or a related field, but also are required to complete at least two years of college-level courses in a criminal justice related field. People travel from all around the world to see this bridge for many different reasons. “This bridge symbolizes something different to me each day. Sometimes it’s a place of joy. Sometimes it’s a place of sadness. I think everyone has a different experience depending on the events that unfold

33

in front of you that day. I think because I’m there so much, I’ve seen a lot more than most people ever will,” Ricker said. “So to see someone jump, to having a couple making out in the exact same spot a few minutes later is something that’s always stuck with me on just how different the bridge can be to every single person.” Despite everything, the board still believes the nets will save lives. According to the Golden Gate Bridge webiste, “The 1978 Seiden study at the Golden Gate Bridge showed that 90 percent of those stopped from jumping did not later die by suicide or other violent means.”X


XPRESS MAGAZINE

Food for Thought & Your Wallet Photo Story by Maddison October

ooking on a college student’s budget is often difficult C to do, but hopefully these recipes might help inspire some new additions that are relatively cheap and can last a

Breakfast English Muffin Sandwich

couple of days. Some of the ingredients are “staples” that should in your fridge or your cabinets (such as honey, olive oil, butter, etc.,) The initial cost might be high but you can use those ingredients in other meals or snacks down the line.

Ingredients: 1 english muffin 1 egg 1 slice of cheddar cheese 1 red onion Couple leaves of spinach

Cost: English muffin: $1.69 Eggs (half dozen): $2.49 Cheddar cheese: $3.99 Red onion: $0.89 Spinach: $1.99 Total: $11.05

Recipe: Toast your english muffin (it can be on a frying pan if you don’t have a toaster). Fry your egg (I keep the yolk intact that way it was runny when I ate it. However you like your eggs works!) Slice a ring of red onion. Build your sandwich: english muffin, cheese, egg, onion, spinach and start your day off deliciously.

34


Lunch Spring Rolls (Goi Cuon) Ingredients: 1 pack rice paper 1 pack Banh Pho noodles 1 head leaf lettuce 1 bunch cilantro 1-3 Portobello mushroom 1 pack bean sprouts 2-4 slivered carrots Sauce: Hoisin sauce Sriracha Roasted peanuts

MARCH 2020 Instructions: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Fill a plate or shallow bowl big enough to fit the rice paper with warm water. Place noodles inside a strainer and dip them and the strainer in the boiling water. Let them cook for no more than 2 minutes or until the noodles are soft but firm. Rinse under cold water (make sure they’re constantly wet so they don’t stick together). Put rice paper in the plate or shallow bowl with warm water for 30 seconds. Wet a counter and spread out rice paper on top. Place down a piece of leaf lettuce, grab a small roll of noodles and place them on top of the lettuce. Add cilantro on top. Thinly slice portobello tops and put one or two slices on front side of noodles. Sprinkle carrots and sprouts on top. Fold the edges in and roll like a burrito.

Rice paper: $1.88 Banh Pho noodles: $3.99 Leaf lettuce: $2.49 Cilantro: $0.99 Portobello mushroom: $3.99/lb Bean sprouts: $3.49 Slivered carrots: $2.50 Hoisin sauce: $2.99 Sriracha: $1.49 Peanuts: $1.28/lb Total: $27.09

Sauce: In a saucepan, put appropriate amount of hoisin sauce and add water until sauce thins. Add sriracha to taste. Simmer on low. Crush your desired amount of peanuts with a pan or knife Add peanuts into the sauce while it’s simmering and stir for 30-60 seconds. Garnish your sauce with more peanuts Eat while hot. 35


XPRESS MAGAZINE

Snack Peanut Butter Rice Cakes Ingredients: 2 rice cakes 2 ounces peanut butter (a small jar is 16-ounces) 1 banana, sliced 2 ounces honey Cost: Rice cakes: $2.99 Peanut butter: $1.99 Bananas: $0.76 (I got 4 for $0.19) Honey: $5.99 Total: $11.73 Recipe: Spread as much peanut butter on one side of your rice cake as desired. Slice your banana and place on top of peanut butter. Drizzle honey on top and enjoy.

36


MARCH 2020

Dinner Dinner Parmesan Mushroom & Broccoli Penne Ingredients: 16 ounces penne pasta (1 box) 1 cup broccoli, frozen 2 ½ tablespoons butter 1 cup mushrooms, sliced 2 cloves garlic, chopped ¼ cup of Parmesan 1 tablespoon olive oil Cost: Butter: $2.99 Penne Pasta: $1.29 Mushrooms: $1.79 Frozen Broccoli: $1.69 Garlic: $0.29 Parmesan: $2.99 Olive oil: $3.95 Total: $14.70

Recipe: Boil a pot of water that is large enough to hold all the pasta. Add a pinch of salt to water and bring to a boil. Add the desired amount of pasta to water (I used about ¾ of the box). Cook for about 10 minutes. Taste pasta and see if it’s to your liking. While pasta is cooking, take out the broccoli so it can semi-defrost. Slice mushrooms and chop garlic. Cook broccoli and mushrooms in another pan. Drain pasta then pour back in the pot and place on the stove on low heat. Add in the broccoli, mushrooms, butter, olive oil and parmesan cheese. Dish and serve. (add more Parmesan if it is not cheesy enough)

37


XPRESS MAGAZINE

38


MARCH 2020

Not pictured, William Wendelman, because he took the photo. 39


XPRESS MAGAZINE

Honey bees gather over freshly made honey in their frame. San Francisco, Calif. Feb. 27, 2020. (Sandy Scarpa / Xpress Magazine)

40

Profile for Xpress Magazine

Xpress Magazine March 2020  

Advertisement
Advertisement