Collegian NEW POOL, NEW PROBLEMS: CHEMICALS REVEAL UNHEALTHY PH LEVELS
LACC WEATHER FORECAST WEDNESDAY
see paGe 7
Wednesday, December 7, 2016 Volume 177 Number 6
The Voice of Los Angeles City College Since 1929
COMPILED BY LAVIELLE HIBBeRt And Joel FRiAs
now is the time Join the Visual and Media Arts Department in the Chemistry Building on Dec. 8 from 3 to 8 p.m. for an art exhibition and panel discussion about the election and student’s rights. Inform yourself and help build the community. Attendees can create a solution. For more information email Alexandra Wiesenfeld at wiesena@ lacitycollege.edu.
By eVe moReno
Come to a pre-assessment workshop (paws) Increase math placement test scores. Attend PAWS offered by the Mathematics Department each Friday from 10 to 12 p.m. through Dec. 16 in Franklin Hall, 302. For more information call 323-953-4000 ext. 2810.
attend a Happy Healthy stress-less open House Self-massage is just one of the methods offered to help cope with final exam week stress. For more information call Phyllis Eckler at 323-953-4000 ext. 2865, or Aykanush Gevanyan at ext. 2663, or Diana Cummins at ext. 2865.
Prepare for the GED and HiSet. Tutoring is available on Dec. 10 and 17, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Martin Luther King Jr. Library, 3rd Floor classroom. For questions contact Aly Hobel at email@example.com.
students orchestra and wind ensemble Listen to City music students perform a free orchestra and wind ensemble concert inside of the music department recital hall Wed. Dec. 07, at 7 p.m. For more information call the music department at (323) 953-4000 ext. 2880.
laCC students philharmonic Choir Concert Join music students at the last concert before the winter break. Friday, Dec. 09, music students present a Philharmonic Choir Concert in the music department recital hall. For more information call the music department at (323) 953-4000 ext. 2880.
winter session enrollment open now Complete a class in as little as five weeks during a winter session at LACC. The winter 2017 class schedule is available online at www.lacitycollege.edu. Click the winter session banner on the right hand side to open the up-to-date list of classes available. Winter session begins Jan. 3, 2017 and ends Feb. 5, 2017.
turn Used books into Cash All students know the ins and outs of trying to find textbooks at a lower cost. Students also know the disappointment in searching for a used textbook in the bookstore only to find that they have been sold out. Give your fellow Cubs a chance to purchase your used textbooks by allowing the bookstore to buy them back from you. The next textbook buyback will be during finals week, Monday, Dec. 12 through Friday, Dec. 16.
INDEX Opinion & Editorial News Campus Life Arts & Entertainment Sports Politics
Photo by William torres/collegian
A man rests on a makeshift bed on Willow Brook Avenue just outside the City Campus on Nov. 17, 2016. Los Angeles is home to the largest community of people living on the streets, many homeless try to find a place where they can live in safety.
2-3 4 5 6 7 8
Facebook Censors Speech
Students Share Showers with Local Homeless
By williAm toRRes
heriffs escorted a man off campus on Nov. 7 after he was discovered using the showers in the Kinesiology Building. The man comes to the building every morning to shower, according to the sheriff ’s report. Several fitness classes including weight training, swimming, Judo and aerobics have start times as early as 7 a.m. Many of these students may be sharing their post workout showers with the homeless that use City’s amenities. “They will get in any nook and cranny they can find,” said Jan McEveety, a swimming instructor at L.A. City College. “A month ago, there was a leak in the backside of [the Kinesiology Building]. It came from the storage room where we store a big tank of chlorine. We noticed water was coming out of the chlorine room. I went back there and noticed the safety shower to rinse off any chlorine was running. I immediately called the sheriffs on campus and told them there must have been a homeless person getting inside and using the back showers.” This is not the first report the
Photography student, Diana Khimshiashvili says Facebook deleted her page hours after she published a photograph depicting a “Make America Great Again” hat being crushed under the weight of a bare foot. The black and white photograph expressed Diana’s feelings in response to the 2016 presidential election. The work was created for presentation in the “Now is the Time Electoral College Art Show and Discussion Panel.” Facebook is considered a multimedia platform where people from different avenues of life express their thoughts and opinions. The social media website also operates as a platform for the photographs, videos, and event check-ins that make up a person’s life. ”I had my Facebook profile for nine years,” Khimshiashvili said. “I had a lot of photographs that I never had the chance to back up. Photographs that were taken of me when I became a citizen of the United States, and even some when I was selected to be a part of a film festival.” Khimshiashvili has practiced photography for three years and SEE FACEBOOK PAGE 4
cHlorINe, PH leVels cause crIsIs For swImmers Students looked forward to early morning swim classes this semester, but instead they experienced canceled classes. Plagued by low pH levels, no chlorine and a convergence of departments tinkering in the water, the swimming pool left students empty. By soRinA szAKAcs
infograPhic by claire bush/collegian
college sheriffs have received about homeless people entering the campus. Henry Ayala, a first semester cadet, said he has encountered homeless people entering the school several times. “In October, we had seven in-
cidents involving homeless people entering our buildings,” Ayala said. According to the latest count by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, 46,874 people experienced homelessness in
Los Angeles County this year; accounting for a 5.7 percent increase from last year. Keeton Marcus has been living near the intersection of North SEE HOMELESS PAGE 4
Presidential Medal of Freedom Awarded to City Alumnus By nAomi Johnson Frank Gehry is a world-renowned architect who is recognized for his use of bold, postmodern shapes and unusual fabrications. His most famous designs include the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. Photo courtesy of the White house Photo office Gehry worked as a truck driver President Barack Obama places the Presidential Medal of Freedom on LACC and a radio announcer when he atalumnus Frank Gehry in a ceremony at the White House on Nov. 22, 2016.
tended Los Angeles City College in the early years of his college education. He continued his studies at the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture where he received his Bachelor’s degree, and then studied city planning at the Harvard University Graduate School of Architecture. Gehry was the 1989 recipient of the prestigious Pritzker Prize. SEE GEHRY PAGE 4
Complaints of red eyes and itchy skin led the Kinesiology department to cancel early morning classes, and caused students to leave the pool for alternative workouts. Chemical readings of the pool’s water showed no chlorine present, and pH levels were higher than recommended values. The lack of chlorine and high pH levels contributed to unsafe conditions in the pool. The Los Angeles County Environmental Health and State Codes have stringent recommendations for pH and chlorine levels of swimming pools and spas. “Chlorine, under the California State Health Code, needs to be at least at one part per million and no more than ten parts per million, and you calculate that knowing the volume of the pool, and how much water it contains,” said Dennis Berkshire president of Aquatic Design Group. “The pH level should be somewhere between 7.2 and 7.8 according to the same state code. There is no state code for the alkalinity because it is not a health and safety issue.” Berkshire, along with Kinesiology faculty helped with the design SEE CHLORINE PAGE 7
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Los Angeles Collegian — Wednesday, December 7, 2016
PoP culTure PuNdITs Talk rIgHT
By RichARd tzul
illustration by Jose morales/collegian
Dickensian Days Loom Over L.A. A car veers off the 405 freeway and plows into a tented community of homeless people. One of them dies at the scene. She was one of several who made her home in the encampment at the side of the freeway. This scenario is just one of many that illustrate the vulnerability of people who live on the streets in the city of Los Angeles. Recent counts by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) has the number of homeless people living in L.A. County at 46,874. Many of these people are concentrated in the metro Los Angeles area. Downtown is known for the large number of homeless who seek refuge there, but so is Hollywood, which tends to draw homeless youth. Who are they? Some of them are the men and women that served our country in many wars and conflicts. According to the Los Angeles Almanac, veterans make up approximately 10 percent of people living on the streets. Another piece of the homeless pie is made of foster children that have aged out of the system. Many of them do not receive the education and guidance they need to take care of themselves after they are released at 18. Some end up on the streets and fall prey to sex traffickers and gangs. People with mental disabilities are also a large percentage of the homeless population. They are the stereotype many think of when referring to the homeless - the “crazy” men and women wandering the streets, disturbing the peace and begging for money. Entire families can also find themselves without a place to
live. Families that lives paycheck-to-paycheck can find themselves on the street due to a lost job, an illness in the family, or an increase in rent. Many in the city work, but don’t make a living wage, so they share space with others to make ends meet. This shared space situation may work, but with people moving in and out it could also present a tenuous situation for those with little financial resources to adjust to swift changes. Transgender youth live on the streets at high rates due to their family’s response to their gender identity. The Hollywood Homeless Youth Project (HHYP) report found that LGBTQ youth were more likely to report homelessness due to conflicts within the family. While other homeless youth generally fall into the homeless family statistic. During the Nov. 8 election, L.A. voters approve Measure HHH – the ambitious measure that would authorize $1.2 billion in bonds to pay for the construction of 10,000 housing units for homeless people. Measure HHH passed with a resounding 76 percent of the vote, as voters agreed to increase their own property taxes to help the city’s most vulnerable people. California has also embraced
Breakdown of the Homeless Population in Los Angeles •
33 percent to 50 percent are female
As children, 27percent lived in foster care or group homes
42 percent to 77 percent do not receive public benefits to which they are entitled
25 percent were physically or sexually abused
An estimated 20 percent are physically disabled
33 to 66 percent of single individuals have substance abuse issues
16 percent to 20 percent of homeless adults are employed
48 percent graduated from high school
An estimated 25 percent are mentally ill
32 percent had earned a bachelor degree or higher
According to a homelessness and poverty study conducted by the Weingart Center, the homeless problem also reﬂects disparities along racial lines with people of color representing a larger percentage per capita of dispossessed people. Race
General L.A. Population
Latino White African-American Asian/Pacific Islander Other
47 percent 30 percent 9 percent 12 percent 2 percent
33 percent 14 percent 50 percent 2 percent Less than 1 percent
source: los angeles homeless services authority
the “fight for $15”, which proposes to increase minimum wage to $15 by 2020. These plans aim to help those who need assistance with affordable housing, but there are more complex issues at hand that will take more than a massive housing unit to cure. A small, but elaborate memorial was set up for the woman crushed by the car that veered off the 405 freeway. According to the L.A. Daily News, one mourner rode out of the acci-
dent site on his bicycle after visiting the encampment. He shared her identity. She was transgender. “Her name was China,” he said. “She was cool.” Now more than ever the leaders of this city must utilize the creative minds that live here to help the chronically homeless population. Parts of Los Angeles look more and more like scenes from a Dickens novel. Will good intentions and the slated civic policies really change the homeless problem?
Natives Continue Struggle for Respect, Land By AnwAR toRRes Mistreatment of Native Americans and their land continues to be expressed by events taking place around the potential implementation of The Dakota Pipeline. It is representative of circumstances that have riddled our history since the colonization of this continent. We are seeing, first hand accounts through livestream and other forms of social media, the Standing Rock reservation that spans South and North Dakota. Native American Tribes, Hunkpapa Lakota, Sihasapa Lakota and Yanktonai, have come together to protest against the building of a pipeline that threatens Lake Oahe, a reservoir on the Missouri River. Many feel that a potential pipe-
line rupture could contaminate the water supply and ultimately result in an environmental disaster. Historically, we have seen communities marginalized in the name of profit. History does repeat itself, and it has shown its ugly head again. In this case, as in
many others, we are made aware of the different tactics used in manipulating information. There is very little, to no coverage, on this situation. It is disheartening to see the importance of mind-blowing sales we can reap from Black Friday, over the imillustration by ashley mcbroom/collegian
portant issue, or issues that affect the well being of Americans and Native Americans in this country. Profits have become more important than the citizens that live in the U.S. Gratefully in recent days the U.S. Army of Corps of engineers refused permission to finish the pipeline, making the responsible parties redirect the pipeline and search for alternate routes to proceed with construction. Construction was stopped. But the question now is, what community will a potential pipeline affect next? There is also the question of alternative ways of producing energy, and why more of those innovations aren’t used. If we could focus resources on technology based on wind, ocean current and solar energy, which would be an opportunity to create more jobs here in the U.S. Standing Rock was successful in ultimately halting construction, because when people come together, and bring enough attention to a matter, change is possible.
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I was watching a recent episode of the satirical news program “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.” The show’s guest that night was conservative political commentator Tomi Lahren. Lahren is an overnight Internet sensation. She hosts her own opinionated news show, and segments of it have gone viral on Facebook. Her most watched video was her bashing NFL player Colin Kaepernick for not standing during the National Anthem. It received 66 million views. Lahren sat down with “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah to discuss Black Lives Matter, Donald Trump and Kaepernick. The idea of these two being in the same room was fascinating, and in a strange way epic. Lahren is a 24-year-old white woman from South Dakota who has become a poster girl for young conservatives. Noah is a 32-year-old, mixed race South African comedian who hosts a liberal show. Both of them are on opposite sides of the spectrum and both are key political pundits for the millennial demographic. This was going to be the fight of the century. These were two giants facing off in what was supposed to turn into a tense shout match where one talks over the other. It wasn’t that at all. These two polar opposites ended up having one of the most constructive and civil debates on a news program in recent years. There was some tension here and
there (largely in part to Noah’s home audience) but the two spoke smoothly, and did not interrupt each other. It is something you rarely see on news outlets like CNN. What made this a civil debate? After the episode aired, both tweeted warm messages about having different perspectives, but still understanding each other’s point of view. This country is extraordinarily divided. The recent election certainly did not help ease tensions. The impression many have of their ideological opposites is that they’re evil or stupid (or both). Many have oversimplified Trump supporters as ignorant bigoted rednecks. I was guilty of that for a while. Yes, many of those who voted for Trump are uneducated whites that live in rural areas, but are they all necessarily racist and nasty individuals? It took me a while to realize that these people were crying for help. They clearly have very poor judgment, but I sympathize more with their decision now. Trump supporters were people that felt forgotten and abandoned by their own government. Can you put some of them in the “basket of deplorables”? Yes, absolutely. Though I think many of them are just looking for a way out of their troubling circumstances. That’s not to say they made a valid decision. Their grievances are just, but they embraced a false solution. Tomi Lahren and Trevor Noah set an example for our country on a comedy show of all places. We can strongly disagree with each other while keeping an open mind. When I understand and sympathize with Trump supporters I feel like I’m doing my small part in healing our nation. It takes work to tolerate others, but I think it is worth the effort.
This Is Not My America By Jose moRAles Trump’s rhetoric throughout his campaign was hateful, sexist and racist. However, many have dismissed his vitriol claiming he simply said the things he did in order to get votes. This could be true, but Americans should not tolerate such horrid rhetoric. It should not be associated with this country. But Trump did not elect himself. The real problem with America is how disconnected we are. It is deeply heartbreaking to see a country go back to times of racial divide. This is alarming because it instills fear of oppression, and creates a difficult path for minorities to have a prominent role in Amer-
ican society. On the other hand, I don’t believe all voters who voted for Trump are represented by the negative connotations of Trump’s campaign. Trump also did well with both Latinos and African Americans compared to Romney in 2012. Trump was the candidate that promised a different future. He won the electoral vote, but the country is split between both candidates in more than just party affiliation. Trump did best with people in rural areas versus Clinton doing better in urban areas. Whether its racism, age, class, gender, or party affiliation, the disconnect Americans are experiencing is real. In order for Americans to continue as a progressive democracy, it is vital for people to seek unity by having intellectual conversations with each other, and delve into conversations that make them uncomfortable to open their mind to different ideas.
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COMPILED BY William Torres PHOTOS BY Anwar Torres
How do yoU Feel aboUt tHe Homeless enCampments near CampUs? do tHey aFFeCt yoUr daily roUtine?
Los Angeles Collegian — Wednesday, December 7, 2016
laUra sanCHeZ nursing major
JUstin palatox Undecided major
eliZabetH nenova Cinema major
edward sHaw nursing major
“The homeless encampment definitely affects my daily routine ... I’m not against them, I feel bad for them. They need a place clean themselves, but honestly, I don’t think a college campus is a place for them to clean themselves ... I personally don’t like it.”
“In a way, they affect my daily routine, because I feel they are in areas where they are not supposed to be. They’re in the way of me walking to school and stuff like that.”
“I don’t mind them being here, I just think there so much that we can do about it, but none of us are doing anything ... Since I’m not from this country, I can’t judge anyone. The way we do it my country (Bulgaria), if someone is in the streets, we try to help them instead of resenting or ignoring them.”
“I don’t necessarily go south of campus onto Vermont because of them ... these poor people have to sleep someplace, and if they are banned together, at least they have some sense of safety. I know that 90 percent of them are decent people, but there is always the percentage that you cannot trust.”
Ink Style: A VISUAL REPRESENTATION OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT illustration by george summers/collegian
illustration by george summers/collegian
Los Angeles City College Visual & Media Arts Department
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Los Angeles Collegian — Wednesday, December 7, 2016 Homeless From Page 1
Homeless Use City Campus Amenities Heliotrope Drive and Vermont Avenue since Nov. 11, 2016. Keeton said he moved to the area because it is much more quiet than Skid Row in downtown L.A. He also admitted to using the school facilities multiple times. “People think I’m a student [at LACC], so no one ever bothers me when I go inside the Kinesiology Building,” Marcus said. “I go inside the college twice a day and showered [there] once since I’ve moved here.” Miguel Maya attends physical education classes in the Kinesiology Building on Mondays and Wednesdays. Maya said he often sees homeless people using the college facilities. “I see a homeless person in the men’s locker room at least once a week,” Maya said. “I know some can
be students, but I really can’t stand the smell when they take a shower … I can’t even take a shower myself when the shower rooms smell horrible. I feel something needs to be done about this situation.” Early last month, the Collegian interviewed Michael and Girdle, a homeless couple that had broken into the closed-off men’s gym on the north side of campus. Even though the showers had been shut off, they had figured out a way to get them running again. Michael said he had gone inside every building in LACC and had used the facilities in each one. “This is state-owned property,” Michael said. “I come inside a public place unless somebody doesn’t want me here. I try to be very respectful and clean after
myself after I use the facilities. Not every homeless person has the same mentality as myself.” Hours later, Michael and Girdle were escorted out of the building by L.A. County sheriffs and LAPD officers. Ayala said the Sheriff’s Department has hired more cadets to patrol the college to reduce the amount of homeless people entering the campus. “We really can’t do anything about the homeless situation because LACC is a community college and it is an open campus,” Ayala said. “The best we can do is patrol the campus. As far as the Kinesiology Building, it’s supposed to be a locked building making it accessible only to students who take classes inside the building.”
Facebook From Page 1
Student Exercises Free Speech, Punished started pursuing formal classes in photography last year. Since Donald Trump became president-elect of the United States, activists and protesters have taken to the streets demanding an end to what demonstrators call racist, homophobic, and anti-American values. “I created this image because it was my protest, my best [way] to voice what I didn’t agree with, my way to organize my thoughts and share it,” Khimshiashvili said. “I was ready to be criticized”. The post attracted immediate attention after it was published. Within a couple hours there were a total of ten shares, and comments between people the student had no relationships with, and comments like “sore loser” and “typical liberal bullshit” that bombarded her feed. According to the Facebook Community Guidelines, the mission of the platform is to give the community the power to share content and make the world more open and connected. The dialogue that happens on Facebook shows how diverse and immediately connected communities have become. The guidelines also state that Facebook permits open and critical discussion of people who are featured in the news or have a large public audience based on their profession or chosen activities. They remove credible threats to public figures, as well as hate speech directed at them - just as they do for private individuals. Instructional Assistant of the LACC Photography Department Natalie Embrey believes that it should not have been flagged for inappropriate content. “Considering it wasn’t inappropriate under the usage of Facebook as far I understand,” Embrey said. It’s ridiculous something without nudity, or strong language would be considered that inappropriate that it needed to be taken down.” Co-Department chair for the Media and Visual Arts Department and Photography instructor Daniel Marlos also believes there was nothing in the photograph he
Sidewalks Get $1.4 Billion Repair Plan By Ande Richards “Safe Sidewalks LA,” is the $1.4 billion sidewalk repair plan approved by the Los Angeles City Council on Nov. 30, 2016. The long overdue plan will address 11,000 miles of cracked, warped, and crumbling sidewalks citywide. In the ‘70s, the city took responsibility for fixing the sidewalks when federal dollars helped to pay for the repairs. Since that cash flow has dried up, the backlog of repairs has grown longer.
According to the University of California’s “Access Magazine,” it would take nearly 70 years to fix all damaged sidewalks if the city conducted repairs at the same pace it did between 2000 and 2008. To speed the process up, the city is offering a limited time rebate to residential and commercial property owners. The rebate caps out at $2,000 of repairs to sidewalks in front of residential lots, and $4,000 for commercial lots. Rebates will be available for the first three years of the program.
Starting Thursday, Dec. 1, the public can apply for a rebate by calling 3-1-1 or visiting www.sidewalks.lacity.org. Residents with mobility disabilities can use “Safe Sidewalks LA’s Access Request Program” to request repairs to sidewalks and curbs that present major safety and accessibility problems. To submit a repair request through the Access Request Program, contact the City of Los Angeles Department on Disability at 213-202-2685 (voice) or 213- 2023452 (TTY).
Interfaith Community Offers Comfort By Rachael Kopp
Photo courtesy of Diana Khimshiashvili
Photography student, Diana Khimshiashvili published an election protest photograph depicting the destruction of a hat that bears “Make America Great Again,” on Nov. 2016. The photo was intended for inclusion in the “Now is the Time Electoral College Art Show and Discussion Panel.” found offensive. Often art is created by people in reaction to events that happen in our society, and Facebook to the professor’s knowledge is a platform where people share their artwork on a daily basis. “I think the thing that we should be learning from the events that have transpired over the last couple of months is to try and keep an open dialogue,” Marlos said. “It’s the most important thing we can have regarding a healing process, whatever healing needs to be done anywhere.” Khimshiashvili says that Facebook didn’t contact her before, or after the students profile was deleted. The photograph Khimshiashvili posted was a simple, individual, and artistic protest. It was removed from the student’s account without warning. “I never in my life thought that I would wake up the next morning to find I no longer had a Facebook, or a voice to stand up for my work and my views,” Khimshiashvili
said. “There was no nudity and the photo was not, in my opinion, crude in anyway.” Khimshiashvili has been studying photography for the past year, and has practiced the art for the past three. “This breaks my heart, but also fuels my passion to create more art and be honest with how I see our society’s state of being,” Khimshiashvili said. The student’s plans to continue creating art has only grown stronger after this experience, and the divide that Khimshiashvili says America is experiencing will not silence her voice. The Collegian has contacted Facebook and is still waiting for a response. “Now is the Time Electoral College Art Show and Discussion Panel” will be hosted by the Visual and Media Arts Department in the Chemistry Building on Dec. 8 from 3 to 8 p.m. The panel discussion will consist of artists, lawyers, sociologists and public health advocates.
Gehry From Page 1
Celebrated Architect Frank Gehry Receives Presidential honor The international prize is awarded each year to a living architect for significant achievement. It is granted annually and is often referred to as “architecture’s Nobel” and “the profession’s highest honor.” On Nov. 22, Gehry was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom. The nation’s highest civilian
Photo by Curtis Sabir/Collegian
“Safe Sidewalks L.A.” is the $1.4 billion sidewalk repair plan approved by the Los Angeles City Council on Nov. 30, 2016. The public can apply for a rebate by calling 3-1-1, or visiting www.sidewalks.lacity.org.
honor is presented to individuals who have made laudable contributions to the security, or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural, or other significant public or private endeavors. President Barack Obama shared his thoughts about Gehry’s legacy. “He’s spent his life rethinking
shapes and mediums, seemingly the force of gravity itself; the idea of what architecture could be he decided to upend -- constantly repurposing every material available, from titanium to a paper towel tube,” Obama said. He’s inspiring our next generation through his advocacy for arts education in our schools.
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A crowd huddles in the doorway of the Dolores Mission Church. As they enter, remnants of the storm outside are shaken off their clothes and shoes. Over 350 people pack the pews and aisles of the Boyle Heights church. They hold signs with “I am America” written on them. The Dolores Mission Church provides hot meals and a place to sleep for approximately 200 men each night. They represent some of city’s most desperately needy. On Sunday, Nov. 20, these same doors opened for an Interfaith Service, which brought together Jews, Christians, Muslims, atheists, and Sikhs. It was a place for them to share their fears and hopes for America in the wake of the presidential election. Several speakers stood and addressed the crowd to share their thoughts. One such person was Marta Galadery, from La Asociación Latina Musulmana de América. “Now I face two discriminations with the new president, as a Latina and as a Muslim – God has
the last word, but we have to act,” Galadery said. Someone announces from the podium to break into small groups of three and the crowd erupts in conversations. Strangers speak intimately close about how the election may affect them, and those they care for. When it is all done there is a sense of hope and personal responsibility. “Courage, diversity, resist, justicia,” echo off the walls to resounding applause. The meeting continues with over 15 members of Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress (NCRR) sharing their stories of pain and discrimination. Haru Kuromiya, 89, shared her story of internment at the Manzanar War Relocation Center that served as living quarters for thousands of Japanese-Americans forced to leave their homes during WWII. “I was a teenager when the government took my family to Manzanar, California, and then to Crystal City, Texas,” Kuromiya said. “We had a farm in Riverside, California and were shocked when
our father was taken by the FBI after Pearl Harbor. Kuromiya says she fears that this targeting of people based on their religion, or race will lead to greater violations of people’s rights. “I do not want to see any community suffer like we did. As a member of the NCRR, I also believe that we have a special responsibility to speak out when we see others being discriminated against, or scapegoated,” Kuromiya said. She says the very thought is horrible and scary. Over 120,000 Japanese- Americans were interned during WWII, two-thirds of whom were American citizens. “Like the holocaust, it’s something that should never happen again,” Kuromiya said. Sixty-five year-old Roger Mueller also expressed his concerns. “It’s that type of fear,” Mueller said. “I want to do something with this anger. I can’t just sit by and do nothing.” The interfaith service provided an opportunity for a diverse community to express a desire to make change.
Los Angeles Collegian — Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Photo by Eve Moreno/Collegian
Sean Kang manages budgets for clubs as the president of Finance at the Associated Student Government for Los Angeles City College on Nov. 30, 2016. Kang served as president of the Philosophy Club for three consecutive semesters at LACC, his proudest achievement was collecting more club members.
PHOTO COURTESY OF main.slooh.com
Geminids meteor shower makes its annual appearance this month. It can be observed between Dec. 4 and Dec. 17, with its peak activity being around Dec. 14. The shower owes its name to the constellation Gemini from where the meteors seem to emerge from in the sky.
Finance Matters for Clubs Geminids Meteor Show
Every issue of the Collegian will feature a spotlight on an ASG senator or officer because we want you to be familiar with the people who represent you. In this issue we profile the Vice President of Finance Sean Kang. By Richard Tzul
Collegian: What exactly do you do in your position? Kang: I’m the Vice President of Finance in ASG. Basically I chair my own finance meeting to make sure all the funding requests [from clubs] are taken care of for our senate meetings. I also help with the joint council club meeting where I have a vote. So basically I handle the financial affairs for the senate meeting and also for the joint club council meetings.
Collegian: Why did you take this position? Kang: Basically to help students facilitate their funding request in a timely manner because I was a club president for three semesters and I always noticed it would take a while to get stuff approved. There were not much guidelines on how to do it and I just wanted to improve that process. Collegian: Does this have anything to do with your major or career interest? Kang: I’m a philosophy major but I do want to get my MBA as a graduate degree so I guess it does help. Collegian: What is your ultimate goal as Vice President of Finance? Kang: My ultimate goal is to make sure that all the requests are taken care of, and that we can distribute the money more fairly because it’s up to us as student advocates to make sure each department gets their equal share. I think people not getting equal funding does not represent our school as a whole.
Collegian: Is there a personal message you want to give students? Kang: I would say to people that are interested in getting more politically or socially involved that it starts on the community level. It doesn’t have to be something that is aggressive as protests because my colleagues and me attended a meeting this past weekend where all the different community colleges of the district came together to discuss resolutions. Aside from that we also discussed the Trump election, and how people are staging protests but sometimes just doing that won’t get you anywhere. Also these protests will place people in danger on both sides of the political spectrum. I think if we try to reform we should actually work with the system instead of just taking a blatant aggressive stance towards the situation. We want to do this in a calm manner and have the other sides join and understand us, instead of making them hate us even more.
Cub Clubs: Club-Barkada, American Sign Language By LaVielle Hibbert Welcome back to Cub Clubs! In this issue Club-Barkada and the American Sign Language Club are featured. Club-Barkada members socialize and play games but most importantly they share their culture with students who would like to be apart of the club. They are not exclusive. They are open to other cultures. Club-Barkada hosts picnics, they play Filipino games such as Agawan Base and they have club
beach days with Filipino Clubs from other colleges. They also join Filipino Clubs from Universities here in California for a convention at Fullerton University that celebrates friendship. The club meets every Mon. and Tues. from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. in front of the Student Union Building. When you attend their club, you get to help plan the events and lead the direction of their club. This club is one of the most active on campus. Past events include the virtual reality convention, Club Cub Rush, Picnics, Beach Days, Filipino Club Conventions. Upcoming events include the following: Nov. 23: movie night from 6-9 p.m. . Free Admission. The movie will be about the Filipino-Ameri-
can war. Los Angeles City College’s American Sign Language (ASL) Club meets every Tues. and Thurs. at 12 -1 p.m. in Jefferson Hall, Room 311. ASL Club wants to inform and educate the students about the culture of American Sign Language. They also offer instruction to people who cannot take the ASL classes but would like to learn and be a part of their events. They invite members of the hearing impaired community to their events so they can testify about the challenges of being deaf. If you would like to learn more about Club-Barkada and the American Sign Language Club drop by on the days they meet. Do you want readers to learn more about your club? Contact Lhibbert.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Streak December Sky
By Rebecca Klinesmith Geminids Meteor Shower happens once a year usually from Dec. 4-17, reaching its peak between Dec. 13 and 14. The best time to view this spectacular shower is around 2 a.m. when Earth crosses the orbital path of 3200 Phaethon. The meteors come from the direction of Gemini in the sky, hence their name. They are very bright and have been described as
yellow, green and blue. According to NASA, Geminids are pieces of debris from an object called 3200 Phaethon. It was long thought to be an asteroid, but is now classified as an extinct comet. Phaethon’s eccentric orbit around the sun brings it well inside the orbit of Mercury every 1.4 years. Traveling this close to the sun blasts Phaethon with solar heat that boils jets of dust into the
Geminid stream. Of all the debris streams Earth passes through each year, the Geminid shower is the biggest. When we add up the amount of dust in this stream, it outweighs other streams by factors of five to 500. Observers don’t need any special equipment to experience this event. However it is best viewed far away from city lights. It can be seen from both the northern and southern hemispheres.
Alebrije Captivates City Students By Emmanuel Janacua Alebrije Mexican folklore artwork has made its way from an artist’s nightmare, to LACC. As students walk through the double doors of the Student Union Building, they encounter a huge colorful papier-mâché sculpture. It is about 7 1/2 feet tall, and looks like a gargoyle. An alebrije is an art form that comes from Oaxacan Mexican folklore. Many scholars credit Pedro Linares with creating the first alebrije. Linares was interviewed by the Los Angeles Times’ Steve Saldivar and confirmed that these mysterious creatures he sculpts were indeed straight from his nightmares. “I saw them in a dream,” he told The Times a month before he died. “They were very ugly and terrifying and they were coming toward me. I saw all kinds of ugly things.” Because Linares dared to bring his dreams to life, students at LACC have an unusually unique, beautiful sculpture to set their sights on. “It’s a colorful combination of animals,” said Daisy Lopez, a psychology major. Upward Bound is a federally funded program that provides fundamental support to low income high school students. In this district Upward Bound serves students from Belmont, Fairfax, Hollywood and Manual Arts High Schools. These students are the reason LACC has this sculpture. “Twenty to 30 students supervised by local artist Ozomatli Mazatl coordinated the art piece,” said Michael Lopez, the director of Upward Bound. Some of the best alebrije pieces can be found in San Tijate, a town 14 miles southeast of Oaxaca City. However, because of Upward Bound students, City has one right here on campus. “I thinks it’s really cool,” said Annie Morau, a business major.
PHOTO BY Claudio POMMIER/COLLEGIAN
A colorful Alebrije papiér-mâché sculpture is prominently placed at the entrance of the LACC Student Union Building on Dec. 7, 2016. Mexican artist Pedro Linares created the fantastical creatures after he fell very ill, and while unconscious dreamt of the strange beings and heard them shouting one word “Alebrijes.” Lopez says students have a math and English curriculum, but he and his staff wanted to expand the program to include arts. This project is the culmination of three semesters of hard work. In the first semester it was an animal mask. In the second, students incorporated the Aztec calendar and finally in the third semester the alebrije was finished. Students have many different interpretations of the artwork
they encounter when navigating the campus. “It looks like a piñata,” said Nick Nava, a mathematics major. Many alebrije pieces can be found at a local artist supply store in Silver Lake. Most of them are really small, unlike the one on campus. It’s so big that Upward Bound did not know where to display it. When the Student Union Building opened, they found the perfect spot for it.
Los Angeles Collegian — Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Veteran Producer Breaks Down Hollywood By Matthew Oliver
City’s cinema and television department hosted Amazon Studio’s John Lynch in the Morgan Freeman Theater, located inside the Hollywood Foreign Press Center (HFPC) on Thursday, Nov. 17. Roughly 100 students attended the event. The veteran producer came to share the knowledge and wisdom of someone whose studio boasts 75 pilots, launched within the last four years, and has 27 series currently in production. Professor Dylan Shields invited Lynch, who he met at his last job when he was Director of Operations at Gearhouse Broadcast. “I reached out to John to try to form a relationship for the [Gearhouse] company,” says Shields who also moderated Thursday’s event. “John was very friendly, and we had a great meeting. Since then we’ve communicated regularly about a possible visit to LACC, and I was excited to have it finally come together.” Students had the opportunity to ask questions and pick the mind of an accomplished industry veteran. “What’s the secret to making it in Hollywood,” a student asks. Lynch replies with a shrug. “There’s really no secret you just got to work you’re ass off,” Lynch said. “In all my years in Los
Angeles, I’ve postponed only one meeting, and I hated to do it.” Lynch shared his experience prior to Amazon Studios, which included working on Wall Street, and forming various production companies in the ‘80s and ‘90s. He formed Lynch Siderow Productions in 2000, which produced comedy and reality shows. Lynch went on to work in various types of programming including sketch comedy shows, a soap opera for MTV and the hugely successful “Jackass” movies. Lynch continued producing original TV and movie projects for cable networks, as well as the successful independent film “Hell Baby” before joining Amazon in 2012. Lynch came to Amazon and told them they needed to form a production company. He played a major part in building the infrastructure. Amazon launched over 15 pilots and series in the first four months. They stayed on schedule and adhered to budgets on all projects. Lynch has worked very closely with Amazon’s corporate finance in structuring the accounting and finance operations. Some of Lynch’s work has involved educating the parent company about the entertainment industry. He has also built a powerful production team around him. Furthermore, Lynch set up the
post-production department that controls the quality of every show. On a daily basis Lynch works with Amazon’s creative executives in tracking their development and productions, and raising flags whenever necessary. He weighs in heavily on all Amazon’s productions from start to finish. Lynch was extremely generous with advice, knowledge and wisdom. He shared a lot of information about how Amazon Studios operates. When asked what qualities Amazon looks for in their productions, Lynch did not shy away. “Creative is king,” Lynch said. “Everything about our shows, the creative aspect comes first.” Lynch also provided his input on the various career routes within the entertainment industry. He supports the film festival route, and cites the steps of development from short film to features as extremely beneficial in terms of networking. He recommended working any job in the industry to start. Most commonly, people start their entertainment journey out as a production assistant. A few of the more coveted jobs are as an assistant writer or editor. “Once you get some credits and know some producers with cache, go up to them and say get me in the door,” says Lynch as he offers final words of advice.
Arts & Entertainment David Kang Brings North Korea to City By Sorina Szakacs
David Kang is the director of the USC Korean Studies Institute and East Asian Studies Institute, and he came to Los Angeles City College to talk to students about the mysterious nation of North Korea on Monday, Nov. 14. A packed room of students, faculty, and staff gathered in the Recital Hall on Monday afternoon to take part in the last of the Book Program’s presentations. In 2001, the Los Angeles Book Program started as a sub-committee of the Staff and Organizational Development Committee. LACC Reference Librarian Rosalind Goddard took a leadership role in the development of a “One Book, One College” program that evolved to include thousands of students, faculty and staff. The program has generated campus-wide readings and discussions for 15 years. “The Book Program began as an idea to create an activity which emphasized reading and conversation for the whole campus to participate in,” Goddard said. “We launched the program in 2002 after a year of discussion and planning. In that year we joined a national celebration of the centennial of writer Langston Hughes. Over the entire academic year, we kicked off discussion groups of Hughes’ prose during the fall semester and focused upon his poetry during the spring semester with students and faculty together. At the end of each of those semesters, we hosted the leading Hughes scholar, Dr. Arnold Rampersad, from Stanford University and Dr. Richard Yarborough from UCLA to speak. The audience of faculty, staff and students were enthralled and asked, as they always do, wonderful questions.” Because of their commitment to diversifying their presentations, the Book Program invited David Kang to address the North Korean-American experience. “We chose our fall line-up after reading many books by Kore-
Illustration by Ashley McBroom/Collegian
Adopted by the North Korean constitution in1948, the North Korean flag’s prominent red star is a universal symbol of communism. The red stripe expresses revolutionary traditions. The two blue stripes stand for sovereignty, peace and friendship. The white stripes symbolize purity. an-American writers, and extend- viewing the world - from the point ing invitations. Then we looked of view of a clannish country run for scholars within a 50-mile ra- by a family. Students had the opportunity to dius who could speak about the current North and South Korean ask questions during a Q&A sesissues,” said Chair of the Book sion that marked the end of the Program Committee, Alexandra presentation. “The book program had interestMaeck. “David Kang was a name I found through an online search, ing events this fall, I can’t wait to he seemed just right, and he was. I see what they are preparing for the thought he was a wonderful speak- spring semester,” said Michael Moran, one of the students attending er.” Kang’s presentation focused on the event. “Today’s presentation several aspects of North Korean was interesting and informative.” Text Box culture, style and regime. He highWho is David Kang lighted main ideas in order to help David C. Kang is a professor of Instudents better understand the ternational Relations and Business country. “North Korea is a lot more dan- at the University of Southern Caligerous than you think, and North fornia and director of the Korean Korean people are the ones affect- Studies Institute. Kang has published several ed by its regime, ” Kang said. “It is a brutal regime, there are 25 books, his latest “East Asia Before million people who didn’t choose the West: Five Centuries of Trade to live there. I have been studying and Tribute,” numerous scholarly North Korea for 20 years. If you can articles, opinion pieces in the New understand Korea, you can under- York Times. The Financial Times, The Washington Post and the Los stand North Korea.” Kang thinks that everybody is Angeles Times. He received an A.B. trying to tell a story, and that the with honor from Stanford UniversiKoreans have a unique way of ty and his Ph.D. from Berkley.
PHOTO BY EVE MORENO/COLLEGIAN
Youth of color are featured in this workshop production of “Unmasking Hercules” at Little Casa in Boyle Heights, Eros and Hercules played by Devan Torres and Evan Garcia, are hurled through the struggles of brotherhood in their first year at East Side High, Nov. 11, 2016.
Little Casa’s ‘Unmasking Hercules’
By Eve Moreno “Unmasking Hercules” dissects the dangers of hyper-masculinity and its effect on queer youth in the school system. Central characters Hercules and Eros embark on a journey of brotherhood and acceptance during their first year at East Side High. They bond when Eros reveals to his best friend that he is gay identified. They face the challenges of teachers who hold high expectations for their students. They also deal with structural homophobia within their circle of peers, and they confront their true feelings about one another. This unique production grabs the crowd’s attention by creating an additional walkway for actors to engage with one another in the space designed for the audience lending the production a sense of intimacy. Director Corky Dominguez was asked to direct the play by Co-producer and Art Director of Casa 0101, Josefina Lopez. When Lopez presented the Dominguez with the play, he was excited to be a part of a story that he could resonate with. He has experience as a high school teacher and has worked with youth in a restorative justice setting. His personal history inspired him to frame this play in an unconventional way. “The way I staged this is so the performance is interactive, and as a theater practitioner this was
a challenge,” Dominguez said. “I wanted to be different, but still respect the writer.” Scenes where cast members are in a one on one dialogues, such as in the classroom, or at football tryouts, are executed in the spaces that separate the audience. Lopez explains that in the midst of a time when our nation is wounded, we must transform together and work to create a better tomorrow. “Just being me is transforming, being compassionate is the only way I can live my life and every choice I make has to come from love,” Lopez said. The Little Casa Theater is located blocks away from Casa 0101’s central location in Boyle Heights. “Unmasking Hercules” sheds light on how brotherhood and love may illuminate the darkest of situations. Written by Gilbert Salazar, the play was inspired by his experiences as a queer Latin man. The workshop production of the play was inspired by his coming out story, Hermanidad (brotherhood) and being an educator in a school system that opposes Salazar’s beliefs. “Some of the characters in the story were named after Latinx (a gender neutral way of referring to Latinos) and queer writers. I named the Art teacher in the story after Sylvia Rivera,” Salazar said. Rivera was a transgender activist who was linked to the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and was also the founding member of several
organizations that focused on the liberation of trans and queer people of color. Joey Zepeda played the Art teacher Mr. Rivera, and he says he had no knowledge of Sylvia Rivera before performing in “Unmasking Hercules.” “I just hope I can bring Sylvia justice,” Zepeda said. Mr. Rivera creates an art project where the youth must work with one another to create a ceramic mask that molds their face. Masks are worn as a disguise, and these masks represent a false image and hide the true identities of the youth in the story. Evan Garcia and Devan Torres play the central characters Hercules and Eros. The stage lights cast a blood-red color on the characters during the final scene where Eros confronts Hercules, and pleads for him to unmask what is holding back their relationship. Torres who plays Eros has been featured in other LGBTQIA+ focused plays, but this production was the first where Torres was asked to practice self-harm. “I was supposed to be strong, and I broke down,” Torres said. “I used to cut myself, so it was hard to get out of character. I’ve overcome all that, and I came prepared wearing my crystals so the negativity wouldn’t follow me.” “Unmasking Hercules” was featured November 11-19 at Little Casa Theater in Boyle Heights. For more information visit www. casa0101.org.
THE MOON, COLLINS, EALY SCHOLARSHIP Designed to Assist Students in the Social Science Department with Completing their Education African-American Studies at Los Angeles City College affords a rich education in the history and culture of African-Americans. A skills certificate program is offered to students who take 15 units in required courses that obtain a grade of “C” or better.
To be eligible you must fulfill the following requirements: • You must be a full-time social science major • Applicant must have a 2.75 GPA • Total units completed should not exceed 90 units • Plan to transfer to a four-year university or college
Los Angeles Collegian — Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Pool From Page 1
Canceled Swim Classes Blamed on Chlorine
Photo by Nechama Kermanshahi
Unsuitable pH levels and a lack of chlorine render the swimming pool useless, Nov. 29, 2016. Students that registered for early morning swim classes this semester rarely had the opportunity to the use the pool. of the pool. He trained faculty and staff to be certified pool operators. According to swimming instructor Jan McEveety, the department found out about water chemistry issues on Oct. 17 and had to cancel classes for more than a month. In an official complaint sent on Nov. 3 to George Dekermejian, the chair of Work Environment Committee, McEveety described all of the problems in the facility. This included the lack of hot water in the women’s showers, the inoperative outside showers where the water is too hot, and the low pool temperature. The email also detailed the problems with the pool’s chemical levels over a period of several days. “The staff and I arrive on Monday to teach the 7:50 a.m. class and find the pool having green tint and somewhat cloudy. On Monday Oct. 7 the water looked worse so lifeguards and myself began doing the chemical testing to find no chlorine
and high pH,” McEveety said. “And you know chlorine is a disinfectant.” Plumbers are in charge of pool maintenance and daily computer readings. They report any pool related issues to the department. Kinesiology faculty and staff took measurements of the chemicals in the pool over a six-day period and included their findings in an official complaint to Dekermejian. “On Monday, Oct. 17 no chlorine and 8.6 pH readings. All classes canceled. Maintenance called numerous times, no response. Tuesday, Oct. 18 all classes canceled, no chlorine and 8.4 pH readings. No response from maintenance. Wednesday, Oct. 19 all classes canceled, no chlorine and 8.4 pH readings. No response from maintenance. Thursday Oct. 20 too much chlorine added and pH too high. Saturday, Oct. 23 classes canceled, no chlorine. Sunday, Oct. 24 community services cancel classes, no chlorine.”
The kinesiology faculty accused maintenance personnel and plumbers of not reporting problems the first time they noticed a chemical imbalance issue. “We have probably been swimming Monday mornings for sometime with no chlorine in the water. It was only until the lifeguards and I noticed one Monday that the pool looked greener, and we took it upon ourselves to test the chemicals,” McEveety said. “We have tried to work with maintenance, but it has been unwelcomed. This ultimately affects the Kinesiology classes and enrollment.” Kinesiology staff member, Tanya Geddes says students are complaining about health related problems after using the pool area. “I had students complaining about burning eyes, coughing, itching skin, after being in the pool,” Geddes said. John al-Amin, vice president of Administrative Services says that
the problems are simple, but the human element made them worse over time. “People think that since the chemicals are off, if we add them, we will get an immediate response, and that is not the case because it still takes time for these materials to set,” al-Amin said. “So if we keep tinkering with the system, and this happened allegedly and involved the Kinesiology staff, and the plumbing staff, who are responsible for it, and who make the adjustments, we got to this situation.” Al-Amin says he found out about the pool situation a couple of weeks ago and since then he has asked Kinesiology faculty, staff and plumbers for “no human intervention” and “no manual reading and adding chemicals.” Allow the controller to do what it was designed to do. The controller is set to read and calibrate the chemicals at a certain time. There is a time lapse be-
tween the moment the chemicals are released in the water, until the calibration is complete, and it is safe for students to use the pool. When the calibration process time overlaps with instructional time, classes are canceled. “It is disappointing and frustrating because since we are the morning class, we are the first ones to know and the fact that the lifeguards have to test the water each and every time before the class starts is a little ridiculous,” said Yeji Joo, a clinical science student. “We don’t find out until we actually come inside the pool if the class is canceled or not.” The administration confirms that controller readings affect the early morning classes, and that later classes are more fortunate since the chemical calibration reflects normal levels by noon. This situation raised an important question that, according to alAmin, needs debating. “The question on why we have a 7 a.m. class requires us to sit down and have a discussion as to when the pool will be available, when does the computer need to read. When we put together a schedule, we need to take into account what limitations we have in the facility, so that the schedule meets what the facility can deliver,” al-Amin said. According to the administration, the weather temperature also affects the chemical balance of the pool, or the controller may still be playing catch-up after several weeks of manual calibration. One solution offered was to cover the pool at the end of the day, and uncover it in the morning, but this too seems unhelpful to faculty. “Covering the pool will not fix the chemical problem,” McEveety said. “We have a fence around the pool, and no trees in the area, to protect the water from debris or leaves. What we need to do is change the water in the pool, which has never been changed.”
Al-Amin says the issue is not about the school’s staff being able to fix the problems, but about the school doing work with contractors who deliver functional facilities. “The problem that we face is this: the bond money was misspent and that limited the amount of funds we had for buildings, and have them built as they should, rather than do the work that we have done, which seems to have been insufficient for the needs we have,” Al-Amin said. “We have had issues with a number of contractors, it is not only the Kinesiology building. It has been an issue campus wide, district wide.” Al-Amin also considers the possibility of having the pool controller replaced. He cannot give an exact time frame on when the pool problem will be resolved. “It can be a matter in which we just need to recalibrate the controller, have someone come out and look at it. We are also looking at the possibility of having the controller replaced because it may be malfunctioning,” al-Amin said. While the administration says that it will do anything to fix the pool situation, all swimming classes are canceled for the remainder of the semester. The open house swimming class that was scheduled on Monday, Dec. 1 was also canceled, and students who showed up for the open class said nobody notified them. According to some students, swimming instructors told them they will all get A in class because of the pool problem, but getting a grade will stop them for retaking the class next semester. “I think the college should pay much better attention to the facilities that they spent so much money to put up, and not pay anything to maintain it or do minimal amount to keep this for a long time,” Reges said. “We only had this swimming stadium for three years and it started to break down on us.”
Los Angeles Collegian — Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Illustration by George Summers/Collegian
Castro’s Death Divides Cubans, World By Naomi Johnson
Illustration by Ashley McBroom/Collegian
Change We Believed In Americans elected Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States on Nov. 4, 2008 and confidently elected him to a second term of office in 2012. By LaVielle Hibbert Since then, he has pushed through legislation that affects every facet of society including issues of health, gender identity, the military, women’s rights, economics, Veteran’s rights and more. Despite heavy opposition from a Republican dominated congress and senate, there has been tremendous legislative progress in American government since President Obama was sworn into office on Jan. 20, 2009. His ambitious goals became accomplishments, and he achieved them with poise. He maintained grace under pressure even while enduring constant disparagement from leaders at home and abroad. Following is a list of accomplishments made by the President. They include changing policy, initialing executive orders, improving relationships with allies and taking care of the severely damaged U.S. economic situation that was left over from the Bush presidency.
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz was a Cuban revolutionary. He went on to become Prime Minister and President after he overthrew Fulgencio Batista’s military dictatorship over Cuba in 1959. He then established the first communist state in the history of the Western Hemisphere. Castro’s relationship with United States saw many difficulties and created undeniable turmoil between the two countries. The dysfunctional relationship between the U.S. and Cuba resulted in the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Bay of Pigs invasion. According to history.com Castro survived and estimated 638 assassination attempts on his life from
the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) alone during his time as the President of Cuba. In December 2014, President Barack Obama announced that he would increase the United States efforts to improve the relationship between Cuba and the U.S. This normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba proved to be successful in 2015. The outlook was for a better future for the people of Cuba, and an end to the 90 plus years of détente between the two nations. During his presidency, he reduced illiteracy and racism among his people. He also improved healthcare for Cuban citizens and provided electricity. To his credit, Castro’s Cuba boasts no homeless
people, and 100 percent literacy. Castro ruled Cuba for more than 50 years before passing his brother the torch in 2008. On the negative side, he also shut down newspapers that opposed what he stood for, imprisoned opposing political figures and did not embrace the election process. Castro drove Cuban citizens out of their country when he decided to limit the amount of property they could own, and eradicated private business. Castro was by far one of the most controversial political figures in the history of Cuban politics, and perhaps the world. He was hated and loved. Inspirational to some, controversial to many, he was Fidel Castro.
Presidential Highlights • Signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, restoring basic protections against pay discrimination for women and other workers. • Signed the Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act which provides quality health care to 11 million kids – 4 million who were previously uninsured. • Provided federal support for stem cell and new biomedical research. • Ordered the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay and a review of detention and interrogation policy, and prohibited the use of torture. • Announced new policy steps towards Cuba. • Nominated Sonia Sotomayor to Supreme Court. She is the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice. • Signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act that made it a federal crime to assault an individual because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity. • Signed on to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. • Signed the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act, the first piece of comprehensive legislation aimed at improving the lives of Americans living with paralysis. • Answered questions at the first online town hall. Obama said the precedent-setting online town hall meeting was “an important step” toward creating a broader avenue for information about his administration. Questions were submitted and voted on by the public at WhiteHouse.gov. • Unveiled a program on Earth Day 2009 to develop the renewable energy projects on the waters of the Outer Continental Shelf that produce electricity from wind, wave, and ocean currents.
Dakota Access Pipeline Construction Denied, for Now By Naomi Johnson The Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation is approximately 1,000,000 acres of Native American tribal land that sits on the border of North and South Dakota. Construction of a 1,172-milelong underground oil pipeline project known as the Dakota Access Pipeline, or Bakken Pipeline has triggered protests in opposition to the construction. Led by Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault, members of the tribe say the pipeline threatens the cleanliness of their water supply from the Missouri River.
Contamination of the Missouri River will affect the thousands of reservation’s residents, and the millions of people that live downstream. Sacred Stone protest camp was erected in April 2016 when construction began on the proposed pipeline. Thousands have participated in demonstrations and many have been arrested including celebrities and journalists covering the protests. Costs are estimated at $3.8 billion for the pipeline, which will transport nearly half a million barrels of crude oil daily from North Dakota to Illinois. As of Dec. 4, the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers denied a permit to drill underneath Lake Oahe on the Missouri River. The fight to prevent construction is far from over. The Obama administration has halted construction for now, but the company that is responsible for the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners, has gained the support of President-elect Donald Trump. Construction could resume, assuming its original route if Trump, who owns stock in the Energy Transfer Partners company decides to allow it. Representatives of Energy Transfer Partners have yet to release a statement on the denial of construction permits.
Infographic by Claire Bush/Collegian
President-elect Donald J. Trump’s dominant victory in conjunction with Republican majorities in both houses of Congress is expected to shake up environmental and energy policies. Within the first 100 days of his administration the president-elect said he will withdraw EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), also a major building block of the Paris Agreement.