Page 1

Issue VI, Volume CXXX

December 9, 2013

pg. 15

Kayla Kearney breaks the silence - A star is revealed So Lee Contributing Writer


Joseph Barkoff / Oak Leaf

Kayla Kearney, whose YouTube video garnered more than one million views, takes a moment away from her busy day at SRJC Dec. 6.

ayla Kearney was no stranger to the stage, but on Jan. 14, 2011, the drama was her own. The Maria Carrillo High School senior gripped the microphone as she stood under the familiar stage lights that had illuminated her lead performances in numerous productions. At the Martin Luther King Jr. Assembly, however, she was on her own: no cast members, no costumes, no stage directions. Alone on stage, she paired a slightly wrinkled dress shirt with jeans and sneakers, intermittently brushing aside the curly strands that fell down her rosy cheeks. “This speech will change my life forever— but I hope my words can change more,” she said. Her words— chronicling her journey of self-acceptance from her first crush to a role in a community theater production of “Rent”— turned viral with more than a million views on YouTube. Looking solemnly into the crowd, she announced; “I feel the need to stand in front of all of you to tell you that I’m gay because I want to break the silence.” Kearney, now 20, laughs heartily as she recounts her experience, her gray eye shadow glimmering in the dim-lit café: “When I rewatch it, which I rarely do, I cringe. Some people watch it and think that it’s hammy, but the thing is, it wasn’t hammy. It was totally how I was feeling. I was this angsty teenager.”

She had opened up to a small group of friends and her family about her sexual orientation just a few months before deciding to do the speech. It was then that she realized that she didn’t want rumors to spread. “I liked the idea of me, on my terms, just saying what I wanted to say. It was also cool to include my school in my ‘coming out’ journey, to help people see that you’re not suddenly OK [being out]. Even all that cheesy stuff— that it’s important to accept people for who they are, et cetera et cetera— that’s still so important to hear.” Nonetheless, the eight-minute video filmed by her parents was meant for their own keepsake, not YouTube. “It was a debate because we knew that people could be mean,” she said. It took her a couple of days to decide, but she eventually uploaded her now-famous video, “High School Senior ‘Comes Out’ in Assembly.” Clicking the “Upload” button has resulted in much press coverage, which included becoming the secondyoungest person on the Forty Under 40 list, a compilation of accomplished individuals set to influence the future of culture according to the “The Advocate” website. She cites the list as a major source of viewership in the first few months. After the first peak in April, the video now receives a consistent daily view count around 2000. Kearney also flew to New York City over Veterans’ Day weekend to star in a documentary film. The team of “Coming Out” had scoured YouTube and contacted Kearney, asking if she would share her insight on coming out in the age of social media. What most of her online admirers don’t know is that she had given the speech seven times to every English class Continued on page 12

Pg. 8



December 9, 2013

New life comes from old:

What happened to this tree TABLE of CONTENTS and what happens next

Arts & Entertainment Les Misérables review PAGE 4

Faith Gates

Staff Writer

The 250-year-old, 15 ton oak tree that stood behind the main “Santa Rosa Junior College” sign in the open field at the front of campus fell Nov. 21 during a severe windstorm that hit Santa Rosa and most of Sonoma County. Winds up to 45 mph were enough to push the old oak tree over. “It was a heartache to see the old tree fall down,” said SRJC head arborist Robert Carretero. Now that the tree is gone it leaves the question of what happens next. The land was acquired in 1930 from local botanist Luther Burbank, who said the front lawn should be kept open for trees and gardens. That is the reason nothing has been built there today. Another question is what will happen to the tree. “I think it would be really cool if you use the wood to make a bench or sculpture of something,” said SRJC student Isabella Moreno. SRJC student Sean Brown

Center Spread

Holiday tips for students PAGE 8 & 9

Opinion Black Friday blues PAGE 10


Kim Pittman PAGE 12

Joseph Barkoff/Oak Leaf

Winds gusting at 45 miles-per-hour toppled an approximately 250-year-old oak tree at the Santa Rosa campus Nov. 1.

agreed, saying the wood should be made into something usable on campus. When asked what the plans are for the space, Carretero said, “We’re going to plant another

Valley Oak, maybe next spring when it’s good for growth.” It shouldn’t take long before the Valley Oak will be up and growing. “Valley Oaks grow fast. The first 10 to 15 years they

grow straight up, then they grow horizontally.” Carretero said, “A 3-year-old sapling grows to about 10 feet.”

Sports Jonny Gomes Q&A PAGE 13

Holzworth hearing to start next quarter Erik Jorgensen Staff Writer

The criminal trial proceeded slowly with attorneys on both sides scheduling an evidentiary hearing to test the validity of search warrants served against Jeffrey Holzworth, the former Santa Rosa Junior College District Police officer accused of pilfering more than $300,000 from SRJC parking machines since 2005. The 28-year veteran held sole responsibility for collecting money from parking machines at SRJC campuses in Petaluma, Santa Rosa and Windsor, and faces 11 counts of receiving stolen property and one charge of grand theft; his wife Karen faces three counts of receiving stolen property and one count of acting as an accessory. On Nov. 21 Judge Kenneth Gnoss heard arguments from Assistant District Attorney Amy Ariyoshi and defense attorney Joe Passalaqua

regarding motions to quash and traverse the affidavits and search warrants served by Santa Rosa Police Department detectives on Nov. 28, 2012. Detectives discovered receipts from SRJC parking machines and ATMs, casino player’s club cards, gambling records and several caches of stashed cash in quarters, $1 bills and $5 bills totaling $13,487. Ariyoshi explained the difference between motions to quash and motions to traverse a search warrant outside the courtroom after the hearing. A motion to quash corresponds to the “four corners of the warrant itself,” such as a lack of probable cause or if the judge reviewing the warrant got something wrong. A motion to traverse corresponds to search warrants based on misrepresentation or reckless falsehoods. In a review of either of these motions, quashing is limited to the search warrant itself without bringing in additional evidence, whereas traversing requires

bringing in outside information. “It’s all a technicality issue,” Ariyoshi said. In court, Passalaqua’s motions all focused on “the fruit of the poisoned tree,” a legal doctrine excluding evidence obtained from improper search warrants. If the warrant itself, the “poisoned tree,” is illegal, then any evidentiary “poisoned fruit” found is also inadmissible. Passalaqua described two incidents, in 2006 and in 2012, when SRJC District Police officer Steve Potter discovered evidence suggesting Holzworth’s misappropriation of the parking meter money he was entrusted to collect. Potter’s observations amounted to a warrantless search by an on-duty officer, Passalaqua said. In 2006, Potter saw a gym bag in the District Police locker room and unzipped it to verify the bag’s owner. Inside, Potter saw the laptop Holzworth allegedly used to erase the internal memories inside the parking machines, as well as

Editors-in-Chief: Darcy Fracolli William Rohrs

Managing Editor: Nathan Quast

Section Editors:

A&E Editor: Ken Kutska Assistant A&E Editor: Asa Hackett Copy Editor: Brenna Thompson Features Editor: Peter Njoroge News Editor: William Rohrs Center Spread: Tara Kaveh Opinion Editor: Drue Dunn Photo Editor: Joseph Barkoff Sports Editor: Joseph Barkoff Assistant Sports Editor: Amelia Parreira Web Manager: Nathan Quast

a “large sum of U.S. currency,” and secured the gym bag in the evidence locker. Passalaqua said this constituted a warrantless search by an on-duty officer. Ariyoshi countered, saying it was merely an action of one co-worker securing another’s valuable property accidentally left out. “There is no indication any officer had any suspicions or any knowledge of violation of law,” she said. “The reasonable presumption was Holzworth got his bag back and proceeded to act as normal.” Passalaqua disagreed and said, “Potter was not acting as a private citizen, because private citizens cannot lock items into evidence.” On Oct. 24, 2012 Holzworth, in his personal vehicle, gave Potter a ride to a defense training session at Tauzer Gym, and Potter said he noticed the cup holders were full of quarters, and no other coins.

continued on pg.3...

Staff Writers:

Giovanni Amador, Jessica Beaudry, Faith Gates, DeAnna Hettinger, Erik Jorgensen, Robert Marshall, Amy Reynolds, Jarrett Rodriguez, Deborah San Angelo and Brenna Thompson


Joseph Barkoff and Gabe Zermeno


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Editorials do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the students, staff, faculty or administration.


The Affordable Health Care Act: Jessica Beaudry Staff Writer

Educating a small group of concerned SRJC students on the Affordable Care Act, speakers Matthew Heredia and Marie Wilson, certified enrollment counselors from the Petaluma Health Center, conducted their first seminar Nov. 20 at the Petaluma Campus. In previous webinars Heredia and Wilson tackled the key changes to, benefits of and enrollment processes for California health care for 2014. “Twenty-five percent of SRJC students don’t have health insurance,” said Cheryl Higgins, a nurse practitioner at SRJC Student Health Services. Wilson gave a friendly reminder to the group that when students pay for registration it includes a health services fee. Students can visit the health center without any additional costs. The Affordable Health Care Act, or Obamacare, will start Jan. 1, 2014. As a result of many upcoming health care changes, such as men and women paying the same price for insurance, “There is an increased access to health insurance,” Heredia said. Californians will have guaranteed coverage availability, insurance companies can’t drop individuals because of preexisting conditions, age, or if they become ill, starting in the new year. The act phases out annual or lifetime

Police blotter Faith Gates

December 9, 2013


How the SRJC student can sign up and benefit from Obamacare

limits that a health plan can place on however, will be offered temporary tax most benefits an individual receives. breaks if they do. Insurance companies can only raise Those who find their workplace their prices once a year. coverage too expensive, along with “As long as your parents maintain individuals seeking to purchase their their insurance, you can remain own coverage, can do so with the help covered by them until age 26,” Wilson of government-created marketplaces said, bringing good news to many such as Covered California. The system SRJC students. will help individuals compare health “Previously, those who had an insurance plans. annual income of $11,000 or less Families and individuals with lower received free incomes who •The enrollment period for health insurance don’t have access coverage starting on Jan. 1, 2014 and now this to insurance began Oct. 1, 2013 and ends Dec. 15, law has changed through their 2013. to include those employer or a •Consumers will have until March who earn an government 31, 2014 to enroll for coverage annual income program can starting on April 1, 2014. of $15,914 or calculate whether •The deadline to receive premium less,” Wilson they qualify assistance in 2014 is April 1, 2014. said, explaining for premium •People who are unemployed the new assistance or in 2014 can enroll in Covered benefits under Medi-Cal. California. Obamacare. Providing a •Oct. 15, 2014 – Dec. 7, 2014: open People who virtual shopping enrollment will begin for coverage already use health experience on its in 2015. care provided by website, Covered their employers California will see caps placed on deductions offers four levels of health coverage for doctor visits and receive free including Bronze, Silver, Gold and preventative care. Although this law Platinum. The ‘metal tiers’ provide will not be in effect until 2015, full options based on the amount of time employees of large companies health care an individual expects to whose employer currently doesn’t use. Using the shop and compare tool, cover them will receive coverage. Wilson and Heredia demonstrated Small businesses with under 50 full possible plans. time employees are not required The Silver Plan has individuals or to provide health insurance. Some, families paying a monthly premium

along with 30 percent of their health care costs while the insurance company pays 70 percent of health care costs. Moving up through the tiers, monthly premiums become higher while doctor visits and services become lower. All plans offered by Covered California provide the same services, including maternity care, mental health care, prescription drugs, vaccines, immunizations, colonoscopies, mammograms and hospital and doctor visits, to name a few . Wilson and Heredia explained that older citizens who frequently use health care services would want a Gold or Platinum Plan. They encouraged SRJC students to consider a Bronze or Silver plan which has lower monthly premiums with higher service costs. “Go for the Silver,” both counselors repeated over the course of the seminar, explaining that it is the best option for young, generally healthy SRJC students. “It’s up to the individual to do their homework and see what options are available,” Wilson said. Options for enrollment include submitting an application by mail, over the phone, or by meeting with a certified enrollment counselor such as Wilson and Heredia for one-on-one assistance in finding the best health care option. “Our culture in the U.S: you go along with your life and when you get

Civil rights giant dies

Holzworth, continued from pg. 2....

Staff Writer

Nov. 18 – Sometime between the night of Nov. 17 and the morning of Nov. 18, eight fire extinguishers were taken and set off in the stairwells of Maggini Hall. The same thing happened Dec. 8 around 9 pm. It is still an open investigation. Nov. 23 - At 3:57 a.m., an officer spotted Teresa Leona Inocencio, 37, in her driveway on Richmond Street and after further investigation disccovered a glass pipe with methamphetamine and a plastic pipe with photo courtesy of marijuana. Inocencio was arrested Mandela staring out of the prison cell which housed him for over 25 years. for possession of illegal drugs and Amy Reynolds violation of probation. to bridge the chasms that divide us has come.,” Mandela said in his Staff Writer Nov. 24 – An officer spotted a loacceptance speech when he became cal transient with three outstanding Nelson Mandela, international South Africa’s first black president warrants biking on Medocino Avicon of peace and revered statesman in 1994. enue. The officer followed her a few In 1993, Mandela received the who maneuvered South Africa from blocks before she got away. A perimthe chains of apartheid through Nobel Peace Prize, an honor he eter was set up, but she was never multi-racial democracy, died Dec. shared with F.W. de Klerk, the white caught. Afrikaaner leader who freed him 5 at age 95. His defiance of white minority from prison three years earlier and Nov. 27 - An officer spotted Santa rule and consequential thirty negotiated the end of apartheid. Rosa resident Brian Douglas RobHe formally left public life in 2004 year incarceration for fighting inson lying in bushes with a large against segregation focused the before his 86th birthday, telling his bottle of alcohol by the parking gaworld’s attention on apartheid, adoring countrymen: “Don’t call rage. He was arrested for drinking in the legalized racial discrimination me, I’ll call you,” but he remained public and violation of probation. enforced by the South African one of the worlds most revered public figures, combining celebrity government until 1994. Nov. 30 – A silver Dodge truck drivImprisoned for nearly three sparkle with an unwavering ing north on Mendocino Avenue decades for his fight against white message of freedom, respect and was spotted swerving at 2:27 a.m. by minority rule, Mandela emerged human rights. an officer. The officer pulled the car Mandela battled health issues determined to use his prominence over and conducted sobriety tests and power to bring down apartheid in recent months, including a and found the suspect had a BAC recurring lung infection that led to while avoiding a civil war. level of 0.12. Joel Armando Sanchez, “The time for the healing of the numerous hospitalizations. 25, was cited and released. wounds has come. The moment

When Holzworth stepped out of the vehicle monetarily, Potter opened the center console and looked inside, where he saw six stacks of $1 and one stack of $5 bills. Ariyoshi said this was the action of a private citizen getting a ride from a co-worker, not an active investigation by an on-duty officer, and there was no reasonable expectation of privacy in an unlocked center console. Passalaqua disagreed and said, “If I was a guest in Your Honor’s car, you wouldn’t want me to go through your center console – and vice versa. The Fourth Amendment has to stand for something, and if it doesn’t protect from wthe Fruit of the Poisonous Tree, then why have it at all?” Ariyoshi said California law doesn’t support the assertion that a law enforcement officer is on duty at all times, and even while on duty an officer’s actions may be those of a private citizen, not an acting agent of the government. For example, in 2012 when Holzworth gave Potter a ride to their defense training session, they wore civilian clothes and did not have their handguns with them. “There is no indication Potter was acting as law enforcement. He wasn’t investigating a crime,” Ariyoshi said. “It’s ludicrous to say he wasn’t on duty,” Passalaqua said. “When you are a salaried officer, part of your job is defense training.” In regard to Holzworth’s unsupervised oversight of collecting money from campus parking machines, “That supports bad policy on the part of

sick you go see a doctor. You want to be healthy all the time,” Wilson said, urging her audience to get the care and coverage they need early on before something sets in or happens. Using a hypothetical scenario of being involved in a car crash, then receiving a medical bill of $80,000 Wilson explains the dangers of living without insurance. The tax penalties for not having insurance are as follows: in 2014 an adult will be charged $95, and every child $47.50. In 2015 an adult will owe $325 and child $162.50. In 2016 an adult will owe $695 and child $347.50. An SRJC student said, “It’s still nowhere near what you would be paying if you had insurance.” Total penalties for the taxable year will not exceed the national average of annual premiums of a Bronze level health plan. Responding to a student questioning the ‘affordable’ in the Affordable Care Act, Wilson said, “Depending on your plan and the number of people in your household, the average cost is about $200 for middle income. Thinking that somewhere along the line you may want insurance, it’s so important to be insured.” Contact Covered California:, call (888) 9751142 Open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Register at one of the eight locations in Santa Rosa or at various health service centers in the area.

the JC – no mechanisms in place,” Passalaqua said. Outside the courtroom after the hearing, Ariyoshi said law enforcement officers do not have extra Fourth Amendment rights. “It’s outrageous to take advantage of the fact a police officer is surrounded by other police officers, to use that as a technicality,” Ariyoshi said. “Can an officer shoot somebody in the head, as long as it was only observed by another officer? It’s an absurd technicality to base a case on.” In the worst case, Ariyoshi said, if the judge dismissed the entire case by tossing out Potter’s affidavit, the District Attorney’s office would “strenuously disagree” and file an appeal, but expressed doubt the entire search warrant would be thrown out. “Everything else is a plain sight observation,” Ariyoshi said. “Just suppressing two observations, from 2006 and 2012, to just ignore everything else over a six year time frame, would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The defense can’t attack basic facts, that Holzworth had control of that job. He was master of his own domain.” Passalaqua had no comment outside of court.. On Dec. 3, 2013 attorneys from both sides met in court briefly to schedule an evidentiary hearing at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 15, 2014 in courtroom 15, where Potter and SRPD detectives Azzouni and Lazzarini will give testimony supporting the probable cause backing up their search warrant affidavits.


December 9, 2013


“Les Misérables” delivers strong performance Asa Hackett

Assistant A&E Editor

Review 12/10 SRJC Symphonic Band and Orchestra Concert: “Symphonic Sweets” Burbank Auditorium, Santa Rosa 7:30 p.m./ $10 general, $5 students, seniors and children 12/11 SRJC Concert Choir and Chamber Singers Concert: “A Ceremony of Cards” Burbank Auditorium, Santa Rosa 7:30 p.m./ $10 general, $5 students and seniors 12/12 SRJC Symphonic Band Concert: “Glorious Overtones” Sonoma State University Donald and Maureen Green Music Center, Rohnert Park 7:30 p.m./ $10-$15 tickets 12/13 Potential Threat, The Whitetrash Superstars, ZED and Iron Assault The Phoenix Theater, Petaluma 8 p.m./ $10 tickets 12/14 Pepperland Hopmonk Tavern, Sebastopol 8 p.m./ $12 show/ 21+ 12/15 X (All Original Members) and The Blasters The Mystic Theater, Petaluma 7:30 p.m./ $36 show/21+ 12/17 Moscow Ballet’s Nutcracker Wells Fargo Center Person Theater, Santa Rosa 7 p.m./ $27.50-$102 tickets 12/20 Rosetown Getdown Music Event w featured DJ’s Tywrex, Trill Nye and Philip Adrian Christy’s On the Square, Santa Rosa 7 p.m. pre-party/ afterparty till 2 a.m.

Frission: the tingling goosebumps that run from scalp to tailbone when emotion is triggered by music or speech. If you saw “Les Misérables” at the Santa Rosa Junior College this semester then you’re familiar with the sensation. The famous musical written by Alain Boublil and ClaudeMichel Schonberg is a daunting task for any cast, but the recent SRJC production pulled it off with style. Excellent choreography, vocal work, set pieces and symphony brought this powerful masterpiece home at SRJC’s Burbank Auditorium. Only a few missteps mar the musical, but the powerful songs and engaging set steamroll any complaints. Laura Downing-Lee directs the story of Jean Valjean’s redemption after unjust imprisonment in one of the most wellknown Broadway musicals. It’s the songs of the ensemble, however, that are most memorable. Vocal Director Jody Benecke creates a stunning chorus and well-directed backup singers who carry the musical with precise harmonies. Their stage presence was significant enough to

accurately imitate a small town, and choreographed masterfully to not be distracting. The leads all performed admirably, with special mention to the leading ladies. Led by Christopher Hohmann, Anthony Guzman, Carmen Mitchell, Brittany Law, Jordan Levine, Amanda Pedersen, Trevor Sakai-Jolivette and Lani Bisch, the actors were talented and professional. Even the youngest of the cast, kids between the ages of nine and twelve, played their parts perfectly. First impressions are important, and the set of the “Les Misérables” delivered a stunning impact from the beginning. Red and white drapes framed the sides of the set and provided a projector screen to indicate scene changes. Inside the drapes, multi-purpose entrance ways were used for entrances and exits. Appropriate French building fronts hung in the background. The best parts of the set, were the revolving stairway/barricade and the walkway that circles the orchestra pit. The large wheeled set piece, used in most of the scenes, served as a staircase to an overlook, and on the other side as a makeshift barricade for young revolutionaries to die on. The walkway around the orchestra pit isolated char-

Photo courtesy of online theater review

Emotionally driven “Les Miserables” demonstrates SRJC capability. acters perfectly. Congradulations to the scene, lighting, costume and makeup designers for their excellent teamwork. A small, but complete orchestra complimented the cast’s every movement. On key and on beat, the professional orchestra was yet another pleasure, directed by Janis Dunson Wilson. The actor playing Jean Valjean was apparently under the weather on a few performance nights and can be forgiv-

en for a few slips, considering his fantastic acting and charisma. The most noticeable issues involved malfunction of the microphones strapped to every actor, issues that left some songs a little empty. Nevertheless, the SRJC rendition of “Les Misérables” was professional and enjoyable. Any mistakes were immediately forgotten as the ensemble finished the final song to a standing ovation.

Celebrity deaths taken from a young age bracket Ken Kutska A&E Editor

Natalie Wood, Heath Ledger, Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, Brittany Murphy, Paul Walker. It’s amazing to note just how many celebrities have died before they reached 50. Maybe it’s the stress of the limelight or they think they’re untouchable because of their wealth and status they receive. It’s becoming more apparent every day that celebrities, especially the younger generation of celebrities, are not protecting themselves or living as great role models for kids and teenagers. Over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Paul Walker from the “Fast and the Furious” movie franchise and longtime friend Roger Rodas left Walker’s charity event in a red Porsche Carrera GT with a top speed of more than 200 mph. Walker and Rodas were either going too fast or lost control of the car as they went around a curve and crashed into a light pole in a Santa Clarita business park. The car caught fire and both men were killed, Walker’s death has generated an enormous outpouring of support and comfort from the Hollywood and car enthusiast communities. Walker wasn’t one of those actors or celebrities who would pull crazy stunts or do outlandish things to get attention. He preferred to live privately.

Often after a celebrity like Walker dies, friends and family come together for support, like Vin Diesel, the “Fast and the Furious” co-star who worked with Walker off and on for a decade. Then the news comes out that the quiet celebrity who nobody really knew about in private has a long-time girlfriend and a daughter. These people are also casualties, because they get drawn into the fray when they’d rather be left alone. On the other hand not all celebrities turn out quiet and respectable. Unfortunately, a lot of pop culture stars under the age of 50 turn to drugs and alcohol. We’ve seen time and time again that substance abuse and stars don’t mix well. This is readily apparent with rock musicians and younger actors. Maybe it’s the thrill of trying new things out of curiosity or maybe it’s just part of the celebrity culture. Amy Winehouse had an abusive past with drugs and alcohol, and could never relinquish the hold they had over her. Eventually drug abuse she was putting herself through led to her untimely death. It only takes one mistake in your life to screw it up forever whether it’s a pop icon like Winehouse dying of a self-induced overdose, or Walker, a victim of a mistake. It just goes to show that when you drive fast or gamble with your life, is all it takes.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

The late Paul Walker (1973-2013), star of the popular Fast and Furious films.

Celebrities who died under the age of 50 Aaliyah (23) plane crash Amy Winehouse (27) overdose Andy Gibb (30) drug abuse Anna Nicole Smith (39)overdose Brian Jones (27) overdose Brittany Murphy (32) poisoned Buddy Holly (22) plane crash Carole Lombard (33) plane crash Chris Farley (33) overdose Cory Monteith (31) overdose Eddie Cochran (22) car crash Elvis Presley (42) overdose Heath Ledger (28) overdose James Dean (24) car crash Janis Joplin (27) overdose Jayne Mansfield (34) car crash Jim Croce (30) plane crash

Jim Morrison (27) heart failure

Jimi Hendrix (27) overdose John Belushi (33) abuse John Bonham (32) asphyxiation John Lennon (40) murdered Judy Garland (47) overdose Keith Moon (32) overdose Kurt Cobain (27) suicide Marilyn Monroe (36) overdose Marvin Gaye (44) murdered Mitch Hedberg (37) overdose Natalie Wood (43) drowned Otis Redding (26) plane crash Patsy Cline (30) plane crash Paul Walker (40) car crash River Phoenix (23) overdose Sid Vicious (21) overdose


December 9, 2013


Microsoft’s Xbox One Launch: The good, the bad and the ugly

Photo courtesy of Microsft Inc.

The hefty new Xbox One video game console powers through a buggy release with impressive hardware and a promising line-up. Microsoft’s device smoothly adresses its precursor’s issues.

Giovanni Amador Staff Writer

Review The Good I’ve never been as excited to unbox a piece of technology as I was last Friday during the launch of the Xbox One. Straight out of the box, the Kinect sensor looked sleek and modern, pulling off its hefty size with ease. The first time I held the controller in my hands felt amazing. It has a matte finish and the D-Pad has been improved substantially with the removal of the flimsy disk of a D-Pad from the 360 and adding a secure cross shape that now works great for each input. The analog sticks are smaller as well but the texture surrounding them provides a better grip. I’m still waiting to see the implemented impulse triggers put to good use, as the thought of getting specific vibrations for specific actions in a game really seems like a more interesting and interactive way of play. The battery compartment in the back is tucked inside instead of bulging out like before. It still uses AA batteries and it’s unfortunate that Microsoft doesn’t provide a rechargeable battery. It’s nice to know that I can replace my batteries easily, rechargeable or not, instead of having to buy a new controller. In contrast, the PlayStation 4 has a rechargeable battery built in – and if the battery goes bad, then the whole controller does too. Now for the Xbox One itself: it’s huge. I completely lost sight of the size and my worries completely drifted away. It’s a simple look; pulling off a VCR kind of look is

actually not a bad thing. It’s big for a reason though: ventilation. The design of the Xbox One seems to be constructed with the vents as the starting point. Half of the console has vents for the huge built-in fan, leaving me reassured there will be no such thing as the infamous “Red Ring of Death” the early Xbox 360 had due to overheating issues. In terms of performance and software, does nothing short of delivering one of the best user experiences.  Everything is fluid and responsive, with the ability to snap certain functions alongside, such as playing “Dead Rising 3” on the left part of the screen while the smaller portion plays “Man Of Steel” on Bluray. It’s pretty nifty, and switching between the two is as easy as doubletapping the Xbox button or giving the voice command “Xbox, switch” through the Kinect. The Kinect is now an integral part of  the Xbox One’s hardware. Unlike the 360, the One’s just not the same without it and the experience wouldn’t feel as rich and satisfying. The array of commands available at the sound of my voice makes me feel in control and organized. For the 360, the controller was the way to go to find what I needed, but the One has changed the game. I find myself talking to my Xbox more than pushing buttons  to navigate through the dashboard. One of my favorite new features is the ability to record segments of gameplay through the console’s own DVR. Every time I have an epic moment in a game, I’m quick to call out “Xbox, record that!” and it records the previous 30 seconds seamlessly and lets me know when it has finished recording. When I finish my game I can check out the clip and edit it by trimming or adding some cool effects with Upload Studio, the

Xbox’s own video editor. Once I’m satisfied with my video, sharing it couldn’t be any easier; with just the push of a button, I can start uploading it to my account on Xbox as well as to SkyDrive, a free online storage provided by Microsoft, that gives the option to upload video anywhere on the web. It’s still not the best way to edit video, but it’s definitely the easiest. As for gaming and graphics, there isn’t too much of a difference to what I saw on the 360, but that’s because my main game has been “Call Of Duty: Ghosts” and the developers of the game still have yet to implement a better engine to not only bring in

The Kinect is now an integral part of the Xbox One’s hardware. that fluid gameplay they’re known for, but to graphically enhance the look by taking advantage of the new hardware the Xbox One has to offer. Games like “Forza Motorsport 5” and “Ryse: Son of Rome“ do a better job of showcasing this, but I’m more excited with what the future has to offer in terms of graphics. Just think of it: the games that were available in the early years of the 360 such as “Call Of Duty 2” and “Grand Theft Auto 4” look pretty outdated, and yet we thought they looked great at the time. Now fast forward to the end of the 360’s generation with games like “Halo 4” and “Grand Theft Auto 5.” These are much better looking games, as developers got a much better sense of how to push the 360 to its full potential. And with the Xbox One

boasting an eight gigabyte RAM DDR3 with an 8 Core AMD Custom CPU, compared to the 360’s smaller 512 megabyte GDDR3? That’s what I’m excited for with the Xbox One: games are already looking fantastic, but I can’t imagine how great they will look in the years to come. The Bad and The Ugly Microsoft has no doubt brought us a great console, but it can still use its improvements. Like every console at launch, it has its problems, both hardware or software. The hardware can be easily replaced if broken, but not improved and thus I’m going to focus on the software because that can surely be improved. With Microsoft having a great history of listening to their consumers, it’s a good idea to point these problems out so they can look into them. Now, as Khan said, “Shall we begin?” Software updates are needed. That’s the main thing that comes to mind when I think of the problems with the Xbox One. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s a great console, but there have been things that worked fine on the Xbox 360 that have actually been tweaked for the worse. For example, the Xbox button on the 360 brought up a quick guide menu no matter where I was on the console, offering fast access to everything including messages, friends, party chat and account info. For the One, the button does essentially the same thing but it brings up the whole dashboard, which is great – but it has its problems. When I push the Xbox button, it still runs the game or movie in the background and I can go back to it as if I’ve never left. It’s definitely an improvement, but it actually takes longer to navigate through the full dashboard than to quickly bring up that organized little menu.

Thankfully the Kinect allows me to give voice commands to find my place easier, but it’d be nice knowing I had two easy options rather than making one obsolete. Notifications have also been tweaked for the worse – where are they? All I tend to receive are achievement and Skype notifications. The game invites are practically gone as well; now it’s much more like the PlayStation 3. I can only send game invites through the game I’m playing and not independently through the Xbox menu. When I do get a game invite, it completely interrupts my gameplay. I was playing “Call Of Duty: Ghosts” on the Xbox One and just as I was about to shoot down an unsuspecting opponent, I got an invite to play a game in the middle of the screen, rendering me helpless as I tried to clear the notification while the game continued. In doing so, my opponent got away. Microsoft could have improved the invites by making them look better and work faster but instead completely changed it. One more thing: slow installation times. Upon trying to install “Call Of Duty: Ghosts,” it was painfully slow – to the point I thought I had a defective Xbox since it wouldn’t move past 0 percent; it took a good 30 minutes before it got to 1 percent. In total, it took about an hour and a half to get to 50 percent so I could start playing the game while it finished downloading; a great feature, but I still had to wait a long time to get to that point. If Microsoft continues on the same path as they did with the Xbox 360, plenty of updates should be on their way for the Xbox One to further improve the software – or bring some mechanics back that were fine to begin with.


December 9, 2013


Petaluma native Kyle Craft masters violin Brenna Thompson Copy Editor

A pause. A deep breath. He closes his eyes, raises his arm, and goes very still. There is silence. Then, in a flurry of sound and movement, he plays. Kyle Craft has been training to master the violin since he was four. His first memory of the instrument came from one fated concert his family attended on New Year’s Day 1997. The new year, Craft explains, is generally reserved for Viennese Waltzes in the world of classical music, a world he had not yet begun to experience. What met the young Craft’s ears at the San Francisco Symphony that night a melody that he would never forget- the Blue Danube, a waltz by legendary composer Johann Strauss, which it remains his favorite song 16 years later. When he heard this tune on violin, he turned to his mother, got her attention, and insisted: “I want to play that.” Isabel Craft told her son frankly: “The violin won’t work out for you.” Craft was undeterred, and he turned to his grandparents Jose and Doris Bravo to help him cultivate his budding passion. Two months later, they bought him his first violin. Though Craft has gone through four violins since then, he still holds fond memories of it. “It was really big for me,” laughs

Photo courtesy of Kyle Craft

Kyle Craft finds inspiration in violinist Andre Rieu’s unrestrained playstyle.

Craft, pantomiming the awkward playing motions. Craft says it was very difficult to begin learning the instrument, especially the manner in which he learned it. “I was using the Suzuki method, and the Suzuki method in violin playing is one of the worst… It’s really strict,” he explains. The Suzuki method involves beginning an instrument very young based on a natural ability to pick things up, but it is often too regimented and time-consuming for young children. Despite this, the 5-year-old pro-

gressed quickly, surprising others with his natural talents. Though long practice hours left little time to play with friends or do schoolwork, Craft persisted, citing his family as his driving motivation. “I don’t feel like I missed out on my childhood because my family has always helped me to enjoy playing. My mother has always been supportive of me,” says the violinist. Craft found himself moving away from music at the age of 12. “Music wasn’t fun for me anymore

Oldboy falls short of original Jarrett Rodriguez Staff Writer

Review Here we are again: Hollywood has given us another remake of a Japanese cult film. Movie lovers and critics have loved “Oldboy” since its release in 2003, and 10 years later we get the American version. Unfortunately for the target audience, what we get is a beautifully directed movie that does not take enough risks. For those of you unfamiliar with the story of “Oldboy,” it follows a man who is unexpectedly kidnapped and left in a room where he spends 20 years without any reason. His only window to the world is a TV that broadcasts the news. He finds out he has been framed for the murder of his exwife. His daughter is taken to live with another family. Oldboy then spends his time training for the day he gets to exact his revenge. He gets his wish when he is unexpectedly released into the world and sets off to find his captives, helped by a young woman. The story is a beautiful, disgusting portrayal of what a man is capable of when he has nothing to live for. This American version sticks to the same formula as the 2003 remake beat for beat, and that is where the movie falters. Performance wise, the actors and actresses do a great job of bringing the characters to life. Josh Brolin does a great job playing Joe Doucett, bringing his tough demeanor to flesh out this violent character. Elizabeth Olsen is also very believable as Marie Sebastion, the nurse who

falls for Brolin’s character; at times you really can feel that her character cares about him. Samuel Jackson plays the usual villain role he has portrayed since Pulp-Fiction – it’s enjoyable but not exactly new. “Oldboy” disappoints not because of the acting or even the direction, as Spike Lee definitely spices up the scenery with bright colors that play off the usual drab raining backgrounds of the original. It’s the story that ultimately stops the movie from being on the same level as the classic and for that the blame lies with the producers. Instead of taking the story and making it their own, they instead played it safe and did an almost shot for shot remake. The scenes almost play out exactly the same. The famous one-shot hammer scene, in which the main protagonist takes on an army of men with a single hammer, was cut so much there is barely any difference between the new and the old version. The ending was also changed, making the character of Joe seem more likable, but it unfortunately takes away from what the original intended and what we are left with is a mess that does not exactly know where it is going. Watching this movie makes you yearn to watch the original version Spike Lee shot, which was 140 minutes until the producers cut it down to 105 minutes. In an interview with the LA Times, Josh Brolin said that Lee’s original version was superior in many ways. Unfortunately for us, we may have to wait for the extended Blu-ray version, if they ever decided to release it. Until then if you are itching to see an amazing, violent story with a surprise ending, I suggest watching the original on Netflix.

and it all seemed stuffy and boring. Three months later, I saw Andre, and everything changed.” Andre Rieu is a world-famous violinist who travels with an orchestra around Europe and America on multimillion dollar tours. Extravagant, beloved by many musicians worldwide, Rieu is Craft’s favorite violinist and main inspiration. Seeing Rieu was the 12-year-old’s ultimate dream come true. He marveled at the decorations in the Sacramento arena and nearly fainted when the virtuoso came into the venue playing Julius Fucik’s “Entry of the Gladiators.” But what the young man did not expect was for the concert to inspire him into playing music again. By the end of the show, he felt ready to keep playing the violin. Most classical players insist on an orthodox and bland style of performance. Rieu is an exception, preferring beautiful colorful clothes to plain black ones and lavish sets to stone concert halls. Craft feels similarly about performing. “I want to put energy into everything I do. I want the audience to get up and dance and go crazy. I want to make it interesting and enjoyable, and that’s what Andre does,” he explains. “That’s why he’s my idol.” The first thing he did upon getting back home was pull out his Rieu DVD “Live in Dublin,” dust off his violin and begin to play along. “I don’t think I really lost my pas-

sion,” he muses; “I just needed to do some thinking. And I thought, and I thought some more, and I came back.” During the summer of 2012, after his senior year at Petaluma High School, Craft traveled to Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Craft also got the chance to see Andre Rieu again when his cousin provided him with tickets. He went to the show in Maastricht with high hopes, and Rieu did not disappoint. “I fainted. I was so overwhelmed,” he laughs, saying: “This concert changed my life forever. When I just think about this trip, I get goosebumps.” On Sunday, Dec. 1, Craft held his third annual Christmas concert at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Petaluma. Titled “Christmas in Vienna,” the two-hour show was heavily inspired by Craft’s time in Austria and Germany. Piano player Stu Manzano accompanied all of the songs with energy and soul to match Craft’s. Before audience members took their leave, Craft thanked his choir and piano accompanist by dressing his friend up as Santa Claus to give each of the members a bouquet. “I would just like to thank the members of my wonderful choir for doing this,” Craft said. “I couldn’t have put on this concert without them.” The audience cheered. He continued, “So thank you for making my dream come true. Thank you so much.”



December 9, 2013

Wild wind blows ancient oak down Drue Dunn






Opinion Editor


Illustration by Deborah San Angelo

he end of the fall semester is a stressful time for students, a problem exacerbated by the long semester. Thanksgiving break makes them relax and yearn for the end. When it’s darker sooner and longer, everyone just wants to sleep. When December rolls around and students who feel like they should be almost across the finish line realize they still have three weeks left, they despair. Santa Rosa Junior College’s current 17.5 week semester is too long. Students and faculty lose focus and we all lose out on our education. The Research and Planning Group for California Community Colleges has shown that students retain information better when semesters are shorter. Shortening the semester to 16 weeks would allow for a longer, more complete summer session and the addition of a winter session, both of which would grant students more opportunities to get the classes they need to transfer. The compressed calendar would also reincorporate finals into the regular class schedule, putting an end to the irregular hours and additional stress of finals week. On the upside, staff pay would not be reduced, and overall class hours would not be cut. Classes would be slightly longer each day, allowing teachers to preserve the integrity of their courses. Fiftyfour of California’s 112 community colleges have switched to a compressed calendar and not one has filed to return to the longer semester. The compressed calendar would also align SRJC with many universities in the CSU and UC systems, creating a more cohesive community of California students. On the downside, the shortened calendar could create problems for lab and agricultural classes, since labs are often conducted at a rate of one per week and agricultural classes rely on seasonal, naturally occurring events. However, it’s a small price to pay for the advancement of our education and the mental well being of our students and faculty.



he magnificent oak behind the brick SRJC sign toppled in a windstorm Nov. 21. Life is an accumulation of time and memories. Memories of people and events mark moments in time. Each moment is distinct, and each life is unique. If your life spanned centuries, would it be more momentous than others? Around 1763, when folks on the East Coast were tiring of English rule, a tree sprouted, a Valley Oak, a newcomer in a timberland of Valley Oaks here in the Santa Rosa basin. The songs of the Pomo, Miwok and Wappo tribes filled the valley. From the sapling, one could see Hood Mountain in the east and rolling hills in the west. As the sun journeyed from point to point every day, bringing life each season, the Valley Oak grew. Tribes came and went, and change came to the land in the form of men. Beyond Hood Mountain, the Mexican government built the Sonoma Mission in 1823 to cool the intentions of Russian expansion. It was the first indelible sign of modern progress to come with new populations.

Joseph Barkoff / Oak Leaf

In 1835, while General Vallejo was making a name for himself in the area, the small forest of Valley Oaks took little notice. In 1848, with end of the Mexican American war, the Valley Oaks ceased to be Mexican when their land transferred to America’s stewardship. Twenty years later, in 1868, the oak forest found itself on the north end of a newly minted city named Santa Rosa. At the age of 107, the tree heard its first train

whistle, bringing with it population and progress that threatens most forests. Luckily for the oaks, Luther Burbank arrived five years later. The land of the oaks became Burbank Park and a measure of protection from the saw came with the name change. The coming years saw Santa Rosa shaken and burnt in the 1906 earthquake that leveled the court house just a few blocks away. The Oak remained. As people came and went

into history the oaks endured. In 1930, the SRJC Board of Trustees acquired Burbank Park with the intent of housing SRJC on the site. While many oaks of the old grove were felled to make way for the buildings that house one of the finest schools of its kind, the oak near Healdsburg Avenue remained, passing through the years one day at a time. The road it overlooked was renamed Mendocino Avenue. Many a noteworthy person passed by the trees limbs, from Elsie Allen to Alfred Hitchcock. More recently this oak has been photo-bombing people and team portraits at the SRJC brick sign. In 250 years this oak became a 15-ton, 4-foot wide pillar of tranquility, greeting all travelers to this place over the last century. The Valley Oak toppled over Nov. 21 in a powerful windstorm. Should such a witness to the past be unceremoniously discarded? Perhaps SRJC could have the trunk of the ancient tree shaped into a massive bench, adorned with etchings of historical significances that depict the history of this Santa Rosa native to celebrate its long life. Despite the best efforts of dedicated arborists and groundskeepers, time allows nothing to stand forever. The remaining handful of heritage Valley Oaks that predate the rise of our nation is decreased by one.

“What is your personal headline?” Photos needed; students, teachers and athletes shot. -Joseph Barkoff

Oak Leaf advisor kills orphans and widows -Anne Belden

Passive voice eliminator eaten by zombies -Nathan Quast

Gymnast springs over Oak Leaf -Amelia Parreira

Debbie San Angelo dead, replaced by typo -Sandy DeAngelo

Chicago’s lost son comes to California for stars -Ken Kutska

Small Native-American man skates through five-unit class -Gabe Zermeno

Small Persian woman to white people: I am not an Arab -Tara Kaveh

children’s movie is brought to life with the help of director Ron Howard and actor Jim Carey. The story is used to flesh out the character of the Grinch, a what who is hated in the community of who’s. Though silly, the movie has the heart of Christmas in it, making it a beloved tale. “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993): Jarrett Rodriguez “Nightmare before Christmas” has the very rare honor of being both an amazing Christmas Staff Writer movie and a Halloween movie. The story centers on Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king who crooged” (1988): based on Charles rules Halloween Town. But when Jack begins to Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol,” feel that his life is empty and missing something, “Scrooged” takes the same formula and imagines he tries to find a way to fill it and stumbles upon it for modern times. Bill Murray plays Scrooge, Tim Burton’s a businessman who gets visited by three ghosts The Nightmare to show him the error of his ways. The story is Before of course familiar but the performance by Bill Christmas Murray is what makes this one of the great (1993) has overlooked Christmas classics of all time. He become a cult brings Scrooge to life in a funny way that no one classic, bridging has come close to since. If you have not seen this the gap between one yet, I highly recommend it. the Halloween “Santa Clause” (1994): Tim Allen stars in and Christmas this loveable family film about a single dad who seasons. Photo accidentally knocks Santa Clause off of his roof Courtesy of Touchstone and must take over the big mans job. Tim Allen Pictures. does a great job of playing the businessman who starts to see the magic in the holiday spirit. Definitely a great film for the whole family. Christmas Town. After witnessing its beauty “A Christmas Story” (1983): Probably one of he decides that with the help of his friends he the only movies to actually have a day dedicated will rule Christmas Town and take over Santa’s to playing it, “A Christmas Story” is one of the position. The movie is both brilliant and sad, all time best classic holiday movies. The story with an amazing cast of characters that are easily of Ralphie, a young boy who dreams of getting some of Tim Burton’s greatest designs. the one toy he so desperately wishes to have, “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946): No Christmas the Red Ryder BB gun. As simple as the story list would be complete without “It’s a Wonderful may seem, it is at once relatable. From Ralphie’s Life,” considered one of not only the greatest parents to his friends and his bullies, there is Christmas films of all time but actually one of always something to love about this movie. A the greatest American cinematic films of all holiday is not complete without it. time. The story of George Bailey (James Stewart) “The Grinch” (2000): Dr. Seuss’s beloved

who tires to commit suicide on Christmas eve and is shown by his guardian angel how many lives have been touched thanks to him and his caring ways. It is considered one of the most inspiring movies of all time, one that has been copied in pop culture for years and years. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (1965): the Peanuts gang has become synonymous with the holidays but none truly shines on the same level as “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The story of Charlie Brown, who is given the task of picking the Christmas tree for the gang and winds up choosing a dying tree and gets the hate of the gang, is really about how Christmas has become to commercialized and how we should all be thankful for the gift we have. It’s a great warm family movie that should not be missed by anyone. “Bad Santa” (2003): Bad Santa is one of the few R-Rated Christmas out there and it is definitely one of the best. The story of a group of thieves who decide to rob a mall on Christmas Eve is extremely raunchy and definitely not for the whole family, but what it lacks in tact, it more than makes up for in laughs. Billy Bob Thornton puts on one of his best performances as Stokes, who finds that somewhere deep down he actually has a heart, a surprise to him and the people he cares about. “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989): the third installment to the “National Lampoon” series, this film has become a great modern Christmas classic. Chevy Chase stars as Clark Griswald, who wants nothing more to throw his family the best Christmas ever but is thwarted by his bad luck and in-laws the entire time. The movie is both lovable and hilarious; it brings some great laugh out loud moments while still being suitable for the whole family. Next to the original “National Lampoon’s Vacation” movie, this one is a close second.

a fantastic book. The following books are the Oak Leaf editors’ picks: “Peace Like a River” - Leif Enger “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”Phillip K. Dick “Crank” - Ellie Hopkins “Inferno” - Dan Brown Tara Kaveh “Dune” - Frank Herbert “Collected Works” - H.P. Lovecraft Center Spread Editor “Catch 22” - Joseph Heller “Deathbird Stories” - Harlan Ellison Ice skating “Hagakure” - Yamamoto Tsunetomo “The Power of Now” - Eckhart Tolle noopy’s Home Ice is open year round, “All Quiet on the Western Front” - Erich but during the winter the hot chocolate, Maria Remarque gloves and ice skates can truly get you into the spirit of the season even if it’s not snowing outside. Not only is Snoopy’s a nearby indoor ice skating rink, but downtown Napa and Union Square in San Francisco also offer outdoor ice skating rinks to the public during the holiday season.

ballets are playing many shows including “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “A Visit to Santa’s Workshop” and “Sophie and the Enchanted Toyshop.” Also, plays like “A Christmas Carol,” “Christmas with the Crawfords” and “The Nightmare Before Christmas” are some of the popular shows running around the Bay Area this winter. Get into the spirit of the holidays by attending a play, ballet, symphony or concert this season at one of our many local venues.



Hot chocolate, hot cider and pumpkin spice lattes keep you warm while giving you a taste of the holiday season. Decorate a gingerbread house, bake sugar cookies adorned with frosting and brush up on your baking skills to waft delicious smells through the house while providing tasty goodies for your friends and family. Build a bonfire

Ski, snowboard & sled About three and half hours from Santa Rosa Junior College lies one of the nation’s top skiing and snowboarding destinations: Tahoe City. In the winter, the city is covered in snow allowing for endless activities like sledding, skiing and snowboarding. Super passes are available for packages of ski resorts and season passes are available for all resorts. Almost all of these passes provide student or young adult discount options.

Tasty treats

Holiday harmonies

The holiday season is filled with music, dance and theater. Many local venues like Snuggle up with a book the Wells Fargo Center, Spreckels Center and even Analy High School hold performances The best winter pasttime is wrapping up of the famous “Nutcracker” by local ballet by the fireplace in the warmest blanket with companies and schools. Local orchestras and

Although it’s far too cold to visit the beach in your flip-flops and bikini during the winter, nearby state parks with beaches serve another great purpose during the chillier season. Some beaches provide fire pits for people to gather around campfires for the most ancient form of socialization. Campfire stories, s’mores and simply enjoying the company of others with a beautiful view make this a fantastic way to warm up in the winter. These beaches include: Sonoma Coast State Beach, Pomo Canyon Environmental Camp, Willow Creek Environmental Camp, Wright’s Beach and Goat Rock Beach.

Gifts that give back World Wildlife Fund is a global Non-Governmental Organization that works to conserve the world’s most important natural places and the world’s most endangered species. Their work has a global reach and is involved in every level from local to global, fieldwork to government. Their philosophy is that the well being of people, wildlife and the environment are closely linked Tara Kaveh Center Spread Editor


hristmas is less than two weeks away and like most of us, there’s a good chance presents are on your mind. Whether you’re shopping on a tight budget or just looking for something simple to buy for friends or family, this collection of easy-to-buy gifts will make your shopping experience less excruciating and more efficient. Specifically compiled with college students in mind, the list below covers the basics in creative and thoughtful ways. • Gift Cards -Starbucks -Pete’s Coffee and Tea -Juice Shack -GameStop -Target -Mary’s Pizza Shack -Bath and Body Works -Macy’s • Movie Tickets -Roxy Stadium 14 -3rd Street Cinema -Summerfield Cinemas -Reading Cinemas Rohnert Park -Airport Stadium 12 -Rialto Cinemas -Boulevard 14 Cinemas -Raven Film Center • Gym memberships -24 Hour Fitness -Anytime Fitness -Fusion Fitness -Parkpoint Health Club -Powerhouse Gym • Books -Treehorn -Barnes & Noble - C o p p e r f i e l d ’s Books -SRJC Bookstore • Assortments of teas -Trader Joe’s - W h o l e Foods -Teavana -Community Market Natural Foods • Coffee Mugs -Starbucks -SRJC Bookstores -BigLots • Calendars -SRJC bookstore -Staples • Posters -Spencer’s Gifts -Amazon • Cards -Safeway -BigLots • Water Bottles -Big 5 Sporting Goods -Safeway -REI -Community Market Natural Foods -Sports Authority

Heifer International is a non-profit organization that has worked for over 70 years with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for Earth. Their philosophy is “Passing on the Gift,” which means that donations are allocated to provide families with livestock and training and in return, the family passes on the first female offspring of their livestock to another family. The Heifer International website provides a catalog of gifts ranging from under $100 to more than $500. You can buy a family a share of a goat for as little as $10 or an entire flock of chicks for only $20. The Redwood Empire Food Bank works to provide food security in Sonoma County. It operates three hunger initiatives: “Every Child, Every Day,” “Senior Security” and “Neighborhood Hunger Network.” For the holidays, donate a gift to the Redwood Empire Food Bank and your friend or family member will receive a letter thankfully acknowledging your gift in their honor.

and work toward building a future in which people live in harmony with nature. Symbolically adopt an animal and donate to World Wildlife Fund’s global efforts to protect wild animals and their habitats. You can choose any endangered species from the snowy owl to the pygmy elephant to symbolically adopt with a donation of $25-$100. Your friend or family member will receive an adoption certificate and species info card, a gift box, a photo and a plush stuffed animal of the animal of your choice.

Illustration by Daniel Barba Almeida


December 9, 2013


Holiday traditions to change Amy Reynolds Staff Writer


t is the holiday tradition practiced around dinner tables throughout the country. What are you most thankful for this year? Last week an astute and brave man sitting at my holiday get-together plainly and matter-of-factly expressed his appreciation for the life of the turkey sitting on the table. Everyone in the room looked at the poor man like he had three heads for bringing it up. As the nation winds up another Thanksgiving and prepares for Christmas feasts, let’s consider for a moment the 80 million or so turkeys to be slaughtered and served for traditional main courses. While many people consider themselves animal lovers, there’s a persistent barrier to getting those same people to acknowledge turkeys as conscious and sensitive creatures. Like their cat and dog counterparts, they posses desires and experience pleasures and endure suffering. One reason we disassociate our feelings for turkeys is because we buy them as a processed, frozen package at the supermarket. Although turkeys raised commercially never see their mothers, in nature young turkey siblings, called poults, stay close to their mother for four or five months after they are

born. She is the center of their universe. When the maternal family is out for a stroll, if one of her poults starts peeping distress, the mother bird clucks reassuringly and rushes to comfort her little one. When her youngsters grow cold and tired, she crouches to warm and comfort them under her great, enveloping wings. When the family travels together through the woods and fields, should a little one stray, upon discovering that they’re alone, the poult looks nervously about and calls out anxiously to its mother. This is known as a “lost call” – the call of a frightened young turkey, calling out for its mother. When she answers his searching cry he calls back to her in relief, opens up his wings, flaps them joyfully and runs back to rejoin his family. Whenever I think of baby turkeys in the mechanical incubators,

hatchery mutilation rooms, filthy sheds, terrifying trucks and slaughterhouses, I imagine the lost calls of all the turkeys in the world that will never be answered. For them, there will never be a joyous flapping of wings or a vibrant turkey family reunited and on the move. “Historically, meat-eating was almost entirely sacrificial,” says Brian Luke, author of Brutal Manhood. “People did not eat meat unless it

was ritually sacrificed. Whereas in our time, it’s just a product on the shelf with, for a lot of people, no lingering images of sentience or evidence of the creature that had to be killed. We live in a society where we’ve largely forgotten that animals are sentient before they’re turned into meat.” Rather than cutting into an animal that’s bred and drugged with ractopamine to grow so large that it is crippled under its own weight, think about sparing the animals, the land and people. Consider making compassion the centerpiece of your holiday this year. There is a bounty of wonderful plant-based recipes found in an ever-growing selection of vegan cookbooks. There’s no need to sacrifice for a delicious meal this Christmas. We may even pause to reflect. When we reflect. A lot went into this dinner. Someone raised, killed, cleaned, packaged and delivered this animal to me. Or would we rather contemplate; someone rallied for increasingly cleaner local production, someone who fought for better conditions for the worker, the consumer and the animal itself. Worth it? After all, holidays are really about rejoicing and celebrating life with family and friends. Why would we make the centerpiece of the season the suffering of others?

“What is your personal headline?” Bear escapes circus, joins newspaper -William Rohrs

Doctors find cure for Thought Crime. -Erik Jorgensen

Thirty dead in gorgeous explosion -Asa Hackett

Insert faith puns here -Faith Gates

Fan dies of heartbreak after Cardinals lose Series -Brenna Thompson

Editor-in-sleep becomes one with couch -Darcy Fracolli

Giant pirate lizard attacks sushi buffet -Drue Dunn

Young man attains enlightenment, says nothing -Peter Njoroge

Black Friday, Blue Thursday Jarrett Rodrigue Staff Writer


istless bodies scratch at the window, trying to get in from the cold. Inside, people of all ages huddle together, discussing the game plan on how to handle all of them. Slowly, the doors open and the bodies from outside push and shove to get in, clawing at everything they can. It might sound like a scene from a zombie movie, but this is frighteningly real. This is the shopping experience of the holiday season. This is Black Friday. Companies love it because one day out of the year they sell cheaper products at supposedly reduced prices to masses of people, making millions of dollars in the process. A new retail tradition this year is to open on Thanksgiving and employees fear it will become the norm. This year we saw companies fighting over who would be open earliest. Both Target and Kohl’s decided to open their doors at 8 p.m. To combat that, Best Buy decided to beat them to the punch by opening at 6 p.m. Walmart, however, stole the crown by opening their doors at 6 a.m. Years ago the idea would have seemed bizarre and unethical to open on the day traditionally meant for giving thanks and spending time with family. Retail workers are the ones who must slave away for the companies. The average retail worker is a student balancing both school and work at the same time. Now, many are being required to give up one of the few days off they receive from school to work an extreme amount of hours. Employees have no choice in the matter; not showing up for work is basically an automatic termination. A local electronic retailer pushes their employees as hard as possible. The average shift is 12 hours with encouragement to work more. By the end the employees are the walking dead, running off the fumes of caffeinated beverages, trying to make it through so they can go home to see their families. Most of them have had to push their Thanksgiving to another day, but some give up their family day entirely. A petition has surfaced on Facebook urging people to end this atrocity of opening stores on Thanksgiving, but I fear it may not be enough. Businesses this year made a lot more money opening early, and there is already talk going around about opening even earlier next year. The end of this trend must start with consumers. As families begin lining up two days before the stores open, camping just to snag that cheap big screen TV, I fear this may be the beginning of the end of this family holiday.


December 9, 2013


Geoff Navarro encourages students to engage with community through Puente program Nate Voge Contributing Writer

On the bridge between high school and college, living at home or on your own, a good mentor sets an example, provides guidance and opens doors of opportunity. Junior college students especially need help staying motivated, finding a major and transferring to universities. For Geoff Navarro, a counselor at the Santa Rosa Junior College Petaluma campus, the academic guidance was never there, but he always understood the importance of mentorship. Walking through the SRJC e campus, he smiles and waves at students he knows, greets them like peers and talks to them with respect. A MESA student at Healdsburg High School, Navarro played basketball and volunteered as a sixth-grade counselor his senior year. He combined his two passions, writing and basketball, choosing a major in journalism at Chico State University in hopes of becoming a sports writer. His first semester, he excelled in Chicano Studies which piqued his budding interest in culture. “That was one of my classes, between my dad and I, we got right,” Navarro said. Since his parents didn’t go to college, it was a matter of chance whether the courses he chose would be helpful or of interest to him. Navarro came home to Sonoma County to take summer classes at SRJC while still attending Chico State. Through an organization at Chico called CAVE, Community Action Volunteers in Education, Navarro volunteered in the Hermanos y Hermanas Latinos Unidos program. He mentored elementary school-aged children of migrant farmworkers, who couldn’t spend as much time with their parents as they would have liked. Navarro played soccer with them, helped with their homework and tried to set a good example, similar to his senior year in high school as a sixth-grade counselor. “Those two experiences really helped me, kind of shaped the importance of being a role model, giving back to the community and just the positive impact on youth,” Navarro said. Navarro’s hard-working parents and Mr. Ramirez, a math teacher at his high school who was a hero for many Latino students, provided strong role models. After earning his bachelor’s at Chico, he earned his master’s in counseling from San Diego State University, and worked in Mendocino County before coming

to SRJC six years ago. From the beginning of his time at SRJC he’s participated in the Puente Project, and is the coordinator for Puente, “Bridge” in Spanish, on the Petaluma campus. “It’s a program for students who want to transfer to universities,” Navarro said. Puente students take English and counseling classes to prepare them for the university level. Each gets paired with a mentor who guides the students through the academics and offers insight into their student’s chosen field of study. “That’s important for the students because they get a full view of what it’s like to work in criminal justice, or nursing, or medicine, or education or whatever it is, and a lot of students, if they didn’t have that piece, they wouldn’t know the power of social capital, and those aspects of what it takes to be a professional,” Navarro said. In addition to classes and mentoring, Navarro takes groups Photo Courtesy of Geoff Navarro of Puente students on field trips, Santa Rosa Junior College’s counselor Geoff Navarro advocates for students to get to universities and give back and be engaged exposing them to universities and in any community. cultural events. Recent destinations include the UC Berkeley campus, San Francisco State’s campus and the Photography of Mexico exhibit. He feels if students increase their social capital by learning to network, experiencing culture and earning degrees, they will eventually increase their monetary capital. “Students are very wealthy in different aspects of capital,” Navarro said. Navarro uses his social capital as a counselor and a Latino to reach out to as many different students as he can, because they might be in the same situation he was: lacking the proper resources and academic support. “Our community lacks understanding of the needs that underserved students have. Geoff Navarro is a leader and goes Change the world from here above and beyond daily to provide assistance to those most in need,” said SRJC professor and Puente mentor Rafael Vasquez. Sharpen your mind with an undergraduate degree When Navarro’s not mentoring in Management, Psychology, or Health Services. college students, he is a full-time dad to his three daughters. He still Learn More at an loves basketball, and enjoys going to plays, art events and comedy shows. InformatIon meetIng Not one to forget his roots, at the USF Santa roSa CaMPUS Navarro returns to Healdsburg Wednesday, December 11, 5:30p.m. High School each semester to educate seniors on the importance of college. Learn more or to RSVP call 707.527.9612 “That’s what we want our students visit to do, when they graduate from or email college, and they’re professionals, whether they live in Sonoma County or wherever they live, is to give back to community,” Navarro said. “It’s a cycle, you know what I mean, and they’ll hopefully chose to be mentors for the next generation.”

same usf, just closer.

anD less fog.


December 9, 2013


Petaluma professor teaches principles of game dvesign Devin Marshall Contributing Writer

Standing barefoot at the podium, the energetic teacher gestures and delivers colorful jokes throughout her lecture. Though the atmosphere is relatively relaxed, her enthusiasm is infectious. Kim Pittman, 31, is a game level designer, scripter, teacher and mother. In addition, she plays “World of Warcraft” and reads, writes and runs a “Dungeons & Dragons” campaign. She watches movies, follows other designers on Twitter and plays games for inspiration in her work. How does she find time for everything? “Through exceptional time management skills,” Pittman said. Pittman is one of the 13 percent of women in the video game industry, a statistic that is fairly well-represented by the ratio of male to female students in her classroom – 24 to 4. She proudly pulled out her phone to show off her Stealth Elf case – a character from “Skylanders,” the best-selling, kid-friendly video game series she’s helped create. It is an international success few expected, but Pittman saw it coming. “I remember distinctly thinking, ‘This is gonna be huge!’” she said, beaming. “‘Skylanders’ is totally my kind of game! If I hadn’t worked on it, I still would have bought it.” The series has garnered international praise since its initial release in October 2011. The games were so

Kearney continued from cover at MCHS throughout the twoday assembly. It was the seventh speech, performed at night in front of parents and community members, that made it online. “That may have added to the over-rehearsed feel of it. I had said it so many times by then,” she said, acknowledging the negative YouTube comments that scrutinize her “theatricality.” “Looking back, it is a little theatrical. I was so in the moment, to be completely honest. But I think it’s also just my personality, and I’d never made a speech before,” Kearney said. “But it was honest; the fact that it has touched so many people lets me know that there was honesty in there. I can see how people would perceive it [as theatrical], and that’s OK. It is what it is.” While she affirms that she “wouldn’t make the same speech now,” Kearney is satisfied with how the video turned out and appreciates that people continue to watch it today. “The difference between me as a 17-year-old doing the speech and me now is that I don’t care anymore if people don’t like me for being gay. I feel more secure about who I am now, but I think my video is popular because I captured that 17-year-old insecurity,”

successful that she was able to pay off her six-figure school debt in one lump sum. “That doesn’t happen to everybody,” she admitted. Pittman quoted an October interview with TFB’s parent company Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg, when he said while testing a creative idea, there are three populations: people who like the idea, people who dislike it and neutral people. “In this case, though, there was only one population, and that was people who loved it,” Pittman said. Her current company is the fourth she’s worked at. “When I applied for Toys for Bob, they were already working on ‘Skylanders,’” she explained. “They were given a one-year extension from Activision and I was hired to help finish it.” She went on from “Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure” to work on “Skylanders: Giants,” and continues to receive royalties from the latest entry, “Skylanders: Swap Force,” even though it’s being led by a different developer team. Pittman didn’t always want to be a game designer. Originally, she wanted to be a history teacher, and then an English teacher. After receiving an undergraduate degree in liberal arts, she received a full assistantship to Southern Methodist University in Texas. But then she noticed the full game design master’s program associated with the campus – the Guild Hall. “I was realizing I already have the skills for this,” she said. At the time, she had been working on her own campaigns for the PC game “Nev-

erwinter Nights,” as well as custom maps for “Heroes of Might and Magic 3.” When she found out that Guild Hall’s curriculum included custom campaigns for “Neverwinter Nights 2,” along with working with the game engines Unreal 2k4, Valve Hammer SDK and Radiant, she had a career-changing realization. “There are schools for this? I wanna go there,” she said. Last semester, there was an opening for a game design teacher at the SRJC Petaluma campus. Jeffrey Sondin-Kung, who left to accept a job offer across the country, previously taught the course. He first met Pittman when he hired her at Totally Games in 2007. When asked who he would recommend for the position, he immediately answered Kim Pittman. “She’s able to juggle all of that and still have fun,” Sondin-Kung said. “I count myself lucky to know her as a friend and colleague.” When SRJC’s current games programming teacher James Stewart was asked who he thought should take the job, he answered in kind. “Kim is one of the most innovative designers in the industry,” he said, “and she happens to work on one of the most successful game franchises of all time. We are unbelievably fortunate to have her as part of the faculty.” Pittman was eventually hired at SRJC in spring 2013 and started teaching her students to use Valve’s Hammer development kit right away. This semester, they are working with Game Maker.

Kearney said. “So many [LGBTQ celebrities] are already in that secure place where they can say, ‘This is the least interesting part of me’ or ‘Take it or leave it.’ That’s great, but there’s a lot of kids who are still struggling. It’s such a big deal for them, and I think it’s also important to acknowledge that.” Her words resonated with her audience, as YouTube comments also include proclamations like, “She’s the next Martin Luther King Jr. of the LGBTQ community.” But Kearney laughs it off. When asked if she experienced a divide between online and offline reactions, Kearney said she received a unanimously positive reaction at school. “I think that many people were uncomfortable, but I never heard about it. [My peers] weren’t going to let that get to me, which was kind of cool. They really protected me, collectively. I remember talking to my speech teacher beforehand, and we didn’t know how people would react.” Two years later, the principal of her alma mater divulged to Kearney that he dealt with considerable backlash from conservative parents. Something, or rather, someone else Kearney was unaware of was Amanda Howlett, 19, who remembers Kayla in the hallways of MCHS. “I had a really intense reaction because I was in the closet at the time. I was definitely in tears… Like, why can’t I walk down the

street and hold hands with a girl and not have it be a big deal? I just loved how Kayla was able to connect with everybody there. She made it such a human thing instead of a gay thing,” said Howlett, now an SRJC student. “She was one of the ‘cool’ people— I’m assuming, since everyone knew her— and she just made it seem like a good thing… When somebody big like that [comes out], it becomes so much easier.” Howlett came out two months later and was inspired to participate in the following year’s MLK Assembly to call attention to the school’s casual use of homophobic language. When asked about a follow-up video, Kearney groans, confessing that she has made several attempts to express her gratitude and update her fans on her life. “I’d love to continue helping people, but sometimes I feel like I don’t necessarily deserve this platform. I’m just a girl who made a speech. I feel like I don’t deserve the praise anymore. It happened so long ago.” She’s been busy indeed as an involved member of the SRJC Theater Arts Department, earning the lead role in “Distracted” in October. Kearney also created and performed a piece for SRJC Student Theatre Guild’s “The Empty Space Performances,” in which she played the piano and sang “She Keeps Me Warm” by Mary Lambert, the lesbian singer-songwriter best known for her chorus in Macklemore’s

Photo courtesy of Kim Pittman

SRJC video game programming professor Kim Pittman relaxes in her office.

It’s not all fun and games however. There are many obstacles in her line of work. When asked if working in the game industry is difficult, she nodded her head. “Yes,” she agreed, “I frequently say it’s not for the faint of heart.” Did her gender alter her experience in this field dominated by males? “Yes, significantly. Prior to working for Toys For Bob, I had encountered frequent sexism in the workplace,” Pittman said. Also, her career choice isn’t respected by everyone. “A lot of people still think games are for kids,” she said. Her father still asks her when she is going to get a ‘real job.’ On a scale from 1 to 10 for career satisfaction, she answered, “Definitely a 10. It’s exactly perfect for me,” she grinned. “I’m never bored. There’s always a new challenge. You never feel like a cog in the machine. You’re always going to do some-

thing that people will see on-screen, especially as a level designer!” She wouldn’t change a thing about her career path. “Obviously, hindsight is 20/20… but where I’m at right now, I’m so exceptionally blessed, I wouldn’t change a thing, even the bad jobs,” Pittman said. She also doesn’t take vacations from work longer than a week. “I miss it. I wanna go back. Maternity leave was super boring and I couldn’t wait to get back to work,” she added. Her advice for aspiring game designers? “Mostly, to make games,” she said. “Specifically, just find the editor for a game that already exists, and get in it.”

Photo Courtesy of Fiftyseven-Thirtythree

Kayla Kearney comes out in a speech at Mario Carillo High School in 2011.

“Same Love,” over a montage of news clips pertaining to the gay rights movement. “The news clips show what’s actually happening. Teen suicides, gay adoption, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Boy Scouts… It can be insulting when someone says, ‘Stop making it such a big deal,’ because it is still a big deal to so many people,” Kearney said. “If there are teens who feel like it’s easier to die than to be who they are, then it’s still a big deal. If people are still being killed for being gay, then it’s still a big deal. It’s all these different things.” Now in a new community of students at SRJC, she describes coming out as “a continual process” and reflects on the stigma of homosexuality. “People just find out through knowing me. I mention an ex-girlfriend, as opposed to saying ‘I’m

gay’ as a disclaimer. [Coming out] should be like telling people that you’re left-handed. There happens to be fewer left-handed people in the world, but people won’t treat you differently.” Finally, Kearney says of her journey: “It’s just an honor to have my speech reach so many people. Because it got so popular online, it opened me to a huge global community. There are so many people around the world who are currently dealing with this, or those who are older who are so happy to see someone get away with making this speech at school… It’s cool to feel included in this movement. It’s just a good feeling. I’m glad I did it.” Kearney’s experience is not the typical “coming out” story, but surely the million viewers are glad she did it, too.

Wrestling team heads to State Championships Robert Marshall


December 9, 2013


Big League player remembers roots at SRJC

Staff Writer

The Santa Rosa Junior College wrestling team prepared for the second biggest meet of the season, and with everyone competing, it was an exciting weekend. With a 9-5 record, 2-2 in conference, any positive record is a good one in one of the toughest conferences in the state, making it a successful season over all. The Dec. 7 state qualifier was the biggest meet for the wrestlers this season. Coach Jake Fitzpatrick believes that Logan Fore and Aaron Pen-Kruger, both at 133 pounds, Kaden Martin, 165 pounds, and Isai Guzman at 184 pounds, all have chances of going to State. “Everyone has a good change making it to State. It’s all how hard you worked in the practice room,” Guzman said. Team captain Pen-Kruger said, “I haven’t been wrestling at my full potential so I am not ranked. But I am 3-2 with the wrestler who is ranked number one in our region, number four for state.” Robert Smith, 125 pounds, says he has a good chance at state too. Billy Marshall, 197 pounds, also reckons he has a chance to go to State. “I think I am very underestimated and the dark horse but I know I will do good at regionals and definitely go to state,” Marshall said. As the year is coming to a close the wrestlers reflected what it’s like to be on the team and what they have learned about themselves. “Joining the wrestling team has probably taught me most about discipline. I learned about myself that I have the motivation to do things that most people wouldn’t do or ever want to do. I learned that my heart is bigger than I thought. The experience has been great and hopefully doesn’t stop after this year. The experience has been one of a kind,” Martin said. “The biggest thing I’ve learned is self-confidence, not to doubt myself before a match. I have really enjoyed the experience. I have made new friends and like the higher level of competition,” Smith said.

Erik Jorgensen Staff Writer Photo courtesy H. Darr Beiser / USA TODAY Sports

Santa Rosa Junior College alumnus and Petaluma native Jonny Gomes hits a three-run home run in the sixth inning of Game Four of the 2013 World Series.


he word “hero” gets used so often it hardly means anything. Heroism is not just a one-time action, but a way of life. Few people walk the walk of true heroism like Santa Rosa Junior College’s most successful baseball player, Jonny Gomes. Before winning this year’s World Series playing for the Boston Red Sox, Petaluma native Gomes played baseball for SRJC until getting drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2001. Gomes also played for the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals before returning home to play for the Oakland A’s for the 2012 season. In his very first World Series appearance, his three-run homer won Game Four against the St. Louis Cardinals and helped the Red Sox win the series. Gomes is known for inspiring the best from his teammates, both on and off the field. He donates money and equipment to various charities, and paid to rebuild Casa Grande’s baseball field house – twice - after arsonists burned it down in 2006. Gomes demonstrated his generosity of spirit by taking time for an interview with SRJC’s Oak Leaf earlier this year, shortly after the Boston Marathon bombing: Oak Leaf: So, can you tell me a little bit about playing at SRJC and what it was like when you were fiRobert Smith, 125 pounds nally drafted? Jonny Gomes: Gotcha. I tell you Logan Fore, 133 pounds what, I was very grateful to have drawn two coaches, Ron Myers and Aaron Pen-Kruger, 133 pounds Damon Niedlinger. To this day, in the Big Leagues, about ten years latKenji Gutierrez, 141 pounds er, I’m doing the same drills I learned there, and I’m really, really lucky as a Daniel Iarman, 157 pounds player to meet both those guys; true geniuses of coaching the game. And we weren’t that good, at all, to tell Kaden Martin, 165 pounds you the truth, but those two coaches really got the max out of everyone’s Isai Guzman, 174 pounds talents, and I think we played a little

Bear Cub wrestlers going to State

bit over our skills just because of those coaches. OL: I understand you have the ‘707’ [area code] put on your gear; that’s actually done in the factory? JG: That’s right. OL: Can you talk a little about that?

Gomes is known for inspiring the best from his teammates, both on and off the field. JG: Well, it’s just a little tribute, if you will, to sticking to my roots and remembering where I’m from, and at the same time there are charities and whatnot back at home, and I’m able to donate that equipment and auction it off. OL: That brings another question: when Casa Grande’s field house got burned down twice in 2006, did you take that personally? JG: No. No, I didn’t take it personal by any means; probably just some jackass, you know, just trying to burn it down. I mean, if he had made it more personal, I don’t know, with some personal… something. But it was probably just some punk looking for something to do.

OL: I understand that you’ve been batting with the names of the Boston Marathon victims on your bat. JG: Yeah, I just did it for one game, just two at-bats. I had two bats made, and I used it my first at-bat and then used it my second at-bat and then gave them to the team and let them auction it off for The One Fund, and I think they sold yesterday. OL: I have a couple friends, Drew and Tony, who always get season tickets with the [Oakland] A’s. So last year, when you were playing with the A’s… They both grew up in Santa Rosa, now seeing a local boy in the big leagues. So as a player, how is it having fans from your hometown watching your team? JG: Well, I think that pretty much comes with the invite with playing in your hometown, or near your hometown. But growing up a die-hard A’s fan, obviously when they won the World Series in ’89 and then lost in ’90, really set off my love for the game of baseball, and it’s just a complete honor to be able to wear that uniform. OL: Did you have a favorite baseball player growing up? JG: Ah, I just had a favorite team – and that was the A’s. OL: Oh, great! Now, when you were at SRJC, did you have any favorite teacher or classes? JG: No. Baseball. OL: Well, I don’t really have any other questions – I wasn’t expecting a lot of time with you. Do have anything you’d like to say to the JC students? JG: No, just that I was very grateful to attend that college, and it holds a lot in my memories, and being able to travel the country now helps me understand it’s one of the nicest campuses around.

SRJC baseball coach Damon Niedlinger also took time to answer a few questions about Gomes: Oak Leaf: What are your impressions of Gomes from his SRJC days? Coach Niedlinger: Jonny Gomes improved as much as any player from his freshman to sophomore years. He was a very hard worker that overcame a lot of challenges off the field. OL: Is Gomes a credit to the SRJC athletics department? CN: Absolutely, Jonny has been a strong supporter of the SRJC program as well as his hometown of Petaluma. He is a very generous man with his time and his resources. OL: What are your impressions of Gomes’ professional career? CN: Great teammate. Jonny is associated with winning and the importance of having unselfish guys in the clubhouse. He always stays ready to play and truly wants his teammates to have success. OL: Can you comment on Gomes’ charity work? CN: Jonny is a very generous man that demonstrates that he remembers where he came from. From helping rebuild Bob Leslie Field to the all the support/awareness he raised for the Petaluma Little Leagues and the support of their families to be able to see there kids play. Jonny is consistently one of the guys that is always at the top of the list when the professional team he is with recognizes charity/ community outreach work. When Jonny was with the Reds & A’s he was always terrific to the kids of friends and past coaches. I was at a game one time and he brought my son down on the field during batting practice to meet Dusty Baker and gave him a bat and some batting gloves. What makes Jonny special is that he is very genuine and he makes the kids feel special.


December 9, 2013


Postseason cut short

Men’s soccer takes tear-jerking loss

SF Giants prepare for 2014 Amelia Parreira Asst. Sports Editor

Joseph Barkoff / Oak Leaf

Bear Cubs forward Omar Nuno dribbles the ball up the field against West Valley at SRJC’s Cook Sypher Field Nov. 26.

Amelia Parreira Asst. Sports Editor

After keeping up a winning streak of almost two months, the Santa Rosa Junior College men’s soccer players were sure they could make it through to the final state championships. However, time would tell otherwise. The Bear Cubs started their journey against No. 14 Merritt College Nov. 23, winning 4-2. Bear Cubs who scored included Alberto Chaparro, Adrian Calderon, and Keenan Whyte. Assists included Calderon and Marcos Lopez. The Bear Cubs then faced No. 6 West Valley College at home on

Nov. 26. The game had barely begun and midfielder Petter Lund launched the ball to score a goalv. The first half ended with a 1-0 lead for the Bear Cubs. Shortly after the whistle sounded for the second half, defender Roberto Garcia scored a second goal for the Bear Cubs. Midfielder Marcos Lopez scored a third goal. After moments of high intensity between the two teams, the referee blew the final whistle and the Bear Cubs walked off the field carrying a 3-2 victory. The Bear Cubs came back to Cook Sypher Field to play the third round of playoffs against No. 7 Foothill College.

Both teams played aggressively, making it difficult to follow through with scoring opportunities. In the last two minutes of the game, a Foothill player scored the only goal of the game. The Bear Cubs were forced to accept a 1-0 loss, bringing their postseason journey to an end. “In the moment that we lost, I realized that everything we worked so hard for was put to a halt,” said defender Francisco Garcia. Despite their unfortunate luck, the Bear Cubs still look ahead to next season with hopeful and positive attitudes. “I hope to make it all the way next year,” said Calderon.

Women’s soccer disappointed after playoff loss

Cross country’s grueling season ends on high note for both men and women Robert Marshall Staff Writer

Both Santa Rosa Junior College cross country teams finished out the year with decent places in the State Championships Nov. 23. The SRJC men finished the season in 12th place with 363 team points in the four-mile run. Nobody placed in the top 10 in the four mile run. Cristian Nazareck lead the men and placed 42nd with a time of 21:17:84. Jaime Silva placed 60th with a time of 21:33:43. Jesse Fenn placed 80th with a time of 21:44:38. Logan Staley placed 87th with a time of 21:48:88. The men’s team picked up podium finishes every meet until the state championship.

Amelia Parreira Asst. Sports Editor

The Santa Rosa Junior College women’s soccer team fought hard in the NorCal playoffs against No. 12 Ohlone College Nov. 23, advancing to the second round of the playoffs after earning a victory of 4-0. Bear Cubs who scored include forward Ashley Smith, midfielder Courtney Rebata, and forward Angelica Moralez. Assists include Ashley Smith and midfielder Jessica Garcia. SRJC then faced No. 4 Cosumnes River College, putting up a good fight until SRJC committed a foul in its defending goal, giving an automatic direct free kick for their opposing team. That one kick of the ball determined the Bear Cubs’ fate when Cosumnes River scored the only goal of the game, making the final score a 1-0 loss for the Bear Cubs. “We just didn’t deserve that loss,” said defender Christina Rebata. Head Coach Tracy Hamm believes her team deserved to win as well.

After finishing the 2013 season in fourth place with 76 wins and 86 losses, the San Francisco Giants are aiming for greater success as they prepare for the 2014 season. Before focusing on skill boosting, Giants officials remain on the hunt for the best possible candidates to draft. Fortunately, team officials are making sure to increase the number of pitchers on the final roster, already signing former Atlanta Braves pitcher Tim Hudson, as well as re-signing left-handed reliever Javier Lopez. Other pitchers who will appear on next season’s roster are left-hander Jose De Paula and right-hander Erik Cordier. De Paula, 25, has a record of 2924 with a 3.82 ERA, and 79 starts over six minor league seasons. Cordier, 27, has a record of 36-37 with a 4.29 ERA over 105 starts in the minor leagues. For a short time, the Giants were unsure if they would re-sign starters Tim Lincecum and Ryan Vogelsong, but decided to renew their contracts in the end. Though Vogelsong faced bad luck in the 2013 season with a 4-6 record and a trip to the disabled list for three months, and Lincecum struggled with a season record of 10-14, both pitchers’ great potentials have proven to contribute to the team’s success in the past and are sure to bring satisfaction to their teammates, coaches and hopeful fans in the upcoming season.

Joseph Barkoff / Oak Leaf

Molly Schuster dribbles the ball away from Delta during an Oct. 11 game.

“I think we did everything right; we just should’ve finished our chances,” Hamm said. Though she feels saddened by her team’s loss, Rebata still is pleased with her performance after being named the team leader in the number of goals scored. “I think that, without my team,

I wouldn’t have been able to do it,” she said. Now that the season has ended, many Bear Cubs look forward to coming back next season, and hope to score their way up to the state championships.

At the top of the Giants’ to-do list is filling the left field position. After a foot injury forced left fielder Andres Torres to sit out on the disabled list for the majority of the 2013 season, the Giants are struggling to find the perfect player to take the position. Some players that spark interest include Carlos Beltran, Shin-Soo Choo, Nelson Cruz and Jacoby Ellsbury. Other players who have been mentioned in trade speculation are Chris Denorfia of the Padres, Justin Ruggiano of the Marlins and Josh Willingham of the Twins. Giants officials are also considering switching first baseman Brandon Belt to the outfield and finding another first baseman. Another crucial aspect the Giants need to consider to improve their game is an active offense. In the 2013 season, the team faced far too many instances where players would get on base, but were left stranded when teammates that followed failed to hit. The team averaged 3.9 runs per game, but this did not override the pitchers’ overall average of 4.00 ERA. With a stronger pitching staff, a better-structured defense and a more dynamic offense, the Giants are sure to go far in the 2014 season. As always, it will take a little while to warm up to new players, but if they focus on getting more hits and giving up less to their opponents, the team just may set foot in another World Series.

The women’s team had three firstplace finishes this year and placed 18th at State with 437 team points in the three-mile run. Leading the women at the stripe was Taylor Faulk who placed 31st with a time of 19:21:15. The next runner placing was Kelly Birkland, 88th, with a time of 20:08. Tori Dwyer placed 108th with a time of 20:22:79. Luz Huerta placed 124th with a time of 20:35:24. Karla Torres placed 170th with a time of 21:35:54. Head coach David Wellman was impressed with how the team did this season. “The State meet went really well. Everyone stepped it up and ran with all their heart. It was a long and grueling season, and the athletes were able to compete well at the biggest stage,” Wellman said.

Joseph Barkoff Photo / Sport Editor

The 2013 fall semester comes to a close for Santa Rosa Junior College athletics with not much to show tangibly,

but tangibility is

not the cornerstone of life. Wisdom is not tangible, nor



and the SRJC athletes leave with experience and wisdom in droves. We saw the football team lose almost half of its roster to injuries. We saw a team of mostly freshman volleyball players make a final push in regionals. Although only the wrestling team is going to state,SRJC’s



performances and teamwork needed to succeed in coming years of school and life.

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Oak leaf issue 6  
Oak leaf issue 6