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Concord’s Zambür Downtown new eatery reviewed


Volume 77 No. 1


Copyright © 2010 The Inquirer - Diablo Valley College


Thursday September 16, 2010

Walters’ legacy: Bridging gaps JONATHAN ROISMAN Editor-in-Chief jroisman

Chem labs out of balance

DVC will be having a changing of the guard later this month when school president Judy Walters retires. Walters, who has served as the school’s president since 2007, will retire Sept. 30. Walters took over the college in the midst of a cash-for-grades scandal that has rocked the campus since it became public that year and other accreditation issues that hurt the school’s reputation and morale. She said that she was hired to help change the culture of DVC and heal its wounds. “The culture of the college really needed to come together and work with each other in ways they hadn’t been able to do in the recent past,” Walters said. Bill Oye, dean of student life, said Walters’ leadership helped the college make important steps towards resolving its accreditation issues. He also said she helped bring the different departments of the school together. “I think many would point to bridging gaps between many faculty memFrom my bers and administration standpoint, as part of her I think that I’ve success during a very made a solid difficult ecoimpact in terms nomic climate of establishing in the state,” Oye said in an collaborations email interview. and ways for Walters, people to work who had heart problems in together. March causing her to miss JUDY WALTERS a number of President of DVC weeks, said she is retiring for health reasons. Peter Garcia, currently Los Medanos College’s president, will replace Walters on an interim basis until July 1, 2011, when a new full-time president will be hired after a nation-wide applicant search, said vice president of instruction Susan Lamb.

JULIUS REA / The Inquirer Student Chemistry Stockroom worker Euna Kim organizes supplies while in the Chemsitry Stockroom.

Budget deficit leaves shortage of lab help JULIUS REA News Editor jrea GERARDO RECINOS Staff Writer grecinos

Budget cuts have left the DVC chemistry department struggling with a shortage of laboratory support workers and instructors have been forced to turn

students away. Previosuly, lab support has been insufficient “up to the point of having to cancel a class because a lab was not prepared,” said chemistry professor Ron Rusay. Kenneth Myambo, a fulltime chemistry lab coordinator, Ellena Kutner, a part-time lab assistant and 13 student workers currently make up the lab support staff. Myambo said the chem-

istry department needs the equivalent of 2.5 full-time lab coordinators and a total of 15 to 18 student workers to sufficiently support the chemistry labs. Student workers are responsible for creating and preparing necessary chemical compounds, setting up labs for instructors and providing tutoring services, Myambo said. “The students do provide significant support to the chemistry department,”

said Myambo. “Without the lab support, you can’t do the same number or quality of labs that you need in a college chemistry class,” said Rusay. “There should be two full-time workers. In a perfect world, three would be great,” Rusay said. “Without Kenneth and Ellena, we wouldn’t be able to run the program.”

Chemistry, Page 2

Walters, Page 2

College assigns three full time faculty positions JACOB PARK Staff Writer jpark

The recommendations for which departments will recieve either full-time or part-time faculty have been finalized and handed. The so-called Box 2a committee is a group of four administrators assigned the task of researching and making these recommen-

dations This committee has recommended that one full-time faculty position should be filled for the Alternate Energy Technologies/Electronics/Computer Technical Support, one position to Journalism and one to Broadcast Communications Art/Art Digital Media departments will be receiving full-time faculty support. Walters has accepted the recommendations and the

“ It’s gotten to the point where we’re cutting off arms. It hurts. No matter what we do, it hurts.” SUSAN LAMB Vice President of Instruction

faculty will begin working January 2011. There had initially been 12 vacant positions to fill with teachers earlier this year. After extensive deliberation among the faculty and administration officials, Walters decided to cut six of the full-time teaching positions as a means of balancing the school’s cost with the least amount of direct impact on students. “It’s gotten to the point where we’re cutting off arms,” says Susan Lamb, vice president of instruction and one of the members of the committee, referring to the cuts to staffing and services that has been taking place. “It

hurts. No matter what we do, it hurt.” According to Glen Appell, Box 2a committee member and vice president of the United Faculty, the problem with having mostly part-time faculty is the lack of support from teachers for other extra curricular activities. Appel said, “Part-time teachers have no ties outside of the classroom.” “They don’t get paid enough to be involved in other activities, like groups or committees,” said Appell. After retirements of a few faculty members and services were cut, the decision to fill the three remaining needed faculty po-

sitions made it so that only a few departments would be receiving the full-time help. “We had to cut 15% of the budget,” said Walters, alluding to the severity of DVC’s budget shortfalls adding that it was “the highest cut in recent history.” Three other positions were filled earlier this year. The president’s office issued a report regarding the Box 2a committee’s decision noted that the recommendations were made by weighing a multitude of factors, such as part-time to

Faculty, Page 2

“ Part-time

teachers have no ties outside of the classroom.” GLENN APPELL Vice President of United Faculty

News: 1, 2 • Sports: 4 • Opinions 5 • Editorial: 5 • Entertainment: 3 • The Buzz: 5 • Calendar: 2 • Features: 6 • More content at:

|Out of Bounds| In defense of Alex Smith

‘Friends and Family’ Takes over library

Inquirer Editorial The right to religion




Thursday, September 16 Brown Bag Lecture Series Constitution Day – Freedom of Speech Student Union Conference Room 204 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 21 CSU East Bay Rep. Counseling Building Sept 21 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. appointments 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. drop ins St. Mary’s College Rep Counseling building 10am-12pm appointments 12pm-1pm drop ins. College Success Workshop Building Academic Fluency Student Union Conference Room 204 Sept 21 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 22 Brandman University Campus Rep. Main Quad 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Thursday, September 23 Brown Bag Lecture Series: Human Trafficking Student Union Conference Room 204 12:30 p.m. UC Berkeley Campus Rep. Counseling Building Transfer Center 9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 28 John F. Kennedy University Rep. Sept 23 Main Quad 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Sept 28 Counseling Building 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. CSU East Bay Rep. Counseling Building 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. appointments 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. drop ins College Success Workshop Building Academic Fluency Student Union Conference Room 204 2:30 p.m. Night Band Jazz Ensemble Performing Arts Center 7:00 p.m. Monday, October 4 Transfer Day Main Quad 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. CLASSIFIED PLACEMENT INFORMATION $1.50 a line 2 line minimum. 32 characters per line includes punctuation & spaces Copy and payment due the Monday before publication date. For more information call 925.685.1230 ext 2313 or stop by The Inquirer office.

The Inquirer - Diablo Valley College

Thursday, September 16, 2010

DVC to forge ahead with new buildings PARJANYA HOLTZ Staff Writer pholtz CHRISTIAN MAGDALENO Staff Writer cmagdaleno

Despite state budget difficulties, course elimination, and staff layoffs, DVC with hopes to create an improved academic environment for students, as well as the planet. The DVC campus will continue to undergo some major cosmetic and structural changes as a new building project is scheduled to begin early next year. The $54 million project is called “The Future of the Commons,” and includes the construction of two brand new buildings, which, once completed, will total approximately 86,000 square feet of building space. The buildings will be located in what is currently the Main Quad and student service center. The student service center and cafeteria, the school’s two oldest structures, will be demolished, in order to make room for the construction and the new Main Quad area. With the addition of the new buildings, “all student services will be in one location, and the Hotel and Restaurant Management program will have access to new, state of the art facilities.” said Chris Leivas, vice president of finance and ad-

MICHAEL CHASE Staff Writer mchase

Courtesy of Diablo Valley College This architect’s rendering depicts a redesigned quad area that will be under construction for the next four years. ministration. “Students will have a modern, attractive, and welcoming food service facility, as well as a new, open space for a social student community on campus,” Leivas said. “This is probably the biggest thing to happen to DVC since its beginning in 1952,” said Buildings and Grounds Manager Guy Grace. DVC student, Sidney Seltcer, 18, expressed her concerns toward the loss of the Main Quad. “Yeah, I wait for my sister [in the quad] on Mondays and Thursdays,” she said. “I have no idea where [I will go.] Maybe the library, but it will probably be packed.” Funding for this project comes solely from a bond that was voted on by Contra Costa County taxpayers in 2002 and 2006, making this a property tax funded

project. “No budgets used to support classroom instruction or student services will be impacted by this project,” Leivas said. “In the long run, this project will reduce our ongoing operating expenses. The space will be much more energy efficient so our energy usage will go [down].” The project is expected to achieve LEED green, gold status. This certification will be a result of the buildings’ many environmentally friendly features, including synergies between buildings and landscapes, including the recycling of water for such things as plumbing and gardening. The buildings will also utilize a state of the art heating and ventilating system, which will help lower the school’s yearly energy costs. Currently heat and

energy usage are one of the school’s highest costs. Construction for this project is set to begin December 2010. The first stages will be primarily infrastructure work and will include the redirection of electrical wire and large pipes. During construction, students will officially lose access to a large part of the Main Quad. “Our plan is to avoid [class] interruptions,” said Grace, “[but] there is a good chance there are going to be [some. I have to be realistic in what we are dealing with. This is a very big project.” According to Grace, a goal for project completion has been set for three to four years. “I am very excited about this project,” said Leivas, “It will create a new heart to this campus.”

the grade-change scandal to the accreditation demands, with a genuinely collaborative, inclusive leadership style that not only worked, but also brought the DVC community together,” Michels said. “She has left a legacy at DVC of improved structures and revitalized shared-governance that will continue to serve faculty, staff and students well in years to come.” Walters said she was confident that the school was in good shape to move forward without her, and she and Lamb agree that Garcia would be a good leader for DVC. “Peter is very knowledgeable of the district,” Walters said. “He’s familiar with DVC.” Garcia said he was ready

to take over DVC, although he said he’s “a little nervous like a kid at the first day of school.” “Personally, my goals are really to learn some new approaches to student services and instruction,” Garcia said. “[I want] to follow up and build some new professional relationships with colleagues in the district.” “For the institution my hope is that we continue the good work that Dr. Walters and the campus has been engaged in terms of accreditation.” “Dr. Walters has been a great colleague,” Garcia said. Walters said she enjoyed her time at the school and loved working with the administration, faculty and students.

“It’s been a wonderful experience to work with the people here,” Walters said. “It’s been an exciting time.”



from Pg. 1

-tra Costa Community College District faculty union, said Walters helped the school’s constituent groups trust one another and work together in a positive [manner]. “Faculty was very frustrated with the whole tone and tenor of the college,” Appell said. “I think Judy [Walters] has done a great job of rebuilding a democratic and shared-governance model.” “From my standpoint, I think that I’ve made a solid impact in terms of establishing collaborations and ways for people to work together,” Walters said. Jeffrey Michels, president of the CCCD faculty union, rated Walters’ tenure at DVC a success. “She met challenges, from


Students mourn loss of long-time teacher

ACULTY from Pg. 1

When asked whether full-time faculty ratios and these positions have any chance of gaining full-time program size and growth. Some of the other de- faculty in the near future, partments with teaching Walters made it clear that positions that will not be there is no way to know filled with full-time faculty when these positions would include the departments be filled so long as there is of Physical Geography, Hu- no budget being passed by manities, Administration the state legislator. DVC has felt another wave of Justice, and Computer Science/Computer Network of conflicts due to the state’s legislative stalemate. Technology. Advertisement


What’s Next? Current Los Medanos President Peter Garcia will become DVC’s interim president starting October 1 and will hold that role until June 30, 2011 LMC Senior Dean of Instruction Richard Livingston will take over as interim president there until Garcia returns July 1.

HEMISTRY from Pg. 1

The chemistry department ment has dealt with staff reductions while trying to enforce limits to the size of laboratory classes. According to department chair Mary Ulrich, a few sections have more than 28 students, but there are only 28 stations in a laboratory. The state looks at the total number of students, not particular overcapped courses, and will not pay for extra class sections when the college is over capacity, said Ulrich. Chemistry professor Wayne Larson said there is a little “wiggle room” for additional students in the lecture classes but labs are not as flexible. Larson said he had a waiting list long enough to fill two extra sections. “It’s a crying shame that I’m allowed a class max of so many people and I

“ The students do provide significant support to the chemistry department. ”

KENNETH MYAMBO Chemistry Lab Coordinator reach that max and there are so many people standing there,” said assistant chemistry professor Craig Gerken.

The drama department was a lot quieter than usual the morning the email went out that beloved teacher, acting mentor and Korean War veteran James “Jim” Kirkwood had died at 5 A.M. on Monday, August 30, 2010. He was 79 years old. Kirkwood was a full-time instructor at the DVC drama department for 38 years, from 1966-2004. When Kirkwood retired from teaching full-time, many of his former students flew in from various parts of the country to attend his ceremony. Kirkwood did not stop there though, after retirement he continued to teach drama as a part-time instructor from 2004 to the spring of 2010. Kirkwood, who had a degree in both drama and theology, amazed his students with his ability to get to the core of acting, producing, directing and, according to several students, he could even tap into their spirits and souls. According to Beth McBrien, a drama teacher and former student at DVC, many of Kirkwood’s current and former students credit their success as actors, artists and educators to Kirkwood’s talent and his ability to influence as a teacher in not only drama, but in life itself. McBrien said if you asked Kirkwood if he could do anything over again, or if he could change anything about his life, he would have said, “No.” Kirkwood was brutally honest when speaking with students in the drama department, and that is the way he taught, said drama student Nick Tarabini. Kirkwood wanted his students to “live acting, even while not on stage” Tarabini said. Tarabini said it was an honor to take drama classes with Kirkwood because he was so passionate about teaching. Kirkwood was “completely unconcerned about bureaucracy within teaching” and taught from inside himself, not from a book saying what he ought to do, Tarabini said. Kirkwood “was always striving to do better, he wanted to know if there was ever a way he could do better and [was] constantly examining the way he taught,” McBrien said. Kirkwood is survived by his daughter, Lindeen, and his thousands of students that went on to peruse their passions thanks to him. A celebration of Jim Kirkwood’s life will be held at Zio Fraedo’s, 611 Gregory Lane in Pleasant Hill on Saturday, September 25, 2010 Noon - 5pm. $30 per person to defray costs. All those planning to attend will need to purchase tickets in advance. No admissions will be available on the day of the celebration. To purchase, please visit https://www.ovationtix. com/trs/pe/8455635. The deadline for ticket purchase is set to September 17, 2010.


Julius Rea Staff Writer jrea



when it’s delicious, it doesn’t matter what type of food you’re eating.


The combination is good but definitely not perfect. The calamari, or deepfried squid, was served on top of a balsamic vinegar salad with a version of a tartar sauce. Calamari can come off very chewy sometimes and is often served in very small pieces. Zambür’s calamari was plump, soft and cooked


A modern setting in downtown Concord offering good food at reasonable prices

to perfection. Even though the salad made the plate prettier, it was unnecessary. The Shami Kabob was served with a cumindusted tomato and cumin-sprinkled basmati rice with peas and corn. Unlike some Mediterranean food, the spices on the meat weren’t overpowering its flavor. Zambur’s Döner Kabob sandwich had grilled chicken, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and pepperocinis with a tzatziki sauce on pita bread. Tzatziki, usually made of yogurt, cucumbers, garlic and mint, was so strong that you couldn’t taste anything else besides the mint and a hint of chicken; still it was a delicious sandwich. The house sauce, made of cilantro, yogurt, and coriander, was served with a few of the dishes. Since it was a little spicy and the taste can stay on the tongue for a while, it was too much spice when served with some of the dishes, like the Döner Kabob sandwich. However, the sauce on some pita bread makes a tasty bite.

CHRIS CORBIN / The Inquirer Zambür’s Döner kabab sandwich is served with the standard house sauce



CHRIS CORBIN / The Inquirer The Shami kabab, served with fresh basmati rice and lightly grilled tomatoes


eople wouldn’t notice Concord’s Zambür, a little Mediterranean restaurant in between Agave and Brenden Theatres with hookahs, a sitting lounge, jazz music, two hanging LCD televisions, decent food and hookahs. Did I mention the hookahs? Unfortunately, Zambür doesn’t have a license for them, yet. Still, it’s easy to see Zambür is trying to combine a Mediterranean restaurant with a traditional bar; however, the atmosphere is more Mediterranean than the menu. Zambür’s menu is very simple, with a few Mediterranean dishes; however, most of the appetizers, sandwiches and seafood dishes are American. A Mediterranean restaurant with hot wings, crab cakes, fish and chips and a cheese steak sandwich on the menu is a little odd. Fortunately, Zambür’s food speaks for itself and

it says one thing: when it’s delicious, it doesn’t matter what type of food you’re eating. The hummus, a spread of chick peas and sesame served with pita bread, is a delectable, creamy and somewhat spicy appetizer. In short, it was so damn good. Sambosas, or potatostuffed pastries, were flaky on the outside and perfectly soft on the inside and served with a house sauce of yogurt, mint, cilantro and coriander.

The Inquirer - Diablo Valley College

All of the dishes, appetizers or otherwise, are under $10, which is great for anyone on a budget. The food overall is light and works better for lunch than dinner. The food tastes like homemade, or at least a house boat drifting around the Mediterranean Sea. Zambür is a cozy restaurant that is perfect for lunch with simple, delicious Mediterranean food with hookahs.


1985-D Willow Pass Rd. Concord (925)288.1466 Open: 11a.m. - 9p.m, Accepts Credit Cards Price Range: $6-10 per dish Full Bar after 5p.m.



Thursday, September 16, 2010

CHRIS CORBIN / The Inquirer The calamari at Zambür is perfectly cooked and served on top of a salad

From the garage to the gallery Dozens of pieces by longtime student adorn the library walls in new exhibit Carly Jones Staff Writer Cjones

Jim Jordan has been an art class “lab rat” at DVC for the past eleven years. He says, “It’s depressing to have a garage full of art that no one can see,” so he’s glad the library is displaying his work over the next couple of months in an exhibit titled, “Family & Friends.” The exhibit, an impressive 62 acrylic paintings, is spread throughout the DVC library. The collection of the paintings is composed of a variety of friends from various places, including his many art classes here, as well as family members, all in different settings.

When deciding who to They range from 11by-13 inch water color paint, he starts with the sheets to large 24-by-30 photographs he has taken. He says he tends to canvases. take pictures now rather than asking them to sit for multiple days in a row. He admits to having a person sit for four days once while he painted. Jordan says of his work that he’s done “135 of the little ones and, oh, 40 of the big ones.” He says he looks for Jim Jordan “An interesting face, position, and lighting.” He uses subtle colors Each painting is different - a man sitting at combined with sporadic a table, a woman sitting eye-catchers to balance on a park bench with out the painting’s pallet. her cell phone, an old One painting of a little man sitting on a brown boy has browns, tans, couch holding a coffee and a calm blue to conmug- but they are held trast the turquoise, ortogether with a common ange, and Easter green. thread – each of them The strokes of his paintwears a red shirt. ings are thick but orga-

nized. In one portrait of an art professor, Jordan used an artistic knife and very good coloring: yellow, orange, green, blue, and brown. He chooses to paint here, he says, because he likes the structure and social environment and now says, “I’m kind of a lab rat,” because he’s here so much. He advises younger, up-and-coming artists to enroll at a community college because it is inexpensive. The plans for his collection are already in the works. His idea is to paint “something around horses.” He says he wants to complete “a series where people are working around horses, like washing them down, and putting their halters on. And I’ll probably in-

clude dogs in there.” The current collection will be on display in the art gallery, which is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., un-

til October 16. There will be a public showing of his work September 30 from 5-7 p.m.

CARLY JONES / The Inquirer

This acrylic painting is one of many by Jim Jordan on display in DVC library.


4Out of Bounds: Alex Smith The Inquirer - Diablo Valley College

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Player Stats: Alex Smith Year






Games Started
























Passer Rating



In defense of 49ers QB Alex Smith Jonathan Roisman Editor-in-Chief jroisman

I tend to root for the underdog, especially one that gives 100 percent and does everything to the best of his or her abilities. I also don’t like when people get screwed over. I defend San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau whenever people are down on him, which, quite frankly, is all the time. As bad as former NFL quarterback Joey Harrington was, he was unfairly used as a punching bag by fans and the press when they should’ve realized quarterbacks go to Detroit to die. Hell, I still say Samuel J. Tilden won the presidential election of 1876, but that’s for another column. San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback Alex Smith fits in the category of underdog and someone who received a lot of unwarranted criticism. Look, I realize most people don’t want to hear about Smith. Many of you see him as a bust who was given a number of chances to prove himself and never did. The 49ers haven’t made the playoffs since the 2002 season and Smith, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2005,

has failed to give San Francisco anything substantial. Whenever someone tries to defend Smith, fans and NFL experts think he’s just being protected with a bunch of excuses John Martinez Pavilga/Wiki Commons that have nothing to do with his below av49ers quarterback Alex Smith drops back to pass in warmups. erage play. But those people are dead wrong. mate reasons for a quarterback’s struggles, Houston. There are a number of legitimate reaSmith is the complete opposite. would the suicide of a close friend possibly sons why Smith has struggled, and there Smith restructured his contract with the affect someone’s play? Maybe the self-proare just as many reasons why he will succlaimed pundits and bloggers should ask 49ers, taking less money, just so he could ceed with the 49ers in 2010. prove himself to the team and prove that Smith. I could focus on the What separates he could help San Francisco win. His work fact that Smith had from other un- ethic and intelligence, combined with his Smith restructured his Smith five offensive coorsuccessful quarter- willingness to never give up, give him an dinators in as many contract with the 49ers, backs in the NFL is edge. seasons, or that he taking less money, just so that he is committed Not to mention he has a talented group of had mediocre talent he could prove himself to to winning and be- receivers and running backs and an above around him until a good player. average offensive line protecting him (a the team and prove that coming 2009, or that former Look at former Ari- first in his career). head coach Mike he could help San Fran- zona Cardinals QB You’re right in thinking that Alex Smith Nolan unreasonably cisco win. Matt Leinart. Leinart, hasn’t done a lot in the NFL. But there’s a called him out pubthe No. 10 overall pick reason why coach Mike Singletary named licly over injuries in 2006, lasted only four seasons in Arizo- him his starter. Smith has the talent to sucSmith couldn’t control. Nolan was never na and was benched a number of times. He ceed, and if he stays healthy, he will lead really on Smith’s side, and the quarterback always acted like the starting job should be the 49ers to the playoffs this season. competition before the 2008 season was a Call it blind faith if you want, but there’s handed to him, that he deserved it just becomplete sham (anyone who thought J.T. a lot more fact to support my belief in cause he was Matt Leinart. O’Sullivan was a better signal caller needs And now Leinart is battling for the Smith than you might think. their head checked). backup role behind starter Matt Schaub in And if you don’t think these are legitiAdvertisement

Be sure to check out Out of Bounds Updated Bi-Weekly by Jon Roisman


Opinions The Inquirer - Diablo Valley College

Thursday, September 16, 2010




Does online chat speak affect how you write essays in school?

Denying New York mosque hurts us all The Inquirer believes that the developers who are planning to build an Islamic center and mosque two blocks from the World Trade Center have every right to do so. Although this is a very sensitive issue – we do understand that many people feel strongly against the location of the proposed mosque – people have the right to be offended. There will always be things that some people won’t agree with, but that does not give them the right to take away someone else’s rights. It is not fair for countless Muslim-Americans to be demonized because of the events that transpired on September 11, 2001. It’s not as if this mosque is promoting extremist Islamic beliefs or training terrorists. It would seem that the very people who rallied around the United States after

Adrienne Almarinez, 19

Nursing “I don’t think so. Usually people know how to switch back and forth.”


Sept. 11 would support the Constitution and uphold the rights of its people. You cannot give and take rights when it feels convenient to a certain group of people. There are already two other mosques within 12 blocks of the World Trade Center. What should be done with these? If people don’t want a new one built, why do they not voice their concern about the already completed mosques? We agree with President Obama’s initial statement back in August when he said, “Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country.” No one has the right to take away someone else’s freedom. The people who oppose the Islamic center are doing the United States a disservice. Some people say that by

SCOTT BABA / The Inquirer allowing the mosque to be built, we allow Muslim “triumphalism”, as Newt Gingrich said last month. But it would be more triumphant to allow the mosque to be built because it shows that even after the Sept. 11 attacks, the United States still values freedom of speech and freedom of religion.

The attack on the World Trade Center was a tragedy, but it would be a disappointment to allow the 19 hijackers to affect how Americans think about their own civil liberties. The Constitution is a blanket protecting our personal freedoms. If the mosque is opposed, a part of the blanket

will be removed, exposing the lengths we would take to discriminate against any group whenever we see fit. That’s unacceptable. Americans must be allowed to express themselves, and we shouldn’t pick and choose just because some of us might be offended.


Bicyclists: Don’t tread on me

David Edward Bloodgood, 19

Art “I’ve never written ‘lol’ in any essay I’ve ever written.”

As of late, the endeavor of walking to DVC from the outlying areas surrounding the campus has become quite the hazardous endeavor. The reason? The bicycles. While I applaud the bicycling folk for their choice to take the environmentally sound and healthy alternative to the single passenger Hummer lifestyle, I can’t help feeling like the safety of my person has been the price that has been forfeit. While the sidewalk used to be a safe haven for the health conscious, car-less, and eco-friendly, my tenure at DVC has taught me it

is also an excellent real life simulation of the game Frogger. I can barely walk a few feet down Golf Club Road without having to look over my shoulder and see a bike careening toward me at speeds that seem inappropriate for the four-foot-wide sidewalk that I am being forced to share with my two-wheeled brethren. The law regarding this, it would seem, is intentionally ambiguous. California Vehicle Code states that any bicycle must be ridden next to the right side of the road, off of the sidewalk. The law also states that a bicycle can be ridden elsewhere in circumstances where

Troy Patton Staff writer there are hazards to the bicycler. The law leaves itself open to interpretation as to what a hazard

could be. The obvious answer is the notion of cars zipping in and out of the campus, but that begs the question, should the people that are legally walking on the sidewalk have to suffer for what are simply the occupational hazards of the bicyclist lifestyle. If the idea of moving cars smashing you between the concrete and their differential gives you nightmares, then maybe the cyclist lifestyle isn’t for you, because I know the idea of being nearly run over by some bicycler, who should arguably not be on the sidewalk in the first place, isn’t the life for me either.


Rachael Stirling, 21 Radiology “I would hope not. I know people that talk like that.”

Saad Kamran, 19

Business “If you do, you shouldn’t be in college. It’s unacceptable.”

A national uproar over religious freedom As many individuals in this nation are already aware, construction plans to replace a damaged Burlington Coat Factory with an Islamic Community Center that would be located approximately two blocks from the ruins of the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center nine years ago have caused a national uproar and media-fueled debate that has the United States grappling with its sense of religious freedom and tolerance. I recently saw The East County Sunday Time’s article on the subject; titled, “N.Y. mosque flaps tests limits of U.S. tolerance,” and I found that I should perhaps express my own views on this controversial matter. It is my opinion that the construction in itself is a risky endeavor. From a business vantage point, their pay-off would most likely be a small community of Muslims. The risk is the resentment and prejudice of neighboring communities. Judging from the reactions and media attention

that this debate has received so is far enough?’, The implication far, the risk factor is a very likely of this question being that any outcome. answer or distance in New York Economiwouldn’t satisfy everybody. cally, I would not recommend “...people are people in Yes, it’s insenthis investment, to the this country. Unless sitive but antagonism families of 9-11 they are doing some towards Musvictims, but look what is lims will not sort of crime, they [be reduced] if going on right people refuse have a reason enough now in our soto learn what ciety. to put the mosque Islam really is. The whole As a compro- there. Crude? Unfair? Arizona issue mise between with ‘illegal Harsh? Maybe.” the two stands immigrant’ feuds and car on this issue, --Michael Jaquez perhaps a festichecking laws Antioch val promoting is a similar ispeace among sue. It’s all fear religions would be more favor- of people who are not us. We’ve done this countless times in this able. One of the biggest arguments country. I know the situation is against the construction of the different, but people are people Mosque that I’ve heard is the in this country. Unless they are proximity of the Mosque in terms doing some sort of crime, they to Ground Zero. ‘If two blocks have a reason enough to put the distance is too close, then how far mosque there. Crude? Unfair?

Editorial Board


EDITORS IN CHIEF Jonathan Roisman Annie Sciacca

BUSINESS MANAGER Ryan Beck PHOTO CHIEF Travis Jenkins STAFF WRITERS Michael Chase, Brian Donovan, Lisa Marie Garcia, Kevin Hayes, Parjanya Holtz, Emma Li, Soledad Lopez, Jacob Park, Michael Robinson PHOTOGRAPHERS Theresa Stratton, Carly Jones

NEWS EDITOR Julius Rea FEATURES EDITOR Scott Baba OPINIONS EDITOR Taliah Mirmalek ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR Troy Patton SPORTS EDITOR Gerardo Recinos ONLINE EDITORS Jasmine Burch Christian Magdaleno VISUAL EDITOR Christopher Corbin COPY EDITOR Ariel Messman-Rucker


Harsh? Maybe. But if we are to look past the people in general, and instead look at the specific people who did this, we realize that these are just people setting up a mosque somewhere. Legally speaking I would allow them to build the mosque, wherever and whenever they like it, denying them their right to do so would undermine our own freedom, after all. Negatively stereotyping and painting the Islamic community as religious extremists only serve to confirm our own narrow-minded and limited acceptajce of others as the suicide bombers. Religious intolerance is what drove the terrorists to destroy the World Trade Centers; religious tolerance, on the other hand, would be the greatest way to oppose Al Qaeda. Don’t fight fire with fire, but with holy water. -Michael Jaquez, Antioch

THE INQUIRER Diablo Valley College 321 Golf Club Road, H-102 Pleasant Hill, CA 94523 The Inquirer is published twelve times during the school year by the journalism students of Diablo Valley College. All unsigned articles appearing on the opinions page are editorials and relfect a two-thirds majority opinion of the editorial staff. All signed columns and cartoons are the opinions of the writer or artists and not necessarily those of The Inquirer, Diablo Valley College or Contra Costa Community College District

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Features The Inquirer - Diablo Valley College

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Experiences of

a dreamlike


An inside look at Burning Man

A “Burner” rides at sunrise. Each balloon has a colored light-bulb inside of it which turns on at night.

KEVIN HAYES Staff Writer khayes

Sound pulsates from all directions: BOOM, BOOM, BOOOOM. A flamethrower erupts in the night sky causing hundreds of shadows to dance into existence. A pirate ship glides by full of glowing revelers, smiles and laughter all around. Everything has become indescribably alive... Where am I, you ask? Burning Man, of course! What is Burning Man? Having been there, I can honestly say that I can’t possibly come up with an answer that can do it justice. Attempting to do so would be like trying to tell you about a bizarre dream that I have already started to forget. And certainly, my own small experience there cannot allow me to define the event as a whole. Even so, I can do my best… Imagine a flat, dusty place where no plants grow and dust storms can strike at any moment. It can be terribly hot in the day and viciously cold at night, especially with the wind. In the temporary city, known as Black Rock City, the only things you can purchase are ice for coolers and drinks like coffee and lemonade. Everything else you must bring yourself, and you will need necessities such as water in amounts far greater than usual. There are no garbage cans, so you must haul out what you haul in. Your ability to be selfsufficient, as well as your ability to work together with those whom you choose to camp with, will be tested like never before. You’re there to have fun, but first and foremost you’re there to stay alive. And yet, the bleakness of the natural environment is contrasted by the incredible richness it provides. Both sunrises and sunsets can be profoundly gorgeous. The heart of a dust-

storm is a surreal place to be if your eyes, mouth, and nose are protected. The dried-up lake bed where the city is located makes for almost effortless biking and walking. Hot days can result in warm nights in which all you need to stay warm is a T-shirt. The desert sun darkens the skin and people unashamedly reveal more of their bodies in the heat. But what makes Burning Man a truly unique place is what its diverse participants bring to the table. From the giant statues that hover over you to the intricate costumes people wear to the cars and bikes people travel

“ Ultimately, Burn-

ing Man seems to be about having the freedom to be yourself. ”

in, art is omnipresent. Music is always playing somewhere. Live music is easily found and every art car seems to be bumpin’ good tunes ranging from dub-step to hip-hop to house to trance to country to classic rock to classical to unclassifiable noise. At one dance floor, DJs are even equipped with a button that sets off a flamethrower above the crowd. After buying your relatively expensive ticket (starting prices online are about $200), a gift economy reigns where there are no advertisements to bother you, no overly-priced pizza stands to stress you out, and virtually no need of cash for a week. People will give you things freely with no expectation of compensation. Once there you are a participant and not some sort of detached observer, and even if you don’t bring any gifts of your own, you can always give compliments (if you want). Simply by being there, you are, whether you like it or not, a part of Burning Man. For all it has to offer, some

people consider the event to be just a giant waste of brain cells because of drugs. While the “other-worldliness” of the event does indeed tend to attract users of various substances, don’t assume that this is what Burning Man is entirely about or that drugs are somehow legal there. Many people don’t do any illegal drugs there at all and still have an amazing time (if not better). Anyway, the most prevalent drug there by far is alcohol. Free alcohol is easy enough to come by as long as you look old enough (ID may be asked for). In the playful spirit of the festival, someone might require you to chase that Jameson with pickle juice, or find four other friends to take a shot with since all the glasses are glued to a board. Ultimately, Burning Man seems to be about having the freedom to be yourself and the responsibility to enjoy your time there as much as possible since it goes by so fast. It is certainly not a place for everyone (I could see my mother referring to 99 percent of the people there as “friggin’ weirdos”) but it is definitely a place for some, perhaps even their true home. As for me, I’m just glad to have a real bed again. Soft, comfy, glorious, dust-free. ZZZ

The sun rises behind “Bliss Dance,” above, a sculpture by Marco Cochrane. A man feels the warmth of “Nucleus,” above left, an art piece by Kasia DanulaBillhartz.

One example of the many live bands at Burning Man, this one featuring a propaneenhanced flaming tuba. For more information see



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