INSIDE: Tornados flatten city in Oklahoma, at least 51 dead. NEWS, pg. 3
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STUDENTS TACKLE FORBES’ NO. 1 DEADLIEST JOB
GONE FISHING BY KASSI LUJA
A DAY IN THE LIFE
I CONNOR SMITH A political science senior, Smith first began commercial fishing at the age of 13, partly because his three older brothers also fished.
BEN DAIGLE A liberal studies senior, Daigle first began commercial fishing from his family’s island near Homer, Alaska at the age of 5.
f political science senior Connor Smith was asked to define who he was, he would say an Alaskan fisherman. Smith, along with liberal studies senior Ben Daigle and architectural engineering senior Ethan Meier, took this quarter off from school to head to Alaska for the salmon and herring fishing seasons. The trio is currently in Alaska for commercial fishing — one of the most dangerous and deadliest occupations in the United States. Not only have they heard of frightening fishing incidents, but they’ve experienced them firsthand. Between the three of them, they’ve witnessed a person falling between two boats, had a boat nearly sink and had their own boat break down in the middle of nowhere. Commercial fishing may not be how the average Cal Poly student spends their summer, but it’s a commonality the trio shares on the deep waters of the northern Pacific.
ing the summers and fishing in Prince William Sound, a sound in the Gulf of Alaska where Smith and Meier will also fish this summer. Daigle was the deckhand on another boat the summer he was 16 and bought his own boat at the end of the next summer, right before he entered Cal Poly as a freshman. Smith, however, was just 13 years old when he began commercial fishing. “I have three older brothers and they all fished, and it was just expected of me,” the lifelong-Alaskan resident said. Growing up for Meier looked quite a bit different. Having moved 22 times, there’s not an exact place the 22-year-old calls home. But now, the Alaskan transplant is applying for Alaska residency. Meier’s first visit to the mountainous state was the summer after his freshman year at Cal Poly when Daigle asked him to deckThe Alaskan lifestyle hand for him. Meier worked on the deck of the boat, picking fish This dangerous and adventurfrom the net and helping in every ous occupation isn’t just a job for facet of boat work. Smith, it’s a lifestyle, he said. “The first impression of Alaska Born in Homer, Alaska, Smith is just, ‘Wow,’” Meier said. “I’ve and Daigle have been childhood been to a lot of places in my life, friends since the age of 4 — their and this place just blew them out families are neighbors living a of the water.” — Ben Daigle quarter-mile apart. After three years of working Homer is a small, seaside comfor Daigle, Meier now owns his munity located 222 miles south of own fiberglass boat, which is 29 Anchorage. Most of Homer’s residents have some re- feet in length, 11 feet wide. Meier said he didn’t lation to the fishing community. The town’s harbor plan to buy his own boat, it just fell in his lap. This is home port for many fishing boats, including the spontaneity didn’t come without some initial apTime Bandit, well-known from Discovery Channel’s prehension from his family, though. “Deadliest Catch.” “I told my dad about it over winter break ... ‘So, Tourist shops abound with postcards and bum- um, I might be going to Alaska to do commercial per stickers describe Homer as: “A quaint drink- fishing,’ and my dad (was) just like,‘no,’” Meier said. ing village with a fishing problem” and “Homer, Despite early concern, Meier said his family is Alaska: We’re here because we’re not all there,” the really supportive of his new lifestyle in the state latter of which can be found on the bumper of known as “The Last Frontier.” Smith’s car. “You have a general idea of who everyone is,” see FISHING, pg. 2 Daigle said of the small town of approximately 6,000. “Everyone knows you and who you are.” Along with being home to a tight-knit community, the town also houses several art galleries with a distinct art community, views of multiple glaciers and offers the opportunity for bear viewing. Among the more tourist-drawn activities, the town bustles with outdoor recreation. Snow machines, motorcycles and boats are on hand, said Smith, who grew up hunting and fishing with his dad and three older brothers. As with Smith, Daigle spent a lot of time outdoors, but instead enjoyed snowboarding and hiking. Daigle also spent his summers on his family’s island that lies across Kachemak Bay from Homer. The island had no electricity and his family relied on building fires in a wood stove for heat. “I grew up without a TV,” Daigle said. “I didn’t have a computer in high school.” Daigle began commercial fishing from his family’s island when he was 5 years old, but it wasn’t until he was 16 that he began living on a boat dur-
An architectural engineering senior, Meier first began commercial fishing the summer after his freshman year at Cal Poly.
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“The first year we were just a total shit show. Every day something was going wrong.”
“My day begins early, around six or seven in the morning, to the voice of the captain telling us it’s time to fish ...”
SPORTS, pg. 8 Pitching coach brings ‘infectious’ mindset to baseball.
Tomorrow’s Weather: high Sunny
1. Smith spent eight years fishing in BRISTOL BAY on a gillnetter — a type of boat. 2. Smith spent part of April and May fishing for herring in the waters surrounding KODIAK ISLAND. 3. HOMER is a small seaside community in Alaska where Smith and Daigle were born. It is located on KACHEMAK BAY. 4. ANCHORAGE, the largest city in Alaska, is approximately 200 miles north of Homer. 5. Daigle, Meier and Smith will all fish in PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND this summer. This is also where Daigle first began spending summers commercial fishing on a boat at the age of 16. 6. Meier is currently located in CORDOVA, one of the ports that serves Prince William Sound. 7. Smith spent part of March and April fishing for herring roe (fish eggs) in SITKA.
56 7 GRAPHIC BY KASSI LUJA PHOTOS COURTESY OF CONNOR SMITH
Opinions/Editorial..............6 News.............................1-3 Classifieds/Comics............7 Arts...............................4-5 Sports..................................8
low 46˚F partially cloudy
MDnews 2 FISHING continued from page 1
All aboard Though fishing can be fun, living on a boat for an extended amount of time isn’t as hyped up as it may appear. “People tend to think that it’s really glamorous and I get asked (for) a job by every person that I meet,” Daigle said. “But it’s really shitty most of the time.” Daigle is currently operating his own boat, a 36-foot aluminum bowpicker, starting off the season fishing for chum salmon. He said he’ll be awake for up to 50 hours of off-andon working. “It’s really a lot gnarlier than people think it is,” Daigle said. But arduous demands and high-risk dangers just come with the job. “I really love the competition of it,” Daigle said. “There’s a lot of money out there and everyone’s really, really competitive and it’s just kind of fun treating it like a game because it’s a long season. You have to have something to keep yourself going really hard.” Smith is currently working for his captain on a six-month contract. He’s always on call, ready to work on the boat at any given time and will spend most of the six months on the boat without any significant time off. “You stop taking showers,” Smith said. “I shower once every few weeks or so. You get used to not ever being on land. You pay attention to a lot of things that you wouldn’t think about normally.” Smith said the hardest part about being on a boat for that amount of time is never seeing family and friends and being around the same people. He is currently writing a blog documenting his time in Alaska to give friends and classmates a better idea of the Alaskan fisherman lifestyle. Daigle, on the other hand, said motivating himself is the hardest aspect. “You just work as hard as you want to,” Daigle said about fishing. “But if you don’t work really hard, you won’t make
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
You get used to not ever being on land. You pay attention to a lot of things that you wouldn’t think about normally. CONNOR SMITH POLITICAL SCIENCE SENIOR
nearly as much money.” Though keeping up momentum is a challenge, Daigle enjoys boatlife. “It’s kind of fun,” he said. “I like living on a boat because there’s nothing you can think about other than fishing. You don’t have to worry about anything else.” Though fishing provides separation from the rest of life, Daigle said, by the end of the season, “you’re over it.” But even then, there’s something about living on a boat that draws you back, he said. In the face of danger The trio’s latest return to the water comes even after hearing and witnessing some of the dangers that come with the job. Fishermen and related fishing workers was rated as No. 1 on Forbes’ list of America’s Deadliest Jobs, with 40 total fatalities in 2011 based on preliminary data. It is ranked before logging workers, aircraft pilots and flight engineers. Smith was witness to one close call involving a family member. When delivering fish to larger boats, there is a space created by buoys between the two vessels, and if there is a big wave, someone can fall in between the boats and be crushed — something that almost happened to Smith’s cousin. Luckily, Smith’s uncle was able to jump down, grab the cousin and pull him up before the boats smashed him. “We managed to get him out,” he said. “It can kill you really easily.” Though there are various dangers to commercial fishing, you become less scared with practice, Smith said. “Once you kind of know what you’re doing, it’s not that scary,” he said. But as a beginner, things are bound to go wrong. “The first year, we
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were just a total shit show,” Daigle said. “Every day something was going wrong. That first year was just pretty awful.” Meier remembers one time in particular during that first year when he was fishing with Daigle. “We caught a bunch of salmon,” Meier said. “We went to take the fish off deck and we went and we anchored up the net for the night and went to sleep.” Meier and Daigle woke up at 6 a.m. the next day to find the bow in the air and the stern and engine compartment under water. “Holy shit, Ben, we’re sinking,” said Meir, who grabbed a 5-gallon bucket and began tossing water out the cabin door. This is just one close call the two have experienced in their fishing endeavors. “It can get super nasty out there and people can die all the time,” he said. ‘Rewarding’ Despite the danger they face every time they climb onboard and head out to sea, Smith, Daigle and Meier all said they find commercial fishing gratifying. “You can have really big days of like, money,” Daigle said. “That’s the whole reason everybody does it, it’s because you never know when you’re going to do really well and a lot of times it’s just super random. You could make $20,000 in a day if things go right for you.” Daigle said it’s exciting not knowing how the day will pan out. “You have to fish really hard and hope,” Daigle said. Smith, however, finds fulfillment in the hands-on aspect of commercial fishing. “Working hard and working with your hands ... hard manual labor is very rewarding for me,” Smith said. “Getting a paycheck and knowing I worked for it. (At the) end of the day, feeling like you’ve accomplished something.” Along with manual labor, Smith said he enjoys being a part of the fishing community his family has been a part of since 1936. From Alaska to SLO and back again Though Smith loves Alaska,
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When delivering fish to larger boats, there is a space created by buoys between the two vessels, and if there is a big wave, someone can fall in between the boats. he enjoys coming back to San Luis Obispo. “I always love it just because of the weather and I get to go surfing,” Smith said. “The lifestyle is so much chiller I guess. Everything is paved and, I don’t know, life is kind of easy.” With the time they’ve spent in both Alaska and San Luis Obispo, the trio definitely notices the contrast between the two locations. “It’s like black and white difference,” Smith said. One clear difference is in the choice of pastimes — in San Luis Obispo, Smith may ride the California waves, but in Alaska, he hunts black bears. “If I don’t get fish and meat for my parents, they have to buy it,” Smith said. Differences in attire also distinguish the Central Coast from Alaska. “You wear like totally different clothes up here (in Alaska) — practical clothes,” Smith said. “In California I wear like semi-trendy things.” Whereas Californians can be seen in Rainbow sandals, neon bro tanks and skinny jeans, Alaskans often wear Xtratuf boots and Carhartt pants
splattered in oil and dirt. This can lead to some commentary when there is crossover between the two attires: When Smith wears rain gear in California that he would normally wear on a boat, he receives comments saying it “smells like fish.” Meier said the differences from Alaska and San Luis Obispo are a “full 180,” not just in activities and clothing. “The mentality is completely different,” Meier said. “People just like, don’t care up here (in Alaska). It’s not superficial at all.” Meier is currently in Cordova, located on the east side of Prince William Sound. “Walking around downtown nobody knows me,” Meier said. “Everyone says ‘hi’ and ‘good morning.’ People are friendly and they’ll take you in if you need help.” This camaraderie isn’t just specific just to Cordova, but is pretty much Alaska in general, he said. Smith echoes these sentiments. “I’ve always kind of been in love with it,” Smith said about Alaska. “Nowhere else could be home having lived
this way. I don’t think I could ever do anything else, really. Just getting to be on the water, it’s very therapeutic.” All three of the trio have to return to Cal Poly in the fall to finish their degrees: Smith plans on returning to Cal Poly in the fall for his last quarter, while Daigle and Meier both have plans to graduate after winter quarter. After graduation, Smith said he will take the rest of the year off to go fishing again for another six months. After, he hopes to attend law school. Daigle said he will end up in Alaska again at some point after college, though he doesn’t have any definite plans as of yet. As far as fishing goes, Meier said he will see how his first season with his own boat pans out. School aside, it’s safe to say the trio is enjoying time in the Alaskan outdoors. “The pictures you see are incredible, but they don’t (do it) justice at all,” Meier said. “This place is just massive. It’s hard to get a sense of feel for it. This is kind of my office, you know? My window I look out, you see all these crazy snow-capped mountains and it’s incredible.”
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Mile-wide tornado hits Oklahoma
The tornado, which destroyed two elementary schools and an untold number of homes, hit the ground at approximately 3 p.m. on Monday and lasted for approximately 40 minutes, according to the National Weather Service. HAILEY BRANSON-POTTS Los Angeles Times
A mile-wide tornado slammed into Oklahoma on Monday afternoon, leveling neighborhoods, starting fires and causing, as one storm chaser put it, “total destruction.” Two elementary schools were destroyed, and an untold number of homes and businesses sustained heavy damage near the cities of Moore, Newcastle and Oklahoma City. CNN reported that rescue crews swarmed over Plaza Towers Elementary School, where 75 students and staff had sought refuge in a hallway. Britane Diacon-Boese of Oklahoma City was worried
about students she works with. “I have clients who can’t be found,” she said. “I’m terrified. I’m completely terrified,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “There’s no power, it’s all down.” The other school hit by the tornado was Briarwood Elementary School in Oklahoma City. Local newscasters reported that children were trapped inside. Even for Oklahoma, famous for tornadoes, this was a significant storm. Some people likened it to a massive cluster of tornadoes that hit on May 3, 1999, one of the largest and deadliest storms in state history. “Our house is gone,” one woman in Moore told a reporter with KWTV, crying
and clutching her two children’s hands. “Everything but where we were is gone.” The woman said she and her children hid in their bathtub with a mattress over them. Had they been anywhere else in the house, they would have been killed, she said.
The tornado struck at approximately 3 p.m. and was on the ground approximately 40 minutes, the National Weather Service in Norman tweeted. A tornado warning was in effect for 16 minutes before the tornado developed, according to the National Weather
The radios were blaring with National Weather Service and sirens. I drove to the school just praying the whole way. CHAD BARTLETT OKLAHOMA PASTOR
Service. People sought refuge wherever they could — in hallways, shelters, horse stalls. In southwest Oklahoma City, cars were smashed and sitting upside down atop houses that had been reduced to rubble. People dug through destroyed homes even as strong storms remained a threat. The National Weather Service reported that destructive hail the size of tennis balls is expected throughout the afternoon. Severe storms are expected to continue through the afternoon and evening. Giant hail was falling as Chad Bartlett and his wife, Helen, were driving to his son’s high school in Oklahoma City on Monday afternoon. The drive
was treacherous. The roads were congested as other people tried to flee the area. “There was wind and hail. The radios were blaring with the National Weather Service and sirens,” said Bartlett, a pastor. “I drove to the school just praying the whole way.” In a phone interview, Bartlett said they arrived to see teachers taking students down the basement for shelter. He and his wife picked up their son and drove off. They drove through the town of Moore, just ahead of the tornado. They kept driving and Bartlett told his wife and son, “Just watch for the funnel cloud. Just watch.”
Rescuers were searching for lost animals in Shawnee, Okla. on Monday following the tornado’s destruction. A cat (right) was pulled from the wreckage and was able to be saved.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Architecture students to display year’s worth of work at ‘FINAL CUT’ MUSTANG DAILY STAFF REPORT
Fifth-year architecture students will display their thesis projects — the culmination of their college careers — at one of the largest design and architecture exhibits in California, “FINAL CUT.” Students spent one quarter doing research and two quarters working on the architec-
ture version of the yearlong senior project. “The capstone of their college career will showcase everything that they have learned in the past five, six or even seven years,” architecture professor Barry Williams said. There are eight different fifth-year studios, which all focus on a particular theme. Williams’ class focused on the social aspects of architecture. “There are 149 students par-
ticipating, and what it shows is there are 149 ways to go through the curriculum,” Williams said. Within the broad range of projects, one student is designing a school in Ghana, which has become a real-life venture. “Things from locations all over the world, from houses, to museums, to theoretical what-if projects,” Williams said. “It is important to look at and examine and see a broad
range of architecture and what architecture does and what these someday-architects will be doing.” Architects are invited and come from firms all around to look at student projects. “It’s a good chance for them to look at the 100-plus potential candidates,” Wiliams said. On Saturday, eight faculty members will select 10 projects they consider best-in-show. “It gives people a good idea
of what architecture students have learned, what they are doing and the complexities of the field of architecture,” Williams said. “A lot of the time, they see architecture students walking around in a gaze from lack of sleep, and now they know why.” Architecture senior Kiley Feickert’s project is a theoretical building inspired by the migration out of Detroit. “It is an observation tower that grows as people drop their
abandoned objects, which symbolizes the mass migration out of the city,” Feickert said. “FINAL CUT” will take place Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Chumash Auditorium. “It is basically the show you are working toward all five years,” Feickert said. “It is our last project at Cal Poly.” Hillary Kaiser contributed to this staff report.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
THE CITY THAT INNOVATION BUILT
San Luis Obispo HotHouse turns to crowd-source funding ARYN SANDERSON
San Luis Obispo HotHouse and the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) launched a 30-day crowdsource funding campaign to finance their accelerator program. The summer-long program gives seven teams of Cal Poly students and recent grads funding and mentorship as they take startup business ideas from concept to creation. “It’s pretty much all based on Learn By Doing, but this is really ‘do by doing,’” CIE co-founder and director Jonathan York said. “It’s the next stage beyond Learn By Doing, a stage that enables students to take control over their own destiny.” The Indiegogo campaign began one week ago with the goal of raising $70,000 — just enough to fund the seven teams for the summer. Each team of entrepreneurs will receive $7,500 in seed funding. Although Cal Poly supports the program in terms of administration and gave the original seed money for the HotHouse, all of the funding comes from donations, York said. “Crowd funding is a great way to get a lot of people to see our mission and our vision in supporting student startups,” York said. CIE media coordinator Kristin Kenney said crowd funding is “a really cool idea.” “We’ve had people in the HotHouse that have done successful crowd-funding campaigns before,” she said. Since HotHouse isn’t creating a physical product, the campaign is putting a creative spin
on crowd sourcing. Donors help create “Innovation City,” a virtual town built with each donation. York compares the idea to a “digital brick campaign.” For this campaign, a sketch of the imaginary city is updated to illustrate the progress toward the donation goal. For example, a $10 donation helps to “beautify the city,” giving it a bench or foliage. In actuality, it funds one team for an hour this summer. Art and design junior Bryn Hobson and art and design senior Patricia Jimenez are in charge of creating the “Innovation City” blueprint. “We came into this with the structure of the campaign in place, but we are really trying to make it feel like a hand drawn, personal thing,” Hobson said. “The fundraising and urgent nature of the campaign make it fast-paced and exciting. It’s really exciting to get to add specifically what people want you to add,” he said, referencing personalized additions such as a skate park, library and block party with balloons. Engaging the community isn’t unusual for the HotHouse or CIE. The accelerator program is nestled in downtown. Local mentors consult, and Cal Poly students and grads create. But when looking to fund the teams, HotHouse wanted to expand its scope past San Luis Obispo city lines. “We have, over the last few years, really built a network of early supporters, and at this point in time, we wanted to expand that out into the broader Cal Poly alumni and global com-
ARYN SANDERSON/MUSTANG DAILY
Art and design junior Bryn Hobson (left) added a library to “Innovation City” as requested by donor and CIE development director Mary Kelting (right).
munity,” York said. “The student companies are really exciting, and we want to have a chance to get more people on board.” The student companies moving in this summer include: Veg This Way, Spongecrete, SeatWizz, Before and After Maids, Z Living Systems, Prelimb and HomeSlice. Cuesta student Luke Bayard of SeatWizz, which offers “the next generation of online ticket purchasing,” said the chance to be in the HotHouse this summer is an honor. “To me, it’s a dream come true to have the opportunity to build my own business and possibly have my own employment when I graduate,” he said. “That in and of itself is the biggest opportunity that this poses to me, is a chance to really make something of myself.” HomeSlice entrepreneur Shea Brucker, a business administration senior, mirrored this sentiment. Brucker said acceptance to the summer HotHouse program is “priceless” and “invaluable.” “SLO itself is becoming kind of a mini-Silicon Valley,” Brucker said. “There’s an enormous amount of growth coming out of SLO in terms of startups and entrepreneurship. So the message behind promoting us as an ‘Innovation City’ idea is really just awesome.” It’s a message that Mary Kelting, director of development for CIE, hopes will catch on. So far, the campaign has amassed more than $6,000. “We want this campaign to go viral,” Kelting said. Kassi Luja contributed to this article.
As SLO HotHouse gets closer to reaching its fundraising goal, more of Innovation City is drawn in. COURTESY PHOTOS
MD op/ed 6 MUSTANG DAILY Graphic Arts Building Building 26, Suite 226 California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Recent scandals show dangers of big government Ashley Pierce is a political science freshman and Mustang Daily conservative columnist. My article this week was supposed to be about Captain America, Iron Man, capitalism and conservative values. Unfortunately, the Obama administration decided to become extremely unconstitutional this week and I’ve had to change my plans. The Obama administration has finally pissed off its greatest supporters and given its opposition physical evidence that the government has stretched far beyond its constitutional power. This week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a statement that a branch in Cincinnati, Ohio had been targeting organizations applying for tax-exempt status that had the words “tea party,” “patriots” or “we the people” in their description. It targeted the groups during the 2012 presidential election term, from late 2010 until 2012. The IRS blamed workers in Cincinnati for the targeting. The IRS now also claims that, because only a quarter of the organizations set for review were conservative ones, the mistakes were not political. So, though the IRS looked for organizations using the words that describe only one side of the political spectrum, it’s not political. Not buying it. Groups singled out from that search were reviewed long before given tax-exempt status. Organizations applying for tax-exempt status must primarily give money the same way non-profits or churches would, in charitable ways. They can still give money to political campaigns, but that can’t be their primary place to give. Maybe the IRS should have been double checking such groups to be sure the money was primarily going to charities. But where are the liberal organizations that should have been checked too? Perhaps “99 percent,” “welfare for everyone” or “pro-choice” should have been targeted. But that wasn’t the case. In fact, the workers who supposedly are at fault for targeting conservatives haven’t even been fired. All that’s been said is that “they’ve faced disciplinary action,” according to NBC News.
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013 Volume LXXVII, Number 111 ©2013 Mustang Daily “She was looking for the D, guys.”
Do you think the government should be able to look into the press’ phone records?
The only two people the administration fired over this atrocity are IRS chief Steve Miller and Joseph Grant, commissioner of the tax-exempt division of the IRS. Also when I say fired, I mean Miller is “resigning” and Grant is “retiring.” So, in that sense, zero people have been disciplined over this issue. Miller didn’t become chief until November 2012, toward the tail end of conservatives being targeted. Miller was also on his way out of the IRS this summer, anyway. The resignation just came sooner than his planned exit. Grant retiring also does little to make up for the targeting, seeing as how Sarah Hall Ingraham, Grant’s predecessor, had the job from 2009 to 2012. She was there the entire time the IRS targeted conservative groups. While Grant served as deputy commissioner during that time, his retirement simply allows him to take the fall for Ingraham, who has a much better and more important job now. That’s right folks, Ingraham now oversees the division of the IRS in charge of implementing healthcare reform Obama introduced during his first term in office (a.k.a. Obamacare). I could not be any more thrilled with her promotion. So, the woman who headed the division that either allowed or didn’t catch on to the fact that conservative groups were being targeted is now heading the Affordable Care Act division. The act that so many politicians didn’t even bother to read is now asked to be implemented by
President Obama claims to be ignorant of both scandals. Maybe he is, but is that even more horrifying?
GENERAL MANAGER Paul Bittick
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WORD ON THE STREET
not just the now-untrustworthy IRS but by the very woman who headed the division that targeted conservatives. Regardless of whether she knew it, other high officials knew. If Obama knew, despite current speculation, the fact that a government agency was targeting groups based on their political beliefs is horrifying. Those on the left and right are outraged. Conservatives weren’t just targeted — the constitutional right of freedom of speech was. Speaking of which, so was freedom of the press in scandal No. 2, when the Department of Justice subpoenaed The Associated Press (AP) employees’ phone records. The Obama administration has reportedly been taking all of the organizations’ phone records for the past two months, after the AP attempted to publish a story about a bomb plot that had been successfully stopped. The AP worked with the government and delayed the story coming out until it deemed it safe, but felt the government wasn’t being truthful with the American people. During that time (which happened to be the one year anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death) the government claimed there were no terrorists threats toward America. Whatever the Department of Justice’s reasons for looking into the AP’s phone records, it should be punished and exemplifies why the federal government can’t get too large and too powerful. Law becomes irrelevant to the highest officials and agencies when government stretches too far. President Obama claims to be ignorant of both scandals. Maybe he is, but is that even more horrifying? That the president has no idea what’s going on in the agencies he oversees? As Fox News’ Andy Levy tweeted this past week, “’Guess I’ll turn on the news to see what the government is up to’ — The President of the United States” isn’t comforting.
“No, because they’re their own company and it’s private record. I understand that the government needs to protect national security, however, the public has the right to know certain things. The government should work together with the press, instead of against it.” • Taylor Pori business administration freshman
“I don’t think, really, that that’s wrong. If they’re looking for a threat, I don’t think it’s a problem.” • Steven Torres architecture freshman
Second presidential term destined for scandal DOYLE MCMANUS
Los Angeles Times
What is it about presidents’ second terms that makes them seem so scandal-ridden? Simple: The iron law of longevity. All governments make mistakes, and all governments try to hide those mistakes. But the longer an administration is in office, the more errors it makes, and the harder they are to conceal. Just ask Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton or George W. Bush, all of whom spent much of their second terms playing defense. The longevity rule caught up with Barack Obama last week as he wrestled clumsily with not one controversy but three: the Internal Revenue Service’s treatment of “tea party” groups, the Benghazi killings and the Justice Department’s seizure of Associated Press telephone records. Inevitably, the president’s Republican critics reached for historical comparisons: It’s another Watergate, said some. Another Iran-Contra, said others. To the hyperbolic Rep. Steve King of Iowa, Benghazi alone was worse than Watergate and Iran-Contra combined, “times maybe 10.” So far, though, the three imbroglios don’t add up to another Watergate; not even close. But there are enough unanswered questions to keep any administration tied up for months in congressional
hearings, and that’s exactly what’s about to happen. Let’s take the three issues in turn. The IRS scandal is the most straightforward: A mismanaged unit of the tax agency applied political criteria to its scrutiny of applications for tax-exempt status. Despite the initial portrayal of a rogue operation confined to Cincinnati, IRS officials in Washington knew about the problem and failed to fix it. At least one appears to have misled Congress last year by suggesting that tea party complaints were unfounded. Last week, Obama condemned the IRS conduct as “intolerable and inexcusable,” and he fired the agency’s acting director. But every customer of the IRS, not only Republicans, should want an independent investigation to determine whether higher-ups encouraged the Cincinnati cabal. Benghazi is the most tangled issue, and the most partisan. A State Department review board has already concluded that security for Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens’ fatal visit to the Libyan city was inexcusably weak; then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton accepted responsibility for that. But the political side of the Benghazi “scandal,” which still needs to be in quotes, has focused on other targets. Republicans charge that Obama lied
about the attacks, portraying them as spontaneous to avoid weakening his election-year claim that he had put al-Qaida on the path to defeat. It’s true that Obama was slow to blame terrorists for the killing. “We don’t have all the information yet,” he said on Sept. 25. But by then, other officials had already told Congress that al-Qaida affiliates were involved. That was five weeks before the election; if the White House was trying to mount a coverup, it apparently forgot to tell the rest of the administration. It’s also true that Obama aides presided over an internal debate over what information would be in official talking points. But when the White House finally released emails from that wrangle, they mostly revealed a bureaucratic fight between the CIA, which wanted to trumpet its warnings about Libya, and the State Department, which didn’t want to expose its failings. There’s no evidence of anyone acting to protect the Obama re-election campaign. Still, the White House has a problem: It’s been acting guilty. Obama spokesman Jay Carney said initially that the White House had little to do with the talking points, and that only one substantive change was made to the text. Those descriptions turned out to be false. It’s no wonder Republicans have demanded more answers. But the Benghazi talk-
ing points still look mostly like a partisan sideshow, too complicated and murky to engage most voters. The third controversy, over the Justice Department’s secret decision to seize telephone records of dozens of reporters and editors at the Associated Press, is a different kind of scandal. Republicans have been careful about this one because many have long demanded that the Obama administration get tough on leaks of classified information. But it still fits into the GOP’s critique of Obama as imperious and authoritarian. And it puts another dent in Obama’s already battered image as a onetime civil libertarian who has grown fond of executive power in office. If Obama is both smart and lucky, all three controversies will gradually fade away, assuming no more wrongdoing comes to light. His Republican critics already run the risk of repeating their error in the 1998 impeachment of Clinton; if they hound the White House on charges that don’t pan out, they’ll be vulnerable to charges that they’re wasting time on partisan squabbles. During the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the Clinton White House made a point of putting the president on camera every day to show he was at work on the economy, not his legal troubles. The Obama White House is already following the same path.
But a season of scandal still comes with a cost. If Congress spends much of its time on investigations (and one-third of all House committees have announced they plan to do just that), it will have fewer hours to work on other issues. If the White House must focus on defending the president against charges of malpractice, that saps its energy as well. Any second-term president has limited time after reelection to win legislative battles. Obama’s clock is already ticking; his agenda is already in trouble. If the remainder of 2013 is dominated by inquests that widen the partisan divide, the chances for bipartisan deal-making — especially a grand bargain on taxes and spending — will wane even further.
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Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Eager has Cal Poly pitchers dealing JEFFERSON P. NOLAN
At the end of each game, the Cal Poly baseball team takes a knee on the outfield grass and listens to its skipper. The team hears about the good, the bad and what needs to improve. But when head coach Larry Lee sends the ballplayers to the showers, the pitching staff sticks around.
There is more to hear and more to learn, and it’s all thanks to pitching coach Thomas Eager. Hands thrown in the air, words spewing from Eager’s mouth, the Cal Poly pitchers see a fire ignite in their coach’s eyes each time they meet. “It’s infectious,” starting pitcher Joey Wagman said. “It rubs off on everybody, and as much as he wants us to succeed, we want to succeed for him.”
At first glance, most people in the stands at Cal Poly baseball games mistake the 27-year-old for a player. And as it’s only his first season as a pitching coach, their assumption is reasonable. In fact, he used to pitch for the Mustangs and — more recently — in the St. Louis Cardinals’ minor league organization. Eager may not be a veteran coach, but he knows what it takes to succeed as a ballplayer.
IAN BILLINGS/MUSTANG DAILY
Pitching coach Thomas Eager has helped the Mustangs earn a 3.32 ERA and is “the main reason we’ve been successful this year,” head coach Larry Lee said.
With his help, the Mustangs pitching staff has accumulated 438 strikeouts and has only allowed 13 home runs, the best in the Big West in both categories. And for the Mustangs, it’s been all about pitching this year, Lee said. “(Pitching) is the main reason we’ve been successful this year,” Lee said. “If you look at our scores and look at the amount of one-run, two-run ball games we’ve played, you can understand how valuable pitching is. (Eager) has done a terrific job in working with our pitchers on mechanical issues and mindset issues. He has a total mindset of being a competitive pitcher and being able to compete at this level.” Eager developed that mindset eight years ago at Baggett Stadium. Recruited by the Mustangs out of Merced High School, Eager redshirted his freshman year as a relief pitcher. It wasn’t until his redshirt sophomore year that the righty reliever began to see the results he wanted. In his 2007 season, Eager accumulated a record of 11-3 with an ERA of 3.43. He struck out 99 hitters and was awarded first-team All-Big West Conference honors. After his breakout season, scouts began to take notice. He was drafted later that year in the first round by the Cardinals, and he finished his professional career playing four seasons of minor league baseball at the Double-A level. However, once he learned he needed Tommy John surgery (ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction), life as Eager knew it had ended.
“When I got hurt, coach Lee said to me that he thought coaching may be something I’d want to do,” Eager said. “I jumped on it, and I haven’t looked back. Some of these guys ask me if I miss playing, but I just tell them that I’ve never once regretted my decision. I love what I’m doing. That’s where I compete now, through these guys.” After the former pitcher threw his last inning in the Cardinals’ organization, Eager found a way to surround himself with the game he loves. Returning to San Luis Obispo, Eager took the position of Director of Baseball Operations for the Mustangs. Even though it was only a desk job, Eager began to absorb the different aspects of the game. “It was just me getting familiar with how the organization ran, all the ins and outs,” he said. “It wasn’t so much the baseball side, but what it took for Cal Poly baseball to run on a day-to-day basis. It really opened my eyes and helped put things into perspective.” And when former Cal Poly pitching coach Jason Kelly accepted an offer to serve as the pitching coach for Washington this past June, Lee made a critical decision. “It was tough,” Lee said. “I hated to see (Kelly) go. He had become very good at what he did, but over the last couple of years, Tom has been around the program. For me, the No. 1 priority for our pitching coach is being a quality teacher. I knew that although he was young and in the very early stages of becoming a coach, he was somebody I could help mold into what I thought would be the best fit for us.” Only working a year and a
half as the Director of Baseball Operations, the young coach found himself at the helm of a squad of veteran pitchers. For Eager, it was a dream come true. “Baseball, to me, was always what I wanted to do,” Eager said. “The development is so rewarding, and it’s something I never thought of until coach Lee said that coaching would be great for me. I’m just grateful he gave me the opportunity to live my dream.” The job is a dream that Eager’s wife Jenna — who he met during his freshman year in Santa Lucia Hall — can see every day before he heads to the baseball diamond. “This is where I want to be,” Eager said. “I think my wife is mad at me because I have a smile on my face when I leave and when I come home every day. I tell her I have to go to work, and she tells me it’s not work.” While the former reliever’s days on the bump may be over, the player-turnedcoach has never stopped competing. And after four years of professional baseball, he understands the pressures of the mound. Before each pitcher takes center stage, he reminds them of his philosophy: compete, but keep the game as simple as possible. “I tell them when they’re about to pitch that ‘They’re just trying to ruin your day. Don’t let them ruin your day,’” Eager said. “When you’re on the mound, you can be whoever you want and you can do whatever you want. If you have an arrogance, that cockiness, and a belief in yourself, then you’re going to be successful.”
Pitcher Perfect Big West rank