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Celebrating superheroes with Free Comic Book Day. ARTS, pg. 4 Volume LXXVI, Number 116

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Faculty passes vote to strike SEAN MCMINN

The California Faculty Association (CFA) announced voter approval of a potential strike Wednesday after 12 days of voting throughout the California State University (CSU) campuses. CFA President Lillian Taiz, a history professor at California State University, Los Angeles, said at a press conference Wednesday that 95 percent of members who voted approved of the strike, which could take place as early as fall. “The faculty of the Cali-

WORD ON THE STREET How would a twoday faculty strike affect your fall quarter?

fornia State University have had enough,” Taiz said after announcing the results. “Enough of executives putting themselves above the needs of students … enough of managers using budget cuts as an excuse to destroy the quality of our students’ education. The message to (CSU Chancellor Charles Reed) is absolutely clear: The CSU faculty have run out of patience.” The CFA, which represents approximately 23,000 faculty and staff across the state’s colleges, has seen a breakdown of relations with CSU administrators during recent years that resulted in

I’m hopeful this will bring the Chancellor back to the table. But his past behavior is not promising on this. GLEN THORNCROFT CFA SLO CHAPTER PRESIDENT

other strike votes throughout the system. When the union approved a strike in 2006 during similar contract negotiations, Reed and the CSU went back to the negotiating table and eventually reached a resolution. But last fall, two simultaneous

strikes were carried out at CSU campuses to protest raises the CSU denied to faculty. The issue at the center of Wednesday’s strike vote is a contract negotiation between the two parties that broke down in mid-April. After a mediator declared efforts un-

successful last month, the two parties began the process to find a third-party fact finder who will propose an offer for the two sides. For now, the bargainers for each side are in the final stages of negotiations and plan to meet Thursday and Friday to work further toward a compromise. Among the CFA’s grievances are issues with workload, academic freedom and compensation. Cal Poly’s CFA Chapter President Glen Thorncroft said the union’s requests have been reasonable, but the CSU has not been bargaining in good faith. The university system disagrees, however. CSU

“They’d probably just assign things through email.”

“That’s two extra days to study.” • Jasmine Contreras business administration freshman

• Danny Kassen electrical engineering senior

Quiet down, San Luis Obispo



The City of San Luis Obispo has been a bit quieter than in years past, according to city law enforcement. This is due to two recent modifications of the city’s noise ordinance, approved two years ago by the San Luis Obispo City Council, which have helped reduce the number of noise complaints around the city, both University Police Department (UPD) and San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD) officials said. “It appears to have helped,” UPD Commander Lori Hashim said. “Certainly, we have our party calls that we respond to with SLOPD, but not like it has been in the past.” Spelling out the ordinances Those changes come after the city council enacted stricter penalties to noise violations in


Officials have created programs to reduce the number of citations in the areas around campus. January 2010. The modifications made violators accountable for just one warning, given by a SLOPD officer or Student Neighborhood Assistance Program (SNAP) employee, in a

nine-month span. After the warning, residents are placed on a “No Warning” list and further complaints are grounds for a fine. Those changes also made


SPORTS, pg. 8


Students get ready for a wild (flower) weekend.

for articles, videos, photos & more.

residents and property owners liable for citations. Now, both parties are charged a $350 violation for a first offense, $700 see ORDINANCE, pg. 2

Tomorrow’s Weather: high Sunny


low 52˚F

see STRIKE, pg. 2

“That better not affect our finals.” • Brian Hoang biological sciences sophomore

Cal Poly alumna wins Teacher of the Year


spokesperson Erik Fallis said some of the CFA’s arguments have been based in rhetoric instead of using just fact. He said the strike is just a “side show” while the real work is going on during collective bargaining. “It’s not appropriate at this time to fight things out in the form of strike votes and things like that,” Fallis said. “We need to be working on negotiations at the table.” The two parties have been planning for weeks to continue bargaining Thursday and Friday, Fallis said. He

A Cal Poly graduate received one of the highest educational honors in the country last week when she was named the 62nd National Teacher of the Year. Rebecca Mieliwocki, who studied as an undergraduate in Cal Poly’s communication studies department in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, before receiving her teaching credential from California State University, Northridge, met President Barack Obama on April 23 for the announcement of her selection as this year’s top teacher. Mieliwocki, who teaches seventh grade English at Luther Burbank Middle School in Burbank, said she believes she was recognized for her commitment to making sure her students are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need, as well as her work to involve students by letting them direct projects and use tools such as social media to learn, she said. “I know that my most important job is to make sure kids have what they need to be successful,” Mieliwocki said. Mieliwocki also tries to develop a sense of how each student is unique, she said. She prefers to educate students on their terms, Mieliwocki said. “I see who they are as unique individuals,” Mieliwocki said. The Cal Poly grad was first

INDEX News.............................1-3 Arts..............................4-7

nominated as her district’s Teacher of the Year almost a year ago, and then nominated for county Teacher of the Year. Each time, Mieliwocki had to write essays on her own teaching philosophy and ideas. “It was kind of a full summer,” Mieliwocki said. She continued earning bigger awards until she was named one of four finalists for the National Teacher of the Year award, and traveled to Washington, D.C. for a week of interviews. When Mieliwocki was finally selected, she had to keep the news under wraps. “I had to keep it a secret for about a month-and-ahalf,” Mieliwocki said. Her award was announced last week at the White House, where she met with Obama. The experience was a thrill not only because she was honored to have her work recognized, but because she was able to meet the president, whom she greatly admires, Mieliwocki said. “He was thoroughly human, genuine, kind, not in a hurry,” Mieliwocki said. The visiting teachers even discussed having Obama’s daughter, Malia, babysit their children so they could spend an evening seeing Washington, D.C., Mieliwocki said. The experience was surreal, she said. “I just was a fly on the wall of see TEACHER, pg. 2

Opinions/Editorial...........6 Classifieds/Comics..........7 Sports..........................6-8

MDnews 2 ORDINANCE continued from page 1

second offense and $1,000 for a third offense given in a 12-month span. City council then passed the “unruly gathering ordinance” in April of that same year, which makes violators liable for a $700 fine, with no prior warning, when a gathering is deemed “unruly.” To fit the description, there must be 20 or more attendees at the gathering, and it must involve unlawful conduct — excessive noise and public drunkenness, among other listed offenses. Statistically, those changes have helped. SLOPD issued 307 citations in 2008, and after the changes to the noise

ordinance were enacted, that number fell to 277 in 2010. Chris Staley, a captain with SLOPD, said it’s not only decreased the number of citations issued, but it’s reduced the number of calls to police regarding noise. “It’s made a significant decrease in the number of calls of service we’ve had for noise in the city,” Staley said. “I can tell you it’s helped reduce our complaints for noise by about 23 to 24 percent on average since we enacted it.” Passing the message on Law enforcement has created many other measures besides enforcement to try to bring down the number of noise complaints in the city, Staley said. Both police depart-

ments have done their share of educating students at both Cal Poly and Cuesta College about the ordinances. “We passed the ordinance, I was part of the group that went and talked to Student Community Liaison Committee, ASI (Associated Students, Inc.),” Staley said. “We spoke with a number of people both at Cuesta and Cal Poly to try and get the information out there, get input from people, try and make sure everyone understood the reason for it.” That education, along with the changes in the noise ordinance, is a big reason the complaints are noticeably lower, SLOPD interim neighborhood services manager Christine Wallace said. “I don’t know that the ordinance is the full catalyst. I think we’ve done a good job of doing a lot of outreach and education,” Wallace said. “We’re using different kinds

TEACHER continued from page 1

such normalcy, and yet, I was in the Blue Room of the White House,” Mieliwocki said. Mieliwocki’s achievement ref lects well on her alma mater, but in the end she deserves all the credit, communication studies professor Bernard Duffy said. Duffy taught at Cal Poly when Mieliwocki was a student. “People’s accomplishments are their own accomplishments,” Duffy said. It’s rewarding to see a former student doing well, he said. “I’m sure it was the entire Cal Poly experience that helped her,” he said. “We’re delighted.” Communication studies department chair T.C. Wine-

of advertising mediums, Facebook, print media, that kind of thing, to get information out to students so they really know what the deal is.” All of that is an effort to bridge the gap in communication between students and the permanent residents in the community. And so far, Staley said the ordinances have had a positive effect in that. “Everyone wants to have a good relationship between both campuses and with the permanent residents here, I think this has been a good step toward it,” Staley said. “Hopefully, it will continue that way.” ‘It’s just kind of screwed up’ Some community members have a different stance on the ordinances, such as San Luis Obispo resident Joe Fernandez. Fernandez said he thinks the penalties aren’t fair to all resibrenner, who also taught at Cal Poly when Mieliwocki was an undergraduate, said the award is also a credit to the university’s strength. “Obviously in some ways it celebrates what it is that she learned not only in our major, but what she learned in Cal Poly as an institution,” Winebrenner said. When Mieliwocki’s reception of the California Teacher of the Year award was announced, Winebrenner immediately looked her up in a database of Cal Poly graduates, he said. Though it was 20 years ago, Winebrenner remembers that she was a good student, he said. “It certainly feels nice for it to be one of our graduates,” Winebrenner said. Mieliwocki herself credits Cal Poly with teaching her the value of high standards. Her favorite class was one in which she received only a “C,” she said, but a “C” she worked extremely hard for. “When I got it, I was so proud it was as if I got an ‘A+,’” Mieliwocki said. Mieliwocki’s speech degree is also helping her as she prepares to go on an international, yearlong tour of talks on her teaching philosophy, she said.

STRIKE continued from page 1

said the strike vote was a premature measure by the union and does not predict negotiations breaking down in the near future. “This election didn’t lead us to the table; we had decided that before the vote,” Fallis said. “We’re hopeful that we can come to an agreement, but that involves both side actually agreeing.” Only after going through the fact-finding process and rejecting a final offer from the CSU will faculty legally be allowed to strike. Thorn-

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

dents of the city. “What happens if you own your own house and you get the noise violation?” Fernandez said. “Do you pay $700 for a noise violation? It makes sense that the landlord should be notified, but most landlords are just going to say, ‘Well you guys have to pay it.’ So you might as well just give us a giant fine.” That’s essentially what happened to him when he received a noise violation in summer 2010. Fernandez said he and his roommates were throwing a house warming party with no more than 20 attendees. As friends started leaving toward the end of the night, police arrived at the residence and approached Fernandez. Fernandez said, at that time, there were no more than 10 to 11 attendees, but police informed Fernandez that the house was on the “No Warning” list from the previous tenants, he said,

and since the property had already received a warning — and was not taken off the list by the landlord after the tenants moved out — he was being issued a citation. Fernandez said he didn’t know of the residence’s placement on the list, nor did he know that he and his landlord were being fined. So Fernandez worked out a deal with his landlord to pay the bill, but a year later received a notice that he owed the city $350. Turns out only one share of the citation was paid, and the city sent him a notice looking for the other half. “Every person we talked to told us a different thing,” Fernandez said. “The cops that gave us the ticket on the spot told us one thing; people we called and asked told us one thing; and then the lady I talked to who I paid the bill with said another thing, and then she said, ‘Yeah it’s just kind of screwed up.’”


Cal Poly alumna, Rebecca Mieliwocki, now a seventh grade teacher in Burbank, was named National Teacher of the Year. croft said he is not sure it will come to a strike, because if further negotiating is successful, the faculty will not need to protest. “Prepare for it,” Thorncroft said. “I’m hopeful this will bring the Chancellor back to the table. But his past behavior is not promising on this.” If all bargaining fails, this vote paves the way for a series of two-day rolling strikes throughout the state. Each campus, including Cal Poly, could see days of protestors, picket lines and heavy media attention. A strike would clearly have an impact on students, Thorncroft said, but he could

not say when the strike might take place. The earliest it could come to Cal Poly would be fall quarter, he said. “Our students should know that we faculty are so dedicated to the students that we want to minimize the impact on the students and their education,” Thorncroft said. Approximately 70 percent of the 12,501 CFA members participated in the strike votes, Taiz said. No statistics were available for Cal Poly’s union members’ votes as of press time, but Thorncroft said he predicts voter turnout was higher than the last strike vote in San Luis Obispo in 2006.

MDnews 3

Thursday, May 3, 2012

ASI meeting roundup Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) Board of Directors met May 2 for its biweekly meeting in the University Union (UU), room 220. Topics discussed included: ASI upcoming events: • Top Shelf performing at Concerts in the Plaza. • Sprout performing next Thursday. • Doug Benson Late Night with ASI on May 11 at 9 p.m. Jeffrey Armstrong, university president: • Presented his Strategic Plan goals for the next 10 years. His goals include: expanding the Learn By Doing opportunities, exceed a 90 percent graduation rate in 10 years, increase global awareness on campus, have enough oncampus housing to accom-

modate all first- and secondyear students and to ensure financial stability. • The discussion surrounding the transition from quarters to semesters is continuing.

• A path on the bouldering wall in the climbing area needs to be repositioned before the area opens. • Bike racks will be installed near the sports complex.

Katie Morrow, ASI chief of staff:

Kaitlin Harr, vice chair of the board reported:

• A “Greenovation” Event will take place on May 16 and 17 in the UU Plaza and on Dexter Lawn — she said ASI will be giving out reusable bags and educating students on legislation in San Luis Obispo County regarding plastic bags.

• The 2012-13 ASI Operating Budget was passed.

Karen Mesrobian, chair of UU Advisory Board reported: • New furniture will be in the UU on Monday for testing • Three hydration stations will be installed in the UU during the summer.

Preston Allen, interim vice president of Student Affairs reported: • University Housing will introduce 15 “Themed Communities” to Sierra Madre and Yosemite towers in Fall Quarter 2012. Bonnie Murphy, Cal Poly Corporation representative reported:

ASI President

Nominations for Chair of the Board

Katie Morrow

ASI Chair of University Union Advisory Board

Derek Majewski Tatiana Prestininzi Kaitlin Harr Nate Honeycutt

Haley Houle

ASI Board of Directors Agriculture 1. Rosebud Brumley 2. Kaitlin Harr 3. Taylor Pires 4. Tatiana Prestininzi 5. Keifer Reischl

Liberal Arts 1. Aaron Borgeson 2. Erin Canino 3. Nate Honeycutt 4. Emily Kucera

• There is a proposal of a second Starbucks on campus.

Science & Math 1. Jordan Lippincott 2. Derek Majervski 3. Sarah Packwood 4. Megan Wookey

Engineering Engineering 1. Silvia Aguilar 2. Ashley Brooke 3. Evan Domingue 4. Connor Paquin 5. Melinda Phan

Business 1. Cody Abramson 2. Katie Brennan 3. Katie Calkins 4. Emily Mallett

Architecture 1. Dominic Gonzales 2. Rachel Kramer


13 face hazing charges after student death DENISE-MARIE BALONA

The Orlando Sentinel

Prosecutors have filed charges against 13 people accused of taking part in the beating death of Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion after the marching band’s performance at the Florida Classic football game in Orlando last fall. Of the 13 defendants, 11 face felony hazing charges, OrangeOsceola State Attorney Lawson Lamar said Wednesday. Lamar said more than 20 misdemeanor charges also were being filed, including at least some involving “different victims who were not seriously injured.” In a news conference on Wednesday, Lamar called Champion’s death following an attack aboard a charter bus on Nov. 19 “nothing short of an American tragedy.” “I have come to believe that hazing is a term for bullying,” Lamar said. “It’s bullying with a tradition — a tradition that we cannot bear in America.” Later in the day, authorities announced the arrests of two of those charged with felony hazing — Caleb Jackson, 23, and Rikki Wills, 24, a FAMU drum major last fall. They were booked in the Leon County jail in Tallahassee. The jail website shows Jackson has been previously booked on several charges, including aggravated battery. The names of others charged will not be released until they are arrested. Authorities would not say whether all defendants are FAMU students, but Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said Champion was “beaten severely by fellow band members.” The attorney for the Champion family, Christopher Chest-

nut, said Champion’s parents were “very disappointed” because they had hoped for more serious charges. “Their son is dead. He was beaten to death on a bus — that constitutes murder,” Chestnut said. Champion, 26, was punched, kicked and suffocated by his fellow band members, according to a wrongful death lawsuit Chestnut filed in February against the charter-bus company and bus driver. Chestnut has said that more than 20 people were onboard the bus the night Champion was hazed. Lamar agreed that Champion was “beaten to death on that bus,” referring to a medical examiner’s report citing “blunt force trauma sustained during the hazing incident” that resulted in hemorrhaging, shock and death. But he stressed what other legal authorities have already said: The Champion case is complex because of the number of defendants. Prosecution of the case, much like the investigation, will be labor intensive and time consuming, he said. Hazing charges also will be easier to prove than murder or manslaughter, Lamar said, pointing out that the state will have to prove only two things: participation in hazing and that a death occurred. While the Champions were hoping for more ambitious charges, Chestnut said they were relieved to see the case moving forward. The pace of the investigation had left them frustrated — even more so as they learned that Tallahassee police made arrests in unrelated hazing incidents involving members of FAMU’s Marching 100. A total of seven FAMU students were charged with either felony or misde-

meanor hazing in December and January. On Dec. 12, three FAMU students were arrested on felony hazing charges after a freshman was beaten so severely that her leg was broken. Two of the three students also were charged with felony battery. Clarinetist Bria Hunter, who has since left the university and given up an $82,000 scholarship, told authorities Nov. 7 that she was repeatedly punched on the thighs and hit with a metal ruler during initiation rituals to join the “Red Dawg Order,” which comprises band members from Georgia. Prosecutors have been mulling possible charges in Champion’s death since late March, when investigators with the Orange Sheriff’s Office and Florida Department of Law Enforcement turned over their findings to prosecutors. Each of the 11 charged with felony hazing also faces two charges of misdemeanor hazing. Two other defendants also face one count each of misdemeanor hazing. FAMU President James Ammons and the chairman of the school’s board of trustees, Solomon Badger, released a joint statement stressing that FAMU has taken “significant steps” in recent months to end hazing. “We are vigorously working to eradicate hazing from FAMU and doing everything within our power to ensure an incident like this never happens again,” they said. The band remains suspended, with no decision as to whether it will perform in the fall. An attorney for longtime band director Julian White, who has been on paid leave since Champion’s death, said White’s cooperation helped in other FAMU hazing investigations.

STATE SAN DIEGO — The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) apologized to a UC San Diego student who said he drank his own urine to survive after being left in a holding cell for five days without food, water or access to a toilet. The man, identified by news outlets as 23-year-old Daniel Chong, was “accidentally” left in the holding cell after he and eight others were detained for questioning after an April 21 raid in which agents found guns, ammunition and an array of drugs, including 18,000 ecstasy pills, the DEA said.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Taste the town with Flavor of SLO ANDREA KANG

Six Cal Poly students will host the fourth annual Flavor of SLO, a food, wine and beer tasting event in downtown San Luis Obispo on Sunday. The event will raise funds for United Way of San Luis Obispo County, an organization which provides education, income and health support to community members. Communication studies seniors Lisa Hillebrecht, Allison Sasscer, Quinn Thompson, Sarah Cooper, Alyssa Santos and Courtney Wen will host Flavor of SLO as their senior project, having divided the event coordination throughout the year between event planning, vendors and marketing. “It’s cool to see all of our hard work and all our knowledge from communication studies pay off, and our ability to donate to a really great cause,” said Santos, one of the event marketing coordinators. “It’s really important for us to draw community members, especially because we’re donating to the San Luis Obispo community.” Flavor of SLO will consist of more than 20 local vendors, a raffle and silent auction. Attendees will sample an array of Italian, Asian, Mexican, American and Mediterranean food in addition to beer and wine from Paso Robles, Avila and Edna Valley. “Normally if you went wine tasting, you would have to pay for every winery you go to, and same with breweries,” Santos said. “At our event you have a

PARTICIPATING VENDORS • Luna Red • Upper Crust Trattoria • Petra Mediterranean Pizza & Grill • Lotus Asia’s Best • La Palapa • Sweet Earth Organic Chocolates • Mother’s Tavern • Tahoe Joe’s • Spike’s Pub • Claiborne & Churchill Vintners • Sextant Wines • Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards • Saucelito Canyon Vineyards • Frolicking Frog Cellar • Edna Valley Vineyards • Firestone Wines • SanTasti

flat fee … you just pay once, and then you would be able to taste over 20 vendors.” Attendees can also enjoy live performances by jazz musician Dave Burns and local alternative and folk band History of Painters while tasting and mingling. “We’re expecting a really good response to those (performers) because they’re both local,” Santos said.


“(Flavor of SLO is) a really good networking opportunity for a lot of different majors,” co-event coordinator Allison Sasscer said. In addition to entertainment, students will have unique networking opportunities at the event they normally would not have otherwise, said Allison Sasscer, a co-event coordinators “It’s a really good networking opportunity for a lot of different majors — wine and viticulture majors, business majors, any kind of sales, marketing,” Sasscer said. “There’s just opportunities to talk to managers and peo-

ple who are in charge that normally you wouldn’t be able to get a hold of. It’s like a free job fair.” There will be some limitations in the student population that can attend, as Flavor of SLO is a 21-and-over event. However, those who are old enough have the advantage of exploring many different San Luis Obispo venues in one spot, said Lisa Hillebrecht, a co-event coordinator. Many local organizations and businesses have contributed efforts in planning and supporting the event, Hillebrecht said. “From the United Way board members we’ve seen an incredible amount of generosity and support and just a lot of guidance,” Hillebrecht said. “With the local vendors, they’re willing to give us their whole day and serve and donate their food, wine and drinks, and even donations to our silent auction. It’s been really great to see the whole community come together.” Besides the local community’s support and donations, the media has played a big role in the event’s publicity and funding, Santos said. Krush 92.5, a wine radio station, is sponsoring the event. Last year, 223 event tickets were sold, raising thousands of dollars for United Way, said AmeriCorps VIP fellow of United Way Jessica Blum. This year’s ticket sales look promising as well. “We’ve sold more by this date than last year on this date, so

it’s on a good track,” Blum said. “Hopefully, the word has gotten out more because it is such a fun and interesting event.” Flavor of SLO was created in 2009 by a Cal Poly student as a senior project to stimulate interest in local restaurants, wineries and breweries. A team of communication studies seniors continues to produce the event every year since, offering a new

set of vendors and raising funds for United Way each time. The event will take place Sunday at the Jack House & Gardens, located at 536 Marsh Street, from 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets are $45 for general admission and $30 for students. They are available online or the day of the event for $55 for general admission and $40 for students.

“Rollin’” • PHOTO CREDIT Krisha Agatep •

MDarts 5


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Independent comic book stores are opening their doors Saturday and letting the customers be the heroes by giving away free comics for the 11th annual Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) aimed to create more interest in comics. More than 3,500 U.S. and European comic shops, including local stores Captain Nemo Games and Dr. Cain’s Comics and Games, will participate in FCBD by giving away more than 3.5 million special editions of comic books, said Leslie Bowser, FCBD spokeswoman. There are more than 40 different comics to choose from, including “SpongeBob,” “The Avengers” and “Spiderman.” “FCBD is a perfect occasion for customers to discover comic books,” Bowser said. “We encourage new and current readers to use FCBD as an opportunity to learn about the great comic books and pop culture merchandise to be found at their local comic book shop. Hopefully, they’ll walk away with free comics they can’t wait to read, then keep coming back to their local shop for more.” FCBD was first conceived by independent comic book storeowner Joe Field of Flying Colors Comics. North America held its first FCBD in 2002, and its main goals were to introduce the joy of comics to new readers, bring back old

readers and show appreciation for lifelong readers. Cal Poly English professor Brenda Helmbrecht knows there is more to comics than meets the eye. She has helped usher in a new curriculum that focuses on graphic novels and comics and the different visual techniques used in them. Helmbrecht uses graphic novels specifically in her “Rhetoric of Image” course because of the various techniques they use to tell a story. For example, the uses of gutters between each image help tell a reader how to interact with the images, Helmbrecht said. Together, graphic novels and comics have also evolved in the types of stories being told. “I’m continually amazed when I look at new comics

and graphic novels and how complex the stories are,” Helmbrecht said. “They are so personal. The stories are almost moving away from focusing on the supernatural and fantastic, and they are getting into the personal lives of the artists themselves.” Though classes such as Helmbrecht’s teach students that comics offer more than children’s entertainment, local comic shops are looking to spread the excitement of comic books within the local community. Captain Nemo Games is not only offering free comics, but the store is allowing people to leave with up to five comic books. Everyone can pick two comics from the FCBD collection and three comics from their back stock with no purchase necessary, said Ray Hanson,

co-owner of Captain Nemo Games. “We look forward to this day every year,” Hanson said. “It’s a blast. Nothing is more uplifting and fun with a Saturday then free comics.” Dr. Cain’s on the other hand will be offering free comic books in addition to allowing customers to use its screen printing machine to make T-shirts, said Reid

Cain, owner of Dr. Cain’s Comics and Games. To screen print a shirt, Dr. Cain’s will be selling shirts for $5 or students can bring in their own shirts for free. Cain said he has been planning on getting more obscure entertainment for this

year’s Free Comic Book Day. “We are currently trying to get a palm reader to come out,” Cain said. “You know, try and get something different and weird out here.” Captain Nemo Games and Dr. Cain’s Comics and Games will be giving away free comic books while supplies last all day Saturday.

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“‘My child is going to have to read by 1 and walk by 2.’ ‘Cause that’s when he’s going to work.’”

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Political scandals are a zero-sum game Andrew Bloom is an English senior and Mustang Daily liberal columnist. Last week, in a week which presented a multitude of socalled scandals within the Obama bureaucracy — one of which, perhaps, even meriting the designation of actual scandal — what must be the right’s first opportunity for a lucrative argument against the administration’s competence has already been soured by the idiotic rhetoric of the typical Republican base. Not many people even know who Ted Nugent is anymore or why he is even remotely name-worthy in the political sphere. Calling him a musician is a stretch — his guitar playing is obnoxious and uninspired — and his conservative humdrum is similarly removed from the Lynyrd Skynyrd he so obviously covets. Yet this is the man’s sole source of fame. And now Nugent’s incendiary and racist comments about President Obama have seeped into the news cycle, challenging a set of perfectly juicy election-year scandals for our feeble attention spans. It’s perplexing, really. Nugent said something to the effect that if Obama is reelected, he (Obama? Nugent?) would be either dead or incarcerated within a year’s time. And sensing when one of their own has overstepped even by their morning news standards, Fox News talk show hosts are now quibbling over what Nugent really meant. If Nugent was pledging to carry out some sort of assassination, well, that is the sort of naive banter that we can sadly no longer afford not to take seriously. For the

English majors have a foreign language requirement, so we’re cool. :P — Anon In response to “CSU unit cap to begin in fall”

record: it doesn’t matter who you are or how subtle your mastery of sarcasm, talking in front of an audience about killing the President will earn you an investigation by the Secret ... well, we’ll get to them in a moment. But if it was as Fox & Friends suggests — that Obama’s own people would kill Nugent, presumably to quash the sage outpouring of his infinite wisdom — then the news would seem to have just as much to talk about. I imagine Bill O’Reilly put on the spot: “Apart from Osama Bin Laden, Bill, can you produce the name of one other person killed by President Obama or his ‘people’?” Oh, how I miss Keith Olbermann at times like these. Similar efforts to probe the Secret Service scandal in Columbia are going nowhere. True enough, the agents implicated in the prostitution allegations have somehow managed to blight one of the last remaining political institutions of bipartisan esteem, but this mere cynicism does not win elections. Nor have the agents done anything strictly

illegal; if prostitution happens to be legal in Columbia, then that is plainly the country’s rule of law and none of our conservative moral pornography can hope to spin such facts into a real scandal. There is, I feel, a real scandal in Washington. And it seems in their separate failings, Nugent and the Secret Service have stolen all the coverage of political misbehavior we can handle for the moment — much to the benefit of Obama and the bureaucracy. I’m speaking about the lavish tab run up by the recentlyspotlighted General Services Administration (GSA) to the tune of $820,000 in fun-filled training seminars in Las Vegas. The principle task of the GSA, for those not in the know, is to preclude and curtail reckless spending in government agencies. I suppose we all have a right to be outraged by such a brash and hypocritical fleecing of the American taxpayer, but some extraordinary umbrage seems reserved for the failure of the executive branch to claim its responsibility in

the mess. Calls for the White House to repudiate its involvement in the Columbian prostitution uproar seem trite and political in the face of this genuine calamity. I am not idealistic enough not to forgive a political scandal here and there in the administration I endorse, but for a scandal to hit home so close to the message of responsible spending that the White House has touted since Obama’s height-of-therecession inauguration desperately begs for clarification. And while I foresee a swift re-election for Obama in November, I am uneasy with anything that could serve as live ammunition in the hands of even today’s feckless Republican obstructionism. And though the week’s news cycle contains enough fumbling on either side of the aisle to warrant a prefacing similar to any Vonnegut novel — none of this actually matters — I am ill at ease with the notion that the vector addition of all the scandals in America might lead you back to exactly where it started.

Illegal immigration should no longer be hot topic The following editorial appeared in the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday. The number of immigrants coming illegally to the United States has been declining for several years. Demographers have repeatedly said as much, and now a report by the Pew Hispanic Center confirms it — illegal migration from Mexico is virtually at a standstill. Last year, approximately 6.1 million Mexicans were illegally in the country, down from a high of 7 million in 2007. What accounts for the change after decades of steady increases? A declining birth rate and solid economic growth in Mexico have led fewer people to leave home. On this side of the border, a weak economy has made the U.S. less appealing for job seekers; and tougher border security has made the treacherous journey too expensive and dangerous for most, according to the report. You might think that this would take some of the pressure off, and that the Republicans and immigration

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racing) are a blast. Just being there is really cool. Everyone there at some point during the weekend is going to push themselves to the limit, so it’s pretty cool to be around that.” While Wildflower will fall on Cinco de Mayo weekend, Morehardt said he does not think there will be any problems. “The volunteers are go-

hawks who have spent recent years demanding tougher border security might begin to turn their attention elsewhere. You might think they’d recognize, as many demographers now do, that illegal immigration is going to stay down for a while and that continuing efforts to militarize the border will yield diminishing returns. The reality is that the border is more secure and less porous than it has been in decades. The more pressing question now is what to do with the 11 million illegal immigrants from Mexico and elsewhere who are already here. Some Republicans want to redouble efforts to deport them; Mitt Romney has said he hopes they will “self-deport.” But such fantasies of a mass exodus are as unrealistic as the demand for a vacuum-sealed border. The Obama administration is already detaining and deporting a record number of immigrants — nearly 400,000 annually. Besides, a real exodus would leave some sectors of the domestic economy struggling. Right now, more than half of all farm-

workers in the U.S. are here illegally. Deporting them won’t push Americans into the fields. Just ask farmers in Alabama and other states that have enacted draconian measures who have found their crops rotting in the field because of labor shortages. Fixing immigration requires more than an enforcement-only strategy. Lawmakers must undertake a com-

ing to party just as much as if it were Cinco de Mayo or not — I mean, it’s Wildflower.” For volunteers, “You’re lucky if you can get to sleep by 2 a.m.,” Morehardt said. “And then at 5 a.m., they bring fire trucks and ambulances and set the sirens off and go around and shake your tents to wake you up.” However, “people always get their act together for race day,” Morehardt said. Morehardt said the race would not be possible without all of the volunteers from

Cal Poly. At least 573 greek-affiliated volunteers signed up to help at the events this weekend. Chris Nielson, a history and political science sophomore and member of Delta Chi fraternity, said that volunteering at Wildflower is a fun way to earn spring quarter volunteer hours required for the fraternity. “A lot of guys like going, volunteering and helping out,” said Nielson, who will be attending Wildflower for the second time. The most inspirational

prehensive approach that includes a path to legalization for those who are here, an agricultural worker program to help growers and farmhands, and strict workplace enforcement to discourage people from coming illegally in the future.

This is just getting ridiculous. I cannot tell you how happy I am to be graduating before all of this takes effect. Enjoy living in a world of increased government and decreased class availability, Cal Poly. President Armstrong, I urge you to stop being pushed around on issues like unit caps, semesters, budget cuts, changing the name of the El Corral Bookstore, etc, etc, etc. We are Cal Poly. We are special. We are unique. We are the flagship for the entire CSU, please don’t let us become CSU Cuesta, just like the rest of the CSU system. — warren “eyebrows” baker In response to “CSU unit cap to begin in fall” If Cal Poly is going to go after greek life for minors drinking, they should be fair and apply this to every club/organization that affiliates with the campus. I am sure the Cal Poly community is aware that other clubs and organizations on campus also have minors drinking at their social events, and they do not do half as much as what greek life willingly participates in to stay affiliated with the campus. In addition, the tragic events that involved Carson should not be used as a blanket and applied to every fraternity on campus. Just because the organizations are listed as a fraternity on campus, it doesn’t mean that all fraternities act on the same principles. Each fraternity has a different story as to how they became the organization they are today. One fraternity that was affiliated with this campus chose to force new members to drink in excessive amounts, it is not the same as social drinking at a party, and I can assure you that every greek member was shocked and saddened by the events that happened and would NEVER want that to happen with somebody they call their brother. — F.S. In response to “Fraternity gets cease and desist” NOTE: The Mustang Daily features select comments that are written in response to articles posted online. Though not all the responses are printed, the Mustang Daily prints comments that are coherent and foster intelligent discussion on a given subject. No overcapitalization, please.


It’s truly remarkable to help encourage runners who are pushing themselves to their limits — it’s incredible. CHRIS NIELSON WILDFLOWER VOLUNTEER

part of Wildflower is helping the athletes finish their race, Nielson said. “It’s truly remarkable to help encourage runners who are pushing

themselves to their limits — it’s incredible,” he said. Allison Montroy contributed to this article.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Top Shelf comes to UU hour DYLAN HONEA-BAUMANN

Top Shelf, a band that plays multiple genres with an emphasis in reggae and rock based out of Ukiah, will play at Concerts in the Plaza today. The band’s Cal Poly performance will be its first show of a month-long international tour. Normally when you hear someone say top shelf, they’re talking about the highest quality of booze at a bar, lead singer Carter Lane said. The band played on that by making it mean that the members provide the highest-quality music, he said. “Lyrical inspiration for us comes from all sorts of different things,” Lane said. “Anything from the struggles that we have individually, to the struggles that we have as a whole — just anything related to life; basically how I relate to the world and how the world relates to me.” During the band’s time at Cal Poly and on tour, Top Shelf will be playing its new songs as well as older ones. The newer music will be off the album called “The Sound,” which came out last year and was rated No. 15 on the reggae Billboard charts and No. 9 on the iTunes reggae charts, Lane said. It won Best World Music from the San Diego Music Awards, he said. Top Shelf will also play its new single, “Earthquake,” that will be on an album set to come out on May 29, he said. “Earthquake,” can be downloaded for free off of Top Shelf’s website. Top Shelf also had a music video of its song “We Still Burn,” from its last album, aired on MTV, Lane said. At this point, Lane said the band’s most popular song is

probably “Moonlights” from “The Sound” album. In addition to the success of the last album, having opportunities to play with several huge bands, landing tours in Mexico, Hawaii and Asia, are the band’s biggest accomplishments, Lane said. But as far as college performances go, Lane said aside from playing at California State University, Chico, Top Shelf hasn’t played at big colleges. The business varies with what season it is, Lane said. During spring and summer the band is on the road a lot, but during fall and winter, Top Shelf is at home working on music a lot, Lane said. After today, the band’s tour will keep members on the road until June 10. “I’d say the biggest challenges are balancing life on the road with life off of the road,” Lane said. “The differences of being on the road and off of the road have been really challenging.” After today’s show at Cal Poly, Top Shelf will play in Santa Barbara tomorrow night and then be back in San Luis Obispo on Saturday night to play at SLO Brewing Co. (SLO Brew). After that show, Top Shelf travels to Asia with Mystic Roots, one of the bands Lane said inspired his band when it was first starting out. Top Shelf has been together as a band for nine years, Lane said. Aside from a guitarist from Santa Rosa, all the members grew up in Northern California together and moved to Chico when their drummer, Drew Nicoll, decided to go to school there. The band then got serious when the members saw Mystic Roots playing big shows and parties in Chico, Lane said. The tour that Top Shelf and Mystic Roots will do in Asia is

to benefit U.S. Military Troops, Lane said. “We’re going over there for all the troops,” Lane said. “It’s our first time doing anything like this. The military is paying for the whole thing. It’s just some sort of military service that’s part of their budget I guess. I don’t think, necessarily, that we have a huge draw over there; it’s more of just a service that we can provide for the troops to give a little something back.” Mystic Roots will be headlining, and Lane said Top Shelf is going to be the support for them. “I think the military has been providing stuff like this for a long time,” Lane said. “Mystic Roots has done it before, and this time it just worked out for us to go with them.” When contacted, Top Shelf’s drummer, Nicoll, was practicing for their upcoming collaboration with Mystic Roots, in Asia. Top Shelf will play the opening set for an hour, Nicoll said. Everyone but the singer is learning Mystic Roots songs because the band will be playing with them for the tour, Nicoll said. He said the members will play with cootdog — the manager, producer, singer, keyboard player and rapper for Mystic Roots — the other singer, Cat, and two horn players, Nicoll said. “We’ve never done it before, and we just got the offer a week ago,” Nicoll said. “We have to learn 25 songs in a week while we’re doing our own tour. We had to book some rehearsal space in SLO to practice.” For Nicoll, watching his personal favorite artists perform is his biggest inspiration, he said. “We’re not just a reggae band or a rock band, we just sort of take whatever kind of influ-

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“We just sort of take whatever kind of influences we’re listening to at the time and make our own music,” Top Shelf drummer Drew Nicoll (far right) said. ences we’re listening to at the time and make our own music,” Nicoll said. “We’re all over the place. Reggae and rock is the foundation of what we play.” Nicoll said Top Shelf stays true to its roots but plays various types of music, even electronica. The band’s most recent music is a culmination of where Top Shelf has been and where its going, Nicoll said. Mystic Roots fell in love with the Top Shelf vibe back when the members lived in Chico, and they’ve been working together for five years, cootdog said. He said Top Shelf feels like his band’s

brothers in the industry. “The biggest thing we’re doing is taking them to South Korea and Japan,” cootdog said. “You can always count on seeing us involved in each others’ projects.” He even produced Top Shelf’s second album, “The Sound.” “Sometimes I fit in with the band and play keys for them if we’re ever in the same place at the same time,” cootdog said. “I produced their last album, so I was all over that on keyboards and vocals. It’s been all good, the only challenge is sometimes we want to play together and one of us is booked somewhere

else. Whenever we’re in the same place it’s all good.” In addition to Top Shelf releasing a new album this year, Mystic Roots is also releasing a new album called “Campfire,” cootdog said. “Watch out for Top Shelf and Mystic Roots blowing it up in 2012,” cootdog said. “We’d love to play at Cal Poly, all somebody has to do is call us to book us. We’ve got a lot of love for Cal Poly; we’ve played at SLO Brew numerous times and made a lot of friends in that area.” The Top Shelf concert is today in the University Union from 11 a.m. to noon.

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cal Poly sends thousands to Wildflower MUSTANG DAILY STAFF REPORT

This year marks the 30th annual Wildflower Triathlon this weekend at Lake San Antonio, where more than 900 Cal Poly students will volunteer and support the Cal Poly Triathlon team. The Avia Wildflower triathlons consist of three races — the long course, mountain bike and olympic distance triathlons — and three days of festivities and camping. The weekend event is historically known for kicking off the triathlon season for

most competing age groups — the season starts now and goes through summer. For the Cal Poly Triathlon Team, the race marks the end of their season. Chandler Morehardt, an architectural engineering junior and member of the triathlon team, said this is an event that everyone looks forward to all year. “Most of the volunteers are Cal Poly people, and (Wildf lower) being so close to SLO, we like to think of it as our hometown race,” Morehardt said. Having all that Cal Poly support during the race creates “a

really uplifting atmosphere,” Morehardt said. “If you’re wearing any kind of Cal Poly gear, you’re a rockstar. People just go crazy for you.” Between the triathlons, there will be live music and a healthy lifestyle expo full of triathlon-related companies and booths. “I’m 50 percent excited for the race and 50 percent excited for the camping, watching other people race and the expo,” Morehardt said. Even so, Morehardt said one of the most exciting parts of the weekend is watching the start of the races. “The start is chaos,” More-

hardt said. “Compared to all the other triathlons during the season, it’s the biggest start. You get kicked in the face, your feet pulled; it’s just madness. It’s nuts.” During the races, volunteers hand out water, help at

aid stations and cheer on the triathletes. “I volunteered freshman year and it was really fun,” Morehardt said. “Both experiences (volunteering and see WILDFLOWER, pg. 6

WORD ON THE STREET Describe Wildflower in one word.

“Intense.” • Mackenzie Allen nutrition freshman

“Vigorous.” • Cameron Javier computer science freshman


Architecture engineering junior Chandler Morehardt (above) said he looks forward to the race and festivities at Wildflower.

• Cami Thacher theatre arts senior