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FALL 2015 FALL 2015 ∙ 1


Banning Ramirez


Alexander Woodard



Brian Cohen Jami Eiring Patrick Maravelias Marissa Papanek Louis Ramirez Deyana Spasova Savanna Vandenheuvel Alexander Woodard



Osprey Magazine c/o Department of Journalism & Mass Communication 1 Harpst Street, Arcata, CA 95521

Marissa Papanek Trevor Roe Brian Cohen Dane Corle Jami Eiring Patrick Maravelias Marissa Papanek Banning Ramirez Trevor Roe Deyana Spasova Savanna Vandenheuvel Alexander Woodard


Savanna Vandenheuvel



ON THE COVER: Professional downhill mountain biker and HSU student Ali Osgood stands with her jersey and medals from Collegiate Nationals. Osgood had the fastest time of all the Division I and II women riders. | Alexander Woodard

Jami Eiring

Jami Eiring Jessica Knupper Marissa Papanek Garrett Purchio Jeremy Fischer Amanda Hustrulid

EST. 1973 FALL 2015

Professor Victoria Sama

Humboldt State University journalism students work together to publish the award-winning Osprey magazine every semester. The staff, under the leadership of the editor-in-chief, determines the magazine’s content and design. Everyone takes part in production, developing story ideas, writing, editing copy, shooting photographs, creating graphics, designing layout and distributing the magazine. Osprey’s printed version is distributed to our main readers on campus and in Arcata and surrounding communities. The Osprey won several prestigious awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the California College Media Association. Teamwork is our motto.

FALL 2015 ∙ 3



Climb Like a Duck


The World According to Fred


From Jail Cell to Classroon

Easy, cheap unique holiday gifts using upcycled materials

An HSU student’s journey to become the fastest tree climber

(between H and G streets)


You Can DIY

Friday 12:00-9:30 pm Saturday-Sunday 4:00-9:00 pm

Scream and Spit! Throw a Fit! Everyone Get in the Moshpit!

(closed Tuesdays)


Monday-Thursday 12:00-9:00 pm


All-American Returns to HSU After Cleveland Browns Minicamp

Students pull for outsiders

768 18th street Arcata, CA 95521

Bern Down for What



HSU cyclist wins second national championship

Golden Gravity Girl

SUSHI TAO Classic&OriginalRolls


Adult education classes taught in the Humboldt County Jail brings former inmate to College of the Redwoods


The Re-Awakening of Star Wars


Remembering Mac McClary


Al’s Arcata Pizza Guide


Spring Semester Event Calendar


How to Cheat


Editor’s Note FALL 2015 ∙ 5


Above: Ali Osgood practices downhill mountain biking in the community forest in Arcata, California. 6 ∙ OSPREY

li Osgood pedals her mountain bike quickly down a steep, wooded trail in Snowshoe, West Virginia on an overcast October afternoon. Tucked low and gripping the handlebars tightly, she hits speeds over 40 mph. Twisting through tight turns and oak trees she approaches the base of the ski resort, the finish line within sight. “Sometimes you just know when you really are faster than others,” she said. “This was one of those times.”

FALL 2015 ∙ 7

Osgood is riding for the Humboldt State cycling team on her final downhill run at the U.S. Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships. Just like downhill skiers, downhill mountain bikers race solo against the clock. Riders have one chance to bolt down a trail spanning one to two miles filled with steep drops, sharp turns and crumbly dry dirt. Any mistake can cost riders the entire race. Eyes focused, she charges through the finish line with the fastest time of the day: 4 minutes and 57 seconds. She is now the national champion. Osgood not only beat all of the downhill racers in Division II (the conference HSU competes in against other small universities) but her time crushed all of the women in Division I as well. Her closest competitor was defending national champion and friend Ariana Altier from Chico State, who finished second. The two have raced against each other since 2013, often switching back and forth at the top of the podium. “It’s great to have someone that pushes others to race harder,” Altier said. “If I had never raced against Ali, my times wouldn’t have ever been as fast as they were.” Since she started racing collegiate competitions in 2012, Osgood has won 17 races including two national championships. Her first national title was at the 2014 Gravity Mountain Bike National Championships in Angel Fire, New Mexico. Osgood won the highest amateur category. Her time would have landed her in fifth place among the professional-class racers. “I felt as if the downhill Gods had said ‘OK,’” Osgood said, “like someone had finally opened the barn door and let me run free.”

said. “Then I was in a cast for five more weeks. I was going crazy and I just wanted to be back racing.”

before she felt comfortable and began dominating the trail. The result was a first place win: her second of the weekend.



With her first national championship under her belt, Osgood made up her mind about pursuing a professional cycling career. In May she began racing for the Kona professional team, but her career got off to a rough start. After finishing her first pro race in Ashland, Oregon, Osgood and her friends returned to ride the mountain for fun. During that ride, she rode into a turn with too much speed and was sent over her handlebars, breaking her left radius. “I spent a week and a half in a sling,” Osgood 8 ∙ OSPREY

old, Ali remembers her mother encouraging her and twin brother Aaron to take their training wheels off. At 4, their mother entered them into a kid’s mountain bike race. Though the kids race was nothing serious, Osgood grew up competing in events including Iron Kids triathlons, basketball, cross country running, swimming, diving, and bmx biking. She didn’t ride downhill until she was 23. “Ali has been a competitor her entire life,” Sharon Osgood said. “In 12th grade she qualified in the Central Coast Section regionals for three separate sports all while racing in a mountain bike series.” Growing up in Monterey, Osgood remembers attending the Sea Otter Classic, a well known bicycling competition held in her hometown since 1991. Since she could remember, Osgood idolized professional rider Marla Streb. “I literally grew up watching Streb race,” Osgood said. “Her racing and personality still have huge influential role on my riding. Even the guys at work call me ‘Lil Streb’ and think it annoys me.” She pauses. “But I secretly love it.”

After being off her bike for seven weeks, she was mentally ready to race and prove to her sponsors she was worth their time. She wanted redemption. Osgood’s first collegiate race back from injury was in September at the Sky Tavern Sufferfest, hosted by the University of Nevada, Reno. Sitting atop her mountain bike on the downhill course, she couldn’t quite shake her nerves. It didn’t take long

ABOVE: Ali Osgood maintains her mountain bike while at work at Revolution Bicycle Repair.

“In the back of my head I didn’t want to let anyone down,” Osgood said. “Reno was the confidence booster I needed to feel like myself again.”


Competitive racing is not new to Osgood. Her mother Sharon is a triathlon coach and has been a mentor to Ali since she was a toddler. At just 3 years

Now 25, Osgood races in professional and collegiate circuits while studying journalism at HSU. She hosts a show featuring Beatles music on the student radio station KRFH and works at the local bike shop Revolution Bicycle Repair. In October she was the director of the HSU Cycling Club’s mountain bike race at Lacks Creek near Blue Lake. Osgood coordinated four events over that hometown race weekend which attracted dozens of cyclists from 13 universities including San Luis Obispo, Stanford and Santa Cruz. In addition to that heavy responsibility, she also competed in the downhill event. It was her first race since her wins in Reno a month earlier, and while being the main organizer, she still managed to win it. Chico’s Altier got third. “Coordinating was insanely stressful but was also a great experience,” Osgood said. “I was relieved when the weekend was over and it was a nice surprise to have won.” Osgood is also involved in the cycling community, serving on the board of directors for the FALL 2015 ∙ 9

Redwood Coast Mountain Bike Association. Over the past two years, the RCMBA, Humboldt Trails Council and Bureau of Land Management developed and built 16 miles of biking trails at Lacks Creek. The HSU competition was the first event ever held there. Racing bikes isn’t cheap. Osgood receives some support from her employer and sponsor at Revolution. In 2013, before Osgood was sponsored or employed, Revolution helped her find her first downhill bike. Shop owners Sean Tetrault and Justin Brown said they had never ridden with anyone like her with such quick, natural skill. “It’s not everyday you see someone come through with such raw talent,” Tetrault said. “We saw that and wanted to help support her as she progressed.”


As the only female rider at nationals to break a time under five minutes, Osgood hoped to inspire other women to do so, too. HSU teammate Sara Schneider, who finished third, said riding with Osgood has helped her progress. “Ali has definitely had a positive impact on my riding,” Schneider said. “She’s constantly pushing for women riders to get faster times and show that we can do it too.” Now that the collegiate mountain bike season is over, Osgood has her eyes set on pro racing that starts in April. Her mission: podium in three races to qualify for an international race. To get a head start, Osgood begins strength training in December with her sponsors at Fit NorCal. Three of her upcoming pro-races are in west coast states. The Sea Otter Classic, held in her hometown of Monterey, will be Osgood’s first. The following weekend is the pro Gravity Racing Tour series in Port Angeles, Washington. Three weeks later, the Spring Thaw races in Ashland - the same mountain that broke her radius. “I’ve always aspired to race like Marla,” Osgood said. “Now my eyes are set to be racing World Cups in a couple years like her.” ◘ ◘ ◘

Osgood, left, racing against HSU teammate Sara Schneider in the dual slalom event at the University of Nevada, Reno’s home competition.


FALL 2015 ∙ 11




he U.S. presidential election is a year away and students are already campaigning for their favorite candidates. Super senior Robert Shearer heads the student group, Humboldt State for Bernie Sanders. He is one of the volunteers that runs the tables on the quad on Wednesdays or Thursdays attempting to get other students registered to vote for Sanders. “When he announced his candidacy for presidency, I was ecstatic,” Shearer said. “I literally spend hours every day thinking about the possibilities.” Shearer is a double major in botany and biology but also has a passion for politics. He wears a T shirt that reads “Bernie 2016” on the front and “Join the political revolution” on the back. He hands out stickers, flyers and voter registration forms and talks with students about the possibilities of Sanders as president. Some students keep walking by. Others stop and listen to Shearer and other volunteers such as senior English major Connor Amans. “The goal of tabling on the quad a year before the election is all about talking face to face with people and combatting the idea that their vote won’t make a difference,” Amans said. Shearer said when he first started handing out flyers on the quad, kids shrugged their shoulders. “They’d say, ‘who’s that?’ especially the younger ones. You know, those freshmen,” Shearer said. “I started chalking ‘Bernie 2016’ around campus and that’s when people started to look up who Bernie was. I think it was because I also put ‘free tuition’ there too.” Shearer, now 33, is in his seventh year at HSU


after attending College of the Redwoods and Bergen Community College in New Jersey. He had some disillusion with “the system.” At one point, Shearer doubted if his vote would even count. What made Shearer finally take on the presidential campaign was when he learned that the elected officials represent special interest groups with big money rather than everyday people. Shearer says Sanders is the only voice that makes sense. Now he wants to get this message across to other students. HSU political science professor John Meyer notices there is a fair amount of enthusiasm for Sanders. He says he has not seen this much political involvement on campus since Obama’s election in 2008. He notes Sanders is popular with the college and Humboldt crowd. “Sanders is seen as an outsider,” Meyer said. “He is willing to criticize Hillary Clinton who is much more of an insider and seen as the in group of politicians. Being the outsider he can take on the more popular stance, but I take it as a hopeful reflection that Sanders is introducing the idea of Democratic socialism in political debate.” Trinidad resident Liz Roth represents a community group supporting Sanders. She teamed up with Shearer as volunteer coordinator and event organizer for the HSU campus. Roth is retired, which allows her to spend at least 15 hours a week coordinating the local campaign. “I got really mad at Obama back in 2012 and have been pushing for Bernie ever since because he is truly one for the people,” Roth said. Roth organizes community events in support of Sanders, such as the viewing of the first Democratic presidential debate at the Arcata Theater Lounge on Oct. 13. Two hundred and fifty people packed

LEFT PAGE: Connor Amans tables on the UC quad, getting students registered to vote for the upcoming election. | Brain Cohen

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Bernie Sanders’ campaign platform:

Free college education for all Loan forgiveness Free healthcare to all Raise minimum wage to $15/ hour Close the wealth inequality gap Expand and protect social security Fight for more women’s and LGBT rights Deflate outrageous military spending Publicly address systemic racism • Legalize marijuana on the federal level • • • • • • • • •

Rand Paul’s campaign platform:

14.5 percent fair and flat tax More individual freedoms Support a balanced budget amendment Term limits on career politicians Make politicians read all bills before they vote on them. • Campaign slogan “Defeat the Washington machine, unleash the American dream.” • • • • •


the theater to watch the live broadcast. “I’m ecstatic about the turnout,” she said. “I’m a little shocked we had to turn away people at the door. I didn’t expect to do that, and people were getting a little upset.” When there was no room left Roth looked for alternatives. “Let’s give up our seats to let ten more in,” she said. The crowd cheered for Sanders. Shearer, perhaps the loudest of them all, making sarcastic comments every time Hillary Clinton took the microphone. “Oh she played the sex card. Hillary just played the sex card,” Shearer yelled. “Boo! Hillary’s frazzled right from the beginning. I bet she’s feeling the Bern!” Shearer says Sanders relies on small-dollar contributions while still raising just as much as Clinton. It may show why Sanders has a good following in Arcata. “My endorsement for Bernie acknowledges his refusal to take money from corporations, billionaires or super PACs because, as he says, he doesn’t represent their interests,” Shearer said. “While Hillary is funded by banks and corporations, Bernie is funded by unions and your everyday people.” On the other side of the political spectrum, students are pulling for Republican candidate Rand Paul who considers himself a libertarian, wanting a smaller government and more power to the states. Everett Heath is the president of HSU’s Young Americans for Liberty Club that endorses Paul. “Our group is all about promoting ideals of social and economic liberty,” Heath said. Heath is spreading the word about Paul on campus by tabling, chalking and inviting students to come and sit in on the Young Americans meetings. They are still in the early campaign process, only having a few meetings thus far. Heath is also a delegate of the College Republican Club, which said it also endorses Paul. Meyer believes Paul is also appealing to college students. “I think there is a good segment of the population in Humboldt that has long been attracted to the libertarian ideas: freedom from government and more individual freedoms to the everyday people,” Meyer said. Student political activism at HSU hasn’t been this high since the 2012 presidential election. According to research by Tufts University, more than half of the 7,047 full-time HSU student population, or 3,845 students, voted in 2012. That’s a 54 percent turnout: just slightly lower than the national average of 58 percent.

A 2013 study by the University of Michigan titled, “United States Historical Election Study,” showed Humboldt County voted for the national winner of each presidential election between 1920 and 1984. The last Republican presidential candidate to win the majority vote in Humboldt County was the re-election of Ronald Reagan in 1984. Since then, the majority of voters in the county have voted Democratic in presidential and congressional elections. In California, the vote for the presidential primary candidate is on June 7, 2016. Shearer will be ready, he explained, “Sanders can change the trajectory of humanity.” ◘ ◘ ◘

TOP LEFT: Local community residents turn out in large numbers to support Sanders at the ATL Democratic viewing party. | Alexander Woodard BOTTOM LEFT: Bernie Sanders sketch | Marissa Papanek BELOW: Rand Paul sketch | Marissa Papanek

FALL 2015 ∙ 15



PHOTO PROVIDED BY LOUIS RAMIREZ he Cleveland summer beams down on the Browns practice facility as the rookies arrive for their three-day minicamp. Alex Markarian from Humboldt State is one of them. A member of the Browns media team is filming their arrival as the rookies and Markarian take their first steps as NFL players. “It was hot. We have great football weather here, so it was definitely hotter than what I expected,” Markarian said about the Cleveland weather. “The biggest thing is I was playing on no sleep for the first couple days. That was messing me up, but your adrenaline from being in that situation kind of makes up for it.” All NFL teams hold a three-day rookie minicamp annually after the NFL draft. The teams hold these practices to get their newly acquired players acclimated prior to attending full team practices. After a standout senior season, Markarian was invited to the Browns rookie camp with the likes of Cleveland Browns draftees Cameron Erving of Florida State University, Danny Shelton from the University of Washington and Nate Orchard from the University of Utah. “I thought there would be a big separation in competition, and there was, with like Danny Shelton and Nate Orchard, those guys were freaks.” Markarian said about the level of competition at Browns rookie camp. “But everyone else there, it wasn’t what I expected, of being, oh you know, I’m the underdog. I was right there with them.” LEFT: Former defensive end, Alex Markarian, walks off the field after preventing Dixie State’s offense from scoring on Nov. 15, 2015 at the Redwood Bowl in Arcata, California | Louis Ramirez


Markarian even won multiple one-on-ones versus Cleveland Browns first round draft pick Cam Erving, as well as recording a couple of sacks and tackles for loss during their team practice sessions. Now a few months into the HSU school year, Markarian sits behind a desk rather than taking on first-round NFL draft picks. Although, Markarian, is an All-American, and now classified as a professional athlete, he wants to blend in. “The reason I came back to school and didn’t take that route of bouncing around was because it wasn’t my dream since I was a kid,” Markarian said about his opportunity in the NFL. Markarian’s rise to becoming an NFL prospect began when he was a junior as a relatively unknown Division II football player to becoming an All-American during his senior year at Humboldt State. Markarian endured a difficult path to make it from a Division II school to NFL Organized Team Activities with the Cleveland Browns. In hopes to showcase his talents to NFL scouts, Markarian attended the Super-Regional Combine in Denver, where he and thousands of other college football seniors went to test their abilities in front of NFL scouts. Markarian also attended San Diego State University’s pro day, where he showcased his abilities in the 40 yard dash, the bench press and other football specific drills. Although Markarian didn’t test as well as he had wanted, he still received text messages from the Browns coaching staff and Head Coach Mike Pettine letting him know that they were interested in Markarian becoming a part of the Browns. “I got a text from their defensive coordinator and the head coach. It was along the lines of, you know, ‘good luck in the draft, we watched your film, we like the way you play and we think you can fit in here as a Brown,’” Markarian said. Markarian responded saying he would love the opportunity to be a part of the Browns, which got him thinking he could be a selection in the NFL draft. “I was like, ‘okay if I’m getting drafted it’s going to be the seventh round but most likely free agency,’” Markarian said. “So once nothing happened in the seventh round I was waiting for a while and no one was giving me a call and then all of a sudden the Browns called me.” Markarian started playing football in seventh grade and also played at Ayala High School in Chino Hills. Markarian saw playing time as a freshman at HSU and became a full-time starter as a sophomore. Markarian recorded just one sack in his first season as a Lumberjack but by his senior year he led all of Division II football in sacks per game with a 1.4 average. In 2014, Markarian was recognized as the American Football Coaches Association’s

“All-American.” In addition, Markarian was selected as a Cliff Harris Award finalist, an award presented to the nation’s top small school defensive lineman. Despite Markarian’s opportunity with the Cleveland Browns, he didn’t always dream of being a professional athlete. “I didn’t put too much effort into because after my last season my mindset wasn’t, ‘okay let’s go to the NFL,’” Markarian said. “Coach [Shawn] Howe, he said you have an opportunity here. Not a lot of guys are in your position, you need to take this opportunity and that’s when I kinda woke up to it.” Even after Markarian was called to attend Cleveland Browns organized team activities, his mother didn’t want him to attend. “My mom didn’t want me to play in the NFL at all because you see all the head injuries and what goes on after, but I told her I gotta do this for me.” Several weeks prior to the NFL draft, Markarian’s agent set him up to attend training sessions at Athletic Performance in Fresno where he participated in three workouts per day with some current NFL players and other college seniors pursuing their chances in the NFL. “That was three workouts a day for a week and a half,” Markarian said. “That was probably the best professional training that I’ve got. That’s what those guys that are draft picks are doing from basically the end of the season all the way up until their combines, which I wish I had the opportunity to do because I got so much better in that week and a half than I did on my own.” Markarian has offers to tryout for other professional football teams such as the British Columbia Lions, San Jose Saberkats and Los Angeles Kiss. But he is not set on becoming a professional football player. He is back at HSU to finish his degree in business administration, focusing more on starting and managing his own business, than the NFL. “My greatest memories, my greatest experiences, that was all in Humboldt. To do what we did coming from losing every single game to being number one in so many areas and having great guys and great coaches around me, that’s what I’m going to remember. If were to all end there I would be completely fine with it,” Markarian said. “I know there’re other things I can do with my life. If it’s in my heart after this year and I just can’t live without football, then I’ll get back into NFL shape, and I’ll give it another shot. But it wasn’t really my dream since I was a kid, it was just an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.” ◘ ◘ ◘

2014 STATS

FALL 2015 ∙ 17

Scream and Spit! Throw a Fit! Everyone Get in the Moshpit! I RIGHT PAGE: Eric Simpson, left, and Nick Flores, right, of Smooth Weirdos perform in the KRFH Local Lixx Studio.



t’s a Saturday evening in Arcata and my 10 by 6 foot garage is lined with various wires and amplifiers, half-filled beer bottles, cigarette butts and broken bongs. Local Arcata hardcore punk band Smooth Weirdos tunes its instruments and adjusts a seemingly infinite number of knobs on the amplifiers. The garage begins to fill with friends, fans and ex-deadheads. Sean Bendon of Smooth Weirdos leans into the microphone. “How’s everyone doing tonight?” he asks. The crowd of 25 or so howls in approval. Nick Flores clacks his drumsticks together three times and the crowd erupts into chaos as the fast, powerful chords and warlike drum beats pulsate throughout the room. Random neighbors, passersby and a guy only known as “Metal Mike” join the fun as the crowd flails their bodies around the room in a violent, exciting fashion. I was thrown into the walls several times, only to heave myself back into the moshpit and send some other poor soul flying in the opposite direction. “If I’m ever describing Arcata I say it’s like a golden vein,” Flores said. “A little golden vein of music right in the middle of California.” Arcata has a thriving underground music scene in which live concerts are put together in a manner of hours every weekend. Local bands spread the word about shows with flyers and text messages, typically the night of the show. Kids in decayed and

ragged Slayer T shirts frantically move about the town gathering liquor and other kids in Slayer T shirts before the show begins. The Velvet Touch is a Eureka-based band that has played shows in Arcata for a little over a year. “We’ve put a show together in less than an hour before,” said Jonny Woods of The Velvet Touch. “It was super last minute and none of us had practiced but we weren’t gonna pass up the opportunity.” Bendon, Flores and Eric Simpson are the members of Smooth Weirdos. Flores and Bendon switch off playing guitar halfway through their shows while Simpson remains on bass. They grew up in different parts of Southern California but moved to Humboldt to pursue their music. “Everyone here is just really fucking down to support live music,” Bendon said. “Coming from playing shows in Southern California to playing up here, it’s completely different. Everyone just makes you feel so good.” Shows of this caliber and live music in general tend to bring with it heavy alcohol and drug use, both by the performers and the people watching them. In the process of documenting these shows I have seen plenty of pitch black, nickel-sized pupils and a lot of chemicals being exchanged or popped. Popular chemicals amongst these events include MDMA, LSD, Psilocybin, Cocaine and prescription medication like Xanax or Klonopin. This can evoke extremely reckless behavior, not to mention FALL 2015 ∙ 19

a whole range of medical problems. “You definitely see people real honest about themselves,” Flores said. Excessive drug or alcohol use go hand-in-hand with reckless and illogical behavior, especially in a live show atmosphere where people are moshing and thrashing in every direction. Tensions run high and injuries happen. “Oh, people get rowdy as fuck,” said Woods, “I feel like when you enter a moshpit you kind of sign a waiver saying you’re going to get hurt; that’s the point of a mosh. There are no safe moshes.” Mason Townsley, Humboldt State student and member of hip hop trio The Spaceheads, has been playing live shows since he was in middle school. “We played probably 25 shows last school year,” he said. “Usually the setting these shows take place in is a house party, because venues typically have too many rules.” His attitude is shared by young musicians around the city, most of which would rather perform in a place where they have the freedom to express themselves. That’s what makes Arcata’s music culture so unique: the majority of it is completely organic; that is, created and run by the people who perform. “It’s super DIY,” Townsley said. “Everything’s super unofficial, I always end up being the sound guy as well as the performer as well as the mixer, something always ends up getting fucked up.” At one particular house party, Smooth Weirdos and DOTCOMDOTCOM, another Eureka-based band including two members from The Velvet Touch, were playing a show down by the Bottoms. During the DOTCOMDOTCOM set I witnessed what is only known as a “wall of death,” where several people link arms and move back and forth across the crowd, forcefully disrupting everyone’s day as their fellow moshers send them flying to the ground. The house was cramped, not much bigger than a classroom, but that didn’t stop the crowd of roughly 50 kids from crowd surfing, climbing walls and chugging beer while simultaneously crashing into everything. Everyone who hit the ground was immediately picked back up so the evening wouldn’t be cut short by someone getting hurt. “Drink, and go in a mosh pit, like actually go in a moshpit and be drunk” Flores said. “Don’t hurt yourself like an idiot, but do it.” This speaks volumes to the general attitude towards the violence and drug and alcohol use. Every person interviewed expressed the scene would not be the same 20 ∙ OSPREY

without it. “Music as a whole survives off drugs and alcohol,” Simpson said. The violence and injuries, while not as common as the drugs, do occur, though normally is shrugged off as inevitable. “I totally see people just get punched in the face,” Woods said. “You see girls getting elbowed in the nose, you see all kinds of shit.” Townsley talked about a brawl he witnessed after a show.

“Some kids got knocked out, it was a show on 11th street,” Townsley said. “I just saw one guy get decked in the face. Homie was leaking blood on the street.” I want to stress I have never seen someone fall in a moshpit and not get immediately helped back up. The sense of community at these shows is extremely tangible, almost like the chaos makes everyone feel more at home. The underground music scene surrounding HSU and Arcata is not just alive, but thriving. Live

shows with raw, unheard talent having fun and playing music for their peers are everywhere. As far as the violence and questionable behavior, it serves to keep the scene more pure, only for the kids with the stomach and the balls to throw themselves into a moshpit of flailing fists and elbows, who feel the need to go back the next weekend and do it all over again. ◘ ◘ ◘

RIGHT PAGE: An audience member freestyle raps while Sean Bendon of Smooth Weirdos tunes his guitar during their set.

FALL 2015 ∙ 21

Al’s Arcata Pizza Guide

Pizza Review and Photos by Alexander Woodard

Greetings fellow pizza enthusiasts. Before your eyes is a review of every pizza establishment (to my knowledge) within Arcata. Tackling this stressful task may have shortened my lifespan by a few years, but was well worth it. The community may now rest easily; informed on their local pizza joints.

Sports Fans

The Jambalaya Arcata is my go-to for New York style pizza slices and an amazing selection of beers on tap. The restaurant/music venue features plenty of HD television screens and the friendly staff is always more than willing to find a game if kindly requested.

Hidden Bargain

Smug’s Pizza is tightly tucked between the Arcata Theater Lounge and Renata’s. BEWARE they are cash only, but is well worth it. A slice costs $3 BUT the second is ALWAYS only $1.50.

Delivery Kings

Not only does Dutchy’s have reasonable priced individual slices at their walk up window, they deliver for free! The crust is heavenly and pizza is never greasy and their daily options are always elaborate (see photo). Prices on whole pies range from $15 to $25 and NEVER disappoint.

Late Night Fix

Don’s Donuts, Pizza & Deli. If you’ve been there, you’ve been there. The chicken masterpiece is great after a night of partying. The donuts - and large menu in general - are always difficult to avoid during the day for a decent priced quick bite. On the plus side, Don’s is open 24-hours a day.

Pizza For A Party

If you are looking to supply pizza for a group of 10 or more, or want an alternative to catch a sports game, Westside is the spot. The menu always has specials on two-pizza deals as well as a lunchtime special on slices Monday-Friday from 11am to 3pm. $4 will getcha two slices and for an extra dollar they throw in a fountain drink.

Take & Bake

Bryan Phillips holds out a veggie-combo pizza at The Jambalaya Arcata. Slices top out at $4.35 and 22 ∙ OSPREY whole pies are $20.66 (max) out the door.

It sounds like an odd concept, but at Papa Murphy’s, expect to get a pizza that you have to cook in your own oven. Aside from that, the toppings and customization options are almost endless. At $15 for a large combo pizza, it may want to skip your mind, but DON’T LET IT. Papa Murphy’s also has a 10% student discount.

Pricey Slice

Arcata Pizza & Deli slices can hit nearly $6. With that said, you get what you pay for - gourmet pizza with plenty of options for all. The blackened chicken is a mouth watering slice and the rest of the menu’s choices almost seem endless.

Where’s Pauldo?

Paul’s Live From New York was another go-to favorite of mine. At the moment, they are relocating and have yet to open the new establishment on Samoa Blvd. The former Arcata location always played sports games and had the biggest slices in town. Keep your eyes peeled for their re-opening! ◘ ◘ ◘

TOP: Jackson Stafford pulls a fresh pie from the oven at Smug’s Pizza. BOTTOM: Ryan Cantor of Dutchy’s Pizza holds out a tomato pie with spinach marinated in balsamic vinegar and mushroom. This particular gem is just $3.25 plus tax.

FALL 2015 ∙ 23

Created by Jami Eiring



BY MARISSA PAPANEK Make a set of vintage rings for less than $5. Here’s an unusual use for those little spoons people buy as souvenirs and sell really cheap by the bucket at thrift stores. These are surprisingly easy to make and they won’t turn your fingers green. YOU’LL NEED:

• Spoon or fork with a cool handle • Cylindrical object the size of your

finger Hammer • Wire cutters • Pliers •

OK, it’s not really a gift suggestion, but you can serve it during the holidays and I had to throw it in here because it’s delicious and involves beer. Plus, family is way more bearable when everyone’s tipsy (including you, of course).

STEP 1: Pour half a glass of beer.* STEP 2: Shove some ice cream into it. STEP 3: Stick some toppings on it (optional). STEP 4: Serve right away with a spoon.

YOU’LL NEED: Vanilla ice cream • Dark beer: go with a porter or a stout, as these are dark, creamy beers that compliment the ice cream. I tried an imperial stout and an oatmeal porter, both of which worked orgasmically well.

*Make sure you pour the beer before putting the ice cream in. Your instinct to put the ice cream in first will result in foam-ageddon. I learned this the hard way for you.


You’re coming down from the stress of finals and in that winter break IDGAF mindset, when you realize that the holidays are coming up and you have gifts to buy. Well, there’s really no need to buy new things, unless we’re talking about toothbrushes and underwear. There is enough stuff in the world already and much

STEP 1: Measure finger and cut your spoon handle to this length using wire cutters.* STEP 2: With pliers, bend at every possible point until ring loops back onto itself. STEP 3: Stick the ring onto the wooden spoon and work at it with a hammer at different points to shape it into a perfect circle.** STEP 4: Tap the ends flush with each other using the pliers to guide the ends straight if needed. *Use string to measure your finger *Put fabric between the ring and hammer to avoid scratches

of it can be repurposed or recycled. Use the bounty of reusables scattered around Arcata and impress your family and friends with your newfound craftiness. Little will they know, you’ll have created their new masterpiece for less than $10 and in under an hour.

Candles are probably the quintessential mom gift. But moms REALLY like candles. So why fix it if it ain’t broke? Make some funky, one-of-a-kind candles using crayons and end bits of old candles you may have lying around. YOU’LL NEED: from old candles • Pot (not that kind of pot you stoners, a cooking pot) • Crayons • String • Duct tape • Chopsticks • Essential oils of your choice (optional) • Jar.* • Wax

*To reuse a jar you found an old candle in: Boil some water, pop the jar in and let it soak for a few minutes. Then take it out, and scrub old labels and wax off with soap and water.

Whether you’re trying to decide what to get for your roommate who understands how broke you are, or your crazy, craft-loving Aunt who hangs a million things on her walls, this easy project looks super rustic and cool. Plus, it serves a purpose. YOU’LL NEED: • A surface* • Chalkboard paint • Masking tape • Chalk • Picture hanger (those hooks on the back of wallhangings)

STEP 1: Throw the candle wax in the pot. Turn heat to medium and melt until clear. STEP 2: Cut string(s) longer than desired wick length. Throw in with the wax and stir for a minute. Take out and allow to dry. STEP 3: Add crayons to individual tins, mixing colors you want. STEP 4: Add essential oils (about 5 drops per cup of wax). STEP 5: Duct tape the wick to the bottom of the jar and hold in place with the chopsticks. STEP 6: Pour wax into jar and let each layer dry 30 minutes if you want hard stripes, or 15 if you want bleeding stripes, before pouring the next layer.

STEP 1: Tape off edges of surface where you want the “frame.” STEP 2: Spray with chalkboard paint from 1 foot away from surface until opaque. STEP 3: Let dry 30 minutes, then apply another layer. STEP 4: Attach picture hanger to the back. *I used a vintage mirror I found in a pile at a thrift store, which already had a wall-hanger on the back. Some other ideas: scrap pieces of redwood or picture frames, framed paintings, large ornate trays, cool crap you want to spray paint.

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riff Ollar thrusts himself up a 60-foot tall redwood tree with only a pair of tree spikes on his feet and a belt with a rope hooked around the tree. Ollar climbs to a height of 50 feet in 18.3 seconds, setting his new personal record at a competition against Shasta College. “I could have beaten that,” Ollar said. “It wasn’t


that great of a time not to sound too much like a sore loser because it is what happened. I feel very confident that I could have done it in 15 seconds or less, but I did have a couple of slips.” Climbing trees has been Ollar’s passion since he was a kid, and now, at 19 years old, he is determined to be the fastest tree climber in Humboldt County. Ollar started tree climbing at a young age, and when he decided to attend Humboldt State he

Griff Ollar works on shortening his climbing time at the Freshwater field in preparation for the logging sports competition in Corvalis, Oregon. | Alexander Woodard

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thought logging sports was an obvious choice. So he joined the team in the fall 2014. Logging sports, and more specifically tree climbing is actually a family affair. Ollar’s father Derrik participated in logging sports in high school. “He was really good at pole climbing,” Ollar said. “So it’s kinda nice to be good at it too because of that aspect.” Competitive climbing is something that Ollar enjoys, but competition involves climbing poles, which is slightly different than climbing trees for practice. “Climbing a tree is like walking down a dirt trail with rocks in it, whereas climbing a pole is like walking on the sidewalk,” Ollar said. “It’s smoother, so you don’t have the friction of the rope.” Poles are the standard at competition, but when practicing, Ollar trains on redwood trees at the HSU logging sports field in Freshwater. The trees are 60 feet tall and roughly the width of a bicycle wheel around. Tree climbing is different than pole climbing and requires spikes on the shoe that are longer and thicker than those used for poles. This year’s team has 44 students enrolled in the class FOR170. The logging sports team practices every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. This year’s team has almost a dozen climbers, which is unusual according to team president Sarah Welsh. “It’s normally been chopping and sawing,” Welsh said. “I think it’s maybe because we have so many people who haven’t used an axe or a tool before. Someone who has split firewood before is very excited to chop, versus someone who’s never done that before. It’s a totally new skill set.” Returning team members act as student coaches. Ollar and Welsh are teaching this year’s climbing practices. Ollar explains how to climb. “So, first off, you turn your heels inward, like you’re walking like a duck,” Ollar said. “And so, you have to think about it as almost slamming your heels in, but you don’t want to slam your heels in because it’s going to be hard to pull it out. So you want to as lightly as possible put your foot on the tree so that the spike just sticks in a little bit and catches, but at the same time, you want to spend the least amount of time on your feet as possible.”



Students on the logging team have also found ways of applying their logging sports skills to their forestry-related jobs. During the summers, Welsh, 21, works as a firefighter in Oregon’s Jackson County. The skills she has learned in logging sports, specifically chopping and chainsawing, come in handy for her firefighting job and keeps her in shape for fire season. “Logging sports applies in just the physicality of it all,” Welsh said. “Like swinging a tool for that long or doing hiking that long. Logging sports helped me out with firefighting kinda indirectly.” Since 2011, Kyle Johnson, 26, has spent his summers working for the forest service doing CSEcommon standard exams, where he identifies and measures the width and height of trees. “I go to the middle of the plot and do the radius and I identify the tree and figure out how tall the tree is, what the health of the tree is, how many little trees are around it and dead trees and then I move on to the next plot,” Johnson said. Johnson’s job also included planting new trees in areas that needed new growth. Ollar’s tree climbing skills came in handy over the summer while he worked as a forestry technician marking boundaries for loggers, tagging trees for cutting and collecting measurements. Ollar says his skills could be applied for work at a timber management firm, but ultimately, he would like to work for a tree-care service. “Then I’d be climbing trees every day,” Ollar said. ◘ ◘ ◘

Kyle Johnson competes in the vertical hard hit and finishes his block in 40 hits while at a competition against Shasta College. | Savanna Vandenheuvel

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Quick Guide to Logging Team Events

Illustrations by Jessica Knupper Descriptions by Savanna Vandenheuvel

This event is broken into two sections, speed chop and hard hit. Speed chop allots men three minutes and women five minutes to chop their block in half. Hard hit is based on the number of hits it takes to chop the block in half.

This event is broken up the same as horizontal chop. The only difference being the log is placed on a vertical chopping stand.

This event requires one male and one female to saw through an 18-inch log as fast as they can with a 6-foot double-bucking saw.

Each participant gets three throws and the scores for each throw will be added together to create a combined maximum score of 15. The goal is to hit the center of the bullseye for five points. The rings increase in points as you get closer to the center of the target.


FALL 2015 ∙ 33






RULE 8 Don’t ever read the book; a summary exists somewhere for a low enough price to be worth it.

RULE 2 This is 2015: learn how to use the miniature computer in your pocket. The entire Internet is at your disposal. Turn your brightness and volume all the way down and find that little pocket of space where your phone is hidden from the eyes of the professor.

RULE 9 Online quiz? Better have your roommate Google answers for you on his laptop so Moodle doesn’t kick your ass out for cheating.

RULE 3 TEAMWORK. Speak beforehand to the people who always answer the questions no one knows. Offer them candy or perhaps a pack of smokes in exchange for their aid.

RULE 10 Watch a lot of Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide the night before the test. He is a sage wizard on the subject of all things school.

RULE 4 Take pictures of important looking pages in the book you haven’t read because you’re reading a guide on how to cheat. RULE 5 Don’t take Adderall you idiots. You don’t need pharmaceutical meth to pass an exam. RULE 6 If you wear a hat, put that hat backwards with the answers on the underside of the cap and take it off when stuck. RULE 7 Take the labels off your plastic water bottles, write down pertinent information and then fill the water bottle with tequila because you don’t have to study anymore.


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Story and photos by Deyana Spasova

nlike his neighbors in Campus Apartments, Fred McLaughlin doesn’t have a bunk bed. Instead, he sleeps on a frayed beige mattress he put on the floor and pushed against the yellowish living room wall in his tiny ill-lit apartment years ago. The 69-year-old is a war veteran, a passionate gardener and a part-time student at HSU who has spent the last 25 years of his life in the student dorms. “I just don’t get along too well with older people,” McLaughlin says. “I like being around younger people. They seem more free-thinking, happier and more courteous.” McLaughlin moved to Arcata in 1991 to live with a friend. The Campus Apartments building was then privately owned and wasn’t part of the university. The rent was cheap enough for him to afford a room there. “I like the porch, I like the birds, I like how quiet it is here,” he says, leaning on his bicycle locked outside his apartment. He will take it inside once the night falls. McLaughlin has searched for a quiet life ever since he got back from Vietnam. He was 20 years old when he was drafted in the US army, where he spent three years. In the winter of 1968 he was sent to the coastal city of Da Nang. “I saw a lot of destruction. Death and destruction,” McLaughlin recalls. As soon as his compound arrived in their camp, they found out that they had to put up with the freezing weather and the tasteless food in the mess hall. Jealousy crept up on them when one evening they smelled barbeque coming from the marine compound 150 feet away from them. “It smelled so good, we were envious we couldn’t go,” he says. The marines were also responsible for the maintenance of cars, trucks and helicopters and were surrounded by easily explosive tanks of petroleum products. “Suddenly someone started dropping rockets on them, set the whole thing on fire, obliterated the compound,” he recalls. “The smell of the burning human bodies mixed with the barbeque. So after that I wasn’t ever really hungry for meat again.” Almost half a century after that, things like cigarette smoke and diesel fuel trigger war memories for McLaughlin. “Anything from flashing back and being there, 36 ∙ OSPREY

with all the feelings like terror and how much you wanna get away, to not that bad, and all in between,” he says. He has been going to the Veterans Clinic in Eureka for three years now, and says he is getting used to opening up about his feelings and coming up to terms with how war has affected his life. “I was able to feel like I wasn’t the only one,” McLaughlin says. “I wasn’t the odd man out.” He is encouraged to avoid situations that might bring back memories, but also not isolate himself; rather go out, speak to people and learn to trust them again. “I talk to students, they’re respectful and nice to me,” he says. “I’m real grateful to be here and I’m thankful that the university is letting me stay with them.” Walter Shabalin, a Geology major, who lives two doors down from McLaughlin, describes the veteran as a “friendly loner.” “He comes out once in awhile, but I don’t see him very often,” Shabalin says. “We sometimes chat, he seems to be a really cool guy.” War never left any physical wounds on McLaughlin, but three months after he came back from Vietnam, a soldier from the army attacked him after a bar fight over the soldier’s girlfriend. “I was just dancing with her, that’s all,” McLaughlin says. “This guy came up behind me and started yelling at me. He had a knife and so he started stabbing me - my back, my stomach, my legs. I was fighting him off with my motorcycle helmet, like a fencer. Finally, I backed up far enough, took my helmet and threw it as far as I could and it hit him in his forehead. Then he got pissed off. His eyes

went red. He was really strong and had long arms, and he was high on cocaine. But I was drunk.” McLaughlin’s first drink was at the age of 15 with the kids next door, “innocently” as he puts it. One of the guys’ father had a cabinet full of liquor, where he stored all the bottles given to him as a gift, although he never drank. McLaughlin and his friend shared a pint of blended whisky, which they thought was smooth. And although they had no idea what a good or a bad whisky was, they knew that they enjoyed the feeling. “I didn’t know anything about addiction,” McLaughlin says. “I just knew I liked it.” The next time was a few months later at a house party when he drank half a pint of clear bourbon, which drove him into a blackout. After that he

switched to beer, which he drank throughout high school and a little hard liquor now and then. Drinking was encouraged in the army for recreation there were bars on the posts, so that soldiers don’t go into town and pass out. They even set up a tent bar, where beer was sold - tasty and cheap, but low in alcohol. Around that time, McLaughlin created his own small business. He was working as a classified courier, carrying secret communications and paperwork between headquarters. He would get the car he used for work and fill it with bottles of different hard liquor he bought in the city. Then he would go around the camp, stop where there were groups of people and sell it to them. “I’d pull over at the bus stop and there’d be a

Fred McLaughlin reads in his living room in Campus Apartments.

FALL 2015 ∙ 37

Fred McLaughlin walks through KHSU radio studio where he has volunteered since he moved to Arcata.


bunch of marines,” McLaughlin recalls. “They’d be like ‘Hey man, can you get us some booze, we ran out of bourbon,’ and then I’d reach down, pull the bottle out and sell it to them. I didn’t make a lot of money, but I had lots of fun.” The last time he got drunk was 33 years ago. He had gone to Kentucky to visit his mother and sisters while he was in between jobs and was staying at his mother’s house. One day he went to an Octoberfest celebration with free beer, where he drank himself into a blackout. He woke up a few hours later, in the early hours of the morning, and, still drunk, tried to go home. He was walking down the street to his mother’s place, when he took a right instead of a left and ended up in the house of his 95-year-old neighbor. “She had a couch exactly where my Mom had a couch and so I passed out on it,” McLaughlin says. He could not remember anything, but after the old lady’s son, the police and McLaughlin’s mother all came to the house, it became apparent what had happened. His mom wasn’t particularly surprised or disappointed in her son. “She was drunk too,” McLaughlin says. His father was also gone by then. “He was drunk somewhere else.” And so McLaughlin decided to go to his first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and is now active in the so called Sobriety Coffee Club in Arcata, where he met some of his older friends.

“I am around old people. They’re real nice, but I just don’t get them,” says McLaughlin. “I’m not really interested in women my age either. Most of them are really fat and don’t exercise. If I said to one of them ‘Hey, let’s go on a bicycle ride,’ they’d probably have a heart attack. No offense to anybody. I’m sure your mother and grandmother are wonderful people.” McLaughlin never married or had children because he didn’t think he could take care of them, moneywise and jobwise. “When you have kids you gotta drive around, spend gasoline,” he says. “And I don’t like driving.” He has had girlfriends in the past and says he might have one again, although he doesn’t feel like he’s missing out on anything by not having a relationship. “You know, if I’m moving around and I meet a cute girl, that’d be great,” he says. “Like if I met a lady who is really healthy, a vegetarian - I couldn’t go to dinner with a woman who would eat a steak. And if she drank, I couldn’t drink. And if she’d light up a cigarette, I’d run away.” McLaughlin is currently enrolled in the Extended Ed program for students over 60, in which he gets six hours of non-credit classes. He says he takes pilates to keep him strong and yoga to keep him stretched. He has also been a volunteer at the KHSU radio station ever since he came to Arcata. He does the station’s weekly community calendar

and also records the eco news. Program and Operations Director at KHSU Katie Whiteside says McLaughlin is extremely dedicated to the job and that she can always count on him. “He gets sick, he still comes in,” she says. “He’s been wonderful, he has the best attitude and he’s a good spirit too. Never gets upset. Amazing. He’s always very quiet. You don’t notice and then you turn around and there he is. But then, when he has something to say, he’ll let you know. If something were to happen to him, I don’t know what we would do.” His future plans are mainly focused around creating his own business and part-time jobs for HSU students. He is working on an online directory of environmental organizations and volunteer citizens groups on the Northwest Coast, which he hopes will make it easier for people to access information on environmental topics. It would also serve as an educational platform where students will be able to post their research and projects as an educational tool. McLaughlin hopes to meet a “student genius” to help him with the IT work on the directory. “Students do all this work, they hand it in to their teacher and it’s pretty much gone,” he says. “But why not make a copy of that available to the public. Once I do it really nicely for Humboldt County, I’ll expand it all the way up to Alaska and all the way down to San Francisco. To start. And then the whole country. And then why not the whole

world?” In the rest of his free time, McLaughlin also manages five small improvised gardens around campus, which he calls, “the healing gardens.” They are often hidden in the corners or back yards of buildings. Most of his produce - cherry tomatoes, onions and different herbs - he uses for food, but he also grows different flowers and looks after plants, which his friends give him, when they go out of town. A few years ago he even tried to grow cannabis on campus, but was soon disrupted by the university police. “It wasn’t for me, you know, it was for a cancer patient who was in pain,” he says. “The police didn’t want it there, and so they took it all away. I never gave it to him. But they didn’t arrest me, which was nice.” McLaughlin says his life is just starting now. He dreams of traveling, exploring Europe, learning new languages, buying a house and even starting a permaculture center with a greenhouse on campus. When asked about where the money for all of that will come from, he simply replies, “It’ll come.” “When things happen I attribute it to the Universe, the Creator and the local Mother Earth. I walk with her,” McLaughlin says. “I walk with a greater power.” ◘ ◘ ◘

Fred McLaughlin in front of his apartment where he’s lived for the last 25 years.

FALL 2015 ∙ 39





ine-year-old Robert Ellis stood on a street corner in Sacramento with four small baggies of crack cocaine and a pistol in his pocket. A cop pulled up and immediately began searching him. Ellis didn’t know if someone set him up. “I didn’t try to run,” Ellis said. “I just froze.” Ellis, now 25, has been arrested more than 30 times and spent a total of four years in jail. His most recent release from the Humboldt County jail was on Aug. 20. Four days later he started classes at

College of the Redwoods. “Regardless of not doing all that time at once it is a lot of time I missed,” Ellis said. “I have a different outlook on life now.” Ellis’ August arrest was for the transportation and sales of methamphetamine and marijuana. He served three months in the Humboldt County Correctional Facility with three years of felony probation. While in jail, Ellis took an adult education class that inspired him to change his life and sign up for classes at College of the Redwoods.

Robert Ellis sits in his first year experience class as they review their midterms at College of the Redwoods.

FALL 2015 ∙ 41

“I’ve missed the last four summers,” Ellis said. “I’m ready for change.” This time he is going to school and is having fun with it. “I realized I need to stop playing around with my life,” he said. “I only have one life and my kids only have one life.” Ellis has two sons with his fiancé Miranda Hanna. They met in high school in Fortuna and unexpectedly got pregnant with their first son Robert Jr., now 6 years old. They had a second son, David, in 2013. “My kids help me wake up,” Ellis said. “Literally and figuratively.” When he was 11, Ellis’ mom sent him to live with his father in Humboldt County. He woke up one morning to packed bags. He kicked and fought as his mother dragged him to the car. He didn’t want to live with his dad. He barely even knew him. “I knew it was coming,” Ellis said. “It was an ongoing argument with my mom. But that day was rough. I was scared.” Ellis cried and yelled at his mom while they drove down the freeway. He opened the door and tried jumping out, but his seatbelt held him back. “I didn’t know what I was coming up to,” Ellis said. “It was like, ‘where am I even going?’ I was lost.” He didn’t want to live with his dad because he didn’t know him. He knew what he looked like and had met him a few times, but his dad was never a constant presence in his life. “That day was rough for me,” he said. “I was scared.” Aside from selling drugs on the side, Ellis said he lived a “normal teenage” life. He got good grades in school, played football and basketball. He maintained this double life by not using the drugs he sold. “When I’m out on the street selling, I’m there for the money not play,” Ellis said. He was 18 years old the first time he went to jail. At a party in Fortuna he got arrested for underage drinking and belligerent behavior. He spent the night in the drunk tank. “It didn’t bother me,” Ellis said. “I didn’t care.” About a year later, Ellis sat in a motel room in Fortuna surrounded by crystal meth, ecstasy pills, bags and scales. Police banged on the door and raided the room. Ellis did eight months of jail time

for this bust: his longest sentence. “I was spooked,” Ellis said. “I’d never done a big amount of time.” Ellis said whenever he got out of jail he’d alway tell himself this time is different. But he also always knew deep down it wasn’t. During his most recent time in jail he met a man named Kintay Johnson who helped him see his potential. When he got out in August he said to himself, “this time is different,” and for the first time he didn’t have that little voice inside his head telling him he was fooling himself. “When I came to Humboldt I had an opportunity to start over and I didn’t take it,” Ellis said. “Now, I’m trying to take the opportunity that I missed.”

In the jail, a teacher pushes a button signalling officers in housing that class is about to start. The inmates are gathered and walk unescorted to a classroom in a different part of the jail. The Humboldt County jail offers adult education for inmates in an effort to transition them out of a life of crime. This includes non-credit college level classes that inmates can take to refresh skills to use in the workforce or to prepare them for college after jail. The classes come from the Community Education, Noncredit and Adult Education program at College of the Redwoods. CR writes the courses and the jail chooses classes they see fit for inmates. Each course is about 30 hours long spanning over a few weeks. Officer Duane Christian of the Humboldt County jail said for every 10 hours of education, an inmate gets one day off their sentence. “We want to give inmates tools that due to life circumstances haven’t been accessible to them,” Officer Christian said. “We don’t want to just lock them up and keep them safe. There is a big push for education.” The jail received funding from a committee to remodel the classroom used in the education program. They wanted it to look like a non-jail environment. It has painted walls, carpet, brand new tables, a printer, a smart board and 21 laptops available for inmates. “We are trying to make the effort to be a part of the solution,” Officer Christian said. For inmates hoping to go to College of the Redwoods once they finish their sentence, the Extended Opportunity Program and Services, EOPS, is at

“I realized I need to

stop playing around with my life.”



the jail to assist them. EOPS is a state-funded program designed to provide financial assistance, support and encouragement to prospective and current students at participating institutions. Kintay Johnson works in the EOPS program at College of the Redwoods and has also been teaching classes in the jail since July. “I really think the program is a good for the community,” Johnson said. “When people get the opportunity for education it can really work and make a difference in a community.” Johnson said when you have people that feel rejected it takes them a while to feel like somebody is there for them. The classes in the jail and the EOPS program is working to help these people. Ellis took Johnson’s class while in jail. He said Johnson pushed him. “Kintay helped me get my mind back to where it should be,” Ellis said. “I’m thankful in a sense that I was incarcerated.” As of right now, College of the Redwoods offers non-credit classes at the Humboldt County jail

and the Del Monte County jail. The director of the CR program said they are getting ready to start offering classes at the Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City.


Ellis is now finishing up his first semester at College of the Redwoods and is in line to be a full-time student next semester. He hopes to eventually transfer to Humboldt State and major in construction technology. “It’s been somewhat stressful being a new student and getting back into the school mentality,” he said. “But overall it was great.” Although Ellis’ life for the last six years has been in and out of jail he said he is turning a new leaf and working hard to stay on the right course. “I don’t have any regrets,” Ellis said. “I’m not saying I’d do it over again, but I don’t regret anything in my life.” ◘ ◘ ◘

Robert Ellis hangs out with his sons David, middle, and Robert Jr., right, at their home in Fortuna, California.

FALL 2015 ∙ 43


FALL 2015 ∙ 45

The villainous Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), probably not too pleased with someone. | Screenshot from Lucasfilm


t Eureka’s game store, North Coast Roleplaying, store manager Barry Osser and his employee Pedro Cendejas stand behind the counter, fixated on the laptop in front of them. “You have to listen to all the interplays between the Stormtroopers, because they say stuff that have connections into the main series,” the manager says. They’re watching “Troops,” a famous fan film made in the same style of the show “COPS.” Except instead of being about cops it’s about the imperial forces of the Galactic Empire, the big bads of the original Star Wars trilogy. For some reason, the people who made this fan film really love it. On Dec. 18, “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” will release in theaters. It will be the first new Star Wars movie since “Revenge of the Sith” in 2005 and the anticipation for it is nothing to sneeze at. On Oct. 19, the third and “final” trailer (they also had another one in Japan that was pretty nifty) aired during halftime of ESPN’s Monday Night Football game between the Giants and Eagles. The reaction to the trailer had longtime fans in tears. In it we saw Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, the Millennium Falcon and a new cast of young characters who will no doubt be carrying the torch for a new generation of fans. At that moment, pre-orders for opening night cinema tickets became available on Fandango. In addition to getting a bunch of nerds to watch football, the trailer caused a flood of reservations so massive it crashed the site. The previous Star Wars films had fans lining up for tickets days in advance. The first film in the series was the highest grossing film of 1977, making $460,998,007 at the box office, according to Box Office Mojo. For just about every film in the series, fans pitched tents outside movie theaters, they bought merchandise, wore plastic armor and swung plastic lightsabers. Each film generated a lot of buzz, made a lot of money and created a lot of fans. The Force Awakens is guaranteed to be no


different. It’s a film series that has stood up to the test of time in ways very few others have. The original movie, “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” (known back then only as “The Star Wars”) was released in theaters in May 1977. People thought it was going to suck, even the people actually working on the film. How could it not? The highlight of the first trailer was Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia swinging across a dangerous chasm after she kisses him for good luck. Show that image to an audience as weary and cynical as the post-Vietnam crowd of the late 70’s and you’re bound to get some rolling eyes from the audience. Spoiler: the movie didn’t suck. In fact, against all odds, it turned out to be a resounding success. So much so that it’s still relevant, even to this day, in a way that no other film franchise could ever hope to be. But why, exactly? How is it that some old movie about space wizards from the 70’s can still have its own dedicated aisle in the toy section at Target? In terms of sheer impact and longevity, the only other comparison would probably be Star Trek and perhaps Doctor Who, both of which were around decades before Star Wars. But the cultural impact of Star Wars is one that is entirely its own. What started as a series of films became a sandbox that countless authors and artists would contribute to in their own ways over the years, from comic books to novels, to video games and syndicated TV. Even now there is a Star Wars animated series on Disney XD, “Star Wars: Rebels,” that seeks to bridge the gap between 2005’s Revenge of the Sith and 1977’s A New Hope. Another show that came before Rebels was about the events of the Clone Wars, which was only briefly mentioned in the first film. All it took to inspire the creation of an award-winning television series was a throwaway bit of dialogue from a movie that came out in 1977. What is it about Star Wars that inspires so much love, devotion and fandom from so many people across multiple generations?

For Cendejas, it started with a trip to the movie store in Garberville when he was a child. He was intrigued by the cover of the first Star Wars movie. “I had all the Star Wars toys, little miniatures, lightsabers and stuff,” he said. “I just got more and more into it as more movies came out.” He even made his own Star Wars fan film with his friends in high school. “It was terrible, but we were high school kids and we thought it was the best thing ever,” he said “You gotta do the lightsabers.” Star Wars contributed to his life in a personal way like it has for so many others, laying the groundwork for friendships and other hobbies. “It has a way of seeping into our lives. It builds a lot of friendships. You can go into a room full of people you don’t know, talk about Star Wars and at least a few people will want to join in on the conversation,” Cendejas said. That’s the unique thing about Star Wars: It’s somehow managed to generate such a wide cultural appeal that even people who aren’t normally into fantasy or science-fiction enjoy it, or at the very least have seen it once. Even the few who’ve never seen it probably know about it. The phrase, “Luke, I am your father” from 1980’s “The Empire Strikes Back” has become synonymous with the concept of a dramatic movie twist (despite technically never actually being said in the film). For other fans like Aaron Freeman, a social studies teacher at Zane Middle School in Eureka, it was the “hero’s journey” aspect of the films, likening them to classics of days past. “You’ve got Conan, you’ve got Gilgamesh, you’ve got Gulliver’s Travels, the list goes on,” he

said. And then you’ve got Star Wars. “It plays so well upon classical archetypes,” he says. “Those films bring these worlds and these far off places to life and you meet these characters that you know so well from other stories. Everyone knows the frantic know-it-all like C-3P0, you know the comic relief, you know the sly roguish character like Han Solo. You know the headstrong princess like Princess Leia. You not only know these characters from other stories, but you bring in a sense of connection from them as well.” Perhaps that kind of iconography is why Star Wars has such a lasting impact on culture. It is, at its heart, a classic fairytale in space. That kind of cultural recognition, in its own way, makes Star Wars and the adventures of Luke Skywalker one of the great myths of our time, in the same way stories about heroes like Hercules made up some of the ancient Greek myths. It would be fitting if that turned out to be the case. As George Lucas has said, Star Wars was a way to see if the psychologically-ingrained motifs of mythology that took hold of the public consciousness in ages past were still applicable to a modern audience. Whether or not he was successful, or whether or not distant future generations will look back on Lucas and Star Wars the way we look back on Homer and the Odyssey, is probably way too early to say. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” opens in theaters everywhere on Dec. 18. It’s bound to be a major cultural event. Don’t miss it. ◘ ◘ ◘

Our new heroes, Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) on the run from a TIE fighter. | Screenshot from Lucasfilm

FALL 2015 ∙ 47




Story by Banning Ramirez Photos provided by Mark A. Larson



LEFT: McClary poses for a portrait in the Bret Harte House RIGHT: McClary with former faculty members Mark Larson, Dennis Hart, Howard Seeman, Jerry Reynolds, Sherilyn Bennion and Mac McClary in front of the Bret Harte House

alking into his Founders Hall classroom decked out in a suit and tie, San Jose Sharks cap and a pair of white sneakers, journalism professor Maclyn McClary welcomes his students at Humboldt State with a joke. “I go up to the checkout and the grocery store clerk asks me, ‘paper or plastic?’” McClary tells the class, trying to warm them up for the punchline. “I said, ‘you decide,’ and she said, ‘Oh no sir. Baggers can’t be choosers.’”

The class breaks out in laughter. McClary, better known as “Mac,” taught classes at HSU for 45 years. He is remembered for telling puns and corny jokes. Students who took McClary’s courses such as public relations, mass communication history and media ethics, frequently reminisce about his welcoming humor. Author and Humboldt historian Katy Tahja remembers having classes with McClary in the era of typewriters and carbon paper. Tahja graduated HSU in 1970. When her daugh-

ter Fern began attending HSU as a student 30 years later, Tahja encouraged her to take classes with McClary. “He would kid her in class and say, ‘Fern, tell me if your mother heard this one,’” Tahja says Mac used to say to her daughter. “She turned to the class one day and said, ‘You guys don’t get it! Mac was telling these jokes to my mom in 1967! Really!” In his early teaching years, when McClary was 31, he was too nervous to call roll. But one day in his 8 a.m. beginning reporting class, he welcomed his students the only way he knew: by telling a joke. “There may be more people in the world that know more about journalism than me,” McClary said in a 2010 JournAlum interview. “But they’re not in this room.” Starting in high school, McClary covered daily sport stories for his local newspaper, The Wilshire Press. After earning his bachelor’s degree from Pomona College he worked for several publications including the Los Angeles Daily Journal and The Episcopal Review. He was hired in the journalism department during the height of the Vietnam War in fall 1967 and became faculty adviser to the student newspaper The Lumberjack. He made numerous financial donations to the university and journalism department and contributed generously to the HSU library. McClary’s careful teachings in journalism helped students become successful writers. For Harry Gilbert McClary’s mentorship saved him, yet almost cost him his college degree. “I had an incomplete grade for Philosophy 10,” Gilbert says. “All I needed to do was to write a term paper, which I needed to graduate.” Gilbert says the philosophy professor accused him of plagiarizing because the paper was too well written. “Of course, I vehemently denied the accusation since it wasn’t true,” Gilbert says. The philosophy professor, whose office was right across from McClary’s, asked his advice. McClary simply said, “He’s a journalism major; he’s supposed to know how to write.” Gilbert graduated with a degree in journalism in 1975. He earned a B grade in that philosophy class. McClary’s close mentorship extended to colleagues including Mark Larson, a former chair and professor of HSU’s Journalism Department. “Mac was on sabbatical my first year after arriving at HSU in the fall of 1975,” Larson said. “He had just been promoted to full professor and had a well-deserved reputation among the students as a great teacher. I quickly grew to admire his teaching skills and sought him out as a mentor for the rest of his teaching career.” McClary put down his tobacco pipe and began living an active lifestyle in the late 1970s, joining the Six Rivers Running Club and spending

most mornings and lunchtime breaks on Redwood Bowl’s track. “I take some credit for influencing him to begin his running career,” Larson notes. Carolyn Mueller met Mac in the early 1990s when she was executive assistant to HSU’s former president Alistair McCrone and began joining McClary on the track. “We would meet for lunch occasionally and ran on the track. In recent years, we walked around the soccer field once or twice a week, rain, wind or sun,” Mueller said. “Sometimes we would be the only people out there battling the elements.” Public relations instructor Dan Pambianco recalls how McClary would run about two to five miles on the track every day. “He kept going until he could barely walk anymore and his run became a shuffle while he steadied himself with a pair of long canes,” Pambianco recounts. McClary officially retired in December 2002 but taught on a part-time basis for another six years. His jokes no longer echo throughout journalism halls and the “Mac Shuffle,” a term coined by journalism professor Vicky Sama, is no longer seen on Redwood Bowl. The 78-year-old died at his home in Sunny Brae on Halloween morning. His wife Ann was at his side. McClary’s legacy lives on. “I don’t want to give up show business,” McClary said in a videotaped interview in 2008. “I like being up there in front of that class. I like to hear the laughter and the cheers. I’m a big ham, and I can’t give that up.” ◘ ◘ ◘

The McClary Joke Board Provided by Frank Vella

“See that spider on the wall? He has his own web site.” “Forgive us our trespasses; here are our press passes.” “A million dollars? That’s almost as much money as you had before you bought your books!” “You’ll make millions of dollars and when you do remember our journalism scholarship fund.” “A French chef says, ‘I’m only as good as my sauces.’ A journalist says, ‘I’m only as good as my sources.’” “I used to be a Giants fan, but now I’m a small air conditioner.” “Thanks for the mammaries, and now on to udder things.” “Denial ain’t just a river in Africa, folks.”

BELOW: McClary with wife Ann supporting a Humboldt State sports game.

FALL 2015 ∙ 49

Editor’s Note By the time you’ve reached this page, you have probably experienced a whirlwind of emotions. Proud of Ali Osgood for winning her second national title. Excited about presidential candidates. Pumped about underground music. Interested in Fred McLaughlin. Stoked about the new Star Wars movie. And a whole range of other emotions. Our magazine this semester is diverse, reflecting our unique staff. We’ve worked to create something pleasing to the eye and mind. As editor-in-chief, I would like to thank my amazing staff. This semester has been grueling, but we made it and we produced a magazine. I would also like to thank all who read our publication and who continue to support student journalism. We are here to tell other people’s stories. I hope we have transported you into the different lives of our community. It has been an honor being the editor-in-chief of The Osprey this semester and I am very proud to present the fall 2015 issue.

Jami Eiring · Fall 2015 Editor-In-Chief

Mic drop.

Jami Eiring


FALL 2015 ∙ 51


Osprey fall 2015  

The Osprey magazine is produced by journalism students at Humboldt State University. This issue's front cover features HSU's star mountain b...

Osprey fall 2015  

The Osprey magazine is produced by journalism students at Humboldt State University. This issue's front cover features HSU's star mountain b...