Fresno City College
Volume CXIII, edition 7
Virginia Tech rampage:
On the front lines: the fight against homelessness: second of two-part series, see page 2 Aids victims living longer, pg. 5 Graduation tribute, see page 8 Spiderman tribute, see page 9 Virginian Tech Aftermath, see pg. 13 Pete Lango: Still reaching for greatness, see pg. 17
Ofﬁce: (559) 442-8263
May 2, 2007
Could it happen here?
Photo by Kathy Bonilla
FCC Fire Academy cadets led wreath-laying ceremony on Friday, April 20 to support the Virginia Tech community and honor the victims. by Cody Gless Rampage Reporter Monday, April 16, 2007 started like any other day at Virginia Tech, but by the end of that day, 32 innocent students and a professor had died; 15 others were wounded; their bodies riddled with bullets ﬁred by a mentally unstable young man. It was the worst rampage on a college campus in American history.
Now, students all over the nation mourning while dealing with ﬁxed feelings of vulnerability and unease, wondering if their campuses are safe from this type of unimaginable tragedy. Is the FCC campus safe, and most importantly, could what happened at Virginia Tech happen here at Fresno City College? “Unfortunately yes,” said Tom Crow, Chancellor of State Center Community College District (SCCCD); “With the number
of students at FCC, it’s very difﬁcult to cut down on the access to the campus due to the fact that it is an open campus.” Fresno City College President, Ned Doffoney, said he too has come to this realization. “We would hope that this would never happen here, but we cannot say that it’s impossible for it to happen.” “What happened at Virginia Tech was an unforeseen tragedy, one of unimaginable
only $9.50 am hour. So how was this oversight in pay not noticed sooner, and what happens to the award money left on students accounts? “A lot of students are not understanding that the amount that we give, is only a number(amount). If they worked and earned that amount, then their maximum is done,” said Her. Her added that if the budget runs out then it becomes a number to them. Her added that the award the students get is from the pot of funding and that it is not a matter of whether or not students get the money they were assigned. According to FCC President Ned Doffoney, “The Federal ﬁnancial aid is based on the amount of award students receive rather than the time they work. And the obligation of the college has is to make sure the students earn their award. They earned their full award as I understand it, but they earned it at
a faster rate.” Students as well as employers received an email notifying them of this dramatic change only one week before it was to take effect. Students that did not have an email address were notiﬁed by snail mail. from the district merely three days before losing their jobs. “Students should have been given more notice I agree. The amount of money is the same. They should’ve been given more notice,” said Doffoney, who added that this is about the minimum wage increase. “It’s out of our hands,” said Her. “We thought that we could help students get to the end of the semester, but the allocation that we have did not supply that. That’s why we notiﬁed the students the last minute.” Questions still abound about whether the money was mishandled, and why the person
devastation,” continued Doffoney, adding, “You can never imagine something like this taking place until it has taken place.” Echoing Doffoney, Crow said the unfortunate and inconvenient truth is that most of the time, “tragic situations like these often occur in a matter of minutes; it’s hard to speculate on what could have or should have been done.” One question that this reporter needed answered is: “How
Budget mishap leads to student ﬁrings by D.C. Leavy & Buen Moua Rampage Reporters Recently, students employed by Fresno City College received a devastating ﬁnancial blow. Due to the increase in the minimum wage issued in January of this year, they were all let go. Due to the increase, the Federal Work Study Program (FWS) budget depleted faster than originally anticipated which means that hundreds of students that receive their pay checks from a FWS grant had to stop working on April 20. There were 358 students in FWS program, according to FCC Financial Aid Assistant Suzanne Her. Her is also responsible for granting the award, but she said that the funding is controlled by the Financial Aid ofﬁce. Each student that was awarded a FWS grant can only work a maximum of 19 hours a week and the highest pay grade is
Business: (559) 442-8262
Fax: (559) 265-5783
See FCC offers services, pg. 8
in charge of the budget didn’t notify students sooner. Was there someone to blame for such short a notice? “That’s clearly an issue that we have to work out in the administration,” said Doffoney, adding, “I’ll be responsible for that.” David, an FCC student (who wished only to be mentioned by his first name) said, “I was awarded a grant for $3,000 and I still had $1,300 left. Now they’re saying that the next pay check I receive is going to be my last. Where is the rest of my money? If they awarded me the grant, then how come I can’t have it?” Many of the laid-off students in FWS are asking the same question. Where did all the cash go? Does a minimum wage increase of a dollar really make that much of a difference? In this case it seems it does. When the minimum wage increased so did all other pay See Work Study, pg. 6
On the front line: the ﬁght against homelessness 2 Rampage
pedestrians in the early morning periods. “Big Sue,” a tall Caucasian woman, wearing sunglasses and beads, blurted out, “I want a womby Shirley Nakagawa an’s shelter where woman can go Rampage Reporter to, like this Men’s Rescue Mission, Second of two-part series on 120 beds for men for 15 years.” She homelessness in Fresno County said loudly, “I can ﬁnd no shelter, and I worked in Fresno all my life.” The number of people who When Big Sue was given the names are truly homeless is difﬁcult to of women’s housing, she protested gauge as numbers vary depend- that those shelters are not open for ing on when and where counts are 24 hours, seven days a week, and taken. A study by the National Law that she has had to “cry, whine, and Center on Homelessness and Pov- snivel” her way into a bed. Big Sue erty estimates that between 2.3 and stated that some homes only qualify 3.5 million Americans experience women if their husband hits them homelessness. A recent study by the (Marjorie Mason). “It would be nice National Alliance to End Homeless- to have a place where your mother, ness estimates that 744,313 people daughter, and sister can go and know experienced homelessness in one she doesn’t have to live in a tent, or night in January 2005 with 56 per- hook for the money for a hotel room, cent of them were living in shelters or stay in the bushes,” said Big Sue. and transitional housing while 44 Big Sue, 55, lives in a small tent of percent were unsheltered. what is known as the hill. “This is California has one of the the hill and over there (across the highest rates of homelessness, ac- road to another community of tents) cording to a study released in 2007 is what we call the meadow.” by The National Alliance to End FCC student, Clark, said that Homelessness. 98,452 families in the Naomi House, an afﬁliate of the America were homeless; 59 percent Poverello House, creates immense of homeless people were single red tape and a huge inconvenience adults while 41 percent were per- for people entering and leaving the sons living in families; three-quar- shelter. “You have to sign up by ters are men; 11% are parents with 3:00 p.m., and get a number, and children; 84% of whom are single then they [shelter workers] put your women; 23% are children under 18 personal belongings in a shed, and with a parent, 42% of whom are you sleep there and get a shower. under ﬁve years of age. Homeless woman can also shower In 2002, the US Conference at the “Holy Cross” shelter too,” of Mayors reported a signiﬁcant Clark said. increase (19%) increase in shelter Just a few hundred feet requests due to homelessness in from the bridge is the Men’s 25 cities surveyed. Reports show Rescue Mission. Brent a 20% increase in the request for Phelps, one of the disshelter by homeless families. Ap- ciples of the MRM proximately 30% of all requests for Academy Discipleshelter went unmet in 2002, with ship Program and about 60% of reporting cities show- house manager of ing that emergency shelters had to the 18 month proturn away families due to lack of gram, explains resources. People are remaining how one of homeless for at least six months on t h e M i s average with 82% of cities report- s i o n ’ s ing an increase in the length of time p r o people are homeless. grams The homeless population w o r k . has a large minority representation; “It is a one 50% are African American; 35% year in-patient, are white; 12% are Hispanic; 2% six months afterare Native American, and are 1% care program.” AlAsians. About 23% of homeless though the hill is individuals suffer from mental ill- only feet away, ness; 38% suffer from substance Phelps said the abuse; 10% are veterans, and 22% to come here; for whatare employed. homeless “choose not A shelter for women ever reason, they choose not to. “A Under the overpass of High- lot of people don’t know this. They ways 41 and 99, the city of Fresno think it’s just to feed the homeless, has blocked off the exit due to many but there is a shelter, family shelter, accidents involving motorists and and a lighthouse program. Many
May 2, 2007
people are admitted through a court order, or they come for help from the outside with addiction problems, and sign up for the program. They have chores and services, but it’s free. Everything is provided: clothing, hygiene, and food.” Helping Hands In Fresno, the area by Parkway Drive and Belmont Ave. area is renowned for prostitution and homelessness. On February 23, a Friday, “Streets,” a ministry founded by “Leo” a member of Cornerstone Church on Fulton, came to feed the homeless. “We’re under the umbrella of the church, Cornerstone, and all our money comes from fund raisers and donations,” said Leo. He explained that his organization would be on the radio to put the word out there, and “help the poor and the needy by just being there” It has been raining, and in the soggy ﬁeld, behind an emergency housing motel, “Streets” sets up a camp-like atmosphere. It takes only minutes, working with lights provided by car head lights before the generator lights up the area and a huge tent is erected and fold out tables are set within it. Two large pots of water are ﬁlled with hot dogs as a propane burner glows in the night. Suddenly, Hip-Hop Christian music blares the message of hope into the cold air. Cookies, bags of chips, drinks and hot dog buns are set up for the visitors entering the camp site. Both adults and children come out of the building and start a line at the tent. “We asked a kid one time what grade he was in and he didn’t know, and that tells us that their education is stopping right here,” said Leo. “That’s why we want to come out here and make a difference, and reach them as much as we can, be it groceries, encouragement, or help ﬁnding shelters,” he added. “We want to stop the poverty. I know what it’s like, and God put it in my heart although it was not as bad as this. I know homelessness affects the family, the community, and it affects the city. That’s why we want to bring this city back to God.” “Streets” has been helping a single father with ﬁve children living in the motel. The ministry
takes them to Sunday school often, stopping by McDonalds for happy meals. “Last Christmas we gave the family gifts, and ministered to them. That’s what we want to do,” said Leo. He added that “Streets” ministry brings hope to desperate people and points them in the right direction. He said the group hopes to eventually raise enough funds to shelter, feed, and tutor children who are not in school as well as help prostitutes get off the streets. Among the children and adults enjoying the hotdogs and chips, is 41 year old, Rudy Hernandez. He shoves bags of chips into his coat as he makes a plate. Hernandez has been homeless for three years and said he has not had to deal with the burdens of life like rent and bills. “I’m on parole,” said Hernandez; “My parole ofﬁcer knows I’m homeless. He doesn’t help me much because he said, ‘You did this to yourself,’ but I’m happy. I know people have their big houses and mortgage and bills, and I don’t have to do that. I’m happier than they are; I don’t think they are happy.” Hernandez said that although there are no bills, most homeless people have to hustle to survive. The most common ways are prostitution, panhandling and, selling drugs. Permanent Solutions Organizers of “Streets” and “Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church” outreach programs say they know that all they accomplish is a temporary relief sources food wise. They hope they make a lasting impact in feeding their soul with a ministry of hope and love. Other long-term shelters providing daily meals and long term relief include the ‘Men’s Rescues Mission” and the “Women’s Evangel Home.” The Evangel home is a non-proﬁt Christian home, located near downtown, Fresno. Since 1955, the home has been providing shelter, food, and ministering to the homeless women and children. Director of “Women’s Evangel Home,” Gerre Brenneman, explained that there all levels of homelessness and people tend to think of homeless as one generic form, but they are like the rest of us. “There is a deﬁnite line between the homeless and street people,” she said, explaining that a homeless woman who lives with her children in a shelter belongs to one level whereas the people who live in the back alley belong to another level. Being homeless is not a requirement to live in or receive help from the “Women’s Evangel Home.” “If they just need help, they can come
in here as long as they are not on drugs and alcohol,” said Brenneman. “We do have chapel twice a day, but we don’t hit people over the head with the bible,” she said, addressing a common complaint that operators of shelters force religion on people. “It is a Christcentered shelter. We just try to help them get on their feet, take a little break, and stop making survivor decisions, because they are survivors. When your car breaks down, you probably have family or friends that would help you, but theses people are at the point that their car breaks down, and they have nobody, for some reason. A lot of that goes back to family relationships. They’re isolated and have no contacts, said Brenneman. “It seems like people are making the homeless out to be rock stars, she said, about the national attention the homeless have received this year, “but some of them are quite content to do what they are doing. If someone told me to go out and live in the street, I’d be real upset, and some people don’t want to be told to live in a house. They don’t want the structure. They like living the way they are living,” said Brenneman who has worked with the homeless for 19 years. “I think people really think that if they go out and feed sandwiches to those other people that they make a difference. What difference does that make? What good does it do to go give a homeless person a sandwich once a year? If you feed the homeless on Christmas day, you have to ask yourself, ‘What difference did that make?’ The answer is - not to the homeless person, but the person who is doing it. However, the Cornerstone Church people are out there consistently. They are giving a message to the pimps, prostitutes and homeless people, and anybody else out there who lives at Parkway drive or under the bridge, ‘We are going to be out here every Friday night - no matter what.’ That speaks volumes,” said Brenneman. Director Gerre Brenneman said the BEST WAY to help the homeless is to help the people who help them, such as these churches and the shelters. She listed the Poverello House, Men’s Rescue Mission, as well as the Evangel Home. “One way to help is to support those on the front lines who are already doing it,” concluded Brenneman. Photo by Todd J. Placencia
May 2, 2007
Fresno County Juvenile Hall: Changing lives
by Bianca Betancourt Rampage Reporter
A legislator creates policies and laws. The police can issue a warning, cite and release the offender, or make an arrest. Prosecutors file the charges. The judge or court determines the form of punishment, including www.kidzplace.org probation, juvenile hall, Ron Clinton, a Chaplain for the Fresno County or even CYA (California Juvenile Hall speaks with one of the ‘wards’. Youth Authority). For every 1,000 kids who are cited by the police, 100 will be referred education. A point system is used to the probation department, 50 will be where youths with good behavior booked at juvenile hall, 25 will have maintain 100 points and those who petitions ﬁled in court, 12 will have their misbehave have points deducted and cases heard, 6 will have cases with the rewards taken away. The boys attend a regular school result of formal probation, and 1 will be just like other kids would and are rereferred to CYA. Research has shown that incarcera- quired to abide by strict rules. There tion does not rehabilitate juvenile offend- are two sections at the juvenile youth ers, and more and more, those who end facility located on grounds one the deup in juvenile halls or state prisons are tention where youths that have not yet been processed, and the commitment non-violent offenders. The youths of Fresno County are side where juveniles serve their sencrucial to the future. These are the people tence that can range from anywhere that will be running the cities and work- from 60 days to 1 year. Norm Baird ing. The new Fresno County Juvenile over sees both of these sections of the Hall called the Juvenile Justice Campus, hall. The school located on site, along opened for business last year in July and with specialists, and other everyday is located off of American Ave. and High- necessities is run by regular staff and way 99. The facility holds a maximum of state teachers. An average day in the life of 360 juveniles, is usually at full capacity, a youth might start at 6:30a.m with and could soon go up to 390 wards. “Wards” refers to the youths. a wake up call; 7:00a.m.-7:30a.m. is Guards are called counselors in order breakfast; 8:00-11:30a.m. is the mornto let the youths know they are being ing session for school; 11:30-12 noon helped . The idea is to combine hope with is lunch, 12:30-3:00p.m. is afternoon punishment and provide the wards with session of school; 3:30-5:00p.m. is safety and the means for a better future group meetings or recreation; 5:00p. m-6:00p.m. is dinner; 6:00-9:00 free of crime. Assistant Director of Staff, Norm showers and recreation; and lights out Baird said, “The youths safety is the by 10:00p.m. A former juvenile ward who most important thing when they are in wished to remain anonymous said, our custody.” The facility is not only a place “You miss being free more than anyto house juveniles while they are being thing, you hate being locked up in punished, but it also provides the youths your room. When you get there you with obedience, lessons in life, and an go to your own race and then you run down what you have to. If someone disrespects you, badmouths you or your family or your city, you either ﬁght or ﬂee.” Another former ward who also wished to remain anonymous said, “ It only made me more angry, you sit in your room, you sleep, get up, go to school, get an hour of free time, and that’s it. It drove me nuts.” Yet not all the youths feel like this. Jeff Rios is older now, when he was younger he spent some time in the hall and said that it helped him. It just made him realize that he didn’t ever want to go back. He said that being free was way too good to be acting up. These youths have potential and they are the future of the Central Valley and the State of California, and it is important to not let them go along the wayside when in many cases they simply need someone to look up to and be there for them. Juveniles might return for a second stint or go to boot camp but that is usually the extent of it. If the youths play by the rules then they will reap the blessings. Many juveniles choose to grab and hold on to the offer, and unfortunately others do not. www.cjcj.org
May 2, 2007
For Love or Money FCC’s Italian Nationals discuss US big business and Italian romance
By Leah Edwards Rampage Reporter
What makes a person travel halfway across the world, far away from their family and everything they’ve known? Felice Nichilo lost his father when he was a mere 7 months old, and his mother worked as a nurse to support them; putting herself through school. He traveled to Milan at the age of 11, where he fought and won a battle with cancer. Now at age 26, his zest and appreciation for life has led him to far horizons and the excitement and challenge of a life in the States. For the 42 year old, Lorenzo Novielli, it was the disintegration of his marriage. Rather than give into despair he found the courage and determination to start over. America beckoned with the promise of new beginnings. And with the closing of one door, he followed his dreams to the next; ﬁnding comfort in the ‘land of opportunity.’ Lorenzo and Felice both knew that they wanted more from their lives and in order to succeed they knew they needed an education. Today, they are at the top of their class, as evident by their current status as members of Phi Theta Kappa. “Fresno City College has given me a second chance,” said Lorenzo, “You will ﬁnd whatever you are looking for. Americans have the advantage of easy access to an education and all the free services here; the tutorial center, the library and computer rooms. It is much easier to get a degree in the United States than in Italy. In Italy it is extremely expensive and harder to get in,” Lorenzo added, “FCC gives me a hell of a service.” Felice agrees: “Regardless of what some people say here in America about city colleges, I think Fresno City College is great; the international student office helps, and teachers are friendly and willing to help in any way possible.” As far as their education is concerned, both Felice and Lorenzo are pleased but have noticed many differences between Italy and the United States. As the ﬁfth richest country in the world, Italy has a tranquil beauty and culture unmatched by many other countries. “I miss soccer and the everyday things about home,” said Felice, “there is more quality time with family and friends in Italy.
ginia Tech shooter) if they knew he had mental problems. But, could it happen here? The truth is, it could happen anywhere.” Lorenzo came from a small farming village in Sannicandro (BA) and has experienced those who call him “Greenhorn” but he is proud of his country boy heritage, “I come from a strong family,” said Lorenzo, “and when people call me a Greenhorn, I take it as a compliment, because of how far I have come. I have dreams, and I wasn’t afraid to follow them.” As for Felice’s experience with Americans, “most people respond well to Italians, they like Italians, although some guys get jealous. The first thing people say is, ‘Maﬁa’ and then they recognize us for love and romance. Italy is the country of love and romance.” Felice Nichilo As single men, both Felice and Lorenzo have experienced the differences in dating in America versus Italy. Lorenzo said he felt, “People are fake. There is too much false politeness. Women call you ‘sweetie’ and ‘honey’ but I’ve learned it is part of the culture. In Italy, she would only do this if she wanted to be your woman.” Felice added, “In Italy, a bar is a place where you get cofevfee, desert, and meet with friends erything or read the newspaper. here is We d o h a v e a about monfew ‘American ey – capitalist bars’ in Italy, country – You get but there is the money, you get definitely not the power,” continued the young peoLorenzo, “So what is more ple drinking like important, Life or Money?” here.” Overall, Lorenzo said he “And what’s still feels safe, “I see the police with the ‘Girls night on campus, and I don’t worry. I out?’ asked Lorenzo, only wonder why people didn’t “That just isn’t done in keep a closer eye on him (The Vir-
“I love Italy”
Here, I spend more time on work and studies.” For Lorenzo, besides the food and culture, one of the biggest surprises was the drastic difference in the quality of life: “In Fresno, you see the extremely rich and the extremely poor. There isn’t such a dramatic difference between people in Italy.” Overall, Felice and Lorenzo said they believe Americans are lucky to live in a country where they can follow their dreams and achieve great things, but it is also a land of contradiction. Americans are free, but they also face many dangers. “Before I came here, I heard about college shootings. I was prepared coming here that it was a little dangerous, but the college massacre in Virginia increased my feelings of being less safe. There is no security police on campus in Italy, but there is more crime here in the US,” said Felice. But, added Lorenzo, “Everything takes longer in Italy. A divorce can take a minimum of ﬁve years or longer if there are children, a driver’s license takes one year and costs $600, and guns are only available to a few select individuals after a lengthy background investigation. So, the bureaucracy in Italy would make this type of situation less likely,” said Lorenzo. But both he and Felice agreed, “It is too easy to get guns in America.” Lorenzo added, “Guns are big business, that’s one problem,
Italy.” “But that’s okay,” added Felice, “When they say, ‘I’ve got a boyfriend’, we say, ‘that’s okay we’re not jealous’. The fun is in meeting new people.” So, with all the differences they’ve experienced what have they learned? For Lorenzo, “You’ve got to adapt yourself. Love it the way it is. I love America. You can become whatever you want here.” Felice added,“Here, if you want to do something, you can do it, but in Italy you will ﬁnd more obstacles. America has great organizations in everything, but I hate politics. I think the war in Iraq is a waste of time and lives. I could understand the Afghanistan war, but I still don’t understand why Bush wants to keep troops in Iraq. I liked Clinton better, at least he made me laugh.” Felice continued, “I miss my mother, family, friends, and the [Italian] lifestyle. I love Italy. But, the family I have here have helped me a lot.” Lorenzo said, “I think Bush is doing pretty good, but because of the war people started disliking him. I think the war in Iraq is a business war. Some people are getting rich, but for the common people, they face the impact of losing friends and family in the war and paying over three dollars a gallon for gas. Life for them is more difﬁcult,” added Lorenzo, “With politics and life, the truth is always somewhere in the middle.” The most important lesson they both share is to appreciate each day and the people you meet along the way, and to always strive to succeed in education and in life; this is what they are doing in America, this is why they came. “Never give up your dreams,” said Lorenzo, “And remember to have fun,” added Felice.
“I love America”
Lorenzo Novielli Photos by Joseph Rios
May 2, 2007
‘A moment can change a person’s entire life’
A ID S By Francine Ramos Rampage Reporter
From the third floor of his downtown office, 30 year-old Daniel Mendoza is preparing for Red Ribbon AIDS Project’s 2nd Annual AIDS and HIV walk scheduled on October 6, 2007. An assortment of HIV, AIDS, and Abstinence as a Form of Safe Sex Pamphlets fill the tables throughout his office. Hung above his desk is a poster of 2006 Fresno’s First Annual AIDS walk which drew participants throughout the valley and as far away as Los Angeles and San Francisco. Mendoza points to the poster and says he was proud of all the people that were positively affected by last year’s event. “In early March of 1998, I tested positive for HIV. The Health Department informed me that by the looks of it, I had it since I was 18 or 19 years-old, I was 22 then…,” said Daniel Mendoza, “four years later I was diagnosed with full-blown AIDS. When I was younger, I always dreamt of going to college and becoming a therapist or a teacher. As time went on, I got caught up in the party scene, and that just took on a life of its own. When I tested positive, college was just not a priority anymore,” said Mendoza. In Fresno County, roughly 1,500 people are infected with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome better known as AIDS. Groups mostly affected by the disease are African Americans which account for only six percent of Fresno county population but an overwhelming 20 percent of AIDS infected cases. According to the Department of Community HealthCommunicable Disease Division, Men having sex with men (MSM) accounts for 67 percent of the cases. (MSM- recent term used to classify men who have sex with other men but don’t consider themselves homosexual.) The virus can be easily transmitted through sexual contact, contaminated needles or syringes, or infected blood transfusions. According to the Fresno County Health Department despite all the public knowledge on HIV and
Photo Illustration by Todd J. Placencia
AIDS, the number of cases for the disease has not declined. In the early 1980’s the first cases of AIDS were documented. Health officials soon realized that the HIV virus was indeed what caused AIDS. Since 1983, the Fresno County Health Department has been able to both report and maintain files on all AIDS reported cases. For HIV, the same cannot be told. Prior to 2002, all HIV cases were not reportable in the state of California. Then from July 2002 through April 2006, HIV cases were received under a confidential no-name system. “I waited three weeks before I went back to get my results. I was so scared. I had been in a relationship for over a month with someone I had really cared about. After we broke up, he called me and told me go get tested. When I received the results that I was positive I couldn’t believe it. I was devastated. I never thought it would happen to me,” said Mendoza. With this system,HIV testing was anonymous, and a person would receive a number after getting tested for HIV which would be used in identifying the person. And if that person tested positive for the virus, say in, Fresno County, then Fresno County would begin receiving money from the government for the person. But if the person being tested never came back to retrieve their results and say moved to Los Angeles County, got retested there and again tested positive, then Los Angeles County would also receive funding for this no-named person. So basically, the counties couldn’t accurately track whether or not the active cases were by a newly infected person with the no-name confidential numbering system. In April 2006, the flawed method of testing was changed. The Federal Government now required, California to participate in name reporting in regards to new HIV cases. If California did not agree to this new inventive way, then it would suffer in its funding. The golden State of California agreed, and now the new name reporting system is in effect. According to the Fresno County Department of Community Health, Communicable Disease Division, estimates that the reported cases of HIV in Fresno County as of January 31, 2007 as 40 newly infected persons. Names or Social Security Numbers of the recently positive tested individuals are now recorded both at a state and a federal level. Recently, the Fresno County Health Department has designated certain days and times, when one can get anonymous testing. Other than those set-aside times, the confidential name reporting system
Graph by Jen Langworthy
remains in effect. “The purpose for the change in HIV reporting is to maintain more accurate data on new cases. It is still confidential. The amount of people with access to the files are very few. The only time the name of the infected person is given is when that person is requesting services,” said Ahmad Bahrami Coordinator for WestCare and The Living Room services in Fresno. For the initial three to four months after the regulations took effect there, was no new information reported or received on HIV infected persons. According to the Fresno County Health Department, HIV is much more difficult to report and maintain compared to that of AIDS. With AIDS people infected seek out treatment and medications, and are easily accounted for. Programs like “The Living Room” and “Red Ribbon AIDS Project” provide services in prevention and maintaining a healthy lifestyle for all Fresno County residents. The Living Room also provides case management to both HIV and AIDS infected people throughout the Fresno County area. “Fresno is one of the larger metropolitan areas in the state. With that said, we still don’t get adequate funding compared with other places that get ten times more than us,” said Bahrami. The price of medication along with the physical cost associated with HIV and AIDS can take a toll on someone infected with the virus. Daniel Mendoza said that the price for his monthly medication can run as high as 4,000 a month. “One of the age groups that we see coming in are those in their early-mid twenties. I think that there is some preconceived notion with young people that if I get it (HIV) I’ll just take some medication and that’s it. But that’s not always the case. Meds have side-effects. They’re not grasping the full scope. They will have to take those meds for the rest of their life,” said Ahmad Bahrami. “The whole AIDS thing really changed me. I knew I had HIV but when it developed into AIDS and my family and I started to see it on the outside. I was shocked. I felt so ashamed,” said Mendoza. HIV the virus kills the body’s CD4 cells also called Thelper cells, which help the body
fight off infections. When HIV destroys the body’s immune system, it is no longer able to fight off illness. Through this the virus turns into AIDS. According to “The Living Room”, the only thing keeping someone infected with AIDS alive is the medication. Dr Jean Kennedy, instructor with the Women’s Studies Department of Fresno City College says that the virus has a mind of its own. On top of the all the other elements that make AIDS unique, when compared to other disease, the most shocking is the legal aspect of AIDS and HIV. This disease is the only communicable disease that has legislation attached to it. It can penalize a person and cause an individual to be charged with a crime if he or she is infected with the virus, knows of it, and does not disclose it to the other person. “I am amazed with how a person with HIV can be so discriminated against. On top of having HIV there are other discriminating factors like color that can stigmatize a person,” said Dr. Kennedy And it is the fear of knowing that Dr. Jean Kennedy says holds most people of all ages from getting tested. “It’s the fear of the unknown. If you know you have the virus, you cannot say you don’t know. Ignorance is Bliss. With the Knowledge of being positive, you then have to contemplate how is my family going to receive me, what about my future, my limitations and my once carefree spirit.” Recently the Centers for Disease Control revealed that more people are infected with the HIV than the numbers show. The reason is because people are not
getting tested and are not aware of their status. “People just get caught in the heat of the moment. Condom and safe sex awareness doesn’t always work,” said Daniel Mendoza “and that moment can change a person’s entire life.” “It’s important to let people know what they are doing to put themselves at risk for the virus and how to prevent that from happening. The County has mobile units where one can get tested. If people are going participate in risky behavior, then they should be prepared for the possible outcome..,” said Ahmad Bahrami. It’s Thursday morning in late March, along the back streets in downtown Fresno, Daniel Mendoza prepares the day’s meals. Not for him, but for those with HIV and AIDS that are homeless or have no food to eat. Mendoza’s T-cell are on the rise and combined with living a healthy lifestyle and taking his medication, his health has dramatically improved. At 9 he begins handing out breads and non-perishable items such as canned foods to those in line. Most of them have been referred over from different agencies like The Living Room/Westcare, Community Special Services (UMC), and the Health Department. Mendoza said, “I’m out here every Thursday rain or shine. It’s a part of the Red Ribbon AIDS Project. I give food to those that need it and sometimes some words of encouragement. I’ve been doing it for over a year now. For those that have become too ill because of AIDS, we will take food to their homes. It’s important to maintain healthy eating habits and eat right. Anyway I can help, in any way, I will.”
Rampage 6 Continued from page one
Work study funds depleted
Unemployed students cope with the loss of guaranteed income grades. So if you were getting paid $7.50 before you now made $8.50, if you were making $8.50 it went up to $9.50 and so on. This subtle shift in pay had a more dramatic effect on the College’s budget than originally anticipated, but it still doesn’t explain why hundreds of students only received a week’s notice, and others only got three days. Because of this short notice and loss of their remaining FWS funds, some students are now re-thinking their summer classes because they have to start putting
RAMPAGE FRESNO CITY COLLEGE 1101 E. UNIVERSITY AVE. FRESNO, CA 93741 Ed Editor-in-chief: Matt Mendez News Editor: Leah S. Edwards Sports Editor: Joseph Rios Views Editor: Ife-Chudeni Oputa Entertainment Editor: Maylin Tu Copy Editor: Buen Moua Photo Editor: Todd J. Placencia Business Manager: Leah Edwards/ Shelise Holliday
Reporters Leah Edwards, Joseph Rios, Ife-Chudeni Oputa, Maylin Tu, Buen Moua, D.C. Leavy, Eddie Ortiz, Johanna Tanori, Bianca Betancourt, Shirley Nakagawa, Cody Gless, Francine Ramos, Matt Mendez
Photography/ Graphics Todd J. Placencia, Cinthia Rodriguez, Joseph Rios, Jen Langworthy
in applications for a summer job. Along with the notice, the Financial Aid Office included a list of options that were designed to assist any students who found it difficult to deal with the unexpected financial hardship: 1. 2007 FCC Spring Job Fair - Wednesday, April 18, 2007, from 8:00 am to 1:00 p.m. in the Cafeteria and free speech area. Which had over 40 employers. 2. To go to www.jobs. fresnocitycollege.edu to view and apply for jobs on-line
Business: (559) 442-8262 Production Rm:(559) 442-8263 Fax: (559) 265-5783 E-mail: Editor In Chief: rampage-editor@fresnocitycollege. edu Rampage business Ofﬁce: rampage-business@ fresnocitycollege.edu Advisor: dympna.ugwu-oju@ fresnocitycollege.edu
Rampage is an award-winning newspaper published biweekly by the Fresno City College Journalism 4 & 5 program and is a member of the Journalism Association of Community Colleges. Views expressed in The Rampage are those of the individual writers and do not necessarily reflect those of Fresno City College, its students, administration or the State Center Community College District. Letters to the editor and submissions to the calendar will be accepted via e-mail or in person 12 noon - 1 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, at The Rampage, Room SC- 211, above the bookstore. Please keep all letters to a maximum of 500 words along with contact information.
3. Visit the Employment Resource Center in LI-147 for assistance in developing a resume, application assistance, interview development, and job seeking skills. Some students in FWS program are still questioning the letter and email received: “How does a pay increase deplete the amount of money that was awarded to them? If a person won the lottery and the terms for the award were that they could only take out a set amount of money a month, no matter how much another person won or how many people won, you would still have your winnings secured. Shouldn’t the budget for Federal Work Study be the same way?” asked one student. “How exactly does a dollar increase mean that students no longer can receive the money promised to them?” “So where did the cash go?” another student wondered. Assistants at the financial aid office declined to give an answer and only stated the same statement that was given to students in the announcement letters. The Financial Aid Director, Frank Ramon, stated, “This change is due in part to the increase in the state minimum wage, which depleted the College’s funding faster than originally projected.” Hopefully the college’s budgeting problems will be fixed by next semester; otherwise even more students will lose out on a great opportunity to work for FCC and gain experience in their potential careers.
If students have any questions, they should contact the Financial Aid Office at (559) 442-8245.
May 2, 2007
Bearing Fruit at FCC David Mas Masumoto shares his stories By Buen Moua Rampage Reporter Organic peach and grape farmer and author of A Harvest of Memories and Epitaph for a Peach, David Mas Masumoto, came to Fresno City College on April 18 at 11 a.m. in the Student Lounge, part of the Asian American Month-long celebration. Students, staff and faculty had the chance to hear Masumoto share some passages from his books also including Letters to the Valley, and about his life experience as a farmer and the Asian-American experience. “My focus is on real people, real work,” stated Masumoto during his speech. As a third generation organic farmer who also grows nectarines and raisins on his farm in Delray just south of Fresno, CA, his writing reflects his bearing of fruit on the farm. His inspiration for writing, he said, had to do with stories. “I think it is important we retell these stories,” said Masumoto. Alongside the readings, Masumoto discussed with FCC students about names. He talked about how many immigrants and Asian-Americans would have two different names, one cultural name usually only used at home and the other an American name when at
David Mas Masumoto
school or outside the house. “The interaction with the students and staff and faculty, especially with the names,” said Masumoto was what he had enjoyed most speaking at FCC. After the one hour speech, students, staff and faculty had the chance meet with David Mas Masumoto, get books and CDs signed, and sit down with him in the patio area outside the student lounge to meet and discuss some of the topics he had brought up in his presentation; including the Virginia Tech shooting and Asian names versus American names. What Masumoto would say to students who want to become writers is “don’t worry about the actual writing, just get the story out.”
David Masumoto working on the family farm.
News Graduation - turning point in people’s lives
May 2, 2007
by Shirley Nakagawa Rampage Reporter Next to a wedding day, graduation is the ceremony of a lifetime. The rehearsals, announcements, gowns, photographers, music – Pomp and Circumstance, and the hand shakes, all mark a significant moment in the life of any student, but particularly for those earning their degrees in spite of incredible odds. One student who has defied the odds to graduate is Scott Parisi, who will receive a Certificate of Achievement and an AS degree in Drug and Alcohol Counseling. Parisi said he chose this field to “give back” to society which supported him as he battled his addiction to dangerous substances. Parisi said it took six years to complete his program at FCC because he suffered many interruptions. “I feel great, said Parisi. “This is as high I as I want to feel.” Parisi also suffers from a disease that mimics Parkinsons. He credits his success to the support he received from his family and the State of California’s Dept of Rehabilitation. Of his family, he said, “They are real proud of me.” Ned Doffoney, Fresno City College’s President, said that he is proud of every student who is graduating and that he looks forward to the ceremonies every
year. He added that graduation is the most exciting parts of his job because it is an opportunity to recognize people who are reaching their potential. Doffoney said that a graduation ceremony also means that the college as a whole is a success. For Doffoney, the bag pipes add to the special feeling that prevails on graduation. “It just somehow signals the moment,” said Doffoney, smiling. “It’s such a significant signal that this is really happening for these students.” Dr. Doffoney said he is proud to shake hands with each and every student as he hands them a document worthy to be framed. Fresno City College’s 2007 graduation ceremony will be held at the Selland Arena on May 18, 2007 at 7:30 p.m. According to the Gurdeep Sihota, College Activities Director, an estimated five thousand people are expected to attend the ceremonies to celebrate the 500 students who will be receiving diplomas or certificates during the activities. Although not all graduates choose to participate in the ceremonies, Sihota said that it is a wonderful opportunity for graduates to “walk across the stage and have your name announced.” The 2007 graduation speaker will be the acclaimed awardwinning poet, Gary Soto. Soto, who resides with his wife in Berkley, California, is a native of Fresno and an Alumnus of Fresno
City College, graduating in 1972. He will be honored as the “Alumni of the Year.” Soto said that May 18, 2007 will be a day of honor for all the graduates, the FCC faculty, and himself. Recently, Soto and his wife donated $300,000 to the Old Administration Building fund. In a telephone interview from his home in Berkley, California, Soto said, “My wife and I are happy to make this donation as well as scholarships to the students of Parlier and Selma high schools.” He explained that he was not motivated by sentiments. While never actually taking any classes in the historic building, Soto said he recalls paying for his classes in the building before it was shut down in 1973. “When it comes to a cause, what can be better than the cause of restoration,” said Soto. Soto will also be at Fresno City College on Thursday, May 3, for the Cinco de Mayo celebrations. Soto is one of the most famous Fresno City College alumni. After FCC, Soto had transferred to California State University, Fresno, where he majored in English and found his calling as a writer. Among his many awards are: a 1995 finalist for both the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the National Book Award. His recollections Living up the Street received a Before Columbus Foundation 1985 American Book Award. His poems have appeared
in many literary magazines, including The Nation and the Iowa Review to name a few. Other graduation-related activities include a ceremony for students who are completing certificate programs. This will be at the Tower Theater at 5 p.m. on May 12th, about one week before the final ceremonies at the Selland Arena. Honors Recognition ceremony will be held at the Tower Theater May 12th 2007 at 5 p.m., just two hours after the commencement of certificate competition. Sihota described the honors ceremony as an event “where they get their gold tassels, and this marks the students who are graduating with honors.” The Deans Medallion recipients are chosen by each division to represent students who have really overcome a lot in their life to attain their degree or certificate. Students have to apply for this program and the deans select which students to honor, based largely on their written personal statements. Scott Parisi, like the hundreds of others graduating with him, will move on to careers and further education. Parisi plans to do both. His goal is to work with addicts in a state prison’s rehabilitation program while continuing college on a part-time basis.
Photo by Cinthia Rodriguez
Photo by Bruce Curtis @ www.valueﬂora.com
Faces of USEAA: students share experiences in FCC program “Hey, we’re here, we’re Southeast Asian, and we’re going to be around.”
by Ife-Chudeni Oputa Rampage Reporter What is USEAA? According to the Fresno City College website, USEAA, which stands for United Southeast Asian Americans, “is designed to assist transfer students, and the goal is to increase the number of Southeast Asian American students transferring to four-year institutions”. Students of Asian/Pacific Islander descent account for 14% of Fresno City College’s student body. While USEAA is open to students of all backgrounds, the program is designed with an emphasis on Southeast Asian culture. The USEAA program provides English 125, English 126, English 1A, and two guided studies courses for students. “Because of what they did and everything, I know what to do now, and it seems like I could do whatever I want.” – Pheng Vang Guidance, guidance, guidance, is what USEAA offers its students. “I’m Pheng Vang a first year student here, and I wouldn’t know what to do,” said USEAA student Pheng Vang, “I want to pursue a higher education, I just don’t know
which way to do it … and then, talking to Shoua the counselor, getting to meet, she’s telling me that this could be my first step into my future career.” Through the guided studies courses and regular meetings with Shoua Yang, the program counselor, USEAA students have a body of support throughout their experience at FCC.
“They know we can do it, but we’rejustlazy,sothey’repushingus.” - Kathy Vue Teachers and counselors bring their unique experiences to the classroom. “Mr. Herrick, he emphasizes a lot on wanting to speak up for ourselves and what culture we came from. Don’t be afraid, let people know,” said USEAA student Connie Mahavong. “I think that’s the good thing about the English class. So that we can put the word out there, we can write it out there saying, ‘hey we’re here, we’re Southeast Asian and we’re going to be around.’” “Mrs. McCafferty, she’s very gentle and nice,” said Mahavong. “She’s kind of like the mother watching out for us.” In addition to teaching their respective subjects, the USEAA instructors make time to support the students. “Shoua Yang the counselor, she sees us inside and outside of class,” said Mahavong. “That’s one thing that’s great about her, that she wants us to do better for ourselves and make sure we’re on the right track.”
“They’re very busy, but then I don’t know how they find time just for us,” said USEAA student Kathy Vue. “I feel special.”
“It’s a struggle, but we want to improve our lifestyles so we come here.” – Connie Mahavong Vue, Vang, and Mahavong spoke for most of the USEAA students when they said, “It’s a struggle.” “I wanted to continue in education to better my life,” said Mahavong. “My background, we were very low income. My parents were on welfare and all that stuff.” Mahavong is completing her third year at FCC and will transfer to California State University Fresno next semester. She grew up in a family of nine, and is the first to get a degree and attend a university. Vang also comes from a large family. “Well, I’m Hmong, and I’m the first generation here from my family, and there’s a total of ten children including me,” said Vang. “It’s been very hard for my parents … they need our help and stuff, and if you don’t want to help them, in a way we’re looking down on them.” “Well, I’m the oldest daughter of five, and I’m the only daughter,” said Vue, “so you have a lot of expectations … especially coming from a Hmong family. You can’t dishonor them or anything like that, and you’re expected to do a lot.” All three USEAA students have to juggle family, bills, and work, while continuing to work on their education.
“I kind of speak for the majority of the USEAA program because we come from a poor income, low-income family,” said Mahavong, “and with that struggle it’s like, they expect us … to be a doctor and stuff like that, but then again they also want us to work so we can bring income for the family.” “They want to see us pursue a higher education so that we won’t have to experience the same thing … so we can catch up with the other ethnicities in the near future,” said Vang. “It’s the friendship bond. It’s hard to explain. It’s unexplainable, but it’s there.” – Kathy Vue In addition to academic guidance and support, the USEAA students gain lasting friendships from their experience. “When we first got into the class, it’s like we didn’t do anything at all. We were still shy. But then, that class made us open our hearts and minds and we opened feelings. We can talk about anything, we share feelings, we talk about homework, we have class discussions, we talk, we do a lot of things,” said Vang. “Because we’ve been seeing each other throughout the fall all the way to spring, that’s how by the end of the year we actually get to know each other,” Mahavong laughed, “Like Pheng, he’s like a punk rocker.”
Students build friendships in and outside of class with program trips to University of California campuses, or just hanging out on their own, drinking boba and talking. “The unique thing about it is that everyone’s different, but we share something in common.” – Kathy Vue USEAA is targeted toward the Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, and Vietnamese cultures of Southeast Asia. While each ethnicity originates in Southeast Asia, each one has distinct practices and Kathy Vue traditions. “Even though we’re Asians, we’re all different in our own way too, you know,” said Vue. USEAA provides a place for students to learn about those differences and work toward a common interest. “You learn about other ethnic groups, not just your own,” said Mahavong, “You understand that every aspect is the same. Where you guys come from, what backgrounds, and the struggles they all had.” “Even if there’s different marriage ceremonies, and there’s different ways to negotiate, and stuff, we’re all in it together,” said Vue. “For that brief second, we’re just in there together. United Southeast Asian Americans. USEAA.” Photos contributed by Kathy Vue
Puente Turns By Eddie Ortiz Rampage Reporter Joe Rios is a Puente student whose life has been changed because of the program. Rios was a student looking for an English class at first. The English class Rios was originally in didn’t suit him. Joe was recommended Puente, so he visited Puente’s counselor Monica Nolasco. “Puente was the perfect thing in my educational career. I was taking worthless classes that I wasn’t passing.” Said Rios. According to Rios English 125 and English1 A focuses on Latino Chicano literature, that has kept Rios engaged. “They [Puente] gives you tools,” said Rios. Rios said that because of Puente he has a sense of direction and knows where he wants to go in life. “I now know how to get from point a to point b.” Puente (Spanish for “bridge”) is a national award winning program that helps prepare students to transfer to four-year colleges and universities, earn their degrees and return to community as leaders and return to the community as leaders and mentors to future generations. Students commit to one-year of English instruction, sustained counseling, and mentoring. Puente has been on the FCC campus since 1987. Puente was started by Felix Galaviz, a counselor and Pat McGrath, an English Instructor in
1981. The program took off in the bay area at Chabot College. Since then, Puente has expanded to 38 community and 32 high schools throughout California, and tens of thousands of students have been served. The initial goal for the start of Puente was to increase the number of Mexican American and Latino students who transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Puente is open to all students. To be eligible you first take the FCC placement test, and then qualify to register into English 125 & 126. Additional eligibilities include: willing to commit to one year, have an interest in transferring to a four-year university, and have an interest in topics dealing with the Chicano/Latino community. Requirements for the program include the following: eligible to enroll into English 125 & 126, must concurrently enroll into Guidance 47A, meet with a Puente Mentor periodically, make a commitment to the Fall & Spring academic year, and participate in field trips and other program activities. There are three phases in Puente. The first phase takes place in the fall; you take English 125 & 126 and Guidance Studies 47A. You sit down with a Puente Counselor and come up with
May 2, 2007
Puente program students and staff pose with motivational leader Sal Castro. a student educational plan. You participate in college tours, meetings with mentors, and numerous extracurricular activities. Phase two takes place in the spring. Students go on to English 1A and Guidance Studies 48. Students who have already passed English 125 & 126 can join Puente in the spring and take English 1A. Phase two also includes: student educational plans with Puente Counselor, meeting with mentors, college tours, transfer motivational conference, and extracurricular activities. Phase three takes place until you transfer. It includes: college tours, workshops on completing applications and essays to colleges and universities, meeting with college reps, scholarship information, student Educational plans with Puente Counselor, and the opportunity to complete critical thinking requirement with an
Puente English Instructor. Puente consists of a staff of three: Monica Nolasco, counselor, Luis Contreras and Teresa Tarazi, English Instructors. When I asked Monica Nolasco, counselor about Puente’s milestone she replied “It’s [Puente] been a very successful program. 20 years is a long time,” said Nolasco. Students don’t just become people in a class; they become what Nolasco refers to as “familia”. “Students become close; they become familia in the end,” said Nolasco gleefully. Working together is the whole model of Puente according Nolasco. Once students transfer and go on to four- year universities, Nolasco hopes students come as Puente Mentors. According to Nolasco the program has been “Successful”. Over 20,000 students have been served to date. Over 280,000
Photo by Leah Edwards
students have benefited from the impact of Puente. Retention of Puente students is 92 percent, compared with 60 percent for community college worldwide. Community colleges with Puente programs transfer 44 percent more Latino students to the University of California than colleges without Puente. As for the future of Puente, according to Nolasco a cohort could be in the future, but she needs to talk to her supervisor of this proposal. An end of the year reception is held in May to celebrate the completion of the year. To register for Puente contact Monica Nolaso at the counseling center or visit ST 204 in the counseling center in the student services building. Phone Number is 442-4600 ext.8644. you can also visit www.puente.net for more statewide news and information.
FCC offers psychological couseling for students in need
continued from page one
can an ‘unforeseen tragedy’ be remedied?” What can be done to prevent such horrific events from taking place in the future? Doffoney responded that the only way Fresno City College can prevent this tragedy or a similar set of events from happening here is “to be adequately prepared for the most unimaginable set of circumstances.” He said that Fresno City College is in the process of adopting its “Emergency Action Guide” (EAG). This plan is thorough and encompasses how to respond to a number of emergency situations that may arise on this campus.
“The emergency action guide (EAG) looks at a number of unforeseeable circumstances” “everything from Bio-threats to building evacuations, as well as hazardous materials and medical emergencies,” stated Doffoney. The EAG also covers instances and emergencies such as: Bomb threats, civil disturbances, earthquakes, explosions & aircraft crashes, fire, first aid, and Power/ gas/water failure. It provides details of responders as well as rescue processes for all possible scenarios. But what about the tell tale warning signs for students who are
Photos courtesy of College Activities
After the Virginia Tech shootings, the Student Union asked for Paper Cranes to be sent to them from colleges & universities to hang in their Student Union building to signify Peace & Hope. At our recent AsianFest event with the help of Ray Thomas,Upward Bound Students, have 1, 670 Origami Cranes ready to be sent to Virginia Tech.
displaying disparate behavior and apparently struggling emotionally or psychologically? According news reports, Cho Seung-Hui, the assailant of the Virginia Tech shootings showed multiple signs, writing horrific and sexually explicit papers as well as physically stalking two female students on campus, “Cho didn’t appear out of nowhere” stated one FCC student who asked to remain anonymous due to his ROTC status; “The signs were there but why didn’t anyone step in?” “Certainly there are lots of opportunities for faculty and staff to intervene when a student is showing desparate behavior. There are, however student rights we are bound to adhere to,” stated Doffoney. Doffoney who said: “When you ask people to think broadly and critically, you are exposed to a level of risk. The very core of an academic administration is freedom: Freedom of thought, expression, movement and ideas. When you have that as a value, you also have the opportunity for risk.” While students cannot be forced to seek help, FCC does offer a variety of services to students: psychological services, counseling services as well as student support activities. These, like anything else, however, “aren’t perfect,” says Doffoney. Tom Crow also elaborated on the wealth of services FCC makes available to students on
campus: “Through the DSP&S (disabled student programs and services) there are many services available for students with emotional and psychological problems,” said Crow “Safety is our number-one concern,” which is why “We also have a referral system where any faculty member or member of the student body may report actions of another person here on campus,” Crow added. When the services that FCC provides don’t suffice, matters are immediately turned over to the police, who according to Doffoney, “react very quickly” and “intervene quite often when necessary.” FCC along with the rest of the SCCCD (State Center Community College District) will continue to improve its means of providing campus safety through comprehensive training as well as the introduction of “Table Top Simulations.” Table Top Simulations are hypothetical scenarios posed to staff members who will then be instructed to effectively react to any given “unforeseen” event set of events. Students and Staff are encouraged to speak out, utilize all the services that FCC has available, and contact College Activities if they are interested in contributing to the construction of the origami cranes that are being sent out to Virginia Tech with our condolences.
The Origami Expert, Ray Thomas works for the Hanford Sentinel and has had a couple articles written about him and origami. The most recent has to do with his decision to make 33,000 – a thousand for each victim and the shooter.
2 SPIDEY YED IPS
sides to every
The internet’s most discussed storyline; the comic-book world’s most celebrated superhero; this summer’s biggest movie. After ‘Spiderman 3’, how can any movie be considered ‘highly anticipated’? by Matthew T. Mendez Rampage Reporter How do you begin to write a review for a movie you’ve been waiting your whole life for and still manage to remain objective? You don’t. You completely geek out and tell the world how satisfied you are with the physical result of what, for nearly 20 years, existed only inside your imagination. It may not have played out EXACTLY the same as it would have if you made it, but then again, when has anything you’ve ever planned out went well at all? Before I forget what I’m supposed to be writing about, I probably should mention that Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and James Franco all return for the third installment of what has
become the biggest American motion picture franchise since the one about that ring (and possibly of all time). A lot has been said about how much was fit into this storyline, but if there was one comicbook plotline that had to be given its own film, it’s the tale of the black costume. In the comic, Spiderman came back to earth with the alien symbiote after fighting some ridiculous cosmic war in space. Obviously, this would have made a great movie (j/ k), but Sam Raimi decided not to go with This movie is too big and too important to its fans to give the main events of the film away in some community college newspaper (no matter how classy it may
be). As a comic going to end up nerd, ethically being the one film all I can do is everybody loves inform the rest the most, or at of us nerds that Sure was Cool least I will. their favorite M y characters were biggest probdone justice, but lem now that Venom fans may I’ve seen still be a little the film is to disappointed. If find anothert You’s a fool ever there were movie to ever a character who get excited about deserved an enagain. I guess I’ll tire film dedijust have to wait cated to him, it’s Eddie Brock. until “Spiderman 6,” when they Be ready for some of the most introduce the spawn of intense action sequences in film Venom, the serial killer history, including Spiderman vs. known as Carnage. Venom at a construction site, Peter and Harry battling in mid air, and Super Sandman destroying New York City. Sony has been determined not to allow their prize film of 2007 to be pirated, bu still, some copies have leaked online. Carnage While not quite as critically acclaimed as “Spiderman 2,” the conclusion is probably
The 10 best movies you’ve never seen By Maylin Tu Entertainment Editor With a movie like “Disturbia” ranking No. 1 at the box ofﬁce for three straight weeks and barely any originality in sight for the summer months, I decided to compile a list of ten great movies available on DVD that you’ve probably never seen—or heard of. This is my promise to you: 1) None of these movies star Tom Cruise. Not even in a cameo. 2) All of these movies are entertaining without being formulaic—or starring Tom Cruise. 3) All of these movies will rock your socks off. So stand up to the man, buck the system, refuse to kowtow to the fetid mediocrity of sequels, prequels and any and all movies starring a Baldwin brother, grab your toffee pulls and your kettle corn, and go ﬁnd these movies. (P.S. I can’t promise you’ll be able to ﬁnd all these movies easily. That’s why they’re called “The 10 best movies you’ve never seen.” Try Netﬂix or Blockbuster online.) 1. Another Country (1984) 90 min. PG.
Based on a play by Julian Mitchell, “Another Country” is a work of historical conjecture about Cambridge spy Guy Burgess. In
1930’s England, Guy (Rupert Everett) ﬁnds that his love affair with the cute boy next door keeps him from social acceptance at an elite boarding school. A very young and very nice looking Colin Firth plays Guy’s best friend, a Marxist with a quick wit, and Cary Elwes of “Princess Bride” fame plays his schoolboy crush.
years old and still sucks his thumb. Luckily, his orthodontist (Keanu Reeves) has the answer. As much as I hate to feature two ﬁlms with Keanu Reeves, he has all of the best lines. Watch this one for its insight into parent-child relationships, its humor, and its great performances. 5. Limbo (1999) 126 min. R.
2. Box of Moonlight (1996) 112 min. R.
Anal-retentive tight asterick (John Turturro) meets slightly cracked free spirit (Sam Rockwell) and learns how to let go and hurl a tomato once in while. Don’t ask. Just watch—unless the thought of seeing Sam Rockwell in the nude makes you want to gag. 3. My Life So Far (1999) 98 min. PG-13.
Not to be confused with the TV show “My so-called life,” this film details a childhood in Scotland, not an adolescence in Pennsylvania. As life seen through a child’s eyes, it is equal parts hilarious and old-fashioned. 4. Thumbsucker (2005) 96 min. R.
Justin (Lou Taylor Pucci), son of Audrey (Tilda Swinton) and Mike (Vincent D’Onofrio) has a problem. As you may have guessed from the title, he is 17
An intelligent, emotionally believable film about damaged people who ﬁnd belonging in each other. “Limbo” is set against the backdrop of modern day Alaska, and includes some of the most authentic (and well-written) dialogue you will ever hear. 6. Unbelievable Truth (1989) 90 min. R.
A mysterious stranger (Robert Burke) comes to town looking suspiciously like...Robocop. But instead of ﬁghting crime, this guy has taken a vow never to drink, never to drive, and never to have sex. Soon, he develops a tentative relationship with a nuclear-apocalypse obsessed high school girl (Adrienne Shelly). My favorite scene: Shelly’s nude modeling debut. I won’t lie: “The Unbelievable Truth” is what we in the biz like to call an “art” ﬁlm. But it’s funny. And intelligent. And I personally feel like running up to Hal Hartley and giving him a big
kiss on the mouth just for doing something different. 7. Bottle Rocket (1996) 92 min. R.
Back in the days of yore at a little place called the University of Texas at Austin, a fateful meeting took place: “Wes Andersen? Meet Owen C. Wilson.” A creative partnership of mythic proportions (“Rushmore,” “Life Aquatic,” ) was born, and they made their feature debut with a movie called “ Bottle Rocket.” Delineating what could best be described as an unsuccessful foray into petty crime by a trio of self-serious losers, “Bottle Rocket” is about idealism, persistence, and giving Owen and Luke Wilson the chance to ﬁght like little girls. This movie is hilarious. This movie is quotable. My mom liked this movie. And so will you. 8. Beautiful Girls (1996) 112 min. R.
Are your buddies still smoking pot and reliving the glory days of high school? Are you afraid to propose to your girlfriend and secretly smarting because you will never be the musical prodigy you’ve always wanted to be? Welcome to the world of “Beautiful Girls,” as Timothy Hutton discovers you can’t hit on the underage girl next door forever, and growing
up is hard to do. Witty dialogue, ruminations on the nature of love and beauty, an ensemble featuring the likes of Matt Dillon and Uma Thurman—honestly, what more could a cinephile ask for? Slam bang cast aside, watch this movie just for the enjoyability factor. No profound insights here—but with a cast and script like this, that’s ok. 9. Permanent Record (1988) 91 min. R.
See Keanu. See Keanu laugh. See Keanu cry. See Keanu—*gasp*—act. Go Keanu go! Before there was Bill or Ted, before there was Neo, and before there was a travesty against moviegoing humanity dubbed “The Lake House”—there was a nicely observed ﬁlm called “Permanent Record” that tackled the issue of teen suicide with sensitivity and depth. Wow, teenagers have emotions and the ability to process complex ideas? I never knew. 10. Second Sight (1999) 169 min. Unrated.
“Second Sight” is technically a TV show, not a movie, and technically proof that, sometimes, the Brits do it better. Sure, the mystery takes almost three times as long to wrap up as an episode of CSI and the solution may seem obvious, but Clive Owen, as DCI Ross Tanner, has onscreen presence to burn.
May 2, 2007
5 artists to know and 2 to forget By Eddie Ortiz
Amy Winehouse Fresh off her win at the 2006 Brit awards, where she won Best Female Solo Artist of the Year, Amy Winehouse is a bawdy neo-soul siren ready to hit the U.S. with her unique sound: It’s appropriate that the ﬁrst song on Amy Winehouse’s album “Back to
Black” is the revivalist “Rehab,” given her penchant for booze, men, and the fast life. But to only recognize the 23-yearold’s subject matter is to overlook her talent. Though she peppers her songs with enough four-letter words to shame a sailor, the singer’s commanding voice exudes vulnerability. It’s a neat trick, and one that just might conjure images of superheroes such as Nina Simone and Billie Holiday. On her latest, Winehouse’s gravel-lined pipes growl at errant lovers over thick horns and sliding keyboards, placing her securely amongst her neo-soul sisters - consider her Christina Aguilera on a bender.” –Vh1.com Winehouse’s sophomore effort “Back to Black” recently entered the U.S. billboard 200 album charts at No.7, making her the highest ranking British female artist to debut on the U.S. music charts and her ﬁrst single “You Know I’m No Good” is a big hit on Vh1 and MTV. “Back to Black” and her ﬁrst album “Frank” can be bought in stores now.
He’s been compared to last year’s breakout Brit star, James Blunt, but from his husky voice to his stellar sound, James Morrison is a star in his own right. Morrison is a singer/songwriter who comes hails from Rugby, England. His musical style is a mix of soul, pop, Adult Contemporary, jazz, rock, and Alternative.
Paolo Nutini Paolo Nutini is a singer/songwriter who hails from Scotland. His debut album “These Streets” entered the U.K. charts at No.3 and debuted in the U.S at No.48 on the Billboard 200. His ﬁrst Single “New Shoes” is on heavy rotation on Vh1 and MTV. He is one of Vh1’s “You Ought to Know” artists.
His debut album “Undiscovered” reached No. 1 in the U.K. and has sold 2 million copies worldwide. “Undiscovered” recently made its American debut when it entered at the No.24 position on the billboard charts. His First single “You Give Me Something” has sold 1.3 million copies worldwide. Morrison recently walked away with the 2007 Brit award for Best British Male Solo Artist. “Undiscovered” is currently available in stores.
Nutini was signed to Atlantic Records in May 2005 shortly after his 18th birthday. Nutini’s rock sound has been compared to David Bowie. His inﬂuences are: Damien Rice, Oasis, The Beatles, U2, Pink Floyd, and Fleetwood Mac. Nutini has been conﬁrmed as one of the artists taking part in the Live Earth concerts on July 7th, 2007.
“Finishing my college education was a life-long dream. This program made it possible in a very short period of time.” Linda Calandra, graduate, FPU degree completion program Development officer, Fresno County Library
Working adults all over the Valley will finish their bachelor’s degrees in
Lily Allen is an English Pop artist, who became mildly known to the public with her song “Smile”. She is the daughter of actor/comedian/musician Keith Allen and ﬁlm producer Allison Owen. “Smile” has reached No. 1 on the U.K. single charts and the video for “Smile” has become a huge hit on MTV. Allen became well known when she created a MySpace site for her demos; her demos were received positively. “Alright, Still” is Allen’s debut album. It sold 2 million copies in the U.K. and debuted at No.20 on the U.S. billboard album charts. the No.1 reason to love ’07, ranked third coolest person of the year, included on the NME Cool list of 2006, Selected as the “Hottest Woman of Pop/ R&B” in Blender Magazine, and nominated for four Brit Awards in 2007.
Gym Class Heroes
at Fresno Pacific University before the end of next year.
Will you be one of them?
Thursday, May 3 & June 7, 2007 • 5:30 p.m. Call 453-3440 to reserve your spot.
5 River Park Place West, Suite 201, Fresno, CA 93720 | fresno.edu
Allen’s pop-ska musical style will make you “smile, smile”.
Business Management, Christian Ministries, Early Childhood Development, Organizational Leadership, Liberal Arts or Criminology and Restorative Justice Studies
Allen has been the subject of many controversies, mainly because of her expressed opinions of other musicians. She has been voted
Though they are not new to the music industry—the band formed in 1997—Gym Class Heroes is making a splash in 2007. Gym Class Heroes is an alternative hip hop band from Geneva, New York. The band is best known for their Billboard Hot 100 top 5 single “Cupid’s Chokehold” from their ﬁfth studio album “As cruel as School children”. They use live instruments. Lead by lead vocalist Travis McCoy, Gym Class Heroes is on the rise, and with major airplay of “Cupid’s Chokehold” on MTV and being signed to Pete Wentz’s (of Fall Out Boy) record label Decaydance, the band isn’t short on supporters. They will open for Gwen Stefani’s “Sweet Escape” Tour in Australia and New Zealand during July and August 2007.
May 2, 2007
Photo by Cinthia Rodriguez
Octopus and rabbit win the day By Johanna Tanori
The Art Space Gallery had its opening day of the new student exhibit on April 27, 2007. There was an array of artwork accepted into the show with mediums ranging from painting to sculpture to photography—and even jewelry. Students were requested to submit work that was originally created for a class assignment. In total there were 167 pieces submitted, but only 58 were admitted to the show. They were then looked at by a panel that included Edward Lund (the new Art Space curator) and Jothany Blackwood (dean of the ﬁne arts division), who judged the work on originality and creativity. Seven awards were given out, including six honorable mentions. Of the winners, I was really intrigued by the winner of the FOTA (Friends of the Arts) award, Michael Lewis, for his piece called “Cephalopod”. “Cephalopod” is a wooden sculpted octopus that has ﬂailing arms and conveys such a sense of motion that I thought it might jump up and eat my face off. Dang, it was intense. Of course there was also the Faculty Award given to artist Christian Carderras for his painting called “Keepin It Real”,
Rampage Reporter which gave us the startling moment between a rabbit and his soon to be dinner, the carrot. I totally loved this piece because it reassures me that someone else might believe the same thing I do: eating vegetables is just as evil as eating meat. Therefore, we should all eat candy instead. Speaking of sweet things, there was also the painting that took home the Curator’s Award, “The Aggravator”, a painting by Samantha Larcano. This painting is comical enough to bring the emotions of love into a candy-bowl standstill shoot off—complete with staring glances and guns. Overall, the show is a rainbow of items, much like the student body on the FCC campus. I enjoyed the variety, as I am always looking for a change, and it was nice to see students get the opportunity to proudly display their artwork in a professional setting. I highly advise checking it out and supporting your fellow classmates. There is such an array of creativity that there is sure to be something that will make you smile. Or maybe even eat your face off.
‘City Dances’ see page 12
May 2, 2007
Preview ﬁt for a pirate ‘City Dances’ to its own beat Wenches and pirates alike gathered from far and near in San Francisco this March to attend the “ultimate fan event.” These dedicated pirate lovers were the ﬁrst in the world to preview the trailer release of “At Worlds End.” The ﬁlm will serve as the third part in Disney’s epic ﬁlm series “Pirates of the Caribbean.” The release date for “At Worlds End,” what actor and stuntman Martin Klebba believes to be “the best so far,” is set for May 25, 2007. The various festivities ranged from costume contests, live skits and everything in between. The event was kicked off by a ﬁve piece “pirate folk” band with a song titled “Dead Man’s Chest,” dedicated to Part II of the “Pirates” series. Among the wily crew of stage performers and fans emerged a heavier set Jack Sparrow look-a-like. This hardcore fan appeared to have dedicated his life and very being to “perfecting” the lead role as played by thespian, Johnny Depp. From matching tattoos, makeup and attire, all the way down to verbal inﬂection and an off-kilter swagger, this die hard Sparrow fan forgot one vital fact: when the role is ﬂawless, “LET IT BE”! The Beatles couldn’t have said it better. As with the portrayal of characters such as Hunter S. Thompson’s “Raoul Duke” from “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” or George Jung from “Blow”, these masterpiece characters are simply irreplaceable. Once the gala had subsided, I had the honor of speaking with Martin Klebba, “Marty” of the Pirates series. When asked if there would be a fourth, Marty answered with a sly smile, “Well, if this one does well, it’d be crazy not to.” Immediately succeeding I asked him the most generic of questions, “What’s it like
By Ife-Chudeni Oputa Views Editor
By Cody Gless Rampage Reporter working with Johnny Depp?” “Deﬁnitely one of my favorite actors to work with,” responded Klebba, “Along with traveling to the most exotic places in the world, working with Johnny and Orlando has been one of the best parts of shooting the ﬁlms.” Michigan native Martin Klebba began his career in the ﬁlm industry in 1992 as a stunt double for Emma in “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle.” You can catch him in other ﬁlms including: “How High,” “Austin Powers,” “Death to Smoochy” and “Big Fat Liar.” Klebba has also made several guest appearances on shows such as Howard Stern, Scrubs and ER. Marty has also been involved in charity work, and is one of the most humble people I have had the honor of speaking with, giving back through his involvement in organizations such as the Special Olympics. Currently, Klebba is working on a variety of upcoming sitcoms and movies, so lift the eye patch and keep a lookout.
What makes the performing arts so appealing is their exclusivity. Contrary to current trends in the entertainment industry, not everyone can sing, dance, or act. As a result, the audiences at performing arts shows are largely made up of people who don’t have the courage or talent to be onstage. These, of course, are the people who are called upon to review and critique performances in, let’s say, your college paper. These writers often lack the knowledge, experience, and vocabulary to accurately and completely assess a performance, but they assess it nonetheless. And so it is for the 2007 City Dances Spring Concert. Jimmy Hao, a Fresno City College dance instructor, directed this year’s concert. Hao’s concept was one part vision of a diverse and cohesive global community and one part talented international dance choreography. “This production’s primary emphasis is to foster a cross-cultural dialogue and create a better understanding of each culture in a harmonious atmosphere,” said Hao in his letter to the audience. The selections ranged in style from modern to hip-hop to ballet. While the show was composed of several talented pieces, three stood out in particular. Beth
Megill, an FCC dance instructor, directed “Play.” The “structured improvisation” had elements of choreography from each of the dancers, and was set to live music performed by FCC students. The dancers weaved a seamless fabric of improvisation and choreography and presented a dance with the perfect blend of attitude and intrigue. FCC student, Jana Grifﬁn’s “Cirque Du Vie” was a wonderfully exciting piece. The dancers, or ringmasters and rag dolls, performed modern choreography to songs by Beck and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Grifﬁn’s choreography wins the award for best personality. If dances were people, “Cirque Du Vie” would be everyone’s favorite friend. Beth Megill once again lends her creative touch to a compelling piece, this time as the choreographer of “Pull and Draft.” This dance was by far the highlight of the show. The selections description said simply, “Let the Race Begin!” and dancers Cindy Adair, Courtney Boyd, and Spencer Ruell expertly portrayed the chase. The piece demonstrated the raw beauty and impact of movement that makes dance so captivating. It was the type of piece that makes the audience want to shout, “Again! Again!” The concert showcased the wonderful wealth of talent at FCC, and successfully blended the diverse styles into a harmonious production.
May 2, 2007 May 2, 2007
Should the U.S. enforce stricter gun control laws? Can stricter gun laws help prevent another Virginia Tech?
Buying a gun shouldn’t be like taking a trip to the candy store... by Eddie Ortiz Rampage reporter
The deadly shooting rampage at Virginia Tech has reignited a heated and emotionally charged debate: should there be stricter gun laws nationally? Well, in my humble opinion, yes. An ABC News poll released this month found that 61 percent favor stricter gun control laws, the same percentage as in a Post-ABC poll last October and virtually unchanging polls since 1989. Just because the second amendment gives Americans the right to bear arms, doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be limitations. I have the freedom of speech, but there are limits. I can’t go into a theater and shout “Fire!” It’s a threat to those individuals’ public safety. The same can be applied to the 2nd Amendment. If the right to own a gun interferes with public safety, that right can morally be restricted, in order to protect the public. The problem with guns is pretty straightforward: they make it easy to kill or injure people. Here are some facts: - Between 1994 and 1999, there were 220 school associated violent events resulting in 253 deaths - - 74.5% of these involved ﬁrearms. Handguns caused almost 60% of these deaths. (Journal of American Medical Association, December 2001) - In 1998-99 academic year, 3,523 students were expelled for bringing a ﬁrearm to school. This is a decrease from the 5,724
students expelled in 1996-97 for bringing a ﬁrearm to school. (U.S. Department of Education, October 2000) - Every day, more than 80 Americans die from gun violence. (Coalition to Stop Gun Violence) - Americans for Gun Safety produced a 2003 report that reveals that 20 of the nation’s 22 national gun laws are not enforced. According to U.S. Department of Justice data (FY 2000-2002), only 2% of federal gun crimes were actually prosecuted. Eighty-five percent of cases prosecuted relate to street criminals in possession of ﬁrearms. Ignored are laws intended to punish illegal gun trafﬁcking, ﬁrearm theft, corrupt gun dealers, lying on a criminal background check form, obliterating ﬁrearm serial numbers, selling guns to minors and possessing a gun in a school zone. Now I know pro-gunners will argue that we shouldn’t limit our constitutional rights; “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people”; they’re used for hunting or self-defense; or anti-gun laws won’t stop crime. Right? Although I would like to see less gun-owning civilians corrupt our society, politically it’s an unrealistic goal. Still, there are policies that can be amended or considered, such as instant background checks, gun education, stiffer sentences for gun crimes, and ID grip tagging. With these policies, no rights will be taken away, but buying a gun wont be like going to the store and buying some candy. It all comes down to this: if you have a gun, use it responsibly. If you don’t, buy a dog instead.
If a person has enough motivation, gun laws won’t stop them... by DC Leavy Rampage reporter
Another shooting took place tonight leaving two victims dead and another injured. A woman was held hostage today at gunpoint while on-lookers watched helplessly. Drive-bys have risen this year almost doubling the murder rate in America compared to last years total. These are the words you hear echoing across your evening news almost every night, and these are the reasons that America is currently under scrutiny to develop stricter gun laws. Well I have a surprise for you; the strictest gun laws on the planet aren’t going to change the way our society is now. The guns that are the primary cause of all this hostility we hear about aren’t from gun shops that require a three-day waiting list and make you pass a gun safety course before you purchase ﬁrearms. They come from citizens who wanted to make some money or needed cash and decided to sell them and become what I like to call “armedentrepreneurs. The one thing I think most of us never seem to realize is that those same guns I was just talking about, the ones that have become so much of a problem have also saved hundreds of lives. Can you even imagine how many people have been robbed and the only thing that has protected them and their family is a shotgun that they bought from a friend or close relative? The reality is that as long as society has a demand for guns there will always
be someone willing to sell them. So you can make it harder to get a gun than the American government already does (which has gotten pretty hard since the tragic events of 9/11), but it’s not going to change anything. You can even make the penalties and ﬁnes for using a gun even more severe than the three strikes, and the recent 10, 20, life law already does, but we’re still going to have desperate psychos, junkies or criminals robbing people at gun point or using a 9mm to solve their problems. By the way what ever happened to the second amendment right to bear arms? Did we really become such a fearful and cautious nation that no gun law is strict enough? What comes next? Do we start amending other freedoms? What if we just implant behavioral modiﬁcation chips in everyone’s brain to avoid potential danger? Will anything be enough to satisfy our need to be safe? Think of it this way: yes stricter gun laws may control the addition of new guns to our streets, but what about all the guns that are already there? Yes stricter gun law penalties may put a little more fear into the minds of criminals and murderers, but do you really think a person who doesn’t live their life by the law and breaks it on a regular basis is going to be worried? What about the man who has nothing to lose? What about the student that gets sick of being teased (God bless the victims of the Virginia Tech shootings) and is willing to take matters into his or her own hand? Do you really think it matters how strict we make the gun laws? If a person has enough convictions and motivation to do something they are going to do it, and no one and nothing is going to stand in their way.
No one individual can define a community by Buen Moua Rampage reporter
I ﬁrst heard about the Virginia Tech shootings that April 16 afternoon in my journalism class. My instructor had told me and a couple of other students that over 30 people had been killed, including the shooter. They hadn’t announced who the shooter was yet, just that the two shootings, which were only two hours apart, may have been related. Who was this crazy person, this murderer, this person who was ill and needed attention? My ﬁrst thought was, how are the families of the victims and of the shooter dealing with this tragic news? How is everyone else in the country reacting, especially other college institutions, students, staff and faculty? I was watching the news the next day, ﬂipping from one news channel to the next for updates on the shooting rampage, until ﬁnally the shooter was revealed. He was a 23-year-old Asian male
and a non-American. The media focused mainly on how disturbed this person was. He acted on his own account. Race wasn’t a motive. Race wasn’t a motive, but some people in the Asian community felt embarrassed at the situation. I was very surprised when I heard the shooter was Asian because usually you don’t see Asians get mass media attention for such a thing as mass murder. I spoke to many of my friends and even some strangers (all of whom are Asian) about the tragedy because I wanted to ﬁnd out what they had all been thinking. A Japanese-American who had lived through the bombing of Pearl Harbor told me that it took her back to the time when Japanese-Americans were discriminated against and were put into internment camps. She said she felt embarrassed and ashamed because of the fear of once again being prejudged on the basis of how she looked. A Hmong girl told me that already her non-Asian friends were teasing her saying, “Be careful, she might get angry and shoot us.” I have read on the Internet where one non-Asian blogger wrote, “This is the reason we shouldn’t let foreigners in our country.”
To be ashamed of who you are because the shooter was Asian didn’t make sense to me. I am an Asian, speciﬁcally Hmong, but I saw only an individual not someone who represented the entire Asian community. A couple of my friends kept saying amongst themselves, “Why did he have to be an Asian? Now we’re going to look bad.” Many different groups of Asians like Chinese, Hmong, Japanese, Laotian, and others, have a similar cultural value. Family is the center of our values. In my Hmong culture for example, we put our family ﬁrst. There are no individuals. One brings honor and a good name to the family reputation. For instance, if you become a doctor, a lawyer, or a teacher, you are most likely acknowledged and praised, and word gets around making the family look good. Your success is for the family name and for the community, not just for yourself. I have seen other Asian families disown their children just because they got into some kind of trouble with the law, or were ashamed that the family might lose face because he or she was not successful. You just don’t want people to talk bad about your family or your community. Maybe this was the reason why
some people in the Asian community felt uncomfortable in their own skin. Maybe that is the reason why some cringed when they discovered the Virginia Tech shooter was Asian. It might not be true, but it is something to look at. Despite whatever cultural values we may hold, the horrifying experiences of racism after the Pearl Harbor bombing, or the racial jokes that have followed the VT rampage, a community is made up of individuals. You should not feel ashamed or embarrassed at all. The fact that he was Asian does not mean he represents every Asian.
A Hmong girl told me that already her nonAsian friends were teasing her saying, “Be careful, she might get angry and shoot us.”
May 2, 2007
Poetry & Prose with DC Leavy
otherwise known as the kitchen. I hop over the lazy boy to gain a little advantage over the rest of the group. Maybe I won’t have to crawl under the table in the kitchen this time to get a seat. Lisa pushes Cora into the aquarium and laughs. She almost knocks the whole thing over. Cora braces it so it doesn’t tip. “Nice move Lisa!” Shawn says, as he looks back from his spot in the race. Brenda gave up 10 seconds after the start of the race like she always does. It’s like she knew she didn’t have a chance with so many hungry boys, so why even try? She stops on the way and helps Cora keep the tank from wobbling and they both decide to walk the rest of the way. Once again, Michael was in a hurry when he left his room. I can tell because his shirt is back-
price of victory, and it’s worth it. Mom heads back to the kitchen to grab the serving plates and she starts humming one of those old songs we used to hear on the radio. You know like Marvin Gaye, Luther Vandross or a little Aretha Franklin. It sounded like something right out of the archives of Motown. When she brings back the eggs and butter for the biscuits she stops for a second and gives me and Shawn a kiss on the forehead and I feel like I’m the only one sitting at the table. She say’s “Good morning, ya’ll,” and like kindergartners at the beginning of class we all say in unison “Morning, momma.” Then she says “I love ya’ll,” and once again we all say back to her “we love you too, momma”. This part of the morning always felt like a routine. I guess it was her way of
a bowling ball falling from the roof. My head feels like a baseball player just hit a home run with my skull. Before I get a chance to grab my head a police ofﬁcer rolls me onto my stomach and puts a knee on my back while the others are going through everything in my room. At that moment reality comes back to me. That’s when I hear, “How old are you?” The trademark blinding light of the FPD magnum ﬂashlight hit’s my eyes and I know exactly what’s going on. This isn’t a new game their playing, and having parents like mine isn’t exactly easy so I’m not a stranger to police raids. I say, “I’m only 13!” But I can tell that he doesn’t believe me. I guess hitting puberty early wasn’t such a good thing after all. As I
wards and he’s only wearing one slipper, but the look on his face shows he doesn’t care. I think the only ones who really care about the wafﬂes or have a chance are Shawn, Shamika, and I, but to us a race with only three of us is still a race. Before we get to the kitchen Mom suddenly stops us and says, “How many times do I have to tell you to stop running? Do you really think you’re doing much ? You’re not animals! There’s By holding up signs with wood and such? plenty of food With free Iraq and Osama should die. for everyone,” When you should see the war and ask yourself why. but the way we were planning on Are we there for freedom? Are we there for peace? eating we knew that was a lie. Are we there for the Muslims or freedom of speech? I make it Is it cause of 9/11 and some people were sad? first so I get to Or is it control of the oil that got us so mad? sit at the head of the table— Dad‘s So can you justify why we’re doing so much? seat. I don’t think there’s any betWhy we’re there ﬁghting freedom losing and stuck? ter feeling to the Don’t you even know? Or are you not willing to say much youngest sibling Since it’s your last term don’t we deserve just a touch? than being first and getting to sit A taste, a gesture, some news, a sign? in Dad’s chair. Dad had to go to Not just mini ﬂags and stalling for time. work early, so he Is our allegiance worth so little that you don’t even mind? headed out bePerhaps were just ignorant, dumb or just blind. fore we all woke up. So for you protesters that all preach and you try I take my seat in the spot Try something that works, not just stand there and cry. I’ve won at the Cause you think your voice is heard but it’s only a whisper head of the table Maybe if you read between the lines your minds won’t get and I feel like thicker. the king of the mountain. Shawn walks behind me There’s more to all of this than just the Twin Towers and takes his seat If you knew what’s going on in Iraq you just might need a next to me, but shower. not before he socks me in my arm. It hurts, but I know it’s the
raising us with a little respect, and we didn‘t mind. She heads back into the kitchen and grabs the other two plates; one’s got biscuits stacked like a buttermilk pyramid, but the one I can’t take my eyes off of has the wafﬂes. My mouth starts watering like a dog that hasn’t eaten in days and smells a bucket of chicken. Does life get any better than ﬁrst dibs at the wafﬂes? I think not. Everyone starts grabbing what they want, but before we get to we’re reaching for, momma clears her throat and common sense hits us. We stop reaching and start holding hands. No matter how many times we do this we always forget to say the prayer. Michael doesn’t want to hold Cora’s hand because he thinks all girls have cooties, it doesn’t matter that she’s his sister, but one look from momma and that quickly stops. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I won or that the wafﬂes are closer to me than anyone else but I feel at peace. It’s as if there’s no better place to be than where I am right now. I guess this is why they say your family is always closest to you. Mom turns to us and says, “All right who wants to say grace?” I never want to do it because I can’t remember all the words and everyone ends up laughing at me. That’s when Shamika pops up and say’s, “I’ll do it!” She has always been the over achiever, and we let her. If you ever need pointers on how to kiss up and get what you want, she can help. She starts the prayer, “Oh Lord and Shepherds we shall be for thee my lord for thee…” “…Wake up. Wake up!! Are there any weapons around the bed?” Suddenly I’m snatched out of bed and I fall to the ﬂoor like
lay on the ﬂoor I look around at my plain room. It looks like a prison cell at Rikers Island. I slowly start to remember the rest of my life. It’s the two-bedroom apartment that I call home, with no hot water and the electricity that hasn’t been on for as long as I can remember. I don’t know why they’re here, but I haven’t seen my mom in a couple of days, which might have something to do with it. Since she got a new boyfriend, just two days after my dad got locked up, she spends most of her time with him. Most of the time it feels like she’s trying her hardest to believe that we were never born and we don’t exist. I guess we don’t, since most of us are in foster care and only Cora and me are left, but at least we have each other. It’s just sad that sometimes it feels like that really is all we have. Cora!! Oh my god where is she? Is she okay? “Cora! Are you there!?!” I yell as loud as an umpire at Grizzly stadium. “Cora! Where are you!?!” “What did you do with my sister?” I ask the police ofﬁcer. That’s when I hear her voice coming from the living room. “I’m here, D. You okay?” Damn, for a second I was so scared it felt like my heart almost exploded, but she’s safe so I guess I can breathe a little easier. “I’m cool,” I say, as the ofﬁcer trying to keep me on the ground throws the letters my father wrote me from jail on the ﬂoor. “I’ll see you in a minute, Cora,” my voice is mufﬂed as he pushes my face into the carpet. “Remember, shut up and I’ll find you” I hear Cora say before they take her out the door. I can see she’s not in hand cuffs, so she might be okay. I guess it’s not going to be such a good day after all.
wake up to the smell of eggs and wafﬂes and I just lay there hesitant to get up, but I know it’s going to be a good day. God I love the beginning of the weekend. The grass is greener the birds are chirping and the few hours extra sleep feels like a vacation in the Bahamas. After about five minutes of me lying there not quite awake and deﬁnitely not sleep, I hear my mom yell, “Breakfast is ready!” using the loud empowering tone that only a mom knows how to. It’s time to eat and I know that means the race has begun. I open the door to my room almost as instantaneously as my brothers and sister. Like race horses when the gun ﬁres and the gates ﬂing open. They look at me with morning time eyes that still
forever. I’m the youngest and the smallest so I have to try extra hard to make it in the top three. If you’re last, that means there won’t be any wafﬂes left for you, and to us that’s just too high of a price to pay. As we start at the top of the stairs my two biggest brothers Shawn and Michael start in the lead because their rooms are the ones nearest to the stairs. My sisters Lena and Cora are right behind them and Cora’s curlers keep hitting Lena in the face. I’m stuck in between Shamika and Eric but at least I’m not in the back with Brenda and Lisa. They’re always last because their rooms are all the way at the end of the hall and Lisa’s door always gets stuck. We all viciously shove each other and laugh, as siblings do, all the way down the stairs. Everyone’s in such a hurry for
I think it’s gonna be a good day
Do you really think you’re making a difference?
have gunk in them and an expression that says “Is this a dream? Am I still sleeping?” but as soon as they see each other they snap into reality. We start shoving each other out of the way, like crowds at the mall the day before Christmas, just to make it down the stairs. We live in a two-story house and the stairs feel like they go on
wafﬂes that it doesn’t even matter if it’s Saturday and cartoons are on just about every channel. It doesn’t matter because now I’m in second place and I can already taste the syrup on my lips. We get to the bottom of the steps and it’s like an Olympic marathon free-for-all. Everyone’s sprinting towards the ﬁnish line,
May 2, 2007
“Talkin’ ‘bout my generation...” by Maylin Tu Entertainment Editor We are known as apathetic, gifted, self-centered, vocationally inept, ambitious, lazy, tech-savvy, morally complacent, uninformed slackers with a wicked sense of entitlement, who would rather “hang out” with our friends or watch our favorite TV show than serve our community or march for a cause. We are Generation Y (as in, why should I care?) And there is a good deal of truth to this portrait. But I would argue that we are not the first spoiled generation—oh no—the ﬁrst spoiled generation was our parent’s generation. Sure, they raised us as well as they could. We were the center of their universe, the axis of their existence. But then—when we got older (or not), things changed. Our dads traded in our moms for bright, shiny new girlfriends after they grew tired of the banality of commitment (or grew tired of us, either way). Bright, shiny new girlfriends in turn became bright, shiny new wives—who became bright, shiny divorcees when our dads grew tired of them too. Our moms, conversely, became obsessed with self-image,
with body and weight and clothes, and with ﬁnding a new man to take the place of dad and make them happy. Not only were we forced to watch our parents go through this second adolescence, we had to be (while teens ourselves) their new best friend and conﬁdant. I’m sorry, but if I have to listen to one more story about some creepy guy hitting on my mom— We started wondering, when are our parents going to grow up, and why does a generation whose own parents largely paid for their educations, or who relied on government grants for help, demand that we pay our own way through school? Parents determined to build their children’s futures have become parents determined to retire well. Many of my friends have educational debt running into the thousands. We are a generation that is crippled by debt before we even get the chance to prove ourselves. Yes, we may seem uninformed about larger global issues like Darfur or the war in Iraq, but oftentimes, we’re just doing our best to stay aﬂoat—to pay rent, to work full or part-time and still pass the test. Most of us don’t have the leisure time necessary to stage protests or sit-ins or march for peace. We’re too busy bussing tables or scrambling for more units, and we end up too tired to fight for anything more than a
parking space. So we may be apathetic and immature, but then again no one wants to grow up these days. Why would you want to, if you can be a teenager forever? With the end-
less media parade of oversexed, overpaid, and over-indulged celebrities who act like immature fourteen year olds on crack, you would think the average American wants nothing less than an endless adolescence. In our clamor for self-ful-
ﬁllment, we’ve forgotten what it means to sacriﬁce. To borrow from a familiar book, growing up is learning to “look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others.” I, for one, don’t want to stay a kid forever.
reached new levels of technological sophistication. After banning baseball caps because students were writing answers under the brims, and banning cell phones for their text-messaging capabilities, high schools are now taking steps to ban mp3 players, yet another arsenal in the cheater’s ever-expanding toolbox (cbsnews.com). And it’s not just high school students. According to plagiarism. org, almost 80% of college students say they have cheated before, and 36% of undergraduate students say they have plagiarized written material. Last week, a student came into the tutorial center and asked me to help him cite sources in his paper, so the teacher wouldn’t catch on that it wasn’t his own work, but a recycled paper from another student. Cheating has become not only ubiquitous, but socially acceptable as well? I believe it. But it’s not just students who are cheating. Recent allegations against such big name universities as John Hopkins, USC, and Columbia involve questionable ties between ﬁnancial aid ofﬁces and student loan companies. One of the most egregious
examples involves John Hopkins. According to an article from BusinessWeek, director of student ﬁnancial services Ellen Frishberg not only received a $43,000 consulting fee from a student loan company, but also $22,000 to pay for graduate school. Conﬂict of interest? You bet your bottom dollar. In other college news, the dean of admissions at MIT recently resigned over a few ﬁbs on her resume—apparently, she claimed to have degrees from several schools, none of which she actually graduated from. But really, what’s the big deal? So I cheated on my history test. Big whoop. Everybody does it. So I didn’t really write this paper. I have to turn something in, don’t I? So schools are getting kickbacks from lenders who beneﬁt directly from the $85 billion student loan industry. Well, their families have to eat just like everybody else. So we live in a culture that excuses and rewards blatant dishonesty. Who’s keeping score? I screw you, you screw me—it’s very egalitarian, actually. But in the end, we’re all screwed.
...Of liars, cheaters, and thieves. by Maylin Tu Entertainment Editor
In the 2005 release “Thumbsucker,” teenaged protagonist Justin Cobb takes a unique approach to the college admissions process. Finding himself woefully underqualiﬁed for acceptance into NYU, Justin resorts to the great American expedient. “My grades are below your standards,” he writes to the application committee, “but I see this as a strength, not a weakness. I’ve had to overcome unusual obstacles. Both my parents suffer from mental illness.” An untruth, yes, but Justin gets into NYU. He moves to New York. He runs through the streets with an improbably euphoric look on his improbably cherubic face. The message is clear: lying pays and cheaters always win. Whether it’s admission to the school of your choice, a better grade on a test you didn’t study for, or a boyfriend or girlfriend you don’t deserve—sometimes a little deceit goes a long way. If recent news reports are to be believed, cheating on tests has
Ask the Interns
Dear “Ask the Interns”: I am not sure what career area I would like to pursue. I have tried many different jobs in several different professions. Many of them were jobs that no one else was able or willing to do at the time, but none of them seemed to “ﬁt” me. I am telling you this because in each job that I had, those in charge made comments like, “you’re too ‘wishy-washy’ with children”; “maybe you should try another area”; or “maybe you should try this career at another time”. I even had someone tell me that they would be afraid for me to help them (in a health services position that I tried once) if they were sick. I have also received comments about being too slow, too detail oriented (?!!), or not “ﬂexible” enough. Since most of the comments that I have received have been negative, I have made up my mindafter trying a job at least once- to not attempt that particular area or career again. I guess I rely an awful lot on other people’s opinions of my abilities, even though nearly all of the time I have felt fairly competent and felt that I had received adequate training. I have “defended” myself in my own mind by convincing myself that it’s “their loss” and that, since they never really gave me a chance,
they (and I, unfortunately) will never get a chance to see how good at that particular job or career I might have been. My question is this: Is this really “healthy” thinking? Should I train myself to think differently? And lastly, do you have any advice on what I can do to ﬁnd out what career I might actually really be successful at?
on campus would be the Career Center. Some of the services offered there include: job interest surveys, personality inventories, career assessments, career planning assistance, and a library of career and educational resource materials. Additionally, you can
-Confused About Careers Dear Confused About Careers, We want to start by recognizing the fact that the search for the right career ﬁt can be a difﬁcult and draining experience. In fact, in the 21st century it is not uncommon that individuals in the work force will have had, on average, 3-5 career changes. This typically calls for continuous education and skill reﬁnement in order to remain truly competitive in today’s job market. In your search for a career fit, a really great resource
schedule a one-on-one interview with a career counselor/coach who can help you with more speciﬁc skills such as interviewing and resume writing. The Career Center is located on the second ﬂoor of
the Student Services building, is open 8am – 5pm Monday through Friday, and the phone number is (559) 442-8291. Regarding the way you have come to “defend” yourself as a result of your unsuccessful employment experiences and based on the feedback you report getting from various employers, it appears there may be some personality issues impeding your success in the jobs you have pursued. Telling yourself that it is “their loss” can be healthy in the moment because it can help you preserve selfesteem. However, it may also serve to stand in the way of accurately viewing your contribution to the ultimate outcome (loss of employment). Having said that, if you continue to have similar employment experiences, it may be beneficial for you to seek assistance with personal growth. Continuing to develop and/or reﬁne the interpersonal skills needed for career success is as important as developing and maintaining actual job skills. Counseling can be an excellent resource for learning more effective ways of interacting with people on and off the job.
Hopefully this information will be of use to you. Thank you for taking the time to write in. Good Luck, The Interns You can mail “Ask the Interns” letters to: Fresno City College Psychological Services c/o Dr. Brian Olowude 1101 E. University Ave. Fresno, CA 93741. Letters can also be dropped off in the following locations: above the bookstore in Psychological Services or the Rampage ofﬁce, in the nurse’s ofﬁce, DSP&S, or at the Career Center. We are looking forward to hearing from you Fresno City. The information contained in this column cannot replace or substitute for the services of trained professionals. Due to time and space (in the column), we may not be able to answer all of the questions provided. If you have serious psychological issues you should contact the Psychological Services Department on campus (ext. 8055) or another mental health professional. If you have a life threatening emergency contact campus police (ext. 8201) or dial 911! We make no guarantees concerning any treatment or action by any person following the information provided in this column. We are not liable for any damages that may result. The information offered can be regarded as trustworthy, supported by research, and reliable, however we make no guarantees of positive outcomes.
May 2, 2007
Need a class or two this summer?
Register Now! • Just $20 a unit Sign-up now for the following summer sessions: • 4-week and 10-week sessions start May 29 • 8-week evening session starts June 11 • 6-week session starts June 25 Apply online at www.fresnocitycollege.edu (click the Online Admissions Application link) Register online at webadvisor.scccd.edu Registration for Summer Session is currently available. View the 2007 Summer Class Schedule at www.fresnocitycollege.edu Admissions and Records Office (559) 442-8228
Fresno City College
May 2, 2007
Leaving a footprint in
Pete Lango turned a life headed for for the grape fields into one of great athletic accomplishment
by Joseph Rios Sports Editor
Pete Lango (right), a junior at San Joaquin Memorial, blocks a pass to a receiver from Reedley High School in 1957. The camera went off when the photographer, reportedly, fell down while trying to avoid being hit. Special to the Rampage
ete Lango does things a little faster than most. He talks fast, walks fast, and gestures while he talks at an equally quickened pace. It’s not so much that he is wired all the time, it’s that he seems to be running a few notches higher than everyone else. His hands are constantly on the move, his heads bobbing and nodding, or he’s acting out what he is trying to say. Even at 66, the once all-star athlete moves about with a Jack LaLanne-like vitality; he moves with a seemingly endless supply of energy that Starbucks jolted twenty-somethings could only dream about. He never seems to sit down; he always looks restless. He shakes about like a boxer getting ready for a fight, a sprinter getting ready to climb into blocks, or a football player about to run out of the tunnel. If you watch him for a while, you might even catch him practicing his baseball swing in the open air. He’ll grind his clenched fists, choke up on an imaginary bat and take a few cuts toward center field. In his day, he was a coach’s dream: he had loads of talent and the willingness to work for to better himself and the team. For Lango, working hard came easy, though. He grew up on the younger end of nine brothers and sisters. His family lived and worked a 10-acre ranch on the west side of Fresno. However, he didn’t have to reach a certain age to start working the fields. See Lango; Page 19
May 2, 2007
Photo by Joseph Rios
Sophomore Aubrey Fast cheers on Fresno City from third base during her last home game as a Ram on April 24. Her cousin gave her the penny around her neck for good luck.
‘Softball is life’ becomes more than a cliche ball since she was four years old. It didn’t take long for Fast’s transferred to FCC to play under However, she was on the mother to realize her daughter head coach Rhonda Williams. field before she had even taken wanted not only to watch softball, “I love coming out to the She whispers a prayer, as her first steps or uttered her first but she wanted to play also. When field and being with my teamshe walks toward the batter’s box. words. Fast was four years-old, she began mates. I know that no matter what There she wipes the plate clean, She was born into this sport. playing T-Ball. those girls got my back. Coach sweeping away every prior pitch, “When my mom was pregnant “When I was little, every- Williams is the best coach. She whether good or bad. Around her with me she played slow-ball. She thing for me was softball,” said believes in me. And that makes me neck is a brown penny given to her and my father played for a co-ed Fast. play better and with confidence. by her seven-year-\old cousin. She league,” said Fast. After 16 years, not much All the coaches have been great. drilled a hole in it herself, placed There was never a point has changed. 20 year-old Fast is You can just walk into Coach it on a string and now wears it where softball was not a part of still playing the game she fell in Williams’s office and see her love for luck. Fast’s life. Her parents played soft- love with as a toddler. And her love of the sport,” said Fast. She takes in a deep breath, ball throughout her childhood. and admiration for the game has in Fast is in the process of exhales, picks up her bat and looks “When I was little I couldn’t no way decreased. transferring to Fresno State. There at it. On a sunny Thursday after- wait for the season to start. I would After she completed her she plans to continue playing softnoon softball player Aubrey Fast is always be asking my mom, ‘When high school education Fast went ball. She plans to get her Master’s HH225ME/FresnoSt Rampage2is it3/7/07 7:05 AM Page 1 Ken Bickel Brown Disk 74.5:HH225ME/F now ready for the firstLTC pitch. going to start?’ I used to love on to play her freshman year at Degree in Recreational Sports. She Fast has been playing soft- to watch games,” said Fast. Cal State Northridge. Then she hopes to coach. “When I was little I told my mother I was going to be the first girl to play for a major league baseball team,” Fast said. Whatever the future holds for Fast, one thing is certain, softby Francine Ramos Rampage Reporter
ball will be a part of her life, just how it’s always been. “If I don’t go anywhere after this, it’s over for me. What I like to do is gone. The thought of that makes me sad. Softball is my life; it’s what I love most,” said Fast. The season for Ram’s softball has just ended. Yet Fast, along with her mother, will be on the field this Friday—pitching slow-ball. “No rest, I’m going for it,” said Fast. Looking straight ahead, standing on the batter’s box, Fast is wearing sports lens. The lenses are used to block out the sun and help players pick up the ball faster. They make the outer lining of Fast’s iris look a red-orange. Although the glare of the sun is shielding her view, her future looks bright.
“When I was little, everything for me was softball.” —Aubrey Fast
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May 2, 2007
Lango: coached by Fresno’s athletic elite Pete Lango played under and against pillars of the Fresno athletic community Continued from Page 17
Like many Mexicans during that time, he was born in the ﬁelds. Many eventually die there. “Sports was my ticket out” Lango said. “If I didn’t have sports, I would still be out there.” When he was about seven, he would lay out the trays for his father and older brothers to put their picked grapes in or lay them out to dry into raisins. In his home, he has an original raisin tray and grape knife from his old ranch. He explained that he “picked” grapes. He didn’t cut them. “You get your thumbs like this, see,” Lango explained, bringing his hands chin high the way a kid would hold his video-game controller. “Then get a hold of the knuckle, like this. Then you pinch them and pick them off.” Lango explained how he would tie the curved blade on his pinky ﬁnger with a thin leather strap and use it only when the thumbnails failed him. “ I invited some of my buddies out there once and they came out there with their knives saying, ‘We’re ready to cut grapes,’” Lango said. “I told them, ‘Get the heck outta here you city-slickers.”
The hard-working mentality that his labor-minded father instilled in him translated on the ﬁeld. When he stepped on the scene as a junior at San Joaquin Memorial (SJM), he was an instant star. Although baseball was his sport of choice, he wasn’t too picky when it came to second, third, fourth, ﬁfth, and even sixth choices. In an unprecedented turn of events, Lango managed to letter in six different sports in one year at SJM. He played football, baseball, tennis, track, swimming, basketball and he lettered in all of them. “They’d tell me, ‘Hey Lango, we need another guy for doubles,’ or ‘Hey Lango, we need another guy to run the hurdles’ and I’d go.” In football, he was selected for the All-City team twice for his performance in the backﬁeld and named outstanding running back. Later, he’d be inducted into the SJM football hall of fame At SJM, Lango played opposite Tom Flores from Sanger High whose team now plays in the eponymous stadium. Flores
Photo Special to the Rampage
After leaving Fresno State, Pete Lango (circled) came to FCC to play baseball for Len Bourdet in 1959. Lango was awarded most valuable player and almost made a jump to the major leagues. went on to coach the Oakland and with someone who would have a when that happened,” he said. “I had lost my competition, you Los Angeles Raiders to two Super stadium named after them. know.” Lango left FSU in favor of Bowl wins in 1981 and 1984. He earned MVP in 1960 for Fresno City College. He picked While at SJM, he also the Rams. up baseball again and although he played basketball under bloomBourdet coached a total of ing coach Jerry Tarkanian. After a garnered a mantle full of accolades 31 seasons for FCC and became in football, he quit playing. stint of student teaching at Edison the ﬁ rst junior college coach in “It wasn’t fun for me anyHigh school, Tarkanian took his history to win three-straight state more,” said Lango. “The All-City ﬁrst teaching and coaching jobs titles in 1961,1962, and 1963. game during that summer was the at SJM in 1956. As for Lango, he went Lango played under Tar- last of it. The game became more on to ﬁ nish his degree at Fresno of a business, so I gave it up.” kanian in 1957 and 1958. State and began coaching football Then FCC baseball coach Tarkanian went on to coach and baseball at Coalinga High Len Bourdet recruited Lango for at the college level and earned the School. his team as a backup second basefourth highest wins in NCAA hisAn assistant coaching job man. They might as well have put tory (778-202). for baseball opened up at Bakersa target on that kid’s back, because Lango left SJM en route ﬁ eld College. Lango went to Cal Lango set out to take his spot. to Fresno Poly to ﬁ nish his Masters Degree “I might have been backup State where he in physical education and applied at ﬁ rst, but I was going to make him played one seafor the position. work,” Lango said. son of freshHe was assistant coach for When the starting second man baseball 12 years, then became head coach. baseman quit the team, Lango for Pete Biden. He retired form BC and currently stepped in. “I was disappointed Once again, teaches part-time at Fresno City. Lango played
Photo Special to the Rampage
Pete Lango stands next to his kitchen table covered with Mexican sweet bread.
The home the Langos built Continued from Page 20 ceiling and ﬂoors with a small brush. “It makes it look too rigid. That would be an insult to our culture. If it’s perfect, then it’s not us.” I asked them what kind of paint they used on the tiles, ﬂoor, the walls, and even the fridge. “Cheap,” Mr. Lango said. When people take cans back to Home Depot, the Langos say, “We can use that.” The Langos removed the cabinet doors to reveal their authentic Mexican dinnerware and even the food in the pantry. In the living room, they have an altar they originally put up for “Dia de Los Muertos,” a Mexican holiday that honors loved ones that have since passed away. The Langos, in accordance
with tradition, believe that their loved ones’ spirits come into the house on that day. Mr. Lango grows marigolds in the backyard that he lays out as a walkway from the backdoor to the altar. Because of the sanctity of the altar and the overall purity that ﬂows through the house, the Langos don’t allow people to take picture of the inside. It borders on holy ground, a temple maybe. They ask only that visitors take in the life that the house gives while respecting it as you would a precious work of art, a large house-sized work of art. In fact, this was the ﬁrst time they invited a reporter to write about their home. “It’s just something we decided when we started this,” Mr. Lango said. “We want people to just take what they see here home in their hearts.”
In their neighborhood, the home of Pete and Sally Lango (above) is really one of a kind. The Langos draw from their Mexican heritage when it comes to interior and exterior design. They use distinct ﬂowers like the Alcatraz blooms (right) to decorate in and around their house. The Langos do not allow photographers in their home and had never invited a reporter inside—until now.
May 2, 2007
Photos by Joseph Rios
by Joseph Rios
ou have to come to my house,” said Pete Lango, who teaches part-time at Fresno City College. “You come over, and you’ll see.” Mr. Lango gave me directions to his home minus the address. “If you can’t ﬁnd my house, you’re, well, you’re in trouble,” he said. He told me his home was off of Palm Avenue just before Gettysburg. I turned down Robinson Street and rolled slowly down the block looking at the homes in the old Fresno neighborhood. Most homes in that area, are basic white with gray or light blue trim. They have linear, prefabricated landscapes with simple ﬂoral arrangements (if any) and bland, colorless entryways. Then I drove past the Lango house. The striking clay red on the
walls and the lavender that covered the chimney and garage- door fought for my eyes’ attention while the sour apple green security door beckoned my knock. Sally, Mrs. Lango, came to open their royal blue door just as I examined the square tile trimming around the entryway. According to Mexican folklore, Mr. Lango
I tried to soak up what I saw. It was like drinking from a ﬁre-hose. Everywhere I looked, I saw something noteworthy. From the paintings by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, to the authentic photographs of Cesar Chavez and Pancho Villa – each piece testiﬁed to the beauty and grandeur of Mexican culture and
“If it’s perfect, it’s not us.” -Pete Lango would later say, a blue door keeps out evil spirits. I, however, was let in without dispute. Upon entering what I already believed to be an eccentric home, I was met with a ﬂood of color. My eyes panned from the left, to the right, and back again as
history. The front door opens into the dining room. In it, sits the hand painted colonial dining table and chairs. Small hand-drawn caricatures accent the backs of the dining chairs and accentuate the drawers of a cabinet that lines the south wall
of the dining room. The photo of Villa and his band of generals overlooks the dining table. Mrs. Lango’s father and mother had a run-in with the Mexican Revolutionary General. Accoriding to Mrs. Lango, her paretns sat quietly in their local church in Chihuaha, Mexico when the powerful general slammed through the door dragging a woman behind him. Although Villa was known to already have many wives, he convinced the priest to marry him and his “ﬁancé.” Mrs. Lango’s parents were the stand-in witnesses for the nuptials. Mr. and Mrs. Lango continued to take me on a tour of their home, making stops at each signiﬁcant piece. Every inch of the home was decorated with a layer of rich color. The addition of color and creativity gave vitality to once lifeless articles and a pulse to the
living, breathing household. Pieces that were hand-made and even those that they bought were given the Lango touch of orange, green, purple, yellow, or blue – colors that scream south of the border tradition. Mrs. Lango is the brains behind the operation. Her artistic mind gets a vision and then she makes it into reality, or she puts her husband to work. When it came to the mosaic in their kitchen sink, Mrs. Lango deferred the job to her husband. “I’m not patient with little stuff,” Mrs. Lango said. “Gimme big stuff to work with.” “She does all that,” Mr. Lango said. “She has a knack for it. I just leave her alone.” But the work Mr. Lango and his wife do is not perfect. “I don’t use masking tape,” said Mr. Lango who prefers to take his time along the edges of the See Home, Page 19