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OPINION: Forget unity, the only country worth rooting for is the one you are from when it comes to the much hyped winter games. 9 STYLe: Bust out of those hot overcoats and scarves and jump into pastel sundresses and Grecian flip-flops with the spring fashion guide. 6


SPORTS: Dons baseball coach, teammates and family remember athlete James Wernke after his future is cut short by a tragic accident. 11


Bus no longer easy ride for passengers COUNTY: Transit Authority Budget cuts mean fewer routes, slower commutes for riders By Felipa Penaloza el Don Staff Writer After waking up at 7:30 a.m. to reach the bus stop by 8, astronomy major Doria Ramos travels two hours on the bus to get to campus. The trip used to take her an hour and a half, but due to recent mandatory cutbacks several bus routes have been

ART SHOW Deeply rooted in music by artist Joshua Lawyer is just one of the many works in the Main Art Gallery. Please see STYLe, Page 7

length of the route. These modified routes and schedules make it difficult for some passengers who frequently ride the bus to get to places they need to be. “I take the 60 bus for school, the 51 to get to my bank, and the 71 to get to a family friend’s house who’s legally blind,” said Ramos. “The 60 used to be 10 to 15 minutes now it’s 15 to half an hour, sometimes longer.”

changed and Ramos has had to adjust her schedule in order to get to and from school. Changes include increasing the time between buses, eliminating certain trips and routes, ending the bus schedule early or starting later and creating more short turn trips where Please see OCTA, Page 4 buses do not cover the entire


Plans for next year’s budget include a shortfall of $1 billion from public transportation to add to the already reduced service.


OCTA will have to cut another 400,000 hours of service for 2010. In order to save money Bus Books are no longer being printed. Photo courtesy of OCTA

Officials monitor solicitors

CAMPUS: Campaign employees continue to mislead students into signing petitions around school By Kathie Espinoza el Don Editor in Chief Campus officials and student leaders are working on new ways to deal with aggressive petitioners who make their way on campus and attempt to register students to BY THE vote without consent. NUMBERS As many as 16 solicitors have been counted in the quad between the library and the Fine Arts Building at one time, each asking students to sign a petiNumber of tion. Issues addressed petitioners on in the petitions range campus at one time. from saving local parks and beaches to pediatric cancer research. Cents petitioners are paid per “It’s annoying and it’s signature. inconvenient because I don’t have time to stop and talk, and if I Dollars paid to do I have to explain to petitioners for every voter the rest of them that registration I’ve already talked to obtained. one guy way on the other end of the quad,” Amanda Gomez, a SAC student, said. Once a solicitor asks to have a petition

15 16 5

Please see SIGN, Page 5






Pilot program benefits students, district By Anthony Bailey el Don Staff Writer


Students, like Linda Kumar, are set to save hundreds with book rentals.

Textbook costs keep rising but now students can save money by renting books, an emerging trend in college stores across the nation. Competing companies also offer text book rental services via the Internet. A pilot program with the district’s book wholesaler, Nebraska Book Company, will begin in fall semester 2010, establishing book rental stations in both Santa Ana College and Santiago Canyon College book stores. Unlike online competitors such as Barnes and Noble and, the pilot program is designed to keep money coming back into the school. Director of Auxiliary Services Rhonda Langston said the book rental stations would be a way to save students money and benefit the two-college district. Each year the two book stores generate a combined $200,000 in net profit that is channeled back into programs at both campuses. Here’s how it works on a typical textbook rental site: Students log on and search for their books by title, ISBN, or the author’s name. Customers can choose to rent their books for 60 days, a quarter, or an entire

semester. When the rental period is over students return to the site, print out a return form and mail the books back at no additional cost. Some students at SAC have already tried a text book rental service. Cynthia Camacho, an art major and a customer said, “I would have spent between $200 and $215 for my books if I bought them. I only paid $112 and saved $120 by renting them.” Psychology major Jessica Padila spent $75 on one textbook and said, “I would have rented if I knew about it sooner.” The new pilot program, called the NBC textbook rental solution for college stores, replaces a small rental program offered on this campus for the past two years, but only for Math 60 and English textbooks. The current pilot program was funded by a basic skills grant, Langston said. Now that college bookstores face increasing outside competition for textbook rental business, more effort is being made to promote campus stores. “We also added Facebook to both college stores,” Langston said.


News You Can Use Close Parking

Work Skills The Workplace Learning Resource Center at Rancho Santiago Community College District offers several three-hour workshops that teach necessary job skills. These include basic computer skills, writing, time management and sexual harassment prevention. The workshops start at $35 and are available to all members of the community. RSCCD is located at 2323 N. Broadway, Suite 328. For more information visit or call (714) 564-5520. -Felipa Penaloza

Black History


Celebrate Black History month at SAC by watching the film The Color Purple. The film is based on the novel by Alice Walker, which focuses on black females and their hardships in the 1930s. History professor Charlene Riggins will be the guest speaker. The event will be held at the Spot Feb. 25 from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., food and refreshments will be available. -Michelle Wiebach

Need money for units, books and other college necessities? Stop by the SAC scholarship office located in S-201 for a scholarship application book. It contains over 80 different scholarships ranging in amounts from $250 to $5,000. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, March 3. Recipients’ names will be announced May 20 at the Scholarship and Awards Ceremony. -Allison Lujan

Avoid agonizing over parking spots and being late to class by participating in the Associated Student Government parking raffle Feb. 26. Purchase a $5 ticket at the Student Lounge and enter to win a parking spot in lot six in front of Dunlap Hall. Funds from the raffle go to the Summer Session Rescue Fund to help save summer classes this year. -Michelle Wiebach

Resource Help If you need help with health care, government assistance, or other human services, resources may be available—but how will you know who to call? Dial 2-1-1 from any phone. This tollfree service for Orange County residents connects you with a qualified, multilingual referral specialist who is trained to match your needs with community programs. -Meg Faulkner

Campus Safety A female walking near the intersection of College Avenue and Martha Lane was stopped by a suspect with a knife who demanded her gold necklace Monday, Jan. 25, at about 3 p.m. The victim refused to give up her necklace. Security officials described the suspect as a Hispanic male, about 25 years old, 6 feet tall and about 200 pounds, with tattoos on both arms, riding a green and purple mountain bicycle. To report crimes or suspicious behavior call (714) 564-6330. -Lourdes Serrano

Bristol Marketplace Lots

To Pass or Not To Pass

The Bristol Marketplace, located across from Santa Ana College, will begin towing noncustomer vehicles soon. Students and faculty may park in the marketplace lot only while patronizing a Bristol Marketplace business. -Michelle Wiebach

There are just a few days left to file PASS/ NO PASS for classes. The deadline is Feb. 26 for the first 8-week courses and March 12 for full-semester courses. -Felipa Penaloza




Commission reaffirms college accreditation By Allison Lujan el Don Staff Writer After placing the college on warning last year, the commission in charge reaffirmed Santa Ana College’s accreditation earlier this month. “It is critical that the college be accredited,” Norman Fujimoto, vice president of academic affairs, said. “Other institutions and some employers require that course work is done at an accredited institution.” Last February, SAC was placed on a warning status by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. This was the first time in the school’s 95-year history that it had been placed on warning. Schools go through the accreditation process every six years. In the Western Region there are currently 121 colleges with accreditation and 19 with a warning or probation status. Both ACCJC and WASC ensure the quality of the institution and encourage improvement, according to their website.

N A T I o N A l

Accreditation is necessary for colleges to grant degrees and receive federal funding. It is also needed for students to receive credit for classes when transferring to a four year college or university. SAC President Erlinda Martinez explained in an e-mail that the panel gave the college four recommendations for improvement. These included planning and budget alignment for the school and district attendance accounting and Board of Trustee self-evaluation. In October 2009, four task force groups were created to address the recommendations and submit a follow-up report. After the issues were corrected, Santa Ana was taken off warning status. Santa Ana must submit another follow-up report by October 2010 to address one final district recommendation. Martinez said she was confident that the issue will be resolved and SAC will maintain its status in the future. “The goal of accreditation is continuous improvement,” Martinez said. “We want to be the best because our students deserve the best.”

President Erlinda Martinez supports Women’s softball by throwing out the first pitch of the game.


Warning lifted after task force groups address issues

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OCTA: Online resources help announce route changes Continued from page 1


Fewer stops along bus routes like the 57, which run along Bristol St. directly in front of the college, would mean impacted schedules for most commuters who ride the bus regularly.

Beginning March 14, the Orange County Transportation Authority will be making more cuts to the already dwindling bus services. Because of budget shortfalls OCTA has already made several cutbacks in the last year, including eliminating 145 drivers and 17 service workers in the last year. By next month OCTA will have to lay off another 191 drivers and 20 service workers due to lack of funds. “Bus service is vital to the nearly 200,000 passengers we serve each day,” said Will Kempton, OCTA Chief Executive Officer. “We know these cuts will significantly impact those who depend upon our buses, and OCTA is continuing to look at ways to minimize the impact to our customers.” Fares went up Jan. 1, 2009, from $1.25 to $1.50 for one trip and $3 to $4 for a one-day pass, adding up to an extra $365 a year for one passenger who rides the bus daily. But not all riders seem to be affected by the changes. “It’s usually one bus that I take to work or school,” said computer science major David Rico. “The 57 is really consistent, always 15 to 20

minutes every time.” OCTA’s online trip planner JustClick, helps riders with the constant changes to the bus schedule . Passengers input a start point, destination and time of departure or arrival and the program calculates the most efficient routes. Google Transit also provides this service through the Google Maps Web site, as well as through cell phone applications for BlackBerry and iPhone users. Recently OCTA has begun utilizing micro-networking techniques to keep their riders informed, including the OCTABusUpdates Twitter account, which posts tweets about changes and detours to routes. Also known as OCTAGO, “Text 4 Next”, OCTA’s newest program lets customers receive via text the next three scheduled times that the bus will arrive at their stop. “OCTA2GO — that I use now so I can see how long I have to wait for the next bus,” said Ramos. Several public meetings have taken place to discuss the current budget crisis and future changes. The next meeting will be held March 8 at OCTA Headquarters on 550 S. Main St. in Orange.

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Sign: Administrators plan to educate solicitors Continued from page 1


Visiting petitioners like, Nancy Urschel, encourage students to sign petitions and then complete voter registration cards to confirm information they have provided.





Θ β P


signed, they fill out a voter registration card for the student and ask them to sign it. One student was told that although she was registered she needed to reregister to verify that the information she provided was accurate. “Students trust who we’re letting on campus and ASG has a responsibility to ensure that students aren’t being misled. We have to inform students of their rights and let them know when these petitioners are crossing the line,” Associated Student Government President Alex Flores said. Many students have signed petitions and cards without reading the fine print — not checking what political party they’ve been registered into or what cause the petition is supporting. “They have a legal right to be here under freedom of speech laws, but I’m concerned about them disrupting and misrepresenting themselves to students. Students also have to be aware. You wouldn’t sign a blank check — if you sign something you haven’t read all the way through — be prepared. Students have to accept a certain amount of responsibility in this also,” Sarah Lundquist, vice president of student services, said.

Administrators are reviewing the conditions under which solicitors are allowed onto campus. Plans are under way to educate students on their responsibilities and legal rights. Some officials want to require that petitioners be made aware of voter laws and etiquette before gaining access to campus. ASG has suggested that since petitioners are paid for every signature and registration card they gather, that they should be registered as vendors rather than solicitors, requiring them to pay a $250 fee for every day they are on campus. That money goes directly to campus facilities and is then distributed to school-sanctioned clubs. “We are a public institution and are held to the highest standards in terms of freedom of speech. We have to allow these people on campus and charging them a fee would infringe on their right to speak freely,” Lundquist said. For now, both ASG and the SAC administration are embarking on campaigns to educate students on voter rights and ways to register through a third party. A registration drive is in the works for later this semester, officials said.

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Reviews & other stuff



SPRINGFEVER Brights, pastels, plaids and vintage florals are the big look for the season. Don’t want to break the bank? Follow this fashion shopping guide to add a splash of color to your wardrobe on a budget

COP OUT The latest Cullen Brothers’ flick, Cop Out, is about two veteran cops looking for a rare baseball card. Originally titled A Couple of Dicks, but renamed due to controversy, the police comedy stars Tracy Morgan and Bruce Willis. This may seem like the typical “funny guy-serious guy” cop movie like Men in Black and Lethal Weapon, but juxtaposing Astronaut Jones with John McClane can mean nothing but sweet goodness. Cop Out will be released Feb. 26. - Felipa Penaloza

CASUAL CAMPUS WEAR The floral dresses your mom made you wear for those elementary school pictures are a thing of the past. This season, revamp your wardrobe with some bright bulbs or pastel peonies and pair them with your neutral closet staples. A belted dress or high-waisted skirt flatters all body shapes and screams confidence. You’ll feel as good as you look. Add jewelry and leggings with boots to mix it up. You want to look like a fresh-picked rose, not a mismatched bargain bouquet. Cute wedges or gladiator sandals finish off your look, literally adding some spring in your step. -Monica Ortiz

• Dress: Racerback Rose Dress, Wet Seal $19.50 • Shoes: Tuxedo, Bakers Shoes $25.90 • Handbag: Floral Cutout Satchel, Forever 21 $15.80 • Accessories: TripleBeaded Necklace $7.80 Oversized Floral Headband $3.80 Forever 21


The Man in Black is back for one final album. Produced by Rick Rubin, American VI: Ain’t No Grave, is the last chapter in Johnny Cash’s American Recordings album series. Songs are taken from various eras in Cash’s long musical career. The album officially comes out Feb. 26 the day that would have been Johnny Cash’s 78th birthday. Order from for $10.99 and receive a free poster and sticker. - Allison Lujan

• Top: Floral Zip Burnout Tee, Urban Outfitters $20 • Bottom: Frayed Floral Inset Shorts, Wet Seal $19.50 • Shoes: Slouch Buckle Boot, Cathy Jean Shoes $55 • Accessories: Floral Stretch Ring, Charlotte Russe $4 Skinny Braided Belt, Aeropostale $9.99

Pastels are taking over this spring, so finding core items that you can mix and match are key. These denim cutoffs are simple, but the vintage floral inset in the pockets make them something special. Shorts can be paired with virtually any pair of shoes, but a half-calf slouch boot will accentuate those long legs and give you that extra confidence to strut your stuff across campus. A belt is always a cute accessory, and you might add a thin belt in any color. Accessorize to pick up subtle colors in your outfit to finish the look. -Amy Ellison



Get ready for spring with great skate, BMX and surfing brands at low prices at Buy everything from t-shirts and jackets to surfboards and sunglasses, all for 25 to 75 percent off regular price. Operating under the philosophy of “one fix at a time,” Whiskey Militia offers one product in various colors and sizes. As soon as it sells out, a new item is up for grabs. Check back often as deals sell out fast and are always changing. -Allison Lujan

You can never miss with the rocker look. A leather motorcycle jacket over a simple tee in any color is an easy look for day or night. Dark wash skinny jeans can be mixed into any outfit and should be a staple in every girl’s wardrobe. The best part about skinny jeans is that they can be worn with anything. Ankle booties give you that edgy look, and the black leather and zippers in the Zari booties tie in with the motorcycle jacket. Because the rocker look is more minimal, accessories are a no no, but a simple pair of earrings will help frame your face. Black-framed sun glasses are the perfect finishing touch, and, of course, will make you look totally cool. -Amy Ellison

• Top: Pintuck Zip Jacket $42.50, Scoop Neck Tee $3.00 Wet Seal • Bottom: Rip Repair Legging Jeans, Wet Seal $39.50 • Shoes: Zari, Bakers Shoes $74.99 • Accessories: Owl Carry You Earrings $3.80 Sunglasses $5.80 Forever 21




Looking for love

Something it won’t by Daniel du Plessis

Local artists put their hearts on parade in the first gallery show of the semester

Backstage by Quyen Dinh By Kathie Espinoza el Don Editor in Chief Love is a battlefield. At least, that’s what Pat Benatar says. It spawns a multitude of emotions — hope, fear, frustration, euphoria and, my personal favorite, rage. Through acts and the process of love, we push ourselves to the very limits of the emotional spectrum. To Love, the new art exhibit in the SAC Main Gallery, features works from six artists, each one sending a personal message about the way love impacts either them or society. Some works convey the simple message of love — conventional to full-on passion, it makes us feel good. Others touch on hot-button social issues and emotional injustice, often perpetrated by a cruel, callous lover. Daniel du Plessis leads the pack with six works, each one combining the delicate with the volatile to present a union that can only be tied to a man scorned. From this darkness on is a portrait of roses that have had the life choked out of them by vines of the strangling morning glory. Tangled among the predatory flowers are gnarled, thorny branches, diamonds, pearls and wedding rings. Du Plessis combines acrylic, found objects, glitter and stickers on canvas to draw the viewer into the world of anguish and confusion. Here in the dark and Something it won’t present vivid jewel tones and thick coats of shimmering lacquer in custom frames also made by du Plessis. The frames are works of art in themselves. Covered in plastic bugs and rodents and then painted

black, they add texture to the paintings they surround. Just when the works of du Plessis have almost convinced you to swear off commitment entirely, in swoops renowned French photographer Willy Ronis with his black and white photographs of lovers in postwar France. Like a still from one of Jean Luc Godard’s films, Ronis’ prints capture the joyful naiveté of young lovers. His dreamy, romantic photos show flickers of love from a time when morale was low. A gentleman lights a cigarette for a young woman in a dim café, a wife bids her sailor husband farewell at the dock and young lovers take in a view with the Eiffel Tower in the far distance. Ronis takes advantage of low lighting and awkward angles to give his photos an organic feeling often lacking in modern photographs. Quyen Dinh’s sexually ambiguous painting Untitled leaves many questions unanswered. It depicts two young boys, one Caucasian, one Asian, one tattooed and one sharply dressed, standing hand in hand in front of a trailer looking forlorn and tormented. Is their love forbidden or is it just childlike affection? Dinh’s other three paintings depict a Sapphic cabaret, challenging gender roles with sultry, provocative women in risqué situations. Other works include depictions of suburban bondage by D. Christ, graffiti art meets collage by Joshua Lawyer, Victorian Warhol-esque portraits of Marie Antoinette by Kelly Castillo . To Love runs through March 24 in the Main Gallery located in the Fine Arts building.





Editor in Chief Kathie Espinoza

News Editor Michelle Wiebach Sports Editor Jermaine Ruvalcaba Views Editor Amy Ellison

i t

i t

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Photo Editor Blanca Valdivia Business and Advertising Manager Allene Symons Adviser C. W. Little Jr. MAILBOX POLICY El Don encourages the expression of all views. Letters should be concise, signed, include a contact phone number and may be e-mailed to the appropriate editor, or mailed to SAC el Don, 17th at Bristol St., Santa Ana, CA 92706. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. Unsigned editorials are the opinion of the editorial board and do not necessarily reflect the views of Santa Ana College. Opinions with a byline are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of el Don or SAC. El Don reserves the right to refuse advertising and does not necessarily subscribe to the views of the advertisers. For advertising rates and information contact Allene Symons (714)564-5617. Fax (714)564-0821. e-mail

amy ellison elDon


Civic Irritation With political committees in full swing gearing up for November elections, organizers are scrambling to get their cause on the ballot. Petition collectors are flooding our campus, pressuring people to register to vote — and some say enough is enough

No one likes getting interrupted by overzealous crusaders while in the middle of dinner. “Do you have a minute to talk about the whales in Japan?” No. We don’t. We’re in the middle of pot roast. It’s the same when walking to class, the library or the bookstore. You can’t get from one end of campus to the other without getting accosted by sometimes overly aggressive petitioners, asking you to take a few seconds to sign their petition. We are a college of adults and, coincidentally, free thinkers. You don’t have to get in our faces to get our attention. If we want to talk to you, we will approach you. You don’t have to follow us for 10 feet until you finally hear us telling you we have to get to class. To make matters worse, these petitioners are using sneaky tactics. They’re not politically neutral at all. Usually they’ll throw us a sob story: if you sign their petition they’ll get paid for it and they really need the money. They are taking advantage of the goodwill of others in order to make a paycheck. We are doing these solicitors a favor by signing their petition, but by being deceptive these petitioners are biting the hand that feeds them. On the other hand, we should also be aware of what we’re signing. If asked to sign a blank registration form, something is obviously not right. We need to take matters into your own hands and ask questions. Take the initiative to stay informed. We enjoy a great freedom — the freedom of speech. We embrace it and encourage it, but it should not be abused. That’s exactly what some of these petitioners are doing. They are legitimately allowed to come onto campus and express their ideas and opinions, but they do not have the right to essentially harass students because we don’t want to listen. Yes, we will take a minute to hear your argument about why we should agree with you and sign your petition — but only if we have the time. You’re on a college campus where we have classes to attend and assignments to work on, so we don’t have all the time in the world. Don’t try to guilt trip us or embarrass us into listening to you. The calls of “aw, come on!” as we walk away are unnecessary and rude. We’re here to learn — not to be heckled by someone whose payment depends on how well you can charm or pressure us into signing your initiative and registering with your political party of choice. We can and will make our own decisions, so while we’re deciding to say yes or no, be nice about it.






The Olympic Games often spark rivalry among patriots Opinion By Allison Lujan el Don Staff Writer Silve

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Men’s H ockey


When Canadian hockey hero Wayne Gretzky ran through rain-soaked streets to light the 2010 Winter Olympics cauldron, 32 million viewers watched an opening ceremony with a touching tribute, a virtual ice floor and even a giant space bear. During the Parade of Nations, countrymen and women proudly waving their flags, announced to the world they had arrived and were ready to dominate their competition. Described as a globally unifying event, the Olympics are anything but. They are the ultimate bragging right. The only thing that matters is the final medal count. Seeing their country’s flag raised above others and hearing their national anthem brings grown men to tears. I don’t cheer for the world. I cheer for the United States of America. I watch the Winter and Summer Olympics every four years, but I don’t watch events thinking about unity and peace. I watch hoping that the Russians will fall while figure skating. Just one slip is enough to lose a place on the podium. Or maybe the gymnast from China will mess up the landing. A faultless landing can make the difference between victory and defeat. Seeing the U.S. Men’s Swim Team beat the heavily favored French team in the 4x100 meter freestyle in 2008 made me proud. To defeat the No. 1 team by less than a tenth of a second was awe inspiring. And though it occurred nine years before I was born, I still feel a sense of pride whenever anyone brings up the 1980 Miracle on Ice when the collegeaged Men’s U.S. Hockey team overcame

the dominant Soviet Union. Most countries make it known that they’re in it to win and leave their citizens feeling accomplished. Titled Operation Gold, the U.S. Olympic Committee offers a bonus incentive of $25,000 to any athlete who brings home a gold medal, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze. Other countries participate in similar programs, promising cash for success. It looks like Canada’s Own the Podium program succeeded when Alexandre Bilodeau won the first home gold medal. But Canada is driving for a crucial gold medal: Men’s Hockey. Word is out that if Canada does not win gold in Men’s Hockey, their entire Olympics will have failed. China goes so far as to conscript athletically superior children and enroll them in sports schools focused on training rather than education. Their lives become the sport. They’re only allowed to leave when the Chinese government says so. Who can blame a country for wanting their athletes to succeed? Just one gold medal can raise the spirits of a nation and seem to make all its problems dissolve. In a time of war and economic uncertainty, the Olympics are necessary for Americans to come together and cheer for a common goal. We’ve come to defeat the world. With our miniature flags, painted faces and chants of “USA”, we’ll be louder than any other nation. We want it bad and you’ll know it from our screams.




SPORTSLINE People & events

Meza, Miller sign to keep playing The 2009 Orange Empire Conference Pitcher of the Year, Christian Meza, will continue his baseball career after this season with California State University, Fullerton. Meza, who is in his second season with the Dons, went 11-1 last year Meza with a 3.49 ERA and 93 strikeouts. Sophomore Chris Miller will also continue his career, deciding to play for California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Miller was named Second-Team All-Orange Empire Conference after starting in 50 games and acquiring a .369 batting average. “That’s what Santa Ana baseball does. It sets up players for the next level,” Head Coach Don Sneddon said. Both were key players in the Dons playoff run that ended in the State Championships Final Four.

Catcher Melba  Valencia tagged out third baseman  Starr White at home  plate, but  it wasn’t  enough as Saddleback  College went on  to win 3-2  in eight innings.


NEW DONS FIGHT TO STAY IN GAME The Dons are off to a rough start producing a 5-4-1 record in a season where there have been shutouts and blowouts

–Jermaine Ruvalcaba

by Jermaine Ruvalcaba el Don Sports Editor

Woods shoots the game winner Santa Ana took on first place Saddleback College Feb. 17. With 10 seconds left, freshman basketball player Thurman Woods made the gamewinning basket for the upset. For the Dons, Woods it was a glimpse of what could’ve been. After going 8-6 in nonconference play, Santa Ana lost eight of their first nine conference games. “It’s a situation where you go with what you have,” said Head Coach Dave Breig, “We had guys step up and make a good effort.” Sophomore Wendall Wright led the team in scoring and assists. The Dons made a statement, winning two conference games on the road against Fullerton and Saddleback College. “We played with a lot of injuries, now we’re finally starting to get our rhythm back again,” said Woods. “It’s unfortunate that it’s come this late.” –Hugo Pacheco


Pitcher Katlyn Harp has generated a 1.75 ERA with five wins.

By the numbers


Opponents batting  average this season

Opening day usually means sunshine, green grass and hope of a winning season. But this year it meant muddy fields, rain drops and storm clouds, symbolic of Santa Ana’s 13-25-1 record last year. But soon the skies cleared, and the Dons appeared ready to begin a new season. Led by pitcher Katlyn Harp and first year Head Coach Jessica Rapoza, Santa Ana matched their best five game start since 2004 going 4-0-1. After a hot start, the offense struggled to put up runs. At one point the Dons went 19 innings without scoring a run, contributing to a 1-4 record in the last five games. In games against Fullerton and East L.A. College, the Dons combined for eight hits and no runs. Despite the lack of offense, Harp believes the team will keep improving. Harp and outfielder Nicole Mendoza are the lone returners and will mentor a group of new faces like Sarah Steinbeck, outfielder Nicole Warnick and pitcher Lindsay Parks. Steinbeck has been a solid


Runs scored by the  Dons in 10 games


Errors committed  by the Dons fielders

player so far with her bat leading the team in hits, triples and runs scored. Pitching has become the Dons strongest point as the four throwers have combined for a 2.16 ERA, 57 strikeouts, 28 walks, allowing 29 runs with eight of those unearned. “I knew she was a fighter. I knew she’s going to go out here and get those outs,” Steinbeck said about Harp. “It means a lot knowing they have my back. I know they are going to score runs,” Harp said. “I am really confident in Parks,” said Harp. “She knows how to come in and improve.” Parks closed out a win against Golden West College in a game where she faced a bases- loaded situation in the seventh inning with a three run lead. “My heart was racing,” Parks said. “I just had to zone everything out.” Despite some inconsistencies the Dons have shown toughness from their young group of players. Freshman Taylor Martin drove in five runs in a game against Southwestern College. Next, the Dons will play host rival Santiago Canyon College on Wednesday.


Starts made this  season by Harp




Tribute to James Wernke: Dons’ fallen ace By Blanca Valdivia el Don Photo Editor

Family  and friends   honor the young pitcher

About the proudest thing a parent can experience is watching their son excel. Watching a boy grow into a man, right before your eyes. James Wernke was that man. The promising college baseball career of the Santa Ana Dons lefthanded pitcher came to a sudden end before it could flourish, when Wernke was reported missing on Dec. 12, 2009, soon after taking his girlfriend’s dog out for a walk. After several days of searching, his body was found along a creek in Fullerton. He was 21. “Let me tell you about James,” Bob Wernke says. He sighs, then begins to share stories about his only son. “He was a sports fan for as long as I can remember. When he was about six he would come in after playing outdoors all day, plant himself on the couch and watch SportsCenter.” Sheri Wernke, James’ mother, laughs softly and adds, “We don’t know where he picked that up from.” Bob and Sheri recall a time when James was about 4 or 5 years old. They would drop him off at his grandparents’ house so they could run errands. James and his grandfather would play catch in the living room, the entire time his parents were gone. Eventually James gravitated toward baseball. At the age of five, too young to play little league baseball, he was

allowed to join a softball team of 6- and 7-year-old girls. Nearly two decades later, he found himself in the pitching rotation of the winningest community college baseball program in the state. “For James the biggest thing was finally getting things right. The unfortunate thing was the timing. We expected big things out of him,” said Dons Head Coach Don Sneddon adding, “He still is a part of this team, we still expect him to walk out of center field.” While attending Troy High School in Fullerton, James was drafted in the 41st round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Oakland A’s, but he turned down their offer. He wanted to continue his education and become a registered nurse. James had a scholarship lined up to play at Cal State Long Beach after the 2010 season with the Dons. Bob and Sheri said he was well grounded with family and friends and knew how to make you feel special. Those who knew him will associate his smile with his love for life and the positive attitude he brought to his teammates. His coaches praise him for his commitment as an athlete. “He was a happy-go-lucky-guy. Loved people. Loved being out here,” said Coach Sneddon, “Every day we honor him.” - Hugo Pacheco contributed to this story.


James Wernke celebrates with his teammates after the Dons win against Palomar College in the Super Regionals last season.

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el Don - February 22, 2010  

Spring 2010 - Issue 1

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