Page 1




scene ◆ page 6

campus beat ◆ page 4

sports ◆ page 8

Classic fairy tale given new life in Knox Center

Students fail to gather

Comets begin season with new players


‘Cinderella’ revamped

Squad starts fresh

VOL. 96, NO. 15


Layoff notices looming

Pell grants may reduce

Employees to receive pink slips, letters

Financial aid source pending downsizing

By Cassidy Gooding OPINION EDITOR

“Without sports, I would be out on the streets doing something illegal,” wide receiver Jordan Morrow said. But no matter what the positives for joining any of the sports programs offered at CCC may be, male athletes may have fewer opportunities to play in the upcoming year. As part of the proposed $4 million cut to be made across various areas of the college in the 2011-12 fiscal year, the athletic program must cut one men’s team to help balance the budget, Athletic Director John Wade said. The cuts are part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal

Come Tuesday, many Contra Costa College employees may be in for a surprise. With Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal awaiting finalization, the entire state is preparing for dire reductions. For the Contra Costa Community College “Some posiDistrict, this could mean massive reductions in tions are faculty and staff. being elimiAccording to district Vice Chancellor of nated; othAdministration Services Kindred Murillo, a pub- ers are being lic meeting will be held reduced.” Thursday at the District Office for officials to Carol Maga, discuss the state of budvice president get affairs with employees. One of the subjects that will inevitably come up at the meeting is the possibility of layoff notices being given out districtwide on Tuesday. “We are looking at potentially doing March 15 letters,” Dr. Murillo said. “But we (the district) are not positive (we’ll do that). We’re not sure to what extent we’re going to lay off. We laid out three scenarios (earlier this semester). One of them had very (few) cutbacks, but the other two would result in more.” The three scenarios, which were outlined by Chancellor Helen Benjamin at the first budget meeting of the semester, presented contingency plans for the district once the state budget is finalized. The first of the three assumes that Gov. Brown’s tax extension is passed and that Proposition 98, a measure ratified in 1988 to secure K-14 apportionment, is funded at a minimum, and would only result in a $7.6 million cut from the district. The second, which would hinge on Proposition 98 regaining its funding but the tax extension failing, would mean a $13.2 million cut. The third scenario, in which both Brown’s extension fails and Proposition 98 is suspended, would reduce the district budget by $18.9 million. With such grim cuts on the horizon, faculty, staff and students alike are holding their breath to see what positions or programs will suffer. CCC alone is staring down a reduction of $3.9 million for 2011-12, which, as President McKinley Williams told The Advocate in February, will come in large part from the more



By Dariush Azmoudeh ASSOCIATE EDITOR

During these hard economic times when students rely on financial aid, the federal Pell grant program could see a reduction in funding in the 2011-12 school year. Depending on whether the proposal passes in the U.S. Congress, students who receive Pell grants could see a reduction of $845 from the current maximum awarded of $5,550. “Due to the economic crisis, there is a (budget reduction) proposal with legislation to reduce the Pell grant award by $845 per student from the maximum amount given,” Lizette Ponthier, Contra Costa College financial aid assistant said. “That is around the same amount awarded in 2008.” California Community Colleges Director of Communications Paige Dorr said, “In February, (Republicans) proposed to cut $66 billion from the federal spending, which will reduce Pell grants by $5.6 billion. That would impact 8 million students nationwide.” She said that President Barack Obama made a counter proposal to keep the Pell grant at a maximum where it currently is and that Congress has until March 18 to discuss these proposals. But a two-week extension can be given if further discussion is needed. In addition to the maximum Pell grant award, the year-round Pell award may be cut. The year-round Pell allows students to get an additional award for summer classes. It was first implemented to help students graduate from college faster, Dorr said. Nearly 419,000 California community ■ SEE GRANTS: Page 3



By Sam Attal and Malcolm Lastra STAFF WRITERS

The athletic programs offered by the college can be credited for attracting many students to enroll each semester. They require that students take at least 12 units and demand that they keep their grades up. To many, the hard work is worth a spot on a team. And generally, student-athletes on campus say joining a team has helped them stay on track with their educational goals through a positive venue. “When you play sports, it gives you a positive outlook on life and betters you with what you want to do,” said Jeffrey Anderson, who was the starting quarterback for Contra Costa College’s football team in 2010. Others have seen the athletic programs as a way to occupy their free time and keep them out of unnecessary trouble.

Degenerative disorder strikes, disables Akers

By Sam Attal


The college’s Academic Senate president was recently diagnosed with a syndrome that affects much of the tissue in his body and has caused temporary immobilization and severe pain, forcing him to spend a week in the hospital. Fifty-four-year-old Richard Akers said doctors at Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo told him that he has EhlersDanlos syndrome (EDS) after he felt sudden pain while working on Feb. 28. He plans to

come back to work within two weeks. EDS causes a defect to connective tissue throughout one’s body, making some joints e x t r e m e ly flexible. It also can Akers cause easy bruising and skin to become laxity. Dislocations are also common among those who have EDS. The incurable syndrome has spread to Dr. Akers’ lower spine. “It’s extremely painful,” he said. “But I’m always optimistic.” Akers said his maternal grandmother also faced EDS, which spreads genetically. After feeling the sudden

pain on the morning of Feb. 28, Akers drove himself to his private doctor in Pinole. His doctor immediately advised Akers to go to the emergency room. “By 2 o’clock, I was absolutely a cripple,” Akers said. “I couldn’t walk a step.” Akers spent a week at Doctors Medical Center and was released Monday. He must use a walker, cane or wheelchair to move around. “Like any good Contra Costa College employee, I checked my calendar before I drove myself to the emergency room,” he said. College President McKinley Williams said he is not surprised that Akers checked his to-do list before decided to go to hospital. However, Williams does commend Akers for his dedication to his job.

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome A group of disorders that includes extremely loose joints, hyperelastic skin, weak tissue and easy bruising. EDS is a genetic disorder, which can be inherited from parents to offspring.

Three heart surgeries

Heart valve disease This occurs when the heart valves do not operate normally due to either a small valve opening or the valve not shutting tightly.

Five knee surgeries Two ankle surgeries Two foot surgeries

■ SEE AKERS: Page 3


‘Dedicated’ employee rests after diagnosis

Akers’ medical history






2 THE ADVOCATE Quotable “In a democracy, the freedom of discussion, the right to information and the freedom of expression (are) of the highest value. Without them, democracy turns into caricature.” Jacek Zakowski critic 1998 Sam Attal editor-in-chief Dariush Azmoudeh associate editor Lamar James associate editor Cassidy Gooding opinion editor Malcolm Lastra sports editor Alexandra Waite news editor George Morin photo editor Jermaine Harrison circulation manager Paul DeBolt faculty adviser Staff writers Christopher Clausen April Halog Hilberth Ibarra Iris Jett Horace Jordan Angelina Rucobo Janit Saechao Jesslyn Sherrod Parris Washington Rodney Woodson Staff photographers Hanan Ayyad Qing Huang Adam Oliver Jesse Sutherland Christian Urrutia Roman Young Staff illustrators Jared Amdahl Faythe Del Rosario Honors ACP National Newspaper Pacemaker Award 1990, 1994, 1997,1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 CNPA Better Newspaper Contest 1st Place Award 1970, 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 JACC Pacesetter Award 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 Member Associated Collegiate Press California Newspaper Publishers Association Journalism Association of Community Colleges How to reach us Phone: 510.235.7800 ext. 4315 Fax: 510.235.NEWS E-mail: advocate@ or letters.advocate@ Editorial policy Columns and editorial cartoons are the opinion of individual writers and artists and not that of The Advocate. Editorials reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board, which is made up of student editors.



WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9, 2011 VOL. 96, NO. 15 ●

Editorial Sports in jeopardy

Athletes need funds to save their teams


any students turn to athletic programs at community colleges for motivation, camaraderie and a second chance to improve their skills in hopes of receiving a scholarship to a university. The presence of sports teams on campus also gives something for all students to rally around and provides a connection between students and to the community. “Athletics bring a sense of pride for CCC,” Athletic Equipment Manager Benny Barnes said. “Sports add camaraderie to the school, (which is a) good thing to have in this society.” Due to the current budget predicament, the college must cut one sports team to help balance the budget, President McKinley Williams said. Without athletic events to attend and Comet teams to cheer for, Contra Costa College students, employees and surrounding community members will lose the thread of commonality that is essential to school spirit. Even losing one team can cause students to become even more disengaged from CCC. By July 1, when Williams and Athletic Director John Wade reach their deadline and decide to eliminate either men’s soccer, football, men’s basketball or baseball, CCC will feel the loss of not just one of its teams, but a piece of the campus’ culture and tradition. Everyone agrees that this is a terribly difficult decision, and opinions about which team to eliminate are all across the board. But regardless of which program is terminated in the end, students and the community will be affected. Student-athletes are mandated to take at least 12 units a semester and to maintain good grades. Without this push, many of them may not put in the work to get the grades; some of them may not go to class at all, Wade said. Men’s football wide receiver Jordan Morrow said, “Without sports, I would be out on the streets doing something illegal.” That could be the case for many student-athletes. No matter which team is cut, every team needs to start fundraising. Even the women’s teams, which are safe from the chopping block because of Title IX requirements, should band together with the male athletes and partner with organizations like the ASU on campus to publicize their predicament and start collecting donations. According to Wade, $150,000 needs to be collected to keep athletics afloat in 2011-12. This is an impossible goal if students remain apathetic and lazy. Raising donations will teach the teams to be self-sufficient and allow them to keep playing, all while helping our college that is being pressured to make so many reductions.


■ Knowledge

Absence of critical thinking evident today


’ve always been one to want to know about everything. I could easily be referred to as curious or, more accurately, nosy. I never understood how some kids allowed themselves to be oblivious to all the things happening around them. To this day, I still don’t understand. The media flood our lives daily with messages. One would have to be living in a hole underneath a rock in order to not be exposed to these messages. Yet, not knowing or caring has become the norm with many people of my age group. Just recently, my blog feed was bombarded with news of kid-celebrity Justin Bieber and his new haircut. It seemed everyone had something to say about it. While girls ogled, guys made snide comments, but when the topic of Libya was brought to attention, all was silent. It was then I couldn’t help but wonder, where did all the commotion go? Maybe I am underestimating my peers. Perhaps, it’s not that they don’t know or care, they just don’t want to say anything. But even then, I’d like to know why someone’s hair gains more interest than a possible civil war in another country. I was always taught as a child that the more a person knows, the smarter that person is. And the smarter a person is, the more advantage

mation. Showing the slightest hint of concern for real issues in the world has been written off as boring, caring is perceived as laborious, and suddenly there is such thing as the ability to “know too much.” he or she has over everyone Now, critical thinking is else who knows less. no longer a basic skill, but a My father would also class that must be taught to tell me whenever I said I students. didn’t care, “Well, you’d There is somebetter start caring. This world does not thing very wrong revolve around you.” Now, with this picture. But when the I, obviously, have media are constantly critical doubts about the portraying to its people of my genyounger generaeration. thinking tion that importance I’d still like to equals money, cars believe there is hope is no and clothes, there is for us yet. no surprise that careAnd I know one lessness has become a longer a cannot realign one’s result. values in an instant. Even more worribasic skill, But it would be more than decent to some, this ignorance is beginning to start at but a class consider including knowledge, care and younger ages. awareness as a few My 7-year-old of them. cousin is more in tune that must I was once told, with the release dates be taught “Ignorance is bliss.” of Lady Gaga songs I never cared to than she is with the think twice about it. date her homework is to After all, I would due. never admittedly This clearly proves students. apply it to myself. the effects of the But at the rate in media on our society’s which many people of our prioritization. society are thinking, I’m not The television and music sure I can say the same for industries constantly pitch these ideas to audiences who our generation. I can only hope that it gets eagerly take in this useless information, causing them to better as we move forward. simplify their own percepJanit Saechao is a staff tions and concerns for the writer of The Advocate. world around them. Contact her at jsaechao. By and by, it has proven easier to gravitate toward the mediocre, unimportant infor-



How important are community college athletic programs?

“They’re important. (Athletics) help students not stress so much about school.” Iris Williams MCHS

“If you aren’t part of (athletics) then you don’t hear much about them. So I don’t think they are that important.”

“It gives athletes a second chance to get a scholarship and be seen by bigger colleges.”

game design


criminal justice

“I think it is a great way to go to the next level and to stay in school.”

“(Athletics) show school spirit, and basically whoever loves sports should do them.”

Christopeher Rougeau Andrew Adams

Jasmine Caldwell Emsley Fraiser

“(Athletics) are very important, because they give athletes goals to reach.” liberal arts

criminal justice

Susanna Vinavong medical assisting



■ FROM: Page 1


Department hosts showcase

lifetime benefits,” Maga said, as opposed to giving severance pay or other retirement incentive options. On the subject of Tuesday’s layoff notices, Maga said, “Some positions are being eliminated; others are being reduced.” United Faculty President Jeffrey Michels said that once faculty members retire, the college will save the money that was once going to their salary by not refilling the position. “In this atmosphere of cutting, faculty look to see that the cuts are being made away from the classroom,” Dr. Michels said. Overhead costs, management positions and classified staff posts are a few of the places Michels said would feel the first slashes. Parttime faculty members who are hired on a semester-to-semester basis, as well, may not be asked to return.

Akers | Recovering

ASU offers free bus ride to rally Students interested in attending the March in March rally in Sacramento on Monday are advised to take a free bus. Students must meet in Lot 1 at 7:45 a.m. on Monday. The protest at the Capitol will begin at approximately 9:30 a.m. and the bus will return to campus at approximately 2:30 p.m.


Women’s history celebrated The West Contra Costa Branch of the American Association of University Women will host the 11th Annual National Women’s History Month Celebration on March 24 at 7 p.m. in the Knox Center. The event will celebrate women throughout the community for their advocacy and contributions to the area..


EOPS open mic helps gain funds

■ FROM: Page 1

“It’s typical,” Williams said. “That’s that conscientious character of his; he’s dedicated to the college and I admire him for that.” Akers is no stranger to health issues, either. He has faced three heart surgeries, five knee surgeries, two foot surgeries, two ankle surgeries and about six others that are “less pleasant to describe,” he said. He also suffers from incurable heart valve disease. However, most of his previous health problems are connected to EDS, he said. Some of Akers’ co-workers worry about his heavy workload. “He doesn’t relax as much as he should,” art department Chairman John Diestler said. “He’s always working and thinking.” Diestler said the two became acquainted when Akers worked as the art department chairman. It was then that Akers’ appreciation for his job became evident to Diestler “He’s very devoted to his craft,” Diestler said. “He’s got tremendous energy for that.” Others agreed. “He is a great Academic Senate president,” Williams said. “He’s been a real leader on this campus.” Lynette Kral, secretary of the academic senate president, said that EDS is just another chance for Akers to show that he can overcome health problems and continue to perform his assigned duties. “Richard’s had a lot of medical problems,” Kral said. “He will continue to pull through.”

Williams expects Akers will not allow EDS to affect his job. “Nothing keeps Richard down too long,” Williams said. Akers said during his stay in the hospital, he was lucky to have technology by his side. “I thank God for my iPhone,” he said. “I (was) able to keep up with e-mail and (find information on) the syndrome.” Akers also noted several mistakes made by the Doctors Medical Center staff that he was able to catch because of his phone and the Internet. The first was when he was given an inadequate dosage of drugs. “That was a critical mistake,” he said. The second was when nurses almost gave him an insulin injection, although he never remembered taking one before. “It turned out they were in the wrong room,” Akers said. Akers said he wants to remind everyone to be aware of their health issues. “I firmly believe we need to be our own medical advocates,” he said. “Sometimes you’re on morphine and in pain but you need to do it.” He said he wants to thank those around him who visited him in the hospital and show their support. “I really appreciate all the support I’ve gotten from all the folks from Contra Costa College,” Akers said. “It means a lot. I’m sure I’d be much more depressed with my situation without that support.


However, because the budget has not been finalized, and administrators do not know how much they have to cut, the reductions have not been set. “This is a lean and difficult time,” Michels said. Murillo, however, offered some optimism to the situation. “Even when the district sends letters, it doesn’t mean the person is laid off,” she said. Employees are entitled to a grace period of work before they are laid off that is achieved by the warning of a pink slip or termination notice. Therefore, the notices and pink slips that may arrive on Tuesday do not mean the elimination of positions, she said, but place the recipients in a pool of employees who, depending on the budget that is unveiled in June, may be out of work come July 1, Murillo said.

Grants | Cuts likely ■ FROM: Page 1

college students receive a Pell grant award and 23,000 of those receive the year-round Pell. In the Contra Costa Community College District, students from CCC receive the highest number of Pell and financial aid grants. Ponthier said, “We (Contra Costa College) are the institution in our district that has the most students who rely on financial aid. A total of $1.3 million is predicted to be cut from students on campus who receive Pell grants (if the reduction happens).” Dorr said more than 7,000 students districtwide could be affected by the cuts and that a total of $3 million may be cut from those students’ grants. CCC student Andrew Navarez said he did not know about a possible reduction to the financial aid he receives and that a big enough reduction could make it hard for him to balance school, work and supporting his daughter. “I wouldn’t have the money to get by. I would have to work late nights. How it is right now, I’m barely getting by,” he said. “I might not be able to attend school. I’ve got to support my daughter.” He said he is currently taking 12 units and works 12 hours a week. Dorr said if Pell grants are reduced by 15 percent, California will lose more than $200 million in funds that would normally go to the state because of the grants. She said this is money that would have normally benefited not only stu-

dents, but also the state’s economy. “That money could be used to help California’s economy because the money usually goes back to the community by being used for books, transportation or rent. That money could be used to help California’s recovery and most importantly to help California’s low income students,” she said. Expanding outside of community colleges, the possible reductions could have a large effect on California State University students, as they are the largest group that relies on the Pell grants. “(The) CSUs are the largest recipient of Pell grants and provide a lot of financial aid support for students,” Erik Fallis, senior relations specialist of the CSU system, said. “Some 118,000 students at CSUs rely on Pell grants. More than half the students have tuition and fees fully covered by financial aid.” San Francisco State Director of Financial Aid Barbara Hubler said, “If there is a reduction to the Pell grants, it will affect many students. We’ve got 10,500 students receiving Pell grants. Everyone could see a reduction for 2011. There are a few students getting a few hundred dollars, and they might not get it next year.”

Athletics | Sports teams awaiting decision

Karaoke night will be hosted by EOPS on March 24 from 4-8 p.m. in the cafeteria. Students, faculty and staff are welcomed to support, as the event ■ FROM: Page 1 is a fundraiser for the program and that requires $400 million to be slashed from Hurting the community community colleges statewide. will cost $1 to perform a song. CCC coaches are nervous about potentially “We are funded by the state and the state has having their teams cut and how such moves may no money,” Wade said. damage the community. The cut has to be made to a men’s team “If they eliminate the soccer program, it will ■ DINING because of Title IX of the Education Amendments be devastating to the Latino community, just of 1972, which states “No person in the United as cutting football, basketball or baseball will States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded affect the African-American community,” men’s from participation in, be denied the benefits soccer coach Rudy Zeller said. of, or be subjected to discrimination under any “In terms of soccer, 75 percent of the playeducation program or activity receiving federal ers are Latino and it’s (an encouragement) for The culinary arts department financial assistance.” Latino students to continue their education.” will host the Fourth Annual Food Since Zeller’s soccer program is the only one and Wine event on April 10 at Stressful situation offered to males in the district, students interthe Richmond Auditorium from 11 Currently, men have more opportunities to ested in the sport who are enrolled in classes play on a team at CCC than women. Although at Los Medanos College and Diablo Valley a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 in advance and the same number of sports is offered for both College can join CCC’s squad. $40 at the door. The culinary arts males and females, the football team offsets Cutting men’s soccer from CCC would force department is currently selling open slots with a 70-man student-athletes to transfer to advance tickets. roster. another college district if they “It seems that we “Due to Title IX, we can’t plan to continue playing the neglect (sports) as eliminate a women’s sport sport. and currently we have more Comet midf ielder a part of learning, men playing sports than Francisco Navarro said if though athletics teach soccer is cut from the colwomen,” Williams said. The team that will be cut he will be saddened, but more than (is taught) lege, has yet to be chosen. due to his financial situation, Wednesday, Feb. 23: Williams and Wade must in most classrooms.” he would be forced to remain A subject was stopped for a traf- agree on whether to cut at CCC. fic violation and it was determined football, men’s basketball, Comet goalie Kevin Marvin Webb, he was an unlicensed driver. The men’s soccer or baseball by baseball coach Esquivel said he would do subject was cited. July 1, the first day of the the opposite. upcoming fiscal year. “I think a lot of people will leave CCC (if Friday, Feb. 25: “It’s stressful for us right now,” Williams soccer is cut),” Esquivel said. “There are a lot of A subject was stopped for a traf- said. “We’re looking at expenditures throughout people who love soccer in the community.” fic violation and it was determined the college — not only athletics, but every area Esquivel said soccer drives him to succeed. his license was suspended. The is taking a cut.” “I don’t think it is fair that they are cutting subject was cited. California Community College Athletic (back) athletics; they are the most important Association President Carlyle Carter said that thing (at school).” Saturday, Feb. 26: other community college athletic programs are A subject was contacted for in situations similar to CCC’s. Anchor of pride arguing with another subject. It “Over the last 18 months we’ve had approxiFootball coach Alonzo Carter said hearing was determined she had a warrant mately 30 sports teams cut (statewide),” he that his team may get cut does not come as a out for her arrest. said. surprise to him. Some officials say that those who partici“(The football program) has made some Monday, Feb. 28: pate in sports are even more likely to get better strides, however, I don’t feel that football has a A vehicle hit a person while grades in school. good of chance of staying around,” Carter said. traveling at 5 mph. Medical emer“Student-athletes historically do better (in Although Carter said he understands what gency came out to evaluate the their classes) than non-student athletes,” Carter the college must do to balance its funds, he victim. The victim declined fur- said. does not want to see what will happen if a team ther medical attention and went College President McKinley Williams, who gets cut. to class. was once a college student-athlete himself, said “The school doesn’t have a choice and it will sports teams help the participants excel out of affect someone’s livelihood on this campus,” Wednesday, March 2: the crime-riddled areas such as the communities he said. An officer responded to a medi- that surround the college. Anderson said, “Junior colleges are known cal situation. “Many students use athletics to get them- as a second chance, so cutting a sport is not an selves out of their current predicament,” option.” — Alexandra Waite Williams said. Men’s basketball coach Miguel Johnson said

Food, wine event tickets available


Layoffs | Budget woes may reduce workers

than 90 percent chunk of the school’s budget Receive breaking news and that funds salaries and benefits. Williams presented a budget reduction plan updates by following The on Feb. 2 that drafted cuts affecting employees Advocate’s Twitter account, in the amounts of $650,000 by means of retireAccentAdvocate. ment, $480,000 from part-time classified staff and $1.3 million in worker reductions. CCC faculty members have been offered retirement incentives in an effort to reduce the budget strain, Vice President Carol Maga said. To receive full lifetime benefits, a faculty ■ CONCERT must have gained 80 points toward their retirement package before leaving the college. A point is registered for each year employed in the district and for the employee’s age. The incentive this year, which is the same as was offered in 2010, is two points toward any The music department will be retiring faculty members’ health care. hosting an instrumental showcase “It does not cost the district as much money concert on Sunday in the Knox to give employees additional points toward their Center from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission for adults is $5 and $3 for students. For more information contact music department Chairman Wayne Organ at 510235-7800, ext. 4276.



due to prior budget constraints, the athletic department already has a hard time giving student athletes what they need. “The cutbacks in the state budget make it difficult to provide student-athletes the resources they need,” Johnson said. “(Every team) is expected to do more with a lot less.” Johnson also sees the college’s sports teams as a necessity to the local communities. “If athletics were cut, kids would find other things to do with their time other than trying to get a degree,” he said. Johnson said cutting a sport would also be a shame to the alumni who have come out of CCC’s athletic programs. “It would be difficult to get rid of sports and live with it. Some of us are former student-athletes (who are) giving back to our school and I don’t think the state realizes that.” Athletic Equipment Manager Benny Barnes said school spirit plays a giant factor when considering athletic cuts. “Athletics bring a sense of pride for CCC,” said Barnes, a former CCC football player who transferred to Stanford University in 1970. “Sports add camaraderie to the school (which is) a good thing to have in this society.” Killing dreams Baseball coach Marvin Webb said many people do not realize why sports are important to college students. “The importance of sports is the aesthetic of learning which involves mind, body and spirit,” Webb said. “It seems that we neglect (sports) as a part of learning, though athletics teach more than (is taught) in most classrooms.” Shortstop Saul Rodriguez said stripping away baseball would scar him emotionally. “People have dreams of playing sports and it hurts that the state is trying to pull away our dreams.” Even in these uncertain times, Webb said he is doing what he can to help keep all the athletic programs alive. “The (baseball team) has been trying to figure out ways to fundraise and do its part to minimize the cuts,” he said. But Wade said raising enough money to keep a team seems nearly impossible. “We now have to fundraise $150,000 just to keep athletics afloat, compared to the $50,000 we had to raise last year,” he said. He said since it was very difficult to collect $50,000, it will be much harder trying to obtain three times the amount. “It puts us in a tough situation to potentially save a program,” Wade said. “(Raising funds) will be a horror show.”





Out loud — Day of Action protest organizer Eric Garcia speaks about statewide March 2. Rainy weather was blamed for the low amount of participation from budget cuts to a crowd of students in front of Wheeler Hall at UC Berkeley on students and university employees.

Action protests lack participation By Adam Oliver STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

BERKELEY — To decry the already famished state of higher education and protest Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed $1.4 billion cut to the system, students and educators gathered statewide on California’s Day of Action on March 2. Unlike the massive Day of Action demonstrations last year, which in some cases included pandemonium and violent riots, this year’s protests took a more moderate, but no less crucial path. Stifled largely by wet and rainy conditions and what many considered just plain apathy, Day of Action demonstrations throughout the Bay Area lacked much of the fortitude and fury seen last year, but retained the same message. “People are more apathetic and it’s hard to blame them. Fees continue to rise and nothing happens,” said UC Berkeley student Marco Amaral, who co-organized the campus’ Day of Action activities. Many attendees agreed that the unfavorable weather did contribute to the low peak attendance of around 200 people on the UC Berkeley campus for the rally in Wheeler Hall, but that students should have not allow it to detract from the severity of the cuts. “You have to be out here — wind, rain or storm. If this is what you’re fighting for, you can’t waver,” said Nicolas Holmes, president of the DVC Students for a Democratic Society. Throughout the day, students, faculty and local activists channeled their collective frustrations via speech, rap, chants and signs, a couple reading “stop the re-seg-

regation of education” and “fight like an Egyptian.” While discussion ranged from the Oakland gang injunctions to the prison-industrial complex, the most common vexation among speakers and attendants was what many viewed as the privatization of public education. “This is a public university, yet we have seen it is becoming more and more privatized,” Amaral said. “You get the sense that education is becoming for the (wealthy) few.” Under Brown’s proposed budget reductions for the 2011-12 fiscal year, tuition costs at Universities of California, California State Universities and the California community college system are planned to increase by 8, 10 and 38 percent respectively, if not much more. Many view the tuition hikes as especially detrimental to the middle class, who are neither eligible for financial aid nor able to afford such heightened costs. “We are seeing massive austerity and an attack on the working class,” Holmes said. Community college students could face a 154 percent fee increase from $26 to $66 per unit if the special election tax initiative gives way, and if Brown adheres to a strict “all-cuts” budget. Though few community college students have the opportunity to protest and actively address the issues they face on campus, the Day of Action rallies gave some an opportunity to network and fight

alongside their four-year peers. “We are a three-million person sleeping giant and we need to awaken,” Holmes said. Further limiting accessibility, UC regents earlier this year approved a statewide change to the admissions policy purportedly to increase diversity, though not many students agreed. Some even found the policy discriminatory. John Domingo, a UC Berkeley student who spoke at the Wheeler Hall rally, said that changes in admissions policy will most severely affect those students from low-income communities and underachieving schools who lack the resources to get ahead. “Students who are being prepared for this kind of stuff, they’ll be the ones getting through the funnel, and that funnel’s getting smaller and smaller,” he said. Student Taylor Kohles agreed. “I grew up in East Oakland and I’m the only one I know who went to college. I think that’s stupid,” she said. In addition, employees of California’s higher education system face their own struggles with budget reductions. Juan Garcia, a clerical university employee at UC Berkeley who has been without a contract for three years, said the budget cuts have imposed an increased workload without the benefits that a contract could establish. Yet in the current rough-andtumble economy, he said, many employees are keeping silent to avoid any reason for dismissal. “Everyone’s being more careful. And no one complains because SAM ATTAL / THE ADVOCATE there’s no work out here,” Garcia Rapid beat — Protester Patricia Juarez plays a Native American said. drum in Wheeler Hall at UC Berkeley on March 2.

ASU provides transportation to rally By Sam Attal


Throughout the past few years, the ASU has heard many complaints from students about budget cuts and the struggles they face to pay for tuition. However, when given the chance to protest the issues they despise, Contra Costa College students have only shown apathy. The ASU plans to end the trend this year by letting students know that they are providing free transportation to one of the largest protests for education in California where students will join forces with their peers from statewide four-year universities and community colleges. The ASU is hoping to fill a charter bus of 50 seats with CCC students who are willing to vent their anger and have their voices heard by lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown at the state Capitol during the March in March rally in Sacramento on Monday. “This is going to be a March on the Capitol to show our governor that we

demand the right to fair and accessible education,” ASU Director of Public Relations Albert Ambris said. “We’re all students. It affects all of us, whether you’re at a two-year school or a four-year school.” Ambris and other ASU members are urging students to board the bus in Lot 1 at 7:45 a.m. The students will arrive in Sacramento at approximately 9:30 a.m. and protest until 1 p.m., Ambris said. He expects the bus to return to the college at approximately 2:30 p.m. The bus has been paid for by the United Faculty and is free to students, staff and faculty. “The main thing we want to address is an affordable education for everyone,” ASU Senator Gabriel Gonzalez said. “It’s essential that we get over there.” Under Brown’s budget proposal for the 2011-12 fiscal year, higher education will take a $1.4 billion cut. Of that number,

$400 million will come from community colleges, $500 million will come from the California State University system and another $500 million from the University of California system. “We want a solution to our problems,” said Johnny Garcia, member of the Board of Directors of the University of California Student Association. “Standing together will accomplish that.” If voters turn down the tax extension on the special election ballot in June, or if lawmakers decide not to allow the initiative onto the ballot, the Legislative Analysts Office (LAO) has proposed that tuition at community colleges go up from $26 to $66 per unit. “This is about rebuilding California and our futures,” Garcia, who will be speaking at the rally, said. CCC students were given the chance to sign up for a seat on the bus on Tuesday in

“This is going to be a March on the Capitol to show our governor that we demand the right to education. We’re all students. It affects all of us, whether you’re at a two-year school or a four-year school.” Albert Ambris,

ASU director of public relations

the Fireside Room. Last year 93 CCC students signed up to go, yet only 12 showed up, Gonzalez said. As long as spots are open on the bus on Monday morning, students can bump those students who did not show up out and take their seats. Ambris said the ASU has been sending e-mails to instructors to inform them about March in March in hopes that they will excuse absences for students attending.


Counselor uses poetry to assert her inner-being Latina poet shares past through words By Lamar James ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Many who meet Norma Valdez-Jimenez may not know she is a poet. With a warm smile that embrace people and a passion for directing students in the right direction, Valdez-Jimenez guides students on a path to success as a Contra Costa College counselor. After finding inspiration through writing poetry, she has accomplished what many poets dream of: being published. ValdezJimenez, who writes under her birth name Norma Liliana Valdez, submitted her work to The Acentos Review and was chosen to be published by the website. The Acentos Review, an online publication, publishes poetry, fiction translation, artworks and interviews by emerging and established Latino artists and writers four times a year. Finding a love of poetry after being selected to attend Voices of our Nations Arts Foundation, a workshop for writers offered at UC Berkeley, Valdez-Jimenez has been inspired to write ever since. She said, “I think it was very important to write under my birth name because it connects to the essence and my being.” She said her poetry is about the human experience, in particular the experiences of a Latino woman. She has been writing poetry all her life, but has become serious about it in the last two years. In a poem that was published called, “Your Life or Hers,” she writes about the experiences of an immigrant, his daughter and his son. Valdez-Jimenez said the poem is told from a woman’s point of view and her experiences of being the daughter of an immigrant and raising children in this country. She said that after being selected and going to VONA and being around other




writers, she gained a love of poetry and it inspired her to write. “I used to not want to share my poetry with anybody. But I realized that is what would make it better. Getting peer feedback and honest criticism makes your work better,” she said. Valdez-Jimenez said she never dreamed of being a published writer. She confessed that it is even somewhat a secret with the people she works with. “There are two different worlds, (and) now the worlds are colliding,” she said. However, she doesn’t mind having her work published and, in fact, is honored by it. CCC student Sandy Teodoro said she thinks Valdez-Jimenez is an awesome person, and that she cares about the students. “This honor does not come as a surprise to us. She is always an encouragement to others pushing us to go the extra mile,” Teodoro said. Friend and colleague Maritza Vande Voorde said Valdez-Jimenez is an awesome poet, and since she has been working at the college, Valdez-Jimenez has been a mentor to her. She said her poems are about many different things, but mostly about the experience of Latina women. “It’s an extraordinary thing when a counselor can find the artist within,” Vande Voorde said. “The poems really make me think of who I am and my experiences as a Latino woman.” Valdez-Jimenez said she does not write for recognition, but for the connection a reader may feel to their own experience. “People will bring value to their own experiences. People will really be able to relate and say hey I shared the same experience,” she said. Valdez-Jimenez wants to be a voice for Latina women because there are not a lot of voices for them. “If I don’t do it, who will?” she asked. “This may sound so cliché, but writing saved my life. My poetry is about the normal experiences of being a human being, GEORGE MORIN / THE ADVOCATE and for me that is being the daughter of an Spoken word — Counselor Norma Valdez-Jimenez has recently had one of her poems accepted for The Acentos Review and was chosen to be published on immigrant.” its website.

Science fair showcases local projects Event educates, pushes students By Jesslyn Sherrod STAFF WRITER

It was an educational and exciting evening as Contra Costa College played host to the 54th annual West Contra Costa Science Fair the evening of March 3. Participants from grades 7-12, parents, teachers, administrators and judges came out to participate in the evening’s festivities. The event began with an awards ceremony, which included a greeting from CCC President McKinley Williams and Dr. Bruce Harter, superintendent of West Contra Costa schools. The greetings were followed by the actual fair in which students were able to show off their projects.

New groups The ASU is set to bring more student clubs to Contra Costa College. The Black Student Union looks to collectively educate, motivate and equip members with a better knowledge of AfricanAmerican History. The Parallel Programming club plans to help students sharpen their skills in computer programming through competitions and conferences. ASU Vice President of Clubs Mikhael Bunda hopes to close CCC’s achievement gap by establishing new clubs. Clubs such as cheerleading, EOPS and business are set to be offered on campus.

“I was surprised. I thought I would win second or third place,” seventh-grader Timothy Smith, of Portola Middle School, said. His project, titled “What’s for Launch?” came in first in the Physical Science category and was a study in observing how far an object could travel if a catapult was set to release at different degree angles. Smith will also be an entrant in the San Francisco Bay Area Science Fair (SFBASF), along with other participants who placed first, second or third. The WCCSF was started in the late 1950s. Norm Seraphim, an instructor with the CARE department at CCC and presenter for the evening, has been associated with the WCCSF since 1975 and has been director of the event since 1991. Seraphim is a former teacher in the Portola School District and became part of the committee because of his disagreement with

“I’m happy that I won, but next year my project is going to be a mechanical plant. I’m definitely shooting for first place next year.” Trevor Aquiar,

Portola Middle School student

how some of his students’ projects were judged. “If I didn’t think they were properly judged, I griped about it. Finally, I was requested to join the committee. I felt that my opinions would be worth more there,” he said. The fair serves as more than just a way for the students to receive gifts or prizes, but also allows them to exercise thought. Kazue Nakahara, in charge of publicity and the judges’ luncheon,

as well as the mother of two former WCCSF winners, believes that this is more than a contest. “You start with a question, then you come up with a hypothesis. Students can then answer the questions using the scientific method,” she said. This was true for seventh grade contestant Gerard Labriola. His project, “Does Temperature Affect the Growth and Survival of Aquatic Plants?” placed first in the category of Biological Science. His study was performed in temperatures for both indoor and outdoor environments. “I used water from Baxter Creek and the tap water from my house to do this,” he said. At the awards ceremony, Gerard was told that the significance of his project was due to the history of Baxter Creek. After learning this, he was inspired to make changes to his project in preparation for the SFBASF.

“I think I will include more historical and scientific information about Baxter Creek,” he said. Participants were given comment cards with their projects, encouraging them to make improvements in any areas where judges felt they needed help. According to Bob Fabini, assistant director at both the WCCSF and SFBASF, “Just because students receive second or third at the WCCSF doesn’t mean that they can’t receive first or second at the SFBASF. Hopefully this is a learning experience and a step in improving their projects.” Another winner from Portola Middle School was seventh grader Trevor Aquiar. His project, “Water Balloon Science,” was part of the Behavioral Science category. “I’m happy that I won,” he said. “But next year, my project is going to be a mechanical plant. I’m definitely shooting for first place next year.”

Clubs seek to engage students By Jermaine Harrison CIRCULATION MANAGER

Despite Contra Costa College currently having student clubs on campus, the Associated Student Union is in the process of establishing more clubs to help bring students together. The ASU hopes to better diversify the college by creating more student and ethnic clubs for students to join. “The new clubs this semester that are still in the process of submitting their paper work are the La Raza Student Union, Black Student Union, Parallel Programming Club and the Philosophical Film Club,” ASU Vice President of Clubs Mikhael Bunda said. The Black Student Union plans to bring African-American and other students to collectively educate, motivate and equip members with a better understanding of AfricanAmerican history, Bunda said. The La Raza Student Union hopes to help Latino students develop a more critical understanding about the Latino culture along with keeping members updated on issues the Latino community faces, La Raza studies department Chairman Agustin Palacios said. Students who are interested in joining the club can go to meetings which are held every

Wednesday in H-10. Another club on campus is the Parallel Programming Club. It emphasizes doing projects that help students hone their computer programming skills and bringing an increasing student awareness of the importance of being a parallel programmer, Bunda said. The Parallel Programming Club looks to provide computer programmers as a resource for students interested in learning a parallel program for future career choices. The club represents CCC by actively participating in trips to conferences, labs, competitions, and other events throughout the semester. The ASU wants to help address the achievement gap through their events this semester, which consist of newly established student clubs on campus, Bunda said. ASU adviser Kelly Ramos said the ASU’s main purpose in establishing clubs is to create a positive learning environment, which will bring more student diversity on campus, spreading throughout the community. “I am very excited that we have a number of clubs on campus this semester, and I can’t wait to see what each club will put together,” Ramos said. ASU Director of Public Relations Albert

“Participation is important, and clubs are good because they give students things to do, and they unite students to create an environment where (students get to) know each other.” Albert Ambris,

ASU director of public relations

Ambris said, “Participation is important, and clubs are good because they give students things to do, and they unite students to create an environment where (students get to) know each other.” Other active clubs on campus include the Cheerleading Club, EOPS Club, International Students Union, Sociology Club, Veterans Club and the Business Club. “I believe this is a great opportunity for students, considering the Black Student Union is being brought to the table for African-American students to come together, as well as the La Raza Club for Latino students on campus,” Ramos said.

ʻCinderella’ thrills

6 THE ADVOCATE Unleashed


This week: “Battle: Los Angeles” (R) “Mars Needs Moms” (PG) “Red Riding Hood” (PG) “The Desert of Forbidden Art” (PG) “3 Backyards” (PG) “Black Death” (R)


This week: “Jackass 3D” (R) “Inside Job” (PG-13) “Morning Glory” (PG13) “The Next Three Days” (PG-13)


This week: Raekwon: “Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang” Dance Gavin Dance: “Downtown Battle Mountain Pt. II” Avril Lavigne: “Goodbye Lullaby” R.E.M.: “Collapse Into Now” Sara Evans: “Stronger”




Play rendition brings out passion, originality By George Morin PHOTO EDITOR

It is always refreshing to enjoy a classic fairy tale that’s been given a new twist. The drama department presented an interesting and almost angelic rendition of the classic “Cinderella” from last Thursday through Sunday. Written and directed by drama department Chairman playreview Clay David, the Knox Center production differed from the original Walt Disney “Cinderella” movie. Though not straying too far “Cinderella” from the mundane movie, pro★★★★★ duced in 1950, the play was Venue: Knox able to hold its own originality Center Directed by: Clay throughout the story. David One would not even have Open Until: to know the original story to Closed quickly become interested and fall deeply into the tragedy that develops early on in the play. In contrast to the original, this story begins by showing the main characters when they were children. The scene provides background information to the characters, which helps bring a sense of familiarity, as if audience members are going along for the ride with the characters. It shows the child, Mariabella Ricci, later to be named Cinderella, played by Karyme Martin, alongside her father, Archduke Giuseppe Ricci, played by Rex Marin, walking around meeting families from around the kingdom. The scene highlights the caring, loving and almost angelic relationship between them. At one estate lives the Fiore family, a family of loving and caring people. Their queen, Lucia Fiore played by KiwiAkhirah Waqia, begins her day with hearty hugs and greetings with her castle workers. Then, Archduchess Alessandra Vento, sister to the queen and played by Stefanie Cervantes, comes into the scene. As soon as she enters, the music and lighting changes with the mood. The lighting remained a very apparent tool used throughout the play to help set the mood. Vento begins to talk about how rank is an important fact of life, and how servants and nobles are of different breeds. She states that all servants should hold their eyes to the ground. This is where the theme of the play begins. Ricci stands his ground and declares to the archduchess Vento and the crowd, “We are servants to God, and no one else. Love knows no rank or class, God’s love is blind to rank.” This quote holds true throughout the play. The underlying theme of the play seemed to hold a religious point of view to the problem of class segregation. Which is a unique feel. Unlike in the original where it is a fairy godmother coming to save the day, it is the power and voice of God that comes down to help young Cinderella after her tragic event with gifts of chariots and beautiful, almost holy, clothing. David’s rendition of the play is unique in its costume style, as well. This is something that is seen throughout all of David’s productions when he is the costume designer.


Romantic passion — Mariabella “Cinderella” Ricci (Miranda Romero) gazes into prince Salvatore Fiore (Amani De Paoli) eyes during the play ‘‘Cinderella” held at the Knox Center on March 5.

For example, Prince Salvatore Fiore, played by Amani De Paoli, wore an almost Michael Jackson-style leather jacket especially standing out in a play that is based in a Renaissance time period. But these quirks truly give the play its own style and flare. However, the acting throughout the play is what gave it life. From the loving and caring Ricci to the antagonist, Duchess Viviana Russo Ricci, the evil step-mother played by Muraya Ranieri, the actors were able to fall into their characters with almost seamless perfection. Miranda Romero truly immersed herself in her character with her shy but strong willed personality that was seen throughout the play. Her love and desire for the prince during the intimate ball scene made you feel as if these

two were meant for each other beyond the confines of the stage. The unexpected use of a disco ball held above the stage wowed audience members during the intimate ball scene. The use of lighting was very important to key moments in the play. From the scene where Cinderella’s father is murdered to when Cinderella is taken from her family, the lights were almost turned off to leave a sense of loss and despair. The choreography was simple and clean, without too much flair throughout the play. It was mostly done during the ball scenes and the ending sequences of the play. David’s rendition is a unique and interesting piece; the only complaint is that the plot development could have been stronger with a longer stage performance. Innocent waves — Archduke Giuseppe Ricci (Rex Marin) waves with the child version of Mariabella “Cinderella” Ricci (Karyme Martin) as they disappear from the stage at the Knox Center on March 5.

This week: Dragon Age II (XBOX 360, PS3, PC) Major League Baseball 2K11 (XBOX 360, PS3) Warriors: Legend of Troy (XBOX 360) The Sims 3: Barnacle Bay (PC) Editor’s note: This column lists popular new (and upcoming) releases for the week.




Third baseman swings strong



great hitter, according to first baseman Trevon Prince. “He can hit the hell out of a ball. That is one thing for sure he will do consistently.” Webb agreed that but said Doorn has potential to be a great hitter but, “He needs By Hilberth Ibarra to concentrate more on hitting line drives STAFF WRITER and making good contact with the ball.” Another attribute of Doorn’s is that he works hard at practice and in games and Cameron Doorn, a freshmen third base- gives 100 percent every day, shortstop Saul man on the Contra Costa College baseball Rodriguez said. “He comes out and plays team, is shaping up to be a leader with great hard every day.” potential who has been consistently giving Pitcher Mitchell Francisco agreed with 100 percent to each game. Rodriguez, saying that the Comets can Doorn does not only bring his toughness always count on Doorn when the game is to the diamond, but is also a key player for tight. the Comets. coach Marvin Webb said. The third baseman is also one of the lead“He has a lot of poteners on the team. tial. He brings a lot of “He is a leader who toughness, he works hard “He needs to continue is more about doing than saying,” Prince said. and he tries to improve to work hard. He himself,” Webb said. Webb described needs to give every- Doorn as a nice guy who Doorn, known as CJ to well liked by all of his his teammates and friends, thing he has and give isteammates. was born in Southern his best to reach the “He is a leader, but he California but moved to Perth, Australia soon after. is more a silent leader. place where he wants Everyoneof knows He first started playing he has to go.” the potential to break out baseball in Australia when a neighbor asked him to and be great,” he said. His teammates and play on a local team. Marvin Webb, baseball coach Since then, he always coach consider him a funny guy, and his knew that he wanted to come back and play in America. He didn’t Australian accent adds to his jokes. Doorn admits to joking around. get the chance, however, until he returned to the states in April 2010. “I try to keep the jokes at practice and He started playing in summer leagues and play as hard as I can during games,” he said. finally, he came to Contra Costa College. In the future, he said he hopes to play for Doorn is a hard-working and talented a Division I university program and eventu- athlete who contributes a lot to his Comets ally play professional baseball. However, in team. By all accounts, he has the potential the present, he works hard to give his all to to go far. “He needs to continue to work hard,” the Comets. “CCC is my home,” Doorn said. “It is Webb said. “He needs to give everything where I want to be right now. I want to help he has and give his best to reach the place where he wants to go.” (the team) as much as I can.” Doorn has a powerful swing and is a

Doorn brings heart, potential to squad


Tight grip — A danger at the plate, Comet third baseman Cameron Doorn brings a powerful swing and a hard work ethic to every game and practice. He currently leads the team with six RBIs and has the team’s only home run.

Comets mangle Eagles in 5-0 victory Team’s 14 hits helps deliver win in BVC opener By Dariush Azmoudeh ASSOCIATE EDITOR

In their Bay Valley Conference opener, the Comets received a great performance from their offense and defense to secure a 5-0 victory against Mendocino College at home on Thursday. After being able to only score one run in their previous three games, the Comets (1-0 BVC, 3-9 overall) finally stepped up to the plate and got 14 hits and five runs against the Eagles (0-1 BVC, 1-111 overall). “They focused on hitting line drives and grounders, not fly balls,”

Comets’ coach Marvin Webb said. “We’ve been building and building up, and we finally played a good game. We had good defense, got timely hits and had the desire to win.” Contra Costa College got the opening run of the ScoreBoard game in the second Comets 5 inning when cenEagles 0 terfielder Next game: C o r y Thursday at Oda’s sinMarin, 2 p.m. gle was enough to bring second baseman Kyle Tobler home from second base to put the squad ahead 1-0. The fourth inning brought the same result at the plate, as Oda was able to advance Tobler to second base on a ground ball that buzzed

past the Mendocino shortstop. Oda scored a run after stealing third base and eventually coming home on a sacrifice fly by third baseman Cameron Doorn. By the end of the fourth inning the Comets led 4-0. For the game, Oda had a total of three hits, one RBI and one run scored. “The hitting finally came around. We were able to get some runs early and stay in the game,” Comet starting pitcher Chris Lovejoy said. “Once we established the lead, we were able to keep the momentum going.” He said the team entered the game with a different mentality. With it being the first game of conference play, he said the team saw it as an opportunity for starting off undefeated in league. For their next game, the Comets will travel to Kentfield to play College of Marin on Thursday at 2 p.m.

With the runs in, late in the game the victory came down to pitching and defense to hold down the Eagles’ offense. “We were swinging the bat pretty good. Lovejoy was in the game and the defense backed him up,” Oda said. Despite allowing eight hits and making an error, the Comet defense performed well and backed their starting pitcher, Lovejoy, for the entire game. Together, the team was able to get out of a jam in the top of eighth inning when the Eagles had the bases loaded with two outs. Lovejoy struck out the last batter to end the inning. He had a total of four strikeouts and pitched a complete nine inning game. “Our fielding was excellent today. We were all solid and our pitching was on spot,” Tobler said. The addition of Tobler to the starting lineup was a change that worked out well for the Comets, as

Poor grades dishonor programs T

he future of community colleges in California, as we all know, is full of uncertainty. Budget cuts have already put a lot of students in a bind with the discontinuation of some classes and the near future promises more of the same. Even with the expected cuts for next fall semester already imprinted into my mind, I was still shocked to hear baseball coach Marvin Webb say that the baseball program might be on the chopping block. Upon further investigation, I learned that there are talks of cutting other athletic programs as well. The athletic programs at Contra Costa College have not been that great recently as far as records are concerned, but college sports are about more than wins and losses. Most of our Comet athletes have been involved in their sport of choice for years and for the most part, they came to CCC to play on a squad. Truthfully, it probably

rodneywoodson would not matter which athletic program does get cut. We might not have enough students to fill all of the squads by then anyway and judging from the Comets recent trend of studentathletes being academically ineligible, maybe the athletes themselves do not even care. I would be upset if there were talks of cutting The Advocate and I sure would not cut myself from the equation. So what is it with some of our athletes? Does the situation matter to them or are they taking these programs for granted? The baseball team is shooting for the stars this season, a task that might be a little farfetched, but at least they have some pride and are showing a willingness to fight this season,

which is more than I can say for those athletes who do not bother enough to go to class so they could play on the team that they are on. Why are you in college? This is not high school. Even if you are getting financial aid or your parents are paying your tuition, the point is, somebody is investing in you. Coming to school to socialize and do nothing makes you no better than the jerks who show up to school until they get their financial aid checks and bail. You are a waste of space. Student-athletes who do the same are even worse. Not only are you taking up good class space, but you are also putting the team you are supposed to be a part of in a bind due to your laziness. If you do not care enough to take care of your responsibilities that is fine — just quit. There are enough problems with CCC athletics without you and your issues. Other than that, I am pretty sure there are hun-

dreds of students who would love to take one of those classes you are failing. There are real players on every team who bust their butts to succeed, not only on the field/court but also in the classroom. If you do not have the same drive, that is fine, but do not be a pain in the butts of all of us and put forth no effort. There are real students and student-athletes who may be turned away in the fall due to budget and program cuts. Sadly, there will be those same slackers who will probably slip through the cracks and squander more opportunities for deserving people. Academically ineligible? You should have stayed home and played “Call of Duty.” Going up a prestige or two will get you more approval from your teammates and coaches than the faulty excuse you gave for flunking your classes. Contact Rodney Woodson at rwoodson.

he scored three runs and reached base three times on two singles and an error made by Eagles’ shortstop Erik Hanson. “We changed our defense,” Webb said. “We had Kyle Tobler at second base, he came through big with big hits today, and Donnie Hogan in right field. Everybody played good defense today.” Off the field, Tobler helped hype up the team at the beginning of each bottom inning by gathering the team into a huddle and shouting words like “bash” and others that rhymed with it. “It just got us fired up as a team and got us more intense,” Tobler said. Webb said this helped the team keep its momentum going throughout the game, unlike in previous games when it fell flat after the fifth inning. “If they play with the same enthusiasm, we can expect more good games and wins,” he said.

Box scores Baseball (March 3) Mendocino College AB R Phillips lf 4 0 Hubbard rf 4 0 Webb cf 4 0 Branson 1b 4 0 Hanson ss 4 0 Noll dh 3 0 Lozada c 4 0 Page 3b 3 0 Raker-Crisosto 2b 3 0 Totals

H 0 2 3 0 0 1 0 2 0

Contra Costa College AB R Oda cf 5 1 Doorn 3b 4 0 Rodriguez ss 4 0 Oaks dh 3 1 Chamberlain c 4 0 Hunter lf 4 0 Airoldi 1b 4 0 Tobler 2b 3 3 Hogan rf 4 0

RBI 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

33 0 8 0

Mendocino College Contra Costa College

H 3 1 1 2 2 0 0 2 3

35 5 14 4 000 011

000 201

000 00x


0 5



Mendocino College York (L)


14 5




Contra Costa College Lovejoy (W)


8 0




Schedule Baseball at Marin, Thursday, 2 p.m. at Napa, Saturday, 1 p.m. vs. Solano, Tuesday, 2 p.m. Softball at Marin, Tuesday, 2 p.m.

Standings Baseball Bay Valley Conference Contra Costa College Solano Community College Yuba College College of Marin Los Medanos College Laney College Napa Valley College Mendocino College

RBI 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1

W 2 2 2 1 1 0 0 0

L 0 0 0 1 1 2 2 2

Pct. 1.000 1.000 1.000 .500 .500 .000 .000 .000

GB — — — 1 1 2 2 2




Young team seeks to improve


Hopeful squad tries to recover from rough start By Malcolm Lastra SPORTS EDITOR

After finishing its best season in recent years, the softball team looks to carry forward its success into the 2011 season with another group filled with young players. Entering his third year as coach of the softball team, Ed Miller is faced with the task of rebuilding the Contra Costa College softball program again, after finishing with an overall record of 16-22 (12-12 in the Bay Valley Conference) last year, after an off-the-field incident almost cost the Comets their 2011 season. “We had some problems at the end of the fall semester when a couple of (players) got into a fight, which is something I never thought would happen here,” Miller said. “Because of that fight I had to tell

some players that they couldn’t be has made a lot of changes, so basically I’m starting over again and on the team.” Miller said he expected to have a it’s going to be challenging this full team with up to 17 players, but season.” Last season CCC came just due to the fight, and other players who are academically ineligible, short to reaching the playoffs, howhe was left with a six-person roster ever the squad displayed solid play behind its pitching from former and only one sophomore. players Vanessa With late offand season recruit“This year, we’re going Kersten Genevieve ing by Miller, who the Comets to try the best we can. Reyna, were named found enough players to fill We have a lot of posi- to the Alltheir squad. tive vibes and it’s (so BVC First and Second teams, However, the team had to far) been a good expe- respectively. Along with cancel its first rience” their strong seven prepitching last season games Myeshia Ellison, season, the due to the rainy shortstop Comets were a weather condiyoung team that tions, players not being able to compete due to displayed a lot of potential to be a insufficient class units and players potent squad for upcoming seasons as they had just one sophomore in without physical exams. “I thought I was coming into Kersten. “We had a solid team last seathis season with a dynamite team ready to win the division,” Miller son,” sophomore pitcher/catcher said. “(However) there has been a Krissy Oshiro said. “We had a lot of controversy and (the team) good group of players (who) were


Key games

Contra Costa College When:


Napa Valley College

Away: Doubleheader

Last season, in two doubleheaders against the Storm, CCC finished with a record of 2-2. In those four games the Comets scored a total of eight runs and Napa Valley took a slight edge by scoring nine. The Comets are looking to overtake the Storm this season and gain control of the rivalry.

Overall record 16-22 Conference record 12-12 Conference finish fourth

Returning Player Krissy Oshiro

1 2 3 8 9 13 14 16 28 40

Myeshia Ellison Leticia Hernandez Jessica Miller Maritza Reyna Elvira Figueroa Shantanay Briggs Juanita Jackson Krissy Oshiro Meagan Maile Manal Ayyad


Ed Miller returns for his third season as the Comets’ softball coach. This season Miller hopes to repeat the success of last season’s team despite having a small group of freshmen players and only one returner. After an offseason altercation between players, Miller was forced to get late recruits which resulted in the team forfeiting eight games due to a lack of players. Miller is optimistic and is helping the team focus in the fundamentals of softball.

Doubleheader: March 15 at Marin 1 and 3 p.m.

infield outfield/infield infield pitcher/infield outfield outfield infield pitcher/catcher infield outfield

freshman freshman freshman freshman freshman freshman freshman sophomore freshman freshman

The season so far Currently, the Comets have a winless record in the pre-season with conference play rapidly approaching. Aside from suffering from sub-par play, the squad is plagued by an unstable roster which almost caused the season to be cancelled and is also responsible for eight game cancellations thus far; most recently cancelled was the game scheduled for March 5 at Mission College. This week the softball team has a bye and on March 15 it is scheduled to begin conference play at College of Marin. Hopefully the team’s roster woes are behind it by that time and coach Miller and the Comets can finally focus on softball.

Doubleheader: March 17 vs. Solano 1 and 3 p.m. Doubleheader: March 22 at Los Medanos 1 and 3 p.m. Doubleheader: March 24 at Yuba 1 and 3 p.m. Doubleheader: March 29 vs. Mendocino 1 and 3 p.m. Doubleheader: March 31 at Napa Valley 1 and 3 p.m. Doubleheader: April 7 vs. Marin 1 and 3 p.m. Doubleheader: April 12 at Solano 1 and 3 p.m. Doubleheader: April 14 vs. Los Medanos 1 and 3 p.m. Doubleheader: April 19 vs. Yuba 1 and 3 p.m.

Key players

Ellison hopes to be a great addition to the Comets and step into a leadership role this season.



Oshiro The sophomore pitcher is looking to lead the team with her experience and work ethic.

Maritza Reyna. Aside from the offseason controversy, the freshman players look forward to the season and still have high hopes. “This year, we’re going to try the best we can,” freshman shortstop Myeshia Ellison said. “We have a lot of positive vibes and it’s (so far) been a good experience.” Other first year players agreed. “So far, we are struggling but we are going to get better,” Reyna said. The Comets (0-4) were forced to forfeit their eighth game of the season this past Saturday against Mission College due to an insufficient amount of players ready to play the game. “(This squad) is not going to be as good as last season’s team but if the (players) continue to work hard and get better, this team will be better than many of the teams of the past,” Miller said. “This is a rebuilding year but I have players I can rebuild (this program) with and I am looking forward to being competitive.”

Coach profile


March 31, 1 and 3 p.m. Home: Doubleheader April 26, 1 and 3 p.m.

Last season by the numbers

all hard working and we meshed well together.” Due to the late and necessary recruiting by Miller, the Comets are short-handed and have only 10 players on their roster, nine of whom are freshmen. “It’s definitely been different having to step up and take charge,” Oshiro, the team’s only sophomore, said. “We had different leaders last season and having to step up (as a leader) has been a big change, but I like it.” A challenge Miller said he has, along with coaching a young team, is having to re-establish basic fundamentals in his squad. “(So far) I haven’t been able to get the best players in recruiting (such as starters from good high school programs) however we’re going to take it a day at a time,” he said. “We’re going to have to teach the new recruits the fundamentals and strengthen their abilities.” Miller believes that despite the squad’s lack of players and sophomore presence, its biggest weapon will still be its pitching, led by Oshiro and freshman pitcher

The freshman pitcher hopes to keep CCC in a position to win with hard work and strong play.

Doubleheader: April 21 at Mendocino 1 and 3 p.m. Doubleheader: April 26 vs. Napa Valley 1 and 3 p.m.

The Advocate - March 9, 2011  

March 9, 2011 issue

The Advocate - March 9, 2011  

March 9, 2011 issue