CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW B scene ◆ page 8
Knox hosts pajama party
BS Building now has ventilation
SINCE 1950 8 PAGES, ONE COPY FREE
campus beat ◆ page 5
campus beat ◆ page 6
Masters at work Chess players match wits
VOL. 93, NO. 2 WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 16, 2009 ACCENTADVOCATE.COM
THE WEEKLY STUDENT VOICE OF CONTRA COSTA COLLEGE, SAN PABLO, CALIF.
Deans plan class cuts
Safety doubts arise
Armed robberies cast doubt upon current security measures
Reductions force decrease in schedule
By Holly Pablo EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
By Asia Camagong ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Wounded by cuts from the state budget approved in July for the 2009-10 fiscal year, the college now faces a challenge to make change where there are no dollars. “Until the economy picks up, we’re going to have some tough days ahead,” President McKinley Williams said. The college has been working to formulate a reduction plan that must be submitted to the district by Oct. 1, which will feature a list of cuts to be made in the C-contract, college expenditures and categorical programs. “Right now we’re just explaining options,” Williams said. In order to avoid overspending the C-contract funds, which pays for parttime faculty and full-time faculty overload, the administration is working alongside the departments and divisions to reduce the spring and summer schedules, Vice President Carol Maga said. While a list of courses and sections to be cut has not yet been determined, she said, the schedule is estimated to experience a 13.5 percent reduction. The department chairpersons and division deans are looking to eliminate sections depending on the number of sections per course and class enrollment, dental assisting department Chairwoman Sandra Everhart said. Core classes required to complete certain degrees are at less risk of elimination, she said. Though some classes planning to be canceled are not required to transfer, Everhart said the reductions still take away many students’ opportunities to learn necessary skills. “The concern is for students who really need additional assistance in obtaining ■ SEE BUDGET: Page 4
Wali Wright, a defensive back for the Comets, remains in critical condition after incurring serious injuries at the football team’s season opener at home Sept. 5. The 25-year-old freshman was playing free safety when he collided with a Los Medanos College running back on the first play of the game. Football coach Dave Johnson said Wright sustained two fractures in his neck, a swollen spinal cord and paralysis of his body from the neck down, but is expected to live. Wright’s sister, Shawntae Semien, said her brother has undergone two major surgeries since the accident. “His vitals are strong and his brain is functioning normally,” Semien said.
Recent sporadic robberies on campus and in neighboring areas have led students to demand better communication within the community to offset criminal activity. “Safety is not where it should be. Everyone is disconnected from each other,” musical theater major Mark David said. “But as a community, we have to look out not just for ourselves, but for each other.” Police Services Sgt. Jose Oliveira said three cases of robbery by two unknown suspects in possession of handguns were reported on the evening of Sept. 1 after 9:30 p.m. In each case, the victims were alone. No one was hurt and no further leads or arrests have been made, Oliveira said. “Based on the people we talked to, the suspects’ descriptions, methods, actions of robbery are similar,” he said. “So we put two-and-two together that the three cases are related.” According to the police reports, the suspects are two African-American males in their late teens to early 20s. Both wore white T-shirts, dark jeans and black sweaters with the hood over their heads. One was wearing a black baseball cap and holding a handgun. There is no definite understanding of the robberies’ chronological order, Oliveira said, but the crimes probably occurred only minutes apart. The successful robbery occurred at 9:38 p.m. in the Bus Transfer Center. A backpack was taken but later recov-
■ SEE WRIGHT: Page 4
■ SEE ROBBERIES: Page 4
ISAAC THOMAS / THE ADVOCATE
To the rescue — Comets defensive back Wali Wright is carried out by American Medical Response after being injured during a football game at Comet Stadium Sept. 5.
Football player injured, survives Impact
Wright The freshman defensive back, injured during the season opening game, sustained two fractures in his neck and a bruised spinal cord. He is being treated at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. His vitals are strong, and he is expected to live.
By Holly Pablo
leaves Wright unable to move from neck down
Rocha case suspect to stand trial Parker, 24, allegedly shot former police aide
Public defender Esteban Alvear will be representing Parker, Deputy District Attorney Jaime Licht said. Alvear could not be reached for comment. Rocha, 19 at the time, was shot when he was investigating suspicious activity in Lot 10 and drove his police aide golf cart off campus. He confronted Parker who allegedly shot him twice before fleeing the scene on foot, District Attorney Eric Haupt, Richmond Police Department detective Paul Sequeira said. Rocha was immediately assisted by other police aides, Police Services and the San Pablo Drive and Mills Avenue Nov. 8, 2007, Richmond and Richmond police departments. He was rushed Police Detective Eric Haupt said. Parker is now to a hospital and has made a full recovery. After, Police Services and several outside charged with attempted murder, possession of a agencies conducted a daylong search of the firearm and attempted escape. “It’s a strong case,” Haupt said. “(Parker is) Hilltop area. No arrests were made. definitely going to put up a strong fight.” ■ SEE ROCHA: Page 4
“It feels good to close a case when someone is brazen enough to shoot someone in broad daylight.”
By Sam Attal ASSOCIATE EDITOR
A 24-year-old parolee suspected of shooting a campus police aide in November 2007 is scheduled to appear at a mid-October court date in Martinez. Christon Parker had enough evidence presented against him during a preliminary hearing on June 17 to warrant a Martinez Superior Court trial on Oct. 13. Parker allegedly shot Contra Costa College police aide Edgar Rocha at the corner of Shane
Hubbard’s memory honored her life through dedication of a memorial bench and distribution of a small amount of her ashes along the Packhouse Trail. Hubbard was a biological science lab assistant at Contra Costa College for three years before she passed away on May 5 from comBy Holly Pablo plications of leukemia. She was EDITOR-IN-CHIEF 55 years old. “We’ve been coming to this At this time of year, Kathleen Hubbard enjoyed picnicking and park for 25 years. This was one of walking her two yellow Labrador her favorite spots,” husband Brian retrievers with her husband and Jarvis said. “We’re going to miss friends at Point Pinole Regional her, but we’ll be able to come here and visit.” Park. “When she became sick with To honor the late Richmond resident, family, friends and col- leukemia five years ago, it didn’t leagues gathered for a potluck at break her spirits,” friend Colleen the park’s shoreline site on Sept. Crivello said. “She was still funny 1, Hubbard’s birthday, celebrating and full of life.”
Propped against a blanketed picnic table was a large, framed photo of Hubbard wearing a spunky pink dress and tiara at an event she and Jarvis attended every year called the Funky Formal. “She was an advocate of the tiara,” Jarvis said. “She thought every woman should have one.” The picture showcased the smile and laughter that will be missed, he said. Biological sciences professor Debra Barnes said Hubbard’s sense of humor allowed her to easily connect with students. “She was joyful. She made students feel comfortable. She would cut out paper A’s to give to stu■ SEE HUBBARD: Page 4
ISAAC THOMAS / THE ADVOCATE
Dust in the wind — Husband Brian Jarvis scatters the ashes of former lab assistant Kathleen Hubbard’s at one of her favorite picknicking locations, the Packhouse Trail in Point Pinole Regional Park, during his wife’s memorial Sept. 1.
Trail potluck commemorates lab assistant
CYAN MAGENTA YELLOW B
2 THE ADVOCATE Quotable “The right to express yourself is not something that’s inherently part of being a journalist; it’s part of being a human being.” Kanthan Pillay South African newspaper editor 1997 Holly Pablo editor-in-chief Sam Attal associate editor Asia Camagong associate editor Alec Surmani associate editor Cassandra Juniel spotlight editor Dariush Azmoudeh sports editor Lamar James news editor Brent Bainto scene editor Jack Anderson special projects editor Isaac Thomas photo editor Erik Verduzco assistant photo editor Paul DeBolt faculty adviser Staff writers Natalie Estrada Anthony Farr Chad Garcia Malcolm Lastra Maria Martinez Jon Pinlac Kristina Plaza Diana Reyes Alexandra Waite Staff photographers Crystal Joy Bis George Morin Adam Oliver Desmond Sylva Brian Young Roman Young Staff illustrators James Heck Cody McFarland Joel Ode Honors ACP National Newspaper Pacemaker Award 1990, 1994, 1997,1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008 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 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@ contracosta.edu or letters@ accentadvocate.com 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
l WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 16, 2009
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 16, 2009 VOL. 93, NO. 2 ●
Editorials More than education Hands-on vocations key to student success
n search of new and better opportunities, this college and many other two-year colleges up and down the state are being flooded with students hit hard by the California budget crisis. The job market is flooded with people looking to scrape by during these trying times and those without higher education or specific job skills are running out of options. Looking to the horizon during a bleak time for most Californians, students are coming to Contra Costa College in droves. This campus has always been a jumping off point for an underprivileged community and now more than ever we must rise to the occasion. CCC is a place where people can come for specific skills, training and enter into viable fields of employment. Our nursing, dental assisting, automotive services, culinary arts and other vocational programs are crown jewels of a college serving the needs for students looking for a career. They provide pathways to work-based skills in a time when jobs are scarce. They provide experience in active fields and open up students to a taste of their chosen profession. Counselor Robert Webster stresses the importance of hands-on activity when picking a career, and vocational ed programs provide this experience. While students demand more education and training, however, the state has burdened its education system with a torrent of funding cuts and crippled its ability to help those in their most desperate hour. There are whispers in the hallways of losing lab sections and more cuts to vocational programs coming this spring. In an age where students need more than education, it is a shame that our students could lose the very element that makes them competitive in professional fields — experience.
JAMES HECK/ THE ADVOCATE
Heartache hinders chance at friendship
hope you don’t hate me as much as I don’t hate you,” he said. “I’d still like to be friends.” It is a typical scenario: girl meets boy, boy sweeps girl off her feet, boy leaves girl, girl is alone, confused and heartbroken. But wait, ex-boyfriend said he wants to be friends. That makes everything better. Not. It is merely slapping a Band-Aid on an open wound, hoping that it will heal without infection, but knowing that it will leave a permanent scar. As much as you try to ignore it, the pain resonates throughout every fiber of your being. The moment of liberation is when you finally realize that it is not that the person did not want a relationship. It was just that they did not want one with you. By being catapulted to cope with these feelings, they become so familiarly ingrained into your soul, you eventually cease to notice it. That is what losing him was like for me. This pleasant little surprise came in mid-June. I regret to say that honestly, I still do not have the nerve to see him. Call me a coward, if you must. While I did not want to lose his presence in my life, I felt that being just friends would hurt more than having nothing at all. In these circumstances when you were deeply, emotionally involved, I question whether it is possible to maintain a platonic relation-
Speak out Newspaper welcomes readers to share voice
The Advocate is a student newspaper run by and for students. Help us be the voice of Contra Costa College. We invite all readers to take a part in your newspaper. The Advocate encourages comments and columns. Please send any and all letters to the editor to email@example.com or drop off handwritten or typed letters to our offices in AA-215. Letters must be signed, should be no more that 300 words and are subject to editing for libel, clarity and space constraints.
hollypablo ship post-breakup. While there is beauty in the attempt, Usually one and despite person is good intentions from both openly parties, it is a frag- letting go ile, contradictory and moving concept. Think on, while realistically. the other is Usually one person is harboring openly letting go wishful and moving on, while the thoughts other is harboring that the pair wishful thoughts could that the pair could reconcile reconcile their differences. their Their differences. intentions, despite how noble, rest at opposite ends of the spectrum. Someone is likely to get disappointed in the process, especially if friendship is tried while the breakup is still new.
Everyone says, “You just need more time.” But in reality, mending a broken heart is definitely not a quick fix. Sometimes, old wounds can feel just as fresh two weeks, two months or two years later. So instead of agreeing to that lunch date, do yourself a favor: do not put yourself through self-inflicted torture. Do not put yourself in a position to question your feelings if you are still unsure that you can handle just being friends. After all, sometimes, happiness is about what you decide not to do. By giving yourself time and maintaining distance, you can mentally and emotionally prepare yourself for the day that your paths cross again. Most likely, by then, it will be the least of your worries. “Even if what he and I share today fades away over time or ends abruptly in the future, I am happy to say that contrary to my previous beliefs, I can be a good girl for someone.” Looking back on some of the things I have written in my journal reminds me that I could never hate him, even though sometimes, I wish I could to make it easier. We all go through it eventually and as “different” as a situation seems in the beginning, feelings can change. Friends. I really hope that it is possible. Someday. Holly Pablo is editorin-chief of The Advocate. Contact her at hpablo. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you think graffiti is a problem on campus?
“Usually when I walk into the bathroom, it’s one of the first things I see. It’s just a continued problem around campus.”
“I haven’t seen a lot of graffiti and if there has been, (it) looks like they take care of it immediately.”
“I think graffiti is a form of expression. I just feel like the place where you go to learn shouldn’t be vandalized.”
Czarina Lazaro Adrian Cortes
CRYSTAL JOY BIS AND DIANA REYES/ THE ADVOCATE
“I don’t see any graffiti or tagging on the walls. It’s really not a problem on campus, and I don’t have a problem with it.” Jermaine Harrison
Alex Gutierrez music
“I think when you do graffiti, it’s vandalizing on campus and an immature act.”
“I think that it is a pretty big problem. It costs a lot to repair the walls or just to have supplies.”
Schoolwork provides love despite flaws
chool is my boyfriend.” This is what I told one of my co-workers after our shifts ended. He raised an eyebrow and asked what I meant, assuming I was asserting a sudden surge of feminism masked by an “I don’t need a man” attitude. This was clearly not the case, and so I gladly sat beside him to outline the ways school satisfies a woman more than any man. A woman is constantly worried about security, an oath the average man cannot consistently provide. With School by my side, there is guaranteed success in both our lives when we finally set out to venture into the “real world.” School is a man of neverending knowledge and always welcomes me to learn as much as I can from him, never making me feel dumb or hesitant to ask questions. Every day I learn something new from him, whether it is about politics, literature or even social behavior. As with any boyfriend, he needs to pass the trial of friends and family approval. Luckily, everyone loves him as much as I do and I have yet to hear a complaint about our relationship. In fact, the moment I even think about dumping him, I get a rush of complaints from people encouraging me to try and make it work. He is all about me. Even if I threaten to break up with him, he always promises to take me back. Cheating has never been on my mind. A lot more than trust would be lost if School ever caught me cheating. My boyfriend challenges me in various ways, whether I like it or not. In the times that I do not like his challenges, it is a relief that he does not take any of my threats, nagging and complaining too personal. Yet, as with every boyfriend, he definitely comes with some faults. He keeps me up all night long with problems and, the very next morning, continues to pile on more. I cannot describe how many times I have seen him with other girls, ones far more experienced than me. Jealousy overflows when I see that they understand him better than I do. As another victim of the economy, he has been on a really tight budget and, as a result, I wind up having to pay for him. I’ll be honest — he is the most expensive date I have ever known. The most frustrating issue is when things go bad, I tend to blame myself and do not think about blaming him. Problems seem to always be caused by my lack of effort, my lack of skill, my lack of everything. As much as I would like to blame him, it just isn’t in me to do it. Despite School’s imperfections, we have been together for 14 years and the anniversaries will continue to pile on as the years proceed. He is the best and worst boyfriend I have ever had. Yet, I am stuck with him because we have made a commitment. And no man can come between that. Asia Camagong is an associate editor of The Advocate. Contact her at acamagong. email@example.com.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 16, 2009 l THE ADVOCATE
Prices cheat student need for understanding of health concerns Editor: I am writing in support of the article titled “Program helps workers diet” (Aug. 26, 2009) written by Lamar James. While I agree completely with the college decision on creating this program, these are, however, certain points that I find valid that should be taken into consideration. The main misconception of why people are overweight is because they have chosen to be like that.
More information in article wanted for peace of mind Editor: I recently read Cassandra Juniel’s news article titled “Student murdered in shooting” (Aug. 26, 2009), and I really enjoyed reading the article. I found it to be very accurate and insightful, but I also found it to be a little frightening to the reader,
In reality, the main factor is that of ignorance, in the sense that people do not know their calorie intake. People also don’t know which foods can benefit them and which foods do harm to them. By adding that program, people can learn and make a better decision of what they are deciding to eat. My main concern, however, stands from the fact that you have to actually pay a fee to get into the class. I feel that an education that is important to our society should be free for all individuals who wish to join the class, but are unable to because they aren’t able to pay the fee. As students, we already have to pay fees for our regular classes and then pay
especially if the reader is a Richmond resident. I felt that you stated the incident, gave a clear statement of the situation, but you failed to mention the safety precautions the Richmond Police Department should be taking for the rest of the Richmond community. In reading this article, I felt that you did a very good job in explaining how the situation took place but you failed to mention how Richmond residents can prevent these types of crimes
for our books. Also, we should consider people who wish to get healthy but are unable for financial reasons. Everyone should be taught the dangers of cheaper but convenient foods. I believe that the program should be free in the spirit of utilitarianism. They would be making a good contribution to society by educating people on what to eat and how much exercise they should do. In a sense, everybody wins, because if Weight Watchers makes this program free, it will attract more people to join it. Pedro Perez, student
from taking place in their neighborhoods. As a Richmond native and resident, it frightened me to know that I could be coming home late from work one day, get stuck at a stoplight and possibly be shot to death in my own neighborhood. I felt that, as a writer, you should have mentioned that RPD is now taking extra safety precautions to prevent these types of crimes. You should have also given some detail about how important they are to
the community in keeping the level of safety high in Richmond and their communities. If the reader happens to be a resident of that community, they can be informed of the extra safety precautions being taken and not have to worry about similar crimes happening. I hope that my thoughts can be of some assistance to you in the future. Angelique Shaw, student
Homicide on climb Murder rates in Richmond out of hand By Cassandra Juniel SPOTLIGHT EDITOR
iving as a little girl in Richmond, I had the opportunity to go outside and play with my friends, to go and play at the local parks with my friends, to shop at the local markets with my friends — without my parents wondering or worrying if I would make it home safely. Before a parent sends a child to the store or even allows him or her to play outside in the front yard now, they have to think twice. The unfortunate reason is due to the overwhelming number of violent crimes that continue to plague the city, in particular, homicide. Although homicides are on the rise in many cities, the focus here is Richmond. And the question is when will they cease or slow down? Statistics tell us that there will always be “some” violence, yet for what we are seeing today (as well as from the last few years), it is not normal. As long as there are gangs, racial prejudices, hate crimes, weapon availability by illegal means, and revenge in the hearts of men and women and, most notably, the sale of illegal drugs, there will continue to be violent crimes occurring. According to Sgt. Lee Henricksen of the Richmond Homicide Unit, crime statistics to date for homicides are as follows: 40 for 2009 as of Monday; 27 in 2008; 47 in 2007; and 42 in 2006. In 2007, Richmond topped the state with the highest per capita homicide rate of cities with at least 100,000 people with 47 homicides, which was the city’s highest single year total for this decade. Homicides fell in 2008; yet, now at 40 as of Monday with a population of 104,513, there seems to be again a significant increase even with four months remaining for the year. Law enforcement officials are doing all they can to solve these cases. If witnesses are not coming forward to provide information, however, these officials do not have much to go on. Additionally, it has unfortunately become so “common” now to hear about incidents such as homicides, as compared to years ago when homicides were so infrequent that they shocked the city and made top news when they did occur. Just recently, I reported on a double homicide occurring July 27 in Richmond involving a Contra Costa College student and her boyfriend.
Both individuals, according to police officials, had not been involved in any illegal activity. Each time I hear about an incident, I become even more concerned about my well being, as well as many others. I live and drive by the areas where some of the shootings occur and it is a very uncomfortable feeling. There are no easy solutions. Yet, looking at the statistics from San Francisco, the largest city in the Bay Area, and how they decreased their homicide rates, perhaps our city can get begin applying similar techniques. From Jan. 1 to Aug. 29, San Francisco’s homicide rate in 2008 was 67; in 2009, it was 33, which marks a decrease of roughly 51 percent. The reason given for the decrease, according to authorities, is that even though they often know who the killers are, they do not have enough evidence to arrest them. They manage to arrest the suspects at other times, however, by catching them with guns or drugs. “This keeps them off of the street,” said Jim Miller, lieutenant for the San Francisco Police Department Field Operations Bureau. Also, San Francisco’s “solve rate” jumped from 34 percent in 2008 to 53 percent to date this year. The reason that stands out is that people have gotten a better feel for the police department and are contacting them more, Lt. Mike Stasko of the Homicide Unit said. Perhaps learning from this, the Richmond Police Department will soon implement a “Violence Reduction Plan.” This plan consists of many actions, including, improving communication and building relationships between neighborhood residents and the police officers who work in their neighborhoods; tracking crime and violence through better and more timely crime data; focusing on juveniles; putting more resources into solving violent crimes, especially homicides; implementing the use of closed-circuit TV cameras (CCTV) in key areas of the city to identify suspects, gather leads and discourage individuals from committing crimes; exploring the use of injunc-
tive orders to keep gang members and other chronic lawbreakers out of areas where they currently use the public streets and sidewalks to commit crimes and terrorize neighborhoods; referring as many individuals as possible caught committing gun crimes or who possess illegal firearms for federal “trigger lock” prosecutions; and increasing their commitment to traffic enforcement (more traffic stops mean more contacts that can lead to arrests, searches and gun confiscations). If our city officials do indeed implement their plans to reduce violence, I believe the violent crime rates will decrease. I would like to allow my grandchildren, someday, the opportunity to go to the park, to the store or just play out front without fear of them being gunned down. Contact Cassandra Juniel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CODY MCFARLAND / THE ADVOCATE
4 THE ADVOCATE
l WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 16, 2009
accent advocate ONLINE EXCLUSIVE
Receive breaking news and updates by following The Advocate’s Twitter account, AccentAdvocate.
Newsline ■ LA RAZA
Florycanto to enchant The La Raza department invites all to come and celebrate Mexican Independence Day with Open Mic Florycanto. The event will be held today from 12-2 p.m. in the Recreation Room. There will be free food for performers.
Violence chat to educate The ASU is hosting a Fireside Chat. Town Hall Meeting: Stop the Violence will be held Thursday in the Fireside Room at 1:30 p.m. Admission is free.
■ URBAN MUSIC
Group plans Open Mic Urban Music Group will be holding an Open Mic Friday. The event will be held in room M-116 from 1-5 p.m. General admission is $5 and $3 for students who are performing.
■ RHEEM CREEK
Council seeks volunteers The Urban Creeks Council is having a Rheem Creek Volunteer Day on campus Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Water, snacks and gloves will be provided. Wear durable shoes, a hat and dress in layers.
CrimeWatch Monday, Sept. 7 Suspect was stopped for a traffic violation, and it was determined his driver’s license was suspended. Suspect was cited. Tuesday, Sept. 8 Suspect was stopped for a traffic violation, and it was determined she was an unlicensed driver. Suspect was cited and vehicle was towed. Wednesday, Sept. 9 Victim reported that a tree fell on his knee and caused injury. Suspect was arrested for having a warrant for his arrest.
Grade scandal near close Another student convicted in scam
his peers to improve their grades, said Dodie Katague, the Contra Costa County prosecutor who has been involved in the case since its inception in 2006. Sentencing for the Nemati’s feloBy Alec Surmani ASSOCIATE EDITOR ny of conspiracy to commit computer fraud, which yields a maximum of Although believed by college three years in prison, will be held at officials to be concluded in March, the Martinez courthouse Oct. 30. another former student was recently Despite earlier beliefs that the convicted of making unauthorized case was finished, Katague believes changes in connection with Diablo this is truly the end of the grade Valley College’s cash-for-grades change scandal. scandal. “This was the last trial, and this Khalid Nemati was found guilty concludes the DVC prosecution by a Martinez jury on Sept. 2 for case,” he said. accepting thousands of dollars from The cash-for-grades scam was
charged, he said, deals were made with some of the scheme’s head organizers, exchanging lighter sentences for information about others involved with the grade changes. This is how the prosecution was tipped off to Nemati. Katague said that despite his conviction, Nemati pleaded not guilty at his trial. Due to the plea of innocence under oath, Katague said Nemati is expected to make no deals for reduced punishment, as it would subject him to perjury. Contact Alec Surmani at email@example.com.
Robberies | Concern raised about prevention ■ FROM: Page 1
ered by police in the Del CaminoValencia housing complexes. An iPod, cellular device and $12 in cash were missing. Portable electronics are always the objects of interest, Oliveira said, and should be kept out of sight. The pair traveled by foot and was last seen hopping a fence westbound into the housing complexes, Oliveira said. Also, an attempted robbery occurred on Mission Bell Drive between the tennis courts and the Bus Transfer Center. “The victim noticed the guys walking behind him and realized something was suspicious,” Oliveira said. “The student rushed to their vehicle and when they drove off, they called 9-1-1 and the Richmond Police Department dispatched it to the college.” President McKinley Williams said the college has worked with the authorities of the housing complex near the Bus Transfer Center in recent years to reduce the cause of mischief. Fencing was added and the pedestrian walkway is blocked to stop the egress and accessibility of an easy escape route for criminals. In general, robberies have been concentrated to the Bus Transfer Center during the daytime between 3:30-4 p.m., Williams said, when the college receives the most traffic from the public. Oliveira said, “Not much happens
throughout the campus. Everything is pretty limited to the turnaround.” The installation of cameras in that area was planned, but combined with the California education budget crisis, Williams said the college does not have the funds to complete the project at the moment. A few years ago, Police Services had a budget of approximately $120,000, Williams said. That amount has been decreased this year to around $85,000, which means there is less money to hire and maintain student police aides, he said. Williams sent a campuswide notification to college faculty and staff on Sept. 2 to inform students to be cautious, vigilant and especially to walk in groups late at night. Oliveira said there are five officers and eight police aides circulating the campus throughout the day and there has been increased patrol and more communication with the San Pablo and Richmond police departments. Police Services Chief Charles Gibson said a process for notifying students in the case of emergencies is currently in the works. “Students should be aware of their surroundings, especially when they are alone,” Gibson said. “We have the blue emergency phones so they can call police aides if they don’t feel safe.” Student Trezedy Pree said that in all her years of using the Bus Transfer Center, she has never encountered
A closer look
1. Robbery at Bus Transfer Center. 2. Attempted robbery on Mission Bell Drive. 3. Attempted robbery off campus on Lancaster Drive.
INFOGRAPHIC BY ISAAC THOMAS/THE ADVOCATE
any problems and does not have any concerns. “Anywhere you go, it can’t always be safe,” Pree said. “But I do see the police officers and aides drive by. That helps.” Oliveira said circumstances like these are unpredictable. “Nothing happens for a long peri-
Wright | Healing ‘day-to-day’ ■ FROM: Page 1
Surgeons inserted two pins into his neck on Sept. 7 to secure the fractures. A tracheotomy was performed on Sept. 10 to assist Wright in breathing and speaking. Piola Wright, Wali’s mother, said it should take six weeks for the fractures to heal. Semien said, however, that the doctors will not know until the swelling goes down if he will regain feeling, “We’re just waiting,” she said. “It’s a day-to-day process.” The bulk of Wright’s family immediately flew from their city of residence in Los Angeles after hearing the news. Piola said she appreciates the support from the CCC administrators, athletic department and students. Piola said her son is coherent and responsive. “He tries to talk now,” she said. “He’s doing fine and he’s improving.” The on-site emergency medical technicians performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on Wright before an ambulance rushed him to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where he is still currently located. He was not breathing or moving at first, Johnson
said, and the prompt medical attention saved Wright’s life. “We thought it was just a big hit. A typical hit,” safety Dana Wood said. “But they had to call a second ambulance. Everyone was holding their breaths.” An avid football player since he was a child, Wright anticipated participating in intercollegiate sports for a year now. “He was trying to better himself and this happened,” Semien said. “It’s insane.” Wright is engaged and expecting a daughter in late January, she said. Despite the absence of their teammate, the Comets recognize they must continue playing. Receiver Steven Lockhart and Wood both said the team will be playing in Wright’s honor. “We want him to know everyone’s praying for him,” Wood said. “He’s not forgotten. He’s family.” There is a fund set up to help the Wright family. Donations can be made in his name directly to the Contra Costa College Foundation, which can be reached at 510-235-7800, ext. 4566 Contact Holly Pablo at hpablo.advocate@gmail. com.
Budget | Sections to be slashed ■ FROM: Page 1
Suspect was stopped for a traffic violation, and it was the necessary skills,” Everhart determined he was an unli- said. Williams said the campus censed driver. Suspect was goal for full-time equivalent stucited and released. dents (FTES), which measures every 15 units being taken at the Thursday, Sept. 10 Victim reported the theft college rather than an individual headcount, has been reduced to of his laptop computer. 6,272 this year. The school is funded depend—Diana Reyes ing on the number of FTES, but the state will not provide the money should the college exceed the goal. As a result, the school may begin turning away students, Williams said. “We’re going to hit a limit of In the article “Athletics figurehead dies at 85” on the demand exceeding our supplies,” front page of the Aug. 26, he said. In addition to cuts to the C2009 issue of The Advocate, the word, “figurehead” was contract, the college has taken a incorrectly used in the head- critical hit to its operating budget. line. It now must reduce expendiIt should have read, “Athletics icon dies at 85.” tures by $1.1 million this year The Advocate regrets the and also must figure out a way to address a $770,000 cut next year, error. Williams said. Lowering operating costs by
uncovered in 2006 after DVC professor Michael Whitaker noticed his student Erick Martinez continuing to appear on the class roster, district Auditor Judy Vroman told The Advocate that same year. Although Whitaker dropped him several times, Martinez continued to receive an “A” grade, she said. As the investigation progressed, more and more students were indicted for their involvement with the scandal. Thirty-nine guilty verdicts, one not guilty verdict, one hung jury, nine dismissals and six bench warrants were all together associated with the scam, Katague said. After the original 34 people were
ing services to students, such as EOPS, CARE, Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS) and matriculation. EOPS, CARE and DSPS are all taking 32 percent cuts, as matriculation is reduced by 62 percent, cutting assessment tests and counseling hours, she said. Students have voiced concerns about the effects of the planned reductions. “(The reductions) cut down from my selection,” sociology major Vanessa Hernandez said. “They take away options, make it harder for people to learn and put them in a struggle.” The final reduction plan has not yet been finalized and administrators are still seeking ways to deal with the budget cuts and the many drastic consequences it will have on students’ learning. “We’re going to have to weather the storm together,” Williams said.
10-15 percent and eliminating vacant positions are only some of the sacrifices made to appease the cut. Even after taking out $350,000 from the college contingency, money set aside for emergencies, the school still currently has $344,078 in the deficit, Williams said. “Everyone is going to have to suffer some of this pain because the amount of money is not slight,” he said. Though there is still a number of dollars to be cut, Williams said he wants to avoid laying off any staff or faculty members. “It’s the more humane thing to do,” he said. Yet, the remaining money leftover from the deficit is still undetermined. Contact Asia Camagong at Maga said all these cuts are made on top of reductions to acamagong.advocate@gmail. categorical programs provid- com.
od of time, then there is a rash of them,” Oliveira said. He said Police Services are keeping up their efforts to make sure the campus is not providing an environment conducive to victimization. Contact Holly Pablo at hpablo. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rocha ■ FROM: Page 1
In March 2008, however, Parker’s ex-girlfriend came forward and told police information leading to his whereabouts. Haupt said he is pleased to be nearing the closing of the case. “It feels good to close a case when someone is brazen enough to shoot someone in broad daylight,” Haupt said. Contact Sam Attal email@example.com.
Hubbard ■ FROM: Page 1
dents before a test,” Barnes said. A group of more than 40 people walked up the trail to see the new bench. The elevated site overlooks the San Francisco Bay. Individual donations and a small fund from the college helped defray the East Bay Regional Park District’s construction and dedication costs of the bench, Jarvis said. Crivello said she and Hubbard used to walk the trail regularly with Hubbard’s dogs, Maize and Chamois, for the fulfillment that it would bring. “She’d say, ‘We solve the problems of our lives during our walks,’” Crivello said. Jarvis explained the significance of the park and trail to the group and as he scattered the ashes. The group sung “Happy Birthday.” A friend recited a poem and then individuals were invited to speak a few words. They spoke about her encouraging spirit, sense of humor and kindness. “Kathleen gave me a tremendous amount of encouragement,” friend Paul Morris said. “She was an absolutely delightful, wonderful and loving person.” Friends and neighbors Robert Bartholemew and Judy Ward said the barbecue and potluck was a way for everyone to come together to reminisce and share their memories of Hubbard. “She was a fantastic person,” Bartholemew said. “The bench is wonderful and absolutely gorgeous.” Jarvis said he was overwhelmed by the friendship and the kindness displayed at the memorial. The remainder of Hubbard’s ashes will be distributed at Blue Canyon Trail in Santa Barbara County and Point Reyes National Seashore and Peninsula in Marin County. Contact Holly Pablo firstname.lastname@example.org.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 16, 2009 l THE ADVOCATE
Former president’s assistant dies Brown, 81, a loyal, energetic employee By Brent Bainto SCENE EDITOR
Former administrative assistant to the president Sophia Brown, 81, died Aug. 5 due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Starting her career with Contra Costa College as a student and student worker, Brown eventually served as secretary of the business division. Shortly after Brown graduated with her associate degree in business, she was offered the full-time position as administrative assistant, son Patrick Brown said. Senior Dean of Research and Planning Timothy Clow said, “(Being an administrative assistant) is like a balancing act every day, and she did it well.” Brown’s career with CCC spanned from 1965 to her retirement in the spring of 1991, current administration
assistant Melody Hansen said. “She was very energetic and fun,” Hansen said. “(I) learned much of my secretarial nuances from Sophia.” Administration, faculty and students remembered Brown as a mother figure, helping point people in the right direction, computer technician and good friend Bernadette Green said. “She always pointed you to (the exact) direction you needed to be,” Green said. “She hated giving (everyone) the runaround.” While attending the college, Brown took part in numerous drama department plays, such as “Peter Pan” and “West Side Story,” Green said. “She loved CCC,” she said. Prior to her pursuit of higher education, Brown’s primary schooling was in her native town, Buffalo County, Nebraska. Brown moved to California in 1948, Patrick Brown said. Brown was wed to her late husband Walter Brown, who she lost to emphysema in 1978. After her husband died, Brown volunteered three to four nights a week in Providence Hospital in Oakland (now Alta Bates Summit),
“(Brown) had a laugh that you could hear from the other end of a hallway and just laugh.” Bernadette Green, computer technician
fered from kidney disease. Recently, she was hospitalized at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek before being transferred to Hospice of the East Bay in Alamo, where she spent her final days, Green said. Toward her final moments, Green said that Brown was at peace with her death. Green said hospice was ready to release Brown, but that she already refused any further treatment and decided to die there. Patrick Brown said his mother believed doctors did all that was possible for her. She had arranged for her own cremation, he said. Her wish was to be cremated and have her ashes thrown to sea, Green said. There was no funeral or memorial. “Sophia didn’t want anyone to make a fuss about her,” Green said. Brown is survived by her son Patrick, his wife Jennifer and stepchildren Walter Brown Jr., Lani Johnson and Clara McMillan.
Patrick said. Green said, “She was a hard worker, loyal and a very dedicated person.” Brown was also a very funny person with an infectious laugh, Green said. “(Sophia) had a laugh that you could hear from the other end of a hallway and just laugh,” she said. Clow said Brown would come into someone’s office, unannounced, to tell a joke and make him or her feel good. Green said that even during her time of illness and hospitalization, Brown was still able to joke around. She had been ill for the last four years prior to her death and was hosContact Brent Bainto at bbainto. pitalized countless times, Patrick said. Along with COPD, Brown also suf- email@example.com.
Clubs recruit participants By Adam Oliver STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
The semiannual Club Rush saw more of a trickle of passersby than a rush of student activity, as few people stopped to partake in the Sept. 8 and 9 event. In response to the turnout on the first day, Club Rush was moved from the plaza in front of the Student Services Center to the quad in front of the Student Activities Building for a second try. Many students were unaware of the event entirely. “I had no idea that this was happening,” student Leland Mapp said. For those that attended the event, however, Club Rush offered a diverse assortment of groups eager to recruit members for a new year of activities and goals. Groups like the Anime Club and Cars Club promised students a fun environment in which to gather for a common interest. Anime Club, a group described by President Nicholas Henry to be more “laidback,” offers a way for students to interact with each other and discuss upcoming events. It plans on arranging carpools to many anime and manga culture conventions, including the Cherry Blossom Festival and Fanime. Cars Club, the unity of both the mechanics and bodywork divisions of the automotive services department, shares a common goal. “Really, we’re just about having fun,” President Daniel Cook said. Although simple enjoyment may be one of their goals, the Cars Club also plans to offer student services. As a part of the
ASU Vice President of Clubs
By Brent Bainto SCENE EDITOR
Great praise was showered on those responsible for the completion of the longawaited installation of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system in the Biological Sciences Building. Department Chairwoman Kathryn Levine said the HVAC system has boosted student and teacher morale. “(We’ve) been able to work and concentrate better and students have been more willing to pay attention,” she said. Dr. Levine also said the use of working ventilation especially helps with the microbiology labs, when students work with cultures that bare a stench and risk harm from an open window. “This is a huge improvement and (faculty) is very happy,” Levine said. She said many fervent requests were made to senior management and the HVAC was finally made a priority. Biological sciences professor Katherine Krolikowski said the installation has made personnel feel more appreciated. “It makes us feel like we are a more val-
Former administrative assistant to the president Sophia Brown died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at 81 in the Hospice of the East Bay in Alamo on Aug. 5.
Scant job market has graduates returning By Asia Camagong ASSOCIATE EDITOR
CRYSTAL JOY BIS / THE ADVOCATE
Giving back — EOPS Club member Dezzell McCray Jr. (left) hands student June Stockton her change after buying candy at Club Rush in the quad Wednesday. Club. President of the Muslim Student Association Aisha Azam said the goal of the club is to spread awareness about Islam and the positive perspectives of the religion. The club is also planning a “fast-a-thon” for Ramadan and will be volunteering and feeding the homeless. Puente Club, a group focused on how local laws affect the Latino community and students, will be fundraising for a scholarship for an undocumented student
by selling food and arranging movie nights and other events. Although all have their individual goals, clubs provide a great way for students to voice their opinions and get active in the community, ASU Vice President of Clubs Henry Parker said. “Clubs give students a team to play on, which makes it much easier to work in the community,” he said. Contact Adam Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BS Building sees helpful repairs Heating, ventilation, air conditioning fixed
Economy demands further training
“Clubs give students a team to play on.”
membership fee, the group will be offering safety checks and carwashes and also plans to take an hour a week to help students with such troubling issues as glaring “check engine” lights. Also offering no membership fees to students, the Health and Human Services Club plans to have free mental health services and counseling for students stricken by the stressors of college life. Expanding outside of Contra Costa College, the club intends to help the community at large by promoting higher education, addressing alcohol and drug abuse issues and volunteering at local homeless shelters. In accordance with the health and human services department, the group promotes the educational programs offered by the department, as CCC is one of the few local colleges with programs that are approved by the California Association of Alcohol and Drug Counselors. Another group attending Club Rush interested in providing students with important information was the Contra Costa Veterans Club. The newly founded club will be working to inform returning veterans and their family members of the services and resources available on campus and within the community, Vice President Kelly Carlisle said. Other clubs interested in promoting social and communal awareness were the Muslim Student Association and Puente
“(We’ve) been able to work and concentrate better and students have been more willing to pay attention.” Kathryn Levine,
biological sciences department chairwoman
said. The district was able to cut roughly $150,000 from the cost of the project by using the cooling unit (chiller) from the Humanities Building, which is scheduled to be demolished, he said. “So far, everything’s been running smoothly,” King said. “The (chiller) worked beautifully.” Conditions before the HVAC system were sometimes unbearable at times, he said. Periodically, King had to purchase cases of water and floor fans just for teachers and students to keep cool. “Temperature can affect learning environment,” he said. “It was only fair to give students and teachers better working and studying conditions.” Student Walter Orellana said that walking into the BS Building after being in the heat is refreshing. “(The HVAC) helps, especially with labs,” Orellana said. Levine said Buildings and Grounds and the construction team did a great job in organizing the project. Construction was coordinated so that it would not conflict with class schedules, she said.
Many alumni are planning for a step forward in the job market by taking a step back into school. Offset by the economic downturn and a 12 percent state unemployment rate, former students are returning to school to earn additional degrees and retrain to better meet the higher standards required for a chance in the job market. “Our economy is not producing enough quality jobs, so people are coming back for a new occupation or to upgrade skills,” counselor Robert Webster said. “We’re rewarded when we take action in our lives.” Yet, while state affairs carry the bulk of the blame for joblessness, a lack of student preparation also is Vocations a factor. Webster, who has spo- essential ken to alumni returning In these hard to Contra Costa College, economic advises students to utilize times, prowork experience, intern- grams that ships and volunteer hours retrain students for a when choosing a career. “Do some of what you new career want to do as a career, are more because it is your experi- important than ences that really lead you ever. to clarify things,” he said. “(Students should) try to get more connected to the type of work (they) want to do.” Employment development services specialist John Christensen said employers pay attention to experience more than education. “Looking for a job is a full-time job in itself,” he said. Alongside building the resumé by adding experiences relative to one’s career plan, internships and volunteering provide better networking opportunities, Christensen said. As part of the “hidden job market,” knowing “the right people” by joining professional organizations will provide more links into the business world, he said. Christensen said job security is not limited to earning higher-level degrees. Whether applying with a high school diploma, associate degree, bachelor’s degree or master’s, an employee still has a chance for employment The more education an applicant has, however, expands the earning potential, he said. “You can still get employment (with other degrees) but the higher paying jobs require four-year degrees and higher,” he said. Students are also encouraged to put more research into choosing their careers and checking the job forecast, Senior Dean of Research and Development Tim Clow said. “A lot of students are coming back after becoming practical and focusing more on what interests them,” Dr. Clow said. “(People should) really take time to focus on what (they’re) going to do in the long run,” nursing major Ellen Arce said. Arce, a San Francisco State graduate, previously found herself settling at an unsatisfying desk job before enrolling at CCC to pursue a degree in nursing. “Returning to school was the best decision,” she said.
ued department,” she said. Construction was integrated with the overall Facilities Master Plan and started as a two-part phase, Buildings and Grounds Manager Bruce King said. The first phase of the project, completed toward the end of the fall semester of 2008, was the process of retooling the air handlers and thermostats for individual heated control, he said. HVAC system construction was started in May, King said, and was completed in late August for the upcoming fall semester. The construction was kept within allotted time and budget, he said. “On the whole, we’re fairly happy (with the project),” King said. The construction team hired for the project was Bell Products, Inc. of Napa, who Contact Brent Bainto at bbainto. also worked with the architectural designs presented by the Lionakis Beaumont Design email@example.com. Contact Asia Camagong at acamagong. Group, which is based in Sacramento, King firstname.lastname@example.org.
6 THE ADVOCATE
l WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 16, 2009
Chess promotes positive conduct
Tournament attracts old, young players By Kristina Plaza STAFF WRITER
CRYSTAL BIS / THE ADVOCATE
Making a move — Kids participate in the chess tournament in the Fireside Room on Saturday. The player from Girls Inc. waits for her opponent’s move.
Originally planned as a competition, Saturday morning’s chess tournament gradually changed into more of an open succession of games that even welcomed drop-ins to the Fireside Room event. President McKinley Williams, who organized the tournament, was mostly interested in improving the students’ mathematical reasoning, critical thinking and concentration skills. “It’s so great to see them enthusiastic to play chess,” Williams said. “It teaches them etiquette and courtesy.” Drawing a wide range of participants, the event drew players as young as 6-yearold Gabriel McDonald to Albert Ibrahim, who turned 75 this year. Ibrahim, who started playing chess when he was just a teenager living in Egypt, read about the tournament in a local newspaper and decided to come along
for the fun. “(The event) was very nice,” Ibrahim said. “I hope they do it more often.” Williams contacted different groups to reach out and help him spread word of the event. Reading the benefits of chess, he said, attracted different parts of communities to play. Richmond’s Girls Inc. was one of the organizations that came through to support the tournament, exemplifying their motto to help all girls aspire to be “smart, strong and bold.” Executive Producer of Girls Inc. Dorithea Morris said their organization taught the girls how to play twice a week for three months. Eleven Girls Inc. members came to play, all of which began as beginners three months ago. Similarly, Assistant Tournament Director Will Delaney has been training students over the last two weeks to be ready for the tournament. Part of the event’s purpose, Delaney said, was to raise awareness and generate interest for the Chess Club at Contra Costa College. “I think it was a resounding success,” said T.C. Ball, one of the event’s organizers.
“It’s so great to see (students) enthusiastic to play chess. It teaches them etiquette and courtesy.”
McKinley Williams, president
He said, however, that the explanation of format to first-time players and registration could have been better organized. Yet, Ball remains optimistic about similar events in the future. “We’re not quite sure when we will have a tournament again, but (we are) most definitely going to,” he said. Contact Kristina Plaza at kplaza.advocate@gmail. com.
Coordinator encourages ethnic studies Palacios energizes La Raza program By Diana Reyes STAFF WRITER
Palacios La Raza program coordinator Agustin Palacios hopes to attract more students into the program. Palacios is currently completing his doctorate in ethnic studies at UC Berkeley.
Plans for the La Raza studies department are rapidly broadening with new Program Coordinator Agustin Palacios taking lead in urging more initiative for community leadership. “I want the program to grow, to increase student enrollment and to create community involvement,” Palacios said. “I want to establish links between the program and the community. The community has always been the base for ethnic studies everywhere.” Counselor and La Raza studies professor Alfred Zuniga said the department has high hopes for Palacios and the students. “We know he can bring out all the good qualities in the La Raza program,” Zuniga said. Birthed in reaction to the 1968 Civil Rights movement in San Francisco and Berkeley, La Raza studies is a department dedicated to the study of Latinos and their effect on society, Palacios said.
He believes in the mission of ethnic studies and said that La Raza studies in particular has a big role in helping students succeed. “People that want to make a difference in their communities and students that take these classes are usually aware that there is poverty and injustice, and they want to be able to change that,” Palacios said. “So what good is it to be a professional without having the knowledge of ethnic studies?” He is currently in the process of completing his doctorate in ethnic studies at UC Berkeley “I wanted to get a degree in ethnic studies,” Palacios said. “I wanted to know what the root causes of oppression were and how people react because of oppression and how people of color are struggling to overcome them.” Sharing the knowledge he has acquired through seven years of graduate study, Palacios will introduce three new courses in the spring semester: Introduction to La Raza Studies, Introduction to Chicano and Latino Film and Poetry for the People, which will cover creative writing and spoken word focusing on Latino, African American and Native American poetry. Counseling department Chairwoman
“He really is working very hard to find the right time and the right classes for the program.” Terence Elliott,
Natural, Social and Applied Sciences Division Dean
Norma Valdez-Jimenez said Palacios is very creative and has a number of ideas on how to offer new classes to the program, which would be of more interest to students. “I think he has the ability to connect with students because he is fairly young himself,” Valdez-Jimenez said. “He understands them easily, because he is a first-generation college student and also lived in Mexico for many years, so he has the ability to understand the culture very well.” Student Pedro Araujo, who is currently enrolled in Palacios’ Introduction to La Raza Studies class, said his professor is a interesting character. “I know he knows organizations that organize around La Raza struggle, which makes him a little more interest-
ing,” Araujo said. Generating community interest in La Raza studies is very important, as the department needs help “getting off the ground,” Natural, Social and Applied Sciences Division Dean Terence Elliott said. The Latino community is one of the largest in the San Pablo area, and Elliott has no doubts that Palacios can attract students to the La Raza studies program at the college. “He really is working very hard to find the right time and the right classes for the program,” Elliott said. “He is young, has great energy, good concepts and cares a lot about students and the community.” Palacios is aware of the amount of responsibility, but says he is very passionate about what he does. “I want Latino students and all students to consider taking my classes,” he said. “Because this program wouldn’t exist without them, and it would help them to be better prepared for whatever they want to do with their lives.” Contact Diana Reyes at dreyes. email@example.com.
Cooks present turkey dishes Competition helps prepare for semester By Alexandra Waite STAFF WRITER
More than 150 guests feasted on a variety of dishes during the culinary arts department’s Turkey Bird Cook-Off held in the Three Seasons Restaurant on Sept. 2. Culinary students grouped up into eight teams of their choice and each team was provided with two turkeys in order to compete for the best recipe. This year’s cook-off was a change from previous years when the department held a chicken wing preparation competition. “I like this competition because you get to pick your own team,” culinary arts student Stephanie Parker said. “It’s your own recipe (and) you can be as creative as you want.” Customers paid $5 for a buffet-style selection of various turkey plates, along
with salad and bread, prepared by advanced culinary arts students. The event had a total of three competitions, including “The People’s Vote,” “Presentation” and “Originality.” The meals came with a red ticket for customers to drop in jars placed in front of their favorite dish. The team with the most tickets won “The People’s Vote” competition. The instructors judged “Presentation” and “Originality.” “Presentations had to be unique and creative, something you could present in a restaurant,” culinary arts department Chairman Nader Sharkes said. The competition was extremely close for “The People’s Vote,” instructional assistant Joyce Edwards said. “It’s always nice when there’s a real close contest,” she said. “This time, the winners won by one vote.” The victorious team for “The People’s Vote” was comprised of Tony Edwards, Dawn Cruikshank, Maiya Gipson, Ashley Wilson-
GEORGE MORIN / THE ADVOCATE
Early Thanksgiving — Edward Carmichael is extremely pleased with the service at the Turkey Bird Cookoff in the Three Seasons Restaurant on Sept. 2. Eight teams served their creations during the competition that served more than 150 guests. Corchado and Racheal Hawthorne, who won for their “110 MPH Turkey Chili.” Winners for “The People’s Vote” received ribbons, cookbooks and Contra Costa College novelties like backpacks and calculators. Christina Morgan, Cory Mathis, Albert Cano and Gregory Roemer won both the “Presentation” and “Originality” competitions for their “Turkey Wellington.” They will
receive certificates of acknowledgment. Culinary arts students of all levels gained experience from the event, Edwards said. Entry-level students tended the dining room while observing the more advanced students cook their dishes. “This competition kicks off the first meal of the semester,” Edwards said. “It prepares students for the opening of the restaurant.” The event brought out the
competitive spirit of the students, Sharkes said. “It gives them validity and makes them feel elated doing what they love,” he said. Culinary arts students said they were satisfied with the amount of people who attended the event. “I’m definitely happy with the outcome,” culinary arts student Keith Kelpsas said. Many customers said they enjoyed the food equally.
“(I enjoyed) the presentation and the food,” student Enrico Ramirez said. Although the department hosts cook-offs each semester, this was the first semester where students had to use turkey. “Turkey is difficult,” Sharkes said. “The price was right, and it allowed us to get cheaper items.” Contact Alexandra Waite at awaite.advocate@gmail. com.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 16, 2009 l THE ADVOCATE
Team soars over Eagles in victory Defense wins match, squad holds shutout
the end, ran after it and did what I had to do,” Salazar said. With the win, Contra Costa College improves to a 3-1-1 overall record and has yet to play a Bay Valley Conference game, while By Dariush Azmoudeh SPORTS EDITOR Feather River falls to a 2-30 overall record. Through tenacious “We need to win at home defense, the men’s soccer to make the playoffs and win team managed to shut out close tight games. We can Feather River College 1-0 do that now,” coach Rudy Friday at home. Zeller said. “I just hope we The Comets’ defense can do it all season long.” was strong throughout the Early in the game, Sabella match, as it cleared the ball made a giant save that away from would have danger during given FRC ScoreBoard key moments the lead. On a of the game cross, Golden Comets 1 to prevent the Eagle midEagles 0 Golden Eagles fielder Martin from scoring. Guerrero Next game: “ W e headed the ball Friday at played a strong past the Comet Chabot, 3:30 d e f e n s e ,” goalkeeper, but p.m. defender Tao Sabella was Sabella said. there to clear “As long as (the the ball from defense is) on the same page, right in front of the goal. we can stop anything.” “Our defense won the The game-winning goal game,” Salazar said. “Tao for the Comets came in the made a lot of good saves. 63rd minute when forward The game would have Diego Orellana received a been different without the lob pass in front of the box defense.” and shot it past the Golden CCC’s next game is Eagles’ goalkeeper. The ball against Chabot College (2-1hit off the left post, and for- 1 overall record) in Hayward ward Ricky Salazar recov- Friday at 3:30. ered the ball and punched The Comets struggled to it in to give the Comets the get their offense going in the win. first half. Their midfielders “I followed the play to were not able to hold the
ball for much up in front and their forwards were barely able to receive the ball. When it looked like the Comets’ forwards were going to have a run at the goal, they would get an offsides call. Orellana was called for offside five times in the first half. The defense, however, played solid throughout and was able to hold off FRC. Entering into the second half, the Comets’ offense made an improvement and began pressuring the Golden Eagles’ defense. Zeller said that during halftime he pointed out to the team what they needed to work on, and the team was able to do it in the second half. After its goal on the 63rd minute, CCC focused even more on defending. Toward the final minutes of the game, FRC became desperate to make the game-tying goal and let its goalkeeper go up into the Comets box on a corner kick and a free kick. But it was not enough. Zeller said the goalkeepers and overall defense have been playing very well lately, allowing zero goals in their last three games. The midfielders and forwards, however, still have to play to their potential, he said. ISAAC THOMAS / THE ADVOCATE
Contact Dariush Azmoudeh at dazmoudeh. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flying high — Comet midfielder Juan Carlos Vargas heads the ball away from Golden Eagle midfielder Diego Villagrana during Friday’s game at home. The Comets shut out Feather River College 1-0, with a goal in the 63rd minute.
Vikings trample Comets in blowout loss DVC offense controls game from beginning By Dariush Azmoudeh SPORTS EDITOR
PLEASANT HILL — The Comets were blown out in their second football game of the season against rival Diablo Valley College 64-15 Saturday. After playing a decent first quarter, the Contra Costa College began falling behind as the game went on. “We came out strong, but we (were not able) to stay strong in the four ScoreBoard quarters,” Comet running back Vikings 64 Erick McDaniel Comets 15 said. The Comets Next game: scored their Saturday vs. first touchdown after trailing the Hartnell, 1 p.m. Vikings 27-0 in the second quarter. During the drive, the Vikings gave up two penalties that gave the Comets yardage as well as a few first downs. Comet and former DVC quarterback Don Miguel Tutass completed 4 of 8 passes during a scoring drive in second quarter. Of those four was a 45-yard pass to wide receiver Kenneth Green and a 14-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Michael Hicks. “We came out good in the first quarter, but then we made mistakes, mentally broke down and never got back on track,” coach
SAM ATTAL / THE ADVOCATE
Dodging hits — Comet running back Tyrell Smallwood tries to evade the Vikings’ defense during Saturday’s game against Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill. The Vikings leaped out to an early lead, eventually winning 64-15. Dave Johnson said. Due to weak offensive line play, Tutass was sacked six times in the first half, resulting in a loss of 33 yards. He also threw two interceptions under pressure from the Vikings’ defense, all before halftime. “We had good blocking but (needed) to be consistent,” Tutass said.
SportShort Volleyball team loses first season game to Panthers Given the chance to prove itself and establish momentum early in the season, the volleyball team fell in its 2009 opener in three straight sets 25-15, 25-10, 25-11 to Hartnell College Sept. 9 at Salinas. The Comets will take a bye this week, but will open conference play against Los Medanos College Sept. 23 at Pittsburg. With the loss, the Comets are now 0-1, while the Panthers won their third game of the season. “It showed the team how much they still need to work on,” coach Azure’D Nunley said, “and identify where they need to grow as a team and what needs to tighten up.” Nunley said the players
on the bench are able to see the things going on in the game and need to use it to their advantage when they get on the court. She said the Comets had confidence and knew their positions, but they still need to work on their transition between offense and defense, as well as communication. Additionally, Nunley said that their opponents were “well-jelled” and used to playing with each other and were more confident. “We have two weeks before (conference play),” Comet setter Emily Hansen said. “We’re still working on (the) team’s dynamic and trusting each other. We know what we need to work on.” — Dariush Azmoudeh
Box scores Football (Sept. 12) Diablo Valley, Contra Costa DVC 14 20 21 9 — 64 CCC 0 7 0 8 — 15 First Quarter DVC — Wayne 3 yd run (Barone kick) 5:45. DVC — Adler 36 yd pass from Wayne (Barone kick) 1:14. Second Quarter DVC — Barone 8 yd pass from Wayne (Barone kick) 13:43. DVC — Adler 12 yd pass from Pifer (Barone miss) 10:11. CCC — Hicks 14 yd pass from Tutass (Naterman kick) 6:20. DVC — Green 55 yd run (Barone kick) 5:13. Third Quarter DVC — M.Adan 48 yd pass from Wayne (Barone kick) 13:59. DVC — Wayne 20 yd run (Barone miss) 12:05. DVC — M.Adan 52 yd pass from Pifer (2pt good) 7:21. Fourth Quarter DVC — Tyrell 12 yd pass from Pifer (Barone miss) 11:47. CCC — McDaniel 20 yd (2pt good) 8:10. DVC — Barone 32 yd field goal 0:31. Individual statistics Rushing — DVC — Jointer 5-25, Wayne 4-36, Green 4-79, Pifer 3-0, Turner 4-21, Callan 3-22, Otaguro 1-0. — CCC — McDaniel 7-40, Tutass 12- -7, Naterman 1- -4, Smallwood 624, Hicks 1-10, Allen 2-2, Burden 1-0. Passing — DVC— Wayne 10-11-0 204., Pifer 10-17-0 173. — CCC — Tutass 15-30-3 135., Walker 0-2-0 0. Receiving — DVC — Hill 1-7, R.Adan
Even with an often-broken offensive line, Tutass was able to throw for 135 yards for the game. Comet kicker Justin Naterman had to sit out the remainder of the game after he took a hard hit during a kickoff in the second quarter. As a result, Tutass had to take over as
Men’s soccer (Sept.11 ) Feather River, Contra Costa Feather River 0 Contra Costa 0
First Half No goals scored. Second Half 1, CCC, Salazar 5 (Orellana), 63rd minute. Yellow Cards CCC, Juan Acosta. CCC, Anthony Palmer. CCC, Alfonsa Martinez. Individual statistics Goals — CCC — Salazar. Assists — CCC — Orellana. Shots on goal — Feather River — 4. — CCC — 6. Saves — Feather River — AlcarezMeza 5. — CCC — Hernandez 4. Record — Feather River — 2-3-0 overall, 0-0-0 in GVC. — CCC — 3-1-1 overall, 0-0-0 in BVC.
Contact Dariush Azmoudeh at email@example.com.
Game of the Week
4-31, Barone 2-18, Tyrell 3-62, Jointer 1- -2, Adler 3-104, Burch 3-28, Jones 2-13, M.Adan 2-100, Otaguro 1-0, Santana 1-21, Callan 1- -1. — CCC — Green 3-56, Aumua 4-34, McDaniel 1-4, Hicks 5-42, Smallwood 1- -4, Guay 1-2. Missed field goals — DVC — None. CCC — None. Record — DVC — 1-1 overall, 0-0 in Norcal. — CCC — 0-2 overall, 0-0 in BVC.
CCC’s kicker. This also meant that whenever the Comets were faced with a fourth down in scoring position they would try for the first down or touchdown. “It was a last moment (decision),” Tutass said. “Even though I had (practiced as a kicker), I wasn’t ready for it.” In the fourth quarter, McDaniel ran for 20 yards to score CCC’s second touchdown. The Vikings were able to stop the Comets running game in the first half. The Comet running backs were only able to get 21 rushing yards, but the Comets’ rushing yards in the half totaled -10 yards, which included the negative yards by the quarterback and kicker, who tried a fake punt only to lose four yards. CCC was able to eventually turn around its rushing yard total, racking up 65 by the end of the game. Starting Viking quarterback Blake Wayne threw for a total of 204 yards and completed three touchdowns, as well as two rushing touchdowns. Penalties were costly for both teams. The Comets had two unsportsmanlike conduct calls, costing them 15 yards each. CCC had nine penalties while DVC had 20. The Vikings had penalties called on them during key plays of the game. One such penalty occurred during a kick return where Vikings wide receiver Daniel Adler returned the ball for a 70-yard touchdown, only to have the play called back to the Vikings own 40-yard line because of illegal blocking.
Football Contra Costa College VS.
Hartnell College When: Saturday, 1 p.m. Where: Comet Stadium Records: CCC 0-2 overall. Hartnell 0-1 overall. Background: The Comets look for recovery after two consecutive losses to district rivals Los Medanos and Diablo Valley colleges to begin their season. Meanwhile, the Panthers come off their bye week also seeking their first win of the season. The Comets hope to turn around their season while they still have a chance. CCC has not earned a victory in its last 15 games and with each loss, the team gets hungrier. In last year’s meeting between the two teams, Hartnell College was able to get a 35-21 win over the Comets. — Malcolm Lastra
8 THE ADVOCATE
l WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 16, 2009
Party addresses asthma issues
Book reading gives breath of fresh air
This week: “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” (PG)
By Cody McFarland STAFF ILLUSTRATOR
“Jennifer’s Body” (R) “Love Happens” (PG-13) “The Informant!” (R)
New releases: “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (PG-13) “Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Fifth Season” (NR) “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 4” (NR)
GEORGE MORIN / THE ADVOCATE
Breathing treatment — Author Toyla L. Thompson informs the audience about respiratory problems with her new children’s book at the pajama party hosted in the Knox Center Friday.
Muse: “The Resistance” The Black Dahlia Murder: “Deflorate” Every Time I Die: “New Junk Aesthetic” Megadeth: “Endgame”
China cuisine, exotic culture inspires chefs By Cassandra Juniel If one wants to be the best, he or she should learn from the best. Students, faculty and Advisory Board members of the culinary program recently had this opportunity and spent nine days participating in a study abroad trip to Southern China Aug. 8-17. Students Darla Dugger, Linda Suiter, Gean Carlo, David Ulep and Jon Cyr, along with instructional assistant Joyce Edwards and board members, became students of the Martin Yan International Cooking Academy in Shenzhen, China, hosted by master chef Yan. “I was delighted when I found out that 10 students, faculty and representatives from the culinary department at
By Sam Attal
Jon Krakauer: “Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman” Edward M. Kennedy: “True Compass: A Memoir” Editor’s note: This column lists popular new (and upcoming) releases for the week.
(Contra Costa College) would join me on a cultural professional tour of China,” Yan said. The students received $5,000 in scholarships each, awarded from the proceeds of the 2008 Food and Wine Event. The criteria for receiving a scholarship consisted of a student’s participation and points toward culinary program-sponsored events, grades, preparation of a 500-750 word essay, letters of reference and several other factors. “I tried for the scholarship last year and did not get chosen, so I tried again this year and was one of the five chosen to go. It changed my whole life,” Ulep said. Traveling to cities such as Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Macau, Zhongshan, Guangzhou and Panyu, the American guests became exposed to new customs and cuisines they never knew existed. “We had all experienced Chinese food California-style, but nothing compared to the
“I’m proud that my students traveled to China. How many colleges will do this for their students?” Nader Sharkes,
culinary arts department chairman
dishes we sampled that were prepared by master chefs and served to us at tables that seated up to 25 people,” department instructional assistant Edwards said. Yan accompanied a group of 14, including his own guests, on the educational tour that was packed with intense hands-on classes, numerous cooking demonstrations, Chinese noodle making, training in traditional ingredients and basic seasoning and other cultural activities. Ulep found the trip inspiring. “My best moment was when we went to the city of Macau to
a cooking institute. There they showed us the art of Macanese cooking, which is a cultural, ancient way of cooking,” he said. “Seeing the Chinese people work as they do makes you cherish and appreciate their work even more so.” Edwards said the lunches and dinners were served at only the best of restaurants. “We had banquets at practically every meal,” she said. The mastermind for the trip was culinary arts department Chairman Nader Sharkes who had the vision to use the profits from the 2008 Food and Wine Event, Edwards said. “Yan mentioned he had a school in China and the planning went from there,” she said. “As a good friend of Martin Yan, Chef Nader knew (Yan) would take care of his students and staff.” Sharkes said studying abroad is an important part of the culinary arts program. “We must nurture our kids — help them out. Some of them have never traveled outside of the Bay Area,” Sharkes
said. “I am proud that my students traveled to China. How many colleges will do this for their students?” Yan congratulated Sharkes and the department and hopes the program continues to thrive. Cyr, a graduate of the culinary arts program and now working as a voluntary assistant in the program, was one of the five awarded a scholarship and said he was “blessed’ to have received the honor. “I will never forget this trip and would encourage others to put effort into a study abroad program in order that they may have similar experiences,” Cyr said. As a bonus, the culinary arts department will receive nine cases, 130 bottles, of a variety of soy sauces, compliments of the Pearl River Bridge Soy Sauce factory in Guangzhou visited on the eighth day of the trip. Contact Cassandra Juniel at cjuniel.advocate@gmail. com.
‘Loot’ comedy lacks laughter ASSOCIATE EDITOR
New releases: Dan Brown: “The Lost Symbol”
Contact Cody McFarland at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Culinary enrichment stems from trip SPOTLIGHT EDITOR
New releases: Drake: “So Far Gone”
Roughly 80 parents and children dressed in their pajamas filled the Knox Center Friday night, gathering to learn about asthma and increase literacy in a comfortable environment. The pajama party included a book reading intended to make families comfortable and have them feel as if they were at home reading together before bed, said Tolya L. Thompson, an author who read her book at the event. “Low literacy can lead to poor health,” Thompson said. “Medical terminology can be confusing, and those with low reading levels have a greater chance of misunderstanding instructions and misusing medication.” Her book, “Wheezing Winona Weatherbee,” is the sixth release in a health- and literacy-based series. The series, titled “Smarties Books,” is designed to aid in the development of early readers, as well as educate families about medicine. Every family received a free copy of the book upon arrival. Those fighting illnesses or dealing with medical conditions find fewer complications when treating an ailment if they are informed, Thompson said. Literacy helps, she said, in allowing people to read and comprehend instructions on how to combat or prevent an illness. It is important to be aware of the effects of certain foods and substances on the body and how to live a healthy
life day-to-day, all of which is learned by reading, Thompson said. Along with the book, health educator from the American Lung Association Carol Shenon gave a complete overview of how asthma affects the body and lungs, what can trigger attacks and what are the most effective methods of taking medication. Shenon taught parents and children alike about different types of inhalers and how to use them properly, emphasizing the importance of always carrying an inhaler if one is asthmatic. Quick relief inhalers are to be carried by asthma patients at all times to ease attacks when they occur. Preventative inhalers should be left at home and used regularly to help prevent attacks from occurring in the first place, Shenon said. “Asthma should not be taken lightly or ignored,” she said. “People with asthma should do all that they can to prevent attacks.” Thompson’s books are meant to inform kids about illnesses and conditions, in this case asthma, in a way that is fun and engaging, all the while increasing their literacy. She said the stories are designed to gross kids out and make them laugh, as well as teach them how to handle ailments and take care of their bodies. She also hopes that through reading, children will come to understand the value of books and education. “I want to continue doing this as long as I can,” Thompson said. “I plan to keep working and keep raising awareness.”
Dark comedies cannot stand on simple humor, simple action and mediocre acting alone. Main characters should stand out and acts should be varied in order to keep the audience entertained and awake. Not a single joke in “Loot” could have saved the play’s extremely repetitive and dry plot and stale acting. Playing at the Masquers Playhouse in Point Richmond until Sept. 26, the play holds humor for those willing to stare at the same actors doing the same things through each scene. Director Jessica Holt, a Bay Area theater teacher, fails to keep playwright Joe Orton’s original work from the mid-1960s interesting to today’s generation. The play is set in a
gloomy house just outside of London, England in 1964. Hal, played by local actor Aaron Martinsen, and Dennis, played by UC Berkeley theater playreview student Drew Ledbetter, have just robbed a bank. “Loot” ★★★★★ Hal’s Venue: Masquers mother Playhouse has Directed by: recently Jessica Holt Open until: Sept. passed 26 away of illness and the best friends need a place to stash their cash. The boys have to move the body around countless times, only to bore audience members. While keeping the money a secret, the young boys, who are nearly lovers, decide to stash the money in the deceased’s coffin. Hal’s mourning father
ADAM OLIVER / THE ADVOCATE
Joke killers — Drew Ledbetter (left) and Aaron Martinsen carry a corpse while being interrogated by Jim Fye during “Loot” at Masquers Playhouse in Point Richmond Sept. 4.
McLeavy, played by exrugby player Peter Pinfield, is the only character to show true and believable emotion. Soon an undercover detective named Truscott, played by Jim Fye, invades the family’s house and provides the only real humor to the play as he tries to find out where the money is. Although some of the
actors try their best to fit in their roles, some just do not try enough. Martinsen’s boyish face requires the actor to try harder to fit into the role of a rebellious son and thief. Ledbetter also suffers from the same problem. He plays a bad influence on Martinsen and a sex fiend, but looks just like one of the Jonas Brothers speaking
profanely. It becomes impossible to take the production seriously with actors who look like they came out of a Disney Channel movie. Reservations for “Loot” can be made online at www. masquers.org or by phone at 510-232-4031. Contact Sam Attal at email@example.com.
Sept. 16, 2009 issue