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Winter holidays

The Advocate examines traditions, game consoles, drinks


spotlight X B Section

campus beat X page A4

scene X page A7

Student funds displayed

Human rights activist dies at age 95


Warrior for peace

VOL. 101, NO. 12



Student worker accused of theft

State pushing success


Task force suggests application methods

By Brian Boyle NEWS EDITOR

Crime on campus does not often come in the form of a two-for-one sale, but on Nov. 27, a student worker allegedly committed burglary and embezzlement in the Bookstore. Police Services Lieutenant Jose Oliveira said, “It was just the same thing you’d see at a store: an employee thought it would be a good idea to refund money to her personal credit card.” The alleged suspect is an adult, female student worker. Lt. Oliveira explained that the crime of burglary happens whenever one enters a building with the intention of stealing from it. Embezzlement is the theft or misappropriation of funds that one has been entrusted with. Oliveira said that charges had not been filed yet because the Bookstore was still conducting their own investigation, but when the charges are filed, the burglary charge will be the one most likely to stick. He refused to release the identity of the suspect until charges are filed. Burglary in all instances is a felony offense. Bookstore lead operation assistant Darris Crear said that the Bookstore became alerted to the theft during their internal investigation. Crear explained that the Bookstore has 10 cameras that monitor “every inch” of the store. These cameras monitor and make it easier to catch both customer and employee theft. This type of theft is rare at Contra Costa College. “This is the first instance of theft like this I’ve ever seen on campus,” Oliveira said. “And I’ve been here forever.” The fact that employee theft is rare on campus goes against national statistics. According to the Centre for Retail Research’s Global Retail Theft Barometer for 2011, of all forms of theft stores experienced, employee theft represented 44 percent of all forms of theft. Admissions and Records is another group on campus that actually receives money from students. Director of Admissions and Records Catherine Fites said that Admissions and Records has never had a problem with



told. Our Helen is finally retiring -- A new life to have and to hold!” Kalkstein began her teaching career at Contra Costa College as a part time ESL professor in 1990, while also working at UC Berkeley. She was told by a former colleague to keep an eye out for jobs at community colleges. With a bachelor’s degree in speech therapy, she decided it was not the right major for her and that she was far more interested in language acquisition. She then earned her master’s degree in teaching ESL. Her first job at UC Berkeley’s extension was a non-credit class for nonnative English speakers. This led to Kalkstein teaching classes at UC Berkeley’s main campus to prepare students for college English classes equivalent to English 1A. While at UC Berkeley, the concept of ESL was still young, yet the field was

Last September, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1456, known as the Student Success Act of 2012, a statewide initiative that has begun to change how community colleges throughout California serve students. With recommendations for implementation orchestrated by a 21-member Student Success Task Force appointed by the state Board of Governors, SB 1456 is geared toward strengthening and supporting college student preparedness with emphasis on technology, increasing transfer and degree completion rates and implementing a better system for funding. The changes implemented by the act have started shaping, and will continue to shape, the California community colleges for the next two years or longer. Returning students at Contra Costa College should expect a shift in enrollment priorities by fall 2014, when first time students will experience a new orientation process that entails the mandatory development of an educational plan. Changes that have already been implemented include that students are now required to declare a course of study by the time they complete 15 degree-applicable units or their third semester and course repeatability has been limited to make access more equitable. “The Student Success Act is about completion, not just access, and to have students completing goals as efficiently as possible,” CCC President Denise Noldon said. Dr. Noldon said the act is a step in the right direction and, that while some recommendations of the state task force may prove challenging to implement, there is no individual part of the act she disagrees with. A District-wide Student Success Task Force divided into three working groups has been discussing, researching and working to implement the state Student Success Task Force Recommendations for over a year. “The act is very positive for students,” district Chancellor Helen Benjamin said. “The district task force is doing a good job of implementing the recommendations and working together as a team to better promote student success.” Coming away from the recent economic downturn and major cuts to state-provided funding, it is hard to tell how exactly the California community colleges will fund the promotion of student success, the accomplishment of goals and the enhancing of resources like online technology and programs, counseling and assessment. “It’s going to take all of us working together toward the same goals,” CCC Vice President Tammeil Gilkerson said. “I believe it will make the system better in the long run.”




Humble departure — Liberal Arts Division Dean Helen Kalkstein plans to retire after beginning her career at Contra Costa College in 1990. She plans to travel and write.

DEAN ‘JUBILACIÓN’ Former ESL teacher retires from position after 23-year journey at CCC


By Veronica Santos SCENE EDITOR

Liberal Arts Division Dean Helen Kalkstein searched for the word “retire” on Google and found that it meant to withdraw. She prefers the Spanish word “jubilación” which sounds much more like jubilation, a feeling of great happiness and triumph. “I prefer to look at retirement as jubilación rather than withdrawing into seclusion,” Kalkstein said. ESL professor Liz Xiezopolski greeted Kalkstein in her office with beautiful handmade bracelets, and former LA Division Chairperson Lee Brelie bid her farewell with a song. Brelie adopted “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean” for Kalkstein. In her adaptation she sang, “Our Helen is leaving the college, and rest for a while, so we’re

Small space may hinder textbook buying process Because of the small size of the portable building, there can only be so many students allowed into the Bookstore at a single time, which will more than likely result in long lines forming outside of the Bookstore, right in the middle of Lot 9 when classes begin in January, By Jared Amdahl Dunn said. OPINION EDITOR “We’ll have to invent some crowd control efforts,” he said. “Seeing as how if we get more As the fall 2013 semester comes to a close, than 40 people in this building it is potentially a employees of the Bookstore prepare themselves fire hazard, people will have to line up outside.” for a busy spring season in their temporary porAfter losing nearly 700 square feet, about 27 table building located in Lot 9. percent of the original space the Bookstore had, “We went from something a lot bigger to this textbooks are now forced to be kept in a backspace we’re in now,” Bookstore supply buyer room storage area, which means students can no Nick Dunn said. “We’re just trying to adapt to longer browse through the many aisles of books CHRISTIAN URRUTIA / THE ADVOCATE Cozy — The Bookstore’s temporary location in a modular building in Lot the new space. We went from 10 aisles and a the Bookstore once had. lot of wall space to three aisles and virtually no “Most of the big, expensive items will be in 9 is about half as big as its previous location. The decrease in size may wall space.” QSEE BOOKSTORE: Page A3 make it difficult to accommodate students during book buying season.

Bookstore readies itself for upcoming semester




A2 THE ADVOCATE Quotable “Instead of putting restrictions on (students), we should be sure to help them handle their responsibilities and give them the freedom to fly.” Philip F. Gainous Maryland high school principal 1998 George Morin editor-in-chief Cody McFarland associate editor Brian Boyle news editor Jared Amdahl opinion editor

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 11, 2013 VOL. 101, NO. 12 L


Impotent leadership Student board lacks motivated members

Mike Thomas sports editor Veronica Santos Heather Wallin scene editors Qing Huang Christian Urrutia photo editors Janae Harris assistant photo editor Lorenzo Morotti editorial cartoonist Paul DeBolt faculty adviser Staff writers Jeff Baker Jose Jimenez Ryan Margason Jamah Butler Evelyn Vazquez Stephen Son Marci Suela Staff photographers Camelia Dillard Staff illustrators Joel Ode Honors ACP National Newspaper Pacemaker Award 1990, 1994, 1997,1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011 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, 2011, 2012, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 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 Email: 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.


l WEDNESDAY, DEC. 11, 2013


tudent interests are suppose to be represented by the Associated Students Union here at Contra Costa College. However, an unwillingness to participate in shared governance, by both the ASU board and students on campus, has left the board impotent. The ASU holds its meetings every Wednesday in AA-143, and there has never been more than 10 guests in attendance, and that record-high number happened late in the year. If one did attend a meeting, however, he or she would be offended by the lack of effort and care demonstrated by the ASU board. More often than not, the majority of the board refuses to vote on any issue, choosing instead to abstain. For example, the ASU gave $1,000 to the speech department to give stipends to their tutors, but the bulk of the ASU board disapproved. Multiple members voiced their disapproval of donating money to the speech department, but when the time came to vote, only two members voted at all. The entirety of the opposition refused to vote. This was simply par for the course for the ASU. ASU President Ysrael Condori has had to pick up the slack for his board throughout the semester. The ASU has had some successes. Lobbying from the ASU saw the campus erect the white tent outside of the temporary Bookstore, to protect students from the rain and cold. The ASU’s grant for support program has been a success and the ASU has allocated thousands of dollars to different groups on campus. Yet the college still lacks an adequate Transfer/Career Center. Students still stand in huge queues to see a counselor. Financial aid’s timeliness is still miserable. Even finding a parking place on campus is a trial. Students are being hindered every day at CCC by a lack of services that other colleges offer. The ASU’s job is to represent students, to demand that the college be improved not just for themselves, but for everyone on campus. ASU members get paid stipends for their work. Some even receive up to $250 per semester. They should be the loudest voice on campus advocating for students. Yet they are far from that. And students do not seem to care at all. Students should be attending ASU meetings in droves. Not only are they working with money students have provided, the ASU is being paid from the pockets of students. Students are being actively hurt by the ASU’s lack of consideration they give their jobs. Their motto is “Students for Students” and that is exactly what CCC is receiving. The current ASU board is miles away from the board CCC students need, but it is exactly the board they deserve.


N Merriment

Meaning of holidays lost in materialism


he holidays only seem to bring out the worst in people. As a saleswoman, I have been exposed to angry holiday shoppers upset over scarves and the lack of turtle necks in stock. Unfortunately for those people, sales associates can only sell what is provided, and yelling at them will not make what they want magically appear. Disgusted by such childish temperament, yet inspired by YouTube star, Kid President’s newest viral video, I decided to focus on what really matters — showing care and interest for those I love through words. In his video, Kid President gives his viewers statements they should say more often. Examples include, “thank you” and “here is a surprise corn dog I bought you because you are my friend.” It is heart warming and comedic, something some holiday shoppers I have encountered seem to know nothing of. The worst is when parents bring their children to shop for their own Christmas presents yet still ask for the merchandise to be gift wrapped. What is the point? Is it a sick life lesson to test their patience? Sentiments have been lost and replaced by the newest Xbox or the trendiest clothes. Even wishing friends “happy holidays” is less personal when sent through mass text messaging. This holiday, how about asking a friend, “want to

happy and making them feel important is far more meaningful than an expensive watch. A watch can tell time, but these days, so can a cell phone. But neither will mean anything a week after Christmas. grab a drink?” Maybe wish them a Merry They are just objects. Much like Kid President’s Christmas face-to-face example of buying a friend instead of on Facebook to an unexpected corn dog, a show them you value their random statement or friendship. action may be just Some friends are Even enough to brighten definitely worth an up someone’s holi$8 cocktail and a few wishing day. laughs. This year, grab It would be someone you love refreshing to hear, “I friends and say, “Here is a made you this gift” Santa hat filled with rather than, “I bought ‘happy candy because you this for you.” make me happy.” Items made with holidays’ Sure, it sounds silly your own hands say but who would far more than mass is less forget the day that produced products someone randomly from a retailer. personal gave them a hat full As a child, of candy for being, Christmas-time was my favorite time of when sent for the lack of a better word, awesome. the year. Instead of drivMy single mother through ing like a maniac could not provide through full parking everything my little lots to hunt down brother and I wanted. mass items only to cross But the encouragesomeone off your ment she provides on text Christmas list, think a daily basis and jokingly telling me, “Of messaging. about why they are on your list. course you’re pretty, What landed this individuyou’re my daughter,” is enough for me not to expect al such a prestigious spot on your list? a mountain of gifts. Think about it and tell Raising me to become them why. confident and not rely on materialistic objects is the Veronica Santos is a scene best present my mother could editor of The Advocate. ever could have given me. Words are priceless. And Contact her at vsantos.theadsaying words with the inten- tion of making someone



Are students apathetic about issues on campus?

“I would say so. It might be a generational thing.”

“(Yes.) You can tell by how much trash is everywhere on campus.”

Alisha Lee culinary arts

Andi Webb undecided

“It all depends on the person and their point of view. People who value their education will do the same for their school.” Ariana Skallerud liberal arts


“If you’re trying to get your degree you have to care.”

“I think professors do a really good job of keeping students engaged to care.”

Cameron Jones sociology

“It depends. Some students are and some students aren’t.” Nina Hill

Juan Angel

automotive technology


CAMPUS BEAT Follow The Advocate

Newsline N MUSIC

Knox Center showcases acts The music department will be hosting the Children’s Preview Concert — The Seven Joys of Christmas tonight in the Knox Center at 6:45 p.m. The school of applied and commercial music at Contra Costa College, and MusicNOW, are pleased to announce the presentation of the second preview concert in the children’s concert series tonight. Under the direction of music professor Stephanie Austin, The Seven Joys of Christmas is free to students and their professors. The event will provide a introduction to vocal and instrumental classical and jazz music, and an opportunity to interact with other musicians in the area. For more information or to make reservations, contact or call 510-235-7800, ext. 44824.


Department to host musical act The Contra Costa College music department, under the direction of music professor Stephanie Austin, presents the fall showcase concert in the Knox Center on Friday at 8 p.m. The event will showcase professional quality vocal and piano performances will feature classical, gospel and jazz compositions celebrating the holiday season. Performances will include: Kirke Michem, George F. Handel, premier of student compositions, and others who have performed in choral, small groups and solos performed by award winning music groups like JazzaNova and JAZZology. Admission for the event is $15 for general admission, $10 for students and seniors. For more information contact music professor Dr. Stephanie Austin, 510-215-4824.

CrimeWatch Friday, Nov. 15: A Middle College High School student was transported to Doctor’s Medical Hospital for treatment for intoxication. Monday, Nov. 25: An instructor’s vehicle was vandalized while parked on upper Campus Drive. A student’s vehicle was vandalized while parked in Lot 17. A student’s vehicle was vandalized while parked on upper Campus Drive. Tuesday, Nov. 26: A student cut his finger while using an air sander in an automotive class. Wednesday, Nov. 27: A student worker refunded money illegally onto her personal credit card. Monday, Dec. 2: A student’s backpack was taken from the Student Services Center. Wednesday, Dec. 4: Officers responded to a report of a student having chest pain. The student declined medical attention. — George Morin


Kalkstein | Dean ends 23-year-old legacy Q FROM: Page A1

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expanding and the population of non-native English speakers was growing. With advice from a former colleague who began teaching at San Jose City College to keep an eye out for community college job opportunities, Kalkstein landed a position at CCC as an ESL instructor in 1990. “The ESL department was growing. I loved it because there were so many people,” she said. Between her jobs, Kalkstein also began writing ESL textbooks in the mid-1980s. “I’ve always enjoyed creating material,” she said. She has written an idioms textbook titled, “All Clear!: Idioms in Context” which have expanded into thirst editions on listening and speaking. She has also written a step-by-step grammar series. A Title 3 grant in the early

1990s gave Kalkstein the opportunity to become a faculty development director thanks to her interest in teacher training. She has also helped to create the College Resource Center in AA-103. “I had the opportunity to bring speakers to the campus,” she said. “It was a productive period.” Speech department Chairperson Sherry Diestler said she and Kalkstein were friends before working together. “I got to evaluate her as a teacher and the students loved her,” Diestler said. “I remember her lecture included topics on the ways Americans speak in ways that we never think about. I hope she returns to the classroom.” Kalkstein said she has had wonderful colleagues and opportunities to do new things in the 23 and a half years she has been part of the college. In her years at CCC,

Kalkstein took two sabbaticals. Her first sabbatical was spent in Europe where she went to Spain to learn new techniques to teach language. She has also toured colleges in England to observe classes. “It was good to see the kind of diversity,” Kalkstein said. Her second sabbatical was teaching English and providing a teacher training program at Shanghai University. “It was different to teach a homogenous class,” she said. During this time, while checking her CCC email, she received a notice on the open position of LA division dean. Inspired by all the new experiences she had in China, she thought a new experience at home would be as rewarding. Due to the different time zone, “I put my lipstick on at 2 a.m.,” Kalkstein said. She had three interviews through Skype and on July

2008, began her position as the LA Division dean. “This is the artistic division. I love coming to work and having this wonderful atmosphere. They are talented, they can write, they are musicians, actors…” she said. Due to long talks over budget cuts and the time she has spent with her staff, Kalkstein said she has gotten to know them more over time. “I’m so happy to be leaving during a time where there is more hope,” Kalkstein said. “I really see great things about to happen around here.” Kalkstein said she plans to do nothing during the first two or three months of retirement. “If it works out, I might come back and teach here part time,” she said. For now, she is planning to take a trip to Jerusalem to spend time with her daughter.

Bookstore | Waiting lines Crime | Theft Q FROM: Page A1

the back, so people will have to come in knowing what they want,” Dunn said. “They will have to come in prepared, and it is surprising how many students don’t do that.” Rather than searching for a book, grabbing it and bringing it to the front to pay for it, students will show up and request a book based off of class information, such as teacher names or class section numbers, and have it brought to them by a Bookstore employee. “I’m hoping it will all flow well,” Dunn said. “We’re going into it like: get in; get out; get it done. There is not much else you can do. It is our first real test in this space, and it is going to be difficult.” Biology student Andrew Harris said, “I am not looking forward to having to buy textbooks next semester. It was busy enough when the Bookstore was at its old location. I can only imagine it will get worse.” Student worker and radiological sciences student Cecilia Alvarez said, “I think we’ll be able to work with it, it’s just a matter of how. It will more than likely be a little crazy at first, but we’ll adapt and find a way to make it happen.” The current space will not only affect student wait times, but will also affect funds the Bookstore will need to operate in the coming three years it will be in the Lot 9 modular building. Bookstore lead operation assistant Darris

Crear plays a large role in maintaining and tracking funds throughout the school year. “Textbooks keep the lights on and, as for next year, there is just no way of knowing (how it will affect funds) as it will be our first textbook season in this new space,” Crear said. “For instance, last year we made $1.4 million. Most of what we make goes straight into paying for everything, buying textbooks, paying rent and other bills,” he said. The Bookstore allocates most of that money into operating costs, he said. “Having a year of $100,000 profit after paying for everything would be a really good year, but for the most part we take anywhere from $70,000 to $80,000 a year,” Crear said. Bookstore management would like to remind students to show up to the Bookstore prepared and having an objective mind set. “We’re pushing the fact that students can shop online on our website and have one of two things done: students can reserve a textbook here at the store and come and pick it up when they are able, or can have a specific book delivered to their house,” Crear said. “During textbook season we will have all registers going and we have as many registers as we did in the old space, so that should not be a factor,” he said. “Our goal is having students get in and out as fast as possible with what they need. At the end of the day the students will get their books.”

Q FROM: Page A1

employees stealing money. “We have daily checks and balances in place to make sure no one has stolen money,” Fites said. “Every day people count the money twice, and we have cameras watching our cashiers.” Fites explained that Admissions and Records also has measures against customer theft as well. The counter the students sit at and the window the cashier sits behind both serve to protect the money from theft. Fites also mentioned another theft deterrent that she was unwilling to describe, as she does not want the details of it published. In the Bookstore and the Admissions and Records Office, employee theft is cause for instant termination. The employee who allegedly stole money from the Bookstore experienced this, and is no longer employed there. Students who steal are referred to the Senior Dean of Instruction Donna Floyd for academic discipline. Types of academic discipline are left, for the most part, to the discretion of Dr. Floyd, according to the Student Code of Conduct. The student accused of misconduct has the right to schedule a hearing, where they are allowed to defend themselves, and explain their side of the story to Floyd. There is also a procedure for appealing the punishment they have been given. Punishment, according to the code, can vary from a simple warning, all the way up to expulsion or revocation of a degree or certification. Floyd has the authority to dole out punishments up to a five-day suspension. The Governing Board handles expulsion after a recommendation from the college president. Charges have not been filed against the student yet, but will most likely be forthcoming this week.

Success | District pushes for completion Q FROM: Page A1

Changes to come Implementation of the Student Success Task Force Recommendations is broken down into phases that take place statewide over the next two years, a few phases of which have already been introduced to community colleges. Returning California community college students should expect to feel the effects of such changes as early as next fall, while first semester students will become acquainted with the system in the only fashion they will know. “(The Student Success Act) is going to change the way new students experience the college on first contact,” Norma ValdezJimenez, counselor and counseling department chairperson, said. Beginning fall semester 2014, all incoming CCC students will be required to participate in a diagnostic assessment, attend a six-hour orientation to college through a new course, Counseling 108, and develop an educational plan to promote the completion of educational goals, Valdez-Jimenez said. As a counselor, her role will change to involve helping students set and complete educational goals, she said. “The legislation will provide the opportunity to streamline services from the counseling perspective,” she said. A standardized statewide assessment for the California Community Colleges is in the development process and will potentially be implemented sometime in 2014. Creating such an assessment will allow students to take their test results to any community college in the state. Also beginning next fall, returning students will experience new enrollment priorities. Registration priority is currently given to students with the most units, which rewards unit accumulation rather than progress in their program of study. New and returning students who complete orientation, assessment and have a student education plan will receive higher enrollment priority. As well, students accumulating 100 or more degree-applicable units or being on academic or progress probation for two consecutive terms will result in the loss of enrollment priority. “I believe students who are registering now that come in, decide on a plan, stick to it and move through that educational plan are the most likely to be successful and maintain priority,” Gilkerson said. As one of the challenges CCC faces is diminished enrollment numbers, Gilkerson encourages students to register for spring classes now, if they have not already, while registration is still open and many core classes are still available. To increase transparency and close the achievement gap, the state task force recommends that the California community colleges Chancellor’s Office work with individual college districts to establish state and local student success goals. Each campus would then be required to post a scorecard highlighting a

select number of metrics that display student progress. The Board of Governors is currently considering how to establish system-wide goals that are expected to be implemented in 2014. “One of the clearest measures of student success is how many students are transferring and graduating, but it’s not the only measure,” Valdez-Jimenez said. “There are several markers along the way.” The Student Success Task Force Final Report suggests six “key momentum points” on a student’s pathway to success: successful course completion, successful completion of basic skills preparation, successful completion of first 15 semester units, successful completion of first 30 semester units and, finally, certificate, degree and/or transfer. The act also aims to improve basic skills education by supporting faculty in developing new and innovative approaches to teaching basic skills courses and by providing more quality professional development opportunities for teaching basic skills, including the appropriate training for teaching online courses. Gilkerson said an example in which the district task force has worked alongside teachers at CCC to promote innovation and student success within the classroom is the development of a new statistics pathway pilot course with mathematics professor Edward Cruz. Such a class would highlight the key mathematics principles that lead up to the common transfer requirement Math 164 and expedite student readiness in reaching that course, Gilkerson said. It is also part of the Student Success Act to use technology to help students and create greater efficiency. It is projected that students will, as early as next spring, have access to common online assessment tools and will be able to create education plans online and regularly monitor their progress in completing the course requirements for their area of study. One of the last recommendations is transitioning the state funding system from the current FTES model to the Student Success and Support Program. The new model is currently under discussion and development, but aims to shift the basis of state funding to community colleges from enrollment to completion rates. Only time will tell if the state task force’s final report and recommendations for implementation prove to be as efficient and effective as they are intended to be. Challenges “The (Student Success Act) is beneficial from the standpoint that we are better focusing what limited resources we have on the success of students,” Dr. Noldon said. With added emphasis on students setting and completing education goals and sticking to an education plan, an already understaffed counseling department at CCC faces an arduous task with the implementation of the state Student

Success Task Force Recommendations. To meet new standards under the Student Success Act, the college will be hiring new counselors in the future, Valdez-Jimenez said. History professor and social sciences department Chairperson Manu Ampim said, “Many students don’t go to counselors and don’t know what to take or what not to take. They need guidance to know what course content meets the four-year college standards for transfer.” As the act forces students to meet with a counselor and develop an education plan, Ampim believes SB 1456 will “definitely help students in being successful.” He said, however, that a degree is not the only measure of success, and he questions if those on the state task force posses a broad enough scope to accurately define student success. Humanities and philosophy professor and department Chairperson David Houston believes allowing the state to define success is a fundamental mistake. He is also concerned with how the act will impact lifelong learners and retired students that take courses for the sense of community and enrichment of their lives, rather than for a certificate or degree. “It is a serious error to limit lifelong accessibility to anyone any age, and an equally serious error to have success defined by distant boards,” Houston said. “We need to be able to critique society’s concepts of success. This sort of proposal endangers that.” The act also focuses on technology and the potential to add online courses. A step away from on-campus instruction to offer more online courses may be a good idea for CCC, in light of the major construction project for the new Student Activities Center currently occupying a large portion of the campus. To meet state standards for online courses, the college will have to hire new employees or provide the necessary training to existing employees, which is liable to demand more funding. Where that will come from is unclear. However, the 2013-14 state budget includes an augmentation of $50 million for the Student Success and Support Program, as well as some restoration of funding for other categorical support programs. “The new funding formula is very complex,” District Chief Financial Officer Jonah Nicholas said. “An accurate analysis cannot be given as to how much funding will come in later.” Nicholas said that although there will be more funding provided by the state in the next fiscal year compared to last fiscal year, the new formula is still being developed and external factors may affect how the formula works and is further shaped and implemented. It is going to take time and much analysis from community colleges across the state to determine whether the act effectively streamlines the transfer process, increases completion rates and helps students achieve their education goals.


l WEDNESDAY, DEC. 11, 2013


Student activity funds displayed By George Morin EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

The Associated Students Union has finished giving out the remainder of their Grants for Support for the fall semester. They discussed and voted on how to allocate the funding for their grants at weekly meetings in AA-143. On Dec. 4, they doled out the last few cents of what they had set aside for the Grant for Support program. ASU members had a Treasurer’s Report forum on Dec. 3 in LA-100 from 4 to 6 p.m. They explained who they were to the crowd of approximately 40 students. They went on to describe what the student activity fee is and what they have spent it on during the fall semester. The ASU used pie charts and graphs to show how the funds were allocated. The $5 student activity fee collected from each Contra Costa College student every semester was implemented in spring 2012 to assist the funding of on-campus events, clubs and programs that benefit students. According to a spreadsheet provided by ASU President Ysrael Condori, the total revenue and available funds collected through the fee is approximately $126,904. Of the total revenue and available funds, $90,904 were roll-over funds from 2012-23 school year and the other $36,000 comes from the fees collected this semester. The document details the expenses for events and other pur-

poses. The ASU’s total expenditures to date are $57,140. Based on these figures, the amount that remains at the ASU’s disposal is approximately $64,164. “The importance of the event is to increase communication between the ASU and the student body. We want them (the students) to understand what the fee is and what their money is being used for,� Condori said. There was one question asked by psychology major Summer Gorrell about how the money was spent. She asked why the speech department was granted money. The ASU explained it was to provide stipends for the department’s speech tutors. “(The ASU) needs to put more events like this on,� Gorrell said. Business major William Felix agrees. “This event was great,� Felix said. “I’m really interested in joining the ASU, get more into politics, and see what we as students can do to affect the local, and then state levels of politics.� Liberal arts major James McKneely said the event was informative. “I’ve heard a little about the ASU and the student activity fee,� McKneely said, “It makes me feel good, that giving the ASU our (the students) money was not a waste.� ASU secretary Kirsten Kwon said the ASU plans to put on more events like this in the future. Condori said, “We must be mindful of whose money we are spending.�

Library reserve books

Giftcards, prizes, awards



Bookstore rental program

ASU grants for support



Prior payments


Event requests


Interclub council funding

Emergency transportation fund 12%


Welcome Week


Source: Associated Students Union

Culinary arts, ceramics come together to support homeless By Cody McFarland ASSOCIATE EDITOR

The culinary arts department teamed up with ceramics students to host a charity event to combat hunger and food insecurity in the Three Seasons Restaurant on Friday. Offering unique ceramic bowls, hot soups and the cozy confines of a festively decorated restaurant on a brisk December afternoon, the department was able to raise almost $1,000 for the Bay Area Rescue Mission in Richmond. Between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. guests purchased handmade ceramic bowls of their choosing for $10 each, $5 for CCC students, and the empty bowls were filled with one of three soup options: clam chowder, cream of broccoli or pepper pot. All food supplies were donated by local sponsors, such as US Foods and ACME Bread, and the bowls were donated by ceramics students from the art department. Refills on soups were free to anyone who purchased a bowl. “I’m thrilled we’re having this event,� culinary arts assistant professor Elisabeth Schwarz said. “I love the concept of Empty Bowls.� Schwarz explained that the handmade ceramic bowls guests chose from when first arriving are washed and returned to them

“They were all done well, but I’d have preferred more variety, as all of the soups were cream-based.� Nader Sharkes,

culinary arts department chairperson

to keep after their meal as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world, as well as a keepsake for their contribution to the Empty Bowls Project. The Empty Bowls Project, which began in Michigan in 1991, has since manifested into a national effort to end hunger. Eduardo Martinez, attendee and West Contra Costa Unified School District Budget Committee chairperson, said, “The soup is exquisite. I find it very appropriate that they served soup to benefit a soup kitchen.� Martinez said he was pleased with the event overall and thoroughly enjoyed the two bowls of soup he ate. Middle College High School student Samantha Elliott said the event was a great way for people to show support for those in the community faced with hunger and food insecurity in their day-to-day lives. “It’s important for people to give back to the community,� Elliot said.

She tried the pepper pot, a Caribbeanstyle soup made with coconut milk and other spices, and said she enjoyed it very much. Antonio Medrano, member of the WCCUSD Budget Committee, agreed that the soups were delicious and said he was pleased that the culinary arts department was hosting an event to benefit the Bay Area Rescue Mission. “We don’t do enough for the disadvantaged and homeless in our community,� Medrano said. He said that, especially during the holiday season when so many charities make their presences known, anyone seeking to donate or volunteer their services should research the charity they are planning to assist in order to avoid giving to groups that spend the majority of donations on overhead costs. Some groups merely contribute $0.05 of every dollar donated to their cause, with the remaining $0.95 going into the pockets of those coordinating the charity, he said, and anyone’s time or money would be better donated elsewhere. “Be careful in choosing charities to support,� Medrano said. “Know how much money is actually being donated versus how much is being used for overhead. These are important questions to ask.� Culinary arts department professor and Chairperson Nader Sharkes said there was a “fantastic turnout� and that there were easily

more than 100 guests in attendance over the course of the three-hour event. Sharkes said he was pleased with the soups the students chose to make, but in the future hopes to offer a wider variety. “All of the soups were chosen by the students,� he said. “They were all done well, but I’d have preferred more variety, as all of the soups were cream-based.� ADVERTISEMENT

Speech students showcase talents


By Evelyn Vasquez STAFF WRITER

The annual Contra Costa College intramural speech tournament gathered nearly 100 competitors to participate on Thursday in LA-100. The tournament allowed CCC students to practice and demonstrate their public speaking skills while having fun throughout the event. Competitors gathered and were welcomed by speech professor and speech and debate team coach Darren Phalen. After greeting the contestants they were all divided up into various rooms throughout the campus. When divided up, each group of competitors presented their speeches with judges in each group. Speech and debate student Erick Chivichon, who was a judge in the competition, said, “The contestants had the right tone of voice and good stage presence. This is an opportunity to for students obtain good public speaking


Pouring for support — A culinary arts student serves soup at the Empty Bowls fundraiser for the Bay Area Rescue Mission on Friday at the Three Seasons Restaurant.



Showing confidence — Speech professor Darren Phalen talks to the crowd at the intramural speech tournament in LA-100 on Thursday. skills that can help them in the future.� There were two rounds in the tournament that enabled the contestants the opportunity to show what they had to bring to the table through various types of speeches such as impromptu, oral interpretation of literature and informative, among others. Though this was the first time for some CCC students to be part of this tournament, communication major and speech and debate student Drake Jensen said, “For it being their first competition, they were all organized and well prepared.� African studies major LaCretia Robinson said the completion helped her with her public speaking skills.

Robinson said, “I’m not good at public speaking, but by being part of this tournament I feel I can improve my skills.� Student Edward Bailey said he was confident while preparing his speech and thought it would be easy. After the second round was over, all contestants gathered in LA-100 and the top contestants were recognized and given medals. Speech department Chairperson Sherry Diestler said, “It would be great for everyone to receive an award. They all did such a great job on how well they organized their speeches and delivery.�



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Theater revived through teacher




When drama professor Tyrone Davis wakes up in the morning there is one thing on his mind — change the world with the power of the performing arts. “Tyrone is one of the most influential people I have ever met,” colleague, fellow actor and Davis’ friend for more than 10 years Jozben Barrett said. “His spirit is so passionate, he has so much passion for the arts and their ability to change things for the better.” Now in the final weeks of his first semester of teaching at Contra Costa College, and after his first CCC drama department production, “Twilight: Los Angeles 1992”, Davis can add two more things to his evergrowing list of achievements. He has been in more than 17 theatrical productions and independent films throughout his time as a student and professional actor. But his love for acting was not always as clear and resolute as it is today. As a young child growing up in the innercity of Los Angeles, Davis wanted nothing more than to be a basketball player. “When I was 8 years old I wanted to be a basketball player and that continued all the way through high school,” Davis said. Both Davis and Barrett went to Grover Cleveland High School in Reseda, near Los Angeles. Davis spent many hours playing basketball and eventually played for his high school team. During his senior year he was approached by his basketball coach and was told he would not get a lot of playing time that season, so Davis began to explore other options. That is when Davis had a conversation


Warm ups — Los Angeles native and professional actor turned drama professor Tyrone Davis warms up with his students before the debut performance of “Twilight: Los Angeles 1992.” This is his first semester teaching at CCC. with his father that changed his life forever. Davis asked his father what he should do for his career, and his dad replied, “Do what makes you happy.” That same year, Davis’ father became ill and died on Christmas Eve. The loss of his father cemented the importance of the conversation the two had in Davis’ mind and greatly affected his post-high school life. It was after this moment that Davis’ life goal switched and he became fully invested in acting and the performing arts. “I have always had a desire to make a difference,” Davis said. “I am an activist. I seek to bridge gaps which continue to divide people from one another. Theater is the arena of my activism.” After becoming the first person in his family to graduate from high school, Davis continued his educational journey at Cal State-Northridge. He graduated with his bachelor of arts degree in theater. Barrett said, “When we were going to college with each other we were told by our teacher to look to the left and look to the right in our seats. Our teacher then said, those people will not be here this time next year. That was when Tyrone and myself promised each other that we wouldn’t be those people.” During his time at Northridge, Davis performed in several plays including works by

his favorite playwright, August Wilson. He even created the theater production company Black Genius Theater with his long-time friend Barrett as his partner. He then went on to attend the California Institute of the Arts where he received his masters of fine arts degree in acting. Once again, with his friend Barrett at his side, Davis created another production company, this time named The Collective. “We created and directed plays both for Northridge and CalARTS that are still being produced today,” Barrett said. Now that his education was complete, Davis saw an opportunity in the vacant drama professor position at CCC. Davis said, “This is my first semester working at CCC, and I’m glad I can help say, ‘Drama is back.’” Within weeks of arriving, Davis had a strong idea of what he wanted as the first production of his career at CCC to be, “Twilight: Los Angeles 1992.” “The play takes a look at the civil unrest in Los Angeles following the April 1992 verdict in the Rodney King trial. Playwright and actress Anna Deavere Smith tells the story of these riots through a series of monologues based on interviews she conducted with people involved in the riots, Davis said. “Originally she performed it as a one-

woman performance piece, taking on the role of each character that she interviewed. However, we used an ensemble for our production at CCC this fall.” As the debut evening of the play approached, Davis worked to keep the morale and energy of his cast of students up. “I’ve only known him so long but he is pretty good and he’s very good at motivating people,” performing arts major Jonathan Gantizo said. “He makes people feel comfortable. He does a very good job at making people feel at home.” Davis said, “From the students that I have met, I didn’t really have to build an ensemble because it was already here.” Now that the semester is coming to a close Davis looks forward to spending some time with his 2-year-old daughter and his wife who live in Los Angeles. “You know it is hard having to travel back and forth between here and Los Angeles,” Davis said. Outside of the theater Davis is a sports fanatic and spends his time playing basketball, football, baseball and performing poetry. As an avid basketball fan Davis says his favorite team is the Los Angeles Lakers. Barrett said, “I couldn’t see this world without him. He is a great guy.”



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Change in price — Psychology major Brandy Newton pays for a single fare on a AC Transit bus at the Bus Transfer Center on Monday. The proposed change would not affect single fare prices.

AC Transit considers changes to day pass By Christian Urrutia PHOTO EDITOR

Riders on AC Transit could see a change in fare structure that would eliminate local transfers and implement a day pass system in an attempt to boost clipper card usage. The transit’s Board of Director will discuss the changes at its meeting today at its general offices on Franklin Street in Oakland at 5 p.m. and possibly decide to pass the fare change proposal or refuse to adopt it. “All of this is to offer a better way to pay,” Media Affairs Manager Clarence Johnson said. “The biggest hindrance to bus time schedules is the passenger boarding time.” According to the meeting agenda, the proposal is meant to improve the efficiency and convenience of the fare payment system. The change will also allow unlimited number of bus transfers per day. AC Transit currently charges 25 cents per bus transfer. “This would considerably speed up things and the benefit to the rider is that there is no cash involved, unless they do not have a clipper card,” Johnson said. Single ride fare will not be affected and would remain the same price. The 25 cent transfer fee would be replaced with an adult day pass priced at $5 and a $2.50 day pass for young, elderly and disabled passengers. To encourage clipper card usages, AC Transit is considering offering a 10 cent fare reduction for clipper card payments for adults, and a 5 cent discount for children’s, the elderly and disabled persons’ fares. Clipper cards could the make transition of a day pass easier because of the option to charge $2 for the first and second ride, $1 for the third and any other subsequent trips in a single day would be free. The local adult and discounted 31-day pass prices would also see changes The proposal calls for charging $75-$80

for an adult 31-day pass. But the discounted youth, senior or disabled 31-day pass would increase from $20 to $23. When asked if the higher usage of clipper and a day pass system could lead to a quicker turnaround time for riders, Anthony Wofford, driver of bus 1009, said yes. “Oh definitely yeah. I think it’d be a lot faster and most people tend to forget to ask for a local transfer if they don’t ride too often,” Wofford said. Passengers who do not ride the bus regularly are not likely to notice the change if it happens. Contra Costa College health and human services major Ana Martin said, “I just pay my single fare only a couple times a week when I do ride so the changes in fare shouldn’t impact me.” Dulce Witrago, an automotive services major, said she could possibly see the fare change improving ridership. “When I got off the bus earlier I forgot to ask for a transfer and now I have to pay again,” she said. “Something like a day pass would cut down my worrying about paying for the bus and I could board the bus hassle free.” Berkeley resident Benny Wiggins disagrees. “Simply put, there are not enough people using clipper cards because not everyone rides the bus so they’re not going to pay for a 31-day pass if they only board twice a month or every couple of weeks,” Wiggins said. “I tried to start a petition to lower the price for a 31-day pass cause I hate paying $80 and when I was a student here a lot of my financial aid went to paying for the bus.” The decision to implement the proposed fare structure change or not should be voted on at its meeting this evening at 5 p.m. at the AC Transit Board of Director’s meeting at its general offices in Oakland.


l WEDNESDAY, DEC. 11, 2013


ѻPɬȨȵȨgȣɜѼɜȣɑȨȵȵɕ By Heather Wallin SCENE EDITOR

The drama department’s production of “Twilight: Los Angeles 1992” hit the Knox Center Saturday night. So does Tyrone Davis’ directorial debut light a candle next to the original awardwinning performances Anna Deavere Smith’s executed more than 10 years ago? I have no idea, but Davis’ rendition opened my eyes and made me ask myself a lot of hard questions concerning racism and social injustices still plaguing society in 2013. The play opened with footage taken from the scene of the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers. It is very graphic and caused some gasps from playreview the audience. The stage then darkened and a spotlight revealed “Twilight Los Angeles: 1992” a single actor +++++ performing Venue: Knox essentially Center one side of Directed by: an interview, Tyrone Davis hence, the “documentary theater” description. As the spotlight dimmed and reappeared showcasing a different character, the reenacted stories evolved from performance to a gut-wrenching reality the world faced in the 1992 riots following the King beating and acquittal of the officers who inflicted it. Between scenes, footage was showcased on a screen atop the stage. Once the stage was slightly illuminated, a scene of destruction and chaos was portrayed with actors demonstrating the utter anarchy that broke loose in L.A. Goosebumps covered my arms as my eyes felt heavy with tears. As the stories were revealed, many of the performers spoke from a place

deep within their bones, and I momentarily forgot I was viewing a play and not hearing the stories from the actual survivors and participants Smith originally interviewed almost 20 years ago. Elvira Evers, played by Kiwi-Akhira Waqia, told the story of a woman caught in a cross fire lucky to survive by the mere chance her unborn daughter caught the bullet in her elbow from inside Evers’ womb. Waqia’s performances were astounding as both Elvers and a chairperson for Free the L.A. Four Plus Defense Committee. Charmain Turner was another performer who weighed heavy on my mind. She showed an incredible range of ability as her dialect and mannerisms adapted to form unique characters with no resemblance to any of the three women she played. I was thoroughly impressed by every actor who displayed a slice of their heart in a story of truth and reality. Umi Grant, as Mayor Tom Bradley, wept on stage. Tito Cano’s Rudy Salas Sr. comes to mind, as his performances broke up the despair with adorable dancing. Julia Bourey, as Elaine Young, brought laughter as the selfinvolved real estate agent. The costumes by Miguel Garcia were on point for 90s attire from white middle class to the head of the Black Panther Party (Elaine Brown played by Zadia Saunders). Despite the costumes taking the setting back 20 years, the play remained very relevant exposing many truths and concerns racism afflicts on society today. All in all, Davis was successful at creating scenes that expose a relevant topic today. His hopes to “break the silence about race and encourage others to take part in the dialogue” will begin with every person who attended this performance.


Block out the hate — “Big Al,” played by Zadia Saunders, performs her sequence during the play “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992” at Knox Center on Thursday.


Unsure — Student Charmain Turner performs in the play “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992” at Knox Center on Thursday.


Questioning authority — Student Johnny Manibusan performs during the play “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992” at Knox Center on Thursday.


Revolt — Students perform a scene of Los Angeles race riots of 1992 on the stage at during the play “Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992” at Knox Center on Thursday.



NELSON MANDELA — 1918-2013




South Africa’s first black president who fought for peace, forgave his enemies, inspired change By Brian Boyle NEWS EDITOR

There are few figures of the 20th century who stood as tall as Nelson Mandela. Mandela, the former president of South Africa, died on Thursday at his home in South Africa. He was 95 years old. Leaders in South Africa, and from around the world, took to the public stage to voice their words of mourning and remembrance for the man many see as the greatest fighter for freedom the world has ever known. Yet, there was a time when Mandela was not held in nearly the esteem he is at the time of his death. Mandela had a place on the terrorist watch list until 2008. The United Kingdom’s former prime minister Margaret Thatcher went as far as to call Mandela a communist terrorist during her time in office. The United States even once cast a vote in the U.N. Security Council against Mandela being freed from prison. Mandela himself once said, “I was called a terrorist yesterday, but when I came out of jail, many people embraced me, including my enemies. I am admired by the very people who said I was a terrorist.” President of Diablo Valley College’s Pan African Union, Dieudonne Brou, said, “You have to study history. You have to put what he was fighting for into context in order to understand Nelson Mandela.” History South African history is a history of struggle against racism, a history of violence and is intimately tied to Mandela. South Africa was once a British colony, but became a commonwealth country in the early 20th century. And in 1948, South Africa’s white-run minority government instituted a policy of segregation known as apartheid, which literally means “the state of being apart.” The South African government passed laws that gave rights to people based upon which of the four racial categories the government instituted they fell into. The categories were white, coloured, Indian and black, and stepping out of the rights designated by your racial category was punishable often by death or imprisonment. The right to vote in national elections was taken from the black natives of South Africa — which removed their power to change public policy. By denying them the vote on the national stage, they could not improve their own living standards and were at the mercy of the white controlled government, which represented a very small minority of South Africans. Today, according to their own census, white South Africans represent only 5 percent of the country. Pass laws were also instituted. These laws made it illegal for black South Africans to travel between cities and regions in their own country without first being approved by a white official. By 1970, black South Africans were officially made non-citizens by the government. Though they could trace their roots back to the soil they stood on, black South Africans had had their country stolen from them, completely. Mandela was 30 years old when the policy of apartheid was instituted in his homeland. Mandela joined the African National Congress, a group dedicated to fighting for the rights of black South Africans. He quickly became very vocal about his belief that violence needed to be used in order to achieve equality and freedom. The ANC initially opposed Mandela’s view, but would come to change their minds dramatically. In 1960, thousands of South Africans gathered in the town of Sharpeville to protest the pass laws the government instituted. The crowd marched toward the police station in town, where 300 white police officers were waiting. The officers reportedly became nervous, and begun firing into the crowd, injuring almost 189 people, killing 69. The entry wounds of those shot were shown to be primarily in their backs. The ANC quickly instituted the “M-Plan.” The plan called for bombings of government institutes as well as public gathering places that were frequented by the white minority of South Africa. The plan also called for political assassinations. Mandela was not free for long. In 1963, only three years after he had begun leading the UmKhonto we Sizwe — the group within the ANC tasked with carrying out the M-Plan — Mandela found himself arrested and on trial for sabotage against the government. He was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

From prison Mandela would write. His critics have linked his writings to subsequent bombings that occurred in the 1980s. In 1976, Jimmy Kruger, South Africa’s minister for police, offered Mandela his freedom if he completely renounced violence as a political weapon. Mandela chose to remain in prison. In prison Mandela spent his time taking correspondence classes from Oxford University and fighting to improve the conditions of prisons for his fellow inmates. He also had letters smuggled out to leaders within the ANC that were still fighting for freedom. The U.N. Security Council, as well as leaders from around the world, called for Mandela’s release, yet the South African government refused. Only three world leaders, including then U.S. President Ronald Reagan, opposed Mandela’s release. Concerts, marches, and rallies were held world wide in protest of South African apartheid and for the release of Mandela. His release came in 1990, after spending 27 years behind bars in some of South Africa’s harshest prisons. Quickly after his release the political climate in South Africa began changing, and in 1994 Mandela was elected as South Africa’s first black president. He was the first president elected in a completely democratic South Africa. His legend His struggle for the freedom and equality of his people is not what makes Mandela a truly heroic icon. It is what he did when he was released from prison that makes him a legend. Contra Costa Community College District Governing Board President John Marquez said, “His policy of unity is what makes him amazing. He never dwelled on his time in prison and when he was released he forgave his enemies. That’s what makes him a great man.” There were many within South Africa’s minority white demographic who feared Mandela, who had shown a history of violence as a means of political speech, would simply continue the violence, and that the policy of apartheid would still exist, but in a different form. But that is not what happened. Mandela’s deputy president — similar to the U.S. position of vice president — was the former president at the time of his release, F.W. de Klerk. De Klerk once had a plan in place to have Mandela assassinated in prison. Mandela established a policy of equality and racial reconciliation. He worked hard to make sure his country was capable of healing from the grievous wounds apartheid had left. Mandela even established the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, which was tasked with investigating crimes against humanity the former apartheid government and the ANC had committed during the struggle for freedom. Mandela also brought water and electricity to millions of South Africans who lived below the poverty line. His policies centered around securing foreign investment and aide, because the apartheid government had left South Africa poor. Mandela’s administration built hundreds of thousands of homes and thousands of schools. Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can choose to change the world.” After his five years as president, Mandela retired from politics and focused his life on charity. He promoted diplomacy and reconciliation around the world. Many people who met him claimed his mere presence fostered compromise among world leaders. He openly criticized modern-day colonialism. Any time he saw a more powerful country usurping the sovereign rights of a less wealthy nation, he was quick to call them out on the world stage. Mandela once even said in criticism of American foreign policy, “America — doesn’t care about people.” His death has left many wondering about the future of the world, and discussing political demonstration. District Chief of Police Charles Gibson said of Mandela’s use of violence as political speech, “It’s

like Malcolm X said, ‘By any means necessary.’ Governments have never renounced violence as a means of attaining peace, so why should the people? The threat of violence is a useful tool to keep in your back pocket.” Mandela taught the world what it means to stand firm in your convictions. His life serves as a lesson on exactly what one must be willing to give up in order to have freedom. He taught the world exactly how effective peace and reconciliation can be. He was a man of passion and of purpose. The current President of South Africa Jacob Zuma said, “This is the moment of our deepest sorrow. Our nation has lost its greatest son. Yet, what made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves.” Mandela left the world with much to think about. He was a champion of those whose voice the world has ignored. He was a warrior of peace and understanding. The world is better for having had him in it, but has been made worse by the loss of him. Many have called Mandela a saint. Some have referred to him as an angel. Former U.S president Bill Clinton called Mandela “a hero,” and that has to be the most appropriate label to place on Mandela’s shoulders. A hero is how he lived, and as a hero is how he will be remembered.



l WEDNESDAY, DEC. 11, 2013



A passion for others — Rich City Rides member Najari Smith works on a bike at the temporary space of Bridges Art Space in Richmond on Dec. 4. Rich City


Rides is pushing for change within the city of Richmond to provide a safer place for people to ride their bicycles.

Richmond resident promotes safety Rich City Rides provides bicycle repair, education on safer riding, participation in city laws that advocate for sustainable living By Lorenzo Morotti EDITORIAL CARTOONIST

RICHMOND — Tucked away in the northwestern corner of Bridges Art Space is the Richmond City Rides temporary bicycle repair shop. Utilizing an old shipping container as its headquarters, a small group of bicycle mechanics are contributing to the future street development plans within the city. RCR is a growing collective of cyclists spearheaded by Richmond resident Najari Smith. The group is pushing for change within the city to provide a safer place for people to ride their bicycles. By using his vice chairman position in The Richmond Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC), Smith has helped promote cycling in the city. He has also made contributions to the Richmond City Council’s foundation of the Bicycle Master and Pedestrian Plan which was adopted in 2011. Smith is currently involved in speaking with the city council to set up a permanent bike shop on the Richmond Greenway to cater to the growing number of cyclists. “We have been trying to get a shop right on the greenway,” Smith said. “We want a

physical location (where we can) keep our tools.” Smith said that RCR needs this hub to be able to train youth on regular bike maintenance. A year and a half ago, Richmond Spokes Cycles shut down due to reasons Smith refused to disclose. Spokes was the only bike shop in the city. He said he used to be a volunteer there until it closed its doors. He regrets that the shop was closed before he was able to impact his community through bicycle repair. “I saw it as more than just a business,” Smith said. “To me it was a way of getting the community engaged. I don’t want to just sell you an inner tube, I want you teach you how to replace it.” Since then, RCR has participated in and organized many rides that show the city of Richmond in a refreshing perspective. “Riding makes you become completely engaged with your surroundings,” Smith said. “You notice things about the city you never would have noticed if driving in a car.” Smith recruited mechanic and photographer José Hernandez. He joined RCR last year and has been riding since 2007. He met Smith when he went into the shop asking for a job. “I just wanted to join (Spokes) and fix bikes,” he said. Hernandez

went into the shop when he never received the phone call that the owners had promised him. “I was pretty bummed about it,” he said. The idea of giving something back to the community is what sold Hernandez. He said, “We wanted to show people that there is a bike culture in Richmond.” RCR promotes “appropriate transport and technology,” Smith said. “Say you live in Pinole but need to go to Oakland. In that case you probably should be driving. But if you are going to a friend’s house who only lives a few blocks away then driving doesn’t seem appropriate.” Smith is not a Richmond native. He was born and raised in New York. Upon becoming a resident of the city two years ago, Smith was sure he had found his place. “The East Bay is amazing,” he said. “There are so many access points and you can traverse into different cities using the greenways.” He said the current bicycle infrastructure could be improved with help from Richmond residents and council members. Richmond has roughly 12 miles of bike lanes and nine additional miles planned by the end of 2016. An existing bicycle path is the Richmond Greenway. It runs west to east just south of Macdonald Avenue, until

it reaches San Pablo Avenue. It is here that cyclists must cross a very busy intersection to connect with the Ohlone Greenway on the opposite side that extends about seven miles of trail ending in Berkeley. Chairman of the Richmond Bicycle/ Pedestrian Advisory Committee Nancy Bear said, “It’s a huge gap. We have to continue working to create better bike access and transportation within Richmond.” Bear believes that people like Smith and Hernandez are essential in the advocacy for the city implementing “complete streets,” into its master plans. She said a “complete street” caters to pedestrians, cyclists, young and old by widening sidewalks, creating more protected bike paths to encourage people to ride bicycles and reduce automotive congestion. She said, “We hope people who ride will become more involved.” Bear said Smith fills an important role by sponsoring rides that promote bicycle awareness. Contra Costa College geology professor Chris Johnson has participated in rides hosted by RCR and has also been involved with bike lane planning for the city of San Pablo. “We need a system that doesn’t cater to just cars,” he said. “We need bike lanes that people from the ages of 8 to 80 can use.”

‘Soban’ leaves stomach unsatisfied By Jose Jimenez STAFF WRITER

As I took the Pinole Valley Road exit from I-80 in search of something to eat, I was in the mood for a cheeseburger but decided to try something new. Soban was the place of choice to try and stimulate my appetite. Soban is a Korean food joint, right across the street from Five Guys in Pinole. The main dishes Soban serves are four different types of rice burgers. Talk about thinking outside of

the bun. They serve four kinds of rice burgers so I went with two choices from the very small and basic menu. First up was the OMG, a tuna cheddar burger with yellow pickle smothered in what seemed to be teriyaki sauce However it did not say that on the menu. Second, I tried The Spartan. The Spartan is the simplest of the four options. It is served with only chicken teriyaki, seaweed and the same yellow pickle condiment. These two rice burgers come with sticky rice about

an inch thick and some sesame seeds on top. The food looks very similar to sushi. The tuna and cheddar mix was tricky for the taste buds because the cheddar was sharp, but the tuna seemed like it came from a Chicken of the Sea can. It was not the red, purple raw tuna that a lot of Asian food establishments use, but the more brown colored type. The chicken teriyaki was very standard. It felt and looked like a giant piece of sushi from a California roll. Besides waiting 11 minutes for my two rice burgers, the ADVERTISEMENT

worst part was when I picked them up to have a bite. They each broke in half. Maybe that is why they give you a fork with your order. The hot sticky rice just “sticks” to the paper in the box they serve it in. Plus, no fries or any type of side come with your order. Overall the food itself was very disappointing. The rest of the menu serves your typical chicken wings and a sushi burrito wrapped completely in seaweed. I did not dare try the burrito, but maybe you will. I wanted a new type of burger. Soban’s rice burgers


intrigue but “Soban” fail to sat+++++ isfy, and will Cuisine: Korean likely leave fusion your pocket Where: 2701 feeling light. Pinole Valley Road, Pinole Everything Price Range: on the menu $6-$10 costs between $6-$9. Soban gets credit for trying to branch out and start something new, but with Jack in the Box, Red Onion and Five Guys in the same radius, serving burgers that can actually satisfy an empty stomach, it is hard to enjoy these overpriced rice burgers.




Championship eludes Comets By Mike Thomas SPORTS EDITOR

APTOS — It was a showdown between the two top running backs in the state during the Living Breath Foundation Bowl game here, Nov. 23, but co-Bay Valley Conference Champion Contra Costa College fell 37-26 to Coast Conference Champion Hartnell College. The Comets (7-4 overall; 4-1 in the BVC) played in the same bowl last year, where they beat Monterey Peninsula College. Panther running back De’Andre Mann and Comet running back Davonte Sapp-Lynch ran for a combined total of 361 rushing yards and four touchdowns during the bowl game. Mann said he respects SappLynch and thinks he is a great football player, adding that he admires the way Sapp-Lynch plays the running back position. “He’s got a great name behind him with his big brother (NFL star Marshawn Lynch), but it’s not just his big brother,” Mann said. “(Sapp-Lynch) is a great running back. He runs low to the ground and it’s hard to hit him. He has a bright future; he just has to keep working hard.” The Panthers (9-2 overall; 5-0 in the Coast Conference) pounded the ball with Mann, which set up his 28-yard run for the first touchdown of the game, putting Hartnell up 7-0. CCC coach Alonzo Carter said, “(Hartnell) is pretty good and they have the number one running back in the state (Mann).” The Panthers’ defense stopped


Diving out of reach — Comet defensive backs Theodore Spann (left) and Steve Harris (right) fail to stop Panther wide receiver Joe Pacheco (center) during the third quarter of their bowl game against Hartnell College at Cabrillo College in Altos on Nov. 23. Hartnell College was victorious and earned the Living Breath Foundation Bowl Championship.


Panthers 37 Comets 26

Season over: 7-4 overall; 4-1 in the BVC Conference finish: first two potential scoring drives, but, with 5:16 left in the first quarter, Sapp-Lynch tied the game with a 5-yard rushing touchdown. Quarterback Malik Watson’s 20-yard pass to wide receiver Terrance Barnes for a touchdown put CCC up 13-10 with 11:57 left in the first half. Despite the Comets’ defense holding Hartnell’s offense to two field goals in the second quarter, the game was tied 13-13 at the end of the first half. After Hartnell received the ball following the score, Panther quarterback Curt Ceralde attempted a screen pass to Mann. Comets’ linebacker Jarmon Coleman intercepted the pass and ran it in for a touchdown. However, the touchdown was called back due to a penalty on a CCC player, and was pushed back to the 50-yardline. The Comets’ offense was unsuccessful in scoring after the turnover. “We didn’t make plays when we needed to make plays,” Carter said. The Panthers added their second field goal to tie the game 1313 to end the first half. The Comets started with ball


Leading the state — Panther runningback De’Andre Mann (left) cuts past the Comet defensive line during the Living Breath Foundation Bowl against Hartnell College in Aptos on Nov. 23. The Comets had trouble stopping Mann, who also leads the state in overall rushing yards. in the second half and got to the Panthers’ red zone. However, Watson made a bad pass to Barnes and threw his second of three interceptions in the game. After some defensive stops by both teams, Hartnell took the lead with Mann’s 1-yard run for a touchdown with 6:36 left in the third quarter. With the game 20-13, the Comets’ offense came out in the Wildcat formation and scored 13 unanswered points to take the lead 26-20. The first one came when SappLynch followed his fellow running back Tyron Stevens on the Panthers’ 9-yardline. Stevens provided a solid block and Sapp-Lynch just followed his offensive lineman to the end zone with 3:36 left in the third quarter. Stevens scored the go-ahead touchdown with 56 seconds left of that quarter. “Stevens made a key block,” Sapp-Lynch said. “Our O-line

“We stacked the box with defensive linemen, and it really comes down to heart. Our defense throughout the whole season has been our weakness.” Dominque Harrison, Comet defensive back

made some good blocks and all I had to do was follow them.” Hartnell answered when defensive back Anthony Smithson returned a 59-yard kickoff return to CCC’s 40-yardline, giving Ceralde the window to make a 2-yard pass to wide receiver Joe Pacheco for the go-ahead touchdown. Ceralde and Pacheco linked up again for another Hartnell passing touchdown, bringing the game 3426 with 9:07 left. The Comets had another good drive going after the score, but Watson threw his third and final interception of the game. “Malik tried to force it,” Carter

said. “He tries to make the small window throws. We just left too many points on the field and you can’t do that to a team like that.” The Comets’ defense gave up 209 rushing yards. They gave up 187 yards to Mann in the bowl game, and stacking the box did not stop Mann from running all over the defense. “We stacked the box with defensive linemen, and it really comes down to heart,” Comet defensive back Dominque Harrison said. “Our defense, throughout the whole season, has been our weakness.”

Carter leads young men with tough love By Mike Thomas SPORTS EDITOR

“You give a hope to any young man that they can visualize, they will do anything for you,” football coach Alonzo Carter said. Providing hope with tangible goals is exactly what Carter’s coaching philosophy is all about. Contra Costa College’s football program was not a serious title contender until Carter took it over in 2010. Taking control of the team at a time when local players were bypassing CCC for Laney, Diablo Valley, and Chabot colleges, Carter was able to draw students back to CCC to play for his team. Since Carter has become the coach, his student-athletes have transferred to Division 1 and 2 colleges and the Comets are backto-back Bay Valley Conference champions. These successes have drawn local players back to CCC, to become a part of Carter’s legacy. “The main reason why I came to (CCC) is because I saw the track record from Carter’s program,” defensive back Darnell Dailey said. “I saw players coming out of here with D1 or D2 scholarships.” Before coaching, the West Oakland native was a 17-year-old single father working at McDonalds. He went to high school at McClymonds High, where he played football, but when he graduated in 1985, he did not receive any scholarship offers. He attended Cal State-East Bay, and played football for its team. “I didn’t receive a football scholarship when I graduated from McClymonds High,” Carter said. “I was a teenage dad working,

going to school and playing football and I wanted to help raise my kids.” Carter loves the game of football. When he was young he wanted to be a running back, and he looked up to players like AllPro running backs OJ Simpson, Bo Jackson, and Tony Dorsett. He loves the game, and it shows as he coaches football games from the sidelines. Carter is a very distinctive coach. Even during games, when the noise is near deafening, Carter’s voice can be heard clearly throughout the whole stadium. His passion for the game causes him to yell, but he always explains why he is yelling, and his players and assistant coaches accept the criticism. “I’m very passionate on the field,“ Carter said. “My theory is whenever I tear down someone, I put 10 times the effort to lift them up.” In 1989, Carter dropped out of Cal StateEast Bay, and became the main choreographer for Bay Area rapper Stanley Burrell, also known as MC Hammer. This is how Carter’s coaching career got started, and that job changed his life. “Working with Hammer made me disciplined as we had to stay in shape,” Carter said, “(Touring) was like a traveling business. I had to make sure all of the dancers knew their moves and were in attendance. It reminded me of being a coach.” After his career with MC Hammer came to a close in 1992, he became an assistant football coach at McClymonds High School. In an Oakland Athletic League championship game against Skyline High School during the 1998-99 season, an edited video wrongly insinuated that Carter instigated a fight before the game. The melee caused

the game to be canceled, and Carter faced a five-game suspension. “I was victimized by the media in 98-99 when they portrayed me as the person who started the fight,” Carter said. “But the raw video really showed me breaking up the fight.” However, local television news stations got an edited copy of the fight that made Carter look like the bad guy. The raw video did show Carter trying to break up the fight. After his name was cleared he became the head coach at Berkeley High School in 2000. In his two years there, his team won its first league championship in many years. “I served a five-game suspension, but I told them if I served this sentence I would have to be a head coach,” Carter said. “In 2001 when my Berkeley High team won the (Alameda Contra Costa Athletic League) Championship, I went from being the villain to the good guy.” In his four years coaching for CCC, he

has taken the football team to two consecutive bowl games, and has seen a lot of his football players get recruited into Division 1 and 2 colleges. He cares more about his players’ education, than the talent they bring on the field. CCC President Denise Noldon was Carter’s counselor at Cal State-East Bay. She said he was a young man who knew college was his first priority. “(Carter’s focus on education) is what I am most proud of,” Dr. Noldon said. “I am most proud of (the player’s) success in the classroom. Football can be a moment in their life, but education will always be there.” This season, despite losing the bowl game to Hartnell College, Carter is currently working hard to see his sophomore players transfer into fouryear colleges. He is also getting his freshmen ready for the next season, and for another bowl game.




l WEDNESDAY, DEC. 11, 2013

Scouts scramble to sign prospects By Lorenzo Morotti EDITORIAL CARTOONIST

As the 2013 fall semester concludes, so does another Comet sports season. Scouts from universities across the country are scrambling to recruit student-athletes who have shown talent on the field. Contra Costa College is ripe with prospects. Players from coach Alonzo Carter’s Bay Valley Conference co-championship football team and Rudy Zeller’s second place BVC soccer squad have had interest from top athletic schools in the

United States. They are both currently dealing with the transfer process and no concrete decisions have been made as of yet. Football players garnering the most attention are defensive backs Dominique Harrison and Antwon Pickket who have been in contact with scouts and coaches from schools such as Cal Poly, San Diego State, San Jose State, UC Berkeley, USC and Oregon. Pickket is a “bounce back,” Carter said. He went to Sacramento State right out of high school but did not like the way the football program was being run. He decided that he would go to CCC.

Pickket said, “I have learned a lot of life lessons from Carter.” Harrison has wanted to go to Oregon since he was playing for his high school football team. “I’ve had a lot of offers from PAC 12 schools,” he said. However he said he is set on enrolling into the college of his choice. Quarterback Malik Watson has also been contacted by many Division I colleges but is unsure which school he wants to attend. Watson said coach Carter’s program has taught him discipline and respect. “Coach Carter makes sure that you’re on top of your grades and in tip-top shape on the field,” Watson

said. “Even though we have a small program here (CCC) we make the most out of it.” Carter has been producing more student-athletes who transfer to four-year colleges over the past two years than any other community college football coach in California, Watson said. “Last year we had 11 guys go on to four-year schools.” “I like winning — but I get much more excited about this (transfer) process,” Carter said. “We give these young men an opportunity to get their schooling paid for.” Zeller’s men’s soccer team also has a number of players who can

see a potential move after the winter break. Left fullback Sam Mendez is talking with Cal Poly and Holy Names, Zeller said. Marcos Solis, who led the team in goals with 10, is a prospect for Cal State-East Bay and left midfielder Bobby Gonzales has had five different colleges contact him, Zeller said. CCC’s athletic department continues to generate student-athletes capable of brining what they learned from the athletic programs’ passionate coaching staff. “What is a win,” Carter said. “Is it winning a game or winning in life? Life — it’s bigger than just a game.”

Olympic size pool generates funding By Lorenzo Morotti EDITORIAL CARTOONIST

Nestled between the Men’s and Women’s locker rooms, the College Pool has not hosted a Comet water sport team for more than 30 years. However, it continues to generate revenue for the athletic department by charging local high schools, the community and private swim teams to use it almost year round. Pinole Valley High School water polo coach Jim Ulversoy said that the annual revenue fluctuates depending on how many people or organizations sign up to pay for its use. “This place (the Pool) is home for a lot of high schools,” he said. “The Pool contributes to the athletic budget even without a college sports team.” Athletic Director John Wade said that the amount of money the college makes is “at the whim of the public.” He said that the charge for a water sport team to use the Pool is about $46 an hour. According to Ulversoy, who doubles as a Contra Costa College adjunct P.E. professor, that fee can range from $4,000 to 5,000 per season, from April 8 until Dec. 12.

“The Pool contributes to the athletic budget even without a college sports team.” Jim Ulversoy,

Pinole Valley High water polo coach

The Pool is available for public use from June 10 to July 25 for $2 per day or $20 for a 10-day pass. “We introduce the community to the college through swimming lessons,” Ulversoy said. He added that the college also offers Water Exercise classes. He also teaches classes for people who want to improve their swimming competitively or swimming lessons for novice swimmers. “We have three college classes and sometimes have up to 1,300 people trying to sign up,” Ulversoy said. These classes are offered during the spring and fall semesters. Recently, there has been a slight drop in people signing up for the courses according to Ulversoy. He said that most students go to Diablo Valley College instead of CCC because they think that the swim facilities are superior, since there are no water sport teams at CCC.


Water sports — The Pool creates revenue for the college without having a swimming or water polo team since the early 1980s by renting out its use to local high schools teams and the community. “Once they (students) go over the hill to DVC), its hard to bring them back,” he said. Ulversoy said that because CCC gets its water from East Bay MUD instead of from the delta, as DVC does, CCC’s water has a lower salt content. He said that makes it more enjoyable to swim in. Building and Grounds Manager Bruce King said that the Pool is a great feature for the college even though the upkeep is “a sizable cost for the school.” He said that an annual inspection is done to make sure the chemical levels are not

too high, and that the filters and pumps are working properly. “Its hard to say how much the pool makes,” King said. He said that the Pool is heated to a comfortable 86 degrees using natural gas all year and the energy usage is under the supervision PG&E. Construction of the Olympic sized 50meter pool was completed in 1970 and has undergone a recent retrofit in 2003. It cost roughly $500,000 to replace the boilers, the plaster and tile at the bottom of the pool to renovate of all the lighting fixtures.



Going back to the Living Breath Foundation Bowl game was another accomplishment for coach Alonzo Carter’s football program this season. But his team led the state in penalties. Contra Costa College gave up 1,678 yards in penalties, and those 184 penalties came back to bite them in their last regular season game of the season against Los Medanos College. The Comets finished the season (7-4 overall and 4-1 in the Bay Valley Conference), and lost 37-26 in the Living Breath Foundation Bowl to Hartnell College on Nov. 23. The bowl game was the Comets’ least penalized game this entire season. Despite the bowl loss, the Comets still accomplished a lot this season. Even though the Comets are co-BVC Champions with LMC and Shasta College, they are still back-toback BVC champions. There are a lot of positive aspects to this football team. Sophomore running back Davonte SappLynch finished the season with 1,413 rushing yards, and broke Rashad Hall’s single season record rushing. The Comets have 11 All-BVC players. Defensive back Dominque Harrison and Sapp-Lynch are the BVC Defensive and Offensive Players of the Year, respectively. Carter is confident about his returning sophomores for next season because some of his freshman stepped up this season. The way Carter turned the football program around in a short time span proves that anything is possible with the football team.

Although boasting its best record since the fall of 2005 when the Comets finished 15-2-4 overall that year and made the regional playoffs, this year Rudy Zeller’s men’s soccer team did not reach the playoffs due to a lack of precision in front of the goal during important, low scoring Bay Valley Conference games early in the season. The Comets (11-6-3 overall, 7-3-2 BVC) finished in second place in the BVC with 24 points. They finished a spot below Merritt College (13-5-4 overall, 9-1-2 BVC) which clinched first place after defeating CCC 4-1 at the Gilman Field, ensuring Merritt’s spot in the playoffs. That loss would have been irrelevant if the had Comets won their first three BVC games. A single goal in each of those games would have resulted in CCC walking away with important power points. Leaving goals on the field cost the Comets their spot in the playoffs. Sophomore goalkeeper Gustavo Rojas was unable to surpass his count of 75 saves last season, finishing the fall 2013 season with 69 saves. He maintained his goals against tally of 23. Freshman Max Sonnier has displayed that he is capable of replacing Rojas next season. Sonnier played only 475 minutes but made 28 saves and only allowed four goals against. Defensively, the Comet backline was the backbone of the team this season. Regular starters for Zeller’s defense were sophomore defensive fullback Sam Mendez, freshman center fullback Brad Alman, Luis Raymundo, Klebber Machado and left fullback Enri Refunjol. The defense supported the team by getting back behind the ball during breaks while closing down space in the backfield for the tackle or to intercept attack-

— Mike Thomas





ing passes and force turnovers to counter on the break. Mendez, Machado and Alman also proved to be dangerous in set pieces — such as corner kicks or free kicks. All three of these defensive players netted one goal each during conference games. Midfield players that had a huge influence this season were center midfielders Lorran Santos and Roberto Calixto, left-winger Bobby Gonzalez, and center attacking midfielder Jose Aguilar. Their movements on and off the ball kept opposing teams’ defenses scrambling to cover their men. These players accumulated nine goals collectively and eleven assists. Gonzalez led in assists with six. Aguilar and Calixto in goals with three each. Freshman striker Brian Randall scored five goals during the first six non-conference games but only managed to get two past the keeper in conference, finishing the season with seven. Sophomore Marcos Solis kept his goal tally of 10 even with last season finishing in fifth place in the BVC statistical points. He was the only player to score against the Thunderbirds. When this team moves together it can string together passes up into the midfield that burst into long crosses tore opposing defenses apart, giving the offense room to play with. The level of talent on the field is undeniable as 13 different players scored this season. Unable to generate goals during attacking opportunities when it mattered earned them a B+ grade for the season.


The women’s soccer team finished 5-9 in the Bay Valley Conference and 7-12 overall, earning a fifth place conference finish. In mid-September the Comets had a .500 winning percentage with a record of 2-2. However, after that point in the season Contra Costa College went on a four-game skid and lost eight out of its next 11 games played — a period that saw the women’s team failing to score a goal in nine of those contests. The Comets tried to finish the season strong and picked up two more victories around Halloween against hapless teams that were a combined 2-31-3 (Los Medanos College and the College of Marin). That appeared more a trick than a treat as CCC lost its last two games to finish well below .500. They finished with a strong road record at 4-5, but failed to take advantage of the friendly confines of Gomes Field going 3-7 at home. Despite stars like Laura Hurtado (fourth in the BVC in goals with 15), the women’s team never could really find leadership on the field. When they fell behind opponents they never had that comeback rally in them. When they were losing, they did not posses that killer instinct strong teams and players have to lead a comeback. — Jose Jimenez

— Lorenzo Morotti


The volleyball team had its fourth consecutive losing season under coach Zachary Shrieve. The Comets finished the season (3-16 overall) with a winning percentage of .158 and finished 3-13 in the Bay Valley Conference. Only Laney College (0-16 in the BVC) finished behind them in the standings. The volleyball team picked up two of its wins against Laney and the other against Mendocino (5-17 in the BVC). The Comets finished 2-7 at home and 1-9 away, beating Laney back on Oct. 9, in a three-set sweep. After its only road win, CCC went on a seven-game losing streak. That dreadful stretch ended the second week of November, sweeping Laney again in sets, but the Comets lost their last three games to finish ninth in the BVC. In fact, taking that victory away against Laney late in the season into consideration, the Comets would have ended their season on a 10-game skid. Aside from their thrilling five set win against Mendocino back on Sept. 25, CCC never made it into a fourth set of play in any of their games, winning only six sets out of the 39 played. The Comets 2013 roster boasted an All-BVC striker Jessica Neville, but lacked consistency. The team failed to communicate on the court and never really got itself going in a positive direction during the 2013 campaign. — Jose Jimenez


Comets fall flat during tournament Lack of energy drastically damages team By Mike Thomas SPORTS EDITOR

The men’s basketball team lost both its games in the Diablo Valley College Chevron Invitational held Nov. 29 through Dec. 1. The Comets finished in fifth place in the same tournament last season. Contra Costa College (4-5 overall) lost both games to Lassen College 67-62 on Nov. 29, and Sacramento City College 81-72 on Nov. 30. The Comets were not able to have much help coming off the bench in both games, and all pressure was on sophomore guard Davion Mize who scored 24 points that night. In the first game, the Comets were dominated by Lassen (8-5) at the start of the game. Men’s basketball coach Miguel Johnson was forced to call an early timeout, and the CCC defense forced 10 turnovers in that same half. The Comet defense made it tough for the Cougars to take an easy shot, and forced them to take bad shots as the shot clock ran down. These miscues by Lassen gave the Comets a 37-26 lead in the first half, and the Comets went 5-7 from beyond the 3-point line. “When we finally figured (the Cougars) out we cut their lead and that made a difference,” Johnson said. With the Comets up by 11 points going into the second half, they would look to hold on to the lead to win the game. CCC came out strong, but started to get weary and Lassen gained the lead back. The Comet defense was still creating turnovers, but could not capitalize on those opportunities to make points. The Comet squad also was not getting any points from their reserve players, and was missing a key player Armein Outing who is averaging 14.8 points per game right now. The lack of height was also an





Cougars 67 Comets 62

Next game: Dec. 20 at College of the Sequoias, 10 a.m. Follow this game live at

issue in the second half and poor rebounding gave Lassen a lot of second chance points. Johnson said, that his inexperienced players played hard. “We stopped executing and we were not boxing out and our lack of height gave (the Cougars) the overall advantage,” sophomore guard Dave Baulwin said. “We were missing Outing. He’s averaging like 14 points and those 14 points could make a big difference.” Missed free throws also played a factor for the Comets going 1423 from the free throw line. Those nine misses could have won the game for the Comets. CCC went 21-58 and shot 39 percent in field goals, and shot 28 percent from the 3-point line, going 6-21. The Comets forced 20 turnovers, while Lassen only forced eight on CCC. Baulwin said that hot streak of shooting went cold in the second half. “They were experienced guys (Lassen), and they made adjustments to our zone plays.” sophomore guard Fletcher Brown said. The men’s basketball team came out worse in round two of the tournament, and trailed Sac City the whole game. The Comets were still tired from the game the day before and were knocked out of the tournament after just two games. “We came out flat and with no energy,” Baulwin said. “Basically you can’t win games playing at the level like we did.” Brown agreed. “The team energy wasn’t high and some of our guys are injured,” he said. The Comets next game is against the College of Sequoias in the COS Tournament on Dec. 20 at 8 p.m.


Struggle — Comet guard Timothy Jordan attempts to make a layup as Lassen guards grab possession of the ball during their game against Lassen College at the Diablo Valley Tournament in Pleasant Hill on Nov. 29.

Squad unable to capitalize on turnovers By Lorenzo Morotti EDITORIAL CARTOONIST


Struggling for room — Comet guard Raven Caldwell attempts a shot against Laney forward Emani Gardener during the first half of their game against the Eagles during the Comet Classic in the Gymnasium on Friday.

A rushed offensive effort and lackluster defensive coverage during their last two games earned the Comets fourth place in the Comet Classic Tournament (1-2) last Thursday, Friday in the Gym. Contra Costa College (5-4 overall) won its first game against the reigning Coast ConferenceSouth Division champions Ohlone College (6-3 overall) 75-72 by making roughly 75 percent of its free throws and shooting well from the field. “What kept us in the game were those free throws,” freshman guard Ahjahna Coleman said. “If we would have been anything under 50 percent, we would have lost.” The Comet defense forced turnovers that resulted in quick breaks down the court but was usually contained just outside the 3-point line by an evenly matched Renegade defense. Tactical off the ball runs into open space by CCC players drew Ohlone players out of position, opening up passing options for their quick and accurate passing game that burst into drives past defenders crowding the key for the layup. However, CCC was unable to string together a winning streak. It lost both subsequent games against Laney College (3-5 overall) 79-70 and to College of the Siskiyous (6-2 overall) 86-63. The Comets lost to the Eagles and Screaming Eagles because of their unwillingness to look up for the open player to pass to, along with wasting simple scoring opportunities like lay-ups and free throws. Movement on the court was not terrible but players were not in sync with each other. CCC didn’t have trouble dribbling the ball down the

“For us this is a mild setback. But like I tell the players, a setback gives them a chance to set up for a comeback.” Keith Allison,

Comet assistant coach

court off breaks caused by steals or blocks. Plays constantly dissolved once they passed the 3-point line. Defensively, Laney closed down space well. Players applied just enough pressure cut off passing options for CCC players. The Eagles also took advantage of Comet players’ frustration, drives into the key resulted in many fouls. Guards Joie Wyatt and Ahjahna Coleman were both sent off because they accumulated too many personal fouls. Laney guard Lana De los Reyes made 11 of her 13 attempted free throws. Rushed passes, shots and drives by the offense forced the guards to waste energy winning rebounds that were also missed. Coach Paul DeBolt uttered one word that can sum up CCC’s style of play during the two last games. “Ugly,” he said. “We missed too many free throws. We just didn’t play well.” The Comets made only 19-40 free throw attempts against Laney and missed more than 20 3-point attempts in the game. Entering the game against the Screaming Eagles, the Comets assistant coach Keith Allison said that if the Comets can force turnovers and apply enough offensive pressure along with scoring when opportunities arise, they could handle the College of Siskiyous offense. Siskiyous went on to beat the Comets by a margin of 23 points.


Eagles 86 Comets 63

Next game: Dec. 19 at College of San Mateo Tourney. Follow this game live at

“The offense was bad. We couldn’t control the ball. We need to play better and just listen to coach,” Coleman said. The Comets missed more than 25 field goal attempts from the bottom post and center court. Sophomore guard Jewel Rogers missed the most netting none of her 11 attempts. “Not a smart decision,” Rogers commented on her wasted shots. Rogers said that the teams’ mentality entering the game was not a healthy one. The loss against Laney College resonated within the team and showed in the way the Comets played, she said. “We have got to be team. If we don’t become better (as a team) we are not going anywhere (in the postseason),” Rogers said. “Late passing and not tracking the movement of the ball are a few things we have to work on,” Allison said. “For us this is a mild setback,” he said. “But like I tell the players, a setback gives them a chance to set up for a comeback.” Diablo Valley College (6-0 overall) beat Laney College 104-79 on Saturday bringing the Comet Classic Championship trophy to the Big Eight Conference. CCC is scheduled to play Hartnell College (0-7 overall) in the opening game of the College of San Mateo Tournament at 1 p.m Dec. 19. That tournament also features Bay Valley Conference rival Merritt College.


l WEDNESDAY, DEC. 11, 2013


Waiting on the sun — Approximately 3,500 people join the circle for the Annual Indigenous Peoples Sunrise Ceremony on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco on

Nov. 28. The ceremony began in 1975 and has become a commemoration of the 1969-71 occupation of Alcatraz Island by Native American activists.

HERE comes the

SUN Photos by Qing Huang

Powerful headdress — San Pablo resident Justene Anderson performs a ritual during the Annual Indigenous Peoples Sunrise Ceremony on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco on Nov. 28.

Keeping the beat — Performer Alvaro Tellez bangs a drum during the Annual Indigenous Peoples Sunrise Ceremony on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco on Nov. 28. The ceremony began in 1975 and has become a commemoration of the 1969-71 occupation of Alcatraz Island by Native American activists.

Celebrating the light — Performers dance in a circle celebrating the sunrise during the Annual Indigenous Peoples Sunrise Ceremony on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco on Nov. 28. The ceremony began in 1975 and has become a commemoration of the 1969-71 occupation of Alcatraz Island by Native American activists.




WEDNESDAY, DEC. 11, 2013

Spotlight index:

Charities spread good will Acts of selflessness invoke holiday spirit By Brian Boyle NEWS EDITOR

Video games warm hearts on cold nights Releases for gamers to conquer in winter X page B3




This time of year is often described as the season of giving. During the holidays, charity becomes one of the most prominent things on peoples’ minds, as well as in the media. Contra Costa Community College District Director of Communications and Community Relations Tim Leong said, “It’s important this time of year to give back to those that are less fortunate than you. It’s easy to overlook the things we take for granted, but this is the season to show your gratitude by giving back.” There are huge named charities that everyone knows by name, such as Toys for

Tots and the American Red Cross, which deliver not only joy to children across the country, but also aid to those families that are not fortunate enough to be able to feed or house themselves this winter. But for those that want their money or time to go to a more local cause, there are countless charities that focus on and serve solely the Bay Area. The Bay Area Rescue Mission is a charity that focuses on providing food and shelter to homeless men, women and children across the Bay Area. Last year alone, the Bay Area Rescue Mission provided homeless individuals with more than 1,450,000 meals, according to its website. The Oakland Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation, which provides medical care and research to countless sick children in the Bay Area, is always looking for donations. This time of year one can find a large list of toys and gifts one can think of donating to help brighten the holiday season for a sick child. A list can be found of all the ways one can help at The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano counties is also looking for donations and volun-

“It’s important this time of year to give back to those that are less fortunate than you. It’s easy to overlook the things we take for granted, but this is the season to show your gratitude by giving back.” Tim Leong,

Contra Costa Community College District director of communication and community relations

teers this time of year. From their own website, the food bank wants to remind people that for every $1 you donate, they can distribute two meals to hungry people in the Bay Area. One can also make donations by going to large name grocery stores, such as Safeway, and buying QSEE CHARITY: Page B2


Gift giving, fashion ideas for holidays

Practice makes perfect — Music majors Stephanie Rios (middle), Selene Hernandez, and Lucia Perez (right) practice their harmonies for the Seven Joys of Christmas event in M116 on Dec. 4.

The Advocate finds gifts, makes drinks pages B4-5 X


MUSIC SHOWCASE TO DAZZLE End-of-year concert mixes musical styles Cinema sparkles on silver screen Holiday openings excite moviegoers X page B6

By Veronica Santos SCENE EDITOR

The music department will be holding its fall semester showcase on Friday in the Knox Center at 8 p.m. This year, the concert event is titled “The Seven Joys of Christmas.” The showcase will include Contra Costa College’s very own JazzaNova, Chamber Choir, JAZZology, Gospel Choir, featured soloist and more. Music selections will be a compilation of Kirke Michem and George F. Handel. According to the department’s press release, the concert will

feature professional quality vocal and piano performances. Under the direction of music professor Stephanie Austin, performances will include classical, gospel and jazz compositions that celebrate the holiday season. Assistant to the performance program director and JAZZ-ology member Stephanie Rios said, “A really cool thing is every Christmas showcase we sing the Hallelujah chorus and all of the choirs sing together.” Rios said that this will be the first time they will feature a student composition. Music student Thomas Marshall composed a piece that will be performed by student pianist, Erik Zapata. Soloists include Rios and fellow JAZZ-ology member Selenne Ruiz. Stage manager Dan Snyder said there are different styles of music presented. “It’s cool to see people who may

“A really cool thing is every Christmas showcase we sing the Hallelujah chorus and all of the choirs sing together.” Stephanie Rios,

JAZZ-ology member

not have even been playing music for six months up there performing,” Snyder said. The concert will feature special guests such as harpist Randall Pratt and the West County Winds under the direction of Jessica Bejarano. Rios said, “I’m really excited because we put so much work into it. It’s a nice way to start the holiday season.” She said the mayor of San Pablo will be present to announce performers. Master of Ceremony for

the event will be marketing and communications director Michelle Jackson. The department takes an entire semester to prepare their music and advance planning of production. Music students serve as crew members and volunteer as ushers and work the ticketing station. The department will be holding a preview concert as part of its Children’s Concert Series tonight at 6:45 p.m. in the Knox Center. Admission is free for children up to grade 8 accompanied by their teachers and parents. Due to the limited seating, reservations are encouraged. This event will give children the chance to interact with the musicians while hearing live, professional musicians. Proceeds from the “Seven Joys of Christmas” will be used to fund the music department. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for students and seniors.

Celebrating Hanukkah, Kwanzaa


Winter is an odd time of year. Every winter sees temperatures dropping and people being driven into their homes. The world becomes a much more gloomy place. Except, this is also the time of year everyone’s minds turn to celebration. Winter is also called the holiday season. As the world turns dreary, people become merry and bright. Songs fly from people’s lips and people become more charitable. The only thing to do during this time is to celebrate and party. There are three main winter holidays that happen in the United States: Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Each holiday has its own

the birth of Jesus Christ — the man Christians believe was the Messiah. The story of the birth of Christ that Christians believe explains a large amount of the more commercialized imagery many may not understand, or may have forgotten the meaning behind the symbols. Christians believe Jesus Christ was born to a virgin in Bethlehem, which would be located in what is today known as the West Bank, in Israel. The story tells of a bright star, an angel which three shepherds known as wise men saw, and knew they Christmas must travel to see the birth of the Christmas is the most visible of savior of mankind. The three wise all the holidays in America. No mat- men brought gifts of gold, incense ter what store one enters, this time and myrrh to present to the little of year Christmas will be right in his messiah. or her face. These symbols persist today, in The holiday is meant to celebrate QSEE HOLIDAYS: Page B2


Re-evaluating classic animated movie X page B8


traditions and means of celebration. Some holidays and traditions are ancient, while others came into existence more Ampim recently. Though their ages, meanings and forms of celebration differ, each has a following, and each has a lesson they can teach not only those who practice them, but also the rest of society.


Anime still relevant after 25 years

Classic values customs become local

By Brian Boyle

in brief Kwanzaa is a cultural, not religious, holiday that began in 1966 to recognize African traditions and culture. The holiday celebrates seven principles over the last six days of the year and first of the new year.



l WEDNESDAY, DEC. 11, 2013


Charity Season provides opportunity to donate, gift Q FROM: Page B1

a bag of groceries that the store will then donate to the Food Bank. The newest member to the District Governing Board, Matthew Rinn, said, “Honestly, I think it’s important to give to charity all year round. This time of year, though, I’d say it’s most important to donate to charities that focus on housing and feeding the homeless, and charities that help foster children. Anything that brings a little joy to a child this time of year, that lets them know Santa doesn’t dislike them, is always good.” No matter how one chooses to donate this time of year, there are countless ways. Local animal shelters, such as the Hopalong Animal Rescue in Oakland or FurEver Animal Rescue are always looking for dona-

tions of food or time for abused or abandoned animals that may not be able to make it on their own during these cold winter months. The Greater Richmond Inter-faith Program is also Rinn searching for donations to help feed those that are in need of help this holiday season in Richmond and its surrounding area. The Berkeley Food and Housing Project also provided emergency food and shelter to those that need it this season, and any donations would go a long way toward helping. As the holiday season draws nigh and temperatures around the Bay Area continue to drop, food, clothing and toys are in high

The Bay Area Rescue Mission, located at 2114 Macdonald Ave. in Richmond, has been providing food, shelter, warm showers, fresh clothes and other support since 1965. It is offering a variety of services to those in need, such as Adopt-A-Family, in which 20 current or former homeless or impoverished client families are sponsored to ensure a great holiday. Also, volunteers are needed

Matthew Rinn,

district Governing Board trustee

demand with charities throughout the entire area. As people prepare to buy their loved ones expensive gifts and sit down in heated homes for a hot holiday meal, they should

Salvation Army for distribution of Christmas items for guests, food items for their meals and toys for children. High in demand items needed are bedding, hygiene and personal care items such as toothbrushes and soap, new socks and underwear for men, women and children, towels and washcloths. Contact Dave Kachurka, director of volunteer services at 510-215-4865 or 510-215-4868 or log on to the organization’s Web site,

Salvation Army USA’s Holiday Angel Tree program provides new clothing or toys for children of needy families. Items are purchased based on the need of the individual’s wish listed on the Angel Tree. Volunteers are needed to help distribute gifts along with food for holiday meals to participating families. Additionally, volunteers are needed for the organizations’ shut-ins at hospitals and nursing homes, as well as for sit-down dinners at various homeless shelters. Another opportunity through Salvation Army is their online wish lists through Target. For more information, log on to the Salvation Army’s Web site,

St. Vincent de Paul Society

Heifer International

When looking to donate or volunteer during the holidays, the St. Vincent De Paul society is a great choice. The society, formed in 1833, makes it their mission to help the poor and less fortunate. Some 12 million people are helped annually by Vincentians in the United States. From offering food programs, emergency financial assistance or transportation, shelters for the homeless and abused, employment services, job training, thrift stores, youth programs, prison ministry, assistance for victims of AIDS, crime or substance abuse and counseling, there is never a shortage of things to volunteer for or contribute to. There are many ways to become a part of the society or volunteer during the holidays or year around. Local societies can be found in the local yellow pages. For more information, visit or contact the nearest Catholic church.

Instead of giving clothing items or predictable gifts such as cameras and video games, one can spend money on a memorable and worthwhile gift this season. Heifer International, a non-profit, charitable organization, is dedicated to ending poverty and global hunger around the world. They attempt to do this by providing gifts of livestock and plants, as well as an

Children’s Hospital Children’s Hospital and Research Center, located at 747 52nd Street in Oakland, offers the opportunity for toy donations. A “Wish List” of appropriate kinds of toys is listed on the Children’s Hospital’s Web site at

take the time to think of those less fortunate than they are, and give a little to help make someone else’s holiday a little brighter and a little warmer.


Charity opportunities Bay Area Rescue Mission

“Honestly, I think it’s important to give to charity all year round. This time of year, though, I’d say it’s most important to donate to charities that focus on housing and feeding the homeless, and charities that help foster children. Anything that brings a little joy to a child this time of year, that lets them know Santa doesn’t dislike them, is always good.”

Sleep Train Mattress Centers Sleep Train Mattress Centers is hosting a “Secret Santa Toy Drive” through Dec. 14 for local foster kids. All Sleep Train locations are collecting new unwrapped toys and games for children, including infants, toddlers, general

tions.asp. For more information, contact the Children’s Hospital volunteer department at 510-4283471. Another volunteer opportunity at the Children’s Hospital is the Holiday Adopt-A-Family program, which plans to have an event today. This event is tentatively scheduled for 5 p.m. (this

education in sustainable agriculture to disadvantaged families. For $500, one can purchase a cow to be sent to a family in a Third World country. Flocks of chicks, ducks and geese can also be bought for $20. A hen can lay up to 200 eggs a year, providing a source of food or income for a family in need. Other options include honeybees, trees and even water buffalo, all varying in price. For more information, visit youth and teenagers. The nearest Sleep Train location is located at 3300-C Klose Way, Richmond. For more information, the Richmond location can be contacted at 510-7584582.

date is subject to change) at the Merritt hotel in Downtown Oakland. Volunteers are needed for party setup, transporting gifts to the party and arts and crafts creation. For more information, contact Marsha Luster at 510-4283885, ext. 4301 or Monique Williams at 510-428-3885 ext. 4099.

Safeway Stores/ABC-7 Safeway supermarkets and ABC-7 have teamed up with Bay Area Food Banks to “End Hunger Now,” a collaborative year-long effort to fight hunger in the community. Barrels are located in stores for non-perishable food items and cash donations can be

Whole Foods Market/CBS-5 Whole Foods Market grocery stores and CBS-5 is holding a drive titled, “Food for Bay Area Families.” Stop by any Whole Foods Market and drop healthy nonperishable foods in the bin. To find a nearby store location, log on to Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. One can contribute to a local food bank online, or through check, made payable to the local food bank. Donations are also accepted directly on location. A helping hand is always appreciated and a variety of volunteering efforts are available for people of all ages. The nearest food bank locations are located at 4010 Nelson Ave. in Concord and 1891 Woolner Avenue, Suite 1, Fairfield.

made at any check stand. These include peanut butter, chicken, tuna, soup, cereal and canned fruit and vegetables. For more information, call 800-870-FOOD or log on to

Holidays Difference in traditions, holidays, practices Q FROM: Page B1

some fashion. Christmas trees are supposed to be topped with stars or angels, in order to symbolize the star that led the wise men to the manger the Messiah was born in. The gifts people exchange are supposed to be symbolic of the gifts the wise men presented to Christ. Christmas is celebrated these days in a number of ways. People give gifts to family members around a pine tree in their living room. Colorful lights decorate the outside of peoples’ homes and wreaths adorn front doors across the nation. Christmas also becomes a time where many people give back. Charities such as Toys for Tots and Foster a Dream exist to help provide Christmas presents to children whose families do not have the means to provide a fun holiday for them, or do not have family of their own. Christmas has evolved far past its religious roots, and has become a much more secular holiday. Public lightings of Christmas trees have become more popular than church services. The holiday is supposed to be a time of giving, but expensive electronics have replaced charity in the hearts of many that celebrate.

“Passover and the day of atonement are the real big Jewish holidays. Hanukkah has just become more popular because it has to compete with Christmas at this time of year.” Sherry Diestler,

speech department chairperson

One of the most iconic images of Hanukkah is the lighting of the menorah. The Jewish faith tells of a miracle that occurred during the rebellion to retake their country from the Syrian empire. When the Jewish people, known as the Maccabees in that area, reached the temple, they had only enough oil to keep a fire burning for a single day, yet the fires stayed lit for eight. “Passover and the day of atonement are the real big Jewish holidays,” Diestler said. “Hanukkah has just become Hanukkah more popular because it has to compete with Christmas at Hanukkah is the winter holiday that those of the Jewish this time of year.” faith celebrate. Diestler said that the main theme of Hanukkah is a reliHanukkah is a celebration of the rededication of the gious theme. Though it is a time where charity is on peoples’ Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Those of the Jewish faith take minds, the main point of Hanukkah is to give thanks to eight days to celebrate this rededication, which also marks God. the rebellion against the Seleucid Empire. In 176 BC, King “Hanukkah is about freedom from oppression; it’s about Antiochus IV invaded Judea, and sacked the temple. The sacrifice and redemption,” Diestler said. “It’s a joyous time. stories say that his soldiers thoroughly desecrated the temple, It’s a time to say: they tried to eradicate us, we survived, going as far to sacrifice pigs on its altars. The Jewish faith let’s eat.” forbids the eating of pork, as the religion designates swine as an unclean animal. Kwanzaa Speech department Chairperson Sherry Diestler said, Kwanzaa is not a holiday steeped in ancient religious “Hanukkah is a celebration of freedom — freedom from symbols, nor is it even an ancient holiday. being ruled by a hostile and disrespectful empire.” Kwanzaa is a holiday that was invented in 1966 by a The holiday is celebrated as a mostly intimate, family professor of African-American studies named Maulana affair. Jewish families gather for eight days during this time Karenga. of year and sing traditional Hebrew songs. They also eat tra“It’s supposed to be a non-heroic, noncommercial holiditional Hebrew foods such as latke, or potato pancakes. day,” social sciences department Chairperson Manu Ampim Children spin a decorated top known as a dreidel, which said. “Kwanzaa is supposed to be a non-gluttonous holiday. has four characters printed on it. The four characters, when It isn’t about families spending money they don’t have on translated, mean, “a great miracle happened there,” where gifts they don’t need.” the “there” refers to Israel. Kwanzaa is celebrated for seven days. It starts on Dec. During Hanukkah, families get together and share meals 26 and ends on Jan. 1. Ampim explained that the dates were fried in oil, symbolic of the oil that is revered as having been chosen because people were already in a festive mood durthe case of the miracle of oil during Hanukkah. ing that time of year.

The holiday draws on traditions that would have been practiced during harvest festivals in Africa. It is a time for the African-American community to get A festival together and celebrate the progress they of lights, the have made, and to reflect on the struggles Jewish celthey had to overcome to make said prog- ebration of ress. Hanukkah, Each day of the holiday is defined by has become a a feast. During the feast, one of seven major holiday candles is lit. The candles are color-coded in America. and, on the first day, a black candle is lit Because of to symbolize unity. The subsequent days the ceremoa red candle is lit, then a green candle. nial gift giving Ampim said this is to symbolize that for practice in the the African-American community, intense country, the struggle came before prosperity, with the holiday that red candle representing struggle and the recognizes the green prosperity. miracle of a Each day of Kwanzaa is defined by small amount one of the Nguzo Saba, which stands for of oil that last“seven principles” in Swahili. The first day of Kwanzaa is Umoja, ed eight days, has become a which is the principle of unity. Kujichagulia is the principle of self stronger presdetermination, and is the subject of the ence in Jewish households. second day of Kwanzaa. Collective work and responsibility, or Ujima, is the third day of Kwanzaa. Ujamaa is a celebration of African-American run business, and is the principle of cooperative economics. Dec. 30 is the fifth day of Kwanzaa and is the celebration of the principle of Nia, or purpose, and is a time to focus on how to develop the community around you. Kuumba is the celebration of creativity, and leaving your community better than you found it. And Imani is the final day, where the community celebrates faith in their leaders, people and teachers. Ampim said, though, that the true meaning of Kwanzaa is being watered down by commercialism. Items used for Kwanzaa are supposed to be purchased from local merchants and gifts are supposed to be educational and based upon merit. Ampim said people today are forgetting the meaning of Kwanzaa and have, unfortunately, not carried the practice of Nguzo Saba into the rest of the year.

in brief





Video games redefined This holiday season Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo all compete for top spot in the video gaming industry as The Advocate looks at each console By Mike Thomas and Jared Amdahl STAFF WRITERS


new era of gaming has dawned, now that all of the next generation video game consoles have been released. While all three consoles have been slow to produce any variety in launch titles, the first games that are released with each system, results are being promised by all three manufacturers: Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. The question remains the same with each console, however. Which one is the best to get this holiday season? The Advocate delves into the strengths and weaknesses of each.

er group of gamers. It was the first console from Nintendo that supports high-definition games and had a better online service. The Wii U gamepad, the console’s controller, is what makes the console unique and, for being a big controller, it fits perfectly in most hands. The controller has a HD screen built into it and is like a handheld video game. Gamers will have a choice to play the game on an HD television or with the gamepad. The console is backward compatible, which means gamers can still play their favorite Wii and GameCube games on the Wii U conNintendo’s Wii U sole. Nintendo has always been the The Wii U has a good lineup video-game developer with a distinct of games coming out in 2014, like style. Having created such icons as “Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze,” Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong, it is “Super Smash Brothers Wii U” and no surprise it still exists in the gaming “Bayonetta 2.” world. The Wii U was released Nov. 18, Microsoft’s Xbox One 2012, and so far has failed to appeal After an impressive press conferto hardcore gamers. Like past launch- ence at the Electronic Entertainment es, the console struggled with a lack Expo, it appeared Microsoft is trying of strong launch titles. to pack every piece of digital enterThis year, when Wii U released tainment into one experience. “Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD” Music, television, Internet and and “Super Mario 3D World,” the games are being molded into one sysconsole gained much appeal to a larg- tem.

Some outrageous policies were planned in the beginning, however. At the press conference Microsoft announced that disc-based games will have to be installed to the console, and once installed the game will not be re-sellable or usable in any other Xbox One. This did not sit well with users. Microsoft was trying to enforce Digital Rights Management and wanted to stop games from being pirated. The price of the console being $499 did not help them. A week after the E3 conference, Microsoft changed all of its policies. The console has features where gamers can jump from playing a video game, to watching live television on the console all with voice commands that are very responsive. The console comes with Kinect 2.0, which is an improved motion-sensor camera that revolves around what the console does. The Xbox One had four exclusive launch titles that came out, “Ryse: Fall of Rome,” “Forza Motorsport 5,” “Dead Rising 3” and “Killer Instinct.” The Xbox One was released Nov. 22, and sold one million units in its first week.

Sony’s PlayStation 4 Also at E3, some will say that Sony stole the show with its dazzling press conference. The announcements about not enforcing Digital Management Rights and the cheaper price of $399 were the main reasons why Sony’s press conference was good, but most of the games they showed will be available on the Xbox One. Sony is investing in the indie-game industry. Indie games are independent gaming studios that do not have a publisher to fund their development. The PlayStation 4 was released Nov. 18 in the United States, and Nov. 25 internationally. The PS4 has three exclusive launch titles, “Killzone: Shadow Fall,” “Knack,” and “Resongun.” Sony acquired Genkai for $380 million on July 2, 2012, which means cloudbased gaming is coming to the PS4 in 2014. The indie-game lineup that PS4 has is going to give 8-bit game fans something to look forward to in the long run. Sony’s upcoming title “The Order: 1886” looks like an interesting game, but there was no gameplay showed at the conference.

Analyzing the differences in each controller PlayStation 4

Little has changed in the evolution of Sony’s iconic PlayStation controller. The new Dualshock 4 controller offers a touchpad interface that allows gamers to interact with their games in a new way.


Wii U The innovative Wii U controller is something that console gamers have not experienced before — a controller that acts as a console. The unit is not sold separately from consoles in the U.S. until games support multiple controllers.

Not sold separately


Xbox One’s controller has a number of vibrating rumble packs that add a dynamic feel to each game on the new console. Gamers can now feel games in an all new way alongside an ergonomic controller.





l WEDNESDAY, DEC. 11, 2013

The Advocate gives readers an early insight into this season’s holiday bargains, Christmas albums, winter fashions and classic activities


Winter fashions highlight style Demands of season require fashionistas to keep cool with hip styles, practicality



For both men and women, UnderArmour is a useful, comfortable and practical gift. The sleek, form-fitting, moisture-wicking performance apparel can come in the form of hooded sweatshirts, T-shirts, sweat pants, warm-up outfits and compression shorts. Skirts, capris and leggings are also offered for women. Even undergarments like sports bras, underwear and socks can be purchased. UnderArmour can be purchased online at or at nearby locations including R.E.I., Blue Sky, Big 5, Champs, Finish Line or Sports Authority. —Veronica Santos

Jackets, vests, hoodies, windbreakers

Holiday movies revive memories, produce spirit of yuletide cheer “A Christmas Story”

“A Charlie Brown Christmas”

“A Rugrats Chanukah”

This is a classic film that will bring back memories of past holidays for any viewer. The story follows 9-year-old Ralphie who yearns for a Red Rider BB gun as a Christmas present from his parents. When he tells everyone he receives the same response from them, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” The movie is a classic and is full of family fit humor that will definitely have some appearances on television channels during the holidays.. —George Morin

The story touches on the over-commercialization and secularism of Christmas. A theme that the peanut gang deals with in the film, and serves to remind viewers of the true meaning of Christmas in the eyes of Charles Shultz. It’s a classic film that will bring nostalgia to most viewers. Even though the movie was made in 1965 it can be a blast for past fans and children who have never experienced the film before.

The “Rugrats Chanukah Special,” is a special episode of Nickelodeon’s animated television series “Rugrats.” The episode tells the story of the Jewish holiday Chanukah through the eyes of children, who imagine themselves as the main characters. Meanwhile, Grandpa Boris and his long-time rival, Sholomo, feud over who will play the lead in the local synagogue’s Chanukah play. It’s a classic with children, that takes a look into Chanukah and takes some time to explain the history of the holiday and why it is important. —George Morin

—George Morin


Chia pet Price: $15-$20 Where: Wal-Mart, Who: Anyone, gardeners

The Super Dooper Reindeer Pooper Price: $4-$7 Where: Rite-Aid, Who: Relatives, children, anyone who finds humor in edible waste products of animals. Why: Nothing says “Happy Holidays” more than a pooping animal, but this is a mess that is easy and tasty to clean. The Super Dooper Reindeer Pooper, a fun little reindeer that poops out edible candy, is a great gift for the holiday season. As cheap as $4 at some locations, this little gift is sure to get some smiles and laughs. So if gag gifts are the avenue of choice, look no further than this. If the reindeer was not enough, he has friends too. Also available are a polar bear and penguin able to perform the same bodily functions. —George Morin

Why: A cheesy gift idea would be a chia pet, a clay pot shaped in the form of your favorite animal, president or cartoon character. When you add seeds it grows “hair” made out of grass. They can be grown indoors all year round and make good projects for kids. They come in a variety of styles and shapes. – George Morin


The old saying that 80 percent of A number of otherwise wonbody heat lost exits through the head derful winter outfits cover from may be untrue, but warm headgear the head up and the shoulders is still an essential part of winter down but leave the neck bare. A fashion. Tailored to compliment any nice, thick scarf remedies color or pattern, the popular New this problem, while Era 5950 fitted caps come in adding another level of countless designs and are a style to one’s ensemwelcome addition to most ble, usually in the price outfits. For even warmer range of $10-$50. options, covers such as From wool to cashbeanies, earflap hats and mere, home-sewn to aviator bombers are sure store-bought, scarves to maintain a higher body can be one of the temperature as the mermost comforting cury begins to plumarticles of winter met. Prices range fashion, bringing from $15-$40. warmth and securi—George ty to their wearers. Morin —Veronica Santos

It is time to bag up all the skirts, shorts and T-shirts and time to pull out the winter jackets, sweaters and windbreakers in order to brave the cold weather. Always popular items, fur-enveloped hoodies, vests and jackets are great for warmth, as well as for appearance. Patterns are big this winter season and jackets, vests and hoodies bearing designs from stripes to hound’s tooth to checkered patterns or plaid are easy to find. The shopper can have some more fun with jackets and vests. Vests can be purchased in a wide array of colors and designs. Buttons, zippers, pockets and belts are all options when shopping and purchasing. Besides the typical warm, puffy jacket that returns each season, trenchcoats for men and peacoats for women are definitely in this season. Jackets vary in price, and can be found anywhere from $30-$80. Vests are fairly cheaper and usually go for $20-$45. Windbreakers are back, but more of a subtle fashion choice. H&M, TRUE or HUF can be great locations for colorful, stylish windbreakers, some in hoodie form while others sport zippers. Prices can range anywhere from $50-$130 for windbreakers. Great locations for any of these items include Tilly’s, Urban Outfitters, Zumiez, Macy’s, The North Face, Hollister, Pac Sun, Abercrombie and Fitch, Forever 21 and Anchor Blue. Apparel can be purchased online as well. —Veronica Santos

As fall gives way to winter, it will be time to bundle up in a warm, comfortable coat. This fashion season, guys and gals cannot go wrong with a stylish trenchcoat or fabulous peacoat. Stores to look out for, in terms of quality and bargains, are Old Navy, Gap, Forever 21 and Burlington Coat Factory, to name a few. For the women, peacoats are coming in an array of colors and cuts. Different designers are offering belts to wrap around the waistline, shorter cuts and more form-fitting styles. Guys, on the other hand, can find traditional navy peacoats, long trench coats and peacoats with zippers and extra pockets. Prices for a fashion-minded coat can run from $45-$120. So if warmness and fashion are one’s priorities this holiday winter season, a good fleece will be in one’s best interest. —George Morin

Skinny jeans A wardrobe staple for this winter is skinny jeans. Although they started becoming popular more than a few years ago, current trends keep them fresh. Skinny jeans can be found in an array of colors, from classic blue to jewel tones to neons. Wild patterns are also in, from checkers to zebra print. They can be dressed up or down, making them the perfect pants for any occasion. Girls’ skinny jeans can be found in a number of stores, from Forever 21 to Hollister to H&M. Prices range from $25-$50, often depending on the color and style. Guys have joined the trend as well. Like their female counterparts, guys can choose from many different labels, such as Levi’s and Empyre. They often start at $35 and can easily go up to $65 and over. With designer denim, prices go up even higher. —George Morin

Gloves, belts and earmuffs

The Advocate’s present list for penny-wise gifters


Winter accessories are also finding a place in this season’s fashions. Belts for guys and girls never go out of fashion and are functional year around. Earmuffs are making a comeback, most being incorporated into hats. These knitted hats hang over the wearer’s ears for warmth and can be worn by men and women. Gloves are practical fashion items, especially for the colder winter days or trips to the snow or city. For women, gloves are more form fitting and can cut off at the wrist or extend down the arm for a more elegant, sophisticated look. Gloves for both sexes come in various colors, patterns and material. Although more designed to be fashionable than functional, fingerless gloves are also gaining popularity. Gloves, earmuff hats and belts can be found at most local apparel stores and rarely exceed $25. —George Morin

Boots As temperatures drop, it is time to stash the flipflops and flats and break out the boots. Boots not only keep one’s feet warm and snug, but can also be extremely stylish. They can go from plain and practical to daring and flashy. Among the better-known boots are the iconic Uggs, as well as Doc Martens. Rain boots are making a comeback as well. They can be found in solid colors as well as eye-catching patterns. Boots of all heights and styles are in. Those in search of comfort can take solace in flat boots, while those more daring can try on a pair of stiletto boots. Ankle and kneehigh boots are popular with women, while lace-up and Western-style boots can appeal to both sexes. Depending on brand and style, boots can range from $35-$600. —George Morin


Marshmallow shooter Price: $14.99-$16.95 Where: Amazon, Who: Young men, co-workers, anyone who enjoys harmless pseudo-violence Why: Some might consider this gadget to be childish, stupid, excessively violent or all three. What these detractors forget, however, is how much joy this “weapon” can bring to a person. After all, not every holiday present allows its owner to pelt people with delicious edibles. One can bestow days, months or years of enjoyment upon the recipient by giving them this simple device. Half the fun lies in finding new ways to use it, whether it is in the form of skill-based games or relentless torturing of loved ones. —George Morin

Gas gift cards Price: $0.01 and up Where: Shell, Chevron, ExxonMobile, 76, BP, Texaco Who: Motorists, teenagers about to get their license, anyone tired of spending one fourth of their paycheck on fuel Why: In a decade where the lows have hovered around 80 or so cents and the highs above $5, few gifts communicate an understanding of mutual frustration better than gas gift cards. Sure, gift cards are often thought to be cold evidence that the gift giver does not know the intended recipient well enough, but such a belief is not always true. Sometimes, one just has to address the necessities in life, particularly when money and love are involved. Even though the price of gas has seen significant decline lately, given the mercurial nature oil barrel market values, there is no telling how long fuel stays under $4. —George Morin

Hot Apple Cider (serves four)

Price: $12.99 Where: Best Buy Who: Parents, grandparents, anyone who enjoys constantly changing their keychain photos

2 bottles of sparkling apple cider such as Martinelli’s 2 cups dark, spiced rum, such as Captain Morgan 2 cinnamon sticks ½ teaspoon nutmeg (powder) ½ teaspoon whole cloves 1 vanilla pod whipped cream extra cinnamon sticks for garnish caramel (optional)

Why: Give a loved one a gift that they can take wherever they go. The Insignia digital photo key chain is perfect for keeping photos of family, pets and other stuff. It can hold up to 40 pictures in JPEG format. It has a 1.8-inch bright LCD screen with a built-in clock and it comes with a USB cable to connect it to your computer to transfer photos. —George Morin

In a medium-sized pot, combine cider, rum, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and cloves. Split the vanilla bean in half, and scrape the inside with the back of a knife. Add the pod and beans into the mixture. Let the ingredients boil to infuse the flavor from the spices. Ladle into a mug and top with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick. For added flavor, drizzle with caramel. —Veronica Santos

Digital photo keychain

Spiced Pear Gin Martini (serves two) 2 cups Trader Joe’s spiced pear cider 1 packaged cup Trader Joe’s pear sauce 1 cup gin ice pear slices

Peppermint Hot Chocolate (serves four) 1 quarter gallon of milk 1 ½ cups peppermint schnapps 5 tablespoons hot cocoa mix 1 bar Ghirardelli dark chocolate whipped cream candy canes

Add cider, pear sauce, gin and ice into a martini shaker. Heat milk in a large pot. Add hot Shake ingredients until cold and pour into a martini glass. Add a thin cocoa mix and stir. Add schnapps. Serve in a mug and slice of pear for garnish. —Veronica Santos add whipped cream. Grate chocolate bar over the whipped cream and add a candy cane for garnish. —Veronica Santos



l WEDNESDAY, DEC. 11, 2013

Winter movies heat up season A combination of blockbusters and Oscar hopefuls fill theaters in December

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Genre: Romance Release Date: Dec. 18

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Rating: R

makes his y (Joaquin Phoenix) r people bl om Tw re do eo Th s for othe Synopsis: nal and touching letter living by writing persowith a new advanced operating system and soon is enamored oiced by Scarlett Johansson) capable of (v guing. named “Samantha” Theodore finds intri at th ce en d to fullig tel in al artifici th a computer designeher. wi p hi ds en fri is th Theodore sees ve for one anot rn into an eventual lo tu ed ne y er ev s hi l fil

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ma Release Da te: Dec. 20

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Rating: PG Synopsis: T -13 h e a d a p ta screen begin tion of Mary out to autho s in 1961 when Walt D Poppins from book to r is work into a P.L. Travers (Emma T ney (Tom Hanks) rea che magical film h o of. Disney tr in which sh mpson) about turning s ie e her s w e a v n e ts ry thin abso soon realize s how perso g he can to change Tra lutely no part best way he n v can make th al the story of Mary Po ers’ mind but e film. ppins is and the


‘The Wolf o

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Rating: PG Synopsis: M -13 a d ea gets coax daughter a su e d in to gest surprise rprise visit in the cou helping a friend pay n her is w h a t they find w try for Christmas, rural town p but the bighen they arr re p a re s fo ive. As the r its annual are revealed sm C out her own and old relationships a hristmas Carnival, new all, re tested wh brand of Ch se ile Madea d crets ristmas spir ishes its to all.

Director: Adam Starring: Will Carell

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rama Genre: D ate: Release D Dec. 20 G-13 Rating: P

‘Grudge Match’

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Rating: R Synopsis Belfort (L : Based off of the e m on a journ onardo DiCaprio), emoir of the same a New Yo ey of rags name, Jord world of c rk orporate b to riches in the afflu stockbroker emba an the investm rokerage d rks ent, exces include M ent firm Stratton O uring the 1990s. Be sively driven a (Jonah Hil rk Hanna (Matthewakmont whose coke lfort heads d l) who are M able to sca cConaughey) and out brokers D m clients for obscure onnie Azoff profits.


Rating: No rati

Cooper, , Bradley le a B n a ti Chris Starring: s m a e pubAmy Ad ased off thn man b d n a s 0 and 198 time, co the 1970s ations of the same ed with an in t e S : is Synops rruption investig ) becomes involv er), who forcale l co oop lic officia enfeld (Christian B iMaso (Bradley C y Adams) to rat s D o Irving R BI agent, Richie ydney Prosser (Amrsey. F S e unhinged ld and his partner members in New J fe a n fi e d ma es Ros brokers an out power

et’ Release D Dec. 25 ate:


Genre: Comed Release Date: Dec. 18

he Legend the first film, “T lar San of ts en ev e th wing e popu Synopsis: Follo on Burgundy (Will Ferrell), th losing his job r R te s af nd fi es ak Continues” an, raising the st (Christina Applegate). sm w ne on si vi Diego tele Veronica former co-host an (Paul Rudd), sports reporter to his wife and ri B an Brick (Steve epid reporter Ron and his intr oechner), and idiotic weatherm oving to New m K Champ (David vitalize their news careers by network. s re Carell) plan to ch the first ever 24-hour new un York City to la

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Starring: Matthew MLeonardo DiCaprio , Jonah Hil cConaugh l, ey

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reers, tive fighting ca “Razor” ec sp re n w o r ) and Henry own for thei Synopsis: Kn cDonnen (Robert De Niro unsettled debt ”M r-old Billy “The Kid r Stallone) have an 30-yea in which Sharp pulled te ch es at lv m y (S planned ns as Sharp their reputatio other due to a against one an before, in turn devastating art) convinces the t out of the nigh ter Dante Slate Jr. (Kevin H settle the grudge. o m me to fighters. Pro out one final ti it e k u d to s aging boxer









BOOKS Contra Costa College Bookstore textbook buyback Visit our website: Thursday and Friday, Dec. 12-13.........9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 16-17........9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18...............................9 a.m. to 3 p.m. PHOTO ID REQUIRED We pay up to 50%, no matter where you bought your books. Including books purchased online. Bring all CDs, tapes and supplemental materials with your textbooks.

All textbook rentals are due by 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 18


l WEDNESDAY, DEC. 11, 2013



After 25 years animated film continues to astound, inspire, remains relevant to today’s society By Lorenzo Morotti EDITORIAL CARTOONIST


wenty-five years ago, “Akira” proved that animated films could rival top budget movies by blending a rich story with astonishing artwork that has influenced countless people since its release. Set in the year 2019, “Akira” takes place in the city of NeoTokyo. In the city’s history, 31 years before the film takes place, a mysterious explosion engulfed and destroyed the city, causing World War III. Neo-Tokyo is filled with corruption. While leaders battle over the future of this dystopia, kids in hyper-violent motorcycle gangs run the streets. The future of this overpopulated, cyberpunk dystopia is grim. Shotaru Kaneda is leader of the Capsules, one of the hundreds of motorcycle gangs that fight for territory in Neo-Tokyo. Egotistical, but loyal to his friends, Kaneda is in front of the pack as he rides his iconic red motorcycle. One of the opening scenes of the film shows the Capsules violently riding down, and presumably murdering members of a rival gang, the Clowns The Capsules chase the fleeing Clowns through back alleys, tight corners and the congested streets of a deteriorating downtown district. Tetsuo Shima rides ahead to attack the remaining members of the Clowns. Tetsuo collides with a mysterious, super-powered child who is being hunted. The collision leaves Tetsuo unconscious and in control of mysterious powers. The military, led by Colonel Shikishima and Dr. Onishi arrive to kidnap Tetsuo, and

experiment on him. Kaneda’s search for his friend Tetsuo reveals much of NeoTokyo society, and leaves him with many questions. This opening sequence has been heralded by many as one of the most beautiful scenes ever animated. The violence and action all has a sickening realism to it that translates to the viewer exactly how hopeless and deranged life in Neo-Tokyo is. “Akira” had an unprecedented budget of $11 million and generated $80 million in box office sales worldwide. It has been mentioned in many best movie lists such as Time magazine’s top 5 anime’s and has a place on Empire’s 100 Best Films of World Cinema. The animation is seamless. Every scene is unprecedented detailed. There are no still characters on screen. Unlike other animations, where artists either limit the number of characters on screen or restrict action to only the main character in a scene, “Akira” never has a character on screen not taking some action. And in some scenes hundreds of characters are animated. “Akira” left viewers in awe. The detail given to individual characters is breathtaking. Creators recorded the lip movements of the voice actors prior to animating the scene, and used it to make sure the voices matched the lip movement flawlessly. No other animation in 1988 showed so much attention to detail. It was completely unheard of at the time. The art strays away from western influenced big eyes

and vibrant hair color that has come to saturate anime in modern day. This style is non-existent in the film. All the characters actually look Japanese and it adds a level of credibility to the film. It paved the way for anime becoming a serious art medium in western culture. References to “Akira” have been made in popular American cartoons like “South Park,” “The Power-Puff Girls,” and “Robot Chicken.” “Akira” has become so popular that hip-hop star Kanye West’s music video for “Stronger” recreates scenes from the movie, such as West emerging injured from his hospital room to do battle with soldiers. The main characters symbolize conflicting ideologies that the world has had to deal with since western influence has spread following World War II. The spread of this culture is symbolized through the opening explosion, an obvious analogy to the United States’ use of the atomic bomb. Dr. Onishi literally translates to “great west.” Akira, which translates to mean ”bright; intelligent one,” is analogous to God. When Akira destroys Neo-Tokyo scientists try to understand his power by dissecting the child and studying his remains. Unable to comprehend how this boy was capable of such destruction they locked them away. The struggle to understand the power that lies dormant in Tetsuo is symbolic of man’s struggle

with the concept of God. Onishi, representing not only western society but also science, wishes to understand where God (Akira) gets his power. Shikishima, representing the military, has given orders to execute God if his power cannot be controlled. Onishi does not agree with the colonel’s order. The struggle of these two over Akira and Tetsuo leads to the complete annihilation of society. God was not concerned if humanity understood him or not. Conflict between two life-long friends in the film is representative of the differences between the desire for power and the wealth that comes from friendship. “Wise man,” is what the name Tetsuo translates to. He is plagued with visions of death, chaos and the constant repetition of the name Akira in his mind. It compels Tetsuo to search for his tormentor, even if it means leaving a wake of pain in his path. Tetsuo’s search for Akira is allegory to the three wise men searching for the Messiah. Kaneda is “wealthy,” not with money, but through his compassion and devotion to those he loves. The film repeats the theme that, within everyone, resides the ultimate power of God. Inside everyone is “Akira,” a power not meant to be understood. The power is shown to be destructive in the hands of those ripe with jealousy and resentment. But in the hands of one who accepts that the world is greater than themselves, who is honest and compassionate, it can be used to save the world from itself.

Lost Treasure

The Advocate 12-11  

The Contra Costa College's student ran newspaper in San Pablo, Calif.