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VOL. 101, NO. 16




$450 million bond awaits vote District board trustees push funding


“There’s no better way to help education than to fund the future of community colleges,” Associated Students Union President Ysrael Condori said about the district’s $450 million June bond measure. The Contra Costa Community College District Governing Board trustees voted unanimously on Feb. 26 to place the $450 million bond measure on the June ballot. The board has spent the past year looking

measure in June

for different ways to fund long-range renovation plans for the 65-year-old district’s aging “When you look at the work campuses. we’ve done (with the previous The estimated cost to finish the second and third phases of the Master Plan for Contra Costa, bond measures), we’re transDiablo Valley and Los Medanos colleges is about $700 million, District Chief Facilities forming our campuses, but more Planner Ray Pyle said. work needs to be done.” Governing Board President John Marquez said, “When you look at the work we’ve done John Marquez, (with the previous bond measures), we’re transGoverning Board president forming our campuses, but more work needs to be done.” The district board approved a $120 million The district board approved two similar bond measure in 2002 and a $286.5 million measure measures in the recent past. QSEE BOND: Page 4

in brief ŠThe bond

measure will fund construction and retrofitting costs for all three district colleges. Š Residents will vote for the bond in June.

Program provides support, quality STEM sees increase in majors, transfer rates By Jose Jimenez STAFF WRITER


All together now — Los Angeles City College students Lisa Bao (center) and Maureen Davis (right) march toward the state Capitol during the annual March in March rally for education in Sacramento on Monday.



Students assemble at state Capitol to lobby, rally for accessible education By Lorenzo Morotti ASSOCIATE EDITOR

SACRAMENTO — Students from up and down the state gathered in the Raley Field parking lot in Sacramento, beneath a blanket of gray clouds, on Monday to march on the state Capitol state Capitol. for the annual “March in March.” Police on bikes and horses shut The annual march is for students down the bridge that traverses the to voice their conSacramento River, cerns about the Highway 5 and “Access to educafuture of higher the eight blocks education in of downtown tion should be equal. California. streets leading Education is a right CODY CASARES/ THE ADVOCATE Moments to the Capitol to We are here — Students march toward the before the march — not a commodity. No allow the marchCapitol steps during the annual March in began, students ers to proceed March rally for education in Sacramento on could be seen one should be able to tell without automoMonday. hastily preparing me that I cannot better biles impeding protest signs for their progress. myself because I don’t the march. Multiple The Of the 110 The Academic speakers greeted have enough money. approximate California comSenate for the marchers once Education should be number of stumunity colleges California they arrived at the C o m m u n i t y Capitol. Most dents in attenwere reprefree.” Colleges put the speakers focused dance at the sented “March in March” on what can be Michael Greenberg, march event together done to increase Santa Monica Community College student to advocate for the funding being equality in higher channeled into Estimated Miles education. California’s community college sysstudents from were covered by Only a few Contra Costa College tem. students were in attendance, including Many of the signs showed how, Contra Costa protesters from Associated Students Union members despite the passage of Proposition 30 College who Raley Field to Ysrael Condori and Kirsten Kwon. in November 2012, higher education participated the state Capitol Students met around 10 a.m. to pre- in California is expensive and services pare for the march to the steps of the QSEE MARCH: Page 4




sports X pages 6-7

Stepping up to the plate

Spring ball clubs prepare for conference play

campus beat X page 5

Athletics Promoting future leaders


spotlight X page 12

Recounting a ‘role model’ Remembering times with Morris ‘Morrie’ Turner



Engineering majors have been increasing and excelling within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program under the support structure of the 2001 presidential academic award-winning Center for Science Excellence (CSE) on campus. The number of students declaring themselves as engineering majors has increased by 17 percent since 2010 among students in the CSE at Contra Costa College. Currently, engineering majors associated with the CSE are at 42 percent and that number will only continue to grow, CSE program Sidharta director Setiati Sidharta said. The mission of the CSE Program is to provide students strong director of academic support in STEM the Center areas, thus enhancing their for Science academic experiences and Excellence better preparing them for a which seamless transfer to a four- focuses on year college, Dr. Sidharta the STEM said. program “Our vision is to educate, and its stutrain and support more stu- dents. dents,” she said. “Nowadays more and more mechanical and civil engineering opportunities are coming back in a big way.” STEM classes include, but are not limited to, astronomy, biological sciences, chemistry, earth science, engineering, mathematics and physics. The STEM program is currently serving a total of 172 students, and has served more than 800 students overall, she said. Chemical engineering major Kevin Hernandez said that the STEM program and the professors affiliated with it have been tremendously helpful. Civil engineering major Ramon Valencia agrees. “This program helps out by providing internships and seminars and by encouraging students to keep striving for the best,” Valencia said. Both Hernandez and Valencia are in their second semester at CCC and agree that the CSE program helps out students substantially. Part of the Natural, Social and Applied Sciences Division at CCC, the STEM program is housed within the Physical Sciences Building. PS-109 is regularly filled with students taking advantage of every resource the CSE has to offer. The CSE is committed to providing students a safe learning environment with academic and career mentoring by professors and professionals, including faculty led workshops in chemistry, physics and mathematics, peer tutoring



2 THE ADVOCATE Quotable “The unregulated voice isn’t as dangerous to the republic as is the silenced voice.” George A. Dunst lawyer 1997 George Morin editor-in-chief Cody McFarland Lorenzo Morotti Rodney Woodson associate editors Brian Boyle news editor Mike Thomas sports editor Veronica Santos scene editor Qing Huang Christian Urrutia photo editors Janae Harris assistant photo editor Paul DeBolt faculty adviser Staff writers Fanisha Ayatch Joseph Bennet Jamah Butler Nina Cestaro Daniel Cifuentes Sharrell Duncan Florinda Hershey Ryan Holloway Sinoti Iosua Jose Jimenez Van Ly Ryan Margason Manning Peterson Stephen Son Mark Wassberg Sean Whatley Madisen William Staff photographers Cody Casares Jordan Khoo 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, 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 accent.advocate@ Editorial policy Columns and editorial cartoons are the opinion of individual writers and artists and not that of The Advocate. Editorials reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board, which is made up of student editors.



WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5, 2014 VOL. 101, NO. 16 L

Editorial Activism necessary Future of education requires student voice


ven with the passage of Proposition 30, we still need to keep pushing for education. Community colleges are only guaranteed to receive funding for education for the first year of the law. After that, the money will go into the state’s general fund. As part of a statewide rally for education, hundreds of students from all three state systems of higher education marched to the steps of the state Capitol Monday. In preparation for the March in March demonstration, the Associated Students Union at Contra Costa College hosted two workshops to get students ready for the protest. On Monday morning only two students from CCC drove to Sacramento. The lack of student activism is a disappointment for the college. It is up to us, the students, to make certain that we do not lose our voices, or the necessary tools to craft our future. Though the annual rally may have come and gone, we cannot afford to wait until next year to start advocating for equal and affordable access to public education. Before we begin to expand our ideas outside of the community, we must recognize that there are a few things we can do to fight for education. First, students can take the initiative to write letters to their legislators. We can express complaints or push new initiatives on the ballot. Among the rights protected by the First Amendment is the right to assemble. By organizing and attending campus-wide and local demonstrations, we can shed our fears of self-expression and openly voice our opinions, worries and ideas for change alongside others. Ideas such as the budget proposal made by Gov. Jerry Brown, which is aimed at increasing the funding available to California community colleges, provide a perfect opportunity for students to write to legislators to urge them to pass the budget in its entirety. In May, the Legislature will review the proposal and, after making revisions, it will be voted on by July 1. That provides plenty of time for students and the community to speak out and push for the proposed budget. We can also turn to fundraising to support and use programs on campus. For example, the proceeds that will come from the annual All You Can Eat Crab Feed, hosted by the CCC athletic department, will benefit sports programs at the college. If the government is unwilling to provide more money, we must be selfsufficient. If we fail to speak out and make our voices heard, nothing will change. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.


N Parking

Game plan necessary for being on time


s I made my second pass of Shane Drive in search of parking early Wednesday morning, my eyes darted back and forth from the line of parked cars to my dashboard’s clock. The digital readout told me that if I didn’t find parking soon, I’d be late for class yet again. I ended up parking on Canterbury Drive, an offshoot of Shane that many late-rising students without campus parking permits know all too well. It’s usually the only street with available parking after 9 a.m. on weekdays, and its geography requires a 10 minute walk to campus. I stepped out of my car and into the rain at the exact minute my journalism class was scheduled to begin. What was worse, I forgot a waterproof jacket, so not only was I going to be walking into class late, but I’d be doing it soaked to the bone. Had I bought a parking permit, my situation would have been a little simpler, but still would involve a decent hike from the back of Lot 10 up to the Applied Arts Building in the rain. My lack of foresight, however, is dwarfed by that of the college’s. Contra Costa College is currently split in two by an enormous hole that will one day be the site of the college’s Campus Center and a three-story, state-of-the-art classroom building. As a result of construction, Lots 5 and 7 were fenced off to house equipment, resulting in the loss of

All of my classes are in the AA Building, with the exception of a PE class on the track, so getting to and from classes can be irksome, considering the two locations are on opposite ends of campus. For parking permit hold43 parking spots. ers, the largest lots are 2 and Also, 15 spaces in Lot 3 10, which reside on the far are now unavailable to stuwest and east ends of camdents. They were converted pus, respectively. to staff only parking. So, if you park For students in either lot and with parking perAlso have classes in the mits, parking is a Liberal Arts, Art, coveted treasure, prepare to Music or sciences as it is for those buildings, prepare without permits familiarize for a hike. Also and neighboring prepare to familresidents caught in iarize yourself the college’s traf- yourself with the detours fic. construction has A multi-story with the presented, and plan parking garage accordingly. should have been detours I recommend included in the students familiarplans for the curconstruction ize themselves rent construction with the college’s project. has presented, layout, and straWhat’s the tegically choose point of erecting classes that can be new buildings and plan quickly accessed to accommodate from wherever more students and accordingly. they plan to park, entice them to on or off campus. choose CCC for college if And set your alarms 20 there isn’t enough parking to accommodate the existing minutes earlier if you’re like me and have issues waking student body? up in the morning. I know when I feel like We can keep our fingers leaving campus in the downcrossed for a parking garage, time before my next class, I but waking up earlier is the usually abstain, to my displeasure, as I remind myself only way to combat our parking woes for now. of the 10-minute walk off campus and up Shane Drive. Cody McFarland is an There is no guarantee that associate editor of The my parking space will still be available upon return, and Advocate. Contact him at may result in an even longer cmcfarland.theadvocate@ walk back to campus.



Should students be alerted of a crime occurring on campus?

“Yes, so we can feel safe and know what’s going on around campus.” Alex Alvarez communications

“I think text alerts would be more effective. Students always use their phones, so that method could work.”

“They will be aware of what’s going on around campus, but I would like to know the good and bad things that go on here.”

Jackie Alejandre

Luis Mendoza


administration of justice

“If students feel like it’s necessary to know what happens on campus they should have the right to.”

“It lets us know what’s going on on campus. It will also help people who are taking night classes.”

“Yes, because it brings awareness and helps students be cautious about what’s going around campus.”

Dan Simmons

Christine Gabriel

Monte Tucker

computer and communications technology

administration of justice


FORUM N Medication



N Racism

Light or dark skin, we’re people


Cannabis could be used as treatment


n Jan. 23, National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell said in an interview that he would consider letting NFL players use legal medical cannabis to treat concussions. Concussions have been a huge issue over the past three football seasons, but the league started to take notice when former San Diego Charger Junior Seau committed suicide, shooting himself in the chest, in May 2012. When his autopsy came back it was determined that he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is a progressive degenerative disease to the brain caused by repetitive trauma to the head. CTE disease was also found in the brains of other football players in subsequent autopsies. Coincidentally, Goodell made this announcement after both Super Bowl teams’ states had legalized the recreational use of cannabis. Goodell’s intent, however, was to start a discussion about whether cannabis can help in the treatment of concussions. Two related questions might be will its use help prevent retired football players from committing suicide, or even help current players have longer professional football careers? According to, postconcussion treatments such as the ingesting of cannabis, can activate the body’s cannabinoid receptors, which leads to the creation of neuroprotective assistances that can help heal the brain after a head trauma injury like concussions. Cannabinoid receptors are found in the brain, and the receptors tell the brain when it is hungry. Cannabis can also help players with a lot of things other than just concussions. Cannabis has been shown to have pain killing effects. It can be a better option than using pain medication, which can lead to addiction or cause more damage. There have been numerous professional athletes who have used cannabis and made an impact on the sport that they played. Olympic gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps smoked cannabis during his free time, and shattered records. Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all time, winning 22 Olympic medals total, with 18 gold. San Francisco Giants’ pitcher Tim Lincecum is a two-time Cy Young Award winner and a two-time World Series Champion. He managed to do so while using cannabis. After his first World Series title he announced that he stopped using cannabis. Since then his effectiveness on the mound has declined. Cannabis gets a bad rap because it is illegal in most states. However alcohol has been the cause of crime, health problems and deaths, and is completely legal for those over the age of 21. As more of the reality of what happens when one sustains a concussion becomes clear, the game has to change. The NFL should adopt anything with the promise of helping its athletes have a life filled with health and dignity. Mike Thomas is the sports editor of The Advocate. Contact her at mthomas.


s a young man of African descent in the 21st century, the struggle for equality does not seem to be as external as it once. Instead, the struggle has become a much more internal thing. I have seen many positive strides in my life in regards to race relations. The America I grew up in is not the America where intolerance was widely accepted and promoted. People of different races are welcomed and encouraged to interact and engage with each other. My parents always taught me to live the dreams of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to treat others as I would have them treat me. Following this advice throughout my life has allowed me to become a much more open-minded individual, making friends with people of varying backgrounds and experiencing their cultures. Of course, nothing is perfect and racism still exists on

argument is not new, but it certainly does not need to continue. When my grandparents tell me their stories of marching for civil rights and the end of the Vietnam War, of the gatherings that united all shades of black and white and even other some level in this country, races, I continuously conbut I do believe things will template on what made my only get better. However, people regress over time. in the case of me, and other The situation we face African-Americans, a lot of the work needs to be accom- as a community does not allow us to turn against plished on our own. At this point in American each other. Light skin and dark skin means nothing history, the AfricanAmerican’s biggest opponent when so many black males are victims of homicides or is not another group. Our incarcerated for really nothbiggest enemy is ourselves. ing other than the shade of The African-American their skin. community has constantly Our skin tone is null and found faults and abnorvoid when our women are malities within our own becoming infected with skin, cultures and lifestyles HIV and AIDS at an alarmand historically have turned ing rate nationwide and are against each other. being left to raise children Once upon a time, the mottos were “black power,” on their own. These are learned behavand “black is beautiful.” But iors. Continuing these cycles this has degenerated into an argument over which is bet- will only continue to harm the African-American comter, light or dark skin. The


munity. Labeling each other and bickering over superficial differences only further harms the community as a whole. My lighter skin tone does not make me better than anyone darker than me, and a darker skin tone certainly does not make anyone worse. We are all equals with our roots in the motherland, and we can embrace who we are without deriding others. There is nothing wrong with being dark with full lips, a big nose, and a head full of kinky hair. If you are mixed, that is OK too. I do not know all the answers nor am I an expert on race relations, but the plight of African-Americans would greatly be helped if we could stop fighting about each other’s differences and learn to accept them. Jamah Butler is a staff writer for The Advocate. Contact him at

Drought doubts Human element true force behind climate change

average — 3.2 degrees higher than the 20th century average. For five years running, the nation’s By Rodney Woodson ASSOCIATE EDITOR degree average has been more than the 20th century average. The year 2012 marked the 15th he National Drought driest year in the nation’s history Mitigation Center released a with rainfall 2.5 inches below the report stating that at least 97 century average, while 2013 was one percent of California has been expeof the wettest in the nation’s history. riencing some sort of drought since However, for Californians, it was the March 26 of last year. Currently 90 percent of the state is driest ever. With the average temperature in 2013 being 60 degrees, 8 in, at least, a “severe drought” status degrees above the century average, — 22 percent of the state is facing it is not far fetched to think that a “severe” drought conditions while warmer climate may be leading to the 14 percent is suffering from “exceptional” drought status and a whopping lack of rainfall in the state. Every few years the 54 percent face “extreme” drought Intergovernmental Panel on Climate conditions. Change (IPCC) meets to review the The National Oceanic and latest findings regarding global warmAtmospheric Administration rank drought conditions as follows; abnor- ing. Scientists agree that many causes mally dry, moderate drought, severe contribute to global warming — most drought, extreme drought and excepbeing greenhouse gases emitted by tional drought. humans. Others include methane California has suffered through released from landfills and agriculture nine multi-year droughts since the (mostly from the digestive systems 1900s, none longer than the eightyear “Dust-Bowl Drought” from 1928 of animals), nitrous oxide from fertilizers, gases used for refrigeration, to 1935. Other significant droughts, industrial processes and the loss of 1976-1977 and 1987-1992, also forests. occurred, which forced California’s As humans roam the Earth and government to restructure water condo the things that we do on a normal servation and irrigation techniques, basis, it seems that we are ushering in procedures and equipment. our own demise. It would seem that In light of the current California the answer to all problems leading water shortage Gov. Jerry Brown to global temperature balance would recently appropriated funds to help be to either decrease the amount of reduce the crunch of the current people roaming the Earth, or to stop drought. On Saturday, Brown signed into law a $687 million drought relief doing what we know to do as humans. What good is the human race if the package, $549 million coming from planet is deteriorating by the hands recently approved bills SB-103 and of its smartest creatures? Could it be SB-104, which reforms the recent that humanity is the biggest race of budget to appropriate funds to assist parasites, eating away at the world’s in the state’s water needs, according resources at an alarming rate? to the governor’s office. The U.S. census information shows Types of droughts include meteorothat one child is born every eight seclogical (a measure of departure of preond while one person dies every 12 cipitation from normal), agricultural — that’s three people (the amount of moisture in the soil born for every does not meet the needs of a particutwo who lar crop), hydrological (when water supplies are low) and socioeconomic (when water shortages start to affect people). With California seeing its third driest January in the last 100 years, in terms of rainfall, the cause of the shortage seems to be meteorological. What causes meteorological droughts? Climate change. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ranks last year as the driest in the state’s history, referring to precipitation. In 2012 precipitation was near normal, however, just as in 2013 the state’s temperature was above the normal average. During the same year, the U.S. experienced the warmest year to date with a 55.3 degrees Fahrenheit daily


die, leaving a difference of +1 human per 24 seconds in the nation. To better show the significance, the current population of the U.S. is about 317.6 million compared to the 316.1 million people roaming the nation as of July 4, 2013 — that’s more than 1.5 million people born in the U.S. over the last eight months and 187,500 people born in the U.S. each month over that span. As things go wrong in our nation and on our planet, it is only natural for humans to do what is necessary to survive — such as what Gov. Brown is attempting to do to fix the current drought issues. But, there lies the biggest issue of global warming, and its causes and effects — if the solution to helping prevent global warming is known would it be more beneficial for Brown to use that $687 million toward another solution? Past droughts have ushered in more and more water conservation technology and legislation and still, today, the state is experiencing the exact same conditions as well as taking the same steps that were taken in the past to keep California wet. Whether or not the current California drought continues remains to be seen. Knowing that humanity can have a hand in changing the climate, which affects our survival, basically puts the fate of our kind in our hands, so to speak. If history repeats itself we may expect hotter days in the nation’s forecast.




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March | Students protest on Capitol steps

fer and repeatability were another topic on perspectives but are all standing here today at California colleges and universities continue the lips of many people in the crowd. Some — look around you. Our diversity is evident.� Receive breaking news and to be cut. students who participated in the march were He said there are 2.4 million community sports updates by following Michael Greenberg, a Santa Monica allowed into the state Capitol to talk to their college students at 112 campuses in California The Advocate on Twitter and Community College student, was the first area legislators. and that these students will be the ones who Facebook. speaker once the students had reached the A student government member from San continue to drive the state’s economy. Capitol steps. The heavy gray clouds began Bernardino Valley College, Tiffany Guzman, There was much talk in the crowd about Gov. releasing water drops and umbrellas opened up said it was her second time attending the Jerry Brown’s rejection of the oil severance tax, on cue. march. SB 241, which would have raised $2 billion for “Access to education should be equal,� She said she had to come after being moti- California’s “Higher Education Fund.� Greenberg said from behind the podium. vated to become politically involved with issues SB 241 would impose an oil and gas sever“Education is a right — not a commodity. No that affect colleges in California. ance tax on consumers if passed. The collected one should be able to tell me that I cannot bet“You now need to have an educational plan tax would be placed into the “CHEF� and be Q LEADERSHIP ter myself because I don’t have enough money. ready, but it is hard when you have one coun- distributed between CSUs, UCs, community Education should be free.� selor to every 1,500 students,� she said. colleges and the Department of Parks and Soon after he began, Greenberg was muffled The 2013-14 ASCCC President Aaron Recreation in California. by the bellow of student voices from the crowd Bielenberg spoke from the steps of the state The bill requires a two-thirds majority vote as it moved onto the streets, crossing the Tower Capitol as well. from each house of the Legislature to pass and Bridge into the downtown area. “All these students are from different back- the governor’s signature to become California The African-American Male The state’s new regulations regarding trans- grounds, have different ideologies and different law. Leadership workshop is set for Thursday at 2:30 p.m. in LA-100. The Contra Costa College African-American Staff Association is working toward creating a better environment that is conducive to learning. The workshop will focus on Q FROM: Page 1 addressing the educational, socio- and presentations by actual field cultural and emotional needs of professionals, Sidharta said. African-American students and The center also arranges acastaff. demic field trips to venues with The group focuses on provid- scientific or technological emphaing individual expertise to encour- sis and provides students informaage scholarship opportunities for tion on scholarships and internship African-American students. opportunities, she said. For more information contact In 2010, biological sciences Athletic Director John Wade at majors were the largest group 510-215-4804. participating in the CSE program, making up 43 percent of CSE students, while math majors were the lowest at 4 percent, Sidharta said. Q PLAY Today, the number of math majors in the program is even lower at 1 percent, and biological, physical and computer science majors in the program have declined as well, she said. The drama department will host “Many students choose majors the play “In The Blood� by Suzan- because of the potential job that Lori Parks and directed by Tyrone awaits them,� she said. Sidharta said she attributes the Davis in the Knox Center from March 12-15. decline in mathematics majors to Tickets are $10 for students and a notion among students that jobs CHRISTIAN URRUTIA / THE ADVOCATE $15 for general admission. All per- in the field are limited. But that Focused — Engineering majors Diego Garica (left) and Yosimy Cortes (right) work on a circuitry formances will begin at 8 p.m. should not discourage them from problem for their Engineering 230 class in PS-109 on Monday. For more information please taking the opportunity to be part of contact the Knox Center at 510- such a great and diverse program University of California campuses, CCC — Asian-American, African“There is an increasing Latino 215-4950. at CCC. almost double that of the remaining American and Hispanics. population,� she said, adding that “Think about it. If someone 38 percent who went to California Hispanics finished second at Hispanics are now the highest ethmajors in mathematics, the dif- State Universities. 20 percent of enrollees, surpass- nicity group enrolled in the CSE ficulty of landing a job decreases,� The CSE-STEM program meets ing African-Americans, primarily program at CCC. Q CITATIONS she said. “Yes, examples of great all requirements in the distribution due to a late push supported by the At the end of January, Hispanics careers include a statistician or a of transferring students to UCs and assistance of the Hispanic-Serving made up 45 percent of the ethnic math teacher at the college level; CSUs. Institution (HSI). distribution in the CSE. however, that in itself requires a At the end of 2010, Asians led the HSI works in collaboration with Sidharta said that she values the master’s degree in math.� all-time enrollment in the program the STEM program, Sidharta said, diversity of the program and the Students can have their parking Last year, 62 percent of trans- at 38 percent, of the three major and that is where the “big money� community that CCC serves. citations that have been issued on ferring STEM students went to minority ethnic groups enrolled at is for Latinos. campus appealed by picking up a citation appeal request form from ADVERTISEMENT Police Services. On the form, students must give a brief description of why they would like to appeal the citation. Do not send any money with the request to appeal. Include copies of Q FROM: Page 1 information detailing the explana- in 2006. As a result, Contra Costa hom- “I’m not comfortable with tion of why you are disputing the eowners now pay $13 each year per every 50-year-old facilities. We citation. $100,000 in assessed home value to fund Upon receiving the citation, stu- these bond measures. need to fix (these facilidents have up to 21 calender days If voters approve the $450 million to appeal it. bond measure, that amount will increase ties). We’re seeing a payoff Failure to pay or appeal the cita- to $25 for homeowners. with our previous bond tion within 21 calender days may To pass, the bond measure would   result in additional late penalties require 55 percent measures. I think we need being assessed. voter approval. A sur- to support our colleges and Repeated unpaid parking citavey of 1,200 likely tions may result in the vehicle voters conducted by fixing them up is what we being towed and/ or impounded. EMV Research in (district trustees) need to Please forward your citation, October 2013 found completed agency review form that 67 percent would do.� and any supporting documents to: be in favor of a $450 Contra Costa Community College Marquez million bond, while 60 John Nejedly, CHANGE THE WORLD FROM HERE District, c/o Citation Processing percent would be in Governing Board trustee Center, PO Box 22814, Denver, favor of a $650 million bond measure. CO 80222-2814. The survey shows how the colleges in Projects on the table include seisIt can take anywhere from 4-6 the district all poll favorably with voters. mic retrofitting of existing buildings and    weeks to receive a response. The colleges’ approval ratings are new campus center and classroom build

     For more information about the especially high within their own service ings at CCC, renovating the Engineering     citation appeal request form, con- areas (wards), EMC Research employee Technology, Music and Performing tact Police Services at 510-236- Alex Evans said. Arts buildings at DVC and new Student Ä‘ Small Classes Ä‘Financial aid and scholarships available 2820. The bond’s proceeds would improve Activities and Performing Arts buildings Ä‘Outstanding faculty with academic Ä‘Classes start in January and August accessibility for those with disabilities, at LMC. and real world expertise campus grounds and classroom and lab The bond measure funding would also    Ä‘Convenient campuses in Santa 925.867.2711 technology. go toward the first stage of a new campus Rosa, San Jose, Pleasanton, Q WORKSHOP $$$#!# !" and Sacramento “I’m not comfortable with 50-year-old in Brentwood and expansion of DVC’s facilities,â€? board Trustee John Nejedly San Ramon Center. said. “We need to fix (these facilities). “Being a Richmond resident, the youth We’re seeing a payoff with our previous don’t really have a place to go (to colbond measures. I think we need to sup- lege),â€? Condori said. “We need to fund port our colleges and fixing them up is local colleges and make them the places State Assemblywoman Nancy what we (district trustees) need to do.â€? our youth want to go to.â€? Skinner’s office staff will be on campus to help sign students up ADVERTISEMENT for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday. The staff will be in the Student Services Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Q FROM: Page 1


Event focuses on personal growth

STEM | Engineering majors push forward

‘In The Blood’ performance set

Tickets can be challenged

Bond | $450 million bond



Health insurance help offered


CrimeWatch Thursday, Feb. 20: Two students got into a physical altercation outside of the Applied Arts Building. Saturday, Feb. 22: A male student fell and injured his head. The student was transported to Doctors Medical Center for medical treatment. — George Morin







Leadership event informs athletes By Sean Whatley STAFF WRITER

“Who are you? What are you good at? What do you want to become?� These were the three questions guest speaker Dr. Mark Robinson posed to a room full of student-athletes during his Athletic Identity symposium. The symposium was part of the AfricanAmerican Male Leadership workshop and was held in GA-50 on Thursday. The event started off with executive director of the Scholastic Interest Group, Malik Wade, sharWade ing his history — that of an athlete who, through some He is the bad decisions as a young athletic man, was unable to live director up to his athletic and acaof the coldemic potential. lege and Malik Wade urged the helps facili- athletes to establish themtate these selves as individuals with events to talents other than sports. transform “Don’t let people see athletes. you as just a football player,� Malik Wade said. “Academics are what will sustain you for the rest of your life.� Before he started, Dr. Robinson opened the room up by joking with and relating to the athletes. He talked about his experience as a student-athlete and his decision to pursue his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees. “I chose it because I knew that’s where the women were,� Robinson said. Contra Costa College Athletic Director John Wade said, “We want to provide a relaxing environment. They’re not getting graded so there’s no pressure and there will be food, so they’ll be more relaxed and more receptive.� During the workshop Robinson talked about the way athletes perceive themselves

“We want to get them early — to give them stuff that might not sink in or resonate now, but it gives them something they can refer back to.� John Wade,

athletic director

through various stages of their athletic lives and careers, which he calls athletic identity. He said athletes may exhibit behaviors that are adverse to achieving success outside of sports and even fail to consider life after sports. “Entitlement is the root problem in athletes,� Dr. Robinson said. He also spoke on unpreparedness — student-athletes may lack a definitive voice or sense of self when entering the workforce. “As players on a team we have a ‘we’ mentality. When you go in for a job the employer wants to know about you,� Robinson said. The workshop was informative according to CCC football player Zeeno Williams. “It brought attention to life after football. I learned I can’t put all my eggs in one basket,� Williams said. The goal of the AAML workshop was to get the students focused and thinking about a career and life path outside athletics, John Wade said. “ We want to get these young men thinking beyond where they’re at. They’re not going to play forever,� Wade said. Robinson advised that all students should work on building networks that they can gravitate toward. “Networks can be valuable. People you go to school with may become presidents and CEOs,� Robinson said. “These relationships can help get you in the door (when you apply for a job).� Wade said that the AAML group wants to get athletes involved in the process of choosing a career path. “We want to get them early — to give them stuff that might not sink in or resonate now, but it gives them something they can refer back to,� he said.


Here’s the information — Dr. Mark Robinson, a development consultant, introduces his “Personal Player Development� program in GA-50 on Thursday.





Š 2014 National University 13929

Dr. Robinson pushes for professionalism




3/26 5:30PM At the webinar, get all of your questions answered, like:




JFKU. edu




An Affiliate of The National University System | JFK University is a nonprofit University accredited by WASC .

Š 2014 JFK University 13908








Baseball Preview | 2014

Softball Preview | 2014

New coach, team aim to change momentum

Comets start slow, hope to rebound

Squad flounders in opening of the 2014 season, look to improve in conference play

The baseball team improving slightly, despite a 2-8 beginning to its season By Ryan Margason STAFF WRITER

Coming off of one of its worst records in school history last season (4-28-1 overall, 3-21 in the Bay Valley Conference), the Comets baseball team plans to salvage its name and improve its standing in 2014. The Comets have not made it to the postseason in 20 consecutive seasons, but hope to make it to the post season this time around. “Last season we were young and lacked the play (level) of college baseball,” coach Marvin Webb said. “Now (the team has) more experienced sophomores on the field and an improved pitching staff.” While starting pitching may require the least amount of work, the bullpen certainly has much room for improvement, as does the team’s hitting. “The strongest point this season is the starting pitching,” freshman left-handed relief pitcher William Donaldson said. “We’re showing lots of hard work and dedication, taking positive steps toward making us better as a team.” The most important thing that the Comets are working on this season is hitting, Webb said. The baseball team’s overall batting average last season was .227, with an on-base percentage of .296, and the squad only managed to hit two home runs all season. Having already played 11 games this current season, with a slightly lower batting average of .222 but a better on base percentage of .305, the baseball team has already shown signs of improvement. “We are excited this year,” Webb said. “We have been practicing daily and doing a lot of scrimmaging.” The whole squad plans on practicing long and hard to improve its statistics and overall record. Sophomore infielder JR Davis has a current batting average of .343 and is currently ranked ninth in the BVC in batting. Sophomore outfielder Tyrone Bowie has a slugging percentage of .548 and is ranked second in the BVC. A key player on the team, Bowie is set to exercise his talents as a strong hitter this season. Davis said, “We’ve put in lots of tee (ball) work and hitting ground balls before and after every practice. I’m also (practicing) making contact, swinging at the ball, hitting grounders and making sure everything is on point with my hitting.” With the team’s earned run average this season at 6.90, 82nd overall in the state, sophomore starting right-handed pitcher Phillip

Key game

Chavez said his plans for improvement include “limiting the walks I give up and keeping the ball low in the strike zone.” Donaldson said the team’s pitching is still improving, with emphasis on limiting walks and strengthening the caliber of the bullpen. “I’m working on all pitches and throwing for strikeouts,” sophomore starting right-handed pitcher Dominic Quilici said. “I’m also working on the long toss and throwing in the bullpen.” Quilici said one of the strongest aspects this season is the change in the mindset of the players and the resulting efforts they have been putting into games. It has served to strengthen the team now that the players no longer doubt their ability to win. With a more experienced ball club this season there is a lot more confidence. “We’re working better together as a team,” Webb said. He also said this year’s team is displaying an increase in speed, with 22 stolen bases so far this season. The Comets have a tough season ahead of them, however. Of the 16 teams the Comets play, eight are ranked top 20 in Northern California. The season started off rough for the Comets, with a loss on Jan. 31 at home to Cañada College 8-1. The team maintained its losing streak for the next five games before beating College of the Redwoods 13-4 at home on Feb. 16. As the conference season gets underway, the Comets are continuing to understand how to better act as a cohesive unit — as a team. “I’m helping keep my teammates focused,” Davis said. “I’m asking my teammates how many out there are keeping everyone on the same page.” Webb believes his squad could better help one another and practice selfless teamwork by learning how to serve the community. “During the off season we helped out at the Bay Area Rescue Mission and did community service work,” Webb said. The next baseball game is on Thursday at Cosumnes River College (10-1-1 overall) in Sacramento. The Comets open BVC play Tuesday at Laney College in Oakland.


When: Home: April 15 at 2 p.m. Away: April 17 at 2 p.m.

March 11 at Laney College, 2 p.m. March 13 vs. Laney College, 2 p.m.

Conference record 3-21

March 15 at Laney College, 1 p.m.

Conference finish Eighth

March 18 vs. Solano Community College, 2 p.m.

Returning players Kory Oda, Chris McCollister, Damien Marshall, Prejon Byune, Joseph Airoldi

In 18 seasons as the coach of the baseball team coach Marvin Webb has yet to reach the postseason. A rocky 2-8 start to the 2014 season is a major setback in achieving that goal this year. The Comets have since improved slightly and hope to continue to get better to become a force in the Bay Valley Conference.

March 20 at Solano Community College, 2 p.m. March 22 vs. Solano Community College, 1 p.m. March 25 at Napa Valley College, 2 p.m.


March 27 vs. Napa Valley College, 2 p.m. March 29 at Napa Valley College, 2 p.m.

Timmion Hughes JR Davis Sean Jackson Bryce Hutchings Cameron Jones Brandon Brown Lamar Smith Randy Rudolph Jihan Weisner Philip Quilici Eli McFadden Joe Castaneda Tyler Niemeyer Javier Millan Larry Cowart Brian Puccui William Donaldson Daniel Galvez Christian Suarez Byron Buckley Phillip Chavez Tyrone Bowie Dominic Cooper Even Ray Justin Myers Leonel Morales Enrique Padilla

third baseman infielder first baseman outfielder outfielder outfielder outfielder outfielder shortstop pitcher pitcher pitcher catcher pitcher infielder pitcher pitcher pitcher pitcher infielder pitcher outfielder pitcher outfielder third baseman pitcher catcher

freshman sophomore freshman sophomore sophomore sophomore sophomore sophomore freshman sophomore freshman freshman sophomore freshman freshman freshman freshman freshman sophomore sophomore sophomore sophomore sophomore freshman freshman freshman freshman

April 1 at Yuba College, 2 p.m. April 3 vs. Yuba College, 2 p.m. April 5 vs. Yuba College, 1 p.m. April 8 at College of Marin, 2 p.m. April 10 vs. College of Marin, 2 p.m. April 12 at College of Marin, 1 p.m. April 15 vs. Los Medanos College, 2 p.m. April 17 at Los Medanos College, 2 p.m. April 18 vs. Los Medanos College, 2 p.m.

Key players

March 6 doubleheader at Mendocino College, 1 and 3 p.m.

Overall record 2-36

March 11 doubleheader vs. Napa Valley College, 1 and 3 p.m. March 13 BYE

Conference record 2-21 Conference finish seventh

March 18 doubleheader at Los Medanos College, 1 and 3 p.m. March 20 doubleheader vs. College of Marin, 1 and 3 p.m. March 25 doubleheader at Solano Community College, 1 and 3 p.m.

Returning players Vanessa Vasquez, Chareisha Gordon

The season so far

Coach profile

March 27 doubleheader at Yuba College, 1 and 3 p.m. April 1 doubleheader vs. Mendocino College, 1 and 3 p.m. April 3 doubleheader at Napa Valley College, 1 and 3 p.m.

Key game

Last season the Comets’ lost an amazing 36 games. So far this season, the Comets’ 15-1 record has not looked any more promising. Coach Karolyn Gubbine said the team’s main obstacle is relaxing during games. She is happy with the progress her team has made so far this season.

April 8 BYE

Dwayne Bal

April 10 doubleheader vs. Los Medanos College, 1 and 3 p.m.


This is softball coach Karolyn Gubbine’s first year coaching at CCC. She has an extensive background as a softball player and assistant coach at Pinole Valley High School. The Comets have had a rocky start to their season with a record of 1-5-1. They open BVC play on Thursday against Mendocino College.

April 15 doubleheader at College of Marin, 1 and 3 p.m. April 17 doubleheader vs. Solano Community College, 1 and 3 p.m. April 22 doubleheader vs. Yuba College, 1 and 3 p.m.

2 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 16 24 28 44

Sharrell Duncan Madisen Williams Liliana Reyes Brandie Newton Kaitlin Oshiro Elvira Figueroa Ciarra Streater Roggell Ryan Shannon Foler Sinoti Iosua Caitlin Bal Jasmyne Brice

shortstop infielder catcher/shortstop outfielder catcher outfielder outfielder outfielder pitcher infielder pitcher outfielder

sophomore sophomore sophomore freshman sophomore sophomore sophomore freshman freshman sophomore freshman sophomore

Despite sustaining multiple game-pausing injuries, the sophomore catcher leads her team.


The returning sophomore is one of Gubbine’s most dynamic players this spring.


The freshmen pitcher is currently ranked third in strikeouts in the Bay Valley Conference.


Davis is ranked ninth in batting average in Bay Valley Conference.

Contra Costa College VS.



The young freshman wants to help bring his speed to the infield.


Returning sophomore Bowie helps bring power to the plate.



The sophomore pitcher hopes to bring help to the starting rotation.

Last season by the numbers

Key players


Contra Costa College will play sister college Los Medanos of Pittsburg for important rivalry games on April 15 and 17. The Mustangs have an 8-4 overall record and have yet to enter Bay Valley Conference play.

Overall record 4-28-1

BVC Schedule



Contra Costa College

Los Medanos College

Last season by the numbers BVC Schedule

Tim Wallace, Joshua Cephas, Rusty Jackson, Willie McGee

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 11 12 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 26 27 31 32 33

Iosua have a batting average of .450 and .346, respectively. Though, once again, it is not clear NEWS EDITOR whether these numbers will help the Comets in the BVC against teams like Solano that have With a brand new softball coach and a players with batting averages sitting at .500 and team stocked with new players, the Comet multiple averages higher than .400. softball team has started this season with During play, the Comets main issue is they several disappointing losses. fall apart when presented with a bad situaThe Comets managed to win one of their tion. The Comets’ do not give up runs, they games against City College of San Francisco, hemorrhage them. So far this season, CCC has thanks to a solid hit by second baseman Sinoti committed 22 errors during the seven games it Iosua in the seventh inning to drive in the win- has played. That is almost an error every other ning run. inning, Last season, the Comets went 2-36 overall, The Comets’ have several solid fielders. and 2-21 in the Bay Valley Conference, and, so Elvira Figueroa and Brice both currently have far, it would be easy to say they are on track to fielding percentages that are sitting at 1.000. repeat that record. However, they are just not in positions where Though there is some real talent on the team, their fielding ability makes a significant impact so far, it has been under-utilized. Liliana Reyes on the flow of the game. is the most dynamic player the Comets have. After they have allowed a large lead to Coach Karolyn Gubbine be created, the Comets are said, “Lily is a very valucapable of coming back; able player. She can play any “My Kaitlyn combo on however, their games unforposition, except pitcher, and the mound and behind tunately end before they can play it well.” finish their rally. the plate is one of the Gubbine believes the best Gubbine said, “Sinoti is place for Reyes is in the outa real leader on the team. So team’s most valuable are Sharrell field. and Lily.” “A strong outfield is assets.” Which is true. Iosua, extremely important,” Duncan and Reyes will Gubbine said. not hesitate to remind their Karolyn Gubbine, Though on Feb. 18, Reyes softball coach teammates where the play got to play shortstop, to fill is, or what the plan is to end in for Sharrell Duncan, who the inning. Though, Ciarra was out with a leg injury. With Reyes along Streater and Figueroa are easily the loudest the third baseline, the Comets’ infield was voices on the field, either calling out the play, or far more effective than it had been in any of encouraging their teammates from the dugout. the Comets’ previous games this season. Gubbine said, “With how much experience Catcher Kaitlyn Oshiro is another player they have, the girls are where they need to be. that has proven herself to be a lynchpin for the They’re getting better, defensively, we just team. Behind the plate, Oshiro has sustained need to improve the hitting.” multiple injuries this season, but continued to The Comets have the potential to be very play. She is quick to react, and has made mul- dangerous when they are at the plate. The team tiple impressive fielding moves that resulted in lacks heavy hitters, but most of the Comets are outs where there would not have been any. capable of connecting with the ball. Once on Whether or not Gubbine will give Oshiro a base, the Comets’ potential really shines. rest from working behind the plate is yet to be Roggell “Jojo” Ryan, Iosua, Reyes and seen. Figueroa are all apt at stealing bases, and they The Comets’ starting pitcher Caitlin Bal, have the potential to make the Comets a much despite trouble fielding bunts, has easily been more dangerous team than they are at the one of the top pitchers on the field in every moment. game the Comets have played this season. Reyes played out of her normal position Gubbine said, “My Kaitlyn combo against Diablo Valley College, and despite on the mound and behind the plate is one losing, the change produced noticeable results. of the team’s most valuable assets.” Switching the composition of the infield, espeHer “Kaitlyn Combo” is certainly valuable. cially where the fielding is weakest, could Bal is the third ranked pitcher in the BVC, with produce the change Gubbine is hoping to instill 19 strikeouts. She is just four strikeouts behind in her players. Solano Community College’s Shannon Mestas, Gubbine’s players have also shown they can who is currently the number one ranked pitcher begin to recover from an upset early on in a in the BVC with 23 strikeouts. game, but if that recovery does not come sooner The Comets’ also have several solid hit- than it has, then the Comets’ will likely face ters. Sophomores Jasmyne Brice and Sinoti another embarrassing season. By Brian Boyle


Coach profile


Multiple clutch catches by the returning sophomore have helped the Comet defense.

Yuba College When: Away: March 27, 1 and 3 p.m. Home: April 22, 1 and 3 p.m.

Yuba College hosts CCC for a doubleheader on March 27. The Comets will also face the 49ers at home on April 22, the last game of conference play for both teams. The 49ers have a record of 4-7. Yuba provides the best match-up for CCC to come with a victory in the Bay Valley Conference this season.




‘PULP FICTION’ After 20 years, film continues to amaze with masterfully crafted dialogue, intricate storyline and black comedy out perfectly, as Wallace cannot leave before bumping a few more lines of cocaine. Not many movies can make someone The two go to Jack Rabbit Slim’s, worry about a drug dealer’s wife as she a 1950s themed restaurant staffed by snorts a fat line of heroin. It’s truly rare Marilyn Monroe and Buddy Holly lookthat a movie’s soundtrack can paint a alikes. The two share multiple silences clear picture of a character’s history in that betray the ever-growing sexual tenthe mind of the audience. And very few sion between them. movies can make an audience chuckle When they return from their date, about a man being accidentally shot in Wallace dances to Urge Overkill’s “Girl, the face. you’ll be a woman soon,” while Vega But 20 years ago, in 1994, director talks himself down in the bathroom. Quentin Tarantino released a movie Wallace sings along, dancing to the song titled “Pulp Fiction,” that, somehow, by herself in the living room. She loses was capable of all of this. herself completely, collapsing on the “Pulp Fiction,” at its heart, is a black couch. The scene leaves the audience comedy over the backdrop of a gangster wondering exactly why she seems to crime thriller. “Pulp Fiction” is present- identify so much with the song, and it ed in a completely nonlinear fashion. paints a vivid picture of who she is. The story repeatedly doubles back on Bruce Willis and Maria de Medeiros itself, twisting the timeline in a way that play yet another couple in the film. reveals something new every time one Willis plays the aged boxer Butch sits down to watch it. Coolidge, who is paid to throw his final Tarantino was inspired by a genre fight. Coolidge spits in the face of a of old magazines, aptly called pulp dangerous criminal when he decides fiction for the cheap, pulpy paper on instead to beat his opponent to death which they were printed. The pages of in the ring, escaping with the money. the magazine were filled with wonderMedeiros plays his naive French girlful stories of dangerous criminals and friend, Fabienne, who is oblivious to the crooked detectives, of a world filled danger the pair is in. with dangerous leaps over rooftops and When Coolidge returns from his fight, harrowing plunges into dumpsters on he finds Fabienne sleeping. Where most the sides of buildings thrillers would use the moment to have John Travolta plays a rather inept the characters discuss their motivahitman named Vincent Vega, who tions for ripping off the drug dealer, or works for the local mob boss Marsellus detailing their plans for the future, the Wallace, played by Ving Rhames. The two simply share a discussion of how audience is first introduced to the char- Fabienne wants “a pot belly.” The love acter as Vega is on his way to carry out between the characters is visible on a contract killing with his partner Jules screen. They speak to one another with (Samuel L. Jackson). such tenderness that it leaves audiences The duo are to kill a group of young, feeling like Butch and Fabienne are real, white drug dealers who were foolish and out there together somewhere. enough to rip off their boss. On their Tarantino has his characters bumble way, the two discuss the differences from one terrible situation to the next. between McDonald’s in France and Each time a character gets out of the fryin the States, as well as exactly how ing pan, they find themselves in the fire. intimate a foot massage truly can be. The actors who open the film, stickup Jackson maintains that a foot massage artists played by Tim Roth and Amanda is meaningless, but becomes offended Plummer, find themselves robbing the when Vega asks him, “Would you give two dangerous hitmen. The aging boxer a man a foot massage?” and the drug dealer who want him dead Vega is, simply put, bad at his job. both end up at the mercy of three leather Vega does not know how to properly bondage freaks. After a pleasant date, clean up after himself. He also has a Wallace rails a thick line of heroin and penchant for accidentally shooting busi- overdoses. The scenes are fantastic, but ness associates in the face because the by sheer virtue of the characters and the car “hit a bump.” authenticity of their dialogue, these fanHe is saved repeatedly simply by the tastic situations become totally believfact that he is friends with people who able. are far more competent than him, such Tarantino creates a truly disturbing as The Wolf, played by actor Harvey version of 1990s Los Angeles and runs Keitel, who is famous for his ability to with it. His characters elicit as many clean up a murder scene. gasps as they can laughs, while leaving Vega has a truly amazing sequence audiences disturbed at what they find with Uma Thurman, who plays Mia funny. Wallace, the young and dangerously “Pulp Fiction” is violent. The characbeautiful wife of Vega’s drug dealing ters in the film are almost all detestable boss. Vega has been ordered to show people. The situations they find themher a good time while his boss is away, selves in are deplorable. And anyone and in true Vega fashion, he shows up who has yet to see “Pulp Fiction” is smack dab in the middle of a heroin denying himself or herself a truly fantastrip. His showing up stoned works tic movie experience. By Brian Boyle NEWS EDITOR

Mia Wallace She’s the beautiful, young and cocaine addicted new wife of Marsellus Wallace. Touching her feet is rumored to cause sudden trips out a fourth story window.

Jules Winfield Jules is a philosophical psychopath. A hitman by trade, a brush with a .357 magnum leaves him questioning his career choices.

Butch Coolidge Butch is an aging boxer who just never made it. He has an explosive temper and will not hesitate to use his fists to solve a problem. He is also a fan of Captain Kangaroo.

Vincent Vega Jules Winfield’s lessthan-tactful partner, Vincent has an itchy trigger finger and a temper. When he is not busy murdering people, he enjoys working on cars and shooting up heroin.

‘The Wolf’ A mysterious associate of Marsellus Wallace, The Wolf is an expert in crime scene clean up, and tolerates no disrespect. He also drives very fast.

Marsellus Wallace A gangster from Los Angeles, don’t let his cool demeanor fool you. Crossing him can find you at the receiving end of a blowtorch and some pliers.




Students come together — Students fill the front of the state Capitol steps on Monday. More than 800 students marched together from Raley Field all the protesting for education during the annual March in March rally in Sacramento way to the Capitol in the rain.


UNITED Photos by Qing Huang and Cody Casares

Hands held high — A student raises his arms in unison with others during the annual March in March rally on the state Capitol in Sacramento on Monday. Say it loud — Foothill College students Rosalinda SosaSanchez (center) and Alberto Hernandez (left) march toward the state Capitol during the annual March in March rally in Sacramento on Monday.

Protesting with pride — Students from Foothill College lead the march on the Capitol during the March in March rally in Sacramento on Monday.


N Softball


Squad unable to maintain momentum


he Comet softball team is predictable. Every game one knows exactly which pitcher will start, exactly where everyone will play and who will be sitting out. The only real mystery so far this season has been how much the team is going to lose by. Some of the predictability has its merits. Caitlin Bal is going to start because she is the number three pitcher in the Bay Valley Conference at the moment, with 19 strikeouts. Any given game Kaitlyn Oshiro will be catcher because of how easily she can take the ball and get it exactly where it needs to be. Not to mention, having taken several bats and stray balls to the head, she may be the toughest catcher in the BVC. Yet, despite this talent, the Comets are currently 15-1 this season and, if something does not change, that record is going to continue to plunge. Almost every loss the Comets have faced this season has been due to errors. The team lets its confidence fall apart because of giving up a run or having a major upset almost every game. The Comets’ record so far this season speaks for itself; what coach Karolyn Gubbine is doing with her team is not working. The team has talent — there is no doubt about that. The problem is, other than a few key positions, that talent is not being properly applied. The Comets’ main problem is their infield. There have been, officially, 22 errors committed by the Comets this season, and only three of those errors happened in the outfield. Almost half of those errors have occurred along the third baseline. The Comets have nothing to lose by trying something new, and only everything to gain. Liliana Reyes is easily the Comets’ most versatile player, having played more positions this season than any other player. Gubbine would do her team a favor by bringing Reyes into a position with more responsibility, such as third base or shortstop. Gubbine has said that Reyes is capable of playing any position. It would be more than worth the risk to put Reyes behind home plate to try Oshiro somewhere else. Oshiro is a great catcher, and she could easily be great in another position as well. Diablo Valley College has been the most dynamic team the Comets have played. If one glances at the positions between the two games the Comets played against the Vikings, one will notice that DVC’s fielding positions were markedly different between the two games, and it worked for them. One never knows how a player will perform until it comes down to game time. With seven games under their belts, Gubbine knows exactly how her players will perform at their positions, and it is time to see how the players perform outside of their comfort zone. What the Comets have been trying has not worked, though there is the chance that trying something else will. Brian Boyle is the news editor of The Advocate. Contact him at


‘The beast’ soars to success Wyatt maintains 3.9 GPA, dominates court By Lorenzo Morotti ASSOCIATE EDITOR

A student-athlete on the women’s basketball team has etched her name into the program’s hall of fame by being named its first Academic All-State award because of her 3.9 GPA. Nineteen-year-old Comet captain and guard Joie Wyatt has excelled on and off the court throughout her life, but it was not until she became a part of women’s basketball coach Paul DeBolt’s team that she transformed into the strong, empathetic and mature woman she is today. “I picked up a basketball when I was 4,” she said. “I’ve been playing my whole life since then.” Not only is she intelligent, she is also the statistical offensive rebounding champion of the Bay Valley Conference. She has leaped to nab the loose ball near her team’s basket 151 times. She stands only 5 feet 8 inches tall but is the defensive spine has supported the “I’m going to that Comets’ 20-9 overall miss Joie a record this season. going to miss lot — I think Joie“I’m a lot — I think we we all will. all will. She has really the glue to our She has really been group this season and been the glue we know it,” DeBolt said. “Things will be to our group different without her. this season She has really made a place for herself here.” and we know Assistant coach Antonio said it. Things will Chanel she has seen Wyatt be different develop over her two at Contra Costa without her. years College. She said She has really Wyatt is a very quiet but has a presmade a place person ence that you notice immediately. for herself “And even more so here.” when she isn’t around,” Antonio said. Paul DeBolt, Sophomore Wyatt women’s basketball never missed practices coach or games. She is very dedicated about being the best on the court, DeBolt said. She played in all 29 games this season, averaging 10.9 rebounds a contest. Comet guard Tynisha Adams said, “ She hustles every day on the court and gives off a good vibe to the rest of the team.” She is capable of playing almost any position on the court because of her athleticism, understanding of defensive and offensive positioning and quick reflexes. These talents were first put on display during her years at Pinole Valley High School. “It was when I started playing for my high school that I started to think seriously about whether or not I would want to keep playing basketball after I graduated,” Wyatt said. Wyatt joined the PVHS varsity girls’ basketball team as a freshman.

She did not get any scholarship offers to play for a 4-year university but could have gone to a couple different schools because she maintained an outstanding GPA during high school. “It was DeBolt who convinced me to continue to play basketball,” Wyatt said. She said DeBolt told her that she could get the same education she would have gotten during her first two years of college at any UC or CSU without having to spend as much money if she enrolled at CCC. “I was not as nervous as I was excited about joining the Comets’ basketball team,” she said. “I knew people would be more serious about the game. This is the next level, so I knew I had a better chance for my talent to be noticed.” During her first season with the Comets she played the offensive guard position. She was averaging about 15 points a game DeBolt said, but was injured early in the season, which slowed her progress as a freshman. The injury came during a game against Ohlone College, Wyatt said. She went up for the offensive rebound and was pushed from behind. “I hyper-extended my knee on the way down.” DeBolt said she got worn down last year and wasn’t able to continue to play at a high level because of her injury. “To prepare for this year she put in work in the off season. She spent a lot of time in the weight room, which made her stronger and more durable,” he said. Wyatt was able to top the stat leader board by becoming the defensive backbone of the team, playing the center position for the 201314 season. She was voted co-captain by her teammates during a team-building trip to Lake Tahoe in October before the season started. Antonio said, “She is a silent leader — lets her actions speak for her on the court. That’s who Joie is. She is a natural born leader.” She prefers the guard position but is happy playing center. “I accepted that role on the court. I don’t score as many points, but I get rebounds and help out the team in more defensive ways,” Wyatt said. Teammate and co-captain Jewel Rogers said, “She is a our big player at the post when we don’t have one. She is a beast in the paint, no matter how short she is.” Wyatt’s strong mind and perseverance h a v e gotten her through more things than just important games. She has had turbulent times in her life. When she was 12 her mother died and she had to move from her home in Brentwood to her grandmother’s house in Pinole. She has lived there for seven years with

Age: 19 GPA: 3.9 Height: 5’ 8” Year: Sophomore Position: Guard High School: Pinole Valley High School QING HUANG / THE ADVOCATE


her three younger siblings. “The transition was hard but I pulled through it,” she said. “Basketball was my outlet.” Wyatt played basketball for Pinole Middle School while the pain was still fresh. During that period Wyatt became serious about her education. She said, “It was in sixth grade when I got serious in school. I got in the mindset to always get an A and never settle for anything lower. I put school above everything else.” She plans to transfer to a local university. Right now she is thinking about transferring to San Francisco State to get a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She also plans to continue playing basketball. “To have person like Wyatt as a student-athlete is the best combination that any coach could ask for,” Antonio said. “It’s players like her who make you wish CCC was a 4-year and not a just a 2-year college.” Wyatt said she will miss everyone she has become friends with and that the past two years being a part of the women’s basketball team at CCC have been very special. “I feel more prepared to transfer than I was coming out of high school,” Wyatt said.

Squad falters against Rams 3rd inning rally sends Comets running for balls By Brian Boyle NEWS EDITOR

PACIFICA — The City College of San Francisco Rams (4-4-1 overall) sent the Contra Costa College Comets (1-5-1 overall) scrambling after the ball at Fairmont Park on Tuesday, Feb. 25, defeating the Comets 5-3. Fairmont Park in Pacifica is the only field the Comets have played on this season that lacks a fence or wall corralling the outfield. The Rams benefited immensely from this, earning all of their runs in the third inning after sending hits that turned into home runs soaring over Comet center fielder Liliana Reyes’ head. “The lack of a fence hurt us,” Reyes said. “If there was a fence there, they never would’ve gotten home.” The Rams’ coach Jack MacGuire disagreed, saying the Rams had a shaky first inning, but played better overall. “We had a great day,” MacGuire said. “We pitched better, we hit better and we fielded better.” This comment came despite the fact that Comet pitcher Caitlyn


Running for it — Comet center fielder Liliana Reyes runs after the ball during CCC’s game against City College of San Francisco in Pacifica on Feb. 25. The Comets lost 5-3. Bal struck out than twice the number of batters as Rams’ pitcher Marrissa Yanez. Bal struck out seven batters, while Yanez could only manage to strike out three. Both pitchers gave up six hits. The Comets’ started the day off strong. Reyes hit a single off of the first pitch of the day thrown by Yanez, and proceeded to take advantage of the lackluster fielding by the Rams by stealing her way to third base. An error at the mound would allow Reyes to score, and a single hit by left fielder Ciarra Streater drove in first baseman Jasmyne Brice, who was the first player Yanez walked that day. The score at the end of the first was 2-0 Comets. The third inning made the game for the Rams. After Bal walked Rams’ left fielder A Jay, a single hit by the Rams’ center fielder Alishia Beaty

put Jay in scoring position. With one out, the Rams’ catcher Nina Toia hit a home run high over Reyes’ head in center field, bringing the two runners home. A single would put shortstop Alyssa Giannini on base, and another home run, this time hit by Rams’ third baseman Amber Opetaia, would bring the score to 5-2 at the end of the third. “I need my defense to back me up,” Bal said. “The whole team needs to perform better defensively.” The only other run earned during the game would be by Comets’ catcher Kaitlyn Oshiro in the top of the seventh. The Rams’ earned a double play by throwing out Brice at first, and then tagging an overzealous Sharrell Duncan, the Comets’ shortstop, on her way to third base. With no one on base, Oshiro

hit a triple far ScoreBoard into right Rams 5 field, and Comets 3 was driven home Next game: by a sinThursday at gle hit by Mendocino Comet College, 1 and r i g h t 3 p.m. fielder Elvira Figueroa. “It’s pretty juvenile to play without a fence. It should be regulated,” Comet coach Karolyn Gubbine said. “But space is limited, and CCSF gets what it can, field-wise.” For the first time this season, the Comets’ committed no errors during the game. CCC’s next game will be Thursday’s doubleheader at Mendocino College (4-6 overall).




Comets fall in second round


You’re not gettin’ it — Women’s basketball coach Paul DeBolt attempts to gain his team’s attention during a timeout at CCC’s Regional Playoff game against City College of San Francisco on Saturday. The Comets lost, 98-80.


No room to move — Comet guard Ahjahna Coleman (right) tries to find room to move against Rams’ center Geena Greene during CCC’s game against City College of San Francisco on Saturday.


Surrounded — Comet center Joie Wyatt (33) jumps for a rebound against Ram guards Chanel Malone (3), Franeka Hall (20) and Kiah Knox (24) during CCC’s game against City College of San Francisco on Saturday.

Comets suffer 98-80 as Rams derail playoff run with 3-point shooting barrage By Lorenzo Morotti ASSOCIATE EDITOR

SAN FRANCISCO — The women’s basketball team ended its playoff run with a 98-80 loss at City College of San Francisco in its first Northern California Regional Playoff game since 2010 on Saturday. The game was the highest scoring match of any of the Round 2 playoff games. It was also the game with the highest number of fouls called. The 12th-seeded Comets (20-9 overall, 12-4 in the Bay Valley Conference) trailed the entirety of the match because of too many missed shots, but were able to keep the score within 15 points until the final 10 minutes of the second half. The fifth-seeded Rams (25-3 overall, 12-0 in Coast-North) extended their lead over the Comets to 20 points in the last 10 minutes of the second half. They scored consistently on fast breaks and showed their shot prowess when the strong Comet defense kept them trapped behind the 3-point line. The Rams opened and closed the game making shots from behind the 3-point line. They were able to sink 14 of 32 long distance shots against the Comets. Eight of those 3-pointers came in the first half. The Rams shooting expertise from a distance propelled them into Round 3 of the playoffs tonight at Sierra College in Rocklin. “When they (CCSF) make shots like they did it’s hard to play against them,” Contra

Box scores Women’s basketball (Mar. 1)

City College of San Francisco (98) Torres 6-18 7-8 24, Masoli 5-13 2-4 16, Knox 7-10 4-4 18, Dashkevich 7-14 3-5 21, Hall 5-10 2-4 12, Malone 2-11 0-2 4, Nguyen 1-4 0-0 3. Total 33-87 18-27 98 Contra Costa College (80) Rogers 7-23 12-16 28, Adams 4-9 6-8 16, Caldwell 5-17 2-2 14, Coleman 4-16 5-6 13, Wyatt 0-3 4-6 4, Oldan 1-2 0-0 3, Jones 0-1 2-2 2. Total 21-71 31-40 80 Three-point goals Contra Costa — Rogers 2, Caldwell 2, Adams 2, Oldan 1 CCSF — Torres 5, Masoli 4, Dashevich 4, Nguyen 1 Fouled out CCSF — Greene. Contra Costa — Rogers. Rebounds CCSF 43, Contra Costa 50 (Wyatt 17, Caldwell 9, Rogers 6). Assists CCSF 16, Contra Costa 11.

Softball (Feb. 18)

City College of San Francisco Contra Costa College AB R H RBI AB R H RBI Jay lf 2 1 0 0 Reyes cf 4 1 1 0 Blando 2b 3 0 1 0 Duncan ss 2 0 0 0

Beaty cf Toia c Giannini ss Viola 1b Opetaia 3b Yanez p Guevarra dh Lopez rf Totals

Costa College women’s basketball coach Paul DeBolt said. “It was a hard-fought game.” Offensively, the Comets struggled to score from anywhere but the free throw line during the first half. During the second half, the referees were not calling nearly as many fouls for the Comets. The Comets baited fouls by slashing into the key during full-court offensive breaks, keeping their offensive heart still beating. At the final buzzer the Comets had gone 31-40 from the free throw line. Comet point guard Jewel Rogers missed three of her own long shots during the first 15 minutes, but disappointed anyone who believed she would have a bad game on Saturday. Rogers slashed into open space past the Rams’ defense to sink four field goals at the baseline, and sank nine of the 10 free throws she attempted in the opening half. With five minutes remaining in the first half the Comets were able to force a quick long shot that hit the rim. Guard Raven Caldwell scooped up the defensive rebound. Comets’ guard Tynisha Adams received a midcourt pass in the right corner and went for the 3-pointer, sinking it effortlessly. That brought CCC to 35 points, just five points shy of the Rams’ 40. Defensive coverage by center Joie Wyatt and forward Caldwell stopped the Rams at the baseline, repeatedly forcing turnovers or getting rebounds. Wyatt was the backbone of the Comets’ defense, playing in the center position and 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 0 24

1 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 5

1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 6

0 3 0 0 2 0 0 0 5

Brice 1b Oshiro c Figueroa rf Iosua 2b Streater lf Williams 3b Ryan dh Bal p Totals

CCSF Contra Costa College Contra Costa College Bal (L) Diablo Valley College Yanez (W)

1 3 4 4 4 3 2 0 28

005 000 0 200 000 1 IP

1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

0 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 6

— 5 — 3




6.0 6





7.0 6





Standings Women’s Basketball

Bay Valley Conference Solano Community College Contra Costa College Laney College Napa Valley College Mendocino College Merritt College

Bay Valley W L 16 0 12 4 10 6 9 7 8 8 7 9

Overall W L 26 4 20 9 15 13 14 12 13 12 10 15

0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 2

College of Marin Los Medanos College Yuba College

“When they (CCSF) make shots like they did it’s hard to play against them. It was a hard-fought game.” Paul DeBolt,

women’s basketball coach

finishing the game with nine offensive rebounds and eight defensive rebounds. Wyatt was responsible for guarding CCSF’s center Geena Greene. Wyatt’s coverage kept Greene scoreless despite seven attempts on the hoop and three offensive rebounds. Rogers said the team almost came back but stopped “executing” long distance shots or “finishing” the layups on the break. She led in points scored with 28, the highest of the game. The Rams extended the lead to 11 points over the Comets, leading 54-43 at halftime. CCSF guard Kiah Knox said, “They (CCC) are a good team and they had their share of offensive runs but we had to play our game — not theirs. We had to play better defensively and stay out of foul trouble.” Rams’ guard Raquel Torres led the Rams in points scored with 24. She sank 3 of her 12 three-point attempts in the first half and added two more early in the second. Ten minutes remained in the game and the Rams led 79-59. It was then that DeBolt made a tactical defensive change to a tri4 3 3

12 13 13

7 7 5

19 20 19

Schedule Baseball at Cosumnes River College, Thursday, 2 p.m. vs. Diablo Valley College, Saturday, 1 p.m. at Laney College, Tuesday, 2 p.m. vs. Laney College, March 13, 2 p.m. at Laney College, March 15, 1 p.m. vs. Solano Community College, March 18, 2 p.m. at Solano Community College, March 20, 2 p.m. vs. Solano Community College, March 22, 1 p.m. at Napa Valley College, March 25, 2 p.m. vs. Napa Valley College, March 27, 2 p.m. at Napa Valley College, March 29, 2 p.m. Softball at Mendocino College, Thursday, 1 and 3 p.m. vs. Napa Valley College, Tuesday, 1 and 3 p.m. BYE March 13 at Los Medanos College, March 18, 1 and 3 p.m. vs. College of Marin, March 20, 1 and 3 p.m. at Solano Community College, March 25, 1 and 3 p.m. at Yuba College, March 27, 1 and 3 p.m. vs. Mendocino College, April 1, 1 and 3 p.m. at Napa Valley College, April 3, 1 and 3 p.m. BYE April 8 vs. Los Medanos College, April 10, 1 and 3 p.m.

angle and two. This defense ScoreBoard allows two players Rams 98 to play man-to- Comets 80 man defense and three a triangle Season over: zone, focusing on 20-9 overall, taking away 3- 12-4 in the BVC point opportunities for two of CCSF’s best shooters. The tactic helped the Comets cut the lead to 10 points in the final five minutes, but CCC could get no closer. “It was too late,” DeBolt said post-game. “We got behind and dug a hole for ourselves that we couldn’t get out of.” Rogers said the Rams’ defensive coverage in the paint did not leave much space to work with the whole game. “We could have made more runs into the key to draw the defense out of position to open up space and give the shot takers more space,” she said. “They (CCC) fought hard until the end,” CCSF guard Franeka Hall said post-game. “All the free throws they made helped them stay in the game and they came out as strong as we were expecting them to.” The game ended with a total of 48 personal fouls between both teams. CCC had 22 and the Rams had 26. “They (CCSF) are a good team,” DeBolt said. “I told the team that they should not feel bad about losing this game. We played hard. (CCSF) made shots and we didn’t. That’s basketball.”

Game of the Week Baseball Contra Costa College VS.

Diablo Valley College When: Saturday, 1 p.m. Where: Contra Costa College Records: CCC 2-8, 0-0 in the BVC. DVC 9-3, 0-0 in the Big 8 Conference. Background: The baseball team will face off against sister college rival DVC, which has a record of 9-3 overall. — Ryan Margason




“Smiling and laughing are the keys to happiness, my brother, as you keep the faith.” —


Morris ‘Morrie’ Turner

4<HH$Lѻ4<HH$ѼPTH8H By Manning Peterson STAFF WRITER


oday is Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014. I’m hanging out at the African-American Museum and Library in Oakland (AAMLO). My outfit from head to toe is Cal blue and gold to give props to my pal, role model and mentor Morrie Turner. Morrie was one of the seven founders of AAMLO. It was created in 1994 via a unique public/private partnership of the Oakland Public Library and the Northern California Center for African-American History and Life. AAMLO is now recognized as one of America’s premier institutions on African-American art, history and culture west of the Mississippi. Morrie was an ex-officio Golden Bear backer and advocate having lived most of his life in Berkeley rooting for and encouraging students, staff, faculty, sports teams and doing research at the Cal campus libraries. He was a self-educated man who loved libraries. orrie passed away peacefully on Jan. 25 due to renal failure complications. He had been having hemodialysis treatment therapy four hours every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for three and a half years. I called Morrie on Dec. 11 to wish him happy 90th birthday, and asked, “How are you doing dancing with the dialysis machine?” He never once complained about his therapy. He simply answered, “I didn’t enjoy it, but it beats the hell out of the alternative. My doctor told me to do dialysis or die a slow painful death in six months. I’m not John Wayne and I may be a Friends lot of things, but stupidity isn’t one of my are one character defects.” The last time I of our saw Morrie in person was Saturday, April most 14, 2012. It was a precious sweet, sunny spring afternoon. Morrie had made the trip from gifts West Sacramento with his lovely life companand ion Karol Trachtenberg blessings. to share his experience, strength and hope as an American history griot and pioneer. He planned to autograph copies of his latest book, “Black Sports Heroes,” during the celebrity auction. We met on the second floor of the AAMLO building which is a two story yellow brick historical site located on the southwest corner of West Fourteenth and Jefferson streets, one block north of Preservation Park. He cautiously rolled his fourwheeled aluminum walker and proudly pointed to his photo plaque on the east end of the north wall across from the elevator. “Those are the original seven founders and trustees of AAMLO. I’m one of the two who are still alive. I lived to see my dream of AAMLO become a reality and for that I am truly blessed and grateful,” he said solemnly. orrie and I first met on June 2, 1983. My job was a commentary column writer for the California Voice — a now extinct black East Bay-based weekly paper. At the time, Morrie was the only black cartoonist who was syndicated. The brother was a pioneer in the cartoon world. His strip was seen daily in 250 newspapers worldwide. Ironically, our personalities meshed immediately and we mutually agreed to continue a series of Thursday afternoon interviews at Morrie’s Berkeley home. It was a cozy, single level, three bedroom-one bath with an abundance of western sunlight and pleasant vibes.



Morrie’s studio is located in the northwest corner. It formerly was his childhood bedroom. We had similar experiences involving racial discrimination during our tours in the Army, but we were survivors. I returned to University of Connecticut to earn my B.A. in English literature and Morrie continued with his career as a cartoonist. “All I ever wanted to do was draw and I wasn’t going to let anyone or anything destroy my dream.” One of Morrie’s outstanding personality traits was courage. He wasn’t afraid to tell his truth. He shared a humorous vignette about his cartoon career path. “One day I came in the back door and I heard Letha, my wife, talking to her mother. Mom asked Letha, ‘What does Morrie do for a living?’ Letha answered, ‘He’s a cartoonist, mom.’ Mom answered, ‘You told me that when you married him 15 years ago. When is he gonna get a real job?’” have been privileged to attend some of the great universities of the world. While formal academia has its place in my world, my two most influential teachers have been self-educated, knowledgeable, humble African-American scholars. One was my father, Rufus Merteley Peterson and the other was Morrie Turner. How would I describe Morrie? He was an intellectual without being pretentious — an exquisite example of dedication of one’s life to community service and global harmony. He was well read and a lover of learning. He had an extensive vocabulary. Hearing Morrie speak was like listening to my favorite classical music like “Bolero” or “Swan Lake.” His voice had a unique lilt. He had a priceless personality and sense of humor. He loved children and making visits to schools to talk about his career as a cartoonist while drawing caricatures of the kids. Morrie always reserved space in the corner of his heart to love his son, Morrie, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren, as well as passion and compassion for those in the world who were temporarily suffering or needed a hug, especially the young folks. He was trusted and loved by all he had contact with. I have never heard one negative or harsh comment about Morrie Turner, and that is rare in this world. Even when he had a legitimate reason to be vindictive, he would turn the other cheek and make a humorous finale out of the situation, like in this humorous story. “Early in my career I took a few shots at free-lance work. To my surprise, I received a small check from the United Klans of Dixie. I knew they were not my kind of folks and thought about how I could make my case and race known to them. So, I endorsed the check over to the NAACP and took it to their Oakland branch office. “I would have given five years salary to see the look on the pointed-head cracker

December 12, 1923 — Janurary 25, 2014

Soul corner — In 1965, Morris “Morrie” Turner became the father of diversity on the comics page when he launched “Wee Pals” the first syndicated strip featuring black, white, Latino and Asian characters.


who was the financial manager when he looked at that canceled check,” he said, followed by a loud laugh. once asked Morrie what he would be if he weren’t a cartoonist? He smiled and said, “I’ve never considered any other kind of employment career. How can you beat being your own boss, setting your own daily schedule and living your dream everyday? Work, especially manual labor, and I have never been friends. “When I was 25 years old I decided the best and only way to avoid work is to love what you do so that it is not considered work. I’m like Martin Luther King Jr. I let my dreams motivate me and I walk my path in faith.” Morrie and I collaborated in the world of cartoons for 30 years cranking out daily humor history. His unique innovative approach focused on a culturally diverse group of youngsters that included kids who had physical and auditory special needs and challenges. Morrie performed all the graphics and drawing duties while creating 90 percent of the humor dialogue. Sid Shafer’s steady hand made our words come alive as legible print. I contributed 10 percent of the annual dialogue creations. e shared our joy as witnesses to American history on Nov. 4, 2008 when Barack Obama was elected as the 44th president of the United States and first African-American president in history. On Nov. 6, we had our Thursday confab. We stood on Morrie’s porch in the warm autumn sun hugging, laughing and crying in between whooping and screams of joy. It was one of those times that make black folks tend to shout. I said, “I never thought I would ever see a black president in



my lifetime.” Morrie answered, “I never dared to dream it, but you never know. Like H.L. Mencken said, ‘Never underestimate the intelligence of the American public.’” week after Morrie’s 90th birthday I called him. “I have a question I’ve never asked you.” He answered, “I’ll give it my best shot.” “What would you like as an epitaph on your gravestone?” I asked. He said, “First of all I don’t plan to be buried when I die, but if I did it would be one of two choices. “The first is: ‘I want to be remembered as having been a blessing rather than a curse to the world, or (the second) Keep the Faith.’” That was how he always ended our conversations by phone. If it was at the conclusion of our Thursday meetings, we hugged and he smiled before saying, “Keep the faith.” Friends are one of our most precious gifts and blessings. I am living a life with an abundance of blessings as I sit here in the warm sun on the Contra Costa College campus just below the Applied Arts Building. I’m saying the Serenity Prayer and thanking God for the gift of Morrie in my life. He was my life mentor and a role model for living a life of humane excellence by unconditionally sharing his laughter, love and spiritual humanitarian philosophy. He was an exceptional human being in addition to being an extremely funny man and silent muckraker. There is no official correct way to grieve. Grieving is essential to the healing and growth processes. I’ll let periodically reading my cartoon portfolio be the medicine to get me well as I move through my world of grief. “Smiling and laughing are the keys to happiness, my brother, as you keep the faith,” Morrie would tell me. I can live with that. Thanks Morrie.


‘Wee Pals’ — Every Sunday in “Wee Pals” and “Soul Corner” Morrie celebrated African-American historical figures that the history books usually ignored, proving to little kids everywhere that no matter what we looked like, we could grow up to be doctors, scientists, academicians, leaders and cartoonists.

The Advocate 3-5  

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

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