Page 1





Budget mess = fee hikes p.2 Jammin’ with the jailbirds p.5

SRJC sports previews p.8 September 13, 2011 Volume CXXVII, Issue I



September 13, 2011

SRJC fee increases eminent David Anderson News Editor Staggering enrollment fee increases, class schedule reductions and sky-high textbook costs continue to hinder SRJC students’ abilities to get the education they need and deserve; and the worst may be yet to come. Gov. Jerry Brown’s attempts to tackle California’s estimated $26 billion deficit has already caused major disruption at every level of higher education, causing SRJC enrollment to jump from $26 to $36 per unit this semester, an unprecedented rise for the school. Ryan McKeever, an SRJC student studying Sociology, thinks the fee increases are going to continue to rise until he can’t afford the classes he needs. “It’s hard enough just getting classes at the JC now,” McKeever said. “Now it’s getting harder and harder to pay for my classes and books.” The state’s budget crisis has impacted class availability, causing SRJC to offer fewer classes and less diversity. A cut of approximately 10 percent, or 550 courses, has been implemented for the 2011/2012 school year, with non-credit courses and less mainstream classes first on the chopping block. “We’re very concerned about our transfer courses,” said Doug Roberts, vice president of busi-

ness services at SRJC. “We’ve done our best to make sure we are keeping those courses. There have been some reductions, but not nearly the kind of reductions that have been seen in our non-credit courses.” Adding insult to injury, the current fee increases and class reductions may get worse in Spring 2012, with an estimated $4.8 million in additional mid-year cuts to the District’s budget. This could potentially create an additional enrollment fee increase from $36 to $46 per unit at the start of the Spring 2012 semester, making full-time students at SRJC pay a minimum of $552 per semester for class enrollment alone. According to the 2011/2012 Budget Book, an additional $4 billion in state revenue improvement may or may not be available, forcing the state’s budget to be divided into three tiers dependent upon how much of the $4 billion is available. “Regarding the $4 billion,” Roberts said, “I think [the state] knew that number was pretty fictitious, which is why they came up with the three-tier system.” Dec. 15 is the date by which the district will know exactly how much, if any, of the $4 billion will be received. If the worst-case-scenario is actualized, which the State Chancellor’s Office predicts, Community Colleges would lose an additional $72 million, resulting in a $12.4 million budgetary shortfall for SRJC in 2011-2012.

“It’s not if we will reach the tier two scenario and maybe beyond, but when.” Roberts said. To offset this major budgetary shortfall, SRJC will make $5.2 million in staffing reductions, $3.2 million in reductions to the fund balance and $3.8 million in salary and benefits concessions. In these crippling economic times for California, it will be tough for SRJC students to afford classes necessary for associate degrees and transfer opportunities. But relative to other Community Colleges statewide, Santa Rosa Junior College has it better than some, Roberts said. “Because we’ve been proactive, and the fact that our negotiating groups are aware of the problem and are helping us towards solutions, we may find ourselves a little bit better off than others.”

Worst-case-scenario -

SRJC faces additional $4.8 million in mid-year cuts - Fees go up to $46 per unit in Spring 2012 - More class sections cut, harder to get classes - Full-time student minimum enrollment fee: $552 - System-wide loss of $72 million for Community Colleges

Mischa Lopiano/Oak Leaf

V.P. of Advocacy Michelle Dowling along with A.S. President Jessica Jones have a set of goals which they hope to achieve while raising awareness.

A.S. pushes DREAM Act Grace Williamson Staff Writer

Michelle Dowling, SRJC’s student-elected vice president of advocacy for Fall 2011, is excited to focus on three goals this semester: improving alternative transportation for students, creating advocacy packets and working to inform students about the Dream Act on SRJC campuses. Dowling, a former Sacramento State student from Honolulu, Hawaii is here to improve SRJC. Dowling is continuing as vice

president this semester in what she calls her “second job.” California’s version of the Dream Act (AB 131) stands for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act. If passed, the Dream Act will allow undocumented students to receive state funded financial aid like Cal Grants. The bill has been passed by the California State Senate and awaits approval from Gov. Jerry Brown. Dowling and the Associated Students Senate plan to create

Women’s Health Specialists

Continued on page 3

FREE Birth Control

*FREE Reproductive Health Care for Students! Pregnancy Tests, All Birth Control Options, HIV Testing, Annual Exams, Emergency Contraception, Men’s Services, Breast and Cervical Cancer Screenings, STI Testing/Treatment and Much More!


Caring counselors available to answer all your questions.

4415 Sonoma Highway, Suite D, Santa Rosa scan




to like


pp -in o A n r m a ke a

*Call to see if you qualify

me t n i o

n t To d a y !

SRJC 2nd among students Grace Williamson Staff Writer Santa Rosa Junior College ranked second for “Top Schools” in the nation for community colleges on with 114 SRJC professors scoring a perfect 5.0 overall quality. SRJC has 1,172 professors on has an annual compilation of the student ratings called the “Professor Top Lists 2010-11.” This list has three divisions: Highest Rated, Hottest, and Top Schools. SRJC student Aaron Mikulka enjoys finding great teachers at the school. “A few of the teachers just really know how to teach and really care about their jobs. And it’s really awesome when you stumble upon those few,” Mikulka said. One of Mikulka’s favorite pro-


Continued from page 2

panels regarding information on the Dream Act on both the Santa Rosa and Petaluma Campuses. She is arranging advocacy forums on the issue with guest speakers at each campus. The first will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 19 in the Dining Hall on the Petaluma Campus. The second will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 9 at the Student Activity Center on the Santa Rosa Campus. “I encourage students to attend and to be supportive of all students who seek education, whether they are documented or not,” Dowling said. “No one should be denied access to education.” Dowling is also anxious to reinstate the student discounted bus pass program. “We are looking for alternative transportation programs for students to ensure that access to campus is safe, sustainable and affordable for all,” Dowl-

fessors is Keith Waxman, an astronomy teacher with an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5. Mikulka’s other favorite teacher, Nicole Slovak-Villano, professor of anthropology, is rated a 4.7 out of 5. Both of the teachers from Mikulka’s favorites scored second and third placements on the scale of “hotness.” “My favorite teacher is Jake Fitzpatrick,” said SRJC student Griffin Freitas, though Fitzpatrick is not an instructor rated on Freitas has been at the SRJC for more than four years, and enjoys helping lost students find their way around the campus. SRJC was founded in 1918 and has an annual student body of more than 54,000 students between the Santa Rosa and Petaluma Campus. SRJC is one of the 10 oldest two-year colleges.

ing said. Because many students drive to school alone, she talked about the possibility of a student car pool system online to improve the flow of traffic and sense of community. Dowling, along with Associated Students, are hoping to seek a grant to fund a new discounted bus pass program. Dowling and the Senate, along the faculty association, are putting together advocacy packets for students. She said these packets will be resources for students to magnify the unified student voice. The advocacy packets would have the most recent updates on budget cuts to higher education, and legislative information on bills that affect students. The packet would show a checklist, tips, resources and helpful links to assist students with legislative processes. It would also include how to get involved and why. The Senate also hopes to evoke an active spirit and student participation in local and state legislation.



Agrella’s retirement, still postponed

Police Blotter David Anderson

Domanique Crawford

News Editor

Staff Writer

Grand theft bike An SRJC student left his bike near Bailey Hall for a short period of time on Aug. 1. Upon returning, the bike had disappeared. Since the value of the bike exceeded $1,000, this is a grand theft case. SRJC’s District Police have leads.

The SRJC Board of Trustees and Presidential Advisory Committee will review 43 applications of potential candidates in their search for SRJC’s sixth president. The search began after Dr. Robert Agrella’s announcement last year that he would step down as president. The board hopes to select and approve the top candidate for this position in early December. After several months of searching last spring, the hiring committee narrowed the presidential search to three candidates and then rejected all three. The finalists were Kevin Trutna, Yuba College vice president of academic and student services, Peter Quigley, University of Hawaii associate vice president of academic affairs and Jeanine Hawk, vice chancellor of administrative services at San Jose Evergreen Community College District. Faculty and students alike voiced concerns regarding the applicants’ experience and qualifications. On April 12, the board announced it would wait to have a new president the following year. “I just don’t feel that there was a good fit for us at this time,” said SRJC board president Rick Call. During the search, Agrella will stay on as president. “I am pleased to be able to do it. I have spent

Jurgita Mazeikiene/Contributing Photographer

Dr. Robert Agrella has more work before he can enjoy his retirement.

over 21 years here and I wouldn’t want to leave without knowing the board of trustees has found a replacement,” Agrella said. “I’m also very grateful that the board believes that I still have something to offer the college as they search for the next president.” During the last four months the board and the hiring committee have worked with Professional Personnel Leasing Inc. (PPL), an outside consulting firm, to bring in applicants. PPL has managed executive searches for approximately 30 years in various California Community Colleges. The company’s purpose is to assist in acquiring a pool of people who would be a better match for SRJC’s needs and the district’s expectations. Candidate interviews with the board are scheduled for the second week in November. The committee members will conduct interviews and refer finalists to the board, said Karen Furukawa, vice president of human resources.

Drunk on lawn Police arrested a student on SRJC’s front lawn for public intoxication and possession of liquor on school property on Aug. 8. Artistic burglar with no ethics A felony burglary took place at the Arts & Ethics Academy in Santa Rosa on Aug. 27. SRJC’s District Police have leads. Stealin’ from the jocks Two cases of petty theft occurred the same day on Aug. 29 at Tauzer Gymnasium on campus. SRJC’s District Police have one lead. Swervin’ on Mendocino SRJC Police arrested a student on Mendocino Avenue for DUI and drug charges on Sept. 3. The suspect was arrested at the scene.

Dominican University of California Providing Transfer Solutions for Working Adults

Pathways Bachelor’s Degree Program Business | English | Humanities | Psychology tConvenient weekday, evening classes tSmall class sizes and personalized attention tOpportunities to earn credits for prior life/work experience

Apply now for Spring 2012! For more information, call 415-485-3280 or visit 50 Acacia Avenue San Rafael, California 94901



Inside Burning Man: Brutus Gruey

Advertising Manager I threw up my fatigued arms in an “X,” signaling my partner to stop the next bus so we could start searching the line again. The headlights of creeping vehicles pulling into the city of 50,000 people snaked out the miles of driveway to Burning Man toward Nevada Highway 447 as their wheels kicked up a steady haze of choking dust. Along 447 they ran back to Gerlach with a population of 500, the closest town to Black Rock City. We searched each car for fireworks, feathers, flowers and anything that could fall apart in Black Rock City or leave trash blowing about in the dust storms. We also

looked for dogs and people without tickets trying to sneak in. “Good evening! Have you got any tulips?” I asked. The bleary eyes of a rich French man looked back at me. He shook his head awake, then smiled, “I don’t, but can I use yours? I rarely got through a car without slurring my words out of exhaustion. I had been up since 6 a.m. helping set up my camp, a paid gig that helped pay for my fall semester of college. I climbed on top of RVs and poked around their closets and trailers. For the smaller cars, I just shoved my arm into their packed trucks between duffle bags and coolers searching for body heat. “We’re going to f*** with this bus,” said

Chopper, my mentor into the operations of Gate. “Alright hippies! Get out with your tickets and line up next to the bus!” he yelled into the driver’s window of a school bus converted into a transient home full of stinky belongings. I got back to camp at 8 a.m., slept, then woke up for work at 10 a.m. My friend owns a health-food catering company out of Oakland and offered me a job working out there –as a “dirty little whore for a billionaire and his friends,” as he put it. We built the billionaire’s camp, a shade canopy with a fully stocked bar, plush couches and lighting. We built an art car and fed him three

September 13, 2011

Building a city for 50,000 partiers in the Nevada Salt Flats

meals of the best food I’d eaten all year. We called our crew lounge GYA (Grab Your Ankles). “Anything you would like sir!” was the motto. We rented them 10 RVs for almost $150,000. We drew the line at parking cars and shuttling their baggage into the RVs. I also built some 30 plus bikes, moved around carpets and helped with the shade structures so everything would be perfect for our clients. I washed dishes. Max, one of our cooks, exclaimed, “I’ve never worked with a white boy that can wash dishes like Ashtray!” (I got hammered in Gerlach at the Saloon in 2007. I met people I don’t remember with a shirt for the Sonoma County punk band Ashtray. In the morning everyone

knew me as Ashtray). That camp was typical for Burning Man, except it didn’t offer anything to the city. It takes millions of dollars to build a city of more than 50,000 people on a dry lake bed in Nevada that generally sees less than 20 people a month. A month before, The Burning Man Organization (BMorg) starts laying out the city and builds a 7-mile trash fence surrounding the 1.5-mile diameter city. DPW (Department of Public Works) is the crew that builds the city, mostly volunteers. They are for the most part a bunch of crust punks who get drunk every night and yell at Burning Man participants during the event.

Welcome back to the Playa, get acclimated with a hangover When I arrived at Burning Man, two days early on Aug. 27, my boss told me to get acclimated. I headed straight to the Ghetto, DPW’s housing and bar space on the Playa, my stomping grounds from volunteering in 2008 and a good place for raucous fun. The bar looked nice this year. It had an old-time saloon front wall with a door on the front and shade cloth stretched tight for a ceiling. The actual bar is still as chipped, spray-painted and battered as before. Some graffiti in sharpie on the poles read “It’s not gay if you yell SLAYER!” It was much more mellow this year. An old friend, Sissy Bitch, and I sat on a dust-cov-

ered couch and swapped stories of our desire for meaningful relationships while his dog licked his hands. A block away was Black Hole, Gate and Perimeter’s bar. A couple of couches sat grouped in the corner and the walls were covered in a mix of pornography and stencils of a slim girl in a French evening gown with a sling shot titled, “No war but class war.” Mixing alcohols I wound up at the bar with my arm around Hotmess, a skinny blonde girl in a little black dress and big black boots. I reminded her I met her last year and she cocked her head to the side, “You’re cute, how do I not remember you?” A second later she remembered she

was hooking up with someone else and left. She ran off last year too. A guy named Spider kept sticking his nose in my unwashed armpits until he found out I wasn’t gay. He’s a brick of muscle with a gold tooth and a twinkle in his eye when he smiles. Between his piercings, tattoos, gruff voice and bad-ass demeanor, I wouldn’t have guessed he liked men. Those two are pretty typical Gate, Perimeter and DPW characters. People drunkenly crooned, tossed each other over couches and slapped each others faces with a four-foot long black rubber sex toy. I stumbled back around 4 a.m., fully acclimated.

I like whiskey too much to be a coke head

a couple other DPW kids. “Running won’t cure cancer!” we screamed at the lonely people walking from one ecstasy-overdose to the next. We all popped open another PBR and took a swig of Jameson. “You’re still going to die alone!” I drank out of habit. The cocaine killed the drunkenness and made everything taste like getting dry starchy potatoes shoved down my throat. I gasped for breath and pounded my chest with my fist. Never again. We drove out past the city, to a collection of couches and painted plywood palm trees. We attacked the couches, each other and the sleeping burners with dusty pillows fueled by a sense superiority: we are DPW!

On Tuesday the city sprawled in neon glory at 3 a.m., like a vast futuristic ocean illuminated by a plethora of submarines. The art cars looked like a barrage of grounded spaceships, driving aimlessly and lost as if they had been dosed for the first time. The art cars, lit up like psychedelic Christmas trees, blasted music echoing across the desert that mixed into an unintelligible cacophony of raving bass. These are the playthings of those who have months and tens of thousands of dollars to devote to a week in the desert. Becca Henry/Contrib. Photographer I hadn’t slept in 15 hours and that The art cars at Burning Man take on any shape the mind can imagine, was only a two-hour nap. I took the then glow like strange fish from the depths of the sea blasting music first bump of cocaine in my life with and all night sometimes throwing flames into the air for all to see.

This is not the hippie-fest you expected Burning Man has a reputation as a radical community, but it’s really just a slight distortion of American Capitalism. A ticket costs $360. Then you have to buy and haul your food, water and drugs to the Nevada desert. The whole event is supposed to be a gift economy, so an attendee generally brings along trinkets to give away. Little necklaces with their camp symbol engraved on them,

worthless doohickeys to be thrown away in a week. Diehard attendees call themselves “burners.” The only things a person can buy at Burning Man are ice, tea and coffee. Other than that, everything to do at Burning Man is created by burners. Every one of the art cars designed to look like a rocket ship, couch, chomping teeth or a boat are privately funded. The same goes for

The Man hasn’t learned; helplessness The Grab Your Ankles (GYA) crew climbed onto a big RV to watch The Man burn. The few of our clients still left in camp for the first of the twonight Burning Man finale were out on the art car getting as close as they could. TC, a coworker specializing in mixing drinks and interacting with the

clients, and I swapped sarcastic comments about people who spend too much money on Burning Man. “I got this costume off ebay for $10,000. It’s something called ‘steampunk,’ which is getting really big!” she said, mimicking our clients. They needed help putting AA batteries in EL wire, the thin ropes of bright neon light burn-

Surly, a punk rock cyclist from Reno and a volunteer at Burning Man. He is a friend of mine from 2008 and was waiting for his boyfriend to get into the city. He dipped a key into a little baggie he pulled out of his pocket to stay awake and offered it to me. I was at Burning Man, and if there was anywhere I could get away with a cocaine-fueled night, it would be here. That was one of only two nights I indulged in more than alcohol. Soon after I was riding across the Playa –the pet name for the fine acidic salt flats of northern Nevada– on the roof of a car straight out of Mad Max with Bastard, Tawdry and

the bars (and all their alcohol), music venues, art installations that dot the Playa outside the city and everything else. For the most part anyone can walk into a bar and get a drink, though the Undercity Bar will send you on a quest as if you were in World of Warcraft. Some make you sing, dance, show off your genitalia or dress up as a furry kitten. However, the people who can afford to

create bars and cars at Burning Man are the same people who can finance any other big party. They just pay for BM before going. There really isn’t anything at Burning Man that couldn’t occur anywhere else in the world; provided a bunch of people buy a ton of alcohol and drugs to give away. It is the same old story and despite the leave-no-trace ethic, there is nothing green about Burning Man. I watched

thousands of enormous $100,000 RVs loaded with liquor and expensive costumes roll through the gate on opening night. It takes more energy than most people spend driving to work for two months to bring an entire theme camp to the Playa, and there are more than a thousand of them. The ethic is really there for DPW, who spend two months picking up every scrap of plastic and charcoal from all the fires.

ers cover themselves and their bicycles with. The clients were happy with the brand new bicycles we brought and assembled for them, but didn’t want to have to decorate them themselves. TC giggled and shook her head, “learned helplessness.” Fireworks lit The Man. A chaotic array of neon bursts exploded around his legs as he stood some 60 feet above the 50,000 spectators who came to

watch him burn. GYA sat half a mile away, laughing at his inability to climax as he just kept sparkling. Finally the diesel barrels, or whatever explosives they used this year, exploded engulfing The Man in a fiery mushroom inferno. The crowd roared in the center of the city. Soon after GYA began to crawl off to bed with each other. “Lets go rage, Max!” I pleaded, but he was curled up on the

Lovesac, an overgrown beanbag chair, with a woman. I was antsy and had to move. Thumping rave cars pulled in tight for a circle jerk of two-bar house beats near the smoldering ashes of The Man. A grotesque 40-year-old with an open shirt played Nirvana covers like a strangled housecat while one guy moshed by himself at 4 a.m. in a random dimly light bar on a side street.

Music behind bars: Buzzy Martin teaches inmates at San Quentin and at-risk youth at juvenile hall the power of music. Michael Shufro Co-Editor in Chief

A long haired man with tinted sunglasses and dog-tags hanging from his neck is one of few who walks behind the walls of San Quentin unchained. His arms are sleeved with tattoos and he keeps a guitar slung ‘round his shoulder. When he arrives for work he signs his name inside an old tome of signatures, then stands still as an officer wands him with a metal detector and inspects his guitar case. He enters a holding tank and waits to pass through a series of chambers where he politely states to a maximum security officer, “I’m here for music.” From there an officer leads him into an old musty box where the prison offers educational opportunities. The trip from his car to the classroom requires an hour. A handful of prisoners dressed in blue denim suits enter the classroom in single file with their wrists crossed behind their backs. The smell of cheap food, cigarettes and body odor hangs in the warm, dead air. He breathes slowly and scans the room for a pulse. He




Dancing to dubstep while ‘this hasn’t killed me yet’ On Thursday I went dancing to dubstep and drank grog, a hydrating playa drink made of rum, water and soaked in lemon or lime juice. V, a new friend with a fantastic love of dancing, and I started the party at Space Cowboys, a monstrous fourwheel-drive Mercedes truck, before heading to camp for more grog. At 5 a.m. we woke up my DPW friend Crazy Talk, a Canadianborn Native American living in Oakland, at the Ghetto. A big sarcastic but cheery fellow, he takes great pleasure in people’s absurdity. He went so far as to introduce me to an alleged satanic lesbian, who a few nights later seduced me. Crazy Talk, V and I sat around talking and drinking grog until the sun rose. I passed out on the couch and woke up to DPW standing over me with a sharpie, “Do we need to call the rangers? You fell asleep on our couch, Boy.” I hurriedly jumped up, “No, no need.” I grabbed my bottle of grog and stumbled drunkenly back to camp, drinking for hydration along the way. The grog was full but should have been almost empty. Whatever somebody put in there, it hasn’t killed me yet.

senses he’s walking on pins and needles, that at any second a storm might erupt. Then, lifting his guitar he smiles and suggests, how about an easy song, how about Blue Suede Shoes? “It’s like going into a cage full of pit bulls and hoping none of them bite you,” he says. “At any second I could be shot or killed.” Popularly known by his stage name, Buzzy Martin is the lone music trench dweller of California’s penal system. Martin’s job, challenging as it is unusual, is to liberate the spirits of men sentenced to years or life in prison through music and song. Martin, who’s banged congas and strummed bass lines for more than 18 years with the incarcerated, will recount his experiences at a free lecture from 7 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 26 in SRJC’s Newman Auditorium. The lecture will explore Martin’s hallmark philosophy: “education – not incarceration,” and will include live music and storytelling. When the inmates sit down to jam out they slowly settle into a groove; their cold demeanors soften and melt, then come alive. Their souls are singing. They are

FEATURES free flying above the prison towers. They’re harmonizing and joyriding to the song’s unstoppable heart. Playing music inside a prison changes the experience of a song, Martin says. “Imagine being an inmate, any inmate; knowing the feeling of freedom and having it taken away from you, [when I sing] it makes me think of every word.” During one music lesson Martin’s students perform “The Monster Mash.” One man plays Bela Lugosi and another does Frankenstein. In the winter they play “Blue Christmas” and “Silent Night.” Since his three-and-a-half year gig in San Quentin, Martin has written an internationally recognized memoir titled “Don’t Shoot! I’m the Guitar Man.” Praised by professors, judges, Grammy winners and a Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame member, the book follows his experiences in “The Q” and is being made into a feature film starring Eric Roberts. Martin’s story begins in the 1970s on the flat dust lands of Grand Rapids, Michigan when a General Motors plant pumped the economic heart of the city. Local kids more often than not graduated from college or high school and went straight into the daily grind of factory life, but Martin couldn’t rest his heart there; he had dreams. Big dreams.


Photo courtesy of Buzzy Martin

Buzzy Martin teaches music for at-risk youth and the incarcerated.

A self-taught guitarist and pianist at 13, Martin longed to travel and see the world. He dreamed of rock n’ roll stardom and felt, as he describes, “the lure of California” calling him with its sprawling wil-

derness and cities bustling with artists and musicians. By the early ‘80s he’d left his hometown and set new roots in Sonoma County playing gigs, bar

Continued on page 8

The final fire as BRC melts and Anne Hathaway’s bed beckons On Sunday morning the crew sprawled across the pillows and couches of camp. My boss came back in nothing but a short blue cape with his name printed across the back, frilly red underwear and a stuffed owl over his crotch. He grinned like only an amazed child can sober, as he pointed from a Curious George book to himself, “That’s me!” No one worked. That night the temple burned. I

watched from the deck of the Nautilus, a riveted sheet metal and wheeled version of the submarine with an orange squid magnetically attacking its tail. What was left of the city, some 40,000 people, gathered around the temple. For once the Playa was quiet. The art cars were silent, their endlessly thumping speakers finally still. Everyone spoke in whispers. It had six towers, white pinnacles withstanding the buffeting winds

and dust storms. The fire started in the main tower until it hit the burn accelerators, then consumed it spreading out to the five smaller towers. Roaring flame engulfed the entire structure, lighting up the desert like daylight. To the left, one of the bridges connecting the spires was covered in liquid orange dancing fire. The sound of someone opening a beer drifted through the crowd. The thousands of dollars worth

of wood; the hundreds of gallons of diesel used to truck it to the Playa and run the generators for the lights; the human-hours spent building the biggest flames on the Playa; all floated up to the heavens in black papery trails of dust. People had been leaving since the night before when The Man burned; camps were in various states of breakdown, or gone. Streets appeared where just a day ago a bustling bar full of lingerie and Takka screwdrivers had raged 20 hours a day. Towering neon lights used as landmarks were dark or gone. Late Sunday night I squinted my eyes against the dust kicked up by four miles of idling traffic trying to get out of the city. Those who had been inhabitants of Black Rock City mere hours ago were now sleep-deprived and cranky, waiting in their idling cars with the heater running, waiting up to six hours to leave. When the sun rose they turned on the AC. I stumbled back to camp hoping tomorrow I wouldn’t be too wrecked to drive. I crashed out in the RV bed Anne Hathaway had stayed in, some famous woman I’d been too busy to look at. Max saw her once. “She’s not that pretty,” he observed, “that famous one or whatever.” Her bed didn’t wind up being all that comfortable. I nodded off a couple of times on the way to Reno and jerked awake high on adrenaline when my tires hit the gravel or the drunk bumps. Maybe she was just tired from her bed, and that’s why she left her tacky plastic wings for us to ship back to her. My hands were off my ankles as I pulled back into Santa Rosa where Physics 40 and Mathematics 1B Stock Photo waited for me to catch up.

The Temple of Transition was one of many art pieces that burned to the ground, but none commanded so much calm before the fire. Most of Black Rock City crowded around, attentive and hushed, before its immolation.

Arts & Entertainment


September 13, 2011

Petaluma film festival delves deep In the

know September 14 The Pick Me Up Review featuring local acts Last Day Saloon 7 p.m. door $5 ages 21+/ $8 under 21 (includes a free soda or fries)/ all ages Genre: folk/roots/ Americana Wednesday Night Market Downtown Santa Rosa Free/ All Ages Genre: market/food/ entertainment September 15 Hopmonk Tavern Sebastopol Juke Joint with Lowriderz/Malarkey/iNi $10/10 p.m.-2 a.m./21+ Genre: Music September 17 Mystic Theater House of Floyd An Evening of Pink Floyd 8:30 p.m. / 7:30 p.m. Doors/ 21+ Genre: Pink Floyd Tribute Band September 19 Photography: Truth or Fiction Noon to 1:30 p.m. Newman Auditorium, Santa Rosa Campus September 23 The Phoenix Theater The Holdup/ Top Shelf/ My Peoples 7:30 p.m./ $12 Genre: Music September 23 - 24 Bayer Farm Everybody Eats/ Todos Comen The Imaginists Theatre Collective 5:30 p.m./ Sliding scale admission: $3 - $15, Kids free. FREE for Season Members! September 24 Super Show Extravaganza / Handcar Regatta Pre Party

Buckley Collins

Contributing Writer Whether you are an aspiring student director or an avid film buff, the 2011 Petaluma Fall Cinema Series has something for you. Starting Sept. 7 and ending Dec. 14, films will be shown every Wednesday in the Carole L. Ellis Auditorium on the Petaluma campus of SRJC. Each screening begins at 7 p.m., with a pre-film lecture that starts at 6 p.m. and lasts 45 minutes to 1 hour. Discussion follows until 10 p.m. This fall semester the Cinema Series plans on showing 15 films: “District 9,” “Black Swan,” “Treasure of Sierra Madre,” “The Believer,” “Amelie,” “Short Films of Jamie Travis,” “Touch of Evil,” “Let the Right One In,” “City of God,” “Departures,” “Safety Last,” “The Passenger,” “Baraka” and “The Wizard of Oz.” Every film is open to the community to attend and join in the discussion. Film and Media Studies instructor Michael Traina started the Cinema Series more than two years ago and it has become a thriving community event. Traina came to SRJC in 2008, after teaching Media and Film Studies in Southern California for 13 years. When Traina started the Media 42 class, he found that Sonoma County lacked a strong film scene. Only 16 students were enrolled in his course and only 30 to 40 community members showed up to film screenings in Ellis Auditorium. “Both audiences have grown considerably,” Traina said. “What was 16 students is now 100 and we have in some cases tripled and quadrupled the amount of people com-

Buzzy Martin

Continued from page 5

clubs and opening for major artists at the Luther Burbank Center and Konocti Harbor. A decade later, playing at a local open mic, Martin noticed a group of kids gathered around a table watching the stage. They were interimhoused children up for adoption, also known as “group home kids.” When he asked about their circumstances Martin received a new, unexpected job offer: teaching at-risk youth how to play music. His classroom, either inside a juvenile hall or court community school, started slow and required patience, but soon he persuaded a child to hit a conga drum and then

ing from the community.” Traina also organizes special events for each film screening. This semester’s series will include a wide range of experiences from a live lecture by the director of “Short films of Jamie Travis” to a live music performance accompanying the silent film, “Safety Last.” SRJC Humanities Professor Eric Thompson will co-present “The Believer” on Sept. 28. A scholar of Hebrew and comparative religion, Thompson was last year’s Tauser Lecturer, SRJC’s highest honor for teachers. “We try to do a special event once a month; that doesn’t always mean a director,” Traina said. “We’ve had cinematographers, actors, writers, documentarians, musicians for silent movies and sometimes academics who have some sort of insight on the movie.” Some of the films that Traina chooses are well-known blockbusters, beginning with “District 9” and ending with “The Wizard of Oz.” Traina likes to ease students into his class before exploring unfamiliar work and then end the semester by dissecting a film everyone is familiar with. Traina approaches the Film Series like a book club, where the aim of the films is to teach the audience the different aspects of filmmaking. “The first four movies are kind of a broad introduction to the appreciation of the art form. They tend to be a mix of films that lend themselves to discussing the interplay between image, sound and motion,” Traina said. Following the fourth film, movies are selected for a particular aesthetic strength they exhibit. “Amelie” showcases production design, “Touch of

a teenager to sing a song with him, and his class started making music. “Most of these kids have been abused or had it rough in one way or another, and every child deserves to be a kid,” Martin said. “And if we can bring them to smile through music or knowledge then that’s a great accomplishment.” While Martin’s work grew to unprecedented success, a new, undoubtedly more dangerous employment opportunity arrived. The job looked the same, but there was one unnerving difference: his students were lifers in San Quentin State Prison, California’s oldest and most notorious maximum security penitentiary. By the early summer of ’99 Martin headlined a concert with

www. theoakleafnews .com

Stock Photo

The third annual Petaluma Film Festival kicks off Sept. 7 at the Petaluma Campus with a film and discussion every Wednesday night until Dec. 14.

Evil” showcases cinematography, “City of God” showcases editing and “Departures” shows off sounds. “The final act of the season is usually a mix of special topics,” Traina said. “I usually try to end with a crowd pleaser. There is a

structure to the season, and every season we are trying to uncover the language of cinema.” General admission is $5 per screening or $40 for the entire semester. Students pay $4, but with an Associated Student membership, admission is free.

his city band inside the prison walls three decades after Johnny Cash performed in the same prison to a similar audience. Martin wailed “Great Balls of Fire” to a laugh-happy crowd of more than 1,000 hardened criminals singing and dancing behind bars. The show met with such overwhelming success Martin now hopes to someday pick up where Cash left off. Outside “The Q,” Martin returned to his music lessons in juvenile hall. Parallels between the two caged worlds appear immediately, he says. Juvenile hall reeks with the same smells of San Quentin and the officers, despite the fact they carry mace instead of guns, work the same. “We need to look closer at what

we’re doing in society. It all starts with the kids,” Martin says. “We’re so quick to throw somebody in juvenile hall and then the next step is prison.” He argues that our country needs a better education plan so America’s youth will understand their country’s laws; what will get them arrested, what will happen and what to do if arrested. Currently Martin is working on a second book and hopes the 2012 film will help put a face on these kids. “I want to put a band together and do some country songs, rock songs and incarcerated tunes,” Martin says, and then pauses to lift his sunglasses. “But it’s really important that we don’t forget these people… they’re just wounded kids.”

Opinion & Editorials

9/11 remembrances need integrity Kristina Uppal Opinion Editor After the dust and ash settled on Ground Zero, a remarkable calm took over New York City, as the rest of the world watched. The prolific image of industry, progress, jazz and hard city life, entrepreneurship and confidence, of Wall Street and the Statue of Liberty, skyscrapers and Times Square; the indestructible city was struck. As the American public tried to understand the outcome of that day, New Yorkers lent a hand to their neighbors; firefighters, police officers and other first responders lifted hot stone from the ground and uncovered the

bones and artifacts of the people they loved, or perfect strangers. Now, 10 years later, America looks back. We watched as the “war on terror” evolved; we saw Saddam Hussein removed from power and grew accustomed to body scanners and random bag checks in airport lines. Hurricane Katrina trampled and swallowed New Orleans, Americans lost jobs and the national debt rose to crippling heights. An African-American man became president, the Tea Party was formed, and Egypt fought successfully for freedom from an oppressive regime, without our help. Jon Stewart, the anchor of a “fake news” program became one of the most trusted news sources in America. With all the programming and media at-

tention on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the focus has shifted. What does 9/11 mean for the real “Children of 9/11”? The children who remember that morning, seeing the news, the images, the aftermath. What happened to those people who helped their neighbors for a few precious hours, or an entire year? Instead of allowing that day to become an opportunity for advertisements and ratings, let’s strive to be better as a country and as a people. The deaths of 2,819 people, the continued suffering of their families and the deteriorating health of first responders who inhaled the dust of the towers while struggling to save lives should not be commercialized. This year and those that follow, let’s have integrity as our first priority.

Student on the street

Where were you on Sept. 11, 2001?

Anthony Guenza

Kayla Camili

Meixia Wang

“I was in China, I was watching the news and I could see the picture on the screen of the buildings. I didn’t believe it, I was shocked.”

“I was at Disneyland. I remember waking up and the park was closed. We watched the news in our hotel.”

“I was 9. I was at elementary school at the time. Parents picked up kids really quickly. I was told a building crashed and people were hurt. I was too young to question.”

James Forkum

Sierra Kind

“I was getting ready “It was a weird to go to school getting time; I have a lot of dressed. I remember connections with peowatching it all on the ple who work there.” news. I felt complete horror, shock and disbelief and sad at the thought of having to face my students.”


When we are a community... Michelle Dowling, the Associated Student Body vice president of advocacy, has big plans. She wants to rally for the Dream Act, bring back the discount bus pass and educate students about the ways governmental decisions affect their lives. She wants us to raise our collective voice. This is fine. This is good. If it is going to work she, and the rest of our Associated Student Body officers need to create an “us,” they need to turn the SRJC students into a community. It is no easy task to take more than 30,000 students and create a common identity. We are different in age: in spring of 2011 more than 6,000 of us were 19 years old or younger, while almost 5,000 of us were more than 50 years old. We are different ethnicities: in fall 2010, 54 percent of us claimed to be white and 16.2 percent identified as Hispanic or Latino, leaving another 30 percent made up of other ethnicities or unwilling to share. We are different and our ASB leaders have to unite us as Bear Cubs. To make the job harder most of us treat the school like a bus. We are not here to be here but instead it is a way to get where we EDITORS Editors-in-Chief: Spencer Harris and Michael Shufro A&E Editor: Isabel Johnson Features Editor: Michael Shufro News Editor: David Anderson Opinion Editor: Kristina Uppal Sports Editor: Spencer Harris Copy Editor: Isabel Johnson Photo Editor: Mischa Lopiano Layout Editor: Brutus Gruey Web Editor: Quinn Conklin Advertising Manager: Brutus Gruey

want to be. We show up for our two years and transfer to wherever it is we want to go: Berkeley, Cal Poly or S.F. State. Once we get there we feel like we’ve arrived and are now part of a college community. If we do it right and we do a good job with our two years here we only have two more years at our destination. Half of our time at college then is just getting there. This is the problem that the Associated Student Senate has to address if they want to be important to students. SRJC students will be a community when we have a campus life. When we care if our sport teams win or lose, when clubs have a presence on campus past club day, when we have activities on campus that bring us together rather then just tell us what to believe; then we will become Bear Cubs. Before we will care, we have to be a community. A.S. that responsibility rests with you. You have to make us worry about our classmates who can’t find work, do not get enough to eat or do not have a place to call home. Advocacy packets will not radicalize any-

CONTACT THE OAKLEAF Address: 645B Analy Village Santa Rosa Junior College 1501 Mendocino Ave. Santa Rosa, CA 95401 Newsroom: (707) 527-4401 Editor Line: (707) 527-4401 Adviser, Anne Belden: (707) 527-4867 STAFF WRITERS Alex Campbell, Domanique Crawford, Sean Dougherty, Keshia Knight, Ken Kutska, Grace Williamson, Chardé Wydermyer

LETTERS Send letters to the Editor to: or to the Oak Leaf office. They should include your first and last name and be limited to 300 words. Letters may be edited for style, length, clarity and taste. Libelous or obscene letters will not be printed. The Oak Leaf is published seven times per semester by the Journalism 52 newspaper practice class at SRJC. Editorials do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the students, staff, faculty or administration.

Visit us on the web at:

one who is not already radical. Seeing our friends, our classmates and the members of our community suffer on the other hand will make us mad. It will make us fight. It will give us a collective voice and the motivation to march on to Sacramento. The motivation to demand changes to the way the state is funded; to demand changes for how that money is spent. We will not fight for strangers. Who are they? Why do they matter to us? We will not fight for ourselves when we think we are alone. Why fight when you will not win? We will not fight for our teachers when we see them as nothing more than bus drivers. What can we do for them anyway? We will fight when we have an army and something to lose. When we realize that this school is our home for half our college career, when we stop thinking about where we are going and start thinking about where we are, when we truly care and believe in what happens to this place and the people in it. Then we will fight as Bear Cubs.





7 Quinn Conklin Web Editor

Google+ is not for everyone Google+ may not be for you. If you are looking for a place to share gossip about your real life friends, to post photos of the latest party or browbeat your “friends” into helping you work on your farms, stay on Facebook. If you want to see your favorite celebrities crack one liners, find photos of what people are eating or get unverified announcements of the latest celebrity death, stay on Twitter. If you want to do nothing, stay on LinkedIn. Google+ is not for you. On the other hand, if you want to connect with people and have conversations on topics that interest you with people who are not only interested in them, but may deal with them professionally, then maybe you will like Google+. If you have not heard of G+, as “plussers” call it, it is Google’s latest attempt to get into the social network business. This market has been a struggle for them. Google Wave died from lack of use and Google Buzz’s early problems kept it from catching on. If you have heard of G+ you may have heard it’s ghost town and the amount of traffic is slowing down. If the big G doesn’t have a good track record in the social market and people aren’t using it, why should you? The rumors of G+’s death have been exaggerated. Those who think of Google+ as a Facebook wanna-be and expect it to work the same are like people looking through the wrong end of a kaleidoscope. All they see are the vague shapes moving behind the frosted glass, then shrug and call it dumb. On Facebook all the neat, pretty shiny things are on the surface. On G+ all the good stuff is on the inside, in your circles. Circles are a way to group the people you follow by interest, allowing you to share ideas with just the people who will take interest in them. Circles can also be used to filter your incoming stream of information. If you want to see what is going on with your friends who are into the Giants, make a circle for that and with a click you can narrow the posts you see down to just those people. This may not seem importent but it changes the tone of conversations. Limiting a question to those people who are interested or have a background in a topic reduces the smart-ass factor and keeps the discussions civil. In addition, circles help bring people with actual insight to bear on problems. Google+ also allows people from outside the poster’s stream to be brought in the conversation in two ways: reshare a post with your circles or mention someone from your circles in the comments. This allows them access to the post. On Labor Day one of the people in my circles reshared a post he had seen in his stream requesting help evacuating horses from areas threatened by fires in Texas. I reshared it because I had no other way to help. A few hours later, another friend posted information about a livestock arena that was serving as a shelter for animals threatened by the fire. I quickly circled the poster of the first post and commented them into the new conversation. This is the power of Google+. On Facebook I had to wait for a friend request to be approved and would not have been able to add people to the conversation. So G+ may not be for you. That’s fine. Don’t stop by. If you want to take a look for yourself, let me know; I have invites. You can contact me at


New blood

SRJC football team looks to freshman defense to pave way to victory Sean Dougherty Staff Writer

The bitter taste in SRJC head football coach Keith Simon’s mouth from last season has not gone away and will linger until the Bear Cubs get back to a bowl game. Last season the Bear Cubs suffered their first losing season in more than 15 years. This season, Simons is entering his 16th season as Bear Cub head coach and has the challenge of having many first year players on both sides of the ball. The offense is anchored by a quick core of wide receivers led by sophomore Marquis Fruge and freshman Andre Davis. These two game-changers give the Bear Cubs a high-powered passing game that should give opposing secondaries

headaches all season long. The tandem of Fruge and Davis will allow Sophomore Quarterback Jarred Hasskamp to spread the field and pick apart the defensive schemes he will face throughout the year. When asked what their individual season goals are, both Fruge and Davis said they had only one goal; get the Bear Cubs back to a bowl game. However, the offensive line must be strong in its pass protection for Hasskamp to be effective in dismantling opposing defenses. The experts say defense wins championships and if the Bear Cubs want to raise a championship banner this season the secondary will have to step up. The defense must contain dynamic passing attacks to keep points off the board and the offense on the field. The


September 13, 2011

strength of the defense is its strong defensive line led by two local freshmen, Garret Guanella from Cardinal Newman and Mike Tuaua from Rancho Cotati. “I think our defensive line, which is starting four freshmen, will be one of the best in Northern California,” Simons said. Opposing teams will be having some long days under center if this stout defensive line can consistently apply pressure. Special teams has been a source of strength for the Bear Cubs in past seasons and this year should be no different. The Bear Cubs have two solid kickers in Hugo Orozco and Mischa Lopiano/Oak Leaf Lee Aranda, and they will serve as great options for The Bear Cubs are gearing up for an exciting fall semester, which could prove Simons throughout the advantageous. The next home is on Sept. 24 against College of the Redwoods. season. Whether it’s kickWith an ambitious offense and and restore the winning tradition ing field goals or punting to man- a solid defense, the team should the Bear Cubs and their fans have age field position, Coach Simon has make its way back to a bowl game become accustom to. multiple options at his disposal.

Men’s water polo looks to maintain momentum Keshia Knight Staff Writer

Mischa Lopiano/Oak Leaf

Hannah Roberts and the Lady Bear Cubs are kicking up a storm with a new head coach and two wins already under their belt this season. The next home game is against Solano Community College.

Lady Bear Cubs lose coach but gain convidence Alex Campbell Staff Writer The SRJC women’s soccer team was runner-up in the State Finals last season and had an excellent season, dominating the Big 8 conference. The Lady Bear Cubs closed out last season with an overall record of 17-3-2 with a conference record of 6-1-1. The 2010 season also saw the departure of head coach and SRJC alumni Emiria Salzmann, who took the SSU women’s head coaching position. For the 2011 season the Lady Bear Cubs are led by last season’s

SSU head coach Luke Oberkirch, who has an outstanding resume that includes leading the Seawolves to two NCAA Final Four trips and an overall record of 189-97-33. Coach Oberkirch is another product of SRJC, graduating with an associate degree in 1983, and was a member of the men’s soccer team. The Lady Bear Cubs have several standout players and great homegrown talent. Based on the preseason performance against Napa, the team should score goals in a hurry. The combination of the Curtin twins, Lauren and Cara, proved quite effective as Lauren scored three goals and Cara scored two. Also in action was Lauren Ro-

mano scoring a goal and proving she is back at full strength after suffering a leg fracture. Some other notable returning players include Lisa Shaw and possibly a midseason return of defender Laura Fenton, who is currently recovering from a broken fibula suffered in July. “My earliest return is possibly four weeks from now,” Fenton said. “I’m thinking of probably doing a red shirt this year because I might not be able to get back into game fitness. The team is looking good though.” The squad’s next home game is at 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 16 against Solano Community College.

SRJC Men’s water polo team is starting out the 2011 season like any other: head coach Tyler Denize is hoping the team can meet the expectations and standards members have set for themselves. But with a program that has a turnover rate of two years, it’s hard to adjust to players who are a bit green in the water and it’s hard to do without those players who have moved on from SRJC. Despite these problems, the start of this season has already begun on a better note than how it ended in 2010. Last season the Bear Cubs ended with an overall record of 9-11 and a conference record of 1-4: this season the team has already won three games. Led by sophomore captains Torrey Blake and Jarrod Ebeling, the team began competition at the

Delta tournament where they managed to garner wins over Ohlone, Cabrillo and Merced. According to Denize the team is confident in their early success, but understands that they have to keep the momentum going. “We were the most in shape, ‘cause we’ve been working all summer. So it’s a positive that we won those games, we went 3 and 0, that’s to our benefit, but also we can’t let up cause that’s a big reason we won,” Denize said. “We gotta be in better shape the whole season and not just week one.” While they still might have trouble with conference rivals American River and Diablo Valley, the Bear Cubs have a strong opportunity to stay afloat in the Big 8. The team is full of swimmers with top speeds, brute strength and a winner’s mentality. The Bear Cubs will take on Modesto in a double-header along with the women’s team on Sept. 16.

The Oak Leaf, September 13  

The Oak Leaf, issue #1 for the Fall 2011 semester.