Author Archives: Tim Trugee

Swallows Return

It’s spring, and the weather is starting to warm up, and the South American cliff swallows came back to Chabot College to partake in the beautiful Northern Californian warmth. The small bird weighs in at just under one ounce with a wingspan of one foot making an incredible 14,000-mile trip every year from South America to breed right here on our campus.

Cliff swallows spend the winter months in South America. In early spring they begin a northward overland migration through Central America and Mexico. Arrival dates can vary significantly because of weather conditions. Usually, by early March the first migrants appear in Southern California. Two to three weeks later, they arrive in Northern California.

The swallows make this journey during the day and catch flying insects en route. It’s important to note that the swallows will not penetrate regions unless flying insects are readily available for food. This typically occurs after a few days of warm weather, particularly 70 degrees or warmer.

“Animals have these internals clocks that tell them when it’s time for them to move. We’ve got the weather conducive to what they need to breed and survive,” stated first-year Geography instructor Rachel Cunningham.

Some people find the bird droppings to be a blight around properties and put up nets to try to prevent them from building their nest. Unfortunately for the birds, they get stuck in the netting and die. What people don’t know is that the birds try to return each year to the same house they built a year ago, but if the house is destroyed it makes life difficult for the birds because they have to find a new area to build the nest.

Francisco Zermeno, Spanish instructor of forty-one years said, “They are just precious, and we need to protect them. People don’t understand how to cohabitate with the swallows because of the dislike of the bird droppings, but the swallows’ life deserves to be protected too. I created the Return of the Swallows Festival to create awareness about the birds and how we can share this earth together. Unfortunately, the Festival lost steam, and we haven’t had one since 2016, but I plan on creating a virtual festival that people can look at any time so that the awareness of the swallow stays current.”

All swallows are classified under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 as migratory insectivorous birds and are protected by state and federal regulations. It is illegal for any person to take, possess, transport, sell or purchase them or their parts; such as feathers, nest, or eggs without a permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. As a result, certain activities affecting swallows are subject to legal restrictions.

Officer of nine years at Chabot College Rochelle Duran stated, “I haven’t seen or heard of the swallows being a problem around campus they don’t present any security threats.”

So if you happen to notice the birds around campus take the time to enjoy their majestic beauty because if you wait too long, you might have to wait until next year to see the Chabot College Cliff Swallows return.

Bay Area Residents Have an Attitude Problem

Attitudes are like rear ends, everyone has one, and just like rear ends, what exudes from them can change the attitude of everyone around. For most bay area’s residents, the overall attitude is that of appreciation for tolerance and diversity. The ever-rising costs of living and over populated areas anxiety can cause bubble over in the fierce competition of trying to live in the bay area.

How you carry yourself and treat others around you is fundamental not only for them but for you as well. When you treat people nicely, it makes you feel good as well.

According to Dr. Ray Grim an Instructor at Chabot College for over 20 years “Socio-economic factors play a major part in how people’s attitude like poverty and ostracism from their group or family can lead to bad attitudes and or depression. I think the overall attitudes may be a little better in the Bay-area because our unemployment rates are so low and people are generally happy that or maybe it’s the good weather.”

He went on about the things you can practice to maintain a positive attitude. “There is a site at U.C. Berkeley that practices positive psychology called greater good, and they promote gratitude, mindfulness, meditation, taking the time to enjoy your surroundings and expressing gratitude to someone in their lives can really improve a person’s attitude. Giving people the benefit of the doubt really helps as well.”

It is easy to let little thing bother us throughout our day to day lives especially with the weight of competitive success continually looming in the back of our consciences. I asked third-year art major at Chabot College, Demetriana Germany what she did when those everyday inconveniences start to get the best of her and she stated, “When people really start to annoy or bug me the most I turn to my music, and that’s all I need.”

According to an article by Mike Bundrant on the are four reasons you wake up with a lousy attitude, and those are:

  1. Morning depression- which may be caused by disturbed circadian rhythms that affects your hormones, Not enough sleep- perhaps too obvious but if you’re not sleeping enough your body will not function optimally which includes your brain and moods,
  2. Low magnesium- you may need to supplement which is an essential mineral that stress tends to deplete,
  3. Lack of gratitude- for many of us gratitude doesn’t come naturally so it must be practiced, and when practiced it has profound effects on well-being.

Jacob Harvie, a third-year student at Chabot College, thinks that most people in the Bay Area are anxious and hasty because of the media pushing people always to be doing something or going somewhere. I asked him what he does to change his bad attitude, and he responded, “I like to listen to classical music and smoke cigarettes which is probably not the best thing, but it works for me.”

No matter where you are in life stress is always a factor and how you deal with it will determine your attitude and how your attitude is perceived can either affect the people around you positively or negatively. If we all try to practice some of the techniques to remain positive, it will not only help the people around you, but it will change how the most important person in your life feels you. So stay positive and promote good attitudes.

Hayward Mayoral Race: Barbara Halliday

On November 6, we the people will have the responsibility of deciding who the next mayor of Hayward will be. The choice comes between the current Mayor, Barbara Halliday and Councilmember Mark Salinas on this year’s ballot. Ms. Halliday is running on a platform of experience and dedication to the city of Hayward for over twenty years. Mr. Salinas is running on the fact that he is a native to the city and wants to bring a fresh perspective for generations to come.

Representative Eric Swalwell stats that, “Under Mayor Halliday leadership, Hayward is making great progress. The Economy is improving, better services for youth are underway, and neighborhoods are safer. I encourage Hayward voter to keep Hayward moving forward and re-elect Mayor Halliday.”

Rising traffic is a constant concern of the residents of the city and although some are happy with new construction taking place others would like to see the Mayor’s office focus on infrastructure to handle the rising demand of congestion as the city expands. ​ “I think the city needs to plan the infrastructure out as they build these new properties so that we don’t run into some the problems we have seen in the surrounding cities who have started rebuilding, such as traffic and abandoned buildings. So whoever is in office has their work cut out for them,” stated Chabot College staff member and Hayward resident Sujoy Sarkar.

The city has been cracking down on drunken driving as well, with the frequency of the city’s random checkpoints throughout Hayward increasing. No doubt an initiative the mayor can be proud of. I asked students around town how they felt about the checkpoints and for the most part, they were all happy to see the city trying to keep the streets safe.

Affordable housing and rent control will be hot-button issues in the upcoming election, with the minimum wage low and rent skyrocketing over the past few years. The labor force will definitely be interested to hear who will be working to raise the minimum wage as well as capping the amount of rent a landlord can charge for over time. This is at the top of the list for Chabot College student Climmie Hines who said, “​There are too many homeless people living on the streets and something needs to be done.”

As time winds down and the uncertainty of the race clears what we don’t know becomes apparent and in the midst of the wait what we do know is the people involved all want the best for the city of Hayward and whatever change you think is important your voice is the force behind that change.

Wendy’s: Grills Other Chains

What is beef? Well, it doesn’t come from a cow, and you definitely can’t barbeque it. In the world of hip-hop, beef is when two individuals or crews don’t see eye to eye and can’t find a better way to hash out there differences other than to verbally assault each other with comedic punchlines that attack the ego.

Some of hip-hop’s biggest names have produced classic wars of words from some of the biggest artists like Jay Z vs. Nas, Tupac vs. Biggie Smalls, Lil Kim vs. Foxy Brown, Nicki Minaj vs. Remy Ma and somehow the beef has crossed over to the fast food game. Wendy’s released five diss tracks online by an unknown artist and production team. Twitter fingers, Holding it down, Rest in grease, Clownin and 4 for 4$ are the song titles and are generating buzz among hip-hop heads online.

I talked to Daisy Mendoza a cashier at Wendy’s and asked her if she has heard the diss tracks, and she told me “Yeah I heard. I think it was funny and I liked it. If McDonald’s comes out with better diss tracks we still got the better food.” You can find the Wendy’s diss tracks on

We Beefin? by at Wendys on Spotify

SFO Architecture Tour

On April, 6, San Francisco International Airport’s Stephanie C. Jaeger, Director of Architecture, Planning, Design, and Construction invited the Architecture Department of Chabot College and its students to visit the International Airport to learn about the different opportunities a degree in architecture will afford them. The tour started at the BART station inside the San Francisco Airport. The participants rode the trolley to the International terminal where Jaeger explained the earthquake retrofitting and how the airport is working towards becoming a zero-emissions facility.

Students got a chance to learn about the people involved in project planning and the visual aesthetics you see when you walk through the terminals. Karess Batkowski president of the Chabot architecture club said, “This tour inspired me, to see how much work they do and how enthusiastic she was. It just makes me wanna learn all I can to get to where Ms. Jaeger is.”

From there the students briefly visited the aviation museum, and library then continued on the trolley to see the project in progress on terminal two, the new control tower and the new office suites for the building and planning staff. I asked David Carrera the ICC representative of the architecture club if this tour gave him more insight into the field that he wants to become apart of “I think the main thing that this tour did for me was lower the intimidation factor that I think we all have to try to get into this field. So getting to talk to the people in charge and see what they do gives us a little boost of confidence.”  

The students arrived back at their starting point as Ms. Jaeger had to head to her next meeting. As the students communed at the end of the tour I was able to talk to Bryon Lindsey a student of architecture at Chabot College and he said this tour really helped push him more to get his degree “It just shows me architects are needed and how they can make an impact on people’s everyday life.”

Graduation Season

As the end of May approaches the stress students feel from finals dissolves into excitement to either walk the stage themselves or support their friends and family that are to be graduating this summer. That’s Right, it’s Grad season again and as commencement approaches so do the possibilities for the future. What does your tomorrow look like? Have you put your maximum effort into your educational journey? Whether you have or have not been on top of your game graduation season is a popular time for reflection.

Brian Augsburger EOPS Counselor and Instructor at Chabot College said that he is happy to see many students that he has been able to build relationships with go from not knowing what they want to do in life to finding a direction and drive to accomplish their goals. “There’s a lot of gems here at chabot and the more that we can get to celebrate their accomplishments the better.”

Looking forward to the next chapter of her academic journal Emonie Robinson a liberal arts major with a 4.0 GPA who is planning on transferring to the University of Los Angeles told me that she was really excited for the black graduation ceremony, and although the regular commencement will be more routine she is really excited to be moving forward. I asked her if she had any advice for the freshman class that will be arriving after her departure? “I would tell them to get their student educational plan the first semester so that they don’t take any unnecessary classes that was the mistake I made when I started, and I realized my second semester I could have been ahead a little more if I would have got my S.E.P. done the first semester.”

Tennyson Food Desert

Let’s say you wake up Saturday morning, and you live across the street from Tennyson High School, your hungry with no means of transportation and all you want to eat is some fresh fruit and a salad. Sounds trivial, you would think, but this means for this person he or she would have to walk a mile or more to get to a grocery store. More times than not the individual will choose to walk to the corner store a choice that provides a much less healthy option to eat. This person lives in a food desert, and that’s the reality for Tyrone Hood who lives on Shaffer street in Hayward, Ca who said if he didn’t have a car he would have to walk about two miles to get to the grocery store. “Yeah, I would have to walk up Tennyson to get to Food Max.”

Food deserts aren’t defined by metrics but by a group of social, economic factors. One is how many people are served by a particular grocery store for the surrounding neighborhood. Another is access to affordable fresh produce. Fifty liquor stores compared to one grocery stores in the neighborhood. If there’s adequate public transportation to the grocery store.

The daily challenges of living in a food desert combined with the social-economic problems that the majority of these food deserts are located in are necessary for the city to take into account to find solutions to ensure fairness and reciprocity.

Sofia Sanchez a Chabot College graduate and current student at the University of California saw a need in her community.  When she realized that her fellow students aren’t eating enough fruits and vegetables, she notices her friend constantly asking her for her snacks, and she realized that they never turned her down when she offered her food to her friends. Sofia and her fellow students put together a plan to have a food pantry at Chabot College once a month with their partnership with Alameda County Food Bank. They have been able to keep it going for the past two years. “Although it’s only a band-aid on top of the wound of food deserts I’m hoping we can acquire a space on campus for the students who can’t cook their own can come and get a hot, healthy meal as well as have more room for storage so that we can serve more people in our community.”

Begoña Cirera, MS RDN Nutrition Science & Health Faculty Lead at Chabot College to shed a little insight on the subject and she said “Although south Hayward may not qualify as a food desert in the strict definition of the USDA, I strongly believe that this particular community suffers from a lack of access to healthy, affordable fresh food, and too many families and individuals live on increasingly low incomes. The health consequences of such combinations can be devastating for all generations involved, from the pregnant mother to the children, to the grandparents. It is very well documented that a lack of daily fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains in one’s diet can increase the risk for preventable, but chronic diseases such as Type II Diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension, to name a few. Let’s put it another way, we could not have too many grocery stores offering fresh, affordable produce, but we have too many convenience stores, 7/11’s, liquor stores, and fast-food restaurants that are creating more problems than solutions to our communities, present, and future generations.”

Food deserts are an important issue our city needs to pay attention to and find solutions for, right now the city is in the research phase to understand what exactly are the needs of the people and when their assessments are complete the city will move forward with plans to remedy the problem.

Barry Bonds: Hall of Fame Worthy?

Barry Bonds took the plate facing Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher, Dennis Springer at the sold-out Pacific Bell Park, on Oct. 7, 2001. Anticipation for the 73rd home run hit was as thick as the early morning fog. Despite controversy over performance-enhancing drugs Bonds has maintained that he didn’t know the sports cream he used during the 2001 season had illegal substances. The pitch, the swing and just in case you don’t remember BOOM, home run and history was made.

There have been a ton of arguments over the last two decades about whether or not performance enhancing drugs (PED) will help you hit more home runs. Whether or not you believe PED’s will help you hit home runs most people will agree that professional athletes should know what they put in their bodies. Out of all the research I have done to find if PED’s will help a player hit home runs I found that they won’t. Now there are many factors to determine what it takes just to hit a home run, but the most informative and impartial research I’ve found was conducted by Eric Walker a writer for The New York Times as well as ESPN and can be viewed online at

I talked to the first-year head coach of the Chabot Baseball team, and I asked, do you think Barry Bonds should get in the hall of fame? he said “Yes.” I asked if he thought if professional athletes should be held accountable for what they put in their body? “Yes, I think we are all accountable for what we put in our body.”

Jeff Druin the Athletic Director at Chabot College and fan of Barry Bond told me “Every one of us should be held accountable for what we put in our body, and it was the responsibility of Bonds to know what he was putting in his body to stay on the right side of the rules, but I still think he should get into the hall of fame.”

No matter how you feel about Barry Bonds, his career is still one of the most prolific ever. Over 750 career home runs, 298 all-time batting average, 1,996 run back-ins, more than 440 on-base percentage and the most exciting single season in baseball history where he hit 73 home runs. The entire baseball community will be watching Sunday, July, 29 to find out whether or not arguably the greatest hitter of all time will be inducted into the hall of fame.

Chabot Art Gallery Reopening

Last October the Chabot College Art Gallery had to shut its doors because of lack of operational funding and the community as well as the student body’s outcry did not fall on deaf ears. During the Galleries closure, managerial changes took place with Aaron Deetz, an instructor of photography, taking over for Diane Zuliani a history instructor as the coordinator of the art gallery.

I asked professor Deetz how he felt when the art gallery closed and he said “It was hard for the whole division to lose a space the students use to showcase their work. Nobody was happy about it, but everybody was dedicated to reopening the gallery.” He told me that he was stoked about the art gallery reopening and the new direction of the art gallery will be to have the students run the shows so that they’re just as invested as the faculty.

   Just six months after the doors were closed for what the community thought to be indefinitely the Dean of Arts, Media and Communication Deonne Kunkel had other plans. I talked to her in-between meetings to ask her why reopening the art gallery was so important to her, and she told me “I made it a priority to reopen the art gallery to give the students and our community the opportunity be able to express themselves through art.” I questioned her to where the money came from, and she told me that she with the coordination of Vice President Stacy Thompson and support of the President of Chabot were able to reallocate monies to reopen the gallery. “ I’m excited we have a lot of student showcases coming shortly.”

   The student’s opinions and feelings who were affected the most were heard and swift action taken to reopen the gallery. I asked freshmen art student Roseanne Bengco who recently found out that the gallery will be reopening on a scale of one to ten how excited she was? “Ten, It means a lot as an artist to have a place to showcase your work and take pride in the effort you put into your craft and to receive feedback from people about your work. It makes the process all worth it.”

   The art gallery will be hosting a digital media and photography showcase on April 12 and on the April 26 a foundation studio arts showcase for painting and drawing.

The Next “BIG” One?

If you’re from the Bay Area and have not experienced an earthquake than its more than likely someone has at least told you about their experience. If not then it’s important to know that it’s not if, it’s when, the next earthquake is going to happen, which means earthquake preparedness is essential.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) California has more than a 99 percent chance of having a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake within the next 30 years, according to scientists using a new model to determine the probability of big quakes. According to For northern California, the most likely source of such earthquakes is the Hayward-Rodgers Creek Fault (31 percent in the next 30 years).

Such quakes can be deadly, as shown by the 1989 magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta and the 1994 magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquakes. The new study determined the probabilities that different parts of California will experience earthquake ruptures of various magnitudes.

The USGS went on to state the new statewide probabilities are the result of a model that comprehensively combines information from seismology, earthquake geology, and geodesy (measuring precise locations on the Earth’s surface). For the first time, probabilities for California having a large earthquake in the next 30 years can be forecast statewide.

I asked Suzanne Maher, a professor of Geography at Chabot College what makes an earthquake happen. “When two tectonic plates move in opposite directions rocks get stuck in between those plates stopping the movement of the plates and creating pressure. When that pressure is released the plates move in their respective directions releasing energy that creates the shaking you feel during the earthquake. If the ground is mostly loose gravel and sand, it will cause liquefaction which is the sinking of the ground. We can’t predict earthquakes, but we can prepare to minimize the damage and our response time for when the event takes place.”

After learning more about what makes an earthquake take place it made me want to know what students should do if they were on campus during a major earthquake, so I contacted Mike Woods, Sergeant of the Hayward Police Department and Director of Campus Security and Safety at Chabot College.

I asked him what his first responsibility in the case of a major earthquake?” Woods said, “to make sure structural integrity is intact in case we may need to evacuate a building. Secondly, assess what injuries that may have occurred and try to get them the correct medical attention. Now, while this is happening our EverBridge Emergency Notification System should alert everyone via text, email, and cell phone and in worst case scenario and all system are down we will go around with a bullhorn to alert everyone. We practice the great shakeout drill and we practice the fire drill simultaneously the evacuation map is located at the end of every hallway in all of the building so people can be aware of what to do in case of an emergency.”

For more information about what to do during an earthquake visit to learn more.