Author Archives: Elasha Young

About Elasha Young

Elasha Young, Editor-in-Chief, a journalist in the making. Everything is a story. It's my dream to tell them.

The Health of Small Businesses: ShortCutz

The small business community has been hit hard during the coronavirus pandemic. Local barbershop ShortCutz on A Street in Hayward is just one of the many businesses that have been temporarily closed and deemed non-essential.

Owner and operator of ShortCutz, Trevoi “Big Tree the Barber” Fortson has been cutting hair for 20 years.  ShortCutz, however,has only been around for 13 years and this is the first time Fortson has ever seen anything like this.

Several barbers alongside Fortson have been out of work for two months and counting due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), resulting in the shop’s employees looking for work elsewhere. “I have a barber who is now working at 9-5 just to make ends meet,” says Fortson. 

Fortson and other barbers in ShortCutz “have been taking classes and test on sanitation and safety prior to the pandemic outbreak,” states Fortson. “Now to be forced to close is horrific.” 

When allowed to reopen, ShortCutz wants clients to feel safe and not be afraid to be in its establishment.

“I will be implementing new routines,” says Fortson. “Wiping chairs prior to service, partitions between each stylist, mask, gloves, and if you’re not being serviced you can stay in your car until we are ready to service them.” 

Those are just a few things Fortson plans on instituting to ensure to safety of his customers when ShortCutz is allowed to reopen its doors. As of now, barbershops are still deemed non-essential, however, a source of income is essential.

Modified Shelter-in-place Order for the Bay Area

The stay-in-place order that was issued on March 31 has been extended until May 31 by Dr. Erica Pan, Interim Health Officer of the County of Alameda with ease on certain restrictions. 

The key objective of this Order is to ensure that County residents continue to shelter in their places of residence to slow the spread of COVID-19 and lighten the impact on critical healthcare services. 

This new extended April 29 Order supersedes the March 31 Order of the Health Officer directing all individuals to shelter in place. The Order clarifies and extends certain terms of the prior Order to ensure continued social distancing and limit person-to-person contact to lower the spread of COVID-19.

This Order allows a limited number of additional essential and outdoor business activities to resume while the Health Officer continues to assess the transmissibility and clinical severity of COVID-19 and monitors indicators. The Order continues to restrict most activity, travel, and governmental and business functions.

However, the new Order will allow a limited number of additional Essential Businesses and certain lower-risk Outdoor Businesses to resume operating. It will also allow Essential Activities and Essential Travel.

According to Order of the Health Officer No. 20-10, Essential Businesses are “healthcare operations, establishments engaged in the retail sale of unprepared food, canned food, dry goods, non-alcoholic beverages, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, as well as hygienic products and household consumer products necessary for personal hygiene or the habitability, sanitation, or operation of residences. Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing.”

Other Essential Businesses are classified as businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals and construction, but only as permitted under the State Shelter Order and only pursuant to the Construction Safety Protocols.

The new Order also required essential businesses to develop a social distancing protocol before April 3. The Alameda County Health Department now has Social Distancing Requirements according to Order of the Health Officer No. 20-10. 

“Maintaining at least six-foot social distancing from individuals who are not part of the same household or living unit, frequently washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using hand sanitizer, covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or fabric or, into the sleeve or elbow; wearing a face covering when out in public, consistent with the orders or guidance of the Health Officer; and avoiding all social interaction outside the household when sick with a fever, cough, or other COVID-19 symptoms.”

With new social distancing requirements, Essential Activities have been expanded, but people at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and people who are sick are strongly urged to stay in their residence to the extent possible, except as necessary to seek or provide medical care.

“The use of outdoor recreational areas and facilities with high-touch equipment or that encourage gathering, including, but not limited to, playgrounds, gym equipment, climbing walls, picnic areas, dog parks, pools, spas, and barbecue areas, are prohibited outside of residences, and all such areas shall be closed to public access including by signage and, as appropriate, by physical barriers.”

Violation of or failure to comply with the new extended Order is a misdemeanor and is punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both.

Sex and Dating During Covid-19

During the coronavirus pandemic, dating and sex have been put at a standstill because of social distancing or state-mandated shelter-in-place guidelines.

It’s not okay to go out on dates right now unless those dates are over FaceTime or some other video chat app, such as Duo, Facebook Messenger, or Zoom. However, if you are in a solid relationship in the same residence, sex is at the forefront of the mind during these unprecedented times.

According to, the New York City Health Department issued specifications on COVID-19 safe sex exercises, which recommends people against having sex with anyone outside of your household.

There has been an idea floating around of individuals finding a “sex buddy.”

A “sex buddy” is a person with whom a person has a relationship based on casual sex only. However, in this case, you and said person only having sex with each other during the coronavirus pandemic, which is not recommended.

Alexandria Morrow, a single mother of two, was just getting on the dating scene when the pandemic hit Sacramento and the city, like many others, was put under the shelter-in-place order by California Governor Gavin Newson.

“I just wish I would have got back out there before this happened or at least met someone I can chill with,” Morrow said. “Now I have to use dating apps and catfishing is like a real thing. How am I supposed to know if that’s really you and you don’t know if I am me either. It’s just all so not worth the time. Which I have a lot of.”

Having a sex buddy “goes against social distancing, and you don’t actually know how closely (if at all) they’re staying away from other people,” Jen Gunter, an OB-GYN, states in a New York Times article.

You are your safest sex partner. 

Self-stimulation is both safe and satisfying, and the New York Health Department endorses washing your hands and any sex toys for 20 seconds with soap prior to using them.

In Loving Memory of Sergio Rossi

Italian footwear designer Sergio Rossi passed away on April 2 at the ripe age of 84, after contracting the coronavirus and being hospitalized for days in the intensive care unit of the Bufalini hospital in Cesena. With his passing, Italians grieve because a part of them is lost as well.

Rossi, born July 31, 1935, is part of an essential group of designers, from Baldinini to Pollini, and all in between, who made the art of Italian footwear iconic.

Learning the art of shoemaking at age 14 from his father, Rossi became a skilled craftsman early in life and he took pride in selling his hand-made sandals on the beaches of Romagna. Rossi started selling his first shoes in Bologna stores in 1966, before launching his namesake brand in 1968.

In the 1970s Gianni Versace approached Rossi to work on a collaboration. Their union, now famous, was immediately greeted with great ebullience by the world of fashion, marked as a meeting between two geniuses.

Continuing on his rise into the 1980s, Rossi’s brand formed close and deep ties with multiple fashion houses, producing shoes for Dolce & Gabbana (from 1989 to 1999) and for Azzedine Alaïa.

In the late 1990s, the Sergio Rossi brand was bought by the Gucci Group. In December 2015, “Sergio Rossi” returned to Italian ownership, purchased by Andrea Bonomi.

Over the years, Rossi’s masterpieces have been favored with some of Hollywood’s elite actresses, such as Anne Hathaway, Nicole Kidman, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Halle Berry.

After working alongside his father for years, Gianvito Rossi launched his own business in 2006.

“There are those who have had the good fortune to transform their art into work and those who have the extraordinary talent of transforming their work into a work of art,” Gianvitio wrote in a statement. “Sergio Rossi was this man. A husband, father, grandfather, and progenitor of a family that followed his example.”

Rossi’s family honored him on Friday, April 3, a day after the legendary footwear designer passed.

“The family offers, with love, their last goodbye: ‘With the unquenchable fire of your passion, you taught us that there are no limits for those who love what they do,’” Gianvito added. “Goodbye, maestro.’”

Cultural Appropriation in Fashion

Cultural appropriation has been in fashion for decades, yet in the past 10 years, cultural appropriation has been brought to the forefront.

Fashion is a form of art that is interrupted as society sees fit. Throughout the decades, fashion has been a statement that one uses to express love, hate, or even misfortune. Inspiration comes from all over the world and many fashion designers use cultural attire to innovate their fashion lines.

Musical artists like Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Iggy Azalea, and Rihanna all have taken an aspect of another culture for music videos.

Jess Gaertner, Cosmopolitan writer states that culture appropriation “in a nutshell, is when people of one culture start using elements of another culture that’s not their own.”

“It can be seen as a violation when these elements are merely used to make a media or fashion statement, or when they’re taken out of context, becoming offensive – for example, when an item of clothing that has deep meaning to culture is used as a fashion accessory flippantly by someone else,” Gaertner states in article Cultural Appropriation: 10 Times Celebs & Fashion Brands Took Things Too Far.

Vogue, Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Givenchy, Balmain, and Gucci are all luxury designers that have had a controversial issue with appropriating culture from Native American headdresses to Japanese geisha-inspired looks.

Heather Brown, a Native American Chabot student, expresses how she’s not very knowledgeable about her culture, but knows when something is wrong and how fashion is sending out an inaccurate message about the history of her culture.

“If you research the attire of Native Americans, each piece of clothing means something … you put a headdress on a white model in nothing but a bikini, what exactly are you trying to sell?” says Brown.

Brown then goes on to say that “the fashion industry is full of people who don’t understand the history behind the fashion and they should educate themselves.”

Another Chabot student, Darion Jurden, doesn’t follow fashion but knows when something is offensive and is on the lines of cultural appropriation.

“It’s hard to not take something from one culture and brand it out. This day and age people don’t pay attention to the content they put out, just the revenue they bring in. They don’t care about the history or how it might make someone feel,” says Jurden.

There is a fine line between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation. With social media being this era’s platform to express yourself some might be overly sensitive on how their culture is represented.

Dakari Thomas, a writer for The Guardsman states in the article Cultural Appropriation or Over-Sensitivity? “Among minorities in America, we have become hypersensitive to the idea of our cultures being imitated.”

Even though some might confuse cultural appropriation with appreciation, hypersensitivity can cloud one’s judgment on how someone else chooses to express themselves. 

“However, we have to realize as a society that cultural appropriation is present throughout every culture, and it is not frowned upon,” Thomas states.

Cultural appropriation is and will continue to be controversial in the fashion industry due to the belief that some trends commercialize and tarnish the ancient heritage of cultures. There have been debates on whether designers are acknowledging the history behind the attire they are taking from different cultures.

Corona Impacts the Entertainment Industry

The coronavirus also known as COVID-19 is an equal opportunity disaster. The virus has the whole world closing up shop. 

The outbreak has not only affected the working-class jobs horrifically, but it has also taken away something the world has grown accustomed to: entertainment.

“This is going to have a broad impact on most of the sectors in all of the economies of the world, but entertainment will be particularly hard hit,” says veteran media analyst Hal Vogel in an interview with U.S. entertainment magazine Variety.  

According to, the universal stamp of the film and television production industry is more likely susceptible to infection. With a higher risk of escalating the virus, due to how much traffic is typically needed to make a movie. 

During a interview Jesse Tyler Ferguson, star of “Take Me Out” expressed that “the thought of rehearsing for something that no one would even get to see is heartbreaking.”

A good portion of film sets are now requiring that their makeup artists and hairstylists only touch performers with gloves and masks on. “People are scared right now,” says Vogel “the big issue in my mind, and it’s not answerable yet, is how long will this go on and will it intensify?”

The outbreak has landed on the cusp of a variety of paramount international film events and each of them has been canceled or postponed, leaving the organizations, the venues, and the patrons with issues that no one has the answers to yet.

Analysts estimate that COVID-19 has already cost the global box office approximately five billion dollars, predominantly due to the closure of theaters in China, Japan, South Korea, Italy, and France.

In the United States alone, the death toll has risen since the beginning of the outbreak and is continuously on the rise, with over 3,400 people testing positive for COVID-19, celebrities included. 

In the eyes of society, celebrities are on the lines of mythical creatures. They are unstoppable, resilient, and not like the average citizen. So when Tom Hanks, Prince Charles, Kevin Durant, and Idris Elba tested positive for the virus the world opened their eyes to just how serious COVID-19 is and how it doesn’t discriminate on your status. 

Rapper Cardi B took to Instagram live with a video about how celebrities are confusing the public by going to get tested for COVID-19.  “If a celebrity is saying, ‘Hey, listen. I don’t have no symptoms. I’m feeling good…., but I want and got tested and I’m positive for the coronavirus, that causes confusion.” 

Cardi B then goes on to say that “45” referring to President Donald Trump is advising citizens not to get tested if you don’t have any associated symptoms yet it seems like celebrities are exempt. Which once again causes confusion.

If you not feeling sick, there no need to go get tested. You are putting yourself at risk and lucky going to spread the virus. 

The chaotic impact of the coronavirus is affecting every territory of the cultural and entertainment scene with no cure or vaccine in sight. The outbreak has caused worldwide panic for everyone.

Stay-in Place New Order Takes Effect for the Bay Area

On March 31 at 11:59 p.m., a new stay-in-place order took effect to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The new stay-at-home order will be extended through May 3, 2020, in order to preserve critical hospital capacity. 

Six counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara, as well as the city of Berkeley, have instituted the new order that requires nonessential businesses to remain closed and for residents to stay indoors and only leave home when doing essential activities, such as grocery shopping.

According to Dr. Chris Farnitano, health officer for Contra Costa County in a news release, “extending the stay-at-home order should reduce the number of sick patients seeking care at one time, giving us time to acquire more medical supplies for providers who will be providing care to people sick with COVID-19.” 

In the same news release, Dr. Farnitoano adds that “the extension will allow doctors and nurses to better treat those who do get sick and save countless lives. The new stay-at-home order will supersede the previous order and go into effect immediately.”

The new order defines what essentials business are, what activities are prohibited, and new directives. The use of playgrounds and other similar recreational areas is prohibited and closed for public use. Sports requiring people to share a ball or other equipment, as well as shared public recreational facilities such as golf courses, tennis and basketball courts, etc. are prohibited. 

Funeral homes and cemeteries; moving companies, rental car companies and ride-share services that specifically enable essential activities are still allowed. Essential businesses that continue to operate facilities must scale down operations to their essential component only.

The new order also requires essential businesses to develop a social distancing protocol before April 3. Most construction, residential and commercial has been deemed nonessential and is prohibited. However, the expansion of essential businesses now includes service providers that enable residential transactions (notaries, title companies, realtors, etc.).

Director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, Dr. Grant Colfax, stated in a recent news release, “what we need now, for the health of all our communities, is for people to stay home. Even though it has been difficult, the Bay Area has really stepped up to the challenge so far, and we need to reaffirm our commitment. We need more time to flatten the curve, to prepare our hospitals for a surge, and to do everything we can to minimize the harm that the virus causes to our Communities.”

Coronavirus (COVID-19), is a virus so new and unique that it has no approved medicines or vaccines and social distancing is the most powerful tool to slow the spread.

Black Scholars pose for a picture

5th Annual Black Scholars Family Night

What is Black Excellence? Black excellence is beautiful, intelligent, resilient, and powerful. Feb. 25, the Black Education Association (BEA) hosted its 5th Annual Black Scholars Family Night to celebrate Black Excellence at Chabot College. 

Brain Augsburger, Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) counselor and Black Excellence Collective (BEC) Coordinator opened the night with a heartfelt speech on what black excellence is and what it means to the college. It gives students something to celebrate their hard work, receive recognition for keeping a Grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better.      

Following Augsburger’s inspiring welcoming speech, all attendees rose in honor for the Black national anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” sung by Robyn Jackson. Bringing tears to guest eyes, Jackson sang with the voice of a thousand angels.    

Umoja Program Coordinator and counselor Tommy Reed reassured students that they were there to be honored for all the long hours and late nights. 

“We are here to celebrate you. We are here to hold you up. We are here to celebrate your greatness,” Reed says passionately while seeming to make eye contact with everyone in the crowd. 

The Black Scholars Planning committee and volunteers put their best foot forward to provide a platform for students to be recognized for their hard work and excellence. Several achievement awards were given out in a variety of categories.

Voted for by their peers, Skyler Robinson, a Chabot basketball player and member of the Striving Black Brother Coalition and Tiffany Williams, were crowned Black History Month King and Queen. As a part of being crowned, both Robinson and Williams received a $250 scholarship. 

BHM King & Queen Sykler Robinson and Tiffany Williams
BHM King & Queen Sykler Robinson and Tiffany Williams

Stacy Thompson, Chabot College Vice President of Academic Services, expressed how proud she was of all the scholars in attendance. “We know we can’t do it by ourselves or without the help and guidance from our ancestors.” 

Over 300 black students were honored for their academic achievement for the 2019 Fall semester, and 33 educators were nominated by students to receive the Educator of Excellence Award.

Dr. Kamela Peart, My Sister’s Keeper (MSK) Coordinator, and counselor awarded students with a GPA of 3.0 — 3.99 with the Chabot Black Scholars Honor Student Award. Dr. Jeanne Wilson, Dean of Special Programs and Services, presented the Dean’s Award for Highest Academic Achievement for students with a 4.0 GPA.

Alia Gross, Chabot student, received a Dean’s Award for her 4.0 GPA was nervous and excited, not knowing what to expect. “This is my first award and for it to be a Dean’s Award is just crazy,” Gross said while laughing nervously. “This is an honor.”

Augsburger closed the ceremony by thanking the guests for taking the time to come celebrate Black Excellence as well as the sponsor’s Student Access, Success, and Equity Committee, the Student Senate of Chabot College and BEA.

Editorial: Emergency Preparation

Natural disasters are happening every day all across the world. You can’t stop it, but you can prepare yourself in case of an emergency. Any emergency. Whether it’s an earthquake, fire, or even a windstorm. 

Being ready means being equipped with the proper supplies you may need in the event of an emergency or disaster. Keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency preparedness kit that you can use at home or take with you in case you must evacuate.

According to, a “basic emergency supply kit should include the following recommended items: Water — one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation. Food — at least a three-day supply of nonperishable food. Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio with tone alert.”

“Over the last five years, weather-related deaths are up 41% from 2014, while the number of weather events has increased 5% and injuries have decreased by 40%. In 2018, 62,339 weather events resulted in 782 deaths and 1,797 injuries,” according to

In California alone, between 2014 and 2018, there have been 7,128 weather events that caused 790 injuries and have a death toll of 293. Heat waves, winter weather, and wildfires were responsible for the most deaths during 2018. 

“The most deadly weather events in the United States over the past five years include Hurricane Irma, wildfires in California, and Hurricane Harvey,” according to

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), “an unforeseen emergency can strike at any given moment at home or work.” That’s why it’s imperative to have employees that are aware of how to respond quickly and effectively.

Keep a kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave home quickly. Make sure all members of the family know where the kit is kept and how to handle all items inside.

Be prepared to take shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Work kits should include food, water, necessities like medicines, walking shoes, and be stored in a “grab and go” bag. In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.

You do not know where you will be when an emergency happens, prepare supplies for home, work, and your vehicles.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that you plan for before, during, and after an emergency. Planning won’t stop the inevitable, But it will at least keep you prepared.

R.I.P. Kobe Bryant, the Black Mamba

Known to the world as one of the best NBA players to have graced the court and referred to as The Black Mamba, Kobe Bryant was one of the greatest players to wear an NBA uniform. Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers for all 20 seasons of his career and led the team to five NBA titles. 

Bryant, born Aug. 23, 1978, in Philadelphia, PA, died in a helicopter crash Sunday, Jan. 26, in Calabasas, California, at the age of 41 alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna” Gigi” Bryant and seven others.

Wearing the number 24, Bryant was a shooting guard, and an 18-time All-Star and two-time NBA MVP. Bryant averaged 25 points a game in his career and ended as the NBA’s fourth-highest scorer of all time and the NBA’s first guard to play for 20 seasons. 

Bryant started his career with the Lakers in 1996. He was the youngest person ever to play in an NBA game. Bryant was just 17-years-old when he signed with the Lakers, but he didn’t play in an official NBA game till he was 18. 

In April 2001, Bryant married 19-year-old Vanessa Laine, and the two stayed married through all their trials and tribulations. 

The basketball legend partnered with the nonprofit After-School All-Stars as part of the Kobe & Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation. He also ran an annual summer camp called the Kobe Basketball Academy.

In November 2015, he announced that he would retire at the end of the season. On Apr. 13, 2016, Bryant sold-out the Staples Center and gave fans everywhere a magnificent performance in the last game of his career, scoring 60 points and leading the Lakers to a win against the Utah Jazz. 

Bryant leaves behind his wife and three daughters Natalia Diamante, 17, Bianka Bella, 3, and Capri Kobe, 7-months. His parents Joe “Jellybean” Bryant and Pam Bryant, along with his two sisters Sharia and Shaya Bryant.

A public memorial service will be held Monday, Feb. 24, at 10 a.m., in Downtown Los Angeles, at the Staples Center.