Author Archives: Enrique Zarate

About Enrique Zarate

My name is Enrique Zarate, I don’t have much experience with journalism. I have only done small interviews and put together a few articles for my high school yearbook during my senior year. This year I am getting some more experience being a Spotter for the San Francisco 49ers Spanish broadcasts on 49ers.com. I am looking forward to learning a lot more now working with a professional sports team and I look forward to covering them for years to come. My goal is to one day become a sports show host or a color commentator for either soccer, football, or basketball.

The Gap Instinct

“We have [that irresistible] temptation to divide all kinds of things into two distinct and often conflicting groups with an imagined gap … It is [how] the gap instinct creates a picture in people’s heads of a world split into two kinds of countries or two kinds of people: rich versus poor.” This is a quote from Hans Rosling’s book, “Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World — and Why Things Are Better Than You Think.”

In this book, Rosling tackles many aspects of the world in which people see the worst rather than what they really are. One of those is “The Gap Instinct.” Which the quote above explains.

Basically, the gap instinct is this belief that most of the world is living in these extremely poor conditions when the reality is not that at all.

Rosling writes, “I call them mega misconceptions because they have such an enormous impact on how people misperceive the world. [The Gap Instinct] is the worst. By dividing the world into two misleading boxes — rich and poor, it completely distorts all the global proportions in people’s minds.”

Using data from the United Nations (UN), Rosling begins his break down of the gap instinct and why the gap isn’t as big anymore as it was a few years ago.

Referring to a graph showing how many countries are in a developing stage and how many are developed, Rosling writes, “ … this picture shows the world in 1965 … that’s the problem.”

The graph Rosling is referring to shows two boxes, one containing developing countries and the other containing developed countries. In the developing box, there are 125 bubbles, and in the developed box there are only 44.

Rosling shows an updated graph with the same structure, except the developing countries box is almost entirely empty now. Which means most countries are developed today according to the UN.

“Eighty-five percent of mankind is already inside the box that used to be named “developed world.” The remaining 15 percent are mostly in between the two boxes. Only 13 countries, representing 6 percent of the world population, are still inside the “developing” box” Rosling explains.

Now Rosling uses the example of mortality rate, making an emphasis on child mortality to paint a picture of how life is basically lived. However, he explains that it ends up tying into other aspects of the world, like the overall economy of those countries.

It’s simple, the more children and people that survive in those countries, the better overall lives the people are living. They have better health care, access to things like better education, etc.

Since according to Rosling, people will always try to divide things because naturally, it’s easier to look at and understand things when they are divided into groups. Rosling suggests not seeing the world in two groups, but instead in four groups called “the four income levels.”

The four income levels are as follows. People in level 1 are people who live in extreme poverty, which most likely means their country is still in the developing box from the graph mentioned above. Level 2 are people who are living a lower-middle-class kind of lifestyle, these people would probably fit into the countries that appear between the boxes on the graph. Finally, levels 3 and 4 are people who are what we would consider the middle class and high class. They probably live in an already developed country.

Rosling shows a graph with stats from 2017, which is the same year the book was published. As he explains it, “Each figure in the chart represents 1 billion people, and the seven figures show how the current world population is spread out across four income levels, expressed in terms of dollar income per day.”

Using information from the UN as well for this graph, it shows that only 1 billion people are living on Level 1, which it explains as people who make $2 a day. 3 billion people are living on Level 2 making $8 a day. 2 billion people are living on Level 3 making $32 a day. Finally, 1 billion people are living on Level 4 making over $64 a day.

According to the graph, 5 billion people are living in the middle, on levels 2 and 3. Which means the world is essentially getting better with wage gaps and so on.

Focusing on a smaller area and not the entire world, let’s look at the Bay Area, for example, which is one of the most expensive places to live.

It is a fair assumption to say most people in the Bay Area are probably in levels 2 and 3, some may even be on level 4. Of course, there can and are some exceptions like homeless people, or people who live paycheck to paycheck.

If we divide it, we can see the four levels within just the Bay. Level 1 would be homeless. Level 2 would be people living paycheck to paycheck, getting just enough to have the essentials. Level 3 would be people living comfortably, who can buy the essentials and a few luxuries here and there. Level 4, of course, would be people that live really comfortably and don’t necessarily have to worry too much about their situation.

So we can see Rosling’s point even within a small part of the world. Yes, it’s costly to live here, but we manage to pull through. Basically, that’s Rosling’s point, that this break down allows us to see a more precise break down because things are not what they used to be 20 or even 10 years ago and based on this model the world does seem to be getting better.

Obesity in America

It seems obesity is becoming more and more of a problem in the United States. Is it the food? Is it people’s habits? It could be both, but in some cases, it might not be either.

As fortune.com shared a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “More than 70 percent of Americans are now either obese or overweight by this measure. However, the statistics are particularly worrying. Almost 40 percent of adults are obese. The childhood obesity rate, for ages 6-19, has increased to 2 percent.”

This situation is worrisome as fortune.com adds in their article, “Childhood obesity is linked to increased mortality rates in adulthood, and obesity can lead to diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.”

A big reason for this could be the fact that many people in the US are struggling to even get by. With this being said, healthy food is often times more expensive than “junk” food or fast food, it is hard for people to turn down the chance to save money by just taking the unhealthier option.

For example, even when talking about something simple like grapes. We can see grapes are $2.98 per pound at Walmart. Meanwhile, you can get 2 cheeseburgers at McDonald’s for $2.

Even with a comparison as simple as this, we can see that this has to be one of the issues. However, this is not necessarily a good excuse all the time as people could be healthier by just cooking at home.

According to thesimpledollar.com, “At an average cost of $12.75 per meal, you’d save yourself $8.75 for each of those meals. In other words, the average American would save $36.75 per person per week by moving all of their meals from restaurants to home-prepared meals.”

With these people would avoid the highly processed foods and would be able to prepare them in a way in which it’s at least not to a fast food level of unhealthy.

But it is understandable why some people may not have the time to cook food as many people in America are working multiple jobs just to make ends meet as mentioned before.

As fortune.com included in their article, “Frank Hu from the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health told NBC News, There’s still a huge amount of cheap, accessible, highly processed food available everywhere [at] almost any time,” he said. “And despite people doing more recreational activity these days, the overall activity level, household activity, and occupational activity have decreased in recent years.”

The organization of Public Health breaks it down as they try to tackle this issue. On their website publichealth.org, they include research they have performed to get to the bottom of this.

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that the average American ate almost 20 percent more calories in the year 2000 than they did in 1983, thanks, in part, to a boom in meat consumption. Today, each American puts away an average of 195 pounds of meat every year, compared to just 138 pounds in the 1950s. Consumption of added fats also shot up by around two thirds over the same period, and grain consumption rose 45 percent since 1970.”

So the problem is in fact that people are probably eating more than they should. But it’s not the case for everyone and it isn’t the only part of the issue.

As publichealth.org adds, “Research published by the World Health Organization found that a rise in fast food sales correlated to a rise in body mass index, and Americans are notorious for their fast-food consumption ― such food makes up about 11 percent of the average American diet. Another study demonstrates the full effect added sugars from soda and energy drinks are wreaking havoc on American waistlines. So it is not just how much we eat, but what we eat.”

Basically, this just adds to what was discussed above about the unhealthier option generally being cheaper than the healthier option or in other cases people just not having the time to cook.

But what we eat and how much we eat isn’t the only problem. Another study showed that Americans are just not getting enough exercise and are too inactive.

As it says on publichealth.org, “According to one study, only 20 percent of today’s jobs require at least moderate physical activity, as opposed to 50 percent of jobs in 1960. Other research suggests Americans burn 120 to 140 fewer calories a day than they did 50 years ago. Add this to the higher amount of calories we are packing in, and we get a perfect recipe for weight gain.”

This does make a lot of sense as today with all the technological advancements, machines have replaced a lot of the physical labor tasks humans had to otherwise do before. In a sense making it easier on people but also taking jobs away and making people lazier.

We go back to the question though. Who does this effect?

According to publichealth.org, “In general, however, the poor are more likely to be overweight or obese than the rich. Again, nobody is certain why, but studies suggest lower-income individuals consume higher amounts of calories through fast foods and sodas that are high in sugar, fat, and calories. Quite simply, in the United States today, eating healthy food can cost more than eating junk.”

So once again it all ends up going back to what was discussed above, people with lower income levels are more likely to turn to the cheaper option because it makes sense.

The consequences are obviously health issues down the line if people don’t decide to make a change. According to publichealth.org, “being overweight can cause diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression, reproduction, respiratory disease, cognitive health, and musculoskeletal disorders.”

With all of these statistics, it is obvious that obesity is becoming an increasingly serious problem in America. But there is hope of turning things around.


Phillip Antwine: The Podfather

Hayward native and Chabot Community College student Phillip Antwine is as knowledgeable as they come when it comes to wrestling. Phillip has been watching pro wrestling for 15 years now and started following amateur wrestling in 2012 when he was a Junior in high school. He currently is sharing his knowledge with young wrestlers at Mt. Eden high school where he has been a wrestling coach for 2 years.

When asked if he has led students to winning titles, Phillip said, “Not me necessarily, the other coaches have more experience than I do, but I yell stuff too.”

With regards to his coaching career, Phillip is unsure if he wants to continue down that path. “It’s up in the air whether I’ll go back next season or not,” he said.

Phillip also addressed his plans for pursuing a career as a pro wrestler, “I went to try out to be a pro wrestler when I was 17. I think that I’ve kind of lived out that fantasy.” Phillip wrestled throughout his high school career where he had a record of 11 wins and 12 losses.

Phillip’s main focus right now is on his podcast Bullet Cast where he discusses the essential topics in the wrestling world. His main focus is on the popular company World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) as well as other pro wrestling companies.

People can listen to his podcast at a wide variety of places: iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play, iHeartRadio, 99.9FM KDUB in Watsonville, and on YouTube. All you have to do is search “Bullet Cast” in any of these apps to listen.

Phillip said, “I’ve been doing that for 2 years now. There have been 107 episodes, but I’ve done well over 200 podcasts.”

The podcast has been pretty successful and is listened to in many places around the world. “I don’t have an exact number, but the places people listen are, US, Japan, Argentina, Sweden, UK, Vietnam, Canada, and other countries,” Phillip said.

So far Phillip has interviewed 11 different wrestlers, including WWE superstars like Chris Masters.

While Phillip may not have a clear future in mind with his coaching or pro wrestling careers. He hopes to host the Bullet Cast live one-day having pro wrestling legends as well as current pro wrestlers as guests so that people can call into the show and ask them questions.

“I’m trying to be in the same arena as Joe Rogan,” Phillip says. Joe Rogan is a popular stand-up comedian and mixed martial arts color commentator and currently hosts a popular podcast called The Rogan Experience.

Registration Checklist

Chabot students the time has come to start registering for your Spring 2019 semester classes. Here is some information on what you need to stay on track with your educational goals.

First, it’s important to be aware of when your registration date is, you can quickly check this by just signing into your CLASS-Web. There you will instantly see a message that says “you may register on or after this day.”

If you don’t know how to get into CLASS-Web simply go to the Chabot College website and click “Register @ CLASS-Web.” From there just enter your W number and your pin which should be your date of birth.

Your registration date might also be emailed to you, so make sure you can access your Zonemail. To access your Zonemail go to CLASS-Web and click “what is my email?” your email will then be displayed, the password should be the same as your CLASS-Web unless you changed it.

Remember there is always help on campus.

Continue reading

Food Pantry Enjoyed by Students

Chabot had their usual Food Pantry event on Wednesday, October 10, to distribute food and other resources like clothing to people who need them.

The food pantry started in the summer of 2017 and has been pretty successful since. Student Maria Garcia and former student Sofia Sanchez, who were volunteers for the event, said, “Chabot hosts the event to increase access to food and other resources.”

When asked who supplies the food she stated, “[the] food comes from the Alameda County food bank.”

When asked about how many people volunteer for this cause she said, “[about] 10-15 people volunteer for this event.”

Food pantry events are a big help for a student or anyone who’s struggling as many are, with working while also trying to go to school full time, especially in the bay area.

When asked on how the food pantry has helped her, Phuong Ha, a student at Chabot College told us, “I think it’s really helpful for students because some of us have big families and every week we go to the grocery store it’s really expensive like two or three hundred dollars so this really helps me and my family out.”

Student, Malcolm Roi, also gave us his opinion on the food pantry, “I think it’s a good thing that they’re doing this, it provides food for people that are in need, they’re providing resources for those less fortunate.”

Student, Cedric White, talked about the money this event helps students save as we know that’s very important in the bay area especially for college students, “I think it’s great, I mean those bags of onions for example and the fruit, you’re already saving people like 5 to 15 dollars right there so it’s a big help.”

It was another successful event as many students showed up to get food, it’s a noble act that Chabot is holding this event as all the students interviewed said, they are saving students money, opening up resources for people who might be going through hard times, etc.

All in all, we can see the appreciation that students have for this event and the sense of community that is felt right away throughout it. For those wanting to take advantage of this event, it is held every month at the Cesar Chavez Plaza, you can get more information by sending an email to [email protected].

DMV Improperly Registers Voters

The California Department of Motor Vehicles incorrectly registered 23,000 voter registrations.

As reported by Fox News and The Sacramento Bee, the DMV submitted all these incorrect registrations to the Secretary of State on Wednesday, September 5. The fault as it seems falls on the technicians because while switching between different screens, information of California residents was incorrectly merged.

It doesn’t stop there though as on Monday, October 8, 1,500 more people were found to be improperly registered to vote by the DMV.

The DMV director told the Sacramento Bee, “agency officials have worked quickly with the Department of Technology to correct these errors and have also updated the programming and added additional safeguards to improve this process.”

California Secretary of State, Alex Padilla added that he’s “deeply frustrated and disappointed that persistent errors by the DMV and CDT have undermined public confidence in your basic responsibility to collect and transmit accurate voter registration information, as has been required by federal law for 25 years.”

“You’re setting the state up for a disaster,” Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of True the Vote, told Fox. “They don’t seem to have a process in place to verify that people are who they say they are.”

When asked her opinion on the matter, Rosa, a Hayward resident stated, “it’s definitely a big deal, you’d expect them to know what they’re doing. Then when they go ahead and make these types of mistakes, it’s just shocking.”

When asked if she was one of the improperly registered voters she said no. But she added, “I would definitely not be happy if I was.”

According to Fox News, the program concerned a lot of people right from the start because they feared illegal immigrants would be able to vote. However, that is not a worry anymore as none of the people improperly registered were illegal immigrants.

The Importance of Voting

“It’s incredibly important because elections are determined by the people who show up and vote, it may seem like it doesn’t matter who votes and that the outcomes will be the same but this last election shows how misguided that perception is.” This is the message Political Science teacher Jessica Gallucci, had for students at Chabot College with regards to registering to vote.

Gallucci offered possible reasons for people not voting, “I think that there are many reasons why people don’t vote, they don’t because they feel one vote won’t make a difference, people feel that the system is rigged.”

Gallucci continued, “People are unhappy with candidates, logistical differences in actually going out and voting, but I think that what we don’t understand is that certain populations are more likely to vote than others and those benefit more in the political process because they participate and that can be an eye-opening realization for folks and hopefully that motivates them.”

With the midterm elections coming up Tuesday, November 6. We asked students about the importance of voting and the impact it has.

Voting is important to students at Chabot. Most of the students asked, said they are registered to vote. Those few who aren’t registered said that people who are registered should vote because it impacts everyone in some form even if you might not realize it.

“Even if you don’t think it means anything, just know your vote counted in some way. It was tallied,” said Dee Collins, a student who is registered to vote.

Jessica Gallucci commented on students learning the importance of voting, “There are many places on campus where students are being exposed to the importance of voting in courses and extracurricular activities and hopefully we will continue to do this in the future.”

If you want to vote but didn’t get a chance to register by the deadline, the state of California must provide provisional ballots when asked, even if you didn’t register. Go to the California Secretary of State, Alex Padilla’s website for more information.

Dia de Los Muertos

Chabot College began celebrating Dia de los Muertos on Wednesday, October 17 at noon by placing altars around campus which were available for students to view until Thursday, November 1 at 6 in the afternoon.

These altars were placed in the building 700 lobby, El Centro, building 100 first floor, the library, and the building 400 lobby.

Each of the altars featured different things. The altar in the 400 building lobby was dedicated to Mexican singer Selena Quintanilla. Known by many as simply Selena, she was admired by many people, her music was mostly “cumbias” which is dance music in Spanish, but she also sang some love songs in English. She passed away on March 31, 1995, when she was just 23 years old.

The altar in the 700 building was a traditional Dia de los Muertos altar, with several pictures of different people that have passed away with an image of the Virgin Mary behind them as a traditional altar.

Finally, the altar found in the library was an altar based on the history of Dia de los Muertos.

Officially Dia de los Muertos is celebrated on October 31 and ends on November 2. It’s a day where people honor their loved ones who have passed away. Chabot ended the Dia de los Muertos festivities with a celebration they hold every year on Thursday, November 1, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Event Center.

During this celebration, students had the opportunity to learn the history of Dia de los Muertos as usual. Students also got a chance to participate in a variety of activities like Loteria which is basically like Mexican bingo, face painting, candle making, flower making, and much more. Students were also able to learn about the resources provided at El Centro and on campus.

The organization responsible for the altars and the celebration was the Hispanic-Serving Institution.

Chabot Parking Frustrations

A campus safety car drives through Chabot College's parking lot B.

Chabot parking lot monitored by campus safety

Are you late to class again because you couldn’t find parking? The answer to this question for a lot of students at Chabot is yes. Finding a parking spot is especially difficult at the start of the fall semester when most students register for their classes.

But is there a solution to this problem? Some ideas have been mentioned, but as of now, we don’t have a lot of information as to what has happened to those ideas.

One of these ideas was the possibility that a staff parking lot would be removed to make more space for student parking. The other idea was to add additional parking spaces.

Officer Steve Lowry addressed both of these ideas, “Right now the information we have is that it has been delayed or suspended, as of today there is no change in staff parking. There are no additional parking spaces that have been added to my knowledge.”

Another concern is that parking prices have gone up. Officer Lowry told us, “during the summer semester the board of trustees approved a $1 increase.”

But is $1 really that big of a deal? Well taking into account the income of the average college student it might be. As various students prefer to park across the street rather than purchasing a permit. Others prefer riding their bike or using public transportation. There are also students that haven’t even noticed the $1 increase though.

In previous editions of The Spectator, officer Nate Moore said, “Parking permits do not guarantee a parking space; rather, they authorize parking in available spaces.” With this in mind, a possible solution could be not overselling permits and only selling as many permits as there are parking spaces so that it has more value for students.

Michael, a student at Chabot stated, “It depends on the times, in the mornings it’s obviously going to be more difficult to find a spot. When I come for my afternoon class though it seems to be fine. Mainly it’s the first few weeks where people fight over spots and it’s just always full, sometimes I have to park across the street.”

For now, all we can do is play the waiting game and see what is done about this parking issue. Continue reading

BART Retrofit Shaking It Up

BART is already preparing for a possible earthquake with projects underway at both the Coliseum and Fruitvale stations.

The BART communications department stated, “Stage one began in June and is expected to last through the end of the year. Work is taking place under the south end of the BART alignment located near 73rd Avenue, parallel San Leandro Street, this includes the stairwell off San Leandro Street which connects to the pedestrian bridge. This is all part of BART’s systemwide Earthquake Safety Program.”

“The retrofit work will help the columns better withstand damage from future earthquakes” they added “Construction work is being performed on each column that holds up the BART trackway on the north side of 35th Avenue. Work is also being done to the columns and fixtures located inside the Fruitvale station.”

The good news for BART users is that none of this will change the train schedules in any way. The estimated duration of this project is 4 months and will not affect riders.

“In November of 2004, voters in Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco counties approved Regional Measure AA, the BART Earthquake Safety Bond. It has been funding most ($980 million) of our $1.2 billion systemwide projects to strengthen the original BART system, protect public safety and ensure that BART service returns quickly to avoid gridlock following a major earthquake.”

BART said this is what inspired them to start this project to improve their structures and prepare for an earthquake. It’s a good decision on their part since experts believe a major earthquake could hit California in the next 30 years.

Jesus, who is a frequent BART rider told us, “That’s very important, especially for people’s safety, that way we feel more comfortable and secure with BART trying to take the necessary precautions to keep people safe. The safety of the riders should be the most important thing.”

When asked about his usage of BART and the impact it has on him that the train schedules won’t be affected he added, “it’s very important because as everybody knows traffic in the bay area is a nightmare for everyone, you try to go anywhere, and there’s always traffic. BART helps with that, so it’s good that we’ll still be able to use the service without worrying about changes in the schedule.”

“I use BART almost daily, I work in the city, so if I use my car it means it will take 2 or more hours to get there, whereas with BART I can just take an hour and I don’t have to deal with finding parking and sitting in traffic, and all that stuff, it’s just less stressful” added Jesus.

Overall it’s a pretty positive response from people to BART’s project to prepare for a major earthquake. Also, it is true that BART helps a lot of people get from point A to point B without having to worry about the daily traffic issues in the Bay Area.