Author Archives: Josefina De La Torre

Dianne Feinstein, Longest-Serving Female Senator, Pass Away from Natural Causes

Dianne Feinstein | Biography, Senate, & Facts | Britannica

Photograher Beck Hammel
Dianne Feinstein, official Senate photo. Photographer/Beck Hammel

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the longest-serving female senator, passed away on Sept. 29, at age 90. 

She died at her home in Washington D.C. from natural causes, her office said in a statement. 

Feinstein graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in history. Her political career began when she was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors after becoming involved with the California Women’s Parole Board. She became acting mayor of San Francisco on Nov. 27, 1978, after the assassination of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. 

She officially became the first female mayor of San Francisco on Dec. 4, 1978. Feinstein’s leadership helped the city through the crisis of the double assassination that left San Francisco in a panic. Soon after, she would become the first female chair of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. 

Feinstein’s political career created opportunities for other women to enter the sphere of politics. She ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor of California in 1990. 

Feinstein did a joint campaign with Barbara Boxer in 1992, both running for California’s Senate seats, with both women winning. This was a historic win for California as they had two women in the Senate. 

While being one of the first women elected as a senator, her career in the Senate often came with challenges. She held a moderate governing style and often advocated for gun control, wanting to pass a ban on assault weapons.

In 2014, Feinstein led the Senate floor reading a 500-page report on torture and mistreatment of prisoners by the CIA.

Born in San Francisco on June 22, 1933. She was the daughter of Leon Goldman, a surgeon, and Betty (nee Rosenburg), a model. Feinstein suffered from a traumatic childhood, resulting from her mother being unstable with her and her younger sisters. 

Feinstein was married three times in her lifetime. She married Jack Berman in 1956, and divorced in 1959, Bertram Feinstein in 1962 until his death in 1978, and married Richard Blum from 1980 to his death in 2022. 

She is survived by her daughter, Katherine Feinstein, her granddaughter, Eileen Feinstein Mariano, and her three stepdaughters. 

The Chabot Crochet Club: Crafting a Sustainable Solution to Fast Fashion

The Chabot Crochet Club is one of Chabot’s newest clubs on campus. 

The Chabot Crochet Club was created to help the students at Chabot College have a way to combat the fast fashion industry and companies like Shein.

Companies like Shein have become one of the fastest-growing fast fashion companies in the world. They create clothing that is cheaply made and produced rapidly for fashion trends, with clothing ending up in landfills shortly after. 

“I wanted to make a club that helped with the slow fashion movement because there’s a lot of fashion companies that are not great right now like Shein,” said club president Chandini Chen. “I wanted to make this as a guide to the slow fashion movement, which is basically making our own clothes.”

The club provides materials such as yarn, crochet hooks, and helps club members make practicing stitches for their projects. Club members practice on projects such as scarves, stuffed animals, blankets, and various pieces of clothing. 

Crochet has a reputation for being one of the easiest fiber crafts to learn quickly versus knitting or embroidery. All you need is to have some crochet hooks and yarn to learn the basics of stitches.

“I’ve been trying to make a blanket. It has not been going well because I got it tangled, but it’s a learning process, and I’m enjoying it a lot,” said club member Lhia Lynn Alvarez.

The Chabot Crochet Club meets every Wednesday in room 1702 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

A Celebration of Filipino-American Month

Members of Malaya Tri-City and Barangay Chabot pose in front of timeline of the Phillipines. 

Staff Photographer/Josefina de la Torre
Members of Malaya Tri-City and Barangay Chabot pose in front of timeline of the Phillipines. Staff Photographer/Josefina de la Torre

October marks the celebration of Filipino American History Month. Barangay Chabot and Malaya Tri-City on Oct. 9 in room 554, celebrating Filipino American History Month.

With 4.4 million Filipino Americans in the United States, they are the second largest Asian American group. Congress recognized in 2009 that October would be celebrated as Filipino American History Month after many years of organization for recognition. 

“So as a Filipino, it means a lot to me because it represents who I am and also the people,” said Chabot College student Stephanie Corelo. “You know, who are my friends, my family, and it also gives me a chance to celebrate our heritage or culture.” 

Mayala Tri-City, a Filipino American social justice movement group in the East Bay, collaborated with Barangay Chabot, leading a lesson on the history of the Philippines and when Filipino Americans came to the United States. 

From learning the Spanish had colonized the Philippines for nearly four centuries to understanding the different waves of Filipinos immigrating for a better life. Students learned something new that connected them to their cultural history and heritage. 

The meeting ended with an activity of Chabot College students of Filipino descent writing down the date and reason why their family immigrated to the United States on a timeline. It is to show that many Filipino American students are similar with their families’ immigration story for a better life or job opportunities. 

“For me, Filipino American History Month means getting everyone’s kind of look back at their family history. Getting to know and understand why we all came here and seeing just how similar or maybe even how different you are,” said Janice Martir, president of Barangay Chabot. 

“For me, I think a lot of people when they talk about Filipino American History Month. The context is usually in the past. To me, what it means is being part of history and continuing the history of resistance of our people,” said Kristal Orasio, a member of Malaya Tri-City.

Cafe Dad: Empowering Fathers for Success in Hayward Schools

Cafe Dad is part of the Hayward Unified School District’s (HUSD) Fatherhood Initiative, where fathers and father figures meet to learn about resources and topics focused on fatherhood and helping their children succeed in school. They meet every month on the second Thursday at 6 p.m. at different locations in Hayward. 

The meeting was held on Sept. 14 to help fathers and father figures learn how to prepare their children for success. Family engagement specialists Eduardo Picazo and John Maris lead the monthly meetings with workshops and events to help engage fathers in their children’s lives. 

“HUSD has been involved with encouraging fathers to participate in students’ academic life and career,” said family engagement specialist Eduardo Picazo. 

“Mom is usually the first point of contact. If fathers feel welcome at school, we believe students would be more successful if fathers were involved with student events and participation. That’s why the school district started this program,” continued Picazo. 

Cafe Dad holds workshops for fathers to learn financial literacy, investing, helping with legal support, and helping empower dads in different ways. The Cafe Dad also holds events for fathers to spend time with their children, like miniature golfing, bowling, or going to the movie theater. The program has also become a safe space and support system for fathers. 

“What we do is we try to create a safe space for fathers to come and discuss topics that are relevant to them,” said family engagement specialist John Masis. 

The next meeting for Cafe Dad will be held on Oct. 12, where they will be discussing bullying prevention and digital safety. Fathers are welcome from outside of the HUSD if they would like to benefit and learn from the workshops of Cafe Dad.

Community Unites at Castro Valley’s Fall Festival

Festival goers waiting in line for kettle corn and drinks. Photo by Josefina de la Torre

Castro Valley Boulevard transformed into a bustling hub of local culture and commerce during the 51st annual Fall Festival, held on Sept. 9 and 10 and hosted by the Castro Valley and Eden Area Chamber of Commerce.

Local vendors, artists, and booths were selling homemade goods and merchandise and sharing information with the community, such as and CV Sanitary. A small zoo and festival rides were provided for children for their entertainment.

Local dance performances and live entertainment were enjoyed by the public. Southern food and kettle corn were sold at the festival for everyone’s enjoyment.

Jenn DeJanes, owner of local online bakery Jenn’s Cupcakes, praised the festival’s impact on the community. “We’ve been doing this event for almost nine years now. It is the best event Castro Valley has and brings the biggest crowd to town,” DeJanes said.” I love seeing all of our clients that we met over the years and the families that have grown and just getting to see the whole community come together as one.”

“We’re representing our organization. We’re also a community place, so we want to get the word out about what we are doing in the community. So this is a great way to give us exposure,” said Nimone Li-Hardisty, CEO of “The Castro Valley Festival is a very popular event.”

Despite challenges with limited parking spaces and heavy traffic, the festival still managed to attract a robust turnout this year. Attendees navigated the congestion to enjoy various activities, vendors, and performances. The difficulties in transportation did little to dampen the community’s enthusiasm for the annual event.

As the festival wrapped up, local resident Jill Rich summed up the sentiments of many attendees. “I’m looking forward to seeing all the small businesses and what Castro Valley offers.”

The Great Shakeout Canceled

The Great Shakeout, the annual earthquake preparedness drill, was canceled on Oct. 20. Chabot College has done the Great Shakeout for many years, but this is the first the school has canceled the event. 

Due to the past few years of the coronavirus pandemic, the school has not many staff and students on campus. Along with the construction taking place around campus with the Paths to Parking project and the public address system stopped working. 

With a mixture of factors of construction, the pandemic, and electronic malfunction with the public address system, it was ultimately decided the Great Shakeout was canceled. 

“We feel pretty confident we’ll be able to circle back around some point next year. In the spring, hopefully. If we don’t get to it in the spring, we’re going to get back in business and we’ll do the ShakeOut for sure,” said Vice President Dale Wagoner.

Barangay’s Parol Making!

Now that Thanksgiving has past and the Christmas holidays are around the corner, the Barangay Chabot Club held a parol making event on Nov. 29 in the Event Center.

Parol making is a Filipino tradition that includes making parols out of bamboo sticks and paper into the shape of a star. They are illuminated with candles or battery operated lights.

Photo taken by Maika Jeciel

“Parol making is creating a Filipino lantern star that is commonly held outside or inside of people’s homes to celebrate Christmas,” said club president Maika Jeciel. “It symbolizes the three kings who went to see Jesus at the time of his birth.”

President of the Barangay Chabot Club, Maika Jeciel, presented a Disney animation on the parol star and Christmas holiday and then a tutorial on how to make a parol lantern. Many attendees were of Filipino or Asian descent and came to partake in the activities and socialize.

Barangay Chabot is one of the clubs MOVEMENT learning supports for Asian American and Pacific Islander students coming to Chabot College. Other clubs MOVEMENT supports are Association of China, Punjabi Club, Vietnamese-American Association, and many more.

“I enjoyed celebrating the culture with our fellow club members since Christmas is a big occasion in the Philippines. Being able to share and create a parol means a lot not just to the officers and the club but also us as Filipinos. We hope we have more activities like this!” said club secretary Stephanie Cornelio.

“I enjoyed most the club hosting a parol making event, the idea of being able to share this important tradition in the Philippines, with the community here at Barangay Chabot, that not only educates our community, but bonds us,” said Jeciel.

The Midnight Club Review

Netflix’s newest show, created by Leah Fong and Mike Flanagan, The Midnight Club, was released on Oct. 7. The show is about eight terminally ill young adults that reside in Brightcliffe Home hospice and tell haunting stories every night. When one of them is near death, they make a pact to try to communicate from beyond the grave.

Starring Iman Benson, Igby Rigney, Sauriyan Sapkota, Aya Furukawa, Ruth Codd, William Chris Sumpter, Annarah Cymone, and Adia.

The show starts off with Ilonka, played by Iman Benson, who is diagnosed with thyroid cancer and enrolls into Brightcliffe Hospice in hopes of finding a cure for her illness. She arrives at the hospice having learned of its previous past of being a home to a cult and a miracle patient Julia Jayne. Soon, she finds the other patients are in a club where they tell scary stories called the Midnight Club.

Flanagan’s The Midnight Club is adapted from Christopher Pike’s book The Midnight Club released in 1994. Flanagan is known for taking inspiration from previous works and turning it into terrific horror shows.

As someone who has watched Flanagan’s other shows such as The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor, and Midnight Mass, I was excited to see what The Midnight Club would hold. I was excited to see what jumpscares or hauntings would be at the hospice where the eight teens resided.

The show did not reach my expectations on how Flanagan’s prior work did well with the horror element. While I think the show is a good premise with telling scary stories in the dark, I was expecting more ghosts and scares.

What I did enjoy the most was the connection between all the characters, they all knew they were on borrowed time and made the most of relationships with love and care for each other. The episode where Anya, played by Ruth Codd, was passing away made me cry. They all joined together to be with her in her final moments.

I had more questions than answers when I finished the show. For example, what gave Ilonka visions to visit Brightcliffe Hospice or why did Kevin, played by Igby Rigney, never mention he was sleep walking until the last episode? I found out recently that Flanagan is going to have another season for The Midnight Club, so hopefully my questions will be answered and be more engaging.

Predator’s Newest Film

The newest film in the Predator series, Prey, was released Aug. 5 as a Hulu original starring Amber Midthunder and Dakota Beavers. Directed by Dan Trachtenberg and written by Patrick Aison, the film is set in the early 18th century in the Great Plains, where a young Comanche woman witnesses the crash landing of a spacecraft and sets out to prove herself as a hunter.

Prey differs from the rest of the Predator series as it predates the original films and consists almost entirely of Native American and First Nation actors and actresses. The casting of this film made it possible for more Indigenous talent to premiere on the big screen.

Naru, played by Amber Midthunder, is a healer who dreams of becoming a distinguished hunter like her older brother, Taabe, played by Dakota Beavers. While pursuing a deer in the forest with her dog, Naru witnesses what looks like a Thunderbird falling from the sky. She takes this as a sign to prove herself. She returns to her village to find out that one of the hunters was taken by a mountain lion. Naru insists on coming along with the search party to help track and provide medical care but soon comes across signs that something alien is out there.

After healing the hunter, she encounters the mountain lion on the tree branch but gets distracted by mysterious sounds and lights and falls, hitting her head. Naru becomes frustrated after her failed attempt to catch the mountain lion. Her brother is successful and is rewarded by the tribe, becoming War Chief. She wanders from her tribe to investigate. Meanwhile, a Predator hunts for a formidable opponent worthy of fighting.

The cinematography was simply beautiful, with panoramic shots of nature and ancient North American landscapes. The use of the landscape really sets the movie’s tone while following Naru’s growth and use of her surroundings.

The introduction of the Predator was epic, showing off his robustness and strength. His weaponry and use of limited technology showed how primitive and powerful the Predator can be without its traditional armor and weapons.

I would say the representation of the Comanche Nation was done well and with love from the people who all worked together on this film. I loved that they showed subtle nods toward the indigenous tribe, from the knowledge of medicine to crafting an arm stretcher out of wood and sticks.

Midthunder’s performance as Naru was refreshing because it differs from previous Predator films. She portrays Naru as a girl relying on her intellect and observation skills and using her surroundings to her advantage. There is no military, no advanced weaponry to eliminate alien creatures. There is just Naru simply being strategic and using her home-field advantage to defeat the Predator.

What surprised me about this movie was the actors did a Comanche dubbed version. I do not think this has ever occurred in a Hollywood film.

“I think this is the best Predator movie I have seen so far. One of the best in the series,” said Dr. Kim Morrison.

“I liked the fact this film wasn’t compared to the original franchise movies. It’s not male-dominated,” said librarian Eugenia Chan.

Fiona and Ian

Hurricane Fiona hit Puerto Rico as a Category 1 storm on Sept. 18 with historically large amounts of rainfall and shut down electricity on the island. Parts of Puerto Rico were hit with over 30 inches of rain, causing significant damage to bridges and roads from flooding and mudslides. 

Hurricane Fiona came five years after Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm that left nearly 3,000 people dead in 2017 and devastated the island’s power grid. Afterward, it took almost a year for electricity to be restored to all residents of Puerto Rico in 2018. 

At least 21 people have died from Fiona, according to the Department of Health in Puerto Rico. 

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi of Puerto Rico had asked Biden to prioritize rebuilding the island’s transportation infrastructure. 

“We want to be treated in the same way as our fellow Americans in times of need. All American citizens, regardless of where they live in the United States, should receive the same support from the federal government,” said Pierluisi. 

President Biden traveled to Puerto Rico on Oct. 2 and promised $60 million in hurricane relief funds from the federal government to help rebuild areas in Puerto Rico that Fiona hit.

As Puerto Rico slowly recovers from Hurricane Fiona, Florida was decimated by Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 storm. Many residents on the mainland and island communities were left without power, and many found themselves homeless. 

The current death toll from Hurricane Ian is 127 in Florida. Five deaths were attributed to the storm in North Carolina. 

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden traveled on Oct. 5, Wednesday, to survey the damage in Florida. 

Biden and Gov. Ron DeSantis put aside their political differences to work together on rescue and recovery efforts for the people of Florida. 

“I think he’s done a good job,” Biden said when asked about DeSantis’ response to the storm.