Author Archives: Josefina De La Torre

Thrifting Shopping, A Sustainable Solution to Fast Fashion Waste and Environmental Impact

Woman holding H&M bag. Photographer/Fernand De Canne

With rampant consumerism of fast fashion ending up in landfills, thrift shopping has become a trendy alternative solution to reduce waste and combat climate change. Minizining the environmental impact of clothing waste is important because it is estimated by the EPA that 11.5 trillion tons of textile waste ends up in landfills. 

Fast fashion is a business model of companies like H&M, Shein, GAP, and many others that mass produce cheap quality clothing at a low cost and charge a high price in retail. Much of the cheap clothing ends up in landfills. It would be more responsible for consumers to benefit from thrift shopping than supporting fast fashion brands. 

“Fast fashion is all about cheap products that could be made as quickly as possible versus quality made to last. So fast fashion often tears quickly, isn’t made to last, and we find people purchase fast fashion to wear it once, maybe twice, then they throw it out,” said Hailey Corum, the ASI Director of Sustainability at Cal State East Bay. 

In a study called “The Phenomenon of Thrifting As An Alternative Solution Related to Reducing Environmental Impact on Fast Fashion” found that “thrifting activities have a very good impact on the environment, because they not only minimize the fast fashion industry, but also reduce chemicals and clothing waste that are very difficult to decompose.” 

With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing worry about climate change, thrift shopping became a trend on social media during the pandemic from Instagram and TikTok. While many teenagers started thrifting because it is trending, many realize it also reduces clothing waste. 

“Thrifting can help you think about your consumerism patterns by realizing pre-loved items are perfectly good to own, and there are other ways that you can contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle by purchasing second-hand items,” said Corum.

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.

Celebrating Veteran’s Day at Chabot College

President Cooks at the Veteran’s Resource Center celebrating Veteran’s Day. Photo credits to Adelina Elo

Chabot College’s Veterans Resource Center held their celebration of Veteran’s Day to honor veterans and thank them for their service on Nov. 9 in the Veterans Resource Center in room 2353. 

“Veterans Day for me is a day to remember the memories I had with fellow service members that I served with,” said Chabot College veteran student Adrian Ramos. 

Food such as barbeque was cooked by Professor Mark Stephens and “Thank You” swag were provided for veterans and students. Military movies were screened and a Veteran salute slideshow was played to honor them. Many students and faculty came by to participate in the celebration.

“It means a reflection on history. We’re remembering wars past and then also really about the Veterans today. Veterans Day is for those of us that still survive and have served,” said Stephens. 

Veteran’s Day was formerly known as Armistice Day, to honor the end of World War I on Nov. 11, 1918. Armistice Day was renamed to the modern Veteran’s Day by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1954. 

The Veterans Resource Center offers academic counseling resources, programs, and a study lounge with a computer lab and free printing for military connected students to utilize. 

“They have an entire dedicated space for them. We have a full academic program here in terms of helping the faculty and counseling. The College supports compliance so we can certify our students to the VA,” said Veterans Program Coordinator Jessica Biles.

The VRC is open on Monday from 9 p.m. to 5 p.m and Tuesday to Thursday from 9 p.m. to 6 p.m.

OpenAI Unveils Exciting Upgrades at DevDay

Sam Altman presenting at DevDay for OpenAI. Photo credits to OpenAI.

The long-awaited first annual DevDay by OpenAI announced several new upgrades to their AI models, including ChatGPT, on Nov. 6. in San Francisco. A livestream was accessible to the public through YouTube. 

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman started the conference by stating there are 2 million developers helping develop their API and ChatGPT has over 100 million weekly active users since it was launched to the public. 

“OpenAI is the most advanced and the most widely used AI platform in the world now,” said Altman. 

The hour-long developers’ day presented glimpses of new updates for OpenAI’s products for the general public. 

The biggest takeaway of the newest updates will be OpenAI’s ChatGPT is going “Turbo” as the newest version will be able to process images as prompts, a larger token limit, and customizable GPT models for developers and users to utilize. 

Another big reveal is OpenAI is launching a GPT store for creators and developers to list GPTs. It will be live in late Nov. 

Altman announced there will be a program called Copyright Shield. The purpose of it is OpenAI will pay legal costs for users who are accused of copyright infringement. 

“We believe that AI is going to be a technological and societal revolution. It will change the world in many ways, and we’re happy to get to work on something that will empower you to build so much for all of us,” said Altman. 

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.