Author Archives: Michael Sykes

Gladiators Show Promise but Fall Short in 26-34 Loss to Reedley

The Chabot Gladiators football team lost their first home game to Reedley Community College on Saturday at 1 p.m. with the final score of 26-34. This game is their second loss so far this season

Chabot head coach Eric Fanene said this about the loss, “We improved from last week, but we still made mistakes. You can’t have turnovers on special teams. We gave them a short field, and much of our defense was backed against the wall. We did have some good stops, but they weren’t enough. We’re going to need more discipline. This is the new Chabot. We’re going back on the uptrend.”

Gladiators Cheering On Before Game. Photographed by: Jared Darling

The Gladiators came out strong in the first quarter, scoring the first touchdown in just under 30 seconds. On defense, they made it impossible for the opposing team to score a touchdown and only let them score a field goal, ending the quarter with 7-3.

During the second quarter, Reedley made a touchdown with no field goal, making it 7-10. Gladiators’ offense came back with another touchdown thanks to receiver Carlos Franklin’s taking back the lead 13-10 at halftime.

Reedley scored a touchdown in the third quarter, taking back the lead 13-17. Chabot came through again, though, thanks to wide receiver Manny Higgins, who made a reception leading to a touchdown, taking back the lead,20-17. Reedley scored another touchdown at the bottom of the quarter, regaining the lead 20-31.

In the first minute of the fourth quarter, Franklin ran a touchdown, making it 26-31. Then, at the bottom of the quarter, Reedley made a touchdown, which won them the game, ending at 26-34.

Manny Higgins wide receiver making great touchdown. Photographed by: Jared Darling

Franklin said this about Saturday’s game, “I feel like I played well, but as a team, I feel like we could’ve finished it. The mistakes we made were dumb penalties. I honestly feel like we just got to get back in the gym  and come back and win next week.”

Next week, the Gladiators play at Sacramento City at 1:00 p.m. To watch Saturday games or future Chabot games, go to, and for more information on the Chabot Football team, go to The Chabot website.

Tio’s Mediterranean Grill Review

Tio’s Mediterranean Grill is a flavorful restaurant located in San Leandro. Owned by two brothers-in-law Guan Gal Danez (head chef), Enrique Ayala (Chef) along with their business partner Jonathan Nichols. In their six months of operation, Tio’s has gotten raved reviews on Yelp, Instagram, and Facebook. located  794 E 14th St, San Leandro 94577. They’re open Monday through Thursday 11 am to 8:30 pm and on Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The owners pride themselves on making sure the quality of food they’re cooking is top tier for their customers. “We really do care about how we deal with our food. We take good care of our customers. We care about the freshness and quality of the food.” Said Gal Danez.

After eating here, I can say that the food is magnificent. The chicken and lamb combo kabob served with yellow or white basmati rice is cooked to perfection. The chicken and lamb are grilled nicely due to the tender and moist that the meat holds in after it’s cooked. The Lamb is so tender you can cut it with a butter knife. The falafel is crispy on the outside yet soft and moist once bite into it. 

“When I come here, I always get the beef shawarma along with the fries its always a hit to me. The owners always treat me nice.” Said customer Marvin Cole.

The owners spread love to their customers. Chef Danez came up with the name of the restaurant Tio, meaning uncle in Spanish. The customer service here is astounding, the Owners and staff always come out to cater to their customers and are friendly towards everyone. 

“We were catering, before we opened the restaurant. The owner of Carniceria Meat Market which is next door we catered for him. He knows our food is good. So, one day he reached out and told us a building next door to him was empty and we brought the place,” said Gal Danez.

“This is my first time here. I’m a yelper. I write reviews for restaurants on yelp. I came here because the food looks great on Yelp and has nice reviews. This place has a variety of things to choose from,” said customer Craig Strutter.

A customer favorite dish is the Chicken or Beef Shawarma wrap served with either fries or salad that cost between $16 to $18. Another dish is the chicken or beef kebab ranging between $20 to $22.

  “The things that are special about our restaurant are consistency, cleanliness, and customer service. Those are the three things that keep us motivated and keep our customers happy,” said owner Nichols.

“We were catering, before we opened the restaurant. The owner of Carniceria Meat Market which is next door we catered for him. He knows our food is good. So, one day he reached out and told us a building next door to him was empty and we brought the place,” said Gal Danez.

Please come out and give it a try. You will not regret it. The customer service, awesome food and cleanliness checks in all the boxes. For me this establishment has earned its five stars.

13th Annual Poetry Reading

Chabot College’s 13th Annual Poetry Reading took place on Apr. 27 in building 100 from noon — 2 p.m. The reading was in celebration of National Poetry Month and welcomed the talented author and poet, Anthony Fangary as the guest speaker. 

The poetry was presented by The Chabot College Library and English Department, originally started in 2010 by instructors Landon Smith, Homeria Foth and Librarian Pedro Reynoso. Foth said, “One day Pedro and I were just talking about how it would be a great idea to bring poets on campus. Students need to experience this.” 

Fangary is a writer and an artist who resides in San Francisco. His poetry has appeared in a couple literary journals, received backing from several institutions, and he is even the author of HARAM, a poetry book published in 2019. HARAM, Etched Press 2019 is available on Amazon, with a total of 44 pages that brings a certain intensity regarding discrimination and religion. 

Fangary read a total of 13 poems at the event, many of which had relations to his Coptic background. A Copt is an adherent of the Coptic Orthodox Church, an early Christian community originating in Egypt with a predominantly Egyptian ethnic background.

His poem titled “The Liquor Store,” talked about the pros and cons of Copts owning or working in a liquor store. “Europe,” depicted Fangary’s experience in how Europeans mistreat the Coptic people. As well as “Harem,” which talked about colorism in the Coptic community as well as religion, plus more.

The reading was smooth and the delivery was delicate, the audience seemed to enjoy the number of poems read, and a Q&A session was held after the reading on Fangary’s inspiration, dedication, and overall mindset while writing. 

“One of the things that motivates me to write is working out questions I’ve had since I was younger. It’s been a lifelong exploration on what it means to be here with the circumstances in which they are prevalent.” Fangary stated. He also noted several poets that have and continue to inspire him; Joy Pries, Solmaz Sharif, and Dorothy Chan.

Fangary’s poems touched many attendees’ hearts, one of them being Chabot instructor Tobey Kaplian, “His poetry was personal and political. Poetry is not about expressing. Poetry is about discovering, and he shared that with us, in which I was very moved by.” 

This is the first time since the pandemic that students gathered in person for the poetry reading in the Chabot library. Student Michelle commented, “His poems were captivating. I love his poems and I also believe in coming out and supporting poets.”

For more information on Fangary go to

The 3rd annual Suicide Prevention Walk

On May 4, over 300 students attended Chabot College’s third annual Suicide Prevention Campus Walk and Fundraiser as part of Chabot Colleges Mental Health Week. The campus walk was on the Chabot College football/track field from noon to 3 p.m.

The event was hosted by Counseling Advocacy Resources Education Support, better known as CARES, and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Campus clubs and programs came and showed support, like Restorative Integrated Self Education (RISE) and Revolutionaries Advocating for Greener Ecosystems (RAGE).

Before the event started, there was Land Acknowledgement on the field. Wellness Ambassadors respectfully acknowledge the original peoples of the land on which this campus is built. The land belonged to a Native American tribe called the Muwekma Ohlone tribe thousands of years before Chabot.

After the Land Acknowledgement interim dean of counseling Sadie Ashraf shared some words about the walk and what it meant to her by stating, “To come together as a community says a lot. We don’t know what’s behind someone’s smile or pain, and we don’t know what they are going through. We recognize that mental health needs to be discussed,” she continues talking about how suicide affected her” … I lost a parent to suicide, and I still tear up when I speak on it. We need to support mental wellness. I appreciate everyone coming together as a community, and I thank you.”

The walk itself lasted for only one hour from noon to 1 p.m. During the walk there were booths where participants could color, write poems, or play instruments provided, like congas, bongos, claves, tambourines, and other percussion instruments, to express their feelings.

The Hope memory board, an activity where attendees wrote poetry, words of inspiration, colored, drew pictures, or notes pinned onto a panel to express their passions toward the mental health of suicide. 

“You are loved and cared for, you are enough, and I love you. Be yourself, treat others how you want to be treated, and just know that you’re worth it.” was stated in one note.

Another note had a touching poem titled For The Lost Little Boy.

“Here’s a poem for the lost little boy who lost his way home. Lost his way back to shelter, peace, and home. The lost little boy who cries at night lost with no guide to him back home. He’s afraid to reach out and ask for help because he fears those who criticize him for asking for help. I hope he finds his way home where he is loved and remembered.”

Chabot Instructor, counselor, and one of the organizers for the event, Juztino Pannella, explained the significance of instruments present at the event, and “We provided instruments and art supplies because some people can’t deal with all the thoughts and feelings about their mental awareness or don’t know how to, so they make a rhythm out of it. Others draw and write poetry with the Hope and Memory Board upon the board or write a note for their loved ones who were lost to suicide.”

Beads for attendees to wear at the event were provided with a total of 10 different colors, with each color representing a personal connection for individuals. For example, white stands for the loss of a child, red represents the loss of a spouse or partner, gold is the loss of a parent, and rainbow is for honoring the LGBTQ+ community. The colors helped the organizers and attendees identify and connect with those who understand their experiences.

One of the participants was a student named Mrs. Mack, who wore orange beads “I’m wearing this, and I’m here because I lost my niece to suicide she was 25 years old. Orange represents the loss of a sibling. I am also here to show support to struggling with it.”

Many attendees came to show their supporting Suicide Prevention. One of the attendees was Chabot College Head Men’s Basketball Coach Kennan McMiller. This is his first time coming to the walk. He said, “It’s an important cause of the society that we’re in right now. Some days it doesn’t feel like it’s getting any better. People are feeling discouraged,” Coach McMiller continues talking about how suicide and basketball player he once knew. “ … I had a player that was going to come and play for Chabot, but he came home and saw his sister hung herself. It messed him up mentally he stopped playing.”

The walk provided care, hope, and love for anyone who came. It was a safe place to support and express your feelings about mental health and suicide awareness.

Victor Camarena is part of the RISE program that helps recently incarcerated people get back on their feet with schooling and jobs. This is Camarena’s second year attending the walk, saying, “I’m here because I lost my daughter due to suicide. She was 15, and she meant a lot to me. Coming here greatly helps me because suicide needs to be talked about, and I support mental awareness.”

Pannello spoke on how suicide affected him, “I was affected by suicide when I first came to the college. It was an acquaintance — someone who was in the community and died by suicide. I also had a student here at Chabot who died by suicide. Those were impactful to me.”

The funding goal is to raise $5,000 by June 30th. Christina Cappello, the area director of AFSP in the San Francisco chapter mentioned where the funding goes, “One: Research studies that we fund help develop new and better treatments for mental health and suicide. Two: it goes into the community and school-based prevention education programs, and three: we also fund support programs for survivors of suicide loss and going through mental health.”

They have raised a total of $1,350, so far. The Wellness Ambassador team donated $325. Chabot College Softball donated $100, and CARES donated $50. Donations were also received from other attendees in person at the event or online.

This is a signature fundraising event started by AFSP in 2011, and they added, “The Out of the Darkness Campus Walks designed to engage youth and young adults in the fight to prevent suicide.”

The Chabot Campus Suicide Prevention walk started when COVID still had a chokehold on the world. It began in 2021 thanks to The Wellness Ambassadors and CARES. The first walk was a Zoom virtual walk due to COVID. Where people could communicate over zoom while on a walk of their liking Last year was the first in-person walk, with over 100 who came to show support. This year it doubled.

Student and Wellness Ambassador for CARES, Beatriz Ramirez, said, “Our goal is to raise awareness about suicide, and we want students and the community to come out and support it. We hope to talk about the stigma of suicide.”

According to the AFSP website, suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the U.S. as of 2023. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims, as of 2023, just five months into this year, there have been 47,467 suicides in the U.S.

Bringing awareness to mental health and suicide is essential. Suicide can be a stigmatized, uncomfortable conversation that many don’t want to discuss or are afraid of. On the walk, it did not feel like that. People weren’t afraid to express or to talk about how suicide or let alone how mental health affected them and what can be done to decrease the number of suicides or how to deal with mental health.Life is complicated, and people can have much to deal with. If you know someone dealing with suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which is open 24/7 at 800-273-TALK (8255). Also, on campus, CARES counselors are there for you. For more information on suicide prevention, go to

For donations, go to:

For Chabot Wellness go to:

Chabot Suicide Awareness Campus Walk

Please come show your support for the Suicide Awareness Campus Walk on May 4 as a part of Chabot College’s Mental Health Week. Check-in is 11:30 a.m. to Noon in front of building 4000. The campus walk is from Noon to 1 p.m. on the Chabot College football/track field.

From 1 to 2 p.m., there will be a free lunch provided for participants. Wellness resources will be available after the walk until 3 p.m. Circle of Support is an option to meet Counseling Advocacy Resources Education Support, better known as CARES Counselors, will be available.

The event is hosted by CARES, Chabot College, and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). This is a signature fundraising event started by AFSP in 2011, and they added, “The Out of the Darkness Campus Walks designed to engage youth and young adults in the fight to prevent suicide.”

Student and Wellness Ambassador for CARES, Beatriz Ramirez, said, “Our goal is to raise awareness about suicide, and we want students and the community to come out and support it. We hope to talk about  the stigma of suicide.”The funds collected for the event will be donated to further education, research, advocacy, and programming for AFSP with a goal of $5000. To donate or to register for the event, go to For more information or questions on the event, contact [email protected].

Did You Know That Chabot TV Has an App?

Chabot has an app where students can watch programs produced, written and directed by MCOM students on campus including the news.  The app launched March 2023.  You can stream the channel 24 hrs seven days a week. 

To watch the app on Samsung and Apple phones all you must do is 1) download the free Cablecast app.  2) Once you open the app, scroll until you see  Community Media Center / Chabot TV, and lastly 3) Tap on it  Once you open it you will have access to Chabot news, TV shows and their 24hr streaming channel. The app is only available on tv through Roku. Download the Chabot TV app from the Roku app store. 

“The company that makes our server gives us free software called Cablecast that goes on Apple TV, Roku, Firestick and all the Samsungs and Apple phones. When you download the Cablecast app you got our account 24/7.” Says Sujoy K. Sarkar Chabot, TV station and app general manager. Cablecast is an app where you can watch local news and shows on the go.

Chabot TV app has been in the works for years. “We’ve been working on it (the app) for a long time and it’s always been a streaming project for over a year. We’ve been on air for almost a decade, but having our own app is something that is really brand new.” Says Instructor Tom Lothain who teaches television, newspaper, journalism, and radio courses on campus. 

The TV studio was founded in 1967 just six years after Chabot College had just been established 1961. Sakar has been working with Chabot TV since 1973. 

On TV you can stream the Chabot TV app only on Roku TV. “We decided that we should try Roku first for our own branding, because as a cable company, the company that makes our server gives us free software (Cablecast).” Says Sakar.

The app and the streaming services provide every Friday and Saturday night they provide horror films, something like a creature feature . where the host is hosting a classic horror film with a spooky background and theme. The app also includes news, 10 to 15 local Chabot student TV Shows. 

“I’ve heard about the app. I haven’t downloaded it yet, but I will.” Says Tom Lorentzen, the host of Interesting People, a show that broadcasts meeting interesting people from around the world and sharing their stories. The show is also on the app.

It’s great that the campus has their own TV app where students can watch other student contents, news and learn more about the activities on campus. “I Knew Chabot had a TV Station but not an app. Sounds interesting. No other colleges I know of have a TV app.” Says student Aiki Chamberlin.

“It’s amazing how Chabot has their own TV app. I don’t think any college in America has that and that’s great for our campus.” Says student Cornell Preston.

The inspiration of creating the app was strategized to make more students come on campus and intake the MCOM classes that Chabot have to offer. There are many amazing MCOM courses this campus has to offer and one of them is TV. Sujoy expressed, “We need more students to apply at Chabot so I figured. This is just 1 way of getting students interested in enrolling in Arts and Media classes. The hardest thing is to get a platform to show their programs and movies! This platform gives them the same chance by allowing them the same platforms. All we need now is to notify people that it exists.” 

This app is a perfect strategy for MCOM students who created their own content show to watch it. No other college in the world has the advantage of having their own TV App. There’s only 15 shows on the app but it’s enough to motivate more MCOM students to watch and create their own shows. Not only students, but other college campuses can soon one day have their own TV app.

Book Store Closing

On Apr. 25 the staple Chabot Bookstore will be closing its door for good because Barnes and Noble, our provider, will no longer renew our contract due to decline in profits. For students to buy their materials for classes they would have to order them online from the Barnes and Noble website.

The website can’t replace what was once reliable for this campus. It can’t replace the friendly employees that will greet or help you when in need. It won’t fill the shoes that the bookstore has had on campus.

“It’s very difficult to run a bookstore without it being a significant drain on your budget financially. Barnes and Noble is our third-party vendor. Barnes and Noble are changing their business model and it has a lot to do with the community around here. You just don’t see many bookstores. They’re closed.” Says Vice President Dale Wagoner.

Barnes and Noble doesn’t see the personal attachments employees, students, and faculties have in the bookstore. To them it’s just another building that’s not making as much profit as it used to. There’s no cash coming out of it so why keep it going.

For the closing of the bookstore, it’s not just about shifting forward and changing from buying a book in person to buying it online. It’s about revenues. “It’s not a reliable business model for our vendor. As you can see it’s declining in the revenues which is why they won’t renew our contract.” Says Vice President Dr. Matthew Kritscher, Ed.D.

It’s a college staple to have a bookstore on campus. yet we are soon going to be a campus without one. A campus without a bookstore is like having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but with no peanut butter it feels incomplete.

The bookstore has always been there for students, whether it’s buying scantrons, notecards, purchasing graduation essentials, books, or snacks. It was a place students and faculty could count on in those last minute moments. 

“I don’t like that the bookstore is closing. Where am I going to get my Scantron? Where am I going to get something that I need at the last minute? I understand moving forward in a new direction buying supplies online, but this is sad.” Says student Chabot Ja’vonte Long.

The bookstore was once the pride of Chabot where the campus showcased their team jerseys, coats, and other sports clothing, while the students and facilities were buying them. The bookstore gave the students the dignity of buying their club sachets, cap, and gown for their graduation. It was a sense of notice that they’ve accomplished something with their hard bearing dreams and goals.

“It’s going to feel weird buying caps and gowns on Barnes and Noble’s website. I feel sorry for the students that graduate next year. Barnes and Noble is known for ordering books online, not cap and gowns.” says Vernon Chesley. 

The closing of the bookstore isn’t just affecting the students, but the employees there as well. Come May 1, they will be unemployed.

“Given the fact that I am an employee at the bookstore this heavily affects me. Once it closes, I will not have a job anymore. I feel sympathy for current students here at Chabot who unfortunately can’t get any inconvenient items once they get out of their classes.” Says employee and former Chabot student Marcos Arreguin.

“I’ve been working at the bookstore since 2016. I’m out of a job that I’ve been working at for six years. Yes, I have another job. The bookstore offers onsite help for those who have trouble finding things online.” Says student and employee Donovan Dinkins.

“I’m not scared of anything so whatever happens, happens. Our jobs are eliminated. The school will have no store for students to get their supplies and needs for their classes.” says longtime employee Johnny.

Chabot tried several factors to keep Barnes and Noble in the contract, one of them being downsizing employees in which they were already downsized. Also, who was going to continue to pay the employees was another matter. “Our vendor used to pay for the employees. We are now fully paying them out of the college fund, ” says Wagoner.

The revenue for the bookstore can no longer afford the necessities they had to offer. The profits have dried up. “Unfortunately, under the structure in which we have been operating for the last 10 years my understanding is that the revenue has gone down so much that they can’t afford to stay in business and it’s an unfortunate thing. I want to do whatever I can do to support the employees in this transition.” Says Kritscher.

There is a silver lining in this after the bookstore is closed. Chabot is still in the works turning it into many things, one of them is The Food Pantry. “One of things under consideration is to look at the space for our food pantry. We don’t know yet but it’s one idea we’re thinking about.” Says Kritscher.

The space in the 3800 building could be a great idea for something that can be centered more towards the students on campus. “We wanted to be a student space potentially. That’s the primary dialogue that’s going on right now. Maybe we could utilize that space more of a college center, which has more student spaces in it. That’s part of our master plan. We can also look at it as a place where students can meet and greet.” Says Wagoner.

Another idea that has been discussed is filling up the space with vending machines, “It will be more advanced than the others that’s already on campus. The machine will have fresh food with lots of options. Instead of having a series of refrigerator cases with soft drinks, is to replace those vending machines that would have fresh sandwiches, as well as traditional snacks, like chips, water, and sodas.” Says Kritscher.

“Vending machines? Are you serious? We already have a lot of them. Why do we need more? They’re unreliable.” says student Keygen Mitchell.

Even though the bookstore doesn’t make as much money as it once did, it has something that the online website doesn’t, which is a heartbeat. The bookstore has the heartbeat of a lot of people on this campus which is why some hold a personal attachment. Soon the 3800 building will have no heartbeat and will perish. It’s very sad that our bookstore is leaving us. One of the staple of Chabot is closing for good. No more going in greeting employees, no more buying from in person, no more on-site help for having trouble finding your books are necessities. Come Apr. 25 it’s all gone. 

Russell City The Great Town That it Once Was

Russell City  was once a thriving unincorporated town with homes, churches, jobs, schools, farms, and clubs. Russell City was a town located in Hayward. Before it was an Industrial Park It was the pinnacle for various migrants and immigrant groups like Spaniards, Danes, Germans, Italians, African Americans, and Mexicans. 

Due to racial discrimination in Alameda County, there weren’t many areas for minorities to live and call their home. There were only a few neighborhoods: Fillmore (in San Francisco), West Oakland, Palo Alto, and Russell City (Hayward). 

Russell City mural in Downtown Hayward

Many minorities set up businesses to make a living. Aisha Knowles’ grandfather used to own an automotive shop in Russell City; she stated, “I hear the stories from people who lived there, who had business there, and about what the town meant to them and how special of a place it was,” said Knowles.

On Saturday nights in the 1940’s and 50’s, Russell City was the place to be. People would be dressed in their finest suits and clothes, dancing it up on the dance floor to some of the greatest R&B and Blues musicians, such as; Grammy award-winners Ray Charles, B.B. King, and other artists like Lowell Fulson and Dottie Ivory. People from all over the bay came to hear them perform. There were two clubs in Russell City: the Russell City country club and Miss Alva’s Club.

Russell City Country Club is one of the two clubs that includes live performances for music venues. Russell City Country Club (Photo courtesy of Hayward Historical Society and Dr. María Ochoa)

Dr. Maria Ochoa, Ph. D., is the author of the book Images of America Russell City. She is also a San José State University Professor Emerita of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences. The book is based on the history of and dedicated to the people of Russell City.  She mentions how great the well-being of a community in Russell City once was. “I lived in Hayward across the street from Chabot when it was all fields. I remember going to Mass in Russell City as a little girl. I remember it being a place where my parents made friends with Latinos, African Americans, and Whites. The community was together as a whole,” said Dr. Ochoa. 

Russell City public school was located just five miles away from downtown Hayward. The book described Russell High School as a valuable three-story high school with iconic Greek architecture and the nation’s most elegant school. The book also described Russell City public school from the 1st grade to the 8th. Before the high school in Russell City was built, students who wanted to continue their education had to go to Oakland High.

 The classroom experience sometimes included manual labor, and sometimes teachers would take their classes into the fields. Dr. Ochoa stated, “There were cows and chickens in the streets. People had school gardens which were orchards, and vegetables were growing. It was all agricultural.”

Russell City itself was an agricultural town. Gardens were common in residents’ homes. There were a lot of orchards and vegetable gardens. The town had dairies and a pig farm. The smell of hogs was horrible, as described in the book. 

Four stores in Russell City supplied food, cigarettes, aspirin, and other things. There were restaurants in that town that weren’t segregated. The money always went back into Russell City. 

Alameda County never provided services like water, electricity, and sanitation. “It was a difficult situation. They had no roads, no indoor plumbing, and they had no utilities like electricity. People living in Russell City had to get Car Batteries to bring electricity into their homes, schools, and businesses.” Says Dr. Ochoa.

  So, what happened to Russell City? What happened to this thriving minority town? For one: it was an unincorporated town. Two: the residents were still interested in bettering their town. It was that they were denied the opportunity by the government, the county, and by Hayward. Both the county and the city devised a plan to turn Russell City into the industrial park you see today. Residents were forced to move, and businesses were forced to close.

By the late 1950s, the town was in turmoil. Residents were forced to move, and arsonists burned properties to the ground. When the town was expanded to Hayward, the city used eminent domain to remove the last of the residents in 1966 for the industrial park.

“Many who lived in Russell City are in their 70’s and 80s. talking about it can be painful because they remember what they lost when it was destroyed,” said Knowles. Russell City now is a question of “What it could have become” since 1964.

The residents of the once-forgotten community weren’t willing to let Russell City fade in their memories and let it be unknown. Ruby Tolefree-Echols and Henry “Billy” Garron, two former Russell City residents, founded an annual reunion picnic. Echols died in 2002; unfortunately, Mr. Billy Garron passed away some years ago. 

“The reunion picnic was held in 2022 after being suspended during the height of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. It is unclear if the picnic will continue as the people who lived and worked in Russell City are few in number now, largely due to the passing of so many. The people who now come to the picnic have not necessarily lived or worked in Russell City. They have heard stories from their elders and want to learn more,”  said Dr. Ochoa.

Russell City Reunion Picnic participants are looking at a handmade community map. (Photo courtesy of Dr. María Ochoa)

There are tributes to Russell City in Hayward. Russell City is commemorated in the downtown Mural where Hayward had officially apologized. On Nov. 16, 2021, the Hayward City Council voted unanimously to issue a formal apology for the City’s historical role in and the perpetuation of racial discrimination and racially disparate impacts of its past actions and inactions. The property of Russell City today is worth millions.

“One of the things that happened with Institutionalized poverty is that people try to survive, and to face some of the challenges requires having a strong sense of community, and I think people there developed that.” Says Dr. Ochoa.

ChatGPT at Chabot

On Feb. 21 many instructors from Chabot College held a zoom meeting discussing ChatGPT—whether it’s beneficial or not to them and their students. ChatGPT is an A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) chatbot established by Open AI and started on Nov. 22.

Instructor Lester Abesamis who led the meeting, stated, “ChatGPT is an artificial intelligent language model designed to generate human-like responses to natural prompts. You can type in any prompt and what ChatGPT draws from its database. It can remove from famous personalities.”

If you ask ChatGPT a question or give it a prompt, it can respond to you like how a celebrity can. “ChatGPT got some adaptability and changed its style as supposed even to the degree that somebody famous enough like comedian George Carlin, but I told it to give me the same information in a style of a George Carlin monologue, and it did.” Says Abesamis. 

You can ask ChatGPT anything you want. When do you ask ChatGPT what ChatGPT is? The response is: ChatGPT is an AI language model developed by OpenAI that can engage in natural language conversations with humans. It uses machine learning algorithms and neural networks to generate human-like responses to textual inputs. ChatGPT is pre-trained on a large corpus of text data from the internet and continuously learns and improves with each interaction. It can answer questions, provide information, offer suggestions, and converse on various topics.

ChatGPT writes emails, prompts, and answers questions and essays. You can ask it to write essays in the style you want. “It may not be good for essays where you’re providing textual evidence and specific examples. It may not be able to do that.” Stated Abesamis.

During the meeting, Instructor Michael Thompson questioned the purpose of using ChatGPT by saying, “I’m Curious to see if anybody is interested in realistically, they’re going out into the world where this is more and more likely to replace their jobs they have right now. I went to the canvas sight just to see what they said about it, and they basically are saying, ‘well, you can’t block It. We better figure out how to use it, and as I was doing it, a chat box popped up, and then they were saying, ‘what do you do with it?’ just doesn’t seem to be a nuance to me.” 

When you asked ChatGPT about how beneficial they can be to instructors and students, the answer is: As an AI language model, I can help both teachers and students in a variety of ways, such as: Answering theoretical questions: I can provide information and explanations on a wide range of academic topics, including math, science, history, literature, and more, Assisting with homework and assignments Offering study and exam preparation tips, Providing lesson plan ideas and resources, Providing assessment, grading tips. Recommending educational resources. Offering professional development resources Overall, my goal is to provide accurate and helpful information to teachers and students in a timely and efficient manner, so they can achieve their academic goals and succeed in their studies. ChatGPT went into more specific details on how it can help benefit Both Instructors and students.

We Were Hyphy Film Viewing

We Were Hyphy is a 2022 documentary about the Hyphy Movement in the Bay Area that was Screened in Chabot College’s  Event Center (700 bldg.) on Feb 2. The screening was presented by RISE, EOPS, and UMOJA. The event was hosted by E.O.P.S Counselor Charlie Moraliez. We Were Hyphy is directed by Laurence Madrigal, a Bay Area Native who spoke in a  zoom call meeting for the viewers before the viewing. The term hyphy is a slang that is used in The Bay Area which means hyperactive.

We Were Hyphy was the Official Selection of the San Francisco Black Film Festival, San Francisco Documentary Festival and Cinequest Film Festival of 2022. The film had interviews with great Bay Area producers and hip hop artists like G-Eazy, Mistah Fab, Keak Da Sneak, and more. 

The music documentary trails and examines the influence on the hyphy culture which involves; the dances, the music, the cars, the fashion, and the slangs that they use. The film takes the viewers on a special time when the Hyphy culture was big.

Host Charlie Moraliez talking to Director Laurence Madrigal before the viewing via zoom.

The Hyphy Movement started with rapper Mac Dre and Thizz nation in  1999. Mac Dre has hits like Thizzle Dance and Feeling Myself.  Dre was the influential figure that started the Hyphy Movement. He brought his own dance styles, bass line, fashion and his style of rhyming was different thus came the Hyphy Movement. Dre was murdered in 2004. Yet still the Hyphy Movement continues only making it bigger.

The height of the culture was in 2006 When Bay Area artists like E-40, Keak Da Sneak, and Too $hort  videos were played as the regular rotation on MTV and BET’S  106 & Park, a top 20 countdown of the latest and hottest R&B and Hip Hop Music. 

E40 Feat Keak Da Sneak Tell me when to go and Too Short’s Blow the Whistle is both produced by Atlanta, GA rapper and producer Lil Jon. 

“I grew up in Antioch, then went to SF State to study film making. It was intentionally going to be a short passion film project, but we got in contact with a lot more people to interview.” Says director Madrigal during his zoom meeting.

Madrigal grew up during the Hyphy Movement and fell in love with the music. The director went into making this documentary not knowing the full hyphy culture other than music but soon learned, “Making this film I learned beyond the music I learned what Turfin (hyphy dancing) and Ghost riding the whip (hyphy car culture) because I was never into it, but I learned more of it. It was like writing an amazing essay.” Says Madrigal.

“We choose this film to kick off Black History Month by sharing the influence that hip hop has, especially the sub-genre which captures the region. We want to show something that can uplift people and this film shows that.” Says Moraliez.

There were many people  who lived through the movement that came to the viewing, and watching the film was very nostalgic. “I’m from Oakland, CA and watching this brings back good memories. I remember that the word Hyphy first came out. It was Keak Da Sneak who said it first. I’m here to support the event and I’m excited that we showed it.” Says UMOJA counselor coordinator Tommy Reed.

Many  viewers who are not from Chabot came to show love for the movement. “What I love about this a lot of people don’t know what impact the movement had on the Bay Area. The movement is something I grew up on. It was important that they highlighted that.” Says Nate Nevado, founder of Rock the School Bell Hip Hop Conference, an academy located in San Bruno where they use Hip Hop as a platform to serve and educate youth in the community.

We were hyphy is not available on any streaming services. The film is Only on KQED or the PBS website