Author Archives: Sylvester Enriquez

Wasting Water

For almost two months now, the area between building 1900 and 2000 is blocked off due to heavy leakage in the piping located below the pathways between the buildings. With over 1,000 gallons a day spilling out and the source is still unknown. “As you guys have seen, the leaks are very ugly right now.” states Walter “Waltz” Blevins, director of Maintenance and Operations in a board meeting in November.

According to Waltz, the leak was 5,000 gallons a day before the excavations, with it patched up after it finally surfaced. Though a pesky leak of over 1,000 gallons still runs loose somewhere on campus.

“Right now the guys are jackhammering through, 4 feet of concrete,” Waltz explains. “Because the leak is encapsulated in concrete, we won’t find it that way.”

The source of the leakage is still a mystery, though it’s suspected it’s in the T-in line that branches off toward the bookstore. This makes it harder to find because of the over 4 feet of concrete above it.

The issue was first brought to light in an email sent out by Charles Bender to the campus on October 10, in which he stated that there was a major leak in the hydronic piping between the 1900 and 2000 buildings. The project now seeks to demolish the pathways to excavate the underlying pipes to inspect them for damages and to repair them if need be.

On Friday, December 1, the water was closed off for half the campus buildings to make repairs, though it is unclear whether it was due in part to the water leaks.

The pipe leak raises concerns at Chabot; the piping affects the AC system on campus and the water flow on campus. The new water bottle stations around campus are affected too, with two stations having to be pulled off the water supply due to the leakage.

“It doesn’t affect me as much, but as a student who frequently goes to the STEM center, it can be quite annoying sometimes having to reroute my direction all because of the construction.” Michael Acholonu, a student who spends lots of his time on campus, says, “It also gets very annoying hearing the machinery from across campus, combined with the jackhammers going off on the other end while they try to remove the support beams, though I’m glad they’re addressing the issue now as opposed to just leaving it there.” He then added, “It’s also an eyesore for anybody visiting our campus, practically seeing the entire place under construction doesn’t help us with first impressions.”

Trump’s Twitter

On Thursday, November 2, the President’s Twitter account was deleted by a rogue employee at the company causing President Trump’s account to be down for over 11 minutes.

In a scramble that very night the account was eventually recovered and brought back. The initial thinking was that it might have been a mistake, but it was found that a contract employee on the last day of his job had caused the deletion. This made it even more difficult for the company who regularly relies on contract employees to fill in positions.

The President later tweeted out that day, “My Twitter account was taken down for 11 minutes by a rogue employee. I guess the word must finally be getting out- and having an impact.”

Twitter plans on increasing security and putting more scrutiny on its employees after the incident. In a tweet by Twitter’s government account on the 2nd of November, they conducted a full internal review.

According to The New York Times, often the deletion of accounts are “an easy two- or three-step process, according to current and former Twitter employees. Certain teams at the company — including trust and safety, and operations — have access to all accounts including the highest levels.”

However, “Twitter customer support does not have any access to the accounts of people, nor can they tweet on behalf of other users,” citing that there is very limited access to accounts according to The New York Times.

“I think it’s pretty funny how his account just disappeared like that, it’s almost as if your words have real-world consequences,” says Rico Rodolfo, Chabot Student. “He gets away with saying a lot of things online, but when it catches up to him, I think it’s hilarious.”

It remains unclear as to how the rogue employee was able to delete the president’s account.

Napa Fire Covers the Bay in Smoke

On October 8, the Atlas wildfire in Napa County had grown in size and became dangerous to many homes and businesses near it.

Unfortunately, winds carrying the smoke across the Bay Area, left many to face the clouds of smoke.

The brown haze of heavy smoke from the wildfires in the North Bay brought about many air quality warnings from the Bay Area Air Quality Management. Their report on October 9 warned the public to stay indoors and to avoid unnecessary exposure and to reduce the amount of smoky air indoors by keeping the windows and doors closed.

By Wednesday, October 11, the harmful smoke had made its way to Hayward, creating a layer of toxic air. It prompted many at Chabot College to get face-masks from the Health Center to protect them from the smoke.

Chabot student Lisette Donaire recalled the day after, on October 12, when the air quality was still bad, “I was on campus October 12. I have asthma, like severe asthma to the point where I frequently have to go to the doctor. I used my inhaler about five times that day.”

Beatriz Saravia, a worker at Grocery Outlet in Oakland, was one of many people who had to evacuate as the fire neared her home in Solano County. “I heard about the fire on the TV news. We were told to evacuate Monday night (October 9) around 11 p.m.” She evacuated to her mother’s home in San Pablo.

By October 11, over 100 people had died, leaving many injured.

As of Thursday, October 12, smoke could still be seen to the north of Hayward, and the layer of smoke had moved south, affecting Fremont and San Jose.

Meanwhile, the Santa Rosa Fire destroyed 3,000 homes, including the home of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, and killed 15 people with hundreds still missing. PG&E has worked on trying to restore power for many customers affected by the wildfire.

The fire raged into the weekend of October 13, with daily efforts to put out the fire. It looked like it would be a while until the fire would end. On October 16, it rained over the area where the fire was and brought some relief to the fight.

By October 20, once the fire had died down, residents were allowed back into their homes.

Many buildings were destroyed, and many people are still missing. With relief efforts underway, the community hopes to rebuild as soon as possible.

Corgis Swarm Ocean Beach for Corgi Con

On October 21 of this year, 638 Corgis swarmed Ocean Beach in San Francisco, CA. This is a semiannual meetup of corgis where the pups can get a chance to socialize with other dogs in the form of licks and butt sniffs, as well as an opportunity for their owners to meet fellow corgi enthusiasts and other owners. All this while competing in games, obstacle courses, an “attempt” at a group photo, all this in the sand clad in costumes, sunglasses, pirate hats, and fancy outfits.

The event kickoff started at 10 a.m. with a sign in, and an attempt at a group photo with all the owners and their dogs. This group photo, along with the sign in, helps the event organizers get a head count on the number of owners with their corgis at this year’s fall event. According to Corgi Con’s website, over 600 corgis showed up this time, with over 1,500 corgi enthusiasts and fans alike. The amount this fall, however, did not break any records, with this year’s summer Corgi Con in June having over 938 show up, making it the largest ever Corgi Con to date.

With corgis of all different shapes, sizes, and colors, there were many activities for the dogs themselves. The event featured an agility course, in its form of corgi ninja warrior. The owners themselves attempt to guide their little loaves of fur through hoops, over hurdles, and into tunnels in a mini obstacle course. The crowd around them cheered with “awwws” and laughs everywhere as the corgis stubbornly made their way through.

The Corgi Con not only featured a full-length obstacle course but also had many different vendors present selling everything corgi related, from corgi pins, corgi plushies, corgi blankets, to corgi butt pillows, merchandised to the corgi fan’s. It also included an adoption center by Queen’s Best Stumpy Dog Rescue which allowed you to rescue special needs corgi dogs and corgi mixes.

At 1 p.m. the convention finally wrapped things up with a costume contest and a mini race, featuring the hottest pups all around, which not only included corgis but other dogs as well. The costume race featured dogs in various outfits. The outfits included sushi, a dinosaur, a Chinese dragon, Thor, Superman, and a Sailor Moon.

The race featured the fastest and the most agile of the group of corgis, as they quickly waddled across the sandy straightaway, with some stubbornly staying next to their owners, some running in circles, and others running in many different directions.

“I thought it was a good thing because it was a positive environment for everyone, both the dogs and the people surrounding them,” a student of SFSU, an attendee of Corgi Con, and a dog enthusiast herself, Daisy Araiza stated. “It was a very welcoming and wholesome environment for their families and a great way for dogs to socialize with other dogs and release their energy.”

Trump Backpedals on DACA

After meeting with Democratic leaders on September 13, President Trump struck a compromise to increase the protection of undocumented immigrants and to replace DACA. The deal, however, does not include plans for a wall, but that of a border security package according to New York Times.

The meeting on Sept. 13, improved the morale of Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi. In a joint statement they said they had a “productive” meeting with the president, “We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides.” This was however shot down by the president the next day, claiming that a deal had not been struck.

While the Democrats have pinned this as a victory for their policies, his flip-flopping position has left the Republican side in a stagnated state and has alienated some of his strongest allies.

On Sep. 13, Breitbart, known for their support for Trump during the elections, and run by the former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, had the headline “Amnesty Don.” on their website.

On the Sept. 14, Chuck Schumer was caught by a microphone on the Senate floor talking about his meeting with the President, “Here’s what I told him, I said, ‘Mr. President, you’re much better off if you sometimes step right and you sometimes step left. If you have to step in one direction, you’re boxed.” Stating the need to be malleable to both sides to get things done.

President Trump gave Congress the task of finding a replacement for DACA, which was previously enacted under President Obama, extending the protections offered by the previous administration but also slowly winding it down over a six-month period. Though it already has shown signs of being bogged down as it “isn’t at the top of the agenda right now” says Republican Representative Mike Coffman, as Congress deals with a slew of other issues.

This comes after the announcement of the ending of DACA. In a speech given by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Sept. 5, in which he stated he would end the program due to the strong surge of unaccompanied minors across the border, along with the humanitarian crisis it has yielded. Stating that DACA has “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same jobs to go to illegal aliens.”

Originally started under the Obama Administration, DACA protects an estimated 800 thousand undocumented immigrants by granting them the legal status to work under protection and diminishes the risk of deportation.

The changes to DACA have been widely met with negative criticism from many. Chabot student Wagner Perez states, “It’d be a disappointment to me and many others if DACA is withdrawn due to the progress we have made in recent time to help accommodate immigrants.” he follows up with, “So the fact that this is being proposed just feels like a giant step in the wrong direction. Whether we like it or not, the US has to have some border security. The Wall was always a dead idea. I had no doubt in my mind it wouldn’t happen.”

Suicide Prevention Month at Chabot

Every year, 44,193 Americans die by suicide, thus 121 per day according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. With the rates of suicide in the US at an all-time high it is now the tenth leading cause of death in America. It is an issue that everyone has had experience with in some way, shape, or form.

With the deaths of Chester Bennington from the band Linkin Park and Chris Cornell from the band Audioslave earlier this year, the spotlight of the media has turned the world’s eyes to the topic of suicide and has brought together a public discussion of the once taboo issue. Logic, at the VMA’s performed his hit single, off his Everybody album, 1-800-273-8255, with the song title being the Suicide Hotline phone number, he was joined onstage by Khalid, Alessia Cara, and survivors of suicide, wearing shirts that had the hotline number on them.

The performance was critically acclaimed and encouraged people to call if they were dealing with suicidal thoughts. The National Suicide Hotline reported that following the performance, the calls spiked 50 percent.

One of the most significant at-risk demographic is college-aged adults in the 15-24 bracket, the rate has tripled since 1950 and has claimed the most lives to the point that it is now cited as the 2nd most common death among college students, according to the American College Health Association.

Chabot has many resources nearby and on campus to educate and assist those in need, with many services offered for free for low-income students. The Suicide Prevention Month event at Chabot saw the various resources by different organizations in the Tri-City area available to students.

“We offer counseling services for free to low-income students to make it more accessible,” says Alfredo Alvarado, community outreach worker at Tbruicio Vasquez Health Center. The Tbruicio Health Center is one of the many organizations offering assistance to students in a time of need, offering services such as counseling, home visits for intervention, workshops in dealing with self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. As well as providing assistance to Latino families.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) was also present. Gordon Doughty, a board member of the AFSP, states, “There’s always this negative stigma that everyone’s freely able to talk about the body from the neck and down, but when it comes to the neck, and above, we tend to ignore it.” The AFSP does not provide actual hotline assistance, though as Gordon says, “Our Job is to remove that stigma, and to inform and educate students and teachers everywhere.”

The Health Center at Chabot also provides resources in the form of hotlines to crisis and counseling services all over the bay area. The statistics can be alarming to take in, and while it seems that it may be something out of one’s reach to prevent suicide, the best anyone can do is to spread awareness of the issue.

Trump Calls for More Involvement in Afghanistan

On the 21st of August, Trump announced a new strategy for resuming combat operations in Afghanistan, in a solution to end the recent stalemate between the US and Taliban insurgents, wanting to achieve victory by avoiding nation-building and ‘killing terrorists’ as stated in his speech at Fort Myer while speaking to servicemen there.

The bid to increase American presence in the Afghanistan region comes after U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis indicated to reporters on the 14th of August that the United States had several options in dealing with the region, “Including the complete withdrawal of forces, increasing the troop count, or privatizing the war through the use of military contractors at Blackwater,” according to both Breitbart and Politico.

While addressing the country at Fort Myer, President Trump stated that “In Afghanistan and Pakistan, America’s interests are clear, we must stop the resurgence of safe havens for terrorists who threaten America.” Followed by statements regarding the deployment of troops, “We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities.” Though, later that week the Pentagon came out with numbers for the reported troop figures, which estimated around an extra 2,600, bolstering the total amount of troops to roughly 11,000, which is far from the reported figure of 8,400 according to Politico.  

The statements made during the address at Fort Myer shed a different light on the President, however, as it shows a sway from his previous stance on completely withdrawing from the region. “My original instinct was to pull out, and historically I like following my instincts,” Mr. Trump stated, “But all my life I’ve heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office; in other words when you’re President of the United States.”

In a series of tweets, President Trump is congratulated by Senator Marco Rubio on his plans for Afghanistan.

The remarks made by Trump however did not resonate well with Chabot student Jason Rodolfo, “The main issues the Middle East and Central Asia face right now are twofold: one, the consequences of centuries of foreign imperialism, and two the huge identity crisis that the mostly traditional, mostly conservative, very Islamic people of that area are having as the rest of the world moves on without them, and this makes transitioning to modern democracy incredibly difficult.” says Jason. “I do not expect any stability to come to the region anytime soon, regardless of American involvement or not, because the issues facing the region are those that no foreign involvement can understand, much less fix.”

With the war in the mountains of Afghanistan recently reaching its sixteenth year, making it officially the longest US involved conflict in history, the lack of significant progress made by previous administrations who touched the country, there seems to be no clear end in sight in the near future.