Category Archives: News

South Hayward City Council Meeting

On September 11th, the Hayward city council members hosted their meeting at Matt Jimenez Community Center, after returning from their summer recess, to talk to the community about the current state of South Hayward, and AC Transit elimination of bus line 22.

Hayward City Councilman Al Mendall expressed his concerns about the current situation of South Hayward. “It is in need and deserves many improvements. It is a great community, the people living there are wonderful but there aren’t enough resources.”

Mendall continued, “There aren’t enough parks, there are no services on Tennyson like banks. The nearest bank is on Mission Blvd. which is badly needed in the community. Crimes have also been an issue, and the city has worked on that…”

Many Hayward residents attended this special meeting.  Many residents expressed their concerns and opinions on the vision plan of the Tennyson Corridor Project during the public speaking segment.

Rosa Salguero, local Hayward resident expressed her concerns on the overall future of Hayward. “I am more concerned about affordable housing, as well as for the residents of South Hayward who won’t get the resources they need.”

One of the most important topics of the meeting was AC Transit shutting down the bus service of bus line 22. Many students and Hayward residents depended on using this line to get to school, work, and Downtown Hayward.

Councilman Mendall did express his opinion on this topic. When asked if the City of Hayward has control of AC Transit Mendall stated “The city does not have control of AC Transit’s decisions. AC Transit is their own agency. The decision was made by them not us.”

Mendall continues, “We heard this complaint many times, and we understand how concerning it is for everyone. I don’t understand why this change was made. It doesn’t seem to be a good change, and I know that myself and the city are actively trying to reach out to AC Transit to talk about that, and see how to restore that service. It is still not a done deal yet.”  

Councilman Mendell also mentioned that a newly improved park is being built on Tennyson, and there are two grocery stores scheduled to open on Mission Blvd.

Michelle Sifontes, Veterinary major, did express her concern about the bus line 22 service. Sifontes states, “I think I speak for many students and adults that have jobs that shutting down bus 22 is a real set back and causes a problem. I live on Mission, and I have taken bus 22 to help me get to school.” Sifontes continues, “Shutting down this bus can prevent people, especially those with no other form of transportation, from getting to where they need to go.”

If you are interested in attending the next City Council meeting it will take place on September 25th at 5:30 pm at Hayward City Hall.

Lane splitting: Legal, But Safe?

California is the only state in the union who has made lane splitting, when a motorcycle straddles two lanes of traffic, officially legal.

“I only lane-split when traffic is stopped or crawling, and I don’t go more than 10, or 15 miles per hour faster than traffic, I’m pretty conservative.” said motorcyclist of 15 years, Danae Zoule. While California has made this legal, in 37 states it is illegal, and the rest have a large grey area on the legality of the practice.

“It’s not really safe for cyclists to crawl along with the rest of the traffic,” Joshua MacAran, motorcyclist for the last 2 years, says, “other drivers don’t seem to understand how fast a motorcycle can brake, and they don’t leave enough room to not crush us during a fast stop.”

“One time I had to bail out when I was on my bike,” said Sean Vansnickel, motorcyclist of 12 years. “The car behind me didn’t allow enough time to stop, so I jumped in the bed of the truck in front of me.”

According to one of the very few studies on motorcycle behavior and safety, lane splitting has been found safe, when traffic is going up to 50 mph, and the motorcyclist does not exceed 65 mph. This UC Berkeley study also found only 17 percent of motorcycle accidents occurred during lane splitting, and less than 2 percent were fatalities.

The California Highway Patrol declined to be interviewed at this time.

“I do get mad at other motorcyclists I see speeding recklessly through traffic at high speeds, they give the rest of us a bad name.” Ms. Zoule said.

All the motorcyclists agreed that the best thing drivers can do for motorcycle safety is to be aware and give them more space than you think they need. The best thing motorcyclists can do is take a motorcycle safety course, wear your protective gear, and be conservative when passing.

Free Google vs. Free Microsoft

Is Microsoft Office better than Google Docs? That depends on what you want to do, and how old you are, since both are now free.

At Chabot College, teachers and students over 30 believe Word and Excel specifically, are important software skills to have before entering the workforce, especially a job in tech or business.

“I would say Microsoft is more professional, but I prefer Google.” Chiffah Dobshi, 19. Most under 30 find Google products easier to use, though their security does seem to be in question, “I’ve always been kinda suspicious of Google programs since they’re all online. I like using Google Docs, but I think in a work environment I’d probably be using Microsoft Word more.” John, 18.

It’s hard to say which product suite will be most used in the future, but it’s a safer bet to know how to use either one with ease. So far, Microsoft and Google put similar effort into the quality of their products, although Google keeps everything online, and technically has the rights to anything you write on their server.

“The security of online software? I assume it’s non-existent,” said Business Teacher, Melissa Patterson, “You don’t even list Microsoft Office on your resume anymore, because they expect you to know the main three, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, at least a working knowledge.”

In case you want to make sure your Microsoft skills match your Google skills, Chabot and Microsoft have now made it possible for all Chabot students, faculty, and administrators to create an MS Office 365 OneDrive account. This is free to use for the entire time they associated with Chabot College.

Microsoft is offering to match or exceed what Google offers students, with their entire suite (including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), and online storage, in their OneDrive. You can access the account on multiple systems and it is compatible with Windows, macOS, iOS and Android devices.

 

  • To sign up for your free copy, use your @zonemail.clpccd.edu, @chabotcollege.edu, or @laspositascollege.edu email address at https://products.office.com/en-us/student/office-in-education
  • You will need access to your Zonemail account to sign up.
  • If you haven’t done this before, sign into CLASS-web with your W number and 6-digit pin.If you haven’t created a pin, the default should be your birth date, and will be the same to sign into your zonemail.
  • Click the link: “What is my email address?” to see yours.
  • If you can’t log in with these instructions, there is help available, just email: [email protected]
  • You can access Zonemail through: http://stumail.clpccd.edu or sign in through Google by going to: https://accounts.google.com/ServiceLogin and input your full zonemail address and pin.
  • Remember to log yourself out after using a school computer.

Recognizing Part-Time Faculty

Do part-time faculty get the recognition they deserve? Many think they don’t, whether it is that they are seen as not having enough time to be as involved as full-time faculty or it being dependant on the department they’re in. Whatever the case may be, most agree on giving them more recognition and Chabot is taking suggestions and trying their best to do that.

Chabot College President Dr. Susan Sperling who was also an adjunct before, expressed her opinion on the topic, “From my experience, I felt I didn’t have full benefits and there was a sense I wasn’t completely integrated into the power structure of my department.” President Sperling added that, “We have a great group of teachers who should all get the same recognition as they are all a big part of Chabot College,” she ended by saying “We are planning to change that, I don’t know why it needed to wait that long,” referring to part-time faculty getting equal recognition.

Vice President of Academic Services Dr. Stacy Thompson also understands the situation as she was also a part-time instructor in the past. Dr. Thompson said she “Understands having more full-time instructors that can be more active with students.”

Dr. Thompson stated that she supports “Having as many full-time faculty as the budget allows” however she added, “We could definitely do more as far as part-time faculty appreciation and I’m open to ideas and suggestions for that.”  

English Professor Mr. Darvin Wilson who has been with Chabot College for 35 years told us, “There are certain advantages of being a part-time professor, being an adjunct is a very good situation for me as it allows me to pursue two different careers”. Mr. Wilson ended with, “At the same time I feel I don’t have much time to dedicate to things like committee work and so on, for Chabot, I like that there is a lot of help for adjuncts though.”

For Christie Verarde, adjunct instructor in Academic Services, part-time appreciation depends on the department. When asked about the subject she said, “I think that the level of appreciation depends on the department, in my department, early childhood, I believe that is the case, it’s a strong department and we support each other.”

Eileen Pippins who has taught part-time at Chabot since 2014, told us, “I’ve seen the campus create more opportunities for part-timers.” When asked why she believes part-timers may not get equal recognition, she said, “It might be that we are thought of as always busy, but that isn’t the case for everyone.”

Professor Chad Mark Glen stated, “They’re the unsung heroes, they are deserving of recognition,” when asked about his opinion on adjuncts.

All in all, there is definitely more being done to make adjuncts feel more included at Chabot. Strides are being made to give them the recognition they deserve.

The Estuary Experience

Dr. Eric Schultz also known as “Schltz” hosted a party for the release of his album “Estuary,” on August 30 in the 1200 building. He discussed the process of creating his album and establishing a new artistic identity.

Schltz is a music production, theory and history teacher here on campus. He has spent most of his career as a classical composer, saxophonist, and music technologist. His musical interests range from acoustic and electronic, to mainstream and experimental.

Once on sabbatical, he embarked on the challenging journey of creating an album from start to finish and figuring out what was the proper way to release it as an independent artist in this complicated era in the music industry. He wanted to stay relevant with what his students are currently doing.

As students, friends, and faculty gathered for the “Estuary” listening party, Schltz opened up the night by thanking everyone for attending. Then we began the “Estuary” experience. The audience was energetic and grooving to the songs, as one song played after another, people would dance, smile and play the occasional imaginary instrument, needless to say, the energy in the room was electric.

Schltz credited Josh Ocasion, a Chabot alumni and one of his former students, for inspiring him to create his album. Josh later commented that he, “Felt honored that he was given credit but didn’t feel worthy.” Ocasion said Schltz was the person who set him on his path and has impacted his music tremendously. After listening to “Estuary” he felt inspired and very proud of his former teacher.

As we continued our experience we heard a song that expressed happiness, aggression, and liberation. We heard a range of instruments and sounds from the musical spectrum, some that are not usually paired together but were now complementary to one another.

I later asked Schltz what was an inspiration and influence for the album and he stated “‘Estuary’ is a confluence of multiple musical experiences. The tracks on this album are influenced by my grounding in the world of academic concert music, my explorations as an experimental art musician and technologist, my saltier times as a baritone saxophone player in jazz, blues and country bands, and my current life in which I am a professor of music production and beat making. I find the music on this album to be true to all of these influences, without having denied anything from any of them.” If you would like to listen to the album “Estuary” its available on Apple Music, Google Play, Spotify, Amazon, Tidal, and YouTube. You can also listen to the album for free and buy merchandise at schltzmusic.com. Happy listening.

Oh, Hi Mark!

Movies are an art form, one that can make us feel so many emotions in such a short time span. Where else can we experience high-quality visual storytelling to capture our imagination? In a book perhaps, but not just any book. This book details the history of a movie so bad that it is internationally recognized as a passion project gone wrong that ends up being funny.

Enter The Room, the famously infamous bad film and the book, The Disaster Artist, written by Bay Area native Greg Sestero. Greg details the nights and days leading up to the release of The Room along with his friend, the infamous Tommy Wiseau. Together, they embark on a strange journey through Hollywood, their dreams and themselves.

For those who do not know, The Room was a film released in 2002 and was directed by Tommy Wiseau, who is also the main character in his own movie and lists himself as Producer and Executive Producer. The film became a laughing stock among the movie-going communities. Thanks to the internet, it became widely known as one of the worst movies ever made. Greg Sestero is an actor in the film and has since written the book, The Disaster Artist.

The Disaster Artist is told from Greg Sestero’s point of view and alternates between The Room’s production and his increasingly complicated friendship with Tommy Wiseau. He also dwells on the mystery of Tommy’s origins. His thick Eastern-Europe, French-ish accent is already confusing enough, but it is also detailed that Tommy Wiseau has an insane amount of money within his reach.

The book also details what life was like during the production of The Room, from the insane working conditions to Tommy Wiseau’s nearly insane persistence. Fans of The Room will surely get a kick out of the on-set hijinks that had occurred.

The Disaster Artist will surely keep you interested all the way to the end as Tommy Wiseau’s questionable antics keep getting crazier and crazier.

The Disaster Artist has since been adapted into a feature film, starring James Franco. It has been nominated for an Oscar for best-adapted screenplay and won a Golden Globe for best performance by an actor in a motion picture for comedy or drama. James Franco was there to accept the award as was Tommy Wiseau.

Greg Sestero and Tommy Wiseau recently reunited in a new two-part film series called Best F(r)iends. The first part was shown for a limited time on March 30 and April 2 in theaters, the second part will also be a limited time movie event with two screenings on June 1 and June 4 at your local theater.

Avengers Infinity War

Avengers Infinity War has been called the most ambitious film in history and for a good reason. The film is the culmination of 18 films and over ten years of build up. But does it live up to the hype? In short, yes.

Spoilers!

I’ll get the bad out of the way first, as with all modern Disney movies the humor is hit or miss and jokes can be made a little too often, but none felt that bad. Peter Dinklage as a giant Dwarf, which I’m guessing is a pun on a Giant Dwarf star… haha. Well in a movie of awesome special effects you could just tell he was green screened in. Finally, the scene where Star-Lord held a gun to Gamora’s head while Thanos urged him to shoot reminded me too much of the time when I met my girlfriends’ parents.

Also if you haven’t seen all the Marvel movies, you may have a hard time keeping up. This isn’t necessarily a negative, but I definitely wouldn’t classify it as one of the movies strength.

Now time for the good and there is a lot. All the characters seem to stand on their own, and none feel like their personality is sacrificed for someone else’s plot. Thanos may not have the best motivation, but he is an absolute joy to watch on screen and is easily the strongest Marvel cinematic villain so far. There were a lot of ways this movie could have gone wrong or fell flat, and it didn’t.

On a personal note, I went into the movie wondering “could Thanos beat up the Hulk?” And the movie answered it in about five minutes.

The Marvel cinematic universe is on full display, proving it can do its self better than all the imitators. Like the Laughably bad DC universe with Batman vs. Superman, arguably the worst thing ever made by a human.  Or the tragically bad Universal Dark Universe, where they butcher the classics, like Brendan Fraser’s “The Mummy Returns.” Marvel even proved they could do dark and gritty better than those, with the boldest ending I’ve ever seen in a Disney film.

Even characters whose movies I didn’t particularly enjoy like Dr. strange were a joy to watch in this movie. But not everyone is created equal. The Hulk is about as disappointing as my statistics test.

I asked Chabot students what they thought and Jennifer Mendoza a two year undeclared, major said: “it was awesome, the action never stopped.”

Cameron Hernandez, a first-year biology major, said: “I was expecting it to be one of the best movies of all time, I guess I went in with too high of expectations.”

Currently the fifth highest-grossing film of all-time, as well as the highest-grossing film of 2018. There was a massive line to see it a week after it came out when I went to see it. So the outlook is pretty good for Disney as this film continues to smash records.

Golden State Killer Suspect Identified, Arrested

After more than forty years, the murderer of 12 people and perpetrator of at least 50 violent sexual assaults has a name and a face. His name is more than some catchy moniker, by which to remember his crimes. His face is not just a vague, cartoonish sketch.

The Sacramento District Attorney’s office has identified Joseph James DeAngelo as their suspect for the Golden State Killer’s crimes.

DeAngelo, a 72-year-old resident of the Citrus Heights suburb of Sacramento, was arrested on April 24, after law enforcement agencies conclusively linked his DNA to genetic materials recovered from the crime scenes. Although DeAngelo has only been charged in four of the murders so far, Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said, “there are many [more cases] that match by DNA, and it is the same DNA as found in those that have been charged [in the current case].” This means that there will probably be many more charges pressed and crimes cleared in the coming days and weeks, as the cases progress.

The leads resulting in DeAngelo’s arrest came together in a unique way. Contra Costa County Investigator Paul Holes took an unorthodox approach: he uploaded the unknown suspect’s DNA profile recovered at one of the crime scenes to the GEDMatch genealogy website. GEDMatch is different from other genealogy services, like Ancestry or 23AndMe, in that users’ genetic info is open source. This lack of privacy protections, like those in place at other genealogy firms, made it easier for law enforcement to find relatives of their suspect.

It was four months, from the time of law enforcement uploading the DNA profile to the arrest of DeAngelo. In that time, investigators located distant relatives of DeAngelo who had uploaded their own DNA to GEDMatch. Detectives used this information to build a family tree and eventually homed in on DeAngelo, who was still living in the area where many Sacramento crimes took place. Police put DeAngelo under surveillance and were able to obtain a discarded DNA sample of his, which proved a perfect match to their suspect’s profile.

The Golden State Killer (GSK), who was also called the East Area Rapist and the Original Night Stalker by various law enforcement agencies, committed 12 murders and upwards of 50 violent sexual assaults between 1976 and 1986. These crimes took place over ten counties throughout the state, which confounded the investigations for a time; sheriff’s departments in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties had no idea that their then-unconnected suspects were indeed the most prolific serial rapist in Sacramento. That is until DNA profiling became a ubiquitous research tool for criminal investigators. Then the picture emerged of a serial killer and rapist who had been operating across hundreds of miles and evaded capture, sometimes just barely.

Law enforcement confirmed that DeAngelo is also suspected in the crimes committed by the so-called Visalia Ransacker, a serial burglar responsible for over 100 crimes in 1974 and 1975, in Visalia, California, a small central valley town more than 200 miles south of Sacramento.

The Visalia Ransacker was said to be motivated by more than theft: he would sometimes opt to steal heirlooms and personal mementos in lieu of cash or valuables. This behavior was also a part of the Golden State Killer’s MO. The Visalia Ransacker would commit what are called “hot prowl burglaries,” wherein the thief deliberately enters the home while its occupants are inside, adding to the risk and, possibly, the thrill.

The Visalia Ransacker is the suspect in a murder as well. A pistol stolen in an earlier burglary was the weapon used to murder Claude Snelling. Snelling, a journalism professor at College of the Sequoias, was giving chase after he found a man attempting to kidnap his daughter.     

This connection between the Visalia Ransacker and GSK cases was just conjecture on the part of armchair detectives and internet sleuths until Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones confirmed the link during an April 25 press conference. Visalia Police Department representatives have also stated that they believe that, with DeAngelo arrested, the Visalia Ransacker has been caught.

Missing Michaela: A Hayward Cold Case

This November will mark the 30th anniversary of the kidnapping of Michaela Garecht. She was nine years old on November 19, 1988, when she was abducted by a stranger in broad daylight from a grocery store parking lot on Mission Boulevard.

That morning, Michaela and a friend were riding their scooters down to Rainbow Market, currently Mexico Super. They parked the scooters in the store’s lot and went inside to buy some candy and treats. When they returned to grab their scooters, Michaela’s had been moved and laid beside a parked car. She walked over to retrieve it, and a man came out of the car and grabbed Michaela. He pulled her into the vehicle with him and sped away, careening down Mission Boulevard. Michaela’s family has not seen or heard from her since.

Michaela’s friend saw the whole kidnapping play out. She gave police a description of the abductor: tall and slender, in his twenties, with shoulder length dirty blonde hair. His face appeared scared with pockmarks or broken out with acne. The car he drove was described as a dinged and scratched up tan sedan. Some witnesses reported seeing flecks of white paint spattered on the car’s exterior.

Most child victims of kidnapping are taken by people who are known to them: parents or relatives. Michaela’s was a stranger abduction, rare occurrences which account for less than one percent of child kidnapping cases in the US. Hayward Police immediately began their investigation. They sent officers to her home that day, collecting evidence and asking questions about Michaela, her friends, her habits.

The Missing Persons Project, a now-defunct advocacy group, also got involved the day of the abduction. They sent representatives to Michaela’s parents’ house, where they set up a command post. They installed a new phone line, dedicated to fielding calls about Michaela, the case, and any information from the public. Local news stations sent reporters to cover the initial investigation and search efforts.

Despite this prompt response, the police were not able to apprehend the kidnapper that day. In the days that followed, they conducted searches near the kidnapping site, and private citizens helped, scouring the undeveloped foothills east of Mission Boulevard. No substantive leads turned up.

Time passed. The searches died down. The investigation dwindled.

The police received 5,000 leads in that first year alone. A composite sketch of the kidnapper was drawn based on the witness descriptions and was disseminated on TV news. Posters with Michaela’s picture were posted around town, on bumper stickers and at police stations and in post offices.

Michaela was a typical nine-year-old. She was an intelligent little girl, enrolled in the Gifted and Talented Education program at her elementary school. She wore her blond hair in a short bob with bangs. She had blue eyes and a bright smile. That is how her mother, Sharon Murch, remembers her today.

Murch, who still lives in the area, keeps a blog online where she writes about her experiences in the wake of her daughter’s abduction. She shares anecdotes and little stories about times with Michaela, all those years ago. She also writes directly to Michaela, in case her daughter is out there looking for her too.

Those that knew her daughter would sometimes write to Murch. They all share similar memories of Michaela. “They write to me and say how sweet, kind and caring they remember Michaela being back then,” says Murch. “There was a light shining from her.”

Murch’s online presence has attracted a variety of responses. People still write telling her that they think they know what happened. Most are well-intentioned. Some are not.

A few strange people have insinuated themselves into Murch’s life. They seem convinced that they possess some secret, basic intuition that will help the investigation. Some are men, whose passions for finding missing children border on obsession. Some are adult aged women, convinced that they are Michaela themselves. None of them have turned out to be related.  

In the last three decades, thousands of leads have piled up in Michaela’s case file. “I”m convinced that somewhere in all those files is the answer to what happened to Michaela,” Murch says. “It’s just a matter of finding the needle in the haystack.”

However, Murch is less than hopeful that police work will be the answer to finding her daughter. At this point, Murch says, “Michaela will have to find herself.” Publicity, she thinks, can be a great ally to families of missing children. The media can help spread information and promote interest once the investigation and local awareness have waned.

Officials from the investigations unit of the Hayward Police Department were reticent regarding any possible progress in the case, as it is classified “Open/Unsolved.” They said it is still being actively investigated and they will continue to follow up on tips provided.

Sharon Murch hopes that if someone is certain, they know what happened to Michaela that they will call in their tip to the police today. If they contacted police back in 1988, they should call it in again.

You can find Murch’s blogs at DearMichaela.com and SeekersRoad.com. Any tips or information regarding Michaela’s case can be phoned into the Hayward Police Department at 800-222-3999.

Wendy’s: Grills Other Chains

What is beef? Well, it doesn’t come from a cow, and you definitely can’t barbeque it. In the world of hip-hop, beef is when two individuals or crews don’t see eye to eye and can’t find a better way to hash out there differences other than to verbally assault each other with comedic punchlines that attack the ego.

Some of hip-hop’s biggest names have produced classic wars of words from some of the biggest artists like Jay Z vs. Nas, Tupac vs. Biggie Smalls, Lil Kim vs. Foxy Brown, Nicki Minaj vs. Remy Ma and somehow the beef has crossed over to the fast food game. Wendy’s released five diss tracks online by an unknown artist and production team. Twitter fingers, Holding it down, Rest in grease, Clownin and 4 for 4$ are the song titles and are generating buzz among hip-hop heads online.

I talked to Daisy Mendoza a cashier at Wendy’s and asked her if she has heard the diss tracks, and she told me “Yeah I heard. I think it was funny and I liked it. If McDonald’s comes out with better diss tracks we still got the better food.” You can find the Wendy’s diss tracks on youtube.com.

We Beefin? by at Wendys on Spotify