Category Archives: News

Leprecon 2019

On, March 16, downtown Hayward’s “B Street” lit up in a shade of verdant green for its 1st Annual “Leprecon”. The event was coordinated by the same group that organizes Hayward’s annual Santacon in support of the Hayward Animal Shelter. For the first time in the city’s history, the community was invited to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the form of a bar crawl through several local bars and restaurants along B street. Up and down the street, there was an abundance of green; from the lights, to the drinks, and even the people. Attendees were encouraged to come dressed up in flashy costumes and of course, wear whatever green they had.

Greg Jones looked naturally dressed in his vividly green two-piece suit. As a realtor, wearing suits is part of his trade, but during his off time, he helped organize this event, as well as last December’s “Santacon”. Jones, along with his wife and fellow realtor Anna May, collaborated with co-coordinators Chelsea Anderson and Katie Quick to create this event to once again bring festivities to downtown Hayward.

Jones estimated a total of 300 adoptions at the shelter since holding the first Santacon. He attributed the success and coordination of this event to Chelsea Anderson, who he claimed pushed the idea and got the event going. When asked about future events, Jones hinted at “a zombie crawl” possibly occurring “the last week of October.” Citizens are advised to stay alert should the dead rise to walk among us again.

Chelsea Anderson herself was happy with the turnout, despite it being the first year for this event, and being organized in a shorter amount of time than the yearly Santacon. Anderson’s reason for organizing this event was that she wanted to start another new tradition for Hayward, as well as continue to support the animal shelter and local businesses. It was the success of the last few Santacons that encouraged her and her fellow con coordinators to go forward with this year’s “Leprecon”.

The first official stop of the crawl was at “Chalk it Up”, a bar with a variety of recreational activities such as pool, foosball, ping pong, and chess. Though it was the first stop, many attendees were already at the next stops, “Brews and Brats” and “Metro Taquero”, before 7 p.m., presumably to provide a good carbohydrate cushion for the ensuing mix of specialty “Irish” drinks offered in honor of the occasion.

San Leandro resident Vanessa Pelayo was invited to attend by a friend. She gladly accepted the chance to share her opinion of the specialty Irish drink offered by each bar. High hopes were held for her first stop, “Brews and Brats”, but after a few sips of the “Irish Margarita”, she stated flatly, “It tastes like a regular margarita” and later added that it “was not even filled all the way”. The official rating: five out of ten. It’s not the first drink she would choose, but after a few, she would not mind them.

The Stein Lounge was the peak of her night. She described the margarita as an all-around better drink because it was sweeter and cheaper. Plus, they actually filled her drink to the top and for that, it was given an eight out of ten.

The Dirty Bird was the last stop of her night, though nothing of this Irish Margarita seemed different from a regular margarita. She did notice that the bartender poured too much alcohol by accident. “They messed up and left it in there. I got lucky”.  Luck of the Irish, maybe? Pelayo, however, still enjoyed Stein Lounge’s “Irish Margarita” the best, and gave Dirty Bird’s version a solid seven out of ten.

For Eric Fager of San Francisco, the night was a night to share the wealth. Fager came dressed as The Riddler from Batman, a villain known for his green suit and bowler hat. Far from villainous, he shared golden chocolate coins with fellow attendees out of his pot o’ gold. Along with a not-so-subtle “Vote for me!”, he encouraged everyone to support him in the costume contest that occurred at the end of the night. Unfortunately, the results of the costume contests were unclear, partly due to the crowd petering out around 10 p.m.

Hiccups are inevitable in an initial run. As the adage goes, it’s not that easy, being green, but the success of the first Leprecon may promise an even bigger and better Leprecon 2020.

Weight Privilege

The rise of the Me Too movement has brought many injustices up for conversation that weren’t talked about before. One such injustice that has been a buzz word this year is Thin Privilege.

On July 22, 2018, Cora Harrington, author of the book Intimate Detail, made a series of posts on twitter describing thin privilege. The original twitter thread has been retweeted more than 4,000 times and liked more than 21,000 times bringing the conversation of thin privilege to the mainstream.

“You don’t have to ‘feel thin’ to have thin privilege,” Harrington states in her twitter post. “thin privilege means societal discrimination and prejudice does not target you for being thin. It means your weight/body type is seen as ‘normal’.”

The discriminations listed by Harrington include being told to lose weight, being sneered at when eating treats, being able to go shopping and find clothes and public transit riders being displeased to see you on the public transit.

On February 5, 2019, BBC Sesh, a social media channel owned by BBC Wales, uploaded a video to Facebook titled thin privilege, where the host relisting the same discriminations. The video also calls for thin people to acknowledge their privilege and accept that they have it.

One of the biggest examples that Harrington uses as discrimination against overweight people is the lack of ability to buy clothes. Finding a store that sells the size of clothes big enough is harder to find and more expensive.

“It’s unfair,” stated Jessica Ponce, a nursing student at chabot college. “Why should someone have to pay more for clothes. Clothes should be clothes, it should be the same price for everyone.”

“It’s not really hard to find clothes that fit,” stated Jacob Emmerich, a business administration. “I mostly buy online, if not I can’t go to a walmart or a target, but go to a big and tall store and their clothes are of nicer quality anyway. It’s kinda a pain, but I’m not worried about it.”

Nathan Sojourn states after being asked if he could find clothes that fit, “Yes actually, I’m skinny and I can’t find pants. Pants are always too short or too wide, They don’t fit!”

If Thin Privilege is being able to walk into any store and finding clothes that fit doesn’t seem to be completely a privilege that Thin people hold. A person of plus size goes to a designer who makes clothes for plus size people.

A person in need of smaller sizes often needs to deal with clothes that don’t quite fit, or go to the junior’s section for clothes. Would it be a plus size privilege to be able to get clothes that fit compared to people of a very thin or short body type?

“I found public transit to be somewhat of a pleasant experience depending on the day.” Michael Leonor, a mass communications major at Chabot. “I wasn’t annoyed by overweight people boarding the bus, I was more concerned with muggers possibility being on the bus, and the guy in the back who played music loudly without headphones.”

Obesity in America

It seems obesity is becoming more and more of a problem in the United States. Is it the food? Is it people’s habits? It could be both, but in some cases, it might not be either.

As fortune.com shared a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “More than 70 percent of Americans are now either obese or overweight by this measure. However, the statistics are particularly worrying. Almost 40 percent of adults are obese. The childhood obesity rate, for ages 6-19, has increased to 2 percent.”

This situation is worrisome as fortune.com adds in their article, “Childhood obesity is linked to increased mortality rates in adulthood, and obesity can lead to diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.”

A big reason for this could be the fact that many people in the US are struggling to even get by. With this being said, healthy food is often times more expensive than “junk” food or fast food, it is hard for people to turn down the chance to save money by just taking the unhealthier option.

For example, even when talking about something simple like grapes. We can see grapes are $2.98 per pound at Walmart. Meanwhile, you can get 2 cheeseburgers at McDonald’s for $2.

Even with a comparison as simple as this, we can see that this has to be one of the issues. However, this is not necessarily a good excuse all the time as people could be healthier by just cooking at home.

According to thesimpledollar.com, “At an average cost of $12.75 per meal, you’d save yourself $8.75 for each of those meals. In other words, the average American would save $36.75 per person per week by moving all of their meals from restaurants to home-prepared meals.”

With these people would avoid the highly processed foods and would be able to prepare them in a way in which it’s at least not to a fast food level of unhealthy.

But it is understandable why some people may not have the time to cook food as many people in America are working multiple jobs just to make ends meet as mentioned before.

As fortune.com included in their article, “Frank Hu from the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health told NBC News, There’s still a huge amount of cheap, accessible, highly processed food available everywhere [at] almost any time,” he said. “And despite people doing more recreational activity these days, the overall activity level, household activity, and occupational activity have decreased in recent years.”

The organization of Public Health breaks it down as they try to tackle this issue. On their website publichealth.org, they include research they have performed to get to the bottom of this.

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that the average American ate almost 20 percent more calories in the year 2000 than they did in 1983, thanks, in part, to a boom in meat consumption. Today, each American puts away an average of 195 pounds of meat every year, compared to just 138 pounds in the 1950s. Consumption of added fats also shot up by around two thirds over the same period, and grain consumption rose 45 percent since 1970.”

So the problem is in fact that people are probably eating more than they should. But it’s not the case for everyone and it isn’t the only part of the issue.

As publichealth.org adds, “Research published by the World Health Organization found that a rise in fast food sales correlated to a rise in body mass index, and Americans are notorious for their fast-food consumption ― such food makes up about 11 percent of the average American diet. Another study demonstrates the full effect added sugars from soda and energy drinks are wreaking havoc on American waistlines. So it is not just how much we eat, but what we eat.”

Basically, this just adds to what was discussed above about the unhealthier option generally being cheaper than the healthier option or in other cases people just not having the time to cook.

But what we eat and how much we eat isn’t the only problem. Another study showed that Americans are just not getting enough exercise and are too inactive.

As it says on publichealth.org, “According to one study, only 20 percent of today’s jobs require at least moderate physical activity, as opposed to 50 percent of jobs in 1960. Other research suggests Americans burn 120 to 140 fewer calories a day than they did 50 years ago. Add this to the higher amount of calories we are packing in, and we get a perfect recipe for weight gain.”

This does make a lot of sense as today with all the technological advancements, machines have replaced a lot of the physical labor tasks humans had to otherwise do before. In a sense making it easier on people but also taking jobs away and making people lazier.

We go back to the question though. Who does this effect?

According to publichealth.org, “In general, however, the poor are more likely to be overweight or obese than the rich. Again, nobody is certain why, but studies suggest lower-income individuals consume higher amounts of calories through fast foods and sodas that are high in sugar, fat, and calories. Quite simply, in the United States today, eating healthy food can cost more than eating junk.”

So once again it all ends up going back to what was discussed above, people with lower income levels are more likely to turn to the cheaper option because it makes sense.

The consequences are obviously health issues down the line if people don’t decide to make a change. According to publichealth.org, “being overweight can cause diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression, reproduction, respiratory disease, cognitive health, and musculoskeletal disorders.”

With all of these statistics, it is obvious that obesity is becoming an increasingly serious problem in America. But there is hope of turning things around.


Is the Keto Diet Right for You?

There have been many individuals who have struggled with losing weight and have been searching for answers on the best ways to lose weight fast. Luckily, the Ketogenic Diet is scientifically proven to help individuals with rapid weight loss through a mix of high fat and protein meals and eliminating the starchy and sugary ones.

According to an article on healthline.com, the Ketogenic Diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that involves reducing one’s carbohydrate intake and instead of replacing it with fat. This metabolic state puts the body into a phase called “ketosis”.

R.I.P. Nipsey Hussle

For those who know of Ermias Asghedom better known to the world as Nipsey Hussle, your heart is in deep anguish. Hussle was more than just a Los Angeles “rapper.” He was a father, son, philanthropist, businessman and most importantly an activist on a mission to enlighten others.

Hussle, born Aug. 15, 1985, was tragically gunned down in front his store on Sunday, Mar. 31 in South Los Angeles, CA.

The Grammy-nominated Hussle began his career in 2005 releasing his first mixtape, titled “Slauson Boy Vol. 1,” which later became the name of his own recording label, one of his many businesses.

Nip, as many would refer to him, was a community ambassador who began his journey to better his community by giving back in many ways. He spent years reviving the Crenshaw Corridor food district and also donated a new pair of shoes to every student of 59th Street Elementary School and fostered repairs to the school’s playground structure.

With the community work Hussle put forth, he continued to put out music that connected to the community. He continued to spread greatness through his music and his activism.

In 2010, he was featured on the song “We Are the World 25 for Haiti,” and was selected to be the part of the XXL Magazine’s “Annual Freshman Top Ten,” a hand-picked selection of up-and-coming artists. XXL labeled Hussle “Most Determined” of his class, and LA Weekly called him the “next big L.A. MC.”

In 2013 Nipsey began dating Actress Lauren London who remained the love of his life throughout the years.

London posted several pictures of Hussle and herself on Instagram captioned “I am completely lost. I’ve lost my best friend, my sanctuary, my protector, my soul … I’m lost without you. We are lost without you, babe. I have no words.”

Hussle leaves behind his two children, daughter Emani and son Kross, his partner London, his brother Samiel (Blacc Sam) Asghedom and sister Samantha (Sammy) Smith.

The community has definitely lost an iconic figure who will be greatly missed among his peers and fans. The music industry will forever be missing a key named Nipsey Hussle.

Funeral arrangements are being held at Staple Center in Los Angeles, Thursday, April 11, 2019.

Phillip Antwine: The Podfather

Hayward native and Chabot Community College student Phillip Antwine is as knowledgeable as they come when it comes to wrestling. Phillip has been watching pro wrestling for 15 years now and started following amateur wrestling in 2012 when he was a Junior in high school. He currently is sharing his knowledge with young wrestlers at Mt. Eden high school where he has been a wrestling coach for 2 years.

When asked if he has led students to winning titles, Phillip said, “Not me necessarily, the other coaches have more experience than I do, but I yell stuff too.”

With regards to his coaching career, Phillip is unsure if he wants to continue down that path. “It’s up in the air whether I’ll go back next season or not,” he said.

Phillip also addressed his plans for pursuing a career as a pro wrestler, “I went to try out to be a pro wrestler when I was 17. I think that I’ve kind of lived out that fantasy.” Phillip wrestled throughout his high school career where he had a record of 11 wins and 12 losses.

Phillip’s main focus right now is on his podcast Bullet Cast where he discusses the essential topics in the wrestling world. His main focus is on the popular company World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) as well as other pro wrestling companies.

People can listen to his podcast at a wide variety of places: iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, TuneIn, Google Play, iHeartRadio, 99.9FM KDUB in Watsonville, and on YouTube. All you have to do is search “Bullet Cast” in any of these apps to listen.

Phillip said, “I’ve been doing that for 2 years now. There have been 107 episodes, but I’ve done well over 200 podcasts.”

The podcast has been pretty successful and is listened to in many places around the world. “I don’t have an exact number, but the places people listen are, US, Japan, Argentina, Sweden, UK, Vietnam, Canada, and other countries,” Phillip said.

So far Phillip has interviewed 11 different wrestlers, including WWE superstars like Chris Masters.

While Phillip may not have a clear future in mind with his coaching or pro wrestling careers. He hopes to host the Bullet Cast live one-day having pro wrestling legends as well as current pro wrestlers as guests so that people can call into the show and ask them questions.

“I’m trying to be in the same arena as Joe Rogan,” Phillip says. Joe Rogan is a popular stand-up comedian and mixed martial arts color commentator and currently hosts a popular podcast called The Rogan Experience.

Bay Area Residents Have an Attitude Problem

Attitudes are like rear ends, everyone has one, and just like rear ends, what exudes from them can change the attitude of everyone around. For most bay area’s residents, the overall attitude is that of appreciation for tolerance and diversity. The ever-rising costs of living and over populated areas anxiety can cause bubble over in the fierce competition of trying to live in the bay area.

How you carry yourself and treat others around you is fundamental not only for them but for you as well. When you treat people nicely, it makes you feel good as well.

According to Dr. Ray Grim an Instructor at Chabot College for over 20 years “Socio-economic factors play a major part in how people’s attitude like poverty and ostracism from their group or family can lead to bad attitudes and or depression. I think the overall attitudes may be a little better in the Bay-area because our unemployment rates are so low and people are generally happy that or maybe it’s the good weather.”

He went on about the things you can practice to maintain a positive attitude. “There is a site at U.C. Berkeley that practices positive psychology called greater good, and they promote gratitude, mindfulness, meditation, taking the time to enjoy your surroundings and expressing gratitude to someone in their lives can really improve a person’s attitude. Giving people the benefit of the doubt really helps as well.”

It is easy to let little thing bother us throughout our day to day lives especially with the weight of competitive success continually looming in the back of our consciences. I asked third-year art major at Chabot College, Demetriana Germany what she did when those everyday inconveniences start to get the best of her and she stated, “When people really start to annoy or bug me the most I turn to my music, and that’s all I need.”

According to an article by Mike Bundrant on Psychcentral.com the are four reasons you wake up with a lousy attitude, and those are:

  1. Morning depression- which may be caused by disturbed circadian rhythms that affects your hormones, Not enough sleep- perhaps too obvious but if you’re not sleeping enough your body will not function optimally which includes your brain and moods,
  2. Low magnesium- you may need to supplement which is an essential mineral that stress tends to deplete,
  3. Lack of gratitude- for many of us gratitude doesn’t come naturally so it must be practiced, and when practiced it has profound effects on well-being.

Jacob Harvie, a third-year student at Chabot College, thinks that most people in the Bay Area are anxious and hasty because of the media pushing people always to be doing something or going somewhere. I asked him what he does to change his bad attitude, and he responded, “I like to listen to classical music and smoke cigarettes which is probably not the best thing, but it works for me.”

No matter where you are in life stress is always a factor and how you deal with it will determine your attitude and how your attitude is perceived can either affect the people around you positively or negatively. If we all try to practice some of the techniques to remain positive, it will not only help the people around you, but it will change how the most important person in your life feels you. So stay positive and promote good attitudes.

Women’s History Month

In the United States, Women’s History Month traces its conception back to the very first International Women’s Day in 1911. In the 1970s, women’s history was practically a foreign topic in the K-12 curriculum or in society generally as far back as the woman suffrage movement in the 1840s. Bringing the empowerment of women to the forefront, the Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women initiated a “Women’s History Week” celebration for 1978.

By 1986, 14 states had already declared March as Women’s History Month. This momentum and state-to-state action were joined to lobby Congress to proclaim the whole month of March 1987 as National Women’s History Month.

A special Presidential Proclamation was issued by Ronald Reagan on March 1, 1988, stating “Women’s History Month is a time for us to recognize and salute women’s contributions to the American family and to society,” the proclamation honors the extraordinary achievements of American women all over the United States.

Students at Chabot expressed how excited they were for all the National Women’s Month and events that the school is hosting. One student, in particular, Nora Tillmen, third-year Chabot student has made it clear that it’s about time woman get the respect they deserve considering we all are just as capable. “I feel Chabot as a whole is putting an insane amount of time and effort into making this month mean something. I love it, and I feel special,” says Tillmen.

Chabot is a very diverse campus according to Institutional Research staff data provided by Chabot College. The gender breakdown as of Fall 2017 over 50 percent of the staff were women of all nationalities. Chabot has some of the most fantastic faculty I have ever met, and the fact that more than half are women is inspiring.

Sara Parker, Dean of Social Science at Chabot College has been with the school for the past 10 years, during eight of these years, she was a political-science professor. She chose to shift to administration. When you are seeing someone elevate themselves, you can’t help but want to be better and do better so you can feel that level of satisfaction. “Always do your best, work hard and work with integrity, and those things will serve you well and keep you moving forward,” Parker said when asked what the best advice she received in her career was.

Jennifer Lange, Life Science professor at Chabot College, has been a full-time instructor since 2006, but she has had the spirit of a teacher since birth. Being a woman in the science field is tough, being that it’s a male-dominated field.    

Lange states that National Women’s Month is the time we as women “Get to come out the shadows in a lot of places, that women might not receive recognition for. March is the Month to give women the credit they have always deserved and not received.”

Respect for the achievements, leadership, courage, strength, and love of the women who built America is as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well.

Kamala Harris for President

January 21, former California district attorney and Oakland native, Kamala Harris announced that she was going to be running in the 2020 presidential race on “Good Morning America.” She asked for the people to support her by attending her first rally in Oakland.

“Truth, justice, decency, equality, freedom, democracy: these aren’t just words, they’re the values we as Americans cherish. And they’re all on the line now.” Harris put in her announcement video, which was posted to all social media platforms, highlighting her slogan Kamala Harris, for the people.

If elected Kamala Harris would be the first African-American Asian woman to become president. Although Kamala Harris is very aware of her platform and what she represents she chooses to still brand herself as just American to get away from those labels.

Kamala Harris’s first rally for her official event announcement was in Oakland on Jan. 27. Over 20,000 people rallied from different areas over the bay just to hear her speak and show their support. While waiting in line to hear Kamala Harris speak, I noticed there was so much diversity and so many African-American supporters. I just wondered if they’ve got the full story.

Harris has always said that in her years as a district attorney in California that she considers herself to be a woman who was just in the decisions she made. However, some people feel that she was not the “progressive prosecutor” she claimed to be. At one point when asking Kamala Harris to take a bolder approach to ensure accountability and impartial investigations for cases, but they said: “Miss Harris opposed them or stayed silent.” Kamala Harris is also in favor of the death penalty and in one case she opposed the DNA testing of a death row inmate whose trial was shown to be unjust and biased in their treatment.

“I’m not really sure if people have done research on her. The Presidential race is barely starting and even though she sounds like the best candidate we still need to be open to the idea of new people,” A’nhiya Gaines, SFSU student had said after the rally in Oakland. Through the years, Kamala Harris has seemed to change her views on the legalization of marijuana in the US. Initially opposing legalization completely then switching her ideals as the times changed. Everyone deserves a chance to evolve their ideas through learning experiences.

WRAC Center Helps Students with Studies

There are many Chabot College students in English classes that may face challenges when dealing with their reading and writing assignments and don’t know where to go for help. Fortunately, the WRAC center, located in building 100, room 108, offers free peer tutoring and other resources to help benefit students in their reading and writing.

The WRAC center stands for Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, and students are welcomed to stop by whenever they feel that they need help on any assignment.

The WRAC center offers drop-in tutoring with no appointments necessary, and drop-in sessions can be provided for 20 minutes during specified hours with the help from trained peer tutors and English/ESL (English as a Second Language) instructors. Appointments can also be made at the Chabot College website, and these sessions are offered for 50 minutes.

Aside from tutoring sessions, the WRAC center also has other resources for students such as books, a computer lab with printing access, small study rooms, and even reading and writing workshops.

“I love our tutors,” said Shoshanna Tenn, WRAC center coordinator. “I hire them, I interview them, and I do the training as well. They have to be recommended by an English instructor and have to have taken English 1A or higher and pass with a grade of an A or B.” Currently, there are 11 tutors for the WRAC center, and once they are hired, they are then trained on how to work with students on assignments and help with whatever the student is struggling in.

One tutor for the WRAC center Isa Mari De Leon said, “I never came to the WRAC center as a student. I wish I had sought out the WRAC center as a resource earlier, especially as a first-semester student at Chabot College because it would’ve made my transition to college easier in that it would’ve helped me understand what college professors are looking for in written assignments.”

Although the WRAC center may only offer help specifically in reading and writing, students are still welcomed to come to the WRAC center for help in assignments other than English. “I’m trained to tutor in English, though students have come to me for help in a wide variety of subjects, including communications, history, and business,” said Isa Mari De Leon. “The reason why we’re called the WRAC center and not the English center is because we welcome students who need help with reading and writing assignments outside of English courses.”

Overall, students that have gone to the WRAC center have had great experiences. Chabot college student Vanessa Khamphoune said, “My experience with the WRAC center has been great. The people there are accommodating.”

Chabot College student Geovanni Campos said, “The WRAC center has helped me with my needs because they really took the time to help you and make sure that you are on the right path to success.” As of right now, I’m getting help mostly on my essays for my English class, but I encourage more students to head there for more information that they can use for their subjects and get a better understanding of what they may be struggling in.”

The WRAC center is open from Monday to Friday between the hours of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays.

The WRAC center is a welcoming place for anyone, and students are encouraged to go check it out for themselves to help excel their learning and improve their reading and writing skills.