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Monthly Archives: December 2012

Martin Gallegos

Staff Writer

Let’s all get Naked!

Naked Magazine will be coming in the Fall semester.  If you are unfamiliar with the inner workings of the magazine, let me break it down for you.  The instructor for the magazine class is Melissa Korber, who is also the adviser for The Express newspaper.  The class meets every thursday.

The magazine itself is run by editor in chief Trevin Smith.  Having worked for the newspaper, Smith is familiar with the pressure that comes with being an editor.  He is up to the challenge.

“As the editor in chief, I walk a fine line of having to crack the whip but at the same time keep people wanting to come back,” Smith said.

The magazine only comes out once a year every January.  This gives writers the opportunity to put together a high quality story if they can use their time wisely.  The staff has been hard at work with story assignments having been given on the first day of school and during mid-terms.  Usually there is one main lede story but for this issue the magazine team is working hard on two different lede stories.

The first one will focus on the culture of cyber bullying.  We will see how it originated and how it is going on today.

The second story looks at the sanguinarian lifestyle going on in the bay area.  For those who don’t know, sanguinarianism is a vampire lifestyle which includes drinking blood, and the strange sexual practices that go on.

The goal of the magazine is to reach out to as many people as they can.  In order to do this, they must build an audience and in the ever-evolving technology in our world, social media is huge.

“The magazine piggybacks off the newspaper for distribution, but we want to get out to Livermore and the surrounding area as much as we can,” Smith said.  “We’re also building our website and linking up with our twitter and facebook.”

Rosemary Plute, who is in charge of Public Relations, intends to use social media to expand the following for the magazine.

“Social media has been the biggest thing we are focusing on,” Plute said.  “Beyond Livermore, we are getting support from all across the country because of friends and family members.”

As far as the cover goes, we all know not to judge a book by its cover.  However, the cover is very important when trying to make a magazine look good.  It has been a struggle to figure out a cover with ideas being thrown out every day, but Smith feels that they will figure it out soon.

Since day one we have talked about the cover with idea after idea being scrapped,” Smith said.  “What we can agree on is that the cover will be a random photo that will represent the magazine and the approach we are trying to make, it’s going to be an artsy minimalist cover for an artsy minimalist magazine.”

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Joshua Basrai

A&E Editor

This year, the people of California rocked out with their voting fingers out. They approved Prop 30; which meant taking money out of their pockets to benefit people they didn’t know personally.  In a postmodern world marked by what sociologists term ingrained selfishness and individualism the people of California rose above the nature of the day and voted in favor of tax initiative which benefitted California educational system and prevented what could have been 9.7 million worth of budget cuts across the statewide school system.  To show our gratitude, The Express has chosen the people of California as 2012’s Individual of the Year.

Things looked bleak early on for Prop 30 proponents.

By 10:00 p.m. on Election Day, the people of California nearly failed students throughout the state. Many early reports indicated that Prop 30 wouldn’t pass.

But this could not happen.

In a rally just before midnight of Election Day, Governor Jerry Brown declared victory.  Prop 30 had been passed.  Californians in the upper will see the most increase in taxes. Individuals with incomes over 250,000 dollars will see a 10.6 percent increase in their income tax. People with 1,000,000-dollar incomes will also see an increase at 29.13 percent.

Aside from pissing off the upper class Prop 30 will shell out a sales tax that will tax one penny for every four dollars spent for four years.

The difference was 715,394 votes or 53.9 percent to 46.1 percent, but Prop 30 spent most of Election Day behind.

The obstacles were immense. Nobody wants to pay extra taxes.  But the people of California knew education was a main priority.

“The people of California (get my vote) for having the good sense to pass Proposition 30 to safeguard the funding for K-12 and community colleges,” Jonathan Brickman, ESL Instructor at LPC said.

This is why The Express has chosen the citizens of California as 2012’s Individual of the year.

With the passage of Prop 30, school budgets can now be stabilized.  These changes directly impact students and faculty in a positive light. Because of the passage, LPC and Chabot can add an additional 156 full-time enrolled students by the end of the spring semester.

If Prop 30 didn’t pass, the CSU system would have lost $250 million, police departments would have lost $20 million, and Cal Fire would have been out $10 millions.

The bottom line is, if Prop 30 didn’t pass, schools would have found it even harder to overcome this educational fiscal cliff.

Californians proved to the rest of the country why they have the most progressive state. For that, The Express has chosen residents of California as 2012’s Individual of the Year.

Las Positas College held its first ever Be The Match Bone Marrow Registry Drive on Nov. 14.

There were 58 potential donors at the drive.  Among all of those people who wanted to make a difference in somebody’s life was LPC cross country runner Taylor Peissner

Peissner was initially hesitant to go through with it.  He could not make such a big decision without the input from his loved ones.  After conversations with his family and his coach, he decided to become a potential donor.

“I didn’t do this for any reason except to possibly help save somebody’s life,” Peissner said.  “There are a lot of people out there who are affected by these diseases.”

One main disease is Leukemia.  Many patients are dependent on bone marrow transplants to survive.  According to the Be The Match website,  70 percent of patients, or 10,000 patients annually, rely on the marrow registry.

LPC cross country head coach Steve Navarro was asked by Peissner what he thought about him potentially becoming a donor during the season.  While Navarro was surprised about the possibility, he told Peissner he would support whatever decision his runner made.

“I couldn’t tell him what to do but I think everyone agrees that saving someone’s life is a great thing to do,” Navarro said.  “It’s an amazing selfless thing that he is doing.”

While it is small, there is always a risk when donating bone marrow.  According to marrow.org, a small percentage (1.34 percent) of donors experience a serious complication due to anesthesia or damage to bone, nerve or muscle in their hip region.  Peissner understood this and was still willing to sign the waiver.

“I knew about the small risk, but there’s a risk in anything that we do,” Peissner said.  “That was the last thing on my mind.”

Julia Stansberry, Vice President of the Biology Club, organized the drive and was glad Peissner and the rest of the donors took that small risk and showed up.  The goal that they had for the number of people to show up was easily met.

“Our original goal of registering 50 potential donors was exceeded and will give hope to many patients with life-threatening cancers and diseases,” Stansberry said.

The process of donating bone marrow can look intimidating.  In order for the donation to happen you must receive an injection for five straight days to move blood-forming cells from your bone marrow to your bloodstream.  Peissner is prepared for the process if and when he is called upon for a possible donation.

“I knew what I was getting into when I signed up,” Peissner said.  “If they need me to donate I will be ready to go.”

Peissner was recently contacted about possibly finding a match for a transplant. It is a woman who he has never met and might never meet.  The opportunity to meet her would depend on the transplant center and the recipient’s consent.

“They told me they will let me know in late December for sure if it will happen,” Peissner said.  “That would make for a great Christmas present for her.”

2012 came with the 40th anniversary of an educational equality amendment that was cheered into signing during the Nixon administration.  Hope Solo, Serena and Venus Williams, Candace Parker and Marion Jones all have this law to thank in helping their cause in becoming world class athletes.   With its passage, it was promised that men and women would receive equal federal funding in educational environments.

Title IX is a federal law that mandates schools that receive federal funding equally disburse funds between men and women, specifically in collegiate athletics.  Las Positas is not quite meeting these requirements as both women’s coaches are part time, while the men’s coaches are full time positions.  To make matters worse, the college could lose federal funds as a result and could be sued for millions of dollars.

“Having access to their coach (benefits the student athletes), in a full time capacity to discuss classroom issues or athletic issues,” LPC Athletics Director Dyan Miller said.  “Whether it’s counseling, figuring out what classes to take and practice times.”

LPC meets all other requirements of title IX when coaching is excluded, but that is still not a shield from the possibility of a lawsuit.

Over the years since Title IX was signed into law in 1972, there have been several high-profile lawsuits, however the dollar amounts in settlements are rarely available.  Some notable cases have hit major universities such as the University of Tennessee, UC Berkeley and Duke, along with a recent case which is pending at Penn State.

“You look at the availability of students to their coaches, times of practice, which could be one or three because those people are leaving to go to a different job,” Miller said.  To address the problem, she said that LPC needs to hire at least one of the part time positions so that they are equitable.

“You can’t even say that there’s balance because there’s a full time position for a men’s sport and a part time position for a women’s sport,” Miller said.  “What you’re saying is that the priority has been put on male sports because all of them are full time.”

For the Lady Hawks basketball team, the fact that there has been only a part time coaching position has been a problem.  The team is now on their third coach in three years, now being led by Clarence Morgan.

During the spring semester, Miller sent out an email appealing to the LPC administration to look into hiring a new full-time faculty member in the physical education department to help the school meet the Title IX requirements.  The P.E. department ranked high enough the process to hire new faculty members, which is ranked by need, but the request was denied because of fiscal constraints.

With the current fiscal state of LPC, it may seem like a naive thought that the school would hire a physical education faculty member, but it is a move that could save the school from a huge lawsuit and the potential loss of federal funding.

Aretha Welch

Editor-in-Chief

Nader Khalil is a relative nobody…but he somehow came in as the second runner up for LPC’s individual of the year. Khalil was only three votes behind this year’s winner, Academic Senate president Sarah Thompson. Whether his rise from relative obscurity to the top of the LPC totem pole is weirder than the reason he was even nominated is up for question. Eighteen-year-old Nader Khalil was nominated for person of the year after capping 7 votes from members of the LPC community. According to several of his friends, he was nominated because he “can do the Carlton (from the T.V. show Fresh prince of Bel Air) really well. “

While the reason they choose him may seem blithe and trivial, there is more to Khalil that makes him an interesting choice.

The Lebanese born mechanical engineering major moved to Pleasanton from San Diego in July 2011 and hasn’t looked back since, participating in cross country, open mic nights and even the business club here at LPC. But before his move, Khalil, who wants to have a career in developing robotics and troubleshooting robot-programming systems, was all over several local news networks for the research he did during his internship at Sandia National Laboratories while he was back in San Diego.

While only in his first year, Khalil, who is fluent in both Arabic and English and has a working knowledge of French, plans to transfer to one of the University of California campuses in southern California.

Travis Danner

Managing/Opinions Editor

For Las Positas College’s president Kevin Walthers, it wasn’t good to be king.

In October, during a meeting of the school’s Academic Senate, Sarah Thompson, the president of the senate, brought to light numerous complaints she had received concerning the performance of LPC’s president Kevin Walthers. The revelations and subsequent news coverage caused a campus wide controversy.

“They’re sensing a pattern of him being very impulsive, rude and unprofessional,” Thompson said during the Sept. 26 meeting. “Also interference of the job. There’s inability to get something done, because it’s being held up by him.”

Among the allegations aimed at Walthers were that his management style was often abrasive, he did not prioritize saving jobs during a period when the school’s budget was being cut and that he micromanaged issues unnecessarily.

Campus Safety Supervisor Sean Prather delivered pointed remarks criticizing the administration of president Walthers.

“He has made my job extremely difficult,” Prather said. “I’m willing to put my reputation on the line to say that I feel he is unsafe, and he lacks sound judgement being our president.”

The senate was on the verge of presenting a censure letter to Walthers, but ultimately tabled that letter after it was announced that Walthers would be quitting.

Walthers initially denied before finally confirming that he was in the process of searching for another job. He has recently officially presented his resignation to the district’s board of trustees. That resignation will be effective in Dec. 2013, pending Walthers finding another job.

Walthers defended his job performance, highlighting various measures he had undertaken to save the school money and better serve students. Those measures included the Foundation 55 program, raising $60,000 towards the school’s budget and suspending two dean positions which saved staff jobs.

In response to the initial article published in the Express, 40 faculty members sent a letter to the Express decrying the coverage of the issue as detrimental to the school.

“The person in this role (of president) carries a lot of responsibility and requires respect in order to be successful,” the letter read. “It is a journalistic duty to report on issues and conflicts. To do this takes courage. To do it in a balanced and respectful way is challenging, but essential if the integrity of the press is to be preserved.”

The letter also stated that “how an article is written can undermine the work of any future president.”

As a result of the Express’ coverage, two news articles appeared on news web pages in the Tri-Valley area.

In the meantime, Walthers is still the school’s president and LPC will soon begin the search for its sixth president in nine years.

Sandia National Laboratories and the Livermore Chamber of Commerce Announce announced that they are now accepting applications from students for the opportunity to receive the scholarship worth $1,000.

Students applying must have excellent academic record, outstanding leadership qualities and active involvement in activities and community service. Interested students must also have a recommendation from an LPC faculty sponsor.

The application packet can be obtained from the ASLPC webpage. Applications will be open until Feb. 14, 2013. For More Information please contact Student Life Head Cynthia Ross 925-424-1297.