Oct. 21, 2014
Israeli American poet and activist Moriel Rothman-Zecher visited City College Oct. 1 to share several personal stories that helped influence his current outspoken activism to help end the war in Palestine.
To an audience of students and faculty members assembled in the Cultural Awareness Center, Rothman-Zecher first described when he was 9 years old in Ohio. A fierce act in defending a friend from being bullied instilled in him a mentality of ‘good violence:’ using violence to stop another act of violence or injustice happening in the world.
“I would find a way to be violent in order to pursue justice and stop the violent people who are doing injustice,” said Rothman-Zecher. “Specifically for me having been born in Israel, the good violence that I wanted to do was pursue justice through the Israeli military.”
Rothman-Zecher said life in Israel as a young Jewish teenager is very different than growing up in a western society like the United States. In Israel, all Jews except for the highly orthodox, are required by law to join the military at age 18. Palestinians living in Israel are exempt from this draft.
“All Israeli Jews and all my friends were prepared to go into the military; it was all anyone talked about,” said Rothman-Zecher. “It was really interesting for me because it wasn’t that my friends were saying ‘I want to go and kill the Palestinians.’ They would say, ‘I want to go and be a part of this system admired by society.’”
According to Rothman-Zecher, a soldier in Israel is glorified and well-respected. For veterans it would be easy to acquire a well-paid and comfortable job position after their service is done. With this idolized view of enlisting in mind, and the influence he received from his American Jewish Community, Rothman-Zecher believed the military was a perfect way to carry out his concept of ‘good violence.’
“They’re using violence to stop our enemies, to stop terrorism, to stop everyone who wants to kill us and I want to be a part of that,” said Rothman-Zecher. “At the same time, I was very active in the civil rights movement, so I also wanted to pursue some form of anti-racism or injustice or inequality in this context. So on one hand, I wanted to be a freedom writer, and on the other hand, I wanted to be some sort of freedom fighter.”
In the end, Rothman-Zecher surprisingly chose to be a freedom writer instead of joining the military. He was privileged in having liberal parents. They were supportive of his choice and were able to take him to the United States after high school to escape the draft.
Rothman-Zecher enrolled in Middlebury College, a liberal arts school in Vermont to study Arabic. During a break in the semester, Rothman-Zecher began to see evidence of the massacre happening on the Gaza Strip. On Dec. 25, 2008, several news outlets reported that somewhere between 300 Palestinians were killed during Israeli airstrikes and his concept of ‘good violence’ began to crumble away.
“When the amount of human life taken in a specific attack has to be approximated in the dozens or in the hundreds, there’s something very seriously wrong going on with hundreds of people being killed in one day,” said Rothman-Zecher. “As I’m reading the news I’m trying to make sense out of what’s happening, and I think it’s a rare thing in life that we come to a conclusion that we don’t want to come to. This was one of those times in my life, and it actually happened in part because of someone who I knew.”
That ‘someone’ Rothman-Zecher knew was Ahmar. Ahmar was head of the Arabic language department where Rothman-Zecher tutored at Middlebury College. Ahmar was also Palestinian and had family living in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009, a 22-day conflict led by Israel on the Gaza Strip. The conflict committed a long list of war crimes. Casualties included over 1,400 Palestinians, 82 percent of whom were civilians.
“The Israeli army first started with the bombing campaign and then entered with ground troops into Gaza. Amar’s two brothers and his father were working at their farm in Gaza, and circumstances unclear, the Israeli soldiers started shooting them,” said Rothman-Zecher. “One of his brothers got hit in the shoulder and died almost right away. The other brother got hit in the leg, and his father is yelling to the soldiers, ‘We’re not armed, we’re not combatants, and my sons are bleeding!”
Rothman-Zecher described that the army refused to let an ambulance through for six hours and the brother bled to death on the ground. After hearing this story, Rothman-Zecher promised himself if he ever returned to Israel after completing college, he would start to seriously work on ways to challenge the Israeli occupation in Gaza.
This event fueled Rothman-Zecher’s passionate view of the direction Israel’s foreign affair policy is currently heading.
After some research on the war, Rothman-Zecher found out that a successful talking point in major media outlets is to influence the Israeli propaganda regarding Palestine by stating Gaza is no longer occupied.
“In 2005 the Israeli government unilaterally withdrew its settlers and soldiers from the physical territory of the Gaza Strip,” Rothman-Zecher said. “Yet Israel remains entire control over the borders, over the airspace, the electromagnetic fields, Gaza’s seaports- everything that goes in and out of the Gaza Strip is controlled by Israel. So I decided to get more involved in activism and action against the occupation”
Rothman-Zecher moved back to Jerusalem after graduation and worked for several human rights organizations, such as Rabbis for Human Rights that assisted Palestinian and African refugees traveling from Sudan and Iran to find refuge in Israel’s West Bank. Rothman-Zecher is a human rights activist, and a writer for several news outlets such as the Huffington Post and is an independent blogger at the Leftern Wall. He writes on topics of militarism, racism, occupation, violence, justice and peace and often speaks at several colleges and universities spreading awareness about the current occupation in Gaza.
Riad Bahhur, History of the Middle East professor, stated that Rothman-Zecher’s speech was very interesting as it discussed several topics about Israel’s occupation of Gaza that were not generally mentioned in most media outlets such as Fox and CNN.
“It’s up to students to figure out how to respond to what I think is one of the most pressing foreign policy affecting Americans,” said Bahhur. “For example, if students wanted to form a club for Palestinian rights, there would be some support for them from the faculty. I would support a Palestine rights club in the way that I would support any club calling for social justice or positive change in the world.”
City Theatre fall schedule
29 ½-Hour Playwriting Festival
Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 at 8 p.m
Art Court Theatre, Performing Arts Center
29 ½-Hour Playwriting Festival is a play that occurs once a year in September and is a City Theatre tradition.
“We’re going to have different writers, different directors and different actors,” said theater technician Scott Bailey. “So it’s called 29 ½-Hour Playwriting Festival because that’s the entirety of the time, from the moment when the topic is handed out, till it’s actually go-time on stage.”
29 ½-Hour Playwriting Festival is centered around a random topic or phrase that is given out by theater arts and film professor Luther Hanson, to a crew of volunteer writers who attempt to create overnight a 10-minute play around that lead.
Bailey said that the writers will then give their script “to the directors who take it home, read it, sleep on it, think about it, bring it back the next day and direct it.”
The results are often very interesting, with very wild plots. All tickets are priced at $10.
Sept. 26 – Oct. 19, 2014
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. , Sundays at 2 p.m.
One Saturday matinee on Oct. 18 at 2 p.m.
Art Court Theatre, Performing Arts Center
“`The Uninvited’, a remake of a movie from the 40s, is your classic ghost story,” said Bailey.
This ghost story follows a brother and sister who who recently move into a charming, peaceful-looking house in West England that overlooks the Irish Sea. The house, named Cliff End, is purchased at an amazingly low price. Yet the house is not as beautiful and harmonious as they originally thought, and soon they’ll find out why Cliff End has been empty for such a long period of time.
“I want to see the `Uninvited’ because I’ve never actually heard of it before, and I would like to see something new,” said Matthew Matson, theater major and assistant set technician for the play.
Tickets for 29 ½-Hour Playwriting Festival and “The Uninvited,” can all be purchased online at citytheatre.ticketleap.com, and at the performing arts department at City College.
“The Little Mermaid”
Saturday and Sunday at noon. Oct. 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26, Nov. 1, 2, 8, 9, 2014
“The Little Mermaid” is another play that will be featured at City College’s new Little Theater, located in the Performing Arts Center Room 106.
A family classic, parents can take their children to this performance every Saturday and Sunday at noon. Tickets are set at $5, and children 2 years old and under are admitted for free.
A half-price special is available for the opening day of “The Little Mermaid” Oct. 11. Group rates consisting of 15 persons or more can receive 20 percent off ticket purchases as well.
For reservations and more information on any of these plays, students are asked to call Doug Lawson, the Children’s Theater Coordinator, at (916) 558-2174.
Nonprofit looks for volunteers to quit smoking
Aisha Shah | Staff Writer | Aisha1257@gmail.com
The Sacramento Taking Action Against Nicotine Dependence is looking for student researchers and volunteers to help other students quit their smoking addiction when it comes to City College this fall. Training for student researchers will take place at City College Sept. 26.
STAND, a nonprofit partnership group between UC Davis Medical Center and Breathe California, is based on a peer-to-peer research project involving college students introducing information to smokers on campus on how they may be able to quit their smoking habit.
“There are three arms in the study,” said Elisa Tong, the lead researcher for STAND who works in internal medicine at UC Davis. “One is to refer people to student health, which is what most folks can do for tobacco sensation, and the street team folks learn about how to do brain motivational interviewing, which is a skill about how to encourage someone to do behavior change. Finally the street team folks learn about the free California’s Smokers Helpline at the University of California, San Diego, which has been around for 20 years and has doubled the chance of quitting.”
If you are a smoker or not, STAND is currently looking for students to help participate in its research study, who will receive different incentives for their work.
For volunteer smokers, they have the chance to receive a total of $50 for their participation, while student researchers can receive internship and community service credits, gift cards to different shopping outlets, and can use the experience they learned as a researcher for their résumé.
“Students will be recognized in all formal and informal publications as a student researcher,’ said Carol Maytem, STAND’s program manager. “They will receive national certification as a social and behavioral researcher, and we’ll give them a letter of recommendation based on their level of involvement. This sets them aside from others by having this kind of involvement on your résumé. You don’t have to be going into research to make it look positive.”
Volunteer smokers who agree to participate in the study will be contacted after a month to complete an online survey to see where their addiction is currently at, whether it has increased or decreased since their last visit with a STAND student researcher or not, and would then receive $10.
After an accumulative 90 days, the volunteer would receive another online survey to complete and receive $15 from STAND representatives.
After a total of six months, the smoker would complete their third and final survey, as well as swab their mouth with a cotton swab and send it back to the STAND representatives so they might be able to examine their level of nicotine for their final $25.
According to Maytem, “smoking is a really powerful addiction,” and the idea of STAND is to meet volunteer smokers where they are in their level of addiction after asking a series of questions.
“We’ll try and take them to the next step that is appropriate for them,” said Maytem.
The program itself would involve a minimum of 15 student researchers, and at least 200 volunteer smokers to participate in this research project. The researchers will help with participant screening, give surveys to smokers to find out their level of addiction to nicotine, and find what method of nicotine they use; whether it be cigarettes, the electronic cigarette or raw chewing tobacco.
After smokers have found their current level addiction, they will then either be referred to the City College health center, be enrolled in the Smokers Helpline, or engage in further discussion to find an appropriate step that works for the smoker.
“This technique, called motivational interviewing, is not to force people to stop smoking at all, not to set the goal of to stop smoking,” said Maytem. “They would be setting a plan of action that is really related to where that person is at. Not to say, ok stop smoking, here’s some tips: ‘don’t do this, don’t do that.’ That’s not what they’re doing.”
Representative of STAND will coordinate a date and time that fits with the student researchers schedule of classes, as well as their participation on campus.
“I think this is a groundbreaking collaboration,” said Tong, “and also the fact that we’re trying to engage at the community college level, I don’t think there’s been a project like this one, so we hope this fall will be the start of the great collaboration that can benefit the students.”
A new smoking policy that took effect Aug. 23 at City College will limit the areas where people can smoke to six specific locations on campus.
The policy, titled Change is in the Air, alerted students and staff members of the new designated areas and parking lots where they are expected to smoke in order to promote a smoke-free, clean air environment on campus.
“I’m very happy to see that we’re moving in a healthy direction for our students and our employees,” says Wendy Gomez, Health Services nurse at City College and chair faculty member for the Subcommittee of the Safety Committee who orchestrated the new smoking policy.
According to a survey conducted by the Subcommittee at City College in 2013 and 2014, smoking has been a long-standing concern for the employees and students on campus.
Ninety percent of the individuals who participated in the survey were students, and the results showed that 67 percent reported that they were negatively affected by smoking on campus, while 49 percent indicated that they would prefer City College to be an entirely smoke-free campus.
This concern resulted in the formation of a Subcommittee of the Safety Committee, assigned by City College President Kathryn E. Jeffery to review this issue, and establish Designated Smoking Areas as a solution to the growing problem.
This new policy will be an addition to the current smoking regulations practiced throughout the Los Rios Community College District that state smokers must stand at least 30 feet away from building entrances, outdoor air intakes, and operable windows.
While Change is in the Air tries to promote good health and protects non-smokers from second-hand smoke, the Subcommittee also realize that smokers desire a comfortable and convenient place in which to sit down, take a break, and indulge in a cigarette while they wait for their next class to begin.
There is a total of six DSAs at City College campus where students are requested to smoke from. These six spots will all be provided with ashtray receptacles, and will be away from building entrances to comply with the current LRCCD requirements.
Gomez and other members of the Subcommittee of the Safety Committee are also currently working on spreading awareness about the reserved smoking areas available to everyone on campus so they might be able to comply.
“We have signs up everywhere that we can possibly put them right now on campus,” said Gomez. “It’s also up on the television sets, it’s been on Facebook, and it’s been tweeted several times.”
These new DSAs are also implemented at LRCCD’s Davis campus and West Sacramento campus. The assigned sections are spread throughout each campus, and are known as ‘pop-up’ areas that can usually be recognized by its large tarp roof that is used as protection from the sun while students smoke. However these tarps are also only temporary shelter, and will soon develop into a more substantial DSA as the semester progresses
“They have six smoking areas on campus that I am aware of, but I don’t think that does justice to enough of the smokers at SCC,” says Eric Iverson, a 22-year-old philosophy and sociology major. “I’m glad that there is a smoking area because it is fair to the people who don’t smoke, and at the same time I think that you need to have an equal voice for those who do smoke, as well as those who don’t.”
These specific smoking locations can be found on several maps handed out to students on campus by staff members, signs posted throughout the campus, and on the Health Services section of the Sacramento City College website.
Students may have also received an email in their student gmail account on August 20th from SCC’s Public Information Office notifying them of the new policy regarding the designated smoking areas. Smoking outside these DSAs, parking lots, and inappropriate disposal of smoking waste can result in repercussions.
“I’m very indifferent about it,” says smoker and 19-year-old music major Darius Simpson. “It’s kind of annoying that you have to go out of your way to these spots to smoke a cigarette, but you got to think about it when there’s children around and other people.”
For individuals interested in quitting smoking, or open to the idea of switching to smokeless tobacco, they are encouraged to visit the Health Services department on campus, located in Rodda Hall North 125, for free resources and counseling directed at quitting smoking.
Students can also visit the California Smokers’ Helpline at 1-800-N0-BUTTS, or visit www.californiasmokershelpline.org for more information on how to kick their nicotine addiction.
Jinky-Jay Lampano began his career in the military, now helps make changes in students’ lives
Jinky-Jay Lampano, a Sacramento City College patrol sergeant and watch commander, says he has seen every crime from domestic violence to carrying firearms on campus. He says working for the Los Rios Police Department has changed his life, and the lives of others as well.
Lampano was hired in 2006, and he says it felt like his calling when he initially applied for the job eight years ago.
“I figure this is the easiest way to see if you’re making changes or not, because you’re working in a smaller environment and population,” says Lampano. “At the same time, you can actually see changes, or have helped in making changes in students’ lives because you see them on a daily basis—and I mean daily basis,” he says.
Lampano, who is in his 40s, describes how gratifying it is to witness improvements on campus and in the daily lives of students, especially for students he’s had previous encounters with.
In terms of making arrests, Lampano says his officers “clean up our own mess” by completing the booking and paperwork, and submitting it to the district attorney’s office or attending court to testify in a case. He says they make sure those arrested receive the necessary punishment for their actions.
“I know officer Lampano because he comes through the Student Services building to make his rounds,” says Laura Reyes-Quillin, City College Admissions and Records clerk. “He made it a point to introduce himself to everybody. He’s a very friendly guy.”
Lampano moved at 17 to the United States from the Philippines with his parents, where his father had been a police officer. When Lampano was 31, he joined the U.S. Air Force.
“I wasn’t born here,” Lampano says. “I thought, as a person who was given the opportunity to live in this country, it was my duty and responsibility to serve the country that gave me shelter.”
With a sense of humor, but with an understanding of the American dream, Lamano says, “I’m the poor, tired masses they talk about on the Statue of Liberty. That would be me. I’m tired most of the time, and poor too.”
Lampano served in the military for 12 years, yet he says working for the U.S. Air Force was more docile than working for the campus police.
“It helped me to focus more, and at the same time it allowed me to understand what it’s like to work in a stressful environment,” Lampano says of his time in the military.
Lampano has seen many crimes on campus, with varying degrees of unlawfulness. Yet, in his opinion, the worst case he’s dealt with was during his first year as a City College police officer.
“The worst one I’ve seen was this person watching child pornography on his computer in the library,” says Lampano, with a look of utter revulsion on his face. “The people being victimized can’t even defend themselves.”
Lampano and his team were able to arrest the man and take him to jail where he awaited trial for his offense and is now currently a registered sex offender.
Part of being a sergeant requires that Lampano stand on call at least once a month. These calls are sent from campus dispatchers that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Despite the stress and frequent injuries, Lampano says he still loves his job and is very passionate when he comes to work every day. During his days off, he takes time to relax with his daughter, walk his dog Bear and work off stress from work by going to the gym or the shooting range.
Natalie Lopez, a receptionist and clerk at the campus Police Department, describes her boss Lampano as a “pretty cool guy” who works very hard.
“He’s very strict, but he cares about all of his workers a lot,” says Lopez. “He looks out for them but also expects them to do their job properly. He’s always there for you if you need him.”
In the State of the the News Media’s 2014 report, featured in the Pew Research Journalism Project, Katerina Eva Matsa and Amy Mitchell examine “8 Key Takeaways about Social Media and News” and how news has evolved greatly into social media space. Both Matso and Mitchell present 8 key essential factors present in top social media outlets where people receive their news in 2013 and early this year, and how this is effecting the mass media market itself.
1. Half of Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit users receive their news on social media sites, yet only a minority of users on Instagram and Pinterest find their news on these sites.
- Facebook reaches out to more Americans than any other social media network, which allows room for an in-depth study and research on its consumers.
- On average, three in ten adults receive news while using facebook.
2. “Getting ‘news’ on Facebook is an incidental experience.”
- Majority of the time Facebook users don’t go looking for news, 78% of them are usually informed about current events through their “newsfeed” while operating the social media site.
- 34% of Facebook users’ news source comes from “liking” a news organization, an individual journalist, or what their friends may share.
3. “The Range of News Topics on Facebook is Broad.”
- Not surprisingly entertainment news is one hot topic that is reviewed most frequently for Facebook users. Other news topics that is popular among social media sites is people and events in my community, sports, national and local government, politics, crime, and health and medicine.
- International news topics reaches roughly one in four Facebook news consumers.
4. “Engagement with the news plays a key role in the social media news experience.”
- Matsa and Mitchell explain that not only do social media users exchange news stories, but with the growth in technology, and four in ten Americans now owning smartphones, a large portion of what is being shared contributes to news reporting by users taking photos or videos.
5. “On Twitter, groups of people come together around news events they feel passionately about, but opinions expressed on Twitter often differ from broad public opinion.”
- In 2012, shortly after the shootings in Newton, Conn., nearly two-thirds of the comments shared on Twitter demanded stricter gun control measures while public opinion was far more evenly split.
6. “In the dynamic nature of conversations on Twitter, the sentiment expressed around an issue or event can change over time.”
- According to Matsa and Mitchell’s article, from April 1 to 14 last year, opinions towards same-sex marriage on Twitter had shifted dramatically, opposing the matter. During that time, 55% of the conversations was against the issue, while 32% supported gay marriage.
- From April 15 to the next four weeks, statements in support outnumbered those in opposition from 43% to 26%
7. “Audience for news on each social platform differ.”
- The social media and news consumers from LinkedIn stand out as being “high earners and college educated,” while Twitter consumers are significantly younger in comparison to not only LinkedIn, but Facebook, and Google Plus users as well.
- This study has also found that the gender majority of news consumers on Facebook are female and outweigh the news consumers on YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn.
8. “Visitors who come to a news site through Facebook or search display have far lower engagement with that outlet than those who come to that news website directly.”
- Social media sites and online searches are one big factor to gaining more attention and readers to individual stories, but for those people who come to a news site directly show higher levels of “engagement and loyal” to the outlet.
In the March 11 Sacramento Bee’s “In Drought plan, salmon may be moved by truck”, Matt Weiser writes that starting next month, millions of young California salmon could be migrating to the ocean in tanker trucks instead of swimming downstream in the Sacramento River.
The state’s recent drought has made the Sacramento River and its tributaries inhospitable for fish, and state and federal wildlife officials fear the rivers could become too shallow and warm to sustain salmon trying to migrate back to the ocean on their own. This shrunken habitat could deplete the available food supply for young fish, and make them easier prey for predators.
“The conditions may be so poor as to produce unacceptable levels of mortality for the out-migrating juveniles,” said Bob Clarke, fisheries program supervisor at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
As a result, state and federal fisheries devised a drought plan with several hatchery managers to launch a massive migration of millions of young salmon via tanker trucks from Red Bluff hatcheries to San Pablo Bay near Vallejo. There they would be placed into floating net pens for several weeks to adjust to new salinity and temperature conditions before finally being set free to swim the ocean on their own.
Reading this article from an animal activist and environmentalist point of view, the state’s new drought plan can be extremely detrimental on both accounts. As an activist I am opposed to fish hatcheries as it can cause serious psychological suffering to smolts being kept in intense confinement with thousands of others in very small nets, for a long period of time. Evidence taken from farmed fish show that they are more susceptible to diseases that they can spread to other wild fish, and in some cases the salmon will even become cannibals and prey on other wild fish. In a Peta for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) blog on Oct. 5, Heather Faraid Drennan denounces hatcheries as fish can often develop serious injuries as well.
“In such filthy conditions, they are also susceptible to parasites that can eat their faces down to the bone,” Drennan Writes.
State hatcheries have historically trucked fish, even in normal water levels, to protect them from pollution and water diversions. Recently, the state has begun to release hatchery-raised salmon into rivers instead of the ocean after new evidence surfaced showing trucked fish are more prone to ‘stray’ into the wrong river when they return to procreate and lay their eggs as adults. This harms the unique genetic traits of each river’s salmon species. Looking at this situation from an environmentalist point of view, this confinement system allows waste and water to flow in and out of the oceans and rivers in which they are temporarily located, causing some of the same problems factory farms cause on land; such as waste, pesticides, antibiotics, parasites and diseases which are magnified due to the immediate contamination of the surrounding ocean water. This waste kills fish and other marine life and runs the risk of contaminating our drinking water. Some of these hatchery-raised salmon are also genetically modified, which makes us wonder what happens why they are released and either compete with or interbreed with other wild populations.
Weiser’s article in the Sac Bee goes on to explain that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is adopting similar plans for hatcheries on the American, Feather and Mokelumne rivers. Each produces several million young salmon every year.
I believe since fish are conscious, they have a right to be free from human use and exploitation. The best way to protect fish, and marine ecosystems is to go vegan.