Unhealthy healthcare

April 20, 2017 10:17 AM
Unhealthy healthcare

California’s single payer senate bill (SB-562) is long overdue. —— The deficiencies in our healthcare system are glaring. Americans pay more for medical care than any country in the world.  Yet on standard measures of health—life expectancy and infant mortality—we fare worse than our peers. The U.S. is the only country among wealthy developed nations that does not have a government-funded universal, healthcare system.  Of 13 western nations studied by the Commonwealth Fund, the U.S. is the only one lacking some form of single-payer system. We’re told in the free market that “competition” will keep prices low. But the U.S. […]

Read more ›

BUILDING THE FUTURE

December 8, 2016 9:55 AM
BUILDING THE FUTURE

Award-winning Laney Carpentry Department receives $80k grant for housing initiative The Laney College Carpentry Department won an $80,000 grant from the city of Oakland to build two Tiny House prototypes, with an eye to future mass production. Tiny Houses aim to solve homelessness through miniature housing. Matt Wolpe will head this project, along with Marisha Farnsworth. Wolpe is the part-time carpentry instructor who led a team of Laney students last year as it built an award-winning Tiny House called the Wedge. While the Wedge required four semesters to build, Wolpe and Farnsworth plan to build these prototypes in two semesters. […]

Read more ›

WHERE WE LIVE

November 29, 2016 9:34 AM
WHERE WE LIVE

Remember where we live. Today, we in the East Bay continue to suffer, like the rest of the country, under oppressive racism, economic inequality, and increasing displacement—plus the constant threat of earthquakes. So as the world grows more chaotic, we must remember where we live. Our Peralta Colleges sit in Oakland, Berkeley, and Alameda—beautiful cities in one of the most eclectic areas in the world. They might call us the “East” Bay, but we’re a region deserving of admiration all our own. We boast a long history of radical politics, one of the world’s top-ranked educational institutions, a people’s museum […]

Read more ›

A glimmer of hope for part-time faculty

8:58 AM
A glimmer of hope for part-time faculty

Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills into law Sept. 30 that will bring a measure of job security to part-time faculty at California’s community colleges. The bills are AB 1690, carried by former part-time instructor Jose Medina (D-Riverside) and SB 1379, carried by former teacher Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia). Under California law such part-time college faculty are counted as temporary employees and could be hired or fired at will. The new law establishes minimum standards for reemployment preference, based on four criteria: —Length of time taught at the college or district —Number of courses taught there —Professional evaluations —“Availability, willingness, and […]

Read more ›

Defining American

8:35 AM
Defining American

Pulitzer Prize-winning undocumented journalist visits BCC to talk the morality of citizenship Jose Antonio Vargas spoke to a rapt audience at Berkeley City College on Nov. 15 and challenged them to view citizenship in a whole new way. Vargas first learned of his undocumented status when he tried to apply for a driver’s license as a high school student in Mountain View. Since then he has devoted himself to questioning American immigration law. He frequently appears on the Bill O’Reilly show and other right-wing talk shows to argue his rights as a gay undocumented person of color. On the steps […]

Read more ›

Glitch in the System

November 10, 2016 11:12 AM
Glitch in the System

District’s million-dollar expenditures on IT firm contracts raise more questions than answers Peralta students and faculty have struggled for years with creaky and decidedly user-unfriendly information technology. Basic tasks such as enrolling in courses or obtaining class rosters are challenging even for the computer savvy. Last November, Chancellor Jowel Laguerre hired Robert Ferrilli, a New Jersey-based IT consultant, to conduct an assessment of district IT. So far, Ferrilli has been paid $929,000. Now in Nov. 2016, the same problems remain with the district’s IT. In July, Laguerre contracted with Roger Clague to review the Ferrilli Group’s work and provide for […]

Read more ›

Vote 2016

October 27, 2016 8:08 AM
Vote 2016

From parole to pot, from plastic bags to prescription drugs, the bay prepares to cast their ballots in a historic election. The Laney Tower’s guide to measures and propositions. In the Laney Tower’s final issue before the Nov. 8 election, the Tower staff offers its readers a comprehensive election guide that looks at many measures and propositions on the ballot next month. From prescription drugs to parole, from pot to plastic bags, many of the issues that these measures and propositions tackle will have long-lasting effects on students, teachers, staff members, and the community at large. At the Tower, we […]

Read more ›

Tiny Wins BIG

7:48 AM
Tiny Wins BIG

On Saturday, Oct. 15, the winners of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s (SMUD) “Tiny House Competition – Build Small and Win Big” contest were announced on the campus of Cosumnes River College in Sacramento. Laney College’s entry, “The Wedge,” took first place in the Architecture category. Laney students also won in four other categories: Best Design, Best Furnishings, Best Landscaping and Best Video. The team also brought home $4000 in prize money from the contest. It was Laney’s first try at the Tiny House competition. Matt Wolpe, a part-time instructor in the Carpentry Department, led the team through five semesters […]

Read more ›

We Have Your Money Now What?

October 13, 2016 8:15 PM
We Have Your Money Now What?

Peralta district administration balloons under Chancellor Jowel Laguerre The headline above refers to a 2015 grand jury report produced by Solano County after their investigation of a Measure Q bond issue. The report investigated a campaign that promoted the bond measure and was run by Peralta Community College District Chancellor Jowel Laguerre, who was then Solano College’s president. The report determined that his campaign had violated state law by failing to identify needed projects and cost estimates before asking the voters for money. The report’s title was an ironic reference to a PowerPoint presentation produced by the campaign after the […]

Read more ›

SHOW US THE MONEY

September 29, 2016 9:51 AM
SHOW US THE MONEY

Faculty protests after Peralta District claims poverty despite spending millions on administrative hires Several members of the Peralta Federation of Teachers donned orange T-shirts Sept. 27 and marched from PFT headquarters across 8th Street to the Peralta Board of Trustees meeting where faculty members protested the trustees’ approval of new administrative positions at a time of alleged austerity. Rick Greenspan, from the College of Alameda, was the first to speak. “I want to talk about something I know is near and dear to the heart of all trustees,” he began. “Fiduciary responsibility. Making sure you are careful with how you […]

Read more ›

A nation of immigrants, a journey to citizenship

8:31 AM
A nation of immigrants,  a journey to citizenship

Oakland ceremony naturalizes over 1,200 permanent legal residents A total of 1,261 new American citizens gathered in Oakland’s Paramount Theater on Sept. 26 for the swearing-in ceremony that makes their citizenship official. These new citizens came from 98 different countries. For each new citizen this is the culmination of a long and often arduous journey. The master of ceremonies from the Immigration Service gave a special shout out to El Salvador, apparently because of the unusually large contingent from this country. He made a point of honoring each home country, first naming a few that were home to the largest […]

Read more ›

Law firms collaborate to offer free services for new immigrants

8:23 AM
Law firms collaborate to offer free services for new immigrants

Gabriela Abrego has lived in California for the last 31 years, more than half her life, renewing her green card every ten years. But on Aug. 20, she took the first decisive step toward becoming a U.S. citizen. She was joined by 180 others in the Laney College Student Center for the naturalization workshop put on by the volunteer attorneys of APILO (Asian and Pacific Islanders Legal Outreach). After 31 years, why now? “My father passed away two months ago and I went home to Mexico City,” Abrego said. “When I came back the immigration lady, she noticed my green […]

Read more ›

ELEVEN IS ENOUGH

September 16, 2016 9:37 AM
ELEVEN IS ENOUGH

A Laney Tower analysis: District hires three new interim vice chancellors while leaving critical positions unfilled On Flex Day the Peralta community learned that Chancellor Jowel Laguerre had appointed five more vice chancellors over the summer recess. He termed these latest appointments part of the “New Peralta Way.” His announcement caused dismay among Peralta staff and faculty. They question whether the colleges should be run top-down from the District, or whether there should be a more democratic process with open discussion of problems at the colleges before decisions are made. THE BIG TEN The Peralta District now has ten vice […]

Read more ›

From Pipe City to Tent City

June 30, 2016 12:05 AM
From Pipe City to Tent City

“It’s a proven fact that anyone on the street has post-traumatic stress. And anyone who doesn’t have it should be considered not right in the head.”

Read more ›

Part-time faculty feel full-time pain

May 19, 2016 1:13 PM
Part-time faculty feel full-time pain

Peralta adjunct faculty endure concerns over job security One in four community college professors receives some form of public assistance such as food stamps or Medicaid, according to a recent study by the U.C. Berkeley Institute of Labor Relations. “When jobs don’t pay enough, workers turn to public assistance in order to meet their basic needs,” the study noted. “These public assistance programs provide vital support to millions of working families whose employers pay less than a livable wage.” Part-time professors at the Peralta Colleges know this struggle all too well. (All faculty members interviewed for this article chose to […]

Read more ›

Share this story: