Let our garden grow

December 8, 2016 10:12 AM

The Laney Garden, located near Eagle Village and the Laney Bistro, is a hidden gem on campus. The garden creates an oasis-like environment, but it is so much more. The Oakland branch of the International Rescue Committee uses the garden to help new Cambodian immigrants stay connected to their culinary and agricultural practices. With a place to garden, new immigrants can practice traditional agriculture, create cuisine that reminds them of home, and grow organic produce in the process. Though the garden flourishes, it remains at risk of being replaced by a “flex zone” for construction projects, including the proposed Student […]

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Electors must dump Trump

10:07 AM

The media keep referring to Donald Trump as “President-elect”— but why? The popular vote has Hillary Clinton ahead by more than 2.6 million votes. The Electoral College vote is almost two weeks away. It is the electors who vote for president. Alexander Hamilton did not trust the public with the responsibility of electing a President; he made constitutional provisions for an electoral college to vote for president. In Hamilton’s day, Southern states had stable economies based on slavery; Northern states with densely populated cities were in debt. Southern states demanded more say. This is wildly outdated. Some so-called patriots wax […]

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More power to the people

November 29, 2016 9:26 AM

The Electoral College made Donald Trump our next president, despite Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote by 1.67 million votes. The Electoral College made George W. Bush president when Al Gore won the popular vote. Recently, people have become more aware of how the College is relevant in their lives, and how it has come to subvert the will of the people. The Founding Fathers of this country were afraid of putting too much power in the hands of any one person, branch of government, section of the country or in the people, so they established the Electoral College. The […]

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It Doesn’t Add Up

9:24 AM
It Doesn’t Add Up
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Part-timers: Time to organize

9:05 AM

When I began teaching biology part-time at Laney three years ago, Laney appeared to afford equal respect to its part-time faculty, avoiding the creation of a “two-tier” system. Part-time faculty are part of the Academic Senate here; our votes count the same as full-timers; we can even serve as department chairs! However, soon I discovered several disturbing inequities. Part-timers are paid less than full-timers to do the exact same work at each of the 25 salary steps. This means that even after you adjust a full-timer’s salary for office hours and school service, they are paid more for each hour […]

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Standoff at Standing Rock

November 10, 2016 11:20 AM

There’s a stand off at Standing Rock, North Dakota.The Dakota Access Pipeline threatens the Missouri River, the Standing Rock Sioux’s reservation’s water source. The tribe alleges that the Army Corps of Engineers, Sunco, and its parent company Energy Transfer Partners ignored due process for studies and permits. Yet Sunoco continues to plow ahead. Native Americans from over 200 tribes live together in a camp of tipis, tents and geodesic domes. Their numbers double in size each weekend. At the entrance of the camp, a billboard reminds people: “We are protectors. We are nonviolent. We do not carry weapons. We keep […]

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An open letter on the election

11:18 AM

While teaching political science classes, I do my very best to remain as non-partisan as possible. I never discuss my own political beliefs, and I don’t use my classes as a platform to convince students that they should share my ideology. But I will break my self-imposed silence and discuss my feelings about our president-elect, Donald Trump. Like many of you, I fear the man and what he represents of our country. My feelings toward Mr. Trump are not based on partisan politics— frankly, I disagree with policies set forth by both Republicans and Democrats, and though I voted for […]

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DON’T STOP FIGHTING

11:17 AM
DON’T STOP FIGHTING

Don’t stop fighting. If there is one thing we must take away from the events of the last two days—the events of the last few months, or the last four years, or further—it is that we cannot stop fighting. To fight is a verb; it is a practical action, an ongoing event. It is a scary word, because it requires us to act, to do. The word sounds harsh, even violent. It is tempting for us to want to shy away from a fight, in favor of some more gentle and vague word, like “acceptance” or “unity.” But so many […]

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When pictures speak a thousand words

September 29, 2016 9:37 AM
When pictures speak a thousand words

Can a picture really be worth a thousand words? I was handed a newspaper, and I was told that I should read it. It was the Laney Tower, our campus newspaper. My stomach cringed upon looking at the front page. It was a picture of the Oakland Police headquarters. Protesters had covered the building in red paint to represent blood with the word “murderers” written in red paint beside it. A photographer brilliantly captured it. Although it wasn’t real blood, this photo was hard to look at. The photo was devastating, but what I read inside the paper was even […]

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Profit Over People at Peralta Colleges

September 16, 2016 9:44 AM

There is growing discussion at Laney College and throughout Peralta about serious issues that may appear to be separate, but have a common thread. Our district administration, led by Dr. Jowel Laguerre, has been much more responsive to concerns than certain previous administrations. From his first statements, Dr. Laguerre has shown a desire to embrace and promote “the New Peralta Way”, featuring openness, transparency, willingness to help each other and be responsive to the needs of all, and has taken steps to implement these. Every interaction I’ve had with him has been intelligent, personable, even enjoyable, and he has expressed […]

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Letters to the editor – Olympian fighting for recognition

9:41 AM

It was refreshing to read Allison Stapp’s article on Olympic boxer Clarissa Shields (“For US boxer, two golds but no green”). Before reading this article I was unaware that Clarissa was from Flint, Michigan where the town has been polluted with toxic water for its citizens’ use. After winning the first Olympic gold-medal at 17 years of age in London, endorsements never came for Clarissa. Despite all of her hardships Clarissa trained again yet for another Olympic Games! Victorious again she won her second gold-medal at 21 in the recent games in Rio this year! It’s unfortunate that the media […]

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The issue of homelessness

9:40 AM

Reading the Laney Tower for the first time has given me an appreciation which I had not expected to find. I would like to thank the Tower for its approach to the issue of homelessness. I’ve spent many nights on the streets even when I had a roof to hide under. Like many of your staff, I was once in a state of poverty and on the edge of being without “proper shelter” for longer than a few nights at a time. Luckily for myself, I found a supportive family through an old neighborhood friend. The family that took me […]

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We can’t work when nothing works

September 5, 2016 7:09 AM

As we dig into each new academic year, our faculty throughout the Peralta district must perform many tasks involving the enrollment database, including managing enrollment, deciding whether to add students to seemingly full classes, and setting up “rollbooks” and grading rosters—the classic, start-of-semester tasks that everyone probably associates with the teaching side of educational institutions. Yet here we are, nearly a decade into our colleges’ employment of Oracle’s “Passport” / ”Prompt” / PeopleSoft enrollment database system, and we again are dealing with a user interface that requires work-arounds to access, malfunctions on a too-regular basis, and is poorly programmed in […]

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Letters to the editor

7:06 AM

Problems without solutions I appreciate the Laney Tower’s attempt to humanize a problem many would rather ignore. The paper took many steps forward in defining the problems that create homelessness, but failed to deliver a coherent story that readers could learn from. In the central article, “From Pipe City to Tent City”, the writer jumps from history to current problems and solutions without a clear path, transitions, or conclusion, which left me as a reader feeling lost in the article. While I understand the pressure of limited pages to cover such a large story, I would have liked to see […]

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Safe havens a smart idea?

May 19, 2016 1:27 PM

For 20 years, I battled heroin addiction, eventually becoming homeless and living on the streets of East Oakland. I began my heroin addiction in San Francisco’s Tenderloin. I was a witness not only to the destruction and death that we inflicted upon each other, but more importantly to the living hell that I invited into my rapidly declining meager existence. I spent endless enrollments in methadone detox clinics and countless hours with counselors, but I never received treatment at a rehab clinic with a bed to lay down in. Most say 30 days of rehab is the minimum needed. My […]

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