An open letter on the election

November 10, 2016 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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Small classes:

1:26 PM

The solution, not the problem Laney College is experiencing a budget crisis. The Governor’s latest budget proposal projects $5 million less revenue for the district, which will significantly impact our ability to provide services to our students. The state and district place the primary blame for this budget crisis on decreasing student enrollment. This is partially true, given that the state’s current funding apportionment ratio funds the college according to the number of Full-time equivalent students (FETS), but the state’s funding model shares some blame, too. By mandating that Laney’s standard class size be 35 students, in contrast to the […]

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Letters to the Editor – Overwhelmed by overcrowding

1:25 PM

When I walked into my English class for the first time this semester, I was immediately taken aback by how crowded the room was. I sat down in my seat, only to find it sinking beneath me. This is a common experience on the Laney campus, many desks have broken hydraulics that deflate on impact. I switched chairs. I placed my pen down next to my books and watched as it slowly rolled off the crooked desk. Students placed on the wait list had shown up hoping to attend the class as they waited for others to drop. These students […]

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Letters to the editor – Laney should not be up for sale

1:23 PM

This is a topic that should not even be up for discussion. There are a countless number of individuals who depend on Laney to further their academic endeavors. Community Colleges were made for students who couldn’t initially afford to attend a 4 year college. Students would attend a CC to receive an Associate’s Degree then transfer to a 4 year college for a Bachelor’s Degree. Laney has been standing solid since 1953 and is the eldest of the Peralta Community Colleges. It’s in a beneficial location for most of its students to get to since it’s right by Bart and […]

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Letters to the Editor – Tower gave reader the run-around

1:22 PM

The story “Ripped off” (May 5) begins with an engaging aesthetic framing the issue on hand, yet the way the story is broken up and positioned all over the Tower is a bit of a nuisance, especially given that the last section is located on another page from the dictated source (page 12 instead of page 10). However if the Tower was playing a pun with the headlines, that was truly a job well done. Vinson Ma English Letters to the Editor – The Tower accepts letters to the editor. Letters should be 150 words or fewer. Email letters to […]

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You’re already a journalist

1:21 PM

There’s a tradition at the Laney Tower: on their way out, editors-in-chief write farewell op-eds in which they offer advice or words of wisdom to their readers. I’m deviating from this tradition only a little: I’m not writing to the readers of the Laney Tower. I’m writing to its future writers—which is to say, I’m writing to you. You may not know this, but as far as I’m concerned, you’re already a journalist. You know your subject—your city, your school, your life—as intimately as any great journalist knows the subject of their Pulitzer Prize-winning article. You’ve come up with thousands […]

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A tiny pill with big promise

12:56 PM

There may not yet be a cure for HIV, but we may have the next best thing: a little blue pill which, if taken once daily, reduces your chances of contracting HIV by nearly 100 percent. That’s right: Truvada, also known as PrEP (or, Pre-Exposure Prophylactic), is the preventative pill the world should be embracing as one step towards eradicating HIV as we know it. Unfortunately, one of its side effects is controversy. Firstly, the pill is expensive without health insurance—up to $1,300 for a 30-day supply—meaning many of those most at risk for HIV infection can’t afford it. Luckily, […]

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