Letters to the editor – Olympian fighting for recognition

September 16, 2016 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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California under allies

May 5, 2016 4:37 PM

The working poor of California, like millions of others around the country, are in need of a long overdue raise, but increasingly the minimum wage may ultimately be a bandaid on the open wounds of the emerging 21st century economy. The California “Fair Wage Act of 2016” $15 Minimum Wage Initiative would increase the minimum wage for the State of California to $15 by the year 2021, raising the minimum wage by a dollar each year respectively. Despite its potential shortcomings, the bill seems necessary to help low-income earners whose wages have remained stagnant for years in an economy that […]

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Is Laney College up for sale?

4:34 PM
Is Laney College up for sale?

Are we being prepped for the sale of Laney? I will blatantly speculate about this on unproven possibilities, but I will do so based on known facts about policies and proposals regarding Laney College. Funding Failures First of all, Laney College sits on some of the most valuable land in Oakland. Laney is also surrounded 360 degrees by high-powered, high-financed development for the profit of powerful corporate developers and banking interests. For example, Kaiser Auditorium (public property for 100 years since its construction) has been sold to a private developer who will drastically change its purpose. Additionally, all of the […]

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Letters to the editor – Cafeteria still running cold

4:29 PM

All semester, in the Laney Campus cafeteria, patrons have experienced reduction of service more than half of the time at the regular lunch stations. As we near the end of the 2016 spring semester add a reduction in hours the cafeteria will be open. Food service sales are reduced, the usual funding that would subsidize food service cost and budget cuts have reduced service as well. Will the effects of less food production and also less sales contributed to the reduction in Fall 2016 cafeteria hours? What other surprises can we expect for the rest of the Spring semester. Does […]

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Letters to the editor – True cost of playoff ball

4:27 PM

“The Durant Dilemma” by Brandon Romo (March 17) drew my attention. I wish he included the cost of Durant in his article. Yes the Warriors can sign Durant to the max but what is going to happen when Curry becomes a free agent and Klay’s current contract runs out. Are they going to be able to have four guys (Draymond Green is currently under a max) with max money? Mohyman Awwada Journalism Letters to the Editor The Tower accepts letters to the editor. Letters should be 150 words or fewer. Email letters to laneytower(at)peralta.edu. We edit for space and clarity.

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