Recent Posts

Part-timers: Time to organize

November 29, 2016 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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Moving It Forward

9:03 AM
Moving It Forward

Latest Laney College teach-in empowers students to fight for progress at home and at school The latest event in the Laney College’s Teach-In Series took place in the Student Center on Nov. 16. Students, professors, and other community members gathered to eat pizza and discuss the presidential election and local election results—as well as campus improvement suggestions. “We’re gonna make this place work like it ought to.” – Peter Brown, Laney Instructor Ethel Long-Scott from the Women’s Economic Agenda Project (WEAP) and Laney students Marquise Johnson, Brandon Robinson, Arnelle Berry, Alisha Alston, and Jevari Morgan made up one of many […]

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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 […]

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HAIR!

8:52 AM
HAIR!

LANEY COSMETOLOGY DEPARTMENT TAKES HAIR TO NEW HEIGHTS At the Laney College Hair Show on Nov. 8, models with hairdos of all shapes and sizes showed off their designers’ work to a captivated audience.

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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 […]

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Merritt Tobacco-less Club receives $20k national grant [UPDATED]

8:32 AM
Merritt Tobacco-less Club receives $20k national grant [UPDATED]

Merritt College achieved another victory in the war on smoking, winning a $20,000 grant from the American Cancer Society and CVS Health Foundation’s Tobacco Free Generation Campus Initiative (TFGCI), a program to end smoking on college and university campuses. The 20 schools chosen for the new $3.6 million multi-year program were announced on Nov. 14. Participants will receive technical assistance and resources to help them in their education, communication, prevention and advocacy efforts towards stopping smoking. Marlene Hurd, president of the Tobacco-less Club at Merritt, has led the effort against smoking since starting the club in 2014. She will be […]

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Moonlight and Arrival: the movies we need

8:29 AM
Moonlight and Arrival: the movies we need

This year, my partner’s daughter passed away. She was not yet 40; it was sudden, unexpected, and indescribably painful for us all. It will feel this way for a long time because the grieving process never really ends; the deaths of our loved ones are forever frozen in time. Even after we mourn, we still circle that moment—we dance with our memories of them as we remember so that those memories take on a life of their own. “Memory is a strange thing,” Louise says at the start of “Arrival.” We watch a flurry of her memories on-screen: scenes of […]

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Zack Bateman and the Coal Minds rock Yoshi’s with dark blue treats

November 11, 2016 3:17 PM

Locals gathered in Jack London Square on Halloween night to eat sushi, drink cocktails, and rock out with Zack Bateman and the Coal Minds. The Oakland-based sextet played an upbeat, costume themed gig at Yoshi’s jazz club on the rainy evening. The band members were dressed as Beetlejuice, Nick Cave, Jessica Rabbit, Jack Skellington, Sally Stitches, Bob Dylan, and an extravagant Dia De Los Muertos figure. The Coal Minds opened with an original tune called “Bourbon and Bones.” They performed a medley of original tunes and covers from notable artists Tom Waits, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Nick Cave, Bob Dylan, Cab […]

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WHAT NEXT?

November 10, 2016 11:52 AM
WHAT NEXT?

As Oakland joins cities across the country in protest, the nation asks itself: What Next? For over 24 hours, from Nov. 8 to Nov. 9, the Bay Area burned with rage over the election of Donald Trump to the office of President of the United States. As Hillary Clinton’s defeat became clear late on Nov. 8, hundreds of UC Berkeley students and Berkeley residents marched down Telegraph Avenue, filling the streets with chants of “Not my president” and “Fuck Donald Trump.” But only moments after the group marched onto the Highway 24 on-ramp, a sickening sound signaled the first serious […]

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Standoff at Standing Rock

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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Events Calendar

11:15 AM

Laney College screens Christopher Chen’s “The Late Wedding” Showing from Nov. 10 – 12 at the Odell Johnson Theater at 7 PM, tickets are $15 Acclaimed author visits Laney College on Nov. 10 H. Senzai, author of Shooting Kabul, will visit room D-200 at 12 PM SF Transgender Film Festival from Nov. 10 – 13 Tickets are $12 – 15; held at the Roxie Theater McClymonds High School screens Birth of a Nation on Nov. 10 Includes conversation with filmmaker Nate Parker and former Black Panther chairman Elaine Brown; free with priority seating to students, 4 PM; to reserve a […]

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Glitch in the System

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 […]

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Tourettes Without Regrets

10:59 AM
Tourettes Without Regrets

Update 11/23/16: From the Tower staff This photo essay raised some eyebrows throughout the district. It has been brought to our attention that the essay’s graphic— and some accompanying language—might have offended some of our readership. We apologize if we have done so. The Laney Tower stands behind its editorial content—researching, reporting and editing stories for accuracy, fairness and transparency, as per the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. While we can’t always please everyone, we are committed to reporting about the district and community-at-large—always working to maximize accountability and minimize harm. Thanks for your support.   Oakland’s longest-running […]

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