Archive for February, 2011

Journalism Students to Document Streetlife

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

College of the Redwoods Journalism students will be heading to Arcata Plaza and behind the Bayshore Mall to find out more about streetlife people.  Students will be recoding thoughts and idea about street people for features on KVIQ TV and for this blog.  Instructor Dave Silverbrand says the idea is to prove that everyone has a story to tell and this is one way to explore that.

  

Urgent Action-Save Pell Grants

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

I got this e-mail and wanted to share with all of you.

Attention students!

We have just received breaking news about an opportunity to save Pell
grants from the proposed 15% cut, by supporting Congresswoman Chu’s
amendment on the continuing Resolution to save Pell Grants.
Representative Judy Chu is from LA and is a former faculty member. The
vote on this amendment will Likely occur tomorrow at 2pm, so act now.

Please call your House Representative and say “I’m a student at
(insert college) and I ask that (insert representative) support the
Chu amendment on the continuing Resolution to save Pell Grants”.

To find your House Representative please follow: www.savemypellgrant.com

Please send this message to all your lists

Video interview for Grove protest

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Summery week 3

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

This week we touched on the Cairo protests and the violence toward the reporters there.  This event was started by social networking tools along with peoples disgruntled attitudes over the poor living conditions and wages that have thus far been perpetuated.  This lead to discussion about the workings of being a remote corispondant.  There was a lot about this subject, if an individual takes on this undertaking there can be a need to learn to live on little to no sleep as the home office will need reports when they are live which may be the early hours of the morning in the country you are in as well as recaps of the events of the day.  There are potentialy agressive locals that may want to silence the foreign press as well as language barriers to over come if you want to be able to get the story.  In some instances the reporter has to go over on his own dime to get the story so it can be bradcast to a news source here in the states. 

We also spent a lot of time looking at aspects from the life of Edward R Murrow.  He was an insperational journalist.  His style was solely truth focused.  Reporting on things that could make people uncomfertable and that were pushed under the carpet by others.  During the red trials his action and use of the leaders own words allowed him to be able to expose the falicy of what was being perpetuated on the people.  Showing the true face of those witch trials made the man a few powerful enimies but he persisted in spite of it all.  This quality seems to be lacking in todays media.  The only time hard hitting stories come on the air seems to be around the time when ratings are all important. 

The welspoken intelegent demeaner of Edward Murrow had a way of capturing your imagination and bringing the visiong he wanted to share into your head.  It takes a lot of skill to muster these feelings and emotion over the radio and as he moved into the television medium these skills took on a new feel that was remarkable.  For those of us from the start of the MTV generation video killed the radio start was so true to life that for Murrow to survive and thrive shows his level of perfeshonalism and creativity.  Thanks to inspirations like this we may be able to recover our country and the ethical means of journalism.  Its dificult for people to imagine going and at personal expense searching for the truth at every turn but I say that if we dont take charge of our own enevironment and government we have no one to blame but ourself if the wrongs are unwatched and unreported.  The trueth can only come out if people are willing to sacrifice to make it known to all. 

In conclusion the news is not always glamorous.  There are many instances that require those seeking the truth to find the story and report on their own dime.  A passion for the truth and willinness to go against the grain of the political icons can make one unpopular but credible in the mind of people.  Without these traits reporters becoe patsies working to spread disinformation in stead of inform people of the truth.

Richardson grove realignment protest.

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

This project has been in the developmental stages for some time.  The initial EIR was very vague in several regards.  There were recycled reports rather than new studies on the current ecosystem and its concerns.  Though Caltrans claim to have no intent of cutting old growth trees for this project the impact from compaction around the roots of several large old trees has been glossed over.  With those trees having very shallow root structures compaction of over half the root structure could cause the trees to eventually fall. 

The reason behind the project is to allow the larger STAA trucks in and out of the area.  For those who are unaware the STAA trucks have been poised to replace the standard freight system by a federal agency.  These trucks are larger, boast larger payload capability, and are also longer and wider than older trucks.  This move can be further explained if you review the EIR document available at the Caltrans office.  There has been a push to make these larger trucks the standard and to phase out the older smaller vehicles.  This is causing many businesses to pay higher premiums to import goods for their businesses.  This may effectively put local trucking companies out of work.  At present, the larger trailers have to be unloaded and re-loaded on to smaller trucks to make the trip in. 

There are arguments against the need for the larger trucks to be able to come in, such as weight restrictions as well as the longer trailer which is only good for moving live stock or people…

The project itself has only 3 alternatives listed, and all have been dismissed by the community as non workable.  Two are for lighting systems, one a timer light the other a sensor system.  The third is a day time restriction for the trucks that would only have a smaller impact on the land comparatively by making a longer pull out for trucks to wait for the evening transportation. This proposed realignment will have several trees cut, the largest of which are old Doug firs that do not stump sprout. Redwoods replenish themselves from the stump using the same root structure. 

Several sections of the road are to be widened to allow safe places to pull out.  A retaining wall is another portion of the project to prevent landslides.  This improvement has been protested because of its proximity to the rehabilitation clinic known as the Singing Trees, as well as a bed and breakfast.  The view has been a large selling point for these establishments, and this retaining wall will interfere with access to these businesses as well as destroy the natural beauty that is highly prized by the local businesses in the area.

What follows are the events observed at the protest itself. 

The air was electric with the sound of people talking and gathering to save the redwoods that are going to be impacted by this project.  A member of the Yurok tribe spoke about their sacred oath to protect the redwoods and the reason it is necessary to protect these wonderful trees.  The gathering at the entrance to the Caltrans building was a mass of bodies.  Six individuals were connected to one another using tubes fashioned to highlight the urgency to stop this plan.  Similar to the way that redwoods are interlinked, the protesters hands are connected together to block access to the entrance of this building.  Drums rolling, trumpets playing, and crowds chanting make the environment grow intensity.

It was impossible to get a straight interview from anyone in the building due to the yelling and music.  The protest has so far not been met with anything but support.  There is a call for the people at Caltrans to cancel the plan for the realignment.  People (who) were very willing to throw out comments about their own personal perspective about Caltrans, all were more or less negative.  There was a large element of those that have blindly protected the redwoods for years. were it not for these individuals many more of these trees would be gone forever.  The quality of the comments provided was not the kind that can be repeated in print, but the raw feel of energy being put displayed there had its own vitality. 

Brush clearing was scheduled to start on the 18th of January despite the project not yet being approved by the regional planners.  Caltrans has tried to push this project through despite the overwhelming community disapproval of the project. It was scheduled to be completed over the next 3 weeks following the brush clearing.  Phone trees were activated and people rallied to save the trees from the destruction that Caltrans wants to perpetuate. People have tied them self to trees and taken other steps to prevent the construction from moving forward, and no root studies have been done yet.  When asked,  Caltrans representatives acknowledged that there were no scientists requested to do studies and no new materials supporting the project moving forward in officially outlined procedures…they are trying to damage the root structure with no environmental research to show the level of impact they will have.  This is a wonton destruction of several old growth trees.  Caltrans also claim to have no intent to cut them down but the compaction of the roots that they are laying out in the plans will kill the trees as effectively as cutting them down.  Redwoods have a very shallow root system that run for miles.  They are interconnected by roots that run through these forested areas.  To de vilify the individuals that are trying to push this project through would be criminal.  They refuse to look at any other alternative to the construction proposed because they don’t want to use the trucking companies time by making trucks wait tell dark to travel, or pay to add lights with censors to allow the trucks to travel through without traffic in opposing lanes and make their progress safer.  Please join the brave individuals who are sacrificing their time and energy to keep these trees preserved.  You can also help by bringing food and other necessities to those in the grove. 

The protest started in Arcata and moved south to Eureka.  Over 300 people showed up during the course of the day to show their support for the prevention of the cutting of these trees.  Two of the protesters agreed to an interview on the bus on the way back to Arcata. 

We need to contact our local senator, congressman, and other government officials, house seat members to request a cessation of the battle to cut farther into this grove of trees that have won the hearts of Humboldt natives and visitors alike.  Preservation of this beautiful landscape through the use a stoplight or signal light, to indicate the presence of these trucks or a time restriction on the trucks would be preferable. Rather than realigning the most amazing view of some of the largest and oldest trees to have graced this earth that can still be seen from the road let us explore these other alternatives.  People have to take an extra 20 minutes in their drive with the lights, but it’s better than a 60% plus root compaction on more than half the old growth trees still near the road.  None shall be cut they proclaim, but the truth is that the compaction alone will likely ring several of the trees causing a much slower demise.  Let’s all take what action we can from writing a letter to actively supporting those who are helping us all by being on the front lines to make sure that action cannot be taken before the people are heard.

If you want to support those protecting the trees call 707 602-7551 or e-mail rgroveactionnow@gmail.com

saverichardsongrove.org

I’ll Drink to That — Or Not

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Dig a well, collect rain, or sip the exhaust from your neighbor’s hydrogen car; whatever you do don’t drink the tap water! – unless you already have been, in which case you are powerless to heed the warning. By now, we’re all familiar with the fact the most of our drinking water contains trace amounts/elements of not only lead, copper, and other metals, but often pharmaceuticals as well. Okay, so I get a few extra minerals and what’s more, a free dose of Xanax to get me through my day. The problem is not antidepressants or trace metal particulate, but something much more sinister. I’m talking of course about anhydrous dihydrogen monoxide. MCSD release and a statement Saturday warning the public of a “mild to moderate contamination of the water supply” at the azalea pump station but insisting that “the situation is being remedied.” This ionic compound alters the way neurons in your brain interact – especially in the hippocampus and the frontal cortex, areas of the brain related to memory and judgment – and strengthens certain pathways while letting others wither away. What this means is that this chemical, when ingested in high enough quantities (only 15 ppm according to the FDA) and coupled with certain stimuli, causes you to learn and create associations differently than normal. It causes you to think and remember differently, effectively altering your personality and behavior. What stimuli you might ask? “It could be anything, specific radio frequencies or sound wavelengths, visual cues; we just don’t know” was Humboldt Neurological Societies response.

Corey Knight

Triangulate Sources.

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Triangulation of sources, similar to the triangulation of a position on a map.  You have to find at least 3 points in the surroundings (or in the case of news 3 credible sources) for points of reference.  Once you have those points secured the truth of ware you are is revealed.  In the case of writing a story it may be beneficial to find more than just 3 sources.  There is a lot of information out there that can look ok on the surface but upon further investigation becomes nothing more than malarkey.  With the majority of the free world taking all their information from the news it seems to me that the importance of verifying sources in stead of making baseless emotional pleas to the masses should be more important.  How many times has the media been used to distract the majority instead of inform…by giving information about some celebrity or some other farcical information that has less to do with the real events and more to do with celebrity gossip or other distractions.
We also discussed war of the worlds, despite being but a drama on the radio there was mass panic as many tuned in late to the broadcast and panic ensued when thousands believed that their land was being invaded by aliens.  As humours as this may be to us now it could be pulled off again.  It would take a bit more imagination to create such a real illusion in todays society but its not impossible.  
There are many instances through out the history of the media of emotion being used to sway the minds and motivations of the people.  There were a couple examples given during the class, two of the most note worthy were the Hindenburg explosion that made way for future emotional pleas through the media as well as starting the idea of live news media being a part of every day life.  The second one was Nixon’s speech to the public about the misappropriated funds during his campaign.  His use of language and emotion during the speech gave the appearance of an innocent man trying to get his views to the country.  In spite of what history teaches from actual events the facade was very well maintained.  Without the multiple sources to show the actual truth of the matter no one would have been the wiser.  Hopefully we as budding journalists will be able to learn from the old reporters who took the time to expose some of the greatest lies ever told and have a passion for the truth.

The Power of the MLKing Dream

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

      In class the other day, we watched a clip on Youtube about Martin Luther king and his famous “I Have A Dream” speech. The clip was about 17 minutes and in those few moments a man expressed himself in a way like no other. I was glade that we watched this in class because as an African American myself I like to always remember how far we have come.

            “I Have a Dream” is a seventeen minute public speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered on August 28, 1963, in which he called for racial equality and an end to discrimination. The speech, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement. Delivered to over 200,000 civil rights supporters, the speech was ranked the top American speech of the 20th century by a 1999 poll of scholars of public address.  According to U.S. Representative John Lewis, who also spoke that day as the President of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, “Dr. King had the power, the ability, and the capacity to transform those steps on the Lincoln Memorial into a monumental area that will forever be recognized. By speaking the way he did, he educated, he inspired, he informed not just the people there, but people throughout America and unborn generations.”

Elijah Graham

Portrait of a Journalism Student

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Agustin Garcia is a resident of Eureka California, a full time student at College of the Redwoods, and a part time cook at the Abruzzi restaurant located on the plaza in Arcata.  Eighteen years ago Agustin was born in Oaxaca, Mexico.  Eight years after his birth Agustin’s family moved to Eureka.  After graduating High school Agustin enrolled in College of the Redwoods, where he is currently in his second semester.  As of the 2011 Spring semester Agustin is taking a Spanish 2A class, an American institutions class (poly sci), a concepts in physical fitness class, and an Introduction to Journalism class.  Agustin is perusing his associates degree and as of yet has not decided on a major.
    Agustin is the fourth born child of a family of five, he has three older sisters an older brother and a younger brother.  Besides working at Abruzzi Agustin enjoys playing soccer recreationaly and is interested in photography.  Agustin especially likes to take landscape photography but has lately begun to delve into street photography.  Recently Agustin received a Nikkon D3000 camera and has been thoroughly enjoying it.  Agustin will be bringing his camera along with him when he travels alone to Oaxaca, Mexico this upcoming May.  Agustin has not been to Oaxaca since his family moved to Humboldt County ten years ago and is very excited to return for a visit.
    Through his employment at the Abruzzi Italian restaurant Augustin has developed a passion for Italian cuisine and cooking.  Augustin anticipates a promotion in the near future from his current position of cooking salads and appetizers to being responsible for cooking entrees along side Erin, the head chef.  Augustin would like to pursue a career as a chef as he gets older and hopes to one day travel to Italy to learn more about the trade.