Monday, April 22, 2019
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Letter to the Editor: Birth control can be lifesaving for people that have severe conditions

Hello,

I am writing this letter in response to an opinion piece from April 2, 2019 titled “Educating people on the negative effects of birth control.” I truly have no ill intent, but I hope to enlighten readers to a few points I believe were overlooked.

First, I wish to stress that not only women use birth control. Many non-binary people, intersex people, and transgender men use various forms of birth control. Unless this article was intended specifically for cisgender women, I believe more inclusive language would have been beneficial because the effects listed can also affect much of these populations.

Secondly, hormonal birth control is prescribed for number of serious, chronic heath conditions like endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. For people with these disorders, myself included, hormonal birth control is often the only treatment available and can be lifesaving because of the severe physical and psychological symptoms these conditions cause, despite the possible side effects and risks that the treatments may carry.

An additional note is that two types of cancer mentioned in the article whose risks are reduced by oral contraceptives have lower survival rates than those which have a heightened risk, meaning that oral contraceptives may actually lower the user’s risk of more dangerous cancers in exchange for less dangerous types.

Although I agree that patients should be more informed when being prescribed contraceptives, they typically do come with information about the medication which includes the risks and side effects. I feel that it is the patient’s responsibility to read over that information and let it influence their decision.

Overall, I think this is a great conversation to have. I just wish it had been more informed and inclusive.

Thank you,

Kylie-Sky Lindsey, Student

Letter to the Editor: Many working single parents do not qualify for the care program

I read the article “LBCC provides support for single parents” and I felt the need to respond to the article. 

I am a recent student from LBCC I have successfully transfered to UC Merced. As an LBCC student I was an advocate for parenting students. I advocated for the much needed breast feeding facilities with my fellow parenting student Lara Meintjes and the school met us half way with the room that is occasionally available upon request in the health center. It is not promoted and there are no signs. It is in violation of title 9. 

As a single parent in LBCC I did not qualify for the care program it is only for students that are parents, that receive cash aid. Many working single parents such as myself do not qualify for the program. EOPS is a great program that I was grateful to have but it is not a program made for parenting students. Children are strictly not allowed to EOPS councilor meetings. I found it difficult to make all 3 of my meetings every semester.

I struggled to get through LBCC as a single parent, with limited recourses, to successfully transfer to a UC. I got through it without the only recourse that is made for students that are parents. I worked full time and I was a full time student. I would just appreciate it if other single parents wouldn’t receive false hope. I feel that it should be clarified that the breast feeding “facility” does not meet title 9, that it is not readily accessible, the care program qualifications should be made clear, and the EOPS program does not put the needs of Parenting student’s first.

Darlene Medrano, Alumni

Letter to the Editor: The lactation room at LBCC doesn’t meet the minimum legal standards set in CA

As a Long Beach City College student, and a parent, I was pleased to see the Viking News sharing resources available to parenting students on campus through Sabriyya Ghanizada’s article last week, but felt the assertion that our administration is “supporting single parents” to be somewhat disingenuous when our campus resources fail to meet the bare minimum legal standards set within CA. As Long Beach City College does not collect data on parenting students I cannot state definitively what percentage of our students are parents but my own 40 class survey last spring indicated that about 18% of our students have dependents. If this number remains similar across a larger institutional study (which I strongly urge the administration to conduct) that will indicate that our parenting population, even at almost 1/5 of our 34986 students, makes up a smaller proportion of our overall student population than the national average which a study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in 2014 places at 26% of all college students nationwide. The “Mother’s Room” advertised within the article is available only during the Student Health Center’s operating hours, while state law (AB2785) clearly demands that “the lactation accommodation shall be available to a student whenever a student is required to be present on campus” which indicates that our lactation facilities must be available between the hours of 6:40am and 9:50pm on weekdays, and from 8:00am to 2:00pm on Saturdays as our campuses offer classes during these periods. This facility also fails to be featured on campus maps, on the college website, or on signage in the relevant locations.

At the federal level, Title IX “prohibits discrimination against a student based on pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from any of these conditions.” And further requires that educational institutions “must excuse a student’s absences because of pregnancy or childbirth for as long as the student’s doctor deems the absences medically necessary. When a student returns to school, she must be allowed to return to the same academic and extracurricular status as before her medical leave began.” And yet LBCC do not have an established parental leave policy, nor do many of our professors seem aware of these regulations or of their impact on their classes, particularly where attendance and participation grades, or issuance of incompletes are concerned. As long as these policies are left at the discretion of faculty, LBCC risks running afoul of federal regulations. We need clear, unambiguous policy measures to close these gaps.  

Beyond lactation facilities and lecture halls, our parenting-students face hurdles in the counseling offices; have you ever noticed the line on the EOPS counseling sheet that says “do not bring children with you to the counseling appointment, or you will have to reschedule” – many of our low-income students are required to attend these appointments three times every semester. This is on top of studying full-time, parenting, and – in most cases – working to support a family. This clause, and the shaming “no children allowed” signs in the counseling center, burden these students with the additional responsibility of finding and paying for childcare so that they may attend their very necessary academic counseling appointments. Long Beach City College policy (5012.3 F) officially states that no children are allowed on campus unsupervised, surely the supervision of their parent and caregiver should suffice?

The LBCC Child Development Centers are wonderful facilities, providing stellar care to the children of students and community members. Their services, however, are restricted to children between the ages of 2 and 5, which is unlikely to coincide with the population requiring our lactation facilities. The resources Ms. Ghanizada described should certainly be appreciated as they demonstrate efforts to improve the lives of student-parents, and should be applauded as they indicate the presence of concerned administrators in many departments on campus but a coordinated effort would go a long way towards achieving equity for parenting-students.  A thorough assessment, by the administration, of this population on our campus would help to close these gaps, to identify areas of weakness and to better serve our students, who face obstacles at every turn and still persist. The resources that LBCC is offering indicate a piece-meal approach to supporting these students and clearly demonstrate the need for a broader universal assessment of who our parenting students are, and what their needs are. A student making use of the lactation facilities is probably a different student to the one who enrolls their 2-5 year old in campus child care, and the low income EOPS student attending a counseling appointment is unlikely to be able to pay for child care to enable them to attend their appointment. Our administration could close these gaps and provide active, engaged support for parenting students if they started by gathering data, listening to these students and assessing where similar local community colleges are succeeding in meeting the needs of their parenting student populations.

Other campuses in the Southern California region are making changes big and small to aid these students and help them to reach their transfer and career goals and thus provide better lives for their families and I don’t believe our college is doing enough. LA Valley College offer a Family Resource Center that boasts a “whole-family” approach to education. They offer “an academic counselor, after school (school-age) childcare, kid-friendly study lounge, tutoring, textbook support, computer and printing access, school supplies, children’s clothing exchange, organic produce, diapers/wipes/formula, and so much more” (lavcfamilyresourcecenter.org). Cerritos College recently extended their childcare hours to offer evening care for children between the ages of 3 and 5, they also offer resource workshops for parenting students where they explain their rights under Title IX and similar statutes, map out available resources on campus and in the community and share information about the parenting classes that are available to their students. Rio Hondo recently piloted a parenting-student graduation in conjunction with their CalWorks program and Mothers of Color in Academia, a campus advocacy group.

The efforts of community colleges to support parenting populations result in extraordinary rewards not just for our students and their families but for our colleges and broader communities. Research has shown us that parenting-student resources can dramatically affect the retention, completion and general success rates of students with dependents. In their 2009 book, Passing the Torch: Does Higher Education for the Disadvantaged Pay Off Across the Generations? Paul Attewell and David E. Lavin explored, through multi-generational research, the consequences of educational attainment for families. They found that “increasing parents’ educational attainment yields positive short and long-term gains for children, in the form of higher earnings, greater access to resources, more involvement in their child’s education and greater likelihood of their child pursuing a higher educational degree.” Children growing up in households where education is valued are not only far more likely to seek higher education themselves, they are far more prepared for the inherent challenges of higher-ed when they reach college age.

 It is our responsibility as LBCC students to both applaud the administration for their efforts, as Ms. Ghanizada did, and to hold them accountable when they aren’t doing enough to support their students, and to meet the requirements set by state and federal authorities. It is incumbent upon us to make our voices heard, to demonstrate our presence on campus and to communicate our needs to the administration. I understand how difficult it is to find time to keep fighting while juggling the demands of school, work, and parenting, but if we work together – sharing the responsibility, we can amplify one-another’s voices and leave this campus a better place for future students too.

Lara Meintjes, Student

Free breakfast is provided to help students with food insecurity

Students were happy to see that there was a variety of food options to choose from. The next Better Breakfast Day is going to be on May 2. (Shani Crooks)

Free breakfast was given to Long Beach City College students on April 2, the Healthy Viking Initiative’s Better Breakfast Day was from 9 to 11 a.m. at the E Quad on the Liberal Arts Campus.

Students were able to pick from an assortment of quiches, bagels, croissants, fruit, and water.

The focus was to choose healthy foods that would nourish the brain for students to get a good head start on their day.

The free breakfast was designed to help out LBCC students with food insecurities.

“I think a lot of college students suffer from a lack of food,” said LBCC student Kyshia Hearns.

“It made me happy to know that free food is there, all of my friends came to get some breakfast.”

Long Beach City College students attended Better Breakfast Day on April 2. The Healthy Viking Initiative put on this event to assist students with food insecurities. (Shani Crooks)

Over 100 students were able to enjoy the complimentary breakfast that was provided.

Members of administration also stopped by to see how the event turned out.

Interim Dean of Student Affairs Alisia Kirkwood said, “They are doing a great job.”

There was also a table that provided additional information on food insecurities and mental health workshops.

Flyers will be posted and more details can be found on the Healthy Viking Initiative’s Instagram page @LBCC_HealthyViking.

Business Management major Eric Ross said, “I actually really appreciate this free breakfast, I over sleep and don’t get a chance to eat sometimes, and this is very helpful.”

“Its dope what they are doing.”

The next Better Breakfast Day will be at LAC on May 1 and PCC on May 2.

Long Beach Grand Prix coverage: Day Three

the indy cars are making their way toward the hairpin turn following the pace car before the race begins at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 14, 2019.

Alexander Rossi who won his sixth IndyCar Series on Sunday, dedicated his win to his late grandfather.

Rossi had received an email from his cousin a day before the race saying that his grandfather had past away.

Rossi is the first driver to win back-to-back wins since 2008, but Sunday’s win meant a lot more to him.

“I want to dedicate this one to him,” Rossi said. “He meant a lot to me.”

The driver from California dominated throughout the whole race, only giving up first place twice because of pit stops.

“My crew dominated today and they’re the biggest contributing factor in why I won,” Rossi said.

Alexander Rossi along side with Josef Newgarden and Scott Dixon are celebrating their victory spraying chanpain at each other on victory lane at the end of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 14, 2019. (Jorge Hernandez)

The final day of the event also came with surprises, specifically in the Super Stadium Trucks races.

Robby Gordon stole first place in the end for the second SST race, Matt Brabham won the previous SST race on Saturday.

Gordon who is the series founder, did not place on Saturday’s race, and then came in the next day even more prepared.

According to Gordon, the race that was held on Saturday did not feel right for him, as he felt unfocused during the day.

Spencer Pumpelly was the other winner of the day, as he led his way to first play in the Pirelli G4 series race.

According to Grand Prix CEO Jim Michaelian, this year’s Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach brought an estimate of 80,00 people.

Ray Benitez worked during his spring break from Long Beach City College, and was a small contributing factor in trying to help 80,000 people in attendance.

“I’ve always volunteered here because I really like environment but every year it keeps getting bigger,” Benitez said.

The Grand Prix of Long Beach will return next year in this spring, for its 46th year.

Long Beach Grand Prix coverage: Day Two

Pano Avezzano is being followed by his opponent Alan Brynjolfsson and his teammate Matt Keegan during qualifyers of the Pirelli GT4 America at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. (Jorge Hernandez)

After the first day of reminding fans the sound of the roaring engines in Downtown Long Beach, the second day came with higher stakes for drivers.

The beginning of the second day had drivers practice for the IndyCars series and the Pirelli GT4 America races.

Defending race champion of last year Grand Prix of Long Beach, Alexander Rossi got his second straight IndyCar pole position.

“I got to give it to my team, my pit crew was on fire today,” Rossi said.

“We still have one day in front of us and I need to stay focus and not celebrate too early.”

Kyle Mohan No.99 is drifting his way towards the hairpin to give the fans some excitement for the Montegi Super Drift Challenge at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach . (Jorge Hernandez)

Stadium super trucks also came out to start off their first official competition of the weekend.

Matt Brabham ran supreme in the first competition, but second place winner Jeff Hoffman was on his tail during the whole competition.

“I think I have a pretty good shot tomorrow if I can have a clear state of mind during the competition,” Hoffman said.

The official historic IMSA GTO race also took off with driver Craig Bennett taking first place.

Bennett took first place with a 1990 Nissan 300ZX, the car originally won four times through 1989 and 1992.

“It was pretty awesome getting to show this car win again for the fans that came out today,” Bennett said.

And some of the participants who had mistakes and accidents in the first Motegi Super Drift Challenge, had a shot of redemption on second day.

The last day will conclude with the Pirelli GT4 America race, an exoctic car parade, the IndyCar series, and the second stadium super trucks on April 14.

Long Beach Grand Prix coverage: Day One

Mario Andretti is preparing to drive the track with a passenger in a two seat Indy car There are four 2 seater Indy Car driven by former drivers or legends to give the passenger the experience racing on the race track. (Jorge Hernandez)

As one of the longest running major street races held in America, the 2019 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach started off by reminding fans the smell of burnt rubber.

Some of the most exotic cars at the event started off the Grand Prix, the IMSA WeatherTech vehicles came out to prepare for their 100-minute long race on Saturday.

Cadillac, Nissan, Mazda, Corvette, BMW, Ford, Porsche, and Acura are some of the type of cars that are participated in the race, that is sponsored by BUBBA burger.

The IMSA cars are some of the fastest and the most technological advance cars in America, specifically designed for the race track.

Chris Lienenberg driving the 1991 Ford Mustang at the Historic IMSA STO challenge, originally driven by Lyn St. James in 1987. (Abel Reyes)

This year is also the 50th anniversary of IMSA sports car racing, so in celebration, the Grand Prix of Long Beach decided to bring back some of the IMSA cars that raced in 1990 and 1991 and hold the Historic IMSA GTO challenge.

Fans who’ve been coming to the Grand Prix of Long Beach for the majority of the event might remember the historic cars.

Michael Roberts has been coming to the event for 37 years and remembers the time he didn’t go to school at Long Beach City College to come see the cars.

“It was pretty funny because at that point I was an adult already but I always remember the multiple times I didn’t go to school to come see these cars,” Roberts said.

After the Historic IMSA GTO practice, super trucks came out flying for the SST practice.

The practice had the trucks in side-by-side action and jumping off of ramps, to prepare for the races that are going to be held on Saturday and Sunday.

The IndyCar series has been at the Grand Prix of Long Beach since 2009, and this year the turbocharged cars took to Shoreline Drive.

Two of the drivers that are participating in the IndyCar races this weekend, Will Power and Sebastien Bourdais, joined the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame earlier this week.

“It’s pretty awesome and funny at the same time, that I was inducted to the Walk of Fame and then I will be racing this weekend,” Power said.

“I have no complaints, I’m super honored that I was chosen for the Walk of Fame,” Bourdais said.

A fan favorite of the Grand Prix of Long Beach concluded the first day of the event, the Motegi racing super drift challenge.

Fans are cheering for the El Tri concert to start at the Grand Prix of Long Beach. A few fans brought flags of mexico where the band is formed to show support. (Jorge Hernandez)

At the same time of the drift challenge, the band El Tri was performing in front of the Beverly O’Neill center.

Races, and activities will resume for the rest of the weekend, the Grand Prix of Long Beach will end on April 14.

Vikings sweep Cerritos to remain first in conference play

LBCC pitcher Julio Lopez winds up a pitch against Cerritos College. (Sebastian Angulo)

Long Beach City College baseball swept the Cerritos Falcons with a win in the third game of conference play on Wednesday April 13 with a score of 11-2.

The LBCC Vikings were confident going into their third game against the CC Falcons.

“We took both games before, so we felt good,” said Viking first baseman Zach Rivas.

The Falcons came out strong at the top of the first inning, loading the bases, but were prevented from scoring by Viking pitcher Julio Lopez when he struck out the third Falcon.

The Falcons continued to have bad luck when their catcher Andre Alvarez was injured by a tipped pitch delaying the game at the bottom of the first, but he was attended to and aided off the field with applause from the crowd.

Despite the interruption Viking pitcher Lopez was able to keep the Falcons from getting into the swing of things, allowing the rest of the Vikings to be offensively focused during their time at bat and for Chris Rubottom to steal home at the bottom of the second inning.

The Falcons continued to lose momentum in the third inning when they dropped the ball another two times, allowing Vikings Travis Aversa and David Balboa to make it home, while setting up Robert Barham to score another run off of a single.

The Viking’s own momentum was interrupted by the Falcons having a successful defensive fourth inning, which they capitalized on with a homerun from Falcon shortstop Trevor McInerney.

Entering the fifth inning the Vikings again found their offensive and defensive rhythm, hitting a series of singles and doubles that allowed Mark Stanford, David Balboa, and Zach Rivas to score while keeping the Falcons from making it home themselves.

This pattern was repeated in in the sixth inning when Zach Rivas hit a homerun, bringing two more teammates home.

Reflecting on this trend of forward momentum, Viking pitcher Garrett Rennie commented, “It only takes one play, one at bat, one pitch for the rest to get going,” Rennie said.

The Vikings held the lead throughout the rest of the game, while allowing the Falcons to get one last run on the board by their third baseman, Gregory Navarro III.

This completed their second conference sweep, and increased their overall wins to 22-12 and conference wins to 15-4.

Despite the excitement of another sweep, Viking pitcher Trevor Sutt took a moment to look ahead to the future.

“We gotta take the momentum going to compton in 2 weeks,”

The Viking’s next game is at Pierce College on Monday April 15, which is a rescheduled game from the Harbor tournament.

A suspicious device was reported near the Grand Prix of Long Beach

Long Beach Police Department closed off 1st and Promenade in downtown Long Beach, after reports of a suspicious device. Photo by Jorge Hernandez.

A bomb threat was reported near the Long Beach Transit Center in downtown Long Beach, around 2:55 p.m.

Long Beach Police Department received the call, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad was then called onto the scene and reported that the device was non-explosive.

According to LBPD Lt. James Richardson, officers took a look at the device from a distance behind their car.

The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach wrapped up one hour after the report came in, officers had to move the crowds of people safely around the area of the device.

Stunt riders take to the air for the Thunder Thursday motocross competition

The audience chanted on for Jeff Griffin, as he won the the freestyle motocross competition at Thunder Thursday. (Abel Reyes)

The audience roared for Jeff Griffin as he won the the freestyle motocross competition at Thunder Thursday, one day before the annual Long Beach Grand Prix starts.  

A packed audience was in downtown Long Beach to see Jeremy Stenberg, Nate Adams, Todd Potter, and Jeff Griffin perform the annual freestyle stunt show.

One day before the event Jay Cruz, Dustin Hedsand, and Tony Carbajal was at Belmont Shore for the yearly Roar in the Shore to perform a more intimate stunt show for fans.

A MX freestyle biker is trying to gain the fans attention by performing a stunning back flip at Thunder Thursday in Long Beach California. (Jorge Hernandez)

Griffin was the youngest out of the stunt motorcyclists and won at his second Thunder Thursday.

“There’s always great talent surrounding me and all I can do is learn right now and so I came out today and tried my hardest,” Griffin said.

Dustin Hedsand was one of the motorcyclists performing, and according to Hedsand, Thunder Thursday was more than special for him this year.

“It’s amazing to perform for all the people that come out but to perform in front of your old man on his birthday is an amazing thing,” Hedsand said.

“I’ve seen my son perform a thousand times but this one was just that much sweeter,” Mike  Hedsand said, father of Dustin Hedsand.

Historically, Thunder Thursday has always been held the day before the annual Long Beach Grand Prix.

According to Dwight Tanaka, director of operations of the Grand Prix, Thunder Thursday was created to warm up the audience before the official races.

Thunder Thursday had a packed house this year, as it brought out families and friends to Downtown Long Beach.

Rachael Lane was at Thunder Thursday to forget about school at Long Beach City College.

“Its spring break and the last thing I want to think about it is LBCC,” Lane said.

The annual Long Beach Grand Prix will begin Friday April 12 at 7 a.m. with the first Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge Competition, and will end on Sunday April 14.