April 2010 Archives
Captain Dan Watson stands behind the wheel of the 10-meter sailboat Dixie. "Prepare to jibe," he shouts to the three SF State students on the deck above. They crouch down as the booms swings by. The boat dips and turns suddenly around the mark. The sails fill with wind and the race begins.
Jack Tuner, 24, Paul Sladek, 20 and Lucien Moore, 19 go out sailing on Fridays and Sundays to hone their sailing skills and to race. The races are part of the Ballena Bay Yacht Club's Friday Nite Grillers Series.
"The races can be real laid back," Turner said.
Moore, Sladek and Turner began sailing together only a few months ago. Moore, an experienced sailor, was telling a story about the sport when Turner mentioned that he would like to learn to sail. A week later Sladek had found a way to make it happen: someone in the Alameda Marina needed crewmembers.
"Our first race, the weather was bad," Sladek said, "we were going through four or five foot waves and the boat was rocking hella hard. It is intense but super fun."
While now they are just out there to learn and improve their skills, the novice sailors all seemed interested in pursuing more professional sailing in the future.
"Lucien told me once that sailing is a little like life," Sladek said. "Whenever you go out you never know what to expect."
A female student was victim of an indecent exposure incident at 10:50 p.m. April 22, according to University police crime logs.
Deputy Chief of Police Reggie Parson said the suspect, described as a 5-foot-10-inch male with light skin and short, dark brown hair wearing a striped shirt and blue jeans, exposed his genitals to the victim on Serrano Drive near the corner of Tapia Drive and then fled.
Parson said the suspect might be the same one arrested in connection to a similar incident in which a male suspect flashed a plainclothes officer near the corner of Fuente Avenue and Serrano Drive on April 12.
University police conducted a search of the area with negative results.
A male was arrested April 24 for suspicion of driving while intoxicated, according to University police crime logs.
The suspect, while traveling along Lake Merced Boulevard, was pulled over by a patrolling officer for erratic driving and was deemed to be under the influence of alcohol, Parson said.
The driver's car was towed away, and the suspect was taken into custody and transported to San Francisco County Jail.
A male SF State student was cited for possession of less than 28.5 grams of marijuana after his roommate called the police to report him, according to University police crime logs.
He was cited and released at Centennial Village on April 25 at 8:42 p.m.
-- Compiled by Cassie Harwood
Due to both the sensitive nature of the case and a pending investigation, Deputy Chief of Police Reggie Parson could not give details on the assault, except to say that the victim knew the suspect and that the incident is being classified as a rape at this time.
A police report posted to the University police department's crime and arrest log said the victim's mother reported the crime to police within a day after it occurred.
Parson said this is the third rape to be reported to University police this semester, though the prior reports regarded incidents from previous semesters that were not disclosed to police until recently.
A campus security report released last year showed that in 2007, one rape was reported in campus housing. Additionally, six cases were reported on non-campus property located near the University. The security report showed no rapes being reported to University police within either campus jurisdiction in 2008. Last year's statistics have yet to be released.
Karla Castillo, coordinator for the Sexual Abuse-Free Environment, a sexual assault resource center on campus, said that only a small percentage of rapes and other forms of sexual assault that occur on or around campus are reported.
"A lot of people don't want to go to the police," she said. "The numbers that are going to show up on the crime report are only the ones that our University police deal with, and that's going to cut out a lot of people."
According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, or RAINN, college-age women are four times more likely to be sexually assaulted than women in other age groups.
Castillo said that rather than go to the police, some rape victims opt to go straight to the SAFE Place, which provides counseling as well as referrals to off-campus sexual abuse resources. The center also offers outreach to residence halls when requested, which is especially aimed at freshmen and students who are otherwise living on their own for the first time.
"There are certain factors that will heighten the risk of being (sexually) assaulted on campus," Castillo said. "Living in the dorms is a risk factor, drinking alcohol is a risk factor. Being a woman is a risk factor."
She said that while some men are sexually assaulted, it is at a considerably lower rate than woman and more often than not the perpetrators are also men.
Castillo said that it's important for sexual assault victims to take care of their mental and physical health as soon as possible. "I would say coming to the SAFE Place is a good first step," she said. "Unless someone is in immediate danger, then I would say call 911."
After nearly 3,000 votes and one month, The Dream Team appears to have come out on top of the Associated Students, Inc. elections, held late last month.
"The turnout for the executive ballot was 10.84 percent, far more than we've had for several years," Frankie Griffen, the ASI elections commissioner, said. "I can't say for sure what made the difference, but both campaigns certainly expended a lot of money and manpower trying to win."
Newly elected ASI President Cynthia Ashton gathered 1,608 votes. She will be replacing Natalie Franklin who was president for two years.
Many of the campaign winners, including all of the executive officers, come from Ashton's slate, The Dream Team.
"They're all very hard-working, dedicated students who know and understand their positions very well," she said. "That's why they won, because people saw that they knew their positions well."
The new board of directors will be making changes next school year, according to Ashton. They plan to change the process that determines how funding is distributed among the student organizations and ASI events. The group also plans to host more events and activities while changing how each member represents ASI in the student community.
"The new board is really for the student voice, and hopefully they're not going to change throughout the semester and stay true to their word," Ashton said. "I believe that more than half (of the board) will be doing more than they will be getting paid for, which makes me very excited."
Flora Nguyen, the future vice president of university affairs and slate leader of The Dream Team, said that both her slate and the opposing --We the People-- worked hard to get votes from students.
"(We) also let people know that it doesn't matter who they vote for as long as they're exercising their right to vote," Nguyen said. "(It) is important because they pay $42 a semester for ASI fees, and the board of directors are in charge of this so they should know who they want to vote for because these are the people handling their money."
Aside from being The Dream Team members, some of the students taking the reigns in the executive office have also served on the ASI board of directors during the 2009-2010 school year.
Nguyen, who won her position with 1,710 votes, used to be the junior representative for ASI.
Travis Northup, who was the sophomore representative will be ASI's new vice president of external affairs with 1,503 votes.
Previous behavioral and social science representative Emily Switzer will be serving as the vice president of finance, snatching 2,014 votes.
Meanwhile a fresh face, Andrew Gutierrez, won the spot for the vice president of internal affairs with the most votes out of all the candidates, 2,058.
The inauguration ceremony and oath-taking of the new ASI members will be held on May 3 at Jack Adams Hall at 5:30 p.m.
Their first board meeting will be on May 5 at Rosa Parks at 2 p.m.
For anyone who's ever wondered where to find drum circles, free bike repairs, massages and crafts, the main lawn was the place to be Thursday when the Environmentally Concerned Organization of Students and a slew of on and off-campus organizations gathered to celebrate Earth Day and Bike to School Day.
In the weeks leading up to the dual purpose event, ECO Students encouraged members of the SF State community to ride their bikes to school on April 22 to help the environment and demonstrate the need for more bike racks on campus to administrators.
Cyclists began parking their bikes on the lawn as early as 8 a.m. in exchange for food donated by Noah's Bagels and the College of Health and Human Services, as well as tune-ups from Freewheel Bike Shop.
"Earth Day was started to raise awareness about the impacts of our actions on the environment and to celebrate the beauty and bounty Earth provides us," ECO Students Administrative Coordinator Allison Schentrup said. "We have made a particular effort to invite cultural groups on campus to raise awareness about the way Earth is treated in cultures other than our own."
"Overall I would say it's a very friendly reminder to get into shape and start taking care of ourselves and our planet better," ECO Students Facebook Coordinator Tia Tyler said. "When it comes to conservation I think the main issue is people don't know where to start and just need a little help to get the ball rolling."
This year's event marked the 40th anniversary of Earth Day and ECO Students celebrated in style by sharing the quad with a number of on-campus organizations including the International Education Exchange Council, InterVarsity, Fashion Network Association, Peer Educators Advocating Campus Health and UNICEF, as well as representatives from the Sierra Club and SF Environment -- a Bay Area organization that monitors SF State's recycling and composting efforts.
"We're promoting eco-friendly safe sex," PEACH volunteer Stacy Polos said referring to the vegan condoms and natural lubricant products featured at the group's table in Malcolm X Plaza. "I think the Earth is important and we should put out awareness about how to protect it and be good to it."
Across the lawn, SF State's Holistic Health Network offered free 5 to 10 minute massages and hosted a meditation tent where students could relax between classes. Passersby were also invited to contribute to a nature-themed mandala, or circular art piece, in honor of Earth Day.
"It's about fostering a connection between the internal world and external world," health education major Athena Barouxis said of the mandala, a collection of pinecones, abalone shells, branches and other natural materials. "It's about using art to heal ourselves and heal the Earth."
Back at the ECO Students table, where activities included face painting and crafts with used and recyclable materials, environmental studies major and club member Dani Lowther declared, "Everyday is Earth Day."
"Events like Earth Day celebrations most likely will not affect policy makers who could care less about the matter, but we can teach our fellow students the importance of swapping old clothes with friend rather than throwing them away, or how to compost correctly," Schentrup said. "We always have opportunities to educate and I feel it's most effective when those being educated are having fun in the process. "
In the upcoming fall, Bay Area artist John Kuzich's Fast Pass project, spanning over five years, will come to an end as the passes themselves soon become antiquated relics of San Francisco culture.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will replace all fare gates currently in their Muni underground stations with TransLink-only or digital gates by the end of the summer, according to a memo to the Board of Supervisors in August of last year. While no final decision has been made, this likely means the end of the colorful, wallet-sized monthly passes that have been used since the mid-seventies.
Kuzich for one is relieved.
After gathering over 15,000 Fast Passes from various donations of personal collections, many accompanied with hand written notes or in-person stories, Kuzich started out making collages but later went on to create an ambitious 28 feet wide, 5 feet high art piece divided into four panels with 720 Fast Passes on each.
Initially, the Fast Passes enchanted Kuzich with their color schemes that change month after month and their embedded holographic strips. It wasn't until later that he realized the common bond they represent, the underlying theme of shared human experience.
"I like to call it 'controlled chaos,'" explains Kuzich. "The Fast Passes in my art are organized uniformly in a grid but if you try to look at it, it's chaotic, you're eye has no place to focus."
Kuzich added a layer of CDs popping out from the grid of passes to add a dimension for the eye to connect with but also with the intention of metaphorically addressing the facade of faces we encounter on a bus or street car.
"The art, like each of us, contains a rich and complex reality behind the facade. The dimensional elements are a metaphor for individuals and their common, yet obscure inner realities. Fast Pass also hints at a unifying spiritual connection or oneness which we all share," Kuzich said.
The evolution of the Fast Pass is documented in the complete set that Kuzich donated to Market Street Railway and in another he keeps in a binder at his South of Market office/studio. As for the panels, Kuzich wants to see them eternalized at a local museum like the De Young, where the project was exhibited for the month of August in
"I'd like to leave something on the planet that people will learn from," he said.
In the wake of recent group attacks on riders of the T-Line in the Bayview, neighborhood residents and community activists held a vigil April 8th to honor Huan Chen, an 83-year-old victim of an attack on Jan. 24, on a Muni platform.
He died March 19 due to injuries he sustained in the attack.
Organized by SF State alum Edward Hom and members of Chinese for Affirmative Action, the vigil also paid homage to the victims of similar attacks in March, also on the T-Line.
On March 22, a 57-year-old woman was attacked by a group of teenagers and thrown off a platform.
Just five days later a 39-year-old man was attacked on a T-Line streetcar on the corner of Third Street and Williams Avenue, again by a group of youths.
Longtime city resident and Visitacion Valley Asian Alliance spokesperson, Marlene Tran says the attacks on Muni are nothing new.
"Most cases its about a lot of youth who really take advantage of seniors, and people who don't speak English, " she said. "They either throw Coke at them, throw sunflower seeds at them, and say things that shouldn't be said."
San Francisco Polic Lt. Espinida said additional foot officers have been assigned to the area, as well as increased presence on Muni.
According to Espinida, one of the attackers of the 57-year-old is still in custody and is charged with attempted murder, kidnapping and attempted robbery.
This map shows the most dangerous Muni lines in the city.
People holding calla lilies lay motionless in the Cesar Chavez Student Center as part of a dead-in while a fellow protestor waved the Palestinian flag over them. Across the street from campus, cotton candy drifted through the air at the Hillel House while Jewish students celebrated Israel's Independence Day with music and traditional Jewish food.
April 20 marks a decidedly different day for two prominent groups on campus. For students involved with the Hillel House, a Jewish student center on Banbury Street that creates community and holds Shabbat dinners for students, the day was one of celebration and hope for peace.
"We want a welcoming day for our students, especially on this day that's supposed to be a celebration. And for others, a tragedy," said Dona Standell, 22, a recent SF State graduate who now works at Hillel House as the undergraduate student coordinator. "But Israel has saved a lot of people. My grandmother is Syrian and she found safety there. We like to remember that."
For the group of students in the student center, the day is known as "the day of catastrophe" for Palestinian people. The group of protestors wore white face masks and held signs calling for SF State to divest, or de-invest, in companies that are pro-Israel and donate funds to military spending.
"We're out here showing how it's all connected," Hira Zahir, 21, anthropology major, said.
Specifically, the group of students was protesting the student center's investment in pro-Israeli companies, according to Zahir. Companies like Halliburton Co., Johnson & Johnson and Exxon Mobil Corp. have products that the bookstore and the student center sell, something that Zahir referred to as "appalling."
"Why are we investing money in killing people?" Zahir asked. "This is supposed to be a campus that's committed to social justice... All of the budget cuts wouldn't be happening if it weren't for war, so how do you feel about SF State spending money on companies that fund the military?"
The protest, which was supposed to counter the Jewish organization's celebration of Israeli independence, stood alone when the Jewish celebration was moved to the Hillel House due to a forecast of rain.
"It might look like we moved it because of the protest, but really it's just because the forecast showed it was 90 percent likely to happen," Standell said, pointing to the sunny sky. "Obviously, that didn't happen."
Hillel House is an umbrella organization that provides a foundation for Jewish college students. Hillel's San Francisco chapter is located across the street from the University in a house that the group uses as an office and place to hold meetings and events.
In previous years, confrontations between the celebrators and the counter-protestors have gotten explosive, drawing a heavy police presence to oversee the action this year. Because the Israeli group was not there, the event was reasonably mild, but officers still stood in the stairways and watched the protestors.
"We have a undercover guy in that window pointing a camera at us," said graduate student Nachshon L'tzedek. "This is an audacious day to protest. One country's celebration is another country's catastrophe."
L'tzedek is a Jewish graduate student studying social work who was part of University of California, Santa Cruz's chapter of Hillel House. He says he has struggled with his Jewish identity since he was 12 when an Israeli soldier came to his class in Hebrew school.
"He tried to explain to me why he had to shoot Palestinian kids who were throwing rocks at him. They were about the same age as me," L'tzedek said.
"I feel obligated to be a part of this because I'm Jewish," he continued. "If anyone understands ghetto-ization, persecution and genocide, it's the Jewish people. Specifically because of my Jewish values I can sympathize with the Palestinians."
Although the Hillel House is intertwined with events that are political, the student president Sharon Vaknin emphasized that the organization was not created for political purposes. Rather, it aims to give Jewish students a chance to continue to engage with their culture in college.
"The bottom line is we're not a political organization, we're a cultural organization," said Sharon Vaknin, 20, president of Hillel House. "(When it comes to divestment,) what (the protestors) are offering is a very narrow, very black-and-white viewpoint."
Members of the Hillel House planned on giving out white and blue T-shirts that promoted peace and discussion at the celebration. Many of them wore the shirts as they hung out at the celebration, tossing balls around or munching on falafel and blue cotton candy.
"I wear this shirt because I am open to dialogue and I see a possibility of peace for the future, but it comes down to who's willing to talk," Standell said. "We want our students to feel proud and comfortable talking about Israel."
"I'm more like, let's see now what to do with it, if not now in the Middle East then on campus," Standell said.
Third Street in the Bayview was practically empty Sunday afternoon. Only a handful of bike riders, roller skaters and pedestrians covered the street, getting exercise and enjoying the calm atmosphere.
Sunday Streets, an event that started in Bogota, Colombia, made its way to San Francisco three years ago. Once or twice a month certain streets of the city are closed off to motorists and completely open to pedestrians.
A handful of activities were available, such as Capoeira demonstrations, face painting, live musical performances and roller skating lessons.
Bayview will host another Sunday Streets event on May 23.
An altercation broke out around midnight on April 17 in front of 225 Buckingham Way, according to Deputy Chief of Police Reggie Parson. The fistfight involved two males and resulted in the arrest of one for public intoxication. Parson said the 25-year-old subject was not combative when being taken into custody and transported to San Francisco County Jail.
A bike belonging to an SF State student was stolen outside the Creative Arts building April 15 between 12:30 p.m. and 4:50 p.m., according to University police crime logs. Parson said the bike, valued at $370, was locked to a handrail. It is unknown how it was removed. University police have no suspects at this time.
An SF State student was robbed for a cell phone accessory and CDs around 2 a.m. April 17 on Lake Merced Drive between North State Drive and State Drive, according to University police. Parson said the suspect was described as a male with shaggy hair wearing a dark puffy jacket over a dark flannel shirt and jeans. After taking the property, he fled northbound on Lake Merced Drive. Police responded and searched the area but were unable to find the suspect.
-Compiled by Cassie Harwood
A man who may have flashed a number of women near campus got a surprise of his own April 12, when a woman he exposed himself to turned out to be a San Francisco Police Department officer.
Sergeant Russell Gordon said a plainclothes officer was investigating auto burglaries near campus around 9:08 p.m. when she noticed a man walking behind a group of women.
"It seemed very suspicious because when the women would turn around the man would just scuttle away," Gordon said.
When the female officer neared the man at the corner of Fuente Avenue and Serrano Drive, he allegedly pulled out his penis and started masturbating, much like what has been described in a handful of incidents reported in the area last month.
The suspect, whose name and age Gordon would not release, "was dutifully and quickly placed under arrest" and taken to San Francisco County Jail where he was charged with indecent exposure and possession of a felonious weapon. Gordon declined to give details on the weapon, but said police are investigating whether the man is responsible for other indecent exposures.
Since March 2, six people -four of whom were confirmed to be female and two with female-sounding names on which officials did not specify- have reported being flashed by an unidentified male in the neighborhood just south of campus. Concentrated between Lake Merced Boulevard and 19th Avenue, the area comprises townhouses and apartments, including University Park South, which houses faculty, staff and students.
In each of the reported cases, a suspect pulled out his penis in front of an individual and, in all but one instance, started masturbating. Three victims gave matching descriptions of their flasher: a white man in his twenties wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. A fourth victim provided a similar description but said the perpetrator may have had olive-colored skin.
Because police did not immediately identify the man arrested April 12, it is not clear if he matches earlier descriptions.
A 2007 report titled "Exhibitionism: Findings From a Midwestern Police Contact Sample," cited research that suggests most exhibitionists, individuals who expose themselves in public, are likely to be repeat offenders. Of the 106 exhibitionists studied for the report, 101 were men averaging 35.5 years old. The report also quoted estimates suggesting that, due to underreporting, indecent exposure may occur 150 times more than police reports reveal.
Communication studies major Ami Dhaliwal, 19, said she was flashed March 22 at the corner of Varela Avenue and Crespi Drive. Dhaliwal, who lives in Park Merced, said she was walking with friends around 10:30 p.m. when she slowed down to dig for a set of keys in her bag. Earlier, she had noticed a man walking nearby, and when she looked up she found she had fallen behind the group and the same man was standing about 4 feet away with his penis exposed.
"I was like 'Oh my God' and I just kept on walking," she said. "I didn't want to make a big commotion because I was walking with my guy friends and I knew if I said something they would just beat his ass or something. It all happened within a minute."
In shock, Dhaliwal hurried away from the man and quickly caught up with her friends.
"I think if I wasn't so shocked I probably would have called that person out," she said. "I'm 6 feet tall -I'm definitely bigger than the guy who flashed me. But I was tired and wanted to go home."
It wasn't until April 7, during a student protest at the Administration building, that she decided to file a report with the Department of Public Safety. During the protest, a female officer got wind of Dhaliwal's situation and encouraged her to come forward. It was the officer's genuine concern, Dhaliwal said, that compelled her to report the incident.
"The only reason why I didn't file a police report (sooner) is because I really didn't expect the police to do anything about it," she said. "Yeah, they might be able to catch him and put the charges against him, but they can't keep someone else from flashing."
Dhaliwal expressed concern about the level of police presence near campus in the evenings. She said she sees plenty of cars patrolling Park Merced and surrounding areas in the day but significantly fewer officers as the sun goes down.
"I think it should be the other way around," she said. "I think we're pretty capable of taking care of ourselves during the day, but I think they should increase their efforts during the night."
Deputy Chief of police Reggie Parson of the University police department said patrol is not decreased at night and that as of the time Dhaliwal's report was filed, police presence had actually been increased in the area in response to recent events.
Regardless of real or perceived dangers, Dhaliwal said the nighttime encounter has made her wary of traveling alone and on certain streets. When a visit to a friend's house runs late, she now opts to spend the night rather than take the bus home alone.
"I think that when stuff like this happens, women need to tell others and not just keep it to themselves. They need to tell their friends what's up," she said. "If it really bothered them they definitely need to report it, because yeah, the police might not be able to stop everyone from doing that -but they might be able to catch that one person."
Walking through the aisles in a grocery store can be overwhelming at times, especially when reading the nutritional facts and information about an item that has over fifteen ingredients, none of which you can pronounce.
Many Americans have diets that do not meet the dietary guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that over 365,000 U.S. deaths annually can be attributed to poor diet and a lack of physical activity.
Luckily for local organizations like the Holistic Health Center at SF State, volunteers are getting together to educate Americans --students especially-- on how to eat properly and actually know what is in the food we eat.
"Eat Well, Be Well" is an all-day event on campus that will be held on Saturday, April 17 in Jack Adams Hall in the Cesar Chavez Student Center from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm.
"The day will be filled with prominent individuals working in the fields of nutrition, health and well-being," Michelle B. Stauffer said on behalf of the Holistic Health Center. "It will be a truly inspiring day with two panel discussions and seven smaller workshops."
The event is put on mostly by students.
"Food is one of the most happily dominant parts of our life. But we have arrived at a point we are often unaware of the contents of our food and the effect they have on our bodies and us as a whole," human nature major and holistic health intern, Usha Gubbala,19, said. "This conference is an exploration of the foods that nourish us, heal us and energize us."
The conference will have speakers who will offer different perspectives on how to use food to enhance health and wholeness. It will also have speakers who talk about the emotional aspect of our relationship with food, as well as the role of food in influencing emotions. This segment will include the discussion of eating disorders and emotional addiction to food. It will also explore spiritual connections to food as well as provide information about veganism and vegetarianism.
The lunch will consist of demonstrations on how to make different foods.
"This is really about getting to know your body and your food and understanding more about treating it right," Gubbala said. "Food is supposed to be enjoyable and fun, and this conference explores a way to incorporate that with health and vitality."
"Eat Well, Be Well" is an annual conference hosted by the Holistic Health Network, an SF State student organization, and staffed by the Holistic Heath Learning Center, which is part of the Department of Health Education. The Holistic Health Network is dedicated to creating a collaborative environment for students to explore the dynamics of health and well-being of the whole person--mind, body, spirit, and environment. This is the sixth annual conference.
Past events have focused on using alternative medicine, being holistic and exploring more about self and being well.
"This conference is a great way for people interested in learning more about health topics or for people looking to connect and expand their health related network with experts from all walks of health," holistic health intern and business management major, Blossom Albuquerque, 23, said.
The conference is open to all individuals including students, family and friends interested in attending.
This year's workshop topics include Inflammation and Food as Medicine; Vegetarian, Vegan, and Raw Diets; Herbs, Essential Oils, Botanical Intelligence in Health and Healing; Treating Illnesses with Nutritional Supplements; and Role of Food in Food Addiction, Nutrition and Eating Disorders.
"It will be lots of fun. And there will be some great information to walk away with," Gubbala said. "It will also point us all in a healthier direction and equip us with the knowledge we need in choosing the right foods."
Hours before the first pitch of the San Francisco Giants home opener at AT&T Park, faithful fans threw the first tailgate party of the season in the parking lot. Barbecues were flaming, the music was bumping and the beer was going fast on the warm morning before the 1:35 p.m. start.
Opening day is the day for tailgating. It's an event that draws the "die hard" fans as well as outsiders seeking a good time. In the Fourth Street parking lot, fans were having fun with games, like beer pong. Representatives of a kid's show called "Hey You Up There" were shooting video for the Internet of young fans attempting to build the highest stack of apples.
"You couldn't ask for anything more. Barbecue, beautiful day, Giants 3 - 0," said a big man sporting a Kung Fu Panda cap a number of the fans were wearing. "Even if the Giants are out of town, I'll still come here. I tailgate wherever I go."
Tailgating is a culture and Giants' fans could consider themselves lucky. More than 100 tailgaters were arrested in the Dodgers Parking Lot at the Dodgers home opener. Most were accused of drinking in public.
As of yesterday evening, 35 people were cited for smoking in non-designated areas, according to University spokesperson Ellen Griffin.
Beginning on April 12, the Department of Public Safety issued citations of $58 to anyone lighting up in a non-smoking area. Students who do not pay the fee will face financial holds on their registration.
Total revenue for the first two days of the new policy comes to approximately $2,030. On Monday, 20 people were cited while Tuesday racked up 15 more citations. The collected revenue will go toward projects that aim to keep campus smoke-free, according to an e-mail SF State President Robert Corrigan sent to students, staff and faculty in March.
Before the tighter restrictions started this week, there were a total of nine designated smoking areas scattered around campus, some situated outside of high-traffic buildings like HSS.
Now, six of those spaces have been removed, leaving just three on the outer perimeter of the residence halls at Font Boulevard, State Drive and North State Drive.
A faculty member found deliberately hiding near the construction zone of the new library said she understands the complaints made by non-smokers in the campus community.
As a smoker and faculty member, she actually supports the stricter anti-smoking policy, but said the designated areas are simply too far away.
She explained that her smoke breaks are casual five-minute affairs and shouldn't have to be a walk to the park or to the parking structure.
Outside the HSS building, a group of students joined by two professors discussed the reality of University police fining the pack of smokers.
They agreed that non-smokers deserve a smoke-free campus but were reluctant to reveal any identification for fear of receiving a citation.
The University first tightened its smoking policy in August 2004. Until now, if University police officers spotted someone smoking in a non-designated area, they would inform the smoker of the rules and ask them to move to one of the nine designated areas on campus.
Note to readers: To clarify, the student occupiers were charged for repairing a broken window, janitorial fees and police lodging. But the original agreement did not include the janitorial fees or the police lodging, according to Jacob Bernhardt.
After a sit-in at the Administration building that lasted approximately two hours, protesters demanded a meeting with the Assistant Dean of Students to voice their complaints regarding fines levied against them.
On April 7, the protesters attempted to set a meeting time with Assistant Dean of Students Will Flowers to talk about the fines 11 students received after occupying the Business building in December 2009. Each student was billed $744 for damages during the occupation. They believe some of the charges are unlawful.
"A month and a half after the occupation, he (Flowers) talked to us all individually," protester Jacob Bernhardt said, "threatening us with suspension of one year if we didn't sign an agreement."
This agreement included charges for repairing a broken window, janitorial fees and lodging for police officers from out of the area during the occupation. The 11 students had freezes put on their registration and transcripts until all the fines are paid, according to Bernhardt.
"It's an illegal denial of services," he said.
Flowers refused to meet with Bernhardt and the protesters, saying that he would "not be intimidated" by the group. He told those facing fines would have to meet with him individually to resolve the issue.
Earlier in the day, police limited access to the Administration building after the group attempted to have a peaceful sit-in. The demonstrators tried to storm SF State President Robert Corrigan's office and present him with the letter of complaint but found the door locked, according to sophomore Alexandrea Onas.
Protester Caitlin Fountain said the demonstrators had been planning the sit-in for a couple of weeks. "We are protesting against the Administration cracking down on student activism on campus," she said.
Biology major Georgina Rai witnessed the demonstration while in the grass in the quad area and later joined the onlookers at the Administration building. Rai believed the police used excessive force when dealing with the situation and that they should take more responsibility for their actions.
However, while many students commiserated with problems presented by fee increases and furloughs, some thought it was unrealistic for the protesters to expect amnesty for the Business building occupation, which displaced 3,200 students during finals week last semester.
"Fees are horrible," Emily Switzer, representative for the Assoicated Students, Inc, said, "but it could have been much worse in regards to civil disobedience. There are consequences to expect."
While the students made themselves comfortable inside the Administration building, police officers denied more protesters from entering by requiring everyone to present identification. William Orr, who attends a community college in Oakland, said he and four other students were pushed to the ground by police after attempting to get inside the building.
"Students get punished here and that affects all students trying to fight for free education," Orr said.
Police refused to comment on the situation.
At 3:24 p.m., the protesters voluntarily left the Administration building and went to present their letter of complaint to Flowers instead of Corrigan.
After Flowers refused to answer their complaint, they left Student Services, claiming they would be back "the next week and the next week" until they get a meeting.
Andrew Palma contributed to this article.
Hit and run
A truck caused minor damage to a parked car after it hit the vehicle on Holloway Avenue near Arellano Drive on March 24, according to the Department of Public Safety.
Student residents of the Towers at Centennial Square apartments were evacuated at 4:11 a.m. on March 27 after an unknown person pulled a sixth-floor fire alarm in one of the building's stairwells, according to University police.
Officers who responded to the early-morning alarm determined that there was no fire on the premises and allowed students back inside. The apartment building accommodates 600 SF State freshmen, though it is unclear how many were inside when the alarm was pulled.
A stereo was stolen from a car parked in a University Park South parking garage on Pinto Avenue between March 26 and 27, Deputy Chief Parson said.
A window of the Jeep Cherokee was broken between 7 p.m. on March 26 and 9:45 the next morning, and a Kenwood stereo worth $600 was removed. There are no leads in the theft.
-Compiled by Cassie Harwood
A man was arrested for allegedly stealing a service cart from campus over spring break and may be responsible for the theft of a second cart, according to the Department of Public Safety.
Two "Club Car" service carts--one belonging to the environmental health and occupational safety department and the other to the department of plant operations--were removed from campus over a four-day period and recovered by University police.
Elliott Wong, 20, who is not an SF State student, was arrested between March 26 and 29 after a University police officer saw him driving one of the school's golf cart-style vehicles northwest on North State Drive, according to Deputy Chief of Police Reggie Parson. The officer "saw a suspect driving the vehicle erratically in an unsafe manner," Parson said.
The officer followed the vehicle onto Winston Drive and pulled Wong over. Wong was taken to San Francisco County Jail on charges of vehicle theft, possession of burglary tools and obstructing a public officer.
Parson said that Wong allegedly broke the ignition of the vehicle, which was parked in a lot behind the gymnasium, in order to drive it. The extent of damage to the vehicle was unknown.
An officer discovered a second cart on March 27 in the Nordstrom parking structure at the Stonestown Galleria Shopping Center. University police are investigating whether the two thefts are connected, although Parson said it is "very likely."
Andrew Yu, the environmental health and occupational safety department's chief of operations, said the cart stolen from his department is the only one the department has. The cart was parked at a loading dock outside Hensill Hall when it was stolen.
Yu said he has not seen the cart since it was recovered and does not yet know what condition it is in. EHOS uses the cart to deliver safety materials throughout the school.
"The cart allows us to drive around the campus," Yu said, "so it gives us easy access when we have emergency calls."
Storm troopers shot pool with Boba Fett. Buzz Lightyear posed for photo after photo while a robot unicorn wearing an afro wig sat alone at a bench. And this wasn't even inside.
For the 24th year, the comic book bazaar called WonderCon took over San Francisco's Moscone Center with comics, costumes, panel discussions and more. Here, the Jedi and the Sith co-exist along with independent artists and both old-school and new Sci-Fi television stars.
"It's kind of a surreal environment," Tucker Stillman, 37, said. Stillman attended the three-day event in a full-body Captain America costume, complete with a metal shield. "I don't really get to do this often, and it's really fun. The train ride was weird."
At WonderCon, weird is not just welcome. It's celebrated. Over 35,000 people attended, making it the second-largest convention in the country.
Aside from paying Chewbacca or the original Hulk $30 for an autograph, what's the appeal for such a convention? For some, it's the head-in-the-box dig for that one comic that can make a collection complete. For others, it's meeting their idols. For others, it's work.
"I picked up about 20 side jobs from San Diego's Comic-Con," said second-year exhibitor Otto Diefenbach, an artist from San Diego. "The head of marketing from Lucasfilm just walked through here and stopped to say 'Hi' to me."
This is comparable to a "Trekkie" meeting the "Star Trek" series star William Shatner. Fanboys and girls can have the Deadpool costumes and "Prince of Persia" panels with Jake Gyllenhall. Vending folks here are trying to make a living.
Diefenbach, 28, may not be as established as industry legend Jim Lee, but he has sketched for several trading card sets, lending his pencil to iconic characters such as Luke Skywalker, Frodo Baggins and Indiana Jones.
"It's tough to beat events like these," said Diefenbach. "It's not even about the money. It's really cool when someone recognizes you for your work. It's gratifying, almost like they know you."
Others might not recognize an artist at all.
At first glance, Cameron Forsley might resemble the guy sleeping on the bench next to the bus stop, with his long dreads and wild beard. However,his unkempt appearance is misleading. Forsley and his brother Chris produce what they call "gutter comix for losers" through their company 16th and Mission Comix.
"I usually do larger, gallery-type pieces," said Cameron, who calls his work impressionist. Some of Cameron's illustrations accompany Chris's short stories as well.
"We don't really get a great reception here," Chris said. "These are more traditional comic book fans, you know, DC and Marvel kids."
Despite the demographical challenges, the Forsleys still found WonderCon a positive experience by networking and selling copies of their book "Bums," which depicts homeless people with short, often ridiculous, biographies.
While different versions of the Justice League are running around the Moscone Center floor, artists are challenging the main medium of comic books.
"There's a lot of totally different products than regular comic books," said Darryl Gregory, co-founder and writer for San Francisco-based pulp-fiction company FST Pulp. "A lot of folks around here used to play Dungeons and Dragons. I'm still a Dungeon Master."
FST Pulp publishes novels reminiscent of 1920s and 30s pulp fiction, as well as stories dealing with lurid or sensational subjects like zombies and aliens. The company has published four novels, two of which are available as "ear movies"--an audio book recorded in the throwback style of old radio shows. Think "War of the Worlds" but without the mass hysteria.
While Nicholas Cage and Jake Gyllenhall vied for all of the fangirl love, the real hysteria was caused by WonderCon's attendee's themselves.
Popular Batman villains Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn stopped for a photo as the alien from "Aliens" stomped by in the background with a stormtrooper that had claws like Wolverine.
"I just happen to look like Wolverine," said stormtrooper Henry Durango, 30. "One day I'm a stormtrooper, tomorrow I'm coming as Wolverine. As Wolverine, it's easier to go to the bathroom."
WonderCon is an all-ages event that bridges the chasm between weirdness and public, doing so in splendid style.
Two unrelated car accidents occurred on 19th Avenue and Winston Drive at approximately 1:00 p.m. today.
The first was a single-car accident in which the driver fell asleep and drove into a traffic signal in front of the Stonestown Galleria while traveling southbound on 19th Avenue toward the SF State campus. The driver was taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure, according to San Francisco Police.
A crew of workers from the City and County of San Francisco Department of Parking and Traffic erected a temporary traffic signal in order to ensure public safety. California state law requires there to be a minimum of two traffic signal indications for each direction in an intersection at any time.
Steve Vannucchi, a member of the crew working to replace the traffic signal said the temporary signal would be up by 5 p.m. today.
"When something like this happens it's drop everything," Vannucchi said, who estimates the vehicle responsible for the downed traffic signal was exceeding the speed limit.
The downed signal did not affect power to any of the other traffic signals at the intersection of 19th Avenue and Winston Drive.
The second was a two-car accident that occurred shortly after in the driveway heading into the shopping center. A Nissan forced a silver Toyota Corolla onto the median where the Toyota struck a street lamp. The driver of the Toyota was also taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure.
"We're still trying to investigate," said San Francisco Police officer F. Leiva, who was unable to provide many details about the accident.
The Nissan was found by police in the Stonestown parking lot. No one in the car was harmed and the vehicle drove away with minimal damage.
Southbound traffic on 19th Avenue slowed due to crews working in the area and the beginning of rush hour traffic.
According to police none of the individuals involved in either accident were SF State students.
From bikers to "hot babes," former gangbangers to punkers, ink lovers from across the country convened at the Cow Palace for the Art Body Expo's most recent pit-stop in the Bay Area to peep, get work done and to show off their artistic wounds.
Many tattoo and piercing shops from throughout the country set up shop to promote their craft, by rekindling relationships with previous clients in hopes of finding new ones.
Whether preferring sedation or sitting through their ordeal sober, the art on people's heads, arms or legs, are a glimpse into people's past, present and future.