August 2010 Archives
With the nationwide recall of over 500 million shelled eggs, it seems as if chickens may have caught a bit of a "fowl" reputation.
But on the bright side, the recall has given both chickens and humans a chance to break open a new opportunities for healthier lives.
According to the Food and Drug Administration's website, half a billion eggs distributed from Hillandale Farms and Wright County Egg, both located in Iowa, were contaminated with salmonella enteritidis. The eggs were produced from as far back as May 16, and distributed to 16 different states including California. The California Department of Public Health reported 266 californians sickened because of the contaminated eggs.
In the midst of the recall, consumers are taking a closer look at where their food is coming from and individually opting for more humane and local alternatives.
"I'm definitely looking more at where my eggs come from," said San Francisco resident Brooke Still. "I don't eat eggs that much in the first place, but I use them for baking so I am making an effort to, but from a farm that is closer."
She said that buying locally, while it may be a little more expensive, is worth it in the end.
"The factory farms are horrible, just look at what those chickens go through. It's just really horrible," she said.
Heidi Fuller works with Soul Food Farm, a Vacaville farm that raises eggs and chickens that was the first in California to receive an Animal Welfare Approved certification. Soul Food Farm lets its flock of around 1,200 chickens roam free over 55 acres of certified organic land, raising them on diets of quality grain free of antibiotics.
This is a stark difference from the farms involved in the salmonella outbreak, where large populations of hens are kept in warehouse-like barns, making it easier to spread diseases very quickly.
But some residents have taken it one step further and bought chickens of their own to raise in their backyards.
Fuller worked a stand at the Eat Real Festival held in Oakland last weekend, where she not only offered information to consumers, but also sold hens and chicks to attendees and provided resources about proper housing for them.
"We were here Friday and Saturday selling chicks and hens, and sold out by Sunday," she said on Sunday. "There was a huge increase in people buying this year, and I strongly believe it was because of the recalls."
According to San Francisco municipal codes, chickens are classified as "pets", so residents are allowed to keep up to four in their backyards. This "urban" farming movement has been a popular trend as residents look to find more ways to provide sustainable and direct food for themselves. Fuller says that raising chickens is "a lot easier than most people think", but for SF State students it may not be ideal.
"Even if people can't commit to raising their own chickens, consumers want to know where their food is coming from," she said. "and that it's coming from a place where the animals are healthy and happy. If they can't do it, we'll do it for them."
Attorneys General from 17 states collaborated to send an open letter to Craigslist on August 25 demanding that the website discontinue its Adult Services section.
The letter, sent to the San Francisco based site's CEO Jim Buckmaster and founder Craig Newmark, claimed that the classified advertisement website was being used as a platform for human and child trafficking.
"In our view, the company should take immediate action to end the misery for the women and children who may be exploited and victimized by these ads," the letter said. "Because Craigslist cannot, or will not, adequately screen these ads, it should stop accepting them altogether and shut down the Adult Services section."
This is not the first instance of controversy surrounding the Adult Services section. In May of 2009, amidst several legal cases, Craigslist announced that "Erotic Services" would be renamed "Adult Services" and that the ads would undergo manual screenings to prevent further abuses.
Buckmaster wrote in the Craigslist blog that since last year the manual screenings have resulted in the rejection of 700,000 ads. "Before being posted, each individual ad is reviewed by an attorney licensed to practice law in the U.S., and trained to enforce Craigslist's posting guidelines," Buckmaster said. "Which are stricter than those typically used by yellow pages, newspapers, or any other company that we are aware of."
The manual screenings, the Attorney Generals believe, is simply not enough.
Their letter goes on to cite a report conducted by CNN correspondent Amber Lyon. Lyon posted a faux prostitution ad last May on the Washington DC Craigslist in the Adult Services section stressing words such as young, sweet and innocent.
Lyon posted her ad without any obstruction from Craigslist's manual screenings and within a time frame of three hours received 15 calls seeking her services.
"Yes, the perpetrators may eventually be apprehended and brought to justice, but the victim, assuming she survives, will carry the scars for life," the letter said. "No amount of after-the fact documentation will erase that enduring harm."
Rebecca Jeschke, Media Relations Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco based nonprofit committed to defending free speech, believes that Craigslist has every legal right to continue Adult Services. "The host cannot be held legally responsible for how people use it," Jeschke said.
Electronic Frontier Foundation cites Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 which states, "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider."
"You hold the speaker liable not the soapbox," Jeschke said. Jeschke trusts that if the law were to be changed, services such as Craigslist would not be able to exist.
Jeschke felt it was important to note that human and child trafficking is by no means legal, but placing blame on Craigslist will accomplish little in the fight against human trafficking. Police departments across the country actually utilize Craigslist as a tool to uncover crime, Jeschke said.
"Cracking down on Craigslist," said Jeschke. "Is not going to keep anyone safer."
Craigslist is readily available with advertisements fitting to college students needs. Free couches, want ads for barista postions, and apartment listings are accessible in only a few clicks. As avid Craiglist users, students at San Francisco State University feel conflicted about the recent controversy.
Courtney Dawson, a women and gender studies major and Craigslist user, was shocked to hear that child trafficking advertisements were being posted to Craigslist.
Dawson, who describes herself as a pro-sex feminist, said she had gone through the ads before but never saw any evidence of a trafficker.
"There has to be a line though," Dawson said. "Child trafficking on Craigslist is ridiculous."
Natalie Purcell, a graduate student at the University of California Santa Cruz studying sexual violence, thinks perhaps there is a larger issue to observe.
"The owners and managers of the service certainly have some responsibility to regulate it and to minimize or eliminate the harm that they've inadvertently facilitated," said Purcell.
"But Craigslist should not serve as a stand-in and scapegoat for the broader problems of sexual exploitation and human trafficking."
Purcell believes that sexual labor is a serious cultural problem that needs crucial evaluation. "We need to evaluate the many social factors that make the sexual abuse and exploitation of women and girls thinkable to far too many men," said Purcell.
In Purcell's opinion, no real change can come about until we look to humanity for the solution. "We must not let a debate about the pros and cons a specific technology-- Craigslist," Purcell said. "Replace a conversation about gender, sexual expression, and how both are shaped by power, inequality, and injustice."
Dr. Kim Hyun Deok Foreman met her husband after enrolling in a teacher-training program he taught during his volunteer work with the Peace Corps.
"She was 23 and my student," said Dr. Chris A. Foreman, "I was 24 and her English teacher."
Now a Southern Baptist Pastor, Foreman is proud to say his wife's mission in life was "to glorify God, both through her university work and through her church work."
Dr. Kim Hyun Deok Foreman, an ITEC (Instructional Technologies) professor at SF State, passed away August 3 from injuries sustained in a car accident while working as a missionary near Gitarama, Rwanda at the age of 59.
"Kim's fatal accident has stunned the ITEC community and has left me with an overwhelming sense of tragedy," said Eugene Michaels, Foreman's colleague and fellow ITEC professor, "I grieve with all of you, her students and colleagues."
Foreman was a dedicated scholar and missionary who had been teaching at SF State since 1989 as a graduate professor in the ITEC department, even serving as the department chair from June 2003 to August 2005.
Her work at the University did not stop her from maintaining her role as a missionary overseas.
"She has touched so many lives here and abroad," said Mary Lowery, friend and former student of Foreman. "May her spirit live on in all of those who have been touched by this angel."
The start of Foreman's extensive teaching career came in 1973 after she graduated from Kyunghee University in Seoul, Korea with a degree in English/Secondary education.
Shortly after she met her soul mate, Dr. Chris A. Foreman, and the two married in Seoul in 1974 before relocating to Longview, Washington.
Foreman maintained a lifelong dedication to continuous learning, constantly seeking out grants and scholarships to further educate herself and the students she imparted her knowledge upon.
She authored over 20 scholarly articles throughout her career and presented her research at more than 40 conferences and seminars, she also coauthored a bi-weekly column with her husband in the Korea Times from 1999 to 2007.
Between 1994 and 2006 she received over $56,000 in grants for her and her department, including a Fulbright Senior Specialist grant in July 2006.
"I believe the most important work Kim completed was her mentoring of students," said Brian Beatty, Chair of the ITEC department and a former student of Foreman.
"Besides teaching them about learning theory or technology integration, she took on the role of integrating them into the ITEC community, using innovative methods such as digital storytelling to help students open up to each other."
Outside of school she was very active in her church and community. She served on over 30 committees, councils and boards throughout her life, including the Board of Directors of the Korean Center, Inc., and the Intercultural Institute of California.
Foremost, she was a missionary who first visited Africa in 1998 with a Korean missionary group. Her husband joined her on her second trip in 2001, and in 2005 they formed the non-profit organization, "Come and See Africa International."
The organization's purpose, according to its website (comeandseeafrica.org), is to "support students at the National University of Rwanda." Foreman's death came during her 11th trip to Africa, and she died doing what her husband believed she loved.
"I would say to my wife if she were next to me," said Foreman. "Well done, you good and faithful servant. You have glorified God on the earth. You have finished the work that He has given you to do."
In honor of the late professor, a memorial was held in Kigali, Rwanda on August 7 with hundreds in attendance, including the American Ambassador to Rwanda. American funeral services were held at Palma Ceia Baptist Church in San Lorenzo on August 14.
For the past two years, Come and See Africa International has been constructing a campus house for Christian students near the National University of Rwanda. As a tribute to and a legacy for Foreman, the building will now be named, "the Kim Foreman Bible Institute."
Foreman is survived by her husband, Chris; her sons, Zachary and Simon; daughter-in-law, Dilia Marquez Foreman and grandson Hugo Lorenzo Oron Foreman.
"She was most proud of her family," said Foreman, "her two sons, one grandson and me. She was proud of her academic work and she loved being a professor and helping students to achieve."
Donations can be sent to the First Southern Baptist Church of San Lorenzo, 15503 Usher St., San Lorenzo, CA 94580. They will support the construction of the institute in Rwanda. Please designate "The Kim Foreman Bible Institute" on your contribution.
Recent findings by the California Faculty Association, a union of over 23 thousand professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches, reveal the mishandling of funds within the CSU system that trace back as far as March of this year.
The CFA revealed two weeks ago, in a series of closed-door meetings, that the CSU chancellor's office was mixing funds between private and public divisions.
"This is money that should be going to further the education of students," said Ramon Castellblanch, CFA President of the SF State Chapter. "People should be held responsible, including the (California) legislature who are in charge of appointing the Board of Trustees who handle these funds."
Taxpayer dollars, along with private donations, have been improperly deposited into funds controlled by often-secretive non-profit organizations known as CSU Auxiliaries, accounts that are protected under the California Public Records Acts.
With this protection, these organizations are unavailable for the public to access, prohibiting anyone from finding where the money exactly is.
In an effort to allow the financial statements of these organizations to be disclosed, the SB 330 bill was proposed last year but was later vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger.
The bill has since been amended by the CFA and State Senator Leland Yee. After being approved by the legislature last week with bi-partisan support, it is currently awaiting action by the governor.
With its approval, CSU Foundations and Auxiliaries will be held accountable for the ways student fees and private donations are used in the CSU system.
"I'm disappointed just as everybody should be," said SF State music professor Jassen Todorov. "But we don't know all the exact facts; it's still too early to make judgments."
The chancellor's office, however, refutes any intentional foul play. "It's an accounting issue," Spokesman for the CSU Chancellor's office Erik Fallis said. "We have our own internal auditors who have caught the issue; it's an issue of reimbursement."
Fallis explained that state money was being used to fund auxiliary sectors and that these auxiliaries were slow to reimburse the state back. State and auxiliary funding are entirely separate.
There is no proof of any criminal activity at the moment.
This recent controversy has also raised questions as to why the CSU administration is seeking to eliminate audits entirely by next year.
Although CSU executives learned about the mismanagement of money through the process of audits, they are the leaders in the movement to eliminate them altogether.
Students of the CSU system have spoken out about this issue as well, although there are several who are still unaware and unconscious as to what is taken place.
"They should be more organized," said senior Lauren Rubin. "If they were organized, I probably would have graduated last year."
For now, the students and faculty are forced to wait to see what transpires. The CSU's chief financial advisor Benjamin Quillian has called for the reimbursements in question to occur within the next three months, although it has not been approved by CSU Chancellor Charles Reed or his auditors. But according to Castellblanch, the remedy to this issue is predicted to be a daunting task.
"It's going to take quite a while," he said. "It's very murky and the money will be difficult to tract."
The doors open as students file in and out.
The first day of instruction began at SF State and students waited on both sides of 19th Avenue to board buses on their way to and from classes.
While this has been a daily routine for many during the summer semester, students attending the fall 2010 semester are relieved to know that Muni services will be restored in a few weeks.
This includes restoration of the M Ocean View and K Ingleside railway lines to their original routes.
The St. Francis Circle Rail Replacement Project, which began May 17, is expected to be completed September 4.
"It's about time," said Danielle Serrano, 21, a health education major, as the 28 bus finally arrived at the stop across from the University. "The buses are super infrequent and usually crowded."
Selina Weiss, 21, an urban studies major said she's relieved that service is being restored to the rail line.
"Once the M-line starts, maybe the 29 won't be as crowded," Weiss said.
As the city faces a staggering $483 million deficit, the San Francisco Municipal Transport Agency faced massive budget cuts to everything from schedules to bus routes.
According to the SFMTA website, 61 percent of services are being restored since reductions took place in May.
Although MUNI cuts have taken place repeatedly by the Board of Supervisors, the setbacks have affected students and caused them to show up late to class and board buses late due to overcrowding.
Louvier Ko, 19, a biology major said using the M-line bus is "kind of a hassle and sucks for transfer when going downtown."
Currently, M-line riders must go to the West Portal station and transfer to the rail lines.
Ko said the M bus is frequent and convenient for people who ride bikes whereas it's difficult to take a bike on the rail line. She waits for the 28 bus to arrive and said in the past she's experienced multiple 28 buses arriving at one time and then not arriving for another hour.
Raymond Zhou, 19, a biology major utilizes both the 28 and the M-line bus. He said he will use the rail line when it becomes available because of its more frequent service.
The M-line rail will provide more services beginning 5:30 a.m. and arriving every 9-10 minutes between the hours of 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Gene Chelberg met professor Paul Longmore 20 years ago while he was still an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota.
Chelberg, who is blind, was busy working to found the Disabled Student Cultural Center on his campus and remembers being nervous about asking Longmore to speak at their grand opening.
"Calling him was like calling a rock star," Chelberg said.
Professor Paul Longmore, a history teacher at SF State for 18 years, passed away of natural causes August 9 in his San Francisco apartment at the age of 64. He was also director of the Institute of Disability on campus.
Longmore was a pioneering scholar in disability history and the disability rights movement. He also had polio since age 7.
Friends and colleagues said he had a humor about him that some said made him a "smart alleck."
"He loved being bigger than life," Chelberg said as he walked with professor Trevor Getz to Longmore's apartment in Park Merced. Getz, a professor in the history department, was a close friend of Longmore's.
The walk began somberly Aug. 24 at the Student Services building, but the more Chelberg and Getz talked about their mutual and longtime friend, a celebration of the person Longmore was inevitably turned up.
"Paul would have been at my office on a day like this in a heartbeat." Chelberg said amid an especially sunny first day of the Fall 2010 semester. "And he would say to me, 'You owe me an ice cream!'"
Longmore is arguably most well known for his 1988 protest outside the Social Security Administration's Los Angeles office. He burned his book about George Washington, written word by word with a pen in his mouth and a keyboard, to protest policies that penalized disabled writers for counting royalties from their work as earned income.
The policy was changed and became known as the "Longmore amendment."
In a 2003 essay, entitled "Why I Burned My Book and Other Essays on Disability," Longmore recalled the pivotal protest.
Professor Eva Shepperd Wolf, also a colleague of Longmore's in the history department, remembers being interviewed in 2002 for a teaching position at the University.
"He had a powerful mind. He was always sure about what he thought," Wolf said. "He was a teacher not only to his students, but to everyone who knew him."'
Wolf said Longmore was angry when it came to his passion about disabled rights.
His anger wasn't directed toward his disability, Wolf insists, but rather at the way institutions' and governments' indifference would harm people with disabilities.
"It was that anger that really drove a lot of his activism," she said.
In 2005, he won the Henry B. Betts award from the American Association of People with Disabilities.
"Once I was in his office," Wolf said. "And I said something like, 'Oh, that's lame.' And he said, 'What?'''
Wolf said she didn't think that expression could be offensive, but it was. "He wasn't mad at me, he was just ribbing me a little."
Friends and colleagues of Longmore insist he strived to be the best he could at whatever it was he worked on.
"It's not easy to become a professor, especially if you have to write your dissertation one word at time with a pen in your mouth." Wolf said.
At the time of his death, Longmore was working on a book about the rise of the disability rights movement funded through a grant by the U.S. Department of Education. "He was on top of his game," said Chelberg. "He was happiest when he had a lot of work to do."
The Seven Hills Conference Center at SF State will hold a public memorial for Paul Longmore Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. with a reception at 3 p.m.
This fall, SF State is planning on improving the college experience by introducing a new unit within student affairs strictly revolving around student life.
The mission is to strengthen school spirit and a sense of community by providing more social events, which will hopefully compel students to remain personally invested in the University.
"Our goal is to find out how we can best serve our population," said Associate Dean of Students and Director of LEAD (Leadership, Engagement, Action, Development) Joseph Greenwell. "As a team we look at student life to strengthen what is currently being done."
Welcome Days, a week of events held for incoming freshmen and transfer students, was part of the effort.
This was the fourth year Welcome Days was available to incoming students.
By providing a talent show, hypnotist show, movie night in the quad and easy access to information on campus resources, the events aimed at getting students excited about the year to come.
"It's overwhelming to come to a new place," said freshman Imani Carino. "Welcome Days made it all pretty relaxed."
Although Welcome Days being over, efforts to get students involved do not end there.
A 38-person committee was created this past spring to assess what students want to see happen on campus.
Collaboration is key for things to get done on a larger scale, according to Greenwell.
"Our goal is to no longer have a separation between residential life and the campus community," Greenwell said. "We need to look at the campus as a complete community."
Mary Ann Begley, the new director of residential life at SF State, said that it is important to have residential and commuter students feel engaged and involved.
"Being a newcomer to SF State, I noticed that our students are really eager to get involved so we want to give them the opportunity for that to happen," Begley said.
Both Greenwell and Begley believe that retention rates should increase if more opportunities are available for students to get involved.
"Student life is a key player in retention and graduation rates," said Greenwell said. "My hope is that students will get involved and enjoy their time here both in and outside of the classroom."