Wednesday, June 22, 2011
As the conch shell blew and the drums started beating, expectations blossomed on June 11 and 12 that the San Dimas Ho'olaule'a would bring in badly needed funding for the animal sanctuary at the Nature Center of the San Dimas Regional County Park.
After a hiatus of a year, the Ho'olaule'a was back, offering two days of polynesian music, dance and culture. The Hawaiian festival was the brain child of Park Superintendant Roddy Gregory whose musical talents and connection to Southern California's Hawaiian community made everything possible.
"We wanted to bring a taste of the 'Aloha spirit' to share some of what we grew up with in Hawaii," he said. "At the same time we needed to feed the animals and provide for their medical care."
On June 11 and 12, some 19 dance studios and musicians brought troups of Hawaiian, Samoan, Tongan, Tahitian and Maori dancers who performed to music that was mostly by live bands. There was never a gap in the music, as musicians shuffled on and off two side stages and costumed dancers strutted and swayed in colorful grass skirts, textiles and gowns of traditional patterns and colors.
Thousands of visitors flocked to the park to enjoy the entertainment, patronize the food booths and to shop for clothing, jewelry and even musical instruments representing modern polynesian culture. "Aloha!" and "E como mai," (hello and welcome) were heard as the host Kamaka Brown, local entertainer, writer and comic, explained the dances, told stories and generally offered "Hawaiian hospitality" from the stage.
Visitors from the community were surprised at the size and quality of the festivities. "I've lived here for years and never knew this was here," a young father marveled. Surrounding the grassy seating area, a line of tables offered crafts for children and displays of wild birds and reptiles from the Nature Center, Wild Wings and the Herpetology Society. Smoky the Bear even made a cheerful appearance, posing and hamming it up for the "keikis" (children).
The Ho'olaule'a has been an annual event since 2006, except for the brief hiatus. In the meantime, funding cuts and budget woes have reduced the staff and budget of the Nature Center. Currently, the sanctuary houses a deer, raccon, two red tailed hawks, barn owl, great horned owl, tortoises, turtles, kestrils, a tarantula and a newt. The animals at the Center are not living there to be exhibits but for one reason or another, can never be returned to the wild. A few can be used for outreach and education but with budget cuts, many programs to elementary schools have been eliminated. Classes taught by naturalists have also been cut.
The Nature Center does offer volunteer opportunities for those who need training in working with animals, such as those who hope to volunteer at the Los Angeles Zoo in Griffith Park. Volunteers help to look after the animals, raise funds and support the youth programs of the Center. The success of the Ho'olaule'a brings a sense of relief to these staff and volunteers who care for the animals, many of whom require specialized diets and medicine from time to time.
The park itself provided a sylvan setting, perfect for the expression of "aloha," which Gregory defines as a combination of friendliness and respect for one another that is the foundation of Hawaiian culture. The shady green trees and the grassy lawns brought a memory of Hawaii, a perfect compliment to the music and the scent of Hawaiian food that filled the air. The Hawaiian community involves more than the Ho'olaule'as, the many festivals held in the area. It stays connected with clubs, a musicians circuit, and, recently, through the modern technologies of email and facebook.
Gregory expressed gratitude that some of the finest performers of the Hawaiian arts are willing to showcase their talents in support of the Nature Center. With a ban on alcoholic drinks, the San Dimas Ho'olaule'a has become a family oriented event, retaining its connection with the outdoors, the animals and the wilderness. Part of the activities included hiking in the foothills of the park, displays of native wildflowers, birds and reptiles. The Forest Service was represented. But the main attraction was the food, clothing and jewelry by vendors who offered a unique glimpse into one of the many cultures that makes up the quilt that is Southern California.
"This fundraiser is more than a fundraiser," Gregory said. "Yes the overall goal is to raise money, but it's more than that. We were blessed to be raised in Hawaii within a culture of both friendliness and respect. It's people enjoying themselves. It's a way of sharing it with people."
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Enthusiasm rang out as students swarmed into the brand new weight room at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucampga. It was not like Bally’s or LA Fitness. For one thing, the equipment is all new and state of the art. The open entry lab structure has been replaced with a traditional class time.
The voices ring out, “It’s better than Jenny Craig!” Some, like Dave Vanhelf, are retired. He found out about PEACT 26 in a marketing brochure that described the class as suitable for all ages, “It’s working. I’m losing weight, feeling better, getting in shape.”
A project six and a half years in the planning was finally achieved when the doors opened for Coach Phil Roberts’ PEACT 26 classes the week after Spring break. With the renovation of the old Sycosky Gym, the classes will now meet in one of the best collegiate weight rooms in California. It is a weight room designed for all of athletics at Chaffey College.
Many students come from full time jobs and seized the opportunity for an exercise program in the late afternoon. The class also includes a few students who participate in a Chaffey sport program, those officially classified as “athletes.”
Goals can include weight loss, weight gain, strength and muscle development or simply to benefit from greater fitness. Many find the workout classes not only challenging but enjoyable. Criminal Justice major Cynthia Green, who is also a snowboarder, sees working on fitness as part of her preparation for a career in law enforcement. Psychology major Erin Lucero and Science major Deanna Willis are both taking the class for a second time. A former high school tennis player, Lucero enjoys the mix of strength and aerobic activities. Willis has also been active physically, turning out for volleyball, basketball and track and field when in high school. “The class can be challenging, but it’s only as challenging as you make it,” she advises.
Roberts teaches “ready positions” and having an awareness of ”How do we remain stabilized?”
“Above and beyond weight loss and getting fit,” Roberts says, “we’re trying to make your body a better machine. We’re electric, we require energy, we require fuel, we require the ability to move and rotate and change direction. It’s a big machine that we have to make sure is working and functioning properly.”
Strength training has become a recommended part of fitness programs. It is widely recommended that exercise programs include two to three days of strength or resistance training a week, to complement cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise. Improving health is of major concern. The CDC reports that fully one third of American adults are obese and more than two thirds are overweight. But it goes beyond the problem of weight loss and becoming physically fit.
“We’re looking at educating people on the rest of their lives,” Roberts asserts. “It’s a complement to the academic world. It makes your mind clearer. It allows you to think on a higher level. If you have a healthy lifestyle, you should feel the difference. You have the energy to deal with things, you have the energy to focus. It’s a complement to a well rounded individual.”
A number of recent studies seem to confirm this observation. Research in the U.S., England, Australia, Iceland, and Hong Kong has found that physically active elementary school children do better than less active children in reading and math. Other studies find that older adults also seem to benefit from being physically fit.
Roberts works with football, baseball and softball players, three of the fourteen sports Chaffey students play. However, he would like to see the program open to more than just collegiate athletes, and to make fitness an important part of the cultural life on the Chaffey campus. There have been many water-cooler discussions among the faculty on how to make the new facilities available to the broader campus community. Roberts grew up in a small Kansas town, attended Highland Community College, Doane College south of Lincoln, Nebraska and finished up at Kansas State University in the area of strength and conditioning. He completed his masters’ degree in Kinesiology at Northwest Missouri State, taught briefly at a middle school and was hired by Chaffey College where he has worked with men and women in a variety of sports.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Anyone going to a water polo match at Chaffey has to run a steeplechase of construction cables, torn up cement, yards and yards of olive green plastic sheeting. You have to wind your way around fences,sneak through the gate into the pool area. After winding and sneaking and pretending to be official, I look for the Breeze sports reporter. But he's not there and I'm on my own.
Fortunately, the scoreboard keeps up with the action...which is very fast. A game barely lasts an hour and is broken up not only into four short periods of 8 minutes but by a 35 SECOND shot clock. There are MANY fouls but that doesn't slow the action much. Referee blows one or two short blasts, signals minimally. The ball is passed back into play and action begins anew!
As the conference season starts, the Chaffey women are ranked at the top of the South Coast Conference.
Left, Ashley Dorrego leads in the Conference stats listing goals, assists and steals. In this game, she made 2 goals, 4 assists and 7 steals; above right, goalie Mary Baker reaches for a save.
The Panthers have begun their conference play with a match against Mt.SAC September 15. The women Panthers defeated the Mounties 15 - 7 and the men lost 10 - 17. Above, Freshman Casey Oakes scored the most goals for the men in their September 10 win over Santa Monica College and in their match against Mt. SAC.
Above, Panther goalie Christian First making one of SEVENTEEN blocks in the men's match with Mt. SAC.
Left, Todd Johnson helps defend the goal; he scored 2 goals and made one steal against Mt. SAC. Other Panthers in the scoring column included Adam Oakes (2 goals, l assist), Christopher Ward (1 goal, 6 steals), Andrew Hogan (1 goal) and Jared Shurkham (1 goal).
Left, Jaci Cochrane scored 3 goals, an assist and 2 steals in defeating Mt. SAC. Others who scored included Brittney Howell, Miranda Furuto, Gabi Kredel, Kadee Patterson, Jyssica Lopez, Nicole Aksander, Amanda Quinonez, Krysten Rybicki and Dallen Coulter.
The next scheduled home match will be Wednesday, September29, 3:15 pm at the pool. There is seating poolside and bleacher seats above the pool and facing away from the sun. Come run the construction gauntlet and watch our swimmers!
Friday, September 3, 2010
"Take my picture! Take my picture!"
It's what we hear when we cover a Chaffey event for the Breeze. Sometimes its a charming request, sometimes its a loud demand.
Photo Editor Justin Kenward found that students celebrating the Muslim holiday of Ramadan are like everyone else on the Chaffey campus, at least in some ways. There was that familiar "Take my picture!"
Whenever we oblige, people bring out the ham (yes, even when its Ramadan) and start mugging and posing!
We get some charming shots that I thought to share with you.
Here's the one that Justin shot.
Here's an example from last year
when we were celebrating Cinco de Mayo
When the basket ball team shows up, they always ask for a photo. And they group themselves like pro's! Here's one from a couple of years ago.
As you can see, "Take my picture!" is in good fun and we enjoy it.
But sometimes, we see something that we shouldn't shoot and if the subject could holler, they'd probably say, "NOOO, don't take my picture!"
Here's an example of "Noooo!" It's from the past, so no one should get into trouble!
So keep asking us, "TAKE MY PICTURE!" We might do it, we might publish them. Or not!
Click to return to The Breeze
Monday, August 23, 2010
I'm adding a link so you can return to The Chaffey Breeze from here.
We want you to go back and read more stories! So again, click when you see this link:
Summer's over. Parking is hell. And even the midsummer cool spell has vanished like the coward it is.
Where does summer break go? Does anyone take a summer break anymore? (If not, I hope you earned beaucoup dinero ...)
So it's back to The Breeze for the editors and the new staff writers. We'll tackle the parking mess, (the fact there seems to be only one exit to Haven from mid campus), the lack of places to sit and eat lunch, the agony of book prices.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Midsummer... heat's on... time to head for hills.
Mt. Baldy in the summer is the closest cool spot for hot Chaffey denizens...
A sylvan setting...
A peaceful creek...
Grafitti...or the innocent carving of lovers and children?