A walk through library history

By Lindsey Wright
Flapjack Chronicle 

Students rushed in and out of automatic sliding glass doors. Both student and teacher alike could be seen sitting in the café enjoying a steaming cup of their favorite beverage or nestled down in the workspace of their choosing. Amidst the usual hustle and bustle of the library’s first floor lobby, the grand opening of the new library exhibit, The Evolution of Information, began.

March is the Library Showcase month that coincides with the ongoing celebration of the HSU centennial year. This was just a kick off to all of the next seven events that the library staff has planned for the month.

Anna Kircher, the information technician chief working in the dean’s office, was responsible for finding the funds and giving permission for this exhibit to exist.

Kircher spoke highly of her fellow faculty and gave them praise for a job well done.

“Carly [Marino], Kumi [Watanabe-Schock], and Kaitie [Lasla] are three of the wonderful ladies who picked up this idea and ran with it,” said Kircher.

People started to gather around the nearly invisible glass windows encompassing the display of library history. With a large wooden canoe to their left, students sprint through time, only a few slowed to acknowledge the carefully selected and displayed artifacts on their right.

“This [the display] is setup from old to new as students walk through it. They can walk through time!” said co-curator Kathryn Beckley.

She and many others worked vigorously for two months to bring this exhibit to life. The exhibit will be up for the whole month. Beckley gushes about her favorite artifact, a photograph from the Erickson Collection.

“We selected artifacts that would be relatable to the students and to the centennial year. We also wanted this exhibit to promote the HSU library’s special collections from the Humboldt Room,” said Katie Lasla, one of the special collections librarians.

Everyone munched on the cookies placed out for the grand opening, and gazed at the old novels and textbooks or educated themselves on the fun facts scattered throughout the entire display. The constant flow of people through the exhibit created a nonchalant mood to the entire event.

Spinning into Butter proves to be delicious

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By Hannah Rodrigues
Flapjack Chronicle

The cast and crew were anxiously awaiting the arrival of students and community members as they were preparing to give a performance that has taken months to perfect. Spinning into Butter launched on Saturday, March 1 in the Gist Hall Theatre. Tickets are available with a limited number of free seats available to students. The prize winning play originally done by Rebecca Gilman was directed by HSU director Cassandra Hesseltine.

Jennifer Goodwin, a student at College of the Redwoods, was enthusiastic to see the play.

“I really wanted to see this production because these are issues that a lot of people can identify with,” she said.

The play is set at Bellemont College in the Dean’s office. As people enter the theater, they are greeted by an usher who politely tells them to take a seat because the Dean will be with you shortly.

The play is filed with serious issues about race, while still making the audience laugh.

“I really liked how I was greeted when I walked in,” Goodwin said.  “It seemed like we were really in the Dean’s office!”

The play is described as bold, witty and provocative by the community, which fits the main character Mary May who plays the role of Sarah Daniels, Dean of Students. The play touches on a lot of controversial issues that some viewers may have experienced themselves. It is a play about racial issues in our society.

Alicia Hernandez, a 19-year-old HSU biology major, has been working backstage for a few weeks preparing for the play to take the stage.

“It was really fun working backstage and helping with some of the scenes and the set,” she said.   “I knew Spinning into Butter would touch the hearts of many people.”

Giovanni Alva plays a student who does not wish to disclose his ethnicity but will only qualify for a prestigious scholarship if he identifies as Puerto Rican or Hispanic. The play begins with Alva and May discussing how Alva can get this scholarship.

“All the actors did a great job in this production,” Hernandez said. “You can really tell that they are passionate about the issues this play represents.”

As the middle of the play approaches is becomes more evident that there are lingering issues regarding race at Bellemont College. An African American student receives threatening notes outside of his dorm room and it is now up to the Dean and her staff to make sure that this is not a reoccurring issue, which proves to be more difficult than anticipated.

Jose Cardenas is an HSU wildlife major who had other reasons for seeing the production.

“As part of a theater class, we have to see the play, but I’m happy I went because that class is really fun and I’ve never seen a play at HSU before,” Cardenas said. “If you haven’t seen the play, you should because it’s free for students and it’s a good time!”

Humboldt gets its drag on

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By Turner Gold
Flapjack Chronicle

With dozens of onlookers gazing with what can only be described as utter confusion, drag queen Susie Cyanide straddled a giant inflatable penis while removing layer after layer of extravagant clothing. While this may seem like a scene straight from the most bizarre of movies, it was actually merely one of the many spectacles of this year’s Sexland Drag & Talent Show. Put on by the Humboldt State University Peer Health Educators, Sexland is a four-day long series of events aimed at spreading sexual and mental health awareness and throwing as much fun out there in the process. As part of the finale on March 1, the long awaited drag and talent show was held.

“[The peer helpers] have been working on this for so long,” said peer health educator Joe Comer. “I can’t believe we actually managed to pull it off, [the peer helpers] have been so excited for this!”

And pulling it off was by no means an easy task. Gazing at what was once the KBR room, it had been totally transformed by the plethora of neon and rainbow colored streamers, lights, decorations and signs advertising the traditional healthy messages being spread by the peer health groups. As the seats filled and the lights dimmed, a mysterious MC emerged covered in a plastic garbage bag as he performed a particularly unsettling rendition of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.”

“I have absolutely no idea what I was expecting,” said freshman Hannah VanNiekerken. “But it certainly wasn’t this… and I love this.”

Now free from his confinement and donning a rainbow bob-cut wig, the MC “Tits McGiggles welcomed the first of many dazzling drag queens to the stage. From slow, slightly erotic strip dancing to upbeat, ridiculous dance numbers that spanned the entire room, all walks of the drag queen life were demonstrated. Additionally, student performers were brought on stage in order to diffuse the chaos that can only be created by the most fabulous of drag queens.

From eloquent slam poets to the light, alternative rock that Humboldt seems to be known for, these student performers balanced out the over-the-top performances of the effervescent drag queens. Finally, as the show drew to a close, the MC welcomed the most famous of local bands to the stage — Space Biscuit. With the masterful blend of rock, techno and light screamo, the band played as the audience jumped up towards the center in a flurry of ridiculous dancing.

Having been the first drag show she’s ever been to, freshman Isabell Ceja noted: “I really don’t think I’ve ever seen something that amazing in my life.”

Dispensary dilemma

By Patrick Kertz
Flapjack Chronicle

Arcata’s largest medical marijuana dispensary is buzzing with patients waiting in line to choose their medicine on a Friday afternoon. This dispensary averages about 150 visits per day, and is open six days a week.

However, according to Bryan Willkomm, the supervisor at Humboldt Patient Resource Center (HPRC), the lack of dispensary locations makes it difficult for some patients to attain medicine in Humboldt County.

“Crescent City is a perfect example, ailing patients have to drive an hour and a half to obtain their medicine [which] is unfortunate,” Willkomm said.

A concern of patients and collective owners is getting medicine to patients in hospice care suffering from terminally ill conditions in the large and rural landscape of Humboldt County.

Mariellen Jurkovich, director of the HPRC, believes involvement with city officials is vital in creating agreeable and sensible guidelines for the county.

“The whole idea of collectives is to take care of patients,” Jurkovich said. “We’re not doing that by shortening the leash [of] how many we can have. I’m not saying we should have tons either, and I think them putting guidelines together is a good thing.”

For nearly 15 years the HPRC used the current marijuana legislation, Prop 215, to help those who need medical marijuana for their physical and mental ailments. According to Willkomm the dispensary worked with Humboldt State to assemble a program which currently allows the dispensary to give away a percentage of their medicine.

“We give away 30-35 percent,” Willkomm said. “Fluctuation unfortunately occurs with the passing of some of the ailing patients on the program.”

In January the Board of Supervisors for Humboldt County voted to ban any new medical marijuana dispensaries in the county. From December 2011 until December 2013 the Board of Supervisors enacted a moratorium, an authorized period of delay, on building new dispensaries in Humboldt County. City and county officials were warned by the federal government that they could face legal action or arrest if they decided to allow more permits for dispensaries.

Kevin Jodrey, cultivation director of Garberville Grass, is confident city officials will be cautious to rewrite any legislation until the issue becomes regulated by the state.

“What the real problem is with creating any ordinances is that unless there is a state regulation the federal government has the right to intercede with your politics,” Jodrey said. “I think the pace [of creating a new ordinance] will coincide with legalization.”

Willkomm acknowledges the indecision of the city officials and local voters to implement change.

“We only have 14,000 people in our town with three dispensaries,” Willkomm said. “I would understand their hesitation to expand without having empirical data to support more infrastructures around medical marijuana.”

This November three marijuana legalization initiatives may possibly be on the ballot: California Cannabis Hemp Initiative, Marijuana Control Legalization & Revenue Act, and Control Policy Reform Act. If passed each initiative could make marijuana legal to consume for recreational and medicinal purposes for adults over the age of 21 in the state.

Dr. Joshua Meisel, of the Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research at HSU, said there is also the community’s stance on legalization and expansion of dispensaries within Humboldt County.

“Local concerns regarding cannabis cultivation are somewhat different than those shared by the feds. There seems to be more concern in the Emerald Triangle with land use issues and environmental harms,” Meisel said. “Not just in terms of where a medical marijuana dispensary might be sited, but also the local environmental consequences of large scale cannabis cultivation.”

Until the federal law corresponds with state law, medical marijuana patients in Humboldt County will have limited options for purchasing medicine through a safe and legal environment at a dispensary.

“We have to think about the patients at the end of the day,” Willkomm said.

Free store provides outreach

By Madison Carlin
Flapjack Chronicle

A Eureka “free store” saved the day when single mother, Kathy Davis, needed clothes for a second job.

“I didn’t have any interview appropriate attire or money to spend,” Davis said. “Then I thought ‘Hey, the Free Store.’ I stopped by and found a decent outfit. I got a call later that week. I got the job!”

The Rescue Mission in Eureka has been providing services since 1967. Th group’s free store is just a part of the establishment that serves to help the community but within the four small walls people can find what they need for no cost.

HSU student Jenna Kelmser was recently shopping around on her small budget in the free store.

“It’s a wonderful place where people who can’t afford clothes have a wide selection of necessities,” she said.

The program consists of giving away donated items. Donations are sorted and those of good quality can be found in the thrift store just around the corner. When clothes have a hole, missing button, a broken zipper, or simply have been sitting in the thrift store for too long, they are sent to the free store. The profits from the thrift store go directly to funding the other services and the 10 paid workers.

Executive Director Bryan Hall is glad to help out the community in any way possible.

“We’ve had people take stuff from the free store and then sell it at a yard sale,” Hall said. “It’s still helping out the community and getting the clothes out of there.”

The free store provides an array of products needed to live a healthy life like hygienic items, feminine products and diapers.

The staff is cautious about transients or people who may be hoarders.

“We limit the items they take then,” Hall said. “We’re just trying to help them out.”

The Rescue Mission is all about the community and  provides many other services including a recovery program and shelter for men, women and children.

The Rescue Mission is located in Eureka on 110 2nd street. The free store is open Tuesday to Friday from 1:00-4:15 p.m.