Stephen Gieder — local cannabis event organizer and business visionary

Stephen Gieder

By Monica Robinson

Flapjack staff

After a troubling incident a year and a half ago Stephen Gieder intervened an unbalanced fight in the back alley of the Plaza in Arcata, California. While walking away, after believing he had verbally resolved the altercation, Gieder was attacked and struck down. He said there were at least 15 witnesses nearby and not one person checked in or offered to help.

Gieder was disturbed when he saw how disconnected people have become from one another and wanted to help elicit change. Gieder gave a good ol’ Facebook rant and set up a meeting at the Jambalaya in Arcata. To his surprise 35 people showed up.

“He wants everyone to be involved, keep people connected and rise the vibration,” says Sasha Miksis, 33, Gieder’s friend and co-worker.

The first two meetings identified problems and came up with solutions. The CPP started Street Clean Up on Fridays, which expanded to free yoga on the plaza Saturdays and the Plaza Play Group for kids on Sundays. The safety task force, created by the city of Arcata, deals with the same issues and works in conjunction with CPP.

Gieder was born on Oct. 27, 1976. and grew up in Pennsylvania, where he attended Williamson Trade School and studied horticulture and landscape design. After graduating and spending a year in Colorado, Gieder realized he wanted to be a part of the cannabis industry. Gieder drove across country towards Humboldt County and stopped near Lake Tahoe. While visiting Tahoe he went out for coffee and donuts and came back an hour and a half later with a job. Three years later, while walking his dog, he stumbled across Stan “the man” and Steve Muller opening a hydroponic shop in 1998.

As a graduate in Horticulture and Landscape design, Gieder would sit in the shop and consult the store owners when it first opened. At the time people didn’t really understand the science of it, but he had the knowledge and background to help people.

“Some people’s minds work scientifically; my mind works horticulturally,” Gieder says. This experience inspired Gieder to start his own horticulture supply store in Humboldt County.

Gieder started Northcoast Horticulture Supply in 2002. NHS sells cultivation supplies to indoor and outdoor farmers in Humboldt County at its four retail locations in Fortuna, Eureka, Arcata and McKinleyville.

In order to get the best product and deliver it at the lowest possible price, Gieder started Humboldt Wholesale, a nationwide manufacturer and distributor of specialty garden supplies. This allowed him to import from Holland the finest production nutrient line in the world, House & Garden.

“Steve’s a doer,” Ken Hamik, 59, Gieder’s business partner, says. Hamik wants to write a book on him called “Gieder Done.” Gieder embodies visions more than most people.

“Steve is where the rubber meets the sky,” Hamik said. “He starts and finishes things.”

After nearly a decade of being the sole distributor of House and Garden in the United States, Gieder purchased the company and moved manufacturing of the nutrient line to Arcata, California.

Gieder has always taken pride in building the local economy and continues to do so by employing over 100 individuals. For the 15 year anniversary of NHS, Gieder hosted an employee party the Arcata Theatre Lounge with live music and free food.

“He really does care about all of them, their family life and what’s happening at home,” Miksis said.

“You know that saying Kevin Bacon is six degrees of separation from everyone? I call Steve one degree,” Hamik said. Gieder’s fundamental businesses in Humboldt have enabled him to meet so many people here.

“Everyone knows Steve and Steve knows everyone for the most part,” Hamik explains. As a creative yielding local entrepreneur and cannabis advocate, Gieder began the consulting firm Humboldt Green.

Hamik describes Humboldt Green as one the most unusual businesses he’s ever worked for. “It’s a very difficult animal to describe to somebody,” Hamik said. It’s an event producing and community organization; a type of economic ecosystem trying to figure out how all the pieces fit together. Everywhere from cannabis infused yoga, Humboldt’s Om lead by Miksis to the Hummingbird Healing Center a dispensary reopening in McKinleyville lead by Hamik and Gieder.

Gieder has put together a highly qualified consulting team developing a new standard for cultivation which exceeds anything that exists right now. Humboldt Green looks after the environment, livable wages and makes sure people have good jobs. In a way it is like an incubator for people who don’t know what they want to do but leave with a more crystallized vision for themselves or their business.

With 11 years under its belt, Humboldt Green Week continues to bring people together for events that enrich the community. Thousands of dollars in donations continue to support local Non-Profit Organizations. The importance of education through art, music and gardening events is very important to Gieder and his crew.

Gieder stresses that Green Week gives people a moment to get away from daily distractions and enjoy doing good for the environment while having the chance to connect with the community they are helping build. Miksis explains that folks are riding this cannabis culture’s wave into mainstream living. Gieder wants everyone to come along and succeed rather than be on top.

“He genuinely cares,” she says.

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Educational Opportunity Program helps first-generation students

By Alexis Parra
Flapjack staff

The Educational Opportunity Program, more commonly known as EOP, at Humboldt State University has been helping educationally and economically disadvantaged students since 1969. The program helps disadvantaged students succeed during and after college. The EOP house can be found on the Humboldt State University campus in Hadley House 56.

EOP Director, Dan Saveliff, has worked with the program for 35 years after he graduated from Humboldt State. He decided that he wanted to work in the EOP office after he saw how much fun some employees were having on the roof of the Hadley House.

“I wasn’t an EOP student so I didn’t know what this house was,” he said. “I saw people sitting on the roof while I was walking to class and they busted out in laughter and I thought to myself that that looks like a fun place to work.”

Saveliff shared how EOP came about and the full purpose of the program. EOP was created by California lawmakers in 1969 much in the response to the Civil Rights movement in California that was happening at the time.

“Protests were breaking out on college campuses, specifically about the lack of access and inequity of access for under-represented people of color getting into the system,” he said. “EOP was created to provide that access.”

Saveliff believes that the true purpose of EOP is to provide access to the CSU for low-income and first-generation students. The key thing about EOP is to give access to a college-education to students who might not have come if it wasn’t through the help of EOP.

To get into EOP, students need to fill out an application and submit with a letter of recommendation.

Tania Maren, Humboldt State Alumni and EOP Admissions and Summer Bridge Coordinator, reviews applications. Maren worked as a student assistant for EOP for five years, then as an admissions assistant for two years, and has now been a coordinator for one year.

Maren believes that EOP plays a big role in students’ transitions into Humboldt State and relates to that because of the fact that she came to school here from Calexico, California. Her EOP mentor and employers were her support system when she needed one and she values that EOP offers this to all of its students.

“I like to see my students grow,” she said. “Sometimes they’ll be complaining that there is nothing to do here, but other times they are also appreciative that there isn’t much of a distraction for them to go out.”

Maren appreciates the fact that classroom sizes at Humboldt State University are small. This allows students to create a one-on-one relationship with their faculty.

Although Maren has so many favorite memories with EOP, she was able to narrow it down to her top one.

“It was an EOP graduation ceremony,” she said. “I was struggling a lot with my science classes…and I was getting to that point where I wanted to go home.” She had the help from her EOP employer Tracy, and graduated as a communications major. During the EOP graduation ceremony they put out a questionnaire and one of the questions was: “What was that ah-ha moment for you?” Her ah-ha moment was when she fell in love with learning all over again.

Each EOP student is given an advisor to help them transition into the college-life. Each student has to meet with their advisor once a month until their second semester of their second year of college then they move onto their faculty advisor. Even thought they no longer have monthly meetings, their EOP advisor is always there for any help the student needs. EOP advisors start calling their students as soon as the summer before their first semester in college to help with class registration, making sure they have housing, and lots more.

Roger Wang, originally from Los Altos, California and a Humboldt State alumnus, is the EOP advisor for students who major in either arts or humanities. Wang has only been working as an EOP advisor for a year and two months.

“My job as an EOP advisor is to help these first-generation students who come from low-income backgrounds, not only get to college but be successful, and plan for what they want to do after they get their degree,” he said.

Wang believes that the biggest thing EOP has to offer is the fact that there is always someone that is looking out for you even beyond their college career at Humboldt State University.

Something that Saveliff, Maren, and Wang all have in common is that if they could change anything about EOP, it would be that they would have more funding to either give out to EOP students in need of it. EOP has a grant that is only prioritized to first-year students and transfer students. Whatever is left over from that is later dispersed to other EOP students who weren’t prioritized. At the moment the most a student will get from the grant is $1,000 and they hope to raise that number along with helping more students.

 

 

HSU students compete for off-campus housing

By Skye Hopkins
Flapjack staff

Finding off campus housing is not an easy task in any college town, especially for freshman whom have never had to go through a process like this one. Most students want to live off campus after their first year, however some are not ready and prefer to stay on campus. Several housing fairs provide useful tools for students looking to move out on their own; but unfortunately some just get luckier than others.

“We saw the post 20 minutes after it was posted, emailed the landlord, went to a showing of the house, and found ourselves signing the lease within five days,” Cheyenne Janger said.

Janger, 19, is a first year student from San Diego who is currently living on campus. Although living on campus is extremely convenient, Janger feels that there are more negatives than positives.

“I had mixed feelings,” Janger said. “It was cool to meet a bunch of new people from different places, but the lack of freedom, privacy, and not knowing how things would turnout with your roommates made things a little stressful.”

Janger didn’t get so lucky with her on campus housing situation, but many would say her off campus housing situation will make up for it. She currently lives in a triple room in one of the eight buildings of HSUs Canyon housing. Being randomly assigned with one or more other students can be exciting and cool until you don’t get along with either of them.

Three students confined to a room smaller than the average one-person bedroom can be very hectic, and for Janger it was. One of her roommates is a slob, and the other does not communicate with her because her sexual preference is not respected. Unfortunately, it has been her yearlong room situation that has put reassurance into her decision about moving on her own next year.

“Growing up!” Janger said. “I am ready to grow up, move off campus, and start the next chapter in my life.”

With plenty of luck, Janger and her three roommates are ready to move into their four bedroom, two bath house this upcoming June. Before looking at places they made sure they covered the grimy details and eventually decided that they all wanted to live together.

Janger and her roommates were very lucky and satisfied with the way things turned out for them. However, this does not happen to everyone. In fact, most students seriously struggle with finding a place to live after their first year. Countless freshman decide to live on campus for another year or end up having to stay on a friends couch until something opens up.

19-year-old Devin Sanders is a freshman majoring in sociology that has decided to live on campus for one more year after having a few discussions with his parents.

“Overall it is just more convenient,” Sanders said. “It is easier for me to get around.”

Living in Humboldt’s freshman housing was not a favorable thing of Sanders but he seemed to have a much better experience than Janger. Although he was lucky enough to only have one roommate whom he never struggled to get along with, he disliked how often he had to share his personal space with so many other students.

“There were so many people,” Sanders said. “And I hated the bathrooms because there was always throw up in them on the weekends.”

With messy bathrooms and problems around hygiene and personal space most would think someone like Sanders preferred off campus housing, but not this year. He is looking back at his freshman living situation as a good experience and a good way to meet new people, but he is definitely ready to move into Humboldt’s upperclassman, more spacious, College Creek Housing.

Both sides of the after first year housing process are reasonable and make sense for different individuals. Not everyone is ready to completely move out on their own, and not everyone wants to move off campus.

Nicki Viso is the Residence Life Coordinator for the Canyon of on campus housing. She overlooks anything and everything that goes on in the Canyon, whether it be good or bad. She has watched several classes transition in and out of on campus housing and plenty of both positive and negative things to say about it.

“The most positive thing I have seen throughout the years,” Viso said. “Is watching all of the students meet new people and broaden their worldviews, especially with everyone being raised differently.”

Although Viso never lived off campus while working at Humboldt State, she has received plenty of information from her colleagues that remain useful for students seeking moving help. She works hands on with plenty of students and after a full school year she is excited to watch those move on into the next part of their life. However, she does believe that there are those few students that may be better off with another year on campus.

“It is just that 5 percent that does whatever they want and they end up wasting their time here along with potentially harming others time here,” Viso said.

Plenty of students stay in on campus housing and even more refuse to do anything but live off campus for the next year.

Although Janger and Sander’s current housing situations differ, they are both fairly fortunate and happy about their homes for next year.

And as far as those still looking for housing or thinking about what they need to do when they look next year, Janger has some advice.

“Remain persistent and keep your eyes open, because most of this process is pure luck,” Janger said.

Wide receiver Jamere Austin joins Jacks for ’17 season

By Skye Hopkins
Flapjack staff

The Lumberjacks newest football recruit Jamere Austin is a 22-year-old junior who traveled up here from SoCal’s San Fernando Valley this Spring Semester. He is majoring in communications at HSU and is beyond excited to play in the 2017 fall season.

“I bought a plane ticket but didn’t know which school I was going to,” Austin said. “I went to the airport and decided to come to Humboldt.”

Humboldt State was not Austin’s first choice when it came to continuing his football career but now that he is here, his positive mindset is helping him make the best of it. He started his college career at Los Angeles Pierce College where he played wide receiver. Considering a handful of the boys were from Austin’s hometown, he was excited to play with familiar faces. On another note, the coach that Austin originally spoke with before joining the Pierce Bulls left before the season even began, leaving several of the players a little confused.

“First season was bad,” Austin said. “We went three and seven.” In other words, they lost three games and won seven.

With Pierce’s reputation of getting several players to higher division football schools, Austin was only ready for the next season. He worked hard during the summer with close to “no off days.” His sophomore year, they ended up going 5 and 5.

“We were a good team,” Austin said. “But things got sad.”

He described his sophomore year as the year that changed his head with football for the better. His views and ideas around the game itself were clearer and his technique sky rocketed. During week 6 of this same year, Austin received his first offer and within a few weeks he was up to 16 Division II offers. He committed to Lindenwood University in Missouri a little after the season ended. Through second semester of sophomore year, Austin received several more offers and ended up recommitting to Southeastern Louisiana, a Division I school. However, the admissions department was on edge about fully signing him in because of a stats class that had to be completed. Unfortunately, he did not end up passing the class. He was lucky enough to get a chance the retake the class, but with no luck his spot was passed on during the annual recruiting process.

“I knew it was time to start back up,” Austin said. “So I wrote a little letter explaining my situation and posted it on social media.”

He picked up roughly ten Division II offers, and with only one week to decide he narrowed it down to Humboldt State and Midwestern State in Texas.

After spontaneously deciding to make the trip to Humboldt, Austin was on campus speaking with Head Coach Rob Smith before he knew it. However, for Austin is seemed like if it was not one thing, it was another. Humboldt’s admission office did not approve his acceptance. It took three weeks for Humboldt’s administration and coaching staff to inform Austin that he would not be able to continue his classes for the 2016 Fall Semester.

With yet another detour, Austin began to feel extremely discouraged. He was already settled in to the small town, the positive energies of HSUs campus, and the welcoming manners from his teammates and coaches. Having to start over or even take a few steps back once again was not on his agenda.

“Honestly, I started crying,” Austin said. “It just didn’t make sense. They told me I could come here, so I came. And then just like that, I had to go back home.”

Austin’s roommate, Johnathon Charles, was not too happy about his denial either. They had just moved into their two-bedroom house on P Street in Arcata. Charles could no longer look forward to playing his third college football season with his old friend Jamere Austin.

“Man was I bummed out,” Charles said. “My boy had to go all the way back home with no football in sight and I was stuck in a two-bedroom house with no Jamere.”

Through those first few discouraging weeks spent back in the San Fernando Valley, Austin altered his focus and began to work rather than practice.

“I was on a grind,” Austin said. “A money grind. But in the back of my head I still saw Humboldt.”

Austin was not ready to only work and not play. He attended the Jacks away game against Azusa Pacific in September and kept in touch with the coaches, especially the wide receiver coach Nick Williams. Ex-roommate Joc was extremely happy about seeing Austin at a 2016 season game.

With more time off and room to improve, Austin continued to work and picked up a few more offers. The same day he was offered by Division I Double A School Southern Illinois, he received a call from Humboldt State.

“When are you coming back?” Humboldt’s football staff asked.

Austin was stuck between another warming welcome from Humboldt and a Division I offer from Southern Illinois. He knew the recruiting process would be long with Illinois but he wasn’t sure if Humboldt would let him in again. He had less than a week to make a decision and after making a list of the pros and cons, Austin sent his letter of intent to Humboldt State University.

“Everything was right,” Austin said. “Not too much trouble to get into. I knew it was a small spot where I could focus and get things done.”

With over two years of ups and downs through the recruiting process, Jamere Austin was proud to announce his commitment to Humboldt State with excitement to play in the 2017 fall season.

Wide receiver coach Nick Williams was thrilled about the newest addition to their offensive team. Several Jack coaches witnessed Austin’s passion and motivation for football and did not want to miss the opportunity of having him on the team.

“We really wanted Jamere,” Coach Williams said. “We needed him to be here.”

Austin has been able to continue his football and academic career at Humboldt during the Spring Semester and will be returning with enthusiasm for the upcoming Fall Semester. He has been maintaining good grades as well as working hard in hopes of keeping his vibrant presence as a player of the Lumberjacks. He is expected to do extremely well during this upcoming season and several classmates, professors, and family members are excited to see how far he has come and what he has to bring to the table.

“Jamere brings a great energy to not just the wide receiver group, but the team as a whole,” Williams said. “He is a natural football player and his foot is always on the gas. I like that he is just so excited to be here. He physically, mentally, and emotionally puts everything into anything he does.”

Survivors ‘Take Back the Night,’ sharing truths of sexualized violence

By Dajonea Robinson
Flapjack Staff

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Ravin Craig, health educator at Humboldt State University, feels that the power of surviving is different for everyone because. Not everyone will feel like a survivor when it comes to sexualized violence. “Survivor” was not a label that Craig used for a long time. It wasn’t until she was much older until she heard that word.

“When I first heard it, I rejected that word completely,” Craig said. “Later the word survivor became to mean a lot to me. I think it’s really powerful to claim that this didn’t beat me, it didn’t stop me from existing it and didn’t stop me from moving on. There’s a lot of power in surviving but it’s not the only way.”

It’s a personal choice to tell one’s truth but if whomever chooses to can it can be incredibly powerful.

Take Back the Night 2017 is a week of events to bring awareness to sexualized violence as it’s meant empower survivors as is dismantles the cycle of abuse among survivors; whether it be female, male, trans or non gender conforming people. Take Back the Night week gives survivors a platform to reclaim self worth as one reclaim control of their life. It allows survivors of sexual assault to feel supported as they stand in solidarity with their allies. Take back the night week is a time where education and deconstruction of internalized culture happens s resistance flourishes.

“The first time I went to Take Back the Night I heard other people talk about things that also happened to me and say them out loud,” Craig said. “It was something that nobody talked about at all, and I couldn’t understand what was happening. I went to Take Back the Night by accident the first time. It is incredibly powerful to be able to have a space where you can say something that you have had your whole life that you couldn’t talk about before. To then have people there to listen and hear you, be compassionate and not judge you based off [your story], for me it was instrumental to my survivorship.”

Craig was not sure why she chose to share her truth at the “Survivor’s Speak Out” of Take Back the Night. 

“ I was so emotional and so heartbroken that I  felt that I was going to explode if I didn’t say something at that point,” Craig said. “The first time I talked at TBTN it was similar and I kind of hoped to help other people who were like me. [I spoke up] so they can know that there is somebody else like them walking around on campus. Now as a staff member who is not a student I really feel that way.”

Craig believes that it is important to have people in faculty and staff positions who are also survivors of sexualized violence. Not saying that people should be survivors but, mainly representation is important.

Craig says she doesn’t know where her courage came from to speak against her injustices during TBTN.

“I don’t know about the word courage because, mostly I’m terrified especially when I’m talking about it,” Craig said. “Maybe it’s courageous to do something even though you’re scared. It’s really hard for me to identify with the word courageous but mostly I try to do what I can. Sometimes things come out wrong and sometimes they come out well. I think for me, my family [is my] point of courage, my community and myself as I get to know myself.”

Craig believes that reclaiming one’s strength can come in many ways. It’s all about education, and doing the work to resist rape culture through changing people’s minds. Craig does this by telling her story out loud as often as she can. She believes that this courageous act can be reclaiming and extremely empowering.

“I think that for survivors it’s okay to have your survivorship be the way that it is,” Craig said. “It doesn’t have to be the way that other people exist. Your story and your experience is your experience and it doesn’t have to be anyone else’s. So don’t let anyone tell you that you have to forgive, and don’t let anybody tell you you have to be angry. You don’t have to be a certain way or at a certain stage. Get help if you need it because there are people who are willing to support you.”

Oceana Madrone, artist for the Arcata Artisans Gallery believes  that it is important to share your story because  when someone keeps a secret they’re isolated and alone. That isolation and that secrecy keeps the alone. when they start to tell their story they realize that they’re not alone. Madrone also has confidence that it is also an important part of the healing process because, it’s the beginning of the healing process.

“I wanted  to offer a ray of hope to other survivors who are at the beginning of their healing journey,” Madrone said. “I could feel the pain and the feeling of being hopeless as though it’s always going to be this way. Because, I’m older I’ve had so many years to work on my healing process and I know that it is possible and it is so worth it. I’ve gone from hating myself to liking myself and everybody should like themselves. (Insert warm chuckle). I’ve gone from feeling unloved and unlovable to being cared for, and that is a feeling that everyone should be able to experience. When you don’t love yourself you don’t really believe that everyone else should love you, even if they do you don’t believe that you should because you don’t love yourself.”

Madrone says that allies must offer support and try not to take over the healing process for somebody else. Allies can offer love and support while they do it for themselves. Madrone resists by telling her story and by going to counseling for many years.

“I found my voice through art by making quilts, gals and beadwork,” Madrone said. “ I found my voice through that and I could share [it] with other people that also can be helped with my healing process.”

Madrone also found her voice  by finding people  who believed her and gave their full support without questioning her.  There’s a lot about victim blaming without actually hearing the victim. Madrone thinks that everyone can end sexualized violence by standing together and  not accepting rape culture as a normal standard. To resist and boycott movies and books that involves sexualized violence. Yet most importantly,

“[We must] hold the people who do [sexualized crimes] accountable, it takes the community to do that. We can’t expect a survivor to do it alone.”

Paula Arrowsmith-Jones, community outreach facilitator and campus advocate for North County Rape Crisis Team, said that the power of surviving can be regaining of some sense of control. This can be done by survivors making their own decisions of how to move forward. It’s also important to have their choices respected because it is their choice.

“Sharing of truth and being believed is important for some people at Take Back The Night,” Arrowsmith-Jones said.” “It can be more private for some people, the thread of it all is being listened to and believed. They do not have to speak out it is their decision. No one asks and no one deserves to be hurt. Survivors are often blamed for their assault. So anyone must not pass any  judgement of any choices the survivor made because, that was the best choice for them at the time. The beauty of working at the Rape Crisis Center is being able to witness the healing of survivors as they manifest their own future because, healing is possible.”

Resources:

North Coast Rape Crisis 24 Hour Hotlines

Del Norte:(707) 465-2851

Humboldt: (707) 445-2881

 

HSU Women’s Resource Center

Office Phone: (707) 826-4216

Email: hsuwomeen@gmail.com