Review: Ambrosia Restaurant opens across from campus

By Leslie Lee

The new Ambrosia Restuarant across from the Learning Center on College Avenue offers students, faculty, staff and the community an exciting  menu that features a combination of California and Italian cuisine.

The new Ambrosia Restaurant across from the Learning Center on College Avenue offers students, faculty, staff and the community an exciting menu that features a combination of California and Italian cuisine.

It is 2:15 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon. The smell of tomato sauce and yeast fills Ambrosia restaurant. Owner Mark Lesley jumps from the kitchen to the bar counter, answering the phone, writing down orders, and calling out to his staff, who bustle around the kitchen, chopping and stirring that night’s culinary creations from scratch. Four loaves of bread crown the kitchen counter, cooling in the late afternoon light.

We sit in tall, wooden bar stools over a small round table that’s covered with a white table cloth and white paper. Long lamps hang from the high ceilings, casting a mellow golden light over the bar’s copper patina counter top, cozy leather booths, and the green-charcoal walls with poinsettia-red trim. 1930s-era Italian and French posters adorn the walls.

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Academic Center slated for completion in Summer 2015

By Max Wolf-Johnson

Just when it appeared as though construction of the Academic Center would never take off, steel beams went up seemingly overnight.

Just when it appeared as though construction of the Academic Center would never take off, steel beams went up seemingly overnight.

Another academic semester begins at College of Marin, and the school’s seemingly unending “modernization project” continues. For returning students the sight of neon-vested workers in hard hats and the sound of shrill beeping have become part of the campus’ backdrop. These minimal distractions, however, are the price to pay for the 17 state-of-the-art-classrooms that students will be able to enjoy once the new academic center finishes construction.

Additionally, once the project is completed, students will no longer need to fear registering for a class potentially taught in one of the portable bungalows. The building is scheduled to be opened for use at the start of the 2015 Summer semester, and at its current stage it is estimated to be 20 percent complete.

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Campus kidnapper still at large

By R.J. Heckelman

An unidentified person kidnapped and sexually assaulted a COM student at gunpoint.

An unidentified person kidnapped and sexually assaulted a COM student at gunpoint.

It’s been almost three weeks since a student was allegedly kidnapped at gunpoint, forced to drive to another location, and sexually assaulted. So far there have been no new leads or arrests in the case. The incident, which occurred at 8:15 Thursday night, January 23rd in the gravel parking lot, behind the portable village, remains a mystery.

A man reportedly was waiting for the student in the back seat of his car. After the student entered the vehicle, the assailant informed him that he had a gun, and forced him to drive to a remote location in Tam Valley.
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Health Center offers students free flu shots

By R.J. Heckelman

Students can get a flu shot through the College Health Center on either the Kentfield or Indian Valley campuses at various times during the week.

Students can get a flu shot through the College Health Center on either the Kentfield or Indian Valley campuses at various times during the week.

In the Bay Area alone, 16 people have reportedly died from this season’s, H1N1, or “Swine Flu.” One of the victims, a resident of Santa Rosa, was only 23 years old. According to the San Jose Mercury News, the man’s family said that he was not properly diagnosed with the H1N1 virus until it was too late to save his life.

The victim, Matthew Walker, was admitted to Kaiser Permanente hospital in Santa Rosa after he claimed to have difficulty breathing on Friday, December 27. The previous day he had been incorrectly diagnosed with pneumonia. After a few days his condition worsened, and doctors were forced to put him in a medically induced coma. Five days after he was admitted to Kaiser, Walker died.

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Spring Break moves to February

By Chandra Smith

With Spring Break pushed back to February, students next fall will be forced to rethink their vacation plans.  A wardrobe change may be in order.

With Spring Break pushed back to February, students next Spring will be forced to rethink their vacation plans. A wardrobe change may be in order.

College of Marin students will soak up the Spring Break sun for the last time this April. Starting next year, COM will be doing away with the week-long break in April. Instead, students and faculty will be joining Marin’s schoolchildren and high schools, and taking off for what traditionally has been called “Ski Week.”

Additionally, the winter recess will be extended by a week, giving students four full weeks away from school, testing, and classes. Students are ambivalent about the subsequent short time between vacations, to be implemented in January and February of 2015.
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Update for January 15

Hello and welcome to the new year at College of Marin! Our new staff  is working hard to get you all the latest COM news. Our first issue should be printed by early February. We’d also like to announce that the Echo Times is currently recruiting any photographers interested in contributing to the paper (not to mention getting some awesome resume credit). And as always new writers are welcome to join, whether or not you’re enrolled in the news writing class!

Check back with us soon, we have some good articles planned for the new semester.

Site update for December 18

Happy holidays! The Echo Times has finished its last issue for the semester, which is now available on stands around campus. Check out our new articles which feature former reporter Michael Dougan’s stories of his days as a journalist, a touching story about a Samoan student’s return to his family roots, the worrisome future of the Media Center, and a write-up on the jazz ensemble’s recent gig with the Tommy Igoe Big Bad. For a little holiday commentary, Managing Editor Nash Kurilko has written about the controversy surrounding Christmas and its roots. Also featured is a write-up on COM’s latest production of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest,” plus the recent ups and downs of our women’s basketball team.

It’s been a great semester and everyone on our team has done a fantastic job. Once our new staff is formed for the Spring semester, the first issue should be out during February. Meanwhile, we invite you to join our team of editors, photographers and writers next semester. Sign up for JOUN 115 and JOUN 122 at www.marin.edu. We’ll see you then!

COM jazz ensemble hosts Tommy Igoe’s Big Band

By R.J. Heckelman

A saxophonist in Tommy Igoe’s Big Band, who played at COM earlier this month.

A saxophonist in Tommy Igoe’s Big Band, who played at COM earlier this month.

The College of Marin jazz ensemble played their final show of the semester on December 5, in the James Dunn Theatre. The concert was opened by some little guests from Mill Valley Middle School, directed by COM Jazz instructor Cayce Carnahan.

The Jazz Band was backed by the Tommy Igoe Big Band, a nationally revered ensemble which included special guests like the former guitarist for Steely Dan, Drew Zingg.

The College band portion of the concert started with the slower jazz tune, “Lester Leaps In,” followed by a trumpet solo-led song, “Boy Meets Horn,” which featured COM jazz student Phil Lieb on trumpet.
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What will happen to the media center?

By Brady Meyring

Nancy Kutcher, who runs the Media Center, is set to retire by the end of the month. Her absence leaves some uncertainty about the Media Center’s immediate future.

Nancy Kutcher, who runs the Media Center, is set to retire by the end of the month. Her absence leaves some uncertainty about the Media Center’s immediate future.

When speaking about her 15-year career at the College of Marin, Nancy Kutcher’s passion for helping students is clearly evident. What is unclear is exactly what will happen to the Media Center after she leaves. She is set to retire on December 31st of this year. According to VP of Student Services, Jonathan Eldridge, “[Kutcher’s] position will not be filled, at least not in the short term.” The most likely scenario is that the Media Center computers and other resources will be moved into the library.

Eldridge says that the process of moving the Media Center, if it goes through, will not be completed by the start of Spring semester but should be done soon thereafter.

The Media Center, on the top floor of the Learning Center Building, offers 18 computers networked to printers for student use. Many of these computers are loaded with specialized software that students need for certain classes. In addition, teachers often place DVDs and other media on reserve in the Center for students to access. Kutcher is present to manage the Center and help students troubleshoot issues with the Microsoft Office suite, printers and other equipment.
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The faux ‘War on Christmas’

By Nash Kurilko

How FOX News and the radical right are co-opting the holidays

The latest argument on FOX News is that Santa is white.

The latest argument on FOX News is that Santa is white.

 

For years now, prominent right-wing politicians and pundits on FOX News have been warning Americans of an insidious left-wing secularist plot to take ‘Christ’ out of Christmas and subvert the holiday into some sort of non-Christian, pagan ritual of gift-giving.

The irony of this right-wing, FOX News propagated controversy, is that Christmas itself has mostly pagan origins, and as a holiday, has already been converted into a celebration of mass consumerism.

Consider the following. The ancient Roman holiday “Saturnalia” – celebrated from the 17th to the 25th – commemorated citizens’ disregard for the laws of the time.

Sometime in the 4th century A.D., Christian leaders converted large numbers of Roman pagans, who were numerous throughout the sprawling empire, by promising that despite whatever huge demands Christianity would have on their daily lives, they would still be able to practice Saturnalia. Only now it would be a one-day holiday on the 25th of December – and not one commemorating lawlessness, but Christ’s birth.

The Christmas tree itself, arguably the most prominent image associated with the holiday, was co-opted as well from other pagan religions, as tree worship was common throughout most of the pagan world.

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