Laura Bush visits De Anza

With ongoing budget cuts that are affecting schools nationwide, former First Lady Laura Bush addressed issues regarding education, along with topics involving global affairs as part of the 2009-2010 Celebrity Forum.

Prior to her arrival, traffic around the Flint Center backed up as buses dropped off attendees and motorists entered the Flint Center garage. Some tried to get a quick glimpse of. Bush at the side entrance.

The event may have had an open atmosphere, but security was tighten around the Flint Center.

Secret Service agents patrolled inside, the district police had uniformed and plain clothes officers on duty and the CHP patrolled the area with bomb sniffing dogs.

Dr. Richard Henning, founder of the Celebrity Forum, started the event by presenting the list of speakers available for the next season, then gave a small speech about Bush and her achievements before introducing her to the audience.

Mrs. Bush began the event with a joke and a bobble head of herself then.

She told a brief story about how her family is doing after leaving the White House. She gave support for the Clinton/Bush Haiti fund along with Bill Clinton’s work in Haiti.

With a variety of issues affecting the world, Bush focused on the importance of encouraging literacy in America along with the struggle of women’s rights around the world that she witnessed during her time as first lady.

“I believe every child should be able to read as literacy is the foundation of democracy,” said Bush.

This was followed by her appeal to bring awareness to the understanding of breast cancer, along with awareness of the risk of heart disease among women. “Breast cancers do not respect borders and neither should we when fighting it,” said Bush.

She told about her personal experience during the Sept. 11 attack and how the events of the tragedy impacted her. She spoke about the shock she endured by the attack and the calmness she witnessed in Sen. Ted Kennedy.

“I woke up on Sept. 12 to a new life,” said Bush. “I was no longer addressing literacy but condemning the brutality of the Taliban.”

She also spoke about the variety of criticism George W. Bush received when he was in office, but despite personal feelings she referred to them as the “clanking gears of democracy.”

Bush concluded her speech by discussing the upcoming Bush Foundation that she is working on. After the discussion, audience members submitted questions to be asked by Henning.

Several questions were presented regarding her viewpoints about the Obama administration, her confidence in Sarah Palin and comments made by Dick Cheney. She kept the response mutual and respectful. “Anyone who wants to be president should try it,” said Bush on her thoughts about Palin.

The discussion ended with a standing ovation from the audience while Bush walked of stage to attend a private function at the California History Center.

“She had a compelling story that was well written and well delivered,” said Gene Plevyak, an audience member. “She was so articulate and cleverly avoided political commentary.”

Written for La Voz Weekly
Original Article: Laura Bush visits De Anza


Student sexually harassed inside Learning Center

An unknown male caused a disturbance in the Learning Center last Wednesday by committing a sexual act of indecent exposure in front of a student.

According to the police and a witness, David Bryars, the incident began when an older man was looking at a female student for an extended period of time on the south side of the first floor. The student was disturbed and she gathered her belongings and left. As she walked by the man, she noticed that the man was masturbating.

The student notified Bryars at the front desk, who then called the police at 7:10 p.m.

The man was seen a few times trying to find an alternate escape route on the second floor before slipping out through an emergency exit on the first floor.

“It was a discomfiting thing because of the utter lack of regard for everyone involved,” said Bryars.

Foothill-De Anza Campus Police Officer Jeff Meade and Officer J.R. Dorcak responded to the incident at 7:12 p.m. The officers searched the area but were unable to locate the suspect.

As a standard practice for all victims for sex crimes, the student was offered a referral by the officers to see a counselor.

The suspect has been described as a white male in his fifties who is about six feet, 200 lbs. with short gray hair and balding on top. He was last seen wearing a light blue short sleeve shirt and light blue denim pants. It’s unknown if he is a student or has been caught doing similar acts before.

“Our officers are actively investigating this case and pursuing several leads. We hope to identify a suspect based on witness descriptions and statements,” said Ron Levine, Chief of the Foothill-De Anza Campus Police.

The investigation is ongoing, but despite the nature of the crime, such incidents rarely happen on campus. According to police data, on average, an act of indecent exposure happens between once to twice a year in a five-year period.

Published for La Voz Weekly
Original Link: Student sexually harassed inside Learning Center

Chase on campus ends in arrest

The officer yelled, “Stop!” but the man in black kept running.

Students watched silently and without expression as Foothill-De Anza police officer Manuel Respicio, dressed in a brown khaki uniform, ran fast and close behind the fleeing man. The two men darted through groups of students huddled to smoke at the front of De Anza College. Just as soon as they passed, those same students were using their cell phones to call their friends and tell them what had happened, even as they continued to watch the chase speed across Parking Lot A.

“He just ran right past me, like, pushing me aside,” said one student into her cell phone after the two men ran past. “They’re still chasing him, too!”

Many lost sight of the two running men, but at the far end of Parking Lot A near the north entrance to Stevens Creek Boulevard, another officer who had heard of the pursuit on his radio stood waiting. As the fleeing man approached, the officer drew his weapon and moved in to apprehend him. The confusion, the flash pursuit, the adrenaline rush that had started just minutes prior ended just as abruptly at 10:54 a.m. Wednesday.

Officers on the scene breathed heavily in the calm that followed the chaotic pursuit. They had a wanted man in custody. Roozbeh “Rooz” Enayati, a 28-year-old De Anza student, had two outstanding warrants out for his arrest; one in San Mateo County for failing to appear in court on charges of domestic violence, and the other in Santa Clara County for violating his probation.

Several campus and county police units responded to the back up call, and Enayati was placed under arrest at 11:11 a.m. The police searched his person as well as his backpack before locking both inside a Foothill-De Anza police car. Campus police delivered Enayati to Santa Clara County Jail, where he is being held until he can appear on trial.

Interim Director of Campus Safety and Security Bob Cancilla was one of the first officers to respond to the call for back up. “I was very impressed with the other officers’ handling of the situation,” he said. “It was all done very professionally. Our job is to make this a safe environment for the students and faculty, and I feel we have accomplished that today.”

According to the Belmont, Calif., police department, Enayati was arrested July 18, 2006, in Belmont in San Mateo County on a “Battery On Spouse, Cohabitant, Or Former Spouse” charge.

Campus police first received word Tuesday from San Mateo County of the bench warrant that had been issued for the De Anza student’s arrest. The police used his schedule of classes to determine his location Wednesday morning.

At 10:30 a.m., Enayati was attending a journalism class on news writing in room L-42. Two officers, one in a tan uniform and the other in plain clothes, approached the L4 building where Enayati waited unsuspecting.

The plain-clothes officer entered the classroom and, standing near the doorway, asked if Enayati would step outside to speak with him.

“It was probably about ten minutes into class,” said Aiselle De Vera, also a student in the news writing class. “He got up and went towards the door and they just left. The whole class kinda looked as they left. We didn’t know what happened after that because Rooz never came back.”

Once outside the classroom, the plain-clothes officer attempted to speak with him when Enayati, possibly spotting the uniformed officer, turned and fled toward the parking lot.

The officer in uniform, Respicio, followed closely behind while calling into his radio for back up. Units from the Foothill-De Anza police department and Santa Clara County responded to the call, and the North end of campus was soon flanked by several police cars and vans. Campus police were informed of the second arrest warrant after Enayati was apprehended.

“He seemed pretty normal,” said De Vera about Enayati. “He’d talk about homework, like what’s the answer to this question, or what did you do over the weekend or what classes are you taking. He never really said anything about himself personally.”

Co-written with Shawn McGann
Written for La Voz Weekly
Original Article:  Chase on campus ends in arrest

Christian Preacher Spreads the Word

The warm afternoon of Wednesday, May 14 started as a joyous occasion for the De Anza College club Jews, Israelis and Friends, as members and officers celebrated the 60th anniversary of Israel’s establishment with chocolate and drinks.

For the De Anza Naqba Committee it was a time for managing a table with information against Israeli occupation of Palestine.

For local street preacher Mark Trout, however, it was a ripe opportunity to spread the message of Jesus Christ to both groups.

Trout first tried to spread his message to the Jews, Isralis and Friends Club “Israel@60” event booth. He read verses from the Bible about Jews to students and interpreted them in a manner that many who were present considered anti-Semitic. Trout then engaged in an argument with Yevgeniy Spektor, the DJ for the event, before being taken aside by two Foothill-De Anza Community College District Police officers and given a warning to stop.

Moving on to the Naqba Committee table, Trout projected his views about Islam, referring to the Muslim prophet Muhammad as a rapist and a pedophile.

A Muslim student, who wishes to remain unnamed, was walking to his class when he overheard the remarks. He felt so outraged that he shoved him in anger.

“I was defending my religion,” said the offended student.

Until police rushed in to quell the situation, Naqba committee members and other students held back both the offended student and Trout to prevent the violence from escalating.

“I resent Mark Trout’s demeaning comments toward women, homosexuals and communists,” said Stefan Hird, De Anza student.

Trout’s sermonizing offended many students in the area, who found him too aggressive.

“You don’t go to college to change your religion,” said DJ Spektor. “You go to learn.”

Police escorted Trout to the Administration Building, where Robert Griffin, vice president of Student Services and Institutional Research, questioned him. Another officer escorted the student to a patrol car near the Sunken Garden for questioning.

Trout was not charged with any crime but has the option to file an assault charge against the student who pushed him. Police told Trout it would be in his best interest to stay off the campus to avoid future problems.

Because Trout remained in the Free Speech Zone, which exists inside of the Hinson Campus Center patio on campus, he is entitled to say what he wants, police said. Yet many who were present said he was far outside of the zone, in which case administrators and campus police have the power to place a restraining order on him, banning him from campus grounds for disturbing the peace.

The Free Speech Zone was developed for students and guest organizations to practice free speech without disturbing the college’s learning environment. It was established after a lawsuit by an anti-abortion group a few years ago.

Acording to Police Chief Ron Levine, Trout is no stranger to De Anza or other institutions of higher learning in the Bay Area, as he has been known to give sermons on other campuses. In 2005, San Jose State University Police detained Trout for 15 minutes after a confrontation with one student.

Trout said he works for Steamers, a carpet-cleaning service, and is often seen preaching in his blue-collar cleaning uniform on weekday afternoons in and around the Hinson Campus Center. If anyone wants to reach him, he said, “Just call Steamer’s and ask for me.”

Written For La Voz Weekly
Original Article: Christian Preacher Spreads the Word

Multiple collisions on Stevens Creek

Not one, not two, but three cars collided next to De Anza College on Stevens Creek Boulevard last Wednesday, holding up traffic and drawing an array of emergency personnel to the scene.

The accident began at 10:28 a.m. when Earin Aao, driving a white Acura MDX, failed to stop her vehicle when traffic backed up and crashed straight into a white Mercedes Benz CZ30. The Mercedes then drove into the back of a black BMW 740 IL, driven by Pete Palmer, whose mother was in the passenger seat. The driver of the Mercedes Benz, Linda, did not provide her last name.

Foothill-De Anza Police officers were the first to respond to the accident. By 10:35 a.m. the Santa Clara Fire Department, Santa Clara Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol and paramedics had arrived to assess the damage.

Aao was the only driver with injuries; she asked for an ice pack for her sprained hand. The other two drivers and the passenger had no injuries but were startled by the crash, they said.

Both the Acura and the Mercedes sustained major frontal damage at the impact point and were leaking fluid from their engines. The BMW, by contrast, experienced only minor rear-end damage. Palmer estimated that it will cost him $10,000 to repair his car.

At 10:40 a.m., the cars were moved to the side of the road in order to clear room for traffic, and campus police, paramedics and fire department personnel were dismissed from the scene so that sheriff’s deputies could conduct a short investigation led by Deputy Leo Gonzales.

According to one of the deputies, Aao was driving at an unsafe speed, so when traffic backed up, she could not slow down fast enough to avoid the car in front of her,.

“Anticipate that there is a lot of traffic and you need to be prepared to stop,” said Sherrif’s Deputy Steve Grisent, as advice to drivers on how to avoid accidents.

While the BMW remained in driving condition, a tow truck and a flatbed arrived at 11:05 a.m. for the Acura and Mercedes.

Traffic violations and accidents have been on the rise recently in the area surrounding the De Anza College campus, and the city of Cupertino has requested that the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Department crack down on violators.

Since Feb. 18, sheriff’s deputies have been stationed at random intersections near campus where they have been ticketing drivers who violate traffic laws.

Published for La Voz Weekly
Original Link: Multiple collisions on Stevens Creek

Car comes ablaze in De Anza Parking Lot

She thought she had a hot car, but in fact, it was smoking. On Wednesday morning, Feb. 27, Chloe Barrera turned the ignition of her car, a ’97 Honda Accord. It caught on fire, cracking the windshield and damaging most of the front seat. Nobody was hurt.

Barrera saw smoke coming out of the radio and exited the car immediately. Carlos Murillo, a first year student, saw the flames and attempted to put out the fire with his backpack. When that didn’t work, Murillo ran to nearby classroom for a fire extinguisher.

Several passersby scrambled for containers of water, but were unsuccessful in putting out the fire. Finally, Murillo killed it with the fire extinguisher.

The Santa Clara Fire Department and the Foothill-De Anza Police arrived at the scene at about 10:30 a.m.

According to Captain Gil Smith of the Santa Clara Fire Department, the car fire was likely caused by an electrical problem. If unabated, the fire could have spread to other cars, were it not for the actions of Murillo, Smith said.

After firefighters inspected the vehicle, Barrera was able to safely retrieve her backpack and laptop from her car.

A student observer, Jessica Borja, offered to hold Barrera’s possessions in her own car and to give her a ride home.

Another offered Barrera his cell phone. Barrera called her mother, who arrived at the scene promptly.

As a precaution, the car had to be hosed down to ensure that the fire had been put out. The car was towed out of the De Anza parking lot at about 1:20 p.m.

Published for La Voz Weekly
Original Link: Car comes ablaze in De Anza Parking Lot

Police crack down on DA drivers

Students are paying less attention to their surroundings while driving, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputies said three weeks ago, when a large number of them were cracking down on student violators on Stelling Road.

Two weeks ago, officers responded to three accidents, and on Tuesday another accident occurred involving a bicyclist, said officers. This does not include accidents that go unreported in which drivers simply exchange insurance information.

The recent rise in traffic accidents in the De Anza area prompted the large officer turnout, where, at times, up to five police cars were lined up on the side of the road across from De Anza College’s east entrance at times.

Common causes of accidents are driving in a hurry, inattentiveness and following the car ahead too closely. It has been common for deputies to stop four cars at once for passing the same red light.

The sheriff’s department stationed the deputies at random intersections around De Anza College at various times from Monday through Thursday at the request of the City of Cupertino and plans to continue until the traffic situation improves.

In one 20-minute period, five motorists were stopped for turning on a red light at the intersection of S. Stelling Blvd. and the east entrance to De Anza.

Nora Allen, a Political Science major, was among the drivers stopped. Allen admitted to the deputy that she had simply followed the driver in front of her, who had turned left at the red light.

Another common traffic violation in the area is drivers who don’t just run a red light, but speed while doing so. Such drivers are more likely to cause accidents and their actions cause about one accident a day, said a Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputy.

Other drivers do not watch out for pedestrians who are crossing the street. When turning at an intersection, a driver needs to be aware that pedestrians always have the right of way, so he needs to stop until they have crossed the street.

The deputies ask drivers to be aware of their surroundings and obey traffic laws, regardless of what the car ahead of them is doing. Students need to do their part in reducing traffic violations by coming to school early and being patient when driving, they said.

Published for La Voz Weekly
Original Link: Police crack down on DA drivers

The Party . . .

Shirtless and with a black star painted on his face in homage to the rock band Kiss, Levi Rosenthal jumped into the fountain in the middle of the Main Quad during his performance at Club Day.

“The one thing I want the clubs and students at De Anza to remember me by is my quote of have fun and in doing so you truly get to live life,” said Levi.

Despite delays and bad weather, De Anza College held its Club Day on Thursday Jan. 31, where many of the clubs came out to show their style while recruiting new members.

Originally scheduled for Jan. 24, Club Day was changed because of bad weather. Despite the cold and momentary showers on the new date, the event was something not to be missed.

There were a variety of clubs that focused on every thing from sports and academics to religion, business, social activism and cultural heritage.

Clubs representing cultural heritage were out in full force. The Vietnamese Student Association, Jews, Israelis and Friends and the Casa De Macau are clubs open to everyone interested in and wishing to better understand other cultures.

Business clubs exist as a way to attract students interested in understanding the economy and the stock market. “If you wanna be rich join our club,” said Robby Roekman, member of the De Anza Stock Trader.

The event began at 11 a.m. with most of the clubs displaying pictures of past events, books, pamphlets and awards that they had received. Some of the clubs displayed items that were related to their theme or their cultural heritage.

Clubs also pulled out some team spirit and entertained students throughout the day. The Disabled Students Unlimited demonstrated their singing talents with members belting out a few songs, including Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ In The Wind”.

The De Anza Cheer and Dance Team displayed dancing skill and cheer sprit. “Life is a dance”, said Katya Barrows, member of the De Anza Cheer and Dance Team.

The De Anza Tae Kwon Do Club put their martial arts skills on display in a two-part performance. First, members simulated a street brawl to a crowd of on-lookers. Then, in the second part of their performance, members kicked through sets of wooden boards.

In their grand finale, one member kicked through several boards being held by two other Tae Kwon Do Club members.

Despite high expectations, the Vietnamese Students Association was unable to perform their Dragon Dance at this Club Day because they could not find a member who qualified to be the head.

Not all the performances were by clubs, though. The Inter Club Council held a limbo contest open to every one, awarding a prize of $5 to the winner. Several club members from De Anza Tae Kwon Do, Circle K, Cheer, VSA, and the whales from WISE 37 attempted to show their limbo skills.

It was after Rosenthal’s performance that the event came to an end and by 1:30 all that was once club day had been cleaned up.

Published for La Voz Weekly
Website: The Party…

Tagged: police, admin fight graffiti on campus

While some students at De Anza College try to improve the image of the school, others have been doing the opposite by vandalizing the campus.

Graffiti has been tagged around campus, including many of the campus maps, along with the bathroom stalls and areas around the football field. Graffiti not only concerns the school administration but also the student body.

“It shows a lack of school appreciation,” said Jerry Cruz, 19, a De Anza student. “It’s an abuse of student privilege.”

The custodial staff has been cleaning the graffiti and vandalism at De Anza. Every night at 10 p.m., the custodians arrive and begin their job of cleaning the campus.

“Once it has been reported, we immediately go after it”, said Manuel Mendoza, 49, director of custodial services.

The custodians have to clean the graffiti quickly after it has been spotted because the longer it is allowed to sit, the harder it becomes to remove.

Among the many custodians, Paul Buxton has assembled a special kit to clean up graffiti. Buxton’s kit contains special tools and chemicals that are used to remove graffiti.

Vandalism is not only a mess to clean up. It’s also a crime and the police are forced to become involved. The Foothill-De Anza Police have been trying to crack down on vandalism, especially if the graffiti is gang related or contains any possible or blatant racial slurs.

Police Chief Ronald Levine has said that while graffiti is not on the rise, it is a major problem on campus. Despite the police’s best efforts to fight vandalism, no one has been arrested yet on charges of defacing college property.

Students themselves can also help by reporting on vandals or report any graffiti as soon as possible to the campus police.

Published for La Voz Weekly
Original Link: Tagged: police, admin fight graffiti on campus