There have been many changes over the years in regards to tobacco use — from the banning of smoking in bars and restaurants to the tobacco free campus campaigns throughout the U.S., including our very own SC4 campus. Some jobs, such as nursing, even require that a person gets screened for tobacco use before they are hired and if they test positive for tobacco then they will be denied the nursing position.
With all of these changes happening many people either want to or have to quit smoking. It can be a very tough challenge to accomplish but it is possible! There are many great resources and different strategies to help a person quit smoking. If you are looking to quit or have already made that decision, here are some tips from smokefree.gov to help you accomplish your goals!
1. Plan a quit date: write a quit date down and place it where you can see it or circle the date on the calendar. Make sure to plan it on a day where you are less likely to run into stressful situations or situations where you will be tempted to smoke.
2. Let the people close to you know you are quitting: it is very important to have support through this process. Letting them know what they can do to help will help you in your journey to quit smoking.
3. Get rid of any reminders: throw away anything that reminds you of smoking such as cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters. Also, get rid of that smoky smell which can also be a trigger for smoking.
4. Why do you want to quit?: Having a reason to quit can help keep a person on track with the ultimate goal of living a tobacco free life. Making a list of reasons why you are quitting can serve as a helpful reminder, especially on those tough days.
5. Know what your triggers are: write down what your triggers are and then come up with ways to either avoid them or overcome the urge to smoke when you are around your triggers. More information about dealing with cravings can be found on www.smokefree.gov/cravings
6. Coping strategies: develop coping strategies that work for you. Some people may try medications such as a nicotine patch, gum or lozenge (though it is advised you speak with your healthcare provider before starting any medications). Counseling in person or over the phone is an option as well as hypnosis, acupuncture, and laser therapy according to www.smokfree.gov/explore-quit-methods.
7. Have a support system: there are many different options for support. One option is a text messaging service called Smokefree TXT. To sign up visit www.smokfree.gov/smokefreetxt. There is also something called Quitlines where you can talk to a counselor over the phone by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Other options would be quit smoking apps, family and friends or support groups.
8. Have a rewards system: give yourself a nice reward such as a movie night or going out to dinner when you have reached a milestone such as one day, one week or one month smoke free.
It is never too late to quit smoking. The benefits are seen after just 20 minutes when your heart rate and blood pressure decrease according to the American Cancer Society. They also state that within 2 weeks to three months the function of your lungs and your circulation improve, within 1 to 9 months you can see a decrease in coughing and shortness of breath, and after 5 years your risk of certain cancers and stroke decrease significantly. To see a list of more benefits of quitting visit www.cancer.org
The choice is yours! It is never too late to quit and there are many different ways to achieve your goal of a tobacco free life. To learn more about quitting visit the American Cancer Society, smokefree.gov, or the American Lung Associations websites, just to name a few! Good luck and best wishes on your journey.
By: Colleen Viger
One of the Roche vandals admits his mistake
Forgiving is harder than holding a grudge. Some hate you for what you did, some forgive you and move on with their lives. At one point in our existence we all do something really stupid we wish we could take back. That’s exactly how one of the Roche Bar vandals describes the choice he made that night.
Smith and a counter-part identified as John Slumpff (still at large) used sludge hammers to blast out windows of the Roche Bar on Quay St. on January 5.
Brian Smith, 30 of Port Huron, was arrested and charged with destruction of private property and has been sentenced to 6 months of probation, along with having to pay restitution and court costs.
Smith says that the torment he feels on the inside is worse than any sentence the judge could’ve handed to him, and is relieved the Judge showed leniency.
“It’s been eating me up,’’ Smith said. “I’m not a bad person, and I want him (Johnny Roche) to know that. I can’t go to the Roche and ask for forgiveness, but I just want him to know I’m sorry. I don’t care what anyone else in Port Huron thinks of me, but I do care what John thinks, and I want him to know that I’m not that kind of person.”
It’s uncommon for criminals to admit what they did, and say “I did it.” In fact, I’ve seen criminals maintain their innocence and only plead guilty because of a crap public defender or fear of heavier sentencing if their case goes to trial. Brian Smith is accepting full responsibility and punishment for the choice he made.
After talking with the man I feel that his remorse is genuine, and ultimately what did this man destroy? A window. Something replaceable. In no way am I condoning what Smith did. I’m simply trying to open people’s minds to the capacitance of forgiveness.
Smith has accepted his punishment, apologized to the owner and currently paying restitution for the broken window. Anyone can say that their sorry for what they’ve done but I feel Smith is trying to show it the best he can.
An analysis on how indie video games are being released
While the majority of the gaming community is up in arms over what Activision is doing wrong on the new releases like “Call of Duty,” a small, but growing number of people are starting to discover the gaming community’s best kept secret: Indie Games.
Or more specifically, Steam Greenlight.
Steam Greenlight is a community based program where users of Steam, a client used for computer based gaming, can vote on what is added the Steam’s market place.
Popular games such as “Five Nights At Freddy’s,” “The Stanley Parable,” “McPixel,” and “continue?9876543210” are all results of the Greenlight project and have quite the following, but what does this mean?
It means that, even though indie games have been around for decades, the fans finally get to have a say directly in the gaming community.
Though games that have been released through this program really haven’t been my cup of tea, it’s interesting to see what fans really want.
I’m very surprised with the quality of games that’s been released and the amount of money that the games have made the creators. Scott Cawthon, the creator of Five Nights at Freddy’s, commented on his games success, “As a game designer there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing people enjoy something you’ve made (and scaring the crap out of them of course.) It’s a simple pleasure in life when you can launch someone out of a chair and it’s all captured on YouTube.”
There have been negative comments about how many games have been pushed out but the majority of the fans have been pleased.
If anyone is interested in any game on Greenlight, just go to www.Steam.com and click on the banner that says Greenlight.
Knowledge is power
Nick “Chico” Hernandez
People of all ages and walks of life flooded SC4 for the 13th annual Free College Day on March 28. The school-wide event taught about 150 classes from their starting time of 8 a.m. to their ending time of 4:30 p.m. including modeling, cooking, accounting, clay working, and even meditation. Paul Mitchell students also provided free manicures in the Student Center.
The classes were spread out between the Fine Arts Building, North Building, and Main Building.
Agnes Malberry, 82 and a retiree of Port Huron, with a smile, said “I sure like this Free Day they’re having. I got to practice my sewing technique, and then learned how to better balance my checkbook. They never let us have this much fun in the home!”
Not everyone was as excited as Malberry, as many spots in classes were filled early due to early registration.
Deshawn Linckon, 35 of Fort Gratiot, found some frustration over not registering early saying, “Man! I didn’t even know they had pre-sign ups. I’m stuck with slim pickings. But shit, it’s free. Can’t argue with that.”
Dan Sterling, 28 of Marysville and a sophomore studying Business at SC4, enjoyed Free College day commenting, “Free College is one the better idea the higher-ups have had. It helps to expose new people to the college of all ages and all up bringings. From a business stand-point, it makes sense. I think all they were missing was a Mixology class.”
Even the cold weather didn’t deter people from attending Free College Day. Michelle Gretrech, 41 of Tampa, Florida, explained how her niece, Sherly Gretrech who attends SC4, told her to sign up while she was up here for a family event. “Even though I had to bundle up in three layers and walk in the ice cold wind, I still had fun. I don’t see this very often in Florida, and I’m glad my niece picked such a nice college to attend.”
SC4 hosts sexual assault awareness, prevention program
On Monday April 20, SC4 will host a sexual assault awareness, prevention, and survival program. According to a letter by Criminal Justice Discipline James Jones, the presentation is in the Fine Arts Theater and starts at 1 p.m. and should last until about 3:30 p.m. Jones noted that the presentation is free and does not require registration.
According to the e-mail sent out by Jones, the presentation will cover topics such as prevention and awareness, laws dealing with sexual assault, date rape drugs, services provided to survivors of sexual assault, and campus security protections.
The agenda and presenters of the event are as follows:
Sexual Assault Awareness and protection by Adrianne Mynsberge
Prosecuting Offenders and Victims’ Rights by Mike Wendling
Information about Date Rape Drugs by James Jones
Sexual Assault Victims Support Services by Chelsea Manning
Safety Services Provided at SC4 by David Rickerman
Jones said that during the presentation, a survivor of sexual assault will also address the audience on her experiences of survival after the assault. The presentation will be followed by a panel to answer questions about the topic.
The event is sponsored by SC4 with help from the Criminal Justice Club and Gay Straight Alliance student clubs.
For more information on this event, contact Jim Jones at (810) 989-5694.
New faces enter office
On Monday, March 30 and Tuesday, March 31, the college center held the St. Clair County Community College student government elections.
Eight candidates ran for the four positions of the Student Government; two for President, three for Vice President, two for Secretary, and one for Treasurer.
With 102 votes cast forth, the winners of the election are President elect Joe LaFontaine, with 65% of the votes and had a 39% overtake of his campaigning opponent Terrence Warner, with 26%. Along with a 23.50% over take by Vice President elect Mark McIntyre against his opponents John Jones and Mairead Warner that both had 22.50% of the votes. For the secretary position, Candice Swinson with 47% claimed victory by a close 5% over take of opponent Bill Kirby, who gained 42% of the votes. Then a last lone campaigner Lila Ali was elected with a 67.50% of the votes.
The newly elected officials will receive scholarships for the upcoming fall semester, the same semester they will take office. The president and Vice President will receive a full scholarship while the secretary and treasurer receive a three-quarter Scholarship.
Joe LaFontaine said that he is looking forward to becoming the new Student Government President and with help from Sherry Artman, Secretary to the Vice President of Student Services; he plans on working on key points for the next semester.
LaFontaine said that some of the plans are to improve communication with the clubs, getting packets to the clubs, and educate them on how to do everything from the event register forms to the minutes, and make sure there is structure.
Patterns Magazine to hold award ceremony
Patterns Magazine, one of SC4’s artistic traditions, will hold the award ceremony to honor the students whose work judges selected to be placed in the magazine.
The 57th annual ceremony will be held in the Fine Arts Building on April 26 at 2 p.m.
“The ceremony is the first night the magazine will be available,” Cliff Johnson, the head of the committee for Patterns, said. “It’s a chance for the students to get their chance on stage, but we will also announce the prize winners for the top works.”
Johnson also explained that the students know that one of their works will be published, but aren’t sure what one it will be.
“We have a physically big magazine this year because of the number of high quality works that were submitted,” Johnson said.
Johnson also said that if any student is interested on entering any art, poetry, essays or pros, to head over to www.sc4.edu/patterns to submit your work as they are already accepting submissions.
More information can be found on the portal or by calling (810) 989-5709.
M&M club invites government officials to a discussion at SC4
On Thursday, April 2, almost 100 people filled the seats of the Fine Arts Theater in order to meet our state’s legislators and ask them questions. The legislators in attendance were Rep. Dan Lauwers, Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, Rep. Paul Muxlow, Sen. Phil Pavlov, and Mike Brownfield.
The free event, hosted by the Marketing and Management club, invited the public to join the dialogue and have their wide range of questions answered by Michigan’s government officials.
Topics brought up during the Q&A varied from the government outlook on the economy, plans to fix the roads, healthcare, and funding for education amongst many other topics. One subject brought up during the Q&A that truly affects students is tuition.
John Lusk, professor of English and Journalism at SC4, asked, “Students here face a tuition raise in the upcoming fall semester. Part of the reason the board explained was lack of funding at appropriate levels by the state. So my question is what’s being done to address that perceived lack or real lack of funding so students don’t face yearly increases?”
Sen. Pavlov responded with, “In 2011, to your point John, we expanded dual enrollment opportunities, so if you’re in this classroom you might’ve been in high school, as low as 9th grade you have an opportunity to test in to take some college credits. Now why is that important? It’s important because we’re able to pay for that college education for those actual credits at the same time we’re paying for the foundation allowance to your traditional public school. So what kids could do is leverage their ability to draw down their college credits at the same time working on their diploma. We also expanded a pretty good expansion into the Middle College program, where we’re allowing, essentially, a grade 13 program so that when you do graduate from high school you have a diploma in one hand and an associate’s in the other. The beautiful part about that is the student wouldn’t have accumulated any personal debt; their speed to degree has increased incredibly. And the other thing is you’re now prepared for the next step in your education. If you decide to use the career certificate plan, you have that available. The last barrier that we have to hurdle is to have universities to accept the credits they have earned without having to go back and take remedial classes. That is an opportunity to cut your education in half.”
Rep. Muxlow added, “Over 25% of enrollment here is dual enrolled or through Middle College. There’s another three-quarters of enrollment that needs help. I think it’s a big step and we’ve been working on it and tuition and we need to continue to work that way as costs go up every year.”
Mike Brownfield, the deputy director of strategy for Governor Snyder’s office, stated, “The governor’s 2016 budget called for a 1.4% increase in community college funding just on operations, but it called for an overall funding about an 8% increase. If we look back to 2011 there’s been about a 30% increase if you look at operational costs and retirement costs. Just on that level of funding there’s been an increase. Just a point about the dual enrollment, we’re certainly in support of, he (the Governor) wants to expand it. He also called for in the budget this year, a $6 million expansion in the grant program to assist students with tuition as well.”
Other topics heavily discussed during the Q&A included gun control, the budget for fixing the roads, job creation, incarceration rates, and environmental protection of the Great Lakes.
Brian Prigeo, 24, accounting major of Clinton Township, said, “I thought it was interesting. I never done anything like this before. It was interesting even though they were just giving politically correct answers. I thought they dodged some of it (the questions).”
Facts and opinions of these three religious ideas
DISCLAIMER: this opinion piece consists of data and facts researched as well experiences over a 10 year span of my life. The content of this piece is not the collected opinions of the Erie Square Gazette. These are my own opinions formed over a period of maturing from my young inquiring years to my present mature self.
We all see God in a different way; some see him as loving, merciful, and caring. These are the views of many Christians I have encountered in my life. Others believe in multiple gods who are seen as sub humans or new ideas of religion that are out there. And many of us let this get in the way of trying to know somebody.
Many Christians are selfless people who will do anything to help a person. Christianity is such a peaceful religion following the teachings of Jesus Christ and his father where you treat others with respect and love because they are just other people living life the same as you. I admire Christians for they are such a persistent people and can overcome anything.
Although, some Christians give Christianity a bad reputation, such as the Westboro Baptist Church, who protested soldiers funerals and burned holy text of other religions such as the Islamic Quran. Christians like these are the ones that cause childish fits and attack other religions as well their own Christian brothers and sisters. All in all, the Christian faith has come a long way since its birth spreading love, caring, and peace to this world.
Another religious idea that is not as old as Christianity and Paganism but has been around for a while is Luciferism. Luciferism does not really follow a certain person really, but it emphasizes on the story of the angel Lucifer and his skirmish with god.
In Luciferism, it is believe that Lucifer, not God, created the universe, the earth, and mankind. Like every creator he loved his creations and took care of them. God did not tamper with any of Lucifer’s creations except for humanity. In the story, God creates the tree of knowledge and forbids Lucifer’s humanity creations to eat the fruit and bans Lucifer from entering the Garden of Eden. And everyone knows the rest, but really the belief of this idea is that mankind should become knowledgeable, not blindly follow others.
To me though, the idea plays on the grounds of morality and the role of good and bad, making the little of the good and innocent things and not fully enveloping them to what they lead to. Morality is a huge thing in our society since the dawn of time, to play with such a thing as that is some sketchy thinking. Though we have new ideas coming up some old ideas are re-emerging in our time.
Polytheism or the belief of multiple gods is coming back a little bit. If you missed the clues I left you its ok but I’m a Polytheist. I believe in the Norse gods Odin, Thor, Baldr, Tyr, Loki, etc. I’m not going to list all my gods because there is a lot and that would be rude of me. With Polytheism most of the multiple god religions sets our focused on our ancestors and are not earth based.
With Asatru Paganism, which is my specific religion, we believe we are literal descendants of the gods. Worship of the gods has changed since the Christian crossover, sacrifices of nine animals of every kind including humans were seen as to satisfy the gods. With a Christian morality the human sacrifices stop. Polytheists are a very honorable, respectful people; the belief of treating others was very similar to Christianity.
With many different beliefs out there, it is better to respect what they believe in with the three religious ideas from the old, modern, and new ideas. People are people, and some are complete jerks and think that religion is something to boost their ego and believe they are above everyone else, but we can change that by showing a little love no matter what we believe in.
Blue Water Social Club hosts 5th annual ‘Stache Bash
“Do I look like a man or a creep?” was belted out during the opening ceremony of The Fifth Annual ‘Stache Bash took place on March 28, 1015 at McMorran in Downtown Port Huron.
‘Stache Bash is put on by the Blue Water Social Club and 100% of the proceeds go to The Thin Blue Line.
This year was a little bit different because ‘Stache Bash took place in McMorran’s auditorium, where in previous years it took place at Kate’s Downtown and Lynch’s Irish Tavern, along with other downtown businesses. They moved due to the growing number of people coming out to support the cause.
Contestants enter their mustaches and beards for auction. The highest bidder gets to decide whether they want to save the facial hair, or shave it.
Douglas Walsh, 34 of Port Huron, said “I shave for free so I figured why not shave for a good cause!” Walsh was only auctioning off his mustache however after $450 was pulled together he let them shave the beard as well. Walsh was the first of the night to be shaven.
A returning ‘Stache Basher Chris Wiegand, 43 of Lakeport, said, “I’m really hoping it’s (his beard, by the name of Ol’ Blue) saved this year!! Even my wife is hoping it’s saved this year!”
Chris’s beard raised $565 and Ol’ Blue was saved this year, topping his $401.75 total from last year.
WBTI DJ Sean Michaels put his mustache up for auction; he also did a strip tease and raised $225 for The Thin Blue Line.
‘Stache Bash isn’t just for people with beards and mustaches, but for people who enjoy them as well, and their families. Mike McKernam, 67 of Fort Gratiot, and his daughter Darcy Essmaker, 40 of Port Huron, came out to support the cause. “My dad wanted to come out and auction his mustache so we came to support him,” Essmaker said.
St. Clair County Community College Professor and Port Huron Police Lieutenant Joe Platzer, 45 of Port Huron said he came out to show support because “The proceeds go to The Thin Blue Line, which supports fallen officers and their families.”
Lieutenant Platzer didn’t auction his facial hair this year but said he has in past years.
This year ‘Stache Bash brought in a rough estimate of $5,000 for The Thin Blue Line according to Blue Water Social Club’s event coordinator Missy Campau.
“This brings everyone together for a good time and a good cause,” McKernam said.