Category Archives: Issue 67.4

Representation in media

Why fans are ruining any hope for good minority characters
Jenelle Kalaf
Photo Editor

Representation of minorities are important in media, but it’s time to realize we’re doing it wrong.
And getting too excited about it.
I guess this coming from a straight, white, woman that grew up with a lot of good role models in media (Wonder Woman, Sailor Moon, etc.) probably makes this seem laughable that I somehow know how minorities would like to represented.
But as a writer and a consumer of media, you should all be ashamed of how you’re being represented.
From the extreme stereotypes of gay men in “Glee” to the disgusting lack of any asexual characters, Hollywood seems to think if we just shove a character in randomly and put a label on them, they are set for the next six seasons.
Or worse, the changing a character from straight to gay because it’s easier then writing a whole new character and somehow make the story still work.
You know, you could write a character, and just sort of mention that they are gay or transgender and move on with life and not make a big deal about it.
Because if that’s how straight characters are written, can’t you just do it that way with everyone else?
I guess this leads to other minorities such as persons-of-color, or just women in general.
The current (and most annoying, in my opinion) stereotype of women is the “tough or girly” thing where either the girl has to be surprisingly strong and tough compared to the men she interacts with or she has to be girly and needs to be saved by the others.
Why not “I need to survive so I just do it,” or “I’m normal, but I just so happen to have an interesting plot spark something that makes me grow as a person?”
And for POCs? I’m sorry, but not every black man needs to either be super tough or a teddy bear. Why can’t we have a middle ground? Same with anyone with an Asian background; they’re either super smart or lame and nerdy, no “I just so happen to be Asian.”
Writing minorities isn’t hard to do. Really. Just stop making them a flat character just to bait newcomers to shows or movies or books or whatever. Writing characters with different gender identities and sexual preferences isn’t hard either. Just don’t bring it up when it has nothing to do with the plot. Be subtle and tactful. You’d be shocked how much more interesting the character is in the long run.

Shake, rattle, and roll

Of PeacocksNoon and Night concert series dances to life
Nick “Chico” Hernandez
On Oct 22, viewers young and old came to the Fine Arts Building to witness Ann Arbor Dance Works’ “A Feast of Dancers” as post of SC4’s Noon and Night Concert Series. A variety of dancers performed eight different daces for the crowd, including some solo dances. The main attendance was a mixed group of retirees from the nearby retirement home, and fifth graders from Garfield Elementary. The Garfield Elementary students were at SC4 as part of an arts program sponsored in part by Studio 1219, were they learn to work with clay and theater etiquette.
In the last 15 minutes of the show, the fith grade students were allowed to question the dancers. One student’s question was, “Does it take a lot of time to learn the dances?” This was answered by Kathryn “KC” Shonk, “Usually the dances take a lot of time. About six weeks, four hours a day. On rare occasions, two weeks for three hours a day if it’s a simple dance.”

Noie Porat said, “We all can make the choice to not do it, but we
are also required to do a certain amount of dances per semester.”
On Oct 22, viewers young and old came to the Fine Arts building to witness Ann Arbor Dance Works’ “A Feast of Dancers” as part of SC4’s Noon and Night Concert Series. A variety of dancers performed eight different dances for the crowd, including some solo dances.
Managing Editor
This was answered by Kathryn “KC” Shonk, “Usually the dances take a lot of time. About six weeks, four hours a day. On rare occasions, two weeks for three hours a day if it’s a simple dance.”
The main attendance was a
In the last 15 minutes of the show, the fifth grade students were allowed to question the dancers.
Another student’s question was, “Do you get to choose what you dance to?”
Dan Williams, 72 of Port Huron, said that “I enjoyed the show, even if I wasn’t really sure what was going on.”

May the Force (and the food) be with you

PKSA Karate hosts event for charity
Mel Buskirk
Copy Editor
This Halloween many adults and children alike will be dressing up as their favorite Star Wars characters in anticipation for the new movie coming this December. While our tummies may be filled with sweet sugary goodness, many folks will have to go without. Through the PKSA Karate studio on 216 Huron Ave., Port Huron, now you can train to be a real Jedi and feed those in need.
On Nov. 14 from 10 am – 2 pm PKSA will be hosting the Force Against Hunger Jedi Training Academy Day in which anyone can sign up to receive Jedi training and raise money for the Thanksgiving Food Basket Donation Fund. There will also be a silent auction for Star Wars collectables dating back to 1997 in which proceeds will also go to the cause.
All padawans will be given certificates for participating as well as ice cream provided by Lynch’s Tavern.
Registration before Nov. 14 is required to participate in the event. To register or reserve a spot for the silent auction, call 1 (810) 937 2557. For more information, check out PKSA Karate’s Facebook page at

Progressive muscle relaxation

Why it can be effective for you
Amanda Prigel
Guest Writer

Stressed with the daily demands in your life? Anxious from having to juggle all of your responsibilities? Having trouble sleeping at night? Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that can help alleviate these problems.
A healthy and natural alternative to taking prescription medication, progressive muscle relaxation is helpful in decreasing levels of worry and stress. According to Sheila Videbeck’s 2014 book “Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing,” relaxation exercises, including progressive muscle relaxation, can be useful calming tools and are non-medical, albeit still therapeutic, ways to help ease anxiety symptoms.
According to data from the University of California at Irvine’s Health Education Center, progressive muscle relaxation techniques involve focusing on gradually tensing and then relaxing the different muscle groups in the body. This technique leads to an understanding of the difference between muscle tension and relaxation, and helps those practicing it to know of the physical sensations that both stress and relaxation can cause.
Progressive muscle relaxation helps people struggling with insomnia to relax enough to fall asleep. It also assists in decreasing symptoms, including headaches, cancer side-effects, high blood pressure, and digestive problems, according to the report.
Tamara Turney, a registered nurse and St. Clair County Community College professor of nursing, also notes that progressive muscle relaxation is often a more appealing alternative to anxiety medication which may not always be easy to obtain when needed and people often worry about negative reactions to medication.
“Progressive muscle relaxation has many benefits, is easy to learn and perform, is readily available and does not lead to addiction or financial stress,” Turney said. “Anyone of any culture, age, or socioeconomic level can be taught how to perform this technique.”
Gradually tensing, and then releasing, that nervous energy from each muscle group is a useful tool because it provides a peaceful refuge from the stresses of daily life. Often resulting in a deeply relaxed state, the process of progressive muscle relaxation is as revitalizing as it is easy to do, according to Turney.
“To have a sense of control over one’s body and the associated physiologic stress reactions can initiate a sense of peace and well-being,” Turney said. “This sense of peace and well-being can help a person see events in their world in a more positive versus negative way.”
According to Carrie Beck, a registered nurse and St. Clair County Community College professor of nursing, performing progressive muscle relaxation techniques can help lower anxiety, clear the mind and help one focus better and help those struggling with insomnia. “When practiced, this technique can help promote sleep for those who are having difficulty falling or staying asleep,” Beck said. “The immediate effects are an induced state of rest.”
According to Beck, this may help one build up emotional strength to be better able to take on life’s responsibilities and challenges.

Subjects come to life!

stem 3
Knowledge and passion circulate at the STEM Conference
Katie Hunckler
Staff Writer

Passion oozed from presenters like lava from a volcano during SC4’s third annual STEM Conference; it was as if they just couldn’t hold back their excitement about their topics any longer, so it all burst out in one grand event! This passion had a contagious flare, and it would have been a challenge for any attendee to leave the conference without catching it.
STEM is a grouping of subjects – specifically Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – aimed at appreciating and improving the world in which we live. The STEM Conference therefore had the purpose of educating and exciting people of all ages about STEM-related topics.
Events kicked off Friday evening, Oct. 23, with a presentation by keynote speaker Neils Johnson, Symantec Technology Evangelist. The conference continued Saturday morning with a series of hands-on workshops for all ages.
Professionals and enthusiasts from around the community gave 45 minute presentations about their field of expertise. Mark Priess, Global Security Manager at a manufacturing company, gave a presentation entitled “Cyber Security: Why Hackers are Winning the Cyber ‘War,’” which included live demonstrations of how easy it is for hackers to infiltrate a computer while disguising themselves. (In a matter of seconds, Priess changed his IP address to make it look like he was in Sweden!)
In addition to helping people protect themselves on the internet, Priess indicated that he participated in the STEM Conference because he wanted to talk to and encourage kids to enter the field of Information Technology (IT). “If you’re good at that, you can work for companies all over the world,” he concluded.
Other presenters simply wanted to inform their audiences about important issues of today. Elaine Bailey, Consultant with Michigan Antibiotic Resistance Reduction Coalition (MARR), explained her reason for participating, “Antibiotic resistance is one of the most urgent issues of our time, and we need to get the message out!”
Although activities were widely available for all age groups, kids appeared to have the most abundant platter from which to choose. There were miniature drones, popsicle stick architectural challenges, iPads, Legos, fun math activities, and much more that they could do. “It challenges your brain,” said Casie Paul, 12, of Marysville, referring to the math activities. It seems that quote could apply to all the other activities as well.
SC4 Student Ambassadors Lydia Palmateer and Breanne Gotham noted the high level of excitement they saw in the young children who passed by them. “There’s a lot of little kids, and it’s very educational,” said Gotham.
Some kids even took on the role of presenter themselves. The Marysville Middle School Robotics Team infiltrated the lobby of the CEM building with their robot demonstrations; it was a challenging feat to dodge the zippy machines while traveling from one side of the lobby to the other. “Last year was the first year ever that they had a robotics team; they did like tremendously well last year,” said Andrea Paul, teacher at Marysville Middle School. According to Paul, the team did so well that they traveled all the way to Iowa for competition.
All in all, the third annual STEM Conference involved a lot of contagious excitement and passion that showed itself in presentations and activities. Student Ambassador Olivia Kelley summed it up, “It gives a lot of information in a short period of time on a diversity of subjects.” What more could one ask for?

A dark turn for a light hearted play

A review of SC4 Players of the production of Relatively Speaking.
Jenelle Kalaf
Photo Editor

The words of Tom Kephart, theatre director for SC4, ring through my head, “Comedy isn’t easy to do well.”
“The SC4 Players all proven willing and able to tackle the challenge of these three comedies, each quite different in its style, and I’m very proud of their work,” Kephart stated.
That’s about the best way to describe the SC4 Players production of Relatively Speaking.
And they deserve every ounce of praise.
The play follows 3 stories, that don’t really have anything to do with each other.
The first looks into the private sessions between doctor and patient. Larry, played by Brennan Fisher, is sick and his doctor, played by Shyela Reimel, only wants the best for him, if she could get a word in edge wise.
The story first seems like fun banter, but then takes a dark turn as you discover what Larry did for him to need treatment.
It also explores Larry’s childhood home, and why Larry may be the way he is.
The first act was great. A good way to get into such a strange play. The actors really made you like the characters.
The second act was longer then the first. It followed Carla, played by Haley LeMerise, a stressed women who just fought with her husband. She waits up all night for her husband to call, but is then visited by Doreen, played by Emma Dunlop.
Doreen claims that she and Carla used to be friends and needs support after her rich husband passed away. As the play unfolds, Doreen turns out to be clueless and helpless and asks Carla, to allow her to stay the night. This creates more tension and a mess ensues.
This was probably my favorite act. The light comedy turned dark made the audience uncomfortable, but still burst out into laughter.
“Tom, our director, helped each of us channel the best performances possible, and although I’ve done plays in high school before, I felt like this was the first time I’ve ever truly “acted” due to the wonderful guidance I received,” LeMerise said about her role as Carla.
This act probably took the darkest turn and really dug deep into a mother-daughter relationship almost too far to fix.
The third act followed a bride, a groom, the groom’s father, and everyone else that was part of the mess of a wedding.
A bride, played by Courtney Roles, and her lover, played by Garrett Hadwin, show up to an old, broken down motel for their honeymoon. It just turns out that her lover isn’t her husband, but his dad.
The rest of the play pieced together a strange story about love, romance, loyalty (or lack thereof), and a wedding no one will forget.
This act dealt with topics most plays wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole, and still pulls it off effortlessly.
The actors did such a great job really setting the mood and forcing you to see something that most people would pretend didn’t happen.
So congratulations to the SC4 Players and another well done performance. If you missed a chance to see this play, or be a part of it, visit and click the calendar to find the next show the Players will perform.

Local brewery enlists help of graphic design students

beer posters
ThumbCoast re-releases the Huron Selkie
Emily Mainguy

“We value education and giving the opportunity to help students get real world experiences,” explained Dennis Doyle, Founder and President of ThumbCoast Brewing Co.
ThumbCoast Brewery gave students in the Graphic Design I class the opportunity to assist them with marketing one of their recent releasing beers the Huron Selkie.
Students were given this past month to create a beer poster, label and label mock-up of designs inspired by this Scottish Wee Heavy Ale along with the title, Huron Selkie.
The title of the beer was generated by the Founder, Dennis Doyle and Brew Master, Corey Nebbeling, who explained it as trying to mesh Scottish lore with something in the area.
The Selkie lore originates from Scotland and Ireland. According to a Selkie is, “a mythical creature that looks like a seal in water but assumes human form on land.”
“It was cool working with real businesses and real clients,” explained Sean McManaman. According to adjunct instructor, Chris Krolczyk this is the first project of its kind, “I thought it was a great opportunity to give my students.”
The ten posters are on the ThumbCoast Brewery Facebook page.
Owners and staff of the Brewery will be choosing the top three designs which will be up for voting at the Brewery or on their Facebook page until Monday, Nov. 2.
The winning design will be used for the Huron Selkie bottle labels and the winning student will receive a $500 scholarship to use toward their books or classes.
To see the winning design stop by the beer release which is targeted for Thursday, Nov. 12.

Freaky film for a fall night

13 ghost
Raven Café shows “Thir13en Ghosts”
Kayla Flanagan
Guest Writer

It’s probably safe to say that for most people, Wednesdays aren’t exactly the day of the week that comes to mind when you are thinking of a day to do something fun. Trust me, it’s no different in my mind. However, when I heard that the Raven Cafe located on the main strip of downtown Port Huron was showing one of my personal favorite Halloween movies – “Thir13en Ghosts” – at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 21, I figured it may be an interesting evening out.
The coffeehouse is known in the area for having a comfortable, bookish atmosphere – especially the upstairs portion, where the movie was shown from a projector, the walls lined with an eclectic selection of books. Whether a person is stopping by for the first time, or has been in the establishment on a few occasions, or is a devout regular, the general consensus is that it is a nice place to be.
Austin Gonzales, 20, of Port Huron, said that he had been to the Raven a couple times before. “They were showing a movie I like, and I had never actually been upstairs before,” Gonzales said on why he was there that night. He felt that it was a great way to kill time on an otherwise uneventful, cool autumn evening.
Jordan Bailey, also of Port Huron, quickly agreed. “I love it here,” Bailey laughed. She was more than glad to be at the coffeehouse on an easygoing Wednesday evening.
The movie “Thir13en Ghosts” (2001) is the story of a man – played by Tony Shalhoub – and his two children who inherit an extravagant house from a rich uncle he had never heard from. When they, along with the children’s nanny, arrive at the house, all seems too good to be true. After the awful truth of the house is revealed by a psychic who worked for the uncle, the whole night becomes about how the family will survive and get out.
While watching the movie, customers were able to order from a variety of items on the menu, such as soups, sandwiches, other entrees, desserts, and beverages – including coffees, teas, shakes, and alcohol.
This was one of the last Wednesday night films at the Raven for October. But be on the lookout for further evening events offered at the local coffeehouse. Check the Raven Cafe Facebook page or stop by and find out for yourself what all the buzz is about.

Boo! (Or the lack thereof)

A review of the “Goosebumps” movie
Mel Buskirk
Copy Editor
Only 90s kids would remember “Goosebumps!” Well, now we won’t be the only ones. The new “Goosebumps” movie was released on Oct 16 just in time for Halloween.
Directed by Rob Letterman, starring Jack Black, with music composed by Danny Elfman and the nostalgia that many folks in my age group share for the books and popular tv series, it was definitely a fun show. However, it did not reach its full potential.
I find that Nicolas Rapold from the New York Times worded it perfectly, “But more often than not, Mr. Letterman uses his movie as a toy chest of characters more than as a medium.”
Unlike that eerie feeling I got from reading the books and watching the series as a child, “Goosebumps” left me feeling like I had just looked at a yearbook from high school; the faces and characters were familiar, some I had memories of, but ultimately it didn’t make me feel anything.
Any possible character development or heartfelt moments for our protagonists were grazed over by Jack Black’s lack of seriousness and simply the lack of experience by the younger actors and actresses.
The collection of monsters that appeared on screen were actually well chosen considering there were 182 books to choose from. Some of the main monsters were arguably the scariest in the books and tv series – the werewolf from “The Werewolf of Fever Swamp,” the venus fly traps from the “Give Yourself Goosebumps: Lost in Stinkeye Swamp,” the giant praying mantis from “A Shocker on Shock Street,” and, of course, Slappy the Dummy from “The Night of the Living Dummy” saga.
While Slappy the Dummy was the most evil character in the books and the main antagonist in the movie, the creepiness attached to his clever schemes was lost in transition to the big screen. The other creatures, although large and destructive, also seemed to lose their terrifying blood-thirsty drives. You would definitely have nothing to fear about taking your little ones to see this movie.
Overall, it’s not as great as I’d hoped it to be; perhaps do to my inflated standards hyped up by nostalgia. However, it’s not terrible and it is a good way to introduce the newer generation to a franchise I loved so dearly when I was their age.

Walking on air

A review of new film “The Walk”
Therese Majeski
Guest Writer
Visually absorbing and thrilling, “The Walk” is often quite literally breathtaking. Immersive, “The Walk” employs sweeping shots of stunning heights and death-defying high-wire deeds to deliver a deliciously vivid sense of vertigo.
Telling the true story of high-wire walker Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a man driven to practice his craft on the heights of the World Trade Center, “The Walk” dances a fine line between visual effects and plot, a balancing act that has eluded similar films. Yet, “The Walk” manages this challenge, grounding high-air stunts and visual effects with a strong base of plot and character.
As Philippe gathers an eclectic crew, including his street musician girlfriend (Charlotte Le Bon), and a heights-fearing math teacher, to help him with his artistic coup, the film constructs empathetic characters while simultaneously structuring the plot to convey ever increasing suspense.
The events of the movie, from the team’s initial preparations to the stringing of the crucial cable, build organically towards the tension of Philippe’s climactic moments on the wire. “The Walk” is also remarkable in that it successfully reinvigorates the trite theme of a protagonist reaching for an impossible dream. Rather than appearing forced as many dream-driven films often have, “The Walk” is believable; Philippe’s passion and devotion to his craft render his aspirations wholly credible.
“The Walk” is notable for its lack of dependence on special effects, but it is also immensely successful in its use of visuals. Boasting an array of stunning shots, “The Walk” is captivating.
Though an exciting story, “The Walk” is also a love letter to a departed landmark, capturing the vanished grandeur of the Twin Trade Center with arresting special effects. The entire film is surreal in the beauty of its images; as Philippe strings his wire between the towers in the dead of night the cityscape beneath glows with an arresting golden splendor. Perhaps most stunning, however, is Philippe’s actual walk during which viewers feel as if they themselves are on the wire, standing at an unbelievable height over New York City.
Although “The Walk” is primarily a family-friendly film, parents should be aware that there is brief, strong profanity and a slightly extended, if obscured, scene of nudity. Not entirely without flaws, for example a slightly awkward first-person narration by Philippe throughout the film, “The Walk” is nevertheless a delight of story and image that can leave viewers walking on air.