Category Archives: Issue 68.7

Educational environmental fun

Free Earth Day Fair in St. Clair County
Mel Buskirk
Copy Editor
Nations of people worldwide will be holding celebrations for the 46th annual Earth Day this Friday, April 22. Though it will be a week after Earth Day, the people of St. Clair County will have their own festivities to celebrate the planet we live on and how to conserve it. Earth Fair will be held in Goodells County Park on Friday, April 29 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This free, family-friendly event will have plenty of educational exhibits, talks, and shows to attend. Shows include the “Lords of the Sky Show” which exhibit different birds of prey and their importance to the local ecosystems. Live hawks, owls, eagles, and vultures will make an appearance at the show.
Talks will be held at the Earth Fair in the Columbus Bible Church in the Historical Village every half hour. Topics for these talks include beekeeping, spinning wool, local wildflowers, learning to reduce waste, polishing Petoskey stones, and much more.
Trolley rides will take tours through the Historical Village and give fairgoers the chance to explore buildings built in the mid-1800s. The trolley will also make rounds through the parking lot, at restrooms, and at the playgrounds.
A couple of quieter attractions will also be available on site. The Butterfly House Exhibit provided by the Master Gardeners of St. Clair County allows fairgoers to walk through an enclosure surrounded by a variety of different species of butterflies. The St. Clair Conservation District will be holding a sale of evergreens, flowering trees, shrubs, hardwoods, and local wildflowers for fairgoers to purchase and plant at home.
Trees and shrubs won’t be the only thing for sale at the Earth Fair. Over 60 local vendors will have their own booths set up for fairgoers to browse their wares and services. Exhibitors from Powder Puff Pacas, Stable Dreams, and Tigerbunny Acres Farm will be bringing animals to exhibit and pet at the fair.
Food will also be available at the fair. Sweets from Michigan Candy, Inc. and Sweet Lane Fudge Factory will be sold along with other goodies from Just a Poppin, Lucky Lunch, Maria’s Tacos, and St. Clair County Farm Museum.
Since 2003, the St. Clair County Earth Fair has celebrated the local community and environment. For more information on the events of Earth Fair, the event map, or directions to Goodells County Park go to www.earthdayfair.com.

The times, they are a changin’

Deborah Snyder
Getting to know the interim president, Dr. Deborah Snyder
Nick “Chico” Hernandez
Managing Editor
Out with the old, in with the new; getting her foot in the door
Dr. Deborah Snyder took over the presidency of SC4 on April 1, following the resignation of former SC4 president Kevin Pollock. Snyder’s definition of an interim president is, “someone who is serving for a finite time period.” While the best-known title is ‘interim president’, Snyder said “my contract does say I’m the president of SC4 and the contract period is for 12 months.”
On Jan. 19, Pollock announced his official resignation to SC4 and that he would be out the door by March 31. When Pollock first ran, Snyder had been contacted by a member of the board to run for president but, due to having recently been crowned Dean of a business school section of Strayer University, she had to decline.
“So this board member, believe it or not, remembered this conversation and called me out at my college in California and said ‘Our president has just resigned and he is taking a new position with another community college in another state. We need an interim president. Is this something you’d be interested in?’ And at that point, I said yes.” Snyder said.
While Snyder referred to herself as being “kind of like that top person where the buck stops,” she also openly says she has other bosses as well. “The board members are my bosses,” said Snyder.
When asked if she planned on running for president after her contract expired, Snyder simply answered, “I’m here to do the best job I can as long as they want me to serve.”
Snyder’s plans and thoughts for SC4
Snyder has been in office less than a month, and has let it be known she does not want to make rash or uncalculated decisions. “When you’re a new president, it’s hard to come in and throw the baby out with the bath water, and that certainly isn’t my intention,” said Snyder.
Snyder added that, “any plans that would be evolving would be based on the fact finding that I’m doing here now.”
Before making any future plans, Snyder said, “what I’m doing now is trying to meet with as many people internally and externally from stakeholders, faculty, staff, students, to people in the community, and people on the Foundation Board to really find out what they think. That will help me form any plans I might have with moving forward in the future.”
Snyder does have a particular goal in mind and stated, “One thing we know we need to do is improve enrollment. We have fewer students now than have had in the past. So certainly that is something that is on my radar. We’re the community’s college. So, to me, I really have to look at planning from a community prospective.”
McMorran Pavilion
“I’ve asked the question ‘is this a done deal?’. The answer I got was yes. It’s already been voted on by the board, the city has agreed to sell us the building. My job, as president, is to move forward and help the communication go forward with all this.” Snyder also added, “I still think we need to do a better job of communicating such as what are we doing, what our plans are.”
With a smile on her face Snyder said, “I think people will be very pleased with what the college has planned to do.”
The Pavilion, which will be renamed SC4 Fieldhouse, is planned to be the home for the college’s athletic teams. The Pavilion/Fieldhouse will also be open for community use, and host youth and high school athletic tournaments, camps and other events.
Residence and a notable achievement
Snyder, while working and living out in California, still owned a house in St. Clair County. “We’ve had a home, up on Gratiot, for 11 years. We renovated a small cottage on the lake after our daughters graduated from high school. We decided to come home,” Snyder added that, “there’s no place like Port Huron, it’s a wonderful place to live.”
Many people have a notable achievement that brings pride to themselves, and Snyder is no different. “My most notable achievement is getting my education, particularly my doctorate. Much like a lot of the students at a community college, I worked when I went to school and I never didn’t work. It took me 10 years to get my undergraduate degree, 8 years to get my master’s degree, and 7 years to get my PhD. But it’s because I was driving downtown to Wayne State, I was raising kids, feeding horses in my back yard because I used to have horses way back when. And goats, rabbits, dogs, cats; we had a menagerie.”
Snyder went on to say, with some laughs, “We lived in Romeo when our girls were growing up. We did have some acreage; we lived right behind an apple orchard. We pretended to be farmers, I had a garden, but certainly serious farmers would have rolled their eyes at us. It was a wonderful environment to raise our children in.”
Changing SC4 and building more trust
“I’d like to be instrumental in building more trust. Trust with the community, the internal community. That’s what I really hope to do. It’s not to say there is a problem now, but I think that it’s important to build trust and have everyone understand we are all part of the same team,” Snyder said when asked how she would like to change SC4.
Snyder also stated, “Together we can do many things that we can’t do as individuals and I can’t do anything without the rest of this team.”
Closing Words
In relation to her notable achievement Snyder said, “Education opens doors. It does it for me, it does it for you, and it can do it for anyone. Education is key. Go as far as you can.” Snyder added, “I’m a listener and an important part of my job is to make sure I hear from students, hear from faculty, and I hear from staff because that is the only way I can make good decisions.”

Fighting the tax on feminine hygiene

undies
Michigan bills to ease monetary menstruation woes
Jamie Koebke
Business Editor

The fear and panic that sets in when you think you’ve started your period in public and aren’t sure if you have a tampon, is unlike any other panic that is felt. You run to the bathroom just to realize that you don’t have any nor do you have a quarter to buy one. Fuck, there go your favorite undies.
The price for a 36 count of Tampax Pearl at Meijer is $6.99 plus the state’s six percent sales tax. This is roughly $7.41 a month. That’s also only if the women buys tampons, that’s not counting if they buy pads or panty liners. Due to Toxic Shock Syndrome, it is not recommended to wear only tampons.
A pack of Always overnight pads is $7.29 plus tax and a pack of Always panty-liners is $4.19. Monthly a woman is looking at $19.83. Assuming the woman started her period when she was 13 and starts menopause at 51, the women will be spending roughly $9,110 throughout her life on feminine hygiene products.
State Representative Sarah Roberts has proposed a bill that will eliminate sales tax on any feminine hygiene products. Roberts has also proposed a bill that will make feminine hygiene products available for free in public schools and state buildings. The Detroit Free Press says having a tampon tax is basically a punishment for women, when they have no control of their menstruation.
If passed, Michigan will not be the first state to eliminate the tax, five states have already eliminated the tax on the products; five other states have no sales tax at all.
Michigan has tax exemption on things that are considered to be necessary, groceries, prescription drugs, even newspapers. Yet women are paying taxes on feminine hygiene products for something that they can’t change, something they were born with.
Another reason Roberts has proposed these bills is to help with the idea that menstruation has to be a dirty little secret, people know about it, yet most men still say “ew” or cringe when anything about a period is mentioned. The idea of a young girl not being able to get a feminine hygiene product at school because she’s ashamed to ask for one or because there are none available for her, is the point behind the second bill.
Periods are something that men will never experience, so the question is… if men used these products would there be a tax on them? Would they be as expensive as they are? Would this even be an issue?
You opinions on these bills can be heard! 
 State representatives: Go to house.michigan.gov or call 517-373-6339.
 State senators: Go to senate.michigan.gov or call 517-373-2400.

Late to the game

trucksnsoccer
Some cars play sports together
Jenelle Kalaf
Photo Editor

Soccer, also known as futbol, hasn’t changed much through the years. The ball gets kicked, there are nets, teams, etc.
But the burning question calls out: What if cars played soccer?
Here’s the answer to the question no one was asking, “Rocket League.” A game where friends or strangers alike can get together and play the good ol’ wholesome game of soccer with cars.
But is it worth $19.99?
Gameplay:
As stated earlier, the idea of “Rocket League” seems simple enough.
Have some Hot-Wheels like cars, have a ball, and play a game.
Seems easy enough.
The first time with “Rocket League” stands as most players worst and best time.
The controls are weird, no one shows sympathy, and you never seem to be able to land a hit on the ball. Despite the awkward controls, by the third game, you’ve mastered timing you’re boosts, you aren’t constantly turning around and suddenly hitting the ball comes much easier.
“Rocket League” somehow took a mess of controls and made them feel natural by forcing you to deal with them. (I don’t know how true this rings, but I’ve also heard it’s easier for less experienced gamers to understand.)
And “Rocket League’s” community rocks. My experience comes from the steam community, where you can ask almost any question (within reason) and someone will gladly show you a few tricks to the game.
The game does require a constant internet connection, so at times it can be laggy. Which can make the game four times harder to play.
That doesn’t hinder the fun too much, though.
“Rocket League” keeps up the fun with good humor. The player can customize the cars they play as.
From top hats to snowmen antenna ornaments, “Rocket League” will have you noticing and giggling at other players and their car’s fashion choices.
Graphics/Sound:
“Rocket League” stands on par with most other current generation games.
The game has a cartoony quality about it. The colors are nice to look at with an almost 70s style neon glow to it all.
The cars fit well into the world but still stand out well.
Sound wise, “Rocket League’s” fun soundtrack does its job while still carrying some weight of its own.
The sound effects are super satisfying. The blazing horn sounds when one of the teams score, the metal clank sounds great when you finally land a solid hit on the ball.
If anything, the sound reward you more than the score board does.
Overall:
“Rocket League” does some weird things not found in most “sports” games.
Besides playing as a car, the game forces the player to not only play with awkward controls, but love them.
Though the concept seems simple, “Rocket League” really does something different here.
I know I can’t put “Rocket League” down.
Happy Gaming.

It’s fake. Get over it.

datbootytracer
Censorship in media
Jenelle Kalaf
Photo Editor

Let me get this straight.
I can play as a female sniper wearing a small leotard but I can’t see the backside of a time traveler in a full body suit because you can tell she has a butt?
Censorship in media has been, and always will be a topic of discussion.
We’ve come a long way since the days of Freddy and Daphne sleeping in different beds, but it’s been a battle.
Violence and sexual behavior are just part of human nature. Not to say we should violent, but it’s something we as humans are curious about.
Growing up, I remember it was scandalous to teachers that I watched “Law and Order: SUV,” but now I hear about how a group of fifth graders are discussing the story telling styles of “The Walking Dead” for a homework assignment.
Granted, teachers are trying to use something most kids are expose to teach lessons, but it baffles me.
I’ll state this now, I’m 21. So not long ago was I being told that I shouldn’t “really be playing violent games” and my parents “shouldn’t let me watch ‘Game of Thrones.’”
I know the struggle of being under the amazing age of 17 and having to explain to my mom in detail what was in this rated M game I wanted so badly.
I won a lot of battles, but I lost a lot as well.
Now I’m 21 and I find myself seeking more kid friendly games and books to entertain myself, due to the fact that violence no longer exist in just those few things I got away with watching or playing, but now heavily controls the world I’ve started paying more attention to.
That doesn’t mean I support censorship.
This was brought up by a little incident regrading Blizzard’s new game, “Overwatch.”
Blizzard, known for the “World of Warcraft” games, likes to make the men muscly and the women… well, they don’t wear much.
Much to everyone’s surprise, their new title wouldn’t have as many breast on display. Though a few characters still do, it’s because it matched they’re personality.
One girl, a time traveler with a quirky personality was under attack. By one person.
One person emailed Blizzard and said her “Over the shoulder” (pictured in A) was too sexual for her personality. Blizzard announced they were going to change the pose because “everyone should feel like a hero.”
While outrage sparked over this, Blizzard released her new pose. A classic pinup pose (pictured in B).
Now I have a few ideas why Blizzard did this. I think they wanted to change the pose anyway and took the opportunity for media coverage on the game.
Or they really didn’t like people saying their characters were “too sexy” which probably meant to them they needed more sex appeal.
But this got me thinking, Blizzard could have given her a completely innocent pose. Now Blizzard understands the market for their games and knows a lot of people play them for the sexy characters.
Meaning, this pose would make more sense.
A lot of media and games are changed to “shield the audience” from things we as a society have decided collectively that we don’t want to see.
Hence why to me, “Game of Thrones” isn’t that bad compared to what my mom probably thinks about it.
I remember when I was younger, “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” was recalled here in the U.S. when it was found out that the developers hid a graphic sex scene from the ERSB rating board. Meaning when it was found, the game was given an “AO” (Adults Only) rating and removed from the store shelves.
We still have a copy of it the AO version, due to lack of interest in returning it, but I remember thinking “Why is this so bad? The graphics don’t even look real.”
I guess to some up my point, we as humans only add controversy to these games when we make a big deal about it. Thus creating a type of free advertising to be interested in these things.
The same can be said for any episode of “The Walking Dead” when they censor the word “fuck” during the broadcast but add it in for the DVD releases.
I wouldn’t have bought those DVDs if it wasn’t for that fact.
I think of media censorship in the same light at censoring books and art. Not only is it not serving a real purpose, it only adds to the fuel of want, so I guess for a marketing department, it helps.
To bring my rambling to a close, I’d like to hear other thoughts about censorship. Do you agree with it? Do you hate it? Send us an email over to eriesquaregazette@gmail.com.

“I’ll be back”

Automatron DLC brings the metal
Nick “Chico” Hernandez & Mel Buskirk
Managing Editor & Copy Editor
Sentry bots, assaultrons, and Mr. Handys, oh my! The newest Fallout 4 DLC, Automatron, dropped on March 22 on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. This DLC is the first of three that have been announced by Bethesda, the other two being Wasteland Workshop (a simple crafting expansion) and Far Harbor (a full blown DLC said to be bigger than Oblivion’s Shivering Isles).
Automatron brings a new level of crafting to the table in the form of robots. After you receive a distress signal from a caravan being attacked by hostile robots you encounter Ada, the only caravan survivor. However, you won’t receive the distress signal until you are level 15 or higher.
Ada is part assaultron, part protectron, and all revenge. She leads you on the three hour (it varies on play style) quest to find and stop The Mechanist, the person whom is leading/crating these hostile robots.
This opens the floor to building a robot workstation where you can customize Ada, or build a new robot entirely. All it takes is some blueprints and you can build to your heart’s content. I prefer a flying robot with two flaming swords called shishkebabs. The robots don’t just wonder around like useless settlers (looking at you, Jun Long), they can assigned to different stations to work as well. I use them mainly as guards.
Besides being able to build a mechanical agent of death (there are more mods for robots than I care to list), small additions to settlement building are welcome. These come in the form of more paintings, more signs, and miscellaneous items that can add that touch of home (or bloody torture room, your choice).
Not only are there new robots and new building materials to play with, but the DLC includes new weapons and armor as well. The robot armor found on a new enemy gang known as the “Rust Devils” provides a decent amount of ballistic and energy resistance if you don’t mind it taking up half of your carry weight. New unique legendary weapons – also made of robot parts – are fun additions to your arsenal.
While the story doesn’t have a lot of heart to it, Automatron will still be fun to most people. Additional dialogue is also available if players wear the Silver Shroud outfit while talking to The Mechanist, which can prove humorous.
Unless players have bought the Season Pass for Fallout 4 (currently sold at $49.99), the Automatron DLC will cost $10 to download. The $10 price tag is cheap compared to the hours can be spent just on building robots alone.
Automatron surely won’t win over every critic, but the cheap price and longevity of building and killing robots definitely makes it worth it to me.