Tag Archives: 57-9

L.A. Candy

If you are looking to escape reality, look no further than “L.A. Candy,” written by Lauren Conrad. I know what you are thinking. Lauren Conrad can write? Well, the girl can write.
If unsure about whom Conrad is: star on the reality TV show “The Hills” on MTV. She first got her start on the MTV reality TV show “Laguna Beach.”
The book is about four girls who star in a new reality TV show called “L.A. Candy on PopTV.” This changes all their lives. The girls go from being unknown, to can’t walk down the street without being recognized.
As the drama unfolds, so do their lives. Conrad does use places like “Les Deux” and “Cabo Cantina” in her book that are found in L.A.
First there is Jane. She is a relatable, petite blonde from Santa Barbara. She moved to Los Angeles with her best friend Scarlett. Scarlett is tall and slender with exotic looks, who puts up a front to new people. Then there is Madison your typical heiress. Thin, fake and trashy. And let’s not forget Gaby, the ditzy one of the group.
Each chapter follows like an episode of “The Hills.” This book is season one. It starts with Jane and Scarlett moving to L.A., then being discovered and then becoming famous.
I liked the book. I thought that it was clear and flowed really well. Conrad did a good job of switching back and forth from each character’s perception. She also did a great job on the details. She really painted a clear picture for the reader.
A clever thing that Conrad did was make each chapter title a line from the chapter. Although the book is a little bit predictable, it is a fast and fun read. The book makes the reader wonder how much of the book is based on Conrad’s experience. One thing is for sure the book will leave you wanting more.
Conrad’s next book “Sweet Little Lies, An L.A. Candy Novel” is out on Tuesday, February 2.

Race to the Bitter End

Chilly Fest and the Silver Stick finals are responsible for pulsing life into Downtown Port Huron, Friday and Saturday, Jan. 22 and 23. Chilly Fest participants raced to an early bitter end Saturday evening as rain called off the ice drag races on Sunday.
Children giggled while bouncing on inflatables inside Kid Zone, bundled up in multiple layers. Families roamed from vendor to vendor consuming various types of chili, hot and cold beverages.
Music filled the air accompanied by the rumble of finely tuned engines, ready to hit the ice. Each day offered an assortment of live music from local bands that played for fans and onlookers.
Others cheered and looked out over the ice where snowmobiles tore down the strip. Exhaust fumes engulfed the crisp air, as horse drawn carriages trotted along their routes. Families also took time to watch dogs run their sleds along in demonstrations.
Stepping away from Desmond Landing, women found their peace at the Pampering Place provided by Bridges Wesleyan Church enjoying services such as massages and manicures. Pastor Scott Bin said, “This is for the ladies looking to escape the testosterone laden stuff.”
Pastor Scott and his wife with the help of Lee Ann Peart, Director of Downtown Development, had scheduled appointments because of the response to this offering.
Huron Ave. buzzed with shopping, restaurant hopping and ice sculpture viewing. John Henry, Professor at St. Clair County Community College, amused children with his team of ice sculptors who remained eager at work in front of McMorran Place. Each day offered an assortment of local bands that played for fans and onlookers.
Those that felt the chill while meandering through town warmed themselves with complimentary coffee and cocoa at Power’s Diner.
The main focal point of the weekend being Lee Ann Peart referred to as “the big dogs race,” was rained out to participants and racer’s dislike, an early end to an otherwise successful weekend.
Peart, after meeting with officials, announced that the final ice drag races will take place Feb. 6 and 7. Those anxiously awaiting the final race to the final, bitter end can look forward to another chilly weekend experience in Downtown Port Huron.

The ABC’s of Student Services

The AAC and LRC on the campus of SC4 have changed names, but not the services they offer. These acronyms, once used to abbreviate Academic Achievement Center and Learning Resources Center, are no longer in use. The AAC is now the AC, shortened for Achievement Center and the LRC is now simply, the library.
Of the students who have picked up on the changes several have wondered why, or what is the purpose. One library staffer said, “The names have been so complicated that even though I could tell you ‘Learning Resource Center,’ [students] would say, ‘Ok, what’s that?’”
According to this same staffer the, “[College] is also looking to rename not just in our department, but in other departments, so that students understand what they are for.”
Nancy Pecorilli, Counselor and Instructional Specialist, works in the Achievement Center. She also coordinates disability services and tutoring.
Referring to the changes, she said, “Only the title has changed and it’s just to make it more user friendly, so it’s easier. Although LRC is more descriptive of what it is, there was some confusion. Most people always refer to it as the library.”
Those seeking the services offered by the library or the Achievement Center can find them located in the College Center building.
The library hours are: Mon. through Thurs. 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fri. 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sat 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The Achievement Center hours are: Mon. and Wed. 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Tues. and Thurs. 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fri. 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sat. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday hours are available for testing, but students must report to the library from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The AC also offers a tutoring website, www.sc4.edu/tutoring. Nurses can also locate the schedule for specialized tutoring services at, www.sc4.edu/nursing.
The current rumor on campus of tutoring being offered via live chat online, is exactly that, a rumor, which is not true. Nancy Pecorilli said, “We did have it at one time, quite a few years ago… it didn’t get off the ground.” For now tutoring will remain on a drop by or walk in basis in the Achievement Center on campus.

Icehawks bag Mallards

Two days without practice proved just the right medicine for the Icehawks.
“A couple of the guys were very tired after the tough schedule of the past few weeks,” Icehawks’ Nick Lindberg said. “It was good for us to get the rest and an easier schedule. We played very well tonight.”
Despite 29 shots apiece, Port Huron downed the Quad City Mallards 4-1 on Saturday, January 23.
“Our power play got us going early,” Icehawks Coach Stan Drulia said. “(Adam) Russo made some big saves at the end but it was our special teams that made the difference.”
The Icehawks opened the scoring at the seven minute mark with a power play goal from Lindberg with assists from Daniel Tetrault and Brandon Naurato.
“We knew they were going to play passive,” Lindberg said. “I passed the puck to Tetrault and when he passed it back the goal was wide open.”
Quad City tied the score before the period ended. In the second Port Huron scored its second power play goal. Mike Gershon fired a shot from just inside the blue line to beat Quad City goalie Jerad Kaufmann.
Later in the second, Icehawks’ Derek Patrosso passed cross ice to Jamie Lovell at the blue line who shot the puck by Kaufmann.
“I knew Patrosso would see me,” Lovell said. “He waited until the seam was open and made a great pass. I was able to rip it home.
“These guys have played us hard the last couple times they played us. But when we stuck to our game plan it became almost easy.”
The Hawks added one more goal in the third by Mickael Bedard and held the Mallards scoreless although they were outshot 16-6 in the final period by the Mallards.
“We try to push the envelope every night,” Drulia said. “For the most part we were able to do that and tonight we were successful.”
The Icehawks return to McMorran to begin a three game home-away-home weekend series with the Flint Generals on Friday, February 12. Game time is 7:30 p.m. for the Friday match and 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. For further Icehawks information, visit www.porthuronicehawks.com.

Love Before Death; The First Valentine

Don’t forget your chocolates, flowers, and cards this year. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so if you don’t have dinner plans, you better make them soon.
Hugs and kisses are sure to be passed around this Valentine’s Day, as we approach the most romantic holiday of the year. As love is amongst us, some ponder where did the tradition start?
According to American Greetings and history.com, the very first Valentine was created c. 270 A.D. This was a time in Rome when marriage was not allowed amongst young men, as the men were intended for a life in the Roman Army.
The Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius Claudius, believed that married men were weak soldiers but many thought otherwise. St.Valentine, a Roman Catholic priest, had secretly been marrying young couples since the rules of the new Emperor were made. When the Emperor discovered the priest’s sinful secrets, he sentenced St.Valentine to death.
Although many priests do not engage in relationships, St.Valentine was somewhat secretive about his relationships, until his final days. On the eve of his death, St.Valentine wrote a sweet letter to his dear love and signed it “Love, Your Valentine.”
It was this ending that inspired the hearts of many others to begin the tradition of Valentine’s Day. It is a day to show the one you love just how much you love them. Since this tragic story, Valentine’s cards, chocolates and flowers have been sent to recognize love. On February 14 the entire world will celebrate this holiday, and love will be shared all around the world as it is year after year.

Welcome Back Qatar

As SC4 students were beginning the semester, a few faces were absent from campus.
A five-person team consisting of SC4 President Dr. Kevin Pollock, SC4 professor Robert Tansky, retired SC4 professor Thomas Mooney, SC4 Trustee Nicholas DeGrazia and Board of Trustees Chair John Adair.
According to a press release by Shawn Starkey, Executive Director of Public Relations, Marketing, and Legislative Affairs for SC4, the group met with His Excellence Abdullla Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, five-time president of OPEC and current minister of education in Qatar; His Excellence Abdullah Khalid Al-Attiya, governor of Qatar Central Bank; Abdulrahman Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, secretary general of the Gulf Corporation Council; Mohamed Abdulla Al-Attiyia, petroleum engineer; and Sultan K. Elsewidi, retired sports industry executive.
The trip was to discuss collaboration between SC4 and a new community college being built in the capital city Doha, Qatar, having students from Qatar study English at SC4, and possible student and faculty exchanges.
“They’re trying to choose one to maybe three or four selective community colleges in the United States to work with,” said Pollock. “We’re pretty excited about opportunities for educational and cultural exchanges.”
“[Qatar has] picked out the top schools in the world to educate their young people,” said Tansky. “They also realize how important international trade is.”
Both Tansky and Pollock said the Qatari people understood the value of education. During the trip, a student excused himself to get something “special.” He returned with an Economy book from Tansky’s class, taught in the 70’s.
The deal between Qatari officials is not set in stone, however. SC4 has submitted a proposal, which will be gone over by members of the new Qatari community college.
“It all depends on what they’ll let us do with the next steps,” said Pollock.
Nonetheless, Pollock and Tansky found the trip “worthwhile,” and remain optimistic for what this could mean at SC4 when it comes to cultural and educational exchange.
“The better understanding we have of outside of our own little area, the better we’re going to be,” Pollock said.

Avatar Mixed Bag

Avatar has won numerous accolades, broken world records and pioneered new special effects technology, but movie goers hoping for revolutionary writing will be disappointed. Written, produced and directed by James Cameron (Titanic, The Terminator Series), and starring Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang.
Cameron’s latest offering sees Sam Worthington (Terminator Salvation) play Jake Sully, a paraplegic ex-marine who ships out to the alien world Pandora to take part in an experiment started by his dead brother.
On the lush jungle world, a nebulous and unnamed corporation harvests the poorly named, extremely expensive and rare element ‘Unobtanium.’ The corporation hires military forces, led by Stephen Lang (The Men Who Stare at Goats) in a turn as transparent antagonist Colonel Miles Quaritch to fight the dangerous Native creatures.
The world is home to a myriad of wonderfully designed and animated creatures and scenery, and a large blue humanoid native race. The natives revere nature, which stands at odds to the corporate interests.
Jake Sully soon finds himself between the two worlds, when he inhabits the body of a genetic hybrid between the two species. Sigourney Weaver (Ghostbusters II, the Alien series) guides him as Doctor Grace Augustine, a cynical, but caring scientist.
The film takes much from tales like “Dances with Wolves”, “Pocahontas” and other similar tails, without adding anything substantial. Often times the characters seem flat, and the dialogue stilted, with slower scenes tending to drag on dramatically.
It does, however, showcase remarkable special effects and visual design, reminding us why James Cameron is so lauded for his films. The action scenes where masterfully done, if sometimes overly long, with a climax that is breathtaking. Those who go expecting a thought provoking film will leave disappointed, but those who know what to expect from Cameron hopefully won’t regret having seen it.

A Cool Place to Be

In the beginning, there was Pastime Hobbies. And according to its regulars, it was good. While other stores came and went, Pastime Hobbies served gamers in Port Huron for over 20 years.
Jeff Kenny worked at Pastime for his father Gary in charge of games. In 2009, Jeff branched off from Pastime Hobbies and founded Cool City Games. And the gamers of Port Huron followed.
“I am the Moses of gaming, and these are my people,” joked Kenny.
Located just north of the local comic shop and pizza place, Cool City Games has become the newest home to the gaming scene. Walk through the front door and you’ll be greeted by miniatures, cards, books and board games.
Come in through the back door, and you’ll see where the magic happens. Space marines battle aliens on hostile planets. Jedi clash with Sith lords for control of the empire. Planeswalkers attack each other with spells and creatures.
The game room is the cultural hub of Cool City. Board games, a poker set and boxes of cards line the back wall. Patrons sit at tables, pitting their skills against one another. A sign hangs over the wall reading, “Beware of Steve,” referring to Kenny’s brother.
The game room was one of the most important factors, according to Kenny. “I could still use more space.”
The split from Pastime Hobbies was, “something my father and I had been discussing for several years,” according to Kenny. “It came sooner than I thought it would.”
“An opportunity presented itself for me to buy a portion of that business,” said Kenny. With his father’s blessing, Kenny opened the doors to Cool City Games March 4, 2009.
According to employee Mike Beaver, the first item sold by the store was a miniature for the tabletop war-game “Warhammer.” “Warhammer” would also be the first game played at the store.
Cool City regular John Bright prefers the new space. “[In Pastime Hobbies] you were off in a separate room,” said Bright. “You didn’t feel so much part of the store, whereas here you’re almost integrated.”
“I think it’s great,” said Christine Carr, Bright’s girlfriend and business partner. “No offense to Gary, but I like this place better.”
“Pastime was a hobby store with a game room,” said Bright.
“And this is a gaming store,” added Carr.
Ask anyone why they keep coming back to Cool City, and the answer is the same: the sense of community.
“For 15 years I’ve built up a very, very loyal base of customers that continue to support me,” said Kenny.
“Jeff wants a very ‘Cheers’ environment, plain and simple,” said Bright. “He’s created a very club-like atmosphere.”
In addition to being regulars at Cool City games, Bright and his girlfriend also run “Magic: The Gathering” tournaments and has a business within the store buying and selling cards.
“We’re not in it for pure profit; we’re here to basically provide a hobby for ourselves and everybody else,” said Bright.
While not officially an employee, Bright has become another helpful face, ready to assist players with any questions they might have.
“It usually has a pretty good atmosphere,” said SC4 librarian Brennan Murphy. “A lot of different people come in to play different games. It’s a good place to go if you want to pick up a game.”
Even the younger crowd has embraced Cool City games.
“It’s great,” said Port Huron High School student Justin Martin. “Everybody is friendly. People come in, and they always want to help out. And it’s great that they’re not mad because we’re the younger crowd. They actually kind of encourage the younger crowd.”
“They’re everyday people,” said fellow student Kyle Gratz.
Financially, Cool City’s first year has been a good one.
“I would attribute it to the niche that I’m catering to, and the fact that there really isn’t any other competition,” said Kenny.
According to Kenny, business picks up whenever a new subset of “Magic: The Gathering” is released. “Going through the books, it just glares out at you whenever those weekends are.”
While business has been good, it hasn’t been perfect. Kenny noted a trend toward “down-spending” thanks to the local economy. Regulars who might have supposed multiple hobbies are now only nurturing one or two.
The new business also had its share of surprises, including a “disappointing” holiday season. “I was used to Pastime Hobbies’ holiday season, where we sold trains and all those ‘big ticket’ items,” said Kenny.
Holiday season aside, Kenny says he has no complaints. “It’s been great with foot traffic from the college.”
Cool City Games has kept afloat financially, but Kenny and others said money is a secondary goal of the store.
“I’ve got exactly what I bargained for,” said Kenny. “Probably about 75 percent of my customers have become pretty good friends. It’s a nice position to be in.”

Battle of the Bands Rocks Campus

210 people packed into SC4’s Fine Arts Theatre when SC4 held the first annual “Battle of the Bands” Thursday, Jan. 28.
Bands playing the concert were Walking Past Nowhere, Reckless Ambitions, Gasoline Gypsy and Bishop’s Collar; also making a special appearance were bar-rockers Straight Shooter.
Profits went to SC4’s baseball team, who sponsored the show. Students paid 5 dollars per ticket while non-students paid 10 dollars, and each person that bought a ticket earned a vote for their favorite band. Additional votes were one dollar and ten votes for five dollars.
The first band of the night was newly-formed Walking Past Nowhere. According to lead singer Cody Harnden, it was the bands “first show as a group.” While backstage, Harnden, 15, of Fort Gratiot, also said the band has been together “for only four months, so we’ve been working our butts off.”
Reckless Ambitions was the second band of the night. Brian Forstner, 18, of Kimball Township, said, “The guitarist (Joshua Hoffman) reminded me of a young Eric Clapton.”
Winner of Battle of the Bands, Gasoline Gypsy, featured a trio that was a resemblance of The Black Crowes. When it was announced Gasoline Gypsy were the winners, the crowd stood up and cheered and the band got on stage to thank the crowd for being there and thanked fans for “all of their support.”
According to Denny Dwyer, the winning band won $500 in cash as “the band with the most votes.”
Bishops Collar was the last band on stage. According to the band, it was their last “hometown show” before they re-located to Buffalo, NY.
Straight Shooter, a band more known around the bar scene, played a few songs while the votes were being counted, playing the well known “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”
“This is probably the youngest crowd we have played for in a long time,” said bassist Rick Langolf to the crowd.
According to Denny Dwyer, the baseball team raised “$2,000 which includes ticket sales and vote sales.”