Tag Archives: Rachel Olivia Kobylas

Let there be light

Rachel Olivia Kobylas

Staff Writer

Dozens of people flocked to a very chilly and very operational Goodells County Park on April 16 and 17. The chill in the air didn’t dampen spirits, nor did it hinder attendance at the event.

Don Gardner, one of the Park Rangers present at the DNR (e)’s display said, “You know it’s cold, when all the officers are fighting to wear the ‘Smokey the Bear’ suit.”

Children happily snapped pictures with “Smokey” and buzzed about petting areas that Tiger Bunny Acres provided.

Many gardening enthusiasts read, purchased and entered to win rain barrels. Families sampled foods from various vendors, while others purchased organic seeds and plants from Woods Edge Herb Farm.

Despite the chill in the air, Earth Fair 2010 brought people together for a purpose.

Learning of how to start, or progress in living a greener lifestyle abounded throughout the two day event. Learning experiences at each vendor’s table were vast, and geared toward any age group or knowledge level.

Children stayed busy and studious along a river walk area where they could learn about, and get up close views of crayfish, fish, bugs and other plant life found in St. Clair County rivers and streams.

Within reaching distance, their parents enjoyed the water filtration display, and learned about our local watersheds.

SC4 was a visible presence at Earth Fair as the Green Team, Alternative Energy Program, and the Engineering Program took up an expanse of half of one barn with various green displays.

Anthony Szuminski, 20, freshman of SC4, also participated with the college and took his own time to experience Earth Fair. His involvement at this year’s Earth Fair was due to “personal interest, for class and the Engineering Club. We helped build a lot of the displays. We helped create the connection for the energy to power the light up on one of the bikes.”

A student of Professor Bob Hunckler’s Intro to Sustainable Energy Concepts, Szuminski hopes to be at next year’s Earth Fair. “I’d give it an eight, there was a lot of cool people and it was fun to work with the kids.”

Swanson’s Future Uncertain

Rachel Olivia Kobylas

Staff Writer

   On Good Friday, Professor Craig Swanson was issued documentation for the beginning of a dismissal process from St. Clair County Community College. “This was a recommendation of my evaluating committee that I be dismissed,” Swanson said. 

   This process began with an overall poor committee evaluation from Denise McNeil, Vice President of Academic Services; Kraig Archer, Discipline Coordinator; Scott Fernandez, committee member.   

   According to Swanson, “Denise McNeil now has 10 days to make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees. Then the Board decides whether or not to dismiss me.” 

   “This came very much as a shock,” Craig Swanson said. “I’m more friendly than authoritative in demeanor, but I didn’t think it would rise to this level.”

   Swanson also said of the evaluation that it looked as though he is “forcing my opinion on [the students], like I’m a tyrant in class, trying to make them believe the way I do and my students will say that’s clearly not the case.” 

   The Board of Trustee meeting, which will decide Swanson’s fate, is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 15 and will be in room 150 of the Citizens First Michigan Technical Education Center.

   Swanson said, “I’m going to fight it as vigorously as I can. I’m trying to clear my reputation, as this is saying I’m not an adequate  professor, and I’d say I’m one of the better ones.  I will fight this dismissal and hopefully remain here.” 

   Professor Swanson has been teaching at St. Clair County Community College for two years, while his career consists of 12 years of teaching. He is the current President of LAND, The Liberal Arts Network for Development, a state-wide organization and has participated in several student organizations including speaking at a Symposium for Phi Theta Kappa.

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.

Chilly Fest Makes Tracks

Rachel Olivia Kobylas
Staff Writer

Tread marks, paw prints, and hoof silhouettes are just some of the tracks that will be left behind by this weekend’s Chilly Fest. The event is scheduled to take place in Downtown Port Huron, Friday, Jan. 22 through Sunday, Jan. 24.
For those feeling a financial pinch, this weekend provides opportunities for family fun that is free of charge. John Henry, local artist and professor at St. Clair County Community College will be creating ice sculptures with other artists in front of McMorran Place Friday and Saturday.
According to Lee Ann Peart, Director of Downtown Port Huron, “There will be over 63 ice sculptures downtown for viewing.” If you get too chilly during demonstrations, Power’s Diner on Military St., will be offering free coffee and hot cocoa to spectators and participants all weekend.
One of the main focal points of Chilly Fest is the snowmobile races in Desmond Landing. There will be approximately 250 professional snow mobile racers at the event, and on Friday admission is free. Peart said, “The tent will be open at noon and they will be doing trial runs all day.” Sunday is the main race where Peart said “the big dogs” of the race will be on the track.
On Saturday, the ladies may want to take part in the ‘Women’s Pampering Place’ provided by BRIDGES Wesleyan Church at 1101 Fourth St., which is near the corner of Wall St. and Fourth St., downtown. They will be offering an assortment of free treatments between 11a.m. and 4p.m. Some treatments include: manicures, pedicures, facials, and massages.
Scheduling an appointment will be necessary, contact Lee Ann Peart at (810) 984 9790. Pastor Scott Bin of BRIDGES said, “This is for the ladies looking for a getaway from all that testosterone laden stuff. We want to let them know that we’re glad they’re in Port Huron.”
During the same time frame on Saturday, weather permitting, there will be dog sled demonstrations at Desmond Landing. Saturday and Sunday the World Series on Ice Snowmobile Drag Races begin, admission to the event will be 10 dollars per day, but parking will be free at Desmond Landing.
There will be horse carriage rides, a “Kidzone” area complete with televisions and video gaming systems, tours at Knowlton Ice Museum, and the Budweiser Big Igloo where there will be daily live entertainment, local bands, hot food and cold beer.
There are seven different local vendors, all that will be serving an assortment of goods as well as the traditional chili. Transportation between Chilly Fest and the festivities, stores and restaurants downtown will be provided by the local trolley system.