Review Category : Features

Davis Community Meals hosts 12th annual Thanksgiving meal

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the city of Davis is trying its best to ensure that all people in the community receive the bountiful Thanksgiving feast that Americans dream of all year long. Davis Community Meals (DCM), an organization designed to ensure that low-income and homeless members living in the city of Davis are fed on a regular basis, is currently preparing for its 12th annual Thanksgiving meal for the local underserved community. DCM provides multiple services to the homeless and low-income persons living in Davis and the surrounding communities since its start in 1991. In addition to providing food assistance, DCM offers clothing, housing, school-supplies, counseling and medical care to those unable to obtain these resources on their own. “It’s very rewarding,” said DCM executive director Bill Pride. “I think knowing that you’ve got folks with not a lot of family or friends, [celebrating] a holiday with them and having them come on Thanksgiving and get a nice meal and mingle and socialize with the folks — knowing... ...

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Local community and artists explore synesthesia with art

For Lauren Traetto, numbers are much more than just figures. Nine is an older and reasonable number. Seven is red and a youthful boy. Six is his bossy little sister who has an illusion that she will be hurt and one is a small boy who always does the right thing. Traetto has synesthesia, a rare neurological condition in which two or more senses are intermingled such that the simulation of one sensory pathway leads to involuntary experiences through another sensory pathway. Synesthesia can manifest itself in a variety of ways, from words being associated with colors, to being able to smell music. On Saturday, the Davis Art Salon featured two dozen professional and student artists who tried to capture the sensation of this sensory phenomenon in their artworks, showcasing a variety of pieces from electronics to oil paintings at the UC Davis Nelson Gallery. In addition to the art, Traetto presented her experiences with synesthesia at the event alongside UC Berkeley psychology graduate student Bryan Alvarez, who discussed his... ...

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UC Davis Students Call for Statewide Action

On Nov. 24 at noon, hundreds of UC Davis students and community members gathered on the Quad and staged a march through Downtown Davis as a part of the “UC/CSU/CC Statewide Call for Action” protest regarding the UC Regents’ decision to increase UC tuition by five percent annually over the next five years. Last week, before the Regents voted, demonstrators marched through campus in protest of the tuition plan and occupied Mrak Hall—the main administration office building. “Last week it was really powerful getting everyone together and having our voices heard. Today’s another day to have our voices heard,” said third-year anthropology major Sky Johnson. “This one, more than last week, is our protest. We don’t want to hear from the chancellor and the UC Regents. This is us saying ‘we matter and our voices matter.'” In light of UC Regent and Bank of America Board Member Monica Lozano voting in favor of the tuition hikes at the UC Regents meeting last week, protesters occupied the Bank of America office located on E Street during today’s march. At... ...

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ASUCD Fall 2014 Senate Election Results

On Nov. 21 at 4 p.m, ASUCD Elections Committee Chair, John Wu, announced the results of the ASUCD Fall 2014 Senate Elections. The winners are as follows, in order of highest voter turnout: Alex Lee, Casey Nguyen, Reem Fatayerji, Roman Rivilis, Anabiah Syed and Andrea Velazquez. “I don’t know how I feel yet, it’s going to be a really long year,” said fourth-year political science and economics double major and senate-elect Roman Rivilis. “ We have a lot on our table and a lot of obstacles we need to overcome, especially with the coming tuition hikes and the climate of student activism that we need to foster in ASUCD.” 2,896 voters turned out for this quarter’s elections. This was significantly lower than the Winter 2014 Senate Elections, whose voter turnout was 27.11 percent — the second highest in recorded ASUCD history. “I do have to say that I am disappointed in the voter turnout,” said current ASUCD Senator Gareth Smythe. “ASUCD controls a lot of resources. This is one of... ...

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Interclinic consortium works to increase collaboration between clinics

When fifth-year environmental toxicology major Marianne So was volunteering at the UC Davis student-run Bayanihan Clinic, it was located on V Street in Sacramento, less than a mile from a similar organization, Shifa Clinic, located on the same street. Although So knew friends at Shifa Clinic, she thought it was interesting that they had never carpooled from Davis together. In the beginning of 2014, So started the Interclinic Consortium in an attempt to organize collaboration between the nine undergraduate, student-run clinics operating in Sacramento with the help of UC Davis medical students and undergraduates. “When I was with Bayanihan Clinic as both a board member and an undergraduate volunteer, I saw that there was little collaboration between all the different student-run free clinics,” said So, who currently serves as director of the consortium. It took a total of three years from the idea’s inception to its fruition. So specifically spent her time garnering support from faculty members, board members and medical students at the clinics. “At first it was difficult,... ...

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UC Davis students discuss National Diabetes Awareness Month

It started with extreme exhaustion, then intense dehydration kicked in. Seven-year-old Camille Andre would drink tons of water, but it would just flow through her without an effect. When her mother took her to the hospital, she was already having difficulty swallowing food without drinking liquid. The doctors told her parents that diabetes was the problem. Diabetes, medically referred to as diabetes mellitus, is a metabolic disorder in which a person has constantly high levels of blood glucose (blood sugar). Due to the body’s inability to properly use or adequately produce insulin, a hormone made in the pancreas that enables our cells to absorb glucose from our blood, sugar accumulates in the blood, resulting in hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar. Now a second-year biochemistry and molecular biology major at UC Davis, Andre still remembers the moments leading up to her diabetes diagnosis. “That day for snack, we had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and I couldn’t swallow without drinking milk or water because my mouth was so dry,” Andre recalled.... ...

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Meet the ASUCD Fall 2014 Senate Candidates

Alex Lee: As the founder and president of the UC Davis Filmmaking Society, second-year political science major and independent senatorial candidate Alex Lee plans to prioritize student organizations if elected. “We have 700+ registered student organizations at UC Davis, but we don’t have ASUCD infrastructure to oversee them,” Lee said. “Student government should be about student services. I saw a need and I am trying to fill it.” In addition to increasing club resources and advocacy, Lee’s platforms include implementing testing materials vending machines and adding Boba drinks to the CoHo menu. Lee’s experience includes internships with University Affairs and ASUCD Senators Felicia Ong and Gareth Smythe. Lee said his involvement with the Vietnamese Student Association and Taiwanese Chinese Student Association also helps him understand the needs of clubs on-campus. Anabiah Syed: Coming from an underrepresented community on-campus, third-year political science major and Students Matter: Activism, Retention, Teamwork (SMART) senatorial candidate Anabiah Syed said she believes running for ASUCD Senate would allow her to give students a voice. “For me,... ...

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Volunteers, artists, Davis residents support unique local museum

A little over a year ago, a man carried a 89-pound iron ball into the Hattie Weber Museum, located on C Street in Downtown Davis. The iron ball had sat atop Davis’s first water tower, previously functioning as a lightning rod. The man’s father-in-law, who was moving to a rest home, told the volunteers at the museum that every Fourth of July, the Davis Fire Chief would crawl on top of the water tower, grab the iron ball and stand on his head to the general cheers of the masses below. This iron ball is just one of many curious artifacts donated to the Hattie Weber Museum. Situated in the corner of Davis’ Central Park, the little building exhibits a wide range of objects that each hold a little piece of Davis’ history: a locked safe that not even an expert could open, a quilt made during the Civil War, a till from the 1920s that can ring up no more than $9.99 and creamers from when UC Davis first... ...

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An interview with electrical engineering professor Josh Hihath

Josh Hihath is an assistant professor in the electrical and computer engineering department at UC Davis. He is beginning his fourth year teaching and conducting research on campus. Prior to his time in Davis, he was a research professor at Arizona State University. Hihath teaches undergraduate and graduate level classes in electrical engineering, where students learn to describe the physical processes that control semiconductor devices like transistors and diodes. He has also started a graduate class on molecular electronics, which is directly related to his research. Hihath’s research includes the study of single-molecule devices, determining the functionality and practicality of single-molecule transistors. He also explores the wider use of the method for singling out a molecule, including its use in the field of biology. What in general do you do in your research? We focus primarily on the electrical and energy conversion properties of molecular scale devices. Most of what we do is at the single-molecule level. We have this technique where we can make contact to just one molecule... ...

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Davis residents, students participate in National Novel Writing Month

Every year, on the evening of Oct. 31, aspiring and seasoned writers from all over the world eagerly wait for the clock to strike midnight to start work on their 50,000-word novel. November is National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo for short. “I feel like a lot of people have ‘write a novel’ on their bucket list, so why not get it done today?” said Davis resident and NaNoWriMo participant Judy Hanna. Hanna also participates in the weekly November write-ins that happen at Cloud Forest Café on Sundays between midnight and 3 p.m. The write-ins are designed to connect all Davis participants of NaNoWriMo who may feel they need companionship during their novel writing process. Second-year English major at UC Davis and NaNoWriMo participant Alicia Josey said writing with other people encourages her to work harder on the project, and also allows her to see how others are doing with their stories. On the first day of the event, Josey wrote by herself at another cafe and she... ...

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Interview with specialist Maurice Pitesky

Maurice Pitesky is an assistant specialist in cooperative extension at UC Davis who also teaches about the poultry industry in California. As a veterinarian and epidemiologist, he is interested in how diseases spread through flocks of chickens from the perspectives of poultry health and food safety. Prior to working at the university, Pitesky worked with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the California State Senate and the Lawrence Livermore National Lab. What is your current research on? The first thing is I do a lot of mapping of disease. So I use a technique called GIS, Global Information Systems, and what we try to do in our group is understand how avian diseases move in space and time. If we understand how they’ve moved in California over the last 10 or 20 years, we can hopefully come to some kind of understanding of how these diseases are moving in and out of avian populations and come up with mitigations to reduce their spread in the next 10 or 20... ...

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Davis Filmmaking Society drives students’ cinematography passions

Operating as a small-scale movie-making studio while emulating the film industry, the Davis Filmmaking Society (DFS) works to train its members in the field of cinematography. Despite only having been created last Winter Quarter by a group of first-year students, the organization has grown rapidly since its start and now consists of over 50 members. “What we really want to do is to unite the filmmakers of Davis, put them into one community and really foster filmmaking as an art,” said Alex Lee, a second-year political science major and DFS president and co-founder. “There are a lot of career options, but one thing we obviously want to do is make art and have fun doing it. Right now since we’re such a new club, I’m still expanding us into several different directions and I want to gradually incorporate it into being more business-like too.” With members of all experience levels, from zero film background to years of working in various roles for the industry, DFS welcomes all types of students.... ...

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Interview with human rights professor Keith Watenpaugh

In the religious studies department in Sproul Hall, one will find professor Keith Watenpaugh in his office overlooking the university campus from the ninth floor. An associate professor of modern Islam, human rights and peace since 2006, Watenpaugh recently developed the human rights minor at UC Davis. His most recent research involves displaced Syrian university students in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon. What are you currently researching? I just finished a book called Bread from Stones: The Middle East and the Making of Modern Humanitarianism under contract with the University of California Press. I’ve researched the history, theory and practice of human rights and humanitarianism, especially in the wake of war and genocide. The research I’m currently working on involves understanding the current conditions facing refugee university students from the war in Syria, both as a problem of security and the human right to education. When did this research begin? We began the research work in March 2013. This last month concluded the third part of the study in Turkey. It’s... ...

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New app “Yik Yak” hits UC Davis

Whether keeping students up-to-date on the latest local happenings or simply serving as a source of entertainment during lecture, there has been plenty of chitchat about new smartphone application “Yik Yak” over the past few weeks at UC Davis. “In general, our biggest communities are college kids,” said Cam Mullen, YikYak lead community developer. “[College students] can use it to connect with the people around them immediately, and that’s a core feature.” The Yik Yak app requires no sign-up, and upon opening, shows a hundred of the most recent anonymous posts within a two-mile radius of the user’s location. The app has grown in popularity since its launch in November 2013, and is now active at over 1,000 college campuses across the country. “Yik Yak has two parts. The first one is location based, which is different [from] any of these sites that want you to friend people,” Mullen said. “The other thing is how you keep your privacy — it’s anonymous and that lets you have discussions about things... ...

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Artists install public, interactive art throughout Davis

     As Bill Maul painted Godzilla’s torso, standing on a ladder at the top of an outdoor stairwell leading to the roof of the F Street parking structure in downtown Davis, Alex Reisfar outlined the carnivorous pursuits of another less fictional dinosaur on the adjacent wall. The collaboration, mixing the separate influences of two artists from different parts of the country, brought together two different styles of art sharing a theme to a public space. The F Street garage, dubbed the “Art Garage” by its creators, is the latest experiment undertaken by art gallery owner John Natsoulas to paint the walls of Davis. Maul is the leader of the Davis mural team, which includes Resifar, from Portland, Ore.; Monto Kumagai, who documents most of the works and several other local artists. The Art Garage is an expansion of the Transmedia Art Walk, which links together most of the publicly available art on the UC Davis campus and in the streets of downtown Davis, most of the latter being interactive.... ...

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