Pierce Pioneer

Citizens in American concentration camps

Japanese Americans in Tacoma, WA were thriving since before WWII, and on Dec. 7, 1941, the idea of their citizenship changed. US navy base Pearl Harbor in a surprise attack was bombed by the Japanese navy air service. Afterwards, Japanese American citizens were looked upon differently.

“US citizens were among the first in the country to be forced from their homes with only the baggage they could carry,” the Tacoma History blog stated.

Any day starts as routine for anyone, until there is a knock at the door that will change life and perspective forever. Perhaps more importantly is the understanding that when speaking of American citizens, only a certain people come to mind at first.

I recently read “We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration,” written by Frank Abe and Tamiko Nimura. The experience was bittersweet in a sense because I love learning history but am aware that it’s sometimes ugly.

The book is a graphic novel which is excellently done, and I would invite anyone to read and go as far to say it was a great way to communicate history. However, this is not a review. What I am writing now is more a reflection on the occurrences and hoping to find out if the United States has learned something from the experience.

The graphic novel, like its title adheres to, reveals the struggle of Japanese Americans during WWII. The story covers the experiences of three people, Jim Akutsu, Hiroshi Kashiwagi and Mitsuye Endo. Each had difficult choices to make during their incarceration but raised questions of what citizenship actually is for someone who immigrated to the states.

Tacoma history has shown that Japanese people have been immigrating to the US since the 1880s. Through the 1940s a Japantown in downtown Tacoma was formed and was blossoming. Today, other than the Gerard Tsutakawa’s Maru sculpture close to University of Washington Tacoma, there is nearly no evidence of a once buzzing and vibrant Japantown.

There were hotels, barbers, dry cleaners, laundries, Japanese newspaper offices, restaurants, temples, churches, produce stands, import shops and a Japanese-language school. The town stretched from 17th Street near Union Station north to 11th street and from Pacific Avenue west to Market Street.

I have lived in Tacoma for almost two decades and have been downtown many times and have never seen a trace of Japantown. I will admit that I was never really looking for one and have not tried to acknowledge there was one. The main reason is not because of a desire to not see one, but merely because I had no idea there ever was one.      

“There is no Japanese American neighborhood here now and that is one of the many incalculable costs of the Nikkei wartime incarceration,” Nimura stated in a blog on Discover Nikkei.

In 1942, 900 Japanese Tacomans were loaded onto a train headed to Pinedale Assembly Facility near Fresno Calif. Later, the Washington State Fairgrounds in Puyallup was converted into an internment camp for Japanese Americans from Seattle and Alaska.

During this time, Japanese men were being enlisted into the military to prove their loyalty to the US. Akutsu, Seattle born and native, refused to be drafted to the army when he was classified as a non-citizen and an enemy alien. He saw he had no obligation to serve and was imprisoned at McNeil Island Penitentiary.

Adults were given a questionnaire that became known as the “loyalty questionnaire,” meant for recruiting to the armed forces. Kashiwagi, born in Calif. was defined as a “disloyal” for refusing to answer. He renounced his US citizenship because answering yes or no, would be admitting allegiance to the Emperor of Japan.

Endo was the plaintiff in the landmark lawsuit which led to the ultimate closing of the concentration camps in 1945. She was sent with her family to the Tule Lake, Calif. concentration camp after being dismissed from employment. Along with 63 other employees she challenged the firings with the aid of JACL and their lawyer James C. Purcell.

Akutsu is a vocal critic of the Japanese American Citizens League and now lives in Seattle. Kashiwagi died in 2019 but became a poet, playwright, actor, author and known as a pioneer of Asian American Theatre. Endo resettled in Chicago and took a position as secretary for the Mayor’s Committee of Race relations and later died in 2006.

Perhaps their struggles are highlighted in history. The reality is the struggles are shared by a community of people who were either born in the US or had established a life here.

American citizens were incarcerated. American citizens were forced to renounce citizenship. American citizens were robbed of their life and dignity.

“For the sake of my daughters,” Nimura stated, “I have to believe that a deeper sense of empathy for all of our histories is possible.”

The legends and history of mount rainier

Standing at 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier is one of Washington State’s natural treasures and iconic landscapes. The glacial peak is an active volcano, but thriving with wildlife, an aged forest, rivers, missing hikers, hidden dangers, history and even legends.

“Mount Rainier National Park is part of the traditional lands of indigenous people who have been here for generations,” the National Park website stated. “We learn from their example of stewardship and respect for the land.”

From Native American tribes, world explorers, tourists, industrialism, the Great Depression, WWII and picnicking families, all have visited the iconic landscape. Mount Rainier has seen people and times of all kinds. At first glance when visiting the park, the land begins to articulate the tales of its life and the enchantment ensues.

The Cowlitz, Muckleshoot, Nisqually, Puyallup, Squaxin, Island and Yakama were some of the native tribes who presided over the mountain. Archeologists have discovered that the ancestors of these tribes would hunt seasonally and gather resources like medicinal plants and berries. For thousands of years the native people were living on and traveling to Mount Rainier.

A native American guide named Sluiskin in 1833 led a party of European settlers to the mountain and was concerned with their intention of climbing. The concern was due to the belief that a malevolent spirit lived at the lake of fire on the summit.

The tribes knew the stories of the volcano and never climbed past the snowline. Mount Rainier and other volcanoes, according to their stories, had romantic relationships with each other. The natives considered them deities who were vengeful and erratic with their love affairs and each having an evil spirit at their peaks.   

The mountain was known to the tribes as Talol, Takoma or Tahoma, meaning “mother of waters,” or “snow-covered mountain.” Yet another possible meaning is “larger than mount baker.” The current name was given by George Vancouver, who named it Rainier in honor of his friend, Rear Admiral Peter Rainier in 1792.

In 1899, various businesses, scientists and mountaineers came together to establish a park around Mount Rainier, thus making it the nation’s fifth national park. When agriculture, grazing and mining on the mountain met with difficulties, the interest shifted toward tourism and study of the glacial terrain. Even after the opening of the park the mountain remained important to the native people.

Many changes began to be seen at the mountain once the park opened. By 1930 roads were being built and surveyed, and The Paradise Inn was opened with plans to develop the Sunrise Day Lodge. All the changes brought about debate to how much of the area should be developed or left as wilderness.

During the Great Depression, the park started to try and add more attractions. Visitation to the park was down even after a nine-hole golf course, a new area at the Sunrise and plans for a ski lift were being added. With visitors still dwindling, the park received funding from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal,” for improvements to campgrounds, trails and forest fire protection.

During WWII the park saw little visitors and was instead used as a training ground for the 10th Mountain Division, who were known as skier soldiers, with a unique style of combat. After the war the focus for an increase in visitors to the park started.

In the mid-1950s the federal government started a project called Mission 66 and were seeking to upgrade national parks nationwide. Mount Rainier would be the first to get development under the new program and served as an example to various national trends.

Since the opening of the park, there have been millions of people who have visited and almost half a million people have attempted a climb to the summit. The mountain is used in many different ways recreationally and certain areas have been zoned for those purposes. 98% of the park was designated as wilderness by the Washington Wilderness Act of 1988 and there has been an effort to understand and protect the natural resources.

Historically the mountain has been significant to many people, whether native or otherwise. A lot of changes, views and meaning of the mountain have shifted since the start, but with all the increase in use can the park remain standing for more generations to enjoy?

“If the past history is any guide,” the park website stated, “The park will adapt to new challenges and continue to preserve the mountain as a place of wonder.” 

Washington State passes its first Capital Gains tax

The home of America’s two wealthiest men now has its first capital gains tax. 

Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law Senate Bill 5096 on May 4 that taxes the asset revenues of up to 18,000 residents. The new law is effective January 2022. 

The law imposes a 7% tax on the sale of stocks, bonds and other high-end assets over $250,000 for both individuals and couples, and is expected to bring in $500 million in 2023 and upwards of a billion dollars from 2025-27. 

Retirement accounts, real estate, farms and forestry would be exempt from the proposed tax. Also, qualified taxpayers will be allowed to deduct up to $100,000 a year from their capital gains if they made more than $250,000 in charitable donations in the same tax year.

Washington state was deemed the “least equitable” tax system of any state by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy in a 2018 report. In light of this fact, Democrat lawmakers have focused on creating a tax system that would produce funds for K-12 schools and child care programs.

According to  one of the bill’s lead sponsors, Washington’s wealth inequality has led to rampant homelessness and less access to education and opportunities. 

“This is a way to invest in people, a way to invest in infrastructure and the needs we have in order to make people successful,” said Sen. Joe Nguyen.

Opponents to the new law challenged that the bill is unconstitutional based on the Washington Supreme Court decision against an income tax in 1933. The court’s decision determined that income, once received, became an asset, therefore the income tax was a property tax rather than an excise tax. 

Under the state constitution, property tax rates must be uniform across any type of property, so a graduated income tax was seen as a nonuniform property tax.

Former Attorney General Rob Mckenna has joined the second lawsuit against this tax on the grounds of its unconstitutionality. 

“Every taxing authority in the country, including the IRS and all other state revenue departments, agrees that capital gains are income,” the lawsuit reads. “Most states tax capital gains as ordinary income subject to the state’s income tax rates. Neither the federal government nor any other state levies an excise tax on capital gains.”

Yet, proponents of the bill suggest that the measure is a tax on the sale or exchange of assets such as stock and bonds. If the owner doesn’t choose to sell their assets then they will not be taxed on this exchange, therefore classifying it as an excise tax rather than a property tax.

Looking back at how tensions escalated in the holy land

April 13 is known to the Muslim world as the first day of the holy month of Ramadan. Coincidentally, April 13 is also known as Memorial Day in Israel, as they mourn the deaths of soldiers who fought for the nation. This coinciding date sparked the first attribution to the start of the recent resurgence in the Israel-Palestinian conflict. 

That night, Arabs gathered in worship at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, a sacred sight of Islam. A muezzin recited the ritual call to prayer over the loudspeakers of the compound, where thousands of Muslims gathered. Below the compound at the Western Wall, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin prepared to give a speech in commemoration of Memorial Day in front of an inn. 

According to officials of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, a Jordanian agency that oversees Jerusalem’s holy sites, Israeli police demanded that they shut off their loudspeakers as the Israeli’s wanted quiet for soldiers who were praying at the neighboring Western Wall. The agency refused, and police stormed the compound, broke locks, and cut electrical speaker wires, causing outrage amongst Palestinians, Arabs, and the Jordanian government.

This incident may have rolled over in previous years, but shortly after the first night of Ramadan was interrupted, Israeli forces decided to shut down the compound’s Damascus Gate due to Covid-19 gathering concerns and a rise in protests in the area. This location is popular for young Palestinian men to gather during Ramadan after breaking their fast and is often a site for public demonstrations, furthering the outrage amongst the East Jerusalem residents.

A combination of a long-lasting housing conflict, Israeli treatment of Ramadan, and rising radicals on both sides helped facilitate the recent clash in the holy land. 

In the following weeks, protests sparked amongst the Israeli police, Palestinian protestors, and Nationalist Jewish groups across the West Bank and East Jerusalem. According to The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights, over 1,000 Palestinians have been injured in clashes with Israeli forces, killing dozens of Palestinians and several Jewish Israelis. The majority of the riots and protests occurred near the Al-Aqsa Mosque, where much of the current conflict originated. 

Another contribution to the rise in conflict was the surrounding tension behind the scheduled court rulings of evicting six families in the Sheikh Jarrah district of East Jerusalem. The conflict over land dispute goes back to the 1870s when a Jewish trust purchased land in the district from Arabs in Ottoman-controlled Palestine. After the Arab-Israeli War in 1948, the land was controlled by Jordan and then housed Arab families in the area years after, as Jewish residents were expelled from East Jerusalem. 

However, the control of Sheik Jarrah would change hands once more in 1967 following the Six-Day War between Arabs and Israelis. In the 1970s, Israel passed and exercised laws that allowed for previous landowners before 1948 to reclaim their property rights as rightful owners. Tenants could stay and live in the district if they paid rent to the Israeli owner, but evictions have been issued over the last three decades as housing developments have been proposed and built where Palestinian families currently reside. 

In 2021, the Israeli Supreme Court is set to make its decision on whether to evict these six families on July 20, after being postponed in May. The attempt to evict them after they refused to pay rent and built on the property illegally. Over 1,000 Palestinians currently face eviction in East Jerusalem. 

The third contributing factor in the rise in hostility was the May 7 raid of the Al-Aqsa Mosque once more, which held 70,000 worshipers in attendance. Israeli police cleared the site in preparation for Jerusalem Day, where Jews gather and march through the Old City where historic temples once laid. 

Thousands stayed after worship to protest, using stun grenades and rubber bullets, leaving 136 people wounded and 83 hospitalized. Palestinian protesters threw chairs, shoes, rocks, and waved Hamas flags as violence continued to escalate.

Over the next few days, Hamas would fire over 1,000 rockets, 850 of those crossing into Israel territory, and over 200 misfirings, landing in Gaza. The 11-day conflict took the lives of 242 people in the Gaza Strip and 12 people in Israel, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. This would become the most violent uprising between the two forces in years, leaving thousands homeless and thousands more to mourn the death of loved ones.

What we learned from Fauci’s emails

Buzzfeed posted on June 1 more than 3,200 pages of emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, which allows the public to access documents or other data possessed by government agencies or public authorities. The Washington Post obtained more than 800 pages and published a story highlighting what reporters found.

 

The emails span from January to June 2020 and give a glimpse into the mind of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director. According to the emails, he communicated with a variety of health officials, reporters and billionaires.      

 

Fauci coordinated with Facebook to promote COVID-19 guidance

During the last year, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter made it a priority to censor or debunk fake news on their sites. This year, Facebook announced that it would increase efforts to remove false information regarding vaccines and vaccine hesitancy. Shortly after, the company retracted its previous censorship of claims that COVID-19 was man-made after the Biden administration announced it was investigating the origins of the virus. 

 

Dr. Fauci’s emails revealed coordination between himself and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. On March 15, Zuckerberg invited Dr. Fauci to join a Facebook live stream or produce a video for the newly developed Coronavirus Information Hub. 

 

The CEO planned to feature health experts who represent authoritative information rather than listen to other agencies and political leaders.

 

“This isn’t public yet, but we’re building a Coronavirus Information Hub that we’re going to put at the top of Facebook for everyone (200+ million Americans, 2.5 billion people worldwide) with two goals: (1) make sure people can get authoritative information from reliable sources and (2) encourage people to practice social distance and give people ideas for doing this using internet tools,” Zuckerberg wrote. “This will be live within the next 48 hours.”

 

In his response, Dr. Fauci accepted the offer. 

 

“Your idea and proposal sound terrific. I would be happy to do a video for your hub,” Fauci wrote. “We need to reach as many people as possible and convince them to take mitigation strategies seriously or things will get much, much worse. Also, your idea about [REDACTED] is very exciting.”

 

Fauci was warned the virus looked engineered
Kristian G. Andersen who runs a viral genomics lab at Scripps Research in La Jolla, Calif. attached an article titled “Mining coronavirus genomes for clues to the outbreak’s origins,” citing it for its research on the origins and potential mutations of the virus from bats.

 

On the contrary, Dr. Fauci noted the virus’s abnormal features suggested that there is more involved than bats. 

 

“On a phylogenetic tree the virus looks totally normal and the close clustering with bats suggests that bats serve as the reservoir,” he wrote. “The unusual features of the virus make up a really small part of the genome (<0.1%) so one has to look really closely at all the sequences to see that some of the features (potentially) look engineered.”

 

Andersen continued by writing that all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory but added that further analyses needs to be done, so those opinions could change.

 

Furthermore, Dr. Fauci’s emails revealed he attached several documents titled “SARS Gain of Function” suggesting he had some knowledge of such research. In multiple testimonies to Congress, the NIAID director has denied gain of function research was funded by his agency at the Wuhan Lab of Virology. 

 

Fauci disregarded an email highlighting a CCP cover-up

In a long email sent to Dr. Fauci by Erik Nilsen, co-founder and chief executive officer at Bio-Signal Technologies in Texas, dove into his theories behind the Chinese government coverup of the COVID-19 outbreak. He pointed to his accredited experience of working with many connections to China through business, friendship and virology institutions.

 

Nilsen said China stopped its COVID-19 death count on Jan. 7, 2020, and pointed to its motive to fabricate and skew the daily data to “save face.” Chinese Communist Party officials wanted to mislead the world and their people that they were flattening the curve when that was not the case. Instead, the government locked down the city of Wuhan and allowed other citizens to travel nationwide or around the world.

 

Additionally, Nilsen believed that COVID-19 had already spread to the United States in late November or early December. Fauci replied that the email was too long to read.

 

Fauci was aware of therapeutics early in the pandemic

In the same email, Nilsen brought up some conflicting ideas to Dr. Fauci, the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization by writing he advised his family to acquire Alvesco (ciclesonide) for emergency use only. 

 

“I’ve been told by colleagues on the front-line in Japan, China and Korea, and found several pre-print papers, that it is an effective treatment for late-stage COVID-19 patients,” he wrote. “Some patients on ventilators who were approaching death have fully recovered after treatment with ciclesonide; ciclesonide has much smaller particles than other corticosteroids so it reaches deeper into lungs and alveolis).”

 

Furthermore, Nilsen advised his family and friends to obtain hydroxychloroquine, a drug authorized by the FDA to treat malaria, Lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. Fauci, the media and Facebook all denounced the usage of hydroxychloroquine as a safe and effective drug to fight COVID-19.

 

Former President Donald Trump was a major proponent using the drug as a preventative. Doctors worldwide prescribed the controversial drug throughout 2020 when those who went public with their knowledge about the drug’s effectiveness were censored on most social media platforms. 

 

Two independent studies published by Henry Ford Health System and medRxiv found hydroxychloroquine to be safe and effective in treating COVID-19. The first study analyzed 2,541 hospitalized covid patients and found that 13% of hospitalized patients treated with hydroxychloroquine alone died of COVID-19, compared to 26.4% who died who were not treated with the drug. The results in the second study analyzed 255 covid patients on ventilators and took hydroxychloroquine with zinc saw a 200% increase in survival rate.

 

Dr. Fauci advised against masks for healthy people

More contradicting guidance came from emails surrounding Dr. Fauci’s beliefs on masks and their effectiveness to slow the spread of COVID-19. In a reply to former Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, Dr. Fauci advised not to wear a mask when traveling on Feb. 5, 2020.

 

“Masks are really for infected people to prevent them from spreading infection to people who are not infected rather than protecting uninfected people from acquiring infection,” Dr. Fauci wrote. “The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out the virus, which is small enough to pass through the material. It might, however, provide some slight benefit in keeping out gross droplets if someone coughs or sneezes on you. I do not recommend that you wear a mask, particularly since you are going to a very low risk location.”

 

Since then, Dr. Fauci has advocated for mass masking.

Highs and lows of quarantined mental health

Students have had their share of mental ups and downs during quarantine and though some saw the lockdown optimistically others weren’t so sure how to feel.

Having an extrovert or introvert personality had an impact on the mental stability of students as they managed schedules, family, friends, work and solitude. 

“It’s a rollercoaster, where it kind of depends on what I am thinking about,” said Zakariah Swanson ASPCP president of Puyallup student life. “If I can look at the silver lining or not.” 

College life is never really stress free even for the “best” student. There are students that are faced with more than just the usual issues and have added strain due to already having underlying mental health concerns.

“Every day felt like bricks on my chest, the amount of stress I felt,” said Vanessa Garcia, student engagement coordinator. 

Garcia was candid and revealed she has Asperger’s Syndrome and told of the difficulty she was faced with during the pandemic. She also said her favorite part about the quarantine was getting to wear sweatpants for events.

Some students looked at what was lost but also looked at what could be gained. Still the longer it went on the more tiring and the less motivated students were to put up with the status quo.

“The pandemic amplified my mental health,” said Nathan Haueter, student organizations coordinator. “When I was doing really good it made it even better and when I was doing bad it made it worse.”

Finding a solution to manage the highs and lows of mental health seems to rely on relationships and being around people for the motivation to do good. Not having the usual net of people around has made the pandemic more difficult for some students while others were able to stay motivated.

“Celebrate small victories,” said Madison Rannow, vice president of student organizations, commenting on what she would likely tell her past self before the pandemic.

Looking back, many students will have learned many different lessons through diverse struggles, each as hard in its own way as the other. The world turned small for students, both foreign and domestic and all the possibilities that once were within reach were somehow taken and placed a little further out of reach.

Equity Diversity and Inclusion Senator Jessica Xu, finds having an adaptive mentality to be beneficial. Being an international student who has not been able to go home in over a year has built frustration, especially not being able to have family around as a support system.

For some students, the pandemic felt easy at first but harder as it went on. Time out of school kept expanding and became more strenuous. Along the way most students learned to not be hard on themselves and found a way to thrive in the midst of this moment in history.  

“I got used to it and got into a system where my mental health is not based on the circumstances, but on what I decide it to be,” said Karen Nunex-Michel, vice president of activities board.

 


Things to Do This Summer

Kids Need to Play

A new summer program provided for children interested in the STEM field

 

Starting this summer is a federally funded program called Kids Need to Play, where kids can learn, create and have fun using science. Kids Need to Play will provide opportunities like learning about new things within the STEM field such as animals or creating robots; there are even events for gaming, all for ages between 6-14.

 

This is an opportunity for children to get up and stretch their legs and learn to create something new. This program is also not worth a grade, it’s just for those interested in robotics and science. There are different camps for different ages, but spots are filling up fast.

 

Each day there are different events. On July 6-9 at 9:00 a.m. to noon the Snapology Jr. Scientist: All About Animals STEM camp will be held. Kids aged 4-6 can go and learn how caterpillars become butterflies. Children can also analyze how butterflies get to where they are and examine their cycle

 

For older kids, there is Game Bots robotics on July 6-9 at 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. in the same place. But this time the event is for kids 7-14, where kids who like to play games online get to build a game. Game Bots robotics will allow preteens to see how games are made and learn all the math needed in order to make games.

 

Another robotics camp is about building the strongest combat robot that can fight other robots built. Kids not only have to focus on building the coolest one, but also what makes a robot work. This will help kids look at the bigger picture and learn to use lab resources. 

Sign up for this opportunity by visiting their website to learn more about Kids Need To Play.

Where are all the student resources?

Students feel uninformed of the available resources Pierce College has to offer due to lack of advertising

While Pierce has gone through many lengths to make the abrupt transition to online learning as easy as possible for both its staff and students, one issue remains prevalent. As Pierce discusses returning to in-person teaching the issue of advertising available resources remains.

Pierce College students are saying they’re not fully aware of the college’s resources available to them virtually. This is largely because Pierce hasn’t advertised these resources, they say, leaving it up to students to search websites to find what they need. There are useful tabs of info and help that students are missing, most likely because they are unaware it even exists.

Student Heather Schlaht used online resources for her English classes but not for other classes. Schlaht wouldn’t use resources from the library unless it was necessary, as she would prefer to act independently as a student.
“Depending on a specific assignment, [professors] usually tell us, ‘Hey go to this thing on the Pierce website,’” Schlaht said.“[But] I think the biggest problem Pierce has is the multiple layers of websites. When you go to a resource, it’s kind of cluttered I would say.”
Unless the school or a professor specifically guides them to a needed resource, there isn’t much reason to dig further to see what other resources are available. On top of this, some of the pages on Pierce’s site require you to visit multiple links just to get to a specific section. Because of this, it is assumed that many students act independently in their classes when searching for resources.

“I remember there was one thing like the Ctclink [and] trying to get to it; they have this thing where it’s like [you go to] the Pierce website and then it goes to some other website, then you have to click a link to get to your Ctclink,” Schlaht said.

Schlaht often looks on her own to find needed resources online, especially when the college has multiple platforms for information to search through. Students such as Cannon Combs, however, said he didn’t use the suggested resources at all.
“I heard about the Writing Center in English,” Combs said. “I heard about the Tutoring Center from a friend and all the other resources I learned about in English, but I didn’t end up using them,” Combs said.
Combs did in fact sign up for tutoring but didn’t want to wait for the scheduled time, and found the answer he was looking for himself instead. He ended up asking a friend to help out and canceled the session.
Students like Combs question whether they should use Pierce’s available resources such as the Tutoring Center, or use a more direct approach and search for their answers right away, rather than wait for a session.
Pierce provides many resources that can help with school, and counseling is also available to help students with what’s going on around them personally. Some resources students should know about include the library’s website, Writing Center and Tutoring Center. All these resources help with homework or anything students are having trouble with.
The Tutoring Center is a place where students can receive help with homework and understanding their course work. Kannika Armstrong, a Pierce tutor, used to be a college student last year, but now sees both the students’ point of view and the tutor’s point of view.

Tutors like Armstrong are helping students get access to resources like the Tutoring Center by encouraging them to come to a session. Even if students are scared to ask questions she guides them through it.

”Tutor is not a teacher,” Armstrong said. “We don’t teach you, we just come to work together. I can’t grade you, so it’s ok to make a mistake and to say “I don’t know”. [Tutors] support you.”

Armstrong encourages students to seek help in any way and continues to help make that resource as accessible as possible. “I asked the professor to set up the Homework Help form in the module so if they have a question or ask [one] the tutor would go to them and help. But I will guide them, not give them the answer,” Armstrong said.

”You can ask in the Homework Help form, but you have to wait for the answer. But, if you come to the session you get help right away.”

Students who would prefer to receive help through messaging, rather than verbally have that option as well. “I have a student that just messages me all quarter,” Armstrong said. “It’s ok [for them] not to come to the session because [they] still message and contact me and get help through messages.”

Keith Kirkwood, the program manager for the Writing Center, further explains how the Writing Center is a resource available to assist students as well as the Tutoring Center. The Writing Center has an online course on Canvas where students can enroll to get help.
“It gives more information about who we are and of videos explaining how we do things, and resources we create in the house for students about particular assignments,” Kirkwood said.
The resources you need are all on Canvas under the Student Support tab. There students can find the Tutoring Center, the Writing Center and even the library. These can be accessed by clicking on the required tab needed to take you to the resources information.

With the resources in the student support center, students can find amazing people to contact and get help from. Tutors like Armstrong, for example, are there to encourage you and guide you through the answer, rather than having to rely on friends. Many more are ready to help students as well.

Don’t be scared to ask for help; these resources are here to aid students, not to judge or grade them. The resources may not be advertised in the most resourceful way to find them, but they are there and with many resources currently that could greatly aid students in need.


Links to resources from Pierce:

 

Online Library “Ask” Desk: Link

Writing Center’s general page: Link

Tutoring Center page: Link

CtcLink sign-in page: Link

Bookstore homepage: Link

Veteran Services homepage: Link

International Education homepage: Link

Financial Aid homepage: Link

Tuition Installment Plan: Link *(If you need to break up your quarterly charges for classes into increments)

Other Financial Aid Resources: Link

Scholarships homepage: Link

Work Study homepage: Link

School Calendar: Link

Boom Supersonic and the high speed changes to air travel

In a press release on June 3, 2021, United Airlines announced a partnership with Boom SuperSonic to add aircraft to their fleet in pursuit of a sustainable future. Boom Supersonic is an aerospace company based in Denver, and United will purchase 15 to 50 of their ‘Overture’ airliners.

There was an emphasis on net-zero carbon and sustainability. The fuel that these Overture airplanes will use is sustainable aviation fuel and the craft itself is expected to be net-zero carbon from launch day—a first according to them.

As for numbers, Overture can fly up to speeds of Mach 1.7 and can cut current flight times in half. A flight from San Francisco to Tokyo would last six hours instead of 11. Commercial flights won’t be available until 2029, but they will start flying in 2026. Boom hopes to have ticket prices be $100 someday, saying it was better to set a goal far out and work backwards.

It’s interesting to see how fair aviation has come in the century after the first commercial flight in 1914. It feels far away, but Elon Musk wants to land humans on the moon again in 2024, so who knows what innovations are awaiting.

To see more by United or Boom, check out the links at the end of the press release.

A potential summer of low air quality

Helpful advice on how Washingtonians can prepare for the upcoming wildfires and poor air quality to come

With a rainy winter behind us and a hot and dry summer ahead of us, it’s likely to expect that we’ll soon be entering smoke season, a time of year when the air quality becomes poor and forested areas more susceptible to wildfires. Below is all you need to know about the side effects of smoke season and how to best prepare yourself and your home this summer.

The first and most important thing about smoke season that people should know about are the health risks. Smoke inhalation is naturally bad for people’s skin, heart and lungs. But for those more vulnerable to COVID-19, or those recovering from it, smoke can be much more dangerous. According to the USDA, wildfires and COVID-19 cases overlap.

“Exposure to air pollutants in wildfire smoke can irritate the lungs, cause inflammation, alter immune function, and increase susceptibility to respiratory infections, likely including COVID-19,” USDA stated. To ensure you and your family stay safe, wear cloth masks outside and stay indoors when the air quality is poor.

In terms of preserving good indoor air quality, Public Health Insider advises keeping windows and doors closed and avoiding burning candles or smoking or vacuuming inside. PHI also adds that air filters such as HVAC systems or portable air cleaners can improve air quality throughout your home rather than just a single room.

Finally, remember to clear out any dried bramble or foliage around your house to reduce the risk of brush fires in your immediate area, and keep fire-resistant tools and equipment nearby. Talk with your family and keep an eye out for updates on weather and remember to stay safe!

Summer elevating wildfire concerns

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources and their partners are taking measures to urge Washingtonians to take proper precaution against wildfires. The caution is being led by raising fire danger ratings and making Washingtonians aware the danger could have a longer reach this summer.

“This is no longer just an eastern Washington issue,” said Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz. “Wherever you live in Washington State you are at risk of wildfires.”

In the month of April, the state had over 220 wildfires in comparison to last April with 160. According to the DNR, 80%-90% of fires are caused by people.

As the statewide drought continues, the more rapid the fire season timelines progress. Practicing safety and care to not cause a spark during recreational times or while doing yard work is best to avoid starting an accidental fire.

DNR saw hotter and drier temperatures along with the drought forecast and saw hotter and dryer landscapes throughout the state. This puts more homes at risk.

Debris-pile burns in April were seen to have been the cause of most fires. DNR suggests residents build a wildfire defensible space around their homes.

The urgency from DNR is for Washingtonians to take time and help their families be safe. Residents can find fire danger ratings for their areas and wildfire prevention and preparedness online at the DNR website.

Comments (0)

The Pioneer intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Pioneer does not allow anonymous comments, and The Pioneer requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All Pierce Pioneer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest