Jazz ensemble hosts a night of nostalgic music

Joey Sellers (on the microphone) conducted and hosted a memorable night of jazz (Jonathan Anson)
Joey Sellers (on the microphone) conducted and hosted a memorable night of jazz (Jonathan Anson)

Jazz studies teacher Joey Sellers and his students moved to the beat in the McKinney Theatre at Saddleback College on March 9.

The night began with an orchestrated rendition of Charle Parker’s “Scrapple from the Apple.”

The strains of the song set the tone for the rest of the night.

After the piece Sellers welcomed attendees to the concert and thanked them for attending.

The concert continued after this brief pause with the musicians being led by Sellers in playing John Coltrane’s “Blue Train.”

This was followed with an upbeat playing of Art Blakely’s “Free for All.”

Sellers then introduced vocalist Laurie Lewins to the stage.

Lewins and the band performed a catchy rendition of Vernon Duke’s classic song “Taking a Chance on Love.”

She continued to perform alongside the with “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” by the Gershwin Brothers.

Lewins left the stage as the band played “Yardbird Suite” by Charlie Parker.

Sellers then welcomed Lewins back to the stage again to help sing the night’s final vocal piece, “Lover Man” by John La Touche and Duke Ellington.

Sellers finally took time after this composition to introduce the individual musicians of his jazz lab, which was met with firm applause from the audience

This final mid-song interlude was then followed by the last song of the night, “Room 219″ by Benn Clatworthy.

Gil Olinger, an audience member and father of guitarist Ethan Olinger, was very impressed by the concert.

“I enjoyed the show.,” Olinger said. “I’m particularly proud of my son being around such fine musicians.”

Gauchos lasso a tight noose on the Colts in the semi-finals for the win

Gauchos sophomore, guard, No.30, Josh Mishler dribbles then gets back to back three pointers against the Colts as sophomore, guard, No.4  Hatch on defense in semi-finals at Cerritos College
Gauchos sophomore, guard, No.30, Josh Mishler dribbles then gets back to back three pointers against the Colts as sophomore, guard, No.4 Hatch on defense in semi-finals at Cerritos College (Photographer Dominic D. Ebel)

The Gauchos survived in a heroic effort which became their toughest challenge yet in the California Community College 2015 Championship semi-final round as they just noose the Colts a game short of the final.

It came down to the last possession in regulation as the Gauchos were behind the whole game battling for a comeback as they accomplished it in overtime 75-68 .

The Gauchos were just almost done as there last chance came down to a focus play that was to just to get off a three pointer by sophomore, guard, Dusty Baker who willed and dealt at 32- feet away from the rim then going to his right with 1.7 seconds left in regulation to cast off a perfect jumper as it was all net just like he’s been making clutch shots all season. (VIDEO LINKS AT BOTTOM)

“It was just luck,” Baker said.”Sometimes it is better to be lucky than be good,”

Luck is a residue of design is known as the New York Yankees, owner, Branch Rickey’s statement. This play was designed to get Baker an opportunity to shoot the three pointer for the tie to send the game to overtime.

“Great shot for the Gauchos as the three pointer by Baker,’ put us in overtime,”head coach,Andy Ground said.”We were a little lucky but we will take it.”

The Colts played well under head coach, Mike Reynoso in the first half as their top three scores found the holes in the Gauchos defense. Led by unstoppable freshman, Crisshawn Clark had 23 points as most came in the first half as Rodrigo Pulliceno contributed nine along was sophomore, Rohndell Goodwin with sixteen.

“We tried to get some stops,” Ground said.”I thought they shot the ball extremely well in the first half,” head coach,” Ground said.” We continued and fought through it.”

The Colts presented the two Gauchos seven footers problems in the post as the Colts were very athletic, fast on defense as their aggressiveness was paying off in the first half. Once the Gauchos could get the ball to sophomore, center, Conor Clifford their was mishaps but he still produced opportunities inside the post as he was working hard being leading scorer for his team with 20 points.

“We had to do what we had to do,” Ground said.”Get the ball inside the post .”

Since the two seven footers, sophomore, center, Kyle Hoag and Clifford were still having problems as the Colts were winning the battle in the paint so then Ground made a bold move to go with a smaller line-up putting in freshman, forward Brandon Fagins with his quickness on defense. It turned to equal out the inside battle in the post as the Colts sophomore, Israel Hakim had been blocked by Fagins seemed to change the momentum of the game.

“We started slow, but had the fire to come back and we had the fire to beat them,” Fagins said. “I wasn’t going to let him finish, so when he went up there I was trying to get the ball and not foul [Hakim] as best as I could,”

Early in the game the Gauchos guards drove down the Colts lanes with no success sophomore, guard, Kenny Hatch was talking smack to freshman guard Maleke Haynes after his shot was blocked by the Colt defenders down under the basket which set the tone in the first half 32-22 in favor of the Canada.

“It was a good team we played ,”Ground said.”Their was a lot of mistakes for us on the defensive end but we got through it.”

The gauchos seemed to make the correct adjustments as they came out playing much better basketball in the second half as they answered 32-25 by getting Maleke Haynes to the line as he makes his free throws. Then Gauchos sophomore, guard Josh Misher sparkes his team hitting back to back three pointers just when they needed them the most.

“We just wanted to grind it out and they were a great team,” Baker said.”Best team we have played all year and we just wanted to push it into overtime,”

The Gauchos were closing in on the score 59-57 with one and half minutes left as sophomore, guard, Andrew Bournes steals the ball but couldn’t control it as Hatch returns the favor as the crowd is really into the game. Hatch gets fouled with 30 seconds left as if he was the only player in the gym he shinks both free throws as the Colts are up 61-57.

“It all depends on who’s playing well,” Ground said.”That’s what I always do as it nothing to do with size.”

There was little time as Mishler found daylight to score as with 9.7 seconds the score was 61-60 as the Gauchos were down to foul quickly as they did. The Colts needed these free throw to put the game to a three point deficit and possibility putting the game out of a reachable two but not by a three pointer as Goodwin sinks them both.

“Bunch of guys just stepped up and we didn’t quit,” Baker said.

Obviously, Baker makes the three to tie in regulation time makes this one of the best all time comebacks,  as Gauchos finished it off in overtime 75-68. Saddleback had strong scoring games by Baker had 16, Mishler 13 and Haynes 12 as Host is dependable as Bournes still not 100% as he still recovering on his offense shot rhythm as he still plays well on defense.

“I’m thinking East Los Angeles is a real good ball club,” Ground said.”We will probably have to make adjustments”

The final State Championship game will be on Sunday at 1:00pm March 15, 2015 Saddleback College(32-2) meets downtown East Los Angeles College(22-10) An all-Southern California final. At Cerritos College.


Saddleback wins third state title

Saddleback College's men's basketball team and coaching staff huddle for a celebratory team photo following their third state championship. (Photo courtesy of Jason Boggs/CCCAA Sports)
Saddleback College’s men’s basketball team and coaching staff huddle for a celebratory team photo following their third state championship. (Photo courtesy of Jason Boggs/CCCAA Sports)

The Saddleback Gauchos men’s basketball team are the 2015 California Community College Athletic Association state champions after defeating the East Los Angeles College Huskies 50-47 on Sunday. This is Saddleback’s third state championship and they have all come in the last 14 years. Gauchos head coach Andy Ground, who has been involved in all three championships, shared how he felt on the his third title.

“It feels pretty good! The guys really battled hard and the other team was a really good opponent,” Ground said. “We never quit, never die, we are going to be play until it ends and the buzzer rings.”

The Gauchos started the game slow getting behind 10-2 after three three-pointers by the Huskies. Saddleback then went on a 7-0 run and took the lead midway through the first half. East LA would take that lead right back and go on a stretch of scoring that brought the score up to 26-17 with 6:07 left in the half.

Saddleback once again came back this time with some ferocity and at halftime the Gauchos had cut the lead to three, the score being 28-25. Saddleback guard Andrew Bournes was the scoring leader for the Gauchos at the half with nine points. Center Conor Clifford was close behind with eight points.

“It was definitely a team effort,” Bournes said. “We worked hard and we didn’t get down at all, not one minute in the game.”

When the second half began East LA got out to another great start, quickly scoring five points and taking a 33-25 lead. The two teams then went back and forth with Saddleback gradually coming back and with around 12 minutes to go, the Gauchos tied it at 36. East LA would hit a big three-pointer their next possession, causing Ground to call a timeout and they led 39-36.

Once again the teams battled. Nobody took a significant lead and neither team budged. After four minutes the scoring was at just 44-40, East LA in the lead. Another three minutes of turnovers and good defense had the score at 45-42 with 4:38 remaining in the game.

Sophomore Dusty Baker drives past a East Los Angeles defender. Baker was named tournament MVP. (Photo courtesy of Jason Boggs/CCCAA Sports)
Sophomore Dusty Baker drives past a East Los Angeles defender. Baker was named tournament MVP. (Photo courtesy of Jason Boggs/CCCAA Sports)

Saddleback played fantastic defense down the stretch, only allowing the Huskies two more points the entire game. Bournes alluded to this after the game, explaining that Ground had stressed playing good defense.

“Like my coach said, as long as we play defense great success will happen,” Bournes said.

The Gauchos took the lead for the first time since early in the first half when forward Dusty Baker hit a shot with 1:28 remaining to make the score 46-45. Baker got a layup on Saddleback’s next possession and gave the Gauchos a three point lead with just over a minute remaining

After two free throws by the Huskies the score was brought back to 48-47. Saddleback guard Maleke Haynes came up clutch on the Gauchos next possession when he made an acrobatic layup with just 11 seconds to go in the game to make the score 50-47. Saddleback stole the ball a few seconds later, but Haynes turned the ball right back over to East LA, giving them one more chance to tie the game with just 0.6 seconds on the clock

On the ensuing inbounds pass, Baker stole the ball and the game was over. Baker, who was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament, gave most of the credit to his teammates after the game.

“Can’t say enough about our guys and we worked hard since June and it all payed off,” Baker said. “We have high character guys who don’t give up and keep playing until the end of the whistle. A lot of guys are banged up at the end of the season and not feeling well, but we gave it all that we could and luckily we held out.”

Bournes shared the same thoughts as Baker and also praised Ground for his coaching throughout the season.

“We knew as long as we sticked together it would come out great for us. We knew exactly what is what going to take to reach this level,” said Bournes. “Coach Ground did an amazing job coaching us and we just worked hard everyday.”

Haynes, who hit the final shot in the game, also shared his thoughts on the win.

“It feels awesome, best feeling in the world,” Haynes said. “We just stuck together man, the whole season we just stuck together and took it game by game and it feels great.”

Saddleback is in a select class now having won three state championships. They are only the ninth community college with three or more titles in the state of California. This is also the only state championship this year for any Saddleback athletic team.

Chow time at Dana Point Chowder Cook-off

A rep from the Shwack Grill redeems his People's Choice Award for the second year in a row. (Photo by Niko LaBarbera)
A rep from the Shwack Grill redeems his People’s Choice Award for the second year in a row. (Photo by Niko LaBarbera)

Dana Point has been busy with foot traffic the last two weeks as both locals and tourists gathered near the harbor to enjoy the 44th annual Festival of the Whales.

The first two weekends of March are dedicated to the festival which showcases a number of ocean related activities and attractions.

One of the many popular events that drew in dozens of spectators was the Whale of a Clam Chowder cook off at Baby Beach Park.

This was the 4th annual Chowder Cook-off and consisted of 12 different competitor booths ranging from individual cooks to local restaurants. The local police department even had a stand to see how their clam chowder competed.

While the chowder remained to be the most embraced aspect of the event by competitors and tasters alike, each team focused their attention on both the design of their booth as well as the taste of their dishes.

This was because there was a total of 3 awards given; a best designed booth award, peoples choice award and Mayor’s choice award which was presented by the Mayor of Dana Point, Carlos Olvera.

Tasting began at 10 a.m. on Saturday as patrons began filing into Baby Beach park to find their favorite booths.

For only 10 dollars a tasting packet could be purchased which included a sampling cup, spoon and unlimited samples from all the booths.

All benefits made from the cook off were given to Fish for Life, a non profit organization that aims to improve the lives of special needs children through fishing and other ocean activities.

The first award to be given was by Mayor Olvera who explained to the crowd his favorite type of chowder.

“I’m a New England clam chowder kind of a guy,” Olvera said as he delivered the award to RJ’s Cafe who’s chowder was rich in taste and full of diced potatoes and bacon.

Canons Sea food Grill took home the Best Booth award thanks to their hawaiian style themed booth and dressed up chefs.

The people choice award was presented by last years winners The Shwack Beach grill who seemed reluctant to give up the award.

“I just wanna keep it,” said The Shwack’s chef.

Lucky for him the Shwack took home the peoples choice award for the second year in a row and is able to claim the trophy until next year.

Whale with me

Adriane Tomik finds a beautiful hand-made candy dish for her apartment. (Photo by Niko LaBarbera)
Adriane Tomik finds a beautiful hand-made candy dish for her apartment. (Photo by Niko LaBarbera)

Underwater enthusiasts gathered at the 44th annual Dana Point Festival of Whales for two weekends in a row to commemorate the 5000-mile migration of California Gray Whale from Alaska to Mexico. Some patrons came exclusively for whale watching excursions, while others were more interested in the festivities onshore.

From 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. there were loads of activities from classic car and boat displays to clam chowder cook-offs. The city offered a free shuttle service to the festival, which was beneficial to those who indulged in the beer and wine garden.

Face paintings, henna tattoos, kona shaved ice, bounce houses and bocce ball contests took place surrounding the harbor.

A family participating in the sand sculpting competition, weekend one, of the festival. (Photo by Niko LaBarbera)
A family participating in the sand sculpting competition, weekend one, of the festival. (Photo by Niko LaBarbera)

All hands were on deck in making the festival possible, a variety of volunteers helped maintain cleanliness both on and off the shore.

The art fair harnessed the attention of people roaming through the harbor, where all facets of art were held. Wandering through the 87 degree salted air, there was an array of booths that displayed the work of local artists and students. In a time of economic hardship, both artists and patrons found solace in buying from their local art market.

Silke Turner, mixed media artist, jeweler and photographer, brings new life to natural elements that have fallen in her path.

Silke Turner hands reporter Amarah Eden her hand-made body chain. (Photo by Niko LaBarbera)
Silke Turner hands reporter Amarah Eden her hand-made body chain. (Photo by Niko LaBarbera)

As a member of the Ocean Defenders Alliance, she collects debris from the ocean and uses the weathered materials to form her work.

“The only material I won’t use is plastic,” said Turner, of Laguna Niguel.

However, she does repurpose the bones of marine life, wood and degraded metals. Turner mentioned that she uses native american techniques when disinfecting and preserving bones.

“The method of the native americans was to use cornmeal,” Turner explained.

The range of textures and colors in her works were inspired by our ecosystem and natural surroundings. Turner was a fine example of how it is possible to do what you love for a living, when dedication is applied to your passion.

Julie Setterholm is the face of Copper Feel, and uses her welding background to fuse copper, bronze and colored enamel to form works of art and jewelry.

Julie Setterholm's piece sitting on a rock as her main display. (Photo by Niko LaBarbera)
Julie Setterholm’s piece sitting on a rock as her main display. (Photo by Niko LaBarbera)

Her work is vivid, and the blended pigments are that of a fairy tale. The colors leak into each other which creates a liquefied effect on an inflexible piece of metal.

Adriane Tomik of Costa Mesa was astonished by how resourceful all of the artists were. She saw sea glass being repurposed into jewelry, hand woven textiles and crocheted jewelry inspired by Peruvian culture.

“The festival had so many  unique artists displaying their beautiful pieces,” Tomik said. “I’m so excited about my purchase especially since the artist conveyed so much passion behind his work. It was a gorgeous day to walk around and admire the art.”

Setterholm, along with other artists, patrons and families felt fortunate to share the sun and her artwork with the community.

”It was a wonderful day and location to enrich peoples lives with art,” Setterholm said.

IVC Lasers shutout Orange Coast Pirates

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The Irvine Valley College baseball team got a shutout victory over the Orange Coast College Pirates last Saturday with a score of 4-0. The Lasers now hold a record of 11-7 this the season and maintain the third place spot in the Orange Empire Conference standings.

Both IVC and Orange Coast started the game by playing strong defense, allowing neither team to score. This changed in the bottom of the second inning when Lasers first baseman Robbie Espinosa helped his team thanks to an error by Orange Coast, bringing the score to 1-0.

The game then entered a lengthy stalemate. Orange Coast players were denied any leads due to excellent teamwork from the Lasers and superb pitching from Ryan Abady. Fielders Clint Jack, Dillion Millar and Brett Hamilton all made key catches that prevented Orange Coast from scoring.

The standoff would finally end in the bottom of the eighth inning. IVC broke the silence with three runs provided by Jordan Gillerman, Cory Mendoza and Millar.

Orange Coast had one more attempt during the ninth. After two outs and a walked player by Abady, IVC ended the game victorious after Pirates player Jack Pulcheon was sent packing with a ground out.

First baseman Lucas Tancas, who was an impressive 2-4, was very proud of his team’s efforts.

“I thought we played defense really well,” Tancas said. “That was probably the reason we won the game. [Orange Coast] seated some balls up that we made some great plays on and I think that was the difference in the game.”

Designated hitter Robbie Espinosa shared Tancas’s sentiments.

“I think it went well,” Espinosa said. “We executed a lot better today. We found a lot of opportunities and when we had our chances we came through. Ryan Abady pitched a good game for us, kept us in it and I thought it was a good win for us.”

When asked about how he thought the game went, head coach Kent Madole refused to comment.

The Lasers will play their next game on Tuesday, March 10 against Saddleback College at 2 p.m.

The elephant in the dumpster

Good and still usable food is thrown out every day across America. With them is a solution to fixing our society's hunger problem. (Photograph courtesy of  Foerster from Wikimedia Commons)
Usable food is thrown out every day across America. With them is a solution to fixing our society’s hunger problem. (Photograph courtesy of Foerster from Wikimedia Commons)

Of the problems that plague the world, hunger remains on top. According to a 2014 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, approximately 805 million people in the world go underfed.

It gets worse. According to the latest report by the National Resources Defense Council, 40% of eatable food produced in America is thrown away. Such behavior has contributed to one-third of the world’s food – approximately 1.3 billion tons – going to waste every year the United Nations Environment Programme reports.

As many leaders still refuse to deal with this problem, people are turning to direct action. One group is leading the charge: college students.

A story by NPR last February has brought attention to students fighting against the epidemic of wasted food. They have been giving them to local agencies to prepare and provide to the poor. If the food can’t be saved then it’s used as compost for gardening.

Higher education Students waste an average of 142 pounds a year according to Recycling Works. College campuses throw out 22 million pounds of food annually the Food Recover Network Reported this month.

Colleges have begun to deal with the problem. For instance: James Gau, cafeteria manager at Saddleback College, has said much of their food’s been prevented from going to waste. This is due to the level of diligence his cafeteria practices regarding food. Gau has estimated only a handful of popular foods like salads and burritos go to waste.

Despite all of this, the food waste problem has yet to shrink. It doesn’t help also that food rescuing has met numerous hurdles. Though aids, such as the Good Samariatan Food Donation Act, have helped their efforts, laws still exist penalizing their attempts to salvage wasted food. Even if done with good intentions and even despite the fact previous owners have abandoned them, punishments ranging from fines to arrests.

The stigma of garbage picking also remains. The potential health risks of doing this naturally pop up and are definitely reasonable. What isn’t however is that the idea of digging through trash, even if done for a good cause, is still seen as a demeaning behavior.

Hunger’s still here and it’s not going away. There’s a finger being pointed at a solution to it and it’s being ignored. If not ignored then demonized.

It’s a conflict of interests to go after people who try save food for good causes. It’s time to start looking at people trying to recycle food as a motivation to act against such waste.

Hunger isn’t going away. We muststart acting on visible solutions and making better ones. Food waste has to be dealt with. It’s a problem that we need to addressed directly and with haste.

Driver collides with pole at IVC campus entrance

At approximately 4:30 p.m. on March 18, the Irvine Police Department responded to a single vehicle collision in the area of Irvine Center Drive and College that was blocking the front entrance of Irvine Valley College’s campus, according to Farrah Emami, the department’s Public Information Officer.

The single male occupant had collided with a light pole near the Jeffrey Road and Irvine Center Drive intersection.

“[He] was extricated from the vehicle by the Orange County Fire Authority [and] was transported to an area hospital,” Emami said.

Vehicle extrication is typical in situations where, due to the nature of the crash, injuries, or a myriad of circumstances, passengers are unable to exit the vehicle through standard methods.

The victim, though transported to the hospital, sustained only non life-threatening injuries, Emami said.

It is not yet known if the driver is a student of Irvine Valley College.

IVC students received an email notification from the Irvine Valley College Police Department at 4:55 p.m. warning them to avoid the intersection of Jeffrey Road and Irvine Center Drive. The email additionally informed recipients that the Irvine Center Drive entrance to the campus was closed due to the car crash.

The college entrance has since been reopened.

“The roadway has been cleared and there is no further impact to traffic at this time,” Emani said.

Sandy Theriault, Lead Police Dispatcher for the IVC Police Department, confirmed the clearance.

“At approximately 5:13 p.m. our officers determined that the entrance at Irvine Center Drive and College is back open,” Theriault said.

The college has since sent a followup correspondence informing student recipients that the roads are clear, she said.

SOCCCD mourns the losses of longtime community members

Saddleback and Irvine Valley College have lost a number of influential and respected campus icons in the past few months, including George Hartman, William (Bill) Jay, Richard White and Dick Stuetz.


George Hartman, pictured above, is one of Saddleback's original Gauchos. (courtesy of Jerry Hannula)
George Hartman, pictured above, is one of Saddleback’s original and most influential Gauchos. (courtesy of Jerry Hannula)

George Hartman

Coach George Hartman, the Saddleback College Gaucho who was largely responsible for the college’s current athletics program, died at the age of 83 this past February 7.

In 1968 Hartman became Saddleback’s first football coach, first athletic director, and first division chairman.

“Hartman was really a visionary because he understood what he had to do establish a solid program from the get-go, both on the field and in the classroom,” said Tony Lipold, current Saddleback Athletics Director and Dean of Kinesiology and Athletics. “He made sure all the pieces and support were there. He had a huge impact on what we are today because he started it and he did it right.”

He was also responsible for the college’s colors and the “G” on the side of the helmets. Furthermore, he surveyed local high schools who chose the Gaucho mascot, Lipold said.

Hartman was voted Orange County Coach of the Year three times, was inducted into the Saddleback College Athletics Hall of Fame, and is responsible for many athletic records that still stand today. In 2014 he was inducted into the California Community College Athletics Hall of Fame and the ceremony will be held this March.

“Those that played for him have endless stories that are shared with great humor, respect and love,” current Gauchos football coach and former student Mark McElroy shared on Facebook recently. “His players loved him and loved their great time at Saddleback. ”

He is survived by his wife, Mary Lynn, daughter Donna Haley, son David, and granddaughter Heather Hodosh.


It was announced that SOCCCD Trustee William (Bill) Jay had passed away on March 3. (courtesy of SOCCCD)
It was announced that SOCCCD Trustee William (Bill) Jay had passed away on March 3. (courtesy of SOCCCD)

William (Bill) Jay

It was announced on March 3, 2015 that Trustee William (Bill) Jay of the South Orange County Community College District, who has long been involved in the Saddleback and Irvine Valley colleges, died at 79.

Lariat News Editor Aaron Mitzlaff reported on his passing earlier this March.

Jay’s dedication to Saddleback College has been life long and he was committed to providing expanded academic opportunities for college students young and old.

“All of the tributes you are hearing about him are accurate,” Bill Kelly, a long-time friend and colleague since 1975, said. “He had a special place in his heart for Saddleback College and our district. One of the qualities I always appreciated about him was that he had a ‘can do’ approach to everything. He was always willing to try new ideas if it could serve more students.”

In addition to having served as a SOCCCD Trustee since 2004, Jay held many leadership rolls at Saddleback College between 1974-1999, including Saddleback College President, Dean of Instruction, and Professor of Mathematics.

Jay was also largely responsible for developing off-campus programs for students to provide greater access to classes, the beginning of the Irvine Valley campus.

Jay additionally served as Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services and Human Resources for the District from 1994-1999. Even after retirement Jay never stopped caring about student education, and became as a trustee in 2004.

Jay is survived by his wife Bobbie, children, Jennifer Cordon and Jeffrey Jay, five grandchildren, his sister, Judy George, and his mother, Julia Waterman Jay.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that Bill’s legacy be memorialized through the establishment of a Dr. William “Bill” Jay Memorial Scholarship at the Saddleback College Foundation.

A memorial service will be held Friday, March 20 at 2:00 p.m. in the McKinney Theater at Saddleback College.”


(courtesy SOCCCD0
Richard White, who recently passed from cancer, contributed his time and talent to empowering students’ artistic skills. (Courtesy of Nina Welsch)

Richard White

Full-time ceramics instructor Richard White, who is responsible for the Saddleback College Veterans Memorial on campus, passed away the morning of February 3 due to cancer.

In 2004, White and ceramicist Fred Olsen began working on the memorial’s design which began construction in 2008.

“The ‘fired-in-place’ ceramic technique is a perfect metaphor in building this memorial,” White said of how the memorial was constructed. “Its transformative process is representative of the troops who have had a transformative effect on our nation.”

The memorial, which according to Joyce Van Schaak of the

Richard White helped design and create Saddleback College's Veterans Memorial. (Anibal Santos)
Richard White helped design and create Saddleback College’s Veterans Memorial. (Anibal Santos)

Orange County Chapter is the only veterans memorial on a college campus in America, received the prestigious George Washington Honor Medal Award, the highest award given by the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge‘s National Awards Program.

“Art has a huge spiritual element to it, but for me it is more about intuition,” White once said. “I have spent my life trying to put my finger on it.  It is important to note though that every college has an art department and no one at this point can define art.”

White also had the opportunity to create a project for the Ninth Ward in New Orleans following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

White was beloved by both colleaugues and students alike.

“Richard White, you are and always will be my friend,” said Jon Ginnaty, Senior Lab Technician for the Fine Arts department and longtime friend and colleague of White. “Thank you for sharing your life and your beautiful family with me.  Ten years of sharing an office together seems like a blink of the eye, an eye that is now filled with many tears just thinking of you!  I love you Richie! RIP.”

Former student Danny Scher also had a dediation to his former instructor.

“You helped shape my ideas on life and art, and I was fortunate to share a part of my life as a young man growing up around you,” Scher said. “There will never be another like you and the world is a little less brighter today… but you will live on through your work and all the lives you touched.”

Richie is survived by his daughters Isabelle and Madelyn White.

A  memorial was held on Sunday, February 8 in the Saddleback College ceramics studio followed by a second line march conducted to the Saddleback College Veterans Memorial led by a brass band (New Orleans style) and a vigil where a sop box was provided for those who wished to speak about White.


Dick Stuetz. (Courtesy of )
Dick Stuetz, who recently passed at 81, has been a Gaucho icon since 1969.

Dick Stuetz

Dick Stuetz, assistant football coach to the Gauchos for 35 years and defensive line coach from 1969 through 2003, died over this past winter break on December 30, 2014, at the age of 81.

Stuetz has also ran the football program for a term, taught golf classes and coached the Saddleback baseball team, contributing to the development of Golden Spikes Award winer Tim Wallach, current bench coach for the Dodgers.

He remained an active participant on-campus from 1969 until his death, dolling out advice, offering support and attending sporting events.

“He would always pop his head in and check on what was going on, he was always there, always going to games,”  said Tony Lipold, current Saddleback Athletics Director and Dean of Kinesiology and Athletics.

A memorial was held at the Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo in mid January where family, friends and colleagues celebrated Stuetz’s life.

Stuetz was inducted into the California Community College Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame recently and the ceremony is set to take place this March.

“Saddleback college athletics is what it is today because of guys like Coach Hartman and Coach Stuetz,” Lipold said. “They laid the groundwork, they created the culture.”


Featured below is a photo gallery dedicated to Hartman, Jay, White and Stuetz, who each dedicated their lives to Saddleback and Irvine Valley College.

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Battle for suffrage


Puritan actress full of emotion during the play that honored the women throughout history. (Photo by Niko LaBarbera)
Puritan actress full of emotion during the play that honored the women throughout history. (Photo by Niko LaBarbera)

Saddleback College Women’s and Gender Studies Advisory Committee, ASG and SMART Theatre Production brought the amazing play, “We Did It For You” to campus. This adventure through the history of American women was a perfect way for Saddleback to bring awareness as well as to celebrate women’s history month.

As the 2016 presidential elections get closer, more women than ever are reaching towards the top spot in our government, President of the United States. This play gave a glimpse into the history which made this possible.

“We Did It For You” was written by Dr. Thea Lberall, and is performed by many others, all of which are volunteers. For the last five years this program has traveled all over Southern California, mostly to high schools and colleges.

“We do workshops in colleges and discus the script in depth,” Lberall said. “The play can only touch on a small portion of the history.”

It was first written for the Women’s Journey Conference in 2010; however, Lberall has a much larger goal.

“We want to perform at the White House,” Lberal said.

The play itself started with college student Melanie (played by Deana Kenney) having a conversation on a cell phone, complaining about her homework. This is when women visit her from the past. Lilly LedBetter (played by Mary Grace Carpenter) was the first and she basically narrated the rest of the play.

Same actress playing a women's equality activist. (Photo by Niko LaBarbera)
Same actress playing a women’s equality activist. (Photo by Niko LaBarbera)

The play hit many of the main women in history, such as Anne Hutchinson, Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, Sandra Day O’Connor and Hilary Clinton. All these women visited Melanie (Deana Kenney), each telling a story about the struggles they had fighting for women’s rights.

Many of the topics that these women disused were: the 19th Amendment, birth control, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the National Organization of Women.

During the performance there was a consent list scrolling behind the stage with a list of important women in American history. “We Did It For You” did not miss much, and the lyrical wittiness of the songs performed were awesome.

“They stuffed a lot of amazing information into this show,” Nolan Matter political science and history student, 21, said.  “It gave a glimpse and a deeper in depth look at what these women did for our history. One of the most important things this play did, is portray the importance of women of all ages to get involve in government.”

In the end, Melanie decides that she wants to study politics and in the future, run for President. An ending that revealed Women’s history is still being written today. “Women rights are human rights.”