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            [post_date] => 2014-12-09 23:13:18
            [post_date_gmt] => 2014-12-10 06:13:18
            [post_content] => According to the Student Right to Know Daily Incident Log, the University Police Department (UPD) has been very busy during the month of November with approximately 230 foot and extra patrols on and around campus.

On Nov. 1 UPD tested the Blue Light Emergency Phones in the Village, and they work working perfectly. The Blue Light Emergency Phones were also tested on Nov. 19

A violation of disturbing the peace was also reported. This violation occurred in The Village along with one alarm test and one report of a non-false alarm.

UPD had more than 10 reported instances of public assistance in which buildings around campus were unlocked and needed to be locked and secured. There was one noted incident off campus of a reported missing person, which UPD responded to.

This month, UPD has been involved in multiple incidents of vehicle violations. These violations include expired registration, failure to stop at a stop sign, texting while driving, use of a cell phone while driving and modified exhaust. UPD reported seven or more off-campus traffic violations that were enforced with tickets.

At the beginning of the month, there was an incident of an alcohol-related offense, which included driving under the influence and being over the legal limit allowed to operate a motor vehicle. UPD also made an off-campus warrant arrest for a misdemeanor

Multiple incidents of larceny theft were also reported to UPD. These reports included petty theft from a motor vehicle and theft of auto parts and accessories, valuing between $200 to $400, larceny theft bicycles valuing between $200 to $400 and larceny theft from buildings valuing between $50 to $200 and larceny petty theft.

UPD also responded to two injury incidents. One took place in The Village, and the other took place in Ed & Bertha Fitzpatrick Gymnasium.

Over the course of the month, UPD has assisted the Turlock Police Department in more than 20 different times, according to the incident log.

There were also six different reported instances throughout the month of suspicious persons on and around campus.

If you have any questions or concerns about campus safety, you may contact UPD at (209) 667-3114 and to report a crime call (209) 667-3911.
            [post_title] => UPD Crime Log: November
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            [ID] => 3079
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            [post_date] => 2014-12-09 23:10:32
            [post_date_gmt] => 2014-12-10 06:10:32
            [post_content] => California continues to experience its worst drought in 1,200 years, according to a recent study titled, “Geophysical Research Letters,” in TIME magazine.

According to Environment & Energy Publishing (E&E), State Republicans are prioritizing the act of sending more water to parched farmers and residents.

House majority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced on Dec. 3 that floor time is secured during the week of Dec. 8 for a bill addressing the drought.

“The first storms of the season are currently over California, with hopefully more to come in the subsequent month,” McCarthy said in his statement. "Absent action now, California will continue to lose water from storms in this water year and will face another year of devastating water-crisis."

The bill was introduced on Dec. 2 by Central Valley Republican David Valadao, who stated that the bill is meant to offer a temporary eighteen month solution.

However, this measure has been gaining opposition by state Democrats and environmental groups alike.

"With just a few days left in the legislative session, the House plans to pass yet another divisive, dishonest and potentially devastating California water bill without any public input or legislative oversight," said Northern California Representatives Jared Huffman, George Miller, Mike Thompson, Doris Matsui, Jerry McNerney, John Garamendi and Ami Bera in a statement of their own. "This is unconscionable and just the latest chapter in their reckless approach to micromanaging the state's water during one of the worst droughts in our history."

The measure will face a steep hill to climb without both California senators on board.

Democrat Barbara Boxer came out in opposition of the bill on Dec. 4, according to E&E Publishing.

"I have carefully studied the Republican water bill and I am dismayed that this measure could reignite the water wars by overriding critical state and federal protections for California," Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer said in her statement. "We have communities across the state that are hurting from this drought, so we need a balanced approach that doesn't pit one stakeholder against another, and meets the needs of all of California's water users."

Despite the lower chamber of the Republican-controlled House approving a broader measure earlier this year, Valadao’s new bill is not guaranteed to pass.

According to a report from University of California, the drought is expected to cost the state $2.2 billion and 17,000 farming jobs.  That refers to 2014 alone and does not consider the past two years or the predicted future.

 
            [post_title] => Valadao introduces bill offering temporary drought solution
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            [post_date] => 2014-12-05 14:30:16
            [post_date_gmt] => 2014-12-05 21:30:16
            [post_content] => 

After finishing her last year of college and final soccer season, California State University, Stanislaus soccer player Karenee Demery was awarded the Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship in New Orleans at the Faculty Athletics Representative Association Meeting and Symposium in mid November.

Demery was awarded $24,000 for her to pursue further education to become a surgeon. Demery received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences with a minor in Chemistry.

“It is such an honor to be the recipient of the Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship,” Demery said. “It will be a tremendous help in furthering my education. I am so blessed and extremely grateful.”

Demery was nominated for the Walter Byer Scholarship by Dr. John Mayer, the Chairman of the Theatre department at CSU Stanislaus as well as the Faculty Athletic Representative for the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA).

“Karenee Demery is the single finest student-athlete that I have had the privilege of working with in my 15 years on campus,” Dr. Mayer said. “There are 1,100 schools in the NCAA, including Divisions I, II, and III, and Karenee won the Walter Byers Award, the top scholarship that the NCAA gives out.”

The Walter Byer scholarship is awarded every year to one male and female NCAA student athlete. This award began in 1988 and was given to graduating senior student athletes or enrolled graduate students at NCAA institutions.

The winners of this award must have a 3.5 grade point average or higher, must show leadership and great character and must be involved with athletics and community service.

Over the years, Demery has been given many awards including Division II Player of the Year and CSU Stanislaus’s All-Time leading scorer. Demery was also a four-time All-American forward on the soccer team.

[post_title] => NCAA chooses Stanislaus soccer player for scholarship [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => ncaa-chooses-stanislaus-soccer-player-scholarship [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-12-05 13:03:35 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-12-05 20:03:35 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.csusignal.com/?p=3055 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 3031 [post_author] => 87 [post_date] => 2014-12-05 12:51:47 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-12-05 19:51:47 [post_content] =>

Communication Studies senior capstone group hosted a fair to raise awareness about sexual violence on Nov. 19 in the Quad.

“We hosted this event outside and removed it from being held inside a room because we didn’t want people to feel stuck or like this is something we are afraid to talk about,” Clay Hobbs (senior, Communication Studies) said.

“So we brought it out to the Quad so everyone can really be informed of what’s going on and what we want to accomplish.”

The event informed the campus community on how to prevent sexual violence and what students can do to receive help from a number of different outlets.

According to stopsexualviolence.edu, sexual violence is defined as, “physical, sexual acts perpetrated against a person’s will or when a person is incapable of consent.”

About 75 percent of all college sexual assaults occur when alcohol is involved.

“Our capstone project was created to help inform the public about sexual violence, provide resource information and support campaigns on campus,” Hobbs said.

“The Title IX and Stop The Abuse campaigns are revamped and they are going to be campaigns that are here to help put an end to sexual violence.”

A table held at the event was the Haven Women’s Center of Stanislaus (HWC), which is a center for women and children in the Stanislaus area who have experienced acts of sexual violence against them.

The University Police Department (UPD) was present to speak about the shuttle implemented on campus that works to safely escort students.

UPD also promoted self-defense classes for women held every month and had a sign up sheet available to see how many men would like to have these same classes made available for them.

Attendees were advised that if something does not feel right, trust your instincts, remain in control of yourself when alcohol is involved by knowing your limits and remain aware of everything within your surroundings.

For more information from the Sexual Violence Awareness Fair or information about the other sexual violence prevention campaigns on and off campus visit:

www.csustan.edu/titleix

www.csustan.edu/stopabuse or www.notalone.gov.

Photo courtesy of Clay Hobbs.

Photo courtesy of Clay Hobbs.

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            [post_date] => 2014-12-13 20:58:17
            [post_date_gmt] => 2014-12-14 03:58:17
            [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_3094" align="alignright" width="133"] Timothy Alvare[/caption]

*Photos by Anthony Johnson/Signal

Timothy Alvarez - Communication Studies: "One thing I do is a lot of reading, a lot of studying, but one of the things I've noticed that helps me out is that I make sure I get plenty of rest and I get a good diet. I eat right so that way I'm not all tired out and don't want to do any studying.

[caption id="attachment_3095" align="alignleft" width="147"]Jessica Preston Jessica Preston[/caption]

Jessica Preston - Communication Studies: "Basically I just go through the semester— all my notes. I kinda go through all my highlights in my book. I make sure to take plenty of hot baths to relax myself and just go for it."

[caption id="attachment_3096" align="alignright" width="125"]Chelsea Taitano Chelsea Taitano[/caption]

Chelsea Taitano - Biology: "First I basically just sit down and start organizing everything that I need to prepare for and then I start with step one, which is 'what's my first final?' I study at least two to three, sometimes four days for that first final and then when I'm done with that, it's just automatic into my next final. Good luck with finals!"

[caption id="attachment_3097" align="alignleft" width="124"]Raina Chelise Raina Chelise[/caption]

Raina Chelise - Communication Studies: "I make a lot of index flash cards and I use that kind of like a game show where you kind of test yourself. It's cool to have other students from the class help too so that you can test with each other.  I get a lot of sleep. That's the most important part, I guess."
            [post_title] => How do you study for finals?
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            [post_date] => 2014-12-08 14:45:39
            [post_date_gmt] => 2014-12-08 21:45:39
            [post_content] => Towards the end of the year— when our cultural nature to consume grows into days of camping in the cold and trampling mobs— us college students are faced with the overwhelming panic of having to dip into our limited, sometimes nonexistent, most likely negative funds. The idea of not being able to give during the holiday season is daunting but does not rule out innovation.

With pressed finances and inflexible schedules, our visits with friends and family become less frequent and are often only accomplished during special occasions. This in mind, don’t be hesitant to give the gift of time. Grace your loved ones with more of your presence and perhaps share what has been keeping you so busy. Nurses, fascinate your cousins with abundance of germs surrounding us every day. Business men and women, assist in financing the family get-together. 

Gifts have the potential to stem from what we learn in college but can also be produced from funny things life hands us, like generation gaps. The majority of us were born into the digital age while some of those close to us have had to learn common technological processes. Consider investing some days or hours in educating an uncle on the differences between Apple and Android products, or offer grandma a texting workshop—with proper coaching in the use of “OMG’s” and “LOL’s,” of course.

In making clear that these are indeed our gifts, nothing says formality like a well-written card. Accompanying one of these favors with some thoughtful words will make for a surprisingly personalized gift. 

In addition to your educational training in the realm of writing (in some cases very minimal GE courses), know that the gift of meaningful words is powerful and also simple.  Draw on an intensely specific memory you have with or about this person, compliment them, perhaps even make fun of them, and end on a note that says “I still love you.”  

Rather than add to financial burdens this holiday, we can prove ingenious and resourceful in turning the gifts we’ve acquired into gifts to be given. 
            [post_title] => Holiday gifting in college student style
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            [post_date] => 2014-12-08 14:42:31
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            [post_content] => As the holidays approach, those who celebrate the season may be in the search of some spirit. In that case, there are many musical plays, ballets and theater functions one can enjoy this holiday season. 

Those interested in traveling out of town may be interested in attending the functions available in the Bay Area. The traditional Nutcracker ballet will be coming soon to the San Francisco Theater. Opening night will be on Dec. 12  and booking will be available until Dec. 24. 

There are also other holiday musicals and plays being featured in San Francisco this holiday season. A Christmas Carol will be featured at the American Conservatory Theater until Dec. 5 and Colors Of Christmas will see a brief run from Dec. 15 to 17. 

San Francisco also provides free entrance to functions such as the San Francisco Youth Ballet’s presentation of The Nutcracker on Dec. 13 and 14. There are also other plays being featured in the Bay Area, like the free performance of Mary Poppins at The Children's Musical Theater in San Jose. 

The Nutcracker ballet will also available in Modesto by the Central West Ballet from Dec. 12 to Dec. 21. Tickets are available at www.galloarts.org. Another must-see presentation is “Diciembre Navideño” in Modesto by Ballet Flokórico. 

Those in search of a ballet, theatre performance, musical or parade should stay tuned with the local news and in contact with social medias. Dont forget to purchase necessary tickets before it’s too late. Most of these performances are welcoming to audience members of all ages, so don’t hesitate to take out the little ones and begin a tradition this holiday season. 
            [post_title] => Building new traditions with holiday events
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            [post_date] => 2014-12-08 14:21:39
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            [post_content] => Warriors interested in joining a club are always welcomed by the members of Love Evolution to unite with the growing group. The organization aims to enhance their goal of raising awareness in the community regarding the acceptance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Ally and Asexual (LGBTQIA) individuals. 
 
The club was started by students who work together to raise awareness about the importance of accepting individuals—not by their sexual orientation—but instead by who they are as individuals.

Members of the club have been involved for most of their college experience. Some even began to involve themselves with the club in order to find a comfortable environment away from home.
 
“I wanted to be part of something while I am here in college,” Vice President Edgardo Beltran (senior, Psychology) said. “I was able to have the liberty of being who I was.” 

Every year, the club hosts Pride week, in which a pride parade and drag show is conducted with the help of ASI. They also host a Rainbow Prom, which invites Warriors— and now high school students— to re-live a prom without the fear of being discriminated within the community. 

Aside from these two events, this year Love Evolution is anticipating a blood drive in October. The blood drive is to raise awareness and debunk the commonly-held belief that homosexual men should not donate blood. The blood drive is aiming to allow the LGBTQIA community the opportunity to donate blood without being discriminated against.

“We want to show them that just because an individual is homosexual does not mean they have HIV,” Beltran said. 

Also important is the club’s focus on spreading awareness about the right of an individual in choosing to disclose their preferred sexual orientation without fearing for their life. 

Club members share a strong bond with each other that allows them to spend time together on and off campus. They attend events in and out of the Stanislaus county in order to become more involved with LGBTQIA communities nearby. 

Love Evolution aims to remember those who have been removed from the fight for equality due to constant bullying by hosting days such as Transgender Day of Remembrance and the Day of Silence. These two days are devoted to acknowledging individuals that sadly took their lives.

Love Evolution accepts new members all year round. For those interested in becoming a part of the club, just attend a weekly Friday meeting held in the Lakeside Conference room at 3 p.m.

“We are here,” Beltran said. “We exist and we want everyone to be equal.“
            [post_title] => Organization Spotlight: Love Evolution strives for overall equality
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            [post_date] => 2014-12-09 22:57:58
            [post_date_gmt] => 2014-12-10 05:57:58
            [post_content] => Don’t you love going home for the holidays? Seeing your siblings, parents and Aunt Sally, who you haven’t seen in ages, makes the holidays all the more joyous. Until…they ask you those questions. You know exactly what I’m referring to. Those questions that suddenly make you feel awkward. Here are some ways to avoid answering those uncomfortable questions without an awkward answer.

“Why don’t you have a boyfriend (or girlfriend)? It’s been awhile!"

Politely let your family member know that you are dating school. Tell them you frequently go on 50 minutes to an hour-and-fifteen-minute dates. Sometimes it makes you happy, and sometimes it makes you sad, but you see a successful future in the long run.

“When are you graduating?" Or "What are you planning on doing after you graduate?"

After three or more years in college, you get tired of hearing these questions. If you don’t have a step-by-step plan, then you can answer these questions by informing them that you spent your entire college career trying to answer these very questions and have yet to come to a conclusion. It takes time to figure out exactly what we want to do for the rest of our lives, and family asking when we'll figure it out puts more pressure on us.

“What does (insert slang word) mean? It sounds stupid. We didn’t use that back in my day."

Family has to understand that their days have passed and their old slang terms went with them. We know the new slang terms are stupid, but we use them anyway during those moments when we don’t take life as seriously. Depending on the word, explain to them as politely as possible and don’t use explicit terminology. You don’t want to give Grandma a heart attack while trying to explain what twerking is or why people get “turned up” all the time.
            [post_title] => That's awkward...
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            [post_date] => 2014-12-09 22:40:44
            [post_date_gmt] => 2014-12-10 05:40:44
            [post_content] => University of California officials voted and passed a plan to address the issue of shrinking state funding. The plan will lead to a significant raise in tuition over the next five years if the state doesn't boost funding.

If there is no state funding, the annual cost of base tuition and fees for a California resident will jump from $12,192 this academic year to an estimated $15,564 in 2019-2020, according to the Sacramento Bee.

We elect officials into office to relieve us of extra stresses in our life, and UC officials are hired to make a student’s academic journey as easy as possible. If UC students have to deal with a price increase, these are the people who need to answer why this happened.

I understand the state budget isn’t in an ideal position, but making the students bail the universities out shouldn’t be the answer.

A lot of students take out thousands of dollars in loans, and many parents save money since their little ones were in diapers to be able to send them to college. It’s not like we’re talking about a small increase either; there are going to be thousands of extra dollars out of students’ and parents’ wallets.

UC officials gave some reasons as to why a tuition increase is necessary.

“The proposal will enable the university to enroll at least 5,000 more Californians over five years and invest in the academic quality that students and their families expect,” Janet Napolitano, UC President, and Bruce D. Varner, Chairman of the Board of Regents said. “Adoption of this new model also will ensure that the university can maintain its current financial aid program.”

Before these universities start worrying about future enrollment, they need to take care of their current students. Also doesn’t raising tuition contradict providing more or maintaining financial assistance?

By raising tuition schools are going to have to provide more money to their financial aid systems or recipients of financial aid will have a higher cost of attendance.

UC and state officials have failed to solve a problem that they knew was going to arise. Now it’s their responsibility to find a way to fix this problem without making students suffer.

Senate leader Kevin de León offered a solution that will benefit California residents.

“California’s university system is one of the premier higher education systems in the world, and we should require that non-resident students pay a premium to attend it,” de León wrote in a message to Napolitano. “The revenue generated from these fees can be used to increase affordability and access for more Californians.”
            [post_title] => UC needs more funding, raising tuition is not the answer
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            [post_date] => 2014-12-09 14:23:18
            [post_date_gmt] => 2014-12-09 21:23:18
            [post_content] => I joined the California State University, Stanislaus Signal Fall 2011, and I no longer know what I am going to do without seeing the bright and smiling faces of my fellow editors every week.

I am the last staff member to leave who was at the newspaper B.G.D. (Before Google Docs). When I joined the team, we were still emailing articles around, but I feel like I was a key editor in pushing the move to Google Drive and a more online newsroom.

My job never entailed editing articles, but I have become such a stickler for the AP style guide that I even carry my own copy around with me from time to time. I was the editor sitting in the background making sure the stories made it online and the in-house computer support.

Over the last few years I have been able help the Signal website reach triple the number of visitors to our website every month while also making it cost only a fraction of what it was before I joined.

A lot of that success was due to the fantastic advising and leadership by Joseph Carranza. Over the last few years, the freedom he gave me to do what I love and am passionate about helped me grow the Signal’s online presence. I was sad to see him depart the Signal because he had grown to be more than just an advisor, but also a friend.

I have always joked with the other editors at the paper that it was my job to “kill” the print edition of the paper, but I never got my chance. However, this last semester has been even more amazing than the last because I finally got my chance to see the Signal move into a more online strategy, and I helped kill half of the printed issues in favor of more online coverage.

What helped me in this endeavor was our new advisor, Dr. Shannon Stevens, who is a match made in heaven for the Signal. I am excited to see what she has in store for the newspaper in the next few years.

Dr. Stevens also helped me implement a chat room for the newspaper that takes the fun we have every week at the Signal and make it last all day every day. Many of the chats make me laugh when I read them, and it has been key in making this semester one of the best for me.

I have been able to help the Signal become something truly amazing and something I am happy to have been part of. I have made more friends at the Signal than at any other time in my life. I would not trade this experience for anything else in the world.

I am sad to finally leave, but all good things must come to an end.

Good luck to those returning next semester and the new writers in the future.
            [post_title] => Long time editor says goodbye and good luck
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            [post_content] => You may be familiar with the recently made popular hashtag #BlackLivesMatter as a result of the abundance of black lives lost due to police brutality. Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Eric Garner and Rumain Brisbon all failed to see their murderers serve jail time for their crimes.

Instead these victims and their families were delighted with seeing each of their murderers create a not-so-convincing alibi that somehow convinced a jury to let them roam the world as free men. The victims were also delighted with seeing themselves described as “thugs,” accompanied with fake pictures or videos that aren’t them or hearing people say, “They got what they deserved.”

Blacks have a history of being oppressed dating back from slavery; therefore they have probable reasoning to feel unequal in this country. They bear the brunt day-in and day-out because it’s easier to deal with it rather than to cause a public scene, which has the possibility of backfiring on them.

Imagine watching the news and seeing person after person dying due to police brutality within a very short time frame, all of which resemble your complexion— a complexion that has a history of being discriminated against. The recent shootings “give the impression it’s open season for killing black men,” Ann Hart, chairwoman of the African American Police Advisory Board for South Phoenix said in an interview with NBC.

Acknowledging this unjust is present is the first action we need to take. Listen to black voices, respect black voices. Pretending that the unjust isn’t there is only causing more unjust. You can’t say racism doesn’t exist anymore when you’re not the one being constantly discriminated against. You cannot speak for other people’s feelings. Instead let them speak. #BlackVoicesMatter
            [post_title] => Black voices matter
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            [post_date] => 2014-12-10 11:29:27
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            [post_content] => Pablo Sandoval, the San Francisco Giants beloved third baseman, agreed to sign with the Boston Red Socks; both parties agreed to a 5-year, $95 million contract. This ends a 7-year run with the San Francisco Giants where he was part of three World Series teams; he was World Series MVP in 2012.

The question now is, how will he perform in Boston?

The biggest issue with Sandoval has always been his weight. Far too many times he has shown up to Spring Training out of shape. Granted, he showed up in good shape this past season, and even though he gained some weight during the season, he played some great defense.

But Sandoval is almost 30 years old, and this is the point in his career where nutrition and exercise become key. There has to be a giant concern as he gets older whether his body can maintain playing third base. There’s a good chance Boston might have to make him a designated hitter.

If there’s one thing you can’t take away from Sandoval, it is his postseason resume. He has a batting average in his three postseason appearances of .344 with 6 home runs and 20 runs batted in (RBIs), according to baseball-reference.

Sandoval has been inconsistent in the regular season. He goes through stretches where he is really good or really bad. When you are awarded a near $100 million contract, you are expected to be consistent throughout the regular season.

Another factor on Sandoval’s success in Boston is how he adjusts to the new fan base.

It’s no secret that Sandoval was one of the most popular players on the Giants.

While Boston has a tremendous fan base of their own, every fan base is different. He seems like someone who cares how he is perceived by the fans, and it might take some time adjusting to the Red Sox fans.

Pablo has been a spectacular player to watch in San Francisco, and he has given the city of San Francisco a lot. He has not only helped deliver multiple World Series to San Francisco, but he never hesitated to assist local underprivileged children through his charity, Panda Kids Foundation.

But he might be exiting his prime; once you get near thirty, you need to start taking care of your body. Sandoval has given no indication that he keeps his body in top condition.

Sandoval could prove me wrong, however; to me all signs point to him becoming a slightly above average designated hitter. He didn’t get a near $100 million dollar contract to hold that role.

 
            [post_title] => Panda sighting in Boston
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            [post_content] => As long as it seems for football fans to wait for their beloved sport to start, fans always wait for football season, and it is over before they realize it. This season is no exception as 13 weeks of the 17-week regular season are already completed. With the playoffs approaching quickly, which teams are in and which teams are out?

AFC East

While the AFC East is led by the New England Patriots (9-3), the Miami Dolphins (7-5) have a shot at the sixth seed with the Buffalo Bills (7-5) following close behind. Despite having the same record, the Bills’ chance of making the playoffs is weak at best after splitting the conference matchup against the Dolphins. The Dolphins also hold a better conference record than the Bills, leaving Miami ahead in a tie-breaker situation.

AFC North

The race in the AFC North is even closer as the Cincinnati Bengals (8-3) are holding a close lead over the Baltimore Ravens (7-5), Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5) and Cleveland Browns (7-5). The Ravens, Steelers and Browns may all have the same record, but the Browns are not in the hunt for a playoff seed; meanwhile the Steelers and Ravens are barely holding onto hope for the playoffs.

AFC South

The Indianapolis Colts (8-4) are the only team in their division to have a chance at the playoffs, but they are still the projected fourth seed. Under the leadership of quarterback Andrew Luck, the Colts will most likely win their division and take the fourth seed. The Houston Texans (6-6) would have to finish the season with a four-game winning streak, while the Colts slump, just to make the playoffs. The Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars are not contenders as they share a mere 2-10 record.

AFC West

Perhaps the closest race in the AFC conference is the AFC West. The Denver Broncos (9-3) have returned to their former glory after the Superbowl loss last season and have taken the first place spot in the division. However, the San Diego Chargers (8-4) and the Kansas City Chiefs (7-5) are close contenders with a shot at making it past the first round. Last, as tradition predicted, the Oakland Raiders (1-11) – let’s just say Raider fans won’t be seeing the playoffs anytime soon.

NFC East

In one of the closest races in the NFL, the Philadelphia Eagles (9-3) have a half-game lead over the Dallas Cowboys (9-4) after the Thanksgiving Day division matchup. The division rivals will have one more season matchup that could determine the Cowboys’ chance at the postseason. However, both teams will have to face difficult opponents as the Eagles will face the Seattle Seahawks (8-4) this Sunday and the Cowboys will face the Colts next week. The outcomes of the next two weeks will determine the seed standings for the NFC East, but this could be the first playoff appearance the Cowboys have seen in 5 years.

NFC North

The NFC North has not been determined just yet. Currently, the Green Bay Packers (9-3) lead the division followed by the Detroit Lions (8-4). The Packers currently hold the second seed, but the last few weeks of the season could change that. The Lions are holding on in the hunt for the sixth seed while the Minnesota Vikings (5-7) are losing sight of the playoffs. Both teams have a much simpler schedule for the end of the season, until they face each other.

NFC South

In what might be the worst performing division in the NFL, the NFC South is topped by the Atlanta Falcons (5-7). While the Falcons hold the fourth seed, they have the worst overall record for a team currently holding a playoff seed. The New Orleans Saints (5-7) hold the same record and could easily take the division in the final weeks of the season, but the Carolina Panthers (3-8) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-10) have no chance.

NFC West

With three possible seed holding teams, the NFC West is in a close race. The Arizona Cardinals (9-3) have the number one seed for the playoffs while the Seahawks (8-4) are currently holding onto the sixth seed. However, the San Francisco 49ers (7-5) have remained in the hunt for a possible playoff seed, but they will also have to face three playoff-bound teams after they face the Raiders this week.

Overall, the NFL is seeing a lot of teams returning to the playoffs from last year. But, there are also a few surprises, including the Cowboys actually having a winning season. No one other than Cardinals fans could have seen the Arizona Cardinals being the best team in the NFL this year while the returning Superbowl champs, the Seattle Seahawks, struggle to return to the playoffs. The Broncos weren’t going to give up their hunt for a ring. As in all good seasons, the playoffs may not be clinched until week 17.

 
            [post_title] => Football Fanatics 
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            [post_content] => With the winter season upon us it is time for us all to prepare our trips away from the warm and dull Central Valley and head for the mountains where it actually feels like winter.

One of the most fun aspects of winter is the presence of that all too popular fluffy form of precipitation: snow. And when the snow starts falling, people start playing.

For the younger crowd, there are the classic winter activities such as sledding and snowball fights. It is always entertaining to sit yourself down on a giant plastic dish, slide off the edge of a massive hill and hold on for dear life. As for the snowball fights, pretty self-explanatory: ball up some snow, then pelt your friends with said snowball. Pretty fun.

For the young adult crowd there are several fan-favorite sports to partake in that ramp up the level of excitement from sledding and snowballs. Skiing and/or snowboarding have been a staple of recreational winter sports since their respective inceptions. There is nothing more thrilling than locking yourself on to a board (or two if you’re skiing) and shooting yourself off the top of a mountain.

If you’re not as spry as you used to be, there are other winter activities that don’t require you to attempt something that can at time seem death defying. Ice fishing hasn’t exactly been synonymous with riveting, but for those who truly enjoy the artwork fishing can be, this is for you. There is also the sport made popular by the winter Olympics: ice skating.

These kinds of activities are something fun for all ages, and perhaps more importantly, fun for the whole family. After all, what is more important during the Christmas season than spending time with your family. Merry Christmas to all, and to all, have an awesome winter break.
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            [post_content] => 

After finishing her last year of college and final soccer season, California State University, Stanislaus soccer player Karenee Demery was awarded the Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship in New Orleans at the Faculty Athletics Representative Association Meeting and Symposium in mid November.

Demery was awarded $24,000 for her to pursue further education to become a surgeon. Demery received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences with a minor in Chemistry.

“It is such an honor to be the recipient of the Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship,” Demery said. “It will be a tremendous help in furthering my education. I am so blessed and extremely grateful.”

Demery was nominated for the Walter Byer Scholarship by Dr. John Mayer, the Chairman of the Theatre department at CSU Stanislaus as well as the Faculty Athletic Representative for the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA).

“Karenee Demery is the single finest student-athlete that I have had the privilege of working with in my 15 years on campus,” Dr. Mayer said. “There are 1,100 schools in the NCAA, including Divisions I, II, and III, and Karenee won the Walter Byers Award, the top scholarship that the NCAA gives out.”

The Walter Byer scholarship is awarded every year to one male and female NCAA student athlete. This award began in 1988 and was given to graduating senior student athletes or enrolled graduate students at NCAA institutions.

The winners of this award must have a 3.5 grade point average or higher, must show leadership and great character and must be involved with athletics and community service.

Over the years, Demery has been given many awards including Division II Player of the Year and CSU Stanislaus’s All-Time leading scorer. Demery was also a four-time All-American forward on the soccer team.

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