Study Away LA: Thanksgiving Break

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Three thousand miles away from home, Temple students studying in LA are trying to get a taste of their East Coast homes for Thanksgiving.

Maddie McDonald, a senior Media Studies and Production student, will be sharing Thanksgiving with a friend from her home town.

“My best friend is flying out and she has family that’s staying out here,” McDonald said.

Her first major holiday away from her own family is giving her the chance to be an honorary member of another.

“It’s nice because I’ll get to be the little extended cousin and do the whole family thing without my real family being out here so it’s a nice home away from home.”

Some families are making the long flight out, but with a new twist to Thanksgiving meal.

“My family is coming out. We usually stay in and have a big thanksgiving dinner with the rest of the family, but since it’s just us we’re going to go to P.F. Chang’s,” Nick Foye said.

Foye isn’t the only one to enjoy home cooking this holiday season. Isaiah Moore is welcoming another family’s recipe onto his palate this year.

“My good friend and roommate Gabe, his mother is coming up, and she’s going to make us a turkey,” Moore said.

A “Friendsgiving” is replacing Thanksgiving for some without family making the trip.

“My boyfriend’s coming out and then I’m visiting my friend in San Francisco and we’ll have a little Friendsgiving and it’ll be great,” Kaitlin Osborn, a senior MSP student, said.

While it might not be the traditional “Thanksgiving” meal, many of the same favorites will be present.

“I’m planning on having some cranberry sauce and some mashed potatoes and like some stuffing, you know, the classics,” Osborn said.

Dana Sliwinski, a senior studying Film and Media Arts, is taking the opportunity to perfect a family tradition, herself.

“My grandma make the best home made rolls. So I’m going to make them out here this time. I’ll make them myself so I’ll have a little piece of that, out here while I’m away from home”

Others are gaining a new perspective on their home away from home.

“This town is packed, but apparently this place is a ghost town on thanksgiving day and I really want to see what that looks like,” Patrick Dwyer, a senior FMA student, said.

While he says he’ll miss his large and still growing family, Dwyer isn’t worried about his first Thanksgiving away from Pennsylvania.

“I’m sure there’ll be other people here and we’ll make the best of it.”

Study Away LA: How Owls Are Casting Their Ballot

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Your vote is your voice and you wont be heard unless you go out to the polls and vote.

Temple LA students can’t just go to the polls on November 8th. But they still want their voice heard. By this time people in the program will have to overnight their absentee ballots to make Friday’s 5 pm deadline.

In an important election for graduating owls are taking advantage of their right to vote even from across the country. But some might lose their vote because of possible postal service delays.

Originally Chanelle Grannum’s ballot got lost in the mail. She only got hers because a family member works for her county.

“I lucked out in that sense, but like it made me wonder like how many people aren’t getting their absentee ballot because of a mistake like that.”

Others at temple LA weren’t quite as lucky.

“I would like to vote, however, there have been some complications with the mail and I haven’t received my absentee ballot yet,” said Kiera Campbell.

This problem might be even more widespread. Pennsylvania’s neighbor to the east, Ohio, is already reporting similar absentee ballot issues.

“It’s completely unacceptable. The post office needs to do a better job,” said Jon Husted, Secretary of State of Ohio.

Problems with this year’s mail-in ballots have Campbell hoping for more modern choices in the future.

I think it would be maybe more encouraging for young people to vote if it was easier for them, and like more up to date with the technology that we’re used to and uh that people’s absentee ballots don’t get lost in the mail.”

Update LA: California Faces Crippling Draught

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While those in the South are recovering from crippling rainfall as a result of Hurricane Matthew, those in California are facing the worst drought on record.

While water levels are nearing all time lows on the West Coast – water conservation efforts are hitting new highs, but saving water in the largest desert city in the country isn’t easy.

It’s become a real challenge in supporting this many people in this very dense metropolitan area with limited water, said Karla Heidelberg, PhD, Director of USC Environmental Studies Department.

After another dry year, the Los Angeles river water levels are at a near record low. Scientists agree that the end of the drought is no where near in sight so the burden falls on residents and government officials to save the regions’ water.

“Our needs in the LA region are to provide a package of conservation minded approaches, especially when we’re dealing with such a large urban area,” said Heidelberg.

The market is starting to catch up to that idea. New rain barrels can reclaim more than 600 gallons of stormwater a year. Businesses and Californians can save thousands of gallons yearly by replacing old sprinklers with new efficient models.

With temperatures now on the rise every year, officials are cautiously approaching their plan of action.

Mark Cowin, Director of the Department of Water explains that there is great uncertainty as to what will happen with climate change in the future so again we need to be conservative about how we expect those types of changes to take place.

For the first time in this historic 5 year-long drought, city water reserves actually saw increases in 2016. So for now, officials say conservation efforts are paying off.

Study Away L.A. Students Adapt to New Transportation

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Get ready to trade in the highway for the freeway. The Phillie Phanatic for Dodger blue and pine trees for palm trees.

While the City of Angels is known for its beaches and sunny skies, another prominent feature of this sprawling city that students have to adapt to is its heavy car-centered culture. The Los Angeles Study Away program encourages students to have a car.

Kaitlyn Osborn said that she has only used her rental car and hasn’t used any form of public transportation. And Osborne isn’t alone. Fellow study away student Nike Foye said he drove out to Los Angeles specifically for that reason, “public transit [in LA] is hard to come by.”

“Not all places are accessible by public transportation here, if I were take the subway from my house … I’d have to drive to get to the subway which kind of defeats the purpose,” said Lou Pepe.

Trains carry an estimated 335,000 people a day in L.A. In Philadelphia, a city less than one third of Los Angeles’ size, SEPTA trains transport a hundred thousand more passengers. Renting a car isn’t the only way to avoid public transit: some students are taking a more modern approach to getting around their new home.

Students can take an Uber or Lyft to get around L.A., and although car sharing might not be the most convenient way to get around, some members of the program don’t see the cost of renting a car adding up. On average car sharing services would cost about 700 dollars for the semester. While renting a car could be as pricey as twenty five hundred.

While even SEPTA somehow puts the metro to shame it still has it’s perks. Because LA is so big, transportation just seems a little slower. It’s great if you want to have audio books and listen to Tolstoy and Delstoyesky because it does take a long time.

 

Protestors Stomp on Campus Stadium

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Temple University’s Stadium Stompers are asking students to walk out of class and protest the new plans for a stadium, stop and frisk laws and minimum wage.

Stadium Stomper's Walk-Out Flyer
Stadium Stomper’s Walk-Out Flyer

With Temple University’s plans of a $100 million stadium becoming more concrete, student and community members are anticipated to take a stand.

The protest is scheduled to begin Thursday at 2 p.m. at Temple’s Bell Tower. The Facebook event claims a little over 300 students plan to participate and another 390 students are interested in attending.

Following several speakers and chants at the Bell Tower the plan is to move to Broad Street at Cecil B. Moore around 3 to 3:30 p.m. and shut down the intersection.

Phil Gregory from the Stadium Stompers has plans to give a speech during the protest and help inform students about how the stadium will impact the community around Temple.

“If we can just get more people talking and thinking and actually being knowledgeable about these issues, they’ll become more active,” Gregory said.

The Stadium Stompers already have a list of organizations that have endorsed their plan including 15 Now, Students Without Borders, and Temple Black Student Union. Other groups from Penn and Drexel University have also shown their support.

List of endorsements for the Stadium Stomper's walk-out.
List of endorsements for the Stadium Stomper’s walk-out.

Samir Butt, a Temple student said, “I think a lot of students on campus want a tuition-free, stop and frisk, livable wage and not a stadium.”

Temple University’s Campus Safety has been working with Philadelphia Police to ensure everyone stays safe during the demonstrations.

“It’s always a balance between, we want to ensure everyone has their first amendment right heard,” Charles Leone, Director of Campus Safety said, “but we also want to make sure everyone is safe.”

Other protests are also taking place in Philadelphia on Thursday, including Fight for 15 Pa. The Stadium Stompers hope to end their protest with them at City Hall.

 

Renovated Divine Lorraine to Reopen Next Year

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The massive structure on Broad Street halfway between Center City and Temple University is finally getting a face-lift. The Divine Lorraine Hotel has been vacant for the past 17 years, and parts will finally be opened for use by the end of this year.

Vice President of EB Realty Management Corporation (EBRM), Christopher Cordaro says, “Divine Lorraine has sat here for a significant period of time and is seen as a symbol of blight.”

His company, as well as other companies involved in the renovations, hopes to change that. They hope to not only bring the Divine Lorraine back to life but the community as well.

The Divine Lorraine Hotel
The Divine Lorraine Hotel

Cordaro says, “It really is more than just an activation for the neighborhood, it’s a symbol for redevelopment in the communities.”

Many people who live in the area are excited to finally see the Divine Lorraine functioning after being vacant and an eyesore for so long.

Claire Flexman who lives in the area says, “I think it will be great for the neighborhood, it’s a building we’ve all see and admired for many many years and always wondered if it would become something again.”  

It is finally in the process of becoming something again. EBRM hopes to bring the historic significance back into the building with its original pieces. The marble floors and window frames will be restored to their original state.

A coffee shop and bi-level restaurant will fill the commercial space, and hopefully the apartments will fill quickly after it officially opens.

Each apartment will be equipt with a full kitchen, washer and dryer, and range in a number of bedrooms. The building will even have a 24-hour doorman to ensure the safety of the residences.

The ballroom is so large they are making it into two separate floors holding apartments on each floor. The Annex in the back of the building will be renovated into something, but it is still a surprise.

EBRM hopes to have all of the renovations and restorations completed by March of 2017.

Temple Participates In RecycleMania Competition

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Temple University’s Office of Sustainability is currently in an 8-week long recycling competition, RecycleMania. There are 190 other colleges across the nation competing to see who can recycle the most and have the least trash per capita.

Director of Sustainability, Kathleen Grady, and the rest of the Office of Sustainability’s goal is to collect 350,000 pounds of trash. That total would equate to 26-pounds per person across Temple’s campus.

Data being collected over the course of the 8-week long RecycleMania.

This year we have recycled less than previous years and the data was able to tell us why.

Morgan Numtuda, an Office of Sustainability intern, says that cardboard was being recycled less than previous years. To improve this, they have started posting signs around dorm trash rooms and other locations around campus to highlight things that are able to be recycled.

In order to encourage Temple students to recycle, the Office of Sustainability is holding several events like a box fort competition and a Trashion Show. They are also handing out t-shirts to students they see

T-Shirt that is handed out to those who are caught recycling or using reusable water bottles.
T-Shirt that is handed out to those who are caught recycling or using reusable water bottles.

either recycling or using reusable water bottles. They hope all of these will not only encourage people to recycle but also be conscious of the environment.

In 2014, Temple won first place in the “Game Day Organics Competition.”

Grady says, “this is a friendly competition between schools to compare data, but on the other hand, we want to win.” She also wants media attention to not only be on our successful sports teams but our teams that promote and recycle during and after each game.

Temple is currently ranked 132nd in the whole competition, but there is still four more weeks to go. Glass, plastic, newspaper and cardboard are just a few of the things students and faculty can recycle to help Temple improve their data and ratings. The winners will be announced April 18th.

You can follow the Office of Sustainability on twitter @TempleEcoOwls for more event updates and Temple’s final results.

 

 

TU Hospital Gives Community a ‘Fighting Chance’ Against Gun Violence

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Temple University Hospital is taking strides towards helping the North Philadelphia community in the wake of gun violence. After the hospital treated more than 1,200 gunshot wounds last year, Tim Bryan, Assistant Director of Medical Services at Temple University Hospital, started the ‘Fighting Chance’ program to the give the community the power before first responders arrive.

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A Temple University Hospital Nurse shows a community member how to stop the bleeding

The initiative is a two hour course that is taught around the community of North Philadelphia and focuses on bystander awareness. “They show up every day to the trauma bay trying to help their victims of this community, and now we’re just empowering them with the knowledge of how to do it safely and effectively,” says Bryan, who served as a combat medic in the military.

The program is free to attendees, and has reached maximum capacity at the prior sessions. The program begins with a short prevention, but the remainder is hands on. Community members break up into groups and are taught a variety of techniques to aid someone who has been shot. The groups practice how to safely evaluate the scene, treating a gunshot sound, and locating pressure points to stop a victim’s bleeding. All of the groups are led by nurses at the hospital, who volunteer their time for ‘Fighting Chance.’ At the end of the session, groups are tested to evaluate their progress.

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Two kids work together at the ‘Fighting Chance’ Program

“It’s helping our young kids, and the people out here, do better for out community,” said community member Lamar Williams.

The sessions are currently being held bi-weekly, but the hospital hopes to expand the program to a weekly basis, and expand throughout the city of Philadelphia. ‘Fighting Chance’ is also currently in the process of creating a training video. People can revive more information on the program by contacting Temple University Hospital at (215)-707-8398.

Reading Terminal Market Celebrates Chinese New Year

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This past weekend, Reading Terminal Market helped kick off the Chinese New Year.

Located on 12th and Filbert Street in Center City, the market hosted an afternoon of activities and cultural events last Saturday for the public to partake in. Managers said they expected close to 30,000 patrons to visit the market.

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Sign for the celebration designed by the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation

The afternoon consisted of events such as a dumpling making demonstration and Chinese Tea sampling. The highlight of the afternoon, however, was the traditional Lions Dance that weaved its way through the market.

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Patrons could by unique Chinese trinkets at select tables in the market

Approximately 15 members of the Philadelphia Suns took part in the dance. The Suns are an organization within the Chinese community that seeks to promote and organize opportunities to support youth within Philadelphia. With their costumes bearing bright, festive gold, the dance is intended to ward off evil spirits and bring in happiness and longevity for the New Year. For 20 minutes, spectators gathered and followed the dance through the different isles of the market.

The festivities were put on by the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation. The PCDC defends the community from city development that might endanger Chinatown’s survival, and promotes its cultural roots. The event was part of Reading Terminal Market’s quest to build a better relationship with neighboring Chinatown community.

“We’ve been doing a lot of getting the word out around the Chinese New Year event,” said Reading Terminal General Manager Anuj Gupta. “We hope to see folks on top of that.”

Amongst the vast diversity that can be found in the market, citizens were excited to be part of the cultural celebration. Lynette Chen, owner of The Tea Leaf, was excited the event put the Chinese culture on display.

“It will be great to promote the Chinese culture here in the market, being close to Chinatown…They should do multiple events like this to promote multicultural events.”

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Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation

The New Year was officially rung in on Jan. 8. Chinatown set off a colorful fireworks display at midnight, and the Philadelphia Suns once again were on center stage, parading and performing through the streets of Chinatown.

Temple’s Annual Security & Fire Safety Report Released

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Temple University Police released their annual Security and Fire Safety Report, and the numbers vary.

The report highlights Temple’s campus safety services, fire safety, and mostly an outline of crimes and fires reported in the past three years.

From 2013 to 2014, there has been an increase of on-campus reports of sex offenses, burglaries, and relationship violence. The greatest increase is in the alcohol, drug, and weapon violations and charges which jumped from 328 to 691.

Non-clergy crimes, which includes subcategories like gambling, theft, and drunkenness has remained pretty constant for the past three years.

“We would rather be more cautious and make sure that the students are more aware or every information that we have,” Chief of the Temple Safety Services, Eileen Bradley said.

The annual report is public, and published online for easier access. The report is required by the federal law, The Jeanne Clergy Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. If anyone has questions regarding the report, they should contact Temple Safety Services.