Archive for December, 2011

December 19, 2011

Investigation Story: JOUR 311 Project

Krista Brooks

Jour 311 / Reis

Dec. 8, 2011

Investigation Story

Krista Brooks | Daily 49er

DEC. 7, 2011- Long Beach, CA — Wednesday morning at 9:20 a.m. in the university’s Foundation building, a shrill scream was heard piercing throughout the rooms, and everyone was evacuated.

The scream was from a woman trying to save a coworker, according to Toni Beron, associate vice president of university relations. She was assisting a woman trapped in an elevator stuck between two floors.

Annette Lujan, 48, of Huntington Beach was crushed and killed on Wed., Dec. 7, 2011, by an elevator in the building where she worked. For nine years, she has been working in the Office of University Research.

The building was evacuated and closed for the day at 9:23 a.m., according to Terri Anderson, scholarship coordinator for the California Student Opportunity and Access program.

The elevator car was stuck between the second and third floors in the Foundation building. Lujan saw the elevator doors open and tried to emerge onto the third floor. When she tried to escape, the elevator dropped on her, according to Capt. Rich Brandt of the Long Beach Fire Department.

Officials are still investigating the circumstances of this accident that led to her death.

“I was about to approach the building when I heard a bunch of screaming and they had us evacuate the building,” said Shantasia McBride, a senior CSULB student.

At 9 a.m., University Police received a call reporting that an individual was stuck in an elevator. Beron said Lujan died before the police and Long Beach Fire Department arrived.

Anaheim Road was closed from the stop sign at the bottom of Hardfact Hill to the stop sign at the four-way intersection with Palos Verdes Street on lower campus. The commotion surrounded the students near the SSPA building on the opposite side facing away from the engineering department.

Four fire trucks, several police vehicles, a coroner’s van, investigators, and grievance counselors surrounded the building. It remained closed off as the firemen began to unload the pulleys and bungee cords. The Urban Search and Rescue Team used a rope and pulley system to lift the elevator, estimated to weigh about 2,000 pounds, to free the body — a process that took about an hour and 15 minutes, according to Capt. Brandt.

“We were hoping it was going to be a rescue mission but it turned out to be a recovery mission,” Brandt said.

Brandt said the tragedy is a reminder to people to never try to free themselves from a trapped elevator.

“Never try to get out of an elevator on your own because it’s a mechanical device that’s unforgiving,” he said. “What we ask people to do is remain calm and wait for help to arrive.”

The permits for the elevator are current and renewed yearly, according to Erika Monterroza, spokesperson for California Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The cause of the malfunction is still under investigation, according to Beron.

Beron said the Foundation building is approximately 15-20 years old. The building has three floors and two elevators.

Students and staff members present during the catastrophic event were brought to the University Student Union. In a closed room, these CSULB members were given therapy and support from the appointed grievance counselors. Many were affected by the incident, and the calamity of the tragedy.

“It seems like it’s a movie,” Nohemi Vargas Sophomore Communications major said. “Or something you’d only see in a horror film. It’s sad to know that so close to the holidays we lost a staff member who made a difference in student’s lives in Long Beach.”

CSULB administration knew the intensity and sentiment of the event, and notified all students, staff, and faculty via email and phone. The emergency notifications prompted students to take precaution and assured family members and students that no one else was hurt or injured in the event.

“I am very sad to inform you that this morning, due to an unfortunate incident at the Foundation Building, a member of our campus community has died,” Mary Stephens, Vice President, Administration and Finance, wrote. “At this time, we are notifying family members and a complete investigation involving University Police and the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office has been initiated,”

The university is in shock and has sent its “deepest condolences to the family,” she said.

CSULB President F. King Alexander addressed the students with his own statement.

“This is a very sad tragedy for our campus community,” Alexander said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her family members and friends.”

When the news was infiltrated through the campus community, many students grew weary of their own safety. Students in the library began to avoid the elevators and climbed the stairs instead, according to many students in the library.

Janine Orozco, a freshman majoring in nutrition, was in the library lobby as soon as the news reached the library.

“When I got to the library this morning, everyone was taking the stairs and avoiding the elevators,” Orozco said. “It was odd, but no one questioned it.”

“I took the stairs in the library today and so did many others,” Nohemi Vargas, who was also in the library at that time said. “There was no one waiting for the elevators, but everyone crowded the stairs. They were packed and everyone was out of breath, talking about the incident.”

Among the students crowding the stairwell was Sharlene Dominguez, a sophomore business marketing major. Dominquez said she has had a horrific fear of elevators for a long time now. She will not take the elevator unless she is with a group or companion. This incident

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just reiterated her phobia.

“Hearing this story made my fear of elevators stronger and now I will continue to avoid taking the elevator for a while,” Sharlene Dominguez, a sophomore business marketing major said. “It’s sad that something like that can cause a person’s death.”

“I was actually in the library elevator this morning when I found out what had happened in the Foundation building,” Ian Sneed, a senior kinesiology and communications major said. “I didn’t want to scare anyone in the elevator with me, but I was relieved when it reached my floor.”

Some students, however, did not alter their route in the library and continued to take the elevators.

“I feel back about what happened, but it’s not going to affect my usage of elevators,” Jenny Chin, a freshman nursing major said. “I used the elevator this morning to the 5th floor of the library.”

“Yeah, some people are afraid of using the elevators, but I think that using them is not that big of a deal,” agreed Melissa Chow, a freshman nutrition major. “One elevator shouldn’t affect the use of all the elevators on campus.”

The girls continued to reflect on the incident and wish the family and friend their condolences.

Funeral arrangements have not been made yet, according to the Press Telegram.

 

Collaboration with Daily 49er staff writers Valerie Graham, Zien Halwani and Stephanie Schoniger, Erin Spandorf, Kasia Hall, and Caitlin O’Connor.

 

 

 

December 9, 2011

‘Mystery Team’ comedians to offer laughs for leukemia on campus

By Krista Brooks

Published Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011 – The Daily 49er

http://www.daily49er.com/news/mystery-team-comedians-to-offer-laughs-for-leukemia-on-campus-1.2681467#.TuFi4dWwWhM

Actors and writers from the comedy “Mystery Team” will contribute to “Comedy for the Cure,” a variety show at Cal State Long Beach, to raise benefits and awareness to find a cure for leukemia.

“Comedy for the Cure” will take place in the Beach Auditorium from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for general admission.

“This is a great way to get people involved for a good cause,” Zach McAnany, a sophomore business major, said. “Everyone can connect with comedy on some level.”

Jordan Morris and Jesse Thorn will host their comedy podcast “Jordan, Jesse Go!” on MaximumFun.org.

According to the website, the show is frequently among the top comedy podcasts in the iTunes directory, and has been chosen as “Best of iTunes.”

The duo will be presenting comedians such as DC Pierson and Dominic Dirkes, two of the writers and actors in the “Mystery Team” trio.

Comedians Joe Wengert, Eliza Skinner, Daniel Eachus and Andy Kneis will also be featured.

These performers are not new to the comedy scene.

Wegnert is an academic supervisor and a regular performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB) Theatre in Los Angeles. He is a former writer of the Onion News Network and he currently performs improvisational shows weekly.

Skinner also performs in the UCB Theatre in Los Angeles and New York. She is part of several comedy videos from College Humor and Funny or Die.

Eachus is the student host of “The Really Really Good Comedy Show,” held monthly in CSULB’s Golden Nugget.

Kneis, former editor of CSULB’s Union Weekly, is now a comedian at Flappers.

All tickets purchased will benefit leukemia and the Lymphoma Society. Tickets are available at the USU or at the door on the night of the event.

December 9, 2011

Beachnet+ hits record number of users in a day

By Krista Brooks

Published Monday, Dec. 5, 2011 – The Daily 49er

Beachnet+, the upgraded Wi-Fi system that allows students to stay logged in to the campus server longer, broke its own record last week for most users in a day with 22,000 users.

The wireless service, accessible as of Dec. 1, is now more secure and faster for all users, according to Steve La, director of network services.

The Wi-Fi system is now fully integrated with BeachMail, meaning users can use the same username and password for both Beachnet+ and Beachmail. Beachnet+ is also fully integrated with the latest Windows 7, Mac OSX, iPhone and other new mobile services, according to La.

Cal State Long Beach system engineers created a new server and security system for the new Wi-Fi service. La said Beachnet+ utilizes the latest Wi-Fi security that encrypts all connections to prevent hackers or hijacking on popular accounts such as Facebook, Amazon and Google.

“We wanted to create a simple yet secure Wi-Fi network for our students without the need for lengthy configuration instructions on students’ mobile devices,” La said. “We realized that not all devices, especially the older ones, are compatible, nor support the latest WPA2 security standard.”

Beachnet+ will keep users connected for a longer period of time, without needing to constantly log in to the network, according to La.

“Beachnet+ is so much faster than before,” said Morgan Sedra, a sophomore liberal studies major. “I don’t have to constantly log in my username and password anymore.”

However, faculty and staff’s email will not be integrated with Beachnet+ until the email migration to Exchange 2010 is complete.

The existing Beachnet will continue to be available in order to support older Wi-Fi devices and provide stronger accessibility. CSULB offers 175 new wireless access points and more than 860 of those points are available on campus.

 

December 9, 2011

Student charity event showcases CSULB talent

By Krista Brooks

Published Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011 – The Daily

http://www.daily49er.com/diversions/student-charity-event-showcases-csulb-talent-1.2679536#.TuFhddWwWhM

Inside the building, the room was decorated with garlands, Christmas lights and a large sign that read, “Tis’ the Season” in cursive writing with a gold tinsel border. The University Theatre was transformed into a holiday treat, decorated for this special event. The stage was illuminated with stars and lights to bring the focus of the decorations to the performers.

The newly-established Cal State Long Beach Event Planning class, COMM 337, held a music charity event, dubbed “Tis’ the Season for Talent,” in the University Student Union Theater on Thursday and Friday to raise money for an undergrad scholarship.

“Tis’ the Season for Talent” was created by Jonathon Evans, a COMM 337 student. The students of this class each pitched an idea, and Evans’ concert idea was chosen to execute.

Evans created the idea with Mario Max Granville in mind. Granville is a 21-year-old psychology and child development student at CSULB. He had auditioned playing piano for a performance in the Carpenter Center against several other talented musicians and performers.

Granville won the talent audition and was chosen to be given the stage out of all the other competitors. However, the plans fell through because Granville is not a music major, and therefore could not be funded by the school. Evans planned this two-night event so Granville could have the stage, and an audience that could hear Granville’s music and story.

Granville had lost his hearing when he was three-years-old, and had reconstructive surgery to salvage minor hearing when he was six. He is inspired by Beethoven, and knows many of his pieces by heart.

The concert began with Jennifer Rockett, a sophomore biology major, who sings for a church in Compton. She set off the night with a Christmas song, “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire).” Dressed in a formal black dress and heels, Rockett’s voice filled the theatre with holiday spirit and joy.

The holiday spirit continued with Kyle McElderry, a senior men’s volleyball athlete. Accompanied by Clint Keyworth, the two played guitar as McElderry sang his original song, “Place Called Home,” from his upcoming album. Their final song was an acoustic version of Kanye West’s “Heartless,” which the crowd clapped and sang along to.

Granville played next, with a grand piano center stage and lights glowing the entire stage a deep red color.

Granville played two pieces, one of Beethoven’s and one of his own. Dressed in a black suit, his stage presence and talent awed the audience.

After a 10-minute intermission, Adam Gomez, a communications major from St. Louis took the stage. He played his acoustic guitar and opened with an original song.

His voice and songs sounded soothing and alluring, much like singer Jack Johnson. He sang another original song named, “Adam’s Apple,” which was written for a former girlfriend of his, named Apple.

The concert closed with another performance by Granville. The stage was once again illuminated in red, and changed for each piece that Granville played. He ended the night with Beethoven, an original piece called “Love is Fleeting,” “Rhapsody in Blue,” and “Flight of the Bumblebee.” Granville changed the four-finger parts to two-finger parts for the last piece, a composition that very few pianists can play.

December 9, 2011

Fraternity spreads holiday cheer to children

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By Krista Brooks

Published Sunday, December 4, 2011 – The Daily 49er

http://www.daily49er.com/news/fraternity-spreads-holiday-cheer-to-children-1.2679695#.TuFf-tWwWhM

Zeta Beta Tau fraternity members visited first-graders on Friday with promises to fulfill their Christmas wishes by helping them write letters to Santa Claus.

Zeta Beta Tau’s Santa’s Little Helpers is a philanthropy event created for McKinley Elementary students. Because the elementary school is located in a low-income district, many children in the area might not receive gifts this Christmas season.

About 30 Zeta Beta Tau members collaborated with 70 members from various Cal State Long Beach sororities, such as Alpha Phi, Alpha Omicron Pi, Delta Gamma, Delta Zeta, Sigma Kappa and Tri Delta.

Several sororities donated money to add to Zeta Beta Tau’s donation to pay for gifts for the students.

The participants surprised the first-graders with cards and crafts during the students’ last hour of class on Friday. The fraternity and sorority members helped approximately 60 first-graders decorate cards with pictures of gifts they would like.

“Teachers and faculty were touched,” Zeta Beta Tau member Will Phelps said. “Some were almost brought to tears at the sentiment of the event.”

The Greek participants will take each student’s wish list and buy one item for each first-grader, with a $15 cap.

The ZBT brothers and various sorority members will shop for the gifts this week.

“It’s nice to step out of the college mentality and interact with these kids,” ZBT member Daniel Shimmura said. “It reminds me of how I used to get so excited for Christmas when I was that age.”

On Dec. 9, the Greek members will return to the school with a surprise — Santa Claus. ZBT member Andrew Severin will dress up in the red suit, along with sorority and fraternity participants, to give the students presents.

December 9, 2011

Officials investigating CSULB death

By Kasia Hall, Caitlin O’Connor and Erin Spandorf

Published Dec.r 7, 2011The Daily 49er

http://www.daily49er.com/news/officials-investigating-csulb-death-1.2681809#.TuFbXtWwWhM

Officials are investigating the circumstances of an accident that involved the death of a Cal State Long Beach employee Wednesday morning.

Annette Lujan, 48, of Huntington Beach was crushed and killed by an elevator in the university’s Foundation building, where she worked in the Office of University Research for nine years.

The elevator was stuck between the second and third floors but when Lujan tried to escape, the elevator dropped on her, according to Capt. Rich Brandt of the Long Beach Fire Department.

A person was also trying to assist Lujan out of the elevator, according to Toni Beron, associate vice president of university relations.

The Foundation building was evacuated at 9:23 a.m., according to Terri Anderson, scholarship coordinator for the California Student Opportunity and Access program, and it remained closed for the entire day.

“I was about to approach the building when I heard a bunch of screaming and they had us evacuate the building,” said Shantasia McBride, a senior CSULB student.

At 9 a.m., University Police received a call reporting that an individual was stuck in an elevator. Beron said Lujan died before the police and Long Beach Fire Department arrived.

The Urban Search and Rescue Team lifted the elevator, estimated to weigh about 2,000 pounds, off of the woman — a process that took about an hour and 15 minutes, according to Brandt.

The cause of the malfunction is still under investigation, according to Beron.

“This is a very sad tragedy for our campus community,” CSULB President F. King Alexander said via email. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her family members and friends.”

CSULB emergency notifications were sent out to students via email and phone, prompting some students to take extra precautions.

“I took the stairs in the library today and so did many others,” sophomore communications major Nohemi Vargas said. “There was no one waiting for the elevators, but everyone crowded the stairs. They were packed and everyone was out of breath, talking about the incident.”

However, around noon, fewer students were spotted taking the stairs.

“Some people are afraid of elevators, but I think that using them is not that big of a deal,” freshman nutrition major Melissa Chow said. “One elevator shouldn’t affect the use of all elevators on campus.”

The permits for the elevator are current and renewed yearly, according to Erika Monterroza, spokesperson for California Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Beron said the Foundation building is approximately 15-20 years old. The building has three floors and two elevators.

Krista Brooks, Valerie Graham, Zien Halwani and Stephanie Schoniger contributed to this report.

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