Wolf Cast ep. 10

Weekly news and events with a spoiler-based-review of The Lighthouse and Death Stranding

Music by Foley 

Feat. 

Joe Fisk

Samantha Wolfe

Drew Lascot

Weekly news and events with a spoiler-based-review of The Lighthouse and Death Stranding

Spoilers start at 41:00 – 55:00 ends at

Music by Foley

Feat.

Joe Fisk

Samantha Wolfe

Drew Lascot

Faculty and staff data migration underway

Written by Lori Robinson

Photo by Jonathan Montgomery

There’s a great migration underway, and students may not even be aware of it. Data migration, that is. 

Students who have seen flyers from Front Range Information Technology Services regarding the migration of faculty and staff data to a universal domain for all colleges in the Colorado Community College System need not worry about their files, Stephanie Wickman, director of instructional design and educational technologies, said in a recent telephone conversation. 

The Front Page contacted the director in response to incorrect rumors that the Desire2Learn portal is no longer going to be used by FRCC. 

“This has nothing to do with D2L, and everything to do with faculty and staff files,” Wickman said. 

An email recently sent to faculty, staff and student workers by Information Technology Services Director Malinda Mascarenas affirmed that D2L will not be affected. “D2L and eWolf accounts will not change but should be tested after the migration,” Mascarenas stated in her email. “Student Instructional Accounts (eWolf, D2L, email) will not be impacted.”

The information on Mascarenas’ email matches that stated on the flyer. The flyer states, “FRCC ITS has already migrated our classroom computers and student accounts; the next phase will be to migrate instructors, faculty, and staff user and computer accounts.”

The migration will help ITS “simplify administration, strengthen security, and streamline communications and logins,” the flyer states. 

D2L’s contract — which is unrelated to the faculty and staff data migration — runs through June 2020, Wickman said. 

Student Leadership Conference

Written by Samantha Wolfe

Photos by Lindsey Brand

The Student Leadership Conference, created in collaboration by TRIO, Student Life, and Student Affairs, took place on October 4 at FRCC Westminster. Attendees experienced several speakers and panels that focused on succeeding in spite of hard times, growing up, and becoming a leader.

Written by Samantha Wolfe

Photos by Lindsey Brand

The Student Leadership Conference, created in collaboration by TRIO, Student Life, and Student Affairs, took place on October 4 at FRCC Westminster. Attendees experienced several speakers and panels that focused on succeeding in spite of hard times, growing up, and becoming a leader.

Beginning the event were four students from TRIO who each discussed a time in their lives when they faced life-changing challenges such as injuries and financial setbacks and learned to overcome them. This was to introduce the next speaker, president of the Colorado Community College System, Joe Garcia.

Garcia, a Harvard graduate, discussed his experiences with roadblocks he had faced in his life due to his race and background. He worked as a political lawyer for years before taking a risk and moving to education, and he hasn’t looked back since.

Finishing the morning activities were several panels, ranging from lessons to be learned from the original The Karate Kid film to how to market yourself as a brand in order to become more employable. The Karate Kid panel focused on several key scenes from the film, such as the famous beer bottle scene, then analyzed what the film had to say about being a leader.

This was the second annual Leadership Conference. It’s put on by students, for students. Elizabethe Plante, a TRIO counselor, is optimistic about the future of the event. 

“It’s really the passion project of the director of TRIO, Liz Schwebach, so last year, it was her brainchild,” Plante said. “They went all out, and it was so successful that they decided to make it an annual event.” 

She is also optimistic about the event’s future. 

“We might open it up to all campuses, but we are always looking to improve and expand. It’s also an opportunity for other people on campus to step into their leadership.”

Some students attending the event were looking for a chance to be involved.

“It’s my second semester [at FRCC], and I wanted to be a part of the college community… I feel like everybody wants to be a part of the community and be heard. Everyone wants to inspire everybody and make sure everyone feels welcome,” Journey Scott, a student at FRCC said.

They hope the event will grow each year, though almost every seat in the room was full. Students clearly enjoyed seeing other students have the opportunity to be leaders and supported the event excitedly. Thomas Jannsen, another student at FRCC, summarized it best. “It’s best to learn from people who have already made the journey.”  
For more information on TRIO, students can check out this article.

5280 Burger Bar Review

Written by Jennifer Cadena

Illustration by Madison Otten

5280, a clever nod to the city’s topographic distance above sea-level, has received much deserved praise from local publications like the Westword, Drink Denver, and Fox31 Denver. First opened in the Denver Pavillions in 2014, business has been so good that, in 2017, a second location has graced the northern Westminster marketplace. 

Written by Jennifer Cadena

Illustration by Madison Otten

5280, a clever nod to the city’s topographic distance above sea-level, has received much deserved praise from local publications like the Westword, Drink Denver, and Fox31 Denver. First opened in the Denver Pavillions in 2014, business has been so good that, in 2017, a second location has graced the northern Westminster marketplace. 

If you care about where your food comes from, 5280 boasts their “Never Ever” motto, with a promise that all ingredients are hormone and antibiotic free, locally sourced and fresh made in-house every day.  Need a sweet treat after a salty burger?

The 5280 Ice Cream parlor is smartly joined to the restaurant’s waiting area, and patrons can easily gain access to all the fresh flavors also made in-house.   

On a quiet Thursday evening, my family and I rolled into the 5280 Burger Bar in Westminster.  Two hostesses greeted us warmly and handed us a square, blinking buzzer with the promise of only 20 short minutes until we could be guided to our table.  I glanced around the restaurant, and all the tables were indeed occupied, with additional chairs squeezed into the crowded little tables.

Even the bar, boasting 12 local Colorado beers on tap, was tightly packed with smiling, flushed-faced patrons.  TVs were mounted in every corner broadcasting baseball games and hockey matches. When the buzzer alerted us to our table just five minutes later, my stomach growled in approval.   

The staff was busy flitting about the tight, neat space, bringing food to the tables.  Glancing around, I noticed the soda fountains were pristinely clean, a rarity among burger joints.  The delightful smell of freshly grilled burgers wafted our way. I swear I could almost taste the grilled perfection already. 

The waitress greeted us at our table and informed us that all items on the menu were made fresh daily and sourced with local ingredients, from the daily baked buns, to the sauces, to the beef and lamb in the burgers.  The key to a good burger is a proper bun. I was determined to put their bun to the test.

We sang our order to the waitress, two classic burgers, dubbed “The 5280,” ($8.99 each) 2 kids meals with hot dogs ($4.99, each) for the littles, and all the fries we could eat (not bottomless, but a plentiful amount for a table of four, $4.99).   My personal standard is to stick to the classic American-style burger. Sometimes the fancy fixings can betray your senses and disguise a mediocre burger. 

Not 15 minutes later, a food runner rounded the corner, large tray in hand, eyes fixed on our table.  He swung the tray around, expertly lowering plates down to our table. The perfect burgers were perched high, buns fluffed, with a garland of sauce threatening to spill from the sides. 

Crisp, green lettuce, check. Juicy, perfectly ripe tomato, check. Melty American cheese encasing a perfectly formed patty, double check. And finally, the bun: lightly toasted with a thin smear of fatty mayo on one side and a puffed top dimpled with sesame seeds on the other.   I took a huge bite of the extraordinary burger. The meat was cooked and expertly seasoned to a beautiful medium with just the right amount of juice. The bun was indeed baked fresh and had a slight, grilled golden toast and the fixings crunched.  

While there was nothing particularly amazing about the fries, the homemade ketchup had me double dipping.  With a confident peppery tang, several little ramekins encircled our one-size-fits-all basket of crispy fries.  The ketchup, not to be outdone by the burger was definitely a star contender and also freshly prepared that morning.  No store-bought condiments here, Folks! 

Our kindly waitress stopped by our table and tempted us with homemade ice cream ($2.99 per scoop) from the ice cream parlor, impressing us with her knowledge of all dozen flavors of the day, to which our full stomachs had to regretfully decline.  She presented our check, assured us there was no rush and left us to digest. I glanced at the check, exactly $52.80 – a bit curious, but a decent price for a family of four. 

5280 claims to have the best burger in Denver and does not disappoint.  The hungry and impatient customer will appreciate the cleanliness and prompt service as well as the fantastic burgers, not to mention their under-recognized homemade ketchup.  5280 has set the bar of excellence for the simple, classic American burger. The vast selection of burgers will likely impress even the pickiest of burger connoisseurs.   

 

5280 Burger Bar 

4301 Main Street 

Westminster, CO 80031

Phone: (720) 887-5970

5280burger.com 

Hours:  Sun – Thurs 11am – 9pm; Fri – Sat 11am – 10pm 

Price Range $11- $30

Score  A+ 

 

Night on the Beat, Ride-a-long with WPD

Written by Lori Robinson

Photo by Lindsey Brand

Car picture courtesy of Douglas County Police Department

If your momma tells you she loves you, check it out. 

Back in 1990 when I began my journalism studies, that was the advice a mentor imparted to me. The advice holds up well, perhaps especially these days. 

I’ve had some recent conversations about the concept of news organizations as government watchdogs, during and after the week that I had completed an Oct. 14 evening shift ride-along with Patrol Officer Mark P. Smith of the Westminster Police Department. 

(Hammer) I am a pacifist by virtue of the police force that protects me

(Nutgraf) Want a news organization to show the nuts and bolts of local government? Probably won’t happen. Time, dear citizen, to do a ride-along. 

 

Written by Lori Robinson

Photo by Lindsey Brand

Car picture courtesy of Douglas County Police Department

If your momma tells you she loves you, check it out. 

Back in 1990 when I began my journalism studies, that was the advice a mentor imparted to me. The advice holds up well, perhaps especially these days. 

I’ve had some recent conversations about the concept of news organizations as government watchdogs, during and after the week that I had completed an Oct. 14 evening shift ride-along with Patrol Officer Mark P. Smith of the Westminster Police Department. 

I continue to toss this well-burnished rock around my thoughts quite a bit. I recall how, almost 30 years ago, in the journalism program at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Mich., I learned that, when the drafters of the U. S. Constitution wrote their historic enduring governing document, by means of the First Amendment, they provided space for citizen journalists to keep a check on the three branches of federal government. Those three branches, of course, are administrative (Congress), executive (presidential), and judicial (the federal courts and the Supreme Court). Unofficially but effectively, newspapers grew up to become the fourth estate. Throughout the decades, the governors and the governed extrapolated the same system down to local municipalities in a tradition that people in the news industry say played a significant role in defining modern democracy.

American newspaper journalism by and large grew up alongside the reconstructed United States, as witnessed by the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md., first published in 1885 and still printing around 35,000 newspapers every day, even after a rampaging gunman in June 2018 burst into the newspaper office, opened fire and killed five people therein. 

Like hundreds of other newspapers across the nation, the one where I made my career, The Saginaw News in Saginaw, Mich., stood at the doorstep of its 150th anniversary when it ceased daily publication in May 2009. The paper let go of the preponderance of its experienced veterans and kept on those who accepted reduced salary continuation deals, among other newspaper people who remain highly respected citizens in their communities. After a full decade of financial losses, going non-daily was a painful decision for everyone at our paper. The Washington Post recently observed that 45 percent of all American dailies closed in 2009. At our paper, I was among those who chose getting downsized. Seventy percent of our newspaper’s staff — some with no choice — left. 

So, 10 years later, here we are at the FRCC Westminster Campus, each of us working on and studying for our respective interests. I received a work study grant and, in August, The Front Page hired me for a part-time writer’s position. Back on a news team for the first time in longer than you may care to know, migrating to the police beat seemed natural for me. (I covered the police beat on my first job out of college back in 1992.) Here at Front Range, for my first story, I met and interviewed our campus’ Security Dept. Supervisor, Jon R. VanZandt, who suggested I ask Westminster P. D. for a ride-along when he had to inform me FRCC Security doesn’t do ride-alongs. 

 

Nothing to it but to do it

So on that pleasant fall Monday evening, after finishing my shift at my day job, I went home, prepared myself and my belongings for my ride-along. Water bottle, business casual attire, my cell phone, and a small satchel holding facial tissue, my debit card, a couple bucks in cash and my ID. 

I hopped in my car and followed the nav to Westminster Police Department, which I found nestled inside a large imposing structure atop a grassy hill. Once in the building, I felt lucky to find the right counter on my first try, but then again, things are kind of quiet around the area after 9 p.m. I checked in with the graciously welcoming person at the window, and exchanged my ID for a visitors pass, which I got back at the end of my shift.

I waited quietly in the silent lobby for the officer assigned to me to come get me. He showed up, we exchanged smiling salutations, shook hands, and made our way to his squad SUV, a late-model Ford Explorer with many powerful modifications befitting a police officer. 

With about 18 months under his belt with Westminster P.D., Officer Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and is a six-year Marine Reservist with experience training in Africa. 

“That must have been amazing,” I surmised out loud when he told me of his international training experience. 

“No,” Officer Smith said with a glance. 

 

Things got real — really fast

Not five minutes after we got on the road Officer Smith was called to a felony menacing complaint generating from a bus stop on Federal near a fast-food restaurant. Suspect was said to be wielding a six-inch blade while wearing a clown mask. Smith switched on his lights and sirens and proceeded with expert and cautious speed to the scene. 

We went really fast. Fast enough that I didn’t look at the speedometer. I just held on. Along the way, Officer Smith calmly informed me I could stay in the car at the scene, or I could get out with him. “Just stay behind me if you get out,” he advised. 

The scene seemed to be stabilizing even as we arrived. I managed, “I’m staying in the car, Mark.”

Officer Smith’s was the fifth cruiser on scene. I came away with a good impression of these officers because they exited their respective vehicles with flashlights — not firearms — drawn. Six police vehicles responded in total.

One of the officers grilled the suspect: “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck,” he told the man. “I think you’re a duck.”

Did the officers soften their approach because everybody knew Officer Smith had a ride-along that night? It’s possible. But I doubt it. When a body doesn’t know what to expect next and must rely on its instincts and training, muscle memory tends to kick in. I, for one citizen journalist, think these officers are legit.   

Officer Smith got the job of taking the suspect back to city jail where he completed the arduous process of booking him before he secured him in a cell. 

Along the way, the officer assured the suspect he was just doing his job and had no personal vendetta against the suspect: “I’ve got no beef with you if you’ve got none with me.” I was impressed with Smith’s conciliatory approach.

A little later, Officer Smith to the suspect: “Did you incur any injuries during your arrest?”

“My wrists are sore from where the handcuffs were.”

“They’re handcuffs. They’re not supposed to feel good.”

 

Safe inside the bubble

Next, we headed to FRCC per my request. It was as though the campus were enveloped in a deep blue velveteen bubble of silence. We checked every driveway, each doorway and took a drive down the bike path northwest of campus. Even the crickets were quiet that night. It was a refreshing contrast to the action on Federal and the painstaking and somewhat sad booking process I had just witnessed. 

Back on the road and Smith peripherally responded to a break-in reported at a pizza parlor. A shattered glass wall, comprising most of the storefront and cordoned off with yellow police tape, dominated the spotlit scene. Besides a couple officers striding across the adjoining parking lots to their parked cruisers, the place was deserted.

Dispatchers advised a look-out for a silver Jeep Liberty. Smith saw someone out in a Jeep Cherokee and initiated a quick conversation that netted no leads before we moved on.

My shift, due to end at 1:30 a.m., got a gentle half-hour reduction when Officer Smith was called to transport his felony menacing suspect to the Adams County Jail in Brighton. I declined the opportunity to make the long country trek with him and headed home. 

As a citizen with a background in newspaper journalism, I found the ride-along experience heartening. It’s good to see those who govern us as fellow human beings: sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, husbands and wives. If Officer Smith exhibited understandable respect for the firepower at his disposal, he also behaved with consummate honor and professionalism every moment he had me with him. 

And since the fourth estate has spent the last decade in relative disarray while being faced with competing interests that put profits first, I would encourage my fellow students, along with my instructors, young and old alike, to exercise your First Amendment rights whenever you can for the sake of the future of your democracy. 

Capture.PNG

Who knows? You might even make a friend or two — wearing a badge and carrying heat — along the way. 

Residents, students and business owners in Westminster interested in participating in the Westminster Police Department Ride Along Program can sign up here.

Wolf cast ep. 8

Wolfcast Ep. 8 

Weekly news and events and readings from contest winners

 

Wolfcast Ep. 8

Weekly news and events and readings from contest winners

Lori May

Alan Sralik

Garrett Dawdy

Music by Foley

Feat.

Joe Fisk

Madison Otten

First Place Writing Contest, In the Darkness

Written by Lori May

Illustration by Madison Otten

Sarah woke with her cheek pressed against the cold, damp floor. Sitting up with a start, she opened her eyes to peer into impenetrable darkness; not a single flicker or wisp of light disturbed the sanctity of the blackness around her.

Written by Lori May

Illustration by Madison Otten

Sarah woke with her cheek pressed against the cold, damp floor. Sitting up with a start, she opened her eyes to peer into impenetrable darkness; not a single flicker or wisp of light disturbed the sanctity of the blackness around her. She sniffled and brushed the back of her hand across her face only to wince at the sting of flesh meeting the tender, swollen edge of her lip. She narrowed her eyes, desperate to recognize any shape or movement within her ebony prison. Her hands shook, and she realized when she rubbed them together that a remnant of twine still dangled from her left wrist. I was bound, she thought, an aching fear driving a spike into the pit of her stomach. 

   The darkness was not the only thing that frightened her, though it enclosed around her like an unwelcome embrace from a stranger. No, the bleakness was only the first side of the coin; the reverse was the utter, bewildering stillness that quickly made her question if she was indeed awake. She held her breath, the tightening of her chest was making her painfully aware of tenderness in her ribs from an injury she didn’t recall. She heard only the steady drip of water somewhere within the darkness. The sound trickled, tapping in the quiet, mocking her. 

   Sarah’s voice sounded like a shout in her mind in comparison to the soft rhythm: Where am I? 

   She was suddenly keenly aware that her head throbbed, pounding with every pulse of her heart. A rhythmic pain as steady and maddening as those drops of water, which she would have sworn grew louder with every passing moment. Fingers cautiously explored her forehead, and when she drew them away from her flesh, they were sticky and coated with what could only be blood. Again, the whoosh of sickness within the pit of her stomach threatened to overpower her control, and her hands sought the solid, unrelenting stone floor in support. 

   She struggled to remember what had happened, what might have led her to this unknown place filled with cruel shadow; nothing would come, her mind as blank and as without reason as the place enclosing her, for she was confident she could not be outside. The spreading chill of awareness crept over her like a clawed hand, nails inching up her spine and alerting her that someone – or something – was watching her. She drew her knees to her chest and gingerly reached out with a single hand to pierce through the veil of mystery surrounding her, and her fingers bore purchase on nothing, save for the thick, coating blackness. 

   Suddenly, a rush of panic overtook her, and she scrambled from her place on the ground to slash hands through the nothingness in search of something – anything – that could serve as a landmark, a clue of her location. She abandoned rational thought, believing wholeheartedly that something had to be in this chilled, isolated room. Finally, she reached a wall, forged of the same impenetrable substance as the floor she woke up upon. She screamed, the sound deafeningly loud as her fingernails raking across the damp, uneven surface of the stone. She shrieked and drew back her hand, something thick and textured lodged under her nails; the roll of her thumb across her fingertips brought the image of moss to her mind, and she inhaled the earthy scent of the hidden plant. 

   Even moss needs light to grow, she thought bitterly, and she realized then that whatever this place was, she was being kept from the sun by someone’s choice. 

   The sound she heard next froze her as still as the stone: behind her, somewhere in the vague unknown and shrouded in darkness, a man sighed. Not the impatient, disappointed sigh of a fellow captive – no, this was the deliberate, cruel sound of someone announcing his presence. Her heart stopped as her body flooded with a fear she had never known before. She screamed, though her throat could offer no comforting cry in panic, only a choked gasp as she threw herself against the stone slab she had been exploring only moments before. She held a hand over her mouth to muffle her sounds as though he would not be aware of her, though now she could feel his eyes on her despite the terrifying, cloying cloud of black. 

   She thought her ears would burst for the strain of struggling to hear anything beyond that incessant drip of water nearby. She had no idea how close the source was, but if she could detect such a subtle sound, she knew it must be close. A groan from her as she realized that a sigh would likewise have been so hushed; the thought that a stranger could be mere inches from her, undetected, made her draw her arms around her body as she shrank into the barrier of stone at her back. 

   Time stood still for Sarah then, draped in the black shroud of fear more tightly than the isolating darkness of the room. She froze, unable to move, listening in vain for even the slightest indicator of movement so that she might lash-out against the unknown lurking nearby when it came for her. 

* * *

Writing Contest Second Place Winner, Winter’s Howl

Written by Garrett Dawdy

Illustration by Madison Otten

You could hardly tell a gravel road was supposed to be there, the amount of snow turned the whole ground into a white blanket, only the absences of trees gave it away. It was cold, so very cold. The jacket and hat did nothing to stop the winding from howling icy daggers into you. Your car was a good bit away, abandoned when you couldn’t get it free, and with no heater your only option was to move, at least you hoped it was the only decision and not a mistake.

Written by Garrett Dawdy

Illustration by Madison Otten

You could hardly tell a gravel road was supposed to be there, the amount of snow turned the whole ground into a white blanket, only the absences of trees gave it away. It was cold, so very cold. The jacket and hat did nothing to stop the winding from howling icy daggers into you. Your car was a good bit away, abandoned when you couldn’t get it free, and with no heater your only option was to move, at least you hoped it was the only decision and not a mistake.

 Foot fall after foot fall, you continue on with trees on each side and no sign anything is alive. Fear and natural survival instinct is the fuel in your internal fire keeping you moving while your fingers and toes slowly freeze. 

Maybe it’s paranoia, but you think you can see things moving in the trees, objects taking different places. Maybe it is the snow, but you hoped you would be able to detect the difference. 

Fear continues to spread around your body as you wonder if your mind has gone mad or if something really is out there. Things keep darting through the trees using the snow as cover. Something is moving. It can’t be a trick of the snow. They almost look like human figures moving between snow and tree. 

What if, you wouldn’t dare entertain the idea, but what if. Your heart rate increases as you turn around.

A figure stands behind you, shredded clothing and grey skin, its face that of a dead man, and then it takes a step and another towards you. You turn back around, legs already pushing you through the snow, running across the snowy ground and fear taking hold. To the left, more bodies shamble from the brush and more and more begin to block your path on the road. Only one option left: a swift right into the forest. Running as fast as you possibly can, passing by frozen bodies, and seeing others emerging from the snow, you continue through the trees. The wind sweeps up the sound around you, yet you hear something. It’s coming from the back of your head. 

“Your warm flesh diminishes, and your body gets colder and colder. Join us in the cold.”

 More and more you keep moving, eventually going down hill, until you spot a boulder overhanging a bit, allowing someone to slip under its shade. You take it up on this offer, going under the unlikely form of shelter. You’re not sure if the things will find you underneath, but it’s worth a shot. Finally, your breath is able to catch up, and your muscles stop straining. The only thing you hear is your breath and the wind whipping around you. Fear stops you from moving, not like you would, you’re safe here, even though you’re getting colder, and you can’t feel your hands.

 You’re safe here. Your eyelids begin to close as you realize it’s best to just lie down and accept the cold.