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April 27
Dental hygiene students need patients for clinic at Yakima Valley Community College

​Yakima Herald Republic

Dental hygiene students at Yakima Valley Community College need patients in need of professional teeth cleaning.

The students are holding a dental screening clinic from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 17 and are looking for patients ages 18 to 45 who have not had their teeth cleaned professionally in five years or more.

The school’s dental hygiene program is in the Weston D. Brown Dental Hygiene Clinic at 1015 S. 16th Ave in Yakima. To schedule an appointment, call 509-574-4917.​

April 26
Ellensburg group fills up on basalt

​Yakima Herald Republic

By Scott Sandsberry


VANTAGE, Wash. — Walls of basalt, from the Royal Columns above the Tieton River west of Naches to the endless array on the Grant County bluffs overlooking the Columbia River, make Central Washington a mecca for rock climbers.

To geologists like Central Washington University’s Nick Zentner, those basalt columns — created millions of years ago by lava flows and then rearranged by Ice Age floods just thousands of years ago — are perhaps best explained in breakfast terms.

“Just think of a big stack of pancakes, one on top of another, each pancake being a separate basalt lava flow,” Zentner said during Sunday’s Ellensburg Chapter of the Ice Age Floods Institute field trip to various sites in Grant County.

“Here in Frenchman Coulee, you’re looking at just a handful of the 300 lava flows in this stack. You never go to one place to see more than a handful at a time; you can’t quite grasp the magnitude of these lavas until you’ve been to dozens and dozens of places.”

For the uninitiated geology may seem like a stodgy study, but the nearly 80 spectators on Sunday’s field trip, ranging from the intently studious to the merely curious, were rapt.

When listening to the fascination of geologists such as Zentner — the featured speaker at Thursday’s meeting of the Yakima Valley Audubon Society — or his counterpart at Yakima Valley Community College, David Huycke, who was among Sunday’s traveling audience — it’s easy to get swept up.

Swept up like, say, the basalt columns that started out like majestic hectagonal towers in one place and then ended up like rubble in another.

That’s precisely why you see so many huge chunks of volcanic rock in places where they look utterly out of place.

“Imagine a bunch of Ticonderoga pencils. Put them all together, just a bunch of pencils standing together — each pencil a separate vertical column, just filling this whole void with a bunch of columns,” Zentner said to his Sunday audience, while gesturing to the surrounding basalt-column walls.

“They’re gone now. Why? Because when the (Ice Age) flood waters came over these columns, they pried away one column at a time and hauled the thing off like a big log. The floods were created when glaciers holding back a massive Ice Age lake covering much of modern-day Montana burst-sending colossal walls of water rushing westward toward the Pacific.

“It wasn’t grinding this rock down grain-by-grain — we know that these fractures (between the columns) were there. There are 15-million-year-old cracks, 15-million-year-old columns.

“Because of that columnar nature, the water had the ability to get into those cracks, pry those pencils away and send them down. Some of them busted up as they went; some of them made it all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Many others were dropped in pieces at places like the Mattawa boulder fields.

“It’s an Ice Age story.”

At Frenchman Coulee alone, columnar layers are easily distinguishable from several successive flows. The coulee floor is the top of the Grande Ronde basalt flows roughly 15.6 to 16 million years ago. Above it are the layers of each ensuing lava flow — the Ginkgo, Sand Hollow, Sentinel Gap and Roza (15.2 million years ago), the latter providing the 6-foot-wide hexagonal faces so popular with rock climbers.

At wide-open places like the Grant County bluffs overlooking the Columbia River and the Drumheller Channels National Natural Landmark near Royal City, a person can look in every direction and see the different layers of the area’s geological history.

That the story is so openly available in Central Washington to be read by those who understand it is one reason this region is a mecca not only for the climbers who seek the columns, but the geologists who study the history behind their many layers, Huycke said,

“There’s some fascinating geology back east, but so much of it is covered by vegetation and development,” Huycke said. “Out here in the arid West, it’s much more visible. There’s great geology in the Puget Sound area, but a lot of it’s covered up by glacial sediment or covered up by vegetation or neighborhoods, by development.”​​

April 26
Ex-YVCC coach Harper new women's mentor at Clark

​Yakima Herald Republic

Eric Harper, who preceded Ray Funk as men’s basketball coach at Yakima Valley Community College, has been named head women’s basketball coach at Clark College in Vancouver.

A Cle Elum High graduate who played at Wenatchee Valley and Central Washington, Harper served as YVCC’s women’s coach from 1998-2002. He also served as the men’s assistant coach from 1997-2002, then became co-head men’s coach with Scott Berry.

Harper and Berry won he NWAC (then NWAACC) men’s championship in 2003, after which Berry left for Dickinson State (N.D.) and Harper became the men’s head coach — a position he retained through the 2004-05 season.

He then went to Portland State as an assistant to head men’s coach Ken Bone, and served as a PSU assistant for eight seasons. When Harper left for Portland State, new athletic director Funk assumed the men’s head coaching duties.

Harper then coached two years at Central Catholic High School in Portland (2013-15), and last season served as a men’s assistant at Clark.

While serving as the head of Clark’s women’s program, Harper will continue to teach physical education at Portland State.

He resides in Vancouver with his wife, Shelley, and daughters Jordan (14) and Keira (2).​

April 24
Yakima Valley baseball drops two at Treasure Valley

​Yakima Herald Republic

ONTARIO, Ore., — Treasure Valley jumped on both Yakima Valley starting pitchers early to sweep the Yaks 6-4, 7-4 in a NWAC East Region doubleheader on Sunday.

The Chukars scored four runs in the first inning of the opening game, but Yakima Valley (12-4 East Region, 22-12 overall) answered back with four of its own in the next frame on an RBI single by Parker Depasquale and a two-out, three-run double off the bat of Kasey Bailey.

Then the bats went cold for the Yaks.

Treasure Valley plated the game-winning run in the bottom of the second, and added an insurance run in the eighth. Jorge Garcilazo struck out six and walked none in 62/3 innings of relief work for the Yaks.

The story was the same in the second tilt as the Chukars scored three runs in the first inning and two in the third, while keeping Yakima Valley off the board until the fifth. The Yaks tried to mount a comeback in the top of the ninth inning when Karsten Sherman blasted a three-run homer, but Treasure Valley was able to stop the Yaks offense and close out the sweep.

After starting region play 10-0, the Yaks have lost three straight and four of their last six and lead the trio of Big Bend, Columbia Basin and Treasure Valley by two games.

Game 1

YVCC    040    000    000    —    4    6    2

TVCC    410    000    10X    —    6    10    1

Benedetti, Garcilazo (2) and Ferguson; Cutsforth, Lucas (7), Harris (8) and Hall,

YVCC highlights: Kasey Bailey 1-3, 3 RBI, 2b; Parker Depasquale 1-4, RBI, run; Brandon Smith 2-4.

Game 2

YVCC    000    010    003    —    4    8    3

TVCC    302    001    01X    —    7    9    1

Boyd, Weindell (6), Patterson (8) and Ferguson; Cantwell, Jones (7), Harris (9) and Leenknecht.

YVCC highlights: Karsten Sherman 2-2, 3 RBI, HR; Conner Anderson 2-4, Kyler Brudwick 1-4, RBI.​

April 23
YVCC softball splits with Big Bend

​Yakima Herald Republic

YAKIMA, Wash. — Shania Carlisle was 3 for 3 with a double and four RBI, and Shelby Wilkey was 3 for 3 with two runs and three RBI to power Yakima Valley to an 11-3 second-game victory over Big Bend, earning the Yaks a split of the NWAC East Region softball doubleheader on Saturday at Dunbar Field.

Big Bend won the opener 5-2 despite a solo home run by Bailey Wade.

Also in the second game for YVCC, Beth Anderson was 2 for 3 with two runs and an RBI, Wade was 2 for 3 with a triple, a run and two RBI, and Daphne Fisher and Taylor Rath both scored twice, with Rath also collecting two hits.

Game 1

Big Bend 100 010 3 — 5 10 0

YVCC 020 000 0 — 2 5 1

Harrington, Baker (2) and Schorzman; Anderson and Carlisle.

YVCC highlights: Lexi Rodriguez 1-4, RBI, sb; Daphne Fisher 1-2, 2 bb; Taylor Rath 1-4, 2b; Bailey Wade solo HR; Kendra Cleaver 1-3.

Game 2

Big Bend 000 03 — 3 7 2

YVCC 402 5x — 11 12 0

Baker, Heidi (3) and Schorzman; Anderson and Lucas.

YVCC highlights: Fisher 2 bb, 2 runs; Wade 2-3, 3b, run, 2 RBI; Rath 2-2, 3b, SF, 2 runs; Beth Anderson 2-3, 2 runs, RBI; Shelby Wilkey 3-3, 2 runs, 3 RBI; Shania Carlisle 3-3, 2b, 4 RBI.​

April 23
MEChA hosts Citizenship Day


Watch Story​

April 23
YVCC softball swept by Columbia Basin

​Yakima Herald Republic

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Kayla Andrews was a pitching force on Friday for Columbia Basin, and host Yakima Valley took the brunt of it.

Andrews allowed just three hits over two games and struck out 27 batters as the eighth-ranked Hawks earned an 8-0, 11-1 sweep in NWAC East play at Dunbar Field.

Daphne Fisher was 2 for 3 in the opener and Alexis Rodriguez had a hit, run and stolen base in the second game for the Yaks, who host Big Bend today at noon.

Game 1

Col. Basin 000 303 2 — 8 1046802 0

Yakima Valley 000 000 0 — 0 2 3

Andrews and Lubanski; Anderson and Carlisle.

Highlights: Kayla Andrews (CB) 2-hitter, 18 K; Daphne Fisher (YV) 2-3

Game 2

Col. Basin 10(10) 00 — 11 9 1

Yakima Valley 100 00 — 1 1 3

Andrews and Lubanski; Shelton, Anderson (3) and Lucas.

Highlights: Alexis Rodriguez (YV) 1-3, run, SB; Taylor Rath (YV) 0-1, RBI; Andrews (CB) 1-hitter, 9 K.

April 22
Students of Color Conference in Yakima tackles racism

​Yakima Herald Republic
By Molly Rosbach


YAKIMA, Wash. -- “I must comply to the 
FBI / I’m a suspect who is subject to my ethnic ties.”

So rapped keynote speaker Amer F. Ahmed, kicking off the 26th annual Students of Color Conference on Thursday by discussing how hip-hop helped him find his voice as the son of Muslim Indian immigrant parents, and why a sense of belonging is so important and so elusive for many nonwhite Americans today.

Ahmed, who holds a doctorate in education, went on to deliver a condensed history of colonialism and cultural oppression for the hundreds of college students gathered at the Yakima Convention Center for the three-day conference.

The conference theme this year is “This is OUR time, Truth Redefined,” with an emphasis on truth’s role in achieving social justice and questioning some long-accepted narratives.

Ahmed, who has spoken on college campuses nationwide, appeared on TV news and in a documentary on racism, is the director of intercultural teaching and faculty development at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

His presentation took students through his upbringing in suburban Ohio, pre-9/11 when his neighbors knew little of Muslim culture, and then post-9/11 when, he said, every male in his family has been on a flight watch list at some point or another — even his 6-year-old nephew.

He listed popular hip-hop figures whose Islamic faith may not be well-known — Mos Def, Ice Cube — and offered students a primer on Islam and how extremist groups have interpreted the religion to suit their own political interests.

And Islamophobia has impacted non-Muslim communities, particularly through the Patriot Act, by promoting surveillance of anyone deemed a threat, he said.

“Under the red herring of terrorism, we’ve now undermined the civil liberties of every American,” he said.

It’s especially unhelpful considering that only about 20 percent of Muslims worldwide are Arab, he said. Much larger Muslim populations live in Indonesia and India and other Southeast Asian countries.

“Our (Muslim) community is extremely diverse. If you support racial profiling of our community, you support racial profiling of basically everyone,” Ahmed said.

Members of the Sikh religion in America have suffered the most under racial profiling, he said, for their highly visible turbans, but so have Hispanic and Hindu people.

“It’s not about being Muslim; it’s just about being brown,” he said. “We’re just a big blob of brown people all thrown together.”

The challenge now, he said, is overcoming the ambivalence toward profiling and violence against Muslims and others, before that violence expands.

“There’s a level of acceptability right now that we don’t accept for any other community,” he said. “Our community needs allies, y’all.”

Students cheered often throughout his hourlong talk and gave him a standing ovation at the end. Groups from Centralia to Port Angeles, Wenatchee to Walla Walla were in attendance.

The conference continues through Saturday afternoon with workshops on identity, awareness of others, skills development, social justice and personal development.

Yakima Valley Community College students were there Thursday in matching black T-shirts.

“I thought that was very powerful,” Daniela Villa-Amaya said after Ahmed’s talk.

The 19-year-old accounting major said that while she’s never judged Muslims to be terrorists, she didn’t know anything about Islam or Islamic culture before.

“Now I’m more aware of what’s going on around me,” she said. “I hope to leave more informed than when I came here so I can take it out to the communities. Anywhere I go, I want to take it, to have people be aware like me.”

For everyone in Yakima to hear what they just heard, she said, would change a lot of people’s views of Muslims.

Economics and writing student Jesus Ayala Delgado, 25, said people need to become more 
active in the community to combat those ingrained divisions.

“In order to fix Yakima, everybody needs to get involved,” he said. “You can get involved in little ways — going to marches, going to City Council meetings, getting informed. That’s the only way we’re really going to make a change.”

Otto Cruz, 49, studying to be a counselor, has an interesting perspective as a veteran who was deployed twice to Iraq.

Over there, he said, he knew they were fighting an enemy. But he met U.S. soldiers who were Muslims, and he met Arab Christians who were helping the fight, so the xenophobia he sees in the U.S. represents some kind of split where more cultural education is needed.

“There’s no reason why we all can’t live here and all get along together,” he said. “Everybody really does not know and they’re quick to judge.”

April 21
YVCC Courses Let Students Learn About Wine Industry

​Toppenish Review Independent
by Linda Prier

April 21
10 Days OUt: April 21, 2016

​Yakima Herald Republic
By Tammy Ayer​​

• Songfest 2016 begins at 7 p.m. at The Capitol Theatre, 19 S. Third St. It will feature than 350 singers, including choirs from Eisenhower, Naches Valley, Selah, Toppenish and Wapato high schools, the Yakima Children’s Choir and Yakima Valley Community College Choir. Tickets cost $6 for adults, $5 for students; half of the proceeds from advance ticket sales are donated to the choir. Call 509-480-7736.

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