Yakima Herald Republic
by Roger Underwood
YAKIMA, Wash. -- As the 2010 Yakima Valley Yaks were making a spirited run to a third-place finish in the NWAC volleyball tournament, assistant coach Nikki Morozzo made clear what the fundamental inspiration was.
“Al is our rock,” she said via telephone from Gresham, Ore., where the tournament was being held. “Al Rogers is with us in spirit even if he isn’t here with us physically.”
Rogers was in Yakima at the time, recovering in a hospital from knee replacement surgery. But his impact on the team and program was unquestionable, just as it had been since 1978.
Rogers, YVC’s head coach since 1988 and an assistant for 10 years prior, died Tuesday. The coach was 81 according to Yakima Valley athletic director Ray Funk.
He was visiting relatives in Texas at the time of his death, Funk said, and had planned to see more family members in Oklahoma.
Neither the cause of death nor funeral plans has been announced.
With practice for the 2016 season scheduled to start Aug. 1, assistant coach Emily Escamilla has been named interim coach, Funk said, and will lead the team through the coming campaign.
“Al was a great guy with a unique personality,” said Funk, the Yaks AD for the past 11 years. “He would always tell you exactly how he felt, and he’d usually do it with a smile on his face.
“You go beyond my 11 years with Al and consider that he’s been part of the college for 38 years, you have an awful lot of lives impacted there.”
An ex-Marine who started coaching in the high school ranks, Rogers led YVC to 15 NWAC tournament appearances including seven straight from 1988-94.
His 1989 team finished second, his 1990 squad was third and his 1991 team placed fourth.
Yakima Valley won East Region championships in 1989 and 1990 under Rogers’ tutelage, and he was named the region’s coach of the year in 1995, 2010 and 2013.
Beyond his coaching resume, Rogers was also a world-class official.
He was a line judge at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and had been head official at the 1983 U.S. Olympic Festival in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Accordingly, Rogers received the Glen G. Davis Award from the USA Volleyball Association (USVBA) in 1988. And in 2001 he was presented the Wilbur H. Peck Referee Emeritus Award from USA Volleyball.
“Al still has a picture of the 84 Olympic team in his office,” Morozzo, a West Valley graduate, said Wednesday in a telephone interview. “It’s one of his prized possessions.”
Morozzo played for Rogers at YVC during the 2002 and 2003 seasons, then moved on to Oregon Tech where she played for another ex-Yak, Amanda Mitzner. Morozzo assisted Rogers from 2006-12.
“We were having practice one day and I just said to myself, OK — Al has forgotten more (about volleyball) than I have learned,” she said. “Even when he was advancing with age, he still had an ability to adapt and make things work for him and the team.
“Al would even do jump training with the basketball team, and he would push them. He had knowledge of the metrics and needs for an athlete, and he was so much more than a volleyball coach. He was a mentor. And he had so many stories.”
Escamilla, who played for Rogers during 2008 and 2009 seasons, has been a YVC assistant the past two seasons.
“All our players — and myself, of course — have a lot of respect for Al,” she said Wednesday. “The players view him kind of like a grandpa. They think of him as family.”
“Even my friends who played for Al or coached with him, they’ll always remember the things he taught them and the support they gave him over the years,” she said. “And they will always remember him.”
The Yakima Valley has lost a great coach and a wonderful man.
YVC's long time volleyball coach Al Rogers has died, he was 81 years old.
Rogers died while visiting family in Texas.
Rogers had been with YVC since 1978.
He had been Yakima Valley's head volleyball coach since 1988.
On his watch, Rogers' YVC ladies played in 11 NWACC Tournaments, capturing two championships.
He was the region coach of the year several times and nationally recognized as a volleyball official.
But, he was also very much a father figure to his players and a fixture on campus.
The past couple of seasons assistant coach Emily Escamilla had taken over the majority of the head coaching duties.
Rogers planned to make 2016 his final season as head coach; the 2016 campaign will now be a tribute season to Coach Rogers.
El Sol De Yakima
Esmeralda González Armenta
Escuela: Grandview High School
Qué sigue: Pretende asistir a la escuela para ser enfermera
EL SOL DE YAKIMA
GRANDVIEW – Esmeralda González Armenta llegó a los Estados Unidos y al quinto grado sin hablar una sola palabra en inglés.
El 4 de junio se graduó dentro de los 10 mejores de su clase en Grandview High School y buscará comenzar una carrera como enfermera.
El camino al éxito no ha sido fácil para González, pero sus asesores dicen que ella es una estudiante muy dedicada, una de esas personas jóvenes que raramente inspiran a sus maestros y no al revés.
“Conocerla y verla crecer ha sido algo que me cambió la vida”, dijo Sylvia Campos, coordinadora de enseñanza del idioma inglés para el distrito de las escuelas intermedia y preparatoria.
Campos trabajó con la joven de 18 años de edad, desde que González llegó a la escuela Grandview de una pequeña ciudad en Michoacán, México.
González dijo que su familia emigró cuatro días y tres noches a través del desierto mexicano para llegar a los Estados Unidos. Se establecieron en Grandview porque su padre creyó que la zona tenía buenas oportunidades para el trabajo agrícola con el cual su familia se ha sostenido desde que se establecieron en la ciudad.
Los primeros años de su educación no fueron fáciles.
Batalló para aprender inglés, dijo, pero no dejó que los chistes de otros estudiantes ralentizaran sus esfuerzos.
“Creo que el que se burlaran de mi me hizo querer hacerlo mejor y mejor, y aquí estoy como una de las mejores estudiantes”, dijo en una entrevista en la biblioteca de la escuela.
Incluso hoy en día, con todos los honores y clases de colocación avanzada que ha tomado, uno de sus mayores objetivos es mejorar sus habilidades de lenguaje y su acento, incluso utilizando aplicaciones en su teléfono celular.
Ella se ha destacado en la escuela, aun teniendo grandes responsabilidades en su hogar.
Al ser la hija mayor, dijo, ella ha tenido que tomar a cargo las tareas familiares domésticas mientras sus padres trabajan por largas horas.
Después de terminar sus tareas, su trabajo escolar y otras actividades, como asistir a clases particulares cuando puede o realizar trabajo voluntario en un hogar de ancianos, tiene suerte si le sobra una hora para ver sus telenovelas favoritas en la televisión en español.
La reciente incorporación de un hermano bebé sólo ha aumentado su sentido de la responsabilidad, aunque está buscando la manera de asistir a la universidad, tal vez a Washington State University, Heritage University o Yakima Valley College.
Por varios años le ha interesado una carrera en enfermería.
“Me gusta la ciencia, y creo que la enfermería sería una buena carrera para incluir la ciencia”, dijo ella.
Los asesores de González dijeron que esperan que ella logre sus objetivos.
“Si sus calificaciones bajan aunque sea un poco, ella viene y trata de averiguar que tiene que hacer”, dijo la consejera Beth Ice.
Campos dijo que González es un ejemplo para otros estudiantes y que siempre que puede les da consejos acerca de cómo tener éxito.
“Esmeralda siempre ha valorado la educación”, dijo Campos. “Ella se ha convertido en un gran aliciente para lograr que otros niños aprovechen la cultura americana de la educación”.
González dijo que trabajó duro en la escuela para demostrarse a sí misma que podía hacer más de lo que pensaba y para que sus padres se sintieran orgullosos.
“Es difícil, pero me encanta”, subrayó González. “Cada sacrificio vale la pena estar cerca de mi familia”.
Former Dixie High pitcher Chris Petrosie committed to Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California, earlier this week, per his father Brian.
Petrosie excelled as a pitcher for Yakima Valley Community College in Washington the past two years, posting a 15-6 overall record with a 1.94 ERA.
He also won the Northwest Athletic Conference Tournament MVP after throwing 13 innings and giving up a run as the Yaks won the NWAC Championship.
Petrosie said last month he planned on visiting the ACA before reporting to Reno for summer baseball with the Nevada Bighorns.
Art U plays in the Pacific West Conference along with Dixie State. DSU traveled on the road to play the Urban Knights this season, which means Art U will likely make a trip to St. George in the 2017 season.
Cedar Crush U-12 baseball team to play in Cooperstown
The Cedar Crush Under-12 traveling baseball team will play in the Cooperstown Dreams Park and American Youth Baseball Hall of Fame Invitational Tournament in New York starting this Saturday, June 11.
The tournament features teams from across the country. In addition, members of the Cedar Crush will be inducted into the American Youth Baseball Hall of Fame. Games will be live-streamed on the internet at cooperstowndreamspark.com; the Crush will play six games starting Sunday going to Tuesday.
Yakima Herald Republic
Just in time for summer — or at least summerlike triple-digit heat — the Yakima Valley Pippins have commenced their third season at Yakima County Stadium as a member of the West Coast League, a collegiate summer baseball league with teams in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia. As in every season, the Pippins bring a mixture of familiar and new faces as the organization gets further grounded into a deeply rooted baseball town.
Providing stability at the top is Marcus McKimmy, the only manager in the club’s short history. McKimmy has close local ties to the area as a former Selah High School star who coached for three years at Yakima Valley College; in November, he was named assistant general manager and director of baseball operations. Also new to the front office is general manager Jeff Garretson, a longtime Yakima Herald-Republic news desk editor whose family ties to local baseball go back decades.
They have brought in six players from last year’s squad: Jace Van De Brake, Jens Jensen, Connor Lau, Branson Trube, Andrew Bernstein and Freddy Smith, with Van De Brakes, Jensen and Hanson being the products of local high schools.
The three-year-old nickname itself is a mix of the old and the new; it was resurrected from a 1930s Yakima team name that borrowed it from an apple variety. In another homage to the area’s apple industry, the “Pippin green” logo bears a baseball bat and an apple, and the club refers to Yakima County Stadium as “The Orchard.”
The team has found success on the field, achieving a winning record last year after a playoff run in its inaugural season. The team’s play and the organization’s attention to the community has dissipated the memory of the Class A Northwest League Yakima Bears, who ignominiously departed for Hillsboro, Ore., in 2012 after two-plus decades at Yakima County Stadium and YVC’s Parker Field.
Yakima historically has been a baseball town; even with the many distractions of the 21st century, the game still runs deep into the Yakima Valley’s character. Baseball’s leisurely pace fits the Valley’s languid summers perfectly, and the franchise offers a family-friendly activity and a quality-of-life amenity.
The team’s return signals the start of summer vacation in the schools and leisurely warm-weather activities outdoors. It also means the return of the familiar call: Play ball!
Acceptance, support and love were the messages on Saturday at the first annual Pride Parade and Festival in Ellensburg.
The events were put on by Pride of Ellensburg, a nonprofit, community organization dedicated to inspiring and celebrating love, equality and diversity through local events, outreach and fostering opportunity.
Neil Lequia, Pride of Ellensburg president, said as a community member he felt a lot of the focus on the gay community in Ellensburg has been on campus, and he wanted to bring an event to the whole city. Last summer Central Washington University had its first gay pride parade on campus.
“We have a lot of community members who are LGBT, who aren’t recognized, who don’t fit into the college group,” Lequia said. “We’ve been trying to bring it downtown. We’ve been trying to incorporate all the businesses. It’s just incredible.”
The parade started around 10 a.m. Saturday and went from the CWU McIntyre Music Building Concert Hall to Rotary Pavilion.
The festival’s first parade grand marshal was Ellensburg native Aquasha DeLusty, who has performed for the professional drag show at CWU for the past eight years.
Participants included CWU Equality Through Queers And Allies, Teachers for Equality, Yakima Valley Community College Gay Straight Alliance, the Rodeo City Rollergirls, Active Minds, Troupe Rose, Ellensburg High School Gay Straight Alliance and Mormons Building Bridges, among other community and college groups.
Ellensburg High School Gay Straight Alliance member Sara Harper, a senior, participated in the parade on Saturday and helped carry a sign with the phrase “Because freedom doesn’t fight for itself.”
She was excited to be a part of something in the community, which is why she was at the parade.
“I don’t do sports, and I’m not a super active person,” she said. “This is really the only club I’m in. I’m actually out doing something.”
Harper said the EHS GSA group started this year.
“It used to be like tolerance awareness, but in a way that’s always been like a gay straight alliance so we just changed the name really,” she said. “We participate in meetings, talk about gay stuff in the news like what countries are legalizing gay marriage and what openly gay celebrities are coming out, mainly positive things.”
About 12 members are involved in the group on campus, which is overseen by EHS Librarian Cathie Day.
After the parade, people spent time watching live performances at the Rotary Pavilion. LGBTQIA groups provided information about their organizations, and talked to those who were interested.
The day of events included live music by local bands CobraHawk and Centaur Midwife, and a performance by Lavender Country, an American country music band who released the first gay-themed album in country music in 1973.
Other activities included a dogs in drag contest, a jazz performance by Beserat Tefasse who is finishing his music degree in euphonium, bellydancing by Troupe Rose and a humans in drag show. Queer Prom was held at CWU on Saturday evening, and an afterparty was held at Starlight Lounge.
CWU’s Equality through Queers and Allies (EQuAl) was at the front of the line in the parade, and also had a table during the activities downtown. The group has about 20 to 25 active members who attend meetings, said EQuAl president Patrick Carpenter.
Carpenter said the gay climate on CWU’s campus when he was a freshman four years ago was very quiet, and it has grown exponentially.
Administration and teachers are more supportive and there are also members of the LGBT community in faculty positions now, Carpenter said.
On Saturday EQuAl asked students to sign a petition to get a queer resource center on campus.
“We want to show administration it’s not faculty asking, it’s the students,” Carpenter said.
Yakima Herald Republic
YAKIMA, Wash. — A third bachelor’s degree program — this time in dental hygiene — will debut at Yakima Valley College in the fall.
The college recently announced it has received final approval to offer a bachelor’s in applied science in dental hygiene. As a result, YVC will eliminate its associate degree and simply transition into a four-year program.
“All we’ve done is award the bachelor’s degree, which reflects the level of education the students achieved,” said department head and instructor Cheri Podruzny.
YVC currently offers bachelor’s degrees in business management, and information technology. With dental hygiene beginning soon, the college’s foray into four-year diplomas is expected to continue with a fourth bachelor’s program in fall 2017. Many community colleges are offering diplomas previously only earned at four-year colleges or universities.
There won’t be any major changes to YVC dental hygiene with the transition, though. In order to earn a bachelor’s in dental hygiene, the only new requirement for students will be to complete an additional five-credit English course, intended to improve a student’s research writing skills.
The school is able to add just one general education course because many of the dental hygiene students were already coming into the program with about 60 credits in general education, Podruzny said. However, adding in the credits earned from completing the two-year program left students just shy of 180, the minimum number required for a bachelor’s degree in Washington state.
“They were achieving the same curriculum as students earning the bachelor’s degree, same rigor, same coursework, but missing five credits,” she said.
A higher-level diploma should benefit the dental hygienists of the future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a 19 percent increase in jobs is projected from 2014 to 2024. Podruzny said industry forecasts suggest a bachelor’s degree may become the minimum level of education needed for the profession.
Seventeen students should make up the first graduating class of the altered program next year, said Podruzny. The next group of students would be 18, which she said is the cap given to the program.
Accreditation and approval was given by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, the Commission on Dental Accreditation, and the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
Yakima Herald Republic
For a first-year coach in a program looking for an upward arc, Kyle Krustangel couldn’t ask for a better situation with the Yakima Pepsi Beetles.
First and foremost, he has a veteran roster deep with experience and a good-vibe chemistry.
He’s also got an automatic berth in the Senior Legion state tournament, which the Beetles are co-hosting in late July.
And Krustangel has the undeniable mojo of spending the summer at Parker Faller Field, where he just guided Yakima Valley College to the NWAC tournament title in his first campaign with the Yaks.
“Since day one I’ve been impressed with the talent and experience here, but especially with how well these kids know each other and get along,” he said. “Experience can make or break a season and these kids have it. It’s a great group to start with.”
Krustangel knows all about the grind of a Senior Legion summer, having coached the Spokane Bandits the last three years. Last season the Bandits finished third at state and knocked out the Yakima Valley Pepsi Pak on the third day.
With a young team in 2015, the Beetles posted a 27-22 overall record during Shawn Thompson’s fourth season. Youth is not often treated well in the tough Central Washington League, and Yakima’s 6-10 record was a win short of making the postseason.
But after playing 49 games together last summer and a bunch more with their high school teams this spring, the Beetles’ new edition returns basically intact with 12 veteran players.
The first four batters in last year’s lineup return to anchor the middle defense — shortstop Brett Williams (Davis), second baseman Blaine Ross (Zillah), centerfielder Jonathan Imperial (Davis) and leftfielder Chase Oldman (East Valley). Catchers Jimmy McDonald (Davis) and Joey Catton (Riverside Christian) split time last year, and infielder Gerardo Garfius and outfielder Kelby Hauff from Davis’ program were regular starters in 2015.
Imperial, Garfias and Williams all received first-team honors in the CBBN during their senior seasons at Davis. Ross, who recently signed with Krustangel’s Yaks, was the SCAC West MVP.
With YVC freshman Elias Moctezuma anchoring the crew, the pitching staff has a bevy of starting arms in Ricky Mendiola, Michael Catton, Drew VanKemseke and Ross.
“There a lot of good talent here and there’s a high ceiling,” Krustangel said of his 17-player roster. “What I like. obviously, is the automatic state berth. We’ve got eight weeks to truly mold this team into a state-ready team.”
Starting on July 23, two eight-team brackets will be played at Parker Faller Field and Selah’s Carlon Park. The bracket winners will meet for the state championship and a regional berth on July 28 on the Beetles’ home field.
“I feel really good about this group because of their attitude and approach,” the coach added. “It’s the same feel I had with the Bandits last year. Having that type of chemistry is probably the most important part of summer baseball.”
Northwest Public Radio
Becoming a U.S. citizen can be tough. There are mounds of paperwork to fill out and file, which can be confusing if you’re trying to figure it out on your own.
On top of that, there’s a small language quirk that can make obtaining citizenship even more difficult — sometimes impossible. That’s because some people with bad intentions take advantage of unsuspecting immigrants.
People looking to become citizens are trying to avoid that fate during a workshop at Yakima Valley Community College. A line of people stretches around the lobby. Some have waited here for hours — for an event that hasn’t technically started yet. There’s still about 30 minutes to go.
Volunteers are still busy ushering in people, giving instructions on filling out paperwork. To the immigrants here the help is invaluable. They want to become U.S. citizens, and sorting through the legalese is trying.
“If you do it by yourself you’re blind. You don’t know what to do: if you’re filling out the information right or what you need,” said Ana Diaz, sitting in a comfy chair at the edge of the lobby.
Getting help on paperwork is an important process. Immigrants often get the wrong advice from the wrong people: public notaries, posing as lawyers.
Patricio Marquez, an assistant attorney with general with the Washington consumer protection division, said going to public notaries for advice is a common misconception in many immigrant communities.
He calls this problem a “linguistic accident.”
“Individuals coming from other countries, in particular Latin American countries, come with the understanding that this term, “notario” or “notario publico,” is actually a title that is held by a lawyer, someone with extensive legal training,” Marquez said.
In the U.S. public notaries can stamp your legal documents. They’re not attorneys.
Mistaking notaries for lawyers is a common misconception in many immigrant communities, and people may turn to public notaries for help for many reasons. For one, in small towns there might not be local attorneys, or people might just want to save a few bucks. In the long run, attorneys say, they usually end up paying much more.
Ana Diaz and her family know what can happen when you don't get advice from an attorney. Today, her mother is at the Yakima citizenship workshop, hoping to avoid a mistake her family made in the past: getting immigration advice from a public notary.
When the family lived in Alabama, her sister — who is a U.S. citizen — tried to get her husband citizenship status.
She went to a public notary for advice.
“They told her that she had to pay $500 and then $600, and the conclusion was that he had to leave the United States in order for her to fix him some type of residency,” Diaz said.
So, he went back to Mexico.
After leaving the States without valid citizenship, he has to wait for an unknown amount of time to be able to re-enter here legally. So far he’s been stuck in Mexico for three years — away from his family, his wife and daughter.
There’s not much they can do about it.
“There you go,” Diaz said. “That’s what we get for trusting people.”
Lots can go wrong when fraudulent notaries get involved, says Tania Linares Garcia, an attorney with Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.
“Anywhere from people charging immigrants for blank forms that they can find online themselves to charging them to file applications they never file, or filing the applications but putting in all kinds of wrong information. There’s a whole variety of things going on from honest mistakes to egregious fraud,” Linares Garcia said.
Linares Garcia has tried to help many people who realize they’ve been duped — often too late. The worst case scenarios can lead to people being processed for deportation.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Linares Garcia said. “It’s such a vulnerable population.”
That’s why the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project has partnered with the Washington Attorney General to put a stop to notary fraud.
The Attorney General’s office conducted a sweep in 2015, looking for people falsely advertising immigration services in online ads. The office has taken legal action in four cases from the sweep.
Marquez said so far the crackdown seems to be working.
“Because a lot of [fraudulent notaries] are operating behind the scenes and under the table, I think it’s important for an agency like us to look under the rocks as much as we can,” Marquez said.
He says the best advice for people looking to become a citizen: Don’t take shortcuts. Go to a real, licensed attorney. Get advice on your paperwork.
Like Ana Diaz and her mother did at the citizenship workshop in Yakima.
After a long morning of waiting the next group heads into the workshop to start filling out paperwork.
Ana Diaz says the assistance is welcome after what her family has been through trusting someone who wasn’t an attorney.
“It’s worth it because [citizenship is] something a lot of people want ever since they’ve come here,” Diaz said. “It’s worth whatever you’re paying. You’re going to be with your family.”
Copyright 2016 Northwest Public Radio