49er In Focus: Now may still be the time for one Long Beach typewriter repairman

When people bring Gary typewriters typing so faintly the ink on the page is barely visible, he wonders why they waited so long to bring them in. Then he remembers that most changes in life happen little by little—unnoticeable in the day-to-day, until someone else points them out. ______________________________________________   Garrick “Gary” Shofner remembers when business boomed; back before the personal computer was king. Customers would be lined up to the corner waiting for him to open up each morning—even on Saturdays. All kinds of people were coming through his door: congressmen, a former captain of the Queen Mary, even Clint Eastwood once bought a used machine from him. He was making so much money he didn’t know what to do with it, a thousand dollars a day, every day. He decided to hang up a big neon sign outside his North Long Beach shop—Gary’s Typewriter Repair. Boy, those were the good ol’ days. Today, from the street, 833 East South St. looks abandoned. The old neon sign sits discarded on the roof. The storefront window is veiled by an uninviting, camel-colored scrim pulled together in such a way as to suggest the end of a play. On the window

By | 2015-06-04T14:35:12-07:00 Jun 4, 2015 | 2:33 pm|Categories: Arts & Life, Features, inFocus, Showcase|

49er InFocus: From Catalina to college

His mom made him take professional graduation photos, and she’s throwing him a large graduation party. He purses his lips as he thinks about a mother’s pride “Just do what you want to do, mom” Business economics graduate Christopher Padilla recalled telling his mother. “I just want to go to work.” Padilla is the first to graduate from California State University, Long Beach under the Long Beach College Promise, a program designed to help local students attend and graduate universities. Education has always been instilled in Padilla as a priority. “Anything to get of the island,” he joked. His parents worked at the K-12 school Padilla and his twin brother, Christian, attended on Catalina Island. He said they were always wanted him and his brother to go to college. “It’s a good thing I wanted to go to college just as badly as they wanted me to,” Padilla said fondly. “Otherwise, I’m sure there would have been more friction.” Padilla said that his original plan was to go to San Jose State University. “The further, the better.” But when he was denied acceptance there and at his second choice school, CSULB, his heart sank. His only way mainland now was

By | 2015-05-21T12:29:14-07:00 May 21, 2015 | 11:18 am|Categories: Arts & Life, Blog, inFocus, Today|

New treasurer is gold

She is able to balance school, her three children and her sanity with grace. She wears the essence of hard-worker on her sleeve. Diligent, powerful and tenacious are a few words that describe the veteran, mother and newly-elected California State University, Long Beach Associated Students, Inc. Treasurer Wendy Lewis. Sitting with Wendy Lewis is both intimidating and inspirational. The Secretary of Veteran Affairs emits a Wonder Woman aura that solidifies her credibility as a communicator, leader and problem-solver. “Being an elected treasurer is most important to me as it proves that the students trust me to make financial decisions in their best interests,” Lewis said. “It's also an exciting opportunity for me to apply my experiences to this position.” Lewis has more than eight years of financial experience under her belt, including her background in handling scholarships and funding. Her main goal is to create a scholarship workshop program in which she works with students one-on-one. “I want applications to scholarships to be at an all time high,” Lewis said. “[It shows] that CSULB does have a need, thus encouraging the community to invest in its future generation.” As promised during her campaign, the scholarship workshops will begin as soon as

By | 2015-05-13T08:45:35-07:00 May 7, 2015 | 9:49 am|Categories: inFocus, Showcase|

Gone astray

Life can be like a game of chutes and ladders. One wrong move and it’s straight to the bottom of the board. Terri Hayes learned that the hard way. But now, she’s making the climb back to the top— one rung at a time, one day at a time. Terri Hayes was alone in an alley when she saw a group of people walking toward her. Then in the blink of an eye they were gone. She looked around. There was a mattress strewn to one side piled high with dirty clothes. The pile began to shift. Slowly, a heavy-set woman crawled out from under the clothes and told Hayes, “I am the mother of this alley. You need to go home.” Hayes had fallen through the cracks. She had made a mistake: she didn’t show up for work one weekend. Instead, she took a trip up to San Francisco. She remembers it well, it was the first time she drove in the snow. When she returned, she had lost her job as a certified nursing assistant. That was May of 2010. She applied for jobs, but nothing came. The country was still in a recession. Then her car was

By | 2015-05-31T12:47:12-07:00 Apr 30, 2015 | 8:03 am|Categories: Blog, inFocus, Showcase|Tags: , , , |

Miriam Hernandez: Opening the door for success

She always dreamed of attending college. Being undocumented was the roadblock to that dream. She received zero financial aid and had limited support from her teachers and counselors. “She picked up the pencil and did it herself,” her brother said. Miriam Hernandez will be next year’s ASI vice president. She held back tears as she talked about the sacrifices her parents made to bring her and her siblings to America. Hernandez is undocumented. She said there was always a doubt about where she would attend college. Her parents dream for her to be educated is why they came to America, and it became her dream as well. “It was the reason why my parents brought us to this country,” Associated Students Sen. Miriam Hernandez said. She said her parents sacrificed their family, tradition and culture to bring her to “the land of opportunity.” On June 1, Hernandez will assume the position of vice president for ASI at California State University, Long Beach. Hernandez will join forces with next year’s ASI President Jose Salazar, the first undocumented president. “Being undocumented has allowed [Jose and myself] to see the world very differently,” Hernandez said. “My status has allowed me to see all

By | 2015-04-30T13:03:57-07:00 Apr 23, 2015 | 8:31 am|Categories: Blog, inFocus, Today|Tags: , , |

Handing Out smiles at CSULB

See her, as she sits alone among a fray of scurrying students Pass her, and she will ask, in a soft voice, if you have change to spare Ignore her, and she will hurt but flash a smile anyway Listen to her, and she will tell you her story   The Smile Lady takes the Metro bus 33 near her home in Culver City at noon. Then she catches the Metro Expo Line and transfers onto the Metro Blue Line at the Pico station. She steps off the train at Fifth Street and walks onto Long Beach Transit bus 92, which takes her to her final destination: California State University, Long Beach. It’s a three-hour trip one-way. She doesn’t own a car. She fell asleep once while driving and crashed it. She makes the trip out to CSULB three or four times a month; it’s just one of the many schools she visits regularly. Sometimes she stands outside of grocery stores, too. Though students call her The Smile Lady, her real name is Grace Cabral. She’s a self-described woman of God. She’s a woman with a smile that tries to break free even while her lips are still speaking.  To

By | 2015-04-30T13:53:38-07:00 Apr 15, 2015 | 7:34 pm|Categories: Blog, inFocus, Showcase|Tags: , , , |

Finding a seat at the table

Eight — nights in jail, one for every time they caught him at the border. Six — students sitting at “the table for outcasts” back when he couldn’t speak much English. Three — younger siblings watching him become the first in his family to finish college. One —undocumented immigrant named Jose Salazar.     He lets out a soft laugh as he mentions that he was only eight years old when he, his younger brother and his mother spent a night in jail each time they were caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally. “They put us in a room, and he told the immigration officer that one day he would become president of the United States," Maria Arenas, Salazar's mother, said. Although she knows that her son — an undocumented immigrant, a full-time employee, an engineering student at a four-year university — may never actually become president of the U.S., she is proud of her son’s most recent achievement. Come June 1, Jose Salazar will officially take office as president of the Associated Students Inc. at California State University, Long Beach. “I feel like I belong to Long Beach, because I was raised here,” Salazar says with a gentle grin

By | 2015-04-13T21:28:19-07:00 Apr 9, 2015 | 5:55 pm|Categories: ASI, Blog, inFocus, News, Showcase, Today|
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