Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Arson at Corvallis Mosque Fuels Strong Emotions

Arson at Corvallis Mosque Fuels Strong EmotionsArticle for The Commuter
By Lisa A M Bauman

This season’s festivities have been hot – too hot actually. Portland has suffered bomb threats and in retaliation an arsonist targeted a Corvallis mosque.

The annual tree-lighting ceremony that occurs the day after Thanksgiving is a proud tradition for Portland. On Nov. 27, people were densely packed together to view the spectacular 75-foot tree provided by Stimson Lumber Company. The Pacific Youth Choir and Cantor Ida Rae Cahana were prepared to host a sing-a-long. Thomas Lauderdale, members of Pink Martini, and the Oregon Symphony were also there to perform for the crowd.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a 19-year-old, Somali-born, former OSU student attended this event with a different idea in mind. He is accused of planning to detonate a car bomb in the middle of Portland’s crowded streets during the ceremony. “It’s gonna be a fireworks show ... a spectacular show,” said Muhamud, according to an article on the Huffington Post.

Muhamud had reportedly been planning his destructive deed since he was 15 years old. Fortunately, Mohamud’s plans were thwarted. He was arrested after attempting to detonate the bomb. What Mohamud didn’t know was his bomb was a decoy put together by FBI agents in a sting operation.

In the article, Mohamud further went on to cite his religious beliefs as the reason for this destruction. “To my parents who held me back from Jihad in the cause of Allah. I say to them ... if you make allies with the enemy, then Allah’s power ... will ask you about that on the day of judgment, and nothing that you do can hold me back.”

Beaverton Muslim leaders expressed concern about the incident. Imam Mikal Shabazz, president of the Oregon Islamic Chaplains Organization, made a formal statement that he in no way supports Mohamud’s actions.

This religious connection caused a chain of events that no one could have predicted. Because of the religious reference and his connection to Corvallis through OSU, the Corvallis Gazette-Times produced an article that showcased Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center where Mohamud occasionally attended prayers.

In the article, there was a statement from the mosque that denounced Mohamud’s actions and made it clear that he was not a regular attendee of the Mosque. The article communicated the center’s feelings against the bombing attempt, but it also brought attention to the place of worship.

The next day, a fire was set in the mosque, and many have been affected by it.

“My friend messaged me on Facebook around 2 a.m. and asked me what was going on at the mosque. I didn’t even respond. I went over right away,” said one dual-enrolled LBCC/OSU student who asked to remain anonymous.

Eighty percent of the center’s office was burned. There were Holy Scriptures left in ruin and melted electronics. The fire did not spread to worship areas or any other rooms, but the tragedy has left many people unnerved.

“To think that someone could retaliate like that is horrendous!” said Muna Hassan, another dual-enrolled LBCC/OSU student who is Somali-born and is part of the Muslim community in Corvallis. “[The bombing attempt in Portland] is not a representative of Islam. That goes against everything our religion teaches us.”

“The young people are afraid for their parents. They are afraid to be in public now,” said another LBCC student who didn’t want to be identified.

Yosof Wanly, the center’s imam, told MSN reporters that he is thinking about temporarily relocating his family because of the possibility of hate crimes.

*** An article for The Commuter: Linn-Benton Community College, Fall 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Veterans Day Parade: Albany Shows Its True Colors


Veterans Day Parade: Albany Shows Its True Colors
Article and Video for The Commuter
By Lisa A M Bauman
November 19, 2010

There was a chill in the air last Thursday, but that didn’t stop the estimated 40,000 adoring spectators who came to honor our beloved Veterans in Albany’s Veteran’s Parade. One couple even brought their own thermoses of hot chocolate to survive the cold. There were folding chairs, warm blankets, and of course, flags waving.

The parade is a proud tradition for Albany that is said to put the town on the map. Over 200 floats offered considerable diversity. Motorcyclists, heavy machinery, modern SUVs, and antique cars paced by as children and families sang, danced, and cheered. You could hear chanting in the distance as an announcer introduced decorated soldiers and families who came to represent their loved ones. Even representatives from the from the Northwest Civil War Council came clad in their historically accurate attire.

The parade began on the Pacific Highway overpass and ended at the Linn County courthouse downtown. Motorcyclists zoomed and roared their engines in their patriotic packs. The Army Band followed. Fly-by’s from the Coast Guard with one of their HH-65C Dolphin helicopters and an F-15 Eagle from the 142nd Fighter Wing in Portland filled the air with an impressive sound.

Some floats such the West Albany High School and the North Albany Middle School bands went away with ribbons. This year was an event to remember.

*** An article and video for The Commuter: Linn-Benton Community College, Fall 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Running club aims to run like a … penguin?

Running club aims to run like a … penguin?
Article and Video for The Commuter
By Lisa A M Bauman
November 17, 2010

The sound of the earth compressing against your feet and the feel of breeze against your skin - these are the things that make a bond between runners. Frank Warren, the running club representative, has found a way to bring like-minded athletes together by forming a campus running club.

“I’m crazy about running.” said Warren.

If you are a runner, this is your opportunity to spring to action. New members are needed and welcome. You can join the running club by contacting Frank Warren who says that meetings should start within a month. We’ll go into the winter term with a fresh start.” said Warren. The club’s goal is to meet twice a week for running and move towards having meetings and luncheons that have guest speakers and inspirational movies.

“We are taking the penguin approach.” said Warren. He explains that running “penguin” style is running for the pure joy of the activity.

The idea of the penguin runner comes from author John Bingham in his book “Running for mortals.” Bingham states that you don't have to run competitively to reap the rewards of running. According to the "penguin mantra," all that you need to become a runner is the courage to start.

“It’s just about getting out there and doing it.” says Rob Priewe, running club advisor and journalism instructor. He says that running can be a really social activity and that a runner’s speed is not important.

The penguin runner believes that the most important changes that happen in a runner are the changes that occur inside. An excerpt from Bingham’s website calls these “the very real changes in the strength of your resolve and your spirit.”

According to Bingham “By discovering your limitations and then overcoming them, you can learn to be your own hero.”

In addition to the personal benefit of running, a major bonus of the sport is that a runner’s gear is very minimal. Warren suggests that you have a good pair of shoes and comfortable light weight clothes.

Warren’s theory is that running makes him a better person. It boosts his energy, makes him feel good, and improves his self esteem. “Running itself makes you an athlete.” said Warren.

*** An article for The Commuter: Linn-Benton Community College, Fall 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

LBCC Costume Contest!!!


LBCC Costume Contest!!!An Article and video for The Commuter
Created by Lisa Bauman
Oct. 29, 2010

On Oct. 29 LBCC hosted the 12th annual October Celebration. The crowd in the Commons was a strong contrast to the serene atmosphere of the picture window that revealed fall’s brightly colored leaves.

The room was filled with unusual sights, laughter, and tasty treats provided by the baking contest applicants. The judges lined up against the picture windows while Paul Tannahill, the e-learning systems administrator, announced for the event.

Contestants paraded in their festive garb and even performed entertaining dramatizations for the audience. Debbie Zeller, the baking contest coordinator, said that she would like to thank Vickie Keith for her organizational assistance with the event.

*** A video created for Linn-Benton Community College's The Commuter on November 3, 2010. ***