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Features Tattoo artist draws in business

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sports Runner finds peace after war

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also in this issue

Frontline: Marijuana could heal the state | 9 Mens cross-country newcomer places third | 10

Tuesday October 11, 2011

The Western Front
Netflix drops Qwikster
Netflix ended its plan to switch its DVD service into a new company called Qwikster after customer outcry, according to Netflixs website. Netflix will continue to stream movies and distribute DVDs under its orginal name.


Volleyball falls to SPU

Vikings knocked from top of conference

Wall Street protests reach Bellingham, more to come

By Evan Abell

Volume 156 Issue 7

Mail theft charge

The man and woman arrested in connection with a string of mail thefts were charged with 38 counts of identity theft on Oct. 7.


counts of identity theft

NBA season stalled

The NBA has canceled the first two weeks of the season, NBA commissioner David Stern said at a press conference Monday, Oct. 10. The owners and players were unable to reach a new agreement on revenue shares to end the lockout.

Quotation of the day

It doesnt look like Ive ever ran well with long hair. See page 10

Defensive specialist Haleigh Adkins and libero Samantha Hutchinson collide as they attempt a dig but miss the ball on Oct. 8 in a game against Seattle Pacific University. The Vikings and Falcons were tied for first place in the GNAC conference before Saturday nights game. The Vikings lost 3-2 after five sets. Photo by Lillian Furlong


Western Front @TheFrontOnline

Pot legalization inches closer

By James Kozanitis and Eric Haugland Blenda Burcham, mother of seven boys, has been suffering from chronic back pain for 15 years. It often keeps her from doing simple daily activities. I couldnt even stand long enough to do a load of dishes, Burcham said. My back would give out. Burcham uses medical marijuana to combat her pain, but because of conflicting state and federal laws, she can still be arrested for possession under certain circumstances. By next year, that could change. Initiative 502, which would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana, needs 241,135 signatures by Dec. 30 to be considered for the 2012 Washington Legislative session. If the legislature does not pass I-502 during the session, it will be voted on in the November 2012 general election. New Approach Washington, a marijuana advocacy group, proposed I-502. Their idea is to regulate marijuana through the Liquor Control Board, restrict it to adults 21 and older and require anyone who wishes to sell to become licensed and pay taxes. This could generate $215 million in tax revenue annually, according to estimates by New Approach. Ryan Roberts, a Western junior petitioning for New Approach, said part of this revenue would go back to the public through programs such as Building Bridges, designed to help atrisk youth, and Washingtons Basic Health. These two programs would receive the majority of the revenue, according to New Approach.

See page 12

At 3:45 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7, the intersection of Magnolia Street and Cornwall Avenue was quiet. By 4 p.m., hundreds of protesters had gathered at the intersection in front of the Federal Building as part of the nationwide Occupy Wall Street movement inspired by the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City. Protesters plan to meet at this intersection at 4 p.m. every Friday indefinitely. Western senior Jennifer Dunn said students will gather at 3 p.m. Friday on Campus to march downtown and join the protest at 4 p.m. From downtown, the protesters will march to Maritime Heritage Park at 5 p.m. to have a general assembly where they will decide whether or not to turn the weekly Friday protests into a continuous occupation. Bellingham artist Lea Kelley stood above the crowd on a concrete pillar on the corner of Cornwall Avenue and was steadied above the crowd by two other protesters while she gave a brief speech to start the protest. We the people, will no longer serve as pawns on the chessboard of the oligarchy checkmate, Kelley said. After a few people took turns voicing their demands on a megaphone, the protesters began to march in a loop on either side of the street down Cornwall Avenue, past Bank of America, to Chestnut Street and then back to the Federal Building.
u see oCCupY, page 4

News...........................1-5 Features...................6-8 Opinion........................9 Sports.....................10-12


Western freshman Mariana Blas signs her name in support of Initiative 502 on Monday, Oct. 10, in front of Arntzen Hall. The initiative would legalize the distribution of marijuana by licensed stores to adults who are at least 21 years old. Photo by Erin Nash u see MariJuana, page 4

2 | NeWs

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 | The Western Front

Cops Box
Bellingham Police
October 7
A man was arrested at 11 a.m. in the 400 block of Birchwood Avenue on suspicion of indecent exposure. Police said he pulled down his pants and exposed his penis to a nurse while undergoing dialysis treatment.

October 9

A woman discovered her $100 bill was counterfeit when she attempted to make a purchase with it at 12:14 p.m. in the 4200 block of Meridian Street.

University Police
October 7
University Police issued 43 citations for bicycle code violations in campus walk zones. Joel Zeonian, 9, holds hands with his dad, Lauren Zeonian, as he slacklines on Monday, Oct. 10, outside the Science, Math and Technology Education building on Westerns campus. It was Joels first time slacklining. He is an adventurous kid, Lauren Zeonian says. The slacklining was part of an event put on by Young Life, and Lauren is the Director of Young Life at Western. Photo by Lillian Furlong

Check it out.
tuesdaY, oCt. 11 WednesdaY, oCt. 12
4:30 - 5:45 p.m. Film: In Whose Honor? Diversity Film Series Wilson Library room 164F WWU 5:30 p.m. Fitness: Southside Track Workout Fairhaven Runners & Walkers 1209 11th St. 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Dining: Kulshan Community Land Trust Community Dinner in the Kitchen Ciao Thyme restaurant 207 Unity St. 7 p.m. Reading: Before Seattle Rocked: A City and its Music by Kurt Armbruster Village Books 1200 11th St. 9 p.m. - 2 a.m. Music: 3D Soul with DJ Yogoman and Platonic DJ The Shakedown 1212 N State St. noon - 1:20 p.m. Lecture: Report Back from Afghanistan: People, Land, War and Peace Dana Visalli, biologist and organic farmer Fairhaven World Issues Forum Fairhaven College Auditorium WWU 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. Art: Guided Tour at Allied Arts of Whatcom County and Networking Coffee Allied Arts 1418 Cornwall Ave. 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. Food: $3.95 burger night The Fairhaven Pub 1114 Harris Ave. 8 p.m. - 2 a.m. Music: Blessed Coast Sound System Wild Buffalo House of Music 208 W. Holly St. 9 p.m. - 2 a.m. Music: E-Clec-Ti-City with Queen Annes Revenge The Shakedown 1212 N State St. 9 p.m. - 11 p.m. Film: Trailer Wars 21 Pickford Cinema 1318 Bay St.

(A small sample of happenings in the ham)

thursdaY, oCt. 13
7 - 9 p.m. Exhibit: Photography of Darius Kinsey Whatcom Museum 121 Prospect St. 7:30 - 10 p.m. Concert: Big Kids, Jason Clackley, So Adult, Livingston Seagull JINX Art Space 306 Flora St. 8 p.m. - 2 a.m. Dance: Revenge of the 90s The Shakedown 1212 N State St. 9:45 p.m. - 2 a.m. Concert: The Mother Hips and Eternal Fair Wild Buffalo House of Music 208 Holly St. 10 - 11 p.m. Improv: The Project The Upfront Theatre 1208 Bay St. 8 p.m. - 2 a.m. Music: Cassidy Bloom McKays Taphouse 1118 E Maple St.

Compiled by Evan Abell
The Western Front Western Washington University Communications Facility 251 Bellingham, WA 98225
Editor-in-Chief Gina Cole Managing Editor Paige Collins News Editors Kyle Gootkin, Will Graff Features Editors Rachel Lerman, Jeremy Smith Sports Editor TJ Cotterill Opinion Editor Olena Rypich Photo Editor Lillian Furlong Copy Editors Christina Crea, Robin Turnblom Online Editor Celeste Erickson Multimedia Editor Tristan Wood Editorial Department Newsroom: 360-650-3162 Communications Facility 222 Letters to the editor: Press releases: Faculty Adviser Jack Keith, Advertising Department 360-650-3160 Michele Anderson, advertising manager Alethea Macomber, business manager

Compiled by Spencer Scott Pederson


The Western Front strives for accuracy and will correct errors of fact promptly and courteously. Please notify us of any factual errors at

Bill Distlers name was misspelled in the caption on a photo that ran with the Oct. 7 story The 10-year war.

The Western Front is published twice weekly in the fall, winter and spring quarters, and once a week in the summer. The Western Front is the official newspaper of Western Washington University and is published by the Student Publications Council. It is mainly supported by advertising. Opinions and stories in the newspaper have no connection to advertising. News content is determined by student editors. Staff reporters are involved in a course in the department of journalism, but any student enrolled at Western may offer stories to the editors. Members of the Western community are entitled to a single free copy of each issue of The Western Front. | Tuesday, October 11, 2011

NeWs | 3

Strep throat cases on the rise this fall

By Eric Haugland During the first few weeks of school, an unusually high number of students checked in with strep throat, according to the Student Health Center. About five to six new cases came in each day during the first two weeks of school, Emily Gibson, medical director for the health center, said in an email. Strep throat is a common bacterial infection caused by group A streptococcus bacteria. It mostly affects children from ages 5 to 15, but anyone can catch it, according to the Mayo Clinic website, which is linked on the health center's home page. In a Sept. 20 Facebook post, the health center advised anyone feeling early strep throat symptoms, namely a fever with a headache and a sore throat, to get tested immediately. More severe symptoms include difficulty swallowing, white or yellow patches on the tonsils, neck pain, wheezing, joint and muscle pain and dizziness. If untreated, the bacterial throat infection can cause rheumatic fever and kidney inflammation, according to the Mayo Clinic website. In a college setting, bacteria can spread quickly, especially if students are not proactive about prevention, Gibson said. The streptococcus bacteria are most easily transmitted through saliva contamination and nasal secretions. The health center advised students not to share drinks, utensils, water, hookah pipes or any other smoking material.

WWU Student Health Center

8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For urgent consultation after hours, call 1-800-607-5501.

Thursday Friday

University troubleshoots in tweets

By Casey Malloy It was the first day of fall quarter, and Western senior Jason Chang had an assignment to print. He hadnt yet purchased new ink cartridges for his printer, so he decided to use the printers on campus knowing he could print as many as 25 black and white pages without being charged. After prompting the computer to print several times and seeing that the printer was not doing its job, he became frustrated and chose to express his feelings online: Fuck the printers at WWU!! Pretty sure I have exceeded my 25 page limit, but I only have 1 page printed out, Chang posted to his Twitter account. To his surprise, shortly after tweeting his explicit frustration, he received a reply from another Twitter user Western Washington University. Where are you trying to print? Wed like to address the problem, replied the WWU Twitter account. The two tweeted back and forth as the person responsible for Westerns Twitter account, Matthew Anderson, tried to figure out the specific problem with the printer so he could notify ATUS. Anderson, 33, is the New Media Coordinator for University Communications. He is a Western alumnus and has been Westerns voice on Twitter for almost two years. He is also the editor of Western Today, a daily newsletter he emails to faculty and students who request it. Chang was able to print the seven pages he needed after about 15 minutes, but he was worried he had used more than the allotted 25 free pages, since he kept prompting the computer to print. ATUS told Anderson that Chang had only seven pages charged to his account, and Anderson relayed this information to Chang via Twitter. I definitely wasnt expecting Western to tweet me and try to help my situation, Chang said. It wasnt like I tagged them or directed my tweet to [their account]. When Twitter users intend to tweet one another, they include the recipients username with an @ symbol for example, @WWU. Anderson said he constantly searches for tweets that include Western, WWU or Western Washington University. This way, he sees more than just the tweets that are intentionally sent to the Western Twitter. If students have complaints or questions, thats what were here for, Anderson said. It does take up extra time, but its good extra time. Anderson said he enjoys seeing suggestions and comments about anything regarding Western and loves to see photos of campus. Usually when he sees someone tweet a picture of campus, he retweets it, forwarding the tweet to every user who follows Western on Twitter. Anderson said he believes interacting with current and prospective students helps them realize that Western is not just this huge, boring

Matthew Anderson displays the Twitter application he uses to update Westerns account. Anderson uses a mix of computer and his phone to keep up with the @WWU timeline. He said his goal is to increase communication with students through the immediate-response social medium. Photo by Maddy Mixter institution. Western junior Allie Holzman, 17, said she enjoys connecting with the university online. This is Holzmans first year at Western, but she is considered a junior because of credits earned through Running Start during high school. The first time she interacted with Western on Twitter was over the summer. Getting super antsy for summerstart tomorrow! #wwu, Holzman tweeted on Aug. 7. Welcome to Summerstart! replied Westerns Twitter account the next day. I was kind of surprised. I didnt know they would [tweet back], Holzman said. Dont expect Anderson to tweet back every time and all the time his hours behind the screen monitoring Twitter are typically from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Anderson said that during those hours, students should expect the Western Twitter account to be active and ready for comments and questions. Even if the problem cant be resolved immediately, Anderson said, it could be helpful for others if the issue is reported right away.

Tweet Western:


4 | NeWs

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 | The Western Front

OCCUPY: Economic inequality at heart of protest

Continued FroM page 1

Protesters young and old gathered for various causes, including ending corporate greed and ceasing U.S. military engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan. Stan Mason, a protester from Skagit County, said he marches to put pressure on the legislature to do things that are good for the American people. The 99 percent, not the 1 percent they normally do their work for,Mason said. Chants of Banks got bailed out. We got sold out, We are the 99 percent, and Power to the people could be heard at least three blocks away. Despite varying goals, the protesters united under a general sense of dissatisfaction and frustration with economic inequality and power of corporations in American politics. Western alumnus Jeff Krajewski said he returned to Bellingham to attend the protest after spending the week at the Occupy Seattle protests. The protestors are creating a sustainable community, a sustainable sort of street village that has a government structure, consensus meetings, food system, and a garbage system and its all volunteers creating it, Krajewski said about the Occupy Seattle protests. While some have referred to the protest as Occupy Bellingham, Krajewski said its not an occupation in Bellingham because protesters do not live on streets downtown. This is a key difference in Bellinghams protest ,since in larger cities, most notably New York City, the protests are a continuous occupation in which people camp out indefinitely. The stuff thats going on between corporations and our government is just ridiculous, protester Dave Nellis

Cathy Watson, 52, and Colleen MacGregor, 66, hold handmade signs outside the Bellingham Federal Building on the corner of Cornwall Avenue and Magnolia Street. More than 400 people protested on Oct. 7 in downtown Bellingham. They were protesting the growing division between the wealthiest 1 percent of the U.S. population, who control nearly 40 percent of the nations wealth, and the other 99 percent. Protesters marched from the federal building to East Holly Street, singing and holding signs. Photo by Kelly Sullivan said. Things are getting out of hand. Its getting sickening. We can toss tons of money for corporate bailouts, but we dont have money for programs like infrastructure and green jobs. Nellis went on to cite efforts by corporations to get around environmental protection laws. They cant operate, they say, Nellis said. Its just showing our outrage against some of the ridiculous stuff thats been going on lately. At about 4:35 p.m., Oct. 7, a black truck heading east on Magnolia Street revved its engine and peeled out in the intersection of Cornwall Avenue, blowing black exhaust through the crowd. The truck circled around the

block to travel north on Cornwall Avenue, but was impeded when protesters rushed into the intersection, with some lying down in front of the truck. A few protesters traded angry verbal barbs with the passenger and driver, while the majority maintained their positions in the intersection. Police helped the truck turn around and then promptly closed off Magnolia Street and Cornwall Avenue between Magnolia and Holly Street to traffic. Driver of the truck Danny Brocker said he was just driving through. Lieutenant Mike Johnston of the Bellingham Police Department said the police would respect the protesters right to protest as long as they didnt damage property or become violent. I would have preferred them to not take over the intersection because I dont want anybody to get hit by a car, but weve blocked off the roads, and as long as people behave its well within their legal rights, Johnston said. Kathleen Emmerson, owner of childrens boutique, Urchins, watched the protests in frustration from her storefront. Get your money out of their banks, Emmerson said. Put it in the local credit unions and dont use them. It just makes me feel frustrated to watch it because Im thinking its not going to make a difference to the people they are trying to reach.

ON THE WEB Photo gallery of Occupy Bellingham protest: Western Front Photo Blog @

MARIJUANA: Pot would be treated like liquor

Continued FroM page 1

I-502 addresses legal, fiscal and moral perspectives, Roberts said. It applies to everybody; it doesnt just help one group. Roberts said I-502 is different because past initiatives tried to decriminalize marijuana, whereas I-502 is trying to legalize. New Approach Campaign Director, Alison Holcomb, said its important that the initiative regulates marijuana. Given the states restrictions on marijuana, Holcomb said the initiative is as conservative as legalizing marijuana can be. Other initiatives have only sought the benefit of recreational users, wanting only to remove penalty and not impose any restrictions, Roberts said. [Selling marijuana] is a business, he said. A person in a business needs to pay taxes. Because of these differences and growing support, Roberts said he was confident I-502 would pass into law. On Sept. 17, the Washington State Democratic Central Committee voted 75-43 in favor of endorsing the initiative at a meeting in Bellingham, according to a resolution by the committee. We know [I-502] has majority support, Holcomb said. But we need to assure the nervous public this is a proposal that is well thought out and addresses our concerns about public safety and health. Martin Nickerson, owner of the Northern Cross medical marijuana

collective in Bellingham, is not so sure of marijuana. However, Nickerson said arrests I-502s chances. dont pose too big a problem in Bellingham. I believe that within 10 years, we The city police and sheriffs have will see marijuana have a chance of being been good to [our patients], Nickerson legalized, Nickerson said. But the state said. I just dont see patrolmen seem it happening for a long I dont like popping to have problems time. pills all the time. With dealing with medical Nickerson said marijuana. he is not sure how he [medical marijuana], I I-502 has feels about completely am alert enough to take diverse backing, legalizing marijuana. care of the kids and do including travel guru Northern Cross, Rick Steves and which opened April 1, what I have to do to get the second Bush 2011, runs solely on Administration's through the day. medicine donations to John McKay, who patients, is not heavily was the former U.S. advertised and does attorney for the Blenda Burcham Western district of not have a sign on the building. Medical marijuana patient Washington. It doesnt look According to like Vegas out there, New Approach, Nickerson said. We want these patients to I-502 cannot be preempted by federal law. understand theyre coming in here to get I-502 does not require anyone to medicine. They arent coming in here to get produce, process, sell or possess marijuana, street-sales marijuana. or engage in any other activity that is illegal According to New Approachs website, under federal law, New Approach states I-502 doesnt conflict with Washington on its website. medical marijuana law, since it only Although Burcham hasnt dealt with amends Washingtons Uniform Controlled arrests herself, she will be going to court Substances Act. This is the states version on Oct. 12 with her son, who was arrested of the Federal Controlled Substances Act, in Lynden for possession of medical which criminalizes marijuana use and marijuana. possession. Burchams pain started after her last In fact, I-502 gives added protection childbirth, which almost killed her. She from arrests to patients of medicinal received a blood transfusion and later

discovered she had hepatitis C. To treat her back pain, Burchams doctor prescribed Vicodin, but because of liver damage from hepatitis she could not continue to take it. As a result of these events, she no longer trusted her doctors or pharmaceutical drugs. Burcham then pursued alternative medicine, she said. I dont like popping pills all the time, Burcham said. With [medical marijuana], I am alert enough to take care of the kids and do what I have to do to get through the day. Burcham said she mostly smokes, but often uses a vaporizer and is trying to start a habit of eating the medicine instead. After reading up on the treatment option, Burcham obtained her medical marijuana card, and was then directed to the Northern Cross collective. She has been a patient there since its opening. Six months into this new treatment, Burcham said, she was happy with what she was able to do physically with minimal pain. Burcham is still on the fence about I-502. Given her sons recent arrest, she supports decriminalizing possession of medical marijuana, Burcham said, but is still skeptical about the legalization of recreational marijuana. I would like to see [I-502] pass and see that money helping out the community, Burcham said. But it wont happen when Im alive. | Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Initiative would privatize liquor sales

Supporters cite potential revenue for state, opponents stress public safety concerns
By Marissa Abruzzini A new liquor distribution initiative on the ballot for the Nov. 8 election could change how Washingtonians purchase alcohol. I-1183 would close existing state-run liquor stores and allow large grocery stores to sell liquor. The new initiative is similar to last years I-1100, which would have allowed any store that sells wine or beer to sell liquor. Unlike I-1100, I-1183 would not allow small stores and gas stations to sell liquor. Grocery stores would need to be at least 10,000 square feet to sell liquor under the new initiative. Large grocery stores such as Costco, QFC and Haggen fit the bill. Western senior Lucas Hartelius said he buys liquor about two times per week. It is frustrating trying to find state-run liquor stores, he said. The initiative will give us easier access [to liquor], Hartelius said. It will make stores more dispersed and not completely centralized like they are now. Over a period of six years, the initiative would increase an estimated $216 million to $253 million in revenue for the State General Fund and $186 million to $227 million in total local revenues, according to Washington Research Council. Liquor retail sales are estimated to increase 5 percent from increased access under the initiative, according to estimates by the Office of Financial Management. Hartelius said he thinks the initiative would lower prices for consumers because grocery stores could set their own prices. Im hoping it will make it easier on my pocketbook, Hartelius said. Washington currently has 166 staterun liquor stores. If the initiative passes, these stores would close, allowing more than 1,400 grocery stores to distribute liquor, according to the Office of Financial Management. Large grocery stores would not be the only stores allowed to sell liquor. The liquor board would allow small stores to sell liquor if no other distributors are in the trade area. But the initiative does not specify how far a small store must be from a liquor distribution center to be eligible for this exception. Protect Our Communities, a Seattlebased group lobbying against the initiative, claims that the privatization of liquor sales would lead to an increase in election, Fryer said. [Initiative supporters] are trying to do the same thing again by claiming that this initiative limits where liquor can be sold. But it doesnt really do this. Washington State Liquor Control Board spokesman Brian Smith said the initiative would cause workers to lose their jobs. Managers and employees working in state-run liquor stores would need to find other jobs because their stores would be forced to close, he said. Store employees are not the only people who would be affected by the initiative, Smith said. People working in human resources and information

NeWs | 5

teenage drinking and drunk driving. Alex Fryer, spokesman for Protect Our Communities, said the trade area exception would create a loophole for any gas station or small store to sell liquor. It would make it easier for a store to sell liquor under this loophole, Fryer said. If more stores are allowed to sell liquor, this could increase incidents of alcohol-related violence and traffic accidents. Fryer said he does not understand why the initiative is on the ballot because it is similar to the two initiatives rejected by voters last year. Voters defeated both initiatives trying to privatize liquor in the last

Illustration by Alicia Lathrop technology for liquor stores would also be out of work, he said. Most of the employees involved in liquor sales are actually in the business arm, Smith said. They dont necessarily work in the store, but they are involved in the larger business model. Smith said the current system for selling liquor is highly effective because it focuses on public safety and discourages sales to minors. Our system has no incentive to sell to minors or people who are highly drunk, Smith said. Liquor sales redistributed about $425 million in taxes last year, Smith said. He said this is an important source

of income for the state. Western junior Carly Eathorne said she voted for I-1100 last year after vacationing in California. Grocery stores, convenience stores and gas stations in California can sell liquor, according to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Eathorne said it is easier to find stores that sell liquor in California than it is in Washington. She said Californias state law is convenient for customers because they can choose stores based on liquor selection and store size. It lets customers decide where they want to buy their liquor by giving them more options, Eathorne said. I think a law like this could work in Washington, too. One downside to the initiative is that it might make liquor more accessible to minors, Eathorne said. Instead of [minors] asking their friends to buy a six-pack of beer at the grocery store across the street, they could ask them to buy a fifth of vodka, Eathorne said. Support for the initiative dropped from 50 percent to 46 percent in September, according to an Elway poll. The poll found that voters against the initiative want to keep liquor within state control and are concerned that minors will have easier access to alcohol and liquor selection will decrease if it is sold in grocery stores. The initiative has the most financial support of the three initiatives on the ballot this year. Supporters raised more than $8 million for the initiative, while Protect Our Communities raised more than $7 million to encourage voters to reject it. If the initiative is passed, voters could expect to see changes in liquor sales on June 1, 2012.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011 | The Western Front


Tattooist forms style from anime, comics and F

By Austin Tyler Towe

Above: Tattoo artist Bobbie Darezbex steps back to look at the tattoo she is working on of an intricate bird skeleton on the right leg of Western junior Thomas Hall. The entire process took close to two hours to complete. Photo by Austin Tyler Towe Right: Various inks and a razor sit scattered across Chameleon Ink tattoo artist Bobbie Darezbexs side table, along with other tools of the trade, ready for use. Artists order their supplies based on each individual tattoo appointment, so as not to overstock. Photo by Austin Tyler Towe

itting at the tracing table with dubstep music blasting, 25 Bobbie Darezbex, the only female artist at Chameleon Ink Tatto Piercing, finishes up the sketch and stencil for piercing artist Thomas H leg piece. The skeleton of a large bird quarreling with a live snake is t addition to Halls body. Despite her profession, Darezbex has no visible tattoos. Dressed in and a simple dress with big-framed glasses, she doesnt exactly adhere artist stereotypes. In the cramped space of Darezbexs studio, she and Hall, a Weste prepare for two hours of work. Wearing black, sterile gloves, Darezbex op packaged needle and assembles her gun, applying murky black ink. Are you ready for the shin? she asks. Hall grimaces as the stead of the needle begins. Changing someones life forever is something most people accomplish on in a lifetimeand usually by accident. For Darezbex, its all part of the daily Youre going to tattoo something [that will be] on your clients bo rest of their life, Darezbex said. Its a stressful job, but when I put my it and get creative, theres nothing else like it. Darezbex grew up in California. She found her artistic roots drawings and other various canvas projects as a child, and her crea continued to grow. Art is more than just a passion for her; it is ingrained in her heritage Art, especially the art of tattooing, is a part of Darezbexs Filipin Since pre-Hispanic colonization, women in Filipino tribal societies tra tattooed themselves. This was often seen as a form of beauty. Filipino women pass down the knowledge of tattooing, Darezbex s influenced me before I really knew what I wanted to do. Darezbex currently works at Chameleon Ink Tattoo & Body Piercing State St. in downtown Bellingham. Originally named Camden Chameleon, the shop used to operate o of the old train cars in Fairhaven in 1996. Five years later, in 2001, it re North State Street and adopted the new name. Daniel Barringer and his wife, Penelope, took the reins in 2008 and o shop to this day. In July 2010, new laws were enacted about health and safety regula Barringer said they already followed. The state of Washington now requires full licensing for shops an Barringer said. Also, classes on blood-borne pathogens are require artists know the risks not only to their clients, but to themselves as we Darezbex didnt always work for Chameleon Ink Tattoo. After studyin at Sonoma State University in California, she completed her tattoo appre She had worked on the West Coast, but the United States would no the only stage for her art. Shortly after working at and managing Franks Tattoo Company Piercing in Wofford Heights, Calif., Darezbex moved to Germany and w a guest artist for two months at a shop called Skin Art Tat2. I really like to travel, Darez Seeing new things and meeting new something I really enjoy. Her love of traveling brought back stateside, specifically to Skag where she lives now. Darezbex has been part of the C Ink Tattoo crew since March of this ye Though employed as the only the tattoo parlor, Darezbex said she Chameleon crew is her family. Other shops werent always as w and kind, she said. There are still shops that w women, Darezbex said. A lot of th its bad luck, or they dont want the d girls bring with them. Today, women are becoming m

ures | Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Filipino culture
Illustration by Alicia Lathrop

5-year-old oo & Body Halls new the newest

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more recognized in the tattoo industry, with fewer shops turning female applicants away simply because they are women, Darezbex said. Darezbex describes this as a touch to shops that used to laugh at aspiring female artists, despite their vast styles and artistic skill. While some tattoo artists focus on a single art form, Darezbex brings a style all her own to the table. You start out with Japanese anime, sprinkle in some Marvel Comic caricature mixed with traditional tattooing, water it with art nouveau and add metaphysical sunshine and boom, thats me! Darezbex said. In some ways, life in the shop is akin to any other job. Schedules must be adhered to, deadlines must be met and above all, customers must be satisfied. But when a client comes to Darezbex with an idea for a tattoo, the mold begins to break. From here, Darezbex said, she collects her thoughts and begins to think about the piece she will be tattooing for her client. The first thing I make sure to do is eat, Darezbex said. The last thing I want to worry about is my stomach when Im trying to concentrate on a piece. Darezbex said one of the most important things artists can do to prepare for tattooing a client is to take care of themselves. Artists usually dwell on the idea of their current project day and night, investing tons of mental and physical energy into the piece, Darezbex said. Their art will not only be permanent, but a reflection of both the artist and the client. The next step Darezbex takes, having pondered the idea and come up with multiple sketches approved by the client, is to forge a bond with them. When working with a client, above all else, my goal is to make them comfortable, Darezbex said. I like to crack a joke or two, get them to talk to me so they feel comfortable with me as their artist. Once everything has been discussed and evaluated, the actual ink-to-skin process can begin. Following the appointment itself, Darezbex offers aftercare tips to her clients. She said she also has a follow-up with them to see the healing progress of her work over time. Art has and always will be a major part of Darezbexs life. She said she loves tattooing, Tattoo artist Bobbie Darezbex applies a protective gauze bandage to Western junior Thomas Halls newly she is passionate about it, and she plans to be finished leg tattoo on Oct. 8. Bandages help protect the brand-new piece and allow the ink time to set. Photo by Austin Tyler Towe around it for the rest of her life.

What to consider before getting a tattoo

Advice from tattoo artist Bobbie Darezbex

Does the piece have significance? Dont get a tattoo just to have one. Decide where to place the tattoo. A tattoo is permanent. Check with family and loved ones for support. Laser tattoo removal is expensive and painful. Make sure the artist is fully licensed. Check with employers for policies on tattoos.

Reaching out to a better place

By Alexandra Kocik My father, not me, read a white T-shirt hanging on a clothesline in Red Square. Another shirt hangs beside it with the words I love and respect myself in large black letters. Further down the clothesline, a large smiley face peers from beneath blocky purple text reading, There is another way to live: happy. The T-shirts hung in Red Square to honor survivors of domestic violence were created from materials provided by Womencare Shelter in Bellingham. Throughout October, organizations around the United States hold events to help those in need, prevent future occurrences and remember survivors. A difficult step Domestic violence is as obvious as dark bruises or as hidden as using harsh words to chip away at confidence behind closed doors. Lora Barton, a survivor who now volunteers at Womencare Shelter to counsel those who have experienced domestic violence, knows how difficult it is to get away from an abusive relationship. One of the scariest things I have ever done is pick up a phone in secret and call the domestic violence help line to ask for help, Barton said. Bartons abuse forced her to use a walker and gave her post-traumatic stress disorder. She now has a therapy dog, a Jack Russell terrier named Solomon, to turn to when she becomes anxious or loses touch with the world around her. I want to use my experiences to help others and pay it forward for the help I received, Barton said. Barton is now a certified Washington State Peer Counselor and mentor at Dorothy Place, a transitional housing unit for homeless women who have survived domestic violence. This month is a great way to honor survivors and show appreciation to those dedicated to stopping domestic violence, said Katie Chandler, volunteer education coordinator for Womencare Shelter. The Solution is in Sight is the theme for this years Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Whatcom County. Organizations around Whatcom County want to educate the public about domestic violence by encouraging those who see abuse to report incidents and survivors to tell their stories, said Susan Marks, director of the Bellingham and Whatcom County Commission Against Domestic Violence. Speaking up may feel awkward or uncomfortable, but if we are able to reach out and recognize unhealthy behavior, we may be able to create a safe place for people to reach out and get support, said Devlin ODonnell, coordinator of Westerns Crime And Sexual Assault Support Services. Where to turn for help Domestic violence is defined as a person using physical, psychological or emotional means to maintain control over another person, said Kimberly Absher, coordinator of the

8 | FeaTures

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 | The Western Front

Domestic violence survivor moves on to help others heal

Domestic Violence Awareness Month event calendar
Self-defense class: 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Oct. 15, Total Confidence Martial Arts (1305 Fraser St.). To register, call Shannon McClain at 360-738-1377 or email Clothesline: Oct. 22, Cordata Food Co-op. Learn more about domestic violence and donate to make a T-shirt.
Lora Barton stands in front of Dorothy Place on Monday, Oct. 10. Barton is a mentor and coordinator at the transitional housing unit for homeless women who are survivors of domestic violence. I went through the fear of domestic violence and homelessness, she says. There were people who inspired me and helped me in my journey. I wanted to be in a situation to give back. Photo by Erin Nash Associated Students Womens Center. I think a lot of people on campus believe that domestic violence only happens to married people with children and not when youre dating, Absher said. This is not true. Domestic violence can happen in any relationship. Crime And Sexual Assault Support Services works with the Commission Against Domestic Violence to encourage everyone in the area to talk about domestic violence issues and to provide assistance to those facing domestic violence. At one point, I didnt realize how deeply the abuse was affecting me until I started therapy, Barton said. No one thinks that they could ever be in an abusive relationship, but they can and not even realize it. After seeking psychological and medical help, Barton discovered she had post-traumatic stress disorder and began her road to recovery. The AS Womens Center talks to students about what healthy relationships should look like, as well as gender equality issues. The problem is that many people in our culture are unclear about what is OK and whats not, Absher said. [For example,] jealousy is not a normal part of a relationship, and when youre drunk, you can never give consent. After Barton walked away from her abusive relationship, she found the legal hoops were the hardest to jump through.

Interfaith Prayer Service: 7 p.m. Oct. 28, Assumption Catholic Church, 2116 Cornwall Ave. Tabling: Oct. 31, Red Square. Womens Empowerment and Violence Education and the Mens Violence Prevention peer educators will hand out information, whistles and ribbons to students.
Thankfully, there are legal advocates at places such as the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services to help you fill out all of those forms and get out from where you are, Barton said. Numerous agencies and foundations around Whatcom County provide resources to help those affected by domestic violence, even after October is over. Westerns Crime And Sexual Assault Support Services offers a 24-hour hot line, support groups, counseling, legal assistance and other services to help students deal with abuse or criminal activity. The Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services in Bellingham also offers a 24-hour hot line, support groups and advice on legal, medical or social service issues for free. Barton used one of these hot lines to take the first step toward getting out of a cycle of abusive relationships, she said. Eventually, she became certified to help others living in unhealthy environments. I know there is a lot of anger that comes, both emotional and physical, but it can be used as energy for positive change, Barton said. That is exactly what I am trying to do.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 | The Western Front

Opinions of The editorial Board
other chemicals, begging to be smoked legally. Using marijuana can be dangerous now precisely because it isnt regulated. Bought illegally, it can sometimes come laced with more dangerous drugs, such as cocaine. Under I-502s proposal, marijuana sales would be regulated by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which would require sellers to obtain a license. The drug could only be distributed to adults 21 and older. Marijuana use has traditionally been associated with hippies and burnouts. Despite the stereotype, many productive, functional people enjoy a smoke as others may enjoy a drink from time to time. Famed travel show host Rick Steves has long been an advocate for legalizing the drug, pointing to countries such as the Netherlands, which has a responsible, regulated drug policy. Several respected Washington lawmakers also sponsored I-502. Perhaps most importantly, this initiative would help our states pathetic budget shortfall. Every state service seems already cut to the bone, and Gov. Chris Gregoire has announced more cuts are coming. Advocate group New Approach Washington estimates marijuana sales could bring in as much as $215 million a year in tax revenue, much of which would go toward funding Washington

Basic Health, a state-sponsored program that provides low-cost health care coverage, and Building Bridges, a state organization that helps at-risk youth. Further, the savings from trimming current enforcement costs could go toward keeping key programs afloat in Whatcom County. We also realize legalizing marijuana is a long, uphill battle. New Approach Washington says if voters approve I-502, the federal government will not have the power to overturn the decision, unlike in previous cases U.S. v. Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative (2001) and Gonzales v. Raich (2005). Although we would like to believe that, we are not completely convinced. But Washington should forge ahead. Our state should lead the push for legalization at the federal level. If enough states follow suit, this will significantly strengthen that case. There is no reason to criminalize marijuana use any longer. Washington should use its time, energy and precious resources to pursue real criminals and solve real problems. The Editorial Board is Editor-in-Chief Gina Cole, Managing Editor Paige Collins and Opinion Editor Olena Rypich.

Legalizing marijuana would be solid step toward healing state budget

With as many as one-third of Americans having used it at least once, marijuana ranks as the most popular illegal drug in the United States. But with enough voter support, marijuana could be legal in Washington state. Initiative 502 proposes to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana. Enough signatures could put it on the 2012 Washington Legislative agenda. This editorial board supports the initiative. Making marijuana legal would have significant social as well as economic benefits. Its human nature to crave forbidden fruit. Contrary to critics fears that legalizing marijuana would spike the drugs use, the allure of experimenting with a prohibited substance would subside. Much like drinking alcohol becomes less desirable after reaching 21, availability of marijuana would make it less coveted by rebels and thrillseekers especially teens and young adults. One of the biggest barriers to marijuanas legalization is its portrayal as an addictive drug. It is currently classified as Schedule I, on the presumption that it has a high potential for abuse. But the same could be said about alcohol. The key here is personal abstinence or moderation. Nicotine, meanwhile, is extremely physically addictive, but every day gets rolled into cigarettes along with thousands of

Letter to the editor

Says AS agenda should be broader; campus authorities should be questioned
It was heartening to read your Oct. 7 editorial. I agree: people who support a peoples peace should do more than have occasional conversations. You could direct your appeal first to the student body at Western. The Associated Students has a federal legislative agenda, which COULD include a firm statement calling for a redirection of military spending to domestic needs such as higher education and health care. The AS state legislative agenda COULD include broad statements about the need to raise revenue for ALL state services, as opposed to narrowly focusing on education, thus pitting (on average) privileged college students against more vulnerable segments of society. But the AS does not, in part because the advising staff sees it as their job to enforce timidity and conformity to a narrow students-only focus. I was one of several students who handed out fliers at a Western career fair to encourage attendees to investigate the realities of military enlistment. And it was there at a public event, in a public venue at a public university that the dean of students threatened us with arrest if we continued. The Western campus police also have a bad track record of arresting the only student of color at a similar action a couple of years back. I am encouraged to read that The Western Front will take a more courageous stance by supporting people who stand up for what they believe, and aggressively questioning the actions and motives of campus administrators. Matteo Tamburini Western alumnus 09 Former member of AS Student Senate

Viking Voices
Opinions from around campus

What do you think about the proposal to privatize Washington liquor sales?

Patricia Robinson senior, environmental science Its hard to say. I dont want corporations to have more power, but I also want [alcohol] to be more accessible.

Jacob Tonning freshman, English and philosophy It would lead to increased business, but would also lead to an increase in risk for minors who want to drink.

Hannah Rosenkrans sophomore, geology I think it should be monitored. [Government] shouldnt stop businesses from selling it as long as they take responsibility for that right.

Submissions policy
The Western Front publishes submitted opinion items on a space-available basis. We reserve the right to edit for length, spelling, style and grammar. Submit letters to the editor, rants and raves, Hey Yous and guest columns to Word count limits Rants and raves, Hey Yous: 50 words Letters to the editor: 250 words Guest columns: 400 words

Eric Jambor junior, engineering technology I think its a good idea. Its more freedom. It works for other states, right? I dont think itll drop the price of alcohol, though.

Aysha Kloub junior, law, diversity and justice Liquor companies are going to target lowincome, working-class communities of color. So Im against it.
Compiled by Zach Sylvester

Seneca Erwin junior, psychology and Chinese Its not the states job to sell it. Its the peoples choice to buy when and where they want within reason.

10 | spOrTs

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 | The Western Front

Photo gallery of the 38th annual Viking Invitational: Western Front Photo Blog @
Its our home course, so we have that advantage, Johnson said. It was typical conditions. A nice change from 80-degree Spokane. Western competes in the GNAC Championships next on Oct. 22, at the Apple Valley Fields Course in Yakima. If its going to have a top finish in that race, it will have to figure out a way to beat out the University of Alaska-Anchorage. Westerns conference rival placed first in both the mens and womens meet at the Viking Invitational. Alaska Anchorage ranks ahead of Western in both the regional and national rankings. The mens team is currently ranked 12th in the nation and the womens is sixth. One of the runners who looks to improve at the championships is Westerns senior co-captain Eric Brill. His long red hair is a sight to behold at meets, but Brills time of 33:42 was less dazzling, earning him 36th overall. He said he had a less strenuous workout the week before the home meet than he did the previous week. He said he expects to do better once the conference championships come around. Brill hinted the disappointing finish might force him to make cosmetic changes. I think Ill cut my hair, Brill said. It doesnt look like Ive ever ran well with long hair. Brill is the teams top remaining finisher from the NCAA Division II National Championships last season. He placed 80th at nationals in 32:23.8. While many on the Vikings teams were pleased to have the opportunity to race at home in front of friends and family, Western coach Pee Wee Halsell made his vision clear. He said the home meet was primarily for preparing the team for postseason play. We still have a ways to go, Halsell said. But were moving in the right direction.

Mens cross-country runner Tyler Cannon, No. 382, runs in the lead pack during the 38th Annual Western Invitational on Oct. 8 at Lake Padden. Cannon placed sixth in the mens 10,000-meter race and first on the team. Photo by Lillian Furlong

Cannon, Johnson pace Western

By Ivan Kavanagh Despite many new faces leading the way for the Viking mens and womens cross country teams, Western still proved it is one of the elite NCAA Division II cross-country programs in the country. The Vikings placed third in the mens race and fifth in the womens at the 38th Annual Viking Invitational on Oct. 8 at Lake Padden Park. They are ranked No. 21 in the mens division and No. 15 in the womens division in the latest United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association NCAA D-II top 25 poll. It was the second straight year Western placed both its mens and womens teams in the top five at the race. However, after former All-Americans Jordan Welling and Bennett Grimes led the team in last seasons mens race, it was a pair of first-year Vikings runners who had top finishes this time around. Tyler Cannon, a transfer from Brigham Young University, paced the mens team, finishing sixth overall and completing the 10-kilometer race in 31 minutes and 31 seconds. Dak Riek, a transfer from Spokane Community College, finished with the second-best time on the team at 32:14, placing 12th overall. The womens team on the other hand, was led by its two most experienced runners. Rachael Johnson finished 20th in 22:47, while Lauren Breihof took 21st in 22:52. But the womens side had plenty of new faces to contribute as well. Three freshmen were part of Westerns next five finishers: Katelyn Steen (24th), Mikhaila Thornton (36th) and Haley OConnor (46th). The race was unique for Western because it was its only home meet of the season. The Vikings placed in the top five in both the mens and womens races in their previous meet, the Runners Soul Erik Anderson XC Invitational on Sept. 24 in Spokane.

GNAC commissioner announces resignation

By Nicole Strep After 10 years as the commissioner of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, Richard Hannan is stepping down. Hannan has been the GNACs commissioner since the conferences inception in July 2001. The GNAC has become one of the most successful and visible of the 24 NCAA Division II conferences throughout Hannans decade as commissioner. The conference has been consistently competitive at the regional Richard and national level, while Hannan also placing an emphasis on academics, Hannan said. The average GPA and graduation rate of student athletes are about 8-12 percent above the general population, he said. Hannan said the timing for his resignation was right because he is getting older and wants to take a different outlook on life. He has four grandchildren and wants to be able to enjoy their company, he said. GNAC Information Director Bob Guptill said the growth of the conference and the addition of sports such as football and mens and womens golf can be credited to a great commissioner. Hes well-respected throughout the conference and the country, Guptill said. The GNAC has developed over the past 10 years into a diverse range of institutions, Hannan said. The 10 schools vary between public and private, are a range of different sizes and are located in five different states. After the addition of Simon Fraser University of British Columbia in 2009, the GNAC became the only conference in any NCAA division with a school located outside the United States. Hannan said picking an accomplishment he is most proud of is difficult. There are just so many little things that it is hard to pick out any one thing by itself, he said. He said even through all the difficult situations, such as increased travel costs, the GNAC has thrived. Hannan left the conference in a financially stable position, which includes a reserve fund, according to a press release from the conference. Hannan agreed to stay with GNAC until a replacement is found. The job opened on Monday, Oct. 10, and he feels there will be a large group of competent applicants to choose from. Lynda Goodrich, Westerns athletic director, said the applicant must have five years of experience in senior athletics, good communication skills, an understanding of higher education and how to balance athletics and academics, and strong marketing and leadership skills. I think it will be difficult to find somebody with his knowledge and energy, but hopefully we will find someone to carry on, Goodrich said. Western mens basketball coach Brad Jackson has known Hannan since Jackson was in college. He said he has also coached against him a time or two, but has always had a good relationship with him. When the game was over, it was always very cordial and we maintained a good friendship, Jackson said. Hannan has a strong personality and butted heads with a few people during his time as commissioner, Jackson said. He said Hannans shoes will be hard to fill and the question on his mind is what direction the conference will go under new leadership. Hannan will stay on once a new commissioner has been hired to offer support and encouragement. Whoever he or she is, it will be a quality individual, Hannan said. They probably wont even need me. | Tuesday, October 11, 2011

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Runner finds opportunities on Western cross-country team after living through war in Sudan
By Paul J. Wright Dak Riek strolls through Red Square on a sunny Tuesday afternoon, wearing his white baseball cap turned backward, loose baggy jeans and designer sneakers. He is one of the many faces on the Western campus this fall. He transferred from a community college before coming to Wetern and now competes on the universitys cross-country team. That in itself is nothing out of the ordinary for a typical college student. What lies beneath Rieks big smile and easygoing attitude, however, is nothing like what a typical Western student has experienced nor would ever want to. Riek was born in Bentiu, Sudan, a town at the heart of the oil-rich fields of the Unity state. In 1988, the year he was born, Sudan was immersed in a bloody civil war, in which factions from North Sudan and South Sudan fought over claims to the oil fields. Riek, now 23, witnessed the turmoil first-hand. It was not safe to be there, Riek said. Any time you tried to go to school, they would bomb the school and kill the kids. It was dangerous, and I grew up in that war. Still, you get used to it. It became routine for us. Riek saw many friends die during the war, but the worst was losing his mother when he was 12 years old. It is still hard for me at times, Riek said. She was a really nice woman. I still think about her a lot. When I was 13 and 14, I used to cry, and even to this day I still get emotional. I miss her. Some days you just want to talk to your mom. You could be 80 years old and still you just want to talk to your mom. Moving on Riek lived with his father, sister, uncles, cousins and grandmother. There were 15 of them in one home, with the boys sharing one room and the girls another. Rieks father and sister still live in Sudan, and his grandmother lives in Kenya. He said he tries to contact them as often as he can. We talk about every three months or so, Riek said. I try to send my grandmother money whenever I can. I would love to go back next year to see them, but plane tickets are not cheap. Growing up in the middle of a civil war, Riek never gave thought to attending college, receiving an education or participating in sports. He heard and witnessed images of violence in his hometown most American children have only read about or seen in movies. War was the reality of his life, and as far as Riek knew, it was the way it would always be. War is crazy, Riek said. Life is life, though, and sometimes life is not fair. Nowadays, I try to focus on what I am doing and moving toward the future. A new opportunity When Riek was 12, he left Sudan with the help of his uncle Machot Lat, the Red Cross and Lutheran Services. Riek lived in Egypt and Germany while waiting for his papers to clear so he could join his uncle who lived in Everett. He heard about the United States on television and in magazines, but he said he was not prepared for the culture shock that awaited him. The buildings were so tall, Riek said. The crowded streets, and me struggling with English, it sounded like gibberish as I would walk around. Everything was so newthe culture, the environment and the weather. Riek arrived in New York in 2003 and traveled across the country to settle in Everett, along with a younger uncle, Gatgoy Lat, Machots brother. Solace in running Riek always loved to compete, and while living in Egypt, he had played soccer as a way to fit in. Now attending a new school in a new culture, Riek once again turned to his desire of competition to help him adapt. When I got here, I did not know what sport I wanted to play, Riek said. I liked football, but I was too skinny. It is fun to see this young man who is self-supporting trying to better himself, Halsell said. He is using his talent of running and he still has a way to go there. Riek has competed in two meets for the Vikings this season. His most recent was Oct. 8, at the 38th annual Viking Invitational at Lake Padden. Riek had the second-best finish on the team, with a time of 32:14.20. Despite the high finish, Riek said his knee still is not at 100 percent yet. But with continued rehab and working out, he said, he hopes to have a full recovery. He works daily on stretching exercises and putting in the extra work required to get back to where he wants to be. While Halsell is pleased to have such a talented athlete compete for the Western crosscountry team, he knows there is more to life than running. He said he would also like to see Riek succeed in life. Dak has had struggles, Halsell said. We all have struggles. We want to see him graduate and become a productive member of society. Riek said running is a kind of medicine for him. If something is bothering me, I put on my running shoes and run, Riek said. Riek said he is happy to be at a school in a country where if you work hard and you want to be successful you have the opportunity to do soan opportunity he never had in Sudan. Despite all the turmoil and tragedy Riek experienced growing up in his home country, he said he would like to go back to Sudan and possibly live there someday. It is very pretty over there, Riek said. I like it there a lot. For now, I need to get my education. Then I can go help the people back in Sudanthat is my goal. Right now, Riek focuses on being a student. He would like to major in business and minor in communication. He enjoys watching shows like Family Guy, talking to friends, hanging out and watching his favorite football team, the Alabama Crimson Tide. After all, Riek is still a college student in the United States. For all his atypical experiences and atypical running ability, in many ways, he is quite typical.

Mens cross-country runner Dak Riek runs in the 38th Annual Viking Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 8, at Lake Padden. Riek placed 12th in 32 minutes and 14.2 seconds. Photo by Lillian Furlong

War is crazy. Life is life, though, and sometimes life is not fair.
Dak Riek Western mens cross-country runner
Then someone said, Hey, you should try out for running. I was not very good at first. I could not even run a mile when I started. These minor setbacks did not discourage Riek, who describes himself as competitive. If you do something and you want to be the best, you have to work for it, Riek said. Riek did the work. During his time at Mariner High School in Everett, Riek became one of the top runners in the state. On June 1, 2007, Riek ran 9 minutes 14.18 seconds in the 3200 meter and placed first in the Brooks Meet of Champions. He continued his success in college, running for the Community Colleges of Spokane. In 2009, he placed first in both the 5,000 and 10,000 at the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges Track and Field Championships. Riek was truly coming into his own. Unfortunately, in life, things do not always go as planned. Riek suffered a knee injury while attending Spokane Community College, and had to take an indefinite break from running. I hurt it when I was running, Riek said. I knew something was wrong, but I told myself to keep running and finish, not to quit. As Riek rehabilitated his injured knee, he finished his associates degree at Spokane. Riek said sitting out was hard because he wanted to compete, but he knew he had to work on getting his knee stronger. Finding Western Meanwhile, Western and its track and cross-country coach Pee Wee Halsell were waiting.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011 | The Western Front

Vikings lose to SPU in battle of top teams

By Alexa Zaske The Western volleyball team versus Seattle Pacific University: It was a matchup of top dogs in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Tied atop the standings, the two teams met Oct. 8 in the same fashion an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. Only one could come out on top. For the second straight season, it wasnt Western. Facing each other for the first time since Seattle Pacific ended the Vikings season in five sets during the 2010 NCAA Division II West Regional Semifinals, the Falcons won similarly Saturday on their home court. Western fell once again in five sets, 21-25, 2517, 25-14, 21-25, 15-10. The Vikings are now tied with the University of Alaska-Anchorage for second place in the GNAC. Western traded leads with Seattle Pacific the entire match. Im not disappointed in how we played, said Western middle blocker Kayla Erickson. Were disappointed with the loss, but we thought we played hard. Both Erickson and current GNAC kills and points leader, Marlayna Geary, had a doubledouble. Erickson had 14 kills and 10 digs, while Geary had a match-high 17 kills and 22 digs her sixth double-double in her past seven matches. The Falcons jumped out to a 4-0 advantage in the fifth set. They led 7-3 before Western scored five consecutive points to take an 8-7 lead. But the Falcons answered with five straight points of their own before earning their 15th point on an attack error by Western captain Emily Jepsen. The Falcons limited Jepsen to 10 kills and .090 hitting average in the match. It was clear Seattle Pacific had its focus on shutting down Jepsen, shadowing her the majority of the match. I think we have to shore up a couple things and work on getting better every day, Western coach Diane Flick said. Its a good test for us mid-season. Western, ranked No. 20 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association/NCAA Divison II Top 25 Poll, lost to Seattle Pacific for the fifth time in the teams past six meetings. The Vikings lost 3-1 in Seattle last season, but also swept the Falcons 3-0 at Sam Carver Gymnasium later that year. The teams were co-GNAC champions last season after

No room at the top

Western (9-4, 7-2) doesnt have at least a share of the top spot in the GNAC for the first time this season. The Vikings will play Seattle Pacific againnext time at home on Nov. 3. Photo gallery: Western at Seattle Pacific Western Front Photo Blog @ each finished with a 16-2 conference record. The Vikings have a chance to redeem themselves later this season. They face Seattle Pacific again at 7 p.m. on Nov. 3, this time on their home court. Our biggest goal is to play to our potential, Erickson said. We have been practicing hard lately and working on playing to the best of our ability. Outside hitter Marlayna Geary hits the ball over the net in the third set against Seattle Pacific University on Oct. 8, at Seattle Pacific. Western lost 3-2 despite Gearys 17 kills and 22 digs. Photo by Lillian Furlong