by M. M. DONALDSON
WCC hockey team’s only female player, Lauren Chapman, guards the goal during team practice at Buhr Park on Monday, Dec. 1. Chapman, 19, from Adrian, has played for many teams in the area, but says she prefers playing on men’s teams. Becky Lough | Washtenaw Voice
The puck slid across the ice, and a player from the opposing team raised his arm, catching No. 15’s helmet with his forearm, knocking her to the ice. No whistle was blown. Referees apparently were following the puck – and missed the obvious roughing penalty.
“Did you see that?” a young girl watching from the stands asked another. “He pulled her hair.”
But Washtenaw Community College hockey team’s only female player, Lauren Chapman, 19, from Adrian, was back on her feet nearly as fast as she had fallen. She was focused on the puck, too.
With her helmet off, her blond hair flows down her back nearly to her waist. Her smile is big and inviting, contrasting with her eyes, honed with determination when she is on the ice.
Chapman has recently taken on the persona of “Woman on Fire,” ironic considering she has been at home in a chilly ice rink since the age of 7. She found hockey shortly after her initial visit to an ice rink, and that is when the health problems started. Only in the last year has she been given a name to describe the pain she lives with.
Chapman’s grandparents, Pat and Mike Morast, from Tecumseh, sit on a fleece blanket in the chilly stands, shouting her name with encouraging words as she zips by during a game at the Arctic Coliseum in Chelsea, 15 miles west of Ann Arbor. Playing right wing for the WCC hockey team, her long blond ponytail helps her mother, Rebekah Shepherd, keep track of her on the ice.
Her grandparents take turns providing details on how it all began. It was during long weekends, while her mother was at the University of Toledo working on her master’s degree, that they started taking her to the Chelsea rink to skate. Chapman saw the boys playing hockey, and she wanted to play, too.
For Christmas in 2006, Chapman’s mother spent $33.38 on a hockey equipment package from eBay. Shepherd’s smile, another gift from her daughter, can’t be contained as she recalls the 10-year-old running around the house crying with excitement donning her pads, jerseys, skates, helmet, gloves and stick.
The family, who then lived in Adrian, nearly an hour southwest of Ann Arbor, saw Chapman’s love of hockey become more serious. Through 2007-2010 she played on the Ann Arbor Girls House team and the Ann Arbor Cougars travel team.
Her mother moved the family to Ann Arbor to allow Chapman to play on the Ann Arbor Pioneer girls’ hockey team. During her last two years of high school she also played with the Michigan High School Selects team.
But the pain was getting worse. Her feet and hands and other parts of her body felt like they were on fire. Chapman’s pain was coming from the inside and on her outside, she couldn’t even feel a hot curling iron against her skin.
Doctor visits gave diagnoses that didn’t make sense. Shepherd speaks with disbelief when she relates how one doctor recommended Chapman see a counselor. Doctors at the University of Michigan eventually provided a diagnosis of erythromelalgia. The burning sensations were not in her head but caused by the neurovascular disease.
During her senior year in high school, Chapman had the foresight to make a video of her visit to the Mayo Clinic and document her story so others would know the difficulties she faces daily and to encourage and support others with the disease also known as “Man of Fire.”
Nearly a dozen people have found the video inspiring and have posted their comments with it.
Even at the rink, she is thinking about how she can help others – striving to be a role model for younger girls to see her playing hockey.
“We need more girls to get out and try things,” Chapman said. She recalls when she first started playing hockey, her mom signed her up for the USA Women’s hockey camp at U-M in 2007.
“I was the worst one there,” Chapman said. But during that time the campers got one-on-one skating time with the women hockey Olympians who shared their inspiring stories.
Chapman said she really connected with the four-time Olympic medalist Angela Ruggiero. When Ruggiero put her gold medal around Chapman’s neck, she knew that’s what she wanted to do, play hockey for Team USA in the Olympics.
Another hockey role model for Chapman has been the Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug. Chapman said she grew up going to hockey camps at Adrian College put on by Krug, who played for Michigan State University before signing with the Bruins.
On the WCC hockey team, Chapman is a role model in her own right. The team is in its first season with the American Colligate Hockey Association. Chapman is one of only two women registered in the Division III, North Region, according to ACHA Division III commissioner Rick Kaminski.
After playing with both men and women, Chapman said she prefers playing men’s hockey because of its fast pace. She’s noticed that her skills have improved and feels that she is an equal on the ice and they treat her as “one of the boys.”
“They’re awesome to play with,” Chapman said of her teammates. “At first I was worried they’d treat me like a girl, but now they’re not afraid to check me.”
She plans to transfer from WCC after this year and continue studying marketing, but it is very important to her to be able to play on a men’s hockey team.
Chapman has suffered concussions from playing hockey, and she still faces uncertainties with her disease. But the “Woman on Fire’s” biggest fear is someone skating on her hair.
By M.M. Donaldson
Six days in one place should be plenty of time to get to know the personality of a city.
With a tight schedule of seminars, meetings and more seminars during the 2014 National College Media Convention in Philadelphia there was little time to explore the city heavily populated with historical buildings and monuments.
Understanding that the collective personality of an area is made up of its people, I quickly felt overwhelmed to find and connect with those who embody the character of the city while seeking out diversity at the same time.
To navigate the unfamiliar territory of Philadelphia, I spent hours acclimating myself to the city through Google Maps and zoomed in to Street View to explore the blocks surrounding my home base. I realized the people who crossed my path within walking distance of my hotel room could provide me with the street-view vibe I sought.
a. reading terminal market
Sitting at an aluminum cafe table in the Reading Terminal Market, Ernie Davis, 67, quietly eats lunch from one of the restaurants. To his left, a woman plays chipper tunes on a Roland keyboard and to his right a group of chatty college kids from out of town are eating a late breakfast. There is only enough room on either side of him to maneuver his elbows as he eats his fried chicken.
An electrical contractor and owner of Davis Technical Training school that prepares apprentice electricians to take the electrical licensing exam, Davis wears a dark navy T-shirt with his company’s logo DTT over his heart.
His dark blue eyes, a shade lighter than his shirt, scan the group of student tourists and glance towards them periodically.
Living in Philadelphia for the last 67 and a half years, smiling as he includes the half year, Davis speaks with authority on the personality of the city.
The city is changing from blue-collar to white-collar jobs, Davis said. The city once had a large garment industry, such as the Kensington Stetson hat factory and several dairies that provided jobs. Now the jobs are in data, technology, insurance, hospitals and education.
The white-collar jobs have brought new people to the city. He said the city doesn’t feel bad as long as the newcomers don’t neglect the minorities with housing and job opportunities.
“I’m only blessed to bless someone else,” Davis said. He uses this philosophy in his classes, and it is his message to those who are new to Philadelphia.
“Welcome to the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection,” he said in farewell.
b. city hall
Sound of the camera shutter clicking is not audible above the noise of impatient horns blasted from the street and the pedestrians making a purposeful exodus after 5 p.m.
“Hey, take my picture,” Tyrone Woodward, 55, hollers with a big grin on his face and starts posing against the architecture. He holds plastic merchant bags in both hands. He stops and starts explaining the history of the building, stairs that used to take people down to the subway and another set that take people back up.
Chestnut Hill and the 30th Street Station are also sights that out-of-towners shouldn’t miss, Woodward said, and then asks for a hug.
He seems oblivious to the plastic hospital wrist band he wears, but refuses to sit on the sandstone steps, worried about getting his white basketball jersey dirty. Woodward deflects questions regarding his personal residence status.
Shortly, he admits, “the alcohol just tears me up.”
c. corner of filbert street and north 12th street
With the World Series being played the night before, memories of the 2008 World Series played in this city are still fresh for Officer Nelson Figueroa. Not because the Philadelphia Phillies won, but for making national headlines when he used a Taser to take down a fan who ran out on the field.
He is game for questions, but fields “What’s the personality of this city?” to his partner for the answer.
“Blue collar, tough, hard-working town,” Officer Saran Pereborow said. Immediately he turns and approaches a woman walking down the street to tell her to put her cell phone in a safer place.
“We’re the city of brotherly love,” Figueroa said of his birthplace. “Don’t forget that.”
Pereborow maneuvers his bike through the busy intersection to the park where a homeless man lays prostrate over an exhaust grate in the sidewalk and tells him to “get moving.”
Philadelphia is a nice place to be, Mamie Jabateh, 29, said while making beds at the Marriott hotel where she works. She has been living in Philadelphia for two years.
“Everything is easy here,” Jabateh said with an accent. After leaving her home country of Liberia, she had spent a little time in Washington D.C. and Seattle and said it was hard to get a job in those cities.
In Philadelphia, Jabateh said, it is easy to get a job and a place to live. Apartments in a safe neighborhood are affordable, and the police have always been fast to respond when she has called. She said she doesn’t need a car with the bus and the subway.
“If you live in a good neighborhood,” Jabateh said, “it feels like home.”
M. M. Donaldson and seven other Washtenaw Community College students with The Washtenaw Voice attended the 2014 National College Media Convention in Philadelphia this fall.
By M.M. Donaldson
Between Halloween and Thanksgiving, the pumpkin reigns supreme over all other vegetables. No other time of year does a veggie have such clout, stretching its symbolic tendrils to include witches on broomsticks to turkeys wearing pilgrim hats.
I could bore you with the nutritional value of pumpkins and discuss how they are plentiful with beta carotene that is good for your eyes, since this is a health column. Having gored out a number of innocent pumpkins every autumn and eaten enough wedges of crusted pumpkin custard, I instead want to share how a vegetable can nourish a soul.
There’s something about the pumpkin that is magical, with its voluptuous shape, its daring color, its ability to shun being savory and demanding to be a sweetened pie filling. Personally, there’s something nostalgic that makes my eyes mist up as I remember my grandmother’s house when potatoes boiled and fogged up the windows and pumpkin pies waited patiently for everyone to be tired of turkey and green bean casserole.
The concept of the Thanksgiving holiday has gotten increasingly tangled up in my mind as a bitter reminder of what an entire race of Americans (Native Americans) lost, but my feelings are contained in the memories I have about pumpkins in the form of a pie my grandmother used to make.
As an adult, when I pretended to trade cooking for culinary, I was sure I could replicate my grandmother’s pie and take it to new levels. Authenticity was an avenue I sought, so I purchased a pumpkin for a dollar on Nov. 1.
After nearly hacking off an arm as I went after the orange-ribbed beast with a very large butcher’s knife and hammer as I remember my grandmother doing to those gigantic warty green Hubbard squashes (note: this is not the way to do this; a better way is to use a can opener to open a can of pumpkin puree), I wrangled the halves into the oven to bake until they were soft and ready to be made into a filling.
What a mess. The fibrous flesh knotted around itself and sat lumpy in the milk and eggs. And it tasted about as appetizing. I was disappointed and didn’t know where I had gone so wrong. Even after the discovery that there is a difference between jack-o’-lantern and pie pumpkins, it did not get me closer to my grandmother’s pie.
It wasn’t until my husband’s garden produced so much squash that I had to find new ways to consume it. A little leftover squash went into “pumpkin” muffins. A little more went into “pumpkin” raviolis. A whole lot went into a pie.
There it was. The mystery of my grandmother’s “pumpkin” pie. I had never seen her take a knife to a bona fide pumpkin. The silky flesh of certain squashes rivals that of pumpkin, even though they are from the same Curcurbita botanical family.
When nutrition wonks discuss healthy food, they tend to forget that it isn’t just about eating veggies and whole grains. Food is a part of our social life and is symbolic of the relationships we have and how we use it to define who we love.
I dare say my passion for food has its roots in my relationship with my grandmother. Eating food that reminds us of who we are is just as important to keeping us healthy.
M. M. Donaldson is a staff writer with The Voice and a journalism student at WCC. She has a bachelor of science in family and community services from Michigan State University, and has several years’ experience with nutrition issues affecting infants through older adults.
By M.M. DONALDSON
In the last three years, 71 police officers in Michigan have been trained in the Drug Recognition Expert Program.
The goal of the DRE Program is to train officers to identify impaired drivers who may be under the influence of illegal substances and even legally possessed prescription drugs.
An initiative funded by the federal government in the late 1980s, the Michigan State Police Office of Highway Safety and Patrol division established the program in 2010 for the state of Michigan.
Auburn Hills Police Department officer Jeremy Peters lobbied for the program that is overseen by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Impaired driving is a key factor in auto fatalities in Michigan, Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department deputy Doug McMullen said.
“Marijuana is the biggest cause,” McMullen said regarding impaired-driving deaths resulting from auto accidents.
As trained DRE, McMullen said his ultimate goal is keeping people safe. Through an intense three-week specialized training, he is able to identify characteristic behaviors of people under the influence of the seven identified drug categories.
Suspected drug-impaired drivers are subject to extensive drug evaluation process that includes sobriety tests and toxicological exams.
While illegal substances are a concern for law enforcement, McMullen said he is seeing misuse of prescription drugs becoming an epidemic. Additionally with the legalization of medicinal marijuana, more drivers are showing evidence of impairment.
While it is legal to use marijuana with a card, it is still illegal to have the substance psychoactive in the body while driving.
When it is, it’s dangerous to be behind the wheel, McMullen said, because “marijuana affects the ability to estimate time and distance.”
by M. M. DONALDSON
The number of auto accident fatalities in Michigan continues to climb as the year comes to an end.
And despite Gov. Rick Snyder’s claim during a pre-election gubernatorial debate that “hundreds of lives could be saved each year,” if the condition of Michigan’s roads was improved, police say it’s the decisions drivers make that have the largest impact on auto accident deaths.
Not using seat belts and impaired driving are the two most common causes, Michigan State Police Communications Manager Anne Readett said. Impaired driving may be caused by alcohol or illegal drugs, but police report that they are seeing an increase in prescription drug-related impairment.
Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Doug McMullen said he is seeing a fatal mix of impairment, speed and lack of seat belt use contributing to fatal auto accidents. With impairment, he said, risk-taking behaviors increase while judgment decreases.
More than 20 years of online data through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show traffic fatalities have steadily decreased from a high of more than 43,000 to less than 32,500. But that’s only part of the story.
“It’s not numbers, it’s people,” Readett said, leaning forward as she explains the significance of just one death. She said weather conditions, public education, enforcement of laws, engineering and emergency medical training and logistics all affect auto-related fatality statistics.
Readett said statistics that measure drivers’ behaviors may not look significant when the percent change is minimal, but that change is still important. She uses the example of a small increase in the percent of seatbelt use could effectively save 50 lives throughout the year.
Readett admits how she was affected by the story of Bonnie Raffaele’s determination to change driving laws after the death of her 17-year-old daughter.
Kelsey Raffaele had been talking on her cell phone when she died in an auto accident in 2010 in Sault Ste. Marie. Kelsey’s Law was enacted in 2013. It bans cellphone use for teenaged drivers with graduated licenses.
The National Center for Health Statistics says the leading cause of death among youth 15 to 20 years old is motor vehicle crashes.
McMullen speaks with authority as he discusses the trends of auto-related deaths, but his professional tone turns solemn and the cadence of his speech slows as he alludes to a fatal accident this past summer involving youth that affected an entire community.
While impaired driving tops McMullen’s list of unsafe driving, he cautions drivers who put other demands on their attention while driving. A backseat of kids crying may not be controllable, but turning the radio down and getting off the phone are things he said people can control.
“Put the phone in the glove box,” McMullen said, offering blanket advice for all drivers.
Readett said that studies show that the human brain really does not have the capacity to multi-task. Unnecessary distractions while driving can be fatal.
“Driving is a complex task,” McMullen said. “Be an active driver, not a passive driver.”
By M. M. Donaldson
Washtenaw Community College is hosting an Empty Bowls event in the Student Center on Wednesday, Nov. 19 from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Tickets are $20 for a pottery bowl handcrafted by the WCC Ceramics Department filled with soup made by the WCC Culinary Arts Program and can be purchased at the cashier’s office.
Tickets can be used to purchase bowls without soup as well, and may be selected 30 minutes before and 45 minutes after the event.
The Empty Bowls is an international grassroots fundraiser to fight hunger. Proceeds will benefit the WCC Women’s Center Pantry and Food Gatherers of Washtenaw County.
By James Saoud
and M.M. Donaldson
Terri Lynn Land
Republican candidate Terri Lynn Land served as Secretary of State for Michigan from 2003-2010.
If elected to the U.S. Senate, Land proposes developing more trade agreements and working with other states to obtain skilled workers.
As top priorities to improve Michigan’s economy, Land lists job training in the skilled trades, such as welding, machining and manufacturing on her website.
She would also support federal student aid being expanded to include vocational schools and professional training programs, she said.
During her two terms, Michigan residents gained access to enhanced state ID cards, eliminating the need for other identity or citizenship documents to return to the United States from several countries, including Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean.
Land also oversaw moving more Secretary of State services online, in the face of budget cuts and office closures.
She did not respond to multiple phone calls and emails requesting an interview and her website contains no information about her views on education.
U.S. Rep. Peters (D-Mich) was elected to the House of Representatives in 2008 and is the co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He has worked on the Small Business Jobs Act, encouraging investment in private enterprise, and on creating the Small Business Lending Fund and the State Small Business Credit Initiative.
“I’m running for U.S. Senate because we need to make sure Michigan is a place where if you work hard and play by the rules, you can have a fair shot and pursue your dreams,” Peters said in a press release, “Whether that means starting your own business or furthering the next step in your education.”
His focus on education has been with investment in STEM programs and early education, and financial counseling for students who take loans for higher education.
Peters also fought against measures that would cut funding of community colleges, according to a press release.
“I am very concerned with the amount of debt students have coming out of college,”Peters said in a press release. “That’s why I introduced the FAIR Student Credit Act of 2013, which will allow graduates who were forced to default after taking private loans to improve their credit report by making a series of on-time, monthly payments.”
Includes Eaton, Calhoun, Branch, Jackson, Hillsdale, Lenawee and western Washtenaw counties
By James Saoud
and M.M. Donaldson
Democratic candidate Pam Byrnes, a lawyer and businesswoman, was the director of Washtenaw County Friend of the Court, where she helped women who were part of abusive relationships.
If elected, Byrnes has plans to support the education system and help students prepare for jobs.
“What’s happening is students, after they graduate, are stuck with huge loan debts,” Byrnes said. “It is really out of sight what students are paying.”
Byrnes said she would support legislation currently pending in the Senate that would allow students to refinance their loans.
She believes that community colleges offer a lot of opportunities for people of all ages to improve skill or enter a new career field.
“I’ve always been a very strong advocate for community colleges because it’s a very strong resource for residents,” Byrnes said, adding that community colleges are able to adjust to the needs of the community and businesses more quickly than a four-year institute, in terms of implementing new programs.
“I support the entire education process; we need to make that a priority,” Byrnes said. “From preschool through post-secondary, education should be the number one priority.”
U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg (R – Tecumseh) served in the Michigan House of Representatives 57th District from 1983-1999 and Michigan’s District 7 in the U.S House of Representative from 2007-2009 and 2011 and 2014.
To stimulate the Michigan economy, Walberg proposes exporting more goods, tax reduction, Obamacare repeal, U.S.-sourced energy expansion and focus on workforce training to encourage businesses to create more jobs.
As member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, Walberg has supported the Student Success Act, decentralizing from federal authority and allowing states and local institutions to create their own standards, and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which gives community colleges more influence over training and education.
“My colleagues and I on the Workforce and Training Sub-committee are looking at how to simplify and strengthen aid programs,” Walberg said. “It’s obvious that more needs to be done for students and families to make the best decision possible about their education.”
Walberg introduced the Helping Families Save for Education Act, which would allow families to make contributions up to $10,000 per year to the Coverdell education savings accounts.
By M.M. Donaldson
Michigan voters have nine candidates to select from for the State Board of Education in this midterm election.
The two candidates elected for an eight-year term will be involved in appointing a new Michigan school superintendent and making recommendations on critical issues surrounding Common Core State Standards, charter schools and funding.
The board is responsible for supervising public education, adult education and instructional programs in state institutions, but not higher education institutions that award baccalaureate degrees.
Charter schools have come under scrutiny following a recent investigation by the Detroit Free Press, and there is an on-going discussion about how to make the schools more transparent and accountable.
The Michigan Education Association is backing two candidates who are proponents of the Common Core, Casandra E. Ulbrich (D) and Pamela Pugh Smith (D).
Ulbrich, the board’s current vice president, specifies that the Common Core is not a curriculum but a guide for setting academic goals.
Ulbrich favors supporting teachers, while Smith places focus on the students, with consideration of disadvantaged youth.
The Common Core has been an intensely debated issue with candidates Maria Carl (R) and Gregory Scott Stempfle (L), who do not support the use of the standards. Candidate Jonathan Tade Williams (R) does not commit to opposing the Common Core as standards, but does promote local district control and decisions on educational standards over federal and state.
Carl proposes development of a parent advisory board to direct curriculum content and assessment measures. Williams also describes his education platform as “parent driven” which would empower parent decisions for each local district.
Of the nine candidates vying for two open seats, five contenders represent third parties.
Voters will see 10 candidates listed on the ballot, but Kimberly Moore withdrew from the race too late for her name to be removed from the ballot.
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION CANDIDATES
Maria Carl (R)
Jonathan Tade Williams (R)
Pamela Pugh Smith (D)
Casandra E. Ulbrich (D)
Gregory Scott Stempfle (L)
John Adams (U)
Karen Adams (U)
Sherry A Wells (G)
Nikki Mattson (N)
BY M. M. DONALDSON
No one would choose a main mode of transportation with 642 moving parts that need to last about 75 years with no warranty or instruction manual, yet, each one of us has this contraption.
The moving parts are muscles and don’t even account for the number of ligaments and tendons that hold everything in place. And we don’t get instruction until we’ve actually busted something. More technical descriptions might include rotator cuff surgery, knee replacement or ankle sprain. Only after an injury are physical therapists and occupational therapists available to give us the knowledge and skills to use our body properly.
“Why did it all happen in the first place?” physical therapist Stacy Woznaiak inquired. She will ask this question first, even though rhetorically to determine the root cause.
Quite often, people are unaware of little things happening in the body that can lead to bigger problems. Woznaiak said people don’t even realize that their muscles may be compensating for a weakness – until they feel pain. The pain is a symptom of a problem and may not necessarily be at the source of the original weakness.
While Woznaiak’s employer, Probility Physical Therapy, encourages patients to develop a healthy lifestyle and continue on after prescribed therapy, she says it is important to practice the exercises to prevent future re-injury. She explains it as basic mechanics: If things don’t move well, they are likely to break down faster. The ultimate goal of physical therapy is to get the body as a whole working better and keeping the muscles strong and joints mobile.
The majority of Woznaiak’s patients require therapy for injuries and post-op, but she is seeing an increase of pre-op patients. Doctors prescribe pre-op physical therapy for patients to strengthen muscles that can sometimes delay surgery – with the best scenario eliminating the need for surgery. When surgery is required, she said, patients recover quicker than if they had not had therapy.
Any activity that keeps the body moving is important for keeping it moving for as long as possible throughout life, Wozniak said.
Exercise regimens such as yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi can help with injury prevention.
“Yoga significantly creates heightened awareness and attitude of what you do,” WCC yoga instructor Gail Rucker said. “You start to learn proper alignment of the body. A lot of injuries happen from misalignment or forced movement.”
While these are exercises that promote stretching, strengthening and balance, they also teach listening to our bodies.
“Yoga is a philosophy that acknowledges your challenges, limitations, gifts, and cultivates patience and accepting where you’re at,” Rucker said.
With all exercises, there are the extreme poses or moves, but the extremes are not necessary to get the benefits of the exercise. Rucker said yoga also teaches relaxation. She points out how stress can lead to injuries and uses the example of sitting in a traffic jam, feeling muscle tension in neck and choosing to breathe deeply and letting the stress go.
Instead of regular oil changes every 4,000 miles, it is necessary to do physical activity on a daily basis that creates strength and flexibility to keep our 642 muscles well-tuned. The distance between point A and point B does not have to get difficult.
“You want to be able to do as many things that you want to do,” Wozniak said, “and feel comfortable and good in your own body.”
M. Donaldson is a staff writer with The Voice and a journalism student at WCC. She has a bachelor’s degree in family and community services from Michigan State University, and has several years’ experience with nutrition issues affecting infants through older adults.
The Healthy Voice will be on vacation for the Nov. 3 issue for special election coverage. It will return on Nov. 17.