Fall 2017 Must-see Movies

Staff Writer

Lights, Camera, Action. 2017 has had many events and headlines, but one of the things that stand out, have been the movies. The year has been full of critically and commercially successful films in the past few months. In late February, actor director Jordan Peele, introduced the world with his horror thriller directorial debut film Get Out, about a young African-American who takes a visit to the family of his caucasian girlfriends, however once he arrives, he soon realizes that he shouldn’t have come at all. The film earned a 99% on Rotten-Tomatoes, and is a strong contender for awards season. In mid-March, Disney released a live-action adaptation of their 1991 animated film Beauty and the Beast. The film has since become the years highest grossing film.
The year has been called the superhero movie year, as the year has at total of 8 movies related to superheroes. One of the most popular films that have already been released is Logan, the 10th film in the X-Men film series. The film follows an elder Logan/Wolverine, as he and a sick Professor X discover a young mutant named Laura, who turns out to be Logan’s genetically cloned daughter; however, the trio soon find themselves having to go on the run from dark forces who are planning on capturing Laura. The film was a major success with audiences and critics, stating it to be the best X-Men movie yet. The summertime also had two successful superhero films for both Marvel and DC. First was Spider-Man Homecoming, where Tom Holland’s Spider-Man finds himself up against the Volture (played by Michael Keaton). This film was praised for it’s light tone, visuals, and acting; specifically Tom Holland. CCC student Adam Clark commented on the film, “Spider-Man: Homecoming blew me away. I loved it” The next film was Wonder Woman, which showed the titular hero’s rise to heroism and battle in WWII. The film became DC Extended Universe’s most successful film and the it’s director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gabot were praised for brining the character successfully to film.
In the weeks to come, more anticipated films are still on their way. The most anticipated among fans is Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi. Premiering on December 18th, the 8th film in the Star Wars franchise will follow Rey as she continues her Jedi training. Another film to come is The Disaster Artist, a film about the making of the 2003 film The Room, which is considered to be so bad it’s good. staring James Franco as Tommy Wiseau.
With the many successful films and anticipated films to come, there’s been a lot of buzz for the Oscars. This event awards the best in cinema and this year has some films that have been constantly considered “Oscar Worthy”. Whether it’s for a category like Best Actor, Best Director, or even Best Picture, the predictions just keep flowing. One summer blockbuster that’s a high contender is Christopher Nolan’s war drama Dunkirk, most viewers say it could be the film that earns Nolan his well deserved Best Director Oscar. Other contenders include, Kathryn Bieglow’s Detroit and the previously mentioned Get Out.


To Cheer or Not To Cheer?

Cheerleading. One of the most popular sports for high school to college aged females. It is a fun combination of chants, jumps, stunts, and tumbling. Cheerleading can be found on college campuses around the nation and around the world. But it can not be found on the campus of Cumberland County College. There are many sports on campus, but cheerleading is certainly not one of the them. We have a step team. But step team is not cheer. They are two very different sports. Despite all of that, CCC is trying to rectify the issue they are working on combining step team with a cheer team.
The first step has already been taken. The ladies of the Divine Dukes, the college’s step team, have already received cheer uniforms. They received the whole nine yards: the top, the skirt, the undershirt, the socks, and the sneakers. To top it all off, the ladies even received pom poms. The Divine Dukes are proud of what they do and appreciate the idea of a cheer team. They just want people to know what step team is and how it differs from cheerleading.
When interviewing the Divine Dukes, the ladies defined step team is a type of dance in which they use their entire body as an instrument to create complex sounds with steps, claps, and words. Step differs from cheer in a few ways. Step is overall sharper in movement than cheer. While you need to be quite athletic for both sports, one would need slightly more muscle strength in their calves and arms for step. Also the ladies of the step team define themselves as more “down to earth and relaxed” than an average cheerleader.
The step team has a few opinions about the incorporation of the teams. Change is hard to deal with but not for the Divine Dukes. They are actually quite comfortable with the change, but do have one condition. They are fine with having the two teams put together, but they would like the combined team to “be considered a college sport with a budget from the athletic department”. However, they are aware that they may not receive that condition. Staying a club would mean that the Divine Dukes will not receive athletic recognition nor will they get a budget from the athletic department.
So Cumberland County College, you are commended on your efforts in bringing in a cheer team. Combining the step team with a cheer team is the first step in the right direction. If the school continues to build on this idea, a larger draw for the team will come in the future. It will continue to grow and become an entity that the college can be proud of. But for now, let’s support the current ladies of the Divine Dukes and help the change settle in.

CCC’s FPAC programming future plans?


By Michael Guilford

Staff Writer

Since 1995, the Frank Guaracini Fine and Performing Arts Center has entertained the community with dazzling shows in its mission to bring quality performances to Cumberland.
At the end of August 2017, that mission could be in jeopardy as non-academic performances for the 2017-2018 year have been placed on indefinite hiatus. The future for the Luciano Theater is unknown.
All is not lost, Deborah Bradshaw’s stellar sellout offerings will continue as academic programming would not be impacted. Scheduled for a November debut, Bradshaw’s production of Godspell is sure to dazzle audiences, with its messages of kindness, love and peace and a parade of hits like “Day by Day” and “Learn Your Lessons Well.”
However, she will do so without support of Assistant Director of Theater Programming, Christopher Totora, who served as Technical Director since 2004. Totora will continue his career as Technical Director at the Mandell Theater in Philadelphia.

The decision to place future programs on hiatus was made in conjunction with Totora’s departure by campus administrators, however, the program has been in jeopardy for several years now as programming failed to make a profit. Continual decline in enrollment, annual shortfalls in budget for the performing arts, lack of awareness; the program was already primed for the chopping block. Running a skeleton crew of volunteers and part-time staff the program was left with no fat to trim to stay afloat, despite departures from the box office manager and Totora.
Things have changed since the program’s inception 20 years ago. Competition from renovated theaters such as the Levoy in Millville, 8 miles from the Luciano, as well as the renewal of Landis Theater in downtown Vineland act as stiff competition for a theater situated almost equidistant from two rivals.
Also, down the road from the Luciano Theater, is the Cumberland Players, within a short 10 mile radius of the Luciano theater are three competitors vying for limited patron’s attention with similar content.
In a perfect world, an over saturation of the arts would be seen as a boon and business would be booming, unfortunately things don’t always work out the way they should. As theater managers at Luciano reported difficulty even giving tickets away to patrons.
It’s tough to point toward a single cause for the discontinuation of programming but the lack of public interest could point toward one culprit: limited marketing.
Given limited amount of public attendance and the success of other programs in the area, it would be reasonable to speculate that awareness of the programs existence was limited at best.
The original mission of the theater was to attract people with quality programming who wouldn’t normally visit. Volunteers, working for the theater act as advocates, bringing visitors to campus promoting CCC.
Children were bussed in frequently from schools to experience the wonder of theater. Director of theater programming at the Luciano Theater, Beatrice Hughes, remarked on the impressions of children coming to the theater for the first time; “The doors opened and their expressions were just WOW! before the show even began.”
Hughes mentions how she will miss seeing their cute faces on campus. The program was a great tool to attract younger generations of students to CCC. It showed what they’d have available as they grew, promoting college accessibility through the arts.
The college plans to reevaluate the future of the FPAC program during the 2017-2018 year, to see if there is a new direction it could take.
Without private funders to help buttress the program; as other theater programs in the county have access to, it may be difficult for the college to shoulder the burden of operating the theater alone, leaving the future of the College’s theater program unknown.

One Book One College Welcomed Author Kathleen Grissom

Kitchen house formatted 1 column



Staff Writer

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom is the featured work for One Book, One College 2017 (OBOC) which includes the author’s visit to the CCC campus on Wednesday, November 1, during which she will hold a conference in the Banquet Area of the Luciano Conference Center at 7:00 p.m.

After the formal presentation, there will be time for the author to respond to questions and comments from the audience. Professor Sharon Kewish, OBOC Chairperson, said there will be a follow-up panel discussion in Spring of 2018.

Introduced to the CCC campus in the 2004-2005 academic year, OBOC is now an annual event. CCC’s website, in part, indicates: “OBOC is a college-wide reading program with a goal to create an on-campus reading community that encourages reading for pleasure, critical thinking, global awareness, and multicultural understanding.”

Yet, it is more than simply a “reading program.” Established on numerous campuses in the United States, OBOC provides an opportunity for a college community to focus on one book or theme as a point of reference for discussions in the classroom as well as in the cafeteria.

According to Professor Kewish: “One Book, One College is the only project we have attempted at CCC that involves all members of the college community–administration, faculty, staff, students–as well as members of the larger community; and it has been very successful.”

The prospect of a face-to- face encounter with the author or having the author autograph a copy of the featured work adds another dimension to the OBOC experience. The Kitchen House can be purchased at the campus bookstore.

At CCC, a year in advance, the OBOC Committee choses fiction or nonfiction prospects which can provide stimulating discussions regardless of majors or disciplines. The selections are pared down until three choices remain. After a final vote, an author is contacted so a fee can be negotiated and a mutually agreed upon date can be fixed for the author’s visit.

Among the past thirteen titles chosen for OBOC are works by established professional writers such as Joyce Carol Oates (2012-2013). Luis Carlos Montalvan (2014-2015) , a wounded warrior in the United States’ longest wars, became a first-time author because he had an urgent message for America in Until Tuesday.

Topics such as homelessness, growing up biracial, the Native American experience, Japanese-American internment in the United States during World War II have been chosen.

Some OBOC selections have become movies. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (2008-2009) was “discovered” by CCC’s campus eight years prior to its current cinematographic treatment.

The 2017 selection, The Kitchen House, illuminates a period in American history in the pre-Civil War (antebellum) South when a white person could be held in servitude along with enslaved blacks, although under different circumstances and with different outcomes.

So, mark your calendars, remind your classmates, tell your friends and family. Look for spring 2018 activites involving CCC’s OBOC program!

Making Money? No NCAA “Ball”


Staff Writer

lamelo ball column

First and foremost, LaMelo Ball is probably the most famous high school basketball player since LeBron James. Unfortunately, Ball may not be eligible to join the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) because he has a shoe brand named after him at a very young age. The NCAA does not allow that according to their rules. It is not fair for a student athlete like LaMelo to be banned from NCAA because he is good at what he does.

NCAA Article 12 dictates that, “an individual loses amateur status and thus shall not be eligible for intercollegiate competition in a particular sport if the individual; a). Uses his or her athletics skill (directly or indirectly) for pay in any form in that sport; or b) accepts a promise of pay even if such pay is to be received following completion of intercollegiate athletics participation.”

As good as Ball is, he can sell tickets and have the TV ratings incease if he plays. That is how valuable he is to the game and to the fans. But, NCAA will not allow him to play because of his shoe brand and the profit he receives from the sales. That is truly unfair and very unfortunate for the sports world.

In order to play basketball for one of the biggest university or college teams, you would have to have a good reputation during your high school years. Meaning, the student athlete cannot afford to get in trouble with the law outside of school or do anything bad. Therefore, Ball has a good reputation. Not only he is good basketball player but he is also a good businessman.

There are many excellent universities for basketball such as, Duke, Kentucky, California Los Angeles, and Ohio. There are many student athletes that would like to join the team at one of those universities due to their prestigious basketball reputation and record. But, they would have to either be the best player on their high school team or the best player in their city which is very hard to do.

Well, in this case, Ball was already committed to play at UCLA. His older brother, Liangelo, is already a university player at UCLA. He is currently in either his first year or second year there. His oldest brother Lonzo left UCLA and now plays shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers.

LaMelo Ball is the real deal, according to USA Today High School Sports. He might just be the most famous 16-year-old basketball player of all time. The article also states that he is possibly the most famous high school player anyone has ever seen. He may be behind one super star when it comes to that category and his name is LeBron James. It is very sad that LaMelo may not be eligible to play for college since he is promoting his shoe brand, Big Baller Brand.

Ball’s father and CEO of Big Baller Brand, LaVar Ball, has a sneaker named after him. The “MELLO BALL 1” is now available for sale on BBB’s website for $395.

His oldest brother has a shoe named after him as well, “ZO2: SHO’TIME” which sells for $495. But he is already a rookie for the Los Angeles Lakers, so he is living his dream.

While for LaMelo Ball, it is clearly obvious that UCLA wants him, but the NCAA could stand in the way. His shoe brand could prevent him from complying with a NCAA rule, Article 12.

This is the reason why he would not play for college ball because of his shoe brand that he has promised to promote. Ball’s father states, “If LaMelo isn’t eligible to play college basketball because of his shoe brand, I’ll still train my son with the goal of helping him reach the NBA.”

Do you think Ball should be able to play for UCLA or do you think the NCAA should change their rules?


Q & A Interview with Dukes Men’s basketball



Staff Writer


Fall fever is in the air as leaves are changing color, the temperature gets cooler, and students settle into the new school year. One of fall`s greatest gifts is the beginning of basketball season. The 2017-2018 Cumberland Men’s Basketball team led by Coach Will Wareham is preparing for a successful season for the program. I stopped by open practice to get to know the team a little better. I got a chance to speak to Coach Wareham.

Coach Will Wareham

Q: How long have you been coaching?

A: 18 years, this is my third year here.

Q: What got you into coaching?

A: I really love the game of basketball. I played in high school and college. Coaching gave me an opportunity to be around the game.

Q: What do you look for in a player trying out for the team?

A: We look for young men that are talented enough to join the team, but even more so represent the team and college on and off the court.

Q: What goals have you set for this year’s team?

A: For as long as I have been the coach the goal has always been to field the best team possible and compete for a championship.

It is obvious in the way Coach Wareham speaks that he loves the game of basketball. His experience as a player and coach gives him the knowledge to build a consistently competitive team for the program. I then interviewed Haashim Wallace aka “Pops” to get a perspective from a player who will have an impact on this year’s team.

Haashim Wallace “Pops”

Q: Who is your favorite player of all time?

A: Kobe Bryant.

Q: If you had to compare your game to a current NBA player who would it be?

A: I have my own style but I have the aggressiveness of (Russell) Westbrook.

Q: What is the most important attribute you bring to the team?

A: Leadership, I’ve taken on a leadership role and I make sure our guys are working their hardest for the team and buying into a team first mentality.

Q: What are your team goals?

A: Make playoffs, top 3 in the region, and overall win a championship.

Q: What’s one personal goal you’ve set for yourself for the upcoming season?

A: We have a lot of new guys on the team. My only goal right now is to bring the teams together and help build the team chemistry as much as possible.

I was very impressed with Wallace`s maturity and humbleness. When given the chance to talk about his individual talents and goals Wallace kept the focus on the team.

As practice continued around him during our interview, his eyes stayed glued to what his teammates were doing on the court. As a true leader, his leadership never took a break. He often quickly paused the interview to give his teammates words of encouragement.

Led by the coaching of Wareham and the commitment of Wallace, the CCC men’s basketball team looks to make some noise in their conference and make a playoff run.

To support the athletic program at CCC, visit dukesathletics.com.

Mass Shootings and Mass Media


Staff Writer

On October 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock, a 64 year old male, opened fire at a Las Vegas country concert killing 58 people and injuring over 500.

So many felt the hurt, pain, and disgust all over the world but did we stop to think and realize that he was being humanized by the media?

Was it just a mass shooting or was it a terrorist act as well?. The morning after we saw several headlines and heard several stories. But were we that naive to notice that his race and name was not disclosed until further on in the day?

This is not a “playing the race card” story but this has a lot to do with how the coverage of this story was somewhat bias because of race.

This systematic society as a way to tell people that these white men or women that commit these heinous crimes is mentally incompetent.

Dylann Roof was diagnosed as mentally incompetent after going into a black church killing nine people and had no remorse about it. This is not incompetence but just a white supremacist trying to get rid of black people. Another incident was the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. A twenty year old man Adam Lanza in his right mind killed twenty innocent babies between the ages of six to seven years old, as also six staff members. Since 1982 statistics have shown that the majority of mass shooting were committed by white men according to a source from Mother Jones.

Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Sandra Bland, Walter Scott, and Michael Brown are just a few of many innocent people portrayed to be violent, criminals. Stephen Paddock was a licensed pilot and hunting enthusiast with no criminal record was an article headline issued by Daily Mail US.

I can never seem to understand why people try to humanize culprits which is even an understatement for his act.  But what if the tables turned and he was a black man or a muslim man?

I remember that morning watching the news coverage on several different stations and saying to my sister that whosoever that did this is white. Even before his identity was revealed, there was absolutely no way that his identity would be disclose if he wasn’t black.

Let’s call it as it is because you cannot expect to fix the problem without admitting that there is a problem.

Many black men don’t have criminal records, same for Muslims and Hispanic but mainstream media feeds us what it wants to feed us.

I am not saying that every white man is racist or a potential mass shooter, and I am not saying that every black man is innocent, but don’t be blind to see that the black community is considered to be a minority group,we are also the most targeted group.

Things and times have changes but the way black people are still being treated is still the same. Because just like any other race, “the black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness,” Marcus Garvey.