Monday, April 30, 2012

Trying my hand at Adobe InDesign

I spent hours today trying to figure out Adobe InDesign. I thought it might be a good idea to diversify my skills apart from photojournalism and writing. I used previous LensFocus posts to fill space.

Let me know what you think!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Doing away with the dollar, banking on debt


Tom Jackson, left, and Traven Michaels hold up signs during a student loan debt demonstration in front of the Bovee University Center on Thursday on the campus of Central Michigan University. Demonstrators united in an effort to oppose legislation that would double the student loan rate beginning in July. (Top right photo: Traven Michaels fills in the letters on his sign. Bottom right photo: Demonstrators tried to keep the "mountain of debt" from blowing away in the wind.)


The national student loan debt is about to reach $1 trillion.


Central Michigan University assistant professor Andy Blom said it could be the national economy's next setback.

"This isn't just inflation; this isn't just the higher cost of living," Mr. Blom said. "This is a result of the decisions made by public officials at the state and federal level and also the effect on university administrators who continue to let budgets grow because they know they can grow their budgets because it's funded by debt."

Mr. Blom, an assistant professor in the Philosophy and Religion Department, said he has been concerned about the rising level of student loan debt for a long time.

"Personally, I've been concerned about rising student debt for many years," Mr. Blom said. "I didn't need to carry as much debt when I was going through undergrad (in the late 1990s)."

Classes at CMU are done the rest of the week as students and faculty prepare for exam week starting Monday. Some students who walked by asked what the demonstration was about. 



Mr. Blom said he asked students in his class to wear a white tee shirt with their personal student debt written on it. Mr. Blom's shirt stated his debt at just under $30,000.


"Our main objective is not the rally itself, it's to talk with students coming through here," Mr. Blom said. "(Student loan debt) could be the next debt bubble that could drive the economy further into recession."

Allie Young, a senior at CMU, is about to enter into her student loan payments, which are typically about $338 per month for the first 10 years.

"My dad is a union representative in Detroit and so I know what rallies are like, and how important it is to go," Young said.

Ms. Young said she does not believe current students realize how student loan debt will affect the direction of their lives after graduating college.

"I don't think (students) realize our lives are going to be on hold because they won't be able to afford starting a family, having a house and a car," Ms. Young said. "They won't be able to get married and have a house because they'll be paying student loans."

Mr. Blom said the amount of student loan debt is more than credit card debt. As universities increase the cost of tuition, students increasingly need loans, but consequently face increasing difficulty repaying.

U.S. House Bill 3826 is the legislation that would double the interest rate on Stafford loans beginning July 1. The Wall Street Journal reported that maintaining the current interest rate would result in a $6 billion loss of federal revenue.

Tom Batchelder, a psychology professor at Alma College, said he knows how bad the student loan debt situation is.

"Being a college teacher, I know the importance of this issue," Mr. Batchelder said. "The average student debt at CMU is, I think, about a thousand dollars more than the national average."



The demonstrators also used bags filled with newspapers to stack in a pile to represent a "mountain of debt" that is building in the country.




Thursday, April 26, 2012

Theater threads and masks



Designs and examples of sets, makeup, costumes and props were shown in Theater On The Side, a practice room for drama and stage work near Bush Theater, on the campus of Central Michigan University.


As I walked to my subject for my photo project on April 23, I passed the most interesting room with nobody in it.
Lights fixed on displays in the room with black ceilings and walls made the room feel dimensionless. The lights were fixed on work that had been done by Central Michigan University theater students during the year.


The CMU theater program has produced successful alumni, including actor Jeff Daniels, who notably played Harry in the movie "Dumb and Dumber" with Jim Carrey, which came out in 1994. Daniels attended CMU in the 1970s. Terry O'Quinn, a Newberry, Mich. native known for playing John Locke on "Lost," also attended CMU in the 1970s.





Monday, April 23, 2012

Westboro Baptist Church members speak at CMU

Westboro Baptist Church member Shirley Phelps-Roper, center, debates a CMU student's question Monday in the Charles V. Park Library auditorium.

Mario Anzuoni/Reuters/File
   Members of Westboro Baptist Church protest the premiere of "Red State" at the Sundance Film Festival
   in Park City, Utah, on Jan. 23 2011.
Members of the Westboro Baptist Church, famous for controversial protests and slogans, spoke in three forums at Central Michigan University on Monday.


The members came because of Tim Boudreau, a journalism professor at CMU. He invited the church to speak at the university, as a demonstration of free speech to his three classes.

Boudreau said the First Amendment protects free speech, even if some of the speech is unpopular and controversial. He said the church did not ask for money to speak.

Although the church has traveled and protested for the past 21 years, it became notorious during the height of the Iraq War when they protested near the funerals of American soldiers killed overseas.

Some of their slogans include "Thank God for dead soldiers," and, "God hates fags."

Students in the audience hold up their hands with a question for members of the Westboro Baptist Church
in the Charles V. Park Library auditorium on Monday.
Shirley Phelps-Roper, an outspoken member of the church, answered questions and debated the parameters of existence, religion and God with the audience in the Charles V. Park Library auditorium.

"Every dime you give (to a Catholic Church) pays a pedophile priest," Shirley said.

Shirley sat in a chair on the stage alongside her brother Fred Phelps Jr., who is also Pastor at Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan. Shirley's daughter-in-law Jennifer Phelps-Roper and church member Taylor Drain, a junior at Washburn University, also came.

Fred said the members pay their own way to protest through their regular jobs.

"I don't drink, I don't smoke and I don't chase women," Fred said. "So, I have to find something to do with my money."

In three forums, Shirley yielded questions from the audience that ranged from personal to philosophical and political. At times, the exchanges became heated on both sides. Some of Shirley's comments drew strong -- and sometimes emotional -- reactions from the audience.

Shirley strongly opposed the Catholic Church.

"Scratch off that paint where it says 'church' and under it, it'll say 'whorehouse.'"
Tim Boudreau, standing, looks at the crowd before the start of the first forum with members of the Westboro
Baptist Church on Monday in the Charles V. Park Library auditorium.

The audience gasped and Shirley said the Westboro Baptist Church is not enraged.

"We're not angry," she said. "We're zealous."

Boudreau held three separate forums for his three classes to attend. There were forums at 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.


Members of the Dogma Free Society protested against the church members outside the library during the forum. At their feet was a cooler of free popsicles for students walking past.


One of the Dogma Free Society members, Cory Kinne, said the organization began protesting about a half-hour before the first forum. He said they had planned to protest until the end of the last forum.


The Dogma Free Society also accepted donations that would go towards Human Rights Campaign and the Wounded Warrior Project, both of which are protested by Westboro Baptist Church.



Fred said they have spent millions of dollars of their own money the last 21 years. They have picketed about 48,000 times in all 50 states, Fred said.

Westboro Baptist Church was condemned on July 4, 2010 by the Ku Klux Klan and also banned from the United Kingdom.

When the members left, protesters against the Westboro Baptist Church's controversial beliefs and tactics followed behind.

"I just think it's wrong for people to come to campus and promote hate," said CMU lecturer Mike Evans. "I think it undermines the mission of the university to promote understanding."

Some of the protesters included gay rights activists and people generally opposed to the church's views and tactics.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Thirty-six years owned, ending on clearance

Rob Chapman, owner of Chapman's Ace Hardware and Paint, 335 River St., flips through a guide for mixing paint colors in the back of his store. The store is closing within the next month after Chapman has worked there for 44 years, including 36 years owned. "For the last five, six years, I've been depressed, unhappy and stressed to the max," Chapman said. "Now, I feel relieved."
   Shelves of paint are being sold at half-off at Chapman's Ace Hardware and Paint, weeks ahead
   of its closing.
   
ONTONAGON, Mich. -- When asked about when his store is closing for good, Rob Chapman smiles.


   He smiles because the worst six years of his life are closing.    


   That's saying something, because Rob Chapman has owned Chapman's Ace Hardware and Paint store since 1976.


   The store closing comes years after his business was impacted detrimentally by the 2009 permanent closing of the Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation paper mill.


   Mr. Chapman said the mill did a lot of business with him.


   "It was a triple-whammy when (Smurfit-Stone) closed," Mr. Chapman said. "They owed me money when they closed, then I lost all the business that was generated with them. Then all the guys who were laid-off after it closed didnt' want to spend that money, not knowing what tomorrow's bringing."

   Mr. Chapman said he is glad to be ending the business after a very stressful half-decade.

   "For the last five, six years, I've been depressed, unhappy and stressed to the max," he said. "Now, I feel relieved. It's a good feeling to have all this weight off my shoulders."

   Mr. Chapman said he anticipates the store to close approximately the second week of May, but won't know for sure until the day before he thinks it will be ready to close permanently.

   Before mixing paint colors for a customer, Mr. Chapman stood and looked around his store. He wiped his brow.

   "I have no idea what my plans are (after the store closes)," Mr. Chapman said. "Obviously I'm gonna have to find work."

   Mr. Chapman started working part-time at this hardware store the summer before he began seventh grade. That was 1968.He bought it with his family in 1976 and has owned and operated the store since.

   After mixing paint colors for a customer, Mr. Chapman took out historic photos of the building. In 1909, the building was outfitted into a movie theater, called Pastime Theater. It closed in 1917 and was then turned into a hardware store, Hecox-Scott Hardware, complete with a gas pump on the sidewalk.

Rob Chapman holds a photo taken of Pastime Theater between1909 and 1917 of the very
building of his store.
   His wife, Kathy, works in the loft above the front of the store, where the film projector was rigged in the old theater. She's worked there for the last 28 years.

   The store has held clearance sales for the last five or six weeks, Mr. Chapman said. On April 21, he said the store will begin a 60-percent-off sale on all items. Clearance sales lately have been half-off.


   "After that, since I've never closed a store before, I'm going to evaluate the store and see where it's at," Mr. Chapman said. "I might just start selling the departments and lots."


   He will have to get rid of fittings and furniture after the product's gone, he said.


   Steve Sundberg, a seven-year cashier at Chapman's Ace Hardware and Paint, said the product has been sold-off quickly so far.

     "We're pretty much out of sporting goods. You could see it comin'," Mr. Sundberg said. "There's fewer people in town than there used to be."


   Mr. Sundberg said he has no specific plans after the store closes.


   "Nothing in particular," he said and laughed. "Or nothing I wanna talk about."
Steve Sundberg stands at the front counter in Chapman's Ace Hardware and Paint, where he has worked for the past seven years.
Shelves sit empty during a half-off clearance at Chapman's Ace Hardware and Paint, 335 River St.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A music morning, in brief

Adam Ignacio, left, laughs with music instructor Eric Tucker in his office on Wednesday, April 18, 2012.

   At around 10 each morning, fast clicking and tapping echoes through the atrium of the Music Building.

   It's Eric Tucker. He walks fast.


Photos of people in Eric Tucker's life fill most wall and file cabinet spaces in his office.
   Mr. Tucker, a native of West Virginia, is a vocal instructor at Central Michigan University. Although far from home, he's never far from family. Photos of his family crowd the wall behind his Macintosh monitor. More photos line the walls along a board around the room. His wife works in the School of Music office near the steps he uses to get to his office.


   Mr. Tucker has appeared in a previous LensFocus post. Music instructors are required to participate in performances at CMU.


   On most days, his student and close friend, Adam Ignacio, sits in the recliner and has small talk with Mr. Tucker. Mr. Ignacio, a fifth-year senior, said he has known Mr. Tucker for four years.


   Mr. Tucker checks his emails quickly and makes a couple brief phone calls. He gets up and walks to the piano and takes a sip of water from a thick CMU coffee mug.

   Mr. Tucker has conversation with Mr. Ignacio before he taps a few keys on the piano and begins warm-up voice exercises. Mr. Ignacio, a Florida native, returns emails as Mr. Tucker's voice ranges through the music scale in a deep, booming voice. He paces slowly in front of his two-panel mirror.

   Mr. Ignacio has voice lessons with Mr. Tucker twice a week. Mr. Ignacio says he has 17 days left of college. He will perform in opera shows in Italy next year, before returning to graduate school to complete his education.

"I'll never stop being a student," Mr. Ignacio says.

   Mr. Ignacio leaves for Starbucks to get a coffee before a class that he says is unbearable without. Mr. Tucker has a meeting with the dean.

   He leaves the room and walks briskly down the hallway, shoes clacking through the silence in the atrium.

Vocal instructor Eric Tucker takes a break between voice warm-up exercises on Wednesday, April 18, 2012. Picture frames of his family rest along a board in his office.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

FEATURE: Damascus, through the lens of Carole Alfarah

Written by Adam Niemi
Photos by Carole Alfarah

A photojournalist in Syria found my blog through Twitter. When I noticed that she lives in Damascus, the country's capital, I was interested in her perspective on a country relentlessly throttled by violence in the last year.


  Carole Alfarah.
Carole Alfarah, a 31-year-old freelance photojournalist from Damascus, has seen and documented the rapid change in Syria for the last five  years. Despite a year of political instability that has given rise to violence and death, especially recently in Homs, Alfarah is insistent that Damascus is a safe place. She said as long as the person knows where the dangerous places are, and how to avoid dangerous situations, Damascus is safe.

Alfarah's work has been published internationally in newspapers including the Wall Street Journal and magazines including Syria Today Magazine, Newsweek and Time. She has published photo essays online, both of the violence around Damascus and the everyday life.
   
The uprising in Syria is important for two reasons.

First, the Syrian uprising today is, in some essence, the early history of the United States. The people of Syria are fighting to liberate themselves from a government that has grown oppressive and tyrannical. This isn't just exclusive to U.S. history — it's a piece of history common in the births of many countries.

A boy and his older brother look at a photo of their father the day after he was killed in one of the two terrorist explosions that took place in security centers in Damascus, Syria on March 17, 2012. The explosions killed 27 people and injured 140 more.

Second, Syria is another Middle East country in the last year that has been part of the Arab Spring, a wave of uprising in a region that for so long was passive to violent and destructive governments. The opposition of the Syrian government mirrors similar uprisings that occurred in Egypt and Libya. The political landscape in the Middle East has changed forever as a result of the events in the past year.

Alfarah said she has not processed what's happened in Syria. Sorting through the confusion is an emotional battle.

"For me, it's still early to build an opinion," Alfarah said in an email. "I know it's a year now (since the uprisings began), but the Syrian issue is very complicated and I need more time to analyze the events that surround me. I don't like the emotional answers and now all is emotional in Syria."

A young man cries during his father's funeral in Damascus, Syria.
Alfarah went to Contrast Photography School in Brussels, Belgium in 2004. In 2008, she was selected as the official photographer for the Arab Capital of Culture festivities hosted in Damascus. Alfarah said she doesn't cover the battles themselves. She was given press credentials on certain conditions: covering battles, for instance, cross a "red line" that could result in her imprisonment. Instead of conflict, she focuses her camera on the protestors themselves, away from the scenes of bloodshed.
   
Alfarah describes the Syrian protestors demographic, at least in the Damascus area, as mostly college-age and expressive. Despite reports of a dwindling population in Damascus, Alfarah said the population has grown. Since attacks in Damascus are considered rare events, families have moved there from cities in turmoil like Homs, Idlib and Dara'a with hopes of living in peace.

A man shouts "Ya Allah" (Oh God) near the scene of a terrorist explosion in al-Kassa'a, a neighborhood in Damascus.
"The majority of the café habitués here are from the enlightened Syrian class, young artists, intellectuals, bloggers and university students; and some of the 'curious-type.' This place is well known for being the summit point of Syrian activists, but basically it is more like a free-platform where they can express themselves freely."  
       — CAROLE ALFARAH, in a photo essay.
Cars in ruins in front of a damaged housing complex in al-Kassa'a, a neighborhood in Damascus. The explosion, which occured at 7:20 a.m., killed 27 people and injured 140 more.






Alfarah's observations in Damascus of both the pro-government and opposition civilians are a sample of what exists in the more violent regions of Syria. Alfarah said she has not witnessed any violence. Young, college-age kids -- much like the ones she finds in cafes in Damascus -- have fueled an energetic uprising that has pressured the government into invading towns and cities, squashing protests and slaughtering their own people at the mercy of their war machinery.

       Blood on the sink inside a house nearby an explosion in
       Damascus on March 17 that killed 27 and injured 140 more.
Assad is an Alawite, a minority sect in a country that is mostly Sunni Muslim. Much of the nation's elite are Alawite, which make up just 12 percent of the 23 million Syrians. Sunni Muslims make up 75 percent of the population. Neither violence nor diplomacy has brought an end to fighting in the country. Recent international negotiations have brought a cease-fire within sight, but delegates are still unsure about the Syrian government's intentions.

Alfarah shot photos at the scene of a terrorist attack in the Damascus neighborhood, al-Kassa'a, on March 17 that killed 27 people and injured 140 more. There were two explosions, the first of which came at approximately 7:20 a.m. in the Rotunda of Customs. A few minutes later, a blast occurred at Tahrir Square. It is unclear whether the attacks were religiously or politically motivated.

Alfarah, born in Damascus in 1981, has grown up with political instability in her home country. The last serious uprising came in 1982 when violent conflict with the Muslim Brotherhood convinced Hafez al-Assad to make a move. He sent troops out to kill at least 10,000 people and destroyed the old city of Hama. According to news reports, hundreds of fundamentalist leaders were jailed and many never again seen alive.

Scores of people have been murdered by the Syrian government as it worked to suppress a growing revolutionary effort. Groups either seeking prominence or showing support for the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, have taken part in terrorist attacks that have literally shaken Syria. Even attacks in Damascus, considered rare, have rattled any lingering feelings of peace in the capital.

The spread of Arab revolution reached Syria on March 15, 2011, when residents in Dara'a protested the torture of students who created anti-government graffiti. Since then, the effort of the revolution has been made up of factions of differences in ethnic, religious or political ideologies.

Men at al-Othman mosque during a funeral for the victims of two terrorist explosions at security centers in Damascus, Syria on March 17, 2012.


"Everything has changed in Syria, forever. Before eleven months, Damascus seemed to be stable and far from any 'spring storms.' Now, the sense of tension and change is filling up the air." 

— CAROLE ALFARAH 

A damaged room of a house nearby the scene of an explosion in the Damascus neighborhood of al-Kassa'a that killed 27 and injured 140 more on March 17.

The revolution has grown as soldiers in the Syrian military have defected and joined the opposition, mostly because they are unwilling to kill civilians. More than 9,000 people have been killed, and thousands more have displaced as a result of the fighting, according to United Nations estimates. Sunni Muslims who fled the country described the crackdown as one in which people affiliated with the Assad regime have taken arms against neighbors who oppose the government.

Vehicles damaged by the March 17 explosion in the Damascus neighborhood of al-Kassa'a.
Many fear that Assad's power and willingness to kill may prevent the opposition from developing an effective uprising. The government trips are widely considered a hostile presence in much of Syria and the growing conflict has raised concern that it could become a cause for terrorist groups to rally and recruit.

Resolutions proposed in United Nations meetings to sanction the Syrian government have gained little momentum after being blocked by Russia and China, Syria's traditional allies. The lack of options for international help have complicated efforts to bring the violence to a halt. In early April, the government agreed to a six-point plan for a cease-fire, Syrian troops had not returned to their barracks as promised.

The Syrian government announced on Feb. 27 that 90 percent of voters approved a new Constitution. Many Western countries dismissed the results as a farce. Some changes in the Constitution included ending political domination by the Baathist Party and implementing presidential term limits.


AMERICAN VIEWS ON SYRIA

The United States has maintained a complex approach towards Syria. The Obama administration has worked through the Arab League and the United Nations, instead of independently, so as not to impress upon the region that it is trying to intervene in Syria. Analysts said it is also to avoid giving Iran any reason to believe it should join with Syria, its regional ally.

On Feb. 19, two American senators, John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, expressed strong opinions that the U.S. should intervene directly in Syria, mostly by arming Syrian opposition forces. Any intervention in Syria could be complicated by Russia's involvement with Syria.

Various reports indicate Russia supplies food, medical supplies and weapons to the Syrian government. After the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Arab Spring, Russia's presence in the Middle East has decreased. A strong presence in Syria by either the United Nations or the United States could dramatically impact Russia's involvement, if not stop it altogether.

The Sunni Muslim-led opposition against the Syrian government, a majority of which are Alawites, a part of Shiism, has become especially dangerous in aggravating religious and sectarian tensions. Across the border in Iraq, a majority of which are Shiite, support is increasing for the Assad government.

The decade-long effort of Iraq by the United States to root out the Baathist party may be undone by Iraqi Shiites' support of a Baathist dictatorship in Syria. The elimination of dictators and strongmen in the region has only strengthened alliances and identities.

The complex changes in political and religious relationships, along with the violence, has prolonged Ms. Alfarah's opinions. is waiting until she's done with a project before she reaches a judgment on what's happening in her home country.

"I really don't want to share my opinion because I don't know it; I'm very confused because of everything. I meet people from the two political sides every day," Ms. Alfarah said. "They both tell me their stories. I'm working on a documentary project about the Syrian victims, the real victims from all sides. When I finish it, I'll be able to then talk about my opinion."

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


A CH-47 "Chinook" rises in the sky in Mount Pleasant, Mich., headed for Camp Grayling with a chalk of CMU ROTC cadets. September 2009.

As part of an online journalism class I took in fall 2009, one of our assignments was a large multimedia project. I was embedded with a CMU United States Army Reserved Officers' Training Corp unit for a weekend.

I was armed with a camera, notepad and digital recorder.

The weekend started with an exhilarating ride on a CH-47 "Chinook" helicopter, which flew two chalks of the CMU ROTC unit to Camp Grayling, near Grayling, Mich. The drive from Mount Pleasant to Grayling is about two hours. The flight lasted 20 minutes.



The weekend-long training included room-clearing, patrol, zodiac boat and a paintball fight in a make-up village deep in the 147,000-acre training grounds. A ROTC unit from Ferris State also participated in the weekend, dubbed "FTX," or Field Training Exercise.


Days started from the barracks with a 6 a.m. wake-up, followed by a breakfast in the mess hall. Various training exercises sharpened the cadets' skills in thinking like a soldier. Some of the cadets had already completed basic training and various military training like airborne school and air assault school. Some were poised and ready for a life in the military. Some were in for the financial aid. Lastly, for some, the weekend was somewhat of a strike of a gavel, in which they realized the military life was not for them.


The instructors facilitated the weekend similar to that of a weekend of training in the Army National Guard. Some of the cadets are dual-enlisted in the ROTC program and the National Guard.


Everybody was open to media following them around. Two journalists from Central Michigan Life also went -- Connor Sheridan and Neil Blake. Connor found a great story angle into the weekend, while Neil captured it visually. FTX was the first photo assignment I did. This was what opened Pandora's box.
ROTC cadets in the "kill house" learned to move tactically through buildings, clearing staircases (left photo) and rooms (right photo).
As cadets learned proper room-clearing techniques, they went to a different "kill house" to face opposition forces placed randomly throughout the different rooms to challenge their technique.
A CH-47 crew member sits on the edge of the ramp during the ride to Camp Grayling (left photo). Cadets learned to move tactically through the woods.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The gang of music


The Central Michigan University School of Music performed its annual concert on Nov. 19 in Plachta Auditorium at Warriner Hall. They performed George Frideric Handel's oratorio "Messiah."


This is perhaps one of the most visual assignments I've shot photos at. The symmetry of the performers sitting across the stage of Plachta Auditorium in Warriner Hall made for a unique perspective. I roamed around the auditorium — both upper and lower levels — to find different angles into the performance. Classical music is frighteningly difficult to pull off, it seems. Synchronizing so many performers to their respective notes through a long performance is no easy task. Especially with the clicking of my camera from all over the auditorium.


The work put on by the School of Music is usually visual because of the performers. The faces of the musicians are always contorted in singing, or playing notes in their instruments. The music they play is also very old, so to hear it is to go far back in time.



The unofficial holiday: Opening Day


A group of CMU students watch the Detroit Tigers in their Opening Day game against the Boston Red Sox on April 5 in the Bovee University Center on the campus of Central Michigan University. The Office of Student Life sponsored free food and drawings for students during the game. The Tigers won 3-2 in a walk-off single.
Few students stayed for the end of the game, reflected off a window in the Bovee University Center.
Waiting through a commercial break in the middle of the eighth inning.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Street hockey, under the sun


Andrew Mahaffey, left, and his older brother Nick, a Mid-Michigan Community College student, play street hockey Wednesday afternoon in Jamestown Apartment Complex, 4075 S. Isabella Rd.
Nick Mahaffey flips the ball in the air as he skates towards his brother Andrew. "I can't skate well in these," Nick said about his rollerblades. "I miss the ice."
Andrew Mahaffey approaches his brother Nick to take the ball from him during a game of street hockey.
Nick Mahaffey takes a break during a game of street hockey with his brother Andrew (not pictured).
Nick and Andrew Mahaffey cast elongated shadows on the pavement during a game of street hockey.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Trayvon Martin, a vigil challenging racism


Students congregate with lit candles as a show of support during the Trayvon Martin vigil on Friday night near the Charles V. Park Library. About 30 students attended.
Central Michigan University sophomore Taylor Wilson, left, lights a student's candle at the start of the vigil. Wilson and her friend, CMU sophomore Chasney Gilbert, planned and promoted the vigil themselves.