Mr. Vig’s Lesson: Failure Not Acceptable

Bernie Vigallon

photo by Leslie Layton

by Leslie Layton

For the past 20 years, Fair View High School Principal Bernie Vigallon has roamed his continuation school campus and beyond, busting pot-smokers and herding kids to class. At the end of the school day, he often visited families, sometimes bought them groceries and on one occasion, pulled a student who was missing the critical days prior to graduation from a den of methamphetamine use.

Vigallon, who during his 30-year tenure in the Chico Unified School District came to be known as “Mr. Vig,” retires June 3 as Fair View principal and as director of alternative education for the district. In the latter position, Vigallon built a program that now serves 500 students — kids who suffer from alienation or abuse, who struggle with learning issues, or who became immersed in delinquency or drugs. read more

In the Western Sahara, Music is a Bridge


by Washington Quezada

In 1975, Spain abandoned its position as colonizer of the African Northwest, producing an intense instability among the people in the region. Morocco took advantage of this situation by invading the land that belonged to the Saharawi people, who had to live from then on in refugee camps in Algeria. Mariem Hassan, who had been part of the clandestine parties celebrating Saharawi culture during the Spanish colonial period, became a messenger for her people, communicating the living conditions they suffered, isolated in the refugee camps. She traveled with a group of musicians to let the world know about the Saharawi situation. read more

Tax Cuts, Job Growth and their Mythic Relationship

by R.G. Rich

Do tax cuts for the wealthy create new jobs? In fact, the exact opposite is true, and well illustrated in recent history.

Raising tax rates for the wealthy creates new jobs.

Why? When rates are raised, the value of a tax deduction is increased in real terms. Hiring a new employee or buying a new piece of equipment is a new business expense. At higher tax rates, the wealthy, and businesses small and large, look to offset taxable profits.
When rates are low, there may be little incentive to hire or replace older equipment because taxes are not perceived as a burden. When rates are high, those same increased expenditures provide a bigger economic benefit through tax savings, thereby creating an additional incentive to spend. High tax rates provide an incentive for expansion, in order to shelter profits from taxes. Higher rates provide an added benefit for risk-taking. read more

Musicians Reflect their Roots in Lumbalú

 

by Washington Quezada

( lu =collective, mbalu = melancholy in the Bantu Africana language)

Lumbalu are the funeral ritual chants used by the community of African descent in San Basilio de Palenque in Northern Colombia.

With this same name, there is also a musical group founded in 1984 by a group of young people interested in their roots. The members of Lumbalú started a field study of traditional music and dances from the Afro-Colombian communities on the coasts of their country. Learning from the masters, they began making their own presentations, and thanks to the support of the people who listened to them, they became a musical group on their own. Already with the name of Lumbalú, they recorded their first album, “Fandango Alegre,” in 1993, and in 1997 the second one called, “Balada de un tambor sobre el mapa del caribe.” read more

La Chilena and the Dancing Bull

by Lindajoy Fenley

April 9, 2011

Most tourists in Mexico never go south of Acapulco, but that’s the beginning of the Costa Chica, a little-traveled region I had long dreamt of exploring. Last December, I finally went, spending two weeks searching for musical traditions unique to the region along the Pacific Coast of Guerrero and Oaxaca states.

At the end of my first-ever sojourn into the region, I regretted not seeing the flirtatious chilena dance more than once. I had been too shy to take out my camera the first day of my trip when I had happened upon a small roadside celebration where women danced the chilena. I thought I’d see the dance again, but hadn’t. As I left the region, I stopped in Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero, to see a pre-Christmas parade of music and dance each year that attracts musicians and dancers from throughout the state. read more

Chico State Spanish Major Examines Language in Music Musical Linguistics

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by Alfredo Oropeza

Since I was a small child I have loved music. It didn’t matter what kind of music it was or where it came from; if it was something that sounded interesting to me and had good rhythm, I would play it. Thanks to the Spanish linguistics class that I took at Chico State, I have learned new things about the music I love.

For instance, now that I have studied the varieties of Spanish spoken throughout the world, I can differentiate between a Caribbean and an Argentinean singer. It fascinates me how I have been able to combine something that I’ve learned in a linguistics class with the pastime that I love so much: listening to music. read more