Category Archives: FEATURES

Whatcom’s Sports Brief

Men’s Basketball

The Orca men’s basketball team is currently tied for third place in the NWAACC North Region standings with a league record of 4-3. The team most recently defeated Skagit Valley College, 70-67, on Jan. 23. The Orcas will try to extend their winning streak to three consecutive games, when they face Olympic Community College on Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Pavilion.

Women’s Basketball

The Orca women’s basketball team, meanwhile, finds themselves 3-4 in league competition and in the middle of the NWAACC’s North Region standings after a 73-64 loss to Skagit Valley College on Jan. 23. They will hit the hardwood next on Jan. 27 at 5 p.m. in the Pavilion, against Olympic Community College.

Nims released as women’s head coach; Rawlins named interim coach

The Whatcom women’s basketball team has a new head coach. Becky Rawlings, who served as head coach for the first 11 years of the athletic program, will replace the coach who succeeded her in 2007, Piper Nims.

Rawlings, who is currently human resources director at Whatcom, will finish out the season with the team while a permanent replacement is sought. Rawlings will help the new head coach transition to the team once hired. A Jan. 22 press release said that Whatcom plans to conduct a full search for the position “immediately.”

Nims was released from her contract with the college on Jan. 21, although Nathan Langstraat, associate director for advancement at Whatcom, said that the remainder of Nims’ contract would be paid out. She was assistant coach under Rawlings for three seasons before becoming head coach beginning with the 2007-2008 season.

The women’s team finished last season with an 11-5 record, good enough for third in the NWAACC North Region standings. Nims’ record with the team, including their 3-4 record as of press time, was 22-17.

Rawlings, tenure as coach resulted in one division championship, which came during the 2000-2001 season after a 15-1 league record. She also led the team to two co-championships, and holds a career record of 177-138.

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Notice: “Deception” writing contest seeking submissions

reads“Deception,” a Whatcom County writing contest being held in honor of this year’s WhatcomReads! book, “Old School,” by Tobias Wolff, is seeking submissions. In order to participate, the following criteria must be met:

-You must attend a high school or institution of higher education (Western Washington University, Bellingham Technical College, Whatcom Community College, or the Northwest Indian College)

-Write up to 800 words

-Create an entirely original story (fiction or non-fiction is welcome)

-Entries must be submitted via e-mail to: by Thursday, January 28, 2010.

The theme is Deception

-When does a lie become the truth?

-How far would you go to win?


Entries will become property of The Big Read/WhatcomReads and will not be returned. Portions of a winning entry may be used rather than the whole. By submitting an entry all writers grant permission to The Big Read/WhatcomReads to share their writing on the library Web site and in publications and media. Winners will be announced February 1, 2010 on the Web site

One winner from each educational institution will be published in an anthology and will be invited to read their work at an author’s reception at Village Books on Sunday, February 21, 2010 at 4 p.m.

The winning entry will also be published in the February 9 issue of the Horizon.


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Notice: Co-op offering cooking classes for WCC students

IMG_2488cropThe Cordata Community Food Co-op, located at 315 Westerly Road, is now offering cooking classes with priority given to WCC students. Titled “Learn to Cook at the Co-op,” the classes will take place in the Roots Room of the Cordata Co-op and are taught by instructor Dorothy Hopkins.

There will be three sessions of the class, which will take place on three consecutive Fridays (Jan. 15, Jan. 22, and Jan. 29) from 4 to 6:30 p.m. The cost is $15, with room for between five and 10 students. Those interested must sign up for all three sessions.

Topics covered will include organizing and stocking a kitchen, basic nutrition, exploration of grains, legumes, and vegetables, and shopping on a budget. To register for the classes, go to the Co-op Service Desk at either of the Co-op’s two Bellingham locations, or call (360) 734-8158. You can also e-mail at

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Notice: Transfer fair

A college transfer fair will take place on January 13 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Syre Student Center. Admissions representatives from the following colleges will be present to answer questions about credit transfer, degree programs, application deadlines, and more:

-Western Washington University
-University of Washington
-University of Washington, Bothell
-Washington State University
-Eastern Washington University
-Central Washington University
-The Evergreen State University

Transfer Fair







-South Seattle Community College (BA in Hospitality Management)
-Trinity Western University
-The Art Institute of Seattle

-Northwest University (Kirkland)
-Trinity Lutheran College
-City University
-Hope International University

Transfer Fair







-Bastyr University

For more information, contact Laine Johnston at (360) 383-3126.

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Getting Tactical

Administration of Justice Club gains law enforcement knowledge through recent hands-on experience

By Peter Tran

Guest Writer


On November 29, the Administration of Justice Club (Formally recognized as the American Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Leadership Program) took knowledge learned from the classroom and applied it in a practical aspect at the Tacoma Tactical indoor CQB (Close Quarters Battle) facility in Tacoma, Washington.

The club expressed an interest in learning procedures for law enforcement, and such information was presented and practiced, including room-clearing, verbal orders, command presence, and other various important concepts involving legal affairs and officer safety. The training scenarios that the facility set up for the grateful Criminal Justice students exposed them immediately to the critical reasoning required in law enforcement.

Tacoma Tactical is a facility that provides an indoor CQB setting for airsoft play and training purposes. A lot of law enforcement agencies have taken the advantage of utilizing such a fully-furnished training facility, and there’s not a whole lot more that you could do to the place to make it more realistic. It’s as realistic as it gets, and includes being able to “boot in,” or knock down, doors.

The students responded extremely well, considering how complicated the scenarios were. It’s difficult to do a simple task when it is complicated by having to juggle legalities, proper procedure, and adjusting to any given situation (that wasn’t covered during your training)—of which mental processing and decision-making regarding whether or not to take action is expected to be completed within mere fractions of a second.

The reality of law enforcement is that officers are forced to make split-second decisions, and those decisions will be questioned 20 years down the road; when one makes a decision in law enforcement, they need to be able to explain every aspect of their reasoning—criminals do not.

This practical exercise that lasted six hours was a method of reinforcing what a student learned in the classroom, as they will better remember their experiences compared to what they attempted to memorize out of a textbook. The amount of knowledge that people were able to take from this experience expresses how successful this exercise was.

It is something that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives; they’ll remember going in thinking that they had adequate knowledge and training for the job, but towards the end of the day they will have been given a reality check—there’s a lot more to learn that a classroom simply cannot offer.

-Editor’s note: Peter Tran is Chief of the American Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Leadership Program at Whatcom.

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