Remembering Alex Trebek

The news of Alex Trebek’s death on Sunday, November 9, 2020, hit hard for millions of people worldwide, as the host of the popular game show Jeopardy passed away due to pancreatic cancer at the age of 80. The Canadian-born host was a staple of American Television and entered our homes every weeknight to bring families together before bed, and Alex was part of our families. Previous Jeopardy contestant Ken Jennings tweeted out, “Alex wasn’t just the best ever at what he did. He was also a lovely and deeply decent man, and I’m grateful for every minute I got to spend with him. Thinking about his family and his Jeopardy! family-which, in a way, included millions of us.”

Photo Credit: Screenshot of Photo of Alex Trebek and Ken Jennings from @KenJennings on Twitter

When Alex announced, he had pancreatic cancer in early 2019, the last year (almost two) has made me realized that the most recent episode of Jeopardy! had produced some of the most touching moments. We saw contestants from the show support Alex, as they knew that we were not sure how long we would have Alex. Two of the most popular videos on the internet are Dhruv Gaur’s emotional response to the Final Jeopardy! Question in a Tournament of Champions episode by writing “We Love You Alex” and then-recent champion Burt Thakur’s testimony of how he learned to speak English thanks to Alex by watching Jeopardy! On Television with his grandfather.

For me, and I am sure most of you, losing Alex Trebek has been challenging. I grew up watching the beloved game show weeknights with my grandmother learning something new every night. Something unique about the beloved host is that Alex Trebek created a special memory with everyone he came across. Past contestants, celebrities, and others shared on Twitter the weekend of his death personal memories with the host while others shared brief moments that will last a lifetime. Alex left a mark on the world and millions of people. 

He shared in an interview with Good Morning America’s Michael Strahan, “It’ll be a significant moment for me,” he said. “But I’ve kind of, in my mind, rehearsed it already, and what I would do on that day is tell the director, ‘Time the show down to leave me 30 seconds at the end. That’s all I want.’ And I will say my goodbyes and I will tell people, ‘Don’t ask me who’s going to replace me because I have no say whatsoever. But I’m sure that if you give them the same love and attention and respect that you have shown me…then they will be a success and the show will continue being a success. And until we meet again, God bless you and goodbye.”

Trebek is survived by his wife of 30 years, Jean, and children Matthew, Emily, and Nicky. The family did not immediately announce plans for a service, but gifts in Trebek’s memory could go to World Vision. In July 2020, Alex completed his memoir titled “The Answer Is…Reflections on My Life,” which is available now to get books and e-books

Photo Credit: Screenshot of Alex Trebek book from Apple iBooks

Executive Producer Mike Richards announced on Monday, November 9, 2020, that the final 35 episodes of Jeopardy! will air as they were filmed as he intended in his honor, with Alex last appearance taking place on December 25, 2020. 

Alex, thank you for your kindness, hard work, dedication, and memories all these years. We will miss you.

Share your favorite memories of the Jeopardy! host with me by hitting me up on social at @MikeStarkCA on Twitter and Instagram.

Written by: Mike Stark

What You Should Know About COVID-19

With high concern and hysteria filling our news feeds, it is important to address the new coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease, 2019).

In regard to, San Diego State University all university study abroad programs to China, South Korea, and Italy have been cancelled. Since there are confirmed cases in San Diego, certain institutions have decided to do virtual classes as an extra precaution. On March 12th, 2020 the entire student body received word that classes will be shifting online after March 13th, 2020. More information is provided here regarding SDSU.

COVID-19 Myths

Since this virus seemed to take a racial turn, I just wanted to address that a virus cannot infect a particular race or ethnicity. Infections and diseases are essentially a great equalizer because anyone can get them. Also, I am not sure if this was a joke, but coronavirus has nothing to do with corona beer.

The Science Behind It

Coronavirus is a disease that came from an animal source. Check out this video to get more of an explanation of the transmission. This new coronavirus is different strand that is my lethal. Since this virus is different, research is currently being done. Currently, we are in a period of uncertainty which is mostly causing this hysteria. COVID-19 is easily transmittable as it is a respiratory illness, and the illness is transferred by respiratory droplets.

The symptoms for COVID-19 may be fever, cough, and shortness of breath (CDC, 2020). Those symptoms may occur 2 – 14 days after exposure, however, if you feel that you have been exposed it is important to call before you go to warn your medical provider and make sure they have the proper tests for COVID-19.

Moving on, these groups are at high risk if exposed to the virus: older adults, individuals with chronic diseases and compromised immune systems.

Ways to Stay Safe

Here are a few ways to help prevent the spread, according to the CDC (2020):

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home if you are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces

Finally, some takeaways are 1) stop being racist, because viruses can not target one race or ethnicity. 2) this coronavirus strand is new so stay up to date with information. 3) Take precautions and for the love of all that is good cover your cough or sneeze with your upper sleeve not just your hands.

Taken from @courtneyahndesign

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, February 13). Coronavirus. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/index.html

Written by: Jasmine Alexander

San Ysidro DMV Hosts “Real I.D.” Event On February 22, 2020

Image of sample "REAL I.D." taken from Department of Motor Vehicles website.

Local San Diego DMV will be hosting a “Real ID” event to help you get a jump start on ordering your “Real I.D.” before the October 1 deadline.

October 1 is right around the corner, and California I.D.s along with Driver’s License have changes coming. For travelers, you will be required to present a “REAL ID” driver’s license, “Real ID” I.D. card, or valid passport to board domestic flights, access federal buildings, and or military bases.

Preparing for the October 1 deadline, the Department of Motor Vehicles (D.M.V.) office in San Ysidro will be hosting a “REAL ID Saturday” event. The event is for those wanting to apply for their “REAL ID” early. The event will be Saturday, February 22, 2020, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. No appointment needed for this event. Before arriving, save time and complete the application online so that D.M.V. can look you up quickly; and be ready to present required documents to your clerk.

Required documents to obtain a REAL ID include:

  • Completing the online REAL ID application
  • One proof of identity
  • One proof of Social Security number
  • Two proofs of California residency

Click here to view documents accepted as proof. And click here to use the interactive checklist to make sure you’re ready to go for Saturday. Unfortunately, you are not able to submit the necessary documentation online.

If you’re unable to attend the event, no worries, there is still time before the October 1 deadline. However, D.M.V. recommends applying for your “Real ID” sooner rather than later and to make an appointment at a D.M.V. office, instead of walking in as wait time will be shorter with an appointment. Make an appointment online with D.M.V. here.

If you decline to get a real I.D., the next time you renew or apply for a driver’s license or I.D. card, it will read “Federal Limits Apply” at the top right corner of your card. “Federal Limits Apply” means you will not be able to board domestic flights, visit secure federal buildings, or military bases starting October 1, 2020.V

A sample of what the new California I.D. will look like are listed below along with a brief description of what each I.D. allows.

"REAL ID" sample and "Federal Limits Apply" sample I.D. Cards from the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
Screenshot of “Which card is right for me?” from the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles
Written By: Mike Stark

OPINION: What you need to know about U.S. Troops withdrawal from Syria

Trump ordered American troops out of Northern Syria who worked alongside the Kurd-led Syrian group known as the Syrian Democratic Forces.

This is an action that paved the way for Turkey to attempt to wipe out the Kurds in Syria who have allied with the U.S. in the war against terrorism, specifically with ISIS.

The Kurds were originally promised their own homeland in the agreement established in the Treaty of Sèvres after World War I, but then a following agreement spread them throughout Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Iran. In Turkey , Kurds are oppressed and are seen as a threat.

What happened since Trump called out U.S. soldiers? 

First, Turkey covered 125 miles in the North East of Syria. The invasion alone displaced at least 130,000 people and have a reported 100 civilian casualties; thus, prompting the Kurds to reach out to Russia and Syria for help due to the area’s airstrikes and lack of resources.

The Kurds now had to fight a Turkish invasion on one end and prevent fleeing ISIS prisoners on the other. In fact, because of the removal of American troops, ISIS families and supporters northeastern Syria had escaped from a detention center.

Trump’s “America First” foreign policy mentality has received critical comments from scholars, Republicans, Democrats, and even the military themselves. Retired Gen. Joseph Votel, former head of U.S. Central Command, said,

“abandonment threatens to undo five years’ worth of fighting against ISIS and will severely damage American credibility and reliability.” 

Taking it a step further, it was even announced in a nonbinding resolution that the House voted 354 to 60 in opposition to Trump’s decision. Putting it into perspective, this is over two-thirds of the House and includes many high-profile Republicans.

Supporters for the decision, like those at recent Trump rallies, draw on Trump’s campaign promise to bring the troops back home and an overall agreement of less U.S. involvement in the Middle East. However, looks can be deceiving as it has been known that troops have not been sent home, but are rather just dispersed throughout the region. 

As of October of 2019, officials have been meeting to come to agreements but the area is still at war and is considered to be a humanitarian crisis. 

Even thousands of miles away Trump’s decision impacts the world today.

Knowing this, I turned to the San Diego State University community to get some more opinions on the matter. 

Professor Allen Greb, an International Relations professor, said,

“This undermines U.S. credibility. No one will join us if we are just going to abandon treaties. This decision did not make sense and was not oversought by professionals, it’s as if it was as personal as a real estate deal.”

Greb said Trump pulling American troops is detrimental, “the area is much less stable and safe now. By abandoning our trusted partner in the fight against ISIS we have made Russia, Turkey, and Iran main players in the Middle East.” 

Taking America out of the mix as a major player in the Middle East has let autocratic regimes have more influence. Good or bad, one thing is for sure, humanitarian needs have drastically declined in the short time since the U.S. pulled out.

SDSU graduate student, Patricia Abella, said she had an overall shock about the whole situation calling it disappointing and a shame.

“This doesn’t seem diplomatic, which is not one of Trump’s strong suits. It concerns me how unsupported this decision was and there will surely be consequences from it.”

Tom Derig, Geography major, said he is embarrassed about the move out from Syria.

“We now have turned our backs on our allies that helped us beat them [ISIS]. The biggest shock to me is that the United States military took a stand and actually disagreed with Trump’s plan,” Derig said. 

Personally, the decision by Trump to pull out troops from Syria is not only misleading but also foolish. Our troops are not being sent home and our relations with the Middle East just became way more complicated. America looks unreliable and unstable to our allies and to the overall international community.

Ten steps back or 10 steps forward? Well, that’s up to you but what we can tell is that the crisis in the Middle East is not getting solved anytime soon.

Written by Ali Goldberg