Generous Donation for OCC Planetarium

Sparkling glass, twinkling stars, and Orange Coast’s ONLY Foucault Pendulum on display for an auditorium full of excited onlookers! Thanks to generous donations, that is soon to be a reality for OCC students and community residents!

The foundation of Orange College has recently been presented with a $1 million dollar donation for this unique pendulum (used to demonstrate the Earth’s rotation). This gift was presented in honor of the late Prof. Adelyn Bonin, who passed away January of this year.

Another esteemed former professor of Orange Coast College, Professor Mary McChesney, Partner of the late Prof. Bonin, made this philanthropic donation on her behalf.

Professor McChesney has retired after teaching English and Spanish for 33 years at Orange College. Her partner, Professor Bonin, taught German until they both retired in 1983. In a statement made by Professor McChesney, she said that the planetarium “will be a center of scientific studies for college students as well as the surrounding community.”

91- year old McChesney explained, “I have grown old, but my love for this college is very much alive,” and believes “Here is the promise for an exciting future.”

With this donation McChesney states, “I know Lyn would be happy to do this — this is half hers,” McChesney said. “I like to think she sees what we’re doing and she approves.”

According to Doug Bennett, executive director of the Orange Coast College Foundation, “This is something special for OCC,”. Mr. Bennett is also quoted as saying that even though McChesney has been “an ongoing contributor to the foundation and to scholarships,” that he, “had no idea she would be doing something this generous.”

The new facility is promising to be spectacular! This $20 million dollar structure was financed in part by a 2012 bond measure and $2.1 million dollars worth of donations (like that of Professor McChesney).

The Planetarium is said to contain a 129- seat auditorium, and an exhibit hall featuring a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Science on a Sphere display globe.

This is in stark contrast to the 35- seat old planetarium building it is replacing. The previous building was torn down and its replacement is indeed grand. Learn more about Orange Coast College: https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Orange-Coast-College-Reviews-E129415.htm and https://www.linkedin.com/edu/orange-coast-college-20116

As stated by Executive Director Bennett, “Technology has changed so much for planetariums that we really needed to build something new,”. This need for improved technology has certainly been accomplished with this outstanding structure.

According to college officials, the Home of the Pirates, will be opening their new Planetarium for the 2018 Fall semester.

 

George Soros, doing what he can for the Public Good

George Soros, doing what he can for the Public Good

Contributing upwards of $12 billion, George Soros is one of the world’s foremost philanthropist to date. His main area of focus with his contributions is to promote democracy and democratic ideals around the world. His donations support organizations and individuals in the fight for freedom of expression, government accountability, transparency and the promotion of justice and equality in the society. He fights against discrimination based on who people are. His donations have supported people sidelined by mainstream society including sex workers, drug addicts, and LGBTI people. With a net worth in the region of $25.2 billion, most of his contributions to various institutions and groups like the Roma people in Europe go through Open Society offices. He is president of Soro’s Open Society Foundation which supports organizations and individuals whose ideals and goals are in line with the goals of his foundation.

Born in Jewish family George Soros has had to experience intolerance firsthand. He was born in Hungary, 1930 and had to live through the Nazi occupation of Hungary in 1944-1945 which ended with the killing of over half a million Hungarian Jews. After the Battle of Budapest in World War 2 Soros immigrated to London where he worked as a railway porter and night-club waiter part time to pay for his schooling at the London School of Economics. He moved across the sea in 1956 to New York where he worked his way up from a trader and analyst to vice president and fund manager to make his own billions. He started the Soros Fund Management in 1973 and went to become one the world’s most successful investors. Read more on nytimes.com

When Soros launched his first foundation outside of the U.S. in Hungary in 1984 his aim was to weaken authoritarian regimes and make a transition towards economy by promoting the free flow of ideas and information. He spent a major part of the fund’s resources to distribute photocopiers to libraries, civil society groups, and universities. Promoting higher education is a major part of increasing the reach of democracy and democratic ideals since it leads to a generation of free thinkers. On this basis, Soros’s foundation has given grants and supported talks on issues such as freedom of information and media and the war against corruption. George Soros has personally substantially contributed to organizations that support democratic politics such as MoveOn.org.

After the end of the Cold War Soros expanded his philanthropic efforts to the United States, Asia, and Africa. He contributed $5 million dollars to both International Crisis group and UNICEF and $4 million dollars to the Human Rights Institute at the University of Connecticut.

George Soros has been quoted as saying that his goal is to harness the innovations that are only available in the private sector for the good of the public. Read this story at Politico about George Soros.

How Securus Technologies Has Become Invaluable in Prison

My job as a corrections officer in the local prison is dangerous, that is why we rely on so many resources inside the facility to make it through our day. Not only do I have to work to keep my fellow officers safe, I have to protect other inmates, staff members, and even visitors to the jail. While each of these resources is helpful, one has become so essential that we don’t know how we made it this far without it.

 

In the recent past, we would make use of body searches in the visitor center to make certain nothing was being transferred from visitor to inmate. We have used drug sniffing dogs to make sure cells are clean each day. We even check the mail so that nothing is getting into the hands of those inmates that they shouldn’t have. However, the most valuable resource we have today comes to use from Securus Technologies.

 

When the team at Securus Technologies installed the telephone monitoring system we use to listen to all the calls in the jail made by inmates, we discovered we had something that could maintain safety inside the jail like never before. The CEO of Securus Technologies, Richard Smith, will tell you that 2,600 other prison systems are using this same system with incredible results too. Once the LBS software detects conversations from inmates on a number of subjects, we get the alert and take swift action.

 

There have been several times when we get an alert that an inmate is talking to family about getting drugs. We hear things like inmates talking about smoking drugs at night inside the cell. We have even been able to locate hidden drugs in the yard inmates put there so they are not blamed for keeping illegal contraband inside the jail.