Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Abigail McMurry, Acting President of Associated Students of Laney College, spoke against last-minute class cancellations at the May 14 Board of Trustees meeting.
Class cancellations, basic needs, and 'flying pigs' at 5/14 meeting for PCCD Trustees
Ian Waters, News Editor • June 1, 2024
Student Trustee Natasha Masand believes her voice has the power to impact the PCCD community.
Student Trustee Natasha Masand finds her voice
Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor • March 19, 2024
Archives
Melanie Dixon appointed CoA President
Melanie Dixon appointed CoA President
After two years of acting appointments, the College of Alameda will finally fill the presidency with a permanent hire this summer
Ivan Saravia, Staff Writer • May 23, 2024
College of Alameda jazz professor Glen Pearson demonstrates his musical talent on his classroom piano. Hes one of the newest members of the Count Basie Orchestra, a historic 18-piece jazz ensemble that took home a Grammy this year.
The humble Grammy-winning pianist leading CoA’s music program
Desmond Meagley, Staff Writer • March 4, 2024
Archives

    Cafeteria kitchen in ‘dispicable state’

    Long overdue for major renovation, says Chef David Jones

    There may be an ulcer in Laney College’s collective stomach. 
    Citing “egregious health code violations” and a “despicable state of disrepair” in the Student Center cafeteria kitchen, David Jones, a veteran chef who has been chair of Laney College’s Culinary Arts Department for almost a decade, believes that the kitchen is long overdue for major, and critically needed, renovations. 
     Troubles with Laney’s kitchen go back approximately eight years, according to Jones. When the Peralta District received public funds from the passage of Prop A, Jones was promised that Laney’s kitchen would receive vital repairs. The promised renovations, however, never came. “How they (the district) manage money is a mystery,” Jones said.

    Peeling paint on floor

    Jones’ long and painful list of grievances range from the unsanitary to the dangerous. Jones points to peeling paint, exposed wood, and rusted pipes as well as perpetually broken or unusable ovens and equipment. These, however, are not the most troubling problems. Jones stresses his concern about broken freezer handles that could possibly leave kitchen staff locked inside, as well as sub-par ventilation that could cause “serious problems with fire retardation.” 
     All of this adds up to what Jones describes as a “discomforting if not dangerous environment to cook and teach in.”
    Jones believes that the cafeteria kitchen has been given “a rating it didn’t deserve” by Alameda’s Health Department on a number of occasions. He pointed out an instance where local food inspectors passed hoods that Jones knew were below standard. “In my opinion it was a rigged test,” he said. His suspicions were later confirmed by Cal-Osha, the State-Level food inspection agency, which gave the hoods a failing grade when they conducted their own test.
    Jones has been carefully documenting his concerns about problems with the kitchen. He has also been waging a lonely campaign to reach out to the Peralta District as well as Cal-Osha and the Peralta Federation of Teachers. Jones said he has “sent pictures to absolutely everyone.” Indeed, Jones shared with The Tower a collection of clear and damning photos documenting the disrepair of Laney’s kitchen. “These pictures speak a thousand words,” he added.
     When asked if he felt that the policy of neglect towards problems in the kitchen are criminal, Jones replied that “whether they are civil or criminal…that’s for a lawyer,” adding that he would “rather get obnoxious than see someone get hurt.” What must be done to fix the problem? Jones said the cafeteria “needs to be gutted and redone completely” and suggested that the campus invest in a portable kitchen in the meantime. 
    Jones has expressed concerns about the potential repercussions of being a “whistle blower” and generally “raising cain” about the state of Laney’s kitchen. Given the solid case he has presented, it seems clear that it’s the Peralta District and not Jones that should be held responsible the deplorable state of the kitchen facilities.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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