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
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

    ‘Tiny Homes’ fosters community

    Tiny HomesPortable yet stately, “Tiny Homes” represents an attainable goal for the modern American craftsman and sustainability enthusiast. Your traditional RV screams “creature comforts on the go.” Tiny Homes, on the other hand are more urban, and can be constructed by the everyman.
    There are many different kinds available, but the Laney College Carpentry Department is constructing two models: the “Dandelion,” which is a “dependent” design (meaning it requires power, water and sewage hookups — like an RV) and the “Wedge,” of a “net zero” design (meaning it has solar power, a compostable toilet, optional rain collection reservoir and other off-the-grid upgrades). 
    The “Wedge,” as viewed through the window of Laney Carpentry Department’s first Tiny Home creation, the “Dandelion.”The Dandelion is designed to pass as a Victorian bungalow, ubiquitous to Oakland and Berkeley. The owner can then park it in the side or backyard and it will blend seamlessly into the environment; homeowners will have a whole extra unit at their disposal. 
    The Wedge, however, is more rugged, and more efficient, with aesthetics that will more closely resemble an AT-AT with wheels instead of robotic legs, which are vulnerable to Rebel attacks. 
    Tiny Homes as a concept has its roots in RV culture of the 60’s and 70’s: a further realization of the American dream — the ability to pack up and head wherever your heart desires, without having to sacrifice the comforts of home. 
    The ‘Tiny Homes’ concept takes this freedom and puts it in the palm of your hand. A top of the line recreational vehicle would retail for $70k+, but you can build a tiny home on a trailer for less than $20k. This means you can still have money left over for a good truck to move your tiny home, if need be.
    Efficiency of space will surely become more of a concern over the next decade, as populations continue to increase and people continue to be forced out of their houses and move away so more affluent citizens can take their place.


    Tiny homes can be seen as both a temporary and permanent solution. Once built, your house can last for generations, making it a worthwhile investment into your family’s future. 
    In the short term, they can be parked on temporarily rented vacant lots, making efficient use of space that would otherwise be collecting weeds and refuse. 
    When you’re ready to move on, simply remove the parking blocks, hook it up to a decently sized truck and don’t forget to strap the china down. These units are built to RV standards, meaning you can take them anywhere RVs could go, but you still have a vehicle to tool around in once you get to where you’re going — no more driving your 33 foot behemoth down to the store for eggs and milk.

    Inside House

    The Carpentry 221 class, spring registration for which is open now, is building the two houses. Many of the students in the class are excited for the project not only to learn basic carpentry skills they can use in the workforce, but also to construct their own home. 
    These houses are built primarily from flexible woods that can move and bend on the open road, ensuring they won’t break or damage your truck or be too heavy. 
    Laney’s primary project right now is constructing the “Wedge” to compete in the SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) “Net Zero” competition, the judging for which is in Oct. 2016, and students are up against engineering heavy hitters such as UC Berkeley and Stanford University. 
    It will be difficult for Laney to go up against these schools, but there are some rules in place that level the playing field — mainly where budget is concerned.


    The cap for entries is $35k and there’s up to an $8k stipend, so the big budget universities can’t just throw money at the problem and let it work itself out; they have to get creative and cut as many corners as they can. 
    While these bigger institutions might be more used to contests with fewer constraints, this is the small college’s bread and butter. Without a massive budget, Laney has to figure out how to raise money to finish the Wedge, which remains in framing stages. 
    To fund the project, the Laney Carpentry Department is trying to sell the Dandelion to a local buyer. If interested, please contact the Laney Carpentry Department at ccorreia(at)

    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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