Madisyn Ashcraft

Madisyn Ashcraft has 2 articles published.

Showing appreciation for military families

in Events by
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    The Veterans Day Parade in Roseburg is one of the largest parades in Oregon with a large array of military personnel.

Veterans Day can be more stressful for Veterans than what meets the eye.

Many Veterans have no home to go to. Some of their meals come mainly from a soup kitchen, even on holidays. One of the problems for veterans is the difficulty of reintegrating into society.

“You lose a part of yourself when you go over there (a combat zone),” said Robert Mountainspring- Wood, a veteran and ASUCC’s public relations officer.

Although, Mountainspring-Wood served in the Army, he clarifies that he never deployed. However, he understands those who did. “Even if you don’t deploy, the training process itself is rigorous to say the least, and I’ve known quite a few soldiers who never deployed but who’ve gone through basic training who come out with some level of post-traumatic stress.”

Mountainspring- Wood was also the Veteran Club representative with the student government (ASUCC) most of last academic year.

Mountainspring- Wood comes from a family with military experience.  His grandfather served in Korea as well as was a prisoner of war awarded with a purple heart. His other grandfather served in World War II as a Staff Sargent in Europe.

Mountainspring-Wood remembers the patch that his grandfather has: “It’s a black background with a flaming sword and a rainbow. The black represents the despair going on in Europe and obviously the flaming sword of the coalition. The rainbow is the hope above and above that is the blue sky.”

Mountainspring-Wood thinks this country has a bad reputation of not handling the veterans’ needs.  “You have the ones who do deploy, and I cannot speak for them because I never deployed, but from what I’ve seen, it is nothing short of heartbreaking,” said Mountainspring-Wood.

Umpqua Community College offers the Veterans Club to assist. The Veterans Club is not only for veterans; non-veterans can join as well. The Veterans Club is currently run by Gerry Ryan, a former Marine and solider, with assistance of Ann Abel, UCC’s financial aid specialist veterans/work study coordinator.

“You want to make sure that the people who fight in wars get the treatment that they deserve,” said Mountainspring-Wood. He as well as Abel believes in giving the right treatment to the Veteran community.

The Veterans Club members talk about a lot of issues that affect veterans and resources that can help make their college experience easier. They can get help filling out their VA paper work, scheduling a counseling appointment or get some counseling on the spot.

The Veterans Club can be found in The Student Veteran Center at the Educational Skills Building. They meet Wednesdays at noon.

“I like to describe the Veteran Resource Center as a USO room on a college campus. It has somewhat of a living room feel. It is a designated safe space for veterans,” said Mountainspring-Wood

Umpqua Community College is not the only place in Douglas County that gives back to its veteran community. The VFW or Veterans of Foreign Wars also has a program where veterans can come in and get a meat box. The meat is donated by different organizations or a local farmer. The American Legion offers food boxes as well as a program around the holidays that donates gifts that veterans can then give to their family.

“I think it’s wonderful that we honor veterans for all they have done for us and the sacrifices they and their families have made for our freedom,” Abel said. She also tries to assist a military family anytime she can.

Mountainspring-Wood says that for Veteran’s Day he explains the history to his two kids of the major wars that our country has fought and explains the consequences of some of those wars especially for those who fought in them. He also sometimes helps in unique ways.

“Regardless of service status, regardless of race or ethnicity, regardless of creed or sex or gender identity or anything else. This college first and foremost has worked very, very hard to foster an environment of love, of compassion and of service to one another. If you see someone struggle veteran, non-veteran, doesn’t matter– help them. You never know when that person might be you, and plus it’s the right thing to do,” said Mountainspring- Wood.

Does ‘IT’ stay afloat? A comparison between ‘It’ from 1990 and the recent 2017 remake

in Movies/Review by
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    Advertising for “It” in 2017 Copyright of Warner Brother Studios
  • IT-1990-slider.jpg?fit=1000%2C1000
    Advertising for “It” in 1990 Copyright of Warner Brother Studios

The infamous dancing clown Pennywise in the remake of “IT” is back yet again to feast upon the young in Stephen King’s novel, written by Chase Palmer, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Gary Dauberman and directed by Argentine screenwriter Andrés Muschietti.

Muschietti’s directing is similar to his 2013 horror production, “Mama.” “IT” and “Mama” are his only two feature length horror films and, in both, he uses low lighting whenever the villain is in the shot to give off a shadow around the menacing character with only a faint light in the center of the face, projecting a frightening appearance. Muschietti also uses a great deal of jump scares. This is a great approach for horror movies. It makes the moment so much scarier and will also keep the audience on the edge of their seats because they won’t know when the next one is coming.

Muschietti’s “IT” kisses the former Pennywise played by Tim Curry goodbye. The new Pennywise played by Bill Skarsgard is more terrifying with his obscure clown makeup and red lipstick that begins at his mouth and goes to the top of his eyebrows giving him a very grim and frightening smile that almost resembles the late Heath Ledger’s version of Joker in “The Dark Knight.” Skarsgard’s portrayal of Pennywise’s demented personality and derailed mannerisms, not to mention the very exhausted clothing, tells us that this clown has been around for a very long time and isn’t going away.

The new Skarsgard Pennywise comes out of the old sewers of the fictional town of Derry, dragging down any poor child that dares to look down a rain gutter. He devours them as they scream for help.

Pennywise believes that children are the best source of food since they are easy to lure and are afraid of things that Pennywise can easily manifest into reality. Pennywise shape shifts into his victims’ darkest fears in an action he calls “salting the meat.” Once he has them in his grasp, dinner is served.

In order to fight back against Pennywise, some of Derry’s most vulnerable citizens, a group of seven bullied children, unite together to as “The Loser’s Club”: Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton, and Jackson Robert Scott. The Losers’ Club’s goal is to defeat the hungry Pennywise who is the reason for the dark history in Derry’s accidents involving children and the reason for Derry’s grieving parents. The Losers’ Club will do everything to keep their friendship afloat while tracking down Pennywise. They visit the haunting locations in Stephen King’s novel such as The 29 Neibolt house, The Black Spot, as well as The Barrens where Pennywise stores his leftovers. The group must defend their town and bring justice to all the victims of Pennywise whilst conquering their darkest fears.

The 2017 version is more frightening than the 1990; however, the 2017 movie follows the same theme as the 1990 “IT” directed by Tommy Lee Wallace. One obvious difference is in how the new “IT” is portrayed. The movie is converted in a way to appeal young adults. The New York Post suggests that millennials just don’t like old movies, saying “A new study finds that less than a quarter of millennials have watched a film from start to finish that was made back in the 1940s or 50s and only a third have seen one from the 1960s.” This study suggests that a quarter of millennials haven’t seen the 1990 version of “IT” and would most likely not watch the original “IT” due to its horrible special effects and the lack of CGI.

Another difference is that the CGI work in the new version of “IT” makes Pennywise look demonic in a way that makeup could never do. In one specific scene Pennywise becomes abnormally tall. Also, when Pennywise has his prey in his grasp, he opens his mouth from ear to ear, showing layers and layers of teeth. One other form of great CGI is in a scene where Pennywise opens his mouth — there is a clear shot of his throat where the Spook Lights can be seen. The Spook Lights are a very important thing to Pennywise because it is essentially the thing keeping him alive.

The Spook Lights is Pennywise’s true form. The reason it is not always shown in the movie is because the Spook Lights is force that humans cannot understand and if seen can leave them in a sort of trance.

The 2017 remake has perfect production timing. From 1990 to 2017 would make 27 years, and Pennywise comes out of the sewers every 27 years. This added a great terrifying touch.

Rotten Tomatoes gave the 2017 “IT” an overall 85 percent on the Tomatometer. Rotten Tomatoes also added that the movie is “well-acted and fiendishly frightening with an emotionally affecting story at its core.” Rotten Tomatoes also explains that “’IT’ amplifies the horror in Stephen King’s classic story without losing touch with it’s heart.” The audience scored the movie with an overall 86 percent.

IMBD gave the 2017 “IT” a 7.8 out of 10 and made an “IT” movie review page dedicated directly for “IT” consisting of balloons and a theme of red and black with an ominous look.

Roger Ebert awarded 3 stars. says “’IT’ could have used a bit of tightening as it builds toward its climax, though. While the imagery is undeniably harrowing and even poignant in the action-packed third act, some of ‘IT’ feels dragged out and redundant. And because the final confrontation takes place within a dark, underground lair, it’s sometimes difficult to tell exactly what’s going on, despite the impressive visual effects on display as Pennywise unleashes his full powers on his young attackers.”

In spite of Ebert’s 3 stars, the R rated movie “IT” premiered in theaters September 8 with a run time of 135 minutes, bringing home a whopping $123.1 million in just the opening weekend. The box office total was published as $305,250,480, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

This film is great for young adults. It is recommended for ages 18 and up due to gory images, violence and the very colorful language. It’s a great Friday night fright with amazing special effects. The film was professionally shot and had amazing characters who all nailed their roles. As a returning fan, I was especially satisfied with the film. Pennywise was amazing. He was frightening and nailed every one of The Losers’ Club fears as well as some of my own. Pennywise also had a satisfying amount of screen time as well as scream time.

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