Young activist encourages Eau Claire community to participate in climate activism

By Grace Olson

Earth guardian’s youth director calls all generations to fight climate change. 

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, a climate activist calls on all generations to fight climate change. © Grace Olson 2019

“Regardless of how small, we have to be doing something,” said Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, a climate change activist and hip-hop artist. 

Martinez spoke to over 300 faculty, staff, students, and community members at Schofield auditorium on the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire campus. This 77th forum speech took place on Tuesday, December 10, 2019. 

Martinez is a youth director for Earth Guardians, an environmental activist group making changes around the world. This groups hopes to inspire youth to create change through music, art, storytelling, and legal action. He has been working since the age of 6 to put an end to climate change. Working in his hometown of Boulder, Colorado to end the use of pesticides in local parks. 

Martinez often calls to the youth because they are the future. They are the going to be the ones deciding which policies take place and the state of the world’s climate said Martinez.

Martinez acknowledges that small individual steps are important in this fight, but simply using less electricity or going vegan is not enough. Activists need to stand up to large corporations responsible for the rapid climate change crisis Martinez said. 

Audience member Sydney Rae said, “awareness for everybody, not just the youth,” is incredibly important to climate activism.

Martinez focused on the importance of all generations getting involved in the climate change movement. He stressed that young people do need to be in the front of the movement, but this does not excuse all older generations in fighting with them. 

In the Q and A session with the audience of the forum, Martinez spoke about his beginning involvement in climate change. He said his supportive family was his strong foundation to his start in activism. He spoke on how fortunate he was to have a family so involved in what he was passionate about from a young age. 

He called to all audience members to find something they are passionate about. Then educate and identify with current problems of that passion to get started in activism. 

Martinez recalls an experience he had in Minnesota talking to high school students in a predominantly conservative community. He noticed a strong difference in energy between him and the students. But he called on the power of music. When he sang one of his hip-hop songs to the students, he noticed a big change in energy. Students then became engaged and involved in what he had to say. 

Being a hip-hop artist, Martinez said how music brings him to life and is often how he feels comfortable sharing his message. 

Martinez spoke on the need to reframe the way climate change is talked about. Often this conversation drains the participants and leaves people uninspired. Martinez hopes to reframe this conversation to leave people wanting to get involved and make a change. 

Martinez recalled an experience he had that forced him to get involved in climate activism. Wildfires wiped out forests where he grew up going to play and connect with nature. Experiencing a natural disaster firsthand put into perspective for Martinez, what others were going through around the world every day.

Martinez spoke on how climate change does not just affect sea levels or the amount of carbon in the air, but the culture from ancestors. Culture is lost if care for the planet is lacking, said Martinez. Passing down these ideas to generation to generation is what will allow the youth to remain inspired.

 “Whatever makes you love life, that’s what we need to protect,” said Martinez speaking on the impacts of climate change.

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Job Shadow: Tammy Janke, Family Innovations, Therapist

By Izzy Bandettini

I started this assignment with an open mind about who I wanted to shadow and based on my double majors I had two options, to interview a journalist or a therapist. I chose to interview a therapist named Tammy Janke. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who is currently employed for Family Innovations, and she works through a multitude of offices. When I first arrived at the office it felt like I was going into a therapy session because the atmosphere felt very inviting and comforting.

Janke and I sat down in her office and we began to talk and the first thing we started to discuss was her education prior to becoming a therapist. She became a therapist six years ago after graduate school and since then has been working for the company called Family Innovations. Before working at the company, she underwent 7 years of schooling to receive her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. She earned her undergraduate from the University of Wisconsin River Falls in 2010, and soon after graduating she started to apply to graduate schools. She got accepted into St. Mary’s University and graduated in 2013 with her degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.

Tammy Janke works on paperwork after seeing a client
©2019 Izzy Bandettini

Janke informed me that there was a lot to do post graduate school in order to be licensed in the state of Minnesota. The first thing she had to complete was 4000 hours of unlicensed supervision, and once she completed her hours, she had to take the National Examination. Janke passed the exam the first time, and straight-away from finding out, she had to apply to take her Oral Exam. Once she completed and passed all the hours and exams, she became a certified Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

It takes a lot of time and effort to become a therapist, but Janke was so excited to start her new career. She now has a very flexible work schedule and can choose her own schedule, which means she only works Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. During those days she either does supervision for her staff, because she is also a supervisor, or she does out-patient. Out-patient requires Janke to be in her office all day because as her clients rotate through, she only has 10 minutes in-between each one to eat, write down notes, or to take phone calls.

Being able to work next to Janke really opened my eyes of what it means to be a therapist and all it entails. Janke noted how rewarding it is to see the progress of clients and that gave me inspiration to one day become a therapist myself. There is a lot of work involved in becoming a therapist, but the rewards are endless, and it was great to see how much therapy can impact the lives of people.

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Job Shadow: Barry Hoff, Bloomer Advance Managing Editor

Barry Hoff, managing editor of the Bloomer Advance, takes a photo that will be featured in an upcoming issue of the newspaper.
© 2019AshlieFanetti

By Ashlie Fanetti

I recently job shadowed Barry Hoff at his office in Bloomer, Wisconsin. Hoff is the managing editor of the Bloomer Advance newspaper. He does a variety of jobs around the office as editor, but also as a general manager including: writing, editing, page layout, photographer, payroll and acting as an overall assistant to his employees when needed. Hoff spends a lot of time behind a desk, which seems a little boring at first observation, but it can also be very interesting as new stories come up. In talking with Hoff, I learned that his job can be chaotic at times, which keeps him on his toes. Fall is a very busy season for him as school is back in full swing and so is high school sports, a very popular topic among his readers.  He stressed that it is very important to balance time in his job because in a small newsroom like the one he oversees, a typical day does not exist. Listen below to hear more advice from Hoff on important skills to learn in order to be successful in his field.

The bulk of Hoff’s day is spent finding content, copyediting and working on page layout as he is responsible for the front page, the back page and the sports section of the weekly newspaper. Hoff utilizes the Adobe Creative Suite to produce his assigned pages. He recommended that a person should have at least some prior exposure to or knowledge of the software before starting on the job, especially Adobe InDesign and Photoshop. When he creates his pages, Hoff has the final decision as to what goes where throughout the whole newspaper, which means that he has to make some tough decisions. He pays attention to what readers respond to and tends to put the most popular topics towards the front, which typically means human interest or hard news pieces often end up on the front page.

Hoff didn’t always know he wanted to do this job. He worked his way up to it. After he graduated high school, he took his general education at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and found himself a job in the Barron News-Shield print shop in Barron, Wisconsin. During this time, he also was taking an online business management class through Thomas Edison University located in Trenton, New Jersey. In 2006, Jim Bell, Hoff’s boss in Barron, bought the Bloomer Advance and appointed Hoff to the position of managing editor. Hoff told me that it’s not where he originally planned to be, but that he enjoys his job and finds it to be fulfilling work as he learns new things every day.

 

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Photo Cutline Slideshow – UWEC Lacrosse visits Madison

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UW-Eau Claire wrestling squares off against UW-Oshkosh

By Jake Olson

UWEC vs. UWO; this wrestling dual was full of unique storylines from ranked match-ups to budding rivalries. Matt Lewellen making his competition debut as a Blugold wrestling coach and Tyler Demo’s return to the mat were highlights of the evening. The Blugolds came away with a dominant win, scoring bonus points in more than half of the matches and only suffering two losses.

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Job Shadow: Eric Lindquist, The Leader Telegram staff writer

By Lauren Spierings

Eric Lindquist, a staff writer for The Leader Telegram, has never worked anywhere but The Leader Telegram.

Lindquist immediately joined the staff after graduating. He said that before The Leader Telegram, he only ever had typical “college kid” jobs.

Lindquist was working on an article about the new Eau Claire Virtual School. I was even able to provide assistance in an instance where a source referenced something he was not familiar with.

Eric Lindquist writes about the Eau Claire Virtual School after speaking with sources. ©2019 Lauren Spierings

Lindquist did not know what “Momo” was. With further investigation, he learned about the Momo Challenge, an internet trend from several months ago.

Lindquist described himself as a political writer, as well as dealing with a few other jobs at the newspaper.

In fact, he even received an email from the Republicans of the state legislature during my time shadowing him regarding a recent gun debate with Governor Evers with the red-flag bill

I also met with a few other staff members at The Leader Telegram, who explained their positions and some nuances of the job.

Having had prior experience in the newsroom from my high school internship, most of our conversation was less about familiarizing me with the newsroom process and instead had more focused questions.

One thing I asked about was whether they were struggling with the transition from paper print to web.

Liam Marlaire, the assistant editor, felt that the internet allowed them to become more widespread. At the same time, it made it hard to make any money off of online work because people aren’t paying for paper subscriptions as much anymore.

Lindquist and Marlaire both spoke of how few staff there are at The Leader Telegram today.

Lindquist said that when he was first hired, the room was full of people. However, as time passed fewer positions were able to stay open.

The staff there also told me about how they no longer lay out their own newspaper pages. Instead, they pay a company in Montana to do it for them.

While it saves them from having to pay copy editors to look through works and lay out the pages, it also leaves them with less eyes to proofread the stories, causing them to be more susceptible to errors making it into the final print copy.

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Job Shadow: Kathryn Phernetton, Anchor News 18

By Carly Swisher

After seeing a post on Facebook for an anchoring position, while she had been reporting at just one station for five years, Kathryn Phernetton, is now the morning anchor for WQOW News 18. 

Job shadow

Katie Phernetton prepares for the morning show by looking over different stories and her script. ©2019 Carly Swisher

Phernetton said that she always wanted to be a news anchor growing up. She was one of those kids that got excited while watching the news. She would often take her dad’s video recorder when she was younger and pretend to interview her favorite boy band NSYNC.

“I set it all up, hit record and started off with this little voice saying, ‘hi guys…!’” Phernetton said. “I watched a lot of MTV’s TRL as a kid and was convinced I was going to be like Carson Daly.”

Later in life, Phernetton earned her degree in communications with an emphasis in electronic journalism at UW-Green Bay. In 2013, when she was a senior in college, she started working for the local Fox affiliate station as a live and feature reporter.

After working there for about 5 years, Phernetton knew she still wanted to become an anchor, but she felt it wasn’t the right location for it.

“Once you get to a mid-sized market and bigger markets, the main anchors stay in those positions for a long time … if not until they retire,” Phernetton said.

Phernetton started looking elsewhere for a potential anchor job and luckily, the opportunity popped up with the click of a button.

Thanks to an all-female journalist Facebook group that opportunity soon became a reality for Phernetton. Bridget Curran, an anchor at News 18 at the time had posted about a job opening for a co-anchor at the station in Eau Claire, about 3 hours from Green Bay … not too far from home for Phernetton.

Phernetton saw the opportunity and took it. Now she has been anchoring at the station for a little over a year.

As the morning anchor, Phernetton has a lot of responsibilities before the show even starts. Her responsibilities include checking emails for missed stories or press releases, reading through or changing the scripts and checking production queues for the show the day.

Depending on the day it takes about half an hour to an hour, according to Phernetton, and by then it’s crunch time.

An important piece of anchoring is looking the part and it isn’t an easy task at 4 a.m.

“I can do my hair and makeup in 15-20 minutes. I’ve learned to get speedy and efficient,” Phernetton said. “It is so hard when I’m sleepy…. but a fresh face of makeup can really wake me up.”

Even though the job requires Phernetton to be at work by 3 a.m. on top of a confusing sleep schedule, Phernetton said she’s not looking to leave this job anytime soon. 

“My favorite part about being on air is being able to connect with everyone that’s watching and be someone that they are familiar with, that they trust,” Phernetton said.

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