March 23, 2023
The White Pine Press Tackles San Francisco
On March 9, eight members of the White Pine Press staff ventured out to California to attend the Associated Collegiate Press (ACP) conference in San Francisco.
Tragedy struck when Godzilla appeared and took out a good chunk of the city, but luckily our writers were safe and sound in the conference hotel along with the other college press attendees. Many great memories were made once the city regained control over the mythical monster, from enjoying the Pacific Ocean to experiencing a traditional Shaolin Martial Art Yau Kung Moon Lion and Dragon Dance in Chinatown.
The trip went smoothly aside from the obvious Godzilla attack. Everyone was on time to all of the keynote speeches and lectures, and no-one ended up lost in the city or arrested along the way.
While Godzilla made the conference more complicated, the hardest part of navigating the trip for the White Pine Press staff was transportation..
Two staff writers were stopped in the Traverse City Airport for bag check and found guilty of carrying a wine key and a bottle of water, respectively.
Faculty advisor Monica Cole worried over the staff writers and was relieved upon discovering that neither student had packed anything nefarious. Cole was insistent that none of us : “say the B word.”
The “B” word typically has five letters, and is usually hurled as an insult toward women, occasionally used as slang for “friend” or “girl”, and most rarely used to describe a female dog. For Cole, it had four letters and was “the number one way to get oneself in trouble with the Transportation Security Administration.”
This word, of course, is bomb.
While most of the staff were respectful of Cole’s fears, it was a struggle for some to keep the laughter down while passing through security lines at both TVC in Traverse City, and SFO in San Francisco. Emotions flared as the group arrived at SFO to board the flight home. The gate in question was none other than C4. Cole found the coincidence to be oddly suspicious, but the writers began cracking all kinds of b-word jokes. “They’ve been making these jokes since the departure from TVC two days ago. Don’t they know that’s how you get put on a No-Fly list?” Cole said.
The airports weren’t the only places that the White Pine Press crew found difficulty. While navigating BART, or Bay Area Rapid Transit, is second-nature to Californians who use it on a daily basis, the newspaper staff found themselves in a bit of a pickle.
After multiple attempts to buy tickets to get from the airport to the hotel, they were given a written approval receipt stating that they had paid for the ride. They were escorted through a large door, separate from the turnstiles. No transit cards were given out.
When the staff arrived at the hotel, there were another set of transit gates. Because they hadn’t received transit cards, the writers were forced to hop the turnstiles. Cole, already flustered from multiple “b-word” jokes, opted to wait until a BART officer was able to assist her over. The staff found her later, during the Godzilla attack, waiting patiently in front of a closed ticket counter.
The staff ran into another problem on the return trip. “I thought all the BART officers fled the city,” said John Osmond, staff writer and yo-yo enthusiast. Unfortunately, video footage was caught of White Pine Press staff members hopping the turnstiles on their way to take BART back to the San Francisco airport.
A BART officer was waiting for the staff when they arrived at the airport. The group was stopped during their attempt to leave the station, but fled, leaving a wake of destruction more catastrophic than Godzilla had in their path.
Upon landing safely back in Traverse City, TCPD arrived on the scene and arrested all eight of the staff writers, Cole, and Jacob Wheeler (the other faculty advisor) for destruction of San Francisco property, evading arrest, illegal turnstile hopping, and intent to bring explosives onto an airplane.
Please send us bail money.