friday september 28, 2007 blacksburg, va.
Hookah not so healthy after all
bulletin board DEADLINE TO DROP CLASSES TODAY The deadline to drop a class without penalty is today at 5 p.m. It is also the deadline to change a grade option from A/F to Pass/Fail. Grade option changes can be made at the University Registrar in the Student Services Building or at the office of academic deans.
ct news reporter
SEND-OFF PEP RALLY FOR FOOTBALL TEAM A send-off pep rally for the football team will be held tonight at 6 p.m.on the west side steps of Cassell Coliseum. Parking will be available on the Cassell Lot. There will be HokieZone shirt sales and giveaways, a poster contest and a flaming VT on Dietrick Lawn. DAVID VAN/SPPS
Employees dish out southwest cuisine to customers at Moe’s Southwest Grill, which opened for business at 11 a.m. Thursday.
sports MEN’S SOCCER TO TAKE ON UVA The No. 12 men’s soccer team will travel to Charlottesville tonight to play the No. 4 University of Virginia Cavaliers. The Hokies ride a 7-game winning streak into their first road conference matchup against a formidable in-state opponent. Kick-off is slated for 7 p.m.
news LIBRESCU TO BE HONORED Liviu Librescu, the Virginia Tech professor who was killed during the April 16 shootings while trying to save the lives of his students has been nominated for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Gov. Tim Kaine sent a letter to President George Bush on Tuesday stating that the former professor deserves the award. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation’s highest civilian award for service to national interest or world peace. Former President Harry S. Truman established the award in 1945.
weather PARTLY CLOUDY high 75, low 47
coming up TUESDAY’S CT Find out how the CT sports staﬀ thought the Hokies fared against the Tar Heels with complete game coverage.
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index News.....................2 Features................4 0pinions................5
Sports....................8 Classifieds..............9 Sudoku..................9
An independent, student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903 104th year • issue 144
Moe’s opens up for business JESSICA DANIEL
ct staﬀ writer A constant flow of customers streamed in and out yesterday of what used to be a record store, but this time instead of music they had burritos in hand. Moe’s Southwest Grill, one of America’s fastest growing chains, was opened to the Blacksburg community yesterday at 11 a.m. The TexMex chain is located on the corner of North Main Street and College Avenue. Downtown Blacksburg is the prime location of the only Moe’s Southwest Grill in the Roanoke Valley. With the closest chain being two hours away in Winston Salem, district manager for Blacksburg Mark Henry said that it was time to bring the Southwest flair to this college town. “My boss was driving through Blacksburg to see what’s here and by chance he saw the old record store was for lease, so he decided this would be the perfect place for another Moe’s,” Henry said. “We put Moe’s in lots of college towns; students like the food and the fun atmosphere.” Moe’s is a TexMex fast-casual chain like Chipotle, known for their big burritos and the create-your-own meal option. They take pride in the freshness of their food, cooking everything fresh daily and not storing food in freezers or
using microwaves. What sets Moe’s apart from other chains like it is the friendly environment and energetic atmosphere. The music played inside ranges from Johnny Cash to Elvis to Grateful Dead. “Moe’s is like Chipotle with more personality,” Henry said. “When people walk into Moe’s the first thing they hear is ‘Welcome to Moe’s!’ We have a fun, friendly, enthusiastic atmosphere here with a lot of energy.” Wednesday night Moe’s held a friends and family night for employees to practice before opening. “We served about 250 people Wednesday night,” Katz said. “It was a good way to get everyone ready for the opening.” Voted as one of America’s top ten fastest growing chains, Moe’s Store Manager Bob Katz has high expectations for upcoming business. “Business has been going really well,” Katz said. “It has been extremely packed from the minute we opened the doors.” Moe’s plans on becoming involved with the community by allowing fundraising opportunities to schools and organizations. They will help elementary schools raise money on profit sharing nights by donating a portion of profits toward a specific organization. Moe’s will also take part in decorating four vinyl bus wraps around campus. Katz and
Henry are also working on becoming involved in other ways. “For the grand opening there will be street teams handing out freebees in front of the store (next weekend),” Henry said. “They will be giving out T-shirts, sunglasses and other free things.” Moe’s is open from 11 a.m. — 11 p.m. during the week and until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays. They also offer catering and delivery to campus housing.
James Crittenden enjoys lunch at Moe’s Southwest Grill on its opening day.
Since its development over 500 years ago in India, hookah has become a worldwide smoking phenomenon. hookahs are readily available over the Internet, allowing young-adults and adults alike to purchase these strangely shaped smoking devices in droves. The trend has also spread to bars and restaurants, which allow customers to smoke hookah while also enjoying their favorite meals. Often thought to be a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes, studies have recently shown that it might be exactly the opposite. Composed of a glass base, a metal pipe, a brightly colored hose, a bowl and mouthpiece, the hookah allows from one to several people to smoke at one time. Often seen at parties, hookah mouthpieces may be passed from person to person. According to The Hookah Manual, a project done by Zach Tomaszewski, the proprietor of SnarkDreams Shisha Exports, the base of the hookah may be filled with anything from water to alcohol and is filled to no more than one inch from the bottom of the pipe when the hookah is assembled. The bowl is attached at the top of the pipe where the flavored hookah tobacco is placed. Aluminum foil with holes poked in it covers the tobacco to create a seal. On top of the foil, a self-lighting, smokeless coal is placed using tongs. Once assembled, smokers inhale the smoke through the hoses.
“While many hookah smokers may consider this practice less harmful than smoking cigarettes, water pipe smoking delivers the addicting drug nicotine and is at least as toxic as cigarette smoke.” - DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES In the past three to four years, the United States has seen a significant increase in the amount of hookah smokers. Hookah bars have been popping up in cities, towns and campuses across the United States. SheSha is Blacksburg’s own hookah bar, as well as a place where people can go and relax and eat while smoking hookah. Megan Birney, SheSha employee and Virginia Tech 2005 alumna, believes that hookah is so popular because it’s a “novelty, it’s different.” “It’s not an everyday activity,” she said. Recent research gives credence to Birney’s statement. As studies continue, a consistent — albeit unsurprising — theme emerges: Smoking hookah is in fact not good for you. “Anytime a human lights anything on fire and puts it in their mouth, it’s bad,” said Jon Fritsch, of Schiffert Health Center’s office of health education. A 2005 article, “The Latest on Hookahs: What You Don’t Know Can Kill You” by Kamlesh Asotra,, describes harmful effects of smoking hookah. The
see HOOKAH, page TWO
Patching community ties with pumpkins CHRISTIANSBURG’S SINKLAND FARMS OFFERS TRADITIONAL OUTDOOR FALL FUN TERESA TOBAT
ct features reporter
“The Spirit of Tech” Hokie Bird, was officially dedicated Thursday.
Squires’ Hokie Bird statue dedicated KATIE MCLAUGHLIN
ct staﬀ writer Yesterday in the Squires Student Center “The Spirit of Tech” Hokie Bird received an official dedication, sponsored by University Unions and Student Activities. Following the dedication was a showing of Hokie Nation, a documentary film put together by Chris Valluzzo and Sean Kotz about Blacksburg, the Virginia Tech Hokies and everything that encompasses the hokie nation. The event was part of the 2007 homecoming festivities and was attended by students and alumni of Tech. “To all the Hokie cheerleaders and mascots-to all those students, faculty, staff, alumni, and fans who carry the Hokie spirit in their heads-and to all those around the world who joined with us in sharing the Hokie spirit and honoring the Hokie nation during a very difficult time last spring-we
see HOKIE BIRD, page TWO
Sinkland Farms Pumpkin Festival is called a festival for a reason. Not only will there be 18 acres of pumpkins to pick, but there will be hayrides, animals, live bands and homemade cuisine. Providing that it doesn’t rain heavily on any of the festival days, Sinkland Farms will open this Saturday, Sept. 29 and continue every weekend until the last weekend in October. Sinkland Farms is located in Christiansburg. To get there, take I-81 to Exit 114 and then go south on Route 8 for 2.2 miles. The farm will be on your left. Admission as well as parking is free. However, hayrides and anything for sale at the festival will cost you. Susan Sink, owner of Sinkland Farms, said most guests will end up taking a hayride to the pumpkin patch. The hayride is a two-dollar round trip. Once you arrive at the pumpkin patch, the only trouble is deciding which one from the huge piles of pumpkins you’ll take home. Just remember, the size of your pumpkin determines the price. “If you can carry it, you can have it,” Sink said. The cheapest pumpkins are $1 and the most expensive are $20. The largest pumpkin will be on display and the attendee who guesses the closest weight wins a prize. Don’t expect to see your average solid orange pumpkin patch. Hybrid pumpkins are the second best-selling pumpkins at the festival, just behind the familiar orange jack-o-lantern pumpkins. Sink’s hybrids include white pumpkins, which have been purchased for fall weddings, as well as turquoise and deep orange pumpkins. To select a good, enduring pumpkin, Sink recommends looking for a greener stem and avoiding dry or non-existent stems. For carving, she suggests using a pumpkin “at least the size of a basketball with some green in a thick stem.” Overall, personal preference is the biggest factor in pumpkin picking. “You’d be amazed at some of the pumpkins people pick,” Sink said. If pumpkins aren’t your thing, you can also choose from gourds, squash, Indian corn,
COURTESY OF SUSAN SINK
At Sinkland Farms, visitors can take a hayride, pet farm animals, and enjoy the scenery. Weekend festivals offer live music throughout the fall season. straw bales and corn shocks. Despite this year’s drought, which has decreased the number of larger pumpkins available, the gourds have thrived. Sink suggests attending the festival on one of the earlier weekends if you want a large pumpkin. The big ones go fast. In addition to the 18 acres of pumpkins, there will also be live music, crafters, animals, antique tractors and farmstead demonstrations. There will always be at least one band at the festival. The bands are all local and rotate as the festival goes on. The crafters also rotate and sell paintings, pottery and even painted spider rings. For the most part, all the farm equipment displayed is owned by Sinkland Farms, as are the animals. The farmstead demonstrations include a wool spinner, blacksmith and a whittler — there will always be one present. The Pumpkin Festival is a community effort. Just ask the Auburn United Methodist Church, located in neighboring Riner, Va., that has provided the majority of the food for the festival since it started 14 years ago. The food will be in an ice cream parlor on the farm and is made by church members. Typical dishes include: hot dogs, fried apple pies, apple butter, barbecue, cakes and warm cornbread and pinto beans. Both Susan Caldwell, who works in Adult Family Ministries at Auburn
United, and Sink agreed that cornbread and beans is the most popular dish. “The Pumpkin Festival brings the community together and provides a safe environment … it’s one of the big fundraisers for the church. The money made goes toward the building fund and helps pay for the mortgage on the church,” Caldwell said. The church has approximately 150 to 200 members and about 150 will contribute either time or food to the festival, Caldwell said. Even members of the Tech community have lent a helping hand to the festival. In years past, but not this one because of drought, civil engineering students have used a GPS system to create an intricate design in the corn maze. About 12 agriculture technology students, led by agriculture business management and applied economics instructor Scott Sink, ventured to Sinkland Farms to help set up displays and pick pumpkins. The 12 students are part of a club devoted to service and restoring farms. This is their first year helping with the festival, in what Scott Sink describes as a “potential tradition.” “It helps that the students have that experience (of working on an actual farm). They also get to know each other and their instructors a little bit better. The work is as fun as they want to make
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see PUMPKINS, page SIX