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Wednesday, November 18, 2009 An independent, student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903
COLLEGIATETIMES 106th year, issue 118
News, page 2
Police search for armed robbers lvd ity B ity C vers Uni
Opinions, page 3
Sports, page 6
Despite poor shooting night, Tech prevails over Spartans
Pizza bandits make off with dough:
Features, page 5
Old Gla de Rd.
On Monday, at 11:30 p.m. Firehouse Pizza was the target of an armed robbery. Police are looking for two suspects.
JOSH SON/COLLEGIATE TIMES
GORDON BLOCK news reporter Virginia Tech and Blacksburg Police are currently looking for two suspects following an armed robbery Monday night at Firehouse Pizza on University City Boulevard. In a timely warning e-mail, police reported that the robbery took place at the restaurant at 11:30 p.m. Entering the restaurant, the male suspect produced a small black handgun, and demanded money.
The suspects, taking an undetermined amount of cash, fled the scene in an unknown direction. The victim of the incident was uninjured. Police are looking for a black male, approximately six feet, two inches tall, with a skinny build, along with a white female, approximately five feet and three to five inches tall, with a skinny build. The male suspect was last seen wearing a grey sweatshirt, blue jeans and a black ski mask, while the female suspect was reported as wearing a black sweatshirt, blue jeans and a black ski mask.
University improves sustainability grade VIRGINIA TECH
SUSTAINABILITY REPORT CARD
A ADMINISTRATION Virginia Tech has seen OVERALL GRADE B CLIMATE CHANGE & ENERGY improvement in its B FOOD AND RECYCLING sustainability grade, B GREEN BUILDING according to a newly A STUDENT INVOLVEMENT published report card A TRANSPORTATION from the Sustainability F ENDOWMENT TRANSPARENCY Endowments A INVESTMENT PRIORITIES Institute. D SHAREHOLDER ENGAGEMENT For the institute’s 2010 report card, Tech VT vs ACC SCHOOLS 2010 REPORT CARD received an overall A- UNC B NORTH CAROLINA STATE grade of a “B,” an B+ DUKE B CLEMSON improvement from B VIRGINIA TECH B- MIAMI a “B-” for the 2009 B MARYLAND B- FSU report card and a “C-” B BOSTON COLLEGE B- UVA for the 2008 report B GEORGIA TECH C WAKE FOREST card. JOSH SON/COLLEGIATE TIMES “I’m pretty excited “You focus on what you can change, about it,” said sustainability program manager Denny Cochrane. and don’t worry about what you can’t,” “The rating accurately reflects where we Cochrane said. Of the graded schools, 47 percent are as a university.” Tech was also one of 80 schools to received a “D” or “F” in the endowment receive the designation of “Campus transparency and 59 percent received a Sustainability Leader,” which is given “D” or “F” in the shareholder engagement to schools that receive an “A-” or better categories. Tech also received an “A” in the investment priorities category. across six categories. Tech’s student body received high Tech’s administration received an “A,” a full letter grade increase from marks in the report cards for its efforts, the previous report card. The grade with Tech receiving an “A” in the student results from the university’s increased engagement category for the second year awareness of sustainability, including in a row. “The student body from year to year a newly signed Virginia Tech Climate Action Commitment Resolution and becomes more perceptive to sustainabilSustainability Plan. Tech also received an ity issues,” said Elena Dulys-Nusbaum, “A” in transportation for the third year in a junior environmental policy and planning major and president of Tech’s a row. “It’s fun,” said Steve Mouras, Tech’s Environmental Coalition. “There’s more director of transportation and campus involvement as each year passes.” Dulys-Nusbaum said that student services. “You do some things, and you aren’t always sure about the feedback. interest has been piqued by increased This type of feedback lets know what exposure to green issues. “Sustainability issues have been more folks think you’re doing well.” Tech’s low points came through its brought to life,” Duyls-Nusbaum said. endowment. The institute gave failing “Young people are picking up on that.” Dulys-Nusbaum said that Tech, as a grades for Tech’s endowment transparency and shareholder engagement, land grant and state school, could serve giving Tech an “F” and “D,” respectively. as an example to other schools. “VT has a great potential to get the Cochrane was not discouraged by the low marks, pointing out the grades for the two word out about sustainability,” Dulyscategories were in line with other schools Nusbaum said. “If we can do it, almost anybody can.” surveyed. courtesy of Sustainable Endowments Institute
Prices Fork Rd.
Call Blacksburg Police at 540-961-1150 or the Police Tip Line at 540-961-1819.
Sudoku, page 4
Classifieds, page 4
Terrell Bell drives to the basket against the Spartans Tuesday night. Bell scored six points. ALEX JACKSON sports editor The Virginia Tech men’s basketball team defeated the UNC-Greensboro Spartans 59-46 on Tuesday night, but it wasn’t easy. In a game where the Hokies were heavily favored and all signs pointed to an easy victory, the Spartans defense pressured the Hokies throughout the night, keeping the game close late into the game. “Our goal today was really
simple,” Tech head coach Seth Greenberg said. “It was just to get a little bit better. ... We’re not where we want to be. That’s what preseason is for and that’s what this time of the year is for. “I’m not going to lose my mind, I’m going to work each day to try to get our guys a little bit better and a little more confident,” he said. In the first half, the Hokies hit just 32.4 percent of their field goals and didn’t score a basket in the final four minutes of the half, allowing the Spartans to enter the locker
room at halftime tied with the host, 26-26. The Spartans defense held the Hokies’ star, junior guard Malcolm Delaney, to just six points in the first half on 3 of 10 shooting from the field. Much of that struggle was due in part to Delaney’s ankle. Midway through the first half, Delaney went up for a layup and came down awkwardly on his foot. “I took some medicine. It limited the pain, but it was still tough,” Delaney said.
Cultural center alters development plans
see BASKETBALL / page six
CLAIRE SANDERSON news staff writer
Feeding the Hungry The Hungry Hokies Fast-a-thon, sponsored by the Muslim Student Association, raised funds for a local food pantry and rewarded participants with a donated feast. photo by hussein ahmed
[ ] on the web
Go to collegiatetimes.com to watch how the Muslim Student Association raised about $4,500 for the Interfaith Food Pantry here in Blacksburg.
Largely because of a strong opposition from local residents, plans for the proposed cultural center at 102 Mountain Breeze Dr. have been altered to exclude the apartment buildings. The original proposal by developer Mani Ranjan featured a two-story building containing a cultural center and three, two-story apartment buildings. The cultural center was designed to serve as a place to gather and worship for people of many different faiths, including Hindus and Sikhs. It will also have an Indian cultural library and places for yoga and meditation. In the original plans, the apartment buildings were included in as a way to pay the cost of running and maintaining the cultural center. However, at a Blacksburg Planning Commission public forum held on Oct. 6, residents of neighborhoods nearby the proposed site came forward to express their opinions regarding the plan, which many opposed. At the end of the meeting, the commission denied approval for the construction of the apartment buildings. Some residents at the meeting opposed the construction of the apart-
ments mainly because they believed multifamily dwellings would not fit in with the area’s single-family housing. An increase in traffic, environmental impacts, and a clash with the open, agricultural tone of the North Main area were also cited as concerns. However, though opposed to the creation of apartment buildings, all of the residents who spoke at the forum were in full support of the cultural center. “As far as the temple goes, I think it’s a great place for a temple,” said George Flick, a local resident, during the public comment time. Many of the neighbors questioned how the apartments would complement the cultural center and whether or not the two should even be combined. “When I look at the plans, the one thing I fail to see is a relationship between the apartments and a temple,” Flick said. Other concerns raised included that not enough environmental impact studies have been conducted by neutral parties unaffiliated with the developer to get an idea of how the center would affect the area. Statements expressed by citizens at the forum did partially impact its decision, said Kinsey O’Shea of the Blacksburg see CENTER / page two
2 news [
nation & world headlines
new river valley news editor: zach crizer university editor: philipp kotlaba email@example.com/ 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES
Poll shows unhappiness, pessimism in Cuba WASHINGTON — Any good will Raul Castro enjoyed as Cuba’s new leader has dissipated, according to a new poll, which found more than four out of five of those surveyed in Cuba were unhappy with the direction of the country. The survey, conducted by the International Republican Institute, also found one in five Cubans cited food scarcity as their biggest worry and that 82 percent of those surveyed said life in Cuba was going “so-so, badly or very badly.” That was up slightly from 80 percent last November, the last time the study was conducted. “Cubans are as frustrated and pessimistic as they’ve ever been,” said Alex Sutton, the institute’s Latin America program director. He noted earlier surveys suggested the younger Castro enjoyed a “small bump” in confidence when he took over for his brother Fidel in February 2008. Now, however, “a vast majority of Cubans, if given the opportunity, would vote for fundamental political change.” “Cubans are dissatisfied. They want
change, politically and economically,” Sutton said. The institute, which receives funding from the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, along with the National Endowment for Democracy and other private donations, has been surveying Cubans on the island since 2007 to support its work promoting democracy, Sutton said. Though Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain chairs the institute’s board, the institute, like its counterpart, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, is nonpartisan, Sutton said. The poll had to be conducted surreptitiously on the island. It was done by a Latin American polling firm the institute won’t name, wishing to preserve the firm’s ability to keep working in Cuba. The interviews with 432 Cubans ages 18 and older were conducted face to face July 4-Aug. 7 in 12 Cuban provinces. The poll has a margin of error of 5 percentage points. lesley clarke, mcclatchy newspapers
13 Sunni men, boys reported slain in Iraq BAGHDAD — In a massacre that revived memories of Iraq’s worst years of sectarian bloodshed, assailants dressed in Iraqi army uniforms savagely killed 13 men and boys late Sunday near the restive city of Abu Ghraib, according to Iraqi officials and villagers. Many of the victims, some of whom reportedly were beheaded, while others were shot and then mutilated, were members of the Awakening, a Sunni Muslim movement that with U.S. backing and funding has fought the terrorist group al-Qaida in Iraq. Residents and security officials said that shortly before midnight, armed men in civilian vehicles raided two villages near Abu Ghraib, a city to the west of Baghdad that houses a major prison, took captives to a nearby cemetery named Seyid Mhimmed
and killed them. “I believe they were targeted because they formed Sahwas (Awakening councils) in the area and fought back al-Qaida,” said Ibraheem Ismail, who described himself as a first cousin of seven of the victims and more distantly related to the rest. Among the dead were a father and two sons, three brothers and several local leaders, including the sheik of the local mosque, who was a member of the Iraqi Islamic Party, a major Sunni political group. While it wasn’t immediately clear who was responsible, the killings and other violence Monday raised fears of a resurgence by the Sunni extremists of al-Qaida in Iraq. warren p. strobel and sahar issa, mcclatchy newspapers
Center: Apartment plans cut by commission
from page one
Planning Commission. “The Planning Commission certainly does take into account if there is overwhelming opinions to one side or the other,” O’Shea said. “In this instance, we feel that the proposal does not follow the comprehensive plan’s view for Blacksburg’s future.” However, developer and Radford resident Mani Ranjan disagrees. He believes that the cultural center is something that will greatly benefit the whole community. “I think that it’s not just for Blacksburg but will benefit the Indian community throughout the New River Valley,” Ranjan said. “I am also trying to bring an Indian cultural library, which will definitely help the community and it will be free for anybody to use.” Though the center’s use is intended to be public and open to the entire community, it is nonetheless a personal business endeavor. “This is a business deal, and I will make a little bit of profit.” Ranjan said. Though faced with the recent setback in the denial of the apartments, Ranjan is determined to go forward with plans for the cultural center and will look into new ways to fund it. “Once we get approval for the cultural center and temple, I’ll decide what to do.” Ranjan said. “I have learned that life in Blacksburg is a little different. They grow slowly, and it will take time to convince everyone that this is the best thing.” Until the next Blacksburg Planning Commission meeting, Ranjan says he will not give up. “I’m not going to back off. I’m going to keep working on this.”
Senior computer science major Cha Li hits an old computer with a tire iron at the Computer Bash sponsored by various computer science organizations. photo by mark umansky
New president, same result in China KEVIN G. HALL mcclatchy newspapers WASHINGTON — China’s rebuff this week of President Barack Obama’s call to stop controlling the price of its currency sparked renewed calls for legislation to allow U.S. retaliation against Chinese-made goods. During Obama’s bridge-building trip this week to Shanghai and Beijing, Chinese and American leaders diplomatically disagreed over China’s policy of fixing the value of its currency against the dollar. The practice results in low prices for Chinese-made exports, and U.S. critics say it penalizes U.S. exports and feeds America’s giant trade deficit. President Hu Jintao made no reference to the dispute Tuesday in a joint appearance with Obama. Obama simply reminded China of its repeated promises to loosen government control of China’s currency value so that market dynamics gradually would push it higher. “I was pleased to note the Chinese commitment made in past statements to move toward a more market-oriented exchange rate over time,” Obama said. Obama also took care to note that the U.S.-China relationship is “far beyond any single issue.” He was less diplomatic and pressed
harder in private meetings with Chinese leaders, Mike Froman, the deputy national security adviser, said in a news briefing Tuesday in Beijing. “It was very much on the agenda,” Froman said. Asked how the Chinese responded, Froman said: “I’m not going to characterize the nature of the discussion.” To critics back home, it all sounded like pronouncements made during the George W. Bush and Clinton administrations. Trade groups that feel harmed by China’s fixed-exchange rate wanted action. Instead, they got reassurance that China eventually will let markets set the yuan’s value. “I think the one thing that’s come out of this trip is that it reaffirms that the United States is going to have to take action to make that happen,” said Lloyd Wood, a spokesman for the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, which represents small U.S. manufacturers. China critics want Obama to make good on a campaign promise to support legislation that would allow aggrieved industries to seek retaliatory penalties against China. One big obstacle in the way of taking such action is that China is America’s biggest foreign creditor, holding more than $800 billion of U.S. government
debt. Taking retaliatory action could risk a counter-reaction, with Beijing refusing to buy more American debt or selling off the Treasury securities it owns. That could cause a crisis in the value of the dollar, forcing up U.S. interest rates and menacing the American and global economies. It also could spiral into a protectionist-driven trade war that could endanger the economies of both nations and the world. The Obama team has maintained a strategic dialogue between high-level officials from both countries that started under the Bush administration. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and other key players think that China eventually will see that it’s in its own interest to let the markets value its currency. China has said repeatedly that its economy is in transition and not ready for a free-floating currency whose value is set by global markets. The currency issue isn’t black and white. Many Chinese manufacturers joint-venture with U.S. companies or work under contract for them, while American consumers have enjoyed more than a decade of falling prices on Chinese-made goods ranging from shoes and clothing to appliances and electronics.
editor: debra houchins firstname.lastname@example.org/ 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES
november 18, 2009
The Collegiate Times is an independent student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903
Support for Karzai is key T
wo weeks ago, I wrote a column concerning the relationship between President Barack Obama and Gen. Stanley McChrystal, as well as the president’s lack of decision on a new war strategy in Afghanistan. Keeping with the topic of Afghanistan, new questions and developments have arisen. It now seems that the Obama administration aims to redirect the overall mission of the United States in Afghanistan. For eight years the mission has been to eradicate al-Qaida and establish a solid and stable republic in Afghanistan. Recently Obama officials have gone on the record announcing that the U.S. is refocusing its overall strategy and is now only interested in eradicating al-Qaida and the Taliban. What the president is doing here is basically closing the door on an open-ended commitment to Afghanistan, as opposed to the U.S. relationship with Japan post World War II. He is also toning down the political rhetoric of “democracy” and “freedom” and refocusing his efforts to ensure that Afghanistan does not once again become a “safe haven and a staging platform for terrorists.” Either that or he could be giving up. By giving up, I mean on the Afghan leadership, not the war itself. It seems that Obama may be giving up on his Afghani counterpart, Karzai, and refocusing his political rhetoric on eliminating al-Qaida. So what is Obama really doing here? Is he simply announcing something to keep the public happy, as it quietly grows impatient with his indecision? Or does he truly believe he cannot establish a stable republic, but at the same time eliminate al-Qaida and the Taliban from Afghanistan? It seems that Obama is once again politicizing. He is politicizing because to believe that one can eradicate alQaida from Afghanistan without a stable Afghan government is truly idiotic. If he does not think that said situation would cause more bloodshed by way of a power vacuum, I really question his leadership of this country concerning foreign policy. If an exit strategy is what he truly wants
and seeks, do it. Politicizing this war over and over does not help, and everyday another U.S. soldier is killed. Obama must commit 100 percent because whether he likes it or not, he is there. Eliminating the Taliban is something Obama pledged to do during his campaign and something it seems that many Americans still agree with. It is known that it directly harbored the Sept. 11 hijackers, and it should be brought down for it, and this is without even touching on the many issues people have with the Taliban’s exporting of opium, persecution of women and attacks on civilians. So with all of this said, it is time for the administration to listen to its commanders on the ground and win this war. If people believe that a republic will not work in Afghanistan culturally, then what will? Many may have forgotten this, but the U.S. actually supported the Taliban up until the late 1990s and began to distance itself when the Taliban began attacking civilians, targeting ethnic groups and narrowly avoided war with Iran. If that is the indication of a government “working,” it seriously deals a blow to my faith in humanity. It is time to try something new. I do not care if it is a republic, autocracy or monarchy. As long as it keeps U.S. citizens safe and avoids atrocities, I am content. It is crunch time for Obama and the public is more impatient than a child in the cereal aisle. While I do respect his not wanting to go with a “shoot first and ask questions later” approach, it now appears it has become pure indecisiveness. Hopefully, this long and drawn out process will pay off by winning the war, establishing a stable government and bringing our heroes home. We cannot accept anything less than this; if we do, however, our future with al-Qaida will most certainly continue, whether we want it to or not.
JACOB CRAIG -regular columnist -sophomore -history major
Students shouldn’t feel they need to conform V
irginia Tech is a great place to go to school. There are many people here who have done a great job of being themselves and finding their niche. Just look at the variety of opinions in this newspaper if you don’t believe me. This university is breaking ground every day and, as they say, “inventing the future.” However, there are still way too many people living in the confines of normal society. For those of you who are slaves to fitting in, I ask, “Why?” I will never understand how some people can just be part of the crowd. How does one gain satisfaction from having an identity that is nearly identical to that of everyone else? For the ladies, what’s up with the boots? You know what I’m talking about — those stupid ugly wannabe Eskimo boots. Did Cosmo print an article saying that all men secretly have an Eskimo fetish and wearing these abominations all the time will get you a husband? I don’t have an Eskimo fetish, but then again my thumb is not exactly on the pulse of the male population, so maybe there is something to these boots. And spandex! Holy Father in Heaven, don’t you ever let the girls forget their spandex with their ugly boots. What if a girl thought for herself and made deci-
sions based on what she believed and didn’t care what her friends thought. That would just be silly. Women in this country have only started officially being treated equally within the last 40 years or so, and there is still not 100 percent equal treatment. For these reasons I wasn’t too harsh on criticizing their cultural stereotypes. Seriously girls, carry yourself with some class and understand if you are trying to snare a man, your clothes don’t matter. Now it’s time for the men, you lousy bunch of knuckleheads. Men on the other hand have always been free to decide whatever they want, and yet they still push themselves into the molds of society. We need to do something about fraternities, like make joining one punishable to the fullest extent of my imagination. I swear there is a fraternal hive mind attitude that is truly frightening. Slap on the goofy sunglasses, pop some collars and drink your weight in cheap beer — now that’s what I call helping your community. I know I’m stereotyping, and I don’t care. Men, we have so many great individuals to look at for examples on how to lead a unique fulfilling life. Alan Moore, Rush Limbaugh, Larry “Wild
Man” Fischer, Hunter S. Thompson and Chuck Schuldiner are all men who have led diverse, unique lives that should be recognized by the male population as examples of the fact that anything is possible. And not just males — everyone should have someone in mind that has attained greatness and use that person as inspiration. Maybe inspiration isn’t the right word. Maybe proof is a better word. Proof that you can do something no one has ever done before and still be OK, proof that you will survive if you go against the crowd. As far as I know, we only get one life. Why not make the most of it? I want everyone to be successful and have a fulfilling life. I want everyone to make the most of their talents and not worry about what others think. If you are a student, now is the time to set yourself on the path that leads to your life being your own.
VINCENT GUIDA -regular columnist -sophomore -ISE major -WUVT DJ
Religion and science coexist in evolutionary theory T
he Christian stereotype has been around for a long time, one of the keywords being anti-science (evolutionary theory in particular) or plain stupid. It is obvious why the battle between religion and science portrayed in pop culture and common belief seems plausible; the Genesis six-day story versus the physics 14 billion-year theory triggers a red flag immediately. And while scientists have their replicable experiments, measurable methods and observable results, theologians fall short on those kinds of scientific facts and evidence. However, there are some solid, testable facts about science and religion/Christianity that you may not know. Francis Collins, director of National Institute of Health, is a prestigious geneticist and medical doctor. He is best known for his leadership of the Human Genome Project and landmark discoveries of disease genes. Described by the Endocrine Society as “one of the most accomplished scien-
tists of our time,” Francis Collins is also a Christian, a Christian by choice and a Christian who takes his religious belief seriously. Indeed, he is a Christian who believes in and provides evidence for — you got it — the evolutionary theory. I am not going to give a random guess or pick some numbers from Google to show how many Christians do not see Darwin as an enemy because that is not the reason why I write this piece. Francis Collins said in an interview, “I actually do not believe that there are any collisions between what I believe as a Christian and what I know and have learned about as a scientist.” But many are not like that. An award-winning chemistry professor who is also a faithful Christian once said in a meeting that he had felt like he was living a “double-life.” That is why I am writing this guest column. I never deny the existence of border between religion and science, nor do I see it as a battlefield.
Some are afraid that science is offensive to God. The Bible says, “love your God with all your mind.” If we are blessed with a mind that can think, reason, question and explore, it is a God-given talent. Why not use it? A handyman wouldn’t find it offensive to use his “handyman” talent to build a shelf. Then why is it offensive to use our mind to conduct scientific research? We are people, not puppets — isn’t it great? Besides, science is not just mathematical equations, tubes, DNA and things like that. When a handyman builds a shelf, there is science in it. We are experiencing science in so many ways that we may not even be aware of. The earliest universities in Western Europe were developed under the aegis of the Catholic Church. Nicholas Copernicus, Sir Francis Bacon and Johannes Kepler were some of the pioneer scientists who developed the basis for modern astronomy, philosophy and scientific methods in general.
They were all Christian. Galileo Galilei, widely known for his conflict with the Roman Catholic Church, defended the Bible Scripture while teaching his seemingly contradicting endings. Today in Europe, the United States and around the world there are many universities administered by various churches and researchers in those universities are continuously contributing to the science community. There are numerous brilliant atheist scientists in the community as well. My point is that the relationship between science and religion, Christian or not, does not have to be, or may not be what most perceive. Back to the heated evolution versus creation question before I wrap up: When I write a program or bake a cake, I take steps to develop it. The segments of codes did this and that before they all came together and accomplished the bigger project that I intended to when I started. The flour and eggs and shortening made a bat-
ter and later turned into a cake. That is the process I choose to take. So if God decided to use the evolutionary process as the mechanism to achieve what He was intended to, who are we to say “No?” I am passionate about the fascinating beauty of science and religion, both of which make me humble. If science has taught us one thing, that would be to treat all theories and hypotheses fairly. And God tells us to love. There is so much to discover in both fields and the in-between. For those who are interested, I recommend the course series Religion and Science: Pathways to Truth.
ZHENGZHENG PAN -guest columnist -Ph.D., mathematical economist
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Bluegrass band, Jugbusters, Roanoke group gives theater ‘beating heart’ finds new fans in college crowd DAN WAIDELICH features reporter If the Jugbusters have their way, old-time country and bluegrass music will never fade from the Blacksburg music scene. The band has been a fixture in Blacksburg for over a decade, playing to audiences made up of college students and locals alike. It is currently a permanent feature at The Cellar Restaurant every Thursday night at 9:30 p.m. From the earliest days of the group, the Jugbusters were committed to playing in the traditional old-time country style and getting audiences on their feet. “We started off with a lot of that traditional background,” said Bill Richardson, the band’s fiddler and a founding member, “but the best thing now is to have people out there dancing to songs we wrote. Watch people play their own music, but not very many people play their own music and have people out there dancing to it.” The formation of the band occurred naturally, Richardson said. The local musicians were familiar with each other from playing around town, and eventually Richardson, banjo player Russ Boyd and others became the Jugbusters. The line-up has changed several times since, but the band’s popularity in the area remains TRAVIS CHURCH/SPPS |strong. The Jugbusters were voted best Above: A member of the local band, the Jugbusters plays a show at band in the 2009 Collegiate Times Best of Blacksburg survey. It was The Cellar. Below: The Jugbusters are a six-member bluegrass band an honor for a group that does not that aims to stay true to its old-time country music roots. necessarily fit in with the college crowd. “I love it, I love it,” said bassist Chris Printz, a geologist from Christiansburg. “The great thing here is the diversity of the people who like us. We’ve got the 19- and 20year-olds in town. When we go out to Floyd, we’ve got all the blue hairs loving us.” The band is careful to tailor set lists to the audience, Printz said. Thursday night shows at The Cellar tend to feature a rowdier selection of tunes than other shows, thanks to the party attitude of downtown Blacksburg. Kevin Long, owner and manager of The Cellar, has invited the band weekly to jam in the TRAVIS CHURCH/SPPS bar. “We tried it, and it was a popular event,” Long said. “It just kind of grew from that first time, and now it’s our most popular event.”
check it out Members: Bill Richardson - ﬁddle, vocals Russ Boyd - banjo, vocals Nicholas Polys - guitar, vocals Liam Kelly - guitar, vocals Chris Printz - bass Ken Convery - drums The Cellar — When: Thursdays, 9:30 p.m. Price: No cover Floyd Country Store — When: 9 p.m., Fri, Dec. 11, Price: $4 The Thursday night concert is the staple of the band’s schedules, but it can be found around the New River Valley and parts beyond. “Some of the most fun I’ve had is when we play this thing called the Old Timer’s Reunion in West Virginia,” Printz said. “It’s a four-day Labor Day thing, but on Sunday everyone there gathers in the river, and we play on a little deck. We’ve had that gig for three years now.” The band has met success with its blend of traditional country and original songs. About half the songs audiences hear on a given night are original tunes, Richardson said. The Jugbusters all agree that no matter what venue they play, getting people up and dancing is their goal. Normally, some of the dancing seen at a Jugbusters’ show is known as flat-footing and two-stepping. Flat-footing is a folk dance similar to tape and the slower two-step allows for couples to move onto the floor together. Regardless of the speed or style, the band aims to put on an engaging show. “People are going to have a good time,” Richardson said. “Good times for all, fiddling and flat-footing and two-stepping.” “Blacksburg’s best band keeps country spirit alive” “Jugbusters invite Blacksburg out for an old-time country party”
COURTESY OF STUDIO ROANOKE
Members of Studio Roanoke, a community theater group, rehearse for the show “Elvis Blossom.”
STUDIO ROANOKE CONNECTS LOCALS WITH THEATER PROFESSIONALS DAN WAIDELICH features reporter Southwest Virginia may be a far cry from Broadway and the rest of the theater world, but the artists and volunteers at Studio Roanoke have created a beating heart for drama in the Star City. Playwright Kenley Smith founded Studio Roanoke in 2008 as an outlet for the production of new plays and other dramatic works. “We wanted to provide a space where the primary mission was the development, production and presentation of new plays,” said Todd Ristau, artistic director for the theater. “So that’s what we do. Just new performances of things that are unpublished.” Studio Roanoke is a black box theater, meaning it is a simple room with a large floor that will become the stage and setting for every production. The walls and ceiling are black, and the small room seats about 60 audience members. The choice of creating a black box was inspired by the off-Broadway theaters of New York City that focused on creating new productions, Ristau said. Studio Roanoke has quickly become an appealing venue for the local dramatic community. “One thing Studio Roanoke is really uniquely poised to do,” Ristau said, “is to get these local and university playwrights connected with guest professionals and theater artists.” The collaboration between Studio Roanoke, the community and guest artists is creating a network of talent in the Roanoke region, Ristau said. Ristau, who is also the director of the graduate playwriting program at Hollins University, has worked in contemporary theater in Chicago and New York. In 1986, he created “No Shame Theater,” an event where anyone can perform a short, new work in an actual theater with no pressure. “No Shame Theater” used to take place at Mill Mountain Theatre and has since relocated to Studio
Roanoke, where it is welcome among the slate of neverproduced shows. “In a lot of ways,” Ristau said, “some of the things that would have been too risky but (are) still very interesting to Mill Mountain are things that we’re dedicated to doing.” Mill Mountain Theatre closed its doors earlier this year because of the slump in the economy and left the fledgling Studio Roanoke as the city’s primary theater. Studio Roanoke is still a small organization, and much of it is run by Ristau and general manager Steven Rice.
check it out
Where: 30 Campbell Ave. SW, Roanoke, Va. 24011 For a complete schedule and more info, check out www.studioroanoke.org
Ristau is in charge of the creative aspects of the studio while Rice handles business decisions. The men are currently the only two full-time staff members at the theater, Rice said. Assisting Ristau and Rice with the production of shows is an army of community members and theater lovers. “We have many local volunteers come help out,” Rice said. “Actually, right now we have 20 or 30 volunteers who come and work with us.” Volunteers at the Studio Roanoke help to create sets and costumes. Other duties include hanging lights and working with the technical side of the theater. Local support has kept Studio Roanoke alive. As a non-profit organization, the theater is largely kept in business by contributions from community members and sponsors. “I haven’t seen a patron walk in our doors for a show who hasn’t been in for another one,” Rice said. “Even the ones who just come in for information come back to see a show and help us out with everything we are doing here.”
editors: joe crandley, alex jackson email@example.com/ 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES
november 18, 2009
California girls leave beach, embrace the ’Burg RAY NIMMO sports reporter
When most high school graduates say they want a change, they mean get a job or go to college far enough away from home where they can avoid parents but still come home when they can. But for volleyball players Felicia Willoughby, Justine Record and Morgan O’Neill, a change meant traveling about 2,700 miles east to a city completely opposite of what they’re used to. “I looked at a couple schools in California,” Willoughby said, “but I really wanted to try something different and something I wasn’t used to.” All three hail from the Bay Area of California and surrounding suburbs of San Francisco. The coastal plains contrast with the mountains of Blacksburg, and while the citizens of the Bay Area fight smog, residents of Blacksburg cover their noses to guard against the smell of fresh manure. “(California) is definitely different from here,” O’Neill said. “It’s more hectic I guess you could say. (It’s) not as relaxed because you can go more places you want.” “The traffic is insane compared to here,” Record said. Volleyball is a popular sport in California, giving them the opportunity to succeed. “Volleyball is pretty popular on the West Coast,” Willoughby said. “You can see people on the beach. My friends are all into volleyball. Volleyball is in all the high schools. I think it’s pretty big back on the West Coast, but I think on the East Coast it’s growing each year.” “You rarely run into a bad team,” O’Neill said. “Throughout my high school career, because I was playing on like the No. 1 team in the nation, we never played a bad team. In club, you would always play the best teams.” Despite the numerous differences between California and Virginia, Willoughby, Record and O’Neill all chose Blacksburg and Virginia Tech as their new home. They’ve led the team to an 18-10 overall record and an 8-9 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Opposing teams struggle in Blacksburg, though. The Hokies carry an 11-3 record at Cassell Coliseum. Willoughby, a junior middle blocker, is the oldest of the three Californians and might be the Hokies’ best player. Last year, she received All-American honorable
Basketball: 11-0 run gives Tech win from page one
While the injury was obviously bad enough to affect Delaney’s play, he said he is not worried about any long term effects. “It’s going to kill me tonight ... it’s probably just a sprain. It’s good. It ain’t too bad, it ain’t broken, but it’s probably a bad sprain,” Delaney said. In the second half, the Hokies finally found a way to jump on top and stay on top. After the Spartans’ Kyle Randall hit a layup and tied the game at 38 with just under 11 minutes remaining in the game, the Hokies finally showed up to play. Beginning with a powerful dunk by junior forward Jeff Allen with 10:33 remaining, the Hokies jumped all over the Spartans with an 11-0 run that lasted nearly six minutes to put the game away.
Sophomore outside hitter Justine Record goes up for the kill against North Carolina on Oct. 9. Record leads the team with 276 kills.
I looked at a couple schools in California, but I really wanted to try something different and something I wasn’t used to. FELICIA WILLOUGHBY JUNIOR MIDDLE BLOCKER
mention and first-team All-ACC honors. She hit a single-season record .402 hitting percentage. This year she’s hitting .306, which ranks second on the team. Willoughby played at the same high level in high school. She finished her high school career by winning Bay Area Athlete of the Year, along with a trip to the state finals in 2006. Thinking back to California, there’s one thing Willoughby misses the most. “I love the beach,” Willoughby said. “Before I was looking at other schools, I was like ‘I have to go to a school by the beach,’ and I couldn’t go anywhere else. I’m nowhere near the beach right now — totally opposite of what I wanted.” Before getting recruited, Willoughby didn’t know much about
Tech. “I knew about football and stuff,” Willoughby said. It didn’t take much for Tech to win her over, though. “(After getting recruitment letters) I was like, ‘Oh, it’s on the East Coast’,” she said. “I might as well go look at it and see how it is. The pictures in the brochure were pretty nice. I came to campus and loved it right when I stepped on campus. People are really nice, and the atmosphere, I just loved it here.” Record, a sophomore outside hitter, took a different path to Blacksburg. Besides playing in high school and winning the league title three of her four years, she competed in the 2008 Junior Olympic Girls’ Volleyball Championships. Her team won the bronze medal, but it was bittersweet. “I actually didn’t play that much on that team,” Record said, “and I think I’ve grown as a player because of it. That was the first team I’ve been on where I wasn’t a starter. That was really difficult for me to watch people playing over me. So, I can relate to people who aren’t starting, but it was exciting to be a part of a team that
won the bronze medal.” Even with all the success in the Golden State, Record wanted a change. Record said she “didn’t have any hesitations,” about leaving. “I knew I was going to miss my friends and family a lot, but I knew that the people I was going to be with, my team and the coaches, I knew I would be OK.” Record also added that she really enjoyed working with the coaches at Tech. “From the lifting coaches to the academic advisors, I just felt like it was the right fit academically and for volleyball,” she said. “And of course the campus is beautiful.” Record is becoming a dominant player for the Hokies this year. She’s hitting .207 and leads the team in kills with 276. She also ranks second on the team in digs with 256. O’Neill is the newcomer to the team. She’s a freshman who plays libero and outside hitter, and her role has increased throughout the season. Coming from an elite program, O’Neill has the potential to be a great player. O’Neill’s high school, Archbishop Mitty, was ranked first in the state and third in the nation for its athletics department by Sports Illustrated. Her team won the state title in the spring, and O’Neill remembers the rush. “(It was) thrilling,” she said. “There was so much adrenaline. It was one of my favorite matches because it was a really good team. I don’t know how to explain the feeling — it was just crazy.” O’Neill’s high school team was different from Willoughby and Record’s because it had a distinctive attitude.
“My high school team could have beat Boston College,” O’Neill said. “At high school, it was more of a cocky, ‘we know we’re going to win’ behavior, while here it’s ‘we’re going to do whatever we can to win.’ We would go in knowing we’re the best and throw that on the other team. It’s two different attitudes.” High school and college are two different animals, so making a comparison can be difficult. “They’re completely different in how things are run,” O’Neill said, “so it’s kind of hard to compare. I played outside hitter and libero at my high school. It was a little bit more relaxed. Here it’s just like, ‘go, go.’ It’s two different atmospheres. I can’t describe it.” Before getting recruited, O’Neill couldn’t tell you what a Hokie was. “I didn’t even know (Tech) existed,” she said. “When Felicia came here, that was a great resource for me. That’s how I learned a lot.” Another resource for O’Neill was Olympic beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh. “Her cousins were on the team. I’ve met her like three or four times,” O’Neill said. “She’s so nice.” Aside from high school play, O’Neill and Record both said they miss the California food. “I miss sushi, Jamba Juice and InN-Out Burger,” Record said. “It’s delicious,” O’Neill said, refuting the comparison Five Guys. “In-NOut has this special sauce, and the burritos are amazing.” Traveling all those miles away from that great food and beaches might have been difficult, but the relaxed nature of Blacksburg strikes a good balance. The three Californians are bringing their own style and flare to the ’Burg, and they’re making waves on the court.
on the web
Check out the CT’s Web site at www.collegiatetimes.com to see a photo gallery of the game.
“We just kept playing,” Allen said. “We knew what we could do.” In the first half, the Hokies struggled to defend Spartans senior guard Mikko Koivisto, who scored 10 points in the first half and converted on four of six shots from the field. In the second half, the Hokies’ junior guard Dorenzo Hudson put a stop to Koivisto’s reign. “First half was slow,” junior forward Terrell Bell said. “Came out second half and pulled it out — that was the most important thing. “Nothing changed over halftime. Basically, No. 4 (Koivisto) was knocking down threes. ... (Dorenzo) did a great job of guarding him in the second half and that helped a lot and we just stayed with everybody else and pulled it out.” Thanks to Hudson’s defense, Koivisto didn’t score again after his impressive first half performance. In fact, after Koivisto scored his 10th point with 8:10 remaining in the first half, he didn’t even shoot again. “I thought we defended really well,” Greenberg said. “After Koivisto got his 10th point, I thought we defended really well. Say what you want — I mean, we defended well. They didn’t get very many open looks.” While Tech was outshot 40.7 percent to 32.4 percent in the first half, Tech outshot the Spartans in the second half 44.4 percent to 29.2 percent. Even though the score remained close throughout much of the game, Greenberg said one shouldn’t take much from that. “College basketball — this time of the year,” Greenberg said. “Teams are developing an identity ... to try to come to a conclusion on a team in November — you’re foolish. Despite his injury and slow start, Delaney finished the game with 17 points, five assists and three rebounds. Allen finished with his first doubledouble of the season, scoring 14 points and adding 10 rebounds. With the win, the Hokies improved their overall record to 2-0 with the win. Tech next plays on Monday at 7 p.m. when it hits the road to face the Campbell University Camels in Buies Creek, N.C.
Published on Nov 18, 2009