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Republicans to campaign in Blacksburg
Former Sen. and Gov. George Allen shook hands with a constituent during a visit to Blacksburg while campaigning on Oct. 21, 2008.
MORGAN GRIFFITH, GEORGE ALLEN, DAVE NUTTER TO SPEAK AT ANNUAL DINNER, TAILGATE LIANA BAYNE associate news editor Congressional candidate Morgan Griffith and former Sen. George Allen will visit Blacksburg this weekend as Griffith continues on the campaign trail. Griffith is the Republican candidate for the 9th Congressional district and is running against an incumbent Democrat, Rep. Rick Boucher. Griffith has served in the Virginia General Assembly since 1994. The candidate will speak at the 12th annual Montgomery County
Republican Party ObenshainDalton Dinner Friday night, Sept. 10, at 6 p.m. The event will be held at Custom Catering at the intersection of North Main Street and Patrick Henry Drive. Allen is the keynote speaker for the dinner. State Sen. Mark Obenshain will also speak. Other local members of the state Republican Party, including Del. Dave Nutter, will also be in attendance. On Saturday, Griffith plans to tailgate before Virginia Tech’s first home football game of the season against James Madison University.
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Blind driver team moves forward SARAH WATSON news reporter One group at Virginia Tech is striving to make autonomous cars the new generation of mobility aids for the blind. The National Federation of the Blind proposed the blind driver project as a challenge to universities across the nation in 2004. Tech is the only school that took on the challenge and expanded it into a research project. The blind driver challenge has already received recognition from National Instruments. The team received first place in the robotics category and application of the year in the 2010 Graphical System Design Achievement Awards. The team plans to develop the project until summer 2011. “The biggest goal for this year is outfitting two full-sized Ford Escape Hybrids,” said team leader Paul D’Angio, a graduate student in mechanical engineering. The team is looking forward to two important deadlines in 2011. The blind driver team will visit Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 29 to display its fully-equipped vehicles. At the end of the project’s development in July, the team will take the vehicles to the NFB headquarters in Baltimore. A blind person will then drive the car from Baltimore to Orlando. At the completion of the trip, the blind driver team will give one vehicle to the NFB and keep one to continue developing. “We’ve got a lot to go and not a lot of time to do it,” D’Angio said. The project began in spring 2008 as an independent study under the leadership of Dennis Hong, an assistant professor in mechanical engineering who works closely with the RoMeLa laboratory. The NFB donated $3,000 to jump start the project. Donations from National Instruments and other companies provided the remainder of the funds. The group’s initial goal was to outfit an already autonomous vehicle, the OTEN car, with additional equip-
COURTESY OF JIM STROUP
Team members Matthew Becker, Kimberley Wenger, Laura Degitz, Matthew Dowden, Danny Raynes and advisor Dennis Hong examine the autonomous vehicle. They hope to outﬁt SUVs with the technology. ment specific to blind drivers. The NFB suggested creating a vehicle that the individuals could operate without relying solely on the car. The team made a tactile chair that used vibration on the back and legs to signify a need for acceleration or deceleration and a beeping tone for steering. “The independent study worked on interface in a simulated environment,” said Ryan Brookmire, a senior mechanical engineering major. During the first year of the project, the senior design team created a vehicle with the tactile chair installed into an average dune buggy. A laser range finder was added to the front of the vehicle to pan the area. The laser translates what is seen to a computer, which then alerts the operator. “We used a lot of new technology to make it work in the real world,” Brookmire said. Because the vibration of the tactile
chair and the vibration of the dune buggy conflicted, a tactile vest was added. In addition, a click steering wheel was implemented to denote the number of clicks necessary when turning the wheel. In 2009, a golf cart replaced the dune buggy design in an effort to limit problems related to vibration. Speed strips for the legs of the driver and a boot for the right foot were added as well. “(The vehicle) moved more to how sighted people would drive,” said Kimberly Wenger, a senior mechanical engineering major and team member. The drive grip was also added during the second year of development. That feature consists of two standard weight lifting gloves with wires attached. The gloves include vibration and denote when and where to turn. Air picks made their way into the vehicles during the second year of
development as an informational, not instructional, method of driving, Wenger said. Air picks have a flat surface with holes that expel air. They act as a map for the driver so he or she can navigate independently. “They want to make their own decisions,” D’Angio said. This year, the team plans to expand its goals and make corrections to existing equipment, including readdressing the speed strip idea, Brookmire said. Brookmire said the team hopes to improve the drive grip technology. Currently, the gloves don’t fit all drivers, the wires break frequently and the wires also hang from the top of the car. Since 2009, the NFB has funded most of the project. The NFB is paying for all equipment and costs for research time. D’Angio said the blind community acts as a “powerful fuel” for the project.
Tax-cut extension could help economy, analysts say KEVIN HALL mcclatchy newspapers WASHINGTON — Raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, as President Barack Obama proposes to do, probably wouldn’t wreck the moribund U.S. economy, but extending the tax cuts they’ve enjoyed since 2001 could spur some economic benefit. A healthy dose of “it depends” is needed when assessing the economic merits of whether to collect more taxes from the rich. Congress returns next week to begin debating whether to extend some or all of the tax cuts from 2001 and 2003
legislation that President George W. Bush signed into law. These temporary reductions in income, capital-gains and investment-dividend taxes are to return to the previous rates unless Congressextends them by year’s end. Obama called again Wednesday to extend the tax cuts for all but the wealthiest 2 percent of taxpayers. He’d let the tax rate rise for single taxpayers with adjusted gross income above $200,000 and couples over $250,000. The higher rate would apply only to their earnings over those thresholds. Republicans warn of disaster if all the tax reductions aren’t extended. Some Democrats in Congress appear increasingly wary of the administra-
tion’s approach, especially with prominent economists calling for a two-year extension for all the tax cuts, because they say the economy’s too weak to raise taxes on anyone yet. Bush’s tax reductions temporarily created six income tax brackets — at 10 percent, 15 percent, 25 percent, 28 percent, 33 percent and 35 percent. If not extended, they’d revert to brackets of 15 percent, 28 percent, 31 percent, 36 percent and, for those who earn more than $382,650 next year, 39.6 percent. The Treasury Department estimates that extending all the tax cuts would deny the Treasury almost $3.7 trillion in revenues over the next decade,
swelling the national debt. But allowing the reductions for the wealthiest 2 percent to expire would narrow that loss to just under $3 trillion by raising $679.6 billion in new revenue from the wealthy, the Treasury estimates. By the president’s reckoning, a modest bump in the top tax bracket isn’t going to harm the rich or the economy, since that was the rate that was in effect during the booming 1990s, the longest sustained economic expansion in U.S. history. Republicans counter that the rich play an outsized role in the nation’s economic life, and that raising taxes on them would weaken overall demand for goods and services, and could even
Students fit exercise into school day NANCY CHURNIN mcclatchy newspapers DALLAS — Even kids who have been active during the summer can face a challenge when the school year begins. They may spend as many as seven hours a day behind a desk. Physical education has been cut back in most elementary schools to no more than one hour once or twice a week. Then, after school, it’s time for homework, dinner and bed. The implications are scary. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine in February suggests that obese children are more than twice as likely as the thinnest to die before age 55, and nearly one in three U.S. children is considered overweight or obese. Fortunately, I had 9-year-old Morgan Sinegal of Little Elm, Texas, to explain how kids can stay fit even as summer play comes to an end.
“At recess, I usually run, and I play tag with some of my friends,” she says at the Cooper Fitness Center, where she attended summer camp before her classes resumed. “If it’s too cold or too hot, I go into the gym and play basketball.” She goes to after-school care because both her parents work: When the drama teacher gives kids an opportunity to stretch and to run around the stage, Morgan will do it. When the art teacher gives her group a 20minute break, Morgan plans to head to the gym. After dinner, her whole family — mother, father and brother, William, 4 — goes for a one-hour walk, sometimes feeding bread to ducks at a nearby pond. What motivates Morgan? “I want to have a lot of fun,” she says. “But I want to be healthy and happy.” Talking to her parents, Mark and Claudine Sinegal, it’s soon clear that the time they spend walking with Morgan and planning nutritious
tip the weak economy back into recession. Who’s right? Some prominent analysts such as Mark Zandi, the chief economist for forecaster Moody’s Analytics, are calling on Obama to back off his taxthe-rich proposal. He’s no reflexive opponent of the president’s; Zandi has praised Obama’s 2009 stimulus as effective in sparking today’s weak recovery after the economy’s near-collapse. But Zandi doesn’t think this latest proposal is well-timed. “I think that given the very fragile recovery, policymakers shouldn’t take any chances. In all likelihood the recovery would remain intact ... but I
REX CURRY / MCT CAMPUS
meals with her is fueling her determination to make what she calls the right decisions. That’s the key, says Meredith Rosson, Cooper’s Youth Programs director,
who says she coaches families to talk about playing together, rather than working out together. see EXERCISE / page two
see ECONOMY / page two
Graduate program avoiding state funding LARRY GORDON
Morgan Sinegal, participates in a pilates class in Dallas, Texas.
think there is enough uncertainty and fragility that it would be prudent not to raise anyone’s taxes in 2011,” Zandi said in an interview. He stresses that reverting to higher tax rates to help reduce soaring federal budget deficits will be appropriate later. “I do think it’s reasonable to raise the rates on those upper-income households in 2012 and 2013,” he said. Obama’s own former budget director, Peter Orszag, wrote a widely noted essay this week calling on the president to extend all the tax cuts for two years to provide a more hospitable busi-
LOSANGELES—UCLA’sAnderson School of Management is seeking to end any reliance on state funds under a controversial proposal that would be the first such shift to self-sufficiency in the cash-strapped University of California system and could provide a model for other programs seeking more freedom to increase tuition rates and faculty salaries. Anderson, a graduate school that offers master’s and doctorate degrees in business programs, wants to wean itself off most state funds by 2015 and to replace that $5.6 million a year with additional private donations and tuition levels closer to that of private schools. Annual tuition for California residents in a full-time master’s program would rise over time from
$41,000 now to more than $50,000, including a $5,000 discount for in-state students, according to the proposal. Cuts in state funding in recent years and continuing uncertainty about such money are driving the proposal, which must receive approval from UC headquarters and UCLA faculty. The plan’s supporters say the status quo is hurting the school’s ability to compete with private schools for top business faculty, who are among the most highly paid in academia nationwide. “We’ve got to change the way we operate if we are to continue being what we are,” Anderson’s dean, Judy D. Olian, said in an interview. “State support has declined so significantly that we’ve asked ourselves what is the best model to sustain the excellence of the school and the excellence of what we see FUNDING / page two
2 newsEconomy: Congress to debate cuts
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september 9, 2010
High-res spreads to smaller screens LOS ANGELES — Resolutions of 1080p, the maximum image resolution for high-definition television, used to be found only on big-screen models with price tags in the thousands. But 1080p resolution has become so common that it’s being offered on models in the low 20inch range, with prices down to $300. “It has been a big trend over the last year,” said Paul Gagnon, an analyst with Display Search. “You used to not see any sub-32 inch sets offered with 1080p resolution. Now, about a third of them are.” That sounds great for TV watchers on a budget or with limited space for a set. But there’s a catch: On a smaller screen, the benefits of this resolution are minuscule. “To see 1,080 vertical lines of resolution you need at least a TV of about 46 inches to fully see it,” said Gary Merson, editor of HDGuru.com. “At 26 inches, forget it; you won’t tell the difference.” Increased availability of smaller sets with 1080p displays can’t be attributed solely to hype. In part, it happened because of who was making the televisions. TV manufacturers such as ViewSonic Corp., based in Walnut, Calif., and Hannspree, based in Taiwan, used to be known primarily for their computer monitors. And 1080p does make sense, visually, for monitors. “It’s really easy to tell the difference between 720p and 1080p when you’re on a computer, because text and graphics have lots of hard edges,” saidRaymond Soneira, president of DisplayMate Technologies Corp. “If you’re hooking it up to a computer, no ifs ands or buts, get your 1080p.” -nathan olivarez-giles, mcclatchy newspapers
CORRECTIONS JUSTIN GRAVES -Contact our public editor at publiceditor@ collegiatetimes.com if you see anything that needs to be corrected.
from page one
ness climate, and then to let them all expire, because that’s essential to reducing the spiraling national debt. “Higher taxes now would crimp consumer spending, further depressing the already inadequate demand for what firms are capable of producing at full tilt,” Orszag wrote. “And since financial markets don’t seem at the moment to view the budget deficit as a problem ... there is little reason not to extend the tax cuts temporarily.” Then after two years, let them expire, he said, because “over the medium term, the tax cuts are simply not affordable. ... (A)s the economy recovers, the dominant problem will move from depressed demand to excessive budget deficits.” Other analysts say the evidence of the effects of raising taxes on the rich cuts both ways. “I think the evidence we have is too imprecise to be able to say with confidence exactly what impact that’s going to have on aggregate demand,” saidKaren Dynan, a veteran Federal Reserve economist who’s now with The Brookings Institution, a centerleft policy research organization. During nearly two decades at the Fed, Dynan researched consumption and savings behavior. Although she thinks there’s insufficient data to say how the rich might spend money they’d otherwise pay in taxes, there’s data to show they save a higher percentage of their incomes than most people do. Some studies suggest that the wealthiest 5 percent of taxpayers save more than 40 percent of their incomes. A 2000 study Dynan did for the
from page one
Exercise: Elementary education of growing importance from page one
Fed suggested that the rich save more of their incomes than other people do, so extending their tax cuts wouldn’t spur as much economic activity as tax reductions for the less wealthy would. That doesn’t necessarily mean that raising taxes on the rich would boost the economy, however. “It depends on what you are going to do with the money,” Dynan said. “If the money goes back to small businesses, the unemployed, then I think it’s likely to stimulate aggregate demand. If you use it to pay down the deficit ... it would be a negative” in stimulating demand for goods and services. Economists generally agree that spending on unemployment benefits or aid to state governments filters back into the economy quickly, and thus has a stimulating effect. That’s why some analysts say that
if stimulus is the goal, there are better ways to do it than extending tax breaks for the rich. “Higher-income folks tend to spend relatively less and save relatively more. So in a classic view of demand-side stimulus, additional resources (for them) would have less bang for the buck than for doing the same thing for folks with middle and lower incomes,” said Donald Marron, the director of the Tax Policy Center, a centrist policy research group. A former Bush administration economic adviser, Marron said the rich would seek to evade higher taxes. “At the very high end, you have the people who are the best at doing accounting and legal maneuvers to move income around,” he said. The wealthy would sell property and stocks to get the lower tax rate on capital gains before it expires, he said.
Funding: Schools seek separation can do in this region.” Some critics contend that Olian’s plan is another step toward privatizing the University of California and is based on risky assumptions about private fundraising. Olian and her supporters say that is not the case and that Anderson will remain fully under UCLA’s academic governance and policies, including tenure and pension rules. They add that the rest of UCLA will benefit because money Anderson otherwise would receive from the state could be diverted to help support such departments as English and math, which have heavy undergraduate enrollments and fewer opportunities for private fundraising. “There is a kind of win-win,” Olian said. Business schools at two other state universities, the University of Michigan and the University of
Virginia, already have adopted similar steps with success, and others are considering it, experts say. Those schools “want to control their own destiny,” according to Jerry E. Trapnell, executive vice president of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the main accrediting agency for business schools. Beyond more stability and freedom in funding, they want to respond more nimbly to market demands for new classes and programs “without having to be heavily compromised by the bureaucracy that the larger institution would demand.” The biggest challenge, he said, is to ensure enough financial aid and to maintain the income and ethnic diversity that are hallmarks of public institutions. Within UC, several other business and law schools could be candidates for similar changes in the future, but adoption would not be widespread, officials said, because of limits on what
students in many programs would be willing to pay and the difficulties in tapping alumni pockets in such fields as, say, social work or chemistry. Although noting that he expects the Anderson plan to generate strong debate on campus, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, who previously was provost at the University of Virginia, said he “fully” supports Olian’s proposal as an innovative response to the state budget crisis. He said it maintains the mission of a public university while redirecting state funds from Anderson “to chronically underfunded undergraduate programs elsewhere on campus.” But approval is not a sure thing. UC President Mark G. Yudof said he had not seen the detailed proposal yet and could not comment on it. Yudof wants the UC Board of Regents to review “something of this magnitude,” he said in a statement released through a spokesman.
“The family that plays together stays fit together,” she says. “If your children pick up that you find exercise to be a chore, they, too, may be more apt to adopt this belief.” Mark Sinegal says the history of heart disease on both sides of their families motivates him and his wife. “I come from a family that as we get older, our health deteriorates,” Mark says. “We’re both from Louisiana, where we eat very well. It’s good-tasting food but not the healthiest, with jambalaya and fried seafood and beignets. I struggle with my weight. But I’ve always felt that when you establish a foundation with health, it can help you your whole life.” They work as a team, including the children. Claudine manages the food choices; she limits the amount of junk food in the pantry. Mark built the raised beds for the family garden, where they grew watermelon, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, bell peppers, strawberries and green onions this summer. “Having a garden made me like vegetables,” Morgan says, twirling a green Silly Bandz on her wrist that she was given at camp to remind her that greens are good. “Before, I was more of a fruit fan.” While Claudine sometimes packs lunch for Morgan, who just started fourth grade, she also studies the school lunch menu to identify nutritious choices, such as salads and yogurt. Mark picked the fitness camp because he wanted his daughter to learn more about nutrition and exercise. She’s learned so much that’s she’s been known to reproach mom for eating too many brownies. Don’t get her started on when her parents take William and her to the mall for their after-dinner walk, either. “If you can call walking at the mall exercise,” she sniffs as her parents smile and shrug. “We’re not perfect,” Mark says. Even so, Morgan notes, she’s pleased with their progress. She has every confidence that with encouragement, they may improve in the fall.
nation & world headlines
Trapped miners to watch soccer live SANTIAGO, Chile — The 33 miners who have been trapped for over one month 2,300 feet (700 meters) under the Atacama desert in northern Chile are to watch Tuesday’s soccer match between Chile and Ukraine live. “We have carried out the relevant tests of the signal, which were described as optimal,” the National Emergency Office (Onemi) of the Chilean Interior Ministry said Tuesday in a statement. Rescue workers liaised with personnel from the mobile telephone company Movistar to broadcast the match to the miners, who have been trapped since the mine shaft collapsed on August 5. Contact was only re-established with the miners 17 days later. One of the 33 miners is suffering from severe tooth ache, Onemi noted, and his antibiotics treatment had to be changed. Experts cited by Chilean media described the man’s situation as worrying, since no more comprehensive remedies will be on hand for him until he is pulled up to the surface, and that could take another three or four months. Another miner was also getting treatment for hypertension. Rescue teams are using an Xstrata drill to dig a 2,300-foot vertical tunnel to the place where the miners are. By Tuesday, they had reached about 325 feet (100 meters) underground. Onemi described this as Plan A. The drilling of a second shaft, Plan B, has also begun at the San Jose copper mine and reached a depth of nearly 100 feet (30 meters). A Schramm drill is to enlarge a hole which has been used to send food, water and other essentials to the men. A bigger and stronger drill, which is normally used for oil and gas extraction, was due to arrive at the mine over the next few days. It would, however, take some time to prepare it for the operation, Chilean authorities said. -jan uwe ronneberger, mcclatchy newspapers
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september 9, 2010
The Collegiate Times is an independent student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903
McDonnell deserves credit for job creation T
housands of jobs have been lost in Virginia during the last few years. Our unemployment reached a whopping 7.8 percent this past February, with areas in southside and Southwest Virginia, such as Martinsville, reaching as high as 20 percent. In light of these difficulties, it is refreshing to have state leaders who not only promise to fix our broken economy but actually deliver. In a country with a Congress that has approval ratings around 20 percent and an unemployment rate at 9.5 percent, it’s no surprise that people are beginning to lose faith that their elected representatives will actually abide by their campaign promises. Gov. Bob McDonnell and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling have proven themselves to be an exception to this trend, giving Virginians real results and real change — change that the entire country deserves. Since February, 71,500 jobs have been added in the commonwealth of Virginia. Virginia’s unemployment rate has dropped to 7.1 percent, 2.4 percent lower than the national average, and is the 13th lowest nationally. And remarkably, 110 economic development deals have been made. All of this has been done in the first eight months of the McDonnell administration, and these successes are only expected to continue. Currently, Virginia is the No. 2 state for business; it was previously No. 1, until Texas edged ahead for the 2010 year. The many accomplishments of both McDonnell and Bolling have made it evident why Virginia deserves this honor and why Virginia is seeing such improvements in its economy. With his first executive order, McDonnell created his Economic Development and Jobs Creation Commission. He appointed Bolling as chief jobs creation officer; and a member of his cabinet, as well as the co-chair of the commission. The commission is divided into nine subgroups. While the subgroups have been meeting and planning proposals to turn into the governor at the conclusion of the commission, both McDonnell and Bolling have been traveling nonstop in efforts to bring business and jobs to Virginia. Bolling is at the heart of this commission and the economic development plans. In a position that is supposedly only a part-time gig, he has clearly demonstrated his dedication and love for Virginia by putting in hours upon hours of tireless work to help improve our state. If working overtime — such an understatement — on a part-time salary isn’t dedication, I don’t know what is.
Whether he is meeting with business leaders, making job announcements or discussing economic development plans, Bolling is constantly working hard for our state and for us, as evidenced by the constant flow of job and business deal announcements. While announcements such as Northrop Grumman, a Fortune 500 company, moving its corporate headquarters to Northern Virginia are making headline news in the state, perhaps the more significant announcements are the ones that are hitting home in Southwest Virginia. Martinsville, whose 20.3 percent unemployment rate is the highest in the commonwealth, has been the target of many recent job announcements and economic development efforts. In late April, Faneuil, Inc., announced it is establishing a call center in Martinsville which would create 250 new jobs, and the company plans to expand that number by 100 within the next few years. But the good news doesn’t stop there. One of the more recent announcements is that two NASCAR races will be held each year at Martinsville Speedway until 2015. It had been feared that the speedway would lose one of the races, which bring in a great amount of revenue for the city and help promote tourism. The Tobacco Commission gave the speedway a $1.5 million grant to help fund a $3 million facility upgrade. McDonnell, along with Bolling, have announced that the commonwealth’s 2010-12 biennial budget will have a $224 million surplus, an amazing improvement from the 2008-10 budget’s $4.2 billion shortfall. How’s that for change? The federal government would do well by taking a few cues from these guys. Overwhelmingly, McDonnell and Bolling have made good on their promises to the people of Virginia. It seems that every night on the news there is a new announcement regarding their efforts to bring business and jobs to the commonwealth. These two have set what I hope will become a precedent for future leaders by working together on a united front to vigorously fight for the commonwealth and its people. I know that because of them my faith has been restored in our public servants.
STACIE GORDON -regular columnist -junior -political science major
Your Views [letter to the editor]
Mosque needs further inquiry In response to Justin Seabe, “Imam’s remarks not controversial” (CT, Sept. 8), suggesting that radical Islam attacked America because we don’t mind our own business, I have to ask: What about the rest of the world where radical Islam carries out their atrocities and the centuries before America was even a country? What about the atrocities and killings against their own people if they don’t praise Allah and practice Sharia law? We have a president who sat in a church for 20 years and could not recognize that Rev. Wright was a racist radical who hates
America. We have a president who took a few days to respond to the Ft. Hood massacre and still won’t claim it an act of war by radical Islam. Why should we have any confidence that the Mosque at Ground Zero isn’t another place to teach the same radical ideology Islam has been spreading and practicing for centuries? Where does the money come from? Why should taxpayers pay for President Barack Obama’s goodwill tour? If they think it’s so important to spread goodwill, why can’t they come up with the funding? Do we send priests to Rome to collect money for churches?
Connie Chapman, Blacksburg resident
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Pakistan needs further aid, press to begin rebuilding H
ave you been asked while checking out at the Virginia Tech University Bookstore if you would like to donate a dollar to Pakistan flood relief? Didn’t think so. In July 2010, unprecedented monsoon rains in Pakistan submerged one-fifth of the nation’s total land area, causing one of the largest natural disasters of the modern era. The United Nations estimated the number of affected individuals to be greater than the combined totals of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2005 Kashmir earthquake. With water levels reaching more than 18 feet high, people were seen standing on their roof tops seeking salvation. This damage has left millions homeless and injured, as well as severely damaged if not totally destroyed crop fields, affecting future wheat harvests in particular. Research by Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy shows as of Aug. 30, a total of $25 million has been donated to Pakistan by individuals. While this is a seemingly large amount, it pales in comparison to the $900 million donated to efforts in Haiti within the same time frame after the quake struck. With such great need, why the lack of relief aid? A major factor points to the lack of media coverage. Although news stories swiftly brought images and videos of Pakistanis wading through shoulder-deep water, coverage since the flooding has been increasingly rare. With the public’s attention indefinitely divided between other media seeking our attention such as ads, celebrity gossip, YouTube videos and social networks, news stories seem to remain in our conscious only as a result of repeated exposure.
Unfortunately, while we are able to cry “Oh, the horror,” at the breaking news bar on the bottom of our TV screens, the horror remains long after it stops being brought to our attention. Another reason for the lackluster donations may be because of the fact that Pakistan has not been favorably portrayed in the media otherwise. As a Muslim nation, heavily associated with terrorism as of late, individuals are perhaps less willing to offer relief. With the Park51 Mosque stirring controversy and intensifying opinions, those holding animosity toward Muslims may be less inclined to give to those thought of as the adversary. While this may be an underlying and largely subconscious factor hindering aid, I would urge you to look past this and realize the humanitarian stakes at hand. Finally, the fact that 20 million people have been displaced and 2,000 have died — a very small fraction of the number of people lost in events such as the Haiti earthquake or Pacific tsunami — is likely a large factor for the lack of donations. This brings up an interesting point. While the Haiti earthquake was an utterly stomach wrenching tragedy, much of the publicity it received was based on the number of people killed. In a course I am taking specifically on Haiti’s past, present and future, we discussed how Haiti is actually facing an excess of funds and there are “too many chefs in the kitchen” in attempting to decide how to allocate all of it. While large death figures may raise our eyebrows, consequently leading us to reach into our pockets quickly, the painfully large number of displaced people in Pakistan and miraculously low number of dead
should have an equally, if not more, profound effect. The 20 million displaced Pakistanis are alive and surviving on water and food dropped by helicopters onto the small blips of land not inundated by water. The United Nations has stated that donations are not coming in quickly enough, and it is feared that many will suffer from hunger, and ultimately, starvation. For this reason, donations are critically important because these deaths are largely preventable with proper funds. As food for thought, while studying in Bishop-Favrao Hall the other day, I stood at a window observing the beloved new parking deck on Perry Street. It occurred to me that the structure, this $30 million structure built to temporarily house our Volkswagens and Jeeps, exceeds the amount of funds given to save a nation in despair by $5 million. Twenty million people left homeless could have food and water to survive another day or two with funding easily found to give just more than a thousand cars a spot to rest while we go about our days. While undoubtedly an unfair comparison between the richest nation in the world and one of the poorest, the comparison nonetheless puts into some perspective the paramount need for relief aid and the ease with which we procure millions of dollars. Something tells me that donating $5 would do a world of good, and none of us would notice the loss a few minutes later.
NOOR KHALIDI -regular columnist -junior -economics major
Senate should hold BP more accountable for Gulf oil spill Is this too much to ask of the Senate? Hold polluters like BP accountable for their catastrophes and make funds available for restoration efforts in the Gulf of Mexico — many of which are already planned, signed into law and ready to roll out? Create strong new safety measures for offshore oil and gas drilling? Find the money to continue to respond to the environmental and economic effects of the worst oil spill in America’s history? And do what’s right — ensure fair compensation to families of those killed or injured by the Deepwater Horizon disaster? The House acted to address both short- and long-term threats on July 30, about two weeks after oil stopped flowing into the Gulf of Mexico from the blown-out Macondo well. The Obama administration has also begun taking steps to live up to its commitment to making the Gulf Coast healthier than it was before the disaster. But the Senate now has only weeks to get the job done. And the people, wildlife and wetlands of the Gulf Coast cannot afford to wait. From my new vantage point at Audubon — one of the nation’s oldest and most respected conservation organizations — I look back on the summer of crude and on my own trip to the region during the height of the crisis.
I can’t shake the images of oilcoated brown pelicans or of gulls and terns perched on the oily ribbons of mop-up boom that washed ashore. I wish every senator could have seen those innocent victims — and talked to the people, too. From the fishermen to the rig operators, to the restaurant owners whose livelihoods came to a halt in the sludge of the Macondo spill; they all told me they believe in the need to restore Louisiana’s fractured wetlands. We understand instinctively that birds are indicators of environmental health. Their fate is linked to the air, water, and landscapes that sustain us all. If they are in trouble, so are we. But the BP disaster was just the latest insult to the vast Mississippi River Delta, a region long under assault from environmental mismanagement. On average, 25 square miles of vital wetlands disappear each year thanks to the misguided reengineering of the Mississippi River. For decades, our elected leaders chose short-term transportation projects and industrial and commercial development over the natural systems that replenish coastal marshlands and sustain long-term ecological health. With each disappearing acre, the region loses essential natural storm protection, vital habi-
tat for birds and other wildlife and marine species, and the foundation of vibrant coastal economies and cultures. The administration and the House have planted the seeds of a response that can combine the immediate cleanup with longer-term efforts to stop and ultimately reverse long-term degradation of this globally significant ecosystem. But it won’t be enough to pass legislations full of good intentions. What’s needed is a guaranteed source of funding. The House took an important step by passing the CLEAR Act, which included an amendment offered by Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-La., that directs civil penalties from the BP spill to coastal restoration. That means an immediate $1.2 billion for efforts to reverse the loss of storm protection and habitat across the Gulf Coast. The amendment was so uncontroversial that it passed the House in a voice vote. Now it’s up to the Senate. The twoweek clock starts ticking on Sept. 13. An American treasure — its largest wetlands region — can and must be restored. For the sake of the people and wildlife of coastal Louisiana, is this too much to ask?
DAVID YARNOLD -MCT campus
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Pups invited to dive right in PATRICK MURPHY features staff writer Pups can go for a refreshing dip in chlorinated waters, which will no longer be designated just for humans, at the seventh annual Pool Party for Pooches, an out-of-theordinary fundraiser that lives up to its name. Each year, after pools close to the public, Montgomery County Parks and Recreation lets them go to the dogs for the pool party fundraiser held by the Humane Society of Montgomery County. This year’s event is Sunday, Sept. 12. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., dogs and humans alike are welcome to come to Frog Pond Pool in Christiansburg to get their paws wet and make a donation to HSMC. The entrance fee of $10 for dogs and $5 for humans really adds up, accordingly to Chris Brandewie, who is one of four committee members that volunteers at HSMC and helps put this event together each year. “Last year’s Pool Party for Pooches was attended by 300 people and 200 dogs and raised over $4,000 for our shelter,” Brandewie said. “We’d like to make this year’s event better than ever, both in attendance and money raised.” According to Brandewie, the event is very important because aside from concessions at Virginia Tech athletic games, it’s HSMC’s largest one-day fundraiser. HSMC receives no funding from the state or county, meaning it relies heavily on the community to support the region’s only no-kill shelter. The money raised at the pool party will help buy food for the animals at the shelter, pay for spaying and neutering surgeries and provide vaccines and veterinary care to the shelter’s fourlegged residents. For Brandewie, the event is more than just a fundraiser.
check it out What: Pool Party for Pooches When: Sept. 12 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Where: Frog Pond Pool in Christiansburg Cost: Donations accepted; money goes toward the Humane Society of Montgomery County “It’s really just a wonderful way to engage the community,” Brandewie said. “You just look out (at the pool) and see everyone having a great time with their pets.” Jennifer Ortolani, senior biology and psychology major, agreed with this sentiment. Ortolani is the president of the Pre-Veterinary Club, which provides the greatest source of volunteers for the event each year. “This is my third year involved with the swim, and I look forward to it because it’s great to watch all of the animals having fun,” Ortolani said. “I had never heard of dog swims until I joined the PreVet Club, but it’s very popular in the community and it’s just great to see everyone come out and support the cause.” This year the club will bring approximately 40 volunteers, according to Ortolani. At the swim, the club will also help wash dogs — a service offered for $3 to get dirt and chlorine out of the dogs’ fur. The swim isn’t a total free-for-all though. There will be some structured activities, such as a raffle and muskrat races, where an item is tossed into the pool for dogs to chase after. A local vendor will also be at the pool selling concessions for humans. Fellow committee member Karyl Clemence is also very passionate about the event but cautions potential participants on some of the particulars. Dogs must be on leashes and also must be up-to-date on all vaccinations. Humans younger than 16 years old are not allowed in the pool, and no underwater human swimming is permitted. Clemence also warns dogs needs to be able to “play nice” with other dogs. If a dog does start causing trouble, he or she will have to leave. “Fortunately, incidences with aggressive dogs in the past has been rare,” Clemence said. “It really just gives you goose bumps to see how smoothly this event runs with so many dogs.” The event will be held rain or shine, but thunder and lightning would postpone it. In the event of inclement weather, the swim will be held Sept. 19 at the same time.
Loop Wondering what’s going on around the ‘burg? Check out the events of the upcoming week. [Thursday, September 9] What: Music —K.T. Vandike Where: Gillie’s When: 7 p.m. Cost: Free
What: Music — The Temptations Where: Burruss When: 7 p.m. Cost: $7 for students
What: Music — The Jugbusters Where: The Cellar When: 9 p.m. Cost: Free
[Friday, September 10] What: Music — Groovascape Where: Gillie’s When:9:30 p.m. Cost: Free
What: Music — Chronicles of the Landsquid Where: Attitudes When: 8 p.m. Cost: $8 in advance, $10 at show, for 18+
[Saturday, September 11] What: Music — DJ Mix Live Where: Attitudes When: 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Cost: $8 for 18 to 20-year-olds and $5 for 21+
What: Music — My Rag Top Where: Gillie’s When: 7 p.m. Cost: Free
[Tuesday, September 14] What: Music-- Future Rock/Orchard Lounge Where: Attitudes When: 9 p.m. Cost: $13 in advance, $15 at door, for 18+ What: Speakers — authors Barbara Kingsolver and Steven Hopp Where: Burruss When: 8 p.m. Cost: free
[Wednesday, September 15]
[Monday, September 13] What: Music — Badﬁsh Where: Attitudes When: 9 p.m. Cost: $17 for 18+
What: Music-- Monday Blues Jam Where: The Cellar When: 9 p.m. Cost: Free
What: Comedy Club Where: Attitudes Bar & Cafe When: 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Cost: $7, 18+
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september 9, 2010
NFL season kicks off with much anticipated rematch W
ith the NFL season just around the corner, Collegiate Times sports reporters Alex Jackson and Nick Cafferky discuss three of the biggest issues heading into tonight’s kickoff game. This year’s opener will feature a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship game, as Minnesota will travel to New Orleans. The game is set to start tonight at 8:30 p.m. and will be televised on NBC.
Thursday, Sept. 9 Minnesota at New Orleans - 8:30 p.m. (NBC) Superdome
Sunday, Sept. 12 Carolina at NY Giants - 1 p.m. (FOX) New Meadowlands Stadium Atlanta at Pittsburgh - 1 p.m. (FOX) Heinz Field Cleveland at Tampa Bay - 1 p.m. (CBS) Raymond James Stadium Denver at Jacksonville - 1 p.m. (CBS) EverBank Field Indianapolis at Houston - 1 p.m. (CBS) Reliant Stadium Miami at Buffalo - 1 p.m. (CBS) Ralph Wilson Stadium Detroit at Chicago - 1 p.m. (FOX) Soldier Field Oakland at Tennessee - 1 p.m. (CBS) LP Field Cincinnati at New England - 1 p.m. (CBS) Gillette Stadium Arizona at St. Louis - 4:15 p.m. (FOX) Edward Jones Dome San Francisco at Seattle - 4:15 p.m. (FOX) Qwest Field Green Bay at Philadelphia - 4:15 p.m. (FOX) Lincoln Financial Field Dallas at Washington - 8:20 p.m. (NBC) FedEx Field
Monday, Sept. 13 Baltimore at NY Jets - 7 p.m. New Meadowlands Stadium San Diego at Kansas City - 10:15 p.m. Arrowhead Stadium
NICK CAFFERKY & ALEX JACKSON -sports reporters
QUESTION: Who will play in Super Bowl XVL and raise the Lombardi trophy in 2011? CAFFERKY: The Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens will be playing in Dallas for this year’s Super Bowl with the Ravens holding the Lombardi trophy once again. Quarterback Joe Flacco will be one of the most improved players we have seen in recent years now that he has Anquan Boldin and TJ Houshmandzadeh to throw to — not to mention an amazing dual-threat running back in Ray Rice. On defense, they are getting old, but linebacker Ray Lewis is still a beast in the middle and safety Ed Reed should return in week seven in full form. With those guys leading a defense that includes dynamic pass rushers Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs, don’t discredit them just yet. JACKSON: Super Bowl XVL will be the battle of the Manning brothers, as the Indianapolis Colts take on the New York Giants. Last season, many preseason prognosticators picked this matchup for the big game and it looked possible, until both team’s defenses suffered injuries too big to overcome. With both teams healthy entering this season, it’s a completely different ball game. The Colts not only return Sanders but add some youth to their pass rushing unit, which already includes Dwight Freeney, with firstround draft pick Jerry Hughes. The Giants’ defense got a major
overhaul too, with the addition of defensive coordinator Perry Fewell, all-pro safety Antrel Rolle, safety Deon Grant and veteran linebacker Keith Bulluck. And remember that Giants defensive line that beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl three years ago? It’s back. Defensive ends Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora are finally healthy, and with eight solid defensive linemen, including first-round pick Jason Pierre-Paul, the G-Men can finally rotate like they once did along the line to beat the league’s best offense. On the offensive side of the ball, Eli and Peyton Manning have two of the most talented young receiving units in the league. They finally have had time to develop chemistry with Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks in New York, as well as Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie and Anthony Gonzalez in Indianapolis. The Giants’ running game is finally healthy, with Ahmad Bradshaw coming off two surgically repaired feet, looking to be the breakout player of the year in the NFC East. Brandon Jacobs appears finally healthy and is fresh after a light preseason workload. The Colts’ running game is back too, after receiving heavy praise all preseason, thanks to a tag-team of Joseph Addai and Donald Brown that finally looks to have it together. When it’s all said and done, these two teams will be in the Super Bowl. These two teams know how to win Super Bowls. These two teams have players on their team that know how to win Super Bowls. Not the Jets, not the Vikings — the Colts and the Giants. Mark it down. I look for the Giants to pull this one out, with Eli Manning beating out his older brother for his second ring.
good” teams like the Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans. But Indianapolis’ true test will come in the playoffs, when it faces the two teams that could really give them a run for such as money — the New York Jets and Baltimore Ravens. For now, however, the Colts are the team to beat.
QUESTION: Are the Colts still the team to beat in the AFC? Who will be able to dethrone them this season? CAFFERKY: The Colts will win the AFC in the regular season but won’t represent the conference in the Super Bowl. Peyton Manning dominates during the season, but the brand of football doesn’t win in January. Once in the playoffs’ one-and-done format, the San Diego Chargers and Baltimore Ravens will pose a threat to the Colts, who live or die by Manning’s arm. Not to mention, Manning is starting to have a reputation as a choke artist in big games. It has been several years since his win over the Bears in the Super Bowl, and he is going to have to prove himself all over again. JACKSON: It’s hard to bet against a team like the Colts. Despite seeming forever jovial in countless television commercials, Manning must have locked himself in a room and angrily gutted drywall with nothing but his Super Bowl XLI ring after falling to the Saints last season in Super Bowl XLIV. The 10-time Pro Bowl selection can’t be happy about losing to Drew Brees, and has a few years left to do what he does best — win. It’ll be a lot easier for him to do that this season, as the Colts return just about every key component from last year’s AFC champion team. Add a healthy Bob Sanders to that equation, who prior to his seasonending injury last year was the best safety in the league, and wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez, and you’ve got yourself one scary squad. The Colts will win at least 12 games this year, cruising past a horrid division that features “but, they could be
Saints quarterback Drew Brees drops back to pass in last year’s NFC Championship game against the Vikings. Brees and the Saints will look to repeat as Super Bowl champs.
QUESTION: With Brett Favre returning to the Vikings, does that return them to Super Bowl contention? CAFFERKY: Favre returning makes the Vikings into a playoff team again, but I don’t think the Super Bowl is in their future. Wide receiver Sidney Rice is gone for the majority of the season and Percy Harvin is a serious question mark with his nagging migraines. In addition, running back Adrian Peterson has a serious fumbling problem that has revealed itself at the worst times. Even if he is as successful as last season, I can’t see him leading the Vikings past teams like the Saints and the Packers. JACKSON: If the Super Bowl was a yearly contest between the biggest scumbags in the NFL, Brett Favre’s return would give the Vikings an automatic bid. But the Super Bowl isn’t that, so I digress. While Favre’s return definitely makes the Vikings a better team, Minnesota has a long way to go before getting close to the promise land. With its No. 1 receiver, Rice, out for an extended period of time, and its offensive line in a state of disarray, it’s hard to see this team matching last year’s success. If they do, it will be because of every player not named Favre. New wide receiver addition Greg Camarillo must contribute, receiver Bernard Berrian must stay healthy and Peterson must have a career year. If all that pans out, the Vikings could be a force to be reckoned with. Linebacker E.J. Henderson returns from a broken femur he suffered last December and Minnesota’s front seven is one of the best in the league. But, to contend for the Super Bowl? That’ll be tough.
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