The Chronicle T h e i n d e p e n d e n t d a i ly at D u k e U n i v e r s i t y
Tuesday, november 24, 2009
ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTH YEAR, Issue 66
Questions surround drug-resistant flu Duke’s four cases are latest of about 50 found worldwide by Tullia Rushton The chronicle
Although uncertainty still surrounds the origins of four drug-resistant H1N1 cases recently identified at the Medical Center, officials are not greatly concerned that the virus will become widespread. The cases are resistant to Tamiflu, a drug used to treat seasonal flu and swine flu, but are no more severe than the Tamiflu-susceptible virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. The confirmed cases of Tamiflu-resistant swine flu are responsive to Relenza, another medication used to treat the virus. More than 50 cases of Tamiflu-resistant H1N1 have been reported globally, according to the World Health Organization. Members of the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service are interviewing physicians, nurses, family members and at least one patient at the hospi-
tal to figure out the source of the four drug-resistant swine flu cases, said Dr. Joseph Govert, director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit. “There is an investigation at this point to try to understand whether the strain of the virus is the same in all four cases or whether they are individual cases that developed a resistance to Tamiflu after having taken it,” he said. See resistant on page 5
H1N1 cases down as flu season nears by Tullia Rushton The chronicle
The number of H1N1 cases at Duke is leveling off just in time for the regular flu season to begin. Student Health reported fewer cases of the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu, in the past couple weeks, said Sue Wasiolek, dean of students and assistant vice president for student affairs. The number of infected students peaked around Oct. 17, Jean Hanson. Student Health administrative director, said. “Student Health was averaging anywhere between 30 and 45 cases a week for the last several weeks, but last week, they had about 25 cases reported,” she said. Hanson said swine flu trends at Duke follow statewide trends. The decrease in cases could, in part, be caused by the distribution of 755 FluMist nasal spray vaccines during Student Health’s flushot clinic Oct. 7. Even after the vaccinations, Student Health is still urging students to take extra precautions throughout the year. “It’s going to be more challenging now with the beginning of the regular flu season,” Hanson said. “It’s going to be a little more confusing about who has what.” She added that students who are more See virus on page 5
NC unemployment rises to 11% Vegetarians see campus options grow by Jeremy Ruch The chronicle
For the first time since May, North Carolina’s unemployment rate increased last month. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 11 percent in October, after peaking at 11.1 percent in May, according to figures released Friday by the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina. A year ago, North Carolina’s unemployment rate was 7 percent, while the national rate was 6.6 percent. “The job market is still weak,” said Michael Walden, W.M. Neal Reynolds distinguished professor of economics at North Carolina State University. “The state’s unemployment rate will continue to go higher, probably peaking early next year between 11.3 and 11.6 percent.” Still, the figures released last week did include some positive indicators, Walden said. “One piece of good news in this report... is that we actually had an increase in jobs at existing businesses and an increase in jobs in factories and professional and business services,” he said. John Coleman, a professor at the Fuqua School of Business, said the trend in North Carolina’s unemployment rate indicates that job losses may persist once the recession is over—just as unemployment rose for about 1.5
Duke uses defense to get past 49ers, Page 7
years following the recessions ending in 1991 and 2001. He added that employer concerns about the potential for inflation and tax hikes may make them more hesitant to hire new workers. “Heightened political uncertainty about management of the economy is making employers hold back on hiring plans until some of these other issues are resolved,” Coleman said. Larry Parker, public relations officer at the ESC, noted that fluctuations in North Carolina’s unemployment rate since February have been minor. In the same period, the national unemployment rate has risen from 8.1 to 10.2 percent, while North Carolina’s has increased from 10.7 to 11 percent. “We’ve been fairly steady,” he said. Since a year ago, North Carolina’s economy has lost 185,800 non-farm jobs, according to the ESC. The federal government’s stimulus package is projected to create 105,000 jobs in the state over three years. So far, 28,073 jobs have been created in North Carolina, the fifth highest number of jobs created in any state by the stimulus. Cathy Akroyd, communications director for the
While her friends scarf down burgers and fries, junior Sarah King opts for vegan alternatives, like all-natural smoothies, pita with hummus and meatless chili. But King said she does not feel like she is missing out. She became a vegan her junior year of high school when she gave up all animal-derived foods—including eggs and dairy products. “All in all, the vegan diet can provide a lot of benefits in terms of energy and overall well being,” King said. “I also pay more attention to where my food comes from, and eat less processed foods. I’d like to try a raw diet someday too.” The number of vegetarians, vegans and other healthyeaters has been increasing nationally over 15 years of
See unemployment on page 5
See vegetarian on page 6
by Sanette Tanaka The chronicle
“I have spent thousands of dollars on the software to give you an accurate reading on what you’re eating.” —Owner Laura Hall on the Refectory’s nutritional information. See story page 3
The Chronicle wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
2 | TuesDAY, november 24, 2009 the chronicle
24 people found dead after massacre in the Philippines
Support for legalizing Students target redheads marijuana grows rapidly LOS ANGELES—As many as four youngsters were targeted in suburban Calabasas by at least a dozen middle-school students after a Facebook group urged them to beat up redheads, authorities said. The first reported incident occurred Friday when a 12-year-old boy was kicked and hit in two incidents on the campus of A.E. Wright Middle School by a dozen of his classmates, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s investigators. Further investigation led detectives to confirm a second attack in the city, and they now believed there may be two more victims, said Steve Whitmore, a department spokesperson. The students who participated in the attack may have been motivated by a Facebook message telling them that Friday was “Kick a Ginger Day,” said Lt. Richard Erickson. “Ginger” is a label given to people with red hair, freckles and fair skin. Whitmore confirmed that all four victims in the investigation have red hair. The Facebook message may have been inspired by an episode of the television show “South Park.”An episode in 2005 focused on prejudice against “gingers” after one of the characters said people with red hair, light skin and freckles have no souls and suffered from a disease called “gingervitis.” Investigators have not made any arrests and don’t consider the attacks to be hate crimes. The first victim sought help Friday from a school nurse, who contacted the principal. Sheriff’s officials arrived on campus shortly afterward.
All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. — Walt Disney
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The same day they rejected a gay marriage ballot measure, residents of Maine voted overwhelmingly to allow the sale of medical marijuana over the counter at state-licensed dispensaries. Later in the month, the American Medical Association reversed a longtime position and urged the federal government to remove marijuana from Schedule One of the Controlled Substances Act, which equates it with heroin. A few days later, advocates for easing marijuana laws left their biannual strategy conference with plans to press ahead on all fronts—state law, ballot measures, and court—in a movement that for the first time in decades appeared to be gaining ground. ”This issue is breaking out in a remarkably rapid way now,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Public opinion is changing very, very rapidly.” The shift is widely described as generational. A Gallup poll in October found 44 percent of Americans favor full legalization of marijuana—a rise of 13 points since 2000. Gallup said that if public support continues growing at a rate of 1 to 2 percent per year, “the majority of Americans could favor legalization of the drug in as little as four years.” A 53 percent majority already does so in the West, according to the survey. The finding heartens advocates collecting signatures to put the question of legalization before California voters in a 2010 initiative.
TODAY IN HISTORY 1954: Air Force One, first U.S. Presidential airplane, christened
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines— Twenty-four people were found dead in the southern Philippines after scores of gunmen Monday kidnapped a caravan of supporters accompanying a woman en route to file her husband’s nomination papers to run for provincial governor, authorities said. Officials called the attack a politically motivated massacre. Many of the victims were beheaded, their remains buried in shallow graves. The victims—at least 13 of them women—reportedly included a dozen local journalists covering the filing that marked the start of the Philippines election season. Twenty-one bodies were recovered late Monday with three more early Tuesday. Police are looking for more than a dozen other victims. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack in a region known for decades of bloody clashes between Islamic militants seeking autonomy in this predominantly Roman Catholic nation. But authorities indicated that Monday’s violence on the south island of Mindanao might be the work of political warlords and gangs who wage war against one another with well-equipped private armies. “This is a gruesome massacre of civilians unequaled in recent history,” said Jesus Dureza, a provincial official. “There must be a total stop to this senseless violence and carnage.”
Ismael Mangudadatu, the candidate for provincial governor, was not in the convoy at the time of the attack. He told officials that his wife, Genalyn, called him by mobile phone moments before she and her entourage were abducted. She said 100 men had surrounded the convoy, officials said. Then the line went dead. Mangudadatu, deputy mayor of the town of Buluan and a political rival of the current governor of Maguindanao province, had received death threats in recent weeks, officials said. General Leonardo Espina, Philippine National Police spokesperson, said Tuesday that officials believe forces connected to the Ampatuan family, which has held power here since 2001, were responsible for the carnage. Elections are traditionally violent here, especially in the southern provinces. On May 14, more than 45 million Filipinos will go to the polls to choose among 87,000 candidates vying for 17,000 national and local positions—including 268 House seats. The convoy was reportedly carrying more than 40 political activists and journalists riding in several vans when it was hijacked near the town of Ampatuan, said Army Col. Jonathan Ponce, a spokesperson for the 6th Infantry Division. The bodies were later found about three miles away. ”Many of them (were) beheaded, including probably journalists,” Ponce said.
juan forero/The washington post
Luiz Alberto Bortolini, along with hundreds of other farmers in Brazil, is replanting trees as a part of an initiative to reduce deforestation. Deforestation has already fallen by 50 percent since 2006, but Brazil still remains one of the leading producers of greenhouse gases.
the chronicle tuesDAY, november 24, 2009 | 3
Duke University student dining advisory committee
Off-campus eateries to allow tipping on points by Toni Wei
A change to the Merchants on Points program next semester could make both students and delivery people happier. Early next spring, Dining Services will experiment with electronic tipping for two MOP restaurants, said junior Alex Klein, Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee co-Chair. Klein, The Chronicle’s online editor, made the announcement at DUSDAC’s Monday meeting in place of Director of Dining Services Jim Wulforst, who was absent from the meeting. Deliverers will be equipped with DukeCard readers and will be able to accept tips from students on food points, Klein said. He added that the two restaurants that will participate in the test run have not yet been chosen. Wulforst could not be reached for comment Monday. Members of the committee said the new policy would benefit all parties involved, including Dining, which will receive 18 percent from each electronic tip— the same proportion Duke charges MOP eateries on sales. DUSDAC members also discussed a more structured way to recommend potential MOP restaurants. “Next semester, one of our primary goals will be to come up with a legitimate way of evaluating Merchants on Points so we can recommend to Dining if we really do not want a res-
taurant on points,” Klein said. He added that some restaurants will have to adjust their hours to meet certain guidelines. In other business: The committee heard a presentation from Refectory Owner Laura Hall, who brought samples of the cafe’s new pumpkin chai tea and vegan tofu scramble for members to taste. “We change our teas all the time, and [pumpkin chai] is our flavor for fall,” Hall said. “It will be around probably until January.” Hall also announced that a list of all of the allergens in Refectory dishes is now available in the restaurant and on the Dining Web site. “I have spent thousands of dollars on the software to give you an accurate reading on what you’re eating,” Hall said. “We are so strict about cross-contamination and sharing utensils, and if a server doesn’t know something they will go get a chef— there is always a chef on-site.” Members also raised the issue of student complaints over high prices at the Refectory. Hall said the prices are necessary to cover labor costs. “It’s an interesting balance because we have the social and environmental sustainability, and you know for seven months it’s great, and then for the other five months we struggle to support the employees we have,” she said. “The food cost, it is what it is, it’s not going to change.”
michael naclerio/The Chronicle
Refectory owner Laura Hall presents a review of the Refectory from the September issue of “Our State” magazine at Monday’s Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee meeting. She also revealed upcoming changes to the Refectory’s menu.
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4 | TuesDAY, november 24, 2009 the chronicle
Nuclear power U.S. charges 8 with terrorism winning new green support by Spencer S. Hsu The Washington Post
By Anthony Faiola The Washington Post
LONDON—Nuclear power—long considered environmentally hazardous—is emerging as perhaps the world’s most unlikely weapon against climate change, with the backing of even some green activists who once campaigned against it. It has been 13 years since the last new nuclear power plant opened in the United States. But around the world, nations under pressure to reduce the production of climate-warming gases are turning to low-emission nuclear energy as never before. The Obama administration and leading Democrats, in an effort to win greater support for climate change legislation, are eyeing federal tax incentives and loan guarantees to fund a new crop of nuclear power plants across the United States that could eventually help drive down carbon emissions. From China to Brazil, 53 plants are now under construction worldwide, with Poland, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia seeking to build their first reactors, according to global watchdog groups and industry associations. The number of plants being built is double the total of just five years ago. Rather than deride the emphasis on nuclear power, some environmentalists are embracing it. Stephen Tindale typifies the shift. When a brigade of Greenpeace activists stormed a nuclear power plant on the shores of the North Sea a few years ago, scrawling “danger’ on its reactor, Tindale was their commander. Then head of the group’s British office, he remembers, he stood outside the plant just east See nuclear on page 6
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Federal authorities unsealed terrorism-related charges against eight men Monday, accusing them of recruiting at least 20 young Somali Americans from Minnesota to join an extremist Islamic insurgency in Somalia. The newly named suspects make up one of the largest suspected terrorist networks in the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, analysts said. Assistant Attorney General David Kris said the government continues to investigate the alleged recruitment, and sources indicated that FBI and grand jury inquiries are active in San Diego, Boston and Columbus, Ohio, into the disappearance abroad of dozens of Muslim Americans since 2007. The charges cap a year-long FBI investigation into the departures, most of them among men of Somali descent in their teens and 20s, to join al-Shabaab, an extremist group with ties to al-Qaeda. Al-Shabaab opposes Somalia’s weak but internationally supported government and seeks instead a fundamentalist Islamic state under sharia law. It has since attacked Ethiopian and African Union troops, targeted neighboring countries, pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden last year and used al-Qaeda operatives to train American recruits, U.S. officials said. The State Department listed al-Shabaab as a terrorist group last year. American officials said they worry that al-Qaeda operatives might “commission” a U.S. strike using alShabaab’s pipeline of American and European fighters, whose passports would make it easier for them to travel undetected, although they have said they see no sign yet of such a threat. Among those charged Monday was Mahamud Said Omar, a U.S. permanent resident arrested two weeks ago in the Netherlands. Omar paid for airfare and AK47 rifles for several of the youths to join al-Shabaab, officials said Monday at a news conference in Minneapolis. U.S. officials requested the arrest and seek his
extradition. Officials also announced charges against seven other men, all outside the United States and not in custody. They include Cabdulaahi Ahmed Faarax and Abdiweli Yassin Isse, who were formally charged Oct. 9, one day after they told a U.S. border agent that they were headed from San Diego for Tijuana, Mexico. According to an FBI affidavit, Faarax and Isse conspired to recruit and pay for six Somali American youths to go abroad in December 2007, including Shirwa Ahmed, 27, a college student from Minneapolis. He blew himself up in one of five simultaneous attacks that killed 22 U.N. aid workers and others in Somalia in October 2008, Special Agent Michael Cannizzaro wrote in the affidavit. The group included several cooperating witnesses among six other Somali Americans who pleaded guilty on related charges this year, according to court documents. Faarax told the group “that he experienced true brotherhood while fighting in Somalia and that travel for jihad was the best thing that they could do,” the agent wrote. Faarax told the young men that they would get to shoot guns, and that “traveling to Somalia to fight jihad will be fun, and not to be afraid,” Cannizzaro wrote. Also charged with conspiracy to support terrorism and to kill outside the United States were Ahmed Ali Omar, Khalid Mohamud Abshir, Zakaria Maruf, Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan and Mustafa Ali Salat, according to grand jury indictments that were unsealed. The men—all U.S. permanent residents who left for Somalia between December 2007 and August 2008—were also charged with firearms charges and solicitation to commit violent crime. Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism analyst at Georgetown University, noted that the charging documents mention only recruits from Minneapolis, and refer only glancingly to al-Shabaab’s links to al-Qaida. See terrorism on page 5
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North Carolina Office of Economic Recovery and Investment, wrote in an email that the state is on track to create all 105,000 jobs. “We can expect [the projection to be met] by the end of the three year process. That has always been the plan,” she wrote. A little more than a quarter of the stimulus money awarded in the state has already been received, and Akroyd said most of the stimulus funds will be spent in the second year. As the stimulus money is spent, state officials urge patience. “As things turn around, people start coming back to the labor force,” Parker said. “Not everyone gets a job right away.”
Court documents unsealed Monday say the group that left Minnesota in December 2007 purportedly went to training camps in southern Somalia, where they met dozens of other Somali youths from the United States and other countries. They received military-style training in using machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades from Somali, Arab and Western instructors, the documents state. U.S. officials said this fall that one key trainer included Saleh Ali Nabhan, 30, a liaison to al-Qaeda in Pakistan who was wanted for his role in the 1998 attacks on two U.S. embassies in Africa. He was killed in a U.S. helicopter raid Sept. 14. In documents released Monday, U.S. officials said recruits were
resistant from page 1 Dr. Daniel Sexton, director of the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network, said in a Nov. 20 CDC statement that appropriate infection control procedures were practiced in the unit where the cases occurred. None of the employees working with the patients contracted the virus, he said. All four patients with the virus were in an isolated unit of one floor at Duke Hospital when they contracted the strain, the news release said. The patients were very ill with “underlying severely compromised immune systems and multiple other complex medical conditions,” the release states. The news release also said there is no reason for “hospital-wide” concern, and that despite these four cases, the number of hospitalizations for H1N1 in the state have declined in the past several weeks. Students should not be concerned about the drug-resistant swine flu strain, said Dr. Bill Purdy, executive director of Student Health. “This shouldn’t affect student health right now, obviously we’re watching it, but we have no reported cases in the student body,” Purdy said.
virus from page 1 susceptible to contracting swine flu should continue to take additional measures to protect themselves against the virus. “The majority of people who are relatively healthy will recover [from the flu], but those with underlying illnesses such as respiratory problems are at a greater risk,” Hanson said. “If [their illness] is getting worse or not getting better, we really need to see them.”
purportedly “indoctrinated with antiEthiopian, anti-American, anti-Israeli and anti-Western beliefs.” One long-term concern will be what returning fighters do with their training, analysts said. “We still don’t know how deep this well is,” Hoffman said. “Initially, it was described as people going over for purely patriotic motives, but now we’re seeing there is much more of a core jihad curriculum.” Since the departures, U.S. officials have reached out to the Somali American community, estimated at up to 200,000 foreign-born residents and their relatives. Officials are concerned that decades of political strife in Somalia and a recent influx of younger, poorer immigrants could make them vulnerable to radical appeals.
Officials on Monday praised the cooperation they have received in their investigation of al-Shabaab. “The sole focus of our efforts in this matter has been the criminal conduct of a small number of mainly Somali American individuals and not the broader Somali American community itself, which has consistently expressed deep concern about this pattern of recruitment activity in support of al-Shabaab,” said Ralph Boelter, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Minneapolis field office. “The sad reality is that the vibrant Somali community here in Minneapolis has lost many of its sons to fighting in Somalia,” said U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones. “These young men have been recruited to fight in a foreign war by individuals and groups using violence against government troops and civilians.”
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vegetarian from page 1 polling conducted by the Vegetarian Resource Group. Because of the many different kinds of eaters who consider themselves vegetarians, estimates for each specific type are difficult to calculate. Many follow a traditional meatless vegetarian diet, but there are slight alterations, such as “pescatarians” who accept fish and “pollovegetarians” who eat poultry. Three percent of U.S. adults now consider themselves vegetarian compared to about 1 percent a decade ago, according to a 2009 VRG poll of more than 2,000 people. Data from the same organization indicates that roughly one-third of vegetarians follow a vegan diet. Even meat eaters are choosing wholesome foods when given the option. “What used to be thought of as ‘way out there’ is now very every day,” said Franca Alphin, director of Nutrition Services at Student Health. “I think more and more people are realizing the health benefits of this way of eating. We have quite a few students at Duke that are vegetarian.” Duke is no exception—college students in particular are prime candidates for the trend, said adjunct professor Charlie Thompson, who is currently teaching a cultural anthropology class on the “politics of food.” Young adults comprise one of the largest vegetarian demographic groups. “Students here have the privilege of higher education, which is where people become more aware of the realities of the food market,” Thompson said. “In contrast, there are many people in our country who are too poor or otherwise unable to have any choice in the matter.” Although most people associate vegetarianism with wholesome living, Alphin warned that this scenario is not always the case. Some vegetarians may have deficiencies in essential nutrients that are best found in meat, poultry and fish, said Alphin. She added that as long as students supplement their diets accordingly, vegetarianism can be a well-rounded option. As vegetarianism expands nationally, it has also evolved at Duke. For exam-
ple, Duke’s vegetarian club PlanV unites healthy eaters on campus by serving nourishing meals and raising awareness about vegetarianism. PlanV also helps smooth students’ transitions from home cooked foods to dining hall fare, King said. Director of Dining Services Jim Wulforst said all campus eateries cater towards vegetarians in some respect by offering healthy options. Even so, menu choices can be limited. “Overall, Duke has a lot of good options with great, fresh food,” said Noel Shaskan, a senior who is a pescatarian. “But in terms of strict vegetarian foods, there are only a few places that consistently have vegetarian fare.” Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee co-Chair Jason Taylor, a senior, wants to see more options on campus for healthy eaters. “It’s getting better, but personally, I am not satisfied,” Taylor said. “I want to push everywhere on campus to continue improving, but relative to other college campuses, we do have a better environment.” Senior Caroline Yoder, a vegetarian who is a DUSDAC committee member, said she would like to see more menu items for vegans. Because most of Duke’s vegetarian options have cheese, it is nearly impossible to be a vegan on campus, she said. King said the lifestyle is possible, but said she likely would not be able to sustain her eating habits without the financial support of her parents. She added that she runs out of food points before all of her friends. To supplement vegetarian options like the Refectory and the Great Hall salad bar, DUSDAC recently oversaw the addition of more vegan meals at the Refectory, including a tofu scramble. Merchantson-points has also incorporated healthier vendors such as Green Tango, a makeyour-own salad restaurant. In the future, Taylor would like to expand Armadillo Grill to include more variety—maybe a tofu taco, he said. “If you want to see changes, I think the best option is just to engage right then and there with the manager of the location,” Taylor said. “Managers really want to hear your input. If you have a suggestion, just talk to them.”
nuclear from page 4 of London telling TV crews all the reasons “why nuclear power was evil.” The construction of nuclear plants was banned in Britain for years after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in what was then the Soviet Union. But now the British are weighing the idea of new nuclear plants as part of the battle against climate change, and Tindale is among several environmentalists who are backing the plan. “It really is a question about the greater evil—nuclear waste or climate change,” Tindale said. “But there is no contest anymore. Climate change is the bigger threat, and nuclear is part of the answer.” A number of roadblocks may yet stall nuclear’s comeback—in particular, its expense. Two next-generation plants under construction in Finland and France are billions of dollars over budget and seriously behind schedule, raising longer-term questions about the feasibility of new plants without major government support. Costs may be so high that energy companies find financing hard to secure even with government backing. But experts also point to a host of improvements in nuclear technology since the Chernobyl accident and the partial meltdown of the Three Mile Island plant in Pennsylvania in 1979. Most notable is an 80 percent drop in industrial accidents at the world’s 436 nuclear plants since the late 1980s, according to the World Association of Nuclear Operators.So far at least, the start of what many are calling “a new nuclear age” is unfolding with only muted opposition—nothing like the protests and plant invasions that helped define the green movement in the United States and Europe during the 1960s and 1970s. As opposition recedes, even nations that had long vowed never to build another nuclear plant—such as Sweden, Belgium and Italy—have recently done an about-face as they see the benefits of a nearly zero-emission energy
libby busdicker/The Chronicle
As the number of vegetarians rises nationally, Duke is adapting by increasing the number of vegan and vegetarian options available to students at on-campus eateries.
overriding the dangers of radioactive waste disposal and nuclear proliferation. In the United States, leading environmental groups have backed climate change bills moving through Congress that envision new American nuclear plants. An Environmental Protection Agency analysis of the WaxmanMarkey bill passed by the House, for instance, shows nuclear energy generation more than doubling in the United States by 2050 if the legislation is made law. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is reviewing applications for 22 new nuclear plants from coast to coast. To be sure, many green groups remain opposed to nuclear energy, and some, such as Greenpeace, have refused to back U.S. climate change legislation. Groups that support the bills, such as the Sierra Club, say they are doing so because the legislation would also usher in the increased use of renewable energies like wind and solar as well as billions of dollars in investment for new technologies. They do not say they think nuclear energy is the solution in and of itself. “Our base is as opposed to nuclear as ever,” said David Hamilton, director of the Global Warming and Energy Program for the Sierra Club in Washington. “You have to recognize that nuclear is only one small part of this.” But Steve Cochran, director of the National Climate Campaign at the Environmental Defense Fund—a group that opposed new nuclear plants in the United States as recently as 2005—also described a new and evolving “pragmatic” approach coming from environmental camps. “I guess you could call it `grudging acceptance,’ “ he said. “If we are really serious about dealing with climate change, we are going to have to be willing to look at a range of options and not just rule things off the table,” he said. “We may not like it, but that’s the way it is.” That position, observers say, marks a significant departure. “Because of global warming, most of the big groups have become less active on their nuclear campaign, and almost all of us are taking another look at our internal
policies,” said Mike Childs, head of climate change issues for Friends of the Earth in Britain. “We’ve decided not to officially endorse it, in part because we feel the nuclear lobby is already strong enough. But we are also no longer focusing our energies on opposing it.” Some leading environmental figures, including former Vice President Al Gore, remain skeptical of nuclear’s promise, largely because of the high cost of building plants and the threat of proliferation, illustrated by Iran’s recent attempts to blur the lines between energy production and a weapons program. Other countries seeking to build their first nuclear plants would probably purchase fuel from secure market sources in Europe and the United States, rather than enrich their own. And experts remain cautious about the prospect of seeing so much nuclear fuel in global circulation. “I’m assuming the waste and safety problems get resolved, but cost and proliferation still loom as very serious problems” with nuclear energy, Gore told The Washington Post’s editorial board this month. “I am not anti-nuclear, but the costs of the present generation of reactors is nearly prohibitive.” Yet for nations such as Britain — home of the world’s first commercial nuclear plant — a return to nuclear is seen as essential to the goal of meeting aggressive targets for reducing carbon emissions. As reserves of natural gas from the North Sea dwindle, Britain also is betting on nuclear to help maintain a measure of energy independence. After years of resisting new plants after the Chernobyl meltdown, the government did an initial about-face in 2007, calling for a list of possible sites for reactors. This month, British officials announced plans to fast-track construction of 10 plants. They will also push for more wind and solar energy, but those technologies are still seen by many to have limitations because of problems with transmission and scale, while “clean coal” plants are years from commercial viability.
November 24, 2009
Duke closes its ACC schedule, and tries to improve to 17-3 in conference play, when it takes on Wake Forest Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Cameron Indoor Stadium
49ers beaten by Duke defense Women finish 8th at NCAAs
larsa al-omaishi/The Chronicle
Freshman Allison Vernerey had six points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes of action against Charlotte. by Vignesh Nathan The chronicle
Coaches always say that defense wins games, and the Blue Devil defense frustrated Charlotte in a big way MonUNCC 44 day night in Cameron Indoor Stadium. DUKE 57 After a slow start, No. 10 Duke (3-1) went on the defeat the scrappy 49ers, 5744. Duke now holds a 7-3 lead in its over-
all series with Charlotte (1-3), and can boast a 6-0 record when playing at home. The Blue Devils were led by senior forward Joy Cheek, who sparked Duke’s offense with a double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. In addition, Cheek impressed everybody in Cameron with her impeccable defense, with three blocks and three steals. In the opening minutes of the game, Duke showed signs of laziness when it
Duke faces ASU, former player Boateng by Taylor Doherty The chronicle
In the 2005-2006 season, Eric Boateng was a freshman center on Duke’s roster and Herb Sendek coached ACC foe N.C. State. Four years later, Boateng and Sendek both reside in Tempe—and the former Blue Devil big man looks to defeat his old team for a spot in the finals of the NIT Season Tip-Off. Duke (4-0) will take on Arizona State (4-0) in Madison Square Garden tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. The Blue Devils will be heavily favored against the Sun Devils, but Sendek’s squad will give Duke a look on both ends of the court that it has not faced so far this season. “They have a unique style that you don’t see every game,” associate head coach Chris Collins said. “They play a version of the Princeton of-
fense offensively, and then on defense they play a matchup zone 100 percent of the time. They are very good at it—it’s something that they’ve done for the last couple of years.” On the defensive end, No. 7 Duke will need to guard against the multiple 3-point threats in Arizona State’s lineup. The Sun Devils went 18for-32 from deep in their last game against San Francisco. Arizona State has gone 38for-77, or 49.4 percent, from 3-point range on the season. Boateng will be Arizona State’s prime force on the inside. The 6-foot-10 senior has averaged 11.5 points and 8 rebounds per game so far this year. No current Blue Devil played alongside Boateng during his freshman season, but his recruiting class’s story is as interesting as it was unlikely. Boateng’s recruiting class
went down 9-4 with just four minutes played. Immediately after, Duke’s defense began to show the crowd why Duke is considered one of the best teams in the nation. “We got a little upset at ourselves that we were turning the ball over and they were capitalizing on our turnovers [early in the game],” junior guard Jasmine Thomas said. “Then we went on a run, so we had to refocus and we knew that we had to make stops, and we finally got the stops we needed.” The Blue Devils’ game-changing run began when senior forward Bridgette Mitchell recorded two steals within 35 seconds of one another. Less than two minutes later, fifth-year senior Keturah Jackson contributed her first steal of the game, and was able to capitalize with two quick points. Jackson went on to finish the game with a game-high five steals. “What I like about this game is that the defense was there,” head coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “And the defense is going to need to be there. We’re going to need to... build our tempo and chemistry on offense.” Two blocks and one steal later, the Blue Devils still hadn’t given up a field goal. In fact, Duke would go on a 15-0 See w. bball on page 8
DUKE vs ASU
WEDNESDAY • 9:30 p.m. • ESPN2
Chronicle file photo
Sun Devils’ forward Eric Boateng (pictured above in the 2005 Blue-White scrimmage) played briefly in 20 games at Duke before transferring to Arizona State in 2006. included Greg Paulus, Josh McRoberts, Marty Pocius and Jamal Boykin. Paulus now plays quarterback for Syracuse, McRoberts left for the NBA after two years despite watching his pro prospects steeply decline, Pocius plays professionally in Lithuania and Boykin—like Boateng—transfered after his freshman season, in his case to California. “It was a five-man class that
ended up being two last year as seniors,” Collins said. “Certainly in today’s day and age it shows just how unpredictable college basketball is with guys leaving early, transfers, Marty going back to Europe. It shows you kind of the landscape of where things are.” With Paulus and Pocius finishing See m. bball on page 8
by Andy Margius The chronicle
Running together at the NCAA Championships for the first time in nine years, the men’s and women’s cross country teams finished their seasons with varied showings Monday. Racing on a speedy course at Indiana State University, the men came out with a slightly disappointing 28th finish—two worse than Duke’s 26th seed in the tournament. On the women’s end, the team came out just as their seed predicted, eight overall. In the first race of the day, the Duke men ran close together. That tactic worked fairly well—at first. The Blue Devils were separated by only four seconds at the 3k split and seven seconds at the 5k. However, things soon took a turn for the worse. Soon after the 5k mark, the Blue Devils’ No. 2 runner, junior Cory Nanni, had to drop out with a calf injury. More bad news soon followed as Duke’s No. 1 runner all season, junior Bo Waggoner, started to slowly drop back after the 8k mark, finishing sixth for the team and 192nd overall. With the top two men having uncharacteristically poor days, junior Josh Brewer stepped up to lead the charge. Brewer ran a personal-best 31:04, finishing 112th overall and first for the Blue Devils. Ogilvie stressed the difficulty of losing the top two runners. “It’s really tough when you lose your 1-2 combination,” Ogilvie said, “But the rest of the guys ran pretty well. It wasn’t the day we were hoping for. We thought we were capable of a top-25 finish.” On the women’s side, Duke ran a notable race to earn its first top-10 finish since 2005. Led by sophomore Carly Seymour, the team managed to hold off perennial powerhouse Oregon by four points en route to eighth place. “Every single person ran their best race of the season,” women’s head coach Kevin Jermyn said. “They crossed the line with a smile on their faces. We started out conservative and way back in the pack, but kept our confidence and composure and moved up in the final 5K.” Seymour ran an especially impressive race, running a 20:37.5 and finishing 29th overall. This finish was good enough to earn her All-American honors. Senior Kate Van Buskirk also ran well, finishing 52nd overall with a time of 20:57, narrowly missing the All-American accolade herself. Jermyn had nothing but good things to say about the Blue Devils’ performance. “We are very proud of our team,” Jermyn said. “It was a tremendous experience for them, being such a young team, and we are very excited about where Duke Cross Country is headed in the future.”
8 | tuesDAY, november 24, 2009 the chronicle
making the grade
EXAM NO. 11: The Miami Hurricanes
The Blue Devils averaged nearly just 2.5 yards per carry Saturday. For most teams, that would be the absolute minimum expectation, but given Duke’s lack of production from the backfield this season, the Blue Devils can be satisfied with their performance in this area against a Miami defense that thrives on stopping the run. Desmond Scott and Jay Hollingsworth both showed the ability to hit holes and break tackles, but David Cutcliffe seemed hesitant to hand them the ball in the red zone.
Senior quarterback Thaddeus Lewis passed for over 300 yards again—and set the Duke all-time passing yards record in the process—but once again, it wasn’t enough to get the Blue Devils a win against a superior opponent. Lewis made all the right reads in the first half and found Donovan Varner open all day, yet Duke’s struggles in the red zone were magnified in the fourth quarter against Miami. Lewis’s lone interception of the day, a pick by Darryl Sharpton, sealed the game for the ’Canes.
X’s & O’s:
Settling for two short field goals hurt Duke badly in the end, and kicker Will Snyderwine’s 31-yard miss in the fourth quarter was a huge momentum changer. Still, it’s hard to be too critical: Duke allowed just one sack and moved the ball efficiently for most of the game against a good-but-not-great Hurricane defensive unit.
Just like it had against Georgia Tech, the Duke front seven simply could not stop the run, especially in the second half. Although the Blue Devils contained Graig Cooper and Javarris James well enough, they were overrun by Damien Berry in the third quarter. Berry racked up 81 yards and a touchdown, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story. In the second half, Miami gained whatever yards it needed on the ground, and then bled the clock with the run to ensure the win. Miami quarterback Jacory Harris struggled early, and the Blue Devil secondary made him pay when Vincent Rey intercepted the sophomore in the first quarter. But Harris floated several more balls over the middle that should have been intercepted by Matt Daniels and others—luckily for Miami, those passes instead fell for harmless incompletions, giving the Hurricane offense more chances than it should have had to move down the field. Harris threw for 348 yards and two touchdowns Saturday.
Pass: X’s & O’s:
Missed opportunities for turnovers spelled big trouble for Duke’s defense, which spent nearly 40 minutes on the field in Land Shark Stadium. Miami converted on 14-of-21 third downs, and the Blue Devils were worn down in the second half by a tough rushing attack, as they have been several times this year. What doomed Duke’s bowl hopes wasn’t Jacory Harris’s big day through the air, but the Berry-Cooper-James trio’s effectiveness on the ground.
Highest marks: WR Donovan Varner
Varner exploited giant holes in the center of the Miami defense with crossing route after crossing route against a hesitant Hurricane secondary. The Miami native picked up a game-high 165 yards and Duke’s only touchdown of the day.
Hit the books: Duke’s defensive line
This unit fatigue was obvious in the second half, when a bigger, stronger Miami offensive line was able to open gaps for Damien Berry to run through. The Hurricanes’ 121 yards rushing in the second half was the difference in the game. — by Gabe Starosta
m. bball from page 7 their playing days at Duke last season, juniors Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith will likely lead the Blue Devils on the offensive end. Smith, after being suspended for the first two games of the season for playing in an unsanctioned summer league, has gotten off to a great start and is currently averaging 22 points and six assists per game. Singler has averaged 18.3 points per game after moving to the perimeter this season and has shot 45.5 percent from 3-point range. Should Duke defeat the Sun Devils, it will face the winner of tomorrow night’s other semifinal between Connecticut and LSU Friday night at 5 p.m.
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Senior forward Bridgette Mitchell’s two quick steals in the first half allowed Duke to pull ahead of a feisty Charlotte squad Monday night.
w. bball from page 7 run in the 10 minutes that it took for the 49ers to end their scoring drought with a free throw. Duke would go on to end the half with a 32-23 lead. The Blue Devils came back from halftime with renewed confidence in their offens, and they started the half with an 11-2 run to build a 15-point lead. Duke was even able to build a 20-point advantage on the 49ers with only 6:50 remaining in the game. However, no matter how hard the Blue Devils tried, they were unable to deliver the finishing blow to the scrappy Charlotte squad. At the 2:50 mark, Charlotte threatened a comeback by
scoring 10 unanswered points and closing the gap to 54-44. Then, Thomas connected with her only 3-pointer of the night to put the game out of reach for the underdog 49ers. The Blue Devils’ third victory of the season was won through robust defense and excellent rebounding. However, last night’s win further exemplified Duke’s struggles offensively. The team’s two leading scorers, Cheek and Thomas, combined for 9-of-30 shooting, including a 2-of-7 performance from the 3-point line. In addition, Duke struggled from the free-throw line, only capitalizing on four of 11 attempts. “We need to focus a little more, slow down and be a lot more patient,” McCallie said. “We’ve got learn to share the ball.”
the chronicle tuesDAY, november 24, 2009 | 9
Diversions Shoe Chris Cassatt and Gary Brookins
Dilbert Scott Adams
Doonesbury Garry Trudeau
The Chronicle things we’re thankful for: freedom:������������������������������������������������������������������������ hon, charlie daddy:����������������������������������������������������������������������� will, emmeline good taste:�������������������������������������������������������������������������������� anna the rise of taj:������������������������������������������������������������������������� shuchi the U:���������������������������������������������������������������������� gabe, andy, dan chron-sponsored vacations:�������������������������������������� naclerio, libby comp sci 82:��������������������������������������������������klein, christine, tiffany WM 116:��������������������������������������������������������������� toni, lrupp, tracer Barb Starbuck never takes a day off:��������������������������������������� Barb
Ink Pen Phil Dunlap
Student Advertising Manager:...............................Margaret Potter Account Executives:............................ Chelsea Canepa, Liza Doran Lianna Gao, Ben Masselink Amber Su, Mike Sullivan, Jack Taylor Quinn Wang, Cap Young Creative Services:................................Lauren Bledsoe, Danjie Fang Christine Hall, Megan Meza Hannah Smith Business Assistant:.........................................................Joslyn Dunn
Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9. (No number is repeated in any column, row or box.)
Spot FOR YOUR
Answer to puzzle
The Independent Daily at Duke University
10 | TuesDAY, November 24, 2009 the chronicle commentaries
Giving thanks It’s that time of the year We, as well as the rest of again—time for The Chron- campus, are eagerly awaiting icle’s editorial board to cata- the unveiling of her (or his) log what we are thankful for identity. Think of it as an (because like everyone else, early Christmas/Hanukkah/ we are norKwanzaa/ mally too busy insert-youreditorial to think about holiday-here such frivolous endeavors). present. Let’s just hope that So without further ado, she (or he) won’t need to be here is our list: put in the witness protection —Wii with my RC: We are program—or Pratt. glad that despite looming fi—Shooters II: For picking nancial shortfalls and budget up the slack this semester. cuts, the all-important cam- With the indefinite closure pus Resident Coordinators of George’s and G-Loft, stuhave the latest and greatest dents have a limited choice in video game technology. of venues in which to rage And how better to spend a out on a Friday night. LuckFriday evening than play- ily, the management at the ing Guitar Hero III with the cowboy-themed dance hall same person who has consis- used lessons they learned tenly written you up? in Econ 51—when you —Charlotte Simmons: have less competition, raise
The administration strives to balance the need for behavioral control of living groups to make administrators’ lives easier vs. the need to manipulate students and alumni in a way to produce maximal contributions in future years.
—“Alum8284” commenting on the editorial “Section menu needs shuffle of its own.” See more at www.dukechronicle.com.
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will robinson, Editor Hon Lung Chu, Managing Editor emmeline Zhao, News Editor Gabe Starosta, Sports Editor Michael Naclerio, Photography Editor shuchi Parikh, Editorial Page Editor Michael Blake, Editorial Board Chair alex klein, Online Editor jonathan angier, General Manager Lindsey rupp, University Editor sabreena merchant, Sports Managing Editor julius jones, Local & National Editor jinny cho, Health & Science Editor Courtney Douglas, News Photography Editor andrew hibbard, Recess Editor Emily Bray, Editorial Page Managing Editor ashley holmstrom, Wire Editor Charlie Lee, Design Editor chelsea allison, Towerview Editor eugene wang, Recess Managing Editor Chase Olivieri, Multimedia Editor zachary kazzaz, Recruitment Chair Taylor Doherty, Sports Recruitment Chair Mary weaver, Operations Manager Barbara starbuck, Production Manager
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prices! But at least they are using the $10 cover charge for a good cause: “increased security.” —Duke Football Team: For having more wins than Tailgates. And seriously, this is a great accomplishment. Hopefully next year we can be thankful for a bowl bid. —Tailgate: For being bigger, louder, more automotive than last year. (We are eagerly awaiting endorsements for next year’s DSG vice president for ahletics and campus services. How will they be able to make Tailgate even better?) —RGAC scores: For increasing quad interaction and fraternity/selective living group activism to levels that will most likely raise
next year’s scores. Except higher scores will only raise the bar for probation. —Monday morning cleaning: Nothing better than waking up on Monday and finally being able to use the bathroom again. And because it hasn’t been cut. Yet. —Andre Dawkins: After he dropped six threes on Radford, we now understand how entirely overrated senior year of high school is. —Harrison Barnes: For picking your school based on “academics” and giving the Crazies a new public enemy number one. GTHC. —A semester without Juicy Campus: We all know that without Juicy Campus, there was absolutely no social drama on campus this past
semester. Right? Discuss. —The Winter Forum: For giving us an extra week of winter break. —Swine flu: Only one of us contracted it this semester. Looks like we’re beating the odds. —Our well informed voice: We’ve pointed out so many important issues this semester, it’s hard to keep track of them all. Couple that with being right all the time, and we definitely deserve some time over the holiday to kick back, eat some turkey and pass out into a serotonin coma while watching football. If you didn’t realize by now, this column’s a joke. Eat well and enjoy the break!
Red bull and a radar detector Before my stint as a Chronicle columnist came to an end, I knew I had to step outside of the Duke bubble. You know, so I could share some of my “real-world” wisdom. I’ve written a lot about Duke culture and needed to explore more important lessons--life lessons. I mean, life is about street cred, plain and simple. Money may be the root of all evil, but street cred is definitely the root of anna sadler all successes. You i’m not being that won’t get into grad school, find way, but... a spouse, get approved for a loan or qualify for healthcare coverage without it. This semester, I’ve been the object of some serious hating, specifically some very harsh online comments. I won’t lie, at first these insults got to me a little bit. Then I came to the realization that 10 online comments meant that at least 10 people had read my column and that at least 10 people felt strongly enough about what I’d written (both negatively and positively) to take the time to compose such passionate and occasionally coherent remarks. People are absolutely right when they say, “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” I’ve even developed a small following. Lesson: having haters equals mad street cred, my friends. But what is street cred? Although I think I have a ridiculous amount and consider myself an authority on the matter, I can imagine a few of you want a scholarly definition, so I’ve turned to the definitive source, Urban Dictionary, for assistance. The Web site defines it as, “Commanding a level of respect in an urban environment due to experience in or knowledge of issues affecting those environments.” Side note: Farmers can have street cred, and they ain’t urban. I bet most of you are thinking to yourselves, “Wow I definitely don’t have as much street cred as Anna does.” You’re right, you probably don’t— but I’m here to help, not hurt. Let’s first talk academics. So say you have a mi-
cro-bio exam in addition to an oral presentation and a final paper. While taking micro-bio in the first place earns you some street/hallways-in-Perkins cred, how can you spin this ridiculous assignment to impress those who don’t see the class itself as all that impressive? To look like a super smooth genius, just do the entire thing the night before you have to turn it in. This is obviously risky, and there’s a catch. You have to get an A. Yes, this is extremely difficult, but that’s why you’re considered so much sweeter if you can actually pull it off. Warning: your street cred will take a serious hit if you bomb. Okay, so what if you’re after an increase in allaround sweetness? Urban Dictionary goes on to define street cred as “something mistakenly associated with committing crimes.” I totally disagree, based in large part on recent personal experiences. Breaking the law absolutely gets you street cred; however, getting caught does not. Two weekends ago, I got caught. If you ask me what happened, I’ll admit that I got a ticket. If you ask my parents what happened, they’ll tell you I am being charged with reckless driving. You see, I didn’t know this at the time, but driving at any speed above 80 miles per hour is considered reckless driving in the Commonwealth of Virginia, an infraction it classifies as a criminal misdemeanor. So now that my disregard for state legislation is on the books, I look a gajillion times less smooth. Although breaking the law ups your street cred, you have to make sure you don’t get caught. Serious debt and jail time? Not cool. My Christmas/birthday list this year (my birthday happens to be Dec. 25) consists solely of car insurance payments. My record is not yet permanently stained, but it is going to take me at least as much time to regain my lost street cred as it will to get rid of the points on my driver’s license. Where I’m from, that’s three years. Managing to miraculously dominate on a final or successfully avoid the big house means you’re well on your way to having some serious streetcred. I strongly advise that you hold on to this precious gift. For those of you still lacking street cred, it actually might not be that hard to buy—just invest in some Red Bull and a radar detector. Anna Sadler is a Trinity sophomore. Her column runs every other Tuesday.
TuesDAY, November 24, 2009 | 11
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Faulkner’s pumpkin pie
ne of the better perks of a Thanksgiving Break in Massachusetts is visiting Plimoth Plantation. For a mere $28, one can visit stunningly accurate recreations of the Mayflower, an English village as constituted in 1627 and a host of other historically important sites. Not only is the plantation precisely modeled after historical texts, but so are the B-list colonial acben brostoff tors. At a cost significantly bro’s stuff less than a day of tuition at Duke, you can treat yourself to hours of recreated history and unintentional comedy. Plimoth Plantation is the physical manifestation of William Faulkner’s insistence that, “The past is not even past.” Although, I might add, the gravity of Faulkner’s words do not seem entirely appropriate in describing a cutesy exhibition frequented mostly by parents with young children. In Faulkner’s work, the inescapability of time past often creates a grounds for conflict and suffering rather than a souvenir shop. The history Faulkner gravitates toward is necessarily consequential, while the history of Plimoth Plantation is more just intellectually curious. In the Faulknerian world, and, it too often seems, the real word, the past is anything but benign. The acceptance of reality necessarily is the acceptance that history is a heavy burden, the weight of which can exact far more than a $28 entrance fee from unsuspecting victims. Indeed, where history is involved, often billions are at stake. The last decade says as much. Consider the three highest impact natural/human created disasters of the last 10 years: 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and As-YetUnnamed Epic Recession. Countless billions will work towards alleviating the reverberations from the cruel past into the infinite expanse of time. This decade-old past, unlike the one played out from March to November in Plimoth, is in no way clearly defined. With regard to the three aforementioned disasters, the past isn’t even the past in part because the past is not static. Every week seems to bring new revelations in the trifecta of horror. In an eerie convergence of past and present, on Nov. 13 Attorney General Eric Holder announced that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four co-conspirators would stand trial in a Manhattan federal courtroom, as opposed to a traditional trial by military commission. Six days later the North American Aerospace Defense Command declared an official reassessment of air defenses instituted in response to 9/11, citing the costliness of current measures of counter-terrorism. Clearly, nine years after the fact, Sept. 11 is still very much a present event with judicial and military implica-
tions. The disaster cannot be neatly historicized in the manner of, say, Thanksgiving. Nor can Hurricane Katrina. The causes of the massive damages sustained by New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish are still being fiercely debated in academic and now legal settings. At the heart of the debate this past week was a successful lawsuit accusing the Army Corp of Engineers of improper maintenance of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (better known as the “Mister Go” canal), a channel spanning 76 miles originally built to increase trade. The litigators won $716, 698 from the U.S. and the Army Corp of Engineers when U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval ruled that Mister Go ultimately helped direct floodwaters into New Orleans, a funneling effect that was realized as early as 1988. Duval wrote in his 156-page opinion: “It [the Army Corp] knew that indeed all of the engineering blunders that it had made now put the Parish of St. Bernard at risk.” The federal government had previously avoided such lawsuits via The Flood Control Act of 1928, which grants it immunity against damages resulting from failures of flood control. Unfortunately for Uncle Sam, Mister Go acted a navigation canal rather than a flood control measure. Obama and co. now are liable for billions in damages. To what extent history will classify Katrina as a man made disaster? Unlike Katrina, we know for a fact that Great Depression II was an entirely man-made disaster, but, in the same vein as 9/11 and Katrina, is not subject to historicizing because of myriad legal and policy-oriented question marks. The last year has easily seen thousands of “who is responsible?” and “how do we respond?” pieces in major publications, with enough conflicting ideas and opinionated self-serving B.S. (I may have just unwittingly summed up the RGAC controversy) to fuel several seasons of “The Real World.” The current issues at stake for all three disasters in their respective aftershocks are not so different: The difficulty of finding who is responsible for Disaster X, the ordeal of punishing the responsible and the ensuing headache of preventing it from occurring again. The guys who invented Plimoth Plantation never really had to deal with these questions, probably because the Pilgrims landed on Plymoth Rock nearly four centuries ago, made nice with the Indians and then ate turkey. Not exactly a disaster. No faulty security measures, no litigation, no government negligence. This past, at face value, is not that past. Dig deeper though, and it appears even Plimoth Plantation must reconcile its existence with modernity: Thanksgiving 2009 could be jeopardized by an alarming Pumpkin pie shortage. Cue Faulkner. Ben Brostoff is a Trinity sophomore. His column runs every other Tuesday.
lettertotheeditor Dear Charlotte Simmons: The primary problem behind every single one of your many, many complaints seems to be that Duke has a bustling student life. And that brings us to ask: Is Duke really the right place for you? Maybe at another school, you could happily avoid any interaction with your fellow students, steer clear of getting pestered for philanthropic efforts and never hear about any student performances on campus. In reality, it seems that such passionate advertising on behalf of student groups is actually a sign of a healthy, vigorous and diverse student life. That is to say, Duke students have varied interests and passions that they care about, are heavily involved with their community and enthusiastically want to contribute to the world in a meaningful way. Honestly, shouldn’t having such an active and robust student life be something of which we are proud? Furthermore, since you have
showed your displeasure for Tailgate and greek life in the past, shouldn’t you be happy that there are students who are planning other on-campus events and activities that have a positive impact on our community? We guarantee you: student life of this sort is not just unique to Duke. Where there are bright and motivated students, you will find a student life like ours. It is a quality of a school that should be praised, not condemned. We just walked by the Plaza. Every single swinging loveseat was free. Go sit out there in the rain and the cold by yourself—we can’t wait for all the complaints you’ll have about the weather. Danni Lin Trinity ’12 Michelle Lu Trinity ’12
uenas, ¿cómo está? This is my usual greeting when I see some employees in many of Duke’s dining facilities. From the Loop to the Dillo, and sometimes in the Marketplace, the Great Hall or McDonald’s, when I go eat I know that most of the time I’ll be able to find someone behind the counter with whom I can speak Spanish. But given the statistics, this is not a surprise. According to the 2008 U.S. Census Bureau, 15.4 percent of the U.S. andrea patiño population is of Hispanic numb or Latino origin. That is more than 40 million people—pretty much the entire Republic of Colombia. In Durham County, the estimate is 12.3 percent. For the same area and the same year, 13.9 percent of the population speak a language other than English at home. Though this doesn’t necessarily mean that the language being spoken is Spanish, the correlation between the numbers is striking. Whatever the numbers are, the reality is that knowing how to speak Spanish today in North Carolina is a major advantage. For me, Spanish has been a key element in getting to know many of the employees I usually talk to. And even though I know many others who are not Hispanic, Spanish has facilitated the beginning of many good conversations and great friendships. Nate Uhlenberg, a 26-year-old native of Chapel Hill and a manager at The Loop, also recognizes the advantages of speaking Spanish. His initial reasons to learn the language were, however, somewhat more pragmatic. He started five years ago at the register and it took him two years to become a manager, a position that he knew, he would only get if he spoke Spanish. Today Uhlenberg is close to being fluent and even though his grammar is not perfect, he can get his points across. I was curious to hear about Uhlenberg’s experience. One day when I was in line to order my food, I heard him speaking in Spanish. I had been noticing for a while that other non-Hispanic employees at the Loop and the Dillo communicate in Spanish with the Hispanic employees—which makes up a great portion of the kitchen and cleaning staff in these two restaurants. And I was curious to know whether their working environments had made them learn the language or if they knew it beforehand. When I asked Nate how many years he studied Spanish, he smiled: “Spanish 1 and 2 in high school plus one semester in college,” he said. I responded that it is quite impressive that he knows the language so well, after such a short period. Then he laughed again, and told me his secret: “Well, I took Spanish 1 in high school, failed it and took it again. Then I took Spanish 2, failed it and took it again.” The truth is, however, that Uhlenberg has been able to practice the language and become more fluent in Spanish due to his job. When I ask him what the advantages of speaking Spanish and English at a job with numerous immigrants are, his answer goes beyond mere practicality. Uhlenberg sees himself as a bridge between those employees who don’t speak Spanish and the immigrant workers who are just now learning English. “Sometimes people think there are tensions between them, but it is a lack of understanding in terms of language that triggers some of these tensions; rather than an actual difference in thoughts or personality,” he said in mildly broken Spanish, after he paused to put his thoughts together. Listening to Uhlenberg’s experience and his use of Spanish as a tool of cultural understanding is only one example of the dramatic changes in cultural dynamics that the U.S. is undergoing. My own experience as a new comer was very eye-opening. When I first came to this country, more than a year ago, I was highly surprised by the fact that all the signs at Newark Airport in New Jersey were both in English and Spanish. I hadn’t realized the magnitude of the Hispanic migration phenomenon. It is so influential that Spanish has almost become a second official language in certain areas. And there are many questions to be raised: What are the implications for local Americans who don’t speak Spanish? For other racial communities? Or for the immigrants themselves? Go to the Loop or to the Dillo. It seems that some of these questions might be answered while you eat. Andrea Patiño is a Trinity sophomore. Her column runs every other Tuesday.
12 | TuesDAY, november 24, 2009 the chronicle
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