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UNT Grammy, pageant competitors return Page 2 Mean Green looks to bounce back Page 4 Obama cuts mission to the moon Page 5

Group against death penalty to meet Thursday Page 3

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

News 1,2 Arts & Life 3 Sports 4 Views 5 Classifieds 6 Games 6

Volume 95 | Issue 10

Cloudy 46° / 36°

ntdaily.com

The Student Newspaper of the University of North Texas

Sticky accelerator pedal prompts Toyota recall BY K RYSTLE CANTU

been vigorously tested,” he said. “We’ve also made changes to the design of the accelerator pedal going into production. We’ve changed the material, and that is going to be the production fix.” John said the new vehicles in production will not contain a reinforcement bar because of the new design and new material being used. He said they are also still investigating if any recent accidents in Toyotas were because of accelerators sticking. “We’re always investigating,” he said. “We find a problem, we start working on the solution. That doesn’t mean we’ve stopped looking at the problem.”

Staff Writer

Toyota dealerships announced a recall Jan. 21 of about 2.3 million select vehicles and suspended the sales of eight of the models involved. All of these vehicles are equipped with a specific pedal assembly, which is causing the accelerator to stick or return slowly to an idle position. This is a concern for drivers because if an accelerator sticks, the vehicle will continue to drive at the speed it first accelerated at. For example, a car driving at 80 mph will continue to drive at that speed without slowing down, despite the release or ease on the accelerator. “The driver basically loses control of the gas pedal function. They don’t have the ability to tell the motor whether or not it should slow down or not,” said James “Turbo” Turbeville, a lead technician at the Denton Goodyear who is studying automotive business management. “It can be a frightening thing, you take your foot off the gas to stop for traffic and you keep going.” The problem If a pedal sticks, Toyota dealers said the vehicle can be controlled with a firm and steady application of the breaks. Turbeville suggested using the emergency break. John, a Toyota spokesperson

PHOTO BY MELISSA BOUGHTON/ASSIGNING EDITOR

Toyota announced a recall on more than 2 million of its vehicles in January and stopped the sales of eight of its models. Among the list are the 2007 to 2010 models of the Toyota Tundras. who withheld his last name under company policy, said the problem with the accelerators is because of environmental occurrences. “This condition is caused by condensation that is getting in between two pieces of plastic that need to be able to rub up against

each other smoothly,” he said. “Because the plastic is getting condensation or moisture in there, the plastic will tend to stick to itself.” Detecting this was difficult because the condition either lessened or disappeared all together

once the condensation was gone, John said. “It wasn’t a quality control issue,” he said. “It was an issue that occurred in the market due to environmental conditions.” The solution

Toyota is adding a precisioncut steel reinforcement bar to the accelerator pedal, John said. This will reduce surface tension between the friction of the driver’s shoe and the adjoining surface. “Simply, we’ve identified that as a very good remedy, and it has

‘Erratic acceleration’ In October Toyota received three complaints on Corolla vehicles with this type of problem, with no accidents or injuries involved within those complaints, John said. In other local reports, speculation is linking this problem with Toyota Avalon crashes. A car accident in December 2009, in Southlake, involved a 2008 recalled Toyota Avalon. The accident claimed the lives of four people. The Avalon was reportedly drove through an intersection at high speed and crashed into a metal fence, hit a tree, and landed upside-down in a pond.

See TOYOTA on Page 2

Visitors to offer Gas drilling may cause quakes advice for UNT BY K RYSTLE CANTU Staff Writer

BY A LEX CHEATHAM

Greene, and others. Staff Writer Lively said the purpose of the Board of Visitors is to advise, To accommodate the fastpaced growth within the univer- understand university issues sity system, UNT President on a national level, and offer Gretchen Bataille invited a Board advice to Bataille on many issues of Visitors to provide UNT with like degree programming and recruiting. direction and leadership “I wanted an advias UNT and the North sory team to advise Texas region continue to me specifically on expand. what the university The board is composed should look like, of a group of 16 distinwhat skills students guished individuals and should have and is the first of its kind at what needs to be UNT, board member Bill GRETCHEN done to enhance Lively explained. BATAILLE the university,” she “The members of the board are chosen to be said. Jennifer Christopher, a kinesidiverse. They represent many ology senior, said she different fields and are thinks it’s a good idea very different in terms to have such a group of their backgrounds,” of people offering its Bataille said. “Because input. there is such a variety of “It will only help perspectives, they can UNT, and since they offer a broader range don’t work here, they of opinions to help the won’t be biased. university.” BILL LIVELY They can give their UNT’s enrollment grew more than 4 percent last fall, opinions and say exactly how with an even larger 12-percent they feel,” Christopher said. Bataille said it’s important to hike in graduate students, bringing the university total to obtain as much good advice from more than 36,000 overall. And outside sources as possible. “These are the people hiring theThe numbers are steadily our graduates, publishing our increasing. The 2009 school year was the books, opening museums, and ninth-consecutive year of record- we need their advice,” Bataille breaking enrollment and the said. The Board of Regents will meet largest growth in the last seven years, according to the Office in May to vote to approve the of Institutional Research and Board of Visitors. Bataille and the Board of Visitors will then Effectiveness. “The university has changed continue to meet formally in a lot since I graduated in 1970,” January and June of each year. Lively said. “It was good then, The Board of Visitors is not a governance board and has no and it’s great now.” Because of this growth, UNT part in policy making at the finds it important to have a group university. “It’s a wonderful thing to be of people looking out for the students and the university as involved on an advisory board a whole. Members of the board like this. [Bataille] plans to ask include KERA CEO Mary Anne for our advice and really listen,” Alhadeff, alumnus “Mean” Joe Lively said.

Several cities in the DallasFort Worth area were hit by small earthquakes in 2009, which researchers and city officials said may have been caused by nearby gas drilling. For many, the recent natural gas drilling at the Rayzor Ranch property has raised the question of whether Denton will also be affected by the tremors. However, the direct link between the two is still awaiting results from research at Southern Methodist University. “We’re work ing on t he problem,” said Chris Hayward, the geophysics research projects director at SMU, “But right now we don’t have anything.” The quakes took place in Grand Prairie, Irving and Euless in November, and Cleburne was hit on June 2, 2009. Len Kubicek, a North Lake College geology professor, said the small earthquakes are most likely caused by fracking, a technique used among gas drillers to release natural gas trapped in rocks. During the process, water is injected into the ground at high pressures to break apart layers of shale and release natural gas confined within the rocks. The gas is then sucked into collection pipes. The remaining water is pushed back up to the surface and stored in underground wells. In this lies the problem, Kubicek said in an e-mail. The earthquakes are actually caused by the water disposal wells that are drilled to dispose of the used wastewater, he said. Ed Ireland, the executive director of the Barnett Shale Energy Education Council, said he has been aware of SMU setting up seismic equipment in areas that were impacted. “There hasn’t been any evidence that links the two, to my knowledge,” Ireland said.

PHOTO BY RYAN BIBB/ PHOTOGRAPHER

Some experts say that drilling rigs in Grand Prairie could be causing small earthquakes. It’s believed that this phenomenon could be caused by a drilling technique called “fracking.” Over the past few months, researchers speculated whether it is the saltwater injection or the fracking process that is causing the tremors, Ireland said. To his knowledge, however, there hasn’t been a link between the other theory and the tremors either, he said. Ireland said that Chesapeake Energy took precaution months ago when it closed down a saltwater injection well near Mansfield. Charlye Heggins, a Denton City Council member, said she was the only city council member

who voted against gas drilling in Denton. “I was opposed to it then and I’m still opposed to it,” she said. Heggins said she believes the earthquakes that occurred in other cities are related to the gas drilling going on, and if it is brought to Denton, other hazards, such as breathing problems, will occur for residents as well. “I’m not going to like it,” she said. “But, if the city passes it, I’ll just grin and bear it, I guess.” Residents who were involved in the 2009 earthquakes said they

felt little or nothing at all. Amy Sprinkles, communications director for the city of Grand Prairie, said “a home or two might’ve felt it.” Seismic activity is increasing in North Texas, where it once was a rare or non-occurring event. Though only speculation exists about the cause of the quakes, Doranna Corley, a 63-year-old Grand Prairie resident, said that one thing is clear. “It just seems a little strange that we’ve had all these small earthquakes when they started drilling,” Corley said.


News

Page 2

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Scott McBride, Rebecca Hoeffner & Melissa Boughton, News Editors

ntdailynews@gmail.com

Prof expresses disappointment in Obama BY M ARY GALLAGHER WILLIAMS Contributing Writer

A UNT professor said he is disappointed with President Barack Obama’s remarks to scale back the health care reform bill after the Republican Senate-seat victory in Massachusetts on Jan. 19. “I’m mad at Obama,” said James Swan, a professor in the department of applied gerontology. Though Swan still likes Obama, his statement was aimed at the President’s willingness to push aside his goal of universal health coverage for all Americans in exchange for a scaled-back version with bipartisan support. Swan interpreted Obama’s action as “giving up” on the bill. “The Democrats didn’t push it through,” Swan said. “He should have been tougher.” The State of the Union address a week ago did little to ease Swan’s frustration, he said. “Is Obama willing to break the heads that need to crack in order to push stuff through?” he asked. The House of Representatives

and the U.S. Senate passed different versions of the healthcare reform bill. The House approved its version in November with a 220 to 215 vote. The Senate’s version passed on Christmas Eve with all 60 Democratic senators casting a party-line vote, resulting in a 60 to 39 victory. However, for Obama to sign the bill as a law, both the House and Senate need to pass the same version of the bill. With Republican Scott Brown’s recent Senate win in Massachusetts, passage of a comprehensive bill in the Senate now appears impossible with only 59 Senate Democrats. Six months ago, a UNT News Service release stated that Swan believed “that the bill that seems to be emerging is generally positive … particularly positive for the country’s older citizens.” Now he’s concerned about a tax on Medicare and Social Security. “I’m still for healthcare reform,” Swan said, reflecting on that July 2009 news release. “It’s got to be meaningful reform with universal coverage and control of costs.” However, Swan wants some exceptions to total healthcare

coverage. “I am for an individual mandate to prevent free riders,” Swan said. He explained a free rider as someone who has a job but avoids contributing taxes for healthcare and still receives universal coverage. “Under the Senate plan [you would be] required to buy insurance. If you are poor or jobless, the government would subsidize,” Swan said. He emphasized that he does not support the Senate mandate because it requires purchasing insurance without adequate controls on premiums and without the option to purchase a public plan. Gary Cocke, a biology senior, said that at the onset he was for a bill where everybody paid for healthcare through his or her taxes, much like Medicare. “I wanted single payer, the whole shebang,” he said. He also talked about Obama’s scaling back the bill with bipartisan support. “I don’t like it, but I think it is necessary,” Cocke said. “Anything of substance is going to be blocked, so we need to take anything we can.”

GRAPHIC COURTESY OF MCT Cocke’s opinion of the president after last week’s State of the Union address remained the same. “He seemed stern, but willing to work with people who want to work with him — stern with the people who oppose him

with short-term political gain of their own,” he said. Bao Pham, a medical technolog y sen ior, ex pressed the opinion of many college students. “I’m healthy now,” he said. “It’s not going to affect me right

now not having insurance, for young people age 18 to 30.” To read the original healthcare reform plan, go to www. whitehouse.gov/issues/healthcare and click on ‘read the full plan for health insurance reform.’

UNT students compete at Toyota recall affects drivers Miss America and Grammys Continued from Page 1

BY SHEA YARBOROUGH

was the last. ‘It’s great to be nominated’ Senior Staff Writer “I didn’t care that we were The Grammys took center on TV,” Miner said. “I stage Sunday night, UNT will not be adding a and associate professor Grammy or a Miss America crown ran across the stage and of music Steve Wiest to its accolades, but the school’s gave her a big hug. New Mexico hasn’t and his One O’clock representatives won’t be coming cracked the top 15 on Lab Band were nomihome empty handed. nated for a Grammy Miss Texas Kristen Blair, a the national level since for their album “Lab vocal performance junior, Miss the ‘80s, said Veronica 2009.” New Mexico Nicole Miner, a Miner, Nicole Miner’s There have been six music education senior, and the mother. She said she KRISTIN Grammy nominations One O’clock Lab Band repre- saw a genuine look of BLAIR sented UNT in two major events surprise on her daughter’s face for the band since 1975. when her name was announced “To me it’s a huge thing for jazz over the weekend. in the top 15. education in general, and it’s an “It just kept getting amazing thing for our UNT graces final stage program here at North Saturday night in Las Vegas, better and better,” Texas,” Wiest said in Blair and Miner both placed in Veronica Miner said. Miss Virginia Caressa a Dallas Morning the top 10 at Miss America. Miner News article. Wiest went on to the top 7, winning Ca meron won t he and the One O’clock more than $8,000 in scholarship national title and more than $50,000 in scholLab Band are touring money. Blair won $6,000. the west coast and “My first goal was to be able arship money. Blair were unavailable for to look back in 50 years with no and Miner’s winnings NICOLE comment. regret,” Miner said. “The second at Miss America will be MINOR added to the scholarship money Wiest was also individually was to make the top 15.” The two girls became friends they won for representing their nominated for best instrumental composition division for his work during their time at UNT and states. “I received $4,500 for winning on “Ice-Nine.” The winner in this began training together, Miner said. Miner’s name was the first Miss New Mexico,” Miner said. “It category was Michael Giacchino for “Married Life” from the of the top 15 announced. Blair’s was a wonderful feeling.” animated film “Up.” In the large jazz ensemble album category, UNT is one of five nominees listed on the Grammy’s Web site Grammy.com. Taking home the Grammy was the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra for their Top 7 Top 10 Miss America album “Book One.” winner “A win would be almost incomprehensible,” Wiest said to the Dallas Morning News. “I’m sticking with it’s great to be nominated.” All the categories with their nominees and winners can be found at Grammy.com.

Pageant Prizes

$8,000

$6,000 $50,000

T he S out h l a k e Pol ic e Department suspects t his m ig ht be because of t he pedal sticking and causing sudden acceleration, but the crash is still being investigated. Toyota’s reca ll was first thought to have been because of t he f loor mats and t he pedal sticking to the f loor mat. However, research now proves the recall is for more than just mats. “It’s not the actual pedal i nside t he veh icle t hat ’s stick ing,” Turbev ille said. “You have what they call a t hrott le cable mechanism causing it to stick, so when you push the pedal and the cable opens, it’s getting stuck in a certain position. It’s not allowing it to retract all the way, so it’s causing erratic acceleration.” Still a good car? Turbeville said though he thinks this may be a manufact u re defect, Toyota is known for having really good vehicles. “I think it’s unfortunate that this will probably scar their name for a little while,” he said. David Dansby, a 66-yearold Toyota ow ner, said he has owned two Toyotas and still thinks of them as quality company. “I don’t know if it’s hysteria or people a re pa n ick i ng prematurely, but it doesn’t bother me,” he said. His wife owns a Toyota and said her car does not have

any problems. Jill Kristiansen, a biology junior, said she was supposed to get a 2007 Toyota Camry from her grandmother, but is not sure she still wants it. “Going 120 mph is pretty scary, and then getting stuck,” she said. “That’s a big problem and that is something that should have been taken care of in the long run.”

“I think it’s unfortunate that this will probably scar their name for a while.”

—James Turbeville, Denton Goodyear technician What’s next? D a n e M i n or, g e n e r a l manager for Freeman Toyota in Hurst, said that it isn’t unusual for any manufacture to have recall, but Toyota is making the news because it usually has very few. He said Toyota has shut down production temporarily to devote its time to fixing and making repair parts for affected consumer vehicles. “There are very few, if any, ot her ma nufacturers t hat would actually stop selling or producing their cars,” he said. “We’re going to take care of the customers that are out on the road today. I’ve been in this business for 21 years, and I have never heard of a manufacture that voluntarily

did that.” Minor said Toyota’s first priority is making sure that the customer comes first. He sa id t he major it y of Toyota’s customer base still seems supportive. However, sales have gone down by 20 percent. Mi nor says he does realize the concern of those customers affected by this ordeal, but insists that Toyota cars still maintain a quality value. “I’ve got my wife driving a Highlander that’s involved in t he reca ll, I’ve got my daughter driving a Camr y that’s involved in the recall and I didn’t panic and pull them out of their cars and put them in something that’s not involved in the recall because they’re perfectly fine,” he said. “We don’t have actual numbers and there has been so much misinformation out there in the media … We just look at it and shake our head and go ‘oh, boy.’

Toyota vehicles affected by the recall include: * 2005-2010 Avalon * 2009-2010 RAV4 * 2007-2010 Camry * 2008-2010 Sequoia * 2009-2010 Corolla * 2005-2010 Tacoma * 2008-2010 Highlander * 2007-2010 Tundra * 2009-2010 Matrix * 2009-2010 VENZA * 2004-2009 Prius


Wednesday, February 3, 2010 Amber Arnold, Arts & Life Editor

Arts & Life

Page 3 amberm.arnold@yahoo.com

Group discusses animal behavior Organization to host training conference BY STEPHANIE DANIELS Staff Writer

T he O r g a n i z at ion for Reinforcement Contingencies with Animals will present its second annual Art and Science of Animal Training conference this weekend. Whether it is dogs, birds, horses or almost any other type of animal, the conference will give expert advice and discussions about the behav ior of a nima ls a nd the techniques of training them. “ We b a s ic a l l y h a v e speakers come from around t he cou nt r y,” sa id Z ach Morford, president of t he organization. “We have one spea ker com i ng i n f rom Eng la nd. T hey represent different organizations.” Morford, a behavior analysis graduate student has been a part of the organization for more than one year. T h is yea r’s con ference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday in the University Union Silver Eagle Suite. The organization is celebrating its 10-year anniversar y this year w ith about 20 members dedicated to a na ly zing t he science of behav ior in a nima ls a nd informing the public on their findings. “It was created by a group of students who had an interest in animal training,” Morford said. “A lot of members have their own research projects, so one of ORCA’s primar y missions is to conduct behavioral analytic research with animals so that we can find things that help us better train and help animals who have behavior issues.” Mor ford sa id t hat over time, the organization has formed relationships with v a r iou s t r a i ner s, w h ich helped t hem bring in si x speakers and an additional three panelists to the confer-

ence. “Speakers themselves will each have a span of time of which to do a formal presentation, and then the open panel discussion at the end is basically going to be all of those people up in panel form, answering questions from the audience that were spurred by the topics,” said April Becker, behavior analysis graduate student and former organization president. Becker was the president of the organization during its first annual conference. “Last year’s was a really fabu lous sta r t, a nd t h is year what we would like to do is not only improve it in terms of details and ta ke the suggestions and advice of the participants, but also I think we want to vary it a little,” Becker said. The importance of the conference is that there is a combination of behavioral analysts and some of the best animal trainers in the world speaking at the conference, a collaboration that Becker hopes people can learn from and take away with them for the future, she said. This year’s keynote speaker is Robert Epstein, presenting Engineering Complex and Novel Behavior in Animals. Pa nelists include Steve W hite, Jen W hite, Cassie Malina and Jesús RosalesRuiz, an associate professor in the department of behavior analysis at UNT. General admission is $165 for non-UNT com munit y attendees and $70 for UNT faculty, staff and students. Lunch will be provided. For more information, go to orgs. unt.edu/orca. “Anybody who has a pet, even if it’s a small dog, can benef it g reat ly f rom t he conference, because they can learn some of the guiding pr i nc iple s for e v er yd a y behavior in the animal and human alike,” Morford said. “Hopefully they can bring away a few golden nuggets of i n for mat ion t hat ca n help t hem ca re for t heir animals.”

The Denton chapter of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty will meet at 7p.m. Thursday in Wooten Hall 321.

Campaign opposes death penalty BY GRACIELA R AZO Senior Staff Writer

When Laura Lamb discovered Texas death row inmate Reginald Blanton had been killed by lethal injection in October, she decided to get people involved in the activist movement to abolish the death penalty. Blanton’s case was the first that Lamb said she had seen so publicized. La mb, a n a nt hropolog y sophomore, began to form a local chapter of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty with a group of UNT students and Denton residents. “It is a major issue because we believe the criminal justice system is unjust,” Lamb said. “It targets specific groups, especially African Americans and working class people who can’t afford good lawyers.” Through spreading information about the punishment, as well as participating in marches and organizing speaker events, the group hopes to abolish the death penalty in all 50 states and eventually worldwide. In October, members participated in the 10th annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty in Austin.

UNT alumnus gives back BY K ATIE GRIVNA Senior Staff Writer

A UNT alumnus and National Football League athlete was nominated on Dec. 30 for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which recognizes players for their skills on the football field and devotion to community service. Brian Waters, a ’99 community service graduate of UNT and guard for the Kansas City Chiefs, was nominated for the award before 2007. “I was leaving school not really knowing exactly what the future was going to hold, but I always knew I wanted to help people, no matter what the situation was,” he said. He represents the Kansas City Chiefs as a spokesman for the United Way and breast cancer awareness. Waters established the Brian Waters 54 Foundation in 2005 and works with organizations in both Kansas City and the DallasFort Worth area. The winner of the award will be announced Sunday during Super Bowl XLIV pre-game activities, and he will receive a $25,000 donation to the charity of his choice. Waters said that being named the Walter Payton Man of the Year would mean a lot to not only to him, but also to the people he works with.

“It would just be a great representation of the work of not only myself, but the people I work with, my wife in particular, some of my family and friends who have also volunteered, the organizations with which we have worked,” he said. “It would be ... a great honor to them and all the hard work they’ve put into it.”

“I always knew I wanted to help people, no matter what the situation was.”

—Brian Waters UNT alumnus and Kansas City Chiefs guard

Playing and studying at UNT Waters said he chose to study and play football at UNT because it was close to his hometown of Waxahachie, and he wanted to go to a school where he would have the opportunity to play football right away. “Part of the reason I went to UNT, not because they had a huge lineage of football players, but because I knew I could get on the field and have an opportunity to show what I could to do. That, and that would be enough for some-

PHOTO BY INGRID LAUBACH/ PHOTOGRAPHER

body to see me, and it ended up being enough,” he said. At first, Waters wanted to study social work, but he didn’t see himself as a social worker. “I had to re-evaluate what area best described me, and I found the community service department,” Waters said. “It really helped me a lot because it was something I really had a passion for.” During his time at UNT, Waters played in 44 career games and started at tight end for three years, eventually switching to defensive end his senior year, according to the Kansas City Chiefs Web site. A passion for helping others Yolanda Waters, his wife and president of the Brian Waters 54 Foundation, said she wanted to be the foundation’s president because of her husband’s passion for helping others. “Because I know Brian and I know his heart and passion, it’s not an award for him,” she said. “Someone could call him right now and say that there is a family in need and I know if it’s possible that he is going to reach out to them and he’s going to help them because he is so passionate about giving back to the community.” To re a d th e full story, visit ntdaily.com

W hen they arrived back in Denton, they decided to expand their organization’s efforts by gat hering more members, Lamb said. She said college students are an important part of the movement. “When we graduate, we’re going to be experiencing these things, so it’s important to get involved and start a movement because masses of people are what change society,” Lamb said. The orga ni zat ion bases its argument on five main reasons: Only certain race groups are targeted, the poor are unfairly represented, innocent people cannot be given a second chance, it does not lower crime rates, and it is cruel and unusual punishment. Lamb said the group has not seen great opposition on campus to its goals — only people curious to find out more about its activism. Political science professor Bethany Blackstone said proponents of the death penalty see it as an even penalty for the crime the person committed. “Some people believe if you go as far as to take some-

one’s life then the appropriate punishment is to lose your own life,” Blackstone said. Denton resident Elizabeth Clinton, 24, became involved w it h t he group when t he chapter began. She said the deat h pena lt y favors rich people and punishes those who are not. “That is specifically epitomized in society by the criminal justice system and the death penalty,” Clinton said. She said the punishment does not stop or even lessen crime rates in states where it is legal, and people need to rethink where the main source of violence comes from. “Our government is the largest purveyor of violence, and to kill criminals is just adding to that,” Clinton said. The Denton chapter of the Campaign to End the Death Penalt y is also looking to bring exonerated death row inmates and family members to speak in its lecture tours called “Lynching Then and Lynching Now.” Denton resident Scot t y Warren, 24, said he hoped the speakers would have a profound ef fect on t hose attending.

Listeners will get to see another side of the story from family members who had a loved one on death row and see how widespread its effects are, Warren said. “Looking at it from the other side of the spectrum, it’s going to be really moving to see people who have been exonerated,” Warren said. The organization hopes to find new members to ask questions about the movement and people for the death penalty to show up at its first meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday in Wooten Hall 321. As for its ultimate goal of abolishing the death penalty worldw ide, Lamb said the organization is trying to take it one step at a time. Blackstone said the distinctive kind of punishment has its place in the judicial system and that it is difficult to say whether it will ever be completely done away with. “The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of the death penalty although they have restricted its application,” Blackstone said. “But in recent years, more and more problems with it have come to light.”


Page 4 Justin Umberson, Sports Editor

Sports

Wednesday, February 3, 2010 ntdaily.sports@gmail.com

Mean Green attempts to recover at Super Pit BY BEN BABY Staff Writer

The UNT women’s basketba l l tea m w i l l attempt to recover from a forgettable road trip when the Florida Atlantic Owls travel to Denton to face t he Mean Green at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Super Pit. Heading into the last month of the season, UNT (6-16, 3-8) desperately needs a win after losing its last two road games and dropping four out of the last five games. “After all that mess over the trip, we’re really focused on not having many turnovers, getting back on defense and not letting [Florida Atlantic] have open looks,” freshman forward Jasmine Godbolt said. The Owls (10-11, 6-5) won two straight games before a 77-75 overtime loss to in-state riva l Florida Internationa l. FAU has had trouble away from Boca Raton, Fl., with a 4-6 record. “I think that when we play our game, it can be a ver y successful night for us,” head coach Shanice Stephens said. “It’s just really going to be about executing and taking care of the ball.” FAU is led by 11th-year head coach C ha ncel lor Duga n. D u g a n’s s t a r t i n g l i n e u p consists of four guards, three of whom are shorter than 5-foot8-inches. The Owls are led by senior guard Brittany Bowe and junior guard Lyrell Barfield, who both average more than 12 points a game. “We want to offset [their size] and see if we can make some changes in our line-up to see if they will have trouble guarding us,” Stephens said. In its last two games, the Mean Green defense was lit up for at least 100 points, while the offense was kept under 60 points. Before the road trip, the offensive scored at least 76 points in five-straight games. “We struggled in the last two games,” senior guard Brittney James said. “We came back, we

PHOTO BY CLINTON LYNCH/VISUALS EDITOR

The UNT men’s lacrosse team will host its first match Feb. 13 against TCU at the Intramural Fields.

Lacrosse team has ‘high expectations’ for season BY FELICIA A LBA Staff Writer

PHOTO BY RYAN BIBB/PHOTOGRAPHER

Freshman Jasmine Godbolt reaches for a layup against a South Alabama defender. The Mean Green hosts the Florida Atlantic Owls tonight at 7. practiced hard, we worked on the things we had trouble with. I think we can get back on track.” R e c e n t l y, o p p o s i n g defenses have paid a lot of attention to James on the offensive end. In her last two games, the Mean Green’s leading scorer averaged five points a game, dropping her season scoring average down a full point to 14.7 points per game. The bench will be thinner

Wednesday nig ht, as t he team will be without sophomore guard Brittney Hudson, who played eight minutes against Middle Tennessee before re-injuring her right knee. “I want us to grow and mature as a team,” Stephens said. “I want us to show that all the stuff we persevered through, through the year has really paid off, and that we’ve grow n from it, and we’re better forward.”

The UNT men’s lacrosse team opens its 2010 season with the highest goals in the program’s history. Coming off a trip to the Lone Star Alliance Conference finals and returning with three All-Americans, the Mean Green’s journey to meet expectations begins next weekend. “We have pretty high expectations for this year. We would really like to make it the LSA championship,” junior Christian Watson said. During the fall, the Mean Green competed in a tournament hosted by the Texas A&M Aggies in College Station to prepare for the spring. UNT went 3-0 on the first day of the tournament and then

had a losing streak the next day because of injuries sustained from the day before. “The tournament last semester was good,” senior Dustin Andrews said. “We were able to develop some new players.” Since 2005, the Mean Green has advanced to the LSA Conference playoffs, and even played in the championship game for the first time in program history last spring. UNT fell short in the championship 13-16 to the Texas Longhorns. “Our main goal for this season is to win the LSA conference,” Andrews said. “We came so close to it last year.” Andrews is part of a trio of All-Americans who are returning to the Mean Green to see that goal fulfilled. The other All-Americans

returning this year are senior Philip Johnson and junior Matt Reed. While the team has a strong core of players, it is still looking for new players to add to its roster. Anyone interested in trying out is invited to view practices, which are held at the UNT Intramural Fields between 4 p. m. and 6 p. m. Tuesday through Thursday. “We would like for some athletes to come out and try out lacrosse,” Watson said. “You don’t have to have any experience. It’s easy.” The Mean Green is set to put its goals into action Feb. 13, when the team takes on Texas Christian University at home. “We would love for everyone to come check us out,” Watson said.

Short trip provides challenge BY ERIC JOHNSON Senior Staff Writer

For the first time since 1994, the UNT tennis team (2-1) will make the short trip across the Red River to challenge the Oklahoma Sooners (2-0) at 3 p. m. today. Fresh off a dominant 7-0 win Sunday, UNT faces a team that has not lost a set all season. “We have never played OU before, but we know we belong with these teams and that there is a lot of talent and depth on our team,” junior Madura Ranganathan said. “We have great chemistry, and we go into every match with a positive attitude, knowing that if we take care of our business that we are going to win the match no matter who is on the other side of the court.” There will be familiarity between the two programs, as head coach Sujay Lama knows Oklahoma‘s second year coach, David Mullins, from their time in the Big 10 Conference. Mullins was an assistant coach at Northwestern while Lama was head coach of Illinois six years ago. “David is a young up–andcoming head coach, and he has a lot of young talent on his team,” Lama said. “We have not seen OU play very much, but I do know that David will have his team well prepared, and this is an opportunity for us to focus on our goals and build some momentum.” Few changes will be made to the Mean Green lineup, but senior Catalina Cruz will return to the singles card after resting Sunday. Cruz and freshman Barbora Vykydalova will move into the No. 2 position for doubles after

PHOTO BY MARTINA TREVINO/PHOTOGRAPHER

Freshman Barbora Vykydalova works on her forehand as the team prepares for today’s matchup against Oklahoma. showing their potential in last week’s win. “Barbora and Cat are playing like a team that has been together for years, and right now with the momentum they have built I really trust them to play in any spot,” Lama said. Sophomores Irina Paraschiv and Paula Dinuta and Ranganathan will remain the team generals, leading the team into battle from the top 3 spots in singles.

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Paraschiv and junior Amy Joubert will command the top doubles spot, but the team will need Ranganathan and junior Narine Kazarova to regain their momentum to gain the opening doubles point, which sets the tone for the match. “We are very comfortable with each other, and the doubles point is crucial in winning the match, so we want to bring out the best in one another,” Ranganathan said. “Narine has been out with an injury, so we are really trying to get back to the success we had last season. If we are playing well together, I believe that our team’s biggest strength is doubles.” The match will be played in Oklahoma’s new indoor tennis complex, so weather will play no factor in the Mean Green’s first of two Big 12 opponents this week. UNT will play No. 74 Texas Tech on Feb. 8 at home.


Views

Wednesday, February 3, 2010 Josh Pherigo, Views Editor

Changes in NASA budget carry risks Editorial U.S. astronauts will rely on commercial space flights to taxi them into orbit if Congress approves President Barack Obama’s plan for future NASA funding. The proposal calls for a reorganization of the agency that would change its focus from manufacturing and implementation to more of a research and development role. If approved, NASA would see a budgetary rise of $6 billion over the course of the next five years to develop new rocket, robotics and energy technologies that could be used to advance industry and future space exploration. The plan also calls for the immediate end of NASA’s mission to return to the moon, effectively scrapping the Constellation, Ares and Orion programs as well as the $11.5 billion already invested. Instead, $6 billion will be given to jump-start the commercial development of a space transportation industry that will eventually ferry both passengers and astronauts into space. By cutting the manned-flight program, Obama has placed a taxpayer-funded wager that the private sector will succeed. A failure to do so in a timely manner would place the future ability of American space exploration on the backs of the international community. Without a vehicle, future American astronauts would be forced to “hitch a ride” on a Russian rocket, or “carpool” in the back of a Japanese shuttle. A cooperative international approach to the future space exploration of “humankind” is undeniably a warm and fuzzy prospect. But the reality of the unstable geopolitical nature of earthly world relations dictates that if the U.S. wishes to remain a leader in space innovation and exploration, America must remain cooperative yet sovereign in its ability to actually get there. If the wager pays out and the private sector flourishes, America will once again lead the pack in enacting a vision that will change man’s ability to utilize outer space beneficially. However, abruptly ending the manned-flight program places all our space-flight eggs in one, as of yet, non-existent basket, and severely jeopardizes the future of the American space program.

Campus Chat

Should the U.S. pursue the goal of landing on Mars?

{ { { {

“Yeah it would be cool, but there are other issues that are more pressing matters to the government.”

Sophia Chaves

Jazz studies freshman

“Eventually, yes. However, I think there are more economically important problems right now.”

Page 5 ntdailyviews@gmail.com

Some bad songs hold ‘likeability’ I’ve had Deep Blue Something’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” stuck in my head for the past few days. If you’ve never heard the song, look it up and listen to it —– maybe even three or four times. This column will make more sense because everything will be in the proper context. I always liked the song as a kid. It was hard not to. Both of my brothers and my mom enjoyed it — probably more than I did. I only knew one line in the song, which includes the title. That was the only thing I would sing when I heard it from time to time. I recently obtained the song and put it into my computer. I’ve grown increasingly tired of the CDs I have in my car, and I think my radio may be on the fritz because it keeps playing Nickelback, Incubus, U2, Rise Against, Kings of Leon and countless other terrible bands. My solution was to put a bunch of random songs on a disc and listen to it: “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” was one of the lucky tracks to get drafted. I never actually listened to

the song and always had trouble discerning the lyrics until last week. It was the second line in the chorus that really caught my attention. I thought to myself, “There’s no way …” So I looked up the lyrics online, and my suspicions were confirmed. The entire song is about a girl breaking up with a guy –— the singer –— because they have nothing in common. The guy throws a Hail Mary out there by mentioning the Audrey Hepburn film. The girl says she recalls the movie, the guy says they both liked it and the movie is one thing they have in common. I can’t be profane in my writing, and it’s probably for the best because this is one of the worst songs ever written. It’s almost as bad as “Whiskey Hangover” or “Yellow.” The singer’s trump card and last-ditch effort to win a girl back is a movie from the ‘60s? This blows my mind. After having this revelation, I did what anyone else would do —

I made it my Facebook status. My buddy Justin commented on it and agreed how pathetic the song is, and mentioned Stroke 9’s “Little Black Backpack.” It is equally annoying, I agreed, but at least it had more substance than “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” and it had fighting. After defending Stroke 9, Justin throws out “Story of a Girl” by Nine Days. Yes, it’s abysmal but I gave them props because the girl did cry an entire river that drowned the whole world — an impressive feat, to say the least. I’m glad global warming dried up most of her tears and we’re no longer living in Water World, because those were some dark times, but the catastrophe did produce Michael Phelps. Not all one-hit wonders are busts that deteriorate through over the ages. Some examples: “The Way” by Fastball, “Flagpole Sitta” by Harvey Danger, “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve, or “Lovefool” by The Cardigans (love me love me SAY that you

America of 2008, meet America of 2010. In the former, we were enthused with thoughts of fundamental hope and change. In the latter, we have seen those schemes come to fruition. Witnessing the polluted and deprived results being born is creating a reform of a vastly different direction — the opposite direction. Having occurred within only two years, this roundabout is remarkable and something that ought to give any citizen pause. What would cause one nation to have such a night-and-day mentality in short time? Among the many reasons are the failures of the many economic provisions passed by our President and his majority legislature. Without getting ensnared in the complexities of bailouts, energy finances and vast treasury increases, it’s important to understand the fundamental concepts behind these ideas. Basic Keynesian economics, ascribed to by President Barack Obama — also what Roosevelt

used to inspire his New Deal spending — is wrought with a philosophy of expenditures that direly overwhelm any sustainable course. The Keynesian will tell you of “compassionate” taxing necessary for programs like Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. The Keynesian will tell you of “the social good,” as the cause for which you are being taxed. The Keynesian will tell you of the social experimentation through programs that are necessary to achieve higher minimum standards of living. But what the Keynesian is not as apt to tell you is the inevitable truth of his or her ideology. Increasing the citizenry’s finances on paper by adhering to Keynesian principles will eventually lead to financial ruin. In fact, it was John Maynard Keynes who remarked of his own philosophy that in the end, we’re all dead. Therefore, what consequence would face any public figure if he or she chooses to ascribe to this transient fix, a band-aid when a tourniquet is needed?

In Obama’s case, the president has been met with an irrationally enhanced public image. Irrational, because his economic philosophy also entails, as Keynes was keen to mention, that, at its best the “bailout mentality” is an insufficient solution. This is a fundamental reason for the shift in the American people’s opinion. Hindsight on these economic policies played a key part in the elections of the Virginia and New Jersey governors and recently in the Massachusetts Senate race. The people of those areas refused the same billing of government increases and tax increases that they had received for two years. Instead, they chose the lower taxes, minimal government involvement and Adam Smith capitalist economics that show promise of real results. It speaks well of a people that they would choose the more mature and more permanent solutions. In the course of recent events, the actions of our president stand in stark contrast to those the people have voted for. He is

LOVE me). I think those have stood the test of time. I st i l l l i ke “Brea k fa st at Tiffany’s” because it’s nostalgic. It has upbeat music, and I can sing along. I feel dirty after listening, and I rinse my mouth out with soap after singing it, but I still like it. Maybe that’s one thing “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” fans have got.

Ryan Feuerhelm is a journalism senior. He can be reached at Ryan.Feuerhelm@ unt.edu.

Political unrest brings new change enjoying time at college basketball games and confronting issues like football’s BCS system. Perhaps this is how he deals with diving poll figures and reeling public opinion. The ideal summation of Obama’s recent appeal would be that of his sophomoric State of the Union address. I do not think I have heard a more adolescent dictation. It’s not too surprising though if you consider his plummeting publicity and accomplishments that stand at nil. The people of the East Coast have set a trend for those voters residing elsewhere. Their message is clear: No longer will we abide frail economic policies. The time has come for change. The energetic shift is ironic, and the American people’s choice for success is evident. What voters must successively choose is either transient giddiness or a durable solution. Derek Coulson is a history graduate student. He can be reached at DerekCoulson@ my.unt.edu.

Nicholas Roach

Trombone performance sophomore

“Yes, they should. Human beings are probably going to mess up this planet, so they need to find a replacement one.”

Julia Batch English junior

“Yes, they may find something interesting or beautiful on Mars that could benefit us greatly.”

NT Daily Editorial Board

Emily Payton

Elementary education senior

The Editorial Board includes: Shaina Zucker, Josh Pherigo, Rebecca Hoeffner, T.S. McBride, Melissa Boughton, Amber Arnold, Kip Mooney, Abigail Allen, Sydnie Summers, Brianne Tolj, Clinton Lynch, Justin Umberson, and David Williams.

Want to be heard? The NT Daily is proud to present a variety of ideas and opinions from readers in its Views section. As such, we would like to hear from as many NT readers as possible. We invite readers of all creeds and backgrounds to write about whichever issue excites them, whether concerning politics, local issues,

ethical questions, philosophy, sports and, of course, anything exciting or controversial. Take this opportunity to make your voice heard in a widely read publication. To inquire about column ideas, submit columns or letters to the editor, send an e-mail to ntdailyviews@gmail.com

Note to Our Readers

The NT Daily does not necessarily endorse, promote or agree with the viewpoints of the columnists on this page. The content of the columns is strictly the opinion of the writers and in no way reflects the belief of the NT Daily.


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