Vol. XXXV, Issue 6, February 21, 2012
CHRONICLE SHOOTING RAISES IT’S ALL ‘GEEK’ TO ME SAFETY CONCERNS
PG 3 Richland president finalists announced
Houston’s legacy remembered Page 7
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Richland presidential search narrows LAURA GARSEA Editor-in-Chief
The search for the next president of Richland College has narrowed down to four candidates. Dr. Kay Eggleston, who currently serves
Dr. Kay Eggleston
Image courtesy Richland College
-Serving as interim Richland College President -Doctorate in management and administrative sciences from the University of Texas at Dallas
as interim president at Richland has been selected as one of the final four applicants for the position. The other three applicants include Dr. Donald Pearl, Dr. Stuart Savin and Dr. Rodney Ellis. A search committee was put together about a year ago to select the final four candidates. Professor Ray Sandoval and Mountain View
Dr. Donald Pearl
Image courtesy twitter.com/donaldpearl
College President Felix Zamora headed the operation, narrowing down the list of candidates to four applicants. According to Bobby Harrison, director of Student Programs and Resources, each candidate will have a separate opportunity to have an hour luncheon with a selected group of students. The students will be allowed to ask the
Dr. Stuart Savin
Image courtesy roncookphoto.com
-Served as vice president of instructional programs and services/chief academic officer at Central Arizona College, Coolidge, AZ. -Doctorate in physics from University of Nebraska
-Served as President at Cayamaca College, El Cajon, CA. -Doctorate in education/community college leadership from Oregon State University.
not done at Richland before.” The plot begins with storytellers as they relate historical events from the island as they murmur “Once on this island . . .” which turns into a fable about a young peasant girl, Ti Moune. The gods saved her from a terrible storm and she believes she’s been saved for a reason. That reason is to save the life of a young man (Daniel) with whom she falls in love. That’s where the love story begins. Although it ends tragically, the story finishes with a redemptive resolution. “It’s very different from American culture,” Welch said. “It involves the gods and there’s a lot of symbolism in it.” Part of what enhances the cultural aspect of “Island” is the clash between the peasants, who live on one side of the island and the powerful upper-class, called “the beauxhommes,” who live on the other side. The gods, Asaka, Mother of the Earth, Agwé, God of Water, Erzulie, Goddess of Love and Papa Ge, Demon of Death, rule the island and wreak havoc with the islanders. The actors have very specific god costumes in comparison to the islanders. “Island” is traditionally cast strictly along
racial lines, but in this production, that isn’t the case. Welch said that on the back of the script there are alternative lines that take out references to an all-black cast, and she is using those lines. “The interesting thing about this musical is that every person in the cast is a storyteller,” Welch said. “During the course of telling the story, some of them step out to become characters. They wear a basic costume, but they may put on a piece to represent the character they are playing.” Welch said “Island” has a cast of 18, all of whom are Richland students except one young girl, Eleni Loving. Welch met her while directing a summer musical at camp and felt she would be right for the part. “At the end, there is a moral to the story,” Welch said but she prefers to allow the audience to figure it out for themselves. Welch said people will enjoy this musical because “It’s very colorful. It’s approved for children and families. But, it’s not classified as a children’s show. It’s got romance. It’s got a lot of really exciting dancing and that wonderful African drumming.” There will be no intermission in this pro-
candidate questions pertaining to their career and future plans. The announcement of candidates being selected came Wednesday and the four names were released on Thursday in the Chancellor’s Bulletin. The date that a president will be chosen has not been decided.
Dr. Rodney Ellis
Image courtesy thetandd.com
-Served as an executive vice president, vice president of IT planning and development at Atlanta Technical College -Doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Georgia.
JOYCE JACKSON Copy Editor
Later this month, some energetic islanders will face the wrath of the gods right here on our campus -- and no one knows what fury will take place. One thing is certain, though. There will be plenty of music and action as the Drama Department presents “Once on This Island,” a one-act Afro-Caribbean musical, with a book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and music by Stephen Flaherty. It’s based on the novel “My Love, My Love” by Rosa Guy and has elements of both the “Romeo and Juliet” story and the fairytale, “The Little Mermaid.” Director Wendy Welch said she chose “Island” because it is one of her favorite musicals – in her Top 10. She describes it as “Afro-Caribbean storytelling” with peasants, gods, African percussion and dance, and it takes place on the island of Haiti. “It’s beautiful, beautiful music,” Welch said. “It’s got a simplicity to it that we have
duction. It’s free and open to the public and will run about 90 minutes beginning at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, Feb. 29 – March 3 in Fannin Performance Hall. For more information, call 972-238-6256.
Image courtesy ashevilleartscenter.com
Richlandchronicle.com • February 21, 2012
Islanders and gods clash on campus
Best Pictures for the Oscar ? R
SCOTT JACKSON Staff Writer
The 84th annual Academy Awards is less than a week away and it doesn’t take a math genius to realize that the biggest or most important Oscar to be had is Best Picture. This is the coveted prize in the industry, but are any of these pictures really worth your time? It’s no doubt that some fantastic movies were MIA this year (cough,
Image courtesy Searchlight Pictures
general manager for a baseball team who finds a new way to calculate who’s best to draft on his team. I was surprised to walk out of this one with such a positive reaction. As far as “The Tree of Life” goes, I can’t say the same thing. Not to say it’s not worth your time, but it’s just a little harder to sit through than “Moneyball.” “Midnight in Paris” is written and directed by the legendary Woody Allen and stars funny-man Owen Wilson. This one is billed as a general romantic comedy, but it feels like so much more. Wilson’s character begins to live a night life away from his fiancee, basically falls in love with the city of Paris and slowly out of love with his bride-to-be. Even writer/director Quentin Tarantino (“Pulp Fiction,” “Inglourious Basterds”) billed this as his top movie of 2011. On that alone I think “Midnight in Paris” is worth checking out. The last film is Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo.” This one didn’t do so well in the box office, but where it didn’t earn money, it earned 11 Oscar nominations. It’s one of the few movies that takes 3-D and gives you your money’s worth. Taking place in 1930s Paris, “Hugo” is a bit of a mystery movie about an orphan boy living in a train station. The rest of the story involves this young boy’s deceased father and clocks. I’m not going to spoil the rest of it for you, but it’s a fun adventure that everyone should see. Also nominated is Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse,” which seemed to capture select hearts everywhere over Christmas. I can’t recommend this to everyone, but it could find its way to yours. “The Help” starring Emma Stone is also in the running, along with “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.”
Image courtesy Paramount Pictures
11 Oscar nominations
It’s worth giving most of these films a shot, but don’t forget about those who were snubbed this year. I may have mentioned already that the amazing character study “Shame” is nowhere to be found and the mysterious “Drive” is also missing. These two are some of the best of last year and despite their absence you should check these out. Nine films are nominated for Best Picture and most of these are also nominated in various other categories. Who will take home the gold? ABC broadcasts the Academy Awards live on Sunday.
Surreal digital warfare against evil corporations
Richlandchronicle.com • February 21, 2012
George Clooney: Nominated Best Actor
“Drive,” cough, “Shame,” cough) but out of the lucky nine the Academy nominated, there are definitely some real winners here. Some you may not have even given a second glance at, such as “The Artist.” This is a little French movie that is out of the ordinary. In fact, the whole thing was done as homage to silent films – yes, like Charlie Chaplin. Given the style of the movie, you probably didn’t see this in your local theater for too long. Aside from the legendary John Goodman, it doesn’t have many “celebrities” to back it, but each actor here gives nothing but his or her best. There’s even a good chance that the film’s lead could walk away with a win in the Best Actor category. George Clooney headed “The Descendants,” which was adapted for the big screen by director Alexander Payne. Clooney’s character is losing his wife due to a boating accident and begins to reconnect with what it’s like to be a father. On top of that he’s contemplating the sale of a whole bunch of land left to him from his ancestors. This sounds like a slightly bland tale, but it’s backed by a great script and out of the ballpark performances. If you can find it at your local cinema, I definitely recommend this one. Two movies starring Brad Pitt are also nominated for Best Picture, as well as a slew of other categories. One is the slowpaced and not for everyone “The Tree of Life,” and the other a sports movie for even those who hate sports, “Moneyball.” Seeing as I can’t find a single negative thing to say about it, I’d definitely give the latter a view as soon as possible. This one is about a
MARY CHANNELL Gaming Editor
“Syndicate” takes players to a hopeless and deceitful world that operates without government and is overrun with numerous syndicates competing for complete dominance of their market place. Three massive corporations, Eurocorp, Cayman Global and Aspari, are the front lines of this remorseless war for control of the American market. In the “Syndicate” world, everything and evImages courtesy EA.com, Fpsguru.com
eryone is connected digitally. Players not only use weapons with their hands, you have something called DART 6 biochip technology is implanted into the brain to allow players slow down time and the ability to break through this digital world. Players are able to annihilate their enemies using various hacking mechanics. “Syndicate” immerses players into a futuristic first-person shooter with ingenious hacking mechanics that engage players through a fast-paced enviroment. “Syndicate” will be released today and is available for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC platforms.
Artists, celebrities entice sci-fi fans
Maybe it was all the hype of “Star Wars: Episode I-The Phantom Menace 3D” that pulled so many fans to Sci-Fi Expo on Feb. 11-12, or maybe the force was too strong to resist. Either way, the convention drew a large crowd of costumed crusaders who, despite the weather, took advantage of the opportunity to get a bit nerdy. Celebrity panels were a fun, interactive event at the convention. At the panels, the stars got the opportunity to answer any questions fans had (whether they be sci-fi related or not). Eliza Dushku’s panel was one of the most interesting. The former “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” star had a full room of fans and a line of those who were itching to ask a question. Most of the questions were lighthearted and based on the actresses’ career. However, things got a bit weird when one “brave” fan asked if Dushku had ever thought about being intimate with another woman. Despite the crowd’s uncomfortable reaction, Dushku
kept her cool and gave a respectable response. “I think everybody’s thought about it at some point,” Dushku said. “I think a lot of young people are curious and experiment. I’d say I’m like most people.” A side note to future panelists: Try not to accept hugs. As painfully witnessed during Dushku’s panel, it not only slows down everything, but can be a segue into some very awkward scenarios. Noah Hathaway was definitely one of the most enjoyable stars to hang out with at the celebrity tables. “The NeverEnding Story” former childhood actor made sure to spend time with every fan who approached his table. Although he may not be the little Atreyu we fell in love with in the 1984 fantasy adventure, Hathaway has been keeping up with his career, working on a new project titled “Sushi Girl.” He revealed some future plans he hopes to accomplish, like opening up a tattoo parlor. “As long as I’m having fun I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing,” Hathaway To view Sci-Fi Expo interviews and to see said. “The second it’s not fun, I’m out.” additional footage, visit the Richland ChronThe highlight of the convention was the icle Facebook page and follow the YouTube artwork on display and for sale. There were link or visit www.RichlandChronicle.com
“Anybody who’s learning to draw, you won’t get any better unless you practice, practice, practice.” - Cory Smith, artist
“As long as I’m having fun I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. The second it’s not fun, I’m out.” - Noah Hathaway, actor, “The NeverEnding Story” Images credit Julio Nieto
Richlandchronicle.com • February 21, 2012
some insanely talented artists. I think more talent was displayed there than I’ve seen at conventions that draw crowds of over 10,000. Comic and trading card artist John Hughes displayed colorful and whimsical works of art that characterized popular comic book icons. In addition to portraying the popular characters from the original art work, Hughes said that a few of his pieces have been based on friends and acquaintances. “I like doing reference work off of people I know because it gives a little sentimental attachment to the piece,” Hughes said. “Sketching is fun too because there’s no pressure. The only drawback to drawing somebody that you care about is that if it doesn’t look right you know it and you don’t like it. You want it to express who they are.” Freelance artist Cory Smith featured blackand-white sketches that were so detailed I almost couldn’t believe they were done by hand. It was awesome to see such raw talent, and personally, that’s some of my favorite styles of art. Basically self taught, Smith explores different stylistic techniques, like creating the effect of brushed aluminum, with each piece of art he creates. Smith also shared some words of advice to aspiring artists. “Pencil drawing is a dying art form. So many people get on digital because it’s fast and easy. If you make a mistake you can delete the page, but pencil is so much better,” Smith said. “You have something to show people. You can see that you put pencil on the paper. It’s a lot more important. Anybody who’s learning to draw, you won’t get any better unless you practice, practice, practice.” No worries if you weren’t able to make it out to Sci-Fi Expo. The organization will be hosting Dallas Comic Con on May 19-20 at the Irving Convention Center. Major stars such as Adam West, Stan Lee and Patrick Stewart are expected to be in attendance. Additional information can be found at dallascomiccon.com.
Bring out the beads - it’s party time REBECCA BANKS
Monday – Thursday, Feb. 20-23 Richland’s 29th Annual Literary Arts Festival Stop by the Office of Student Life in El Paso, Room E-040 and pick up a schedule of events, which will include diverse literary works of noted writers. Thursday, Feb. 23: 12:20 to 1:50 p.m. Literary Festival Student Readings Richland Library (bottom floor) The deadline for submissions is today, Feb. 21. If you have original poems or prose that you would like to read, contact Rae Deshong at Rdeshong@dcccd.edu. Thursday, Feb. 23: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. “Emeritus Has Talent” Crockett Hall, Room C-102 This new acting troupe is geared toward those over 50. Classes will take place in late April and May for performances this summer at retirement centers. Friday, Feb. 24: 7 to 10 p.m. Richland College Poetry slam El Paso Hall Join Cedric Merritt, department assistant II and the sponsor of the slam for an enjoyable evening of the spoken word, singing and a fun talent show.
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ON THE COVER Sci-Fi Expo attracted comic book and sci-fi fans
COVER AND FONTS Cover Page Design/Illustration Question Whitney Houston
Julio Nieto File Photo AP Photo/Matt Sayles
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STUDENT MEDIA STAFF Fred Allen Rebecca Banks Terry Blend Mary Channell Tannia Garcia Jane Henry Jordan Nichols
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The 2011 Mardi Gras festival featured a free Cajun cookout and musical entertainment. Today’s festivities are expected to include musical guests, food and a parade.
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Richlandchronicle.com • February 21, 2012
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It’s time to let loose and join in the festive “Carnival” on Richland’s campus today from 12 to 2 p.m. The Office of Student Life is hosting a Mardi Gras celebration in El Paso Hall. “There is going to be a catering company that cooks traditional Cajun cooking like crawfish and corn on the cob. We serve about 600 students and faculty during that day,” said Jason Barr, Student Program Development specialist. According to www.history.com, Mardi Gras started in Rome and made its way into Christianity for believers to feast before the 40 days of fasting and eating only fish during Lent. This established “Fat Tuesday,” also known as Mardi Gras. The current festivities that occur in New Orleans were created by the group, Mistick Krewe of Comus, in the 19th century. The group started the traditional parades with floats, throwing beads, wearing masks and eating King Cake. The recognized colors of Mardi Gras are purple, green and yellow. Mardi Gras is celebrated internationally throughout Europe, Brazil, Canada and the United States. “We will have a little Mardi Gras parade and people will pass out beads, a jazz band will play and other things that you see in a Mardi Gras celebration,” said Barr. All Richland students and faculty are welcome to attend.
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Final days overpower Houston’s legacy Columnist
“They’re devils to me . . . and they’re out to eat my flesh.” That was one among several memorable quotes uttered by six-time Grammy Award-winning singer Whitney Houston over the years. The comment in particular was from a 1996 interview in Redbook magazine on her opinion of the media. If the “Drive-By Media,” as conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh calls them, are devils in disguise, then they really had
a plateful and were only too eager to come back for seconds with drool spewing from their mouths when the recording artist and actress was found dead in her fourth-floor suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Feb. 11. Houston was 48. The singer’s body still hadn’t been released to the coroner’s office when I read a story from TMZ the next morning that an unnamed source said pill bottles were in the bathroom where Houston was found reportedly under water in the bathtub. Toxicology results are not expected for weeks, but speculation exists that a lethal combination of prescribed medications and alcohol likely played a role.
Image courtesy AP Photo/Elise Amendola
In this May 10, 1986 file photo, American singer Whitney Houston belts out a song during her segment of a benefit concert at Boston Garden. Houston died Saturday, Feb. 11, 2012. She was 48. News of the singer’s death captivated news stations around the world and thousands of fans have paid tribute to the star by playing her greatest hits.
Not surprisingly, the Houston story dominated the Monday morning news shows. Switching stations from NBC to ABC to CBS reminded me of that scene near the end of Oliver Stone’s “Natural Born Killers” (1994). In the climax, a faceless individual can be seen switching channels where a different tabloid news story was covered from the 1993 Branch Davidian siege in Waco, to the Tonya Harding scandal and to the Rodney King beating by Los Angeles police in 1991. In typical tabloid media fashion, the negatives not only outweighed the positives but conflicted with accounts from those close to the singer who were interviewed about her supposed behavior in the days prior to Feb. 11. “She (Houston) did not seem disheveled,” said singer Kelly Price in a Feb. 13 story on CNN. Price was with the icon at a party two days earlier. “She was dancing. She was laughing. We were having a good time. What I saw on Thursday night was not erratic behavior. I didn’t see someone who was high.” That’s a far contrast from what Los Angeles Times music writer Gerrick Kennedy said when he ran into Houston at the Beverly Hilton during a press event. “She (Houston) was very – almost kind of frantic,” Kennedy told NBC’s Matt Lauer on “The Today Show” Feb. 13. Kennedy added the singer smelled of cigarettes and alcohol. “There was a bit of erraticness in her behavior, you know. When I had the first time to interact with her outside in the lobby, she was wandering around aimlessly, almost like a child. She seemed lost. That was the first interaction I had, but as the day went on, you know, you got more glimpses of her and you got another taste of the fact something was off that day.” Even more ghoulish was the picture “Entertainment Tonight” showed on its broadcast the same day. It showed the pop superstar in a body bag and boasted how this was an “exclusive” photo that only they had. That night, HLN’s Nancy Grace put in her two cents worth when speaking with CNN’s Brooke Baldwin, demanding answers while the investigation was still ongoing. “I’d like to know who was around her, who if anyone gave her drugs . . . and who let her slip, or pushed her, underneath that water,” Grace said. I suppose I should give the “drive-by” media a miniscule amount of credit. When ABC news reporter Linsey Davis showed photos, courtesy of TMZ, of Houston lounging at the pool at the Beverly Hilton, she said it was not known if the drink the singer had by her side was alcohol. All this tabloid coverage makes me glad that the recording artist’s family planned (at press time) to hold a private memorial service Feb. 18 in the singer’s hometown of Newark, N.J. at the New Hope
Image courtesy AP Photo/Bullit Marquez
A fan scribbles a message on the “tribute wall” for the late American singer Whitney Houston. The tribute wall was put up for fans to write their messages following Houston’s sudden death at 48.
Baptist Church. That’s where Houston sang in the choir as a child. That’s vastly different than the televised media circus that took place when the “King of Pop” Michael Jackson was laid to rest in 2009. Instead of a public funeral, fans were scheduled to be able to view Houston’s service on the Internet supplied by The Associated Press. I heard some say that Feb. 11, when you heard Houston had passed, is another one of those “Where were you when?” moments. To me, Feb. 11 is no different than any other day. I will for the record say I was at work when a friend of mine texted me the news and asked “Who’s next?” given that celebrity deaths always seem to come in threes. Later that night, I did what everyone else was likely doing upon hearing the news. I was downloading the singer’s music videos from her motion picture debut in “The Bodyguard” (1992) on Youtube. Even now, I can’t get Houston’s “golden voice” out of my head as I recall the lyrics of “I Will Always Love You,” “I Have Nothing,” “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” “I’m Your Baby Tonight” and her patriotic rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl XXV in 1991 that puts just about every other entertainer who has done the country’s national anthem since to shame. That’s the Whitney Houston I prefer to remember versus the sad scandal-ridden portrait the “drive-by media” has been so fixated on since her final curtain unexpectedly fell that Saturday afternoon.
Richlandchronicle.com • February 21, 2012
Richlandchronicle.com â€˘ February 21, 2012