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December 7, 2009

Volume 12, Issue 6




Fire Academy celebrates its move to Austin location at open house demonstration Michael Needham


Staff Writer

fire cadet leapt off the top of the drill tower and rode a rope toward a crowd of spectators at the Austin Community College Fire Training Academy Open House. Meanwhile, another cadet secured himself to a victim impersonator and simulated a rescue as he repelled straight down the tower. Then, a simulation house beside the tower burst into flames. Two fire trucks pulled up to the house and the remaining cadets jumped out and started fighting the blaze.

Working in two teams, one group of cadets battled the flames while the others set up ventilation and began a search and rescue operation. By forming a master stream of water between the house and the tower, the cadets were able to contain the fire and keep it from spreading. Through ventilation, other cadets achieved visibility within the house. Upon entry into the flaming building, the cadets found mannequin victims. They could choose to either carry the fake victims out a window and down a ladder or out the main stairwell. One by one the cadets exited the flame engulfed building, rescuing the prop bodies, and wrapping up their 17 week training at the academy. The Fire Training Academy Open House, which took place on Dec. 2, celebrated the move of the academy from a few different locations, the main building being in Taylor, to one location in Austin. “This is a training facility all in one spot,” ACC President Stephen Kinslow said. “It has allowed us to expand our cadet program.” The open house included speeches by people closely associated with the program, a live fire fighting demonstration, and a tour of the three ACC buildings on the site. The site is located on the same training grounds that the Austin city fire academy uses. Austin Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez, who served as an Austin firefighter for 13 years and was president of the Austin Firefighters Association in 2003, promised that the academy would benefit the community. “This is truly the vision that many folks have,” Martinez said, “that this facility will not just be for the fire department, but for the community. This is just the beginning.” Austin Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr explained how the new facility would improve fire fighting in Austin.

ȩȩ See Jump pg. 3

Teodora Erbes Staff Photographer

FIRE DEPARTMENT — An ACC firefighter cadet watches how the flames and smoke spread before entering the heat-insulated building to put the fire out, at Austin’s Firefighter Training Facility on Tuesday Dec. 1. As part of the Firefighter certification training curriculum, the cadets go through a week of working with

SL, Orientation changes still being discussed Sarah Neve

Editor-in-Chief The original proposal for the expansion of The Orientation Program and the redesign of Student Life has changed. While Student Life will not look exactly the same as it did this semester, the changes being made appear, as of right now, to be much less drastic than originally predicted. The original proposal that was presented to the Student Life coordinators on Nov. 9 would have eliminated Diversity, Leadership,

and Intramurals as stand-alone clusters as well as cancel several annual events. In the Nov. 9 issue of The Accent Director of Student Life Cheryl Richard is quoted saying that these programs had to be eliminated to make the new orientation requirements work. “The good news, for me, is that I feel like we are moving towards keeping all our programming,” Richard said. While everything is still very much in the planning stages one very strong possibility is that

Diversity and Leadership will be combined into one cluster. One thing that will impact how these redesigns take place will be the deadline by which students must be oriented. At a meeting with the Student Services Council on Dec. 3 it was clarified that to be considered orientated; students would have to have attended orientation by the first day of class. The consequences, which are still being finalized, may be that students who fail to get oriented will have holds placed on their accounts, and be dropped from

their classes. Student Government Association Vice President Mike Reid and Secretary Brice Gump, on Nov. 19, at the Student Rights and Responsibilities Committee meeting, suggested that students should have their first semester to complete orientation before holds are placed on their account. “We felt like it was wrong, they should have a semester, and then place a hold on their account,” Reid said. SGA is looking into conducting a survey to gauge student opinion about the changes

before the end of the semester. The decision to expand orientation comes from the ACC’s established Student Success Initiative, and new involvement with Achieving the Dream, a community college student success program, that provides funding to select community colleges. Currently orientation is technically a requirement for students, but failing to attend will not keep them from attending classes. According to studies done by the Center for Community College Student Engagement

(CCSSE), student retention is increased by involvement with the school and with peers. “The goal is student engagement, and one of the ways we can do that is the orientation program,” Vice President of Student Support and Success Systems Kathleen Christensen said. “Going forward with a mandatory orientation that is monitored, one goal is to get students involved with each other, like how they where in high school, or how they are in other parts of their lives.”

Pilot program will provide students with free bus passes Passes part of sustainability effort Trevor Goodchild Staff Writer

Capitol Metro bus trips will be free to all students attending ACC next semester. Starting Jan. 5, students can pick up their Green Passes from the cashier’s office as part of a pilot program that will allow them free access to Capitol Metro services, including the Metro Rail, when it becomes operational. $250,000 of the money raised from the higher parking fee that went into effect this semester was used to get the pilot program started. Once that money is depleted, the Green Pass will be funded by the new sustainability fee that will go into effect next

semester. The sustainability fee will be $1 per credit hour and will cost students an average of $8 per semester. “The ACC Board of Trustees brought up the idea of having the Green Pass to reduce our carbon footprint and also ease our transportation problems or issues such as parking at all campuses. This year, the Board of Trustees approved an increase of the parking fee, so they increased a portion of the parking fee that will (initially) fund the Green Pass,” Director of Environmental Stewardship Andy Kim said. Other green options for students that are being considered include the possibility of making ACC more bike friendly by installing more bike racks, adding showers for student bikers, or establishing an ACC car pool system. “Because the increase of the parking fee is a limited fund, as the program expands, the

Sustainability Fee comes in to help extend the Green Pass program, and it will also fund various sustainability issues and projects,” Kim said. Sustainability was the focus when President Steve Kinslow signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, an initiative to reduce the carbon footprint of educational institutions across the country. The Green Pass is part of this initiative, and how long it lasts depends on how many ACC students use the bus passes during the pilot program. Capital Metro will be keeping track of the number of ACC students using the Green Pass. Every student enrolled in the 2010 spring semester, with the exception of Continuing Education students that do not pay the Sustainability Fee, can use the pass. Students can use the Green Pass the first day it’s issued for

the spring semester. If lost, there is a $25 replacement fee, whereas if it is damaged, it will be replaced at no cost as long as the original pass can be presented. The pass will cover the time between semesters as well as the semester itself. “The Green Pass works for even express buses; we wanted to make it an inclusive service to eliminate all confusion. Metro rail isn’t running at this time, but this pass will work for it as well once it is in commission,” Kim said. Whether or not having the

photo credit

Green Pass will make students use these Metro services versus driving a car was addressed by nursing major Eunbi Park. She drives to and from every campus now and rarely rides the bus.

“I think my friends that drive would be more likely now to ride the bus, I mean why not? I would be more likely to use the bus because I can save money on gas,” Park said.

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Karissa Explains


it ALL

Karissa Rodriguez Layout Intern

Recently, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, a nonpartisan group, has been advocating for lowering the number of community college students in their 20s that have unplanned pregnancies. I believe that this campaign is an excellent initiative for both students and community college institutions; and I fully support all of its endeavours. The campaign explains that many students who have unplanned pregnancies have an increased risk of dropping out of college. “61% of women who have children after enrolling in community college fail to finish their degree, which is 65% higher than the rate for those who didn’t have children,” according to the news brief “Unplanned Pregnancy and Community Colleges,” released by the campaign in November. It’s shocking to hear those numbers, but I think its not surprising. The campaign’s goal is “to improve the lives and future prospects of children and families,” and their “specific strategy for reaching this goal is to prevent teen pregnancy and unplanned pregnancy among single, young adults,” the news brief stated. Morally, their goal isn’t very unique. Who wouldn’t want happy, healthy families? However, the way they are attempting to achieve their goal is a refreshing change. Instead of focusing on teenage pregnancies, the campaign is focusing on a demographic that has seen little attention concerning pregnancies. Society in general has assumed that 20-year-olds can make their own decisions concerning sex and relationships and should take care of themselves health wise.

For the most part, yes that is true, but we don’t always make smart decisions and do need guidance from others whether they are family, friends or even people at our schools. This is where the campaign steps in and wants to give community colleges the tools needed to encourage students to make smart decisions sexually and in relationships. Currently, they have recently provided about $100,000 in grants to three community colleges around the country to fund differing educational efforts. Those colleges have used the funding in several ways, and the campaign has taken those ideas and published them in another recent news brief titled “Unplanned Pregnancy and What Community Colleges Can Do.” The brief includes one suggestion that I think is a great idea. It encourages community colleges to develop and open health centers for students since most colleges nationwide do not currently offer such services. ACC is among those colleges with no health services available, and I believe students would greatly benefit from such a service. Given that seven ACC campuses are located throughout the greater Austin area, more than one center would be necessary, but the college could utilize the health services and nursing departments to help staff and run the centers. The campaign claims that the biggest benefit community colleges would have if they educated their students about the effects of unplanned pregnancy is that they can boost their overall student retention and success rates, the campaign explains. ACC reported on May 11, 2009 from their 12th class day data that traditional student retention rate was 64.8 percent from fall 2008 to spring 2009. Low retention rates are not only a local issue, it is a national

w w w.the

Turn off the Lights issue at community colleges, and if the national bill the campaign has been advocating for, H.R. 3312, also known as the Preventing Unintended Pregnancies, Reducing the Need for Abortion and Support Parents Act, is passed it will be successful at helping colleges like ACC improve their retention rates. I agree with this campaign that H.R. 3312 should pass and provide demonstration grants of $15 million for fiscal years 2010-12 to community colleges to support activities to prevent unplanned pregnancies. If passed, H.R. 3312 will have specific guidelines for community colleges to follow should they accept any funding from the bill. These guidelines include creating a partnership with community based organizations that are experts in addressing pregnancy prevention or healthy relationships, training for targeted faculty and staff on how unplanned pregnancy affects student success and ways to help students address this issue and providing campus-based family planning services among eight other guidelines that are subject to evaluation by the Secretary of Education. Unplanned pregnancies are a problem among students in their 20s and everyone handles them differently, but for some having a child unexpectedly is a burden. This campaign encourages students to plan out their lives more responsibly and ACC administrators should look into the campaign and consider implementing sexual responsibility into the school’s goals. Students should contact their local House Representatives and encourage them to vote yes on H.R. 3312. It is an admirable bill that will positively impact student success rates at community colleges nationwide.

All that glitters isn’t green

photo credit


Devons ’ Sake

New bus passes are great for students, but not the environment and a happy New Year

Staff Editorial

Wish 2 Awesome Technological Breakthrough: Stop and think about all the words we didn’t

The new Green Passes will be available for students to pick up on Jan. 5. These new passes will allow students to ride Capitol Metro busses for free. This is an exciting new resource for students who use Capitol Metro for transportation. The passes are great, but that doesn’t make them green. These student bus passes are something that ACC has been looking into for a long time, and it’s great that they are finally here, but calling them green and using the new sustainability fee to fund them is a smoke and mirror act that defeats the purpose of the sustainability fee. Students who have cars and drive to school are not going to suddenly decide to take the

Wish 3 Gay Equality Now: America needs to stop dipping its toe in the pool and just commit

Log in. Get informed. Interact.

I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions. Not that I’m opposed to the concept, I think it’s good for people to evaluate their vices and set goals for Staff Writer self improvement. It’s the follow-through that always seems to be lacking. So this year, rather than making a bunch of promises to myself that I will likely end up breaking, I’m going for New Year’s wishes instead. As everyone knows, making wishes that affect only yourself is unethical (except on birthday candles and shooting stars) and so these wishes are intended more as broad hopes for events and ideals that I would like to see come to fruition in the year 2010. My New Year’s wishes are listed below, and if other people follow my example maybe, just maybe, we can change the world with no actual effort involved.

Devon Tincknell

Wish 1

Leave Obama Alone: Seriously. I don’t want this to become a partisan column, but that guy inherited a whole heap of trouble from the previous tenant and the pundits won’t give him a minute to just sit down and think things out. The economy is still screwed up, we’re in the middle of two wars, and this health care issue is probably going to get worse before it gets any better. Obama is doing his best, and if you look at his approval rating, the country seems to think he’s doing all-right, but all we hear from the peanut gallery is whining, finger pointing, and naysaying. In 2010, I think it would be nice if everyone just cooled out for a bit and let Obama do his job for a second. Sheesh.

know a decade ago; iPod, iPhone, Twitter, Google, blog, Facebook, Myspace, Bluetooth, wi-fi, etc. It’s amazing how far we’ve come in just ten years, but we actually haven’t seen any game changers in a while. Yeah, Gmail is pretty cool and iTunes is great but I want to see a true break through, like the telephone or the automobile. Maybe something that helps save the environment or a crazy new drug. Whatever it is, the guy that names it had better do a good job. I don’t know how many more ugly words like “Google” and “Blogger” our lexicon can take.

already. The perceived homosexual threat to the traditions and institution of marriage is really just smoke, mirrors, and hate speech. In case no one noticed, the divorce rate is already over fifty percent and the straights only have themselves to blame for that. The reason government exists is to lead, which means forcing people to do things they don’t want to do sometimes. We need to stop letting voters decide and just legalize gay marriage now. Gay culture is already deeply integrated in American culture, why not let them wear a wedding band?

4 Universal Health Care: Ever heard that old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” Well, WishAmerica’s health care system is broke, and if we don’t fix it we’re going to find ourselves in

another saying, one about paddles and creeks you wouldn’t want to swim in. Texas has one of the highest populations of uninsured residents in the United States. Fewer and fewer jobs are providing employees with benefits which makes it hard for recent graduates to get coverage. If you’re reading this, odds are you’re a student and Texan, part of the two groups who get the short end of the insurance stick. Getting sick sucks enough as it is, I don’t want to worry about going broke at the same time.

Wish 5

Better TV: In the nineties, it was all about sitcoms, but the last ten years have been consumed by reality TV. Now, I’m ready for something different. No more B-list celebrities, no “therapy” for jerks, no more night cam hot tub threesomes. I’m done. I just want some shows with real actors and simple things like plot lines, story arcs, and character development. Tivo and Hulu are destroying commercial revenue anyways so the real money is in DVD sales. Shows should be tight, addictive, and full of cliff hangers, like “Lost.”

Wish 6

December 7, 2009

Last Season of Lost: Please, let it end awesomely. Happy New Year’s everyone.

Accent Online

Your home for:

Student multimedia Web-only content Reader feedback Staff blogs

bus because it’s free. Taking the bus has always been significantly cheaper than driving, but the students who could afford a car, still drove. The claims that these passes will help alleviate parking problems and reduce car emissions is far from realistic. It’s doubtful that the passes will have much of an effect on the college’s carbon footprint or lack of parking. Looking at the faculty and student responses to the announcement of this pilot program, its clear that the people who will benefit from this program are the ones who already use capitol metro. The green passes still will not be able help public transportation compete with the convenience of driving a personal car. The bus doesn’t have an iPod hookup; you

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can’t leave a dozen pairs of shoes, heavy textbooks and all the trash you accumulated while driving, in the backseat of the bus for when you need it later, and if you’re running late for class the bus driver will not speed up or skip stops to get you there on time. The college has taken on quite a few projects in the last semester that could be considered truly green, like the first ever green building, the new alternative fuels course, and a college-wide recycling program. The money raised by the new fee should go to fund programs like these, because pretending these passes will have an environmentally friendly effect is a great big green lie.

EDITORIAL 512.223.3171



OFFICE OF STUDENT LIFE RGC, 1212 Rio Grande St., Room 101.1 Austin TX 78701

Editor-in-Chief..................................................................................................................... Sarah Neve Assistant Editor.......................................................................................................... David Rodriguez Photo/Web Editor...............................................................................................................Hanlly Sam Layout Editor.........................................................................................................................Chris Scott Layout Intern............................................................................................................Karissa Rodriguez Campus Editor..................................................................................................... Christopher A. Smith Office Intern................................................................................................................... Teodora Erbes Accent Adviser........................................................................................................ Matthew Connolly Accent Coordinator.......................................................................................................... Lori Blewett Student Life Director................................................................................................... Cheryl Richard Writers Trevor Goodchild, Michael Needham, Devon Tincknell, Sarah Vasquez, Brynne Harder, Sonia Onescu, Photographers Sarah Vasquez, Tina Schumacher Artists Karen Kuhn ACC President Dr. Steve Kinslow Board of Trustees Nan McRaven– Chair; Veronica Rivera—Vice Chair; Dr. James McGuffee— Secretary, Dr. Barbara P. Mink, Allen Kaplan, Jeffrey Richard, John-Michael Cortez, Tim Mahoney, Raul Alvarez All rights reserved. All content is the property of Accent and may not be reproduced, published or retransmitted in any form without written permission from the Office of Student Life. Accent is the student newspaper of Austin Community College and is printed by the Austin American-Statesman. Accent is published biweekly. ACC students may submit articles for publication in Accent to RGC’s Office of Student Life Room 101.1; e-mail articles to or fax submissions to 223‑3086. ACC does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, political affiliation or disability. Accent offers ACC’s faculty, staff, students and surrounding community a complete source of information about student life. Accent welcomes your input, as well as information about errors. If you notice any information that warrants a correction please e-mail accent@austincc. edu. Individual views, columns, letters to the editor and other opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Accent.

December 7, 2009

News Briefs

Supporters to make annexation request to ACC Board of Trustees The North Hays County Steering Committee (NHCSC) will go before the Austin Community College Board of Trustees to make a formal request for annexation on Dec 14. The NHCSC is a Political Action Committee comprised of the Mayors, City Managers, Directors of Economic Development, and Chamber of Commerce Directors of Buda and Kyle as well as other interested members of the community. The NHCSC has been gathering petition signatures from Hays CISD residents. If organizers are able to gather 2,000 signatures by April, the decision to be annexed by ACC taxing district will be put to voters in the November 2010 ballot. “It is the next logical step for our community,” said Vince Collier, co-chair of the Northern Hays County Steering Committee. Collier said Hays County not being part of the ACC district makes it “economically more difficult for some of our underprivileged students” to attend college. The North Hays County Steering Committee began taking signatures for the petition on Nov. 16 and will make a push for more signatures on Dec. 5 and 6 at BudaFest. On Dec. 7, as part of a Hays CISD fact finding mission, Mary Hensley, the ACC executive vice president of college operations, will speak to the Hays CISD Board of Trustees and on Dec. 14 Collier and other supporters of the petition will go before the ACC Board of Trustees.

Employers receive money from State for workforce education The state of Texas recently approved the establishment of a $25 million Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) fund which will provide community colleges and other training providers with equipment and resources to train workers. JET establishes $10 million in grants for innovative and successful nonprofit programs, $10 million in grants for startup funding for career and technical programs, and $5 million in grants for scholarships for community and technical college students. The state also recently approved the allocation of $90 million over the next two years for its Skills Development Fund during the past legislative session. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) administers the Skills Development Fund program, which provides state funds to directly respond to the workforce needs of Texas employers, according to the TWC Web site. During the 2008 fiscal year (Sept. 1, 2007 to Aug. 31, 2008), TWC awarded 41 grants totaling $22,772,673, which served 148 businesses, generated 7,984 new jobs and upgraded the skills of 11,705 workers in existing jobs. For Fiscal Year 2009, TWC has $25 million in Skills Development Funds to support high quality, customized job training projects across the state.


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Grads show off at Graphic Con Michael Needham Staff Writer

Graduating Graphic Design students have one last assignment before leaving ACC. They have to show off their best work at this year’s Graphic Con, a portfolio showcase and reception. The event will showcase the work of 12 graduating Graphic Design students from ACC at the South Austin Campus in Room 1130 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 12. “For the students, this is really their triumph at the end of their schooling,” Meagan McKeeman, associate adjunct professor of Visual Communication Design,

said. McKeeman is the instructor for the class that is putting on the event. Each student at the event will have their own table with a banner advertising their work. Attendees will be able to approach a student’s table, look at their portfolio, and ask the student questions. “It kind of forces them to talk about their work to a huge range of people who may not know what design is,” McKeeman said. “It really works on getting their communication skills up to snuff as they go out into the world to interview for graphic design jobs.” Graphic design student Rod Barrera is ready for the event.

“I can’t really say that anyone is nervous,” Barrera said. “We’re all just excited to showcase all of our work. It’s been a couple years in the making. These projects, these portfolios, they’re our creations, they’re our emotions on paper.” He is expecting a mixed crowd to show up. “We need a big cross section of everybody to give us their opinions and see what we can do and offer,” Barrera said. Assistant Department Chair Gail Bayeta pointed out how involved the students are with the event. The class as a whole came up with the concept, and they designed everything, Bayeta said.

The event is also geared toward raising awareness about graphic design and what the Visual Communication Department does, McKeeman said. “It’s to show that graphic design is not just about making things pretty,” McKeeman said. “There is a lot more involved. It’s about communicating, problem solving, and concepting.” McKeeman has faith that her students will succeed with Graphic Con 2009. “It’s a lot of work,” McKeeman said. “It’s something they really had to commit to and be passionate about. I think they really pulled it off and it’s going to be really great.

Move brings academy into ACC campus system ȨȨ continued from pg 1

“What’s really important,” Kerr said, “is that the better trained our officers are, the better service they will be able to provide.” The Taylor location was too far from ACC’s support system, Paul Menches, Chair of the Fire Protection Technology Department at ACC, said. He explained that the new location would be tied in with the Riverside Campus. “Now that we’re under a campus system, it’s going to be a lot easier to do,” Menches said. ACC benefits will include security checks, maintenance, janitorial work, councilors, advisors, and anything that an ACC campus has, Menches said. Media Relations Coordinator Alexis Patterson explained that the new location would better an already well working academy. “This enhances the training we offer,” Patterson said. “The cadets are sought after already, and this will just enhance it more.”

ACC student Ben Castro was interested in attending the open house after seeing it advertised on the school Web site. He was impressed with the new facility. “It’s definitely going to help the training that these guys need,” Castro said. Captain Mike Williams, Cadet Coordinator and ACC instructor, explained that the cadets used to travel miles from one training spot to another. “It is very convenient to have the classroom and the drill field on the same site,” Williams said. Fire cadet Frank Dean has enjoyed the new facility during his 17 week training. “It’s nice to use AFD’s facility,” Dean said. “The classroom is great; they’ve got laptops for each of us.” Dean was part of the forcible entry team during the demonstration. The three cadets in his team knocked down the door on the burning simulation house. The open house included a tour of the three buildings used on the site including a classroom

Teodora Erbes • Staff Photographer

WELCOME HOME — ACC’s president Stephen B. Kinslow and Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr unveil a plaque at ACC Firefighter Department’s Open House on Wednesday Dec. 2.

with 48 laptops on display an administrative building with a library where the cadets can study and, a maintenance building where the cadet’s gear is washed and dried, and a compressor room where they store tanks. Kinslow pointed out the

impact that ACC has on the safety of Austin. “We’re extremely proud to be the primary trainer of emergency response workers,” Kinslow said. “All the folks we rely on to keep us healthy and safe come out of ACC.”

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Campus Life w w w.the

you ant ant Do have health n’ insurance? Should federal ave the government

Student opinions at Riverside Campus

December 7, 2009

New campus on the Round Rock horizon

get involved with health care?

All photos by Teodora Erbes

“Yes, they should because millions of people and children have no health insurance, and nowhere to go except be sick. The government should step in and provide health care for those who can’t afford it.” -Catherine Richmond, future student in Vocational Nursing and Surgical Technology who has health insurance through VA care.

“I don’t really pay attention...I’m not really educated about stuff like that.” -Tyler Gros, Computer Information Systems major who has health insurance.

“Yes and no, maybe. We need more than a band-aid on health care. It’s been let to run ‘free’ too long.” -Mark Abelli, Archeology major who does not have insurance because it’s too expensive.

“[Yes] to help other people, for people that can’t afford it. Everyone, including young and old.” -Catherine Rodriguez, Early Childhood major who has health insurance through her parents.

“Yeah, kind of. It’s too hard to obtain, people can’t afford it.” -Ben Braten, Physical Therapy major who does not have health insurance because its not provided by either of his jobs, and he can’t afford it.

Tina Schumacher • Staff Photographer

NEWEST CAMPUS — Round Rock Campus will be the largest ACC campus with more than 250,000 sq. ft. on 84 acres of land.

Round Rock campus on schedule to open fall 2010 Sonia Onescu Staff Writer

ACC’s Round Rock campus is on schedule to open in the fall of 2010. Phase One of this new campus will feature five new buildings totaling more than 250,000 square feet in size. The campus will include a threestory Health Sciences building, a General Studies building, a Library, an Applied Technology building, and a Central Utility Plant. The new campus, being built on 84 acres of land, will encompass environmental technologies that will help make the buildings more efficient. These buildings, which consist of mainly brick, stone, concrete and steel materials, have all been locally supplied, thus reducing energy costs. The campus also features elements of planning that allow environmentally friendly concepts to be incorporated at a later date. In the future, the Round Rock campus has the ability to install solar panels on the roofing and purchase wastewater to pump through their already installed purple piping that will allow for recycled irrigation throughout the campus. The goal is for this campus to feel more like a college campus and a home base for students as opposed to just a building. The Round Rock campus has enough land to accommodate for anticipate future growth, and

Tina Schumacher • Staff Photographer

FUTURE HOME — Although the recent rains have caused problems at the construction work, the northernmost ACC campus at Round Rock is still scheduled to open next fall. It will be home to the new Accent office as well as the Williamson County branch of the Health Science department among others. plans to do it in a way in which any new additions to the campus will fit harmoniously with the layout. “The scale of the project will surprise people,” said ACC’s project manager, Paul Mason who admits that for a Phase One project it really feels larger. Like any large-scale project, the Round Rock Campus has experienced its share of problems. Paul Mason explains

how excessive rain has hindered the progress of construction by delaying the drying process of the building walls. “When we get rain events, it halts us from being able to get buildings dried in because you can’t work on the roof, and you can’t put cranes in the air and have people working out in that kind of slippery weather.” Rains have also affected the soil and caused several

construction halts because the soil, which is primarily clay, turns into a mud field. Regardless of the obstacles that rain has imposed on construction, Mason says the campus is still on schedule for a fall 2010 opening and that the construction schedule will be adjusted as needed. “If we need 6 to 8 weeks or 7 to 8 weeks to make up for lost days, then that’s what we will do.”

Experts discuss health care at philosophy panel Brynne Harder Staff Writer

“This is the most important thing that’s going to happen in your lifetime,” Bill Darling, a partner at the Strasburger law firm, told the audience attending the recent Landscape of Health Care Reform Politics, Ethics and Law panel. Hosted by the Department of Philosophy, Religion, and Humanities, the panel featured guest speakers Bill Darling, Archie Alexander, a physician and attorney, and ACC Philosophy Professor Don Becker. The event was organized by Matthew Daude Laurents, the department’s chair. During his introduction Laurents said that the event was aimed at the ACC community because the college should engage the community in larger social problems that touch all of our lives. The speakers drew from their expertise to talk about different aspects of the debate at the Dec. 2 panel. The importance of the discussion was demonstrated by the fact that students and faculty filled every chair in the auditorium, and some attendees stood at the back of the room. “The idea that you’re here - well I’m impressed. I thought seven, maybe eight people [would show up] on a cold, rainy night,” Darling said. Darling works in both Austin and Washington D.C., and his presentation covered the political challenges in passing any type of health care reform bill. He detailed the political process in debating and negotiating the bills, some possible outcomes, the votes of some key senators, and threats of a filibuster. Representing the conflict are two bills. HR 3962 Affordable

Health Care for America Act was passed 220 to 215 by the House on Nov. 7. Eleven Texas Representatives voted for and 21 voted against. On Nov. 21, the Senate voted in favor of bringing HR 3590 The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act up for debate. Darling said he believes this debate is likely to last into January or February Even if a combined House and Senate bill could be passed immediately full implementation of the bill wouldn’t happen until 2018. “It’s such a confusing mess that there might be things to occur that cause it to go even further,” Darling said. Becker presented on the ethical and moral issues governing health care. Through his presentation he addressed the questions of government’s role in taking on this challenge, the role of the individual as a part of society, health care as a right given to individuals, the measurable extent given to each individual, and how this fits into the goal of maximizing average happiness. Becker ended with the resolution that humans are, by nature, moral individuals part of a whole. As a result, if an individual saw another in need or in trouble, the first individual would try to help the second and that this idea is the basis for health care reform. “I agree with this because I think government is just a mirror of the community, a reflection of the individual,” student Joel Mize, a Spanish major said. The morality of whether people are willing to help each other without benefit to themselves was illustrated with a specific example by Alexander following the presentations. At the current time, the only form of guaranteed health

care is provided through the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA). EMTALA was created in 1986 in reaction to “dumping” instances of the 1970’s when hospitals and emergency personnel would often “dump” a patient without health insurance on another hospital. As a result, many went without treatment and some died. Alexander added that this statute would be a key piece of past legislation affecting future health care reform. Alexander’s main presentation discussed the constantly rising cost of health care while citizens are receiving less coverage. He detailed some of the changes that will have to happen in the medical system, including the way patients pay and the way physicians provide medical care. While Alexander acknowledged the complexities in passing this bill and declared that even he didn’t know how to fix this system, he also said that what he wanted everyone to leave with was that doing nothing wasn’t an option. However, all attendees did not agree with this declaration. “I’m not a math or science type of person, so I don’t think I got much from Alexander’s [speech] except that he doesn’t know what we are going to do, and it’s going to be more expensive,” said Joel Mize, and added that “if he doesn’t know, I certainly don’t. Anything I’d say would be a guess.” While many want to know what the solution is to this very complex problem that has people from all professions debating, Laurent said that his goal in having the presentations wasn’t to provide any specific solutions, but to get the different issues on the table in order to equip people to think critically about

Teodora Erbes • Staff Photographer

HEALTH CARE — Students and members of the community listen to ACC philosophy instruc-

tor Don Becker speak about the philosophical reasons for and against government lead health care reform. The health care panel was hosted by the Philosophy department on Dec. 1

EASTVIEW PANEL — Archie Alexander, M.D., J.D., speaks to students about the rising costs in health care. Alexander, an expert on health care law and public policy, said he was not sure what needed to be done about health care reform, but he told the audience that “doing nothing is not an option.”

the challenges. “I loved it,” student Scott May, an education major said. “It was very informative, but I’m even more confused now on the issue. It made the decision on whether I’m for or against more it difficult, but it brought up a lot of good points.”

Teodora Erbes • Staff Photographer

December 7, 2009

Campus Life | page 5

Instructor sets sight on Board Seat

Hanlly Sam • Photo/Web Editor

MUSICAL CHAIRS — Fred McGhee will officially begin his campaign in February. Three Board of Trustee seats will be up for election in May 2010.

McGhee tells his story to the Accent Christopher A. Smith Campus Life Editor

Fred McGhee remembers what it was like to be the new guy in a new place, having to learn how to deal with the local cultural norms and learn a new language. McGhee moved to the United States when he was ten. Before that he had lived in Germany with his German mother and American father. McGhee had a tutor to help him with his English after school, but despite his best efforts, he still recalls an English teacher’s harsh correction. They took turns reading Romeo and Juliet out loud. McGhee nervously waited for his turn,

and when it came, he did fine until he came up to a certain word: adieu. McGhee said it as any German or French person would. “I pronounced it the way I know how,” said McGhee, but his teacher was livid. “My teacher just jumped down my throat. It really sent a chill up my spine. I was very embarrassed.” The teacher called McGhee out in front of the entire class and said, “No it’s a-do.” McGhee recalls the event as part of a very typical immigrant experience in the United States. Growing up in Enfield, Connecticut he had to adjust to American life. But the days of being embarrassed in front of his peers are behind him. After being in the Navy, earning a doctorate degree, and running his own archaeology business, McGhee has adjusted to American life.

McGhee lives in Austin, runs his business, is an instructor at Austin Community College, and in the spring will run for a position on ACC the Board of Trustees. He feels his life experiences, his knowledge of being both an outsider and then eventually being successful, allow him to bring a unique perspective to the board. McGhee will be running for one of three seats that will be up for election in May 2010. Place 3, currently held by Jeffrey Richard, place 5 held by Raul Alvarez, and place 6, which was formerly held by Veronica Rivera who resigned, will be up for election. Candidates wanting to run for one of those seats have to fill out a Secretary of State Application and take it to ACC’s Special Assistant to the President for External Affairs Linda Young’s office in the Highland Business Center between Feb. 5 and Mar. 8, 2010. McGhee plans to fill out the paperwork and kick off his campaign in February. McGhee left his American hometown of Enfield to enlist in the Navy in 1984. While he started out as an enlisted man, McGhee eventually became one of the first black naval officers and a deep sea diver. Through the Navy, he was able to get his a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from North Eastern University, specializing in Sign Language. McGhee tried to apply what he had learned while getting his degree to his work as a Navy diver. “We can teach Navy divers to sign. We can have underwater conversations,” McGhee told the Navy. Unfortunately said McGhee the Navy was not interested. It was as a diver in the Navy stationed in Florida that McGhee got his first taste of underwater archaeology, and that is what eventually led him to the University of Texas where he got his doctorate degree in anthropology. “I decided to get out, go to grad school, and see if I could become a college professor,”

said McGhee of his leaving the Navy. McGhee is finishing his first semester as an instructor at ACC and will be teaching again next semester. McGhee says he feels qualified to be on the board because he has been to schools like UT but he has also enrolled in community colleges. “As someone who needed remediation after high school, and as somebody who went to a Navy prep school in order to qualify for a scholarship, I know what it’s like to graduate from high school and not be eligible to go to a top tier college. I know what it takes to get yourself squared away and ready for college post high school.” Community college enrollment is rising across the country, and ACC is no different. “It’s growing like wildfire,” said McGhee of ACC, and while he thinks the administration now is doing a good job of

dealing with that growth, there are some things he would like to work on. He feels he can apply what he has learned as a businessman, an educator and a veteran to his desired role as a board member. McGhee said he would like to bring a more diversified and European focus to the college as well as an appreciation for veteran’s issues. But the most important issue he would want to focus on is graduation rates. “It is very important that people who enroll in a community college who have an intention of going on for a four year degree get that degree,” said McGhee. “This is the single biggest issue facing community colleges. It is not getting people enrolled. It is getting them to graduate.” Editor’s Note Candidates running for a seat on the ACC Board of Trustees can contact the Accent at or 223-3111 for an interview.

Follow the Accent for ongoing cover of the 2010 ACC Board of Trustees race • Three seats are up for election. Place 3, currently held by Jeffrey Richard, place 5 held by Raul Alvarez, and place 6, which was formerly held by Veronica Rivera who resigned, will be up for election. • Candidates wanting to run for one of those seats have to fill out a Secretary of State Application. • Candidates should turn applications in to ACC’s Special Assistant to the President for External Affairs Linda Young’s office in the Highland Business Center between Feb. 5 and Mar. 8, 2010. • Register to vote by Apr. 8, 2010 • Early voting starts Apr. 26, 2010 and the election is May 8, 2010

Fuel up for Finals After hours of research and countless cups of coffee, Accent writer Sarah Vasquez found the perfect places to study around every ACC campus. Finals are coming, and it’s time to start studying. Use these recommendations to find a place to study that fits your style.

Cypress Creek Campus

Northridge Campus

Roasters Coffee Haven

Cafe Java

2011 Little Elm Trail

11900 Metric Blvd. #K

Roaster Coffee Haven has already been featured in a previous Campus Life, but after checking out various place around Cypress Creek Campus, you really can’t go wrong studying at this shop. The place is really laid back and quiet. They offer an assortment of snacks to give you energy and plenty of coffee, including the 24 oz. Longhorn size coffee should you need the pick me up. There’s plenty of comfortable seating for those long study sessions.

Noise Level: Wi-Fi: Prices: On/Off Campus:

More of a sit down restaurant than a coffee shop, Cafe Java offers plenty of seating and a laid back environment. If you need your caffeine fix, this place has you covered, as well as an assortment of snacks and meals for those much needed breaks. The only drawback is the lack of wi-fi. It could keep you safe from online distractions, but if you need the internet, you might want to head to campus for the free wi-fi.

Low Yes $ Off

Noise Level: Wi-Fi: Prices: On/Off Campus:

Starbucks Noise Level: Wi-Fi: Prices: On/Off Campus:

Doubledave’s Pizza

Low Yes $ Off

Noise Level: Wi-Fi: Prices: On/Off Campus:


Rio Grande Campus Halcyon Coffee House Bar & Lounge

Noise Level: Wi-Fi: Prices: On/Off Campus:

Low No $ Off

Med. No $ Off

NRG Campus Library

Med. No $ Off

Noise Level: Wi-Fi: Prices: On/Off Campus:

Low Yes No On

218 W. 4th St.

Although it’s quite a hike from Rio Grande campus, Halcyon Coffee House Bar and Lounge is open late, which is a must when cramming for finals. It’s not exactly ideal if you want complete silence for studying, but if you’re the type that can study with background noise, this place is recommended. One thing to know is the low lighting will be hard on the eyes if you intend to do a lot of reading.

Noise Level: Wi-Fi: Prices: On/Off Campus:

Austin Java Noise Level: Wi-Fi: Prices: On/Off Campus:

Med. Yes $ Off Med. Yes $ Off

RGC Library Noise Level: Wi-Fi: Prices: On/Off Campus:

Low Yes No On

Pinnacle Campus Jim’s Restaurant 7101 W. Hwy 71

This is one of the few places around Pinnacle Campus that is open 24 hours, which is perfect for cramming everything you learned for that final exam. It’s not the trendiest of places, but having been around for over 20 years, it’s a recognizable establishment that offers traditional comfort food. What you don’t get in your fill of hipsters and lattes, you get with home cooked breakfast at anytime and coffee.

Noise Level: Wi-Fi: Prices: On/Off Campus:

Low No $ Off

PIN Campus Library Noise Level: Wi-Fi: Prices: On/Off Campus:

Low Yes No On

Starbucks Noise Level: Wi-Fi: Prices: On/Off Campus:

Low Yes $ Off

Eastview Campus Bennu Coffee

South Austin Campus

2001 E. Martin Luther King Jr.

Conan’s Pizza

2018 W. Stassney Lane Perfect for big group study sessions, grab a pizza and a table at Conan’s pizza and get to business. Located down the street from South Austin Campus, Conan’s offerings include different specialty pizzas as well as the chance to design your own to feed you and your friends. There aren’t many tables, so head over early to grab one while you can. But be considerate of other patrons and avoid extra long study sessions.

Med. No $ Off

Noise Level: Wi-Fi: Prices: On/Off Campus:

SAC Library Noise Level: Wi-Fi: Prices: On/Off Campus:

Low Yes No On

No $ Off

Ruiz Library

1600 Grove Blvd. City of Austin’s Ruiz Library is down the road from Riverside campus and has all that is needed for a productive study session. Ruiz Library provides plenty of tables and comfortable seating throughout the building. There are park benches outside the library to study during those beautiful Austin days. Hours are limited, but if you need to get away from the TV, internet and all your other home distractions, the library is your best bet.

Noise Level: Wi-Fi: Prices: On/Off Campus:

Tin Cup Grill

Taquiria Aranda Noise Level: Wi-Fi: Prices: On/Off Campus:

Riverside Campus


Noise Level: Wi-Fi: Prices: On/Off Campus:

Low Yes No Off

Med. Yes $$ On

No $ Off

Noise Level: Wi-Fi: Prices: On/Off Campus:

Med. Yes $ Off

Oak Springs Library Noise Level: Wi-Fi: Prices: On/Off Campus:

Low Yes No Off

Bossa Nova Bakery

Taco Cabana Noise Level: Wi-Fi: Prices: On/Off Campus:

Bennu Coffee is the first 24 hour coffee shop on the Eastside. Luckily for ACC students, it’s a quick trip from Eastview Campus. Come finals time students tend to flock to the few places that are open late. It’s recommended that you head over as early as possible to find a parking spot in the small lot and a seat to get some work done. Otherwise, you might have to make a friend and share a table.


Noise Level: Wi-Fi: Prices: On/Off Campus:

Low Yes $ Off

page 7

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Celebrating 20 years with eclectic Café Tacvba

December 7, 2009

Notable, L iv and w e e N David Rodriguez Assistant Editor


“Faces of the Gone” is investigative reporter Brad Parks’ debut crime/mystery novel. Being a fan of true crime fiction, but a discerning fan, this sounds like it will be a surprising debut for the 31 yearold Parks. Four dead bodies, Newark and the underbelly of the eclectic New Jersey city are elements that comprise the novel’s plot. The book will be available Dec. 8 from St. Martin’s Press. “Footnotes In Gaza” looks to be an incredibly relevant and wrenching exploration of a gruesome incident in 1956 that left 111 Palestinian refugees murdered in Rafah (a town at the southwestern tip of Gaza) by the hands of Israeli soldiers. Joe Sacco authored this account and he attempts to span 50 years, imbedding himself in Gaza and gaining accounts of the affair from its varied residents. The novel will be available Dec. 8 from Henry Holt and Company Incorporated.

Music Butch Hancock, Jimmy Dale Gilmore and his son Colin Gilmore will be performing Friday, Dec. 18 @ the Saxon Pub. J. Gilmore and Mr. Hancock are from the legendary The Flatlanders. A chance to see two out of the three members of the trio play with Gilmore’s son should be a great show. Tickets are $20 pre-sale and at the door. Please visit www. for more information. Hanlly Sam • Photo/Web Editor

CAFE TACVBA — Lead singer of Café Tacvba Rubén Albarrán and guitarist Joselo Rangel perform the song “Ingrata” during their performance at La Zona Rosa, Sunday Nov. 29. The quintet chose Austin as one of their stops on their tour of the Americas.

Quintet blew the roof off of La Zona Rosa with 30 min. encore Anny Ibarra Staff Writer

Café Tacvba are celebrating their 20 year anniversary, and stopped in at the ‘live music capital of the world’ to play La Zona Rosa on Nov. 29. The City of Austin was one of the stops the quintet chose to play before ending their 2009 tour of the Americas. Café Tacvba began playing in 1989 and they now have extended their fan base worldwide. The band changed their name from Café Tacuba to avoid legal issues with a coffee shop in Mexico. The Latin Grammy nominated Mexican rock band has had the same members it had 20 years ago, they are: Ruben Isaac Albarran Ortega (vocals and guitars), Emmanuel del Real Diaz (keyboards, programming, acoustic guitar, piano and vocals), Joselo Alfredo Rangel Arroyo (electric guitar, acoustic guitar and vocals) Enrique Rangel Arroyo (bass guitar, upright bass guitar and vocals) and Alejandro Flores, who plays the violin and maracas. Flores has played in every Café Tacvba concert since 1994. Tacvba energized the crowd and had them singing the lyrics of many of their

songs. They played “Las Flores (The Flowers), “Esa Noche (That Night),” “Como te extraño (How I Miss You),” “Eres (you are)” and their most known song of all “Ingrata (Ungrateful).” They also rocked the audience with some of their newest songs and had the fans begging for more. They played a diverse set spanning many genres of music, such as ska, Latin house, rock and folklorico. The show lasted about an hour and half. But, that was not enough for the throngs of fans thirsty for more of Tacvba’s rhythms. The fans screamed “more Tacvba” for ten minutes and no one budged from the dancefloor until the band came back on stage for an encore. The crowd was hysterical. The stage was illuminated with light panels behind the band that displayed patterns of colors and moving figures. The energy that Café Tacvba transmitted was amazing. Vocalist Ortega used lots of Mexican slang to entertain the audience in-between songs that had the crowd laughing. Their 30-minute encore was even more electrifying than their slated set. The fans were exhausted, but satisfied.

All Hail’s second effort a success Sarah Vasquez Staff Writer

All Hail’s first full-length album “Truth, Love, War” was over a year in the making. Following the previous EP, “Every Wealth” (2007), the band decided to take their time to record, rather than rush out a follow up album. The final result is evident, all they really wanted to do was make a great indie-rock album, and they succeeded. “Truth, Love, War” contains nine tracks with a diverse collection of music, from simple indie-pop to whimsical theatrical rock. With six members in the band, it is apparent that the assortment of musical taste has influenced the album. The addition of Kenneth Dait’s viola as the prominent instrument offers a unique listening experience. Vocalists JP Bartonico and Garrett Loontjer work well as a team. Their voices compliment each other to fit the mood of the song. The duo finds the perfect

balance where one does not outshine the other. With each having their own distinctive ranges and expression, they each play to their strengths to deliver the messages they are trying to convey. Bartonico plays up the bitter broken hearted in the more aggressive rock laments such as “Ex-Lover” and “Say Love.” His vocals are delivered in short, thorny spite to release his raw emotions. Loontjer sings more flowing melodic lines. This is predominately featured in the more theatrical songs such as “The Sermon” and “Carry Me Carol.” But, if the vocalists were to switch lead duties these songs would not have worked. As cliché as it sounds, “Truth, Love, War” will make All Hail a familiar name if “Every Wealth” did not already introduce them to the Austin music scene. They have written enjoyable indie-songs that are accessible for even the snobbiest of music fans, but without ever crossing into over produced territory.

Legendary Texas blues/rock technicians Paul Ray and The Cobras will be performing Saturday, Dec. 19 @ The Continental Club. Amazing stuff. Please visit www. for more information.

Theater The wickedly funny David Sedaris’ Santaland Diaries is running at Zachary Scott Theatre through Jan. 10. The adapted production is Sedaris’ true accounts of being the elf Crumpet. Regardless of the title, this is an adult show. Highly recommended. Depending on the show tickets start at $39. Please visit for more information. According to the Rude Mechanicals Web site Dionysus in 69 is “a re-enactment of the Performance Group’s legendary adaptation of The Bacchae as staged by Richard Schechner and filmed by Brian de Palma.” It looks rowdy, and definitely for mature audiences only. This is the first in a series of re-enactments of little-known avant-garde performances from the 60s, 70s and 80s. The performance runs from Dec. 3-20 at The Off Center, 2211-A Hidalgo, 78702. Tickets are $12-$25 and there is a sliding scale on Thursday (you may pay what you wish).

Movies True to the season, ClarkWORLD, is a very interesting look at the iconic film A Christmas Story and its director Bob Clark. The documentary explores Clark’s successes and flops. ClarkWORLD is timely and looks fascinating. The documentary will hit limited theaters Dec.10.

Hanlly Sam • Photo/Web Editor

20 YEARS — Keyboard player Emmanuel del Real performs

one of the most popular songs by Café Tacvba, “Eres”. Emmanuel himself originally composed the track.

Daybreakers breaks the vamp drama mold Jason Haydon Staff Writer

The closing film for this year’s Fantastic Fest was the upcoming Daybreakers (to be released Jan. 8) from the Spierig Brothers. It has been six years since they brought us the frenetic, high energy, low budget Undead (2003). Following up their fan-boy flick, that was decent for what it was, Undead had lots of laughs, over the top effects, while Daybreakers is better written, casted, and has a better plot. The year is 2019, and it has been ten years since the plague that turned the majority of the population into vampires. Instead of our normal day-to-day world, we now see a world that comes alive at night, and sleeps during the day. A world that offers public address warnings as to how far away sunrise is. Coffee is served with blood instead of cream, and cars are equipped with cameras for those that must travel by

daylight. Ed (Ethan Hawke) is a hematologist that has been seeking a substitute for human blood, because the supply is quickly disintegrating. Ed has an accident and collides with a group of humans who are on the run, because they don’t want to be farmed for their blood, and his encounter turns his world upside down. With a cast that includes not only Hawke, but is supported by the likes of Willem Dafoe (Antichrist, 2009) and Sam Neill (The Tudors), the film has many strong points, and is generally a good watch. It is not your normal vampire flick. And while some will compare it to Underworld (2003) and UltraViolet (2006), Daybreakers has a different viewpoint and offers hope.

A Single Man looks incredible. The film follows a man on a day in Los Angeles after his partner dies and his struggles to make it through this life-altering 24-hours. Colin Firth (Mamma Mia!, 2008) stars as the main lead and there is Oscar buzz surrounding his performance and the dynamic Julianne Moore (Children of Men, 2006) is his counterpart. A Single Man will hit limited theaters Dec. 11. Don McKay (A Moment of Truth was its previous title) looks to be a twisted noir-like thriller of a man coming back to his hometown to rekindle an old flame. The twist and turns the film presents look intricate, but entertaining. Thomas Haden Church (Idiocracy, 2006) and Elizabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas, 1995) star. The film will hit limited theaters Dec. 11. My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done is Werner Herzog’s latest. Herzog is known for twisted cinema, but this looks severely twisted. The film is inspired by a true crime story of a man who has an awakening and murders his mother with a sword. The film will hit theaters Dec. 11.

Events and Features S. Craig Watkins, Associate Professor of Radio-TV and film at The University of Texas at Austin will be giving a talk on what the migration to social network sites, games, and anytime, anywhere media means to our future. The talk will be held Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 6:30 p.m. Please visit for more information and to RSVP. “Mr. Warmth” himself, Don Rickles, will be warming up the Paramount for two exclusive performances Dec. 10 and 11. What more can be said about the man, he is an icon. Rickles rubbed elbows and performed for some of the most rough and tumble gangsters of the twentieth century and the most glamorous movie stars and performers over his half-a-century in the spotlight. This is a must see. The doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets start at $51.50 (not including a service charge). The 9th Annual Blue Genie Art Bazaar will be held through Christmas Eve. This is a really fun event and if you have yet to check it out, it is not to late. The Bazaar is located at 916 Springdale Rd. Bldg. #4, 78702 (behind Goodwill’s Blue Hangar). Please visit for more information. Running through Jan. 31 is David Bates since 1982: From the Everyday to the Epic art show at Austin Museum of Art located at 823 Congress Ave., 78701. Bates’ art is powerful, poignant and honest. Check this guy out. His most recent works concern the tragedies of Hurricane Katrina. Please visit www. for more information.

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December 7, 2009

Holiday films far from the norm GREMLINS Gremlins (1984) is a generational classic incorporating some of the olderelements from true classic holiday cinema. Entertaining, yes. But Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures: Gremlins, more importantly, is a cautionary tale centered on the most indicative (of our greed) holiday our culture celebrates. The old Chinese man warns the Peltzer’s that “we are not ready,” and our culture’s hubris and conspicuous consumption proves this. So, next time you see something cute and cuddly with calico fur, do not feed it after midnight.



While the soundtrack for Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984) is quality, and the kill scenes are creative, if only they deviated a little from the Jason Vorheeves/ Photo courtesy of TriStar Pictures Michael Myers damaged youth psyche that lay within the protagonist. Gratuitous breasts and an underlying positive message that squirmed from the decadence of the mid-80s, Silent Night, Deadly Night is one not be overlooked for its triteness, but examined for its glaring representation of a hedonistic culture gone awry due to a lack of gratitude. “Punishment is necessary” is the mantra of this slasher flick, and respite from the obscenely droll and punishing holiday fare dished up to Christmas audiences is what the film offers.

LESS THAN ZERO Less Than Zero (a watered-down adaptation from Brett Easton Ellis’ novel by the same name) is by far the darkest of Christmas films, but the hippest. Less Photo courtesy of Twentieth Century-Fox Film Than Zero contains absolutely no real snow, but plenty of fake ‘snow,’ and for a serious deviation from the holiday norm, this is the movie. Spoiled rich kid coke-zombies, broken homes with plenty of money and so many things that are not said are all elements in the film set to a great soundtrack in sunny LA.

R E D BAD SANTA Regardless of the enormous indecency of the Christmas caper that is Badder Santa (2003) the filmmakers do not want to defile the holy holiday. BillyBob Thornton manages to Photo courtesy of Dimension Films: break every rule of decency, most of them while wearing a Santa costume, but all in all he ends up a good guy. As surreal as it is hearing Santa sodomize a woman inside of the big and tall section dressing room and getting hammered on every alcoholic beverage west of the Mississippi, decency is still maintained within the sum of the product, no matter how many profanites one has to sit through to arrive there.


Die Hard (1988) is the hallmark of Christmas action films. Christmas Eve has never been so bullet ridden; a truck load of terrorists, a floor full Photo courtesy of Twentieth Century-Fox Film of revelers, the LAPD swarming and the die hardest, John McClane, killing all bad guys with no shoes on. For extreme and hot Los Angeles Christmas violence, Die Hard is by far the rowdiest of the holiday films.

THE ICE HARVEST Harold Ramis’ The Ice Harvest (2005) is the seediest of these Christmas films. It contains hand-job houses, a thieving lawyer, the Photo courtesy of Focus Features Kansas City mafia and a strip club, not to mention loads of alcohol. John Cusack’s performance is wonderful. Oliver Platt’s short screen time is memorably hilarious, and Randy Quaid’s appearance as the witty mob boss is just a wonderful gift in this noir/black comedy. The film opens with these words, “People say there is no such thing as a perfect crime, but I don’t agree with that,” indeed, Ramis stole the holidays with this one.

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December 7, 2009

Fantastic Mr. Fox is fantastically entertaining

Life & Arts | page 9

Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day falls from grace

Photo Courtesy of Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation

Wes Anderson steps out of his box with his adaptation of Roald Dahl’s childrens book Devon Tincknell Staff Writer For Wes Anderson’s newest film, Fantastic Mr. Fox, the acclaimed director took his trademark style into a world far different from any he had worked in before. Adapting his screenplay from Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s novel, Anderson replicated Dahl’s fantasy world of farmers and foxes using the breathtaking, yet painstaking, technique of stop motion animation. The result is exactly what the title implies, Fantastic! Since Royal Tenebaums (2001), Anderson’s films have been judged against the precedents the director previously set. Critics griped that his work was becoming too self indulgent and repetitive, and, while Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004) and The Darjeeling Limited (2007) both have their admirers, neither film holds the novelty of Anderson’s

previous masterpieces. Fantastic Mr. Fox can be seen as a prime example of the creativity birthed through restraint. By working in a non-traditional medium and off of a script not entirely his own, Anderson was unable to replicate what he had done before and was forced to show his signature flare in other ways. Padding the ends to give the film more substance and character development, Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox embodies the spirit and structure of the original story while building off of it in new and wonderful ways. The titular Fox, voiced exquisitely by George Clooney, is a cocky yet charming family man looking to provide for his family while yearning for his own wilder days. A couple of daring chicken thieving raids against the infamously mean farmers Boggis, Bunce, and Bean provokes their ire and gets Fox, his family, and an assortment of

other animals in hot water with the trigger happy farmers. As the situation between Fox and the farmers escalates, the plot takes a back seat to the real story of the film, the interpersonal one occurring between Fox, his awkward son Ash, and his supportive, yet frustrated, wife Felicity. Aside from the indescribably rich visuals of the film, its greatest achievement is creating a family friendly experience that not only delights, but retains its depth. Unlike Spike Jonze’s moody, manic depressive take on Where The Wild Things Are (2009), Mr. Fox knows how to hold the kids’ attention and simultaneously entertain the adults. Thankfully, the adult humor comes from the rich vein of dry wit Anderson has employed in his other films, rather than hokey, winking pop culture references a lá Shrek (2001).

Photo Courtesy of Stage 6 Films

Over-acted cut and paste sequel bores viewers, shames cult classic Trevor Goodchild Staff Writer

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day may quench the thirst of loyal cult followers of The Boondock Saints (1999), but it might not quench the thirst for moviegoers who were looking for an improvement. The sequel has a quasiTarantino style. Screenwriter/ director Troy Duffy brings the twin brothers Connor (Sean Patrick Flanery) and Murphy (Norman Reedus) MacManus, who have been living with their father (Billy Connolly) in Ireland, back to Boston to avenge the murder of a priest. The slain priest was killed in a similar manner the MacManus’ used to exact on crime bosses. After the brothers shed their biblical Irish herdsmanlike beards they sail back to America. On their voyage they

meet Romeo (Clifton Collins Jr.). Romeo is the McManus brothers’ crack-head-Latino sidekick who bears the brunt of Duffy’s crass humor throughout the film, and is constantly suspected of being homosexual. Collins mimics the role that David Della Rocco (Funny Man’ Rocco) played in the first Boondock Saints, just as FBI agent Eunice Bloom (Julie Benz, Dexter), imitates Willem Dafoe’s (Antichrist) previous character as the rogue officer assisting the brothers. Scenes of Reedus and Flanery having sibling squabbles that end up stoking their vengeful bent to kill mobsters are repeated as well. All Saints Day smacks of cut-and-paste action sequences peppered with male bravado, not to mention a few racist and homophobic comments thrown in for shock value. The dialogue is not clever enough to be called funny,

due to its crude delivery and lack of effective punch lines. Overacting in short doses may be tolerable, but the film’s full throttle approach in every scene does not work. At least 30 minutes of the film could have been cut. Duffy used clips of the original Boondock Saints as filler to glue scenes together, and he also used cameos of ghosts killed in the last film, seemingly as filler. Within the film, the MacManus brothers are labeled the “Saints” by the Boston media, and they continue too take down mob bosses and drug lords in fight scenes that only lack Uma Thurman to complete a Kill Bill knock off. After a decade hiatus, Duffy delivers, but there is doubt that anyone will tip the delivery boy.

Accent, Dec.7, 2009 Issue  

Accent is the student voice of the Austin Community College District.

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