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Panel increases student loan oversight By Lara Berendt Daily Texan Staff A congressional panel voted Thursday to increase federal oversight of private student loan lenders but rejected a proposal to include for-profit institutions, such as universities, in that oversight. The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Ser-
vices approved legislation to create a new agency that will regulate and monitor student loans issued by private banks. The committee voted down an amendment introduced by Rep. Maxine Waters, DCalif., that would place secondary educational institutions under the purview of the agency to prevent the use of predatory lending prac-
Faculty Council to closely review core adjustments Lack of clarity drives most discussion over alteration to classes By Lena Price Daily Texan Staff Unanimous faculty opposition led the College of Liberal Arts to drop proposed changes to foreign language curriculum last week. As a result, Faculty Council will more thoroughly review curriculum changes proposed in the future, said some members at Monday’s meeting. Faculty Council Chairwoman Janet Staiger said the council’s executive committee and members from two other curriculum committees will review the approval process for changes and ask college deans to submit their own guidelines for how changes should be made in the colleges. The proposed foreign language curriculum would have reduced required foreign lan-
guage credit hours from 16 to 12. “From our point of view, the procedure was not clear in several areas,” Staiger said. The Faculty Council is a body of elected representatives that deal with faculty grievances and process some University policy changes. The Board of Regents gives the council the power to set the curriculum for the University. A more thorough review process may resolve a dispute about the transparency of the changes to the language requirements brought up by lecturers in the College of Liberal Arts in last week’s meeting. She said it is necessary to review the approval process now, before another major policy change is raised. “Because we are looking at four or five years of a rather dismal budget scene, one of the places people go to start
COURSE continues on page 5
tices by schools. “These schools have a long history of taking money from students without providing the education they signed up for. Too many have ended up saddled with debt and with no diploma to show for it,” Waters said in a letter to fellow House members Tuesday.
Specifically, the amendment proposal requests “no exclusion for proprietary institutions of higher education.” Under the approved legislation, the federal government will treat student loans from private banks and other private lenders with the same oversight that they apply to credit cards and home mortgages,
said Steve Adamske, spokesman for the legislation’s sponsor, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. The goal is to ensure that students are not taken advantage of in the way predatory mortgage lenders and credit card companies have historically taken advantage of consumers, he said. The legislation creates a new
Consumer Financial Protection Agency that will be charged with writing rules and regulations and then enforcing them to see that “loans have the ability to be paid back and are not abusive in nature or unfair,” Adamske said. Frank supported Waters’
LOAN continues on page 6
Austinites ‘cruise’ the capital
Karina Jacques | Daily Texan Staff
Chris Nielson, owner of Capital Cruisers, talks about his project in eastern Austin on Monday. Nielson is waiting for the Transportation Department to set the new regulations that will guide his downtown electric taxi business.
Solar-powered vehicles threaten Austin’s pedicab businesses
Karina Jacques | Daily Texan Staff
UT Faculty Council votes to expand course options in core curriculum Monday at the FAC.
High drought persists despite fall showers Recent research finds that Central Texas still faces large water deficit By Audrey White Daily Texan Staff Austinites have made good use of their galoshes and umbrellas this fall, but the city is still suffering from a historically high drought. This assessment is based on studies conducted by the Lower Colorado River Authority, which controls the raw water resources in Central Texas. Their research shows that as of August, Central Texas was facing a deficit of more than 1.5 million acre-feet of incoming water over the past 20-month period in comparison to the historical average. “On average during this period, we would have seen about 2 million acre-feet come in,” said Emlea Chanslor, Lower Colorado River Authority spokeswoman. “During the previous 20 months, it was 477,000 acre-
feet. The rain we’ve been having is great, but it’s not enough to serve the whole city. That’s why we’re going to be conservative and continue to recommend to consumers that they cut off their lawn-watering as much as possible.” Because heavy rains are not enough to overcome the drought, the city implemented Stage 2 Water Use Restrictions Aug. 19, which limit lawn-watering to once a week, prohibit adding water to indoor and outdoor ornamental fountains and only allow restaurants to serve water to customers if they request it, among other rules. The city has also implemented a slew of programs that attempt to increase water efficiency, including the Free Toilet Program and the Toilet Rebate Program. Both encourage Austin Water Utility customers to replace old toilets, which can use up to six gallons of water per flush, with high-efficiency toilets
DROUGHT continues on page 2
By Alex Geiser Daily Texan Staff Inside a stone warehouse hidden deep in eastern Austin, a bright blue electric vehicle stands out among bikes, pedicab trailers and old golf carts. The blue, golf cart-like Neighborhood Electric Vehicle has a solar panel on top to increase battery life by 25 percent and a small screen on the passenger side that displays digital flyers. Unusual but efficient, its owner, Chris Nielson, hopes this little blue car will incorporate itself into the future of alternative public transportation. Nielson started his downtown electric taxi business, Capitol Cruisers, two years ago and has since been fighting for a city ordinance that would back his plan. In May, Nielson tried to become regulated and licensed by the city in order to avoid getting hassled by the police, but the Austin Transportation Department turned him down, citing safety concerns.
I’ve had drivers drive around with [Texas Department of Transportation] laws printed up. Cops are just confused.” — Chris Nielson owner of Capitol Cruisers
As a result, the Urban Transportation Commission asked Austin’s transportation department to create a list of broader regulations pertaining to electric vehiclesfor-hire. The recommendations will be presented to the Urban Transportation Commission on Nov. 10. If the recommendations are approved, the proposed ordinance will go to City
Council for a vote in February. Karla Villalon, spokeswoman for the city’s transportation department, said the new regulations will require drivers to be licensed by the city. Every vehicle used will undergo inspection by the city, and other safety precautions will be addressed. As for now, Nielson’s vehicles do not have permits, and the company has been met with its fair share of legal setbacks. His drivers have received more than 70 tickets because of the confusion, but they have all been dismissed. “I’ve had drivers drive around with [Texas Department of Transportation] laws printed up,” Nielson said, explaining how there is no current law against electric vehicles acting as vehicles-for-hire. “Cops are just confused.” There is, however, no law or ordinance legally permitting the business, which puts the electric taxis in “legal limbo,”
TAXI continues on page 2
Construction market mirrors faltering U.S. economy By Jordan Haeger Daily Texan Staff New contracts for residential and commercial construction are not immune to the economic downturn as they have dropped 21 percent in Austin and Round Rock since last September, according to a recent industry report and several industry members. The report from McGraw-Hill Construction said the total value of those contracts fell from $398 million to $313.5 million. The value of contracts for residential properties has dropped 20 percent on average, while commercial property values are down 23 percent. This statistic is tied to Austin’s economy, which reflects that of the nation and world, said Harry Savio, the executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Greater Austin. “As the economy has suffered, it’s only natural that that’s going
Austin’s residential market has begun to show improvement since March of last year, Savio said. Austin’s Neighborhood Housing and Community Development office, which provides funding to residential and nonresidential development projects, has just as many funding requests as ever, said Planner Principal Rebecca Giello. “We have fewer resources than applications,” Giello said. New construction start-ups are down, as is funding for completion of construction projects, which puts contractors out of jobs, Jordy Wagoner | Daily Texan Staff said Juan Oyervides, the executive director of the U.S. Hispanic ConA worker stands at the construction site of the new Belo Center for tractors Association de Austin. New Media, located between Dean Keeton and Burdine Hall. “We can’t make people follow through with these projects,” Oyto have some impact on Austin,” is directly tied to the job creation ervides said. Savio said. “Job creation rates have rate, Savio said. Contractors are powerless in declined.” “If people have a job, they want BUILDING continues on page 9 Construction of new homes a house,” he said.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Drought: Toilets become major taxi: Legality of company
targets of efficiency programs creates turmoil, frustration From page 1
that meet the Environmental Protection Agencyâ€™s WaterSense standard of less than 1.6 gallons of water per flush. â€œ[Many] older buildings have higher-use toilets,â€? said Austin Water spokeswoman Jill Mayfield. â€œWhen you have a multifamily complex, saving water saves money for the owners and the residents. It also saves money for us, reduces energy use and creates improved infrastructure.â€? The Free Toilet Program offered free replacements of older toilets to customers with high water-use toilets, but the program ended July 31 after all of the available funding for the program had been used. Many Austin companies were able to take advantage of the free toilets before the deadline. For example, Greystar Management installed a total of 745 toilets in two of
â€˘ In the drought of 1951-52, there were 966,826 acre-feet of water inflow. â€˘ Average inflow of water in 20-month periods is 2,170,165 feet. â€˘ There was 477,732 acre-feet of water inflow in the 20-month period leading up to August 2009. Source: LCRA
its apartment facilities in North Austin at no cost to the residents or the company. â€œWeâ€™re trying to do everything we can to reduce expenses for our residents and ourselves,â€? said company spokeswoman Candiss Escobar. â€œWe decided to take advantage of the toilets to save our customers money, especially with the water situation in Austin.â€? Some consumers are wary of the toilets, because early models of high efficiency toilets often required multiple flushes per use, eventually requiring more water. Residents have been satisfied
From page 1
with the toilets, Escobar said. â€œIn regards to how itâ€™s working and people having to flush more frequently, we arenâ€™t getting negative feedback at all,â€? she said. â€œOur customers have been really pleased.â€? Austin Water Utilityâ€™s request for more city funding for the Free Toilet Program is currently under revision, but consumers can still take advantage of the rebate program, with the option to receive up to $200 if they replace a toilet made before 1996 with an approved high-efficiency toilet.
Nielson said. Despite the controversy, the little blue car cruised around East Sixth Street on Monday night, picking up wanderers in need of a ride. Some Austin pedicab companies oppose the electric taxis for fear they might interfere with their businesses â€” spatially and financially. Pedicabs, which utilize a bicycle that pulls a cart meant for passengers, are free of charge, but operators do ask for tips. Nathan Lipson, owner of Metrocycle Pedicabs, said he is frustrated by Nielsonâ€™s business plan. Lipson said Nielson is operating illegally, as well as catering to the same crowd as pedicabs. â€œItâ€™s a green mode of transportation, and Iâ€™m happy to support that,â€? Lipson said. â€œAt the same time, I think itâ€™s going to affect all
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Reporters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lara Berendt, Alex Geiser, Jordan Haeger, Audrey White Photographers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anne-Marie Huff, Erik Reyna Sports Writers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rishi Daulat, Lena Price Life&Arts Writers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Abby Johnston, Katherine Kloc, Sarah Pressley, David Sieloff Copy Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Claire Cardona, Megan Gottlieb, Molly Nesbitt Sports/Life&Arts Copy Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amanda Hicks Page Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tarrah Miller Comics Artists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jermaine Alfonso, Gabe Alvarez, Ryan Hailey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Miles Luna, Nam Nguyen, Katie Smith, Rachel Weiss Wire Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Dylan Clement Columnist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joshua Avelar Web Technician . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jordyn Davenport
Director of Advertising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jalah Goette Retail Advertising Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Brad Corbett Account Executive/Broadcast Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Carter Goss Campus/National Sales Consultant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joan Bowerman Assistant to Advertising Director. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C.J. Salgado Student Advertising Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kathryn Abbas Student Advertising Manager. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ryan Ford Acct. Execs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lauren Aldana, Anupama Kulkarni, Ashley Walker, Natasha Moonka Taylor Blair, Tommy Daniels, Jordan Gentry, Meagan Gribbin, Jen Miller Classified Clerks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Teresa Lai Special Editions, Editorial Adviser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Elena Watts Web Advertising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Danny Grover Special Editions, Student Editors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kira Taniguchi Graphic Designer Interns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amanda Thomas, Lisa Hartwig Senior Graphic Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Felimon Hernandez The Daily Texan (USPS 146-440), a student newspaper at The University of Texas at Austin, is published by Texas Student Media, 2500 Whitis Ave., Austin, TX 78705. The Daily Texan is published daily except Saturday, Sunday, federal holidays and exam periods, plus the last Saturday in July. Periodical Postage Paid at Austin, TX 78710. News contributions will be accepted by telephone (471-4591) or at the editorial office (Texas Student Media Building 2.122). For local and national display advertising, call 471-1865. For classified display and national classified display advertising, call 471-1865. For classified word advertising, call 471-5244. Entire contents copyright 2009 Texas Student Media.
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of us financially.â€? Nielson, who operated a pedicab for the first time Sunday in Dallas during the Cowboys game, said he now understands where the pedicab driversâ€™ frustrations come from. He found himself growing resentful toward the golf carts but said he will continue his golfcart business. He is, however, in the process of building pedicabs for a business venture between himself and the owner of Red Devil Rides, an Austin pedicab service. As the two vehicle-for-hire businesses learn to work together, and once the electric taxis are regulated, resentment will fade, Nielson said. Ron Means, general manager of the Austin Cab Company, does not oppose the electric taxis but is concerned with the cityâ€™s policies regarding vehi-
cles-for-hire. â€œIn order for us to compete, the city has to be able to give us the opportunity to change our rates,â€? Means said. â€œWhen our rates are set in stone, everyone else has the freedom to undercut you. Thatâ€™s not a free enterprise system.â€? The company charges a $2 flat rate and $2 per mile. Environment Texas supports the electric taxi plan, as it furthers the organizationâ€™s efforts to clean Texas air. Luke Metzger, director of the group, said the cityâ€™s current supply of gasoline-powered cars contributes to foreign oil dependency and other pollution problems. He said he sees alternative cars as part of the solution. â€œElectric cars are emerging as an effective way to lower global warming emissions, oil use and smog,â€? Metzger said.
Wire Editor: Dylan Clement www.dailytexanonline.com
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
T he Daily Texan
Texas polygamist’s trial begins with jury selection
David Guttenfelder | Associated Press
U.S. soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division prepare to fire mortars in the Pech Valley of Afghanistan’s Kunar province Monday.
Americans die in helicopter crashes By Heidi Vogt & Robert H. Reid The Associated Press KABUL — A U.S. military helicopter crashed Monday while returning from the scene of a firefight with suspected Taliban drug traffickers in western Afghanistan, killing 10 Americans including three DEA agents in a not-sonoticed war within a war. Four more troops were killed when two helicopters collided over southern Afghanistan, making it the deadliest day for U.S. forces in this country in more than four years. U.S. military officials insisted neither crash was believed a result of hostile fire, although the
Taliban claimed they shot down a U.S. helicopter in the western province of Badghis. The U.S. did not say where in western Afghanistan its helicopter went down, and no other aircraft were reported missing. The second crash took place when two U.S. Marine helicopters — a UH-1 and an AH-1 Cobra — collided in flight before sunrise over the southern province of Helmand, killing four American troops and wounding two more, Marine spokesman Maj. Bill Pelletier said. The casualties marked the DEA’s first deaths since it began operations here in 2005. Afghani-
stan is the world’s largest producer of opium and the illicit drug trade is a major source of funding for insurgent groups. The U.S. has decided to target production and distribution networks after programs to destroy poppy fields did little except turn farmers against the American-led NATO mission. NATO said the helicopter containing the DEA agents was returning from a joint operation that targeted a compound used by insurgents involved in “narcotics trafficking in western Afghanistan.” “During the operation, insurgent forces engaged the joint
force, and more than a dozen enemy fighters were killed in the ensuing firefight,” a NATO statement said. Eleven Americans and 14 Afghan security troops were wounded in the crash, NATO said. The crash came less than a week after a U.N. report found that the drug trade is enabling the Taliban to make more money now than when they ruled Afghanistan before the U.S. invasion in 2001. It was the heaviest single-day loss of life since June 28, 2005, when 19 U.S. troops died, 16 of them aboard a Special Forces MH-47 Chinook helicopter that was shot down by insurgents.
By Michelle Roberts The Associated Press ELDORADO, Texas — More than 150 potential jurors, including 10 women with prairie dresses and braids, crammed into a makeshift courtroom Monday as jury selection began in the first criminal trial stemming from the raid of a polygamist sect’s ranch last year. Raymond Jessop, 38, is charged with sexual assault of a child, stemming from his alleged marriage to an underage girl. The girl, according to church documents seized by authorities, gave birth at age 16 at the Yearning For Zion Ranch in Eldorado. If convicted, Jessop faces 20 years in prison. He is also charged with bigamy, but that charge is to be tried separately. Potential jurors for what would be Schleicher County’s first jury trial in more than a decade spent Monday on plastic folding chairs in a building next to the courthouse. A few were dismissed with early exemption claims, but 17 members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints remained.
The county sent summonses to 300 potential jurors, the largest jury pool in its history, in hopes of seating 12 jurors and two alternates — a task that could be a challenge in a small county that became international news with the raid last April. Authorities took 439 FLDS children into state custody and conducted a weeklong raid at the ranch, confiscating hundreds of boxes of documents and photos. Jessop’s trial is expected to last two weeks, said Assistant Attorney General Eric Nichols, who is prosecuting the case. The prosecution’s witness list includes 59 people, including law enforcement and child welfare officials, two of Jessop’s alleged underage wives and former FLDS members. Authorities have said little publicly about the charge against Jessop, but documents seized from the ranch indicate the assault charge stems from his alleged relationship with a girl who was in labor for several days in August 2005. Under Texas law, generally, no one under 17 can consent to sex with an adult.
Harry Cabluck | Associated Press
Prospective jurors arrive for the first day of jury selection in the trial of Raymond Jessop on Monday.
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T HE DAILY TEXAN
Texas’ failed tuition plan
Participants in the Texas prepaid tuition plan, formerly the Texas Tomorrow Fund, have a tough choice to make. Faced with the program’s inadequate earnings, the tuition board voted in May to change the rules for people who decide to cancel their contracts. The plan will still cover tuition and fees for students attending any Texas public university. But students who opt to attend a private or out-of-state university, or collect a sizable scholarship, will not receive any earnings on their initial investment. The fund will return only the original fees. For some participants, the difference could amount to around $20,000, according to the Houston Chronicle. Participants have until Nov. 30 to cash out of the plan and receive the value of their investments (the current average cost of a Texas public university). The original plan allowed individuals to purchase college tuition for young children in advance, locking in current college rates. The plan then invested the money, and when the students were ready to attend college, their tuition was covered entirely. If students did not attend a Texas public university, they received the average amount that a current education at a Texas public institution costs. Now, those who remain in the plan risk forfeiting its benefits through no fault of their own. Though the plan has benefitted many Texas families, it was based on little foresight and was flawed from the start. Since its conception in 1996, tuition has increased by 8.9 percent a year, while the plan’s return on investment has averaged 4.4 percent, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Then, in 2003, college tuition was deregulated, and since then, tuition and fees at Texas public universities have increased 86 percent on average. Although the plan is in desperate straits — predicted to be insolvent by 2020, according to the Statesman — many question the legality and ethics of changing the rules halfway through the game. Former State Comptroller John Sharp, who oversaw the program in its early stages, is one of the chief critics, calling for Attorney General Greg Abbott to review its legality. “You made an agreement with folks when they signed up for it,” Sharp told the Statesman. “It’s wrong to back out.” Although Sharp may be more concerned about the way this change will affect his candidacy for Kay Bailey Hutchison’s U.S. Senate seat than the way it will affect families in the plan, he makes a valid point. Participants in the plan trusted children’s education to the state. Now, if they don’t opt out, they will either be forced to choose within Texas public institutions or lose what they were told was a secure investment. The Texas Guaranteed Tuition Plan’s Web site states, “The plan was not designed to serve as an investment vehicle.” This incredible statement belies the purpose of a plan that relied on investment to grow money to cover college costs. Had participants not been deceived into believing their investments would “guarantee” their benefactors’ college education costs, they may have invested through other avenues. The state of Texas must back the contracts into which it initially entered. Though it may cost taxpayers, their representatives voted the plan into existence. The plan was ill-conceived, and it failed. But Texas has not been reduced to the state of issuing IOUs or backing out of contracts. — Jillian Sheridan for the editorial board
Energy for better health and earnings By Tania Mejia Daily Texan Guest Columnist City-owned utility company Austin Energy announced an ambitious plan last month to significantly boost renewable-energy use to 35 percent by 2020 through investments in wind, solar and wood-waste power. The plan has since come under fire by some for possible costs the city could incur in pursuing renewable energy so aggressively. Painting anti-pollution and renewable energy policies as “lofty” and unrelated to the lives of low-income communities, some are convinced that low-income communities and smart environmental policies do not go hand in hand. In reality, the cost to produce energy from coal is not getting any cheaper for Austin. Coal is expected to rise in cost by 2020, with Austin Energy predicting it will nearly double. Reducing the use of coal and increasing the amount of renewable energy use and energy efficiency is not simply an auspicious dream of environmentalists but a sensible long-term policy solution that will keep everyone’s energy costs low. While switching to renewable energy might involve raising rates initially, many costs can be offset through weatherization and energy efficiency. It is clear that the long-term move is more cost effective for low-income families. Some argue that in this time of economic uncertainty, moving too quickly with sensible energy policy might have negative consequences for low-income families if the economy does not improve by 2012. This assumption seems to go against the facts. According to many economists, the brunt of the recession is over and the economy is improving, and a move to renewable energy will assist in speeding up economic recovery for Austin through job creation. At the same time, if you assume that the economy will remain unstable through 2012, it still makes little sense to stick with coal. Coal remains more expensive to convert into electricity, and these costs are expected to rise even further with climate change legislation as a priority of the Obama administration. According to The Wall Street Journal, investment in coal has fallen sharply, and
coal production is expected to drop by 5 to 10 percent. Coal for Austin Energy’s Fayette Coal Plant is shipped from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming, where we’re staring to exhaust the most easily accessible coal, also adding to the cost. The effect of coal on low-income communities, however, is not simply an issue of lowering utility costs. Converting coal into electricity is an extremely dirty process that creates air and water pollution that often affects low-income communities the most. Eva Hernandez with the Sierra Club Texas says, “Austin’s coal plant pollution — smog and ozone-forming gas, particulate matter and mercury — is deadly to humans. It causes human suffering and high health care costs from asthma, respiratory illnesses, heart disease, brain disease and developmental disorders.” With medical costs rising, taking a stand at reducing the use of coal is not only a smart energy decision but also a smart public-health decision as well. A study by Harvard found that nearly 62 percent of all individual bankruptcy claims in 2007 were due to medical costs. This figure seems even worse when you consider that most low-income families lack health insurance and thus are forced to delay seeing a doctor until a medical problem becomes severe. The environmental costs of coal pollution are one thing, but the human costs related to pollution are another. Taking a short-sighted view of the problem, it is easy to see how those concerned want to delay effective clean-energy policy. But the reality is that for low-income communities, waiting for change is not only bad for their wallets, but bad for their health as well. Central to effective energy policy is taking into consideration the entirety of costs associated with energy use. Wealthy and insured people have little to lose from staying with the status quo, but low-income communities have an enormous amount to gain by endorsing the proposal and enhancing it with increased renewable energy and energy efficiency for low-income communities. Mejia is a government and rhetoric and writing senior and an intern for the Sierra Club.
Retribution for justice By Joshua Avelar Daily Texan Columnist Every day, students across the nation engage in society-altering projects with their professors. An example of such a project was on display recently when, in an astonishing display of the power of student will, two men wrongfully incarcerated for 12 years walked free on Friday, The Daily Texan reported. The exoneration of Claude Alvin Simmons Jr. and Christopher Shun Scott, who were wrongfully accused of murder, was aided in large part by the efforts of UT-Austin and UT-Arlington students. Without DNA evidence, students at UT-Austin’s Actual Innocence Clinic and the UT-Arlington Innocence Network were able to bring light to an injustice brought upon two innocent men. Craig Watkins, Dallas County District Attorney, told the Texan that student investigations were vital to the exoneration. But the opportunity for such extraordinary student work may be in jeopardy, as one of the most respected institutions in the country is being vilified after potentially uncovering another horrible injustice. Since 1999, the Medill Innocence Project at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., has served as one of many examples of students’ work directly benefiting society. According to The New York Times, the project’s director, David Protess, claims the Medill School of Journalism students’ investigations have
THE FIRING LINE Worth 1000 words Peyton McGee’s photograph that accompanied the Oct. 22 article, “UT warns about dangers of hazing,” told a story larger than the text. Shot from behind three rows of almostempty seats, he captured four speakers addressing, well, one listener. The long page-one article offered the predictable description and advice about hazing. But the photo told the true story: Officials are speaking, but UT students aren’t listening.
— Terri LeClercq Retired faculty
Suspending disbelief Emily Grubert made an interesting point in her Oct. 26 article, “It’s hard
led to the release of 11 inmates. Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan attributed his decision to halt all executions in January 2000 to these student investigations. After more than a decade of exposing the flaws in the judicial system, the system is now striking back at these diligent students. The Daily Northwestern reported that the Illinois state attorney for Cook County, in which Northwestern is located, has subpoenaed several documents associated with students previously enrolled in an investigative journalism class that worked through the project. The documents subpoenaed include e-mails, student grades, course syllabi, expense reports and unpublished notes and tapes. The subpoenas were issued in response to the students’ investigation into the case of Anthony McKinney. McKinney, who was convicted of killing a security guard in 1978 in Harvey, Ill., had his conviction overturned in part because of the work of students at Northwestern. There has recently been concern over whether the students were awarded good grades in exchange for uncovering evidence in support of overturning McKinney’s conviction. Medill graduate Evan Benn, who worked on the McKinney case during his time at Medill, told The Daily Northwestern that the suggestion of biased grading as motivation was “ridiculous.” Clearly, the intention behind these subpoenas is not to protect academic integrity — which has never before been questioned in regard to the project — but intimidation. Prosecutors are distracting themselves with
students’ grades and homework instead of concentrating on whether an innocent man has been locked up in a penal system for the past three decades. Confidentiality of students’ grades is protected by federal law, and confidentiality of sources is protected by Illinois state law. Apparently, these prosecutors see these student journalists as neither students nor journalists. After an extended period marked by students uncovering truths and righting wrongs done by the justice system, the state of Illinois has found it imperative to simply kill the messenger. The implications of these actions are worrisome. If this sort of treatment can happen to a group like the Medill Innocence Project with its record of uncovering the truth, it could happen to other groups with the same goal, many of which are associated with law schools such as UT’s. The UT Actual Innocence Clinic just achieved its first-ever exoneration with the Simmons and Scott case. The possible damages that it could absorb from the proceedings at Northwestern are staggering. Students across the nation could be reluctant to participate in such endeavors and colleges, and universities could be reluctant to fund them if this is the kind of treatment they can expect. In a time when institutions such as UT are cutting funds left and right, it is logical to suggest that projects like these, which are now found to attract legal controversy, will be the on the chopping block, despite their ability to actually bring forth justice.
to believe the energy in Zombieland,” regarding electricity and its availability in the film. But if she were looking for scientific accuracy, then she probably should have chosen a different movie. After all, one of the reasons that this particular film, as well as others in the same genre, are so interesting is the complete improbability of such events occurring in the first place.
the State Board of Education Place 10, covering North Travis and Williamson counties, is no leader at all. In fact, many of Dunbar’s statements and actions have made a mockery of our public schools and the board. Voters will have two chances to relieve our current representative of duty. Already, three excellent candidates for the board have stepped up and all have the ability and vision to better represent our area. Rebecca Osbourne is an educator running in the Republican primary, and Lorenzo Sadun and Judy Jennings both have great experience in education and are declared candidates for the Democratic side. No matter the reader’s political stripes, we are sure to have better choices than incumbent Cynthia Dunbar in the upcoming SBOE Place 10 race.
— Brian Losoya UT alumnus
An important race While the primaries of 2010 seem far away for many, just about the only coverage so far has been about the battle royale at the top of the Republican ticket. However, there is another very important race that will be decided then. As this paper and other publications have pointed out, Cynthia Dunbar, the current representative on
Avelar is a government senior.
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COUNTDOWN TO NOV. 3 AMENDMENT ELECTION
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
rearranges credit classes in curricula From page 1 saving money is a new curriculum,” Staiger said. “So there may be more attempts to alter the curriculum in the future. We want to make sure the process is appropriate when something comes from the college.” Members of the Faculty Council executive committee and the Committee on Undergraduate Degree Program Review, or CUDPR, are meeting to determine a clearer procedure. The review committee studies minor course catalog changes before they are voted on by the Faculty Council. “CUDPR is meant to ensure that everyone is well informed about any catalog changes with ramifications for multiple colleges,” Staiger said. “In the case of the foreign language requirement, somewhere along the line it became a question of whether this was a big enough policy change to go through the Educational Policy Committee.” The Educational Policy Committee, a third committee which is made up of nine Faculty Council members and four students, reviews major changes to University curricula. English professor Alan Friedman, chairman of the committee, said it should be involved with all significant course catalog changes. It was not clear to those at the meeting whether the committee should have been involved in last week’s proposed changes. However, Friedman said the Educational Policy Committee
would bring about more faculty involvement in any proposed changes. “A lot of minor changes sail through with very little conflict, and that’s the way it should be,” Friedman said. “CUDPR seems to be made up of mostly administrators, and it’s fair enough that they the have a role in this. But the faculty should have the ultimate responsibility when it comes to determining the curriculum.” The Faculty Council will also review how proposals are moved through the colleges up to the faculty level. “Each college has a different approval mechanism,” Staiger said. “So, the Faculty Council is going to ask the deans of each of the colleges to provide us in written form what the procedures are regarding these kinds of changes.” During Monday’s meeting, the council unanimously added six courses to a list that fulfills core requirements. Three radio-television-film courses, including Development of the Motion Picture, will count for visual and performing arts credit. One of the goals of incorporating these courses into the core curriculum was to make them available for non-major students, said education professor Lawrence Abraham. “We are trying to expand the number of courses so there are more options for students to fulfill their core requirements,” Abraham said.
courses that can now be counted toward the core curriculum • RS 310 (Introduction to the Study of Religion) will now count for social & behavioral science credit. • RTF 305 (Introduction to Media Studies), RTF 314 (Develop ment of the Motion Picture) and RTF 316 (History of U.S. Radio and Television) will now count for visual and performing arts credit. • BIO 315H (Advanced Introduction to Genetics: Honors) and BIO 325H (Genetics: Honors) will now count for part I of the science & technology credit. • EE 302 (Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering) and EE 306 (Introduction to Computing) will now count for part II of the science & technology credit.
Erik Reyna | Daily Texan Staff
Daniel Kahozi, left, translates for Murhabazi Namegabe, right, during the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice Happy Hour Speaker Series at the University of Texas School of Law. Namegabe is the director of the Volunteer Office in the Service of Children and Health in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Activist discusses Congo violence Despite 2003 end of war, groups capture children to fight in region conflicts By Audrey White Daily Texan Staff Despite peace treaties ending the Second Congo War in 2003, violence and the recruitment of child soldiers for militant groups persist in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said a Congolese human rights activist Monday. Murhabazi Namegabe, the director of the Volunteer Office in the Service of Children and Health in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, addressed UT students on the plight of child soldiers in the country in a lecture organized by The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice Happy Hour Speaker Series. Although the country signed an agreement at a U.N. convention in 2002 that makes it illegal to recruit child soldiers, militant groups and the army continue capturing children and training them to act as soldiers in the region’s politically charged conflicts, Namegabe said.
“Since 1960, the year of independence, we have had generations that don’t know what human rights are,” he said through comparative literature graduate student Daniel Kahozi Migumbu, who translated Namegabe’s lecture from French to English. “In the context of conflicts, when you are talking about human rights, you are talking about a life-ordeath issue.” Namegabe and the Volunteer and Service Learning Center office are dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of children who have been taken hostage by militant groups and forced to be soldiers, sometimes from ages as young as five. They work to negotiate with warlords and help reunite rescued children with their families. Namegabe’s work was recognized The Rothko Chapel, a Hous-
ton social justice center, with the Oscar Romero Award. The award is given every other year to a human rights activist in memory of Romero, an assassinated El Salvadorian Archbishop and activist. Human rights groups throughout the world nominated 17 individuals for the award, and a group of experts who reviewed the nominations selected Namegabe. “We look for somebody who is an unsung hero, who is risking life and limb for human rights causes but hasn’t been recognized or honored,” said Emilee Whithurst, executive director of The Rothko Chapel. “We tried to find someone who is living the Romero legacy.” Since 2000, more than 40,000 children have been rescued from armed forces in the region. However, despite successes, the crisis persists, and the organization’s
work is still necessary to end the recruitment of child soldiers. “Yesterday, when I was getting the Oscar Romero Award in Houston, I received word that 13 more children were rescued,” Namegabe said. He encouraged the students at the lecture to alert Congress of their interest in fighting the child soldier crisis and commended the American media for its involvement with the conflict. However, he said there is much more to be done, and the nation cannot fight the crisis on their own. “I believe that you are going to run this country in the future,” Namegabe said to the attendees. “Maybe you will remember that one day you met someone who told you that there are still 60 million people who live in the Congo in this situation, and you will be willing to help them.”
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009
loan: Lawmakers attempt to avoid money-driven dropouts From page 1 decision to introduce the amendment and intends to try again to work the provision that would include for-profit institutions into the legislation later in the process, Adamske said. The University issues shortterm institutional loans for tuition and cash, usually to students waiting for other loans to come in, said Thomas Melecki, director of the UT Office of Student Financial Services. These loans have 30 to
60 day terms, and students sign a short-term promissory note upon accepting them. “Our objective in giving tuition and cash loans is to prevent students from having to drop out of school because they run into a temporary money problem,” Melecki said. “My understanding is that the default rates are fairly low on these, usually because [federal] financial aid arrives in time to pay them off.” Melecki said problems only arise from these loans in situations
Our objective in giving tuition and cash loans is to prevent students from having to drop out of school because they run into a temporary money problem.”
— Thomas Melecki, director of the UT Office of Student Financial Services
where a student fails to receive anticipated financial aid from another source and is forced to default. In those instances, the University
may bar the student from enrolling in classes until they can pay back the loan. Even in these cases, extenuating circumstances may
allow the University to lift the bar and issue another loan to cover the new semester’s tuition, he said. Melecki said he understands Waters’ argument for the amendment to include schools under the supervision of the new agency. Low-income students who do not have the credit standing required to get loans from traditional banks often fall victim to predatory lending practices, he said. If the amendment is included in the final legislation, Melecki said he hopes that schools can work
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009
T he Daily Texan
BIg 12 FOOTBALL
Bradford decides Whittaker is the reigning back to have surgery, enter NFL Draft By Wes DeVoe Daily Texan Staff After injuring his shoulder for the second time this season against Texas on Oct. 17, Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford has finally made the decision everyone was expecting – to have shoulder surgery and enter the NFL draft. After delaying a press conference last week, Bradford announced Sunday that Dr. James Andrews would perform seasonending shoulder surgery Wednesday that will keep him out of action for four to six months. If the rehabilitation goes according to plan, Bradford will have played his last game in crimson. “Under these circumstances, and after talking to several people, this is the right thing for me to do at this point,” he said in a statement.
The Heisman winning quarterback was projected as the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft but decided to return for his junior season after losing to Florida in the national championship. Although still a probable first-round pick, Bradford must silence some critics at the NFL Combine in April if he hopes to remain a top-five selection.
Will the real Texas offense please stand up? After beginning the season with a 59-20 thumping of Louisiana-Monroe, the Longhorns’ offense took some sort of sabbatical over the past five weeks, leaving the defense to carry the heavy load of staying undefeated. But a
BIG 12 continues on page 8 Bryant Haertlein | Daily Texan Staff
Junior Foswhitt Whittaker, who has played well since assuming the starting job at tailback, rushes the ball against Oklahoma. Whittaker and sophomore Cody Johnson have provided the running threat Texas lacked earlier in the season.
Whittaker, Johnson are Texas’ one-two punch in rushing game By Michael Sherfield Daily Texan Staff After a season spent shuffling running backs, the Longhorns have finally found the man to solve their running woes. Well, man-and-a-half. Junior Fozzy Whittaker is currently carrying the crown, aided in part by Cody Johnson, and he’s provided the consistency and production the Texas offense missed early in the year. Whittaker, who was the preseason favorite to claim the starting tailback job after impressing the coaches in seven games last season, was hit by an injury for the second year in a row during camp. The injury cost him the first few games of the season and his place atop the depth chart as Vondrell McGee and Tre’ Newton took
Bryant Haertlein | Daily Texan Staff
Sam Bradford writhes on the ground after reinjuring his throwing shoulder against Texas. Bradford will miss the rest of the 2009 season.
turns as starters. When McGee and Newton were injured against Colorado, Whittaker and Johnson stepped up against Oklahoma the following week. “Fozzy was injured, and he’s just now getting healthy,” said offensive coordinator Greg Davis. “Those two guys have stepped up and have separated themselves a little bit. As of right now, the Foz and Cody are the top two.” The running game against the Sooners was the lone offensive bright spot, racking up 142 yards, including yardage lost in sacks by Colt McCoy, on the then-No. 3 rush defense in the country. “I think it’s working well,” said Texas head coach Mack Brown. “Cody’s moving piles, he’s in better shape, they’re
spite catching a career-high five passes against Missouri, his best performance wasn’t on offense. The explosive wide receiver earned 38 production points from the coaching staff for his play on special teams. Williams, often regarded as the Longhorns’ best special teams player in covering punts and kicks, recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown that put the game away before the half while also making two solo tackles. “The kicking game continues to be great,” Brown said. “We’re scoring points, not only just getting good field position. MalWonderful Williams colm Williams was the largest After spending much of the point-getter. He had 38 points. season in anonymity, Malcolm That’s the most we’ve ever had. Williams finally broke into the spotlight Saturday night. DeTEXAS continues on page 8 both taking care of the ball. They’re as opposite as two guys can be. One’s the smaller, quick, great vision. The other will run right over you. They’re a really good one-two punch when you look at what we’re doing. Fozzy is a really good receiver. We thought these two might be guys that might step up in the spring, but they both got hurt.” Over the past two games, Whittaker had 27 carries for 121 yards with a touchdown and Johnson had 12 carries for 59 yards. Whittaker also added 40 receiving yards against the Sooners and Tigers.
Freshmen stepping up over the weekend
Liverpool holds off United to keep title hopes around By Rishi Daulat Daily Texan Staff In a flash of brilliance, Fernando Torres might have just saved his manager’s job and, more importantly, his team’s season. The talismanic striker showed his speed, power and deft finishing touch when he scored to put Liverpool ahead 1-0 over Manchester United. The Reds ended up winning 2-0, yet the Spaniard’s superb goal allowed manager Rafael Benitez his first sigh of relief in what probably seemed like an eternity. In the 65th minute, Liverpool midfielder Yossi Benayoun put a great ball through to Torres who first fought off Rio Ferdinand in the box and then finished with aplomb over United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar into the roof
of the goal. On the play, Ferdinand, whose recent decline has been well documented by United fans, committed a horrendous mistake when he inexplicably kept Torres onside. Manchester United came close to equalizing in the last 10 minutes of the match, but Antonio Valencia’s shot crashed off the top of the crossbar. Throughout the match, United found few opportunities to test the sometimes shaky Liverpool keeper, Pepe Reina. In the final minute of stoppage time, David Ngog, who came on as a substitute for Torres in the 80th minute, clinically finished past Van der Sar for the Red’s second goal. It was an easy finish for Ngog since he was left
EURO continues on page 8
Tim Hales | Associated Press
Liverpool’s Fernando Torres, front, scores a goal against Manchester United during their English Premier League soccer match at Anfield, Liverpool, England, on Sunday.
Bruno Morlan | Daily Texan Staff
Freshman Blaire Luna pitches against Alvin Community College on Friday. Luna is expected to be a key part of the Longhorns’ pitching rotation as they try to replace Brittany Barnhill.
By Lena Price Daily Texan Staff Although last season the Longhorns softball team relied heavily on an experienced trio of pitchers, two freshmen saw time in the circle Friday night in an exhibition doubleheader against Alvin and McLennan Community Colleges. Freshmen Blair Luna and Kim Bruins contributed to two shutouts, bringing the Longhorns’ preseason record to 5-0. Both freshmen pitched three full innings without allowing any hits before giving way to relief pitchers in the fourth. “The team is excited about Kim and Blair,” said head coach Connie Clark. “A lot of the girls on the team have played against them before or seen them on the recruiting circuit, and we are anticipating great performances from them.” Luna and Bruins will have some extra work in the spring without the help of Brittany Barnhill, last
FRESHMEN continues on page 8
Tennis making a ‘racquet’ at Championships Texas players, so far, have made a noteworthy showing at the ITA Texas Regional Championships. As expected, Dimitar Kutrovsky and Ed Corrie have led the way for the Longhorns as both players reached the quarterfinals of the singles draw. Kutrovsky, the No. 1 seed in the tournament, has defeated two Aggie players and an opponent from TCU, while Corrie took down players from Rice, TCU, and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Seven of the eleven Longhorns at the Regional Championships reached the round-of-32 in the singles draw: Kutrovsky, Corrie, Kellen Damico, Jon Wiegand, Vasko Mladenov, Daniel Whitehead and Josh Zava-
la. Damico and Whitehead both reached the round-of-16 before falling. In the doubles draw, Corrie and Damico’s chemistry remained even after not playing together since last season. The duo has comfortably reached the semifinals while the No. 1 seeded tandem of Kutrovsky and Zavala surprisingly lost in the round-of-16. The freshman doubles team of Alex Hilliard and Whitehead scored a huge upset when they took down the No. 2 seeds, Maros Horny and Jordan Rux from Baylor. In the singles consolation draw, Texas’ Chris Camillone, Ben Chen and Hilliard have all reached the quarterfinals. — Rishi Daulat
Eliot Meyer | Daily Texan file photo
Ed Corrie and Kellen Damico talk during a doubles match. The doubles team is in the semifinals of the ITA Texas Regional Championships.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
texas: Defense is putting out the fire From page 7
Malcolm Williams runs downfield to cover a punt. Williams has been a big contributor on special teams this season.
He’s doing a great job.” It wasn’t the first big play Williams has made in the kicking game. He was on hand to recover a botched punt last week against Oklahoma that gave Texas the ball at the 18-yard line, and he downed a punt inside the Texas Tech five-yard line when Texas hosted the Red Raiders on Sept. 19. After a season of frustration, Williams has finally broken through at the receiver position, too, earning a starting job last week. “Malcolm is a great kid, he fights and works hard every day,” Brown said. “He’s been an inconsistent catcher, which is tough at this level because you never know which pass is going to win or lose the game. He’s worked so hard to improve in that area, and I’m excited for him because right now, it seems to be working.”
Sudden change, sudden stop Even more impressive than the Longhorns’ overall defensive dominance Saturday night was what defensive coordinator Will Muschamp calls “sudden change” defense. Following a turnover that threatenedto swing momentum to the other team, Muschamp challenges his unit to force a three-and-out. After Texas’ lone turnover Saturday, the defense did just that, forcing Missouri to punt after three plays that lost 23 yards. “I tell them we’re the firemen, we have to go put the fire out,” Muschamp said. “It was a big momentum boost for us.” The Texas defense has been exceptionally good in potentially momentum-swinging possessions following a turnover by the offense. Against Oklahoma, the defense forced a three-and-out and a turnover of their own in the two “sudden change” situations.
Bryant Haertlein Daily Texan Staff
big 12: Tech continues Big
12 trend, fans taunt Potts From page 7 boisterous Colt McCoy silenced the critics early as he completed his first 11 passes in a 41-7 rout of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. The Longhorns, fueled by McCoy and Jordan Shipley, scored touchdowns on the first three drives of the game on their way to a 35-7 halftime lead. Then the first-half team everyone knows so well sputtered in the second half, only managing six points on two field goals. A full 60 minutes of picking apart defenses would have been nice for Texas fans, but they have to be happy with the way this second-half team took the game over in the first 30 minutes – something it hasn’t done all season.
Texas Tech in the Potts A common theme is beginning to develop in the Big 12, and that is to win big over a tough opponent on the road and then lay an egg with a considerably easier foe at home. The Red Raiders are the
latest example of this trend. After stunning Nebraska on their own field, 31-10, Texas Tech headed home for the annual matchup with rival Texas A&M – a team that lost to Kansas State the week before, 62-14 and had lost three games straight. A night game in Lubbock looked to be a disaster for the Aggies, but A&M earned its first victory against a ranked opponent in the Mike Sherman era with a 52-30 romp. “I told the guys during this week that this game was more about them as a man than it was about them as a football club and how they needed to respond to play this ball game,” Sherman said. “I’m proud of them as a man and as a football club.” Taylor Potts, who threw two interceptions, was back in the lineup because Steven Sheffield sat out with a foot injury. Potts threw two interceptions before he was benched to make way for Seth Doege. Red Raider fans expressed their disgust by chanting, “No more Potts” toward the end of the game.
freshmen: Craig expected to
take on bigger role this season From page 7 season’s starting pitcher. Barnhill announced she was going to transfer to Ole Miss shortly after the Longhorns lost to Alabama in the 2009 NCAA Regional Finals. She started 36 games last season and had an ERA of 2.70. “I think we moved forward from that in June,” Clark said. “Texas is not a place for everyone, there is a big spotlight and a lot of pressure, but we knew we had two top freshman recruits coming in even before Barnhill decided to leave.” Sophomore Courtney Craig and senior Erin Tresselt took over for the freshmen. Although Tresselt was one of Texas’ relief pitchers last season, Craig came in to the mound from right field for one of the first times in her collegiate career. With a batting average of .394 and five home runs, Craig was one of the top hitters for the Longhorns last season. As the starting right fielder, she was also a key for the defense. Although she pitched in high school, last year Craig said she saw herself as more of an outfielder than a pitcher. “We want to keep her warmed
up in the bullpen in case of an injury, just so we can have several options,” Clark said. “But we’re actually training her for all three outfield positions next season, not just right field.” Clark said she expects Craig, who was first in the batting lineup on Friday, to have another strong offensive performance next season. Another freshman who might make an impact in the spring is Taylor Hoagland, who kicked off the UT offense against Alvin on Friday. She hit a sacrifice fly in the first that allowed Craig to run home, and knocked out a threerun homer later in the fifth. Senior outfielder Tallie Thrasher, who saw limited playing time last year due to injury, is back in the lineup this season. She hit the first home run of the night against Alvin in the second inning. Clark said it’s still to early to talk about lineup, but so far the preseason has allowed her to gauge the roles some of the girls might play next season. “I think we’re getting what we want out of these exhibition games,” she said. “We’re keeping our players in the game, and we’re really looking forward to next season.”
euro: Chelsea dominates Blackburn,
Tottenham upset at home by Stoke From page 7 one-on-one with the goalkeeper after all United’s defenders had pushed forward. Liverpool had suffered four consecutive defeats before Sunday’s match — two in Champions League play and two in the Premiership — but the win over a first-place United squad was a sign that the Red’s are not ready to relinquish their title hopes just yet. More impressively, Liverpool took all three points without injured captain Steven Gerrard. In other Premiere League matches, Chelsea smashed home five goals, one of which was a highlight reel 35-yard blast from Michael Essien, against Blackburn to take the Blues back to the top of the table. Arsenal gave up a two-goal lead in the second half to draw
SPORTS BRIEFLY McGwire to help Cardinals as hitting coach
Find your crew (they can be anybody). Download, print, and ﬁll out a registration form with you team name and information. Drop that, and the $40 (per team) registration fee off in room 3.200 at the Hearst Student Media building on the UT campus. Provide your own equipment, such as a camera and a microphone.
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ST. LOUIS — Mark McGwire is back in baseball, reunited with Tony La Russa as the St. Louis Cardinals’ hitting coach. La Russa agreed to return for a 15th year as manager Monday with a one-year contract, the first time he hasn’t had a multiyear deal with the team. All of his coaches will return except for Hal McRae, who will be replaced by the former star. “Mark is passionate about the game, passionate about the Cardinals,” chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said. “Tony thinks he’ll be a great coach, and I think he’s got a lot to offer.” McGwire was not at the news conference at Busch Stadium, but La Russa and general manager
with West Ham 2-2, while Tottenham suffered a shocking 1-0 home-defeat to Stoke. Manchester City, after a hot start to the season, has seen a recent decline in their form as they drew at home with Fulham, 2-2. In La Liga, Real Madrid’s struggles without star winger Cristiano Ronaldo continued when they had a goalless draw with Sporting Gijon. Earlier in the week, Madrid lost in Champions League play to struggling AC Milan, 2-3. It was an interesting week in the Champions League for Barcelona, as well. The Catalan side endured a mind-boggling 1-2 loss midweek to Russian unknowns Rubin Kazan. Barca, however, got back on track with a 6-1 thrashing of Real Zaragoza to put them three points clear of Real Madrid atop the table. John Mozeliak said there will be no effort to shield McGwire from questions about steroids. The team anticipated a telephone news conference with McGwire. “By no means is he trying to hide, and by no means are we trying to hide him,” Mozeliak said. McGwire famously refused to answer questions about steroids use during a March 2005 congressional hearing, saying he wasn’t there to talk about the past. He has received just under 25 percent support from voters in his three appearances on the Hall of Fame ballot, well under the 75 percent needed. La Russa hopes the 46-year-old can use this position to repair a tarnished image. “I’m a big fan of his,” the manager said. “He’s back in uniform and, hopefully, people will see his greatness. But the No. 1 reason he’s here is to coach our hitters.” — The Associated Press
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
One man’s trash ...
policies aim to raise city job availability From page 1 facing a lack of job availability, he said. “It’s difficult to combat it, because we don’t have direct involvement with the project owners and investors,” he said. “Those decisions are made outside of our sphere.” Austin contractors are holding on to jobs still available through a bond passed in 2006 that provided funding for general construction projects throughout the city, Oyervides said. “We are one-third of the way through the bond program,” he said. “There’s still a good amount of jobs available through the city.” Permit requests for construction are up 14 percent from last year, said Lynne Lightsey, a spokeswoman for the Watershed Protection and Development Review Department. The department does not differentiate between largescale renovations and smaller day, month day, 2008
projects, said Wendy Morgan, another spokeswoman for the department. “Permits can vary drastically — anywhere from hot water heaters to an addition [to a home],” Morgan said. The Home Builders Association is looking to the federal government to increase the number of construction contracts, Savio said. The government provides an incentive to people buying a home — new or old — for the first time in three years through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. New homeowners can receive a tax credit of up to $8,000 worth 10 percent of the home’s purchasing price. The act has helped to restore the housing market after “the bottom fell out” in October 2008, Savio said. That tax credit program will end Nov. 30, he said. If the tax credit is extended, Savio said he expects the number of contracts to be restored in the next calendar year.
1 Anne-Marie Huff | Daily Texan Staff
Vincent Hannemann, creator of the Junkyard Cathedral of Austin, stops to enjoy the crisp weather Monday afternoon. The Junkyard Cathedral is open daily from “dawn ‘til dusk.”
Texas waterway research reveals worst violators RTISE ADVE TUDENT S ION! TPlatis YOUByRRachel A Z I N GA Texan Staff ORDaily
Manufacturers and power plants dumped 13 million pounds of toxins into Texas waterways in 2007, according to a new report from a state environmental advocacy organization. The report, released last week by Environment Texas, is based on data from the Environmental Protection Agency Toxic Release Inventory for 2007, which categorizes industrial discharge by the waterways. The report also found that 232 million pounds of toxic chemicals were released into 1,900 waterways across all 50 states. Most of the pollution in Tex-
uns ad irne for onl
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as was happening along the Gulf Coast, where big industries and power plants are based, said Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas. The report found that Shell Oil Co. released 1.2 million pounds of toxic chemical waste into the Houston Ship Channel alone. Shell was rated the third-highest polluter in the state by the report, and the Houston Ship Channel ranked 15th in the nation for total toxic discharges. Most industries are granted water discharge permits by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality or the Environmental Protection Agency. The report doesn’t look at violations of water discharge
permits but instead at what facilities in Texas are dumping into Texas waterways within the confines of the law, Metzger said. “It’s a deliberate philosophy to let businesses do what they want to without properly accounting for the environment,” Metzger said. Toxins include any chemicals that have the potential to cause cancer or developmental disorders in children and reproductive disorders in women, including nitrates that kill fish as well as lead, mercury and dioxin. According to a statement released by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas’ streams, reservoirs and estuaries are required to meet state and fed-
eral water quality standards. “Every year, the TCEQ and other water quality partners sample the surface waters of Texas over 18,000 times a year to evaluate water quality conditions. Two-thirds of the water bodies sampled showed a water quality that satisfied or exceeded the desired standards,” according to the statement. “Any discharge that comes from a source, such as a waste water treatment facility, is limited by permit restrictions that are designed to protect the water and its uses.” According to EPA data, 14 facilities in Austin discharged chemicals in 2007. One company called Flextronics, an electronics manufacturer,
Weekly Rates: $100 – Large $50 – Medium discharged waste into Austin waThe Clean Water Act of the 1970s $25 – Small terways, Metzger said. called for the potential of water dis-
“There’s a variety of ways that charge levels to reach zero. Though this has not happened, the reach of ins — and these have real impacts the Clean Water Act must be clarion environment and human health fied, said Ken Kramer, director of — such as swimming or eating fish the Sierra Club’s Lone Star Chapter. pulled from contaminated waterKramer said the report and toxways,” Metzger said. ic release data underscore the fact Environment Texas recommends that there’s a lot of work left to do looking for alternatives in inherent- to achieve clean waterways. ly safer chemicals and practices. “We need to reduce the number “When a company has operat- of permits we give as they come ed in the same way for decades, up for renewal every five years,” it’s like a recipe that’s passed down Kramer said. “Since we’re not talkthrough the generations,” Metzger ing about any unauthorized dissaid. “Part of the solution is being charges, there’s still a heck of a lot innovative and looking at alterna- of toxins going into the waterways tives and implementing them.” that are legal.”
humans could be exposed to toxContact Joan at 512-232-2229 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Pop group sings of rape, folk singer explores style Devendra Banhart What Will We Be Devendra Banhart has never made accommodations for his audiences. The Houston-born musician performs for himself first — the outside world is left as an afterthought. He occasionally graces a movie soundtrack or commercial, but the rare songs accessible enough for a casual listen are generally plucked out of a haze of psyche-folk freak outs. Maybe it was a track on the highly regarded “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist” soundtrack or perhaps the move to a major label, but whatever the inspiration, Banhart has moved toward the mainstream. His seventh studio album, What Will We Be, has largely retired the acoustic ramblings of his past albums and opted for a brighter, more focused sound that could break down the musical barriers created by his private digressions. The album’s first single, “Baby,” uses the same R&B-fused groove that “Nick and Norah’s” track “Lover” has but is slowed down to a comfortable mid-tempo cruise. Banhart has clearly bulked up on genres outside of his folk origins, peppering in jazz-style piano and psychedelic guitar licks all under a folk-rock shell. “16th & Valencia, Roxy Music” is a more overt homage to foreign styles, calling largely on the sultry beat of glam rock, as Banhart even adopts the quasi-falsetto whisper of T. Rex. Banhart doesn’t entirely abandon his flower-child roots. However, his folk ballads have taken on an air of sophistication. “Angelika” has a sunshiny anthemic quality a la M. Ward but is interrupted with a jazz-style middle section that prevents complacent listening. The poignant camp fire song “Goin’ Back” has the same lightness to it, and the sound of fingers sliding across acoustic guitar strings is a reminder of the raw quality
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
that makes Banhart’s music so endearing. What We Will Be is not a complete turnaround for Banhart but rather the taming and embellishment of years of haphazardly placed ideas. While this album may lack some of his backporch-rocking-chair charm, Banhart now has a chance at reaching a larger audience. — Abby Johnston
From page 12 vocals are not as dark as on previous albums. “When we were making The Con, we were both ending fiveyear relationships and dealing with the emotions of that,” said Tegan Quin. “It was pretty dark. In the last few years, things are lighter. You get into your late twenties and things start to make a lot more sense.” Many of the songs are still inspired by the girls’ love lives, and it shows.
“I’m obsessed with love, with my unrequited relationships,” Quin said. “And I know for Sara, she was starting to date and starting to have those feelings of love and excitement and obsessions, so a lot of her songs are about that.” The new album also has a slightly different sound than the group’s other works. “This record is much more of a band record, we recorded as a five piece,” Quin said. “We didn’t do a ton of overdubbing. What the five of us could play at one time is what is on the record.”
In November, Tegan and Sara will begin an international tour beginning in Europe, moving onto Canada and finally returning to play in the U.S. (and Austin) by February. “It’s a little different [starting a tour in Europe], but it’s always an adventure,” Quin said. “The perception of touring is that it’s a party, but really, it’s long and arduous... sometimes the shows are good, and sometimes they’re not. It can start to get really hard, but I think over the years we’ve found ways to make it fun.”
video: Film hosts looking for content videos they find that may have a place in future Found Footage absolutely ridiculous.” showings. In order to keep producing the “If anyone has found a video tour, Pickett and Prueher urge lo- we might like in or around Auscals to notify them of any obscure tin, please send it to us,” Prueher
From page 12
Raveonettes In and Out of Control Bouncy pop featuring major chords and sugary vocals is usually not the venue where artists tackle issues of addiction, suicide, rape and abuse. But the Raveonettes, a pop duo hailing from Denmark, have successfully packaged some heavy emotional baggage in the lightest pop songs I’ve heard all year. In and Out of Control, the Raveonettes fourth LP, continues in the path of the band’s earlier work by combining retro arrangements and guitar riffs with a drum machine and the ever-trendy impulse toward droney-sounding vocals. In and Out of Control opens with “Bang!,” a summertime anthem that, while a few months late, still brings back the smell of waves and the feeling of freedom that the summer months evoke. But “Bang!” falls short in originality, sounding like something straight out of one of those beach craze movies from the late ‘60s. The albums real gems are “Boys Who Rape Should Be Destroyed,” “Suicide” and “Heart of Stone”. “Boys Who Rape Should Be De-
Twins: Love inspires new album
said. “That’s how we keep the show going, by having contributions from people.” The pair’s newest videos are available on their Web site, foundfootagefest.com.
S ’ O BEV LIST
on stands Dec 9
stroyed” is by far my favorite track on the album. An anachronistic pairing of painful lyrics with playful arrangements makes for an offsetting first impression, but the aftertaste of this song is empowering and addictive. Somehow the Raveonettes have translated a tremendously painful emotional trauma into an easy-to-listen-to, doowop-esque pop song — all without cheapening the sentiment. The other highlights of In and Out of Control come from the twangy, almost psychedelic guitar riffs that pervade the album. Dirty and sultry, these riffs, along with a strong rhythm section anchored by a drum machine, make the entire album apt for dancing and general acts of revelry. — Mary Lingwall
H S I W
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009
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T HE DAILY TEXAN
Festive pasta salad Skateboarders show artsy side unusual dish for Halloween parties Extreme sport creates community for input from local craftsmen
By Lisa Holung Daily Texan Staff With Halloween around the corner, many people are using any excuse they can to be festive. These excuses include throwing potlucks and parties with orange and black food. Themed food often translates into birthday party-appropriate baked goods, but Halloween doesn’t have to always be synonymous with spider cupcakes. This recipe for pasta salad gives you the option of bringing real food to an event without leaving the theme behind. This pasta salad is flavorful and easy to customize with your choice of vegetables. Even though the recipe calls for half a cup of
most ingredients, you can easily throw in a fourth-cup more of carrots and olives to emphasize the seasonal theme. The olives resemble spooky eyes on a bright bed of crisp carrots. Even though the blustery winds of the season lead to the need for warm plates and steaming hot ciders, this pasta salad can start a new tradition of cold and refreshing party dishes that have elements of fun and practicality. It’s easy to spoon this salad into containers to take to work and remains tasty for quite a few days if refrigerated properly. The next time you are entertaining, think about putting the pumpkin cookie aside and going for pasta.
Kari Rosenfeld | Daily Texan Staff
Pasta salad can serve as a perfect alternative to traditional Halloweenthemed party dishes.
Tasty Tuesdays orange and black creamy pasta salad
pasta ½ box uncooked bowtie s rot car ed ½ cup dic es, ½ cup sliced black oliv sed rin ½ cup diced red onion ½ cup canned peas ½ cup mayonnaise ½ cup sour cream ½ package of dry Italian dressing mix 1 tbsp milk
on box, • Boil pasta as indicated cool h wit se drain, and then rin water. e mayon• In one bowl, combin k. Stir mil and am cre r sou se, nai h. until smoot nd pasta, • In another bowl, ble peas. and on oni es, oliv s, carrot naise, yon ma to e Add this mixtur k. mil and am cre r sou g and • Add dry Italian dressin ingredimix until all pasta and Chill ents are evenly covered. g. vin ser overnight before Serves ten.
Twin rockers release sixth album, begin world tour By Sarah Pressley Daily Texan Staff Tegan and Sara have been busy. This week the Canadian poprock duo, composed of twins Tegan and Sara Quin, will release their sixth album Sainthood, as well as a new three-book set, “On, In, and At.” “I just love making things; I think I should have been an art teacher,” said Tegan Quin about
the group’s projects. “I can’t help it. Every time we get two weeks off, I come up with something else to do.” Sainthood, which was co-produced by Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla, promises to be another album full of raw and honest lyrics. However, this time around, the twins have grown up; the
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Courtesy of Tegan and Sara
Bandmates and twins Tegan and Sara Quin talk to the Texan about touring and the duo’s newest album, Sainthood, which is in stores today.
By Mary Lingwall Daily Texan Columnist When Austin-based artist Michael Sieben celebrated the release of his book, “There’s Nothing Wrong with You (Hopefully),” this summer at local skate shop No-Comply, I was very confused. I had no idea that Sieben had any connection to skateboarding since I became aware of his art through his affiliation with Austin art collective and gallery Okay Mountain. And my preconceived notions about skateboarding culture did not have space to include Sieben’s clean color pallette and smart humor. For me, as for many typical young people who have never actually picked up a skateboard, the image of skateboarding culture has been stereotypically one-dimensional. From Fuel TV’s exposure of skateboarding as an “extreme sport” to Axe commercials featuring skater Ryan Sheckler, skateboarding has become more visible and accepted in mainstream America. But it’s no less typified. As much as this visibility positively fuels the market that helps keep local skate shops afloat, the American public’s view of skateboarding has been shaped by images created not by skateboarders themselves but by advertisers who are trying to sell it either as an “extreme sport” or as a convenient metaphor for “rebellion” and “counterculture.” For these advertisers, skateboarding is a thing to be bought and sold. But the personalities and identities in the skating community paint a much more multidimensional picture — a picture that includes not only danger and rebellion, but also a close tie with professional artistic expression. In Austin, art and skateboarding seem to go hand in hand. The recent growth of Austin’s skate community and its support of creativity (ranging from visual art to music), has given rise to a large and fertile group of local “skate artists.” “In the last two or three years, skateboarding has really exploded in Austin,” said Shaun Mefford, one of Austin’s preeminent photographers. “[And it’s] not just with the locals, but with teams coming through … now [Austin] is just like a mandatory stop on any team’s cross-country [tour].” Five years ago, Find ‘n Grind skate shop opened. A few years later, No-Comply opened its doors across town. These shops offer more than just boards and Commune T-shirts; they open up opportunities for local artists to contribute their creative energies.
Derek Stout | Daily Texan Staff
Josh Row, local artist and skateboarder, lands a trick while skating at a slab of cement down the street from No-Comply skate shop. Artists quickly emerged to contribute graphics for stickers and boards, but the creativity they demonstrated quickly seeped into other avenues. And like Sieben, who has worked with Find ‘n Grind and NoComply as well as national companies, these artists seem to be unfettered by any definitive style or media. Some work with illustrations, many work with photography and others dedicate themselves to ‘zines. But despite the vast array of differences between artists, they all share the connection of skateboarding. Josh Row, No-Comply’s inhouse graphics artist and originator of the “Dang” graffiti tags (the easiest to find is the gopher yelling “Dang” in the mural on the side of United States Art Authority), attributes the prevalence of artists who skate to the inherently different point of view that most skateboarders
share, which comes from the continual pursuit of new places to skate. “It’s like every skater does art in some way,” Row said. “I mean, [skaters] are always looking at things and trying to figure out, ‘Hey how can I skate that?’ and in turn, that gives you a weird view of the world. It’s a [sort of] cynical view.” For many people, like Chris Carrasquillo, owner of Find ‘n Grind, this artistic impulse is connected to the very act of skating. “I think that skateboarding is an art form in itself,” Carrasquillo said. “You’ve got to be creative with the tricks [and be able to] make your own.” As for Sieben, it was all of the above that attracted him to the skateboard community. At the age of 12, he started skating “because it was kind of an outsider activity and the [whole] culture seemed really cool.”
Already interested in drawing, Sieben began incorporating ideas from board graphics into his work. Decades later, he’s known for his unique figures that are reminiscent of children’s book characters after a hard night of drinking. His clean color choices, the combination of cynicism and playfulness expressed through the facial details of his characters and written sayings that pepper his pieces have gained him an audience far beyond skateboarders. But no matter how popular Sieben becomes in the arena of contemporary art, he remains loyal to the Austin skate community. “If you’re an artist and you skate or your art is being used in skating somehow…I guess technically [you are making] skate art,” Mefford said. “But I think most purists just call it art.”
Film festival showcases obscure, ‘found’ videos By Katherine Kloc Daily Texan Staff The Found Footage Festival is a videotaped circus of the bizarre. The show, which runs for an hour and a half, features everyone from furniture salesmen to knife and blowgun enthusiasts. Now in its fifth year, the festival began Sunday at the Alamo Drafthouse with a video titled “Exercise Video Montage #5.” “We’d thought we’d kick things off with something that’s become a Found Footage Festival staple,” said Joe Pickett, cocreator and co-host of the festival. “It’s mainly because we just find so many of these goddamn tapes everywhere we go.” “There’s a homemade exercise tape in here by a guy who calls himself ‘Rock,’” added Nick Pruehe, the other co-creator and cohost. “The thing to keep in mind about Rock is that he has a very sweaty stomach. You see this little bead of sweat at the beginning of the video that gradually progresses and becomes bigger.” It is in this fashion that Pickett and Prueher introduce each segment in their festival devoted to randomly discovered video footage. And although the duo has been watching obscure vid-
eos since Prueher came across a McDonald’s training video in high school, the incriminating and unintentionally humorous videos they find never cease to amaze them. “We’ve developed a really high tolerance [for the videos],” Prueher said. “We’re masochists in a way — we get a perverse enjoyment out of the videos. The worse it is, the more we enjoy it. We have to watch a lot of religious videos, and those are always painful. But we make a point not to fast forward. You never know when you’re going to find that gem.” Earlier this year, Pickett and Prueher had the opportunity to exchange favorite videos with Arrested Development’s David Cross. Cross gave them a video dating reel from 1987 that gave 60 men 90 seconds each to woo potential mates. “The main thing we’ve gleaned from it is that no men from 1987 were attractive,” Pickett said. “It’s amazing that anybody was born in 1987, considering the dating pool back then.” It is interesting to see what the men deem the most important information about themselves — one mentioned, “I’m interested in
Sara Young | Daily Texan Staff
An audience at The Alamo Drafthouse on South Lamar reacts to Found Footage Film Festival, a live comedy show. most phases of data processing.” Another said he would not date big, overgrown monsters who only think about food. Another gave up, saying that he didn’t see the use in even recording a dating video. “It’s easy to make fun of those guys, but we tried a video dating service a few years ago,” Prueher said. “It was kind of embarrassing.” When they’re not involved in video dating, Pickett and Pruher are scouring thrift stores while
touring the Found Footage Festival across the United States. “We get into town, and the first thing we do is visit the thrift stores,” Prueher said. “We were driving into Austin from Houston the other day and saw a HalfPriced Books. We found a video there called ‘Doggy Sitter,’ which is a DVD that you play for your dog to entertain him or her when you’re not there. We haven’t watched it yet, but it looks
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