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UT officials unsure whether they can use federal money for original purpose By Hudson Lockett Daily Texan Staff Bureaucratic hurdles have led UT administrators to shift federal stimulus funding from construction on campus to paying off gas bills. UT Budget Director Mary Knight said the $9.9 million allocation of stimulus dollars to natural gas payments awaits the approval of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board — expected sometime this month. The board oversees all public post-secondary institutions in Texas. UT administrators said they planned to use the federal stimulus money for construction of the new data center near UFCU Disch-Falk Field this summer but were unsure if new guidelines from the coordinating board would affect how the money could be used. The coordinating board’s new Oct. 30 deadline for non-research funding pushed back the approval date for stimulus projects to two months after Sept. 1, when UT officials expected to have the funds. UT Chief Financial Officer Kevin Hegarty said that putting the federal money toward salaries would cost too much because of the detailed accounting required. “I’m not sure it would be worth the monies you would get from the stimulus,” Hegarty said.
FUNDS continues on page 2
Anne-Marie Huff | Daily Texan Staff
Paul Barbara, principal investigator at the UT Energy Frontier Research Center, stands next to the X-Ray Photoelectron Spectrometer.
Tamir Kalifa | Daily Texan Staff
Government senior Cecil Hynds and UT information technology services employee Paul Anderson share Tex-Mex food at El Chilito on Saturday.
Contest promotes marketable ideas By Priscilla Totiyapungprasert Daily Texan Staff Fifteen teams from 19 universities and eight countries presented their inventions and marketing strategies at the seventh annual Idea to Product Global Competition over the weekend at UT. Judges announced the winners Saturday at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, where top honors went to new antibacterial surfaces, improved medical kits for diabetics and special hand sanitizers in heart-shaped capsules. The contest challenged students to create a product concept using innovative technology and also to come up with a marketing plan for the product. Luz-Cristal Glangchai, the program manager of the Idea to Product Program at UT, said sci-
ence and engineering research efforts sometimes miss the business aspect and that students need the ability to commercialize their ideas. “Ideas are great, but they don’t have inherent value,” Glangchai said. “Okay, cool, you came up with something, but it’s nothing unless you can create an application for it to help society.” This year, for the first time, the program divided the contest into three categories with separate themes: sustainability and clean energy, biomedical technology and IT/wireless. Dave Bonner, competition judge and CEO of Stematix, Inc., said the categories make the competition more fair so that one type of product is not favored to win. The program invited teams from
PRODUCT continues on page 6
State needs Spanish-speaking social workers By Audrey White Daily Texan Staff The population of Spanishspeaking Texans is rapidly increasing, but University social work experts say the number of social workers and mental health professionals who speak the language is insufficient to care for Hispanic populations in need of services. “There is no available data to quantify it, but we know from our anecdotal reports and research studies that have been done over time that there really aren’t enough social work providers in Texas or nationally to meet the needs of Spanish-speaking populations,” said Merrell Foote, the spokeswoman for the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health. “Our goal in this program is to increase the workforce out there and bring awareness to social work as a career.” This semester, 22 students throughout the country received $386,000 worth of scholarships from the foundation. Founded in 2008, the organization’s scholarship program provides full-tuition scholarships to bilingual students seeking master’s degrees in social work at one of 11 schools in Texas accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. To be eligible, students must pass a fluency exam and agree
to work in the social work or mental health field in Texas for at least the same length of time as their master’s program. Since its inception, the program has provided scholarships for 51 students. Although the foundation is based at UT, Foote said it is important to get students involved at all accredited schools so they will be prepared to meet diverse needs. “Our mission is to improve the mental health of Texans across the state. There’s a lot of diversity across Texas, not just in language,” Foote said. “You have different needs in East Texas and West Texas or in the Valley region. We wanted to make sure we reached schools across Texas and didn’t just focus on a certain region.” Seven students have already completed one-year master’s programs and began work in social services and mental health professions. Flor Avellaneda, who graduated from the Baylor School of Social Work last spring, said social work and Spanish are her two passions. Avellaneda was raised in a family of Mexican immigrants and sees firsthand the effects language and cultural barriers can have on individuals.
LANGUAGE continues on page 9
Sara Young | Daily Texan Staff
Mohammad Raza, right, discusses his team’s product, “Auto Count,” intended to track medical instruments during surgical procedures.
College admission rates stay steady, competition rises Study combats common misconceptions about university acceptances
Rachel Taylor | Daily Texan Staff
Denise Baxindine, recipient of a scholarship from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, sits in front of the School of Social Work.
By Jim Pagels Daily Texan Staff Colleges are harder to get into than ever, and the competition for admission at most universities is growing each year, right? Not according to recent reports. While many Americans believe that college admission rates have drastically dropped, data released last week from the National Association for College Admission Counseling shows that the acceptance rate at fouryear colleges only declined from 71.3 percent in 2001 to 66.8 percent in 2007. Stanford economist Caroline M. Hoxby found that this misconception exists because a small number of colleges have become significantly more competitive in recent decades while about half of American universities have actually become much less competitive. “Students used to attend a lo-
cal college, regardless of their abilities and its characteristics,” Hoxby wrote in her report. “Now, their choices are driven far less by distance and far more by a college’s resources and student body.” Hoxby found that this has caused some of the most elite universities to receive many more applications than in the past, while smaller, regional four-year colleges have seen significant drops. “While a large percentage of our applicants used to come from Southern California, we’re now seeing more and more applications from around the world,” said UCLA admissions spokeswoman Elizabeth Kivowitz Boatright-Simon. Boatright-Simon said that this trend declined slightly last year due to the economy and rising costs of out-of-state tuition. “I’m interested in doing international business, and I’ve seen a lot of research that shows the University of South Carolina is the best,” said Coppell High
STUDY continues on page 2
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CONTACT US Main Telephone: (512) 471-4591 Editor: Jillian Sheridan (512) 232-2212 firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor: Stephen Keller (512) 232-2217 managingeditor@ dailytexanonline.com News Office: (512) 232-2207 email@example.com Web Office: (512) 471-8616 firstname.lastname@example.org Sports Office: (512) 232-2210 email@example.com Life & Arts Office: (512) 232-2209 firstname.lastname@example.org Photo Office: (512) 471-8618 email@example.com Retail Advertising: (512) 471-1865 firstname.lastname@example.org Classified Advertising: (512) 471-5244 email@example.com Tamir Kalifa | Daily Texan Staff The Texan strives to present all information fairly, accurately and completely. If we have made an error, let us know about it. Call (512) 232-2217 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
CORRECTION In the October 7th article, “Big 12 could attract top prospects in men’s soccer,” UNC’s mascot, a Tar Heel, should be two words. The Texan regrets the error.
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Adolfo Chavez IV plays with gravel outside of the Mexican American Cultural Center during their Day of the Dead festival.
funds: Stimulus guidelines require board approval From page 1
Pushing paper Contradictions in the coordinating board’s guidelines for stimulus proposals also led UT administrators to think the stimulus funds would not be approved for construction purposes. And even as $55 million worth of stimulus dollars for research flowed into University coffers, federal tracking requirements have burdened the office responsible for research projects with countless pages of new administrative work. In a twist lawmakers may not have intended, the stimulus bill may create employment at UT just to deal with the paperwork involved. Susan Sedwick, the director of the Office of Sponsored Projects, which is responsible for tracking federal dollars, said the office will likely have to create a
new position just to keep up with the new reporting requirements. Texas lawmakers appropriated stimulus money for public universities in the Legislature’s bi-annual budget last spring. The appropriations required the schools to simply submit a spending budget for general stimulus funds to the governor’s office and legislative budget board in September. Randy Wallace, associate vice chancellor, controller and chief business officer said the UT System did just that. “We thought that was all the requirements that were going to be needed,” Wallace said. But in late September, the governor’s office added a new layer to the approval process by assigning the Higher Education Coordinating Board the task of tracking federal stimulus dollars across the state at universities, community colleges and ac-
ademic health centers. The coordinating board’s deadline for the final proposals was Friday, two months after many UT institutions expected to have the money for spending projects. The board will approve proposed uses of stimulus funds sometime this month. Wallace said UT-Austin, UT-Dallas, UT-San Antonio, UT-Southwestern Medical Center and the UT Health Science Centers in Houston and San Antonio are all waiting on special funding for projects. At the UT School of Law, administrators had planned on paying for a $420,000 expansion of the law school clinic with stimulus funds that have yet to arrive, Knight said.
Confusing guidelines The board’s new guide lines were contradictory, causing some confusion among UT budget planners about how the
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Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jillian Sheridan Managing Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Stephen Keller Associate Managing Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David R. Henry, Ana McKenzie Associate Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jeremy Burchard, Dan Treadway, David Muto, Lauren Winchester News Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sean Beherec Associate News Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pierre Bertrand, Austen Sofhauser, Blair Watler Senior Reporters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Viviana Aldous, Bobby Longoria, Rachel Platis, Lena Price Enterprise Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Andrew Kreighbaum Enterprise Reporters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hudson Lockett Copy Desk Chief . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Robert Green Associate Copy Desk Chiefs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cristina Herrera, Nausheen Jivani, Matt Jones Design Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Thu Vo Assistant Design Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Shatha Hussein Senior Designers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Taylor Fausak, Lynda Gonzales, Olivia Hinton Photo Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May-Ying Lam Associate Photo Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bryant Haertlein, Peter Franklin, Caleb Miller Senior Photographers . . . .Karina Jacques, Mary Kang,Tamir Kalifa, Peyton McGee, Sara Young Life&Arts Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Leigh Patterson Associate Life&Arts Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brad Barry, Francisco Marin Jr. Senior Features Writers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Audrey Gale Campbell, Lisa HoLung, Ben Wermund Senior Entertainment Writers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Robert Doty, Mary Lingwall, Robert Rich Senior DT Weekend Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amber Genuske Sports Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Austin Talbert Senior Sports Writers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Will Anderson, Wes DeVoe, Blake Hurtik . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dan Hurwitz, Laken Litman, Michael Sherfield, Chris Tavarez Comics Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Carolyn Calabrese Web Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Annika Erdman Associate Web Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Erik Reyna Multimedia Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Juan Elizondo Associate Multimedia Editors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kara McKenzie, Rachel Schroeder Editorial Adviser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Richard Finnell
Reporters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..Priscilla Pelli, Jim Pagels, Jordan Haeger, Hannah Jones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Shebab Siddiqui, Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, Audrey White Photographers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tamir Kalifa, Bruno Morlan Sports Writers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Sameer Bhuchar, Tara Dreyer, Jordan Godwin Life&Arts Writers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Kate Ergenbright, Alexa Hart Copy Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dylan Clement, Ashley Morgan, Beth Waldman Sports/Life&Arts Copy Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Molly Nesbitt Page Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amanda Hicks Comics Artists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jermaine Alfonso, Gabe Alvarez, Amelia Giller, Ryan Hailey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Miles Luna, Nam Nguyen, Katie Smith, Rachel Weiss Wire Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Micaela Neumann Columnists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Roberto Cervantes, Emily Grubert Web Technician . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Timmy Huynh
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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money could be spent. On one page of the new guidelines, the board forbids the use of stimulus funds for modernization, renovation and repairs — and then allows them on another page of the same guidelines. Mark Zafereo, the coordinating board’s interim federal stimulus funding coordinator, said using the money for modernization, renovation and repairs is allowed. The notification forbidding the use was an error, he said. Of the $55 million in stimulus money for research, more than half is going to the College of Natural Sciences. This money is given on an individual basis by organizations including the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation and has strained the resources of the Office of Sponsored Projects at UT. The office is tasked with keeping track of the federal money and the number of jobs it creates and retains. Sedwick said that keeping track of the new statistics would require additional staff and information technology support.
Welcomed funds For those the money has already reached, the effects have been significant. Paul Barbara is the principal investigator at the UT Energy Frontier Research Center, which received $13 million in federal stimulus mon-
ey. The center will use the money to pay the salaries of about 30 graduate and postdoctoral students, as well as pay for the graduate students’ tuition and any research supplies. Eighteen UT faculty will collaborate on the project with the goal of understanding the molecular processes that influence the performance of new energy materials, such as those seen in solar cells and batteries for all-electric vehicles. Barbara said the collaboration would have been impossible without the grant, and that the real economic benefits will come years down the line. “The inventions made 20 to 30 years ago are the ones that change everybody’s lives today,” Barbara said. Pharmacy professor Andrea Gore said that a two-year $841,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health had revived one research program that had gone without funding for about a year. Gore said the timing of the grant for her research into the effects of environmental contaminants on the reproductive and neurological development of multiple generations couldn’t have been better. She said the dual purpose of economic stimulus and scientific discovery was welcome after the past eight years. “As long as we’re carefully tracking [the money], I don’t think it’s an undue burden,” Gore said.
study: Fewer schools get more
applications, remain selective From page 1 School senior Kevin Rutledge. “It’s not going to matter where I attend college, but if that’s the best school for my major, then that’s where I’ll go.” The downturn in the economy has also had a direct effect on college admissions. According to the 2009 State of College Admission report released last week from the National Association for College Admission Counseling, colleges are admitting more students, expanding wait lists and increasing grant sizes to help recoup large losses in their endowments during the financial crisis. Hoxby’s research, which was recently published in the Na-
tional Bureau of Economic Research, states that the number of high school graduates has increased by 131 percent from 50 years ago, while the number of college freshman has increased by 297 percent. This data demonstrates that more and more colleges are accepting high school students today who may not have been admitted in previous years. “The reason that initially selective colleges are much more selective today is not that they have failed to expand to absorb greater numbers of extremely high aptitude students,” Hoxby wrote. “In fact, they have expanded modestly, keeping up with the modest growth in the population of such students.”
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Anguish over teenage suicides spurs action By Lisa Leff The Associated Press PALO ALTO, Calif. — Grim news hit this university town in late October just two days before a PTA forum on teenage stress: Another Palo Alto teen had died after stepping in front of a commuter train, the fourth such suicide in less than six months. With hundreds of parents crowding the forum, school Superintendent Kevin Skelly told the anxious gathering that the latest death was “a cruel irony” because city officials were working to prevent another tragedy. “We have all experienced situations where, despite every effort, results fall short of our hopes,” Skelly said. Experts have struggled to understand what generates clusters of teen suicides, a phenomenon that breaks into a community’s awareness when they occur in a public place, as they did in Palo Alto. But officials in this San Francisco peninsula city of about 59,000 say they’re deploying a wide array of approaches to stop it from growing. Those efforts are moving with greater urgency since the most recent suicide on Oct. 19 that involved a 16-yearold male student at Henry M. Gunn High School. Two other Gunn students, a 17-yearold boy in May and a 17-yearold girl a month later, also took their own lives on the
train tracks. A 13-year-old girl died the same way in August, days before she was to become a Gunn freshman. At least one Gunn student, another 17-year-old boy, was prevented from killing himself in June after his mother followed him to the tracks. “There is no single answer. There is not necessarily a cumulative set of answers either,” said Greg Hermann, a spokesman for Palo Alto, which convened a task force of psychologists, clergy and others to prepare a response plan. “There are intelligent steps we can be taking.” Police patrol the tracks while city officials negotiate with the railroad on a design to make them less accessible. Students are discouraged from erecting shrines at the sites, which might romanticize the deaths, and the media has been asked not to make public those locations. Some of the high school’s 1,900 students also have created T-shirts with the message “Talk to Me” and formed pacts not to harm themselves. One student left bracelets made of heart-shaped walnut shells for others in need of cheering up to find. A group posts optimistic notes around campus. Among other gestures to show support to students, teachers at Gunn have canceled quizzes, given out their home phone numbers and held classes outdoors.
Tony Avelar | Associated Press
Students at Henry M. Gunn High School pose Saturday, displaying T-shirts created for a student-run support group ROCK (Reach Out. Care. Know.), to bring suicide awareness.
Karel Prinsloo | Associated Press
A Somali Kenyan woman laughs as she holds her baby in the settlement of Dela in northen Kenya near the Somali border on Oct. 22. The traditional way of life for Kenya’s roughly 3 million nomads is rapidly giving way under the pressures of increasingly severe and frequent droughts, coupled with a rapidly rising population.
Drought alters life for Kenyans By Katharine Houreld The Associated Press DELA, Kenya — When 64-yearold Jimale Irobe was a young man, he guided his herds of cows and camels through knee-high grass. These days the scrubby blades barely reach his ankles even in the rainy season, and there is never enough grass to go around. The cattle cannot feed, and the nomadic families that depend on them for milk and meat cannot survive. So Irobe scrapes out a living by selling charcoal made from burning the trees in the fields where his father’s herds once grazed. “Now there are many people and the rains are not coming,” said Irobe, whose wisps of beard can’t conceal gaunt cheeks. The traditional way of life for Kenya’s roughly three million nomads is rapidly giving way under the pressures of increasingly severe and frequent droughts, coupled with a rapidly rising population. In one particularly drought-prone district in Kenya, up to a third of the
herdsmen have had to settle permanently because they have lost so many animals. As they gather in one place, they strip the nearby land of trees and grass to make houses. Their few remaining animals consume the last blades of grass. Eventually, as has happened in the northern village of Dela, there is just a cluster of tired, hungry people in the sand waiting for aid. Instead of their traditional grassy huts among thorn bushes and the spires of termite mounds, the nomads live in makeshift settlements where the only shelter is domes of
twigs covered in scraps of cloth and plastic. Instead of roasting a goat by the campfire, more and more of them rely on handouts from foreign charities. “Write my name down,” 70-yearold Halima Haroun implored an Associated Press journalist in the northern Kenyan town of Dela, thinking registration for aid was taking place. She pinched a withered arm to show how thin she is. Arid northern Kenya has always suffered cyclical droughts, but Dela residents say the dry spells are becoming longer and more frequent. A 2006 study by
Christian Aid in neighboring Mandera district found that droughts had increased fourfold in the last 25 years. At the same time, the region’s population has increased fivefold since the 1960s. The report referred to the nomads as “climate change canaries,” noting their existence in some of the world’s harshest and driest terrain makes them the group most immediately vulnerable to small fluctuations in temperature and rainfall. A third of pastoralists in the Mandera region had already lost their herds and had moved to settlements, the report said.
Monday, November 2, 2009
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HORNS UP, HORNS DOWN
Some healthy competition
Protesting layoffs The Texas State Employees Union is organizing a petition to protest proposed layoffs in favor of new hires at the University. Along with the union, professors, teachers’ assistants, faculty and students from UT have worked to circulate the petition in hopes of sending a message to the UT Board of Regents and administration — that cutting current jobs to pay for new “prestigious faculty” in the midst of a flat budget is not the answer. So far the petition, posted in various hallways and classrooms, has more than a thousand names. The greatest support seems to come from the College of Liberal Arts, specifically in foreign language departments, where the layoffs would probably be most severe. While layoffs are a natural part of the job market, most faculty, staff and student frustration comes from the fact that, given the University’s relatively average financial standing in a time when most institutions are suffering much worse budget deficits, the possible firings don’t seem economically necessary. Most of the cuts would occur at low-paying instructor levels in order to fund fewer new jobs. Fewer instructors would ultimately result in larger classes and less emphasis on quality education at the undergraduate level. The Texas State Employees Union petition is a positive way to press the University administration into addressing the layoff situation more realistically. At a time when most universities have to cut jobs out of necessity, UT’s ability to simply tread water is an advantage. Perhaps when the administration sees the names of the thousands of people they are affecting with this decision, they’ll take that advantage more seriously.
By Emily Grubert Daily Texan Columnist
The Houston Chronicle sues Criticism has hounded Gov. Rick Perry since his decision last month to replace members of a board set to investigate — and possibly cast doubt on — the execution of Cameron Todd Willingham, for whom Perry denied clemency in 2004 after Willingham was convicted of killing his three daughters in an arson attack. But in the first instance of legitimate action taken against Perry following his possible involvement in a cover-up, the Houston Chronicle and Hearst Newspapers LLC are suing the governor in an attempt to force the release of an expert clemency report that made a case for Willingham’s innocence — and was handed to Perry 88 minutes before the state put Willingham to death. We applaud the Chronicle and Hearst for not only pushing Perry on his troubling involvement in this possible cover-up, which still awaits a formal investigation, but also for their dogged nod to investigative journalism, which has taken hits across the nation as newsrooms face tremendous financial losses. We hope this effort forces Perry’s involvement in the matter back into the spotlight as the 2010 election season approaches, providing voters — especially those in the Republican primary — with broader coverage of the governor’s history of underhanded ethical moves.
THE FIRING LINE Cut cruelty out of your diet In response to Jordan Haeger’s Oct. 28 article, “Campaign mobilizes against animal abuse,” I would like to thank Haeger for reporting on the recent visit of peta2’s thought-provoking “Liberation” display to the UT campus. The exhibit aims to draw parallels between the abuses humans have inflicted on each other throughout history and the abuses we are currently inflicting on animals — some of which are taking place right here on campus. Contrary to what one UT faculty member suggested in the article, the pain and suffering endured by the sensitive, intelligent animals who are tormented in UT’s laboratories is not alleviated by some paperwork being filled out by experimenters or the paltry regulations that exist. For example, in the laboratory of UT’s Eyal Seidemann, monkeys have had holes drilled into their skulls and portions of their craniums removed so that experimenters can monitor the monkeys’ brain activity when they perform different tasks while immobilized in a restraint device — all entirely permissible by law. Thankfully, there are simple steps each of us can take to reduce the suffering of animals. For instance, every time we choose to buy products not tested on animals, we are taking a stand against animal abuse. Similarly, by picking a veggie burger over a hamburger, we are sending the message that violence toward animals will not be tolerated. With so many delicious meatless options available today, including vegetarian barbecue riblets and vegan pizza, it’s never been easier to cut cruelty out of your diet for good. For more information about animal rights and to view peta2’s “Liberation” display online, visit peta2.com.
— Ryan Huling Senior College Campaign Coordinator peta2.com
Cervantes is a government and journalism junior.
Grubert is an energy and earth resources graduate student.
Health care for women
\ Right-wing gay panic Galling the right wing of her party, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has recommended two candidates for the position of U.S. attorney in San Antonio — one of them, Robert Pitman, is openly gay. Lawyers recently rated Pitman, a respected U.S. magistrate in Austin, the most competent judge in Travis County. Matt Orwig, a U.S. attorney under President George W. Bush, told The Dallas Morning News that Pitman seemed to be “the most qualified and to have the most relevant experience.” Pitman also teaches classes at UT and is a graduate of UT Law. But social conservatives have begun to decry Hutchison’s recommendation with Tim Lambert, president of the Texas Home School Coalition, calling the senator’s move “very unusual and disturbing.” It is unclear yet whether Hutchison was aware of Pitman’s sexuality before submitting his name for recognition. Nonetheless, we’re discouraged by a sector of the right wing in Texas that will continue to cleave to extreme social conservatism, even in a matter dealing with a candidate’s sexuality, which in no way colors his competence for the position.
ily shopped for new health insurance, one insurer told her that she would have to be sterilized if she wanted coverage. The reason for such an absurd and “morally repugnant” request, as Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland put it: She had a C-section previously and the company wasn’t going to pay for another if she chose to have another child. Further, insurance companies in 40 states and the District of Columbia are allowed to fix the price they charge women for coverage through a practice called “gender ratings.” The practice involves insurance companies predicting the cost of coverage for an applicant based on their gender, among other factors like age and health history. This oftentimes forces women to pay higher premiums than men for less coverage than men receive. In states with this type of practice, an estimated 4.7 million women bought health insurance under this pricing plan last year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. A poll released last month by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal found that 46 percent of women rank health care as one of their top-two concerns, while only 34 percent of men share the concern. The 12-point difference has been a lightning rod in Washington, especially for a handful of congresswomen who have taken it as their responsibility to elevate women’s health issues to importance among their male colleagues. “I don’t need maternity care,” Sen. Jon Kyl, an Arizona Republican, said as the Senate Finance Committee voted on an amendment covering maternity care. “So requiring that on my insurance policy is something that I don’t need and will make the policy more expensive.” “I think your mom probably did,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan shot back. As a nation, we can argue about the proper role of government in health care reform. Indeed, we have had these debates often when government expands. There is a healthy desire in the American psyche to not have the heavy hand of government determine our lives for us. But decency and respect for the issues afflicting our fellow citizens also exist in the American psyche. These issues affect more than half of our national population and nearly half of our work force, and we should treat them as such. Allowing our debate to devolve into whether or not we are going to care how American women are treated is neither healthy nor American.
I was having a good wander around Austin the other night, hoping to get some advice from the silent city. It told me some things about hidden lakes and grassy paths and what skylines should look like at night. It also told me that pedestrians shouldn’t merge, a warning I appreciated. But the most dramatic point that Austin made during this nighttime conversation was about its people. I came across the stadium, where the cold darkness lent an electrifying drama to the backlit sign: Respectful Friendly Passionate. You know the one. Texas fans make us proud. It’s a great sign, made better by its easygoing confidence. It’s not a question or an exhortation, but a statement: Texas fans make us proud. I love that. I’ve been thinking a lot about competition lately, largely because of major budget cuts that my undergraduate university’s main rival is going through. Suddenly, the good-natured jokes about its inability to do whatever-it-is as well as we do fall flat, because it’s going through some rough times that are significantly impacting its ability to remain the incredibly high quality school it is. Competition is way more fun when you respect and value your competitor. Without a strong undercurrent of mutual respect, competition sours and becomes something dangerous and a little scary. It is for that reason that I’ve been worried about how the United States, wounded by a recession, is reacting to the adversity. In particular, the rhetoric surrounding American relationships with China has frightened me, going a little too far into the realm of us-versus-them without starting from the baseline assumption that we’re all happy to see each other, and we’re definitely going to shake hands and grab something to eat together when the game’s over. Instead, phrasing has tended to assume that anything good that happens to China happens at the direct expense of Americans, and Americans should be wary of any entity labeled “China,” whether that entity is a person, a product or a company. It’s interesting to me that an American company participating in an international venture is referred to by name, while Chinese companies are often referred to as “the Chinese.” Images of “the Chinese” taking jobs and cars and food that rightfully belong to that guy down the street are disturbingly prevalent in conversations and the news. I don’t think the pursuit of prosperity is a zero-sum game, and fortunately, Texas fans make us proud. On Thursday, Austin’s Cielo Wind Power, the United States Renewable Energy Group, and Shenyang’s Shenyang Power Group announced the first-ever utility scale joint venture wind power project between the United States and China, with 240 Chinese-made 2.5-megawatt wind turbines expected to be placed in West Texas over the next two years. It’s a $1.5 billion project, financed by China-based commercial banks, and Cielo is commenting that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the bailout bill) is doing a lot for domestic energy and jobs by attracting investment to wind projects. It’s an interesting way to frame the project — clearly calculated to remind people that wherever the turbines are made, their placement is going to do a lot of good things for local economies and domestic energy supply. Which is exactly true. Murmurs about the fact that manufacturing the turbines in the United States would have created more domestic jobs and fear that the American cleantech sector is far behind similar sectors in China and Europe have, of course, been readily apparent. As long as these comments retain a sportsmanlike tone that calls on American manufacturers to rise to the challenge posed by worthy competitors, I find them productive. The fact that a Sino-American joint venture wind farm is being pursued encourages me in thinking that the competition is healthy for now, though the project is significantly smaller than the one that sparked rabidly protectionist talk a few years ago, when CNOOC (the Chinese national oil company) tried to buy Unocal for close to $20 billion. My wariness about American protectionism founded on fear extends equally to China, where local content requirements have made it very difficult for exporters to sell technology and manufactured goods to developers within China. I hope that a friendly, competitive relationship comes to exist, but parties from both countries are going to need to play fair and allow themselves to be invested in even as they invest in one another. Respect for the competitor coupled with a passionate desire to win makes the game much more enjoyable for everyone. Texas fans, let’s hope that our local success at being respectful rather than distrustful, friendly rather than guarded, and passionate rather than spiteful extends throughout the world. Now, let’s go manufacture some wind turbines.
By Roberto Cervantes Daily Texan Columnist Whether you support a single payer system, a robust public option or no government intervention, I ask: What sense does it make that in a state with some of the world’s best medical and research facilities, the uninsured women of Texas can only dream about receiving preventive treatment or maternity care from these institutions? In Washington, as health care reform makes its way through the much maligned congressional bureaucracy of bill-merging and conference committees, the issues surrounding women and health care must remain in the spotlight if we have any hope of realizing actual reform. After a summer of death panel discussions and raucous town hall meetings, some of the nation’s most prominent women’s groups saw a noticeable absence in the issues important to women. Now they are ratcheting up their involvement in the health care reform debate, attempting to defeat amendments in a final bill they say will continue the rampant gender discrimination in the health care industry. The National Women’s Law Center, a Washington-based nonprofit, is leading the charge of this aggressive campaign to galvanize women across the nation and persuade legislators to include women’s health issues in any reform negotiations. The center launched an online campaign earlier this month that focuses on stories of women being denied or losing health coverage for many of the same reasons, including insurers citing pre-existing conditions. The campaign, called “Being Woman is Not a Pre-Existing Condition,” argues the methods by which insurers classify many pre-existing conditions discriminate against women, making them pay higher premiums for less coverage than men receive. In eight states and the District of Columbia, though not in Texas, health insurers can legally deny coverage to victims of domestic violence, which companies may consider a pre-existing condition. Bluntly, insurers tell domestic violence survivors, “You made a decision to stay in an unhealthy, abusive relationship once, and we’re not going to pay for you to make the same mistake again.” Previous Cesarian sections and being pregnant at the time they buy a policy also puts women in danger of losing or not having access to quality health care. One woman featured on ABC World News Tonight testified before Congress that, as her fam-
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COUNTDOWN TO NOV. 3 AMENDMENT ELECTION
Monday, November 2, 2009
Barton Springs’ flooding endangers salamanders City plans to reopen pool, send divers to clean up local rare species’ habitat By Jordan Haeger Daily Texan Staff Barton Springs, which has remained closed due to recent flooding, may soon reopen, city officials say. The creek flooded twice last week due to rainfall, carrying debris from Barton Creek into the pool, which can harm the population of endangered salamanders that lives in the spring, said Paige Najvar, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist. The salamanders occupy the area underneath the diving board in the pool. They crawl into cracks and fissures, where the water is too deep for swimmers to disturb them, Najvar said. They may also disappear into the aquifer beneath the springs, she said. “Our primary concern when there’s flooding is the sediment that gets washed into the pool and can get into those cracks and fissures and make a poor habitat,” Najvar said. The sediment could also get into the salamanders’ gills and prevent them from breathing, Najvar said. Barton Springs will likely reopen sometime this week, barring any more rain, said Tom Nelson, division manager of the City of Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department Aquatic Division. The city sends divers into the pool to flush the sediment out of the cracks, Najvar said. Najvar said she doesn’t know if the salamanders are in imminent danger but that there is a potential for harm. “They can go into the aquifer, but we just don’t know enough about the salamander to say it’s safe for them,” she said. The Barton Springs salamander exists only in the four springs within Zilker Metropolitan Park. Researchers don’t know how many there are because they
Michael Baldon | Daily Texan Staff
Shannon Slivinske of Bartlett Tree Experts pauses to survey the root system of a tree near the entrance to the Barton Springs Pool. Slavinkse and her coworker used air spades to expose the roots of trees without causing harm to them. are often underground, but in the last two months, researchers have counted 200 in the springs, Najvar said. When the creek floods into the pool, the city closes the pool to assess the damage and clean it up, Nelson said. There haven’t been many floods this year until the last few months, when the rainfall increased, he said. When the pool has to close, it cuts down on revenue for the Parks and Recreation Department, said department spokesman Victor Ovalle. The pool is normally open to swimmers this time of year,
Ovalle said, but it does not get a large number of visitors. “If it’s going to flood, this is the ideal time because we don’t have the high traffic we have during the summer.” Ovalle said the cut in revenue will be offset because the pool had 50,000 more visitors this past summer than the year before. The city plans to renovate Barton Springs Pool in the future and repair the bypass drain that filters water from the springs. A plan and date have not been selected yet, Nelson said. The city has not selected a renovation plan or set a start date, Nelson said.
Austin youth enjoy a day of fun at Barton Springs. The springs closed recently after a flood, but the city may reopen them soon.
Jeffrey McWhorter Daily Texan file photo
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Monday, November 2, 2009
Expect delays near Four Seasons New federal rules
target file-sharing piracy at colleges
Lara Haase | Daily Texan Staff
Charles Milligan and J.P. Perez, N-Line Traffic Maintenance employees, fill barricades with water on Cesar Chavez Street near Brazos Street on Sunday. Underground construction to put in utility lines to the new Four Seasons Hotel building started Sunday. Construction on underground utilities on East Cesar Chavez Street near Trinity Street began on Sunday for additional development of the Four Seasons Hotel. There will be temporary lane closures, with traffic allowed on the inner lanes. Karla Villalon, a spokeswoman for the Austin Transportation Department, said the depart-
ment expects construction to last two months. Traffic control signs will direct drivers during the three phases of construction. The first phase will begin with the temporary lane closures and will last 10 to 12 days. The second phase will begin the second week of November during off-peak hours, including 9 a.m.
to 4 p.m., Villalon said. During the third phase, scheduled for the third week of November, construction will begin on sidewalk improvements. Villalon suggested drivers adjust for traffic delays during this time. — Priscilla Totiyapungprasert
By Shabab Siddiqui Daily Texan Staff New U.S. Department of Education regulations may affect a university’s approach to illegal file sharing, but UT students will not notice any changes to the University’s already comprehensive policy. The new rules, published last week in the Federal Register, require higher education institutions to document plans to prevent illegal file sharing, educate students about copyright laws and provide students with legal alternatives to downloading. The requirements take effect in July 2010, and failure to comply would result in cuts of federal financial aid. UT is making the necessary changes to comply with new federal illegal file-sharing regulations, said William Green, director of networking and telecommunications for the University’s Information Technology Services. “The University has a number of measures in place,” Green said. “We have been aware of this legislation for some time and have been making the necessary changes to ensure our compliance and have confidence in our current methods.” Green said the University has a successful track record in combating illegal file sharing. He said statistics show UT student upload ra-
tios are less than those of average broadband users. Some of the University’s established piracy prevention measures include required education programs, bandwidth measuring tools and policies to deal with violations. He said the University plans to increase communication with students by including file-sharing information in letters sent to students’ homes. Other universities are similarly prepared for the new rules. Pierce Cantrell, vice president and associate provost for informational technology at Texas A&M, said the policies at that university already meet most of the new requirements. “We may have to more formally document all of the things that we’re doing, which is a new requirement,” Cantrell said. “But pretty much what we have in place meets all of those proposed parts of the new rules.” The Department of Education‘s regulations only affect higher education institutions and not Internet service providers such as Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner. “I think there is a lot of file sharing that goes on on commercial Internet providers. And I do feel that universities are unfairly targeted,” Cantrell said. “But I think the rules that have come out are ones we can live with.”
product: Diabetes emergency kit, sanitation technologies prosper in contest From page 1 universities including UT, Texas A&M University, Penn State University, COTEC Portugal, Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa from Brazil and Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship from Sweden. The team from Keio University in Japan erupted in cheers and fist pumps after a judge announced it was the winning team in their cat-
egory. The team had won a similar entrepreneurship contest in Japan for its invention of a hand sanitizer that comes in a capsule. The capsule releases a hand sanitizer that dyes the user’s hands red, with a dark tint indicating extremely dirty hands. Users have to rub the sanitizer around for a full 15 seconds before the redness disappears, forcing them to sanitize their hands. “People don’t really spend the
time to go to the bathroom and actually wash their hands, so we wanted to come up with a fun way to be sanitary,” said supporting team member Takumi Kawashima, The Purdue University and Indiana University joint team won first place in their category and took home the overall award for Best Showcase. The team came up with the idea of an emergency kit that automatically mixes medication for diabetics.
Bonner said judging for the sustainability category was based on usefulness in the real market and whether current technology is sufficient enough to launch the product. A team made up of several Brazilian universities won in that category for coming up with an antibacterial film that can be placed on ceramic tiles in places such as hospitals. “I think self-sterilizing ceram-
ic tiles are a major innovation that would make an important contribution in the real world,” Bonner said. “They executed the idea very well and made the plan actionable so you could actually do it.” The UT team, comprised of mechanical engineering grad students Andrew Tilstra and Matt Saunders and UT alum Josh Mueller, presented an energy storage device called an “ultracapacitor” that
would store more energy than current batteries. After the global competition in the fall, the program holds a similar entrepreneurship competition in the spring for UT students only. More than 200 UT teams have entered the contest since the first competition in 2001, representing the colleges of engineering, natural science, business, law and liberal arts.
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Monday, November 2, 2009
T he Daily Texan
Texas literature Rocker shares latest fall tastes enthusiasts read into Book Fest Printed word the main attraction at Capitol’s lively annual festival By Kate Ergenbright Daily Texan Staff This weekend, authors and book lovers came together at the 14th Texas Book Festival, an event held annually on the grounds of the Texas Capitol. The festival drew readers of all ages from across the state to celebrate a shared love of literature. The Texas Book Festival promotes literature and litera-
cy, celebrates local authors and financially benefits state public libraries through a grant program. Each year, the festival includes live music performances, author discussion panels and presentations, local food and an endless supply of books to browse. The area surrounding the Capitol building was transformed into a literary carnival complete with tents, balloons and, of course, funnel cake. In place of crafts and livestock,
FESTIVAL continues on page 8
Anne-Marie Huff | Daily Texan Staff
Members of indie band Brazos, Paul Price, Martin Crane and Andy Beaudoin released their album Phosphorescent Blues earlier this month.
Band’s lead singer describes perfect day in Austin’s city limits
MC: In the car: A rap album What was the worst by the Orange Juice Clique show you’ve ever called Crazy Red. Not in the played? car: Randy Travis’ Storms of MC: I try to block Life and Animal Collective’s them from my memory. Local trio Brazos is one of the Spirit They’re Gone, Spirit gems of Austin’s flowering in- They’ve Vanished. What is your favorite die music scene. song to play live? Released earlier this month, If you could collaborate MC: ELO’s “Mr. Blue the band’s album Phosphoreswith any musician in Sky.” We played it with cent Blues features frontman the world, who would an old band that I was in. That Martin Crane’s vocals gliding it be? song slays. atop soaring acoustic instruMC: [Nigerian Afrobeat legmentation. The result is a kind end] Fela Kuti. When you were forming of sensible pop that is both the band, were there any buoyant and wistful. In this What was the best alternate band names week’s edition of Music Monshow you’ve ever you didn’t pick? day, Crane shares a little about played? MC: No, not really. himself. MC: I played a show on an overpass that was unWhere is your favorite What album have you d e r c o n s t r u c t i o n o n c e . place to eat in Austin? listened to the most in We made a fire in a steel MC: Mi Victoria on the last week? barrel. Burnett or Swad up
By Brad Barry
Curator knows a picture’s worth By Audrey Campbell Daily Texan Staff The soft, rhythmic click-clack of heels breaks the silence within the Austin Museum of Art as Andrea Mellard moves from one gallery to another, quietly discussing the concepts behind each work of art and how it has been placed within the space. Mellard, assistant curator of the museum, spends many of her days writing grants for public programs, meeting with the public to promote the museum, planning exhibits and visiting local artists at their studios, surveying inspiration for future shows. “One of a curator’s jobs is to go and look at art,” Mellard said. Andrea Mellard, assistant curator of the Austin Museum of Art, sits in the gallery of the museum on Thursday afternoon. The museum currently features an exhibit showcasing portraits by photographer Chuck Close coupled with the poetry of Bob Holman.
Jordy Wagoner Daily Texan Staff
“Which I think is pretty nice.” ing works from private collecKnown for displaying primar- tions, local artists and traveling ily modern and contemporary exhibitions. “We think about what fits our audience, what would people in Austin be excited to see,” she said. “We always want to bring something fresh to the table.” Mellard cited artist Chuck Close We try to bring in a as one of her personal favorites, variety of media and as she is always intrigued by the artists.” way the artist creates large-scale portraits of his friends and con— Andrea Mellard temporaries. assistant curator “I have always been so impressed and overwhelmed with the variety of ways he has explored the human face,” she said. art, the museum has become a “He’s an artist whose work I’ve fixture within local and nationART continues on page 8 al art communities, incorporat-
north for Indian.
8 9 10
Do you have a day job? MC: Yes. I work in a library.
What is your favorite Web site? MC: Google image
What is a perfect day for you? MC: Waking up and biking to every Half Price Books in Austin, taking breaks for swimming. I’d finish it by cooking with some friends and taking a trip to the abandoned air traffic control tower. This would be so much of an Austin day that I don’t think you could get any more Austin.
Curt Youngblood | Daily Texan Staff
Greg Foley, author of “Willoughby and the Lion”, reads his book to a group of children at the 2009 Texas Book Festival. The festival was held around the state capitol on Halloween weekend.
Costumed cyclists spin for grins Hundreds of bicyclists gather monthly to back alternate transportation By Alexa Hart Daily Texan Staff Eerie music blared from a bulky boom box rigged to a bike as hundreds of cycling enthusiasts gathered under the flawless autumn sky Friday for Critical Mass. Upwards of 200 cyclists, many clad in full Halloween regalia, converged on the West Mall for the monthly cross-town bike trek designed to raise bicycle awareness and promote alternative transportation. Unorganized and informal, the event, held on the last Friday of every month in cities across the globe, has no official leader and no set route. The only constants are the 5 p.m. meeting time, gathering on the stretch of sidewalk between the UT Tower and Guadalupe Street, and a passion for biking. “We don’t really know where we’re going, someone just starts leading and everyone follows,” said undeclared freshman Hannah Corder. “Its just slow, social riding, so it’s fun. It ends in a party every time, but there’s a lot of stuff going on with Halloween, so it could end up at a number of places.” There is no clear-cut purpose of the journey; everyone has their own reason for joining hundreds of other cyclists in a casual ride through the streets of Austin. Some partake in the ride simply to socialize and celebrate biking. Others view it as a statement against “car culture” and unfair treatment of cyclists. “Really, it’s a protest,” said Austin resident Marky Rodden. “It’s to show Austin that there’s other ways to get around. It’s green, it’s healthy, its fun and bikes don’t take up as much parking space as a bunch of cars do. We’re getting noticed.
The groups are getting bigger and bigger.” Despite the typically peaceful intentions, the gathering caught bad press in September of 2001 after an irritated motorist ran over a Critical Mass biker. While most of the participants feel that relations have improved since then, some motorists on Guadalupe Street seemed annoyed by the stall in traffic as the horde set out on its journey. “Sometimes it can get a little
edgy with drivers,” said Calvin Coulbury, the 9-year-old, selfproclaimed “youngest rider” in Critical Mass. “But it really was only like that the last time I rode. It usually goes pretty smoothly.” Many cyclists argue the respect needs to go both ways. It’s not uncommon for bikers to run stop signs and take up multiple lanes, occasionally yelling at and provoking motorists with
MASS continues on page 8
Lara Haase | Daily Texan Staff
A man calling himself “Halfbird Rustyfeathers” sits on a bench in the West Mall waiting for the Halloween-themed Critcal Mass ride to start Friday. Many Critical-Massers decided to celebrate the holiday by wearing a costume on their monthly downtown bike ride.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Khabele School students Emma Warren and Avalon Hancock talk with Andrea Mellerd at the Austin Museum of Art on Thursday as she shows them part of an interactive exhibit.
Jordy Wagoner Daily Texan Staff
art: Museum’s exhibits constructed for viewer interest From page 7 really been excited about for a long time.” The museum’s current exhibition of Close’s work will end Nov. 8. The traveling exhibit shows the multiple ways in which the artist has used photography to create his signature large-scale portraits. Various daguerreotypes, digital picture prints and 8-foot high digital tapestries hang throughout the museum, demonstrating the imposing power of photographic narrative. “The tapestries take about six months to make, and they have up to 250 colors woven in them, even though they look black and white,” Mellard explained.
Though the museum has displayed a large number of wellknown artists, Mellard’s enthusiasm for the work of local artists is clear. Mellard said she’s excited about the museum’s New Works program because it offers many opportunities for Austin artists, particularly art students, to showcase their work in a formal setting. “I think visitors will be excited to see what artists in their community are capable of doing,” she said. “There aren’t many opportunities for Austin artists to show their work locally, so we try to facilitate that here.” Mellard received a master’s degree in American Studies from UT and has held a number of positions working with museums and the arts, in-
cluding work as a docent in the Harry Ransom Center and with the National Museum of American History. However, she emphasized that the majority of her work takes place behind closed doors. She determines the public’s different interests and how
to best incorporate interactive learning within exhibits. “We try to bring in a variety of media and artists with different backgrounds, while also figuring out what is available to us,” Mellard said. “With some works we have to ask, ‘Can it fit inside the door ’ or
‘Can it be on view in front of visitors for a long time?’” Mellard works closely with Michaela Black, the museum’s associate director of education, and the two make sure to always find a professional means of incorporating learning within the museum. Mellard said
about 10,000 school children visit the museum each year. “Because we’re a smaller museum, we don’t have a lot of rules and regulations, which means we can be more flexible with teachers and field trips,” Black said. “There’s never a dull moment here.”
Festival: Musicians, chefs join
authors to encourage reading From page 7 most vendors sold books, the most impressive display belonging to Penguin Group. “It’s like an orphanage. You want each book to go to the right family,” said Howard Wall, the director of national field marketing for Penguin Group, about the company’s collection of merchandise. The Texas Book Festival also gave readers the opportunity to learn about and purchase from smaller local publishing houses they may have never been exposed to, such as Shearer Publishing and Maverick Publishing Company. In the display tents, nonprofits involved with issues of literacy or writing promoted and raised awareness about their organizations.
The Cooking Tent, sponsored by Central Market, presented culinary masters such as chef Rebecca Rather, author of “Pastry Queen Parties: Entertaining Friends and Family, Texas Style,” and Ellie Krieger, star of Food Network’s “Healthy Appetite.” The chefs talked about their books and demonstrated their cooking techniques in a portable kitchen underneath the tent. Italian chef Lidia Matticchio Bastianich entertained her packed crowd with stories about cooking for the Pope. “I just took the Pope’s hand and cut the cake,” said the chef to the delight of her audience. In the Music Tent, the eccentric Kinky Friedman drew a large crowd, while other musical guests included La Guerrilla and Patricia Vonne.
mass: Bikers roam open road
in quest for lighthearted fun From page 7 whom they share the road. “With Critical Mass, there’s usually a few bad apples that are kind of hostile,” said chemistry sophomore Derrick Pitts. “I would say most people around here are really respectful. Though there are some conflicts with motorists — moreso when we run through red lights and stuff like that.” Although motivation to ride in Critical Mass differs from rider to rider, the common theme Friday was lighthearted fun. In the spirit of Halloween, a zombie puffed on a cigarette while mingling with a fairy before de-
parting. Costumes ranged from gory to gender-bending, dainty to dark. A man dressed as if he came straight from George Washington’s army gave an enthusiastic rallying speech met with cries of approval from the steps of the Union before mounting his 5-foot-tall bicycle and leading the way south. “I don’t think people should take it too seriously,” Pitts said, smiling in his cowboy costume before climbing aboard his bike, appropriately disguised as a horse. “For me, it’s just about having fun. Very rarely do you get to ride your bike with 150 other people on the road, and nothing can really replace that feeling.”
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.
$250 to Texas Media Systems • Texas State History Museum IMAX Fun Packs $200 to BJ’s Restaurant Brewhouse
Monday, November 2, 2009
Organization urges energy alternatives, rallies against coal
Maddie Crum | Daily Texan Staff
Garrett Weber-Gale, an Olympic swimmer and Texas Ex, discusses the struggles of being an athlete with dangerously high blood pressure and promotes his new line of low sodium products after speaking on behalf of Students with Disabilities.
Olympian speaks on disabilities fraternities and other organizations on campus. Last year, the endowment was created along with a constitution and a committee to formalize the process of determining who will receive the scholarships, said Liam O’Rourke, Student Government president and co-founder of the endowment. Two students have received scholarships for testing. “Lee and I had envisioned not just the creation of the endowment, but to have an annual celebration dinner as well,” said O’Rourke. “It is not enough for the scholarship. We want to raise awareness.” Bagan now works for the U.S. military as a civilian intelligence specialist in Iraq. He sent
By Hannah Jones Daily Texan Staff Olympic swimmer and Texas Ex Garrett Weber-Gale was the keynote speaker at a dinner Thursday night to recognize the Lee Bagan Endowment, a fund for economically disadvantaged students facing cognitive disabilities. Bagan, a 2007 UT graduate, is the former director of Student Government’s Services for Students with Disabilities Agency. During his time as director, day, month day, 2008 he established a fund to provide diagnostic testing for students who struggled financially. Bagan began raising money for the fund by collecting donaE RTonISthe E tions in aDV cup Drag. He T EN from A eventually recruited STUD help !
YOUR NIZATION ORGA
a speech via e-mail to his broth- U.S. men’s Olympic coach Eder Scott Bagan, a senior commu- die Reese the importance of hard nication studies major who read work and sacrifice. Reese also init during the dinner. stilled in Weber-Gale that the “Our parents have always main rule in life is to support and championed philanthropy and take care of one another. have always stressed the imWeber-Gale said that his highportance of helping others who risk high blood pressure could can’t help themselves,” said Scott have had an effect on his swimBagan. “Lee has really taken it to ming career had he not handled a different level. Once he has his it1properly. Learning about nutrisights on something, it’s going to tion and cooking, however, has be done 10 out of 10 times.” changed his lifestyle, and he now Weber-Gale, who was diag- wants to help people live a better LASSIFIEDS nosed with high blood pressure life through better nutrition. and a learning disability, spoke “[People] should not have a about his experiences dealing with stigma against disability. Evdisabilities on the Olympic team eryone has to find their own and starting his own business. way,” he said. “One has to be Weber-Gale said he learned willing to do way more than from UT head swim coach and what is necessary.”
By Priscilla Pelli Daily Texan Staff Smiles, colorful bicycles and costumes were some of the many things surrounding the “Roll Beyond Coal” rally in front of City Hall on Saturday afternoon. The Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter hosted the rally to encourage Austin Energy to stop using coal and invest in other energy sources such as solar and wind alternatives. Rally participants asked the Environmental Protection Agency to take firmer action on the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to stop granting new coal power plant proposals throughout the state or face legal consequences. The agency claims the environmental commission does not adhere to the Clean Air Act because it grants coal plant proposals that exceed minimum emission levels. Representatives with the environmental commission referred all calls to attorneys. Any other calls made went to voice mail. Eva Hernandez, spokeswoman for the Lone Star Chapter, said the organization rallied to ask the EPA to halt the giving of permits for the construction of any new coal plants in Texas until the environmental commission agrees to adhere to the Clean Air Act. “Right now, we are in the midst of the second big coal rush in Texas,” Hernandez said. “There are 12 new coal plants that are proposed across the state, more than any other state in the country, which is huge when you see [Texas] is number one in mercury emissions and carbon emissions. It’s important how it impacts our quality of life overall.” Hernandez said another reason for hosting the event was to raise
awareness for the issue affecting Texas citizens. “It’s pretty clear on how we rank on emissions with the smog forming,” Hernandez said. “When you look at all the cumulative effects from coal, you can notice they are seriously causing health problems within our state. We have an incredible opportunity for Austin to be a leader by investing in solar and wind alternative energy sources.” City Councilman Chris Riley said he’s optimistic about Austin progressing towards a new era in the way that Austinites utilize energy. “[City Council] is trying to promote healthier choices as individuals for the environment,” Riley said. “We need to take a step back and see how we drive our power and the ways we move around. I’m very optimistic that this will be a progressive couple of years.” According to studies conducted by the Sierra Club, Fayette Power Project in Austin releases around 5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. The plant emits 2,060 tons of nitrogen oxide in addition to 14,834 tons of sulfur dioxide per year. Other rally participants included State Representative Eddie Rodriguez, Physicians for Social Responsibility and University organizations including ReEnergize Texas and the Sierra Club student chapter. “This is an issue important to our youth and especially our University students,” said Brittany McAllister, a member of the Sierra Club student chapter. “We ask City Council to encourage the move beyond [Texas’s] coal dependency and make our future a clean one.”
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language: Programs attract bilingual social work students Contact Joan at 512-232-2229 or email email@example.com From page 1 “There is such a need in our community,” she said. “I have a very strong passion for serving the poor. Seeing poverty and seeing children is a driving force. I don’t think, ‘It’s happening, that’s too bad.’ I think, ‘It’s happening. Let’s seek justice and empower the population.’” Avellaneda is now working in the Waco area with an organization that provides counseling for children,
uns ad irne for onl
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increases community outreach and brings resources to schools. This summer, Gov. Rick Perry signed House Bill 233, which increases the standards for translators in hospitals to prevent errors. Despite such efforts, David Springer, the associate dean of academic affairs at UT’s School of Social Work, said the gap between the number of Spanish speakers who need social services and the work force available to serve them is increasing.
“With the Hispanic population growing as rapidly as it is, we’re going to have to find creative ways to respond to the serious mental health workforce shortage, particularly with regard to bilingual providers,” Springer said. Programs like the Hogg Foundation scholarship are making it possible for interested students to pursue careers in social work that will serve Texas’ neediest populations. Denise Baxindine, a UT so-
cial work graduate student who received a Hogg scholarship, said her undergraduate work with justice issues led her to become fluent in Spanish and considers it one of the most important academic decisions she has made. “For me, being bilingual isn’t just speaking two languages,” Baxindine said. “It’s ensuring that everyone has access to the resources and information necessary to live safely and successfully in our society.”
Curt Youngblood | Daily Texan Staff
A group of people gather on the steps of City Hall at the Roll Beyond Coal Bike Ride and Rally. The rally was held in attempt to get the city of Austin to cut ties with the Fayette Power Plant.
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Monday, November 2, 2009
Swagger: Win shows how far this team has come From page 12 defense and special teams. “Our defense is continuing to score, and we didn’t score on special teams tonight, but we usually do,” said Texas coach Mack Brown. “Scoring in all three phases is something that gives you a chance to be really, really good, and we’ve just got to keep that hammer down and keep pressing in those areas.” Some new wrinkles on offense help the team, with Malcolm Williams emerging as a deep threat down the field. The offense also has the luxury of speed threats Marquise Goodwin and D.J. Monroe, something it hasn’t had before. In the last two games, Tex-
as has scored 82 points. “It took a while for everything to come together, but it’s clicking now,” McCoy said. The secondary, a weakness for the team last year, has turned into what could be its biggest strength. If you throw on this secondary, chances are pretty good that they will not only pick it off, but also return it for a touchdown. Earl Thomas has six interceptions, two returned for touchdowns. When Aaron Williams left the game with a knee injury on Saturday, Chykie Brown and Curtis Brown both stepped up at corner, each recording interceptions. “We just try to put it in the end zone as much as possible and create turnovers,” Thomas said.
“Our goal is three a game, and it’s just falling our way.” Something is different about this team now compared to the beginning of the season. Senior Sergio Kindle had the team wear dog tags this week for motivation to play with a swagger. Right now, the team is playing with the swagger of a champion. A year ago, the team was at its lowest point following a loss to Texas Tech. Now, the Horns are at the other end of the spectrum, and it seems like nothing or no one is getting in the way. “We have a chance to be really good here at the end,” Brown said. “We want to be the best team in the country.”
Monday, November 2, 2009
football: McCoy threw season-low passes From page 12 forcing four interceptions and five total turnovers from an explosive Cowboys offense. Coming into the game, OSU quarterback Zac Robinson had thrown only three interceptions all year but finished 15-of-28 with only 143 yards and four picks Saturday. Texas kept the running game in check, too. Oklahoma State got 134 yards rushing, but needed 43 carries, only a 3.1 per-carry average. “Tonight was about execut-
ing against a good offense,” said Texas safety Blake Gideon, who also had an interception. “If nothing else, we were going to stop the run.” The Longhorns’ defensive dominance left both offenses frustrated. Thanks to two defensive scores, a muffed punt and a slew of short fields after turnovers, Texas ran only 56 offensive plays all night. McCoy had a season-low 21 passing attempts, completing 16 for 171 yards and a touchdown. For the
first game all season, he didn’t throw an interception. “It’s hard to play great offense when you don’t have the ball because you’re scoring on offense all the time,” Brown said. “Colt got mad at the defense once, ‘Don’t score, fall down, give us the ball every now and then.’ That was fun for them.” It was a lot more fun than even the Longhorns expected. “We were prepared for a fight today,” McCoy said. “And it was. We just played really well as a team.”
Swimmers dominate at meets
Secondary: Defensive backs close book on last year From page 12 performance to replace his missed tackle on Crabtree’s touchdown as the defining moment of his career. His second-quarter pick went 77 yards for the score to give Texas a 17-0 lead and was the first of his career. It also fulfilled Thomas’ pregame prediction that Brown would have an interception for a score. And Thomas knows a thing or two about pick-sixes. “We were talking about it in the hotel this morning,” Curtis Brown said. “When I saw [the ball], I said, ‘I gotta go.’” Along with Brown, Thomas took a lot of blame for the Crabtree catch after he pulled off his
coverage when he was supposed to provide support over the top. Saturday, he continued to make his case that he’s one of the top defensive backs in the nation. The sophomore’s 31-yard interception was his sixth of the year and second for a touchdown this season. He has as many picks as the Longhorns had as a team in all of 2008. “We try to put it in the end zone as much as possible,” Thomas said. Thomas shifted over to nickel back after starter Aaron Williams left the game with a knee injury on OSU’s first drive after, coincidentally, colliding with Thomas. Of all the miscues from the Tech loss, none was bigger than
Gideon’s. Dropping an easy interception that would have likely sealed the game for Texas brought much criticism for the then-freshman. Against Oklahoma State, Gideon proved that he’s shaken off his case of the butterfingers with his fourth interception of the year. The players were quick to point out that the reason they’ve been able to improve has been their ability to put last year behind them a long time ago. “We put that to rest before the season,” Gideon said. “If we would have let last year carry into this season, I think it would have been a long year for us.” What a difference a year makes.
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This weekend, the men’s swimming and diving team claimed its second win of the season when it topped Indiana 179-149. Friday, the Longhorns took 13 of 17 events and clinched the dual-meet victory with a commanding lead of 170-140. Texas opened the meet with a victory in the 200yard medley relay, which junior Scott Spann and seniors Hill Taylor, Ricky Berens and Ben Van Roekel finished in 1:29.97. The team continued to dominate as Texas swept the 100-yard breast-
stroke, capturing the top four spots. Texas’ Drew Livingston edged teammate junior Matt Cooper for first in the 3-meter diving event with 402.60 points; Cooper finished with 402.15 points. Saturday, the Longhorns finished off the team win in impressive fashion. Cooper won the platform diving event, adding nine points to the final score. He beat out the competition by more than 100 points. The men’s season will resume Dec. 3 when UT hosts the opening session of the Texas Invitational.
Intramural 5-on-5 Basketball Tournament
Meanwhile, the women’s team took on Indiana and Michigan in a dual meet this weekend and defeated both the Hoosiers, 222-162, and the Wolverines, 235-149. Saturday’s highlights include a victory in the 400-yard freestyle relay, with Texas’ Bethany Adams, Brie Powers, Kathleen Hersey and Katie Riefenstahl finishing in an NCAA provisional-qualifying time of 3:22.96. The women return to action when they host Texas A&M on Nov. 6. — Tara Dreyer
HOOP IT UP
Anne-Marie Huff | Daily Texan Staff
Ricky Berens competes at the Texas Swimming Center over the weekend. Berens and his teammates defeated Indiana 179-149, while the women’s teams topped Michigan, 235-149, and Indiana, 222-162.
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In dominant win, Texas shows its ‘swagger’ Longhorns score on offense, defense to win in Stillwater against overmatched ‘Pokes By Michael Sherfield Daily Texan Staff STILLWATER, Okla. — The Texas Longhorns entered Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday night with a question looming over their heads. Four hours later, they left for Austin with a resounding answer. They needed no comebacks this time, no dramatic field goals or lastminute stands. Instead, No. 2 Texas (8-0, 5-0 Big 12) demolished No. 18 Oklahoma State 4114 in front of 58,516 silenced fans, providing the signature win to a so-far perfect season. It wasn’t supposed to be this easy for Texas in a year in which they have struggled to meet lofty expectations. But facing their biggest challenge of the season on the road — almost exactly a year after losing to Texas Tech in similar circumstances — the Longhorns put on a show for a national audience. “We want to be the best team in the country,” said Texas head coach Mack Brown. “We want to play with a swagger.” That emotion was captured and printed for the whole team to experience. Every player wore a dog tag that read “Texas Swagger,” an idea proposed by defensive end Sergio Kindle to show the team’s confidence in itself, even when those on the outside doubted them. “We don’t really listen to anyone outside this locker room,” said defensive end Sam Acho. “We know what we’re capable of. We definitely played with some swagger tonight.” The wild shoot-out that was expected of the Longhorns and Cowboys never materialized, not even close. Texas jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the second quarter, using a methodical offensive attack and explosive defense. Cody Johnson scored the first touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run, and on the Cowboys’ ensuing possession,
Photos by Bruno Morlan | Daily Texan Staff
Above, Texas running back Cody Johnson tries to split two Cowboy defenders. Johnson led the longhorns in rushing with a 3.4-yard average. Below left, tackle lamarr Houston collides with oklahoma State’s Russell okung at the line of scrimmage; Houston and the rest of the Texas defensive line helped hold the Cowboys to 134 yards on the ground, their second-lowest total of the season. Below right, Chykie Brown intercepts a ball thrown by Zac Robison. Texas cornerback Curtis Brown jumped a short pass on third-and-two and returned it 77 yards for a score. The Cowboys rallied, driving for a 1-yard touchdown run of their own, but whatever thoughts they had of a comeback were quickly dismantled. On the field for only their fourth offensive possession of the half, the Long-
horns made it count. Colt McCoy drove his side 80 yards in 10 plays, finding Malcolm Williams in the back of the end zone for a diving catch with nine seconds left in the half for a 24-7 lead at the break. “That changed the momentum back in our favor after they took it, and that was about the only time I thought they took it all night,” Brown said. “Then
Proving just how good they are By David R. Henry Daily Texan Columnist STILLWATER, Okla. — It was almost the same scenario as last year for Texas: the last hurdle of the season against a highly ranked team on the road, at night, in a hostile environment. It was a chance to make a statement to America. The Longhorns did just that Saturday night. The team displayed a championship-caliber defense, picking off quarterback Zac Robinson four times, two of which were returned for touchdowns. Colt McCoy looked like a Heisman-winner — a completely different quarterback than the one that played against Texas Tech and Oklahoma. It was total domination, and the win likely books Texas a
spot in the National Championship game. This Oklahoma State team isn’t the same without Kendall Hunter and Dez Bryant, and showed it on the field Saturday night. But the win over Oklahoma is still probably Texas’ most significant win. The win in a similar situa-
tion where Texas faltered last year shows just how far this team has come. People wondered where the 2008 team was at the beginning of the season. That team is gone, and the 2009 team is probably better all-around with improved
SWAGGER continues on page 11
for us to come out and score points immediately to start the third quarter. The game was really over at that point.” Texas broke away for good just six minutes into the second stanza. After the offense kicked a field goal to boost the lead to 27-7, Earl Thomas struck with his sixth interception of the year. The sophomore safety broke on an un-
derneath route and returned the ball 31 yards for a backbreaking touchdown, Texas’ ninth non-offensive touchdown this year. “We wanted to put our foot on their throats,” Thomas said. The Texas defense did just that,
FOOTBALL continues on page 11
Secondary silences critics with 4 picks Thomas and Co. squelch Cowboys’ passing offense to avoid a repeat of 2008 By Blake Hurtik Daily Texan Staff STILLWATER , Okla. — A year ago, Texas’ defensive backs were under fire on and off the field. The Longhorn secondary was torched by Texas Tech’s high-powered offense on Halloween weekend in 2008. It took much of the blame for Texas’ 38-33 loss, which was defined by Michael Crabtree’s heartbreaking last-second touchdown grab. It was a mark the secondary would wear for the rest of the season and into 2009. But after Texas’ 41-14 trouncing of Oklahoma State on Halloween night Saturday, consider those 2008 demons exorcised. The three defensive backs who struggled the most against the Red Raiders last year — cornerback Curtis Brown and safeties Earl Thomas and Blake Gideon — led the way. Each had an interception as the
Longhorns picked off OSU quarterback Zac Robinson a total of four times. Brown and Thomas took their interceptions back for touchdowns. “I thought it was very fitting tonight for all three of them to intercept balls,” said Texas coach Mack Brown, “to put that little thought to rest.”
Even though the secondary has been playing at a high level all season, the win on the anniversary of the Tech loss served as an emphatic statement that this season’s defense has grown by leaps and bounds. For Curtis Brown, it was a
SECONDARY continues on page 11
No. 2 Texas blanks the seldom-swept Huskers behind Hooker’s 19 kills By Chris Tavarez Daily Texan Staff On the eve of All Hallow’s Eve, No. 2 Texas (18-0, 13-0 Big 12) spooked No. 8 Nebraska (16-6, 9-4) by sweeping them in three straight sets and sending them back to Lincoln, Neb., without any treats. Instead, the Cornhuskers were tricked into thinking they could come into Gregory Gymnasium and leave with a win. Nebraska would come out to early leads in all three sets only to see the Longhorns surge back for the win — especially in the third set, when Texas fell behind big early on. “We could have given up [when we were] down 10-4 in game three, but we kept battling, kept battling and had some big plays in that 18-point range to really change mo-
mentum and get the crowd behind us,” said Texas coach Jerritt Elliott. After Texas tied the set at 13, Nebraska went on a 5-2 run to regain the lead at 18-15. Then, riding the encouragement of an unusually vocal Elliott, Texas rallied with a 10-1 run to win the set 25-19. “I was trying to interject some energy to them, trying to be able to create a little bit of synergy and enthusiasm for them,” Elliott said. “If I have to be a cheerleader at times, then I’ll do that to kind of push them to get going. I don’t know if that was the key, but I was just trying to help out.” Elliott’s encouragement from the sidelines may not have been pivotal, but the play of All-American outside
hitter Destinee Hooker certainly was. Hooker played at a higher level the entire match and posted her sixth doubledouble of the season. “I thought Destinee was really good … in all the games; she just loves being in that situation,” Elliott said. “She’s a winner, she knows how to win. She just loves performing at that kind of level to be successful. She wants the ball when it’s crunch time.” And in the crunch, the senior seemed to single-handedly carry the team to victory. “I was thinking, ‘We’re not going to lose this game. We’re not,’” Hooker said. “We’ve worked too hard in the practice gym, and this whole season, to let up now.” During that 10-1 run, Hooker posted six of her 19 kills, in-
cluding all three of Texas’ final points. “I got the eye contact from [Ashley Engle], got a good pass from [Heather] Kisner, and terminated the ball,” Hooker said of her final blow to Nebraska’s hopes of pulling the upset. On hand to watch Texas’ sweep were King Leonidas, Pocahontas, a random penguin and an assortment of others. But despite those figures and the more than 4,000 others in the stands, all the focus was on the history that Texas made at Gregory Gymnasium on Friday night. The Longhorns’ sweep of the Cornhuskers marked only the fourth time in seven years that Nebraska failed to win a set. It also was the Longhorns’ 27thstraight regular season win, an all-time record.
Rachel Taylor | Daily Texan Staff
Texas’ Bailey Webster and Rachel adams elevate above the net to block a nebraska ball. The Horns’ defense had 14 total blocks.
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