The Egalitarian April 21, 2016

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Today’s Weather

84/65 Thunderstorms likely in the morning. Then the chance of scattered T-storms in the afternoon. Chance of rain 80%.


USC opens food options survey see On Campus, Page 2

HCC receives little storm, flood damages see Community, Page 4

Astros take two from Tigers see Sports, page 8

Houston Flood 2016

Thomas Hopkins/The Egalitarian This drone image taken Monday shows Buffalo Bayou out of its banks covering Memorial Drive, left, and Allen Parkway, right, near downtown Houston at the Studemont Street/ Montrose Boulevard bridge. As of Wednesday, officials said eight have died in the floods while approximately 1,200 have been rescued from flooded residences.

Greenspoint residents thankful, frustrated Jimmieka mills



istoric flooding consumed Houston and surrounding areas early Monday morning. So far, there have been eight deaths attributed to the floods. The images on TV have dredged up memories of the Memorial Day floods that happened less than a year ago. However, for most victims in the Greenspoint and other areas North of Downtown, the disaster felt like a memory of the not too distant past. “It was like Katrina all over again,” say Chrystal Jackson, a Greenspoint resident and community responder who moved to Houston following Hurricane Katrina. Many residents in the Greenspoint area have been there since Katrina through vouchers given to displaced hurricane victims. “I can remember feeling so much love from the community. Houston welcomed us, invited us to make this our home,”

recalls Jackson. That home is now lost as Jackson and her family will be residing at the M.O. Campbell shelter in the Aldine area until she can find stable housing. If you’ve been watching the news the past 72 hours, you’ve seen heroic rescues by news reporters, people clinging to boats, clad in orange life vests surrounded by disaster relief personnel—in Cypress. The images of residents in the Greenspoint and other areas of low income produce a completely different view. “We had to grab whatever we could float on and try to make it to higher ground,” says Althea Campbell, also a Greenspoint area resident. “There still has been no government help, we are doing what we can to help each other.” First responders were local residents who had either seen the devastation or had been themselves impacted. In an attempt to calm residents’ concerns about the rendering of aide or lack thereof, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner stated in a press conference held

Monday, “If anyone feels as though the city did not get to them timely, it’s not because people don’t care, but today presented many challenges on many different fronts, all over the city.” Many residents who have been displaced feel the exact opposite. “Me and my cousin called 9-1-1 multiple times and got no help,” states Jackson, which is why she began to render aide herself. Many residents report seeing emergency vehicles, but being turned away because they were not “rescue vehicles.” “We are pissed off. How is an ambulance not a rescue vehicle, but an air mattress is?” questions Joseph Alejo, who drove through floodwaters after seeing the devastation on TV. Although Mayor Sylvester Turner says a command center was set up in the Greenspoint area at 3:59 a.m. on Monday morning and that personnel had been working in the area for hours, as late as 4 p.m. victims were still left without help.

ON CAMPUS USC launches survey for food options 2


alyssa Foley

THE EGALITARIAN The United Student Council launched an online survey on students’ satisfaction with the current food options at Houston Community College campuses. “We started the survey so we can get an idea of what students want,” says Josue Rodriguez, the United Student Council President. “It’s kind of obvious that the majority of students are not satisfied with the food options. What’s interesting is it sort of depends on the campus,” Rodriguez has been keeping up with the survey results submitted so far, “at some campuses, there is a bigger discontent, and other campuses are not necessarily the same thing.” Students can take the survey here: The survey will be open until the next United Student Council General Assembly meeting on Friday, May 6, which is from 10am–noon in the HCC Administration Building at 3100 Main St. in the second floor conference rooms. At the next student body meeting, “We’re going to present the results,” notes Rodriguez, “and hopefully at that general assembly, we’re going to have




the student body vote on what’s going to be the next step.” Next steps could include bringing the survey results directly to the college administration. Within the first few days of the survey’s launch, the USC has received over 50 responses. “One of the things that really hit me,” says Rodriguez about the preliminary survey results, “the majority of them right now want vegetarian options.” Student dissatisfaction over the food options has been brewing for months. “There were a lot of concerns brought to the USC at the beginning of the school year concerning the food options, some of them were related to French Corner, some were not,” says Rodriguez. In regards to the survey, Rodriguez stresses that the USC is “not necessarily going against the French Corner because some of the campuses don’t even have French Corner, and some of the campuses just use French Corner for catering...We specifically made the survey to be generic, just to get an overview of the broad opinions of what students want to see at HCC.” Last fall, HCC Central Student Cynthia Franklin collected over 400 signatures on a petition to remove the only cafeteria vendor on the Central campus grounds

Thomas Hopkins/The Egalitarian Houston Community College’s United Student Council has launched an online survey to gauge student satisfaction with current food options throught the system. Students can take the survey here: http:// and bring in a different eatery. The French Corner has two locations at the Central midtown campus, one inside the Learning Hub and another next to the campus bookstore. The petition was sent to Central President William Harmon’s office last semester. “We want change. We want different eating establishments on this [Central] campus,”

Franklin said at a USC meeting on March 11, adding that they are high priced, with rude service and “food not conducive” to students like herself. Although Franklin’s petition was about the Central campus’ French Corner establishments, French Corner storefronts are also at the HCC Coleman campus, the West Loop campus,

and other HCC locations. The French Corner General Manager George Haddad recently attended a Student Government Association meeting at Central to ask what he could do to meet students’ needs. Some changes were quickly made after the meeting, including lowering the price of fresh fruit like bananas from $1.50 to $0.75.

Heads Up America: Here comes free college alyssa Foley


Image Courtesy of HCC Central SGA HCC-Central SGA received third place in the song contest at the state convention.

Central SGA places 3rd in convention song contest alyssa Foley

THE EGALITARIAN Houston Community College– Central Student Government Association won third place in the state song contest. The Texas Junior College Student Government Association presented the group with a third place certificate at the State Convention, April 7–10 in Austin.TJCSGA is the only student-maintained organization in the state and is composed of over 72 college SGAs statewide. Central SGA President Mona Mosley explained that, “I wrote it. They sang it.” “It had to be related to our SGA, and it had to be related to our theme, which is ‘Rev it Up,’” noted Josue Rodriguez,

Central SGA parliamentarian. “We really wanted to do it, Mona is a singer and her son Jeremy is also a singer,” said Rodriguez. However, between entering for other award categories including the essay competition, they went to the convention without having produced a song. “The submission deadline was 10 a.m. Friday [during the state conference]. We all got together and decided, ‘OK, we need to record this,’” recalled Rodriguez, “We did five recordings, and we got the final copy. We went downstairs to the registration table, and it was 9:59am and I literally ran to the table and gave them a flash drive with everything and we got it in ontime.”

It’s no secret that in the twenty-first century, a high school diploma is no longer enough to gain a living wage for a decent quality of life. Over 110 thousand people have signed up with, saying that they want community college to be free for anyone willing to work for it. Heads Up America is part of the College Promise Campaign, a national, nonpartisan, local and state-led initiative to build support for free community college education for all responsible students. Just as every American can and is expected to attend high school for free and earn a high school diploma, the idea is that every American should have the opportunity to earn a college credential. The campaign encourages and supports efforts for the first two years of college education being tuition and debt-free. It also supports greater state and federal investment in higher education in general.

More than 40 percent of all undergraduates in the U.S. attend one of the more than 1,100 community colleges throughout the country. More than a third of community college students are the first in their family to go to college. According to a 2014 report from Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute, by 2020—four short years away— more than three in five jobs will require some form of education beyond high school. At these projections, the U.S. will be short 5 million postsecondary educated workers by 2020. Only 40 percent of U.S. adults are adequately prepared for today’s workforce. In his 2014 state of the Union address, President Obama announced that his budget

would include a “bold new plan to lower the cost of community college—to zero.” “Some are young and starting out. Some are older and looking for a better job. Some are veterans and single parents trying to transition back into the job market,” Obama pointed out, “Whoever you are, this plan is your chance to graduate ready for the new economy, without a load of debt.” After the high-profile announcement of college for all in the 2014 State of the Union address, there has been enthusiasm for the idea at the national level, but currently the prospects of a nationallevel program aren’t looking favorable. SEE









Image Courtesy of Phi Theta Kappa Members and advisers of HCC’s Omega Sigma receive one of their four Hallmark Awards at Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society’s annual international convention on April 9 in National Harbor, Maryland. Left to Right: International VP Joe Spieldenner, Public Relations Officer Angie Chacko, VP Jessica Nguyen, Adviser Eunice Kallarackal, President Ivan Lopez, Adviser Dr. Gisela Ables, VP Carina Watson, member Alyssa Foley, VP Alexandre Soares, Adviser Dr. Minh He, International President Yanik Etan.

HCC honor society ranks as one of the best in the world alyssa Foley

THE EGALITARIAN Houston Community College’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa is now ranked as the seventh most distinguished chapter in the world out of 1,285 chapters. “All the work that we did paid off, and that feeling was incredible,” said Angie Chacko, the group’s public relations officer. She said that winning the Hallmark Awards, “was more rewarding than anything.” Phi Theta Kappa is an international honor society for two-year college students. The national organization boasts $90 million in scholarships for its members. Students with at least a 3.5 GPA and 12 or more hours of college-level credit are invited to join every spring and fall. Omega Sigma sent eligible students invitations earlier in this semester, and the deadline to accept membership is May 15. HCC’s Omega Sigma chapter won four Hallmark Awards at the International Convention in National Harbor, Maryland, April 7–9. They were awarded: Distinguished Honors in Action Theme; Distinguished Honors in Action Project; Distinguished Chapter; and Distinguished Chapter Sixth Place Finalist. “It was not one particular thing that got us there, but the combination of the efforts from everything,” said Ivan Lopez, the President of Omega Sigma. The distinguished chapter rankings are determined by combining the scores for both the Honors in Action and College Project. Honors in Action is a research project conducted on one of nine themes. “These topics we’re researching are legitimate

problems that are going on in the world. If we could do something about it—that would be awesome—and Phi Theta Kappa promotes that and gives you the opportunity to see something that’s going on in the world and do something about it,” said Chacko. For their research project, “We brought awareness about the excessive use of internet use through our cell phones and social media apps,” explained Lopez, “excessive use that is nonproductive, that has nothing to do with homework.” “We notice it in the schools. We notice it in our classes. We notice that people, instead of interacting with one another, as soon as you walk into the classroom, you sit down and don’t even say ‘Hi’ to each other sometimes,” said Chacko, “We wanted to find out why that was, and we wanted to find out if we could find a way to bring that social interaction back.” While researching the topic, Omega Sigma Webmaster Maria Wiratman discovered that elsewhere in the world, excessive social media use is sometimes classified as an addiction. That led the group to look at the issue from a health perspective instead of a social perspective. Dopamine is released when someone checks their phone. “It becomes easier to stay on that phone longer,” noted Chacko. “It’s a medical problem. It needs to be handle by a psychologist. It needs to be handled by a medical doctor,” explained Chacko, a nursing major, “so we decided to do an awareness project.” They established focus groups and asked participants questions

about their internet use and social interactions. “People opened up about how easy it is to just get lost on the internet. Time goes by and three or four hours are gone, and that’s time you could have spent on your homework,” said Chacko. Students said that often, “they would like to talk to other people, but when they walk in [a classroom] everyone is already on their phone.” “Most people accepted that they were in some form overly engaged in the use of it,” noted Lopez. They shared their research finding with students and the greater community with brochures listing facts about excessive internet use. Last fall, they hosted a seminar where they presented their medical findings and had psychology and anthropology professors speak about the social and psychological aspects of the issue. Meanwhile, for their community service College Project, they looked for a way to help lower the number of students dropping or failing their courses at HCC. “We decided that having students teach students is a very good way of encouraging people to study and encouraging people to do well in their classes because they’re learning from their peers,” said Chacko. First, they encouraged Phi Theta Kappa honor students to form study groups in their classes, and such study groups performed well in their courses last fall. One day during the week before midterms and finals last fall, Omega Sigma hosted study blasts at six different campus libraries

throughout HCC. Instructors and students volunteered to help students who needed help to pass their courses. Some studenttutors continued meeting with other students after midterms to help them succeed. “When you are actually competing internationally and at the regional level, they don’t see any of these projects. We don’t record videos of them,” explained Alexandre Soares, Omega Sigma’s Vice President of Leadership. “We were judged based on those texts that we submitted.” Phi Theta Kappa headquarters hires an independent committee to evaluate and score project submission essays. “I firmly believe that we had a strong college project,” stated Lopez. However, Omega Sigma did not win Distinguished College Project at the international level. The chapter that was named the 2016 Most Distinguished Chapter internationally, the Alpha Rho Mu Chapter of Lone Star College–Tomball, also did not win a distinction for their College Project. Points for both projects are added up to determine the distinguished chapter rankings. At the state level, Omega Sigma won Awards of Merit for both their research and service projects, as well as Chapter of Merit. Two Omega Sigma members were also named to the Texas Region Hall of Honor this spring: Angie Chacko and Alyssa Foley. Maria Wiratman was also given an Honorable Mention. For this individual award, members were nominated by their chapter and the regional office examined all the candidates from across the state and selected the new Hall of Honor inductees.

However, at more than twenty-four programs local have launched after the president’s announcement, and at least 17 other states have proposed legislation. The program is projected to cost about $60 billion over ten years. The president’s plan called for closing tax loopholes to pay for it. Communities in Chicago, Delaware, and Tennessee have each come up with their own plans to fund it. Over 9 million students would benefit from America’s College Promise program. This could save a full-time community college student $3,800 per year. In Texas, the state legislature does not look promising. “But there are some great prospects for local and city based programs in Texas,” says Matt Caffrey, a Heads Up America Field Director. “There is definitely some good student support in Houston. We believe the movement will be most successful when students take the lead,” added Caffrey, “Students are really powerful in this whole movement for free community college, so we really want to empower students to do more.” Students can volunteer to be student leaders on the website. The movement aims to be nonpartisan. While President Obama helped launch Heads Up America and Dr. Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, serves as the Honorary Chair of the College Promise Advisory Board, former Republican Governor of Wyoming James “Jim” Geringer also serves on the board. From CEOs, to nonprofits chairs, to labor movements all serve on the group’s Advisory Board. The first state that embraced the College Promise campaign is Tennessee, which has a Republican governor. It was viewed as a workforce development issue. The Tennessee Promise program allows high school seniors to apply for the promise scholarship, which provides two years of tuition-free attendance at a community or technical college in the state. It provides scholarships which will cover tuition and fees not covered by a Pell grant or other assistance programs. Mandatory mentor meetings give students in the program assistance in navigating the college admissions process. Students must also complete eight hours of community service every semester and maintain a 2.0 GPA. About 81 percent of Tennessee college promise students who were enrolled in the fall have re-enrolled in this spring, a remarkable persistence rate for a community college. Caffrey explained that they are “focused on building support across the country and helping similar programs launch in cities and states and communities across the country, because that’s where we think we can really make some progress.”






Beatty explains goal of increasing student success alyssa Foley

THE EGALITARIAN Houston Community College has the ambitious goal of increasing the rate of students passing their courses with an A, B, or C grade by two percent by May 2017. The goal is to start “meeting students where they are and doing things differently in the classroom to get them there,” explained HCC Vice Chancellor of Student Services Dr. Kimberly Beatty. She announced the college’s new ‘Wildly Important Goal’ of student course success earlier this year. Since then, steps have been taken toward that goal. “My philosophy in choosing that Wildly Important Goal was the beginning of getting us— getting the faculty, getting the staff,” Dr. Beatty began, “to start feeling a sense of urgency about what we can do differently to roll up into those higher metrics.” “I have to engage faculty and the instructional leadership in something that they can own, in something that they can have a piece of, to roll up into those things,” explained Beatty. One thing that the initiative is not? Grade inflation. “I don’t want it to be interpreted that I’m suggesting that I want you to give A’s, B’s, and C’s to students and that’s going to increase by two percent,” noted Dr. Beatty. “What do we need to do to meet students where they are to get them from a D or F student,

“I have to engage faculty and the instructional leadership in something that they can own, in something that they can have a piece of, to roll up into those things.” Kimberley Beatty Vice Chancellor of Student Services over into an A, B or C student? Because that’s how we measure it,” says Beatty, “my philosophy about this is more holistic.” The Wildly Important Goal or WIG model is from a book called “The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goal” by Chris McChesney and Sean Covey. During WIG team sessions, “You have to state your personal commitment of what you’re going to do to move whatever you’ve agreed to do,” explained Dr. Beatty. “It’s not about grades, except that’s the only metric we have to determine if we’ve reached a goal. But it’s really about how am I going to manage myself, my classroom, the work that we do even here at 3100 [the HCC Administration building], how am I going to manage that differently to have an impact?” HCC has been a part of the Achieving the Dream network for over 10 years, and has done

well with some of the program’s “interventions” such as the college success courses. However, going forward HCC will be “retooling” its student success agenda and auditing its intervention programs. The new student experience projects are led by the college presidents. Northwest College President Dr. Zachary Hodges is responsible for streamlining the admissions process; Central College President Dr. William Harmon is responsible for new student orientation; InterimSouthwest President Dr. Madeline Burillo is responsible for career advising; Coleman College President Dr. Phil Nicotera is in charge of early alert; Southeast President Dr. Irene Porcarello is in charge of program adjacency; and Northeast College President Dr. Margaret Ford Fisher is responsible for systemizing learning support. HCC is also revamping

its guided pathways in a collaboration with the University of Houston. “It started with the idea of the pathways of a student being able to go through a community college and having a clear pathway into a four-year college,” says Dr. Beatty. Intrusive advising, structured schedules, meta majors, integrated technology, and math alignment will all be, “working together to form pathways so our students can go right into a four-year school,” explained Dr. Beatty. “Intrusive advising will help guide students, to give them an informed decision,” says Dr. Beatty. Meanwhile, meta majors will help ensure students take courses that align with their degree plan from their first semester at HCC. Dr. Beatty says that her goal is to make such interventions “inescapable for students.”

High court expresses doubts about drunk driving laws sam Hananel

ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is expressing doubts about laws in at least a dozen states that make it a crime for people suspected of drunken driving to refuse to take alcohol tests. The justices heard arguments Wednesday in three cases challenging North Dakota and Minnesota laws that criminalize a refusal to test for alcohol in a driver’s blood, breath or urine even if police have not first obtained a search warrant. Drivers prosecuted under those laws claim they violate the Constitution’s ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. State supreme courts in Minnesota and North Dakota upheld the laws. The justices pressed lawyers representing the states on why they can’t simply require police

to get a warrant every time police want a driver to take an alcohol test. Justice Stephen Breyer pointed to statistics showing that it takes an average of only five minutes to get a warrant over the phone in Wyoming and 15 minutes to get one in Montana. Thomas McCarthy, the lawyer representing North Dakota, said the state “strikes a bargain” with drivers by making consent to alcohol tests a condition for the privilege of driving on state roads. But Justice Anthony Kennedy said the states are asking for “an extraordinary exception” by making it a crime for people to assert their constitutional rights. He expressed frustration when McCarthy refused to answer repeated questions about why expedited warrants wouldn’t serve the state just as well. Kathryn Keena, a county

prosecutor representing Minnesota, suggested some rural areas may have only one judge on call, making it too burdensome to seek a warrant every time. She said even if a warrant were procured, a driver could still refuse to take the test and face lesser charges for obstruction of a warrant than for violating drunken driving test laws. Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the state could simply change the law to make penalties more severe for obstruction. Several justices seemed to be searching for a middle ground. Some suggested requiring a breath test without a warrant might be allowed because it’s far less invasive than a blood test. “Why can’t we say that with respect to a breath test that this is a search incident to arrest?” Justice Elena Kagan asked Charles Rothfeld, the attorney representing challengers to the

laws. She called the breath test “about as uninvasive as a search can possibly be.” Rothfeld insisted that collecting breath was just as intrusive as collecting blood. The Obama administration is supporting the states. Deputy Solicitor General Ian Gershengorn told the justices they should not assume warrants “are available 24/7.” “That is not the case in the real world,” Gershengorn said. He said it may be the case for terrorist attacks, but not for routine drunken driving cases. In the Minnesota case, William Bernard was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and taken into custody after refusing to take a breath test. A divided Minnesota Supreme Court ruled the law was valid and that officers could have ordered a breath test without a warrant as a search conducted while performing a valid arrest.


HCC facilities spared damage THE EGALITARIAN Houston Community College facilities received little damage from the storms and flooding, a college spokesperson said Wednesday. Fritz Guthrie, the college’s communications services director, told The Egalitarian via email that officials determined all buildings were operational. The college canceled classes and closed offices Monday and Tuesday in response to weather conditions and flooding, and resumed normal operations Wednesday. “The most visible damage was a fallen tree that was immediately contracted for removal,” Guthrie said. “Otherwise, there were a handful of water leaks, all of which are in the process of being rectified.” Guthrie said officials monitored the condition of HCC facilities throughout the storm, making decisions to protect students, employees and property. HCC police and facilities personnel monitored traffic and flood conditions in real time. “As soon as it was safe to move about, facilities representatives inspected all instructional buildings,” she said. “By mid-afternoon, it was determined that all buildings were operational.” Meanwhile, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett says he’s hopeful the worst is over for the flood-ravaged area that includes Houston and says the focus should move to getting the recovery right and providing people with the help they need as soon as possible. Emmett, the county’s chief administrator, says he knows people’s nerves are on edge and that some subdivisions still are threatened with flooding that began with heavy rains Sunday night. Two areas of concern are reservoirs on the county’s west side that continue to take on water from overflowing streams and where officials anticipate some new flooding of a few homes on property that borders the reservoirs. The commander of the Army Corp of Engineers district, Colonel Richard Pannell, says the levees are holding and he has confidence they will continue to hold.

——— The Associated Press contributed to this report.






Officials checking dams after storms Juan a. lozano ASSOCIATED PRESS

HOUSTON — Two aging dams deemed “extremely high risk” by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are at record pooling levels in Houston’s west side after this week’s torrential rainfall, but are working well and have undergone improvements in recent years, authorities said Wednesday. The dams — at 50 percent capacity — are classified as high risk only because they’re about two decades beyond their life expectancy and in a populated area, said agency spokeswoman Sandra Arnold. However, a Corp report issued on the dams in 2012 offered more worrying criteria for the classification, noting that such structures are “critically near failure or at extremely high risk under normal operations.” In the unlikely event that the dams collapsed, downtown and the highly populated area in sprawling West Houston would likely see deaths as well as $60 billion in property damage, said Richard Long, a project operations managers with the Corp. But the current conditions are no reason to panic, he added. While the dams still have these critical classifications, improvements done the last few years have shored up the

David J. Phillip/AP Photo Residents are evacuated from their flooded neighborhoods by airboat Tuesday in Spring, Texas. Storms have dumped more than a foot of rain in the Houston area, flooding dozens of neighborhoods. seven-decade-old structures and an ongoing $72 million construction project will greatly strengthen them. “The dams are in good condition,” he said. “We have 24-hour surveillance occurring. ... Integrity wise, we’re in real good shape.” The monitoring of the dams comes as the Houston-area deals with the effects of heavy rain — 18 inches in some spots — that walloped the area Sunday night and Monday. Creeks and streams getting runoff from the rain have continued to rise above their banks, prompting neighborhood flooding and

additional evacuations on Wednesday by residents from homes and apartment complexes. Officials said another person had died in the Houston-area flooding, raising the toll to eight. Kim Jackson, spokeswoman for the Harris County Flood Control District, said crews assessing damage on Wednesday were still hindered by rain and floodwaters in some areas. Officials have so far catalogued about 1,000 homes with flood damage — a number she said “will go up considerably.” Long said it will take a long

time to drain the reservoirs behind the Addicks and Barker dams in controlled releases. There is about two months’ worth of water to get rid of. Each dam held about 100,000 acre feet of water on Wednesday. The dams were constructed in the mid-1940s and were created to collect excessive amounts of rainfall. The collected water is released downstream at a controlled rate, preventing flooding in downtown Houston and other urban areas located to the east. While the dams are not expected to reach 100 percent capacity, part of the reservoirs

are located on public property, meaning that additional water that continues to come into the reservoirs from rivers and streams is expected to flow into surrounding public roadways and some subdivisions, possibly flooding a number of homes, Long said. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said officials are considering acquiring sandbags for deployment on “nongovernmental land” behind the Addicks and Barker reservoirs due to the potential flooding of homes in the area. But he said the damage should be limited. “I know people’s nerves are on edge,” he said. “There should be very few homes. “We probably are, or certainly are past the worst of this. And we have to make sure we do the recovery right.” The Corps of Engineers’ recent improvements on the dams include additional filters to control seepage, additional lighting and emergency power “to have around the clock ability to operate the dams and to ensure their inspections and function when we get pools like we’re having right now,” Long said. “From this one flood event ... the operations of (the dams) ... have prevented over $3 billion in damage downstream of these projects,” he said.

LGBT law puts McCrory in precarious position JonatHan Drew & Gary D. robertson ASSOCIATED PRESS

RALEIGH, N.C. — When Republican North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed a far-reaching LGBT law that critics called discriminatory, he said it wouldn’t hurt the state’s ability to attract jobs. It did. When he signed an executive order seeking to lessen the law’s impact, it upset some of his conservative supporters who said he “went too far” in bowing to national pressure. In yet another blow Tuesday, a federal appeals court that oversees North Carolina issued an opinion that now threatens part of the state law. Through it all, McCrory has emerged — perhaps reluctantly — as the public face of the law and could become the biggest political loser as he suddenly finds himself in tough re-election fight already swayed by the issue. “He’s in a tough spot,” said Chris Cooper, a political science professor at Western Carolina University. “The executive order probably isn’t going to mean a lot policy-wise. He’s running the risk, no matter what he does,

of alienating the average North Carolina voter. He’s sort of stuck in the political middle.” In a nod to the balancing act, McCrory described during an interview Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” ‘’the disconnect we have between the corporate suites and main street,” saying he was recently praised by smalltown voters shortly before fielding a phone call from a concerned corporate leader. After McCrory signed the law in late March, condemnation from the business community was swift. Deutsche Bank halted plans to add 250 North Carolina jobs, while Paypal reversed a decision to open a 400-employee operation center in Charlotte. Local tourism boards say they lost millions of dollars in economic impact because of cancelled conventions and business meetings. Chris LaCivita, McCrory’s chief campaign consultant, rejects the idea that the governor has stumbled. He said there’s no doubt McCrory is getting hammered because the governor is the top target for national Democrats in a presidential battleground state. He faces Democratic Attorney General Roy Cooper, who has refused to defend North Carolina’s law in

court. Both have already used the conflict to boost donations. “So if anyone doesn’t believe that politics is at play here, they’re living in a cave,” LaCivita said. During his first gubernatorial campaign and 14 years as Charlotte’s mayor, McCrory cultivated an image as a moderate “business Republican” who prioritized economic development over social issues. But things appeared to change when he signed a divisive voter ID law in 2013, and an immigration bill last year restricting local governments’ policies on ID cards and police tactics. Now, McCrory is in the difficult position of trying to appear business-friendly without watering down his appeal to social conservatives. “Once he cast his lot with one side it makes it real difficult because if you backtrack, now you risk alienating the people that gave you a bunch of attaboys when you signed the legislation,” said Charles Bullock, a political science professor at the University of Georgia. On Tuesday, the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with a transgender teen’s arguments that a Virginia school board violated

Gerry Broome/AP Photo North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory makes remarks during an interview at the Governor’s mansion in Raleigh, N.C. McCrory says he wants to change a new state law that prevents people from suing over discrimination in state court, but he’s not challenging a measure regarding bathroom access for transgender people. Title IX by forbidding him from using the boys’ restroom. In the North Carolina law, a provision requires transgender students in public schools and universities to use bathrooms corresponding to the gender on their birth certificate. McCrory said he wants to hear from state lawyers about whether

schools can keep implementing the law while the Virginia defendants consider whether to appeal. Several other southern states recently enacted or considered legislation restricting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people. But nowhere else has the fallout been as harsh as North Carolina.







Volunteers sprang into action throughout Houston as floodwaters rose late Sunday and into Monday. From water rescues to collection drives, Houstonians came together to help their fellow citizens who were washed out by the flood. Above, Je’qwan Owens (left) and Adonis Bates (right) prepare a station for flood victims to pick up toiletries and other personal hygiene items at The Word Church. At left, dozens of shoes collected by volunteers are arranged for pickup. At bottom left, Jaye Delai (left), delivers a truckload of bottled water collected from Third Ward residents to give to flood victims. At bottom right, Derric Muhammad carries cases of bottled water into The Word Church. —Photos by Thomas Hopkins/The Egalitarian




Above, a brave soul in a kayak paddles down Buffalo Bayou. At left, water nearly reaches the nets of the basketball goals at Spotts Park. At right, a tree Eleanor Tinsley Park is partially submerged in flood water. At bottom, a pair of curious children ride bikes to a flooded-out section of Memorial Drive at the Shepherd Drive overpass. —Photos by Thomas Hopkins/The Egalitarian







Astros take two from Tigers JoHn C

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The Houton Astros took two out of three games from the Detroit Tigers claiming their first series win of the season. In game one of the series, Dallas Keuchel pitched a gem, allowing five hits in eight innings of shutout baseball. Keuchel recorded four strikeouts and 14 groundouts while allowing only seven on base. George Springer scored the one and only run in the game on a single to left field by Colby Rasmus in the first inning off of Tigers’ pitcher Mike Pelfrey. In the second game, the Tigers’ Justin Verlander served up two home runs in the first inning for three runs before shutting down the Astros bats and giving his team’s offense an opportunity to come back and score five runs to claim the 5-3 victory. In the rubber game, the Astros bounced back to win it and the series behind Jose Altuve’s 2 for 4 and three RBI night. The Astros had to hold on to their 5-0 lead while the Tigers chipped away at it but fell short to a final tally of 5-4. Altuve was named Co-Player of the week of April 11 through April 17 along with Baltimore Orioles outfielder Mark

Trumbo. Altuve claims his second Player of the Week Award; his first was the week of April 27 through May 3. Altuve hit at the clip of .407 going 11 out of 27 at bats; three doubles, three home runs, scoring eight runs, while driving in seven RBI’s and swiping two bases. Altuve led the American League in On Base Plus Slugging (OPS) with a 1.336. He also tied for first in hits and runs scored, second in slugging, tied for second in home runs and third in on base percentage at .484. The Astros have now won the Player of the Week award the first two weeks in 2016 as rookie first baseman Tyler White took home the honors for the first week of the season. Next they face the Texas Rangers in a three game set in Arlington at Globe Life Park starting on Tuesday. On Monday night, Astros Manager A.J. Hinch was named to the Pac-12 AllCentury Baseball Team for his play at Stanford University. Hinch is among 30 players who received this honor, he was a catcher for the Cardinals from ’93 – 96. Hinch was also a three time AllAmerican and All Pac10 team selection,


David J. Phillip/AP Photo Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve, right, runs past Detroit Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias after hitting a home run during the first inning of a baseball game Sunday. having earned Pac10 Player of the Year twice. In 1996 he was a finalist for the Golden Spike Award and led his team to the College World Series. Hinch was inducted to the Stanford University Athletics Hall of Fame on Oct 11, 2014. Houston’s home team record is 5-8

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AP SPORTS WRITER AUSTIN, Texas — Tyrone Swoopes has been given one chance to run the Texas offense. He’s been given two. Now he’s getting a third. Whether the senior can finally seize the opportunity will begin to be answered Saturday when Texas wraps spring practice with its annual scrimmage, where the Longhorns will also unveil the power-spread offense installed by new offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert. Texas courted Gilbert away from Tulsa with a three-year contract and an $850,000 annual salary. What’s unsaid in the deal is that it will likely be the quarterbacks — Swoopes or someone else — whose play on the field next season will lead to enough victories to justify all of that. Coach Charlie Strong has said he is comfortable not naming a starter until the run up to the Sept. 4 season opener against Notre Dame. But he handed Swoopes the status as front-runner, even

and the Astros are two games behind the Rangers who sit at 7-6. The Tigers head to Kansas City to play the Royals in a three game series at Kauffman Stadium. The Tigers record is 7-4 and are just half a game behind the Royals and the Chicago White Sox who are 8-4.

Curry undergoes MRI on injured right ankle

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Eric Gay/AP Photo Texas quarterback Tyrone Swoopes (18) is sacked by Texas defensive end Quincy Vasser (92) during a spring NCAA college football game in Austin, Texas. if just based on seniority, when spring practice began and that will bring some intense scrutiny from fans on Saturday. And if things look shaky, expect some quick calls for freshman Shane Buechele to take over. One of the top recruits in the country when he signed with Texas in 2013, Swoopes is 6-8 as a starter. After starting most of 2014, he lost the job to Jerrod Heard after the season-opener in 2015. Swoopes seemed to have settled into an effective role as a change-of-pace backup before Heard was injured, and Swoopes got the start in a season-ending upset win over Baylor. Heard’s spring ended early with a sprained right throwing shoulder. That left more snaps for Swoopes and Buechele and for their duel to heat up.

“He’s mature and much better now. He’s going to get better. As you get older you have to get better,” Strong said of Swoopes. “You have to allow them to compete and let it play its way out. If it takes that we have to go into the fall camp and then pick a guy, then that’s what we will do.” Buechele had enrolled in the spring semester to maximize his chances for competing for the starting job next season. “He is a baller. He came in, got acclimated quickly, and has jumped right straight into the battle,” tight end Andrew Beck said. All the quarterbacks have been challenged to master the speed of the no-huddle offense, which mirrors the one at highscoring Baylor. Defensive tackle Poona Ford said he’s been exhausted trying to keep up.

OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry’s troublesome right ankle has no serious structural damage. The reigning NBA MVP underwent an MRI exam on his injured right ankle Tuesday in the Bay Area, and the Golden State Warriors said nothing of concern came up on the test. Curry remained questionable for Game 3 of his team’s playoff series on Thursday in Houston. Curry missed Monday night’s 115-106 victory against the Rockets at Oracle Arena after cutting short his warmup routine because his troublesome ankle was tender. He will continue to undergo treatment for the injury ahead of Thursday, and coach Steve Kerr mentioned there is ample time for Curry to try to get healthy and stay off his feet. “We’ll see how he responds the next couple of days, and if he’s not right obviously being up 2-0 does give us more cushion if we decide to sit him,” Kerr said after Monday’s game. “But it will be based on his health, not the series score. It’s really what the training staff says and what Steph says about how he’s feeling.” Top-seeded Golden State leads the best-of-seven series 2-0 as it shifts to Houston for the next two

matchups. The Warriors had the day off from practice Tuesday ahead of their flight to Houston on Wednesday. The news about Curry’s MRI was huge given the superstar point guard had two surgeries on that ankle in 2011-12. He averaged a league-leading 30.1 points per game this season and does so many other things to make his teammates better and set them up to score. “When Steph goes down, that’s obviously not easy to replace, so not one guy’s going to come out and do what Steph does for this team,” Draymond Green said. “Even if a guy comes out and gets 30, he’s still not going to do what or bring what Steph brings to this team. He draws so much attention that he gets other people shots as well. ... I think we’re the deepest team in the NBA.” Shaun Livingston contributed 16 points and six assists playing in Curry’s place, while Klay Thompson had 34 points and five assists. Andre Iguodala, last year’s Finals MVP, added 18 points with four 3-pointers and Green had 12 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists. Yes, a couple of players even referenced that catch phrase “Strength In Numbers” that blares on those bright yellow T-shirts throughout Oracle Arena.




WorldFest showcases indy movies Fabian brims THE EGALITARIAN

Houston hosted the renowned WorldFest once again this year—the world’s largest and America’s longest running independent film festival. Founded in 1961, the WorldFest continues to find new talents in filmmaking. Big names like Steven Spielberg, the Coen Brothers, and Ang Lee got their first awards right here in Houston and went on to have successful careers in Hollywood. The team of festival director Hunter Todd had to watch literally thousands of short and feature films over the previous months, but the effort was worth it. The festival showed 78 features and 106 short movies from as many as 37 countries all between the April 8 and 17. The variety of topics were broader than ever. Also, like in the last years, there were also 9 seminars to where filmmakers were able to learn more about subjects like scriptwriting, filmmaker unions, using drones to shoot movies and directing actors among other things. All the films were shown at the AMC Gulf Pointe 30 movie theater, and often the filmmakers were sitting in the seats, answering any questions from the audience after the screening. More than 600 filmmakers were scheduled to attend the event. The spectrum of the festival spanned a wide range of all kinds of shorts, drama, comedy,





BOSTON — An archaeological dig at the boyhood home of Malcolm X in Boston has turned up some surprising findings, but they’re unrelated to the early life of the slain civil rights activist. City archaeologist Joseph Bagley said this week that researchers digging outside the 2 ½-story home have found kitchenware, ceramics and other evidence of a settlement dating to the 1700s that they hadn’t expected to find. “We’ve come onto a whole layer, roughly 2 feet down and across the whole site, that’s absolutely filled with stuff from the period,” he said. “So we have this whole new research question, which is: What the heck was going on here in the 18th century?”

‘Jungle Book’ roars to $103.6 M opening Jake C



Fabian Brims/The Egalitarian An audience gathers to watch a movie shown as part of the annual WorldFest movie festival. This year’s festival showed 78 feature films and 106 short movies from 37 different countries. thrillers, and especially the variety of origin countries opened a fascinating look into the world of filmmaking. This year, there were two countries in the focus of the festival. Filmmakers from China and Italy were able to show their work in special panorama programs and about 100 filmmakers flew in from China to represent their work here in Houston. The festival wasn’t free of controversy. A documentary on the negative effects of vaccinations was dropped more or less voluntarily from the program after Houston Mayor

Sylvester Turner expressed his disapproval. Since the city of Houston is one of the main sponsors of the event, the movie was dropped before an official request was submitted. Although the festival crew strives to ensure variety and quality, and since diversity is one of the more important features of a film festival, some viewers were also unhappy about the lack of entries from Islamic countries. This year, some HCC students attended a scholarship program, where they were given VIP passes to the event, so they

could watch as many movies as they wanted and attend the master classes. The feedback from students was positive may inspire some of the students to make their own movie and perhaps submit their work for the next year’s WorldFest. Next year’s festival will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the competition that promises to be a banner year. Many previous winners and some current celebrities, which had their beginnings at this festival, will be in attendance and send of another generation of filmmakers to thriving careers.

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Rodnell Collins, a nephew of Malcolm X’s who grew up in the house with him, says the findings reveal a richer story than he ever knew. “It’s fantastic and enlightening. This is the history of Boston,” he said. “It’s a terrific educational opportunity, and that’s what this family is all about. That’s what Uncle Malcolm was about.” The two-week dig, which began March 29, was meant to shine a light on Malcolm X’s formative years in Boston, as well as the home’s previous owners, an Irish immigrant family who lived there through the Great Depression. But it was halted last week because of bad weather. It will resume May 16. City records show the house was built in 1874 on what Bagley and his team had assumed was farmland. But their early

Bill Sikes/AP File Photo City archeologist Joseph Bagley, right, digs as volunteer Rosemary Pinales sifts soil for items at the house where slain AfricanAmerican activist Malcolm X lived for a time with his sister’s family in the 1940s in the Roxbury section of Boston, when he was known as Malcolm Little. Bagley said that a two-week dig at the home, in an effort to learn more about his early life, uncovered evidence of an older settlement dating to the 1700s that they hadn’t expected to find. After weather delays, the dig is set to resume on May 16. findings suggest there likely was another house on or near the site, dating to Colonial times. Researchers also have found a small stone piece that may date to Native American tribes that once inhabited the city. But it’s too early to tell how old the fragment is and whether it is Native American in origin. A closer examination will be

undertaken later. What has been found so far from Malcolm X’s time in Boston — broken dishes, bits of jewelry, toys and a record — likely come from when the home was vandalized in the 1970s and items were tossed haphazardly into the yard, Bagley says. Collins is eager to see what the next phase of the dig turns up.

NEW YORK — The Walt Disney Co.’s “The Jungle Book” opened with $103.6 million in North America, making it one of the biggest April debuts ever at the box office and continuing the studio’s streak of unearthing live-action riches buried in its animated classics. Jon Favreau’s update of Disney’s 1967 animated version of Rudyard Kipling’s book tells the tale of Mowgli with computergenerated imagery and big-screen bombast. A sizable 42 percent of the film’s domestic sales came from 3-D and premium-format screens. “The Jungle Book” is just the latest of Disney’s string of live-action remakes of classic cartoons (“Cinderella,” ‘’Alice in Wonderland,” ‘’Maleficent”), most of which have fared well at the box office. More plundering of the Disney library is in the works: “Cruella De Ville” and “Peter Pan” are in development; “Beauty and the Beast” is scheduled for next March. “There’s some consistency that’s happened here in the last few years as we’ve really made this a priority and a strategy from a company perspective,” said Disney distribution head Dave Hollis, who credited production president Sean Bailey with overseeing the live-action adaptations. “He’s been able to do it in a way that really makes them contemporary and, certainly in this case, fully utilizes available technology. “We’ve got a lot more of these stories to tell.” “The Jungle Book,” made for about $175 million, was propelled by glowing reviews from critics. It ranks as the second biggest April opening ever, behind only “Furious 7’s” $147.2 million debut. It also took in an estimated $136.1 million overseas that includes $20.1 million so far in India where it’s the third-highest grossing Hollywood release after 10 days. Ahead of the film’s big opening, Warner Bros. - sensing stiff competition - pushed the release of its own “Jungle Book” a year to October 2018. Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore, said that the live-action remakes are proving to be another substantial engine for Disney, along with its franchise-building assets in Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm. “To have this incredible vault of content that they can go back to and reimagine, retool and recreate for today’s audiences just gives them a depth and breadth of films that is almost unparalleled,” Dergarabedian said.






Amazon taking aim at Netflix, Hulu THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK — Inc. is taking on Netflix and Hulu with its own stand-alone video streaming service, just weeks before Netflix raises prices for longtime subscribers. New customers can now pay $8.99 a month to watch Amazon’s Prime video streaming service. Previously, the only way to watch Amazon’s videos was to pay $99 a year for Prime membership, which includes free two-day shipping on items sold by the site, and other perks. At $8.99 a month, Amazon’s stand-alone streaming service is $1 less than Netflix’s standard membership and $1 more than Hulu’s basic subscription. Netflix said earlier this year that a “substantial number” of its longtime members who paid $7.99 monthly - and have been

protected from price hikes will now pay an additional $2 starting in May. Amazon’s decision to break off its video streaming service could cause some defections at Netflix, wrote Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter in a note to clients. Both companies have invested heavily in original and exclusive programing. Netflix has “Orange is the New Black,” ‘’House of Cards” and a couple of series based on Marvel comic characters. Amazon’s offerings include “Transparent,” ‘’Mozart in the Jungle” and previously aired HBO shows. With Hulu, users can watch many current TV episodes a day after they air on a network. Hulu is also growing its exclusive offerings, with “The Mindy Project” and “Difficult People.” Netflix Inc. declined to comment Monday. Represen-

Reed Saxon/AP Photo Amazon is taking on Netflix and Hulu with a stand-alone video streaming service. Starting the week of April 18, customers can pay $8.99 a month to watch Amazon’s Prime video streaming service. Previously, the only way to watch Prime videos was to pay $99 a year for Prime membership, which includes free two-day shipping on items sold by the site. The video-only option won’t come with any free shipping perks. tatives for Amazon and Hulu did respond to a request for comment. Amazon may be a rival, but Netflix is also an Amazon customer. The Los Gatos, California-based streaming company uses Amazon Web Services to store its content and help run parts of its site and apps. Besides its stand-alone video

service, Amazon is also offering a new pay-as-you-go option for its full Prime membership for $10.99 a month and comes with free two-day shipping, video streaming and other perks. Amazon’s website said that users who opt to pay $10.99 monthly, instead of the $99 annual fee, can cancel at any time. The $99 a year option remains the cheapest

way for most people to get both free two-day shipping and video streaming, equaling about $8.25 a month. Shares of Seattle-based Inc. rose $5.22 to $630.11 in afternoon trading Monday. Netflix Inc. shares fell $4.44, or 4 percent, to $107.07.

Museum gets only known film of Armstrong in studio ula ilnytzky

ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK — The Louis Armstrong House Museum has acquired the only known film footage of the great jazz musician in a recording studio — following its discovery in a storage facility. The 33-minute, 16mm film captures Armstrong recording his 1959 album “Satchmo Plays King Oliver” in Los Angeles for Audio Fidelity. The record producer, Sid Frey, had the film professionally shot but wound up not doing anything with it or telling anyone about it. Michael Cogswell, the museum’s executive director, called it “a groundbreaking discovery.” The museum announced the acquisition Wednesday. “The film has spent the past six decades in private hands or in a storage locker. Not even the most diligent Armstrong researchers knew it existed,” he said. Frey’s daughter, Andrea Bass, who helped the museum acquire the film, said she first learned about its existence in a chat room discussion of her father’s company. Frey, the founder and president of Audio Fidelity, was known in the industry as “Mr. Stereo” for being the first to release a commercially distributed stereo recording, she said. He died in 1968. Bass said that after their mother passed in 2005, her sister placed the Audio Fidelity tapes, films, albums and personal family items in a storage facility — unbeknownst to her. “People were always asking me where

Eddie Adams/AP File Photo In a June 21, 1971 file photo, Louis Armstrong practices with his horn at his Corona, New York home. The Louis Armstrong House Museum announced Wednesdaythat it has acquired the only known film footage of the great jazz musician in a recording studio. While many audio recordings of Armstrong’s music exist there has been no video of him working in a recording studio until now. the masters were,” said Bass, a former marketing director. “I went on one of these message boards about Audio Fidelity and someone said ‘I have the masters.’” It turned out to be a person who buys the contents of abandoned storage facilities. Bass said she was unable at that time to purchase the Louis Armstrong material, but the man contacted her

again six months ago, and this time they struck a deal. The film’s recording session was made just after Armstrong appeared on Bing Crosby’s television special. It shows a relaxed Armstrong in a short-sleeved plaid shirt and shorts blowing his trumpet and singing with his All Stars band. He looks healthy despite a heart attack a few months earlier.

The film opens with two complete takes of “I Ain’t Got Nobody.” After the first attempt, Armstrong signals for “one more,” and then approvingly winks at his bandmates after the second — master— take. Much of the film focuses on Armstrong and the All Stars working out a routine for “I Ain’t Gonna Give Nobody None of My Jelly Roll.” Armstrong didn’t have sheet music for the song so he improvised each take with “a new vocal made up of a mixture of dazzling scat singing,” the museum said. The film ends with a complete take of “Jelly Roll Blues,” a tribute to jazz composer Jelly Roll Morton. The museum has also acquired Frey’s master reel-to-reel tapes for “Louie and the Dukes of Dixieland,” which Armstrong recorded in 1960 for Audio Fidelity at Webster Hall in New York City. The album’s numbers include “Limehouse Blues” and “Avalon.” “Capturing Louis in the act of recording is a unique and welcome discovery augmenting what we know about his artistry in an invaluable manner, proving that he was a leader in the true musical sense of that word,” said Dan Morgenstern, the former longtime director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University. For now, the museum will post one complete song on its website and social media. It plans to show the complete film at a future date. The museum is housed in Corona, Queens, in the modest brick building where Armstrong lived for 28 years and died in 1971. It has the largest publicly held archival collection devoted to a jazz musician in the world.






Egal•i•tar•i•an (adjective) aiming for equal wealth, status, etc., for all people 3517 Austin; 303 Fine Arts Center; Houston TX 77004 Phone: 713.718.6016; Fax: 713.718.6601 Adviser: Fredrick Batiste

SPRING 2016 EGALITARIAN STAFF Editor-in-Chief .............................................. Alyssa Foley News Editor ...............................................Jimmieka Mills Sports Editor .............................................John Cañamar Culture Editor ............................................. Erik Calderon Photo Editor .......................................... Thomas Hopkins Social Media Mgr. ...................................Jessica Wosiack Staff Writer .................................................. Ajani Stewart Staff Writer ................................................... Ana Ramirez Staff Writer ......................................... Emmanuel Akinola Staff Writer ................................................ Tori Hendricks Staff Writer ........................................... Marialuisa Rincon Staff Photographer .....................................Gilbert Bernal ——— The Egalitarian has been the official student newspaper of the Houston Community College System since September 1974. The Egalitarian is published bi-monthly, every other Wednesday except during holiday breaks. Print circulation is 8,000 copies per issue and distributed to selected HCC campuses in the Houston, Spring Branch, Alief, Katy, North Forest and Fort Bend areas. Comments and contributions are always welcome. Deadlines for contributions and advertisements are one week before the issue print date. The Egalitarian is written and edited by students of Houston Community College. This publication does not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, interests, attitudes and tastes of the Board of Trustees, HCC administration, faculty, staff or students. Opinions and editorial content of The Egalitarian that are unsigned do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Egalitarian staff or adviser. The Egalitarian reserves the right to edit any submitted material for grammatical errors, offensive language, libelous materials and space constraints. It may also refuse any advertising that does not adhere to the HCC mission.


The Egalitarian staff consists of HCC students who must complete all tasks required to produce the newspaper, which serves all campuses of the HCC System. We want all students from all majors to contribute. However, we must follow our submissions policy in order to operate under our limitations of time, energy and staff. All staff and contributing writers must be currently enrolled students at Houston Community College. The Egalitarian interacts with contributing writers via e-mail and telephone. Visiting The Egalitarian will not help contributors get published, only quality work will. Publication priority is given to staff members and assigned articles, and verbal commitments for assignments will not be accepted or recognized. Press releases, story ideas, news tips and suggestions are always welcomed. Any student interested in joining The Egalitarian staff may request more detailed information regarding story length, topics, style, etc., by e-mailing The Egalitarian Faculty Adviser Fredrick Batiste at

Edward A. Ornelas/San Antonio Express-News Drone videographer and photographer Coleman Jennings flies his drone for video footage before Taylor Jolly and Amy Stark’s wedding at the Ranch House Chapel & Lodge in Montgomery, Texas. As weddings become ever more elaborate and staged, couples increasingly are demanding Hollywood-style special effects for that one-of-a-kind, jaw-dropping video.

Texas photographers using drones to create unique wedding shots riC


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SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS SAN ANTONIO — As weddings become ever more elaborate and staged, couples increasingly are demanding Hollywood-style special effects for that one-of-akind, jaw-dropping video. The San Antonio ExpressNews reports to accommodate them, wedding photographers are launching squadrons of remotecontrolled drones equipped with eye-in-the-sky cameras to fly over ceremonies. Because of a combination of technological advances, lower prices and Texas’ wide open spaces, the Lone Star State and wedding drones go together like cowboy boots and tuxedos — a natural fit. Amy Stark, originally from Round Rock, said that when she and fiance Taylor Jolly were planning their wedding, they watched numerous online videos and fell in love with the sweeping, swooping, soaring drone footage they saw. “It was so cinematic, like in a movie,” she explained several days prior to the nuptials earlier this month. “We thought it would be a special way to capture our special day.” Technically known as unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs, drones originally were developed by the military. But advances in both hardware and software have made them smaller, lighter, easier to control and, more importantly, cheaper. They’ve now been adopted for uses as varied as aerial oil and gas surveillance, filmmaking, even wildlife management. Amazon and Google are promising speedy-quick deliveries

via drone. And drones may someday serve as high-flying construction workers, building structures beyond what traditional methods can reach. Add interest from the hobby market, and drone sales have exploded. Market consultant Juniper Research expects worldwide drone sales to reach $481 million in 2016, up 84 percent from 2015. Today, high performance drone models sell for less than $3,000, and units capable of shooting wedding videos can be had for less than $1,300, including a 4K video camera. “Over the past decade, wedding videos have become increasingly popular, so it’s not surprising that drone footage is now being incorporated into those videos,” said Michela Hattabaugh, associate wedding style editor at Brides magazine. “Drones help you get a really cool take on the day.” Back on the ground, wedding photographer Mark Thomas has been flying his DJI Inspire 1 quadcopter for about a year. “It’s added another element to my videos, another perspective,” he explained. Thomas, whose Mark Thomas Pro Photo and Video is based in Seguin, said learning to fly the drone was pretty easy. “I consider myself a gamer, so I’m comfortable working with the controller that comes with the drone,” he said. Modern units operate via an app on a smartphone or tablet that attaches to the controller and allows the operator to see what the camera is seeing onscreen and in real time. But there are limits to where wedding drones should be used.

“They’re best when used for expansive shots of the venue, the surrounding countryside and maybe over the cocktail party,” Hattabaugh said. “I think you’ll regret it if it flew over the ceremony itself. They’re noisy and guests will be looking up at the drone and not the bride and groom.” With news stories of far-away drone bombings commonplace, many people also have a visceral dislike about having a mechanical something buzzing overhead. When singer Tina Turner married German music producer Erwin Bach in Switzerland in 2013, the celebrity couple kept land-based paparazzi away by holding the ceremony behind the high walls of her villa in Küsnacht. So one resourceful shooter took to the sky with a remote-controlled drone. He didn’t get the photos he wanted; police ordered him to land the drone and turn over the camera’s memory card. But that hasn’t stopped other paparazzi from utilizing drones. “The battle for pictures is increasingly moving into the airspace,” noted Spiegel Online at the time. More recently, during a National Public Radio interview to promote her recent drone warfare film “Eye in the Sky,” actress Helen Mirren recalled a wedding she attended where a UAV hovered above the guests. “All of the people in the wedding hated this drone, even though it was there for a super benign reason. We all loathed the drone. ... And then the drone accidentally crashed and fell, and everybody at the wedding put up a huge cheer. Everyone was so thrilled that the drone was out of the sky.”

12 3 charged with crimes in Flint water crisis THURSDAY APRIL 21, 2016

mike HouseHolDer & eD wHite ASSOCIATED PRESS

FLINT, Mich. — Two state regulators and a Flint employee were charged Wednesday with evidence tampering and other felonies and misdemeanors, for the first time raising the lead-tainted water crisis in the Michigan city to a criminal case. Months after officials conceded that a series of bad decisions had caused a disaster, charges were filed against a pair of state Department of Environmental Quality employees and a local water treatment supervisor and stem from an investigation by the office of Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. “They failed Michigan families. Indeed, they failed us all,”



Schuette said at a Wednesday afternoon news conference. “I don’t care where you live.” He added, with certainty, that there will be more charges — “I can guarantee you” — but did not provide a timeline. For nearly 18 months, the financially troubled city of Flint, where the majority of residents are black, used the Flint River for tap water as a way to save money — a decision made by a stateappointed emergency manager — while a new pipeline was under construction. But the water wasn’t treated to control corrosion. The result: Lead was released from aging pipes and fixtures as water flowed throughout the city of 100,000 residents. Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican, didn’t acknowledge the problem until last fall when tests revealed high levels of lead in children.


A task force appointed by the governor recently said the crisis was a “case of environmental injustice.” Flint played a key role in the Democrats’ presidential nomination race in March, when Michigan held its primary, with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders debating in Flint and taking turns lambasting the Snyder administration. Michael Prysby, a DEQ district engineer, and Stephen Busch, who is a supervisor with the DEQ’s Office of Drinking Water, were both charged with misconduct in office, conspiracy to tamper with evidence, tampering with evidence and misdemeanor violations of water law. They’re both accused of failing to order chemicals to control corrosion. Michigan environmental regulators have

acknowledged misreading federal regulations and wrongly telling the city that the chemicals were not needed. Flint utilities administrator Michael Glasgow also was charged Wednesday with tampering with evidence for changing lead watertesting results and willful neglect of duty as a public servant. Busch is on paid leave after being suspended earlier. Prysby recently took another job in the agency. Glasgow testified at a legislative hearing that Prysby told him phosphate was not needed to prevent lead corrosion from pipes until after a year of testing. Flint has been under a state of emergency for more than four months, and people there are using filters and bottled water. In addition to the lead contamination, outside experts

also have suggested a link between the Flint River and a deadly Legionnaires’ disease outbreak. There were at least 91 cases, including 12 deaths, across Genesee County, which contains Flint, during a 17-month period. That represents a five-fold increase over what the county averaged before. State officials were slow to respond to experts’ and residents’ concerns. After the crisis broke open, DEQ Director Dan Wyant and his spokesman, Brad Wurfel, resigned. Snyder announced the firing of Liane Shekter Smith, the former chief of the DE ’s Office of Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance. Susan Hedman, the director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chicagobased Midwest office, also resigned.

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