Page 1

Vol 114 — Issue 28

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Huntsville, Texas


Rain High: 50 degrees Low: 43 degrees

FEATURE PRESENTATION Entertainment editor Kevin Jukkola reviews Fantastic Mr. Fox as “whimsical and intelligent.” SEE page 5


Nation & 4 2 5 3 6

It’s 2 o’clock somewhere THE NEW DRINKING ORDINANCE

After lengthy debate, new ordinance is passed which will allow the sale of alcohol beverages until 2 a.m., but only time will tell when it will be implemented and what the reaction will be

By Kristin Meyer Senior Reporter

Two more hours can now be added to the late night watches of the students and residents of Huntsville, because effective Tuesday, Dec. 1, Ordinance No. 200959 will allow the sell of alcoholic beverages between midnight and 2:00 a.m. on any day. After a third reading of the ordinance and researching the effect that similar ordinances had on other college towns, the ordinance was approved at the city council meeting held on Nov. 12. In order to extend their late night hours, alcohol establishments must submit and receive approval for a late hours permit from TABC (Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission). “I have talked to a couple of places and they have yet to hear back from TABC, but I recently talked to a TABC agent and they said that there is potential that [the licenses] could be issued first thing Tuesday morning and they would then be good to go Tuesday night,” Deputy Chief, James Fitch, said. If their paperwork is not completed, then the change might not been seen until passed the effective date. Many local bars will probably not implement the extra hours immediately, instead they will see if it is in high demand.


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Only time will tell. Keeping the bars open until 2 a.m. has been a much discussed topic in Huntsville. The new ordinance, named Ordinance No. 2009-59 will now allow the sale of alcohol until 2 a.m. any day of the week. However, because the bars have to wait on the granting of licenses from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Comission, some may not be able to open until after the proposed December 1 date.

“College students are going to be the one’s who tell us what we are going to do,” Kerry Murray, owner of Murski’s Icehouse, said. “The two nightclubs will be the immediate beneficiaries [of this ordinance] because that’s where everybody is at midnight, so if no one is going to be here, we’d be crazy to stay open for two extra hours.” Other bar owners feel the same way, that they will just

have to wait and see whether the two extra hours are in demand. “I don’t know if I will be open everyday until 2:00 a.m.” David Zuniga, owner of The Stardust Room, said. “I will judge each day if I need to stay open later, but I will just have that option and privilege to do so if I choose.” Many of the bars do not want to waste resources, such as scheduling more employees, running electricity,

water, etc., by staying open later, so they will determine whether they should extend their hours permanently as the demand arises. Adding these two extra hours to the Huntsville nightlife will also mean changes for UPD and the Huntsville Police Department. “I think there might be some problems in the beginning and our workload will pick up somewhat,” Deputy Chief Fitch said. “I think we


SHSU Mentoring Center offers tips on applying for graduate By Janise Richardson Contributing Writer

The decision to attend Graduate School is one to think about, especially considering the process a student has to go through. That process is easier now with the help of Emily Kennedy, Graduate Fellow in the CHSS Mentoring Center. Kennedy hosted a Graduate school information meeting that discussed financial aid, academic requirements, and a grad school time line. These items of information are basically designed to organize everything from the location of schools, to campus size and cost. Many students don’t decide to go to grad school until their junior year, and

there is nothing wrong with that. It’s always good to get a head start if you do or don’t have everything mapped out. The most important decision to make is potential careers that interest you, and if grad school is the way to go to get the most out of that career. To get on that path, make sure that you are taking all the classes you need for your major by meeting with an advisor. Specific courses can be worked into your schedule to fulfill the requirements that you may need for grad school. Organizations and leadership positions look really good on a student’s cocurricular transcript. Join different student organizations and try to take a leadership position in them if your schedule allows it.

Kennedy stressed that it is beneficial to a student to get to know their professors. These professors can be the people to write a recommendation that is needed for your graduate school application. Admissions can tell the difference in recommendations. A student that has not spoken with the professor beyond class will have a considerably different recommendation letter than one who has spoken with the professor on different occasions. “Get to know your professors because they will be the ones to write your recommendations,” Kennedy said. It is good to talk to current grad students and professors to get some insight — See SCHOOL, page 4

will see an increase in arrests for public intoxication, and driving while intoxicated, as well as an increase in possibly assaults, fights, and maybe domestic violence.” UPD is also taking the stance that many of the local bar owners are for this ordinance, just to wait and see. “We could potentially have to change our shift schedule around so that we have more officers on after 2:00 a.m.” The Huntsville Police De-

partment is not going to make any changes immediately either. “We are not going to make any changes right off the bat,” Captain Wes Altom said. “Our late shift runs 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., so I have the same amount of officers on duty at 2:00 a.m. as I do at midnight. We just anticipate a shift in the workload.” When reviewing the data from San Marcos after they passed a similar ordinance, the council noticed that their crime went up across the board. “They also had extra officers out, so there was a question as to was there more crime or were there just more officers out to initiate arrests,” Altom said. “We want to get objective data at first and see from the activity levels if there is an increase in crime and we will respond to it if there is.” Some students think that this new ordinance will be beneficial not only to the students, but to the community as a whole. “I think it’s about time Huntsville passed this ordinance. It will stop people from traveling to College Station and Conroe after midnight,” sophomore, Zach Othold said. “Also there are less people driving on the streets at 2:00 a.m. compared to midnight, so it will be safer for the community as well.” For or against this ordinance, it is easy to say that the nightlife of Huntsville will be different after it is implemented.


Blatchley, Bamberg to deliver Commencement addresses By Jennifer Gauntt

SHSU Public Relations

Texas State University System Board of Regents chairman Ron Blatchley and Aldine school district superintendent Wanda Bamberg will address approximate 1,504 degree candidates during the winter commencement exercises on Dec. 18-19. Bamberg will speak to graduates during the Friday (Dec. 18) ceremony, which will be held at 6 p.m. for the College of Education, at the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum. Blatchley will speak at both Saturday (Dec. 19) ceremonies, at 10 a.m. for the colleges of criminal justice and humanities and social sciences and at 2 p.m. for the colleges of arts and sciences and business administration. An SHSU alumna, Bamberg has 31 years of experience in the field of educa-

Fit to speak. Regents chairman Ron Blatchley will speak at both commencement ceremonies on Sat., Dec. 19 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. AISD superintendent Wanda Bamberg will speak for the College of Education on Fri., Dec. 18.

tion, 27 of which are with the Aldine school district. She has served as superintendent since Jan. 2007. — See SPEAKERS, page 4


Page 2 The Houstonian


“Any man worth his salt will stick up for what he believes right, but it takes a slightly better man to acknowledge instantly and without reservation that he is in error.” Andrew Jackson Seventh President of the United States 1767-1845

Key Words: Passing time. Adam Key reflects on the approaching end to the semester and appreciating the time remaining. These days, everyone seems very concerned about our future. The job market is still incredibly shallow as we struggle to come out of a recession. We’re not sure what’s going to happen in the stock market, the Middle East, or next year’s American Idol. It’s enough to make a person want to quit, or at the very least go into hibernation. It seems this season is very concerned with both the past and the future. As Christmas approaches, little boys and girls everywhere think back over last year’s deeds to try to determine whether they’ve ended up on Santa’s naughty or nice lists. Businesses, both small and gigantic, struggle to make those last few extra cents. All awaiting the 25th of December, where for at least a 24 hour period, we can still pretend that we have peace on

Earth and goodwill toward men. No sooner is Christmas over than we forget the past and start getting ready for the future. With New Year’s a mere week away, we start planning ways to forget

ironic that the Saturday @ Sam welcoming prospective students is held so close to December graduation. Every semester, we both welcome the new and bid farewell to the old. Bright eyed and fresh

Like the United Nations, we make resolutions that sound good on paper, but are rarely kept.” the past year that we only a few days ago were so nostalgic for. Like the United Nations, we make resolutions that sound good on paper, but are rarely kept. All of this is done in some vain attempt to convince ourselves the next calendar year will be better than this one. And for those students graduating in a mere 18 days, the season takes a special toll. It seems

faced freshman take the campus by storm, while our graduated friends remain just a memory. But with all these hellos and good-byes to new years and new people, I think we have truly lost sight of what’s important. Is it possible that we’re looking so far over the horizon and over our shoulders that we’ll miss what’s right in front of us?

Fellow Bearkats, I would like to propose a toast. Here’s to right now. Here’s to this very moment. Forget the past and let the future worry about itself. Honestly, we don’t know where we’re going to be next year. We may have awesome jobs and be paving the bridge to the future, or we may be living under it. But what we do have is this time, here and now. So in these last days before we wish good friends goodbye, and say hello to those we haven’t met yet, take the time to enjoy where we’re at. You’ll have plenty of time later to worry about the past and the future, but you’ll never get this moment again.

Brad Basker talks about the importance of experiencing both life’s good and bad moments. I can say that somehow by giving thanks for everything I’ve endured, I awakened the desire to expect what is to come. After years of being biased I finally went to Café Agora. My normal hot spot, Café Brasil, wasn’t open on Thanksgiving so I

for. It was nice to speak candidly, and I was filled with a weird euphoria as the night went on. Despite everything I had been through, or anything that opposed me, I realized none of it mattered. Somehow being thankful for life without reservations

It was nice to speak candidly, and I was filled with a weird euphoria as the night went on.” was forced from the confinements of comfort to try something new. It was a delight. I can’t remember the last time I was so satisfied by an outing. I was fortunate to share time with my old friend Jenny in the midst of relaxing music, a serene atmosphere, a latte and a small cookie. We caught up on life developments, plans for abroad studies and travels, and recounted what we were thankful

made me really appreciate the fact that I had life at all. It was like the culmination of years of study, triumphs, failures, aspirations and revelations all synthesized into an instance of pensive simplicity. You can fail at everything in life, but the moment you realize you’re still alive you tend to notice you have the chance to succeed. To survive a trial and

Letter to the Student Body

Dear Sam Houston Students, Staff and Faculty and Alumni: The Houstonian would not survive were it not for the continued involvement and dedication of the SHSU student body. We welcome all column submissions and letters to the editor. If at any time you feel the need to express an opinion, please do not hesitate to email your thoughts or drop by our office in the Dan Rather communications building. We look forward to hearing from you and thank you as always for your continued support of the Houstonian. Addison Reed Opinions Editor

Thanksgiving Paws Up, Facts andDown trivia Paws

With the Thanksgiving break approaching, we at The Houstonian decided to lighten the mood take a of look at the not-so-serious In thisand section the opinions page, side of Turkey Day. After all, we all need we take a look at some various news something funny to get us through the days stories around campus and give the with crazy families.

parties involved either a “paws up” for a good job, or a “paws down” for a not so good job.

“Paws UP” to the 89th annual Tree of Light ceremony this Wednesday. Seems like the lights and trees go up earlier every year, but hey, who’s complaining?

“Paws DOWN” to Thanksgiving break being so short! It’s hard to call it a break when, upon your return, you are bombarded by information about term papers and finals!

“Paws UP” to former SHSU head football coach Todd Whitten. Say what you want about his record, but he deserves credit for his hard work over the last five years.

Adam Key is a recurring columnist for The Houstonian. He is a Communication Studies graduate student.

Mad Brad: No reservations The November to December crossover is always an awkward exchange. The Thanksgiving breaks are merely foreplay for the Christmas holidays, and are never as wholly satisfying as a solid winter break. Yet, it’s always nice to break for thanks before the calamities of finals. At the last minute, multiple assignments appear on the course schedules that weren’t there before and graduating seniors anxiously await the results of the one test that could prolong their commencement. The deficit on selling back textbooks makes all those Black Friday savings seem nil, but the temperature has chilled down enough to peacoat temperatures. And I love peacoats. Somewhere between leftovers and finalizing financial aid I had a moment of clarity. I can’t fully explain it, but

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

still be thankful is bliss. Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, on the Travel Channel, is one of my favorite programs. Not only is it the type of field I’m perusing, but the essence of its style reminds me that night at Café Agora. Bourdain carouses the globe tasting the multitudes of culinary cultures. Sometimes he enjoys it, and other times he has to eat unwashed warthog rectum. But at least he tries it, and the next episode he’s in another land, willing to launch into the abyss. Although by profession we may not be culinary crusaders, we all have had our shares of metaphorical warthog rectums that made us question our taste buds. But I believe that if we keep on eating we’ll find something satisfying. Brad Basker is a recurring columnist for The Houstonian. He is the paper’s former Business Manager.

One more “Paws UP” to the beginning of the “2 AM Law” starting today. It’ll be fun, but here’s hoping that we all handle it with responsibility and moderation. The individual opinions on the Viewpoints page are not necessarily affiliated with the view of The Houstonian or SHSU. The Houstonian is published semi-weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It is a news publication of Sam Houston State University, a member of the Texas State University system, and is produced by students. It is self-supporting and welcomes all advertisers. Those interested in placing ads or classifieds should call (936) 294-4864. The Houstonian is a member of the Associated Press.

The Houstonian Editorial

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kristina Salazar...............................................................936-294-1505 FACULTY ADVISOR Patsy Ziegler.....................................................................936-294-1499 SECTION EDITORS Meagan Ellsworth........................................................Associate Editor Addison Reed................................................................Opinions Editor Lotis Butchko....................................................................Sports Editor Kevin Jukkola........................................................Entertainment Editor Thomas Merka.....................................................................Web Editor STAFF Kristin Meyer.................................................................Senior Reporter Mike Silva......................................................................Sports Reporter Joe Buvid..............................................................................Photo Editor Krystal Jackson.................................................................Photographer Heath Wierck.......................................................................Copy Editor

Advertising BUSINESS MANAGER Tammie Nokes..................................................................936-294-1500 STAFF Brittaney Pires.....................................................Advertising Manager Samantha Berezowsky............................................Account Executive

Advertising Deadlines

Tuesday’s Issue............... Friday at 2:00 p.m. Thursday’s Issue........... Tuesday at 2:00 p.m.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Houstonian, Page 3

Fighting an epidemic Aids Awareness Day to be observed by the university, the community, and the world. UNAIDS Outcome Framework 2009–2011: nine priority areas •

We can reduce sexual transmission of HIV.

We can prevent mothers from dying and babies from becoming infected with HIV.

We can ensure that people living with HIV receive treatment.

We can prevent people living with HIV from dying of tuberculosis. We can protect drug users from becoming infected with HIV. We can remove punitive laws, policies, practices, stigma and discrimination that block effective responses to AIDS.

We can stop violence against women and girls.

We can empower young people to protect themselves from HIV.

We can enhance social protection for people affected by HIV.

THEN AND NOW: “Started on 1st December 1988, World AIDS Day is about raising money, increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education. The World AIDS Day theme for 2009 is ‘Universal Access and Human Rights’. World AIDS Day is important in reminding people that HIV has not gone away, and that there are many things still to be done. According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.4 million people living with HIV, including 2.1 million children.” Aids and HIV information courtesy of

By Brittany McClure Contributing Writer Every nine minutes, someone in the United States is infected with H I V. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 56,000 new cases of HIV/AIDS every year in America. Approximately 13 percent of these cases are comprised of people ages 13-24. T h i s y e a r, t h e O ff i c e of Multicultural and International Student Services will be observing AIDS Aw a r e n e s s D a y o n D e c . 1 in conjunction with Wo r l d A I D S D a y. Information will be set up at 12 p.m. in the Mall Area. Donielle M i l l e r, program coordinator o f t h e O ff i c e o f M I S S , says that the purpose of this worldwide event is to spread knowledge of this widespread epidemic. “ We w a n t t o e d u c a t e students and the university community on AIDS and how it plagues our world,” Miller said. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome,

or AIDS, is the final stage of the HIV infection, also known as the Human Immunodeficiency Vi r u s . Once the body has reached this stage, the immune system becomes weak and has a d i ff i c u l t t i m e f i g h t i n g infection. According to Planned Parenthood, HIV is spread by sexual contact, sharing syringes with someone who is infected or by getting H I V- i n f e c t e d blood into an open wound. HIV can also be spread from an infected mother to her child during birth or breast feeding. Sarah Hanel of the SHSU Health Center says that sexual contact is the most common way o f c o n t r a c t i n g H I V. “The only way to 100 percent prevent the sexual transmission of HIV/AIDs is abstaining from sexual activity”, said Hanel. Contrary to a popular myth, you cannot contract HIV or AIDS from a toilet seat, door knob or any other common surfaces. Casual contact, such as kissing, shaking hands and sharing

drinks, also cannot pass H I V. AIDS is said to be a highly preventable disease which can be avoided by always using protection during sexual contact and never sharing needles with anyone. There is no vaccine or cure for HIV or AIDS. Although there are symptoms for these diseases, they often do not surface until years a f t e r c o n t r a c t i n g H I V. The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested. One-fourth of those infected do not know they have the disease. It is important to get tested with your partner before having sexual intercourse. Te s t i n g i s a v a i l a b l e at Planned Parenthood and at the SHSU Health C e n t e r. Te s t s a r e c o n f i d e n t i a l , simple and fast. Rapid HIV testing is done by either swabbing the inside of the mouth or taking blood from a fingertip. Results are available i n l e s s t h a n a n h o u r. Hanel says that the test currently costs $22.60 at the Health C e n t e r, b u t i s s u b j e c t to change.

For more information or to schedule a test, contact the SHSU Health Center at 936-294-1805 or Planned Parenthood of Huntsville at 936-295-6396.

Global view map and framework information courtesy of

“The Top Five U.S. Resources for Newly Diagnosed” Hotline information courtesty of

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National AIDS Clearinghouse (Information and publication orders): 1-800-458-5231 TTY: 1-800-243-1098 International: 1-404679-3860 International TTY: 1-301-588-1586 Hours: Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 6:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) Also has an online chat feature during business hours at www. The Gay and Lesbian National Hotline: 1-888-THE-GLNH (1-888-843-4564) Hours: Monday through Friday 4:00 p.m. to 12:00 am; Saturday 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) E-mail: A non-profit organization which provides nationwide toll-free peercounseling, information and referrals GMHC AIDS Hotline: 1-800-AIDS-NYC (1-800-243-7692) TTY: 1-212-645-7470 International: 1-212807-6655 Hours: Monday through Friday 10:00 am to 9:00 pm (Eastern Time); Saturday, 12:00 to

3:00 pm E-mail: hotline@ General AIDS hotline for those worried that they may be infected, or people trying to access New York City AIDS resources. Also has a local NYC number: 212807-6655 AIDS Treatment Data Network: 1-800-734-7104 International: 1-212260-8868 Fax: 1-212-260-8869 Hours: Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (Eastern Time) Supportive counseling and some case management for those newly diagnosed Project Inform: National HIV/ AIDS Treatment Infoline: 1-800-8227422 Nightline (5 p.m.-5 a.m.): 1-800-628-9240 International: 1-415-558-9051 Hours: Monday through Friday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm (Pacific Time) Answers questions and gives advice and support on how to live with HIV/AIDS. Many operators have been affected by HIV, and have real-life experience in helping callers.

D I N G D I N G D I N G ! Ct horlol ewg oe fRf etphue bi rl igc laonvse as nt do Bd ee ba ra kt ea tt oDuegmhotcorpa it cs s By Blake Myers Contributing Writer

Houstonian Classifieds Real Estate

2 br 1 bth, fenced, pets ok. /amickproperty rentals Apt. sublease available @ The Exchange. Spring semester $400/month. Call 979-450-3121 Classified Rates • Rate: $1.50 per line, per issue • All ads must be paid in full prior to publication • No refunds • Lost and found ads are free • Deadline: For Tuesday’s paper is 12 p.m. Thursday For Thursday’s paper is 12 p.m. Monday

Note: The Houstonian is not responsible for any misleading or misinterpretation of advertisements.

Fiery words flew back and forth across the aisle at last night’s political debate. The Bearkat Democrats took on the SHSU Republicans in the LSC Theater at 6:00 p.m. on Monday night, and around 50 people turned out to watch the debaters do what they do best. Each team was comprised of three members. The Bearkat Democrats brought their President, Kendall Scudder, Vice President Emily Rice, and Membership Vice Chair Beca Staten. The SHSU Republicans were made up of their President Uresa Forbes, Vice President Chelsi Nelson, and member Justin Beiser. Jeremy Trepagnier moderated the heated debate. Before the debate, both Scudder and Nelson agreed

that the most important issue last night was that political activeness be promoted on campus. “We just want the students to be informed, that’s the most important thing,” Nelson said. “People’s political ideologies are formed in college, so it’s important that they are aware of the issues at hand,” Scudder said. That was about the end of the issues that the two groups agreed on that night. The topics debated were The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, the D.R.E.A.M. Act, the recent healthcare bills, and United States Diplomacy policies. Both sides had passionate stances on all of

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these bills, and the crowd, which was majority Democrat, showed their support with applause. The heat was turned up as the topic was moved to hate crimes, and only got hotter as immigration (D.R.E.A.M. Act) and healthcare were put on the table. More than once the crowd’s eagerness to participate could be felt in the air. The debate was concluded an hour after it began, and all

parties involved shook hands and hugged as soon as the moderator closed the floor for further discussion. Afterwards, several attendees shared their thoughts on the arguments, issues, and debaters. “After tonight, I learned that I am definitely a Republican. Tonight really sparked a political fire in me,” said Trey Williams, a junior. “I think that Kendall and the Dems were more on top of their research, and the Republicans research was

good too, but irrelevant to the issues being discussed,” Sophomore Leroy Brooks said. Ramiro Jaime, also a sophomore, said, “I’m glad this is happening, but I wish that the debate was more focused on the issues that were brought up during the discussion. The topics were just too broad for a timed event.” “The way the students were able to break down the issues at hand was amazing. I thought the Democrats did a particularly great job of defining the issue of the D.R.E.A.M. Act,” an attendee that wished to remain anonymous said. When asked about how the debate went overall, the presidents of the organizations couldn’t agree more that it went very well. “Our main focus tonight was not to attack the other party,” Forbes said, “But to shed light on critical issues that are affecting individuals of the world today.” “I think the audience really understood what each party is fighting for today,” Scudder said, “And that the Democrats are about putting your country before your party.”

Page 4 The Houstonian

From SCHOOL page 1

and ask “what I should be doing?” You may even be able to sit in on classes and get the feel of a graduate school classroom. These people can steer you in the right direction and give you information about professors. It is always better to talk to someone who has experienced everything that comes with grad school than one who hasn’t. Grad school also does require entrance exams like the GRE, GMAT, LSAT and others, depending on your field of study. It’s important to study for these exams.

NATION & WORLD Plan to take them in advance in case you want to improve your scores. This may seem like a good amount to get into grad school, but don’t worry, that is what the informational meeting was for. Organization is key to lessen the stress of the process of getting into graduate school. Graduate school is an investment in your future and will increase your chances of getting a high paying job. So don’t change your plans on the count of how much work it requires. For more information, contact Emily Kennedy in CHSS 190B or call at 936294-4364.

Online retailers rev up deals to keep momentum, but ‘Cyber Monday’ just another shopping day (AP) — Retail Web sites kept amping up the deals Monday, the first day after Thanksgiving weekend’s strong online sales, to try to maintain the momentum. Meanwhile, a research firm that tracks business at stores reported tepid sales and customer traffic for Friday and Saturday that confirmed a so-so start to the season for the bricksand-mortar world. Though the Web is only about 10 percent of the holiday shopping pie, it’s seen most of the growth so far this year — an

encouraging sign after last year’s first online sales decline. Coremetrics, a Web analytics company in San Mateo, Calif., said that as of 1 p.m. Monday, sales for the day that the industry still pitches as “Cyber Monday” were up 19.6 percent over a year ago. The bright spot offers hope after traditional retail sales came in just above flat for Black Friday, with shoppers packing stores but sticking to their lists, going for deep discounts and practical items.

From SPEAKERS page 1

She received her bachelor's degree in English and her master's degree in secondary education from the University of Alabama in 1977 and 1979, respectively, and her doctorate in educational leadership from SHSU in 2004. She began her teaching career in 1977 in the Tuscaloosa County school district, where she taught middle school and high school English, before moving to Houston to join Aldine as an English and reading teacher in 1982. In 1987, she moved to the district curriculum office as the program director of middle school language arts and was later promoted to director of curriculum instruction, executive director of curriculum instruction and assistant superintendent of curriculum instruction. Bamberg and her husband, David, have a son, who is a freshman in college. Currently a partner in BMB Homes in Bryan/ College Station, which builds houses in the area,

Blatchley is also an alumnus, having earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees from SHSU. The chairman of the TSUS board of regents, he retired from a career in higher education in 1985, the last 14 years of which he was director of student affairs at Texas A&M University. That year, Blatchley and his wife, Ruth, became McDonald's restaurant owner/operators. In 2003, they sold their 12 restaurants, and he retired again. He is president of R. Blatchley Management; serves on the board of directors at First National Bank; and has previously chaired the Economic Development Corporation, as well as served on the boards of the chamber of commerce, McDonald's operators advisory board, the Ronald McDonald House of Houston, the Texas Municipal Power Authority, and numerous other civic and charitable boards. Blatchley has also served as a city councilman and mayor of the City of Bryan.

Check out our last issue of the semester on Thursday, Dec. 3

Texas inmate pulls gun on guards, takes off (AP) — A convicted sex offender sentenced to life in prison pulled a gun on two guards during a prison transfer Monday and held them hostage temporarily before fleeing on foot in one of the guard’s uniforms, authorities said. At the time of the escape, the inmate was in a wheelchair, which he claimed he needed to help move him around, officials said. The guards were transferring Arcade Joseph Comeaux Jr. from a prison in Huntsville, north of Houston, to one in Beaumont, in southeast Texas, when he pulled out a gun and told the guards to stop the vehicle, said Michelle Lyons, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Comeaux took control of the transport van at 6:30 a.m., nearly two hours into the trip, as the vehicle was going through Conroe, just north of Houston. He told the guards to continue driving until they reached Baytown, a refinery town east of Houston, officials said. “At some point he brandished a firearm. We do not know how he was able to obtain that firearm and ordered officers to pull off to the side of the road,” Lyons said. At the time, Comeaux was shackled and was in a wheelchair, which he had claimed was needed for mobility, Lyons said. Comeaux, 49, took the

“Texas Department of Criminal Justice officials are searching for an inmate who took two transport officers hostage Monday morning before fleeing the vehicle on foot in the Baytown area. Arcade Joseph Comeaux Jr., 49, is described as a black male, standing 6-feet tall and weighing 200 pounds.” (Courtesy Texas Department of Criminal Justice)

officers’ weapons and handcuffed them together in the back of the vehicle before fleeing on foot at around 9 a.m., Lyons said. The officers were later found unharmed about an hour later. Comeaux was wearing one of the officer’s gray uniforms and black boots and took the guards’ weapons, a shotgun and two semiautomatic pistols, Lyons said. He left his own weapon behind. There were several unconfirmed sightings of

Comeaux in the Baytown area, said Lisa Block, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety. State troopers, the Texas Rangers and a Department of Public Safety helicopter were helping search for Comeaux, Block said. The 6-foot, 200-pound Comeaux has been in and out of the Texas prison system for the last 30 years, Lyons said. He was serving a life sentence after being convicted in June 1998 of aggravated sexual assault out of Brazos

County, located northwest of Houston. He was first sentenced to prison in 1979 on three 10-year sentences for rape of a child, aggravated rape of a child and burglary of a building, all out of Harris County, where Houston is located. He was paroled four years later, Lyons said. His parole was revoked and he returned to prison in 1984 to serve a 20-year sentence on a new charge of indecency with a child out of Harris County. He was paroled in 1991 but was in and out of prison for parole violations until 1996. Comeaux was given two extra life sentences after being convicted for stabbing his wife and another person in 1999 while she visited him in prison. She survived the attack. “Apparently, he used his wheelchair to pin her against a wall and then began stabbing her with a handmade metal object,” Lyons said. Comeaux also injured a man who was visiting another inmate at the time and tried to stop the attack. Authorities said he should be considered dangerous. The escape triggered a lockdown at Lee College and three campuses in the Goose Creek school district, in and around Baytown. “TDCJ officials will conduct a Serious Incident Review to determine, among other details, how Comeaux was able to obtain a firearm,” Lyons said.

Obama to detail big troop increase in Afghanistan (AP) — After months of debate, President Barack Obama will spell out a costly Afghanistan war expansion to a skeptical public Tuesday night, coupling an infusion of as many as 35,000 more troops with a vow that there will be no endless U.S. commitment. His first orders have already been made: at least one group of Marines who will be in place by Christmas. The president will end his 92-day review of the war with a nationally broadcast address in which he will lay out his revamped strategy from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. He spent part of Monday briefing foreign allies

in a series of private meetings and phone calls. Obama's war escalation includes sending 30,000 to 35,000 more American forces into Afghanistan in a graduated deployment over the next year, on top of the 71,000 already there. There also will be a fresh focus on training Afghan forces to take over the fight and allow the Americans to leave. Obama's overall review was launched Aug. 31, when Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, then the newly minted top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, delivered to Pentagon brass his assessment of the situation on the ground and what was

needed to turn it around. McChrystal produced a separate resource request, first seen by Obama on Oct. 1. The president's review was anchored by 10 extensive war council meetings, starting on Sept. 13, that featured a debate between a counterinsurgency strategy focused on protecting the local population and building up the Afghanistan government or a more limited counterterrorism strategy. The displeasure on both sides of the aisle is likely to be on display when congressional hearings on Obama's strategy get under way later in the week on Capitol Hill. Obama spent much of Mon-

day and Tuesday on the phone, outlining his plan — minus many specifics — for the leaders of France, Britain, Germany, Russia, China, India, Denmark, Poland and others. He also met in person at the White House with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. In Afghanistan, rampant government corruption and inefficiency have made U.S. success much harder. Obama was expected to place tough conditions on Karzai's government, along with endorsing a stepped-up training program for the Afghan armed forces in line with recommendations this fall by U.S. trainers.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Winds drive icebergs away from New Zealand (AP) — Strong westerly winds in the southern Pacific Ocean have driven scores of icebergs originally headed toward New Zealand to the east, away from the country, an oceanographer said Tuesday. A shipping alert was sent out last week and maritime authorities have been monitoring the iceberg flotilla as it drifted north from Antarctica toward New Zealand's South Island. The nearest one, measuring about 330 to 660 feet (100 to 200 meters) long, was 160 miles (260 kilometers) southeast of New Zealand's Stewart Island a week ago. Australian glaciologist Neal Young said satellite imaging shows no sign of any icebergs northeast of Auckland Islands, 250 miles (400 kilometers) south of New Zealand. "If ice is there, it's below 500 feet (150 meters) in length," the smallest size detectable on satellite images, Young said. Scientists say the current flotilla of icebergs likely split off Antarctica in 2000 when parts of two major ice shelves — the Ross Sea Ice Shelf and Ronne Ice Shelf — fractured. The Ross Sea Ice

Shelf is the size of France and is also widely believed to be the origin of the 2006 icebergs. Icebergs are routinely sloughed off as part of the natural development of ice shelves. The latest appearance of the bergs in waters south of New Zealand depends as much on weather patterns and ocean currents as on the rate at which icebergs are calving off Antarctic ice shelves. Rodney Russ, expedition leader on board the Spirit of Enderby eco-tourism vessel east of New Zealand, said they had earlier spotted two big icebergs north of Macquarie Island and also sighted two fishing boats working south of Auckland Islands. While the vessel has a fully ice-strengthened hull, it has up to three sailors on permanent watch in iceberg-affected ocean, a constant radar scanning and also uses powerful searchlights during the short, six- to seven-hour nights, he noted. "It would be a foolhardy captain who would come down here and not step up the (iceberg) watch and increase the lookouts," Russ said.

AP News in Brief

Obama to detail plan to add as many as 35,000 troops in Afghanistan with US exit strategy WA S H I N G T O N (AP) — After months of debate, President Barack Obama will spell out a costly Afghanistan war expansion to a skeptical public Tuesday night, coupling an infusion of as many as 35,000 more troops with a vow that there will be no endless U.S. commitment. His first orders have already been made: at least one group of Marines who will be in place by Christmas. Obama has said that he prefers “not to hand off anything to the next president” and that his strategy will “put us on a path toward ending the war.” But he doesn’t plan to give any more exact timetable than that Tuesday night. The president will end his 92-day review of the war with a nationally broadcast address in which he will lay out his revamped strategy from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. He

spent part of Monday briefing foreign allies in a series of private meetings and phone calls. Before Obama’s call to Britain’s Gordon Brown, the prime minister announced that 500 more U.K. troops would arrive in southern Afghanistan next month — making a British total of about 10,000 in the country. And French President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose nation has more than 3,000 in Afghanistan, said French troops would stay “as long as necessary” to stabilize the country. Obama’s war escalation includes sending 30,000 to 35,000 more American forces into Afghanistan in a graduated deployment over the next year, on top of the 71,000 already there. There also will be a fresh focus on training Afghan forces to take over the fight and allow the Americans to leave.

Senate plunges into debate over sweeping health care bill riven by partisanship WASHINGTON (AP) — Riven by partisanship, the Senate plunged into a widely anticipated debate Monday over sweeping health care legislation that President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats have vowed to approve and Republicans sworn to block. Debate is expected to last for weeks over the legislation, which includes a first-time requirement for most Americans to carry insurance and would require insurers to cover any paying customer regardless of their medical history or condition. “We must avoid the temptation to drown in distractions and distortions,” Senate Majority Leader Harry

Reid said in the first moments of the first speech of the day, a jab at Republicans that was reciprocated minutes later. “Well, I don’t know what’s more preposterous: saying that this plan ‘saves Medicare’ or thinking that people will actually believe you,” Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said of Reid’s oft-made statement. At a cost of nearly $1 trillion, the legislation is designed to extend health care to millions of American who lack it, abolish insurance industry practices such as denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions and cut back on the rise of health care spending overall.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


The Houstonian, Page 5

At the Movies with Kevin:

Fantastic Mr. Fox an attractive, zany experience Kevin Jukkola

Entertainment Editor

Whimsical and intelligent, “Fantastic Mr. Fox” continues the maturation of Wes Anderson as an artist, while simultaneously being persistent in illustrating his conscious failure to assimilate to any conventional filmmaking or storyline structure. Anderson’s films are wonderfully peculiar because they are observant of the hidden nature of characters that highlight the differences in their personalities. It is truly a significant feat to create one sympathetic and unpredictable portrait of lives after another, but Anderson does it with an effortlessness that is almost startling. Mr. Fox (George Clooney) was an accomplished thief before the pregnancy of his wife (Meryl Streep), mainly focusing on the acquisition of chickens for delicious feasts. After contemplating the responsibilities surrounding his impending fatherhood and surviving a close call, Mr. Fox promises that his disregard for the law will seize immediately. Many fox years later, Mr. Fox is discontent with his broken-down house and unfulfilling job as a journalist and constantly looking for more excitement in his life, along with an insistent need

to alleviate his constant food cravings. Against his lawyer’s (Bill Murray) advice, Mr. Fox moves into a beautiful tree that is located between the farms of Bogus, Bunce, and Bean; the most dangerous place in the valley for a fox. After this insightful lesson about the fundamentals of real estate, Mr. Fox moves into the tree with his family, searching for a way that his mischievous juices can begin rapidly flowing again. Eventually, Mr. Fox overcomes mediocre security at the three farms, completely humiliating Bogus, Bunce, and Bean and crippling them economically through the growing denigration of their resources. This starts a battle between the farmers and any animal in their vicinity that will not end until Mr. Fox is dead. Over the course of the film, Mr. Fox learns about the importance of friends, family, community, and acceptance but is still fairly arrogant at the conclusion. This is a fascinating aspect about all of Anderson’s films, which include “Rushmore” and “The Royal Tenenbaums”. Throughout the journeys of the characters in his films, they consistently learn and become better people, while still possessing massive room for improvement. In a sense, these stories are glimpses into long, complicated lives with people

who will perpetually strive for perfection with the intellect to realize that this is unattainable. The screenplay was written by Noah Baumbach and Anderson, two people with an obvious love for the English language and creative ability to express obscure themes in seemingly simple settings. The vocabulary of their characters is extensive because they want the audience to possess a certain amount of intelligence in order to understand all of the subtleties within the film. Although most movie characters do not think in multi-syllable words, Mr. Fox often speaks in them with ease, forcing the audience to keep up with the frenetic use of the broad vocabulary required for a successful columnist. “Fantastic Mr. Fox” has an attractive look and explores themes, such as the possibility of premarital pregnancy, that most children’s entertainment refuses to acknowledge. Although the subject matter of Anderson’s films are completely different, the zany tone with serious moments interrupted by applicable rock music is a trademark. Because of this, it is impossible to predict what Anderson will tackle next. He is a consummate filmmaker who consistently makes you want more without knowing exactly what you are going to get.

Fantastic Mr. Fox Outfoxed. Mr. Fox (George Clooney) leads the entire animal crew on a crusade against the farms of Bogus, Bunce, and Bean in “Fantastic Mr. Fox”.



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Stars: * * * Grade: B Running Time: 88 min. MPAA: Rated PG for action, smoking, and slang humor. Cast: With the voices

of: George Clooney (Mr. Fox), Meryl Streep (Mrs. Fox), Jason Schwartzman (Ash), Bill Murray (Badger), Michael Gambon (Franklin Bean), Willem Dafoe (Rat), Owen Wil-

son (Coach Skip). Directed by Wes Anderson. Written by Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach, based on the book by Roald Dahl.


Page 6 The Houstonian

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

AboutAGirl Part One of a Two part series

Sam Houston State middle blocker Anna Ferguson has already lived a life most volleyball players would dream of. Follow along as The Houstonian travels through and unveils the life of Anna Ferguson. Lotis Butchko Sports Editor

In a humid gym sunk in the heart of Travis County is a blonde haired beauty. She is playing volleyball at a level most would find impossible. Blocking. Killing. Digging. She does it all. Each block, each kill is done with pure intensity, as a loud scream comes from the apex of motion. When she jumps for a kill, her long muscular legs land with an impact that shakes the ground, her long blonde hair flies through the air each time she hurdles up for a kill. She is unruly. She is the definition of controlled aggression. She stares at her opponents through the black and white net; her cyan eyes pierce her opponents with a menacing glare. A threatening figure standing 5 ft. 11 in. dressed in red and black. This girl is no Barbie doll. Today is new for her; she is playing middle blocker. It’s not a new position, but it’s certainly unfamiliar. In the stands is Jason Allen, a recruiter from Sam Houston State University. He is in Austin, Texas, to scout her teammate, Megan McNamara, not the anger-filled, violent hitter named Anna Ferguson, who is killing the ball in a position that has no business getting kills. It doesn’t take long for Allen to notice the scrappy player. Is she raw? Of course she is; volleyball is still new to her. She has only been playing for three years, and her main objective is to hit the ball as hard as possible. She hasn’t learned how to tip or how to control her emotions. She stays quiet after every kill she gets no emotion, just ther to play the game. The one thing he can’t stop noticing is her form. She isn’t jumping off two feet. She is jumping off of one foot, it’s not the correct form, but it doesn’t matter because she is racking up kills. She plays her heart out, diving and sprawling. She doesn’t know there is a scout in the stands, but he knows she is on the court. Her team wins the game and she flips the switch. Another Anna Ferguson emerges; this one is light hearted, energetic and in love with her boyfriend. Her hair goes from a pony tail to just hanging down. She laughs about the game, smiles a crooked smile and hugs her teammates, encouraging them and telling them they did just fine. But what happened to the killer? The girl, who continued to rack up kills because she has to be the best, has transferred into a giggly, smiley-faced goofball. Allen walks over to Head Coach Tracy Hurst and asks about Ferguson. “She is only 17,” says Hurst. Then why is she playing in an

18 and up league? Can it be true, can the killer be doing this well against older girls? Allen informs the coach he is interested in Ferguson, along with McNamara, and Katie O’Neal. He gets their information, and he heads back to Huntsville to tell Head Coach Brenda Gray about the discovery. Ferguson is excited about the situation but not sure what to make of it. In her choice to play in the 18 and up league, she had made a crucial mistake. The scouts look more at the 17-age group and she had skipped through the radar scene. The instinct, the one that keeps going till she can not go anymore, the one that drove her to play up an age group, is keeping her from being seen by anyone else. She doesn’t cry about it or make excuses; she turns it to the court. That’s where she does her talking. As well as she is playing she needs Sam Houston State. It’s not her first choice; hell, it’s not her second or third, but it is a choice. This is how she deals with rejection. She turns it to the court, she becomes the best. She practices serves, tips, spikes and digs. She takes a lesson from her brother, who lacks height, but loves football. If you can’t beat them, then tough shit, you man up and beat them anyway. A week after the game a questionnaire comes in the mail, it’s from Sam Houston State University. Ferguson knows how this process works, she fills out the questionnaire, it asks about her, her

achievements, her background, brothers, sister, is she interested in going to Sam Houston State? Of course, she wants to go to Sam Houston State; she needs them just like they need her. It’s June, and it’s the middle of

summer, she goes back to what she does when she’s not playing volleyball. She spends time with her boyfriend, who lives less than two miles from her house. She jogs over there, sparing the time to drive her 1996 red Ford Expedition with the pealing paint. S h e

loves the car because, like her, everyday it makes it. The car pushes through, grits it out finds a way to survive every day. She had a choice, a new BMW convertible or the Tahoe and she chose the clunker and her family reminds her of it every day, but they don’t see what the car represents. It represents hard work and determination – a desire to keep pushing when it should have stopped years ago. She spends almost every day during the summer at Greg Coutant’s house. He has been the man who has had her heart since seventh grade, when he approached her to go to the Christmas d a n c e . Ever

since, t h e y have been inseparable. They discuss the move to Sam Houston, he is going to Texas A&M and a long distance relationship is not something either of them is interested in. They decide not to bother with the issue now and just spend the rest of their summer together. She waits for her senior year of volleyball to roll around. She was on a mission. She had a scholarship already, but she wants to play at an aggressive level. She goes back to playing outside hitter, a position where getting kills is part of the job description.

Lake Highlands is a solid volleyball team. They are ranked eighth in the state, and again with Ferguson on the front

lines, the team made it to state playoffs. She is an anomaly on her team. She pays no attention to stats. Other team member are always talking about their kills and their digs, but to her the only stat that matters is in the win column. The Lake Highland Wildcats were on a ferocious tear; they found themselves in the Regional Semi-finals against Austin Westlake. For the team this game was huge, but to Ferguson it was even bigger. She was playing at Sam Houston State, in front of Coach Gray, and the rest of the volleyball team. She’s aggressive during the game but not precise, Westlake’s defense is able to absorb the punishment and defeats the Wildcats in a three sets. She’s mad, not upset. She is angry at herself. How can she let this happen in front of everyone? What will the coach think? What will her future teammates think? She doesn’t cry like the rest of her teammates. She knows volleyball isn’t over for her yet, but to say she is just mad might be an understatement. Allen, who is in the stands, now sees the other side of Ferguson: when she wins, everything is great, but a loss, well, that is just inexcusable. She doesn’t even sleep that night. This is how much she hates losing. “It’s so preventable,” she tells her mother and father after she gets back to Dallas. When summer rolls around again, Coutant and she come to a conclusion. Going to school, and keeping a long distance relationship isn’t going to work. Her boyfriend of six years is gone, and she is going to a new town

without any friends. August rolls around and she leaves for Sam Houston State in a brand new blue Jeep Liberty. It’s not the beat up Expedition that pushes through every day. She gave that up for something new. The first week of practice is intense. She leaves her outside hitter position to play middle blocker. The girl who is built on a competitive edge is third on the depth chart, and behind two seniors. She has a roommate, but not one she is close to. She doesn’t have a boyfriend, but she does have volleyball. This is how she deals with loneliness. She goes to practice: she works on serving. She can’t beat out two seniors because she can’t close the gap, so she works on the only thing she can do right away. She spends time learning how to serve, how to hit the ball right and how to give her team an advantage. The first game of the season she gets to play. All the work on serving has paid off, she is the team’s assigned server. She is also a first alternative to come in for middle blocker. The team takes a trip to North Dakota for a tournament. In their second game they play the University of Washington. But Washington is something this team is not ready for. They are the Number One team in the country. Frightening is the only way to describe them, but their play is what does it. Ferguson can’t stop looking at them. They score points and don’t even cheer; machines, that’s what they are no emotion just winning. She wonders if she can be like that, can she mature and keep a straight face during the game. Can she be that type of player? Greg comes to see a game before Halloween, they are keeping in touch; they both want to be together. They talk after the game and promise to keep in touch. It’s only a matter of time before they are seeing each other again. Can you see it? Can you see the Greek character flaw that Anna herself can not see? She is independent, she is self sufficient but only when he is with her. Greg is a piece of her, and he is what makes her independent. But why is it she is still with Coutant? Is it because of her parents’ divorce, because they married so young? Or is it because she and Greg come from the same background? Or maybe, just maybe, that in our lives we each find that one person who completes us, that this person has every quirk we have and in that person she has found Greg.

The Houstonian  

The Houstonian 12-1-09