NEW BEGINNINGS ISSUE Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Texas State seeks state funds, approval to issue bonds By Amanda Venable News Editor Texas State could have a new Music Recital Hall and Theatre Center and Round Rock Health Professions Building, if the legislature votes in the university’s favor. Members of the President’s Cabinet said gaining approval to issue bonds and state dollars to build the two buildings are top priorities going into this legislative session. Part of the Campus Master Plan, the buildings are two of ﬁve revenue projects the administration outlined in their Legislative Appropriations Request this summer and discussed at a hearing Oct. 9. William Nance, vice president of ﬁnance and support services, said the legislature appropriates these types of projects every few biennia, but whether the university’s requests are granted depends on the legislative leadership making it a tuition revenue bond session. Nance said the legislature appropriated $1.6 billion in 2006, which means this legislative session may take a diﬀerent focus. The administration is hoping legislators will consider at least the ﬁrst two of the projects requested if this is an appropriations session, Nance said The ﬁve revenue projects detailed in the Legislative Appropriations Request total to approximately $341 million. Also on the list is $79 million for a new Music Building, $53 million for a second Round Rock Health Professions Building and $84 million for an Engineering and Sciences Building. “No university in the state has ever gotten ﬁve, sometimes you get two (revenue projects approved),” Nance said. “We have gotten two in the past because of the needs at the Round Rock campus.” Nance said the ﬁrst Health Profession Building on the list costs $73 million and would accompany the Nursing Building, which broke ground in August and is set to open fall 2010. The building would be the third at the Round Rock campus, housing four departments: Communication Disorders, Physical Therapy, Clinical Laboratory Sciences and Respiratory Care – complementing its neighbors, the Seton Medical Center and the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine. “We want to create some synergy up there,” Nance said. “It would be a medical complex, with Austin Community College, our program and A&M training doctors.” Robert Gratz, special assistant to University President Denise Trauth, said gaining approval to issue bonds and state dollars to build a Music Recital Hall and Theatre Center is of equal priority to the administration. He said the Recital Hall and Theatre Center will address “major deﬁciencies in the departments” and be “better for the demand and quality.” “The current Music Recital Hall was built in 1956 as a gymnasium and then transformed into a recital hall,” Gratz said. “It’s a small facility with no backstage and only one access to seating areas.” He said the new recital hall would seat 300 people and the theatre center 400. The current Theatre Center – a circular, dark red brick building surrounded by water – will be converted to a larger black box theatre/rehearsal space, if the new building is approved, said Gratz. Gratz said the university is asking the legislature to issue $52 milSee BONDS, page 7
Legislators claim funding for universities is priority By Allen Reed Assistant News Editor Gov. Rick Perry announced with Lt. Gov. David Dewherst and new Speaker Joe Strauss that state funding will be tight this legislative session. The 81st legislature, which convened Jan. 13, holds the power to appropriate funding to state institutions, such as Texas State. The university is now calling on elected oﬃcials for support. State Rep. Patrick Rose (D-45) represents Texas State-San Marcos and the 45th district. A 59.3 percent majority re-elected Rose last November, who ﬁrst won oﬃce in 2002. Rose said he is looking forward to the upcoming session, despite the tight budget. “Over the years, we have enjoyed a great relationship with the students and the administration,” Rose said. Rose said he spoke with University President Denise Trauth about ways to help Texas State further its goals “The state needs to increase its funding for higher education,” Rose said. “That’s the only way we can truly make college more aﬀordable. That will be a priority of ours.” Rose said increasing the accessibility of online textbooks is a priority and “saving students’ money on textbooks is important” to him. Rose and State Sen. Jeﬀ Wentworth (R- San Antonio) worked together in 2005 to help pass the “student regents bill,” allowing an undergraduate to sit on the board of regents. Rose said the bill was a move in the right direction, but it is their goal this session “to empower this student with the right to vote.” Rose said he helped get funding for the nursing school last session. He said capital improvements and procuring funding are projects he will focus on this session. “The Music Recital Hall and Theatre Center will be a priority for us this semester,” Rose said. “This is particularly important for us at Texas State because we have grown so much that we are a space-deﬁcit institution and that impacts everything from academics to parking access.” Rose said higher education is one of the issues he will be working on and cited job creation and road improvements as others. “Our goal as we approach each session is to build a Central Texas where Texas State is strong and where we can go to school, graduate and live a quality life,” he said. Wentworth has been representing Texas State and the 25th district since 1993. The legislator said he plans to introduce multiple bills. Wentworth met with university oﬃcials Jan. 5 to discuss new buildings and improvements, which he said he will ﬁght to get appropriated. “I introduced 135 (bills) last time we met,” he said. “I’m not sure how many I’m going to introduce this session, but it probably won’t be that much.” Wentworth said he plans to introduce a bill affecting students throughout the state, the topic of which has been of much debate on the Texas State campus — the abilSee FUNDING, page 8
2A - The University Star
NEW BEGINNINGS ISSUE
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
INDEX News Page 1A Texas State seeks state funds, approval to issue bonds Legislators claim funding for universities is priority Page 3A Relay for Life receives money from organization, community Organization educates university about unintentional racism Page 4A Texas State student killed by drunk driver Keller school district reverses decision to not let students watch inauguration Page 5A County sheriﬀ dedicates life to community, dies Social networking sites become tools for job-hunters Page 7A Texas State makes makes promise to future Bobcats with new program Page 8A Obama’s moment also belongs to young voters New council member hopes to continue city development
Opinions Page 10A Renewed resolutions Centuries of tension, religious beliefs fuel Gaza conﬂict
Not everything from past eight years Bush’s fault
Trends Page 1B Alumnus helps others gain ﬁnancial independence Bar One Forty-One: Lucy’s no more Page 2B ‘American Idol’ starts new season with diﬀerences Hookahs, shisha gains popularity Page 3B Company specializes in pure, slow-melting ice Students debut art work at wine tasting classes Page 5B Students make New Year’s resolutions for semester Inventor creates utopia with card game
Sports Page 1C Men’s basketball extends winning streak Classiﬁeds Page 3C Men’s basketball extends winning streak Tebow Takes the Title: Florida quarterback has hopes for another national championship Page 4C Basketball junior enjoys transition to Bobcat team Men’s soccer club player overcomes obstacles
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
NEW BEGINNINGS ISSUE
The University Star - 3A
Relay for Life receives money Organization educates university from organization, community about unintentional racism By Teresa Wilburn News Reporter
Lindsey Leverett/Star photo STUDENTS DRINK UP: Relay for Life is collecting aluminum cans to raise money for “Cans for the Cure” with Green Guy Recycling.
By Jordan Gass-Poore’ News Reporter Cans for a Cure is partnering with Green Guy Recycling to raise money for Relay for Life. Cans for a Cure, a nonproﬁt organization, is dedicated to recycling aluminum cans and donating the proﬁts to cancer research and treatment, said Sergio Palacios, the organization’s founder. “I came up with Cans for a Cure one night after cleaning up after a pool party at my apartment complex,” Palacios, public relations senior, said in an e-mail. Palacios said he became involved with Relay for Life as a 12-year-old. He said the organization deserved the donated proceeds. “I thought to myself, ‘what a waste it would be to just throw all those cans away.’ So, I bagged them up,” Palacios said. “And the next day I took them to Green Guy and
opened up an account for Cans for a Cure.” Green Guy Recycling will donate all of the money paid for the cans to the organization. Cans for the Cure will in turn donate all of the proceeds to the Texas State Relay for Life, sister to the American Cancer Society, in April, said co-chair Shannon McFadden, vice president of Colleges Against Cancer. Green Guy recycling, located on Highway 80 behind Hobby Lobby and Tractor Supply. Cans for donations must be bagged and free from trash, other metals, and excessive moisture to be accepted for payment. Cans can be dropped oﬀ during regular working hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Green Guy will donate the proﬁts to Cans for Cure upon request. “The rate for cans varies,” Palacios said. “Right now we make approximately 30 cents per pound or 35 cents per pound on loads of 100 pounds or more at a time.”
McFadden, communication studies senior, said last year’s Relay for Life event raised $17,000, opposed to in 2007 when the event raised $70,000. “This year our goal is $75,000,” McFadden said. McFadden said she became involved with Cans for a Cure through Palacios. “We are always looking for people to volunteer by promoting and raising awareness,” Palacios said. Cans for a Cure is looking to become an oﬃcial organization soon, and Palacios said, may decide to donate all the proceeds to another organization in the future — one that could need more support. “We have a Facebook (Cans for a Cure) group page that helps members keep track of what’s going on with basic info, updates and more,” Palacios said. The all night Relay for Life event will take place 7 p.m. April 17 at Bobcat Stadium.
Some people believe the university may be divided despite the increasing number of minority enrollment throughout the years. Members of a new organization on campus are hoping to change the way race is talked about. “What is sometimes confusing for folks is to understand that racism is not always visible, active and intentional,” said Anne Deepak, assistant professor in the School of Social Work. “It can be perpetuated by good people with good intentions in a passive and unintentional way.” Deepak is one of the women behind Interruptions, an anti-racism peer educator group, making its way into classrooms, residence halls, leadership conferences and public schools throughout the community this spring. “In general, many of us are not comfortable talking about things like race, class, sexual orientation, religion and other social identities,” said Sherri Benn, assistant vice president for Student Aﬀairs and director of Multicultural Aﬀairs. Benn said the students will be responsible for making presentations, keeping abreast of current issues related to the topic, and training their peers. Benn said the group — comprised of students from diﬀerent majors, age groups and backgrounds — has more than 20 members and is still recruiting. Benn said they are looking for students to partner with who have an interest in the organization’s goal Deepak said the group’s goal is to institutionalize a multi-racial, student response to intentional and unintentional racism within the Texas State community. Benn and Deepak, alongside Tori Amason, graduate research assistant in leadership, work to develop the group as a way to bring about diversity awareness. They began brainstorming after Amason came to Benn in the spring 2008 with an idea she had. “I wanted to do a campus-wide, ‘brown-eyed, blue-eyed’ experi-
ment, modeled after Jane Elliott’s ‘A Class Divided,’” she said. “She took her elementary class and taught discrimination in the ’60s by giving her brown-eyed students special privileges one day and vice versa the next. Dr. Benn asked me why I wanted to do this and that led her to introducing the idea of a group like this.” Amason said when an undergraduate at the university, she remembers seeing the issue of race come up during a group project. “As I sat and listened to all of the groups present their book and poster, I realized that each chose to highlight the ‘white hero’ of the story,” she said. Amason said she wants to help students be more equipped for a global society. “Many multicultural student organizations do peer-education but are comprised solely of students of color,” Deepak said. “We felt that interrupting racism should not be the sole responsibility of students of color but that it should be a shared responsibility with white students who have the same desire and commitment.” Deepak said students and faculty of color will feel more supported by the university and less expected to tackle racism on their own, thus creating a more inclusive Texas State environment. She said racism must be framed as an issue requiring a multi-racial response. “The main thing is conversation,” Amason said. “We want to create a space where people can come to the table and talk openly and honestly about their experiences. We want our peer educators to be trained to guide discussion with understanding of the subjects and ideas being discussed from an educational and historical standpoint.” Deepak said peer educators for Interruptions must attend a seven-session training institute in the LBJ Student Center. “I believe education is fundamental to addressing complex realities,” Benn said. “So, that is the focus of this group — educating ourselves and others through the conscience pursuit of new knowledge.”
4A - The University Star
NEW BEGINNINGS ISSUE
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Texas State student killed by drunk driver By Theron Brittain News Reporter Blake Jaksa faced challenges that most students his age have never, and will never, experience. The 23-year-old Texas State senior from Weimar died in the early morning hours on Nov. 30. Traveling on a rural road in nearby Schulenburg during the Thanksgiving break, Jaksa stopped to help a DPS oﬃcer attempting to herd cattle oﬀ the road., The young man was struck by a passing truck while assisting. Jaksa died at the scene. The driver of the truck was arrested and charged with intoxicated manslaughter. The accident cut short a life deﬁned by overcoming challenges. Jaksa was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in 1988 and initially given a terminal diagnosis. His parents took him to M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston, where he underwent radiation therapy. The treatment was successful in shrinking the tumor and saving the three-year old Jaksa’s life, but had the sideeﬀect of causing severe hearing loss. His parents said the disability at times isolated Jaksa as he grew up, but their son carried his daily burden with strength and enjoyed hunting, ﬁshing and golf and was close to his brother and two sisters. “Blake had to be courageous his whole life,” Al Jaksa said. “He went to school with limited hearing and that made him a little distant — going to high school, kids can be cruel.” Jaksa said that changed when Blake was accepted to Texas State.
“He really loved Texas State,” Jaksa said. “He was absolutely in heaven there. He just absolutely loved it.” Chris Park, assistant athletic director of development, agreed Park called Jaksa a close friend who was committed to his duties as a student worker in the athletic department. Jaksa helped out with game operations and donor hospitality for the football and basketball seasons. “He loved being a student here and took a lot of pride in being a Bobcat,” said Park, who served as a pallbearer at Jaksa’s funeral. “He wore a Bobcat hat all the time and called San Marcos ‘San Marvelous.’ Anytime you have a dedicated student that gives their time to give back to the university, we love it. It’s awesome. He was a great help around the department, but he was an even better friend.” Three years ago Jaksa went completely deaf, though he did regain some of his hearing, his father said. He began experiencing seizures and was placed on medication, leaving him with “some good days and some bad days.” Doctors discovered a benign tumor of blood vessels on Jaksa’s right temporal lobe, likely side-eﬀect of the radiation therapy he received as a child, and he underwent brain surgery summer 2008, which succeeded in stopping the seizures. “He fought his whole life,” Al Jaksa said. “He was very, very courageous to go and have brain surgery again at age 23. It was a remarkable thing — he walked in there and had his three-night surgery and responded beautifully. He was kind and he was caring and throughout all of his issues he had a great sense of humor.”
Al Jaksa, Texas State alumus, endowed the Blake Edward Jaksa Scholarship for students with severe hearing disorders in 1997, before he knew his son would one day attend Texas State. The scholarship provides $500 to hearing impaired students to pay for books, tuition, or fees. Jaksa’s sisters, Kacie and Ashton, spoke at his funeral, calling their older brother a “gentle, quiet leader” who went before them in all walks of life. They said he focused on loving his family and his faith in God, rather than the tough times brought on by his disability and recent surgery. His parents believe their son’s life was characterized by his faith and strength of character. “He had a drive and determination that was just exceptional. He just never gave up. He had lots of struggles, but he had such a determination to accomplish whatever it was he set out to do,” said his mother, Melanie Jaksa. Al Jaksa said the accident was “beyond belief,” but his son’s actions that night were typical of the kind of person he was. “It’s not surprising that Blake stopped to help at all,” he said. “It’s just tragic this guy was there at the same exact time.” Park said any time a young person with Jaksa’s potential is lost is extremely sad. “Blake will be thoroughly missed,” he said. “We think about him every day and he will be missed around the Texas State community without a doubt. He loved his university and was actively involved and wanted to do anything he could to help his university succeed. He was a true shining example of what a Texas State student should be.”
Keller school district reverses decision to not let students watch inauguration By Jessamy Brown McClatchy Newspapers KELLER, Texas — Spurred by complaints from parents and community members, on Wednesday Keller, Texas, school oﬃcials reversed course and said students in kindergarten through 12th grades can watch Tuesday’s presidential inauguration live as part of social studies curriculum. Central administrators had previously directed teachers to follow the day’s lesson plans, suggesting that because of widespread media coverage, students would be able to watch the event with their parents after school. The suburban Fort Worth school district issued a mid-morning announcement Wednesday. “We had more people believing they should be able to watch and that’s why we made the decision. Afterward we received some comments saying they agreed with the original decision,” said Bryce Nieman, a Keller spokesman. The statement said: “The administration believed the community would want the district to maintain its focus on our approved curriculum. ... It was never the intent of the district to suggest that the inauguration was not a historic event.” District oﬃcials did not have a similar policy against watching the live inauguration in place four years ago, when Texan George W. Bush was sworn in to his second term as president. So it is likely that some teachers showed the event to students, Nieman said. Keller parent Kenny Smith, whose son is a ju-
nior, said it doesn’t matter to him whether teachers show the swearing-in live. His family plans to record it on a DVR to watch that evening. “I have no problem at all with the district taking time out from the curriculum to show that,” Smith said. “It’s a historic event but my son will certainly have other opportunities to see it.” Darius Hatchett, secretary of Keller school’s chapter of the Association of Texas Professional Educators, said teachers want to show Inauguration Day activities that are appropriate for the child’s age and attention span. “I think that some teachers were a little bit bothered that the decision had been made in the ﬁrst place, and I don’t think anybody was surprised it was changed,” said Hatchett, a Keller High School health teacher. “This is certainly such a historic event that at any grade level you’d want the kids to have a part of it.” The American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association developed lesson suggestions for schools around the country studying the inauguration. Included are activities that could be done on Inauguration Day or afterward since many school districts are closed on Tuesday, Barbara Kapinus, NEA senior policy analyst, wrote in an e-mail. “There is a great deal to be gained by watching the inauguration with classmates and exchanging comments and responses,” Kapinus wrote. “In some cases, teachers might want to show a video of the inauguration again, a day or so after the ceremonies, to review and discuss what occurred in more detail.”
NEW BEGINNINGS ISSUE
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The University Star - 5A
County sheriff dedicates life to community, dies By Teresa Wilburn News Reporter Allen Bridges died Dec. 6 of unknown causes after three years of service as Hays County Sheriﬀ. Twenty-ﬁve years in the Austin Police Department led Allen Bridges to the doorsteps of the Hays County Sheriﬀ’s Oﬃce in August 1997. Bridges accepted the oﬀer as a crime prevention deputy, but would soon play a larger role in the Hays County community. Bridges accepted a promotion to become the county’s ﬁrst press information oﬃcer the following January. He was then promoted to Sergeant in 1999, where he supervised the Crime Prevention Team, D.A.R.E., Gang Unit and Media Information Unit. According to his biography, Bridges was elected unanimously to Hays County Sheriﬀ in September 2005. Bridges and his wife were married for more than 36 years, had ﬁve children and eleven grandchildren. Joe De La Cerda, public administration graduate student, advised Bridges with his re-election campaign and recruited volunteers. De La Cerda describes Bridges as “one of the most incredible men” he has ever known. “He always had time to share a laugh
with you and was generally happy throughout the day, regardless of what vexed him,” he said. “He had a very strong dedication to those he worked for. But overall, he was nothing short of a good friend and an excellent public servant.” Bridges won the Crime Prevention Manager of the Year Award in 2008 for the second time since becoming Hays County Sheriﬀ, according to his biography. Bridges served in several associations around the community. He was a member in the Gary Job Corp Community Relations Committee in San Marcos. According to the Hays County Sheriﬀ’s Oﬃce, Bridges attended the Austin Police Department Training Academy with more than 2200 hours in law enforcement training. LeRoy Opiela, lieutenant in charge of public information for the Sheriﬀ’s Oﬃce, said he knew Bridges for more than 20 years. “We had a great relationship,” Opiela said. “He worked for the Austin Police Department for 25 years, retired, and recruited me in 1998 to work in San Marcos.” Opiela said Bridges cared about the citizens and enjoyed visiting with them on a personal level. “He was interested in their lives and what the sheriﬀ’s oﬃce could do to make their lives better,” Opiela said.
Bridges was involved in the Blue Santa Program with the Austin Police Department and brought “the giving spirit” with him to San Marcos, Opiela said. “When he came here, he got involved in the Brown Santa Program to ensure that people who needed help during the holidays had it,” he said. “He was involved every year, for 11 years — up every morning, helping give toys to the needy families.” Opiela said he and Bridges had a close working relationship. “There were many days that he would come into my oﬃce, shut the door, and talk about what was going on in his life, his kids,” he said. “We discussed things that were going on in our lives that neither one of us could do anything about, but it was a shoulder to cry on.” Opiela said Bridges was a family man, and although his children were all grown, he was always there for them and stayed in constant touch. “Allen was a big part of Hays County and there is not anywhere that I go that people do not express their sympathies and how much they are going to miss him,” Opiela said. Bridges held a Master Peace Oﬃcer Certiﬁcation from the Texas Commission Courtesy of Bridges family on Law Enforcement Oﬃcer Standards COMMUNITY REMEMBERS: Hays County Sherriff Allen Bridges, deand Education, and resided in Dripping scribed as a dedicated public servant by those who knew him best, died Springs for more than 20 years. Dec. 6.
Social networking sites become tools for job-hunters By Thomas Lee Star Tribune MINNEAPOLIS — Ken Webb initially joined LinkedIn for the same reason anyone would want to join a social networking site — to keep in touch with friends and former work colleagues. However, Webb, a former operations manager at Plato Learning, struggled to ﬁnd a job. He soon realized LinkedIn oﬀered ways to electronically network with people who could provide valuable insight and connections to prospective employers. “When I see a job opening, before I even write a cover letter, I go to LinkedIn,” said Webb, of Minneapolis. “Knowing how crowded the job market is now, I don’t know if it’s even worth applying if I can’t get an ‘in’ with the company.”
Workers are turning to professional networking sites such as LinkedIn to search a dwindling pool of jobs as the country’s recession deepens and millions of Americans swell unemployment rolls. Millions of people have ﬂocked to social networking sites during the past several years such as Facebook and MySpace, which allow users to post messages, share photos, music and videos and update friends and family on everything from weddings to musings on politics and weather. The sites’ growing popularity has moved beyond mere entertainment. Just as artists can instantly distribute content to a global audience, companies realize they also can tap a broad pool of talent. LinkedIn now boasts proﬁles from more than 30 million professionals around
the world. Corporate recruiters increasingly are scouring professional networking sites such as LinkedIn, looking for the best candidates through references and recommendations. However, a personal connection is still the most powerful lure. “It’s common knowledge today that (human resources) people collect résumés in databases that take them forever to pull up the candidates,” said Lisa Hendrickson, manager of LinkedIn Minnesota, a network of LinkedIn users in the state. “A hiring manager does not want to go through a database of 200 applications. They will, but they don’t want to. They would rather know someone who knows someone.” Hendrickson, owner of Call That Girl, a Minneapolis-based computer repair business, re-
cently founded Project: Link It Forward, which provides free monthly LinkedIn workshops to professionals seeking jobs. “What we are teaching you is to get the résumé to the hiring person or the HR person,” Hendrickson said. “Five years ago, we did not have tools like LinkedIn to help ﬁnd work. That’s why LinkedIn is so prevalent now. It works.” According to a survey by Robert Half International, 62 percent of executives say sites such as LinkedIn will prove useful in recruiting job candidates during the next three years. Another 35 percent said they also plan to tap Facebook and MySpace. Robert Half, a staﬀing ﬁrm that specializes in ﬁnance and accounting, polled 150 senior executives from the country’s 1,000 largest companies. “It still is quite challenging to ﬁnd qualiﬁed workers,” said
Kami Schneiderman, a Minneapolis-based regional vice president for Robert Half. LinkedIn “is a good way to tap into additional contacts.” A person found through networking “tends to be a stronger candidate than a blind job seeker,” Schneiderman said. LinkedIn allows users to post résumés and search companies and job openings. Its real value is allowing people to “link” with other users whose own links may prove useful to the job seeker. For example, a software designer seeking a job at Microsoft can link with a friend who’s linked to his college roommate whose ﬁancé happens to be the company’s vice president of product development. Webb quit his job in 2007at Plato Learning, where he supervised a team of techies who
fulﬁlled online software orders. He planned to move to New York because his wife landed a job at American Home Mortgage Investment. However, that company ﬁled for bankruptcy, forcing Webb to job hunt in Minnesota. He landed an interview with an online high school. To prepare for it, Webb used LinkedIn to search for people who used to work at the company. He eventually found a woman who was one of the company’s ﬁrst hires. She didn’t know Webb, but the woman proved useful, he said. “Most people will help because it doesn’t cost them anything” other than time, Hendrickson said. “You can meet so many people now that you never had access to before. And it’s acceptable. ... People are on LinkedIn because of a reason. They didn’t make the account for fun.”
6A - The University Star
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
NEW BEGINNINGS ISSUE
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The University Star - 7A
Obama’s moment also belongs to young voters New council member hopes to By Halimah Abdullah McClatchy Newspapers WASHINGTON — For millions of young voters, Presidentelect Barack Obama’s victory was a clarion call to put aside the cynicism and disaﬀectedness that had deﬁned Generations X and Y and help change the course of the nation. According to exit polls, roughly 68 percent of voters age 18 to 30 voted for Obama. Throughout the long campaign, a multiethnic coalition of millions of iPhone-wielding, Facebook-friending, tech-savvy, Twittering young voters used all the tools in their arsenal to convince friends, strangers and, yes, even their baby boomer parents to vote for Obama. During the next few days, thousands of those young voters will crowd into Washingtonbound buses, pile into cars and
sleep on the living room ﬂoors of friends, family and folks they’ve met through social networking sites — all for an opportunity to witness Obama’s inauguration. This moment — his moment — belongs to the young, and they plan on taking a ﬁrm grip on the torch being passed to them. “My generation is the transition between the old ways of thinking and a more progressive period,” said James Baker, 21, a junior political science major at the University of California, Davis. “The past election has demonstrated that young people, if they did vote, they could have a huge impact. That’s something people never gave my generation credit for before.” For the generation that came of age during the prosperous ‘90s, the nation’s current eco-
Austin Byrd/Star photo NEW LEADER: Barack Obama during his visit to the Texas State campus. The Obama inauguration is a historic event that might not have happened without strong youth support.
FUNDING CONTINUED from page 1
ity for students with concealed carry handgun licenses to bring ﬁrearms into classrooms. “(The bill) protects sitting ducks if some deranged madman comes in and starts shooting people,” Wentworth said. State Rep. Diana Maldonado (D-52) represents the Texas State Round Rock campus. “As a parent of two children and former president of the Round Rock ISD Board of Trustees, public and higher education is a top concern of mine that I will take to the Capitol,” Maldonado said in an e-mail interview. “By investing in our college students, we are making a direct investment into the future of our state.” Maldonado said she met with local stakeholders in higher education. She said the meetings served to make her “more aware of the speciﬁc needs of our local higher educational institutions.” Maldonado said she will work to continue their structural support and ﬁnd ways to strengthen it. “Attacking the cost of tuition is a top priority of mine and I expect it to also be a focus for this legislature,” she said. “Possible ways to do this could be either an increase in grants and scholarships, a re-regulation of (tuition) rates by the state, or even a combination of these two options.”
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nomic downturn was a stark wake-up call, said Larry Berman, who is Baker’s political science professor at UC-Davis. Many young voters will be entering the job market, or attempting to change employment, at a time when jobs are scarce. In Obama, young voters see an agent of change, someone who could help them fulﬁll those hopes and aspirations, Berman said. “In my entire 33 years of teaching at UC, I’ve never seen students more motivated or more informed than they were in this election. Compare it to the 2000 election with Al Gore, where there was no real sense of identiﬁcation, no motivation. This time what you noticed was excitement,” Berman said. “The one danger, and I always tell them this, is that they could also be so disappointed. What happens if super-Obama can’t fulﬁll things? Will they become disinterested, alienated?” Students at Alabama A&M, a historically black college in Huntsville, Ala., were engrossed in Obama’s candidacy and hope that his presidency will herald a new era of opportunities for their generation. During the election cycle, they discussed Obama’s bid with professors — many of whom lived in the South during the civil rights movement of the turbulent 1950s and ‘60s — and attended debate-watching parties and wept when he won. “The environment was so empowered. It gave me chills. People were crying. One of my friends was screaming and crying. For this moment in time nothing else mattered. Everyone was happy for this one common thing,” said Brittani Lewis, 21, a biology major at Alabama A&M. However, as the afterglow of Obama’s election wanes, Lewis, who will soon enter the job market, watches the dismal economic news with dismay. Though she feels assured of a job in health care, she worries that her classmates’ optimism might be dashed. “Everyone needs to realize what (Obama’s) inheriting,” Lewis said. “People’s hopes are so high, and he’s getting something that is historical. It’s not going to be fast. Change is going to happen over time. He’s not going to be able to get it done overnight.” their children as the reason,” said Matthew Segal, the executive director of the Student Association for Voter Empowerment, a national nonproﬁt organization founded and run by students. “Now we’re ready for a steady engagement with the political process. ... Young voters will be leaders” in pushing for education, environmental and health care improvements.
continue city development
FRESH FACE: District Judge Bill Henry administers the oath of ofﬁce to newly elected Councilmember Fred Terry. Terry was elected on Nov. 4, 2008 and sworn into ofﬁce on Nov. 17, 2008.
By Christine Mester News Reporter Newly elected City Council Member, Fred Terry, was sworn into oﬃce on Nov. 17 alongside incumbents Chris Jones and Mayor Susan Narvaiz. Terry, who ran unopposed, is the only new member on the council. “I know the council already from my association with the city through the planning and zoning commission, so I don’t really feel like I’m a new member,” Terry said. “I feel like I was part of that group to begin with. The entire council has welcomed me well and we all work together well.” Terry said his involvement with the Planning and Zoning Commission inspired him to run for City Council Place 3. “There were a lot of things we were working on that were going to the City Council to be approved,” Terry said. “When the opportunity to run became available, I thought I needed to step in there and make sure those projects went on through.” Terry met with consultants working on the Downtown Master Plan during his time on the Planning and Zoning Commission. “I would like to see those diﬀerent areas that the consultant had come up with proceed as far as development, signage, entry ways and the beautiﬁcation of the city,” Terry said. “I think that is real important to me, as well as every citizen of San Marcos. I want to see the downtown develop into something that it is worthy of. Terry said the most important issue facing the City Council is the growth of San Marcos. “We are not going to be able to contain its growth,” Terry said. “The corridor between Austin and San Antonio is going to explode.” The growth of the city will lead to the development of new subdivisions. Terry said more aﬀordable housing should become available. “I would like to see some housing developments here in San Marcos that are more aﬀordable,”
Terry said. “We have several subdivisions that are a little bit too expensive. There is just not much that the median families can aﬀord. I’d like to see those develop.” Terry, who moved to San Marcos in 1999, is a realtor by profession. “What I’ve learned from real estate and being on the Planning and Zoning Commission gives me the background to proceed with the council,” Terry said. “I feel that is important in the aspects of the operation of the city and what the City Council actually does.” Terry is also a member of the Chamber of Commerce and a participant in several committees. “There is not really a lot of free time,” Terry said. “I do enjoy hiking, camping and outdoor sports. I’m really involved in my church as well.” Terry also met with the consultants of the Campus Master Plan, saying he hopes to see the university work better through the development of eﬃcient parking garages. “There is a lot of parking that is surface parking,” Terry said. “I would like to eliminate that by building parking garages so there is more green space and more space available for the university’s growth.” Terry said he met with University President Denise Trauth in hopes to keep an open line of communication between the City of San Marcos and Texas State. “My oﬃce is really close to the university and my doors are always open if anybody wants to come down here and talk to me,” Terry said. “I’d like for the citizens of San Marcos, as well as the students, to feel welcome to come down and talk to me about any issues they might have.” Cody Dubose, Terry’s assistant, said Terry is a good person for the job. “He will give you the inch and see what you can make out of it and be behind you for helping you succeed,” Dubose said. “That is really the mindset I believe he takes into helping all of San Marcos.”
8A - The University Star
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Texas State makes makes promise to future Bobcats with new program By Lora Collins News Reporter First time freshmen can receive ﬁnancial aid through the Bobcat Promise program, starting in the fall. The program will assist families in San Marcos with adjusted gross incomes less than $35,000 and students’ families from outside the area with incomes less than $25,000. “Our goal in this program for the Bobcat Promise with San Marcos High School is to do everything we can to assist more students who have demonstrated ﬁnancial need so that their students can achieve a college education,” said Michael Heintze, associate vice president of enrollment management. Mariko Gomez, director of ﬁnancial aid and scholarships, said the program will show Texas State’s loyalty to the San Marcos community. “We feel that by expanding the eligibility requirement of the Bobcat Promise to $35,000 for San Marcos High School students, Texas State is demonstrating its commitment to the citizens of San Marcos,” Gomez said. Applicants who meet the adjusted gross income will receive funds for 15 semester credit hours lasting up to eight continuous semesters. Students within
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lion in bonds to pay for the $60 million center. He said the other $8 million needed to build the center came as a gift from South West Texas alumna Patty Harrison. Nance said the university is asking the legislature to fund four items in addition to the ﬁve building requests. The items include additional funds for a $4 million grant to technology development given by the governor, to a River Systems Monitoring project, to Texas border security geographic research and continuation of special items the state is currently funding. In addition to the revenue projects – referred to as exceptional items until approved – Nance said the university hopes to get full funding of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s
the program are required to keep a minimum of 2.0 Texas State grade point average, complete 15 hours each semester, meet institutional requirements, remain within the adjusted gross income and submit a completed FASFA form by April 1. Gomez said the university will use federal and state grants to fund the program. “We are using primarily need-based grant funds to ﬁnance this program,” Gomez said in an e-mail interview.“These funds include Pell Grant (a need based federal grant) and TEXAS Grant (a need based state grant), Federal Work Study and institutional funds.” According to Heintze, the university will have to pay a small amount to fund the program. “We really feel like it will be very minimal dollar amount, probably less than $50,000,” he said. Gomez said she agreed with Heintze when considering the dollar amount needed from the university. “By making use of federal and state grants, we anticipate that limited institutional funds will be needed,” Gomez said. Reapplying to the program after failing to meet the speciﬁed requirements is not an option for students. However,
formula. The legislature appropriated over $80 million to the university last session based on the Coordinating Board’s Instruction and Operation Formula, but Nance said there is only so much money to go around. “There are thirty-four public universities competing for this pot,” Nance said. “We should see some increase because of enrollment growth. I was a lot more hopeful six to nine months ago about our chances. Obviously, with Hurricane Ike and the economic impact, there is a lot to be funded. Higher education is one of the competing entities.” Nance said the bulk of the funding comes from the Coordinating Board’s formula. The formula – which uses summer, fall and spring enrollment ﬁgures – will not be crunched until mid semester.
Gomez said students should access other forms of ﬁnancial aid. “It is important to remember that they will still be eligible for ﬁnancial aid,” Gomez said. “All the student needs to do is complete and submit their FAFSA by the prescribed priority deadline.” Heintze said an estimated 150 students will be eligible for the program in the fall. “We looked at last year’s freshmen class and looked at the student who would have been eligible in last year’s class and that is what we are basing our estimate on,” Heintze said. Gomez said the opportunity may encourage more high school graduates to consider college an option. “We feel the program removes any preconceived ideas that ﬁnancial aid is a barrier to achieving a college education,” Gomez said. “It is our hope that low income families will realize college is possible and attending Texas State can be a reality and not just a dream.”
Jenny Polson/ Star photol illustration
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
NEW BEGINNINGS ISSUE
The University Star - 9A
OPINIONS 10A - The University Star
onlineconnection Check out www.UniversityStar.com in the following weeks for continued News, Sports, Trends and Opinions coverage.
RENEWED Opinions Contact — Krista Almazan, email@example.com
THE MAIN POINT
hile the rest of the world makes new year’s resolutions, most college students make new semester resolutions. A new semester resolution goes something along the lines of, “This semester I’m going to study/work out/go out/whatever more.” But by the time we are college aged we are usually set in our ways, and following through with these resolutions can be tough. The slob stays messy, the procrastinator still waits until the last minute, and the apathetic student remains indiﬀerent. So this semester should be the one where you actually follow through with the plans you have set up for yourself. Whether it is ﬁnally ditching a bad habit, or ﬁnishing a long dormant project, just imagine the feeling of self satisfaction when you complete your resolution. Your only regret will be that you didn’t accomplish it sooner. The ﬁrst step to completing a new resolution is to actually do it. This may sound simplistic, but it’s harder than it seems. If your new semester resolution is to write a novel, then you might ﬁnd when you sit down at your computer that Facebook is far more appealing than hitting the keyboard. You might justify your decision by saying “I’ll only watch YouTube for ten minutes, then start writing.” But then two hours later all you have done is watch highschool kids injure themselves using lawnmowers and cans of gasoline, and you are no closer to being the next Ernest Hemingway. Procrastination is the enemy of anything worthy. Some people might even resolve to procrastinate less, because if waiting to the last minute is your style then you probably have not accomplished much. If you are a procrastinator, then ditching this habit is the ﬁrst step to accomplishing anything else that is worthy on your to do list. When accomplishing your set goals, it is ok to ask for help. Some things are harder than others. If your resolution is to work out more, then you simply just have to work out more. But if your resolution is to quit smoking then the road might be tougher, but the tougher the road usually the better the prize. In this case the prize is not dying painfully in your ﬁfties. Even consult a professional such as a doctor. It is also important to know the proper way to complete your resolution. Your resolution might be to lose weight, but any health professional can tell you there is a right way and a wrong way to do so. Being health conscious is great, but the water and toast diet might cause more harm than good. In the end the only thing stopping you from completing your resolution is your own anxieties and apprehensions. It is resolve you want to have, not reserve.
The Main Point is the opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board. Columns are the opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reﬂect the opinions of the full staff, Texas State University-San Marcos Student Media, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication or Texas State University-San Marcos.
Russell Weiss/Star Illustration
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Not everything from past eight years Bush’s fault By Lake Morris The Daily Gamecock Tuesday, Jan. 20 marks yet another history-making day here in America. On this cool day in January, President-elect Barack Obama oﬃcially takes oﬃce and begin his term as he inherits what can simply be called a giant mess. For most, another historic happening will occur: current President George W. Bush no longer holds that title. For many, the day Bush leaves oﬃce has been anticipated for quite some time. One discussion that will run rampant as Obama begins to enact policy is about Bush’s legacy. How have his two terms aﬀected America? Where will he go down in history with regards to the other former presidents? Believe it or not, Bush may not be the worst president in the history of America. Has he made mistakes? You bet. But not all the mistakes of the last eight years can be laid at his feet entirely. Let’s look back at the beginning. In 2001, Bush was faced with a terrorist attack the likes of which only one other president has faced: Franklin Roosevelt. In this case, Bush did the best he could by getting information and going after the perpetrators. Blaming the attacks on Bush is foolish and ill-conceived. Blame can be put on the CIA or airline security or the airﬁeld where the terrorists got their wings. One could even make a case to blame Bill Clinton, but that may be a stretch as well. Then things seemed to go south. With ambition, false assumptions and what turned out to be bad intelligence, Bush attacked Iraq. Can some blame go to Bush? Yes, but not all of it. The CIA can be blamed here for giving Bush misinformed intelligence. Did Bush go to Iraq to rectify his father’s missed opportunities? There is no concrete proof to sway one way or the other. If that was not enough, the economy took a dive near the end of his presidency, which certainly cannot be blamed on him. Instead, you could blame it on the chairman Bush placed to monitor the situation, or the greed of Wall Street, or a simple lack of ethics. The bulk of the blame goes to Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. It is easy to blame the president for everything that goes wrong in a country, as he (or maybe someday, she) is the face of the nation. But in summing up President Bush’s legacy, it is ill-advised to place all the blame at his changing doorstep. I believe that the historians will have to judge how Bush did in his eight years in oﬃce. I don’t believe Bush will go down as the worst. He is better than Carter, Nixon, Johnson and some of the lesser-known presidents like Van Buren. Is Bush the best? By no means, but he certainly shouldn’t be judged as the absolute worst in history.
Centuries of tension, religious beliefs fuel Gaza conﬂict By Krista Almazan Opinions Editor Since being granted entitlement to the land of Jerusalem, by the victors of World War II, Israel has been butting heads with the Palestinians, who have lived there for centuries. Seemingly never-ending conﬂict has characterized this religious war since the middle of the twentieth century. Palestinians, a predominantly Muslim people, believe that Jerusalem is holy because, among other things, Mohammad ascended to paradise from the location where the Temple Mount stands today. And Israelis, a predominantly Jewish people, maintain that Jerusalem is rightfully theirs because, among other things, it was given to them by
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the Hebrew god of the Bible. And apparently nothing says, “This land is MY land,” better than, “God gave it to me.” And so, for both parties, Jerusalem holds a very valuable connection to the history of their faiths, and both are willing to ﬁght tooth and nail to obtain indisputable control of the religiously signiﬁcant land. The conﬂict is somewhat reminiscent of the clash between early American settlers and the American Natives, who inhabited this land centuries before the Europeans moved in and clamed it for their own. Like the Native American Tribes, the inferior Hamas militants do not seem to stand much of a chance against their more advanced adversaries. Recently, the tension between the
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two has grown more and more hostile. The middle-eastern turf war has escalated, and the horriﬁc war crimes being committed by Israeli military are just too atrocious to ignore. Israeli military is in direct violation of the Geneva Convention in that they have targeted medical units and school buildings; in some cases, children were literally on the roof when the buildings were destroyed. The massacre at the Gaza strip leads one to believe that Israel aims to have the current residents of Jerusalem wiped from the world completely. Politico, a political news website, has stated that half of the ever-increasing number of casualties on the Gaza strip are known to be women and children, and that white phosphorous used by Israel is inﬂicting
more and more victims with melted faces and body parts. Mainstream media would have us believe that Israel is merely acting in defense, as a result of the few missiles shot into Israel by Hamas militant groups. I may be able to see where an equal retaliation would be justiﬁed, but not genocide. According to an article on the Prison Planet website, by Paul Joseph Watson, traces of depleted uranium are being found in the victims at the Gaza strip. “The Ultimate death toll could be far higher as future generations are plagued by cancers and birth defects,” Watson wrote. An article published on The Drudge Report’s website also indicates that, on Thursday, Israel “shelled the UN headquarters in Gaza.”
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The Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq is supporting the Palestinians and the victims at Gaza. Their eﬀorts against Israeli military – while they are just – require them also to increase their resistance against the U.S. military entities that currently occupy Iraq. The United States is supposed to be a nation that promotes liberty. George W. Bush once said that he believed “God wants everyone to be free.” But yet our government is acting very subservient to the Israeli powers that be. Is our country really Israel’s lapdog? Can Israel truly get away with whatever they chose to do to us and other countries? I encourage everyone to question the motives behind the U.S. standing idly by while Israel throws its weight around, even at us. Assalamo Aleikum!
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The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University-San Marcos published Tuesday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with a distribution of 8,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright Thursday, January 20, 2009. All copy, photographs and graphics appearing in The University Star are the exclusive property of The University Star and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the editor in chief.
NEW BEGINNINGS ISSUE
1B - The University Star
Alumnus helps others gain financial independence By Brett Thorne Trends Editor Ruben Ruiz has been active in the business world since 1974 and recently made a pledge to help 100,000 Hispanic Americans gain ﬁnancial independence during the next 10 years. Ruiz’ desire to help came when he looked at the business world he had become immersed in and realized there were hardly any successful or wealthy Hispanics. Ruiz decided to ﬁx that by publishing a series of books. The ﬁrst, One-Hour Hispanic Millionaire, was a blueprint on how to achieve a million dollar net worth by practicing 12 key steps for one hour each week. The newest book, The Richest Latino In America, follows a diﬀerent format. “It’s very one-of-a-kind because as far as we know, there’s not another one like it in America,” Ruiz said. “It’s a ﬁnancial selfhelp book in a story format.” The book follows Ricardo and Anne Marie, a middle-age couple living in San Antonio, who ask the question “Why are we not wealthy?” Ricardo reluctantly decides to speak with a rich local businessman named Rolando. Rolando sends Ricardo on a journey all over America to visit with people who, like Rolando, have learned the secret of wealth building. Ruiz said his learning curve for writing was especially steep. “The ﬁrst one took me about 18 months from start to ﬁnish and this newest one took about 9 months,” Ruiz said. “I learned a lot about how the process works.” The time and eﬀort Ruiz put forth appears to have begun paying oﬀ in multiple ways. According to the Latino Book and Family Festival Web site, Ruiz’ two books were nominated for six awards including Best
Business Book, Best New Age Book, Best Reference Book and Best Spanish or Bilingual Business Book. Ruiz said the books have brought more beneﬁts than awards. “A book is a way to promote business,” Ruiz said, referring to his work with the Money Concepts Financial Planning Center in San Marcos. “The books allow me to do keynotes, seminars and workshops. I’ve gotten some clients from the books.” Ruiz said helping others plan their budgets and investments through Money Concepts gave him an interesting perspective from which to write the book. “I wrote it not necessarily from a rich person’s perspective,” Ruiz said. “I had to learn all the diﬀerent (keys to ﬁnancial freedom) from low-income to high-income customers. You learn what they did or didn’t do. You learn all these things and start to apply them.” Ruiz, who graduated from Southwest Texas State University with a marketing degree, said his time at the university was instrumental in where he has gotten today but his principles of wealth building are not necessarily something one can take a class to learn. “There’s no secret but people think there is,” Ruiz said. “It took me 20 years to ﬁgure them out. All the parts are not taught in any school. People try to go from second to 10th grade but they miss all the other steps.” Much of Ruiz’ advice on ﬁnancial matters revolves around planning and scheduling. He follows his own advice when it comes to writing books. “My goal is to sell more books,” Ruiz said. “I’ve set a goal to write one book a year for ﬁve years and then translate them to Spanish. If you don’t have a goal, you’ll never get to where you’re going.”
ONE Lucy’s FORTY-ONE No More
Lindsey Leverett/Star photo CHANGE OF TEMPO: Lucy’s, once an alternative venue on The Square, is now being renovated into Bar One Forty-One.
By Brittany Bemis Features Reporter
Photo courtesy of OneHourHispanicMillionaire.com BOBCAT BOOK: Texas State alumnus Ruben Ruiz recently published his second book, “The Richest Latino in America.” Ruiz calls it a “self help book in a story format.”
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Lucy’s, a popular live music venue, closed its doors for remodeling, restoring and renaming. The club, soon to be known as Bar One Forty-One, will transform into a more upscale cocktail lounge, oﬀering reservations for booths and tables as well as bottle service. Brian Scoﬁeld, owner, is excited about the changes at hand. “We took down a lot of the wood that the previous owner put up and exposed the brick behind it. We replaced the bar top and some booths have been put in,” Scoﬁeld said. “Also we’ve added a doorway to the back staircase that leads downstairs so (you) can move easily between the upstairs and downstairs.” Scoﬁeld explained it was a tough decision to close Lucy’s but it was ultimately an economical choice. “As much as I like the live music and initially opening (Lucy’s) to be a live music venue, over the past 18 months it has been harder and harder to run as a full time live music venue especially considering the space that I have and the size of the club,” Scoﬁeld said. “At the beginning it was really
easy to book shows, but it just became too diﬃcult.” Scoﬁeld explained the primary reason for opening Lucy’s. “I saw a hole in the market place originally when I opened Lucy’s.” Scoﬁeld said. “I saw that there was no real live venue for college bands so I wanted to bring that here.” Scoﬁeld has discovered another “hole in the market place” and hopes Bar One Forty-One will ﬁll the void. “I saw that there isn’t really a club on The Square that is upscale like a warehouse district kind of club,” Scoﬁeld said. “I want to create a nicer dance club that will make people want to get dressed up and go out to.” Felicity Jones, marketing sophomore, thinks the change is promising. “I usually go to Austin when I want to go to a high end club.” Jones said. “If I want to go out, dress up, and see a diﬀerent crowd then I go to Austin.” Jones believes this kind of venue is perfect for San Marcos. “Maybe it will draw more people to San Marcos having that kind of club here,” Jones said. “I will deﬁnitely be going to check it out when it opens” Jones also liked the idea of VIP reservations.
“If you can reserve a table for your friends at a relatively inexpensive price then it adds something more to the experience,” Jones said. “It would be a unique setting for a birthday party, you can have a VIP table and a bottle to share with your friends. San Marcos doesn’t oﬀer anything like that currently, which is why most of my friends and I go to Austin.” Chris King, guitarist for Texas band This Will Destroy You, is disappointed but understanding about the modiﬁcations. “The people who work at Lucy’s have always been really supportive. I am bummed out about they’re (not showing) live music anymore but Triple Crown has always been awesome and I am sure that place will be open forever.” King said. “I guess it is the market, they have to make money and it is just more consistent running a straight (dance) club.” Scoﬁeld hopes to open Bar One Forty-One by the ﬁrst week of school but he is still unsure of an exact date. Bar One Forty=One will be 21 and up except on Wednesdays. “I’ve been doing 18 and up on Wednesdays for almost seven years,” Scoﬁeld said. Scoﬁeld said that is one thing sure to stay the same.
NEW BEGINNINGS ISSUE
2B - The University Star
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
‘American Idol’ starts new season with differences By Rick Bentley McClatchy Newspapers Simon Cowell’s philosophy about television production is not to tinker with something that’s working. And “American Idol” works big time. The competition series is an annual ratings juggernaut for the Fox Network. Thousands of hopefuls turn out for the auditions. Millions of viewers telephone in their votes. Cowell is still bending his philosophy and making a few changes for Season Eight, which launched at 8 p.m. EST Jan. 13, despite all the success. The most noticeable change is the addition of a fourth judge to the mix. Grammynominated songwriter Kara DioGuardi will sit alongside Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul and Cowell. There was an attempt to add a fourth judge in Season Two, Angie Martinez. However, she left the show after a few days because she did not enjoy criticizing the contestants. Cowell is not certain how well DioGuardi will ﬁt in the mix.
“I have been very, very happy with this panel for years because we did have a unique chemistry. I genuinely don’t know until I watch the show whether this is a good thing or a bad thing,” Cowell said during a telephone interview to discuss the new season. “I’m in two minds about this because part of me goes a bit, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t ﬁx it,’ and the other part of me goes, ‘Well, it has worked in the U.K.’ So we’ll have to wait and see.” There will be a few other changes this season. The number of weeks featuring tryouts will be reduced from four to three weeks. And 36 contestants will make the trip to Hollywood instead of the 24 in the past. “I wasn’t crazy about the process we went through the last couple of years where we were given a small group of contestants who you actually got bored with once you hit about show ﬁve of the live shows. This way this is a bit more jeopardy and hopefully a bit more fun in the middle stages,” Cowell said. The idea is to give the judges a bet-
ter mix of contestants from which to make their selections. Cowell does not want to end up with 12 ﬁnalists who come across as being similar. Cowell’s way of dealing with the contestants has not changed since the ﬁrst season. “American Idol” has been on the air long enough that contestants know Cowell will pounce on them for a bad performance. However, the new season starts with a dark cloud above it. Paula Goodspeed, a fan of judge Paula Abdul, killed herself in November. Goodspeed had gone through the “American Idol” audition in the ﬁfth season. Cowell explains he has thought long and hard about whether the judging process, including his biting remarks, should be changed. “I think the answer to the question is that we will continue in the way that we’ve always done. We’ve tried to have a sense of humor over the whole process. The show is not an inherently mean show. It is an American dream show. The whole purpose of the show is to ﬁnd somebody — it
could be a cocktail waitress like Kelly Clarkson — who through the process becomes a star,” Cowell said. “I’ve always thought it was important to show people at home that when bad singers come in and they’re not very good, that it’s time to give up that type of dream and take a normal job. I think it’s been helpful showing people the process. If you’re not very good, don’t waste your time — years — trying to do something that you’re not very good at doing.” The fan’s death is just the latest bit of controversy to swirl around the show. Abdul’s erratic behavior has been called into question. There have been times when the voting has been questioned. Contestants have gotten through the application process only to be revealed as having criminal records. One mantra in Hollywood is “any publicity is good publicity.” However, Cowell does not feel that way about the attention generated by the fan’s death. “I have to separate this controversy
compared to diﬀerent controversies because you’re talking about a human tragedy. It hits us like an express train. So I don’t like, obviously, that kind of controversy connected to the show because it upset me a lot,” Cowell said. “I also have to respect the fact that with the media, they have been incredible supporters of us and the show from day one. They have every right to question us. All we can do is respond with the truth in return.” Cowell is not convinced it has just been his venomous ways that have drawn viewers. He thinks that the show has become so popular that it could go on even if he was not there to oﬀer the slings and arrows of outrageous comments. “This show is successful all over the world and I’m only on ‘American Idol.’ I’ll make a decision next year as to what I do as an onscreen judge because there is a big, big schedule now and I do two other shows. So it’s been hard. I think that this show could continue for another 10 or 20 years,” Cowell said.
Hookahs, shisha gains popularity By Kevin Leininger The News-Sentinel FORT WAYNE, Ind. — If you are of a certain age, walking through the door may just induce a ﬂashback. Cloud Nine will stir up fond and possibly illicit memories for anybody whose brain cells survived the 1960s from the huge Jimi Hendrix poster and strands of multicolored “love” beads to the Grateful Dead books under the counter and the ornate water pipes lining the walls. It is a ﬂower-power image the owner of Fort Wayne, Ind.’s ﬁrst hookah lounge is determined to change. “It’s frustrating how some people misunderstand us. Everybody who comes here knows we have zero tolerance for pot. You can’t even use it in a hookah unless you prepare your own. Anybody who comes here for that will be sent packing,” said Benjamin Rodgers, who opened the lounge at 1010 N. Wells St. 10 months ago, riding the crest of a tobacco-borne trend that is gaining popularity nationwide — even
among people who claim to despise smoking. Originally from India and long common in the Middle East, hookahs are water pipes used for smoking specially prepared moistened and usually ﬂavored tobaccos called shisha. “Hookah tobacco was our No.1 item at last year’s trade show. Sales are increasing 10 percent each month,” said Mike Saurbaugh, regional sales manager for Altadis USA, a distributor of smoking supplies. “It began ﬁve or six years ago on the East and West coasts, and has now made it to the Midwest. We have a lot of hookah lounges in Indianapolis, and it’s popular in college towns and among people who have been overseas, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.” The once-exotic activity has become so mainstream that even Riegel’s Pipe and Tobacco shop, which normally caters to Fort Wayne businessmen, has started selling the pipes and shishas. “We get a few stares, but we sold out our ﬁrst order,” said General Manager
John Minnich. But why? Why has an ancient practice become so popular? Strictly in the interest of thorough journalism, I asked Rodgers to prepare a hookah for me. He chose one of his best-selling shishas, “passion kiss,” then directed me and a friend through the beaded door and into a darkened lounge just oﬀ the showroom. There is no compelling evidence to suggest that hookah use is less harmful than smoking, but it is easy to understand why the belief persists. Red-hot charcoal is placed on a screen just above a bowl containing the shisha, and a jar at the bottom of the pipe is ﬁlled with water or ﬂavored liquids. Using one or more hoses, participants create a suction that draws heat from the charcoal across the shisha and through the liquid, producing a vapor that is ﬂavorful but extremely mild. How mild? A mere hour after losing my hookah virginity, I asked my wife to kiss me — and she did, without hesitation or complaint. Even the best of cigars will keep her away for at least
24 hours. I know what some of you nannystate types are thinking: What about the city’s no-smoking law? If smoking in bars is against the law, how can a hookah lounge be legal? Two things about that: For one thing, Rodgers claims Cloud Nine is exempt because at least 60 percent of its sales come from tobacco and tobacco-related products — making it a “retail tobacco store.” City Attorney Carol Taylor said the inspectors will make sure the business qualiﬁes for the exemption. Perhaps more interesting, however, is the question of whether using a hookah is really “smoking” at all. After all, the ordinance deﬁnes smoking as the use of “any lighted tobacco product,” and both Rodgers and Saurbaugh agree the shisha does not really “ignite” in the usual sense of the word. “I can’t answer that. It’s a very interesting (legal) gray area,” Taylor said. Rodgers, 30, also owns The Bean coﬀee house next door — which provides beverages and sometimes live
music to hookah-users in the lounge. Each “smoker” receives a disposable sterile plastic mouthpiece to ensure cleanliness. Hookah pipes sell for between $40 and $200, but you can use one in Cloud Nine for $10, plus $2 or $3 for enough tobacco to last 45 minutes or so. “We’ve had people here from 18 to over 50, including whole families. Parents have come in after learning about us from their kids,” he said. “You don’t usually use a hookah alone, so it’s a social thing. The feeling is it’s relaxing, tastes good and you can get a tobacco buzz without some of the negative side eﬀects. We just say it’s less unhealthy (than smoking).” Even so, can the hookah craze last? “I think it’s a fad and will taper down,” Saurbaugh predicted. Rodgers isn’t so sure. “We’ve done limited advertising, and we have people in every day, and are busy on the weekends,” he said. “I’ve tried my hand at a lot of businesses, and this is the ﬁrst one with any longevity.”
NEW BEGINNINGS ISSUE
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The University Star - 3B
Company specializes in pure, slow-melting ice By Amy Culbertson McClatchy Newspapers
Darrell Byers/Fort Worth Star-Telegram COOL COCKTAIL: An Atlanta company called Ice Caters provides bars and clubs across the country with martini glasses and shot glasses made from solid ice, in addition to specially shaped cubes.
Ice is emerging as an ingredient as important as the spirits themselves in the cutting-edge cocktail culture. Your regular old rocks will not do for serious mixologists such as Audrey Sanders of New York’s legendary Pegu Club or Toby Maloney of Chicago’s Violet Hour, where the water is ﬁltered twice and eight types of custom ice — some hand-carved from large blocks — are used. It’s not just insuﬀerable pretension. The general goal is a purer, denser, more slowly melting ice that will chill a drink quickly and won’t water it down. Cocktail aﬁcionados also point out that each cocktail has its own ideal type of ice. The trend has made its way to Fort Worth, Texas in recent months. Bartenders serve some drinks “on the rock,” jokes bar manager Jason Miller at Adam Jones’ new Grace restaurant in downtown Fort Worth. Bartenders use a 2by-2-inch cube frozen in special molds from ﬁltered water for “when you want to showcase the spirit itself.” The larger cube was executive
chef Blaine Staniford’s idea, Miller said. “It doesn’t water down your drink, and it’ll chill your drink quickly.” Miller said he was curious about how long it would take the cube to melt, so he put one in cold water and timed it. “It lasted for an hour and a half,” he said. “They’re such a wow factor when you set it in front of people.” There are two ice machines at Dallas’ hot new cocktail destination Victor Tango’s. One turns out shaved ice for mint juleps, mojitos and other cocktails that are traditionally served over shaved ice. The other is the gold standard among cocktail aﬁcionados, the Kold-Draft icemaker. The Kold-Draft produces 1-inch cubes of unusual transparency, purity and density. “They’re not cloudy. You can literally see completely through them,” bartender John Phillips said. The machine builds the cubes gradually by shooting jets of water up into molds, like upsidedown ice trays. Water that has gases or impurities dissolved in it freezes more slowly than water that doesn’t, which means that the purer water freezes on contact and water containing impurities drains away.
Students debut art work at wine tasting classes By Erica Rodriguez Features Reporter The Wine Cellar Boutique and Bistro, once a mortuary and furniture store, with homely red walls, stamped tin ceilings and a wine bar, will oﬀer samplings for wine drinking novices and art enthusiasts. The restaurant will be the site of Texas State graduate Jessica Wolpman’s debut art show alongside the restaurant’s wine tasting class on Jan. 21 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The restaurant, which has also featured Texas State musicians, actors and actresses, has a line up of local art work exhibited year round, but owner Brian Montgomery says he hopes to get more students interested in displaying their art downtown. “Having your ﬁrst art show is a very scary thing,” he said. “We hope that we have an environment that is as non-threatening as possible but also as supportive as possible. And hopefully we’ll get more Texas State students who will take advantage of the opportunity.” Montgomery also hopes to make novices familiar with his restaurants
namesake — wine. Next week’s class is one he hopes to continue on a monthly basis to help remove the shroud of “snobbery” surrounding the wine selection and food pairing process. “Drinking wine has a reputation of you’re either a wino, a drunk or you’re a snob. We talk to people about how to taste it and how to enjoy it and how to improve their wine experience,” he said. “But mostly we tell people it’s just grapes, don’t sweat it and drink a little bit.” Wine consultant and Twin Liquors store manager, Coleman StarkeyBethel said he has seen a fair share of clueless young wine consumers enter his store, but believes the best way to learn about wine is to not be afraid. “A lot of people get kind of intimidated and the descriptors kind of throw people oﬀ,” he said. “Don’t worry about that. Just kind of go into it saying you’re going to taste what you’re going to taste.” Starkey-Bethel did lay down a few requirements before a wine tasting: no strong perfumes, minty gums, smoking or spicy foods before-hand. “For the tasting, though, I don’t
think there’s a right or wrong way,” he said. “Just try to come up with one thing that you smell and one thing you taste and kind of start there.” Montgomery said the wine tastings are popular with students and he is expecting about 40 people. Jonathan Tijerina, criminal justice junior, plans on attending because he believes wine can be confusing but wants to learn more. “There’re so many names — zinfandels, merlots and blushes — and they don’t all taste the same,” he said. “I’d expect to walk out of there knowing what the actual names mean, but I’d also like to know what goes along with steaks or what kind of dishes goes with what.” Pairing a debut art show with a wine tasting was an easy decision for Montgomery, who despite his extensive knowledge, still thinks of wines as “just grapes.” “If you think about it that way you’re less apt to be scared, you’re more apt to try diﬀerent things and you’re more likely to enjoy it,” he said. Visit www.winecellartexas.com for reservations to the tasting and show.
Victor Tango’s bar manager Scott Melton says a Kold-Draft cube is “40 percent denser than an ordinary cube. It takes that much longer to melt and doesn’t jeopardize the integrity of the beverage.” The idea is the same at Fort Worth’s City Club, but the cubes are round. If the club is hired to cater an event, drinks can be served over crystal-clear ice globes 2 inches in diameter. The Atlanta-based company that makes them, Ice Caters, calls them Ice Balls, but City Club catering director Amy Shackelford likes to call them “ice baubles.” The ice globes, along with other ice products such as wine buckets, huge ﬂuted punch bowls and ice shells for serving shrimp, are produced in Atlanta and ﬂown to the club in insulated containers. The City Club caterers will be glad to serve drinks in ice, as well. Ice Caters also supplies them with martini glasses and shot glasses made from solid ice. “You just wrap a napkin around the stem,” Shackelford said, who estimates that the martini glass will last “two, maybe three drinks. You’ve reached your limit when your glass is gone,” she said with a grin.
4B - The University Star
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Students make New Year’s resolutions for semester
NEW BEGINNINGS ISSUE
The University Star - 5B
Inventor creates utopia with card game
By Mayra Mejia Features Reporter Students look at the new year as the last semester before summer and a time to get lazy in studying, while others may look at it as an opportunity to accomplish goals. New Year’s resolutions have been helping some accomplish their goals and frustrating others for years. Ramie Waters, criminal justice sophomore, believes having a resolution can make a diﬀerence throughout the year. “It doesn’t make a diﬀerence unless you follow them through,” Waters said. “When I get to the end of the year, it makes me feel really good.” Money is an important subject to college students and Waters said 2009 will be the year she gets his ﬁnances straight. “I have a new resolution to be smart with money. Make it and save it,” Waters said. Waters said she chose to focus on money because of his past. “I’ve always had ﬁnancial problems. I’m just starting out in the world, I guess, but I’ve grown up with it,” she said. “My parents have always talked about money problems at home and I guess I just want it to be diﬀerent with me. I want to be ﬁnancially taken care of.” People look at the new year as a clean slate and opportunity to correct mistakes or bad habits developed in the last year, but there are also plenty who choose to skip the New Year’s tradition. “New Year’s resolutions are supposed to be something that’ll make you feel better about yourself in the upcoming year, but instead people break them and just go back to feeling the same way they did the previous year,” said Catherine Owens, pre-geography junior. John Herrera, health and ﬁtness management senior, sees New Year’s resolutions diﬀerently from Owens’ point of view. Herrera believes a resolution can be done anytime throughout the year. “Why does it take a new year to improve something about yourself? Do it now,” Herrera said. Owens does not enjoy making resolutions because of some personal experience about the topic. “Personally, I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. Most people follow their resolution for the ﬁrst month and then go back to their ‘bad-habit.’ At least, that is what I have done in the past,” Owens said. Herrera simply sticks to his reason why he never makes a New Year’s resolution. “I don’t really believe in them. I did not make a New Year’s resolution,” Herrera said.
Michael Goulding/Orange County Register LISTENING LARK: Rhea Zakich sits in her kitchen with her new homespun board game called “Out Of Your Mind.” The game attempts to get players to express themselves in non-combative ways and enhance their communication skills.
By Cameron Bird The Orange County Register This Thanksgiving, Rhea Zakich tucked a playing card under every plate. Relatives arrived to her longstanding Garden Grove, Calif., home, sat in the dining room and picked up the hidden conversation starters. As the holiday wore on, she said, those grouped around the table bypassed all the hot button topics that used to “blow the family apart.” Instead, they talked about themselves, their feelings. They described pictures in their minds. And no one interrupted anyone. Sound like utopia? To Zakich, inventor of the cards and the board game from which they are drawn, self-discovery and close listening have become commonplace. Still, she is often awed by the answers. “Out of Your Mind,” released a few weeks ago, serves as a sequel of sorts to Zakich’s “Ungame,” which has sold more than 4 million copies since the
1970s. Both games have cards, as well as dice, boards and pawns. Missing — purposely — are winners and losers. “I feel impassioned about keeping people from trumping each other,” said Zakich, 73. The game has an appeal even in a culture of competition. Individuals tend to bare their innermost thoughts in scores of testimonials — and communicate more honestly — if they are doing it in the context of a game. “Rather amazing how much we are willing and wanting to know and be known,” wrote Esther Oakey, an avid player and grandmother of eight, in an e-mail. Zakich’s idea arose almost accidentally like many success stories. Stricken by tumor-like throat nodes in the 1970s, she turned to writing notes to save her voice before it was possibly forever muted. Once, in a reverie-like state, she drew a “road of life” on a piece of paper. One of her sons asked if it was a game when he saw it.
She said “yes.” On little cards, Zakich started writing questions that she wanted to ask others. “What would you do if your best friend forgot your birthday? How would you feel?” “What age would you like to be? Tell why.” And so on. Those others — neighbors, her husband, her two sons — sat down with her and answered. “I became the neighborhood confessional,” she said. “They knew I couldn’t gossip. I couldn’t tell anyone.” Zakich considered staying mute after her vocal chords healed. Her boys found consolation in her speechless hugs and did their chores without being nagged during those 90 days of silence. People from all walks of life opened up without the help of shrinks. “What I thought was the worst thing that could’ve happened to me was by far the best,” said Zakich. The “Ungame” moved into the mainstream despite the return of what she thought would kill the dynamic. “Out of Your Mind,” which is being
tested by psychologists and teachers across the country, is not so much a game-changer as it is a game-enhancer. The new game contains four decks of cards, which pose questions and prompt responses based on four categories: “Imagine That,” “Picture This,” “Voice a Choice” and “Remember When.” Mixed in each deck is a freefor-all “What’s on Your Mind” card. The old game has two categories — “lighthearted” and “serious.” “Right now, it won’t have an impact on the entertainment game industry,” said Franklin Rubenstein, founder of Franklin Learning Systems, the new game’s manufacturer. “But we’re hoping, like her ﬁrst game, it’ll (cross over).” Zakich said she’s not concerned about turning a proﬁt. Her house of 45 years has been paid oﬀ. Her family’s intact. She’s just thankful for the experience, and that everyone wins. “I don’t want to sell a game,” she said. “I want to sell the idea of a safe place.”
6B - The University Star
NEW BEGINNINGS ISSUE Complete the grid so that every row, column, and 3-by-3 box contains every digit from one through nine inclusively.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
NEW BEGINNINGS ISSUE
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The University Star - 1C
Men’s basketball extends winning streak By Keﬀ Ciardello Sports Reporter The Texas State men’s basketball team defeated the Texas-Arlington Mavericks 87-76 Jan. 10. The victory extends the Bobcats’ win streak to ﬁve with an overall record of 8-6 and a 1-0 record in the Southland Conference. “We were forcing turnovers in the second half and we were limiting (the Mavericks’) second shots,” said Coach Doug Davalos. “Those were the things that won us this game. We don’t want to rely on just making shots all the time. It’s about defense. I can’t remember the last time (someone) put up 80 points against us.” The last time the Bobcats allowed 80 or more points was in the Dec. 15 loss against New Orleans. New Orleans scored 85 points. It has been the Bobcats’ only home loss this season. It has been the Bobcats’ only loss in Strahan this season. “We didn’t do it on oﬀense tonight at all,” said Brent Benson, senior guard, who had 21 points and ﬁve assists in 29 minutes of play. “We did it on defense. This was a very good oﬀensive team that we held to 30 (or) 35 percent shooting in the second half.” Texas-Arlington came into the game with three of the top eight scorers in the SLC. Anthony Vereen, senior forward, is ﬁfth with 16.3 points. Junior guards Brandon Long and Marquez Haynes each average 15.3 points and are tied for seventh. The Mavericks were held to 40.9 percent shooting in the game and 33.3 percent in the second half, despite scoring from Vereen (15 points) and Haynes (23 points). It was a close contest in the ﬁrst half with four lead changes and neither team leading by more than six points. The Bobcats took a 44-41 lead at halftime. Emmanuel Bidias A’Moute, junior forward, started the second half at center in place of Ty Gough, sophomore forward, after playing in the ﬁrst half. Bidias A’Moute had to face oﬀ against Vereen and Tommy Moﬃt, junior forward. Moﬃt leads the Mavericks and is seventh in the SLC for average of rebounds per game with seven. “It was diﬃcult,” Bidias A’Moute said. “Number 32 (Vereen) and Number 4 (Moﬃt) Austin Byrd /Star Photo are big guys who play very physically, which HIGH NOTE: Brent Benson, senior guard, and the Bobcats started conference play defeating Texas-Armade it diﬃcult to stay on them. I just had to lington 87-76 at Strahan Coliseum, Saturday Jan. 10. step up my defense and I was able to do that
because I had my teammates behind me.” Bidias A’Moute ﬁnished the game with his ﬁrst double-double as a Bobcat with 16 points and 10 rebounds. He added four blocks, three assists and played 27 minutes, the most he has played all season. “He’s got lateral quickness like a guard.” Davalos said. “On every ball screen he trapped hard so that the guard couldn’t turn the corner. If we stopped conference (play) today, he would be ﬁrst team all-conference.” The Bobcats shot 55.2 percent in the ﬁrst half and 55.6 percent in the second half. Benson made back-to-back 3-pointers with four minutes left in the game, giving Texas State a 16-point edge. Benson was ﬁve-for-11 from beyond the arc. He ranks third nationally and leads the SLC in three-point shooting with a 50 percent shooting mark. Benson is second in the SLC in scoring with 18.7 points per game, despite coming oﬀ the bench for most of the season. Brandon Bush, senior guard, had 19 points and eight rebounds. The Bobcats are now 8-6 overall and 1-0 in SLC play after beating Texas-Arlington in their ﬁrst conference game of the season. The Bobcats played six straight games at home and won ﬁve against Prairie View A&M, McMurry, Schreiner, Northern Colorado and Texas-Arlington. Benson was two points shy of tying a school record for most points in a game when he recorded 40 points against McMurry. The team began to improve against Northern Colo. Jan. 6. The teams ﬁrst met Nov. 29 in Greeley, Colorado, where the Bears put up 105 points on the Bobcats en route to a 12-point victory. The Bobcats administered vengeance Jan. 6 with a 23-point lead, holding the Bears to 59 points. The Bobcats have lost four games by a combined 19 points. Texas State lost by four points to New Orleans, eight to Texas, six to Rice and one to Wyoming. The Bobcats are 7-1 at home, but Davalos said more can be done to improve the team’s performance. “The next time we come home, I hope there will be a great crowd here,” Davalos said. “The fans that have been showing up have been great but we need more and more people helping us at home. We’re 7-1 with a small crowd. Imagine what we could do with a bigger crowd.”
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2C - The University Star
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
NEW BEGINNINGS ISSUE
Magic defeats Spurs for second time in San Antonio
Tebow Takes the Title Florida quarterback has hopes for another national championship By Jeremy Fowler The Orlando Sentinel
Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel DRIVING FORWARD: Jameer Nelson, Orlando Magic guard, attempts to make a basket against Tony Parker, San Antonio Spurs forward, Dec. 18 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.
By Brian Schmitz The Orlando Sentinel One small step for the 2008-09 Magic, one giant leap for the franchise. It was not the equivalent of landing men on the moon. But Orlando, celebrating its 20th anniversary, ﬁnally swept a season series from the fourtime NBA champion San Antonio Spurs with a gutsy 105-98 victory Sunday at the AT&T Center. The Magic, improving their league-best road record to 14-5, defeated the Spurs, 90-78, Dec. 18 in Orlando. The home of the Spurs is usually a house of horrors for the NBA. The Magic had won only once here — in 2006 — since 2001. “That’s the ﬁrst time I’ve ever won here as a head coach,” said second-year Magic Coach Stan Van Gundy, who also had a stint with the Miami Heat. “It’s usually, we get smacked around, then we get back on the bus. So my reaction is, ‘Finally.’’’ There is something diﬀerent, something special, about this team, especially on the road. It’s not a ﬂuke: The Magic are 41-19 out of town in the regular season under Van Gundy. The Magic sounded a clear statement on the Spurs’ ﬂoor in their bid to join the elite. They got a compliment from the decorated Spurs (24-12), who gave them their best shot, too, in a game that had a playoﬀ kind of electricity and intensity. The Magic made 3-pointers on San Antonio (14-of-22), survived Tony Parker (31 points) and leaned on the clutch play of point guard Jameer Nelson to jump-start a tough four-game road trip. The Magic posted their 30th victory against just eight losses, maintaining the second-best record
in the Eastern Conference. They were 23-15 after 38 games last season. Dwight Howard led Orlando with 24 points and 14 rebounds, Nelson scored 22 and Hedo Turkoglu added 21. J.J. Redick added 12, making 4-of-6 3-pointers. The Magic was leading 97-96, then Nelson closed the show, drilling a 3-pointer and then coming back with another bucket on the next possession for a 102-96 lead with two minutes remaining. Nelson fought through some shooting struggles (he ﬁnished 7-of-18) to come up big. Parker won the statistics battle, but Nelson won the game. “I’m playing with a lot of conﬁdence. I’m always thinking my next shot will go down,” he said. “Hey, we’ve matured over the years. We have veterans now. We know how to win.” The Magic had the Spurs down 85-79 after Howard completed a 3-point play, scoring on a terriﬁc bounce pass inside from Rashard Lewis. However, the Spurs refused to fold, scoring the next three baskets, going ahead 86-85 on Roger Mason’s 3-pointer with 6:32 remaining. Orlando opened a ﬁve-point lead early in the ﬁnal period after falling behind 77-74. The 3-pointer has kept the Magic in games, especially on the road. They tied it on Keith Bogans’ shot from downtown and went ahead 80-77 on Lewis’ 3-ball. The Magic, leading since late in the opening quarter, fell behind with 7:30 left in the third quarter, unable to control Parker. Orlando led 55-50 at halftime, with Nelson drilling a 3-point jumper with one second left on the clock. “It’s still not halfway through the season yet, but this team has done a pretty good job not getting ahead of ourselves,” Van Gundy said.
The University Star - 3C
A second Heisman Trophy would be nice. A dozen or so more wins would not hurt. But with an illustrious career already burnished with individual accomplishments, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow is returning for his senior season with one goal in mind: perfection. “An undefeated season, that’s a goal,” Tebow said. “That’s something that’s never been done at the University of Florida.” Tebow announced Jan. 11 in dramatic fashion that he will forgo the NFL draft and stay with the Gators in 2009. Tebow said after much anticipation during an hour-plus-long ceremony at Ben Hill Griﬃn Stadium to celebrate the 2008 national title in front of 42,000 in attendance, “By the way, one more thing — Let’s do it again, I’m coming back.” The news came after numerous chants of “one more year” and the Superman theme blaring from the speakers. The decision came after a long Saturday afternoon with Florida Coach Urban Meyer and talking with NFL types. Meyer is friends with New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick and Jacksonville Jaguars Coach Jack Del Rio. The pros, though tempting for Tebow, lost out to the chance of creating a dynasty at Florida. The 2009 Gators might improve from this year’s memorable 13-1 national championship team that defeated Oklahoma, 24-14. No oﬃcial word yet on whether wide receiver Percy Harvin or linebacker Brandon Spikes will return for their senior seasons, though numerous Gators’ sources say Spikes is expected to follow Tebow back to Gainesville. Harvin told Sun Sports after the Sunday celebration he is leaning toward coming back but is still evaluating. Tight end Aaron Hernandez, one of Tebow’s favorite targets, said the Gators should have the best reputation when the season starts. “It all revolves around him,” said Hernandez of Tebow. “With him back, we already have our leader. We have our whole defense back, basically our whole oﬀense. I think we should be (No. 1).” Tebow can build on an already-sterling
college football career decorated with two national championships and a Heisman Trophy as a senior. Tebow would be working on a third Heisman Trophy campaign had he won this year’s ceremony in which he ﬁnished third behind Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford and Texas’ Colt McCoy, despite gaining the most ﬁrst-place votes. Tebow, who has 110 career passing and rushing touchdowns, will become the ﬁrst quarterback since USC’s Matt Leinart in 2005 to have a legitimate shot at a third national title. Meyer said he agrees Tebow is one of the best college quarterbacks of all time. The NFL projections varied during the evaluation process, Tebow said, but by Saturday afternoon, he was already tired of the talking. He simply wanted to return to Gainesville and get ready for 2009, he said. “I just felt loyal to this place,” Tebow said. “I feel like a role model. A lot of times today, people start things and don’t ﬁnish them. I didn’t want to be like that. I wanted to be loyal to the university and ﬁnish what I started and play another year.” Tebow will face plenty of changes and challenges in the next year in Gainesville. Former oﬀensive coordinator Dan Mullen is now gone to Mississippi State and replaced by former oﬀensive line coach Steve Addazio, who also might not be around next season. Meyer said Jan. 11 Addazio might be a candidate for the Boston College opening. Reports out of Boston have Addazio as a top external candidate for a job that could go to someone internally. Addazio could not be reached at his home Sunday. The recent hiring of quarterbacks coach Scot Loeﬄer, formerly with the Detroit Lions, who has worked with Tom Brady and Chad Henne from his days at Michigan, factored into Tebow’s decision because of the NFL traits he can learn. But do not expect Tebow to change his style of play to impress a couple of scouts at the next level. His goals are clear. “Even coming into this year, it’s not my focus to get ready for the NFL,” Tebow said. “That’s a goal. But my focus is to come back and win an SEC championship and another (national championship) and make it three of four.”
NEW BEGINNINGS ISSUE
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The University Star - 4C
Basketball junior enjoys transition to Bobcat team By Keﬀ Ciardello Sports Reporter
Austin Byrd /Star Photo TOUGH GUY: John Rybak, junior forward, has started in every Bobcat basketball game this season. He holds the team’s highest free-throw percentage record.
John Rybak, junior forward, wandered out of the Texas State basketball locker room wearing a Bobcat jumpsuit, a smile and black, right eye. “That’s just from everyday practice,” Rybak said. “I go hard and get in the mix a lot.” The Bobcat coaching staﬀ saw that type of mentality in Rybak when they convinced the 6’5”, 207 pound shooter to transfer from Akron to Texas State last season. “He’s a blue collar kid,” said Coach Doug Davalos. “Sometimes I’ll get on him because I want to remind him to never stop being a blue collar player. He’s a heck of a competitor and a great oﬀ-ball defender.” Rybak played at Nathan Hale High School in West Allis, a suburb in Milwaukee, Wis. where he was a four-year starter on the men’s varsity basketball team. He was a member of Akron’s basketball team for two seasons. Rybak said he was not satisﬁed with how his talents were being uti-
lized at Akron. “My freshman and sophomore years I was only getting between ﬁve and 10 minutes of playing time per game,” Rybak said. “I wanted to be a contributor; somebody who was in the game during crunch time. I feel I can be someone who plays from the start; someone who coach can rely on.” Rybak has started every game thus far for Texas State this season. He has registered at least 20 or more minutes in all but four games, including a 35-minute performance in the Bobcats’ loss against Rice. He had 32 points oﬀ 7-for-12 shooting beyond the arc and grabbed 10 rebounds. Rybak is 10th in the Southland Conference in 3-point shooting percentage with 41 percent of his shots made. He leads the Bobcats in free-throw percentage, converting 96.2 percent of his free throws. Rybak has scored in double ﬁgures ﬁve times this season and averages 9.8 points per game. It is Rybak’s defensive skills that catch the attention of the Bobcat coaches. “When he is really locked in and makes all the hustle plays and when
he’s a tough guy on defense and tough guy on the boards is when he really helps his team,” Davalos said. Rybak said he has enjoyed his transition to Texas State. “The weather here is beautiful and it’s a great campus with great facilities,” Rybak said. “It’s enjoyable to go school here and to be a student athlete.” Davalos said he has noticed Rybak’s positive attitude in his transition. “He’s adjusted well since the day he arrived,” Davalos said. “Our team captains are (senior guard Brandon) Bush, (senior guard Corey) Jeﬀerson and Rybak. “Many of his teammates voted him as one of the captains because of the work ethic he has showed. He started earning that last year by practicing as hard as he could even though he wasn’t eligible to play yet. He won our Bobcat award for the most consistent attitude and being the hardest worker and all he could do was practice. I doubt I’ll ever give that award again to somebody who doesn’t play. That should tell you a lot about (him).”
Men’s soccer club player overcomes obstacles By César G. Rodriguez Sports Reporter Gregoire Youbara takes the “Impossible is nothing” Adidas slogan as his principle in life. Youbara, a deaf student, is a Spanish graduate and a Texas State men’s soccer club’s forward. According to Debbie Cole, interpreter coordinator in the oﬃce of disability services, Youbara is the only deaf student in a sports club. “Interpreters are set up with sport club athletes as a request of the student once they’ve joined a certain club,” Cole said.
She said sports club athletes, instead of scheduling an interpreter for classroom, schedule ahead of time to meet the interpreter on a speciﬁc location. Cole said it is a task Youbara follows routinely and ahead of time. The oﬃce of disability services sent an interpreter with Youbara to the national tournament and the games during the season. The men’s club soccer team reached the second round of the National Campus Championship Series in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Youbara was one of the leading scorers netting ﬁve goals in the season. His devo-
tion to soccer started early in life. “Soccer is the sport every kid growing up in most of Africa is ﬁrst exposed to,” Youbara said. “As for getting interested, it’s simply the passion for the sport.” People question Youbara’s ability to communicate audibly with its peers on the ﬁeld. According to Youbara, soccer is 90 percent mental, where communication on the ﬁeld is following the instinct and communicating physically. “If you understand the game of soccer and have the skills as a player, you won’t have issues with on-the-ﬁeld performance.
It is true communication with teammates is essential during a game. Teammates may need to clear some tactical issues with each other especially with those playing on the same position,” Youbara said. “My teammates know what it takes to communicate with ‘their deaf teammate,’ so if they know some American Sign Language, bingo. If not, they can always use gestures or convey their message via the interpreter. According to Youbara, communicating from the sidelines is vital. The coach makes sure he relays instructions to players when he would like a
change of positions, attitudes or system of play. “I am fortunate to have an American Sign Language interpreter who could communicate individual or general instructions from the coach to me at any moment,” Youbara said. Youbara has a tight schedule. His time is consumed by practices, games and traveling. Youbara encounters conﬂict with schoolwork and projects, yet nothing slows him down. “It’s always diﬃcult to manage a tight academic schedule, along with other engagements as a college athlete. However, soccer is part of my life, something I’m passionate about and
it is this passion which helps me keep going,” Youbara said. He said evening practice sessions and weekend games favor him enough to organize his agenda and making sure he is up to date on academic work. According to Youbara, people can overcome obstacles with regards the situation they are facing. “Don’t add more barriers to those — or how much imaginary — already set up by those who think a person cannot excel in a particular ﬁeld because of a particular diﬀerence,” he said. “Just bear in mind the Adidas slogan: ‘impossible is nothing.’”