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Texas State basketball plays pair of weekend games in tightly-contested division SEE SPORTS PAGE 14

SOUND SPACE, SOUND MIND Feng shui can help you organize your space and your life SEE TRENDS PAGE 6



JANUARY 25, 2007



Grant could bring relief to Texas’ nursing shortage By Chelsea Juarez The University Star A grant from the Scott and White Health Care Systems has been awarded to Texas State, which will assist the establishment of a nursing program at the Round Rock Higher Education Center. “We are very fortunate and grateful for the donation,” President Denise Trauth said. “There is such a huge need for nurses in Central Texas.” The donation will be used exclusively to finance scholarships for students enrolled in the school of nursing when it opens. The target date for the St. David’s School of Nursing in Round Rock is fall 2010.

The is a large demand for registered nurses in the U.S., and in Texas, the need appears to be more significant. The national average is 825 registered nurses per 100,000 in a population, according to the St. David’s Community Health Foundation Web site. Texas lags behind with only 646 registered nurses per 100,000. Trauth said there were several reasons for the shortage of nurses. She said the lack of nursing institutions nourishes this extravagant deficiency, partly because such institutions are expensive to start. It is also estimated in five to 10 years that 40 percent of employed nurses and nursing educators will retire. Another major issue in the shortage

of nurses is the lack of spots for students in nursing schools. In 2004, nursing schools were forced to turn away 4,200 qualified applicants, because of inadequate space and resources to train the students, according to the University of Texas School of Nursing in Houston. “It is something the state has to address,” said Associated Student Government President Kyle Morris. “I’m glad to hear that someone else is jumping on board and helping our initiative. The student body is thankful.” However, the anticipated building’s fate relies on the Texas legislature’s decision to fund $2 million for the nursing school. The money will be an addition to the $6 million that was donated

last year via the St. David’s Foundation, which will help operate and house the school. Ruth Welborn, dean of the college of health professionals, said a request from the state legislature has been made but the verdict is still pending. “We are optimistic that we’ll receive it,” Welborn said. “It’s a very exciting time.” ASG is encouraging the Legislature to fund the program and is making it known that the lack of provincial nursing institutions is a necessity. “We (approached) the Legislature about President Trauth’s two initiatives of building a school of engineering and nursing,” Morris said. “We’re working hard to advance those issues.”

A lot of work lies ahead, if the Legislature funds the desired $2 million to establish the new nursing building. The work involves development of the curriculum, a hiring process of new faculty and the actual building of the school. “We have a very ambitious timeline to follow through with,” Welborn said. Trauth said once the nursing school is built and operating, Texas State will receive more funding from the state because there will be more students enrolled, If all goes well, construction will begin in 2008. The first class of juniorlevel students would be admitted in the proposed school of nursing in 2010, with the first graduating class scheduled for Spring 2012.

Swallows driven Researching biomechanics Professor steps down from chair to seek answers to balance, immobility issues from Alkek Parking Garage By Zach Halfin The University Star Texas State Parking Services officials installed highfrequency sound devices Jan. 10 to discourage birds from roosting in the Alkek Parking Garage. The Cave Swallow, Petrochelidon fulva, has been federally protected since the Migratory Bird Treaty of 1918, and they are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources threatened species list. These birds are drawn to the parking garage because of its cave-like structure and protection from the elements. A Parking Services campus-wide e-mail revealed that noise-making devices were installed to deter the birds from roosting in the garage. The e-mail explained that bird droppings “had become more than a mild aggravation.” The noisemaking devices, which cost $800 total, emit a sonic and ultrasonic screech at around 105 decibels, similar to the cry of a predator bird. These screeches are meant to spook the birds from roosting in the vicinity. Stephen Prentice, University Police program staff member, said in an e-mail correspondence provided to The University Star that there were serious health concerns involved with these bird droppings. “The problem is that cleaning the droppings off the ground on a weekend doesn’t stop it (from) ending up on lots of folks’ vehicles during the week, and even with continual cleaning it can become a health issue,” Prentice said. “Making a noise has no environmental effects. However, washing bird feces continually into the city’s ground water and sewage systems does.” Mark Brinkley, San Marcos environmental health director, said the birds pose no unique threat to the city’s groundwater. “A heavy concentration of bird droppings could affect the bacteria in the water, but everything on our streets is washed into the sewer in a good rain,” Brinkley said. Prentice said via an e-mail to The Star that health risks were one of the main concerns when deciding to install the sound devices. “One health professional also mentioned the problem with migratory birds and the concerns, regardless of how yet real, with the potential spread of bird flu,” Prentice said. Randy Simpson, assistant wildlife biology professor, said the birds pose no specific health risk to the public. “If you have really big buildup (of birds) like grackles in some places, it could possibly be a health risk, but none of these diseases have shown up in the United States,” Simpson said. “I would worry more about slipping in the

Photo courtesy of Bob Pankey

REHABILITATING: Bob Pankey, professor and former chair of the health and recreation department, explains biomechanical processes in the human body. Pankey’s research has led to a developmental leave at the Gait Analysis and Innovative Technologies Laboratory in San Antonio. By Georgia Fisher The University Star With six years under his belt as department chair, Bob Pankey has changed pace this semester to research biomechanics at the Gait Analysis and Innovative Technologies Laboratory in San Antonio. Pankey, past chair of the health, physical education and recreation department, was moved from administration to research by means of a developmental leave. The GAIT lab, formed in collaboration with the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio department

See GARAGE, page 4

of rehabilitation medicine, is located at the Audie L. Murphy Veterans Hospital. Lab patients include veterans and others suffering from balance and immobility issues, and the facilities, Pankey said, are state-of-the-art. Technology at the GAIT lab can produce three-dimensional, 360-degree images — allowing therapists and researchers to assess strength, mobility and balance in a given area and make an exact, customized plan for each patient. “Not only can we get 3-D images to analyze movement,” Pankey said, “but we can get what’s called force analysis. There’s a force plate in this lab, which

measures if (subjects) are walking in a balanced way.” Pankey said such facilities are a financial impossibility for many universities. He was drawn to the location because it allows area faculty to pool their efforts and bring hands-on research home. “I’m a biomechanics professor; I’d searched around for a biomechanics lab,” he said. “Now I can bring resources back to my own university in terms of developmental research, with our own faculty and our own staff … and they (at UTHSC) are excited Texas State is reaching out to See BIOMECHANICS, page 4

San Marcos begins two-year plan to make city WiFi By Ashley Gwilliam The University Star The City Council has recently begun a projected two-year plan that would make San Marcos one of few cities in the United States to install a municipal wireless network. “Many cities have been talking about it, but only a dozen, at the most, have done it,” City Manager Dan O’Leary said. Municipal wireless networks, often called “mesh networks,” provide Wi-Fi Internet access

utilizing a system of interconnected antennas strategically placed on city streetlights to create a web of connectivity. Installation is quick and is cheaper than digging up streets to install fiber optic cables. San Marcos is in the process of hiring a consultant to manage the citywide wireless network project. After a consultant is hired, requests for proposals will be sent out to the major wireless vendors. O’Leary said a number of competitive offers are expect-

Today’s Weather

Mostly Sunny 61˚/35˚

Precipitation: 10% Humidity: 55% UV: 5 Moderate Wind: NNE 8 mph

ed. The proposals will be evaluated based on the vendor’s assessment of the network’s implementation and its costs and benefits. The best offer will be recommended to the city council. Camille Phillips, president of the Council of Neighborhood Associations, said one of the greatest benefits of having a citywide wireless network would be the affordability of it making the Internet accessible to a greater range of people.

Two-day Forecast Friday Partly Cloudy Temp: 58°/45° Precip: 10%

Saturday Light Rain Temp: 64°/ 39° Precip: 70%

Proponents of municipal wireless networks believe the low cost will help to close the technology gap between lower and higher income families. More than half of all households with an income of $75,000 or more have broadband, while half of all households with an income of less than $30,000 don’t have Internet access at all, according to a report by the Consumer’s Union. “Our hope is that the Internet access will be of little or no cost,” O’Leary said. “It depends

on the vendor. In some cities, the first 30 minutes of everyday are free and additional minutes used cost a small fee.” The city network is expected to improve the public works department with the cost and convenient benefits of automatic meter reading. Consumers would be able to go online and instantly check how much electricity they are using, O’Leary said. The benefits of the improved technology have been felt by police officers in cities already

implementing it. Police officers in San Mateo, Calif. now spend an additional 8,000 or more hours on their beats, because wireless networks allow them to do more work on the field, according to the Web site Although wireless is a fairly recent commodity, it has quickly become an expectation of living for many, O’Leary said. “Wireless is a big thing of the future,” he said. “I could see the future as a number of wireless networks across the city.”

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To Contact Trinity Building Phone: (512) 245-3487 Fax: (512) 245-3708 © 2007 The University Star

PAGE TWO Thursday in Brief

January 25, 2007

starsof texas state Texas State biology department professor Mike Fostner is on a quest to help determine the origins of an American crocodile that swam an estimated 200 miles and landed on Grand Cayman during the holiday break and gave the term “home for the holidays” a new meaning. The conservation office at Old Man Bay, Grand Cay-

man, contacted Fostner in early January to request assistance in determining the origins of the mysterious crocodile. European colonizers hunted the American crocodile to extinction in the 1500s in Grand Cayman and it is currently on the U.S. list of endangered species. —Courtesy of media relations

News Contact — Nick Georgiou, Texas State University-San Marcos is a member of the Texas State University System

On this day...

Teacher’s Talent THURSDAY Men’s basketball will play Stephen F. Austin 7 p.m. at Strahan Coliseum. A Relay for Life-Team Captain Meeting will be held at 8 p.m. in Evans Liberal Arts Building, Room 116. For more information, e-mail Stacy Whittaker at sw1172@txstate. edu. Simple Silent Sitting Group will meet from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Campus Christian Community Center. Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship will hold its weekly meeting at 8:30 p.m. in Old Main, Room 320. There will be contemporary worship, relevant teaching and prayer. Everyone is welcome. Contact (512) 557-7988 or An on-campus Alcoholics Anonymous meeting will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. For more information, call the Alcohol and Drug Resource Center at (512) 245-3601. The Organization of Student Social Workers will meet at

12:30 in the Health Professions Building, Room 234. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The Southwestern Writers Collection at Alkek Library is pleased to announce the publication of the newest volume in its book series, Hecho en Tejas: An Anthology of Texas Mexican Literature, from the University of New Mexico Press. Faculty, staff and students are invited to the celebratory book launch, Feb. 10 — a day of discussions, readings and book signings by almost a dozen authors, plus live music. Keynote speakers will be Sandra Cisneros and the anthology’s editor, Dagoberto Gilb, who is on the faculty of Texas State’s Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program. The first-ever anthology of works by Mexican American writers from Texas, Hecho en Tejas reaches back to the sixteenth century to begin with the exploration narrative of Texas’s first Spanish-speaking writer, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca. More than 100 selections follow. Histories and stories are told by a timeline of prose writers, including Jovita González, Américo Paredes, Rolando Hinojosa, Tomás Rivera, and Sandra Cisneros. Among the poets are Tino Villanueva, Carmen Tafolla, raúlrsalinas, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, and Ricardo Sánchez. Corridos from the turn of the twentieth century

1870 - G.D. Dows patented the ornamental soda fountain.

Students interested in becoming involved with the community, making business connections and learning leadership skills can attend Students in Free Enterprise at 4:15 p.m. in McCoy Hall, Room 113.

1881 - Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and others signed an agreement to organize the Oriental Telephone Company. 1890 - The United Mine Workers of America was founded. 1915 - In New York, Alexander Graham Bell spoke to his assistant in San Francisco, inaugurating the first transcontinental telephone service.

Every Nation Campus Ministries will meet at 7 p.m. in Centennial Hall, Room G02. There will be free food, fellowship and a relevant message.

1917 - The U.S. purchased the Danish West Indies (now the Virgin Islands) for $25 million.


1924 - The 1st Winter Olympic Games were inaugurated in Chamonix in the French Alps.

Women’s basketball will play Sam Houston State 4 p.m. at Strahan Coliseum. A statewide Antiwar March will convene at Austin City Hall (Cesar Chavez and Lavaca) at 3 p.m. and commence at 3:30 pm at the Texas Capitol. Music and speakers will greet the marchers at the Capitol grounds and City Hall. For more information, contact Karen at (512) 659-4564 or

Library Beat Mexican-American writers from Texas host, celebrate book launch

1533 - England’s King Henry VIII secretly married his second wife Anne Boleyn. Boleyn later gave birth to Elizabeth I.

and verses sung by music legends such as Lydia Mendoza, Freddy Fender and Selena offer a sampling of songwriters’ voices. Hecho en Tejas also introduces such younger writers as Christine Granados, Macarena del Rocio Hernández, Tony Díaz and Sheryl Luna. Opening Feb. 1, the Southwest Writers Collection Spring 2007 exhibition highlights the anthology with books, photographs and literary excerpts reflecting the Mexican American experience in the state as seen in Hecho en Tejas, and biographical information on many of the authors. The Collection’s rare 1555 edition of Cabeza de Vaca’s La relación y comentarios will also be on display. The Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center, Texas State’s Office of Equity and Access, the Texas Commission on the Arts and private donors provide additional funding for the anthology and book launch. The Southwestern Writers Collection is located on the seventh floor of Alkek Library. Exhibit hours and the full calendar of exhibits and events may be accessed online at, or by telephone at (512) 245-2313. Admission is free. Visitors to the Feb. 10 event are encouraged to R.S.V.P. by phone or by e-mail at southwesternwriters —Courtesy of the Alkek Library

Jennifer Williams/Star photo Ann Meinecke, digital and photographic imaging junior, admires the work of Caprice Pierucci, art and design lecturer, entitled “Loose Loops II” Tuesday at the recently opened faculty exhibition in Gallery I of the Joann Cole Mitte Art Building.

1927 - Jack Benny married Sadye Marks on this day. Sadye changed her name to Mary Livingstone.

Teacher’s federation seeks clarity in faculty-bias research WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Federation of Teachers released a report Monday titled The ‘Faculty Bias’ Studies: Science or Propaganda? The report states that the most frequently cited research on alleged political bias in college faculty is severely flawed in its methodology and makes sweeping assumptions that invalidate its findings. “Objective research is essential, and clearly that is not what we find in the studies analyzed in this report,” said Edward J. McElroy, president of the AFT. “It doesn’t matter if you are conservative or liberal. Bad research and inaccurate characterizations are a disservice to academia and to

the students who are its central concern.” William Scheuerman, an AFT vice president who heads up the AFT’s higher education program and policy council, said, “Higher education professionals teach. They don’t preach. They are committed to academic freedom and to the free exchange of ideas in the classroom.” Scheuerman, who has testified on the issue before various state legislatures, said most researchers understand how flawed the studies reviewed in the AFT report truly are. Nonetheless, the inaccuracies of such research are often presented and accepted as fact. “The AFT believes that ac-

curacy and scientific integrity matter, and that the public has a right to know when research falls short of the mark.” John Lee, president of JBL Associates, wrote the report, which uses objective scientific criteria to evaluate studies on “faculty bias” and its impact on the American higher education system. Lee has more than 25 years of bipartisan work experience in the fields of post-secondary education policy and quantitative and qualitative research. In the report, Lee notes that “Passing off personal opinion as fact is not science; it is the antithesis of what serious researchers try to do.” “The ‘Faculty Bias’ Studies:

Science or Propaganda?” was sponsored by the American Federation of Teachers on behalf of Free Exchange on Campus. To download a copy of the report, go to pubs-reports/higher_ed/FacultyBiasStudies.pdf. The American Federation of Teachers represents more than 1.3 million pre-K through 12th grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school staff; higher education faculty and staff; nurses and other health professionals; and federal, state and local government employees. —Courtesy of the American Federation of Teachers

San Marcos citywide CRIME BL TTER cleanup to remove brush University Police Department The city of San Marcos will hold a one-time-only citywide brush cleanup Monday to collect fallen tree limbs and brush from the recent ice storm. The one-time sweep will be for brush only. Residents should leave the brush at the curb no later than Monday. Crews will make one pass down each street. To assure a smooth collection, the city requests residents do the following: Place brush and limbs parallel to the curb, no further than 3 ft. from the street. Ensure brush and limbs are no longer than 15 ft. There is no need to bundle brush and limbs. Place brush and limbs in an area clear of overhead obstructions Place brush and limbs away from water and gas meters and mail boxes.

Ensure brush and limbs are accessible and not blocked by parked vehicles. A crew operator will determine if each location can be serviced safely. No building materials, appliances or other bulky waste will be part of this pickup, said Public Works Director Richard Mendoza. Piles containing mixed material other than branches or brush will be passed by. Residents can schedule mixed refuse as a bulky pickup by calling (512) 393-8026. Such debris must also meet bulky waste requirements, with brush tied into four-foot bundles. For more information, contact Public Works at (512) 393-8036. —Courtesy of the city of San Marcos

Jan. 19, 7:32 p.m. Terroristic Threat/ LBJ bus stop near The Quad An officer was dispatched for a report of a verbal disturbance. A student reported having an argument with another student and being threatened by that student.

tion/ Strahan Coliseum Lot An officer came in contact with two non-students who were found to be intoxicated. The non-students were arrested and transported to HCLEC to await magistration.

Jan. 20, 2:23 a.m. Alcohol: DUI-Minor/ Failure to Control Speed/ Blanco Garage An officer was dispatched for a report that a student struck three vehicles. Upon further investigation the student was found to be driving under the influence of alcohol. She was issued a citation for DUI-minor and failure to control speed.

Jan. 21, 2:45 a.m. Possession of Marijuana; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia/Wood Street An officer came in contact with a student who was found to be in possession of drug paraphernalia and a non-student who was found to be in possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. The non-student was arrested and transported to HCLEC to await magistration. Both received citations for PODP.

Jan. 21, 1:53 a.m. Alcohol: Public Intoxica-


Thursday, January 25, 2007

The University Star - Page 3

Entrepreneur took a shine to moonshine, but with a twist By Dan Huntley McClatchy Newspapers CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Before he moved to North Carolina in the mid- ‘90s, Joseph Michalek’s New York buddies kidded him about coming to the land of moonshine and Mayberry. Within months of arriving in Winston-Salem, he began to notice a glass jar quietly being passed around at bluegrass festivals and race tracks.

“I’d never seen nor tasted moonshine, but it was pretty obvious that’s what it was,” said Michalek, 38. “I was prepared for the worst, but I sipped it and it was delicious, much smoother than I expected. It had a hint of fruit in it; I’d never tasted anything quite like it.” What Michalek tasted was a moonshine “hybrid,” which has grown in popularity in recent years at barbecues and ballgames throughout the Carolinas

— usually offered from a friend’s back-pocket flask. The corn whiskey infused with local peaches, apples, cherries or strawberries is sweeter and smoother than the 180-proof, clear liquor with a bouquet of paint thinner. Old-timers call the fruit-infused liquor sissyshine. “You’d be surprised at who’s drinking that stuff too,” said Arthur Black, a South Carolina peach farmer. “It ain’t farmers in overalls; it’s yuppies in places

like Charlotte.” Michalek saw a business opportunity. In 2005, he started Piedmont Distillers in Madison, north of Greensboro — the first legal distillery in the Carolinas since before Prohibition. Michalek produces Catdaddy: Carolina Moonshine, which is being sold in more than 200 North Carolina ABC liquor stores and outlets in York County, S.C. Catdaddy is moonshiner slang for the “best of the best.” He won’t divulge his startup costs or his sales, but it’s now being sold in a half-dozen states. Last year Piedmont sponsored a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race car. Michalek works with four full-time employees. He produces Catdaddy in small batches — 300 gallons, triple-distilled in a German copper pot still. A batch yields about 1,500 bottles, which are filled, corked and packaged by hand in Madison’s former train station. A 750 milliliter bottle costs $19.95. He says his liquor mixes well — he has recipes for a Moonshine Martini (Catdaddy, orange vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and a splash of lime) and a Who’s Your Daddy (one part Catdaddy and one part Irish Creme). Real moonshine comes in two “flavors” — legal and illegal. The essential difference is one is taxed and one is not.

You can go into most any liquor store and buy moonshine such as Georgia Moon Corn Whiskey, Platte Valley Corn Whiskey or Catdaddy. The federal tax on a gallon of whiskey is $15.50. It is legal to own a still; you can buy one online for less than $800. If you want to produce any alcohol in your still, you need a federal permit. Under the alternative fuels law, you can make up to 10,000 gallons a year of ethanol, which can power engines when mixed with gasoline. “Yes, you can have a still, but it must be permitted and you can produce spirits for fuel use only,” said Art Resnick, director of public and media affairs for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department. “Let’s make this perfectly clear: It’s illegal to make moonshine, which is untaxed spirits.” Even if a person wanted to make moonshine at home and pay federal taxes, it’s not that simple. It requires a federal distiller’s license and is cost-prohibitive for anything other than a business. On Michalek’s journey to become a distiller, he says he gotten some curious looks as a “fast-talking Yankee with a hardto-pronounce last name” asking questions about the production of moonshine. “But I was interested in the high-grade premium stuff, and

once people understood I respected the quality of their product, they opened up,” he said. “They take a lot of pride in making good whiskey. It’s truly becoming a lost art.” What Michalek learned was that he wasn’t interested in the old-style, 180-proof stuff with enough “bite” to take the chrome off a trailer hitch. “I don’t see how anyone can drink that stuff; it should be illegal,” he joked. Catdaddy is moonshine, but it’s not straight corn whiskey. “It’s flavored moonshine. A lot of homemade moonshine is fruit-infused, and our recipe is too, but we’ve added two more flavors to make it unique,” said Michalek, who brought the proof down to 80 to make it smoother. True to his craft, Michalek won’t identify the three flavors he adds, other than to say it’s a fruit with spices similar to vanilla and cinnamon. Davis Clark of York, S.C., grew up on a farm and had his share of the old-style moonshine. “But in those days, you drank what you could find; poor folks couldn’t afford no ‘government’ whiskey,” said Clark, 63. “But here recently I’ve been seeing more fruit in the jars as the proof has been coming down. That’s what the younger folks want these days. That old shine is like the folks that drank it — dead and gone.”

MOONSHINE FACTS AND LORE Layne Bailey/Charlotte Observer GOOD SISSYSHINE: Piedmont Distillery CEO and President Joseph Michlek has opened the first legal distillery in Madison, North Carolina, Jan. 12. FRUIT MIX: Jars of moonshine, some made with raisin and others with peaches, sit in a window, Jan. 17.

History: Moonshining dates 300 years to the Scots-Irish who settled in the Carolinas. Making moonshine originated in the Scottish highlands with farmers who used excess grains such as corn to ferment into liquor. The reason many of them came to America was high taxation on property, such as whiskey, and religious persecution. A basic moonshine recipe calls for 5 gallons of sweet feed (grains such as corn mixed with molasses); one

package of distillers’ yeast; 5 pounds of sugar and water. It’s basically mixed together with warm water and allowed to ferment for several days. The fermented brew is then filtered and run through the distilling process or the still. More moonshine drink recipes can be found at www. Slang terms: White lightning, kickapoo joy juice, popskull, ruckus juice, mountain dew, happy Sally, hillbilly pop and panther’s

breath. The name: The production and transportation of illegal or untaxed whiskey was done primarily at night. A Web site on the history and lore of moonshine was done by a group of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill students in the mid-1990s for a cyber publishing class. Their description of moonshine’s potency: “One drop will make a rabbit whip a bulldog.” www.


Page 4 - The University Star

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Bobcats for Life joins anti-abortion groups at Austin gathering


By Danielle Madsen The University Star

Danny Rodriguez/Star photo Students passing by Flowers Hall attempt to stay warm and dry while walking to classes during Wednesday’s rainy afternoon.

GARAGE: Bird droppings reach half-foot piles CONTINUED from page 1

mess and somebody falling down under a real large roost, but we don’t have any of those here on campus.” Prentice said the swallows are harassed because their droppings are a nuisance. “Folks who parked in the Alkek garage, mostly faculty and staff of the library or the new

McCoy building, were returning to their cars each evening to find up to a half-inch of bird droppings on many of their vehicles,” Prentice said. “In some locations on the ground it had accumulated up to a half a foot. Needless to say, no one would like this happening to their vehicles or having to walk through it to get to work, and it certainly did nothing for the appearance

of the garage.” Brinkley views the birds in a different light. “I have those on my front porch too, and they are a nuisance,” Brinkley said. “(There are) droppings on my freshly painted columns. Personally I choose to live with the swallow. I know that during the season they are eating tons of mosquitoes and other insects,

which is a benefit to me.” Prentice, however, said the main concern is maintaining environmentally safe grounds at the university. “As you can imagine, this is one of those ‘no win, darned-ifyou-do and darned-if-you-don’t’ situations,” he said. “It’s not necessarily as issue of right and wrong, maybe just one of where your car is parked.”

A new campus group dedicating awareness to anti-abortion will be active this weekend in Austin when it participates in a rally. Bobcats for Life, which aims to raise awareness about antiabortion issues, will participate in one of at least four programs, which bring attention to respecting life from conception to natural death. The four programs are entitled “Mass for Life,” “March for Life,” “Rally for Life” and “Party for Life.” “I’m very passionate about being pro-life,” said Lyndsey Syrko, Bobcats for Life vice president and pre-radiation therapy freshman. “I’m proud of the group and its ability to speak out to represent those who are pro-life.” The Bobcats for Life group will be running a resource table handing out information and selling rosaries while assisting the “Party for Life” program. The “Catholic Longhorns for Life” will host the rally. Members of the group will be serving pizza and refreshments along with distributing door prizes. “From these events, I hope there will be more awareness of what’s going on in the legislature, (that) people will become more informed and choose a prolife stance,” said Katryn Hubert, Bobcats for Life president and history sophomore. The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform Studies reports there are approximately 1.37 million abortions in the U.S. each year. “One of the Ten Commandments is ‘thou shall not kill,’” Hubert said. “The idea that a child

is not human until he or she is 4 months old is absurd. God made man and every child is a gift from God.” Reagan Pugh, student coordinator for Common Experience, which seeks to promote intellectual conversation and student participation across campus, said the abortion issue fits this year’s “Protest and Dissent” theme. “It’s very positive to see protest and dissent on both sides of the spectrum, because normally around the abortion issue the argument is usually for pro-choice,” Pugh said. “It’s encouraging to see Texas State students dissenting and having a healthy dialogue on the topic.” San Marcos’ Deputy Mayor Daniel Guerrero is also encouraged by the student activism. “I think it is important for students to be involved in all levels of politics and to take action,” Guerrero said. “I encourage students to actively reach out to their public officials in a professional manner.” The student political activism should be an all-day event. Mass for Life will begin at 10:30 a.m. and be overseen by the Diocese of Austin. It will take place at San Jose Catholic church. “All prayers will be centered around having greater respect for human life and for unjust laws to be changed,” said Ann Bierschenk, Diocese of Austin prolife officer director. Texas Alliance for Life will sponsor the “March for Life” event, which will be held on the south steps of the Capitol. A “Texas Rally for Life” will feature pastor Rich Scarborough from Vision America and Father Frank Pavone from “Priests for Life.”

BIOMECHANICS: Colleague expects to see ‘great things’ from Pankey CONTINUED from page 1

them.” Biomechanics is the study of internal and external forces on a living body or system, and has rehabilitative and medical applications. Pankey, professor of biomechanics and kinesiology, has garnered the respect of students and colleagues. “He’s an absolute consummate, outstanding teacher,” said Don Rainey, assistant professor in the department of HPER, who has known Pankey more than 15 years. “From a biomedical perspective, he’s second-to-none in the department. He is also one of the most caring, considerate, passionate administrators I’ve worked with — and absolutely devoted to his students.” Corey Anderson, graduate assistant in the department of HPER and former student of Pankey, said his teaching style is engaging and effective. “When it was all over, I remembered everything he taught us,” said Anderson, who is seeking a master’s in education with a focus on exercise sports science. “He taught us new things, taught us to look at things differently.” Anderson took an advanced biomechanics course during his first semester as a graduate student, and said Pankey’s approach

gave him a new perspective. “As a student, it can be hard to see things your own way; you just pick things up from the same angle as your teacher,” he said. “But with him it was different; you can take his words and apply them to what you can do. He had me thinking outside the box.” Those close to Pankey professionally said they are eager to see him delve into research. “Now he can be 100 percent devoted to the biomechanical lab and his work,” Rainey said. “We’ll see some great things.” Michelle Pope, professor in the department of HPER, said Pankey is a “very well-loved teacher and colleague … with a complete team approach.” “We’re excited for him,” she said. “He loves research, and (his field of study) is what makes him tick.” Pankey will spend three days a week at the GAIT lab. His work will involve the construction and fitting of prosthetic devices, alongside the use of balance-assessment machines. He said cutting-edge technology has improved the lives of amputees, for example, in that they are now more mobile and betterintegrated back into society. “Any kind of specialized training rehab as well as technology advances will give them com-

fort,” he said. “Technology has improved now — we’ve gotten away from all those (older) mechanisms. Devices are lighter, flexible, hinged to more accurately emulate natural movements.” Cases Pankey studies relate to disease, injury and aging-related problems. But, he said, the people involved all share the same goal: to improve their condition. “They all want to get better, no matter what their age or ailment is,” Pankey said. “They all want to get from one place to another in a more efficient way, and that’s where biomechanics comes in.” He said he is eager to help veterans returning from overseas. “The most important thing I’m looking forward to is being able to work with those kids,” Pankey said. “I think it’ll be rewarding to counsel them, remind them they’re still young — still looking at a whole life ahead of them, rather than looking at a life … defined by their injury.” He said the program’s next goal is do develop a mobile lab, one which can travel between university facilities and be convenient to patients. Pankey will continue research this semester in the Jowers biomechanical lab on Mondays and Fridays, and return to teaching in the fall.

Report suggests women thrive more during college than men By Samantha Van Vynck Daily Collegian (Penn State) UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A new report released earlier this month suggests colleges may have a more successful female student body than male. The National Freshman Attitudes Report by Noel-Levitz indicates the findings stem from the different attitudes men and women have toward studying. Noel-Levitz, an organization geared toward helping college campuses exceed in their enrollment, marketing, and student success goals, surveyed nearly 100,000 incoming freshmen at 292 private and two-and fouryear public colleges during their initial weeks on campus. The study found that both men and women approach their freshman year highly motivated, but male students didn’t list hav-

ing study habits and high intellectual interests as often as women did. “This study has to do with what percentage of men and women respond in different ways (to college),” said Pam Jennings, associate vice president of marketing for Noel-Levitz. “Overall, students have a high expectation that they are going to complete a degree when they come in as brand new freshmen, but that isn’t happening.” The report suggests that the disparities between the two genders may begin with the individual academic methods males and females use, such as studying and reading, to be successful in the classroom. The findings show that freshmen men are more likely than women to admit that their studying is irregular and unpredictable and that books have never

been a source of excitement. The numbers demonstrate that women enjoy reading more and taking careful notes, which is a factor in why women are doing well, according to the study. Pennsyvania State University Professor of sociology, demography, and education George Farkas said he attributes these academic differences to a mixture of biology and culture. “I do studies of achievement and take them back to kindergarten,” he said. “There are gender differences in doing good school work, in paying attention, being organized and persisting in academic tasks. I see those differences in just first grade, and they are large, so there do seem to be gender differences for older males and females,” he said. Collegian staff writer Anna Zagari contributed to this report.


Page 5 - The University Star

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Kerry won’t join the 2008 presidential campaign trail By Jill Zuckman Chicago Tribune WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic nominee for president in 2004, announced Wednesday that he will shelve his presidential ambitions and spend his time working to force the White House to set a date for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq. “As someone who made the mistake of voting for the resolution that gave the president the authority to go to war, I feel the weight of a personal responsibility to act, to devote time and energy to the national dialogue in an effort to limit this war and bring our participation to a conclusion,” Kerry said during a lengthy speech on the Senate floor. The Massachusetts senator’s decision spares him from a grueling 2008 primary contest against at least two of the biggest stars in presidential politics, Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., not to mention his former running mate, former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina. It also likely frees up a bevy of heavyweight Democratic fundraisers, activists and political consultants who are fixtures on the Boston and New Hampshire political scene, as well as nationally. Kerry began his political career as a young Vietnam veteran who

famously questioned the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 1971, asking, “How do you ask a man to be the last person to die for a mistake?” On Wednesday, he said he never thought he would have to ask that question again. But its relevance today, he said, persuaded him to stay in the Senate and search for a solution to the problems in Iraq. “The fact is, what happens here in the next two years may irrevocably shape or terribly distort the administration of whichever candidate is next elected president,” said Kerry, his voice breaking slightly. “I don’t want the next president to find they have inherited a nation still divided and a policy destined to end as Vietnam did, in a bitter and sad legacy.” Still, the decision to forsake another presidential campaign and instead seek re-election to the Senate was a painful one, friends said. Famously competitive, Kerry was a wind-surfer, bicyclist and avid snowboarder who hated to lose. He narrowly lost the 2004 election, failing to carrying Ohio and unable to win the voters’ affections. When he began his race, he joked about removing his “aloof gland,” but his natural reserve was always present as he mingled uncomfortably with voters on the campaign trail. Following the election, he told friends that he blamed himself, but also that he wanted to try

again to get it right. “I know that he agonized over this decision,” said Alan Solomont, a friend of three decades who served as Kerry’s New England Finance Chairman in 2004. “But at the end of the day, he plays the hand that he sees in front of him. At a time when we’re in such a precarious decision globally, his leadership and voice on the Foreign Relations Committee is going to be very critical.” Kerry said Wednesday that he was proud of the campaign that he ran. “We came close,” he said. “Certainly close enough to be tempted to try again.” But the issue of Iraq seemed to trip him up repeatedly as he voted for the resolution to go to war and against funding for that war. “I voted for it before I voted against it,” he once said of an Iraq spending bill, crystallizing a sense among voters that he was indecisive and opportunistic. During his time as a Navy lieutenant in Vietnam commanding a swift boat, Kerry was awarded a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with combat V, and three Purple Hearts. Nevertheless, conservatives formed a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, questioning his service record and his military awards, charges that badly damaged his campaign when he failed to respond quickly and forcefully. More recently, voters were

Olivier Doulier/Abaca Press OTHER THINGS TO DO: Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and former President Bill Clinton attend an event honoring outgoing Democratic National Commitee chairman Terry McCauliffe, right, Feb. 10, 2005. Sen. Kerry announced Wednesday that he will not run again for President for the 2008 ellection.

again reminded of his imperfections as a candidate. While campaigning for Democrats during the 2006 midterm elections, a botched joke may have sealed his fate. “You know education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well,”

he said. “If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.” What was supposed to be a zinger aimed at President Bush became a hand grenade that seemingly blew up Kerry’s political ambitions. Democratic leaders urged Kerry to get off the campaign trail lest he distract from candidates trying to unseat

incumbent Republicans. The brouhaha also detracted from what Kerry had accomplished in 2006: He had raised $14 million for Democratic candidates and used his e-mail list of 3 million people to help challengers unseat many Republican incumbents. Over the course of the year he campaigned in 35 states.

Congress criticizes President’s request to increase Iraq troops By Renee Schoof McClatchy Newspapers WASHINGTON, D.C. — A day after President Bush asked Congress to give his troop buildup in Iraq a chance to work, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 12-9, mostly along party lines, to oppose it. Even though most Republicans on the panel voted against the nonbinding resolution, they joined Democrats in speaking out against the president’s policy in an emotional debate before the vote. One after another, the senators called for a way to turn over responsibility to Iraqis and avoid more American deaths and casualties in the midst of heavy sectarian bloodletting in Baghdad. The full Senate will continue the debate when it considers the resolution next week. “We’d better be damn sure, all of us, before we put 22,000 more people in that grinder,” Chuck Kennedy/MCT said Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. He helped write the resolution BREAKING PARTY LINES: Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) helped write and was the sole Republican the resolution to oppose President Bush’s troop buildup in Iraq and who voted for it. “Maybe I’ll be was the only Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee wrong, and maybe I’ll have no to vote for it. political future, but I don’t care

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about that,” Hagel said. He told his colleagues that if they didn’t want to make tough decisions, “go sell shoes.” The resolution says it’s not in the national interest to increase military forces in Iraq. It suggests that the U.S. should transfer responsibility for security to Iraqis while American forces focus on such tasks as fighting terrorism. Bush has called for adding 17,500 troops in Baghdad to hold down sectarian violence long enough for Iraq to achieve a political solution. He also plans to add 4,000 Marines in Anbar province, a hotbed of the Sunni Muslim-led insurgency. In his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, he pleaded, “Give it a chance to work.” Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., the chairman of the committee, said the resolution was the quickest way to try to stop a “tragic mistake” — the plan to send U.S. troops into the heart of Baghdad. “This is not designed to say, ‘Mr. President, ah-ha, you’re wrong,’” he said. “This is designed to say, `Mr. President, please don’t go do this.’” Biden said he’d negotiate with Sen. John Warner, R-Va., who of-

fered a similar resolution against the military increase, about melding their language into one resolution to draw broader bipartisan support. Biden eliminated one word Wednesday that Republicans found objectionable, changing “escalating” the military force to “increasing” it. Vice President Dick Cheney said in a CNN interview that a nonbinding resolution “won’t stop us, and it would be, I think detrimental from the standpoint of the troops.” Sen. James Webb, D-Va., who has a son serving as a Marine in Iraq, strongly disagreed that the resolution undermines the troops. “They are at the mercy of the people up here,” he said. “They need to be used wisely.” Biden said the debate on Iraq was just beginning. He promised that his committee would consider Democratic proposals aimed at forcing a change of U.S. war plans. Although Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, voted against the resolution, she first said, “I disagree with the president about the surge.” She said she hoped the debate wouldn’t be Republicans against Democrats, adding, “I

think this is just the beginning.” Alaska is home to the 172nd Stryker Brigade, which was held over in Iraq last summer for four months during a previous troop increase to fight violence in Baghdad. Murkowski said some servicemen she talked to called it “whack a mole.” Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, the senior Republican on the committee, voted against the resolution, saying it would show disunity and make it harder for Congress to work with the administration. But he also said he was “not confident that President Bush’s plan will succeed.” “Militarily, the plan may achieve initial success,” Lugar said, but he added that it’s doubtful that it could clear the way for a lasting peace. He listed these reasons: “The unwillingness of the Iraqi government to confront Shia militias, the questionable loyalty of many Iraqi army and police units, the resilience of the Sunni insurgency, the meddling of Iran, the ineffectual history of our economic aid, and the political and military limits of our ability to hold indefinitely large swaths of urban landscape in hostile circumstances.”


Thursday, January 25, 2007 - Page 6

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Thursday Lucy’s San Marcos – Wind-Up Bird Chronicle/XRP/The Snags/Spin Alley Triple Crown – Adam Hilton/The Mediums/ Boone Graham Cheatham Street Warehouse – Doctor G.and the Mudcats/ The Grant Ewing Band

Friday Lucy’s San Marcos – Jared Francis Band Triple Crown – Eta Carinae/Ethereal Architect/Powderburn Cheatham Street Warehouse – Brandon Rhyder

Saturday Lucy’s San Marcos – Bloodshot Pyramid/ Robbie & the Robots Triple Crown – Scott Biram/The Beaumonts Cheatham Street Warehouse – Texas Renegade

Trends Contact — Maira Garcia,

FURNITURE FUN Specialist works with space and environment to achieve harmony By Maira Garcia The University Star

Carline Jean/South Florida Sun-Sentinel SEMINARY: Seminarian Mike Nixon, 24, of St. Vincent de Paul Seminary in Boynton Beach, Fla., studies in his room.

As number of priests decline, Catholic church finds new generation of seminarians By Lois Solomon South Florida Sun-Sentinel WEST BOYNTON, Fla. — They are giving up pleasures and ambitions we take for granted. Family, spouse, career, home, money, sex. They say they don’t feel deprived. They believe a life of joy and satisfaction is in store: They are future priests. The men of St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary know many Americans think their choice is unconventional. But they think they represent a Catholic revival: a youthful, conservative, energetic, inyour-face love of God and the gospels. “I want to be the coolest priest possible,” said seminarian Michael Nixon, 24, who calls his life before seminary “wild and crazy.” The future priests know about the financial scandals, pedophilia accusations, girlfriends on the side and other lurid accusations that plague the church. Still, they are drawn to Jesus, the rhythm and majesty of Mass, the sacraments and the social work that they believe can change the world. Parishes in Florida and across the country are in desperate need of these men. While the number of American priests has fallen from about 58,000 to about 42,000 over the past 40 years, the Roman Catholic Church has added almost 1,000 parishes. More than 3,000 churches lack a resident priest, according to Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. The reasons for the shortage are simple: the celibacy requirement and the lifelong commitment, said Dean Hoge, a sociology professor at Catholic University of America. “If either of those could be eliminated, the problem would be eliminated,” Hoge said. “Making such a lifetime promise of loyalty is too much for most Americans.” At the moment, four thoughtful and idealistic young men at St. Vincent de Paul are pondering this lifelong promise. In their second of five years at the seminary, they know their journey to the priesthood will be fraught with self-doubt, exhilaration, stress and questions. But they are confident they are on the right path. They volunteered to be interviewed for this story. “I want to do big things for God, whatever that ends up meaning,” said Tim Holeda, 25, a Florida State University graduate who served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and dreamed of becoming a conservative politician. “My goal is to be submissive. There is a real freedom in that, to not have to worry, to have a bishop to guide you.” St. Vincent de Paul’s fiveyear graduate program, with 64 students, is designed for men who attended college but still need the theological grounding and real-world experience to minister to a parish.

Owned by the seven dioceses of Florida, the 43-year-old seminary, surrounded by shopping centers and housing developments on Military Trail, offers theology courses, spiritual direction, retreats and community internships to its future priests. Because of the shortage, the church has welcomed older men it may not have sought to recruit in years past. The average age at ordination has risen from 32 in 1984 to 38 in 2006. Armando Tolosa, 37, is one of the older seminarians. A native of Rionegro, Colombia, he was working as a certified public accountant when he attended a church-sponsored retreat five years ago for men considering the priesthood. He was deeply affected. The retreat filled a spiritual void in his life. “It was a conversion,” said Tolosa, the youngest of nine children. “I decided to leave everything behind. I had a nice apartment, a nice car. I knew God would provide me with a different kind of family.” The priesthood is a puzzling institution to most Americans. Why would anyone choose to be celibate and obey a bishop, while giving up a chance to have a family and earn a living? To Nixon, the question itself shows the materialistic and selfish nature of American society. “I am free enough to choose to be obedient,” Nixon said. “I know that’s not the American way. It’s not blind obedience. You make your gifts and desires known to your superiors.” Nixon was born in Hawaii to parents who had joined the Hare Krishnas. His parents converted to Catholicism when he was in the first grade. Nixon loved learning about the lives of the saints, especially St. John Bosco, a 19th century Italian priest who devoted his life to young outcasts. Nixon’s elementary school yearbook declares his goal of becoming a “Catholic priest, then Bishop.” Nixon’s family moved to Tallahassee when he was in the eighth grade. He said he continued to think about becoming a priest but was distracted by girls and basketball. He seriously dated a woman for a year, but they decided to break up so he could pursue the priesthood. “I knew that God was speaking to my heart, that there was something more he wanted for me,” he wrote in his autobiography, part of his admission to the seminary. “The hard part was that this was an awesome relationship, she was an amazing person, but still, when I would be quiet enough to pay attention to His voice, the call to live only for Him would become apparent.” Besides giving up his girlfriend, Nixon said, he let go of those ambitions to become a bishop. “I’ll be happy being a parish priest,” Nixon said. “We’re not doing this for our egos. We’re being called to something greater.”

Organizing your space in accordance with the ancient Chinese practice of feng shui can be a very modern approach to living a better life. Nancy Wesson, who specializes and is certified in Black Sect/ Western feng shui, said the practice is more than just arranging furniture. It is a deep symbolic system. “There is a lot of symbolism in an environment. For example, people who want relationships that are surrounded by artwork and books is a symbolization of ‘I’m single and I will stay that way,’” Wesson said. The San Marcos Public Library will be hosting a mini-workshop on feng shui that Wesson will direct. Wesson said it will inform people of feng shui history, where it comes from and the fact that it is a scientific art. “It will cover basics and give them something to do when they get home,” she said. “(The workshop) concentrates on the Western school of Feng Shui, including the sciences of ergonomics and quantum physics, as opposed to compass directions.” According to Wesson, one’s environment is a reflection of the inner and outer life. Feng shui works to achieve harmony through place and arrangement of space. The literal translation of feng shui is “wind and water.” Wesson said feng shui is a system that uses environment to achieve life goals, reduce stress and bring enjoyment to one’s life. Her company, Focus on Space, works to provide such harmony in homes, businesses and real estate planning. “(Feng shui) reduces stress and supports you physiologically,” Wesson said. “It helps you remember what you want to do. Your environment is a tool for keeping yourself on track.” Wesson has been using feng shui for over a decade. She said it is not a superstitious practice, and uses the sciences of ergonomics and quantum physics. Nancy Granato, coordinator of the interior design program in the department of family and consumer sciences, stressed the non-superstitious aspects of feng shui. “The practices and principals are not so much magical. It has been scientifically proven to work through human behavior and psychology,” Granato said. “There is scientific data to back it up, so the ancient Chinese weren’t just making this stuff up.” Granato said it could be used in arranging macro environments such as a town or microenvironments such as one’s desk. Central to the placement of things is the bagua, an octagonal diagram with each side pertaining to a compass direction and specific benefit. “You place (the bagua) over a floor plan, room or desk and a certain position you want to enhance for family. It would be towards the left and you would add green as that promotes family and friends,” she said. Wesson and Granato said feng shui is an intuitive art. “People instinctively know when a space is wrong or right. They feel that they need to move it. That’s one of the tenets of feng shui – knowing something should be moved,” Wesson said. “When you walk into room it should take your breath away. You should feel like it is arranged correctly.” Wesson said she believes using feng shui is something that can lead to important changes in the quality of one’s life. She said the more you do it, the more powerful a thing you feel it is. Ultimately, one’s environment becomes a partner in reaching goals, Wesson said. It helps one see the way a system of thought can be reinforced onto the environment. “When you recognize it, it becomes a tool. You get conscious of what you are and what you want to do,” Wesson said.

Tim Dominick/Krt Photograph HOME-FENG SHUI: Feng shui means ‘wind, water’ and traditionally symbolizes the space between heaven and earth - the environment where we live. The underlying philosophy recognizes that we and our environment are sustained by an invisible, yet tangible, energy called chi.

Laura Dickinson/San Luis Obispo Tribune EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE: (Left) According to principles of feng shui, a plant belongs in a left corner, with purple symbolizing prosperity.

Gambling promoters targeting college students By Pam Louwagie McClatchy Newspapers MINNEAPOLIS -- The poker players sparkle like celebrities on cable TV, often sitting coolly in sunglasses while raking in their chips. The gambling industry sells itself by marketing the kind of high-stakes wins that are routine for only a few. It’s a potent lure, and one that many college students — already high-risk takers — pay attention to. Some marketing is aimed directly at them: “win your tuition” tournaments, fliers on campus kiosks, offers for fraternity fundraising. It’s not hard to find opportunities to gamble if you’re a college student. The start-up Sigma Pi fraternity at the University of Minnesota didn’t even have a house yet when a poker Web site came calling last summer. “I thought that your fraternity may be in

need of some fundraising, and I might be able to help,” read the e-mail from someone who works for Absolute Poker. The message offered to hold an online tournament and donate money for everyone who participated. “To my knowledge, that was the first piece of advertising our fraternity received,” said fraternity treasurer Craig Bantz. Canterbury Park Racetrack and Card Club tries to bring young people into gaming responsibly so they become part of the park’s customer base when they’re older, said Kevin Gorg, media relations manager. “We’re all about the long-term investment. We’re not trying to, you know, scam people into getting involved with it on a short-term basis and diving in for money they can’t afford to lose. We’re all about educating our fans,” he said. Absolute Poker and other Web sites have

been aggressive in courting the college market. Absolute, for instance, advertised a “Win Your Tuition” tournament, internships in Costa Rica, jobs as campus representatives — even a chance to be a “College Spokesmodel.” At the University of Minnesota, coupons offering a $100 sign-up bonus at were tucked into poker books at the campus bookstore last fall. University officials say the coupons violated bookstore policies, and they removed them. Card Player magazine, around since 1998, published a college edition in 2005 and 2006. “There’s a lot of 21-year-old kids who learn to play poker online and they become very, very good at the game very quickly,” said Justin Marchand, who was executive editor of the college edition. Many participants in big poker events came from the college market, he said.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

The University Star - Page 7

“Sexpresso” stands sweep the Northeast By Amy Roe The Seattle Times SEATTLE — In a short, sheer, baby-doll negligee and coordinated pink panties, Candice Law is dressed to work at a drive-through espresso stand in Tukwila, Wash., and she is working it. Customers pull their trucks up to the window, where Law greets each with an affectionate nickname, blows kisses, and vamps about as she steams milk for a mocha. “You want whipped cream?” she asks, a sly smile playing on her pierced lip. The next customer rolls up, and Law throws a long leg onto the windowsill, like an indierock ballerina at the barre. “Do you like my leg warmers?” she asks. “Aren’t they hot?” Hot is not the half of it. To stand apart from the hordes of drive-through espresso stands that clutter the Northwest’s roadsides, commuter coffee stops such as Tukwila’s Cowgirls Espresso are adding bodacious baristas, flirty service

and ever more-revealing outfits to the menu. At Port Orchard’s Natte Latte, baristas sport hot-pink hot pants and tight white tank tops. Day-of-the-week theme outfits ranging from racy lingerie to “fetish” ensembles are the dress code at Moka Girls Espresso in Auburn and at several Cowgirls Espresso stands in the area. Bikini tops are the special at Cafe Lorraine on Highway 9 in Woodinville, and the women of The Sweet Spot in Shoreline pose provocatively in Playmate-style profiles on the stand’s Web site. “In this area, we all know how to make good coffee,” said Barbara Record, who opened Bikini Espresso in Renton last month. The trick is to set your business apart, she said, and sex is one sure-fire way to do that. “It’s just, how far do you want to go?” she said. At Best Friend Espresso in Kenmore, baristas go thighhigh. An elevated service window offers customers a nearly full-length view of pretty, young baristas — some of them high-

Mike Siegel/Seattle Times HOT COFFEE: Barista Candice Law at Cowgirls Espresso in Tukwila, Wash., says she makes more in tips than she ever did as a waitress at Hooters.

school students — in short skirts, tank tops and high heels. Best Friend owner Wayne Hembree said he requires employees to dress “classy;” in dresses, skirts and a nice top. “What I think most of them have found is that their tips are better if they wear short skirts,” he said. Occasionally, Best Friend does theme days, such as “schoolgirl” or adding glasses for a sexy “secretary” look, manager Heather Bacon said. Longer commutes, a change in laws regulating the stands, and the saturation of the carryout coffee market have given drive-through stands a jolt in the past few years. When the state’s smoking ban went into effect last year, many bar, casino and convenience-store owners sought to make up for expected losses by renting part of their parking lots to espresso stands, said Lori Bowden, owner of the Cowgirls Espresso stands. The advent of “sexpresso” is harder to track. Business and baristas debate over who pioneered the edgy outfits, but they agree that by sweetening the product, with a smile and maybe a shot of hazelnut syrup, they’ve reached out to customers who’ve never set foot in a Starbucks. Drive-throughs are a growing part of Starbucks’ business, too, with more than 1,500 drive-through locations throughout the United States. But a representative of the company said it has no plans to sex up the dress code, as it wouldn’t fit the company’s brand. At places such as Cowgirls, the barista is the brand. “If I’m going to pay $4 for a cup of coffee,” said one male customer, “I’m not going to get served by a guy.” That attitude has been a boon to Cowgirls. Bowden, a former vending-machine-company owner, has acquired seven drive-through stands, with a total of 26 employees, all of them women. Though most of the stands in the area pay minimum wage, Law said she makes more in tips than she ever did as a waitress at Hooters. One recent morning, she served 400 customers between about 6 a.m. and noon.

“Your customers freakin’ adore you. Everybody’s excited to see you,” Law said. “You spend a few minutes with them and they leave.” They come back, too. When Ryan Reed pulled up to Best Friend Espresso for his usual, a 24-ounce iced vanilla latte, on a recent weekday afternoon, he knew what to expect. “The owner (Wayne Hembree) always hires super-hot girls,” Reed said. “That’s basically his philosophy.” Hembree said actually, he looks for customer-service skills. The dress code, which he started four years ago, was inspired by an employee whose polished look boosted business, he said. Hembree also requires staff members to wear makeup and do their hair, “and these guys, I won’t lie to you, they like that,” he said. But Best Friend has made some enemies. Jeff Marshall, whose wife, Wendy, owns the gift shop Chalet Cadeau, said the couple moved their business from Kenmore to Kirkland last month in frustration over neighboring Best Friend Espresso. Marshall said the business caused traffic problems and drove customers away from the gift shop. “It’s disgusting,” he said of the stand. “It’s an undesirable business from a community that’s trying to sell itself as a family-oriented community.” Kenmore City Manager Steve Anderson said city officials looked into Marshall’s complaints. “We’ve heard of issues and we’ve had undercover investigations, police surveillance, and it resulted in nothing,” he said. Likewise, King County sheriff’s spokesman John Urquhart said the business isn’t breaking any laws. Bowden said law requires that employees cover their breasts and buttocks, so there will be no “thong Thursday,” as some customers have requested. Back in that cow-spotted stand in front of Silver Dollar Casino in Tukwila, Law steams milk and dreams up new themes. “I like the idea of Saran Wrap Saturday,” she mused. “Now they’ve got those colored Saran Wraps. Dude, they could totally make a cute outfit.”

Eric Lee/Twentieth Century Fox

Nominations put Oscar season in full swing By Richard Coleman & Nicholas Rys Daily Collegian UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. February is approaching, which means Oscar season is in full throttle. The nominations were announced Tuesday, yielding the predictable choices and some interesting surprises. One of those surprises being Dreamgirls, which leads the race with eight nominations – three for Best Original Song – but none for Best Picture. In the Best Picture category, there are the expected contenders – Babel, The Departed and The Queen – but the big surprise nomination this year is Little Miss Sunshine, also nominated for Best Supporting Actor (Alan Arkin) and Best Supporting Actress (Abigail Breslin). Martin Scorsese (The Departed) will try his luck against Clint Eastwood (Letters from Iwo Jima), once again for the Best Directing award, but there will be stiff competition from Paul Greengrass (United 93), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Babel), and Stephen Frears (The Queen). In the category of Best Actor, Will Smith, for his performance in The Pursuit of Happyness, will try to beat out Golden Globe winner Forest Whitaker in The Last

King of Scotland, first-time nominee Ryan Gosling in Half Nelson, and veteran Peter O’Toole in Venus. Leonardo DiCaprio is also in the race, but surprisingly not for his performance in Blood Diamond and not The Departed. The favorites in the category of Best Actress are veterans Helen Mirren for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth III, in The Queen and Judi Dench in Notes on a Scandal. However, Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, Kate Winslet in Little Children and Penelope Cruz in Volver will provide tough competition. The unscripted comedy Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan is unexpectedly nominated for Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published. It will face some tough competition from The Departed and Children of Men, while Notes from a Scandal and Little Children will be the dark-horse nominees. As far as Best Original Screenplay goes, Babel, The Queen and Letters from Iwo Jima look to be the favorites, but Pan’s Labyrinth and Little Miss Sunshine have some potential to walk away with the award. The ceremony will be held at 8 p.m. Sunday and will be hosted by Ellen Degeneres.

The University Star - Page 8


Thursday, January 25, 2007

iPhone may rekindle gadget frenzy -- at a price By Austin Bauer Daily Bruin LOS ANGELES — Forget the Blackberry. Forget the Sidekick. There’s a new device in town. Five years ago, the iPod changed the way people listen to music. Now, Apple may have done it again. Jan. 9 Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, an all-in-one mega-device that combines an eight-gigabyte iPod with a two-megapixel digital camera, cell phone and handheld computer with Internet capability. It might change the way we think about cell phones or, at $599, prove to be an overpriced flop. The iPhone — which will be released mid-year — will not be the first cell phone to play MP3s. Like MP3 players before iPods, MP3 phones have existed for years without becoming enormously popular. The most apparent reason is the lack of hard-drive space, with most phones holding only 50-200 songs. The Shuffle, one of the smallest iPods, holds 240. Feelings about MP3 phones are mixed. Danny Langa, a third-year UCLA history student, recently upgraded to a Samsung VCast phone that holds up to 50 MP3s. “I used the iPod, then switched to the (MP3) phone because it’s easier to carry around than an iPod,” Langa said. But he still complained about the low storage capacity. “It should just hold as much as an iPod,” Langa said. “The more (music), the merrier.” With public opinions like these, Apple’s competitors may have trouble keeping ahead in the mobile device industry without increasing storage capacity. Many iPod owners, who are accustomed to keeping their entire music libraries on their iPods, will not be satisfied with only 200 songs, so the iPhone -- with eight times the storage of most in-phone MP3 players -- could be just the innovation the tech-savvy MP3 generation needs. In addition to a low storage capacity, MP3 phones lack the user-friendliness that people have come to expect of products like the iPod. Existing cell phones with MP3 capabilities use programs like Windows Media Player to upload music. But, like the iPod, the iPhone will use the more popular iTunes program. “I’d rather upload music through iTunes since I organize my music in iTunes, and it’s simple,” Langa said. “I hate having to move everything to Windows Media Player if I want to listen to it on

Courtesy of MCT Campus

my phone.” Besides storage, students’ main concern with the iPhone is the price. “If the price came down, I’d consider it, but $600 is a little unreasonable,” said Brad Taconi, a third-year political science and history student. “I just use my iPod nano and a cell phone.” Some students are also wary of paying so much for such a delicate product. “I wouldn’t pay more than $300 because I’d probably break it,” said second-year undeclared student Chris Bastian. But these same sentiments were felt at the beginning of the iPod craze. It was hard to imagine that so many people, especially young people, would be willing to shell out $400 for a tiny, fragile iPod. But today, when an iPod breaks, the owner often buys a new one without much considering the price. Once people are accustomed to the iPod lifestyle, they’re hooked. So will the same hold true for the iPhone? Will the iPhone replace the RAZR as the phone of choice at UCLA? Only time will tell. The price might deter some, but the iPhone’s innovations could attract enough people to make it the “new” iPod. “It’s $600,” said second-year biology student Kent Blakely. “But it has a Web browser … and a camera … and a phone … and eight gigs.”


Thursday, January 25, 2007

The University Star - Page 9

German workers’ songs convey protest, dissent By Laura Jamison The University Star The Common Experience will host an event for those who cannot read music and have the urge to sing along. Nico Schüler , music associate professor and co-chair of the Common Experience, and Sunnie Oh Schüler , music professor, will present “German Workers’ Songs of the late 1920s and Early 1930s” Monday. The songs have a focus on the Common Experience theme of “protest and dissent.” “I will focus on Germany between the two World Wars — around the late 20s and early 30s — when Nazis gained power and became stronger. There was a sense of tension and the workers became tense too,” said Schüler, who will perform the songs. Schüler said the songs belonged to the underpaid Germans of the time period. “These were songs sung as political expressions. Specifically, these were worker songs usually directed against factory owners who did not pay well. It was about freedom and socialism,” he said. Although Schüler will sing entirely in German, many of the songs originated in foreign countries. “I chose a number of German songs or songs from somewhere else in the world, like the French Revolution song ‘Marseillaise,’” he said. “I will sing a Polish song in German as well because it became part of the German workers’ repertoire. These songs influenced Germans or were rewritten into German.” Sunnie Oh Schüler, who will play piano in the performance, grew up in South Korea, where she said she witnessed protests. She said although she was too young to understand politics, she could understand music. “I was always interested in

Thursday Lonesome Dove Revisited This exhibit gives a close-up look at props, costumes, photographs and other items from the filming of the CBS miniseries. The exhibit is located in the Southwestern Writers Collection in Alkek Library, 7th Floor. Exhibit hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Friday; 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday. Call (512) 245-2313 for more information. Ojos Para Volar/Eyes to Fly With: Photographs by Graciela Iturbide The exhibit includes self-portraits, portraits, famous works and neverbefore-exhibited images by one of Mexico’s greatest photographers. Pieces will be featured from the Wittliff Gallery’s major collection of Iturbide’s work. The exhibit coincides with publication of the ninth volume in the Wittliff Gallery Book Series from the University of Texas Press. The exhibition is located in the Witliff Gallery of Southwestern and Mexican photography in Alkek Library, 7th Floor. Exhibit hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Friday; 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday. Call (512) 245-2313 for more information. Faculty Exhibition

Mark Decker/ Star Photo HISTORICAL SOUNDS: Common Experience co-chair and music associate professor, Nico Schüler, will perform German Workers’ Songs Monday. The songs are part of the Common Experience theme of “protest and dissent.”

music because it is powerful. This music reflects socialist realism. It is simple like a march and it carries a powerful message,” Schüler said. Schüler said that the German music is not hard to understand, and an English translation is pro-

vided. “It is not created for a highclass concert, but people who are non-readers of music. Hopefully Nico will have the audience sing along … or they can just hum,” she said. Schüler said this performance

is especially different from what Americans are accustomed to hearing. “Something like this will be rare to hear in the United States. People may hear about racism, but this is very foreign and not much research is done on this

kind of music,” she said. Nico Schüler said the music offers an international perspective and relates to the Common Experience theme. “We had two music events before but there was no live music that fit the ‘protest and dissent’

theme,” he said. Lisa Corley, a graduate accounting student, said it is important for students to understand the significance of a protest. “It is a good way to get people to see your point of view,” Corley said.

Galleries I and II in the Joann Cole Mitte Art Building will feature work by current art and design faculty. The event is free and open to the public. Exhibit hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday though Friday, and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.

free and open to the public.

Lonesome Dove Revisited


open to the public.

Ojos Para Volar/Eyes to Fly With: Photographs by Graciela Iturbide

Lonesome Dove Revisited

Faculty Exhibition

Ojos Para Volar/Eyes to Fly With: Photographs by Graciela Iturbide

SACA Movie Night – An Inconvenient Truth The Student Association for Campus Activities will host a screening of former Vice President Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth. The movie explores the topic of global warming and documents Gore’s time on the presidential campaign trail in 2000. The film will play at 7 p.m. in the LBJ Ballroom. Admission is free.

Friday Lonesome Dove Revisited

Saturday Lonesome Dove Revisited Ojos Para Volar/Eyes to Fly With: Photographs by Graciela Iturbide Faculty Exhibition Feng Shui: Live Your Best Life The practice of feng shui offers an approach to living that helps us develop and enrich a deep sense of awareness in all that we do, think, express and create. It embraces the sciences of ergonomics, psychology and quantum physics, while offering a spiritual focus. Nancy Wesson, a feng shui expert, will host the workshop. The event will take place at 10 a.m., at the San Marcos Public Library, 625 E. Hopkins St. It is free and open to the public.

Ojos Para Volar/Eyes to Fly With: Photographs by Graciela Iturbide


Faculty Exhibition

Lonesome Dove Revisited

Hatha Yoga Certified Sivananda Yoga instructor Tina Baumgartner offers a free Hatha Yoga class. Bring a towel, blanket or yoga mat to sit on. The class will be held at 5 p.m. at the San Marcos Public Library, located at 625 E. Hopkins St. It is

Ojos Para Volar/Eyes to Fly With: Photographs by Graciela Iturbide Faculty Exhibition


Wednesday Lonesome Dove Revisted

Eyes on the Prize Series - Part I & II Eyes on the Prize, a14-episode documentary on the American Civil Rights Movement, aired in two parts on PBS. Episode I, titled Awakenings (1954-1956), shows individual acts of courage such by Moses Wright and Rosa Parks. Episode II, “Fighting Back (19571962),” documents desegregation. The films will be shown at 7 p.m. in Alkek Teaching Theater. Admission is free. Music Lecture Series “Protest & Dissent: German Workers’ Songs of the Late 1920s and Early 1930s” Nico Schüler and Sunnie Oh Schüler will perform protest songs of German workers from the 20s and 30s. Songs will be performed mostly in German and translation will be provided. The lecture investigates where the protest songs originated and how they became part the workers’ repertoire. The lecture is part of the Common Experience. The performance will be held at 8 p.m. in the Music Building recital hall. Admission is free. For more information, call (512) 245-2651.

Ojos Para Volar/Eyes to Fly With: Photographs by Graciela Iturbide

Faculty Exhibition Faculty Exhibition Jazz Saxophone Recital Christopher Ty Reagan, music senior, will perform on the saxophone. He is a student of Doug Skinner, music professor. The performance will be held at 6 p.m. in the Music Building recital hall. Admission is free. For more information call (512) 245-2651. Debate Series The Student Association for Campus Activities will host a debate on stem-cell research. The debate will present the moral and scientific sides of the issue and will be mediated. The event will be held at 7 p.m. in the Alkek Teaching Theater. Admission is free. Book Club The San Marcos Public Library’s book-discussion group has chosen to read and discuss The Law of Love by Laura Esquivel at its January meeting. The meeting will be held at the San Marcos Public Library, 625 E. Hopkins St. This event free and

Casino Night The Student Association for Campus Activities will host Casino Night, where students can enjoy poker, Texas hold ‘em, craps, roulette and much more. Prizes will be given at the end of the night to students who have won the most “money.” No cash is needed to play. The event will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. in the LBJ Ballroom. Admission is free. Common Experience Event: Zoot Suit This film stars Edward James Olmos, the featured speaker for the Fall 2006 Common Experience. Luis Valdez, who also spoke on campus, directed the film. Zoot Suit is the film version of Valdez’s critically acclaimed play, and is based on the actual Sleepy Lagoon murder case and the 1940s zoot suit riots in Los Angeles. The film will show at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Building recital hall. Admission is free.

Page 10 - The University Star


✯Star Comics

Thursday, January 25, 2007



Game-rating Web sites put focus on wrong things

A while back I but the NES version, which wrote that I have is a sly observation consida hard time findering you can’t download ing good gaming “arcade versions” of games. publications, and When you do go to downI meant to add load games, you usually find that I haven’t games by choosing what confound any good sole they were originally on. BILL RIX Web sites either, The icing, though, is Star Columnist but I didn’t have the phrase “the graphics room. Now I do. are rather archaic.” Yeah? And I have a good reason to re- Boy, you’d think a 24-year-old visit this, too, as I recently took video game would hold up beta look at GameSpot’s reviews of ter, huh? But I know how the the games out on Wii’s Virtual reviewer feels — I was kind of Console. disappointed when I downloadSome of the reviews complain ed it and realized it didn’t run that certain games haven’t aged DirectX 9.0c and DK’s pop isn’t well. Fair, but some are gauged bump mapped. against modern standards — So GameSpot doesn’t underTennis on the Nintendo Enter- stand the concept of time, but it tainment System, for example, does point out that on occasion, gets slammed for having poor the cost of the games doesn’t resound effects and “not a lot of ally cover the amount of fun to game-play options.” The re- be had. I must agree with this, viewer also does a passive com- as five dollars is a bit steep for parison of the game to another Donkey Kong Jr. But what about NES sports classic, Ice Hockey, another gaming-centric Web except Ice Hockey was released site, say, 1UP? four-and-a-half years after TenWell, 1UP doesn’t even nis. Ice Hockey even used differ- touch virtual console games. ent cartridge technology. Good It doesn’t really even cover all comparison, huh? That’s like comparing Doom to Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and complaining that Doom’s mapping leaves something to be desired. Also bashed by GameSpot is Donkey Kong Jr., also originally for the NES. In the first paragraph, the reviewer notes that this isn’t the arcade version, no,

SU DO KU Complete the grid so that every row, column, and 3-by-3 box contains every digit from one through nine inclusively.

of the games out on the Wii. I guess the editors are too busy borrowing content from their message boards without giving proper credit. IGN, on the other hand, manages to do things at least partially right. Most scores are better than those at GameSpot, the reviews are somewhat more indepth and the write-ups include more screenshots. Additionally, IGN has a more explanatory ratings guide, where the reviewer breaks down point allocation. Unfortunately, they still tend to rate things too low and with a comparison-style review. Given that the reviewers are a bit too taken with graphics and sound to really concentrate on game play, it’s no wonder most of the games are graded solely on how cool they are by today’s standards. Then again, most of these sites are parts of larger networks, which are in turn owned by massive media groups, so the ratings are pretty consistent with what you’d expect from out-of-touch 30-year-olds.


he icing, though, is the phrase ‘the graphics are rather archaic.’ Yeah? Boy, you’d think a 24-year-old video game would hold up better, huh?.”

Yesterday’s solutions:

© Pappocom

Yesterday’s solutions:


Thursday, January 25, 2007 - Page 11

onlineconnection If the city of San Marcos implements a wireless network, how much should residents pay to access the Internet? Go to www.UniversityStar. com to vote in our online poll. Results will be published in Thursday’s issue of The University Star. *This is not a scientific poll

AMERICAN Opinions Contact — Emily Messer,



mericans for the war and against it agree we should support the troops. This is a welcome change from the stories we hear of Vietnam veterans returning home only to be spit on by anti-war activists. But how are we supporting the troops? Pro-war or anti-war, paying lip service to America’s servicemen is not enough. Soldiers are coming home to find the Veterans Affairs’ budget slashed and an apathetic American public. As National Public Radio commentator Rebekah Sanderlin, wife of a Fort Bragg soldier who served in Afghanistan, said in a Dec. 31 broadcast: “There’s a popular saying in military towns like mine. The American military went to war and America went to the mall.” It’s hard to claim the U.S. supports its troops when that is the sentiment of soldiers and their families. A Jan. 2 article from The Washington Post quotes an unnamed Army Special Forces sergeant: “The fatal flaw was when right after Sept. 11 the president asked everyone to go on with their lives. That set the stage for no one sacrificing.” We can’t just slap yellow ribbons on our cars and say we’re supporting the troops. That is not enough. Another NPR commentator, Bob Sommer, whose son served in Iraq, had this to say about yellow ribbons in a Feb. 14, 2005 broadcast: “And the sight of all these yellow magnets are starting to bring out the worst in me. Sometimes I want to roll down my windows and confront the drivers. I want to exclaim, ‘Who doesn’t support the troops? What have you done to support the troops?’” Attending a College Republicans or College Democrats-hosted fundraiser for the troops is much more effective than throwing a yellow ribbon on a vehicle. Soldiers in Iraq stand to gain nothing from a magnet on a car. They do benefit from the care packages the College Republicans are raising money to send them. The way the war is shown to us in the media doesn’t make it seem real. It’s all a jumble of statistics in newspapers or well-edited footage on cable news. It’s hard to associate real people with this war. But real people are involved. People like Yari Mokri, James Funkhouser and Jacob Neal, who used to be part of this town but now will never see their friends or family again. There are ways beyond rhetoric to support the troops and make them feel like we didn’t all go to the mall while they went to war. Web sites such as www., the organization the College Republicans will be sending their money to, help citizens support those who are fighting for us. The site provides the public with a means to send cards, letters and care packages to servicemen and women. Another site that allows people to correspond with the troops and has links to organizations accepting donations is We chose the representatives who chose to start this war. We can’t solely blame President Bush for a war that Congress authorized him to pursue. The people we elected started this war, so we are responsible for its consequences. As long as our government forces young men and women to go to war, let’s not make them feel we went shopping while they were fighting for us.


U.S. troops need more than rhetoric for support

Letter to the Editor Tax on cigarettes is discriminatory Re: Jan. 23 “Proposed state smoking ban would be beneficial to everyone” First, isn’t it illegal to tax one class of people and not another? We’re looking for ways to reduce property taxes, so we extract a little more money from people with a vice. I think this law is discriminatory. Second, while a smoking ban might be beneficial to everyone, health-wise, it violates my personal freedom, Ms. Silvas. There is no law currently, that forces you to frequent a particular bar or restaurant, so instead of infringing upon the rights of others, why not use the power of your money and go elsewhere? I’ve been to numerous clubs and restaurants, with smoking and non-smoking sections. Bob Thompson Residence Life, contract construction administrator

Online Poll Results ASG Lobbying


hat do you think the Texas State Associated Student Government should lobby for at the 80th Texas Legislature? State tuition cap

41% Flagship school status

28% Tax-free textbooks

28% Intercollegiate athletic fee


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.

Justin Jackley/Star illustration

Results compiled from The University Star Web site online poll. This is not a scientific survey.

Tax-free textbook Senate bill’s past may be indication of its future fter those A events the history of the bill Before the 80th regular session began, Associated Student GovernCARSON GUY ment repreStar Columnist sentatives spent much of their holidays at the state Capitol advocating on behalf of students for taxfree textbooks for the fall and spring semesters. If passed, the potential law would allow most full-time and part-time college students to purchase their textbooks tax-free. Attendance at any accredited institution of higher learning in Texas, private or public as set forth in Section 61.003 of Texas’ education code would be sufficient for students to qualify for exemption from sales taxes resulting from the purchase of a book. The only thing required to get the tax break is a valid student identification card. Since

The University Star 601 University Drive Trinity Building San Marcos, TX 78666 Phone: (512) 245-3487 Fax: (512) 245-3708

can be summed up in one sentence: “Not again placed on intent calendar.”

Texas State is an accredited public institution of higher learning, the law will affect students. The time period proposed by this bill would establish the second Friday of each August until the following Sunday as the tax-free period on textbooks for the fall semester. For the spring semester, the beginning of the tax-free period would start the second Friday in January and last until the following Sunday. This bill will not create any tax-free periods for mini-semesters or summer

sessions. Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, filed the bill, which is for a tax-free textbook holiday, but ASG President Kyle Morris has concerns that a tax-free holiday is not enough. “What we would prefer to have is a universal tax-free textbook policy so all textbooks could be tax-free at all times,” Morris said. “It currently encompasses 10 days for the long semesters and that has to be a compromise we take to get some savings for students and we’re willing to do that.” Zaffirini has sponsored this legislation twice before in the 79th regular session and the first special session of the 79th legislature. The text and history of the bill under their particular sessions can be found on the Texas Legislatures Web site, under S.B. 222 and S.B. 72. If the bill’s past is any indication of its future, the outlook does not look good for stu-

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dents. S.B. 222 from the regular legislative session was read for the first time on Feb. 3, 2005, the same day it was referred to the finance committee. Two public hearings for the bill were carried out March 31 and May 12, 2005. After those events the history of the bill can be summed up in one sentence: “Not again placed on intent calendar.” That is the last recorded action as of May 24, 2005. The second bill from the first special session has a much less glamorous lifespan in the Senate. The bill was received by the secretary of the Senate, filed, read for the first time, and referred to the finance committee all on July 6, 2005, according to the Texas Legislature Online. However, after being referred to the finance committee, the bill never made it out of committee. Obviously, this bill would have an affect of lowering tax revenue for the state. In May

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16, 2005, John O’Brien, deputy director of the Legislative Budget Board, submitted a fiscal note in response to Senate Bill 222 79(R) to Steve Ogden, chair of the Senate committee on finance. In this report O’Brien details the potential losses to the state and local governments if the bill were to have gone into effect on July 1, 2005 as was proposed. In general funds, this law would have cost the state approximately $3,832,000 in 2005. By 2007 O’Brien estimated the state would have lost $26,665,000 in general funds while the probable loss to cities was pegged at $4,967,000. In addition to those losses it was suggested that counties could see a tax loss of $618,000. Many things could be responsible for the lack of action in regards to creating a tax-exempt period for students to buy books, but inevitably one must look at the people who would lose in this bargain. The only

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loser if this bill is passed would be the state and local governments losing money. Students would obviously benefit from paying less for books and stores would benefit from an increase in sales of books because of students not having to pay sales taxes. No one can know what is going to happen with this bill since the current legislative session has just begun, but students can always hope. Carson Guy is a political science junior. His column tackles legal quandaries. E-mail questions to Guy at The content and opinions contained herein are in no way meant as legal advice. All information is general in nature. Do not rely on information within this article when trying to resolve a specific legal issue. All situations are unique and require specific legal advice from competent counsel. 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 January 25, 2007. 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.

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All classified ads are charged 20¢ per word. Ads may be emailed to Check your classified ad for accuracy. Any changes must be made by the second day of publication. The deadline for all classified ads is noon two business days prior to publication. Classified ads must be paid in advance unless credit has been established. Refunds will only be given when a classified ad has been paid by credit card. The Star reserves the right to refuse, edit, and discontinue any classified ad at any time without prior notification. Classified ads will be edited for style purposes. Classified ads that do not note heading, will be put under the appropriate heading. All classified ads are published free, on-line at Since this is a free service, posting is not guaranteed. While The University Star attempts to screen ads for misleading claims or illegal content, it is not possible for us to investigate every ad and advertiser. Please use caution when answering ads, especially any which require you to send money in advance.

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

The University Star - Page 13

Bobcat track team prepares for new season The Bears are the By Gabe Mendoza The University Star

As cold winter days continue to grip central Texas it hardly feels like spring, but Texas State track and field gets underway with its indoor season. This year’s track and field team has high hopes and high expectations for the upcoming season. With a core of proven returning athletes as well as an infusion of new raw talent, it should be an exciting spring for the Bobcats. Texas State completed its first event of the season in Houston over the weekend, at the Leonard Hilton Memorial. The Bobcats’ next competition takes place Friday and Saturday at the New Mexico Invitational in Albuquerque. Last season saw the women’s team finish third at the Southland Conference indoor finals, behind only Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State. The men placed ninth overall. At the league’s outdoor championship held last May, the Texas State women finished second overall and the men finished fifth. Camilla Davis returns to the team as one of two Bobcats to compete in the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championship

last year in Sacramento, Calif., after earning an at-large bid during the Midwest regional. Davis posted a 27th-place finish during the prelims in the long-jump event. Also returning is sophomore Robert Melin, who won the shot-put title at the Leonard Hilton with a throw of 16.70 meters. Melin finished second in the weight throw competition during last year’s SLC indoor championship. The sophomore went on in the outdoor season to set a school mark in the hammer throw with a distance of 58.68 meters. “I want to throw far in this year’s NCAA nationals,” Melin said. “A goal that is a bit further away is the World Championships in Osaka, Japan this year. It would mean a big step, and I would have to improve a lot, but I will never get there saying that I can’t.” The newcomers to the program include 20 state qualifiers, 11 state medalists and three state champions. Four Division-I transfer students also have joined the team, including Latvian-born Gatis Spunde. Spunde comes to the maroon and gold after transferring from the University of Nebraska. Before becoming a Big 12 standout, Spunde claimed both the Latvian National Championship and Baltic Championship in 2004, competing in the 400-meter hurdles. The new additions to the roster leave last

year’s team members optimistic about the season. “I know that we will do well in throws this year,” Melin said. “We have a couple of new girls that are looking really good, and the guys are throwing far and are showing a lot of determination to throw even further.” Heather Bullin expected to be a bright spot for Texas State distance running. In the fall Bullin was named the Southland Conference Women’s Cross Country Freshman of the Year after a successful season that culminated in a 10-place finish at the SLC Championships in October. Bullin and fellow cross country teammates Tenley Determan and Whitney Perkins were named to the 10-member 2006 All-Southland Conference Women’s Cross-Country Team. All three are expected to run in distance events under Coach Grigori Viniar. Kemuel Morales finished just behind Melin in shot put for second place in Houston, as well as finishing fifth in the weight throw competition. Valerie Hancock placed third in the women’s high jump event, registering a mark of 1.68 meters, good for third-best in school history. Perkins was also able to make history with a fourth-place time in the 5,000meter race. Perkins’ time of 18:06.54 ranks fifth-best for Texas State.

Baseball camp rescheduled for Sunday By Robyn Wolf The University Star After suffering through two reschedules, Ty Harrington’s High School Elite baseball camp will finally take place Sunday. The camp was originally scheduled for Jan. 14, but was pushed back a week. The recent ice storm forced the rescheduling of the event. The condition and safety of the field were a concern after all the recent wet weather, but according to Howard Bushong, assistant head coach, the field is currently a “non-issue.” “The field is in great shape,” Bushong said. “Our grounds’ crew does a superb job, and the new surface held up wonderfully.” The one-day baseball camp has been held since 1997. The camps give the Bobcat baseball coaching staff an opportunity to work with high school players who have an interest in Texas State. “We now hold two or three each year depending on our need,” Bushong said. The camps are open to any high school players grades 9-12 and provide instruction and evaluation on hitting, pitching, throwing, fielding, running and general physical conditioning, with guidance offered by the Texas State coaching staff. “The goal is to see and evaluate as many kids as possible in a pro camp setting,” Bushong said. There is a $100 fee to participate in the camp, which includes a T-shirt and written materials designed to reinforce the skills covered. Previous camp attendance has ranged from 25 to 75 players. Bushong hopes to see between 35 and 50 at Sunday’s camp. It is possible the rescheduling could have some effect on the turnout for the upcoming camp. “Rescheduling always is a hassle for us and the kids and families, particularly those who travel long distances,” Mark Decker/Star file photo Bushong said. “We had kids coming from Oklahoma and I CLEAR SKIES: Baseball coach Ty Harrington will, after two weeks of post- don’t know if that will still happen. In November, we had a ponements, host the High School Elite baseball camp Sunday at the Texas kid from California.” State Baseball Complex.

Everglades bass fishing might be heating up By Susan Cocking McClatchy Newspapers MIAMI — Any day now, the largemouth bass fishing should launch into overdrive in the Everglades. Guide Frank Carbone caught and released one of the advance guard of prespawning bass — a 6pounder — last week in an afternoon trip out of west Broward’s Sawgrass Recreation Area. The lunker hit a green-pumpkin-colored Gambler cane toad as Carbone retrieved it past a tall tuft of sawgrass in about four feet of water. The bass’ lair was located near a cut in the flats leading into the L-38 canal that runs along U.S. 27. “It was getting ready to spawn,” Carbone said. “When the water starts to drop, they come out to the edge of the canal to spawn.” Spawning season for Everglades bass, he said, typically runs from November to March, whenever water levels drop and temperatures stabilize at around 72 degrees. But nest-building and egg-laying might be delayed this season because of mostly unseasonably warm weather. The scenario could change with a few more cold fronts so that Carbone and his customers soon could enjoy triple-digit days. “We’re waiting for the big hit to happen,” he said. Still, Carbone and a customer got plenty of action on a recent afternoon, following passage of the strongest cold front so far this season. Casting the cane toad and Gambler’s version of the Senko — a watermelon-colored Ace — to sawgrass patches in the flats, they caught and released more than 20 bass in a half-day. “What’s been working is swim-

ming the toad, and the Flappin’ Shad,” he said. “I don’t feel color plays that much of a role unless it’s a (bait) you’re not moving very fast like the Senko.” Carbone and his customer got few hits in the sparse needlegrass; it seemed like the fish were holding tight to the larger sawgrass stands. This situation necessitated weedless baits on 50-pound non-stretch line, and even so, they lost a handful of fish to reed entanglements. In the canals, Carbone said, anglers have a variety of bait options, such as a Chug Bug, Rapala or spinnerbait, retrieved on light monofilament line because bass hooked in deep water tend to flee toward the center of the watercourse where there are fewer obstructions. But Carbone favors fishing the flats over flipping and casting in the canals. “It’s not that I don’t like flipping,” he said. “I enjoy the flats, getting a topwater bite. It’s exciting.” Although the majority of fish the guide and his customer caught and released Tuesday was less than a pound, Carbone refused to change tactics or locations, so confident was he of an impending hawg. “I know they’re here because I saw them waking,” he said. Finally, the 6-pounder hit — peeling off drag and darting for the safety of the sawgrass. Carbone managed to steer it away from its intended hideout and finally brought it in to be photographed and released. “When she banged, she banged hard,” he said breathlessly. He looks forward to many repeat performances as South Florida’s winter fishing season continues to unfold.

✯ FYI For more information about the High School Elite baseball camps, contact the Texas State baseball offices at (512) 245-8395.

rage in Chicago By Mike Phillips McClatchy Newspapers CHICAGO — They’re everywhere. On restaurants, dry cleaners, from doughnut shops to body shops, from women’s fitness centers to hot dog stands, from Grant Park to the Water Tower. From Waukegan to Kankakee and back again, one common thought dots its way throughout Chicago and its suburbs — a sign that simply reads: “Go Bears.” “I write ‘Go Bears’ every time I mail a bill out. I write in right on the envelope,” said Jan Pappas, a 72-year-old Bears fan who figures she has been pulling for the Bears for more than half a century. “Everywhere you go, everyone is shouting `Go Bears,’” she said. “You’re talking to people you’ve never talked to before. You see people who might have been depressed, but not now. The Bears have picked everybody up.’’ Even Chicago’s skyline has a building lit up with a Bears logo. The City of Big Shoulders is puffing out its chest and flexing, and as Pappas says: “It’s a great time to be in Chicago.’’ Things haven’t felt this good since the days of the Fridge and Ditka, since Walter Payton and Mike Singletary were dancing and singing the Super Bowl Shuffle — or even after that, when Saturday Night Live christened “Da Bears.’’ The Bears are going to the Super Bowl for the first time in 21 years, and a city that knows all too much about losing is beaming. “We have so many teams, and we win so little,’’ said Jerry Sutton, a 32-year-old lifelong Bears fan. “The Bulls had that great run and the White Sox won the World Series, but we don’t win much. That’s why this means so much to Chicago. We’ve waited 21 years — 21 long, long years.’’ There is a strong link to Mike Ditka’s 1985 team. “We celebrate the ’85 Bears like it was two weeks ago, because it allows us to continue to hold our heads up high,’’ said Bob Sorrells, a 55-year old Chicago fan who says he will never get over the Marlins beating the Cubs in 2003. “We hold on to that.’’ There might not be a sadder place in all of sports than the neighborhood around Wrigley Field, where the resident Cubs haven’t won the World Series in 99 years. But now there is joy even in Wrigleyville. “It’s not winter season. It’s Bears season,’’ said John Long, a manager at Murphy’s

Bleachers, a legendary bar across the street from Wrigley Field. “It was insanity in here on Sunday. When the Bears beat New Orleans they played Will Smith’s ‘Miami’ song, then they played ‘Sweet Home Chicago.’ People were dancing down the aisles.’’ It was bedlam in the street. “After the game, people can running out of all the bars in the neighborhood and into the streets. People ripped off their shirts in 20-degree weather and some were making snow angels on the sidewalk,’’ said Drew Derrick, who works at the Wrigleyville Sports Store. “There were more than 250 people on the corner of Addison and Sheffield. People were hugging each other everywhere you looked. It was crazy.’’ Derrick was busy Tuesday putting up thousands of dollars worth of Bears merchandise and answering a phone that rang constantly. “When we opened Monday morning there was a line of people waiting outside,’’ he said. “We’ve never had this much Bears stuff, but now half the store is Bears stuff.’’ Tom Knickerbocker, an investment consultant from suburban Palatine, was planning on stocking up. “My wife went shopping for nothing but Bears stuff today,’’ he said. “She will bring home a cartload.’’ It’s not just merchandise and signs that have changed the face of Chicago. The team has lifted the city’s spirits. “Just walking around, you see people and you can see the euphoria in their faces,’’ said Brad Horman, who was wearing an Ohio State jersey and a 1918 Cubs cap. Downtown, you can see men in business suits wearing Bears hats on. “When people say goodbye, they say ‘bye’ and ‘Go Bears,’” said Beth Murphy, the owner of Murphy’s Bleachers. “It’s all people are talking about. It’s the only news anyone cares about.’’ Indeed, on WGN’s newscast Tuesday, during the five-day weather forecast, a sign in the back of the gloomy weather read: “Go Bears.’’ “That’s the way people feel now,’’ said John Klebba, a lifelong Cubs and Bears fan. No matter how bad the news is, you just, ‘Go Bears.’ My car broke down, but it doesn’t matter, the Bears are going to the Super Bowl. Hey, it’s freezing outside, but the Bears are going to the Super Bowl. Everyone is smiling, and everyone is saying, ‘Go Bears.’”




Darin Eliot was named defensive line coach at Rice University Wednesday, according to the Owls’ athletic department Web site. The news comes two days after Texas States’ new head coach Brad Wright said in a press conference Eliot would become the Bobcats’ defensive coordinator, replacing Craig Naivar. Naivar accepted a position at Rice last week. Eliot was an assistant coach at Texas State from 2003 to 2005, before going to Tulsa last season.

Thursday, January 25, 2007 - Page 14

Sports Contact — Chris Boehm,

Men’s basketball braces for high-ranking Lumberjacks

Alex Herring/Star file photo GOING IN: Senior guard Brandon Bush drives to the basket during the Bobcats’ Saturday victory over Texas-San Antonio. Texas State will play Stephen F. Austin 7 p.m. Thursday at Strahan Coliseum.

By Nathan Brooks The University Star Texas State has been a pleasant surprise with a 3-3 record in Southland Conference play, but Thursday’s match up against Stephen F. Austin will be a real test to see where the Bobcats stand in the crowded and competitive SLC West Division. The Lumberjacks come to Strahan Coliseum looking to rebound from a, 5552, loss to Sam Houston State Saturday. The loss broke SFA’s six-game winning streak, dropping the team to third place in the SLC West with a 4-1 conference record. However, SFA sits only one game behind Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the SLC West, who is perfect in the conference with a 5-0 record. The Lumberjacks’ slow-it-down, grindit-out brand of basketball has proven tough for opponents this season. “(SFA Coach Danny) Kasper does a great job,” head coach Doug Davalos said. “They play extremely hard and they are a great half-court defensive team.” SFA is the top-ranked defensive squad in the conference, allowing only 60.9 points per game, which could pose a problem for the Bobcats who average 77.3 points per game. However, Texas State showed the ability to adapt to a slower pace in its, 67-63, victory over Texas-San Antonio Saturday. In addition to tempo, rebounding will play an important factor in Thursday’s game. “We have to get better at rebounding,” Davalos said. “We have to be a rebounding-by-committee team. We’re not going to grow any taller or increase our verticals overnight.”

Since the start of conference play, SFA has dominated the glass. The Lumberjacks are tied for the statistical lead in rebounding margin, averaging five more than their opponent per game. Texas State averages 3.7 fewer boards than its opponents per game, including a 41-35 deficit to UTSA last week. The Bobcats are still 8-2 at home this season, including a 3-0 conference record. They have one of the deepest and most productive lineups in the league, with five players averaging eight points or better per game. Sophomore forward Brandon Bush has been the conference’s most lethal scoring force in league play this season. Bush is averaging a conference-best 19.5 points per game in SLC action, and has 20 or more points in four of the Bobcats’ six conference games this season. On the year, Bush is fifth in the league in scoring averaging 15.2 points per game, and ranks in the top 20 in rebounding with 5.1 boards per game. Stephen F. Austin has its own duo of offensive weapons in sophomores Josh Alexander and Matt Kingsley. Alexander is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder averaging 13.7 and 5.2 a game, respectively. The 6-foot-9 Kingsley has established himself as one of the top big men in the conference this season, averaging 13.3 points and 4.9 rebounds in just 21.9 minutes per game. Texas State knows tonight’s test against one of the Southland Conference’s best is not going to be easy. “We have our work cut out for us,” Davalos said. “But I don’t want us to worry about them. I want us to worry about us first. We need to be on the attack.”

Southland Conference standings MEN

West Division SCHOOL Texas A&M-CC Sam Houston State Stephen F. Austin Texas State Texas-San Antonio Texas-Arlington

East Division SLC 5-0 4-1 4-1 3-3 1-4 1-5

OVERALL 14-4 12-6 11-6 8-11 5-13 5-13


West Division SCHOOL Texas-Arlington Texas State Stephen F. Austin Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Texas-San Antonio Sam Houston State

SCHOOL Northwestern State Southeastern La. Lamar McNeese State Nicholls State Central Arkansas

SLC 4-2 3-2 2-3 2-3 2-3 1-5

OVERALL 9-9 11-7 8-11 7-12 3-16 6-13

SLC 3-2 3-2 2-4 2-4 1-4 0-5

OVERALL 11-7 8-10 8-10 6-13 3-13 2-16

East Division SLC OVERALL 6-0 11-8 5-1 12-7 4-1 12-6 3-2 8-10 2-3 6-11 1-4 4-14

SCHOOL Southeastern La. Lamar Central Arkansas Northwestern State Nicholls State McNeese State




PREMIER DIVISION Cotton Miller/Star file photo EASY DOES IT: Junior guard Joyce Ekworomadu takes a free throw during Texas State’s Jan. 13 win over Nicholls State. The Bobcats will play at Stephen F. Austin Thursday in Nacogdoches.

By Gabe Mendoza The University Star Riding a 5-1 start in Southland Conference games, the Texas State women’s basketball team will look to keep the victories coming Thursday night in Nacogdoches. The Bobcats are in the full swing of a conference schedule that has seen them climb into second place in the SLC West. Coach Suzanne Fox’s team is in the midst of a stretch that has them playing five straight West division SLC foes. “Every game on the west side is going to be crucial,” Fox said. “If you look at the teams, you’ve got the defending champions on this side with (Stephen F. Austin), then there’s (Texas-San Antonio) and others — it’s really loaded and we have to come to play every night.” The Bobcats will return home to take on Sam Houston State 4 p.m. Saturday at Strahan Coliseum. Each and every one of the Bobcats has come to play on a nightly basis; the recent success of the team can be attributed to an all-around team effort. In the last two games, both victories, the Bobcats have had at least four different players score in double figures.

“We just keep trying to get the ball to everybody,” said senior forward Erica Putnam, who has produced a least 10 points and 10 rebounds in each of her last four games. “That is exactly what we want – unselfish basketball.” Texas State ranks third in the SLC in scoring offense, and the defense has continued to excel as well, allowing just over 57 points a contest to rank second in the league. Texas-Arlington holds the top spot, in addition to having the best record in the conference. The Bobcats also lead the conference in steals, averaging over 11 a game, a total that they matched in the first half of last week’s 76-48 blowout of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. “We just want to go out and attack, block out, rebound and defend,” Putnam said. “Those are basically the four things we really try to focus on every game.” After winning the first of two consecutive conference road games last Saturday, the Bobcats will take on defending SLC Champion SFA. The Ladyjacks are coming off a convincing 96-66 road win over Sam Houston State. SFA shot 50 percent from the field en route to its highest point total of the season. The defending champs boast a potent offense that is led by senior for-


e just keep trying to get the ball to everybody. That is exactly what we want – unselfish basketball.”

—Erica Putnam senior forward

ward Charity Egenti, who is averaging just over 16 points a game and leads the conference in rebounding with over nine a contest. The Bobcats are 5-6 on the road, compared to seven wins and one loss at Strahan. “I just think we have to go one game at a time and we have to take care of our business,” Fox said. “Everybody in the league is good and I just think we have to go game by game.” After the game against Sam Houston State, the Bobcats will play a televised showdown against Texas-Arlington, who is undefeated against SLC teams. The next stretch of games will prove crucial for Texas State. “We’re trying to make a statement here and trying to get into the running,” Putnam said.

Fry Eating World Championship to be held in Austin By Chris Boehm The University Star First there were spelling bees and poker tournaments. Now eating has invaded the realm of oddball sports. “I played lots of sports in high school — golf, basketball, and tennis,” competitive eater Erik Denmark said. “But there is nothing more intense than trying to eat as much food as you can in 10 minutes.” Austin is the place to be Saturday for gluttons everywhere, as it plays host to the Bikinis Bar and Grill French Fry Eating World Championship. Top-ranked eaters from the International Federation of Competitive Eating will be at the event, with the first fry scheduled to go down at 1 p.m.

The Bikinis Bar and Grill will be serving its “Bikini String” French fries to the likes of Tim “Eater X” Janus, Chip “Burger” Simpson and Joey Chestnut, the highest-ranked American with the IFOCE. Chestnut holds the American record for hot dogs and buns, with 52 in 12 minutes. The 23year-old also ate 91 hamburgers in eight minutes at the Krystal Square Off World Hamburger Eating Championship in October. Both times Chestnut lost to Takeru Kobayashi, the IFOCE’s topranked eater. “French fries are one of the most elegant but demanding disciplines in the world of sports,” said IFOCE president Richard Shea in a press release. Janus, a New York resident

comes to Austin ranked seventh in the world, and is the current world record holder for tamales. Janus ate 51 in 12 minutes at the Dallas Tortilla and Tamale Factory in September. The 30-yearold said he was not sure how he would fare with French fries. “I’m not expecting to do really well,” Janus said. “The way the fries are, they are crispy on the outside, and that affects your throat, meaning I might have to go to the water a lot to wash them down. And they don’t form as well to the shape of your throat like tamales do.” Janus got into competitive eating three years ago, and also holds records for cannoli and tiramisu. The 2004 Rookie of the Year finished fifth in Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International

Hot Dog Eating Contest in July, with 34. Unlike other sports, Janus said he doesn’t feel there is a small window for productivity. “I think you can do it for a long time, as long as your body never quits,” Janus said. “I think it might be easier as you get older, when your stomach has stretched more. I’m looking forward to that side-effect of aging.” Denmark, ranked 14th in the world, said it ultimately does not matter whether people consider competitive eating a sport. “Is it a sport that tests you externally? No, but it does test you internally,” Denmark said. “It’s all about how your body responds. You have to convince your body that even though you’re full, you can eat more.” Denmark holds records for

Native American fry bread and shrimp, but said his affinity is for spicy foods. “The weirdest thing I competed in was probably fried okra or asparagus,” Denmark said. “I tried practicing for the okra but couldn’t keep it from falling apart.” Denmark has been on the IFOCE circuit since entering a competition in Oct. 2005, and said he then knew his calling card. “I checked out a chicken-wing contest in San Francisco, and then went to an event in Boston,” Denmark said. “Ever since then I knew this is what I am going to do.” Denmark said the eating circuit has introduced him to various cultures and their dishes. “You get a chance to find out

what people in other parts of the country consider their delicacies,” Denmark said. “It’s been a great opportunity to immerse myself in that.” The IFOCE plans numerous competitions each year, ranging from corn beef cabbage to bowls of mayonnaise and butter, the latter’s record is seven sticks by Don Lerman. According to the IFOCE’s Web site the first Nathan’s hot-dog-eating contest took place in 1916. “It’s been around forever,” Janus said. “People have always needed to eat.”

✯FYI Bikinis Bar and Grill is located at 6901 North I-35 in Austin.

01 25 2007  
01 25 2007