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STROLL f fOR OR IBLINGS BASEBALL BUST Charity walk in San Marcos to benefit

see TReNDs PAGe 7

see sPoRTs PAGe 10

Defending the First Amendment since 1911


MARCH 11, 2009

VoluMe 98, Issue 61

Villagio apartments under investigation by university By Theron Brittain Senior News Reporter

to be cautious and careful during the holiday. “While we want students to go out and have fun and enjoy their Spring Break, we want them to come back safe when it’s over,” Rodriguez said. “There are lots of ways to have fun, but if you do decide to drink, please use a designated driver.” UPD officers encourage students to utilize other available forms of transportation, such as taxis, designated drivers or free university services like SWAT, as alternatives to driving drunk. “Accidents like this one happen everyday because of bad choices,” Rodriguez said. “While we’re out on the streets every night, especially between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., there’s only so much the police can do. Today’s demonstration is all about helping students make the right decisions about drunk driving.” According to Mothers Against Drunk Driv Driving, who was also present at the demonstration, more than 1,500 people lost their lives in DWIrelated accidents in 2006, and another 60,000 were injured in other alcohol-related traffic incidents.

University officials are investigating allegations of unfair and predatory leasing practices at Villagio apartments. The attorney for students’ office has recorded at least 12 complaints lodged by student residents against management personnel. Vincent Morton, dean of students, held two meetings last week with Villagio property manager Danny Gonzalez. The meetings are preliminary at this point, but both parties said a problem exists. “There are some concerns that have been brought to our attention,” Morton said. “We are trying to form a conceptual framework in which to talk about the concerns and see how we can work together to solve them.” Students say they have been forced to sign post-lease agreements requiring them to pay for water. Residents were charged hundreds of dollars for damages they say were present prior to move in. Residents have had trouble disput disputing charges because of missing paperwork documenting damages. “I am receiving reports and compiling them,” said Milena Christopher, university attorney for students. “My effort will be to introduce this information to the correct sources who can take action. We can also advise students in taking legal action.” Residents have alleged Gonzalez has acted unprofessionally and treated them poorly. Gonzalez disputed those accusations Monday, saying residents are not aware of the whole picture. According to property manager Anton Hoff Hoffman, an August 2008 management shake-up resulted in the firings of the manager and assistant manager for mismanagement. “They did such a poor job,” Hoffman said. “It was unbelievable. They did not know Property 101.” Gonzalez said he has a bad reputation because of being suddenly thrust into the position of enforcing polices set a year ago that had been loosely applied by the previous managers. “I lay a lot of blame on the previous management company for not keeping up with their employees,” Gonzalez said. “The manager and assistant manager were not being checked on at all.” Gonzales and assistant manager Amanda LeJeune acknowledged Villagio had received a barrage of negative feedback. However, they say, they are dealing with problems they did not cause. A “water addendum” presented to residents on move-in day required them to pay a portion of the water bill though the original lease did not. Management would withhold apartment keys until addendums were signed, a practice Gonzalez said he discontinued after ascending to the manager’s office. He said the current policy is to require signatures to the water addendum the same time the lease is signed. “Now when people come in to sign their


See VILAGIO, page 3

Alyssa Scavetta/Star photo CRASH TEST: The university Police Department hosts the yearly crash simulation, warning Texas state students of drinking and driving during the spring Break season.

‘Do something, help my son’

By Travis Hord Special to The Star Students gathered around the intersection of North LBJ and Bobcat Trail Tuesday as the University Police Department and several other San Marcos organizations staged an elaborate demonstration of the potential consequences of drunk driving. City officials and local businesses collaborated to create a realistic scenario illustrat illustrating the dangers of driving while intoxicated as part of the University Police Department’s 7th annual “Know your Dreams, Know your Limits, Know the Consequences” Spring Break awareness program. “Do something, help my son!” a woman screamed, sobbing and pounding on an of officer’s chest as the San Marcos Fire Depart Department peeled away the roof of the wrecked vehicle to reach the lifeless body of the young man inside. A drunk driver slammed into the passenger side of another vehicle in the PAWS Market intersection in the narrative which was five months in the making. The drunk driver was able to walk away from the accident — straight into a pair

of handcuffs and a waiting police cruiser. The driver of the other vehicle was loaded onto a stretcher and rushed away in an ambulance. His passenger, however, was not so lucky. Students were initially unaware they were watching a demonstration. “It was pretty realistic,” said Travis Voyles, political science senior. “It took me a minute to realize what I was watching was fake.” The true-to-life demonstration aimed to leave a lasting impression on students about the dangers of drunk driving, particularly dur during the upcoming Spring Break. “I’d never drive drunk anyway, but I can appreciate all the effort the university has put in here,” Voyles said. “They put on a convincing show.” Sgt. Adam Rodriguez, a 13-year veteran with UPD, was at the scene to help organize and participate in the event. “With demonstrations like this, students get a more realistic look at what could happen when you drive drunk,” Rodriguez said. “It’s more memorable than a pamphlet or a flier.” The awareness program has become an annual tradition at Texas State, coming each year on the eve of Spring Break to remind students

University urged to reduce water usage By Brigette Botkin News Reporter Spring may not be green this year if low-flow rates continue in the San Marcos River. The river is flowing at 98 cubic feet per second. According to a U.S. geological survey, this is less than half its average rate of 192 cubic feet per second. Flow rate is considered critical at 96 cubic feet per second. If the critical level is met the university will cut back on river-based water use. Associated vice president of facilities, William Fogarty, said a large portion of water used by Texas State comes from local, natural sources. These sources include Spring Lake, the San Marcos River and an Edwards Aquifer-fed well behind Jackson Hall. The university pumped 217 million gallons from its well last year to be used for on-campus drinking water. Lindsey Goldstein/Star photo Additional water was pumped from

RIVER DROUGHT: Officials are encouraging residents to reduce the water usage because of the current low water of the river in San Marcos.

Today’s weather Scattered T-Storms


Precipitation: 70% Humidity: 68% UV: 3 Moderate Wind: NE 20 mph

See DROUGHT, page 3


Hannah VanOrstrand/Star photo American Widow Project, started by Taryn Davis, alumna, is touring through Texas, bringing recognition and unification to widows across the state. See page 6 for more.

Two-day Forecast Thursday


Rain Temp: 52°/41° Precip: 70%

Mostly sunny Temp: 55°/42° Precip: 50%

Inside News ........... 1,2,3 opinions ............ 5 Trends ............. 6,7

Texas State University-San Marcos is a member of the Texas State University System

Diversions............9 Classifieds...........9 sports.................10

To Contact Trinity Building Phone: (512) 245-3487 Fax: (512) 245-3708 © 2009 The University Star


2 - Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Today in Brief

starsof texas state

First baseman Paul Goldschmidt, finance junior, added a second set of home runs against Purdue Sunday and the Texas State baseball team scored runs in all but two innings to complete a three-game sweep over the Boilermakers at Bobcat Field.

Texas State improves to 9-3 on the season after taking its second-straight weekend sweep and will look to use the momentum Tuesday when they face TCU, who boasts a 9-2 record.

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



In Tuesday’s issue of The University Star, William Nance, vice president of finance and support services, said Texas State’s operating budget includes a 3 per percent merit pool, used for faculty and staff salary increases, which translates to about $4.5 million. The Star regrets this error.

WEDNESDAY LGBQ Pride Group is from 12 to 1:30 p.m. It is open to students wanting to discuss the impact of their sexual identity on crucial aspects of their lives in a safe and confidential place. Pre-screening is required by calling the Counseling Center at 512-245-2208.


Anger Management Group is from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Learn simple, innovative techniques for managing anger and developing healthier ways of relating. Pre-screening is required by calling the Counseling Center at 512-245-2208.

University Police Department

ACOA/Dysfunctional Families Group is from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. for adult children of alcoholics dealing with dysfunctional families group. Pre-screening is required by calling the Counseling Center at 512-245-2208. There will be an Overeaters Anonymous Meeting from 7 to 8 p.m. at the First Lutheran Church, 130 W. Holland. The American Marketing Association presents guest speaker Robert Cowes, IF Marketing at 5:30 p.m. in LBJ Student Center, room 3-14.1. Free food and drinks are available starting at 5:15 p.m. Bring a friend. Business-casual dress is suggested. More information is available at The Faculty Artist Series Presents: Adah Toland Jones, Flute at 8 p.m. in the School of Music Recital Hall. Admission will be $5 for general public and $3 for students and senior citizens. THURSDAY Veterans Support group is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Veterans can help veterans cope with the stress of transition and the demands of college lives. Pre-screening is required by calling the Counseling Center at 512-2452208. Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship will hold its weekly meeting on at 8:30 p.m. in Old Main, room 320. Enjoy contemporary worship, relevant teaching, prayer and plenty of fun. Contact 512-557-7988 or mail@ for more information.

—Courtesy of Texas State Athletics

Kayla Hartzog/Star photo Rachel Yon, nutrition and foods freshman, and Amanda Willis, exercise and sports science junior, experiment with molecules during their chemistry lab Tuesday.

This day in history

March. 2, 1:51 p.m. Criminal Mischief-under $500 / Arnold Hall A An officer was dispatched for a criminal mischief report. A student reported witnessing damage to Texas State property. Two students were arrested and transported to Hays County Law Enforcement Center and are awaiting a court date. March. 5, 8:01 p.m. Medical Emergency / Student Recreation Center An officer was dispatched for a medical emergency. A student sustained injuries to head and face and was evaluated by EMS, but refused transport to Central Texas Medical Center.

1810: Emperor Napoleon of France was married by proxy to Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria.

1993: Janet Reno was unanimously confirmed by the Senate to be the nation’s first female attorney general.

and went on a deadly rampage, killing four people, including a judge. A suspect, Brian Nichols, surrendered the next day.

1942: As Japanese forces continued to advance in the Pacific during World War II, Gen. Douglas MacArthur left the Philippines for Australia, vowing “I shall return.”

1993: North Korea withdrew from the Nuclear NonProliferation Treaty.

2006: Former Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic was found dead of a heart attack in his prison cell in the Netherlands, abruptly ending his four-year U.N. war crimes trial for orchestrating a decade of conflict that killed a quarter of a million people.

March. 5, 3:17 p.m. Burglary of Vehicle / Intramural Fields An officer was dispatched for a burglary of a motor vehicle. A student reported damage to his vehicle and items had been taken without his consent. The case is under investigation.

—Courtesy of New York Times

—Courtesy of University Police Department

1990: The Lithuanian parliament voted to break away from the Soviet Union and restore its independence.

1997: Rock musician Paul McCartney of the Beatles was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. 2005: A man being escorted to court for trial in Atlanta took a gun from a sheriff’s deputy


Wednesday, March 11, 2009


leases, it is not in the contract that we pay for water,” Gonzalez said. “We let them know at that time they are required to pay a portion of water.” He said the average water bill applied to residents ranged from $5 to $15. Gonzales and residents accuse each other of trying to take advantage, and some discussions have turned into shouting matches, according to both sides. Erin Artzner, communication studies senior, paid her rent March 3. After taking the check, she says, Gonzalez presented her with a new lease agreement, four months after she had switched apartments. Artzner asked if her father, the co-signer, could look it over and was told it was “unnecessary.” When she insisted, she said, Gonzalez became verbally offensive and threatened to lock her out of her apartment. “I said I would like my dad to look at it,” Artzner said. “(Gonzalez) said, ‘No, you are doing

it right now.’ He said ‘If you do not do it right now I’m locking you out of your room.’” State law prohibits an apartment manager from locking residents out of their apartment when they are up to date on their rent payments. Gonzalez tells a different story. He said he did tell her he could lock her out, but because Artzner never signed a new lease when she switched apartments she was technically an illegal tenant. He said she was paying a four-bedroom rate when she was supposed to be paying a three-bedroom rate, which is higher. Gonzales said when he presented the lease with the new rent amount, Artzner became “irate” and threatened to throw him in jail. LeJeune said the property filed an eviction notice Monday on Artzner. Who is right may be difficult to determine because Artzner switched apartments under the old management. She has contacted Christopher over how to proceed. Justin Vaughn, health and fitness management senior,

signed a partial lease agreement with Villagio in June 2008, but had no co-signer and never moved in. After moving to Bishop Square instead, Vaughn said he visited Villagio at least three times over the summer to verify he would not be living there. Vaughn said he was told twice “not to worry about it” and was assured his lease was not binding. Six months later, he received a call from Williams and Fudge collection agency saying he owed $6,400 for a full-year’s lease at Villagio, Vaughan said. “I was shocked,” he said. Gonzalez and LeJeune told Vaughan his lease was binding. Vaughn signed the lease with the old managers. However, the new manager is enforcing the lease. LeJeune said she was able to adjust the amount Vaughn owes to $2,900 because the property reached full capacity. She said Vaughn’s only option would be to take Villagio to court and call those people to testify his claims that they verbally released him from the lease. “They have told people that

Yolanda Galvan, MADD member and Spanish graduate student, attended the demonstration. Galvan said her cousin died from a drunk driver two years ago. Galvan said she could not watch the demonstration because of painful memories. Texas is currently the most dangerous state in America in terms of numbers of drunk drivers, according statistics provided by MADD. In 2006, more than 45 percent of all traffic accidents in Texas were alcohol-related — above the national average.

“We’re trying to give students a better understanding of the consequences of driving drunk,” Rodriguez said. “Not only will you be in serious legal trouble, but it might cost someone their life.” The legal consequences of a driver’s first DWI conviction in Texas include a fine up to $2,000, a minimum of 72 hours in jail and a license suspension lasting at least 90 days. The consequences become increasingly severe with each DWI arrest. A driver convicted of three DWI offenses will spend up to 10 years in a state penitentiary. “It’s just not worth it,” said

Michael Hahn, English senior. “First you have to pay a lawyer, then you have to pay the court, then you have to pay your insurance company for the rest of your life. I enjoyed the show, though.” Erin Blanton, the actress who played the drunk driver, returned as the demonstration came to a conclusion. “I just want everyone to know that this could happen to anyone,” Blanton said. “Drunk driving is an issue that affects us all. Even if you don’t drink, you could be the unlucky one in the other car.” — reporting contributed by Mike Patterson


the river and lake to irrigate landscape, fill ponds by the JC Kellam Building and be used as coolant for on-campus power and chiller plants. Fogarty said the amount of wellwater use is projected to remain the same. In addition to well, lake and river water, an estimated 8.6 million gallons of water will be purchased by the university for use this fiscal year. Fogarty said river-based water use will decrease, but not stop, if the flow rate reaches critical. “We would do less landscape irrigation,” Fogarty said. “We would not run fountains, or run them only at night to decrease evaporation.” Dianne Wassenich, executive director of the San Marcos River Foundation, said water should be used more cautiously during drought conditions. “We are in an extremely serious drought, and expecting it to get much worse this summer,” Wassenich said. “These are bad practices that endanger the river and its wildlife.” Fogarty said the university follows guidelines set up by the city and state. He said permits are required to pump from Spring Lake and the San Marcos River. Permits outline the amount of water that can be removed from a specified body. The university was granted

water rights before the state included “where and when” clauses that dictate time, place and conditions of water bodies being pumped. “Now, when the state grants water rights, they know that they have to put limits on when people can pump — like only in higher river flow times,” Wassenich said. “Back when the university was granted their water right, people didn’t know enough to require that. So, they have a special ‘grandfathered’ right that allows them to pump water out of the river even when endangered species are dying from lack of flow.” Fogarty said university officials have the right to pump from the river. However they hold high water-conservation standards and carefully monitor the river he said. He said the university promotes water conservation among students through e-mail reminders and dorm meetings. He said faculty and staff are encouraged to monitor their water use as well. “We encourage water conservation,” Fogarty said. “It is in our best interest to conserve water. It takes money to produce, heat and dispose of (water).” Bradley Smith, director of ground operations, said the university works to prevent over pumping from the river. “We are leaders in water conservation,” Smith said. “Alloca-

leases are not valid without a co-signer,” Christopher said. “If they are going to say they are not going to require a co-signer, then that is a modification to that lease. In order to be correct, they should put something in the lease saying a co-signer is required.” In October 2008, three months after moving out, Kimberly Wood, Texas State alumna, was contacted by Villagio and told she owed $250 for damages to her apartment. Wood said the charges were for normal “wear and tear,” such as carpet cleaning, and she was not liable. Christopher said students have complained about being unfairly charged. Wood is one of them. LeJeune and Gonzalez admitted proper documentation was not kept by previous management and said they would not charge residents for damage that had not been listed. “I have to go by what is in the contract,” Gonzalez said. “If I do not have actual documentation of how the room looked when they moved in then I have nothing to go on.”

Tina Phan/Star photo CONCERNED RESIDENTS: Several tenants at The Villagio Apartments on Aquarena Springs have voiced concerns about the apartment’s management

LeJeune and Gonzales said a lot of the issues they were dealing with were “residual” problems from previous management. LeJeune said she had readjusted accounts that had no prior documentation of damages. “As I have gone through the files I have completely wiped out people’s charges, readjusted

them, or taken them from collections and made some kind of direct payment arrangement,” she said. “It is obvious the previous management did not send in vendors for apartments before residents moved in.” The attorney for students’ office is in the process of compiling complaints by residents.

24-hour library program extended


The University Star - 3

tion of water use is tied to the flow of the river. The state allocates based on flow rates and we always stay within these guidelines.” Smith said two of three cooling plants on campus use reclaimed water from the lake rather than from the aquifer. Residence Halls utilize low flow shower nozzles and automatic shut-off faucets are used across campus, he said. Wassenich said these efforts are not enough. “They are within the law, but they need to stop planting so many new landscape items that need watering in the middle of this drought,” Wassenich said. Recent landscaping additions consist of beautification projects across campus. These include Concho Green and the pedestrian plaza by the LBJ Bus Loop, which added more than 30 and 20 trees, respectively, and grassy landscaping to irrigation needs. Wassenich said it is inevitable the river flow-rate will reach critical stage one because of drought conditions and continued pumping. “Even if it rains soon, it will take so much rain just to bring things back to normal,” Wassenich said. “We are in the driest 18 months in the last 100 years right now. It is a shame so much (water) is wasted on big ponds and fountains blowing water into the air.”

By Lyanna Fuentes News Reporter Students can spend all night with Dickens and Shakespeare for two weeks longer. The 24-hour library program will now end April 2 instead of its previously scheduled date Wednesday. Joan Heath, assistant vice president of the university library, said the decision for the extension was made to offer students a reliable and quiet place to study for midterms. “There is not an official number of days for mid-terms,” Heath said. “There are still going to be some classes with mid-terms after Spring Break.” Heath said she and Carl Van Wyatt, vice president of Information Technology, took mid-term schedules into account, deciding it would be helpful to extend the pilot program. Alkek Library will have special hours during Spring Break and will re-open 1 p.m. March 22. The extension will allow Alkek Library to keep the same schedule it has had during the past five weeks.

Sundays through Wednesdays the library will be open 24 hours, providing students access to study areas and computer labs on the first through fourth floors and the reserve desk on the fourth. Megan Bearden, mathematics senior, said she has mid-terms after Spring Break in all but one class. She plans to visit the library during the extended hours after the break to prepare. “I can’t really study at home,” Bearden said. “The library is the best place.” Heath said during the initial planning of the 24-hour library pilot, an eight-week pilot was originally considered. She said the extra two weeks will help in the final decision of whether a 24hour library will be implemented in the fall semester. “We will be gathering two additional weeks of data,” Heath said. Heath said student employees’ work schedule through the additional weeks was a primary concern. “We had to go back to them and ask whether they were willing to continue on for two more weeks,” Heath said. Heath said a few students chose

not to continue to stay through the additional weeks, but because some work only a few nights a week, “we feel we can cover it.” Some additional costs for staffing, both student workers and guards, will be added to the initial total cost of the pilot program, $9,500. The library staff will no longer conduct a survey once every week. This week will be the last time and fourth survey in which students will be asked to give their opinions about the pilot and answer questions about their living arrangements and classification. “We feel like we’ve really got a lot of information,” Heath said. Staff members will continue to keep a head count each hour throughout the night. “We’ve had really good numbers so far,” said ASG President Brett Baker. ASG worked with Wyatt and Heath to create the pilot program. Baker said he has received positive feedback from students about the pilot so far. “It gives students the late night or early morning study option,” Baker said.

4 - The University Star


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

OPINIONS 5 - The University Star

onlineconnection Check out in the following weeks for continued News, Sports, Trends and Opinions coverage.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Opinions Contact — Krista Almazan,

THE MAIN POINT oter turnout for the LBJ Student Center fee referendum was a demonstration of apathy.


Out of 27,000 Texas State students, only 7 percent — about 1,900 students — even bothered to cast a vote. The pitiful turnout indicates the majority of our student body does not care much about the needs of our campus. The referendum passed last week, but the number of students who showed up to vote was disappointing to see. We should hold higher standards for ourselves. We should keep ourselves more informed and more willing to participate in these referendum votes. Nineteen hundred out of 27,000 is just a pathetic number. The referendum passed with a 56 percent majority last Wednesday was for a needed increase to the student center fee, which will help the building’s facilities run smoothly. There has not been a fee increase since the center opened nearly 10 years ago. The fee is set to increase $4 in the fall and spring semesters and not at all in the summer. Voting for the referendum was simple. Every student of Texas State was sent an e-mail with a link to the voting site enclosed. The voting process consisted of a few mouse clicks, a basically painless effort. With all of our new technologies, there is really no excuse why more could not vote. Students could have voted from personal iPhones on the way to class. Voting on things such as fee increases is an important part of being a Bobcat. Students should always be aware of their rights and responsibilities of voting on issues. We should take advantage of those rights because if all we do is show apathy for our school, we may soon lose the opportunity to vote on things such as this small but necessary $4 fee increase. During the months preceeding the 2008 Presidential election, the gung-ho attitude toward voting and getting involved that consumed most of our campus was inspiring. Why does no one have the same enthusiasm for local issues affecting us more directly? If we receive an e-mail asking us to vote on something, and we assume everyone else is going to vote, we are assuming the wrong thing. We should instead assume no one is voting and take the time to vote. Students should take the situation more seriously and spend 10 seconds and a few extra mouse clicks doing something other than tagging themselves in Facebook photos of that “awesome” party last Saturday. There should be no complaining about the fee increase from the majority of students because everyone had a chance to vote on this issue, yet could not be bothered to do so.


Cow urine soda counters globalization


Star Columnist

The Cow Protection Department of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the largest Hindu national group, is in the final stages of developing a soft drink made from cow urine. The new soft drink will be called gau jal in Sanskrit or, in English, cow water. The company’s purpose in developing such a soft drink is in response to Coca Cola and Pepsi’s widespread presence not only in India, but throughout the entire world. According to England’s The Times, Om Prakash, the RSS company head, said, “Don’t worry, it won’t smell like urine and will be tasty too.” He also claimed the drink will have health benefits. All defenses for the drink noted the concept of a cow urine soft drink still seems not only repulsive to the Western palate, but also counterintuitive to the Indians’ efforts. Even with the full understanding of cows being a holy animal to the Hindu faith, if Western imperialism is the enemy being fought by indigenous Indian Hindus, does it not seem to contradict the holiness of the cow by bottling its urine and selling it for profit? The RSS response to Western influence with cow urine is relatively small compared to an instance reported by the BBC last year in Orissa. Hindu zealots belonging to a radical group were said to be responsible for burning down an orphanage run by Christian missionaries and killing one woman. Nine years prior, an Australian missionary and his two sons were locked in their car and burnt alive by a mob. So why are there such absurd responses to Western influence like cow urine soda and murder? I can only speculate, with good reason, the retorts are similar to aggression taken out on Westerners. Our arrogance is our obsession with capital gain, money and being the best. European and American companies are spread throughout the world. The colonial flames are still flickering in the forms of global capitalism and cultural exploitation by advantageous marketing and advertising strategies aimed at most of the uneducated and developing world. The violence is of course unacceptable, but the root of the barbaric killings and absurd soft drink is a result of the tension Western culture creates when thrust upon foreign soil. Such tension begs an ethical question Americans. must face. Is it moral to accept the situation American companies have created? I argue not. We cannot say with conviction a laissez-faire approach to the global market is more acceptable than the murders committed in Orissa, especially as the foremost economic presence in the developing world. The decisions of big brand CEOs to create a market in smaller countries destroys indigenous cultures, and leaves the American people, and larger Western society, looking arrogant and lazy for not doing anything to stop it. The responsibility is large and must be approached on an individual level. Imagine every student at Texas State individually being so fed up with the situation that they stop buying Coca Cola or Pepsi. One by one we could all stop the development of cow urine soda and the trivial loss of Zach Ashburn/ Star Illustration life throughout the world.

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.

Federal funding limits lifted on stem cell research By Sean Kittridge Badger Herald Scientists know how to party, and Monday night was the hour to find out just how much. President Barack Obama continued his “Undo Everything Bush Did” Tour by lifting the federal funding limits on embryonic stem cell research. George W. Bush’s ban, which has slowed important research for the last eight years, was never very popular. Some will suggest this cause does not deserve taxpayer funding. Others will cringe at the idea of scientists

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playing God. Rev. Jeremiah Wright would question why our bodies have so many white blood cells and so few black ones. Naturally, the first boo bird to call “fowl” — get it? — was the Catholic Church. The Vatican newspaper, which is essentially two pages of editorial and a Family Circus cartoon, reiterated their stance the research is “deeply immoral.” This is nothing new, as embryonic stem cells are gathered from aborted fetuses, and the Vatican is notorious about not liking anything outside of Da Vinci, pointed hats and Zack and Cody.

Editor In Chief..............................Scott Thomas, News Editor............................Amanda Venable, Trends Editor....................Brett Thorne, Opinions Editor.......................Krista Almazan, Photo Editor......................................Karen Wang, starphoto@txstate.ed Sports Editor....................................Lisa Carter,

Moreover, it’s not the responsibility of the government to put any one group’s ideology over the lifesaving potential of this research. I would say it’s “deeply immoral” to sit idle while people die of diseases that could be more easily handled with the assistance of stem cell research. Nobody is saying we should kill every firstborn and harvest their stem cells so the middle-aged can live forever, but if the technology and resources are available, the government has the right to serve the greater public good. Not to be outdone by the pious men

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in Rome, the Family Research Council leaned on conservative doctrine by saying, “Taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for experiments that require the destruction of human life.” Said to be one of the nation’s largest Christian political organizations, the FRC has long been against any sort of experimenting, which is why they also support abstinence-only sex education and creationism. But you’d think if Nancy Reagan — the wife of Right Wing Jesus — supported embryonic stem cell research, you could maybe swing their opinions the other way. Unfortunately, they’re too mor-

ally sound to buy that, and I don’t blame them — she was his second wife. More to the point, our taxes get spent in an innumerable amount of poor ways and to single out this research is much more effective as a talking point than a real policy. We are entering a brave new world, and it’s an exciting time to be in the scientific community. There are going to be some fears — both rational and irrational — and if I saw Newman with a hollowed out Barbasol can, I’d totally stay away from Costa Rica, but after eight years of waiting, progress can finally start at a reasonable pace.

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The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University-San Marcos published Tuesday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with a distribution of 8,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright Wednesday, March 11, 2009. All copy, photographs and graphics appearing in The University Star are the exclusive property of The University Star and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the editor in chief.

Trends the university star


6 - Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Band blends American punk, Celtic sound leslie peters

Trends Columnist

Flogging Molly, an IrishAmerican punk band, is a unique group, which formed in Los Angeles, Calif. It fills clubs and bars with a mixture of traditional Celtic instruments and boisterous punk backing. The band traces its roots to a bar called Molly Malone’s—hence the name Flogging Molly. The band emphasizes there were no plans for its unique sound. Dave King, lead vocals and various instruments, explained the effectiveness of the band’s sound. “If it didn’t have mandolin, accordion, fiddle and whistle, it would be punk rock, and if it didn’t have guitar, bass and drums, it would be traditional Irish music. You can’t be bothered being labeled,” King said on Fullsteam Influenced by bands such as the Dubliners, Still Little Fingers, The Class and most significantly, The Pogues, Flogging Molly members integrate their Irish background with their love of punk. The band uses instruments such as acoustic and electric guitars, bass guitar, mandolin, banjo, spoons, fiddle, tin whistle, uillean pipes and drums to create a unique atmosphere. The band’s songs range from piratelike to punk to somber. Flogging

Molly’s lyrical topics, which are just as varied, range from Ireland, drinking and love to politics and references to the Roman Catholic Church and Ireland’s history. It debuted in 2000 with Swagger, which sold more than 50,000 records. The album featured songs such as “The Likes of You Again” and “Black Friday Rule,” as well as and an ode to a hangover, “The Worst Day Since Yesterday,” which was featured in the film Mr. and Mrs. Smith. It recorded and released an album two years later with this success, entitled, Drunken Lullabies. Another album, Within A Mile of Home, was released two years later. The album showcased the band’s ability to use rock ’n’ roll on one track and harmonies on another. Float, the band’s most recent album, was released in 2008. The band holds the album near to its heart because it was recorded in Ireland. The album contains a wide range of driving tunes, as in “Paddy’s Lament” and “You Won’t Make A Fool Out of Me.” It also includes the tenebrous melodies of “Float,” which hit No.40 on the Billboard Modern Rock charts, along with “Requiem For A Dying Song,” which reached No.35. The album was said to be “one of the most important CDs of the year, if not decade,” by Alternative Press. Listeners can expand musical horizons with Flogging Molly. The band’s intensity and unique quality is heard through the instruments, lyrics, harmonies and driving rhythms.

The seventh floor of Alkek Library houses much more than books and study resources. The library also contains the Wittliff Collections. The Collections, which exhibit art from around the Southwestern region, recently acquired works from two Texans. The Austin City Limits archives, which were donated by Bill Arhos, is a diverse collection of items relating to the long-running music television show. Keith Carter also donated the largest collection of his work in the world to the Collections. Carter’s work, A Certain Alchemy, is a collection of photographs displaying, in Carter’s words, “the relationship we have to our ideas of place, time, memory, desire and regret.”

Trends Contact — Brett Thorne,

Hannah VanOrstrand/Star photo UNITING WOMEN: Taryn Davis, president and founder of The American Widow Project, is flushed with emotion as she remembers why she started this organization.

Military widow creates documentary, goes on tour By Erica Rodriguez Features Reporter

Taryn Davis, former Texas State student, still keeps her husband’s clothes in her closet. She still keeps his combat boots by the front door and his purple heart on the wall. Davis does this knowing he will never come home. Davis was 21 years old when her husband Michael Davis was killed in Iraq. The news of his death began her journey of healing. It led her to create the American Widow Project documentary and start a national tour to share a little-told story. “Society should be open. They should be open ears, they should be open arms to whatever we want to talk about,” she said. Months after Michael’s death, Taryn began a personal quest for answers. She traveled across the United States interviewing six different military widows about their lives, families and how they carry on. On Feb. 26 she began the Texas leg of the tour in San

Marcos to bring healing to every widow’s home. “There’s no one right way, there’s no guideline one person could follow in this situation,” she said. “It was really about following your heart … From there I saw that I could smile. I saw that I could be happy. I saw that even though I had the most tragic event happen I hadn’t lost the love that we share.” The film shows these widows they are not alone. “Hearing these stories again and again it never got any easier, but the purpose of the film made it easier,” said Don Swaynos, producer and editor. “Knowing that their stories, as hard as they are to hear, are going to be helping other people feel like they were not alone definitely made it easier.” A “junker” RV bought off Craigslist is headquarters for Davis on her tour around the nation. The decorated RV is a moving monument with military awards, seals and more than 5,000 names of veteran

husbands etched on the sides. Davis, now 23, easily passes as a college student. She’s been called a liar and laughed at for saying she’s a widow, a stereotype she hopes this documentary will change. “I want ‘military widow’ to be a word that isn’t looked down upon or a word that they don’t want to hear,” she said. The Davis love story began in high school. Both graduated from San Marcos High School and were college sweethearts at Texas State. The couple married mid-junior year and moved to Michael’s posting in Anchorage, Alaska in the dead of winter. Davis was later deployed to Iraq. On May 21, 2007 Taryn spoke her last words to Michael less than two hours before his death. “I don’t know why at that one moment but I said ‘hey baby I just wanted you to know I love you more than life itself,’” she remembers. “‘I know that sounds so cheesy, but I mean it.’” A parallel love story with a heartbreaking ending is what

unites these widows. Through the non-profit AWP group the women, ranging from 17 to 60 years old, give support for surviving life after death. “I thought I was the only one saying ‘please dig a hole next to my husband so I can lie there,’” said Nicole Hart, the project’s vice president. Her husband was killed in Iraq in 2007, beginning her story as a military widow. “It’s a lifelong journey. People can say there are five steps to grieving,” she said. “There are no steps.” But perhaps the most inspirational thing these women share is the love for their husbands — a love transcending death. “I’m still in love with him,” Davis said. She still keeps his photos on the fridge and a zoo ticket stub from their first date. “He still makes me happier than anybody, and he still makes me cry sometimes and he still puts a smile on my face … I can say that I’ve married my soul mate, I can say that I found my true love.”

Class project inspires success for cause from. Donnelly and Rascon chose to go past the classroom for their project. “We felt like it was a very important cause, and we felt it went beyond,” Rascon said. Donnelly and Rascon named their magazine Latinitas after Latina magazine. “We felt like their little sister,” Donnelly said. Donnelly and Rascon saw how Hispanics were portrayed in media in the class. They saw magazine covers always had “picture-perfect American girls,” and not “real-life girls.” They wanted to do something different for the Latina girls. “We were very inspired by this class,” Donnelly said. The magazine has built a positive reputation by providing a voice to young Latinas and helping them with self-expression. The magazine provides girls with opportunities to attend any 25 after-school programs. Students from elementary, Latinitas Magazine middle and high school can PASSION PROJECT: Laura Donnelly and Alicia Rascon started a join an after-school program magazine celebrating Latina culture after taking a class of Federico to learn about the magazine Subervi’s at University of Texas. Now he is a Texas State professor industry. The after-school in the School of Journalism Mass Communication. programs consist of learning Mayra Mejia Media, brought together the about web and graphic design, Features Reporter co-founders of this magazine. photography and writing. LaFederico Subervi, professor in tinitas is staffed almost excluLatinitas magazine went the School of Journalism, who sively by young Latinas who to press for the first time on is now at Texas State, taught hope to become journalists Feb. 26. the class in the Spring of 2002. and connect to their culture. Latinitas magazine began as Laura Donnelly and Alicia RasThe magazine made a buzz a class project at the University con, students at the time, were by bucking the popular trend of of Texas. The class, Latinos and given six projects to choose moving from print media to on-

line editions by moving in the opposite direction. Subervi said he loved the idea of going to print editions, because now girls can take a copy of what they write to show to their parents. Latinitas is translated in Spanish. “The girls produced around 65 percent of the magazine, and had no computers at home,” Donnelly said. The first print issue of Latinitas featured a young girl on the front cover and in contrast to other magazines, she has on very little makeup and is wearing her black hair down. She is a writer for the magazine. Subervi’s class inspired Donnelly and Rascon, but his influence went beyond the classroom. He was a mentor, and was originally the board president for the magazine. Donnelly said Subervi put his heart into it. “I am honored. I am delighted these ladies have the energy and still have the energy to continue this,” Subervi said. Subervi is not on the board anymore, but he noticed Donnelly and Rascon do not need his help, and said he believes they will continue to be successful. “It’s music to my ears,” Subervi said. Go to for more information and to check out the magazine online.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Relay raises awareness for organization reuniting families separated in foster care By Brittany Bemis Features Reporter Robert Rodriguez strives to help people placed in foster care reunite with biological siblings through his non-profit organization Family For Life. An estimated 513,000 children were in foster care as of September 2005, according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway Web site. A Mile in My Shoes is the introductory relay walk to raise awareness of the distances families are separated. Relay participants will walk on March 19th in increments of six and a half miles. The relay’s 130 miles will be traveled in three days, starting and ending in San Marcos. Rodriguez, founder and executive director of Family For Life, said he empathizes with how difficult it is for children in the foster care system. “I adopted my son out of the CPS system, and he was separated from his sister,” Rodriguez said. “One of the stipulations of the adoption was to keep them connected.” Rodriguez described the struggle to maintain a connection with his son’s biological sibling. “We could never find her,” Rodriguez said. “The system didn’t help with visits, and they wouldn’t tell us when she moved, so letters would be returned.” The goal of the relay is to promote awareness and raise money for Camp Family For Life. Each relay participant is required to raise $250 to cover the cost of camp for one child. Camp Family For Life is so far only able to host 50 siblings a year. “It is a two-day camp that we host three times a year,” Rodriguez said.“We are trying to create these memories that (the separated siblings) haven’t had together.” Rodriguez said each camp session has a different theme to bond siblings and allow them to share traditional experiences together. “The biggest thing they miss togeth-

er is their birthdays, so we have a big birthday party for the whole camp,” Rodriguez said. “Each child gets a $25 gift card to Target or Wal-Mart, and they talk about the things they like, then purchase gifts for each other.” Rodriguez said the next camp’s theme is Christmas. “Everything will be decorated for Christmas, complete with a full Christmas dinner with all the trimmings,” Rodriguez said. “We will have a big Christmas tree for everyone and then little Christmas trees per family that they can decorate together.” JoAnna Sandoval, social work junior, volunteers as a “buddy” during the camp sessions. “I love working with kids,” Sandoval said. “I think it is so awesome that we have this one thing we can do for them and we can put them together with their siblings.” Sandoval said her experience as a volunteer was, “difficult but totally worth it.” Laura Vetter, social work senior, and JC Wright, interdisciplinary studies junior, are also volunteers. Vetter and Wright said they learned about the organization through one of their classes. “I love its purpose,” Vetter said. “Passion and love is put into this. The children get so excited for camps.” Wright said his favorite thing about the camp is the positive influence on the children. “Just seeing the kids come together and interact is amazing,” Wright said. Sandoval said she understands the importance of the relay. “(The relay) lets (these children) know people care about them and support them,” Sandoval said. “If they see how many people are willing to invest time and money in them, it can only help.” Those who are interested in volunteering or participating in A Mile in My Shoes can visit www.family4life. org for more information.

The University Star - 7

8 - The University Star


Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The University Star - 9

✯Star Comics

Solutions 3/10

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

Solutions for 3/10

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Sports the university star


Brandon Bush, senior guard, was named Southland Conference men’s basketball player of the week Sunday. Bush set two career-high records in rebounds with 14 and points with 28 in the Bobcats’ victory against Texas-San Antonio March 4. He had a team-high 24 points, six rebounds and five assists in Saturday’s game against Sam Houston State.

10 - Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sports Contact — Lisa Carter,

Horned frogs leap over Bobcat baseball By Joseph O. Garcia Sports Reporter

The Texas Christian Horned Frogs handed the Texas State baseball team its second home

loss Tuesday, despite the Bobcats coming off of a weekend sweep of Purdue. Texas State lost 9-5. Michael Russo, junior pitcher, gave up two runs off of three

hits and walked one batter in the first inning. The Bobcats answered in their frame of the inning. Keith Prestridge, junior outfielder, hit his second home run of the season

with two outs and Bret Atwood, sophomore outfielder, on base. The two-run homer tied the game at 2. The Horned Frogs added a run to take the lead on a

Kayla Hartzog/Star photo FAILED ATTEMPT: Paul Goldschmidt, junior infielder, tries to tag out a Texas Christian player at first base. Texas State lost 9-5 to TCU Wednesday at Bobcat Field.

ground out to second base in the third inning. Texas State continued its power hitting in the third. Tyler Sibley, freshman infielder, knocked his second home run of the season to tie the game at 3. Russo faced three batters and struck out one in the fourth inning. The Bobcats rallied with two outs in the fifth to take a onerun lead. Atwood tripled down the right field line scoring Sibley from first base. TCU countered back in the sixth inning to take the lead on three consecutive home runs. Tim Heath, junior pitcher, came in to relieve Russo. Coach Ty Harrington said improvements can be made to Russo’s pitching. “We’ve got to get him deeper,” Harrington said. “His pitch count is getting high early in the game.” Heath gave up one home run and loaded the bases. He was replaced by Tyler Brundridge, senior pitcher. Brundridge gave up two hits and two unearned runs. TCU recorded six runs off of seven hits to take a 9-4 lead. Steven Maxwell, TCU pitcher, was relieved in the sixth inning by Trent Appleby, sophomore pitcher. Maxwell gave up five hits and three earned runs while striking out five batters. The duo combined to throw two scoreless innings in

the sixth and seventh innings. Brundridge, who pitched two innings, was relieved by Garret Carruth, junior pitcher, in the eighth inning. Texas State got on the board again in the bottom of the eighth. Adam Witek, senior infielder, had a base hit up the middle to score Paul Goldschmidt, junior first baseman, with the bases loaded. The Horned Frogs led 9-5 at the end of the eighth inning. Harrington said the team began to show improvement toward the end of the game and will continue to improve throughout the season. “I thought we got tougher as the game went on offensively,” Harrington said. “We’ve got some older guys that really haven’t started hitting yet that I think are going to (improve).” The Horned Frogs went three up and three down in the ninth inning. The Bobcats sent four batters to the plate, but the effort was not enough. The Bobcats are now 9-4 overall. TCU improves to 10-2. The Bobcats will host Sam Houston State for a three-game series March 13 to March 15. Harrington said Sam Houston State will be good competition for the Bobcats. “This is their best club they’ve had so far,” Harrington said. “They already had a few top 25 votes, but we will be ready to play this weekend.”

Women’s tennis breaks even for conference play By Dustin Stelly Sports Reporter The Texas State women’s tennis team hosted two in-conference games this weekend against Lamar and McNeese State. Texas State lost 4-3 Saturday to Lamar. The Bobcats won the doubles point but were only able to win two singles matches. Saskia Kruse, exercise and sports science junior, and Mackenzie Farmer, political science senior, won the doubles match 8-4 against Lamar’s Manami Kuroda and Salina Aranda. Kruse and Farmer won the only two singles points of the day. Farmer said losing the doubles point in previous games made the competition harder. “Today, to win the doubles point was really huge (in order) to go out into single (competition) with more confidence,” Farmer said. Coach Tory Plunkett ran onto the court to offer advice to Farmer after she lost her first singles match 6-2. Farmer said Plunkett’s advice is probably the reason why she won the match. “Coach came out there and just told me to hit my shots and dictate my points,” Farmer said. Nyssa Peele’s, art junior, match against Lamar’s Carla Nava was the final one of the day. The women competed in a second set tiebreaker. The team’s victory would go to the winner of that match. However, Peele had already lost the first set and needed to win the tiebreaker and the third set. Peele was unable to stretch the match to the third set and Lamar took the win for the day. Peele’s parents were in attendance to support the team and their daughter. “I think she’s probably pretty upset because she was the last one on but she played really hard,” said Cary Peele, Nyssa’s father. “It was a tough, tough match.” Lamar defeated Texas State 6-1 last

year. Farmer said the Bobcats won this year because of confidence. “We’re playing to win,” Farmer said. “I was really excited to play. I think if we play them again, of course it’s going to go the other way.” Lamar coach David Wong said the women on both teams worked hard and the competition is getting stronger every year. “We are raising eyebrows at a lot of schools outside of the Southland Conference,” Wong said. “It’s a credit to the coaches in the SLC. We recruit better, we have better players and we compete better. My girls fought, Texas State fought, they fought for every point and that’s the best kind of players you want.” Texas State defeated McNeese State 6-1, sweeping three doubles matches and winning five of six singles contests. Student coach Alejandra Gulida helped the women in their matches against McNeese State. Gulida, who hopes to become a head coach in the future, made all of the decisions for the day. She said it was a challenging experience. “It’s intense and hard but the girls were very nice to me and they listened and they made it so much easier for me,” Gulida said. “They played super well from the beginning.” Kruse won her match of the day 6-1. She has won all four of her conference matches this season. Gulida said Kruse plays smart and has good court sense. “Sometimes you have to play ugly and she knows how to do it better than anybody,” Gulida said. “If you see Kiki in practice, she loves to hit the ball hard.” Kruse feels optimistic about where the team is for the season. “I think so far it’s going pretty well for all of us, actually,” Kruse said. “I’m in pretty good shape and the team is in good shape.”

Andrea Giraldo, management junior, won her match Sunday. Giraldo suffered an arm injury last semester. She said it still bothers her when warming up, but she forgets about it during match play. “It’s getting better,” Giraldo said. “I don’t have any numbness anymore. It’s only muscle soreness.” Gulida said Texas State tends to be a late season team. “As the conference goes we start getting better and better, and the way we compete in the conference tournament is so much better,” Gulida said. The team will play Texas-Arlington 10 a.m. March 14 in hopes of improving their 2-2 Southland Conference record.

UPCOMING MATCHES March 14 Texas-Arlington at Arlington March 28 Stephen F. Austin at Nacogdoches March 29 Sam Houston State at Huntsville April 4 Nicholls State at Thibodaux, La. April 5 Southeastern Louisiana at Hammond, La. April 10 Texas-San Antonio at San Marcos April 11 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at San Marcos April 24 to April 26 Southland Conference Tournament

Bridgette Cyr/Star photo DOUBLE TROUBLE: Lainy Chafitz, exercise and sports science senior, and Andrea Giraldo, management junior, work together in their doubles match against McNeese State Sunday at the Bobcat Tennis Complex.

To my enemy dearest Terrell Owens, Your arrival in Dallas had me questioning my team’s you and quarterback Tony Romo started to shine two seadeplorable decision making. sons ago, I just knew we were on our way to the promise The image of your spontaneous strut and Jesus-like pose land. The offense started making a name for itself, and on the star at midfield burned its way into my memory. Bethe defense followed. After the gut-dropping loss to the cause of it I’ve had dreams of morphing into safety George Giants in the playoffs in 2007, your tears spoke truth. I Teague that day in 2000. My hatred only grew when you could see in your sobbing, pathetic eyes you knew what it became a member of the archrival Philadelphia Eagles. In meant to be a “team” player. (Should I bring up how you 2006, I learned to deal with the migraines, however, and divided the team in an attempt to bash tight end Jason sucked up what pride I had so I could start rooting for you Witten? Or how you’re now three for three when it comes andrew vizzone when Jerry Jones signed you. The bottom line was, when to turning on your quarterback? Nah.) Sports Columnist you became a Cowboy, I became a fan. — Nothing. You have two playoff appearances and no I did a lot of thinking after hearing the news that your three-year playoff wins to show for your effort in Dallas. Many feel Romo is one nuisance adventure in Dallas had come to an end and you had been to blame for the continuance of this drought, but I see the true colreleased March 4. I figured I would write you this “farewell” letter ors in this matter. No matter how talented a team is it’s impossible in response to all you’ve done for my team. to go all the way with the headache you bring. You’re more needy Thanks for: than the hungry and cockier than a flock of roosters. — Your offensive outburst you brought to Dallas. In the three Mr. Owens, whether you see it or not, you got the boot because years you wore silver and blue, you caught 38 touchdown passes your sideline rants and raves outweighed your on-the-field production. and ultimately turned my team into an offensive powerhouse. The Your finger pointing outweighed your effort to be a good sport. You excitement was almost too much for someone like me. I got so used got at least 50 percent of the offensive attention in every game in your to seeing three-and-outs before you that it got to the point where I three years in Dallas which outweighed your ridiculous complaints. had no more hair to pull out. Luckily for me, you were my Rogaine Consider this a token of my dissatisfaction as I can now go back to as you lit up the scoreboard with your speed, strength and ability my hating ways. I hope you “love you some you” in Buffalo because to make defenders dive into thin air. (We won’t even mention how unfortunately for you, the star you once wore on your helmet outweighs you dropped more balls than a century of New Year’s celebrations at your ego. Au revoir, adios, ciao and farewell. Times Square. Some of which were more decisive than others.) — Your experience in team chemistry. It wasn’t until you arrived Sincerely, when the identity of the new Dallas Cowboys started evolving. When One disgruntled, yet ecstatic, Cowboys fan

03 11 2009  
03 11 2009