VOLUME 101, ISSUE 84
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JUNE 13, 2012
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STAR Park set to open fall 2012 By Lindsay Medina News Reporter Texas State is preparing to open its incubator for technology startups this fall. The Science, Technology and Advanced Research building, or STAR Park, is spearheaded by the university’s office of commercialization and industry relations. The park will introduce the availability of wet labs, clean rooms and office space for companies looking to develop ideas and pursue patents. The first STAR Park building, called STAR One, is being built on a 38-acre site at Hunter Road and McCarty Lane. Amy Madison, president of the Greater San Marcos Partnership, said STAR Park will serve as a centralized zone for the development of ideas and intellectual property. Madison said STAR Park aims to attract corporate researchers from the Austin and San Antonio areas, which are lacking wet lab space to conduct research. A wet lab requires specialized piping and ventilation specifically designed to be used with potentially unstable chemicals or matter. The 20,000-square-foot STAR One space will be filled with spin-offs, which are outside companies seeking to work with the university. The companies selected to fill the STAR Park will be dependent upon the strengths of the university, Madison said. “Most of the space for wet labs is very sought after, and there’s very little available, so that makes our park very attractive to companies that are pursuing commercialization of their ideas,” Madison said. STAR Park is the culmination of years of research and acquiring funds and collaboration, Madison said. Research parks across the nation and globe were studied before selecting the model that is set to open this fall.
Mark Lambdin and the San Marcos Suns show off sand castle skills
Sonja Burton, Staff Photographer
Mark Lamdbin, San Marcos resident, taught art classes at Fillmore middle school in Austin for 25 years and has been creating sand sculptures since the mid ‘80s.
story on Page 6
READ STAR PARK, Page 2
San Marcos to welcome deli and gaming fusion restaurant By Karen Zamora News Reporter
Sara Beth Worcester, Staff Photographer
Peter and Megan Thompson are prospective business owners who are looking to create a sandwich shop arcade on The Square. The Hungry Gamer will allow patrons to rent game systems while grabbing a bite to eat.
San Marcos area resident Pete Thompson is facing a new and unfamiliar issue for the first time since he was 15 years old: being unemployed. Thompson is now on his way to finding a place in the job market after hundreds of applications and dozens of job interviews. His progress is thanks to the guidance of non-traditional resources, including Texas State’s Small Business Development Center, PeopleFund and Kickstarter. Thompson will soon open his own business: the Hungry Gamer, a cafe offering deli-style sandwiches and video game entertainment. While on the job hunt, potential employers told Thompson he was a top candidate who had more experience than an average store manager, but he was never hired. This was the push he needed to create the Hungry Gamer, he said. Thompson said the café will use organic, local produce and have several vegetarian options. PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and traditional board games will be available for gaming. “I have been playing video games since I was 10 or 12,” Thompson said. “It’s another personal passion I
Department of criminal justice earns new title By Andrew Osegi News Reporter Texas State’s department of criminal justice has been re-designated as a school by the Texas State University System Board of Regents. The name change reflects the growth of the criminal justice program at Texas State. Quint Thurman, chair of the school of criminal justice, oversees expenditure of the school’s budget and is in charge of academic course administration within the unit. Thurman said the re-designation of the school is in response to its grant acquisition and growing complexity. He said while most departments have a more singular, academic focus on instruction, Texas State’s criminal justice program focuses on instruction tied to the delivery of courses across three undergraduate majors, a master’s degree program and a doctoral program. The school generates a significant number of dollars unrivaled by any other department or school, Thurman said. “In the past 10 years, the school’s grant activity and external funding amounts in the tens of millions of dollars, allowing the
school to operate at its highest level with the best resources available,” Thurman said. Mitchell Chamlin teaches criminal theory and constitutional law in the school. His active research focuses on advanced timetheory analysis, criminology and statistics. In his second year at Texas State, Chamlin said he has found his experience teaching within the school of criminal justice to be flexible and enjoyable. “I have a lot of control over my work and class content,” Chamlin said. “I’m able to research what I want to research and, at the same time, make my classes fun and interesting for my students. I hope to prepare students to think analytically in the real world by emphasizing the importance of reading and writing, life skills that will help them in the future.” Chamlin said he is excited by the redesignation of the department to a school, which he said will improve the way the university is seen as a whole. Chamlin said the school is “juicy” with brilliant teachers and students. Griselda Lopez, criminal justice senior, said she feels the name change is fitting for
READ JUSTICE, Page 2
have. Opening a business around sandwiches I loved as a kid and video games is my way of making sure my passions continue to pay the bills.” However, his passion lacked funding. Thompson said he started his business plan backwards. He had finalized the idea and resources, and even came up with a name, but did not know how to finance it. “I put it all on paper about a year ago,” Thompson said. “I figured all the planning and started working out costs, and then went to the Small Business Development Center.” With the help of Ray Mason, grant specialist at the center, Thompson’s questions about lenders and funding were resolved. The center is free to project-ready and existing businesses needing assistance. Mason said on average their business clients have a 5.6 percent growth rate and a 24.7 percent improvement in sales. Thompson said he knew he had to go through a lender for financial backing, but did not know where to start. He said Mason introduced him to PeopleFund, a non-profit, non-traditional lender. Gary Lindner, president and CEO of PeopleFund, said the organization makes loans to small
READ HUNGRY GAMER, Page 2
Water-well positive for E. coli, safe post-treatment By Nicole Barrios News Reporter A Texas State water-well that provides potable water to campus tested positive for E. coli bacteria on the pre-treatment side of the system May 24. No contamination was found after disinfection on the post-treatment side of the system. The well, located off Student Center Drive, tested negative for bacteria May 29. Sheri Lara, director of utilities operations, said the pre-treatment side of the system denotes the raw water coming in from an aquifer. The post-treatment side of the system signifies the water after chlorination and filtration, which is then considered potable water, or suitable for human consumption. Lara said the E. coli bacteria present on the pre-treatment side of the system could have been the result of different runoffs of rainwater percolating back into the aquifer. She said when the city experiences rain events water sometimes travels into different areas of the aquifer, which then flows into the wells. Rainwater travels along the ground where animals have tread, which eventually soaks into the aquifers. This could have cause the presence of E. coli bacteria, Lara said.
“E. coli is everywhere,” Lara said. “It comes from animals, humans and waste products, those types of things.” Lara said when E. coli is found in one well, it is usually found in several surrounding wells. Jon Clack, assistant director of Public Services for the City of San Marcos, said they took a water sample around the end of May that tested negative for E. coli bacteria. He said the bacteria has been present in the city’s water in the past, but recently there have been no tests that have been positive for E. coli. Lara said the last time E. coli was found in a San Marcos water-well was about two years ago. Texas State conducts daily and weekly tests of its water. The university reports the tests and treatment of the water to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and follows the American Water Works rules and standards for the treatment of water. Lara said Texas State won the Total Coliform Rule program award for 2008–2009 and 2009-2010 as part of the Public Drinking Water Recognition Program by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
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Crossroads memorial to celebrate work of LBJ and MLK Jr. By Melanie Dutschke News Reporter The intersection of South LBJ and MLK Drives in San Marcos will soon be the site of a memorial commemorating the impact of the streets’ namesakes on American history. The concept of the LBJ-MLK Crossroads Memorial Project was conceived 15 years ago during the annual Martin Luther King Jr. march through downtown San Marcos. Diann McCabe, chair of the Crossroads Memorial Project committee, said those who participated in the march often commented that something should be done at the intersection to honor the men’s work. The committee was formed in 2008, the year Texas State’s Common Experience theme was “Civic Responsibility and the Legacy of LBJ.” McCabe said this theme gave the Crossroads Memorial Project the momentum needed to get things started. In the four years since the committee was formed, cooperation between city and county officials, Texas State faculty, staff and students and local residents set the project
into motion. The Hays County Commissioners Court approved the transfer of 248 square feet of land on the corner of LBJ and MLK to the city and fundraising for the Crossroads Memorial began. McCabe said a city account was established in December 2009, which has since raised $6,763 in private donations. Additionally, the committee submitted a $100,000 grant to the San Marcos Arts Commission, which was approved in June 2010. McCabe said the next step was finding the right artist and negotiating a contract. With the guidance of Roger Colombik, professor of art, the committee began submitting requests for qualifications. “We wanted to commemorate the legacies of the two men. We wanted people to be able to drive or walk by this and know what it was,” McCabe said. “We wanted to provide a place of rest and reflection and celebrate the historical background and cultural and ethnic diversity of the community.” Of the 54 submissions from artists nationwide, the committee chose artist Aaron P.
Hussey from Baton Rouge, La. He was chosen because his sculpture design honored the input from both the original committee members and the public. Hussey’s design provides a place for rest and reflection with two benches. His sculpture depicts the iconic photograph of LBJ and MLK Jr. in deep discussion in the Oval Office a year after President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Hussey’s sculpture design has a text component with phrases and key words that resonated with him as he researched the civil rights leaders. Hussey’s original quote “To stand for another’s freedom is to free yourself” is featured on the sculpture. His own interpretation of the civil rights movement, based on his experiences growing up in the Deep South, is also included in his work. “The desire is to share the ideals of MLK and LBJ, as well as my own,” Hussey said. There is still much to be done before the sculpture can be installed. City Councilmember Kim Porterfield, Place 1, said the council is looking at $200,000 in utilities needed for underground
installation at the intersection and another $75,000 to relocate a fire line, both of which must be resolved in coordination with the downtown implementation plan. “Unfortunately, that intersection has a lot of utilities underground and we’re trying to identify some substantial funding that we can use to relocate the utilities under that property before the art can be installed,” Porterfield said. “But I’m very confident that we can work that out.” Porterfield said she is thrilled with the art piece and is excited San Marcos will be able to honor the legacy of two leaders who have a special tie to the community. McCabe hopes the installation will be complete by the next MLK holiday in January 2013 so MLK marchers can celebrate the unveiling of the sculpture. “It has been something that wakes me up in the middle of the night,” McCabe said. “It’s the kind of project that changes perceptions, reminds people of the past, but pushes you into what kind of future you want to have and it’s a way to transform space. It’s worth waking up at night for.”
New Common Experience to promote global awareness in changing world By Mikaela Rodriguez News Reporter This year’s Common Experience, titled “A Global Odyssey: Exploring our Connections with the Changing World,” will aim to make students, faculty and staff aware of the ties between Texas State and a larger, global society. Pam Wuestenburg, co-chair of the university seminar program, said the Common Experience theme is chosen each year from proposals submitted by faculty. “The world isn’t small anymore,” Wuestenburg said. “Our students will be spending more time interacting with other countries than ever before just because of the immediate access through the Internet.” Keynote speakers are Kelsey Timmerman, author of the required text “Where
am I Wearing?” and Ethan Zuckerman of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an activist and scholar whose work focuses on the role of the media in shaping communities worldwide. In his book, Timmerman explores where and how garments are made. He visited sweatshops around the world as part of his research process. “I hope that what people get out of reading my book is they see how closely we’re all connected, see the hopes and dreams of those people and that they actually care about those people,” Timmerman said. The surprising complexity of issues like child labor is something Timmerman said he hopes can influence students to think in new ways. “I visited a dump in Cambodia and I saw this 11-year-old girl collecting recy-
Woman killed by train on Aquarena Springs By Taylor Tompkins Assistant News Editor A San Marcos woman died early Tuesday morning after being hit by a train Monday night. Angelina Isabel Castillo, 18, was struck by an Amtrak train just before 11 p.m. Monday while she was walking on the railroad tracks at Post Road and Aquarena Springs Drive, according to a press release from the City of San Marcos. Castillo was transported to Central Texas Medical Center where she was pronounced dead shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday. Justice of the Peace Margie Hernandez has ordered an autopsy, according to the
clables for 25 cents and had a thought I’d never had in my life: ‘maybe she’s better off working in a garment factory,’” Timmerman said. “For students moving forward, the non black-and-whiteness of it will help them in the rest of their studies to not fully accept something that always seems like a given.” Tibetan monks will visit the Texas State campus for a week to create an intricate piece of sand art and then dismantle it, symbolizing the impermanence of life. The date of their visit is to be announced, Wuestenburg said. History professor Dennis Dunn, said Texas State is making strides toward global outreach, with projects including water quality improvement in Cambodia and English-Spanish language teaching in Honduras.
“I think it’s the most critical higher education objective for the immediate future,” Dunn said. “I’ve traveled quite a bit and see the desire of people to improve their lives. It’s very heartening.” Dunn said though the subject matter of this year’s Common Experience theme may be daunting, or an outright downer to some students, understanding the suffering of others is a way to spurn efforts toward change. “We want to prepare ourselves for our world and its challenges, which range from disease to suffering to war in the hopes that we can find solutions to make this a better world,” Dunn said. “If you come to understand the pains of others, particularly children, you begin to appreciate what you have and how important it is to work internationally to alleviate those problems.”
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release. Sgt. Christopher Tureaud of the San Marcos Police Department said the Amtrak train saw Castillo and sounded its horn. Castillo appeared not to respond to the horn and was hit. Police do not believe Castillo was listening to earphones, Tureaud said. Tureaud said Castillo was not a Texas State student, but may have graduated from San Marcos High School. City spokesman Trey Hatt said the incident is currently under investigation by the San Marcos Police Collision Investigation Team, Amtrak Police and Union Pacific Police. He said SMPD are still looking into the background of the girl. Kathryn Parker, Staff Photographer
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businesses that may not have access to bank loans. In some cases, this happens to startup businesses or other non-profits. PeopleFund is a Certified Development Corporation, which is a company that is more willing to take risks on new businesses. Thompson said PeopleFund wants to see him come up with a percentage of the costs before they grant him a loan, so he started
a Kickstarter project to help generate part of his funds. Kickstarter is a crowd-sourcing website for people to fundraise for various creative enterprises by convincing many people to donate small amounts of money. Thompson reached his goal of fundraising $11,000 by June 8. He said the paperwork is finalized to open shop in October in a downtown San Marcos location.
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the department she has come to admire. “I loved how my professors had their own opinion and were eager to hear their student’s ideas as well,” Lopez said. “The school is relatively small compared to oth-
er departments and schools on campus, but the small feel is conducive for both teachers and students, creating a tightknit, family-like learning environment. I’ve really enjoyed my time here.”
The Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Park is located off Hunter Road and McCarty lane and will focus on green and bio-technology companies and aims to bring together government, industry and academics. Reddy Venumbaka, director of commercialization and industrial relations at Texas State, said STAR Park aims to involve researchers, students and professors working alongside companies to develop and expand on ideas from both within the university and outside companies. “We don’t want to be like a leasing company. We’re more like partners working together,” Venumbaka said. STAR Park will play to the university’s strengths by working in the areas of materials science. Venumbaka said the $7 million center will be beneficial to the city and Texas State, and will help establish the university and the state as a center for high technology. “It will stimulate collaborative re-
search projects between local companies and university faculty,” Venumbaka said. “It will also provide opportunities for student research and employment.” He said STAR Park will attract new and existing companies to San Marcos. It will stimulate the formation of new high technology businesses in the state and economic development in San Marcos, Hays County and Texas. Madison said the goal is to expand on STAR Park after examining the initial response and output. “The hope is that the park will grow and mature like a lot of research parks across the country, so that would mean expanding services and expanding space in the future,” Madison said. “That is the idea and that is what we’re all hoping for.”
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To receive this recognition, the water system must meet certain criteria, such as that the water system must be public and active for 24 consecutive months, and has had no Total Coliform Rule violations during that 24-month period. According to the commission’s website, the Total Coliform Rule requires all public water systems to monitor water in the distribution system for the presence of total coliform. Coliform, or coliform bacillus, includes bacteria such as Escherichia coli, better known as E. coli. The Total Coliform Rule was set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1990, setting health goals and legal limits for the presence of total coliform in drinking water. Every public water system is required to test for the presence of coliform bacteria in order to protect the public from waterborne illness, according to the website. “(E. coli) is something we test for because we know that humans are sensitive to it,” Lara said. Lara said the university has one water-well and two pumps on campus that provide potable water to the university. They provide water to restrooms and water fountains on campus.
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DREAM Act falls short, alternatives needed
Science facility will bring prestige to the university
By Jose R. Gonzalez Opinions Columnist
he current U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, as well as any future San Marcos district representatives, should help grant legal U.S. residency to undocumented immigrants who have earned a college degree. One hundred thirty-four undocumented immigrant students were enrolled at Texas State as recently as fall 2010, according to the honor thesis of Beatriz Gomez, international studies masters student. The thesis is titled Giving Voice to the Voiceless: Academic Experiences of Undocumented, Hispanic Students at Texas State University. The number of undocumented immigrant students enrolled will steadily increase as the university’s student population grows. Employment will not be available once the undocumented immigrants complete their studies. Gaining legal residency is vital for these graduates, so they may apply what they have learned at Texas State in their chosen fields of study. Likewise, Texas State needs the degrees it has awarded to be put to good use. The current alternative for undocumented immigrant graduates is to return to their native countries. Many of these same graduates have no recollection of their country of birth, having been brought to the U.S. at a very young age. Therefore, leaving the U.S. is simply not a viable option for them. The skills and education these graduates attained at Texas State would not directly benefit any community, in or out of the U.S., without some addendum to the current undocumented immigrant situation. U.S. congressional Democrats have been supporting the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, a bill that in-part allows undocumented immigrant college graduates a path to citizenship. As noble as the bill may sound, the DREAM Act has failed to gain bipartisan support because its short-cut path to citizenship threatens to encourage more illegal immigration. The process to achieve citizenship is a lengthy and costly one. It is unfair for people who did not follow the law in immigrating to the U.S. to win citizenship before those who did actually obey immigration laws. It sets a bad precedent in U.S. immigration laws by creating a loophole that only helps attract more unlawful immigration. Two Florida Republicans, Rep. David Rivera and Sen. Marco Rubio, are in the process of drafting two separate pieces of legislation to help undocumented immigrant students out of their predicaments. Rivera has introduced the Studying for Adjusted Residency Status (STARS) Act. Rubio is working on similar legislation to help build a compromise between Democrats and Republicans. These alternative DREAM Act bills would help allow for undocumented immigrant students to lawfully gain residency. The beneficiaries would then follow the same course and meet the same expectations as people who came to the U.S. following the law. These proposals have been met with resistance by DREAM Act zealots, who are playing an all-or-nothing game with the future of undocumented immigrant students. In their ridiculous obstinacy, a great opportunity is being wasted. Rivera and Rubio are at least working towards a realistic remedy. Whether the winner in November is Lloyd Doggett or Susan Narvaiz, the U.S. representative for San Marcos should support Rivera’s and Rubio’s more reasonable alternatives to the DREAM Act. For the best interest of Texas State’s alumni, it’s time to stop simply dreaming about permanent residency for college graduates and to start making it a reality. –Editor’s Note: Beatriz Gomez is a former employee of The University Star.
Michelle Wadsworth, University Star
exas State became recognized as an emerging research institution this year and is already making an excellent step in the right direction. Texas State is striving to further research efforts by launching the Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Park this fall. The editorial board believes the STAR Park is just what the university needs to focus and enhance its core mission on research. The university should continue to increase research expenditures and add more doctoral programs to be on the same playing field as Tier 1 research institutions, such as Texas A&M University, UT-Austin and Rice University. Criteria from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board says the university needs to ramp up research expenditures in order for Texas State to compete with Tier 1 institutions. The university would need to increase said expenditures to more than $150 million a year and award at least 100 doctoral degrees annually in 15 disciplines. The university has the ability to eventually become a nationally recognized Tier 1 university by improving devotion to faculty, staff and student research. According to a Jan. 18 University Star article, the university spent $33 million on research in fiscal year 2011. The number is likely to rise with the new park geared toward those ventures. The STAR Park is part of the Center for Research Commercialization and is a great example of positive collaboration between the university and the city. The park will encourage a growth in jobs and investments within the area due to the draw for private companies in particular fields, includ-
ing aerospace, nanomaterials and life sciences. The facility will offer a variety of opportunities for cutting-edge research efforts through wet labs, experimentation rooms and office space. According to a Sept. 13 University Star article, the city has donated $500,000 to help build the infrastructure and utilities on the site. The total cost for the center is estimated at $7 million, and this is money well spent. The center will likely facilitate multi-million dollar research projects which might have never been possible before. The $7 million spent on the park is a great investment for the extensive amount of potential future projects and jobs that can impact the community for years to come. The editorial board praises all of the university and city officials who have worked tirelessly to make the STAR Park a reality. It is important that the university and the city work closely together to bring private companies into town. The companies’ investments will prove valuable for research, and can bring hundreds of jobs to San Marcos. Both entities could see a large intellectual and monetary benefit from the STAR Park. It is crucial there is enough public support for the facility this fall.
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.
Despite their allure, lazy summer days are not productive
By Evan Bolton Opinions Columnist
tudents appreciate the few months between semesters where they get to conveniently “lose” their backpacks. They toss their jeans in the darkest corner of the bedroom and spend more time applying sunscreen than scribbling words across notebook paper. Go take some extra classes and get a job instead of lying around the house in the same clothes for three days. The summer months have been the longtime holy grail of relaxation and comThe University Star 601 University Drive Trinity Building, Room 101 San Marcos, TX 78666 Phone: (512) 245-3487 Fax: (512) 245-3708
mitment to nothing but freedom and loud music. Though most people would not mind listening to the Rolling Stones while flipping burgers on a boat somewhere, some people simply understand that the summer can be just as productive a time as the spring or fall, in regards to school and work. Students often fail to realize how far ahead they could get if they took just a few extra classes each summer. Sure, it is always nice to have some time where you do not have to be studying for exams or worrying about being late to a lecture. But (let’s face it) the “real world” does not work that way. In fact, we are all spending a lot of money for classes to earn a degree that will allow us to fearlessly face the world and start a career. By taking summer classes, students are not only graduating much faster but they are demonstrating their dedication and work ethic to potential employers.
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If you are not in a rush to complete your degree, check out some of the elective courses. For example, web design is something that many people wonder about, but never experience firsthand. I strongly urge you to take a basic course in the summer that will teach you the fundamentals of creating your own websites. I have yet to meet a person that has dared to chance this course and walked away unsatisfied. Now, before you take arms against me for daring to suggest sacrificing your precious free time for additional classes, let me throw another one at you. Get a job. Many students understand the rewards, and the burdens, of holding down a job while in school. It can be incredibly frustrating trying to juggle both responsibilities and perform well in each. However, having said that, working while in college is incredibly important to your success in the future. Simply working each week will help to build a foundation of responsibility and
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hard work, though it may not exactly follow the career path you have chosen, which will foster your ever-growing skill-set for the professional world. Go out to a local restaurant and apply for a server or bartender position. The Square is littered with places that provide an exciting, social environment where you can meet new people and add a little weight to your wallet. After all, who does not want a little extra spending money for the weekends? In today’s fast-paced world, you must work hard to keep up. This means when the summer rolls around, and your friends want to take a “break” from their lives for three months, consider turning them down (at least sometimes). Enroll in a few classes and get a part-time job. You will be better prepared to graduate early with some extra cash and a competitive advantage in the job market. Sounds like a pretty good deal if you ask me.
The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University-San Marcos and is published every other Wednesday in the summer semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. on publication days with a distribution of 6,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright Wednesday, June 13, 2012. 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. The first five issues of each edition of the paper are free. Additional copies of the paper can be purchased at 50¢ per copy. Contact The University Star office at (512) 245-3487 to purchase additional copies.
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Local folk band performs cross-country summer tour Photo courtesy of Rand Renfrow
Those Know-It-Alls & Their Mighty Causes, a local folk band, will begin touring up north this summer on June 27 and will make their way up to Illinois. The band will also be performing at the Cornerstone Festival. By Emily Collins Trends Reporter Named after a song lyric from indierock band Danielson, the San Marcos based Those Know-It-Alls & Their Mighty Causes is a nine-member folk band about to go on their first crosscountry tour, starting at the end of June. Influenced by gospel music and several folk artists, the band has performed locally with a variety of instruments for almost two years. The band started out with five members, but quickly increased its number when other musicians presented their talents to the growing ensemble. Reagan Smith, lead vocalist and guitarist, said he loves meeting people who play instruments that may seem atypical compared to other rock groups. “As soon as I hear someone plays a unique instrument,” he said, “I ask them if they’ve ever thought of joining a band.” Their most recent album, “A Fire Filled Their Eyes,” features a cello, a
trumpet and a glockenspiel, an instrument that resembles a xylophone. Matthew Hagerman, band member and sound recording technology junior, has been playing the viola for eleven years. He said due to limited funding the band does everything themselves, from recording their own work to promoting their shows. “Everyone has their gift that they bring to the band,” said Rand Renfrow, banjo player and back-up vocalist. Smith said collaboration is essential to the group. The band gets together as often as possible to collaborate. “We can write together pretty well,” Smith said. “Everyone draws from different places.” The band has performed with other local groups, including the Oh Hello’s, comprised of brother-sister vocal duo Maggie Heath and Tyler Heath with bassist Chad Jaso and drummer Aaron English, who are currently on tour. In San Marcos, Those Know-It-Alls & Their Mighty Causes practice and occasionally perform in their garage shed
while encouraging friends, fans and even joggers passing by to stop and enjoy the show. They have been compared in style to artists such as Sufjan Stevens and Mumford & Sons, in style. They have performed free shows at Tantra Coffee House. The tour will begin on June 27 and end on July 12. Detailed tour dates are located on the band’s official website as well as their Facebook page underneath their cover photo of a fake taxidermied deer wrapped in a quilt. Their first gig will be at Beale Street Tavern in Austin. After a few more shows in Texas, the group will venture to coffee houses in New Orleans as well as Chicago. “All we need now is a van,” said trumpet player Jon Zmikly. Smith said the group is excited for the new experiences they will face on their first cross-country tour. “We can write together and play together pretty well,” he said. “We know how that works for us.”
Amateur sand castle builders exhibit skills
By Paige Lambert Trends Reporter
One San Marcos artist has found an ocean of inspiration through a medium found right next to the waves — sand. Mark Lambdin, a retired teacher, has always tried working with different mediums. When a group of friends mentioned they all liked to go to the beach, he decided to stretch his creativity and try his hand at sand sculpture. “We started with basic sand castles and dragons, easy stuff that’s fun to do,” Lambdin said. “A lot of us were musicians, so after building we would play together and have a party with family.” The group started with 75 people going to build sand castles every year, but dwindled as their children grew up. Now the group is called the San Marcos Suns, comprised of members
who compete at Port Aransas and South Padre Island sand competitions. While there are cash prizes at these contests, Lambdin said the Suns just go for the fun of it. “There are professionals who take it seriously and go mainly to win money,” Lambdin said. “But we are just amateurs looking for a good time.” His team has won numerous awards at SandFest in Port Aransas and Sandcastle Days in South Padre, in group and duo categories. Lambdin and a friend won first place in the state of Texas category. Every year the team comes up with a theme, kicks it around and builds the final idea. The themes get more elaborate as their mentor, “the Amazin’ Walter,” helps expand their tools-of-the-trade. The “Amazin’” Walter McDonald said he met the group randomly on the beach and started playing in the
sand with them. Soon he was meeting with them on every trip. “I just gave them some techniques for structuring. All of these guys are artists, so they’ve got a good imagination,” McDonald said. “It’s always a huge blessing when they come. They’re a bunch of good friends.” Lambdin and his team have made an impact on the sand-sculpting world. They built St. Gumby and the Dragon, a tribute to a childhood T.V. show. They took the beach to a mall in Dallas and made a sand barge on the San Marcos River made out of tubes. But the nature of the medium means that none of Lambdin’s work, even the structures that gained him and his team renown, last for very long. Lambdin doesn’t seem to mind. “This is the only art that can’t be bought, sold or owned in any way,” Lambdin said. “So, it’s just for fun. By the time you’re done, a wave of kids come and tackles it. It’s all part of
The University Star | Wednesday June 13, 2012 | 7
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2012 MLB DRAFTEES Travis Ballew
Junior, RHP Round 23, 699th, overall, Houston Astros 2012 Stats: (15 starts) era (2.73) wins-losses (11-4) b/avg (.239) 2012: ABCA All-South Central Region Second Team 2012: Louisville Slugger All-American Third Team 2012: All-Southland Conference First Team
Junior, RHP Round 18, 563rd overall, Cleveland Indians 2012 Stats: (2 starts) era (4.20) wins-losses (2-2) b/avg (.270)
Senior, IF/C Round 30, 929th overall, Atlanta Braves 2012 Stats: avg (.266) runs (34) hits (55) RBI’s (41) 2012: All-Southland Conference Third Team 2011: ABCA All-America Third Team 2011: drafted in the 13th round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Washington Nationals (stayed for senior year)
Senior, OF/LHP Round 8, 274th overall, Detroit Tigers 2012 Stats: avg (.338) runs (46) hits (75) RBI’s (48) 2012: Southland Conference All-Tournament Team 2012: All-Southland Conference First Team 2011: All-Southland Conference Second Team 2011: CoSIDA Academic All-District Second Team
Toronto Blue Jays
Junior, LHP Round 21, 665th overall, Toronto Blue Jays 2012 Stats: (14 starts) era (2.46) wins-losses (5-3) b/avg (.289) 2012: All-Southland Conference Second Team 2011: All-Southland Conference Honorable Mention