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JULY 11, 2012

Growing Together Dunbar Neighborhood Gardens is a project designed to in-

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Construction to affect bus routing By Taylor Tompkins Assistant News Editor Several bus route and stop changes went into effect Monday, June 9 due to construction taking place at The Quad bus loop and on North LBJ Drive. Students living off of Ranch Road 12 in particular will be affected by the changes. The Ranch Road 12 route will now be permanently split into two: Route 25 - Ranch Road and Route 24 - LBJ, according to Joe Richmond, director of Transportation Services. The new LBJ route will be affected by city construction work on water transmission mains on North LBJ Drive. There will be no southbound stops between Holland Street and Forest Street, forcing students residing at Hillside Ranch apartments and Stonegate apartments to catch a northbound bus. “It doesn’t mean you can’t ride the bus, but you may have to walk a little farther for a stop,” Richmond said. Richmond said the split is in response to recent higher demand and increased ridership on the former Ranch Road 12 route due to the construction of The Retreat, a new student-targeted apartment complex located along the bus route. The Retreat, located at 512 Craddock Ave., contains 780 beds and 187 cottages, said Kali Wood, leasing ambassador for the complex. Additionally, all campus, city and Bobcat Tram Interurban routes will be rerouted to Matthews Street and will stop at the LBJ Student Center bus loop rather than The Quad bus loop, with the exception of Wonder World, which still serves campus from Concho Street.



Kristen Lefebvre, Staff Photographer

Daniel Chapman, singer and guitarist for The Victory March, performs July 7 at Tantra Coffeehouse. Tantra celebrated its 6th birthday with a barbeque and its last live music event ever.

Local coffeehouse announces end of live music performances

HSI status brings in additional money for PACE Center By Lindsay Medina News Reporter This fall, Texas State will be one of 19 Hispanic Serving Institutions receiving a collective $12.2 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Education. The university received $456,387 for the first year of the grant and will apply the funds toward mentoring and other programs for the Personalized Academic and Career Exploration (PACE) Center. Of the institutions receiving funds, Texas State received the smallest award. Evelina Gonzales, senior proposal coordinator for the office of the vice president of research, said the university requested as much funding as was needed, and the request was fulfilled almost entirely. “We’re happy with what we got, and it was close to what we asked for,” Gonzales said. Universities qualify as Hispanic Serving Institutions when 25 percent of their enrollment meets that demographic. When the status is acquired, universities qualify for additional grants from the U.S. Department of Education. Gonzales said the amount the university will receive during its first year of the grant is just a portion of funding that could potentially total $2.3 million. The grant lasts for five years, and the award amount will be dependent upon how much money is available in the federal budget. Because the program is cyclical, Gonzales said the university will not be able to reapply for the same grant until the last year of funding five years from now. Funds received from this award will be used for programs at the PACE Center, Gonzales said. These programs will be aimed at ensuring the success of undergraduate students and teaching financial literacy. “Freshmen oftentimes get into debt in their first year of college because they don’t understand how they’re living on their own and how they’re supposed to budget,” Gonzales said. “They don’t understand financial aid, they take their entire award when they get it, and that causes them to have a lot of debt at the end of their time here, so it’s going to help coach them on how to manage that.” Dan Brown, director of the PACE Center, said he was pleased to hear about the award. “I was excited. This was very competitive this year,” Brown said. “To have been funded was a real



Officials discuss formation of urban transit district

Star File Photo

CARTS is expected to be replaced by a new transit provider due to San Marcos’ new classification as an urbanized area. By Andrew Osegi News Reporter

The population of San Marcos and the surrounding area is growing, and local officials must now find a way to meet its transportation needs. San Marcos was designated an urbanized area in March based on the results of the 2010 U.S. Census. The designation affects funding for public transit and automatically qualifies San Marcos for federal transit money. However, an urban transit district must be established in order to qualify for state urban transit funds. Before the census results, San Marcos met the definition of a rural transit district, with Capital Area Rural Transportation Systems (CARTS) being its rural public transportation provider. Because San Marcos is now considered an urbanized area, CARTS can no longer use funding earned after the designation. Its contract is expected to end October 12. Local officials convened May 24 to discuss how the creation of an urban transit district could help the community address the growing need for public transportation services and regional connectivity. During the meeting, concerns were raised about the consistency of bus routes and whether or not residents who depend on public transportation would still receive the same

level of service once changes have been made. In response, the Texas Department of Transportation approved a “bridge” service, or the continuation of fixed route and response bus services. CARTS may provide the services within the urbanized areas of Hays and Caldwell counties starting in 2013, as long as it uses funding from fiscal year 2012 and/or prior years. Those in attendance included San Marcos City Councilmember Kim Porterfield, Joe Richmond, director of transportation services at Texas State, Hays County Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe and David Marsh, general manager of CARTS. Porterfield said she is looking forward to making public transportation in San Marcos a more connective, fluid entity that meets the demands of the growing public. “With the creation of an Urban Transit District, the city will be able to provide a forum and framework for new services to fill gaps created by the end of the rural transit services (CARTS) within the urbanized area,” Porterfield said. “It will also play a major role in developing a high capacity transit and commuter rail to serve the region.” Laurie Moyer, managing director of community services for the City of San Marcos, said there are three possible ways San Marcos can handle the formation of an urban transit district. The city could choose to create an urban transit district with a governing body consisting of the San Marcos City Council and representatives from two or more of the jurisdictions located in the urbanized area (Martindale, Hays, Caldwell and Guadalupe counties). The City Council would outline control of funding and cooperate with CARTS and Texas State. The second option would be for the city and surrounding governing entities to let the Texas Department of Transportation handle funding with CARTS, who would be responsible for public transportation adjustments. Lastly, the city could create a separate transportation district with its own board, which would have a large amount of control but limited funding and staff. Marsh said he is working closely with the Texas Department of Transportation, the Federal Transit Administration and Austin Capital Metro to find solutions that will prevent disruption of service to customers. Moyer said the City of San Marcos does not want to alarm the public and make any drastic changes to public transportation with short notice. The public can expect to see changes in the fall of 2013.

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Texas State approved for use of UAV drones in research

Photo courtesy of the River Systems Institute

The River Systems Institute is one of 63 organizations operating unmanned drones in U.S. airspace through the Federal Aviation Administration. Texas State received the grant from Texas Parks and Wildlife to research bird habitats in Galveston Bay.

By Nicole Barrios News Reporter Texas State is among the 63 entities the Federal Aviation Administration recently approved to fly drones in U.S. airspace. The River Systems Institute at Texas State is conducting unmanned aviation research under a $260,000 two-year grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Thom Hardy, research professor at the River Systems Institute, said the university is using the grant to evaluate the use of drones as a potential cost-

saving and safer alternative to manned flight operations. “It’s a doorway to research that relies upon remote sensing, but it’s much cheaper and we don’t have the risk of pilot and observer in the plane,” Hardy said. The drone is a battery-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that is 7 feet wide and weighs 8 pounds, can fly as fast as 60 miles per hour and is equipped with GPS, batteries and digital cameras. James Tennant, chief UAV pilot at the River Systems Institute, is a prior Air

Force guidance and control specialist and flies the drone aircraft. “Sometimes it’s a bit nerve racking because the airplane is very small, and when you have a small airplane it’s highly affected by winds and other environmental factors,” Tennant said. One year into the grant, Hardy and his crew have used the drone to track bird habitats in Galveston Bay and the growth of invasive tamarisk, a salt cedar plant, on Texas rivers, among other research. “Our primary focus is on natural resource, land use, conversation and stew-

ardship,” Hardy said. Hardy said although the majority of their work has been for Texas Parks and Wildlife, the team is also starting to branch out and monitor canal systems for water companies. Hardy said Texas State’s focus in its drone research is different from that of other universities in its orientation for natural resources management. Additionally, other universities’ programs are operating under $250,000 to $500,000 platforms. Texas State’s are designed and built with “off the shelf technology” that one could purchase at an electronics or hobby store for $30,000 to $50,000. Along with Texas State, universities such as Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and the A&M Texas Engineering Experiment Station in College Station are also using drone technology for research purposes. Stacey Lyle, research scientist at A&M-Corpus Christi, said the school’s research focuses on precise positioning of centimeter level, real time GPS positioning in combination with sensor data collection to know the location and data of the aircraft. Lyle said A&M-Corpus Christi has two aircrafts. One is used to map coastal areas and shorelines, and the second runs on software that allows a cell phone attached to the drone to send images to a website to be used by wildlife managers and land surveyors. Lyle said as more institutions use drones they will be able to collaborate, and looks forward to the Texas State program succeeding in its research.

Texas State grants tenure to 34 faculty members By Weldon McKenzie News Reporter Texas State has granted tenure to 34 faculty members, almost all of which were new hires, for the fall 2012 semester despite recent budget cuts and an employment freeze that took effect in May 2010. A tenured faculty member is a professor who has achieved a secure position with the university that is only granted after a six-year probationary period. This type of promotion automatically comes with a significant salary increase. While the cost to hire new faculty instead of granting tenure to existing faculty could provide some relief in the current budget constraint, Associate Provost Cynthia Opheim said Texas State has a new reputation to uphold as an Emerging Research Institution. She said there is justification in granting tenure to faculty during the budget shortfall in that tenured professors are more obligated to conduct research. “We have to hire on the best that we can get with our new title as an Emerging Research University,” Opheim said. Mike Wintemute, director of communications for the Texas State University System, said the hiring freeze was a result of the 82nd legislative session’s cut of $1.7 billion, nearly eight percent, from the state’s


higher education budget in 2011. The proposed state budget does not include funding for the increased number of students. Appropriating funding for faculty, which is around $60 million, is a different issue. Gordon Thyberg, assistant vice president of budgeting, financial planning and analysis, said in the 2011 fiscal year, the university dropped plans for pay raises and the hiring of an additional $1 million in staff. “It’s hard to cut when enrollment grows 17 percent in three years,” Thyberg said. About halfway through the biennium, state officials have ordered universities to prepare their appropriations for the 2012 fiscal year. The order will take effect with a five percent deficit for each year, totaling ten percent for the biennium. Each division of the university is to make cuts in their department to then be approved by the university president. Wintemute said the terminology of the hiring freeze is often misconstrued, as the stall on university employment is actually a “modified hiring freeze,” which allows the university to make hires and promotions under certain circumstances. The modified freeze only applies to unnecessary staff and faculty hires, said Thyberg. He said hiring replacement faculty and promoting accordingly is of utmost importance.

“The modified hiring freeze was for staff only,” Thyberg said. “It’s imperative that we fill faculty positions to fulfill our primary mission – instruction.” Opheim said it is also policy to replace a tenured faculty member when they leave or retire from the position. The majority of the new 34 tenured faculty members were replacement hires. Additionally, the majority of the new tenured faculty members are also outside hires because tenure track faculty are almost always hired as a result of national searches, Opheim said. She said while faculty replacements are necessary and must be filled, the hiring process is an excruciating one. She said each department and college establishes a search committee that screens applicants and interviews candidates. The departments then send their recommendation forward to be approved by the respective dean and Provost Eugene Bourgeois. Opheim said budget cuts are just a minor setback in the face of the many positive things happening at Texas State. “We don’t know if this new cut will actually take effect,” Opheim said. “This is the state’s worst case scenario, and we are just being careful.” The modified hiring freeze is directly correlative to budget cuts and its expiration date is still unknown.

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 To provide more effective bus service, the Summer II schedule will provide at least two arrivals on campus prior to 8 a.m. for each city and campus route, as well as at least one stop per route after 5 p.m., according to a campuswide email sent by Transportation Services. To provide more effective bus service, the Summer II schedule will provide at least two arrivals on campus prior to 8 a.m. for each city and campus route, as well as at least one stop per route after 5 p.m., according to a campuswide email sent by Transportation Services.

Austin Humphreys, Photo Editor

Student trams will be picking students up from the LBJ bus loop due to construction at the entrance to The Quad bus loop.

Bus Stop Map Courtesy of Texas State

News | The University Star | Wednesday July 11, 2012 | 3

City faces high energy demands in wake of summer heat

University officials say Texas State uses approximately 16 megawatts of energy during high usage times. By Natalie Berko News Reporter Officials say San Marcos is experiencing typical summer weather patterns, although triple-digit temperatures last month led to record-high energy usage. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas saw temperatures on June 25 and 26 lead to record breaking electricity demand. Tom Taggart, director of public services, said the city was using peak levels of energy at about 106 megawatts in June during the day compared to all time peaks of about 121.9 megawatts. Taggart said this amount of energy usage is not uncommon during the hottest days of summer due to heavier electric demands

associated with heating and cooling. It typically takes a string of 100-degree days before energy peaks begin to mount higher than historical levels, he said. Robbie Searcy, the reliability council’s spokeswoman, said they oversee the grid that serves about 75 percent of the state geographically and about 85 percent of the electricity used in Texas. Sheri Lara, director of utilities operation for Texas State, said facilities follow predictions set by the reliability council in order to better gauge daily energy usage. The demand varies each day. The City of San Marcos Electric Utility provides energy for the Texas State campus to run electricity from the Hilltop and Strahan substations. The electricity is then dis-

New city master plan in the works By Melanie Dutschke News Reporter The City of San Marcos is updating its comprehensive plan through its Dream San Marcos initiative, a vision aimed toward guiding the growth and development of the city over the next 10 years. The master plan is expected to be complete by early 2013. City Council will meet on Wednesday, July 11 to further discuss how to implement updates and changes to the 1996 Horizons Comprehensive Master Plan. Mayor Daniel Guerrero said the City of San Marcos is required by law to update its Comprehensive Plan in order to help respond to changes within the community. “Looking at San Marcos in the ‘90s, we were a different community then than we are now,” Guerrero said. “We’ve grown, and this updated plan gives us the ability to look into the future.” City Council established a citizen advisory council and a steering committee made up of volunteer members representing a cross-section of the community to help develop the master plan. Steering committee member Jerry Borcherding said the goal of the committee is to guide the process so the citizen advisory council can stay on task and focus on responsible development in San Marcos and affected outlying areas. Borcherding said the steering committee has held joint meetings with the citizen advisory council that have consisted of presentations by engineers, developers, and others with experience in the planning process. Borcherding said the preliminary educational process is finished and now committee members can begin breaking out into smaller groups to discuss and actually develop the master plan. Citizen advisory councilmember Dianne Wassenich said the council has

held weekly meetings over the last several months during which a variety of speakers have educated councilmembers about various issues that affect the city. “There’s a list of goals we have worked out that is very carefully worded,” Wassenich said. “It’s a long list but includes typical things that go into planning, such as taking care of neighborhoods, accommodating the university’s growth and taking care of the city’s natural resources and economic development.” Wassenich said determining the best locations to construct new apartment complexes is one of the main issues within the city that must be resolved. “We have 2,000 acres designated for apartments right now, so there is plenty of land,” Wassenich said. “However, there has been a lot of controversy in the last year because developers want to put the apartments in other places, sometimes in the middle of single-family neighborhoods.” Wassenich said this is an artificially framed issue because designated land for apartments was worked into the 1996 Horizons Master Plan. Wassenich said developers often want to build new apartment complexes in areas near riverbanks and creeks, which is environmentally problematic. “This is a big issue for many of us from the community who believe the San Marcos River is our most valuable resource,” Wassenich said. “We have an incredible river that is clear as a bell, beautiful and sought out by tourists, but if we build along the watersheds, oil, grease, antifreeze and other sediment can lead to pollution of the river.” Wassenich said if certain items in the Horizons Master Plan hadn’t been neglected over the last 15 years, these issues wouldn’t exist now. “It’s great to make a new master plan, but someone has to follow it,” Wassenich said.

Sara Beth Worchester, Staff Photographer

tributed to the different buildings throughout campus. Lara said Texas State uses up to about 16 megawatts of energy during peak demands for the campus. Searcy said the reliability council’s most challenging periods to manage during the day are between the hours of 3 and 7 p.m. — when temperatures are highest. Taggart said there are ways people can help cut electrical energy demand, such as turning their thermostats a few degrees higher and using large appliances during off-peak hours. Taggart said moving usage of large appliances to off-peak hours reduces energy demand, which will help make sure the city has adequate power supplies.

The university is currently formulating a triple energy management plan that will focus on the electrical plants, buildings and personal knowledge. “When we look at our energy use and our water use, it falls into thirds,” Lara said. “It is all of our jobs to help manage that pie because the demand in the buildings is what we serve from the plants, and people create the demand, so it is all interconnected.” Lara said conserving and using energy and water has to be a collective effort by all people at Texas State. The reliability council also has a mobile application available for Android and iOS devices that allows people to see what is going on with the grid and how to cut personal demand.

Strange, but informative.

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positive piece of news.” Brown said the financial literacy program the grant will help fund comes at a good time for freshmen to learn how to manage their finances. “College costs are increasing and we want to help our students make wise choices about how to use their money during college and how to use their financial aid,” Brown said. “Helping them learn more about that when they’re 18 will help them a great deal by the time they are 30, 40 and 50.” The mentoring program, which the grant will also fund, will be based on a peer-to-peer relationship, Brown said.

He said having successful existing students available to assist incoming students would provide a more relatable perspective. “(The existing students) will meet with them individually or in small groups, talk with them about opportunities to get involved and help them get questions or problems resolved. It’s another line of assistance,” Brown said. “One of the really interesting facts about higher education is that messages about what it takes to be successful sometimes come better from a peer than they come from someone like me. It’s much more relevant to a freshman.”

6 | Wednesday July 11, 2012 | The University Star


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State Highway expansion 45 could be solution for Austin commuters

Jennifer Conklin, Star Illustrator


ith the ever-increasing influx of commuters on the Austin corridor roadways, Hays and Travis Counties need to combine resources and implement an extension for State Highway 45 Southwest in the near future. According to a June 27 University Star article, expansion plans for the highway are on pace to continue, although they were recently removed from the Imagine Austin plan by the Austin City Council. The much-needed project will connect Loop 1, also known as MoPac Expressway, to FM 1626 with a two to three lane county road. The Hays County Commissioners should be praised for renewing their support on the highway expansion and offering up to $5 million toward the project. The estimated $17 to $20 million project will likely cause extra traffic congestion while construction takes place, but will be well worth the price tag upon completion. The highway extension will significantly ease traffic conditions for the hundreds of faculty, staff and students who commute to Texas State from Austin

each day for classes. This fall, student commuters will have to pay $105 for a perimeter parking pass, which is $10 more than last year. Faculty and staff will see a cost growth of $40 for restricted parking permits to $265, according to information from Parking Services. If the commuter and restricted parking pass rates continue to rise going forward, Texas State commuters from Austin need to continue to receive the most benefit for their money. The highway expansion will provide a quicker route to ensure faculty, staff and students will get to class on time and save gas. In addition to commuters who drive vehicles to Texas State, the university tram system can also benefit from a highway extension for the Austin routes. According to a November 29 University Star article, the Austin route on the university tram system experienced a ridership growth of 25 percent with service to between 800 and 900 passengers last year. The Austin routes are likely to experience even greater ridership throughout the upcoming years, partly due to the job boom in Austin and the university’s population surge. The highway extension will shorten the length of the bus trips back and forth to Austin. Although the highway expansion will be a great addition in the long run, there are some alternatives that can be

done now to help relieve traffic in South Austin. For instance, freight trucks can be given waivers or discounts to take the 130 toll road around Austin, among other options. However, the Imagine Austin Citizen’s Advisory Task Force recently posed concern for the possibility of increased traffic and pollution runoff into the nearby aquifer from new highway plans. The potential for runoff many years down the road should not outweigh the need to resolve the excess pollution produced by cars stalled in traffic daily. With more environmental research and campaign programs to stress the importance of carpooling, the possibility of a SH-45 expansion could be the solution Hays and Travis counties need to clear the frustration on the roadways.

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 UniversitySan Marcos Student Media, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication or Texas State University-San Marcos.

Summer tourists are largely an inconvenience

By Joseph Espitia Opinions Columnist


ourists are great for San Marcos from an economical standpoint, but, ironically, they can also be somewhat of a burden to residents and students. San Marcos is one of the most diverse cities in Texas, and that diversity is largely contributed by the student body and tourists. Now that summer is in full swing, the rivers are congested, kids are running rampant at Sewell Park, and parking at the outlet malls is more impossible than ever.

These types of frustrations can largely be due to the amount of tourists in San Marcos during the summer months. San Marcos does not only receive tourists from neighboring Texas cities. According to information from the San Marcos Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the outlet malls are the third-biggest tourist attraction in Texas. As one might expect, Texas State students have various positions on tourism in the city. Joseph Trevino, exploratory sophomore, said, “I understand that tourists contribute greatly to our community, but it definitely comes with a cost.” Trevino said he feels summer seems to create much more “hustle and bustle” around the town. For many students, summer in San Marcos does not really seem to offer much of a break from the regular school year. Summer school and jobs usually take up students’ time. After a hard day’s work,

some students would like to make a trip to the river. The last thing a student wants is to be prevented from doing so because the river is too crowded. Sewell Park is always a hotspot for students. Recently, there have been quite a few complaints uttered in the park. Some people complain that there are too many kids running around and that visitors, including tourists, do not quite understand the rules and regulations of the park. Outside visitors might have a greater lack of awareness on park rules over a local resident who is more familiar with the regulations. In addition, tourists will also feel the effect of the proposed city council ordinance regulating the consumption of alcohol and use of barbeque grills. Some residents and students have expressed their hatred for the alcohol regulations, and several of them realize they are not the ones who typically litter the river.

Tourists should not be largely to blame for pollution on the river. However, since tourists do not live in San Marcos and might not know the rules as well as residents, they are potentially much more prone to littering. It is fair to say we will not see the end of tourism as long as San Marcos has a beautiful river and its famous outlet malls. Given the geographical location between Austin and San Antonio, San Marcos will continue to be a hot spot for tourists. Despite the economic advantages tourism brings overall, some tourists are a burden because of their lack of knowledge on park rules. The sheer numbers of tourists can cause greater traffic for residents and students at local hangouts around the city. San Marcos is not going to turn away visitors any time soon, so residents and students will just have to adapt to the increase in tourism for a few months out of the year.

Opinions | The University Star | Wednesday July 11, 2012 | 7

Affordable Care Act should be repealed and replaced

what do YOU think

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Are you attending Texas State’s home opener against Texas Tech?

By Jose R. Gonzalez Opinions Columnist


egardless of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, it is a bad law with adverse effects on college students and recent graduates. Nearly two weeks ago, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. The ruling cited the congressional taxing clause as rationale for upholding the law. As if college tuition was not costly enough, the act inserts an additional expense for students through the individual mandate. The mandate requires that a student either purchase healthcare coverage or be monetarily penalized. The current annual price of coverage offered by Texas State is $1552, which is an expense not necessarily in reach for a lot of students. The act has a much-celebrated feature that is considered to be a limited remedy for the individual mandate. This feature is the ability for adults to remain on the healthcare plans of their parents up until the age of 26. However, that ability is more problematic than helpful. Many employers will likely have to increase the premium on their healthcare plans because more people than what the plans can support will return to their parents’ coverage. The “community rating” provision of the act should be cause for serious concern. A measure taking effect in 2014, the “community rating” will narrow down the difference of premium costs between age groups sharply. A presumably healthy person in their 20s will be forced to pay a higher amount on their premium to more closely approach what someone in their 60s is paying. This is analogous to someone with decades of driving experience paying unnecessarily higher insurance rates to help bridge an economic divide with a 17-year-old driver. Worst of all, the youngest, who are also typically the lowest income earners, will be the ones most adversely affected by the “community rating.” Another part of the act is an explicit tax on tanning salons. Practically all of these tanning salons are small businesses not in need of more taxation. Tanning salons have clearly set up shop in San Marcos and neighboring areas to cater to some of the industry’s greatest consumers — college students. This taxation only stifles the productivity of these small businesses during already difficult economic times. Other small businesses throughout San Marcos will also be hurt by provisions in the act. For several reasons, including the cost, many small business owners choose not to provide health insurance to their employees. To comply with the act, small businesses with at least 50 employees must offer health insurance coverage. The penalty for not complying with the law is $2,000 per employee. The small businesses of San Marcos employ many Bobcats. The businesses who cannot afford to offer health insurance coverage might cut staff as an alternative, and student employees will likely be the first to go. By 2016, the penalty for not buying health insurance will stand at $695 a year. Jonathan Gruber, an MIT economist instrumental to the design of the act, is projecting an increase of 19 to 30 percent in premium costs for the individual market. Either way, the act will provide an undue burden for recent college graduates and people struggling to find and sustain employment. According to Chief Justice John Roberts in his ruling for the act’s constitutionality, “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.” Thusly, students at Texas State should take to the polls this November to vote for people who will work to repeal and replace the act.

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U.S. Voting Rights Act should not be repealed

By Christian Penichet-Paul Opinions Columnist


s a college student in San Marcos, it is not hard to understand why the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is still needed in Texas and should not be repealed. The Texas Republican platform for 2012 has a seemingly unexpected provision — one that urges for the repeal of the law from the civil rights era. The Voting Rights Act is a law that is designed to ensure there will not be discriminatory voting practices. The act protects the right of Texas State students to vote without impediments based on color or race. It is a landmark law from the civil rights era that is still relevant today. For the Republican Party of Texas to advocate its repeal is quite surprising. For the better part of last year, Texas State and San Marcos were in the middle of a contemporary voting rights battle. Republicans in the state legislature controlled the redistricting process and refigured the congressional lines to fit their needs. According

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to information from the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanics are the fastest growing population group in Texas. In 2000, Hispanics made up 32 percent of the state population. In 2011, 38.1 percent of the population in the state was classified as Hispanic. Despite the surge in growth, Hispanics only have the majority in one of the four new congressional districts. Texas State was in the only new Hispanic-majority district. The federal government ended up blocking the state map through the Voting Rights Act, which requires that states with a history of discrimination get federal approval in voting rights decisions. The legislature undermined Hispanic voters by subduing their electoral impact, but the Voting Rights Act helped create a compromise map. The controversy from last year’s redistricting shows that the Voting Rights Act is still deeply needed. Some state Republicans may believe that the act infringes upon state rights and advocates for affirmative action. They might also believe, quite accurately, that society has made vast advancements in race. However, Texas State students would not be able to use their university identification cards for voting eligibility under the proposed voter ID bill, but gun owners could use their gun licenses as valid identification. If the state legislature can make it harder for students to vote, how much harder would it be for minority voters without

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the Voting Rights Act? The same voter ID bill that makes it harder for students to vote also violates the Voting Rights Act. According to information from the Justice Department, the bill would discriminate against minorities and affect college students and the financially disadvantaged. The department found that this new law would disenfranchise at least 600,000 voters without proper photo identification, according to court document statements on behalf of the U.S. in the State of Texas versus Eric Holder, Jr. case. According to a public statement by Xochitl Hinojosa, spokeswoman for the U.S. Justice Department, Hispanic voters would be disproportionally affected because “a Hispanic registered voter is at least 46.5 percent, and potentially 120 percent, more likely than a nonHispanic registered voter to lack the required identification.” Without the Voting Rights Act, the voter ID bill would proceed unchallenged and could produce instances of voter discrimination. The Voting Rights Act was signed into law in 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, who is also a famous alumnus of Texas State. Today, Texas State students must continue to back this act and support their fellow Bobcat. Texas State students must let their Republican representatives know that this repeal is a wrong and considerably unnecessary proposal.

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 Wedneday, July 11, 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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Twitter Accounts to Follow

Compiled by Jordan Gass-Poore’

TX State University @txst

“There will be a new coffee shop this fall in the #txst UAC. Tweet your suggestions for its name to @ChartwellsTxSt.” Power outages, street closures and building hours of operation, oh my! For the latest in Texas State-related news, follow the university’s official Twitter page.

Univ Archives (txst) @UnivArchives

“#txst history: The Great Issues Lectures brought Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt to campus during the 1955-57 school year.” Built in 1915, the Fire Station Studios building, which served as both the San Marcos fire station and city hall, was featured in the 1940s movie short, “Our Home Town.” The Texas State University Archives keeps followers in the know about city and university-related historical events.

TSU Writing Center @TSUWC

“Shakespeare teaches the Hokey Pokey. Wonder how Chaucer would do it? :-)” For students looking for the “write stuff,” the Texas State Writing Center offers one-on-one in-person and online tutoring services; minicourses on resumes, in-class essays and thesis/dissertation, as well as bi-weekly GSP reviews.

Jonathan Valdez @JonathanValdez

“It is suppose to be 98 degrees today. go away nick lachey!” Jonathan Valdez, Texas State alumnus and Orange Juice and Biscuits creator and former executive producer/co-host, and Amanda Dugan, Texas State alumnus and Orange Juice and Biscuits co-host, keep listeners up-to-date on the latest fashions and celebrity gossip.

TMT San Marcos @TMTSanMarcos

“Plenty of FREE varied entertainment at TMT this week! Go to http:// for details!” The Texas Music Theater, located on the Square in a renovated 1940s movie theater, is a live music and event venue which has been host to national and local acts, such as Blue October and The Octopus Project.

Trends | The University Star | Wednesday July 11, 2012 | 9

Tantra owners announce a move back to coffee roots

Kristen Lefebvre, Staff Photographer

Local band Kabomba headlines the last show ever July 7 at Tantra Coffeehouse. Tantra will still host Wednesday Bluegrass Nights due to the event’s family friendly nature. By Jordan Gass-Poore’ Features Reporter Tantra Coffeehouse will no longer host outdoor live music. Founder and co-partner Nathan Todd confirmed the business’ Facebook statement posted last week amid the sound of live music Saturday at Tantra Coffeehouse’s 6th Birthday Party and Barbecue. The news came as a shock to some customers, who commented on Tantra’s

Facebook post. “Big mistake. The awesome Tantra music scene is what made me do the half hour drive to come hang out. Adios guys,” said Christopher Lyerla in a comment posted on the coffeehouse’s Facebook page. However, fans of the venue’s Wednesday Bluegrass Night can rejoice. Todd said the popular free show will continue as normal because it is suitable for all ages, and bands perform at a low volume, making it easy to host.

Despite past noise complaints, Todd stressed that the business’s decision to forgo live music had nothing to do with the City of San Marcos or neighboring buildings. “The city hasn’t laid the law down on us,” he said. Todd said over the years Tantra’s original focus has shifted from being a familyoriented community hub to an outdoor live music venue. He said during the business’ inaugural year, there were indoor and outdoor children’s playgrounds. Todd said a new outdoor children’s play area will soon be installed to realign with the business’ original vision. He said his friendship with numerous local musicians led to the business being the first to receive a license by the city to play amplified music. On the wooden stage under the white outdoor tent, people gathered weekly to hear local acts such as Marmalakes, Henry + The Invisibles, Grace Park and The Deer and Buzz n’ Bangs. Matt Schuster, who regularly played at Tantra with his band Broken Umbrella Academy, said the coffeehouse was his introduction to the San Marcos music scene. He said he first graced the venue’s stage about four years ago and has returned ever since. More than 30 performances later, Schuster said his best and worst memory of Tantra involves free wine. He said the venue’s booking agent called him last year and asked if he wanted to perform a “Matt Schuster Variety Show.” In lieu of cash, he said, performers would be paid in $50 Tantra gift cards. Schuster said he randomly chose two bands that had performed at Tantra open

mic nights to perform alongside him. He said he and the other musicians exchanged the gift cards for wine, which they drank onstage. As the wine bottles’ contents depleted, Schuster said the band continued to play the same song drunk for 10 minutes, while he strummed his guitar half asleep. The experience, in the end, proved to be a positive one, both professionally and personally for Schuster. This was the performance where he met his girlfriend and fellow Broken Umbrella Academy band member Casi Moss, communication design senior and former member of the local band The Jenna Tellyas. “This is their backyard,” Todd said, in reference to all the musicians who have performed at Tantra. Todd said as a youth in San Marcos, he did not encounter a place similar to Tantra. He never really knew the city until the coffeehouse opened. He said it is difficult for Tantra to serve great coffee and food when the business’ focus is too broad. Kyle Mylius, Tantra co-partner and Root Cellar owner, said the coffeehouse will soon have extended food hours and a second happy hour. Although live music will no longer be played at Tantra’s physical location, both Mylius and Todd said the business is sponsoring a free show Aug. 25 at San Marcos Plaza Park. The lineup has yet to be determined. Mylius said he and Todd would like to sponsor once-a-month concerts that can be enjoyed by mass audiences and attract big name performers.

Multi-talented musician, performer teaches passion for music By Xander Peters Features Reporter After almost 60 years of playing music, Hank Hehmsoth is still bringing fresh perspectives to the table. Hehmsoth, director of computer applications and webmaster for the school of music, has had an extensive caree¬r as both composer and performer. He has done it all throughout the years, whether that be scraping together gigs and money, life on the road or winning esteemed awards. Hehmsoth’s credits include more than 10,000 individual performances, more than 100 compositions, arranging national Broadway show tours and close to 140 separate arrangements. Hehmsoth was taught classical piano by his father, also an avid musician, and continued to study music throughout his college career.

“I always wanted to play jazz. I picked it up not caring what happened. I was determined to stay with it,” he said. “I was in my 20s and what really mattered to me was doing what I wanted to do.” But trying to make a career out of music wasn’t easy. Money and shows were hard to come by, he said. “I learned to invest in myself, and to keep at it,” Hehmsoth said. “I built a personal skill set and trusted in myself no matter what was to come.” After going it alone early in his professional career, Hehmsoth teamed up with a childhood friend to form a band and hit the road on tour. That band, Christopher Cross, convinced Hehsmoth to stray away from his native jazz and dive into the depths of rock and roll in the 1970s. The group opened for Fleetwood Mac for a year, then did the same for The Eagles during

Filmmaker brings success in film to San Antonio

Photo courtesy Mutt Productions

Mutt Productions, founded by alumnus Aaron Lee Lopez, films a scene in the feature The Return of Johnny V. in San Antonio. By Jordan Gass-Poore’ Features Reporter Friends and family would joke that San Antonio-based filmmaker Aaron Lee Lopez was a “mutt” as a child. With blonde hair and light skin, Lopez physically defies traditional Hispanic features. In 2004, the joke was on them when the Texas State alumnus’ childhood dream of starting a production company became a reality. The kinesiology major said he founded Mutt Productions after his success working as a production assistant, editor, producer and stunt assistant on some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbuster movies and television series, such as “John Carter,” “Inception,” “The Hangover,” “Grindhouse” and “Parenthood,” among others. The full-service production and post-production company recently expanded its San Antonio facilities to help grow and advance the local film industry in Texas. In 2010, a chance encounter in a San Antonio parking lot led to a collaboration between Lopez and filmmaker Brandon Keropian Olmos, son of actor Edward James Olmos. Lopez was visiting family in San Antonio from L.A. He had booked a local film-related job when he met and found out he would be working with Olmos. Olmos had initially come to the Alamo City from L.A. in 2008 to produce an album for the former Sony Latin-signed duo Amor y Pasion. “We met in the parking lot, but we kind of like started doing all these projects, and they were back-to-back. And then I was like, ‘We should just shoot a movie down here,” Lopez said. “Then that’s when I kind of got the idea. I wanted to see if we could pull it off with the people here and the talent.” Mutt Productions has since gone on to edit and produce television commercials and shows, live concerts, Internet and music videos, animations, documentaries and short and feature-length films. The company’s most recent feature is called “The Return of

Johnny V.” The action/comedy, about a burnt out excop named Johnny Valenzuela, whose insatiable taste for revenge brings him face-to-face with his arch nemesis The Mayor, premiered last December to two sold-out screenings at the Josephine Theatre in San Antonio. Fans of Mutt Productions may remember many of the characters from “The Return of Johnny V.” from the company’s 2009 horror/ drama “Curse of the Lechusa.” Lopez said the story of Johnny V. began when he was a child, when he considered the character to be his alter ego. The forename Johnny came from his favorite movie “The Karate Kid” and the surname Valenzuela came from his mother’s maiden name. Family is a consistent theme throughout all of Lopez’s work. Lopez’s brother, actor and high wire performer for the Caesar’s Palace show “Absinthe,” Paul Matthew Lopez reprises his role as “Johnny V.” A San Antonio casting call brought out local up-and-coming talent. Actor/model Dana De La Garza, a San Antonio native, reprises her role as “Angel,” a small-town woman who packs some mean heat. De La Garza has since starred in the NBC television movie “Game of Your Life.” San Antonio-based actor and Texas State alumnus David Rodriguez also reprises his role as “Agent Lee,” a corrupt South Texas cop involved in narcotic trafficking. Aaron Lee Lopez said he and the former ASG president started the Texas State Chapter of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. After Aaron Lee Lopez graduated from Texas State in 2002, he and Rodriguez remained good friends and colleagues. Olmos, “The Return of Johnny V.” sound editor and mixer, said the movie was in many ways a film experiment. “We’re a small group of professionals transcending the San Antonio film consciousness,” he said. “At the same time, we’re hoping to uplift the San Antonio film community so we can make bigger and better movies and keep on working. That’s the whole idea.”

their “The Long Run” tour. Christopher Cross went on to take home an Academy Award and five Grammies. But the band’s success eventually faded. “All of a sudden it all disappeared, and I was back in Austin playing jazz gigs,” Hehsmoth said. “But it was a relief in a way, because there wasn’t much time to create in between moving equipment, touring and performing.” Hehsmoth has gained a variety of professional recognition since, including back-toback awards by the McDowell Fellowship. He placed first in the 2010 National Association of Composers and made a live Austin City Council Chamber TV appearance before accepting the “Live Music Capital of the World Honoree” in 1996. He won “Best Music Director” as awarded by the Austin-American Statesman for his music production of “Hair” and first place winner of the Worldfest International Film Festival for his arrangements in

the film, “Scary Movie.” Hehsmoth joined the university’s staff in 1997, where he still teaches composition and jazz piano, and maintains the devotion to compose and perform music. “I’m just looking to produce more of my own work and make it a broader appeal by mixing cultural influences with my composing,” he said. “Right now, I’m working on an orchestral piece with steel drums from Haiti. I’d like to use it as a reminder of the disaster that took place there a few years ago and how much the Haitian people still need our help.” Now with his mark in the ranks of professional musicians already made, and a career that has been more than successful, Hehsmoth preserves his passion for music. “When I’m creating I’ll listen to a broad pallet of music until I hear some sort of earcandy, so to speak. I play with the composition for a while until it sounds right. I work with it until I see what comes from inside.”

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Bobcats News and Notes FBS football adopts playoff system

Logan Cunningham

The final year of the BCS will be 2013, with college football adopting a four-team playoff system for FBS football. A committee will vote on the four playoff teams, considering win-loss record, strength of schedule, head-to-head results and whether a team is a conference champion, according to the Huffington Post. It’s still unknown who exactly will make up the committee.

Updates over lunch Photo courtesy of Sports Information

Logan Cunningham, junior pole vaulter, competed in Olympic trials June 25 in Eugene, Oregon. Cunningham was one of 24 athletes invited to participate for a chance to compete in the London 2012 Olympics. By Eddie Baty Sports Reporter From humble beginnings in junior high to participating in the 2012 Olympic Trials, Logan Cunningham has done everything a pole vaulter dreams of doing. “I started vaulting in 7th grade when I decided I wanted to join track and field,” said Cunningham, nutrition and foods junior. “After I saw pole vaulting, I knew that was what I wanted to do.” After participating in track and field at Texas State, Cunningham was invited to participate in the Olympic Trials. Cunningham’s grandfather and father, both involved in track and field, were largely involved in his early career. His father was a runner and his grandfather was a sprinter, making Cunningham the first pole vaulter in the family and the third involved in track and field. “I remember going to watch the track and field athletes when I first got started,” said Cunningham. “My dad had taken me, and it really is what made me get started. I would definitely

credit my dad and my grandpa with getting me started in vaulting.” To gain an edge on his opponents, Cunningham worked with personal trainers in his free time and would practice on his own when he could. Paul Cunningham, Logan’s father, has been involved every step of the way in his son’s career. “To see him advance from 7th grade to where he is now is pretty incredible,” Paul Cunningham said. “His work ethic is really what has struck me. I believe he’ll keep vaulting for a long time, I really feel like he has that spark in him.” In high school at Smithson Valley, Cunningham was chosen as the Field Athlete of the Year in 2008. In 2012 he was named a First-Team All-American and set the school’s indoor record. Soon after, he was named the Southland Conference (SLC) Men’s Athlete of the Week in February after shattering records with his performance in the SLC Championships. Logan Cunningham, however, was disappointed with a no-height at his NCAA performance, which means that he had not cleared the bar on his

vault. Despite this, he managed to keep his head up knowing he had the Olympic Trials to look forward to. On June 25, Cunningham participated in the qualifying round pole-vault for the Olympic trials where he earned a no-height along with 12 others who performed the same. Poor weather conditions made the jump exceptionally difficult for all 24 pole-vaulters and ended the run for some, including Cunningham. However, simply being invited to the trials meant he was ranked among the top 24 pole-vaulters in the United States. “It was an honor just to watch those kids line up and walk on the field, and know that Logan is out there with the best and even with those who have been there before,” said Paul Cunningham of his son’s performance in the Olympic Trials. “I try not to think too much about the times when I mess up,” said Cunningham. “I’ve always tried to keep looking forward and try to be better in my next performance.” Twitter: @EddieBatyIII

The Bobcat Club will host a luncheon at the Austin Club in Austin, Texas on July 18. Coach Dennis Franchione, athletic director Larry Teis and former NFL and Bobcat lineman Jeff Novak will be attending the luncheon and discussing the upcoming football season. Tickets for the luncheon are $25 or tables of 10 for $250.

Diamondback success

Major leaguer baseball player Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman and Texas State alumnus, leads the Diamondbacks who have had at least 200 at bats this season with a .302 batting average. He’s also ranked 28th overall in Major League Baseball. Goldschmidt has raised his average from .250 to .302 in his second season with the Diamondbacks.

“It’s in the Game”

Texas State football is now available in video game form on NCAA Football 13, which has been released for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It is the first time the Bobcats have been featured in a video game on next generation consoles. While the stadium is a generic stadium (due to the completion date of Bobcat Stadium not meeting EA Sports’ deadline), the field, font, jerseys and rosters are identical to the Bobcats’ persona. Player names do not come with the game, but roster files can be downloaded. Report compiled by Cameron Irvine, Sports Editor Twitter: @txstcamirvine

Stadium construction on schedule, students left to attend

Star File Photo

Construction to the North Side Complex of Bobcat Stadium is expected to be completed Aug. 1 with other minor renovations to be finished in early September. By Jordan Brewer Sports Reporter Texas State is less than two months away from kicking-off the 2012 season, a unique and special year that has been highly anticipated.

The 2012 season will be their first in the FBS and will also be the first in their revamped home: an expanded Bobcat Stadium with a capacity of 30,000, doubling their previous total. The project is on schedule and slated to be completed by August 1. “There’s a lot of work that still needs to

be done,” said Derek Grice, assistant athletic director. “We have a really good partner in Austin Commercial. They’ve done a great job with all the projects in the past.” The crane, debris and construction equipment have been visible in the vacant parking lot next to Jim Wacker Field for more than a year now and are currently expected to be cleared up in time for the fall. It has been a long journey from breaking ground to now, and Coach Dennis Franchione said he appreciates those who helped get Texas State to where the university is today. “It’s necessary and parallel to the football program,” Franchione said. “(The expansion) illustrates the commitment from the university to the players. It shows what growth can do and how it helps in joining the FBS level.” Although there is still work to be done, Franchione said he cannot help but get excited for the bigger, potentially louder venue. Franchione calls for the student body to be as large as its enrollment. “As large as our (student body) is among Division I schools, certainly if we could get a large percentage of our students to come out, it would create a home field advantage,” Franchione said. “They are important to our football players. They want their student body to be a part of it. The players use it as motivation.” Last season there was no designated student section, but the East side grandstands

were available for free to students with a valid Texas State ID and were available for general admission seating. There is a designated student section in the new stadium seating chart that will roughly seat 5,000 students, according to Grice. Despite increased costs to the athletic department, Grice does not see free seats for students going away anytime soon. “I believe that our students, with the passing of the referendum to help us move to the FBS, have been a huge impact on our athletic program and have provided us the foundation to continue to grow as an athletic department. I can’t speak to long term but I can tell you I don’t see (charging students admission) being an issue in the near future.” Franchione did not shy away from saying that this may not be the last of the expansions for Bobcat Stadium. “If (certain) things happen, I think expansion could be possible,” Franchione said. “Expansion is never a need unless it’s possible and those factors are there.” Grice commented that attendance numbers would fuel a next expansion project, but that all he is worried about is getting the North Side Complex completed. Other projects and renovations will be made to the East and West sides of Bobcat Stadium with an expected completion date of September 1. Twitter: @jbrewer32

FAQ over the FBS and what it means for Bobcats

HmyEnaLmLe isO...

What do FBS and FCS stand for? Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision.

ond Jeff Clerm ive lineman

What determines which division colleges participate in? The amount of funding athletic programs have, facilities and television market all have big implications on whether an athletic program is FBS material.

Texas State offens

Favorite summer Olympic sport? Boxing. I have a friend that’s boxing this summer. Favorite song to listen to while working out? Lil Jon or Gucci Mane — anything that can get me hyped up and ready to go. If you could be any athlete, who would you want to be? I’ve always wanted to be a running back so I might be Adrian Peterson or Usain Bolt just to be how fast he is. I’ll never be able to run a 4.3 (40-yard dash). Favorite sports other than football? Basketball, I shoot around all the time. If I weighed less, I’d probably be a point guard. Favorite TV show? Martin. Favorite Comedian? Kevin Hart. “I’m a Grown Little Man” is my favorite. What’s the best part about being a Bobcat? The atmosphere, the school and the love that everybody shows you. It’s like one big family out here, and everyone shows you love even if they don’t know you. What’s the best part about Coach Dennis Franchione? His determination for us to be better and to win. Report compiled by Cameron Irvine, Sports Editor Twitter: @txstcamirvine

What does it mean for Texas State to be playing at the FBS level? The FBS level gains more national exposure, helps bring more talented players in through recruiting, increases scholarship opportunities for programs and puts Texas State football on the highest level of college football competition. Do the titles FBS and FCS apply to other sports? FBS and FCS alignments only apply to football. All other NCAA sports are split in divisions, with the highest being Division I. Texas State athletics is a Division I program and competes with other Division I programs for championships. Why are we moving out of the WAC, after just one year, to move into the Sun Belt in 2013? The WAC’s future is uncertain in football as UTSA, Utah State, San Jose State and Louisiana Tech are all moving to different conferences in 2013. Texas State moved out of the WAC and into the Sun Belt to secure a conference long term. With FBS moving to a four team playoff system in 2014, does that help Texas State’s national championship chances? One hundred twenty-five schools participate on the FBS level in football. Many schools will be eligible for bowl game appearances (six wins in a season) but only four will be eligible to compete for the national championship. Texas State would need an undefeated season and beat out one-loss teams from bigger conferences to even have a shot at a national championship on the FBS level. Report compiled by Cameron Irvine, Sports Editor Twitter: @txstcamirvine

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