Defending the First Amendment since 1911
Volume 99, Issue 9
Get an inside look at a Bobcat football player’s diet. Check out the video on universitystar.com and the story on Page 8.
Quality Enhancement Plan offers improved advising opportunities By Bianca Davis News Reporter
University officials are set to complete the second part of the reaffirmation process to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The university submitted the Compliance Certification Report to S.A.C.S. last week, which covered the basic requirements. The next phase is formulating the Quality Enhancement Plan. Nico Schuler, Quality Enhancement Plan co-chair, said the plan has implications for the future. “Most of S.A.C.S. reaffirmaStar Photo Illustration tion process is a compliance report,” said Schuler, professor in the School of Music. “But S.A.C.S. also wants universities and colleges to enhance some aspect of student learning in the future — that’s the QEP.” According to the university’s Web site, “A Quality Enhancement Plan outlines a course university to deal with recent of action for long-term institutional improvement with growth. “So the president and I were special attention to student just giving a heads-up to the learning.” regents that whatever tuition increase we are proposing in November, it’s going to be a dollar per credit hour higher than it would had been, had this not happened,” Nance said. Nance said the financial planning is complicated beBy Bianca Davis cause the Texas Legislature News Reporter meets every two years and it is hard to project how much it An initiative to create a sysallocates to state universities. tem for alternative transportaHe said university officials tion from the downtown area are nervous about what the at night was introduced at the 2011 legislative session might first ASG meeting of the year do for fiscal years 2012 and by President Chris Covo. 2013. He has heard unless the The City Council liaison comeconomy makes a remarkable mittee will be working with turnaround, the state is going members of Achieving Comto run a $7 to $12 billion defi- munity Together, members of cit in two years when it has the ASG executive board, two exhausted federal stimulus undecided alumni and Covo to money. form the late-night transportaHe said university and sys- tion task force. tem officials discussed at the The goal of the task force August board meeting that is to create a program that they should be planning for will offer a form of alternaa potential 10 percent cut in tive transportation to students state appropriations for fiscal from the downtown area duryears 2012 and 2013. ing the late-night bar hours. “You can’t afford to wait for The City Council liaison comit to happen and be in a panic mittee will begin conducting mode,” he said. research Monday to determine a solution to the situation left see ‘TUITION,’ page 3 by the S.W.A.T cancellation. The new liaison will be chosen then.
University may propose possible tuition hike By Kosaku Narioka News Reporter University officials are likely to propose a tuition increase at the Board of Regents meeting in November. William Nance, vice president for Finance and Support Services, said the planning is on going and university officials are looking at the financial needs in a few years. “We have a 10-year campus master plan and long-range academic plans, so it doesn’t do any good to be making those plans long-range if you’re not analyzing the financing side — how that’s going to be funded,” he said. Nance said university officials have not decided the percent increase they are going to propose, but will start the conversations. The Board of Regents of the Texas State University System will meet at Lamar University Nov. 19 to Nov. 20. Universities under the system will propose agenda items by Oct. 12 for the Oct. 26 submittion of revisions. Nance said university officials will hold a hearing to discuss tuition and fees with students several weeks before the board meeting. Robert Gratz, special assistant to the president, said
Finance and Support Services, Student Affairs and ASG will work together to arrange a hearing date. ASG President Chris Covo said there has been no talk about tuition raises yet, but said an increase can be justified as long as it helps the university and the reasons are clear. How much of a hike university officials are going to propose is not clear, but an increased burden on the university to cover the operation of the system office is at least one of many factors. Texas State’s share for the system office rose by $664,763 this year, which is more than a $1 per semester credit hour increase in tuition, according to a letter sent from the president’s office to the Board of Regents. The letter is dated July 17 and is co-signed by University President Denise Trauth and Nance. “This will have to be covered on an on-going basis by our recommendation in November for (financial year) 2010 to 2011 tuition and fee increases,” the letter reads. Nance said the notice of the increased allocation from the system office came suddenly mid-summer when university officials were planning to add staff positions across the
“QEP is hugely important for the S.A.C.S. reaffirmation process,” said Beth Wuest, associate professor in Academic Development and Assessment. “For us here at Texas State, it’s really important because it’s something where we can take the efforts and thoughts of a lot of different groups and put together a plan that moves our institution ahead.” The university compiled ideas from students, faculty, staff and alumni to formulate one specific theme for the plan. The enhancement task force decided upon “advising” as the plan’s theme. “Students, faculty and staff all over campus submitted ideas and they were discussed in the theme selection committee, who came up with six groups,” Schuler said. “At least three or four of them had something in their themes related to advising and mentoring. That’s why it was eventually selected — because it seemed to be the most important.” see ‘QEP,’ page 3
Community bands together to expand late-night transportation “The City Council liaison committee will take on and initiate this effort,” Covo said. “They will go to the people, do research and crunch numbers to determine a feasible option.” The task force will convene twice. The dates are undetermined, but the meetings will be set for late-October and late-November, Covo said. City Councilmember Kim Porterfield, Place-1, is an A.C.T. member and said both groups are looking into the issue. The San Marcos Police Department has given members of A.C.T. an inside view at the situation. “A.C.T. members are currently participating in ride alongs with the San Marcos Police Department,” Porterfield said. “They are going out on Thurssee ‘LATE NIGHT,’ page 3
Surge of crickets appears during fall season By Billy Crawford Special to The Star Crickets may be considered good fourtune in some cultures, or even pets in others, but students and faculty at Texas State are generally less receptive of the insects’ presence. Each fall, thousands of crickets emerge in and around the community in what has been dubbed “cricket season.” During cricket season, simple acts such as walking across campus can be impacted by the multitude of insects that line the sidewalks and entrances. For students who come from areas that have fewer crickets, the first fall on campus can often create an uneasy feeling. “It was really gross to me my first semester here,” said Mark Butke, pre-mass communication junior from Ohio. “There were crickets everywhere. You walked to class and you heard crunches the whole way. It doesn’t really bother me now, but it got to me my first year.” For other students who are
coming to campus for the first time this fall, the possibility of having crickets in their dorms and classrooms is repulsive. “I think (the crickets) are absolutely disgusting,” said Molly Vochatzer, health and wellness promotion freshman from Dallas. “I can’t stand them, and I’m really not looking forward to when they come out.” The influx of crickets during the fall may be menacing to students, but its causes are natural. “My general observation is the crickets are in breeding mode,” Francis Rose, a biology professor at Texas State, said in an e-mail. “Depending on the amount of humidity and rainfall, the (mating season) lasts about two weeks.” Rose said the reason cricket season may seem as though it drags on is because the outbreaks are localized, and are not coordinated with each other. see ‘CRICKETS,’ page 3
See the www.un
89°/69° Mostly Sunny Precipitation: 10% Humidity: 61% UV: 10 Very High Wind: NNW 12mph
Thursday Mostly Sunny Temp: 87°/67° Precip: 20%
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
News….....Pages 1-4 Sisterhood and tradition Opinions…..Page 5 MAIN POINT: Stranded on The Square Community college teaches valuable lessons, benefits Students contribute to city’s abandoned pet problem Trends……..Page 6 United We Sing’ honors America New local ‘getaway’ serves comfort food Possible ‘chupacabra’ makes its way to Hill Country Classifieds….Page 7 Diversions…..Page 7 Sports………Page 8 Bobcats defeat Cougars in cat fight Bobcat football makes nutrition team effort ‘Exciting’ NFL season awaits
Allie Moncrief/Star photo illustration CRICKET INVASION: Across the campus and city crickets have been making their home among the Texas State community and residents.
2 - The University Star
STARS OF TEXAS STATE Steffanie Armstrong was the first Bobcat to cross the line Sunday for the women’s cross country team with a time of 19:20, giving her ninth place. Texas State has a few weeks off before they compete at the Cowboy Jamboree on Oct. 3, hosted by Oklahoma State University. — Courtesy of Texas State Athletics
Texas State University – San Marcos is a member of the Texas State University System
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
In photos in Tuesday’s issue of The University Star, Ashley Emanuel, senior middle blocker, was featured jumping for a spike at a volleyball tournament this weekend. Westfield High School girls dance team performs for the Golden Dynasty Stepshow, hosted by Alpha Phi Alpha and the African American Leadership Council Saturday at Evans Liberal Auditorium. — The Star regrets these errors.
CRIME ON THIS BLOTTER DAY IN Sept. 5, 12:00 a.m. MIP-Alcohol/Bobcat Stadium A police officer made contact with a student engaging in suspicious activity. Upon further investigation, the student was issued a citation for minor in possession. Sept. 5, 12:00 a.m. Disorderly Conduct – Fight/Bobcat Stadium Parking Lot A police officer was dispatched to the location for a possible fight. Upon further investigation, a student was issued a citation for disorderly conduct. Sept. 5, 1:53 a.m. MIP-Alcohol/Lindsey Lot An officer on patrol observed two suspicious individuals exiting a vehicle. Upon further investigation, two minor individuals were found to be in possession of alcohol and were issued citations for minor in possession. Sept. 5, 2:05 a.m. MIP-Alcohol/Lindsey Lot A police officer made contact with a student engaging in suspicious activity. Upon further investigation, the student was issued a citation for minor in possession. Sept. 5, 2:35 a.m. MIP-Alcohol/Lindsey Lot A police officer made contact with a student engaging in suspicious activity. Upon further investigation, the student was issued a citation for minor in possession. — Courtesy of University Police Department
HISTORY 1638: France’s King Louis XIV was born. 1810: Mexicans began a successful revolt against Spanish rule. 1908: General Motors was formed in Flint, Mich., by William Durant. 1940: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Selective Training and Service Act, which set up the first peacetime military draft in U.S. history. 1982: A massacre of hundreds of Palestinian men, women and children by Lebanese Christian militiamen began in west Beirut’s Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps.
1987: Two-dozen countries signed the Montreal Protocol, a treaty designed to save the Earth’s ozone layer by calling on nations to reduce emissions of harmful chemicals. 2004: Hurricane Ivan plowed into the Gulf Coast with 130 mph wind and a major storm surge. Ivan was blamed for at least 115 deaths, 43 in the United States. 2007: A deadly shooting in Baghdad involving the U.S. security firm Blackwater USA left 17 Iraqi civilians dead. — Courtesy of New York Times
Hannah VanOrstrand/Star photo MUSICAL INQUIRY: Vanessa Gallegos, pre-psychology sophomore, surveys students like Katherine Psencik, pre-psychology sophomore, to find out the best musical pick for this year’s River Fest.
‘Big Push’ to improve Marketing encourages filmakers, videographers air quality, ozone The 2009 ozone season (Apr. 1 to Oct. 31) is a crucial time for air quality in the Austin metropolitan area and surrounding counties, including San Marcos and Hays County. Ozone levels monitored during this time will determine whether the area will meet federal standards for ground-level ozone. Regional air quality partners have initiated “The Big Push” to encourage citizens and businesses to help reduce ozone-forming emissions, especially during September, historically the worst month for ozone in Central Texas. If ozone levels do not meet federal standards, the area will be designated as a “nonattainment area”, and state and local governments will be required to develop and implement control plans to reduce ozone-forming pollution. This could result in restrictions on business development and delays in transportation projects. Based on readings so far, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has recommended to the Environmental Protection Agency that Central Texas be designated as a nonattainment area. However, if ozone levels can be lowered for the remainder of the 2009 ozone season, the area could still meet federal standards and qualify for the attainment designation. For more information on air quality and ground-level ozone please visit the EPA and TCEQ Web sites at epa.gov/air/ ozonepollution/ and tceq.state.tx.us/nav/main/air_main.html, or contact the City of San Marcos at 512-393-8310.
participation for contest
As part of the upcoming launch of the Texas State home page on YouTube, the Office of University Marketing is sponsoring the Bobcat Tube Video Contest. Applicant filmmakers and videographers are asked to submit a video of three minutes or less on the theme, “A Slice of My Life at Texas State.” The top three finishers’ productions will be posted on the official Texas State YouTube page and shown at the Bobcat Tube Film Festival in early December. “The Golden Bobcat” award will be presented to the top video entered in the contest. The top three will also receive the following prizes: a video camera for first place, an iTouch for second place and an iPod Shuffle for third.Any style video is eligible, including animation, and the contest is open to faculty, staff and students. The deadline for entries is midnight, Nov. 22. Official rules and guidelines, as well as submission guidelines, are available on the contest home page, go.txstate. edu/VideoContest. Find inspiration at uwpocketmedia.org, the recent video contest at the University of Washington, or search for “I’m a Hokie” at YouTube for results from a contest at Virginia Tech. — Courtesy of University News Service
— Courtesy of City of San Marcos
Veterans host POW-MIA Remembrance Day VFW Post 3413 and the Vietnam Veterans of American Chapter 923 will host the annual POW-MIA Remembrance Program Friday at the VFW Hall located at 1701 Hunter Rd. The program, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., is open to all members of the San Marcos community and will feature special guest speakers, City Councilmember Kim Porterfield and William E. Roberts Jr., Major USAF Retired. National POW-MIA Remembrance Day is celebrated the third Friday of September in honor of all Prisoners of War and soldiers who are considered Missing in Action. Major Roberts enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942 and served as an aerial gunner on B-17 aircraft with the 463rd Bomb Group, 15th Air Force in Europe. He was shot down July 7, 1944, on his 45th mission. He had 203 combat hours and two enemy aircrafts to his credit. Major Roberts was held Prisoner of War for 11 months, a
portion of which, starting at dawn on Feb. 5, 1945, was spent marching out of Poland in front of advancing Russians across Northern Germany. He was liberated by the British in May 1945. He was back to Brussels, Belgium on VE Day. He attended the University of Pittsburgh from 1945 to 1948 to earn a BS Degree in Pharmacy. He was recalled in 1949 and served until his retirement in 1966 with 24 years of service. Some of his many awards and decorations include the Air Medal with eight Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Purple Heart and the American Order of the French Croix de Guerre. Major Roberts now serves as national director of the American Ex-Prisoners of War and works as a volunteer with other veterans groups in San Antonio. —Courtesy of City of San Marcos
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
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“A swarm in San Marcos may not coincide with one in New Braunfels,” Rose said. “Although, the seasons are similar, so it might look like it is extended over a longer period.” Rose said since the crickets are dependent on the amount of rainfall the area sees, it is possible this season may be shorter, and their numbers may not be as plentiful. “The drought this year may take a serious toll,” Rose said. Aside from annoying students with their chirps, the crickets also create issues for the custodial staff on campus. Crickets die after mating, leaving hundreds of black carcases on the ground across both the
Late Night day, Friday and Saturday nights from about 9 or 10 p.m. to about 3 a.m. to observe first hand what it’s like when the bars close.” The San Marcos City Council has its own downtown 2 a.m. task force. There have been discussions by the San Marcos City Council about what it would cost to run several late-hour bus routes from downtown to apartment complexes and campus that are heavily populated by students,” Porterfield said. The cost to run several C.A.R.T.S. bus routes at no fee
university and the community. Kim Graves, director of custodial operations, said the number of crickets can be daunting, but the custodial staff does not change their approach to accommodate any differences in workload. “We don’t increase our manpower,” Graves said. “We still sweep the entry-ways and other areas like we always do. We just make sure we clean more intently during cricket season.” Graves said because of this year’s drought, the hope of the custodial staff is there will be fewer crickets this year than in the past. Regardless, Graves said the best way to clean up the dead crickets is simple. continued from page
to students was estimated by the City Council to be around $200,000, she said. Porterfield said changing the taxi ordinance is the first step in improving late-night transportation. “The ordinance is very outdated,” Porterfield said. “It says taxis can’t line up in The Square. City Council will be updating that because certainly you need to be able to hail a cab from downtown when the bars close.” She said the city has already decided the ordinance needs to be changed, and it is a mat-
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The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools requires the enhancement to have a broad impact on student learning. “This is not just seen as simple academic advising that we want to improve,” Schuler said. “But advising in the broader sense (such) as advising, mentoring, career advising, peer advising and so on.” A central focus of the plan is the development of a center for Personalized Academic and Career Exploration. “This center will be a onestop (facility) for students to get academic advising, career advising, as well as mentoring,” Schuler said. “The center
1 “We just go at them with a broom and a dust-pan,” Graves said. “You don’t want to try to vaccuum them up, because once you do, you’ll never get the smell out, and it’s almost impossible to sanitize.” The crickets are hated by some, and create cleaning concerns for others, but Rose points out they do serve an important purpose in the ecosystem. “The crickets provide a temporary food source for untold number of organisms,” Rose said, “including birds, mammals, fish, turtles, snakes and lizards.” Crickets also help break down plant material, which helps to renew soil minerals.
1 ter of time to get it approved. Porterfield said other possibilities the city has discussed are pedi-cabs and financially assisting S.W.A.T. Porterfield said the bar owners have an important role in the implementation and the success of a late-night transportation program. “I think the downtown bar owners have to play (a) role in this too because there’s been some thought they might be able to help in the cost sharing of the rides home,” Porterfield said.
will be specifically for freshmen because (they) are in (the) most need of advising.” The P.A.C.E. Center will have resources available to the entire student body online. “It would be impossible to have one center where 30,000 students are advised, so specifically for academic advising, it must be for a reasonable number of students,” Schuler said. “A lot of the resources that will be available from the P.A.C.E. Center will also be available to not only freshmen.” Schuler said the ratio of students to advisers within the individual colleges would be reduced with P.A.C.E. P.A.C.E. is only one aspect to
the enhancement plan, Wuest said. Other aspects of the enhancement plan include curriculum taught in university seminar courses, making advising information accessible online and implementing individual portfolios containing work throughout the student’s academic career. The plan will be submitted to S.A.C.S. in 2010. An onsite review committee will visit the campus to determine strengths of the plan. University officials expect to learn if the plan is approved by December 2010.
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Faced with a $10 billion deficit, the Texas Legislature cut appropriations to state universities in 2003 by 13 percent while deregulating tuition, he said. Public universities have since drastically raised tuition and fees to fill the gap of state funding. On average, the total tuition and fees for resident undergraduates taking 15 semester credit hours jumped
from $1,934 to $3,150, or about 63 percent, from fall 2003 to fall 2008, according to Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The total costs increased at Texas State from $2,072 to $3,497, or about 69 percent during the five year period. Last November, the board authorized another 7 percent hike at Texas State, making 15 semester credit hours cost
$3,741. Meanwhile the board set the limits on potential raises for academic year 2010 to 2011. The limits are 5 percent for tuition and 2.5 percent for other fees. The board also authorized the university to offer admission at no cost last August, starting fall 2009, for freshmen whose expected annual family income is less than $25,000.
By Rachel Nelson News Reporter
rorities definitely hold a lot of different events throughout the year that they can attend and get them involved, and maybe next fall they can go through recruitment. It’s a really, really formal process.” Others who missed registration could consider joining the Multicultural Greek Council. MGC President Sarah Rebollar said the council is viewed primarily as Latino-based but is open to anyone and includes members who are Anglo, Black, Puerto Rican, Brazilian and more. Like the Pan-Hellenic Council, Rebollar said the MGC holds GPA requirements. According to Lopez, academic excellence is a priority in greek life. “They create a community to make sure they are living up to highest standards for academic excellence,” Lopez said. Grade reports from the last few years can be viewed online on the academics page at www.txstategreeks.com. According to Lopez, the average Panhellenic GPA at Texas State has been higher than that of all women combined at the school for the past nine semesters. Fowler said the over-all Pan-Hellenic GPA last semester was a 3.0. Another aspect of going Greek includes doing community service, Lopez said. “Every sorority is linked with a philanthropy, and we work together,” Fowler said. “We do an all Greek clean up where we go around San Marcos and clean up. Each sorority has a philanthropy that they are involved in.”
Fowler said some philanthropy projects include doing volunteer work at the Ronald McDonald House and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. They also promote breast cancer awareness and research. An upcoming event is the annual Greek dodge ball tournament that will take place at Jowers Sept. 27 and will benefit the San Marcos Education Foundation, Fowler said. According to Fowler, hazing during initiation into a PanHellenic organization is not tolerated despite rumors. “Initiation with sororities is actually more of a ceremony, and it’s just where we present the girls their membership,” Fowler said. “It’s not threatening at all. Most sororities have what I would call a beautiful ceremony. We absolutely do not allow hazing at all. It’s more of a beautiful ceremony is how I would describe it.” Joining greek life at Texas State links girls to the campus and builds character, Lopez said. “I think (women should join sororities) if they’re looking for an opportunity to become connected to Texas State, but also really to go through some personal development and growth,” Lopez said. When it comes to joining a sorority, money is a factor. “There’s a lot of first-time fees as a new member to a sorority, but there are also a lot of payment plans that will help you break up the dues by semester,” Fowler said. Rebollar said getting involved with the MGC may be a more affordable way for students to get involved in greek life.
Sisterhood and tradition Pan-Hellenic councils encourage young women to seek communities, friends and goals by joining Texas State sororities. Gabriela Perez, advertising junior, said she joined her sorority, Delta Zeta, for a number of reasons. “It’s a great way to meet new people and get involved with the university,” Perez said. “It makes you work harder on your grades, and you make the friends that you know will be there forever.” “Women will have a chance to attend events at the different sorority houses with the six groups of the Pan-Hellenic Council,” said Michelle Lopez, associate director of student activities. Texas State Pan-Hellenic President Laura Fowler, communication studies senior, said recruitment for the six Texas State Pan-Hellenic organizations is “a mutual selection process,” meaning the girls choose the sororities they wish to belong to and the sororities choose the girls they believe are the best matches. “Texas State sororities are well known for always finding a sorority for girls,” Fowler said. Registration for the PanHellenic organizations has ended, but Fowler said girls can get a head start on next semester now. “They could definitely go online (www.txstatepanhellenic.com) and attend events that we’re holding if they’re interested,” Fowler said. “So-
4 - The University Star
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Opinions Wednesday, September 16, 2009
t’s Saturday night and everyone is out to The Square with friends.
No one is sober enough to drive. You call the trusty Students With Alternative Transportation phone number, knowing you’ll get someone on the line who will send a volunteer with a safe ride home. However, instead of a friendly voice on the other line, you get a disconnection notice. Now you’re stranded, wondering how you’ll get home. Situations like this occurred at the beginning of the semester, leaving students wondering what happened to S.W.A.T. According to a Sept. 9 article in The University Star, S.W.A.T. was canceled because of a volunteer shortage in recent years. However, this cancellation was done without notice to students, leaving those who use S.W.A.T. out in the streets — literally. Judy Row, director of the Alcohol and Drug Resource Center, said in the same article that the maximum ridership of S.W.A.T. for one year was 1,800 people. Obviously, according to this statistic, S.W.A.T. is a wellknown transportation service students use. This again raises the question: Why was nothing done to let people know the organization is now nonexistent? University officials could have informed students of the cancelation in several ways. A mass e-mail could have been
The University Star - 5
on The Square
sent to students, faculty and staff, informing them S.W.A.T. is no longer in service. They could have displayed the information on the front page of the Texas State Web site, where the most important and up-to-date news about the university is posted. Instead, students were uninformed about S.W.A.T.’s termination and left to learn by calling the disconnected number. For a university with more than 30,000 students, simply not informing them is unacceptable. Students shouldn’t have to find out about the termination this way, and the university could have done a much better job of informing them. Had university officials taken measures to notify students of this event, those who rely on S.W.A.T. could have made other transportation plans. This is not the first time university officials have failed to communicate with students. Last year officials faltered on keeping those living in residence halls updated about the hot water outage in April and there is constant construction that takes away parking spots without notice. University officials should do a better job of informing students. They should take every opportunity to keep people knowledgeable about what is going on around the university campus. Texas State officials have a moral obligation to notify students. After all, for a university with a rapidly growing student population, it seems only right to keep these people in the know on important issues and events at Texas State.
Students contribute to city’s abandoned pet problem
By Kaycee Toller Opinions Columnist It’s 11:27 p.m. Do you know where your old cat is? Perhaps it’s lurking behind Jones, feeding off scraps. Maybe it’s hiding in some bushes in The Quad, waiting to scare the living daylights out of an unfortunate passer-by. Wherever it is, it could definitely be somewhere better. The abandoning of pets is a major problem in San Marcos. Students get a cute pet, only to later realize they are not able to care for it properly. Pets consume time and money, and most students have neither of these to spare. Many apartments don’t allow pets, and the ones that do usually require an expensive pet deposit. Pets are often sent to live outdoors, without the loving home they deserve. Once outdoors, Fluffy will engage in acts that cannot be discussed in this column. She will give birth to four or five adorable kittens on someone’s favorite piece of patio furniture, causing it to smell funky forevermore. The kittens that survive will grow and have more kittens, none of which may ever find a safe home. Fido won’t behave any better. The puppies he fathers may have to face a life of dodging cars on Sessom, devoid of Milk-Bones and fetch. A way to prevent this is to spay or neuter your pet. If a
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fixed pet gets out, it won’t be able to have a litter of home less puppies or kittens. Even the most responsible pet owner has a dog or cat get loose sometimes. A fixed pet means not having to worry about finding homes for kittens when Miss Whiskers returns. Spaying and neutering keeps animals off the streets and out of crowded shelters. Bert Stratemann, the animal services manager for Hays County, suggests all pets should be fixed. Stratemann estimates 68 percent of pets animal services acquires are being euthanized. He said about 12 percent are reclaimed by their owners. It costs taxpayers about $176 for a pet to be captured, sheltered and euthanized. Too much is being spent in tax dollars and animal lives for a problem that can be alleviated by responsible pet ownership. “If everyone in Hays County spayed or neutered their pets, it could cut our intake of dogs by 50 percent and cats by 70 percent,” Stratemann said. Fixing a pet can be costly, but it is money well spent when one looks at the cost of inaction in tax dollars and the lives of innocent animals. Prevent a Litter of Central Texas helps people who can’t afford to fix their pets by offering vouchers to spay and neuter dogs and cats. Vouchers can be requested by calling 512-754-PALS. Another way to save money is to save owning a pet until one can be sure they can afford the expenses. There is no excuse to be an irresponsible pet owner. Students with dogs and cats should be prepared to spend the time and money to keep their pets happy, healthy and off the streets.
Russell Weiss/Star Illustration
Community college teaches valuable lessons, benefits By Tristan Watson Opinions Columnist The average freshman attending college this year for the first time will feel apprehension as well as excitement. Indeed, attending college for the first time is an experience an individual should be lucky enough to have. Nevertheless, society can often send the wrong message that only students who attend a four-year university straight out of high school will be successful individuals and will have the best jobs after graduation. However, society should give community colleges the same reverence as universities. Students need to know there is nothing wrong with attending a community
college before heading off to a four-year university. Tiffany Thompson, business management senior, said community college helped her transition to Texas State. “Attending Austin Community College as a freshman enabled me to get a feel for college,” Thompson said. “I learned valuable lessons such as managing my time and getting used to the pace of college. Most of my classes transferred to Texas State, and the low prices per credit hour allowed me to pay for them myself.” People should realize just because a student may attend a university straight out of high school doesn’t mean someone who went to a junior college is any less intelligent, or is incapable of handling the demands of university life. Perhaps, if more college freshmen would stop by a community college first, dropout rates wouldn’t grow each year. According to Collegescholarships.org, one in four freshmen students annually drop out
after their first year in college. Can these statistics be attributed to parents, professors or the strenuous work that goes along with attending college? Not entirely. An individual knows his or her limits and what he or she can handle. Procrastinating, staying out all night and being unorganized are a few contributing factors to a freshman’s choice to leave an institution voluntarily or involuntarily. However, there are individuals who put forth their best effort and still can’t achieve the level of college readiness set before them. The best option for this type of student is to attend a community college until he or she feels they are ready to tackle the responsibility and expense of going to a four-year instituion. Community college is not embarrassing and any individual who has or will attend a community college shouldn’t be ashamed or feel inferior. In actuality, community college
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has benefits. According to Collegeanswer. com, the benefits include lower tuition, convenient locations, small class size and flexible class schedule. If a student can take the same classes at a community college offered at a four-year university for a fraction of the cost, and transfer those hours over, it is worth the time, money and effort for the benefits. It’s easy for high school seniors to be excited about going to a university, but certain students must learn what they are able to handle. Community college should not be looked down upon in our society. A student who attends a four-year university after high school graduation is not any more of an intellectual and will not be more successful or competent than someone who did not. Community college after high school is a smart choice and ultimately beneficial to anyone who chooses to take this route.
The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State UniversitySan Marcos published Tuesday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with a distribution of 8,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright Wednesday, September 16. 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.
Kanye West caused uproar at the MTV Video Music Awards. During Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video, West proceeded to jump onstage, take her microphone and said, “Taylor, I’m really happy for you, and I’m gonna let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time.” After his outburst he was escorted from the awards show.
6 - The University Star
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
New local ‘getaway’ serves comfort food Fine Arts By Brittany Bemis Assistant Trends Editor
Ben Rondeau/Star photo
PATRIOTIC TRIBUTE: Richard Cheatham, dean of the College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication, recited a Johnny Cash poem about the American Flag at the seventh annual United We Sing Sunday.
‘United We Sing’ honors America By Matthew Barnes Features Reporter Evan’s Auditorium hosted the seventh annual United We Sing, presented by the Heart of Texas Chorus and The Friends of Fine Arts and Communication in commemoration of Sept. 11. Choirs, comprised of students and locals, sang of national pride, from “Yankee Doodle” to “Proud to Be an American,” to honor their country through vocal harmony. Military tributes and patriotic speeches punctuated the choral salute. The audience responded with standing ovations on several occasions. “We’re not just here to celebrate America,” said Rick Sonntag, master of ceremonies, in his opening address. “We’re here to celebrate freedom, and the indomitable spirit of America.” The award-winning Heart of Texas Chorus, an all-male a cappella group from the AustinSan Antonio corridor, took the stage several times, either as a unit or represented by a few of its members. They have been hosting the event every year since 2003 on or around Sept. 11. Producer Sam Tweedy said they are all volunteers. “It has become a labor of love for The Heart of Texas Chorus,” Sonntag said. Richard Cheatham, dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication and honorary member of the Heart of Texas Chorus, made several appearances during the event. He spoke once to recite a humorous monologue and again to give a reading of a Johnny Cash poem about the American flag. Mayor Susan Narvaiz gave a speech and surprised the crowd with a song. The local Steel Magnolias represented
the only female chorus at the tribute. Genesis, a local quartet that has been part of the event since its first run, presented their personal rendition of the American spirit with a Beach Boys medley. The Heart of Texas Chorus, directed by Brent Dunavant and Jimmy Kritikos, was established in 1994 as the Central Texas Corridor Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, the world’s largest organization of all-male singers. Beyond multiple regional awards and honors, they represented the Southwestern United States in the “World Series of Barbershopping” seven times. The organization, who practices on Thursdays in the Music Building, also performs every year for Sights and Sounds for Christmas at multiple churches throughout the area and at occasional Texas State sporting events. “We want to be involved in the community,” Tweedy said. Tweedy said they strive to support the students in their endeavors. Scholarships are awarded every year to deserving students selected by the Texas State School of Music. Varsity, a Texas State quartet from among their ranks, took seventh place in the 2009 International Collegiate Quartet Contest. The Marcsmen, a Texas State chorus directed by Brent Dunavant, took first at the International Barbershop Youth Chorus Festival in 2008. The Community Chorus brought the day to a close with “America, The Beautiful,” and the crowd could be heard singing along. “I have strong, patriotic feelings,” Tweedy said. “Stuff like that really gets to me, and I hope it gets to the audience too.”
Newton Gang’s Getaway is full of history and home cooking. After completing renovations, Newton’s opened Aug. 17. Gary Moore, executive chef and co-owner, has been a part of the San Marcos restaurant scene for years. “I used to own Café on the Square in 1988. I restored that building and the building where Rocky La Rue’s is,” Moore said. “I sold the café in 1999, and I thought I was going to get out of the (restaurant) business, but the good Lord decided it wasn’t time, and I got Newton Gang’s Getaway.” Newton’s replaced the location of Hill Country Bar and Grill. “My partners own the building, and Hill Country Grill was going out,” Moore said. “They were looking for someone to take over and create another restaurant here, so I came in.” Moore’s love for food is apparent with a personal preference for comfort food, as shown in the menu. “We make everything from scratch,” Moore said. “I make all my own chicken fried steaks, hand bread them and hand bread all our chicken tenders. I make meatloaf everyday. Everything we make is fresh – all home-style, comfort food.” Moore’s recipes come from his experience in the restaurant business and from his mother. “My meatloaf is my mother’s recipe, and they say that it is the best meatloaf in this town,” Moore said. “I even have older ladies tell me how good it is, so if they tell me, I know it’s good.” The name Newton Gang’s Getaway was inspired by the history of the building.
“The Newton Gang robbed this bank in 1924,” Moore said. “They blew the vault door through the wall, into the street and money followed after it. They got out of here with about $30,000.” The robbery inspired more than the name of the restaurant. “Steve McQueen and Ally McGraw filmed The Getaway here, thus the name Newton Gang’s Getaway,” Moore said. “It’s got a lot of history. We’ve got three vaults in the building. Two of them are renovated for service.” Moore also mentioned the banquet hall that seats 60 people. He said it is free as long as his food is being eaten. Newton’s recently received their liquor license, and Amanda Raynor, bartender, said she was really happy.
“When I walked in and saw all the liquor, I was like ‘It’s Christmas time!’” Raynor said. “I’ve basically been tending glasses until now.” Robert Radford, front house manager, said he mainly schedules and orders supplies, along with hiring the wait staff. “Whenever I look for someone, (they have to have) at least a year or two of experience waiting tables,” Radford said. “(You have to be) outgoing, always smiling, good with the customers and (being) able to multitask is a big thing.” Newton’s will be offering $1 margaritas 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Newton’s will be open until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, offering a special late night menu. “Gary is known for his breakfasts, so it’s a big deal,” Raynor said.
Lindsey Goldstein/Star photo GETAWAY: Newton Gang’s Getaway opened Aug. 17, replacing the location of Hill Country Bar and Grill.
Calendar Wednesday A Closer Look: Jeff Dell, All day, Mitte Introducing Rose Newton, Claudia Roeschmann and Jason Reed, All day, Mitte Thursday A Closer Look: Jeff Dell, All day, Mitte Introducing Rose Newton, Claudia Roeschmann and Jason Reed, All day, Mitte Ensemble Series: Sarinda String Quartet Recital, 8 p.m., Music Building Friday Texas State Black and Latino Playwrights Conference, 7:30 p.m., Theatre Center Saturday Texas State Black and Latino Playwrights Conference, 2 p.m., Theatre Center Texas State Black and Latino Playwrights Conference, 7:30 p.m., Theatre Center Sunday Texas State Black and Latino Playwrights Conference, 2 p.m., Theatre Center In the Company of Sinners and Saints, 4 p.m., Alkek Teaching Theatre Student Recital Series: Justin Janish Senior Percussion Recital, 4 p.m., Music Building Texas State Black and Latino Playwrights Conference, 7:30 p.m., Theatre Center In the Company of Sinners and Saints, 8 p.m., Alkek Teaching Theatre
Possible ‘chupacabra’ makes its way to Hill Country By Colleen Gaddis Features Reporter
Call it what you will — the Mexican Bigfoot, Xolo, coyote or chupacabra — something strange turned up in Hill Country. Lynn Butler brought the strange corpse of what some call a chupacabra into the Blanco Taxidermy School, after he found it lifeless outside his cousin’s barn. Butler, student of the taxidermy school, laid out poison in the barn, hoping to take care of whatever had been terrorizing his cousin’s chickens. He thought it to be a raccoon or possum, but instead found something out of Texas myth and legend. “Chupacabra” roughly trans-
lates to “goat sucker,” and has been a legendary tale in Mexico and the surrounding areas for centuries. The animal supposedly terrorizes small livestock by sucking their blood and leaving the carcasses behind. The legend of the chupacabra originates in Puerto Rico and has become a prevalent part of Texas myth over the years. “I don’t know what it is ... I do know I have an odd animal ... I don’t believe in the chupacabra,” said Jerry Ayer, owner of the Blanco Taxidermy School, in a CNN interview. “Some believe the creature is a Xolo, a dog native to Mexico and Central America, and was once idolized by the Aztecs as a companion, guardian, food source and source of healing powers. The
Xolo comes in the hairy and hairless variety, greatly resembling the recent mythological find. Others think the unknown creature is a coyote or a mutation of a coyote.” Michael Forstner, professor in the biology department, said he and several of his students conducted DNA tests on a similar corpse found last year in Cuero. They have a group of more than six animals like the alleged chupacabra, as well as two they tested and proved to be coyotes. Its longer nose and lack of hair could be explained by parasites, malnutrition or crossbreeding with other wild canines. “I am more than reasonably confident the animals are going to turn out to be coyote,” Forstner said.
Perhaps the animal is an elaborate hoax, or a whole new species altogether. “People will go to odd lengths to find fame, fortune and notoriety — or simply to play a practical joke,” said Kerrie Lewis, assistant professor in the anthropology department. The truth of this Texas myth waits in the biology labs including the University of Texas and University of California-Davis. “Speciation, the emergence of a new species, generally happens over a long period of time ... I don’t think speciation occurred at all within the past 30 years,” Lewis said. “Could a brand new species have appeared from, say, a coyote? My answer would be ‘no.’”
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The University Star - 7
c ro s s w o rd FOR RELEASE APRIL 30, 2009
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Lewis
By Dan Naddor
DOWN 1 “Batman” blow 2 Cockamamie 3 Initiates action 4 Deadpan Stein 5 Assayer’s substance 6 Union station? 7 McCain, e.g.: Abbr. 8 Pond organism 9 Snake oil salesman 10 Really dig 11 Enter again 12 Where the action is 15 1% alternative 19 Like some highlighted text: Abbr. 21 Paris possessive 25 Received 26 Wine bouquet 30 Slugger Mel 31 Song spelled with arm motions 32 Composer Khachaturian 33 USPS delivery 34 Q.E.D. part 36 Dash
Tuesday’s Puzzle Solved Wednesday’s
(c)2009 Tribune Media Servies, Inc.
37 Feminine suffix 38 __-dokey 41 “Xanadu” rock gp. 43 Ancient Italian 44 Corporate VIP 45 Norway’s patron 49 Rand McNally staff 50 Co-pay, for instance 51 Tolkien henchmen
53 M.’s counterpart 55 1970 Poitier title role 56 Talk show giant 57 Flora’s partner 59 Hankerings 60 Red suit wearer 61 Ham it up 62 Uncertain 64 Transmitted 68 Crow family bird 69 Seoul soldier
ACROSS 1 Supplies case 4 Grille cover 7 African hot spot 13 Santa __ winds 14 Rock band with a fishy name 16 One that got away 17 LPGA star Se Ri __ 18 *“Unforgettable” singer 20 Fit for drafting 22 Pace 23 Goodyear’s home 24 *Cold War European 27 Nintendo rival 28 Any day now 29 Spoils 31 *1940s-’60s Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback 35 Den music setup 39 G.I. food in a plastic pouch 40 *Branch source 42 *Florida city near Fort Myers 46 Reno-to-Boise dir. 47 Heineken brand 48 *House speaker before Newt Gingrich 52 Wander 54 Gaseous: Pref. 55 Vegan’s purchase 58 *Covered with black dots 63 Bridge call 65 Spring 66 Formal intro? 67 *1976 Olympic decathlon champ 70 Soft shoe, briefly 71 Fruit in a split 72 Houston pro, to fans 73 Word that homophonically forms a familiar word when attached to the end of the answer to each starred clue 74 Crude cabin 75 “Shoot!” 76 “L.A. Law” actress
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Sports 8 - The University Star
COURSE CHANGE The Texas State men’s and women’s cross country teams were set to compete at the Texas A&M Invite Saturday in College Station. However, the meet was canceled because of rain and the teams competed at the Brazos Valley Open, an impromptu meet put together by five schools, in College Station. The women’s team placed third while the men’s team finished fifth in the meet. The Bobcats will compete Oct. 3 at the Cowboy Jamboree in Stillwater, Okla.
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Bobcats defeat Cougars in cat fight By Eric Harper Sports Reporter The Texas State volleyball team returned to action Tuesday against Houston at Strahan Coliseum. The Bobcats defeated the Cougars 3-1. Texas State started out slow in the first set, falling behind 9-3. Houston took over with six straight points and went on to take set one 25-19 after battling back and trailing by 1 at 15-14. Texas State hit .108 in the first set which featured eight errors. AJ Watlington, junior right side hitter, said the Bobcats’ issue in the first set was they were not fully engaged in the match from the beginning. “We came out unfocused,” Watlington said. The Bobcats had more success in the second set, opening with a 9-3 run to force a Cougar timeout. Texas State held Houston at bay for the remainder of the set, eventually taking it 25-9. The attack for the Bobcats in the second set yielded better results than in the first with the team hitting .357 and making just two errors. The Bobcats were able to hold the Cougars to a .000 attack percentage and limited Houston to five kills for the set. The third set was decided by the closest margin of the evening with Texas State winning 25-22. The set had five ties, including a deadlock at 18, before the Bobcats
pulled away. The teams were nearly even on the attack with the Cougars narrowly outhitting the Bobcats .276 to .273. The Cougars attempted to take control early in the fourth set by opening with a 4-0 lead. The Bobcats battled back to tie it at five and went on to open up a 15-11 lead. After a Cougar timeout, the Bobcats held on to take the set 25-18, clinching the match. The Bobcats hit .343 with 15 kills to three errors in the final set. Texas State had three players reach double-digit kills and recorded 58 as a team for the match. Mo Middleton, junior outside hitter, led the Bobcats with 18 kills. Jessica Weynand, senior outside hitter, and Watlington each had 10 kills. Caleigh McCorquodale, freshman setter, and Brittany Collins, senior setter, helped set up the attack with 18 and 20 assists, respectively. Coach Karen Chisum said the first set marked the most disappointing performance by her team this season. Chisum said she was thankful the Bobcats found a way to turn the set around. “We didn’t come ready to Allie Moncrief/Star Photo play,” Chisum said. “I was harder on the girls after that WINNING SHOT: Shelbi Irvin, junior setter, hits the ball at Tuesday’s game against Houston in Strahan Coliseum. set than I have been so far, but thankfully they joined us.” Watlington said the Bobcats “I think we were scared to can’t be all one outside hitter,” match against Texas A&M and The win puts the Bobcats at told themselves after the first make more mistakes and got Chisum said. “It was nice to was anxious to get back on 4-8 for the season. The team that they had to play better a little tense in the first set.” see us have three players with the court. will head north to take on and not worry about making Chisum was pleased to see double-digit kills. Also, our “We were excited to play Southern Methodist, William more mistakes. the balanced attack her ofsetters played well.” again,” Watlington said. “I & Mary and Syracuse at the “We just said, ‘Let’s turn fense put forth. Watlington said Texas State think we were still hungry afSMU Tournament Friday and this around,’” Watlington said. “It was major. Our offense had not forgotten its previous ter losing to Texas A&M.” Saturday in Dallas.
Bobcat football makes nutrition team effort By Keff Ciardello Sports Reporter Brian Lilly, redshirt freshman linebacker, sits down at Jones Dining Hall to enjoy a hearty meal after a hard day on the practice field. “(A) barbecue chicken sandwich, sausage, pickles, corn on the cob, water and a Powerade,” Lilly said as he stared at his plate. “This is a good meal for after practice mainly
because there aren’t any fried foods here — just good food.” Lilly, along with other athletes, knows how important his diet is, considering the physical shape he must be in to perform on the field. David Gish, the trainer for the football team, understands the importance of a proper diet as well. “Nutrition is huge,” Gish said. “Ever since Coach (Brad) Wright took over, he has put a
huge emphasis on the players’ nutrition and diet. We do have a set menu for the pre-game meal and just try to educate (the players) and hope they make good choices.” The coaching staff provided the players with three meals a day during training camp. A team breakfast has been mandated now that the season has begun. The players are encouraged to eat breakfast from 7 to 8 a.m. at Harris Din-
ing Hall five times a week. Gish said these scheduled meals have positively affected the team’s performance in practice. “I feel it has reduced our injuries and definitely has reduced our cramping,” Gish said. “It also helps (the players) from losing too much weight during the season because a lot of guys lose weight (with) of all the calories they are burning.”
Lilly sees the importance of the mandatory breakfast meetings and does not mind attending them, despite having to wake up early in the morning. “Most guys have an 8 a.m. (class) anyway, so nobody really minds,” Lilly said. “During training camp, I had to have some IVs put in me because I was sweating so much I was cramping up. You see a lot of guys cramping
up especially because of this heat. We just have to keep ourselves hydrated and we’ll be alright.” After years of watching his body, Lilly has learned how to properly take care of himself. “I don’t really know what it does, but the pickles will help keep you hydrated and help to stop cramping,” Lilly said. “Sometimes at halftime, during games, we’ll get some pickle juice.”
‘Exciting’ NFL season awaits
By Joseph O. Garcia Sports Columnist People like to make predictions about what the NFL season will be like after one week of games. I am one of those people. After week one, this is what I think I know: It looks as though the Pittsburgh Steelers are poised to defend their title and the Tennessee Titans look good enough to compete with them. I know Troy Polamanu was injured in the game, but the Steelers’ defense will hold up fine until he comes back. The Titans look like the physical team they were last year and I look for them to make a playoff run as well. Adrian Peterson is still the best running back on the planet, having future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre to give him the ball only makes Peterson and the team better. The Vikings’ offense is full of weapons, but the defense will carry them to the playoffs. Recently, a Minnesota court ruled defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams, whose suspensions were pending as a result of testing positive for a banned substance, are eligible to play the entire season. I look for the Vikings to make a deep playoff run with Williams and Williams on the defensive line — if Favre’s arm holds up.
The Dallas Cowboys don’t need Terrell Owens to have explosive plays on offense. Tony Romo had a career-record day against a tough Tampa Bay defense, passing for 353 yards and three touchdowns. Explosive plays came from Miles Austin on a 42-yard touchdown, Roy Williams on a 66-yard touchdown and Patrick Crayton on an 80-yard touchdown. Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints looked incredible on offense. Granted they played the lowly Detroit Lions at home, but nonetheless, this year could be the one in which Brees breaks Dan Marino’s single-season passing record of 5,084 yards. At least rookie Matthew Stafford looked promising for the Lions’ future. The Eagles versus Panthers game yielded a few interesting notes. Jake Delhomme looks turnover-prone. In his last two games he has turned the ball over 11 times. The Panthers are always a team with playoff potential, but if Delhomme’s turnovers become a trend, they won’t be. However, the biggest story of the game was the injury Donovan McNabb suffered on a three-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. McNabb’s status is uncertain for the Eagles’ game against the New Orleans Saints Sept. 20 because of a broken rib. Matt Ryan, new weapon Tony Gonzalez and the Atlanta Falcons looked like contenders in the NFC. They beat last year’s AFC East Champions, the Miami Dolphins, 19-7 Sunday. Their defense has improved and Ryan now has a full season
under his belt. Osi Umenyiora’s return to the New York Giants means the team has one of the best defensive lines in the league. He returned to action in a big way after missing all of last season because of a knee injury. On one play in the second quarter, he sacked Jason Campbell, forcing a fumble, recovered and returned it for a touchdown — the NFL’s version of the triple play. Chicago Bears fans can’t feel too happy after Sunday night’s game against the Green Bay Packers. New quarterback for the Bears, Jay Cutler, threw a career-high four interceptions in the 21-15 loss. The bigger loss, however, is of linebacker and captain Brian Urlacher. He will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery Monday to repair a dislocated wrist he suffered in the first half. Tom Brady’s return was not as smooth as desired for Patriots fans. He struggled in his first game back in more than 50 weeks. However, New England managed to win the game 2524 against a much-improved Buffalo Bills team. Finally, the play of the week comes from the Broncos versus Bengals game. Trailing by one with 27 seconds left, a tipped Kyle Orton pass somehow found the hands of wide receiver Brandon Stokley, who went 87 yards for the gamewinning touchdown, giving the Broncos a 12-7 victory. Overall, I think this NFL season will be hold plenty of surprises and be exciting for all fans to enjoy. I know I’ll enjoy this season.