HE’S SO MONEY
FISTS OF BAKER
SEE TRENDS PAGE 6
SEE SPORTS PAGE 10
Jon Favreau talks about his new sci-ﬁ ﬁlm at its Drafthouse premiere
This ’Cat is fast as lightning
TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY SAN MARCOS
OCTOBER 12, 2005
VOLUME 95, ISSUE 20
ASG rep presents legislation to Mayor’s Council on Student Affairs By Kathy Martinez News Reporter AUSTIN — The Mayor’s Council on Student Affairs held its ﬁrst press conference to discuss the new Student Commission to the Mayor Will Wynn of Austin. Representatives of Texas State’s Associated Student Government, along with representatives from other universities including Austin Community College, Concordia University, St. Edwards University and The University of Texas at Austin will serve as ambassadors to relay student opinion on a variety of is-
sues directly to Wynn. ASG Chief Political Advisor Jude Prather was appointed by ASG President Jordan Anderson to serve on the council for Texas State. Prather said his role is to serve as the voice for Texas State commuters living in the greater Austin area. “A large percentage of our student body commutes from Austin to Texas State everyday,” said Prather, public administration junior. Prather said one of the most important issues for the commuter population at Texas State is transportation. “Because Interstate Highway 35 is
one of the most congested highways in America and the cost of commuting has become quite overwhelming, it’s time we started looking into other alternatives,” Prather said. ASG recently passed legislation in support of the construction of an Austin-San Antonio commuter rail that was presented to Wynn. Wynn said he was impressed by the idea and agreed that both the San Marcos and Austin area could only beneﬁt from a commuter rail system. “It is obviously a critical long term project, but it’s another way to broaden the geographic reach,” Wynn said.
BOO! HE’S ALL FUN ... AND MONEY
Wynn also pointed to the number of Austinites who commute to San Marcos. “Having such a large number of residents attending Texas State undoubtedly adds an additional perspective to the Austin area,” Wynn said. Another issue Prather said Texas State wants to address through the council is student voter registration numbers. “Getting our student population to register to vote is imperative regardless of whether students reside in Kyle, Round Rock or Austin,” Prather said. The council also has plans to investi-
Commissioners Court discusses future plans for area transportation By Courtney Addison News Reporter
Tiffany Searcy/Star photo With Halloween approaching, many San Marcos apartment complexes are holding door-decorating contests. This door in the Autumn Chase complex could win up to $100 for its decor.
Proposition 6 could make San Marcos bike-friendly By Isadora Vail-Castro News Reporter Bicyclists and pedestrians in San Marcos may breathe a sigh of relief as they commute, workout or travel. Proposition 6, which will be on the ballot for the Nov. 8 election, is the primary project of San Marcos’s Transportation Master Plan. The plan would add what some believe are much-needed bike and pedestrian lanes to major roads, which the city is currently lacking. The ﬁrst of these new bike and pedestrian lanes would be from Aquarena Springs Drive to Sessom Drive. Others will include Academy Street on Ranch Road 12 to Craddock Avenue and a passageway to one side of In-
terstate 35 to the other alongside the frontage road. Ashley McNabb, geography graduate student, said San Marcos lacks bicycle infrastructure. She said she has ridden her bike to school for years and thinks town is beautiful, but some intersections are horrible. “The Aquarena project was set by priority by the engineers of the master plan,” said Tom Wassenich, president for Bike San Marcos. “It is the most needed and would be the most used.” Bike San Marcos, a non-proﬁt organization, was started in 2001 as an email group to keep cyclists connected. Within the ﬁrst year, Bike San Marcos had drawn out maps of where there should be bike routes and provided the city with proposed maps that would
also cater to students’ needs. According to Newsweek magazine, there are were about 19 million bicycles sold in the United States last year and that number is expected to rise because of gasoline prices. Gasoline prices rose to a record $3 this year and are not expected to go down. “I think more people, students and citizens will start riding their bikes,” said Matt Akins, nutrition senior. “They will also have less dependency on their cars.” Wassenich has struggled for four years to have Proposition 6 on the voting ballot. Since this is the ﬁrst year the city will have voting in November instead of See BICYCLES, page 4
Debate on the approval of Work Authorization No. 24 for the Hays County’s Pass-Through Financing Program Development with the Texas Department of Transportation Commission overwhelmed the Hays County Commissioners’ Court meeting Tuesday morning. Discussion regarding the possible approval of the work authorization generated some disagreement among the commissioners, due to concerns for more information, which would be provided after the court approved the revision. The pass-through toll proposal hopes to improve various state highways from U.S. Highway 290 and Ranch Road 12 to Farm Road 1626 and FM 967. The application of the program plans to decrease congestion and trafﬁc safety issues along with expediting existing projects that lack funding. Commissioner Susie Carter, 2nd Precinct, expressed some concern for the lack of speciﬁc information regarding the approval. “This is such a big thing. This warrants a workshop where we’re all informed, and we’re all participating in the process,” Carter said. “We need to know right now or the minute we start contemplating this, exactly how much TxDOT is willing to pay back and when.” County Judge Jim Powers afﬁrmed Carter’s doubts, but pointed out the need for the agreement before any answers could be given. “To try to answer those questions prior to having an agreement is kind of ridiculous. We can’t get there. We have to at least have something ﬁrst from TxDOT in order to get TxDOT
Texas State professor’s Rising textbook prices geographic profiling push students to seek method used worldwide book-buying alternatives By Isadora Vail-Castro News Reporter
gerprints or DNA have always been studied. According to EnTexas State provironmental Crimifessor Kim Rossmo nology Research Inc. does not believe in Web site, geographic destiny but does beproﬁling is “an inlieve in probability. vestigative methRossmo invented odology that uses geographic proﬁling, the locations of a an investigative stratconnected series of egy that he said covcrimes to determine ers the one point of the most probable a criminal investigaarea of offender resiKim Rossmo tion that has always dence. It is generbeen overlooked: the ally applied in cases offender and the victim had of serial murder, rape, arson to come together in both time and robbery, though it can and space. Other elements of See PROFILING, page 4 a crime such as ballistics, ﬁn-
Partly Cloudy 87˚/ 64˚
Precipitation: 20% Humidity: 64% UV: 8 Very High Wind: ENE 5 mph
gate ways to increase economic development to attract graduate students to continue living within the Austin-San Marcos corridor. “This commission will be instrumental in promoting a positive dialogue between the City of Austin and the various universities surrounding it,” Anderson said. He said ASG was also interested in conferring about transit options further. “We especially look forward to discussing light rail and it beneﬁts to students in the greater Austin area,” Anderson said.
By Emily Messer News Reporter The history, economy and value of the college textbook are lessons college students can’t ﬁnd in the pages of their books. College students and their families spent more than $6 billion on new and used textbooks during the 2003-2004 academic year, according to a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Ofﬁce. During that year, the GAO also estimated that the average ﬁrst-time, full-time student spent an average of $898 on books and supplies, a price that has risen an average of 6 percent since academic year 1987-1988.
Friday Mostly Sunny Temp: 89°/ 60° Precipitation: 20%
See TRANSPORTATION, page 4
A ‘ROSEY’ AFFAIR
Tomomi Shibata, a foreign exchange student from Japan and undeclared freshman, said she found the price of her textbooks to be too expensive. Shibata’s new Spanish book Puntos de partida, cost her more than $150 she said, and included supplements such as an online laboratory manual and workbook. “I don’t think I need it,” Shibata said about the extras. “(They add them) to make you pay more.” Shibata said she did not understand why college textbooks in the United States were more expensive than Japanese text-
Spencer Millsap/Star photo Texans for Lawsuit Reform President Richard J. Trabulsi Jr. presented state Rep. Patrick Rose, DDripping Springs, with the TLR Lone Star Statesman Award during a ceremony Tuesday afternoon.
See TEXTBOOKS, page 4
Two-day Forecast Thursday Isolated T-Storms Temp: 89°/ 62° Precipitation: 30%
to respond,” Powers said. “I feel that this is a way, not just in the precincts but as a countywide project, this is something that needs to be done and done efﬁciently and quickly.” Commissioner Will Conley, 3rd Precinct, pointed out the steps in approving the revision were part of a statewide procedure, not a county process. Conley also noted the importance of the revision as a beginning step within a process. “If you don’t want to go along with the process, then we won’t have any improvements on state roads, it’s that simple,” Conley said. “Without this agenda item today, we have nothing to discuss in a workshop.” Carter continued to seek more speciﬁc information about the plans within the work authorization regarding the development of revenue bond ﬁnancing, before the court made a decision. “Can we get some of those answers before we decide if this is the route we want to go?” Carter said. The court approved the item and reassured Carter that more information would come after the agreement. Authorization was also given to Powers to submit a grant application for up to $400,000 to the Community Health Services Section of the Texas Department of State Health Services. The grant would go toward assisting low-income Texans with their health and family planning goals, along with reducing poor pregnancy outcomes. Nick Icossipentarhos, the director of the Hays County Health Department and Southwest Texas State University alumnus, spoke on how the grant would enhance the services already provided along with being able to identify with a greater number of
TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY SAN MARCOS
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PAGE TWO The University Star
Wednesday in Brief
October 12, 2005
starsof texas state Mark Gimenez, a 1976 Southwest Texas State University alumnus, will celebrate the release his ﬁrst novel, The Color of Law, by Doubleday/Random House on Tuesday. After earning his Bachelor of Arts in political science with honors, Mr. Gimenez earned his law degree at the University of Notre Dame and hired on at a large Dallas law ﬁrm. He left the practice to pursue writing, a passion he developed at SWT. The Color of Money explores the inﬂuence of money in
the American justice system. Doubleday/Random House has 121,000 copies in print, and the novel will be published worldwide, with translation rights already sold in Turkey, Spain and the Netherlands. Mr. Gimenez lives outside Fort Worth with his wife and two sons, but they plan to return soon to the Hill Country. The Star congratulates Mr. Gimenez on his ﬁrst novel and wishes him continued success pursuing his passion for writing.
News Contact — Kirsten Crow, email@example.com
River Systems Institute hosts Flows for Future water conference
EVENTS Clubs & Meetings Wednesday ACOA/Dysfunctional Families Group will take place from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. For information or to sign up, call the Counseling Center at (512) 245-2208. Thursday Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship will hold its weekly meeting at 8:30 p.m. in Old Main, Room 320. Enjoy contemporary worship, relevant teaching, prayer and plenty of fun. Everyone is welcome. Contact (512) 557-7988, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org Sunday Higher Ground LutheranEpiscopal Campus Ministry meets at 6:15 p.m. at St. Mark’s Church for a light supper, followed by Holy Communion at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome.
Events Wednesday American Marketing Association will have speaker Bruce Guthrie, vice president of the San Antonio Spurs, at 5:30 p.m. in the LBJSC, Room 3-14.1. Business casual dress is recommended. Thursday FREE Writing Center Workshop: Reading with a Writer’s Eye - What Can You Steal? will take place from 4 to 5 p.m. For more information, contact the Writing Center at (512) 245-3018.
Saturday Neely Voice Studio Recital will take place at 3 p.m. in the recital hall. Free admission. Monday FREE Writing Center Workshop: The 20 Most Common Errors in College Papers will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. in Flowers Hall, Room G09. For more information, contact The Writing Center at (512) 2453018. Guitar studio will take place at 6 p.m. in the recital hall. Free admission. Tuesday “Attaining Contentment” An educational series will take place from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. at the LBJSC, Room 3-6.1. Wednesday Republic Beverage Company will hold interviews for sales representative in the LBJSC, Suite 5-7.1. For more information, contact LaTonya Croskey. CALENDAR SUBMISSION POLICY Calendar submissions are free. Send submissions to Calendar of Events at email@example.com, or call (512) 245-3487 for more information. E-mailed press releases will not be accepted. If using e-mail, please submit as a simple bulleted list of essential information. Submissions are on a ﬁrst come, ﬁrst served basis and notices for weekly meetings need to be submitted every week they will take place. The University Star reserves the right to refuse entries or edit for libel, style and space purposes. Deadline: Three working days prior to publication.
Danny Rodriguez/Star photo Sports and leisure management graduate student Eric Simmons and nutrition senior Stephanie Gonzales ﬁnd cover from the rain while waiting at the tram stop on Bobcat Trail on Tuesday morning.
CRIME BL TTER University Police Department Oct. 7, unknown hours Theft: Less than $1,500/ Jackson Hall A student reported to a police ofﬁcer that around Sept. 30 his personal property had been stolen from his room. This case is under investigation. Oct. 7, 10:55 p.m. Possession of Marijuana/ Admissions Building parking lot A student reported to a police ofﬁcer that three individuals were engaged in suspicious activity. Upon further investigation, three
students were arrested for possession of marijuana and transported to Hays County Law Enforcement Center to await magistration. San Marcos Police Department Oct. 10, 11:55 a.m. Grafﬁti/1301 Highway 123 Grafﬁti of an educational facility. Oct. 10, 6:10 p.m. Warrant Service/ 625 E. Hopkins St. Three subjects were arrested for public intoxication and warrants in the 600 block of East Hopkins Street.
Crime stoppers: UPD: 245-7867, SMPD: 353-TIPS
WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES On the Opinions page of Tuesday’s Star, the letter to the editor “Distinctive Voice defender speaks out” by Timothy Wright may have been confusing because it was printed without a note explaining to what the author was referring. The letter was intended as a rebuttal to Robert Crump’s letter to the editor, printed Oct. 4, which called for the elimination of Abby Minica’s “Distinctive Voices” column in the Trends section of Wednesday issues.
The River Systems Institute will convene Flows for the Future: 2005 Environmental Flows Conference on Oct. 31 through Nov. 2 at Texas State. As part of the institute’s water conference series, this conference will integrate scientiﬁc research and technology, management strategies and policy development to address the need for frameworks of cooperation, knowledge and technology transfer and management and policy to address environmental ﬂow issues. Texas freshwater resources have been overallocated and will continue to be appropriated to meet the growing demands of water needs in Texas. With the diversion of these freshwater resources over the next decade, the loss in adequate freshwater ﬂows will compromise the integrity of Texas springs, rivers, coastal bays and estuaries. A variety of efforts have been carried out by many organizations to ﬁnd a balance in meeting Texas water needs and protecting these systems through study programs, legislative proposals, permit applications and water resource planning. However, frameworks for determining ﬂow needs, planning applications for meeting future water needs and ensuring adequate ﬂows to Texas rivers, bays and estuaries are still lacking. The conference agenda consists of three days of plenary sessions, panel discussion and continuing education courses, and is designed to meet the interests of the water resources community, policy makers, water resource managers, government ofﬁcials, stakeholders and interest groups. Plenary talks will be presented by leaders in the ﬁelds of water science and policy and will include representatives from the Texas state legislature. Co-sponsorship and agenda development have been provided through collaborative efforts of a number of governmental and nonproﬁt agencies and education and research institutions including Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority and the San Antonio River Authority. For a complete agenda and registration information, visit www.rivers.txstate.edu, or contact the River Systems Institute at (512) 245-9200 or via e-mail at ﬂowscon firstname.lastname@example.org. — Courtesy of Media Relations
STUDENT HEAL TH CENTER
Need a prescription? To transfer a prescription from your family doctor or pharmacy call (512)245-3590.
“At the Student Health Center I get super fast prescription service and there is virtually no wait.”
We carry a wide range of products including birth control, allergy, and over-the-counter medications. Be prepared to provide the following information from your prescription label: • Your name, address and phone number • The name and phone number of your previous pharmacy • The prescription number • The name of the medication We accept Cash, Checks, American Express, Visa, Mastercard, and Bobcat Bucks.
Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Car e, Inc
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
The University Star - Page 3
President, first lady fire back at Miers’ critics Vigils, protests held By David Jackson The Dallas Morning News WASHINGTON — The White House ﬁred back at conservative critics of Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers on Tuesday, with ﬁrst lady Laura Bush suggesting sexism may underlie the opposition. “People are not looking at her accomplishments,” Laura Bush said during an interview on NBC’s Today Show. Conservatives who challenged Miers’ nomination said it has to do with qualiﬁcations, not gender, and that the White House is not making its task any easier by suggesting otherwise. President Bush and the ﬁrst lady said Miers broke the “glass ceiling” on her way up the legal ladder, and that she shares the president’s conservative approach to the judiciary. “The person I know is not the kind of person that is going to change her philosophy,” said Chuck Kennedy/KRT photo the president, who appeared on the interview with his wife. White House Counsel Harriet Miers, President Bush’s nominee to serve as an associate “And her philosophy is that she justice on the Supreme Court, meets with Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., on Thursday in is not going to legislate from his ofﬁce on Capitol Hill. the bench.” When the interviewer said, concerns. “My answer is Harriet Miers “some are suggesting there’s Coats said some critics may is going to be conﬁrmed and a little possible sexism in the be thinking of previous Repub- people will get to see why I criticism of Judge Miers,” Laulican nominees who turned out put her on the bench,” he said. ra Bush replied: “That’s posto be more liberal on the bench, “She’s an extraordinary womsible.” making apparent references to an.” Conservatives have bristled justices Sandra Day O’Connor Laura Bush, meanwhile, notat that suggestion. They noted and David Souter. ed that Miers became the ﬁrst that activist organizations have In one interview, Coats said woman to lead a major Dallas promoted the candidacies of President Bush “has gone to law ﬁrm, the Dallas Bar Assoseveral female jurists, such great lengths to select some- ciation and the Texas Bar Assoas Texas-based appeals judgone he knows and has worked ciation. She has also served the es Priscilla Owen and Edith with, whereas in other cases Bush administration as staff Jones. they were recommendations to secretary and White House “How in the world do you the president; there wasn’t per- counsel. bring sexism into this?” said Jan sonal knowledge.” “In the conﬁrmation hear— President George Bush LaRue, chief counsel with ConPresident Bush, who with his ings alone, they’ll see what cerned Women for America, wife visited the New Orleans she’s like,” the ﬁrst lady said. which says it promotes “bibliarea to survey the Hurricane Both sides say they are lookcal values” and has declined to Miers through the Senate con- Katrina clean-up, said critics ing to Senate Judiciary Comendorse Miers’ nomination. ﬁrmation process, has made a may be anxious because Miers mittee conﬁrmation hearings, Former Sen. Dan Coats, R- string of television appearanc- comes from outside “the judi- expected to begin early next Ind., who is helping shepherd es, seeking to allay conservative cial monastery.” month.
y answer “M is Harriet Miers is going to be conﬁrmed and people will get to see why I put her on the bench. She’s an extraordinary woman.”
in hopes of bringing troops back home By Katherine Kennedy Special to The Star A small, dedicated group gathers every Wednesday at the San Marcos courthouse in support Cindy Sheehan and the soldiers who have given their lives in Iraq. Supporters hold homemade signs reading slogans including “Bring our troops home,” “Anything war can do, peace can do better,” “War, what is it good for?” and “Liar, liar, pants on ﬁre.” Many drivers honk in support as they pass the weekly vigils. Lisa Cradit, a mother of three who works at Texas Lutheran University, attends the weekly vigils as often as possible alongside approximately nine other San Marcos residents. “We are trying to ﬁnd a way out of Iraq,” Cradit said. “We feel that the best way to support our armed forces who are putting themselves in danger for us is to get them out of Iraq.” The vigils began Wednesday, Aug. 17, when hundreds of thousands of supporters gathered at 1,627 vigils nationwide to acknowledge Sheehan’s work. “It began as a one-time event, but it felt so good to participate in it the ﬁrst time that we kept doing it weekly,” said vigil participant Deborah Broadway. Supporters attend the vigils
to help people become aware of what is happening in America. “More people need to become aware that the administration is not being honest with us,” Cradit said. “People need to become more involved and pay more attention to our government.” According to Cradit, supporters feel that the war is unjustiﬁed and was started on false pretenses. “The media tries to downplay how many — Lisa Cradit people supvigil participant port Sheehan,” Cradit said. “It’s nice to see how many people actually are supporting her work and are against the war.” Vigil participants said there are many Sheehan supporters. Beverly Rodriguez supports Sheehan and marched with her in Washington D.C. “I marched in Austin when Cindy started her bus tour and I felt I had to go to Washington to make sure she had plenty of support,” Rodriguez said. “There were over 2,000 of us marching in Washington, and I wanted to continue supporting Sheehan in San Marcos.” Anyone is welcome to attend the weekly vigils. “All kinds of people attend, from teachers to clergy to lawyers from San Marcos,” Cradit said. “Everyone is welcome; the more, the better.”
eople need “P to become more involved and pay more attention to our government.”
Kashmir border keeps relatives separated after earthquake By Kim Barker Chicago Tribune TEETWAL, India —They used to live on the mountain just across the river valley, in mud houses and wooden ones, and they waved when they walked down the road and sometimes sent letters. But now, those houses are gone. Metal roofs have slid down the mountainside, and the mud houses have disappeared into the earthquake rubble. Gul Hassan Shah has no idea what happened to his cousins, even though they once lived within shouting distance. They might as well have lived thousands of miles from here, though. This river between two mountain ranges marks the de facto border of disputed Kashmir, and no one can simply cross it to see family members because it is heavily guarded. “They lived in the house next to the white house,” said Shah, who believes he is about 70, pointing across the valley to Pakistan-controlled Kashmir and what remained of a white house. “You can’t see it now, because it’s crushed. I don’t know where they are.” The mud house of Nishada Aziz’s uncle also collapsed into a pile of dirt. So did the one next door, where Shamshada Zamir’s aunt lived. All the villagers can do is look across the river from Teetwal, where their houses are also ruined, where people also died. The 7.6-magnitude earthquake that struck Saturday, with an epicenter in Pakistancontrolled Kashmir, has devastated this mountainous region, killing at least 23,000 in Pakistan and about 1,400 in India. But it’s also struck at the heart of a long-term conﬂict over the fate of this Himalayan territory, which both countries have
claimed since independence from Britain in 1947. The quake has been particularly hard on families separated for decades by conﬂict, unable to see each other without a lot of money, effort and time. On the India side of Kashmir, people have worried about their relatives on the Pakistan side. They can only wait for a telephone call or a letter, but neither is likely for a while, considering the destruction in Pakistan. Asmat Ara, who is about 35, sat in her family’s home in India’s Baramulla and cried about her 8-year-old daughter, Nayab, whose name means “something precious” in the Urdu language. Ara, who lives in Karachi, Pakistan, had tried to bring Nayab to see her family in India, but Nayab could not get permission to take the bus service, which started in April. So Ara left Nayab with relatives in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-held Kashmir, a city hit hard by the earthquake. “I want to meet my daughter,” said Ara, tears running down her face. “I don’t know where she is, what she is doing. I don’t know how she is and if she’s all right.” Another woman in Baramulla had been trying to take the bus over to Muzaffarabad to visit the grave of her mother, who died ﬁve months ago. She also never got government permission. On Sunday, Shamima Akhtar, 45, found out that her brother and sister-in-law died in the earthquake in Muzaffarabad. She was too distraught to even talk about it, fainting throughout the day. In the village of Teetwal, the reality of divided families hits home harder than in many places. Here, people can actually see their relatives, even if from afar.
rope pulley. Since the earthquake, Tariq has no idea what has happened to her father, who went to Pakistan as an Indian spy, ended up in jail and later was forced to join a militant Islamic group, family members said. “I’m terriﬁed because I want my father back,” said Tariq, 19. Mohammad Shaﬁ Manhas, — Asmat Ara 45, last saw his brother then. He sent dried coconuts on a earthquake survivor rope across the river and his brother sent back oranges. It was the ﬁrst time the two had In January 2004, many saw ever seen each other. them closer, after a parade for “I asked him how many chilIndia’s Republic Day led to a dren he had, and he said ﬁve,” spontaneous decision by Teet- Manhas said. “He asked how wal villagers to bring together many children I had. I said I relatives from both sides. Over had a boy, who was in school, a loudspeaker, the mosque and he was doing well.” called families to meet at the These meetings lasted for banks of the border river, called only a few days before both the Neelam in Pakistan and the governments stopped them, Kishanganga in India. although bulldozers started Word spread, and soon clearing the way for a new families from all over Kashmir meeting place, a bridge and a decided to meet on the sandy park, on the morning of the beaches. earthquake. Tariq Hussain Mir came from Manhas last heard about his Pakistan to see his daughter, brother three days before the Nahila Tariq, for the ﬁrst time earthquake. The letter said his in 10 years. He threw a rock brother was sick. across the river with a note on Then the earthquake struck, it to let her know he was there. and his brother’s village, a few She came and sent a chicken miles down the river, was deand clothes over to her father stroyed. in a wicker basket, hung on a “I know his house is bro-
want to see my daughter. I don’t know where she is, what she is doing. I don’t know how she is and if she’s all right.”
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ken, but we have no news from him,” Manhas said. When the earthquake hit, Manhas and his wife ran out of their house in Teetwal, which collapsed, ﬂattening even the pots and pans. Their only son, about 18, was out gathering ﬁrewood. He was buried in a landslide. That day and the next, Manhas and several villagers walked up and down the piles of rocks, shouting his son’s name: “Haﬁz,” “Haﬁz.” Finally, they heard a groan, and dug into the rubble and pulled out rock after rock
and found Haﬁz, breathing and talking. They grabbed a stretcher from an army soldier, who helped carry the boy up to the nearest clear road. They walked past landslides, past where the new blacktop road had been wiped off the mountainside, past the three crushed vehicles, past the home where eight bodies still lay in the rubble, past a halfdozen villages where no one had blankets or tents. They walked for two hours. Haﬁz complained he was cold. They couldn’t get help for him in time, and he died.
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Page 4 - The University Star
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
TRANSPORTATION: TEXTBOOKS: Online shopping appeals to students Pass-through tolls may n the last “I two decades, college textbook improve local roads prices have CONTINUED from page 1
books. “I’m going to use them for just a semester,” Shibata said. The average price of a new textbook is $52.36 and $40.01 for a used textbook, according to the National Association of College Stores’ Web site. The organization is working with the University Bookstore to determine buying trends and attitudes toward course material of college students. The University Star could not reach anyone with the NACS. The GAO report did not research or conclude if the price of textbooks would continue to incline. “In the conclusion, the report implies that unless something changes, we’re going to continue to see the same thing,” said Cornelius Ashby, director of education, workforce and income security for the GAO, of the annual increase in the price of textbooks. According to the report, the annual increase of 6 percent in college textbooks trails slowly behind the 7 percent annual increase of tuition and fees. “In the last two decades, college textbook prices have increased at twice the rate of inﬂation but have followed close behind tuition increases,” the report states. A large portion of each dollar spent for a new textbook is used to produce that book and bring it to the market, states NACS. One of the newest chap-
CONTINUED from page 1
& Burgess, Inc. for the court’s consideration. men and women. Carter, who has no relation “It has to do with prevention, to the ﬁrm, pointed out this was it has to do with education and not the ﬁrst time that the counit has to do ty has received more imporlittle interest tantly with from companies our ability to in its projects. reach out and “We shouldn’t forestall the just have a short mushroomlist,” Carter ing of misunsaid. derstanding Carter pointthat’s haped out other pening now,” ways of informIcossipentaring more comhos said. “It’s panies about — Susie Carter the project such a powerful commissioner, 2nd precinct as advertising tool for the county to in Austin, as a have.” way to let more Possible action in selecting companies have the chance an engineering ﬁrm to conduct participate in the project. a site analyst and trafﬁc study “For a better result, we should relating to the Hays County do it with a broader scope and Ofﬁce Complex was also dis- in a bigger world that we are accussed. Information was sent cessing,” Carter said. out to 27 engineering ﬁrms, The court passed the motion with only two responding with for developing a contract with proposals. The committee re- the ﬁrm. Approval was also viewed the two proposals and given for an agreement with the recommended that the Court city of San Marcos relating to authorize Commissioner Deb- Posey Road and for the adopbie Ingalsbe, 1st Precinct, to ne- tion of a fee schedule for the gotiate a contract with Carter Hays County Civic Center.
or a better “F result, we should do it with
a broader scope and in a bigger world that we are accessing.”
BICYCLES: Bond propositions for Nov. 8 include pedestrian lanes CONTINUED from page 1
May, Wassenich is worried that the voting number might not be equivalent to what it usually is in San Marcos. “Spreading the word of Proposition 6 is hard because San Marcos does not have a local television channel or a big media outlet,” he said. “Taxpayers will pay less than a cup of coffee a month for Proposition 6. That is about $5.37 a year,” Wassenich said. “The main reasons for Propo-
increased at twice the rate of inﬂation.”
—U.S. Government Accountability Ofﬁce report
ters of the textbook evolution is the growing trend of online bookstores or swaps that entice students by claiming to sell for less. Online stores such as SmartandBroke.com, Swapyourtextbooks.com and CheapestTextbooks.com target students looking to buy or sale used textbooks at a lower price than traditional campus bookstores. An estimated $268 million or 2.5 percent of textbook sales comes from online sales for college stores during 20032004, according to the 2005 College Store Industry Financial Report. Some professors at Texas State have opted to choose books they have authored in their lesson plans. Author of Statistics Unplugged and assistant professor of sociology, Sally Caldwell said she wrote the book out of her pure passion for statistics. The book is currently used at approximately 50 universities nationwide, including
the University of Wisconsin, Texas A&M and the University of California-Santa Barbara, Caldwell said. Caldwell said she uses her book in the statistics course she teaches at Texas State because her lectures come directly from the content. “It’s a portable Dr. Caldwell (the students) can take home,” Caldwell said of her textbook. Caldwell included that her main reason for writing the textbook was because of her interest in statistics. “I wrote the book because I’m passionate about the topic,” Caldwell said. “I would’ve written the book whether I’m teaching the course or not.” Some students said Caldwell’s book is helpful for the course because it’s so closely aligned with the curriculum, and is almost a word for word review of the lecture. “What she lectures on is exactly the way it is in the book,” Laura Moidel, mass communication junior said. “For me, that’s good.” Don Rainey, who teaches a rationale and principals of movement course at Texas State, uses the book he co-authored because he said it helps the large portion of his students who enter the teaching program and that it is a comprehensive approach to every aspect of health and ﬁtness. The book is widely used in public high schools, said Rainey. Rainey’s goal is that students can expand on the context of the content if they choose to enter the teach-
ing profession. Using the book for the hopes of proﬁt is not the goal of professors, Rainey said. “Any time you write a book, there’s a royalty,” Rainey said. “I’m not going to be able to retire on it.” Rainey, along with other professors who author a book, make a proﬁt of 4 or 5 percent of the price that a bookstore pays for the book, not the price that students pay for the book. With a class of 30 students per semester, Rainey would make approximately $50 to $60 from his textbook. Rainey said he asks for input from his students each semester, and said the feedback is mainly positive. “My perception is that they have a value in being able to keep the book,” Rainey said. The GAO shows the typical college textbook has different cycles it can go through in its lifetime. In a nutshell, the book is developed by the publisher, selected by the professor or instructor, distributed through the bookstore, purchased by the student, bought back by the bookstore and redistributed through the bookstore where it is sold at a reduced rate to the student. The student can also opt to keep the book or sell, trade or give the book to a friend or online purchaser. Bookstores can also sell used books to the wholesalers who redistribute books. When a new addition is released, the student cannot buy back from the bookstore.
PROFILING: Technology another tool for police CONTINUED from page 1
be used in single crimes (auto theft, burglary bombing, etc.) that involve multiple scenes or other signiﬁcant geographic characteristics.” Geographic proﬁling has become a strategy that is used worldwide and has been used to catch offenders in cases such as the D.C. Sniper who killed 10 and the Baton Rouge serial killer who killed ﬁve “ofﬁcial” victims. Both serial murderers were apprehended in 2002. Countries such as Canada, England and the United Kingdom have used geographic proﬁling in some cases. In 2003, Rossmo was named the ﬁrst research professor in the criminal justice department, and he leads research at the Texas State University Center for Geospatial Intelligence and Investigation. The center is now involved in researching border-crossing patterns by illegal immigrants on the Texas-Mexico border as well as insurgent immigration from Iraq. Also being researched are migratory bats and great white sharks along the African coast. Rossmo teaches a class on serial killers once a year as a service to Texas State and does not get paid. Quint Thurman, chair of the department of criminal justice
sition 6 are to help reduce the number of cars on the road, reduce the number of cars in large parking lots and to help people stay ﬁt. It will show visitors to our town that we are a healthy and vibrant community that is willing to spend money for quality of life and to reduce air pollution.” The estimated cost for Proposition 6 is $1.2 million and will take about ﬁve years to complete. Early voting begins Oct. 24 through Nov. 4. Election day is Nov. 8.
Better than hairballs.
had heard of his work and thought this was cutting-edge. I knew if we had him, our department would be ahead of other universities.”
—Quint Thurman criminal justice department chair
at Texas State, said Rossmo came to this school on his own grant and that the department could not have a better research professor, even though there are only six criminal justice research professors in the country. “I had heard of his work and thought this was cutting edge,” Thurman said. “I knew if we had him our department would be ahead of other universities.” In May, a class used geographic proﬁling at Texas State not for the apprehension of serial killers but for the capture of perpetrators of arson, burglary, robbery and theft crimes. The idea of using geographic proﬁling to arrest perpetrators of these crimes has since been exported to Sweden, the United Kingdom and other countries. The geographic proﬁling strategy was part of Rossmo’s graduate project at Simon Fraser University, where he got his doctorate in criminology. Thurman said this strategy was also developed as Rossmo stud-
ied lions in the wild and how they hunted their prey. “Two of my professors in Vancouver developed a model of crime pattern theory where they found the offender’s work, play and travel routes or noncriminal activities (after the crime was committed),” Rossmo said. “And I wondered if you could just turn the model around.” Rossmo said most crimes happen in areas an offender is familiar with because of their noncriminal activities and the accuracy of the strategy varies depending on the stretch of land to be investigated. “(Accuracy) depends on the proportion of area searched before the offender is found,” Rossmo said. “If 10 miles are searched, and we get the offender in one mile, then that is a 10 percent accuracy rate. The smaller the number, the better.” “There is more accuracy when the target isn’t moving, such as a building, compared to
people who do move,” Rossmo said. “You can’t solve a crime with (geographic proﬁling), but you can make the investigation more affective and efﬁcient.” Another reason for the strategy is to help with police overload. Rossmo was a policeman for 21 years in Vancouver and worked on many different areas like organized crime intelligence, crime prevention and emergency response. Thurman said police have the ability to organize data in order to catch the offender with the geographic proﬁling technique. “People may think that a smart criminal will escape the system, but most are just lucky,” Thurman said. “We need every technique to catch them. A lot of crimes are serial in nature, but we can use geographic proﬁling for other crimes if we get more people involved.” The three main software programs for geographic proﬁling are Rigel, CrimeStat and Dragnet. Not everyone can use these programs automatically. If a police department needs help with a case, a specialist can be brought in or they can get trained in the software. “I think that geographic proﬁling is an example of how academic criminology is being used to develop operational tools being used in police practice,” Rossmo said.
BOBCAT FOOTBALL TEXAS STATE
Sat., Oct. 15 at 6 pm
Congratulations to the Bobcat Fanatics anatics for winning $250 in the “Pack It In” Contest. zation could win $250 for just being Your organization ation up on the Ultimate Fans. Sign your organization Saturday at the student entrance (Gate 4). Texas State Athletics...The Gold Standard.
TEXAS STATE ID! PRESENTED
OPINIONS THE UNIVERSITY STAR
quoteof the day
Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - Page 5
“New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast have always been known for gambling, sin and wickedness. It is the kind of behavior that ultimately brings the judgment of God.”
— Alabama state Sen. Hank Erwin about why hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast. (Source: The Birmingham News)
Opinions Contact — Joe Ruiz, email@example.com
THE MAIN POINT
Students have chance to weigh in on election issues before Nov. 8 In a little less than four weeks, San Marcos and Hays County registered voters will go to the polls to decide one seat on the City Council as well as a number of local bond issues and amendments to the Texas Constitution. The University Star is preparing an election guide that is due to come out the week before the Nov. 8 election. What we need is your input. We are currently making attempts to have all four candidates for City Council sit in front of The Star’s editorial board to discuss the respective candidate’s platforms and thoughts on issues affecting both the citizens of San Marcos and the students of Texas State. By speaking with the candidates in person, we hope to ask both the questions on our minds and any questions that our readers may have. If you have any questions for the candidates, we ask that you to please e-mail them to us so that we can consider them for the respective candidates. Three candidates, incumbent Bill Taylor, Texas State faculty member Maurice “Moe” Johnson and alumnus and former Associated Student Government Vice President Christopher Jones, are all running for Place 4 while Daniel Guerrero is running unopposed for Place 3 after he was elected to a one-year term in 2004 to ﬁll the seat vacated by Mayor Susan Narvaiz. The difference between San Marcos’ City Council and others is that the members of City Council serve at-large, which means the members represent the entire city rather than speciﬁc geographic areas within the city. Also on the ballot are six bond propositions totaling more than $12 million. If passed, all six bonds would be paid for by property tax increases. Passage of all the bonds would mean an increase of 5.75 cents per $100 valuation of property. The propositions range from the building of a new central ﬁre station to the construction and improvement of bicycle ways and facilities along with the improvement of pedestrian walkways within the city. Nine constitutional amendments are also presented for your votes. The amendment that is generating the most discussion is Proposition 2, which would make Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage a part of the state Constitution. The Star is planning a story to present both sides of the argument regarding Proposition 2 as well as a point-counterpoint debate from two of our columnists for our Opinions page as we get closer to the election. As we have written time and again, this is the primary way for you, our readers, to make your respective voices heard. Don’t simply rely on our coverage, though. We invite our readers to help make our election guide your own and to seek out more information on the bonds, constitutional amendments and candidates for City Council presented before you prior to recording your votes. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Main Point is the opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board. Columns are the opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reﬂect the opinions of the full staff, Texas State University-San Marcos Student Media, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication or Texas State University-San Marcos. Letters policy: E-mail letters to email@example.com. Letters must be no longer than 300 words. No anonymous letters will be printed. We reserve the right to edit for grammar, spelling, space and libel. We reserve the right to refuse obscene, irrelevant and malicious letters. All e-mails must include the name and phone number of the letter writer. Students should also include their classiﬁcations and majors.
s e t o u q s m pu Compiled by Ashley Richards
What, if any, Homecoming events do you plan on attending? Why? “The tailgate party because there’s the most people, and you don’t have to have an attention span like at the game.” — CHRISTA MARTINEZ pre-health information management junior “I’ve got work, but I was planning on going to that soapbox derby.” — PAUL MALLON undecided health professional freshman
“The game and the tailgating because it’s a school spirit thing.” — AIMEE COX interdisciplinary studies freshman
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Tax cuts exploit the poor In the aftermath and rescue costs, of hurricanes yet that ﬁgure pales Katrina and Rita, in comparison to it’s nice to see that the estimated $200 Americans can billion needed come together deto fully fund the spite our polarizareconstruction tion and focus on project. With that JOHN CULVER what’s really imin mind, Congress Star Columnist portant — saving is considering a and helping those bill that would give whose lives have been shatan additional $75 billion to tered by Mother Nature. Even the victims of Katrina — in President Bush emphasized tax cuts. The proposal also the need to spend whatever includes a plan to ‘offset’ $35 it takes on reconstructing the billion of this cost by cutting Gulf Coast and New Orleans spending, ostensibly in proin particular. However, can grams such as Medicaid and we really trust Bush’s intenfood stamps. tions? Is he really interested in It goes without saying that helping those who’ve suffered tax cuts do not provide imso much, or does he simply mediate economic stimulus want to exploit another situa- to anyone. Even worse, tax tion — read: Iraq — in favor cuts do nothing for those who of crony capitalism and selfneed help the most: workingaggrandizement? class and poor Americans. How Bush and the RepubAfter all, the tax cuts being lican-controlled Congress proposed target income taxes intend to implement the reand most working-class or construction and relief effort poor Americans — espeshould provide an obvious cially those earning less than clue. Congress has already $35,000 per year — lose very spent $62 billion in recovery little of their incomes to this
tax. The payroll tax actually has a greater effective rate burden on these Americans than the income tax. As mentioned earlier, in addition to not providing immediate relief to those who need it, these tax cuts will be partly subsidized by cuts in important social programs these Americans need. A city like New Orleans, in particular, is especially vulnerable to social spending cuts. The Census Bureau lists New Orleans’ poverty rate at 27.9 percent, which is more than double the national rate of 12.4 percent. Here’s where I employ the infamous race card that knee-jerk racists love to bitch about; the population of New Orleans is 67 percent black and as an aggregate, this group has a 34.9 percent poverty rate. The Washington Post rightly reports that cuts in spending aren’t even necessary to fund the reconstruction. Foreign investment has been propping up our economy for the last four years and it contin-
ues at a brisk pace — with $101 billion in foreign investment during the month of July. Eventually, of course, this debt will have to be paid back. This is especially daunting considering the total size of foreign debt — $2 trillion at present count. This foreign debt will be paid back through increased taxes, yet the Bush administration has been cutting taxes and spending like “deﬁcits don’t matter.” This irresponsible ﬁscal policy has continued even though income tax revenue for individuals and corporations are at record lows, thanks. So, when Bush and the Republican leaders in Congress propose tax cuts that are ineffectual and spending cuts that will leave them even poorer, it’s no wonder why a recent poll showed that 70 percent of black Americans believe that Bush — and by extension Republicans — don’t care about them. Culver is a political science graduate student.
Independence comes with many unanswered questions Does anyone How do we know else feel like they if we made the don’t know what right decision? Is they’re doing? a green light supQuestions keep posed to be blinkrepeating in the ing when we’re minds of college doing the right students everything or even a KELSEY VOELKEL where — quesgood thing? I guess Star Columnist tions like “Why the honest truth is did I choose this that the answer lies major if this class comes with within us, which doesn’t do a it? Why didn’t I choose anlot of good because we have other major or even another been told all our lives by our college? Why am I going for a family, teachers and counselmaster’s degree when I could ors that we’re doing the right easily settle for a bachelor’s? thing. Why didn’t I take the blue There is no one here to tell pill?” us what to do or where to go. All of these questions circle The truth is that we are ﬁnally the fact that since we are in in control of our lives, and for college, we have been given the ﬁrst time, we are making independence, and there is a our own decisions and living lot expected of us. our own lives. This plays a As corny as it sounds, and good and bad side. some of you will probably It is good that we have this disagree with me on this, we independence because we can have been given something now go out and experience that has never really been life ﬁrsthand. It is bad in a made available to us. Were we way that since we are in colever challenged in the past to lege, our professors expect a do something that was not certain method of thinking expected of us? We were aland concentration from us, ways asked questions that had and it is a type of thinking a textbook answer, and now and concentration that we we are asked questions that weren’t really taught because only lie in our mind — we are as it turns out, high school is expected to ﬁgure things out very different from college. for ourselves and as a result Because of this realization, of too much too soon, we are we get frustrated very quickly, losing our sanity. we get out of class agitated,
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come home annoyed, do homework and study with anger and frustration hanging over our heads, and we think about giving up completely as we try to sleep. It is a bit of a rude awakening trying to get used to the new independence. In elementary school all the way through high school, we weren’t really given the chance to think for ourselves. We would be asked a question, and if we didn’t know the answer then the teacher would then just give us the answer. But now if we are asked a question, we are expected to use any kind of resource available to ﬁnd the answer; we are rarely given the answer. I think when we were younger, we depended on other people taking care of us, but since we are at a place of higher education, such dependency is not available. It is in us that we must look to and depend on, which is easier said than done because we were never really given the opportunity before. I think the only regret of it all is that we didn’t learn about it earlier on. The opportunity to think and act independently has been kept from us like a secret all this time, and when we ﬁnally do get the opportunity, we
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don’t know what to do with it or how to use it properly. I’m not saying it’s the fault of family, teachers and counselors, and I am not saying it is our own fault. Maybe no one is to blame. Things would be so much easier if we had one of those “just give me the right answer” buttons underneath our desks while we were in class or taking an exam, but for some reason, I don’t think that invention will ever deliver. It seems in the midst of things, our goals have changed. What is the goal of everything we do? You study, study and then study some more, write papers, participate in class projects and our only motivation of it all is…what? Believe me when I say the answer to that question can only come from us, and most of the time the answer is left blank. We must use our best judgment to make the right decision whether the goal is to not live with our parents after graduation or to be recruited by a prestigious company after obtaining our degree. We must decide what we want to do with our lives and set goals for ourselves. Voelkel is a pre-mass communication junior. The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University-San Marcos published Tuesday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. every other Wednesday of Summer I and II with a distribution of 6,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright October 11, 2005. All copy, photographs and graphics appearing in The University Star are the exclusive property of The University Star and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the editor in chief.
TRENDS THE UNIVERSITY STAR
Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - Page 6 ?????day, ?????? ???????, 2005 - Page ??
Premiere of By Nixon Guerrero Entertainment Writer © 2005 The University Star If you’re a frequent visitor to AintItCool.com, you probably heard about the ﬁrst Fantastic Fest held from Thursday through Sunday in Austin at the Alamo Drafthouse, located on South Lamar. If you didn’t, let me tell you that this was a cinephile’s dream come true. The weekend was sponsored by Ain’t It Cool News, Milkshake Media, Jackson Walker and was presented by The Alamo Drafthouse. This ﬁrsttimer ﬁlm festival was designed for the movie geek in all of us
weekendbox ofﬁce 1. Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the WereRabbit (G) $16 million 2. Flightplan (PG-13) $10.8 million
3. In Her Shoes (PG-13) $10 million 4. Two for the Money (R) $8.7 million 5. The Gospel (PG) $7.52 million
6. Corpse Bride (PG) $6.51 million 7. Waiting… (R) $6.02 million 8. Serenity (PG-13) $5.35 million
9. A History of Violence (R) $5.07 million 10. Into the Blue (PG-13) $4.83 million
Trends Contact — Christina Gomez, firstname.lastname@example.org
ZATHURA whose guilty pleasures include viewing late-night fantasy movies or acting out scenes from your favorite sci-ﬁ ﬂick or even those of us who can quote a horror movie line by line. There were movies worldwide that represented themselves and their genres (horror, sci-ﬁ and fantasy) very well. The schedule of movies had a lot to do with the keen eye of King Geek himself, Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News, one of the key coordinators and program directors of Fantastic Fest. Everywhere you went, you’d see Harry and his long, red beard and hair talking to fans and really enjoying the weekend.
Monty Marion/Star photo Jon Favreau (right) and Dax Shepard discuss their upcoming movie Zathura with News 8 Austin’s Victor Diaz on Thursday at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in South Austin.
paves way for first annual Fantastic Fest
The four-day extravaganza began Thursday night with a semiformal red-carpet event for the premiere of Zathura, a sci-ﬁ fantasy for both adult and child audiences alike. Jon Favreau (Elf, Swingers) was at the reigns of the sci-ﬁ, family-driven movie, in which two squabbling brothers play an old board game that results in their house being launched into outer space. In order to get home the boys must work together and ﬁnish the game and reach Zathura. This may sound a bit familiar to some of you (Jumanji), but don’t worry, this movie will deﬁnitely bring out the child in all you. When asked what he brought to the production as a director with an acting background, Favreau said he “likes to give his performers a lot of freedom.” “I hire a lot of people who are good — whose sensibility I really enjoy,” Favreau said. “So, if they want to try things — even the kids, you know. We were never married to what was in the script other than, you know, the moment that had to happen.” “If someone said something funnier or different, then it’s in the movie. You do a good job casting, and you give them a lot of freedom,” Favreau said. And on considering himself to be an actor’s director, he said, “I am recently getting into effects and stuff. But I think I’m an actor’s director in that I think the characters are the most important aspect of a
Monty Marion/Star photo A menacing robot, one of the villians in Jon Favreau’s new movie Zathura, stands alongside the red carpet during the ﬁlm’s Thursday premiere. ﬁlm and their emotional reality — no matter how big the movie is.” “You need that to ground the ﬁlm, and without them, I’m lost,” Favreau said. Favreau also said the ﬁlm was sort of a throwback to the original Star Wars ﬁlms, where
instead of making a movie into CGI blob, he wanted to use practical effects such as miniatures and motion control in hoping it’ll give a more “real effect.” “Well, I hope people will enjoy this movie. This is an adult crowd,” he said about what
he hopes the night’s audience would take home. “I hope it invokes old memories of the movies they grew up with, like the older Amblin ﬁlms of the ’80s — E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” And now for the rest of the movies:
Ward 13 and Wolf Creek
This was a double billing Thursday and Friday night. The ﬁrst ﬁlm, Ward 13, was an Australian high-action, comical, 15-minute claymation short about a bandaged, bed-ridden hospital patient who wakes up to ﬁnd he’s about to have some bizarre and possibly dismembering medical experiments performed on him. This was really a pleasantly surprising short ﬁlm and director/animator Peter Cornwell proved that with enough imagination, you can really mesmerize and enchant an audience in charmingly innovative ways. Now the short had nothing to do with the feature ﬁlm, at least not thematically. The ﬁlm Wolf Creek is probably one of the more dark, grizzly and ultimately realistic horror movies that I’ve seen since Wes Craven’s Last House on the Left. The ﬁlm, which is supposedly true, opens with a chilling caption saying that “20,000 people are missing every year in Australia and 90% are found. And the rest are never heard of again.” The ﬁrst half is completely devoted to the humble characterization (that’s usually lacking in Hollywood horror these days) of three teenage backpackers who love to wander the outback, in particular Wolf Creek — an old meteor impact sight. I won’t say what happens in the second half, but be warned: This movie is not for the faint of heart. Escapism is one of the main reasons people watch movies. Be careful with this one, though, your mind could escape to Wolf Creek and never come back.
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Most of us have heard of Project Greenlight and were probably disappointed in the ﬁrst two movies the show yielded. Feast is not on the same trajectory. The ﬁlm was directed by John Gulager and produced by Matt Damon, Ben Afﬂeck and Wes Craven. The movie takes place in a bar full of strangers of all ages that within the ﬁrst ﬁve minutes, desperately vie for their lives against unknown desert creatures in very amusing ways. This movie has buckets upon buckets of blood and guts and will surely satisfy the horror crowd en masse. Unfortunately, Dimension Studios is not contractually obligated to release the ﬁlm in theatres and so there is no guarantee that this movie will get the crowd is fully deserves. Apparently, Dimension doesn’t know how to market it, saying “it’s too funny to be scary, or it’s too scary to be funny.” I guess they forgot about ﬁlms like American Werewolf in London or Evil Dead 2 or even Return of the Living Dead. Gulager did a great job using only one location for ﬁlming, and he really got inventive with eerie camera angles and a haunting light scheme that grew darker as the ﬁlm progressed.
This is a movie that not everyone will understand or like. Truly, this is a bizarre, mentally dizzying picture. Its star is Corey Feldman, playing his most interesting role since, well — ever. Feldman delivers a distinctly familiar performance that evokes memories of Jerry Lews in The Bellboy or Tim Roth in Four Rooms. Norman (Feldman) is attending his girlfriend’s father’s birthday and somehow runs across a waiter who tells him that the rest of the hotel’s staff members are really cult members who will bring on the end of the world tonight at the hotel. Ok, yeah, the story is a little kooky and so far-fetched that about half way through the movie, you’ll ask yourself where it’s going. But for some reason, you just can’t stop watching. Spanish director Eugene Mira shot the ﬁlm in real time Movie Ratings Key — meaning, you watch a “live” No stars – Must skip two hours of someone’s life. Oddly, the movie feels some✯ – Bad, fails overall where between the dream world ✯✯ – Mediocre, wait for DVD and reality, achieved through ✯✯✯ – Good, few ﬂaws unconventional camera angles ✯✯✯✯ – Outstanding, must see and absence of certain sounds in the ﬁnal scenes.
OL, 6-5, 298, Sr., Hurst
DB, 6-3, 216, Jr., Bakersﬁeld, California
Horder helped lead a Texas State offense which rolled up 393 yards of total offense in the Bobcats’ 3015 Southland Conference opening win over Southeastern Louisiana. Blocked out in front of a set of offensive backs who netted 177 yards rushing. The offensive line did not give up a quarterback sack for a second time this season.
Varvel intercepted an early, second-quarter pass in Texas State’s 3015 win over Southeastern Louisiana in both teams’ Southland Conference opener. Was also credited with three solo tackles and broke up a pass in the Bobcats’ victory. Varvel was part of a defense which held SLU to 294 yards of total offense, including 62 rushing yards.
Where the good meat is
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Wallace and Gromit provides laughs for both children, adults gearing up for the Stop-motion animagiant vegetable comtion has to be one of film petition. Wallace’s the most arduous tasks review slightly eccentric inever created, and it was ✯✯✯✯ vention to rid the vilno small feat creating lage of rabbits has left the ﬁrst feature length Wallace and his home brimming debut of Wallace and Gromit: The with the now-homeGromit: The Curse of Curse of the less bunnies. In a the Were-Rabbit re- Were-Rabbit leased by Dreamworks Dir.: Steve Box, mind-meld gone awry and Aardman Anima- Nick Park (as they often do), the Stars: Peter tions. audience realizes that Sallis, Ralph According to the Fiennes, Helena Wallace may have Aardman Web site, the Bonham Carter created a monster. crew averaged approxi- Rated: G Commissioned by the mately three seconds carrot-topped Lady of useable footage per Tottington (Helena day. This is because for a regu- Bonham Carter) to humanely lar motion picture each sec- capture the monster, Wallace ond of ﬁlm is composed of 24 must contend with would-be individual frames. With stop suitor Victor (Ralph Fiennes) motion animation each frame who would rather shoot the must be individually shot. For beasts. a ﬁlm like Wallace and Gromit, While the storyline is transthat means nearly 1,440 indi- parent and the ending previdual frames of footage were dictable, the ﬁlm never grows needed. Time consuming? tiresome. Saving most scenes Deﬁnitely. The result, however, from lagging is the silent hero, was a thoroughly enjoyable Gromit. With his slight mannerisms and endless loyalty family ﬁlm. The problem plaguing most to an often-thankless master, “family” ﬁlms is, while cheap Gromit is the epitome of “man’s jokes and animated characters best friend.” Coming straight off the heels entertain the children, most adults are lulled in a semicoma- of Tim Burton’s stop motion tose state. Wallace and Gromit animation ﬁlm, Corpse Bride, easily solves that problem with seems a little daunting, but quick-witted dialogue, slap- Wallace and Gromit doesn’t feel stick humor and enough care- redundant. Relying on witty fully placed double entendres writing and the inﬁnite patience to amuse adults and children of directors Steve Box and Nick alike. Park, the ﬁlm still has no guarWallace (Peter Sallis), the antee that this rather Britishbumbling, cheese-loving inven- style comedy will translate well tor, and his faithful dog Gromit to American movie-goers. The are already a household name raucous and boisterous laughin the United Kingdom with ter and applause exhibited by their short ﬁlms A Close Shave both the general patrons and and The Wrong Trousers. This indeed this reviewer, would time we ﬁnd the duo lucrative- have allayed any such worries. ly self-employed as the cruelty— Christina Gomez free “Anti-Pesto” in a village
The University Star - Page 7
Elizabethtown director doesn’t live up to his previous successes Elizabethtown conclusion. is a movie that film Throughout most of the movie, Bloom does tries too hard to review be a movie. best Tom Cruise im✯✯ his personation as Drew Its writer and Elizabethtown Baylor. Drew used to be a director, Cameron Crowe (Jerry Dir.: Cameron sharp, witty businessman, Crowe but the shoe company he Maguire, Almost Stars: Orlando Famous), makes Bloom, Kirsten works for is currently going in the tank because a every move pos- Dunst sible to draw out Rated: PG-13 shoe he designed wasn’t received well by the public. every different After costing the company kind of emotion from the hearts of his audi- almost $1 billion, he’s in the ence and never quite focuses process of committing suicide in on the real point of his with a ﬁnely sharpened knife movie. when his sister, Heather (Judy His quick and unique but Greer), calls and tells him sometimes sappy writing has their father has just died of a never been so unfocused. His heart attack. narrative’s weak ﬁrst act is Drew reluctantly puts down more confusing than it is ex- the knife and travels to his pounding, and it’s easy to be father’s hometown of Elizadumbfounded by its drawn bethtown, Ky., to arrange the out and downright stupefying funeral. On the ﬂight home,
he meets Claire (Kirsten Dunst), a chatty stewardess who always wears a smile. The two trade ﬂirtatious looks and phone calls for most of the movie as Drew tries give his father a proper send off and deals with the media wave resulting from his shoe failure. Crowe still knows how to create smart, realistic characters and always seems to stay upright, even when his dialogue becomes too hokey and forced. However, “cheesy” is a word that comes to mind far too often during some of the ﬁlm’s melodramatic moments. Elizabethtown is a movie that can be enjoyed but only if it’s given an extreme amount of leniency, too much leniency in fact to be recommended. There are many scenes that are lazily
written and soaked in useless voice-overs, and many of the climatic moments feel forced and overthought. Dunst does well with her role despite having a weak Southern accent that never sounds believable. Without a sword in his hand or Lord of the Rings special effects behind him, Bloom is mostly stagnant and separated from his complicated character, never looking totally comfortable in Drew’s shoes. It’s hard to dislike a movie like Elizabethtown that has all the best intentions but can’t quite follow through on its promises. But, at this point, more should be expected of a director who has made so many ﬁne movies. This just isn’t one of them. — Kyle Bradshaw
Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures In Cameron Crowe’s Elizabethtown, Kirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom play a couple with a complicated case of Southern love.
Photo courtesy of Dreamworks After a series of Academy Award-winning shorts, Wallace and his faithful dog, Gromit, make their feature-ﬁlm debut in Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
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The University Star - Page 8
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Waiting… ought to be sent back to the kitchen Waiting… is a joke film The entire ﬁlm takes of a ﬁlm, without review place in ShenaniganZ, a any substance or clue generic restaurant on par how to please its au✯ with the likes of Bennidience. Its narrative, Waiting... gan’s and other slightly the weakest ever to be Dir.: Rob upscale establishments. put on ﬁlm, wanders McKittrick All of its employees are boringly through sad- Stars: Ryan college dropouts, stoners sack lives of the most Reynolds, Justin and overall lazy human perverse waitstaff Long, Anna Faris beings. If anyone of its in the history of the Rated: R characters were likable at food service industry. all, Waiting… might have There’s no reason to take a ﬁlm held at least a shred of dignity. like this seriously when the ma- But they aren’t, and it doesn’t. It jority of its attempts at humor has none of the charm and wit rely heavily on the exposure of that made this summer’s Wedmale genitalia. And seriously, ding Crashers and The 40-Yearnone of it is funny. Old Virgin so enjoyable. It never
aims high and always hits unnecessarily low, completely void of any original laughs or characters. Almost-funny Ryan Reynolds is again stuck in Van Wildermode as the fast-talking Monty, the only employee of ShenaniganZ that seems content in his dead-end job. Justin Long (the one cast member with any real comedic talent) is Dean, a waiter who aspires to graduate from college and get a respectable job. As the ﬂirty waitress, Serena (Anna Faris) is given nothing to do with her mostly useless role. The only story to speak of revolves around Dean and his attempts to break
from the clutches of the job he hates so much. However, Dean’s motives are often pushed to the background to make room for the toilet humor, and his story never takes shape. There’s also an assortment of supporting characters including Raddimus (Luis Guzman), a sleazy chef who enjoys ﬂashing his co-workers, and Dan (David Koechner), the lonely but overly assertive manager who takes his job way too seriously. But both actors have done
much better work. Reynolds tries exceedingly hard to echo comic greats like Bill Murray and Chevy Chase with a sly, condescending brand of humor, but he doesn’t come close to their abilities and ends up in David Spade territory. Writer and director Rob McKittrick’s jokes always fall ﬂat because they’re mostly repetitive homophobic gags that aren’t funny the ﬁrst time and certainly aren’t the ﬁfth or sixth time. His direction
is sloppy and desires too much to be like Mike Judge’s Ofﬁce Space to develop any real freshness. Waiting… is a juvenile, crass excuse to make dirty jokes and snicker deviously along with its audience. The only problem is that it’s not funny, and the snickering is replaced with snoring. It’s a waste of time and should be avoided. — Kyle Bradshaw
Dancing dilemmas and Homecoming kicks Strutter Fall Casual - Oct. 5 was the worst thing I envisioned everyThroughout the years, the Strutthing going wrong when executing the ter organization has been described handstand move. The fear was gone (or as a dance team and sorority in lessened), and I realized it actually didn’t one. Along with the many hours hurt as bad as I imagined it would. I guess we spend dancing, we hold social sometimes you have to just face your fear, functions, and tomorrow is our and at least you can say you tried, even if ABBY MINICA annual Strutter Fall Casual. This you end up face-ﬁrst on the ground. Entertainment year’s theme is “black and white,” Columnist where Strutters and their dates Hectic Homecoming Practices - Oct. 10 come dressed in any combo of Our Fall Casual went well. We danced, black and white. mingled and took plenty of grip-and-grin phoBruises and Handstands tos. It was a lovely nigaht, especially with the This prop dance we’re doing for homecoming cold front. Though by Friday, the cold and wet is brutal — literally. The girls who are spinning turned more into an inconvenience and practice around on top of the props have these wonderful was cancelled due to excessive wetness. Okay, so bruises on their inner thighs, the girls who have I wasn’t exactly heartbroken that my weekend to instantly ﬂing their whole bodies across the began a bit earlier. Then I realized that we only prop have some gorgeous bruises right on the had three practices to ﬁnish learning and polhip bones (I have those too!), and anyone who’s ishing the dance. So today, even though there wheeled the huge things around have the tell-tale was a chance of rain for the afternoon, my usual purple lumps on their calves. Despite the abuse sliver of hope that practice would be cancelled on our bodies, the dance is coming together and had ﬁzzled, because I knew how much work should be very visual out on the ﬁeld. Thanks to had to be done. Two-and-a-half hours later, the our ﬁrst-year girls, or new-babies, the props are whole dance had been changed (handstand and painted a vibrant pink. It’s sort of a tradition for other various parts), taught and somewhat polthe new-baby class to stay late one day after prac- ished. The cloud cover and cool breeze made it tice and paint the homecoming props. It also al- a relatively pleasant practice though, despite the ways seems to rain the week of homecoming. length. It always has a way of coming together, It started to lightly rain today at the beginning and I know we will be ready by Saturday. This of practice, and while dancing on wet props on homecoming marks the 45th year for the Strutwet ground may seem hazardous, I had a scary ter organization, so come out to Bobcat Stadium slip that was in no-way due to the moisture. At on Saturday and see our dazzling halftime perone point in the dance, I have to do a handstand formance. in front of the prop while a girl standing on the prop catches my feet. My hands went down, my We will be following Abby as she high kicks as a feet went up, and the next thing I know, I’m on Texas State Strutter every Wednesday. the ground, partly sprawled across the corner of the prop, with an ugly scrape on my side. The funny thing is, although it stung for a good while, ONLINE: www.txstrutters.com. falling actually made me feel better because that
Photo courtesy of Lions Gate Films Justin Long and Ryan Reynolds play sarcastic waiters looking for big tips in Waiting… .
✯Star Comics THE CAT BIRD SEAT
BY JEFF COLE
University Bookstore presents
open mic nite Thursday, October 13th 5-7 p.m. Refreshments will be served.
Go to www.UniversityStar.com for today’s answers.
Contact Shayne: 245.3945 or email@example.com
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
The University Star - Page 9
Astros, Cardinals rivalry revisited By Bernie Miklasz St. Louis Post-Dispatch ST. LOUIS — Let’s do it again. It’ll be the Houston Astros and the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Championship Series, just like last year, when the teams stretched the drama and thumping heartbeats of their fans through seven long, compelling games of stress-test baseball. The Cardinals won in seven for the right to be World Series patsies for the inevitable exorcism of “The Curse of the Bambino” in Boston. Last fall, the Cardinals and Astros played their special hardball in relative obscurity, as a baseball nation understandably ﬁxated on the Yankees vs. Red Sox psychodrama. The Cardinals and Astros should have a better, more illuminated position on the stage this time, because there will be no repeat of Red Sox - Yankees on the AL side of the bracket. The Cardinals and Astros are the best rivalry that no one talks about, or really knows about. That applies to St. Louis, where
fans obsess over the Cubs. The Cardinals and the Cubs have a fun, fantastic rivalry. But it’s become more of a social event, a baseball party, a civic-pride contest. The Cubs and Cardinals are mostly about bragging rights and beer. The purists know that from a competitive-baseball standpoint, the Astros are the Cardinals’ true rival. Since Tony La Russa became Cardinals manager in 1996, either the Cardinals or the Astros have won the NL Central in nine of the 10 seasons. The Cardinals have captured ﬁve division titles outright; the Astros have won three. The teams tied for ﬁrst place in 2001. And the Cubs lucked out once, in 2003. When the Astros and Cardinals hook up, it’s baseball without the posturing. It’s baseball without the tabloid-driven rancor. It’s just baseball without the forced theatrics that are typical of the Boston vs. New York productions. “As plain and simple as it can be, it’s fun,” Cardinals pitcher Cal Eldred once said of St. Louis vs. Houston. “It’s mentally tough, but it’s fun. With these
two teams, I really think if you took all the fans away and put us in a back yard, like my kids play — like we used to play — I think you’d have baseball like this.” The 2004 NLCS was a classic. Jimmy Edmonds’ three-run double in the Cardinals’ six-run sixth inning busted up a 4-4 tie and sent the home team onward for a 10-7 victory in Game 1. In Game Two, Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen opened the eighth with consecutive homers to break a 4-4 tie and the Cardinals claimed a 2-0 series lead with a 6-4 win. The series moved to Houston for the next three games. In Game Three, the Cardinals were stopped by Roger Clemens in a 5-2 loss. In Game Four, the Cardinals couldn’t make leads of 3-0, 4-1 and 5-3 stand up, and the Astros fought back for a 6-5 win. Cardinals reliever Julian Tavarez broke his left hand in an angry punch to a wall after giving up the winning homer to Carlos Beltran. In Game Five, Woody Williams pitched seven innings of 1-hit, shutout ball, but Jeff Kent won it for the Astros in the ninth
by popping Cardinals closer Jason Isringhausen for a three-run homer. The 3-0 win gave the Astros a 3-2 lead as the series shifted back to St. Louis for a last stand by the Cardinals. In Game Six, the Astros tied it in the ninth on a two-out RBI single by Jeff Bagwell, but the Cardinals prevailed 6-4 in 12 innings on Edmonds’ dramatic two-run jack. With the Cardinals trailing 20 in the second inning of Game Seven, Edmonds saved two runs with a spectacular catch on a potential gap double hit by Brad Ausmus. With St. Louis down 2-1 in the sixth Roger Cedeno — of all people — got things started with a leadoff single. Pujols doubled in Cedeno, and Rolen followed with a two-run bomb off Clemens. The Cardinals and the town celebrated wildly after their 5-2 win. How competitive was the 2004 NLCS? After six games, each team had scored 29 runs. Each team had an ERA of 4.80. And each team was batting .246. The Cardinals and Astros have changed some since the
last NLCS. Andy Pettitte has returned to join Clemens and Roy Oswalt to give the Astros a formidable rotation. But the Cardinals didn’t have Chris Carpenter or Mark Mulder in last year’s rotation so the arms race has intensiﬁed. For Houston, Beltran and Kent are gone and Bagwell is in a limited role as he rehabs from shoulder surgery. For St. Louis, Edgar Renteria, Tony Womack, Mike Matheny and Woody Williams have moved on, and Rolen is out after undergoing shoulder surgery. Each team has potential problems. The Astros have struggled to score runs, and the St. Louis bullpen was leaky in the ﬁrstround win over San Diego. The Cardinals have baseball’s best record. The Astros may have karma working for them after outlasting Atlanta in 18 innings Sunday in an epic game to clinch their ﬁrst-round series. The Astros advanced to another showdown with the Cardinals. They’ll do it again, and hopefully more people will be charmed by baseball’s most overlooked rivalry.
Game One pitching probables 2005 Stats GP - 33 ERA - 2.39 W/L - 17-9 K’s - 171 SHO - 0 Hits - 188 ER - 59 Andy Pettitte/21
2005 Stats GP - 33 ERA - 2.83 W/L - 21-5 K’s - 213 SHO - 4 Hits - 204 ER - 76 Chris Carpenter/29
Game Schedule WednesdayAstros @ Cardinals 7 p.m. Airing on Fox ThursdayAstros @ Cardinals 7 p.m. Airing on Fox SaturdayCardinals @ Astros 3 p.m. Airing on Fox SundayCardinals @ Astros 3 p.m. Airing on Fox
Rich Addicks/Atlanta Journal-Constitution Chris Burke of the Houston Astros watches his 18th inning game-winning home run sail into left ﬁeld to defeat the Atlanta Braves 7-6 in what was the longest game in postseason history. The Astros won the NLDS in 4 games and will face the St. Louis Cardinals in a rematch last year’s NLCS.
Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch The Cardinals’ Albert Pujols breaks his bat as he hits a pinch-hit single to drive in the go-ahead run against the Pirates in the seventh inning of their game at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, on September 12. The Cardinals open the NLCS in St. Louis against the Astros tonight.
Game 5 Cardinals @ Astros TBA Games 6 & 7 Astros @ Cardinals TBA
Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - Page 33
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sports snortsquotes from the sports world “‘Rocket’ might have thrown 10, 20 innings — and I’m honest with you when I say that. I think he was prepared to do whatever it took. And that’s the way the man is. I’ve never seen anybody like him. He’s amazing.” —Houston Astros manager Phil Garner on the performance of Roger Clemens in Game Four of the National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves. (Source: ESPN.com) Sports Contact — Miguel Peña, email@example.com
Dann Baker, a true master of the arts By Chris Boehm Sports Reporter The average physical education class this is not. Neither is he your average P.E. coach. Every semester, professor Daniel Baker introduces students to the martial art form known as kajukenbo, an amalgamation of styles with one goal in mind: to provide the ultimate in self-defense. “Martial arts does something different for everybody,” said Scott Johnson, a martial arts student of 19 years and media technician at Flowers Hall. “For me, it has a very calming and focusing inﬂuence. Others do it for the whole ‘Zen’ aspect or for the conﬁdence of knowing they could defend themselves.” Johnson, a 2002 graduate of Texas State, has practiced kajukenbo under Baker for 10 years and holds a third-degree black belt in the discipline. Under the title of sifu, Johnson now assists Baker is his Wednesday night advanced karate class. “I have never found a style like kajukenbo, and I’ve never found an instructor like Professor Baker,” Johnson said. “I’ve had my share of instructors who were bullies or were picked on as kids, Courtney Addison/Star photo and none of them were as genuine a human being as he is.” Texas State professor Daniel Baker shows his Grand Champion belt for the 50th Anniversary of Open Martial Art Tour in Baker teaches many forms of his Jowers ofﬁce that is covered with metals and awards. With multiple black belts, Baker teaches a variety of martial arts martial arts at Texas State, and classes. indeed holds black belts in kodokan judo, tae kwon do and Each syllable in kajukenbo re- (Hawaii); it was shortly after practicing martial arts just before tioned at Bergstrom Air Force Japanese gojo-ryu. He also has lates to a given style: “ka” for Ko- Pearl Harbor. They would get in his ninth birthday. Base in Austin. There he met a instructed students in various rean karate, “ju” for ju-jitsu and situations where they would be “I had seen an article about tae man named Tony Lasit, who had classes during his tenure, includ- judo, “ken” for kenpo, and “bo” put in a ﬁght, and then use the kwon do at the bank,” Baker said. picked up the style while in Haing weightlifting, wrestling and for gung-fu (Chinese boxing). techniques. One would come “It talked about learning karate waii. marathon running, but he has The style was formed by a back saying, ‘Well, I tried this, in Brandon, Canada, about 30 “A lot of times, whatever base made kajukenbo his emphasis group of martial artists who came and it didn’t work. I had to resort miles from my home. My cousin you were at had personnel that for the past 39 years, a style that to be known as the Black Belt So- to something else.’ That’s how Francis and I already boxed to- studied martial arts when they is fast gaining popularity. ciety. Siju Adriano Emperado of they developed kajukenbo — by gether, so I asked him if he want- were overseas, whether it was in “Compared to other styles, the Hawaii, whose training stressed adding and crossing out tech- ed to do it, and he said yes, but Japan, Thailand or wherever,” interest is growing,” Johnson said. the kenpo segment, is credited niques.” then we had to ﬁnd out how to Baker said. “When they came “More people are getting into it, with founding this self-defense As if destined to master this get up there.” back to the states, they started especially once they know dif- institute in 1947. style, Baker was born the same Baker said he and his cousin teaching it. Tony was in the Air ferent celebrities have studied it, “Whatever (the founders) did, year, on Sept. 21 at the Turtle were able to ﬁnd a solution in the Force with me, and was part of like Mark Decascos (Brotherhood they would take it out in the Mountain Indian Reservation in coal industry. the ﬁrst group of students under of the Wolf, The Crow: Stairway to streets,” Baker said. “There were North Dakota. After taking up “We had no transportation, the founder, Emperado.” Heaven) and Wesley Snipes.” a lot of military people around boxing at an early age, he began and it would take forever to Baker, now a eight-degree ride our horses up there, so we black belt in kajukenbo, holds 13 jumped box cars that carried coal world titles, ranging from breakup there,” Baker said. “A lot of ing, self defense, open and traditimes, the cars were empty, and tional forms and choreographed in the evening the train would ﬁghting and is the oldest active come back, so we would catch it competitor and champion on two days out of the week.” the planet. Baker and his cousin would “I’m the only individual to win tell their parents they were going the breaking world title three to each other’s house, then head times,” Baker said. “And no one to Canada. They did this for two else has won it more than once. summers, with Baker eventually All three titles came in my ﬁfties, earning a black belt in tae kwon and it’s an 18 and older group.” do at age 13. Once out of the service, Baker “We lied to the instructor and began studying at the University told him we were getting a ride of Texas, all the while teaching up there, but he eventually found karate at the base. out,” Baker said. “He asked us if “I had students coming from we would clean up the dojo and San Marcos who were going to close up at night, and in turn he school down here,” Baker said. would give us free lessons. He They asked me to switch schools knew that if we couldn’t catch so they didn’t have to travel, and the train because of the weather that’s how I ended up ﬁnishing at or whatever, we’d still have a safe Southwest Texas.” place to stay overnight. On those He eventually formed and nights, we’d stay at the dojo, close coached the Southwest Texas up in the morning and then State karate team, winning 19 leave.” straight state titles at one point Baker spent nine years at a and placing as high as third in boarding school in Wahpeton, the world among Sport Karate N.D. and went to high school in schools, in 1998. He is currently Flandreau, S.D, all while continu- in his sixth year as a coach/meming his training. ber of the U.S. Nation Karate “In high school, I got into Team. goju-ryu and started studying at From 1995 to 1996, Baker was South Dakota State (University),” Sport Karate International’s overBaker said. all-points leader and has ranked It was not until 1966 that he number one in various National took up kajukenbo. Baker went Black Belt League categories. into the Air Force and was sta“He doesn’t need to be teach-
ing at a college. The man could be obscenely rich doing seminars and traveling,” Johnson said. “He’s so well-known around the martial arts circles, people turn their heads simply when he enters the room at tournaments.” The credentials and accolades could ﬁll this page alone, which brings up an interesting question: Why Texas State? The professor said the reason is his students, of which include ﬁve world and ﬁve national champions. “If I was teaching this on the outside, I’d be making six ﬁgures easily,” Baker said. “But I’m not into that … I spend so much time with my students, sometimes they were crashing at my place, or I’d give them rides to tournaments. A lot still write and send pictures of their families. You get close to the students, and in this ranking system, it takes about four years to get a black belt. Halfway through if I was to leave, they’d say, ‘Coach you can’t leave. I want to get my belt with you.’ And once they’re through I’ve got another wave of students coming in.” Johnson reafﬁrmed Baker’s loyalty to his school and students. “I was surprised at ﬁrst that he’s teaching here but not after I got to know the man,” Johnson said. “Through his connections, he knows quite a few celebrities, and from time to time someone comes up to him saying they want him in a movie. But he always smiles and declines. He says, ‘No, I can’t. I have class.’” Baker’s national team recently completed a trip to Houston and will be competing in the World Championships in Buffalo, N.Y., during the ﬁnal week of December. “It’s going to be a familiar place because in 1999, we were in Niagra Falls, and that’s only about 20 miles away,” Baker said. The professor will be up for a ninth degree black belt himself this summer. Upper belts require a time minimum of seven years before promotion, and Baker ranks at the top of the short list to earn the title of Grand Master. “There’s a good chance I’ll get it,” Baker said. “There’s four of us going for it, and that’s as high as you can go. Only the founder can be a 10th degree.” Not bad for a former aspiring cartoonist. “I didn’t really think I was going to make martial arts my life,” Baker said. “I actually wanted to be an animator — a cartoonist. I started with that ﬁrst, but I was so gifted athletically, I thought, ‘Hey, I think I’ll go this route.’” Countless Texas State students can be thankful he did not choose the latter path. Otherwise they might have taken just another college karate class. “I’ve got a black belt in Shaolin kung-fu and have studied all kinds of styles,” Johnson said. “When I looked in the catalog and saw a karate class, I though, ‘how hard could this be?’” Johnson, who takes pride in the fact that he is one of the few students not to puke during a black belt test, was initially surprised at the course’s seriousness and rigor. “I thought I was going to go in there and show them all something,” Johnson said. “That was the stupidest line to ever run through my head. I was sore after the third day of class.”
THE ULTIMATE FRISBEE
Danny Rodriguez/Star photo Nick Espinoza, history junior, throws a pass by Andrew Walch, undecided freshman, during a scrimmage at the ﬁelds behind Strahan Coliseum. The ultimate frisbee team practices on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights.