Defending the First Amendment since 1911
Volume 99, Issue 35
The Bobcat football team plays Saturday against Sam Houston State in its last game of the season. See story page 18
Vaccines for ‘swine flu’ delayed, arrival unknown By Clay Throp News Reporter Students and faculty members waiting to receive the H1N1 “swine flu” vaccine will have to wait a little longer. Dr. Emilio Carranco, director of the Student Health Center, said he was hoping Oct. 25 would be the date the vaccine would arrive on campus. However, they have yet to arrive. “We may receive some new vaccines in December,” Carranco said. “The delivery dates have always been, you know … not very clear.” Carranco said he reserved 22,000
doses of the H1N1 vaccine. “I am disappointed because getting the campus community vaccinated before the Christmas break was an important strategy for decreasing the risk of complications,” Carranco said. Reported flu-like symptoms of all types have declined on campus, according to the health center’s database statistics. The number of flu-like conditions reported during the week ending Nov. 9 was 28, which translates to 4 percent of the center’s visits. The peak of flu-like visits occurred during the first week of the fall semester. Fifteen percent, or 118 cases of the center’s business dealt
with the condition. “The Houston and El Paso areas are seeing an increase in H1N1,” Carranco said. “Closer to home, we are definitely seeing a nice decrease in flu activity.” Carranco believes Texas State will likely see another wave of influenzalike illnesses after the semester break. A mass H1N1 immunization may not take place until next year. Chuck Chapman, Hays County emergency preparedness coordinator, received 700 units of the H1N1 vaccine in October. The units were dispersed to health care workers and priority list patients. Chapman is waiting for
Celebration of the People
more units of the medicine to arrive. “I have no clue when it will get here,” Chapman said. “I don’t even know how much I am getting. We hope to see more shipments in the near future, but I have not been told yet of any that will be coming.” Chapman said seasonal flu has had a greater impact than the H1N1 strain this season. “Realistically, this (H1N1) should be treated like the regular flu,” Chapman said. “It’s just got a different name. Ten years from now, this could be our seasonal flu. This is not anything to be panicking about.” H1N1 symptoms are similar to
catching seasonal flu. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, and chills, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Some people who have contracted the H1N1 virus have reported diarrhea and vomiting. Texas was the first state to report H1N1 cases. Carranco and Chapman agree people should not become complacent with their hygiene. People should continue to wash their hands on a regular basis, cover their mouth when coughing and stay home if symptoms occur.
Advisory commissions reviews management of city boards By Dj Nutter News Reporter
sion needs guidance on what it is supposed to accomplish. Sunset Advisory Commission officials recommended council members consider retiring five of the 26 commissions and boards reviewed. Pendergast recommended City Council retire the Beautification Commission. He said the commission’s role is undefined. Its responsibilities “double-dip” into tasks of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. The report recommends the council form a Keep San Marcos Beautiful Advisory Committee in its place. Pendergast said the people could be more effective if they allocate beautification funds to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. The Drainage Advisory Board should similarly cease to exist,
Council members have not been good housekeepers, according to a recent report. The City Council hired the Sunset Advisory Commission to review how San Marcos’ boards and committees are managed. Sunset Advisory released a report recommending the city streamline the boards and commissions so fewer people are working more and avoiding congestion. “It might be worthwhile for there to be a workshop once a year for the City Council, and maybe complete a major overhaul on how you run the boards and commissions,” said Jim Pendergast, chair of Sunset Advisory Commission. Pendergast said commis-
according to the Sunset report. The board was established in 2001 to “evaluate applications for drainage utility credits,” according to the Citizen Review Commission. However, no one has submitted an application. Pendergast said the Planning and Zoning Commission could handle potential applications. The report recommends the Minority Tourism Development Board expire. The seven members that make up the board oversee tax funds allocated to promote “minority tourism.” Pendergast said the board should forgo its existence because City Council refuses to fund it. He urges council members expand the ethnic spectrum of political leadership. see COUNCIL, page 7
Mailtool feature on TRACS tempts students to misuse By Beth Brown News Reporter
Rapid increase of student enrollment requires additional faculty hiring By Lora Collins News Reporter Texas State has the highest studentto-faculty ratio of all state public universities, according to figures posted by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board shows the university’s student-to-faculty ratio reached 29:1 in fall of last year. In comparison, Texas Tech had a ratio of 22:1, University of Texas at Austin 19:1 and University of Texas at San Antonio 24:1 last year. Texas State’s ratio has steadily risen since 2000, reaching its peak in 2007 at 30 students to one faculty member. Texas State has 674 faculty members
that are considered professors, associate professors, assistant professors or instructors. Of those 674 faculty members, 457 are considered full-time employees. Joe Meyer, director of Institutional Research at Texas State, attributed the inflation to the Coordinating Board’s formula, which calculates the number of full-time faculty and student equivalents. A faculty member is considered a fulltime equivalent if 100 percent of their work-time is spent teaching. A student is considered a full-time equivalent if they are enrolled in 15 or more semester credit hours. There were approximately 23, 500 full-time student equivalents and 800 full-time faculty members at
NEWS pages 1-7
the university last year. Meyer said the number of students taking 15 or more semester credit hours have increased at a rapid pace — so quickly there has not been enough time to hire additional faculty members. The funding the university receives from the legislature per each student taking 15 or more semester credit hours is one of the lowest rates in the state. Texas State receives approximately $180 per semester credit hour, whereas the University of Texas at Austin collects about $300 per semester credit hour. “The funding is driven by the semester credit hours that are being generated at each institution,” Meyer
see TRACS, page 7
Texas State stude Number of students per faculty member
Tina Phan/Star photo ANOTHER CULTURE: The Native American Student Association held its fifth annual Celebration of the People Old Fashioned Powwow & Arts Festival Wednesday in the LBJ Student Center Amphitheater. The event included arts, dancing, music and storytelling in Native American tradition. Visit UniversityStar.com for exclusive video
The era of e-mail spamming is upon Texas State. The mail tool on Teaching, Research and Collaboration System (TRACS) allows students to contact their peers instantaneously. They can ask for notes, clarify test material and organize study sessions by e-mailing the entire class. However, users have been misusing the feature. “We’ve been getting more and more complaints about the mail tool,” said Whitten Smart, user services consultant for TRACS. The TRACS mail tool is an updated version of Blackboard — a forum where communication is sent between students and teachers. Blackboard was replaced by the TRACS mail tool because of the unsanctioned activity that began occurring on its pages, Smart said. “There were students asking for roommates, selling furniture and asking for dates through Blackboard,” Smart said. “The instructors couldn’t turn that feature off. It was automatic and every
student could use it.” The TRACS mail tool is designed so the class rosters are posted for all students to access upon the teachers’ first mass e-mail. Teachers find this feature both a blessing and a curse. “I think TRACS is extremely useful in the sense that it gives us the opportunity to have contact with students, particularly in those large sections,” said Laurie Fluker, mass communications professor. “There are some downsides such as students having the ability to contact other students.” A student misused the TRACS mail tool to communicate with others during one of Fluker’s introduction to mass communication classes this semester, she said. The student sent an e-mail that said, “We are enrolled at Texas State University, not the Potty Training Academy. Dr. Fluker is a professor and not a wet nurse.” The e-mail was meant to express the students’ frustration about certain individuals complaining about tests, Fluker said. Fluker spoke to the student and concluded if e-mails like his are sent
see RATIO, page 7
Main Point: ‘Wright’ cause, wrong time: Bobcat football coach needs to focus on winning, for now
74°/46° Sunny Precipitation: 0% Humidity: 35% UV: 5 Moderate Wind: SSW 9 mph
2 - The University Star
STARS OF TEXAS STATE
City of San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz declared Tuesday, November 17, 2009 Texas State Bobcat Soccer Day. The 2009 team was honored at City Hall for a successful campaign this year that included a 14-6-1 overall record and an 8-0-1 mark in the Southland Conference.
— Courtesy of Texas State Athletics
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Texas State University – San Marcos is a member of the Texas State University System
1831: James A. Garfield, the 20th president of the United States, was born in Orange, Ohio. 1863: President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address as he dedicated a national cemetery at the site of the Civil War battlefield in Pennsylvania. 1942: Russian forces launched a winter offensive against the Germans along the Don front during World War II. 1977: Egyptian President Anwar Sadat became the first Arab leader to visit Israel. 1990: The pop duo Milli Vanilli was stripped of its Grammy Award after it was revealed neither performer sang on the group’s records. 2001: President George W. Bush signed legislation to put airport baggage screeners on the federal payroll. 2001: Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants became the first baseball player to win four Most Valuable Player awards. 2004: Ron Artest and Stephen Jackson of the Indiana Pacers charged into the stands and fought with fans during an NBA game in Detroit. (Artest was suspended for the rest of the season and Jackson for 30 games. A fan was sentenced to 30 days in jail for assaulting Artest.) 2006: British authorities said they were investigating the apparent poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB agent who had been critical of the Russian government. (Litvinenko died in London four days later of polonium poisoning.)
Nov. 8, 3:42 p.m. Medical Emergency/Alkek Parking Garage A student accidentally struck another student with her vehicle that caused an injury. The student was transported to Central Texas Medical Center for a medical evaluation.
— Courtesy of New York Times
— Courtesy of University Police
Nov. 8, 6:29 p.m. Graffiti - Loss under $500/ Bexar Hall Parking Garage While on patrol, a police officer noticed university property had been vandalized. The case is under investigation. Nov. 8, 10:58 p.m. Possession of Marijuana/ Wood Street Parking Garage While on patrol, a police officer observed individuals acting suspiciously. Upon further investigation, a student was arrested for possession of marijuana and three nonstudents were issued criminal trespass warnings. The student was transported to Hays County Law Enforcement Center and is awaiting a court date. Nov. 9, 2:58 p.m. Theft-Under $1500/Texas State A student reported to a police officer his personal property had been taken without his consent. The case is under investigation.
Jake Marx/Star photo GEORGE’S BAR: Taylor Jennings, studio art freshman, plays pool Wednesday at George’s bar in the Student Center.
Library Beat Texas State alum reads from new Dobie biography Texas State alum Steve Davis has written the first new biography of J. Frank Dobie in 30 years, a vibrant reassessment of Dobie’s life and times published by UT Press. At 4 p.m. Thursday, the Wittliff Collections will present a reading and book signing with Davis on the seventh floor of the Alkek Library. Admission is free. The hardcover book will be for sale for $24.95. J. Frank Dobie (1888-1964) was the first Texas-based writer to gain national attention, and he captured the Southwest’s folk history in best-selling books such as Tales of Old-Time Texas, Coronado’s Children, and The Longhorns. Dobie brought scholarship out of the ivory tower and down to earth, where it could be shared among the people. He forswore getting his doctoral degree, famously observing, “The average PhD thesis is nothing but a transference of bones from one graveyard to another.” Davis takes a fresh look at the folklorist, whose “liberated mind” set him on a journey that culminated in a fight for free speech and civil rights. “Dobie didn’t start out as a progressive hero,” said Davis.
“He grew up in a time of great prejudice, and those attitudes are clearly expressed in his early work. But gradually, his devotion to the open range became a belief in an open mind. Dobie singlehandedly integrated the Texas Folklore Society in the 1920s, and by the 1940s he was calling for the complete integration of UT-Austin, a courageous stand that alienated much of his readership. During the McCarthy era he became Texas’s leading dissenter, taking on politicians and censors — anyone he saw as the enemy of human liberty or freedom of thought.” Davis received his BA in 1992 from Texas State, and in 1994 he began working as a graduate library assistant at the Wittliff Collections. He earned his MA in English / Southwestern Studies in 1995, and he became Assistant Curator of the Wittliff’s Southwestern Writers Collection in 1997. J. Frank Dobie: A Liberated Mind is his fourth book. For more information, call the Wittliff Collections office at 512-245-2313. — Courtesy of Alkek Library
NFPA says Thanksgiving leading day for fires The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) said Thanksgiving is the leading day for home cooking fires. U.S. firefighters responded to roughly 1,300 home fires involving cooking equipment on Thanksgiving in 2007, roughly three times the daily average of cooking fires, according to NFPA. “Incorporating fire safety into your holiday preparations can mean the difference between putting on a fantastic holiday feast for family and friends or having to call the fire department to put out a fire,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of communications. Cooking is the leading cause of home fires. During 2003 to 2006, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 150,200 home structure fires involving cooking equipment per year, according to the newly released NFPA report Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment. These fires caused an annual average of 500 civilian deaths, 4,660 civilian injuries, and $756 million in direct property damage. The report on fires during 2003 to 2006
had other key findings. Cooking equipment was involved in 40 percent of all reported home fires, 17 percent of home fire deaths, 36 percent of home civilian injuries and 12 percent of the direct property damage resulting from home fires. Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in these fires. Something that could catch fire was too close to the equipment ranked second and unintentionally turned on or not turned off ranked third. Three-fifths (57 percent) of reported home cooking fire injuries occurred when victims tried to fight the fire themselves. NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training and education. For fire safety tips, visit the NFPA’s Web site at www.nfpa.org. —Courtesy of National Fire Protection Association
Texas Authors visit Public Library Texas Authors visit Public Library The San Marcos Public Library will host more than 40 Texas authors and illustrators at the sixth annual Texas Author Day 2 to from 5 p.m. Nov. 22. These published writers and illustrators will be on hand to sign copies of their books and chat with fans. A variety of genres will be represented including local history, Texana, mystery, horror, memoirs, children’s literature, poetry, history and fiction. Several authors are scheduled to either read from their book or talk about their work. Diana Castilleja of Kyle, author of the romance novel Crowning a Warrior King as well as several e-books, is scheduled to talk at 2:15 p.m. Jacqueline Kelly, of Austin, who has written a young adult novel set in Fentress, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, will speak at 3 p.m. Allan
C. Kimball, resident of Wimberley and author of Who is Mother Neff and Why is She a State Park, plus several other Texas travel guides speak at 3:45 p.m. Appearing at 4:30 p.m. is Austin based free-lance writer Shelley Seale, author of The Weight of Silence: The Invisible Children of India which relates her journeys into the orphanages and slums of India. Books will be available for purchase at the library. Autographed books make wonderful holiday gifts for booklovers of all ages. Everyone is welcome to attend this free annual event. The library is located at 625 E. Hopkins St. in San Marcos. For more information call 512-393-8200 or stop by and check out the display of books by these and other Texas writers. — Courtesy of San Marcos Public Library
Thursday, November 19, 2009
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Council looking to rebrand city By Christine Mester News Reporter
SAN MARCOS: The City of San Marcos will be getting a logo soon.
City Council is developing a brand for San Marcos to promote economic development, tourism and marketing efforts. City Council partnered with public relation and advertising agencies KGBTexas and TateAustinHahn to develop a unique San Marcos brand, which is set to launch in approximately six months. “The cities that seem to flourish and that people remembered were those that have some sort of tagline, or marketed themselves in a way where you instantly remembered that city,” Mayor Susan Narvaiz said. “If you talk about Austin, you think of live music. Branding helps people think of a particular destination.” Narvaiz said the council has saved money for the project for approximately five years. She said approximately $190,000 will total the project’s costs. Narvaiz said the money for the project came from Hotel Occupancy Funds. By law, those funds can only be used to market and advertise a community to bring visitors to the city and local hotels. Having a brand will help San Marcos become a more recognizable city, Narvaiz said. “Every group in San Marcos has their own tagline,” Narvaiz said. “You’ve heard people refer to us as the gateway to the hill country, the Texas natural or the city with many charms. Our new branding project says ‘Hey everybody let’s get together and agree on one topic and let’s go market that one way of talking about San Marcos.’” City Council will hold community meetings throughout the design process to obtain community input, Narvaiz said.
Chuck Leifeste, director of advertising at KGBTexas, said the final project includes research findings, a logo, tagline, brand standards guide and marketing and launch plans. “The first thing we do is quite a bit of market research,” Leifeste said. “We go through a whole research process and assess current assets, qualities and characteristics the city has to offer. We utilize public engagement and outreach. It is a totally inclusive process to find out what makes San Marcos special and unique.” Valerie Fix, owner of Wayback Attic, said City Council has presented the branding project to the Downtown Association. She declined to comment on whether she would incorporate the brand into her advertising efforts until the design is finalized. Leifeste said his company has worked with other cities on branding and advertising projects. He said the project should attract more business to San Marcos. “Every city needs to have a unique identity to really help establish a clear identity in people’s mind about what San Marcos stands for,” Leifeste said. “It will help elevate their recognition and bring businesses and corporations to San Marcos, increasing economic development.” Narvaiz said one purpose of the branding project is to lower taxes for residents. “The project will draw more people into the community to visit,” Narvaiz said. “Ecotourism is a big deal and sports tourism is another growing revenue source. All of this means less taxing on residents and their property. If we can find other ways to generate revenue to help run the city and fund our parks, library and safety, we don’t have to go to the residents and ask for their hard earned money.”
Jake Marx/Star photo
House passes $1 million for Texas State program By Chase Birthisel Assistant News Editor
U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett has secured another grant for Texas State. Texas State’s Center for Hetero-Functional Materials’ will receive $1 million through the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill if passed by Congress and the president. “These are very important dollars to us,” said Bill Covington, associate vice president for Research and Federal Relations. “We are very grateful to representative Doggett getting this
into the legislature for us. We hope it survives and we get the money.” Covington said the decision for the money is still pending. “We’re still quite a ways from the goal line here,” Covington said. “I’m optimistic it’s all going to come through. At the end of the day, we will get the million dollars.” Covington said the center grows different types of novel material for use in a variety of devices. “It can be used in cell-phones, televisions, computers, sensors used for medical imaging and
sensors used for homeland security,” Covington said. “There are tons of applications.” Doggett has worked to secure funds for Texas State programs, such as A.L.E.R.R.T., in the past. “Scientific innovation does not come without vision, and vision does not come without the resources necessary to make it a reality,” Doggett said in a press release. “As Texas and the United States evolve to meet new 21st century challenges, it’s imperative we make a commitment to do everything it takes to rise to the task.” Sarah Dohl, a public relations
representative for Doggett, said the senator chose the Center for Hetero-Functional Materials’ as the collector at the school’s request. “The school (Texas State) ranks requests for money in terms of its priorities,” Dohl said. “The Center for HeteroFunctional Materials’ was one of the school’s highest. We decided to pursue the program.” Covington said the money, if granted, would be used to pay for equipment, technicians and students in the lab. “We work very closely with Doggett,” Covington said. “He has
arrested. The third shooting incident, within three months, took place at the University Heights II Apartments. Two men shot an apartment resident after an attempted home invasion Oct. 20. The culprits then fled, disposed of the guns and were later caught by SMPD. “In the other cases, all of those were for drugs,” Williams said. “The term ‘home invasion’ really isn’t right. These were not innocent victims. They were people that had their dope ripped off.” Williams said the perpetrators enter the residents’ homes armed and ready to steal. “The Luling case homeowner is the only one with a defense statement that he was in self-defense. All of these people will be hit with narcotics charges,” Williams said. Williams said none of the men involved had permanent attachments to San Marcos. “These are people coming from the outside and causing us problems,” Williams said. “There’s a precious amount of criminals that are college students. (College students) aren’t involved. They are not
causing these crimes.” Williams said increased officer presence on the streets will not prevent violent crimes. “If random break-ins were happening, I’d have every single one of my officers out on the streets at night stopping everything that moves after 2 a.m.,” Williams said. Penny Dunn, SMPD commander, said college students are directly targeted to be burglarize by armed perpetrators. “It’s (the students’) habits that make them targets when they leave their doors unlocked,” Dunn said. “Students are vulnerable because they have stereos, high valued electronics and gaming systems.” Dunn said students could avoid being targeted by not advertising parties on Facebook. “People will come from Austin and San Antonio to these parties and steal purses because they know you’re preoccupied,” Dunn said. Within the past two years, SMPD has added 12 new officers for offices including mental health officer, motorcycle units and city patrol. A com-
munity liaison officer will be added around January to contact crime victims and offer their services. Williams said city residents can help prevent crime by taking care of the community. Holland Street Church of Christ pastor, Lin Penland, said keeping bushes and window obstructions trimmed can alleviate burglaries. “I heard that if you keep landscaping trimmed down or not have it at all, there isn’t a place for burglars to hide,” Penland said. Williams said one of the issues SMPD found after the string of shootings was they did not have enough information about the drug houses. Officers are trying to find ways to collect information that could prevent drug related issues in the future, he said. “It’s not SMPD, which has 95 sets of eyes to watch the town, that will prevent crime,” Williams said. “It’s the City of San Marcos. Give us a call if something is suspicious. Nine times out of 10, if you see something and your gut tells you something ain’t right, something isn’t.”
SMPD attempts to alleviate fears after home break ins By Megan Holt News Reporter
San Marcos Police Department officers are attempting to ease tension in the city after the recent shootings. Chief Howard Williams held a neighborhood meeting Tuesday evening to discuss the recent rise in violent crimes. “People have gotten a twisted perception of what’s going on in this town from the headlines,” Williams said. “We’re one of the safest college cities in the state.” The first homicide happened Aug. 26 at Kelsea’s Place Apartments. Victim Byron Burse, 30, was shot in his home after two men kicked in his front door. “In the first shooting, the three (individuals) clearly knew each other,” Williams said. “The door was kicked in and one of them shot the other. These were two guys that had it in for each other.” A group of Luling teens were shot nine days later Sept. 4. Four teens entered a house on the 900 block of Chestnut Street. The resident shot and killed two teens and wounded another. The fourth teen was
been extremely supportive of what we’re doing at Texas State.” Doggett believes the funds will go to good use. “These funds will solidify Texas State University as a leader in the development of the next
generation of scientific innovation,” Doggett said in a press release. “The university has the potential to help our nation become more secure, energy independent, environmentally sound and healthy.”
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again she will take the roster off TRACS. The student would not respond for comment. The TRACS mail tool has the ability to reach all students in a given time and is used most frequently in large lecture classes. Students are taking advantage of the ability to communicate with others for extracurricular reasons. Cody Hool, criminal justice sophomore, sent out an e-mail through the mail tool on TRACS to his chemistry class offering his services for repairing automobiles. He said he used the class roster to further advertise his services. “I decided to send it because of the sheer size of the class,”
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Hool said. “I really do feel like it’s been successful. The bigger the class, the more responses you get.” Hool said he has been contacted by five other people in his class about the advertisement. Smart from TRACS said using the mail tool as a means of advertisement is not the way it was intended to be utilized. “It originally wasn’t even designed for student use, it just was for professors,” Smart said. “The mail tool is for students to be able to communicate with each other. So if they need notes or if they’re doing a project they can get in contact with each other.” TRACS workers must now find a solution for the increasing
complaints from administrators as students continue to use the mail tool for unintended purposes. One of TRACS’ options is to take away the mail tool from student use. “What we can do now, if an instructor deems it necessary, is they can hide the mail tool from student view,” Smart said. “It’s all or nothing.” Fluker said she is looking forward to seeing how TRACS fixes the problem. “I have faith the system will take care of the problems that exist, thereby making it as close to perfect as possible,” Fluker said.
said. “The funding rate varies by academic discipline and by instructional level.” Meyer said the majority of Texas State credit hours are in liberal arts, education and business administration — three departments which are among the lowest funded areas. The number of doctoral programs at Texas State is another factor. This component limits the amount of funds the university could receive. “We only have about eight or nine doctoral programs,” Meyer said. “Because we don’t
have a large amount of doctoral semester credit hours in particular, that works against us because the funding rates are very high at the doctoral level.” Associate Provost Eugene Bourgeois said advanced classes at Texas State are necessary to keep the student-tofaculty ratio down. “Having more full-time, tenure-tract faculty is essential to meeting those goals and objectives,” Bourgeois said. Meyer said University President Denise Trauth is aiming to decrease the ratio with a
plan to hire additional faculty. Approximately 250 full-time faculty members were hired in the last six years. He said the provost’s office projects 1,007 for the fall 2009 fulltime faculty. The additional faculty members hired have been paid for through tuition increase, Meyer said. “The result of these (tuition) increases have led to more faculty being hired,” Bourgeois said. “If students had not lent their support to the tuition increase, the student to faculty ratio would not have improved.”
By Maurah Ruiz News Reporter
outside of the classroom as well.” Dozier said wanting to be a healthier person helps our nation because smoking puts a huge burden on our spending expenditures. Students will be handed information regarding smoking cessation and tobacco use today in The Quad. They will have the opportunity to have a lung function test administered, free of charge. “It checks how much air you blow out and takes into account whether you are a smoker or not,” said Sepulveda. “What the respiratory care people tell you is whether your lungs are good or need some work. They tell whether you need to start thinking about stopping what you’re doing.” Along with information and lung function tests, students will have the opportunity to “trade up” a pack of cigarettes for a Texas State T-shirt. Sepulveda said students can throw in a lighter if they wanted to. “It can’t be a pack of cigarettes with one cigarette. There needs to be a decent amount of cigarettes” Sepulveda said. Coupons for the Smoking Cessation program here at Texas State will be handed out to students who “trade-up.” Sepulveda said the program is
not being utilized as much as it should be. “We hope for positive reactions but you never know with these kinds of issues,” Sepulveda said. “I’ve talked to my smoking buddies and they said they wouldn’t like getting told what to do. We got a few looks when we were putting up the sandwich boards.” Kara Montgomery, pre-mass communication sophomore, considers herself to be a hypocritical smoker. She smokes but hates the smell of cigarettes. “I don’t feel like not being able to smoke in The Quad is an infringement of my rights as a smoker,” Montgomery said. “I think it’s a good thing because it respects people who don’t smoke.” Montgomery said she smokes because it helps ease the stress of school. “I don’t think smokers want to smoke — I think they get pleasure out of it,” Montgomery said. “Like me, I love smoking but I wish I didn’t have to.” Sepulveda said the problem is not only one student who is smoking. He said students are affected by second hand smoke and at this point, the issue becomes a public health concern. “If we affect a couple people, it would be better than no one,” Sepulveda said.
bags of aluminum cans. Green Guy Recycling collected the cans after the event. Green Guy Recycling offers the Cans for a Cause program, which donates the proceeds from the sale of aluminum cans to charity. Starkey said the College Democrats are waiting for Green Guy Recycling to inform them if the weight of cans collected from the event will qualify the organization for the program. The College Democrats also went around and collected cans from the tailgating tents. Jamey Juhan, College Democrats recruitment chair, said students were receptive to the recycling opportunity. This was the first time recycling bins were available during tailgating events. “It seemed students noticed the recycling bins and that they hadn’t seen that before,” Juhan, pre-mass communication senior, said. “Even though it was homecoming and students were more distracted than usual I definitely noticed a lot of students recycling.”
Mandy Domaschk, president of College Democrats, said the effort is part of the organization’s vision to promote recycling to students. “We wanted to help people understand no matter where they are they should be thinking about recycling,” Domaschk said. “We need to start reusing and recycling. This helps promote that culture and reduce waste in the Texas State community.” Domaschk, political science senior, said the College Democrats will discuss continuing the recycling efforts at tailgating parties during their next meeting. Juhan said he hopes students and university officials will notice the College Democrats recycling efforts. “We’ve notice the university is becoming more interested in recycling efforts,” Juhan said. “Anything a student organization can do on their own to recycle is good and creates more awareness. The university sees students are willing to go that extra mile.”
The Great American Smokeout Challenge comes to Texas State The sandwich boards reading “University Policy — No Smoking on The Quad” appeared Monday, but students may not have understood what the commotion was all about. The Great American Smokeout Challenge, a program initiated by the American Cancer Society to encourage smokers to quit or make a plan to quit, has come to Texas State. Julian Sepulveda, intern at the Student Health Center, said students are not aware of the university policy outlawing smoking on The Quad. “We want to raise awareness about the policy and get the attention of the students,” Sepulveda said. Ashlee Dozier, health education coordinator at the Student Health Center, said they are being supportive of the American Cancer Society’s goals to help make the campus a healthier place. She said the leading causes of death in the United States are all cancer related illnesses. “We want to give our students lifelong lessons they can take with them, even out of college,” Dozier said. “They learn a lot in the classroom but there are things they need to learn
College Democrats promote recycling during tailgating Christine Mester News Reporter
Tailgating parties have gone green. College Democrats initiated a recycling program during the homecoming tailgate. The organization is partnering with the Associated Student Government, Texas State Recycling, Waste Management and Green Guy Recycling. Christina Starkey, College Democrats secretary, said the effort began after College Democrats witnessed the waste being produced during tailgating parties. “We’ve always recycled our own cans during tailgating,” Starkey said. “But we still saw so many cans would get thrown away. We figured we would try to recycle them. We want to help the environment and do our part.” Starkey, mathematics sophomore, said 20 recycling bins provided by Green Guy Recycling were placed next to trash cans at the tailgating event. Starkey said the College Democrats collected 25 trash
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“We feel very strongly about there not being Hispanic representation on either the council or the Planning and Zoning Committee,” Pendergast said. “The people seem to want (more Hispanic accessibility in its politics).” Pendergast said the Transportation Advisory Board is unnecessary. The sevenmember board was designed to overlook the city’s Transportation Master Plan. The members were to oversee the Capital Improvements Program process and “serve as a Blue Ribbon Bond Committee.” He said all the tasks have
been fulfilled. The report recommended council members retire the Youth Commission. It is uncertain what the commission has accomplished since it was established in May 2000, Pendergast said. The commission’s members were all youths at first. However, complications arose when adults were included. “The youths feel a little intimidated,” Pendergast said. “You’ve tried it two or three ways to make it work and it hasn’t.” Pendergast said council members might want to create
programs addressing youth issues such as diabetes and obesity rather than tweaking the existing one. Mayor Susan Narvaiz said no other commissions have reported back with such detail and research. She said the city extends an invitation for the Sunset Advisory Commission to return and facilitate a workshop. City Councilmember Chris Jones, Place 4, said he is willing to support the recommendations found in the report before officials facilitate a clarifying workshop.
By Rachel Nelson News Reporter
McWilliams said. “I thought, ‘Wow, I really touched a nerve here.’ I thought maybe I should research it a little more.” Eating local is an informal movement that has gained popularity during the past five years, according to information posted at Localvore.net. “A localvore is a person who eats only locally-grown and produced food,” the Web site states. McWilliams refutes the idea eating locally is the best option for environmentally cautious consumers in his book. “We need to worry less about where our food comes from and more about what we’re eating,” McWilliams said. “We need to eat less meat and a wider range of fruits and vegetables. That is not only a healthier diet, but healthier for the environment.” McWilliams is critical of the Localvore Movement, understands why people are but enchanted with the idea of eating foods grown close to home. “We all want to know where our food comes from, and if it’s coming from a local source then we feel more comfortable,” McWilliams said. “There is something very satisfying on shrinking the supply chain. We should do it, but we shouldn’t dilute ourselves into thinking we can do that everywhere. Local environments normally can’t support a broad range of food.” Pamela Ronald, professor
of plant pathology at the University of California, Davis, and co-author of Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics and the Future of Food said she read McWilliams’ book thoroughly. “I think that the local movement is interesting and nice, but it’s really a drop in the bucket of our huge agricultural problems,” Ronald said. “I really appreciate his book and putting that into perspective. Ronald said consumers who focus on environmental friendliness should consider the big picture before vowing to eat locally. “I think most people really do want to help the agricultural issues that we have so they eat locally, but sometimes they don’t think further than that,” Ronald said. McWilliams said he believes many environmentalists desire to live ethically, but do not want to make sacrifices in order to achieve that. “Buying and eating locally is not much of a sacrifice,” McWilliams said. “Reducing meat is a sacrifice.” For McWilliams, the locally grown food trend boils down to one fact. “If I want to be an ethical consumer and make sure that all my food comes locally because it’s local doesn’t mean it’s necessarily more efficient or that it was grown in a more responsible matter,” McWilliams said.
Professor writes about myths of ‘Locavores’ James McWilliams, associate history professor, wanted to get to the root of the locally grown food craze. His findings led to the authorship of his book Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly. McWilliams said he was inspired to research this topic when he observed a growing trend of people consuming food from local sources. “I’m a historian, but one of the things historians are quite skeptical of is when everyone believes an idea without questioning it. It raises red flags,” McWilliams said. Weighing on McWilliams’ mind was his observation advocates for small-scale agriculture promote going back to pre-industrial methods of farming. “That is actually very bad for the environment,” McWilliams said. “Pre-industrial arming led to the Dust Bowl. It’s clear to me the sustainable food movement today has little knowledge of agricultural history.” McWilliams wrote an article for The New York Times in the summer of 2007 presenting his view that food miles are not the best gauge of environmental efficiency. “It got tons and tons of responses, pro and con,”
8 - The University Star
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Give thanks, give to others By Tristan Watson Opinions Columnist Maya Angelou once said, “I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” Sometimes I become distressed whenever I reflect on the problems in my life. I wonder why certain things had to happen to me or why I had to go through a particular experience. I often forget there are other people in this world who have problems that may exceed mine, and who need hope. The National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is designed to inform individuals of poverty and hunger in the country, according to the Student Volunteer Connection at Texas State. They have events and programs scheduled from Nov. 15 to Nov. 20 in an effort to help those in need. The Student Volunteer Connection should be commended for their outreach efforts. Not only for bringing attention to the growing problem of poverty and
hunger, but for being proactive within the San Marcos community. A canned-food drive, making blankets and donating a meal trade were some of the activities that took place this week. Giving to others truly makes a difference not only in someone else’s life, but also in people who choose to give. It’s easy to talk about helping others or wanting to see changes. Conversely, it takes effort and determination to be active in giving. This is why it’s imperative for people to not only help others this week, but to continue to assist those who are in need. Lending a hand shouldn’t be limited to certain holidays or a particular time of year. There are people across this world who suffer from poverty, hunger and other issues, but there are people right here in our community who endure these problems as well. Giving does not always have to be monetary. Giving time, food, basic necessities and clothing are a few items people can contribute to help those who are less fortunate. If students or local residents want to continue to give throughout the year, the Southside Community Center in San Marcos is one way to help others. The center accepts gently used
clothing, shoes, furniture, appliances, books, bedding, dishware, artwork and childrens’ items, according to their Web site. Volunteers are always welcomed to help serve, cook and socialize with others at the shelter. Donating to Goodwill and Salvation Army are other places where people are welcomed to give. The American Community Survey released data by the U.S. Census Bureau, which states more than 3.7 million Texans lived in poverty last year. They claim the current number of Texans living in poverty likely exceeds the 2008 estimates. There is work to be done and giving to others is a start. It is not possible to help everyone, but making a difference in at least one person’s life is worth it. Giving to others can be gratifying. It takes a willing mind and an open heart for people to look beyond their own circumstances and realize there are others who are suffering and who may have problems greater than their own. Giving to others shouldn’t just be limited to certain holidays. People should always be willing to help those in need.
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Thanksgiving is upon us but the holiday is about more than feasting on turkey, pie and stuffing. What are YOU thankful for? “I am thankful for my friends, my family, my health and an amazing place to go to college.”
— Chris Rogge, communication design sophomore
“I am thankful for my awesome art classes where I get to play with things and clay and draw all day.” — Olivia Claypool, communication design sophomore
“I am thankful for this semi-cold weather we’re getting right now because I just love cold weather.“
— Travis Barron, communication design sophomore
“I am thankful for Apple products. Just because they are awesome.” — Demi Moore, music education freshman
— Tristan Watson is a political science senior.
Diwali: it’s more than just good food Student’s experience with Indian hospitality
By Robert Beckhusen Opinions Columnist In India, it can be considered bad manners to refuse food. You’re expected to have your fill. You should finish your plate, otherwise you may be thought inconsiderate. Now, I’ve yet to go to India (a problem I’m trying to correct), but Saturday was the first time I’ve experienced Diwali, and the remarkable cuisine seemed to have stuck with most of the uninitiated. I certainly
didn’t run into any problems as my hosts at the Indian Students Association saw to it that I went back for seconds. During a break between the colorful and physically demanding dances — ranging from traditional Kuchipundi acts, expatriate songs and syncretic, techno-laced Bollywood pop — audience members were asked to share what they liked about India. One visitor said he enjoyed the food. This was received with laughs. Yes, the food is very good. However, I don’t want to dwell on it too much and neglect other features. I should say that being raised in Dallas, which has a sizable and growing Indian population, my first experience with the culture was
through food. The family of a childhood friend, British citizens, knew the local desi bazaars, of which I was completely ignorant. I learned the taste is substantial, but best served as an introduction — once satisfied we can move on to more important matters. I think the Diwali festival represents one of humanity’s finest contributions to tolerance and pluralism. The members of the association are very diverse in their own group (and among the most committed and hardest working people I’ve met) and I noticed several different religious confessions among the participants. This is natural and to be expected, of course. India as a country is one of the most diverse in the world:
for languages, religions, ethnicity and so forth. It contains the third largest population of declared Muslims. This fact should serve as an example for our own country, the United States, as it seeks to coexist with an often-skeptical “Muslim world.” Respect for varying traditions within a social-democratic system essentially defines India’s government. India’s “political, economic and literary echelons speak English better than most of us do,” Christopher Hitchens wrote in a Dec. 1 article on Slate. We should be proud of hosting some of its brightest examples, and should call for increased support (material and otherwise) for the ISA. This way more students from the subcontinent can come here
to study at Texas State. These are some very talented people, and the amount of work many of these friends put upon themselves to host such festivals while working and studying for graduate degrees makes me embarrassed for myself and my compatriots. I’m utterly shiftless in comparison. Several weeks ago I went to The Square with several chums, some of whom were involved with our local Diwali. I was impressed by their momentum to make the most of the free night. After returning to one of their homes early in the morning, all of us very hungry (and temporarily but thoroughly unable to operate machinery), my friends took to rummaging through the refrigerator. Out came
several gruesome looking Jack in the Box hamburgers. I couldn’t accept. These burgers were already in pretty poor condition, and I wasn’t sure my gastric fortitude could handle further pressure. “Eat!” my friend demanded, pushing the burger at me. My resolve to avoid such unpleasantness was breaking down. “Eat!” another friend badgered. I accepted the thing, closed my eyes and inhaled it. Eating was better for me than not, and the hospitality that ensures a guest will never go home on an empty stomach shall never be forgetten. — Robert Beckhusen is a pre-mass communication sophomore
New federal legislation requires more of credit card companies targeting students
By Gabrielle Samples Opinions Columnist Build credit. Earn rewards. Spend freely. Dig yourself a hole of financial debt. Do all of these features sound appealing? For years credit card companies have lured college students to venture on the dangerous path of credit spending by portraying the process as care and trouble-free. The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which will go into effect February 2010, will help protect students from making unwise financial decisions. The act will clear the vagueness credit card companies present to applicants. Legislation will also extend the time cardholders receive a bill notice from
14 days to 21 days. The bill requires the companies to give a notice of change in the agreement 45 days in advance. The act will basically monitor credit card companies and insure fair practices. Under the Credit CARD Act there will be “new protections for college students and young adults, including a requirement that card issuers and universities disclose agreements with respect to the marketing or distribution of credit cards to students,” according to the White House Web site. College students make up the population of people who clearly lack the means to compensate for their spending. Stopping credit card companies from targeting college students is a much-needed act. With the growing sense of irresponsibility in relation to finances and spending, this legislation gives a positive outlook on the improvement of our economy. I will not claim to know as much as I should about economics or credit in general, but I do know that superfluous credit spending has
proven to be detrimental. As students on the brink of entering the “real world,” it is important we not only prepare ourselves for our chosen careers, but also for the other important tasks such as being able to budget money. I am not saying that all students should be required to take finance courses, but we should become aware of the risks that come with negligent spending. Personal responsibility plays a large role in managing our finances. Credit card companies have been known to thoughtlessly target unfitting applicants, the blame should not be placed only on the companies. Again as students, some of whom are depending on government aid for their education, we should consider not only the present consequences of our actions, but also the longterm results. If we are going to take part in the system of credit spending, we should take heed to our actions. —Gabrielle Samples is a public relations sophomore
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10 – The University Star
Thursday, November 19, 2009
‘Wright’ cause T Wrong time
exas State athletic officials seem to be forgetting Coach Brad Wright has been a part of a lot of firsts and records for the football team.
In 1980, Southwest Texas State won its first conference championship in 17 years while Wright was a player. As assistant coach more than 20 years later, he helped the Bobcats to their first NCAA Division I FCS playoff berth. The team won a co-Southland Conference championship that same season. Wright led the Bobcats to their first full SLC championship as head coach. Another outright title in more than 20 years. Noticing a trend here? Coach Brad Wright was offered a one-year contract extension without a pay raise, which he declined. Texas State should take care of its own. Under Wright’s coaching, the Bobcats have had a nationally ranked offense during the 2008 season. Would Bradley George, senior quarterback, Cameron Luke, wide receiver alumnus, and Karrington Bush, junior running back, have been star players and broken their own records without Wright? Maybe not. Multiple players have been named to All-Southland Conference teams, received student-athlete awards and have been active in the community under Wright. Brad Wright expects a lot from his team because the university and Bobcat fans expect success. The team and its coaches have met those expectations with two SLC championships and participation in the NCAA
the main point. Division I FCS Playoffs. Wright feels he is “being underappreciated and unhappy with the current contract situation,” according to the Nov. 18 issue of The University Star. If the athletics officials want to earn a third title and make a trip to playoffs while attempting to transition into Football Bowl Subdivision, it would be in their best interest to keep Wright. However, Wright has been in the wrong lately. Wright publicized the contract situation and made headlines at The Austin-American Statesman and San Antonio’s Express News during the season. It is easy to speculate whether the negotiations were a distraction for the team and had an effect on Saturday’s game against McNeese State. The result ended in the Bobcats’ loss of a chance at the conference title. The game was arguably the team’s biggest of the season. It is sad when coaches lose focus of their goal — helping their players win games. An individual has to ask who is losing here, the coach or the team. Wright deserves the contract he is asking for, but the issue could have been better handled in the offseason. He is an alumnus and continues to say he wants to stay with Texas State, but only if he’s treated right. Wright should stop worrying about dollars and cents. He should focus on the key issue he is being paid for: winning football games. And in return Texas State should take notice of the man who has been with them for nearly three decades and reward his loyalty.
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.
Juan Ramirez/Star Illustration
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The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State UniversitySan Marcos published Tuesday through Thursday during the fall and spring semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with a distribution of 8,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright Thursday, November 19. 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.
Battle of the Bands
George’s Lounge in LBJ Student Center will host a band competition 7 p.m. Monday for student musicians to combat over a cash prize of $500. Admission is free for students. Participating bands include The Living Room, Gleeson, Zlam Dunk, Aimless Gun and The Columnists.
The University Star – 11
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Local Restaurant will soon offer hand- crafted beer
By Alejandro Martinez Features Reporter There is something new brewing in San Marcos. Locally brewed beer will flow again as The Root Cellar prepares to unveil its latest creation: homebrewed beer. Brewmaster Silas Parker, founder of Darkside Fermentation labors after hours in the Root Cellar honing his brewing style. Parker said he has been brewing beer for the past four years, but on a small scale. “The hardest part of home brewing is you don’t get to brew often enough — you don’t have the necessary commercial equipment or space,” Parker said. Parker apprenticed at the Wimberley Brewing Co. under brewmaster Mark Coleman from whom he crafted his own style and learned about the brewing process. Kyle Mylius, owner of the Root Cellar, said Silas approached him with the idea of a joint venture utilizing the restaurant’s space and Parker’s equipment and system. Officially, Parker is not a Root Cellar employee, merely a “creative partner” in charge of brewing beer for the restaurant. Through this partnership, the small operation finished its first
batch of beer in November, making the Root Cellar the only producing brew pub in San Marcos. The operation is producing one barrel a week, the equivalent of two kegs of beer. Parker said they will be brewing root beer and ginger ale as the operation expands. “It’s about time we had this in San Marcos,” Parker said. “The last establishments in San Marcos to brew beer were Café on the Square and Rocky LaRues. However, the operations were short lived.” Parker says the main problem with other brew pubs is the beer is sold when it is still young, which alters DEEPLY ROOTED: Silas Parker, founder of Darkside Fermentation, will soon begin brewing beer at The Root Cellar.Stacie Andrews/Star photo the taste. “You have to respect the beer their monasteries. Parker Mylius said the brewing and give it time,” Parker said. takes pride in his ingredients project follows the organic “This operation is not about of all traditional Belgian yeasts concept of The Root Cellar, money. This town needed and pure unfiltered water where everything served is someone to make beer.” drawn from the local aquifer. made in-house. Silas hopes other places will Parker is brewing a Tripel “It’s one of the unique places follow suit to help bring the beer. He has been toying with in San Marcos, and we’ve home-brewing culture to San recipes, so no batch of beer worked to make it that way Marcos on a larger scale. will be identical. … this just takes it to another “The glory of the homebrew The Root Cellar will hold level,” Mylius said. beer — you don’t get a small tasting party Dec. 14 Mylius and Parker have hangovers,” Parker said. with musical guests, The Blue thoughts for expansion. They “Because of the natural Hit. The beer will be available hope to grow all their own fermentation process and the for public purchase after the hops and grain locally, which quality of yeast used, the beer unveiling. Mylius said can make the beer is loaded with antioxidants “We want to get a lot of more uniquely San Marcos. and B-vitamins.” feedback from people,” Mylius “I’ve gained a lot of respect Parker said he follows the said. for the process watching Silas traditional Belgian monastic All labels for the beer will work,” Mylius asid. “He’s a system, dating to when monks be printed on recycled paper perfectionist, and the finished brewed beer to supplement bags and bottled by hand. product will reflect it.”
Just a Stone’s throw away Musician, band make waves with tempos
By Kassie Kitchen Trends Columnist Local musician Ashleigh Stone graced the town with her late-night, jazzy performance Tuesday at Triple Crown. Stone and her band, Our Favorite Colors, successfully filled the venue with deep soul and rich energy.
The band consists of Stone on keys and vocals, Jason Wilkinson on drums, Kevin Colis on guitar and Ricardo Martinez on a variety on instruments including additional keys, clarinet and saxophone. I would describe the sound as this decade’s Fiona Apple, without the edgy teen angst factor. Stone’s vocals were low and subdued like those of Dawn Landes. She had a vibrant disposition as she bee-bopped around and tapped her feet while playing the keyboard.
The band began the set with a poppy, energetic tune and made a smooth transition to a slow, melancholic song called “Amen.” The crowd swayed and danced the entire set, regardless of the tempos played. The song, “Lovely” seemed to be one of the more upbeat and popular songs. Stone’s Web site biography describes her music as “a virtual playground. (It combines) traditional pop form with nontraditional expressions and new perspectives that create something uniquely modern,
but always familiar.” Stone is looking for new musicians to accompany her in a possible spring tour, according to her Facebook. As for now, she plans to stay in the area. Her next show is scheduled for New Year’s Eve at First Night Austin. Ashleigh Stone and Our Favorite Colors were introduced by the southern rock band, King Fisher. One of their original songs, titled “Pest,” especially held my attention. They closed their set with the band’s “Take A Load Off Annie.”
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Thursday, November 19, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The University Star - 13
Comedian John Dittmar is not the average student By Miranda Serene Features Reporter The mood is light and jokes slide into almost every sentence. Laughter cannot be avoided, especially when the victim of the jest is the one telling it. Minor disadvantages do not stop everyone from doing what they love. John Dittmar, computer science freshman, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth. He did not let the disability keep him from his passions of education and comedy. Dittmar’s dream of being an educator grew in high school from an appreciation of his teachers. “I want to be a teacher,” Dittmar said. “I’m paying homage for what (my high school teachers) have done for me.” Dittmar said the high school age is an important time in a person’s life. “I want to teach high school kids because they are in the developmental stage,” Dittmar said. “I want to make it easier to go through.” Dittmar feels he can relate to kids who cannot talk to their peers. “I want to be there while they try to figure out who they are,” Dittmar said. Comedy comes in a close second for the aspiring teacher. Dittmar has been a comedian for a year and a half, starting
during his high school talent show. “I wanted to do something great for my friends and teachers,” Dittmar said. “I made fun of myself and got tons of laughs.” Dittmar realized he had a gift and continued producing comedy when he came to Texas State. He now performs at Corridor Comedy in San Marcos. “I am there frequently — it is my stomping ground and my Ben Rondeau/Star photo first paying gig,” Dittmar said. Dittmar loves to make people STRONG WILLED: John Dittmar, computer science freshman, does not let his cerebral palsy stop him from following his education and laugh while striving to be the comedic passions. best, using competitiveness as a target to get where he wants to be. “It’s addicting to be better and at a disadvantage,” Dittmar said. “I never get satisfied. You get to the top of Mount Everest, then you jump two feet higher. I look at what I have had to go through and I look at where I am now.” Dittmar said he is eager to teach others after he gets his degree by being an example for his students. “I want to show people if I can do it, they can do it,” Dittmar said. “I’ll break my back to help if necessary.” Dittmar finds education and comedy as beneficial ways to get his ideas out to people. “I want to influence others by showing they don’t have to be like anyone they know,” Dittmar said. “They can be better.”
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Thursday, November 19, 2009
A place for the four-legged By Colleen Gaddis Features Reporter It is a clear afternoon in San Marcos as Ludmilla, Mr. Big and Ambroscious roll around in the grass and dirt. Their owners sit on benches reading, talking or playing with other dogs. For the past five years, San Marcos’ furry residents have been taking full advantage of the dog area located in Memorial Park off Hopkins Road. The entire fenced park is divided into two areas, one for large dogs more than 20 lbs. and the other for smaller dogs. The park has three picnic tables, ground water fountains for the dogs and well-maintained grass to reduce fleas. Ashley Souquette, business graduate student, has been bringing her dogs to the park since 2006, and most recently her Cockapoo, Mr. Big. “The atmosphere at the dog park is really open and
friendly,” Souquette said. “It’s pretty well kept, especially since they added bags for cleaning up after the dogs.” Weekends can be the busiest for the park, especially Sunday afternoons. Dogs and their owners come to the park to spend time with others and escape the confines of their homes. Ludmilla, a German shepherd mix, and her owner Melissa Muradian, applied mathematics senior, have been visiting the dog park since moving to San Marcos in July. “Living in an apartment, I am grateful for the space (of the park),” Muradian said. “It keeps the temperament nice, as opposed to always being on a leash or kept behind locked doors.” Muradian and fellow visitors agreed they are grateful for the park, but it could use a few improvements. Individuals want more shade and picnic tables for owners, while other people would like to see an obstacle course for
Allie Moncrief/Star photo THROW ME A BONE: Pet owners bring their dogs to play at the dog park across from the baseball field.
the dogs to play on. Sherry Perez, financing junior, said more seating and shade would be nice, but she is thankful for the extra playroom for her lab mix, Ambroscious. “Ambroscious really ben-
efits from the socialization,” Perez said. “Plus she won’t destroy my apartment after she plays around.” The dogs would not slow down long enough to be reached for comment.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
c ro s s w o rd
The University Star - 15
Complete the grid so each row, column and 3-by-3 box (in bold borders) contains every digit, 1 to 9. For strategies on how to solve Sudoku, visit www.sudoku.org.uk
Courtesy of McClatchy-Tribune
TOday’s sudoku solution
Courtesy of McClatchy-Tribune
© 11/19/09 The Mepham Group. Distributed by Tribune Media Services. All rights reserved.
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16 - The University Star
sports CAMERON’S COMMENTARY
Thursday, November 19, 2009
College football would benefit from playoffs By Cameron Irvine Sports Columnist Now that college football is coming down to the wire (like it does every year), some teams should be recognized. There is Florida, Alabama and Texas, which are all undefeated (not a big surprise there). However, this year Texas Christian, Cincinnati and Boise State remain undefeated as well. What is sad is everyone knows what is going to happen. Either Florida or Alabama will win the SEC Championship game. Texas will cruise along and be in the national championship game. The three smaller schools will be shunned from having a chance at the championship because undefeated is not good enough for college football. The only way for a small school to be eligible is for Texas to lose. Even if that happens, two of the three small schools are still left out in the cold. The solution: Playoffs. No, I am not kidding, Herm Edwards. Playoffs. It has been said the season
would be longer with a college football playoff. However, the bowl season runs for almost a month and a half. Playoffs wouldn’t take longer than that. What I propose is dividing the FBS into two divisions. Division I-A would consist of the large sporting conferences (like the SEC or the Big 12). Division I-AA would consist of the small sporting conferences (like the WAC or C-USA that Texas State will most likely transition into). Once the 119 schools are separated into two divisions (60 in one and 59 in the other), every conference within the division should be broken down into 12 teams. This will give each conference an equal chance. It is not fair the Big East has eight schools that participate in football and automatically get a spot in the BCS. They have a one-in-eight chance, whereas Boise State has a one-in-60 chance competing against all other smaller schools for a spot. Each conference (five in each division) would automatically go to the playoffs, sending 11 other schools to a 16-team playoff based on records — not on computer polls or coaches’ opinions but on the teams’ records. Each team would play 11 games within its conference and one out-of-conference game (saved for a preseason or rivalry game). There would
Courtesy of Cameron Irvine
be no Florida versus Coastal Carolina matchups anymore because although those games rarely present an upset, they are boring and unnecessary.
This solution is the best way to go. Florida and Florida State would be in the same conference. Iowa and Iowa State would be in the same confer-
ence. Kentucky and Louisville would be in the same conference, and so forth. This makes sense because the system now does not. Get
rid of the BCS and let players decide who gets a chance to compete in the championship — not money, not polls, not coaches — but players.
By Anthony Medina Sports Reporter
clawed back and forth with the Sun Devils and took a one-point lead with six min-
Arizona State put the game out of reach in the second half by going on a 13-4 run. The closest the Bobcats came in the second half was 15 points. To make things worse for the Bobcats, Jonathan Sloan, junior forward, left the game in the second half with an ankle injury. Texas State played Cal State Northridge in a consolation game Tuesday night. The Bobcats put up more of a fight against the Matadors than they did against Arizona State, but lost 85-82 in the game’s last minutes. Texas State stayed within striking distance for most of the first half after a fast start by the Matadors. Uriel Segura, junior forward, gave the Bobcats their first lead by hitting four consecutive free throws with two minutes left before halftime. Cal State Northridge rallied with guard Kenny Daniels’ game-high 27 points to steal the game from the Bobcats. Emmanuel Bidias A’Moute, senior forward, led Texas State in scoring with 13 points and eight rebounds off the bench. The Bobcats had four other players score in double digits and won the battle on the boards 50-27, despite losing to Cal State Northridge. The biggest problem for the Bobcats throughout both games was turnovers. Coach Doug Davalos knew the Bobcats would have to improve their play and communication to compete in the NIT before the start of the tournament. “We’ve got to do everything better,” Davalos said. “We’ve got to be a better communicating team, a better rebounding team and a better half court defensive team.” The Bobcats did not get much better against Arizona State and Cal State Northridge, allowing both opponents to shoot more than 50 percent from the field and beyond the arc while committing a combined 57 turnovers in two games. “You can’t beat anybody handling the basketball like that,” Davalos said. “Our turnovers were our worst offense.” Arizona State scored 37 points off turnovers while Cal State Northridge gained 33. The Bobcats have some time to practice holding on to the ball before their next opponent. Texas State travels to New Orleans Saturday for a nonconference game. The Bobcats expect to have Ryan White, junior guard, back in the lineup after missing the first three games because of injury.
Bobcats tuck their tails after NIT tournament The National Invitational Tournament began earlier this week for various universities in four states. The Texas State men’s basketball team had a forgettable first two rounds. The Bobcats hit only 36 percent of their shots from the field and lost both games. Texas State played Arizona State Monday night and kept the game close until late in the first half before falling 84-62 to the Sun Devils. John Rybak, senior forward, drained two, 3-pointers to give the Bobcats a quick 8-4 lead in the first few minutes of the game. Arizona State wasted no time and went on a 15-5 run to take the lead. The Bobcats
“You can’t beat anybody handling the basketball like that.”
Doug Davalos Men’s basketball coach
utes left in the first half. The Bobcats could not sink a bucket for the remainder of the half. Texas State missed six consecutive shots and had four turnovers. The Bobcats went into halftime down 39-26.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The University Star - 17
Sports 18 - The University Star
Three Bobcat volleyball players were named to the All-Southland Conference Team Wednesday. Jessica Weynand, senior outside hitter, and Amber Calhoun, sophomore middle blocker, were named to the first team. Mo Middleton, junior outside hitter, received second team honors.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Sports Contact, Lisa Carter – firstname.lastname@example.org
Bobcats continue to play hard despite loss By Keff Ciardello Sports Reporter
The Texas State football team will play its final game of the season against Sam Houston State Saturday at Bobcat Stadium. “It’s tough knowing we can’t advance,” said Travis Houston, senior defensive lineman. “But it’s a good way to end playing a team like Sam Houston. Every year they bring it. They always play like they’re 9-0.”
The Bobcats secured their Southland Conference championship by defeating Sam Houston State in overtime 45-42 in Huntsville last season. The Bearkats come to San Marcos this season with only bragging rights on the line. “We aren’t going to lay down,” Coach Brad Wright said. “We are going to play this game as if everything is on the line. It’s been a heck of a season and, considering where we were a couple months ago, I am extremely proud of our guys.”
Six weeks ago the Bobcats were 2-3 and looking at what people thought was going to be a wasted season. Four consecutive victories later — including a 28-7 upset over SFA —the Bobcats were in a four-way tie for the SLC championship. “We were an afterthought then,” said senior quarterback Bradley George. “It’s tough. That loss (against McNeese State) hurt” George will complete his third season as the Bobcats’ quarterback, leading the team to two
consecutive winning seasons. He has thrown for 2,820 yards and 20 touchdowns this season. He became the Bobcats’ all-time leading passer, exceeding his successor and current CFL quarterback Barrick Nealy. George was 15 yards away from getting his sixth, 300-yard passing game of the season against McNeese State. There have been rumors that some NFL teams have shown interest in George, most notably the New York Jets. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.
Intramural team celebrates success Volleyball prepares By Blake Barington Sports Reporter
The Texas State Titans intramural flag football team has been playing together for three years, representing the school in the highest fashion. “We are all best friends and enjoy playing for the love of the game,” said Titans captain Frank Lara, pre-athletic training junior. “We are very competitive but at the same time, we feel the most important aspect of intramurals is to have fun playing with your friends and displaying good sportsmanship.”
The Titans placed 12th in 2007 at the flag football national tournament. Last year, the team earned fifth place out of 37 teams at the regional tournament in Nacogdoches. The Titans traveled to Nacogdoches this weekend with a 12-0 record heading into the regional tournament. The Titans finished with a 4-1 record at the regional, allowing them to advance to the national tournament once again. The team won all of its games by at least 22 points, defeating Houston, Midland College, Abilene Christian and Angelo State.
The Titans faced Texas Southern in the semifinals where they lost on the last play of the game 26-21. Texas Southern was the champion of the tournament. “Overall, it was a great tournament,” Lara said. “Our team played amazing. We solidified not only who the Texas State Titans are, but Texas State Intramurals in general.” The Titans finished third of 42 teams overall. Lara and Brad Norris, exercise and sports science senior, were two of the seven players who were named to the all-tournament team.
The Titans were 5-0 in the regular season this year. They competed in the Men’s “A” Intramural League where they met Tau Kappa Epsilon Wednesday for the Texas State Intramural. The Titans edged out TKE by a narrow margin of 20-19. The two teams have met in the championship game for two consecutive years. “It’s been a battle both years,” Lara said. The Titans are now making arrangements for their trip to Tampa Bay, Fla., where they will compete Jan. 3 to Jan. 5 at South Florida.
Jake Marx/Star photo THIS IS FOOTBALL: Titans and TKE go head-to-head in an intramural flag football game Wednesday night at Bobcat Village Fields.
Jake Marx/Star photo RUNNING AWAY: TKE’s Zach Lowden, undecided sophomore, avoids Titans tacklers.
Texas State Titans
Jake Marx/Star photo LOOKING DOWNFIELD: Titans’ James Divens, exercise and sports science senior, runs the ball downfield toward the goal line.
Tom Garza, exercise and sports science senior Shawn Noordam Noah Herring-Black, management sophomore James Divens, exercise and sports science senior Corey Carmack, public administration senior Jon Cabreros, general studies senior Ed Mungia, health and wellness promotion senior Jonathon Chapa, marketing sophomore EJ Mungia, exercise and sports science sophomore Isaac Sanchez, recreational administration junior Marty Guevara, exercise and sports science freshman
By Eric Harper Sports Reporter While other Texas State teams have seen their postseason hopes dashed, the Bobcat volleyball’s postseason journey is only beginning. Texas State travels to San Antonio this weekend to compete in the Southland Conference Tournament. The Bobcats will begin the tournament 11 a.m. Friday against eighth-seeded Southeastern Louisiana. The Bobcats come into the tournament as the No. 1 seed riding a 10-match win streak. The Bobcats were 9-12 overall, 3-3 in the SLC, coming off a fiveset home defeat against Central Arkansas before the current streak. Coach Karen Chisum said the win streak and the turnaround of the Bobcats’ season dates back to that match. “After Central Arkansas, we started to focus more on reducing our errors,” Chisum said. “We changed our practice format and started paying more attention to detail.” The changes in practice style have come in the form of creating a competitive element among the players at team practices. Since this point, friendly competitions have begun to take place among Bobcat players. Chisum said the competitions have created a mindset that has been a large part of the Bobcats’ recent success. “We have the right mindset going in practice,” Chisum said. “We’re peaking as a team at the right time.” The Bobcats have seen increased contributions from each of their three setters. However, the competitions inside the team have not been limited to that position. Lydia Werchan, freshman defensive specialist, has seen her playing time increase throughout the season, leading to a competition at her position. “Lydia has made Ally (Buitron, junior) step up, which has made
us better at the libero position,” Chisum said. Players have increased their contributions during Texas State’s run to the top of the SLC West Division. Shelbi Irvin, junior setter, led the Bobcats’ passing game with 5.12 assists per set in SLC play. AJ Watlington, junior rightside hitter, averaged 1.98 kills per set to help the Bobcat outside hitting attack gain balance. Buitron had two digs per set as part of the Bobcat defense which held opponents to a SLC-low hit percentage during conference play. “We’ve had leadership from Shelbi, AJ, Ally and others,” Chisum said. “Different players have stepped up, but they have all been able to take care of business.” Mo Middleton, junior outside hitter, has been at her best during the Bobcats’ 10 straight wins. Middleton is second in kills with 278 this season for the Bobcats. “Mo was inconsistent early in the season, but she has come on strong these last 10 matches,” Chisum said. The Bobcats were on an eight-match win streak with a set-starting lineup after defeating Sam Houston State Nov. 7 at Strahan Coliseum. However, disciplinary matters forced the Bobcats to break the lineup rhythm during the last weekend of the regular season. Chisum said the Bobcats look to get back to where they were previously to carry the team through the postseason. “We want to get back in the system and get back to the point we were at after the win against Sam Houston,” Chisum said. “Our mindset is fine — win three straight matches and we win the tournament.” If the Bobcats defeat Southeastern Louisiana Friday, they will face the winner of the Sam Houston State versus Nicholls State 1 p.m. Saturday match. A win in that match would advance the Bobcats to the 2 p.m. Sunday championship game.
Soccer player reflects on memories, friendships
By Cameron Irvine Sports Reporter
The women’s soccer team featured 21 games this season. Britney Curry, junior forward, started in all of them. Curry was — and still is — the staple of the Bobcat soccer attack. She scored 18 goals in 21 games and played 1,305 minutes. Unfortunately, what people sometimes overlook is her will to be part of the team. “I love it here,” Curry said. “We have a coaching staff that really understands the game of soccer and demands quality play out of us. When you come to see a
Texas State soccer game, you’ll see movement, possession and combination play — not just girls running and kicking a ball.” Curry said she enjoys the team’s camaraderie. “We have depth and any player on our roster can step up and get the job done,” Curry said. “My absolute favorite part about being a Texas State soccer player is being a part of a group. My team is the coolest bunch of girls you’ll meet. My soccer experience has gifted me lasting memories and friendships.” The Bobcats did not make the NCAA Tournament, falling to Southeastern Louisiana 2-0 in the Southland Conference
Tournament. Curry said she views losses as opportunities for improvement. “I absolutely hate to lose,” Curry said. “I’m not a poor sport, but I can sometimes be a sore loser. After a loss, I need a few minutes to gather my thoughts and recap the game in my head. I’m so fast to blame things on myself and look for the things that I could have done better. Once I’ve made sense of things, I’m back to normal and I have my eyes on the next task.” Texas State led the conference in attendance with an average of 453 fans this season. Curry said having a large number of fans at home games was important to the team’s
success. “I definitely like home games better,” Curry said. “It’s great to have fans behind you and we have an awesome complex to play in. I always feel more comfortable at home.” Curry will miss the team’s seniors next season. “I’ve had a wonderful time getting to know (the senior players) over the past three years and each one of them (has) done something special for Bobcat soccer,” Curry said. “I hate that our season ended sooner than expected, but they are all champions and I will miss them. Being repeat champions makes this year special for all of us.”
“I’m so fast to blame things on myself and look for the things that I could
have done better. Once I’ve made sense of things, I’m back to normal and I have my eyes on the next task.” – Britney Curry, junior forward
Lindsey Goldstein/Star photo STAR PLAYER: Britney Curry, junior forward, started in every game this season for the Texas State women’s soccer team.
Curry’s Southland Conference Accomplishments No. 1 in goals scored with 18 Tied for ninth in assists with six No. 1 in game-winning goals with six
FULL PLATE A day in the life of waitressing as a college student Students love to go out to eat, but what’s it like on the other side of the table? Moving into a completely new environment is never easy. Transitions can prove to be especially difficult in the college situation. When Ashley Stark, undecided sophomore, first moved to San Marcos in January 2009, she had no friends. Many applications and adjustments later, she found a new job and home at Pluckers Wing Bar as a waitress trainer. Stark said she worked at Fire Oak Grill restaurant, a finedining restaurant in Weatherford, before moving. “Pluckers is really different,” she said. “It’s a lot faster paced since it’s more like a sports bar.” Stark said she has built relationships with her co-workers. She said the downside of working as a waitress is the long hours.
November 19, 2009 // Advertising Supplement of The University Star // www.universitystar.com
By Maurah Ruiz // News Reporter
“Sometimes we won’t get out of here till 2 a.m.,” she said. “Then I have an 8 a.m. class, so things get pretty hectic.” Stark said she loves working at Pluckers because of the interactions she has with customers and co-workers. She works with people she considers her friends. She said sometimes after work everyone gets together and goes out. “It’s worth the long hours and the staff is awesome,” she said. When Stark has a bad day, she deals with customers by focusing on her tables and blocking everything else out. She said she leaves all of her anxieties at the door and focuses on getting the job done. “I just want to be of good service to my tables and get my customers what they need,” she said. “If my mind starts to wonder, I’ll just ignore it and keep working.” Kelly Feld, undecided sophomore and co-worker, said Stark
helped her become a better waitress. “At first I was a little hesitant about taking the job, but I am so happy I took it,” she said. Feld said at first she was nervous and intimidated by the other waiters and waitresses because everyone had experience, but Stark helped her overcome her fears. “She’s really friendly and sweet,” she said. “She supported me and encouraged me. She always told me confidence would come with time.” Stark said waiting tables is the perfect job for a college student. She said it’s easy money and people are always willing to take or give up shifts in order to work around schedules. “It’s really flexible,” she said.
TEN FAVORITE PLACES TO Q&A Straight talk. Straight facts. Q&A with ASG Sen. Fidencio Leija, City Council liaison VISIT IN SAN MARCOS By Ashley Dickinson // Trends Editor
What is your favorite place to go in San Marcos? 1. “The Stratosphere. The environment is so chill, and you can relax.” —Abbie-Gail Restrepo, biology junior
2. “Grins. Great people, great food.”
—Whitney Reynolds, communication studies sophomore
3. “The Coffee Pot. I like to have fellowship with my friends. It’s a good place to be.” —Brett Gray, communication studies freshman 4. “Gills’ fried chicken, because it’s delicious.” —Matthew Rasco, management sophomore
5. “Valentino’s. It’s a cool atmosphere and has fantastic food.” —Ellen Porter, interdisciplinary studies sophomore
6. “Thai Thai. I like the food, especially the Pad Thai.” —Adam Parrot, computer science sophomore
7. “The Restless Wind. It’s cozy and not really crowded.” —Erica Somdgeroth, Spanish graduate student
8. “Valentino’s, because it’s a relaxed environment and I like to sit in the back and eat my pizza during happy hour.” —Jonathan Whittaker, applied sociology junior
9. “Wake the Dead Coffee House. It’s chill, and I like the art they have on display there.” —Cecil Sparkman, pre-mass communication sophomore 10. “Triple Crown. My friends play there a lot.” —Britney Munguia, pre-mass communication junior
Fidencio Leija took on the role of the Associate Student Government’s City Council liaison while continuing his work as diversity and unity chair for the organization. Leija discussed changes associated with his new position and how he’s working to bring the community and students together. Q: What do you enjoy most with your new position as City Council liaison? A: I think it gives me a great opportunity to represent the students when major issues come up that affect the students. I believe the City Council needs to hear our voice and give us the opportunity before they pass laws or any type of legislation that is going to affect us in order for those laws to be more student friendly. Q: What do you find most challenging as City Council liaison? A: Because the city has so much going on, trying to get enough information or trying to be informed enough in order for me to give a strong opinion that would be worthy to the student body. Q: Which daily job duties do you have? A: Every Wednesday, because the meetings are the first and third Tuesday of the month, the City Council sends out the agenda with all the information within it. Then I need to review those and do some research on them in order for me to give an opinion for the student body. Q: You also act as the diversity and unity chair for ASG. How do those duties differ from the City Council liaison position?
By Lora Collins // News reporter A: That is on a whole other scale. It was actually my idea to create that, and I told ASG president Chris Covo and vice president Tommy Luna if I was going to support their campaign it would be crucial for the university to focus on the Latino, African American and other ethnicities on campus because we could easily become one of the first major institutions to be an Hispanic serving institute. The university officials made that a goal in 2004, but we still haven’t reached it. Right now we are approximately 24.2 percent Latino on campus and the incoming freshman class was actually above 25 percent. So now we basically need to get the campus over 25 percent Latino, and if we become an HIS it helps all of the student body. Q: What is your favorite read? A: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. That book has been published in more than 50 different languages and it has been around forever. Q: What about a movie? A: It’s pretty crazy, but I would have to say Silence of the Lambs. It would have to be that or American History X. Q: How do you balance your studies with work? A: I would say limited sleep and an amazing girlfriend. Q: I understand you are studying geography and international studies. What would you like to achieve with this degree? A: I would love to go to law school and focus on international law and get a master’s degree in Latin American studies.
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GETTING PERSONAL p2
Mayor Susan Narviaz on her favorite places in San Marcos
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Working a Double: A day in the life as a waitress and a college student
SAN MARCOS’ BEST OF THE BEST Local businesses duked it out for your vote. Now the results are in for your favorite San Marcos businesses
Interview with ASG Sen. Fidencio Leija, City Council liaison
Happy Hour from 6–7pm with Half-Price Bowls
(Next to Classic Tattoos)
Satellite // November 19, 2009 // www.universitystar.com
235-B N. LBJ Dr.
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2009 IN Review on stands Friday, December 3. The Star looks back at the moments that made 2009 amazing!
Graduation Issue Ad Deadline: Friday, December 3 At Limited Locations: Thursday, December 17
Best Specialty Shop Editors Editor in Chief
Maurah Ruiz Dustin Porterfield Tyler Garcia Kris Marx Toni Guarrino Anthony Medina Thea Setterbo Keff Ciardello Haley Howie Lora Collins Ammie Jimenez
Marissa Alonzo Samantha Manley Krystal Slater Corey Carmack
News Editor Trends Editor
Jenny Polson Tina Phan Kayla Hartzog
CONTRIBUTORS & STAFF
Crystal Brown Jenna Jurica
601 University Drive Trinity Building, Room 101 San Marcos, TX 78666 Phone 512.245.3487 Fax 512.245.3708 www.universitystar.com
San Marcos Stars 2009
The best of the best according to you Best American Food/Steakhouse Saltgrass Steakhouse Best Asian Food Rose Garden China Bistro
Best Auto Repair Frank’s Automotive
Best Nightlife Nephew’s
Best Barbeque Fuschak’s Pit Bar-B-Que
Best Pizza Valentino’s Pizza
Best Billiards Sean Patrick’s
Best Boutique Heartworks Co./Paper Bear
Best Happy Hour Grins Restaurant
Best Italian Food Italian Garden
Best Specialty Shop Sundance Records Best Tattoo Parlor Classic Tattoo and Body Piercing
Best Date Spot Palmer’s Restaurant, Bar, & Courtyard Best Hair Care Salon Mink
Best Sandwich/Wrap Alvin Ord’s Sandwich Shop Best Secondhand Shop Retro Exchange
Best Burger The Tap Room Best Coffee The Coffee Pot
Hello from the Trinity Building,
Best Nail Salon Hollywood Nails
A day in the life of a waitress and college student BY Maurah Ruiz
ten favorite places to visit in san marcos BY ashley dickenson
Best Mexican Food Garcia’s Mexican Food Restaurant
Best Music Venue Cheatham Street Warehouse
BY Lora Collins
Interview with ASG Sen. Fidencio Leija, City Council liaison
IN THE KNOW with Mayor Susan Narvaiz Mayor Susan Narvaiz talks about her favorite aspects of living in San Marcos and the businesses that make up the city. Q: What is your favorite activity to do in San Marcos? A: My husband and I love to attend local events that showcase our fair city. As a military family member, I especially love the Veterans Day Activities, Summerfest and Memorial Day Observances. We equally like to attend Sights and Sounds of Christmas. When we can, we try to catch a movie at our local theater. Q: Can you share with us your favorite restaurant in town? A: San Marcos has something for everyone. My family and I enjoy dining locally, and we would highly recommend we all support our locally owned and operated eating establishments.
Q: What about local businesses in town contribute to the uniqueness of San Marcos?
Q: With big businesses moving to town, do you think that strengthens the local businesses already here?
A: Local businesses cannot be found anywhere else, and therefore help to define and remind residents and visitors that there is no place else like San Marcos. With millions of visitors stopping in our hometown each year for our famous outlet malls, it is extremely important that we continue to work to attract them into our downtown and to our San Marcos attractions so that they create a special memory that will be long lasting. A memory that will bring them back again and again. That experience starts with the people they meet and come to know from San Marcos. The warm and welcome feeling that they receive from our awesome customer service at our stores and restaurants and tourist attractions. From our Real estate professionals to our public safety team members.
A: I believe we must have places that are for our residents to buy goods and services as well as our visitors. Many of us are excited to have places like Academy, Wal-Mart, Pets Mart, and there are just as many of us who want to have places that are locally owned and support families we know. I try to bring a balance of options for our citizens whether it be for retail or for job creation. Let’s keep as much of our spending power here at home.
Satellite // November 19, 2009 // www.universitystar.com
All right, because we’re all friends, I must start my letter with a confession. Only in the last year have I discovered all of the cool, fun local restaurants and shops here in San Marcos. And I’ve been living in San Marcos going on four years now. I know what you’re thinking — ‘What’s taken you so long, Amanda?’ There’s no good answer. I spent my first two years in San Marcos going to places I could easily recognize — the kind of places I traditionally went to back home. But that’s all changed now. Most of my favorite places to eat or shop are all in walking distance of campus. They are the local “mom and pop” type of business that make San Marcos what it is — unique and quirky. I’ve become an encyclopedia for the best Mexican food restaurants, coffee shops, sandwich shops and, yes, happy hours in town. I make this public confession for one reason: I don’t want you to make the mistake I did. Go exploring. Get a sandwich at someplace you have never heard of. Grab a drink with friends at a bar you’ve never been to. Go shopping at one of the boutiques on The Square you’ve never been in, you’ll probably find something no one else will have. Eating somewhere new or shopping at different places isn’t just about the meal or the clothes. It’s about the experience. And San Marcos offers a variety. There isn’t anything wrong with chain restaurants and retail stores, most of which are by the interstate. But they aren’t ours. And for those of you planning to leave San Marcos when you graduate, this is your only chance. Let this issue of Satellite be your guide. So to all of you out there that are playing it safe, sticking to the same chain restaurants and shops, go explore. And when you do, come back next year and vote for your favorite local businesses in the San Marcos Stars poll. Chances are some others could use a good suggestion.
By Haley Howle // Special to The Star Music has evolved within the past 30 years, and this year’s winner for Best Specialty Shop has kept in stride without missing a beat. Sundance Records opened in 1977 to cater to what was then Southwest Texas. The store was
originally located on The Square. Since then, the location has changed, but that hometown feel has not. Sundance releases work from local artists, old blues and reggae, rock, pop, tejano and underground hip-hop. The staff at Sundance Records is knowledgeable and willing to help customers find what they are looking for. Manager Mark Boyd said they order CDs everyday without charging extra for special orders. “If there’s something someone wants, we can usually get it the next day,” Boyd said. Sundance is filled with bins of new and used CDs as well as vinyl LPs. The $1 vinyl bargain bins are college-budget friendly, and they have valuable vinyl records for serious music collectors. Boyd said when Texas State students are on break sales decrease, but San Marcos and Wimberley locals help pick up the slack. Sundance Records is not strictly a record store. They sell body jewelry, golf discs, posters, incense and concert tickets. Sundance offers tickets to shows in San Marcos, Austin and San Antonio.
202 University Drive, 512-353-0888 sundancerecords.com
2nd: Stratosphere Lounge 3rd: Planet K
experience,” Haberle said. “We have good artists who do good, clean work.” Haberle said Classic Tattoo employees are always working toward improving their work. “I have the best crew I could ever imagine,” Harberle said. “No one ever throws in the towel. We’re a family. We all really love and respect each other’s work because we’re all on the same journey.” Haberle’s vision for Classic Tattoo is to become an integral part of San Marcos life and art culture. “We would like to say our roots are so deep we’ve become an institution,” Harberle said. “I love San Marcos. I’m a Bobcat for life.” This is the third time Classic Tattoo and Boy Piercing has won the San Marcos Stars contest. “Keep bringing the good ideas,” Haberle said. “We’ll keep churning out the great tattoos.”
Best Tattoo Parlor
Classic Tattoo and Body Piercing
By Thea Setterbo // Features Reporter Classic Tattoo and Body Piercing was voted the Best Tattoo Parlor in San Marcos. Classic Tattoo was first opened in 2003 and purchased later in 2005 by Morgan Haberle, art alumna and tattoo artist. Haberle said Classic Tattoo offers an experience that, in the past, could only be found in Austin. “We give our clients a calming, refreshing
237 N. LBJ Dr., 512-392-0938 classictattootx.com
2nd: Mystic Marks Tattoo 3rd: Monster Tattoo
Cheers, Amanda Venable Editor in Chief
www.universitystar.com // November 19, 2009 // Satellite
Alvin Ord’s Sandwich Shop
San Marcos Stars 2009 You voted. Now the results are in for your favorite San Marcos businesses
Chen said she believes the reason Rose Garden keeps coming up ahead of the competition is because of their consistent quality in food. She said student favorites are sesame chicken and double treasure. “We really emphasize a family casual-dining experience,” she said. If students do not feel like going in to dine, they can order Rose Garden dishes through College Delivery. Chen said she still recommends students actually come in to eat. “They up our prices to cover the costs of delivery,” she said.
Best Asian Food
Rose Garden China Bistro
By Maurah Ruiz // News Reporter By Keff Ciardello // Sports Reporter Alvin Ord’s is voted Best Sandwich Shop in the San Marcos Stars poll. “It’s nice to put something out there people like,” said supervisor Alex Hedrick. “Good food, good people, good atmosphere. What more could you want?” Gothic, cathedral-like booths that tower to the ceiling have been like a time capsule to students who have covered them with markings for years. Aside from allowing patrons to write on the walls, Alvin Ord’s prides itself on fresh
ingredients and mouth-watering French bread, as well as a friendly staff and student-friendly prices. The staff recommends the salvation sandwich for first timers. It comes with cheddar and provolone cheese, sliced ham, salami among other ingredients. 204 University Drive, 512-353-8042
2nd: Which Wich? & Zookas Ultimate Burrito 3rd: Root Cellar
Best Secondhand Shop
Best American Food/Steakhouse
Rose Garden receives top honors this year. Ellen Chen, co-owner of Rose Garden, said she is looking forward to adding another plaque to their wall. “I would just like to thank all of the students for voting and supporting us,” she said.
700 North LBJ, Ste 114, 512-396-5255
2nd: Thai Tahi 3rd: Kobe Steakhouse
Saltgrass Steakhouse By Maurah Ruiz // News Reporter When it comes to juicy steaks, Saltgrass Steak House is students’ top choice this year for Best Steakhouse. Jason Byrd, general manager, said he is ecstatic about winning and appreciates everyone who voted and supports the steakhouse. “This really shows we do indeed have a name in this community,” he said. Byrd said Saltgrass’s most popular dish is the Gulf Coast Steak & Shrimp top sirloin. He describes Saltgrass as a casual dining restaurant with a family atmosphere and two private rooms open for reservations. “It’s great for business meetings and large groups too,” he said. And if you’re a Texas State faculty member, you’re in luck. Saltgrass offers a 10 percent discount to Texas State faculty. 221 Sessoms Drive, 512-396-5255 saltgrass.com
2nd: Texas Roadhouse 3rd: Palmer’s Restaurant Bar
By Haley Howle // Special to The Star For the past six years, Retro Exchange has been supplying Texas State students with secondhand clothing. Owner Mona Yarovinsky said she thinks her store won Best Secondhand Shop for a number of reasons. “We are very organized and our clothes are clean,” Yarovinsky said. “I wash approximately 75 percent of the clothes that are brought in.” Retro Exchange has clothes catering to both men and women. The shoe selection is extensive, containing many secondhand styles from which to choose.
Satellite // November 19, 2009 // www.universitystar.com
The “exchange” in Retro Exchange allows students to bring in old clothes and trade them for money or store credit. Yarovinsky said the majority of clothes come from university students. On occasion, they have too much clothes and cannot compensate sellers with money, but only store credit. The in-style vintage fashions are helpful to secondhand shops, allowing them to continue to grow in popularity. 314 N. LBJ Drive, 512-392-4822
2nd: Goodwill 3rd: Vagabond www.universitystar.com // November 19, 2009 // Satellite
Best Nail Salon
Satellite // November 19, 2009 // www.universitystar.com
By Thea Setterbo // Features Reporter The University Star readers voted Hollywood Nails, open since 2000, as their favorite nail salon in San Marcos. Located within walking distance from The Quad, Hollywood Nails is frequented by college students and other San Marcos locals. Victor Tran, nail technician, said he enjoys his job at Hollywood Nails. “I like to serve the customers,” Tran said. “I like to give to give them beautiful nails and toenails.” Hollywood Nails offers manicures, pedicures, eyebrow waxing, lip waxing, acrylic and solar nails. According to Tran, most customers favor the solar nail service. “Solar nails are very strong and don’t yellow the nail,” Tran said. “Everything has to be good so we use the best products.” Hollywood Nails strives to offer the best services for customers. “It is very important to us to make the customers happy,” Tran said. “We do anything we can for our customers so they come back.”
By Ashley Dickinson // Trends Editor
315 N. LBJ Drive, 512-393-3965
100 N. Guadalupe Street, 512-558-2337 nephewsonthesquare.com
110 N. LBJ Drive, 512-396-8888
2nd: Spa Pro Nails 3rd: Amazing Nails
2nd: Bar One 41/Barfish 3rd: Showdown
2nd: D’Blazio’s 3rd: Zen’s Pizza Bistro
Whether it’s for live music on Tuesdays karaoke on Wednesday’s, or the drink specials all week long, Nephews kept its reputation as Texas State’s favorite nightlife venue for the second year in a row. General Manager Jason Stavena said the party atmosphere keeps drawing in the crowd. “Our strong days are the weekends, but we have a late crowd on weekdays,” Stavena said. “People don’t show up until about 1 a.m. They know Nephews is the place you go at the end of the night.” Nephews began in 1980 as a renovation from a drug store, which was opened in 1920. Since the bar’s beginning, it has been serving the San Marcos community with local entertainment, events and drink specials. “We have popular monthly events,” Stavena said. “This month will be Hollywood Red Carpet Friday where everyone will dress like celebrities — be dressed to impress.” Holding a record of never charging a cover, Nephews employees said the draw to their bar is “there’s always something different.”
Valentino’s Pizza By Keff Ciardello // Sports Reporter Valentino’s pizza was awarded Best Pizza for The University Star’s San Marcos Stars. Valentino’s tied with D’Blazio’s in 2008 for the same award, but it is the lone title-holder this year. “The customer service is great,” said Kelly Greenwood, adjunct professor. “Everybody there is just so nice. Every time I go, I always ask for a disgusting amount of jalapenos and, each time, they put a disgusting amount of jalapenos. Other places only put a little extra, but not like (Valentino’s).” Valentino’s offers a daily buffet and weekly beer nights. The lunch buffet is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The buffet includes fresh pizza and a salad bar. Valentino’s hosts its beer night beginning 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday. The restaurant offers $5.50 pitchers with a menu that boasts more than six beers, including an independent beer that is changed periodically.
www.universitystar.com // November 19, 2009 // Satellite
Best Music Venue
Best Italian Food
Cheatham Street Warehouse
Fuschak’s Pit Bar-B-Que
Best Mexican Food By Toni Guarrino // Special to The Star
Garcia’s Mexican Food Restaurant
With authentic recipes straight from overseas, there is no question why San Marcos locals, university alumni and students prefer Italian Garden over other European restaurants in the area. Italian Garden is a mom-and-pop eatery that has been around for almost 10 years. The community relished it since opening day. “We have the best Italian food in town, great service and a great home-like feel, which is appealing when in need of a good meal, not to mention people get all that for a reasonable price,” said manager John Zeneli. Every menu item is home cooked at Italian Garden and all dishes are originals from the heart and soul of the owner and his wife. “Everyone loves my dad’s homemade marinara sauce, and they say they can taste the fresh tomatoes,” Zeneli said, who is son of the owner. Italian Garden has a “byob,” or bring your own beer, policy, which is believed to be another perk that keeps customers coming.
By Anthony Medina // Sports Reporter
By Anthony Medina // Sports Reporter
With a “homey” feel, cheap prices and good food, Garcia’s has been voted the Best Mexican Food Restaurant in San Marcos. Garcia’s, which has been in business since 1988, is not a flashy, big restaurant with a neon sign, but that does not hurt the restaurant’s status as being voted the best. Managers Johnny and Salena Ybarra think the customer service and variety of food are the reason people enjoy eating at Garcia’s. “We try to go outside of our menu and try to put together plates customers look forward to,” Ybarra said. “Sometimes we ask customers advice to see what they want.” Garcia’s tries to accommodate every customer by serving breakfast all day and keeping a friendly staff. Salena Ybarra said Garcia’s employees are a big reason why customers love coming back to the restaurant. However, you will not see any advertising or big signs any time soon for Garcia’s. Ybarra believes the best way to get Garcia’s name out there is by word of mouth.
Cheatham Street Warehouse opened in 1974 and has since provided San Marcos with a music venue the city did not previously have. “There was no music in San Marcos at all when we opened. So someone had to do it,” said Kent Finlay, owner of Cheatham Street Warehouse. In return, San Marcos residents have voted Cheatham Street Warehouse the Best Music Scene in the city for the second consecutive year. Finlay believes being passionate about music is what earned him the bragging rights to the best music venue in the city. “We offer roots music, roots rock and roll, roots country and Americana music,” Finlay said. Finlay said he takes pride in developing new artists at Cheatham Street Warehouse. The venue has hosted names such as George Strait and Stevie Ray Vaughn. “Everyone can feel good about the artistic side of San Marcos,” Finlay said. “That’s what we specialize in, helping people get started.”
415 N LBJ Dr., 512-392-8730
403 S LBJ Dr., 512-353-0099
119 Cheatham St., 512-353-3777 cheathamstreet.com
2nd: Carino’s Italian 3rd: Fazoli’s
2nd: Herbert’s Taco Hut 3rd: Lolita’s and Los Cucos
2nd: J’s Bistro 3rd: Triple Crown
Satellite // November 19, 2009 // www.universitystar.com
Best Auto Repair
Frank’s Automotive By Dustin Porterfield // Sports Reporter Taking home first place in the Auto Repair category is Frank’s Automotive. Frank’s is in its 10th year of business and believes customer service is the most important aspect when running an automotive shop. “Our main goal here is to treat everybody fair and fix their car right,” said service adviser Billy Thompson. “There are times when we run into problems with different things, but we always have to make sure the customer is satisfied.” Frank’s services include everything under the umbrella of brake, exhaust, fuel, electrical and suspension systems as well as the ordinary oil change. Thompson said it is always a plus when the guys who work in the shop are using the most up-to-date technology. “A lot of praise goes to Frank, who spares no expense on the latest equipment for our guys to use,” Thompson said. “Also, four of our mechanics are ASE master certified and four others are ASE certified and working on their master certification.” The shop employees will hold a customer appreciation day for the decade anniversary to commemorate this special time 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. “We will be having $10 oil changes as well as giving away gifts like digital cameras and other things.” Thompson said. “We’re going to have barbecue for the customers to eat and it’s going to be a lot of fun. We want people to come out.”
By Dustin Porterfield // Sports Reporter Fuschak’s Pit Bar-B-Que, the 2009 winner in the San Marcos Stars’ Best Barbecue category, has been a model of consistency in the San Marcos area for more than 40 years since opening its doors in 1966. “This is nice, but we just take it in stride with everything else,” said co-owner Shirley Fuschak. Fuschak’s is a family-owned restaurant. Fuschak believes the ownership has much to do with the success of the restaurant. “I feel the management is the main source of our success,” Fuschak said. “We are here all the time and we really and truly care for the well being of this place. It’s not like other places that have different kids come in and run it throughout the day.” Fuschak’s atmosphere is reminiscent of an old-timey western lodge with the antler chandelier hanging in the middle of the restaurant and different game mounted along the walls. “We just have a real laid-back family style feel inside,” Fuschak said. “The fact we don’t serve alcohol adds to that.” Fuschak said she keeps the business’ goals in mind. “What we really try to accomplish here is consistency,” Fuschak said. “We are doing well if everything is the same here everyday.”
Sean Patrick’s By Dustin Porterfield // Sports Reporter Sean Patrick’s is a staple as far as billiards in San Marcos goes. The bar offers several appealing specials that make it a worthwhile experience. Happy Hour at Sean Patrick’s might be a misleading name. Happy hour specials run for three hours from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day of the week. Matt Harper, who manages Sean Patrick’s, said the bar and jukebox, both with large selections, have a lot to do with his restaurant’s success. Harper also called the food “very good and always consistent. The wings are awesome.” Fun is the name of the game at Sean Patrick’s, Harper said. “The Staff is a lot of fun. We try to have fun and keep it relaxed,” he said.
328 S. Guadalupe St., 512-805-0144 franksautomotiveinc.net
1701 IH-35 S, 512-353-2712 fuschaksbbq.com.
202 E San Antonio St #119, San Marcos, TX, 78666 seanpatrickstx.com
2nd: Goodyear 3rd: B & B Body and Paint
2nd: Woody’s Bareque and Catering 3rd: Wing Stop
2nd: Cat’s Billiards 3rd: Bum’s Billiards
www.universitystar.com // November 19, 2009 // Satellite
Best Hair Care
The Tap Room
Best Date Spot
Palmer’s Restaurant, Bar, & Courtyard
Heartworks Co./ Paper Bear
By Toni Guarrino // Special to The Star
By Kris Marx // Special to The Star
Coffee is a staple drink for many college students. This year the students voted the Coffee Pot as the winner of the Best Coffee in San Marcos. The Coffee Pot uses 100 percent fair trade coffee and espresso beans to make its customers’ coffee-drinking experience the best it can be. However, it does not stop there. The Coffee Pot also offers delicious food and other types of drinks such as frappes, bubble teas, smoothies and authentic mate. Students utilize the The Coffee Pot as a study place or hangout spot. “It’s really easygoing here and very relaxing,” said server Jarrod Tomlinson.
Palmer’s Restaurant, Bar and Courtyard is set in a renovated home originally constructed in the 1920s, acting as a setting for any special night out. “The courtyard has a really good ambiance — it’s candle lit at night,” said Erica Egress, manager and special events coordinator. “Plus we have music outside. It’s just a nice atmosphere outside, (and) inside we have four fire places when it’s cold.” Palmer’s happy hours are from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and feature $2 appetizers and $3 margaritas, Mai Tai’s and Long Island Iced Teas. “It’s not as dressy as people think, and there tends to be a misconception we are a really fancy place, but you can come as you are,” Egress said. A new feature of Palmer’s is a reverse happy hour from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., featuring $4 glasses of wine and champagne with $5 small plates and tapas. “It’s something really nice people could do with a special person before going out to The Square,” Egress said.
129 E. Hopkins suite 120, 512-392-9824 taproomsanmarcos.com
129 E. Hopkins, Suite 100, 512-392-3080 thecoffeepotbistro.com
218 Moore Street, 512-353-3500 palmerstexas.com
331 W. Hopkins Street Suite 108, 512-754-MINK (6465)
2nd: Gil’s Broiler 3rd: San Marcos River Pub & Grill
2nd: Mochas & Javas 3rd: Tantra Coffeehouse
2nd: Saltgrass Steakhouse 3rd: Kobe Steakhouse
2nd: Classic Cuts 3rd: Out of the Blue
By Ammie Jimenez // Star Columnist
By Tyler Garcia // Sports Reporter
Paper Bear is a business that is quite unique to San Marcos, establishing itself as an important part of the community. The store carries everything from costumes to face paint to puzzles. It is no surprise then that this special boutique was picked best in San Marcos. Kathy Natal, manager, explained what sets Paper Bear apart from competitors. “(We) try to carry things other people don’t carry,” she said. “And we try to be as helpful as possible.” Natal explained why she thought her store came out on top. “(We) hear customers say they have never seen clothes like that here,” she said. “We try to keep our prices down—pass along the savings.”
The Tap Room Pub and Grub has received the San Marcos Stars award for Best Burgers. The Tap Room serves a variety of burgers as well as appetizers, sandwiches, pitas, entrees, salads, and, of course, beer. “Most of the people I see order the guacamole and queso burger, it seems to be the most common,” said bartender Brett Hempphill. The Tap Room is a place to enjoy a game or one of the restaurant’s six large flat-screen televisions. There is a party room available for large groups with advance notice. Tap Room is one of few places that has 42 different beers from all over the world, as well as different blends and a full bar. The Tap Room offers daily food specials and a happy hour from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and lunch specials from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
218 North L.B.J. Drive., San Marcos, TX 78666 paperbear.com
2nd: Strut 3rd: Centerpoint Station
Best Happy Hour
Satellite // November 19, 2009 // www.universitystar.com
The Coffee Pot By Tyler Garcia // Sports Reporter
By Kris Marx // Special to The Star Bursting onto the San Marcos hair scene in February 2008, Salon Mink had a quick rise to the top. Salon Mink doubled the size of its location a year after opening because of a positive response from students and residents. “It’s about customer service. The crowd of people who come into our store is a very diverse one,” said Ray Reeves, co-owner and stylist. “We have a conservative clientele, being local residents, and we also take care of the college kids.” The diverse clientele gives stylists at Mink a broad platform to craft their art. “We do a wide range of hair and are able to do many modern and trendy styles,” Reeves said. Reeves credits the salon’s continued success to the passion of the stylists. “We have a very talented group of stylists we work with, and everyone loves what they do,” Reeves said.
Laughs echo through the air with a friendly aura in Grins Restaurant, open since 1975. Alumni, co-owners and friends Paul Sutton and Johnny Farrell, opened Grins with an idea of centering on student business. “We love Texas State, and support many organizations,” Sutton said. From the giant windmill fan in the entrance circling the ceiling to the open deck, the atmosphere is that of a “giant tree house.” “On nice days we open all the doors and windows, and sitting on the deck is beyond delightful,” Sutton said. “We are honored to be winning the award of Best Happy Hour. The food here is delicious and speaks for itself, but we have the best drink specials in town,” Sutton said. Grins’ happy hour could be better described as happy days lasting from 2 p.m. to close during Monday through Thursday. Customer favorites include 99 cent frozen house, strawberry or sangria margaritas and $5 beer buckets of Coronitas or Baby Bud Lights. 802 North LBJ Drive, 512-392-GRIN (4746) grinsrestaurant.com
2nd: Saltgrass Steakhouse 3rd: Plucker’s Wing Bar
www.universitystar.com // November 19, 2009 // Satellite