VOLUME 103, ISSUE 51
Defending the First Amendment since 1911
FEBRUARY 4, 2014
OPINIONS | Page 4 Black History Series: The opinions section will spotlight a column written by one of The University Star’s black staff members in each February issue.
SPORTS | Page 6
Conference defeat: Texas State men’s basketball came up short 64–68 to the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Saturday night.
Asian Garden owners arrested in connection with human trafficking By Kelsey Bradshaw
Senior News Reporter
The owners of San Marcos restaurant Asian Garden were arrested this weekend in connection to a human trafficking ring based out of Houston. Wei Ji Zheng, 38, and Wen Juan Zhang, 34, were arrested along with 32 other individuals Jan. 30 for racketeering and immigration violation charges. The individuals were charged under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, according to the indictment of the 32 people involved.
Joe Larrios hitches his horse Feb. 3 after arriving at The Square with the Greater Randolph Area Trail Riders. The trail riders made a stop in San Marcos on the way to the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. Allison Brouillette | Staff Photographer The owners of Asian Garden were arrested Jan. 30 in connection with a human trafficking ring based out of Houston. The restaurant was still open and operating as of Monday. Court documents state two businesses operating out of Houston have been bringing people into the country illegally from Mexico and Central America and hiring them at Chinese restaurants in Texas and Louisiana. The immigrants worked 12 hours six days a week for less than minimum wage, according to the indictment. The restaurants paid the immigrants in cash, and they were not allowed to accept tips or receive overtime. Health benefits, food safety and job training were not provided, according to a press release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. While in Texas and Louisiana, the immigrants did not have proper places to live and sometimes resided at the restaurant operators’ homes, according to the press release. For instance, up to 18 people were found living in a 2,000 square foot home, and many of the employees slept on air mattresses and floors, according to the press release. The restaurant owners profited from the workers’ labor since they paid them in cash and did not have to pay employment taxes to the government, according to the indictment. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigation offices in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and New Orleans, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Air and Marine, U.S. Marshals and Houston, Port Arthur and Beaumont Police Departments are currently investigating the case.
Austin Humphreys | Photo Editor
Back in the saddle Page 2
Development potentially displaces businesses By James Carneiro News Reporter
hree local businesses may soon face relocation or closure due to the construction of a proposed mixed-use development recently approved by commissioners, pending city council discussion. San Marcos Planning & Zoning commissioners approved a height request Jan. 29 for a nine-story mixed-use complex to be built on the corner of Edward Gary and Hutchinson Streets by Carson Properties. Cedars Mediterranean Restaurant, Eskimo Hut and Triple Crown may be demolished to make way for the development, raising questions about the businesses’ futures. Cedars and Eskimo Hut are located on leased land, while the owners of Triple Crown bought their property outright. Carson Properties has purchased the land for all three properties. The development’s future is expected to be discussed further during the Feb. 18 San Marcos City Council meeting.
Cedars Mediterranean Restaurant
Austin Humphreys | Photo Editor
Omar Aldmour, owner of Cedars Mediterranean Restaurant, said his lease for the space will be up in two months and cannot be renewed because the building will be demolished if the councilmembers approve the project, he said. Aldmour said he has no plans to move Cedars to another location in San Marcos. “I really like what I did here,” Aldmour said. “I’ll try to get another job, but it definitely won’t be (running) another restaurant.”
Man found dead after home burglary A man was discovered dead Friday in a San Marcos home at the site of an alleged robbery that lead up to a stand off, according to the Hays County Sheriff’s Office. A homeowner on the 800 block of Crest Circle Drive reported a burglary to police at about 2:30 p.m. Friday, according to a Feb. 1 San Antonio Express-News article. The homeowner said a pair of intruders may have barricaded themselves in the home. Hays County SWAT and negotiators headed to the scene. When negotiations failed, SWAT officials entered the home late in the evening and found the body of one of the intruders, 20-year-old Kevin Ray Rodriguez, dead from an apparent gunshot wound. —Compiled by James Carneiro, news reporter
Triple Crown Triple Crown has boasted 6,207 consecutive days of live music in its present location since 1996, but the business will have to continue operations elsewhere, said owner Allen Manning. Manning said he would prefer to relocate to a new venue twice the size of the existing bar. Carson Properties bought Triple Crown’s land, but is not forcing the bar to move, Manning said. Manning did not disclose exactly how much money the company has paid him, but the developer met his selling price, he said. This is the first time a developer has offered to buy the land Triple Crown sits on, Manning said. Manning said he does not know when the final show will be held, but it will probably take place on a Friday or Saturday. It will be a “bittersweet night,” he said.
Eskimo Hut Eskimo Hut’s lease will also not be renewed because of the development. Patrick Hill, manager of Eskimo Hut, said he found out the establishment will be demolished when the landowners told him they were not going to renew the lease for the upcoming year. New owners took control of Eskimo Hut last November and never had the chance to realize its potential, he said. The owners have not yet found a replacement location for Eskimo Hut, Hill said. Hill said he does not know if Carson Properties is compensating the owners of Eskimo Hut for the property. Eskimo Hut has held its current location for two years, Hill said. It used to sit where Josie’s Frozen Yogurt is located on University Drive.
2 | The University Star | Tuesday February 4, 2014
Trail riders continue San Marcos tradition By Aubrie Iverson Special to the Star
rail riders and their horses paraded along The Square Monday afternoon as they stopped for an annual lunch and one resident’s “almost famous” peach cobbler en route to the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo.
It just looked so cool to me, visually. So I’m really excited to be leading the charge this year.” —Samantha Armbruster, Main Street Program manager
This year’s excursion marks the 16th annual Greater Randolph Area Trail Riders Association Inc. trail ride from Kyle to the stock show and rodeo. The itinerary for the event, hosted by the city’s Main Street Program, includes meals and celebrations for the trail riders provided by association members and local residents.
The blaring sirens of a police escort signaled the arrival of the parade, along with the clopping hooves of about 30 horses near the courthouse lawn. The leaders of the excursion, including the “princess” and the trail bosses, directed the group of about 20 riders. Joe Coldewey, who previously served for three years as the president of the GRATRAils, has been the trail boss for all seven of the association’s rides since 2013. While many of the participants wore membership jackets, Coldewey said “anybody who wants to ride” can take part in the experience. San Marcos has been part of the trail riding tradition since its inception. Samantha Armbruster, San Marcos Main Street Program manager, said she has been fascinated with the festivities after volunteering for the event last year. “It just looked so cool to me, visually,” Armbruster said. “So I’m really excited to be leading the charge this year.” One of the event’s most beloved traditions is resident Valerie Agee’s “almost famous” peach cobbler, part of the meal provided to riders by members of the community. Agee mixes her ingredients from scratch every year: pre-portioned packets of powder, vanilla extract and about a cup of whole milk poured into the cobblers with an inexact precision that suggests years of expertise.
Austin Humphreys | Photo Editor The Greater Randolph Area Trail Riders stopped in San Marcos for lunch and dessert after riding from Kyle on their way to San Antonio.
The recipe was passed down from her Area Trail Riders, who are scheduled to argrandmother, originally from Lake Charles, rive in San Antonio Friday, will be at the La., and has been the go-to treat since the city’s stock show and rodeo Saturday. The second year of the trail ride. Agee said she ride draws between 75 to 100 participants used cake mix as the batter the first year, each year, said Cindy Sullivan, president of but the result could not compare to her own the association. family recipe. Agee’s husband, John, is typically responsible for keeping the crowd warm each year with a hand-welded table that holds live coals. Conversations surrounded the table of coal and cinder, and Agee demonstrated the art of pouring coffee from an oversized pot suspended above another bed of coals. The flameless heat has become a staple for the annual early February event. “You can see why there are so many people clustered around the table,” Madelynne Scales | Assistant Photo Editor Agee said. “It’s not because they like to look at the The Greater Randolph Area Trail Riders arrive at The Square in San Marcos. The group made a stop in San Marcos Feb. 3 on its way to coals.” The Greater Randolph San Antonio.
The University Star | Advertisement | Tuesday February 4, 2014 | 3
4 | The University Star | Tuesday February 4, 2014
February In honor of Black History Month, the opinions section will spotlight a column written by one of The University Star’s black staff members in each issue. The University Star hopes to showcase a variety of perspectives in the new series dedicated to bringing issues in the black community to light.
THE MAIN POINT
Officials deserve commendation for parking efforts New permit proposals would be mutually beneficial for commuter, residential students
February time to recognize importance of black contributions, accomplishments
Ryan Jeanes | Star Illustrator
t is not often students are given a reason to be grateful for parking system changes at Texas State, which makes the latest proposals being brought before the President’s Cabinet particularly exciting. Nancy Nusbaum, interim director of Transportation Services, said the department has made several recommendations to administrators to alleviate problems within the parking permit system. The biggest change would prohibit students who live on campus from purchasing perimeter permits, which is currently causing overcrowding in several lots around campus. If approved, this change, among others, will be a measure that will remedy part of the parking problem at Texas State, arguably the most frustrating issue currently faced by the university.
Brandon Sams Opinions Columnist Public relations freshman
lack History Month is a time for remembrance B and recognition of the accomplishments, innovations and contributions of black people
throughout history. Black History Month traces its origins to 1926 when black historian Carter G. Woodson proposed a week of recognition. Originally, the time of remembrance was during the second week of February. Two important figures in the black community, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, were born during the second week of the month. A brief history lesson—Abraham Lincoln is important to black history as the U.S. president who freed slaves after the Civil War. Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave and famed abolitionist who became an accomplished author and highly praised orator for his beliefs on equality for all people—black, female, Native American and more. One could easily understand why Woodson would choose that specific week in February to be hailed as “Negro History Week.” This tradition started out as simply teaching students about black contributions and history. It inevitably began to grow larger in states with significant black populations throughout the 20s-30s. However, it was not until 1976 that the U.S. government transcended what Woodson had
proposed as “Negro History Week” into what is known today as Black History Month. President Ford at the time said Americans needed to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” I think this sentiment is still relevant to us today. It has been 38 years and black history is still stifled by misinformation, stereotypes and victimhood. Americans should take this month to look into the varied black contributions to technology, fashion, music, philosophy and more both within our country and outside of it. Even with the majority of black history literally being in shackles and bondage, blacks in America and around the world have contributed a vast amount to society. Naysayers often bemoan the fact that black people get their own month whereas white people do not—a laughable stance. We live in the U.S., a Eurocentric society where every month is “white history month.” It is important to share the contributions made by others that, as President Gerald Ford said, are often overlooked in a society that sees the world from the perspective of “white is right.” Throughout the school system in this country, the only thing that seems to be universally discussed when it comes to black people is slavery. As if the only thing we have done in this country is be slaves. It is an important part of our history to note and discuss for a variety of reasons, but our humanity and our strength in overcoming adversity and hatred is just as important. The contributions we have made to this great country literally off our backs and out of our minds should be taught in schools year-round. We are more than our oppressors made us out to be and what stereotypes have come to define us as. That is why Black History Month is important— black history is so much more than just a namesake. Black history is American history and world history, plain and simple.
Residential students would no longer have the option to purchase perimeter permits.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Green residential permits would decrease in price from $485 to $435.
A proposed $115 “storage permit” would allow residential students to park at the back of the Mill Street lot.
According to a Jan. 30 University Star article, Nusbaum told faculty senators during their Jan. 29 meeting that many residential students have been purchasing $115 purple perimeter passes as opposed to $485 green residential permits. This has left 500 to 600 residential parking spots empty and the commuter lots full, she said. The majority of students who commute to campus have likely felt the pain of circling a perimeter parking lot to find a spot, which is often unavoidable no matter how much time is allotted to park before class. The frustration of being unable to find a parking spot is compounded by the knowledge that students who live on campus have been occupying the spaces intended for commuters. It is understandable why students who live on campus have been buying perimeter permits. They run nearly $400 cheaper than residential permits, a price difference that most students would probably capitalize on. However, it is fair that this will likely no longer be an option. Bringing a car to campus as a freshman or residential student is a luxury not afforded at many universities. Additionally, while residential students will no longer be able to purchase perimeter permits if the change is approved, they will still be provided with a cheaper alternative to the $485 green permits, which could soon be lowered to $435. A proposed “storage permit” would allow residential students who do not use their vehicles daily to park at the back of the Mill Street lot, according to the same University Star article. The storage permits would be priced at $115, Nusbaum said. Students who purchase the storage permits would be able to take the Bobcat Village tram to get to campus from the Mill Street lot. After 5 p.m. each Friday, students with storage permits would be allowed to move their cars to their dorms and park in any zone for the weekend. The editorial board commends Transportation Services officials for finding a solution to one of the biggest parking issues at Texas State in a way that benefits all parties involved. It should be noted that this will ultimately benefit commuter students the most, a group that has historically been shortchanged by the university. It would be a stretch to call these potential changes a light at the end of the tunnel, but the situation seems to be improving nonetheless. Transportation Services has taken a step in the right direction toward solving a critical issue in a department riddled with problems and student dissatisfaction, and officials deserve praise for this most recent proposal.
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Brother Jeb should be ignored T
his is my fourth year at Texas State, and over the years, around this time of year I have always paid avid attention to one recurring event in particular. Brother Jed, a Christian “missionary” is getting ready to make his annual return to Texas State. He comes through Texas and hits several schools including our own. He brings with him a small group of like-minded individuals who spew hatred and vitriol, and every single year, we the student body give them exactly what they want—attention. The problem with Brother Jed is that he gets under the skin of far too many people. He spouts derogatory terms at everyone based on what they wear, how they look, what they are doing or the types of people they are around. Worst of all, Brother Jed is actually quite good at picking up on context clues about the people he’s talking to. He quickly jumps to accusations such as “what man in your life molested you at such a young age to make you turn out this way?” or “what positive female role model was missing from your life to force you to think homosexuality was okay?” Such remarks are designed simply to arouse pain and anger in his audience. The biggest problem, though, is he does all of this for the singular reason of causing us to get as angry as possible. He has actually stated if he can make us angry or hateful toward him, it means we are thinking about Jesus and he has done his job. Every single year Brother Jed comes, students never seem to grasp the fact that he wants us to yell at him and argue with him, and even to troll and insult him. He is not here to convert or convince anyone. He is only here because he has a large group of followers who pay for him to incite as much anger and pain as he can muster. These
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followers of Brother Jed pay him larger donations, not smaller, when we get upset that he is here. The harder we fight against him, yell at him, make signs criticizing him, and stand in front of him calling him horrible names, the more donations he gets from his followers because to them that means he is doing his job. The only way to stop Brother Jed from having a negative impact on us and our university is simple— completely ignore him. This simple concept has eluded us for far too long. Instead, every year we have the same cycle. He shows up, he yells mean insults at people who stop to argue and other people gather to watch the argument. Then some other Christians will show up because they think he is wrong and need to convince him he is right. Shortly after, they’ll give up but still stay out around him trying to convince the now larger crowd that he is not a real Christian and they can show people what true Christianity is about. Around the same time, atheists or people of differing beliefs will also show up with signs declaring Brother Jed’s idiocy or their own love of masturbation or homosexual activities designed to anger Brother Jed. Finally, people who just want to troll the event show up and cause as much commotion as possible to disrupt the event. Every single year this same cycle occurs, and it does nothing but draw a larger crowd around him. I get it. People think if they are not supporting Brother Jed, being there making fun of him will hurt him. It does not hurt him though. It helps him financially. The harder we fight with tactics like that, the more financial support he gets from his followers and the more drive he gets to keep coming back. Instead, this year as the time for his return approaches, I urge and beg we try a different tactic. Ignore
him. Completely and absolutely ignore his entire presence. When Brother Jed comes to stand at the Stallions and starts spouting insults, walk away and leave The Quad as fast as you can. If you see other students starting to gather, give them a quick run down about how he operates, what he is doing, why it is counter-productive to stand there, and then ask them to please leave so they do not accidentally help him in his quest for hatred. Tell everyone Brother Jed is coming soon to campus. He’s already making rounds at other Texas schools and I believe he will be here either this week or next. Let everyone know he must be ignored. New students who have never seen him before will be curious and will naturally form a crowd around him, but please inform them that giving him any sort of attention is giving him the backing and support he needs to keep being hateful. Even trolling him, and attempting to drive him off campus with hatred will support him. Finally, keep in mind one thing. We are a united student body. You and your friends may be able to withstand his hatred and his vitriol just fine, but can you be sure there is not someone amongst our numbers that would be hurt and affected by the words he aims at them? Because if you let yourself pay him the attention he wants, you are opening the door for him to hurt someone else around you when you had the power to stop that merely by ignoring him. This year, let us all fight Brother Jed in the only effective way we can, for ourselves and for those around us. Ignore Brother Jed completely and entirely. Let his message fall on deaf ears, and do not allow yourself to form the crowd around him that he so desires. —Frankie DiMento, senior and Hide and Seek Club president
The University Star is the student newspaper of Texas State University and is published every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the spring and fall and every other Wednesday in the summer semesters. It is distributed on campus and throughout San Marcos at 8 a.m. on publication days with a distribution of 6,000. Printing and distribution is by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung. Copyright Tuesday, February 4, 2014. All copy, photographs and graphics appearing in The University Star are the exclusive property of The University Star and may not be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the editor in chief. The first five issues of each edition of the paper are free. Additional copies of the paper can be purchased at 50¢ per copy. Contact The University Star office at (512) 245-3487 to purchase additional copies.
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The University Star | Tuesday February 4, 2014 | 5
Bobcats move to fourth place in Sun Belt Conference after road victory
By Quixem Ramirez Sports Reporter @quixem
The Texas State women’s basketball team scored 46 points in the second half to defeat the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 7263 on the road Saturday. The Bobcats scored 32 of 72 points in the paint. Texas State outrebounded Western Kentucky 37-27, including a 2212 advantage in the second half. Western Kentucky dropped to 14-6 overall and 7-3 at home with the loss. The Hilltoppers are 449-106 in 555 home games. The Bobcats have won six of their last nine games after beginning the year 2-8. Texas State’s two-game winning streak is the team’s longest since joining the Sun Belt Conference. The Bobcats have won consecutive games for the second time this year and for the first time in conference play. Texas State is 2.5 games behind Arkansas State for the Sun Belt lead. They are scoring 65.9 points per game and allowing 66.9 points in eight conference games.
Sophomore forward Erin Peoples finished with 17 points, nine rebounds, three rebounds, two steals and 6-10 shooting. Peoples earned her first Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week award this year, making her the second Bobcat to receive the honor. Peoples is averaging 12.4 points and 6.8 rebounds in the conference. She has started 49 straight games for the Bobcats dating back to her freshman year. Texas State took the lead after a 23-6 run in the first 10 minutes of the second half. The Bobcats held the lead for the remaining minutes of the half after senior guard Kaylan Martin converted two free throws. There was one tie and one lead change in the game. Martin scored 10 of her season-high 15 points in the second half. She finished with a season-high seven turnovers. Four Bobcats finished with double figures. Freshman guard Kaitlin Walla led the bench with 12 points, her fourth game in double figures in the last six games. Walla is averaging 11.2 points, 46.7 percent shooting and 1.5 3-pointers in this stretch.
Women’s basketball beat Western Kentucky on the road 72–63 in Bowling Green. The Bobcats’ record is 8–11 overall.
Madelynne Scales | Star File Photo
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6 | The University Star | Sports | Tuesday February 4, 2014
Texas State falls short against WKU in close road game
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Reynaldo Leaños Jr. | Star File Photo Men’s basketball was defeated Feb. 1 by Western Kentucky in Bowling Green. The teams will meet again Feb. 27 at Strahan Coliseum.
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shot, and that’s just something we have to work on for the next game.” The Bobcats needed a defensive stop, but Western Kentucky was able to get to the free throw line and take a 65–62 lead with 25 seconds left. Texas State drew up a play that set a back screen and gave Koenen an open look for a 3-point attempt, but the ball hit the front of the rim and fell short, sealing the Bobcats’ fate. “That was the play—it worked perfectly,” Davis said. “He got a pretty good shot, the shot we wanted him to take. It just didn’t fall.”
points in the second half, ending with a team high of 18. Koenen shot 0-3 in the second half. Davis finished the game as the team’s second leading scorer with 16 points, shooting 3–3 from the field in the second half. The momentum shifted in favor of Western Kentucky with 6:49 left in the second half when the Bobcats—up 57–55—allowed Western Kentucky to convert on free throws, resulting in the Hilltoppers taking a 62–58 lead. “Towards the end, the rebounding is what got us,” Davis said. “A lot of us missed our defensive principles after the ball was
In a game that was not decided until the final minute, Texas State came up short 64–68 to the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Saturday night. Western Kentucky controlled the offensive boards in Saturday’s game, outrebounding Texas State 9–4. The Hilltoppers outscored the Bobcats 12–3 in second chance points. The game went back and forth all the way to the end as the lead changed hands 11 times. The starting lineup played most of the game, with one bench player participating for 15 minutes and the rest playing no more than eight. Usual starting senior guard Phil Hawkins was held to seven minutes as he was battling an illness before the game. The Bobcats were led by senior forward Reid Koenen and junior guard Wes Davis, who shot for a combined 4–5 from the 3-point range and had a total of 16 points in the first half. “It wasn’t my intention (to shoot) at first,” Davis said. “Once I saw the first three go in, that gave me confidence to keep shooting. Once I got into the mode, I kept trying to attack more than usual.” Senior forward Joel Wright shot 2-8 in the first half but led the team in assists, dishing out three for the game. “I think it’s just something that happened,” Davis said. “ (Wright) noticed that when he was driving, two people would collapse on him so he’d drop it off.” Western Kentucky outrebounded the Bobcats 17–11 by the end of the first half and trailed 30–27. Wright produced 12
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