WEDNESDAY JUNE 24, 2015
VOLUME 105 ISSUE 3 www.UniversityStar.com
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HAYS COUNTY FLOOD
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Hays County groundwater bill signed into law By Anna Herod ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR @annaleemurphy
State Rep. Jason Isaac (RDripping Springs) and state Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels) officially announced June 22 the Hays County groundwater protection bill is now a law. The new law expands the boundaries of the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (BSEACD) to cover an area of the Trinity Aquifer that was previously not within a groundwater district. Electro Purification’s (EP) well fields are now within the jurisdiction of the BSEACD. The company will have to obtain a pumping permit from the conservation district before it can legally move forward with the project. House Bill 3405 (HB 3405) was introduced after Hays County residents expressed fear and disapproval at EP’s announcement that they would extract five million gallons of water per day from an unregulated area of the Trinity Aquifer. In a press release announcing the bill’s passage into law, Campbell said that in the aftermath of the historic Memorial Day weekend floods, the law represents a “sign of hope” for what citizens can accomplish together in the future. Isaac said he feels the legislation’s success is a triumph for
The threat of a possible groundwater production project in Wimberley kind of accelerated other people’s interests to find a solution.” —JASON ISAAC, STATE REPRESENTATIVE
all in Hays County, and HB 3405 is a “win-win for multiple parties involved.” “There were some interests that did not want to see our legislation pass,” Isaac said. Isaac and other bill supporters got HB 3405 passed on the 139th day of a 140-day legislative session. “I started working on this about a year ago when I first learned that there was part of an aquifer in Hays County that wasn’t protected,” Isaac said. “The threat of a possible groundwater production project in Wimberley kind of accelerated other people’s interest in trying to find a solution.” Although the company addressed the concerned public at a town hall meeting in Wimberley on Feb. 10, residents remained skeptical about how an extensive pumping project would leave the fate of their groundwater-supported homes. Isaac said EP officials have stated from the beginning that their plans are based on “sound science.” “EP will be able to do what they can do (if they secure a permit), and that’s their right,” Isaac said. “And we affirm those rights for them so long as it doesn’t affect the desired future
See HB3405, Page 2
PRESLIE COX MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
Aniceto G. Samaro, CM Allen Homes resident, sits June 13 on his front porch.
Public housing tenants struggle to find homes after historic floods By Jon Wilcox SENIOR NEWS REPORTER @thrilcox
any public housing residents are struggling for a foothold as flood damage has prompted the San Marcos Housing Authority (SMHA) to evacuate at least 96 homes for repairs and safety concerns. SMHA officials have ordered all residents of the 96 units at the CM Allen Homes public housing facility to vacate. Many former residents say they are facing difficulties in finding and paying for new homes despite government assistance. Aniceto “Cowboy” Samaro, age 85, said he has lived in the CM Allen Homes facility for 33 years. He remembers when the 30-foot tree in his front yard was a tiny sprout. He shares his home with a 15-year-old Chihuahua, Thomas. Weeks after the historic, deadly Memorial Day weekend flood, Samaro sits on his porch, feeding birds and
waving friendly hellos as the last of his neighbors pack up and abandon their damaged homes. The level of damage in the neighborhood was severe. For weeks, Samaro disputed with SMHA officials over whether he should be required to leave his house. Because floodwaters barely touched his property, Samaro sees no reason to leave. The longtime CM Allen Homes resident said moving is even more difficult as his children do not have the space to house him. Albert Sierra, executive director for the SMHA, said he will have to evict Samaro if the man refuses to leave his home. Attorneys have advised if a tenant is sickened by mold in the houses, the SMHA could be held liable in civil court, Sierra said. Sierra said although he does not want to order anyone to leave, if any residents remain in the flood-damaged neighborhood, he will be forced to evict. Mold-infested houses can pose a significant health risk
to anyone living inside—especially those who are elderly or sick, Sierra said. Sierra and the SMHA website have advised CM Allen Homes residents to seek monetary assistance from Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA). Most residents have received initial subsidies between $1,000 and $2,000, Sierra said. Residents can reapply for more FEMA aid after two months.. Dwayne Magnum, displaced CM Allen Homes resident, said although he was grateful for FEMA assistance, finding a new house for his family of six was nevertheless a daunting task. Magnum said he and many other CM Allen Homes families were forced to relocate to local motels, like the Rodeway Inn on the Interstate Highway 35 (IH-35) northbound access road in San Marcos. Magnum sought assistance through the SMHA after a 2013 injury left him disabled and unable to work. SMHA has told the ex-tenant he will
most likely not be able to move back into public housing for at least six months, Magnum said. The Memorial Day weekend flood damage reduced the SMHA’s housing capability by almost 50 percent, Sierra said. “We have 289 units in San Marcos,” Sierra said. “A hundred were in CM Allen Homes.” Magnum said he does not know how he will be able to find a lease for his wife and four children with the amount of FEMA assistance he received in addition to the increased demand for housing in the city. The houses and apartments he and his wife have viewed were either too expensive or too small, he said. Rob Roark, San Marcos resident and community activist, said he is angered with the SMHA’s handling and removal of the CM Allen Homes residents. Roark said SMHA has done a poor job working with CM Allen Homes residents. Residents in public housing are
often more vulnerable to disasters, he said. “These are the poorest of the poor,” Roark said. “If you have to put a deposit down, and you have got kids, you’re trying to work a job, you’ve just been flooded out—put yourself in the shoes of the people.” Roark said he is worried many of the displaced public housing residents—especially families—will not be able to afford rent in the private real estate market. “Three bedrooms in San Marcos—if you can find them for a six-month lease—is going to run you a minimum of $800 to $900,” Roark said. “We are dumping them into the community without any plan to bring them back.” As of June 13, Samaro had changed his mind and decided to vacate his house at CM Allen Homes, he said. Although he was not completely sure of where he would go, Samaro could only say, “God will send me an angel.”
“God will send me an angel.” —ANICETO G. SAMARO, CM ALLEN HOMES RESIDENT
HAYS COUNTY FLOOD
Local farmers feel impact post Memorial Day weekend disaster By Exsar Arguello SENIOR NEWS REPORTER @Exsar_Misael
The Memorial Day weekend floods are continuing to affect the lives of many people throughout the state—especially the individuals that grow and supply food. Local farmers in the San Marcos area are dealing with damages and loss of production. According to a May 30 University Star article, farmers and ranchers can potentially receive as much as $500,000 in loans through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The aid is intended to cover any production damage and any property losses with the exception of primary residency. Jonas Jones, farm manager for Gray Gardens, said the rain hit them hard after planting twice as many potatoes and tomatoes this season. “Only about half of what we planted made it because there was too much moisture in the ground,” Jones
Police investigations continue regarding San Marcos hospital shooting By Anna Herod ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR @annaleemurphy
PRESLIE COX MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
Tim Miller, owner of Millberg Farm, stands next to one of several peach trees June 18 at his farm in Kyle. The farm didn’t suffer any damage from the flooding on Memorial Day. said. “We lost profit and it definitely had an effect on us.” To save potatoes and onions from the flood, Jones was desperately picking his produce while it was pouring rain in an effort to save them, he said. Four weeks of planting were lost due to the flooding that did not seem to stop. Jone said that as the rain would come to a halt, it would begin to pour again.
“Our greens are also not growing because of how cloudy it has been,” Jones said. “Just as much as plants need water, they need sun, and without the sun shining things just aren’t growing the same. Everything is surviving, but nothing is thriving.” Gray Gardens was only able to produce 20 bunches of kale since the storm.
See FARMERS, Page 2
Police say there have not been any new developments in the investigation concerning a shooting that left an elderly couple dead at Central Texas Medical Center (CTMC). Joyce Chamness, 85, and Ben Chamness, 87, were found deceased June 9 in a private patient room at CTMC. Joyce was being treated there for a serious illness, police said. The couple’s daughter discovered her parents in the room after the shooting. “We don’t know why the shots weren’t heard elsewhere in the hospital,” said Trey Hatt, communications specialist for the City of San Marcos. Police are investigating the incident as a murder-suicide but have not released any new information. “The San Marcos Police Department doesn’t have any updates or new information to release in the case and we
don’t want to speculate on why the shooting happened,” Hatt said. CTMC spokesperson Brad Russell said the fact the shooting happened in the morning could have something to do with why the shots were not heard anywhere else in the hospital. “The level of noise inside of the building (during a shift-change) is going to be higher because you’re essentially having two shifts on the floor at the same time, going from the night shift to the day shift,” Russell said. “So that could have been a part of that, but beyond that would just be speculation.” Russell said there are no metal detectors in the hospital, but there are signs prohibiting guns on hospital grounds. On-site security is present during hospital hours, he said. “We are constantly assessing the physical security on our campus and this certainly will be something that is taken into consideration,” Russell said.
2 | The University Star | News | Wednesday, June 24, 2015
FARMERS, from front â€œAt the end of the day the amount of water we are getting is great, but there are so many cons that go with having this amount of moisture in the soil,â€? Jones said. Whitney Waller of Little Bluestem Farm said her farm is located on high ground and although crop rot did not happen, some profit was lost without enough produce. The amount of rain mainly affected root crops such as onions, Waller said. Root crops vary from potatoes to carrots and are easily damaged by too much moisture. â€œWe had to pull a lot of our root crops a little early during the past month just because of the amount of rain and we didnâ€™t want any damages to our crops,â€? Waller said. Both Jones and Waller said they have not received any form of aid or relief from any government agencies since the flooding took place one month ago. Tim Miller, owner of Millberg Farm, planned ahead of time for water damage and floods. â€œI built my farm over 26 years ago and strategically built it on
higher ground for these kinds of situations,â€? Miller said. â€œI was smart about it and I knew I had to prepare myself (for) whatever Mother Nature threw at me.â€? Miller said regardless of all the flooding, his farm has stayed relatively safe throughout this natural disaster. Miller has developed a new strategy of planting that prevents his plants from rotting due to the abundance of water. â€œI plant my seeds in 4-inch pots so they donâ€™t get oversaturated from the moisture,â€? Miller said. Miller said he is sympathetic to the farmers that were not necessarily prepared for the dangers of the flooding. Many farmers have lost large amounts of food, which in turn translates to profit loss. Miller collects all of his water from rain storage containers. â€œThe rain has done me some good in certain aspects,â€? Miller said. â€œIâ€™ve collected a lot of rainwater and it is always good to have such a big storage of water just in caseâ€”especially in the drought we are in.â€?
PRESLIE COX MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
Tim Miller picks tomatoes June 18 at his farm in Kyle.
HB3405, from front CRIME
SEVEN SUSPECTS ARRESTED, CHARGED WITH MURDER AFTER FATAL SHOOTING By Jon Wilcox SENIOR NEWS REPORTER @thrilcox
Seven suspects have been arrested and charged with capital murder in connection with Mondayâ€™s deadly River Road shooting. San Marcos Police Department (SMPD) officers located and stopped the suspectsâ€™ vehicle Monday and took four into custody. The suspects are currently being held on a $500,000 bond. Suspects Daniel Francisco Castillo, Joe Angel Smith-Saucedo, Joe Michael Magana, Joey Vargas and Jeremy Tobias were arrested Monday afternoon. Reynaldo Le-
rma was arrested Monday night, and Xavier Luis Magana was arrested Tuesday afternoon. Six of the suspects are teenagers. Only Smith-Saucedo, 21, is not. SMPD responded to a 911 call early Monday morning to find 21-year-old Joel Espino dead from a gunshot wound at a residence in the 1700 block of River Road. SMPD recovered a stolen rifle from the residence. SMPD later discovered a second weapon, a pistol, inside the suspectsâ€™ vehicle. Police suspect the incident may have started as a robbery and escalated into a shooting. There are also reports describing the residence as a known drug location.
Joe Magana and Xavier Magana, arrived Monday at Central Texas Medical Center with gunshot wounds. Xavier Magana was transferred to University Medical CenterBrackenridge Hospital in Austin, and Joe Magana was released from CTMC with a gunshot wound to the shoulder. Xavier Magana was released from UMC-Brackenridge Tuesday afternoon and transferred to the Hays County Law Enforcement Center. Hays County Narcotics Task Force and Department of Public Safety Crime Lab are assisting SMPD with the investigation.
conditions of the aquifer or have an unreasonable impact on surrounding wells.â€? EP could not be reached to comment on future plans for the proposed project if the bill were to pass. â€œThe landowners that would like to sell their water have the right to do that,â€? Isaac said. â€œAnd the surrounding landowners wonâ€™t be negatively affected by their neighborsâ€™ efforts to sell their water.â€? Isaac said the fact that the bill was sent to Gov. Greg Abbottâ€™s desk the second to last day of the session, is a reflection of hard work from the many supporters in the legislature such as Campbell. â€œThe people I serve that live on groundwater will be protected and their groundwater will be secure,â€? Isaac said. Jeff Mundy is the lead trial lawyer for the Trinity Edwards Springs Protection Association (TESPA) in a lawsuit the nonprofit organization filed earlier this year in an effort to halt EPâ€™s plans.
â€œThe law will achieve much of what we wanted to achieve, which would be to bring the EP wells within a groundwater district permitting and regulating process,â€? Mundy said. TESPAâ€™s lawsuit asked the court to rule that EPâ€™s well fields are within the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation district. â€œ(EPâ€™s well field) will now be within the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Groundwater Conservation district, which is a very good, well-funded groundwater control district, so it should help to protect the water for all the users,â€? Mundy said. Hays County Commissioner Will Conley, Precinct 3, said he has supported Isaacâ€™s legislative effort from the beginning. â€œIt took an entire team to get this legislation through,â€? Conley said. â€œThere was a tremendous amount of special interest fighting this legislation, but we were able to get it brought back and do whatâ€™s right for our community.â€?
Illegal moving services on the rise in Texas By Exsar Arguello SENIOR NEWS REPORTER @Exsar_Misael
Illegal-moving services have become a prevalent problem for citizens and future residents of Texas. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), May and June are the hotspot times of the year for movers searching for a home in a new location. Texas is one of the busiest of these states, as it holds an annual rating of 1,600 new residents daily. As a country, the United States has over 35 million residents moving to new locations
annually, according to a BBB press release involving mover safety in the summer. Of the 7,000 registered moving companies in the nation, Texas holds 800 of those businesses. Illegal services are best described as moving companies that are not licensed by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV), said Adam Shaivitz, public information officer for the TxDMV. Texas law requires all companies offering a household good moving service must be registered with the state. â€œThe main issues with these unregistered companies, is that they can indeed hold peopleâ€™s
precious belongings for ransom if they wish,â€? Shaivitz said. â€œOver the year we see a large number of complaints about dangerous operations that occur.â€? In most situations, an unregistered company can easily put a higher price on moving oneâ€™s goods prior to a fee being set, Shaivitz said. These kinds of situations can be dangerous as they can lead to people paying high wages in return for their belongings. According to their website, TxDMV received over 150 complaints this year, 66 of which were regarding unregistered and unlicensed moving
services. â€œWe investigate all complaints with non-properlylicensed movers,â€? Shaivitz said. â€œThese situations can become scary and dangerous very quickly and we advise people to research movers beforehand.â€? In 2014, over 9,000 nationwide complaints were made regarding price issues and lost or damaged property, said Jarrod Wise, communications manager with BBB in Central Texas. â€œA good tip I can give people is to make sure they do plenty of research,â€? Wise said. â€œBBB has over 7,000 moving services
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logged in our database that can assist anyone in making a good decision with who they move with.â€? All legitimate movers must have a number indicating they are registered on the truck, Wise said. Movers should also supply a proposal for a flat price so individuals know what to expect financially. â€œAlways have a written contract before you even allow anyone access with your belongings,â€? Wise said. â€œOral contracts arenâ€™t written, so they can be negotiatedâ€”always have written proof of price and expectations.â€? The act of taking belong-
ings hostage through pricing is usually a major characteristic of illegal movers, Wise said. â€œIf you go to BBB.org and simply type in your city, you can find so much information about what services are best for you,â€? Wise said. Shaivitz said lack of knowledge and research are to blame for the perpetuation of illegal moving services. â€œAll confrontation can be avoided with research,â€? Shaivitz said. â€œYou may pay more money in the end, but nothing can replace your lifelong belongingsâ€”so paying more for a good mover is always worth the price.â€?
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Wednesday, June 24, 2015 | The University Star | 3
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL, BOBCAT EDITION BASEBALL
By Matt Gurevitz SPORTS REPORTER @Matt_Gurevitz
Editor's note: With the selection of Lucas Humpal, junior pitcher, and Scott Grist, senior pitcher, in the 2015 Major League Baseball Draft, Matt Gurevitz took a look at three active players who used to be a part of the Bobcats program. In all, 53 Bobcats have been selected in the MLB Draft in school history.
CARSON SMITH, PITCHER
ics on. He did not allow a hit and struck out three batters. Smith pitched the two extra innings, and the Mariners won the game. Smith recorded his first career win in the game.
DRAFT: 2011, EIGHTH ROUND
CAREER MLB STATS: 40 games, 38.0 innings pitched, 2-2 win-loss record, five
saves, 1.18 earned run average.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Pitched two innings May 8 against the Oakland Athlet-
Smith has taken over closing duties for Seattle because of the struggles of Fernando Rodney. Smith should continue to stay in the majors as long as he produces. He has potential to become the full-time closer for the Mariners. Smith was called up on Sept. 1, 2014 for the first time. He started the 2015 season in AAA, but was recalled to the major leagues April 3.
PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT, FIRST BASEMAN ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS by the Milwaukee Brewers in five games. Goldschmidt started in the last four games. He hit a home run in his first playoff at-bat off Zack Grienke. Goldschmidt additionally hit a home run in his second playoff game. He has a .438 playoff batting average with six runs batted in total in four games.
DRAFT: 2009, EIGHTH ROUND CAREER MLB STATS:
531 games, 1925 at-bats, 578 hits, 102 home runs, 359 runs batted in, .300 batting average
Goldschmidt exploded onto the scene in 2013 by hitting 36 home runs with 125 runs batted in. He finished second in National League Most Valuable Player votes and went to his first All-Star game. His team made a playoff appearance during his rookie season, but the Diamondbacks were eliminated in the first round
Goldschmidt is a proud alumnus of Texas State and one of the best players in the game. Goldschmidt’s number, 37, was retired prior to the 2015 baseball season. Goldschmidt will always play in the majors and will start for any team for the rest of his career. He leads the Arizona Diamondbacks and is due for a huge pay raise in his next contract. Goldschmidt is off to a hall-of-fame start in his career and could one day have his name called in Cooperstown.
THOMAS FIELD, INFIELDER
Rangers on. He went 1-for-3 in that game, scoring two runs. He started in the next game at second base and hit 2-for-5.
DRAFT: 2008, 24TH ROUND
CAREER MLB STATS: 47 games, 126 plate appearances, 25 hits, two home runs,
eight runs batted in, .214 batting average.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Hit a home run May 11 in his first game playing for the
Field is a quality AAA player and will thrive in this league for the rest of his career. He might make appearances in the majors when injuries bench other players, but a 28-year-old player may not make the jump to play full-time for the majors in his career. Field can play multiple positions in the infield and is a versatile piece in the Rangers’ farm system.
TRACK & FIELD
TEAM SHOWS PROMISE FOR FUTURE By Jose Campos SPORTS REPORTER @josewithaj
When the outdoor season began for the Texas State track and field team, the Bobcats’ placing from week to week would show just how good the team could be. It also showed that the team still had room for improvement. At the Sun Belt Conference Indoor Championships, where the women took first and the men placed third, expectations were raised for the start of the outdoor season. The Texas Relays were an opportunity to realize the expectations early in the outdoor season. The meet was important for a number of reasons. It was the first time Coach Dana Boone would have the men's and women's relay team in the finals. The competition, with the best collegiate athletes in the nation, was a signal for Texas State that they could compete on the national level. After the Texas Relays, the Bobcats found themselves get-
ting multiple first place finishes at smaller meets such as the Bobcat Classic and UIW Cardinal Invitational. At the meets with tougher competition, like the LSU Alumni Gold meet and the Baylor Invitational, the team may not have earned as many first place finishes but would always perform at the level of their competition, setting new personal bests. Another positive Texas State can take away from this outdoor season is their bright future. There were multiple underclassmen who had good results during the outdoor season. Marika Brown and Macahla Wesley, sophomore sprinters, finished the outdoor season third and fourth in the Sun Belt Conference for the women's 200-meter. Sydni Willis, freshman hurdler, claimed first in the Sun Belt Conference at the end of the outdoor season for the women's 400-meter hurdle. Chelsie Decoud, freshman jumper, took first place in the Sun Belt Conference for the women's high jump. The women fell just short of
taking the Sun Belt Outdoor Conference Championships, while the men finished in third place. Although the Texas State track and field team did not win a title on the men's or women's side at the Sun Belt Conference Outdoor Championship, the NCAA West Preliminaries showed Texas State had athletes capable of being national contenders. Six members of the team qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Overall, I believe the Texas
State track and field team had a successful outdoor season. While they may have fallen short at the Sun Belt Outdoor Conference Championships, the Bobcats ended the season at the NCAA Outdoor Championships with two All-Americans: seniors Anicka Newell and Allie Saunders. The team sent a relatively young men's relay team to the outdoor championship, which leaves the Bobcats with promise for the future.
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4 | The University Star | Wednesday, June 24, 2015
THE MAIN POINT
Care of San Marcos River should be added to curriculum W
hile the San Marcos River is heralded as a place for fun and a little R&R for Bobcats after a stressful week, the river is so much more than a place for debauchery and cruising. Bobcats need both a figurative and literal course in River 101 to know the exact importance of the river and why it is not just a mere suggestion that we as the primary benefactors of its recreation seek to keep it clean and protected. The San Marcos River is one of Texas State’s prized attractions and is always overflowing with townies and students alike. The river that spans over 70 miles is one of the most popular recreational areas in the Hill Country, but it is not always fun and games. The Edwards Aquifer System, of which the San Marcos River is a part of, is home to various endangered species from the Fountain Dart, to the Texas Blind Salamander and Texas Wild Rice. It is imperative that people are informed of this as well as work towards ensuring that their habitat
is not disturbed but instead protected. The university already puts resources into introductory courses and programs such as PAWS Preview and the University Seminar class every student is required to take. Investing some of those resources to educate people about the very ecologically vulnerable habitat that is the San Marcos River would be beneficial not only for the students but for the environment-at-large. Informing students of the river should be on the agenda of university officials. Whether the university invests in an entire course or simply playing an instructive and comprehensive video about the endangered species and the importance of keeping the waters clean would be eventually beneficial. One of the easiest ways to ease such a change in prerequisite directions would be to have it originate from
ANES ST AR ILLU
the mouths of the students. After all, the students are the one who inhabit San Marcos, generally speaking, and should have a personal stake in ensuring its continued growth and success. A large part of that growth and success is going to be tied to the environment since San Marcos is, conveniently, placed on environmentally protected ground. Student lead initiatives often go a long way and illustrate the care students have for their communities. The San Marcos River would benefit from the unified efforts of the environmentally conscious organizations on campus pushing an initiative to have
a course of river and aquifer knowledge. From transfer students to incoming freshmen the impact that such a course would have on curbing misuse of the river resources and littering would be a tangible one. The condition of the river is the legacy that Bobcats leave to their future counterparts and the community they, often carelessly, became a part of. In order to assure that that legacy is one to be proud of while Austinites seek to keep Austin weird, Bobcats and San Martians alike should seek to keep San Marcos clean. The entire existence of various wildlife and flora are counting on it.
People should stray from critiquing other’s bodies
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 Student Media, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Texas State University or the advertisers. Mariana Castillo OPINIONS COLUMNIST @mar9cast
Copyright laws limit artistic expression, progression
Evelin Garcia OPINIONS COLUMNIST @EvelinG285
ur evolution as human beings continues in every aspect of our existence. As a natural instinct we have adapted to physical and mental change as we see fit. Throughout history we have created and advanced our society with our creative touch. The influence for that very creative touch has been slowly coming to an end as copyright laws readily seek to halt expression and limit the creative touch of those that seek to provide artistic progression. Much of the creative influence humans have left on this world is due to the creation of artistic expres-
sion, most readily music. Artists provide us with more than just art, they give us an untraditional form of treasure and communication. Music is a big part of the cultural and humanly treasure our ancestors have left us to recreate. However, it is also true that music has become a source of profit, and much of the music treasure has become almost impossible to grasp inspiration from. For this reason copyrighting laws should be reconsidered. Copyright laws limit artistic expression and keep our society from evolving into a future while stuck in the past. Copyrights are necessary to give creative minds full and absolute authority over their work, they deserve to be recognized as the originators of their masterpiece. As the music industry expanded copyright laws did too, this is where they got away from their original intent. The expansion of copyright laws did everything but favors for those in search to grasp inspiration from already existing music.
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The generally understood purpose of copyright is protection. In fact, the Merriam-Webster definition of copyright defines it as a legal form of protection provided to authors of original work which gives them exclusive rights to their work. Yet, current copyright laws have turned into a kind of overly possessive boyfriend that will not give his girlfriend a chance to socialize with others aside from himself. A perfect example of an artist who struggles creatively from copyright laws is Greg Michael Gillis. Gillis is from Cleveland, Ohio and he is a mashup artist. He is an untraditional artist who might hold the future of music in his laptop. Gillis’ music consists of a mixture of different songs belonging to all different artists with a unique sound, creation of his own, to tie all those together. The limitation that copyright laws force Gillis to face is the lack of accessibility to other artists’ songs. As a mashup artist Gillis is in constant use of other’s songs, but copyright laws
make it illegal for him to take other’s songs and combine them with his own sound. I took the liberty to look up the definition of fair use of copyright. According to the Stanford University Libraries, the rule of fair use in copyrighting is defined as one where the public secures some kind of benefits from one’s review that is enhanced by including the copyrighted material of another. With this definition in mind, one can see that Greg Michael Gillis has matching intentions to those belonging to the fair use. He uses another’s work to enhance his own. Copyrights are needed but they should be more accessible to artists who wish to enhance their work through the work of others. Making copyright laws less limited will allow artist to enhance their work and provide our society with new forms of music, just the way Greg Michael Gillis is attempting to do. —Evelin Garcia is a journalism junior
nother summer has approached with another set of unrealistic expectations for the average person to get toned and lose the weight gained over the winter. Our bodies are ours, and as cliché as it might sound everyone should embrace themselves for who they are and how they look. This is the time of year where the pages in our favorite magazines contradict themselves with an article about being yourself while printing an article on the opposite side of the page as an advertisement for a new weight loss pill or detox. The standard of the beach body is usually set by celebrities who seem flawless. However, even they are not exempt from the harsh scrutiny of the ideal toned body. Not too long ago, singer and actress Selena Gomez was photographed in Mexico on vacation wearing a bikini which was not out of the ordinary. It did not take long for social media to explode with nasty and rude comments because she lacked the so called “ideal” body. If Gomez had indeed gained some weight then that is her business, her body is hers to control and adore. Now, random people trolling on celebrities is nothing new, but people feeling entitled to give their unwarranted opinion about
how someone else looks is what is truly shocking. This entitlement goes both ways, if weight is lost then comments about eating a sandwich and putting meat on your bones is usually common. If someone gains weight then get ready to hear about how not to be lazy and stop eating fried food. Either way, there is no winning. I am sure that Gomez, as well non-celebrity people, are just fine in the skin they are in. The issues here is not a celebrity receiving unnecessary hate, but rather this notion of others talking about someone else’s body when it is none of their business. The media is so quick to jump on stories about weight loss or gain like it is this scary national epidemic when it is actually a personal decision between only oneself and their body. Regardless of the thousands of workout programs, sugar free/low fat foods, protein bars or swimsuits no one should feel they have the right to dictate how another’s body appears. In this day of age where the world seems to be obsessed with body goals and complaining about it, what I feel like looking like could be completely different from what someone else feels they look beautiful as. I will not criticize someone else for being a different size than I am. Instead, we should just appreciate the person themselves and remember looks are fleeting. If the world is to change the way women’s bodies are viewed, we as a society need to stop thinking we have to be a certain shape to be accepted, Once we accept ourselves just as we are then we can being to appreciate each other as human being. —Mariana Castillo is a journalism junior
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Wednesday, June 24, 2015 | The University Star | 5
‘Jurassic World’ has (pre)historic weekend, delights viewers By Mariah Simank LIFESTYLE EDITOR @MariahSimank
Jurassic World roared into theaters 14 years after its last installment with stunning visual effects and an exhilarating nonstop pace. It is evident director Colin Trevorrow and the screenwriters understood it would be impossible for the film to live up to Steven Spielberg's original. Instead, they opted for a nostalgic tribute to the first film while also attempting to include new storylines. The result is a fully functioning dinosaur amusement park dreamed up by John Ham-
mond, the CEO and creator of Jurassic Park, and run by Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), a no-nonsense park executive. Young children can be seen riding atop tame Triceratops as their parents sip margaritas, and tourists can roam a Stegosaurus paddock in a rotating gyro vehicle. We are told that despite all of this, the public has become bored with the idea of dinosaurs. This becomes evident when a great white shark is swallowed whole by a Mosasaurus while the crowd sits barely blinking an eye only 100 feet away. Dearing instructs park operators to go back to the lab and
create a scarier attraction that would re-ignite the crowd and combat declining visitor rates. The scientists band together DNA from dozens of animals to create Indominus rex, a genetically modified Tyrannosaurus rex. Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), an animal behaviorist and former Navy man, is called in to ensure the creature is safe for the public. Grady immediately thinks the beast is a bad idea and works to convince Dearing of the danger. Meanwhile, Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray Mitchell (Ty Simpkins), arrive at the park to spend some quality time with Dearing, an aunt who they have not seen in seven years. Dearing,
University Galleries showcases local artists By Louis Zylka LIFESTYLE REPORTER @OrinZylka
One San Marcos couple is using art to educate students on human nature throughout major events in history. Billi London-Gray and Daniel Bernard Gray’s exhibit titled “Displacement” is currently being showcased at the University Galleries until July 26. The pair designed art pieces relating important moments in history to today’s world, challenging audiences to reexamine much of what they have previously learned. Gray, a local artist and Texas State alumnus, said he and his wife were asked by gallery director Mary Mikel Stump to showcase their video titled “Toying with History” along with correlating artwork. “We were offered more space at the gallery to create some new work,” Gray said. “It was a matter of what we wanted to do with the space.” London-Gray said the concept of humans being displaced by other humans was the main idea they wanted to convey through their art. “It is not so much about getting people to question our history,” London-Gray said. “(The exhibition) is just informed by our own thinking
on how we as humans regard other people and the places they belong.” Stump said she was familiar with Gray’s work from his time as a student in the School of Art and Design. She said both artists are avid supporters of the school and have contributed many works of art to the galleries. “They worked tirelessly to install the exhibition with some of their new ideas,” Stump said. “They have been really great to work with because they put so much thought into their work.” London-Gray said the “Displacement” exhibit is the first two-person show on which she and her husband have collaborated. “We are married and our collaborations tend to be very fluid,” London-Gray said. “The art wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t collaborating together and we can’t really pull our efforts apart from each other.” Stump said the University Galleries focus on promoting the work of local artists living in San Marcos or surrounding cities each summer. “We have so many talented people who are living in our city and within a 30-mile radius,” Stump said. “The summer is really an opportunity to represent those artists
living and working locally.” Gray said one of the goals of the exhibit is to explore how less violence and a longer average lifespan makes the world a better place to live in now compared to 400 years ago. “Statistics show that the world is less violent than it used to be,” Gray said. “Now we should know better from doing things that displace other people.” Stump said the most interesting aspect of the couple’s work is the immense amount of meaning attached to each piece of art. She said the exhibit explores a variety of subjects and their cultural implications throughout society. “There is a lot of layering of information that is easy to access,” Stump said. “A variety of viewers can access the work on a variety of levels.” Gray said the pair’s next collaboration, “Salt Redaction,” will be showcased in September at the After Hours Alliance Festival of Progressive Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. "We have a few other things we want to collaborate on, but nothing has been decided," Gray said. "We hope to branch out into more different installations."
a textbook workaholic, ends up sending one of her assistants to watch over them at the park. Jurassic World weaves three different storylines together almost effortlessly: career-driven Dearing, her park and her scientists; Grady, the raptor trainer; and the two boys who ditch their babysitter and begin wandering around the park unaware of the turmoil about to erupt. Inevitably, breeding a creature that isn’t fully understood backfires tremendously. The quick-witted Indominus rex finds a way out of its “impenetrable” habitat and heads toward the 20,000 visitors on the island. Chaos quickly ensues. Each
action sequence is written in a way that builds slowly, with increasing tension, violence and ultimately an explosive confrontation. None of the characters are layers deep, but they certainly prove to be enough within the framework provided and are just as dimensional as in the first film. Each creature is so realistic that you may find yourself feeling more for the animals than the people when they are put in harm’s way. It is less a criticism for the acting than a testament to how incredible the construction of the dinosaurs is. The theater fell completely silent when a baby Triceratops
in the petting zoo was trapped in the pandemonium, and there was one tragic scene with a dying Brontosaurus that brought tears to people's eyes. Why exactly the park officials would want to construct a nearly unstoppable 50-foot predator and place him next to 20,000 people with no apparent evacuation strategy remains a mystery. Nevertheless, Jurassic World proves to be an exciting summer blockbuster that is predictable in just the right way. It often pays respects to the original, but it keeps from being an outright copy by incorporating more than enough new situations to launch a fresh set of sequels.
Piper Foundation recognizes Texas State professor By Valeria Flores LIFESTYLE REPORTER @vanat25
One professor’s dedication to students at Texas State is getting noticed in a big way. The Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation named Vedaraman Sriraman, engineering technology professor, as one of 10 Piper Professors of 2015. Sriraman, who has been instructing at the university for 24 years, said the award was intended to honor his commitment to teaching at Texas State. “After completing my doctoral degree, I was searching for a teaching position and Texas State was one of the first institutions that interviewed me for a job,” Sriraman said. Sriraman said he is thankful for the teaching skills the university has helped him develop over the years. Sriraman said being able to help students find success is the most satisfying part of his job. “Teaching in the classroom, advising, sponsoring students, and developing new academic programs are what I find most rewarding,” Sriraman said. “Learning about student’s accomplishments in their career or in graduate school is what gives me satisfaction.” Sriraman said he is the 21st
professor at Texas State to receive the award. “For anyone who is passionate about teaching, this award recognizes the individual’s accomplishments in teaching by friends from inside and outside the school community,” Sriraman said. Sriraman said he is honored to receive this recognition and hopes to continue teaching for a long time. “The award inspires me to continue to strive to be a good teacher and mentor,” Sriraman said. “I want to continue analyzing different approaches with instructional materials to enhance student learning.” Gary Winek, engineering technology professor and construction program coordinator, said he has worked alongside Sriraman writing grants and completing various projects for almost 20 years. Winek said Sriraman has been a key member of the department for several years, formerly working as the engineering technology department chair and currently serving as the director of engineering technology and technology management programs. “Professor Sriraman is a leader in the department and he inspires all the faculty to be active members as well,”
Winek said. Jiong Hu, engineering technology associate professor, said he considers Sriraman to be more than just a colleague. “I would consider him more of a mentor and a friend of mine,” Hu said. “He has always been there providing me tremendous help through my career at Texas State.” Hu said Sriraman started several academic programs in the department while he was serving as chair, including the concrete industry management program, which Hu said is one of only four programs in the United States. “Sriraman really deserved this award,” Hu said. “He has contributed significantly to the department and the university. The enthusiasm he has for his work makes him a great role model for all of us.” Anthony Torres, engineering technology assistant professor, said although he has only been working in the department for two years, he has already been impacted by Sriraman’s teaching efforts. Torres said he is looking forward to seeing what else Sriraman will accomplish. “Sriraman has been a great leader and an example in our department,” Torres said. “This award helps him set an example and inspire our young junior faculty, such as myself.”
(The exhibition) is just informed by our own thinking on how we as humans regard other people and the places they belong.” —BILLI LONDON-GRAY, LOCAL ARTIST AND TEXAS STATE ALUMNUS
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6 | The University Star | Lifestyle | Wednesday, June 24, 2015
d n e k ee w the By Mariah Simank LIFESTYLE EDITOR @MariahSimank
FOR THE LIVE MUSIC FANATIC Cheatham Street Warehouse is set to host Big Fest June 26-28. The three-day music festival is held to celebrate the birthday of Texas music legend Big John Mills and raise money for the Cheatham Street Warehouse Music Foundation. The music begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, 1 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Ticket information can be found at bigfest.cheathamstreetfoundation.org.
FOR THE ADVENTURER The Meadows Center will present the beginning portion of the Texas Water Safari canoe race on June 27. Competitors will race 260 miles from Spring Lake to Seadrift on the Gulf Coast in what is referred to as “the world's toughest canoe race.” Students and San Marcos residents are encouraged to attend the race kickoff at the Meadows Center to cheer on the competing teams. For more information, visit texaswatersafari.org.
FOR THE THESPIAN Lee Coleé Studios will present the play 42nd Street June 25-28 as part of their annual music theater bootcamp. Evening performances will be offered June 25-27 at 7:30 p.m., and matinee showings will be available June 27-28 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets to the show are $16 and can be purchased at blackdiamondshows.com.
FOR THE ART FAN The Wittliff Collections at Texas State will be displaying Austin music posters from 1967 to 1982 through July 3. The exhibit is designed to demonstrate how the city slowly established itself as the “live music capital of the world.” More than 140 vintage pieces selected from the Wittliff archives will be showcased. Admission is free.
FOR THE FOODIE The San Marcos Farmers Market will be held on The Square from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. June 27. The market, which occurs every Saturday of the year, will feature a wide variety of homegrown produce and other products for local shoppers. Admission is free and open to the public.
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