The new procedures for lodging complaints against the UH Police Department have been drawn up and approved, but the details of the system have not been worked out, Dean of Students Willie Munson said.

Munson oversees the department under which complaints will be made in the future.

The new procedures came after Kappa Alpha Psi member Brodrick Dockery complained to UH President Marguerite Ross Barnett that UHPD discriminates against black students, said Vice President for Student Affairs Roland Smith, author of the proposals.

The old system had students going to the police to make complaints about the police. Some students found this intimidating and that's why Barnett asked for the new guidelines to be drawn up, Smith said.

"The new system is set up to see if there is a pattern (of harassment) to these complaints, but I don't think there is," Smith said.

"In an investigation we conducted, there were some 80,000 service calls examined and there were only two or three complaints involving police," he said.

However, Smith said he couldn't know how many complaints would be lodged now that the new system is in place and the possible intimidation eliminated.

With the new procedures, students would lodge complaints with Assistant Dean of Students Thelma Douglas. Douglas would then meet with UH Police Chief Frank Cempa on a monthly basis to help resolve problems.

Douglas is on leave, but Dean of Students Willie Munson said the DOS office will operate mostly as an arbitrator of student complaints about UHPD.

"I think a resolution will have to be by agreements reached between police and individual students," Munson said.

After students have submitted a written complaint to Douglas, including the names of police officers involved, any witnesses present and any other documentary evidence, they would set up an appointment with her.

The new guidelines require the DOS office to make a monthly report to Smith of their findings in all of these complaints and report any unresolved complaints.

Smith will then make his own attempt to resolve the complaints and report his findings and any unresolved matters to the Safety and Security Advisory Group of the President's Cabinet.

Members of this group include Smith, chair of the group and Deputy to the President Thomas Jones, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Sharon Richardson and Assistant to the President for Affirmative Action Dorothy Caram.

The proposal as approved by Barnett states, "The Safety and Security Advisory Group will review the pattern of complaints, if any, and will take appropriate action to deal with unresolved complaints the group considers legitimate," and, "report its deliberations, actions and recommendations" to Barnett.

"I think we were chosen to house this service because we are perceived as an unbaised third party," Munson said. "Hopefully, they will feel comfortable in coming to us and discussing problems of this nature."

UHPD officials and Kappa Alpha Psi representatives were unavailable for comment at press time.

Elwyn Lee, a law professor who has lent advice and support to the Kappas in the past and is a member of the presidential task force reviewing police arrest policy at this time, said, "Anything that encourages people to come forward with their complaints is a step in the right direction. It enhances resolution of problems."








UH administrators established two committees to assess the African-American Studies Program after efforts to resolve a conflict between some black student groups and Director Elizabeth Brown-Guillory failed.

The AAS inquiry is in response to campus-wide concern about the program, Humanities and Fine Arts Acting Dean James Pipkin said.

In spring 1991, a petition demanding the removal of Brown-Guillory as AAS director was brought to Pipkin's attention. The petition, sponsored by the Black Student Union and other black campus organizations, alleged that Brown-Guillory was incompetent and unprofessional.

Brown-Guillory, an English professor and playwright, holds awards for both teaching and writing.

Pipkin responded to the petition in a letter to the campus community, stating that he will neither hire nor fire administrators on the basis of petitions.

"The petition was only one expression of campus concern, but there were also faculty and staff that were expressing concern, " Pipkin said.

To make a fair assessment of the situation, two committees were charged with the responsibility of gathering information on the direction and leadership of AAS, he said.

The Program Advisory Committee has finished its assessment and forwarded its report to Pipkin and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs James Pickering for review.

The program committee's report will define the mission and role of AAS. Also, it will contain suggestions on what directions the program might take in the next three to five years, Pipkin said.

The second committee, the Administrative Review Committee, is currently meeting and interviewing members of the campus community. The administrative committee is responsible for evaluating the leadership of AAS. It is also charged with reviewing AAS history and making recommendations, taking into account program committee recommendations, Pipkin said.

"Based upon these and other considerations, the administrative review committee will recommend the kind of leadership the program needs," he said.

After the administrative review committee finishes its inquiry, Pipkin and Pickering will make the final decision on the future of AAS and Brown-Guillory.

Rhonda Bailey, BSU president, said BSU will wait for the assessment to be completed before taking any further action.

Bailey said Brown-Guillory was insensitive to student needs and made students feel unwelcome in the program. She cited Brown-Guillory's attempts at controlling the Black Exchange, a newsletter which focused on minority issues on campus.

Brown-Guillory removed the newsletter staff from the AAS offices because she was unable to have the final say on what the newsletter should publish, Bailey said. The Black Exchange hopes to begin publishing again by fall, she said.








UH may be considering a ban on smoking and cigarette sales.

Before taking office, Faculty Senate President John Bernard listed approximately 25 topics he wanted examined, including UH's smoking policy.

Elwyn Lee, chair of the campus life committee, is preparing a comparative study on campus smoking policies. "There is some interest out there, but I am not doing this to make a recommendation of any kind," Lee said.

He also said he could not submit any information on the study yet because the committee was still in the tentative stage.

Though there is no official policy in the works, a small number of colleges and universities have already implemented similar bans.

The problem in instituting a formal policy is the debate that arises concerning the rights of a smoker versus that of a non-smoker. Some people feel they have a right to smoke, others a right to breathe clean air. The problem becomes apparent when one realizes that second-hand smoke can be considered an infringement of non-smokers' rights.

UH's current policy attempts to deal with these rights. There is no smoking in public gathering areas unless sufficiently quartered off or in well ventilated areas near the exhaust system.

The UH-Clear Lake campus banned smoking entirely effective June 1. The policy for a smoke-free environment was passed by the university's executive council on Jan. 7.

The policy was phased in to help promote the health of faculty, staff, students and visitors. The new policy also prohibits the sale of tobacco products in UH-Clear Lake facilities.

The previous smoking policy of UH-Clear Lake allowed smoking only in the atriums, surrounding walkways and hallways, designated areas of the cafeteria and private single-occupant offices. Smoking also was not allowed in the Developmental Arts Building or any university restrooms.

State law prohibits smoking in laboratories, elevators, libraries and auditoriums at all times.

UH-Clear Lake Wellness Coordinator Joan Parker said if students want to smoke, they have to go outside.

"They do not have to go off-campus, just outside," she said. Benches and ashtrays have been placed outside for convenience.

The University of Texas Board of Regents also recently passed a smoking and cigarette sales ban in all of its system's facilities.

According to UH's smoking policy, "the intent ... is to assure a smoke-free environment while accommodating, to the extent possible, the needs of people who smoke."

The policy states further that the univerisity is guided by two principles. First, any person who so wishes, should be able to work, study and attend all public events without exposure to tobacco smoke. Secondly, any person who wishes to smoke should have access to convenient areas where smoking is permitted. UH attempts to observe both principles to the extent possible within financial and physical constraints.

Section five of the policy, dealing with enforcement, states that persons who smoke in areas where smoking is prohibited by state law (classrooms, laboratories, libraries and elevators) will be subject to fines not exceeding $200.

It states further that all university faculty, staff and students will be encouraged to ask persons smoking in smoke-free areas to extinguish materials or to move to areas where smoking is permitted. Any individual who refuses to comply shall be subject to normal disciplinary procedures.

UH spokesman Eric Miller said he found it interesting that UT passed the policy.

"How will you enforce it," Miller said."A campus of that size ... or ours has approximately 70 buildings. It is a logistical nightmare."

Miller said since UH-Clear Lake only has three buildings in addition to maintenence buildings, it is conducive to steps as these.









A member of the Cougar Patrol was arrested for taking money from a lost wallet placed in his custody last Thursday.

Police said, Robert Sanchez, 20, took $81 from a wallet that he was supposed to return to UH Police Department's Lost and Found Department.

The money was discovered missing when the owner of the wallet, An Tat, picked up his wallet Thursday. A police investigation determined that the money was still in the wallet when it was handed over to Sanchez by a M.D Anderson Library staff member.

However, when Sanchez turned the wallet into lost and found, there was no cash in it. Police then concluded that Sanchez was the culprit and placed him under arrest.

Sanchez, who has been on the Cougar Patrol for about two years, returned $80 to UHPD.

Sanchez is no longer on the Cougar Patrol and was released when Tat decided not to press charges.

UH spokesman Eric Miller said this is the first illegal incident involving a Cougar Patrol member since its beginning in 1982.

"This case is very isolated. It has been a very successful program to help the police," he said.

Cougar Patrol members are charged with such responsibilities as observing and reporting suspicious persons or activities, unlocking vehicles, turning lost items over to the UHPD and patrolling the Quadrangle area.

As a precaution for any discrepancy that might occur, the Cougar Patrol always does a background check on any person they hire.








Members of the cabinet-level task force reviewing UH Police Department arrest policy refuse to discuss the group's findings so far.

The task force was appointed by President Marguerite Ross Barnett after the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity wrote Barnett a letter accusing UHPD of harrassing black males on campus.

Faculty President John Bernard, a member of the task force, says it was a voluntary agreement that one member should speak for the group and that it was looked upon as just routine.

"If everyone speaks for the committee, then you get several different versions of what's happening," Bernard said.

Task force member Elwyn Lee, a law professor, said he can see how the task force's agreement could be construed as a measure to hide something in the proceedings and said, "As we say in law, we want the appearance of juctice as well as justice itself, if at all possible. How people feel is very important."

Lee said the move for a group spokesperson was "so deliberation won't be contaminated by outside pressures."

While recognizing the importance of this issue to the entire campus body, Lee also said sometimes a trade-off must be made by an administrative body between accountability and efficiency.

Assistant to the President for International Affairs and Special Projects Robert Lineberry, who chairs the task force, is the group's agreed-upon spokesman.

"I think committees work better when they can thrash out the issues in private until they can come up with a unanimous opinion if possible," Lineberry said.

Lineberry also said the committee was formed not as a reaction to the allegations of racism leveled at the UHPD, but rather, "in the wake of it (the issue of the allegations)."

He said the task force is not interested in reviewing the specific harassing incidents the Kappas cite.

"I don't think it is our role to act as a police review board. We're interested in looking at the policy."

Lineberry mentioned two areas the task force is looking into: UHPD arrest procedure policy and the options available to UH administrators in dealing with incidents where UH is a victim, such as when UH property is damaged.

Lineberry said, "Our goal is to prepare a set of guidelines for the stages in the arrest process to be used by the police when stopping someone under suspicion."

The task force's formal report probably will be ready in the next six weeks, Lineberry said.

At this time, Lee is drawing up a draft guidelines document for review by the task force members.

However, Lineberry said this draft will not be made public and will only be circulated to the task force members. Lee said it contains some tentative recommendations.








A proposal submitted at last week's Academic Council meeting calls for UH administration to give faculty a stronger voice in academic affairs.

The proposal would review UH administration's decision to raise scholarship minimums to $500 from $200.

Wallace Anderson, professor of electrical engineering, said raising the minimum fee affects his and other departments dependent on attracting out of state students to eventually participate as teaching assistants or research assistants.

Anderson submitted the proposal in order to involve faculty directly in the decision-making process.

"Administration made a unilateral decision to raise the scholarship minimum without consulting faculty," Anderson said. "The decision was made with good intentions, but unfortunately it was a simplistic answer to a complicated problem."

Anderson said scholarship minimums were raised to decrease the number of scholarships academic departments could give to non-residents as a way to make up for money lost to the non-resident portion of their tuition.

"When we give a competitive scholarship the student receives the money and also a waiver for the portion of their tuition they pay for their non-resident status. In other words, as a non-resident they pay resident tuition," Anderson said.

Research and teaching assistants also receive tuition waivers per state law which says non-resident students who work half-time and in their major are eligible, said Roger Eichhorn, dean of engineering.

"Most international students are graduate students supported by their government or with the help of competitive scholarships. These students normally come here hoping to get jobs as RA's or TA's, that way they can take advantage of a tuition waiver and the stipend that comes with working for the school," Eichhorn said.

A competitive scholarship and the tuition waiver that comes with it are an important way to attract and keep high quality students as an overall strategy to improve the academic quality of the university, Anderson said.

"This is an issue that needs more research and faculty involvement. In the long run it seems that the university would save more money by allowing more non-residents the chance to receive scholarships," Anderson said.

Anderson said tuition waivers attract more students and without them the university would have less money.

"I think if the issue is reviewed by both administration and faculty in an equitable way we could better solve problems, we may not decide to change the current policy after review but that's not the principle," Anderson said.

"For years faculty have been sensitive about having a voice and this is an important issue because it involves academics," he said.

The proposal has been "tabled" and is still under consideration.








The UH Board of Regents is expected to approve the nomination of Glenn A. Goerke as president of UH-Clear Lake today.

Goerke has been president of UH-Victoria since 1986.

The nomination, made by UH Chancellor Alexander Schilt, was primarily based on Goerke's leadership qualities, said Richard Leavy, UH-Clear Lake spokesman.

Goerke, whose term will extend through August 31, 1993, will replace Thomas A. Stauffer, UH-CL president since 1982.

Stauffer received much publicity after firing tenured psychology professor, Chris Downs, over an alleged sexual harrassment in the summer of 1989. Downs was later cleared and reinstated.

UH-CL officials say they are enthusiastic about Goerke's nomination.

"You can talk to anyone at Clear Lake (campus), and you will hear nothing but praise," Leavy said. Goerke was unavailable for comment, but Leavy said he was very enthusiastic.








Five burglaries have plagued Cambridge Oaks Apartments since June 11, Lt. Brad Wigtil of UH police said.

On Tuesday, June 11, Olga Villa, an undeclared sophomore, and Cheryl Janak, a junior English major, discovered earrings and a beer mug containing cash missing from their room, Wigtil said.

He said the complainants had left their door open during a temporary leave.

Wigtil said factors such as different times and different methods of operation drove UHPD to the conclusion that this theft was not connected to a series of attempted bike thefts which occurred on Wednesday, June 12.

At approximately 12:27 a.m., Mona Chadwick, a sophomore journalism major, said she heard a noise on her patio and then saw two suspects throwing her bike to the ground on the patio, Wigtil said.

As they fled, one on foot and one on the bicycle, her husband, Ryan Chadwick, a senior philosophy major, pursued them on foot across Lot 12A toward Cleburne St., Wigtil said.

He said the bike's brakes locked and the suspects fled on foot down Cleburne St., evading Chadwick.

Wigtil said during this incident, a third suspect was standing next to two separate bicycles, both chained to each other, acting as a lookout. He fled with the other two suspects.

The chained bikes were taken to UHPD and later identified by another Cambridge Oaks resident, Raymond Nikel, who discovered his two bikes stolen, Wigtil said.

The three suspects are described as black males, 13-14 years old.

On June 17, two other burglaries were reported to UH police. At 8:03 a.m. a VCR was stolen from a locked apartment, and at 10:05 a.m. a pair of pants was stolen from another apartment. The door of the second apartment was reportedly kicked in.

John Iannuzzo, manager of Cambridge Oaks, said the main security measures at Cambridge Oaks are UH police patrol and limited access gates, one for vehicles and one for pedestrians.

One resident, Konrad Bueggemann, a graduate chemistry student who has lived in Cambridge Oaks for 10 months, said the gates are not dependable.

"The drive-in gates are always open and the pedestrian gate is broken about 70 percent of the time," he said.

Another resident, John Goyer, a graduate mechanical engineering student who has lived there since the complex opened a year ago, also said the drive-through gates are broken often.

Iannuzzo denies these allegations. "The pedestrian gate is broken maybe once every two months. The gates are probably broken by residents who are not mature enough to use them," he said.

He said Cambridge Oaks is at the mercy of a private repair company which sometimes cannot repair the gates for up to two days after they are damaged.

He said if residents want a security guard, they would have to pay for it themselves.

"I can't promise that any property will be safe and secure. There is no such thing as safe and secure property," he said.

Iannuzzo said he has personally shown students how to use the gates. The front uses a number combination for access, and the drive-thru gates can be opened either by an access card, or a resident can let in a visitor via a telecom device.

"If someone wants to get in, they will get in,'` he said. "We are set up as an apartment complex and all residents are asked to report any suspicious activity to UHPD, then to us," he said.

Iannuzzo said a community watch program for Cambridge Oaks should be ready by September.








Faced with a $4.7 billion shortfall in projected state revenues, and a slew of wide-ranging audit proposals, the Texas Legislature will clash and ultimately decide how to fund state services at current levels in a special session July 8.

Depending on the session's outcome, UH, with an 18 percent drop in funding per student credit hour between 1984 and 1991, could possibly suffer an enormous budget crunch.

The best scenario for UH would be under the Hobby-Hay proposals, which would bring the university a budget increase in the 12 to 16 percent range, said Social Sciences Dean Harrell Rodgers, who heads UH's Legislative Relations Committee.

Rodgers said tuition could increase statewide, as recommended by former former Gov. John Connally's Task Force on Revenue, to $40 a semester credit hour, or, under Hobby-Hay, to 25 percent of the actual cost of teaching a student, which would be $32 in the fall. Texas tuition is currently set at $18, the lowest in the United States.

Hobby-Hay is condsidered unlikely, however, because it is likely to require an income tax, which is generally regarded as blasphemous among legislators.

"I don't think that (an income tax) is viable," Sen. Don Henderson, R-Houston, said. "I don't think it's wise. There's a lot of ways to increase revenues without an income tax."

Henderson said that Texas' revenue problem is not as serious as has been indicated.

"The $4.7 billion (shortfall for 1992-93) is not a deficit," Henderson said. "It is a projected out wish-list of things they want to spend money on. It's not quite on the scale that people say."

Rep. Ken Bailey, D-Houston, said the shortfall is no wish-list.

"It's a real deal if we want to fund the needs of the state," Bailey said. "If we don't raise additional revenue, we won't even see funding at current levels."

Bailey, too, said he does not support an income tax.

"I do support a corporate income tax where we can raise substantial revenues from large, wealthy businesses," he said, adding that he also supports a broadening of the sales tax base and a statewide lottery. "We need to raise revenue, but not in ways to put a tax burden on working people."

Rodgers said Texas needs an overhaul of its tax structure. Without an income tax, the Legislature will just do a "patch-work job and get out with the least political damage."

"The tax structure is designed for a long-dead oil economy," Rodgers said. "We now have a healty, growing economy, but the tax structure does not match it."

Henderson disagreed.

"Our tax structure is not based on an oil economy," he said."I wouldn't call it primitive at all. There are lots and lots of fees and other taxes for general revenue.

"The franchise tax needs to be restructured to broaden its base to bring in ways for industry to pay more of its fair share," Henderson said. "The sales tax doesn't need to be raised, but the base needs to be broadened."

Bailey, however, said Texas' tax-structure is running a little behind the times, but it is too early for an income tax.

In a new development, state Comptroller John Sharp announced he has found ways to trim $3 billion from the 1992-93 budget without slashing services.

Sharp said his report will not include a massive tax increase, but will instead call for the consolidation of state agencies and a new Texas Business Tax to replace the current franchise tax. His plan does call for a tuition hike, but not the 100 percent increase recommended by Connally.

Bailey said the array of differing proposals in front of the Legislature will take time to sift through.

"It's really difficult to tell what the votes will be," Bailey said. "There are so many different proposals -- Sharp, Connally, Hobby-Hay -- it's difficult to say. It will probably be a combination."

Henderson said the fate of higher education is not necessarily a burning issue with legislators.

"Higher education gets a very friendly ear, but it certainly doesn't have the romance or is as much in the public mind as public education or prisons," he said.








An endowment for the John R. Brown Admiralty Collection has been established with a gift to the UH Law Library, said Sandra Perdue, UH Law Center director of communications.

"The gift of $10,900, given by the Houston Mariner's Club to enhance library holdings in this area of the law, will be of great benefit to students and the legal community," Law Center Dean Robert L. Knauss said.

The collection will honor Brown, senior judge for the United States Court of Appeals of the Fifth Circuit, for his achievements as a judge and will act to acknowledge his undisputed scholarship in the admiralty maritime field, Perdue said.

Contributions are being accepted for the collection and should be sent to the UH Law Center, Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, Houston, Texas 77204-6371.

Nita Hill








Diving into a cool blue pool and swimming laps comes naturally to most people, but for those who are differntly abled, it's a test of skill and courage.

More than 185 athletes competed Saturday in the 13th Annual Area 4 Texas Special Olympics Aquatic Meet held at the UH Natatorium.

Individuals and teams from Harris, Waller and Liberty Counties displayed their talent and determination in more than 20 events, such as the 25-meter freestyle, 50-meter breaststroke, 100-meter backstroke and 50-meter medley relay.

"There is no selection process for the swimmers. The coaches bring the swimmers from their surrounding area to the meet," said Candace Blake, special events manager.

"As for those individuals who want to swim but don't have a team, we try to match them up with other teams in their area," Blake said.

Texas Special Olympics is a year-round sports training and competition program, patterned after the Olympic Games.

"Aquatics is a large part of this program," said Steve Smith, chairman for Special Olympics. "This competition gives all of our special athletes the chance to shine -- the chance to experience courage and pride in their athletic abilities."

"The swimmers compete in several events and skill groups according to their age groups, with the youngest being 8 years old," Alicia Smith, promotions coordinator, said.

Developmental Skill Group One consisted of a 10-meter assist swim, 15-meter walk, 15-meter floatation device and a 3-meter diving competition.

The Advanced Skill Group Two offered a more difficult degree of styles such as the backstroke, breastroke, butterfly, individual medley and medley relay.

"There wasn't an overall team that won the competitions. Everyone is a winner with Special Olympics; everyone receives medals or ribbons," Blake said.

"Our goal is to make every one of our special athletes feel that they have achieved something. We try to make them all feel special."

Special Olympics also participates in other programs such as the Spring Games, Sports Celebrity Carnival and the Bob Allen Golf Tournament.








For most fathers, talking about their young sons is about as difficult as breathing. But for UH assistant volleyball coach Yong Guo, recently reunited with his only child after four years, it feels more akin to slamming home the perfect spike.

You'll have to pardon Guo if he talks a great deal about his son because for the last four years, this was a subject he tried not to dwell on too much. How would you feel if, every time someone asked you about your family, your thoughts traveled halfway around the world?

"Life for me is very busy, especially with traveling, recruiting and practice. But there are a few times when I didn't have anything to do, I began to think how I missed Victor a lot," Guo said.

Five years ago Guo (pronounced "whoa") was far from UH. He had just graduated from Xinjiang University in western China where he majored in English. His wife, Ting Sun, was seven months pregnant. He was coaching the army's women's volleyball team and beginning to get frustrated.

"At first it was very hard for me to leave the army. They want younger, more educated people," he said. "Unfortunately, having majored in English, they actually had nothing much for me to do. So, when I finally decided to come here they said, `Just as well that you do. You're not doing much good here,'" he said.

Guo had arranged everything. He was to begin working on his master's degree in sports administration at the University of New Mexico in January 1987. He had found an immigration sponsor. His visa had been approved. Yet a serious question remained: What about his family?

The previous August Ting had given birth to their son Victor, named after Guo's American sponsor. They decided that bringing a newborn over at that time was a bad idea.

"Being students, we were not sure how long we were going to stay. It was not a very secure situation," he said.

Victor stayed with Guo's parents in his hometown of Hangzhou.

The situation remained this way more than a year. Guo and Ting kept themselves busy, trying not to think of whom they had left behind. They knew Victor was being taken care of. But they also knew they wanted their son with them and all they could do was wait. Yet, two events would soon occur which would change their lives dramatically.

The first was the crushing of the student pro-democracy protests at Tiananmen Square in June 1988. The events in Beijing had a profound effect on Chinese living in the United States.

"Before the Tiananmen Square event, when I came here, most Chinese students were here just to get a degree because it's very hard to get one in China, especially a graduate degree," he said. "Most people planned to go back. But now ... you know, it's not a very good situation back there."

Within days of the incident, President Bush declared that all Chinese nationals who had come to the United States before Tiananmen Square were granted "no change of status" until 1994. For Guo, Ting this meant staying without worrying about visa problems. But, with only six hours left to complete his master's degree, staying here meant finding a job.

"I was doing a camp that summer for the U.S. Volleyball Association and a lot of people told me that a graduate assistantship was open at UH. So I called and they said to come on down," he said.

UH was a perfect fit. By 1989, he had his degree, a work visa good until 1994 and an assistant's job at one of the best programs in the nation. The Cougar volleyballers have seen post-season play in two of his three seasons here.

But still something was missing. Guo's teams were getting the victories, but Guo and Ting were still without Victor. They decided then to bring him over.

"It was very easy," he said. "I had to give my status and financial standing to prove that I have enough money to support him.

"He arrived last Christmas, actually the day before," he continued. "He was supposed to come with his grandmom, my mother, but her visa was refused. So he came with my neighbor's brother, who also was from Hangzhou."

Almost four years to the day Guo had left both his country and infant son behind, the entire family was reunited at the international concourse at Houston's Intercontinental Airport. "He recognized us, but was kind of shy and scared. He didn't know us very well," Guo said. "When at first we would go somewhere and meet people, he'd try to hide or shy away.

"Now he's a lot better. At day care he enjoys playing and learning English with the little kids. The first few words he learned though, were `Quit!' `Shut up!' and `I'm starving,'" he said.

When asked what Victor likes most about the United States, Guo's quick to respond. "Astroworld and the beach. He's been there twice already. He also likes the park and the zoo."

Eventually, Guo would like Victor to grow up in China. "American education has its good sides, and some other sides as well, things that are not as good as in China. It's a different system," he said.








When we danced the samba that morning in bed, she led. Not the type of samba you might think of when imagining a samba in bed, no gutteral moans, no sweaty dermis, no puddles on the sheets or hairs in the throat and she wasn't straddled above me like a window washer on lunch break. But an actual samba with dips and clever footwork and Brazilian drums. In Cleveland, Texas, near the outskirts of town, which are not terribly far removed from the slips and hosiery of town, very few people dance in bed. From the looks of things, fewer still wake up close enough to one another to move right from sleep into jaunty conviviality. But we did, even on the king-sized mattress. That it gradually sloped toward the middle had precious little to do with our proximity. That we radiated South American Carnival obsession did.

There is a place in St. Croix, part of the U.S. Virgin Islands archipelago, called Hapenny Bay. Located near a small rain forest on the southern edge of the island, the air there is thick with mango residue. When the breeze blows it runs down the chin in sticky rivulets of glucose and fragrance, lingers in the hair like that patch of shampoo left unrinsed in an outdoor shower, kisses the lips with the cloyingly sweet passion of sixth graders. Not far from this bay/orchard there are modest homes in which couples and their offspring dance Calypso style when the cock crows and eat breakfast with their hands. There, the dust is more settled and rarely smacks of hatred. In Cleveland, dust eats the music.

So it is hardly surprising that Officer Ed Furlow, passing by in a routine manner, looking in the various windows in a routine manner and picking his teeth with unusual vigor, stopped abruptly to investigate what looked like a flagrant violation of the city's obscenity laws. Officer Furlow never considered, while engaged in what for him passed as a dead sprint to the door, the ironic barbarism inherent in those old codes. His jaw was clenched too tight with decency preservation. He never even stopped to consider the possibility of the door already being open, a fact that, if pursued further, would have resulted in substantially less damage to the frontspiece of the home. When the door slammed hard into the carpet, Officer Furlow almost fell.

We stopped dancing.

Perhaps there is some significance that in the two days preceeding and the one day comprising July 4, that gloriously quasimilitary holiday observed by most of this nation, Herman Hesse, Franz Kafka, Tom Stoppard, Louis Armstrong, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Jean Cocteau were all introduced into this world. More likely, it was one of those whimsical conicidences which drive some of us to agonizing conjecture on the relative wit of the universe and whether or not we should snicker at such sardonic fare. Officer Furlow has never heard of Franz Kafka and he got a friend to write his paper on The Scarlet Letter. Any significance was lost on him.

"What the fuck is going on here!" I dipped her one last time and we froze, disbelieving, in our underwear. Officer Furlow advanced with reptilian menace, redfaced.

"Just what the fuck do you think you're doing!"

Billy club on the shin.

"Sodomy! Public indecency! Contributing to the delinquency of a minor! Loitering! Satanism! You're getting it all!"

Billy club to the sternum.

"You ain't been nothing but trouble since you got here and I'm goddamn sick and tired of it! You're outta here."

I woke up with her wiping a warm rag over the cut on my forehead. Much of the glass in the room was broken and the chest of drawers was lying against the bed. A bruise had turned the color of obsidian on her scapula. I couldn't hear any music.

When Zmed replaced Terrio on Dance Fever, I cringed. Gone, I thought, would be the fiery Latin tangos by flamenco bedecked jongleurs, the retread spandex disco stomps and that occasional clogging couple from the wilds of Iowa. Zmed, the stocky sidekick to William Shatner's riveting T.J. Hooker had performed well, almost flawlessly in Grease 2, seething with an aura of egotistic machismo and late '50s attitude. Would he overwhelm the subtleties of the pageantry with testosterone, fog the seedy sequined sublime in a cloud of genital sweat and boot black? I had seen enough of Solid Gold to know what could happen when flagrant sexuality replaced that vital undercurrent of rythmic bestial sensuality. It was enough to cause even the hardest core Onanist to lose interest. Surprisingly, Zmed added a different dimension to the show, a nasty evil stink which stretched that thread of aniticipation right to the breaking point. He provided the thrust that finally drove Dance Fever into the throbbing heat of the mid '80s late night T.V. spotlight. I have always respected him for that.

My head pulsated in sync with the throbbing.

"I miss Dance Fever," I said.

"Star Search doesn't have the chutzpah. I think Ed McMahon is beginning to show the signs of rot."

"They didn't arrest us. But I think there may be some sort of mob on the way tonight."

"I need a salad."








Think. And laugh. But mostly think.

That's what 19-year-old writer, producer and director Matty Rich hopes his new movie will get you to do.

"What I wanted to do was provoke thought because from thought you get change," said Rich.

Rich's new movie, Straight Out of Brooklyn is a personal statement about American society and life in the New York City Red Hook Housing Projects.

Rich says he wanted a realistic picture of life from a black perspective.

"For so many years we've understood white society. What I'm doing is giving you the opportunity to see a black man," Rich said.

Rich's movie shows one young black man's view of American society's effect on his family.

"When I look out my window I don't see a house party," Rich said."I see pain. I see oppression. I see young people sitting on the street corner asking themselves, `Why am I sitting here?"'

Dennis, the young man in Straight Out of Brooklyn, sees his father's love-driven, life-long struggle to give his family the American Dream and his frustration in not being able to fulfill it.

Dennis plans a quick way out of Red Hook and to achieve the American Dream for his family--steal it, which doesn't work.

Rich says the point he is trying to get across is that the quick way out isn't the true way out. There is a vicious cycle which keeps people in places like Red Hook and that cycle must be broken.

Rich not only wants his movie to make a statement, but also wants the story of how he made his movie to make a statement.

"If I can make it, we all can make it," Rich said.

"I knew no one was going to knock on my door and say, `Matty, here's a job.' I was going to make myself into what I wanted to be because I knew that if I waited for them to make me into what they wanted, I would end up driving somebody's car or sweeping somebody's floor."

By 17 Rich had read 250 filmmaking books.

Rich started out with $13,000 in credit, made the first eight minutes of the movie as a trailer and proceeded to bluff and negotiate his way to get actors and financial support.

These negotiations included a $100,000 fib to attract and pay actors and later raising $70,000 from donations to cover production costs.

Rich hopes other young people will do the same and grab hold of their own futures.

Hoping to fight the cycle and give something back to the community, as he hopes others will do, Rich has donated some of the profits he has made to rebuild the Coffee Public Park in Red Hook.

Straight Out of Brooklyn is a striking movie with an equally striking story behind it and its director.

Be prepared to think.








Bassist Bruce Hughes lounges on the couch, working on a bottle of Jaegermeister, while violinist/ vocalist Susan Velz pokes apprehensively at a plate of Two Pesos nachos.

The rest of the band makes cameo appearances, as they filter in slowly from the hotel to claim a few beers to hide away until after the performance. Dave Crawford tunes his trumpet.

Who are these people? Poi Dog Pondering. What kind of name is that? Don't ask me, but it fits them like a glove, or a lei, that is. Perhaps referring back to Webster's Dictionary would help, beginning with poi:

1poi/poi, poe/adv [It, fr. L post behind, after--more at POST-]: THEN, LATER, NEXT--used to qualify another word used as a direction in music (adagio allegro)

2poi/"/n, pl poi or pois [Hawaiian & Samoan]

1: a Hawaiian food made of taro root which is cooked and pounded and kneaded into a smooth pasty mass to which varying quantities of water are added, often allowed to ferment before being eaten and traditionally eaten with the fingers

2: a Hawaiian or Samoan food made of mashed ripe bananas or pineapples to which coconut cream is usually added

3poi " n, pl poi or pois [Maori]: a small ball which is made typically of flax, grass, or rushes, to which a string of varying length is attached, and which is swung rhythmically by Maori performers in various dances and songs.

I didn't see any fruit, but they were a delicious mix of island, folk, zydeco and blues, blended till smoothand served with a lime wheel. I didn't see any whirring stick doohickey, but there were quite a few interesting instruments, such as a violin, a trumpet, a flugel horn, a pennywhistle, a Hammond organ, congos, guitars and mandolins, a brake drum, and something the lead vocalist Frank Orall called a "cajun thing."

All these instruments were combined to make almost three hours of joyous, lively, and yet thoughtful melodies. The crowd seemed so infected with the frenetic energy and buccolic good humor as they danced, bounced, and swayed that they probably went home and blew bubbles till dawn and dug Sesame Street for a week or so, if they didn't dig Sesame Street already.

Many of their tunes came from their upcoming album Volo volo due sometime in August. Volo volo happens to be Swahili for "revolver," and if the songs they played were any indication, it should blow you away.








The salad has recently taken a severe beating at the hands of fern bar restaurateurs and self-serve assembly line factories. Now in a stage of extreme misunderstanding, the nuances of Romaine versus Iceberg, of Belgian endive as a compelling basso ostinato, of the relative shading various cheeses (Feta, Gorgonzola, Reggiano) can offer the proper mixture of tomato, wheat germ and red onion, have been disregarded. The potential artistry offered by a blank canvas of greenery and vegetation, untapped. Lettuce based masterpieces such as a bed of spinach supporting a baked wheel of Feta cheese and pinenuts accentuated by a reserved yet smokey hot bacon dressing have been violated by the haphazardly created forgeries and blatant copies offered by corporate profiteers concerned solely with a dark bottom line.

It was with relish that we composed the most recent variation on our favorite theme, a busy hive of spice and sucrose featuring a wealth of pepper and sweetness over a texturally substantive base.

"Reminds you a little bit of Mississippi don't it sugar magnolia," I said.

"The salad or the hospitality."

"Both," I said.

A similar incident had occurred preceeding our egress from Biloxi three years ago.

"Needs a touch more poppyseed," I said.

"There's plenty at the bottom, just toss it some more," she said. "We should probably catch a movie before we leave, alleviate any overly negative reactions we might attach to the setting. Bambi's playing at the Texan. Could be stirring," she said.

"I'm sure we've missed the early feature by now. What's playing late?," I asked.

"That is the late feature," she said. "The matinee was some kids' flick."

Bambi, I thought. What exactly was going through Walt Disney's mind when he determined that this movie should be made? Lots of fire, lots of ire and a dead mother in the woods. Unresolved Oedipal complex, an animated Psycho if you will? Or was he simply hoping to educate the impressionable young audiences that smoking in the woods and hunting just wouldn't be tolerated? Any number of answers, all equally valid, can be drawn from repeated viewings or readings of any piece, even Bambi. The whole situation reeked of giggly cosmic interference. I would've looked toward Sirius for affirmation had it been darker. Instead I laughed.

"How about bowling down in Humble," I said.

"You know we can't leave like that," she said.

"Sure," I said, "give this town the benefit of the doubt just like the rest of them."

"It's not everyone's fault and you know that. There probably exists a faction which would oppose vehemently to what is going on if they had even the slightest inkling. I firmly believe that."

I could hardly argue with her on the point. When we left Mississippi she gave a few trusted confidantes our address and we heard from them on occassion. This all pointed to the fact that you really just had to do a little digging in order to get to the wellspring of existence.

"We'll go to the movie then, but we must leave immediately after the screening concludes."

"Sounds like a deal," she said.

We drove the Citroen down to Millard Fillmore Avenue where the movie began at the Texan at 9:30. The crowd would not have broken attendance records at any venue in the free world, but we entered nonetheless.

"I hope it's as good as I remember," I said.

"Reconsider Thumper as a Christ figure," she said.

"I'll keep that in mind," I said.

"And Flower," I said. "A skunk by any other name smells the same. Something smells fishy. I look forward to an answer."


Visit The Daily Cougar