IT'S JUST NOT SAME OLD TRICK OR TREAT ANYMORE

BY TODD DUPLANTIS

NEWS REPORTER

While many students will be cramming for midterm exams on this Halloween night, others plan on heavy-duty partying -- including a trip to a graveyard.

"I really want to go play hide-n-seek in a graveyard," said Nick Nguyen, a junior biology major. "I know it doesn't sound right, but it sounds fun. Maybe even

cruise over to Austin. Sixth Street. Spend the night. Hey, you know, live it up."

Some students like Nguyen are looking forward to living it up this Halloween. But others are celebrating in a more old-fashioned way.

"We're going over to some friend of ours' house," said Charlie Jackson, a senior English major. "They set their garage up as a haunted house for the neighborhood kids."

Jackson said he believes families will be taking their children out trick or treating despite the stories that cults and satanic worshippers have put a damper on recent Halloweens.

Trey Hebisen, a freshman civil engineering major, said he also plans on spending some time with the family and travelling to Austin's Sixth Street.

Austin may attract a number of students, but not everybody has to travel so far to take in some Halloween excitement. Various Halloween events and parties are to be found throughout the city tonight. They include a stage version of Richard O'Brien's musical, The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Kuumba House Theater, as well as a number of haunted houses in downtown Houston.

For those interested in costume parties, a number of clubs and bars in town are sponsoring costume contests. These inlude the Sing Along Club, a local karaoke bar, and Quincy's.

With all the events and parties happening this Halloween, some students have other plans besides partying. Stacy Porter and Lisa Wamsley, senior pharmacy majors, have their own reaons for keeping things low-key this Halloween.

"Since we've been in pharmacy school, we haven't been able to party," Porter said. "We'll party when we get out -- maybe next Halloween."

 

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EXPERTS SAY AIRPORT BAD IDEA FOR BIRDS

POLITICS, PROFITS WIN DESPITE IMPRACTICAL AREA FOR AIR TRAFFIC

BY MICHAEL D. OESER

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

Along with a rising crime rate and mass transit problems, there are also some environmental issues facing Houston, which some experts feel should be strongly considered when the city's voters go to the polls on Nov. 5.

Three major city projects are areas of concern with local environmentalists: the proposed West-Side Airport, the Trinity resevoir project and the Houston Ship Channel expansion.

The West-Side Airport project proposes to build a non-commercial airport adjacent to some Katy wetlands -- wetlands that also happen to be the site of the largest group of wintering geese in North America.

Robert McFarlane, an ecological consultant for 10 years and a subcontractor hired to study the impact of the airport would have on waterfowl population, said the proposed site is unsafe for both birds and planes.

"It will be a major safety hazard to the public and it will disturb the habitat," he said.

McFarlane said with 2,638 birds passing through the area during certain times of year, the possibility for hazardous collisions is high. He also said the amount of air traffic could disturb the birds.

When his report came out against the proposed site, McFarlane said the city responded by "burying it," and that he has been shut out of the deliberations since.

McFarlane said the U.S. Air Forcce did its own study, which usually runs on a scale of 1 to 80. The Air Force came up with a bird-strike figure of roughly 325.

Bill Stransky, the Houston-area Sierra Club's Wetlands Conservation Chairman, who worked with the Air Force on the study, said, "They'd never seen a graph that had that high a probability."

Stransky said," I just don't see where there's any demand. If you look at the air traffic projections they made back in the '80s, they're off by magnitudes of three and four times.

"I think this is just a classic situation of where business interests are driving policy making," he said, adding that the people who sold the land for the site to the city also own the surrounding land -- and are probably waiting for it to be developed.

"The people that have been pushing for this airport are influential and well-connected, and I don't think logic has anything to do with it. (Mayor) Kathy Whitmire has always been a person that has done what's best for her political supporters," he said.

A press release from the Texas Environmental Action League concerning the airport says, "So why is the city even thinking about this project? Could it be because the real estate speculators who want it gave over $73,000 to Kathy Whitmire, Anthony Hall and other (Houston City) Council members' campaigns from 1985 to 1988?"

Although the West-Houston Airport site has garnered the support of the Federal Aviation Association, the Airline Pilots' Association, however, has deemed the site unsafe.

APA Southwest Region Air Safety Coordinator Paul Eschenfelder said the site is a poor choice because of the large number of waterfowl in the area.

Next: Water considerations and the mayoral candidates' positions on environmental issues.

 

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FIVE PLAYS FOR FREE

BY CHRIS ENGLISH

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

The Graduate Group from the UH Drama Department will be presenting two evenings of contemporary theater this Friday and Saturday at the Lab Theater within Wortham Theater Complex here on campus.

The evenings are in the form of five short plays by contemporary playwrights, directed by three graduate students.

The first play will be Reunion by David Mamet. Directed by Soenke C. Weiss, Reunion is the story of a father and daughter who after 25 years of silence, seek solace within each other to deal with the isolation and loneliness present in both of their lives.

Like most of Mamet's plays, the characters become examples of moral decay and disintegration of familial relationships.

The second play, Naomi in the Living Room, is by Christopher Durang, one of America's newest and most eccentric voices of theater, most commonly remembered for his irreverent Sister Mary Ignatius.

Directed by Rick Schiller, the play is an explosive and zany look at an eccentric family and its "strange relations."

The third installment is actually a collection of three short, short plays by John Patrick Shanley.

The three performances are A Lonely Impulse of Delight, The Red Coat, and Let Us Go Into the Starry Night.

Director Wade Hescht explains the choices for the three pieces, "Since everyone, at one time or another, has been in love and has asked the universal question, `is there really someone out there for me?' it is easy to conclude that there is something for each and every one of us in these three short plays by John Patrick Shanley."

Performances are free with shows Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. There will also be a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. for those who think they have something better to do.

 

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INTERIM POSITIONS DWINDLE AS NEW PERMANENTS NAMED

BY DEBBIE HOUSEL

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

UH's bevy of interim administrators dwindled down to one Wednesday with the announcement of permanent replacements for the positions vice president of student affairs and senior vice president for administration and finance.

Elwyn Lee, who has been acting as the interim vice president for student affairs since Sept. 1, was named to assume the permanent position, UH President Marguerite Ross Barnett announced at Wednesday's Fall Faculty Assembly.

Dennis Boyd, who has been the chief finance officer for both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce, was chosen to assume the position of senior vice president for administration and finance, Barnett said.

The senior vice president for academic affairs is the only top position without a permanent replacement chosen since Barnett began restructuring her administration last fall. James Pickering is holding the interim position until a permanent replacement is named next fall.

Lee, 42, has been a law professor at UH since 1978. He has served as interim director of the African-American Studies Program in 1989-90, heads the Faculty Senate's Campus Life Committee and is a founder of the university's Black Leadership Network.

Lee said, "It's very easy for me to see things from the students' point of view and that's why I am here -- to educate and develop students.

"My basic philosophy is finding out what a target group feels, their needs and their wants. If you disagree, you need to find out why and work towards the same ultimate goal. I don't fear or shun student input; I welcome it."

He said issues on campus require increased student dialogue to bring students' prospectives into light.

"How people feel about what we accomplish is important. It's not enough to have good policies if people don't feel good about them," Lee said.

Lee said his legal experience gives him the ability to to analyze and solve problems.

Boyd, 59, was not one of the four men announced on Sept. 5 as a finalist for the position, although Barnett said he was among the top 10 candidates.

Barnett concluded that the four, "for one reason or another were not right for the position."

"Boyd brings his vast experience to the university to solve the vexing financial control and management problems that have plagued the administration and finance division at UH for many years," Barnett said.

Boyd said, "It came as a surprise because I came into the process late."

He said he surprised himself by applying for the position because he and his wife had decided to retire in Santa Fe, N.M. He said his name was suggested to the search committee and when he was contacted he decided to apply because "it was a challenge I had been used to for 25 years."

He said he is undaunted by the financial problems currently plaguing the university.

"While this one is a challenge, I have been in a challenging atmosphere for a long time -- it doesn't intimidate me.

"I'm anxious and eager and can hardly wait for the process to begin," Boyd said.

Boyd will assume the job on Jan. 1 with a salary of $120,000.

Sharon Richardson, the past senior vice president for administration and finance in 1990, received $97,000 a year.

Lee's salary is $90,000. He replaces Roland Smith, who left UH to take an identical post at the University of Oklahoma.

Smith was paid $83,000 at UH.

 

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CAR-JACKERS INJURE STUDENT ON CULLEN

NEW METHOD OF CAR THEFT STRIKES TOO CLOSE TO HOME

BY DAI HUYNH

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

An attempted car-jacking resulted in the shooting of a UH student early Wednesday morning.

Twenty-one-year-old Wei Huang was waiting for the traffic light to change on Cullen Boulevard near Interstate Highway 45 at 3:10 a.m. when an Oldsmobile closed in on Wei's car from behind.

Wei sensed something was amiss and slammed on the gas pedal as the passenger from the other car bolted toward his car, UH Asst. Police Chief Frank Cempka said.

As he began pulling away, Wei heard a popping sound, Cempa said. Apparently, one of the car-jackers had discharged his gun, he said.

The bullet hit Wei's window frame and ricocheted, striking his back left shoulder and exiting through his underarm, Cempa said.

In a state of shock, he continued to accelerate his car toward a friend's home for help, he said.

UHPD was called in to assist, and Wei was transported to Ben Taub Hospital for medical attention and released from the facility at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Wei said the incident was harrowing, and he never imagined anything like this could happen.

"He (the gunman) didn't treat me like a human being. He didn't even look at me. He just got out of the car and shot at me. There was no sense of value of life," he said.

The Houston Police Department is investigating the incident and is searching for the gunman, who is described as a 6-foot-tall black male with a light beard and wearing a green button-down shirt, Cempa said.

Cempa said car-jacking is a new phenomenon in Houston. In most car-jacking incidents, the perpetrator would come from behind and bump into the victim's car, causing the individual to stop. One or more car-jackers would then exit the car and force the victim to get out of his or her car.

Cempa said the best reaction when someone strikes your car is to check the rear-view mirror to see who gets out of the car. If you do not see the driver exit, but the passenger gets out, you are probably going to be susceptible to car-jacking, he said.

Also, watch their hands to see if they are carrying a weapon, he said.

If you sense that something is amiss, immediately leave the proximity and go to a place where there are people, Cempa said.

 

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For those of you who don't want to go see the aforementioned Rocky Horror Show, there are other things to be getting your blood flowing on Halloween Night, mon.

Pain Teens and ToxicKarma will turn the Cougar Den into a veritable freakshow with a free concert slated to start at 8:30 p.m. Key words: Bliss Blood.

Fitzgerald's hosts the Psycho Blood Bath Horrorama IV featuring Zsu Zsu's Petals and Punch. They will let you in if you're under age, but don't get caught drinking.

There are various haunted houses around town, including Nightmare on Main Street in the heart of downtown. (As if just being on the streets down there isn't frightening enough.)

For you outer loopers, if you can stand the rubes on KLOL, you might want to check out the Yucatan Liquor Stand/Outlaw Radio Masked Ball. I personally won't be in attendance, but I'm sure there will be plenty of steroid shootin' body freaks and more than enough Big Texas Hair.

If you're attending a home party or thinking of doing some trick-or-treating or maybe just turning some tricks, here's yet another list, this one of great costume ideas:

1. Long Dong Silver

2. A $25 million check to the athletic department

3. Paul Chu

4. Sylvia Plath

5. A sober Ted Kennedy

6. A neo-cubist painting

So dress up. Act foolish. Be careful. Have fun. And please, don't smash my pumpkin.

 

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BLONDES STILL SUBJECTED TO STEREOTYPICAL HUMOR

CPS -- It's a plot. Brunettes and redheads everywhere are just jealous. They know that blondes really do have more fun, so out of spite they told the world that they're also stupid. Major dingbats.

How do you put a twinkle in a blonde's eye? Shine a flashlight in her ear.

How do you get a blonde to laugh on Monday? Tell her a joke on Friday.

What do you call 12 blondes standing in a line? A wind tunnel.

What do you call a redhead walking between two blondes? An interpreter.

Now wait a minute. Is this politically correct?

As old blonde jokes re-emerge in a time where homosexual jokes, racial jokes, fat jokes, disability jokes and ethnic jokes are in hiding, you're probably wondering how this whole humor movement started (No, it was not by a brunette -- at least no one can prove it).

A professor who studies speech communications says he thinks blondes have become a safer group to pick on because of the historical stereotyping. The jokes also aren't offensive to most blondes. In fact, many laughing the loudest at this old brand of humor are the butts of the jokes themselves.

Quipped one blonde to a Knight-Ridder newspaper reporter who has been closely documenting this important trend: "I've got a stack of them in my car. My friends call whenever they hear a new one."

Astute observers in the reading community out there will note that most blonde jokes focus on women. Bill Allman says that's because Hollywood's dumb blondes were almost always women.

"You find lots of things in the 1930s and '40s films," says Allman, a professor at Baldwin-Wallace College in Cleveland. "The blonde women were just portrayed that way."

According to Allman, Marilyn Monroe is the ultimate perpetuation of the stereotypical dumb blonde.

"Sort of like the idea that all football players are dumb," Allman says.

 

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GREEKS TO HELP NEARBY MISSION WITH FOOD DRIVE

BY AMIE REBECCA KLANKE

Greek ghosts and goblins are passing up candy in favor of other goodies this year. The Greek Cabinet is sponsoring the All Greek Trick or Treat Canned Food Drive tonight to benefit the Star of Hope Mission.

Sorority and fraternity members will be dusting off their Halloween costumes and going door to door in areas like River Oaks and Bellaire to collect canned food for Houston's needy.

At 10:15 p.m., they will be meeting back at the Sigma Nu house on Calhoun, across from Star of Hope, to see what group collected the most food. The winning sorority or fraternity will be presented with a trophy. A representative from Star of Hope will be at the Sigma Nu house to accept the food once the winner is announced.

"We are trying to combat negative publicity and promote a positive image for the University of Houston Greek system through community service," sophomore Julie Millican, president of the Greek Council, said.

 

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DAMNIT! JANET! I WANT TO GO SEE THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW

BY JOHN GRIFFIN

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

Are you tired of seeing Brad and Janet on the big screen at the Belair Theater? Do you want your 379th viewing of Rocky Horror to have that extra special something that will make it the memory you've always wanted it to be? Or do you just not have anything better to do on Halloween?

Then by gum get your fat fanny down to the Kuumba House Repertory Theatre and take a gander at the kinky, flesh-exposing thespians who are going to perform Richard O' Brien's The Rocky Horror Show live and uncensored.

For a mere 15 dollarinis you too can say to your grandchildren, "Yes, I saw it live. I tasted the bizarre fruit of one demented man's mind. And I lived through it."

Bring a non-perishable food item and they'll knock two sawbucks off the price of admission.

Plus, let's take a look at some other factors you'll want to consider as you plan out your whiz-bang Halloween festivities.

1. The show will start at 8 p.m., leaving you plenty of time to go somewhere else and get really ripped, so you won't feel so damn stupid in that costume your girlfriend insisted you wear.

2. Two, count `em, two UH students will be featured in this production. Kryssi Wyckoff Martin and Gina McCullough tackle the tough, power-packed roles of Janet and Trixie, instilling them with just a touch of that ol' Cougar spirit. It'll bring a tear to your eye.

3. Former UH student James "I Play a Really Uptight Asshole" Armogida will anchor the cast. Many of you know James as Jimmy. Still more of you won't recognize Jimmy without his trademark long hair and Raggedy Ann Underoos. But his rendition of Brad, the anal retentive boyfriend of Janet, has Tony written all over it.

As Jimmy said, with a coy smile all over his face, "I get to don some hose for the first time in my life."

Kinda makes the cross-dresser in all of us want to stand up and yell "Hooray."

4. It's more fun than eating a scoop full of crack slag. (V.H.)

5. Word on the street is that Richard O' Brien is penning a sequel to TRHS and you'll definitely want to know what the first one is all about, won't you?

6. If none of the above goad you into running full speed to the Kuumba House tonight, then consider this. I have it on good authority that there will be naked flesh to be seen on stage. So, if you missed Sandra Bernhard's breasts on stage at the Tower, here's your chance to make up for that tragedy.

But seriously, Kuumba House puts on some fine entertainment and this production promises to be another interesting offering.

If you can't make it to opening night, don't fret, The Rocky Horror Show will run thru Dec. 7 with performances at 8 p.m. on Fridays and shows at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Saturdays. For more info call them at 524-1079 or 760-8400.

 

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