THE NON-VIOLENT FEMMES

BY JENNIFER SORUFKA

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

I saw the Violent Femmes play. They played last Wednesday. They played at the Vatican. The music was nice. A lot of people were there. The audience was excited. The band members stood and played. Then they stood and played. Then they stood and ...

Get the idea? Can we say B-O-R-I-N-G? Now, don't get me wrong, I love the Femmes -- on tape. But to watch three grown men stand on a stage for two hours straight without moving more than their forearms can get a bit repetitious.

I might even go as far to call the concert just plain sad. The Femmes dragged with them an elaborate background and three times as many lights as was necessary to the Vatican. The only justification that I could find for the overzealous lighting was that the Femmes were trying to make up for their lack of movement on stage.

The Femmes are a legend, but it seems mostly in their own minds. They came across to me as being one of the most arrogant bands on the market. "Where's your evidence?," yells the diehard fan. I got plenty, people.

First and most obvious, there was no opening band. Why, you ask? Not because they couldn't find one, or because there were no bands deserving of the honor of opening for the Femmes, but because the Femmes wanted it all for themselves.

Number two, a few songs into their set a pit started, and the lead singer had the audacity to tell the audience to stop, because it was inconsiderate to those who just wanted to watch the concert. What I think he meant to say was, "Stop, because you might distract somebody from watching our gloriousness."(I get wicked satisfaction out of knowing that the pit started up again almost immediately and only paused to catch its breath.)

First of all, they had the Vatican set up a barricade for the show. A BARRICADE. If you've ever been to the Vatican, you would know that they have a highly competent crew of stage bullies that can keep any audience at bay. Trust me, Femmies, if they can handle Deadhorse, they can handle you three.

Four: now this is where I got snubbed by the Femmes personally. After the concert, I went to go talk to the fogeys, but their stage manager stopped me and said, "No interviews. Don't talk to them, don't even go near them." Fine and dandy, I thought, until I drove around back on my way home and saw them swarmed with people going near them AND talking to them. Humph.

The band did manage to amaze me, however. I was amazed that any of the members broke a sweat, amazed that I actually came away from the pit with bruises, amazed that the lead singer thought that his puny chest was manly enough to show off in a tank top, amazed how much their 6-foot-plus guitarist looked like Bowzer on Sha Na Na, amazed that the three Femmes never bothered to move from the spots that they engrained in front of their microphones, amazed that they thought their show was worth $20 a head.

The moral of this story is: next time around, don't waste your money. Stay home, tune your TV to Sha Na Na with the volume cranked down, and blast the Femmes simultaneously. Now that's entertainment.

 

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COUGAR DEFENSE STIFLES VILLANOVA 79-49 IN OPENER

BY MIGUEL ZEPEDA

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

The Villanova Wildcats had a priest sitting on their bench Saturday against the Houston Cougars but they never had a prayer.

Houston opened its regular season using a matchup-zone defense to tame the Wildcats, 79-49 at Hofheinz Pavilion.

The Cougars put on a defensive clinic in the first half, limiting Villanova to 16 points on 17 percent shooting.

UH Head Coach Pat Foster said his team's defensive execution was unlike any team he's ever coached.

"I've played it (matching zone) over the years and tonight we played it better than any other team I've had. The quickness made the difference," Foster said.

The difference also was the play of Houston's forwards, especially seniors Sam Mack and Craig Upchurch.

Mack and Upchurch led the Cougar attack with 23 and 17 points respectively.

Mack, a transfer from Tyler Junior College, was 6 of 8 from the field in the first half and finished the game with 10 rebounds.

"Sam was hitting his jumpshot, then we all came alive and played together like we've always had," Upchurch said.

Leading 5-4 early in the first half, the Cougars went on a 23-8 run, taking advantage of their quickness inside.

The Cougars ended the first half with a 33-16 lead and never relinquished it.

In the second half, the Wildcats adjusted to Houston's defense but they picked the wrong time to do it.

Houston shot 63 percent after intermission, ending Villanova's hope for a comeback.

Villanova, returning all five starters from last year's NCAA Tournament team, finished the game shooting 26 percent.

Its style of play was supposed to limit any running game the Cougars sought to establish, but because of Houston's defensive intensity, the Wildcats were forced to play at a different tempo.

Houston outrebounded Villanova 43-34, and blocked eight shots. Junior center Charles Outlaw had five blocks and supplied the intimidation needed against their Big East Conference foes.

When the Cougars weren't altering shots, they were diving for loose balls, grabbing defensive rebounds and out-hussling the Wildcats.

Villanova Head Coach Rollie Massimino was subdued after losing an opener for the first time as coach of the Wildcats.

"We didn't shoot well and they took advantage of our missed shots," Massimino said.

Houston's next game will be Wednesday against perennial basketball power, North Carolina, at home. Tip-off time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

If Houston plays with the same intensity it displayed against Villanova, it may have more than a prayer against the Tar Heels.

 

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ZONING ISSUE SPARKS DEBATE; TOUTED AS `CURE-ALL' BY SOME

BY RHONDA HECTOR

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

When City Council mandated that a comprehensive zoning ordinance be prepared in January of this year, they knew the debate as to how and if it should be implemented would be heated, especially as Houston has gone without zoning for so long.

"Houston is the only major city in the United States without a zoning ordinance," said John Mixon, alumni law professor at UH. "City Council voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance in order to protect existing investments from inappropriate uses moving in next door."

Another motivating factor behind zoning is that it will not only rid neighborhoods of undesirable businesses, but also of crime.

"One idea that people have about zoning that is not necessarily true is that zoning is a cure all," said John Hansen, a local real estate developer. "If you go to Detroit, New York or any of the major cities you can find as many problems, if not more, than we have here in Houston."

Though, zoning may not cure all the things it is projected to, it is what most homeowners want for Houston.

"Despite what many people think, this was not initiated by City Council," Beverly Clark, City Council At-large Position 1, said. "It was initiated by home owners city-wide.

"We received resolutions from civic associations, numerous letters and had homeowners speak to the Council on the need for zoning," Clark said.

"People have been asking for zoning for quite some time," said Clark. In 1989, civic organizations submitted the Neighborhood Goals Report to City Council. In this document the organizations presented a list of 19 zoning issues.

The questions included, "Should the intensity of commercial development close to neighborhoods be controlled?", and "What criteria should govern retail establishments near neighborhoods?".

Paid consultants and the City of Houston Zoning Strategies Committee are now in the process of developing the ordinance.

"The consultants have utilized the neighborhood goals report, information obtained from interviews in the community and have been working with the Zoning Strategies Committee to develop the scope of the ordinance," said Mary Martinez, assistant director for zoning and sub-division.

The plan presently calls for Houston to be divided into four districts, which will be classified as either single-family, multi-family, commercial, industrial or mixed use. Many feel there would need to be more districts to allow for the individuality of different sections of town.

"Areas like the Heights and Montrose probably do not want to be zoned as much as people in River Oaks, Meyerland and Tanglewood," said Mixon. "But they will all be affected."

Some believe that zoning will hinder commercial development in Houston in the future.

"One of the things we have been able to do in this city, because there isn't any zoning, is to reuse many of our properties more easily," Hansen said.

"It will also limit the innovative developments," he said. "For example the Galleria would never be created under zoning, because it's just too complicated to get approvals. I think that is a negative."

Martinez said that zoning is not intended to harm commercial development.

"We want to protect neighborhoods, we don't want to compromise new business or growth of the community," Martinez said. "We hope zoning will promote growth management."

The deadline to have the plan written and developed is June of 1992.

Once completed, the plan will go to both the strategies committee and the Planning and Zoning Commission for comments and revisions, before going to City Council.

When the Council receives the plan, they will begin holding six months of public hearings.

"The hearings give everyone the opportunity to be heard and to voice their opinions on the zoning plan before it takes affect," said Clark. "So far, zoning has received the most support of an issue I have seen since being on City Council."

 

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THE ADDAMS ARE DEAD FUN

BY MICHICA GUILLORY

NEWS REPORTER

Okay, so The Addams Family isn't your average Christmas time movie. Then again, what's average about the Addams family?

In the clan's first feature film, all the weirdness is there, including a living bearskin rug, backyard cemetery and a front gate with a mind of its own.

The uncanny characters that made Charles Addams' '60s television series a hit are also there: the baritone butler Lurch (Carel Struycken), the boxless and free-running Thing (the appendage of Christopher Hart) and that blonde blood relative Cousin It (John Franklin).

The family hasn't lost anything in its transition from television to the big screen and the same goes for the plot, which is as simplistic on the silver screen as it was on the TV.

Gomez (Raul Julia) had a fight with his older brother Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd) and, as a result, hasn't seen him for 25 years. This is one miserable experience that Gomez isn't enjoying.

To add to the intrigue, Tully (Dan Hedaya), the lawyer who calls the family his sole client, owes money to a "mommy dearest" loan shark, Abigale Craven (Elizabeth Wilson.) Guess whose money is Tully's target?

The Addams fort is infiltrated by using the loan shark's son who just happens to look like long-lost Uncle Fester, as a decoy. From here, the creepy, cooky, mysterious and spooky storyline "takes off."

What all this adds up to is a little plot and plenty of room for the deadly antics of Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and pudgy Pugsley (Jimmy Workman), who is the "victim" of all his sister's pranks.

Angelica Huston pales like no other as the hauntingly beautiful and fluent French speaking Morticia. She can still make Gomez pucker up! Go ahead and take a break from all those sappy holiday flicks, just grab somebody (preferably a live body) and check it out.

 

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TCU'S VOGLER HAS LAST WORD IN THIS YEAR'S AERIAL CIRCUS

BY RANDY BAZAN

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

The Cougars' forgettable season sunk to a lower level Saturday as the TCU Horned Frogs assured Houston of its first losing season since 1987.

TCU wide receiver Stephen Shipley caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Vogler with 28 seconds left in the fourth quarter to outduel the Cougars 49-45.

However, the play wasn't without its controversy. Replays clearly showed Shipley ran out of bounds prior to making the catch, which should have negated the reception.

Houston Coach John Jenkins didn't want to make an issue of the non-call.

"The way I look at it, it shouldn't have come down to that play," Jenkins said.

Perhaps a bigger play occurred on the Cougars' final drive when they were trying to run out the clock. Quarterback David Klingler was chased out of bounds with 1:20 left in the game, keeping Houston from draining more time off the clock, and allowing TCU one final possession.

Vogler has made a career against the Cougars. In last year's game, he burned Houston for a then-NCAA-record 690 yards and six touchdowns.

On Saturday, he again lay waste to the Cougar defense. Vogler was 20 of 38, passing for 238 yards and three touchdowns.

Klingler had a big game too, passing for 429 yards and four touchdowns. He completed 30 of 63 passes. However, Klingler was again pummeled by the defense, which sacked him nine times.

The game was very much the wild one last year's game was. The lead see-sawed back and forth the entire way.

TCU jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on a 4-yard pass to tight end Kelly Blackwell from Vogler, and a 2-yard run by running back Curtis Modkins.

The Cougars tightened the score with 4:29 left in the first quarter on a 1-yard touchdown run by superback TiAndre Sanders.

In the second, the game turned into the Marcus Grant show, as the Cougar wide receiver scored three touchdowns from 25, 17 and 41 yards out, putting Houston up 28-14.

But Modkins would again find the end zone for the Frogs, scoring on a 5-yard run. Houston countered with a 26-yard touchdown strike from Klingler to receiver Verlond Brown, making the score 35-21 UH at halftime.

In the third, TCU tied the score 35-35 on a 16-yard Shipley touchdown catch and a Blackwell 6-yard touchdown reception.

In the fourth, Vogler scored on a 1-yard run with 13:40 left in the game to give TCU a 42-35 lead. Houston cut the gap to four on a 49-yard Roman Anderson field goal, and took the lead 45-42 on a 2-yard run by Sanders. However, Shipley's late score put TCU on top to stay.

 

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YEARBOOK, KUHF VIE FOR OFFICE WORK SPACE

OPPOSING NEEDS CONSIDERED

BY ERICKA SCHICHE

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

UH yearbook staffers may soon get their walking papers if Space Allocation Committee members decide to grant KUHF-FM their highly-coveted work space.

On Friday, Nov. 22, committee members met to discuss the possibility of moving the Houstonian to another location. The UC, the UC Underground, the top floor of the Communications building and The Daily Cougar were mentioned as possible new sites for the yearbook.

"The college has about 1,000 students who take classes in this building ...space is at a premium," said Kenneth Short, director of the School of Communications, about the possibility of the Houstonian moving into an alternative space in the Communications Building.

Near the end of the discussion on KUHF General Manager John Proffitt's request to secure the facilities, James Pickering, interim senior vice president for academic affairs, said, "We can't dodge this bullet any longer."

Committee members, along with Short, discussed the possibility of housing KUHF in a new temporary building, which would serve the station's engineering needs.

Richard Cigler, director of Student Publications, sent a memo to committee members outlining compelling arguments in favor of the Houstonian.

He listed three contentions in opposition to KUHF's proposal, which asserts that the station should be allowed to lease the space currently occupied by the yearbook:

The facility used by the Houstonian staff must be accessible on a 24-hour basis to students working on the yearbook, including weekends.

The facility must have good securi ty, particularly late at night and on the weekends.

It is extremely important that the Houstonian offices be in proximity to the office of The Daily Cougar, the Student Publications' business office and the School of Communications' faculty.

Although Cigler did not attend the meeting, he did share some of his sentiments about the importance of keeping the two student publications together in the school's building.

"Moving the Houstonian and possibly The Daily Cougar is a short- term solution to a long-term problem," Cigler said.

Cigler said those in support of displacing the Houstonian perceive KUHF as being a better public relations tool than the yearbook.

"I think the Houstonian is just as needed by the UH community as KUHF," he said. "Twenty years from now, more people will be looking at the old books, and not listening to old tapes of KUHF." Proffitt, who was also absent from the meeting, said the radio station receives about $1 million in listener donations annually, and reaches 170,000 listeners each week.

While the Houstonian -- which does not receive money from student service fees -- employs 12 editors and between 25 and 35 contributing writers and photographers, KUHF employs only three students.

Revenue for last year's book, estimated at $80,000, is what sustained the publication, said yearbook editor Kristyn Roberts. About 30 percent of the yearbook's income was generated from book sales and about 50 per cent from advertising.

A memo sent to Cigler from the UH Architecture, Engineering Construction and Work Control Department indicated it would cost about $45,000 to move the Houstonian staff tothe UC Underground.

Although the radio station's space is cramped, Roberts said Houstonian staffers are also operating in a tight work space.

"I don't mind moving the yearbook to another place if the new facilities are as good or better than the ones currently in use," said Vice President for Student Affairs Elwyn Lee. "However, the conditions have not been met."

Lee said that if KUHF doesn't support classes or students, maybe it should not have priority.

But Pickering said the radio station's needs should be met because it brings prestige to UH.

"It is important to look at various occupants in the school of communication to see if they are using space in an optimal way," he said.

Deputy to the President Thomas Jones, committee chairman, said the group is still gathering information and will probably reach a final decision soon.

 

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`COUGAR HIGH' STIGMA SUBJECT OF SA PLAN

LOW RETENTION, POOR EDUCATION, MARK SA CONCERNS

BY ANTON P. MONTANO

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

In a White Paper document outlining UH's priorities over the next six years, members of the Students' Association outlined why the university "is not well regarded around the nation."

The SA members said low retention and graduation rates, unfair allotment of funds and an emphasis on research over teaching keep UH from removing the stigma of "Cougar High" and gaining a reputation as a major center of education.

According to the White Paper, UH's poor undergraduate education is a prime reason behind the university being "continually ranked beneath comparable regional universities" in major college guides.

With one abstention, SA members passed their observations in SA Resolution 28017 on Nov. 18. Afterwards, the SA sent the White Paper to interim Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs James Pickering.

The document has also been sent to the All-University Planning Council where SA members hope it will be considered, along with papers from six other university organizations, to provide input in the Planning Council's updating of the university's current Six-Year Plan.

"It's apparent that student needs are not being adequately addressed in the All-University Planning Council," said Kevin Jefferies, an author of the White Paper.

"We do have some student representation on the council, but it's important to have something tangible," Jefferies told SA senators.

"Particularly undergraduates seem to be the people most affected once a gradual sliding of resources begins," Jefferies said.

Addressing UH's limited resources and low retention rates, the document suggests limiting student enrollment.

The White Paper says UH's funding levels "cannot adequately serve the amount of students it has enrolled" and suggests "it is imperative that enrollment be limited to the number of students the university can adequately support."

The White Paper also says funding is distributed unfairly.

In the area of student service fees, which totaled more than $5.5 million for fiscal year 1991, the document said intercollegiate athletics should no longer receive student service fees, because athletics "is not a student service."

According to the White Paper, the more than $1.9 million in FY91 that went to athletics could be used to fund other areas of the university, freeing up money to fund real student-service programs like the library. Currently, student service fees cannot be directly used to fund the library.

The document said television and radio revenue help make the athletic program "uniquely positioned to pay for itself."

The White Paper also says UH "constantly emphasizes the value of research without an equivalent stress on the importance of teaching."

SA members suggest teaching ability and student evaluations should play a role in faculty advancement, courses on teaching should be available for faculty and teaching assistants, and all UH personnel with Ph.Ds, including administrators, should teach "at least one lower level undergraduate class every year."

Crafting of the White Paper began Oct. 7 when the SA established an ad-hoc committee to create the paper, after discovering that an Aug. 26 memo from Pickering requested White Papers from six UH organizations, but not the SA.

The Faculty Senate, Academic Council, Graduate and Professional Studies Council, Research Council, Undergraduate Council and Staff Council were all asked to submit suggestions for the Six-Year Plan.

In other SA action, senators endorsed a campus-wide student recycling program and the concept of a university studies division to improve academic advising.

Senators also approved a resolution thanking John and Rebecca Moores for their $51.4 donation to UH.

 

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