DISABLED NOT ABLE AT SOME AMERICAN CAMPUSES

BY COUGAR NEWS SERVICE

Physical changes are necessary, but advocates say disabled students need more from U.S. colleges than ramps and special study tools.

"Physical access is the first thing that has been addressed in a large way," said Rhona Hartman, director of HEATH Resource Center, a program offered through the American Council on Education that serves as a national clearinghouse on post-secondary education for people with disabilities.

"The big issue now is making programs accessible," she said.

Those programs not only include academics, but also social, emotional and recreational services already available to other students.

Today, most colleges and universities have offices that handle services for students with visual, hearing, physical, communications and learning disabilities. And most have worked diligently to provide easier access to campus buildings with ramps, elevators and electric doors, as well as offering van transportation services.

The changes are largely the result of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act. Under Section 504, the federal government said colleges and universities must take measures to ensure educational programs are accessible to the disabled.

"College and university recipients of federal money had to get their act together," Hartman said. "Some have come farther than others. (Now) most large state institutions serve a large number of disabled students."

If surveys of students are any indication, services for the disabled are greatly needed. According to a 1987 Department of Education study, 1.3 million of the nation's 12.5 million students (in 1987) reported having at least one disability, ranging from blindness and other physical handicaps to learning difficulties.

Because special services needed by the disabled students can be costly, every state has an Office of Vocational Rehabilitation that offers federal and state funds to help pay for educational costs.

A disabled student can register with the office while in junior high school. The office then does a case study and recommends the student for post-secondary education or vocational training. Either way, OVR will pay for the student's room and board, tuition, van transportation and wheelchair maintenance, if needed.

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, where 320 disabled students are receiving an education, is considered a pioneer in the field of integrating disabled students on college campuses.

Edinboro's program started in the early 1970s and has grown now to include a support staff of 231, most of whom are students, with seven full-time professionals who work within the school's Office of Disabled Student Services.

"It started at a conference of managers, administrators, faculty and others to see how we could integrate," said Jim Foulk, director of disabled student services at Edinboro.

"Out of that meeting came the `wheelchair campus,'" -- the concept of providing physical access to campus buildings for the disabled through the use of ramps, electronic doors, elevators, etc.

"At the time, we only had 15 disabled students. From there, we started our residence program, and that's what really made our system unique," Foulk said.

The residence program involves the designation of two residence halls as accessible to the disabled. A supervisor is on duty 24 hours a day, and student workers help the disabled with personal care needs, like showering, dressing, doing laundry and feeding themselves.

Other Edinboro services include:

A Life Skills Center, which encourages independence by teaching human sexuality, consumer affairs, time management and assertiveness training.

Academic support services, complete with tutoring, career counseling, computer services, learning disability aids, Braille materials and materials for the hearing impaired.

Health services that include physical therapy and a residence hall nursing station to monitor medical needs.

Social services -- the university-sponsored wheelchair athletic team, called the Rolling Scots, competes in the national wheelchair games. The school also offers a poolside lift, special bowling lanes in the student union and a student organization called Organization for Disability Awareness.

Hartman said other campuses have followed Edinboro's lead and are working to establish similar services.

Landmark College in Putney, Vt., is the nation's only accredited school catering specifically to learning disabled students, although nearly every school with a disabled student services office provides support services, such as tutoring and test-taking aids.

Landmark's population numbers about 170 students, most of whom suffer from dyslexia. Dyslexia encompasses a broad range of difficulties involving information processing. Most people think only of reading difficulties when they think of dyslexia, but it also involves difficulty in verbal expression, understanding the order of mathematical equations (or reversing numbers), or simple organizational tasks.

"We focus on organization, study skills, reading skills and writing," said Amy Russian, Landmark's director of press and publicity. "We've got students who have gone on to very prestigious colleges. They've really done well."

Landmark offers a two-year degree in general studies as well as non-credit skills courses.

One of the major goals of the schools that integrate the disabled with the general student body is teaching both students and faculty about the disabled. Some schools feature a Disabled Awareness Week.

Jacksonville State University's Disabled Awareness Week in November gave students a chance to play role reversal. The Alabama university works with about 160 disabled students.

The school set up an obstacle course for able-bodied students to go through in wheelchairs or blindfolds, had students read through special glasses that show how some dyslexic students see words, and sewed the fingers of gloves together and had students try to put puzzles together without the use of their fingers.

"I think it really made people a lot more aware," said Janet White, a professor for the hearing impaired, who coordinated the event.

 

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PROF WARNS OZONE DEPLETION MORE GRIM THAAN EXPECTED

BY REBECCA MCPHAIL

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

In light of recent findings on the diminishing ozone layer, a healthy tan may be a thing of the past.

On Feb. 3, NASA announced the results of an upper-atmosphere study conducted over the past several months.

The findings are even more grim than scientists had expected.

The ozone layer, which acts as a buffer between Earth and harmful ultraviolet radiation, is thinning at a far more rapid rate than previously thought.

UH professor of Environmental Engineering Jack Matson has been following NASA's studies. "The rate is much greater than we could have possibly imagined," he said.

In 1985, researchers discovered a hole in the ozone over Antarctica. Although an environmental danger, the hole was over a land nearly devoid of any life and posed little threat to humans.

The chief detriment to the ozone is thought to be chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), the by-product of air-conditioning units, foam production and aerosol sprays.

Current research now suggests that, due to extensive use of CFCs, the ozone may be thinning over the northern areas of the United States, Canada, Europe and Russia. Most of these areas are densely populated.

"There are now holes over the Northern Hemisphere which impact directly upon people living in those areas," Matson said.

One of the biggest impacts is the increased health risk. Exposure to ultraviolet rays can bring on a host of afflictions ranging from skin cancer to cataracts.

In addition to the health risks, the depleted ozone may have a devastating effect on the food chain. Sayed Z. El-Sayed, professor of oceanography at Texas A&M University, recently completed a month-long study on the effects of UV-B, a particularly damaging type of ultraviolet light, on phytoplankton.

According to El-Sayed, phytoplankton play an important role in the aquatic ecosystem. They are the base of the marine food chain, he said.

In a paper disclosing the findings of his study, El-Sayed wrote, "The impact of elevated UV-B could be long-lasting and potentially damaging.

"Since phytoplankton is the basis primary producer in the world ocean, any substantial decrease in the productivity of these waters, or any change in their community structure, could have far-reaching ecological implications," El-Sayed wrote. In the race to decrease the risks, the United States is still in the lead.

Other countries are lagging behind the United States when it comes to eliminating CFCs, Matson said.

In spite of the frightening data, El-Sayed has still managed to keep his spirits up. "As the ozone decreases," he said,"my popularity goes up."

 

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BILL COULD ELIMINATE PRISON POPULATION CAP

BY KATHY ALLEN

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

Houston Mayor Bob Lanier told voters last year he would fight Houston's rising crime rate by placing 600 additional officers on the street by April 1.

As a result, daily news stories chronicle Police Chief Elizabeth Watson's struggle to redistribute officers to street patrol duty.

But the downstream problems of the Texas criminal justice system that have plagued Houston's efforts to keep criminals off the streets have yet to be corrected, said Mark Kellar, director of detentions of the Harris County Sheriff's Department.

One of Kellar's concerns is the accelerated parole of convicts. Convicted criminals spend an average of 25 days in prison for every year of their sentence, Kellar said.

This is, in part, due to the 95 percent prison population cap at the state level that was established in 1985 in an out-of-court settlement of a lawsuit brought by convicts.

"The cap has become the driving mechanism under which the parole board operates," Kellar said.

While the parole board deals with the cap downstream, the Harris County Jail deals with it upstream, as demonstrated by its increased backlog of "state-ready" prisoners.

In 1987, 150 to 300 of the county prisoners (2 to 5 percent) were classified as "state-ready." Today, about 5,500 county prisoners (50 percent) are classified as "state-ready." The Harris County Jail was designed to hold 8,700 prisoners. Today, it holds 11,600, or 133 percent of its capacity.

House Bill 124, which was passed in the 1991 legislative session, would eliminate the 95 percent prison population cap in Texas state prisons. It allows the Department of Corrections to use as many prison beds as it can provide basic services for.

The bill also allows the use of tents, military barracks or any other type of federally approved housing for prisoners.

As many as 6,700 empty beds across the state could be put to use if the cap were lifted, Jackson said.

But because the 95-percent cap was created as the result of a federal suit, HB 124 requires federal court approval before it can take effect, said State Rep. Mike Jackson (R-District 129), co-author of the bill.

Attorney General Dan Morales has petitioned the federal courts to review HB 124, but Jackson has sent a letter to his constituents charging that Morales "isn't pushing the matter hard enough to suit me."

Ron Dusek, a spokesman for the attorney general, said, "I don't think [Jackson] understands the legal process. The best opportunity for eliminating the federal courts from the (Texas) prison system is in progress now."

The state will file plans to a federal court in early March outlining the orderly transition from court supervision to state supervision of the prison system, Dusek said.

"It appears that the judge wants to get this over with; he wants to put control back into the hands of the state," he said.

After reviewing the transition plans, a decision will be given at a hearing scheduled for July 6.

But Jackson, who is not content with the federal court's timetable, characterizes the attorney general's attitude as "let's not do anything very radical to change (the federal court's) mind."

Dusek countered with, "We're going down the proper road, the quickest road to accomplish this.

"There has been too much made of this 95 percent cap. If right now, the cap were eliminated, we would get 2,000 to 3,000 extra beds."

The state is in the process of building facilities containing an additional 25,000 beds, with 12,000 beds slated for completion in 1993, and the remaining 13,000 beds slated for 1995, Dusek said.

"That's significant. That's what we should be paying attention to," he said.

Kellar estimates that the Harris County Jail will be out of beds sometime during May, June or July. Kellar estimates that HB 124, combined with off-loading prisoners to other county jails, might give Harris County a year or so of relief.

Kellar said the 655 additional Houston Police officers should accelerate the arrests of criminals.

"We will book them ... but it will place a greater and greater strain on the system."

 

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ADMINISTRATORS PROMISE SYSTEM SOON ON LINE

BY MEAGAN MCGOVERN

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

UH administrators now say the much-delayed, costly computer system slated to bring telephone registration to campus is nearly a reality, as has been claimed by university officials for the past five years.

The computer system ran into one of its first shutdowns in June 1989 when then-Texas Attorney General Jim Mattox raised questions about the UH-System's spending of nearly $9.3 million to install the system.

In 1987, the UH Board of Regents allocated $9.3 million in Higher Education Assistance Funds (HEAF) to completely replace the system then in use. However, Mattox said HEAF money could not be used for the computer system.

The deadline for the system to be on-line was December 1989.

The administrative computer system was designed to link all four UH System campuses and allow for on-line registration. The project involved upgrading the then-12-year-old Honeywell computers to a VAX system.

The VAX system is a mainframe computer with a massive storage capability and allows multiple systems to work at one time.

The VAX system takes information from each of the departments on campus and integrates them into one system. With the old Honeywell system, the Financial Aid Office was a separate entity from registration, which was separate from academic records, and so forth.

Wayne Sigler, dean of admissions, said that many of the changes within the system have affected students in a positive way -- although they may not see it yet.

Although the improvements are substantial, Sigler said, "The public hasn't quite realized this yet because it's been masked, I think, by a lot of the problems that we've had to fix with it, but I think as we fix the system each month, it (the benefits to the student) will be a lot more apparent to people."

Changes in the system are more apparent in certain areas than in others. Terry Ondreyka, assistant vice president for business affairs, said the new system has affected his office -- and, in turn, the students -- substantially.

With the old system, he said, there was no way to change a student's address effectively. The student had to roam campus and change the address in several different offices to be sure that each department had the new address.

Now, with one stop, any student can change his or her address system-wide, and each department on campus receives it.

Ondreyka said that not only does this make things more efficient for the student, but it also cuts down considerably on returned mail.

"Mail that is returned now is down to 15-20 percent of what it used to be -- that's a substantial decline," he said.

In addition to records of address, another improvement in the system that could help individual students dramatically is the improvement in academic advising.

According to Hyland Packard, interim director of academic advising, the new computer is a great aid to his job.

"For two-and-a-half years, I advised students one-on-one in the History Department. Ninety percent of the time, I was flying blind. You just gave each student the best information you could -- if this course will transfer, if you really have that credit -- that kind of advising," Packard said.

"Now the quality of what you tell the student, not only where you don't send them, but the quality of the information you give the student, and on which you and the student can base a decision, is incredibly better," Packard said.

He said with the new system, each adviser has an array of screens with information about each student, including personal, academic and financial aid.

In addition, he said, "When a student walks into the office with a problem, any kind of problem, you now can plug into a current data-integrated system. Everything you want to know about that student, you have a whole array of screens.

"You can tell if they're actually enrolled in a class that they think they're enrolled in. That adviser can sit there and run through all of those levels of information without sending the students to 20 other offices to answer those questions, and sometimes, between the computer and the phone, can handle the problem right there."

Although many changes have taken place, the new system is not yet complete.

Sigler compared the transfer of one system to another to the renovation of an old house.

"The systems were old and out of date and needed renovation. We're at the stage right now of re-doing plumbing, electricity and the roof. The type of stuff that isn't interesting, and that doesn't excite people, but is necessary.

"We're at the basic stages here. This summer and fall, we'll be putting carpet in, and next, we'll be doing finishing touches, quality of life stuff that really excites us, like landscaping and new furnishing."

Along the lines of "quality of life" finishing touches are where projects -- like telephone registration -- and improving the fee-payment process, fit in.

Sigler said that by next summer or fall, fee payment will be much easier because of the new system.

With the current system, only students who priority register can pay their fee bill by mail. All other students must wait in line to pay, or else drop their fee payment in a "drop box."

This summer, however, students who go through regular registration will be able to pay by mail.

 

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FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT FOR FORWARD SAM MACK

BY JAVIER GONZALEZ

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Unlike a basketball dribble, it's not always easy to bounce back when one hits rock bottom.

But UH small forward Sam Mack has.

Mack's fall happened after his freshman year at Iowa State. Mack was involved in an incident in which a friend pleaded guilty to holding up a convenience store in Ames, Iowa. Mack was charged in 1989, but found not guilty because he was coerced.

Still, the controversy forced Mack to transfer to Arizona State, and the following year he transferred to Tyler Junior College where he began his long climb back.

"Where I come from, you learn that bad things are cool. You want to be part of the `in' crowd," Mack said about growing up in Chicago. "I grew up in something out of the movies like Juice and Boyz in the Hood. But I learned from my mistakes. I'm a changed person."

The 6-7 small forward said he couldn't have gotten past the bad times without the support of his mother, Willie Mae Mack.

"My mother was there through thick and thin," Mack said. "She took control of my life when I needed it."

Willie Mae Mack would drive six hours from Chicago to Ames to see her son every weekend. Not a day goes by without a telephone conversation between the two.

Mack, one of six children, said he wants to repay his mother some day. He wants to make life better for his "friend."

One of the ways Mack plans to repay his mother's confidence in him is by earning his degree in criminal justice. Then Mack wants to return to the streets of Chicago and help out the children in his old neighborhood.

"It's tough nowadays in the streets -- there are drugs and gangs," Mack said. "I want to work in law enforcement. I want to work with children and warn them about the mistakes I made."

Even though Mack said his troubles are behind him, he will have to hear the taunts from the opposing crowds every time he steps out on the basketball court.

On Jan. 18 the Houston Cougars visited Rice at Autry Court. Rice fans shouted "Burger King!" "Burger King!" every time Mack stepped to the free-throw line.

"It wasn't the first time," Head Coach Pat Foster said. "He's heard that everywhere he goes. It goes with the position of being a basketball player. He's handled it well."

Foster said he was convinced Mack was not a troublemaker when he recruited Mack out of Tyler, where he averaged 24.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and two assists per game for the Apaches. Mack was voted Texas Eastern Athletic Conference Most Valuable Player in 1990.

Mack has not disappointed his coach.

The Cougar starting forward is averaging 17 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. He is also second in the Southwest Conference from three-point territory, shooting 40.5 percent.

"He's a very good player," Foster said. "He's a very good outside shooter. We have moved him inside and he has been effective.

"I wish he had two or three years remaining," said Foster, lamenting the fact Mack only has one year of eligibility left.

An example of Mack's impact on the Cougars was his 17-point second-half performance on Jan. 29 against Texas A&M. The Cougars were down by 16 points with six minutes remaining. Mack shot four three pointers to help Houston to a 69-65 come-from-behind win.

"Coach said, `we need to get back into the game,'" Mack said referring to the Aggie game. "I knew if I could sink the first try I could bring us back. And I did. I live for those moments."

Number 44 loves the highlights. He plays basketball to make the clutch basket or make the big rebound to preserve a win. On the court he is always looking for the spectacular dunk.

While Mack is currently making highlights for the Cougars, he also knows what it's like to make the lowlights.

During a regional championship game during his junior year in high school, Mack had an uncontested dunk. Unfortunately, his legs got crossed up, he missed the dunk and fell. Mack broke his wrist in four places in front of 3,000 spectators.

"It was the most embarassing moment of my life," Mack said with a laugh.

And like the basketball he dribbles before hitting a three-pointer from the top of the key, Mack can laugh because he can bounce back from anything.

 

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LADY COOGS WIN BIG OVER BAYLOR

BY JIM MOSLEY

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

The Lady Cougars trounced the Baylor Bears 65-56 Wednesday night in Hofheinz.

In front of a tiny crowd of faithful followers, the Cougars dominated the Bears from the opening buzzer.

Three Lady Cougars were in double figures; Cynthia Jackson had 15, Michelle Harris had 12 and Margo Graham had 11.

"It was a team effort," UH Assistant Women's Basketball Coach Debra Stephens said. "We have so many injuries; everyone has to pitch in."

The Lady Cougars took the lead for good when Kellye Jones made the first basket. Then they proceeded to score 13 unanswered points.

The Bears did not score until the 15-minute mark when Amanda McNeil was fouled and sank both freethrows.

The Cougars went cold for six minutes in the middle of the first period, allowing Baylor to cut the lead in half. Then with only two minutes left, the Lady Cougars came alive and took a 39-27 halftime lead.

"They (Baylor) kept changing defenses on us," Stephens said. "These changes hurt our execution, but we adjusted to it."

In the second period, the Cougars were out-scored by a very physical Bears team 26-29.

"They (Baylor) knew we played them physically there (in Waco)," Stephens said. "So they tried to do the same here."

Baylor's leading scorer, LaNita Luckey, had 17 points.

"We tried to front her, standing in front to slow her down, and it worked," Stephens said. "This caused her to pass more."

With five minutes left, Graham took a finger to the eye and was taken out of the game. Late word is the injury wasn't serious.

The Lady Cougars' next game will occur Monday at Rice.

 

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MR. BIG WAS GREAT LAST WEEK

BY JEFF BALKE

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The Mr. Big show at Backstage last Friday was hot, crowded and fun. Mr. Big rocked the sold-out crowd for more than two hours, putting on a great show.

Tall Stories, a relatively new band, opened the show with their Led Zeppelin-meets-Journey sound. Although they lacked a great image, their songs were put together well, and their set was very tight.

The best part of Mr. Big's show was that the band had as much fun as the audience. Even when they made mistakes, they laughed and blew it off. During the hit ballad, "Be with You," guitarist Paul Gilbert played his solo in the wrong key.

Then the entire band began laughing and making jokes about it. Their rapport contributed to the intensity of the show.

They played inspired renditions of their own material and surprised the crowd with cover songs like The Who's "Babbo Riley."

Overall, both bands put on a great show. Even though the club was packed, the crowd didn't seem to mind.

 

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BAYLOR WIN KEEPS COUGARS IN RACE FOR CONFERENCE TITLE

BY JASON LUTHER

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

The Cougars kept their Southwest Conference title hopes alive Wednesday night with a crucial 98-92 win over Baylor at the Ferrell Center in Waco.

The first half for Houston (17-5 overall, 6-3 in the SWC) was one of their best of the season.

By halftime, the Cougar lead was 20, but Baylor came alive in the second half by use of the three-point shot.

Baylor scored seven three-pointers in the second half, and by 1:27 of the second a Joe Blasingim three-pointer brought the Bears (11-10, 3-5) to within five at 89-84.

But the free throw, the making of which has eluded the Cougars all season, saved them in the final minute of the game.

Houston made 11 free throws in the final 1:40, including six straight by David Diaz (10-10 from the line for the night) to put the Cougars on top.

Cougar Coach Pat Foster brought a new look to Baylor, starting Derrick Smith and Jessie Drain, in leiu of Sam Mack and Diaz. Foster said he made the change to strengthen the second unit.

The change may have served to motivate Mack, who has been in a slump of late. He had 17 points in 17 minutes. The same could be said of Diaz, who posted some of his best numbers of the season.

The win leaves the Cougars one game out of first place behind Texas (15-9, 7-2) and TCU (17-6, 6-2).

 

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THEY'RE OUT OF THE BASEMENT

BY MICHAEL D. OESER

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

"Wayne's World! Wayne's World! Party on! Excellent!"

Welcome to a wonderful feature-length movie edition of the Saturday Night Live hit skit "Wayne's World."

Ever wonder what Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar's lives are like outside the basement they broadcast from? Hey, they do have lives, you know.

No way, man.

Way.

Yes, Wayne and Garth finally see their ultimate destiny realized -- getting paid to do their cable-access show Wayne's World on television. But of course, something goes wrong, or they wouldn't have a movie.

If you like what Mike Myers and Dana Carvey do on SNL, you'll get your fill.

Myers and Carvey let us peek into the rest of their characters' lives as Wayne and Garth party their way through hitting prime time, chasing babes, becoming disillusioned with their newfound fame, losing babes and, in the end, coming up with a wacky plan to put everything back together.

Sound like a Scooby Doo mystery? As you'll find out, Wayne and Garth already thought of that.

All of this, constantly accompanied by Wayne's big, perfect-toothed, squint-eyed smile, philosophical advice and editorial comments.

Ever wonder if you look funny driving down the road lip-synching the opera in Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and then banging your head when the bridge comes in?

You do, but Wayne and his crew probably look worse bobbing down the street in Garth's Columbia blue, flame-emblazoned Gremlin.

While Myers and Carvey play their rascally duo, Rob Lowe makes an appearance as a smooth, persuasive TV mogul trying to edge Wayne and Garth out of their show. Pretty slimy.

However, after videotaping that 16-year-old, Lowe can kiss off getting those innocent, good-guy roles forever.

While Lowe has had some comic experience, he's just lucky his character's funniness comes from his stiffness. Despite the character's disposition in the screenplay, Lowe's stiffness hindered his performance.

Tia Carrere plays the part of Wayne's idolized girlfriend, Cassandra. He first sees her playing bass with her heavy metal band at a local club. What else would you expect from Wayne?

The comedy of the television skit Wayne's World comes through in the theater, but to some extent, the movie seems like either an SNL skit put on the rack and stretched to its limits, or a bevy of skits bunched together.

However, if you like Wayne and Garth, you can never get enough, whether they're on the small screen or the big one.

 

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RALLY EXPECTED TO HELP VOTER EDUCATION TODAY

BY ERICKA SCHICHE

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

While Democratic presidential candidates are clamoring for a victory in the New Hampshire primary, Houston-area youth will receive vital information concerning delegate selection and voter registration today.

The youth rally, sponsored by the Houston Black American Democrats, is scheduled from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the ballroom of the Westin Galleria Hotel.

"As voter registration cards are distributed to the rally participants, they will be asked to encourage their family members to vote," rally coordinator and UH College Democrats President Latrice Sellers said.

In addition to voter registration, the process of selecting delegates to the 1992 State Democratic Convention is on the agenda for discussion during a workshop titled "Getting Involved in the Political Process."

Houston City Council Member Judson Robinson III, Texas Southern University Assistant Law Professor Carroll Robinson, President of the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats Booker T. Morris, and Ray Paige, president of the Houston Black American Democrats, are featured speakers.

The rally is part of a convention that will include a banquet in honor of black athletes, a workshop on the Texas lottery and delegate selection, an address by Gov. Ann Richards and a reception for the Democratic candidate who receives the endorsement of the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats.

 

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OLD DUST ON PIECE OF TAPE STIRS EXPENSIVE CONTROVERSY

A Chesapeake College student wants to sell some moon dust for $20,000 to finance his education, but the government has staked a claim to the lunar dirt.

Steven Goodman of Dover, Del., has a four-inch piece of tape with brownish-gray grit stuck to it. He and his lawyer say it's moon dust from the U.S. Apollo 14 moon mission.

Goodman's lawyer, O. Keith Hallam, a private-practice attorney from Alexandria, Vir., initially answered a classified ad Goodman placed in the Washington Post.

The moon dust was given to Goodman by his late father, Edward B. Goodman, who worked at a Delaware company that produces space suits. The elder Goodman was in charge of processing the suits after the Apollo mission.

In 1971, Goodman ran a piece of tape down the leg of one of the Apollo space suits and gave it to his 11-year-old son, Steve, who put it in a drawer and recently found it while going through personal items.

Hallam said Goodman's classified ad ran several weeks ago in the Post's Antiques and Collectibles section. He answered because it sounded "unique and interesting."

The ad read: "MOON DUST -- From Apollo 14 mission. This is the only private ownership in the world. Best offer over $20,000."

The ad was placed after a friend of Goodman's suggested he sell the moon dust to pay for college costs, Hallam said.

However, NASA says it's illegal for the moon dust to be sold.

Gary L. Tesch, deputy general counsel, said it is NASA's view that "all lunar dust brought back on the Apollo mission is government property." NASA has 840 pounds of the lunar material locked in vaults at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

"We don't really know if we are dealing with something or nothing," Tesch said of Goodman's moon dust. "It may not be lunar dust and, in which case, may be a non-issue for us.

"If it is lunar dust, it's possible that the amount would be of such insignificance that it would not be in the taxpayers' best interest (for NASA to pursue the investigation)," Tesch said.

However, "any amount is a matter we should be concerned about," he said. Tesch also said that in comparison with the millions of dollars spent on the Apollo mission, only a small amount of lunar material was brought back to the U.S.

Hallam would not discuss in detail any serious inquiries, but he did say there have been some negotiations. He also said he and Goodman have benefited from the publicity.

"We have received calls from Australia, Germany and Indonesia," Hallam said. He said the calls were from media and potential buyers. Not to mention that Goodman's moon dust is a hot item for discussion on television and radio talk shows.

Goodman was a recent guest on Larry King Live. He said he hoped the dust could be auctioned off at a world-famous auction house and possibly bring an even higher price tag than $20,000.

When asked if he thought problems could arise around the sale of the alleged moon dust, Hallam said, "I hope not, it's very possible. They (NASA) indicated they would like to have it (the dust) back."

Hallam said Goodman has the right to sell the dust. "It's sort of fun, interesting. He has a right to this. We don't believe it is government property. It was abandoned property," Hallam said.

 

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ROCKING AND ROLLING WITH THE ROAD KINGS

BY SHANDA BOYETT

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

"What kind of music do you play?" The question hangs in the air like smoke in an unvented room. The faces of Jesse Dayton and Brian Lux of The Road Kings squinch up as they contemplate their answers. Blues. Rockabilly. Yeah, they do all that.

I implore, "But what do you call it?" Brian, the sexy, James Dean look-alike, who spins the bass like a ballerina, sits up decidedly and answers, "It's just rock `n' roll. You can't categorize it."

Indeed. It's the kind of rock `n' roll embedded deep in the human soul, pure and sweet, without need of shallow theatrics or half-nude babes to make it good. This is the rock `n' roll that America cut its teeth on. And it's being played right now in Houston, Texas. And Austin. And Dallas.

But as I chatted with the guys between sets at The Bon Ton Room, I found out that their '50s-era sound won't end here. They have plans. Big plans. "We're spending every spare moment trying to put together an album," said Dayton, the baby-faced lead vocalist and guitarist. "We don't feel like touring is the thing to do, yet, until we have something to support."

"We've had a demo out since 1990," Lux said. "But what we're working on now will be substantial."

The band, which includes drummer Eric Tucker, hopes to have their new album out by July of this year. At that point, they hope to begin touring across the country, which means Houston will be losing one of its favorite local bands.

"Our shows in Houston are numbered," Dayton said. "We want to get out on the road and travel. We've met a lot of people who have said, `You'd go over so great in L.A. or New York.' We want to try those places out."

And although they have set their sights high, they realize the importance of the exposure and the followings they have gained here as a local band.

"Houston has been our launching pad," Lux said. "We've been able to make a name for ourselves here, learn the ropes and get the show ready for a big tour. We might be taking a conservative approach, but hopefully, as a result, we'll go farther."

Their strategy may be conservative, but their music certainly is not. With musical influences that include '40s and '50s rockabilly, be-bop and swing, to blues, contemporary rock and punk rock, what you get from this band is not just a rehash of old tunes.

"We roll all of this Americana into one thing," Lux said. "We hit the whole spectrum. Some people might say that we're just the Stray Cats all over again, but we're not. We do more." Doing more includes writing and arranging 90 percent of their material. "We work together as a band, writing our own music and arrangements," Dayton said. "I write a lot of the vocals. It's not just women and Cadillacs, but lots of other subjects too -- relationships and adult situations."

But they make an effort to keep their subject matter from being too heavy or oppressive. Their main focus is that it be fun. "We don't concern ourselves with political issues," Lux said matter-of-factly.

"On the weekends, people want to forget about their troubles. They want good music, good fun and good people." The band seems to provide that, sporting big followings in Houston, as well as Austin, Dallas and San Antonio, many of whom dress in the '50s style that The Road Kings themselves adhere to.

"It's just like heavy metal bands that have long-haired followers," Lux said. "It's a way of life for those people, and it is for our followers, too. They're not trying to look like Happy Days. It's just an alternative lifestyle."

If you're not familiar with The Road Kings, it's worth your while to check them out. They play every Wednesday at The Bon Ton Room on Washington, and there's no cover.

The only catch is you must be 21. If you can't make it there, the band plays other Houston venues as well.

"My best advice to the public," Dayton said, "is to give us a spin. We're not like the usual local bands. I think people can find an alternative with us."

 

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RISING THEFT RATE ATTRIBUTED TO INATTENTION, BOOKKEEPING

BY TINA MCDONALD

NEWS REPORTER

Campus property theft increased by 11 percent last year, mainly because of carelessness, UHPD Lt. Brad Wigtil said.

"This increase in theft is because items such as books, backpacks and purses are left unattended or unsecured," Wigtil said.

Cpl. Derrick McClinton, a 10-year employee of UHPD, said he believes more thefts are being reported to campus police, causing the theft rate to appear on the rise.

To combat the recent rise, UHPD started the Vertical Patrol crime prevention program in September 1991.

The Vertical Patrol program increases visibility inside campus buildings by targeting five to six buildings a month for heavy foot patrol, Wigtil said.

UHPD also has a two-man anti-crime unit. This unit analyzes crime patterns in certain sections on campus.

"The anti-crime unit will target high-traffic areas, such as the library, where students often leave items unattended. The officers may patrol in plain clothes or in their uniforms," Wigtil said.

The two-man unit may be increased once seven officers in the UHPD's training program complete training in April.

"We're here to drum up support and send the message that the public plays just as big a part in preventing crime as the police does," Wigtil said.

Wigtil advises students to use practical precautions such as putting books in the trunks of their cars where they are out of view, locking their car doors even if you are only leaving for a short time, and never leaving bags or purses unattended.

UHPD also has other crime prevention techniques.

UHPD officers, Parking Enforcement Assistants and nine student assistants, known as the Cougar Patrol, provide services such as escorts and vehicle assists for the campus population.

Mike Fabian, a sophomore Cougar Patrol member, assists in escorts and vehicle assists such as jump-starting cars.

"Trying to satisfy everybody as quickly as possible is the most challenging part of my job. Sometimes people get impatient when waiting for us to escort or help with car trouble," Fabian said.

There are 27 Emergency Call Boxes on campus. Anyone in need of police assistance can simply pull the door open and hold in the red button to speak into a built-in microphone to a police dispatcher.

Once the handle is pulled, the police are automatically notified and will respond within minutes. These boxes can be used in contacting police for information, vehicle assists, escorts and reporting a crime.

Vehicle assists can be called to jump-start a person's car or to unlock the car when the keys are accidentally locked inside.

Escorts can be called if a person needs a companion when walking to his or her car or residence hall late at night.

"The public has a narrow view of crime. It is not recent phenomena. We need reactive and pro-active programs to displace crime from the community," Wigtil said.

 

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TACKY TATOR TOTS WORRY DINER IN MOODY TOWERS

BY RHONDA HECTOR

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

When Angela Hightower bit into her tater tot, the last thing she expected to find was a tack, but that is exactly what she bit into Thursday.

Hightower, a junior majoring in business management and a resident of Moody Towers, bought lunch from the Moody Towers cafeteria.

"I got my lunch to go, so I could eat it at work," Hightower said. "I sat down, started eating my tater tots and bit down on something hard. At first I thought it was a rock."

But it turned out to be a thumb tack.

Although she sustained no major injuries, she immediately called the cafeteria.

After speaking to Andrew Shirley, assistant director of Moody Tower Dining Services, Hightower was still concerned about what was being done.

"He didn't ask for my name or anything," Hightower said. "He just asked me to bring in the tack.

Her mother called the cafeteria back, and was reassured that the tater tots had been pulled from the cafeteria line.

"I pulled them off as soon as I heard what happened," said Rayfield Joiner, director of Moody Tower Dining Services.

"I'm very concerned," Joiner said. "This has happened before, when we found a staple in a hamburger patty."

The cafeteria no longer uses the company that produced the hamburger patty, but is not taking any chances with the tater tots.

"I've already called our rep at White Swan (the food distributor), Jeff Maurer, and he is getting in touch with the company that produces the tater tots," Joiner said.

Three cases of the tater tots (120 pounds) had already been served during the day, but the rest have been put back into the freezer to be returned to White Swan.

By press time, Maurer had not returned phone calls from the Daily Cougar.

 

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COLLEGE RADIO BECOMES MUSIC INDUSTRY'S FREE-AD PARADISE

BY COUGAR NEWS SERVICE

The bands, the record companies, the marketing executives, non-profit organizations, the student disc jockeys -- they all want as much as they can get.

Air. College air.

Ever since R.E.M. hit the big time via college radio, people with a variety of interests have been playing tug-of-war with college radio stations.

"Ten years ago, college radio was the new frontier," said Troy Trinkle, lead singer of the band Mere Mortals, based in Bloomington, Ind., home to Indiana University. "But now ... there are promotion agencies that all they do is call (college stations) every day and bug the hell out of them" to play their records and their bands.

Those stations "don't have to sell ads, they just play what they want," Trinkle says.

College radio stations have more leeway than commercial stations because the Federal Communications Commission prohibits them from airing advertisements.

The additional air time and the notion of college radio as both a musical and educational enterprise have allowed for creative programming. College music formats feature alternative music, punk/hardcore or hard rock that hasn't hit the popular airwaves -- at least, not yet.

Hence the appeal to undiscovered bands, like Mere Mortals, that have a recording they want the college audience to hear. Trinkle estimates Mere Mortals spends six or seven hours a day calling about 60 different college radio stations in six states. So far, the effort has netted results in Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Illinois at a half-dozen stations.

"From a band's perspective, it's a necessary evil. If you can get on 30 (college) stations' lists, that will help you with the bigger (commercial) stations," Trinkle said.

After R.E.M., the Athens, Ga.-based alternative band (now fairly mainstream) made college radio playlists nationwide in the early 1980s; bands saw the potential for success in targeting college radio. But that has meant a virtual saturation of the market.

"Your disc is thrown in the studio with 200 other compact discs that no one's heard of," Trinkle said.

To add to the steady stream of arriving music from bands and promotion agencies, record companies have entered the picture as well.

College radio "gets a lot of attention from record companies," said Gary Landis, vice president and director of programming for Westwood One Radio Networks.

"They are now viewed as a definite area to get advanced exposure for a lot of different bands, both new bands and those ignored by the mainstream."

Greg Adamo, general manager of WSIA, the college radio station of the City University of New York College of Staten Island, agrees.

"The commercial record labels are now only sending us the things they want us to break. They are using us for marketing," he said.

Part of the reason is college radio stations have traditionally played three or four cuts deep into an album even if those cuts haven't been individually released.

That, Adamo said, cuts into the record company's profits. "They want to milk the (popular releases) for a while," he said.

College radio has not only become popular from a musical standpoint, but also from an advertising standpoint as well.

Since college radio stations do not air commercials, some marketing firms are promoting slickly packaged public service announcements offered by paid sponsors that skirt the guidelines.

Adamo provides a hypothetical example -- "Mary's Gas Station located at 50 Main Street reminds you to buckle your seatbelt."

And now, these "infotorials" have gone national. A group called College Broadcasting System is marketing many for big-name companies and organizations like Apple Computers, Cosmopolitan Magazine and the U.S. Army.

Chuck Wolfretz, who recently acquired College Broadcasting, based in Connecticut, says about 95 percent of the programming he sends to college stations is accepted. He attributes the success of the two to five-minute informational messages to the fact that they meet FCC requirements while at the same time meeting the needs of the college radio listener.

Adamo says the announcements are commercials in disguise and take time away from valuable community organizations.

"My opinion is that there are so many more needy organizations with public service announcements," Adamo said. He points to the local Red Cross, Salvation Army, college-sponsored events like concerts and local announcements from city departments like the Department of Transportation.

In a recent issue of the CMJ New Music Report, a college radio trade publication, Adamo voiced his opinion in a column.

"The fact that major-label record companies have started to pay greater attention to college radio has caused a lot of discussion.

In the same way, we should not ignore it when car companies, magazines and other giant corporations start to attach their names to a service that is an important part of our programming," he wrote. "If you are happy to air `PSAs' that are designed to make money for others, then that is your decision."

All of these decisions -- about bands, public service announcements, "infotorials" and the like -- have made college radio much more complex for the students who work within.

To many of them, college radio is a vehicle as well -- to a possible career in the radio industry.

Landis, who worked at the University of Southern California college station, KUSC, in the early 1970s, says involvement in clooege radio is a good first step for future disk jockeys, programmers and directors.

Clooege radio "helped me begin to get a feel for what I did or didn't want to do" within the medium, he said. "It allowed me to hone my talents outside the classroom."

Realistically, however, Landis said the college radio experience will most likely only help students get their first jobs. Still, Landis, who oversees hiring for Westwood One, said the business is a good one to pursue.

"Radio was seen as the bastard child when I was in college," Landis said. "But it's been legitimized. There are now some very handsome financial opportunities."

 

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WORKSHOPS HELP STUDENTS COPE WITH CAMPUS EXISTENCE

BY DANA DURBIN

NEWS REPORTER

Each semester, the Counseling and Testing Service provides free workshops and development groups to help students cope with the daily stress of college life, as well as more serious personal problems.

However, Rosemary Hughes, assistant director of Counseling and Testing, said most students don't know anything about these services.

"I've seen senior Orientation Team leaders come through the center who have never heard of the workshops and other services we provide," Hughes said.

This semester, Counseling and Testing is holding nearly 60 workshops and more than 10 personal development groups, which are funded by student service fees, Hughes said.

Although the workshops and development groups are designed for students, Hughes said they are also open to faculty and staff on the basis of space availability.

The workshops include such topics as exam preparation, note-taking techniques, time management and study skills. The self-improvement workshops cover everything from stress management to health sexuality to HIV and AIDS information and education.

"The academic and self-improvement workshops are meant to educate students. They do not provide any kind of group therapy," Hughes said.

The personal development groups do, however, provide students with both therapy and support, she said.

One such development group involves overcoming depression, and is led by Hughes and Changming Duan, a counseling psychology intern.

Hughes said this group has been very popular with students in the past, but it hasn't been offered recently because the topics of the workshops change each semester.

The depression group consists of 10-12 people and covers the "blahs and blues," Hughes said.

More specifically, Hughes said the group will offer tips on getting motivated as well as procrastination issues that often accompany depression.

"We will do exercises in class that will help students realize what is pulling them down and causing them to be unmotivated," Hughes said.

She said the group will explore the association between events, such as relationships and living arrangements, and the feelings of depression resulting from them.

Another group titled "Exploring Your Relationships" has also been popular with students. The group is led by Rose Signorello, psychiatric counselor, and Sandy Daigle, a counseling intern.

Signorello said this group has many focuses because of the different concerns people have toward relationships. She said some who come to the group are interested in breaking up a relationship, while others can't have them at all.

Daigle added that others want to enhance their relationships by livening them up or making them more open, thus moving toward something more positive.

The relationship group is limited to only eight to nine people because the members will not be able to get enough individual attention if the group becomes too large, Daigle said.

Because of the growing concern with date rape and other sex crimes, the Sexual Trauma Recovery Group, led by Signorello and Susan Donnell, will also be an important one this semester.

The group is designed for both men and women who have been the victims of either adult or child abuse, Donnell said.

In addition, she said the group is concerned with abused people recovering from their lack of trust and inability to get along with others that often stems from feelings of shame.

These personal development groups, as well as the others being offered this semester, involve an individual screening process prior to the group meeting.

Hughes, Signorello and Donnell all agree the screening process is necessary to ensure each group is right for the participant and that more serious, one-on-one help is not needed.

 

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NEW CHIEF ENGINEER PUTS WHEELS IN MOTION

BY CHRIS CUMMINGS

NEWS REPORTER

Much-needed repairs are being made to the UH Radio and Television Program, thanks to new Chief Engineer Gary Mosley.

"Gary's on his way to getting the RTV program back on its feet," junior RTV major Judd Techmanski said.

Students from the Intermediate Television II Production class said Mosley could not have come at a better or more needed time. They said after former Chief Engineer Lyn Hare left last semester, the studios and equipment began to fall apart.

Communication professor Garth Jowett said, "The equipment last semester was held together by spit and chewing gum."

After Hare left, UH graduate Charles Gibbons filled in temporarily as a part-time technician. Complications with the video equipment quickly grew, and, unfortunately, production students were unable to produce their shows for the Houston Public Access Channel.

Mosley, who began working for UH on Dec. 2, said, "When I came aboard, there were parts and equipment torn apart everywhere." He said he soon realized the amount of problems he had and quickly got to work.

Mosley's first goal was to get the students through their remaining fall semester productions and then begin the task of seeing what was in working order.

Three weeks into the semester, many students and faculty said they have already seen a big improvement in the organization and maintenance of the equipment.

"Last semester, if we had a technical problem with the equipment or needed to set a lab time, it was a big hassle. Gary makes it a lot easier by being available to help and give advice," Techmanski said.

Mosley graduated from Texas A&M's electronic branch in San Antonio in 1985 and continued his education at San Antonio's Community College. From 1982 to 1989, he worked as a cable control room operator with Roger Cable Co., now Paragon Cable Co.

In 1989, he came to Houston where he has since worked for Home Sports Entertainment (HSE), NASA and KUHT-TV Channel 8. Another employee from Channel 8 informed Mosley about the position at UH, and he said he jumped right on it.

Mosley said he was looking for a job near campus because he plans to seek a bachelor's degree in engineering.

Mosley said he enjoys working with the students and hopes to help them as much as possible. "I would like to get the students back to the point of producing their shows for the Houston Public Access Channel," he said.

As far as concerns about new equipment, Mosley said his previous jobs and contacts may help bring in something. Cameras from his job in San Antonio and a signal-routing system from Channel 8 are possibilities, but not promises, Mosley said.

"We are delighted to have him aboard because we've needed someone with his expertise to make the program what it could be," said Associate Professor Robert Musburger, head of RTV.

 

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VOICELESS STUDENT `SPEAKS' ELOQUENTLY ABOUT OUTDOOR ADVENTURE, EDUCATION

BY COUGAR NEWS SERVICE

Sometimes Andrew Murphy doesn't need to talk.

Days before the Edinboro University student returned to school for the spring semester, he reminisced about an old friend. No words left his lips as stories were repeated by his family -- his smile and laugh replaced semantic expression. No words were needed.

Murphy isn't always so easily understood. The 23-year-old is a quadraplegic with cerebral palsy. He cannot speak words without the assistance of a computer-programmed speech synthesizer. Even with the synthesizer, called the Liberator, the process of having a conversation is painfully slow.

The Liberator, a new device Murphy is testing, operates by scanning through a display grid of words and letters. Murphy uses a switch to the right of his head to select the words and letters he wants to use.

For Murphy, and thousands of disabled students with varying types and degrees of disabilities, including the blind, hearing impaired, physically disabled and learning disabled, daily tasks, like working toward an education, take on an entirely different perspective, with frustrations and challenges that many people cannot begin to comprehend.

"Andrew ... has no communication, but is a very intelligent boy. We have seven students (who are severely communication disabled), and they are bright people who want to be competitive in the job market," said Jim Foulk, director of the Office of Disabled Student Services at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania.

Murphy agrees, saying he wants to find a job after graduation, but he's not sure what kind, so he is taking general studies courses. "I like everything," he said.

Because Murphy spends so much time on his school work and personal needs, he has little time to socialize.

"It takes me longer (to do things)," he said. "I don't have time to do much at school." But, he said, "I like going to the movies." Murphy also enjoys the ballet, theater and outdoor adventures.

He has been on three canoe trips with Wilderness Inquiry, a non-profit organization that offers outdoor adventures for people of all ages and abilities.

In a 1987 issue of Communicating Together, a magazine for which Murphy occasionally writes, he recalled his first canoeing adventure in which he lived on vegetarian food and was tipped out of a canoe.

At the time, Murphy could talk only with a communication board, which featured printed words on a hard surface fitted to the top of his wheelchair. Murphy would direct his eyes to the word he wanted and move his head left or right to answer yes or no when the person to whom he was speaking pointed to the corresponding word.

Some people may choose to look at Andrew's disability, but we look at his capabilities," Fredin said. "One of the things that happens (on our trips) is that people gain self-esteem along the way."

Murphy was no exception.

"Saying good-bye, I felt happy and different. I was in a new city and had made new friends. And I had made these new friends alone," Murphy wrote. "It was the best experience I ever had."

 

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A VALENTINE'S DAY WISH FROM ARCHITECTURE: CAMPUS SWEETS

BY RHONDA HECTOR

DAILY COUGAR STAFF

Students from the College of Architecture have completed designing their own chocolate pieces -- just in time for Valentine's Day.

The project is the first step in a semester-long project of designing a "chocolate academy."

To get into the spirit of designing and manufacturing their own chocolate, the students first watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

The 10 students (all fourth-year architecture students) were then divided into groups to do research on the history of chocolate, culinary institutes, housing that would be appropriate for the academy and the site.

The students used computer aided design (CAD) to design the tasty treats.

"It's (using CAD) something that's just starting to happen in the College of Architecture," said Gabriella Gutierrez, assistant professor of architecture.

"Designing the chocolate pieces was a way to get the students into the computer, lessen their fears and end up with success."

Because CAD is relatively new to the architecture department, many of the students had never used computers when designing.

"This was different for me because I usually go through a sketch phase," said Chris Browne, a senior majoring in architecture. "I'm thankful for the opportunity to use the computer."

After the pieces were designed, models were constructed and molds were taken of the models, using a silicon compound.

The molds were then ready to have chocolate poured into them and the pieces were made.

"This is the best project I have started in a couple of years," Browne said.

The academy will be not just a chocolate factory, but a center for learning, complete with residential facilities. Plans even call for a candy store, where the community could come to buy the chocolate.

"People would come there to explore the idea of developing different flavors, understand the process of chocolate making and manufacturing," Gutierrez said.

The idea is to create a building providing the best possible facilities for the purpose.

"The program is sophisticated enough that it would go beyond the architecture and offer a link to the community," Gutierrez said. "If this was something that was real, people would know they could drive by the Chocolate Academy of Houston and pick up something for Valentine's Day."

The site for the academy is next to the UH campus by KUHT-Channel 8, and the plans and models will be finished by the end of the semester.

 

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EXOTIC CAST TELL FAMILIAR STORY

BY EVA MARUSAK

CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

In 1972, Idi Amin Dada ousted thousands of Asians and Indians from Uganda. Although they were not citizens, they owned much of the country's businesses and economic power -- power that Dada wanted for himself and the Ugandans.

Many of the Indians found fortune in the swamplands (like Houston) of the American South. They planned to open small, roadside motels for weary travelers, horny businessmen and pubes wanting to party. Mississippi Masala, a film directed by Mira Nair (Salaam Bombay!) gives a humorous and romantic peek into this exotically spicy community.

Mina wants something better for herself than cleaning motel toilets in Greenwood, Miss. Although Indian by birth, she has never seen India. Demetrius is just beginning his carpet-cleaning business and hopes to someday see the world. He's an African-American man who has never seen the richness of Africa.

They meet after Mina unintentionally hits his van and dents the cockles of Demetrius' lonely heart. The two fall in love and begin a secret romance that lands them both in jail.

Both are bailed out, and Mina is bawled out by her parents, Jay and Kinnu. "I love him! I've never asked you for anything! Can't you let me have just this one little thing?"

She pleads to a traditionally deaf parental ear. Demetrius loses all his business locally and is forced to go from city to city looking for work to pay off his bank loan.

Mina searches for him to say one last good-bye. Her family is going back to Uganda, hoping to regain their property. Love conquers all, and Demetrius and Mina run off together to find their own fortunes.

Denzel Washington (Cry Freedom, Mo' Better Blues) is great as Demetrius. His fantastic acting ability is stripped of all its finesse and dynamics, revealing a coarse ground character full of charm and boy-next-door goodness. The goofy grin, sly looks and awkwardness of young love only broadens the multifaceted abilities of this distinguished actor.

Sarita Choudhury, a newcomer, plays the rebellious Mina. Choudhury has a muted beauty that can also play the beast. Rather than wilt in the rays of Washington's performance, she instead masters her own power over the screen and often shadows her co-star's light.

Sharmila Tagore is Kinnu, Mina's mother. An established, award-winning older (she'll fool you!) Indian actress, Tagore was chosen for the role not only on ability, but also because she is one of the few older Indian actresses who can speak fluent English.

Comedic performances are given by Dipti Suthar as the loudly dressed cousin, Chanda, and Mohan Gokhale as the spacy Pontiac. These two are the Indian equivalents of Burns and Allen. They're the epitome of Indian stereotypes with their exaggerated accents and neo-traditional Indian customs.

The Ugandan photography is unbelievable! Fertile green hills roll into forever, and richly colored flowers bend in the dry African winds. Dusty throngs gather at the market and at the muddy rivers to reap what bounties they may.

Mississippi Masala is a romantically funny film that captures the spicy richness of Indian life in the swamps of America. It opens today, just in time for that cheap, last-minute "something special" you can do for your Valentine.

 

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AUTHOR RICHARD BOLLES' NEW BOOK

BY MELISSA NEELEY

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Disabled individuals who feel lost among the masses of other college graduates looking for work now have a guidebook aimed specifically at aiding their job-seeking problems.

The book, by Richard Nelson Bolles, is called Job Hunting Tips for the So-Called Handicapped or People Who Have Disabilities. It contains agencies to aid disabled people in their employment search as well as hints to convince a future employer that the handicapped can do jobs well despite their disabilities.

One agency, Project LINK, has departments in Dallas and Washington, D.C. It provides job development and placement to about 400 disabled individuals a year. Bolles said their address in Dallas is Mainstream, Inc.; 717 North Harwood, Suite 890, 75201.

The Job Accommodation Network, funded by the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, is a database of job accommodation information.

After one contacts them about a problem, JAN will usually call back within 24 hours and suggest devices, procedures and, in some cases, referrals to employers who have dealt with the same obstacles, Bolles said. Their telephone number is 1-800-526-2262.

The government census said there were 13.4 million working-age people in this country who were disabled in 1989, Bolles said. The average disabled male full-time worker earned an average of $24,000, he said. This is 81 percent of what a non-disabled man earned. For a woman, the average income is $15,796, 84 percent of a non-disabled woman's income, he said.

Many employers are hesitant about hiring disabled people because of alleged transportation difficulties.

Bolles says the disabled person should arrange to carpool with fellow employees, which will put the employer's mind at rest.

Also, communication problems for deaf people and those having a speech impediment may worry employers. To remedy this, a deaf person should tell the employer that he always carries a pad and pen.

The manner in which disabled employees will be able to handle emergencies such as fires is also a major concern, Bolles said. The disabled job applicant should arrange a buddy system so he can be carried out if such an accident occurs.

He said disabled persons should speak immediately about their restrictions at work and any accommodations they might require.

They should communicate and deal with existing problems; by ignoring the disability out of embarrassment, an employer may not hire because of unbased fear, he said.

It would be to the United States' advantage to employ everyone having a disability because government funds given to unemployed disabled people could be allotted elsewhere, he said.

Also, family members would not have to lose their jobs to take care of their disabled family members or get part-time work to support them, he said.

 

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