$1 MILLION GRANT GOES TO CENTER FOR PUBLIC POLICY

by Joyetta Johnson

News Reporter

The U.S. Department of Education awarded the university a grant to collect and assess demographic data for 24 Harris County independent school districts.

UH's Center for Public Policy received $1 million for the project, said Greg Weiher, the center's director and.

CPP and UH's Texas Center for University School Partnership will team up and analyze data gathered from the 1990 census to help local school district leaders plan for future staffing, facilities and curriculum.

Under the federal grant, CPP will construct a small area model for predicting population changes in five, 10 and 20 year increments.

"Data will be taken from the census and broken down into a mathematical model that forecasts employment, land use and population," said Weiher, who is also a UH political science professor.

The model will also break down ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses and housing patterns, said Dr. Gary Dworkin, director for research of TCUSP

The research will help school districts predict the composition of future student bodies so schools can meet the needs of the changing times, said Dworkin. The data will provide answers to where to move faculty, who to hire and where to build new campuses.

For example, if an increasing number of Latin Americans move into a certain area, the school will need more bilingual teachers, he said.

It is important to research the demographics because, "If you can't anticipate where your population is, it's very difficult to plan for future educational facilities," said Weiher.

CPP contacted the Harris County Department of Education and asked them to cooperate on the grant, said Weiher. CPP and TCUSP then met and submitted a proposal to the U.S. Department of Education.

The Harris County Department of Education is acting as a liaison between UH and 24 Harris County school districts, said Dr. Shirley Rose, superintendent of Harris County Department of Education.

The department will have each district select one person who will work with researchers and inform them of what data collected is important to their community, she said.

"The districts will need to know about increased and decreased growth and economic factors such as factories and businesses moving in and out of the communities," said Rose.

The two centers at UH will receive $330,000 a year for three years. "The renewal of the grant is non-competitive," said Weiher, "all you need to do is apply."

"We will continue to help the schools in upcoming years. That is why the models are in five, 10 and 20 year increments," said Dworkin.

The money will be used to hire staff to work with the districts in creating the model. The staff will be trained to analyze the forecasts made from the census data to predict changes, said Dworkin.

There will be a series of seminars held at the Harris County Department of Education in which schools, UH and people such as city and county demographers will meet to make sure the data is coming along as planned, and is presented in a way the district will understand, said Rose.

The Harris County Department of Education will not receive any money, but the districts will benefit from the grant because vital information will be given to them at no cost, said Rose.

"The information is so important that some districts were willing to pay for it if there was no grant," she said. "The main advantage of the research, besides the fact that it is free, is that it will assist the districts in long term planning."

 

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BREATHING NEW LIFE INTO A LEGEND

by Jeff Balke

Daily Cougar Staff

Spike Lee and Denzel Washington shared their views on Malcom X through their portrayal of the civil rights leader in their recent film. And on Friday, students shared their views on the movie.

The gathering of students was the semester-end meeting of the Malik Shabazz and Assata Shakur Book Club, sponsored by the UH African-American Studies Program.

According to history doctoral candidate Amilcar Shabazz, an instructor in the African-American Studies Program, the group was put together this past semester to study books by African-American authors.

After the 25 students and faculty members discussed plans for the spring semester, they tackled the issue of whether or not <i>Malcom X<p>did the civil rights leader justice.

Dr. Christian Davenport, a professor of political science, said, "Nothing can do Malcom X justice, but the making of the movie (helped) to do him justice."

Although most of the reactions were favorable and optimistic, some group members were leery about the movie's impact.

Tony Canady, a junior journalism major, said, "I hope this (support for Malcom X) doesn't turn into a fad."

Like Canady, Davenport was cautious and wary of the media's impact on the movie since the media have always portrayed Malcom X as a radical.

"The media are trying to recapture the myth of Malcom X," he said.

Jahi Issa, a senior history major from TSU, said a lot of those who had no prior knowledge of Malcom X left the movie thinking he became more like Dr. Martin Luther King toward the end of his life, referring to King's popularity as compared to Malcom X's in mainstream America.

Everyone in the group, however, agreed there were some very positive points to the movie.

Canady said, "It made me want to learn more." He added he hopes others who saw the movie will feel the same and learn more about Malcom X and the civil rights movement.

Muhammaed Shareef, the president of the TSU Muslim Students Association and regional representative for the International Human Rights Association of American Minorities (IHRAAM), said, "The portrayal of Elijah Muhammaed and Denzel Washington's portrayal of Malcom was excellent. When I closed my eyes, I thought I was listening to Malcom."

Faye Hill, a visitor to the group, was a part of the movement surrounding Malcom X in the '60s and was overtaken with emotion during the movie.

"When I saw the last half of the picture, all I did was cry," she said. She also said that it had a huge impact on her 17-year-old son.

All group members read autobiographies of Malcom X during the fall semester. The group plans to continue meeting throughout the spring and is open to all students.

 

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STATE SENATOR'S SON ARRESTED FOR HAVING GUNS ON CAMPUS

by Michica N. Guillory

Daily Cougar Staff

Carl Allen Parker, Jr., son of District 4 state Senator Parker (D-Port Arthur), was arrested for possession of two shotguns on campus Thursday, a third degree felony.

A parking enforcement assistant found the weapons in a pick-up truck in lot 18A near the band, art and engineering annexes. The assistant spotted a shotgun in the back seat. The second gun was latter discovered on the floor board.

UHPD kept the truck under surveilance from 9:50 a.m. until Parker returned to the vehicle at 1:15 p.m. At that time, a UHPD officer arrested Parker.

According to UHPD reports, Parker, a 25-year-old student, said one gun belonged to him and the other belonged to a friend.

Parker was taken to Harris County jail where he paid a $2,000 bail.

Parker could not be reached for comment.

• • •

The cause of death of UH student Yamada Masaki is pulmonary edema, a buildup of fluid in the lungs.

However, medical examiners have not determined what caused the buildup.

Masaki's body was found in his Cougar Place room on Nov. 23 by a residence halls staff member.

A medical staff member of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center said pulmonary edema can be caused by an alergic reaction to certain foods.

 

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FROMSWANS TO SHIPS----ERASURE ENTERTAINS

by Shane Patrick Boyle

Daily Cougar Staff

and Shannon McMayon

Contributing Writer

Dubbed the Phantasmagorical Entertainment Tour, the Erasure concert that came to Jones Hall Dec. 3 and 4 was the group's most ambitiously scaled production with its numerous set and costume changes.

The opening scene, for example, was a colorful and dramatic "ballet russe." Dancers in frail costumes whirled and flitted about as lead singer Andy Bell, in a white feather boa, entered the stage on a white swan with wheels.

The set, decorated in mostly jade and sea-green hues, provided a lagoon-like backdrop for Bell's almost maudlin version of "Siren Song," the first tune of the three hour show.

The accompanying dance troupe of one male and six female dancers played an integral part in the show. Many times their performances were highlighted during instrumental sections, while lead singer Bell stood back or was not present.

The choreography, though mostly stock movements and standard procedure, was well executed.

The set changes, all of which occurred with the curtain up, segued smoothly. Sometimes these changes were aided by dimmed lights as Vince Clarke's command center vehicle, resembling a combination of tank and tractor, took the stage to provide an intriguing interlude of searchlights and electronic blurps and squeals.

Some set changes were achieved with dramatic legerdemain. Most backdrops seemed to appear magically, as the audience's attention was diverted elsewhere -- to a solo dancer, for example.

Beginning with the transformation of the swan's watery domain into a pirate ship's deck, the scene changes transported the audience from one world to another. The dream-like journey included stops in a '20s ballroom, a foggy wharf, the '70s, the Wild West, a world in the clouds, outer space, a park, a world over the rainbow and a bedroom.

The show consisted of all the songs from <i>Chorus<p> (the group's most recent album), four ABBA songs and numerous selections from previous albums -- plus a few surprises.

One such surprise was when the group, inspired by "Miss Tammy Why-Not," performed a quirky electronic version of "Stand by Your Man" against a desert backdrop. The crowd whooped when the perpetually stone-faced Clarke entered as a pink-clad, well-endowed Mae West personage.

Bell also did a rendition of "(Somewhere) Over the Rainbow," complete with ruby-red slippers. He prefaced the song with a soliloquy expressing his longing for a world without prejudice, sexism "or homophobic pigs."

A memorable scene, midway through the show, began when spotlights swathed through the smoke-filled stage area as gigantic letters spelling ABBA rose majestically in the background.

Clarke and the two female back-up singers came on stage in blue satin jackets and torn denim, while Bell cavorted in thigh-high silver boots and black nylon shorts -- his chest bared through an open jacket.

The whole ABBA set, consisting of "Voulez-Vous," "Take a Chance On Me," "S.O.S" and "Lay All Your Love On Me" from <i>ABBA-esque<p>, was pop trash at its finest, performed in true '70's fashion.

Another scene that stood out had Bell, clad in pajamas and a winged pilot's cap, riding up in a hot air balloon from a fantasy setting, reminiscent of the old Little Nemo comic strip, and then descending upon a sleeping, night-lit city wearing only underwear and a T-shirt.

Overall, this elaborate, energetic and eye-catching concert was an impressive show that left no room for lethargy.

The only draw-back was that although the dancers on stage had no instruments in their way, the audience had no aisles to dance in.

 

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FASHION COMES OUT OF CLOSET IN NOTEBOOK

by Rebecca McPhail

Daily Cougar Staff

Fashion and films make frequent, if at times reluctant, bedfellows.

The latest chronicle of this uneasy union comes in the guise of Wim Wenders' documentary, <i>Notebook on Cities and Clothes<p>, premiering at the Museum of Fine Arts Friday.

Originating from a 1989 commission from the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, <i>A Notebook on Cities and Clothes<p> is the German director's attempt to make sense of the often chaotic world of high-fashion.

Wenders, known for offbeat films such as <i>Paris, Texas<p> and the recent <i>Until the End of the World<p>, was skeptical of fashion's place in the realm of "serious" films. After a period of soul searching, however, he decided to go ahead with production even though he knew nothing about fashion.

<i>Notebook<p> focuses on the one designer with which Wenders had any familiarity -- Yohji Yamamoto. Wenders connection with the designer? He once owned a shirt and jacket sporting Yamamoto's label.

As the grandfather of Japanese avant-garde couture, Yamamoto creates a powerful presence in the film. Unlike his European counterparts, Yamamoto takes his work seriously -- very seriously.

"It is a role I feel compelled to play," he says, explaining his place in the fashion world.

Despite his much-vaunted status, Yamamoto seems, at times, on the verge of being swallowed whole by the very business that brought him notoriety.

One of the most telling moments comes during the opening of one of Yamamoto's boutiques. The diminutive designer signs his name on the plaque outside the store to commemorate its opening. Upon further examination, however, he realizes he is not happy with his signature so he signs it again . . . and again, and yet again.

After an amazing number of tries, Yamamoto is finally satisfied that the signature on the plaque most closely resembles the signature on the labels in his garments.

It is as if he must re-assert his identity and prove his worth in the fashion community. Wenders explains the designer's apprehensions.

"What he creates is necessarily ephemeral -- victim to the immediate and voracious consumption which is the rule of his game. After all, fashion deals with the here and now. It only deals with today, never yesterday."

Yamamoto, too, realizes the transitory nature of his life's work makes it impossible to take a break from production.

"When you stop once," he says, "everybody says 'he's finished.' It means you can't stop."

Wenders chaotic editing style reflects the fast-paced feeling in the fashion industry.

He frequently uses the technique of placing a video within a video. That is, he films a monitor playing a tape of an interview with Yamamoto. This twice-removed technique puts the viewer at a greater-than-usual distance from the subject.

The eternally black-clad Yamamoto does nothing to close the large gap between himself and the audience. Although he disseminates a great deal of personal information, the viewer never feels as if he's witnessing a soul-baring moment. In fact, he only succeeds in further shrouding himself in mystery.

Looking out over a cemetery, Yamamoto makes it clear that his work is not a labor of love.

"I want to grow old fast -- get it over with as soon as possible," he says. "For me, the only thing in store is the end. I don't see anything new beginning in my future."

Far from an enjoyable romp through the world of buttons and bows, Wenders film is a serious meditation on one man's life and work.

For more information on show times call MFA at 639-7515.

 

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UH TEAMS SPLIT OUTCOME AFTER SECOND-HALF SURGE

by Heather Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

Win or lose, the Lady Cougars definitely know how to take the game down to the wire.

In the final 17 seconds of Sunday night's championship tournament game between the Lady Cougars and the Lady Golden Eagles of Southern Mississippi, either team could have walked away with the victory.

The Lady Eagles sunk two free throws putting them up and over the top of the Lady Cougars with a 61-58 final.

"We know that we can be competitive against other teams. What is hurting us is not being able to execute in the final minutes of the game," Coach Jessie Kenlaw explained.

The Lady Cougars, now 1-2 for the season, took second place at the Hobby Hilton Classic tournament held Saturday and Sunday at UH.

Senior Margo Graham and junior Michelle Harris were named to the All-Tournament team.

"We needed someone to step up and be a leader," Kenlaw said. "Michelle has been leading by example on the court, helping our new faces adjust."

The Lady Cougars reached the championship game by defeating Sacramento State on Saturday 65-58.

Earlier on Sunday, in the consolation game, Jackson State and Sacramento State faced off. Sacramento defeated Jackson State 67-52.

Wednesday the Lady Cougars go on the road to their first game away from home against Sam Houston State.

On Dec. 12 and 13, the Cougars will host the Lady Cougar Invitational tournament. Grambling, Southern and USL are participating in the invitational.

 

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RED BIRDS PLUCK COUGARS' NCAA HOPES

by Heather Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

Maybe it was the extreme cold air in Illinois Friday night. Maybe it was the anticipation of playing in the NCAA tournament. Maybe it was just having to play in a town named Normal.

Whatever it was, for the second year in a row, the Lady Cougars lost Friday night in the first round of NCAA tournament play.

The Illinois Red Birds won the match in a three games, 15-12, 15-9 and 15-13. Even though the Lady Cougars kept the scores close -- it was to no avail.

Janelle Harmonson led the Cougars with 17 kills, followed by Lilly Denoon with 15 kills.

A weak spot for the Lady Cougars was their high number of sevice errors.

The Red Birds now have a 30-3 season record, and won their 16th straight match. They now advance to the second round of NCAA play against Long Beach. Long Beach defeated Arkansas State 3-1.

Even though the Cougars lost in the first round, their season was far from dissapointing.

Coach Bill Walton was named SWC Coach Of the Year by his peers in the SWC.

The team finished with a 20-12 record for 1992. They also sewed up a second place spot in the SWC.

And, for the second year in row, they went to the NCAA tournament.

The Lady Cougars were a team made up of experienced veterans with many years of volleyball play under their belts.

Seniors Janelle Harmonson, Julie James, Amie Roberts, Edwina Ammonds and Karina Faber all had strong performances this season.

Replacing five valued players isn't easy, but next season Coach Walton will rely on returning players Lilly Denoon, Ashley Mulkey, Heidi Sticksel, Stacy Craven and Natasha Woods.

 

 

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