PINDER PLAYS PUNKY

by Andrew Nicolaou

Daily Cougar Staff

When Arizona comes up in a conversation, chances are that the state's indigenous bands aren't what you and your pals were talking about. Not that the state hasn't produced its share of megastars.

Why, Arizona is home to Fight, the new band of Rob Halford, ex-lead singer of Judas Priest, whose musicians are all a good 20 years younger than the balding singer.

Let's not forget those ever popular power-popsters and bastions of songwriting originality the Gin Blossoms. And who can forget the ever-rulin' Flotsam and Jetsam? That was one really great metal band to mosh it up to until its bassist Jason Newsted went off to be in some band who never went real far. What were they called? Metal Clique? Metallique? Metal-lick-a? Shucks, what's that band's name?

Actually, the last few years have seen several bands rise out of what seems to be a vacuous state, including the Supersuckers, who since relocated to Seattle, and Horace Pinker, who paid Catal Hüyük a sparsely attended visit last week.

Horace Pinker is a band certain of what it wants to do and has no problem doing it with flair and style – something many bands wish they could to say without having to nervously look down at their feet with their hands in their pockets.

While there wasn't a huge turnout on the Houston stop of the band's "Endless Tour 1993," those who were there walked away impressed.

The Tempe, Ariz., three-piece performed an hour of melodic pop-punk, highlighting songs from two seven-inchers and a compilation CD. Material was also harvested from an upcoming split seven-inch with Face To Face as well as the band's first full-length album, <I>Power Tools<P>, which, after several delays, is bound to appear in record stores any day now.

Impressive Wednesday night were two songs from the band's recent four-song seven-inch on Rhetoric Records, <I>Knives, Guns, and Ammunition<P>. "Bottom Line," an up-tempo, first-person narrative detailing the thoughts of someone who just might have a drug problem, came off nicely, with drummer Bill Ramsey's snappy backing vocals.

"You Know" was another of the set's highlights via a nice little rock 'n' roll riff from lead vocalist/guitarist Scott Eastman. Bassist Bryan Jones, formerly of El Paso's defunct Bugsy Malone, added backing vocals to the fray.

The trio's set gave away lots of influences with each passing song. It would probably be a smart bet to say that the band has listened to much East Coast-style post-hardcore.

 

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CADETS CHALLENGED IN RANGER COMETITION

Fifth-place OK for ' new team'

by Kenny McIntire

News Reporter

The group of cadets swung from ropes, sat up, pulled up and put together their pieces. For 11 UH Army ROTC cadets, 'Being all you can be" took an added dimension, as they wrapped up a fifth place in this year's Ranger Challenge at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville.

The team that left Friday was comprised of nine first-team members and two alternates with nine men and two women. The team competed in a six-event all-day competition that challenged all aspects of the cadets' military training, said Sgt. Juan Avila.

All nine cadets competed in every event, but only the eight highest scores from each competition were used. ROTC squads from Stephen F. Austin, Texas A&M, Prairie View A&M and Sam Houston proved to be tough competition against the young UH team.

The Cadets demonstrated their military expertise by showing off what they have learned in ROTC thus far.

Events for the competition were designed to resemble obstacles and field conditions real soldiers must deal with in combat.

The rope bridge event had them swinging on a 40-foot rope over simulated hazards, while the physical challenge test pushed the cadets to the limits of their endurance with push-ups sit-ups and a two-mile run.

A weapons qualification and assembly contest tested marksmanship. Then contestants had to run seventy-five yards and still have the presence of mind to assemble an M-16 and M-60 automatic weapon.

The grenade assault course tested the cadets' grenade-throwing accuracy at six different locations which simulated combat conditions.

After cadets completed the first five events, UH was still in the running, Avila said, but the final challenge of a 10-kilometer run was too much.

The UH cadets were in third place throughout most of the competition, but fell back during the 10- kilometer run.

"It was hard to keep pace because it's a long day. The 10K run is in a full gear pack, and was tough because it was late in the day when it was real hot,"Avila said.

Avila said the UH team was troubled by inexperience because they were not used to competing in Ranger Challenge events. All but one of last year's team was lost to graduation.

A grueling event like this can be rough on someone who doesn't know what to expect and is inexperienced, Avila said.

Despite the team's poor showing, two cadets stood out, Avila said. Cadet Walid Nasr and Cadet Jose Pena showed experience beyond their years, he said.

Nasr was the high scorer in the weapons assembly and the grenade assault course for UH. Pena did UH proud by scoring highest in the physical challenge event and the weapons qualification test, Avila said.

Team captain, Pena, said he felt the team competed hard throughout the competition. "I thought that we did well even with the new team that we have. I was happy with my performance, but it is a team event and we'll do better with this experience," he said.

Avila also said he thought some of this year's individual performances showed promise for the future.

"Together our team showed a lot of heart, and pushed each other when it was late and people were tired," he said.

The team will compete in a second competition on Oct. 15 at Fort Hood. "This competition will be an even bigger test because it will contain more schools and a higher level competition," Avila said.

 

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CRIME DOWN BUT NOT 128 PERCENT

by Robert L. Arnold

Daily Cougar Staff

The University of Houston community may have been overjoyed to learn from a Channel 13 report that crime on the campus was down 128 percent from last year. Well, that's not exactly true.

According to the Criminal Offenses Report, sent to the state every month, the total number of crimes committed on campus dropped by 128 -- from 465 in 1992 to a current total of 337. That's a 28 percent decrease from last year.

The only crime that went up from last year was aggravated assault. Assault is classified as aggravated when the victim needs more than simple first aid to treat their wounds.

"A lot of aggravated assault comes from non-students wandering drunk on campus and getting in a fight," said Geri Konigsberg, director of media relations for UH.

UHPD Lt. Helia Durant said the biggest source of crime stems from the theft of unattended and unsecured property.

"We receive a lot of reports of stolen property, but the majority of it comes from unattended and unsecured material," said Durant.

"These reports take a lot of time because we have to treat each one as a major crime with a high level of professionalism," said Durant.

UHPD also has several preventative measures to ensure a continuance of the low crime rate.

There are 30 "Emergency and Information Call Boxes" located on light poles throughout campus.

When someone lifts the receiver of one of these boxes he or she is immediately connected with the University Police Communications Division. The individual can then request an escort, police or vehicle assistance, or information.

Durant also said the decrease in crime is due in part to UHPD officers being combing the area.

"We try to utilize high visibility to increase awareness in the student community," said Durant.

"Also, being seen by the criminal element helps to serve as a deterrent against committing future crimes," said Durant.

UHPD also puts out a Crime Awareness, Campus Security and Sexual Assault Data booklet. This booklet, available in the UHPD station, contains crime prevention tips applicable to home and car security, walking on campus and sexual assault.

The Cougar Patrol, a group of work-study students, works in conjunction with UHPD. This 11 member group performs varied tasks -- from escorting people walking across campus to helping patrol the parking lots.

 

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MENTORING PROGRAM GIVES HOPE TO TEENS

by Emmanuel Chukwu

Daily Cougar Staff

Inner city teenagers have a high probability of dropping out before they go to college, but a mentoring program designed by UH students may give these students the hope to defy statistics.

UH Students Mentoring Service program director Veronica Ferguson advised a group of about 20 students at Jack Yates High to work harder, go to college and succeed.

"The efforts you invest now in your high school education may help to determine your chances of success in the future," Ferguson said.

She urged the students to overcome their burdens and pay more attention in the class, seek parental advice and attend church regularly. She explained that the essence of mentoring is not to offer financial assistance to students, but give hope to the hopeless.

Mentoring involves providing personal assistance in the development of skills necessary to succeed in high school and go on to college.

The program was designed to help teens develop "realistic career and academic goals."

She praised the effort of all UH students who showed up and said she hopes other college students across the country will follow the path of UH students.

She advised schools that are still considering initiating mentoring programs and activities to emulate the exemplary qualities of UH students whom she described as the best in the nation.

This is part of a transition process to help hopeless teens overcome their hopelessness and acts of desperation as they rumble through the rough times in their lives, she said.

"If they are hopeful and succeed now, all of us will definitely benefit," Ferguson said.

 

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CREDIT CARDS TAKE CHARGE OF STUDENTS

by Anthony L. Sutton

Contributing Writer

Students who establish good credit while at UH can have it follow them far beyond their mostly impoverished days in college.

According to <I>AdWeek's Marketing Week<P>, credit cards are readily available to students. Furthermore, 75 percent of college students keep their first credit card for 15 years, and 60 percent keep it for life.

However, Consumer Credit Counseling Services, a nonprofit organization that offers classes in debt management and debt-consolidation services, sees students every day who misuse their credit cards.

"(Students) get part-jobs while in school – and these cards," said Ethel Beck, a customer service representative at CCCS, "They run up the cards, then lose their jobs, and find themselves unable to make their monthly payments."

Last spring, Consumer Federation of America and American Express.conducted a survey of 2,010 juniors and seniors on 75 university campuses. The survey found that only one-third of the respondents knew that banks set the interest rates on cards instead of the credit company

The survey also noted that one out of three students didn't know a credit bureau provides potential creditors with a student's credit history.

It's no surprise that,creditors still find the college market irresistible. Ray Domingue, the UC reservation manager, said he receives about 20 requests each month from credit card marketing companies wanting to set up tables in the UC.

Some of these companies offer students candy bars, water bottles or other inducements to fill out an application.

"Students should take note of the interest rates (companies) are offering. The interest rate on the cards can range from 14.9 to 19.9 percent," Domingue said.

An understanding of the total costs involved in charging is necessary to make rational decisions, Palumbo said.

"If you're on spring break, and you need $200, (and) you have the card, you can go to an ATM machine," he said. "You have to remember though, that you start paying interest the day you take the money out of the machine, where if you had charged something, you wouldn't have to pay the finance charge until next month."

It's possible to quickly get buried by making only a minimum monthly payment or becoming overextended on purchases. When that happens, consolidating debt may become not only attractive but necessary.

Consumer Credit Counseling Services offers a free service for anyone facing default or bankruptcy, either of which will tarnish a credit rating for years.

"We will work with (clients) to find out what they owe, and how much they can pay," Beck said. "We will then deal directly with the creditors, so the client only makes one payment a month."

"This service is supported by the creditors who prefer this option to having a client default," he said.

American Express offers help in the form of a free pamphlet, <I>A Student's Plain English Dictionary of Credit Terms<P>, which includes definitions of terms such as 'two-cycle average daily balance' and 'posting date'. The dictionary is available by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Student Dictionary, P.O. Box 2201, Warminster, PA, 18974. Consumer Credit Counseling Services can be reached at (713) 923-2227.

 

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INCUMBENT CONTROVERSY GETS HOUSTON'S ATTENTION

by Thomas Hewett

Contributing Writer

Mixed emotions emerge from a district judge's ruling that upheld Mayor Bob Lanier's decision to allow city council members with flawed electoral petitions to run again in November.

Judge Sharolyn Wood, of the 127th District Court, ruled that Lanier was correct in allowing the incumbents to run in the November election despite controversy over the number of signatures collected on their petitions.

The ruling was bad news for Joe Roach, a city council candidate who sued Lanier and District E incumbent Frank Mancuso after the mayor's announcement.

Roach argued that the incumbents should be kept out of next month's race because of technical errors in their petitions, such as the omission of ZIP codes.

However, Wood said the signatures on the petitions were acceptable because they could be verified.

UH political science professor Richard Murray said, "It's no surprise in this case that a judge would defer to a powerful elected official. But, he added, "this is definitely no way to run a city."

"It may be that one could look at the outcome as an advantage that an incumbent has, but I don't know that to be the fact in this case," said Hugh Stephens, a political science professor.

Additional council lawsuits begin this week. Former council member, Beverly Clark, claims she was wrongly disqualified from the Nov. 2 election, while nine first-time candidates are filing a second challenge against the incumbents.

The controversy may compel more citizens to vote in this year's election, Murray said.

"In the public, some have found it humorous, some have been angry," Murray said. "However, I don't think it will affect (Lanier's) future very much."

Lanier told reporters at City Hall a few days before the hearing he understood that his personal popularity ratings would suffer because of his decision.

 

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SMITH PREACHES TEAM UNITY TO REVAMPED HOUSTON DEFENSE

by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

Gene Smith is modest, almost shy, about his new position as defensive coordinator of the Houston Cougars.

It's not because he's uncomfortable with the post, rather, his belief in team unity keeps him from seeking the spotlight.

Smith was promoted to coordinator Sept. 28, replacing Melvin Robertson when head coach Kim Helton decided to shake up the defense.

At that point in the season, the Cougar defense had allowed an average of 523 yards and 43 points a game. Hardly the numbers of champions but a good reflection of an 0-3 record.

Saturday against Baylor the defense did an about-face. It held the Bears to 274 yards and a field goal, and benched Baylor's option offense.

Was the coaching change the reason for improvement? Smith says definitely not.

"The players decided they would rise up and played a great game," Smith said. "I give 100 percent of the credit to the players."

The defensive coordinator's position is not new to Smith. He was hired by Helton as the linebackers coach after a successful stint as coordinator in 1992 for the Birmingham Fire of the now-defunct World League of American Football.

In that year, Birmingham had a 7-2-1 record.

This year, Houston is 1-3, but the approach Smith takes to coaching the defense remains the same.

"Coaching is coaching," Smith said. "It's teaching. I'm enjoying it no matter what position I'm teaching."

And he has nothing but praise for the man he replaced.

"Coach Robertson has a lot of coaching experience and I have a lot of respect for him as a coach and a man," said Smith, who has also coached at Southern Mississippi, Arkansas and Mississippi State.

Former coach John Jenkins promoted Robertson to coordinator from secondary coach in 1992. He was also coordinator for the Cougars between 1967-71 before leaving for Texas A&M (1972-78) and Mississippi State (1984-85).

Robertson returned to Houston in 1991 to coach the linebackers.

The 61-year-old Robertson has been in football long enough to learn to take the hard knocks in stride.

"That thing (replacing coaches) happens all the time," he said. "I never even gave that a thought. If I was a young guy I would have thought something about that."

Helton said he still has faith in Robertson: "If I didn't, I would have fired him. The decision was hard on me and you have to think how hard it was for him."

Robertson returned to coaching the secondary, which accounted for 34 tackles, two passes broken up and one interception against Baylor.

Smith's linebackers also had a good outing with 36 tackles.

For now, the focus for both coaches is how to contain A&M's running attack this Saturday.

Helton said he hopes the defense will find continued inspiration, whatever it may be.

"I hired Gene to coach the defense," Helton said. "I hope the team rallies around each other, Gene, Melvin and me. They can rally around whoever they want to as long as they rally."

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