CREEPY & KOOKY RETURN

by Glenn R. Wilson Jr.

Daily Cougar Staff

One thing you have to respect about the Addams family is that they have always spit in the face of traditional American family values. Not that this is always a good thing, but nothing makes us laugh more than a good shock.

As far as sequels go, <I>Addams Family Values<P> is a good movie and it has a plot. Sort of.

The plot, for lack of a better term, revolves around the Addams having a baby, and Uncle Fester needing love now more than ever.

Unfortunately for the new parents, they don't have time to spare in the raising of their three kids, so they hire a nanny to do it for them.

Uncle Fester sees the solution to his loneliness in the nanny. It would be fine if it wasn't for the fact that she's a homicidal maniac who marries and then kills rich men.

Needless to say, these problems are all dealt with in the traditional Addams' way: look the problem square in the eye and laugh at it until it goes away.

Surprisingly, the film's title is most appropriate because in their own kooky way, the Addams do represent the ideal family values.

The parents love each other as much as they love their children. The extended family is still living at home. And everyone respects everyone else in their own distinct manner. It should come as no surprise that <I>Addams Family Values<P> is a dark comedy.

All of the principle actors from the first movie return to their original roles for the sequel. Anjelica Huston was born to play Morticia Addams and Raul Julia is an acceptable replacement for the great John Astin of the TV show. But probably the best performance of the film belongs to 13-year-old Christina Ricci as Wednesday Addams.

Director Barry Sonnenfeld returns and maintains a semblance of control over the Addams insanity. Writer Paul Rudnick provides a deviantly funny script packed with humor.

The film still contains a lot of convenient plot contrivances, but you won't worry too much about the plot because you'll be too busy laughing.

 

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COUGAR EDITOR ELECTED

A long-time Daily Cougar staff member will take the reins of the paper as editor-in-chief for the spring semester.

Meagan McGovern, a senior journalism major, was elected 6-1 during Wednesday's Student Publication meeting.

During her two years at the Cougar, McGovern has worked as a staff writer, news editor, copy editor, columnist and, most recently, managing editor during the summer.

She said one of her goals for the paper will be to "really explore the nooks and crannies of this campus and give more exposure to harder-to-find stories.

"I really think minority issues, Women's Studies and some campus activities have a lot of stories to tackle that would be interesting to the campus," the 24-year-old California native said.

McGovern is leaving her job at the "Yo! Houston" section of the Houston Chronicle to replace current editor Melinda McBride, who decided not to run for re-election.

 

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RUN OFF CANDIDATES BATTLE FOR UH VOTES

by Scott McGregor

News Reporter

The run off election for Houston City Council District E, which includes the UH area, will be a contest between 30 years of political experience and a fresh, aggressive approach to problem solving.

Incumbent Frank Mancuso faces one of the most serious threats to his council seat since he took office in 1963 from challenger Joe Roach, a 32-year-old Houston attorney. In the general election Roach won 41 percent of the vote, while Mancuso received 32 percent. The two will face each other in a run off election Dec. 7.

"Experience in any field is the greatest asset you can have, but even more so in politics," said Mancuso. "I realize that term limitations is the word in this city right now. On the other hand, I've been here a long time. I know what to do, and I know how to do it."

Roach said, "City council can do a lot to attract new industry to Houston. It can do a lot to improve the quality of jobs, especially in District E. I think we need somebody who will be very aggressive in seeking new jobs. If NAFTA goes through, Houston will be especially important in terms of international trade and international jobs. You need a strong spokesman down there on city council."

UH and the surrounding area have only recently become part of District E. The city council district lines were redrawn making the UH area part of the district as of April, said Roach.

Mancuso has no specific plans with regard to UH or the surrounding community. Both candidates see crime as the primary concern for both UH students and the residents of the area.

"I haven't had that area before," said Mancuso. "I would have to sit down after the election and find out what is needed. I want to see what the university might need, and see if there is anything we could do.

"I think crime is a major concern for UH. I would hold a meeting with the police chief and the head of security at UH. I want to see what the city can do to work with them," said Mancuso.

Roach said, "I know there were a lot of assault and sexual assault crimes on the UH campus." A stronger police presence is important. I've been a prosecutor for seven years. I've worked often with the UH police. I'm sure Mancuso has never been out to UH to talk to anybody. He doesn't go to civic club or community association meetings either."

"He doesn't get out in the community and see the problems people face. He actually said he wasn't aware of how much street flooding we had until he had to go out getting petitions signed. He's been there too long, that's part of it. He just doesn't care about serving his constituents any more. He's no longer an active person on city council. He doesn't stand up and bang on the table for District E. He fills the chair twice a week at the meetings, but you don't see him out in the community working to solve some of the long range problems. I hear that all the way from Clear Lake to UH."

Both candidates support the continuation of athletics at UH, and both claim to be life-long Cougar fans. Roach believes that the ultimate decision should be made by the school itself. Mancuso said he thinks the alumni and the people of Houston should have some input.

"If you want to see a city go down, just have it lose one of its major sports teams," said Mancuso. That's the worst thing that can happen to a city. The whole city takes pride in a successful sports team. I think a city the size of Houston needs all the sports it can get. Whether people want to admit it or not, good sports teams do a lot to attract students."

Roach said, "I'm a sports fan. I've always followed the Cougars. My whole family has. I would hate to see that closed down. It brings a great deal to the school."

The UH area is just one of the many poor, economically underdeveloped areas in the district. Among the problems these areas face, Roach said, is the fact that there is a substantially lower number of police officers in this district than in any other. The crime problem has forced many businesses to leave the area. Many of the streets are in disrepair. The area has been ignored and neglected for too long, said Roach.

Mancuso said, "The only thing my opponent has been able to use against me is that I've been there too long. What that indicates is I've done a good job. I don't believe in term limitations. The people have a chance for term limits every two years. They would have voted me out years ago if they didn't think I was doing a good job."

"I am in favor of term limits," said Roach. "We're not the same Houston we were in 1963 when Mancuso took office. Wherever you fall with regard to term limits, two terms or three of four, 30 years is just too long. There are kings and queens in power for less than that."

 

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SOME SMOKERS KICKING BUTTS

by Heather Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

Even though Thursday was officially heralded as the Great American Smokeout, the day went virtually unnoticed by smokers on campus.

STEPS, the wellness education and prevention service on campus, tried its best to heighten awareness of the day by distributing information, buttons and headless matches.

The Great American Smoke-out is a day for smokers nationwide to quit smoking, if not forever, at least for 24 hours. Even though the event is nationally recognized, the National Cancer Society estimates that of the 54 million smokers in the United States, less than 10 percent quit will ever quit.

Quitting smoking isn't that easy as Kelli Drenner, a psychology major, will attest to.

"I have tried to quit smoking a million times," Drenner said. "I have tried everything from the nicotine patch and chocolate malts to just quitting cold turkey."

Most smokers begin their nicotine habit in high school and junior high. Others pick it up as a way to relax and relieve stress.

Kristine LeBoeuf, a psychology major, said she was influenced by the people around her when she started smoking.

"I have been smoking for two years, but my whole family smoked when I was growing up," Leboeuf said. "I quit cold turkey, but when I visited my sister I started again."

The American Cancer Society provides numerous suggestions to kick the habit, even if only temporarily.

It advises hiding all ashtrays, having a supply of sugarless gum, carrot sticks and caffeinated liquids handy and to tell everyone you are quitting for the day.

It also advises nonsmokers to aid in the battle against tobacco addiction by adopting a friend who smokes.

According to the ACS, smokers are more likely to quit when they know a friend is supporting the effort.

Non-smoker Adrian Perez, a Spanish major, said tolerance is also a good tool.

"I think everybody should be free to do what they want. We all need to be a little more compassionate."

 

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RETENTION OF MINORITY FACULTY LOW

by Rivka Gewirtz

Daily Cougar Staff

In the past eight years, 28 percent of the faculty recruited by the Minority Recruitment Incentive Program have left UH.

Between 1985 and 1993, 26 Mexican-American and 24 African-American professors have been recruited.

Since then, eight Mexican-American and six African-American professors have gone elsewhere.

Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs Grace Butler gave a report on the state of Minority Faculty at Wednesday's Faculty Senate meeting.

The report showed a 6 percent increase in the number of African-American graduate students and an 8 percent increase in Hispanic graduate students.

According to the report, the enrollment rate of minority students coupled with the retention rate of minority faculty will raise the demand for new faculty members dramatically.

Despite professors' questions as to whether the recruited instructors had been denied tenure, Butler said the low minority faculty retention rate is mostly due to higher salaries offered at other universities.

While the university cannot offer competitive salaries to keep its professors, Butler said UH is working on creating more professional development opportunities for professors and creating a more "pluralistic" climate.

She said people in a pluralistic environment appreciate the work of all professors equally, making people want to stay with the university.

Faculty Senate President George Reiter said while professors used to have problems creating programs that promoted minority recruitment, many have now accepted what needs to be changed.

According to Butler, the retention rate of minority professors is no worse than that of other faculty members. "We may be doing better with minority faculty," she said.

The Minority Recruitment Incentive Program, created in 1985, is designed to recruit African American and Mexican American professors.

The UH Provost Office provides the funds for 80 percent of professors' salary the first year, 70 percent the second year and 50 percent the third year. After that each college pays the full salary.

According to Butler's report, between 1985 and 2009 two-thirds of the 1985 faculty will have to be replaced.

 

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TAKING PERFECT PICTURES TAKES EMOTIONAL TOLL

by Debbie Callier

Contributing Writer

Working for a newspaper wire service is tough. One could get shot. Sometimes journalists witness scenes so powerful they have to remind themselves that their job is to record it, and anything less cheats the public.

Rick Bowmer, a photojournalist for the Associated Press, recently spoke to UH photojournalism students.

Bowmer, a 13-year veteran of the wires, is AP's Houston contact.

Before Houston, he was in Washington, D.C., where he covered the president, riding in the tail of Air Force One with secret service men and other media representatives.

Bowmer flew around the world to capture shots of the president, including a dignitary's home in Japan and several locations in Russia.

Covering the president is a major focus for AP, Bowmer said. He said out of 60 photographers world-wide, 10 are assigned to Washington.

When major events happen, AP photojournalists are dispatched to anywhere in the world.

Bowmer has covered civil wars in Cambodia and invasions in Central and South America.

Early in his career, he covered an election in Jamaica. "The year before (I went), 200 people had been killed. This time only 10 (had been killed).

"Ordinary citizens were running around with uzi's (sub-machine guns). The guy next to me fired a shotgun."

Bowmer said he hit the ground looking for cover, while above him gunshots whizzed by and cameras clicked.

The veteran photojournalists were taking pictures. Later, one of the veteran journalists gave Bowmer some advice.

"Only run for cover when you hear machine guns," the veteran said. "A shotgun just blows a hole through you. You'd probably live."

Working for AP is extremely competitive, Bowmer said. "You're always looking for a peak moment, someone flying through the air," he said.

It means pushing people out of the way at sporting events, if necessary, he said.

"At the Tyson fights in Atlantic City, you never knew when he was going to lay out his opponent," Bowmer said. "The crowd's shouting, 'Down in front,' and you're getting choked by all the cameras around your neck."

Other times Bowmer said he faces questions of ethics and taste.

"Do you run the shot of the guy being strip-searched with his pants down on the front page?" he asked, referring to a shot the Philadelphia Enquirer published.

"The editors had an artist paint underwear on (the photo)," Bowmer said. "I asked if that was photojournalism. We argued. Finally, they ran (the shot) in the buff and got a lot of phone calls. But, hey, that's what newspapers are about."

Richard Carson, a Houston Chronicle photographer, called the newspaper taste rule "the breakfast rule."

"Ask yourself if you want to hit someone with this shot at breakfast," Carson said.

Bowmer said newspaper photojournalists have to consider that their shots will remain in view much longer than a 15 second video on television.

Bowmer has covered the globe. He said the place he would most like to visit again is Vietnam, where he believes the people are great.

"You expect the people to be like the poor people here, but they're the opposite. (They're) friendly," he said.

"In contrast to the poor people here, who are hostile and would steal your equipment, they would give you anything," he said.

Actually, they might steal your equipment, but they'll give it back with a smile, he said. In an area notorious for pickpockets, Bowmer drew a crowd.

"I felt someone reach in my back pocket," he said. "I turned to the guy closest to me and confronted him. The guy smiled, reached in his shirt, pulled out my light meter and gave it back."

Bowmer's advice to aspiring photojournalists is, "take out lots of loans and invest in lots of lenses."

 

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CLOCK TICKING ON HOUSTON

Cougars hope to salvage respect in Alamodome

by Adam King

Daily Cougar Staff

Time is running out on the Cougars' chances to end the 1993 football season on a high note.

With games against Texas Tech Saturday and Rice Nov. 27 remaining, the 1-7-1 Cougars (1-3-1 Southwest Conference) are poised to equal their only other one-win season, a 1-10 collapse in 1986 during Bill Yeoman's final year as head coach.

That year, Texas Tech blew out the Cougars 34-7 in Houston's 10th game, and Rice came from behind with 18 seconds left for a 14-13 squeaker to end Houston's worst season ever.

The Cougars' only victory this year was over the unpredictable Baylor Bears 24-3 in the Astrodome. Houston played inspired defense in holding the Bears to a field goal and keeping them out of the end zone on two goal-line stands.

The same intensity will have to be prevalent Saturday in San Antonio's Alamodome to stop the Red Raiders (5-5, 4-2) and their high-scoring offense. It will be the second college game played in the new complex, where Texas and SMU played earlier.

"It's a big ball game," said Tech coach Spike Dykes. "Beating Houston is always difficult."

The triple threat of quarterback Robert Hall, receiver Lloyd Hill and running back Byron "Bam" Morris should make things easier.

They have combined for 5,144 yards and 47 touchdowns in leading Tech to a 35.1 scoring average per game.

Morris stir fried the Southern Methodist defense for 222 yards and two touchdowns last week, equaling his performance last year against Houston when he rushed for 222 yards in a 44-35 Tech victory.

That could be ill tidings for a Houston defense that allowed Cincinnati rusher David Small to pile up 203 yards and four touchdowns last week.

Morris is the second leading rusher in the nation, averaging 152.9 yards a game and has 19 rushing touchdowns.

"I didn't realize he'd be this good, not even a year ago," Dykes said of his superstar back. "But he really has been exceptional."

Dykes has weathered a rough time with a 1-5 start after losing several fourth-quarter leads and a call for his dismissal by the Texas Tech student newspaper. But he has rebounded with a four-game winning streak and a chance to go to a bowl with a defeat of Houston.

"The hard times were difficult to endure," said Dykes, who is in his seventh year with Tech. "We've had our backs to the wall every week and haven't really been able to talk about any bowl games. But if we win Saturday we sure would."

These days, the Cougars only talk about winning their last two games and salvaging some respect for themselves and the program.

Injuries make that harder to accomplish. Left tackle Jimmy Herndon is questionable with a sprained ankle and left guard Kenny Robbins is out indefinitely with a knee injury.

One bright note: Quarterback Jimmy Klingler will start after recovering from sore ribs and a bruised shoulder. Klingler has been out since the Oct. 30 game against Texas Christian.

 

 

 

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