SWELL'S RELEASE IS SOLID

by Tom Turner

Daily Cougar Staff

It would be very easy to pass Swell off as another somewhat straightforward group that has a few twists, but there is much more to the group's music than this.

The band has a very original style to its music, which is apparent on the latest release from American Recording/pSycho-sPecific Records.

Swell is founded on fairly simple rhythms, but the music produced is far from the monotony of your average, every-day, radio-friendly band. The music on the group's latest release, <I>41<P>, comes across as very pure. The band is structured off of guitar, bass and drums; it's about as basic a setup as it can get in order to maintain the interest of the listener.

On <I>41<P>, the tracks range from slow, nearly ballad-like grooves to original, flowing rock passages. Quite simply, the music of Swell sounds like an original, rock-fold type of band.

Most of the tracks move from a strumming acoustic guitar to the rising and falling volume of the rhythm section. A few of the stronger tracks on the 13-track release include "Is That Important?" "Song Seven," "Don't Give" and "Forget About Jesus."

Melody Maker stated that Swell is "one of the best surprises I've heard in a good while. Subtle, unusual and well worth a listen."

Swell is led by David Freel on guitars and vocals. The other members are Sean Kirkpatrick on drums and Monte Vallier on bass. Each member contributes his own style to create a laid-back type of groove to nearly all of the songs on <I>41<P>.

The way in which the music is recorded provides much of the originality for the album.

The drums sound loose and big. Basically, just throw a drum kit in a room with some mics a good distance away, which creates an open type of sound. The acoustic guitar provides an almost folk-sounding element to the band. The electric guitar seems to flow over the rest of the instruments in a few of the songs, providing a sense of power.

If you happen to be in the mood for something a little different that's still interesting enough to keep you awake, check out Swell's latest release, <I>41<P>.

 

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UH'S AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL SPEAKS OUT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

by Makini Tchameni

Contributing Writer

Amnesty International UH and the Bangladesh Women's Action committee are publicly denouncing human rights violations taking place in Bangladesh against women.

The UH chapter of Amnesty International is sponsoring an ongoing petition drive that calls for immediate investigations into the death of Noorjahan Begum and the sentencing of Shefali. UH chapter President Krupa Parikh urges students, faculty and staff at UH to get involved.

The president of the UH chapter of AI gave some background information on the most blatant cases. It appears that over the last two years, local village councils, or <I>salish<P>, in Bangladesh have ordered the stoning, torture and mistreatment of women.

On Jan. 10, 1993, a young woman, Noorjahan Begum, was sentenced to death by public stoning in Chatakchara village. Accused of an unlawful, "un-Islamic" second marriage, the local Islamic clergyman found her second marriage to be illegal under Islamic law and sentenced her and her second husband, Motaleb, to death by stoning.

Immediately after the verdict, Noorjahan was buried in the ground up to her chest, then villagers began stoning her. She reportedly died a few hours later. Although the village head man and six members of the salish were reportedly arrested, it is not known whether police have concluded their investigation and if the men will be formally charged and tried.

Another case that has the chapter in an uproar is that of a young woman, Shefali, 14, and her mother, who were sentenced by a village salish to 100 lashes each. The young woman had been raped by an influential village elder and became pregnant. She was sentenced to receive 100 lashes in public because she did not keep quiet about the rape. Additionally, many charged that she had consented to having intercourse. Her punishment was deferred pending delivery. However, the mother's punishment was carried out immediately because she had accused the village elder of rape.

AI is concerned because these local councils are tolerated by the government and yet in every single case, they have acted entirely outside their authority in trying and sentencing the female defendants and encouraging villagers to carry out illegal acts like flogging, stoning or burning. There are petitions to sign, which can be found at the AI carrel in the UC-Underground in the Campus Activities office. They are addressed to Abdur Rahman Biwas, president of Bangladesh, and demand both an immediate investigation into the two cases and that the government take measures to ensure that local bodies do not assume functions for which they have no legal authority.

A second petition has also been addressed to President Clinton asking the administration to back up its commitment to U.S. ratification of the United Nations Women's Convention with more than lip service. Parikh insisted that "The petitions are not against the Bangladesh government, the Islamic religion or any other religion, but we feel that these actions being brought against women are injust and that religion is being manipulated to justify ill treatment against women."

Many of these actions done by AI help draw the Bangladesh government's attention to human rights standards guaranteed by the Consititution of Bangladesh. The organization fully agrees with Article 3 of that Constitution, which states "Women are entitled to the equal enjoyment and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, civil or any other field."

In addition to the petition drive, AI-UH is co-sponsoring with a host of student and university organizations a free lecture and art exhibit from 7 p.m. to 8p.m. Tuesday at the UH Hilton in the Waldarf Astoria Ballroom, as a part of the Inventive Minds Speakers Series.

This event will feature Asroza Jamil and Fahmi Hoqui, women from Bangladesh who will talk on the Perspectives on Bangladesh: the Country, Culture, and Women.

For more information, contact the Student Programming Board at 743-8166 or go by the AI carrel.

 

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OCULAR HELP AVAILABLE FOR NEEDY UH PUPILS

 

by James Dufilho

News Reporter

 

What do you do if you need eye care and you are from a low-income family? What if you are unable to leave your own house? What if you have had a traumatic experience to your eyes and need rehabilitation?

The UH College of Optometry takes an active role in solving the eye problems that plague some Houstonians and can answer these questions.

The Lighthouse of Houston clinic, UH Home Care program and UH Headstart program are a few of the community programs the College of Optometry takes part in. These programs are of tremendous help to patients who come from indigent families, or have eye problems requiring extensive care, said Dr. Jerald Strickland, dean of the College of Optometry.

The Lighthouse of Houston low-vision clinic is a rehabilitation clinic that services any person who has recently suffered blindness. The clinic began eight years ago when the Lighthouse and the UH optometry college merged their services into one clinic.

The low-vision clinic is run by UH optometry Professor Randall Jose. Jose said the bulk of his patients is elders requiring rehabilitation from diabetes and macular degeneration.

"The UH Optometry Department and the Lighthouse merged so we could better service the public and consolidate our finances. UH provides the equipment and the doctors. The Lighthouse provides all clerical work and assistants," Jose said. "We have never refused service to any patient in need of rehabilitation. Some of our patients are indigent and many others are in some need of some financial help. Through the help of the UH Optometry Department and the Delta Gamma sorority, the Lighthouse low-vision clinic has remained able to operate, Jose said.

"The Lighthouse low-vision clinic is helpful to those who have to learn how to operate with limited vision. People who need vocational or mobility training can get help at the Lighthouse," Strickland said.

The Delta Gamma alumni association hosts an annual duck-race event which raises money for the Lighthouse of Houston clinic. "The duck race is a wonderful event that provides money for the Lighthouse. The Delta Gamma alumni association is a great organization that cannot be thanked enough for their support," Strickland said.

The UH Headstart program started three years ago to provide quality eye care to children of low-income families. The program attempts to find children with vision problems and correct them at an early age. Screening and early detection is important to public health, Strickland said.

"The UH Optometry Department uses a sliding scale based on a person's or family's income, and some patients need more financial help than others. Some patients carry Harris County gold cards which ensure them financial help. "Close to 50 percent of our patients receive reduced fees for exams and eye wear," said optometry Professor Nick Holdeman.

The UH College of Optometry has the equipment to do blood work, X-rays, and MRIs. "This equipment is essential to the correct diagnosis of our patients. Many of the patients we get in the Headstart program do not have the money to pay for these tests," Holdeman said.

The home-care program offers eye care to those who are unable to leave their residences. The UH Optometry Department works with the nonprofit federal Area Agency on Aging to provide this care.

"Home care takes doctors and students to various homes in the Houston area and provides professional eye care for them. It is very challenging to do thorough eye examinations in the home, but we now have mobile equipment that can be transported from home to home," Strickland said.

"The home-care program makes it easy for patients to receive quality eye care. It is a wonderful program for those people who cannot see well enough to leave their homes and come to the office," Strickland said.

Questions and information about these programs can be answered by the UH College of Optometry at 743-2000. For information about the Lighthouse of Houston clinic, call 527-9561.

 

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HRM'S GOURMET NIGHT A SUCCESS

by Jennifer Smith

Daily Cougar Staff

Rio de Janeiro, Mardi Gras and the rivers of Venice met in the UH Hilton Saturday night for Gourmet Night, the annual fund-raiser for the College of Hotel and Restaurant Management.

The event, themed an "evening of Carnivals," was preceded and succeeded by receptions. The first reception for the $100-per-plate dinner was themed Venetian Carnivale, the dinner itself was Mardi Gras and the second reception was Rio de Janeiro.

Each room was decorated with appropriate props and music; the Venetian Carnivale had paintings of the rivers of Venice, a huge gondola ice sculpture and opera singers. The Mardi Gras theme had colorful streamers, bright-feathered masks and a Dixieland band; the Rio de Janeiro-inspired second reception had bright confetti and a Brazilian band. The staffs in all three rooms were dressed accordingly.

Gourmet Night is an annual event to raise money for HRM scholarships. Much of the food and liquor served was donated. This year, attendance at the dinner was estimated at 325. In addition to the plate charge, a new fund-raising event was tried: a silent auction, which included hotel stays and wine.

Some of the items included a stay in the mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, other vacations and bottles of wine.

The donated articles brought the total funds raised through the silent auction to $3,473 according to Oscar Salinas, the event's public relations director.

Gourmet Night is entirely designed and developed by students. This year over 200 students donated their time. As Yvonne Silva, general manager of Gourmet Night 1994, said in her after-dinner speech, all of the staff involved worked together to make the night something everyone would enjoy.

A side benefit of the project is showing off the skills of the students involved. Many of the guests attending are in the hospitality industry; they included representatives from the Ritz Carlton, Hyatt and Marriott hotels and also representatives from restaurant chains, including Charles Pappas, owner of the Pappas chains.

Silva said all those who came together to work on the project went in with a promise to go in and go out as friends. Silva, who is Costa Rican, said the project brought together all the diverse backgrounds of the HRM students. She said she had made friends she thought would be for life.

The HRM staff involved said afterward they thought it turned out very well.

Plans for Gourmet Night 1995 are already in the works.

 

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COUGARS HUMBLE BRONCS; TAKE SERIES 2-1

by Daniel Scholl

Daily Cougar Staff

The Cougar baseball team was hoping to sweep this weekend when they played host to Texas-Pan American. Instead, they were lucky to play at all.

The three-game series was originally scheduled to start Friday with all games to be played at Rice's Cameron Field. Friday's game was postponed until Saturday due to scheduling problems.

When the two teams showed up Saturday morning, they discovered that a hose had been left turned on and the field was unplayable.

The game was re-scheduled for 4 p.m. with the doubleheader Sunday at noon. So off to Humble High School it was.

There, the games were finally played and when it was all said and done, the Cougars (28-20) had taken the series 2-to-1 from UTPA (10-31).

Saturday's game was disappointing for the Cougars, who had plans for a sweep. The Broncs had different ideas as Bert Reyes (2-8) lead the Broncs to victory as they downed Houston 7-2.

The Cougars helped the Broncs as much as they could by making five errors. Cougar pitcher Matt Beech (4-4) was the loser, giving up all seven runs. But only two of those runs were earned.

"We just didn't play well," head coach Bragg Stockton said. "There were too many mental and physical mistakes."

The king of the "E" was third baseman J.J. Matzke. He had three on the day, two of which were rundowns between home and third, costing the Cougars a run each time.

His other error put the Broncs' Brandon Benefield on base, who eventually scored.

Despite the poor play of the Cougars on Saturday, Stockton had confidence in his team.

"This is a ballclub that if they make up their mind, they can do it," he said.

The Cougars definitely seemed to have their minds set to the task at hand when they arrived at Humble High Sunday morning.

They swept the twin-bill from the Broncs 3-2 and 4-2.

The first game was somewhat of a pitchers' duel. Both hurlers only gave up five hits, but the ball bounced the Cougars' way, giving them the edge.

Junior Jason Dixon came on in relief to earn the win and go a perfect 4-0 on the year. Jorge Ortiz (2-3) was the loser.

The Cougars went ahead for good in the bottom of the fifth inning when first baseman Ricky Freeman belted a double into right-center scoring Ryan Elizondo and Carlos Perez.

Freeman advanced to third on the throw to home and was stranded there, but that was all the offense needed as David Hamilton, the Cougars' fourth pitcher of the game, came on in the top of the seventh to get the final two outs for his first save of the season.

The most interesting thing about this move was the fact that Hamilton was scheduled to start the third game.

"I really wasn't expecting to come in (to the second game)," he said.

Hamilton said it would have been great to get a save and a win in the same day, but it was not destined to happen.

After pitching 5 1/3 innings he was replaced by closer Shane Buteaux (6-3), who earned the win in giving up only one hit in 1 1/3 innings of work. Bronc pitcher Nick Kast (1-4) took the loss.

"This is what we needed," Stockton said of the second-day sweep. "I'm pleased with them. We need to just keep on winning."

 

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