by Manuel Esparza

Daily Cougar Staff

London's Royal Ballet is considered the best in the world. As one of its principal dancers, Stuart Cassidy is considered to be one of the best of the best. The 25-year-old Briton grew up around the dance world, but his life is much broader than that.

Cassidy has danced a wide range of roles, many of which are daunting even to the upper echelon dancers. He is an articulate man who has no trouble finding the lighter side in everything.

<B>Do you expect to automatically get the lead?<P>

Stuart Cassidy: "Some things you're not actually suited to, so you don't really expect to be in them. You know what you can do; you know what you're good at. I think casting is pretty much straight forward, at my level any way. You know pretty much what you might be doing and what you might not. It's when you're younger in the company that you get your surprises."

<B>How did you get your dance career going?<P>

SC: "The first big break I got was when I was Romeo in <I>Romeo and Juliet<P>. Ken MacMillon picked me out of the Corp de Ballet. That's how I really got started."

<B>Did you ever find a role to be too easy?<P>

SC: "I'm doing one at the moment, in <I>Sleeping Beauty<P>. There are four suitors trying to marry the princess. Basically we just support her in a pas de deux."

<B>How has the dance world changed since the fall of the East?<P>

SC: "I don't think its changed much. We toured there in 1987. We actually saw it before the Berlin Wall came down. I don't know. It's something you don't really hear about. Some dancers have come over, but it seems to be more of a trickle than a flow. I don't know if they're just scared out of doing it, or not really wanting to do it. I'm surprised that more didn't try.

I was always interested in athletic side of things. I think that the reason I got along so well at school with all the lads was because I was big on the same activities that they were as well. I went to karate classes, football and all the normal things that kids do. Athletics or something to do with the body. I was a sprinter really."

<B>What made you decide on dancing as a profession?<P>

SC: "When I was actually a youngster of five, my teacher said, 'Well I really can't teach you much more now. It's basically a girl's class. Why don't you audition for the Royal Ballet school?' I said okay fine. I really didn't know what I was getting myself into, and I got in. I just went with the flow really. They took me so I thought 'Okay,they must think I'm quite good at this.' "

I did that for about a year. Then I auditioned for the Royal Ballet Academy where I spent five years; then I auditioned for the upper school, which was another three years. It wasn't really until the third year that you have to decide that you want to really go for the dancing or drop out and decide to concentrate on your education. I had a good chance for taking it up as a profession. Three years after the upper school, they offered me a contract with the company. I wasn't expecting to get through. If it happened okay, if not, I had other things that I could do."

<B>What facet of dancing do you enjoy most?<P>

SC: "I definitely enjoy the performing part of dancing the most. Rehearsing is one thing; you have to get the show out to the general public, but it's nothing like standing there at the end getting the applause."

<B>Is dance dying?<P>

SC: "The audience is definitely getting smaller and more elite. The ticket prices in London are getting more expensive. It's discouraging for normal people to come out and see it, which is a shame. It's not really the general public that come out, it's very hard. We have a week of performances every year that is sponsored by Paul Hamilin. He actually buys the opera house for a week and the general public can come for a very reasonable price. Its a shame really that more people don't come."

<B>Are there fewer dancers now?<P>

SC: "I don't think there are as many people who want to dance, especially males. Women always think they want to do it when they are young. It's very hard to get good young male dancers."

<B>What do you do to stay in shape?<P>

SC: "I really don't do much to stay in shape. I mean lifting women is really all I need to do to stay in shape. That's my weight exercise. When you work the length of days that we do, the last thing you want to do is go to the gym or run around the park so I just go home and relax. There was an article in British Esquire and they compared 13 top athletes and me, I came out fifth. Colin Jackson, the 110 meter hurdler, won. I did beat him in a couple of the sprint races. He was shocked."

<B>What was your last vacation?<P>

SC: "My last vacation was actually my honeymoon. I got married last August. My wife and I went to Italy for two weeks. We're going to New Zealand this year; my wife's family is from there."

<B>Is your job hard on your marriage?<P>

SC: "In the profession that we're in, it's good that my wife is in the company. Your days are pretty abnormal, working until 10:30 or 11:00 p.m. at night. People whose partners are outside of ballet don't really get to see them. We don't always rehearse in the same room, but we get to see each other during the day."

<B>How do you keep your sanity?<P>

SC: "I relax by just staying away from the company. Mickey (his wife) has a lot of friends from New Zealand, and they've been in England a lot. It's good to have a group of friends that are not in dancing and who know nothing about dancing and you can just get away from it and be totally normal. I also do a bit of gardening."

Cassidy will perform in London's Royal Ballet's production of <I>The Sleeping Beauty<P> , their signature piece, this weekend. Performances are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday night and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Jones Hall.






by Jenalia Moreno

Daily Cougar Staff

Amy Dolph is positive. She has a positive outlook on life, despite the fact that she is HIV positive.

Dolph, 25, is a UH junior majoring in psychology. Dolph is also an educator for the AIDS Foundation of Houston. Her job responsibilities include speaking to groups, usually students, about her disease. She has spoken to several UH classes since she took the job three years ago.

"You get to a point where you feel like you are beating your head against the wall," said Dolph of her job.

Dolph still gets asked by her audiences if HIV is transmittable through mosquito bites, eating or drinking after someone or oral sex.

"People need to throw out the stereotypes. People with AIDS and HIV are different. There are 28 different infections that make up AIDS and people clump it all together. It is one major illness that is going to complicate everything," said Dolph.

People with HIV do not know which illness they will get.

Many people she speaks to believe that AIDS is a homosexual disease or a disease that only promiscuous people contract.

"People don't have to be scared of me," Dolph said. "They need to be scared of people who don't know."

Dolph said that most teenagers take precautions to avoid getting pregnant such as taking birth control pills, but they do not take precautions against AIDS.

"It's funny how they are responsible about one thing but not another," said Dolph.

She said people need to ask their sexual partners about their risky behaviors. She is pleased when students approach her after she has spoken to them and tell her that they have taken HIV tests before they had intercourse.

Dolph contracted HIV when she was a senior in high school, at age 17. She contracted it from her second sexual partner who had engaged in risky behavior such as sharing a needle with someone and having unprotected sex with another male.

Dolph said her father told someone, "I wish Amy had waited to have sex, but she should not have to die for it."

Dolph said that when she was in high school, no one spoke to her or her classmates about AIDS. She always thought it was a homosexual disease.

"I was so angry at my school for not giving me information, and now I'm getting them back," said Dolph.

Dolph knew so little about the disease that when she found out she was HIV positive, she went out on a date with her boyfriend.

She ignored the letter she received from a blood bank telling her she was infected. Dolph had donated blood when her aunt was in the hospital and needed blood for a transfusion.

When Dolph realized she might only have five to seven more years to live, she took a shower for two hours and cried. In fact, she cried almost every other day for two years.

Before this experience, Dolph said that the worst thing she had to deal with was that she was going to have to leave her boyfriend to go away to college.

"I was 18; they were asking me to make an adult decision, and if my parents tried to make a decision for me, I felt like, 'This is my life, how dare you?' " said Dolph.

She developed a five year plan which included some traveling, completing two years of college and being independent. Since she made it past the five year mark without becoming ill, Dolph decided to return to college to complete her degree plan.

"I was trying to take back some control," said Dolph. "I try to think of what I can do."

Dolph tries to be optimistic and believes in living one day at a time. She no longer makes future plans.

"I try to lead a normal life, but it is different. You have to deal with your own mortality," said Dolph.

When she graduated from high school, she pretended to be living a normal life. She had a boyfriend, a part-time job and was going to college. Since then she and her boyfriend have stopped seeing each other.

Her father kept telling her that she was not normal. Finally he relented and said, "Fine, you're a normal girl with an abnormal disease."

Dolph said each person who is HIV positive has a different way of dealing with it. Some people are so hopeful that they think they will live forever and do not face reality enough to take their medications or see their doctor. Other people face the reality of their disease and become depressed.

"HIV has no guidelines. You stumble your way through it," said Dolph. "There is a thin line between hope and reality. Some days I'll fall on one side or the other, but it is a struggle."

Friends and family have been very supportive of Dolph. Her friends would call her in the middle of the night when she was going through an especially difficult part of her life and when she and her boyfriend broke up.

"There was this realization that I was alone, the possibility of discrimination," said Dolph.

Her mother would often take her to support groups and sit outside the door to make sure she did not leave.

Her father would cut out clippings about research or possible cures and give her vitamins.

"My mom always makes the comment to people that it was my illness," said Dolph. "I didn't realize it was my family and friends illness too, and I had to share."

Dolph said that she does not want people to pity her. She rarely cries now. Her boss once told her that someone would eventually say something that would make her cry in front of an audience. She took that as a challenge.

"When I'm crying it's going to be because I'm scared," she said. "Crying is very private to me."

Now, she says, she may get depressed when someone brings up having babies or after she has come back from a bad doctor's visit. A bad doctor's visit may mean that her immune system has dropped or they are prescribing another drug.

Now she takes a drug for HIV called AZT three times a day.

"With every new medication I go on, my definition of normal is changing. Normal used to be seeing the doctor every four to six months, now it's seeing a doctor every month," said Dolph.

Dolph now speaks to groups about three times a day, five days of the week.

"I'm putting a face to HIV," said Dolph. "They can relate to a loss of dreams."






Carr, Pickering outline new plan for better attendance

by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

The University of Houston athletic department began its rebuilding process Tuesday night at the UH Hilton. The rebuilding, however, had little to do with wins and losses.

Instead, the primary focus of the meeting, which attracted an estimated crowd of 900 people, was on the rebuilding of attendance figures.

Since the breakup of the Southwest Conference has become formalized recently, the spotlight at UH has been on NCAA Division I-A attendance standards for conference realignment.

Those standards average 30,000 people for football games and 6,000 for basketball.

The meeting featured many influential speakers involved in UH athletics, including Athletic Director Bill Carr head football coach Kim Helton and head basketball coach Alvin Brooks. The tone was generally upbeat about the future of the athletic program.

Many famous UH sports figures were also in the crowd. Guy V. Lewis, Otis Birdsong, and Bill Yeoman all made appearances and fielded questions from an eager audience.

"I think there's a sense of rejuvenation," Yeoman said. "I think everyone wants to be part of our success, and it's time to get off their butts and do it."

President Pickering, who also spoke at the meeting, said, "It's true we've come to a critical juncture. But with that critical juncture comes opportunity."

As was stressed throughout the meeting, that opportunity, for realignment to a bigger and better conference, would not happen unless attendance increased.

After an hour, the group split up into a number of smaller committees designed to generate ideas for increased ticket sales.

On May 11 at 6 p.m., the committees will reconvene to implement a plan of action based on those ideas.

Those who attended expecting a "confidential update," as was advertised, were given no new information. In an interview after the speeches ended, Carr was much more candid.

"Reading the tea leaves now, and talking with my peers across the country, I think we could settle into a period of three to five years before major conference changes occur," Carr said of the time it would take to find a new home.

Carr said the stability of existing conferences is an obstacle for realignment.

When asked about the possibility of UH being forced into independence, Carr replied, "The university is prepared to make a commitment to the proper alignment at the first opportunity.

"What we're trying to evaluate now is if we have to go into that bridge period to the future, we have to very carefully evaluate what options we have during that period of time, and how we address those options."

Carr maintained that "internal strength," or support for athletics, was more important than any "external" factors.

"The key to our success is...the commitment which manifests itself in the form of resources to allow this program to move ahead. You heard me say tonight, 'Provide us the resources, and we'll give you the great program,' " Carr said.

Carr would not comment when asked about joining specific conferences, such as the Metro and the Great Midwest.

Daily Cougar staff writer Daniel Scholl contributed to this report.






Cougar Sports Service

Texas put the remainder of the Southwest Conference field to shame Tuesday, winning the league championship at the par-70 Ridgewood Country Club course in Waco by 16 strokes over Texas A&M.

The Longhorns used a final-round 10-over-par 290 to finish at 29-over-par 869, well ahead of A&M's 885 (+45). Houston was third at 887 (+47) after relinquishing second place to A&M in the second round.

Following the Cougars in order were Baylor (888, +48), Texas Christian (891, +51), Southern Methodist (897, +57), Rice (918, +78) and Texas Tech (921, +81).

UT's Justin Leonard claimed the individual title while closing with a 1-under-par 69 for a three-round total of 211 (+1). Cougar Eric Bogar used a par-70 final round to finish second at 217 (+7). It was his highest finish of the season.

UH senior Brad Montgomery secured a tie for fifth with Baylor's Kory Bowman, Mike Flynn of TCU and UT's Marcus Jones, shooting a solid 3-over-par 73 for a three-round 10-over.

Houston's Dean Larsson continued his slide with a final round 77, tying him for 19th. He had a 69 in the first round but stumbled with a 79 in the second.

Anders Hansen finished in a tie for 24th (+19) and Noel Barfoot tied for 34th (+24).






by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

This conference realignment stuff is making me nauseous.

I mean it. I don't care where Houston winds up anymore. I'm just sick of the whole thing.

Rice, TCU and SMU huddled up and decided to kill the Southwest Conference last week. That's okay. Only the strong survive, and the SWC had become rather top-heavy.

The problem I have is where they're going. The WAC, which used to be such a nice, insignificant little conference, is now 16 teams large.

Who in their right mind would want to create a 16-team conference? Moreover, who would want to be in it?

The whole thing is kind of like the movie <I>The Fly<P>, in which a mutant is created as a result of an ambitious scientist wanting to go somewhere else.

I think a mad scientist must be in charge at the WAC. Too many conferences are trying to go somewhere else too fast and a monstrosity has resulted.

I apologize. I forgot, the Brundlefly of NCAA Division I will be split into two parts -- an "east" and "west" division.

And yet, it's already the "Western" Athletic Conference. I guess that's why the Texas schools are supposed to be in the "east." Makes sense to me.

Now, there are whispers that Texas may be considering going to the Pac-10, using the Big Eight as a stepping stone.

"PAC" stands for "Pacific," doesn't it? As in Pacific Ocean? I've lived in this state all my life and the only so-called ocean I've ever seen has been the lovely brown Gulf of Mexico.

Well, to keep it proper, I guess the UT alumni will just have to move the Pacific. It will be hard, but at least they'll get to dye it orange.

Let's not even discuss the Big Eight or the Big 12 or the Big 14 or whatever it's going to be called. If UT does back out, the conference hasn't copyrighted the name Big 11. What a lack of preparation.

The Big Ten has eleven schools now. Will they fight the Big Eight for the title Big 11? If this whole thing winds up in the courts, we can call it the Big Joke.

There has been some criticism, of course, about the way UH is playing this whole thing. We cried about the Big Eight snub, then ignored the WAC's pleading.

I can't really argue with that strategy. The WAC already has a UH, the University of Hawaii. How can we hope to compete with the Rainbows? Their coach wears a flower-patterned shirt to games.

The WAC also has Cougars, the BYU Cougars. Basically, we'd just be repetitive.

So where? Nobody's talking. Maybe because there's nothing to talk about. The SEC? Sure. The Big Eight? Can't picture it.

Bill Carr is playing it close to the chest, which makes it tough on us media guys, but it is understandable considering his position.

It seems to me, that the best deal is this revised "football-only" Metro thing. The schools are good, and if the Moores' facility has the impact it's supposed to, we could <I>dominate<P> the sucker.

Membership in the Metro Conference would also be great for basketball and light years ahead of what we've had to put up with in the good old SWC.

We'd play Louisville twice a year, get real officiating and the Daily Cougar sports staff could go to New Orleans every year when the Cougars play Tulane.

It's not Hawaii, but I just don't want UH to be the 17th team in the WAC. It's pointless. And disgusting, like Brundlefly merging with the teleport.

So, to the schools that think they've hit the big time in the wickety-WAC, all I can say is: Finishing eighth in a 16-team conference looks a lot better than it does in an eight-team conference.

Enjoy it.






But she won't follow in his footsteps

by Daniel Scholl

Daily Cougar Staff

Dawn Burrell comes with a very famous last name. Her brother, Leroy Burrell, is a world champion and a former Cougar. Certainly those are big shoes to fill.

"There's always going to be some pressure felt when your brother is a world class athlete," she said. "Basically I just have to do what I can do."

And what a job she is doing. This season Dawn is the only member of the women's team to automatically qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

Her qualifying event is in the long jump but she also is trying to qualify in the 100-meter hurdles and on the 400-meter relay team of which she runs the first leg.

"I think I have a good chance of placing (in the long jump) if I compete as well as I am supposed to as far as doing things right. Concentrating, working on my technique, making everything work for me, I should do well," she said. "If I don't, anything can happen."

Burrell is familiar with NCAA championship pressure. Last season she ran on the 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams.

Last weekend at the Southwest Conference Championships, she placed second in both events. In the long jump she had a leap of 20-3. Her best this season was at the Texas Southern Relays where she jumped 21-5 1/2 for the win.

At the SWC meet she missed winning the hurdles event by a couple thousandths of a second. She and Anjanette Kirkland of Texas A&M ran a time of 13.44. Only the photo finish could tell the difference. Her best in the hurdles before conference was a 13.80.

"Basically we ran the same time," she said. "I had a good race and it was my personal best."

Burrell says that she feels she has the potential to achieve the status of her brother, but in her own way.

"If I just be patient it will come," she said. "I can learn a whole lot more to become a world class athlete. I know the ability is in me and (I'll) just wait for it to come. It's all waiting for me, I just have to be able to accept it."

Burrell is wary of comparison to her brother though. She says that she hopes to become a world class athlete but that it will have to come on her own time schedule, not one similar to Leroy's rise. She is not out to become a follower of her brother.

Despite what one may think, she did not come to Houston to follow her brother. She says that Houston is a place where she can achieve greatness, just as others have done before her.

"I came here because it's a good program, a great facility, great coaches, the best coaches in the world actually," she said. "I love the weather, the climate, the school. I love the atmosphere and the added factor is that I have family down here."

It was her family that began her interest in running track. She ran in seventh grade but then quit. Then she started again in tenth grade after having a talk with her brother.

"Leroy was a senior in high school when I was in sixth grade, so he was gone when I was in seventh grade," she said. "Basically he influenced me to run again when I was in tenth grade and get me on the right track."

He told her that he felt she could go far with track and field and suggested she give it a try for him. She has been running ever since.

"I ran all throughout high school and now I'm here. Things have been going well for me so far so I guess he was right," she said.

She says that the decision to run was the most important decision of her life.

"I don't think I'd be where I am right now," she said. "Not only physically, but mentally if it wasn't for track and field. I think it was the most influential decision I've made and the most influential conversation (with Leroy) that I've had."

She has one year of eligibility left to see how far her college career will take her.

In two years, she will graduate with a degree in human development and family studies -- a degree she hopes she will not have to use for a few years. She wants to continue to competing at the world class level long after she graduates.

If she finds the success her brother has attained, she can keep that degree on the shelf. The way Burrell has been competing there is little doubt that she is on the right track.






by Ivana Segvic

Daily Cougar Staff

Last Thursday the Houston Grand Opera led its audience into the world of legendary Peking, China in Giacomo Puccini's last opera, <I>Turandot<P>.

The beautiful princess Turandot, with death in her heart will only marry the man who can solve her three riddles. She is determined that no man will possess her, and if he does not answer her riddles he must accept his fate--death.

The opera opens before the Imperial Palace at sunset. Stage director Peter McClintock must be commended for the most extraordinary set this season. Curved roofs with hanging skulls set the mood as the Princess Turandot's law of the three riddles is introduced.

A young slave, Liu, pleads for help as her old master falls to the ground. Young Calif comes to the rescue to discover the old man is his father.

As the moon rises, a young man is sentenced to death for failing to solve evil Turandot's riddles. From inside the wall, behind a soft veil, appears the beautiful Turandot as sends the young man to his death.

At the sight of her, Calif cannot keep his heart from surrendering and he decides to place his life on the line for Turandot. Avoiding Liu's and his father's pleas, along with those of Ping, Pang and Pong, Turandot's three ministers, he beats on the gong three times and embarks on the journey to death or love.

"What is born each night and dies each dawn?" Turandot sings. "Hope," he replies. "What flickers red and warm like a flame, yet is not fire?" "Blood." Turandot is filled with fear as she cautiously asks her third riddle, "What is like ice, but burns?" Calif, overtaken with triumph cries, "Turandot!"

Turandot begs her father not to give her away, but the law is permanent. Calif gives her a second chance and says he will give up his life if she can learn his name by dawn.

Turandot tries every evil way to find out who Calif is. Her ways include torturing poor Liu, who stabs herself in order to keep Calif's secret.

Before dawn, Calif overpowers the princess with a kiss and once he is certain she is in love, he reveals that he is a prince.

Eva Marton sang the evil Turandot. The dramatic soprano is a world famous opera singer with a voice that is difficult to match.

Although she does an excellent job of portraying the cold, bloodthirsty demon, she had some trouble presenting the warmth and love for Calif at the end of the opera. Her high-pitched voice sent shivers down spins as elderly gentlemen waited for their glasses to break.

Tenor Michael Sylvester carried his voice well with Marton. However, the picture was disrupted because his height and pointed belly couldn't be overlooked, especially when he stood next to Marton.

The sweetest and most pleasing voice came from soprano Livia Aghova. The Slovakian sang with such emotion and love, one felt her desperation and devotion to Calif.

Other singers who delighted the audience with both laughter and beauty of voice were Ping, Pang and Pong, sung by baritone Eugene Perry, tenor Jon Kolbert and tenor Raymond Very.

The chorus sang marvelously as they portrayed the petty serfs in China. The lighting greatly aided in portraying this picture by hiding the faces of the serfs each time the princess was among them. Costumes also created an imaginary, yet historical view of Peking, worth seeing.

Maestro John DeMain conducted <I>Turandot<P> in his last appearance as music director of the Houston Grand Opera. He led the symphony with power and force, clearly making his last appearance a memorable one.

<I>Turandot<P> will be on April 27, 30, May 3, 6, 8, and 10 at the Wortham Theater. Discounted tickets with good seating may be purchased with a student ID on the day of the performance by calling 227-ARTS.






by Marlene Yarborough

Local Profiles


Trish and Darin have come of age with harder hitting lyrics and a tighter sound. This one-time duo has grown past cover-tunes, and this new band has become a true ensemble and one of Houston's hottest local music attractions.

I recently sat down to talk with two of the band's members, namesakes Trish and Darin Murphy, about their latest CD <I>Tongue and Groove<P>. Trish and Darin are brother and sister. They began their musical careers as a duo and then added two additional members: Wes Bedell on the bass guitar and John Gremillion on drums, though recently, Gremillion left the band to pursue further academic goals. Jay Patino has replaced Gremillion. "He creates an intense energy and solidity that was not there before," Darin said about Patino.

Though neither would divulge their age, both Trish and Darin appear youthful. Darin, the younger of the two, has thick, flowing, shoulder-length, dirty-blonde hair cut slightly to frame his predominate jaw and light-blue eyes.

His height gives him a dominant presence, yet he has a joyfully playful attitude.

Trish has long blonde hair with bangs. She walks lightly, carrying her well-toned, thin frame in perfect alignment. This is probably due to her weekly ballet class. No make-up covers her natural appearance.

In many ways she has retained childlike qualities that make her seem authentic and energetic. This raspy-voice songstress is positive and thoughtful. As I spoke with her, she sat in a wooden chair with one knee up on the seat. Throughout the interview she played with the napkin on the table in front of her.

Trish said in high school she was extroverted, but not part of "the in-crowd." Both Trish and Darin were involved in drama in high school.

Darin graduated from Houston's High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. At the age of 15 he played Puck in <I>A Midsummer's Night Dream<P>. Darin describes himself in high school as an "attention junkie."

Their introduction to music began much earlier. Their father, Darrell Murphy, had a band, The Family Plot. Darrell would have Trish and Darin sing with him as early as four-years-old. Neither took a serious interest in music until four years ago when they began their duo.

Trish's first instrument was the piano, and she began to play the guitar at age eleven. Darin's prologue to music started with drums, and he began playing guitar around age 14.

The band's new goals are to expand out of the Houston market and into a broader spectrum. "When we first started out we just wanted to play whenever we could, wherever we could. We never really had creative goals at first. We just wanted to play music because we love it," Trish remarked.

Though the four-member band still loves to play music, their goal of expansion is making it more difficult to find them playing in Houston area clubs. For information on where to catch the bands act you can call 862-MURF for their weekly club engagements.

Tongue and groove is traditionally a term to describe types of well-finished furniture and wood floors made with dowels. "Music, when it is polished, also has tongue and groove qualities," Trish explained. <I>Tongue and Groove<P> is the bands second CD.

<I>Tongue and Groove<P> represents growth in song quality to Trish and Darin. They both felt it is a departure from their traditional image.

It has solidified the band. They no longer feel they have the duo image. "I think it's kind of what's evolved. All of the stuff we're writing now is stuff we wanted to do with our first CD, but we just didn't know how to write social commentary without sounding preachy or corny," Darin said, using his hands to expressively accent his point.

Trish and Darin agree that their favorite songs off their new CD are "Winter on Pecan Street" and "Queen of the Stars."

" 'Queen of the Stars' in the studio was a high point. To listen to it after it had been mixed and produced and think that you'd done something, in a little way, beyond what you thought you could do. You busted your own expectations," Trish explained with subdued pride.

Another powerful song off <I>Tongue and Groove<P> was written from actual experience: "Jesus Loves Alice." "It means more to me now than when I had finished writing it. Sometimes you've written something, and you're ready to move on. You're like okay, that's done, been there, done it. And other songs keep growing. It's like as it ages it takes on a patina; a nice texture. Songs that you never get tired of performing live because they keep sort of having a life of their own and that's a fine thing," Trish recounts, smiling.

All songs on both <I>Tongue and Groove<P> and <I>Yes, We're Open!<P> were written by Trish and Darin.

"When we collaborate Darin will sometimes give me a music riff and say 'I've got this nice bit -- it just needs words.' Then that's me. I go back through my scrap pile of themes and one-liners and say 'I've been waiting to say this for a long time.' That's how 'Winter on Pecan Street' came out and also 'Queen of the Stars,' " Trish continued.

When collaborating on the writing of songs they say they are both still shy about sharing their ideas with one another.

Darin explained that one of the positive elements of working with a sibling is that there seems to be fewer road-blocks and greater intimacy.

However, Darin said,"I think that is the toughest part. Once you have something written, you to figure out how to sing and play it where it feels right."

He continued by saying that their songs complete themselves in the live process. Every time they play a song on stage he feels it develops more.

Darin said it is a lot easier to develop ideas and outlines than full songs.

"Sometimes we will take a hook that just comes out of no where and try to build a song out of that. Sometimes I let a song write itself. I'll have the basic part of the song written and then just chug it out and throw in some icing on the cake as I go along," Darin describes.

To see the band perform live is rejuvenating. Trish says she gets her contagious high-energy from the music. It is hard to put a label on their musical style, but it is popular with a wide audience and inevitably packs the dance floor.

On stage, these two unassuming musicians bring enthusiasm, gratifying energy and fast-paced entertainment. Darin whips about the stage with perpetual vigor, while Trish stays anchored in the center with her never-ending smile, truly connecting with her audience.

Yarborough is a junior majoring in journalism.






by Kevin Patton

Daily Cougar Staff

Conflicting images of elation and despair marked the faces of voters Tuesday during the absentee South African elections held in Houston.

The Houston absentee polls were one of 14 absentee voting locations in the United States.

People came from as far away as New Orleans and San Antonio to vote in that country’s first all-race elections.

"Whether we will reach (the end to a politically oppressive society) in 10 years is something that will be decided in the next 24 hours," said Lindi Yeni, 40, who came to America 21 years ago from her beleaguered Zulu homeland of Natal.

"Whatever the outcome, I feel something new, something positive (has happened). It may not be the way I want it, but at least we’re going," she said.

Eckhardt Piprek, the presiding election official, hopes 1000 people will vote in the Houston election. By 1 p.m. 325 people had voted.

"The mood is optimistic; there is excitement in the air, people are getting involved," he said.

Voters will vote by party, not by candidate, and any party with only five percent of the general vote will be guaranteed at least one seat in the cabinet. There are 18 parties on the ballot.

There will be two legislative houses: the National Assembly and the Senate, both of which make up the new parliament. The National Assembly will have 400 seats and will be elected by proportional party representation. The party within the Assembly that has the highest amount of representation will appoint the new president.

The senate will have 90 seats and elections will be similar to that of the U.S. Senate elections. Each province will elect its own party representative.

The Senate and the National Assembly will together form the new South African constitution and flag.

The Homeland system (apartheid system) will be abolished and the country will be reorganized into nine provinces who are subject to the new national parliament’s laws.

While these changes are being made, several white voters at the polls were visibly upset.

"This is not a good thing," said an angry white South African from Cape Town here on vacation. She refused to be identified.

A woman from Johannesburg, who also refused to be identified said, "we just felt a little bit sad because there are so many changes."

She said it was the violence that upset her and lamented about how difficult the transition has been.

"If they could have only done it without violence," she said.

Leslie Karpas, an American, whose husband was voting in the election, said, "The Black people think that when Mandela wins, they’ll have everything the whites have overnight–but they won’t."

"Mandela just gives them false hope," she added.

But the mood just outside the Resolution Trust Corp. building, was enthusiastic as expatriates and members of the African National Congress greeted friends and joked about the day.

"(The ANC’s victory) is a given," said Maurice Magugumela, ANC member and Rice University senior.

"It’s just a matter of who comes in second," he said.





by Michael Chamberlain

Daily Cougar Staff

Johannesburg, South Africa — Elections have begun in South Africa! April 26 began this historic three day event. South Africa is holding the first democratic all-race election in its 400 year history.

Our Houston-based election observer team is working around the clock to assist this process. And we feel privileged to be playing a small part in making history.

Our five member team was organized by the Texas Coalition for a Free South Africa.

We have been reinforced with local observers and are traveling to polling stations in two vehicles.

We arrive at our first polling station at 6:30 a.m. Voting is scheduled to begin at 7:00 a.m.

This is in the city hall for Bloenfontein, Provincial Capital of the Orange Free State.

The cavernous hall is where the voting is to be held.

The presiding officer shows all observers that the metal ballot boxes are empty and then seals them closed with two numbered metal tags and a red ribbon.

The ribbon is affixed to the box with sealing wax stamped with an official, and numbered seal. Observers record these numbers and will report them to the Independent Electoral Commission.

The seals broken to begin ballot counting must bare these same numbers.

Thursday was a special voting day. Only voters with special problems were allowed to vote.

This includes the handicapped, patients in hospitals and civil servants who will have duties to perform on the 27th and 28th, the regular voting days.

Not long after polling begins, a group of eight South African Police (S.A.P.) officers approach the polling station to vote. A black S.A.P. officer guarding the polling station stops them. He politely informs them that no firearms are allowed inside, not even those worn by police.

The white cops ignore him.

They proceed to the door of the hall, but no further. I.E.C. official, white as well as black, insist that they remove their service revolvers.

Sheepishly the white cops turn over their weapons to the black police officer and file into the polling station.

After a couple of hours at this site, we fill out reports and continue to a second location.

The Pelonomi Hospital serves thousands of black patients from the townships outside Bloemfontein.

A polling station has been set within Ward D of the H Wing. Here, the voters wear hospital gowns.

Some carry catheter bags with them in the voting line.

Others are hooked up to I.V. bottles which they roll beside them on wheeled stands.

Phaliwe Belot, a "Matron" or headnurse, is assisting the I.E.C. personnel.

She helps patients find the voting line and answers their questions.

She, herself will not be allowed to vote until tomorrow.

"I am so excited that I can’t sleep," Pahliwe told me.

"The election is something that I never dreamed would happen. It means that I am now a citizen of this country."

We have a long day ahead with some polling stations staying open until midnight.

At one minute after midnight tonight the old South African flag will be lowered and the new flag raised in the countries nine provincial capitals.

It is expected to be like New Year’s Eve in Time’s Square.

Houston election observers will join the crowds in this provincial capital to help usher in a new era for South Africa.






by Marlene Yarborough

News Reporter

Prior to President Richard Milhous Nixon’s interment Wednesday in Yorba Linda, Calif., several professors offered sentiments on what has been termed his controversial yet substantial legacy.

The Nixon legacy includes major contributions in both foreign and domestic affairs, though his name is primarily associated with Watergate.

Associate professor of History at the University of Houston, Steven Mintz, said, "The Watergate Scandal was only the tip of the iceberg in presidential abuses."

Nixon moved against people he suspected of being a threat to national security.

Mintz said,"I think people have forgotten exactly who this person was."

Nixon set up a private police force–the "plumbers", he illegally tapped the telephones of 17 government officials and newspapermen, he helped arrange the burglary of the Democratic Party’s national headquarters, he attempted to use the Internal Revenue Service to harass his enemies and he fabricated documents.

John Sloan, professor of political science at UH said, "Watergate is the worst stain on the history of the Presidency. It has never been removed and not been forgiven, nor should it ever be."

Associate Professor of History James Jones said, "It’s the closest thing to having our political system subverted from within." Nixon resigned the presidency in 1974.

Watergate aside, Nixon is noted for his contributions in foreign and domestic policies. Jones said Nixon deserves higher marks for his domestic accomplishments, especially his treatment of the poor.

Nixon favored a negative income tax for the poor. He tried to initiate a national debate about health insurance. "Nixon was under-valued as a domestic president," Jones said.

Mintz said, "Clinton’s agenda is not that much different domestically, and that demonstrates how far the political spectrum has shifted."

Nixon was considered a conservative, but his domestic policies could be considered liberal. He founded the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. Nixon’s foreign policies are his greatest historical achievement, Sloan said. He reduced tension in Chinese-American relations. He relaxed the trade embargo with China.

His trip to China in 1972 established channels of communication after 21 years of estrangement and opened new possibilities of trade.

In 1973 Nixon met with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhev. Together, they signed a nuclear non-aggression pact. They also signed agreements in science, transportation and culture. Nixon was a major contributor to the break-up of the Cold War.

On Jan. 28, 1973, a ceasefire was brought between the United States and North Vietnam. Jones said Nixon’s policies of Vietnamization, which advocated that the Vietnamese support themselves, and his ordering of a withdraw were correct.

Mintz said Vietnam was prolonged by five years, resulting in 27,000 more American deaths by not getting us out as he promised.

Sloan said the Alger Hiss case was the first time Nixon was a national figure in the House of Representatives. Early in Nixon’s career, he was a member of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Hiss was a U.S. State Department official accused of membership in a Communist espionage ring.

Sloan said, "Nixon tried to paint liberalism as elitist and unpatriotic." On Jan. 21, 1950, Hiss was convicted of perjury. He was sentenced to five years in prison.

Mintz said, "At the beginning of his career Nixon made enemies that would haunt him throughout his entire political career. His sometimes shameless efforts to exploit anti-Communism would create enemies that would never forgive him."

President Bill Clinton, in his address to the nation late Friday night said,"President Nixon offered our nation a great many positive domestic initiatives as well. His work to clean up the environment, change our nation’s welfare system, improve law enforcement, and reform health care serves as an inspiration to us today as we seek to place the ‘American dream’ within the grasp of all our citizens." Clinton also asked that all U.S. flags be flown at half-staff for 30 days from the date of Nixon’s death.

Sloan said,"Nixon was the patron saint of political resilience. He suffered major defeats and still got up off the floor and kept fighting." In 1960 he lost the Presidential race to John Kennedy. In 1962 he lost the California gubernatorial race. Before becoming president in 1969, Nixon served in the House of Representatives, the Senate and as vice president under President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Jones said, "Nixon had a remarkable ability to come back from every political grave. In a sense, it is hard to believe he is gone. He did not manage to cheat death."

Nixon wrote in his book In the Arena: A memoir of Victory, Defeat and Renewal,"I believe that the richness of life is not measured by its length but by its breadth, its height and its depth."






by Tanya Eiserer

Daily Cougar Staff

After a UH student was allegedly kidnapped and robbed at gunpoint, UHPD Lt. Brad Wigtil warned that students need to listen more to their natural instincts that warn them about dangerous situations.

At 5:00 p.m. Saturday, a student was sitting in her car the parking lot of Cambridge Oaks with her rear door open.

A man approached her with a gun, entered her car and because he did not know how to drive a stick-shift, forced her to drive him to an ATM machine and withdraw $100.

The man then allegedly forced her to give her jewelry and cash. The suspect made the student her drive around to various parts of Houston and park in a secluded spot.

The suspect allegedly then began to sexually assault the student. At that point, the student was able push the man out of her car.

As she drove off, the suspect allegedly fired once at her car. The student escaped without any physical injuries.

After escaping, she reported the incident to the Houston Police Department. UHPD is working on the case with HPD.

The student described the suspect as being a black male with a very dark complexion, greasy, short curly hair with a spiral design shaved in the the top right side of his head; 5’ 11", 150 pounds; large lips; and wearing a long kelly green T-shirt and olive green military-style pants.

In a similar case, about a month ago four Rice University students--two women and two men – were abducted by two men at gunpoint.

The suspects forced the students into one of the men’s cars and forced them to drive to an ATM machine.

Since none of the students had their ATM card, they could not withdraw any money.

The suspects then took them to a parking lot and forced them to disrobe.

The suspects left the two men and one woman and took one woman with them. At another parking lot, the suspects allegedly sexually assaulted the student and then left her and the car.

The two suspects were described as being about 5’10" to 5’11" and weighing about 150 pounds.

The man who abducted the UH student bears a resemblance to one of the suspects in the Rice case.

The young woman has refused to discuss the incident with the press.

Wigtil advised students, in light of these incidents, to take proper precautions.

"If you drive up to Cougar Place and you see several people that you do not recognize and your instincts make you uncomfortable, don’t park and get out of your car," said Wigtil.

Wigtil said students should immediately report suspicious situations to UHPD.

"Just listen to your instincts and that will help keep students from being victimized," said Wigtil.

Wigtil also advised students not to become so absorbed in studying for their finals that they fail to pay attention to their surroundings.

Students should also take time to get involved, Wigtil said.

If students see somebody on campus that looks suspicious, report it to UHPD.

Wigtil said UHPD has the legal authority to remove anyone from campus who does not have a legitimate reason for being on campus. "It is the police department and the community working hand in hand that will enhance everybody’s safety," he said.

Students should also take advantage of the shuttle bus system or walk to their cars with a friend, Wigtil said.


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