ARSON GARDEN KICKS SPARKS

By D. McAdams

Daily Cougar Staff

I knew I was going to like this band as soon as I saw the title of its release, <I>The Belle Stomp<P>. Cool.

Arson Garden lives up to its tape's name-sake – beautifully stomping down everything in its sight. With frontwoman April Combs and supporting cast Joby Barnett, James Combs, Michael Mann and Clark Starr, Arson Garden is paving its own path to college music stardom with a bulldozer.

Don't believe me? The critics are virtually drooling all over the band.

"Arson Garden lay four-fifths of the 'college rock' scene without breaking a sweat." - Reflex.

"Hypnotic. . . Aggressive. . . This is how music was meant to sound," - Boston Phoenix.

"One of the best indie (independent label) bands in America," - St. Louis Riverfront Times.

"These folks positively rock," - C.M.J. And there are literally dozens (I kid you not) more reviews which sing Arson Garden's praises to heaven.

Is all the hype justified? Without a doubt. I haven't been this excited about a band since I discovered Babe the Blue Ox's <I>Box<P>, Creedle's <I>Half Man/Half Pie<P> or Tilt's <I>Play Cell<P>. This Bloomington, Ind. band could never have enough praises heaped upon it. The music is Janus-faced.

<I>Belle Stomp<P> is composed of songs which are mostly acoustic guitar driven with Combs' voice lilting softly in the foreground and songs which are lead by chunky, meat-grinder guitars with Combs' voice still lilting softly in the foreground. Either way, you're getting stomped and loving every minute of it.

Arson Garden's style is both distinct and innovative, but can be loosely compared to Hammerbox. Though it's difficult to believe (given the very aggressive nature of Hammerbox's music), Arson Garden exceeds the depth of feeling and fury heard in Hammerbox's music at times. These guys let you know Seattle isn't the only place people become distraught and form bands, sharing their angst with the rest of the country in the process. Arson Garden is out to show that people in Bloomington have feelings too, and can play damn fine music to boot.

Signing with the brand spanking new record label American Empire, Arson Garden hopes to make it big. The band has established a firm foundation to do so with previous releases such as the February 1990 debut LP <I>Under Towers<P>, released on Community 3 Records as well as their second, 1992 Vertebrae Records release <I>Wisteria<P>. <I>The Belle Stomp<P> is the group's third. Arson Garden also had a 1993 4 song EP <I>Drink a Drink of You<P>.

You would be well advised to run like mad to your local record store (Sound Exchange probably carries some of the above titles, most likely) and check out <I>The Belle Stomp<P>. Be the first kid on your block to own this shiny, new CD. Better yet, you will be able to claim that you are able to distinguish corporate rock whore bands from bands that "matter," bands like Arson Garden.

 

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CARJACKING STILL A REALITY IN HOUSTON

by Jason Paul Ramirez

News Reporter

Statistics indicate a vehicle is stolen every 19 seconds in the United States as revealed by an FBI study conducted in 1992 by Tod W. Burke, Ph.D., and Charles E. O'Rear, Ph.D. Though armed-robbery carjacking incidents at the University of Houston do not occur as frequently, the university has had its share of instances reported during the past two years.

UH Police Department officer Derrick McClinton said, three campus carjacking incidents transpired in 1993, and two have occurred thus far in 1994.

"Several carjacking crimes are committed by juveniles," McClinton said. "Since the law doesn't enforce severe penalties on juveniles, these kids are just given a slap on the wrist and turned over to their parents."

McClinton also said that carjacking and auto theft are reported differently in Houston and in other cities, therefore there is high likelihood both kinds of crimes are classified as like cases (of robbery) since both involve the prospect of stolen vehicles.

A spokesperson for the Houston Police Department said that carjacking is not classified as a distinct crime, but such crimes are categorized under the larger banner of robbery.

"Auto theft thrives in grocery stores, parking lots and malls," McClinton said. "These are places where a criminal can have time to steal your vehicle since people are away from their cars for extended periods at a time.

"Carjackers usually wait to commit a crime at (fast food restaurants) drive-thrus and traffic lights where they can make a fast get-away amidst a number of other cars, and face the possibility of not being noticed."

The most recent UH incident carjacking occurred March 28, involving a male student parked in Lot 15D located beside Robertson Stadium on the corner of Cullen and Elgin streets.

The student was reading a newspaper in his car before two alleged robbers approached the student. One of the individuals pulled a gun on the student, while the other acted as an accomplice in the vehicle robbery.

"Even though (carjacking) is not a serious problem on campus," McClinton said, "it is something we have to watch out for because you should be able to read a newspaper in your car (without any problems)."

In order to control carjacking and other auto-theft problems, UHPD tries to focus its attention on the parking lots where a significant number of incidents have occurred.

Carjacking is listed as a first-degree felony offense, with penalties ranging from a fine of $5,000 and a seven-year prison term to a $10,000 fine and a minimum prison term of 15 years, according to the U.S. Congress' <I>Carjacking Prevention Emergency Amendment Act of 1992<P>.

In some rare cases, minors can be waived of their juvenile status and be certified to stand trial as an adult. Texas state law indicates anyone over the age of 16 is classified as an adult.

Therefore, juveniles who are at least 16 years of age can become easily certified as adults. However, in order for this to occur, the juvenile must have committed a serious crime–along the lines of a premeditated murder, for instance.

"A numbers of citizens must also be in favor of (adult certification of a minor) as well," McClinton added.

According to the Burke/O'Rear study, student drivers who travel alone in their vehicles around the campus and the city of Houston are advised to maintain a good distance between other vehicles at a stop sign or traffic light, lock all doors and never resist a carjacking armed-robbery perpetrator.

"Even if it means running a red light to get away from a robber," McClinton said. "Safety is the most important thing of all."

 

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PARKING SPACES STILL HANDY, FOR NOW

by Tanya Eiserer

Daily Cougar Staff

Construction of the new music building has been delayed while UH officials wait for bond prices to improve. For the time being students will not lose access to 400 parking spaces in lot 16.

Geri Konigsberg, the director of Media Relations, released a statement from the Facilities, Planning and Construction department Tuesday.

The statement stated that construction plans for the building have been completed, but the bidding process will be delayed to wait for more favorable prices in the bond market.

"We want to achieve a more favorable balance in bond yields and bond prices for the building's total financial package. We are very enthusiastic about the quality of the facility and expect the delay to be a minor one resulting in positive long-term benefits to the project," said Jim Berry, the director of Facilities, Planning and Construction.

Konigsberg said bond prices are high and yield returns are low, so the administration wants to wait for bond prices to go down and yields to go up.

Once construction starts on the new building, students will lose access to 400 of the 600 parking spaces added to lot 16 last year, said Gerald Hagan, the director of Parking and Transportation.

Hagan said those 400 spaces in lot 16 B, a student parking lot, will be transferred to lot 16 C, a faculty/staff parking lot.

The new music building will completely replace lot 16 A. Hagan said UH added 600 spaces in that area last year to prepare for the loss of 16 A so that students and staff would not experience excessive parking shortages.

"When we built those new parking lots, we wanted to keep in mind that those lots were added in relation to the reduction in spaces that will occur once construction starts on the new music building," said Hagan.

With the delay on the construction of the music building, students can continue to use those spaces.

Hagan said there are no plans to add more parking lots in the near future.

"We don't have enough convenient spots, but we have utilized all of the inner areas that would be convenient for parking. We do have plenty of parking, it's just not always convenient," said Hagan.

Hagan said that their survey indicates that only 89 percent of the parking spaces are in use at peak times of the day. Surveys are conducted Monday through Thursday during a typical school week once a year.

"I have never had any problems finding a parking space because I come to class early. Some people are just coming too late to class. If they expect to come five minutes before class and find a space, it is not going to happen," said David Frankfort, a senior technology major.

Although students may not be able to find convenient spaces close to their classes, Hagan said, the economy lots could accommodate more students.

The university provides a shuttle service free of charge from outlying economy lots.

"Economy lots are the alternative to time and convenience. It takes about fifteen minutes to get to class from the economy lots," said Hagan.

 

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AMERICAN STUDENTS LAG BEHIND; STUDY RANKS U.S. 14TH OUT OF 14

by Jenalia Moreno

Daily Cougar Staff

American high school students are so inadequately prepared in math skills, they rank last among 14 countries where college professors were surveyed.

Only 15 percent of the professors in the United States agreed that undergraduates were prepared for math and 20 percent agreed that students were prepared in written and oral skills, according to the report, <I>The Academic Profession: An International Perspective<P>, of a study conducted by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

The study, which took two years to complete, included 20,000 responses from professors in Australia, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Korea was the only country surveyed where almost 40 percent of the professors said undergraduates were prepared for math and more than 50 percent said they were prepared in written and oral skills.

"You have students who are far ahead in math and students who are not reaching basic math skills," said Patrick Daniel, director of Counseling and Testing of American undergraduates.

The study also found that professors agreed not all young people are capable of completing secondary education, but they should have access to higher education if they meet the minimum requirements.

One reason students do not have these basic skills is because they spend their time watching television and their families do not encourage them to develop reading habits, according to William Georgiades, dean of the College of Education.

"There are not a lot of good (role) models in the home that reflect an academic lifestyle," Georgiades said.

The most significant problem in education is that teachers are underpaid.

"People are entering teaching until they get a better job," Georgiades said. "Teaching is a procession not a progression."

Teachers in Texas do not get paid comparatively as much as Big Ten faculty do, Georgiades said.

"Teachers are undervalued," said Daniel. "They (the states) don't pay decent salaries to make it competitive."

Students would learn math and other skills if they had teachers who were more comfortable with the material and who enjoyed teaching it, Daniel said.

The goal of the study was "to define priorities that could strengthen the academy worldwide" and "to learn more about the condition of the professoriate from a larger perspective," according to Ernest L. Boyer, president of the Carnegie Foundation.

The study also found that faculty was dissatisfied with campus administration and the evaluation of teacher performance.

 

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PLAYING SAFE IN THE SUN

by Mark Miertschin

News Reporter

Summer is here and it's time for some fun in the sun. Whether it be a walk in the park, a trip to the beach or skating in the street the season is right for recreation and relaxation.

But one needs to take precautions when going on a bike ride through the city or basking in the sun on the beach. We need to protect ourselves in order to prevent injury and possible long-term damage to our bodies.

It seems these days that you see more people riding bicycles than ever before. In the summer there is an increase in the number of bicycles on the roads due to fewer children and students in school. Cyclists should remember that they are required to follow the same traffic laws as motorists, except in certain conditions.

Lt. Lloyd Allison, head of the Safety Education Service for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said there have been relatively fewer bicycle accidents in the past year. Out of 30,000 accidents, 224 were bicycle-related.

Allison recommends that cyclists protect themselves. "Any head protection is justifiable by common sense and the laws of nature," Allison said.

Allison also added that people need to educate their children on proper bicycle safety laws, because most are not aware of them.

Skating has become one of the most popular forms of recreation these days. It seems that everywhere you look you see someone rollerblading or skateboarding in the streets. It is recommended that every skater wear a helmet to prevent head injuries and pads on the wrists, elbows and knees. The majority of serious injuries occur when people do not wear the proper protection.

Of course, with any activity in the summer there is one common danger that one must be aware of--the sun.

Overexposure to the sun can result in severe burning or dehydration of the skin.

UH's Chief Pharmacist Magdeline Vulkovik recommends the use of sunscreens when out in the sun. Sunscreens with a sun protection factor of 15 to 20 SPF that provide protection from UVA and UVB rays have been proven to protect the skin.

One common misconception is that sunscreens prevent tanning. "If you use a sunscreen, you will tan," said Vulkovik.

Sunscreens also help prevent premature aging of the skin, and reduces the chance of getting skin cancer.

Sunstroke is a common occurrence in the summertime.

It can be prevented if one maintains fluid balance while in the sun. Electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, lost in fluid release need to be replenished. Products such as Gatorade, 10-K and All Sport are specifically designed to replace those lost electrolytes.

People should avoid sun exposure between noon and 3

p.m. You are more likely to get sunstroke from prolonged exposure to the temperature during this period of the day.

 

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PRISON WILL BE A REMINDER OF OUR SHAME

Prison should be abolished.

Imprisonment has become not a method of reform, but merely punishment. It is used as a method to solve our social problems. It has become the method by which we move to fix it all – get rid of deviants, create jobs, revitalize economies and feign concern for one another. What's more, society is hooked on it.

If children commit crimes – even though they may be among a very small minority of all children – what is society's reaction? Lower the age at which a person can be convicted as an adult. Lock them up or kill them.

Youths which commit crimes at night, even if they are the smallest percentage of criminals, are far overshadowed by the adults committing crimes?

Set up a curfew whereby the youths out on the streets – causing problems or not – are now breaking the law. Lock them up or kill them.

And what of those whose crime is not against persons, but the state or the crime of speaking out?

This is hardly a short list, but a highway of dissidents who've faced jail and railroading in expressing "free speech." Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu-Jamal are only two. The solution? Lock them up or kill them.

The cacophony of slaughter is answered by the self-righteousness of justification. <I>If you do the crime, do the time<P>. <I>You're lucky you're not in another country, where you would get caned – and, hey, why not bring that back anyway<P>. Or the classic <I>you're just looking to blame someone for your faults<P>. It never occurs to America that she's looking to blame the person branded criminal for the social ills she sows. But, enough of that.

Prison is looked at by many of those on the outside as a resort. The television images of weights, air conditioning and free schooling certainly don't help to dispel the myths. And far be it from an American to do any research before forming an opinion. After all, we're free to think and pop firecrackers.

Take, for example, the North Carolina penal system. Color TVs? Try a Sears. There is one color television for a cellblock, and that is purchased by prisoners' out-of-pocket money rather than taxes.

Air conditioning? Not here. Lying around and relaxing, or just filing legal complaints? Hardly. Most prisoners work – and not in some office job, but in blue collar employs and road crews, which were not outlawed as many believe.

Now before the Senate is a bill that would rescind the educational opportunities given to prisoners by the federal government. Yet, contrary to popular belief, only one-tenth of prisoners nationally take advantage of schooling. Nevertheless, the goals of reform and improvement are met with education as no other prison programs do. It is a privilege many prisoners need.

Likewise, for prisoner-guided weight training, which so many politicians speak against, but few talk to prison administrators about. Consider this – you are the warden of a small prison of 1,000 inmates. All are agitated from the heat, the confinement and the close quarters. They're out in the "yard," the recreation area and all those people in a small space is bound to cause trouble. Most wardens would tell you that they'd much rather have inmates working off pent-up energy and anger with a set of dumbells than with their fists.

Prisons are in worse condition than that imposed by their inhabitants. And while the reasoning goes that they deserve it, is it thus the society's role to exact street justice for anyone with a grievance against another, or in the case of "victimless crime," against those who've have ostensibly done nothing to another person or did so with that person's consent? Of course not.

The brutish elements often call for a more authoritarian response to the problem of deviance, but what we have is what authoritarianism has sown already. Far from some half-baked theory on '60s social programs, prison conditions are not much changed in the past 15 years, and in some respects, have gotten worse.

The central question to this is what to do with the deviant. Real solutions take a long time to debate and discuss, but it's about time that we did that. It will most certainly take more than education, it will take a shift in our social, economic and individual priorities. When our society fails at the magnitude of the prison system, a reassessment is in order.

One thing is certain – prison has not made us a better society, it has not deterred crime and not made us safer. When it passes into history, it will be our reminder of shame.

San Miguel is a senior majoring in journalism who loves Mom and apple pie.

 

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WORLD CUP: A FAN'S VIEW

Life in stands a schizophrenic experience even for Americans at soccer event

by Chad V. GoGan

Contributing Writer

DALLAS--I think I have discovered a new sickness. It comes in the form of a fever and is spread by viewing the World Cup. I call it Spontaneous Multiple Nationality Syndrome (SMNS).

It is characterized by spontaneous switches in national loyalty. I know it exists, because I experienced it.

This past Sunday I had the privilege of watching Sweden play Saudi Arabia in the Cotton Bowl.

I went into the match thinking it would be just like any other major sporting event I had seen. I was totally unprepared for the transformation that awaited me.

Six minutes into the game I discovered I was Swedish. When Martin Dahlin's header went into the net for Sweden, I found myself on my feet chanting "SWEDEN, SWEDEN!" I even had an accent.

It should be noted that one of the symptoms of SMNS is that the spontaneous-nationality changes happen quite rapidly and often. It can get very confusing at times.

As the second half progressed, Saudi Arabia began a charge that put the Swedes on their heels. The crowd could sense the Saudis were going to score, and the chants began.

With the exception of the blue-and-gold-painted Swedish fans, the vast majority of the 60,277 fans were on their feet yelling "ARABIA, ARABIA!" I could feel their excitement and desperation. And when they did score, I knew I had helped.

At no time during SMNS does one forget what nationality they really are. So of course when the fans of the National Team of Mexico began to chant "MEXICO, MEXICO!", as they do at every contest regardless of who is playing, I was again on my feet, this time yelling "USA, USA!"

The World Cup has been billed as the greatest sporting event in the world. Based on my experience at this match, I would have to agree.

If you have the chance to go see a match in person and don't take it, you would be robbing yourself of a memorable experience. If you can't get to one in person, at least watch it on television. These are the best teams in the world in their sport. That fact alone should be incentive enough.

 

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GENDER RIGHTS ENTER FIELD OF PLAY

by Daniel Scholl

Daily Cougar Staff

If anyone can bring women's sports to the attention of the American sports fan, Fred Ashmead can. And that is exactly what he intends to do with the Women's Sports Association of Greater Houston.

Ashmead, athletic director of Aston Academy, a private school in Northwest Houston, met at 7 p.m. last Wednesday with those interested in promoting women's athletics in the Houston area.

Participants brainstormed for ways to promote women's athletics, which often are overlooked by the media and the fan.

The meeting began with Ashmead showing videos to prove his point, that women could participate in major sports. The first video featured the National Women's Football League, for which Ashmead was the executive director in 1983-'85.

Participants Lise Price, owner of Leapin' Leotards, a women's sporting goods store; Rochella Cooper, president of At The Helm, a sailing school designed to teach women confidence in an athletic environment; two students of the academy; and Linda May, executive director of the Greater Houston Women's Foundation.

The GHWF raises money and distributes it in the form of grants to projects that help women.

"We're like a United Way for girls. We fund projects for women and girls that educate them and (give) to recreation programs," May said.

The GHWF has given away more than $190,000 over the last three years. The connection with WSAGH would entail GHWF getting a percentage of the gate receipts from Aston Academy sporting events.

Ashmead said he hopes the two organizations can work together to improve the status of women's sports.

There is an obvious interest in this new area. With Title IX, a gender equity law in collegiate sports passed in 1972, finally being enforced, many universities find themselves forced to take a closer look at women's athletics.

The UH athletic department has a group now studying compliance under Title IX.

"We've appointed a task force to study gender equity and Title IX," Bill McGillis, senior associate athletic director, said. "They will make their recommendation to Bill Carr (athletic director) in August."

There is a strong possibility that the task force will recommend that UH adds two sports, women's soccer and softball.

"Those two (sports) provide the largest numbers of women athletes," McGillis said. "(In the new athletic facility) we have locker rooms that accommodate all the women's and men's teams, except basketball, which is located in Hofheinz Pavilion. We have prepared for two additional women's teams but the rest (of the facility) is for both genders."

Women athletes also have received some national attention lately. Texas Tech's star basketball player, Sheryl Swoopes, was named the AP's Female Athlete of the Year and graced the pages of Sports Illustrated. She led the Lady Raiders to a national championship and played Michael Jordan in a one-on-one basketball game.

The University of Texas' women's basketball team has developed a giant following, averaging 101,680 fans a year between the 1985-'86 season and the '92-'93 season. They also have put 14 players in the pros, but that means they play in Europe, not the United States.

And you can't talk about women's athletics without mentioning Cheryl Miller. She played basketball for Southern Cal and was the most prolific scorer in NCAA history.

But it was her brother, the Indiana Pacers' Reggie Miller, that now receives all the attention, because there is no place for women to play after college in this country.

But Ashmead said that while people like Swoopes do enhance the image of women's athletics, they must still leave the country and fade from public attention as quickly as they once received it.

The group agreed that the lack of appropriate funding and marketing is the main cause for the lack of interest in women's sports, but by bringing together all the people who are all united with one goal, what Ashmead called "a love for sports," they can change this inequality.

With Ashmead getting the right people together, he said that by August the group should be working toward its goals, which will be formally defined at the next meeting.

Ashmead has received interest from May, Price and Rochella, UH women's basketball coach Jessie Kenlaw, Texas Southern women's basketball coach Star Williams, UH volleyball coach Bill Walton and Susan Blackwood, among others.

Blackwood is the marketing director for Oshman's, a national sporting goods chain. While Oshman's has not committed itself to sponsoring the group, Ashmead said that Blackwood is receptive and the proposed deal would have Oshman's sponsoring to form other groups like the WSAGH across the nation.

"The time is right, but all of us have to keep it going," Ashmead said. "Women are now in positions to write the checks, too."

 

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