COLLEGE REPUBLICANS DITCH VOTER DRIVE

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Jeff Fuller, the College Republicans' executive director, said the organization has a position against participating in events like voter registration drives with any other organization, especially with groups like the College Democrats, of which it is ideologically opposite.

by Frank San Miguel

Daily Cougar Staff

Organizers of a sparsely attended voter registration rally Tuesday clashed about the format and structure, which prompted the College Republicans to skip out on the event.

The three-hour voter drive, held in Lynn Eusan Park, attracted eight students, as groups like the College Democrats, Students for Ann and United We Stand America-UH chapter sought to win over voters, with candidates coming out to talk up their campaigns. While the College Republicans are listed as a co-sponsor of the rally, the group was not in attendance.

Event organizer Clarissa Peterson said the organizations listed on fliers had agreed to be sponsors, but that the CRs, who she said had committed to inviting Republican candidates as well as appearing, did not come.

College Republicans Chairman Keith Peel said that among the reasons the CRs did not attend were prior commitments and organizational differences. Peel said he had attended a meeting to organize the rally and was unhappy with what he saw.

"I'm not trying to blame Clarissa (Peterson) for what happened, but there wasn't a clear idea of what was going to happen," Peel said. "I admire her for doing it, but you can't put together an event like that in a week and a half."

Peterson said Peel had not expressed many complaints to her. "I made every effort to accommodate any concerns that Keith had and changed things if he had problems with it," Peterson said. "He hasn't said a thing to me about it."

CR Executive Director Jeff Fuller said the organization has a position against participating in events like voter-registration drives with any other organization, especially with groups like the College Democrats, of which it is ideologically opposite.

"It is not that we don't want to sign up students to vote, and we are willing to help, but not in a political function like this," he said.

In addition, Fuller said he had concerns about the deputizing of volunteers to accept voter registration cards. People accepting completed voter-registration cards are required to be deputized in order for such cards to be valid.

Peterson said all undeputized volunteers were instructed not to accept cards. Peterson added that she accepted cards, but that she was deputized.

Peterson said student involvement needs to be higher to initiate change. "Young people often don't think that politics affect them, but it's our lives they're playing with in Washington and Austin," Peterson said. "We have to make sure our voices are heard."

Undaunted by the rally, Peterson said student groups will continue to emphasize the impending deadline. Gov. Ann Richards will be at UH Saturday to close a three-day statewide student-voter drive with a march from UH to TSU. Other stops on the tour include Dallas, Austin, Huntsville and Denton.

 

 

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ATTORNEY GENERAL SUES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

State says agency overstepping ecological bounds

by John Darbonne

Daily Cougar Staff

The continuing environmental battle between Texas and the federal government heated up recently when the state opted to fight federal agencies over property rights and the embattled Endangered Species Act.

Gov. Ann Richards and Attorney General Dan Morales said they are opposing the Endangered Species Act for Texas property owners because the federal government continues to ignore input from those whom it effects.

Cindy Rugeley, a press spokeswoman at Richards' campaign office, said, "The federal government is trying to tell Texas what to do on too many issues without seeking any input."

Morales filed a lawsuit against the federal government stating that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is overstepping its authority in the enforcement of the Endangered Species Act.

He also alleges the federal agency is not complying with requirements that it study the effects on federal programs before designating an area as a critical habitat for an endangered species.

At the center of the battle are endangered species and the control federal and state agencies have over public and private properties.

"The war is not yet won, and landowners should not feel safe from unreasonable federal rules," Morales said. "U.S. Fish and Wildlife has 57 more species in Texas for which to designate critical habitat. And the wildlife bureaucrats have assumed an expansive interpretation of the Endangered Species Act."

Morales said the lawsuit is an appropriate next step in transforming an informal agreement with regard to one animal into a permanent court resolution of this larger threat to Texas property owners.

The Endangered Species Act prohibits the "taking" of endangered species. It states that a "take" means to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, collect or to attempt to engage in any such conduct.

"Habitat modification is not a take," Morales said. "The only taking we see is of private property by a federal agency."

Morales filed the lawsuit in a federal district court in Waco because he said he believes wildlife officials have been construing their authority and the law much too broadly. He asks the court to prohibit the Fish and Wildlife Service from using its erroneous interpretation of the act, and to order the federal agency to conduct a programmatic environmental-impact study as required by the National Environmental Policy Act.

The federal appellate court in the District of Columbia already has ruled in Sweet Home v. Babbitt that the wildlife service may not consider habitat modification as the "taking" of an endangered species. The court ruled that "harm" must involve the direct application of force to the individual animal.

Morales also said the wildlife service erroneously claims that the listing of a species as endangered gives the agency power and control over the activities of private-property owners regardless of whether the owner's property has been designated as a critical habitat.

"They believe that using a water well on one's own land 200 miles away from the habitat of the fountain darter, an endangered species, could be a take if it affects the water table in the fountain darter's habitat," Morales said. "This is an absurd and illegal definition of harm."

Only eight out of 65 endangered species in Texas have designations of critical habitat that affect 14 counties. Morales said it is estimated that as the other species are given critical habitat and more species are added to the list, nearly every county in Texas could be affected by such a designation.

Cindy Rugely said Richards believes this is undermining the power of the state to govern itself, so she is taking action.

"Candidate Bush talks, but the governor is taking action," Rugely said. "She talked to landowners and felt this was the way to go. Landowners have always been good to environmental concerns."

Rugely also added that there will be no financial repercussions from the federal government if Texas chooses to ignore the Endangered Species Act.

Morales also expressed concern that the wildlife service is further violating the Endangered Species Act and its own regulations, as promulgated under the act, with regard to the listing of endangered or threatened species.

"The Fish and Wildlife Service is playing fast and loose with the rules governing the listing process," Morales said. "As of August 1994, 65 species of plants and animals were listed as threatened or endangered in Texas. We seriously doubt that all 65 listings would meet the federal standard of endangered, based on the best scientific and commercial evidence."

 

 

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ART CENTER OFFERS STUDENTS A PLACE TO SHOW WORK

Photo by Steven Stelmak

CUTLINE: <I>State of the Nation<P> by UH student Viet Tran is one of the pieces currently for sale at the Art Stop.

by Gale Lunsford

News Reporter

The UC Art Center has expanded its visibility and working space with the addition of The Art Stop Gallery.

The gallery, located in the UC Underground next to Cougar Byte, consists of a showroom filled with original artwork by UH students and off-campus individuals, as well as art imported from Africa and China. Individuals can also receive customized framing for their artwork or diplomas.

Pim Ormrod, director of the Art Center, said sales have increased 20 percent over sales this time last year. He attributes this increase to the opening of the gallery in April 1994.

"I don't think the Art Center is seen by more than half the people on campus, whereas the shop is located in a more noticeable place. I like to think of it (Art Center) as the best-kept secret on campus because there are so many people who just don't participate in the arts," Ormrod said.

According to Ormrod, the gallery places submitted artwork on consignment, with a generous split for UH students and currently enrolled students in the noncredit art classes at the Art Center.

"Houston galleries usually keep 40 percent of the money and give 60 percent to the artist. We, on the other hand, give enrolled students 70 percent and we keep 30 percent," Ormrod said.

Most of the gallery's business focuses on its frame shop, but Ormrod said he has had some strange requests.

"This student walked in and asked to buy one of my display pedestals. I just came up with a price, and he bought it," Ormrod said.

With the opening of the gallery, students can now use the Art Center as a classroom and less as a showroom for students' works. According to Ormrod, the only disadvantage with having two locations is the separateness between the areas of creating the artwork and the selling of it. Because Ormrod and his staff spend more time running the art gallery, he said the center has become a "ghost town."

Parul Jariwala, a framing assistant, said, "A lot of people come into the gallery just to admire our works. I think it's great because we aren't so hidden anymore."

The Art Center has offered noncredit art classes for the past 20 years, ranging from picture-framing to jewelry-making to ceramics. Classes may last for eight to 10 weeks during the fall and spring semesters and six weeks during summer sessions.

"There's no other place in Houston where a person can just walk in and ask to work in an art studio for a small fee. I know there are people who want access into the arts, but just don't know where to look," Ormrod said.

Tuition ranges from $30-$70 for currently enrolled students, $60-$100 for staff and faculty, and $90-$125 for off-campus individuals.

The Art Stop Gallery will offer a 25 percent discount on framed prints and posters during October. For further information on the Art Stop Gallery or classes, call 743-5252.

 

 

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NEWCOMERS GET STARTS

Helton, Shaw to show stuff against Aggies

by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

The UH football team has seen a lot of new faces on the field this season, but perhaps no two contrast more than those of the Cougars' starting quarterback and weakside linebacker this week against Texas A&M.

Senior Clay Helton will get the nod over center while freshman Chad Shaw will return from a one-game layoff at linebacker due to a sprained ankle when UH and A&M get it on in the Astrodome Saturday at 7 p.m.

For Helton, it will be the first start of his five-year college football career. Shaw will make his fourth-ever start, all this season.

"It's a dream," Helton said of his assignment. "Laying in bed every night, you say, 'If we could beat this team, wouldn't it be great.' "

Helton spent three years at Auburn serving as a backup and holder on special teams, much as he has at Houston since he transferred here in 1993. Last year, he completed one of four passes for three yards.

In the Ohio State game on Sept. 24, he was called on to replace an injured Chuck Clements, responding with a 7-for-9 performance, rolling up 51 yards passing in the game.

This week, though, he will be up against the Aggies' "Wrecking Crew" defense, which leads the Southwest Conference in quarterback sacks (22) and total defense (241.3 yards per game allowed).

"It's a tough chore for any quarterback to go out there, so I'd rather sacrifice him than a freshman," head football coach and Clay's father Kim Helton said jokingly about his son's assignment.

Shaw will be taking on the Aggie duo of running backs Leeland McElroy (290 yards, 52 carries, 5.6 average) and Rodney Thomas (134 yards, 22 carries last week against Texas Tech).

"The biggest experience will be tackling them," Shaw said about playing against A&M's backs.

Shaw, out of Fort Worth's Haltom High School, has seen some playing time this year, which has not completely surprised him.

"When they recruited me, they didn't say, 'This guy's going to play, that guy's going to play,' " Shaw said. "They said, 'There's a chance for everybody to play.' "

 

 

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COUGARS TAKE ON TECH FOR LONE SPOT ATOP SWC

by Daniel Scholl

Daily Cougar Staff

The Houston volleyball team heads to West Texas to face Texas Tech tonight at 7 p.m. in the Student Rec Center. Coming off a big win against Texas last Wednesday, the Cougars (6-3 overall, 2-0 in the Southwest Conference) now sit as the team to beat in the SWC.

Despite Tech's fifth-place finish last season, Houston head coach Bill Walton said the Raiders (9-7, 2-0) are not a team to be taken lightly, which might be a problem after beating the Longhorns, who were ranked No. 11 at the time.

"I'm hoping we're not overconfident," Walton said. "Tech is a good team playing good right now."

To do this, Walton said his team must concentrate on playing at a high level every night and stay focused on the task at hand – beating Tech.

Calling Tech a "nemesis," Walton said the Red Raiders have always played the Cougars very well. To ensure that there are no surprises, Walton will look to all-everything Lilly Denoon-Chester, who leads the Cougars in kills (64), hitting percentage (.341) and is second in digs (94).

Houston leads the all-time series against Tech 24-14. Whoever wins tonight will take over sole possession of first place in the SWC.

 

 

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DR. DEATH PRESCRIBES LAUGHTER

Radio Music Theater's newest comedy <I>Fun with Dr. Kevorkian<P> runs through Nov. 19.

Photo courtesy of Radio Music Theater

What: <I>Fun With Dr. Kevorkian<P>

When: Now through Nov. 19

Where: Radio Music Theater

How much: $12

by Jim Presnell

Daily Cougar Staff

Radio Music Theater's new production, <I>Fun With Dr. Kevorkian<P>, which runs through Nov. 19, takes on several serious subjects and makes them palatable to the audience.

A comedic synthesis of sketches, songs and fake ads, the show recalls the RMT's long history of presenting the best in current-events satire, pop culture and the state of humankind.

RMT produces three kinds of shows. It does the variety-topic shows like this one, Houston-topical shows and shows featuring the fictional, rural, extended and ridiculous Fertle family of Dumpster, Texas, the quintessential rural backwater.

The organization itself has been in existence since 1977, when the troupe was first seen performing at the Comedy Workshop.

Featured prominently in <I>Fun<P>, the hijinks of a postulated radio talk show starring "Dr. Death," Jack Kevorkian, make the audience howl out loud. Medical complaints, from athlete's foot to insomnia to high medical bills are offered the solution of suicide as a panacea. Unfortunately for Dr. K, most listeners are not so easily persuaded to kill themselves.

There is a conversation between two Jewish brothers wherein one picks up the phone and says instantly, "Mother, how are you." A parody of the Gold Bond Medicated Powder commercial contains "Complaints you should never hear on the air," like a man with a vestigial tail and a woman with heaving hives.

The Motel 5 says they won't leave the light on and won't change the sheets because then they'd have to raise their rates. And a funny send-up of community theater and the "artist in residence" prima-donna problem take the sting out of all those terrible productions of Macbeth audiences have endured over the centuries.

RMT offers a solidly pleasing evening of fun with its latest. And, it's got material available to take home on cassette, if you like. Call 522-7722 for ticket details.

 

 

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