BUDDY SYSTEM EYES TEXTBOOK RESALE MARKET

by Jennifer Smith

Daily Cougar Staff

Tired of recouping less than wholesale on your textbooks? Book Buddies, a new company that would like to create a resale system for students' textbooks, is trying to gain SA support.

Walter Hart, David Stoltz and Kent Yarborough make up the fledgling company. They have been seeking SA approval since the idea occurred to them in April.

"We don't necessarily need SA approval," Yarborough said. "But we'd like the SA to go so far as to say that they think this is a good idea, like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval."

The bureaucratic contacts SA can provide would also be helpful, Yarborough added. In addition, with SA approval, the company could use SA bulletin boards on campus to advertise.

The Book Buddies system, as planned, will be a telephone system, a sort of marriage of telephone and computer. A familiar example of a telephone system is the Voice Information Processing, or VIP, class registration system here at UH.

The advertiser would pay a fee, currently expected to be about $2.50 per advertised book. The information provided by the advertiser would be name, telephone number and the book the person is trying to sell. Prices will not be advertised.

People seeking a particular textbook would be able to call for free and input a section number of the class for which they are seeking books or the ISBN number of the particular book they desire.

The system will provide three names of people who are selling the book. These three names will then be bumped to the bottom of the list so that the list will be rotated.

It is up to the advertiser and the buyer to arrange a price and a meeting.

"The system will bring people together," Hart said. "They will arrange the rest."

Book Buddies will make a presentation at the Nov. 9 SA meeting, which is open to all students.

If SA recognizes them officially, Book Buddies could begin operation as early as the end of this year, though the system may not be made available until the spring semester.

"We could have a nice-looking Chevy model on line by the end of this semester," Yarborough said. "We'd have a Cadillac by spring."

Last fall, SA approved a bill to start a not-for-profit, on-line version of a resale system. Though the money was allocated, the project was never begun, and $1000 reverted back to SA.

Justin McMurtry, a former senator and the originator of the SA bill, said, "(What we're looking at here) is a choice between a for-profit system and something that doesn't exist."

There are no SA plans to start a book resale system at this time.

 

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LOW VOTER TURNOUT INTRIGUES UH ACADEMIA

 

by Marla Dudman

News Reporter

On Tuesday, Americans will have the opportunity to exercise a very important part of their freedom of speech: the right to vote. So why is voter turnout so low among college students and the general working class?

"Primarily, for students, it is a lack of concern," says Robert S. Erikson, professor of political science. They have so much else on their minds in terms of their social lives and getting through the semester that politics just don’t intrude in their lives."

Erikson examined the disturbing decline in voting across America recently in an essay titled "The Puzzle of Low Voter Turnout." The essay was included as a chapter for the fourth edition of <I>Perspectives on American and Texas Politics<P>, edited by UH professors Kent L. Tedin, Donald S. Lutz and Edward P. Fuchs.

The puzzle, according to Erikson, is that despite the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, improvements in voter registration procedures, better locations and hours at polling places, and the increasing education of the overall American public, voter turnout is continuing to fall off.

All Americans ages 18 and older are eligible to vote with the exception of convicted felons and those in mental institutions. However, the statistics cited in Erikson’s essay spanning the years 1960 to 1990 show that voter turnout declined to less than one-third for nonpresidential elections. Almost half of registered voters turned out to vote for president during that period.

According to Erikson, young voters between the ages of 18-24 historically vote less often as a group. However, the problem with the general public seems to be a "declining partisan interest," he said.

"The social motivation, nowadays, with the break-up of families, is also not as strong. In the past, the pressure from neighbors and family members to get out and vote was there," he added. "People don’t feel that social pressure or embarrassment as much anymore if they don’t vote."

Associate sociology Professor Nestor Rodriguez did a scientific study in 1992 asking 600 citizens in Harris County whether they thought they could affect how government operates. His group found that foreign-born and Hispanics had the highest percentage of pessimism, followed by African Americans. Anglos were most optimistic about their ability to affect public policy.

"Interestingly, however, we found out that African Americans have the highest number of registered voters in Houston, and that, as a group, they are more politically involved," Rodriguez said.

Because college graduates tend to vote at a higher rate nationally, the decision to register to vote, then turn up at the polls during an election, is of particular interest to candidates across the state. To assist in this effort of vote-procuring, there are several nonpartisan and endorsement groups who work strenuously to educate the entire public about the issues, candidates and the voting process.

One such nonpartisan group students and the general public can contact for information is the local chapter of the League of Women Voters. Each election year, the league publishes a Voters Guide that is distributed to most Houston and Harris County libraries free of charge.

"Our mission is to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation of all citizens of government," said Patricia MacCartney Reed, chapter president.

Through the Voters Guide, the league strives to educate the public by providing free information in a nonpartisan way on the candidates and dominant issues, using a simple, clear-cut format.

But even with different methods of encouraging voter turnout through education and easier access to registration with drives in local supermarkets and door-to-door efforts, turnout remains very low.

There are more than 30,000 students currently enrolled at UH with a full-time faculty and staff of 900. The Houston metropolitan area also has the greatest concentration of minorities in the state.

These votes could elect candidates in their area who would have serious influence in the January 1995 Texas legislative session, but of those eligible and registered to vote in this year’s election, the turnout for Tuesday remains to be seen.

 

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GAY CANDIDATE BATTLES ODDS

by Kim Antley

News Reporter

"They (gays) need to understand that I am a gay man who happens to be married," said Bruce Reeves, the only openly gay candidate in this year's election.

Reeves has been accused by members of the gay and lesbian community of getting married to further his political career, even though his partner is a lesbian. They are best friends, and they are both gay.

"This has been the hardest thing to overcome in this race," Reeves said. "(Being gay) shouldn't have to be an issue. I really see it as a nonissue."

Reeves is seeking election as state representative for District 134. According to Reeves, this is a fairly diverse area: half middle-age yuppie and half senior citizen. This district encompasses Bellaire, West University, Southside Place and parts of Sharpstown, Westwood and Alief.

His opponents are Republican Kyle Janek and Libertarian Party candidate Paul Elliott.

Reeves, 35, is a computer consultant originally from Jackson, Miss., who attended Mississippi State University. He graduated with a B.S. in computer science in 1980 and has lived in Houston since 1981, with the exception of two years in Baton Rouge, La.

"The Choice for Choice" is Reeves' campaign slogan. Reeves said he is the "pro-choice" candidate. "That is the main difference between myself and my opponent." Reeves said that by virtue of the endorsement by the Texas Women's Political Caucus, this will let women throughout his district know he is for women's rights and women's choices.

Reeves also has the endorsement of the Registered Nurse Political Action Committee. He said this shows that Janek, a local doctor, does not have the support of the entire medical community.

Regarding health care reform, Reeves said Texas needs to look at implementing state health care as a way to provide health insurance for everyone, adding that the health care plan also must include coverage for women to have abortions.

"You pay for it now, or you pay for it later," Reeves said in response to women obtaining abortions as a form of birth control. He said birth control measures need to be made available to women in county health facilities.

Reeves said legislators need to come up with one tax rate across the state for education. It should then be divided according to the number of districts and schools. He added that the state should do away with discount rates for tax exemptions and make sure that what is being claimed as farm land for tax purposes is actually farm land.

"Of all jobs in the state of Texas, teachers are the most important," Reeves said. "We have to pay them to keep them."

Teachers are no longer only teaching reading and arithmetic: They are teaching values – they are teaching right and wrong, Reeves said, adding that legislators need to begin working with education first rather than last.

Reeves is endorsed by the Houston Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, Black American Democrats, Harris County Mexican American Democrats, Baptist Ministers Association, Texas Women's Political Caucus, R.N. Political Action Committee and by some members of the Texas Association of Nurse Anesthetists.

Elizabeth Blakemore of Blakemore and Associates, a political consulting firm for Janek, said this is the second time Janek has run for District 134, adding that he has run a grass-roots campaign by going door-to-door. They have done no preliminary polling, but according to Blakemore, the district is marginally Republican.

On his Libertarian opponent, Reeves said Libertarians traditionally have not drawn a strong vote. They (Libertarians) will get anti-Democratic and anti-Republican votes. "Realistically, it's a two-person race," Reeves said.

"I'm a fairly average citizen of the district, and I'm fairly knowledgeable on the views of the district," Reeves said. "I'm always willing to listen to the opposing viewpoint."

On winning the race, Reeves said, "I think I've got a real good chance."

 

 

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BREAST CANCER PREVENTION STARTS WITH SELF-EXAMS

by Terri Garner

Daily Cougar Staff

A simple procedure like an annual mammogram, routine check-up or a self-examination in the shower can mean the difference between life and death when dealing with breast cancer.

The American Cancer Society predicts that 182,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and that 40 percent of those women will die. The National Cancer Institute contends that the chances a woman will develop breast cancer over her entire lifetime (approximately 75 years) are 1-in-9.

These statistics can prove frightening, especially for those who feel they are at risk. Conflicting research reports about high-risk factors and preventative methods can leave women confused instead of educated.

What exactly are the facts and myths surrounding breast cancer, and how can women differentiate between the two?

Contrary to popular belief, there is not an epidemic of breast cancer in either young women or women over 40, says Joann Schellenbach, director of Media Relations at the American Cancer Society.

"The word 'epidemic' is a political term" that implies usage by some special interest groups in search of funding and actually means "numbers of cases beyond what you would expect, a serious public health problem. I don't believe you could find a single serious cancer epidemiologist who could describe breast cancer in this way."

Kathryn Peeks, director of Advanced Human Anatomy at UH's College of Optometry and director of the Female Clinical Anatomy Program at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, agrees with the usage of the word "epidemic," saying it, "invokes fear."

Peeks added, "Interesting things have been happening in relation to breast cancer research in the last six years.

"Government funding has more than tripled, and more money means more reports." This increase in funding could be politically motivated, considering the death of President Clinton's mother, Virginia Kelly, due to complications resulting from breast cancer.

Peeks says these reports are "preliminary," adding that "some are not all validated." She added that incidents of breast cancer seem to be increasing, but she's not clear as to whether it is due to more cancer cases or more reporting and diagnoses.

The fact still remains that breast cancer is extremely rare in young women, says Catherine Boring, director of statistics for the American Cancer Society, adding that only 2 percent of all cases occur in women under 35, and that out of 46,000 breast cancer-related deaths in 1991, only 7 percent were under age 35.

This is in direct contrast to the nearly 80 percent of breast cancer cases that occur in women over 50, with most cases in the 65-or-older age range.

Peeks contends that breast cancer "increases with age," but that in order to apply the 1-in-9 figure, "a woman must be 85 years old for the 1-in-9 risk" to be in effect.

Boring still insists, "There is no evidence of increased rates of breast cancer of women under 40."

Heredity is another fear that has fueled the breast cancer fire. The assumption that if a woman's mother, sister or aunt is diagnosed with breast cancer puts her at a higher risk of developing breast cancer is not necessarily true, according to a Harvard Medical School study in which Dr. Graham Colditz studied 117,988 women ranging from 30- to 50-years-old over a period of 12 years, finding that out of the 5 percent of women who had developed the disease, only 9 percent had a family history.

Colditz says that on average, "a 30-year-old woman with no family history of breast cancer has a 6.9 percent chance of developing the disease, and in a worst-case scenario concerning the same woman given a family history of breast cancer, odds rise to a 17.4 percent chance of cancer development."

"The best predictor of breast cancer risk is age," said Dr. Mitchell Gail, head of Epidemiological Methods at the National Cancer Institute, adding that "a woman between the ages of 70-74 is 56 times more likely to develop breast cancer than someone age 25-29."

The bombardment of statistics can be disorienting and somewhat confusing. Anyone can just watch television and see ads for antioxidant vitamins, low-fat diets and high levels of Vitamins A, C and D as preventative methods against breast cancer, but a study conducted by Dr. Walter Willet at Brigham Women's Hospital in Boston surveyed 90,000 nurses and saw no relation between fat content in diets and the likelihood of breast cancer development.

However, a combined analysis of 12 case studies published by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute stipulated that although there was no significant effect by total caloric and fat intakes on breast cancer risk among pre-menopausal women, there was a significant increase in risk among those consuming more animal fat, with an increase in dietary fiber correlated with a decreased risk of breast cancer.

Peek agrees with the data indicating a correlation between high-fat diet and a high risk of breast cancer. "The nutrition angle looks promising; prevention is related to low-fat diet."

Researchers argue on the issue of mammography's benefits to younger women, whose breasts are denser and adhere to the chest wall more so than older women's breasts. Therefore, a mammography conducted on pre-menopausal breasts can result in needless biopsies, leaving unnecessarily scarred breasts.

Peeks recommends following the National Cancer Institute's current guidelines on "frequent self-examinations and yearly mammograms after age 50," with experts contending that any kind of malformality should be investigated, i.e. the "better safe than sorry" rule.

A recent seven-year study conducted at the University of Washington-Seattle draws a correlation between early abortions and high risks of breast cancer, contrasting with previous research concerning adolescent mothers and low rates of breast cancer.

Peeks gives the study validity by saying it "looks well-designed and respectable." She also explains the biological rationale behind a study involving a process in which the body secretes two hormones during pregnancy "that affect breast growth and change," suggesting that the differences in risk rates could be contributed "in theory to uncompleted pregnancies."

Breast cancer affects thousands of women annually, and even though the numbers are conflicting, breast cancer is still a silent killer and should be taken seriously. Survivors contend they wouldn't wish the disease on anyone, but most agree they are stronger because of it.

 

 

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ON-CAMPUS THEFTS AVOIDABLE WITH PREPARATION

Mace, whistle, car guard just a few items available to repel/deter criminal activity

by Niki Purcell

Daily Cougar Staff

In less than two minutes, a nonprofessional thief can hot-wire an unprotected car. In less than two minutes, a nonprofessional thief can steal your purse or wallet. In less than two minutes, your life can be changed forever.

UHPD Cpl. Derrick McClinton states there are several things individuals can do to protect themselves from would-be theft.

"The main thing is to just be aware of anything and everything that goes on around you," he said.

Mace-type products are the most common form of self-protection on college campuses.

"One of my campus supplies this year was a can of mace that fits on my key ring. It's a comfort knowing it's within my reach, especially during those late-night classes," said Christine Marshall, an undeclared sophomore.

"The only thing that you have to be careful about when you are using Mace is that it could blow back in your face depending on the wind direction, but it is better than using nothing at all," McClinton said.

A relatively new Mace product on the market is called Dye-Witness. It is a foam-type substance with either a green or orange dye added.

Another thing he recommends that students carry is a personal alarm. It is about the size of a pager and attaches by a string to a purse, belt loop or backpack. When the string is detached, an alarm sounds.

"This will attract attention from surrounding folks, and the last thing a thief wants to do is attract attention," McClinton said. There is also a switch button that can be operated by the person wearing the device.

A simple coach's whistle can also be used to attract attention to a situation, he added.

A stun-gun can be used to temporally incapacitate the assailant, giving the person a few seconds to remove themselves from the situation. However, a stun-gun is not the same thing as a taser gun.

"A stun-gun will send 65,000 volts of electricity into the person, which is not enough to cause any damage. A taser is only issued to law enforcement agents and is used for a more serious purpose," he said.

The Club, a very popular anti-theft device, is only meant to be a deterrent to thieves. McClinton said that even if your car has the Club, your stereo or your possessions could still be taken.

"The Club is meant to work hand-in-hand with an alarm system to protect your car. However, it can be used to hit somebody if you were being attacked," he said.

Brandy Crandel, a junior business major, said she uses the Club everywhere she drives.

"You also get a discount on your insurance as well," she said.

"One thing I would recommend that all students do is to put a couple of quarters in an envelope with the name and the phone number of a contact person on the outside," McClinton said. "If you were stranded on the side of the road, and a person stopped to help, you could give them the envelope. If they are really interested in helping you, they will make the call."

The most popular recent investment is a cellular phone, McClinton said. It is handy if you have car problems, are being followed or need to report suspicious activity to law-enforcement authorities.

To prevent carjacking, McClinton said, "it is good practice to leave a lot of room between you and the car in front of you when stopped at an intersection."

"If your car gets bumped, check out the situation before getting out, then have the person follow you to a public place to access the damage."

According to McClinton, cars manufactured by General Motors are most often stolen, adding that four to five cars have been stolen from the UH campus so far this semester, a rate he said is about par.

"It is really easy to break the steering column of GM cars. One thing that will prevent this is a car guard," he said.

The car guard is constructed of steal and wraps around the steering column. It is able to fit any make of car.

Remember the saying, "There's safety in numbers?" That advice is strongly urged by McClinton. However, what about the times when students are not able to gather in groups?

"UH offers an escort service available to all students. I recommend that students take advantage of this service," he said.

The campus escort phone number for nonemergencies is 743-0600. There are emergency call-boxes located in every parking lot for student use. The campus emergency phone number is 743-3333.

Above all, McClinton said students should not assess a suspicious situation themselves.

"Call the campus police immediately. They are trained to handle these types of situations," he said.

GRAPHIC...........

Top 10 list for your protection:

1. Mace-type products

2. Personal alarm

3. Coach's whistle

4. Stun-gun

5. The Club

6. Cellular phone

7. Quarters in an envelope

8. Car guard

9. Campus escort

10.Emergency and nonemergency numbers

Don't Forget these important campus numbers:

Nonemergency 743-0600

Emergency 743-3333

ON-CAMPUS THEFTS AVOIDABLE WITH PREPARATION

Mace, whistle, car guard just a few items available to repel/deter criminal activity

by Niki Purcell

Daily Cougar Staff

In less than two minutes, a nonprofessional thief can hot-wire an unprotected car. In less than two minutes, a nonprofessional thief can steal your purse or wallet. In less than two minutes, your life can be changed forever.

UHPD Cpl. Derrick McClinton states there are several things individuals can do to protect themselves from would-be theft.

"The main thing is to just be aware of anything and everything that goes on around you," he said.

Mace-type products are the most common form of self-protection on college campuses.

"One of my campus supplies this year was a can of mace that fits on my key ring. It's a comfort knowing it's within my reach, especially during those late-night classes," said Christine Marshall, an undeclared sophomore.

"The only thing that you have to be careful about when you are using Mace is that it could blow back in your face depending on the wind direction, but it is better than using nothing at all," McClinton said.

A relatively new Mace product on the market is called Dye-Witness. It is a foam-type substance with either a green or orange dye added.

Another thing he recommends that students carry is a personal alarm. It is about the size of a pager and attaches by a string to a purse, belt loop or backpack. When the string is detached, an alarm sounds.

"This will attract attention from surrounding folks, and the last thing a thief wants to do is attract attention," McClinton said. There is also a switch button that can be operated by the person wearing the device.

A simple coach's whistle can also be used to attract attention to a situation, he added.

A stun-gun can be used to temporally incapacitate the assailant, giving the person a few seconds to remove themselves from the situation. However, a stun-gun is not the same thing as a taser gun.

"A stun-gun will send 65,000 volts of electricity into the person, which is not enough to cause any damage. A taser is only issued to law enforcement agents and is used for a more serious purpose," he said.

The Club, a very popular anti-theft device, is only meant to be a deterrent to thieves. McClinton said that even if your car has the Club, your stereo or your possessions could still be taken.

"The Club is meant to work hand-in-hand with an alarm system to protect your car. However, it can be used to hit somebody if you were being attacked," he said.

Brandy Crandel, a junior business major, said she uses the Club everywhere she drives.

"You also get a discount on your insurance as well," she said.

"One thing I would recommend that all students do is to put a couple of quarters in an envelope with the name and the phone number of a contact person on the outside," McClinton said. "If you were stranded on the side of the road, and a person stopped to help, you could give them the envelope. If they are really interested in helping you, they will make the call."

The most popular recent investment is a cellular phone, McClinton said. It is handy if you have car problems, are being followed or need to report suspicious activity to law-enforcement authorities.

To prevent carjacking, McClinton said, "it is good practice to leave a lot of room between you and the car in front of you when stopped at an intersection."

"If your car gets bumped, check out the situation before getting out, then have the person follow you to a public place to access the damage."

According to McClinton, cars manufactured by General Motors are most often stolen, adding that four to five cars have been stolen from the UH campus so far this semester, a rate he said is about par.

"It is really easy to break the steering column of GM cars. One thing that will prevent this is a car guard," he said.

The car guard is constructed of steal and wraps around the steering column. It is able to fit any make of car.

Remember the saying, "There's safety in numbers?" That advice is strongly urged by McClinton. However, what about the times when students are not able to gather in groups?

"UH offers an escort service available to all students. I recommend that students take advantage of this service," he said.

The campus escort phone number for nonemergencies is 743-0600. There are emergency call-boxes located in every parking lot for student use. The campus emergency phone number is 743-3333.

Above all, McClinton said students should not assess a suspicious situation themselves.

"Call the campus police immediately. They are trained to handle these types of situations," he said.

GRAPHIC...........

Top 10 list for your protection:

1. Mace-type products

2. Personal alarm

3. Coach's whistle

4. Stun-gun

5. The Club

6. Cellular phone

7. Quarters in an envelope

8. Car guard

9. Campus escort

10.Emergency and nonemergency numbers

Don't Forget these important campus numbers:

Nonemergency 743-0600

Emergency 743-3333

 

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VOLLEYBALL TEAM FOCUSES ON MATCHES AT HAND

by Chris Peña

Daily Cougar Staff

Well, now that the title is theirs, it's time for the Houston Cougar volleyball team to set their sights on the next match.

After clinching their first-ever Southwest Conference championship with a victory over the Rice Owls Wednesday, the Cougars (18-3) will try to extend their 15-match winning streak when they host the Oklahoma Sooners tonight at Hofheinz Pavilion at 7:30 p.m.

Head coach Bill Walton said he is glad to be done with the SWC race.

"We can really focus on just playing volleyball," he said.

This is the true goal of the Cougars.

Walton said their goals are the same for every game: to identify the opponent, be focused, communicate, be persistent and never be out-hustled.

This is what has led the Cougars to tonight's game.

If the Cougars defeat the Sooners, they will set a new school record for consecutive victories in one season. The original mark was set by the 1979 Cougar squad coached by Ruth Nelson.

The Cougars defeated the Sooners 3-1 earlier this year in Norman, Okla.

In that match, Cougar sophomore setter Sami Sawyer had a season-high 61 assists, and senior hitter and All-America candidate Lilly Denoon-Chester led the team with 21 kills. Sophomore hitter Marie Claude-Tourillon was second to Denoon-Chester with 17 kills.

Hitter Kartina Sullivan registered 20 kills, and setter Karen Meyers had 45 assists to lead the Oklahoma attack in a losing cause.

Oklahoma (12-11) out-blocked the Cougars 8-6 in Norman. It was one of the few times this year that the Cougars finished with less team blocks than their opponent.

The Sooners are led by hitter Gretchen Anderson, who is averaging 3.54 kills per game, and Meyers, who averages 11 assists per game. All Sooner stats are through Nov. 1.

The Cougars will also host the Kentucky Wildcats Sunday, the starting time for which has been changed to 4 p.m.

If the Cougars finish out the regular-season schedule with five consecutive wins, they will head into the SWC tournament with a streak of 20 victories.

"I think we are capable of going undefeated," Walton said.

By clinching the conference title, the Cougars assured themselves of a first-round bye in the round-robin post-season tournament to be played at Rice's Autry Court starting Nov. 18.

After the conference tournament, the Cougars won't be able to sit around and wait for the start of the NCAAs. The team will travel to California and play Santa Barbara on Nov. 25 and Long Beach State on Nov. 26.

The first round of the NCAA tournament will not begin until the 30th of this month, with times still to be announced. Presently, the University of Houston is bidding for a first-round regional game to be played at Hofheinz Pavilion.

"I'm sure it's (the NCAAs) on everybody's mind, but it's nothing we'll talk about," Walton said.

Instead, they'll stay focused.

 

 

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IT'S TIME TO START THE COUGAR BUS, BABY

Basketball season to start through party atmosphere of Saturday's Bash

by Jason Paul Ramírez

Daily Cougar Staff

Midnight Madness? Well, not quite. It doesn't look as if Dick Vitale will be making a special appearance.

But when the Houston Cougar basketball programs officially open up their seasons Saturday, the festivities in Hofheinz Pavilion promise to be just as exciting, if not better, than those televised nationally on ESPN each year.

The first annual Cougar "Basketball Bash" will tip off its events at 11:30 a.m. and run until 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free for anyone wishing to attend as it will offer people a chance to catch an early peak at the players taking to the hardcourts this season.

Men's coach Alvin Brooks and women's coach Jessie Kenlaw will each introduce their respective players and participate in a "mingling" with several of the fans in attendance.

"The thing that something like this does is that it creates an awareness to our fans of just who our men's and women's basketball teams are," Kenlaw said. "I think that you always have to get out and meet people.

"There are a lot of people in the Third Ward that have never met Alvin or myself, so something like this becomes exciting, and hopefully we can continue to hold a bash like this every year."

Players from both teams at the bash will also put on a display of two 15-minute drills that will involve a running through of basic basketball practice fundamentals.

Players will then partake in an autograph session and appear on a radio panel sponsored by Mix 96.5 FM.

UH athletic director Bill Carr will address questions on the panel regarding Houston's new conference status while Brooks, Kenlaw and players will answer questions concerning the upcoming season.

"I think the players are really excited," Kenlaw said. "Any time you try something new, it creates a kind of curiosity that players want to be involved with."

Leading the way for the men's team this season is junior forward Tim Moore, one of four returning starters left over from last year's club, which finished a disappointing 8-19 in 1993-'94.

The bright spot for the Cougars, however, was that they won six of their last nine games and hope the late-season success carries over into this season.

"We're way better than last year from what I've seen in practice," Moore said. "We're much more ahead and kind of getting down to taking care of business."

Freshmen Galen Robinson (forward) and Tommy "Tank" Davis (guard) were the cream of Houston's recruiting crop this year, prompting many experts to name Robinson as the preseason favorite to win the Southwest Conference Newcomer of the Year award.

Other Cougar returning starters participating in Saturday's events will be senior forward Jessie Drain, sophomore guard Willie Byrd and senior guard Tyrone Evans.

Though she will not be on the court once the season gets under way, Lady Cougar sophomore forward Pat Luckey will definitely be on the court Saturday as fans will have a chance to chat with the preseason first-team All-SWC pick.

Due to academic ineligibility, Luckey will not be able to rejoin the Cougars until Dec. 7, the last day of the fall semester. That gives the Cougars two full days to work Luckey into their lineup in time for Houston to host national power Southern Cal in Hofheinz Dec. 9.

"Pat has been practicing, but only to a degree," Kenlaw said. "We want her to concentrate more on her grades."

Saturday's events will also include photo opportunities, face-painting and performances from the Cougar Brass Band, UH Cheerleaders and Cougar Dolls.

 

 

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SINGER/SONGWRITER'S ALBUM SHEAR MAGIC

By Jim Presnell

Daily Cougar Staff

Jules Shear continues to prove himself to be one of the very best of the singer/songwriter breed. He started out with Jules and the Polar Bears more than a decade ago and has improved with time.

Songs Shear has written have graced albums by the Bangles, Cyndi Lauper and many other pop luminaries. He's had a songwriting talent few can rival since his career began. But now, his voice is improving, and his song choice gets better and better. This should make him a pop-music icon in his own right.

The wordplay on Shear's songs always elicits exceptional stimulation. Pop songs have rarely seemed so deep and involving, as is the case on "Bird in That Cage," from his latest album, <I>Healing Bones<P>, in which Shear sings, "The real world flew in pieces around my head ... While I was planning a breakout / There was a bird in that cage ... ."

Especially poignant are the lyrics to "Heaven/Hell," wherein Shear sings, "There are no goldfish / Swimming around anyone's head / Just the grayish color between right and wrong / Instead / And all the heathen poets are home / In bed by eleven / Now is that Hell."

The music is inventive pop-rock: half ballads and half up-tempo numbers. The songs meld into a thematic whole that makes <I>Healing Bones<P> an uplifting experience to cherish all the way through.

The band Shear has gathered together for this record has a decidedly all-star character to it. There is drummer Jerry Marotta (Linda Ronstadt, Bryan Ferry), bassist Tony Levin (Robert Fripp, Peter Gabriel), guitarist Elliot Easton (the Cars) and keyboardist Rod Argent (Argent), who assisted Peter Van Hooke in ably producing the album.

Recording was done in London and at Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, New York. The excellent writing and frank exposure of the songwriter's feelings remind one of another Bearsville denizen, Todd Rundgren. This is pop without compromise. The writer puts himself on the line, quirks and all.

SINGER/SONGWRITER'S ALBUM SHEAR MAGIC

By Jim Presnell

Daily Cougar Staff

Jules Shear continues to prove himself to be one of the very best of the singer/songwriter breed. He started out with Jules and the Polar Bears more than a decade ago and has improved with time.

Songs Shear has written have graced albums by the Bangles, Cyndi Lauper and many other pop luminaries. He's had a songwriting talent few can rival since his career began. But now, his voice is improving, and his song choice gets better and better. This should make him a pop-music icon in his own right.

The wordplay on Shear's songs always elicits exceptional stimulation. Pop songs have rarely seemed so deep and involving, as is the case on "Bird in That Cage," from his latest album, <I>Healing Bones<P>, in which Shear sings, "The real world flew in pieces around my head ... While I was planning a breakout / There was a bird in that cage ... ."

Especially poignant are the lyrics to "Heaven/Hell," wherein Shear sings, "There are no goldfish / Swimming around anyone's head / Just the grayish color between right and wrong / Instead / And all the heathen poets are home / In bed by eleven / Now is that Hell."

The music is inventive pop-rock: half ballads and half up-tempo numbers. The songs meld into a thematic whole that makes <I>Healing Bones<P> an uplifting experience to cherish all the way through.

The band Shear has gathered together for this record has a decidedly all-star character to it. There is drummer Jerry Marotta (Linda Ronstadt, Bryan Ferry), bassist Tony Levin (Robert Fripp, Peter Gabriel), guitarist Elliot Easton (the Cars) and keyboardist Rod Argent (Argent), who assisted Peter Van Hooke in ably producing the album.

Recording was done in London and at Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, New York. The excellent writing and frank exposure of the songwriter's feelings remind one of another Bearsville denizen, Todd Rundgren. This is pop without compromise. The writer puts himself on the line, quirks and all.

 

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GREEK TRAGEDY, ITALIAN COMEDY MAKE UH OPERA A CLASSIC

by Celeste Martin

Contributing Writer

What do you get when you cross a 17th century Italian comedy troupe with a Greek tragedy? Composer Richard Strauss got <I>Ariadne Auf Naxos<P> with his librettist Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Strauss is best known for "Also Sprach Zarathustra," the theme to the movie, <I>2001: A Space Odyssey<P>.

<I>Ariadne<P> is one of the most difficult operas in the repertoire for singers, and is, in some aspects, Wagnerian. Buck Ross, UH Opera Theater director, said, "I've always wanted to produce this show, and finally, I have the singers to do it. It is so vocally challenging that it is hard to find every last character. This opera has a big cast, but it also lifts the burden of having an opera chorus."

Ross will make a stage appearance in this production as the Haushofmeister. This is a first in his long history here at UH.

James Goan, stage manager and voice student, said, "These are some of the finest singers I've ever worked with. Their performances are so enjoyable that I sometimes find myself becoming a spectator. I treasure working with the singers of this cast because surely one day, they will be singing in the greatest opera houses of the world."

Conductor Peter Jacoby said, "This is not an easy opera. It is an intellectual opera on deeper levels and has a very funny situation on the surface."

Ross added, "I love this opera because it has something for everybody: romance, comedy, tragedy ... the contrast between the comic troupe and the tragic is like life ... it's not all tragedy, nor is it all comedy."

"The music is very tuneful," Jacoby said. "It's like Wagner harmonically. There's quite a bit of chromaticism ... it's a modulating opera. He explores very complex harmonics. It has the weight of Wagner, but the complexity of Mozart."

The character of Ariadne is Wagnerian, yet has the character of Zerbinetta, a stereotype found in Mozart operas. She's on the comic side of the opera and lightens everything up (as she steals the show). It's even written in the music as she is doing vocal acrobatics.

Nancy Curtis, a guest artist who will sing the role on Saturday night, said, "It is the most challenging role in the repertoire for my voice type. It's incredible. And, with the way it is staged, I am moving around so much that it heightens the stakes."

John Jennings sings the tenor role of Bacchus. He is a guest artist who said that to sing in this student production is a career move. He has studied this role for over a year, and he has also studied in Germany while doing opera auditions there.

The title role of Ariadne is sung by Beth Williams, who said, "It is about the only comic opera I will ever be in because my aspirations are mainly to sing Wagner."

Set designer Elva Stewart said all the sets were created by the drama department.

The backdrop is "almost an exact replica of a fresco (painting) on the ceiling in the Villa Farnese in Florence, Italy, dating back to 1575. It depicts zodiac signs of all the constellations in the Northern Hemisphere," Stewart said.

The brilliantly colored costumes for the comedy troupe were made especially for this show and rented by Frankles Costume Co. Ariadne's and Bacchus' costumes were designed and made by Terri O'Brian.

Jacoby wrote the English translation for the singers to study, and it is also the translation being used for the supertitles, which are projected onto a screen above the stage to assist the audience in understanding what is being sung or said at all times.

This translation is not a word-for-word translation, nor is it made to be sung with the music. "I was trying to make the translation explain what was happening at each situation and try to make it work in English the same way it works in German. In other words, if there was a sense of humor in the German ... I wanted to make it as funny in English ...," Jacoby said.

The opera is accompanied by the UH Symphony Orchestra. Performances are 7:30 p.m. tonight and Saturday in Cullen Performance Hall.

 

 

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LIFE AND LOVE OF <I>LYRIC<P> LEAVES LASTING IMPRESSION

By Valerie Fouche

Daily Cougar Staff

What do you do when your past will not let you get on with your life, even when love enters and tries to help set you free? You struggle – emotionally, internally and externally.

The release <I>Jason's Lyric<P> (Gramercy Pictures) deals effectively with this over-done issue. It may indeed be trite, but this film is different; it's written from a gut level that reaches out to you and pulls you in.

The original screenplay of <I>Jason's Lyric<P>, by Bobby Smith Jr., asks the eternal question: Can love ease the pain and erase the memories of an unhappy past?

Jason (Allen Payne) has had to grow up too fast in order to help keep his family from drifting apart. In doing so, he closes himself off to the normal dreams and aspirations that nurture young people and help them grow.

The last time Jason allowed himself to dream, to see the magic in life, it ended tragically. He lives continuously in the anguishing shadow of his father's death.

His father Maddog (Forest Whitaker), went off to Vietnam and returned a bitter and broken man. Jason waited patiently for his father to heal, for their family to be reunited and for the magic to return. That dream ended one night in a moment of violence.

Before he met Lyric (Jada Pinkett), Jason only dreamed of nightmares and violence. However, once in Lyric's arms, he sleeps – peacefully and securely, and is finally able to express the feelings he has kept bottled up.

But the guilt of his father's death is like a lead weight bearing down on his family. He feels it is his responsibility to take care of his hard-working mother Gloria (Suzzanne Douglas) and his younger brother Joshua (Bokeem Woodbine), who has been in and out of jail.

People say the brothers are as different as night and day, but Jason knows Joshua has just taken his fear and guilt and turned it into anger.

Like <I>East of Eden<P> and <I>West Side Story<P>, two 20th century classics, Smith's screenplay artfully blends reality and poetic imagery. He gives the story a modern psychological spin, demonstrating how love can grow despite the fact that the families of the two lovers suffer from the long-term effects of dysfunction and violence.

<I>Jason's Lyric<P> proves that only love can break the cycle of problems and misunderstandings that are passed on from generation to generation. And it's only through love that the healing process can begin.

The movie was filmed mostly in the Third Ward in Houston and makes the film even more dramatically appealing. Many recognizable faces and places appear throughout the film. The city of Houston, with its mixture of new and old neighborhoods, was integral to the film's tone. Production designer Simon Dobbin said, "Houston has a pastoral feeling and a much slower pace than New York or Los Angeles. The city is always shot in the distance, utilizing the incredible skyline as a contrast to the urban blight going on in the foreground."

To provide a contrast, the tender love story between Jason and Lyric is set apart from the eroded area in which they live. "The scenes with Jason and Lyric are quite beautiful," said Francis Kenny, director of photography. "They're shot like a poem."

The use of flowers and butterflies represents the metamorphosis of their lives and the changes taking place inside them. "Whenever Jason enters Lyric's world, it's like a dream," Kenny said. "But when he's in Alonzo, Joshua or Maddog's world, it's very much like a nightmare. Lyric represents that something special inside everyone. When you find that specialness, it's a healing quality."

Starring: Allen Payne and Jada Pinkett

Director: Doug McHenry

4 Stars

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