GARIBAY WINS SA PRESIDENCY

by James V. Geluso

Daily Cougar Staff

C.L.A.S.S. candidate Giovanni Garibay won the Students' Association presidential runoff, defeating Peoples' Party candidate Henry Bell by a 144-vote margin.

Garibay's election places him at the head of a Students' Association dominated by the opposition party. The Peoples' Party won 15 of 32 Senate seats, as well as the vice president and student regent positions, in elections held last week.

A total of 979 votes were cast in the runoff, which was held Wednesday and Thursday. Garibay won 559 votes, and Bell won 415. Five votes were counted as miscast by the Election Commission.

Garibay was not present when the votes were counted, but was informed of the results while he dined with his mother at the UH Hilton.

"This is the happiest day of my life," he said. "I think Henry is a great guy, and I'm going to go congratulate him."

Bell began meeting with Election Commissioner Robert Kramp immediately after the election in order to file complaints about the election.

"I don't think that the situation was handled properly," Bell said. "Some of the ballot locations were not open on time, and I know some people who were going to vote for me were not able to vote. "Regardless of the outcome of the election, I think Gio is a fine candidate, and he'll do a good job," Bell said, adding that he plans to issue a formal statement to the press at noon today on the front steps of the University Center.

Garibay had no objection to the prospect of Bell's appeal. "We both had to go through the same thing," he said. "If he feels he's got to do that, that's OK. I'm just glad I won."

 

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INCIDENTS RUB LIBRARY THE WRONG WAY

M.D. ANDERSON LIBRARIAN CHARGED WITH INDECENT EXPOSURE, ASSAULT

by James Aldridge

News Reporter

John Stephen Bonario, 29, a systems librarian at M.D. Anderson Library, was arrested Wednesday and charged with assault and indecent exposure.

Bonario allegedly was in a bathroom stall at 6:36 p.m. when UHPD Officer Tom Lowers, in plain clothes, approached him. When Lowers identified himself as an officer and attempted to arrest Bonario, the librarian allegedly shoved and engaged in a fight with Lowers in an attempt to resist arrest.

"What happened was when I attempted to place the individual in handcuffs, a fight broke out. Well, it was really a wrestling match. I sustained a minor scratch to the elbow," Lowers said.

After a scuffle with Lowers, Bonario was arrested and taken to jail, UHPD Lt. Malcolm Davis said.

Bonario's roommate, who wished to remain unnamed, said, "Why would a professional ruin his career like that? It does not make sense.

"I have no idea about what to think about all of this. I cannot imagine him doing this," he added.

UH Libraries Director Robin Downes said he would not comment on the police matter while the investigation is in progress, and police officers would not give details on the alleged incident that led to the arrest.

Bonario could not be reached for comment.

If convicted of Class A misdemeanor assault, Bonario could be fined $4,000 and/or spend one year in jail. If convicted of Class B misdemeanor indecent exposure, he could be fined $1,500 and/or spend 180 days in jail, Davis said.

Bonario's court date is set for March 23 at Harris County Court, No. 12, and he is currently free on $500 bail, according to the District Clerk's Office.

The last instance of indecent exposure in M.D. Anderson Library occurred in January when four people were charged.

These arrests are the result of the increased surveillance in the library by plain-clothes UHPD officers, Davis said. This is part of an effort to reduce thefts of unattended items and other crimes.

Callistus Nnabuife, senior library assistant and former library manager, told The Daily Cougar at the time of the January incidents that a similar increased policing effort a few years ago decreased thefts and other crimes at the library.

Nnabuife also said there are about 100 incidents of indecent exposure a year.

Yolanda Washington, a nighttime library manager, said at least two cases of indecent exposure occur each month in the library.

 

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POWER STRUGGLE IN MEXICO CAUSES UNREST

by James Aldridge

News Reporter

Politics in Mexico have not been pretty in the last year and a half. With a growing, vocal emergence of insurrection from peasants and the devaluation of the peso, Mexico's stability has been called into question.

Discussing this current social, political and economic crisis in Mexico, Adolfo Aguilar Zinser, a professor of political science at the National Autonomous University in Mexico City and a Mexican congressman, addressed a predominantly Latin audience at the UC Parliament room Wednesday.

"I am confused with Mexico as you are. I spent many years trying to understand my country, and each day it surprises me," Zinser said.

The tall, thin man with a thick accent attributed the cause of the Mexico crisis to a combination of factors: the Mexican government’s repression of peasant farmers; its inability to provide adequate social programs, like health and education; and its $20 billion debt to the United States.

Although the instability in Mexico has only recently made front-page headlines in the United States, it is a problem that has been precipitating for at least the last 10 years, Zinser said.

"The things we are learning today have been going on in the dark for many, many years. Mexico has an authoritarian regime. It does not allow freedom of information," he said.

The Institutional Revolutionary Party has been in power for 70 years, and the binding force of the Mexican ruling class is corruption and complicity, Zinser said.

What the world is seeing now in Mexico is the end of a regime. "The binding conditions do not exist anymore because the social binding is eroding. It is melting from the ground up," Zinser said.

This power is being wrested from the elites to the people in this "democratization of Mexico," and this means political arrangements have started to change. The ones who are losing power are fighting to retain as much control as possible, Zinser said.

This struggle is epitomized in the violence at Chiapas, the southeastern Mexican state that has been the recent site of Indian revolts that began Jan. 1, 1994. The Indian uprising, led by the Zapatista National Liberation Army, seeks to transform civil society and ameliorate living conditions for the poor.

Carmina Teran of Comite de Solidardid said the Mexican government has assassinated Zapatista leaders, burned down houses, stolen property and poisoned the peasants’ maize (corn) crops. "We have reports that children became sick and died fleeing to the jungle when troops entered the area," she said. "There were pregnant women who were forced to have babies in the jungle without medical care."

Teran and Comite were in Chiapas on a humanitarian mission until Feb. 9, when troops sent the villagers into the jungle. Villagers reported to Comite that Mexican troops bombed their homes. The government denies this charge.

Zinser said part of the reason for the uprising is that Chiapas is a largely agrarian state in which the extremely wealthy control the extremely poor. Sixty percent of the population is in poverty while the wealthy control the trade, wages, prices and all areas of commerce. Combined with the lack of social services in Chiapas, Mexico’s proletariat armed themselves and made demands on the government, he said.

He added that the worst aspect of the social conditions in Chiapas is that the Indians face social and racial discrimination. "In the penal code of Chiapas, not all citizens are created equal. There is no equal protection under the law," Zinser said. "This is the social stratification of Chiapas."

The Zapatistas use revolt as their mechanism for social change because the Mexican government is not accountable to the people, Zinser said.

Zinser recently requested from Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo a disclosure of his personal financial records to track how much money he had when he began office, to make sure Zedillo doesn’t leave office with undocumented funds. However, Zedillo refused to disclose his personal assets when he took office, which is illegal under Mexican law, but the problem is that Zedillo also controls the office that enforces this requirement.

If the Mexican government wants to end the crisis, Zedillo would have to create a new consensus between the peasants, the middle class and the wealthy, and he would have to accept the rules of the game. Everyone would have to make some compromises and come to an agreement, Zinser said.

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PICKERING: STUDY NOT A THREAT TO JOBS

by Bobby Summers

Daily Cougar Staff

No jobs will be eliminated as a result of an upcoming 12-month study of UH nonfaculty employees' job content, according to UH President James H. Pickering.

In a memo to UH staff employees Thursday, Pickering announced UH has hired an outside firm to do a compensation study of all nonfaculty university employees.

"This study does not in any way relate to an individual employee's performance, but focuses on job content only," Pickering said in the memo.

"Although job reclassifications may result from this study, they will not mean the elimination of any jobs, reductions in pay, nor will they guarantee any pay raises."

Pickering said the study will be conducted by the Wyatt Company, an international organization he said has considerable experience in developing compensation programs for both private and public organizations, including organizations of higher education.

The goal of the study, Pickering said, will be implementation of a new classification system that will provide more up-to-date and accurate descriptions of the job responsibilities of staff employees.

Nonfaculty staff members will be asked to complete a job analysis questionnaire in the next several weeks, intended to summarize each job's key duties.

According to Pickering, the study will result in new job classifications that will ensure that employees are working with the proper job titles, will find out if employees are being equitably compensated for the work they do and will help the university develop uniform compensation policies and procedures.

Geri Konigsberg, interim vice president for Media Relations, said job reclassifications may result in people doing slightly different jobs.

"For example," Konigsberg said, "in my area, as the university looks at ways to improve enrollment statistics, we may be doing more marketing. People may have to adapt what they are doing."

Pickering said in the memo, "We believe that our employees contribute to the success and growth of the University of Houston and want to ensure that our compensation programs are not only competitive, but also fair and meaningful to our employees."

 

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UH PROF HELPS DISCOVER MOLECULES

by Andy Alford

Daily Cougar Staff

A research team led by a UH pharmacy professor has made a discovery that has shaken the foundation of 60 years of accepted drug therapy practice.

UH pharmacy Professor Richard A. Bond, Robert Lefkowitz of Duke University Medical College and their research team have proven the existence of inverse agonists -- molecules believed to have the ability to control diseases resistant to other forms of treatment.

Classic drug therapy utilizes a system of stimulants and blockers: stimulants to turn on inactive cells and blockers to stop hormones from causing hyperactivity.

This therapy has been ineffective with a class of new diseases in which cells apparently spontaneously turn themselves on. Blockers fail in these situations because there is nothing to block.

Various forms of hyperthyroidism are among the six diseases that in the last two years have been identified in this class.

Although researchers have postulated the existence of inverse agonists, agents that can turn off spontaneous cell activity, only a handful of people have supported this theory due to lack of evidence. Bond and his colleagues have for the first time proven it in a living organism.

Having worked for more than a year on his discovery, Bond says it will have a huge impact on the pharmaceutical market in the next five to 10 years after further research is conducted to determine the most effective ways to treat this new class of diseases.

Bond and his research team, which includes scientists from UH, Duke University, Baylor College of Medicine, the University of California and Glaxo Research, have published their study in the March 16 issue of Nature.

 

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MISSED CHANCES, BLUNDERS FOIL COOGS

RICE TAKES FIRST GAME OF TOURNEY 6-5

by William German

Daily Cougar Staff

Houston Cougars head baseball coach Rayner Noble was in a foul mood after Thursday's 6-5 loss to the Rice Owls on the first day of the Southwest Conference First Pitch Preseason Tournament.

The first-year coach and his team had the No. 17 Owls right where they wanted them at the new Cougar Field, but came up a little short.

"This was a classic example of not doing all the things you need to do to win a ballgame," Noble said.

Houston (13-10) led 3-1 after two-and-a-half innings, but lost the lead and wound up down a run with three frames to go, never getting closer.

The Cougars knocked out Rice starter Dana Davis after he recorded two outs in the first inning, giving up two runs on a Jason Farrow double and three walks.

Houston also held Rice centerfielder and Smith Award candidate Jose Cruz Jr. to an RBI single in three official at-bats, not bad considering his prodigious power. Still, it was the Owls, now 18-5, who came out on top.

There were a few plays Noble could have been steamed about, but the one that had him particularly concerned was a squeeze bunt play, which backfired in the third inning.

Leading 2-1, the Cougars got the sacks full on singles by Chris Scott, Tom Maleski and Carlos Perez. Designated hitter Jason Farrow hit a slow roller up the middle, which turned into an RBI fielder's choice.

Thus, with junior catcher Brandon Milam at the plate, Farrow and Maleski stood at the corners with one out. The call was a squeeze, but Milam missed his bunt attempt and left Maleski hung out to dry.

After the rundown, Milam fanned, ending an excellent opportunity to knock out Rice reliever Matt Anderson (5-1), who logged the victory after seven strong innings of work.

"The momentum was in our dugout at that point, and that just deflated us," Noble said. "(Anderson) threw a perfect pitch right down the middle and (Milam) missed it by two feet."

Other happenings no doubt befuddled the Cougars' skipper.

In the bottom of the fifth, with Houston trailing 5-3, Rice's Patrick Hallmark reached on a force play, moving to third on a stolen base and a fly to right.

Jeff Venghaus then stood at the plate with two gone, but he got no chance to prove his mettle. Milam's return throw to Cougars hurler Chad Poeck sailed high and skittered off Poeck's glove, allowing Hallmark to greet Milam at the plate and give Rice its sixth run.

"All the little things add up into big things," Houston shortstop Jason Smiga said. "We always get snakebit at the wrong times."

The Owls took the lead in the bottom of the fourth when Cougars starter David Hamilton gave up a leadoff triple off the center-field wall to third baseman Jacques Landry, followed by an RBI double by Venghaus and a run-scoring single by Chris Boni.

Hamilton took the loss, falling to 0-3 on the season. The senior righthander gave up five earned runs in three innings of work, allowing seven hits and four walks.

"The first thing is, the pitchers fell behind," Noble said. "The next pitch was right above the belt, and anybody can hit that, for the most part."

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COOGS LOOK TO REBOUND, FACE TECH

by Richard C. Kroger

Daily Cougar Staff

Searching for its first Southwest Conference victory, the Houston Cougars baseball team continues play in the First Pitch Tournament with a 2 p.m. game today against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Rice's Cameron Field.

The Cougars (12-10) opened the tournament with a heartbreaking 6-5 loss to the Rice Owls Thursday night, while the Red Raiders (22-3) won over the Texas Longhorns 4-3.

The No. 15 Red Raiders, winners of 12 in a row, boast a strong offensive team with a conference-leading .367 batting average and a .558 slugging percentage.

Texas Tech second baseman Jason Totman leads the SWC in hitting with a .492 average, while shortstop Dion Ruecker is tops in the conference with eight home runs.

Cougars head coach Rayner Noble will wait until game time to announce his starting pitcher. However, today's hurler could be either lefthander John Box (2-2, 4.09 ERA) or freshman Jon McDonald (2-0, 3.97 ERA).

"If I start, then John Box will pitch Saturday against Baylor," McDonald said. "But we will have to wait to see."

Said Noble: "Every team in the conference is tough. We just need to keep focused and our intensity level high."

 

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HOUSTON DJ FINDS PASSION IN BLUES

by Scott McMillan

Contributing Writer

Photo by Chris Curry

CUTLINE: KPFT 90.1 FM's Kathleen Kern blends music and history every Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon.

In the midst of a troubled marriage years ago, a Houston disc jockey said she began an affair that continues to this day with blues music.

"It's my passion," radio station KPFT's Kathleen Kern said. "I didn't find the blues. They found me, and they haven't let me go."

The 48-year-old Houston native said she and her first husband lived as hippies in New Mexico in the late 1960s, then moved their family to a predominantly black neighborhood in Dallas.

She said various factors caused the marriage to deteriorate, drawing the attention of outsiders. Neighborhood women began introducing blues music to her.

"They would quote blues lyrics like some people quote scripture from the Bible," she said.

Kern said she eventually moved back to Houston and got a divorce. She described her Dallas experience as a turning point, though, after which she was hooked on blues.

"Blues has power and honesty," the self-proclaimed "blues broad" said. "Frederick Douglass said the music was like an expression of feeling rolling down his cheek. To me, it's souls boiling over in anguish. And it's good music to have sex to."

Kern blends music and history every Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon on 90.1 FM. Her "little blue corner of the world" attracts one of KPFT'S largest listening audiences, a programming assistant said.

"I play 'solid' blues," Kern said. "I don't play much 'rocking' blues, but if I do it's solid rockin' blues. Most of the artists are black."

Listeners to the affable woman's show can hear Albert King promise "I'll Play the Blues for You," B.B. King bemoan "Nobody Loves Me but my Mother" or Koko Taylor plead "Let the Good Times Roll."

Kern also features the songs of Houstonians Lightnin' Hopkins, Albert Collins, Katie Webster and "Hambone" Loomis. She noted that local guitarist Kenny Abair plays a street musician in Sally Fields' upcoming mini-series, <I>A Woman of Independent Means<P>.

Kern said she first went on the air in 1990, filling a vacant 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday time slot. She said she begged for the job. Two years later, a fellow DJ resigned, and her show was moved to its present position.

"At first, I felt a little bad because I had gotten attached to my pre-dawn audience," she said. "But then my ego took over."

Kern recently made a more humble decision. She said she quit her weeknight job spinning records at various Houston nightclubs to work at the Thomas Street AIDS Clinic.

"We should serve," Kern said. "I'm glad to look courage and dignity right in the eye."

She said her new job is emotionally draining. She added that people who think AIDS is only a "gay" disease should visit the clinic to learn that isn't the case.

Kern said she's buoyed by the blues, and it's the humanness of the music that most appeals to her.

When she's not working, she said she likes to frequent clubs like Evening Shadows, the Continental Zydeco Ball Room, JB's Entertainment Center and King Leo's.

"Everyone is welcome," she said. "Some of the clubs offer free buffets."

Kern said she makes her home with her second husband, Bill Kern, to whom she's been married 10 years. She has three children -- Will Story, 25; Jesse Story, 23; and step-son Kyle Kern, 17.

 

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HOUSTON BALLET CELEBRATES 25 YEARS WITH MIXED REPERTORY

Houstonian Trey McIntyre's <I>Skeleton Clock<P> is one of the four classical and modern works presented by the Houston Ballet in celebration of its silver anniversary.

Photo by Geoff Winningham/Houston Ballet

What: Silver Anniversary Ballet Celebration

Where: Wortham Center, Brown Theater

When: through Sunday, March 19

How much: $5 to $70

Phone: 227-ARTS

by Vincent Barajas

Daily Cougar Staff

In celebration of 25 years of the Houston Ballet, the company offers a mixed repertory program of four classical and modern works, highlighted by the premier of Ben Stevenson's <I>Sylvia Pas de Deux<P> and a new version of Trey McIntyre's<I>Skeleton Clock<P>.

The diverse program also includes Stevenson's romantic <I>Three Preludes<P> and George Balanchine's effervescent <I> Western Symphony<P>, showing through Sunday in the Wortham Center's Brown Theater.

Moody and synchronous, <I>Skeleton Clock<P> opens the program. First choreographed by 20-year-old McIntyre in 1990, the piece (set to John Adams' "Fearful Symmetries") made its world debut in Houston that same year. After a brief sabbatical that saw the multi-talented McIntyre create, write, direct and produce MANTIS, the choreographer has returned to add five years' worth of experience to <I>Clock<P>. The result, wherein the dancers represent the cogs and inner workings of a clock, is highly infectious entertainment.

Next on the bill are the two Ben Stevenson works: <I>Three Preludes<P> and <I>Sylvia Pas de Deux<P>. The fact that Stevenson is the Houston Ballet's artistic director should off-set the surprise of learning that neither <I>Preludes<P> nor <I>Sylvia<P>were meant to be performed publicly. As originally conceived, the two were "workaday" pieces created as exercises for dancers.

The sweeping <I>Sylvia<P> (featuring the music of Leo Delibes) stood out as the true crowd-pleaser of the performances. It provided the four-piece program with emotional climax and more than ably loosened up the audience for the lighthearted fun of <I>Western Symphony<P>. <I>Sylvia<P> features the incredible dancing of Tiekka Schofield (for whom Stevenson created the piece) in Saturday's performance, and is based on the rarely seen three-act <I>Sylvia<P>, which was first performed at the legendary Paris Opera House in 1876.

Finally, for those who just weren't satisfied with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, there is Russian immigrant George Balanchine's <I>Western Symphony<P>. Balanchine enthusiastically embraced the customs of his adopted country and set this 40-year-old ballet within the framework of an unmistakably American idiom -- the Old West. Hence, the male dancers wear cowboy hats and chaps while the female performers dress as saloon girls.

This silver anniversary series of performances is presented by Houston Ballet with obvious and well-deserved pride. The diversity of the four pieces makes the program ideal for ballet novices, while the quality of the performances and the music will please even the jaded fine arts fans.

Tickets for students can be purchased for $5.

 

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HAVE SOME <I>SUSHI ALA MODE<P> WITH THE LUNACHICKS

by Frank San Miguel

Contributing Writer

The Lunachicks is one of those rarities in indie rock -- funny, rockin' and pretty darn entertaining -- that's home cookin' worth going out for. So when you've got a shot to grab something from this band, go for it -- especially something as hard to get as this.

<I>Sushi ala Mode<P> is a new import EP from New York City's all-female punk quintet. Recorded in Japan, <I>Sushi<P> will cost you nearly $20 on mail order, but you'll likely be the only kid on your block with this handy chunk o' plastic. As if that weren't enough, it's released by the Benten label (a subsidiary of Seven Gods Music), the East's premier launching pad for Japanese girl groups, including the Flamenco A Go Go, Droop and Lolita No. 18. Sounds like a keeper so far, but what of the music, you ask. What significance is it to my existence, you ponder. Well, little buckaroo, those little grooves in the disc ain't too shabby.

From start to finish, the six-song <I>Sushi<P> is a suave soiree. The music is filled with the kind of energy that probably hasn't been seen from the 'chicks in years. New surroundings, perhaps? Anyway, the crash of a punky song is never to be missed, and the Lunachicks deliver like a Federal Express driver with too much caffeine in the bloodstream: Jump or die a quick death.

What one has to like is Benten's willingness to foist the treasures of woman-dominated acts on an unsuspecting populace. Last year, the label captured a truckload of varied Japanese girl groups on its <I>Benten Bentoh<P> sampler. ("Bentoh" is Japanese for lunch box.) While not Japanese, the Lunachicks have an odd style of punk that isn't without quarters of support. Because it's a Japan-birthed recording and the Lunachicks are a "girl group," Benten seems like the smart place to go with something as neat as this.

From a technical standpoint, the production here is pretty crisp, and the music is high-quality. The Lunachicks do an engaging form of rough guitar rhythms, thudding rhythm section and a screaming sort of vocalization that makes the skin blanch. It's essentially an accelerated breed of that good ol' rock 'n' roll. At points, <I>Sushi<P> borders on cheesy rock but that's part of the camp of it all.

Best of all, the Lunachicks do a cover of Boston's "More Than a Feeling," which begs to be heard. This rarity alone may be worth the price of the disc.

<I>Sushi ala Mode<P> is available from the Benten label, 303 LSP1-39-7, Setagaya-ka Tokyo, 154 Japan.

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HAVE A <I>MULTITUDE<P> OF MUSTARD AT THE CANTINA

by James V. Geluso

Daily Cougar Staff

The pit will start cookin' at 9 p.m., at the Flamingo Cantina in Austin, when Mustard Plug takes the stage tonight as part of the South by Southwest Music Conference.

Mustard Plug is a ska band from Grand Rapids, Mich. that brings a sense of humor almost as wicked as its horn section to all its shows.

The band's two releases, the cassette EP <I>Skapocalypse Now!<P> and the album <I>Big Daddy Multitude<P>, sound a little like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, but with a cleaner and more horn-intensive sound. Along with the vocalist, drummer, guitarist and bassist, Mustard Plug features a tenor sax, alto sax and a trombone that could be dangerous to stand near.

Mustard Plug got its start by playing clubs around Grand Rapids in 1990. With high-energy tunes and lyrics that ranged from the dark to the silly, the group attracted a loyal following and released the eight-song EP <I>Skapocalypse Now!<P> in 1991. Songs like "Kill the Governor" (an ode to Michigan Gov. John Engler) and "7-11 Man" (with the catchy chorus line, "Please don't kill me tonight!") filled the pit instantly.

When the band released <I>Big Daddy Multitude<P>in 1993, a few of the songs from <I>Skapocalypse Now!<P> were included, like "7-11 Man," which was retitled "Average Guy." The disc sold its initial pressing at Grand Rapids music stores within three months.

Last summer, the band went on its first national tour, driving out to California and playing clubs all the way.

Expect to hear a few references to Grand Rapids in the songs tonight. Most are fairly simple, like the mention of Grand Haven beaches in "Summertime" and complaints about the boring Grand Rapids night life in "To Be." "Murder in Tulip City" is filled with jokes that are hilarious to a disillusioned Western Michigander, but would fly over the head of anyone else.

If we're lucky, Mustard Plug might even dedicate "Kill the Governor" to George W. Bush.

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