Art department to turn overpass into canvas
Nov16

Art department to turn overpass into canvas

What began as a small design drawn with pencil on newsprint will soon decorate a much larger canvas adjacent to campus. The art department has undertaken the task of painting a mural on the empty, gray, concrete wall beside University Drive at the rear entrance to campus. The wall is part of Loop 121, and it stands on the side of the road directly beneath the overpass. Overseeing the project will be Hershall Seals, chair of the art department, a man who has experience with paintings of this magnitude. He oversaw the creation of the enormous fish mural painted by UMHB art students on the side of Belton Dam in 2000. “The mural will be like a ‘Hi, how are you’ when you drive onto campus,” Seals said. The main entrance to campus is decorated with signs, emblems and purple and gold flowers in full bloom, but the Sports Plex is all that occupies the back entrance. The mural will add a big splash of color to beautify that side to the university. Seals accepted the task from senior Vice President for Administration Dr. Steve Theodore, who originally proposed the idea. The overpass has become a white board for eager vandals who have placed their stamps, some very off-color, on the cold concrete. “I drive to work that way, and I see the graffiti on the wall sometimes,” he said. “I thought it would be a great idea if we had something that represented our university there.” Theodore approached Seals with the idea, which he accepted without hesitation. Because Loop 121 is a state road, Theodore needed to obtain permission from the state before doing anything to alter it. He presented the idea to officials from the City of Belton as well, even though their approval was not required. The officials in Belton loved the idea, and they immediately helped receive the required permission from the state. All the legalities have been met, but before paint touches the wall, Seals and his students must first decide what they want the finished product to look like. Junior art major Joanne Cervantes painted a watercolor design for the mural. “Hershall drew up a sketch in class of what he had envisioned, and I took it home and painted the design with the letters, flowers and arches,” she said. The design is full of bright colors, but besides adding cheer, the mural could be a way to reduce the graffiti, that often appears on the wall. Drafting on the concrete is slated to begin this semester and painting could start as early as January. [poll...

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International media notices female American politician

The Republicans revere her, and the Democrats demean her. She is regarded as a hero by the Tea Party, and a nitwit by liberals. No matter which way you slice her, Sarah Palin is often the topic of attention in American news. One wonders if the rest of the world even takes notice of Palin’s antics. Is it only in America that the media seems to be emphatic about this female politician? Think again. In many other countries, Palin is also often disputed in the news. It is amazing how one woman, who is no longer a state governor or a candidate for the vice-presidency, can generate so much debate and discussion. In Spain’s Hispanidad, Eulogio Lopez thinks his country could use a political figure who is as innovative as Palin. He says Washington has been “perverted, not only by Obama’s Democrat’s,” but by Republicans, as well. Lopez lists cutting public spending, shrinking the state and abolishing abortion as ideals Palin supports that are needed in Spain. According to Mark H. Teeter at The Moscow News, Palin has made a “spectacle” of politics in America. He despises the politician’s outspokenness and considers it irrational for her to make a run at the presidency, calling her “unemployed.” In Germany, some think Palin is a rock star. Ralph Sina on Tagesschau.de calls her “the perfect Lady Gaga for the new Republican platform.” He calls her a “self-marketing genius” and finds it astonishing that she could still make a run at the presidency. James Neilson at the Buenos Aires Herald in Argentina contends that Palin is one tough lady when it comes to the abuse she takes from the media. He wishes that Argentina’s president, Cristina Kirchner, was more like Palin. He says Kirchner gets upset when she is criticized by the press. She has even talked about nationalizing the media in Argentina so that she won’t receive as much condemnation. Palin takes the abuse she receives by the media everyday in America without complaining. She shows strength that this Argentina writer wants his own president to possess. The fact that Palin’s views are discussed in the media in other nations proves that she has a lot of power in politics, even though she stepped down from her position as governor and lost the election as a vice-presidential candidate. She is a passionate, outspoken figure in the conservative movement. Many people in America are dissatisfied with the direction Democrats have taken the nation. People want conservatism. This was proven by the takeover of the House by Republicans in the recent midterm elections. If Palin runs for president in 2012, she will be...

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Polls predict victory for GOP
Nov02

Polls predict victory for GOP

Today marks a monumental day in the course of America’s history. All summer long, incumbent politicians have been sweating in anticipation. It’s Election Day. The 2010 midterm elections are held across the country today. All of the seats in the House of Representatives, 435, are going under the knife. Thirty-seven of the 100 seats in the Senate will be decided. And 38 state and territorial governorships have the potential to change. In the 2006 and 2008 elections, Republicans took major losses. They gave up the majority they had held in Congress since 1994. After the public’s dissatisfaction with George W. Bush’s administration rose to its boiling point, a Democrat was elected to the White House. President Obama will not be up for reelection quite yet, though, to the dismay of conservatives. However, they have bragged all summer that the GOP is going to take back control of the Congress. Will their hopes and dreams prove true? The polls say yes. According to Election Projection Online, as of Oct. 31, Republicans could acquire 62 seats in the House of Representatives. This is the tipping of the scale many voters have anticipated. It would confirm the optimistic anticipation of many conservatives and give the GOP the majority in Congress. They would hold 241 seats, while Democrats would occupy 194. In gubernatorial races, more of the same is expected, according to EPO. Republicans are projected to take 30 governorships, an increase of six, with the Democrats controlling 19 after the election. Gains in the Senate are still predicted for the GOP, but they are not as significant as those in the House. Republicans are expected to gain eight Senate seats, which would give each party 49 seats (EPO). Two seats are currently occupied by independents and are not expected to change hands. This shift of power in Congress can be attributed to several factors; however, the current condition of the nation’s economy is the most prevalent issue with voters and candidates alike. Voters have taken the wool off of their eyes. They are no longer blind to the effects the Obama Administration’s policies are having on the country. Health care, bailouts, taxes and deficits are the menacing behemoths looming between people and a vote for Democrats at the poll booths. People have not forgotten the “accomplishments” made while the Democrats controlled Congress, as the party had hoped. The polls confirm that many people are upset with the leadership of the country and the direction in which it is moving. America is ready for a change, this time in the direction of conservatism. Voice your opinion....

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Recession still far from being over; job creation must be part of efforts

The economic recession is not over. Despite what guests on various talk shows have been optimistically stating for months (without substantial quantitative data to support their claims), the fiscal state of country is still in a slump. In fact, more than 1,200 NASA employees who have worked on the shuttle program since it started in the early 1980s will be laid off on Oct. 8. Even though Congress recently passed a $19 billion budget for NASA, it is not enough to keep the agency from laying off its workers. Even more ironically, 85 Minnesota job counselors (people whose jobs are to help others find jobs) were laid off last week when stimulus money used to pay their salaries ran out. The national average for unemployment is currently at about 9.5 percent. To bring down these numbers, the president and the federal government have been trying to force jobs into the economy with the stimulus program. As is the case with the job counselors though, many stimulus-funded jobs are temporary at best. With enough stimulus money, the president could give every person in America a job. The government could pay everyone to count how many clouds are in the sky every day. The cloud counters would all earn enough money to support their families. Many jobs created by the stimulus program are “cloud-counting jobs” that is, they are filler jobs created for the sake of providing someone with work. They do not have a real benefit to society. If these jobs don’t serve a purpose by meeting a demand in society, once the money to pay the salaries runs out, the jobs are gone, leaving people unemployed. How then can jobs with substance be added to the economy? According to The Washington Post, “It turns out that entrepreneurship (essentially: the founding of new companies) is crucial to job creation.” Real jobs come through supply and demand. Entrepreneurs create a demand for a product or service and then create specific  spaces to be filled by employees. According to The Post, older companies create jobs too, but they also lose them, such as when a company goes out of business. Jobs added and lost by existing companies basically cancel each other out. “All the net job increases occur among startups, finds a study of the 1992-2005 period by economists John Haltiwanger of the University of Maryland and Ron Jarmin and Javier Miranda of the Census Bureau. The article went on to say that, because most startups are necessarily small, these tinier firms have a statistical edge against bigger businesses, but the effect entirely reflects the impact of new business. If the administration...

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Longboarders carve pavement
Oct19

Longboarders carve pavement

Combine some great friends and one extreme hobby. These ingredients make up the longboarding crew. The group consists of Jeff Mooney, Ryan Ledlow, Chris Whitehead, Pancho Gutierrez, Matt Day, Kevin Ramirez and Ty Humphries and others. The guys can be found riding most often in parking lots at night, where they maneuver their boards with grace and the occasional spill. The longboarders are not in an official club, but they are a group who know how to have fun. They ride all over campus and even at nearby parks. Senior management major Jeff Mooney enjoys longboarding because it replicates surfing. “It’s different from skateboarding because the board is built for higher speeds,” he said. “It’s more about fluid movement, like surfing or wakeboarding, than about kick tricks.” Mooney grew up in Houston but has lived on the beach in Surfside, near Galveston, for much of his life. He started longboarding when he was a freshman in high school. He and his friends liked to surf, but when the waves were flat, they took to longboards. “It’s fun to go down a huge hill and get the rush,” Mooney said. Longboarding can be dangerous, though, because higher velocities mean harder falls. Mooney has broken his wrist and injured his knee. His favorite trick is to “hang ten” on the longboard. To do this, he hangs his toes over the front of the board, as in surfing. Senior marketing and economics major Ryan Ledlow’s favorite trick to do is sliding. “It’s a 180-degree spin where we put our hands on the ground and twist the board around,” he said. Ledlow rides on a trick board that is shorter than most others and made specifically for sliding. After a bad case of road rash, Ledlow advocates wearing protective gear. He has a helmet, elbow pads, knee pads and gloves. He also tries to wear long pants and long sleeves to provide extra padding on his extremities. He and other members of the group used super glue to attach cutting boards to their gloves. This helps protect their hands from getting shredded while sliding. Ledlow feels the time is a great opportunity to be around his classmates. “I like being outside and enjoying time with my friends,” Ledlow said. Senior finance major Chris Whitehead has been riding for two years. “Longboarding is like surfing or snowboarding on land,” he said. Whitehead’s favorite thing to do on a longboard is “bombing” hills. “(It’s) where you pick up speed and ride down a really steep hill,” he said. Some of the hills the longboarding group regularly ride are near Parker and Davidson, Whitehead said. He...

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