European cities offer up different flavors

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Apr 302003
 
Authors: Vince Blaser

LONDON – For those thinking of studying abroad and/or traveling to Europe soon, here are some observations about some places I’ve been so far.

London

My home for four months hasn’t disappointed. London is an explosion of culture. I am in the minority as a white in my classes and you can get Chinese, Indian and British food all in the same place. Culture is also found in a large selection of plays and musicals and places sites Madame Tassaud’s. The museums are great, numerous and free. England loves their tradition and it is evidenced by great sites like the Tower of London, the Houses of Parliament (with Big Ben) and the Cabinet War Rooms. The original college towns of Oxford and Cambridge are less than an hour away, as are Stonehenge, the Roman city of Bath and Windsor Castle. The biggest problem is that London is expensive, very expensive. Public transportation is good, but expect the unexpected, it’ll happen at least once. The beer is good and a pint of Guinness costs less than a bottle of Budweiser. Four months won’t be nearly enough to see all the city has to offer.

Wales

More sheep than people, beautiful scenery and smiling faces, got to love it. Everything is printed in English and Gaelic, which is very different language. Can I buy a vowel, Pat?

Dublin

I went to Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day weekend, and I suggest you do the same if you get the chance. The city isn’t as spectacular as some other capital cities, but that’s not why you come. The Irish are extremely friendly and old people drink and dance with the young at the pubs. St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Trinity College and the nearby Wicklow Mountains are beautiful. You can see the whole city from the Gravity Bar at the old Guinness Brewery. While in Dublin I was kissed by a drunken Irishman (on the cheek), flashed by five middle-aged women, interviewed by Dave Attell for Comedy Central’s “Insomniac” and drank my weight in Guinness.

Paris

The most romantic city in the world does its best to live up to its reputation. My girlfriend and I went for Valentine’s Day and had a five-course meal that didn’t disappoint. Most of the French are not as rude as rumored, but try to attempt a few words of French, they will appreciate it. The view from the Eiffel Tower is amazing. Versailles Palace is beautiful and you could spend days in the Louvre (art museum) and still not hardly see everything. The metro (subway) is easy in Paris, just get a map. Wine is cheaper than Coke and baguettes and pastries are great.

Naples

Naples is not the most spectacular city in Italy, but it is steeped in history, hills and nearby Mt. Vesuvius. The traffic is bad and drivers are crazy, but you will get more of a true Southern Italian experience than you will in Rome. Views of the Mediterranean are spectacular. The ruins of the Roman city Pompeii and the island of Capri are at your doorstep.

Rome

If you go to one place in Italy, go to Rome. I don’t think anywhere else in the world hits you with a bigger one-two punch of history and religion than Rome. Even if you’re not a historian or a Catholic, you will be amazed at the detail and beauty at sites that have been around for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. The city is pretty dirty and there are a lot of pickpockets, but if you come accepting that, it will go beyond your expectations. Many sites are close together and the Vatican can be reached by metro, which the city is currently expanding.

Florence

Florence (Firenze) is an amazing display of the Renaissance packed into a small city with plenty of outdoor markets. The Doma, a huge red dome on the cathedral of the Santa Maria de Fiori is enormous and a great site. I’m not really that into art, but Florence almost made me want to move there and study it. Everything in Florence is easily walkable, and the food and gelato (ice cream) is excellent, as is the rest of Italy. The beautiful rolling hills and small villages of Tuscany and Pisa’s amazing wide-open Campo de Miracoli (Field of Miracles) that include the Leaning Tower is a short train ride away.

Venice

Ah Venice, even better than I imagined it. The canals, magnificent St. Mark’s and its square make it a great place to visit, and it has an interesting history. The water is strikingly light blue and vaporettas (water buses) can take you the same places as gondolas for much cheaper. There are not a large number of sites to see here, so either go to relax or stay for a short time. The main part of the city is easily walkable and there are no cars and few bikes, very nice.

South of France

The rich of the rich flock to the French Rivera to the Grand Casino in Monaco, the film festival in Cannes and the nude beaches in the east of the Cote d’ Azur. However, college students can get by at some less expensive parts of the region. We went to Nice, a strikingly inexpensive resort city with beautiful views of a crystal clear Mediterranean and unbelievable flowers and trees. The reason it’s cheaper is the long beachfront is all small rocks. The weather is great except for the rainstorms, which we experienced one day. The other place we stayed was Arles, a small old walled Roman town. A large Roman amphitheatre still holds bullfights, and Van Gough painted many of his famous paintings there. We caught the tail end of a huge four-day festival they have around Easter every year. There is a mix of French, Spanish and Italian culture depending on where you are in the South of France. Travel is a bit slower here, but this is where you come to relax.

Barcelona

Barcelona is a thriving city with many sites very unique to it. The Sagrada Familia church is still under construction even though it began in 1881, and it has the most original architecture of any church I’ve ever seen. Barcelona also has stunning views from the cliff Parc de Montjuic, where the Olympic Stadium is. It has some sand beaches that were created for the 1992 Olympics, so if you go into the water you will find rocks. There are tons of people up late eating, drinking and enjoying the night; Las Ramblas (main street) is almost always full. The metro is clean and timely here.

Flights in or around Europe are very cheap on certain airlines like Ryan Air and Easy Jet. Eurail passes are a good idea and can be bought in the United States, but you may want to reserve a seat during busy times. There are dozens of tours of all corners of Europe, some better than others.

Vince is a junior Technical Journalism and Political Science double major. He is currently studying abroad at Middlesex University in North London.

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Our View

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Apr 302003
 
Authors: the Collegian Editorial Board

It was a nice try.

State legislators are desperately seeking ways to work around TABOR and raise tuition at state colleges so the schools can get a little extra money and ease budget constraints. One bill that was killed by the state legislature Wednesday would have used a voucher system to make state colleges an enterprise state entity, something exempt from TABOR restrictions, by giving students vouchers to attend school rather than subsidize them.

Basically, students would be given a voucher to attend a school of their choice, and the voucher would have, in effect, covered two years’ worth of education. The student would have had to make up the difference to attend a four-year school using his or her own money and/or financial aid.

Tricky concept, but it would have made state colleges exempt from the TABOR amendment. CSU President AL Yates did not support this measure, although he recognized the importance of breaking away from TABOR restrictions.

The main problem with the voucher system is that it probably would have hurt CSU. If students get the voucher, it is likely those students would choose a two-year school over a four-year university or college, because the two-year school would have been paid for entirely.

Plus, CSU’s tuition would go up as a result – as that is the entire reason to pass the bill – and many students would have another reason to ditch CSU for a cheaper school already paid for with the vouchers.

Another goal of the voucher system was to entice students who wouldn’t ordinarily go to college by handing them the voucher and saying, “pick a school.”

The editorial board opposed this measure and is glad it failed, although we would love for CSU to find a way to become exempt from TABOR.

The University of Colorado pushed a bill through the Senate Education Committee April 24. The bill will, if passed, exempt CU from TABOR.

As a land-grant school under a different governing board than CU, it might be difficult for CSU to push a bill that could exempt the school from TABOR. But it is worth a try.

Maybe the new president of CSU could make exempting the school from TABOR his first goal and first great accomplishment.

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FEMA assess cost of blizzard

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Apr 302003
 
Authors: Patrick Crossland

The blizzard in March left more than snow, branches and hours of cleanup. It also left a large bill to cover its three-day stay in Colorado.

President Bush declared an emergency in Colorado to reimburse the state and 22 counties, including Larimer, for the cost of cleanup during and after the snowstorm.

Fort Collins is still waiting to see government aid, said County Manager Frank Lancaster.

“Federal money takes a long time,” he said.

All expenditures are directly related to snow removal, primarily covering the cost of overtime pay and equipment rental, said Polly White, public information officer for the Colorado Office of Emergency Management.

“This type of disaster we’ve never had before,” White said.

What makes this disaster unique when compared to the July 2002 wildfires and 1997 flooding is that the blizzard has been declared a federal emergency, rather than a disaster, whereby funds come in after the money has already been spent.

“It wasn’t a major disaster, it didn’t endanger the safety of the people,” White said. ” There wasn’t enough to qualify for a disaster declaration.”

Colorado could receive as much as $12 million to be divided among as many as 85 applicants, White said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is currently in the process of assessing where federal money will go. Potential applicants for aid are informed about what FEMA can offer and complete a request for public assistance.

“It really involves looking at personal records of city agencies to assess cost eligibility,” said Justin DeMello, the federal coordinating officer for FEMA. “They’re put into a project worksheet and entered into a computer database and then funds are dispersed.”

Six to eight FEMA workers will be in Fort Collins to assess applications for a period of 30 to 60 days.

“The scope of looking at records is a tedious task, but they become proficient at looking at records,” DeMello said. “We’re going to do our part as fast as possible.”

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Mishawaka

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Apr 302003
 
Authors: Casey Cisneros

If you are going to be living around the Fort Collins

area this summer and looking for some outdoor

concerts, then head up the Poudre Canyon to Mishawaka.

Mishawaka offers an intimate outdoor setting were

several major regional and national musical acts

perform every summer. The stage is placed perfectly in

front of the river and tucked away inside of the

Poudre Canyon, just off of the road. The venue is very

personal. You can see everything that is going on

onstage and you never get far enough away to need

binoculars like almost all the other outdoor

concerts.

The concerts will start on May 9 this year, with K9

Unit kicking off the summer concerts. Yonder Mountain

String band will be performing two nights up there on

une 7 and 8. Blues Virtuoso, John Hiatt will be

playing on June 27. The two-day Poudre Blue Grass

Festival will be Aug. 2 and 3. The Dirty Dozen Brass

Band will be on Aug. 15. There are several other

acts scheduled and to see for yourself go to

www.mishawakaconcerts.com .

To get there head North on U.S. 287 for about eight miles

outside of Fort Collins then take Colorado 14 up the

Poudre Canyon for 13 miles and it’s on the right.

It’s great to get out of the concrete jungle and up

to the mountains in the summer. Go up there and enjoy

>the fresh air with some live music.

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Second annual “Spike at Night” fundraiser

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Apr 302003
 
Authors: Amy Resseguie

The Phi Kappa Tau fraternity will host their second annual “Spike at Night” fundraiser May 2 and 3 to help send kids to summer camp.

Proceeds from the two-day volleyball tournament will go to benefit Paul Newman’s “Hole in the Wall Gang” summer camps. These camps allow kids aged seven to 17 who are battling chronic and life-threatening diseases a week at a traditional summer camp, free of charge.

Phi Kappa Tau is charging $10 per person for each team that would like to participate, with a minimum requirement of six people per team, said Usen Lam, public relations director for Phi Kappa Tau.

“All of the proceeds go to the camps. We don’t keep anything,” he said.

Lam also stressed the fact that the fraternity would like to see students from all areas of campus get involved, not just Greeks.

“This is a good way for all CSU students to help out,” he said. “It’s a good way to raise money, it’s fun to do and it’s an alternative to another weekend of partying.”

The tournament will take place at the sand volleyball courts on the intramural fields. The event will begin during the day on Friday and Saturday and will continue into the night, with lights surrounding the court. Each team that participates is guaranteed to play three games and at least one of those will be at night, Lam said.

“This is so great,” said Ben Martin, a member of Phi Kappa Tau. “Not only can students stay away from the traditional college weekend of partying, by doing Spike at Night, they can lend a helping hand to kids that are less fortunate than us and have a great time doing it.”

Fraternity members will be advertising on the Lory Student Center Plaza and in the student center throughout the week and teams can register for the tournament in the Office of Greek Life.

Lam also encourages students who do not want to compete to come out and watch. “You don’t have to play or pay to have fun,” he said.

According to the Web site for the camps, www.hitwgcamps.org, fundraisers like Spike at Night are the reason that chronically ill children are able to attend summer camps, where they are surrounded by other kids who are going through the same struggles.

At the camps, “children participate in thoughtful programs and activities that focus on rebuilding the self-esteem frequently shattered as a result of chronic illness,” according to the Web site.

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Research Fund Creates Hope for Melanoma Patients

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Apr 302003
 
Authors: By Willow Welter

A task as simple as spreading lotion over his skin could have saved a Fort Collins man’s life.

After the 36-year-old Bill Walter III lost a battle with melanoma skin cancer in 1998, his family and friends created a program to transform their grief into healing.

“I want my husband’s legacy to live on through raising awareness,” said Bill Walter’s widow, Kathy Walter. “We’re turning our pain into somebody else’s gain.”

The Bill Walter III Melanoma Research Fund organizes events and other means of raising money to benefit melanoma patients as well as scientific research. So far, the fund has raised over $100,000 through events like symposiums, races and silent auctions.

“We give the money to melanoma patients, no questions asked,” Kathy Walter said. “They can use the money however they want.”

Each year in the United States, more than 53,600 people learn they have melanoma skin cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. The disease becomes more common each year.

Research shows that Coloradoans may be at a higher risk to skin cancer, Kathy Walter said, partly because of the high altitude.

Bill Walter also left behind two children: a son, Austin Walter, who is now 9 years old, and a daughter, Katherine Walter, who is now 6 years old.

Kathy Walter said Austin and Katherine apply sunscreen as part of their daily routine. Kathy also encourages them to wear hats and to stay out of the sun when possible, all of which are methods of preventing skin cancer.

“One severe blistering sunburn before the age of 18 doubles the likelihood of developing skin cancer,” Kathy Walter said.

The most recent local event held in Bill Walter’s name was a 5-K run/walk that took place at the Oval on Saturday.

“I think the race went really well,” said Andrea Carhart, one of the CSU student co-organizers of the run/walk called RayZ Awareness. Carhart estimated approximately 150 participants showed up.

In addition to the race, participants received free skin cancer screenings at RayZ Awareness.

“When we lay out in the sun, we’re exposing ourselves to skin cancer and we may not even realize it,” Carhart said. “I don’t think people are aware how deadly melanoma is.”

Bill Walter was born and raised in Daytona Beach, Fla., and worked as a lifeguard in his teenage years, according to billwalteriii.org. His biography also says he “never wore sunscreen.”

Seren Waldman, a senior journalism major, also helped organize the fundraiser on Saturday. She said the turnout was not as successful as she had hoped, but still went fairly well.

RayZ Awareness, along with a silent auction held the night before, raised approximately $4,000, Kathy Walter said.

Kathy Walter said she would like to get more involved with the CSU community, perhaps by working with fraternities and sororities or speaking on campus. Anyone interested can contact her at (970) 229-0238.

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CSU technology could lead to fewer wartime casualties

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Apr 302003
 
Authors: Bryce Chapman

Studies being performed by CSU scientists may help prevent future wartime deaths similar to those occurring with the war in Iraq.

The studies, which are being funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the U.S. Navy with $1.4 million, examine individuals’ minds to determine how decision-making could be more efficient under stressful situations.

“We will look at ways people remember information more reliably and with less effort. As a result, we hope we can find ways to help novices behave more like experts and apply the correct information under pressure and in time-sensitive environments,” said C.A.P. Smith, co-investigator of the research and assistant professor of computer information systems.

Smith, a former U.S. Navy Scientist, said these studies could lead to a reduction in accident-related deaths during wartime.

“In Iraq people were killed because of mistakes that occurred during high-stress times,” Smith said. “This research could reduce those sort of errors and make our soldiers safer.”

By using technology to observe the size of an individuals’ pupil and monitor blood flow and brain activities, the researchers hope to understand when an individual’s brain is cognitively overloaded.

“Because we know that people do not work as efficiently when they are stressed. We can see by technology when they are becoming overloaded and then reduce the workload,” Smith said.

In the study supported by the Office of Naval Research, team interaction without verbal communication is the focus, but the prospect of reducing unnecessary casualties during wartime remains.

“During war, it is crucial to communicate between team members and, since radio lines are becoming crowded and inaccessible at times, voice communication is difficult,” said Stephen Hayne, co-investigator of the study and associate professor of computer information systems. “By building a computer system that allows people to work together by communicating what they see nonverbally, team members will still be able to correspond without taking the time to actually speak and listen to other members of the team.”

Select psychology and computer information systems junior and senior undergraduate students have been taking part in the studies.

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Don’t we have better things to do?

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Apr 292003
 
Authors: Sarah Laribee

There is nothing that actually quiets the insatiable roars of the post-lunch 10th grade din like the writing the word “sex.” On the board. Way more effective than threatening detention. So much more effective than the incompetently furtive “shhh” I let subconsciously escape from my lips as I am talking. As if the whisper was going to stop what the detention threat didn’t. But “sex,” as it turns out, actually does sell.

Unless you happen to be Rick Santorum. Santorum is a Republican Senator from Pennsylvania, who last week made comments that make people hate Republicans. I usually reserve those things for my column, but Santorum has, thankfully, made them for me.

Santorum, in reference to a case currently being tried by the Supreme Court, made comments last week that seem to paint Republicans as bigots. This is news to me, as I thought we were actually considered the “sensitive” party. After all, we have things like tax shelters. And shelter, as everyone knows, is a basic human need.

The senator, referring to the court case that is questioning the rights of homosexuals to engage in homosexual activity within the confines of their homes, said last week, “If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.”

“Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does.”

What I don’t understand is why straight, typically Republican, typically conservative citizens are so wrapped up in this issue. There comes a point in time that regardless of your personal opinions on the morality, appropriateness or health of homosexuality, it makes a little more sense to focus on other things. Don’t we have better things to be doing with our time and energies than try to convince the court system that two consenting adults should be thrown into prison for a sexual act that occurs in a locked, private house?

Because, even though we say that an acceptance of homosexuality leads to an acceptance of actually damaging sexual behaviors like adultery or pedophilia or incest, it’s not like we’re cracking down as conservative Republicans on guys having affairs with their secretaries.

The problem is not with homosexuality. The problem is with a blind permissiveness with the banal. There is a chipping away that occurs in the moral fabric of society with each crass reference to sex on “Friends.” We wear banality like a bumper sticker, and most of us don’t even realize it is happening. At a young adult meeting in town this past Sunday, a local pastor urged his college-aged congregation to reclaim the morality of their generation. And it is imperative that we do this in a society that resembles pre-fall Rome more and more every day.

But there is a difference between standing up for morality and just being ridiculously stupid about what constitutes morality. Even if you think that homosexuality is wrong, do we really want to establish a society where the police can arrest people for doing it in their own bedrooms? Because that actually is a slippery slope. It seems more likely that a higher precedent is set for people to start being arrested for their beliefs if they can be arrested for their acts, than likely that we would accept pedophilia as right and good if we stop hounding homosexuals.

I am a conservative, a Republican, and a Christian. I also take the Bible literally. I also think that those of you out there who identify with my particular paradigm have way more work to do in the world than focus on this particular issue. Don’t we have some poor people to feed or something? For that matter, don’t we have a Gospel to spread? There is too much at stake in this world to convince the world that we’re close-minded and bigoted. Spend your time doing things that will actually count.

Sarah Laribee wishes to give a shout out to Marsha because she never gets a shout out. Yo, Marsha.

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Rams look for 30-win season

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Apr 292003
 
Authors: Joelle Milholm

For the first time since 1998, the CSU softball team has a chance to win 30 games in one season.

The team holds a 29-12 record and the opportunity to chalk up another win will come today when it hosts a doubleheader against New Mexico.

The Lobos come into the series with a 21-32-1 overall record and their 4-10 Mountain West Conference record ties them with UNLV for last place. The Rams’ 8-6 record is No. 3 in conference behind BYU and San Diego State.

CSU enters the game riding a two-game winning streak and just completed the best offensive showing of the year against Utah. The Rams hit seven home runs and had a team batting average of .349 in the two games against the Utes.

“We are just going to try to keep swinging the way we were against Utah,” head coach Mary Yori said. “I am hoping we can just carry that over and score a few more runs than usual.”

CSU leadoff hitter Steph Roberts lit up the Utes by hitting .500. She hit five RBIs, three home runs, and scored four times in the two games. Roberts has recorded at least one hit in 11 of her last 12 games, and the Rams are 22-3 when Roberts scores a run.

When the two teams last faced each other April 5, CSU took both games by scores of 1-0 and 6-2. New Mexico leads the all-time series with a 41-27 record against CSU.

Freshman shortstop Ashley VanBoxmeer will be the biggest threat at the plate for the Rams with a .358 batting average, 31 RBIs and nine long balls.

The Lobos have hit 17 homers as a team compared to 12 for the Rams.

New Mexico ace Amy Dumas has an 11-14 record with a 2.25 ERA and a MWC-leading 156 strikeouts. Ram ace Megan Masser has a 13-5 record and in her last head-to-head match up with Dumas, she got the 1-0 victory.

As a team, the Lobos have a 2.97 ERA while their opponents have a 2.56 ERA. UNM has a team batting average of .269 and its opponents are hitting .270.

The first game of the doubleheader is at noon today with the second game scheduled for 2:30 p.m. The Rams will also host San Diego State in a doubleheader on Friday, followed by another doubleheader with UNLV on Sunday.

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This is in response to Shannon Baldwin’s April 29 editorial column.

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Apr 292003
 
Authors:

Upon reading the title of your article, I cringed, thinking I’d be writing a rebuttal, but upon reading it, I was corrected. I applaud your article for respecting gun ownership although you personally do not wish to exercise your right to do so.

But I do feel it’s necessary to support your allusion to the intents of the framers of the constitution. I would refer anyone interested to take a look at http://www.guncite.com/journals/hal-lin.html to see what the founding fathers had to say about the right to bear arms. But you hit it on the head in your article: what makes challenging the Second Amendment more acceptable than challenging the First? Nothing.

Also, I would recommend checking out http://apollo.demigod.org/~zak/firearms/firearms.php, a website put together by another Fort Collins resident. Also try http://www.nraila.org/ArmedCitizen.asp and search for blank in just Colorado for instances of self-defense using a firearm (I found 96 entries today).

For measure, I was a student at Standley Lake High School, a mere 15 minutes from Columbine, and I certainly felt the repercussions of the massacre, but I still am fully supportive of gun ownership. Watch Micheal Moore’s “Bowling for Columbine” without automatically accepting his anti-gun premise and evaluate the facts he offers for yourself. Look at Canada. The facts speak for themselves.

Tim Bessler

Freshman Business and German

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