Poll puts Paccione ahead

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Oct 312006
 
Authors: J. David McSwane

An independent poll published Monday shows the race for the 4th Congressional District seat will be a tight squeeze

The poll, conducted by RT Strategies and Constituent Dynamics, gives Democratic candidate Angie Paccione a three-point lead over incumbent Republican candidate Marilyn Musgrave.

The survey of 991 potential voters showed Paccione had the support of 48 percent of likely voters, leaving Musgrave and Colorado Reform Party candidate Eric Eidsness with 45 and 5 percent, respectively.

The poll yields a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent, which the race falls within.

“This just proves what we’ve been saying all along,” said Paccione campaign spokesman James Thompson. “It’s a dead heat. It’s gonna come right down to the line”

But Musgrave’s campaign hasn’t been so willing to acknowledge a close race. They conducted a poll of their own, which gave Musgrave a voter support of 45 percent, Paccione 38.5 percent and Eidness 9.3 percent. That poll has a margin of error of 5 percent.

“They’ve been trying to pass off their polls to the media for quite some time,’ Thompson said. “We believe they are suspect.’

Thompson adds that the Musgrave campaign has not released the data gathered from their surveys to the public.

The Musgrave campaign could not be reached for comment.

But judging by the Republican’s last minute efforts to have some heavy hitters visit the district and some significant campaign expenditures in the last weeks of the election, they are ready for anything on Nov 7, said John Straayer, a CSU political science professor.

“What I found interesting about this poll is it seems to validate large sums of money being spent on the two campaigns,” Straayer said. “Nobody wants to pour money into a losing cause.”

And The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News reported Monday that President Bush has planned a visit to Greeley Saturday to support the Musgrave campaign.

Historically, Straayer says, parties only send out the big guns in races they recognize will be a close call on Election Day.

“This is extraordinarily interesting,” he said. “It is an extraordinarily thing when you have the 4th Congressional District this tight.”

The Republicans have held the 4th Congressional District for the last 34 years.

The Collegian conducted its own poll Tuesday. Of 100 students who participated in the survey, 76 percent either chose “yes” or “maybe” when asked if they intended to vote. Of those potential student voters, 44 percent said they support Paccione, 12 percent support Musgrave, 8 percent support Eidsness and 36 percent were not sure.

City editor J. David McSwane can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Playing with Fire

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Oct 312006
 
Authors: Francisco Tharp

There’s a new artist haunting the Front Range, and he’s got a smoking torch in each hand. You couldn’t bring him a beer or pass him a tray of celery and dip at his gallery opening. No, this artist is an ethereal, fire-breathing energy – a ghost of sorts who lets his two earthly torches do his burning for him.

His name is AJ DicHol, and you’ve never heard of him, but that doesn’t mean this volatile phantom with his pioneering processes and uncanny performance art isn’t blazing out an essential niche in the eastern slope art scene.

A. Hol (a.k.a. “Aaron Holtzer”), one of AJ DicHol’s two flames, describes AJ DicHol as the artistic manifestation of the reality that “destruction is the source of all creation.” J. Dic (a.k.a. “John Dickinson”), flame numero dos who lights AJ DicHol’s way, puts him (yes, AJ DicHol does receive a singular, masculine pronoun) in more down-to-earth terms: “AJ DicHol is just two good-looking men making the best damn art ever.”

This complementary contrast of artistic vision beats the heart and hearkens the rhythm of what AJ DicHol truly is: a plural beast, at once elegant and raw, oblique and globular, an acid cowboy meets MC Escher. Like lingering coals, his outward artistic glow will draw you into a deeper, multi-layered realm seemingly not of this world.

With their “Guerilla Dada” project, uninhibited performance art and series of primal yet sophisticated canvas burnings, the two senior fine arts students at CSU are playing with the fiery limits of artistic representation.

“AJ DicHol is very material and process driven,” says J. Dic. “It’s natural occurrences that are creating the art. We have limited control. It’s in the moment.”

The bulk of AJ DicHol’s works belongs to a series of “burnings” inspired by the blazing of one of J. Dic’s unsatisfactory creations. Out of artistic frustration, the two collaborators reinvented fire as an artistic medium.

“I had collaged strips of tape on the front of this piece and I wasn’t happy with it,” recalls J. Dic. “So I threw it into the flames. The flames were hitting the front, but the tape was masking out the burns, and we just kind of went with it.”

AJ DicHol begins his process by stretching a raw canvas on a pine frame. Then he applies various masking agents to the back of the canvas, which is then creatively toasted over a fire pit in A. Hol’s Fort Collins backyard. The fuel for the fire ranges from scrap wood to books to garbage.

“We burn everything,” A. Hol says. The masking agents – ranging from glues to CDs – resist the flames while non-masked regions of the canvas burn more quickly. Even rain has been used to create speckled compositions, although J. Dic names rain as “AJ DicHol’s arch nemesis.”

Once, during an attempt to work in the rain, AJ DicHol’s protective umbrella caught fire and burned to the wire skeleton.

“The process can be very primal, very masculine,” J. Dic and A. Hol agree. “We have beards. We work in the rain – sometimes with our shirts off.”

The masks create light-colored negative compositions against a parched background tinted like a half-smoked, hand-rolled cigarette. The canvases as a whole connote long-faded sepia photographs, where the corporeal elements of a strict, 19th century couple have sizzled away leaving only the spiritual cores. Some burnings – including such titles as “Robots Doing it Doggy Style,” “Ninja Decimal Point,” “Can I Have a Light For My Space Ziggurat?” and “Photograph Taken From a Photograph Taken From Space Sub” – turn out to resemble a brown Rorschach card or a prehistoric cave-wall communication.

Some invoke extraterrestrial blueprints, solar system maps or Nebraskan-cornfield landing sites. Others scream brown primordial stew of amoebae and bacteria. They seem to reveal contemporary expressions of the biologically formal elements of life itself.

The canvases are then set in angular, black wooden frames, which become as much an element of the art as the canvases within. AJ DicHol’s Web site claims the burnings “blur the line between sculpture and 2-D art.” Some pieces, like “Light Guy” – a vertically arcing series of five, one-foot square canvases – are backlit by a lighting system concealed behind the images.

The amber glow unifies the canvases by igniting the original flame of creation in the final display. Compositions range from six inches square to their largest 3-D piece, which is four-by-five-by-three feet.

One unique piece, titled “Two Million Dollar Burning,” is a reverse burning, with the masking agents left intact on the canvas. “We call it the ‘Two Million Dollar Burning’ because we won’t accept less than two million dollars for it. Unless it’s one million dollars,” J. Dic explains.

The burning series consists of “between 80 and 4,000 pieces. Probably closer to 80,” J. Dic guesses.

The two artists, who conceived AJ DicHol in 2004 after meeting in a sculpture class, created most of their burnings to be displayed and sold at the 2005 Cherry Creek Art Festival. Currently, 25 of the pieces are on display and for sale in Seven-30 South restaurant and gallery, 730 S. College Ave. in Denver.

AJ DicHol has also seared the walls of Denver’s Walker Fine Art, Walnut Foundry, the Purple Martini and the Denver Design Center – a place where “rich guys go to buy $3,000 sofas,” A. Hol points out.

Beyond burnings, AJ DicHol experiments with a series of performance art he calls “Guerilla Dada” which goes something like this: Under the cover of dada darkness AJ DicHol penetrates the Visual Arts Building on campus and places found objects about the building accompanied by comment sheets inviting viewers to respond to the works.

“In one,” remembers A. Hol, “we had this little porcelain boy dressed up in Dutch clothing sitting on an Astroturf welcome mat; but we did lots of different stuff. Most of it was stolen within 24 hours.”

“The comments we got were pretty varied,” J. Dic adds. “Some were awfully negative, and others played along with it, but all were pretty humorous.”

Besides “Guerilla Dada” AJ DicHol performs readings of erotic Jackie Collins passages from the tops of buildings on campus, after which he smashes the fine literature on the ground until it is destroyed.

“Holtz usually picks some pretty juicy passages,” J. Dic says.

Another series of works born of AJ DicHol is the “Wreckdems” collection.

“‘Wreckdems’ are burnings that we messed up on,” says A. Hol. “And then we’d say we had ‘wrecked ’em.’ Then we’d place rectangular frames around the screw-ups.”

There is no shortage of punning in the AJ DicHol studio. Take the name, for example. “It also rearranges to form ‘Hol JA Dic,’ A. Hol points out. “Together we are one. The Dic and the Hol, together.”

The next piece they plan on developing is a letter to the sun, the literal center of the solar system.

“It’s just a thank you note,” says J. Dic. “Just, ‘Thanks, sun!'”

A. Hol has calculated that postage for a thank-you note to the sun – not including insurance – will cost about $172,787,878.80, but he is not absolutely sure it will ever arrive.

“It may burn up upon arrival,” he predicts. “After all, it is the sun.”

Staff writer Francisco Tharp can be reached at features@collegian.com.

Breakout:

To view galleries of the burning series, go to www.ajdichol.com.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Rams Basketball Exhibition Opener Tonight

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Oct 302006
 
Authors: Matt Pucak

With only five players returning from last year, the Rams men’s basketball team will open its season against with an exhibition game against Division II Regis tonight at 7 p.m. at Moby Arena.

The Rams will display nine newcomers on a team that went 16-15 last year and are predicted to finish 7th in the 2006-07 Mountain West preseason Media Poll.

CSU may be a youthful team, with only two seniors, but the players that are returning all have significant experience. Junior forward Jason Smith became the Rams first ever all-MWC first team performer last year, and was named to the preseason All-MWC team this year.

Senior Cory Lewis, who led the MWC in assists last year, will get the nod again at point guard, while forward Freddy Robinson is the only other senior who returns after averaging 5.7 points per game last year.

Head Coach Dale Layer is excited that the Rams are returning to the court.

“We are a little banged up and a little sick, but we are excited to play someone else,” said Head Coach Dale Layer after practice Monday.

He stated that some players may sit out this game due to sickness or injury, including junior center Stuart Creason, who sat out practice Monday, and Smith, who has minor tendonitis in his foot, will see how it feels.

The Rams’ players are also very excited to start the year, and they have a good feeling.

“We are looking for passion, energy, and execution,” said Robinson on his expectations for the game. “Everybody is on a good vibe about this team. We are working hard and having fun with one another.”

The game will mark the first basketball game with the “Green Machine,” a larger and newly-named student section at Moby Arena.

The Regis Rangers were 12-15 overall last year and return just 3 letterwinners. The Rams lead the overall series 22-7, including an 87-51 victory in Moby last year.

Tyler Smith, a highly regarded Northeastern Junior College transfer, will be sitting out this game and the next exhibition game due to a suspension, but he will be able to return for the regular season opener.

Basketball beat writer Matt Pucak can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

RamTalk

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Oct 302006
 
Authors:

Has anyone else noticed that our university e-mail looks like it was created on Windows 95?

Someone dressed up as Gartrell at a Halloween party I was at. It was great.

It was fate: The one morning I wake up early I see a mysterious man decide to do the good deed of finally getting that umbrella out of the lagoon! I think I was the only one that witnessed this miracle! Hats off to you!

To our neighbors: Yes, we do have Dance Dance Revolution practice at 2 a.m. in the morning. You haven’t lived until you’ve played Dance Dance on a projector screen with surround sound. When you’re ready to dance the dream, you know where we live.

Guy by the rock: “YOU! You have sinned and will burn in hell!!!” God: “Dude, come on. You’re killing me here. How about, ‘Love y’all and peace out.’ Really killing my reputation, chief.”

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Our View: Don’t eat french fries

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Oct 302006
 
Authors:

With all the seemingly “pro-pot” editorials we have written, we must make something clear: marijuana is not good for you. It doesn’t have the nutritional value of, say, a granola bar. It will probably make you lazy and too much of it could rob you of your ambition.

And this goes without saying, it clearly impairs your ability to think (that’s kind of the point, though).

So, to make clear, the Rocky Mountain Collegian does not support pot consumption. Or alcohol consumption. Or French fries consumption. Or reading People magazine

But we will fight to defend your right to make a fool out of yourself at a party and spend hours vomiting afterward; clog your arteries with America’s favorite side order; and have a superficial take on life.

And to be consistent, we will fight for your right to feel that special giggly feeling after smoking the plant. Ladies and gentleman, freedom is on the march. We know this because our president says so.

But with all this freedom running around in foreign lands like a drunken sailor thrashing a broken beer bottle at anyone in sight, though, one would think giving people the choice of a drug clearly more benign than legal alcohol wouldn’t even be up for debate in America. But for some outdated, puritanical reason, it is. Let’s change that next Tuesday.

Vote “yes” on Amendment 44.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

To the Editor:

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Oct 302006
 
Authors:

Collegian biased?

Editor’s note: This letter was sent last week, before the Collegian published Monday’s feature on Bob Beauprez.

Like any typical day, I like to enjoy a good read before class, and my choice is always the Collegian. Not just for the Sudoku puzzle or to read Ram Talk hoping to get a new Chuck Norris joke, but I more often than not read the Collegian front to back and save those wonderful puzzles for class itself.

But lately I have become angry with the paper. Everything is Bill

Ritter this, Bill Ritter that, one can’t but wonder: Is our paper turning into Fox News (a major one-sided news station) or is my imagination running rampant? So, I find myself neither a Democrat nor a Republican but have voted both Democrat and Republican in the past.

I am currently in John Straayer’s state and local government class and was there to witness Bill Ritter speak to our class. Not many people know that a week before this visit from Ritter, Republican candidate Bob Beauprez was also there to speak to the class. Not many people knew because Beauprez did not get the coverage by the Collegian that Bill Ritter received.

I thought I was going crazy so I asked Henry Howard, a business major here at CSU, what he thought. He said he not only does the puzzle, but is an avid reader of the Collegian articles as well. “I have not read or noticed anything on Bob Beauprez in this week’s or prior weeks’ papers, but have read an awful lot on Bill Ritter,” Howard said.

Also, when asked if he knew that Beuaprez came to CSU a week ago he responded, “I had no idea that he came.”

So here is my dilemma: For many students, the Collegian is their only news source. If the Collegian chooses to highlight one candidate and none of the other candidates, even third-party candidates, how are the students supposed to hear both sides of the issues?

It’s not just Bill Ritter, but even third party candidate, Paul Fiorino, got more press than the others. If Ryan Chapman was still writing his Wednesday column, I know he would have said something about this so I wouldn’t have to. I guess for the Collegian to recognize you, you had to have gone here (Ritter) or taught here (Fiorino) to be paper-worthy.

Matt Myslivy

open-option

freshman

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

To the Editor:

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Oct 302006
 
Authors:

Dudley is not representative of all males

In response to Mr. Dudley’s article on dating, I am not going to even attempt to tackle the way with which the article was printed grammatically. I’m a science major. Sad that I am offended by it.

First off. I must commend you on your use of such an extensive vocabulary. Coitus! Well done, sir! No wander why people think chivalry is dead! The use of a term that many people must look up to find its true meaning completely masks the candor of you speech. Well done! With such extensive vocabulary, I would think you could appease a high school girl looking for love in all the wrong places!

Coitus (or intercourse, whichever you prefer), is not the goal of chivalry. Chivalry (associated with the “nice guy analogy according to Mr. Dudley) asks nothing in return for acts of virtuosity. Chivalry serves and ends it with the act. It is true and good. Anyone that says it is dead is a person that serves with ulterior motives. Looking for a thank you is enough to deem selfish when speaking of chivalry. Don’t pretend to know the nature of the legacy by saying it is dead and gone. “Managed to sound like a complete jerk” completely sums it up. Men, as a whole, look for things like Mr. Dudley. “Coitus” is what men look for. Point being: men like this give us a terrible name, and I stand against it. Chivalry and proper, appreciative treatment exists in the male race, though rare it may seem. Some men actually live by a code of excellence in their lives. I urge all to see this in the few that remain. My only “hesitance” is the women who continually put up with and support those that do not do justice to what can be.

Ben Ubl

junior

microbiology

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

To the Editor:

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Oct 302006
 
Authors:

Thanks for the ‘Green Machine’ coverage

I know many times the Collegian has received criticism for not having this story or that story. Or there have been times you have been criticized for having a certain story in the paper. I wanted to take the time and say “thank you.”

Thank you for having articles in the Collegian about the Green Machine. The Student Alumni Connection is on a quest to improve the attendance at our athletic events. It may not be easy, but it is possible!

Having articles remind students about the new section is much appreciated. Thank you to all the students who attended the volleyball game. We may have not broken the record, but our rivals up north felt our presence. To all the staff and volunteers at the Collegian, THANK YOU.

Mike Van Houten

sophomore

information systems

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

To the Editor:

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Oct 302006
 
Authors:

Where’s the love for the swim team?

I’m not sure if you realize we have a swim team here at CSU, and that we are currently undefeated in our season. The very same weekend that the football team lost miserably to Wyoming, we crushed the Cowgirls in a swim meet, but the Collegian decided to fill the entire back page up on how we scored ZERO points against Wyoming and not even mention how the swim team beat them. Maybe next time you should try and focus on CSU’s strengths, NOT our weaknesses.

Brette Winegarner

junior

human development and family studies

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Make campaigns more fun for voters

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Oct 302006
 
Authors: Geoff Johnson

Just like popular television programming, we need to make politics more intoxicating for viewers. Enough debates; enough of the same smear ads over and over with different names. We need to make television viewers crave this (expletive). I’ve got two possible solutions here, but really, the options are endless. Here goes.

1. Reality television.

We need to put the two (or three – however many) candidates in the same house – just like MTV’s The Real World.

You know what this would mean? It would mean cussing, all levels of sassiness, and, of course, bleeped swearing.

Excerpt:

Candidate A: Would you mind talking to me before you bring people back to the house late at night? I had a campaign stop this morning, and I didn’t get much sleep.

Candidate B: Alright. Whatever, (muffled expletive).

Candidate A: What did you say?! What did you say?!

Candidate B: I said you’re a (expletive).

Candidate A: Aw, hell no! Heeeell no!

Candidate B: What?! What?! I’ve got a 10-point lead in the Gallup polls! What difference did you hope your little campaign stop would make?!

Candidate A: Uh-uh! Uh-uh! (expletive) that! I fall within the margin of error!

Candidate B: Aw, (expletive) that! Margin of error?! This is a red state! Of course they want me! Candidate C is going to spoil your chances anyway! (expletive)!

Candidate C (from other room): Hey! Come on now! This is between the two of you! I’m all for reform! I’m not getting involved with this (expletive)!

Candidate A: (expletive) this. I’m calling my boyfriend from back home!

After Candidate A goes to the phone room, Candidates B and C exchange looks of anger and confusion, respectively.

2. My second method for making politics more fun to watch is even better.

FOOD FIGHT!

They’d be televised. The candidates could bring whatever food they want – no foods barred, as it were – and the events would be covered just like football or basketball or baseball. I’m thinking we could bring in one sports announcer – let’s just say Bob Costas for arguments’ sake, because I like him. Then, we’d bring in Tim Russert for the political analysis while the food flies.

Excerpt:

Costas: Well, it is a beautiful day for a food fight!

Russert: Yes it is, Bob. Yes it is.

Costas: Getting right to it – on the right side of your screen is Candidate A, the underdog, wearing the sensible black pants suit, and incumbent Candidate B is on the left, wearing gray with the blue tie.

Russert: Their state is split right down the middle, Bob, and each candidate hopes to make up some ground today.

Costas: And try they will. Here comes the whistle, and we are under way. Candidate B emerges from his corner with what appears to be a large pot of – is that lamb curry?

Russert: I’m receiving information, Bob, that it is indeed lamb curry. You’ve got to wonder where that will put him with conservative voters.

Costas: Indeed. One also wonders how effectively he will be able to fling the curry with that.I guess it’s a ladle? Some sort of large spoon, anyway. And he’s hit! Candidate B is hit! This is what I call “smear” campaigning! Candidate A delivers the first strike with – what is that, Tim? Can you see?

Russert: It’s mac-and-cheese, Bob. I think Candidate A is trying to show voters that she has not strayed from her Midwestern roots.

Costas: So we’d be assuming that this is very bland mac-and-cheese, then? Almost no flavor?

Russert: I can’t imagine anything else. This makes a strong statement only two months from Election Day, Bob. And that definitely helps her fantasy numbers.

Costas: An upset in the making. We will be right back after these messages.

Geoff Johnson is a senior English major. His column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm