Maybe we should run around naked

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Oct 292009
 
Authors: Robyn Scherer

I love Halloween. It is my favorite holiday, and the history of it completely fascinates me. Every year, I watch “Hocus Pocus,” and it never gets old. But, the Halloween of today does not even come close to what it is used to represent.

Halloween, also known as All Hallows Eve, is supposed to be a night to celebrate the dead and their return to this Earth. People used to leave a candle lit in the window to welcome home their lost love one.

Costumes were originally used to scare off demons. But, for any of you who have been to a college Halloween party, it is quite clear that current costumes would never scare off anything.

Instead, I think many college students use Halloween as an excuse to dress as scantily as possible. I remember my first college Halloween party. I saw girls on my floor go out in less clothing than regular underwear covers.

OK, I get it. I really do. You want to be sexy. That is not a bad thing. However, being sexy and being skanky are two very different things, and I feel the distinction isn’t very clear.

When I see all of these females in such little clothing, I wonder, wouldn’t it just be easier to run around naked? I mean, at this point everyone can pretty much see what you have because there is certainly no imagination left.

Companies like Leg Avenue are not helping the situation. This company encourages young adults to purchase skimpy, “saucy” outfits as they call them to look “hot” this Halloween season. And what happens? Everyone ends up with the same pre-fabricated costumes.

What happened to originality? It is gone, just like many other creative things we used to have. People don’t have the time. It’s easier to pay to have everything done for you.

I know sometimes it can be fun to dress sexy and try to attract someone of the opposite sex. However, you don’t have to dress like a prostitute to do it. If that person really likes you, he or she will look at your personality more than your looks.

I know that physical attraction is the first step, and first impressions are everything. But what message are you sending when you dress that way? Are you saying I’m a smart person who has a great story? I have a fiery personality and can be a great friend?

No, you are saying, “Hey take a look at me, I’m easy.” If that’s the message you really want to portray, go for it. Just keep that in mind when you dress up to go out.

When you think about dressing this way, think of all the younger kids who may look up to you. What kind of an example are you setting for them? Think about that next time you decide to wear that extremely revealing outfit. You never know whom you may be affecting.

//So tomorrow night, go out, have fun and be safe. It’s okay to be sexy, but try to do so in a manner that shows who you are. There are a lot of costumes out there that are slightly revealing, and still leave room for imagination.

Remember, pictures of you will probably end up on Facebook, and if you’re like me, both your parents are on it. I sure wouldn’t want my mom to see me dressed like that. Do you want your family and friends to see that?

Keep it classy, CSU.

Robyn Scherer is a senior animal sciences major. Her column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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Ritter a significant part of worsening Colorado budget woes

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Oct 292009
 
Authors:

We find our state, our great snow-covered state of Colorado, in a budget crunch. Why? Let me break it down; I’ll keep it simple.

Your elected leaders in Colorado’s government are as shortsighted as the federal government, investment “experts” who claimed real estate was a rock solid investment and Mr. Magoo.

Like 6-year-olds with a full piggy bank, they erected modern buildings, bought new police cars and fire trucks and when they finished buying new toys, they expanded government employment. Rather than expanding, they should have maintained.

When real estate was doing well and people were spending beyond the limit of what they could afford, a portion of every penny spent went into a coffer. Cities, counties and states all took their portion, and in one way or another, the federal government got its slice of the pie.

This almost seems worse than the spending on credit that we were participating in as consumers. Some, if not most, of us knew eventually the credit would run out while government acted. They then and still seem to believe the debt driven spending will return in full force. In fact, this is the only way in which the recession can correct itself without a massive correction. Do you want terminally increasing debt?

Taxing is acceptable. But during boom years, government must show restraint. It must run surpluses during good times to offset the deficits during the inevitable bad ones. But restraint has not been a function of American government since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s time.

“No,” said the Colorado’s powers that were. “We will not behave as if this economic upturn is temporary.” They wanted to expand their powers and functions and the boom presented the opportunity.

The problems in this always come down to one simple concept: Money.

The Collegian printed a news story earlier this week identifying Governor Bill Ritter’s feeble attempts to balance Colorado’s budget. Insert sarcasm: I cannot for the life of me imagine why we have a budget deficit after so many good years in the state.

It certainly would not have anything to do with the governor adding 4,000 state jobs while serving as the state executive.

This particular issue is slightly more personal to me, because Ritter demonstrated himself to be the worst type of bottom-feeding politician to me personally.

Ritter came to my hometown of Granby this summer for a town hall meeting.

I asked a question regarding the status of state’s rights after Ritter finished covering the room in his malodorous political vomit.

Not only does Ritter believe the concept of state’s rights is alive and well, but he believes he applied those principles when the Army wanted to develop some state land for federal use. He told them no.

I see this as an indication they were not insistent, he took it as backing down the Army, something about which every liberal Democrat fantasizes.

After the meeting, I asked Ritter, “If the recession continues, and people stop spending their discretionary dollars in the ski towns, are you developing any plan at the state level to assist those towns rather than have them die?”

Ritter responded, “I think the recession is over.”

This is exactly the idiotic shortsightedness and rhetoric that led to the utter destruction of our economy and local, state and federal budgets.

Folks, we have a federal debt that a 100 percent level of taxation would not cover. Not only have our past politicians screwed us over, the current politicians are too busy attempting a yoga position known as “rectal Ostrich.”

Not only was the governor wrong about the recession, he is wrong to cut the budget while maintaining the size of the bureaucracy he increased.

Wake up people, Democrats and Republicans are partying at the helm of the Titanic and we’ve already hit the iceberg.

Seth J. Stern is a senior journalism and sociology major. His column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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Stakeholders group connects city, CSU

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Oct 292009
 
Authors: Vince Crespin

Community leaders and residents suggested the addition of trolleys to Old Town and creating a mass directory of businesses and landmarks along the Mason Street Corridor Thursday night as part of a stakeholders meeting Thursday evening.

With the CSU campus being one of three districts of focus for the organization known as UniverCity Connections, the forum it hosted Thursday evening at the Fort Collins Lincoln Center featured many ideas to improve the university along with the two other districts: Old Town and the Poudre River.

The forum, which was dubbed the Fall Stake Holder Event, invited citizens, business owners and others with positions held in their own communities to come and brainstorm ideas to connect the three districts in new ways that would be beneficial to each.

With about 150 volunteers and community members in attendance, the city and university made it clear that building strong relationships between the two entities is important to the continual growth of each.

CSU President Tony Frank, who was unable to attend the event, recorded a video message to address the crowd of Fort Collins residents and leaders.

“UniverCity has a strong commitment from CSU to help further this relationship,” Frank said in his video address.

Doug Johnson, a member of UniverCity Connections, encouraged the crowd to be as forthcoming as possible.

“We brought you here today to be a catalyst for new ideas,” Johnson said.

Dave Edwards, co-chair and one of the original founders of UniverCity Connections, said that the original goal for the organization was to improve relationships. But it since has evolved into something much more significant.

Edwards said the whole initiative began when former CSU President Larry Penley and Atteberry discussed ways to progressively improve relationships between all of Fort Collins and the university. Yet, when Johnson caught wind of it, he suggested they focus on specific districts within city limits, those being the CSU campus, Old Town and the Poudre.

Johnson said that the three districts are all reliant upon each other, but CSU has more potential than the others.

“The university has a unique quality that can help revitalize both Old Town and the Poudre with the type of people it brings to our city,” Johnson said.

Past UniverCity Connections initiatives include: FortZed, Homer 2020 and the Angel Investment tax credit. FortZed, which is designed to help conserve energy, was sold as a way to make the three districts a carbon neutral area.

In order to combat high energy use, during summer months when many residents are using air conditioning, FortZed prompted the use of smart-grid technology — alternative energy source such as wind and solar power — to provide the city with 50 mega watts of energy.

Homer 2020, an initiative to end homelessness in Fort Collins by the year 2020, plans to create more jobs, shelters and opportunities for those less fortunate to move off the sidewalks.

Angel Investment tax credit encourages people to invest in businesses started by CSU students and Fort Collins citizens.

The funding for UniverCity projects comes from five different sources: The City of Fort Collins, The Bohemian Foundation, CSU, Community Foundation of Northern Colorado and the Downtown Development Authority, which share the costs equally.

Staff writer Vince Crespin can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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After some pruning, Oval to reopen in wake of snowstorm

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Oct 292009
 
Authors: Madeline Novey

After it was closed to pedestrians and vehicle traffic Wednesday morning as a result of a massive snowstorm, CSU’s historic Oval will remain taped off to the public until all of the broken and damaged limbs still suspended from the trees can be removed.

The university’s arborists evaluated the risk presented by the almost century-old trees on the Oval –/snow accumulated on the tree’s branches causing some to strain and break beneath the added weight –/at 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning and found that it was still too great to permit people and cars to pass under the trees, CSU spokesperson Dell Rae Moellenberg said in an e-mail.

The Oval will be re-opened as soon as the dangerous limbs are removed, she said.

Most recently, CSU closed the Oval in March of 2003/due to a combination of the same factors that closed it yesterday –/heavy, wet snow accumulated on leaves still on the trees, causing them to bow beneath the weight.

The worst damage incurred was by young Elm trees younger than 15 years. The larger, older trees “suffered little structural damage,” Moellenberg said. No damage to university buildings was reported.

Less than two hours after the Oval’s closure, the university closed, canceling classes and operations at 2 p.m., citing concern over the increasingly severe snowstorm conditions and future forecasts for the Northern Colorado region.

After living in the area for 30 years, Larry Schneider, City of Fort Collins street superintendent, said, “This is definitely one of the largest storms I’ve seen in October this early.”

Since snow started falling in the city at approximately 8 p.m. Tuesday night, Schneider said about 20 snow plows have worked “’round the clock” to clear the city’s streets. And about 30 people –/mechanics, people shoveling the streets and sidewalks and motor operators –/work throughout each 12-hour shift.

Though final numbers would not be available until early next week, Schneider said, the city’s snow removal costs come to approximately $150,000 at this time.

Schneider encouraged residents to shovel their sidewalks within 24 hours after the storm. City snow removal crews will clear all public sidewalks.

Anyone, bikers especially, were asked to call the Streets Department at (970) 221-6615 to report areas requiring snow removal.

There were eight vehicular accidents reported to the Fort Collins Police Services from 5 p.m. Wednesday through noon Thursday, FCPS spokesperson Rita Davis said in a phone interview with the Collegian. There were no injuries or deaths reported.

The city is currently on accident alert because of snowy road conditions, Davis said. If there are no injuries, drugs or alcohol involved in the incident, people have four days to report their accidents to the police.

To report an accident call FCPS at (970) 221-6540. In the case of an emergency call 911.

News Managing Editor Madeline Novey can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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Murder sets scene for spooky tour

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Oct 292009
 
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

Editor’s Note: This information was compiled from the history achieves at the Fort Collins Museum and Discovery Science Center; the archives included articles from the Fort Collins Courier, The Fort Collins Coloradoan and The Fort Collins Express.

On Wednesday, April 4, 1888, James Howe brutally murdered his wife in a fit of drunken rage.

The murder led to in the first, and last, lynching in Fort Collins history. To this day, the woman who lives in the old Howe home still claims to hear things from time to time.

Eva Howe crawled from her home on Walnut Street 121 years ago and screamed “murder” before expiring on the sidewalk. C.P. Miller, the local coroner, declared her death at 1 p.m. that afternoon.

The Howe’s were respected in Fort Collins and were known to move in the “best social circles,” until James – a frequenter of the 16 local taverns — started drinking. He was a “beastly” drunk who beat his wife often, and the night before the murder, the situation was so out of hand she called the police for protection.

She would not, however, “consent to his arrest or confinement.”

The next day, not expecting his return until late that night, she began to pack her belongings when he returned from a morning of drinking earlier than suspected. He then stabbed her with a pocketknife “sharpened for the fatal work which it preformed.”

Minutes after Eva was spotted lifeless on the sidewalk, six local men contained James in a citizen’s arrest until undersheriff Lafe Stultz intervened, taking James down to the station with little resistance.

Resident S.H. Seckner, in a sworn statement, said he was the first to arrive at the Howe home where he found James in the bedroom. Seckner said James pleaded that his wife had committed suicide after she tried to kill him.

Now, in the 21st century, Sierra Tamkin, Old Town Terror Tour guide and museum employee, has recounted this tale many times on haunted tours of downtown and will do so on the final tour of the season today.

She said after a blackout in the city, an angry mob of masked men stormed the jail, dragging James to his death.

The local derricks, located where the Fort Collins Court House stood until April of 1955, is where James Howe begged for his life. He was found the next morning, April 5, at 9:30a.m., hanging where the mob had left him the night before.

None of the men who participated in the lynching were arrested, and Tamkin said the coincidence of a blackout and no convictions following the act led many to speculate government involvement.

The couple left behind a 5-year-old daughter and a home that remained empty for years following the murder. Daisy Bosworth bought the house in the late 1890s and turned the home into a boarding house.

Later, the house was moved from its foundation on Walnut Street to Myrtle Street.

Julie Scena Ferri, the current owner of the Howe home, said that when she and her ex-husband made an offer on the house, the realtors had to disclose the facts of the murder. But even after they heard of the Howe murder, the home was still appealing.

“The house is light, sunny and cozy – it just felt good,” Scena Ferri said.

While Scena Ferri loves her home, she doesn’t deny that weird things seem to happen everywhere she turns. The day they signed the papers for the home, her ex-husband received a package in the mail that contained a 3-inch Swiss Army pocketknife.

“The note read: ‘Greg, thought you could use this. -Love, Dad,'” she said, later adding, “That was one of the weirder things that has happened.”

“Whenever (Greg) sharpened knives, there would be loud bumps in the home, and we would just say, ‘Oh, it’s just the ghosts.'”

She said those bumps have ceased but only because “no one’s been sharpening knives here lately.”

Another weird occurrence she recalled involves a mirror hanging on the wall, parallel to her bed. She had been taking a nap and woke up with the feeling that “something wasn’t right,” to find her mirror had crashed to the ground.

“The weird thing was the twine holding it up wasn’t frayed, someone had cut it straight across.”

The last hint of paranormal activity happens whenever she goes into the cellar, and the fluorescent light extinguishes every time she said.

“I say ‘OK, Knock it off,’ and the light comes back on.”

It’s been years since the small white home, enclosed by a white picket fence, housed the fatal crime it’s famous for, but Scena Ferri said the weird quirks have yet to leave.

“This is probably all coincidental – but it’s kind of fun.”

Senior Reporter Kirsten Silveira can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

CSU organ plays to Halloween crowd

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Oct 292009
 
Authors: Kate Bennis

Mysterious, gothic vibration will spew forth Halloween night from the more than 2,000 pipes, ranging from 1 to 18 inches, of the University Center for the Arts’ Casavant organ.

Haunting the UCA halls Saturday will be the popular fourth annual “Halloween Organ Extravaganza,” which will reintroduce the 40-year-old organ to listeners. Because of maintenance and the move off the Oval to the UCA, the organ was not featured in last year’s concert.

“This is the first year in our new building with the organ renovated, so there is a lot of excitement,” said Joel Bacon, professor of organ and liturgical studies.

The concert will feature a Halloween-inspired set performed by six organ students, 12 saxophone players and Bacon, all who will be dressed in holiday garb.

“The program is for the students, but it’s too much fun for me to not play one piece,” Bacon said.

Popular since its inception four years ago, Bacon said both he and the student performers were stunned by the original turnout for the concert, so much so that he added an additional performance on top of the scheduled two because people were turned away at the door.

In the end, the crowd was amazing, he said.

“For the rest of the year, I had people coming up to me at places like the grocery store, telling me that they’d tried to come to the concert, but they couldn’t get in,” he said.

Since, the popularity of the concert has continued to grow as families, and community members have flocked to the Halloween tradition. Also, attendees often come donning costume, which is highly encouraged by the performers.

This year’s performance will feature both humorous and frightening pieces, along with traditional Halloween organ music like “Bach’s Toccata Fugue in D Minor,” which has been featured in films, like “Tales from the Crypt” and video games, like “Donkey Kong.”

Traditionally, a senior organ student will perform the Toccata. This year, senior Elizabeth Ogg, will perform the piece as part of her fourth, and last, Halloween recital.

“It’s kind of bittersweet because this is my last Halloween performance, but the Cassavant sounds amazing in the new space, and I know it’s going to be a great experience,” Ogg said.

Students look forward to being a part of this year’s performance as much as those in attendance, Ogg said.

“As a performer, it’s unusual to have the opportunity to play for so many people at once, even with big ensembles,” she said. “It’s a fun and relaxed environment, and we have a blast in between.”

Performances are at 7, 9 and 11 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $5 for the public, $3 for students and $3 for youth ages 2 to 17. Buying tickets in advance is highly recommended, as seats are filling quickly.

Tickets are available through the Campus Box Office in the Lory Student Center, by phone at (970) 491-4849, or online at http://www.csutix.com.

Staff writer Kate Bennis can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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Ink

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Oct 292009
 
Authors: Ryan Levitt

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Life on the Edge

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Oct 292009
 
Authors: Dave Anderson

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Aisle 9

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Oct 292009
 
Authors: Jenna Allen

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JUST DANCE

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Oct 282009
 
Authors: Ashley Lauwereins

After a semester of hard work and weekly rehearsals, the only entirely student choreographed and produced dance show opens tonight at 8 p.m. in the University Dance Theatre located at the University Center for the Arts.

Unlike the other dance shows of the semester, the Student Dance Concert employs the work of students only.

“This show gives the audience an inside look at what we’re learning from the professors, what we’re creating and what we’re going to graduate with and put out into the community,” said Mackenzie Buffer, a student choreographer and director of the show.

Buffer, a senior dance and speech communication major, said this show always provides the audience with a wide variety of styles, adding that viewers should expect to see a contemporary ballet piece, several contemporary or modern pieces and a jazz piece, along with singing. Buffer also said to expect props in the dances.

Senior dance major Michelle Ruiz, who along with Buffer and two others direct the show, said any student can choreograph a piece for the show, which gives students the freedom to choose the dance style, the theme or mood of the piece, along with the music.

She said that while ballet is a popular style in Fort Collins, it is important to offer a show of this type because it provides different expressions to the community.

Both Buffer and Ruiz said each of their pieces stem from personal experiences: Buffer’s focusing on memories she’s had in college, and Ruiz’s focusing on overanalyzing.

Dancers often embrace these themes, as well as the movement, and make them their own. Sari Phillips, a junior dance and sociology major, said when a choreographer explains his or her ideas behind the dance, it changes the movement for the dancer.

“You have to look at each piece a different way,” Phillips said. “You try to think about what the choreographer wants and put yourself in a story.”

Thomas Phelan, a dancer and junior dance and psychology major, said while many of the dancers are modern, the ideas behind them are not very abstract, making it easy to relate and show emotion.

“This show is more self expressive,” Phelan said. “This show shows our personalities and creativity more, not just our technical skills.”

While some dances look easy, Phillips said it takes a lot of work and training to execute the dances they perform.

UCA Beat Reporter Ashley Lauwereins can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

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