Community Briefs 06/29/11

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Jun 282011
 
Authors: Collegian Staff Report

CSU enters program to provide full tuition, fees, housing, book stipends to vets

CSU is partnering with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program to offer full tuition, fees and housing stipends to U.S. military veterans and their children, the university announced Monday.

The Yellow Ribbon at CSU is part of the Post 9-11 GI bill, which pays public, in-state tuition for returning veterans. These eligible veterans can also transfer these benefits to their children.

The program benefits include:

  • 100 percent of undergraduate resident or non-resident tuition,
  • 100 percent of university fees,
  • About $4,300 per semester for housing and
  • $1,000 per year for books.

In order to be eligible to receive these benefits the applicant must have:Served an aggregate period of active duty after Sept. 10, 2001 of at least 36 months, been honorably discharged from active duty for a service connected disability and served 30 continuous days after Sept. 10, 2001 or be a Dependent of veterans eligible for Transfer of Entitlement under the GI Bill based on a veteran’s service.

The university said that it will not place a cap on the number of veterans it will accept in the program.

“Our community, state and nation owe all those who have served in the military a great deal of gratitude and appreciation. We at CSU are pleased to be able to offer these brave men and women, and their families, this opportunity to earn a degree at one of the nation’s top public research universities,” said CSU President Tony Frank in a press release. “We are committed to ensuring CSU remains a top military friendly university.”

The press release said that CSU has about 700 veterans both graduate and undergraduate currently enrolled, and the number has increased each semester by about 10 percent.

Fort Collins ranked as leading bike commuting city

The Atlantic has ranked Fort Collins as the number two bike-commuting city in America with a 5.20 percent of commuters biking to work.

The article noted that Fort Collins has an average household income of $47,843 and has 280 miles of on and off street trails.

“City officials are committed to providing a high quality of life for citizens, businesses and visitors,” said a press release from the City of Fort Collins. “Bicycling resources such as a dedicated bicycle coordinator, cooperative bicycle organizations and newly installed bike boxes, are a big part of that goal.”

CSU researcher and roommate killed in weekend crash

Ines Da Silva, a researcher in the College of Veterinary Medicine, and James “Kyle” Doyle, a Poudre High School debate coach, died early Friday morning when Da Silva’s Toyota pickup truck drifted into a median in North Platte, Neb., causing her to overcorrect and roll the car into the path of a west-bound semi truck.

Da Silva, a CSU graduate, had worked at the university for three years. And Doyle, her roommate, was a long-time Fort Collins resident, graduated from Poudre High School in 2003.

The two were en route to a Doyle family function in Chicago before the crash occurred. They were both pronounced dead at the scene.

When Ines Da Silva left work Thursday afternoon at the CSU lab she has worked in for about three years, it was for a quick weekend getaway with her roommate, James “Kyle” Doyle.

Running for Balance 5k hits the Oval

The Society of Global Health Researchers in Action (SOGHR), in partnership with local businesses, has organized a 5k run/walk for 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, benefiting the Project Self Sufficiency Mental Health Fund.

SOGHR is aimed at promoting research on projects that “improve our understanding and stewardship of global health.” To become a sponsor, donor or research partner visit http://www.SOGHR.org. To register for the run/walk, visit the event’s Facebook page, “Running for Balance 5k” for more information.

 Posted by at 1:43 pm

Silenced voice: Languages dying around the globe

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Jun 282011
 
Authors: McClatchey-Tribune

AYAPAN, Mexico — Only two people on Earth are known to speak the Ayapanec language, Manuel Segovia and Isidro Velasquez, old men of few words who are somewhat indifferent to each other’s company.

When Segovia and Velasquez pass away, their language also will go to the grave. It will mark the demise of a unique way of describing the lush landscape of southern Mexico, and thinking about the world.

Some linguists say that languages are disappearing at the rate of two a month. Half of the world’s remaining 7,000 or so languages may be gone by the end of this century, pushed into disuse by English, Spanish and other dominating languages.

The death of a language, linguists say, robs humanity of ideas, belief systems and knowledge of the natural world. Languages are repositories of human experience that have evolved over centuries, even millennia.

“Languages are definitely more endangered than species, and are going extinct at a faster rate,” said K. David Harrison, a linguist at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and the author of the book “When Languages Die.” “There are many hundreds of languages that have fewer than 50 speakers.”

Hot spots for endangered languages may not be where you think. They include places such as Oklahoma, which holds the highest density of indigenous languages in the United States, partly because faraway tribes were forcibly relocated there in the 1800s; northern Australia, home to many small and scattered Aboriginal groups, and Central Siberia, which has 25 Turkic, Mongolic and other languages that face extinction.

In Mexico’s Tabasco state, which faces the Gulf of Mexico, several languages and their dialects are in agony. Less than two miles northwest of the town of Ayapan is Cupilco, home to a handful of elderly residents who still speak a dialect of Nahuatl, the language of the ancient Aztecs. Linguists call the dialect “moribund” because no children speak it.

When Ayapanec and Nahuatl Cupilco die, bridges will not fall down. Ecosystems will not be disrupted. Few may notice. Language is an invisible triumph of humanity, and its disappearance brings only silence.

“It’s not as flashy as a pyramid, but it represents enormous human achievement in terms of the thought and effort that went into it,” said Daniel Suslak, a linguistic anthropologist at Indiana University who’s about to publish a dictionary and grammar of Ayapanec.

Mexico, one of the world’s most linguistically diverse nations, prides itself on its indigenous population, from the white-robed Lacandons in the southern jungles to the Tarahumaras, famed for their long-distance running through canyons in Chihuahua.

More than 9.8 million Mexicans speak any of some 68 distinct indigenous languages, with 364 dialects or variants. But the number is dropping.

“Many of these languages are spoken only by people 50 years old or older, and so no matter how much we wish it weren’t so, they will disappear,” said Arnulfo Embriz, the director of linguistic policy at the National Institute for Indigenous Languages.

That is the likely fate of Ayapanec, which is thought to have descended from a language spoken by the Olmecs, a pre-Columbian civilization that lived in the tropical lowlands near the Gulf of Mexico. Its speakers call the language “Nuumte Oote,” or “the real voice.”

Manuel Segovia was bathing when a visitor arrived at his one-story home in this hot flatlands town in the cacao-growing region of Tabasco. His 27-year-old son, Jose Manuel, said his father had taught him a little Ayapanec.

“I can speak some words, not 100 percent, maybe 25 percent,” he said. “When you are grown like I am, you have other activities that take your time.”

While foreign linguists now come to study Ayapanec, he said, chances are slim that its demise can be averted.
“It will be forgotten. Who will worry about reviving something that no one cared about when it was still alive?” he asked.

Segovia, 76, shuffled into the room and sat in a hammock. After a little prodding, he described how, when he was a boy, everyone in town “could speak the words.” Then around 1940, an edict came from the capital.

“By order of the government, teachers would no longer teach the language or allow us to study it. … They didn’t want to hear it anymore,” Segovia said.

The national oil industry boomed nearby, a road pierced the region and migrants speaking other indigenous languages, such as Chontal, as well as the dominant Spanish, moved to the village. Ayapanec-speaking residents became a minority. Some scattered.

For decades, Segovia lived with his elder brother, Esteban.

“Manuel and Esteban were so close to each other and lived with each other and spoke to each other every day, all day, in nothing but Ayapanec,” said James A. Fox, a linguist at Stanford University who’s worked to document and preserve the language on tape.

When Esteban died more than a decade ago, Manuel Segovia had hardly anyone left to speak to. A younger man he occasionally hired to tend to his cacao crops, Isidro Velasquez, could speak Ayapanec. But the two men aren’t close. Mexican news reports suggested a feud.

Segovia, now dressed in the white shirt and red kerchief that’s the traditional costume of the Ayapanec community, bristled at that. “Who told you that?” he blurted out. After it was explained that the matter had been aired in the Mexican media, Segovia volunteered to escort a visitor to Velasquez’s home to prove that no rift existed.

Once there, the 68-year-old Velasquez greeted visitors without a shirt, displaying a tanned frame made sinewy by a lifetime of labor.

“I’m not very handsome for you to be taking photos of me,” he said, a smile creasing his face. Several of his six children and multiple grandchildren passed through the room. None could speak Ayapanec, and Velasquez acknowledged that he hardly used the language anymore.

“I have two turkeys,” Velasquez said, pointing to a back patio. “Sometimes I grab them and speak to them (in Ayapanec). They understand me.”

His loud cackle needed no linguistic interpretation.

As Segovia noted, Ayapanec isn’t fading away of its own volition. It’s been pushed toward extinction through a combination of government policies and the overwhelming presence of Spanish, the national language.

Even as Mexico boasts of its indigenous heritage, with an eye on promoting tourism, it’s done poorly in bilingual education, posting qualified teachers to areas where their language isn’t spoken.

“Education is basically in Spanish,” said Cristina Buenrostro, a linguist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. “Those who speak an indigenous language begin to lose it on entering school.”

Languages can die of neglect when their speakers find that a new language coming into an area is more important or useful, but coercion is more common. In the 19th century, the U.S. government established federal boarding schools for Indian youth, requiring them to speak English and punishing them if they spoke their native tongues. Australia also forced English on its Aboriginal population.

“It happened in Spain under (Gen. Francisco) Franco. He discouraged the use of Basque in the same way by preventing its use in schools,” Fox said, adding that such policies can backfire. Basque speakers took the pressure as reason to embrace the language.

But when native speakers have offspring who don’t see the utility of their parents’ tongue, the language also is doomed, experts say.

“I see this process as not benign,” said Harrison, the Swarthmore expert and a strong advocate of language diversity. “It’s not a rational thing where people see Spanish as better. They receive the message through mass media, through educational institutions and through society at large.

“If people weren’t coerced into giving up their languages, they would keep them.”

Harrison said no language had a monopoly on genius. Moreover, many dying languages contain valuable knowledge of the plants and animals in the environments in which they’re spoken. Biologists even have determined that animals they’d thought of as a single species were in fact two, based on their descriptions in a minor language.

Ayapanec has a complex vocabulary for the creatures of the Gulf, recognizing six varieties of turtles and all manner of fish.

If more linguists aren’t put to the task of analyzing and documenting endangered languages, some certainly will fade into oblivion. Experts need years to create grammar books, dictionaries, and audio and video recordings of personal histories.

By Harrison’s reckoning, 85 percent of the world’s languages have no proper documentation. As those languages fall silent, there may be no trace of what was lost.

 Posted by at 1:39 pm

Better courses, less sanity

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Jun 282011
 
Authors: Andrew Carrera

Students who are looking for course credit while also trying to avoid limited face time with professors, unengaged classmates and heavy workloads are finding refuge in CSU’s summer session program this year.

“Being a chemistry major, we have really challenging courses,” said Becky Ewing, a junior and director of academics for the Associated Students of CSU.

Ewing is taking math and statistics courses over the summer while working for the student government –– a decision she made to allow for a less hectic fall and spring academic year.

“My professors over the summer have more office hours,” Ewing said. “There are more motivated students, and less numbers of students per class. And not as much homework and not as many tests.”

The summer session office of CSU reports that 6,000 students representing all eight colleges are currently attending the 500 sections offered for its 2011 program. A 2007 CSU survey showed over 60 percent of participants were at junior or senior level.  

Spring and fall semesters typically see about 24,000 students and approximately 2,000 sections, with each level of student represented equally on campus.

“There’s less traffic,” said Ewing. “It’s nice.”

Although office hours and homework levels are typically more agreeable during the summer months, the expectations professors have for their students are perhaps even higher than during the typical school year.

Barbara Gotshall, director of summer session, said that courses taken in 50-minute increments only three times per week during a regular semester are jammed into four, eight, or 12-week programs for the summer, often translating into intense, daily, two-hour classes.

“The course is the same exact course than one offered during the regular year but it’s condensed,” Gotshall said.

Students cope by taking advantage of the increased free time that comes with summer.

“I do still have my nights pretty open,” Ewing said, “But sometimes it’s hard when your friends are able to go lay out by the pool.”

Programs available during this time are limited, and students have taken notice. The most unpopular feature of the summer session, according to a 2007 CSU survey of 706 students, was the amount of courses offered.

“Many of our faculty members have research commitments over the summer,” said Dr. Frederick “Skip” Smith, a 31-year veteran of the university and chair of the Forest Rangeland Watershed Stewardship Department in the Warner College of Natural Resources.

Besides a program taking 200 students into CSU’s Pingree Park to learn forestry measurement, “We (our department) can only offer three classes,” Smith said.

The stresses of attending class year-round are no stranger to Ewing.

“It’s pretty draining. I just have a month without class –– it’s like winter break. You’re going nonstop,” she said. But the thought of an easier fall and spring semester keeps her going.

“There’s going to be a lot less stress,” she said.

Senior Reporter Andrew Carrera can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 1:36 pm

Libya’s western front has its own battles

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Jun 282011
 
Authors: McClatchey-Tribune

NALUT, Libya — Graffiti on a wall in the center of Nalut has a message for Moammar Gadhafi: “Let us be free.”

But the streets of this largely Berber mountain city of western Libya are nearly empty, except for a few passing pickups mounted with guns and loaded with steely-eyed fighters.

Children, mothers and grandparents have all fled to Tunisia to escape the batteries of missiles launched from the valley below by military forces loyal to the longtime Libyan strongman. An ambitious operation two weekends ago to fight back ended in failure, with 15 rebel fighters killed, dozens injured and not an inch of territory gained.

Though much of the focus on the rebellion against Gadhafi has centered on Tripoli and the large rebel-held cities of Benghazi and Misrata, the uprising is also playing out in rugged mountain communities in the west, near the Tunisian border, where Libya’s long-oppressed Berber minority sees its own chance to shake off his four-decade rule.

The fighters here, who are increasingly in contact with rebels in Benghazi and elsewhere, also view it as an opportunity to help stretch Gadhafi’s forces thin. The more troops that are tied down in the west, the fewer that are available to control Tripoli or launch attacks on other rebel-held areas, primarily in eastern Libya.

Gadhafi’s forces, meanwhile, see Nalut as strategically important for cutting off supply lines from Tunisia to the rest of the rebel-controlled mountains. As in larger cities elsewhere, Gadhafi’s men have launched ferocious attacks on residential areas here, with mixed success, in an attempt to maintain or win back control.

In smaller cities such as Jadu, 75 miles east of Nalut and with less strategic importance, rebel forces have proved successful. Hundreds of colorfully dressed, laughing children filled the streets several hours after weekly prayers Friday afternoon, holding the pre-Gadhafi Libyan flag, and singing pro-democratic songs in Arabic and Amazigh, the Berber tongue. Dozens of men gathered at a cafe and chatted over cups of coffee as women crowded around a vendor selling fresh apples and cantaloupes from the back of a truck.

Yet in other parts of this remote stretch of cities high up in the Nafusa Mountains, the rebels have overreached and been beaten back, much as they had been in parts of eastern Libya before a NATO air campaign began to protect civilians from Gadhafi’s forces.

The divergent fates of Nalut and Jadu illustrate the opportunities and fragility of the four-month uprising to oust Gadhafi. Here, the topography that makes the sparsely populated territory relatively easy to defend also makes it difficult to supply and vulnerable to siege.

Government rocket fire could be seen Friday night in the skies over Nalut, where inadequately prepared rebels were defeated the week before.

“We asked them to wait (rather than attack),” said Abdullah Funas, a former diplomat, who serves on the rebel leadership committee of Jadu, a city of 9,000. “Our commander called them and asked them to wait. This was a big mistake on their part.”

Some mountain towns have had it even worse than Nalut, which, with 18,000 residents, is one of the largest communities near the Tunisian border. Wazin, a border town, is now empty save for a few guards protecting peoples’ homes from looters. It was the scene of ferocious fighting between Gadhafi loyalists and rebel fighters battling for control of the border crossing, the second most important gateway between Libya and Tunisia. Though the rebels won the fight, their city remains a ghost town.

Gadhafi’s men have for months been tormenting Nalut — which serves as a staging ground for protecting the Tunisian border crossing — sneaking into canyon crevices along the foothills and firing batteries of Grad rockets from lowlands to the north.

Rebel officials acknowledge that the fear of NATO airstrikes keeps Gadhafi’s men from moving even more aggressively toward the rebel-controlled mountains.

“They’ve been hitting Nalut almost every day,” said Funas, who defected to the opposition in the Nafusa Mountains after the uprising began. “Gadhafi wants no one left in that city.”

Gadhafi’s forces have prevented residents from tending to their fields and have killed off their livestock on farms at the foot of the mountains, denying them access to food save for expensive, less nutritious imports from Tunisia. Gadhafi has also stopped gasoline supplies and cut off the city’s utilities.

“There’s no electricity and there’s no water,” said Mohammad Naluti, 21, a university student who volunteers as a liaison between the city’s military and media committees. “Who would want to live here?”

Desperate, inexperienced and overconfident, the city’s fighters ignored warnings from the other towns in the western mountains to launch their three-day attack that ended with heavy losses. Things might have been worse if it weren’t for NATO warplanes last Tuesday bombing Gadhafi’s Grad missile positions and weapons storage facilities, rebel spokespersons acknowledged.

The ill-fated operation might have been prompted more by emotion than strategy, said one observer, alerting Gadhafi loyalists both to tactical vulnerabilities and weakened morale. “The guys miss their families and miss their children,” said Wissam Jurnaz, a 32-year-old engineer volunteering with Nalut’s provisional government. “They think they can do it by themselves. They don’t think they have a choice.”

There are signs that fractured rebel leadership in the various high-desert towns and cities are beginning to recognize the need for a more professional approach. Over the last week, representatives agreed to begin more closely coordinating their offensive and defensive operations.

“They decided to make one fight at a time,” said Khaled Zaibi, an accounting instructor at the Eagle of Africa University in Nalut who volunteers at the city’s media center.

Rebels are also seeking to use Gadhafi’s abandoned assets to their advantage. His military bases in the region have been converted into training facilities.

His many tanks, apparently well maintained, have been placed in key defensive positions along roadways. Tractor trailers stand ready to be moved in place to block any armored push by Gadhafi’s forces with earthen berms prepared nearby for staging ambushes.

Young male recruits are streaming in, some having returned from abroad and others among the recently displaced from cities under Gadhafi’s control. They are trained for a few weeks and then deployed.

During the Friday afternoon march in Jadu, a verdant mountain city graced with groves of trees, dozens of recent recruits poured into the city square, giving the crowd a fresh shot of energy.

“We’ll never give up! We’ll never give up!’ they chanted, to wild applause. “Gadhafi’s regime is collapsing.”

Mahmoud Mansouri, 28, was a doctor educated in Tripoli’s Fatah University, before he fled with his family to Tunisia two months ago. He came to Jadu last and volunteered to fight against Gadhafi.

“I am here to liberate my city,” he said. “I worked as a doctor for two years. Now I leave medicine to learn how to fight war. Because this is the language Gadhafi understands.”

 Posted by at 1:33 pm

“X-Men” returns to form in “First Class”

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Jun 282011
 
Authors: Jason Berlinberg

Since “X2: X-Men United” was released in 2003, the quality of the “X-Men” franchise has been on the downhill.

Faced with the critical flops of “X-Men: The Last Stand” and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” “Kick Ass” director Matthew Vaughn decided to take the helm on a complete reboot of the franchise.

Vaughn’s “First Class” tells the origin story of Professor Charles Xavier’s first group of mutants who eventually became the famed X-Men.

Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, “First Class” nails the melding of real life events within a comic book world. Professor X and his team attempt to maintain peace with Russia, which ultimately culminates in a high-tension standoff at the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The movie feels fresh and progresses at a quick pace, thanks primarily to the youthful energy from the new Professor X (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender).

These new actors move around a lot better than Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen did, as evidenced by their characters jumping off of various ships and planes.  

The subtle intricacies of the beginning of their friendship are also interesting to see, especially as an “X-Men” fan.  Even from the start, the characters’ personalities clash –– something that the audience knows will usher in their eventual rivalry.

Another interesting element seen throughout is the use of Easter eggs alluding to later movies in the franchise, highlighted by an absolutely hilarious, albeit abrupt, Hugh Jackman cameo.

“X-Men: First Class” is a superhero movie made for superhero fans. Although it tries to cater to a wider audience with numerous action sequences and a fast-paced feel, viewers who don’t often enter the superhero realm and those who haven’t seen an “X-Men” movie before may feel a little lost.

But for those of you who have seen the other films in the series, I highly recommend “First Class.” It provides an excellent foundation for the rest of the franchise and is one of the best movies you will see all summer.   

Movie reviewer Jason Berlinberg can be reached at verve@collegian.com and can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/jasonberlinberg.

 Posted by at 1:28 pm

Rafter identified in death on Poudre River

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Jun 282011
 
Authors: Allison Knaus

Warm summer temperatures throughout the state of Colorado have helped contribute to the fast-melting snowpack and high water levels of the Poudre Valley River, which ultimately caused the death of a rafter last week.

The city of Fort Collins Parks Department and Natural Areas Program have maintained the closure of access from the Cache La Poudre River from managed parks and natural areas bordering the river. The restrictions in place still allow commercial operations, kayakers and the use of multi-chambered rafts.

But the city is still considering tightening these restrictions.

At 12:40 p.m. on June 23 near the Mishawaka Inn, just west of Fort Collins, Larimer County Emergency Services and the Larimer County Dive Rescue Team responded to a call regarding four rafters who had reportedly been thrown into the Cache La Poudre River.

The spot is popular but can be particularly challenging for rafters, said Erik Nilsson, Larimer County Emergency Management manager.

Upon arrival, two of the three rafters were rescued from a small island and another suffered a broken leg.

The victim, who was unable to be revived and reportedly died on scene, according to the Larimer County Coroner’s Office, was Frank Diskin, 69, of Parsons, Kan.

Diskin and the three other rafters were part of a commercial rafting trip operated by Rocky Mountain Adventures of Fort Collins.

As noted in a city of Fort Collins press release, urban rivers are not a safe place for recreation during high flow times because the river is filled with debris and other hazardous material that could pose a very serious threat to anyone caught in the stream.

Along with the danger of debris, fast-moving muddy currents can hide and carry large rocks, logs and other hazards. While river currents may be deceiving, as little as six inches of water can move a car and patrons are advised to stay away from even shallow water until the river recedes, noted the release.

“People see the Poudre River as a big water park, but it’s actually quite dangerous,” Nilsson said.

The partial use restriction of the Poudre River is meant to keep people safe because it is dangerous to be out there, according to Rick Bachand, the Ranger Supervisor for the Natural Area Environmental Program.

“The best advice that we can give is to stay away from the river until the waters calm,” he said.

The bans placed do not restrict kayakers, commercial operations and the use of multi-chambered rafts like those of Rocky Mountain Adventures, who were operating the rafting trip Diskin was on, Bachand explained.

However, the ban does include single-chambered air-inflated devices, such as inner tubes, certain types of air mattresses and small inflatable rafts. Violators will receive a $100 fine.

According to Nilsson, the Public Information Officer will take many factors into consideration in determining whether additional restrictions need to be made for the use of commercial operations, kayakers and multi-chambered rafts.

“It’s not an easy decision to make, it’s not something we can just decide over night,” Nilsson said.

The weather will be a key player the next few weeks in the levels of the Poudre River and how much runoff it receives, explained John Haukaas, Water Engineering and Field Services Manager for the city of Fort Collins.

“We’re right on top of things and updating information as soon as it becomes available,” he said.

For frequent updates on additional bike trail or river closures, visit www.fcgov.com/utilities.

Staff writer Allison Knaus can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 1:24 pm

Brewfest drunk off improved turnout

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Jun 282011
 
Authors: Erin Udell

Fort Collins may have seen many changes in the past two decades but when it comes to the Colorado Brewers’ Festival, event coordinators have tried to keep the time honored tradition focused on the craft of brewing — a focus that proved useful in raising attendance by 4,000 people compared to last year’s disappointing turn out.

“This time I really saw people enjoying the art of brewing, not just thinking of it as beer,” said Peggy Lyle, an event director who has been helping with the festival for the past 12 years.

“And more people were talking with and getting to know local brewers, which is something we want to keep seeing in the future,” she said.  

Thirty-two breweries ended up at Civic Center Park for the event, offering samples of their prized brews in exchange for $1 tokens.

More than 10,000 festival goers flocked to the numerous sampling stations, from the highly popular Odell Brewing Co. tent to Pateros Creek, a small two-week-old brewing company run by Steve Jones and his father, both from Fort Collins.

“We’re all about balanced session-style ales,” Jones said about the two brews offered at his tent: Old Town Ale and Cache la Porter. “We wanted something that’s light and easy to drink when you’re sitting around with your friends.”

Jones started Pateros Creek Brewing Co., which is located at 242 North College Ave., after years of home brewing.

“My wife bought me a brewing kit after our wedding in 2004 and I kind of got crazy with it,” Jones said. “I had so much beer at my house — more than 12 kegs at a time. I had to invite friends over to drink it.”

As a Fort Collins native and new businessman, Jones knew the Colorado Brewers’ Festival was the best place to create a buzz for Pateros Creek.

“This is one of the best places to be to get your beer out to people who want to drink it,” Jones said. “It’s a lot of fun and it’s a great festival.”

Besides drinking beer, guests also got to experience it with the first ever “Experience Beer” tent, which showed brewing history, techniques and food pairings.

Tents of local vendors also lined the streets, offering people food and drinks before they headed to one of the three stages of local bands playing live music.

“It’s a great atmosphere,” said Ross Cordova, a junior wildlife biology major who attended the festival for the first time on Saturday afternoon.

“People are just looking for a good time,” Cordova said. “I’ll definitely be back next year.”

And that’s just what Lyle and other coordinators were hoping for.

After changing the festivals format last year by offering free samples for only a short amount of time, Lyle said reverting back to the old tradition helped raise attendance from 6,000 to more than 10,000 throughout the course of the weekend.

“Going back to the roots made it successful,” Lyle said. “It was a big success this year and I think we’ll maintain a lot of those elements in the future for sure.”

News Editor Erin Udell can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 1:22 pm

Masters exonerated:24 years in the making

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Jun 282011
 
Authors: Erin Udell

It was in February 1987 when the mutilated body of 37-year-old Peggy Hettrick was found in a southern Fort Collins field, leading police to suspect Timothy Masters, a then 15-year-old high school sophomore.

Now, almost a decade and a half later, after being wrongfully convicted and imprisoned, Masters has been exonerated — ending the 24-year ordeal.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Attorney General John Suthers said Masters is no longer a suspect in the case.

“America has the best criminal justice system in the world; however, no system is perfect. It is a tragedy for any person to be prosecuted for a crime they did not commit,” District Attorney Larry Abrahamson said in a press release.

“The tragedy is compounded when that person is convicted and incarcerated. It is worth noting that the same criminal justice system which led to the conviction of Timothy Masters, also led to his release from custody and the setting aside of his conviction.”

After being imprisoned in 1999, and filing a series of appeals, a Colorado judge finally vacated Masters’ conviction and he was released in 2008 after DNA evidence proved he was not involved in the murder.

“We are thankful that physical evidence obtained in 1987 was dutifully preserved by law enforcement…Our office’s decision to dismiss the criminal charges against Timothy Masters was a direct result of this new DNA evidence obtained from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation,” Abrahamson said.

In June 2010, Fort Collins awarded Masters a $5.9 million civil rights lawsuit settlement following a $4.1 settlement from Larimer County.

Abrahamson said his hope is that after many years, Masters and his family can put the ordeal behind them and “move forward in hopes of eventually obtaining finality and resolution for Peggy Hettrick and her family.”

News Editor Erin Udell can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 1:20 pm

Cope: A “slutty” walk around the world

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Jun 282011
 
Authors: Dan Cope

Since April, women and men around the globe have been gathering together for “Slut Walks” in order to protest a culture that places blame on the victim of rape crimes and not on the aggressor.

The walks were organized shortly after a Toronto police officer’s remarks implied, “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order to not be victimized.”

These walks have been held across the world: from Amsterdam to Wellington, London to Boston. More are planned and turn-outs have been great so far.

There’s just one catch…

These walks address a problem that exists at the basis of our society and is largely unfixable.

No matter how much we want to wish them away, bad people exist in our world. Crime exists — be it theft, arson, rape, or murder.

We don’t live in an idyllic utopia and, despite our best efforts, we never will. Sexual assault crimes have decreased by more than 60 percent in the last 13 years, but in 2007 there were still 248,300 victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault in the United States.

That’s one every two minutes.

No victim asks to be raped, and dressing in a revealing manner is certainly no excuse to be raped. Even if someone walks down the street completely naked, the rape is not their fault.

But we live in an ignorant world; and for better or for worse, the way someone dresses affects their risk for sexual predation.

I don’t leave my windows open, my car unlocked or my valuable things sitting outside my house because I don’t want them to be stolen. I never “ask” to be burgled, but over my life I have had, and seen, theft happen to both me and my friends. I took the steps necessary to minimize my chances of being stolen from, yet it still happened.

Perhaps it seems a bit crass to compare a simple burglary with any sexual assault. But as it turns out, the kind of person who commits those simple burglaries is the same kind of person who is likely to commit a sexual assault crime.

According to data from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), 46 percent of rapists are rearrested within three years of their release for another crime. Of these, 18.6 percent are for a violent crime, and 20.5 percent are for a public-order offense.

We are all responsible for our own safety, and it’s immature of us to not be accountable for that responsibility.

The majority of people in our country will never be jailed for a crime; even fewer will ever be arrested for sexual assault or rape. Most people are good, just going through their daily business like the rest of us.

We, as adults, should be able and expected to restrain ourselves when it comes to provocative dress and sexual advances — and most of us do.

The real problem isn’t that our culture is one of “blame the victim” and “she was asking for it,” it’s that for every hundred people out there who won’t ever hurt someone in this way, there will always be one bad apple who will.

I think we can all agree that how a woman dresses does not dictate whether she wants to be raped or not –– nobody wants to be a victim.

So don’t blame our culture for these crimes; place the blame where it belongs — squarely on the shoulders of those members of society that perpetrate the rapes and sexual abuse.

Educate everyone on how to avoid those few bad people in our world, and not on how to change a culture that is still, for the most part, great.

Dan Cope is a senior economics major. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 12:29 pm

Our View: Every day is Veteran’s Day

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Jun 282011
 
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

On Monday, CSU, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, announced that it would be providing free tuition, fees, housing and books to veterans and their children.

We commend the university for making an effort to support our troops. After all, if you make the effort to fight for our country, we probably owe it to you to give you an education when you get back, particularly as a state-run school.

This program, along with CSU’s Commitment to Colorado, which offers free tuition to low-income students, will help make CSU more diverse and ease the burden of the recession for those in need.

But this raises the question: what about the rest of us?

Less than a week before this announcement, the Board of Governors approved a 20 percent tuition hike for CSU’s in-state students, a pretty big increase that no doubt makes getting a CSU education a little bit harder for just about everyone.

Giving free tuition to veterans is noble, but it’s also a fairly quick and PR-friendly temporary solution to a far bigger problem: Colorado’s system for funding higher education is broken, college is getting more expensive and CSU has no idea what to do about it.

A university can’t solve this problem simply by gaining students whose demographics make it appear that the university is more accessible. The university has to actually be more accessible, which the 20 percent tuition hikes show is not the case.

So, while we admire the university for taking initiative and solving one problem (helping our veterans), we implore them to put more effort into the far bigger one.

 Posted by at 12:28 pm