Bertoli BAC not high enough to kill him

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Dec 162004
Authors: Jon Pilsner

Alcohol was not likely the sole cause of a CSU student's death this Saturday at a house across the street from the CSU campus.

CSU student Bennett Bertoli, 20, found dead on a couch at 1201 S. Shields St. Saturday morning, had a blood-alcohol content of .124, according to the Larimer County coroner's office. This is not generally regarded as high enough to kill a person.

Further toxicology reports are still pending from the coroner's office, but they may not be available for weeks. Police are investigating if other factors, such as drugs, played a role in Bertoli's death.

Bertoli worked at the Sunflower Market, located at the corner of Drake and Lemay streets. His father is a part owner of the grocery chain. Employees declined to comment, other than to say Bertoli was a good worker.

A mass was held Wednesday at the All Souls Catholic Church in Denver. The family could not be reached for comment and asked media outlets not to attend the service. Residents of the house where Bertoli was found also declined to comment.

The Associated Students of CSU, in tandem with the office of CSU President Larry Penley, handed out "Ace of Spade" cards this week, also placing them in residence hall mailboxes.

The idea for the cards was created by members of the former fraternity Sigma Pi, in memory of Samantha Spady, a CSU sophomore who was found dead on Sept. 5 at the fraternity house of acute alcohol poisoning.

About 100 volunteers helped hand out the cards, spreading them around the CSU campus and in neighborhoods near campus.

On the wallet-sized cards, sponsored by the Sam Spady Foundation, are common signs to distinguish a person who is at risk of an alcohol-related death. The foundation was organized to work to prevent similar deaths from happening around the country.

Penley said the CSU administration fully supported the program to distribute the cards.

"But this is truly a project of student initiative," Penley said.

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“Ocean’s Twelve” steals the show

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Dec 122004
Authors: Ryan Skeels

Steven Soderbergh's 2001 remake of the 1960s Rat Pack film "Ocean's Eleven" was a really fun caper film with an all-star cast, filled with little substance and plenty of style. It was a great excuse for Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts and the rest to romp around Vegas with smiles on their faces and money in their pockets. Now there's "Ocean's Twelve," filled with more smiles, more money, more people and more clever ways of stealing expensive things.

The owner of the Bellagio hotel, Terry Benedict, has tracked down the group of thieves and has threatened them with their lives if they don't repay him the original $160 million plus interest. If he doesn't get a check within the next two weeks the 11 better start looking for a better place to hide.

Soderbergh brings back the entire cast from "Ocean's Eleven" with Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, Casey Affleck, Bernie Mac, Don Cheadle and Andy Garcia. Bruce Willis even makes an appearance as himself in a ridiculous scene when Roberts' character Tess pretends to be Julia herself. While Clooney was the main squeeze of the first, Pitt happily takes his place in this installment, with the spotlight directed on him. The crew takes off to Europe in search of a series of heists to fulfill their obligation to Bennett. This is where the plan short-circuits and alternate ideas start getting passed around in a frantic attempt to pay off the man.

"Ocean's Twelve" is one of the most anticipated movies of the year, and deserves to be after the bundle of fun that was the first one. The thing that is bothersome about the movie is the way the plot runs. It seems that directors these days just show anything they want for two hours, and then when the movie is almost over, they just throw a twist. It's as if they're saying, "Yeah, well, what you just watched really didn't matter at all, this is what was really going on." There's no way to guess the hidden plot of the movie, because they never show you any part of it.

Aside from the annoying plot twist, "Ocean's Twelve" is good and keeps the entertainment level high throughout. Expect top-notch acting from everyone with Matt Damon taking the cake for most humorous. It may not be as fun as the first, but it is a good time throughout.

3 out of 4

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Holiday at the Cinemas

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Dec 122004
Authors: Ryan Skeels


"Meet the Fockers"

The sequel to the hilarious "Meet the Parents" needs little explanation. Ben Stiller takes his soon-to-be step-parents to meet his own. With Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand added to the bill, this one might outdo the first.

Opens Dec. 22

"The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou"

This is Wes Anderson's latest movie after "The Royal Tenenbaums" and looks incredibly touching, funny and downright amazing. Bill Murray as Capt. Zissou assembles his crew to track down and kill the shark that killed his partner on their latest filming expedition.

Opens Dec. 25




It's nice that Adam Sandler has been able to pull off serious roles lately. He plays dad in a family that hires a Spanish-speaking housekeeper and attempts to break the language barrier. See this one with your fam.

Opens Dec. 17

"Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events"

Jim Carrey looks like he's done it again. As the crazy Count Olaf and the closest relative to three children who lost their parents when their house burnt down, he of course gets the responsibility of watching them. This looks really awesome.

Opens Dec. 17


"Hotel Rwanda"

A true story about a man in Rwanda who opens his hotel for the Rwandan refugees fleeing the mass genocide of their people, "Hotel Rwanda" looks like a very intensely emotional movie. If you're in Denver over the break, look for it at The Mayan as it's a limited release.

Opens Dec. 22

"The Aviator"

This is another true story, staring Leonardo DiCaprio. Oh yeah, and don't forget to look for Jude Law. Will he ever leave us alone? Leo stars as the infamous aviator and film director Howard Hughes during his life from 1920 to 1940. With Martin Scorsese directing, there's no doubt "The Aviator" will shine.

Opens Dec. 25


"White Noise"

Electronic Voice Phenomenon is apparently a real deal. It's when loved ones from the past can communicate through household electronic devices. Michael Keaton stars as a man skeptical of EVP who eventually starts to believe. You decide whether or not to see this one.

Opens Jan. 7


Released in France two years ago it's about time they released this in America. It's a super-creepy movie about a family that moves into a house in the Spanish countryside that has been abandoned for years. If only they knew the dark secret kept hidden all this time.

Opens Dec. 25



Don't let the fact that it's a spin-off of "Daredevil" fool you. This looks much better. Jennifer Garner stars as the comic book character Elektra.

Opens Jan. 14


"The Flight of the Phoenix"

A group of social outcasts survive a plane crash in the desert and attempt to build a new one out of the wreckage before death sets in. It looks like Dennis Quaid is going to be much better in this than in "The Day After Tomorrow."

Opens Dec. 22

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Blade swing a little short

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Dec 122004
Authors: Ryan Skeels

"Blade" was awesome, a wicked sweet twist on the vampire genre. "Blade 2: Bloodhunt" was all right, with a strange twist on the first movie. And "Blade Trinity" just continues the slide down the slippery slope of goodness. Davis S. Goyer, the writer of all three Blade movies, was unfortunately given the job of actually directing his work. The sentiment behind this sort of idea is usually a good one – he wrote it so he must know how it should look, right? Well, not in this case. Guillermo Del Toro directed the "Blade 2" and "Hellboy" and should have taken this one under his wing. With Goyer directing "Trinity" there is no emotion at all, and it's hard to care about what's going on with the characters.

After losing his battle for humanity, Blade, played by Wesley Snipes, is finally caught by the human race and under interrogation for murder. The vampire leaders have been trying to find a way to stop Blade from killing their people, so naturally, arresting him seems to be a sure-fire solution. That is until someone like The Nightstalkers come to his rescue. The Nightstalkers are a group of people, previously unknown to Blade, formed to help him in case he runs into this sort of trouble. Jessica Biel shows the audience how much of a badass she can be as Abigail Whistler, daughter of Abraham Whistler, the dude who makes all of Blade's weapons. As the leader of this group of people, her and Ryan Reynolds join Snipes in the fight against the bloodsuckers of the world. The vampires however, have discovered Dracula's place of rest, unearthed him and brought him into their fight against Blade.

The fight scenes are awesome with a seemingly unending amount of new and cool weapons for dealing with these bloodthirsty demons of the night. Reynolds takes the role of the comic relief for the film, giving the audience a chuckle on more than one occasion. Unfortunately for huge "Blade" fans, there are parts intended to be serious, which also raise a laugh throughout the theater. One of these laughs come when they reveal who takes the role of Dracula himself, Dominic Purcell. He looks more like the bouncer of a German bar than the baddie of all baddies from every kid's worst nightmare, as Dracula should be.

All in all the visuals were awesome, the acting was good, the plot was all right but the overall movie just came across as bland. As the third in a good series of movies there needed to be a deeper plot and more character development then there was, even for a mindlessly entertaining movie. For the hardcore "Blade" enthusiasts it's definitely worth seeing, just don't expect the same quality as the first in the series.

2 out of 4 rams

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Where can you not sell back books?

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Dec 122004

a) The CSU bookstore

b) The Morgan Library

c) The Moby Area parking lot

d) The Clark building

Answer: The Morgan Library is not a buy back location. If you chose to sell your books back at the Bookstore you are entered for the chance to win a Gas Card.

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Men’s Basketball looses close one

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Dec 122004
Authors: Paul Baker

The Rams were so close but couldn't score in the final seconds, losing another close game Saturday in Indiana, as the Purdue Boilermakers squeaked by winning 69-68.

CSU was down by 10 points at the half, trailing 26-36. Coming out from the break, Purdue went on a 7-0 run, increasing its lead to 17 points. The Rams fought back late in the game with their own 8-0 run, capped by a Jon Rakiecki 3-pointer. The basket gave the Rams their first lead in the game since they lead 4-3 two minutes in to the game.

On the ensuing trip down the court for the Boilermakers, Xavier Price was fouled going into the basket, with only 8.9 seconds left. He made both free throws, taking the lead back for Purdue, and they never lost it. The Rams inbounds play was bobbled by Jason Smith and as he tried to pass the ball to junior Micheal Morris, Purdue's Carl Landry stole the ball to run out the clock.

"Losing the game like this wasn't the best momentum for our kids," said head coach Dale Layer in the Coloradoan. "But they had big hearts to get back into the game."

The Rams trailed Purdue 53-36 with just over 12 minutes to play in the game before going on a 34-12 run.

Freshman forward Jason Smith had a career night as he scored 18 points, the most of his career. He also brought down seven rebounds, a team high.

Seniors Matt Nelson and Rakiecki had 17 and 15 points each respectively, both season highs. Rakiecki went 4-of-8 from three point range, the last one being the most important.

David Teague led the way for the Boilermakers as he had a game-high 23 points, hitting six 3-pointers in the game. Landry added 16 points, while senior Brandon McKnight chipped in with 10 to complete the scoring for Purdue.

The Rams have the next week off as they take finals. Their next game is on the road, on Saturday at Colorado as they try to end their 11-game road-losing streak. The game is set for 7 p.m. at the Coors Event Center in Boulder.

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Water polo looks forward to opening season

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Dec 122004
Authors: Andrew Woerpel

With Winter Break coming up, CSU students will be dreaming of old St. Nick while sipping down cocoa and eating festive cookies.

What some students won't be thinking about, or even realize, is when they get back from break there will be a new varsity team awaiting the chance to begin its very first season.

Last fall CSU athletic director Mark Driscoll added women's water polo as CSU's 16th varsity sport. The Rams will be part of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation, composed of teams from the West Coast.

Head coach John Mattos, who is also the head swimming and diving coach, will be leading the Rams through their first season.

"It's extremely hectic for me in the sense that there is so much work outside of the on-deck and in-water work: putting teams together for the first time, getting all their equipment, all their gear, setting up the playbook, setting up the defensive work, looking at all the tapes, and doing the recruiting," Mattos said. "There's a myriad of things you have to do just to keep on top, let alone scheduling a budget, which should usually take up the majority of time when you're in the off-season. We really didn't have a chance to do any of that because we didn't have an off-season; this is our first season."

Mattos has recruited 15 players for the team and is optimistic about their potential.

"In reality, I'm pleased with our position players, I'm pleased with the progression of our goalies," Mattos said. "We've got two very solid goalies who are really going to help us out."

The Rams have already put in a lot of work to get ready for the upcoming season and have been practicing all year.

"We swim, swim, and swim, and swim, and swim," said junior goalie Holly Stanfill, who is also a team co-captain. "We do a lot of ball work, a lot of ball handling and technique."

The Rams had their first scrimmage of the year on Dec. 4 when they took on Utah's club team and won 17-7. The game started close, but the Rams took control toward the end of the first half and were winning 9-4 at halftime. The Rams shot 40 percent as a team on the day.

Freshman Laura Scruggs was the leading Rams scorer with eight goals, and junior Marisa Fernandez added five more. Stanfill stopped 22-of-29 shots in goal.

After the victory, Mattos said that even though Utah is a club team, it is one of the better water polo teams in the area.

"Believe it or not, some of the club teams throughout the nation are actually stronger than some of the NCAA teams," Mattos said.

Fernandez, who is also a co-captain, was happy with the win over Utah.

"We had never played together in a game and we heard all sorts of things that they were really good, so I was kind of scared, but we're undefeated at 1-0," she said.

Both Stanfill and Fernandez said they believe their main competition will come from the California teams. Both are from California and said they have had the opportunity to see and hear about how those teams compete.

Looking toward the rest of the season, the Rams will take part in numerous tournaments around the nation, the first one taking place Jan. 29 in Michigan at Ann Arbor. The Rams will also be hosting the CSU Tournament March 12 to 13.

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Former CSU star gets chance to be a pro

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Dec 122004
Authors: Jon Pilsner

The opportunity to play before 18,000 rabid fans as a professional lacrosse player is not a regular occurrence for many players.

But the National Lacrosse League has come calling for Mark Plonkey.

Plonkey, the former CSU lacrosse defenseman and captain, has made the transition from a collegiate to a professional team.

"It's a huge leap," said Plonkey, now a member of the Colorado Mammoth professional indoor lacrosse team. "Some of the guys (on the team) I grew up idolizing. All these guys are professional athletes."

Plonkey has come a long way, from playing in high school to playing at the club sport level to playing in the pros.

A graduate of Chatfield High School in Littleton, Plonkey looked at Division I lacrosse programs, as well as some Division II and Division III schools that offered him scholarships to play.

"It had always been my dream to play lacrosse at the Division-I level," Plonkey said. "But, I didn't know if the small schools would fit me."

Some of the schools offering were smaller than his high school, and most were located on the East Coast.

Plonkey also looked at Denver, but decided not to attend. On a whim, Plonkey applied to CSU.

"I had no idea the successes they had," Plonkey said. "I was glad I ended up at CSU; it was destiny I showed up."

Plonkey entered the tutelage of CSU lacrosse coach Flip Naumberg and became a member of a lacrosse team that won two national titles in 2001 and 2003. Plonkey credits Naumberg for what the coach has done not only for him but also for the entire CSU lacrosse team.

"I don't think Flip gets enough credit from the university or the people outside of Northern Colorado," Plonkey said. "He's been like a second father to me when I first walked on the CSU campus."

Then in January, the NLL draft came around and Plonkey knew he had the interest of the Mammoth organization. He did not know, however, that he would be drafted. In fact, he didn't expect it and was surprised to hear the news.

"I figured they'd invite me in to training camp to try out," Plonkey said. "But in January I got a phone call and I found out I was drafted."

Plonkey found out this past week that he survived the first round of cuts, and when he heals from a torn meniscus suffered in practice, he will be on the team's practice squad.

"I think a year on the practice squad will be good," Plonkey said. "(Indoor lacrosse) is a completely different game."

After being drafted, Plonkey reported to training camp on Nov. 13. He was scheduled to play in the Mammoth exhibition games against the Minnesota Swarm this past Friday and Saturday, but his injury stopped him.

"It's just the start of a long road ahead," he said.

Plonkey, who is scheduled to graduate this May with a degree in history and education, will spend next semester student-teaching at Arapahoe High School in Littleton. Like many other players on the Mammoth, he hopes to be a substitute teacher and eventually a full-time teacher.

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To the editor:

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Dec 122004

This may be an after-the-fact statement, but it is not a moot point. Perhaps we are all so concerned with our individual everyday lives that we tend to forget the things that affect so many others in this world. I am disappointed to not see anything in the Collegian on the fact that Friday was the United Nations International Human Rights Day. I know that we are blessed to live in a country where we do not need to worry of such issues on a widespread level. And the reason is because we are able to stand up and do something about it; an example is the Civil Rights Movement. But others around the world are struggling for the most basic freedoms. Why are millions of people still fighting for freedom? Because they are not able to voice their opinions about politics or practice religion, or the children are exploited and sold as sex slaves. Everything these people do to try to change those conditions results in persecution and punishment with no foreseeable or justifiable reason other than they did not agree with the oppressive regime. Such instances are not only isolated to areas in the Middle East where the United States is heavily involved. We must also take initiative to know more about our world and the great sufferings others endure and to take action. By knowing the travesties of others, we will appreciate this holiday season and our lives that much more.


Van Le

Junior Political Science

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To the editor:

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Dec 122004

I was quite distressed after reading in Friday's Collegian about Gerald Allen's proposal to ban so-called homosexual literature. Not only was I concerned for the poor children in Alabama who may be unable to find "A Catcher in the Rye" in their school library, but it also caused me to reflect on the state of America.

Although this proposition is likely to fail, Rep. Allen obviously feels he is gaining political ground by presenting this bill. The American public has made it rather obvious that it is less than tolerant of homosexuality. Many treat it as some virus that is going to rampantly infect society if given the opportunity – therefore, everything having to do with homosexuality must be treated as infected material and disposed of, whatever the cost.

At the same time there has been an insurgence of "patriotism." America flags. "Proud to be an American" signs. The cursed label of "un-patriotic." But what is patriotism? Many would describe it as loving one's country and supporting it. I would like to add another aspect of patriotism – the belief in, and if necessary, the defense of, the ideals that one's country was founded upon. One of these founding ideals was the importance of individual rights and thus the protection of the minority from the masses. The Bill of Rights was created in response to this notion. Another ideal was that dissent and differing opinions is required for the proper functioning of a democracy. Hence, the first amendment.

Allen's bill violates both of these ideals. It supports the discrimination of a minority and restricts the expression of ideas. A true American patriot would agree with Voltaire – "I disagree with what you say, but I would defend to the death your right to say it."

Michelle Keefer



 Posted by at 5:00 pm