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vol. cxliv, no. 15 | Tuesday, February 10, 2009 | Serving the community daily since 1891
Chancellor: Simmons took pay cut
by brigitta grEEnE Senior Staff Writer
President Ruth Simmons requested and received a reduction in compensation of approximately 20 percent for the current fiscal year and more than a 10-percent reduction for the previous year, Chancellor Thomas Tisch ’76 said yesterday. “In all of her actions, she has been extraordinarily aware of the tough times that everybody has been facing,” Tisch said. “It’s just another data point as to why, every day, the Corporation is honored to work with her.” Though Simmons has previously hinted at a reduction in her own pay, neither she nor the University has yet to announce such a step. “It’s not a P.R. stunt,” Tisch said. “She is animated by a sense of appropriateness, proportion and a tireless dedication to Brown.”
In response to a question following an “Hour with the President” address during Family Weekend in October, Simmons told the audience that she was planning to talk to the Corporation about reducing her executive compensation. She further emphasized the point in a Jan. 27 e-mail to the Brown community announcing major projected losses to the endowment and planned budget cuts. “I fully understand that the pain must begin at the top,” she wrote, “and we in the senior administration are making major cuts in our own budgets in order to meet this challenge.” In that e-mail, Simmons recommended a $4.5-million reduction in the overall budget for administration for the fiscal year beginning Jul. 1 — a budget that includes the salaries of senior University administrators. Last week, Simmons wrote in an
e-mail to a Herald columnist that she has “over the past two years asked for a reduction in pay.” She could not be reached for additional comment Monday afternoon. Many of the highest-paid university presidents across the country have recently said they would give back a fraction of their pay or give up their raises, according to a Nov. 22 article in the New York Times, though Tisch said voluntary conversations about salary reductions are not “conversations you expect to have” with the leaders of top schools. Simmons earned $775,715 in the fiscal year ending in June 2007, the last period for which the University’s public tax records are available. Tisch added that other senior members of the administration have come forward this year to ask for salary reductions, but did not provide additional details.
Min Wu / Herald File Photo
President Ruth Simmons hinted at asking for a reduction in her salary in remarks she made at Family Weekend in October.
Grad student paychecks The latest juice on hit gossip site? It’s gone come late, irking some
by annE siMons Senior Staf f Writer
More than 140 graduate students received late paychecks last month due to administrative hangups, the Graduate School said. The problem, which meant some paychecks due Jan. 30 were not issued until Feb. 4, was caused by several factors in “an alignment of planets,” said Dean of the Graduate School Sheila Bonde. An unfilled vacancy in the payroll department resulting from an employee’s departure in November and late filing of administrative forms from graduate programs contributed to the problem, she said. On Feb. 3, four days after the Friday when the paychecks of affected students were due, nine graduate students co-signed an e-mail to Bonde, President Ruth Simmons and other administrators on behalf of all the students who were not paid on time. The students alleged that they had not received “any direct official statement as to why this occurred or when and how the issue will be resolved” and called the lack of communication “unacceptable.” Later the same day, Bonde replied in an e-mail to the students that the Grad School was “aware” of the problem and was “working full-bore” to fix the problem. “We ver y much regret the inconvenience this problem caused you,” she wrote. Elena Tenenbaum GS, a student
in the cognitive and linguistic sciences program and one of the affected students who co-signed the letter, was angered by the late payment, she wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. Her paycheck is usually automatically deposited into her bank account and her bills are paid automatically from that account, but because her check was late, she overdrew on her account and was charged $99 in fees, she wrote. “There should have been notice beforehand if there was going to be a problem so that we could have made alternate arrangements,” she continued. Heather Lee GS, president of the Graduate Student Council, wrote in an e-mail to The Herald that “some graduate students around the campus do not feel their work is valued or recognized enough by the University.” “To them, one indicator is the recent paycheck issue,” she added. Bonde said Grad School administrators did everything they could to solve the payment problem as quickly as possible and acknowledged the inconvenience to students. “Grad students depend on their paychecks,” she said. Employees at the Grad School collaborated to manually cut checks for about 140 affected students, said Brian Walton, the Grad School’s associate dean of finance and adcontinued on page 2
by EllEn Cushing and MElissa shubE Senior Staf f WriterS
JuicyCampus.com — the controversial Web site for anonymous gossip around college campuses — died quietly last week, another victim of the financial crisis. The site’s founder and CEO, Matt Ivester, announced in a statement on Feb. 4 that the site would be shutting down. Citing a loss of “online ad revenue” and “venture
capital funding,” Ivester reported that the growth of the site “outpaced our ability to muster the resources needed to sur vive this economic downturn.” The site, which encouraged users to post gossip about their peers anonymously, only removed comments that violated copyright infringement, a policy which allowed comments that were personal and hostile to stay on the site. “It was really sick and twisted
how people could go and trash whoever they want,” said Sam Baker ’11. Some Brown students interviewed last night in the Sciences Library and Ivy Room were happy to see the site go, though others said they would miss the diversion. Many, too, said they had not heard of JuicyCampus. Haley Strausser ’12, who said she went on JuicyCampus “maybe continued on page 2
Free rIPtA no match for parking crunch
by talia kagan Contributing Writer
A greater number of Brown students, faculty and staff are using Rhode Island Public Transit Authority services since the statewide program UPass allowed them to do so for free starting in September 2007. But despite increased bus ridership, the University continues to face a parking crunch, said Elizabeth Gentry, assistant vice president for Financial and Administrative Services. From last September to December, a monthly average of 3,560 riders swiped their Brown IDs for an average of 28,630 RIPTA rides — nearly a 23 percent increase in both categories over the same period in 2007, Gentry said, adding that about
Kim Perley / Herald
Increased RIPTA usage is not stemming the University parking crunch.
continued on page 2
News.....1-4 Arts........5-6 Spor ts...7-8 Editorial..10 Opinion...11 Today........12
lEgal at last The Rhode Island legislature is set to create medical marijuana dispensaries. 195 Angell Street, Providence, Rhode Island
FEEling thE pinCh Tom Trudeau ’09 says the economy is beginning to affect NBA teams.
sEll pErkins, Cit Kevin Roose ’09.5 thinks he knows how to fix the University’s finances. email@example.com
C AmPuS n ewS
continued from page 1 mittee also noted that free RIPTA service is not extended to visiting scholars, but wondered whether it should be. Gentry said she hopes increased RIPTA ridership will help solve the parking shortage. But those who continue to drive to work cite convenience as the main factor for not switching to the free service. Claudette Santos, a supervisor for facilities management who works in Keeney Quadrangle, said she brings her car to work. Because the area around Keeney only has three-hour parking, she has to move her car every day at 11:30 a.m. Instead of spending 15 minutes searching for a new spot, she said she usually swaps places with a colleague. Even so, she has received quite a few parking tickets. “I’ve been to the court so many times,” Santos said. “I’ve been booted many times.” Santos said “we all bring our cars like idiots” because it is convenient, adding that the infrequency of many buses makes RIPTA a hassle. She lives five minutes away from campus by car, but taking the bus takes half an hour, she said. Santos said many of her staff employees do use RIPTA, especially in light of the economic climate. “Things are getting so tough, people are going to start taking the bus,” she said. Gentry also said there were “big
THE BROWN dAILy HERALd
TUESdAy, FEBRUARy 10, 2009
“Things are getting so tough, people are going to start taking the bus.”
— Claudette Santos, supervisor for facilities management
recession causes rise in free rIPtA ridership
2,700 of the riders were students. Many students use RIPTA to commute to work and volunteer programs and to make shopping trips downtown or to East Side Market . Anna Ninan ’09, who has taken RIPTA with various volunteer groups, is leading a start-up group this year that sends mentors to several local high schools by bus. Prior to the free ser vice, she said, the Swearer Center for Public Service would distribute trolley tickets to volunteer groups, “but there was a shortage so I always ended up paying out of pocket.” Staff and faculty mainly use RIPTA for daily commuting purposes, Gentry said, noting that a parking shortage on campus is a big incentive for employees to take public transit. Though Gentry said she didn’t know the number of community members parking on the streets, she pointed to the increase in Brown ridership of RIPTA as a sign that fewer people are bringing cars to work. In a staff survey on RIPTA use conducted last year by the Staff Advisory Committee, about 13 percent of respondents with parking spaces said they had given them up “to use RIPTA exclusively.” The com-
Talia Kagan / Herald
The number of RIPTA riders using Brown Ids increased 23 percent between September and december of last year, but the University’s parking crunch remains mostly unsolved.
bumps” in ridership last September and October, citing high gas prices as a possible explanation. “As the fuel prices started pushing towards four dollars a gallon, more people considered other forms of transportation,” she said, adding that future increases in fuel prices might have a similar effect. But “while this service is free to students, faculty and staff, it’s not free for Brown,” Gentry said. The University currently pays an undisclosed flat rate for every ride by a University community member, but Gentry said that “given RIPTA’s budget situation, it is likely they’ll want to negotiate a higher rate.” The
University’s next contract negotiations with RIPTA are in August. Though the University has worked with RIPTA in the past to create more convenient trolley routes to campus, Gentry said RIPTA is likely to make future route and schedule changes because of its own budget problems. The quasi-public authority, which receives 39 percent of its annual funding from the state, had originally estimated a $12-million deficit for this fiscal year, but that figure is now down to $1.3 million, the Providence Journal reported Jan. 27. At the negotiations, the University will also discuss the issue of transfers
on multi-stage trips, Gentry said. RIPTA gives riders a discounted price on the second ticket of a transfer, but the system currently charges Brown the rate for two full rides, she said. Gail McCarthy, a Dining Services employee, said the UPass program is “a great service” but added that some staff members who take the bus at night are worried about future RIPTA service cuts. Gale Nelson, assistant director for the Department of Literary Arts, takes the trolley every morning, but said that, for some, there is a “growing disincentive to use (RIPTA)” when buses run less frequently.
140 grad students get paychecks days late
continued from page 1 ministration. Walton, along with the Department of Human Resources and the Payroll Office, “stepped into high gear,” to get people their checks “as soon as humanly possible,” Bonde said. Because of the University-wide staf f hiring freeze currently in place, Grad School administrators had to appeal to the Vacancy Review Committee to receive permission to replace the payroll specialist who departed in the fall. They were the first group to make a case to the committee for hiring another payroll specialist, Bonde said, and have now hired a replacement who will start March 1. The other major cause of the problem was late “appointment forms,” Bonde said. Graduate programs must turn in a form for each graduate student who will be working for them during the semester, and the deadline is 10 days before a payday. “About half of the students affected were the result of a processing error and half were the result of late appointment forms,” Bonde said. The current system is a “paperintensive” process, Walton said. The Grad School hopes to streamline the process in the future and make it more electronic, he said, which might cut down on the volume of late forms, he added. Daniella Wittern GS, another student who was affected by the paycheck issues, credited the Grad School in an e-mail to The Herald with working “really hard to cut every single one of those checks by hand.” “I don’t think there is any question that once the problem occurred, the Graduate School did ever ything they could to resolve it as quickly as possible,” she wrote.
Editorial phone: 401.351.3372 | business phone: 401.351.3260
Stephen DeLucia, President Michael Bechek, Vice President Jonathan Spector, Treasurer Alexander Hughes, Secretary
mixed reactions to gossip site’s recent demise
continued from page 1 a couple times a week,” was sorr y to see the forum go. “When Facebook got boring, it was always an entertaining alternative,” she said. “It was a good way to pass the time,” said Alison Wong ’12. “I guess now I’ll do homework instead.” But Sophia Manuel ’11 said some of her friends were mentioned on the site. “They didn’t appreciate it,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to be on it.” She added she was “happy to hear that it shut down.” “It was exploiting people for profit,” said Mark Dee ’11. “It appeals to the most basic and shallow parts of the human soul.” JuicyCampus provoked protests from students and administrators on many college campuses — and even a subpoena from the New Jersey attorney general. None of the uproar managed to result in significant change to the Web site or its policies. “While there are parts of Juicy Campus that none of us will miss — the mean-spirited posts and personal attacks,” Ivester said in the statement, “it has also been a place for the fun, lighthearted gossip of college life.” Ivester thanked everyone “who has engaged in meaningful discussion about online privacy and internet censorship,” and said that he hoped the dialogue would continue.
The Brown Daily Herald (USPS 067.740) is an independent newspaper serving the Brown University community daily since 1891. It is published Monday through Friday during the academic year, excluding vacations, once during Commencement, once during Orientation and once in July by The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. POSTMASTER please send corrections to P.O. Box 2538, Providence, RI 02906. Periodicals postage paid at Providence, R.I. Offices are located at 195 Angell St., Providence, R.I. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. World Wide Web: http://www.browndailyherald.com. Subscription prices: $319 one year daily, $139 one semester daily. Copyright 2009 by The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. All rights reserved.
C AmPuS n ewS
TUESdAy, FEBRUARy 10, 2009
THE BROWN dAILy HERALd
“What in the world can you say in 140 characters?” — Eric Johnson ’11, a Twitter user
Dorm inspections begin today
by EMMa bErry Staf f Writer
Kim Perley / Herald
Brown uses blogging service Twitter as a media outreach method to spread news and event information around campus.
Spring is near: Brown tweets toward web 2.0
by laurEn pisChEl Staf f Writer
Students procrastinating in the librar y and Brown administrators may now speak in the same character-limited language: Twitter. Twitter, a kind of miniature blogging service that allows people to update their friends, or “followers,” on their lives in “tweets” of 140 characters or fewer, was recently taken up by the University as an experiment in public relations. Among University-related feeds now on Twitter are “brownuniversity,” which automatically provides links to news from Media Relations, Brown Alumni Magazine, Today at Brown and Brown.edu Web sites, and “MHollmer,” a life sciencesthemed Twitter run by Mark Hollmer, senior media specialist in the Life Sciences. “We will give it a good test for the rest of the semester,” said Mark Nickel, director of University communications, adding that the primary purpose of the sites is media outreach. The “brownuniversity” page was set up last fall, and the Office of Public Affairs and University Relations began running “MHollmer” just two weeks ago, according to Twitter. The public affairs office initially chose life sciences as the discipline to “experiment” with, Nickel added in an e-mail to The Herald, because “life science writers are a fairly welldelineated media group.” “We really haven’t had enough experience with Twitter to know whether or how well it might work for us,” Nickel wrote. “It may end up being one of several methods we use to distribute news about Brown, but will probably not be the most important one.” Other University-related feeds
include the Brown University men’s lacrosse team — on Twitter, BrownLacrosse. “Men’s lax put a beating on a very good young alumni squad. great physical game (sic),” reads an update posted on Saturday. Parents of the players post team events for relatives who are unable to attend the game, according to Jake Westermann ’10, whose father contributes to the team’s separate blog. Brown also appears on Ivytwitter.com, launched last April. The separate site follows all of the Twitter posts related to the eight Ivy League schools. The Ivytwitter feed for Brown displays all content on Twitter with the words ‘Brown’ and ‘University’ in the tweet. Some posts, though, are seemingly — and perhaps inevitably — random. “I hope to God that I get into Brown, Cornell, Duke or Washington University in St. Louis. Please. They are my dream colleges. April 1st!” reads one tweet. Twitterers can be institutions as well as people. Starbucks, for example, has one. So does 10 Downing Street (DowningStreet), the British prime minister’s residence. Though the University is just beginning to explore the technology, some students are already adept Twitterers. “When I first joined, I was really skeptical of this,” said Eric Johnson ’11, a newscaster for WBRU who started using the service for networking for the radio station. “What in the world can you say in 140 characters?” “I think it really changed the way people who have blogs get their (word) out there,” he said. “It’s very easy to get your message out to people.”
Thomas Forsberg has encountered some strange safety violations during his tenure with the Office of Residential Life, but the one that sticks out most in his memory occurred almost 10 years ago. “We had an undergraduate disassemble his motorcycle and put it in his room — gas tank and all,” said Forsberg, associate director of Housing and Residential Life. But as ResLife prepares to begin residence hall inspections across campus this week, its assistant director for operations, Richard Hilton, said that last semester’s inspections of 704 rooms on campus uncovered 84 less surprising violations. The most common violations were for excessive wall decorations, unsafe power strips and blocked exits, which Hilton, who oversees the inspections, said was typical. According to Hilton, the dorms that will be inspected today, Wednesday and Thursday include Barbour Hall, Graduate Center, Keeney Quadrangle, Littlefield Hall, New Pembroke 1 through 3, Perkins Hall, Slater Hall, Emery Hall and Hope College. Wayland, Harkness, Marcy, Buxton and Diman Houses will also be inspected. Students are notified by e-mail in advance of when their residence
Kim Perley / Herald
A toaster, a lighter and candles were among the prohibited items found by ResLife during previous room inspections.
halls will be inspected, Hilton said. Several days later, volunteer staffers from ResLife and other University departments enter each room to look for violations that involve fire safety and what Forsberg calls “life safety,” such as unsafe loft construction or pets, which may induce other residents’ allergic
reactions. When inspectors discover a violation in a room, Hilton said, they leave a slip explaining the violation and asking the resident to correct it before a subsequent inspection. The notable exception to this continued on page 4
off-campus water still may contain lead
by hEEyoung Min Contributing Writer
Is your drinking water safe? If you are living off-campus, it might not be. Though lead-free water is now available in all campus buildings and residences, some off-campus buildings — including the houses and apartments many students call home — may still contain lead-
contaminated water. Lead levels in Providence have “risen slightly” in recent years, said Clay Commons, senior environmental scientist for the Rhode Island Department of Health. After discovering in 2006 that some water samples had lead levels higher than federal limits, Commons said, his department began a process of changing the chemical composition of treated
water to lessen pipe corrosion. The treatment will reduce lead levels in the long term, but contributes to the current higher levels, he said. Though Commons said there is no direct evidence of lead contamination in off-campus buildings, he added that there is no clear evidence that all residences are continued on page 4
Democrats debate uS education reform
by Colin ChazEn Senior Staf f Writer
A teacher’s union organizer and an education reform lobbyist sparred last night in a wide-ranging discussion about the future of the American education system. The speakers, both Democrats, differed primarily over whether reforms should focus on improving the current system or expanding the use of charter schools. Joe Williams, executive director of Democrats for Education Reform, advocated greater flexibility and spoke against powerful interest groups that oppose major changes. “There was a notion if you supported anything other than the status quo, than investing in the system as it is, you couldn’t be a Democrat,” Williams said. “The
teachers unions are telling us not to have these conversations.” Patrick Crowley, assistant executive director of the Rhode Island National Education Association, argued that teachers are not the enemies and should not be blamed for systematic problems. “It’s not summers off and getting out at two o’clock,” Crowley said. “The enemy is a lot of the policies that the people in power have always used.” The discussion, which was sponsored by the Department of Education, the Brown Democrats and Students for Education Reform, came ahead of a pending $800-billion federal stimulus package that will allocate billions of dollars to education projects across the country. Both speakers said they are hopeful that President Obama will bring positive change
to the education system, but described a litany of contradicting views and opinions on what types of reforms are needed and which will be successful. “Pick a study and I’ll show one that says the opposite,” Crowley said, in reference to federal and private studies of various types of charter schools. “Veteran teachers will tell you, every five years there’s the next big thing. They’re the ones that are still there.” Williams said the current system needs to be adjusted to provide good teachers with incentives, whether higher pay or greater choice, to take on difficult positions in the nation’s worst schools. “Those schools that nobody wants to teach in are the ones that continued on page 4
room inspections turned up 84 violations last semester
continued from page 3 policy, however, is candles, which are confiscated immediately “whether or not (they’ve) ever been lit,” Forsberg said, adding that “they’re the number one cause of residence hall fires.” Students are fined $100 for each candle, a policy that resulted in a total of $500 during the fall inspections. Students expressed mixed feelings on the subject of room inspections. While Melissa Logan ’11 said she believes inspections are necessary for safety reasons, she added that she did not like “the idea of someone coming into my room, especially when I’m not there.” She said she would prefer having inspections only when the resident is in his or her room. Allison Perelman ’09, whose room in Young Orchard was inspected in October, said inspectors from ResLife got “angry” when they saw that she had completely covered her walls with removable wallpaper. Perelman said that while her roommate was cited for the violation, she was advised only that the wallpaper must be removed by the time she moves out in May. “They were concerned about it,” she said. “They kept calling it a ‘gray area.’” “I have a sneaking suspicion that in a couple years they’ll have a specific rule against wallpaper,” Perelman added. Stephanie Yin ’12 lives in Emery, one of the buildings to be inspected this week. Though she said she had not seen the e-mail from ResLife, which Hilton sent Feb. 6., Yin said she was not worried about the inspection and did not expect to be cited for any violations. “I don’t know how much they can accomplish giving advance notice,” Yin said. “At the same time, it would be awful to have unannounced inspections.” Logan agreed. “You can have things in your room and just hide them, and they’ll never know,” she said. “My roommates do.” Forsberg acknowledged that students can easily hide prohibited items but said he hoped students would think seriously about safety rather than “see what (they) can get away with.” “If I don’t see it, I don’t see it,” he said. “But if you engage in an unsafe thing, I hope that we don’t have anything horrible happen.”
C AmPuS n ewS
THE BROWN dAILy HERALd
TUESdAy, FEBRUARy 10, 2009
“you can have things in your room and just hide them.”
Melissa Logan ’11, on dorm room inspections
room inspections by the numbers
total rooms inspected: 704 total violations found: 84 Power strips/ext. cords: 17 Excessive trash: 11 Wooden construction: 1 Egress blocked: 15 Fire safety equipment found in room: 8 Space heaters or AC units: 1 Smoking/incense: 6 Excessive wall decorations: 25 Halogen lamps: 1 Candles: 5 Unauthorized appliances: 6 Lounge furniture in room: 4
off-campus students at risk of lead
continued from page 3 safe from contamination. The problem of lead contamination in campus buildings was brought to the University’s attention in 2007, when three undergraduates examined lead levels in campus buildings as part of a class project. Libby Delucia ’09, Matthew Wheeler ’09 and Megan Whelan ’09 found high levels of lead-contaminated water in several University buildings, The Herald reported in 2007. “Sampling lead in water is not required in most buildings, but after learning that two academic buildings tested above the (Environmental Protection Agency) action level, the University tested the water in all Brown buildings,” said Director of Environmental Health and Safety Stephen Morin. After collecting hundreds of samples and sending them to an independent laborator y for analysis, EHS discovered that 17 buildings exceeded the action level. EHS alerted building occupants soon after receiving the results, Morin said. All buildings that exceeded the EPA’s action level were provided bottled water or water filters, he said, adding that these “initial steps” are “acceptable longterm solutions.” Students living off-campus in University-owned housing are also safe from lead-contaminated water. “All housing (has) been tested for lead levels,” said Gail Medbury, director of auxiliary housing. “Those with high levels of lead have been provided with a filter.” But for those not living in University-owned housing, Morin said he recommends having running water sampled and using filters or drinking bottled water. The only way to determine whether a household’s water is affected by higher than acceptable levels of lead is to send a sample to a qualified laboratory, which costs between $20 and $100, according to the EPA Web site. Morin said individuals should take this step because “required sampling is limited and every building is different due to such factors as age of construction, type of water systems and type of solder used.” He also suggested running cold water in the morning or after long periods of non-use to decrease the levels of lead in the water. “Only use cold water for drinking and cooking since hot water can have higher levels of lead.” According to the EPA, lead found in water usually comes from the corrosion of pipes or solders in plumbing, with very new and very old plumbing systems at greatest risk of leaching lead. The most common source of ingested or inhaled lead is paint and dust particles containing the metal, but lead in drinking water can contribute to an individual’s total exposure, according to the EPA. Lead remains in the body for a long period of time, and a significant buildup of the metal can cause acute and chronic health effects, including damage to the central nervous system, the liver and the kidneys. Children are particularly vulnerable to over-exposure of lead, which can contribute to a range of physical and mental developmental delays.
Democrat reformers debate education
continued from page 3 get teachers straight out of education school,” Williams said. “We should create an incentive system that allows teachers that are up for a challenge to go.” Crowley said incentive systems were unrealistic — no system exists to properly evaluate and reward good teachers — and shifting the most well-regarded teachers to the nation’s worst schools will only exacerbate problems. “Those teachers don’t stay,” he said. “It’s always a white teacher and always brown kids. It’s a TV movie of the week, and Hallmark doesn’t get to set education policy.” Both speakers agreed that great inequalities exist under the current system and that the Democratic Party needs to be an advocate for serious changes. “We should take the federal stimulus money and rethink how we fund education,” Crowley said.
The Brown daily Herald
A stimulus package for your brain
The Brown daily Herald
“Most police officers ... don’t want to arrest sick and dying people.”
— Jesse Stout ’06, executive director, Rhode Island Patients Advocacy Coalition
TUESdAy, FEBRUARy 10, 2009 | PAgE 5
medical marijuana bill to be introduced today
By Sara SunShine Senior Staf f Writer
For Rhode Islanders suf fering from terminal illnesses or chronic pains, medical marijuana can provide badly needed relief. But getting the marijuana in a safe, legal manner can be problematic for these patients — which is why state legislators have introduced a bill allowing for the creation of up to three nonprofit Compassion Centers to grow and distribute the plant. The bill was introduced in the state Senate last week by Sen. Rhoda Perr y D-Dist. 3 P’91 and will be introduced in the House of Representatives today by Rep. Tom Slater D-Providence. It is a reincarnation of a 2008 bill which failed to pass the House despite winning a 30-5 vote in the Senate. When the Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Act was passed three years ago, ill Rhode Islanders no longer faced the threat of “incarceration for using a doctor-recommended medication,” said Jesse Stout ’06, executive director of the Rhode Island Patients Advocacy Coalition. Since then, patients have been able to receive a license to grow and use marijuana from the state Department of Health. The medical marijuana program has been a success, Stout said, accumulating 561 patients. “In general, patients are getting the medicine they need,” he said. But patients do not always know how to grow marijuana or lack adequate space or funds to produce it. In these cases, Stout said, some are forced to turn to the black market or drug dealers. “We don’t have a legal and safe method to distribute marijuana,” said Perr y, who began advocating for medical marijuana after losing a nephew to AIDS. The bill places the dispensaries under the regulation of the Depar tment of Health and contains restrictions on how much marijuana the centers may store at any given time. Stout said he was optimistic about the bill’s chances of passing during the 2009 congressional session. The new presidential administration is more “friendly” to the sentiments behind the bill and unlikely to interfere, Stout said, and local lawmakers will be more likely to lend their support since it is not an election year. Though medical marijuana is currently legal in 13 states, none had state-run distribution centers like those proposed under the bill until New Mexico passed a law last year, Stout added. The bill, which now has 50 cosponsors in the House, also enjoys popular support. A 2008 poll paid for by the Marijuana Policy Project found that 69 percent of Rhode Islanders favored allowing registered patients to obtain marijuana from state-licensed, state-regulated
facilities. A variety of organizations, such as the Rhode Island Academy for Family Physicians and the Rhode Island State Council of Churches, have endorsed medical marijuana. Although they initially had some hesitations, Rhode Island law enforcement is now also cooperative, said Stout. “Most police officers would agree that they don’t want to arrest sick and dying people.” Gov. Donald Carcieri ’65 will most likely veto the bill, but there are enough favorable votes in the Rhode Island General Assembly to override his veto, Stout said. Some questioned the benefit of making medical marijuana more widely accessible. “I think medical marijuana is another example of something that is in theor y a good thing but it always has the ability to be abused,” said Br yan Smith ’10. “It probably does have the ability to help some people but I don’t know if ... that’s worth the harm it could cause.” Though the Compassion Centers would most likely not be fully functional until 2010, some patients are satisfied just to see progress being made. Bobbi Brady Cataldo, a single mother of five, had been taking Vicodin for her multiple sclerosis before medical marijuana was legalized. Cataldo found that she did not react well to the pain-killer, feeling drowsiness and nausea. “I didn’t have room to be drugged out ... you have to either deal with the pain or take meds that make you a complete idiot.” But when Cataldo tried medical marijuana, she said it was a “miracle.” The relief “was so immediate, I was floored,” she added. Other Rhode Islanders have been ver y supportive of her prescription, Cataldo said, but it still is difficult to obtain the marijuana she needs. Due to her condition, Cataldo cannot access the basement — the only suitable place in her house for growing the plant. “You shouldn’t have to go to the streets to get your medicine,” Cataldo said. The dispensaries will make medical marijuana more accessible and affordable for patients, she added. Levi Gadye ’10, who has a medical marijuana license from California for back pains and insomnia, said he supports the bill. Gadye said the “stubbornness of the federal government” has prevented reasonable legislation — such as the Compassion Center bill — from being passed. “It’s another step to have a law to protect people who grow medical marijuana,” he added. Passing such a bill would help further the national conversation about medical marijuana, Gadye said. “If states are having this discussion themselves, the federal government will have to listen.”
Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times
The National Park Service is trying to get funding from the stimulus package to rebuild the infrastructure in parks. The last time there was a national works program was under President Franklin d. Roosevelt.
r.I. anticipates stimulus aid
by alExandra ulMEr Staf f Writer
The economic stimulus package currently pending in Congress could provide Rhode Island with hundreds of millions of dollars to be invested mostly in school systems, tax cuts for workers and other local expenditures. The federal stimulus package — officially titled the American Recover y and Reinvestment Act of 2009 — aims to create jobs nationwide, including in the Ocean State, whose 10-percent unemployment rate is second highest in the countr y. One version of the bill has already passed in the House of Representatives and another is pending in the Senate, with the final version expected to be ratified by early next week. The bill is expected to allocate $220 million this year to Rhode Island schools and government to cover urgent ser vices, $132 million to road and bridge repairs and $46 million to improve the sewer system and drinking water in the state, according to a Feb. 4 White House statement. The bill also offers a refundable tax credit aimed at 95 percent of working Americans — ranging from $500 for individuals to $1,000 for families — and a $300 payment to Social Security beneficiaries, according to the statement. Rhode Island’s Democratic Senators, Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed, have expressed support for the bill. The bill will give a tax cut to 470,000 Rhode Island workers and families, provide hundreds of millions of dollars to jump-start “shovel-ready” projects and create 13,000 jobs in the state, wrote Alex Swar tsel, Whitehouse’s spokesperson, in an e-mail to The Herald. “This plan isn’t perfect and in the end it may not be enough,” Swartsel wrote. “But it’s a strong first step.” But Gov. Donald Carcieri ’65
has criticized the bill for allocating nearly 30 percent of its aid to programs that do not stimulate job growth or consumer confidence, said Amy Kempe, Carcieri’s spokesperson. “It’s not about more or less money, it’s about how you target that money.” Though Mayor David Cicilline ’83 said the House version of the bill makes investments in key areas of job growth, such as infrastructure and education, and “provides bold actions for the long-term health of our economy,” he is concerned about some amendments made in the Senate that reduced aid to job creation. According to Elliot Krieger, spokesperson for the Rhode Island Department of Education, the bill will benefit underfunded schools in the state. The majority of funds allocated to education will go to schools with economically disadvantaged students, where they will help prevent future budget cuts, increase access to computers and improve facilities, he said. But the exact manner and target of allocation remains unclear. The federal government is “not really calling out to states at this point,” Krieger said. “We have more questions than answers.” “The stimulus bill will provide short-term fix but is not likely to sustain (recovery),” Thomas Daniels, chairman of the board of review for the Rhode Islamd Department of Labor and Training, wrote in an e-mail to The Herald. Ideally, funding should be allocated to states on the basis of their unemployment levels and states should then be able to decide where to invest, Daniels wrote. Many groups are looking forward to receiving funds for various programs. For months, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation has been assembling a list of 50 projects it hopes to fund, Charles St. Martin III, a spokesperson, wrote in an e-mail to The
Expected federal stimulus funding
$220 million for local schools and to local government to cover urgent services $132 million for road and bridge repairs $46 million to improve the sewer system and drinking water Refundable tax credit aimed at 95 percent of working Americans, ranging from $500 for individuals to $1,000 for families $300 payment to Social Security beneficiaries $12 million for Weatherization Assistance $2.1 million for energy efficiency grants
Herald. Estimated at a total cost of $170 million, the projects range from bridge repairs to commuter rail projects and improved handicapped access, St. Martin wrote. “Nearly ever y Rhode Island community would benefit,” he wrote. “Many are projects that have been deferred to future years due to funding limitations.” The funding currently projected for weatherization assistance will partly be allocated to Providence Community Action, a nonprofit that weatherizes homes in Providence. “We’re expecting that it will be substantial,” said Helen Lallo, coordinator of the group’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. “We’ll be able to help a lot more low-income people save on energy.”
economy driving nBA trades
The Brown daily Herald
by ElisabEth avallonE Spor tS Staf f Writer
Best effort in years a loss for gymnastics
Despite falling short of Bridgeport University’s 191.150 points this Sunday, the gymnastics team performed with dedication and earned a seasonhigh 189.575 points, Brown’s best team score since 2004. “The meet was the motivation we needed to prove our scoring potential to ourselves,” said Head Coach Sara Carver-Milne. “The justification of knowing that we have the potential to qualify in Ivies right now, and earned a score as high as Cornell, who is currently ranked first, is extremely exciting.” “As a captain, it was really exciting to see the team score the highest that it has in years,” said Stephanie Albert ’10. Leading the Bears, Chelsey Binkley ’10 placed first on the floor exercise and earned a personal best in every event she competed in. “We had some great performances this weekend, Chelsey Binkley in particular. To score a personal best in every event she competed on … is outstanding. It helped motivate the team and keep us going,” Carver-
TUESdAy, FEBRUARy 10, 2009 | Page 7
If there was ever any doubt about whether the economy would significantly impact professional sports, there certainly isn’t anymore. National Football League ad revenue is down, the league is still without radio partners for 2009-2010 and nearly all the league’s sponsorship agreements, including many partners mired in deep economic distress, are set to tom trudeau Tru Story expire within the next three years. The Arena Football League canceled its 2009 season due to increased expenses and debt. NASCAR faces serious issues because of its reliance on sponsorship deals that just aren’t there anymore. And does anyone still even watch pro hockey? But perhaps Major League Baseball is showing the effects of a struggling economy the most of any major sport. Multiple former allstars (Orlando Hudson, Adam Dunn, Luis Gonzalez, Nomar Garciaparra, Moises Alou, Bobby Abreu and Garret Anderson just to name a few) and future Hall of Famers (Ivan Rodriguez, Tom Glavine, Curt Schilling, Ken Griffey Jr. and Frank Thomas) are faced with little to no interest from teams wary of giving out any type of guaranteed contract. Meanwhile, the National Basketball Association is no different from the other major sports trying to adapt to an unfamiliar economic climate, in a time of great uncertainty about just how bad things might get. Executives across the league find themselves having to resort to more creative measures to attract fans to games, offering different types of packages and coupons on top of already discounted ticket prices, all while trying to appease season ticket holders that still pay face value. Unlike the NFL, where the vast majority of money in contracts is not guaranteed, or Major League Baseball, which is wrapping up its off-season only now, NBA teams already doled out big-time contracts like it was 1999 this past summer. The result was instant buyer’s remorse (ask the Sixers if they’d sign Elton Brand again, or if the Clippers still feel good about inking Baron Davis), as more teams look to find ways to shed salary. The unprecedented and increasingly serious situation is what makes this year’s NBA trade deadline potentially one of the most interesting ever. Player contracts have always mattered because salaries essentially have to match for most trades to be legal. The provisions set out in the most recent Collective Bargaining Agreement only allow teams over the salary cap to make trades if the salaries are within 125 percent plus $100,000 of the salary given out, continued on page 8
Justin Coleman / Herald File Photo
The gymnastics team earned a season-high 189.575 points on Sunday.
Milne said. “Lauren Tucker (’12) stepped it up as a freshman, in her first meet at full strength after an ankle injury. To show that she could come back at full strength with all of her skills was amazing.” Leading off for the Bears on vault, Carli Wiesenfeld ’12 (9.600),
Binkley (9.575) and Lilly Siems ’12 (9.550) earned third through fifth, respectively. Tucker (9.425) and Melissa Bowe ’11 (9.325) brought the total tally to 47.475, just shy of Bridgeport’s 47.925. continued on page 8
w. hockey plays tough, can’t find net in back-to-back losses
by andrEw braCa Spor tS editor
The women’s hockey team shut out No. 8 Dartmouth on Friday for 54 minutes before finally surrendering a goal to suffer a 1-0 defeat. Combined with a 4-0 loss to Harvard the following day, the games continued a trend of close losses to top opponents in the Easter College Athletic
Conference, dropping the Bears to 5-18-1 overall and 4-13 in conference play, good for 11th place. Captain Nicole Stock ’09 continued to shine for Bruno in goal, making 47 saves against Dartmouth (16-6-2, 13-3-2 ECAC) and 41 against Harvard (13-7-3, 12-4-2 ECAC), but the offense could not break through, leading to tough losses.
“It was really disappointing because we were so close in all the games,” said Stock, a Herald sports staff writer. “We played really well against Dartmouth, especially. We came out with a lot of energy and played a good defensive hockey game, but it’s frustrating when you can’t put goals on the board.” Against Har vard, the “same kind of thing happened,” she con-
tinued. “We were with them, (but) they got a couple lucky goals and we weren’t able to put anything in the back of the net.” Last month Dartmouth embarrassed the Bears at home, winning by a score of 9-1, but the Bears were ready for their trip to Hanover, N.H. continued on page 8
Gymnastics teams records best score since 2004 The nBA
continued from page 7 Tucker claimed third on beam, scoring a 9.750. Binkley followed in fifth with a 9.650 as Victoria Zanelli ’11 (9.550), Wiesenfeld (9.550), Sierns (9.350) and Izzy Kirkham-Lewitt ’10 (9.125) rounded out the scoring for the Bears. Again, the Bears fell short of the Purple Knights by a fraction of a point, earning a 47.825 to Bridgeport’s 47.875. On the bars, Bowe finished with Brown’s top score in third with a 9.450. Kirkham-Lewitt (9.325) followed in sixth, Siems (9.125) in eighth and Zanelli (9.050) in ninth. “We still have a little work to do on the bars. We obviously didn’t hit as well as we would have liked to this weekend, but to still score so high without hitting shows our true potential,” Carver-Milne said. Brown tallied 45.925 in the event, as Bridgeport posted a 47.400. Following Binkley’s first-place performance on the floor (9.825), Helen Segal ’10 scored a personal best of 9.800 for second. Katie Goddard ’12 also earned a personal best of 9.675 and finished in fourth. Tucker grabbed sixth with a 9.550, Wiesenfeld ninth with a 9.500 and Whitney Diederich ’09 posted a 9.400 to finish off for the Bears, who won the event with a total of 48.350, compared to Bridgeport’s 47.950. “As a team, we have been repeatedly told how much potential we have for this season, and we are really starting to prove that potential week after week, building upon every team score,” Binkley said. The Bears will compete next Feb. 13 at Arizona and Feb. 20 against Oklahoma, Missouri and West Virginia at Oklahoma.
S PortS w eekenD
THE BROWN dAILy HERALd
TUESdAy, FEBRUARy 10, 2009
“We still have a little work to do on the bars.”
— gymnastics Head Coach Sara Carver-Milne
meets the economy
continued from page 7 in order for the trade to be accepted. This year, contracts will matter even more. Owners who are willing to take on additional salary stand to pick up big-time talent in return for little more than expiring contracts. Some general managers are looking to get their franchise out of the red. The New Orleans Hornets, whom an anonymous executive described as “completely broke” in a recent CBS sports article, are trying to shed their payroll despite already being under the luxury tax threshold. Other teams, such as the New York Knicks, are simply trying to free up cap space for the already infamous summer of 2010, which will feature such marquee free agents as LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. Whatever the motivation, there is bound to be plenty of movement, motivated primarily by dollars. It is telling when some of the most desirable assets this year are the expiring contracts of Wally Szczerbiak, Raef LaFrentz and Drew Gooden — not exactly cornerstones of a championship team. The names switching teams might resemble ridiculous video game trades more than a regular NBA trade deadline. The Nets would likely move Vince Carter and the remaining $33 million still owed to him after this season. According to multiple sources, the Phoenix Suns are motivated to move Amar’e Stoudemire, who is among the game’s best and most athletic low-post scorers. Even Shaq can be had for anyone willing to pay him $20 million next season. Ditto for Jermaine O’Neal, Baron Davis and Mike Miller. It’s possible that the deadline will come and go with mostly just talk. Some trades that might have been might not be, simply because teams are wary of adding salary. But if owners are willing to capitalize on other teams’ growing concern for the long term financial health of their own organizations, this trade deadline stands to be one of the most exciting in recent memory. Tom Trudeau ’09 will trade his roommate plus a lotteryprotected first round pick for a subscription to NBA League Pass.
women’s hockey fails to score despite another strong effort
continued from page 7 “We just played our systems a lot better this time,” Stock said. “We just had more energy and knew that the (bad) game that we played against them at home was a fluke and we’re a better team than that. And I think we played much more disciplined hockey — we didn’t take as many penalties.” After Brown held Dartmouth to just a 9-8 advantage in shots during the first period, the Big Green turned up the intensity in the following period to post a 19-4 shot advantage. But Stock held firm, and the Bears took pride in heading into the second intermission tied with a national power. “I think it built a lot of confidence in our team,” Stock said. Although Dartmouth once again attacked Brown’s crease in the third period, posting a 20-7 lead in shots, the Bears held firm for 12 minute into the period. But with 7:34 remaining Sasha Van Muyen ’10 was whistled for hooking to give the Big Green the man advantage. Less than two minutes later, Dartmouth’s Sarah Newnam beat Stock top shelf with a slap shot to put her team on the board. After Stock was pulled from the net, Bruno produced some offense with the extra skater but was not able to net the equalizer. Assistant captain Andrea Hunter ’10 led the Bears with four shots, but Big Green goalie Carli Clemis made 19 saves in the game to shut out Brown — the seventh time Bruno has been blanked this season. Saturday’s game against Harvard in Cambridge, Mass., was even worse for the Bears, as 2006 Canadian Olympian Sarah Vaillancourt notched two goals and two assists for the Crimson. The game began scoreless for 14 minutes before Jenny Brine scored to give Harvard the lead with 5:17 left in the opening frame. It appeared the lead would remain 1-0 heading into the first intermission, but Vaillancourt doubled the lead with 17 seconds remaining on a fluky play. “It was like a weird, pinball kind of shot — it hit a couple people and kind of floated into the net,” Stock said. “I think that hurt us a little bit going into the second. I think we were down a little bit even though we had played well and were pretty even with them in the first.” Harvard scored twice more, including a power-play goal, to take a 4-0 lead with 8:37 left in the second period, concluding the scoring. Although Brown recovered to post 27 shots, Crimson goalie Christina Kessler stonewalled all of them, and the Bears were shut out for the fourth time in their past six games. The close loss to Dartmouth continues a trend in Brown’s season, in which the Bears, despite their poor record, have been surprisingly competitive against the top seven teams in the ECAC. Bruno beat the two teams tied for third, Colgate and Princeton, lost twice by a single goal to No. 6 St. Lawrence and lost by two goals or fewer to each of the other four teams in the top seven, but still remains mired in 11th place. “We’ve played tight games with many of the teams that are above us, so I think it’s really frustrating that we’re on the losing end of those close games,” Stock said. “Sometimes it takes a little bit more to try and beat those teams, but when you’re that close it just tells you that the conference is pretty tight, and we just somehow need to get on the winning end of some of these games.” The Bears will have the opportunity to do so this weekend when they begin a five-game homestand at Meehan Auditorium. They will host struggling Union (2-25-3, 0-17-1 ECAC) on Friday at 7 p.m. and Rensselaer (13-13-3, 8-8-2 ECAC) on Saturday at 4 p.m.
editorial & Letters
The Brown daily Herald
Page 10 | TUESdAy, FEBRUARy 10, 2009
e d i to r i a l
utrAs and other options
The University recently announced its intentions not to expand the Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award program as previously planned. Some students may be concerned, especially those seeking alternative summer-work opportunities in the face of a collapsing job market. But in this time of crisis, it’s important to keep in mind the reality of Brown’s financial constraints and not to forget the numerous opportunities still available to students. As President Ruth Simmons stated in her e-mail addressing the University’s financial standing, the goal right now is to “preser ve the quality of academic life” — the key word here being “preser ve.” The University has not cut the UTRA program’s budget, only maintained the roughly 200 awards granted last year — which, at $3,000 per award, is no small feat. That being said, the University does offer other programs that undergraduate students can take advantage of. The Career Development Center grants approximately 40 Brown Internship Awards of $2,500 each, and the Aided Internship Program awards 25 summer earnings waivers of as much as $2,650 — by no means do Brown’s summer work opportunities end with UTRA. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, don’t count out all internships just because financial firms are flailing. According to Eric Normington, chief marketing officer at University of Dreams, a California-based company that matches interns with employers, in certain disciplines “they need interns now more than ever.” Normington went on to explain that in fields such as public relations, event planning and advertisement, the impact of the financial crisis has been such that employers, forced to cut full-time employees, are desperately seeking part-time interns to help fill the gaps. There’s no doubt that the UTRA program is a fantastic way for undergraduate students to gain valuable work experience and acclimate themselves to life in academia. We hope that as soon as finances are back on track, the University will resume its expansion of the UTRA program, but in the meantime we understand that the administration is doing ever ything it can for its students in this time of financial upheaval. Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board. Send comments to email@example.com.
CHRIS JESU LEE
l e t t e r to t h e e d i to r s
Activism for a cause, not for show
to the Editor: Regarding Tyler Rosenbaum’s ’11 column “What’s an activist to do?” (Feb. 4): The actions of SDS and other activists are not about a will to “revive the old activism.” These actions are based on the idea that change happens dynamically, by doing things BOTH inside and outside of conventional methods. While many activists at Brown are aware that we’re part of a long tradition, our steps are primarily oriented toward the future, not the past. We think of the irreplaceable role student mobilization has played in establishing Africana studies, ethnic studies, need-blind admission, fairer contracts for campus workers and the university’s stance on certain global justice concerns not with a glazed nostalgia, but rather as inspiration. Brown, like most of the world, is run by a stifling bureaucracy that often hamstrings every administrator’s best intentions. Those of us who do try to mobilize student power understand that movement from below is one of the only checks we have against nigh immovable bureaucracies (governmental, corporate, etc). The assumption that people would protest simply to protest is ridiculous. People do things for a reason. Actions have motives behind them. We in SDS spend tons of time organizing, planning and working on achieving our goals and anti-activist-anti-people-love-of-authority types who neither work with SDS members nor with administration to address real problems are both unproductive and hypocritical. Detractors who sit around and criticize SDS while remaining actionless on the issues they admit to be affecting Brown and the world would do better to spend their time constructing change instead of tearing it down. Instead of criticizing one of the only catalysts of change that this school has, these people should use tactics that they believe are correct — organize for student government or form other groups — to create the changes that they want to see. And if the spirit of activism is largely dead, as it may seem like it is, this is not because “the largest barriers to our achievement and contentment are self-imposed.” “Practically all the things students care about go their way,” says Rosenbaum — but what about tuition? Everyone will be paying more to come here this Fall during a time when the price tag of Brown is already too big. What about cultural/racial barriers to admission — like the SAT? What about issues of elitism and white supremacy that continue to homogenize education through practices like the SAT? And then, what about global justice issues that may not directly affect Brown students, but which do in fact affect us all? Students should not be tearing each other apart over a debate of tactics. We should all work in coalition, practicing the different tactics that we believe in, in order to create change. “We should take the opportunities given to us,” certainly, but those who see the need for more drastic changes should never be limited to the options provided — “the official channels” — especially when they lead nowhere. kristin Jordan ’09 susan beaty ’09 Chantal tape ’09 Michael da Cruz ’09 daniel patterson ’12 william Emmons ’09 Feb. 8
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The Brown daily Herald
TUESdAy, FEBRUARy 10, 2009 | PAgE 11
The transportation game
short bus or bike ride to restaurants, bookstores, grocery stores, the mall, the train station and the bus depot. From the train station we can reach all the cultural amenities of a major city in an hour and a half. When we graduate, some of us may move to cities that developed when feet and horses were still the dominant modes of transportation. But others will wind up in areas where it is nearly impossible to enjoy a comfortable life without at least one car. Even many of those who embrace city life will later want to Your choices of transportation are among the most environmentally consequential decisions you make. When it requires almost as much energy to recycle as to make products out of entirely new materials, keeping one more bottle out of a landfill may be a laudable gesture, but it won’t save the earth. Burning a few gallons of gas every day instead of riding, biking or walking, though, is a significant contributor to climate change. It’s no wonder Manhattan residents, few of whom own cars, emit less than one-third as matically reduce car usage is an enormous expansion of intra-city and regional light rail, intercity high-speed rail and clean-operating local buses. Light rail is particularly effective within metropolitan areas. Much less expensive than subway or elevated rail lines, it runs at ground level so tracks can be installed into existing streets. Many U.S. cities, even those as small as Spokane, Wash., are beginning to install light rail systems. High-speed rail is widespread in Europe and Asia but absent here. For intercity travel, high-speed rail is cleaner than airplanes and often as fast. If California can avoid implosion amid its current budget crisis, the state plans to lead the way by connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles in two and a half hours. Local buses, though mundane, are less expensive and easier to implement than any rail system. Upgraded and expanded bus lines can provide the most immediate and comprehensive transit options on a neighborhood level. Less than one percent of the current $819 billion stimulus bill is directed toward mass transit. Public transportation must be a top priority if we are to maintain our long-term standard of living and avoid environmental catastrophe. Let’s hope either Secretary LaHood decides to hop on board, or that President Obama intends to single-handedly turn Sesame Street into Sesame Station.
One of these things is not like the others; one of these things just doesn’t belong. Can you tell me which thing is not like the others, by the time I finish this song? Steven Chu, Lisa Jackson, Carol Browner, Ray LaHood. Who? Incoming Secretary of Energy Steven Chu led renewable energy research as director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, while commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, introduced a plan to reduce state carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050. The president’s new climate czar, Carol Browner, is an ardent environmental protector and lawyer who oversaw the EPA for eight years under President Clinton. Ray LaHood, newly ordained secretary of transportation, is a representative from a mostly rural part of Illinois where people tend to get around just by driving cars. On mass transit he has a thin and mixed record, giving Amtrak lukewarm support but opposing high-speed rail in his own state. Well, it’s too late; Congress just wrapped up the confirmation song, and it isn’t clear that President Obama could answer my question any better than Cookie Monster. Or that he gets the inextricable connections between climate change and transportation. Brown students might not fully realize how good we have it on College Hill. From dorm rooms at Brown, we can walk or take a
“Even many of those who embrace city life will later want to join the suburban masses in the land of highways, strip malls … and safe streets and good public schools.”
join the suburban masses in the land of highways, strip malls ... and safe streets and good public schools. Unfortunately, this car-centric means of geographically organizing and transporting ourselves is utterly unsustainable. The fastest-growing category of emissions is those from cars, SUVs and other gas-burning vehicles, which cause nearly a third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. What should be screamingly obvious to anyone who hasn’t forgotten the price of gas last summer or worries about climate change is that we need a massive federal investment in public transportation.
much carbon as average Americans. But where there is no decent alternative to the automobile, the latent environmental concern shared by many future Brown alumni is wasted. Higher gas prices, either caused by the market or created by deliberate policy, are more likely to bankrupt working families than bring about vast changes in driving behavior. People will combine a few errands or think twice before taking a discretionary trip, but they still have to commute to work every day. So, short of taking wrecking balls to the suburbs and forcing everyone into new highrises, the only way in the short term to dra-
Nick Hagerty ’10 isn’t really from Portland, Oregon — just a nearby suburb. But it does have light rail! He can be reached at email@example.com.
how to (re)make $800 million
As you’ve probably heard by now, Brown has a pretty severe money problem. Two weeks ago, President Ruth Simmons announced via a campus-wide e-mail that the University’s endowment, which once stood at a formidable $2.8 billion, is projected to be worth $800 million less by the end of June, a loss of almost 30 percent of its value. It’s easy to lose perspective in this time of billion-dollar Ponzi schemes and trillion-dollar bailouts, but let that number sink in for a second. Brown just lost $800 million. That’s more than the entire Obama campaign raised. It’s more than the combined payrolls of the Yankees, Mets, Tigers, Red Sox and Cubs. For $800 million, every student at Brown could get his skin surgically removed and replaced with a huge array of iPhones, and we could all just walk around campus sending Facebook messages on each others’ quadriceps (I hear they actually do this at Princeton). So now what? Faced with the worst global economic crisis in decades and a donor base that doesn’t feel much like giving, how can Brown ever hope to recoup its losses? President Simmons’ e-mail outlined some cost-saving measures, including freezing salaries for most faculty members and halting the planned growth of the Graduate School, but it’s not going to be enough. Our school is in serious trouble, and the fate of future generations of Brown students hangs in the balance. We need new solutions. We need to repriorities than a new gym, and at this point, giving $10 million to the University’s money managers for safekeeping is like letting Michael Phelps babysit your pot stash. • And while we’re on the subject of the gym, let’s get realistic and sell the 80-pound dumbbells in the OMAC. No offense, folks, seeding and mowing costs, and the grateful brothers of Sigma Chi might stop asking me to write an angry column about the campus keg ban. Everybody wins. • I’d like to see the Undergraduate Coundil of Students implement a system of fines to reduce obnoxious behavior and replenish Brown’s coffers at the same time. Just imagine it. A $20 fine for every person in my English seminar who talks about the “shifting zeitgeist.” A $100 fine for a cappella groups who sing Ben Folds songs. A $200 fine for people who reserve multiple Blue Room tables during the lunch rush. A $500 fine every time a Jew from Long Island uses the phrase “That’s how I roll.” • And if all else fails, Brown can introduce a micro-sponsorship plan and auction off the naming rights to bits and pieces of campus property. Sure, Sidney Frank can get his name on a building, but what about those of us who don’t have millions to spare? I’d gladly give a couple bucks to the University if I could wait in the Kevin B. Roose ’09.5 Omelette Line, throw my coffee cup in the Kevin B. Roose ’09.5 Trash Can or even do my business in the Kevin B. Roose ’09.5 Urinal. Brown may have overestimated the strength of its investments, but it should never, ever underestimate the narcisism of its opinions columnists. Kevin Roose ’09.5 is an English concentrator from Oberlin, Ohio. He can be reached at Kevin_Roose@brown.edu
“Faced with the worst global economic crisis in decades and a donor base that doesn’t feel much like giving, how can Brown ever hope to recoup its losses? President Simmons’ e-mail outlined some cost-saving measures… but it’s not going to be enough.”
gain our financial foothold. We need our $800 million back. President Simmons, I hereby submit my plan for Brown’s economic recovery: • First, as Ben Bernstein ’09 points out (“Of depression and diversions,” Feb. 6), we still haven’t built the long-awaited Nelson Fitness Center, and, presumably, Mr. Nelson’s check for $10 million is lying uncashed in somebody’s desk drawer. Let’s convince him to spend it on new dorms or revamped classrooms instead. Brown has more urgent
but this is Brown we’re talking about, not Ohio State. The last time a Brown student lifted 80 pounds with one hand, he was bulking up to enlist in the Franco-Prussian War. • More things we should sell: Perkins (too far), the CIT (too weird) and those three-wheeled electric scooters our DPS officers ride (too Klingon Honor Guard-y). • When springtime rolls around, let’s have Facilities Management tear up the grass on Wriston Quad and replace it with a permanent Slip-n-Slide. It would eliminate
The Brown daily Herald
R.I. plans for its stimulus dollars
to M o r r o w
gymnastics team takes a tough tumble
tuEsday, FEbruary 10, 2009
51 / 42
the news in images
c a l e n da r
FEbruary 10, 2009 7:00 p — “Cop in the Hood,” .M. Macmillan 115 10:00 p — “Hookah Night at Byb.M. los,” 2011 Class Board, Byblos FEbruary 11, 2009 12 p .M. — Brown-in-Cuba Study Abroad Information Session, J. Walter Wilson 403 7:00 p .M. — Concentration Fair, Sayles Hall
Cabernet voltaire | Abe Pressman
sharpE rEFECtory lunCh — Spinach Enchiladas, Chicken Fajitas, Nacho Bar dinnEr — Breaded Pork Chops withApple Sauce, Tomato Quiche, Nacho Bar vErnEy-woollEy dining hall
alien weather Forecast| Stephen Lichenstein and Adam Wagner
lunCh — French Bread Pepperoni Pizza, Spicy Tempeh, Summer Squash dinnEr — Meatloaf with Mushroom Sauce, Polenta with gorgonzola, Squash Rolls
RELEASE DATE– Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Los Angeles Timess s w o r d c r o Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
5 Sourpuss in Geico ads 6 Like much of the Southwest 7 Dryer screen accumulation 8 Tricks and such 9 Wager apart from the main action 10 Burly Burl 11 Announcer Pardo 12 Hesitant speaker’s insertions 13 Salon stock 21 Rye server 22 Deceptive ploy 25 Glove wearer 26 Place for a 25-Down 27 Prepare to hit the road 29 Wound reminder 30 Georgetown athletes 32 ’60s-’70s theater, briefly 33 Unconvincing 34 Penn or Pitt 35 Anchors in the soil 37 Lo __: noodle dish 39 Second Amendment advocacy gp. 43 Get the wrong signals from 44 Eighth of a fluid ounce 45 Retirement fund 46 Alien-seeking gp. 50 Fixed, as a fight 53 Kind of moth 55 Tropical fruit ACROSS 1 No.-crunching pros 5 Unruffled 9 Agreed (with) 14 911 request 15 Diva’s number 16 Soap whose first slogan was “It floats” 17 Befuddled 18 Actor Rhames 19 Like heavy fog 20 Winter traction aids 23 Hold in high regard 24 Wrigley Field player 25 Caddie’s burden 28 Reduce drastically 31 Madrid title 33 Hardy’s “__ From the Madding Crowd” 36 Annual payments 38 Screen image 40 Voice vote call 41 List of options 42 Downpour destinations 47 Knock 48 Bombast 49 Scornful look 51 Many mos. 52 Need some support 54 Mark of disgrace 58 Surplus store outfit 61 Old hat 64 “__ Eterno”: 2004 soccer documentary 65 Hoods’ weapons 66 Hello in Hilo 67 Dateless party attendee 68 Not odd at all 69 Like standard loose-leaf sheets 70 Yin’s counterpart 71 June honorees DOWN 1 Go after 2 Orkin victims 3 Pribilof Islands native 4 Black suit 56 Doled (out) 57 39-Down et al. 58 Tennis star for whom a stadium is named 59 Greek salad topper 60 Former Fed head Greenspan 61 Milhouse, to Bart 62 Actress MacGraw 63 Heir, often
Enigma twist | dustin Foley
ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE:
the one about zombies | Kevin grubb
Classic Freeze-dried puppies| Cara Fitzgibbon
By David W. Cromer (c)2009 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
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