University Power Plant Could Succumb to California Blackouts

By Beau Dowling Spartan Daily

SAN JOSE, Calif. – With the growing concern of an energy crisis, San Jose State University has experienced rolling blackouts in certain parts of its campus. Ted Cunningham, the energy and utilities manager at SJSU, said the school generates its own energy from a power plant that is a substation of Pacific Gas & Electric.

Cunningham said energy is more economical to make than to buy, and any energy that is left over can be sold to PG&E.

“The rolling blackouts affect the ATM machines, the brick dorms along 10th street, Joe West Hall, the dining commons, building BB, building Q and the modulars between the facilities and the business tower,” Cunningham said. “The affected areas receive energy from PG&E.”

Cunningham also said south campus would not be affected by rolling blackouts. Cunningham said the demand for energy is not a huge concern during the winter, but the summer could be ugly because of higher energy consumption.

“It has to be an effort on everybody’s part to conserve,” Cunningham said. “It’s something to think about during the day. People have to be careful.”

SJSU was featured in a news report on KGO TV at 6 p.m. on Jan. 11 as an example of how major businesses and industries are responding to the energy crisis.

SJSU was presented as innovative and progressive, anticipating potential energy problems and playing a leadership role in creating a solution.

In the report, SJSU said its main goal is to protect the students and research facilities while being a good neighbor and citizen.

The university was put to the test when a 90-minute blackout occurred on Wednesday, Jan. 17.

Martin Castillo, the community relations coordinator for the housing office, said the blackout made working conditions a little harder.

“It interrupted our service for the students,” Castillo said. “The majority of us lost phone service, so students trying to call got our voice mail.”

Pat Turner, an administrative assistant in Building BB, said she also experienced the blackout.

“It didn’t have too much of a negative affect,” Turner said. “We were able to keep on working. There was a lot for us to do and we kept ourselves busy.”

Stuart Langsam, a sophomore majoring in music and a resident in Joe West Hall, said a blackout wouldn’t be that bad.

“I wouldn’t mind if it was only for an hour or an hour and a half,” Langsam said. “As long as they tell us first.”

Ross Lavine, a freshman majoring in computer science and a resident of Joe West Hall, agreed.

“It wouldn’t be that bad, if it was only once or twice a week,” Lavine said. “But I’d be pissed if it was every day.”

Judicial Committee Restarts 24-Hour Student Bail Bond Service

By Antoinette Alston Cavalier Daily

The fund was brought back in December because of a recent rise in minor legal offenses.

The Fund originated in the 1960s as a bail bondsman service for student war protestors. Demand for its services gradually declined and the organization eventually shut down in the 1980s.

At a December meeting, the University Judiciary Committee agreed to restart the service as a subcommittee.

The Fund is an interest-free service designed for students who encounter minor legal difficulty, namely misdemeanors and non-violent felonies.

Trained bondsmen are available 24 hours a day for students arrested in Charlottesville and Albemarle County.

Bail is posted at no expense to the student or the university, pending the student’s appearance in court.

“Lately we’ve had more incidents where students are arrested at football games for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct,” said Isaac Gradman, Student Legal Defense Fund chairman. “Now it seems the service is in need again.”

Original demand for the Student Legal Defense Fund was high, but as the Vietnam War ended and protests subsided, fewer students required aid from the Fund.

“The Fund fell by the wayside,” UJC Chairwoman Lissa Percopo said. “It became less and less of a priority because it was used less often.”

Although no students have requested assistance since the fund reopened last semester, Gradman said all eligible students deserve the right to post bond.

“A lot of times students need a second chance,” Gradman said. “If a judge has said you can be released for a certain amount of money, every student deserves the right to be released no matter what their financial situation.”

Max Wiegard, UJC vice chairman for first-years, agrees that students should not be penalized too harshly for one-time mistakes.

“We want to protect our community and at the same time protect our students,” Wiegard said. “We don’t want our students to be hampered because of their mistakes.”

Gradman said the new Student Legal Defense Fund has undergone several revisions from its earlier days, as a means of better meeting the needs of students.

“The bond limit has been raised from $500 to $1,000 dollars and we now use the technology of cell phones and beepers,” he said.

Wiegard said he hopes university students as well as student-run organizations will become more aware of the service.

He also said he hopes students will think twice about getting into situations that land them in jail, but that they will make use of the service if necessary.

Attorneys Present Closing Arguments in Boston U. Rape Trial

By Dave D’Onofrio and Erik Malinowski The Daily Free Press

BOSTON – After Tuesday afternoon’s sudden closing arguments in the Loretto Hall rape trial, the 12-member jury will begin its deliberations Wednesday morning in deciding the fate of accused attacker Abdelmajid Akouk, who faces two counts of aggravated rape, threats, breaking and entering, kidnapping and indecent assault and battery.

The closing arguments commenced an hour after the defense decided to follow the Commonwealth’s lead and rest its case, thus electing not to call Akouk or anyone else to testify in his defense.

Judge James McDaniel gave each side 45 minutes to state their closing remarks, a difference from the norm where lawyers are given only 30 minutes to close their cases.

Defense attorney Mary Ames started the closings, saying in her remarks that the jury must have faith in two things in order to convict Akouk: the alleged victim’s testimony and the police investigation.

“Ask yourself, was it credible?” she added. “Did you hear the ring of truth or the silence of deception?”

Ames tried to discredit the alleged victim’s testimony on the basis of testimony by her ex-roommate and hallway witnesses.

Before concluding her remarks about alleged mistakes made by the Boston University Police Department and how the hospital examination produced no signs of a violent sexual assault, as the prosecution claimed, Ames said the alleged victim was caught by three witnesses sneaking out the alleged rapist, an older, black man – and she panicked. After a 10 minute recess, Assistant District Attorney Edmond Zabin addressed the jury with his closing arguments.

Zabin began by asking the jury to remember his opening, when he asked them to “keep their eye on the ball,” and focus their attention on the evidence brought out in testimony. In her opening, Ames compared the late-night bathroom traffic to Grand Central Station, saying Loretto Hall was bustling at the time of night in question and claimed she would prove the alleged victim was indeed drunk. However, Zabin said, the defense’s case fell short.

Calling it “the most provocative, inflammatory thing” in Ames’ opening, Zabin said the roommate of the alleged victim never said she saw her roommate’s legs wrapped around the victim, as the defense said she would testify.

Why, Zabin asked, would the alleged victim consent to having sex with a man in his mid-30s, who had never been seen near Boston University by any of the witnesses?

“Somehow [the alleged victim] decides to have sex with this guy. Absolutely improbable,” Zabin said.

“He was a man on a mission who wasn’t going to be stopped,” Zabin said.

American’s Soil Tainted

By Andrew Martel The Eagle

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Army Corps of Engineers found no chemical warfare agents during an excavation on campus this month, but results of soil tests for further arsenic contamination are pending and expected to reveal further arsenic contamination. Between Jan. 8 and 11, engineers removed 55-gallon barrels of soil within a 55-meter radius of the excavation pit behind the Hamilton and Kreeger buildings. In total, 160 barrels were collected. The barrels have been taken to federal property behind Sibley Hospital where characterization tests will be taken to determine how to dispose of the soil. This week, results of the excavation revealed that no mustard or Lucite agent or breakdown products were found on the debris recovered. “That’s what our concern was,” Plaisted said. “There may have been some chemical warfare that was in this laboratory glass.” Results on arsenic tests, however, are pending. Plaisted said he feels that there may be elevated levels of arsenic not just in the excavation site behind the Hamilton and Kreeger buildings, but across the southern half of AU’s campus. “It’s probably likely,” Plaisted said. To ascertain whether there is widespread arsenic contamination in the soil across the southern half of campus, the Army Corps divided up the area into 28 different units. Each area was divided into a quadrant. Soil samples from each of these quadrants have been taken and analyzed. If no further contamination is found, engineers will begin removing fences and filling the excavation holes with clean soil.

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