xt7v6w96b49r https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7v6w96b49r/data/mets.xml The Kentucky Kernel Kentucky -- Lexington The Kentucky Kernel 2005-07-14 Earlier Titles: Idea of University of Kentucky, The State College Cadet newspapers  English   Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. The Kentucky Kernel  The Kentucky Kernel, July 14, 2005 text The Kentucky Kernel, July 14, 2005 2005 2005-07-14 2020 true xt7v6w96b49r section xt7v6w96b49r Thursday

July 14. 2005

newsroom: 257-1915

First issue free Subsequent issues 25 cents.



Celebrating 33 years of independence


Dave Matthews:
Coming to an (ampi)theater near you.
Page 3

Undrafted Morris returning to UK

By Josh Sullivan
THE mmcxv mm

UK fans may get to see
Randolph Morris in a Wild-
cat jersey again after all. On
Monday. Head Coach Tubby
Smith confirmed that the 6-
foot-lO center will return to
Kentucky for his sophomore
season. pending NCAA ap-

“I met with Randolph
and his parents this past
weekend,” Smith said in a
prepared statement. “Ran—

dolph indicated to me that
he would like to return to
UK. and I told him there is a
place for him on this basket-
ball team."

Morris sent UK a fax in
early May, notifying the
coaching staff that he was
entering the NBA Draft. He
avoided contact with UK
coaches and officials for the
next two months while trav-
eling to workouts for vari-
ous NBA teams.

On June 24. despite sub-
reviews from NBA


scouts, Morris announced
he would remain in the
draft, ending his UK career
k or so everyone thought.

Morris went unselected
in the draft on June 30,
opening the door for a possi-
ble return to collegiate com—

But before Morris can re-
turn to the rotation, the
NCAA must officially rein-
state him.

“The eligibility issues
that stem from his NBA
workouts this summer are

still being addressed.“
Smith said. “Our compli-
ance office is assisting the
NCAA as they look into this
matter. The NCAA has been
very helpful and they under-
stand we would like a timely

Under NCAA rules. Mor-
ris must reimburse any
NBA team that incurred ex—
penses on his behalf during
his summer workouts.

The NCAA is also inves-
tigating the extent of Mor-
ris' relationship with Cali-

fornia-based sports agency
SFX, which released the
statement detailing his deci-
sion to remain in the draft.
Players who hire an agent
forfeit their remaining col-
lege eligibility. SFX repre-
sentatives have said that
Morris was never a client of
the firm.

When and if Morris is
cleared to rejoin the team,
it‘s likely he’ll be forced to
sit out a number of games.
The NCAA suspended for-
mer Mississippi State for-
ward Lawrence Roberts for

the Bulldogs' first three
games last season, after he
worked out for the NBA‘s
Portland Trailblazers.
Roberts repayed Portland
for their expenses related to
his workout and withdrew
his name from the draft.
Morris would join fellow
returning starters Rajon
Rondo and Patrick Sparks,
along with a cast of experi-
enced reserves from last
year‘s team that reached the
regional finals.
jsullivanm kykernel. com



UK hopes
new dorms

(but not
in the .

practice. Several teams are ere participa ing in a volleyball camp,
camps hosted by UK during the summer.


soonlounn | 51»?

Grace Soards a Psychology freshman and her dad Marty Soards of Louisville
walk back to their dorm after a day at the summer advising conference.



is ._
Irma-nus] sun

The Lexington Shakespeare Festival was forced to cancel its opening
night of Cyrano deBergerac due to inclement weather.

scontounn | sun
The Immaculate Conception Hi h School volle ball team does a cheer in the rain after

one of many


By Jennifer Neal
m: xmucrv mm

Two UK colleges have joined
together to create the nation’s
first cooperative extension ser-
vice for fine arts.

In Spring 2005. the College of
Agriculture and the College of
Fine Arts created a ground-
breaking program that will dedi-
cate its time to the development
of fine arts programs in rural
Kentucky communities.

With the assistance of one
Eastern Kentucky County. the
joint effort is helping to change
the face of arts education in

UK's Cooperative Extension
Service. which is based in the
School of Agriculture, serves
Kentuckians by providing edu-

cational programs on agricul-
ture. mineral resources and eco-
nomic development. The out-
reach to Kentuckians involved
in the Cooperative Extension
Service provides an opportunity
for the exposure of fine arts in
small communities.

Larry Turner, Director of
the Cooperative Extension Ser-
vice in Kentucky. realized that
he and Robert Shay. Dean of the
College of Fine Arts. had simi-
lar ideas.

“Bob had this idea how we
might collaborate for fine arts
extension.“ he said. “At the
same time. Pike County was ex-
pressing interest in developing a
fine arts program."

During separate organiza-
tional meetings in early 2002.
the two colleges recognized a
need to expand the fine arts pro

grams in rural Kentucky com-

With the help of state and
county funds. the Cooperative
Extension Service also hired
Stephanie Richards. a UK gradu-
ate. to fill the position in Pike

“A lot of people who. even be-
fore me, entered into this pic-
ture. really went out onto limbs
stating and staking themselves
in the belief of what art can
do." she said. “I know that they
have a lot of belief in that
process and that journey and I
promise to do everything in my
power to make it all happen.“

Soon after accepting the po-
sition. Richards chartered a spe-
cial evening of celebration to
kick off the program in Pike
County. Artwork, dancers. in-
strumentalists and singers en-

tertained the guests of the re-
ception at the Pikeville Exten»
sion Office.

One of those guests was
John Benjamin. Arts in Educa-
tion Program Director for the
Kentucky Arts Council. who
also saw the b eginning of a
great opportunity in Pike Coun-

“You've got to believe me
when I say people think Ken-
tucky is way out in front in arts
education and in their apprecia-
tion for the arts." he said. “And
you wait till I tell them what's
going on down here
[Pike County].“

For further information
about the fine arts extension
program in Kentucky. contact
Extension Agent for Fine Arts
Stephanie Richards at (606) 432-


will aid in
Top 20 title

By Erin Thomas
In: xmucxv KERNEL

Campus housing at UK has acquired a
poor reputation, as it ranked 11th on
Princeton Review‘s “Dorms like Dun-
geons" college rankings.

“Reputations are hard to earn, but
they‘re sometimes harder to lose,” said
Carl Nathe. an information officer for UK
Public Relations.

Improving campus housing is a prior-
ity if UK wants to become a top 20 public
research facility, said Rich Riedl, senior
project manager for the construction of
four new campus dorms.

“The new housing facilities are the
first steps to reaching the top 20.” he said.

Riedl said progressing to the top 20
has been the “whole motivation" for con-

He also said that UK hopes its new
dorms increase desirability and comfort,
improve retention rates and increase con-
nections between the housing and acade-
mic communities on campus. These goals
strengthen UK’s chances for becoming a
better institution, according to Riedl.

Carl Nathe said he hopes the newly
created dorms will encourage students to
stay and graduate from the university.

“The new dorms are designed to be
more comfortable. more energy efficient
and have more functionality," Nathe said.

Also, the suite-style rooms provide
more privacy. he said.

Riedl said each floor has a kitchenette
and washers and driers. Each room has a
sink and a shared bathroom.

“Everything is contained within a
smaller group of people on each floor,“
said Riedl.

The self-sustaining dorms offer stu-
dents the chance to “create a communi-
ty.“ thus increasing their chances of re-
maining at UK until they graduate. Nathe

Housing more students on campus is
a long-term goal for the university. ac-
cording to Riedl.

“UK now houses around 29 percent of
its student population," Riedl said. “By
2010. we hope to house around 40 per-

The 684 beds in the new dorms in-
crease the total number of beds on cam-
pus to more than 5.700.

Nathe said room assignments have al-
ready been made for the fall semester.
and there were more than 5.000 appli-
cants for the new dorms.

Ben Crutcher. associate vice president
for auxiliary services, said that because
of the added housing. he did not think
students would have to be waitlisted. He
also said the finishing touches were being
put on the dorms. and that they expect to
finish by August 1.

The three new dorms on South Cam-
pus are Smith Hall. lngels Hall and Bald-
win Hall.

The new dorm on North Campus is on
the corner of Euclid Avenue and Martin
Luther King Jr. Boulevard and has yet to
be named,

UK decided to integrate teaching and
learning into each new dorm.

Smith Hall. lngels Hall and the new
North Campus dorm are living-learning
communities that serve to connect dorm-
life with academics. Developed and pro.
moted by the office of Residence Life. this
concept is meant to aid in student gradu-

See Dorms on page Z



July 14, 2005


timny Stephens
Features (Io-Editor
Mic: 2514915

PM onIn



Fox fudqes wi

The best comedy on television
right now belongs to Fox.

In 2004 it won Bmmys for Best
Comedy. Best Writing. and Best Cast-

It‘s star. Jason
Bateman. won a
Golden Globe for
best actor. It has
won awards from the
’l‘elevision Critics
Association for Best
Comedy an Out-
standing New Series.

It‘s called “Ar-
rested Develop-

But unfortu-
nately: there is a
good chance that you
have never even heard of this show. let
alone actually seen it.

For some reason the executives at
Fox have decided that it is not worthy
to push or hype the show at all. Fox
feels that it is more important to hype
shows such as “Life On A Stick". a
horrid show about working in a corn-
dog stand in the mall.

In fact. Fox has a solid history of
pushing horrible shows down our
throats and pushing quality shows to
the side.

Twice Fox has canceled the
show “Family Guy." mainly due to
poor ratings.

The problem with that scenario is
that it originally had very good rat-
ings. until Fox decided to put it up
against the two highest rated shows on
television. “Friends" and "Survivor."

After that they decided that the
show's ratings were too low and it was
cancelled. Of course it would be ini-
possible for the show to have good rat.
ings against such a line up. Only



when the show was released on DVD it
had record sales. and the reruns on
Cartoon Network consistently beat all
competition. did Fox give “Family
Guy" another chance.

Between the time that Fox can-
celled “I‘amily Guy" and finally came
to their senses. the following shows
were aired. and then subsequently
cancelled: “Action”. “That 805 Show",
”Wonder Falls", “Fast Lane". “Skin".
“Girls Club". "Cracking Up". “The
Pitts". "Firefly". “Get Real". “Wanda
At Large". “Costello". “The Lone Gun-
men". “A Minute With Stan Hooper.
"Normal. OH". “"I’asadena". “Harsh
Realm". “Keen Eddie". “The Street".
“American Embassy". "Louie". “Greg
The Bunny”. and “Oliver Beene."

Do any of you remember any of
those shows? I sure didn‘t. I had to
look them up. The few shows on there
that I do recall watching were some of
the worst television shows I‘ve ever
seen. This sort of dreck gets hyped up
by Fox constantly while great shows
are pushed aside. only to realize that
viewers don’t want to watch this crap.
They actually want to be entertained.

“Undeclared" was probably
the best new show of the 2001-02 sea-
son for any network. It was created by
.ludd Apatow. of the notoriously un-
derrated “Freaks and Geeks" fame.

It was constantly preempted for
other shows such as “Worlds Wildest
Police Chases" and Fox aired episodes
out of order. ensuring that no viewers
understood the story. The episode
about the first day of classes was aired
as the second to last episode of the
season. ruining continuity as it was
meant to be the second episode aired.

Of course “Undeclared" got poor
ratings as it was constantly shuffled
about in the line up. confusing any po-

th cancellations

tential viewers.

“Futurama”. which is the best car-
toon ever and one of the best series of
all time, suffered the same fate. The
episodes were constantly preempted
for sporting events and then re-aired
months later in the midst of rerun
season. so that most people that didn't
even realize they were viewing a new

It, too. was shuffled about in the
line up, showing on three different
nights during its run. finally settling
in a non-primetime slot on Sundays.
assuring that it wouldn‘t be able to get
a sizeable audience.

According to creator Matt Groen-
ing. dealing with Fox executives was
the “worst experience of my adult
life". The man who created “The
Simpson ."s and single handedly car-
ried the Fox network for years was
treated like dirt during the production
of a new show.

It really seems as if Fox is in-
tentionally trying to fail at TV. Occa-
sionally a good show slips through the
cracks. such as “24". and has to cling
for dear life to stay on the air.

Fox desperately needs to get its act
together if it wants to build a solid
and consistent lineup of shows and
have more than “American Idol". NBC
realized that solid shows deserve a sec-
ond chance. and therefore America
was introduced to both “Cheers” and
“Seinfeld”. whose first year ratings
were abysmal.

Fox needs to start taking chances
and stop looking solely at the corpo-
rate side of the entertainment indus-



HBO lacks luster sans ‘Sex' and ‘Sopranos’

By Paul Brownfield

Los Anoeles III'M'S

HOLLYWOOD HBO. so bullet-
proof when it was in the midst of two
signature series. "The Sopranos" and
“Sex and the (‘ityf' has seen its image
and its ratings suffer lately from a
string of semi-flops or times: “The
Comeback." starring Lisa Kudrow; “(Tn-
scripted." from the executive producer
team of George (‘looney and Steven
Soderbergh; and “Entourage.“ starring
three unknowns and Kevin Dillon evok-
ing the early Hollywood life of the
show‘s executive producer. Mark

Still to come is “Extras.” :1 s(‘i‘l(‘ts' de-
buting Sept. 2:? about movie extras star-
ring Ricky Gervais. cocreator star of
the BBC hit “The Office.“

OK. so maybe the pay cable net
works comedy development has be
come oddly myopic. evoking that scene
in Robert Altman's ”The Player" where
studio executive Griffin Mill draws a
laugh when he asks his Iunchmates:
"Can‘t we talk about something other
than Hollywoml fora change“ We're ed-
ucated people."

Surely. HBO remains an enviably
profitable machine. and when you hear
about an upcoming series such as
“Rome." about the ancient empire.
starting Aug, 28. and the Tom Hanks
produced “Big Love.” about a polyga-
mous clan in I'tah. starting in the fall.
there‘s still the fleeting notion that we'll
be getting something bigger than a
more TV show. somehow

The unhurried. uncorrupted ap-
proach to making and airing series tele-
vision is part of HBO’s lore. As the nar-
rative goes. that system is what made
possible innovatitc series such as
“Deadwood" and “The Wire" and al-
lowed “Sex and the City" to become a
risque crowd-plmsor

As a result. HBO. whose subscriber
base stands at roughly ‘38 million. has
become the network of choice for high
powered Hollywood talent,

But maybe being the network of
choice for high powered talent is its
own kind of trap.

The ultimate model for the HBO au
teur is not David ( h; ise a re spec ted se
ries creator but not at the top of an.
one s list before HBO picked up IIIS oft
rejected pilot of "The Sopranos : it s
Larty David who w as fabulously
wealthy after the sutcess of Seinfeld
and came to HBO to film a little spot ial
on his return to stand- up comedy. That
little special ended up being about the
fear of doing a special. The special
about the fear of doing a special led to a
series Curb Your Enthusiasm.‘ about
being Larry David.

Which is roughly where the trouble
began. Because David seemingly just
by virtue of being himself made it all
look so easy and self— evident and. most
especially. creatively rewarding. he
made getting a semiautobiographical

show on HBO feel like the ultimate ex-
pression of the freedom to do what you
wanted to do.

As the network's cachet has grown.
there are grumbles that HBO has gotten
more leverage in the traditional de-
mand for first position on the writer of
any pilot scripts it buys. That means a
writer. once he's sold a script idea to
HBO. is less free to get other work
around town. with rival studios and net-
works worrying that his or her services
will no longer be available should HBO
decide to order a series.

David. of course. didn‘t need to wor-
ry about this. nor do the stars and cre-
ators Wahlberg. Clooney. Kudrow.
“Six Feet Under‘s" Alan Ball 7 of the
network‘s current series. for whom
HBO is more like taking a break be
tween movies to do summer stock the-

The fifth season of “Curb" debuts
Sept. 25 to an audience now awash in
knockoffs. like so many copycat mem-
oirs about tortured childhoods post—“An-
gela's Ashes.“

This month and next. across the
dial. get ready for Pauly Shore‘s “Curb."
and Kathy Griffin’s. and Howie Man~

But HBO has both the gold standard
and the series that seems to have
brought the genre to a tipping point.
Kudrows “The Comeback.“

It's not exactly “Curb.“ because
Kudrow doesn‘t play Kudrow she
plays her doppelganger. Valerie Cher-
ish. a character who seems to be suffer-
ing. week to week. every indignity that
can be known to an insecure and once-
famous B-level sitcom actress.

Comedy is hard. so the pairing of
Kudrow. hot off of “Friends." and
Michael Patrick King. hot off his run as
head writer of “Sex and the City."
seemed like the kind of deal only HBO
gets to pull off. But the brittle reaction
to the series has betrayed a certain
peutvup frustration among critics and
viewers about the genre as a whole. and
it has left HBO in a position to which it
is not accustomed: on the wrong end of
a television trend.

In recent weeks.
with HBO?" stories have popped up
about its programming slump and
downturn in viewers. if not profitabili-
ty (a Wall Street Journal story. citing a
source that had HBO making a whop-
ping SH billion in profit last year. said
20 percent of its revenue is now gener-
ated by ancillary businesses. most no-
tably DVI) sales).

Like any network. then (say. NBC).
HBO finds itself living off the fumes of
past hits (they‘re sweet fumes. mind
you. with A&E reportedly buying syndi-
cation rights to rerun edited episodes of
“The Sopranos“ for a record $2.5 million

The jaded view is that the “It‘s Not
TV“ tagline now seems less a distinc-

“What‘s wrong

tion of class than a haughty boast that
doesn't hold up. quite.

It‘s lost its way by going too inside
Hollywood. the chorus goes. but HBO
has always been inside Hollywood and
in fact has benefited from the image.
dating back to the critical and cult-hit
evisceration of showbiz. “The Larry
Sanders Show."

And for every 100 viewers alienated
by “The Comeback" or “Unscripted."
another A-lister who wouldn‘t do televi-
sion under any other circumstance (e.g..
Sarah Jessica Parker) signs on to devel-
op a show there.

It’s not TV. it’s a creative-writing
class for the famous. Write what you
know. At HBO. where the mantra has
long been that the executives leave you
alone. stars have used the freedom to
unburden themselves about ,, guess
what being a star.

So Clooney. the movie star. spear-
heads a show that harks back to
Clooney. the workaday actor. trudging to
auditions. Kudrow. the sitcom star.
dares to lampoon the pedestal of
“Friends“ with a character who is an
insecure hack. aging out of the busi-

But the perception that HBO has
made. a wrong turn isn't likely to abate
at this week‘s semiannual gathering of
TV critics. where HBO will be talking
up the Sunday-night pairing of Gervais‘
“Extras" and the new season of “Curb."

“It is very possible to have success
create a mind-set where you are trying
to measure up to an idea that is actually
created by people talking about you
than about you doing the work that you
did." HBO Chairman Chris Albrecht
was quoted as saying by the Associated
Press recently.

I think he meant what comedian
Bob Odenkirk meant when he told the
Los Angeles Times four years ago: “My
biggest fear is that they’ll develop a
brand. If you attract this whole big
crowd of people, you’re going to want to
keep them. And to keep them. you have
to give them what brought them there"
in the first place.

Odenkirk paired with comedian
David Cross on the old HBO sketch-com-
edy series “Mr. Show." back when the
network seemed more in the discovery
business. and when not knowing what
“Six Feet Under“ or “Curb" was all
about was to feel left out of a conversa-

Getting Gervais is a coup. I guess; at
this point he‘s an undeniable talent. But
that move has now come to feel so HBO

, less exhilaratingly counterintuitive
than just whom you'd expect the coolest
network in town to be able to land.

HBO needs to remind us of its abilio
ty to identify and nurture a TV series
that becomes a new kind of presence in
the culture.

Put another way: It should give
someone I haven't heard of a shot.





Continued from page]

ation. according to Riedl.

Smith Hall, named for
the first UK African-Ameri-
can doctoral graduate. is
promoting the Global Vil-
lage. This is a program to
promote cross-cultural un-
derstanding and friend-
ships. according to UK's un-
dergraduate housing web-

Ingels Hall is named for
Martha Ingels. a UK gradu-
ate and the first woman in
the US. to earn a graduate
degree in mechanical engi-
neering. The undergraduate
housing website said this
hall specializes in the New
Economy Incubator Com-
munity. which appeals to
technological innovators
and entrepreneurial-driven


will be



new hall on North

Campus appeals to those in
the arts community. Prac-
tice rooms and art studios

available for music

and art students. Cabarets
and open mike events will
also take place in the com-
mon area of the hall.

“UK is competing with
colleges in Kentucky and
other major universities.
and we don't want students
or parents to choose another
institution because of bad
housing," Nathe said. “We
don't want someone to not
come to UK because of a
‘Dorms like Dungeons‘ repu-

E— mail
newsm :kykernel. com






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”MY-“WY "All


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Bargain matinees before 8pm

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 Thursday July 14. 2005| PAGE 3


ONTAP I For the weeks of Juu14 - Jun 27


Veggletales Rockin' Tour Uve
10:30 am and 7 pm. US Bank Arena, Cincin-

Tickets cost $15 - $24.

Dave Koz 5 Friends
8 pm Louisville Palace Theater
Tickets cost $30 - $50

The Fakes w/ Marbles and Defender
9 pm. The Dame
Tickets cost $3


Dark Star Orchestra

7 p.m.Fraze Pavilion, Kettering 011
Tickets cost $18 - $24

Pete Yorn w/ Minibar
7 pm Madison Theater, Covington
Tickets cost $22.50

Adrian Belew
8 pm. Bogarts, Cincinnati
Tickets cost $20

Michael Bublé
8 pm. Louisville Palace Theater

Tickets cost $45 - $55

Songwriter Spotlight
8 pm. The Dame
Tickets cost $5


Chicago w/ Earth. Wind and Fire

7:30 pm. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati
Tickets cost $24.50 - $68

Silvertlde w/The Jon Justice Band
8 pm. The Dame
Tickets cost $7


Emanuel and Circa Survive
7:30 pm. Bogarts, Cincinnati
Tickets cost $10

Allman Brothers Band w/ moe.
6:30 pm. Riverbend Music Center
Tickets cost $17.50 - $45

US Pro Rodeo
7:30 pm. Rupp Arena
Tickets cost $14 - $34


US Pro Rodeo

7:30 pm. Rupp Arena
Tickets cost $14 - $34

The Woggles w/ Parlour Boys, Moth and Ten


9 pm. The Dame

Tickets cost $5


Boys of Summer

7 pm. Madison Theater, Covington
Tickets cost $18


Orangewliip performs Cream's Disreall Gears
8 pm. The Dame

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Widespread Panic

WWE Raw Live!
7:30 pm. Rupp Arena
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The Appartltlons w/ The Elephans and Margot

and the Nuclear So and So's
9 pm. The Dame
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RED Speedwagon

8 pm. Kings Island

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The Itals wl Rob Dread S The KMA

9 pm The Dame
Tickets cost $10

8:30 pm. Bogarts, Cincinnati
Tickets cost $20

Les Claypool
8 pm. Jillians, Louisville
Tickets cost $16

Lyle Lovett and Ills Large Band
8 pm Whitney Hail, Louisville
Tickets cost $33.25 - $63.25


Toby Keith w/ Lee Ann Womack and Shooter


7:30 pm. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati

Tickets cost $33 ~ $68

The Killers

6 pm. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati
Tickets cost $23.25 - $34.50

8 pm. Louisville Palace Theater

Tickets cost $26

Caitlin Cary and

8 pm The Dame

Tickets cost $10


Dave Matthews Band w/0.A.R.
7 pm. Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati
Tickets cost $39.25 -$56.75


8 pm Bogarts, Cincinnati

Tickets cost $10

Dinosaur Jr.

7:30 pm. Madison Theater, Covington

Tickets cost $25

I inside w/ Duiver of Jasper

9 pm. The Dame
Tickets cost $3

Vans Warped Tour

Rahzel w/ CunnlnLynguists
9 pm The Dame

Thad Cockrell w/ Chris

Tickets cost $12

Duran Duran
8 pm. Fraze Pavilion, Kettering 0H
Tickets cost $35 - $65

8 pm Louisville Palace Theater
Tickets cost $39 - $49


AND 1 Mix Tape Tour

7 pm. Freedom Hail, Louisville
Tickets cost $17 - $50


Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise w/T he

9 pm. The Dame

Tickets cost $7


12 pm Riverbend Music Center, Cincinnati

Tickets cost $32

9 pm. The Dame
Tickets cost $5

Sexual Disaster Quartet


PHOTO CMTESV 0f Insurance.“

Kasabian, the British band that until recently only rocked cities like Birm-
ingham, wrll perform at Bogarts in Cincinnati next Thursday at 8 pm.




0 TA ,2 (/48
(a E m





Government site under fire from experts

By Ceci Connolly

ernment Web site intended
to help parents and teen-
agers make “smart choices
about their health. and fu-
ture” includes inaccurate or
misleading information that
may alienate some families
or prompt riskier behavior,
according to a team of med-
ical experts who reviewed
the material.

Three physicians and a
child psychologist analyzed
the Bush administration‘s
4Parents.gov Web site and
concluded it made many in-
correct assertions about
condoms, the dangers of
oral sex, sexual orientation
and single-parent house-

They also found omis-
sions of information that
could go a long way toward
raising healthy young
adults, such as warning
against the dangers of
drinking alcohol.

Rep. Henry Waxman. D-
Calif., a frequent adminis-
tration critic who solicited
the analyses, said the site is
the latest example of “the
distortion of scientific infor-
mation" in favor of a con-
servative ideology focused
predominantly on promot-
ing abstinence-until-mar-

riage programs.

“A federally-funded web-
site should present the facts
as they are, not as you might
wish them to be," Waxman
wrote to Health and Human
Services Secretary Mike

“It is wrong—and ulti-
mately self-defeating—to
sacrifice scientific accuracy
in an effort to frighten teens
and their parents."

Laurence Steinberg. a
child psychologist at Temple
University in Philadelphia
and author of “The Ten Ba-
sic Principles of Good Par-
enting," complimented the
site‘s information on eating
disorders and some other

But Steinberg, one of
the reviewers. said he was
disturbed by negative mes-
sages about gays and single
parents and alarmed that
the material was virtually
silent on the dangers of
drinking alcohol.

“‘If your concern really
is to provide parents with
information they can use to
help raise healthy teen-
agers. there is a whole list of
topics that need to be cov-
ered." he said.

“Risky sexual behavior
is just one of them, and
frankly it's not even the
most important one."

With a virtual army of

medical and behavioral ex-
perts on its payroll. Wax-
man questioned why the De-
partment of Health and Hu-
man Services paid the Na-
tional Physicians Center for
Family Resources $46,000 to
develop the site.

The group. which bills it-
self as a nonprofit focused
on child welfare. is known
for promoting a study by
board member Joel Brind
suggesting a link between
abortion and breast cancer.
assertions the administra-
tion first embraced but later
withdrew from its Web sites.

In an e-mail. HHS
spokesman Daniel Morales
said officials had not re-
viewed Waxman’s letter.

The administration often
hires outside contractors to
design Web sites. he added.

“The purpose of the Web
site is to equip parents with
the resources they need to
talk to their youth about sex
and relationships; encour-
age their teens to remain ab-
stinent from unhealthy risk
behaviors; and to take an ac-
tive role in the sexual health
of their teens." he said.

John Whiffen. an ortho-
pedic surgeon and chairman
of the physicians center.
said he is open to suggested
changes and plans to add
more information to the
site, on alcohol and tobacco

use. for example.

But he vigorously de-
fended the site's emphasis
on abstinence-only educa-
tion and the failure rates of
various contraceptives.

“The majority of parents
in the United States would
prefer their children don't
have sex in high school." he

“In the areas of sex be-
fore marriage. there is a
great deal of misinforma-
tion out there and a great
deal of misunderstanding.“

John Santelli. a physi-
cian at Columbia University
and a former division chief
at the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention.
agreed there are problems of
misinformation in the field
of sexual health.

But Santelli. one of the
specialists who reviewed the
site. pointed the finger at

Contrary to statements
on the Web site, “there is lit-
tle evidence that oral sex
has increased over time or
that this behavior has be-
come widespread among 12
and 13 year olds." he wrote.
And he complained that the
Web site's approach is based
on the fallacy “that young
people engage i