Daily Archives: February 27, 2013

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Tide tracks toward beach


The Virginia Beach City Council passed an ordinance on Tuesday to begin research on expanding The Norfolk Tide light rail system into Virginia Beach. The ordinance addressed issues of financial planning and rider research for The Tide. Hampton Roads officials think it necessary and wise to take the newest form of Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) and expand it into nearby cities as an alternative mode of transportation to the bus, taxi or personal vehicle.
For those who are unfamiliar with The Tide light rail system: it is a 7.4 mile long above ground, city train. As it stands now, it runs from the Eastern Virginia Medical Center on Brambleton Ave., through much of Downtown Norfolk, to Newtown Rd. It was opened in August of 2011 and functions in accordance with the HRT transportation systems.
The ordinance, set out on Election Day, saw that over 60% of rail riders want to see the system expanded into Virginia Beach. The projected ideas are for the tide to either run out to the Town Center portion of the city or all the way out to the Oceanfront. Also discussed in the plans was a possible expansion as far as Hilltop. Expansion plans will depend on available funding from the local and state levels.
The main idea behind the expansion is that the majority of Tide traffic can be seen at the Newton terminal where many Beach residents access the service. Council members think, and many people agree, that this is a much needed project.
“I hate having to drive that far to go shopping or to the beach,” said senior Kerry Johnson. “I would love to be able to get to those areas for next to nothing.”
Those who are not the minority side of the issue see different issues with the expansion. Freshmen David Derenske said, “I never use the Tide,” said freshman David Derenske. “I’m in the down town area pretty often, especially during the summer time for Tides games, and I think it’s more of an obstruction. The traffic there was already pretty bad and between the rush hour traffic and the narrow streets I just think it’s kind of unsafe.”
These are not the only waves being caused by The Tide. While the Virginia Beach expansion is the main focus of the area, local rumors are spreading that there are plans to take The Tide and expand it to the local naval base located in Norfolk. Weather it is fact or myth, it’s an idea that has brought some new opinions to light.
“My feelings are mixed about that. On the one hand it might cut down on traffic to and from the military base,” said sophomore Casey King. “But on the other, there is already enough traffic in that area with all the shipping, trucking and train activity. This might just add to the problem. I see it all the time when I have to be over by ODU for something.”
A study by the Old Dominion University Social Science Research Center brought fourth other major issues for future debate about how the light rail situation will affect the area financially. The expansion is projected to cost somewhere from $250 million somewhere in the $800 million range depending on the final expansion point. If the money cannot come from the state or local budget, the discussed ideas to make up the difference are raises in taxes, raises in fuel tax or barrowing money. This is all on top of the proposed toll on both tunnels that lead out of Norfolk.
All research for the project is projected to be done by the spring of 2014. By this time the city hopes to gain general knowledge on the total use of The Tide to see if it is worth the money to make the expansion. This survey is to be modeled after the one preformed following The Tide’s opening. A survey was conducted to ensure that the proper revenue was being sustained. The survey was conducted in mid-April to give the project time to properly develop.

Chapel covenant in place

Thomas Mills
Photo Editor

For the past two months, Greek organizations at Virginia Wesleyan College have been patiently waiting for a decision regarding their usage of the chapel.
On Feb. 1, they received a verdict from Chaplain Greg West.
“I have a proposed agreement,” said West. “With the goal of forming a task force of students to research the issue before us at a deeper level. We will talk to different colleges about their practices and the reasons behind those practices.”
The proposal will allow the Greek organizations to use the chapel this semester. However, usage will be limited to just one ceremony, forcing Greeks to use another venue, such as the Hofheimer Theater, if needed.
“I feel like I have been very accommodating on this,” said West. “I don’t think it is too much to ask that they bend a little and accommodate as well.”
More importantly, the proposal will only stand for the spring semester of 2013. At the end of the semester, West will make a final evaluation and make a decision for the next academic year.
“I think this is a win-win,” said West. “This is temporary though. Where we will come out at the end, I do not know.”
In addition, the proposal is focused on bringing together the Greek community and Marlin Ministries, with the hope of creating an environment of communication and respect. Philanthropy projects have already been suggested as a joint undertaking between the two groups.
The Director of Student Activities, Jennifer Mitchell, feels that this is a good starting point for the situation.
“I’m grateful that Greg West has thought of something,” said Mitchell. “This is a good step in the right direction. I think the biggest thing is that we all have open minds about it.”
Still, Mitchell feels the proposed research by Greg West may not be as fruitful as intended.
“It’s great that he wants to learn more about the organizations,” said Mitchell. “But, there is only so much you can learn about them, because you can’t learn about ritual unless you are in the organization.”
Senior Jenee Johnson, President of the Student Government Association and Sigma Sigma Sigma member, believes that the proposed research team can definitely make an impact over the next few months.

“I think the research team really needs to work hard,” said Johnson. “It needs to be a research team that comes together by making the chapel available for other things, not just spiritual life and student activities.”

Sophomore Sarah Nwokorie, an SGA class senator and Marlin Ministries member, feels this new joint participation will ease the division and tension that may have been present in the two communities.
“There definitely was a misunderstanding from the start,” said Nwokorie. “The more we had meetings about the chapel, it became clear what each side was trying say and bring to the table.”
Sophomore Xzavier Darden, President of Phi Kappa Tau, understands that while the Greek community may not have gotten everything it wanted, things are moving forward.
“I’m glad there’s a little bit of a compromise,” said Darden. “I guess it’s kind of the only way to bring two different parties on the same level. Just being together in the same room and talking to get to that point on having the chapel for everybody is a start.”
Still, communication with Greg West and Marlin Ministries will be key for the Greek community, especially if they want the chapel back beyond the current spring semester.
“I’m pretty sure he’s a pretty understanding guy,” said Darden. “I’m sure that once we talk to him, this idea of having the chapel back whenever we need it can happen. It’s just a matter of him getting to know us and us getting to know him.”
Nevertheless, many students have praised Greg West for what he has done so far for both communities. With the drafting of this new proposal, students feel West is building, not burning, bridges between the two parties.
“At the beginning of this situation, it was very shocking,” said Johnson. “However, Greg is working with the Greeks. He is working to find a better common ground to get to know the Greeks.”
“I was really sad about the original proposal to not allow the Greeks to use the chapel,” said senior Devon Killian, a Marlin Ministries member and Residence Assistant. “Greg does not want to infringe on the students spirituality, whether it’s during chapter initiations or on every Sunday. He doesn’t want to take away when they get in touch with God.”
Apprehension still exists however, especially with no definitive policy in place for the future.
“Hopefully this works out,” said Darden. “I can see how it might not work out, but, I can’t see how it won’t work out. Greg made it into his favor. It’s mostly in his hands.”
While progress had been made in the last few weeks, a definitive answer has yet to be found; one that everyone, from Marlin Ministries to Greek life, hopes can satisfy the entire community.
“We’re all willing to try this out,” said Darden. “I’d hate to see this go away, the chapel just being out of our rituals and stuff. It wouldn’t go over well with the Greek community. I hope, for everyone’s sake, this goes well.”

Armstrong’s ballsy move

Livestrong_01 copy

Jill Reynolds
Sports Editor

Athletic hero and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong has come clean.
After denying accusations of using banned performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) for over a decade, Armstrong recently admitted to doping throughout his career.
“Thirteen years he lived a lie,” said Athletic Director Joanne Renn. “For thirteen years, I was in awe of him.”
Armstrong inspired many with his fight through cancer and seven consecutive wins in the annual Tour de France. His fame helped launch the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which is best known for its “Livestrong” campaign to raise funds for cancer research.
“I was a big Lance Armstrong fan,” said Men’s Basketball Head Coach Dave Macedo. “I thought he was doing it the right way.”
Cycling is notorious for its common use of PEDs among competitors.
“They may have picked him out of the group, but he wasn’t the only one,” said sophomore baseball player Dylan Stoskus. “I guess it was wrong, but everyone else had a leg up, so I guess he had to get a leg up too.”
After admitting to his use of testosterone, EPO and blood transfusions in competition, Armstrong was stripped of his seven Le Tour de France titles.
“He embarrassed himself – as a person and as an athlete,” said senior track runner Randy Lott.

“Athletes work hard to get to the top, but he cheated his way there.”

Armstrong was one of the most beloved and respected athletes in the country, and his shocking confession has disgraced his reputation.
“He would have been heroic even if he didn’t win – just for fighting cancer – but he had to win,” said senior volleyball player Kala Guy.
Armstrong’s offense could potentially jeopardize support for his Livestrong campaign. The campaign’s funding came from supporter purchases of yellow bracelets that were worn regularly by fans.
“I just took mine off after five years,” Macedo said. “He’s disappointed a lot of people.”
Along with his titles being taken from him, Armstrong has been issued a lifetime cycling ban from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). A number of fans agree that the ban is appropriate.
“He’s getting what he deserved,” Renn said. “He shouldn’t get a second chance.”
Strong opinions, but others disagree.
“He can always go out with his buddies,” said Athletic Trainer Joe Witt. “That’s what most of the rest of the world does.”
“Taking away what he loves is one of the worst things to do,” Stoskus said. “It’s basically handicapping him.”

Freshmen girls plan to make a comeback

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Bre Muir
Sports Editor

As the underdogs of every match during their 2012 season, the Marlins finished with an overall record of 3-15 and an Old Dominion Athletic Conference record of 2-8.
“Last season we had five girls and during every match we would be down 0 to 2 automatically because our roster wasn’t big enough,” said senior Stephanie Bittner.
This season promises change according to the 2013 ODAC preseason poll, in which the team is ranked second behind the Washington & Lee Generals.
“I think Washington & Lee is our biggest competition because they have very talented and strong players with experience and a big line-up,” Bittner said.
While the Generals have 16 players to fill their roster that average two and a half years playing experience underneath their belts, the Marlins only have two returning players from last season. Bittner will be returning along with sophomore Hannah Rice.
“Last season was really tough because we always started each match from behind, but our coach this season has done a really good job recruiting a full roster of girls,” Bittner said.
Seven freshmen fill the remainder of the spring roster.
Freshman Lauren Brooker from Wake Forest, N.C. has played tennis since she was six and was practically born on a tennis court.

“Ever since I was two years old, I was in a basket of balls on a tennis court with coaches,” said Brooker.

Brooker hopes to have a perfect season, but values bonding with her teammates even more.
“Having a team bond is the most important aspect to me,” Brooker said. “The more of a family the team is, the better we will perform in the season.”
The new blood began to show their skill during the fall semester. Freshman Mia Proctor won the conso crown in the ITA Southeast Regional. Brooker and fellow freshman Sara Yousif shared in the success by making it to the Championship Flight in singles and doubles.
Along with others on the team, Brooker has high expectations for her teammates and for her first season as a Marlin.
“My expectation for the season is to have each and every one of us perform to our highest standards and to fight for every match we play,” Brooker said.
The first home match this semester is on March 2 at 2 p.m. on the Everett Tennis Center against the Methodist University Monarchs.

‘HarBowl’ hassel

bro vs bro richard cremin

Guy Hatch
Staff Writer

Sept. 23, 1962, Jackie and Jack Harbaugh became proud parents of their eldest son John. Fifteen months later, they gave birth to a second son, Jim. Both boys would eventually make NFL history as they went head-to-head in Super Bowl XLVII, terming this year’s game the “HarBowl.”
“I’m sure the family dinner that night was a little awkward,” said sophomore Alyssa Gwara. “But they should both be proud of each other at the end of the day.”
Jack made a career of coaching throughout numerous collegiate programs during the Harbaugh sons’ childhood, giving the two an upper hand in both competing and coaching.
“They had an advantage in reference to the knowledge of the game itself, since their livelihoods revolved around the game,” said junior Dustin Holland.
John coached out of the gate, after playing on the University of Miami’s team, accepting an assistant coaching opportunity at Western Michigan University. John remained at the collegiate level for 13 years.
After playing at the University of Michigan, Jim was selected first round in the 1987 NFL Draft. Jim’s achievement led to a 14 year career as the quarterback for four different organizations over his tenure.
The brothers’ professional paths crossed when Jim became the head coach for the San Francisco 49ers in 2011. John had already been serving as the Baltimore Ravens’ head coach for three years.
Jim made an impressive debut as he led the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game and finished the regular season with an astounding 13-3 record. John shared similar success as the Baltimore Ravens finished with a 12-4 record. Unfortunately, they both suffered disappointing ends to their post season play with a loss in the AFC Championship Game.
The defeat of both Harbaughs’ teams in their respective conference championship games would only delay history made on their behalves, since the 49ers and Ravens returned as serious contenders in an impressive 2012-2013 season.
John led Baltimore to obtain their division title with a 10-6 regular season record. Jim did likewise, leading the 49ers to an 11-4-1 regular season record and retaining the division title.
John and Jim’s regular season success carried on through the playoffs. The Ravens and 49ers both had to defeat number one seeds in order to reach Super Bowl XLVII.
“Both of them being brothers made this year’s Super Bowl exciting for me,” Gwara said.
Strategic coaching played a key role in the outcome of the HarBowl. The deficit of only one field goal did not allow much room for error in the deciding finish, but John and his Ravens took the win with a final score of 34-31 in this marquee matchup.
“The fact that John was able to cap off his second trip to the AFC championship game with a Super Bowl title makes the victory even greater,” said Admissions Counselor and alumnus Jesse Tomczak.
The promising future of Jim as a head coach with his elite 49ers roster could bring future Super Bowl victories. But for now, his brother John gets to brag at the dinner table.

Training ground

Sports Editor

A tense atmosphere filled the Jane P. Batten Center on Feb. 2, as the Virginia Wesleyan Marlins took on the Emory & Henry Wasps on the hard wood. In both the first and second half, the Marlins outscored the Wasps. Senior Forward and current ODAC Athlete of the Week, Chris Astorga, shut down the Wasps defense by swishing 24 points into the net. Junior guard D.J. Woodmore added 11 points to help the Marlins win 86 to 63 over the Wasps.
Games similar to this one have stands filled with family, friends, fans, Deans and many more. However, sometimes these viewers might get so distracted by the outcome of the game, they may only notice the players, the constantly pacing coaches and the stern referees and not the athletic trainers.
Now let’s rewind, what would have happened if during this conference game against the Wasps, players off either EHC or VWC got injured?
One could guess that the clock would have stopped and the coaches would have called their players to their team benches for a quick pep talk and water break while an athletic trainer would have raced onto the court to assist the injured player.
According to livestrong.com, the NCAA and the National Athletic Trainer Association have collected 200,000 injury reports through 2004.
Yet in every sport, in every college gym, professional sports arena and high school field, injuries are bound to happen. Injuries are common and almost unavoidable. But when injuries do occur, athletic trainers step in to do their job.
Wesleyan has 18 collegiate athletic teams and has a staff of four athletic trainers.
Two of the trainers are part-time graduate assistants and the others are full-time. During the school year, each trainer is assigned to three teams.
One of the full-time athletic trainers is Stefani Masterton. For her undergraduate studies, she attended North Central College located in Naperville, Illinois, and for her graduate studies she attended Old Dominion University.
Masterton enjoys her job because she can help athletes heal and watch teams succeed during their season.
“The most gratifying experience of being an athletic trainer is the return to play for the injured patient because they are a product of your work,” said Masterton.
Along with Masterton, student athletes enjoy VWC’s athletic training rehabilitation program.
During first year John Chapman’s indoor season, he pulled his left hamstring and had a severe stress reaction in his lower back.
“My rehab was very helpful to my injury and aided me in a speedy recovery toward the outdoor track season,” said Chapman.
Senior tennis player Stephanie Bittner agreed with Chapman’s positivity toward athletic trainers.
During Bittner’s freshmen year, she hurt her knee and had to go through rehabilitation.
“The trainers are really friendly and are willing to help us with any issues or problems we are having,” said Bittner.
Without athletic trainers, injuries would never properly heal. VWC athletics is grateful to have a hard working staff of trainers.