Saturday, April 09, 2005
University of Arizona News and Notes
Perusing the AZ Daily Wildcat and Tucson Citizen this week...
Arizona men's basketball head coach Lute Olson thinks Adams will stay for his senior year. Any of you who stayed tuned to watch the post-game press conference (I could only bring myself to watch it days later with my subscription to azathetics.com) saw Lute predict that after a spectacular second half of the season, Hot Sauce would forgo his senior year. Apparently, Lute and staff polled several of the pro scouts who thought that while Hassan looked great recently, he still needed some extra fine-tuning. Adams has not made any specific statements but with the expectation that Nate Robinson will announce he will enter the NBA draft (as well as Ike Diagou), the Wildcats may have a great chance at cleaning up in the Pac.
The Wildcat baseball team had earned Pac-10 honors for four straight weeks. Currently the team is ranked 6th nationally and seems to be building on their unexpected trip to the college world series last year. Yesterday, they crushed Washington State 13-0. Could this be a return to the heyday of the Jerry Kindall years - let's hope so.
As frequent readers know, I believe the real dynasty at the U of A has been the incredible Women's Softball team. Last Thursday, powerhouse Alicia Hollowell struck out 15 scum devils on the way to a 1-0 win. While the softball cats have struggled offensively and lost yesterday to the Beavers, tonight they were able to put up 8 runs (in a live ESPN 2 broadcast) in a late scoring run capped by a grand slam homer by senior Jen Martinez.
Arizona coach Lute Olson has been occasionally outspoken (far less outspoken than he should be in my fanatic opinion) about officiating and the methods used to pick the NCAA tournament seeds and bracket locations. Last week Olson blasted the coverage of Pac-10 basketball by the Fox network. Among other complaints, Olson criticized Fox's over coverage and advertising of their Sunday night ACC games and their under coverage of the Pac-10 Thursday/Saturday games. Olson called for a Wednesday "rivalry game" which will fall on a day that historically has fewer D-1 basketball games. He proposed moving one of the Saturday games to Wednesday for increased exposure and coverage. Olson's comments come with just one more year left in the Fox-Pac 10 television contract and at a time when AZ athletic director Jim Livengood is preparing to take over the Pac-10 television committee.
In non-athletic news, two U of A professors - both from the U of A College of Medicine - have earned Physician of the Year awards. Dr. Ronald Weinstein and Dr. Anna Graham were awarded for their pioneering work on telemedicine. This technology has allowed docs in rural areas to consult with docs at big medical centers as well as allowing patients in underserved areas to be treated by doctors hundreds of miles away. These innovative uses of modern technology are instrumental in improving the quality of care across the country and especially for those patients living in underserved areas.
Finally, no Arizona alumni can forget the largest student run fair in the country - Spring Fling. You may also remember the constant complaints from local neighborhoods regarding the size and noise of Spring Fling. This has been apparently solved. With the last few years seeing our signature grass mall turned into a dirt and mud pile due to construction, the fair has been moved to Rillito Park and will stay their despite the mall construction completion. This year will be the largest Spring Fling ever. The move has reportedly increased the attendance at this yearly event. I wonder how many bread sticks you could sell this year???
Monday, April 04, 2005
Unions Using Pension Plan Money to Oppose Personal Pension Plans
The problems with all this are many, starting with a rich irony: Unions are using the clout they've acquired from investing in the stock market to oppose a plan to let individuals invest their own tax money in the same market. According to a Tax Foundation paper, of nearly $2 trillion in public employee pension plan assets, 55% are invested in corporate equities. Labor leaders don't mind stock-market investing when it enhances their own political leverage, but for individual workers to build their own wealth is too "risky."
This is just another example of the unions using their members' money to support democratic/liberal causes and/or oppose conservative/republican ideas. It is time that the unions are seen for what they are: a politial party - one which forces membership no matter your political affiliation.