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2013 October

Graduating in Debt: New proposals to reform college loan debt

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As the fall semester has officially started for colleges across the state, many students are sighing with relief that their student loans won’t double for the school year.

President Obama signed the Smarter Solutions for Student Act into law on August 3; legislation that restores student loan rates from the July 1 double and ties certain loans to the market.

The signe…

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As the fall semester has officially started for colleges across the state, many students are sighing with relief that their student loans won’t double for the school year.

President Obama signed the Smarter Solutions for Student Act into law on August 3; legislation that restores student loan rates from the July 1 double and ties certain loans to the market.

The signed bill highlights relief among college students returning to class this fall. Rates doubled from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1 after lawmakers couldn’t agree on a way to keep rates low. Without action, rates would have remained high.

Approval was reached by a vote of 81 to 18 in the senate. Sixteen Democrats were against the Smarter Solutions for Student Act.

The legislation only deals with Stafford loans which affect nearly 34 percent of college students. Previous students and students who already have Stafford loans will not be affected by the law. Loans will be kept at rates previous to the hike.

With the bill signed by Obama, rates will now be tied to the market. As of now, the market rate is low meaning the government can borrow money for relatively cheap, but once the economy improves, which it is expected to do in the next decade, rates will increase.

More specifically, interest rates will be set using the value of the 10-year Treasury Note with an added percentage. For Stafford loans, subsidized and unsubsidized, the add-on will be 2.5 percent and will be capped at 8.5 percent. For PLUS loans, taken out by parents and graduate students, the add-on is 4.5 percent, capped at 10.5 percent, according to a bill summary from the Education and the Workforce Committee.

Based on current forecasts, the 10-year Treasury Note is expected to be 1.9 percent for the remainder of 2013 and reach 5.2 percent by 2018.

The bill will save the federal government $995 million over five years and $3.7 billion in the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Additionally, the deficit is expected to decrease by $715 million in the next decade. Many Democrats argue the government shouldn’t make money from student loan interest rates.

In the short term, around 11 million students with Stafford loans will average around $1,500 in savings for the semester. Without a fixed rate, each new loan could be more expensive than the last, but Washington claims there’s more good than harm being done by taking politicians out of the equation.

“The legislation provides stability for low- and middle-income students working to finance their post secondary education and prevents future uncertainty about whether Congress is going to act in time to change the interest rate. The legislation will strengthen our nation’s student loan programs and serve the best interests of both borrowers and taxpayers,” writes the Education and the Workforce …

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2013 October

A season of chamber music

CSU-P Assistant Professor Dr. Zahari Metchkov will kick off Piano Conversations for the 2013-2014 season. 

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Classical music may not be the typical sounds emanating from one’s speakers after pressing play, but beginning this October, the music that has paved the way for past revolutions will flow from the quaint walls of Ascension Episcopal Church.  A registered historic landmark in Colorado, this gothic style church sits snugly on the corners of 18th Street and Grand Avenue, and…

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Classical music may not be the typical sounds emanating from one’s speakers after pressing play, but beginning this October, the music that has paved the way for past revolutions will flow from the quaint walls of Ascension Episcopal Church.  A registered historic landmark in Colorado, this gothic style church sits snugly on the corners of 18th Street and Grand Avenue, and because of its brick structure, ornate woodwork, and vaulted ceilings, it is the ideal locale for the chamber music concert series which is prepared to leave spectators in auditory delight.

Geoffrey Herd, violin and Zahari Metchkov, piano (Photo Courtesy Zhari Metchov)

Geoffrey Herd, violin and Zahari Metchkov, piano (Photo Courtesy Zhari Metchov)

Originated by CSU-Pueblo’s Assistant Professor of Music–and world renowned pianist–Dr. Zahari Metchkov, Piano Conversations will begin its third season as a crowd pleaser.  From its opening night on October 18th, the concert series showcases a boisterous multi-cultural collaboration of Latin music consisting of local musicians and fellow CSU-Pueblo faculty, Benjamin Johnson on guitar and Jason Crowe playing double bass, along with accordion player and guest performer for the Pueblo Symphony Orchestra, Alan Polivka, and renowned violinist and founder of the Geneva Music Festival, Geoffery Herd.  (Not to mention Argentinean Tango master, Astor Piazzolla.)  The season consists of four chamber concerts, all open to the public, with tickets priced at $10 for adults and free for children and students with ID, beginning promptly at 7:00 p.m.  Not only will patrons experience high-level musicianship at a very affordable price, they will also have a chance to witness and interact with the local talent that call Pueblo home.  

The second concert of the season is scheduled December 6th and is a solo keyboard recital headed by Dr. Metchkov as a preview for his upcoming album, spanning over four hundred years of classical music featuring the likes of Beethoven, Liszt, and Mendelssohn.  Following this concert, on January 17th, 2014, is “An Evening of Chamber Music Classics with the Aeolus String Quartet” featuring the Aeolus String Quartet and…

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Ask Dr Scott

Ask Dr. Scott: I just need a rest from insomnia

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Q: I have suffered from insomnia for many years and I heard that you have some answers for this problem. Is there anything you can suggest that might finally help me?

A: As you probably know, deep restful sleep is a critical biological experience that influences a wide variety of physiological processes. Your insomnia may be affecting your mood and you…

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Q: I have suffered from insomnia for many years and I heard that you have some answers for this problem. Is there anything you can suggest that might finally help me?

A: As you probably know, deep restful sleep is a critical biological experience that influences a wide variety of physiological processes. Your insomnia may be affecting your mood and your ability to learn and make memories; it also affects your metabolism, appetite, blood pressure, and the levels of inflammation in your body and perhaps even your immune response. Insomnia is also closely associated with depression. The National Sleep Foundation says that adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night while kids may need 10 or more!

Within the course of a year, up to 30% of the population suffers from insomnia (50 to 70 million adults). (Smith, 2013) Many people use over-the-counter medications to combat the problem, while others seek stronger sedatives. Each year roughly ten million people in the U.S. receive prescriptions for sedative hypnotics.

The two primary classes of drugs used in the treatment of insomnia are anti-histamines and benzodiazepines. Antihistamines, like Benadryl and Nytol, are available over the counter, while benzodiazepines, like Valium, Lunesta, Ambien and Halcion, are available by prescription. While both antihistamines and benzodiazepines are effective in the short term, they cause significant problems in the long term. (Kaplan & Sadock, 2009) Benzodiazepines, in particular, are not designed to be used for the long term, as they are addictive, have numerous side-effects, and cause abnormal sleep patterns. Antihistamines also interfere with normal sleep patterns. As a result, people who take sleeping pills enter a vicious cycle. They take the drug to induce sleep, but the drug causes further disruption of normal sleep. In the morning, in an attempt to “get going,” they will typically drink large quantities of coffee, which further worsens insomnia. Additionally, sleeping pills do not treat the causes of your insomnia!

Many years ago it was observed that when the lights in the treatment room were turned off, several key muscles associated with the endocrine system would immediately test weak in patients with insomnia. A specific type of cranial and mandibular (TMJ) disturbance has been associated with this finding, and correction of this problem frequently results in patients sleeping better once again.

Dr. Shaun Craig, an excellent chiropractor in our office, recently published a research article about an 18-year-old male with major cranial and nutritional deficiencies complaining of life-long insomnia who recovered completely after 4 applied kinesiology treatments. (Craig, 2013) This patient found he no longer stayed awake all night, and he began to get the healing benefits of sleep. He awoke with en…

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Local and independent journalism is under threat in the West and you can change that.  With corporate raiders slashing newsrooms across the West, the PULP is one of the "Last Locals" in Colorado to produce original, compelling journalism missing in today's profit hungry world. But that costs money, time and hard work. We don't believe in spamming you with ads that's why we need your help.

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2013 October

Earl “Greatness” Clark – One of the NFL’s important early legends

Earl “Dutch” Clark was so good he’s in the inaugural class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Clark was one of the NFL’s greatest legends and yet in Colorado his story is largely forgotten.

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Courtesy Pro Football Hall of Fame Courtesy Pro Football Hall of Fame

The National Football League is one of the most widely recognized organizations in the entire world, raking in record-breaking television ratings every February while accumulating $9.5 billion annually. The game has produced some of America’s biggest stars and contributed to some of our favorite fall traditions, as we watch in awe as th…

!– BEGIN THEIA POST SLIDER —

Courtesy Pro Football Hall of Fame Courtesy Pro Football Hall of Fame

The National Football League is one of the most widely recognized organizations in the entire world, raking in record-breaking television ratings every February while accumulating $9.5 billion annually. The game has produced some of America’s biggest stars and contributed to some of our favorite fall traditions, as we watch in awe as the greatest athletes in the world clash heads like rams battling for position. 

One of the initial stars of this tremendous league hails from a city in Southeast Colorado; a city touted as the “Home of Heroes” because of the unwavering courage of those that the city has bred in its rich history.

Residents of Pueblo likely know Dutch Clark from the local stadium in his namesake. Dutch Clark Stadium, formerly Pueblo Public School Stadium, was rededicated to honor Clark in 1980, and a statue portraying Dutch was placed outside the stadium five years later.

Most famously, Dutch Clark Stadium hosts the annual Bell Game rivalry between Pueblo Central and Centennial every year. The game personifies a cross-town rivalry that has existed since 1892, a tradition rich in school pride and historic performances. Every year, swarms of fans cloaked in blue clash with the opposition, painted red from head to toe, all in the name of boisterous, friendly competition.

Earl “Dutch” Clark was born in Fowler, Colo. and attended high school in Pueblo at Central High School. While in high school, Clark was a multi-sport star, excelling in basketball, track, and football, towering remarkably over his competition from an early age.

Photo Courtesy Pro Football Hall of Fame Photo Courtesy Pro Football Hall of Fame

Interestingly enough, Clark was able to be a standout in sports particularly football, despite being what many states would consider legally blind, according to author and head of the NFL Films research library Chris Willis. Willis detailed Clark’s life in his book “Dutch Clark: The Life of an NFL Legend and the Birth of the Detroit Lions.”

“It was just something he dealt with throughout his life,” Willis said in his book. Clark’s vision was 20/100 in one eye, and 20/200 in the other. 20/200 vision is the cutoff in the United States for being considered legally blind, and essentially meant that Clark could see at 20 feet what the normal person was seeing at 200 feet.

The poor vision clearly never affected Clark a whole lot on the gridiron. Clark was still able to dodge the blurred would-be tacklers, power over a kaleidoscope of helmets, skin and jerseys, and somehow find the kneaded green and white of the goal line.

As a senior, Dutch had already contributed to a successful Wildcats team as the fullback and the kicker, and Central High School was poised to make a state championship run. In the 1925 game between Central and Centennial, now known as the Bell Game, Dutch ran for four touchdowns and threw for two more en route to a 43-0 victory for the Wildcats, according to Willis. The performance solidified Dutch as a star, not just in Pueblo, but across the country.

Courtesy College College Archives Courtesy College College Archives

Dutch and the Wildcats would go on to lose in the state semifinals that year, but he would eventually win a state championship and earn high school All-American honors in basketball during his time in Pueblo.

When the time came for Clark to graduate from Pueblo Central, he had more to decide than just where to attend college. Clark, a multi-sport star, had to decide whether he wanted to concentrate on football, basketball, track, or play multiple sports while seeking a college degree.

Several schools within and outside the state of Colorado were courting Dutch for obvious reasons; he was a powerhouse on the football field and a scoring machine on the hardwood.

Initially, Clark seemed destined for Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan, a school with one of the richest football traditions in the history of the sport. Clark also loved the beauty and consistency that was (and is) the state of Colorado, and was being intensely courted by Colorado College in Colorado Springs.

Courtesy Colorado College Archives Courtesy Colorado College Archives

For one reason or another, though, Clark made a last-minute decision to go to the Windy City – Chicago – and pursue a basketball career and coaching degree from Northwestern University.

Clark would soon become homesick, however. Willis explained that he was constantly being hounded and questioned about playing football, as tales of his athletic prowess travelled the 1,100 miles with him to college.

More than that, Dutch had found love in high school, and began to miss his significant other. While Dutch was a fierce competitor on the field, it’s clear that there was one person that he coveted more than any award or success. After two weeks of missing his girl, missing the sport of football, and missing Pueblo, Clark made the decision to leave Northwestern and r…

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Local and independent journalism is under threat in the West and you can change that.  With corporate raiders slashing newsrooms across the West, the PULP is one of the "Last Locals" in Colorado to produce original, compelling journalism missing in today's profit hungry world. But that costs money, time and hard work. We don't believe in spamming you with ads that's why we need your help.

For every contribution, we put 100% back into producing original and amazing journalism. That's a promise only a local and independent newsroom can promise. Take heart because you will fuel stories just like this one and the future of journalism.
Continue Reading

One more thing...

Local and independent journalism is under threat in the West and you can change that.  With corporate raiders slashing newsrooms across the West, the PULP is one of the "Last Locals" in Colorado to produce original, compelling journalism missing in today's profit hungry world. But that costs money, time and hard work. We don't believe in spamming you with ads and that's why we need your help.

For every contribution, we put 100% back into producing original and amazing journalism. That's a promise only a local and independent newsroom can promise. Take heart because you will fuel stories just like this one and the future of journalism.

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