down among pri^e fn the '90's: Don't drop the 'ball'
austin(UPD-Texan,.reflecting COMMENTARY BY SHFRI COHEN DARBONNE. INSIDE
AUSTIN (UPI)-Texans, reflecting
a national trend attributed to the
aging of baby boomers and heightened health concerns, are cutting
back on the consumption of alcoholic beverages, a new study says.
A survey done for New York-
based Impact magazine showed a
significant decline in hard liquor
sales in the United States during
the past decade and a slight drop in
beer and wine sales during the past
"There have been a lot of social
changes," said Richard Spence, a researcher for the Texas Commission
on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. '"You
have the aging ofthe baby boomers.
"There's more health consciousness among people. Bubba is getting overweight. Perhaps Bubba
wants to get rid of his beer gut when
he gets to his 30s''
The Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, which uses tax
figures from liquor sales to determines a per capita consumption figure for those 14 and older, said Texans have drinking less beer than
they did 10 years ago.
During 1979, an average Texas
beer drinker consumed more than
41 gallonswhilein 1988 the amount
declined to 33 gallons, the commis-
Distilled spirits, which includes
whiskey, vodka, bourbon and tequila, saw a drop from 2.3 gallons per
person to 1.3 gallons.
Wine consumption rose from 1.2
gallons per person in 1979 to slightly more than 2 gallons per person in
1988. But wine consumption has
dropped since peaking in 1986.
The category of ale and malt liquors has shown steady consumption in Texas of about 1.3 gallons
per person per year during the 1979-
The Impact survey found that
shipments of hard liquor nationally
dropped from 166 million cases in
1987 to 159 million cases in 1988, a
decline of 4.2 percent.
Liquor sales were 2,5 percent less
in 1970, the first year surveyed by
"It's no secret that consumption
is down," said Reuben Kogut, a
member of the board of directors of
the Texas Package Sfc
tion. "People are definitely using
our product in a different way than
they used to. They are planning to
buy less, but a better brand."
Kogut said the economic slump in
Texas, the negative image liquor
has gotten by being linked with
drugs, the raising of the state's legal drinking age and the liquor
industry's campaign for responsible consumption have contributed
lo declining sales.
THE NEWSPAPER OF MONTROSE
MONTROSE WEATHER THBOUGH MONDAY
ut 92, night lows about 72, 20% chance ot a
Caucus suspends rule: Hill can stay president
The attorney for a handicapped lesbian who is suing Metropolitan
TYansit Authority for alleged discrimination and harassment by
drivers in its MetroLift program
will seek a court order today, Aug.
18, to force Metro to supply the
names of the drivers involved.
Phyllis Frye, attorney for
Michelle Tellison, said the hearing
a 1:30 p.m. is part of a long battle
over discovery (the release to counsel of necessary and pertinent information! in the case. Tellison has
charged Metro with "blatant discrimination" against her because of
her lesbian lifestyle.
Frye said that Metro's pleadings,
rejected early on by the court, insist
that its contractor for the lift program. Eagle Paratransit, is the responsible entity and has refused to
release the drivers' names. Tellison,
who has cerebral palsy, has difficulty reading information off a name
tag and in many insta-.ces the drivers do not even wear their identification tags, Frye said.
Tellison has charged that
MetroLift drivers have harrassed
her with questions about her sexual
practices and have refused to help
her get into her house, one of the
services required of the drivers. In
one instance, the driver refused to
help when Tellison fell out of her
wheelchair, Frye said.
Frye said she hopes to get the
court to order Metro to pro vide some
means of identifying the drivers. As
for the company's pleadings that
Metro is not responsible, Frye responded, "the (MetroLiftl vans
have Metro written on them." The
company also frequently touts "its"
van program in promotional material, she said.
By SHERI COHEN DARBONNE
The Montrose Voice
The Houston Gay Political Caucus voted at its meeting Wednesday night, Aug. 16, to suspend an
article in its bylaws prohibiting
officers ofthe caucus liinn holding
or seeking public office to allow
Ray Hill, current president, to finish his term. Hill has announced
he intends to run for Justice ofthe
Peace, Precinct 1.
With 49 voting members present, the 29-13 vote just squeaked
by the two thirds majority required to make the change.
Hill argued on his own behalf
that no black, women's or other
minority group has such a rule. He
also noted that the current president of the Dallas Lesbian and
Gay Political Coalition has run
for City Council there.
Hill also asked the caucus to
consider that he is asking for "only three weeks" after his formal
announcement in the J.P. race to
complete his one year term. He
said he does not intend to seek reelection as president of thecaucus.
But Pat Gandy told the mem
bere that if they were to suspend
the rule in one case, they may as
well "not have it at all."
"The law is there for ureason.lt
we change it for this, then whs
even have it? We might as well
just take it out (of the bylawsl."
The bylaw provision was
adopted in 1987 because members
felt that it would be a conflict of
interest for officers of the caucus,
which screens candidates and
makes endorsements, to run for
office. Though the vote suspends
the rule for the remainder of Hill's
term, ihe bylaw remains on the
In other action Wednesday, the
caucus adopted n list of general
questions to be used in screening
all candidates for office lliis elec
tion year. Other questions, to ,
used in screening candidates for
specific offices, will he presented
later. Hill said.
Members of the caucus share!;
of the late CoogresB-
Mickey Leland, and dis
the loss. The
caucus voted lo focus its previously announced donation drive for
Stone Soup nn one day. Sept. Hi
was selected as the date for the
pointed drive, with details of the
event to be discussed in more detail at the next meeting.
Gandy, who heads up HGLPC's
1 leminTEitic < 'ommitlee, reacted to
Hill's suggested political strategy
in Ihe expected special election for
1 ,cliind's Congressional seat. Hill
had asked the caucus to consider
running an extra HGLPC-sup-
ported candidate to "hold our
votes together as a barjtainin;;
chip," A runoff in the election i?
likely because of the number of
candidates expected to run.
Gandy called the strategy "very
questionable" undermost t■ircum-
"It would only work if there
were so many candidates...and
we could wind up taking votes
away and the best one might not
win," she said.
"We better not jump into getting behind any candidates right
now...the situation is going to remain very fluid." Gandy said. "We
need to keep all our eggs in one
basket and get behind (the candidate) who best represents our in-
Gandy and Brian Keever also
urged caucus members to participate in the memorial services
scheduled for the Congressman,
The not) HGLPC meeting will
be at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6,
at the Metropolitan Multi Service
center, 1475 West Gray. Aug. 21 is
the deadline for joining thecaucus
to vote at the City Council/mayoral endorsement meeting on Sept.
It's the Season for Openings
Neil Badders 'Houston lave,' inside
The Legacy of
News and Commentaries inside by
Sheri Cohen Darbonne and Leon Daniel
Computer game teaches adolescents about AIDS
Developers of a new computer
game about AIDS say they hope
their work will serve as a
adolescents. The game was created by two professors in the University of Texas School of Allied
Health Sciences at Houston's
Program in Biomedical Communications and developed with the
help of graduate students in the
program. The team worked largely on their own time.
Dr. Craig Johnson, associate
professor in Biomedical Communications who conceived the educational tool, said he came up
with the idea after reading the
Surgeon General's Report on
"I realized there was a real absence of information, especially in
the adolescent population," Johnson said. He met with Bill Fetter,
assistant professor in the program, and the two decided to tackle the challenge of creating
BlockAIDS, a video arcade type
game with colorful graphics and
original characters. The game is
nrs of Ihe BlockAIDS name, shows how i\
intended to teach adolescents
about the acquired immune deficiency syndrome, and Johnson
and Fetter say they must continually update the information as
new reports on the disease are released. BlockAIDS is currently on
display in the Museum of Natural
Science's Hall of Health Sciences
Fetter calls the game concept
"an interesting evolution."
"Neither (Johnson) or myself
are big on game playing," he admitted.
"We decided on a game as opposed to other, more traditional
methods of teaching, because we
feh adolescents would be more re-
lany teenagers are actually going to read the Surgeon General's
report on AIDS?"
The two considered different
approaches, and Fetter came up
with the idea of a variant of tic-
fere with teaching^ Fetter said.
"My initial thinking was that a
game that was fairly intuitive
would be much easier for the
learner to play. If we had created
an entirely new design, wew'ould
spend more time teaching them
how to play the game than teaching them about AIDS," he said,
BlockAIDS players complete
rows of blocks by correctly answering questions about AIDS.
Novice players can get a "hint"
that reduces the point value of
their block. When aquestion is answered incorrectly, the "virus"
takes over the block, preventing
completion of the row.
As rows are completed, players
advance to various levels, each
with more squares to block to corn-
Mary Anne Faye and Olu
Koleoshu. both biomedical communications graduates, were
brought on hoard to assist in the
game's development. The team of
four met weekly, spending many
late nights designing questions,
graphics and computer screens.
"We did this on our own time, because whether it was funded or
not, we wanted to make a contribution,'' Johnson said.
The final touches were added
when Pat Grover, another graduate, created the game's "hero" and
"villain" that occupy the blocks.
Johnson, whose background is
in educational psychology, and
Fetter, whose field is instructional
technology, say the success of the
game has inspired the group to
consider creating other health ed-
Fetter also hopes the game can
be used in the school districts as a
health education aid.