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Alum Advises Auto Amateurs
Student Longs For ³Stupid² Letters
2020 Project Takes Aim At Climate Change Concerns
Stevensonıs Architectural Renaissance Praised
Concerned Wisconsin Native Questions Goreıs Motives

Alum Advises Auto Amateurs

To the Editors:

Cars and/or Racing are rarely discussed by the Review, so it was nice to see an article on the Lorain County Speedway included in the premier issue. Iıve been to Lorain County Speedway, and while I did enjoy it, thereıs an even better racetrack just around the corner from Oberlin.

The world-famous Mid-Ohio sports car course is located in Mansfield, and has featured races with drivers as famous as Sterling Moss, Dan Gurney, Bruce McLaren, Mark Donohue and Jackie Oliver in the past. Today Mid-Ohio is best known for hosting SCCA Trans-Am events and smaller SCCA races. Mid-Ohio also features a brace of world-class Motorcycle racing events and a Vintage Racing event ever summer. This road-course, which often features cars bristling with technical innovations and talented drivers, is less than 30 miles away, and directions can be found at As somebody who enjoys sports car racing enough to have traveled to France for the 24 hours of Le Mans, I can tell you that itıs worth it. The next major event is the week of October 8th.

Thatıs not all I can tell you though. A year ago, after laboring on it off and on for about seven months, I created something that is useful for all and offensive to none (a rare thing in Oberlin). This creation, Oberlinıs Online Used Car guide, has now been revamped. While I have thoroughly revised the look of this unique website, I have also added some content. You can now find out about cars from Alfa-Romeo, Lancia, Suzuki, Isuzu, and Daihatsu. Soon Fiat, Maserati, and Mercedes will be added. The guide covers cars made between 1975 and 1990. These years were chosen to supplement commercially available guides (like the one from ³Consumer Reports²) which almost never cover cars made before 1989. You can find the guide at

Now, I usually deal in cars that are older than this, and probably know even more about older cars, but I recently found myself taking my own advice from the guide as I turned down a rare but rusty Renault 17 earlier this summer. I must add though, Iım not responsible for your choices.

A real French car-Junkie I may be, but I chose to stay away from that car even though it looked great on the surface. Hidden under fading but still decent deep green paint were sills that looked like rust-colored Swiss cheese, and an underbody that was nearly as bad. Careful inspection is necessary when buying any car, and the overviews and advice offered in the guide are no substitute for going through your car of choice with a magnifying glass before purchase. There will soon be sections in the guide on how to do just this on older cars, as well as how to deal with dealers. Know this: it is cheaper and easier to buy an older car from a person than a dealer, and youıre less likely to have unexpected problems.

So I passed on that car, but to the delight of my credit card company Iım now hooked on one of Franceıs most popular but least powerful cars, the Renault R4. Iıve even managed to find a very original Canadian example for restoration (they were never officially sold in the U.S.). Buyers of ³special² cars beware, once youıre hooked, itıs a wallet-draining obsession. Feel free to e-mail me with any questions, although I may not be able to get back to you immediately because Iım rather busy preparing to move away from Oberlin as most Alumni do at some point.

---Alexandre Kwanten OC Œ00,

Student Longs For ³Stupid² Letters

To the Editors, and to the student body:

I have been a student at this school for over three years now, and I have rarely found cause to complain. However, this past weekıs issue of the Review was a great disappointment to me. The reason, you ask? No one wrote a letter to the editor and said anything outrageously stupid or misguided. No student at this school had his or her radical sensibilities offended enough in the first week of school to write to this newspaper and complain. In short, nothing offended me. Whatıs wrong with the students at this school?

I suppose, since there seems to be nothing to get up in arms about yet, that I will have to start the battle myself. Pick your topic. Ronald Reagan was a great man? Barnes and Noble rules all commerce? Unions are the enemies of democracy? A womanıs place is in the home? Stop abortionists from murdering children? The Holocaust: fact or fiction? The poor should be blasted in outer space? What can I say that will get some kind of response? Or is the editorial page a dead forum?

You people are a bunch of peace-loving wuss tree-huggers.

---S. Andrew Smith Conservatory Senior,

2020 Project Takes Aim At Climate Change Concerns

To the Editor:

Of the many challenges facing us in the new century, climate change promises to be one of the most significant. The release of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere has grown steadily since the Industrial Revolution. These gases trap heat in the atmosphere, slowly increasing the temperature of the planet and causing the climate of Earth to change in dramatic ways.

Climate change is an issue that all of us will be forced to deal with over our lifetimes. The sooner we take action to slow the release of greenhouse gases and begin to reduce climate change, the better.

The Environmental Studies Program has taken initiative in this direction in the form of the 2020 Project. The purpose of this Project is to develop a plan that will facilitate Oberlinıs move towards climate neutrality. Climate neutrality is zero net greenhouse gas emissions. Rocky Mountain Institute is working in conjunction with us to develop a strategy to reach this goal. First the current greenhouse gas emissions of the College must be identified and measured. Then a plan can be developed which determines the most cost-effective ways to eliminate our emissions and find alternative sources of energy.

The first task of the 2020 Project is to define the boundaries of Oberlin College. This will allow us to determine how much of the energy that goes into all of the inputs that run the college will be counted in the audit. We are now in the process of compiling the records of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions from the various spheres of College operation. Carbon dioxide emissions from the steam plant and vehicle use, methane emissions from the wastewater treatment plant and landfill among others will be accounted for. In addition, inputs into the College such as transport of students and staff to and from campus and movement of food and supplies to campus will be considered in the audit.

The 2020 Project has three primary goals. First, the attainment of climate neutrality at the lowest possible cost by the year 2020. Instruction of Oberlin students about how to approach and attack complex problems like climate change is the second goal. The final goal is to produce a model strategy for reaching climate neutrality that can be used by other institutions.

This project is a great start on the road to dealing with climate change. I will provide regular updates on the progress of the Project in this form throughout the year. Please contact me for additional information or with questions.

---Paige Wiegman 2020 Project Coordinator,

Stevensonıs Architectural Renaissance Praised

To the Editor:

When Stevenson opened, students were quick to dismiss it as an architectural failure. While Moshe Safdieıs building still has major faults and drawbacks, this summerıs remodeling of its interior proves that the question of Stevensonıs success as a piece of architecture is still up in the air.

It is important to remember, that for all of the faults of Stevenson as a building (its drab ugliness, modernist severity, and apparent dysfunctionality as a cafeteria), the intentions behind it were positive. It was supposed to be a multifunctional building that could provide not only a place to eat, but also additional office space for student groups, meeting areas for students and faculty, areas for extracurricular activities, etc. The fact that these functions are not possible is not the fault of the administration that created the building, but rather the architects and engineers responsible for its design. Fred Starr can be blamed for many failures in his tenure, his inability to recognize the faults in a professionally drawn blueprint by a renowned architectural firm is probably not one of them.

The new renovations to the space are a simple, yet brilliant move. By opening the ³pods² on the second story, students find it easier to locate each other on the other side of the wall. It has increased the ability to socialize, decreased the traffic in the service area (resulting surely in a serious decrease in food spillage and waste as fewer students are slamming into each other with full lunch trays) and decreased the claustrophobia of the narrow spaces by giving more horizontal visible space.

More than these advantages, it also proves that Safdieıs building is not Safdieıs, but Oberlinıs. Where his plan failed, we can still fix it. The inclusion of a 24-hour computer lab, Upward Bound Office, and Career Services proves that the downstairs space is not going to waste. The upstairs space has been used for parties over the last two years, proving that it is possible that the creative can always find new ways to use the space they have, without serious alterations.

This work proves to me that this administration is not completely spatially incompetent. While I am still at a loss for why the rapid-fire destruction of green-space on campus continues, I do have high hopes for the buildings that are overtaking it. It may take 50 years to truly evaluate a building, so I would like to implore that the students on campus now not make snap judgements on the new Environmental Sciences Building and the new Sciences Building until we see them at full capacity.

---Daniel Shiffner College Junior,

Concerned Wisconsin Native Questions Goreıs Motives

To the Editors:

``It's hard enough to raise children today without the entertainment industry making it more difficult,'' Gore stated, as reported in Reuters. ``We believe in giving parents better information and more tools to help them protect their children from inappropriate material.''

I applaud Al Gore for standing for the "people, not the powerful," by publicly positioning himself against the entertainment industry and making Campaign Finance Reform at the top of his campaign agenda. Therefore, I call on the Vice President to go beyond publicity and to return campaign contributions received from the rich and powerful entertainment industry, as reported by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics ( to be $13,619,182, this year alone. The Associated Press reports that the entertainment industry to be the fourth largest source of cash for the Democratic Party, much of which is likely to be soft money.

---Richard Obcena Wisconsin Resident,

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Volume 128, Number CURRENT_NUMBER, CURRENT_DATE, 2000

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