Pathways Commission Discusses Faulty Intersection Signal Detection

On Monday, September 24, the Oxford Pathways Commission gathered for their monthly meeting at City Hall to discuss a few of the ongoing projects during a slow time of the 2018 season.

Although none of the topics were particularly pressing matters for the public, Pathways Commission Chairman, Don Feitel, added an item to the meeting concerning the intersection signal detection at University Ave and S 9th St.

Bike users have been experiencing difficulty tripping the signal sensor when trying to turn left, and can sit for several minutes before the light changes on its own. Committee member, Greg Surbeck, added that even his motorcycle sometimes is not able to trip the sensor.

The reason for the sensor not being able to be tripped is due to the fact that it is a metal sensor that requires a large metal object to be detected.

The commission proposed testing the other sensors around Oxford to figure out which is best for all modes of transportation. Once the commission determines the best method for intersection signal detection, the city could eventually implement the most practical method at every light.

Among the other topics discussed during the meeting was the Belk Blvd and South Lamar Blvd intersection, sidewalks on East Jackson Ave, and the decision for either a roundabout or a signal at College Hill Road and McElroy Drive.

The roundabout versus signal decision was a topic of interest but not heavily debated due to lack of information on the cities plans for the intersection.

“A study was shown that in the morning, a signal would be better,” Vice Chairman Kate Kellum said. “But in the afternoon the roundabout would be better.”

The city is still debating the study in order to put the best plan in place for residents and transportation users.

“An argument could probably be made for either one,” Chairman Don Feitel said. “I think the city is leaning more toward the roundabout there just in terms of long-term maintenance and functionality.”

The intersection at Belk Blvd and South Lamar Blvd will be closed this weekend for paving purposes. Once the paving is finished, the city will move forward with bike lanes on South Lamar Blvd heading towards the Square.

East Jackson Ave will be narrowing the roadway to build the sidewalks out so that they can build smaller retaining walls while continuing sidewalks on both sides.

The Pathways Commission will not meet again until October 22.

Ansley Givhan’s Homecoming to the Oxford Art Scene Was Anything But “Messy”

Ansley Givhan, an Ole Miss alumna who has been establishing herself as an artist in New Orleans, is back in Oxford with her first solo exhibit at Southside Gallery on the Square.

She came into college as a psychology student and slowly morphed into an art major by the end of sophomore year. Since becoming an artist, Givhan has painted and drawn in several styles to have a diversified creative palette.

Her exhibit, called “Messy” to hone in on her creative process, showcases 24 works of mostly large-scale art that were completed in only an eight-week span.

There was a noticeable consensus among viewers, casual and close to Givhan, that they enjoyed the aspect of fun that she brings to a canvas. Elderly citizens and a family with a young boy were all walking around intrigued with the paintings.

“There’s something that kind of touches you emotionally from that childhood appreciation,” said Southside Gallery Director, Will Cook.

Cook has known Givhan since her college days in Oxford when she first exhibited at Southside Gallery on a small scale but knew the first time he saw her work that it had a special quality to it.

“It’s just fun and relatable. People walk through the gallery and like giggle to themselves,” said Southside Gallery Assistant, Victoria Collyer.

However, the relatability does not take away from the sophistication of Givhan’s work. Collyer, Givhan’s best friend, has been a close follower of her work since the beginning.

“I think there’s something for everyone in this show,” said Collyer. “Anyone can kind of relate to abstract work because every person has their own interpretation and it’s very personal.”

Givhan’s combination of abstract art and still life contained in the “Messy” exhibit is one of the main focal points. Walking around the room for the first time, you get hints of deja vu until you’re hit with the realization that some of the paintings are simply scenes in other paintings around Givhan’s studio.

“Painting in a more broad and general sense is an important lesson when painting from life,” said Givhan.

Givhan stressed the idea that an artist can break from the mold of painting only still life and manipulate it to your desire.

“It’s just all learning experience and most of my work is about process and how I learn and discover new things throughout the process of painting,” said Givhan.

The process for the “Messy” exhibit was expedited after Givhan took a month long trip to Australia three months before the exhibit was set to go on display. Givhan thinks the rushed timeline ended up working to her advantage.

“It just kept me in the studio every day all the time, and that’s what makes you better at painting,” said Givhan.

Her diligent work ethic led to her filling the whole first floor at Southside Gallery. Cook noted that sometimes artists have to share events because of the difficulty that comes with filling an entire gallery, let alone on a first showcase.

Although the “Messy” exhibit is mainly an abstract showcase, Givhan doesn’t want to be confined to any genre of art. As stated above, the goal for Givhan is to keep on growing through her art.

“There’s an element of inventiveness that I love about painting,” said Givhan.

Givhan’s element of inventiveness in her work will be on display at Southside Gallery until October 6. 

What Works: Week 4

Yet Another Worrisome Subway Statistic: More People Are Going on the Tracks

This article, by Emma Fitzsimmons, caught my eye with the title but didn’t give much more information. I felt that although I was given several statistics, nothing else happened. I assumed that the content of the article would contain solutions to the problem and a more statistical analysis of why people are going on the tracks. Instead, the article said that the motivation for going on the tracks was unclear most of the time, but it was not a suicidal attempt most of the time.

The article did provide a few interesting facts about the fast-paced world of public transit, but didn’t provide actual solutions. It was referenced that other major public transit hubs had tried certain methods to prevent people from climbing on tracks and objects falling in. However, the methods that were put in place outside of New York would have been too expensive or impractical for New York’s subway system.

Near the end of the article, it switches from possible solutions to the effects on the subway worker’s psyche when they are involved in an accident or death on the tracks. It then quickly cut to an odd ending with a man complaining that the subway was late and he was sweaty for a meeting.

I thought the article could have done a better job of being focused and provided more information about possible solutions instead of simply pointing out the problem that the subway system is currently encountering.

The Other Mississippi: Dr. David Sansing Previews His New Book at Off Square Books

The audience gathers before Dr. David Sansing discusses the topics in his new book.

In a state often marred by negative outside opinions, Dr. David Sansing stands as a voice of reverence and clarity hoping to educate his audience about the full story of Mississippi’s contentious history.

At Off Square Books on Tuesday evening, Sansing discussed several of the topics and people that will appear in his latest book, “The Other Mississippi: A State in Conflict With Itself”.

A captivating speaker, Sansing held the room in silence as he first discussed the perception of Mississippi to outsiders.

“Things take time in Mississippi,” Sansing remarked.

Although his new book is about the unknown positive sides of Mississippi’s history, the professor is not one to dismiss the ugly face of the state that has reared it’s head in the past.

“Dr. Sansing of course has been here for a long time and is a very well respected and beloved member of the community,” said Off Square Books General Manager, Lyn Roberts. “I think the history of Mississippi is so fascinating and he brings out little known facts and makes it lively and more interesting.”

The professor drew a large, lively crowd to the event, that was eager to learn about their state. 

“He does very thorough research,” said local Oxford resident, James Webb Jr. “It’s very good and interesting. He uses subjects that someone like me who grew up here, was barely familiar with all of these things.”

Among the little known facts that Sansing brings about in his new book is the belief that Mississippi politician, L.Q.C. Lamar,  would have been elected President of the United States had he not been held back by the fact that he was born in the south.

The south has always carried traditions that are perceived as less than progressive above the Mason-Dixon line. However, it has been making small strides forward further back than some may think.

One of the most relevant people of interest in Sansing’s new book is a man known as “Blind” Jim Ivy. Ivy was a peanut vendor on Ole Miss’ campus for most of his life and was a treasured member of the Oxford community until his death in 1955. It has been speculated that Ivy, a black man, was the original inspiration for the former mascot of the university, “Colonel Reb”.

Along with the hidden facts of Mississippi, Sansing also talks about the rich literary history that has always been a part of Oxford and the state. Faulkner and Grisham are in the new book, but Sansing will also be writing about Richard Wright, Tennessee Williams, and Eudora Welty.

It is no secret that Mississippi has plenty of ghosts in its past, but it may be a secret to some that there have been so many beautiful cultural traditions and people to come out of the Magnolia State.

Sansing’s lifelong dedication to educating the public on the storied history of Mississippi is a gift that will have a lasting impact on those who decide to pick up any of his books.

What Works: Week 3

“Naomi Osaka Lost Her Moment of Triumph. Let’s Not Forget Her Match.”

I chose to read this article because I wanted to know more about the match since I only saw the highlights involving Serena berating the umpire. I was happy reading the first part of the article about Osaka and her incredible victory and how she got there. After all, this is her first grand slam title and she should be the headline for annihilating arguably the greatest female athlete of all time. Instead, the response has been horrible. Serena stole the show on the court and in all the media response, despite being pummeled. In turn, she is also stealing the show in this write-up.

However, the first part of the article provided real analysis on Osaka. From breaking down how she overcame the adversity to win the grand slam, to her new coach and how he has helped her control her nerves. It was a much needed break from the Serena controversy, until the second half of the article.

The second half of the article was focused on Serena’s exploits this weekend, and two other outbursts she had in the past at the U.S. Open. Granted, it did occasionally mention that the point was that she stole Osaka’s moment, but when you are writing an article trying to change the narrative of the match, you should stick to it.

I did enjoy the breakdown of Serena’s past exploits, but that should not have been the point of the article.

What Works: Week 2

“Fish Have Feelings, Too” 

I chose this article whilst scrolling through facebook when my intellectual cousin shared it for all to see. Also, as a fan of fish, I could not pass up this title.

The article, by Rachel Nuwer, in my opinion was very well written. It was not a short read but kept you intrigued the whole time. It began with a relatable personal anecdote from a fisheries ecologist that drew you into the story. It jumped straight from the personal story to the scientific side of the article, discussing the ignorant views of science in the past and the breakthroughs that have been happening in the fish world of science.

I began to think that there was not enough factual evidence in this article to convince me of anything until it went into a study of primates and fishes pattern identification abilities. My only qualm with the article was in the study that they did not identify that “cleaner wrasses” are a species of fish. Granted, it would not take much of an educated guess to figure that out, but it still could have made the article flow better.

The last part of the article provides less science driven evidence that fish are not “aquatic automatons”. The quotes and evidence appear to be well-researched and backed up.

I really enjoyed reading this article and I hope to see more evidence the fish do in fact, have feelings.

I chose this article whilst scrolling through facebook when my intellectual cousin shared it for all to see. Also, as a fan of fish, I could not pass up this title.

The article, by Rachel Nuwer, in my opinion was very well written. It was not a short read but kept you intrigued the whole time. It began with a relatable personal anecdote from a fisheries ecologist that drew you into the story. It jumped straight from the personal story to the scientific side of the article, discussing the ignorant views of science in the past and the breakthroughs that have been happening in the fish world of science.

I began to think that there was not enough factual evidence in this article to convince me of anything until it went into a study of primates and fishes pattern identification abilities. My only qualm with the article was in the study that they did not identify that “cleaner wrasses” are a species of fish. Granted, it would not take much of an educated guess to figure that out, but it still could have made the article flow better.

The last part of the article provides less science driven evidence that fish are not “aquatic automatons”. The quotes and evidence appear to be well-researched and backed up.

I really enjoyed reading this article and I hope to see more evidence the fish do in fact, have feelings.

Luke and the Rebels Look to Keep Focus Against Salukis

The home opener is three days away and the Rebels are looking forward to putting on another aerial attack for the Vaught-Hemingway faithful against the Southern Illinois Salukis.

Although the Salukis are an FCS team, Ole Miss is not looking past this weekend.

“They got six turnovers in the last game, three for touchdowns,” head coach Matt Luke said. “Offensively they do a good job on mixing personnel. They’re a smash mouth team and they’ll take their deep shots.”

A 20-point win over a solid team the week before would put some teams in a complacent mindset, but the Rebels are approaching this game with the same mentality as any other.

“I think what we have really focused on is us getting better and having a standard,” Luke said. “We didn’t play our best football week one and if we can find a way to get better at all the little things… there’s plenty for us to get better at and that’s what we’re focusing on.”

While the mentality may be the same, the preparation for the Salukis offense is the polar opposite to the Red Raiders.

“It’s totally different,” Luke said. “You’re going from spread to seeing some three tight end sets. It will definitely be a challenge for us to stop the run, and they’re really good at mixing in deep shots off that.”

Another Weapon for the Offense

Braylon Sanders proved he was ready to take his place in the N.W.O. (Nasty Wideouts) against Texas Tech when he reeled in four catches for 60 yards, including a highlight reel sideline grab.

“Coach Peeler had confidence in me to put me in that situation and I just made plays when my number was called,” Sanders said.

Sanders talked about D.K. Metcalf and Damarkus Lodge helping him in the offseason with techniques to improve as a part of one of the best receiving units in the country.

“The way he stepped in last week, it just shows the maturation process and how he’s gotten better and better,” Luke said.

From the Trenches

Allowing only two sacks against Texas Tech, the Ole Miss offensive line gave the Rebels an ample amount of protection to rack up 548 yards of total offense.

“We did really well as a unit,” right tackle Alex Givens said. “We have things to work on like every week but we played really physical, smart. I’m excited to get out there this week against a four-down defense. Play a little bit more physical, should be a fun week.”

Givens landed a spot on Pro Football Focus’s SEC team of the week after a stellar performance against the Red Raiders.

“You look at the film and you never do as good as you think and you never do as bad as you think,” Givens said.

Givens came out against Texas Tech and clarified what happened during the play.

“I was kinda driving someone into the ground and someone came in and hit me on the side of the head,” Givens said. “Shook me up a little bit but I’m good now. Excited to be back out there.”

Injuries

Damarkus Lodge did not practice today but is hopeful to be back on the field tomorrow.

Luke said that Lodge is further along than Kevontae’ Ruggs in his recovery.