The color of money

Larger than life: When local artist Jennifer Franz decided to expand her repertoire into portraiture, she picked an unusual subject: Federal Reserve potentate Alan Greenspan.

Franz’ new work can be seen at the New Artworks Gallery in Fair Oaks, and, according to the press release that came over Bites’ transom, “these portraits capture the quintessential Alan Greenspan expressions of skepticism, disdain, humor, curiosity and the reflectiveness of an incisive mind.” Hey, that sounds a lot like what Bites’ portrait would look like—if Bites actually had a face.

When asked why she picked Alan Greenspan, of all people, to immortalize in oil pastel, Franz said, “He’s an icon, more than a lot of rock stars.” And his likeness can be yours for a song—originals start at $425, and prints at only $195.

Still, Franz admits, Greenspan is no Bono. “Well, he’s done well for the wealthy. My personal feeling is that he started off as a person of integrity and maybe let his stature go to his head.”

Talkin’ about a resolution: In a decision the Supreme Court is sure to be watching closely, the Associated Students of the University of California, Davis (ASUCD) voted last week to kick military recruiters off campus.

The surprise ruling, er, resolution came down December 1, following a three-and-a-half-hour debate during which student anti-war activists outflanked campus Republicans.

The student representatives who authored the resolution stressed that their bill was not anti-war. Bites is guessing that debating the war would have been way too controversial, and the meeting wouldn’t have ended until someone got shot. So, instead, the students went after the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, saying that it violates the university’s Principles of Community. Like a lot of universities, UC Davis bars groups that discriminate against gays and lesbians—but makes an exception for the military. Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on whether schools that refuse to allow recruiters on campus because of “don’t ask, don’t tell” should risk losing federal funding.

But the Davis College Republicans complained that there was a different agenda at work. The group’s chairman, UC Davis senior Tim Sutherland, came armed with printed profiles culled from the online social network Facebook (kind of like MySpace) that showed the resolution’s authors were really a bunch of peaceniks from Davis Students Against War.

Sutherland said this proved the resolution was really just anti-war propaganda, and not a critique of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” But the Republicans’ intelligence bombshell was too little, too late, and the resolution, formally asking Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef to disinvite military recruiters because of their discriminatory practices, passed 8-4.

Cost of living: Alexander Gonzalez, president of California State University, Sacramento, is due for a whopping raise under a plan recently unveiled by CSU trustees. The new deal would raise his salary to $255,024 in the next year, a $34,000 bump.

It also cuts Gonzalez a $60,000-a-year check as “housing allowance.” Bites figures Gonzalez must need a really big house to keep the rain off his really big brain.

Where’s all that money coming from? Student fees, of course, which are expected to more than double this decade.

Of course, not all CSU honchos are going to keep their windfall. CSU Chico’s president, Paul Zingg, has already pledged to give his raise back to students in the form of scholarships.

CSUS interior-design student Janet Maineri is calling on Gonzalez to follow suit: “Our president could make quite a statement by declining that raise.” Quite a statement indeed. Not unlike the one Gonzalez made a couple of years back, when he spent $265,000 remodeling his office on campus.