December 7, 2001
M. Squash Set to Battle Diplomats
| December 7, 2001
The men’s squash team will look to return to its winning ways when it takes to the road to face Franklin and Marshall.
The Red opened its season with a pair of wins against Penn and Westen Ontario, before getting dismantled by an overbearing Princeton squad.
Cornell was paced by the fine efforts of No. 2 player Neal Soo in the battle with the Quakers. Overall, the Red topped Penn, 7-2, closing out the effort with wins courtesy of junior Shloka Melwani and sophomore Geoff Fong.
Senior Darryl Chow and junior Jeff Porter also posted victories for Cornell, playing in the No. 3 and No. 4 spots, respectively.
The duel with Western Ontario started on an inauspicious note with the visitors Andrew Jones defeating Tim Nagel.
From there the teams traded wins between the No. 2 and No. 5 slots, with Soo and Porter emerging as the Red’s winners.
After Julian Chin defeated Cornell’s Dan Galbraith, the Red rattled off three consecutive wins to close out the effort.
The Red’s fortunes were not as pleasant the next day against perennial powerhouse Princeton.
The Red lost at all nine spots and could not muster a win in a game until Fong’s matchup with Nathan Beck.
Cornell reversed the tables last weekend at Harvard against MIT, posting a dominating 9-0 win.
Franklin and Marshall has historically owned the Red, taking 26 of the 38 meetings. Cornell, has played well though in recent history, winning the last two engagements.
Archived article by Gary Schueller
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December 20, 2001
When the Cornell community held a vigil on Sept. 11, the newest member of the Cornell Police was there to serve and protect. An energetic youth trained in explosives detection, this rookie has smooth black hair, a prominent nose, and boundless energy. He also has four paws. Sabre is a bomb-sniffing dog who joined the police force last June. He works with Officer Jeff Montesano, who petitioned for two years to add a dog to the squad. “I just wanted to add another tool,” Montesano said. “We don’t get a lot of [bomb] threats but we wanted to be prepared.” “With the addition of our canine department, we’ve been able to add a new dimension of safety to the campus,” said Curtis Ostrander, assistant director of public safety. Sabre and Montesano work together to “sweep” suspicious areas for explosives including cars, buildings, airplanes and packages. The dog searches for the scent of gunpowder and other explosives, and he currently recognizes 12 scents. “All of them [explosive devices] have a common ingredient in them, and that’s what he’s taught to smell,” Montesano said. “A dog can smell up to 800 times more than a human can.” When William Boice, director of Cornell Police, approved the canine program in June, Montesano attended an advanced workshop on canines. There, he learned how to look for the right dog one that was energetic and a good retriever, with a penchant for play. Montesano found just what he was looking for at the Tompkins County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). He paid $38 for Sabre, a purebred two-year-old black labrador who had arrived at the SPCA that same day. The officer and dog trained together for 120 hours this summer — “three weeks straight” at the Southern Tier Police Canine Association in Binghamton. “It’s not rocket science at all,” Montesano said. He described the training program, which is based on a reward system. The officer hides a tennis ball in a box with a small hole in the top, so the dog has to stick his nose in it to retrieve the ball. Inside the box was gunpowder, which the dog smelled before getting the ball, which he can subsequently play with. “He affiliates the toy with that odor of an explosive,” Montesano said. In the field, the dog’s reward is a “kong” a red rubberized play toy on a blue string. “It’s a big game for him,” Montesano said. The officer gets the dog excited and ready to work by showing him the kong. Montesano then hides the toy in his pocket and leads the dog around the suspicious area so Sabre can give it the “sweep.” When Sabre smells an explosive, his behavior changes instead of excitedly searching, he sits back on his hind legs at full attention. Monetesano tells Sabre “show me,” and the dog will gently place his nose on the area, indicating the precise location of explosives. This helps the bomb squad locate an explosive quickly and accurately. Montesano explained that, unlike drug dogs who scratch at materials they’ve discovered, bomb-sniffing dogs keep a safe distance from the object. “He’s a passive indication, rather than an aggressive indication,” Montesano said. When Sabre finds an explosive, he gets the kong as a reward. “It’s all in what you make out of the toy, too. Black labs are pure energy,” Montesano explained, adding that praise is also an important component of working with the dog. The officer will play tug of war with Sabre, eventually giving up. “You always let him win and he’s proud as a peacock of it,” Montesano said. Since their graduation from training in mid-August, Sabre and Montesano have had plenty of work to do. Aside from checking packages on campus, the pair work together to check for explosives when dignitaries and other high profile visitors come to campus. For example, Sabre’s first assignment was “sweeping” the Prince of Thailand’s motorcade, room, and airplane. On Sept. 11, he and Montesano checked the stairs of the Olin Library terrace, where President Hunter R. Rawlings III would speak. “I think that [it’s] nice for the Cornell community to know that we were prepared,” Montesano said. “We’ve looked a lot and we’re happy to say we haven’t found any [explosives].” The dog-and-officer duo has also performed demonstrations for Hasbrouck apartments, Employee Day during the football season, and have assisted other departments. “Without Sabre, I couldn’t do the job, and it’s vice versa,” Montesano said. Sixteen hours of training each month to keep Sabre up-to-date on his skills and allow him to learn new ones. Montesano said he would like to start training Sabre to track humans. Aside from increasing campus security, Sabre “provides an introduction for some people to the police department,” said Susan Murphy ’73, vice president of student and academic services and a self-professed dog-lover. “I’m just jealous that they can take a dog to work and I can’t,” she added. The cost of having a canine program is approximately $8,000, according to Montesano. The College of Veterinary Medicine provides all of Sabre’s medical treatment, and Hills Science Diet donates his food. Montesano said people, including other officers, respond well to the dog. “He’s just like one of the members. They all love him,” he said, adding that the department is “in the process of getting a badge” for the dog’s collar. Sabre has shield number 100. Boice said he was apprehensive at first about implementing a canine program. Now, he says, “I just love this dog. He’s great. It’d do it all over again.” At the end of the day, Sabre rides home with Montesano, who says his two children love the dog. The officer stressed that Sabre is friendly and not dangerous. “People I think sometimes feel afraid of him, because he’s a police dog,” Montesano said. “I want people to feel secure around him. He’s not an aggressive dog. His job is solely explosive detection. He does not bite, he does not look for drugs,” Montesano added. “He’ll lick you to death before anything else.”Archived article by Heather Schroeder
December 20, 2001
The entire Cornell community was affected after terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in New York City on Sept. 11. However, many University students were affected in a way they might not have immediately detected. “As our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by the national tragedy of last week, I am writing to inform you that our payment-processing center in New York City, operated by J.P. Morgan Chase, has been directly impacted,” said University Bursar Peter Olcott, in a letter distributed to students’ homes with the October billing statement. Olcott added that because that building’s staff had to be evacuated and relocated to a separate location, bursar payments may not be accurately updated. Thomas Keane, director of the Financial Aid and Student Employment Office, noted that luckily their office was not directly affected because their payment processing center is located in Rochester. They were more concerned with how the tragedy would affect students’ families from the area, according to Keane. While the Ithaca campus is operating accoring to normal conditions, affiliate schools in Manhattan, such as the Joan and Sanford I. Weill ’55 School of Medicine, have had to deal with more direct and lasting problems. “Our finance department is downtown, just two blocks away from [the World Trade Center],” said Susan Zakoian, manager of student accounts for the medical school. “[Workers in the finance office] saw [the Trade Center] crash from their windows. [After our building was repaired] some people couldn’t even go back from the dust in the air.” The medical school’s student account office is located further uptown with the rest of medical school’s offices, physically displaced from the Trade Center. Zakoian recalled how they were almost halted because of the damage to their finance department’s building. “We were really in limbo. There was no system [to work with],” Zakoian said. The Internet and phone lines would not allow anyone in the accounts office to process deposits from medical students through their online billing system. Students’ cash payments were briefly housed in a bank lock box, according to Zakoian. “[The finance office] was working very hard [to solve this problem],” she said. This included using a satellite Internet connection which, according to Zakoian, worked intermittently. The medical school’s finance office still only has one active phone number. In Ithaca, Cornell administrators praised the New York City offices for their rapid rehabilitation from the attacks, although they are still facing difficulties months later. “I think the interaction and cooperation between the Ithaca and New York operations seemed to go very well,” said Linda-Grace Kobas, director of the Cornell News Service.Archived article by Carlos Perkins