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December 12, 1990 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 1990-12-12

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Page 2-The Michigan Daily- Wednesday, December 12, 1990

Calvin and Hobbes

by Bill Watterson Workers fear cuts in budget


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LANSING (AP) - It may be the
joyous time of year, but it's a time
of worry for many state workers as
the budget faces major trimming and
a new administration generates
uncertainty about the future.
In each of the state's 19 depart-
ments, workers are wondering about
what the new year will bring follow-
ing legislative action to slice the
budget by $535 million this fiscal
That is expected to reduce the
budget deficit now projected at about
$979 million, leaving almost $450
million in potential red ink to be
tackled by Gov.-Elect John Engler
when he takes office Jan. 1.
That has some workers worried
about layoffs.
"It's going to be tough times
around here for a lot of people," said
Ann Strong, office manager for state
Sen. David Holmes (D-Detroit).
Legislative employees, who don't
have a union or Civil Service protec-
tion, also could be affected by budget
cutbacks. ,
Civil Service spokesperson
Donald Myers expects layoffs

throughout state government, but
doesn't know where or how many.
Departments have until Jan. 15 to
spell out how they'll cut spending.
by 9.2 percent. .
"When you cut programs, you
cut people," he said.
Budget Director Shelby Solomon
said yesterday he believes in some
cases attrition rather than layoffs
may solve the problem.
"But a lot will depend on bow
the new administration wants to ap-
proach it," Solomon said. "They
could do layoffs to avoid reductions
in other areas.
"Obviously the task is signifi-
cant. They've already made clear
their intention is to pursue layoffs.
It's a policy decision."
House Minority Leader Paul
Hillegonds (R-Holland) predicted the
layoffs would be "rather severe."
"I believe the numbers of 1,000
(in) mental health, 1,000 (in) social
services. John originally was talking
about attrition. I truly believe there
will be layoffs in state govern-
Some tightening has already be-

gun. Sixty state police recruits were
to start training Feb. 24, but that
has been cancelled.
No one believes the cutbacks will
be easy. Mental Health Director
Thomas Watkins said departments
cuts could mean 1,000 losing their
jobs ending services for 250,000
"Every time we get into a budget
crunch, without fail, they get into an
across-the-board-cut," said Fred
Parks, president of the Michigan
Corrections Organization, which rep-
resents prison guards.
"Every time that happens we get
officers killed."
Layoffs could be heavy in such
departments as attorney general and
treasury, which have few programs
able to be cut. There, savings would
have to come mainly from person-
But education won't suffer as
much. School aid was protected from
cuts, while colleges will only see a
1 percent cut. Local government will
see only a 2 percent cut in revenue


War causes starvation in Liberia

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MONROVIA, Liberia (AP)-
Four-year-old Falah Saah, too weak
from starvation to cry out, could
only murmur listlessly as he lay in
his mother's lap.
"I want drink, drink, drink," he
said softly, nearly drowned out by
the moans from other sick children
in the ward at Island Hospital, one of
only. two hospitals still operating in
Monrovia, the capital of war-wrecked
His mother, Maita Solui, said he
is one of only three of her seven
children to survive the West African
country's year-long civil war.
Hundreds of children have died of
starvation, and doctors say that un-
less a huge food aid program is
launched, thousands more will suc-
Other youngsters, brutalized by
seeing mothers raped and fathers,
brothers, and sisters killed, became
child soldiers in the rebel armies.
Falah's eldest brother joined up, and
was killed.
The physical and mental condi-
tion of the surviving children has

raised fear about the future genera-
tion of this West African nation.
Relief workers say the degree of
starvation has been so great that
many children who live will suffer
brain damage.
The child soldiers suffer in other
ways. At the rebel base in Caldwell,
outside the capital, a young boy
played with a remote-control toy car.
'Draped over his shoulder was a ma-
chine gun- a real one.
"I'm a man, I have killed like a
man," boasted another little boy. He
looked 6 or 7 years old, with a gun
nearly as tall as he was, but refused
to give his age.
For orphans who have watched
their parents killed by Liberian
troops, the rebel camp offered a sub-
stitute family, food, and an opportu-
nity for revenge.
"They are still little children, but
how are we going to convince them
of that when it's all over?" said
Myrtle Gibson, a real estate agent
who turned to relief work. "How are
we going to make them real people

"After this war, we're going to
have a lot more wars to fight."
Hunger is the most immediate prob-
lem. Starving Monrovians ate the
city's pet dogs and cats months ago.
They ate zoo animals, including
chimpanzees. Then they turned to
vegetation, eating weeds and slash-
ing down palm trees to eat the fill-
ing but non-nutritious fiber under
the bark.
A little food is on sale- bunches
of green leaves and weeds, some
stolen tinned goods, a few oranges,
looted rice. But few can afford it.
The Belgian branch of the inter-
national aid group Doctors Without
Borders started supplementary feed-
ing now reaching 3,000 children
with help from newly arrived United
Nations workers.
U.N. representative Michael
Heyn said the relief workers hoped to
soon feed 25,000 children. But he
said 90,000 children in Monrovia
alone need a special diet to recover.
"We pick up 10, maybe 12;
meanwhile they are dying in their
hundreds," she said.

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Continued from page 1
the systems' four-year senior col-
leges, and $13 million was cut from
community college funding. The to-
tal system services 200,000 students
and has a budget of approximately
$1 billion, Director of Public Infor-
mation Rita Rodin said.
One City University response to
the budget reductions was cutting
2,000 class sections for the fall
semester. Tuition was raised for the
first time since 1983 by $100 per
semester. Rodin said the university's
diverse student body, many from

immigrant families, has made tu-
ition increases a sensitive issue.
"We're very aware of the sacrifice
to students if we raise tuition even
that amount. They're very deter-
mined to get an education and we
surely don't want to put any obsta-
cles in their way," Rodin said.
Rodin said the cuts do have some
positive aspects for the university
concerning affirmative action. A new
retirement plan has opened 1,000
new positions, many of which are
higher level jobs. Rodin said when
filling these positions, the univer-
sity will be considering its

"affirmative action goals" to hire
more minorities and women.
Universities in Illinois have not
taken any recent cuts, but a tax sur-
charge that provides a portion of the
state's higher education funding will
expire June 30. University of Illi-
nois Associate Vice President for
Planning and Budgeting Steve Rugg
said university administrators are ex-
periencing "nervous anxiety and cau-
tious optimism" as they wait to see
if Governor-elect James Edgar will
extend the surcharge.


Continued from page 1
here for students, faculty, staff,
alumni, and guests, and individuals
here for meetings or transactions.
(Trespassers) are those not here for
meetings or transactions."
The night of his meeting with
Cianciola, Gearhart said he witnessed
a Union building manager and Hous-
ing Security officer approach a man
sleeping in the MUG and ask him to

leave. The man had a wheelchair
with him and was obviously dis-
abled, Gearhart said.
The building manager did call an
area shelter which said they could
not accommodate the man, Gearhart
"When I asked where he was sup-
posed to go and pointed out that it
was freezing outside and that this
person would be risking being frozen
to death, the security officer re-
sponded, 'It's not my problem. I

don't care if he turns into a popsicle
... All I know is that he can't stay
here,"' Gearhart said.
Gearhart filed a complaint with
Housing Security against the officer
involved the next day. He also called
Joel Allan, manager of housing se'
curity services and student resi-
Allan was unavailable for com-
Cianciola will discuss the issue
next Tuesday, 11 a.m. in the Union.

G £lie Arbjau Wailg
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