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September 10, 1991 - Image 1

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1991-09-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

T i
TODAY
Chance of t-storms.
High: 87, Low: 65.
TOMORROW
Clearing, cooler;
A High: 75, Low: 54.

1£ iriuulai

I iDE...
The Senate should
shoot down
Clarence Thomas.
See OPINION
Page 4.

A century of editorial freedom
Vol. C, 144 Ann Arbor, Michigan - Tuesday, September 10, 1991 Tepicigan Daily
Congress to
w .consider new

loan program

by Stefanie Vines
Daily Government Reporter
Students who receive loans may
obtain additional aid if a new stu-
dent loan program is passed in the
102nd Congress; which will recon-
vene today.
Legislation introduced by Rep.
Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) would
scrap the current $10.8 billion-a-
year Stafford Loan - also referred
to as Guaranteed Student Loans -
program and replace it with a
streamlined direct student-loan
program.
Under the current program, stu-
dents apply through a private
lender, such as a bank, to obtain stu-
dent loans. Under the direct stu-
dent-loan program students would
receive money directly through the
University and the federal govern-
ment. The application process
would be made easier, and decreased
costs and taxes could mean lower
interest rates.

"For students the 5 percent orig-
ination fee tacked on to aid will be
eliminated, as well as insurance
premiums and the need to fill out
several applications when applying
for aid," said Tom Butts, director of
the University's Washington, 'D.C.
office.
The proposal would also increase
the amount families could borrow
through the Parent Loan Program
- which currently allows parents
to borrow up to $4,000 per school
year. The proposal would allow
parents to borrow the total cost of
an education, Butts said.
Students who receive no finan-
cial aid could still borrow money
under the new plan, Butts added.
Richard Johnston, vice president
for guarantee programs at the Great
Lakes Higher Education Corpora-
tion, an agency which loans student
aid money to private banks, said
See LOANS, Page 2

Undercover
Students take cover under umbrellas while walking through the Diag during yesterday's rain storm.

Committee:

oil contamination was a possibility

by David Rheingold
Daily Staff Reporter
Four members of a City Council
committee say they suspected con-
tamination at a site to which they
recommended the city move a house,
but did not consider it a serious
enough threat to delay the project.
The city moved the house from
116 W. William St. to the site, 340
S. Ashley St., on April 21 to serve as
low-income housing for the Shelter
Association of Ann Arbor.
But during the summer, when
developers began to drill deeper to
install the foundation, they came
across an excess amount of oil -
which a subsequent test revealed
was not toxic and posed no health
threats - but will require the city
to move the house for a cleanup.
The Kline's Lot Housing
Committee consisted of council-
members Larry Hunter (D-1st
Ward), Thais Peterson (D-5th

City Council task force suspected oil at housing site, but lacked evidence

Ward), Ingrid Sheldon (R-2nd
Ward), and former Councilmember
Joe Borda (R-5th Ward).
Borda said the site's previous use,
as an automobile repair garage, con-
vinced him that contamination was
present.
"I didn't suspect it - I knew it.
I wanted testing," Borda said.
Borda said he spoke out about the
possibility cf contamination within
the committee, but did not later tell
the council.
"No, I didn't, because I really
wanted to keep it private in the
committee," he said. "The reason I
spoke out so forcefully against it
was that I worked in places like that
when I was a kid, and people spilled
gasoline all the time."
But committee members say they
had no proof of contamination.

"There had been discussion by
staff with the council committee
that a garage had been on the site and
there may have been some problems,
but there was no documented evi-
dence," said Housing Services man-
ager Larry Friedman, who worked
with the committee.
Even if the committee had or-
dered testing, it might not have re-
vealed contamination.
The test, conducted by the
Traverse Group of Ann Arbor after
the developers *drilled deeper in
July, showed oil present in only one
corner of the basement.
"Testing is no guarantee," said
Peterson. "We could have tested the
lot, tested it in six different places,
and still found no motor oil."
Furthermore, the excavation of
the basement in April revealed no

signs of "substantial contamina-
tion," wrote former City Attorney
R. Bruce Laidlaw in a May 22 memo
obtained by the Daily.
"Sure we were concerned,"
Hunter said. "We dug the basement.
No contamination was found."
But Renuka Uthappa, a member
of the Homeless Action Committee
(HAC), which in February
protested the house's removal be-
cause three homeless people were
occupying it, dismisses Hunter's
remark.
"To say that when they dug out
the basement (the dirt) didn't seem
to have any contamination and
didn't seem to be oily doesn't hold
much water when they had been
warned beforehand that there was a
possibility of more contamination,"
she said.

Developers did not encounter the
obviously oil-tainted dirt until
July, as they drilled deeper to in-
stall the foundation. The house was
already above the open basement.
The city then ordered a preliminary
test.
Hunter said he not advocate any
prior tests because the law did not
require them, and he only suspected
a nominal amount of oil present.
"What need would there be to,
test it if we were told it was not
against the law to put the house
there?" Hunter said. "We expected
a small amount of oil. You can find
a small amount of oil anywhere (in
Ann Arbor)."
But before moving the house, the
main deterrent against testing was
an estimated cost of $15,000 and a
tight schedule, Friedman said.

"I guess there just wasn't the
time to go through the tests because
of the schedule when the houses
were going to be moved," he said.
"We didn't have a lot of money
to work with," Sheldon
commented.
- Sheldon said the council decided
to move the house instead of give it
away or demolish it because HAC
was pressuring the council's
Democrats for more low-income
housing.
The Republicans, she said, who
then held a 6-5 majority on the
council and wanted the house moved
to make way for the Kline's parking
structure, needed an additional two
votes to enter into lease, buying, and
selling agreements.
"We needed eight votes and the
only way we could get eight votes
was to make concessions to the
See OIL, Page 2

Clarence Thomas prepares

for Senate

hearing on Supreme Court nomination

WASHINGTON (AP) -
Clarence Thomas will speak for
himself today after a summer of
vigorous political campaigning by
supporters and opponents of his
nomination to the Supreme Court.
"There's a fight on," President Bush
declared on the eve of Thomas' con-
firmation hearing.
"I am confident we're going to
win it," Bush said as Thomas and his
questioners made final preparations
for Senate Judiciary Committee
* consideration of the nomination.
After two months of avoiding
public stands while others attacked
and defended him, Thomas will be
asked to detail his views on con-

tentious subjects as he makes his
case for confirmation to take
Thurgood Marshall's place on the
high court.
Like Marshall, Thomas is black,
but he has staked out conservative
positions in sharp contrast to
Marshall's staunch liberalism. So
there will be tough questions from
liberal Democrats concerned about
how Thomas, 43, would vote on
such issues as abortion, privacy and
civil rights.
Bush said that when he nomi-
nated Thomas, "the administration
applied no litmus test on specific is-
sues that might come before the
Supreme Court. We did not question

Judge Thomas on possible decisions
or cases that could come before the
court.
"Similarly, I have confidence
that the Judiciary Committee will
want to preserve the independence
of the court as it explores the record
of Judge Thomas," the president
said in a written statement.
Supporters of Thomas have high-
lighted his rise from a poor black
family in segregated Georgia to im-
portant positions in Washington,
where he chaired the Equal
Employment Opportunity
Commission and became a federal
appellate judge.
The opposition coalition of civil

rights and labor organizations has
focused on Thomas' opposition to
affirmative action programs and on
writings concerning "natural law"
that suggest he would vote to over-
turn women's right to abortion.
Ralph Neas, director of the
Leadership Conference on Civil
Rights, said the White House has
tried to divert attention away from
Thomas' "awful public record" by
emphasizing his storybook rise
from poverty in Pin Point, Ga.
"What is really at stake is
Clarence Thomas' vision of the
Constitution," said Nan Aron, di-
rector of the liberal Alliance for
See THOMAS, Page 2

Police officers break up EMU
fraternity party, make 37 arrests.

by Gwen Shaffer
Daily Higher Education Reporter
What began as a typical frater-
nity party at Eastern Michigan
University (EMU) Friday night
ended with 37 arrests and the possi-
bility of future disciplinary action
against the two houses hosting the
party.
More than 1,000 people gathered
for the invitation-only party at the

to disperse the crowd "were unable
to break the party up," it was de-
cided that "several other law en-
forcement agents would be needed
to quell the possible riot situa-
tion," the report states. Officers
'There was no
violence. I believe the

Thirty-seven arrests were made
after the crowd began throwing
bottles, beer cans, and rocks at offi-
cers trying to break up the party.
Three police officers were struck -
including one hit in the chest by a
full can of beer - but none needed
medical treatment. The crowd was
completely dispersed by 4 a.m., ac-
cording to police reports.

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