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4 City Council Elections
Tuesday Nov. 2 is election day in Ann Arbor.
Each ward chooses one council member.
By JAMES NASH
DAILY STAFF REPORTER
The dimensions of Ann Arbor's first-ever November municipal elecion
can be neatly summed up as five wards, five parties and 14 candidates. Beyond
simple statistics, many city issues are at stake, including the future of Ann
Arbor's debt-ridden budget and the city's relations with the Univrsity.
'U' sunracers arrive down under
By PETER MATTHEWS
DAILY STAFF REPORTER
The University's College of Engi-
neering is short almost two dozen
students this fall. The 21 renegade
undergraduates jumped a 747 and took
a 9,526 mile trip to Darwin, a coastal
city in Australia's remote Northern
In the land down under, the daily
temperatures are soaring. It is sum-
mertime in this tropical region only
12 degrees latitude south of the equa-
Are the beaches covered with au-
tumn-pale bodies dripping sweat and
coconut tanning oil into maize and
blue towels? Not.
The expatriated students are mem-
bers of the University's solar-pow-
ered car team. They have gone to
Australia to compete in the World
Solar Challenge. The team's Maize &
Blue is one of 64 solar cars that will
take part in the 1,864-mile race
through the Australian outback.
Teams from 17 countries will si-
lently zoom across the start line on
Japan - the country with most
teams entered --has 23 cars that were
financed and developed by private
corporations like Honda, Toyota and
Nissan. All 11 United States entries
are from universities.
Last summer the University's team
beat 33 other collegiate teams in
Sunrayce 93 - a 1,100 mile solar-
powered car race that began June 20
in Texas and ended seven days later in
Minnesota. The University's team
took $66,000 in cash and prizes and
put it toward preparation for the World
Comparing the Australian race to
the one last summer, the University
solar car team's project manager,
Engineering senior Furqan Nazeeri
said, "The World Solar Challenge is a
much more difficult and demanding
race. We'll be up against multi-mil-
lion dollar solar powered cars and
professional racing teams financed
by major corporations."
To improve the University's
chance of repeating the summer vic-
tory, team members have improved
their Maize & Blue car in several
ways. After a stringent diet plan, the
car has lost 150 pounds from its June
weigh-in at 650 pounds.
High-efficiency silver-zinc batter-
ies costing approximately $30,000
have replaced the more standard bat-
teries used last summer. To feed these
batteries, more than 1,500 photovol-
taic cells have been added to the 7,600
that formed the winning car's solar
array. Moreover, about one-half of
these 9,267 cells are now high-effi-
ciency silicon. This type of razor
blade-sized solar cell comes with a
$110 price tag.
Under full sunlight, the solar ar-
ray, which looks like a cobalt blue
See SOLAR, Page 2
® 1st Ward:
David Raaflaub (Libertarian):
A perennial candidate for elective
office on an anti-government plat-
form, the Ann Arbor attorney has
ogy in his bid.
Raaflaub is tout- .
ing a proposal to
bypass City Coun-
cil in the decision-
to vote by phone.
an exercise in pure
democracy," he says, "as each voter
would have one vote every week."
Raaflaub claims touch-tone vot-
ing would eliminate politician's
stranglehold on power.
"There's no reason this couldn't
Martin Rhodes (Tisch): Nearly
15 years after spending time in jail for
breaking the law,
Rhodes now wants
to help write it. A
out, Rhodes be-
came entangled in
a life of crime and
drugs,he spent 15
years behind bars.
The cycle was
broken in 1979
when Rhodes enrolled in a GED pro-
gram at Jackson Community College.
He went on to earn a bachelor's de-
Patricia Vereen-Dixon (Demo-
crat): A political novice, the 19-year
Ann Arbor resident stresses empow-
erment as the cor-
nerstone of her
manager of Ar-
she's a voice for
Ann Arbor's low-
and moderate-in- .
The idea of a cooperative can be
extended beyond housing, says the
University alum. She suggests Ann
Arbor enter into a cooperative with
other municipalities to cut back on
Peter Fink (Republican): A
councilmember for 18 months, Fink
says city government's focus should
shift to long-range
"We need a
to the ongoing
says the owner of
Galt Co., an auto-
motive sales firm
based in Ann Ar- S
Fink, who sits on the Ann Arbor
Parks Advisory Committee, says the
committee's five-year plan to reduce
deferred maintenance could be a
nodel for city departments.
Jane Michener (Democrat):
'Let's Keep Ann Arbor Better Than
be applied on a national level," says
the candidate. "The technology is
there. There is really no excuse."
Raaflaub, a graduate of the Uni-
versity and Wayne State's Law school,
adheres to an anti-tax philosophy. He
says the best way to balance the bud-
get is to slash expenditures: "If you
have a $10 million shortfall, take $10
million from the bloated city budget."
Raaflaub says strains in Univer-
sity-city relations are inevitable in the
present political climate.
"The University is the state of
Michigan at work in Ann Arbor. Ann
Arbor is a small city government try-
ing to relate to the state of Michigan.
It's a very unequal situation, and as
long as the University continues to
pursue its self-interests as it sees fit,
there is very little that can be done."
gree in general studies from the Uni-
versity in 1990.
Now he's jumping into politics, a
move he says is motivated by a desire
to shatter stereotypes of ex-convicts.
"As much as I'm running to win,
I'm running for all those who came
before me who were afraid to run
because they had criminal records,
and for all those who come after me so
they know that they can," he declares.
Rhodes resists the idea of a prop-
erty tax increase, holding it out only
as a last resort. He favors a users tax
for people who work in Ann Arbor
but live elsewhere.
city employee health insurance rates.
Admitting she doesn't "know
much about taxation," Vereen-Dixon
says it's up to voters to decide what
city services fall victim to budget
cuts."I don't think we necessarily have
to cut anything."
Vereen-Dixon says prospects of
improved University-city relations are
encouraging. She's a member of the
Board of Minority Scholars for the
University and Washtenaw Commu-
nity College, experience valuable for
fostering ties between institutions.
"I do think it's important that we
develop a better relationship," she
says. "One thing I don't want to do is
form another committee. We need to
make better use of the ones we have."
Fink says expenditure reductions
must be made before any tax hike can
be considered. Fink, who got involved
in city politics though a committee of
homeowners reviewing property tax
options, ran his first election on a
fiscally conservative platform.
He says his Council term has been
marked by increasing cooperation
Fink says the Council needs to
take small steps toward mending rela-
tions with the University, a process he
says has already begun.
"We have to work it a day at a
time," the University alum says, "mak-
ing little inroads and achieving small
victories. The key is building small
bridges and not tearing them down."
must be preserved.
A University alum, Michener is a
. . . . i ° , -
Firefighters prepare to attack the frontline of a brush fire that scorched more than 700 acres yesterday in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Flames devour acres,
force hundreds to flee
Driven by desert winds, fires scorched
California yesterday burning nearly 100,000
acres. Hundreds of homes were destroyed and
six firefighters were injured.
Wildfires driven by searing desert
winds torched thousands of tinder-
dry acres in Southern California yes-
terday, destroying scores of homes
and forcing hundreds to flee in terror
from wealthy suburbs and rural ham-
lets. Six firefighters were injured,
Among the evacuees were elderly
people carried on gurneys from two
convalescent homes and patients at a
One 3,000-acre fire threatened the
Wild Animal Park in northern San
Diego County, where zookeepers
evacuated 26 endangered California
condors and four Andean condors.
By midafternoon yesterday, 11
In that fire, an estimated 45 homes
were destroyed or damaged in the
northeast suburb of Altadena.
Overwhelmed firefighters ran out
of water and called for reinforcements,
and helicopters made daring water
drops in futile efforts to douse burn-
Smoke and ash eclipsed the sun
over downtown Los Angeles, free-
ways and schools were closed, and
wind-borne embers picked out homes
at random, quickly engulfing roofs in
"They said, 'It's coming up the
canyon! It's coming up the canyon!'
so we just got out of there as fast as we
can. I have nothing but what I'mwear-
ing," said Sandra Bohlen, whose
LOS ANGELES COUNTY: L .
Altadena Los Angeles
1,000 acres. Out of control.
a Started before dawn yesterday. c
Villa Park Ri
300 acres. Out of control.
31 homes damaged, two severely.
Reported late Tuesday.
Green Meadow area
15,000 acres. Out of control..
-t Ahouse, mobile home and an
SAN DIEGO COUNTY:
N 2,500-plus acres. 10 percent
E Two homes, several outbuildings
damaged or destroyed.
CWild Animal Park moved 26
California condors and four Andean