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January 21, 1994 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-01-21

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 21, 1994 - 5

.L.A. views
damage in
of building inspectors fanned out over
a jittery city yesterday, and found
hundreds of homes and offices made
unsafe by this week's earthquake and
powerful aftershocks.
"We're finding the damage is not
just concentrated in areas near the
epicenter," said Nick Delli Quadri,
senior structural engineer at the Los
*Angeles Department of Building and
Delli Quadri said his department
is receiving up to 300 calls an hour
from homeowners and apartment
dwellers worried about returning
home. Building inspectors from San
Francisco and San Diego were brought
in to meet requests for inspections.
"Our concern right now are the
occupants of buildings who don't want
to go home until they are inspected,"
he said.
A series of rainstorms was pre-
dicted to hit this weekend.
U.S. Housing Secretary Henry
Cisneros said damage to residential
buildings appeared to be more severe
than first thought.
"I think this is a bigger housing
4 roblem then we envisioned," he said
in an ABC television interview yes-
Delli Quadri said 4,000 buildings
had been inspected by the end of
Wednesday and 250 buildings had
failed inspection.
He estimated it would take weeks
just to check the tens of thousands of
structures in the city of Los Angeles
alone. First priority goes to public
*buildings like hospitals and fire sta-
tions. Inspectors also must respond
quickly to citizen requests for checks
of their homes.
The demand for safety checks was
complicated by waves of aftershocks
that often require reinspections of
weakened buildings.
"It's a horrendous job, working
dawn to dusk," Delli Quadri said.
Beyond safety, the inspections are
Oseen as a key part of returning the city
to normal.
The green inspection tag, certify-
ing a building as safe, has become a
talisman for residents.
Buildings are "red-tagged" if
judged unsafe even for entry. A yel-
low tag permits limited entry, but no
habitation, until repairs are made.

Being 'out' is a
different story in
Flint, Dearborn

Five members of the committee
studying the impact of recently
amended Bylaw 14.06 - the
University's anti-discrimination
policy - held open "town meetings"
on the University's Flint and Dearborn
campuses yesterday.
Last fall, the University Board of
Regents amended the bylaw to pro-
hibit discrimination based on sexual
orientation. University President
James Duderstadt then set up a com-
mittee to study the issues involved
and to make recommendations on the
bylaw's implementation.
The committee held an open meet-
ing in Ann Arbor last semester to
solicit community views.
While the turnouts in Flint and
Dearborn were small, Dentistry Dean
Bernard Machen, committee chair,
said he was pleased.
"I'm glad that we went because
the situation at those campuses seems
totally different from here," he said.
Specifically, because Flint and
Dearborn are commuter campuses,
the issues of confidentiality and

openly acknowledging one's homo-
sexuality are particularly sensitive.
"Being 'out' is a lot different if
you go home every night to Mom and
Dad, instead of just seeing them at
Thanksgiving," Machen explained.
In Dearborn, only four people at-
tended the meeting, all of whom were
faculty members. About 20 commu-
nity members came to Flint.
The primary concern voiced at the
Flint meeting was how the University
will determine if a same-sex relation-
ship is "committed." Unlike hetero-
sexual couples, same-sex couples can-
not prove serious commitment
through a legal marriage license.
The committee is looking into
ways to extend the benefits married
couples receive - such as health in-
surance and family housing eligibil-
ity - to committed same-sex couples.
In contrast to the Ann Arbor meet-
ing, which featured strong opposing
views and hissing, Machen said, "the
tenor was totally positive (at
yesterday's meetings)."
Machen said he expects the com-
mittee to submit its recommendations
within the next month.

CHUCK BABINGER/Special to the Daily
LSA senior Chuck Babinger witnessed damage caused by the Los Angeles earthquake firsthand.
student shakesn L.A. quake

LSA senior Chuck Babinger has
his life mapped out for the next few
years - graduate in August, travel
and then apply to medical school.
But if you look at his daily plan-
ner, he did not have "experience the
Los Angeles earthquake" penciled in
for Jan. 17. The Ann Arbor resident
did not have a choice. When the earth
starts to move, you move with it.
Even more surprising is where
Babinger was when the quake hit. He,
along with four of his friends, were
driving on the Santa Monica Freeway
when the bridge under them collapsed.
Their car was third from the edge.
"Even now I don't feel my life was
threatened. It was more of an experi-
ence," Babinger said.
Babinger was visiting California
because he was working for General
Motors in an auto show.
Because it was his last night there,
Babinger and his co-workers decided
to tour the area before he took an early
flight home the next day.
Someone suggested Las Vegas,
but Babinger wanted to see the Pa-
cific Ocean before he left for home.
"A lot of people were asking me,
'What were you doing at four in the
morning?"' Babinger said. "I told

them we were sightseeing, visiting all
the things we couldn't see during the
day because we were working. We
didn't want to go to bed."
As they maneuvered their car onto
the freeway, the ground under the
vehicle began to move. Babinger said
the car seemed to tilt as the road took
"(My friend) Neal didn't know it
was an earthquake and neither did I at
the moment. I thought it was an air
raid. It looked exactly like the footage
from the Persian Gulf," Babinger said.
He and the others got out of their
car and stood on the freeway as it
buckled under them. "If you shook a
carpet and you get that wave, that's
what the road looked like."
Babinger said he saw the lights on
the freeway and across the landscape
begin to shut off in succession. Be-
cause of the tremors, many buildings
were losing power due to falling elec-
trical lines.
"Skyscrapers, the downtown area,
suburbs, then the more distant cities
all shut off. It was all in a sequence,"
Babinger said. "This is one, two min-
utes after the original quake. Every-
thing was bright blue, as bright as
daylight. It was from all the electric-
ity (in the air)."
He and his companions were lis-

tening to the radio when the earth-
quake started and soon noticed just
how serious the tremors were.
Babinger said the disc jockey was
stunned at first, but managed to sput-
ter, "Whoa, dude. What's going on?"
Returning to the car, the group
entered the freeway to try to get back
to their hotel. Heavy traffic forced
them to slow down. A police car was
sweeping the road with its lights to
check for possible breakage.
When the police suddenly stopped,
Babinger realized the bridge they were
crossing had collapsed. A semi and
another car had fallen off the edge.
No one was sure the drivers were safe
or if they were in need of aid.
"The police told us to get out of
there (because) there was nothing we
could do to help," Babinger said. "We
drove back into (Los Angeles). At
every intersection, it was chaos. The
sound of emergency alarms, car
alarms just rang through the city."
Babinger's hotel was evacuated
and his return flight cancelled. He
was finally able to book anotherflight
and return to Ann Arbor Tuesday
"Hindsight shows me I'm lucky I
didn't go to Vegas that night. You can
gamble anytime," he said. "How of-
ten do you get to feel an earthquake?"

State Rep. Schroer speaks to
local Dems. on school finance

State Rep. Mary Schroer was
drawn into last summer's debate over
school financing against her will, but
the Ann Arbor Democrat said she's
generally pleased with the results.
Schroer voted against the July leg-
islative bill that eliminated property
taxes as the primary source of funds
for Michigan public schools. The first-
term legislator said the measure -
which passed in a wave of bipartisan
support - would jeopardize the fu-
ture of the state's school system.
During a speech to the Ann Arbor
Democratic Party last night at the
city's Community Center, Schroer
gavethe school-finance package posi-
tive reviews. But many activists ex-
pressed reservations about the plan.
"In retrospect, I'd have to say this
has come out a lot better than I thought
it would," Schroer told a group of

about 20. "But I think if we had not
passed (the July bill cutting property
taxes), we could have worked out a
better plan."
Michigan voters will decide March
15 how to replace most of the lost
property taxes. A proposal to raise the
state sales tax from 4 to 6 percent and
instate higher cigarette and property-
transfer taxes will appear on the bal-
lot. If voters reject the measure, in-
come taxes will assume most of the
burden of funding the state's 535 pub-
lic school districts.
Schroer encouraged Democrats to
reject the March 15 proposal. In an
interview before the meeting, she said
University students would be harmed
more by the ballot proposal than the
alternative plan.
Schroer said renters won't realize
savings under the ballot proposal, and
instead will pay an extra 2 percent on

"lril71..,,.Z? Media follows quest for Kevorkian

* Second-year
Rackham student
Dennis Denno is
accosted by
reporters as he
discusses his wish
to have Dr. Jack
Kevorkian speak at
exercises at the
University this

Baby, you're a star.
As television cameras and radio micro-
phones crowded his face, second-year Rack-
ham student Dennis Denno realized his per-
sonal cause had become the focus of a
media blitz.
Reporters from all over Ann Arbor and
Detroit came to see the man who wants Jack
Kevorkian - also known as "Dr. Death" -
to speak at his graduation.
And they came in droves, pushing, shov-
ing and making frantic calls to producers.
Reporters barely spent more than five min-
utes talking with Denno and his supporters.
Denno began his stellar rise to fame
when he announced at a recent Michigan
Student Assembly meeting he wants to bring

Kevorkian, a University alum, to campus.
Yet Denno wants the University to do
more than ask Kevorkian to pay a visit. He
thinks Kevorkian should receive an honor-
ary degree and be invited to speak at Spring
Kevorkian, who has assisted in 20 sui-
cides since 1990, is currently under house
arrest until his trial next week.
Soon after he was contacted by local
newspapers, Denno found the demand for
his tale was greater than he imagined.
So he held a press conference yesterday
afternoon to inform students and the media
community about his plans for Kevorkian
and to discuss his next steps.
Students walking into the Union for lunch
were assaulted by camera crews, nosy re-
porters and a few hopeful members of "Stu-

dents for Dr. Kevorkian," who passed out
flyers promoting their group.
Denno criticized University administra-
tors for their attempts give students little
input in choosing commencement speak-
ers. Denno circulated a petition he wants to
fill with 100 signatures from students to
indicate their support of his Kevorkian quest.
"(The administration) told me to pretty
much forget the whole idea," Denno said.
"All students, all parents, all alumni need to
support us in this petition. We have a right
to bring who we want, don't we?"
Some may accuse Denno of trying to
create as much press as Kevorkian has with
his right-to-die campaign. Yet Denno's spirit
cannot be crushed.
"I haven't done anything yet," he said
with a smile.

Due to severe winter weather, a power outage occurred in the Scio Township neighborhood where Vice President for
University Relations Walter Harrison and Director of Public Affairs Lisa Baker live. This was incorrectly reported in
yesterday's Daily.
The University research studying students' smoking habits was conducted in early 1993. The results were published
in a report in September 1993. This was incorrectly reported in yesterday's Daily.
Mike Christie is a member of LSA student government. This was incorrectly reported in Wednesday's Daily.



Q Collage Concert, sponsored by
the School of Music, Hill Audi-
torium, 8:15 p.m.
Q Comedy Company Auditions,
Michigan Union, Room 1209,
6-10 a.m.
Q Demonstration for the Anni-

Q Comedy Company Auditions,
Michigan Union, Room 1209,
6-10 a.m.
Q Interviewing, sponsored by Ca-
reer Planning and Placement,
3200 Student Activities Build-
ing, 11:10-12 p.m.

3200 Student Activities Build-
ing, 10:10-11 a.m.
Q Ballroom Dance Lessons and
Dancing, CCRB, main dace
room, 7-9 a.m.


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