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March 15, 1994 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-03-15

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 15, 1994

ie Lirbtgan htl

420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed
by students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Acting Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial board.
All other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
-91,0It: ma

No instant replay

City, 'U' try to avoid repeat
Ann Arbor City Administrator Alfred A.
Gatta is counting on a lackluster perfor-
mance by the Michigan basketball team in the
NCAA tournament. In fact, he is betting
$35,000 that the team won't make it to the
Final Four. Anticipating that the basketball
squad would not again
advance as far as its see-
Gatta cut that sum from
First, a little history.
The team's devastating
loss to Duke in 1992 in
the championship game
brought mobs of angry, drunken fans onto the
streets of Ann Arbor, vandalizing and looting
campus-area businesses and saddling the po-
lice department with thousands of dollars in
overtime pay.
The scene was strikingly similar to that of
the 1989 victory "celebration," when students
poured into city streets and a melee ensued.
Tear gas was fired into the crowd, and people
were injured. The notorious 1989 riots spurred
efforts to clamp down on post-game revelry,
but these moves did not end the problem. The
efforts of the past focused on police response
to outbreaks of violence rather than pre-
empting the trouble in the first place. By
building an adversarial relationship between
students and law-enforcement officials -
best portrayed in the tear gas incidents -city
and University leaders saw their efforts mis-
fire. Theriots of the past have not only cost the
city and the businesses ransacked in the ram-
page, they also cost the University its image
as atop-caliberschool and opened old wounds
in the often rocky town-gown relationship.
Even as the basketball team's champion-
ship hopes flounder, University, city and
student leaders are meeting to avert a replay
Detroit experiences a rise in
According to a report recently released
by the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force,
in the past year six of this country's major
cities have witnessed an overall 14-percent
decrease in crimes targeted specifically
against homosexual men and women. This
statistic is representative of many areas in
Michigan, which also have experienced a
drop in the number of anti-gay crimes.
However, declines in anti-gay violence
are not being seen everywhere. Detroit, the
state's largest city, has experienced an in-
crease in the number of crimes perpetrated
against homosexuals. The Triangle Founda-
tion, a gay-rights advocacy group based in
Ferndale, issued its own report that concurred
with that of the National Gay & Lesbian Task
Force, citing a startling 24-percent increase in
anti-gay crimes in metro Detroit.
This distressing news is evidence of the
fact that not enough is being done either to
educate the residents of metro Detroit or to
safeguard a group that has long suffered from
the violence and ignorance of others. The
Triangle Foundation's report is a disturbing
wake-up call that reveals metro Detroit's pain-
ful shortcomings in the area of gay rights.
Furthermore, homophobia and anti-gay
violence are not restricted to the metro Detroit
area. The attitude and lack of action which

nurture the increase in hate crimes is found
throughout the state, and across the nation -
attitudes reinforced by biased cultural stereo-
types and just plain ignorance of homosexu-
ality. Even in Ann Arbor, the supposed bas-
tion of liberalism, same-sex couples are not
recognized as families by certain housing
authorities, and they do not receive the same
spousal benefits from the University that het-
erosexual couples receive. Furthermore, the
ri !f --+~ilf i S Y14- fK3 -- 9 f4 "- ivvri A v

of tournament riots
of last year's chain of events. No matter how
the Wolverines fare in the NCAA tournament,
the three sides are making commendable
efforts to defuse the possibility of violence
marring another round of "March Madness."
This morning, Michigan Student Assem-
bly President Craig
Greenberg is hosting a
meeting betweenstudent
kr /* representatives, Ann Ar-
bor Mayor Ingrid B.
Sheldon, South Univer-
sitymerchants, Athletic
S.. Department officials and
officers from the
University's Department of Public Safety and
the Ann Arbor Police Department. According
to Greenberg, the meeting will be held for
"information gathering." Despite the limited
goals, the meeting is a much-needed attempt at.
fence-mending between groups whose rela-
tionship was strained by the riots.
Greenberg deserves credit for sponsoring
this meeting. Students have long been without
a voice in the dialogue between police, city and
University officials on preventing tournament-
related violence. But with Greenberg and other
MSA leaders taking an active role in this
morning's meeting, the student viewpoint will
be difficult to ignore.
Students owe it to their University and city
to ensure that the events of last April do not
unfold again on the streets of Ann Arbor. The
police department must also show a modicum
of prudence and restraint in dealing with
contentious situations. Greenberg and the
other officials meeting this morning will help
avert the possibility of a nightmare
reminiscent of 1989 and 1992 - but
ultimately the responsibility lies with each
student for ensuring a peaceful and safe end
to the Michigan basketball season.

'An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind.'
-Mahatma Gandhi
, SK ET8AL. PoST AM, 04 oRa UirN
&Mc HA E L
( Q1(. MJKE 'TUST f\ 19 )4
Vote 'yes' on Proposal A
By MIKE CHRISTIE JR. Last year's assessment rates the tax structure provided in
On Tuesday, March 15, averaged 8 to 10 percent, Proposal A will put Michigan
the voters of the state of which were well above the 5- in a highly competitive
Michigan will have a chance percent cap or the rate of position with a sales tax at the
to choose the method by inflation. High assessment national average and a below-
which Michigan public increases lead to higher rents, average income tax increase
schools are funded. The two which directly affect students on business, while the
plans are an attempt by the here at the University. alternative will give us one of
Legislature to recover $6.1 The majority of the the highest income tax rates in
billion lost in education funding provided by Proposal the nation. The last advantage
funding due to the statewide A is based on consumption of Proposal A and probably
property tax cut passed last rather than income, savings one of the most important is a
summer. The ballot plan, or investment, and is the best consti-tutionally guaranteed
which provides a $500 million route for future growth in the base of $5,000 per-pupil
tax cut, as opposed to the state economy. At a funding from the state. The
$200 million of the statutory fundraiser for Proposal A, new base funding will give
plan, is the best choice for state Rep. Kirk Profit (D- many poor districts a large
Michigan. Ypsilanti) voiced his support increase in the funds available
The strength in Proposal A for the proposal by to educate their students.
comes from a cap on recognizing that the income This Tuesday we will have
assessment increases for tax will be more harmful to a chance to choose a tax
property taxes, a focus on the lower classes. Also, the structure that will make
consumption-based taxes, a sales tax can be avoided by Michigan once again
cut in the income tax and a modifying patterns of competitive with other states
base level of funding for consumption. Finally, the in seeking businesses to locate
schools.The cap on plan provides an income tax or expand into the state. The
assessments provided by the cut of 0.2 percent and sets a tax structure provided by a
ballot plan will directly constitutional base of per- "yes" vote on Proposal A will
benefit students in both the pupil funding by the state. ensure that Michigan will be
long and short term. In the The cut in the income tax able to continue its present
short term, the assessment cap will give Michigan tax- economic growth. A "no"
will prevent further growth in payers more disposable vote will hurt Michigan's
property taxes and will help income, which they can in ability to compete by deterring
keep rents from increasing. turn use to invest in a new businesses from locating in
home or elsewhere. The Michigan and discouraging
Christie is an LSA junior. combination of changes in investment by increasing the
income tax.

Sleep isa
"Good morning," my roommate
says to me every afternoon when I
stumble out of bed.
My roommate is a morning
person, and the phrase, spoken at
two in the afternoon, has just a
touch of irony to it. I am not a morning
person, yet saying "Good night" at !
11 or 12 -when I'll be up another
four hours -doesn't have the same
ring to it at all.
This is an injustice of epic
proportions. Forget patriarchy-the
most unjust of all dictatorships is
this moral self-righteousness of the
early risers of the world.
Sleep schedules are one of the
major things that divide college life
from the rest of normal existence. I
haven't had to get up early since
high school, and consequently I
haven't. In my dorm in college we
had dorm meetings at 10 p.m., and
few people went to bed before one.
Parties start at nine or 10 on
weekends, and it's universally agreed
that 8a.m. classes should be avoided
like the plague. This is one of the
reasons the Real World scares me
so much - any normal job would
require me to get out of bed before
eight, a fate worse than death.
The Real World just hasn't
gotten the clue yet that getting up
early is no fun. In college some of
my friends' parents never got the
idea of 10 o'clock classes and kept
wondering why their kids sounded
so tired when they called at 7:30. It
also makes things very confusing
when you go home, because just
when you're used to things waking
up around the dorm, your parents
go to bed and dare you to make any
noise. During break my brother
and I would stay up and talk until
my mother would come walking in
her robe which she bought in 1975,
squinting in the, light and asking
something inane like, "What are
you guys doing?" My brother and I
would look at each other silently,
wondering why the answer wasn't
obvious. "Is this a trick question?,"
he'd ask.
"Early to bed and early to rise,"
Ben Franklin told us hard-working,
red-blooded Americans, informing
us of the only proper way to live our
lives. Somewhere along the line
people who drag themselves out of
bed at ungodly hours were accorded
an almost religious admiration
usually reserved for the Pope, the
Virgin Mary and Nancy Kerrigan.
The same self-serving morning
person who made this rule also
decided that sleeping late is "lazy,"
no matter how late you stayed up the
night before. It's getting up early
and going to bed at nine that's
admirable. "If you get up at 10
you'll be three hours behind
everyone else," claimed the uncle of
a friend of mine. "No," my friend
replied. "I stay up until two, so I'll
be 21 hours ahead."
This is the argument I've had
over and over again with my parents
- if I sleep the same amount of
time, what does itmatter when I get

up: in the morning? My parents
seem to agree with the philosophy
Garrison Keillor spoofs in "Lake
Wobegon Days": "If God had not
meant everyone to be in bed by
10:30, He never would have created
the 10 o'clock newscast." It's the
unwritten rule of the Central Time
Zone-right after the sports report,
it's off to snoozeland.
It's tyranny, I'm telling you. As
I get older I am beginning to see
some of the advantages of getting up
before noon (seeing more than two
hours of sunlight is, admittedly, a
good thing), but Istilltconsider myself
a. crusader- for the morning-
disadvantaged. Those of us who
prefer a later schedule face a lot of
prejudice. Not only are we called
lazy, but annoying people keep
scheduling essential classes -at 8
and 9 a.m. The only institution in
the Western world which runs on
my schedule is Meijer's, where I'm
free to buy plastic cups and frozen
pizzas at all hours of the night. Who
let the morning people design the
schedule of the world, anyway?
Years ago I interviewed a doctor
who was a sleen expert who



anti-gay violence
found its way to Michigan, where a petition
is now circulating to put a law on the ballot
that would ensure homosexuals are deprived
of basic civil rights protections in the areas
of housing, employment and education.
These ballot measures, like the voter ini-
tiative passed in Colorado in 1992 and later
ruled unconstitutional by the Colorado Su-
preme Court, seek to overturn local anti-
discrimination laws already on the books. It is
imperative that Michigan voters reject any
form of a state constitutional amendment or
legislative initiative clothed in the faulty rheto-
ric of defending against homosexuals being
granted "special" or "extra" rights.
Homophobic attitudes go further than po-
litical action - they pervade society. But
there are those, as evidenced by the Triangle
Foundation's report, who feel there is no
other way to express their disapproval than
through violent and vicious means that en-
danger other people's lives andviolate funda-
mental human rights.
It is time to let these people know that their
continued intolerance is no longer accept-
able. Jeffrey Montgomery, president of the
Triangle Foundation, mentions in the report
many possibilities for change, among them a
call to extend the Michigan's Civil Rights Act
to include gay men and lesbians. This would
provide homosexuals with the same protec-
tions accorded to other minorities in society.
This measure is long overdue.
It is sad to see that yet again we have failed
to reach the point where we are able to live in
peaceful diversity. That Michigan is not pro-
gressing along with the rest of the nation
marks a backwardness which is embarrass-
ing and deplorable, not just for Detroit but the
rest of this state as well. We must act to
- . .. . ,. . ..

On Tuesday, March 15,
voters in Michigan go to the
polls to decide between an
increase in the state sales tax
and an increase in the state
income tax to finance public
education (K through 12). The
University of Michigan
College Democrats encourage
students to choose the
increased income tax by
voting "no" on Proposal A.
Anyone who is a
registered voter in Michigan
is eligible to vote. We all have
a vested interest in the
outcome, whether we are full
or part-time residents of
Michigan. While we are all
past our K-12 classroom days,
and may not be affected by
the distribution of tax dollars,
we certainly all are affected
by how the money is raised.
Proposal A calls for the
following things: a 50 percent
increase in the state sales tax
from the current rate of 4
percent to 6 percent; an
increase in the state cigarette
tax by 50 cents a pack, and
tripling the tax on out-of-state
phone calls. If Proposal A is
defeated, state lawmakers
have prepared the so-called
u...nttnrv "nr- .har.

Ak bad for students

income tax rate from 4.6
percent to 6 percent.
This plan also calls for
increases in the cigarette and
out-of-state phone call taxes,
but by not nearly as much.
Cigarette taxes would be
raised by only 15 cents a
pack, and phone taxes would
only be doubled.
The College Democrats
believe that students' interests
will be better served by the
statutory plan. Anybody who
spends more money than they
earn (all of us that get help
from our parents, or from
finan-cial aid) will pay more
taxes under Proposal A than
under the proposed increased
income tax. And students who
leave Michigan in the summer
and/or expect to do so after
graduation have nothing to
lose and everything to gain
from an increase in the state
income tax rather than the
state sales tax.
Let me phrase this in
unequivocal terms: Students,
particularly out-of-state
students that are registered to
vote in Michigan, should
protect their own pocketbooks
by voting no on "A."
The reason Michigan's
voters must decide between

landlords are probably not
going to pass their savings on
to students in the form of rent
re-ductions. So students have
already been given the short
end of the stick.
While self-interest is a
powerful argument alone to
vote against Proposal A, here
is a quick summation of some
other reasons. First, sales.
taxes are regressive, meaning
people who are already poor
are facing a potentially higher
tax burden than the population
as a whole.
Second, state sales taxes
are not deductible on federal
tax forms. Economists
estimate that as much as $500
million could flow out of
Michigan as a result of the
rearranged tax burden under
Proposal A. Contrary to what
Gov. John Engler says,
Proposal A is not good for the
economy of Michigan.
Third, sales tax revenues
tend to be the most unstable
during recession. So public
schools will take a beating the
next time the economy slows
down, if their funding depends
on the sales tax as Proposal A
Students make up a sizable,
chunk of Tuesday's eligible


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