The Michigan Daily.- Tuesday. January 11, 1994 - 3
School officials wary to leave property taxes in hands of voters
LANSING (AP)-Some local officials are
angry that the state's new school finance plan
does not mean an end to millage elections. But
experts and lawmakers say they should not be
Under both proposals facing Michigan vot-
ers March 15, some statewide property taxes
could go before voters for approval. While that
clashes with lawmakers' goal to end property
*tax campaigns in the future, it was no secret the
final compromise held such a settlement, offi-
"There's a limit on how many taxes the state
can levy," Sen. Dan DeGrow (R-Port Huron)
said yesterday. "Superintendents (of schools)
who are surprised just don't understand the
Michigan voters will be asked to pick be-
tween two plans. On March 15, they'll be asked
to raise the state sales tax from 4 percent to 6
percent. If that fails, a backup plan will go into
effect. Among other things, it will raise the state
income tax from 4.6 percent to 6 percent.
Either would replace the $7 billion lost to
schools when lawmakers voted July 20-21 to
end the use of property taxes to run schools.
Both plans call for restoring part of the
property tax, among other tax moves:
U The backup plan calls for a 12-mill prop-
erty tax on homes and 24 mills on businesses
and second homes. DeGrow said the 12-mill
tax on all property would require local voter
approval to be levied. The statewide average is
37 mills; and,
0 The ballot proposal backed by Gov. John
Engler calls for a 6-mill property tax on homes
and a 24-mill tax on businesses and second
homes. DeGrow said the additional 18 mills on
businesses would require local voter approval.
A mill is $1 per $1,000 of assessed valuation
of a parcel of property. The state constitution
requires property to be assessed at half its cash
But some local school officials were upset
that voters will be asked to approve property
taxes for schools, especially since anger over
property taxes sparked the shakeup in the first
"People will be very frustrated and verv
angry," said Dennis Guiser, superintendent of
Algonac Community Schools.
Other superintendents say they and the pub-
lic have been misled.
"I'm shocked. I am totally surprised that
there was a portion of it requiring a millage
election," said Larry Moeller, superintendent
of the Port Huron Area School District.
Moeller said he was told reform would
mean the end of difficult and divisive millage
"Our senators and legislators were telling us
this. They told us that repeatedly," he said.
But legislators say they have not misled
I don't know why they didn't know,"said
Rep. Karen Willard (D-Fair Haven). She noted
e d Ucation groups monitored the legislation and
said: "Why that wasn't reported back to them,
I don't know."
The reason school districts aren't out of the
millage game is the 1978 Headlee Tax Limita-
tion Amend ment to the state constitution.
The state can levy some property taxes
without an election. But the Headlee amend-
ment caps the amount of total new taxes that can
The solution the Legislature came up with
was to levy a combination of local and state
millage. But, because of the Headlee amend-
ment, local millages need local voter approval.
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -
President Clinton claimed "two giant
steps" for global security yesterday
with abreakthrough agreement for dis-
mantling Ukraine's nuclear arsenal and
NATO approval of a plan for unprec-
edented cooperation with former foes
in Eastern Europe.
Clinton called the Ukrainian agree-
ment a "hopeful and historic" advance.!
And he also hailed the offer of greater
cooperation with former Soviet bloc
nations though some of them wanted
newcomers to our neighborhood," he
The upbeat mood at the 16-nation
NATO summit was clouded by linger-
ing division over how far the West
should go to stop the war in Bosnia.
The leaders moved toward renew-
ing their unfulfilled threat of air strikes
against the Serbs if they continue to
shell Sarajevo and block U.N. humani-
-tarian relief convoys.
French President Francois
4Mitterrand urged reinforcement of U.N.
troops in Bosnia.
Clinton cautioned that if NATO
renews its military threat, "We have to
m4ean it. ... If the situation does not
*improve, the alliance must be prepared
Separately, Clinton told reporters,
"I can't say there was any conclusion
reached except that I do believe we'll
stay with our present policy."
British Prime Minister John Major
said, "As Bosnia struggles through an-
other desperate winter of war, we face
very serious questions which cannot be
Major proposed stiffening the al-
lied promise for air strikes to threaten
attacks on Serb forces in Srebrenica,
who are encircling 300 Canadian troops.
He also recommended bombing Serbs
on the hills around the airport at Tuzla,
a key humanitarian aid delivery point.
The airport is closed because the Serbs
refused to guarantee they will not at-
* The British proposal is designed to
step up pressure on U.N. Secretary
General Boutros Boutros Ghali to give
the green light to the allies to begin an
There were questions about how
fast Kiev would scrap its 1,800 war-
heads and whether the Ukrainian par-
liament could block disarmament as it
has in the past.
* And NATO's new"Partnership for
Peace" for former Soviet bloc nations
left Poland and other EasternEuropean
countries still nervous about ethnic ri-
valries, political turmoil and aggres-
sive words from Russian nationalists.
On the arms deal with Kiev, Chris-
topher insisted that Ukraine's presi-
dent, Leonid Kravchuk, could enforce
it by executive order.
The agreement was concluded af-
*ter long and difficult negotiations
among Moscow, Kiev and Washing-
Clinton will make a detour to
Kiev tomoroow on his way to Mos-
cow for a brief airport meeting with
ICE ICE BABY!
Students can get
involved at Fest
" n .
By KAREN SABGIR
DAILY NEWS EDITOR
The University's Student Organi-
zation Development Center (SODC)is
kicking off the new term today with
free popcorn, cotton candy and nearly
100 student organizations from across
In the spirit of Festifall - held on
the Diag at the beginning of each Fall
semester - athletic clubs and perfor-
mance troupes, minority, religious and
ethnic organizations will be on hand in
the Union Ballroom from 11 a.m.-4
p.m. to answer questions and solicit
"We were looking for some sort of
event that gives students a chance to get
involved in the Winter term," said
Winterfest co-coordinator Jason
"There are always people calling
asking about groups and contact names.
(It's) our concern for providing more
opportunity for studentstoget involved,
especially this year because we had so
much success at Festifall," he added,
explaining why the group decided to
This is the first time the program
will occur indoors, Gamel said, which
is part of the challenge in promoting
the event and guaranteeing attendance
without being located in a heavily-
trafficked area like the Diag.
"But I think with the strong turnout
of organizations and people calling
about it that we will have a strong
turnout," Gamel said.
Similar to the Festifall format, stu-
dents can browse through different
tables where representatives from the
various organizations will pass out lit-
erature and answer questions. Students
can sign up and immediately get in-
RC senior Denise Leuthner worked
with Gamel as co-coordinator and said
the event is an attempt to combat the
gradual decline in participation in many
organizations this time of year.
"The reason we decided to have
Winterfest was because of the very
strong activity of different organiza-
tions of campus. (They are) very inter-
ested in getting membership up -
starting off the new year with a boost in
membership," Leuthner said.
While Winterfest organizers don't
have to worry about inclement weather
getting in the way today as it did in the
fall, there are other concerns.
"It's a first-time event and we're
really anxious to see how it turns out.
... We're hoping that it may be an event
that will happen annually," Gamel said.
Bill, the chef at Maude's Restaurant, carves a Pegasus out of an ice block for children at Mott's Hospital despite
the freezing January temperature and heaps of snow decorating the University campus. Besides serving as chef of
Maude's Restaurant, Bill also runs an apprenticeship program for future chefs and sculptors who are inspired by his
By SHARI SITRON
DAILY STAFF REPORTER
The creative juices of several Uni-
versity students flowed in the right
direction as their written work earned
them The Avery Hopwood and Jule
Hopwood Award in Creative Writing.
The winners of the Underclassmen
Contest were announced yesterday.
The contest, made possible when
Avery Hopwood willed one-fifth of his
estate to the University in order to
encourage creative work in writing,
began in 1930. Prizes have been
awarded annually in three categories:
essay, fiction and poetry.
LSA junior Eric Breedon, a winner
in the poetry category, said he enjoyed
the opportunity to express his feelings
concerning loss, AIDS, feminism and
Breedon, who has entered the con-
test before, said he was determined to
win because it was the last time he
could enter his poetry in the Under-
classmen Contest. "It's a prestigious
award," he said.
Krista Wicklund, an RC sophomore
whose fictional piece earned her a
Hopwood award, said she was looking
forward to receiving her prize. "I think
I'm going to buy a pair of cowboy
boots when I visit Texas over spring
break," she said.
RC first-year student, Holly
Spaulding, who won in the poetry cat-
The following are the winners of
the Hopwood underclassmen
Essay: Jennifer Baker, Ryan
Deardorff, Michael Hsu
Fiction: Judith Kafka, David
Rothbart, Matthew Thorburn,
Poetry: Eric Breedon, Bich
Nguyen, Holly Spaulding
The Academy of American
Poets Prize: Kelli Kaufmann
The Bain-Swiggett Poetry
Prize: Sunil lyengar
The Roy W. Cowden Memorial
Fellowship: Jason Baluyut,
Brenda Cardenas, Richard
Gallagher, Colin Gipson,
Jennifer Jackson, Josie Kearns,
Janet Larson, David Rothbart
egory, will put her money to a different
use. She said, "I'll probably buy more
In addition to the HopwoodAwards,
other writing contest winners were
The winners of the Roy W. Cowden
Memorial Fellowship, an award based
on writing talent and financial need,
were also announced yesterday.
Brenda Cardenas, a graduate stu-
dent in the M.F.A. program andwinner
of a Cowden Memorial Fellowship,
said this award has encouraged her to
pursue a career in creative writing.
"I'm going to use this fellowship to
help me have time to write," Cardenas
These University students' efforts
will be applauded at the Hopwood
Underclassmen Awards Feb. 1 at 3:30
p.m. in Rackham Auditorium. There
will also be a reading by John Ashbery,
a Pulitzer Prize winning poet.
Clinton's visit to Russia to support
Yeltsin despite parliament squabbles
MOSCOW (AP) - With Presi-
dent Clinton's visit only two days away,
Russia's first post-Soviet Parliament
was emerging in a bitter battleground
of supporters and foes of Boris Yeltsin.
On the eve of today's opening ses-
sion of the parliament, the Russian
president's supporters threatened to
prosecute ultranationalists and blamed
Communists for the deaths of millions
The statements had all the mark-
ings of a pre-emptive strike. Yeltsin's
allies are outnumbered by his foes in
the new legislature, and the president's
opponents are expected to waste no
time in attacking his pro-Western re-
Clinton arrives tomorrow in a dis-
play of support for Yeltsin and his
reform program. The U.S. president
also is expected to meet with other
He has no plans to visit Parliament
or meet with Yeltsin's most vociferous
critics, including Vladimir
Zhirinovzky, who has called Clinton
"a coward" who should stay out of
Yeltsin gained some political
ground at home yesterday with
Clinton's announcement in Brussels of
a pact that will rid the Ukraine of its
1,800 nuclear warheads.
Yeltsin's opponents have accused
him of being too soft on fomer Soviet
republics that they see as threats to
Russian security and national interests.
Intended to mark a new chapter in
Russia's young democracy, the new
parliament already is deeply divided,
with extreme nationalists and Commu-
nists determined to undo Yeltsin's re-
Russia's Choice, the main bloc sup-
porting Yeltsin, said it would try to
make parliament members face crimi-
nal responsibility for statements that
incite hatred or violence.
The threat was aimed at
Zhirinovsky, whose Liberal Demo-
cratic Party won 23 percent of the vote
in last month's election by promising
to expand Russia's borders and expel
dark-skinned traders from southern
former Soviet republics.
Yegor Gaidar, economics minister
and Russia's Choice chair, said some
of Zhirinovsky's statements could be
punishable by up to eight years in jail
for sowing the seeds of war.
Zhirinovsky fired back, telling his
party's 64 parliament members that his
party would not accept a strong presi-
dent and a weak legislature.
Yeltsin's new constitution, which
was adopted by referendum Dec. 12,
reduced parliament's powers and
strengthened the president's.
But the president does not have the
right to dissolve parliament for at least
Russia's Choice will have the larg-
est faction in the 450-member lower
house with 94 seats, but Zhirinovsky's
faction will be second and the Commu-
nists a close third with 50 seats.
With no faction controlling a ma-
jority, it is unclear whether the new
parliament will be as obstructionist as
the previous one and prompt a new
But Yeltsin's top aides seemed ner-
vous ahead of the parliament session.
While Gaidar took on Zhirinovsky,
presidential press secretary Vyacheslav
Kostikov warned that Communists and
extreme nationalists were preparing to
attack the Cabinet and new constitu-
Draw Back Your Bow
And Let Your Arrow Co
U American Movement forlsrael,
at Hillel, 7 p.m.
U Amnesty International, Michi-
Q Brazilian Landscapes, speaker:
Philip Maechling, sponsored by
the School of Natural Resources,
University Hospital, Ford Am-
phitheater, 4 p.m.
U Winter Fest, join a student orga-
nization, Michigan Union, 11