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One hundred eight years of editorilfreedom
October 14, 1998
.'.. v., c..i' Dally:
By Jason Stoffer
Daily Staff Reporter
Taxes are the one thing everyone
loves to hate, and both gubernatorial
candidates have proposals on the table
to put tax dollars back into citizens'
epublican Gov. John Engler said
of the foremost priorities for his
third term is to lower the state income
tax from 4.4 to 3.9 percent. He said his
strong record of lowering Michigan's
tax burden has put the state in a posi-
tion of economic strength.
"In the '70s and '80s there were a lot
of times when we simply weren't very
attractive to companies who were look-
ing for a place to locate," Engler said.
"I think we reversed that. Last year, we
w e No. I in the country in new busi-
r and plant expansion."
Engler's tax proposal would save the
average taxpayer $147 during the next
Fieger's broad Part
tax cut propos- an
als include _ __-_____
r cing or wiles
M i c h i g an 's @I [Itn@ihtir
tax. The single
business tax is Michigan's primary cor-
porate tax. Fieger also said he wants to
cut Michigan's sales and gasoline taxes.
"I believe that more taxes mean less
freedom," Fieger said. "I believe that
unless it can be shown to affect the
health, safety and welfare of people in
tljtate of Michigan the tax is wrong.
"My philosophy is where I can I will
attempt to reduce taxes, but I will
attempt to adequately maintain funding
in appropriate areas"
These tax cut proposals are sweeping,
but Fieger, an attorney, did not detail how
the state can still function with such dras-
tic cuts in tax revenue. He said he will
use his experience running a business to
nje government more efficient.
think there's incredible waste, cor-
ruption and mismanagement in state
government," Fieger said. "We can save
hundreds of millions, if not billions of
See TAXES, Page 7
Jupiter had its turn in the spotlight
four years ago when Comet Shoemaker-
Levy 9 slammed into the planet.
Comets Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp
dazzled audiences world-wide in the
year of the comet, 1996.
Could 1998 be the year of the meteor?
With three potentially magnificent
meteor showers before the end of the
year, astronomical observers will have
p ,to view in the near future.
Meteors produce a bright streak in the
sky as tiny particles of debris disinte-
grate in the Earth's atmosphere. While
most meteors can be seen for only a split
second, a few produce a flash lasting
"If it's clear, we should be in for a
pretty good show" said Mark Deprest,
president of the University's Lowbrow
*ght major meteor showers occur
annually, and they are caused when the
Earth passes through debris left by a
comet that has passed near Earth's orbit.
Each time the parent comet of a mete-
or shower passes near the Earth, meteor
activity tends to increase as a new batch
Cincinnati gays fail
to gain protection
ABOVE: Christopher Robin sins a
petition to free political prisoners.
BELOW: Business graduate student
Chris Lynch sits in a cage on the
Diag for Amnesty international.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The
Supreme Court allowed Cincinnati to
deny homosexuals specific protection
from discrimination yesterday, an order
likely to create confusion over govern-
ment policies on gay rights.
The action came just two years after
the justices struck down as unconstitu-
tional a similar measure in Colorado.
Unlike the 1996 ruling, yester-
day's action set no national prece-
dent but caused outrage just the
"The Supreme Court has given up.
That's horrible," said Alphonse
Gerhardstein, who represented oppo-
nents to the Cincinnati city charter
Phil Burress, who led the move to
put the city charter amendment on
the 1993 ballot, claimed victory:
"What it tells me is that the only
thing Colorado did wrong was go
statewide rather than city by city."
Matt Coles of the American Civil
Liberties Union disagreed, saying,
"This action doesn't undermine (the
1996 ruling) a whit."
And Suzanne Goldberg of the gay-
rights Lamba Legal Defense and
Education Fund said, "This is clearly
not the end of the battle for equal
rights in Cincinnati."
Gay-rights advocates won a dramatic
victory two years ago when the Supreme
Court threw out a Colorado state consti-
sure bans poli-
cies or ordi-
uals claims for
tion from dis-
"The Supreme Court
has given up. Tha t's
- Alphonse Gerhardstein
Represented opponents of the amendment
t u t i o n a I
state and local
uals from dis-
T h e
Group promotes human rights
By Jewel Gopwani
Daily Staff Reporter
Caged up and blindfolded in the
Diag, members of the University's
Amnesty International chapter used a
dramatic technique to attract students'
attention to the issue of human rights.
The display drew more than 400
students who signed petitions advo-
cating the release of people Amnesty
International believes are politically
The cage demonstration was just
one aspect of Amnesty Day.
Coordinator Kari Nicewander started
the event with the consented kidnap-
ping of geological sciences Prof.
James Walker during his
Environmental Studies 124 lecture.
"I felt we got a really good reac-
tion," said Nicewander, a RC senior.
"The professor was very enthusiastic
about it." Nicewander performed the
kidnapping and Amnesty
International member Mary
Hollingsworth spoke to the class
about the group's purpose and its
"I was a little surprised by the
method they took, but the informa-
tion was really worthwhile," said
LSA sophomore Jason Henderson,
who was present for the kidnapping.
Amnesty International also kid-
napped Prof. Steven Rush during his
Music Composition 222 class.
"The students were very engaged
by the problem, which gave me
hope," Rush said.
Through the kidnappings,
Amnesty International members
hoped to give students a different
"The purpose is to show people
what it's like to have someone you
know taken in front of you for no rea-
son," said Russ Jacobs, co-coordina-
tor of the University's Amnesty
The cage demonstration, which
lasted from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. featured
an Amnesty International member
blindfolded in a wooden cage. LSA
sophomore and Amnesty
International treasurer Azadeh
Shahani said sitting in the cage has
See AMNESTY, Page 7
employment or otherwise - based on
their sexual orientation. It also bars "any
claim of minority or protected status,
quota preference or other preferential
In rejecting a challenge to that
amendment, Gerhardstein said, the
highest court has let Cincinnati
"remain as the only community in
America where discrimination
against gay people is institutional-
ized in the city charter."
What real-world impact, if any, the
amended city charter will have is hotly
contested. Most cities and states offer
no protection against bias based on
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
upheld Cincinnati's amended charter
provision, ruling that it "merely
removed municipally enacted special
protection from gays and lesbians."
Yesterday's order left that ruling
intact. Three justices played down
the order's significance.
Writing for the three, Justice John
Paul Stevens said, "The confusion
over the proper construction of the
city charter counsels against granti-
He was joined by Justices David
Souter and Ruth Ginsburg.
The court's six other members
wrote nothing, offering no insights
into their votes.
singled out gays and sought to "make
them unequal to everyone else," the
court ruled then.
In Cincinnati, gay-rights advo-
cates succeeded in 1994 in barring
enforcement of the city charter mea-
sure, but the appeals court lifted a
trial judge's injunction.
The Supreme Court had been
urged to reverse the appeals court
ruling because, they were told, it
"will encourage targeting of gay
people and other groups for uncon-
In other matters yesterday, the court:
Rejected the appeal of a man
who has been on Florida's death row
for 23 years.
Justice Stephen Breyer dissented,
saying long delays in executing con-
demned killers might amount to
unconstitutionally cruel and unusual
Agreed to use a California case to
decide whether federal law overrides a
state's rules limiting the deadlines con-
fronting people who make disability-
Heard arguments over who -
the Federal Communications
Commission or individual states -
will get to regulate the opening of
the $110 billion local phone market
to long-distance companies and
By Katie Plona
Daily Staff Reporter
This month's meeting of the
University Board of Regents is unique
from many others.
It marks the last official 'meeting
among the board's current members
before Michigan voters go to the polls
Nov. 3 to decide who will sit on the
University's executive board for the
next eight years.
But Regent Shirley McFee (R-Battle
Creek) said the topics that come up at
an average board meeting are not
"election sensitive," so this month's
meeting is unlikely to have much bear-
ing on how Michigan voters will cast
their ballots for University regent.
"I don't think that the meetings ner
Oprah 'Beloved' as
star in new film
By Bryan Lark
Daily Arts Writer
Oprah Winfrey talks - a lot.
An hour a day, seven days a week,
nine months of the year, Winfrey has
been talking since her self-titled talk
phenomenon premiered in syndication
Now, on the eve of the premiere of
"Beloved," the film adaptation of Toni
Morrison's Pulitzer Prize-winning
novel that has been Winfrey's labor of
love since securing the rights to the
book nearly a decade ago, the talk-
show queen is not mincing words.
"I've never been prouder of anything
I've done;' Winfrey stated frankly in a
recent interview with The Michigan
A vivid, challenging three-hour opus
of the reconstruction of one woman's
cnn) i RUt-ncnrtnnn O hin
But as far as Winfrey is concerned,
the arduous creation of the film has
proven its own reward.
"The whole movie's gratifying. It's
still very hard for me to watch,"
Winfrey alluded to the difficult con-
tent of the film, which deals with issues
of slavery, sacrifice and forgiveness.
Such heavy subject matter is what drew
Winfrey to Morrison's material in the
"This hit my gut," Winfrey recalled.
"It affected me in a way I felt I could
not only portray (the lead character) but
create a story that America would feel."
More than a feeling, Winfrey hopes
the film will affect audiences on a
much deeper, philosophical level, as
not just a popular entertainment but as
an historical document.