The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 9, 2000 - 3A
race plays role
in death rates
In a study published in the Annals
of the New York Academy of Sci-
ences, University researchers found a
large gap in death rates between
black and white people in the United
The study found that the death rate
for black people was 1.6 times higher
than the rate for white people, the
same rate that existed in 1950.
The researchers, led by author
David Williams, a sociologist at the
University's Institute for Social
Research, used data from the National
Center for Health Statistics to com-
pare rates for the leading causes of
death from 1995 and 1950.
The gap between races was found
to be even wider today for diseases
such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes
and cirrhosis, but narrower for flu and
pneumonia, while the rates of homi-
cides and strokes remains unchanged.
The study also found that income
level is not necessarily related to the
death rates. Although higher income
families tend to have better health
than lower income families, the study
found that black people tended to
have higher death rates than white
people at all income levels.
Williams attributed this difference
to the negative effect that racism has
on health. He said that living in poor
neighborhoods, racial bias in medical
care and the stress of experiencing
discrimination all attribute to affecting
Mice altered for
Researchers at the University and
the Hospital for Sick Children at the
University of Toronto have created a
new line of transgenic mice intended
to aid scientists in basal cell carcino-
The mice produce an abnormally
large amount of Gli2, a protein that
causes mutation leading to tumors. Sci-
entists hope to gain an understanding
of the genetic and biochemical changes
that cause the skin cancer that affects
more than one million people living in
the United States each year.
The new mice model, published in
the journal Nature Genetics, produces
healthy mice that are able to produce
offspring, a change from the older
The researchers have applied for a
joint patent on the new mouse model.
'U' to join group
The University was selected by a
proposal process to participate in the
Early Adopters Program, a program
that is intended to provide develop-
ment for the advancement of middle-
ware computing technologies.
The middleware is essential to the
delivery and receipt of technology ser-
vices, including identification, authen-
tication, authorization, security and
The program, sponsored by the
University Corporation for Advanced
Internet Development, will give the
University the ability to evaluate new
tools and technologies and also the
potential to using the tested middle-
ware for campus activities.
Dartmouth College, Johns Hop-
kins University, Michigan Techno-
logical University, Tufts
University, University of Hawaii,
University of Maryland in Balti-
more County, University of Mem-
phis, University of Pittsburgh,
University of Southern California
and the University of Tennessee in
Memphis will also participate in
-- Compiled by DailV StaffReporter
Soanng gas prices cause cab fare increase
By Jon Zemke
Daily Staff Reporter
Cherri McDonald supports herself and her four
children from the $10 per hour she makes as a
taxi driver. But after three years behind the wheel
of a Yellow Cab, she still makes the same average
of S10 an hour that she started at.
"We really need to support the drivers and pay
them enough to keep them performing this amaz-
ing task," McDonald said.
Inflation has increased 6.2 percent in the past
three years, according to the State Tax Commis-
sion, while cab drivers' wages have remained
stagnant and gas prices have nearly doubled,
passing the S 1.50 mark per gallon within the last
"I think the rate' increase would help drivers
reach their financial obligations," Yellow Cab dri-
ver Clifford Johnson said. "I don't think the rate
increase would hurt the public that much. I think
I have a valuable commodity and I need to be
paid for it."
McDonald and Johnson were among a small
group that spoke out Monday night to the Ann
Arbor City Council in favor of a taxicab rate
increase. The initiative passed unanimously and
will take effect in May.
It mandates an increase of S0.25 in the flag
drop and mileage, bringing both to $1.75. The
waiting time and charges for carrying luggage
will remain at $20 per hour, SI per bag or trunk
and $0.10 to handle each parcel.
The flag drop is the initial charge to the pas-
senger once the meter starts.
The raise is the third in the last decade. A rate
increase in 1991 brought the flag drop up to
$1.45, mileage to $1.35 and $15 for waiting time.
In 1996, the flag drop, mileage and waiting time
were raised to their current rates.
"From a driver's point of view, it's been drag-
ging for a decade," Yellow Cab Operations Man-
ager John Heed said. "With the rate increases in
'91 and '96 and this one, it comes out to about a
9 percent increase. So 9 percent over nine years
is not a lot."
All Ann Arbor cab companies asked the city
council to consider the rate increase. A major
factor that has spurred the increase is the drastic
rise in gas prices during the last year..
Heed said soaring gas prices have cost Yellow
Cab dearly in the last year.
"Just the increase in gas has cost us about 100
grand a year," Heed said. "I don't know how big
people think we are, but any business is going to
feel the loss of $100,000."
When asked if he expected gas prices to
decrease soon, Heed said he wasn't sure what
would happen. He said he hopes to see a relief in
prices, but nothing close to what they were 12 to
18 months ago.
Yellow Cab is expecting a temporary, but
slight, drop in business because of the rate
increase, which is normal, Heed said. But he said
it will be hard to gauge the impact of the
increase, because it will be implemented at the
beginning of the typically slow summer season.
Heed said gas prices would impact rate
increases across the state as they have in Ann
Arbor. He also said he also didn't think the price
increase would put the city above the average rate
"We also looked at the rates of other cities and
we were right in the middle, which is where we
want to be," Councilman John Hieftje (D-Ward I)
'U' student called
to 'come on down'
By Erica L. Fenby
For the Daily
LSA junior Jennifer Kim had never
seen the CBS gameshow "The Price is
Right," but when she was sitting in
audience of the show on spring break
with four friends from the University,
she knew exactly what to do when she
heard the words "Come on down!"
Although she did not make it to the
showcase showdown, Kim said she
had a great time as a contestant.
"I had never really watched the
show, but it was
just so neat to be up
there," she said. "The first
LSA junior Candice did was g
McNeil invited KimC
and three other Uni- Barker a
versity friends to
travel to California
and Las Vegas.
About a week
before the break,
Kim said she learned that McNeil's
grandmother had gotten them tickets
to attend a taping of "The Price is
Right" in Los Angeles.
On their last day in California, the
girls headed down to the studio where
the show was to be filmed.
Kim said that prior to the start of the
show, the show's producers briefly
interviewed every audience member.
"I was so happy to be there that dur-
ing my interview I came off as really
excited and bubbly," Kim said. "I told
them that I was originally from Kansas,
which made them laugh. I don't think
the producers thought that anyone actu-
ally lived in Kansas," she added.
No matter what Kim said during her
interview, the producers must have
enjoyed it, and she was the first contes-
tant of the show to be called down.
"They actually hold up a poster with
the names of the first four contestants,
and then the names are read out loud,"
Kim actually read her name before
she heard it. "I started running as soon
as I saw the poster," she said.
McNeil said that she did not realize
that Kim had been called up. "Jenny
tripped over me while trying to make
her way to the aisle. I hadn't looked at
the poster, so I had no idea where she
was going," McNeil said.
Once she got to the contestants row,
the fact that Kim had never watched
the show in its entirety was of little
significance. With a little help from
her friends, Kim bid S775 for a World
Book Millennia Encyclopedia set and
a package of Wheat Nuts Nut Snacks.
These items were actually worth a total
of $799, and
- Jennifer Ki
Kim's bid was close
enough to enable
her to make her
way up to the
"This first thing
I did was give Bob
Barker a hug. He
was so nice," Kim
m said of the show's
or host. "He told the
audience that I
went to the Univer-
sity of Michigan, which was neat,
because their were actually a lot of
other U of M students there," Kim
Then it was time to play a pricing
game. Kim played the Grocery
Game, where she was presented
with four everyday items, such as
mouthwash and headache medicine.
She then had to assign a price to
each of the items.
"At the end of the game, they added
up the actual prices of the items. In
order to win, my total estimate had to
be within a dollar, either over or under,
of the actual total price" said Kim.
Kim was competing to win a new
dining room set, but she went S2 over
the retail price and lost. "It was okay
though. If I had been trying to win a car
I would have been much more upset.
Anyway, a dining room set would not
fit in my dorm room,"she said.
The show will air today at II a.m.
on CBS. Kim, who is a resident
adviser in Mary Markley Residence
Hall, said that she is planning on
watching the show in her room with
all her residents.
By Jodie Kaufman
Anti-gun control advocate John
Lott, a senior research scholar at
Yale Law School, gave a lecture yes-
terday afternoon in Hutchins Hall,
about one week after a first-grader
was fatally shot by a classmate at
Buell Elementary School in Mount
Morris Township near Flint.
The Law School Chapter of the
Federalist Society invited Lott, who
believes teachers should go to school
armed and recently authored a book
titled "More Guns, Less Crime."
Lott spoke about five beliefs
regarding guns and crime that he
claims are only myths.
"I'm sure in one sense Americans
are obsessed with guns. It's impossi-
ble to open up the morning paper or
turn on the evening news without
hearing about guns," Lott said.
The first myth Lott discussed is
that "passive behavior is the safest
form of action."
Lott said through his research he
found such behavior is more danger-
ous because differences in strength
between the attacker and the victim.
A second myth, he said, is that
anybody can be a murderer.
"When you look at most people
you know and are acquainted with,
they are not likely to be murderers -
the reason you hear the myth is to try
and make people afraid. It is sad, peo-
ple are being needlessly made afraid
of those around you," Lott said.
The notion that America has a
high murder rate because Americans
own so many guns is also a myth,
Lott said, citing his discovery that
the increase in gun ownership
throughout the United States resulted
in big drops in violent crime.
President Clinton often refers to
statistics showing 13 children die
each day from guns, but that is also a
myth, Lott said.
In public service announcements,
Lott said that the children portrayed
in media messages never appear
older than eight years old but in real-
ity the statistics count children as
SI-L - UU 1 I-'O
John Lott, research scholar at Yale Law School advocates less gun control to
an audience yesterday at Hutchins Hall.
those up to the age of 20.
According to Lott's research, nine
of those daily deaths are those of 17-
to 19-year-olds in urban cities.
"There is a reason why they want
you to think about young kids
dying," Lott said.
The final myth is that gun locks
will save lives, he said.
"If they pass the law, people who
fire aren't going to be the ones affect-
ed - it seems plausible these types of
people aren't going to obey the laws"
Lott said he found only four to
six children under the age of 10 die
per year from another youngster
accidentally shooting them.
"When that happens, I guarantee
you national news coverage," Lott
More children under five die from
drowning in water buckets and bath-
tubs or due to fires ignited by ciga-
rette lighters, Lott said.
Lott reaffirmed his position that
guns are necessary and he does not
believe laws restricting firearms will
do anything but cause problems.
"People use guns as a last resort.
They aren't looking forward to it,
Law students who attended the
lecture had varying views on Lott's
"I think it's a refreshing change
from liberals who continue to bas-
tardize the Second Amendment,' said
Federalist Society President Matthew
Schneider, a third-year Law student.
Regarding the society's stance on
gun control, Schneider said, "We
would be against the federalization of
gun control laws - we think the laws
are better off left to states - we don't
take a stand on it."
Other students in attendance said
they were merely interested in hearing
Third-year Law student Aaron
Berke said he was "curious about the
personal bias of Lott, and if when he
went into his research he had precon-
ceived notions, but it is pretty interest-
ing. Before the laws are passed we
need to find out the facts."
Task force hopes to
It It f 1
LANSING (AP) - A week after a
first-grader was shot to death in sub-
urban Flint, Senate Democrats
announced a task force yesterday to
seek ways to prevent such horrors.
"It's become clear that there was a
whole series of events that led up to
this tragedy," said Senate Minority
Leader John Cherry (D-Clio). It was
in his district that 6-year-old Kayla
Rolland was killed, allegedly by a
classmate who found the gun at the
house where he was living.
"We need to look into all of those
issues: Gun safety, parental responsi-
bility and child welfare are a few of
the issues we will investigate."
Cherry noted that senators aren't up
for election this year, which he said
may prevent Republicans from ignor-
ing Democrats' ideas.
On Tuesday, majority Republicans
in the state House refused to consider
a Democratic motion to debate gun
control bills. Still, Cherry expressed
optimism that GOP lawmakers will
consider any recommendations his
task force comes up with.
What's happening in Ann Arbor today
The Office of Undergraduate Adniissions asks you to
becom~e anAMibassador and participate in, the
Annual Phon Call Out
Your assistance is needed to recruit over 400
admitted underrepresented students.
"Keeping Brothers," a play spon-
sored by Basement Arts that
examines the fears associated
with agoraphobia, Arena Theater,
Frieze Building, 7 p.m., 332-
Doug Wood, Sponsored by Borders
Books & Music, guitarist Wood
performed in the streets and sub-
sored by Taubman College, Lec-
ture by Vincent James, an archi-
tect with Vincent James and
Assocs., Art & Architecture Lec-
ture Hall room 2104, 12:30 p.m.
Arabic Circle, Sponsored by the
University Center for Middle
Eastern and North African Stud-
ies, Speakers of Arabic from
beginners to native speakers
invited for conversation, 2609 or
A461 c cWR 1080 South lniver-
U Chinese Ghost Story, a feature-
length anime film, Sponsored by
The Underworld, please arrive
before 9:30 p.m., The Under-
world, 1202 South University, 9
Campus Information Centers, 764-
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