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September 26, 2000 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-09-26

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LOCAL/STATE

The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 26, 2000 - 3

Student receives
threatening calls
ver voice mail
A student in Bursley Residence
Hall received harassing messages on
his voice mail and computer concern-
ing his sexual orientation, according
to Department of Public Safety
reports. The messages were received
Sunday afternoon and included the
threat that the person leaving the mes-
sages would "get him."
DPS did not report having any sus-
~cts.
Change stolen
from dispenser
A tampon machne was broken
into at the Kresge Medical
Research building Thursday
evening, according to DPS reports.
Later that evening, machines at the
edical Science I Building,
uthven Museum and Central
Campus Recreation Building were
also broken into. About S40 in
change was stolen from the
machines in the Medical Science I
Building.
Sunday afternoon, a tampon
machine in the first floor women's
restroom of the Media Union was bro-
ken into and all the change was taken
and the front was bent.
DPS does not have any suspects. A
telationship between the break-ins
remains unclear.
Arb sign stolen,
wherabouts still
unknown
The matn sgn desgnatng
Nchols Arboretum was stolen,
* PS reports state. It was deter-
mined that the sign had been stolen
after DPS officers contacted Arb
maintenance workers Friday after-
noon and found they had not
moved the sign.
DPS did not report having any sus-
pects.
Subject caught
urinating outside
A subject in Mary Markley Resi-
dence Hall was cted for urtnatng n
public early Sunday morning, accord-
ing to DPS reports. The subject was
also given a Minor in Possession of
alcohol citation.
Lost car found at
residents home
*A car was reported stolen Sunday
afternoon from a lot on Huron. Street,
according to DPS reports. The report
was later dismissed when the owner
of the vehicle found it at his residence
and admitted he had forgotten leaving
it there.
Liquor cabinet
raided at League
The liquor cabinet at the Michi-
S League was broken into some-
time between Friday evening and
Saturday afternoon, according to
DPS reports.
DPS does not have any suspects.

Report of missing
shower head false
A shower head from the a bath-
'om in Mosher-Jordan Residence
Hall was reported stolen Sunday
afternoon, according to DPS
reports. Officers who went to
Mosher-Jordan found the report to
be false.
Hubcaps stolen
from parked car
Two hubcaps were stolen from a car
ked in the Church Street parking
structure Friday morning, according
to BPS reports.
DPS did not report having any sus-
pects.
- Compiled br Daily Staff Reporter
David Enders.

Detroit Project grows during second year

By William Wetmore
For the Daily
The Detroit Project, a student-run service pro-
ject aimed at helping economically disadvan-
taged communities in Detroit, has achieved
wide-ranging growth and success in its second
year.
The project, co-founded by LSA senior Katie
Foley and LSA junior Sara Rowe, began in
March 1999 with a day of service - "DP-Day"
as project volunteers affectionately call it - dur-
ing which 500 University students donated their
efforts.
At that time, services were targeted specif-

ically in the neighborhood of Brightmoore in
northwest Detroit.and ranged from house
building, park refurbishment, mentoring pro-
grams, playground rebuilding, cleaning and
painting.
The founders wished to build strong ties with-
in Brightmoore, then expand service to other
communities.
"In order to reach the most people, it is essen-
tial to develop a strong relationship within a
community - to get to know local residents and
work with other local service organizations,"
Foley said. "With this strong foundation, we have
been able to more effectively serve other commu-
nities."

With a vastly growing volunteer membership
and partnerships with 15 other local service orga-
nizations, the project's accomplishments this year
have exceeded even its organizers' optimistic
expectations.
They attribute this success to the project
being planned, funded and run entirely by stu-
dents.
Detroit Project volunteer Lindsay Laneville,
an LSA junior, stressed the project's inclusive-
ness.
"The Detroit Project appeals to a wide range of
students. We've had many people involved that
had not been involved in service projects before,"
Laneville said. "We're using the resources of the

University to really make a difference for these
communities."
Organizers also emphasized the simplicity of
getting involved. The project has a Website -
www'umich.edu~th-ledp- with a sign-up calen-
dar that allows students to plan involvement
around their own schedules.
"The project is accessible to everyone. With
the Website, it's incredibly easy to get involved
and plan your service for time when you are
available," said volunteer Justin Reynolds, an
LSA junior.
To increase awareness of the project's efforts
and continue to gain new participants, organizers
produced bright yellow shirts

I

State fines phone giant
$1.5M for misconduct

Ameritech officials.
claim fine is excessive
while state officials cite
a history of missteps.
LANSING (AP) - State regula-
tors yesterday fined Ameritech
Michigan S1.5 million after finding
that the phone giant never lived up
to assurances it would clear a cus-
tomer's credit record.
Ameritech officials called the
amount of the fine "clearly exces-
sive," saying they acted appropri-
ately when the customer told them
in July 1996 that an acquaintance
of her ex-husband fraudulently used
her name to open an account.
But Patricia Nelski of Carlton
said shtessas still beintg denied
credit earliercthis year andt sas
knocked out of consideration for a
job after her credit record contin-
ued to show a past-due balance of
S 1,022 for an account she never
opened.
Nelski, 36, said she was told by
Ameritech officials in 1996 that
she would not be held responsible
for the account.
But she said she later learned
Ameritech failed to clear her credit
record with the collection company
it hired to handle overdue accounts.

"In the beginning I didn't worry
about it as much. I trusted them,"
she said of Ameritech officials. "It
wasn't until '99 when I was ...
rejected numerous times (for credit)
... that I wrote for a current report."
The commission ordered
Ameritech to tighten up its identity
fraud procedures and pay Nelski
52,825 in restitution.
Then, by a 2-1 vote, the commis-
sion fined the phone company Sl.5
million for violating a state law that
bans a phone company from mak-
ing a false or misleading statement
on rates or terms or from charging
customers for service they didn't
request.
Commissioner John Strand
agreed Ameritech violated the law,
but said the violations were not
continuous. In his dissent,ahe said a
S 120,000 fine would have been suf-
ficient.
Ameritech spokesman Mike
Barnhart said the company thought
the matter had been resolved after
Nelski called Ameritech in 1996.
But in 1999, the customer found out
Risk Management Alternatives was
still trying to collect on it, he said.
"We certainly understand the cus-
tomer's frustration. We are frustrat-
ed ourselves," Barnhart said.
"We have not disputed that this is
an error. What we have to dispute is

the size of the fine."
An administrative law judge who
initially heard the case recommend-
ed a $40,000 fine, Barnhart said.
The company hasn't decided if it
will appeal the higher fine.
Nelski, who is writing a book on
identity fraud and how to recover
from it, said she was just glad to
have the matter resolved.
"The main thing that was in my
mind even above the fine was, I
didn't want it happening to anyone
else," she said of her experience
with Ameritech.
"If there was a word worse than
nightmare, that was the word."
Public Service Commission
spokeswoman Mary Jo Kunkle said
the case was the first identity fraud
case to come before the commis-
ston."
Ameritech was last fined by the
commission in 1998, when it was
ordered to pay S 158,000 to the stale
after the commission upheld the
city of Southfield's contention that
there were too many errors in the
911 database Ameritech provided.
The company has been under
fire recently because of slow repaii
service and other lapses.
The company serves phone cus-
tomers in five Midwestern states,
more than 5 million in Michigan
alone.

SNRE graduate student Kristen Schind demonstrates outside the local
Democratic Party headquarters on East Liberty Street yesterday.
30 protest Gore's
ties to oil industry

By Jane Krull
Daily 'taffRepoer
In the Colombian rainforest, the
Uswa tribe threatens to commit mass
suicide if platts proceed to drill for
oil on their tribal lands.
A rally was organized by Direct
Action Cetnter, whtich works with
local progressive groups, initiated
the rally yesterday evening to protest
and educate the community about
the situation of the U'wa tribe and
Democratic presidential candidate
Al Gore's role in it.
Protesters allege that Gore and his
family have strong ties to the United
States-based Occidental Petroleum
company, which is planning to drill
on the land of the nearly 20,000
U'wa.
An interview National Public
Radio conducted with Gore last
week sparked the protest.
"I reject an agenda that is of 'big
oil,' by 'big oil,' or for 'big oil,' "
Gore said in the interview.
Occidental Petroleum has drilled
in the past in places including
Ecuador and Peru.
Occidental Petroleum "showed
that they have not been very respect-
ful with the needs of the people and
the environment," said University
alum Scott Farrell, a member of the
Direct Action Center.
Farrell said people are already
aware of Republican presidential
candidate George W. Bush's ties
with big oil, but Gore's involve-
ment is not an issue of major
focus.
Members of the Native Ameri-
can community attended the rally
to show support for the U'wa peo-
ple.
Committee to Challenge Racism
member Karen Brewer said she
could understand the U'wa threat of
suicide.

"Spirituality is greatly tied to the
land (native peoples) live on' Brew-
er said.
Many supporters of Green Party
presidential candidate Ralph Nadar
also antended.
"Ehis is not an event for Nadar,
but it might as well be," Rackham
student Steve Derrick said, as he
handed out Nader campaigtt but-
tons.
Community members concerned
about government intervention in
Latin America also spoke out at the
rally.
Mary Anne Perrone, president of
Interfaith Council for Peace and Jus-
tice, said U.S. government ties to
Colombia -- including S.6 billion
in military aid - doesn't help the
situation.
"Corporate interests are supported
by the Colombian military, who we
are supporting with our assistance,"
Perrone said. "It is unbelievably
reminiscent of Vietnam."
Adding to the flavor of the rally,
young activists dressed in elaborate
costumes to represent wealthy soci-
ety members. They would only iden-
tify themselves as part of the
fictitious group "Billionaires for
Bush/for Gore," John Dough and
Sophanda Jewels.
"I just wanted you to know that
we've done everything we can to
keep third-party candidates out of
our debates," Dough yelled at the
crowd.
"Keep walking. Vote for one of
the two major parties," Jewels satiri-
cally told pedestrians as they walked
by.
The power of the of the two
major U.S. political parties was-an
issue ttat was commonly
addressed.
"With this whole two party sys-
tem, the rest of us really don't have a
party," Farrell said.

IS THERE NO HOPE FOR YOU IN
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