Tuesday, September 14, 2004
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One-hundred-thirteen years of editorialfreedom
www.mzhirkandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXIII, No. 160 c2004 The Michigan Daily
By Farayha Arrine
Daily Staff Reporter
Because Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed a bill that
permits the sale of state-owned land about four miles
south of the University yesterday, Toyota Motor Co. will
most likely acquire the land, in a transaction that some
estimate would create up to 350 jobs.
The sale also might provide numerous job opportuni-
ties to University graduates and internships to current
Liz Boyd, spokeswoman for Granholm, said the sale
has not yet been finalized, but that the governor "is very
dedicated to making this project a reality."
"It will bring 21st century jobs to the state," she
With Michigan's unemployment rate at 6.8 percent
- among the five highest states in the country - any
relief is welcome. Especially relief that will reportedly
create well-paid positions.
"(Toyota) is supposed to provide very high-paying
jobs averaging $80,000, as well as other spin-off ben-
efits," said state Sen. Liz Brater (D-Ann Arbor), who
supported sale of the land.
With the research and design center that Toyota plans
on constructing on the 690 acres of vacant land, even
University students and faculty may have something to
look forward to.
"It is no coincidence that Toyota wanted to locate here
in Washtenaw," Brater said, "It's because of its proxim-
ity to the University and because of the benefits of the
University, as well as the skills that the students, gradu-
ates and faculty have."
In state House hearings that decided whether the land
should be sold or not, Susan Lackey, president of the
Washtenaw County Board of Development, endorsed
the decision to sell the land.
She said in an interview yesterday that a Toyota
research and design center in the area would create
options for students.
"The University has a lot of engineering graduates ...
so I think both from the standpoint of (the graduates)
and the standpoint of interns, it is a great opportunity,"
She added that Toyota has traditionally recruited
engineering interns and will continue to do so.
Terri LaMarco, associate director of the Career Cen-
ter, said besides being future employers, companies like
Toyota allow students to gain a perspective on the day-
to-day responsibilities of a job.
Although the bill proposing the sale of land passed
with only one dissenting vote in the House and nine in
the Senate, opponents mostly objected to the bill due to
the circumstances involving the sale to Toyota.
The Associated Press reported that many Republicans
opposed the bill because of a higher bid by Michigan
company DPG-York, a unit of West Bloomfield Town-
ship-based Diversified Property Group LLC.
Granholm rejected the Michigan company in favor of
Toyota because it would create more jobs. Many oppo-
nents of the bill felt that Toyota's $9 million bid was
lower than the fair market value for the land, the AP
Despite a handful of opponents, many say a Toyota
branch near the University would create benefits on
multiple levels. Jim MacBain, director of Engineering
Research Relations, said the center would be a great
benefit to the College of Engineering.
"There's a great deal of potential synergy," he said.
The bill also points out that money made from the
sale will be added to the state's general fund, and
once sold, the state can avoid maintenance costs of
Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader speaks at the Michigan Union Ballroom yesterday.
Nader elicits mixed emotions from 'U' crowd
By Donn M. Fresard
Daily Staff Reporter
Independent presidential candidate
Ralph Nader drew responses ranging from
adoration to outrage when he campaigned
in the Michigan Union yesterday.
In his speech, Nader encouraged students
to become active in the political process in
order to counteract corporate influence on
politicians, which he said drives the agen-
das of the major parties.
Nader admonished "cowardly" Demo-
crats and the left-leaning constituencies
that he said have refused to put pressure on
them. He said labor unions, environmental
groups and the anti-war movement have
compromised their agendas by adopting
a "supine relationship" with Democratic
presidential candidate John Kerry, endors-
ing him regardless of some of his centrist
Nader has come under fire from Demo-
crats because of the possibility that he will
take votes from Kerry. Recently he angered
Michigan Democrats for accepting help
from Republicans, who gathered nearly all
of the petition signatures to place Nader on
the ballot as an independent candidate for
Some of the more turbulent moments
of the Nader visit came during a question-
and-answer session after the speech, when
Nader and some audience members argued
over the "spoiler effect" and whether Nader
accepted Republican-gathered signatures.
When University alum Tom Wieder
accused Nader of lying in a recent op-ed
piece, in which Nader said his campaign
has rejected Republican signatures and
donations, Nader bristled, saying Wieder
was "completely wrong on the facts."
"Don't say that we took the 45,000 (sig-
natures); that's completely false," Nader
said. "The judge is trying to force us to take
Nader then asked Wieder if he was a
See NADER, Page 5
In Mich., Bush touches
on economy, education,
By Jameel Naqvi
Daily Staff Reporter
BATTLE CREEK - Reserving but a few
remarks for higher education, President Bush
pledged to expand federal Pell grants during his
visit to Battle Creek, the third and final stop on his
tour of western Michigan yesterday.
During his term, the President has increased
the overall number of Pell grants awarded but has
decreased the average dollar amount given to each
student. "We'll help more Americans start their
careers with a college diploma," he said.
Bush was scheduled to speak about his econom-
ic policies, but instead gave what amounted to a
slightly localized campaign speech.
Bush made reference to Middle-American values
in his 45-minute speech, affirming the importance
of family and even evoking the symbolism of the
American ballpark, the setting for his visit yester-
"We stand for marriage and family, which are the
foundations of our society," he said, drawing huge
applause and alluding to his support for a Constitu-
tional amendment that would define marriage as a
union between a man and a woman. Bush's running
mate, Dick Cheney, recently expressed disapproval
of such an amendment, which would make illegal
the marriage of Americans such as his gay daugh-
ter, Mary Cheney.
Bush's familiar tone did not go unnoticed by
Battle Creek resident John Hallacy.
"It's like a guy who lives down the street from
you coming up to you," he said of Bush's visit.
Bush's remarks catered to the rural voters of the
area around Battle Creek.
"I believe in the energy and energetic spirit of
our workers and farmers and small-business own-
ers," he said.
The president could not dodge the issue of job
losses and economic stagnation in Michigan. He
See BUSH, Page 5
During the third stop in his tour of western Michigan, President
Bush speaks at a baseball stadium in Battle Creek yesterday.
offers bus services as alternative to student parking
By Victoria Edwards
Daily Staff Reporter
Although the lack of parking spaces for Uni-
versity students is a constant problem, Univer-
sity officials say the transportation services they
are providing compensate for this problem.
Facilities and Operations spokeswom-
an Diane Brown said commuter buses and
MRide - a program which allows students to
ride on Ann Arbor Transportation Authority
buses for free - is a solution to the lack of
"We believe strongly that having buses is
the answer (to the lack of) parking spaces, and
MRide takes students any time of the day to
pharmacies, movies - any places that students
need to get to off campus. It reduces the need to
have cars which reduces the need to have park-
ing," Brown said.
The University will open a new 800-spot
parking structure on Palmer Drive tomorrow
for faculty and staff. The lot will provide 183
visitor spots, but no regular spaces for under-
graduates except handicapped students.
Yet Brown said student parking is being dealt
with effectively, not only because of transporta-
tion services like MRide, but also because free
parking lots are available for all students close
One of these is the commuter lot on State
Street north of Eisenhower Parkway, and the
other is located on Green Road on North Cam-
pus. Through MRide, Free shuttles are provided
from the lots to Central and North Campus.
But some students say that such lots are not
an adequate alternative for the lack of campus
Engineering freshman Jeff Hafner, who com-
mutes to the University from Brighton every-
day, said there are inconveniences with parking
in the free parking lot on Green Road.
"It's ok, except the times kind of suck for the
bus rides," Hafner said. "I have to get to the stop
at a certain time, which is a long time before my
class starts. Sometimes I'll be like 30 or 40 min-
utes early for class."
LSA Junior Josh Arnold said that MRide and
the commuter bus system are not effectively
cutting down the number of students who want
to bring cars on campus.
"It doesn't reduce the number of people who
drive because the buses only go at a certain time.
It's really limited. If you want to go Meijer late
at night, you'd have to take a taxi," Arnold said.
Rackham student Ben Hayes, agreed the
major problem lies not in the how the Universi-
ty's handles student parking, but with the over-
abundance of people in Ann Arbor who want
"It's also a problem that everyone at U of M
wants a car," Hayes said.
Brown said undergraduate students can still
only buy orange permits which limit students
See PARKING, Page 7
The Michigan Association of County Veterans Coun-
selors are demanding state funding for the Michigan
Veterans Trust Fund.
Group demands state
The Michigan Veterans Trust Fund
was endowed with $50 million from the
state government in 1945, and the interest
The trust fund has spent an average
of $900,000 each year providing educa-
tion grants. This past year, 441 students
By Ekjyot Saini
Daily Staff Reporter
$3.5 million shortage in the fund, and the
Veterans Counselors claim that the fund is
facing a similar lack of money this year.
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