Tuesday, September 20, 2005
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www.michigandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXV, No. 150 @2005 The Michigan Daily
By Jeremy Davidson
Daily Staff Reporter
Former Ann Arbor City Council member Kimberly
Groome (D-1st Ward) was officially replaced last night after
her recent resignation from the Council. John Roberts, who
is also a Democrat, was appointed as her replacement at last
night's Council meeting.
"We're very happy to welcome our new Council member,
John Roberts, and I would note that he has already gotten
down to work," Mayor John Hieftje said (D-Ann Arbor).
Roberts's appointment marks his first foray with politics.
"Given the fact that I'm a political newcomer, I don't have
any hidden agenda," Roberts said. "I've got a lot to learn.
But I understand that there are core issues that are of biggest
concern ... (including) budget development and affordable
housing ... for the city as well as the first ward."
Council member Chris Easthope (D-5th Ward) said Rob-
erts was the most appropriate candidate for the job.
"(Roberts) is a long-time friend of mine," he said. "I
know him. I know he's a calm, rational person, and he's
very bright. He didn't have an agenda; he just wanted to be
involved in community service." Easthope pointed out that
as a lifetime resident of Ann Arbor, Roberts would bring
an intimate knowledge of the city's recent history to the
"We had several great candidates, and we considered
many criteria. John best met our criteria," Council member
Leigh Greden (D-3rd Ward) said.
Roberts said his strong connection with his constituency
was one of his best qualifications for his position.
"I have an understanding of people of the first ward. I want
to be a voice for those people," Roberts said.
Roberts, who works as a manager for a wholesale mort-
gage lender, said his professional experience has provided
him with solid skills - diplomacy in dealing with co-work-
ers and the ability to negotiate - that he will need to be
effective on the City Council.
"He's a great team player," Greden said.
By Margaret Havemann
Daily Staff Reporter
University students are joining a nationwide effort
to raise awareness about declining state funding to
public universities and resultant problems such as
higher tuition, fewer full-time faculty members and
lower pay for staff members.
The goal of the still-unnamed organization, which
is composed of more than 100 public schools from
across the country, is to halt the corporatization of
According to the College Board - a nonprofit
organization that provides students with informa-
tion about colleges - tuition rates at four-year pub-
lic universities have increased by 10.5 percent since
last year - for an average price tag of $5,132 per
Additionally, the Government Accountability
Office raised concerns in July that the process of
applying for college aid money is so complicated
that it discourages some families from even trying
to send their children to school.
Graduate student Dave Dobbe, an organizer of the
initiative, said the organization hopes to "reverse
the trend of a lack of state commitment to higher
Because of reductions in state funding, universi-
ties have been forced to make cuts. For example,
Dobbe said that universities are hiring fewer ten-
ured professors, which leads to larger class sizes.
He added that some college faculty are receiving
pay raises that are so small, they barely keep up with
the rate of inflation.
See HIGHER ED, Page 7
"NOT TO SAY THAT THINGS HERE ARE PERFECT - IT WOULD BE NICE IF THE STATE LAWS WERE CHANGED - BUT I
LOOKED AT OTHER (UNIVERSITIES), AND I DIDN'T FIND THE SAME COMBINATION OF ADVANTAGES THAT WE HAVE HERE."
- Center for Stem Cell Biology head researcher Sean Morrison.
Laboratory Technician Chris Mountford works In Dr. Sean Morrison's Laboratory in the Life Sciences Institute. Dr. Morrison is heading the new
program on stem-cell research which will be a part of LSA.
Funding for Stem Cell Research
By Kingson Man
Daily Science Reporter
The University struck back against stringent
state regulation of stem-cell research and the
brain drain of top scientists in the field with
yesterday's announcement of the creation of the
new Center for Stem Cell Biology, to be headed
by researcher Sean Morrison.
In the face of growing competition from univer-
sities in states such as California, Wisconsin and
New Jersey - all with their own stem-cell funding
initiatives - the University has been attempting to
keep its own star stem-cell researchers from being
lured away. Researcher Michael Clark is relocating
The fact that the state of Michigan has some
of the most restrictive laws governing stem-cell
research has not helped. Current state law prohibits
the derivation of new stem cell lines from frozen
embryos slated to be discarded by in-vitro fertiliza-
tion clinics or from a technique that places mate-
rial from the nuclei of stem-cells into an egg cell to
"The legislative environment in Michigan
restricts our ability to derive new (embryonic stem
cell) lines," Morrison said. "It's a problem I hope
With the departure of Clark for Stanford, Morri-
son himself had been approached with offers from
several research universities across the country.
"Not to say that things here are perfect - it
, Proposed funds
Federal funding: $17 million Source:Reason Online
would be nice if the state laws were changed - but
I looked at other (universities), and I didn't find
the same combination of advantages that we have
here," Morrison said.
Stem cells - which can be transformed into
specialized cells such as neurons or bile-producing
islet cells in the liver - have recently become the
new cutting edge of biology research. The hope is
that they can be used for therapeutic purposes -
for instance, for growing replacement organs - or
to help researchers learn about the development of
diseases. The most malleable stem cells, however,
are currently derived from embryos, a fact that has
sparked a national ethical debate.
Several states, responding to federal reluctance
to support stem-cell research, have come forward
with their own initiatives to fund stem cell investi-
gation. The University's new Center for Stem Cell
Biology is a part of this growing trend.
A joint venture funded by the Life Sciences
Institute, the University's Medical School and the
Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute,
the new center will have an initial budget of more
than $10 million. Although this figure is dwarfed
by the amount allocated in California, Morrison
put it into perspective.
"Keep in mind that $3 billion (allocated to stem
cell research in California) will be divided over
many institutions in a very large state over a 10
year period," he said. "There are big questions that
remain over there."
See STEM CELLS, Page 7
Speaker calls for environmental reform
Al-Qaida says it carried
out London bombings
By C.C. Song
Daily Staff Reporter
Amanda Katili-Niode, who serves as the special
assistant to the Indonesian Minister of Environ-
ment, said intervention from the home government
and the world community must play a crucial role in
mitigating Indonesian's environmental crises.
In addition to dealing with the environmental
consequences of the tsunami, Indonesia is also
struggling to curb the dumping of hazardous waste
and deforestation caused by its neighbors.
CAIRO (AP) - Al-Qaida deputy
Ayman al-Zawahri said his terror net-
work carried out the July 7 London
The statement was broadcast yester-
nation and Muslims in Pakistan to
oppose the infidels," said al-Zawahri,
who was shown in the tape wearing a
white turban and speaking to someone
who was interviewing him off cam-