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October 26, 2005 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-10-26

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, ctober 26, 2005 - 3

Performances to
raise money for
Dance Marathon
As part of the Standing Room Only
variety show, performances by dance
groups, a cappella groups, theater
troupes and bands will take place today
at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre.
Co-sponsored by Hillel and Dance
Marathon, the event will take place
from 8 to 10:30 p.m. All money raised
will be donated to the charity program
of Dance Marathon.
Improving climate of
disabled students
focus of speech
Daniel Heumann, a motivational
speaker and educator, will be giving a
speech about "Creating Inclusive Aca-
demic Environment for Students with
Disabilities." Sponsored by the Coun-
cil for Disability Concerns, the event
will take place today from 3 to 4 p.m.
in the Michigan Room of the Michigan
Jazz ensemble
to perform at
Director Dennis Wilson will con-
duct the Jazz Lab Ensemble in a per-
formance at Rackham Auditorium
today. Sponsored by the School of
Music, the event will start at 8 p.m.
No tickets are required.
Careless fire
started in front of
Art Museum
A fire started in front of the Universi-
ty Museum of Art on State Street when
a person threw a cigarette into a trash
can on Monday around 11:40 a.m. The
fire was extinguished with water before
the Department of Public Safety officer
Student assaulted
by stranger
A female student reported to the
Department of Public Safety that a man
was shoving and yelling on Monday
around 3:15 p.m. She described the sus-
pect was a male.
The victim sustained no injuries.
When DPS arrived, there was no one
on the scene.
Staff reports LCD
monitor stolen
A staff member in East Hall reported
on Monday that a LCD flat panel moni-
tor had been stolen on Oct. 12th. There

are no suspects at this time. The moni-
tor is worth $1,100.
In Daily History

State Senate approves business tax cuts

Democrats criticize Republican-
controlled Senate for the legislation
to slash $1 billion in taxes
LANSING (AP) - The Michigan Senate
approved a plan yesterday to cut business taxes by
$1 billion over six years and tie the potential for
even more tax relief to limits on state spending.
Over Democratic objections, the Republican-
controlled Senate sent the legislation to the state
House, where Republicans passed their own tax
package in August.
One bill would reduce the state's main busi-
ness tax rate from 1.9 percent to 1.84 per-
cent in January, saving companies about $50
million over nine months. Other bills would
create a nonrefundable credit for property
taxes paid on industrial equipment and base

a company's taxes solely on sales rather than
the current combination of sales, payroll and
personal property.
Another $1.4 billion in tax cuts would be tied to
a measure that would limit the annual growth in
state tax revenues to no more than the inflation rate
plus 1 percentage point. Business would get the
additional cuts if tax revenues - excluding federal
dollars - exceeded that rate plus another $50 mil-
lion. Some of the extra money would go into the
state's rainy day fund.
In the last 20 years, revenues have gone above
inflation plus 1 percentage point 11 times, though
the last increase occurred in the 1999-2000 budget
year. Most increases came during the boom years
of the 1990s.
Sen. Michael Switalski, (D-Roseville), criticized
Republicans for passing legislation he said would
starve government of funding even when revenues

improve by basing future appropriations on current
spending, when state revenues are in a trough.
"It is a vision that says, 'Now that we have
starved state revenue, let's drag it into the bath-
room and choke it to death,"' he said.
But Majority Leader Ken Sikkema, (R-Wyo-
ming), said he is more concerned about another
trough: job loss.
"That's real," he said. "Our unemployment rate
is above the national average. ... We need tax relief
for the job providers of this state if we're going to
have a growth economy."
Critics point to problems in Colorado that have
arisen because of spending caps there. But Sikkema
said Colorado has a constitutional limit on govern-
ment revenue and spending. The Senate measure is
a regular bill, giving lawmakers more flexibility to
address problems. Nothing in the proposal would
prevent state or local governments from raising

taxes, Sikkema said.
Republicans and Democrats also disagreed over
how to structure business tax cuts.
Democrats said the GOP's plan is weak com-
pared with a tax restructuring proposal offered by
Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm. The gover-
nor's plan would drop the single business tax rate
from 1.9 percent to 1.2 percent next year, balancing
the cut with increases on insurance premiums that
would make it revenue-neutral.
"This will not create jobs," Sen. Buzz Thomas,
(D-Detroit), said of the much smaller rate cut in
the GOP legislation. "We are saying to Michigan
manufacturers that we are not in line to help you."
Sen. Alan Cropsey, (R-DeWitt), responded
that Granholm's plan is a "tax shift" rather than
a tax cut. Granholm has said that three-quarters
of Michigan companies would pay less under her
plan, while under a fourth would pay more.

Delphi wants


to slash

wages, benefits

Company wants to cut
base wages to $9.50 or
$10.50 an hour
DETROIT (AP) - Delphi Corp.,
which filed for bankruptcy protection
earlier this month, is asking the United
Auto Workers to agree to cut hourly
workers' pay by more than 60 percent
and give up health and pension benefits
and vacation time, according to a sum-
mary of the auto supplier's proposal dis-
tributed to union members in Indiana.
The summary was posted yesterday
on the website of UAW Local 292 in
Kokomo, Ind., as well as a website run
by Kokomo-area union members.
According to the summary, Delphi
wants to cut base wages to $9.50 to $10.50
an hour for production workers and $19
for skilled trades workers. New produc-
tion workers would start at a base rate
of $9 an hour. Right now, Delphi hourly
workers make $27 an hour or more.
Under the proposal, Troy-based Del-
phi would eliminate a jobs bank that
gives full pay and benefits to around
4,000 laid-off workers, which Delphi
says costs it $400 million each year. It
also would have the right to sell, close or
consolidate any plant.
Delphi's pension plan would be fro-
zen and accept no new participants
after Jan. 1, according to the sum-
mary. Delphi also could reduce retiree
benefits or terminate the pension plan,
but no further details were given in the
Delphi and its former parent, General
Motors Corp., are still settling how much
GM owes Delphi's retirees. GM has said
it could be liable for up to $12 billion in
pension obligations but expects to pay
much less.
Hourly workers would be asked
to pay health care deductibles for the
first time, of $900 per individual and
$1,800 per family. Dental and vision
care would be eliminated. The proposal
would drop annual paid holidays from
16 to 10, including a paid week of vaca-
tion between Christmas and Jan. 1. It

also would eliminate annual cost-of-liv-
ing adjustments.
Neither Delphi nor UAW leadership
has officially released details of the
proposal, since bankruptcy court Judge
Robert Drain granted Delphi's request
to keep its contract proposals confiden-
tial. Delphi is scheduled to appear in
bankruptcy court tomorrow.
A message was left yesterday evening
with a Delphi spokeswoman. A spokes-
man at the UAW's Detroit headquarters
said he wouldn't comment yesterday,
but union leaders did blast the proposal
when Delphi presented it to them last
"Delphi's proposal is designed to ha$-
ten the dismantling of America's middle
class by importing Third World wages to
the United States," UAW President Ron
Gettelfinger and Vice President Richard
Shoemaker said in a joint statement.
The UAW represents most of Delphi's
approximately 34,000 U.S. hourly work-
Delphi Chairman and CEO Robert
"Steve" Miller has said he understands
workers are angry, but the company is
paying wage and benefit packages worth
$65 an hour, which is two to three times
more than its competitors.
Miller has expressed optimism that a
deal with Delphi's unions can be reached
by mid-December. If an agreement to
cut wages and benefits isn't reached,
Delphi could ask the bankruptcy court
to void its contracts. The court could
then impose new contracts in the first
part of next year.
Todd Jordan, 28, who works at a Del-
phi plant in Kokomo, said there is no
way he and his- wife, who also works for
Delphi, could support their two children
on the proposed wages.
"We're going to have to declare bank-
ruptcy," Jordan said.
Yesterday in Dayton, Ohio, approxi-
mately 70 Delphi workers, local UAW
leaders and city officials marched
from a plant to a union hall to protest
any possible plant closings. The Day-
ton area has five Delphi plants that
employ 6,000 people.

Parks's death sparks talk
on civil rights movement

Diwali will


The Associated Press
The death of Rosa Parks underscores
that the generation responsible for the
key victories of the civil rights move-
ment is fading into history, leaving its
survivors with the challenge of keeping
the movement's memory and work alive
even as today's youth often seem disen-
"As people get older and people pass, it
becomes more and more difficult to have
that sort of firsthand knowledge" of the
fight for integration, said U.S. Rep. John
Lewis, a Georgia Democrat who first met
Parks as a 17-year-old student and activist.
"It becomes a little more difficult to pass
it on."
Lewis, who once headed the Student
Nonviolent Coordinating Committee,
added that the social challenges of today
- persistent racial gaps in poverty, educa-
tion and wealth, among others - highlight
the continued need for activists and teach-
ers to honor Parks' spirit.
"Her life should inspire a generation yet
unborn to stand up," he said.
Parks is one of a handful of civil rights
figures, along with Martin Luther King Jr.
and Malcolm X, whose name most young
people seem to know.
But many are more familiar with "Rosa
Parks," the hit song by the hip-hop group
OutKast, than her full story, said Renada
Johnson, a 25-year-old graduate student at
Bowie State University in Maryland, who

met Parks in 1997.
"Young people definitely know who
she was, but all we were taught in school
was that she didn't get up because her
feet were hurting," Johnson said. "They
don't know her whole story."
In 1955, Parks was a seamstress and
longtime sp-cretary for the local NAACP
who defied segregation laws aid refused
to give up her seat in a whites-only section
of a public bus in Montgomery, Ala.
Then 42, she inspired tens of thousands
of working-class blacks - led by King -
to boycott the local buses for more than a
year. Finally, the Supreme Court upheld a
lower court ruling that declared Montgom-
ery's segregated seating laws unconstitu-
tional. The effort highlighted persistent
bias against blacks across the nation.
After she died Monday at age 92, Parks
was remembered as a quiet woman of
steely resolve, whose simple act helped
spark the biggest movement for social
change in American history.
"But that was 50 years ago," said Bruce
Gordon, president of the National Asso-
ciation for the Advancement of Colored
People. "A lot has changed in 50 years."
Many young people either don't know
civil rights history or don't know why it
matters, he said. Parks, who worked to
educate youth about the struggle of black
people, once chuckled that children some-
times asked her if she knew Sojourner
Truth and Harriet Tubman, former slaves
who lived generations before her.

And now with the median age of Afri-
can-Americans at 30, according to the
Census Bureau, more than half of the
nation's black community was born after
the end of legally sanctioned racial dis-
Parents who were active in the move-
ment say they sense a disconnect when
speaking with their children.
"I remember my son once said to me,
'Why did you sit in the back of the bus?
Why didn't you just go up front?' I said
'I didn't want to get killed,"' said Earl G.
Graves Sr., 70, publisher of Black Enter-
prise Magazine. "He looked at me and
"Young people have to be reignited,"
he added.
Said Gordon: "It ought to renew in
people the recognition that individual
actions make a difference."
Lewis lamented that, in the last
month, several women civil rights pio-
neers have died: C. Delores Tucker, the
first black women to be Pennsylvania's
secretary of state; Constance Baker
Motley, the first black and the first
woman to serve as a federal judge in the
southern district of New York; and Viv-
ian Malone Jones, who defied Alabama
Gov. George Wallace as one of the first
black students to enroll at the University
of Alabama in 1963.
"And now Rosa Parks," he said. "It's
so important for people to tell their sto-
ries over and over again."

rate the

Hindu new year
Oct. 26, 1995 - In celebration of the
Diwali holiday, more than 100 Univer-
sity students assembled at Stockwell's
Blue Lounge. Diwali, which means the
"Festival of Lights," commemorates the
Hindu new year. The purpose of the
holiday is to pay tribute to Lakshmi, the
goddess of prosperity. According to the
Hindu epic Ramayana, Diwali also rep-
resents the day that Ram, a Hindu hero,
returned to Ayodaha after defeating the
demon king Ravana.
For many students, the event represents
a time to feel at home. "We celebrate this
at home every year," said LSA first-year
student Vinay Jindal. "It's something I
can do at school and not feel away from
home." Hosted by the Hindu Students

"Don't let your


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