The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - Fall 2005 - 7F
light up for
By Olga Mantilla
APRIL 4, 2005
Daily Staff Writer
An estimated 900 people gathered this weekend for Ann
Arbor's annual Hash Bash, a peaceful and music-filled rally that
brought together a diverse group of participants. Their reasons
for attending ranged from educating people about marijuana
reform laws, to supporting a recently passed proposal to allow
the use of medicinal marijuana, to witnessing the Ann Arbor
tradition for themselves.
Among the speakers at the rally were Scio Township trustee
Chuck Ream and Melanie Karr, vice president of the Michigan
chapter of The National Organization for the Reform of Mari-
The Diag rally was followed by a street fair held across from the
Law Quad and an impromptu march to City Hall led by Ream. The
march made its way downtown with 150 participants, including
Karr, who held signs that read "74%," the percentage by which Pro-
posal C, the medical marijuana initiative, passed last November.
"This march is about implementing the marijuana initiative in
Ann Arbor," Karr said.
But Ann Arbor City Attorney Stephen Postema said that the
issue that activists like Karr are fighting for is a nonissue.
"There's been no prosecution for people who use marijuana for
medical uses," he said. "If you have a valid prescription for mari-
juana, it is legal. That's state law."
Postema said that although the vote for the marijuana initiative
was valid, the result is unenforceable to the extent that it conflicts
with state and federal law.
The U.S. Supreme. Court medicinal marijuana case Raich v.
Ashcroft was one of the issues proponents of medicinal marijuana
discussed at the rally. The case will have a significant impact on the
future of medicinal marijuana, states' rights and the federal govern-
ment's power in determining the legal scope of its usage.
Although the organizers of Hash Bash said they were present at
the rally for both political and recreational reasons, some students
scoffed at the notion that the rally was politically motivated.
"I don't think the political impact is big on campus," LSA soph-
University student Stephanie and friend Jarim light a pipe at the 34th Annual Hash Bash.
omore Ryne Dominguez said. "It's about smoking, not marijuana
Although many participants chose to smoke marijuana openly,
Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Diane Brown said the
rally resulted in no arrests or citations, a change from last year's
Hash Bash, which resulted in six marijuana-related arrests and 14
tickets for alcohol-related violations.
The turnout for Hash Bash this year increased from last year's
650 to approximately 900 people, according to Brown.
Kate Dillon, the vice president of the University chapter of the
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said this
year's rally tried to attract more students and community members
by having live bands kick off the event.
"We wanted to bring up the energy of Hash Bash," she said.
"This is the first time the University's chapter of NORML has had
major involvement in the planning of the event."
Adam Brook, a member of the executive board of Michigan's
NORML chapter, has organized Hash Bash for more than 16 years.
He said Hash Bash is renowned across the country as one of the larg-
est, most unadvertised events protesting laws prohibiting marijuana.
"There are thousands here from out of town today," he said. "The
weather has to do with the relatively small turnout during the day,
but the bars downtown will be packed tonight. This is a cultural
experience in Ann Arbor."
The University's College Libertarians were present to show their
support for the goals of NORML. College Libertarians Vice Chair
Jeremy Linden said his group supports the effort to educate people
about marijuana law reform.
"College Libertarians supports the privacy of individuals against
government regulation, prohibiting people from doing something
that does not harm other people," Linden said.
A record number of proposals to reform marijuana laws were
on state and local ballots in 2004. Within the past year, legislative
districts in California, Montana and Massachusetts have passed
medicinal marijuana initiatives that have strengthened existing
medicinal marijuana law.
By Melissa Benton
NOVEMBER 15, 2004
Daily Staff Writer
Ann Arbor City Hall was evacuated for more than
eight hours Saturday, Nov. 13 as police investigated a
Although Sgt. Pat Ouellette of the Ann Arbor Police
Department said police did not find any evidence of a
bomb in city hall - located in the Guy C. Larcom,
Jr. Municipal Building - in their search, the building
was evacuated until about noon.
Ouellette said as of November 15 there were no sus-
pects in the investigation. The case was turned over to
the FBI's Detroit field office for further investigation.
Ouellette said two square blocks surrounding city
hall, including residences exposed to city hall, were
About 40 people were evacuated from city hall and
the surrounding area, including police personnel and
residents, he added.
Specifically, police were investigating a filing cabi-
net located outside Mayor John Hieftje's office, based
on a tip the FBI received.
"We received the information from the Federal
Bureau of Investigation at about 3:30 (in the) morn-
ing," Ouellette said.
"The FBI received that information through an
overseas source," Ouellette said. He was unable to
comment further on the nature of the source, but said
the local FBI office in Ann Arbor informed AAPD of
a possible bomb in city hall.
Ouellette said AAPD used six trained dogs to sniff
out explosives in order to search the six-floor building.
"The dog went upstairs and did hit on the suspicious
filing cabinet," Ouellette said.
Although nothing was found in the cabinet during
the search, Ouellette said even well-trained dogs can
occasionally flag an area with no explosives.
He added that the file cabinet was previously locat-
ed in the basement of city hall where ammunition has
been stored, so the dog could have picked up on the
scent of some contaminants that had rubbed off onto
the cabinet from previous use.
The streets surrounding city hall for a two-block
radius in both directions were blocked off while police
searched city hall. That led to an influx of traffic prob-
lems and congestion exacerbated by the football game,
"Once football traffic started coming into town it
backed up traffic a little bit," he said.
But he added that radio and TV announcements
were made to curb traffic jams.
The local FBI, the Michigan State Police, the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explo-
sives, the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office and the
Livingston County Sheriff's Office assisted AAPD in
securing the building, Ouellette said.He added that the
Department of Public Safety was not involved because
of the football game.
The FBI and city administrators were unavailable
Police report that walk-in thefts increase
By Emily Kraack
October 1, 2004
Daily Staff Writer
Simple door and window locks may be the
most powerful tools for students in the fight
against theft, says Ann Arbor Police Depart-
ment Sgt. Ed Dreslinski.
Due to a rise in what are called "walk-in
home invasions," or break-ins that involve no
forced entry, AAPD asked Ann Arbor residents
and especially students to be more careful to
lock doors and windows. Dreslinski stressed
that students should lock doors when leaving
"either to go to class or home for the weekend
or even just sleeping in their residence." He said
they should also put pressure on their landlords
to install and maintain safety devices in rental
"By not taking these simple precautionary
steps, they're leaving themselves more suscep-
tible to being a victim," he said.
On the other hand, Department of Public
Safety spokeswoman Diane Brown said that
on-campus crimes, including home invasions,
fell between 2002 and 2003. She said home
invasions fell 55 percent, and she had not heard
of a spike in on-campus break-ins similar to the
off-campus increase noticed by AAPD. The
number of break-ins in campus buildings fell
from 150 in 2002 to 67 in 2003, and much of
the decrease happened in the residence halls.
Brown attributed the decrease to new cam-
pus security initiatives implemented in 2003.
These measures started with locking residence
hall entrances to non-residents 24 hours a day,
and continued with automatic door locks on
residence hall doors, additional security and
police patrols and education awareness efforts
similar to those of AAPD.
Dreslinski said he did not know how many
break-ins had occurred since the start of the
school year, but said there had been at least
three incidents in the last two weeks in Sep-
tember where people awakened to an intruder
in their homes. Three apartments in University
Towers, an off-campus apartment complex,
were also broken into last weekend, apparently
without the use of force.
LSA senior Greg Mowatt said he usually
locks the door of his off-campus apartment.
"I've left it unlocked and haven't had any prob-
lems," he said.
He added that he thinks parties, where hous-
es are filled with strangers, represent a bigger
danger than doors occasionally left unlocked.
AAPD is also asking neighbors to look out
for each other, be aware of their surroundings
and aware of their neighbors houses.
"Sometimes we get calls of a (breaking and
entering) and we'll have a neighbor say, 'I saw
someone looking in the window an hour ago,' "
he said. "We'd like to know about that - we'd
like to stop something before it happens."
Engineering freshman Tiffinique' Walls,
who lives in a North Campus residence hall,
said she thinks her dorm, which just got elec-
tronic door locks, is safe. She added that stu-
dents sometimes make bad decisions. "They
prop doors open - I've kicked the rock out
plenty of times," she said.
LSA freshman James Robinson said he
thinks the University is doing a good job of
protecting students. "There's only so much you
can do," he said.
Dreslinski said that if students finds some-
one in their house or room, they should call
911 as soon as the person leaves. He also sug-
gested going to a neighbor's home and calling
the police to get out of harm's way. He advised
against threatening the invader.
"The last thing you want to do is inflame a
situation. Most of these people don't want to get
caught, they want to get away with some finan-
cial gain," he said. "Chasing them or confront-
ing them might escalate the situation - we
haven't had anyone accosted or assaulted yet,
and we want to keep it that way."
Kolb clinches his final term in House
By Kristin Ostby
NOVEMBER 3, 2004
Daily Staff Writer
Democrat Chris Kolb was re-elected to represent
Ann Arbor for a third term in the state Legislature on
Nov. 2, surpassing Republican opponent Erik Shea-
gren with a majority of the vote.
"It's always very rewarding to be re-elected in Ann
Arbor," Kolb said at a gathering of the local Demo-
cratic Party at Ann Arbor's Cavern Club on 210 S.
This will be Kolb's final term serving the 53rd dis-
tric,, which encompasses Ann Arbor.
Given the largely Democratic constituency of his
district, Kolb's victory did not come as a surprise to
many. In last August's primaries, he won 78 percent
of the vote against Sheagren. In fact, Sheagren said
he ran against Kolb primarily to give voters a choice
on Election Day - he did not have high expectations
Kolb said he plans to make the state budget, higher
education and the environment the focus of his two-
"I think we really have to concentrate on trying to
jumpstart Michigan's economy," he said. "It's been
impacting our ability to make adjustments in educa-
tion, health care, higher education, life sciences - sec-
tors of our economy that we have not been able to make
the investments we need."
For the past two years, Kolb has worked on the
House Appropriations Committee to prepare the
state budget. He voted for a proposal drawn up by
Gov. Jennifer Granholm to cap tuition costs last
Kolb has also said he would like to see the num-
ber of college graduates in Michigan double in the
next 10 years. "That's part of the governor's plan to
make sure we have the workforce Michigan's going to
need," he said.
He also said he would like to work on creating a
transit system from Ann Arbor to Detroit by rail or bus
to give students an easier way of getting to and from
Since taking office in January of 2001 Kolb has
strongly supported environmental policies such as the
Ann Arbor Greenbelt program to protect the city's
parks and other green spaces from urban sprawl. He
sponsored the Water Legacy Act, a package of bills
outlining ways in which the Great Lakes can be safe-
guarded from water diversion.
Kolb said he plans to keep working on a long list
of environmental issues. "We're going to continue to
push to protect the Great Lakes, basically our greatest
resource in the state of Michigan."
He added that the removal of mercury and other
toxic chemicals was of high importance to him. He
also said he would like to increase the use of renewable
energy in Michigan.
Kolb said he is concerned about the passage of Pro-
posals 1 and 2 in the November elections
Proposal 1 added an amendment to the state con-
stitution to require voter approval for any new form
of legalized gambling in the state, excluding projects
started within casinos operated by Native American
tribes and those currently functioning in Detroit. Pro-
posal 2 made gay marriage and civil unions unconsti-
tutional in the state.
"Proposal 1 will have a negative impact on the Mich-
igan lottery to provide needed funds for our education
system," Kolb said.
Kolb, Michigan's first openly gay legislator, said the
passage of Proposal 2 will negatively affect same-sex
families in Michigan. "It sends a bad message about
Michigan to our country," he added.
He said he believes the issue of gay marriage will
resurface in courts, especially because of the propos-
al's vague wording. He said he also expects its sup-
porters to try to use the proposal to prevent the legal
recognition of domestic partnerships and the benefits
provided for them.
Ann arbor Repre Bnattves
U.S. Senators: Carl Levin (D) and Debbie Stabenow (D)
U.S Representative: John t). Dingell (D)
Michigan Governor: Jennifer Granholm (D)
State Senator: Liz Brater (D)
State Representatives: Chris Kalb (D)
Mayor of Ann Arbor: John Hiefte(LD)
Chris Kolb won his final term in the state House of Representatives.
Greenbelt proposal has yet to preserve any land in A2
By Anne Joling
JANUARY 6, 2005
Daily Staff Reporter
More than one year after Ann Arbor voters
approved the Parks and Greenbelt Proposal to
protect natural habitats in the city, the project
has yet to preserve its first piece of land within
the designated Greenbelt.
Ann Arbor voters approved the Parks and Green-
belt Proposal in 2003 with 67 percent of the vote.
The proposal created a millage, which will be used
to nurchase develonment rights from landowners
land purchases have been made under the Green-
belt Project, they are pleased with the progress it
"I think it's going as well as one could hope. It's
a very complicated process," said City Council and
Greenbelt Advisory Commission member Robert
Johnson. "We hope to begin purchasing properties
in the first half of 2005."
Additionally, those involved with the Green-
belt Project have said that in comparison to simi-
lar projects in other cities, the timeline of Ann
Arbor's project is on target.
"By every measure of what we have to compare
slow," Hanson said.
Doug Cowherd, another former leader in the
effort to create and pass the Greenbelt plan last
year, also said it is unfair to compare Ann Arbor's
Greenbelt project to projects in other cities because
of the varying circumstances in each city.
"Some conservation programs start slowly
because they're not under sprawl development pres-
sure, they have no money in hand and they have no
history of land acquisition. In Ann Arbor, we have
severe sprawl pressure; we started out with around
$4 million in the acquisition fund on the day the
proposal was passed, and we have a 20-year history
time on matters like couch bans than it has on the
Greenbelt," Hanson said.
Mike Garfield, chairman of the Greenbelt
Advisory Commission, said he understands
these concerns and believes the commission
should continue to move forward and begin to
purchase properties soon.
"There has not been the same kind of increase
in property values that we've seen over the last 10
years, but I take that with a grain of salt because I
think all the long-term indicators say that property
values are going to escalate. I think we're going to
save money if we buy more properties soon, rather
help to advise the commission and guide it in mak-
ing land acquisitions.
"A lot of what goes on in the first year of a project
like this is legal work, organization, structure and is
certainly less visible to the voters," Berriz said.
Commission members said one of the project's
challenges is finding properties that are for sale.
But Garfield said one important aspect of the
Greenbelt Project is that farmers and land owners
are not asked to sell their properties and give up
their farms. Instead, farmers may keep farming,
but if enrolled in the program, they must sell their
right to develop that piece of property.