2A -Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Explained Before You Were Here
For whom tolling the bell is ajob
The most widely heard musician on campus
Since he was a child, Steven Ball
has been fascinatedby bells.
As the University's carillonneur, he
now rings them for a living.
Atop the Burton Memorial Tower,
Ball plays the carillon, a series of bells
rung by playing a keyboard like that
of an organ.
The bells are programmed to ring
every quarter-hour - a throwback to
the Renaissance, when city-dwellers
depended on church bells to tell time.
Ball jingled a huge key ring that
looked like a jailer's as he climbed the
narrow stairwell from his office on the
ninth floor of the tower yesterday. As
Ball walked around the Charles Baird
Carillon's 60 bells, he explained how
the instrument works.
"It's unimaginably simple," Ball
The carillonneur hits keys and ped-
als on a keyboard. The keys and pedals
pull wires, which activate the ham-
mers that strike the bells.
The 43-ton carillon, with bells rang-
ing from 21 pounds to 12 tons, is the
third largest of the 500 in the world.
Ball often receives letters asking
him to perform pieces.
One "Star Wars" fan asked Ball to
arrange John Williams's score from
the classic filmseries. Ball said he's too
busy to oblige.
He has learned a little of the music,
Sitting at the carillon bench, Ball
formed his hands into loose fists and
pounded out "The Imperial March
(Darth Vader's Theme)." For a few
seconds, a sinister echo lingered over
"Just to prove that it can be done,"
Ball said playing the carillon is spe-
cial for those who get the opportunity
because most of campus can hear it.
"Every time they're up here, it's a
performance," Ball said. "It's actuallya
little unnerving, because you can have
a hundred thousand people listening
During high school, Ball took a
carillon course at Grand Valley State
Several of the sixty bells that make up the Universi-
ty's Charles Baird Carillon. The carillon was added
to the newly-built Burton Memorial Tower in 1936.
Brothers fight WHEN: Monday at about 9
in parking lot WHAT: A racial slur against
blacks was written in marker
SWH ERE: 3621 State St. on the door of a Univer-
WHEN: Monday at about sity employee's office, DPS
1 p.m. reported. It may have been
frATm F obrothentr targeted at the employee,
from Florida got into a fight who is black, police said.
while driving down State
Street, the Department
of Public Safety reported. Arb emegency
After fighting in a park- p-a
ing lot, one man drove off,
leaving his brother behind. WHERE: Nichols Arbore-
The remaining man was tum, 1827 Geddes Ave.
unharmed and wouldn't WHEN: Monday at about 6
say why he and his brother p.m.
were fighting. WHAT: The blue light on
CAMPUS EVENTS & NOTES
University. He continued studying the
instrument at the University of Michi-
gan, and in 1998 became a member of
the Guild of Carillonneurs of North
Now Ball teaches students to play
the massive instrument.
Anyone with keyboard proficiency
can apply to learn carillon. In an aver-
age semester, Ball teaches the instru-
ment to 15 to 20 students, he said.
This semester's class is smaller
because Ball is finishing a doctorate in
campanology - the study of bells - at
Ball said he feels lucky to be able to
make a living playing the carillon.
"It's somewhat difficult to play the
carillon professionally, because there
are not as many full-time positions in
the world," Ball said. "But this is one
of the really cool spots."
- Want to know more about a Uni-
versity job? E-mail suggestions to news@
er ,.U AUV11UMT
According to a study
s, conducted by Scottish
,r researchers, sitting
upright puts unnecessary
stress on the spine. Leaning
backward at 135 degrees is
to the healthiest way to sit, the
Although the Univer-
sity holds classes until
the day before Thanks-
s giving, many schools give
students the whole week off.
FOR MORE, SEE PAGE 4A
Because Michigan has
ste no law against mistreat-
ing a dead body, two
6 nurse's aides for a Sterling
Heights nursing home have
0. after posingfor pictures with
a dead body, the Detroit Free
tal Press reported.
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WHAT: A workshop hosted
by Arts on the Hill to teach
students about the art of
WHO: Artist Nancy Laut-
WHEN: Today from 6 to
WHERE: Alice Lloyd Resi-
dence Hall Art Studio
sponsored by the Taub
and students from the
Ross School of Busines
the College of Enginee
ing and the College of
Art and Architecture
WHEN: Today from 61
WHERE: Tishman At
Computer Science and
Cooking with concerts
written on door
WHERE: Medical Science
Unit II, 1137 Catherine St.
top of an emergency phone
was stolen, DPS reported. It
was removed so cleanly DPS
thought it was being repaired,
but University maintenance
staff confirmed that it had
WHAT: A display of a "one-
handed kitchen" including
cooking utensils that only
require one hand to use -
WHO: Integrated Product
Development, a course
WHAT: Students imit:
WHO: Musicology 50t
WHEN: Today at 8 p.r
WHERE: E.V. Moore
Building, Britton Recit
Granholm to propose lower business taxes
LANSING (AP) - Michigan businesses
would see their overalltaxrate drop towhat the
Granholm administration says is the nation's
lowest under a new tax plan the administra-
tion plans to release yesterday, The Associated
Press has learned.
Businesses would be taxed at one rate
- 0.125 percent - on their gross receipts and
assets, while profits would be taxed at a rate of
1.875 percent, according to two of the people
who were briefed on the plan by administra-
tion officials. Both spoke yesterday on condi-
tion of anonymity because the plan had not yet
Unlike the current Single Business Tax, the
new tax wouldn't include payroll or benefits
such as health insurance in calculating what's
It's designed to bring in the same amount of
tax revenue that businesses now pay, but it low-
ers the tax rate and broadens the base. Busi-
nesses with $350,000 or less in gross receipts
wouldn't have to file, the same as under the
Gov. Jennifer Granholm plans to hold a news
conference at 9:30 a.m. today to discuss the
plan, a half hour after state Treasurer Robert
Kleine briefs reporters on the details.
The treasurer's office was contacted yester-
day by the AP but declined to release details.
Businesses now pay about $1.9 million annu-
ally through the SBT and about $1.75 billion
through the personal property tax. They also
pay property taxes on their land and buildings,
sales and use taxes on items they buy and unem-
ployment insurance taxes on their workers.
Insurance companies, which now pay a1 per-
cent tax on premiums, would see that increase
to 1.25 percent under the plan. Granholm last
year had proposed doubling it to 2 percent,
but insurance companies fiercely fought that
Under the plan, commercial and industrial
businesses no longer would have to pay 18 mills
in local school tax and 6 mills in state educa-
tion tax on personal property such as the com-
puters and equipment they own, cutting those
taxes by more than 40 percent.
The state would have to make up a larger
share of payments to schools, possibly by using
some of the additional revenue from the tax on
gross receipts, assets and profits to beef up the
School Aid Fund.
The SBT is set to expire at the end of next year,
and Granholm last week urged lawmakers to put
a replacement tax in place before wrappingup the
two-year legislative session in mid-December.
BAGHDAD (AP) -The attack on Imad al-Hashimi, a Sunni el
the small Mustafa Sunni mosque in Hurriyah, who told Al-Arab
began as worshippers were finish- television he saw people who w
ing Friday midday prayers. About soaked in kerosene, then set af
50 unarmed men, many in black burning before his eyes.
uniforms and some wearing ski AP Television News also ts
masks, walked through the dis- video of the Mustafa mosque she
trict chanting "We are the Mahdi ing a large portion of the fronts
Army, shield of the Shiites." around the door blown away.I
Fifteen minutes later, two interior of the mosque appeare
white pickup trucks, a black BMW be badly damaged and there w
and a black Opel drove up to the signs of fire.
marchers. The suspected Shiite However, the U.S. military s
militiamen took automatic rifles in a letter to the AP late Mont
and rocket-propelled grenade three days after the incident, t
launchers from the vehicles. They it had checked with the Iraqi Ir
then blasted open the front of the rior Ministry and was told t
mosque, dragged six worshippers no one by the name of Jamil H
JOIN DAILY NEWS. CLIMB TOWERS.
outside, doused them with kero-
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I1sene and set them on fire.
This account of one of the most
horrific alleged attacks of Iraq's
a P R sectarian war emerged Tuesday in
Hflf RE separate interviews with residents
of a Sunni enclave in the largely
- NOY.30@Q8 PM Shiite Hurriyah district of Bagh-
DEC. 1@8 PM dad.
D CThe Associated Press first
DEC. 2 @2 PM reported on Friday's incident that
DEC 2@8 PM evening, based on the account of
2 police Capt. Jamil Hussein and
DEC. 3@2 PM
sein works for the ministry or as a U
Baghdad police officer.
Lt. Michael B. Dean, a public 1
affairs officer of the U.S. Navy
Multi-National Corps-Iraq Joint
Operations Center, signed the let-
ter, a text of which was published
subsequently on several Internet
blogs. The letter also reiterated
an earlier statement from the U.S.
military that it had been unable
to confirm the report of immola-
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