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March 09, 2007 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-03-09

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, March 9, 2007 - 3

NEWS BRIEFS
SAO PAULO, Brazil
0 Amid protest,
Bush begins tour of
Latin America
President Bush sought to reverse
an impression of U.S. neglect as
he opened a six-day tour of Latin
America yesterday. Street protests
awaited him.
Bush's trip was intended to pro-
mote democracy, increased trade
and cooperation on alternative
fuels. The president and his advis-
ers also hoped his visit would off-
set the growing influence of leftist
leaders, such as Venezuela's Hugo
Chavez.
As he flew here on Air Force One,
Bush's national security adviser
brushed aside Chavez's provoca-
tions. "The president is going to
do what he's been doing for a long
time: talk about a positive agenda,"
said Stephen Hadley.
Thousands of students, envi-
ronmentalists and other protest-
ers, some waving communist flags,
gathered in the business district of
South America's largest city ahead
of Bush's arrival. And in the south-
ern city of Porto Alegre, more than
500 people yelled "Get Out, Impe-
rialist!" as they burned an effigy of
Bush outside a Citigroup Inc. bank
branch.
WASHINGTON
Gingrich had affair
during Clinton
impeachment
Former House Speaker Newt
Gingrich was having an extramari-
tal affair even as he led the charge
against President Clinton over
the Monica Lewinsky affair, he
acknowledged in an interview with
a conservative Christian group.
"The honest answer is yes," Gin-
grich, a potential 2008 Republican
presidential candidate, said in an
interview with Focus on the Family
founder James Dobson to be aired
today, according to a transcript
provided to The Associated Press.
"There are times that I have fallen
short of my own standards. There's
certainly times when I've fallen
short of God's standards."
WASHINGTON
Dems vow to pass
Iraq pullout; veto
threatened
House Democratic leaders
vowed,yesterday to pass legislation
setting a deadline of Sept. 1, 2008,
for the withdrawal of U.S. combat
troops from Iraq, a challenge to
President Bush's war policy that
drew a blunt veto threat in return.
"It would unnecessarily hand-
cuff our generals on the ground,
and it's safe to say it's a nonstart-
er for the president," said White
House spokesman Dan Bartlett.
Little more than two months
after Democrats took control of
the House and Senate, Speaker
Nancy Pelosi of California said
the bill would set "dates certain
for the first time in the Congress

for the redeployment of our troops
out of Iraq."
MIDLAND, Mich.
School shooterhad
r stopped taking
medication
The 17-year-old who shot his ex-
girlfriend outside her school before
killing himself had bipolar disorder
and recently had stopped taking his
medications, his mother said.
Marie Turner, the mother of
David Turner, told the Midland
Daily News that her son suffered
from attention deficit hyperactiv-
ity disorder and struggled with
anger and depression. He also saw
his father die of a heart attack in
2002.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports
1180
Number of days early South
Carolina prison inmates would get
out of jail for donating a kidney
if the state legislature approves a
proposed bill, The Associated Press
* reported. Although federal law
says it's illegal to give people "spe-
cial consideration" for organ donor
status, a panel on the state Senate
approved the plan to trade organs
for parole yesterday.

MSA
From page 1
Rep. Kenneth Baker, who ran as an
independent last year, paused.
"This year was civil, quiet, there
were no huge blow-ups," Baker said.
"But we didn't give the students
anything to care about. We didn't
do anything wrong, but we didn't
do anything spectacular either."
CAMPUS CRIME
In an interview with The Michi-
gan Daily in September, Stallings
said she planned to work closely
with the Department of Public
Safety to make students safer.
One idea was to start a program
where student volunteers would
walk fellow students home at night.
Although DPS spokeswoman Diane
Brown said in September that the
department was aware of the idea,
the program has notyetcbeen imple-
mented.
Yost said MSA has also been
working with the Ann Arbor City
Council in the last year to improve
street lighting in student neighbor-
hoods, a project that began several
years ago. According to Yost, the
project is in its final stages. It will
cost less than $20,000 and include
the installation of more streetlights
in student neighborhoods.
HOUSING
The previous MSA administra-
tion was instrumental in pres-
suring the City Council to an
ordinance pushing back the date
when landlords are permitted to
show properties to prospective
tenants until three months after a
lease begins.
That ordinance, though, con-
tained a loophole that rendered
it nearly ineffective by allowing
landlords to show properties before
the deadline if the current tenants
signed a waiver saying they aren't
going to renew their lease.
Yost said MSA trying to get city
council to close the loophole in the
ordinance.
CAMPUS FOOD
Students running for election to

MSA have promised an expansion
of the Entree Plus program since
2003. No off-campus restaurants
accept Entre Plus dollars.
Although MSA's Academic
Affairs Commission did some work
on the topic in the past, it hasn't
made any headway. LSA Student
Government Rep. Hannah Madoff
said MSA hasn't done any work on
the issue in the past year.
"It's definitely something LSA-
SG picked up," she said. "MSA real-
ly hasn't been involved."
S4M candidates also promised
last year to increase funding for
student groups.
MSA Treasurer Josh Kersey
said funding to student groups has
increased slightly since last year, in
part because MSA streamlined the
application process.
MSA has a budget of $624,000
this academic year.
It gave $125,000 to the Budget
Priorities Commission for distri-
bution to student groups in the
fall. This semester, the commis-
sion received $25,000 more. The
Community Service Commission
was given $40,000 in the fall and
received $10,000 more this win-
ter.
Kersey cited increased advertis-
ing and better tracking of spending
as the reason for the increase in
funding.
Stallings said in September
that combating Proposal 2, which
ended the University's use of affir-
mative action, would be a priority,
but MSA was noticeably absent
in the fight against it during the
lead-up to the election. During
her campaign, Stallings said she
would focus on educating students
about the effects of Proposal 2, if
it passed.
Stallings did not returned repeat-
ed calls for comment.
MSA's Voice Your Vote commis-
sion, though, did register 4,896
voters for the midterm election in
conjunction with the College Dem-
ocrats and College Republicans.
MSA representatives often
say they don't complete projects
because of a high rate of turnover.

Whenre
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Yost
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epresentatives leave MSA or
:e from the University, their
often lost.
said he plans to combat the
n if he wins the presidency
ting an MSA Internship Pro-
hat would target incoming
en in the hopes of recruiting
join the assembly.
r said MSA doesn't usually
n projects as a group. He
dividual commission and
tees are always working,
e's a joke someone told me:
governs, MSA assembles,"
aid.
r said MSA would be more
e if the power structure was
d. Right now, the legislative
cutive branches function as
.y. Baker said he thinks they
be separated.
said he also thinks there is
em.
has 22 commissions and
tees, which makes the flow
munication between them
t, he said.
putting some commissions
r and making MSA more
, we should be able to fix it,"
d.
said it gauges student
is on a regular basis. This
happens through e-mails,
f-mouth and surveys, Yost
cts like Airbus, which
ides from the University to
Metro Airport before and
eaks, are a result of repre-
es talking with students, he
he said is also aware that
tudents have no idea what

Proposal for
sin tax hike
draws fire

LANSING (AP) - A pack-a-day-
smoker in Michigan pays about
$730 a year in state cigarette taxes.
Polish off a $22 bottle of vodka
once every two weeks or so with
some friends, and that costs rough-
ly $65 in state liquortaxes each year
- not counting the state's general
sales tax, which would push.,the
total closer to $100.
Michigan's liquor and cigarette
taxes tend to be higher than those
in many neighboring states, and the
price tag soon could go up. Increas-
es in those markups are part of Gov.
Jennifer Granholm's plan to shake
state government out of its ongoing
financial doldrums.
Some Michigan drinkers and
smokers already feel they shoul-
der too much of the burden for the
state's budget woes. Bar and restau-
rant owners aren't happy about the
proposed increases, either, saying
the higher taxes and license fees
would drive away business, or at
least raise their costs.
Profit margins already are slim
at some places. Many small north-
ern Michigan establishments, for
example, are coping with a sluggish
economy and a low-snow winter

that cut into business.
"When times are good, we don't
mind sharing. But times aren't
good," said Richard Smith, owner
of Leo's Lounge in downtown Peto-
skey. "The cost of everything is up.
Heat is up, insurance is up, gas is
up. Adding this ... we would look at
that as a slap in the face."
The Granholm plan to balance
the state's books, unveiled last
month, includes an increase to the
liquor tax that could raise shelf
prices by about 5 percent, adding
roughly $1 to the cost of a $20 bot-
tle. Beer and wine products have
escaped the proposed tax hike.
The extra money from the so-
called sin tax would be earmarked
for the state's school aid fund. It
could raise an additional $28 mil-
lion for schools each year as the
state tries to wiggle out of a bud-
get deficit projected at more than
$900 million for the fiscal year that
began last October. The markup
was last raised in 1993.
Some bars and restaurants could
see the cost of their liquor licenses
triple under Granholm's proposal.
The last time those rates were
raised was 1976.

BUS
From page 1
Wales and Scotland. The company
launched its North American ser-
vice in Chicago in April 2006.
Buses from Ann Arbor will only
travel to the Megabus.com hub
in Chicago. Students can transfer
buses to other cities from there,
though.
The company services seven
midwestern states and hopes to
expand in the future, Eggert said. It
plans to launch in four other cities
onApril 2, includingon the campus
of Ohio State University.
LSA freshman Andrew Capo-
ni, who grew up in Chicago, said
he's interested in the bus service
because he doesn't own a car. Capo-
ni has relied on his parents to drive
him home and back duringbreaks.
The company's website says the
trip to Chicago will take four hours
and 40 minutes. The buses, which
hold 56 passengers, will leave from
the South State Street Commuter
Park and Ride - which is south of
the athletic campus near the Uni-
versity's tennis center - at 9 a.m.
and 5 p.m. each day.
The University is working with
Megabus.com to promote the new
transportation option on campus.
"It's nice to add another tool to
the toolbox," said Diane Brown, a En
spokeswoman for the University's er
facilities and operations. St
TheUniversity will link to Mega- thi
bus.comonits website.
The new bus service will com-
pete with long-standing ground
transportation rivals like Grey-
hound and Amtrak.
Greyhound claims not to be
phased by the competition, though.
"As the largest intercity bus
company in the country, we face all
forms of competition," said Anna
Folmnsbee, a spokeswoman for the
company. "We welcome competi-
tion."
She said Megabus.com might
introduce more people to bus trans-
portationand increase Greyhound's
customer base.
She said Greyhound offers ame-
nities that Megabus.com does not,
though, like terminals. Amtrak
and Greyhound also offer more
departure times, advance booking
and day-of-travel ticket purchas-
ing. But each company's rides usu-
ally include stops - which increase
travel time.
Plus, they cost more.
Other discount bus services have
come under scrutiny for safety haz-
ards. They have been accused of
poor maintenance and hiring dis-
reputable drivers. The companies
have been accused of cutting cor-
ners to keep fares low.
Eggert dismissed such concerns
about Megabus.com. He said the
company's bus inspections keep
buses in good conditions and prop-
er working order.
- Joey Goldshlack
contributed to this report.

BALL-]

Although last year's election had M ,., ' lb a,
one of the highestturnouts in recent U:, oOneh,,
years, most students still don't vote
or care. I~etun ovroot e
"Yes, we had 21 percent of the . callsam rr0
student body turn out at last year's \/
elections," Yost said. "But that
means 79 percent didn't bother.
Most of the student body doesn't
know what we do, and they most c 1
likely don't care."
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gineering junior Edward Smith fires a toy gun in the corridor between the Dud-
stadt Center and Pierpoint Commons yesterday. The event was organized by the
udent Space Systems Fabrication Lab for National Engineers Week. The object of
s game was to hit two bottles with five projectiles. The winner got a free T-shirt.

96


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