2A - Thursday, January 11, 2007
Everyone's good friend
A conversation with the Diag's most polite denizen
The question echoes inside the Engineering
Arch, ricocheting from Ulrich's to In-n-Out and
resonating up and down South University Avenue.
"Spare any change, my good friend?"
The echoes come from Ronnie, a middle-aged
Ann Arbor native who can be found standing out-
side of the arch almost daily. And immediately
following each request, through his gap-toothed
smile, he offers each passerby the same wish,
r' regardless of whether or not they have change to
spare: "Have a nice day."
Even though he said University students are
fairly generous with their quarters, Ronnie isn't
only occupying his post for profit.
What he's really looking for, he said, is another
friend and some conversation.
"It's more on a friendship thing," Ronnie said,
who declined to give his last name. "I don't expect
people to stop and give me change. I would prefer to
have a real close friend than change in my pocket."
Growing up in Ann Arbor, Ronnie said he once
had dreams of attending California's Gemological
Institute of America for jewelers and designing
l =affordable jewelry for everyone to enjoy, not just
RoB MIGRIN/Daily the wealthy.
Ronnie, an Ann Arbor resident known on campus for his signature "Spare any He returned to his hometown from Los Angeles
change, my good friend" call, stands outsidethe Engineering Arch yesterday about 10 years ago to help care for his aging moth-
afternoon. Ronnie says he placesfriendship over collecting money. er. He continues to live with her near campus.
He survives on welfare and the kindness of stu-
dents, he said. While he said he would like to get
a job, he prefers to be available during the day in
case his mother needs anything from the phar-
macy or store.
Ronnie said although students frequently
assume he will use the money they give him to buy
drugs or alcohol, he saves up for purchases like his
new winter coat - a tan one, with faux fur lining.
Ronnie said that he prefers the campus area
because of the friendliness of the students, and
said that Ann Arbor becomes much more "snotty"
when students leave in the summer.
Ronnie is not discouraged if students ignore him.
"If you don't speak to me, then I guess you don't
want to part of my repertoire," he said
It doesn't take much to get on Ronnie's good side.
"I like people (who are) vibrant individuals.
Those are my special people," Ronnie said. "If they
do have (vibrancy), I encourage them to reach their
highestgoal. If you have anythingspecial about you,
I encourage you to reach your highestgoal, too."
"Everybody likes what I'm doing," he said with
a laugh. "Except maybe the police. They have to
work for their money."
- Know a campus character worthy of a profile? E-
mail suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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CAMPUS EVENTS & NOTES
down with food
WHERE: West Quad Resi-
WHEN: Tuesday at about
WHAT: An ambulance was
called for a male student
with a case of food poison-
ing, the Department of
Public Safety reported.
WHERE: East Quad Resi-
WHEN: Monday at about
WHAT: A male student re-
ported water damage to his
computer, DPS reported.
Key, two bucks
WHERE: North Ingalls
Building, 300 N. Ingalls Ave.
WHEN: Tuesday at about
WHAT: A caller reported a
master key and $2 in cash was
stolen sometime in the past
two weeks, DPS reported.
WHERE: West Quad Resi-
WHEN: Monday at about
WHAT: A caller reported
some had written on the
wall of a bathroom stall, DPS
WHAT: A lecture detailing
Greg Olsen's training and
10 days at the International
WHO: Greg Olsen, the third
private citizen to orbit the
WHEN: Today 4 p.m.
WHERE: Biomedical Sci-
ence Research Building
flim on Mideast
WHAT: A screening of the
WHO: Center for Middle
Eastern and North African
WHEN: Today from 7 to
WHERE: The Michigan
WHAT: A lecture explor-
ing the social and cultural
issues surrounding bisexu-
WHO: Institute for Research
on Women and Gender
WHEN: Today from noon
to 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Room 2239, Lane
Please report any error in
the Daily to corrections@
At least three members of
the Yale all-male singing
group, The Baker's Dozen,
were injured after being taunted
with anti-gay slurs and savagely
beaten at a New Year's Eve party
in San Francisco, The Associated
Press reported. One member of
the group suffereda brokenjaw.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs said
he wants his company's
new iPhone to account for
1 percent of all cell phone sales
>>FOR MORE, SEE ARTS, PAGE 2B
Two years have been added
to the prison sentence of
former elementary school
teacher Pamela Rogers for send-
ing a male student nude pictures,
The Associated Press reported.
Rogers is serving an eight-year
sentence for having sex with the
same student when he was 13
Kansas school board to reverse sex ed policy Truck pushes Pa.
I -1 -2Un ,
TOPEKA (AP) - A day after tak- ously have said they want to reverse active transmitted diseases. It's not On Tuesday, the board moved
ing steps to revise its science stan- a decision the board made last sum- a mandate, so districts don't risklos- quickly to dump its current science
dards, the State Board of Education mer when conservatives held a 6-4 ing their accreditation by failing to standards, which treat evolution as
agreed yesterday to tackle sex edu- majority. adopt it. a flawed theory.
cation requirements installed by In June, the board approved a But the policy does require The board will vote in February
the board's previous conservative policy stating that human sexuality schools to get written permission on a rival set of evolution-friendly
majority. classes should promote abstinence from parents for students to par- standards drafted by a committee
Board members agreed to put the until marriage, while still giving ticipate in sex education courses. In of educators. The present standards
sex education policy on the Febru- students complete and medically most districts, students previously incorporate language favored by
ary agenda. There was no discussion accurate information about birth were automatically enrolled unless backers of intelligent design and
of the issue, but moderates previ- control and preventing sexually their parents objected in writing. were adopted in 2005.
school bus ott road
WERNERSVILLE, Pa. (AP)
- A tractor-trailer collided with
a school bus and a van early yes-
terday, knocking the bus into a
cornfield and injuring a total of 10
people, school officials said.
Seven students on the bus were
treated for broken bones and cuts,
while two students in the van were
expected to be kept in the hospi-
tal overnight, said Robert Urzillo,
superintendent of the Conrad
Weiser School District.
The bus driver was hospitalized
with a broken pelvis.
The bus was stopped at a red
light on Route 422 with 15 middle-
and high school students aboard
when it was hit around 7:50 a.m.,
The circumstances of the acci-
dent were not immediately clear,
but Urzillo said the tractor-trailer
apparently first hit the front of a
van, then bounced and hit the bus.
All the students were able to get
off the bus, but seven of them and
the driver were taken to hospitals
by ambulance, Urzillo said.
Authorities had not decided yes-
terday whether to cite the driver
of the tractor-trailer and the acci-
dent remained under investigation,
said Officer Gary Chwastiak, of the
Lower Heidelberg Township Police
Wernersville is about 5 miles
west of Reading.