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Ann Arbor, Michigan
Thursday, September 13, 2007
LEFT PHOTO BY ANGELA CESERE/Daily,
TOP PHOTO BY ROB MIGRIN/Daily
ABOVE: Wind Power Washtenaw planner Jeremy
McCalion at Energy Fest 2007 on the Diag Tuesday.
LEFT: Wind farm owner Rich VanderVeen talks about
his wind farm in Mackinaw City during a University
conference on climate change in July.
THE WINDIS UP
City part of state-wide movement to get more energy from wind turbines,
but obstacles abound
By Arikia Millikan I Daily Staff Reporter
New channel will broadcast 13
'W basketball games, but it won't
appear in many A2homes this year
By KEVIN WRIGHT
Daily Sports Editor
Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman has
a message to Big Ten fans who subscribe to Com-
cast cable: If you want the Big Ten Network, look for
another cable company.
At Big Ten Media Day in early August, Silverman
was optimistic the two sides could reach a deal before
the network launched on Aug. 30, but now says he's
not expecting to finish a deal with Comcast this year.
"If people want to get the network, they're going to
have to make alternative arrangements," Silverman
said. "I can't see it being on Comcast anytime soon."
Comcast and the Big Ten Network have long dis-
agreed on where the network should fit into a cable
package. Both Silverman and Big Ten Commissioner
Jim Delany publicly asked the company to carry the
network on basic or expanded cable, but Comcast
wanted to incorporate it in a special sports package.
Comcast spokesman John Demming said the cable
provider is ready to immediately add the Big Ten Net-
work, but just onto its sports tier package.
The package costs $4.99 per month and includes
the Golf Channel, NFL Network, NBA TV and a soc-
The network will carry at least 13 Michigan bas-
ketball games and at least one more Michigan football
game. Much of its programming will be made up of
sports like soccer that aren't usually televised.
See NETWORK, Page 7A
A 11 over campus Tuesday
there were cries of "It's so
windy" as students hurried
to class, clutching their belongings
close to keep them from beinglost to
the powerful gusts.
But the participants in Energy
Fest 2007 weren't bothered at all
whentheir presentationboards were
blown around. The participants say
Ann Arbor needs all the wind it can
get if it wants to be more energy effi-
The city has been working since
2005 to meet deadlines set by Mayor
John Hieftje that require the city to
get more of its energy from renew-
able sources. Hieftje says expanding
reliance on wind power is crucial to
meeting that goal.
Although there are currently no
wind-harnessing turbines in Ann
Arbor, the Washtenaw County Board
ofCommissionersluasenlisted a team
called Wind Power Washtenaw that
is working with a University class to.
determine the feasibility of building
a wind farm in Washtenaw County.
Jeremy McCallion, one of the
project's planners, said for at least
six months his team will test wind
speed and consistency by placing
poles with wind speed monitors on
farms on the west side of Washtenaw
County. With that data, researchers
- aided by students in an Engineer-
ing class on wind energy taught by
Prof. Jerry Keeler -- will decide
which places are the most suitable
sites for wind turbines.
It's not certain that turbines will
be built in Ann Arbor, though.
Hieftje said wind turbines in Ann
Arbor wouldn't generate as much
energy as coastal areas of Michigan
that get strong winds from the Great
Lakes. That means it would take a
longer period of time to generate a
return on an initial investment that
could be up to $2 million per tur-
Rich VanderVeen, the owner of
a wind farm with two turbines in
Mackinaw City, Mich., said the price
of wind turbines is growing expo-
nentially every year because of high
demand. All turbine manufacturing
companies have sold out of turbines
"The whole world is going wind
power," he said.d
Hieftje said even if Ann Arbor
doesn't build its own windmills, it's
willing to buy wind energy from the
thumb area of Michigan, where the
wind is faster and 250 windmills
"We are ready and willing to pay
wind producers more for wind ener-
gy than for fossil fuels," he said.
Hieftje said he would like to see
wind energy available to all Ann
Arbor residents andultimately wants
100 percent of Ann Arbor's energy to
come from renewable sources. But
there are political and physical bar-
riers preventing that vision from
One is the local energy company.
"DTE Energy has not been pro-
active with obtaining (renewable)
energy," Hieftje said. "I just don't
see them being interested in wind
See WIND, Page 7A
SHOWDOWN AT THE STATE HOUSE
House rejects plan to hike taxes
WAITING FOR A BURRITO
As shutdown nears,
for 'U' in limbo
From staffand wire reports
LANSING - The Democrat-led state
House yesterday quickly scuttled voting
on a measure that would have placed a
sales tax increase proposal before Mich-
igan voters in January after it became
clear there was not enough bipartisan
support to advance it.
The proposal to raise the sales tax
from the current 6 percent to 7 percent
would need the approval of two-thirds
of the members of both the House and
Senate to make the Jan. 15 presidential
primary ballot. The measure would need
74 votes to clear the House, where it had
the support of only 50 members - and
no Republicans - before the voting pro-
cess was stopped.
State funding for the University is
uncertain as the deadlock over the bud-
Michigan's new fiscal year begins Oct.
1. So far, there has been no resolution on
how to address a projected $1.7 billion
deficit in budgets that fund K-12 schools,
universities, prisons and dozens of other
State funding makes up about 24 per-
cent of the University of Michigan's gen-
The state withheld its August pay-
ment of $29.6 million to the University
because of lower-than-expected rev-
enues, forcing administrators to put off
payments into the University's endow-
The Democrat-led House and Repub-
lican-led Senate appear to be going their
separate ways on reaching a solution to
the deficit, although eventually they'll
See BUDGET, Page 7A
Man pleads guilty to charge of assault
People line up outside Chipotle Mexican Grill on Washtenaw Avenue for the "100% discount" offered by
the chain all day yesterday. The location, which opened in the spring, was prepared to serve about 5,500
burritos, according to a store employee.
Study: Students who get text
messages more likely to vote
Charges lowered in case
of men who threw
By DAVE MEKELBURG
One of the men accused of yel-
pled guilty yesterday to a misdemeanor
assault and battery charge. The charge
against Cody Williamson, 22, had been
reduced from two charges of aggravated
assault and two charges of assault with a
The other man who was charged
- Engineering senior Michael Brown,
21 - had his pretrial examination post-
poned until Oct. 3.
Williamson's sentencing is scheduled
for Oct. 18 in 15th District Court.
after he and a friend were walking past
the two men's apartment on East Ann
The two suspects allegedly shouted
homophobic slurs and hurled a dresser
drawer at them. The drawer crashed
onto the sidewalk a few feet behind
After the incident was reported, offi-
cers found splintered wood pieces of
broken drawer on the pavement, police
said at the time.
Williamson declined to comment.
Brown could not be reached.
By KYLE SWANSON
Forget Rock the Vote. According to a Uni-
versity study, sendingtext messages to young
people on or before Election Day helps.get
them to the polls.
A study released yesterday by the Univer-
sity of Michigan and Princeton University
found that young people who receive a text
message reminding them to vote the day
before an election are significantly more
likely to vote than those who did not receive
a text message.
In the November 2006 election, 4,000
voters between the ages of 18 and 31 who
had recently registered to vote were sent a
text message reminding them to vote. Out of
the 4,000 participants, 59 percent reported
See TEXTING, Page 7A
ing homophobic slurs and throwing The charges stem from an incident in
a drawer at two passersby last month which an Ann Arbor man called police
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