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September 14, 2007 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-09-14

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, September 14, 2007 - 7,

Option would also slash 3 mil
of state aid to Ann Arbor

BUDGET From page 1A
that funding cuts would cause the
University to re-evaluate its 2007-
2008 budget.
"If 'our budget assumptions
did not prove to be accurate than
we would have to revisit those
assumptions," Wilbanks said.
The state House of Representa-
tives is set to meet today to vote on
an income tax hike to raise rev-
enue to fill the deficit for the fiscal
year that starts on Oct. 1.
Other revenue options being
considered include a luxury
tax on items like concert and
athletic tickets and a sales tax
increase.
University administrators and
lobbyists have been working with
legislators to avoid a decrease in
state appropriations since Febru-
ary, when lawmakers announced
the state's budget shortfall. State
appropriations go toward the
University's general fund, which
primarily finances salaries and
research programs.
The legislature is slated to
announce its 2008 fiscal budget by
Oct. 1. Ifthe state Senate and House

don't develop a working budget by
the beginning of October, the state
government agencies would lose
the ability to spend money. It's not
yet clear what that would mean for
essential services like prisons and
state police.
The University won't receive
any money until the budget is fin-
ished.
Wilbanks met with five state
senators on Wednesday to discuss
the University's need for state
funding.
"I'm in touch with many legis-
lators who want to make good on
their promise to make the delayed
payments to the University," Wil-
banks said. "We continue to press
the case for a budget resolution so
we can have some budget stabil-
ity."
The budget approved in July by
the University Board of Regents
assumes that the University will
receive at least $320 million from
the state for the 2008 fiscal year,
the same amount of state funding
the University received last year.
State funding comprises about 25
percent of the University's bud-
get.

Mike Boulus,, the executive
director of the President's Coun-
cil, State Universities of Michigan,
an association of the heads of the
15 public universities in Michigan,
said state universities are develop-
ing contingency plans should they
receive less money than they pre-
viously expected.
"There's a great deal of uncer-
tainty about what to expect from
the state legislature," Boulus
said. "It's time for the Michigan
legislature to do its job and pro-
tect its services to higher educa-
tion."
State Rep. Pam Byrnes (D-
Chelsea), whose district includes
the University's North Campus,
has sponsored two bills that would
increase funding to the Univer-
sity.
One bill would grant additional
state funding to the state's three
leadingresearchuniversities - the
University of Michigan, Michi-
gan State University and Wayne
State University - while the other
would allocate state funding on a
case-by-case basis depending on
how much research funding each
university secures and other simi-

lar criteria.
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Gran-
holm and House Democrats have
supported a plan to increase fund-
ing to state universities by at least
2.5 percent, but many Republicans
have voiced opposition to spend'
ing the money and increasing the
state deficit.
The governor has proposed
other ways to shrink the deficit,
including a 2 percent tax on some
items not already subject to the 6
percent sales tax. Her proposals
have not passed.
"The governor offered a plan$
that lawmakers rejected," Gran,
holm spokeswoman Liz Boyd said
"We are waiting for state lawmak-
ers to decide how they will resolve
the budget crisis."
Boulus said this scenario
might force state universities to
increase their tuition even more.
The University Board of
Regents has already increased
tuition by 7.4 percent this year.
"The appropriations that the
state providesfor its universities
make tuition more affordable foc
students,"he said. "There's a direct
connection."

KELLYN JACKSON/Daily
Art and Design sophomore Erica Fink is painting a mural on a 1,000-foot long fence
north at the University's North Campus.
Her canvas is about
6,000 square feet

Prof to present petition to administration

MURAL From page 1A
through the four seasons.
Fink painted the outlines and
chose the colors herself, leaving
colored marks in blank spaces on
the fence where her helpers would
later paint, much like a paint-by-
number.
Maxine Larrouy, who lives near
the mural, said the area no longer
lacks pizzazz.
"It's absolutely beautiful, and I
like the fact that it's childish," said
Larrouy, whose. husband David
lobbied neighborhoods for money
to support Fink's project. "It is so
different."
Fink had to start the process one
person at a time.
Because the properties lining
the fence are privately owned, she
required the permission of com-
munity residents whose houses
THEFT
From page 1A
accomplice then entered the room
to steal the student's laptop.
Earlier that day, a Couzens resi-
dent lost a wallet after leaving the
door to his or her room open.
At least one credit card in the
wallet was later used at local
stores.
On Monday, another student in
Couzens reported an MP3 .player
stolen after giving directions to
women matching the descriptions
given by the first victims. Another
student in Mary Markley report-
ed a stolen laptop later that night
after leaving the door open and
room unattended.
Brown said police think the four
incidents are linked.
Police are distributing two sur-
veillance photos of the suspects.
one photo came from a residence
hall security camera, Brown said.
The other photo, which depicts
a man pushing a shopping cart
through automatic doors, appears
to have been taken at a supermar-
ket, but Brown said she wouldn't
comment on how DPS obtained it.
The photo may have come from a
store where the stolen credit cards

touched the fence.
Permission was granted by all
but one of the 19 homeowners.
The one who didn't grant autho-
rization was abroad at the time
and was concerned about mainte-
nance, Erica said.
The concerned resident's home
leaves a hole in the otherwise con-
tinuous picture, which is about
6,000 square feet.
Although the project's comple-
tion is over a month away, many
from the area have found inspira-
tion in the mural.
"I am lucky enough to live just
a few blocks from the mural,"
said Pierre Wickramarachi. "It
really shows that young people
have an amazing potential in
our community. We need more
of those examples of involve-
ment in our youth in our com-
munity."
were used.
Brown said the suspects prob-
ably aren't students and may have
gained access to the dorms by fol-
lowing residents inside when they
unlocked the doors.
She said students should not let
strangers follow them into resi-
dence halls.
Brown said those students who
live off-campus should also be
wary.
Now that the crime alert and
photos have been distributed, the
suspects might begin to target off-
campus housing, she said.
Students in Couzens and Mary
Markley were informed about the
burglaries via e-mail. Housing staff
in both residence halls also sent e-
mails to residents at the beginning
of the semester, advising them not
to leave their rooms unlocked when
they leave.
Art and Designfreshman Marcia
Kosin said she and her roommate
in Mary Markley Hall are sure to
close their door even when they're
just down the hallway.
"I have alotoftechnologyin here
worth alot of money," she said. "So
we're really strict with ourselves."
DPS is asking anyone with infor-
mation about the crimes to call
734-763-1131.

STADUM From page 1A
University spokeswoman Kelly
Cunningham said in a written
statement that the University took
faculty opinion into account while
the proposal was on the table, but
the regents have already made a
decision.
"The stadium expansion project
has undergone a rigorous process
of debate and approval for all plan-
ning phases," Cunningham said.
"The Athletic Department has
actively engaged students, faculty,
staff, alumni, ticket holders, and
the media in the discussion. The

project has been fully vetted."
Athletic Department spokes-
man Bruce Madej referred calls
for comment to the University
administration.
Goldstein said he started the
petition in part because he fears
that the proposed changes will
hurt the University's reputa-
tion.
"I happen to be a fervent sup-
porter of the Wolverines. I've had
tickets for over 30 years. I also love
the stadium. I love its simplicity,"
Goldstein said. "What is proposed
I think is a horrible, terrible mis-
take."

Goldstein started the petition in
mid-July. He said he had acquired
about400 signatures by thebegin-
ning of this week. That number
jumped after he e-mailed the peti-
tion to the faculty Monday.
"Everyone who responded
said that they're really support-
ive of what we're trying to do,"
he said. "We have respondents
from every single department on
campus. History of Art, medi-
cine, dentistry, the basic sciences,
architecture, all the engineering
schools."
Goldstein said the petition
would probably be presented to

University President Mary Sue
Coleman and the regents within
the next month.
Physics Prof.'Keith Riles, who
signed the petition, said he also
thinks the stadium renovations
deserve further discussion. He
said in an e-mail that proponents
of the stadium project made
efforts to avoid open discourse.
"If the luxury boxes truly make
sense, then they should survive a
public debate with both propo-
nents and opponents allowed to
present their cases," he said. "I
believe such a debate is long over-
due."

Google launches moon contest'.

..._..-

Company promises
to award $30 mil for
private lunar landing
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Google
Inc. is bankrolling a $30 million
contest that could significantly
boost the commercial space indus-
try and spur the first non-govern-
mental flight to the moon.
Call it Moon 2.0. The bulk of the
prize will go to the first private
company that can land a robotic
rover on the moon and beam back
a gigabyte of images and video to
Earth, the Internet search leader

said yesterday.
Google partnered with the X
Prize Foundation for the moon
challenge, which is opento compa-
nies around the world. The Santa
Monica-based nonprofit prize
institute is best known for hosting
the Ansari X Prize contest, which
led to the first manned private
spaceflight in2004.
The Google Lunar X Prize joins
another prize already dangling in
front of potential competitors: $50
million that hotel magnate Robert
Bigelow is offeringthe first private
American team to rocket a manned
craft into orbit by 2010.
The race to the moon won't be

easy or cheap. But whoever fills
the requirements in the Google
contest by the end of 2012 gets $20
million.
The winning spacecraft must be
tough enough to survive a landing
and be equipped with high-defini-
tion video and still cameras. And
it must be smart enough to trek at
least 1,312 feet on the moon and
send self- portraits, panoramic
views and near-real-time videos
back to Earth that will be streamed
on Google's Web site.
"I hope that a ... very ambitious
team of people will allowus alltovir-
tually go backto the moon very soon.
I couldn't be more excited about

that," Google co-founder LarryPage
said at WIRED magazine's technol-
ogy show in Los Angeles.
Participants must secure a
launch vehicle for the probe, either.
by building it themselves or con-
tracting with an existing private
rocket company. Private rocket
cqmpany Space X said it will sub-
sidize use of its launch vehicle to
interested competitors. The com-
pany, headedby PayPal co-founder
Elon Musk, has not had a fully suc-
cessful launch in two tries.
If there is no winner, the purse
will drop to $15 million until the
end of 2014, when the contest
expires.

Killer gets one
more life term

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northwest of the Union.
Or e-mail
news@michigandaily.com

KALAMAZOO (AP) - A
second life prison sentence has
been given to a confessed serial
killer, this time for slaying a
Western Michigan Univer-
sity student more than three
decades ago.
Kalamazoo County, Circuit
Judge Gary C. Giguere Jr. sen-
tenced Coral Eugene Watts, 53,
on yesterday for the 1974 stab-
bing death of 19-year-old Glo-
ria Steele. Watts made some
brief comments about abortion
during his sentencing hearing,
while the victim's mother and
daughter spoke about losing
Steele, the court said.
In July, a jury convicted
Watts of first-degree murder,
which carries a mandatory
prison sentence in Michigan
of life with no possibility of
parole. He was convicted of the
same charge in December 2004
for the 1979 killing of Helen
Dutcher, 36, in the Detroit sub-
urb of Ferndale.
Watts, a native of Inkster,
which also is near Detroit, has
admitted to killing more than a

dozen women but denied hav-
ing anything to do with Steele's
death. The college student was
stabbed more than 30 times in
the apartment that she shared
with her daughter, who was
then 3 years old.
Watts received immunity for
12 other killings to which he had
he confessed - 11 in Texas and
one in Michigan that did not
involved Steele or Dutcher - as
part of a 1982 deal with Texas
prosecutors.
He was given a 60-year sen-
tence for burglary with intent to
murder, but mandatory release
laws and an appeals court ruling
reduced his sentence by more
than 35 years.
Michigan authorities revived
the Dutcher and Steele cases in
an effort to keep Watts behind
bars because he was to have
been released from a Huntsville,
Texas, prison in May 2006.
The Michigan attorney gen-
eral's office has said Watts is a
suspect in 26 other slayings and
may have killed more than 80
women.

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