Things Daily Arts Hates 2008
Miley Cyrus, pop music ringtones, exclamation points and more The B-side
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Ann Arbor, Michigan
Thursday, March 13,2008
ANN ARBOrI T ANSPORTATION
Project aimed at
would cost 'tens of
millions' to build
By SARA LYNNE THELEN
Ann Arbor and San Francisco
may- soon have another thing in
common besides the cities' liberal
leanings and populations of pot
Roger Hewitt, chair of Ann
Arbor's Downtown Development
Authority, hopes to bring trolley
cars to Ann Arbor by 2015.
But Hewitt envisions modern-
day trolley cars far from the quaint
wood-paneled wagons of San Fran-
cisco. The trams city officials are
considering more closely resemble
futuristic subway cars powered by
overhead electric lines.
Ann Arbor Mayor John Heiftje
said the system would reduce traffic
congestion and pollution in the city.
Heiftje said the trams would be
more efficient than traditional city
buses becausethey wouldbe able to
make fewer stops by avoiding high-
traffic areas and could also carry
twice as many passengers.
Plans for a trolley car system are
still in the veryearly stages, Hewitt
said. The Ann Arbor Transporta-
See TROLLEYS, Page 3A
Numerous student groups set up activities in the Diag yesterday to attract attention to their causes. Some student groups say renting out space for events in the Diag
has become too much of a task. Others say the competition makes it hard to get their message across.
Di ag democracy not always easy
Between costs and "Free condoms!" they called as
only a few people stopped to lis-
must leap hurdles to
spread the word
By CHARLES GREGG-GEIST
Yesterday on the Diag, students
bounced off the walls of an inflat-
able moonwalk, people in bright
blue shirts gave away free sand-
wiches and coffee and an a capella
group serenaded passersby.
Off to the side, away from all the
commotion, two students stood
behind a folding table, almost
The two students, from the
Office of Lesbian Gay Bisexual
and Transgender Affairs, were
trying to promote safer sex. They
weren't happy to see Diag traf-
fic diverted by the much flashier
Cancer Awareness Week kickoff,
hosted by University Students
"It's definitely hurting us," said
LSA senior Jenny Gutsue, who
was working at the table as part of
the office's Pride Week.
The problem Gutsue faced
- competing for students' atten-
tion on a crowded Diag - is one of
a few obstacles student organiza-
tions deal with when they try to
get their message out on the Uni-
versity's central square.
Another concern for many
organizations is cost. The price of
holding events on the Diag can be
Gutsue said her organization
would love to hold more atten-
simply didn't have the resources.
Diag Administrator Jaden
Felix, who reviews every applica-
tion to hold events on the Diag,
said it costs nothing for groups
to use the space. But he acknowl-
edged that the costs that normally
accompany such events can add
Upon receiving an application,
Felix estimates how much addi-
tional items and services like a
podium, electricity and amplifi-
cation will cost. After he makes
sure that the group applying can
pay, Felix files a work order with
the University's Plant Operations
Seemingly minor items some-
times come with major price
tags. Renting a single trash can
costs $80 because groups have to
pay for a vehicle to transport the
receptacle to and from the Diag.
Playing music at an event is even
more costly. Felix estimated that
an hour of amplified music would
cost groups more than $300. He
said that electricity for things like
USAC's inflatable moonwalk runs
about $60 an hour, or $360 for its
six-hour long event.
See DIAG, Page 10A
Where the Ann Arbor's trolley routes might go
-4 23 Potentialtrolleycar
lines based on roads
identified by theCity of
HURON Ann Arbor's Downtown
Svejnar reflects on challenge of
presenting himself to Czech voters
LSA sophomore Eric Plourde announced his intention to run for city mayor last week. Plourde, who's running as the Libertarian
Party candidate, is being realistic about his chances of winning. "Being young doesn't help," he said.
In hopes of shrinking gov't,
student runs for mayor of A2
Business prof. lost
election by one vote in
and JULIE ROWE
Ross School of Business Prof
Jan Svejnar just lost the presidency
of the Czech Republic last month,
but he's not wallowing in self-pity.
Instead, Svejnar spoke cheerfully
about his run to a group of about60
University students and faculty in
Weill Hall yesterday.
"It was a unique experience. I
recommend it to all of you," Sve-
jnar said, drawing laughter from
Svejnar, director of the Inter-
national Policy Center at the Ford
School of Public Policy, is a Czech
native. He ran for the largely cer-
emonial post of Czech president
but lostby a one-vote margin to the
incumbent president Vaclav Klaus
on Feb. 15.
When Public Policy Dean Susan
she was proud he was a member of
the University faculty.
"The Czech Republic's loss is our
gain," Collins said.
Students in the audience were
LSA junior Matt Wyble said he
found Svejnar's run to be inspiring.
"For someone who lost an elec-
Plourde, 19, says run
will help him promote
By JULIE ROWE
and SARA LYNNE THELEN
Eric Plourde describes himself
as an "average college student"
who "just happens to have an inter-
est in politics."
Most LSA sophomores with an
interest in politics aren't running
for mayor of Ann Arbor. Plourde is.
The 19-year-old Plourde recently
announced his plans to run against
the incumbent, MayorJohn Hieftje,
as the Libertarian Party candidate.
He declared his intention in front
of his pre-law fraternity, Kappa
Alpha Pi, last week.
As a college student, Plourde
knows it willbe a difficultcampaign
- and one he's not likely to win.
"There are a lot of barriers in the
way," he said. "Being in a minor
party doesn't help. Being young
Though Plourde admitted that
his chances of winning are slim,
he said he wholeheartedly believes
that he could do the job. He said he
wouldn't be running if he didn't
think he could handle running a
city of 115,000 residents.
"I think there's a perceptionthat
somebody as young as me wouldn't
be up to the job," Plourde said.
"That doesn't mean that I don't
believe I'm qualified to serve, or
that if I won the election I wouldn't
be able to handle the job."
Plourde said he plans to gradu-
ate a year early regardless of the
contest's outcome. If he does win
the race, Plourde's last term at the
University would coincide with the
See MAYOR, Page 3A
Ross School of Business Prof. Jan Svejnar, who came up one vote short in his bid
for the Czech presidency last month, spoke at Weill Hall yesterday.
tion, he was amazingly upbeat,"
Wyble said. "I've never seen some-
one so pleased and insightful after
In his first public appearance at
the University since the election,
Svejnar reflected on the challenges
he faced as a U.S. citizen running
for election in a country where he
wasn't previously well-known.
Svejnar fled the country at17 while
the former Czechoslovakia was a
He returned to the Czech
Republic frequently, serving as an
economic advisor to many mem-
bers of the Czech government,
including former president Vaclav
Havel, after the overthrow of the
communist government in 1989.
However, returning to his home
country as a presidential candidate
was different. Svejnar said his new
role required a presidential "make-
See SVEJNAR, Page 3A
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