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October 02, 2008 - Image 1

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-10-02

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till iC i an,4.3a....t. 19

Ann MArbor, Michigan

Thursday, October 2i2008

michigandaily.com

Michigan
businesses
struggle to
find loans

MAX COLLINS/Daily
T. Boone Pickens, the billionaire oilman from Texas, spoke to a capacity crowd at the Power Center yesterday, touting his "Pickens Plan," which calls for a reduction in foreign
oil dependence. His talk was part of the University's 'green'-themed Homecoming Week.
Pikes It'9s about security
P "
e Y

With economy slow,
many banks wary of
lending, particularly
in Great Lakes State
By LINDY STEVENS
Daily StaffReporter
With banks raising lending
standards, small business own-
ers in Michigan are having a
hard time getting loans to start
new ventures or expand current
ones. V
With the University as its eco-
nomic stronghold, though, the
loan market for small business
owners in Ann Arbor remains
one of the most promising in the
state, lending experts say.
Down from 3,297 in 2007,
2;166 small business loans were
approved in Michigan during
the 2008 fiscal year, according to
the U.S. Small Business Admin-
istration. Allen Cook, the assis-
tant district director of the SBA's
Lender Relations Division for
the Detroit area, said statewide
loan approvals for Michigan's
850,000 small business owners

have declined even more in the
past month.
Cook said the 34 percent
decline has to do with the anxi-
ety surrounding the proposed
$700 billion financial bailout,
combined with banks ramping
up credit standards.
"Things are really kind of
uncertain, and that uncertainty
means less availability of funds,"
he said. "It doesn't mean they
aren't out there, it just means
that it's more of a struggle to get
it and that the credit criteria has
to be that much stronger."
But even though most banks
are keeping a closer eye on each
loan, Cook said Ann Arbor's
strong economy means it's still a
place where small-business loans
are likely to be approved.
"Ann Arbor tendsto be one of
the more vibrant economic areas
of the state," Cook said. "The
University is a strong anchor for
the whole area, and generally it
has fared better than other parts
of the state."
Michael Rogers, vice presi-
dent of communications for the
Small Business Association of
Michigan, said Ann Arbor has
See LOANS, Page 7A

Oilman-turned-alternative
energy advocate calls for
U.S. to kick foreign oil habit
By ELAINE LAFAY
Daily StaffReporter
T. Boone Pickens made his fortune in oil. Now,
he's trying to convince Americans that they need
to get less energy from oil and more from sources
like wind, solar power and natural gas.
The 80-year-old Pickens, invited by the Mich-
igan Student Assembly as part of the Univer-

sity's 'green'-themed Homecoming Week, said
the plan's not about the environment. It's about
national and economic security.
The United States spends $700 billion a year
to import 70 percent of its oil from foreign coun-
tries.
In July, Pickens, who is the chairman of the
hedge fund BP Capital Management, unveiled the
"Pickens Plan," which aims to reduce foreign oil
consumption by investing in alternative energies
like wind, solar and natural gas. With his plan,
Pickens wants to build wind farms in the "wind
belt" - a strip of land from Texas to Canada -
one of the windiest areas in the nation.
Pickens added that he'd like to make natural

gas - mostly used to fuel power plants - avail-
able as transportation fuel by replacing its cur-
rent use with wind energy.
"Anything we can capture back in the United
States will help us, help our economy, it'll help
jobs," Pickens told the packed room. "It must be
done."
Pickens said he would like to implement broad,
sweeping change.
"100 percent American, zero foreign oil, if I
can get it done - I can't," said Pickens, who is
also the founder of Mesa Petroleum, the U.S.'s
largest independent producer of domestic oil and
gas. "I'm not going to get rid of all the foreign oil,
See OILMAN, Page 7A

Alcohol violations
down, report says

HORSING AROUND IN THE DIAG

Other crime figures
flat in latest campus
safety handbook
By KYLE SWANSON
Daily StaffReporter
After a steady rise over the past
three years, the number of alco-
hol violations on campus is on the
downturn, according to Univer-
sity crimes figures.
The annual Campus Safety
Handbook, released yesterday
by University Police, said 512
alcohol violations were report-
ed to the University Police and
440 violations were reported to
the Office of Student Conflict
Resolution in 2007. In 2006, the
handbook showed 616 violations

reported to University Police
and 930 violations reported to
OSCR.
If an incident is reported to
the University Police, it means
an arrest occurred or a citation
was issued. If an incident was
reported to OSCR, it means dis-
ciplinary action was sought, but
didn't necessarily result in con-
tacting the University Police. If
the incident is found to be a true
violation of the law, the case can
be sent for official arbitration.
Often, students can settle OSCR
charges through community ser-
vice activities.
Drug violations also fell over-
all, but the number of violations
reported to University Police rose
from 66 to 79 incidents.
University Police Spokes-
See REPORTPage 7A

MAX COLLINS/Daily
Sophomore gymnast Torrance Laury performs on the pommel horse. The men's gymnastics team showed
off its skills on the Diag FOR VIDEO OF THE EVENT, VISIT MICHIGANDAILY.COM/VIDEO
Student aims to change city MIP laws

FUNDING T HE UNIVERSITY
Despite fund
freeze, U
money safe
Wachovia move leaves some
small colleges in cash crunch
By ANDYKROLL
Daily News Editor
After agreeing on Monday to sell its bank-
ing operations to Citigroup, Wachovia Corp.
announced that it has frozen the accounts of
almost 1,000 colleges that had investments with
the financial institution.
Among them is the University, which has
$25 million of its financial reserves invested in
Wachovia's Commonfund, a short-term invest-
ment fund, said University spokeswoman Kelly
Cunningham in a statement yesterday.
Upon agreeing to sell its banking operations,
Wachovia resigned as trustee of Commonfund to
"provide for an orderly liquidation of the securi-
ties in the fund," Cunningham said.
As of Wednesday evening, Cunningham said
the University had already received a third of its
investments - about $8.3 million - in the fund.
She added that University officials anticipate
receiving the remaining balance as the remain-
ing securities in the fund are sold in the coming
weeks.
According to Cunningham, the University's
investments in Commonfund comprise less than
one-third of one percent of its total financial
reserves. But for smaller colleges with short-term
See WACHOVIA, Page 7A

DRUG AND ALCOHOL VIOLATIONS

2000
1000

Alcohol Drug
violations violations
DPS ciaions
OSCR citations
2005 2006 2007
SOURCE: DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY

Mayoral candidate Plourde
says A2 should limit fines
for underage drinking
By JULIE ROWE
DailyStaffReporter
LSA junior Eric Plourde says that if he
were to become mayor of Ann Arbor, he'd
try to make it so University students would
be the only college kids in the state who
wouldn't have to worry about getting slapped
with a misdemeanor and $100 fine for under-
age drinking.

Plourde, a Libertarian Party candidate for
mayor, said he'd like to see the City Council
create laws to treat minors between the ages
of 18 and 21 in possession of alcohol similar
to the way it treats those caught with mari-
juana.
"People of this age group shouldn't have a
problem drinking alcohol legally," Plourde,
who is 20, said of those 18 and older.
Under Plourde's proposal, 18-year-olds
who consume alcohol would be cited with
civil infractions rather than misdemeanors.
Plourde said he'd like to see the penalty in
Ann Arbor be between $5 and $10, with the
possibility of larger fines for repeat offenders.
See CANDIDATE, Page 7A

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