8A - Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
To combat recent spike in graffiti, City
Council hopes to pass new legislation
Businesses would opment Authority and city staff to
consider revisions to the proposed
have up to nine days ordinance.
During that meeting, they
to remove paint decided that the fine for having
graffiti on your property was too
By LARA ZADE The revised ordinance also
Daily StaffReporter extends the period of time that
property owners have to remove
Many buildings that line the graffiti. Now business owners
blocks of State Street feature cryp- would have seven to nine days to
tic spray painted messages and remove any graffiti on their prop-
designs that may seem playful and erty as opposed to the two-to-four
humorous to some. But for many day limit after the city issues a
Ann Arbor business owners and notice under the old ordinance.
city officials, the recent increase Failure to clean up the graf-
in.graffiti is a public nuisance that fiti would result in the issuance of a
needs remedying. ticket of up to $500 under the origi-
To combat the recent rise in the nal ordinance.
graffiti, business owners worked Another change in the new ver-
with City Council to draft a new sion of the ordinance is that if
anti-graffiti ordinance, which property owners fail to remove the
passed at its first reading on Dec. graffiti in the given timeframe, the
15. But after further discussion city will remove the graffiti itself
with local business owners, coun- and the cost of removal will be
cil members decided that a revised passed on to the property owner.
version of the ordinance was need- City Council Member Chris-
ed. That amended version will be topher Taylor said the proposal
considered at tonight's meeting. would shift the focus of the current
If approved, the ordinance will city regulations regarding graffiti,
take effect 90 days after tonight's which are now targeted exclusively
meeting. at people who apply graffiti, not
After the approval of the pro- property owners.
posal's first reading in December, Taylor also said businesses
sponsors of the new ordinance met expressed concerns that some
with Ann Arbor business owners, property owners don't care enough
the Ann Arbor Area Chamber of to remove graffiti from their prop-
Commerce, the Downtown Devel- erty.
The graffiti-covered alley located behind the Michigan Theater on Liberty Street is well-known for its street art. It won't be affected by the city's new ordinance
Economic panel discusses how
financial crisis affects 'U' students
UN: Hundreds of
for Gaza support
Three speakers field
To help give students a better
understanding of the economic cri-
sis, a panel was held Friday to dis-
cuss how the crisis not only affects
those on Wall Street, but also those
on State Street.
LSA Student Government and
the Michigan Economics Society
held "The Financial Crisis and You"
Friday in the Rackham Amphithe-
atre as a way to keep Michigan stu-
dents informed about the financial
crisis and how it may impact them
The event began with a few pre-
pared remarks about the economic
crisis from each of the three speak-
ers for the night - Chair of the
Economics Department Prof. Linda
Tesar, Economics Prof. Jim Adams
0 , 1Lrs
and Provost Teresa Sullivan.
Tesar gave her take on the finan-
cial crisis and urged students to use
the difficult economic times to build
up their resumes by pursuing a mas-
ter's degree or looking into service
options like the Peace Corps.
"This is a very good time to invest
in your human capital," Tesar said.
"It's going to be a rough market out
their for a while."
When Adams took the psdium
after Tesar, he used the time to
place the financial crisis in the con-
text of a college student.
"I want to focus on you as a stu-
dent and what it means to have the
University as an experience, as an
opportunity to think of the finan-
cial crisis in a way that is very dif-
ferent," Adams said.
Both Tesar and Adams stressed
the importance of looking to the
past in order to help people cope
with the present.
"Some of this is diji vu all over
again, and I think sometimes we
forget to look back into history for
the lessons that are right there in
front of us," Tesar said.
Sullivan took the podium next
with a PowerPoint presentation and
a fewwords abouthow the crisis may
impact student finances. She then
explained where the University bud-
get comes from and for what aspect
of an education each part is used.
Following these prepared
remarks, a question-and-answer
session commenced. The questions
were fielded by the three speak-
ers, along with Margaret Rodri-
guez from the Office of Financial
Aid and Beth Blanco from the UM
One audience member asked why
the University doesn't increase the
number of out-of-state students to
make up for the lost money from
declining government funding.
Sullivan responded that radi-
cal changes in the number of out-
of-state students accepted would
inevitably anger people who believe
students from Michigan should
take priority in the admissions pro-
cess. She added, however, that this
might change as the economic situ-
"I think that hard times might
(result) in general changes in that
policy," Sullivan said.
Another question touched on the
issue of how students can educate
themselves about financial issues.
"The University does provide
entrance counseling and exit coun-
seling for students who borrow
money," Sullivan said. "We are also
trying to educate students that if
they do need to borrow money,
we're the place to start."
LSA senior Ruotao Wang, who
attended the event and serves on
the Student Budget Advisory Com-
mittee - a group primarily made up
of students convenedby the Provost
to discuss budgetary issues - said
he felt this event was important to
help educate students on how their
tuition is spent.
"I feel like a lot more students
are now aware of where (tuition
money) actually goes, where it can't
go and some of the issues we are
currently facing," he said.
LSAjuniorFiona Spezia, who was
also at the event, said she agreed
that it was useful, but wished the
panel had provided more concrete
"I think that it went really well,
and I got some good information,"
Spezia said. "But I also feel like
some of the questions weren't real-
ly answered, that the answers were
kind of fluffy."
Karey Quarton, who serves on
LSA Student Government's Aca-
demic Affairs Committee and was
one of the event's organizers said
that she thought it was a success, but
hopes the discussion will continue.
"I think starting a dialogue was
important," Quarton said. "But I
hope students will continue to ask
questions, because this is the first
step, this isn't the solution."
400,000 in region
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -
Hundreds of millions of dollars in
humanitarian aid will be needed
immediately to help Gaza's 1.4
million people and billions of dol-
lars will be required to rebuild
its shattered buildings and infra-
structure, the U.N. humanitarian
chief said yesterday.
John Holmes said some neigh-
borhoods have been almost
totally destroyed, there are huge
medical and food needs, sewage
is flowing in some streets, and
unexploded ordnance is posing a
running water restored on Sun-
day, 400,000 still have no water,
electricity is available for less
than half the day, and 100,000
people are displaced from their
homes, Holmes said.
"It may not be very clear who
actually won this conflict, if such
a concept means anything in
Gaza, but I think it's pretty clear
who lost and that was the civil-
ian population of Gaza..." Holmes
told reporters at U.N. headquar-
U.N. Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon said over the weekend
that he was sending a U.N. team
to assess the humanitarian needs
and wanted a report in 10 days so
the U.N. can issue an emergency
appeal for funds.
Speaking to reporters at U.N.
headquarters, Holmes said U.N.
staff in Gaza are already trying
"to find out as much as they can
about how great the damage is
and how great the needs are."
Asked to estimate the costs,
Holmes said he couldn't give
exact figures until the assess-
ments are completed.
"I think on the purely humani-
tarian and early recovery side ...
it will be hundreds of million of
dollars," he said, "and no doubt
the overall reconstruction costs
will be numbered in billions of
dollars, but I wouldn't; want to
put a figure on it beyond that."
successfully rebuild Gaza, the cur-
rent "temporary and fragile cease-
fire" must be transformed into
a permanent and durable truce.
Russia, Ukraine sign
gas deal, end standoff
Deal ends two-week
cutoff of natural
MOSCOW (AP) - Russia and
Ukraine pledged to restore natu-
ral gas supplies to Europe after
signing deals yesterday to end a
bitter dispute that led to a chilling
two-week cutoff of shipments.
Europeans, who normally get
about one-fifth of their gas from
Russia" via Ukrainian, pipelines,
anxiously awaited for the fuel to
Russian Prime Minister Vladi-
mir Putin and his Ukrainian
counterpart Yulia Tymoshenko
yesterday signed the documents at
Putin's government headquarters
on the Moscow river. They result-
ed from an outline agreement they
had clinched in late-night talks
Sunday as heads of Russia's state-
run natural gas monopoly Gaz-
prom and the Ukraine's Naftogaz.
"As a result of intensive and
lengthy talks we have reached
agreement on all issues concern-
ing natural gas supply to Ukraine
and its transit to Europe," Putin
said. He said Gazprom had been
instructed to resume shipments
bound for Europe that had been
halted since Jan. 7 as Moscow and
Kiev argued over 2009 gas prices
and allegations that Ukraine was
stealing gas destined for Europe.
Tymoshenko said the gas would
be pumped toward Europe as soon
as it enters the Ukrainian pipes.
Early today, Gazprom chief
Alexei Miller ordered the resump-
tion of deliveries bound for Europe
via Ukraine to begin at 10 a.m. (2
a.m. EST) Tuesday.
In a directive issued before
dawn, Miller told company offi-
cials to ensure the neighboring
countries' pipeline systems are
synchronized to get the gas fiow-
ing at the designated time.
Officials said the restored gas
shipments could take up to 36
hours to cross Ukraine, which
is the size of France, and reach
EU officials were taking a wait
and see attitude.
"We now need an indication of
the precise time that gas deliver-
ies will be resumed. Our monitors
will verify when the gas actually
starts to flow," the European Com-