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January 13, 2010 - Image 1

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2010-01-13

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BLACK AND BLUE GAY AND GREEK
Joe Stapleton breaks down the A look at the experience of members of
problems behind Michigan men's the Greek community who are - whether
basketball's disappointing season. or not their brothers know it - gay.
SEE SPORTS, PAGE 8A SEE THE STATEMENT, INSIDE

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

michigandaily.com

STUDENT HEALTH INSURANCE
'U' mulls
changes
to student
health plan

DETROIT ON DISPLAY

Officials want more
healthy people to
enroll in plan to
stem rising costs
By DARRYN FITZGERALD
Daily Staff Reporter
As lawmakers in Washington
work toward a national health
care overhaul, University Health
Service officials are discussing the
restructuring of students' insur-
ance plans for the next five years.
The Michigan Student Assem-
bly's Student Health Insurance
Committee and UHS Student
Insurance officials are currently
in the process of deciding to either
revamp or replace the health insur-
ance plan offered through the Uni-
versity, which has been affected
by rising health care costs, despite
University efforts to stem those
increases.
The student health insurance
premium went up to $1,000 in
the early 2000s, dissuading stu-
dents from buying the University's
option, Robert Winfield, the direc-
tor of UHS said. As the premium
price continued to rise, healthy
people continued to drop out of
the plan, leaving a group of policy-
holders who caused the number of
claims per individual to increase.
"It progressively became more

and more expensive until itgot into
the $2,000 range," Winfield said.
The University's current policy,
which is covered by the health
insurance provider Aetna, costs
students an annual premium total-
ing $2,490.
Before the national health care
bills were being seriously negoti-
ated in Congress, UHS administra-
tors and student officials on MSA's
SHIC had worked extensively to
create a new policy that would
require all students to come to
campus with health insurance.
"But then the financial crisis
came, and there wasn't sufficient
financial aid to do that," Winfield
said.
Economic restrictions coupled
with the passage of the Senate
health care bill have led Univer-
sity officials to postpone efforts to
increase healthy enrollment in the
Aetna plan and require all students
to be insured.
"While I was pushing hard a
year ago for required level health
insurance for students, now I rec-
ommend to wait and see what hap-
pens," Winfield said. "It may just
be something that is out of our
hands."
Whether the ultimate health
care bill will mandate all citizens
to have health insurance has yet
to be determined, but if it does, it
would greatly affect the Universi-
ty's negotiations for student health
See INSURANCE, Page 7A

JAKE FROMM/Daily

The latest version of the Ford Focus on display at the 2010 North American International Auto Show yesterday at Cobo Center in Detroit,

SOUT H U. 8LAZE
Location ravaged by South
U. fire could remaiu vacant

Landlord says he
'plans to hold
onto the site'
By DEVON THORSBY
Daily Staff Reporter
More than two months after
a fire ravaged the former Pinball
Pete's location on South University
Avenue, the spot where the aban-
doned building used to stand is a
little more than dirt lot covered in
straw.
And, the property owned by

Dennis Tice may stay that way for
a while.
Prior to the demolition, Tice
told The Michigan Daily that he
had been looking to sell the prop-
erty for five months before the fire
occurred. At the time of demoli-
tion - which took place over win-
ter break - Tice was in talks with
a developer about what to do with
the property, but he couldn't dis-
close further information.
Tice, who also owns Pizza
House on Church Street, told the
Daily in an e-mail interview yes-
terday that he currently plans to
"hold onto the site."

Stewart Beal, president of JC
Beal Construction, was hired by
Tice to demolish the remains of
the building - which was mostly
destroyed in the fire - on Dec.
26. He said the demolition was
delayed two days until Dec. 28
because landfills were closed for
the weekend.
Once the week began, Beal said
demolition went as planned with-
out complications, even though
the construction closed portions
of South University Avenue.
The project was completed and
the street reopened by Jan. 8, only
two days behind the initial sched-

ule.
Beal said he had not yet spoken
with Tice about any future devel-
opment of the lot.
The former location of Pinball
Pete's became a ruin after it was
ravaged by the Oct. 24 fire. Two
homeless men, Justin Arens and
Ian MacKenzie were charged with
starting the blaze that lasted for
hours as firefighters struggled
to keep it under control. The fire
destroyed the structure andcaused
minor damages to both University
Towers and Momo Tea.
Evidence and tips from people in
See VACANT LOT, Page 7A

MARIJUANA IN MICHIGAN
Supporters laud economic
boost of medical pot industry

U.S. ambassador to Russia
talks 'reset' at campus event

State official says
p marijuana 'not the
answer' to Mich.'s
economic woes
By BETHANY BIRON
Daily StaffReporter
With the recent openings of
two medical marijuana centers in
Southeast Michigan, advocates of
medical marijuana speculate that
the legalization of medical mari-

juana might blossom into a bus-
tling industry that could help boost
Michigan's ailingeconomy.
But state officials say the drug's
legalization isn't the answer to the
state's economic woes.
Proposal 1, which was passed
by 63 percent of voters in the Nov.
2008 election, legalized the drug
for medical use. The law also
allows Michigan citizens to apply
to become either patients or care-
givers, who can grow plants for
those who have a medical mari-
juana card.
Anthony Freed, executive direc-

tor of the Michigan Medical Mari-
juana Chamber of Commerce and
founder of a new medical canna-
bis center that opened in Ypsilanti
on the first of this month, said the
center has the potential to play an
important role in fixing the state of
Michigan's economy.
Freed's center - which is serv-
ing its maximum number of clients
and has 400 people on the waitlist
- evaluates people to assess their
need for a medical marijuana card
and has a "compassion club" or
patient support group that meets
See MARIJUANA, Page 7A

THE TEXTBOOK MARKET
Local booksellers offer rental option

John Beyrle told
crowd establishing
stronger ties
'essential' for U.S.
By MICHELE NAROV
For the Daily
United States Ambassador to
Russia John Beyrle spoke at the
University's Alumni Center yes-
terday to advocate attempts by
the U.S. government to bolster
relations between the two coun-
tries.
A roughly 120-person audi-
ence, filled every available seat
in the Founders Room, as the
ambassador discussed the "reset"
- a term coined by President
Barack Obama's administration
to describe strategic efforts to
improve relations between Rus-
sia and the United States.
In his speech, Beyrle explained
that strengthening relations
between the two countries would
be vital for the United States in
upcoming years, because both
countries hold strong political
positions in the international
community.
"A productive, constructive
relationship between the United
States and Russia is essential for
the national interests of the Unit-
ed States," Beyrle said.

M
S
resi
The
book p
little c

ichigan Book & gram at local bookstores.
The new service, offered at
upply, Ulrich's Ulrich's Bookstore and Michigan
Book and Supply, allows students
pond to students, to rent textbooks at store locations
and save up to 57 percent off the
Chegg.com regular price of textbooks.
Sue Riedman - vice president
By MIKE MERAR of marketing and corporate com-
For the Daily munications for the Nebraska Book
Company, the parent company for
notoriously expensive text- both Ulrich's and Michigan Book
urchasing process just got a and Supply - said the company
heaper, thanks to a new pro- started the program in response to

student requests. The program is
also a response to the prevalence
of websites like Chegg.com, which
gives students the ability to rent
books online.
"We wanted to come up with a
solution that would help make text-
books more affordable and really
honor what students were want-
ing," Riedman said. "We thought
a textbook rental program was a
good solution."
Students who want to partici-
See TEXTBOOKS, Page 7A

Beyrle cited Russia's nuclear
power, the country's seat on the
United Nations Security Council
and its role as a top energy sup-
plier as reasons for the United
States to work towards stronger
relations between the two coun-
tries.
"Russia has and will continue
to have a very large role in how
energy is produced and how it is
distributed in the world," Beyrle

said. "These geopolitics will be
pivotal to how stable a world we
will live in the 21st Century."
Theambassadoralsoaddressed
ways the two countries could
work together to combat world
issues like nuclear terrorism,
conflicts in the Middle East and
international crime.
"A promisirg area in the U.S.-
Russia partnership in the 21st
See AMBASSADOR, Page 7A

WEATHER HI:35
TOMORROW LO3

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INDEX NEW S........ .................2A CLASSIFIEDS.....................6A
Vol. CXX, No.72 OPINION ................ . . ....4A SPORTS........................... 8A
u20S0TheMihigan Daily ARTS.. . . . . N A THE STATEMENT................ 1B
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