The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - 3A
Detroit Schools to go
to student homes to
Attendance agents are going
door-to-door in search of Detroit
students who have not made it to
The district says the agents
spoke yesterday to parents whose
children have missed class time
or failed to make it to school for
Count Day last month.
Students must attend class full-
time for the financially struggling
district to receive full funding
from the state. Fall attendance
Count Day is one of two dates used
to determine how much money
each school district gets from the
Detroit has surpassed its 76,053
student goal for the fall, but some
have not attended full-time or
remained in class for the entire
A final count is due Oct. 29.
Detroit has lost nearly 100,000
students since 1997, when enroll-
ment was 175,168.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida
approval, NASA to
launch new shuttle
There's still the matter of
money. But it looks increasingly
likely that NASA will get an extra
space shuttle flight.
President Barack Obama signed
the NASA 2010 Authorization Act
into law yesterday, following last
week's approval by Congress. The
measure directs NASA to move
forward with an additional shuttle
flight, before retiring the fleet.
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson says the
funding issue should be resolved
once Congress returns to Wash-
ington in a lame duck session next
Only two shuttle launches offi-
cially remain, with the next one
coming up Nov. 1. The extra space
station delivery mission would
take place next June.
Nelson says the additional flight
will ease the impact of shuttle job
Russian spy makes
* public appearance
A Russian bank says it hired the
spy Anna Chapman to help with
innovation in information tech-
Yesterday's statement from
FondServisBank is intended
to explain Chapman's sudden
appearance last week at a remote
cosmodrome for the launch of
a Russian-American crew. The
bank works with aerospace com-
With her flaming red hair and
penchant for posting sultry pho-
tos of herself on social networking
sites, Chapman is the most famous
of the 10 sleeper spies arrested in
U.S. this summer and then sent
back to Russia in a spy swap.
She has avoided the media and
the public since her return, so
her appearance at the launch site
caused a sensation.
In the United States, she was
accused of using her technological
savvy in her work as a spy.
State income tax
revenue runs above
Income tax revenue is coming in
higher than expected in Michigan,
a sign that more people are work-
ing or earning more money.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm said
yesterday that the state general
fund is expected to have about
$100 million more than state econ-
omists estimated in May when the
books are closed on the budget
year that ended Sept. 30.
She calls the $100 million "a
significant chunk of money,"
although it's only a tiny percent-
age of the $7.8 billion general fund.
0 The state uses that fund to pays for
everything from prisons to food
inspections and health care for
Although income tax revenue
is up, money from the state's main
business tax is lower than expect-
Revenue for the school aid fund
is running slightly above expecta-
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports.
From Page 1A
to $6.69 billion.
An increase of that nature
would put the University's endow-
ment performance on par with
that of other schools across the
country, who have similarly seen
their endowments rebound some-
what from significant losses in
Harvard University saw an
11-percent bump this year, which
helped to offset a 27.3-percent loss
in its endowment value last year.
Similarly, Yale University saw an
8.9-percent increase in its endow-
ment value, which had dropped
24.6 percent in 2009, and the Uni-
versity of Virginia gained 12.5 per-
cent on its endowment, which fell
by 21 percent in 2009.
The University's Board of
Regents voted to lower the Uni-
versity's endowment payout rule
over the summer, lowering the
annual payout from 5 percent to
4.5 percent of the seven-year aver-
aged value. Over time, this change
will mean that the University is
required to pay out a smaller per-
centage of the endowment's total
value each year.
REQUESTS $3M MORE FOR
The regents will also consider
a proposal to increase funding for
a project approved in January to
renovate Crisler Arena.
The regents previously
approved a $20 million proposal to
replace the seats in the lower bowl
of the arena, which will bring the
University in line with the Ameri-
cans with Disabilities Act.
Additionally, the previously
approved project will relocate,
widen and add handrails to the
aisles in seating areas. It will also
replace the roof and remove asbes-
tos from the building and replace
heating and ventilation units and
implement a new electrical sys-
Updates to critical safety sys-
tems are also expected as part of
the project, including a new fire
detection, alarm and suppression
system, as well as a new smoke
evacuation system and emergency
The regents approved a sche-
matic design for the project in
July, when it was also announced
that the student section would
be moved to the west side of the
stadium and the band would be
moved to the north end of the sta-
According to a communication
sent to the regents, the additional
$3 million is being requested so
upper-bowl seating can also be
replaced. Similar to the already
approved lower-bowl seating
replacement, aisles would be
widened and handrails would be
Funding for the project, if
approved as revised, would be
provided by the Athletic Depart-
ment, with construction expected
to be completed in winter 2012.
REGENTS TO CONSIDER
WORK ON SIMPSON CIRCLE
The University's Board of
Regents is also expected to
approve a renovation of the Simp-
son Circle Parking Structure on
the Medical Campus on Thursday.
The structure was built in 1975
and has since undergone only
minor repairs and improvements,
according to a communication
sent to the regents by Slottow and
Ora Pescovitz, the University's
executive vice president for medi-
Renovations are intended to
designate approximately 470
parking spaces, currently used by
staff, to patient andvisitor parking
for the new C.S. Mott Children's
and Von Voigtlander Women's
Hospital, while also bringing the
structure up to current standards.
The project's scope includes
repainting, new lighting, new
directional signage, guardrail
improvements and modifications
to the entrances and exits of the
structure. A new pedestrian
bridge connecting to the hospital
has also been proposed.
Pescovitz and Slottow wrote
in their communication that the
University's strategic parking and
transportation plan would address
staff parking needs, which would
include the use of additional com-
muter parking lots on North Cam-
The project is estimated to cost
$3.15 million and, if approved,
would be financed by resources
from the University's Hospitals
and Health Centers as well as
Parking and Transportation Ser-
Construction is expected to be
completed in the fall of 2011.
- Alyssa Adler contributed
to this report.
From Page 1A
ule I drug under the Controlled Sub-
stances Act. Schedule I is the most
restrictive out of the five drug clas-
sifications listed under the act. The
category consists of drugs that have
a high potential for abuse and no
accepted medical use in the United
States. In 2001, the DEA denied a
petition to make marijuana a less
restricted classification, citing its
lack of medical use as the primary
With major discrepancies between
state and federal attitudes toward
medical marijuana, it's no surprise
that things haven't been smooth sail-
ing for the industry since the drug was
legalized for medical use. Physicians
and policy makers agree that there's
a lack of federally supported research
on the medical benefits of the drug.
Despite avow from President Barack
Obama's administration not to
penalize legal medical marijuana
operations, many doctors, marijuana
providers and patients fear federal
prosecution. These difficulties, along
with the stigma associated with mar-
ijuana, make it difficult to obtain and
use the drug legally.
As Ann Arbor resident Connie
Bank, who uses marijuana for her
arthritis and fibromyalgia, put it, the
industry is a little bit like "the wild
Mike Meno, the director of com-
munications for the Marijuana Policy
Project - the organization respon-
sible for drafting Michigan's medical
marijuanalaw- saidthat withmedi-
cal marijuana laws already in place in
14 states and under consideration in
others, pressure on the federal gov-
ernment to reconsider its views on
marijuana is building.
"We're really reaching a critical
mass where the federal government
can't keep its head in the sand any-
more," Meno said.
According to the Marijuana Policy
Project website, there are currently
three pieces of legislation under
consideration in the United States
Congress that, if passed, would sig-
nificantly impact federal drug policy.
The Personal Use of Marijuana by
Responsible Adults Act would allow
citizens to possess up to 3.5 ounces
of marijuana without facing fed-
eral criminal penalties. The Medical
Marijuana Patient Protection Act
would legalize medical marijuana
nationwide. The Truth in Trials Act
would protect state-sanctioned med-
ical marijuana patients and caregiv-
ers from federal criminal penalties.
In 2009, the American Medical
Association announced that it sup-
ported further research into mari-
juana's medical benefits.
"Our American Medical Associa-
tion (AMA) urges that marijuana's
status as a federal Schedule I con-
trolled substance be reviewed with
the goal of facilitating the conduct
of clinical research and development
of cannabinoid-based medicines,"
As the country continues to adjust
its views of marijuana, Michigan's
medical marijuana industry contin-
ues tostruggle with not only a lack
of federally supported research, but
also with the stigma that comes with
building an industry around a sched-
ule I drug.
Mike McLeod, one of the founders
of the Ann Arbor Medical Marijuana
Patient Collective, said many people
are uncomfortable with a legalized
form of marijuana because ithas been
criminalized forso long.
"There's still alot of fear," he said.
"There's a lot of people in the com-
munitywhohaveseen (marijuana) as
being illegal. They've watched peo-
ple go to jail. They've watched par-
ents lose their children. They've been
told their whole life that ifyougrow a
When Connie Bank's doctor, who
she said is the "go-to-guy" in Ann
Arbor for arthritis and lupus, gave
her written certification to qualify
for medical marijuana, he asked her
not to tell anyone.
"He believes that it works, he's just
afraid," she said.
Despite the obstacles in their path,
medical marijuana patients, caregiv-
ers and advocates vow to continue
building the industry throughout
the next few years. At the end of the
August A2M2PC meeting, which
occurred one week after Ann Arbor's
City Council passed a moratorium
on new medical marijuana dispensa-
ries, Dennis Hayes, another founder
of A2M2PC and a local lawyer who
specializes in medical marijuana
legislation, looked out at the group
of patients and caregivers with a big
smile on his face.
"It's going to be a whale of fun for
the next three to five years," he said.
From Page 1A
homosexual agenda." The Univer-
sity community rallied around Arm-
strong after the blog and Shirvell's
appearances on campus criticizing
Armstrong gained national media
Gabe Javier, assistant director of
the Spectrum Center, said the week-
long celebration coincides with the
anniversary of the first march for
Lesbian and Gay rights that took
place in Washington, D.C. in 1979.
"This week is symbolic not just
for Michigan but for people all over
in the LGBTQ community," Javier
said. "We celebrate it here to really
show people that it's possible to live
out happy, healthy lives and to really
combat the messages of homophobia
in our society."
As part of the week-long cel-
ebration, the Spectrum Center held
GlowLight Vigils at Bursley Hall,
the Hill area and at Regents' Plaza
to provide a "beam of hope," for
LGBTQ students and allies, in light of
recently publicized suicides, accord-
ing to Javier. He said the vigil was a
good first step to combating the issue
of bullying and said the Spectrum
Center will be working with various
student groups throughout the year
to make certain that school adminis-
trators and policymakers are taking a
"proactive stance" to bullies.
Social Workstudent Gabe Radeka,
co-coordinator of the vigil, said the
event aimed to inspire students and
provide an opportunity to show sup-
port for both students who identify
as LGBTQ and community allies.
"We want to show solidarity,"
Radeka said. "We want to send the
Radeka said the vigil also served
to raise awareness about challenges
that young people who identify as
LGBTQ might face.
"It's about resilience and honor-
ing those who have felt like they
didn't have any other choice besides
suicide," Radeka said. "Plus it's on
National Coming Out Day so it's also
aspace to think about the fact that for
people coming outisn'tsafe."
She added that this was the first
year the vigil was held in three loca-
tions, which gave more students an
"It's a container for people to come
together and have some feelings and
be inspired to do the hard work that's
ahead," Rabeka said.
LSA freshman Alex Ngo said he
found the vigil to be "really inspira-
"I just came out of the closet and
to see so many people here who are
just like me was really amazing," Ngo
LSA junior Alex Brown said he
found the event to be "fantastic,"
adding that he thought it showed an
element ofcampus unity.
LSA junior Kelsey Strait said the
event reaffirmed her views on the
"It really shows that this cam-
pus is really accepting of everything
because there was such a great
turnout," Strait said. "I'm just really
happy to go here and be surrounded
by people who are so accepting of
LSA freshman Sarah Szollar said
the atmosphere allowed her to "real-
ly feel the comraderie."
Radeka said she felt it too. As an
undergraduate at the University 20
years ago, Radeka said she didn't
see as much visible support for
LGBTQ students and allies as she
Javier said he hopes the events will
help students realize that the Univer-
sity is a safe place for them to be.
"We need allies to be out, identified
as allies of the LGBTQ community."
From Page 1A
At the start of the press confer-
ence, Griffith said the demand for
public transportation in the city
continues to grow, with a 40-per-
cent increase in ridership of AATA's
fixed route bus service in the past
five years. This represents an even
greater increase than the state-
wide growth in public transporta-
tion usage, which was a 22-percent
boostcthroughout the past six years,
All of the speakers at the press
conference, including CEO of
AATA Michael Ford, thanked
Dingell for making the city's voice
heard in Washington, D.C. At $1
million, the federal grant - which
is aFederal Transit Administration
State of Good Repair project - will
cover part of the project's cost, as
the total expenditure is estimated
at about $4 million, Ford said in an
interview after the press confer-
ence. The remaining $3 million
will be funded through "several
different pots of money" the AATA
has access to, including state dol-
lars and "district grants," he said.
The renovation is slated to begin
in the spring of 2011 and conclude
by the summer of 2012. The new
transit center will have an added
floor, which will increase the size
of the current building from 2,000
square feet to about 6,000 square
feet, Ford said during the press con-
Mayor John Hieftje also spoke
at the event, thanking Dingell for
his help in getting federal grants
for the city.
Hieftje said the renovated tran-
sit center is going to be a "great
addition" to the city, adding that
it will encourage Ann Arbor resi-
dents to continue their high rate of
public transportation usage.
Dingell took the floor next and
said that Ann Arbor's public trans-
portation system is "a great and
enthusiastic public service" that
contributes to a better "quality of
life" for the city's residents. He rec-
ognized Hieftje's and other public
officers' hard work in spearhead-
ing various city projects, like the
transit center renovation.
"...Understand that this is the
result of hard work and real vigor
and real mission because, as the
Bible tells us, 'Without a vision,
people perish,"' Dingell said.
Susan Pollay, executive direc-
tor of the Ann Arbor Downtown
Development Authority, said
better transportation in the city
means more customers will come
into the city and make it easier for
employees of Ann Arbor business-
es to commute.
"Here in downtown Ann Arbor,
we know that the small, indepen-
dent businesses and the new econ-
omy companies are the groups that
are going to be generating the jobs
of the future," Pollay said.
Ford said that while there may
be some changes to the AATA bus
routes as a result of the construc-
tion, the authority is going to do
everything it can to have as few
"disruptions as possible." He also
said that while the new center is
being built, the existing building
will still be functional to minimize
disturbances for customers.
There is also currently con-
struction on Ann Arbor's Down-
town Library parking lot on South
Fifth Avenue, one block over from
the Blake Transit Center. And
while several of the speakers at the
press conference said the timeline
of the two construction projects
mayoverlap, Hieftje said he doesn't
foresee this being too problematic.
The renovation of the Blake
Transit Center is part of a greater
countywide push to increase the
accessibility and availability of
public transportation in the area,
As part ofthis plan,in the future
AATA plans to work on introduc-
ing transportation from the Blake
Transit Center to Detroit Metro
Airport, he said.
Ypsilanti resident Jessica
Gransden said she uses Ann
Arbor's public transportation sys-
tem about 10 times a day, going to
and from home, work and class at
Washtenaw Community College.
She said a renovated transit cen-
ter would be a welcomed change,
as the current building is often
crowded with people waiting for
buses in the winter.
"I think it would help," Grans-
densaid. "...It'susually packed wall
Ann Arbor resident Thomas
Krawford, Jr., who uses the Ann
Arbor's buses to get to work at a
local high school every day, said
he's open to the idea of a new
transit center, though he's con-
cerned about the cost of the con-
"I suppose on the one hand
progress is a good thing but on
the other hand nothing is totally
perfect," Krawford said. "There's
always some sort of drawback in
the long run."
From Page 1A
In front of an audience of about
80 people, Olivas discussed the
increasing trend in higher education
of students suing professors. Olivas
said the number of lawsuits has been
on the rise since the 1960s.
"It is very clear that this is a path-
way that students have found attrac-
tive," Olivas said.
Giving several examples of stu-
dent-teacher lawsuits, Olivas said
some of the confusion in court rul-
ings on the issue stems from the
courts viewing professors as spokes-
people of their public institutions.
With this view, Olivas said profes-
sors are condemned forspeakingout
for or against religion.
Sometimes these condemnations
are unjust, Olivas said, as with the
example of a Mormon theatre stu-
dent who refused to read and act out
material she felt was sacrilegious. In
this case, Olivas said he felt it was the
professor's right to choose his class-
room materials and assignments.
Though these professors may be
condemned for the wrong reasons,
Olivas said he does recognize that
there are some professors who take
too many liberties with course mate-
rial and their treatment of students.
Olivas cited one professor who
used Hustler magazine as assigned
reading for his remedial English
class, which made his students feel
unintelligent and uncomfortable.
As an overall solution to the legal
issues faculty members face, Olivas
said a university must recognize
that its different departments have
different modes of instruction.
But in addition to giving autono-
my to faculty, universities ought to
have institutional norms and codes
of conduct in place, Olivas said. He
added that senior faculty members
must teach these norms to junior
faculty members, so that the faculty
can become self-monitoring.
Olivas said that by using a system
like this, members of a faculty can
feel comfortable standing together
if one is the target of a lawsuit.
"If they're under assault, all of us
are under assault," he said.
In an interview after the lecture,
Olivas said he is passionate about
the issue of academic freedom given
the nature of the threat it poses to all
"I believe in the enterprise, and
I want to make it a better place to
work and live and do my research,"
he said. "When anybody else's inter-
ests are harmed, I think they threat-
en all of our interests."
Jack Bernard, the University's
assistant general counsel, said he
has been to every lecture in the
series since 1995, adding, "academic
freedom is a very important prin-
ciple that the University needs to
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