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December 08, 2010 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-12-08

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Wednesday, December 8, 2010 - 3A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Wednesday, December 8, 2D10 - 3A

State's child welfare
system fails to meet
2008 agreement
Michigan's child-welfare system
is failing to meet the conditions of a
sweeping 2008 agreement intended
to improve foster care and protec-
tive services, a court-appointed
watchdog said Tuesday.
Kevin Ryan's latest report traced
the problems to management at the
Department of Human Services
under Gov. Jennifer Granholm. He
said Michigan's new governor will
have an opportunity after Jan. 1 to
"build a high-level leadership team"
and fulfill an agreement to more
quickly move kids out of foster care
and into permanent homes.
"Unless there is a fundamental
adjustment in their approach to
this undertaking, it is unlikely this
reform will reach most of the chil-
dren and families . in the foresee-
able future," Ryan wrote.
A New York-based group called
Children's Rights, whose law-
suit led to the consent decree, had
planned to ask a judge to appoint
a receiver to take over Michigan's
child-welfare system, but it backed
off Tuesday and said Gov.-elect Rick
Snyder deserves a chance to tackle
the problem.
Medicare paid
smillions for stent
A Senate investigation found
that Medicare spent millions of
dollars for stents implanted by a
Maryland doctor accused of put-
ting them in patients who didn't
need them, according to a report
released Monday.
The investigation also found
that the doctor was treated to an
elaborate crab feast and barbecue
by Abbott Labs, the maker of the
stents. The stents are tiny, metal-
mesh tubes used to keep unclogged
arteries open.
The report released by the Senate
Finance Committee said Dr. Mark
Midei's questionable implantations
cost the Medicare program $3.8 mil-
lion between 2007 and 2009. Sen.
Max Baucus, D-Mont., the commit-
tee's chairman, said the case could
be a sign of a larger national trend of
wasteful medical device use.
Officials bust Ivy
League drug ring
Five Columbia University stu-
dents were charged yesterday with
selling LSD-spiked candy and other
drugs at three fraternity houses and
other residences on the Ivy League
campus, with two allegedly claim-
ing they needed the drug money to
cover tuition.
Police arrested Christopher Coles,
Harrison David, Adam Klein, Jose
Stephen Perez and Michael Wymbs
at dawn on Tuesday at the presti-
gious school in upper Manhattan.
The students - all 20-year-olds
except Perez, who's .22 - were

hauled into a Manhattan court-
room later in the day, shackled
together and wearing Columbia
and fraternity sweat shirts. They
pleaded not guilty to multiple drug
dealing charges alleging they were
supplied by violent traffickers.
Israel claims
0 leaked cables are
distracting U.S.
Israel's defense minister claimed
yesterday that the WikiLeaks crisis
was distracting Washington from
efforts to restart Mideast peace
talks. But the U.S. denied those
efforts were on hold and countered
sharply that perhaps Israel was dis-
tracted by fighting a wildfire.
Hours later, however, U.S. offi-
cials said they had abandoned
efforts to reinstate a freeze on new
building in Jewish settlements in
the West Bank, concluding that was
not the best way to restart the talks.
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks,
restarted in September after a long
hiatus but stumbled to a halt three
weeks later after a 10-month Israeli
moratorium on new construction
in West Bank Jewish settlements
expired - as Israel said all along
it would - and the government
refused to renew it.
Palestinians say they won't
resume talks unless Israel halts all
building in the West Bank and east
Jerusalem - lands they want for
part of their future state.
- Compiled from
Dafy wire reports.

From Page 1A
marijuana industry. Before the
commission could really do any-
thing, she said, they first had to
find out the logistics of dispen-
saries and what classifies as a
home occupation, among other
After learning more about
how dispensaries operate, the
commission decided these facili-
ties would be most suited for
retail zones, Thacher said.
Dennis Hayes, a co-founder of
the Ann Arbor Medical Marijua-
na Patient Collective and a law-
yer who specializes in drug laws,
said he thinks the ordinance can
be narrow and conservative in
parts, but overall he's happy that
Ann Arbor is handling this issue
intelligently, and that City Coun-
cil is very "accessible and inter-
ested and pretty open-minded"
about the issue. Simply permit-
ting the existence of dispensa-
ries, he said, is a step forward.
The ordinance comes amid
other municipalities' recent bans
on the use of medical marijuana,
despite the Michigan Marijua-
na Act, which allows patients
registered with the state to use
medical marijuana. These areas
including Birmingham, Bloom-
field Hills and Livonia, which
recently passed ordinances that
prohibit actions on medical
marijuana that violate federal
law. Marijuana, classified as a
Schedule I drug under the Drug
Enforcement Act, is still illegal
under federal law.
The state's American Civil
Liberties Union chapter recent-
ly sued these cities on behalf of
Linda Lott, a registered medical
marijuana patient with multiple
sclerosis, and her husband Robert,.
who has glaucoma, saying their
bans violate the marijuana act.
Thacher said there is still
time for public input on the
Ann Arbor ordinance. Thacher
said the commission has mostly
heard from stakeholders in the

medical marijuana community hibited, according to the text of
so far. the ordinance.
Medical marijuana activists The ordinance also forbids
have voiced concerns about one drive-in medical marijuana
provision of the ordinance that dispensaries. The commission
prohibits a dispensary or cul- included this, Thacher said, for
tivation facility - defined as aesthetic and environmental
a facility where more than 72 purposes. The city puts this type
plants are grown - from being of regulation in many districts to
located within 1,000 feet of a avoid idling cars.
primary or secondary school. It isn't clear yet what will hap-
Hayes said he thinks the pen with existing dispensaries
1,000-foot rule is unnecessary. that were grandfathered into
"If you look at the zoning the temporary moratorium after
maps, the proposed 1,000-foot the ordinance is passed, Thacher
setback is altogether too long," said.
he said. "And we think 500 (feet) For home occupations, the
is adequate, and would prefer ordinance requires that the floor
200 (feet)." area devoted to medical mari-
Hayes said the regulation juana not exceed 25 percent of
came out of "alleged and undoc- the total floor area and the out-
umented fears of (marijuan'a) side appearance of the dwell-
being close to neighborhoods ing shouldn't indicate that it's a
and kids being exposed to it." He home occupation. In addition,
added that it's not productive to the owner can't sell any products
start out with "a prior assump- not produced on the premises.
tion" that such strict constraints Also, as in the case of dispensa-
need to be applied to medical ries, there shouldn't be noisy or
marijuana facilities. odorous equipment or processes
Thacher said the planning on the premises.
commission recommended the Hayes said security is a very
1,000-foot requirement because important issue when it comes to
Michigan state law has a 1,000- home occupations because mari-
foot drug-free zone around juana is such a valuable prod-
schools. By putting this regula- uct, adding that the identity of
tion in the ordinance, she added, a home occupation shouldn't be
the planning commission wasn't made public..
making a statement about having Thacher agreed that it is criti-
marijuana facilities near schools cal to ensure the medicine is
but merely following state law. secure within a home occupa-
The ordinance also prohibits tion.
the smoking, inhalation or con- "We're not necessarily going
sumption of medical marijuana to require that people keep
at dispensaries and cultivation everything in a vault, but at the
facilities. Planners included the same time they'll have to dem-
restriction mainly to appease onstrate through the licensing
neighbors' fears of odors coming agreement ... that the plants and
from the premises. the product are secured some-
Further regulations on dis- how on the site," Thacher said.
pensaries and cultivation facili- Hayes also emphasized that
ties include no minors on the there should be a way for police
premises without a parent or to identify home occupations to
guardian. Additionally, patients avoid unlawful raids. Unfortu-
and caregivers must conduct nately, he added, the state law
all activities indoors, and any "doesm't compel the production
equipment or activity that cre- of that information," and setting
ates noticeable "noise, dust, up a registry would disclose the
vibration, glare, fumes, odors or addresses of the dwellings, caus-
electrical interference" is pro- ing security issues.

From Page 1A
trips between the two campuses
daily. For this reason, Nau said,
the study specifically sought to
identify more reliable and faster
modes of transit between the
In a recent interview, Kosteva
said the University is supporting.
the study because of its focus on
improving transit between the
two campuses.
"It's well known that we have
a large movement of passengers
from North Campus to Central
Campus," Kosteva said. "We
want to analyze whether or not
there may be other means of
transit that can make those trips
more efficient."
The current draft of the study
proposes three modes of transit
that Nau called "the most prom-
ising types of mass transit" for
Ann Arbor.
The first is an enhanced busing
system called Bus Rapid Transit,
which would involve the creation
of a separate line of buses that
would be both faster and larger
than existing AATA buses.
These buses would be able
to seat between 55 and 105 peo-
ple, for a total daily ridership of
roughly 10,000, according to a
pamphlet released by the Ann
Arbor Connector Feasibility
The second option is a light
rail transit system, which would
feature a two- to three-car train
powered by electric overhead
wires, accordingto the pamphlet.
Nau said the light rail transit
system would be speedy and spa-
cious, with the ability to shuttle
large numbers of people between
the campuses in a timely man-
ner. According to the pamphlet,
a light rail transit system could
accommodate up to 40,000 peo-
ple daily.
The final option is a form of
elevated transit, a totally auto-
mated train system that would
feature trains running back and
forth on a fixed headway.
According to Nau, "those sys-
tems would have to be developed
to provide the level of capacity
that's necessary to move people
between the campuses."
The AATA, as well as officials
from the city, the University and
the Downtown Development
Agency, are currently reviewing
the draft of the study. Nau said he
plans to meet with these groups
and hear their feedback before
submitting a final report to the

transportation authority.
The AATA is also working on
a long-term plan to improve its
regular busing service.
The AATA's countywide tran-
sit vision is a 30-year plan to
revamp its busing system, The
Ride, which currently operates in
both Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.
Officials developed the county-
wide transit vision as a means of
addressing a variety of issues
including a lack of speedy routes
to vital destinations, frequent
congestion, increases in mobility
needs for aging riders and a lack
of connectivity between coun-
ties, according to Michael Ben-
ham, a strategic planner for The
The countywide transit vision
is designed to address these
needs by proposing changes to
busing like adding local circula-
tors and door-to-door service,
connecting counties using coach
and express buses and utilizing
a park-and-ride option for those
who own vehicles, according to a
Nov. 18 AATA status report.
Thevision also aimstoincrease
the use of bus lanes and install a
revamped commuter rail. Finally,
the transit vision focuses on mak-
ing transit centers attractive and
appealing for riders.
Eli Cooper, Ann Arbor's trans-
portation program manager, said
he believes the Transit Master
Plan will pave the way for impor-
tant new developments in Washt-
enaw County.
"The AATA ... is reaching out
in a significant way and is getting
excellent input from the advisory
committee as well as the public,"
Cooper said. "They have a com-
prehensive and thorough out-
reach process."
The next step of planning is to
determine whether the transit
plan's objectives are aligned with
the community's needs, Cooper
said. This mainly involves accom-
modating the markets that aren't
exposed to the "high level" of
transit service that is operating
around Ann Arbor and the sur-
rounding area, he said.
The Transit Master Plan pre-
sented by AATA, Cooper said,
will allow Ann Arborcto "continue
to grow and prosper as a regional
job center without strangling
the community's transportation
arteries with individual commut-
ers and cars on our streets look-
ing for parking spaces on valuable

From Page 1A
in end-of-season win/loss records
between Rodriguez and previous
coaches as cause for his termina-
"Before (Rodriguez's) arrival,
we fought hard against the tough-
est teams," Hashwi said.
Hamilton echoed Hashwi's
sentiments, emphasizing the
importance of having student
voices heard on this "dynamic"
"Rich Rodriguez has been a
black stain on this University and
needs to be held accountable," he

Other MSA representatives
brought up the proposal's faults in
front of the assembly.
Public policy junior and repre-
sentative Steven Zuckerman ques-
tioned whether student-athletes'
opinions were considered in the
construction of the resolution.
"I agree that maybe (the issue)
is something to talk about, but I
don't know if it necessarily rep-
resents the concerns of students,"
he said.
MSA Vice President and Busi-
ness senior Jason Raymond also
expressed his concerns about the
proposal saying it "distracts" from
the assembly's more pertinent
"It could potentially ruin rela-

tionships we've built with the
Athletic Department," he said.
MSA President and LSA senior
Chris Armstrong declined to com-
ment on the specifics of the pro-
posal after the meeting, but said
"it had no place on the agenda."
In an interview after the meet-
ing, Hashwi expressed his disap-
pointment that the issue wouldn't
be on the next meeting's agenda.
"We're here to discuss large
issues," he said.
Hamilton agreed, adding that
the proposal will now be put to
rest, as it was time-sensitive.
"It's unfortunate we couldn't
place it on the agenda," Hamilton
said after the meeting. "We want
healthy debate."

everyone agree on the problem
CONFERENCE is probably equally if not more
From Page 1A important. When you have sfs
many people under one roof, it
Climate Change in 1994. really gives context to just how
The goal of the conference is difficult it is to align."
to find ways to mediate climate At the conference, Sossa said
change, with topics including he also witnessed the difference
water, energy, greenhouse gas in students' and diplomats' atti-
emissions, biodiversity and social tudes.
issues, Sossa said. "Students are more positively
- Sossa said that within the last charged," he said. "We want to go
five years, an Erb alum arranged out there and change the world.
for University affiliates to have Diplomats are more reserved.
access to the annual conference They say, 'it's a process, we have
and since then a few University to work through certain things
representatives have attended first.' Listening to both sides
the conference each year. of that equation is something
"It's a lot more than just the you don't get to do everyday in
good weather," Sossa said. "I school."
came back and I didn't get a tan The students and other partic-
because I rarely saw the beach. I ipants are immersed in the seri-
think what drives it for us (par- ousness of the matter from the
ticipating students) is that we're moment they land to the moment
interested in observing how they leave.
international politics work." "As all of this is happening
Sossa said that attending the you're driving back and forth
conference also gives students down highways where there are
the opportunity to bring infor- armored vehicles with rifles and
mation on the state of efforts to machine guns protecting you," he
address climate change back to said. "You realize this is a serious
campus. thing that you are involved in."
Sossa added that he got a live Katie Pethan, MS and Master
look at the inner workings of of Landscape Architecture can-
international governing bodies didate in the School of Natural
through his time at the confer- Resources and Environment, said
ence. He said he watched repre- the conference also gave her a
sentatives from Bangladesh make first-hand look at the logistics of
a plea for help in front of all the international politics.
participating nations to address "It's basically a meeting of the
the recent flooding in their coun- minds," Pethan said. "Going to
try. the conference is an opportunity
"Hearing them and their coun- to geta rush of information."
terparts, like Jamaica and Gua- She said participating in the
temala, saying the same kind of conference brought what she
pulls at your heart-strings," he studies to life with a "human
said. "It's really impressive to quality."
hear that. It's kind of humbling, "If you are sitting in your room
too, when you look at what we and reading, it's easy to have a
have and you come back to Ann physical and clinical approach
Arbor, we have so much." to these problems but when you
From attending the confer- meet the people it's different,"
ence, Sossa said he also realized she said. "There were indigenous
that these sorts of negotiations groups from the Amazon and
are more challenging than he from Africa there, and it puts a
originally thought. very human face to these prob-
"Finding a solution is impor- lems."
tant," ke said. "But having. An added benefit to attending

the conference Pethan said was
that she got the chance to net-
work with leaders in her fields of
Pethan, like Sossa, said she
enjoyed observing the personal
interactions that occur during
negotiations and discussions,
citing a session on biodiversity
that she attended. Pethan said
that one representative made a
few jokes during the long discus-
sion and after a few minutes a
representative from Brazil stood
up and said that he respects the
man who told the jokes but found
them to be inappropriate.
"He said this in front of maybe
500 people in the middle of this
tedious process," she said. "He
was offended by the jokes. It
changes the tone from a light-
hearted room to one a little
more tense. It was a very human
Pethan added that the topic
of the conference is "the most
important topic of our era," and
said she hopes there will be more
funding for student participation
in the future.
"It's invaluable for me," she
said. "I'm the kind of person who
learns from hands-on experi-
ence. I really absorb things and
they stick with me longer if I have
a hands-on experience."
Andrew Hoffman, SNRE and
Ross School prof. and associate
director of the Erb Institute, left
for the conference yesterday as
an observer.
He said he hopes to learn about
the process of global negotiations
on climate change and to see the
interactions between the nations,
and organizations present at the
Hoffman said attending and
observing the climate change
conference and similar events is
an invaluable experience for stu-
"It gives them the opportunity
to learn how this works in real
life," he said. "This is global gov-
erning in action. What a class-
room for studeits to learn."

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