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January 14, 2013 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-01-14

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Monday, January 14, 2013 -- 3A

NEWS BRIEFS
LANSING
UAW to protest
Gov. Snyder State
of the State speech
The United Auto Workers and
other labor unions are calling on
members to protest before and
during Gov. Rick Snyder's third
State of the State address in Lan-
sing.
The Republican governor's
speech is scheduled for Wednes-
day evening in the state Capitol.
The UAW and other unions are
planning to be outside to protest
GOP policies they say are hurting
the middle class. They're espe-
cially upset about a new law end-
ing requirements that workers
pay union dues or fees as a condi-
tion of employment.
The UAW wants members to,
bring families, friends and co-
workers to the demonstration.
DAVENPORT, IOWA
Iowa man, sister
reunite thanks to
Facebook, child
An Iowa man has been reunit-
ed with his sister 65 years after
the siblings were separated in
foster care thanks to a 7-year-old
friend who searched Facebook.
Clifford Boyson of Davenport
met his sister, Betty Billadeau,
in person on Saturday. Billadeau
drove up from her home in Floris-
sant, Mo., with her daughter and
granddaughter for the reunion at
a hotel in Davenport.
Boyson, 66, and Billadeau, 70,
both tried to find each other for
years without success. They were
placed in different foster homes
in Chicago when they were chil-
dren.
Then 7-year-old Eddie Han-
zelin, who is the son of Boyson's
landlord, got involved.
Eddie managed to find Bil-
ladeau by searching his mom's
Facebook account with Bil-
ladeau's maiden name.
NEW YORK
Reddit co-founder
dies in NY weeks
before trial
The family of a Reddit co-
founder who committed suicide
weeks before he was to go on trial
on federal charges that he stole
millions of scholarly articles is
blamingprosecutors for his death.
Aaron Swartz hanged himself
in his Brooklyn apartment Friday
night, his family and authorities
said. The 26-year-old had fought
to make online content free to the
public and as a teenager helped
create RSS, a family of Web feed
formats used to gather updates
from blogs, news headlines, audio
and video for users.
In 2011, he was charged with
stealing millions of scientific
journals from a computer archive
at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology in an attempt to make
them freely available.

PARIS
Gay marriage
protest converges
on Eiffel Tower
Holding aloft ancient flags
and young children, hundreds of
thousands of people converged
Sunday on the Eiffel Tower to
protest the French president's
plan to legalize gay marriage and
thus allow same-sex couples to
adopt and conceive children.
The opposition to President
Francois Hollande's plan has
underscored divisions among
the secular-but-Catholic French,
especially more traditional rural
areas versus urban enclaves. But
while polls show the majority of
French still support legalizing
gay marriage, that backing gets
more lukewarm when children
come into play.
The protest march started at
three points across Paris, filling
boulevards throughout the city
as demonstrators walked six kilo-
meters (3 miles) to the grounds of
France's most recognizable mon-
ument.
-Compiled from
Daily wire reports

RTA sparks
disseint in
Ann Arbor

A Palestinian Bedouin man watches construction of newly-erected tents in the 'outpost 'of Bab al-Shams an area
known as Et near Jerusalem, on Friday.
Israeli PM vows to proceed
with disputed settlement

Palestinians The planned settlement,
known as E-1, would deepen
protest by placing east Jerusalem's separation
from the West Bank, war-won
tents at outpost areas the Palestinians want
for their state. The project had
RAMALLAH, West Bank been on hold for years, in part
(AP) - Israel's prime minister because of U.S. objections.
pledged Sunday to move ahead Israeli Prime Minister Benja-
with construction of a new min Netanyahu revived the E-1
Jewish settlement in a strategic plans late last year in response
part of the West Bank, speaking to the Palestinians' success-
just hours after Israeli forces ful bid for U.N. recognition of
dragged dozens of Palestinian a state of Palestine in the West
activists from the area. Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem.
The activists pitched more Jewish settlements are
than two dozen tents at the at the heart of the current
site on Friday, laying claim to four-year impasse in Mideast
the land and drawing attention peace efforts. The Palestin-
to Israel's internationally con- ians have refused to negotiate
demned settlement policy. while Israel continues to build
Before dawn Sunday, hun- settlements on the lands they
dreds of Israeli police and seek for their state. Netanyahu
paramilitary border troops says peace talks should start
evicted the protesters. Despite without any preconditions.
the eviction, Mustafa Bargh- He also rejects any division of
outi, one of the protest leaders, Jerusalem.
claimed success, saying the Israel expanded the bound-
overall strategy is to "make aries of east Jerusalem
(Israel's) occupation costly." after the 1967 war and then

annexed the area - a move
not recognized by the interna-
tional community. Since then,
it has built a ring of Jewish
settlements in the enlarged
eastern sector to cement its
control over the city.
E-1 would be built in the
West Bank just east of Jerusa-
lem, and would close one of the
last options for Palestinians to
create territorial continuity
between Arab neighborhoods
of east Jerusalem, their hoped-
for capital, and the West Bank.
According to building plans,
E-1 would have more than
3,000 apartments.
The Palestinians, say they
turned to the U.N. last Novem-
ber out of frustration with
the deadlock in peace talks.
They believe the internation-
al endorsement of the 1967
lines will bolster their posi-
tion in negotiations. Israel has
accused the Palestinians of
trying to bypass the negotiat-
ing process and impose a solu-
tion.

Councilmembers
against authority
for S.E. Mich.
By MATTHEW JACKONEN
Daily Staff Reporter
Only months after the failure
of the Washtenaw Initiative, a
county-wide transit authority
championed by the Ann Arbor
Transit Authority, Ann Arbor
City Council members are resist-
ing involvement in the South-
eastern Michigan, Regional
Transit Authority.
In the last week of 2012,
Republican Gov. Rick Sny-
der passed legislation for the
creation of the RTA, which
mandates expanded pub-
lic transportation methods
throughout the southeast Michi-
gan area - Macomb, Oakland,
Washtenaw and Wayne coun-
ties. The southeast RTA board
is composed of two representa-
tives from each county and two
additional representatives - one
from Detroit and one chosen by
Snyder.
Within a week, Conan
Smith, chair of the Washtenaw
County Board of Commission-
ers, announced his Washtenaw
County appointments to the
RTA: Elisabeth Gerber, a Uni-
versity professor at the Ford
School of Public Policy, and
Richard Murphy, the program
director for the Michigan Sub-
urbs Alliance.
"Washtenaw County and Ann
Arbor in particular have a real
gem with the AATA," Gerber
said. "One of my top priorities is
to be sure not only to do no harm
to AATA ... certainly being sure
that it is not compromised by the
dynamics of the RTA."
However, Gerber also stated
that the RTA needs commitment
from all counties.
"I feel very strongly that
regional collaboration and
regional governance only works
when everybody wants it," Ger-
ber said.
Murphy, who has a back-
ground in transportation and
land-use planning, said he will
use his position on the board to
introduce rail to the area.
"The big transit need for us
in Washtenaw County is the
Ann Arbor to Detroit commuter
rail line," Murphy said. "We've
been laying the groundwork for
that for a decade, and the RTA

should be the way we finally
bring that project to life, but
the legislation has some weird
provisions discouraging rail-
based transit that we'll have to
navigate."
Murphy added that taking in
factors such as cost and rider-
ship, rail is the right option.
Upon the announcement
of the RTA, many Ann Arbor
City Council members were
vocal about their disinterest
in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw
County's participation. Coon-
cilmember Christopher Tay-
lor (D-Ward 3) was among the
opposed camp.
"The short of it is,I have a tre-
mendous amount of respect for
both appointed board members,
and I believe the RTA has a great
deal of promise for Macomb,
Oakland and Wayne counties,"
Taylor said. "I also believe that
it has no benefit for Washtenaw
County and that Washtenaw
County should be excluded from
it."
Taylor continued to argue
that the RTA is a "poison pill" for
Ann Arbor and the county. One
of the RTA's current proposals is
a bus route from Detroit to Ann
Arbor.
"Public transportation in
Washtenaw County serves
Washtenaw County's needs very
well," Taylor said. "Any new
RTA would focus the lion's share
of its resources and attention to
areas that are most in need ... I
believe that Washtenaw County
would not receive its propor-
tionate due."
Councilmember Sabra Briere
(D-Ward 1) agreed that the ben-
efits of the RTA would apply only
to other counties, and that most
of the proposed services would
be inefficient for residents.
"My own feeling for the RTA
is I have a whole bunch of ques-
tions of the effect of the RTA on
the existing (AATA) bus system,"
Briere said. She questioned "how
many people would take a bus
that is going to take an hour and
a half to come into Ann Arbor for
whatever purpose?"
AATA spokeswoman Mary
Stasiak did not elaborate on the
AATA's position on the RTA but
endorsed the selected Board
representatives.
Stasiak said: "Both of the RTA
Board representatives chosen
have qualifications and experi-
ence that are important in lead-
ing the formation of this new
regional authority."

U.S education secretary advocates
for more breaks, longer school year

Pilot program will
affect students in
four states
(AP) - Did your kids moan
that winter break was way too
short as you got them ready for
the first day back in school?
They might get their wish of
more holiday time off under
proposals catching on around
the country to lengthen the
school year.
But there's a catch: a much
shorter summer vacation.
Education Secretary Arne
Duncan, a chief proponent of
the longer school year, says
American students have fallen
behind the world academically.
"Whether educators have
more time to enrich instruc-
tion or students have more
time to learn how to play an
instrument and write com-
puter code, adding meaning-
ful in-school hours is a critical
investment, that better pre-
pares children to be success-
ful in the 21st century," he said
in December when five states
announced they would add at
least 300 hours to the academ-
ic calendar in some schools
beginning this year.
- The three-year pilot proj-
ect will affect about 20,000
students in 40 schools in
Colorado, Connecticut, Mas-
sachusetts, New York and Ten-
nessee.
Proponents argue that too
much knowledge is lost while
American kids wile away the
summer months apart from
their lessons. The National
Summer Learning Association
cites decades of research that
shows students' test scores are
higher in the same subjects at
the beginning of the summer
than at the end.
"The research is very clear
about that," said Charles
Ballinger, executive director
emeritus of the National Asso-
ciation for Year-Round School
in San Diego. "The only ones
who don't lose are the upper
10 to 15 percent of the student
body. Those tend to be gifted,

college-bound, they're natural
learners who will learn wher-
ever they are."
Supporters also say a longer
school year would give poor
children more access to school-
provided healthy meals.
Yet the movement has plen-
ty of detractors - so many
that Ballinger sometimes feels
like the Grinch trying to steal
Christmas.
"I had a parent at one meet-
ing say, 'I want my child to lie
on his back in the grass watch-
ing the clouds inthe sky during
the day and the moon and stars
at night,"' Ballinger recalled.
"I thought, 'Oh, my. Most kids
do that for two, three, maybe
four days, then say, 'What's
next?"
But opponents aren't simply
dreamy romantics.
Besides the outdoor oppor-
tunities for pent up young-
sters, they say families already
are beholden to the school
calendar for three seasons out
of four. Summer breaks, they
say, are needed to provide an
academic respite for students'
overwrought minds, and to

provide time with family and
the flexibility to travel and
study favorite subjects in more
depth. They note that advo-
cates of year-round school can-
not point to any evidence that
it brings appreciable academic
benefits.
"I do believe that if children
have not mastered a subject
that, within a week, person-
ally, I see a slide in my own
child," said Tina Bruno, execu-
tive director of the Coalition
for a Traditional School Cal-
endar. "That's where the idea
of parental involvement and
parental responsibility in edu-
cation comes in, because our
children cannot and should not
be in school seven days a week,
365 days a year."
Bruno is part of a "Save Our
Summers" alliance of parents,
grandparents, educational
professionals and some sum-
mer-time recreation providers
fighting year-round school.
Local chapters carry names
such as Georgians Need Sum-
mers, Texans for a Traditional
School Year and Save Alabama
Summers.

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