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Friday, February 28, 2014 - 3

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Friday, February 28, 2014 - 3

Teacher involved
in fighting video to
remain employed
A Michigan elementary school
teacher is fighting efforts to fire
her for shooting celphone video
of a student who got stuck trying
to squeeze through the back of
his chair and allegedly replaying
the footage later for her class.
In a 54-second clip of the
November video taken in Nicole
McVey's fifth-grade classroom
at Oaktree Elementary School in
Goodrich, a woman can be heard
asking the trapped student, "How
did you get into that situation?"
When the woman tells the boy
that a maintenance crew is on its
way to help free him, a man can
be heard saying, "It's not really an
emergency in their book."
The video was shown to the
class on three occasions, said Pat-
rick Greenfelder, a lawyer for the
boy's mother.
Teenage cancer
survivor wants to
research for a cure
First the teenager survived
a rare cancer. Then she wanted
to study it, spurring a study that
helped scientists find a weird
gene flaw that might play a role in
how the tumor strikes.
Age 18 is pretty young to be
listed as an author of a study in
the prestigious journal Science.
But the industrious high school
student's efforts are bringing
new attention to this mysterious
"It's crazy that I've been able to
do this," said Elana Simon of New
York City, describing her idea to
study the extremely rare form of
liver cancer that mostly hits ado-
lescents and young adults.
Democrats want to
make GOP split a
campaign issue
Gov. Jan Brewer's veto of
a bill allowing businesses to
refuse service to gays exposed a
fracture within the Republican
Party between social conserva-
tives and the GOP's pro-business
wing, a split that Democrats
hope to turn into a midterm elec-
tion campaign issue.
The Republican governor has
made job creation and business
expansion the centerpiece of
her administration, and she was
more than willing to disregard
the wishes of social conserva-
tives amid protests from major
corporations such as Ameri-
can Airlines and Apple Inc. As
a result, the GOP base was left
dispirited, and opponents of gay
marriage are struggling to find
their footing after significant

losses in the courts and state-
Oscar nomination
not shown at home
Directors of Egypt's first Oscar-
nominated film will be walking the
red carpet at the Oscars ceremony
next week in Los Angeles, but
most Egyptians have yet to see the
hard-hitting movie that chronicles
the country's unrest over the past
three years.
Far from being widely celebrat-
ed in Egypt, the film has not been
shown at Egyptian film festivals or
theaters after running into prob-
lems with censorship authorities.
The filmmakers say they have been
blocked because of their portrayal
of the country's military-backed
governments. They still hope to
get approval for wider distribution.
"It's a kind of politics disguised
in bureaucracy," said Karim Amer,
the film's producer, taking a line
that one of the film's central char-
acter uses to describe the gov-
ernment's counter-revolutionary
actions.Booms from the mountain
could be heard 130 kilometers
(80 miles) away in Surabaya, the
country's second-largest city, and
even further afield in Jogyakarta.
-Compiledfrom Daily wire reports

From Page 1
having a public meeting when
discussing an NCAA probe of the
University's football program.
At last month's meeting, in
which the board approved more
than $510 million worth of cam-
pus renovations, announced the
creation of the new administra-
tion position of associate vice
president for enrollment man-
agement and the consideration
of an endowment and naming of
the head football coach position,
there was little to no discussion
of the proposals. The regents
simply listened and voted in
"There are a lot of unanimous
votes on various items," Univer-
sity spokesman Rick Fitzgerald
said in an interview with the
Daily. "But there is, from time
to time, discussion about items
before there is a vote during the
public session."
The regents meet informal-
ly, separately from the formal
monthly meetings, to discuss cer-
tain issues. These generally meet-
ings include two or three regents
and other University officials.
According to Frank LoMonte,
the executive director of the Stu-
dent Press Law Center, "there
has to be a voting majority of the

body, a quorum of the members,
present in order for it to be an
official meeting."
Fitzgerald said there are two
segments of public comments
during the meetings. The most
utilized public commentary seg-
ment is at the ends of meetings,
when a limited number of speak-
ers, who sign up in advance, can
address the regents on any issue
they want for five minutes.
The second, but not generally
used, public portion of the meet-
ings is at their beginning, when
any member of the public can
speak up about a proposal on a
meeting's agenda.
"There is always an oppor-
tunity for people to address the
regents on anything that is on
that meeting's agenda before
any of the voting takes place,"
Fitzgerald said.
He said this time slot is always
reserved, but rarely used.
LoMonte said the rarity of
these early meeting dialogues
is an example of the minimal
engagement between the public
and the regents.
"The places where people tend
to complain are the places where
the official meetings don't seem
very substantive," LoMonte said.
The meeting agendas, with
detailed proposal descriptions,
are posted online the Monday
prior to every monthly Thursday

meeting. The minutes of every
meeting are posted online for
public review afterward.
"The process that the board
operates under is well-estab-
lished and well-grounded in the
state law," Fitzgerald said. "This'
has been an effective way to work
and we believe it is compliant
with the Open Meetings Act."
In January's special regents
meeting, during which the board
named University President-
elect Mark Schlissel, new con-
cerns about the regents' secrecy
were in regard to the presidential
search process.
The formal meeting, when
regents voted on the approval of
the new president, was held open
to the public. A 1999 Michigan
Supreme Court decision allows
the University - and all Michi-
gan public universities - to con-
duct presidential searches in
A significant reason for keep-
ing the search process private
was that candidates do not want
to jeopardize their job when
the search is open, according to
Regent Andrea Fischer Newman
"Your pool is much broader
and much bigger if you can keep
the search process private,"
Newman said in a January inter-

From Page 1
1981 until 1985 - was during a
very turbulent period.
"Basically the term I like to
use was Honduras was sur-
rounded by trouble," he said,
referencing the conflicts in El
Salvador and the Sandinista
regime in Nicaragua. "If Wash-
ington is divided about what to
do, it really makes your job that
much harder."
Negroponte also discussed
negotiations for the creation of
the North America Free Trade
Agreement, which began under
President George H.W. Bush
and were successfully conclud-
ed under President Bill Clinton
in August 1993.
As the discussion concluded,
students at the back of the audi-
torium invited other attendees
to join the vigil to berate his
alleged crimes.
According to the protesters,
Negroponte arranged fund-
ing for militias and "brutal
regimes" in Central America,
participation in the creation of
NAFTA that led thousands of
Mexicans to poverty and used
of death squads in Iraq.
The vigil was held outside
the Annenberg Auditorium
while Negroponte and the other
guests stood a few feet away at
the discussion's conclusion.
Rackham student Geoff
Hughes, who led the vigil, said
Negroponte was trying to pro-
tect his reputation, reworking
his interpretation of history
during the discussion.
"If you look at his statements
now he is either criminally
negligent or he has basically
changed his story in a very
kind of cynical way," Hughes
The demonstrators formed
a circle and held papers with
attacks aimed toward Negro-
ponte. The group chanted
"Death squads aren't democ-
racy," and "War criminals are
not welcome on campus." The

chants continued as Negro-
ponte walked up the stairs and
the group followed him. Dem-
onstrators read names of dead
in Iraq and those who perished
in the El Mozote massacre in El
"I wanted to shift the focus
of the event on the victims and I
think we were able to do that to
some degree," Hughes said.
Kevin Young, an academic
affiliate who wrote a Viewpoint
in The Michigan Daily criticiz-
ing the University's invitation
of Negroponte, said people may
have been fooled by Thursday's
event if they had come into it
without any previous familiar-
ity with the subject.
"The thing that really struck
me was just how cordial and
friendly and congenial it was,"
he said. "We didn't really
hear anything about the on-
the-ground consequences of
the policies over which John
Negroponte presided. All the
questions tended to focus on the
kind of instrumental rationality
behind policy."
"We feel that in cases where
officials have committed verifi-
able war crime on a large scale,
as Mr. Negroponte has done,
that they shouldn't be invited
to any respectable academic
forum," he said.
Rackham student Seema
Singh was one of the two stu-
dents who asked questions
submitted by the crowd. Singh
thought that this was a good
opportunity to learn and was
happy that Negroponte offered
his perspective and experi-
She added that the event
allowed for freedom of opinion.
She noted that there were no
distinctions made with regard
to the type of question, and that
those chosen were mostly rep-
resentative of the rest.
Laura K. Lee, director of
communications and outreach
at the Public Policy School,
said the event was funded by
donors, as all public events for
the school are.

From Page 1
enteringthe classroom, providing
enough experience and practice
for a new teacher, and developing
new assessments.
In a statement, University
Provost Martha Pollack said the
award was a fitting one for the
dean and is a testament to her
"Her work has added a vital
element to the national dis-
course on teacher prepara-
From Page 1
versityin1991. InAnnArbor, she
continued to work across disci-
plines, collaborating with Andy
Kirshner, associate professor at
the School of Art & Design and
the School of Music, to teach an
interdisciplinary course. Art &
Design and Kinesiology students
worked together to make motion
capture animations to answer
research questions.
"She's really good at model-
ing curiosity for her students,"
Kirshner said. "In this class
students were designing exper-
iments that nobody really knew
the answer to. I mean, Melissa
didn't know the answer to, I
didn't know that answer to
and neither did the students,
so it felt like it was genuine
After the course with Kirsh-
ner ended, Gross decided to learn
the animation software herself
so she could continue teaching
a similar course through the
School of Kinesiology.

tion and on the key role that
teaching plays in children's life
chances," Pollack wrote. "Her
leadership in the field, includ-
ing her work with policymak-
ers at local, state and national
levels, will point the way to
ensuring that every child in our
nation's classrooms receives
skillful teaching."
The award is named after for-
mer AACTE Executive Director
Edward C. Pomeroy and recog-
nizes "distinguished service to
the teacher education commu-
nity for the development and pro-
On Wednesday, she was still
in the Duderstadt Center's 3D
lab at 5 p.m., even though her
"Motion Capture and Anima-
tion for Biomechanics" class
had ended half an hour earlier.
A handful of students were still
clustered around the computers,
talking in numbers and equa-
tions. On their screens, what
looked like characters from a
video game walked across the
gridded animation software.
Gross' goal is for students to
see the science. they have been
studying. Students are asked to
be creative, to choose camera
angles, to learn software they
probably have not used before
and to really look at what they
are making.
"So often in movement sci-
ence the end result is the num-
ber," she said. "You never get to
see what the numbers mean."
Using these numbers to
make an animation means stu-
dents are going back and forth
between graphs and visuals, so
they can see exactly how small
changes in data play out in the
actual movement.

motion of outstanding practices
at the collegiate, state or national
Loewenberg Ball said the
award was more a testament to
the work of her colleagues in the
"I feel incredibly fortunate
to have been here over the last
decade working on this with my
colleagues so the award in many
ways is a credit to the whole
school," she said. "I feel very hon-
ored to be recognized but hon-
estly it's about the work we've all
been doing here."
"Melissa's genius is in recog-
nizing that teaching and learn-
ing don't happen if curiosity isn't
present," said Linda Kendall
Knox, the Duderstadt Center's
learning design librarian, who
has worked with Gross since
her first foray into using anima-
tion as a teaching tool in 1995.
"She just can't help but share her
curiosity about the world with
her students."
Gross also teaches "Human
Musculoskeletal Anatomy," a
course that has strict guide-
lines about what must be cov-
ered by the end of the semester.
But she still pulls from differ-
ent disciplines to teach. An
extra credit project asks stu-
dents to visit the University of
Michigan Museum of Art to
critique anatomical drawings
from the 18th century.
"She understood that you can
use a lot of different lenses to
look at the same problem," Kir-
shner said. "I think that's part of
what was so stimulating about
teaching with her, is that abil-
ity to kind of make connections
across fields."

Plan formed to halt
lake's algae growth

From Page 1
people with disabilities.
The opposing "Better Transit
Now" campaign, which supports
the expansion of and investment
in Ann Arbor transit, claims the
city is acting without considering
other transportation options that
would better meet the needs of
Lou Glorie, an Ann Arbor resi-
dent, said the "Better Transit
Now" campaign is agroup of con-
cerned residents who see flaws
in the five-year AATA plan. The
two main issues they cite are the
unfair distribution of taxation
on Ann Arbor residents while
residents of surrounding town-
ships don't contribute equally but
benefit, and concerns about the
effectiveness of the pulse model
of transit for Ann Arbor.

"I think that since we pay for
this system, we should be paying
for a system that works for us,
right?" Glorie said. "So I would
prefer to see a modification, not
a complete abandonment of the
hub system, there is some logic to
it, but there are certain nonsen-
sical gaps in our service that are
caused by a foolish consistency
in adhering to the hub system
almost religiously."
"I think of them as 'Better
Transit Never,"' Warpehoski, a
supporter of the plan, said. "The
way to have better transit is to
have more buses, more places,
more often. The only way we
can get better transit is to fund
it, and this is the plan to fund
In March 2013, AATA found
the current model of transporta-
tion services, a hub-and-spoke
system, is best suited to meet
the needs of Ann Arbor and sur-

rounding residents.
The Urban Core Campaign, an
advocacy organization working
on transit issues, concluded that
this type of transit system works
best for U.S. cities with fewer
than 500,000 residents.
"It distributes trips efficiently.
It makes it possible for a person
to get from nearly anywhere in
Ann Arbor to anywhere else in
Ann Arbor with a travel time of
no more than 45 minutes," the
report stated.
Referencing a 2007 study con-
ducted by Parsons Brinckerhoff
for the AATA, staff and repre-
sentatives determined the hub
and spoke model was best suited
for Ann Arbor since roads are
not set up in a grid-structure - a
requirement for alternative sys-
But with two months until a
vote, the debate will likely con-

State of Michigan
seeks contaminant
to quell blooms in
Lake Erie
(AP) - Sharp cutbacks in phos-
phorus runoff into Lake Erie are
needed to counter a worsening
problem of algae blooms that
degrade water quality, harm fish
and chase away tourists, a U.S.-
Canadian agency said ina report
to both governments Thursday.
The International Joint Com-
mission, which recommends
policies dealing with the Great
Lakes and other border water-
ways, recommended targets for
lowering daily amounts of phos-
phorus flowing into the ailing
Erie. It's the smallest of the five
lakes yet has the most abundant
fish population and supports a
billion-dollar angling and boat-
The commission said the
level must drop by 46 percent
to shrink by half a "dead zone"
where algae saps so much oxy-
gen that fish can't survive. It
called for a 39 percent decrease
on the western side of the lake
where algae blooms have been
particularly widespread.
Phosphorus, a nutrient that
feeds algae, was among pollut-
ants that had so degraded Lake
Erie by the 1970s that some de-
clared it dead. The problem im-
proved significantly with laws
requiring steep reductions
in phosphorus releases from
wastewater treatment plants
and factories. But it returned in
the late 1990s and has steadily
worsened. A bloom in summer
of 2011 was the largest on re-
cord, coating a 1,930-square-
mile surface area with green-
ish slime.
The algae ispoisonous enough
to kill animals and make people
sick. An Ohio township last year
ordered residents not to drink
tap water for two days because
of algae pollution, while Toledo
and other cities have tested and
treated their supplies. When
the algae dies, foul rotting mats
wash onto beaches or sink to the
bottom, robbingthe water - and
fish - of oxygen.
The report largely blames the
algae's resurgence on manure
and chemical fertilizer from
farms, along with urban sourc-

es such as lawn fertilizers, pet
droppings, leaky septic tanks
and storm water drains. It pro-
poses designating the lake as an
impaired waterway under the
federal Clean Water Act to force
phosphorus limits.
"It's time for governments at
all levels to put the lake on a diet
by setting targets and achieving
real reductions," said Lana Pol-
lack, chairwoman of the com-
mission's U.S. section.
The reduction targets should
be met by 2022, the report said.
Overall levels have not risen
since the mid-1990s, according
tothe reportbased on twoyears
of study by more than 60 scien-
tists with universities, private
firms and government agencies.
But a type called dissolved re-
active phosphorus, or DRP, has
more than doubled - and it's the
variety "most easily used by the
algae for growth," said Don Sca-
via, director of the University of
Michigan's Graham Sustainabil-
ity Institute.
D P chemical fertilizers
are popular for producing corn
used as animal feed on large
industrial farms, Scavia said.
Manure also can undergo a
process that generates DRP.
In the past couple of decades,
farmers increasingly have ap-
plied both in fall and winter,
whenthe material sometimes
has remained atop frozen
ground or snow instead of
soaking in. Farmers also have
done less tilling.
Such changes prevented fer-
tilizers from being worked into
the soil, making them more apt
to wash into streams and even-
tually the lake during the spring
melt, Scavia said. As the climate
has warmed, more intense rain-
storms have boosted phospho-
rus flushing.
The report urges states in the
Lake Erie watershed, includ-
ing Michigan, New York, Ohio,
Pennsylvania and Indiana - as
well as the Canadian province of
Ontario - to ban spreading farm'
fertilizers on frozen or snow-
covered ground.
Farm groups acknowledge
a role in the problem but favor
voluntary best- management,
practices to cut down on run-
off, such as making sure fertil-
izer comes in contact with the
soil, said Larry Antosch, envi-
ronmental policy director with
the Ohio Farm Bureau. Regula-
tions don't allow enough flex-
ibility, he said.

E-mail Austen Hufford at ahufford@umich.edu for a print


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