The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Monday, February 10, 2014 - 3A
From Page 1A
After two consecutive years of
trying and failing to secure a spot
on the team, he made it onto the
squad as a walk-on and continued
to serve as its co-captain until his
graduation, leaving the University
with a bachelor's degree in sports
After his basketball career
ended, Merritt said he discovered
his passion for education and
fashion and decided to start a
social venture that would be
the confluence between the
two. Merit, his charity-focused
fashion brand, currently donates
20 percent of all proceeds to help
fund college scholarships for
students in Detroit.
As the talk progressed,
Merritt shared his experiences
and coupled them with sports
metaphors such as "your defense
is your best offense." For instance,
Merritt said his initial defensive
approach toward his idea and his
lack of trust of others did not allow
him to gain perspective and insight
However, when he began open-
ing up his idea to more perspec-
tives, Merritt said he learned that
his venture needed a greater focus.
From Page 1A
aims to keep people interested
in the Irish culture. One of the
dances Deloney choreographed
included the song "What Does
the Fox Say?" by Ylvis, during
which performers wore animal
"We try to combine tradi-
tional music with modern music,
so within our show you'll find
some completely old-school Irish
dance steps mixed in with some
fun steps," Deloney said.
Engineering junior Emma
Backman, dance director at
L6im, said the group does not
incorporate hip-hop, ballet or
any other styles, but instead
"What has really done good for
me is having the desire to learn
from people, to not know it all," he
said. "You need to learn from peo-
ple who have been where you are
trying to go."
He additionally challenged the
"Why?" as they go on to develop
their ventures. Merritt presented
a video, which displayed a series of
statistics regarding education, one
of which was that every26 seconds
a student drops out of high school.
He cited this fact as his inspiration
for working toward entrepreneur-
ship and social change.
Taking his vision further,
Merritt began his own education
program, FATE, to help
academically develop a selected
cohort of students in Detroit.
During the lecture, Paul Sagi-
naw, owner of Zingerman's Deli
and one of Merritt's mentors
through the process, came out and
spoke of Merritt's accomplish-
ments. He said he chose to become
Merritt's mentor since he admires
character over talent or other acco-
"I think he lives his life with a
lot of life, love and gratitude and he
started a business in what I believe
is a very pure way," Saginaw said.
"(It was) not to maximize his
profits but to give a better life to
people who are often left behind."
develops Irish steps to fit
popular songs for the audience's
"Usually I come up with a
vision and then work from my
vision to pick a song, listen to the
music, and think of things that
I've seen before in competitions
and what looks good on stage,"
Additionally, Deloney said
song choice often dictates the
performers' outfits, which
include traditional Irish garb.
"We by no means wear the
dresses, but we have traditional
Irish skirts," Deloney said.
Deloney added that Lgim is
not competitive like many other
Irish dance groups.
"Most of the people in Lim
have never Irish danced before,
sition for transfers.
Haley Gire, recruitment and
admissions manager at the
School of Education, said it i
important for administratorq
have to support transfer stu-
dents beyond orientation. For
her goal, she suggested insti
tuting a strong student ambas
sador program for transfers as
a way to keep communication
open with administrators.
"We need better
communication with student
before they get here, and alsoa
network for them once they'r
here," she said.
Business sophomore Sarah
Beatty wrote down a similar
goal. She said that Transfer
Connections - a studenl
mentor program that placesa
group of LSA transfer student;
with a mentor - is a usefu
program, but is only open
to LSA students. Beatty said
expanding this plan to other
schools in the University would
be helpful to a business studen
such as herself.
Mesman said Saturday'
symposium was important for
fostering future collaboration
between students ant
myself included," he said. "I had
no Irish dance experience prior
to college, and I've been dancing
now for four years."
LSA freshman Katie Loftus
said she has not danced since
before high school but decided to
get involved when she saw L6im
"I'm lucky because I did it
before, so that kind of came back
quickly," Loftus said. "But for
other people who have never
done it before, it's amazing that
they can pick it up as quickly as
One of the hosts between
acts was University alum Maura
Villhauer, who said she was
a member of Lfim during her
junior and senior years and
misses being part of the group.
"I just love that they called me
contact doesn't happen as
much as it should," he said.
"The goal was really to get that
I feedback from students and get
administrators to realize that
s the policies they enact have real
s effects on real people."
Gire said the symposium
r was a valuable experience for
- an administrator to connect
- directly with the students.
s "It was eye-opening, espe-
cially for the administrators in
the room, to hear the realities
r of what could happen and what
s does happen for these students,"
a she said. "It was one of the most
e thought-provoking discussions
I've seen with administrators
and students together."
r Gire added that the control of
r the students in the presentation
t provided for the most honest
s "They gave us all of these
1 talking points without adminis-
trators directing what the talk-
I ing points should be," she said.
r Mesman said open, casual
d discussion was a major success
t for the symposium.
"People brought a lot of hon-
s esty and weren't afraid to call
r out areas and criticize differ-
n ent areas of the administra-
back," Villhauer said. "The fact
that we can continue those ties
and the friendships is just fan-
Mackenzie Kaiser said she had
never been to an Irish dance
performance before, but L6im's
dancing exceeded her expecta-
"Their feet move so fast,"
Kaiser said. "I like how they
integrated songs that were non-
traditional from what I would
think of as Irish music."
Near the end of the evening,
Deloney was one of the members
who were invited to the stage to
be honored in a senior sendoff.
"All in all, I'm really happy
with how the group's going and
I'm happy to be passing it off the
way that I left it," he said.
Rain to come to
comes after long
season of dryness
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -
Californians accustomed to
complaining about the slight-
est change in the weather wel-
comed a robust weekend storm
that soaked the northern half
of the drought-stricken state
Saturday even as rain and snow
brought the threat of avalanch-
es, flooding and rock slides.,
In Willits, one of 17 rural
communities that California's
Department of Public
Health recently described as
dangerously low on water, City
Councilman Bruce Burton
said he was cheered seeing the
water levels in a local reservoir
and his backyard pond creeping
up and small streams flowing
again. The city in the heart of
redwood country usually sees
about 50 inches of rain a year
and was expected to get about
4 inches by Sunday.
"It's guarded optimism. We
are a long ways from where we
need to be, but we have to start
with some sort of a raindrop,"
The storm that moved in
Thursday, powered by a warm,
moisture-packed system from
the Pacific Ocean known as a
Pineapple Express, dropped
more than 11 inches of rain on
Marin County's Mt. Tamalpais
and on the Sonoma County
town of Guerneville by late
Saturday afternoon, National
Weather Service forecaster Bob
Benjamin said. Meanwhile, San
Francisco, San Jose and other
urban areas recorded 1 to 3
inches of rain.
With areas north of San
Francisco forecast to see anoth-
er few inches by Sunday, the
downpour, while ample enough
to flood roadways and prompt
warnings that parched streams
could be deluged to the point of
overflowing, by itself will not
solve the state's drought wor-
ries, National Weather Service
hydrologistMark Strudley said.
"The yearly rainfall around
here, depending on where you
were, was less than 10 percent
of normal," he said. "The
additions from this last series of
storms and the totals are taking
a dent out of it, but it is not a
The storm deposited a foot
of snow for Lake Tahoe ski
resorts that have relied on man-
made snow for much of the
season, and elevations above
7,500 feet were expected to get
another foot or two by Sunday,
said Holly Osborne, a National
Weather Service meteorologist
The additions, which
followed some brief periods of
snow in the last week, already
have improved the outlook for
the Sierra Nevada snowpack,
which provides about a third of
California's water supply.When
state surveyors last checked on
Jan. 30, the snowpack was at 12
percent of normal for this time
of winter. By Saturday, it was at
17 percent of normal.
"At least we are getting
something versus nothing,"
While the fresh snow
delighted skiers and resort
operators, the Sierra Avalanche
Center warned Saturday that
the danger of avalanches, both
natural and human-triggered,
was high ina wide swath of the
central Sierra Nevada because
wind had blown new snow onto
weak layers of existing ice and
From Page 1A
ordinance, only the county's
health department has the power
to enforce the law. Under the
newly proposed city ordinance,
the Ann Arbor Police Department
would enforce it as well.
While the current ordinance
enforces a $50 fine for anyone
caught smoking in a smoke-
free area, councilmembers are
working on language for the
law that makes it clear that law
enforcement must first ask the
smoker to move in the form of a
verbal warning before giving any
The Council voted last week to
postpone any vote on the matter
for another month.
Warpehoski (D-Ward 5), the
sponsor of the ordinance, said
one of his reasons for calling to
postpone the vote was to ensure
clarity in the ordinance's intent.
"We're not trying to rack up a
lot of ticket revenue; we're trying
to create smoke-free areas,"
Warpehoski said. "If somebody's
smoking and we tell them to put
it out or move and they do that,
that's what we want. We don't
want to go around handing out
tickets for this. We just want
The law would also allow the
city administrator to declare
some areas of Ann Arbor
parks to be smoke-free zones.
This matter created some
confusion, Warpehoksi said. He
emphasized that the ordinance
would not ban smoking in all
Ann Arbor parks.
Councilmember Jane Lumm
(I-Ward 2) said she does not want
to see smoking outlawed in all
Ann Arbor parks and hopes City
Council will retain the power to
decide on that issue.
"I'm not comfortable with
simply granting authority to the
administrator to decide on the
parks," Lumm said. "I think it
should be a Council decision."
Lumm added that the law
may have the potential to harm
"If someone wants to just sit
on a park bench or walk through
the park (with a cigarette), are we
going to ban that?" Lumm said.
"We all want a healthy, smoke-
free environment, but I just want
to make sure we're doing it right
and not going overboard."
Lumm said she believes the
police "have more important
things to do" than enforce
smoking laws, and suggested
focusing on areas where there
are problems rather than broadly
enforcing the law.
She added that the postpone-
ment was necessary due to a
lack of clarity and input from the
Parks Advisory Committee, the
Ann Arbor Area Transportation
Authority and the business com-
munity. However, she said she
would most likely support the
final draft of the ordinance.
In addition to the bars and
restaurants that have become a
smoke-free standard, Atlanta,
Georgia is among other cities
that have already chosen to
implement stricter guidelines
for public smoking. According
to CBS News, since mid-2013,
city-owned parks and public
beaches, college campuses and
other outdoor venues have been
under a smoking ban, because of
the danger second-hand smoke
is thought to pose, especially to
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