Arts 12 Lawyers take Bush + 4
to task in new book
Sports 13 Wolverine duo leads
USA to softball gold
One-hundred-sixteen years of editorialifreedom
Monday,July 31, 2006
www.michigandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXVI, No. 128 ©2006 The Michigan Daily
Ci t dems Vie PERFORMING FOR PEACE
fOr council seats
With an all-democrat set In Ward 3, Kunselman has been involved
in local governments for more than 10 years,
of candidates, primaries will while community members Alice Ralph and
detemin of lecion Jeff Meyers are first-time runners.
eoutcome 'The council has a history of people that
lived here a long time but lacks fresh energy
By Sandy Liberman and ideas," Meyers said.
Daily Staff Reporter Some candidates said they believe the current
council does not represent the views of the public.
As the August 8 primaries approach, City "I am running because city council needs to
Council candidates are struggling to distinguish be more open and honest with decisions," said
themselves in an exclusively democratic race. Sonia Schmerl, a first-time runner from Ward 5. =
Because the candidates face no competition She said current decisions, such as the $20
from republicans, the results of the primaries will million subsidy for private development in the
determine the outcome of November's election. city's lower town area, help developers more
"The fact that there's competition within than they benefit the public.
the Democratic Party shows democracy is Schmerl is running against incumbent Chris
still working," said Stephen Kunselman, a Easthope and newcomer Richard Ankli. Ankli
Ward 3 candidate. has lived in Ann Arbor for 44 years and said
One candidate will be elected from each of the he believes the community trusts him.
city's five wards. Current council members Joan Reoccurring issues such as housing and
Lowenstein (D-Ward 2) and Margie Teall (D- downtown development are top priorities for
Ward 4) are running for re-election unopposed, most candidates.
while the remaining wards are contested. "I am a strong supporter of increased housing
Despite a single-party race, prospective council opportunities downtown because with more avail-
members have different plans for the city's future. able housing, there is more urban utility that brings
"We intentionally put people up for competi- in privately owned business," Kunselman said.
tion so issues get discussed," Kunselman said. Most candidates agree that city expansion
One of the main differences between the involves a balance of neighborhood and down-
candidates is their political experience. town development.
Ward I is a race between incumbent John "You can't push in one direction without EUGENE ROBCRTSON/DaI'y
Roberts and newcomer Ron Suarez. expecting a result in another," Ralph said. Jenny Stalk, a street performer from Boston, holds a candle during a vigil last
Roberts has served on the council since this One of the most controversial issues is the night on Main Street in Ann Arbor. The event was sponsored by Interfaith Coun-
past winter when he filled a vacancy. Suarez Allen Creek Greenway project. If passed, the cil for Peace and Justice and Michigan Peaceworks.
said he will "ruffle some feathers" if elected. project will establish a nearly eight-acre park
"I will not be a 'yes' man," Suarez said. See ELECTION, Page 3
Stadium renovation plans accessible online
Ann Arbor residents, mrarc ing banI
members discuss their feelings on designs
for stadium renovatiol project
By Leah Graboski
Daily News Editor
The additions to the Michigan stadium - expected to be
finished by the fall of 2010 - are getting closer to being real-
ized with Friday's unveiling of the proposed site and floor plans
online (www.umich.edu/stadium). The approval to renovate
Michigan Stadium has spurred a variety of emotions, ranging
from fury to enthusiasm.
The University's Board of Regents have flirted with revamp-
* ing the Big House for years. Eight months of fierce debate last
year over the construction of high-priced enclosed seating, or
luxury boxes, culminated in May with a 5-3 vote approving the
project. The vote makes the renovation project one of the most
contentious issues the current regents have ever addressed.
The most controversial aspect of the renovations is the addi-
tion of 82-ft-high luxury boxes. But the $263 million renovation
project also includes new restrooms and lobby areas, more than
2,000 outdoor and indoor club seats and 600 chair-back seats. The
renovated stadium will accommodate an additional 1,000 people.
At July's regents meeting, several Ann Arbor residents spoke
about the stadium renovations during the public comment peri-
od. The group expressed disappointment with the secrecy of
the May regents meeting, alleging that the project was added to
the agenda at the last minute.
Speakers were also angry about the cost of the project and the
message luxury boxes may send about the University's values.
But several other Ann Arbor residents who live near the
stadium were not as concerned. While walking his dog on
Hoover Avenue Saturday, University housing employee Tom
Blackburn, who lives on Davis Street, said he thinks the reno-
vations are inevitable.
"I think they have to do it as long as they don't name the
damn thing after WalMart," Blackburn said.
Speakers at the last regents meeting complained about the shad-
ows the luxury boxes will cast on nearby homes, but in the 95-degree
heat Saturday, Blackburn said he wouldn't mind some shade.
Another Ann Arbor resident who asked not to be named, said
she uses her paved backyard for parking during the football
season and is optimistic that the renovations will increase the
demand for parking spots. She charges about $20 per car.
On the east side of the stadium, a resident living on the corner
of Rose Avenue and E. Park Place was gardening in his front
yard. He said the renovations will not affect him - he still
supports the University and plans to attend games, although he
won't be sitting in a luxury box.
Supporters of the luxury boxes say the University must take
action to remain competitive and that the cost of the renovations
will be covered with ticket revenue in a short period of time.
City Councilwoman Wendy Woods (D-Ward 5), who is a can-
didate in the upcoming mayoral election, said in an e-mail, "Big
Ten sports is -a thriving, competitive enterprise and Michigan
needs to remain competitive in attracting the very best student-
athletes - and of course fans will follow."
Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan State Universities have
renovated their stadiums to include luxury boxes. Michigan
State added 24 luxury suites as part of their $64 million expan-
sion in September 2005.
In an e-mail, Michigan State senior Jeff Nichols said, "I think
(the) boxes add a sharp look while bringing in more money for
the program. In fact, everyone I know seems to think the addi-
tion turned out really well."
In a more immediate change announced two weeks ago by Asso-
ciate Athletic Director Marty Bodnar, the seating arrangement
within the stadium will change this fall. The student seating in the
south end zone will move to the opposite side of the stadium, creat-
ing a united student section. The music will follow the students with
the marching band relocating just below the student section.
See STADIUM, Page 8