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(24%) compared to 1 51 ,1 38 (23%) gamer...

(24%) compared to 1 51 ,1 38 (23%) gamer... image (24%) compared to 1 51 ,1 38 (23%) gamer... image
Parent Issue
Month
September
Year
1994
Copyright
Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)
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Agenda Publications
OCR Text

(24%) compared to 1 51 ,1 38 (23%) gamered by State Senator Lana Pollack. (Pollack beat Carr by a six-toone margin n Washtenaw County.) On the Republican side, conservative Spencer Abraham, with 291 ,388 votes (52%), beat out talk show hostess Ronna Romney, with 270,048 votes (48%). Carr and Abraham, both Washington insiders, will square off in November for the seat being vacated by Donaid Riegle. Carr has served 9 terms in the U.S. House of Representativos. Abraham spent the last two years as co-chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, and priortothat,twoyearsas Vice President Dan Quayle's chief of staff. Abraham favors a smaller govemment role in public life, lower taxes and fewer social programs. Carr cites as one of his major accomplishments the securing of tens of millions of federal dollars for Michigan highways. U.S. House of Representatives (13th District) The seat being vacated by retiring Rep. William Ford will be filled by either Democrat Lynn Rivers or Republican John Schall. Mich. State Rep. Rivers handily won her three-way primary while Schall narrowly defeated Cynthia Wilbanks in the four-way Republican race. Rivers is a longtime liberal Ann Arbor politician. Among the issues she favors are abortion rights, a single-payer health care system, and gun control. This is Schall's first run for elected office. He opposes abortion, gun control, and current health care reform iegislation, and favors school prayer. Washtenaw County Circuit Court The top two vote-getters in the three-way primary - Lore Ann Rogers and Kari Fink, respectively - will face each other n November for the judgeship. Rogers, who sits on the boards of the ACLU and Planned Parenthood, has practiced law in Washtenaw County for the past 1 1 years. Fink is serving his third term as judge in the 1 4A District Court in Ypsilanti. State Court of Appeals (3rd District) Out of 20 candidates, the top eight vote-getters will compete in November. They include: Joel P. . Hoekstra (59,932); Richard Bandstra (54,200); Michael R. Smolenski (44,147); Jane E. Markey (41 ,363); Dawn I. Krupp (37,01 4); Meg Hackett Carrier(37,002); William A. Forsyth (35,809); and Michael J. Flynn (35,065). Ann Arbor City Council (3rd Ward) Democrat Jean Carlberg won easily in the only primary for city council. The retired high school teacher and Democratie Party activist beat onetime Republican Gary Hann by a three-to-one margin. She will face off against Republican Lee Pace in the general election. Other Races Other seats on the ballot in November (for which there were no primaries) will include Ann Arbor Mayor (between fifth ward Democratie Councilmember David Stead and incumbent mayor Republican Ingrid Sheldon), other Ann Arbor City Council seats, and severa! County Commissioners. il m [cWH7ïïT7TT57n!WTlTff1 The University of Michigan this summer joined a growing number of public and private institutions nationally in extending rights to gay and lesbian students, faculty and staff. The regents voted to offer the same benefits to committed same-sex couples that it offers to married couples, namely medical insurance and access to family housing. Last September the Regents passed By-Law 14.06, which included sexual orientation as a category to be protected from discrimination. Late in April, a U-M Task Force studying ways to implement thisby-lawproduced rts report, which recommended that U-M extend the aforementioned benefrts. On May 20, despite opposition mobilized by conservative Republican Regent Deane Baker, the Regents voted to accept the Task Force's recommendations President Duderstadt endorsed the extensión of benefits to gays and lesbians. "Non-discrimination is the appropriate stance for the university and society," he stated in The Ann Arbor News. U-M LesbianGay MaleBisexual Programs Office Director Ronni Sanio also welcomed the news. "As an employee, it means that my partner will be eligible for full insurance benefits, as well as our children," Sanio told AGENDA. "Forme, it'savalidation of being a valued employee at U-M. It validates my family." According to Sanio, the changes will be in effect this school year. She said that family housing will accept applications f rom gays and lesbians for fall term and that thls fall, a faculty or staff member can sign up their same-sex partner on their insurance plan. Tve been veryimpressedwith the equalityof the process," stated Sanio. "U-M is doing it appropriately, by the number." a :::: .-:: :-::-:v: .-:■.:-. SííifSiííí ÍÍÍÍÍÍSÍÍf id 1 1 ■ ! ijwpnrnipwjpvi Wi .ffi w A nother child custody battle made headlines this summer - this time affecting a U-M student At issue is the right of a single woman to raise a child and place that child in day care while attending classes. The case involves Jennifer Ireland, Steve Smith, and their 3-year-old daughter Maranda Smrth and Ireland conceived Maranda while both were high school students. Following one judicial ruling and a subsequent emergency order, Ireland has temporary custody of the child. The case now sits in the Michigan Court of Appeals. Ireland, 1 9, came to Ann Arbor last fall to attend U-M and plans to return to school this fall. She placed Maranda in day care while attending classes. Smith, in March 1993, initiated legal proceedings seeking permanent custody of Maranda. Smith argues that he would be a more fit parent, since his mother could care for Maranda while he attends junior college classes. On July 25, Macomb County Judge Raymond Cashen ordered Ireland to turn Maranda over to Smith. In his decisión, he cited his belief that Maranda would be better off in the care of Smith's mother . (who is a homemaker) than she would be in day care. Cashen wrote in his decisión, "There is no way that a single parent attending an academie program atan nstitution as prestigious as the U-M can do justice to her studies and the raising of an infant child." There were, in addition, charges traded by the parents - of domestic violence (against Smith) and child abuse and neglect (against Ireland). Ireland claimed Smith had pushed her against a wall , bruising her, forwhich she pressed charges. Smith charged thatabrokenwrist and ringworm sufferedby Maranda were signs of abuse. Both have denied the charges. "The issue of domestic violence is not pertinent here," wrote Cashèn in his decisión. "The parties in their youthful way apparently crashed or mauled one another. . . It is aH superfluous and can nave no bearing on this issue of custody." Cashen also ignored the fact that Smith has fallen behind in child support payments, which Smith has requested be lowered from $62 per month to $1 2 per month. Cashen did stipulate, however, that Maranda's transfer be delayed for 1 5 days, giving Ireland time to appeal the ruling. Ireland immediately sought, and subsequently won, from the Michigan Court of Appeals, an emergency order blocking the transfer. On August9, the Michigan Court of Appeals granted Jennifer Ireland continued custody of her daughter until an appeal can be heard. A hearing is expected later this year or early next year. Ireland is being supported by the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Organization for Women, as well as Macomb County child ad vocacy organizations. "The right of single mothers to live independent lives, free of the intrusión of the state is undersiege," stated Gloria Woods, President of Michigan NOW, in The Ann Arbor News. "We see this in the Ireland custody case and we see it in the growing attempts bygovemmentto control poor women 's lives using the cover of welfare reform." The National Congress for Men and Children - a fathers' rights organization fighting what they f eel is a courtroom bias against fathers in child custody cases - is backing Smith. A new group, the Single Parent Coalition, has formed at U-M in response to the case. They welcomed news of Ireland's tentative victory. Natasha Franke and the Fair Housing Center ofWashtenawCountybroke legal ground in Michigan this summer, in the state's first case forcing a landlord to modify a building. Franke is a wheelchair-bound,1 5-year-oW resident of the Glencoe Hills Apartment complex in Pittsfield Township. She has faced difficulties entering and exiting herfamily's apartment forthe seven years she has lived there. There are five steps up, and then five down, to their first floor apartment The apartment management company, McWnley Proporties, had steadfastly refusedtoinstalladooratgroundlevel. Instead.they suggested that Franke move. Last year Franke, with the assistance of the Fair Housing Center, sued under the 1976 Handicapper's Civil Rights Act In early June Franke seWed out of court forthe installation of an automatjc ground-level door, three curb cuts, and $15,000 in cash. "This is an important case f or all people in the State of Michigan with disabilrties because it addressestheowner'sobligationtopayformodificatkxis under the Michigan Handicappers Civil Rights Act," commented Fair Housing Center Director Pam Kisch. Before the installation of the new door, it took two people to get Franke into her apartment They had to move her out of her400-pound wheelchair and into a smaller wheelchair, and then up and down a series of makeshift ramps. If two people were not available to help, Franke had to wait- sometimes for hours. Additjonally, Franke has a form of spinal muscular dystrophy that makes it painful for her to be moved in and out of her chair. White you were away forthe summer they did rt again! U-M Regents voted unanimously to raise your tuition. Tuition for in-state undergraduates will ulerease by 6.9% this year, meaning that and second-year studente will pay $5,200 for two semesters, while and fourth-year students will pay $5,741 . Tuition for out-of-state students will increase by 5%, to $1 5,892 for freshpersons and sophomores, and $17,018 for juniors and seniors. Studente attending U-M professional schools will also experience significant tuition hikes (i.e. in-state law studente' tuition will go up 15%, to $14,334). The Regente cited a slim 2.3% hike in the state's contribution to the U-M general fund, as the reason for the lange tuition increase. The university's general fund, out of which it pays all expenses, will grow to $725 million this year- a $37.5 million jump from the previous year. Tuition coste will pay for 80% of this increase. U-M's tuition increase ís significantty higher than those of Michigan State Unive rsity and Eastem Michigan University . These public nstitutions raised tuition for the comingyearby 3.5% and 5%, respectively. MSA President Julie Neenan argued against the hike at the July 1 4 Regents meeting where the hike was decided. "Obviously, l'm not happy about (the tuition hike)," Neenan told AGENDA. "It's an upward spiral and I don'tsee where this is going to end. I can't imagine who will be able to afford it. We're approaching elitism, l'd say. Our diversity is being jeopardized." Students, most of whom are renters, may find themselves on the losing end of Michigan's tax reform. While the sales tax hike (f rom 4% to 6%) eats away at everyone's pocketbook, the much-touted property tax cut benefits only homeowners. Under the Engler administration's new tax code, the average Ann Arbor homeowner this year will experíence a property tax decline of 20% - roughly $800. Proposal A, which was passed in March, cuts property taxes used for school funding and replaces them with the creased sales tax. ft is generally assumed that part of the rent a landlord collects goes toward property taxes. Nowhere n Proposal A, however, does it stipulate that landkxds pass on the tax cuttotenants, in the form of lower rent Pattrice Maurer, Coördinator of the Ann Arbor Tenants Union, recommends that tenants leam how much of a tax cut, if any, their landlord has received. One can access these record s at the tax assessment office at Ann Arbor City Hall. The tax on any property is a matter of public record. Just look up last year's and this year's taxes for the address of your rental unit, and you will leam how much your landlord is saving. According to Maurer, if a tenant verifies that their landlord is paying less in taxes, that informatjon can be used as "some form of leverage in your next round of lease negotiations." She adds that tenants living in apartment buildings or complexescan use a landlord 's tax savings as an issue to organize around. "Particulariy if the landlord is not making repairs or is raising the rent, or both, tenants can use the fact that the landlord is getting a windfall savings, in a publicity campaign." "There have been people who have had some success in getting landlords to pass on the tax cut," stated Maurer. "It's worth a try." FoltowingaJuneelection.theAnnArborSchool Board is back in the hands of progressives. The three New Challenge candidatos - Diane Hockett, Ann Lyzenga, and Nicholas Roumel- gamered atotal of 1 8,1 1 7 votes. That placed them just 1,434 votes ahead of their opponents, the Citizens for Better Education candidates. The progressives' 6-3 majority on the board enables them to name a board president and set new priorities for the district. This election represents the latestin a series of yearly flip-flops in the politics of the board since 1 991 . The conservative Citizens for Better Education, who control led the board for the last year and in 1991-92, advocated strict school discipline, fiscal conservatism, and traditional school programs. The New Challenge (formeriy known as the Quality Education Drive) platform calis foraltematives in education (which may include new alternativo schools), violence prevention efforts, and the right of expelled students to an education. According to New Challenge school board member Ann Lyzenga, the priorities for the board in the coming year will nclude completion of contract talks with the teachers union, enacting policies that make the schools responsive to students' needs, and supporting innovative programs like team-teachlng initiatives and blockscheduling. "We want to make students and parentsfeel invested intheirschool," Lyzenga told AGENDA. Eiírilor3ESVM Did you leave town last spring without paying your parking tickets? If so, a rude surprise may be awaiting you - and your car! Just four unpaid parking tickets can now be your car's ticket to a ride on a tow truck. And it's not a free ride. A new Ann Arbor city policy authorizes the towing of cars with four or five unpaid parking tickets (the old policy made "six" the magie number). City employees are checking records and hunting down delinquent vehicles. Such vehicles can be taken from legal or Ilegal parking spots, from private property, or even from you while you're driving. Aseries of three written notices wHt be sent out by the city before it will tow, giving the driver a chance to pay up. However, if you were unreachable at your address on file with the Department of Motor Vehicles, you may not be aware that your car is "wanted." Even paying off tickets in post-three-week status is a much better bargain than settiing your costs after your car has been towed. Currently, a ticket on an expirad meter is $3 if paid wrthin an hour, $5 thereafter if paid within two weeks, $1 5 during the next week, and $25 after three weeks. If you don 't settie up in time and your car is towed, you'll pay a towing fee of $46-48, a city fee of $20 and a daily storage fee of $8 a day- in ' addltiomothecostsoftheunpaidparkingtickets.

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