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Presidents tour ravaged area
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
BANDA ACEH, Indonesia
Former Presidents George
H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton visited
Indonesia’s tsunami-ravaged Aceh
province on Sunday, flying over a
vast wasteland of destruction, the
likes of which Bush said he’d never
The two former presidents, who
are leading private U.S. tsunami
aid efforts, met with Indonesian
President Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono after arriving from
Thailand, where they got their first
look at the devastation and grief
unleashed by the Dec. 26 disaster.
Yudhoyono said he “conveyed to
them the gratitude of the Indonesian
people for all these donations con
tributed by friendly nations, by their
people, and by their NGOs (non
Bush and Clinton said they came
away reassured that Indonesia
would channel aid fluids in a trans
Carrboro leaders to lobby for taxes
BY MICHAEL TODD
Carrboro’s Board of Aldermen
is proposing increases to a pair of
taxes in an effort to stimulate fund
ing for the town’s public transpor
The increases in the sales tax
and motor vehicle tax are some of
the town’s legislative requests, up
for discussion today at a breakfast
held with the area’s legislators at
7:30 a.m. at Town Hall.
Alderman Mark Chilton said
he thinks a $lO increase in the
annual motor vehicle tax is the
most important and feasible of the
“The reality is that it is gener
ally difficult to get Carrboro to
get things passed by the General
Assembly,” Chilton said, adding
that Chapel Hill has initiated a
The motor vehicle tax cov
ers the town’s public transit costs
and is levied as a flat tax by the
Department of Motor Vehicles.
Chilton said residents who own
automobiles should assist in fund
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parent, effective way.
Nothing turns private donors
off more than if they saw waste, or
fraud, or something like that,” Bush
said. “But we don’t anticipate that.
We’re very reassured by what the
president said, that it’s essential
that not only our observers and our
NGOs, that the Indonesians go for
ward with us and with other donor
nations to be sure that it’s delivered
most effectively, less overhead and
certainly no corruption.”
Bush and Clinton flew in U.S.
military helicopters from the pro
vincial capital Banda Aceh over a
barren, desert-like landscape that
was once a patchwork of rice pad
dies, to the village of Lampuuk,
where the sole structure left stand
ing is a large white mosque.
The village had 6,500 inhabit
ants before the disaster. Only 700
“I’ve never seen anything like
this in my entire life. Ever,” Bush
Clinton asked a villager, Akhi
Sukri, what the survivors needed
most. “They need everything,”
ing public transit.
“Those who are clogging our
streets should pay the tax,” he said.
The state limits the annual
motor vehicle tax to a maximum
of sls per registration, the current
rate levied by Carrboro.
But other cities have succeeded
in bypassing the restriction.
Chilton added that the legislative
session is longer this year, possibly
making the General Assembly more
likely to pass the tax request.
Raising the town’s motor vehicle
tax to $25 would add $125,000
annually to the public transporta
tion budget, according to regional
agenda reports from the Triangle J
Council of Governments.
Dr. Lee Mandell, director
of information technology and
research at the N.C. League of
Municipalities, said the motor
vehicle tax is feasible for Carrboro
because Charlotte and the town of
Matthews levy at similar levels.
“There is already a precedent for
(the motor vehicle tax),” he said.
But the proposed sales tax
increase is not expected to get very
“It’s almost impossible to appre
ciate the scope of this if you haven’t
physically seen it,” Clinton said, add
ing it would take three to five years to
complete the reconstruction effort.
Rahmayadi, who goes by one
name, is among thousands of sur
vivors left homeless by the disaster.
He said his house in Lampuuk “was
around this neighborhood and now
“My children and wife died and
I didn’t get their bodies, so now it’s
only me and two sons,” said the 53-
year-old Rahmayadi, who shook
hands with Clinton. “All we ask for
now is shelter because we can’t live
in tents forever. I will keep being
patient until someone helps me.”
Bush and Clinton later flew on
to the USS Fort McHenry, a vessel
ferrying supplies, rice, water and
clothing to shore.
The United States deployed a
carrier battle group and about 20
helicopters for relief operations off
Aceh’s western coast its biggest
military operation in Southeast Asia
since the Vietnam War. Washington
has pledged $950 million for relief
efforts for tsunami-hit countries.
far in the legislature.
“A city sales tax increase would
be unprecedented,” Mandell said.
A few counties Mecklenburg
and Dare have been able to raise
their sales taxes with authorization
from the state, but no municipal
ity has yet been allowed to raise
Bing Roenigk, assistant town
manager, said that a half-cent raise
in the town’s sales tax rate the
current proposal would con
tribute at least $60,000 annually
to total public transit revenue.
Other requests the town plans to
make include: a challenge to a pro
posed constitutional recognition of
the state’s Defense of Marriage Act;
opposition to a bill restricting driv
er’s licenses for immigrants; and
support for the county’s request
that the state fund Medicaid.
North Carolina and New York
are the only two states in the nation
that require counties to assist in
Contact the City Editor
KASA shares Korean culture, food
BY STACEY CARLESS
As Korean rap music blared in
the background, six members of
the Carolina Tae Kwon Do Club
performed in the Great Hall of
the Student Union for an audi
ence of more than 150 people for
KoreaNite 2005 on Saturday.
In one stunt, three students bent
over to make a human bridge as
one student held a wooden board
with both hands. From backstage,
another student ran, jumped over
the bridge and kicked the wooden
board into two pieces.
As the performance progressed,
the audience erupted with screams,
whistles and applause.
KoreaNite 2005, sponsored by
the Korean American Students
Association, provided a diverse
group of students, families and
community members the oppor
tunity to experience the Korean
culture through dinner and enter
Trey Mack, a junior physics
major, said he was excited to attend
KoreaNite for the second time.
“(The night allows) Korean
American students on campus (to)
have a chance to share their cul
ture,” he said.
The night kicked off at 6 p.m.
with a dinner in which those in
attendance sat at white-lined tables
and talked as they took part in an
evening of Korean culture.
“It’s my culture,” said Jenny Kim,
a sophomore chemistry major.
“(The event is significant because
it is) a chance to show people our
Plates were packed high with
traditional Korean cuisine. Dishes
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meeting Monday, March 7th at 9:00 pm in the Granville Towers South Lower Lobby.
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MONDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2005
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Timothy Bulla (left), 16, and Peter Robinson, 16, of Fayetteville perform with
the Tae Kwon Do Club on Saturday in the Great Hall of the Student Union.
included bap (rice), kimchee (fer
mented cabbage), bulgogi (Korean
BBQ) and dubu buchim (fried
After dinner, the lights dimmed,
and the entire hall was trans
formed into a Korean market.
As audience members followed
KASA Vice President Day Kim and
KASA member Daniel Chun, they
experienced traditional as well as
modern Korean culture through
different forms of entertainment.
There was a fashion show,
movie skit, tae kwon do dem
onstration, karaoke and music,
including traditional drumming
by the Poongmul band, folk music
and Korean rapping.
Sam Chin, a sophomore pharma
cy major, said his favorite part of the
evening was the Korean rapping.
“They show a different aspect of
Korean culture, the modernization
of it,” Chin said.
The show ended with stu
dents from UNC’s dance group,
Kamikazi, dancing to Korean rap
as well as other current songs such
as Usher’s “Caught Up” and Snoop
Dogg’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot.”
Chin said the event was defi
nitely something students should
attend every year.
“There is good Korean food,”
“You leam about Korean culture
and you meet new people,” he said.
“It’s once a year, so if you miss it,
you have to wait another year to
see it again.”
Contact the University Editor