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Syracuse Post Standard: Sunday, February 20, 2005 - Page 1

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   Post-Standard, The (Newspaper) - February 20, 2005, Syracuse, New York                               SUNDAY The Post-Standard Affiliated with SynmiM.com SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 20.2005 FINAL EDITION O 2005 The Post Standard SYRACUSE, N.Y. GOOD MORNING LtT Tht SUNSHlNf IN Don't be fooled by the sun streaming in our windows today It will still be seasonably cold But don't expected to peak at 24, we 11 be exactly at the normal for today Complete ________ forecast D-12 HIGH: 24 LOW: 19 SAVE 38033 wrm COUPONS IN TODAY'S NEWSPAPER The Post-Standard's annual treasure hunt is under way This year, there are four hunts Medallions have been hidden in Onondaga, Cayuga, Madison and Oswego counties CLUE, Page B-2 Did Staff photograpner GERRY McNAMARA gets past Boston College's Craig Smith Saturday night The Orange lost to Big East-leading BC, 65-50 Sports, Page D-1. ACCIDENTAL DEATH A. Cayuga County man put a gun he thought was unloaded to his head and _ 11 i .u, iTroiinsfiniT fJnnx-xj. ----_, 0 himself He latei died STORY, PAGE B-1 HUNGRY IN HOLLYWOOD Who will be the next leading men7 STARS EIGHT SUICIDE BOMBERS Attacks kill 55 people in Baghdad STORY, PAGE A-6 TV'S COLORS Oswego professor writes book on minorities on TV CNY. PAGE H-1 ACTION, PART II 40 Below, the group for young professionals and artists, concludes its plan to improve cm OPINION, PAGE C-4 START YOUR ENGINES The NASCAR season begins with today's Daytona 500. See a race preview and a beginner's guide SPORTS, PAGES D-7 to 0-10 Index Auto_ _ Business.. Dick Cose. EdJtoridB- Obituaries Real Estate ______ 1-1 Sftrte _____ A-18 Washington. A-10-13 G-l 1-1 1-1 M Corrections Today's Retail Call Deputy Executive Editor Tim Buna at 470-2240 to discuss a correction on a news story. IHEmT-STMHMID For home 470-6397 Albany Dithering Away S220M N.Y. only state not to pass voting machine law; federal aid just sits there By Deten Goldberg Staff writer Indecision in Albany may cost cit- ies, towns and villages across the state about million in federal money earmarked to replace out-of- date voting machines Unde- the Weln Amenca Vote Act, new electronic machines must V if plac-p bv the November 2006 elections But elections officials said they need at least 18 months to replace all the voting machines in the state. New York is the only state in the country that hasn't approved the leg- islation necessary to get started, said Kay Stimson, spokeswoman for the US Election Assistance Commis- sion vf the Dcrnocr'a'' :m trolled Assembly and the Repubh- can-contro'led Sera'e are blaming each other for the delay if they passed the bills today, we wouldn't meet the dead- said Lee Daghhan, director of public information for the state Board of Elections If the state loses out on the federal money, the cost of replacing punch- card and lever voting machines will fall to cities, towns and villages TTlo -i, h .r the legislators' inaction, said Wil hapi Scribe" sioner for the Oswego Counrv Board Off ELECTIONS, PAGE A-9 Cost to CNY taxpayers Taxpayers in Central New York will bear the burden of replacing outdated voting machines if the state doesn't act on the federal Help Amerca Vote Act Here is what counties estimate it will cost Onondaga County: million (500 rnach'nesl Madison County: 000 (59 mauimei; Cayuga County: (100 niaCP Icil Qsvuego County: (120 machines) IOOK OUT BiLOW DiVIN MERKLEY, 16, of West Wmfield, Herkimer County, gets some air during a ski and snowboard competition Saturday at Toggenburg Mountain m Fabius Today at Toggenburg more than 30 expert freestyle snowooarders and skiers will nit the siopes for spinning, rolling, grabbing and twisting during the Big Air Contest at 2 p m The event is free for spectators Related story, B-7 Secret tapes offer glimpse of pre-presidential Bush Private conversations with author between 1998 and 2000 cover New York Times News Service Washington As George W Bush was first moving onto the na- tional political stage, he often turned for advice to an old fnend who secret- ly taped some of their private conver sations, creating a rare record of the future president as a politician and personality thflf fnend Doug Wead, an author and for mer aide to Bush's father, disclosed trie tapes existence to a reporter and played about a dozen of them Variously earnest, confident or prickly in those conversations Bush weighs the political risks and benefits of his religious faith discusses cam- paign strategy and comments on n vak John McCain "will wear thin, he predicted John Ashcroft he con- fided, would be a 'very good Su- preme Court pick' or "fabulous" vice president And m exchanges, about his handling of media questions about his past Bush appears to acknowledged trying marijuana said ne recorded the conver sations because he viewed Bush as a hi stone figure but he said he knew that the president might regard rus ac- tions as a betrajal As the author of a aew book abouf presidential child- hoods, Wead coula benefit from any TAPES, PAGE A-8 Social insecurity: J Social Security tax Even defining debate dicey trillion David Staff photographer LUCY PALLOTTA teaches an online Italian language course at Onondaga Community College She works from her home making audiofiles Online learning clears way to college for many in CNY By Nancy Buczek Staff writer Mary Ware traveled to Arizona, Cape Cod, New Jersey and Aruba while taking an Onondaga Community College online course last semester, joining the growing ranks of millions of people nationwide who have tned online learn- ing. "Whenever there was free time I rushed out to a library or said Ware, 59. Ware, of Homer, is among a growing population using the Internet to take college classes. Many colleges are respond- offering more online courses "More than 1.9 million students nationwide took at least one course online in fall 2003, an increase of people over the year before, according to a study released in No- vember by the Sloan Consortium, an organization that sup- ports online learning, and the Sloan Center for Online Edu- which is jointly operated by Babson College and the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering. The results are based on a spring 2004 online survey of institutions, the most recent data available from Sloan. "I dunk it's absolutely die wave of the said The amount paid into Social Security Trust Fund since 1937 trillion The amount paid from the trust fund through 2002 The number of people who received monthly Social Security in 1940 The number of people who received monthly Social Security in 2002 2018 The year Social Security payments will exceed the system's annual tax receipts, according to a Social Security Agency forecast. The deficit would be made up by drawing money from the Social Security trust fund 2042 The year the Social Security trust fund will run dry The percentage of Americans, in 2002, who relied on Social Security for at least half their income. The percentage of Americans, in 2002, whose sole income source was Social Washington bureau For Congress the battle over Social Security reform is a con- voluted exercise in the arcane a mishmash of actuarial tables and projections and un predictable economic variables For American workers, the issue boils down to two simple questions How much will they have to pay7 How much will they get back in benefits9 So far, no one has provided conclusive answers to those questions What is certain is that the de- bate has been one of the hottest topics in Washington this year even though there is no guar- antee the issue will come to a vote any tune soon Since his State of the Union address last month. President Bush has been trying to rally support for his reform proposal among lawmakers and the pub- he The centerpiece of his plan is allowing younger workers to divert some of the Social Secun- t" til "3" 'ntr> "twwwal accounts" to invest in the stock market and other non-govern- ment securities. For Democrats, this is a polit- ical freebie. They can attack the Bush proposal with glad hearts TMOirUMEA-1! Currently, there is a cap on Social Security taxes so that workers do not pay into the system on earnings above a year A proposal would raise the cap so that higher income workers and their employers would pay more Income distribution, 2003 NUMBER OF AMERICANS ANNUAL INCOME SI and 11.2 What it will cost If a writer earned rasing the cap would raise taxes by PRSOMM MN.OTR Sources Census Bureau, The Institution AP Where federal lawmakers stand IAA-19 How the Bush Social Security plan would C-1 of continuing education. "I think that we will always win trie iw> Readers sound C-3   

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