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October 31, 1974 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1974-10-31

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fi ttan
Eighty-four years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan.

Thursday, October 31, 1974

News Phone: 764-0552

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104

Chances Are: Fire Hazard

EVERY FRIDAY and Saturday night
a line of people ranging from a
block to a block and a half long
stretches down Liberty Street out-
side the new night spot for hip enter-
tainment, Chances Are. All are wait-
ing to join the patrons inside the al-
ready overcrowded bar, and since
more people go in than come out, one
can only assume that the later it gets,
the more people pack themselves
The name Chances Are is peculiar-
ly appropriate, because chances are,
someday someone will carelessly drop
a lighted match in the wrong place,
the ventilation system will malfunc-
tion as it did recently in the old Ar-
chitecture and Design building, and
the smoke of a fire will mix with the
heavy cloud of cigarette smoke al-
ready present. It will take some time
for patrons to notice that something
is' wrong, because the noise of the
band and the roar common to all
crowded drinking and dancing em-
poriums will drown out the sound of
the fire alarm.
PROBABLY the imminent danger
will only be recognized when the.
band stops playing and tears out the
door, carrying whatever equipment

they can grab in a few seconds. Then
the rest of the people will fly out
after them, and the exits, those that
can be found, will be jammed with
a mass of panic-stricken people.
Those who were on the top tier of
the bi-level bar may be trapped by
the spiral staircase leading to the
main floor, and some people will die.
In 1973, 264 people died by fire in
the state of Michigan, and unless
the management of Chances Are re-
duces its patron population and
makes the other exits in the build-
ing more accessible, the number of
fire victims for 1974 may very well
be higher.
CHANCES ARE is a new establish-
ment, and as such undoubtedly
has many debts to pay. Obviously the
more people in the bar, the more
money they will collect, clearly a mo-
tivating factor in cramming their
tables and dance floor with clientele.
But the potential loss of human life
is not worth it.
Anyone who enters Chances Are
on a weekend night should be aware
of the fire hazards they are risking.
Burning to death , is not a pleasant
way to die.

AFTER A YEAR and a half of unre-
sponsive and sluggish Republican
domination of Ann Arbor's city govern-
ment, the Democrats and the H u m a n
Rights Party (HRP) appear to be mov-
ing reluctantly toward a more coopera-
tive approach to city problems.
The bitter competition for liberal and
radical votes between the two parties
was directly responsible for the election
of a Republican mayor and Republican
council members with minority vote tot-
als in April, 1973. Since that time, Repub-
licans have held a majority on the City
Council, consistently blocking any at-
tempts to initiate humanistic programs.
Faced with the threat of continued
Republican control and inaction, the
Democrats and HRP are demonstrating
a hesitant willingness to work together
despite their philosophical and ideological
A CLEAR example of this conciliatory
spirit was the recent endorsement by
the Democrats of an HRP proposal for
preferential voting in the mayoral race.
Preferential voting would offer voters
the opportunity to choose their first two
preferences for mayor. If no candidate
received a majority of first place votes,
there would be an instant run-off where-
by the second choice votes of the third
place candidates' supporters would then
be counted. If passed, preferential vot-
ing will partially solve the problem of
splitting the leftist vote, and there is a
strong likelihood that a Democratic may-
or preferred by a majority of the voters
will be elected.
An even more significant example of
cooperation took place in early October,
when a group of Democrats, including
three Democratic council members, met,
with HRP representatives to discuss the
possibility of unified strategy for pass-
ing a local rent control measure.
THE HUMAN Rights Party and large
segments of the Democratic Party re-
cognize the injustice of the present hous-
ing situation, particularly for students
who are captive to landlords in the cen-
tral campus area. Until recently, how-
ever, there has been no communication
between the two parties on this issue.
The Democrats on council, counting on
a majority of non-Republicans after next
April's election, were planning to pass
a rent control law through council as
a city ordinonce. Simultaneously, HRP
has been moving toward a second effort
to pass rent control through the city
charter amendment ballot process.
At the recent bi-partisan gathering, the
Democrats futilely attempted to convince
HRP that rent control should be passed
through the City Council. Their argu-
ment was based upon a practical-con-
sideration. If the ballot proposal passes,
a troop of high-priced lawyers repre-




Aga inthe people's champ

THE AMERICAN revolutionary spirit
is alive and fighting, and his
name is Muhammad Ali.
At long last, the people's champ re-
assumed his rightful halo Tuesday
night. He chased his bigger, reputedly
stronger opponent around the ring
with such awesome flurries of punches
that some folks probably think 32-
Muhammad's age-is the physical
prime of life.
In the great All tradition, the
champ danced and shuffled and
dipped his way to a walloping knock-
out, with electricity in his fists and
that lovable old taunt on his Louis-
ville Lips.
dance of death. But like most
victories these days, a lot more was
riding on All's comeback than big
bets and bluish bruises. Ali's brains
outmaneuvered Foreman's brawn. The
old Might-Makes-Right dictum took
a vicious battering at the hands of
the former Cassius Romelius Clay.
When Cassius started making head-
lines more than ten years ago, the
white sports establishment found his
fast mouth a little hard to take. When
he changed his name and became the
world champ, they put the screws to
him. Black athletes must not wise
off, they said. The world champion
News: Dan Biddle, Ann Marie Lipin-
ski, Rob Meachum, Jim Nicoll,
Cheryl Pilate, Stephen Selbst, Curt
Editorial Page: Steve Stojic, Be c k y
Warner, David Warren
Arts Page: David Blomquist
Photo Technician: Steve Kagan

couldn't refuse to fight in Vietnam
for moral reasons, it was ruled.
So Ali lost his title and went three
years without a fight. He grew old;
the common wisdom said the legs
had gone and the belated comeback
would not get very far. The common
wisdom said Ali would fall beneath
the ostensibly unbeatable firepower
of Joe Frazier, and then George Fore-
Understandably, Muhammad Ali
decided to prove them wrong.
"Never again say I'm going to be
defeated," Ali said after the fight:
"Never again make me an underdog
until I'm fifty years of age."
So much for the common wisdom.

senting the landlords will seek to have
it nullified in the courts. If they succeed,
rent control will have to wait until the
next election, when it would again risk
nullification. However, if rent control
were passed through the council and
found unconstitutional, the council could
immediately begin work on replacing any
faulty section. I RP would not budge.
Their mass meeting had decided over-
whelmingly to go the ballot route. Thus,
the Democrats are now inthe positionj
where they must either abandon their
preference for passing - rent control
through council or abandon rent control
THE HRP representatives then out-
lined their new proposal for the Demo-'
crats. It has been substantially revised
from the plan they put forward last
April. It has been greatly simplified and
its length has been cut in half. Essen-
tially, the measure calls for a five-men--
ber rent control board, elected on a
ward by ward basis. The board would
have broad powers to set and enforce.
rent levels.
Last year's plan contained the formula
that the board would be required to

use in setting rents. The new bill leaves
the formula to be determined by the
board, which would have to adhere to a
set of tsrict guidelines. There were many
Democrats who supported the idea of
rent control last year, but who founit
the specific formula called for in the law
objectionable. This new, approach is
vastly preferable to them.
THE MAJOR guidelines called for are
w The board would be able to
rease in rent only if the land-
lord has incurred greater costs for paid
property taxes, utilities, maintenance
not due to neglect, operating expenses,
and capital improvements. No other
costs would be passed on to the tenant.
Another major change from last year's
plan is the exemption of rental units
in any way owner-occupied single or
double family dwelling from controls.
The law was criticized last year because
it would have hurt many small land-
lords who rent space in their homes
for sorely needed extra income. This
was a major stumbling block to passage
last year.
OVERALL, MOST of the objections'




Ali reviews Monday
night's action.




To The Daily:
THE HUMAN Rights Party, in
releasing public information
concerning an individual candi-
date, Kathy Fojtik, feels that
an explanatory letter is neces-
sary. It is HRP's policy to
campaign on the issues - is-
sues such as day care and free
health care, which areneglected
by both the Democrats and Re-
publicans. And, although the
Democrats and Republicans
campaign as individuals, we
usually refrain from singling
out one candidate for personal
condemnation. However, te de-
liberate deception on the part
of Kathy Fojtik in the current
campaign and her behavior on.
the county board warrants such
public condemnation.
Kathy Fojtik is running as an
incumbent, stressing her ac-
complishments as Commission-
er. Yet, it is extremely easy for
an incumbent to distort a n d
exaggerate her contributions.
Fojtik has claimed individual
responsibility for the initiation of
certain programs. Her cam-
paign literature states that she
initiated the Medical Facility in
the County Jail and the first
county free VD clinic. However,
public records show that the
vital research and organizing
was performed by others, if
Fojtik was involved at all it was
only peripherally.
FOJTIK's behavior on t h e
board is amply illustrated by
her justification for her exor-
bitant junketeering expendi-
tures: "The money is batter
spent on me." This statement
highlights her inability to work
with other commissioners and
h e r overall individualistic
stance, which has prevented
county groups from utilizing her
office in attempts to make the
county board responsive to the
people's needs. Fojtik's maver-
ick, elitist attitude has prevent-
ed her from initiating and in-

sure, only in this way can gov-
ernment be made responsive
and accountable.
-The Human Rights
To The Daily:
I AM WRITING as director
of the Ann Arbor Boycott Com-
mittee of the United Farm Work-
ers. We are not making any en-
dorsements in any of the local
political races. We have picketed
and leafleted various area stor-
es and events from one to four
times weekly for a little over
two years.
In a letter which appeared in
today's Daily, three HRP mem-
bers who have been active in
the' Ann Arbor Boycott Com-
mittee attacked Kathy Fojtik
and her candidacy for re-elec-
tion as a member of the Wash-
tenaw County Commission. The
main point of the letter was
theirallegation that Ms. Fojtik's
leaflet was misleading when it
said that she had been active
in the boycott.
Their statement that she has
picketed only once in the last
year and a half is, very simply,
wrong. She was a regular pick-
eter all through the summer of
1973, far before the beginning
of her re-election campaign.
She has picketed'from time to
time in support of the boycott
since then, including the picket
line last December 1, when she
and the other picketers risked,
arrest to defy an unconstitution-
al injunction obtained by A&P.
Besideskherifrequent help on
the picket line, Ms; Fojtik has
also helped the boycott by sup-
porting us before the County
Commission and by contribut-
ing to the union.
Committee appreciates all those
who give their time, energy, and
money to support farmworkers
in their demand for the right
to choose in an impartially sup-

with Ms. Fojtik more than once.
-David Super
Ann Arbor Boycott
October 22
To The Daily:
IN THE LETTER which ap-
peared in the Daily on last Tues-
day, October 22, there are sev-
eral errors. First, it stated that
two of the signers of the let-
ter have been coordinators of
the United Farm Workers' Sup-
port Committee. In fact, none
of us have ever held the central
leadership position in the UFW
Support Committee, that of di-
rector. Coordinator is a large-
ly ceremonial post. The A n n
Arbor UFW Support Committee
is run by those working with it
in our weekly, open meetings,
and by its director, presen ly
Dave Super. I regret it if any-
one reading the letter concluded
that we were speaking as any
kind of oficials or representa-
tives for the committee, which
is a group with multi-partisan
support and which stays out of
elections as an organization.
The statement that Kathy
Fojtik has picketed only once
in the last year and a half,
and that that time was among
a gaggle of politicians and only
for 90 minutes, was also false.
Ms. Fojtik picketed regularly
last summer and has been on
UFW support picketlines from
time to time since, including a
few times this summer. She has
also helped the UFW in other
ways, including financial sup-
port and support on , County
Commission. While it is diffi-
cult to say what being "active
in" the boycott means, it is
clear that Ms. Fojtik's activity
in the Support Committee has
been in excess of a tokenistic
gesture and seems to be moti-
vated by a sincere desire to
helo farmworkers build their
own union.
I AM SORRY if anyone read-

several of whom suppor
-Larry Mann
October 29
To The Daily:
Zero Population Growth
questionnaires to the can
and studied the records
cumbents. Those below
are all satisfactory.
U.S. Representative 2n
gressional District, John
ther. State Senate 18th D
Gilbert Bursley, Peter Ec
State Representative 53r
trict: Perry Bullard, Rae
In the state senate ra
chose to support Senator
ley because of his strong
of introducing and sup
population-related legisl
FOR STATE represen
we chose to support Per
lard because of his good
of voting for population-
In the listing for U.S
Marvin Esch's name isn
because he does not supp
Supreme Court decisionl
ing abortion. All the other
dates support that decisio
The HRP candidatesc
return our questionnaire
-Zero Population
October 10
the Democratic primar
although I didn't like th
petbagger" image ass
with John Reuther, I p
would have voted for him
general election.
Yet, a recently publish
shows John Reuther, the
cratic winner, losing mi
It seems to me that the
cratic 'Party has once
underestimated the inte
of the Ann Arbor voter. B
in big names will notn
any easier for the pe

that the Democrats at the meeting had
to last year's law seemed to have been
removed. At one point, one Democrat
said to another, "They learned a lot from
our- criticisms." Whether or not the
HRP proposal passes will depend in
large part upon whether it receives the
full support of the Democrats. Those
Democrats at the meeting, all likely
to give the plan eventual endorsement,
were representative of the party's most
liberal, even radical wing. It remains to
be seen whether more conservative ele-
ments of the party will support it.
Whenever the fate of this rent con-
trol ballot drive may be, the willing-
ness of Democrats and HRP to sit down
together to discuss important issues is
a crucial prerequisite for an activist,
progressive city government. If prefer-
ential voting passes this November, and
next April vote goes as expected, these
two parties should win control of the
city council. Hopefully they will recog-
nize their responsibility to place the
welfare of Ann Arbor above the welfare
of their respective parties.
Dan Ruben is a writer for The Daily's
Editorial Page.
Ms. their positions on rept control
and what they have done in the
past and intend to do in the fu-
ture to help tenants.
I have introduced four bills
tions aimed at benefiting and protect-
ing tenants. H. B. 4689 would
require landlords to pay 5 per
pter of cent interest on security dpos-
sent its and H. B. 5586 would give
didates renters of low and middle in-
of in- comes an additional state tax
listed credit. Tenants would be guaran-
teed the right to organize and
d Con- collectively bargain for rents
R e u- by my bill, H. B. 4927. H1. B.
istrict: 6188 would entitle tenants who
-kstein. have been unlawfully evicted to
d Dis- recover three times their actual
Weav- damages as well as the posses-
sion of property. This bill'aims
at discouraging the practice of
ee, we illegal confiscation of tenant's
r Burs- property or the illegal locking
record out of tenants.
ation- In ADDITION, as a member
ntative, of the urban affairs committee,
ry Bul- I was able last session to help
record add protective clauses to H.B.
4623 which dealt with landlord's
Rep., rights to enter living quarters
missing which they rent out. In com-
ort the mittee, sections were added that
legaliz- now will require advance notice
r candi-
on. and agreement by the tenants
did rot before a landlord may enter to
s. inspect or make repairs, unless
Growth there is an emergency.
I will continue to work for the
erce in passage of these and other bills
y, and in the future. With respect to
e "car- rent control I'd note that I pub-
ociated licly supored the rent control
robably proposal on fhe April ballot in
m inthe
Ann Arbor. I will continue to
ied poll support other similar proposals
Demo- both at the local and state level.
Demo- -Perry Bullard
again State Representative
lligence 53rd District
ringing October 18

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