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February 07, 1975 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1975-02-07

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

Friday, February 7, 1975'

News Phone: 764-0552

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104
Rent control: Dirty politics

THE FACT that the city's landlords
mounted a desperate last-minute
effort to keep the rent control refer-
endum off the ballot for the upcom-
ing April elections by challenging the
validity of the signatures on the pe-
titions should come as no ,surprise
to anyone even nominally acquainted
with politics in this town.
People take their politics serious-
ly here; it's not the usual Tweedle-
Dum and Tweedle-Dee relationship
between the .Democrats and the Re-
p'ublicans. The Republicans hate the
HRP, and it's mutual.
The legacy of Watergate provides
an excellent example of what hap-
pens in politics when opposing inter-
ests begin to regard each other as
enemies. And the landlords' record
in this city indicates that there's no
tactic so low that they won't stoop
to it.
-T'S CLEAR that they're scared of
rent control and will do anything
to stop it. Certainly they have every
reason to be scared, the fact is that
rents are higher here than for com-
parable quarters elsewhere, which
makes it lucrative to be the owner
of a rented dwelling in this city.

And while it's fortunate that this
sabotage attempt failed, one can be
quite certain it won't be the final
measure taken. Last spring the land-
lords put together a slush fund of
,nearly $35,000 and formed a thinly-
veiled -committee, (allegedly inde-
pendent it was all landlords and Re-
publicans) ironically enough named
Citizens for Good Housing, in a suc-
cessful effort to insure defeat of the
IT'S JUST a matter of time until this
year's dummy campaign com-
mittee surfaces and all the tired old
arguments are aired anew. But there's
a difference; the landlords (no fools,
they know their padded bank ac-
counts are on the line), have learned
something from last year and are
evolving more sophisticated strategies
for combating the issue.
The tactics are all low; represen-
tative of all the things most distaste-
ful in politics. Hopefully though,
this time the voters will realize where
their self-interest lies (surely not
with the landlords) and resist the in-
creasingly clever line the landlords
will be making in the coming weeks,
and vote in rent control.

VOR ALL arrested persons,
the time lapse between
arrest and trial can be a crit-
ically important one. During this
crisis period, the judicial sys-
tem frequently employs a num-
ber of procedures and practices
which may hinder rather than
enhance the administration of
Citizen's Information Service
was organized to deal with these
unfortunate procedures with the
hope of eventually eliminating
For example, many of the
rights granted to arrested citi-
zens under the constitution seem
to be myth rather than fact in
actual practice. Although peo-
ple brought into custody a r e
legally presumed innocent until
proven otherwise, many jail of-
ficials often treat them as hard-
ened criminals during the pre-
trial period.
Furthermore, the constitution
guarantees the right to a
"speedy" trial, but in many
court systems, serious back-
logs can detain even an inno-
cent person for months. These
injustices can instill pris 'rs
with such a sense of bitterness
toward society that any semb-.
lance of rehabilitation becomes
almost impossible.
Along with these inequities,
the arrested persons are forced
to cope with the problem of
buying their pre-trial freedom
through the bail system. This
system obviously discriminates
against the poor, making them
forfeit their freedom simoly be-
cause they lack sufficient funds.

BUT, AN inadequate though
sometimes effective alternative
does exist and this involves cb-
taining the services of a bonds-
man. For a fee which is 'en
percent of the bail amount, the
arrested person can be rwleas-
ed throuhg a bondsman. How-
ever, since a bondsman enjoys
a hybrid status somewhere be-
tween a public utility and a free
enterprise, he possesses an awe-
some amount of both economic
and legal power. In purely eco-
nomic terms, a typical bonds-
man reaps enormous prfits
first, because he charges an ex-
orbitant rate, secondly, because
the risk rate in his unscrupu-
lous business is traditionally low,
and finally, because he spends
only a minimal amount of his
own labor time to earn the ten
percent fee. The bondsman's
legal power, on the oto ?r hand,
perpetuates this economic ex-
Furthermore, the oondsman
can legally refuse to ac~xcot any
client with or without jusifca-
tion for this refusal. Such un-
checked discretion on the part
of the bondsman creates a cass
of arrested persons who must
aimlessly await trial in an in-
humane jail cell. In s o m e
cases, the length of compul ory
detention exceeds the length
of sentences given to convicted
criminals. Pre-trial lockun to-
tally deprives the wage carner
of his income, needlessly wastes
the taxpayer's money, and
most importantly, degrades and
dehumanizes a person who is
legally presumed innocent.



"Pretrial lockup totally deprives wage earn- taxpayer's money and dehumanizes a person
ers of their income, needlessly wastes the who is legally presumed innocent."

Nurses' demands justified

FOLLOWING a recent trend among
University employes, Registered
Nurses at the Medical Center voted
last week to form a union under the
Michigan Nurses Association (MNA).
It was a year and a half struggle for
union organizers, and for a while it
appeared that apathy and lack of
communication between medical de-
partments would defeat their efforts.
But on January 29 and 30, RNs voted
361-124 to form a collective bargain-
ing unit.
Nurses are after more than the
usual labor demands of wages and job
benefits, though these aspects did
play a part in the initial move to-
ward organization. Now however,
their primary demands concern
more control in patient care, policy,
and nurse-patient ratios. In other
words, they want more input into
how the health care facilities are run,
how patients are treated, and they
want a clear-cut, self determined
definition of the nursing role.
Considering the type of medical
institutions they work in:- where
many major decisions are made in
News~ Gordon Atcheson, Steve Hersh,
Joy Levin, Tom Preston, Sara Rimer,
Jeff Sorensen, Margaret Yao
Editorial 'Page: 'Paul Haskins, Steve
Ross, Steve Stojic, Stephen Selbst
Arts Page: George tLobsenz
Photo Technician: Steve Kagan

the upper echelons of the Univer-
sity, far above the hospital's admin-
istrations -- their demands are jus-
tified. They feel, quite rightly, that
those deciding policy may know noth-
ing about patient care and nurses'
In addition, nursing is becoming a
professional career in itself; no long-
er are nurses merely doctors assist-
ants, chart readers, and tray car-
riers. A RN must now go through in-
tensive training and orientation,
and must have sufficient medical
knowledge to do a good job. As MNA
staffer Joan Guy expressed it, "We've
got to be organized. I see no other
way for any group of women to have
any kind of clout." It appears that
like most other groups employed by
the University, they can achieve
their goals only by bargaining collec-
When representatives from the
MNA and University officials finally
face each other over the bargaining
table, the University will have an
advantage. It is unlikely that nurses
will ever strike except under extreme
duress. If they did, people could die,
and nurses, by their very nature
would never let this happen.
We hope that the 'University ad-
ministration will never use this ad-
vantage to force the MNA to accept
less than. their due. It could be aptly
described as a strong arm tactic, and
it would be wrong to use it on a group
with such justifiable demands.

Dick West:
Executive excursion:
drop-ins for dinner?
DANGEROUS precedents are being set in France by President
Valery Giscard d'Estaing.
He and his wife have taken to going out in the evenings and
having dinner in the homes of just plain folks.
Like so many governmental intrusions into personal privacy,
Giscard's dinner excursions began with the best of intentions.
He feels that seeing at first hand how average French families
live will help him keep the common touch and better serve their
But you and I know it will never work out that way. Already
aberrations are developing.
On their first evening out to dine with a picture-framer and
his wife, the Giscards were served champagne, two dinner wines,
watercress soup, sea perch with mousseline sauce, rib roast,
mixed vegetables and strawberry trifle with custard.
IT'S DIFFICULT to believe this is average family fare even in a
country noted for bon appetit.
Obviously, if Giscard is to get a true picture of everyday life,
in France, he will have to abandon the practice of choosing the
homes he visits from among 1,500 invitations received at Elysee
In other words, he will have to become a drop-in, the most
dreaded form of social persecution known to man.
Were dropping in unexpectedly for dinner kept exclusively a
presidential prerogative, it perhaps could be tolerated by the
But wait till other office holders get a load of the public opinion
polls that show a boost in his popularity since the dinner gambit
was announced.
Within a few weeks, politicians will be dropping in" for dinner all
over France. No home will be safe.
WORSE YET, from our standpoint, the practice is certain to
spread to other countries. One can visualize the dinner hour
scene in the average American home.
As Virgil and Ladybug Clanker sit down for a meal of leftover.
cauliflower casserole, a car pulls into the driveway.
"Oh, no!" Mrs. Clanker gasps. "Don't tell me it's the Fords
again !"
Her husband goes to the window, peers through the blind,
blanches and sways backwards.
"It looks like the Rockefellers this time," he moans'.
"Quick!" calls Mrs. Clanker: "Turn out the lights. If we don't
answer the doorbell, maybe they'll think we aren't at home."
Giscard must be stopped before it's too late:

MOREOVER, these inmates
are subjected to overcrowding,
the lack of any semblan e of
privacy, poor sanitation and ven-
tilation, harassment anal insults
by guards and officials, and the
deadly monotony of an environ-
ment completely lacking physi-
cal and mental stimulation.
Added to their own suffering are
the hardship and inconvemence
endured by the family and
friends of the detained ner3ors.
The Michigan State Jail In-
spector has estimated that the
daily jail population averages
5,000 persons, and wel ever
one-half of these are pre ril pri-
soners. The average length of
this group's detention may be
four months or longer. In 1972,
Michigan taxpayers spent $5,-
470,(0 to detain those awaiting
All these conditions point to
the conclusion that a severe gap
exists in the pre-trial period of
osr presentcriminal process;ng
system. However, in Wrashtenaxv
County, a group of dela ed
community volunteers wvii o s e
ultimate goal is filling this gap,
initiated a program in 1972 cal-
led Citizen's Information Serv-
ice. CIS's concern for the im-
plementation of pre-trial jus-
tice grows from the crganiza-
tion's belief in the worth and
dignity of each individual and
from the. realization that im-
prisonment dehumanizes t h e
human spirit. CIS is a one of a
kind program of jaiNousi ad-
vocacy that has been in success-
ful operation at the Washtenaw
County Jail since 1972. Its chief
function is to assist prisoners in
the immediate hours after their
arrest CIS volunteers conduct an
interview with each person just
after the booking proce s This,
interview has a threefold pur-
FIRST OF ALL, prisoners ty-
pically want the volunteer to
contact their friend, family, em-
ployer, etc., because they them-
selves are legally limited to one
phone call. Secondly, CIS vilun-
teers can provide relevant in-
formation about the mechanics
of bail and court procedures as

long as such information does
not involve legal advice. Fin-
ally, CIS volunteers indirectly
provide psychologically reassur-
ahce to the prisoner. Their pre-
sence enable prisoners to speak
confidentally to someone who
has no involvement with a law
enforcement agency. The vol-
unteer's role as a sympa-hetic
listener can be quite valuable to
the prisoner woh is fairly un-

nerved and upset by the arrest.
Surprisingly enough, CIS gain-
ed access to the county jail
during the Harvey administra-
tion and is strongly supported by
the present jail administration.
The sheriff's department recog-
nizes CIS as a desireable pub-
lic service and is quite sympa-
thetic to its functions and phil-
AS OF TODAY, CIS has been
the only organized group which
has actively sought to bridge
the wide gap that exists in our
pre-trial criminal processing
system, particularly on the local
level. The program now exists
on a modest scale, but it has
achieved a role in the Washte-
naw County Jail that was no
more than a dream five y'ears
ago when staunch opposition to
prisoners' rights was the rule.
CIS's community role can be
greatly expanded in the rear
future but only if the energy
and number of volunteers and
also upon community-based sup-
CIS members also enz:sion
several objectives which, if
achieved, could bring about a

IN THE long run, CIS volun-
teers also envision the elimina-
tion of the present bail system
as a means of pre-trial release
because it discriminates against
financially disadvantaged arrest-
ed persons. Moreover, members
advocate the use of licensed
half-way houses for pre-trial de-
tention and also suggest that
the defendant be compensated
for such detention if he is ac-
quitted at his trial. Finally, the
committee feels that the rights
to counsel and to a speedy trial
need strict implementation
Thesegoals must be achieved
if the criminal processing sys-
tem ever intends to fulfill its
constitutional obligations. But,
their implementation will be
quite difficult without the in-
creased suport from community
members. Citizen's Information
Service always needs volunteers
and donations are always wel-
come. For more infcrm:3:ion,
contact Marc Mauer, 1414 Hill,
John ┬░Staniszewski is LSA
graduate planning to attend law
school in the fall.

"Along with these inequities, arrested per-
sons are forced to cope with the problem of
buying their pre-trial freedom through the
bail system. This system obviously discrim-
inates against the poor, making them forfeit
their freedon simply because they lack suf-
f icient funds."
N.1". :-"'.,e .}:}}''.ti:t":","":}┬░fr{?,.:{Y :L :Qi;r,:"ia:S:"?;}?;" ?:3''": 1 S" SY{"'.,'' ' ,i 'k "

more equitable and just pry rial
system on the local level. First
of all, CIS would like -to see
its valuable service extended to
other penal institutions, espec-
ially the Ypsilanti Jail. Ru-
mors of corruption and illegal
activity within these institutions
are widespread, and CIS is cer-
tainly a stepping stone for con-
trolling such practices.

Jets, cars, and stomachs


Letters to The
irresponsible that he p,
pose their
To The Daily: personally,
genocide i
ON FRIDAY afternoon, Jan- ior. Never
uary 24, in his lecture to the conclusion
combined departments of the the frames
Medical School entitled, "Ethi- ics the situ
cal Implications of Biological termine -w
Advances," Dr. Joseph Fleicher Nazism co
made the following statements: on the bas
"It is morally inexcusable to are agains
bear a genetically compromised on the bas
child." "The 'Sanctity of Life' thing inhen
ethic is as dead as QuceP
Anne'"The essence of i It seems
justice is victimizing innor.cent a man wh
third parties." I venture to a framewo
quote him, since he publicly gasedha
acknowledged the ac:uracy of gared as
the quotations. should be
In the question period h0ch versity of
followed, the question was ask- School asa
ed, "Dr. Fletcher, given these I can only1
three principles, if a society de- as I do, r
clared not merely Tay Sachs an extrem
syndrome, but Jewishness as ence in ou
well, to be evidence of a gene- oppose it w
tically compromised child, what oe applied.

ersonally would op-
decision, since he,
does not believe that
s acceptable behav-
theless, the amazing
remains, that within
work of situ ation Uh-
uation alone can de-
hat is "loving" ar.d
uld only be opposed
is that more people
t it than for it, not
is that there is ay-
rently wrong with it.
incredible to me that
o has prn ved such
rk for decision inak-
is one sn 7ald be re-
an ethicist. It is
e ncredible that le
employed by the Uni-
f Virginia Mledical
an ethical consli' art.
hope that those who,
egard this syctem as
ely dangerous influ-
r sciety, will actively
whenever it begi is to

RE YOU PLANNING a low-cost charter flight
next vacation?
Do you ever eat in restaurants?
Are you shopping for a new car?
PIRGIM has recently intervened with three
federal agencies in an effort to protect your
interests when you become a consumer of any
of these services or products.
Most of PIRGIM's work is concentrated on long-
term projects aimed at major issues. Dangers
related to nuclear power plants, unemployment
caused by federal or state policies, the cost of
good health care, energy conservation and utility
rates - these are among major issues presently
at the center of our work.
But we also find time to take action on a large
number of smaller issues which affect the inter-
ests of students as citizens and consumers. 'he
three described here are some recent examples.
In each case, an agency of the U.S. govern-
ment announced that it was considering changing
its regulations in a way that would affect the
interests of consumers.
THE Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) proposed
"The stickers would not harm
car sales; they would very likely
increase the credibility of car,
dealers and raise sales of models
with better gas mileage."
ending low-cost charters of both domestic and in-
ternational flights, effective March 31, 1975. It
would substitute a new plan which allowed price
reductions only if you bought a package including
both airline tickets and ground accommodations.
No provision was made for the student, or other
low-income nerson. who might fly to Europe or

taurans are allowed to stap open despite bad
inspection reports.
WE proposed then that cleanliness ratings
should be posted in restaurants so consumers
could pressure for improvement by withholding
business from places with bad conditions.
A recent study by the Lansing State Journal
confirms that similar conditions still exist in
many areas, but are unknown to consumers.
Though state law is based on the FDA model
ordinance, it doesn't include the grading provis-
ions. This makes it important to keep the grade
posting provisions in the FDA model, for without
them there is little chance we can ever get the
law strengthened.
Car buyers are affected by a proposal before
the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) which
would require car dealers to display window stick-
ers giivng the gas mileage figures found by the
Environmental Protection Agency tests. The
stickers would give car buyers a meaningful way
to compare gas mileage between cars, an im-
portant purchase consideration today.
THE AUTO industry acknowledges that this
year's EPA testing results are reasonable and
accurate; they disagreed with last year's. But
a PIRGIM survey of new car showrooms found
that very few dealers were displaying the labels
on 1975 cars. The stickers would not harm car
dales; they would very likely increase the credi-
bility of car dealers and raise sales of models
with better gas mileage.
PIRGIM learned of these proposals from the
federal agencies, or alerts from Washington con-
tacts or student Public Interest Research Groups
in other states. In these three cases and others
as well, we filed testimony before the agency
advocating the interests of students and others
in Michigan. We opposed the CAB and FDA
proposals and favored the FTC proposal.
We are still waiting for decisions by the Fed-
eral Tride Commission and the Food and Drug


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