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November 03, 1977 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1977-11-03

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Rage 4-Thursday, November3, 1977-The Michigan Daily

CIi Sirb Waun 41atij
Eighty-Eight Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 49 News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
Frats deserve punishment

Time runningc
nuclear waste s

for slurring
N A SOCIALLY aware, allegedly lib-
eral college community such as
Ann Arbor, it is a sobering fact to real-
ize that racial prejudice of the shod-
diest kind is alive and well.
An incident which occurred last
month on the intramural softball field
is a case in point.
On October 13, two fraternities -
Sigma Phi Epsilon and Sigma Alpha
Epsilon - were scheduled to play a
championship softball game.
However, due to a clerical error, the
game did not appear on the field super-
visor's daily schedule, and would have
tQ be rescheduled. But since there was
an open field and some extra officials,
the two frats played anyway.
Then the fireworks erupted.
A team which was scheduled to play
on the field arrived, and since the frat
game wasn't official, the supervisor, a
black woman, asked the two fraterni-
ies to wrap up their game and leave
Khe field. The players, however, were
under the misconception that they
were, in fact, playing for the cham-
pionship, and refused to leave the field.
When one player shouted an obscenity
at the supervisor, she pulled the of-
ficials off the field and began to pick up
the bases.
Then, according to officials and
other witnesses, the supervisor was
subjected to a barrage of racial slurs.

Witnesses verified that she was called
"a nigger bitch," and told to "go back
to Africa" or someone was "going to
kick her black ass."
This childish and reprehensible be-
havior is deserving of harsh punish-
ment, and the IM department doled it
out. Since neither frat could single out
the individuals who made the racist
remarks, the department decided to
punish the fraternities themselves.
Both frats were banned from officiated
IM sports competition for the remain-
der of the school year.
After learning of the severity of the
verdict, the two fraternities suddenly
"remembered" who the individual of-
fenders were. They are now asking the
department to punish only those
specific offenders, and not the fraterni-
ties to which they belong.
ALTHOUGH it would be wrong to
punish both fraternities for the
actions of a few, this is a special case.
Since the two groups were originally
unwilling to identify the offenders,
they have given tacit approval to the
racist behavior, and as accomplises
deserve equal punishment.
It is indeed distressing to see the
members of Sigma Phi Epsilon and
Sigma Alpha Epsilon supporting the
juvenile, bigotted acts of a few mem-

The unsolved problem of how to dispose of
deadly radioactive waste now threatens the
future of nuclear power in the U.S.
The Department of Energy has warned that
if action is not taken soon, the lack of storage
space for nuclear waste might force the clos-
ing of 23 U.S. atomic power plants, starting in
AND THE White House Council on Environ-
mental Quality recently recommended that
the use of nuclear power not be expanded
unless a solution to the waste problem is
found soon.
More than 3,000 tons of radioactive waste
are now stored in temporary facilities, some
of which already have sprung leaks.
"The immediate problem," said one in-
dustry official, "is that the utilities are run-
ning out of space."
DURING THE NEXT decade, U.S. nuclear
plants are expected to generate nearly 20,000
more tons of radioactive waste. And Presi-
dent Carter recently proposed that the gov-
ernment store both this and spent nuclear fuel
from foreign countries as well.
Industry spokesmen, while praising the
Carter proposal, agreed it was only an in-
terim solution at best.
"It is no more than a short-term answer,"
said Carl Waske, president of the Atomic In-
dustrial Forum, "a way to avert a possible
shortage of fuel storage capacity."
Environmentalists were not at all pleased
with the President's plan.
"THE PUBLIC should not be misled into
believing this policy will usher in new solu-
tions," warned Richard Pollack, director of
Critical Mass, the Ralph Nader anti-nuclear
organization. "The government is in as much
of a quandary about what to do with the waste
material as it was two decades ago."
Until last year, much of the utilities' radio-
active waste was shipped to a reprocessing
plant in West Valley, N.Y., where some of it
was reconverted back into nuclear fuel and
the rest into high-level nuclear waste, ulti-
mately to be disposed of by the federal gov-
But in September 1976, Nuclear Fuel Ser-
vices, a subsidiary of Getty Oil, abandoned
the nation's only commercial reprocessing
plant on the grounds that it wasn't commer-
cially feasible.
THEN LAST SPRING, President Carter
announced that commercial reprocessing of
spent nuclear fuel would be postponed in-
definitely because of the increased risk of nu-
clear weapons proliferation that it poses.
Since then, the utilities have been request-
ing an expansion in the size of-their tempor-
ary storage pools, but federal officials con-
cede that expansion of those facilities is not a
long-term solution for the storage of radioac-
tive material - some of which must be safe-
guarded for as long as 250,000 years.
Gordon Corey, vice-chairman of Common-

wealth Edison, said several months ago that
nuclear power would become uneconomical if
utilities had to store their spent fuel perma-
THIS MEANS that the federal government
must establish either a central storage facili-
ty or a permanent disposal site. The problem
is that no one seems to know how to store
these highly toxic wastes.
"The real question is what do you do with
the wastes that are there," said James Griffin
of the Department of Energy. "Everyone's
pondering that."
Meanwhile, the wastes continue to eat away
at the walls of storage tanks, and radioactiv-
ity is beginning to be detected in the earth, in
streams and in the ocean.
SOME 18 DIFFERENT leaks accounting
for the escape of 429,000 gallons of nuclear
waste into the earth have been reported over
the past 20 years at a military disposal facili-
ty at Hanford, Wash.
These leaks, along with radioactive waste
intentionally dumped in the area, have left
the land "so badly contaminated," according
to a Ford Foundation report, "that it may
never be cleaned up."
At Oak Ridge, Tenn., nuclear burial tren-
ches have intercepted the water table, and a
creek feeding into the Clinch River has been
found to exceed the maximum permissible
concentration of radioactive material.
THE FAXCEY FLATS disposal site near
Moorhead, Ky., also has been leaking radio-
active material, but at levels that do not yet
pose a health hazard, according to Kentucky
Last summer, radioactive cesium was
discovered in a fish purchased in a Berkeley,
Ca., market. Although there is no conclusive
proof, some experts suspect the fish may
have been caught near the Farallon Islands,
50 miles off the California coast, where thou-
sands of steel drums containing radioactive
wastes were dumped 20 years ago - and
where cesium and plutonium have recently
been detected in the water.
Industry spokespersons, environmentalists
and federal officials all agree that waste
disposal is the major problem now facing the
nuclear industry, but disagree on how critical
it is. -
THE MOST immediate problem is in
California where state law prohibits the
licensing of additional nuclear power plants
until the federal government adopts a waste
disposal plan acceptable to the California leg-
Federal officials maintain that plant
closings'can be avoided and reliance upon
nuclear power can continue to increase, but
environimentalists disagree.
"To say that we're going to solve the waste
problem is-a hoax," contends Jeffrey Knight,
Washington lobbyist for Friends of the Earth.
"Pretty soon it will be time to call in the chips
on the nuclear industry."

?ut or
RANDY BERNARD, of San Francisco's
People Against Nuclear Power, predicts at
least two reactors will be closed down this
Nuclear industry official Scott Peters dis-
"While time is getting short for some reac
tors," he said, "there is no immediate danger
of a shutdown." He conceded that some shut:
downs might occur in the early 1980s but
"only if nothing is done."
Industry believes that policy-making deci-
sions rather than technical breakthroughs are
needed to solve the radioactive waste
MEANWHILE, THE federal government -
which is committed to putting a permanent
commercial waste repository into operation
by 1985 - is having difficulty finding a
location for it.
"Nobody has accepted waste facilities thus
far," a nuclear opponent noted. "Connecticut
is glad to have lots of reactors, but its citizens
refuse to have any wastes stored there."
The same has been true elsewhere. Ver-
mont and Louisiana passed legislation earlier
this year that would make it extremely dif-
ficult to establish nuclear waste facilities
AND LEGISLATURES in South Dakota and
New Mexico have passed resolutions that also
would bar or limit the federal government's
nuclear waste disposal plans.
Last May, in response to public opposition,
Michigan Gov. William Milliken told federal
energy officials that he wanted his state
removed from consideration as a waste
disposal site.
In September, Illinois Atty. Gen. William
Scott told a House subcommittee that
"Illinois will not passively allow itself t
become the nation's dumping ground for high-
level nuclear waste."
AS STATES are approached as possible
locations for waste disposal sites, public op-
position rises. And while the constitutionality
of some of the anti-nuclear waste statutes is
open to question, the federal government is
not looking for a showdown on the issue.
"We're trying to enlist the cooperation of
local people," says Energy Department
spokesman James Griffin.
The nuclear industry maintains that the
best way of winning public support is to get a
waste storage program into operation. "The
only way we will convince people is by doing a
pilot project," said Scott Peters of the Atomic
Industrial Forum.
All that is needed is a state that will accept
the project, and a way to ensure that radioac-
tive substances do not leak back into the en-
vironment for the next 250,000 years.
Steven Schneider monitors energy poli-
cy for the Ford Foundation-funded Third
Century America Project, and often
writes for the Pacific News Service.

New wage law was needed

ENACTED in an era of great pover-
ty and unemployment, the first
law regulating minimum wages was
signed by Franklin Roosevelt under
heavy opposition. Both conservatives
and big businessfelt that the new min-
imum wage, set at 25 cents an hour,
would result in higher inflation and a
ruined economy. Since then, every
president signing laws increasing the.
minimum wage has been met with
heavy opposition by business and con-
servatives, protesting that higher not
lower unemployment would result. ,
From Washington, we hear that
President Carter has signed into law a
bill that would raise the minimum
wage from the present $2.30 an hour to
$3.35 an hour by 1981. The bill, which
would raise the minimum wage in an-
nual steps, would pump an estimated
$9 billion into the economy, according
to administration experts.
Once again this new increase was
met by protests. Conservatives and the
business community argued that the
increase would put thousands of people
gut of work, and worsen inflation.
- Their protests did meet some success,
for the Senate voted down a provision
of the bill which would have made

future increases automatic.
Aided by labor and civil rights
groups, the administration succeeded
in arguing that the increase would lift
millions of workers out of poverty. The
Carter administration noted that by
the year 1981, the annual minimum
yearly salary would be $7,000, an in-
crease of $2,000 over the present rate.
Arguments used against increases
of the minimum wage have always
been the same. But the facts are that
what the increases have accomplished
are a little better way of life. Though
they have affected the economy unfa-
vorably at times, the overall effect is
one of increased benefits for the poor.
It has given a chance to millions of
workers to live better lives. The new
increase was needed desperately, for it
was apparent that $2.35 an hour was
not enough in these times of inflation.
But even with the new increase the
poor must still struggle to stay ahead
of spiraling costs. So that when the
time comes for a new increase, rest
assured that conservatives and
business will argue that any new in-
crease will result in a ruined economy,
which in turn will be proven wrong.


Pounds of olars
O MATTER how much buying absolute - is no doubt good news for
:fN power the dollar loses in this British citizens.
uny every month, its problems just While the British note increases in
don't compare to the dilemmas faced its value this week, the Israeli pound
by European currency - particularly was devalued by its government.
in the cases of the English and Israeli Where it used to take 10.40 Israeli
' pounds. pounds to "buy" an American dollar, it
The two currencies have bounced now takes 15.25 pounds.
all over the economists' charts in the The devaluation came as part of
N past year, changing value with diz- shift in economic policy, in which, as
zying frequency. Natives of the two Britain did, Israel removed certain
countries literally don't know from one controls on the value of its currency. In
day to the next whether their notes will this case, the pound's value fell by one-
buy a loaf of bread or just a slice. third.
Earlier this week the British, who OVERNMENT officials in Israel
watched their country's coffers hit are worried that the decline in
rock bottom last year, got some up- value of the pound will prompt Israelis
lifting news. The value of the English to invest their money in dollars -
pound experienced a remarkable which are worth more than ever now,
surge on the world money trading and are more stable. "Buying"
.market. What that means, simply, is American dollars would mean taking
that traders began paying six cents money out of the Israeli economy, and
P , mrPfr Pumrvm, in n notP tmpv wntaa i th ,,m rto nr-a tnnin

ti m

Letters to
souuth africa ditions, social relationships have
not appreciably improved.
The Daily: - The attitude that is adopted in
le support the concern shown the press, which the Daily is hap-
the Daily in Southern African pily escaping, is that South Africa
blems, especially the sen- is an anachronism, two steps
rents expressed in your behind the times. A stiff dose of
torial "Black Rule In South civil rights is prescribed. By
ica Won't Come Without For- focusing on the nastiness or
'(Oct. 21). It is surprising how ignorance of the whites, attention
ch coverage is being given is diverted from the foundations
ithern Africa at present when, of racism, the social and
il recently, entire wars on the economic institutions that justify
continent were overlooked in the nasty habits and from the
press, such as with Mozam- organizations that are shaking
ue. those foundations.
t took the suicidal courage of The African National Congress
ne throwing youths to put the is calling for the complete
ntry of South Africa into the liberation of South Africa: social,
idlines in the U.S. It took the political and economic, not only
ital killing of a student leader, Black or majority rule. They
lowed by bannings of a have repeatedly called for com-
wspaper owned by the Anglo- plete cultural and economic
erican mining consortium, isolation of South Africa until this
)minent leaders and aim is achieved.
anizations, to keep itsthere. Yes, we must force the regents
Vhat of the significant to divest the U of M of its in-
;anizations and newspapers terests in apartheid. But how did
t have been banned for nearly those interests come into being in
enty years?; some that have the first place? What drives these
dreamed of applying for or institutions of learning into sup-
eiving official permission to port of racial oppression? These
st! expansive tendencies lead,
krmed struggle has been in inevitably, to war, as the Daily
gress for 16 years in South seems to understand. We look
rica, led by the armed wing of forward to continued and
African National Congress. deepening analysis of Southern
e Daily's diagnosis that force Africa throughout the struggle.
inevitable in South Africa is -Southern Africa
rect, if a little late. Liberation Committee
The South African history that William D. Wilcox
being written in the U.S.
ess has built inhamesia
it begins at the point anita
en the U.S. becomes deeply To The Daily:
volved. Along with this is an at- In a recent letter to the Daily, a
mpt to force all evils of racism, Mr.. Hill, in quite impassioned
th which this country is very language, supported Anita
miliar, into a civil-rights or Bryant and her well-known

The Daily
I am tired of being called "per- three cheers for ev
verted" continually by people everywhere, for it is on.
who neither understand nor care stop fighting each other
to understand what it's like to be will make progress on our
gay, and I am equally tired of -Mark t
waiting for non-existant rebuttals
by members of the gay com- vand
munity here in Ann Arbor, who To The Daily:
continue to disco their lives Some time last weeken
away, unaware of the noose 29 and 30, a popular fellow
tightening about their necks. Mr. Engineering was cruelly
Hill may be disgusted by the Er. Puerinhas e
thought of men and women tionatly referred to by t
(women, if you prefer) making Engineering communit
love to members of their own sex, fered severe gashes to th
a societal bias shared by many. He is currenty being repo
But to gay people this is only an members of Tau Beta
expression of their natural, and I Engineering Honorary o
repeat, natural feelings, just as Mt. Pumpkinhead was
intercourse between a man and a Beta Pi entry to the Pi
woman is their expression of Contest for the Calculat
heterosexual feeling; neither sponsored by theEngir
feeling is inherently superior or Council.For two week
moral to the other. My own ob- Pumpkinhead sat quietly
servation is that the only perver- north lobby of East Engir
sion occurring here is that other drawing attention to the
members of society are condem- over his head, "You'd be
ning homosexual love as im- youe qoued to miss the Ca
moral, and are discriminating on Ball," Hopefully Mr.
that basis. pkinhead will he healtry4
I look at American society to attend the contest and d
today and marvel at the extent to Nov. 12 at Campus Inn.
which people find ways to put In the mean time, I se
down other people, Blacks, belvehat eeIwse
Chicanos, Jews, women, gays. Do sble forath s immr as
we teach our children vandalism owes an apoo
"cooperation" on "Sesame bohanineoeinCono
Street", only'to polarize them both Engineering Counc
later in their interaction with Tau Beta Pi.
Sity? nNancy Kay Smith
You say "three cheers for CouniletEgn
Anita Bruant", Mr. Hill? I say

ly if we
that we
C. Huck
d, Nov.
in East
is affec -
he East
y, suf-
e head
aired by
Pi, the
the Tau
or Ball
Ks, Mt.
in the
eout of
ance on
act of
ogy to
cil and

Contact your reps
Sen. Donald Riegle (Dem.), 1205 Dirksen Bldg., Washington,
D.C. 20510

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