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April 06, 1977 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1977-04-06

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I

Eighty-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Wednesday, April 6, 1977

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan
Sound and fury of election
leaves Cou-ncil2 unchanged

Wonmen
By JOAN REISMAN
ON A WORLDWIDE SCALE, women are now com-
ing of age. We're facing unprecedented freedom,
and with it unprecedented responsibility for such funda-
mentals as grasping our -own identities and answering
for our own fates.
Certainly every generation has undergone changes,
and there have been many waves of social evolution
before this. But women may never before have en--
countered the vast spectrum of challenges, of vari-
ables without constants, that we're dealing with to-
day. And those of us who are now adults are in the
thick of it. We are both the remnants and the sloths
of one era, and the pioneers of another. We have
the enviable opportunity to shape our own and future
lives - but to do so we may have to venture deep
into unfamiliar territory.
We were brought up in the tradition in which.
marriage and family provided the center around which
we were to accommodate our lives. We were nurtured
on a morality that fostered those bonds by exalting
lifetime tidelity to our spouse,' and subjugation of
our wishes to those of our family's reinforcement -
a morality complete with a network of social, psy-
chological, and material reinforcement.
BUT THEN, SOME TIME after those values were
deeply incorporated into our intellectual and emotion-
al outlooks, and in many cases after we'd devoted

are coming of age

significant portions of our lives to them, came a new
wave of ideas and circumstances infiltrating the old.
Suddenly we were seeking educations apart from seek-
ing husbands. The economy was changing in ways that
enabled eager women and forced reluctant ones to
pursue careers. We were finding that we didn't have
to depend on men for support, we could depend on
ourselves. We spent our formative years preparing for
life in a restricted world, and encountered an unrestrict-
ed one as adults.
These changes have disturbed our traditional niche,
in all its oppressive and protective and enslaving and
comforting aspects. Now it's up to us to find a new
niche, or a way to live without one, We no longer
have many of those solid external excuses for failure
to live up to our individual potentials. It's not as
easy as it used to be to borrow someone else's values,
or to close our eyes and swallow someone else's idea
of how to live. We can still do what we might have
done if women's lib hadn't come along - only now
we really have a choice, whether or not we choose
to recognize that fact.
These changes have set many women adrift in
a sea of conflicting emotions. There's the fear and
resentment of having the rules change mid-game.
There's the elation of the challenges and possibilities
of a new frontier. And there's confusion galore, where
so many choices seem to have double edges. How do
we coordinate the variety of roles we're adopting? How

do we combine career and family? How do we rocon-
cile new attitudes of sexual freedom with those deep-
rooted ideas about right and wrong? Moreover, how
do we develop and balance strength and independence
in the face of insecurities, both our own and others?
WELL, IT'S NOT EASY. Women as a group are
in the throes of adolescence. It's a painful, awkward
period of growth, of experimenting with different iden-
tities and philosophies, of grappling with what we want
to do, and what we can do and what would work best
in the long run. We can shrink from the experience,
submerge ourselves in whatever is handy, and never
emerge as mature individuals who assume responsibili-
ty for ourselves or anything else. We can run wild, take
risks, make mistakes, perhaps burn ourselves out. Or
we can strive to take control of the situation, to be
at once realistic, imaginative, and true to ourselves.
The point is that however we choose to handle
our lives is our choice and our responsibility. From
an existential viewpoint, that has always been the
case; the difference now is just that it's harder to ig-
nore. We may discover that the traditional way was
best, and we'll settle back into that. Or perhaps we're
in for a long period of genuine change upon change
that will evolve into something we can't envision now.
In any case, we're in the midst of it, so we may as
well acknowledge it and psych up for the growing,
and growing pains, ahead.

MONDAY'S CITY elections remind --
one of the third act speech in
Macbeth - "there has been a great
deal of sound and fury, as well as
some doubt about the significance
of the whole business." The balance
of power on City Council remains
substantially unchanged, and it may
be weeks before anyone knows who
really won the mayoral race.
But there are still a few lessons
for us'all in this year's democratic
exercise.
We may learn, for instance, that
bad weather doesn't necessarily help
Republican candidates any more than
it helps anybody else, or that it takes
more than a mayoral contest to draw
Ann Arbor voters to the polls.
The Socialist Human Rights Party
(SHRP) and Libertarian Party may
learn that this community is not a
ripe vineyard for third-party politics
for the moment.

AL WHEELER may learn that he
should either take some vigorous
actions (to siphon off Belcher votes)'
or clarify his ideology (to siphon off
Slaughter votes). Either stand would
have given him a definitive lead in
the election.
Lou Belcher may learn that less
than a majority of Ann Arbor's vo-
ters were willing to accept his new
role as liberal standard-bearer for the
GOP, and smelled a wolf -- real or
imagined-beneath the sheep's cloth-
ing.
City officials may learn that the
very well-heeled voters who complain
about the condition of city streets re-
jected two ballot proposals which
would have filled a few potholes.
And we can all learn, once again,
that Ann Arbor is a city where the
unexpected usually happens.

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Carter takes first step
toward energy conservation

AST WEEK, in an effort to con-
serve energy, President Carter an-
nounced he is considering putting a
stiff tax on gas-guzzling cars-$500.
He is also contemplating offering' as
much as a $500 tax rebate to per-
sons who purchase I gas-conserving
automobiles.
This is a positive step towards
easing one of this nation's, and the
world's biggest crises, and we urge
Carter and Congress to implement
this plan as quickly as possible. But
this is only a first step, and Carter
must not sit back, and relax, con-
tent that he has offered one solu-
tion. With gasoline prices hovering
near the 70 cent per gallon mark,
and the natural gas market still
suffering from the algid winter, dras-
tic, and immediate action is neces-
sary.
We suggest the following:
*Offer a one time tax rebate to
all persons who wish to insulate their:
homes, or to add storm windows.
Properly installed insulation and
storm windows can cut energy con-
sumption as much as 25 per cent.
* Offer a rebate to all persons
willing to switch to solar heating.
State Rep. Perry Bullard is sponsor-
ing a, similar bill in the state, but
federal monies would make it much
more effective. Solar heating is fair-
ly expensive to install, so families
need to be encouraged to make the
switch. Once they do switch, however,
TODAY'S STAFF:
News: Lori Carruthers, Jay Levin,
George Lobsenz, Stu McConnell
Editorial: KeA Parsigian
Arts: Lois Josimovich, Steve Pickover
Photo: Christina Schneider
Sports: Gary Kicinski, Bob Miller,
William Neff, Cub Schwartz,
Dan Spatafora

it saves all the energy they used for
heat before, and draws instead from
the bottomless well of energy we have
left-the sun.
" Continue some of this past win-
ter's emergency programs. We're not
saying we must all continue to keep
our thermostats at 65, but we don't
have to revert to setting them at 75
either. All Americans can easily learn
to live comfortably at 68 to '70 de-
grees, and the President should urge
all people to do so.
0 Encourage the public to use mass
transit, and make more efficient mass
transit a top budget priority. Carter
can and should call on the public to
conserve energy by using mass tran-
sit, and Congress can give the major
cities federal funds to build new sys-
tems, or rennovate old ones.
There are certainly many other
plans that could "save energy, and
Carter and Congress must examine
each of them. This proposed tax and
rebate program for cars is a good
idea. Let's not stop there.
Sports Staff
KATHY HENNEGHAN............sports Editor
TOM CAMERON ........ Executive Sports Editor
SCOTT LEWIS Managing Sports Editor
DON MacLACHLAN ..... Associate Sports Editor
Contributing Editors
JOHN NIEMEYER and ENID GOLDMAN
NIGHT EDITORS: Ernie Dunbar. Henry Engel-
hardt, Rick Maddock, Bob Miller, Patrick Rode,
Cub Schwartz.
ASST. NIGHT EDITORS: Jeff Frank, Cindy Gat-
ziolis, Mike Halpin, Brian Martin, Brian Miller,
Dave Renbarger, Errol Shifman and Jamie Tur-
Buiness Staff
DEBORAH DREYFUSS.........Business Manager
COLLEEN HOGAN...........Operations Manager
ROD KOSANN.................Sales Manager
ROBERT CARPENTER ....... Finance Manager
NANCY GRAU...............Display Manager
CASSIE ST. CLAIR........Circulation Manager
BE'IH STRATFORD........Circulation Director

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Letters

to

the

Daily

housing
To The Daily:
Your support for the 25-cent
funding proposal in the MSA
election today may help lower
costs and improve the quality
of student housing. Your land-
lord hopes you will vote against
it.
For about a year now, MSA's
housing law reform project, cen-
tered in a windowless cubicle
called "Music Room 1" on the
third floor of the Union, has been
quietly working to unravel, ex-
plain and cure the housing crisis
that causes dorm lotteries,
crowding, unconscionable lease
clauses, and perhaps worst of
all, gross rents that at $174 per
person per month are 72 per
cent higher than the national
median.
Essentially, the license that,
landlords use to raise the rents,
write intimidating lease clauses,
rules, and 12-month leases, is
that there is an excess of de-
mand over supply, and no meth-
od of community control over
the price of rent. (The Cam-
bridge University "landladies,"
by contrast, must negotiate the
maximum allowable rents with
the University housing office be-
fore' they are approved for stu-
dent occupancy.) We have seen
horrors in Ann Arbor student
housing of people living in a
closet, two groups of tenants
literally fighting over the right
to occupy a house, ads offering
a "reward" for finding a house
for rent, and rent rises of 60
per cent in a year. One Reliable
Realty houserwhich rented for
$650 last year rents for $1,100
this year. We are familiar with
one student who paid her rent
but went literally hungry for
lack of money to purchase food.
The MSA housing law reform
project has -powerful opposition,
but there are powerful forces
on our side too. The primary
opposition to effective housing
reform in Ann Arbor is the same
as the national opposition: land-
lords; real estate speculators
and financial institutions make
a lot of money on the problem.
They in turn are better able
to influence the press and,
frankly, confuse the public.
They would like you to believe,
for example, that your rent in-

crease is caused by "inflation"
and by tax increases. Yet Ann
Arbor's rents rose 300 per cent
between 1950 and 1976, while
the consumer price index rose
133 per cent. Your MSA law-
yers also believe the property
tax argument is a distortion of
the truth. Property taxes are
based on the assessed value of
the property, which is based on
recent selling prices of similar
properties. The selling price of
income property is based on the
current and expected rent. So
if your landlord tells you that
your rent is going up because
property taxes are going up, tell
your landlord that if he holds
rents down, property taxes will
be held down.
The following is some of the
recent work of the MSA housing
law reform project and its mem-'
bers:
*Writing and publishing of
Ann Arbor's first tenants' rights
primer, "How to Evict your
Landlord."
" Compilation of State and
local housing laws to help ten-
ants and tenant lawyers prepare
for court trials involving rent
and maintenance.
* The project developed five
out of the eight recent Fair
Rental-Practices Committee pro-
posals, including:
a. a city ordinance affecting
illegal lease clauses;
b. a policy which would pro-
tect tenants from uninvited
code enforcers and land-
lords;
c.. making all Building and
Safety records on landlords,
public access records;
The MSA project, developed
the strong stand adopted by the
Mayor's committee, that the
University's presence increases
demand more than supply, and
that its inaction works as an
unintentional subsidy to land-
lords at the expense of students.
Some of the above are poten-
tially quite significant. Manda-
tory clauses in leases advising
tenants of their rights and ac-
cess to legal and union help is
an important step in making
that help a reality.
The MSA project is hard at
work analyzing major economic
solutions, including a form of
rent control that would not dis-
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t courage new construction, would
encourage maintenance, would
allow for rent rises as costs rise
but not for the whim of the land-
lord, and would minimize bu-
reaucracy often associated with
controls. The project and its
workei's have already worked at
the request of State legislators,
on a State tenant privacy bill
and on a landlord- ockout lawi
recently passed.
The project has established
contacts with local news and
radio media, and is currently
making a film depicting Ann
Arbor housing conditions, based
on the assumption that public
awareness of a social problem
is a prerequisite for change.
We urge you to take a mo-
ment to stop by one of the MSA
election booths today and vote
for 25 cents for housing law re-
form. Booths are at the Union,
the fishbowl, the Engin arch, the
CC Little bus stop, and at
CRISP.
Richard Dutka,
Jonathan Rose,
Paul Teich
AFSCME
To The Daily:
By now, most of us are well
aware that the University was
successful in breaking the
AFSCME strike. But are we
aware that extreme physical
violence was employed by the
University (via the Ann Arbor
Police) as a means toward that
end? Are we aware that 20
AFSCME workers and seven
students have been fired and
11 others suspended from their
jobs as a result of their partici-
pation in the strike?
Can we, with clear con-
science, silently, passively ob-
serve events such as these? Is
there not a point at which we
say "no, damn it, that's,
wrong"? Is there not a point
at which we begin to care?
Whether or not one supports
AFSCME's position in this par-
ticular case, such instances of
physical violence and blanket
firings can not be ignored. We
must consider the nature of our
social responsibility and its im-
plications. To sit back and
vawn at injustice - to accept
it as "common" - to sav
"that's life" - is to endorse it.
By not sneaking out against it,
we become complicit in its per-
netration: we become accesso-
rimq to the crime.
The University ann ars to

into these firing begun, further
injustices can be expected. A
number of campus groups have
organized the United Front
Against Reprisals (UFAR) in
response to the firings. A noon
demonstration on the Diag is
punned for today.
If you are at all sensitive to
the issues we have raised here
- if huwtan rights violations
arouse your anger - we en-
courage you to make your sen-
timents known. As students
ourselves, we recognize that
time is extremel} valuable at
this time of year and that,

therefore, a large commitment
is near-impossible. Wht we all
can do is speak up. Attend the
demonstration. Write a letter.
Stand up and be cc inted as one
individual who dnes not buy
violence and intimidation as vi-
able solutions to any end.
Lee Berry
Tom Bray
Shari Kolodry
Mike Landy
Pat Longe
Jewet Nemvalts
Andy Perellis
Jim Sachs
Laurie Siegel

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TENANTS RISING
by RICHARD DUTKA
Dear MSA Housing Law Reform Project.
Now that I've lived in this hovel for a year, I'd like to get
out. How do I get my security deposit back?
Dear Tenant:
Many people -have contacted the Housing Law Reform Project
concerning problems with their landlords when it comes to re-
appropriating one-and-a-half month's rent you put down so Ring
ago. To help avoid any hassles, and there usually are some,
follow these steps and you ought to get most, if not all of it
back:
Security deposits are regulated by the Michigan Security
Deposit Act (1973). The law applies to all tenants in the state,
including sub-tenants. It applies to written and oral leases, re-
gardless of the time period of the lease.
IN ORDER TO GET YOUR security deposit back, you must
notify the landlord in writing of your forwardingaddress within
four days of moving out of your apartment. If you don't do this,
the landlord does not have to give you notice of damages and
can keep the money. That's why landlords are in no rush to find
you after you've moved out.
Next - within 30 days after you've moved out, your land-
lord must mail you an itemized list of all damages which he/she
claims you caused, the estimated cost of repair for each item,
the amount he/she is charging you for each item, and a check
for the difference between the damages claimed and the original
security deposit.
This notice of damages must include, in boldface type, the
warning: "You must respond to this notice within seven days
after receipt of same, otherwise you will forfeit the amount claim-
ed for damages."
WITHIN SEVEN DAYS after receiving the notice of dam-
ages claimed you must respond in writing, indicating your dis-
agreement with any of the deductions. If you properly notify your
landlord of yo'ur disagreement, he/she must return what you
demand or sue you for the contested portion of the deposit within

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