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February 05, 1976 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1976-02-05

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Cme At gan :anUt'I
Eighty-Six Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Ml 48104

Thursday, February 5, 1976

News Phone: 764-0552

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Tales oj
By PAUL O'DONNELL
I swore I'd never do it again, but
twelve months after my first grape pick-
ing experiences, I was back out there
with the boys in Southern France, bend-
ing over in the rain to cut grapes off two
foot high vines. Complaining about my
back. Joking with the bosses.
In a town of a thousand people, mostly
known because it was once the scene
of a famous battle between Romans and
Teutons, I lived in a cinder block build-
ing which one of the town's residents
called "la Villa des Mouches", or "Man-
sion of the Flies." It was there that I
lived with four other people, sleeping
two to a bed, while I was a grape pick-
er. We kept warm by wood fires and
didn't take showers because there was
no hot water. Our boss kept sheep in a
pen right next to our shack's door, that's
what brought the flies.
The work started at 7:45, but we'd
been up since sunrise. Yes, roosters do
crow at the break of dawn. A city boy,
I just assumed that once they crowed,
they stopped and went back to sleep.
Well, they don't go back to sleep, they
just keep crowing. We were picked up
by a truck that took us out to fields near
the Paris-Nice-Italy highway, and from
eight until noon, then from 1:00 until
5:00, we picker grapes. In the hot sun.
In the rain. Green grapes, red grapes,
white grapes. Rotten grapes, unripe
grapes; everything went into the buc-
kets and off to the press.
My co-workers were Turkish, Iranian,
African, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabian,
and of course, French. Some were stu-
dents, others bums, others construction
workers, others professional agricultural
workers. Why, someone asked, should an
American come to France and work with
his hands? Wasn't America the richest
country in the world? Wasn't all the
work done there by machines? No mat-

a student grape

picker

Vineyards like this one dot the countryside all over Southern France. In late summer or early autumn, migrant
workers begin to harvest the crop for pressing.

Concorde SST: Sonic boo

SECRETARY OF Transportation
William Coleman slapped our en-
vironment in its fragile face yester-
day when he welcomed two foreign
airlines to fly their supersonic Con-
cordes into the United States. His de-
cision, weakly supported by diploma-
tic and "fair play" considerations,
represents a stubborn unwillingness
to draw the line on what could
amount to severe ecological damage.
Environmentalists' w a r n i n g s
that the Concordes' high flights will
pollute the atmosphere apparently
fell on deaf ears. Landing rights
were even opposed by the govern-
ment's own Environmental Protec-
tion Agency. The jets' wake contains
chemicals that may further deplete
the earth's protective ozone layer,
which shields us from the harmful
effects of concentrated ultraviolet
energy. The effect - similar to that
of the flourocarbons (freon) in aero-
sols - is an increased likelihood of
skin cancer victims all over the
world.
Coleman accurately noints out that
several other instruments of mankind
are also hacking away at the strato-
sphere - military aircraft, and the
space shuttle of the 1980's, to name
two - probably to a greater extent
than the proposed six daily suner-
sonic landings. But the Concordes
serve purposes far less necessary or
beneficiary than Coleman's comnari-
sons, and the Secretary regrettably
feels that environmental damaie is
all right in this case because it is
done only a little bit at a time.
His argument, incidentally, ignores
the fact that there will be far more
Concorde flights than just the six
TODAY'S STAFF:
News: Dana Baumann, Jay Levin,
Andy Lilly, Rob Meachum, Tim
Schick, Bill Turque
Editorial Page: Stephen Hersh, Jon
Pansius, Tom Stevens
Arts Page: Jeff Sorensen, Kevin Couni-
han
Photo Technician: Pauline Lubens

coming to our country. The com-
pound effect of these flights may be
very harmful indeed. The United
States could exert considerable pres-
sure against the development of
more supersonic jets if we only ban-
ned them, without exception, from
flight over our air space.
THE CONCORDES ARE also very
noisy. Homeowners near the New
York and Washington airports where
the jets will land will pay for Cole-
man's decision every time the Con-
corde makes its earsplitting presence
known. Any increase in noise level,
for them, is insufferable.
Again, Coleman takes a flimsy de-
fense. While confessing noise levels
at the New York airport will rise, he
maintains that the low-frequency
noise vibrations are simply not signi-
ficant enough to ban the supersonic
jets. In other words, more damage
is okay-if it's only a little more dam-
age.
Also, the Concorde is somewhat un-
safe. Its fuel tank simply cannot hold
enough reserves to go into a long
holding pattern during poor, unfor-
seen weather or reach an alternative
airport in an emergency.
THE CONCORDES, we'll readily ad-
mit, are technological marvels.
They fly up to sneeds of 1,400 miles
per hour - literally faster than a
bullet. Greater speed in travel, when
safe, is impressive.
But the Concordes' lauded break-
throughs do not yet offset the risks
and harmful effects. Until supersonic
jet technology can eliminate their
drawbacks, the Concordes should be
grounded.

ter what I said ,they couldn't under-
stand why anyone who wasn't flat broke
would want to pick grapes. There was
no doubt that I was the slowest of the
workers: lack of experience. Necessity
is the mother of speed.
As for our bosses, they were of the
friendly sort. They were supporters of
the Socialist Party, were all brought up
in the town, and were the sons and
daughters of the town's mayors and dig-
nitaries. They made us work, though: A
pause to piss or to light up a cigarette
might be followed by a comment about,
"The value of the dollar is falling, so is
the speed of your work," or "quit sleep-
ing!" On and on went the rhythm: cut-
ting grapes, putting them into a bucket,

the bucket being carried off to a truck,
which ships them off to the press . . .
ad infinitum.
I came about halfway through the sea-
son, so I only stayed about three weeks.
But in the short time I was there, I saw
many a worker come and go, exhausted
by the hours and the bending over. The
worst thing besides back pain and incle-
ment weather was cutting your hands on
the clippers. We used pruning shears,
the old hands used sharp, curved knives.
Either one was enough to give you a
cut deep enough to require stitches.
Sleeping in a cold room with rats run-
ring across the ceiling panels wasn't any
nleas'ire either. As one worker, who had
been fired by another boss, put it: "You

An overview of

Ann Arbor

(Editor's note: The follow-
ing is text of a speech by Mar-
ty Porter, representing the
Ann Arbor Vista Housing Pro-
ject, delivered at yesterday's
University Regents meeting.)
rEiFRE IS CURRENTLY a
critically short supply of
rental housing in Ann Arbor, a
situation that is growing to
emeraencv rronortions. Rents
arA ton hia o Mnintenn-and
security measures are insuffic-
ient at best. And day in, day
out, student tenants, brouomht to
this city for the exclusive pur-
pose of attending the Univer-
sity of Michigan, are forced to
e n d u r e inconveniences that
threaten their health and wel-
fare: no heat, no hot water, no
privacy, excessive crowding,
just to name a few. It is a
crisis that shows no solution in
the near future, one caused in
part by the short sightedness
and neglect of the University
of Michigan to accept respon-
sibility for housing a reasonable
portion of its student body.
THE UNIVERSITY'S r a p i d
expansion during the late fif-
ties and early sixties drove va-
cancy rates down in both the
student and non - student hous-
ing markets. This trend has con-
tinued during the past fifteen
years. In 1960 the vacancy rate
for the city was only 5.8 per
cent; in 1970 it was a meager
3.5 per cent; in 1976 the rate
dropped to 1.4 per cent city-
wide, with a less than .5 per
cent vacancy rate in the down-
town / campus area where most
students reside. A vacancy rate
of between six and eight per

cent is recommended by HUD
to ensure that renters live in
properly maintained and fairly
pricer housing.
The result of this ever shrink-
ing vacancy rate in Ann Arbor
has been that landlords have
been able to fill the existing
housing supply regardless of
its condition, regardless of its
price. The rental market has
been opened wide for exploita-
tion by disreputable business-
men, hoping to make a quick
buck at the expense of the stu-

office of Off Campus Housing,
for a two bedroom apartment
in the downtown/campus area
is $292.47; rent for a four bed-
room house averages $426.95,
forcing students to either dig
more money out of their sav-
ings at the first of every month,
or to cram more friends into
the available space. And what
do student tenants get for their
money?
At the December 3rd meeting
of the Mayor's Fair Rental
Practices Committee, organized

'Despite a definitive policy of "no growth"
instituted in 1,968 after the completion of
Bursley and Baits on North Campus, the
university enrollment has risen by almost
4,000 students with a significant 1,112
jump in fall of 1975. During this time there
has been no growth in the existing housing
stock. Construction of new rental housing
has virtually stopped . ..
.ma. . . . . . . *.*** .* .*am. *. .*. . ... . . .s

IN ADDITION, Gardne
ed that the most common
tions involve: no fire sto1
combustible storage space
ardous wiring, lack of g
cleanliness, too few exit
inadequate heating.
All this comes as no su
to students in Ann Arbor
after leaving or being
out of the dormitories b
of insufficient space, f
bleak situation in the of
pus rental community.
find sub-standard housing
a myriad. of code viol;
manyofdwhich Gardner
mention: walls thin as
doors that don't properly
privacy, paint that hasn'
recoated in years, plaste
ing, plumbing leaks ,apar
infested with roaches an
vermin. And there is r
they can do about it. TI
too little to chose from.
IN 1974 THE University
ed only 33 per cent of its
students. Forty-six perc
the remaining students
med themselves into the'
rental units surrounding
pus. Despite a definitive
of "no growth" institu
1968 after the complet
Bursley and Baits on
Campus, the university
ment has risen by almos
students with a significat
jump in fall of 1975. Duri
time there has been no
in the existing housing
Construction of new rents
ing has virtually stopped
downtown'camnus area
1969. Since 1960, 2800
spaces have been lost

gotta need money bad to do this kind of
work."
Or be writing an article about it. For
me, picking grapes was an experience,
another side of French life which I could
look into. But for some of the fellows I
worked with, it was a way of life. As I
write this article, sitting in a nice warm
living room on Thompson Street, it's
easy to think back on the "great experi-
ence". But I know that Manuel and Pepe
are still out there somewhere, picking
grapes, olives, oranges, or potatoes. And
they probably will be for years to come.
Paul O'Donnell is an LSA senior and
former European correspondent to The
Daly.
housing
r stat- student-tenant community as a
viola- result of demolitions and con-
ppings, versions.
e, haz-
eneral With plans for a new engi-
s, and neering school in the making,
with a potential rise in LSA en-
rollment by as many as 500 stu-
urprise dents in the fall of 1976, with
r who, the $5.6 million HUD fund re-
forced servation loan returned to
ecause Washington, with all University
ind a schools wishing to maintain
f-cam- their allowed enrollment quotas,
They it seems that the worst is yet
g with to come for University of Michi-
ations, gan students.
didn't
paper, WHERE WILL THEY all
assure live? Admittedly students, at
t been present are all finding spaces.
er fall- But of what quality are these
I other dwellings? How much higher
nothing can the rents go? Many more
here is studentstare commuting to
school than ever before. How
has this effected the quality of
y hous- their education? How will this
3 33o0s- effect the national reputation
of the University of Michigan as
cent of a quality institution? Something
cram- has to be done, and fast.
private In 1968 the President's Com-
camn- mission on Urban Unrest de-
policy termined that poor housing was
ted in a primary cause for urban up-
ion of risings. If nothing is done about
North the housing crisis in Ann Ar-
enroll- bor, and soon, there will de-
st 4.000 velop within the next few
nt 1,112 years, a tenant community as
ng this militant and angry as any
growth where else in the colntry; a
stock. tenant community that will be
al hous- fi'lly aware that the University
in the of Michigan was partially to
since blame for this critical housing
living nroblem and didn't do a single
by the thing to help.

Editorial Staff

dent - tenant community, not
giving them adequate mainte-
nance for their high rental dol-
lar.
ANN ARBOR RENTS are con-
sidered the second highest in
the nation. In 1974 Ann Arbor
spent about 30 per cent of their
income on rent, 20 per cent
more than that spent by renters
in other U. S. cities of 50,000 or
more inhabitants Average rents,
determined by the University

by Mayor Wheeler to come up
with remedial as well as pre-
ventive solutions to the Ann Ar-
bor housing crisis, George Gard-
ner, Director of the city's De-
partment of Building and Safety
Engineering, stated that in al-
most every building in Ann Ar-
bor there is some sort of hous-
ing code violation. He said that
between 35-50 per cent of the
buildings have serious fire and
safety hazards.

ROB MEACHUM
Co-Editors-in-Chief

BILL TURQUE

JEFF RISTINE................Managing Editor
TIM SCHICK . .............. Executive Editor
STEPHEN HERSH ............ Editorial Director
JEFF SORENSEN ................... Arts Editor
CHERYL PILATE...............Magazine Editor

r

Shah
To The Daily:
ON SATURDAY, January 24,
1976, the Shah's fascist regime
executed another nine Iranian
patriots. Branded as "commu-
nists," "terrorists," and charg-
ed with "jeopardizing the secur-
ity of the state," these nine re-
volutionaries have been among
the one hundred-fifteen political
prisoners murdered under tor-
ture or executed by the Shah's
regime since the Siahkal battle
of 1971.
Since the CIA coup d'etat of
1953, Iranians have been sys-
tematically terrorized by the
Pahlavi regime. Torture, mass
murder (15,000 killed in the
1963 uprising) and firing squad
executions are fact of life which
Iranians have been constantly
struggling against.

Letters
assassinations
To The Daily:
I WAS GREATLY disturbed
to read in your columns from
a lawyer defending the mur-
ders of the Kennedy brothers.
He said, with only too much
truth, that assassination had al-
ways been part of politics. So
has war. So has graft. And
which of the three has done the
most harm I don't know.
Four American presidents
have been murdered and many
others have suffered attempts
against their life. Some hun-
dreds of other prominent kings,
premiers, dictators, presidents
and other European or Asiatic
potentates holding important of-
ficial posts have been murder-
ed. In only a handful of cases
has any good resulted; in most
cases obvious harm was done,
to the nation as well as to the

to Jh4
LET US TAKE assassination
at its best, not at its worst (as
when Booth deprived the United
States of the services of Abra-
ham Lincoln); let us take Char-
lotte Corday's killing of Marat.
Marat was an evil ruler who
had caused the death of hun-
dreds of innocent persons. Char-
lotte was a devoted woman,
moved by the highest ideals.
But what was the result of her
action? In revenge, a general
massacre of almost the whole of
Charlotte's own party, the Gir-
ondins. Brutus may have been
as high-minded as Shakespeare
represents him (though there is
a difference of opinion among
historians on that voint), hut the
killing of Caesar did not'hing to
save the Roman Republic, it
merely loosed a new civil war
and enthroned another dictator.
As for the Kennedys, the law-
yer is quoted as saying that

To The Daily:
THROUGHOUT NEC
TIONS for UAW Loca
Carolyn Weeks in part
and CDU in general, a
the bargaining committi
give up agency shop in th
of securing a higher w
crease. At that time
seemed to feel that a
membershop was not imp
At the ratification meetir
accused the committeec
ing out for agency shop
accused the committee o
agency shop to force pe
join the union since they
pay anyway.

e Daily

(D(I Now CDU seems to feel that
numbers are important, that
they are an indication of our
GOTIA- strength. Now CDU goes so far
1 2001, as to advocate that non-mem-
ticular, bers be forced out of their
advised jobs (CDU flyer No. 16: "no
ee to non-union members doing cler-
he hope ical work"). It seems to me
age in- that this is a very extreme po-
CDU sition and quite a reversal from
large their past position. It is also,
ortant. I believe, an illegal position.
ng they
of sell- I am really beginning to won-
; they der how we can trust these
f using people to lead and represent
ogle to us.

had to

Jewell Penn
Jan. 27

..*.............. ......."::.:.... .-: .t

Contacf your

reps-

Sen. Phillip Hart (1)em), 253 Russell Bldg., Capitol hill,

q mr I Th.i1 ..

I

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