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May 30, 1975 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1975-05-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Friday, May 30, 1975
News Phone: 764-0552
Relief for squeezed bikers
)URING WARM SUMMER afternoons, bicyclists take to
the road for leisurely treks along some winding drive
or other leading out of town. There's one major problem
with those rides. The cars that also travel along those
winding drives do not travel at leisure, and they're con-
vinced that bicycles make good practice targets for a
sometimes fatal game of dodgem cars.
In the year ending last June, there were 79 bike acci-
dents in Ann Arbor. Luckily, none were fatal.
A lot can be said against bicycles using major roads.
They are much slower than their gas-guzzling counter-
parts, and thus present a very real traffic hazard. Their
riders,-especially the younger ones, have an amazing ten-
dency to disregard traffic rules and make sharp turns
without signalling.
Consider, however, the poor bicyclists' plight. There
are 35,000 bikes in Ann Arbor, which might make for
something of a crowd if they all had to ride on the side-
walks.
A HAPPY MEDIUM between the sidewalks and the busy
streets might be secondary roads or side streets. The
joy of riding along a traffic-free side street diminishes
noticably when it dwindles into a cul-de-sac without
warning. Outside of town, secondary roads often become
gravel or dirt, unpleasant enough when you ride down
them in a closed, air-conditioned car, let along an open
air bicycle.
The best alternative to this mess, one that would
make bicyclists estatic, would be a massive expansion
of bicycle trails in and around Ann Arbor. The bike trail
to North Campus is a good example. Paved and away
from traffic, it keeps most of the bicyclists happy and
off the road.
New bike trails would cost a good deal of money,
but federal, state and local revenues can be obtained to
cover that. Safety for bicyclists and relief for beleaguered
drivers and pedestrians is worth the price.
PIRGIM REPORTS

Tenant's Corner
Not enough ispectors
By LARRY COOPERMAN tion of the set date by which Some preliminary steps tow,
ONE OF THE issues involved repairs are to be made, bar- ards correcting the situation
is the recent city budget ring extensions of the time lim- would be to enlarge the staff
controversy has been how much it, an all too frequent occur- so that each rental unit caa
funding should be allotted fo r rence. Thus, the housing code's be inspected as often as the
building inspectors. Essentially, teeth are poorly developed and
the issue boils down to what is have decayed from disuse. code requires, and to make vis-
the minimum number of inspec- FOR TENANTS who are wil- lation of the code a criminal
tors needed for which ,philoso- ling to go through the bureau- offense, as it is in Ypsilanti.
phy of code enforcement. Under cratic rigmarole and who rely The criminals of the horising
the Republican administration, on the building officials to en- crisis should be treated as such
there have been four actual
building inspectorsrand I h r e e . .* ...,.,,.,..,,, ... .*..*...* .**..*..*.**.. ..* .**
supervisors. Their philosophy ;:::";":":.....:....:......
has been one of passive c o d e "Rental units are inspected once every ten
enforcement, responding only
to irate tenants, and, even then, years on the average, as opposed to once every
often unsatisfactorily. Rental two years, as the code requires.
units are inspected once every
ten years, on the average, as "s,-ss:<,s,;se;;s:.ssv' s:::'""""::::::::.: .:.:.:r..,
opposed to once every two
years, as the code requires. sure that there is a certain level when they flagrantly disregard
While the number and quality of maintenance, the problem is human needs. Rather, they are
of the inspectors may be defic- twofold: 1) the building staff is now rewarded with the extra
ient, there is also a problem small and has a total lack of profits that accrue to the slum-
with the housing code itself. aggressiveness in enforcing the lord.
The "teeth" of the code is a code, and 2) the code is lacking
fine of not less than five dol- in that it does not effectively re- Larry Cooperman is c
lars per day per violation. This quire quick and timely compli- member of the Ann Arbor
fine is levied after the expira- ance with its provisions. Tenants Union.
Rally today
Namidia: Call for reform
By The Movement for a New Society Blacks may not work in "white" jobs, live i
NAMIBIA IS AN African country adjoining "white" areas and may not even use whit
South Africa. It has a population of just over bathrooms.
half a million with an 80 per cent Black major- An armed liberation struggle is in progress in
ity. The country is rich in mineral resources, es- Namibia.
pecially diamonds. The white regime in South A group of students has formed on campus
Africa presently occupies the territory, despite to bring Namibia to the attention of the Ann
reneated UN resolutions calling on it to withdraw. Arbor community. They are members of the
The U.S. has supported South Africa several African Student Association, the Movement for
times in the UN over Namibia, and continues to a New Society (MNS) and others. MNS is or
supply the regime with strategic materials in the ganizing nation-wide to increase awareness about
face of UN sanctions. an area where the U.S. is as heavily involved as
U.S. corporations are heavily invested in Nam- in south-east Asia in the early 60's, and as
ibia where they profit from the plentiful supply explosive.
of black labor. Blacks may not vote; they receive THEY ARE BEGINNING by holding a rally
little education and are forced to work as migrant on the Diag to disseminate information on Friday,
laborers for the whites. The policy of Apartheid May 30, at 11:30 a.m., with a movie in the eve-
is applied equally to 'Namibia as in South Africa. ning in MLB Lecture Room 1.

Working full-time in the public interest

By JOSEPH S. TUCHINSKY
A LTHOUGH this is tIe ' ast
PIRGIM REPORTS c o I-
umn until the fall, PIRGIM's
work goes on. The summer is
generally our busiest time, when
we start the research phase of
many of the new projets to 'e
released in the coming year.
Srmmer school students at
MSU can now support PTiSICIM
for the first time. Startii tlbs
year, the same voluntary $1 con-
tribution system used in tal,
winter, and spring quarters 'sil
be available at summer term
registration, too. The : t r a
money will be ised to finance
more nrojects. If you're attend-
ing MSU this summer, we hope
you'll check Yes to support PIR-
GIM.
We have j u s t annrounced
awards to the five stuident.s who
will participate in this year's
summer internship program.
The students, chosen f r o m
more than 70 applicants, will
work full-time on puli: interest
research and advocacy w i t ))
PIRGIM's professional staff in
Lansing, receiving a $600 stip-
end for the summer.
SELECTED WERE.
Nina Bunin, 26, a University
of Michigan graduate student in
the School of Natural Resources.
John Chapman, 19, a sopho-
more in MSU's public policy
school, J a m e s Madison Col-
lege.
Patrick Lyons, 20, an MSU

junior majoring in social sci-
ence.
Lawrence Lempert, 23, a fir.3t-
year student at the University
of Michigan Law School.
David Klein, 23, also a first-
year law student at the Univer-
sity of Michigan.
The interns were chose by a
committee composed of four
students and a profesaional staff
member, appointed bv 2R-
GIM's student board of direc-
tors. After publicizing the avail-
ability of the positionso:s PIR-
GIM's five member car.-puscs,.
the committee evaluated each
application and interviewed
about half of those who anplied.
"Selection was really tough,"
said Ben Bifoss, a Central Mich-
igan University senior who was
a member of the selection cnn-
mittee. "More than twice as
many people applied this year
as last year. And mane of
them were obviously well qeal-
ified."
THE COMMITTEE basnd its,
decisions on academic abilby,
previous social-change exper-
ience, writing ability, and pos-
sessions of skills particularly
relevant to PIRGIM' , summer
projects.
According to Bifoss, the in-
terns will be working on a wide
variety of projects. PIRGIM
is planning studies on deceptive
practices in apartmect rentals,
state support for puolic vs. pri

vale transportation systems,
and environmental review pol-
icies on state highway construc-
tion projects. In addition, we
are preparing briefs for inter-
vention in utility rate cases be-
fore the Public Service Con..
mission and preparing lawsuits
on several government reform
issues.
In addition to these new pro- .
jects entering their initial stag-
es, a number of previous pro-
jects are still in progress.
PIRGIM lobbyists are still
pressing for passage of HB
4296, a state law which, if pas-
sed, would require deposits on
all soft drink and beer contain-
ers sold in Michigan. In part
because of stiff opposition, this
bill is stalled is the I1o u s e
Consumers Committee.
ONE FACTOR in its favor is
an exhaustive report on the
economic effects of passage of.
the bill, now being completed
by the Michigan Public Service
Commission. The study covers
energy savings, solid-waste
benefits, economic effects on
brewers, bottlers, distributors,
and retailers, and net employ-
ment effects. Rumors in Lansing
hold that most facts in the re-
port are so favorable to pas-
sage that some industry-orient-
ed officials in the Comnaission's
parent body, the Department of
Commerce, are pressuring for
changes in the report or, failing
that, hoping to delay release un-

til too late to affect the legis-
lation.
Another piece of PIRGIIt-sup-
ported legislation, the Consumer
Protection Act, has just got-
ten out of committee 'n the
Senate where it is numbered
SB 2. The Senate Judiciary Com-
mittee, headed by Sen. Basil
W. Brown (D-Highland Park)

amendments on the Senate floo
which restore the bill to esser
tially the form in which it 'as
introduced, we expect to OP
pose the Senate bill and wor
for passage of the House ver
sion, HB 4433, sponsorelb
Rep. Joseph Forbes (D-0
Park).

G
C
C
tS
t

sdded so many weakening joehS.Tci sk.sh
amendments that PIRGIM and Joseph S. Tuchmsky is th
other consumer-organization Executive Director of t h
supporters are now opposed to Public Interest Researd
he bill. Unless there are Group in Michigon.
SUPR5EME Cottr o0%146 SMKANc gceS 1-0b 1Z SCRUMWI/eaN-1eAptt
OPC
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