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November 19, 1982 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-11-19

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OPINION

Friday, November 19, 1982

The Michigan Daily

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Blanchard: Aman in a

minefield

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By Chris P'arks

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NSING- Gov.-elect James Blanchard is
tng like a man who is entering a political
fefield without a map.
hie 40-year-old Washington politician is
bring gingerly onto the somewhat unfamiliar
sing turf, stressing continuity and
E|eration with the outgoing Republican
sernor while he lays the groundwork for
;e bold economic moves when his own ad-
bistration takes over in January.
WHEN HE won election two weeks ago, the
u-term Democrat from the Detroit suburb of
fasant Ridge said Michigan's chief executive
the toughest job of any governor in
Oerica.
nd he may not be exaggerating.
ichigan is saddled with the nation's highest
J mployment rate at 16,1 percent, a potential
e budget deficit of $170 million less than two
months into the fiscal year and a $2 billion
t to the federal government for unem-
ment compensation.
ADDITION, while electing their first
nocraticgovernor in 20 years, Michigan
mars last week slightly weakened the party's
on both houses of the state Legislature.
the Senate, the balance will be especially
carious. Blanchard cannot afford more than
ie Democratic defection on any given issue in

the upper chamber. Some lawmakers already
have served notice they intend to use this new
found leverage for all it is worth.
SO BLANCHARD'S initial steps have been
very cautious ones as he strives to avoid
alienating either Republicans or Democrats.
He has been stressing, in particular, the cor-
dial nature of his relations with outgoing
Republican Gov. William Milliken and the ad-
ministration's transition team.
"THERE ARE so many items that we all
have to deal with and I think we have to deal
with them in a bipartisan fashion and a smooth
fashion," he said.
"I intend to keep this thing on track in a
positive, bipartisan and amiable fashion."
The major threat to that upbeat scenario is a
move by the Senate's ruling Democrats to
prevent the lame duck Milliken from making
any further appointments and force him to
withdraw those already pending. Democrats
say Blanchard should not be saddled with too
many holdovers from the outgoing Republican
administration.
BLANCHARD AT first expressed support for
the move but, after a meeting with Milliken,
was more cautious. He acknowledged it is im-
portant that "whatever functions in gover-
nment must continue, continue," adding "I'm
sure we can work out whatever problems there
are."

"The problems that we all face go well
beyond who's going to have what job and what
party they come from."
This week, members of Blanchard's tran-
sition team passed the word that the governor-
elect believes the hard-line stance should be
reconsidered.
BLANCHARD acknowledges Michigan's
most immediate problems are the possible
budget deficit, overhauling the unemployment
compensation system and repaying its debt
and finding a source of new revenue for hard-
pressed highway and mass transit programs.
But he seems more than willing to let
Milliken take the lead on those issues during
the current lame duck session-further eviden-
ce that the moderate Blanchard has more in
common with the incumbent governor than the
conservative Republican he defeated Nov. 2.
"OBVIOUSLY, any progress on any of the
issues we deal with that Milliken can accom-
plish I would be. grateful for, whether its
helping straighten out the budget or dealing
with unemployment compensation or enacting
a good transportation package," he said.
"I hope the Legislature will cooperate with
him because we share very similar goals. I
don't think our viewpoints would vary on those
subjects a great deal."
Parks is Lansing bureau chief for United
Press International.

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Photo by DEBORAH LEWIS#
Does Blanchard face the toughest job of any governor in America?

_ _ ___

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Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

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-M GRENT §ocET'I ?RO6RAM WER
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S1OUL-EGA&T RVDOFOTEM

Vol. XCIII, No. 62

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a mdjority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

'A 'Bullet' for California

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7 Ao E P'ROXRAMS WRE AED

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T MIGHT NOT be surprising that
Southern California - the land of
a tomobiles, smog, and urban sprawl
- is about to become the proving
gIound for technology which could,
revolutionize rail transportation in the
[united States.
W,~hat is surprising is that the ex-
iriment may end up making a profit.
)n Wednesday, a group of
1 sinessmen released an engineering
design for a high-speed passenger
ilway between Los Angeles and San
Oego. When finished, the trains on the
route will travel between the cities at
average speed of 125 miles per hour.
1'he potential benefits of the system
ate enormous. Besides reducing
travel time between Los Angeles and
Sin Diego, the new rail system will
e~duce congestion on the area's
t1eways. That reduction in traffic
41 lead to a corresponding decrease
air pollution. And, since trains are,
r passenger mile, the least expen-
sve form of transportation, the new
sstem will give Californians a cheap
ternative to flying or driving bet-
en the two cities. Unlike similar
ntures in the United States in the
past, the company building the
0alifornia system has much of its
financing arranged already. Earlier
this year, the California legislature
dreed to issue $1.25 billion in state
revenue bonds for the project. That,
g4mbined with a promise from the
dapanese government to -help the
0 oject locate money for 25 percent of
e construction costs, means the

businessmen have almost 75 percent of
the capital needed to start the project.
The involvement of Japan is
significant. Japan, unlike the United
States, has developed its rail transpor-
tation network in the past two decades.
Japan's high-speed "Bullet Trains,"
after which the California project is
modeled, actually clear a profit -
something unheard of in the U.S.
passenger rail system. the backers of
the California project hope to imitate
the Japanese railroad's financial suc-
cess.
In this sense, the California project
won't just benefit Californians. In past
years, as the private American
railroads have faltered, federal, state,
and local governments have been for-
ced to take over the nation's passenger
rail service. Using outmoded and inef-
ficient equipment - and plagued by
chronic operating deficits - American
service has become slow, expensive,
and uncomfortable. If the project in
California is a success, that could
change.
A successful "Bullet Train" in
California might spur construction of
similar systems in the United States,
and overall ridership on trains could
increase. Increased investment, bet-
ter service, and increased ridership
could reduce the rail industry's depen-
dence on government subsidies. The
governmental burden of supporting
rail service could decline, and the
American rail system - after years of
neglect - could finally see some long-
overdue improvements.

TMAT THEWY WORKED

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Ed. Sch ool coverage distorted positions

To the Daily:.
In its coverage of the School of
Education hearings, the Daily
failed to report accurately the
kind of support, and non-support,
that the School of Education
received. I was myself present in
some of the hearings, and was
surprised by what I would read
next day in the Daily regarding
what I had heard in the meetings.
Overall, most support went not
to the whole school, but to
relatively small and peripheral,
though perhaps outstanding,
programs within the school, such
Kneejerk
To the Daily:
I feel compelled to write this
letter in response to a statement
made by Ellen Iindquist in her
letter "Mob Behavior at 'U',"
which appeared in the Daily on
Nov. 16.
Ms. Lindquist was the target of
a round of "heckles, jeers, and
otherwise obscene" gestures
from a group of fraternity mem-
bers posing for a picture. She
makes the ridiculous and
-1, .--_+- ---I . 4-

as the Center for the Study of
Higher Education and the Speech
& Hearing programs (both of
which, incidentally, were not
even part of the school a few
years ago).
The article apparently failed to
notice this, making it sound as if
the whole school was always
praised. The bigger programs,
such as Curriculum & Instruc-
tion, Educational Psychology,
Educational Administration,
Guidance & Counseling, received
little or no support, something
which was early noticed by one of
the speakers in the hearings, and
bourgeois
likely at other large universities.
Because of the students' general
unfamiliarity with people like
construction workers, an
inherent prejudice has gradually
been cultivated.
It is a truly deplorable situation
when a woman's response to ver-
bal harassment by fraternity
men, a phenomenon which I
would guess is commonplace in
Ann Arbor, is to mention that she
Pynpetpd that cnrt oi-f hhaiir

which should definitely raise
some questions regarding the
amount of support received by
the whole school.
As a specific example of your
coverage, consider the following:
The article quoted a speaker,
Prof. Fred Whims, in an out of
context way that gave the reader
the impression that Prof. Whims
supported the whole School of
Education ("400 Pack Ed. School
Hearings," Daily, Oct. 27).
In fact, when Prof. Whims said
that "the state needs a center of
excellence in education," he
meant specifically a center for
the study of higher education,
for he was speaking in support of
only higher education studies in
the school, not in support of the
whole school.
I remember that he even stated
that he did not care so much as to
what the review committee
decided the fate of the school
should be, but only that the
higher education studies
program remains unaffected by
that decision. Other speakers
who spoke favorably for the

Speech & Hearing program also
thought that the program itself
could be easily transferred to
another university unit without
doing it any harm.
Finally, in regards to the
usually large crowd that attended
the hearings, it was composed
largely of education faculty and
their associates, and their
families. It cannot be easily sur-
mised from its size alone, as the
Daily seems to have done, that
everyone present supported the
school in its present form. As for
the speakers, there is no evidence
that they represented general
opinion regarding the school, for
they were a self-selected group
that signed up early, thus filling
all the available slots. They were
more likely than not organized by
the school to come.
-Alex Makedon, PhD
Alumnus (1981) from the U-M
School of Education.
Principal, St. Nicholas School
Ann Arbor, Michigan
November 17

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