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February 19, 1986 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-02-19

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Page 4

Wednesday, February 19, 1986

The Michigan Daily


Gi 3~idpgan ai1g
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Food cooperative counters criticism

Vol. XCVI, No. 99

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board

Re-evaluate shelters

Association deserves com-
mendation for opening a new
daytime facility for the homeless.
It is simple decency to provide
these unfortunates with com-
panionship and a warm bed,
especially during Michigan's har-
shest winter months.
It would be ignoring reality,
however, to pretend that such
shelters deal with the underlying
causes of the homeless problem.
Rather than institutionalizing
shelters, public officials need to
concentrate on securing low-cost
housing and improving mental
health programs.
Necessary as they are for
stopgap accommodation, the
Huron Street and Arbor Haven
facilities can mask the insidious
socio-political origins of
homelessness. They also may
discourage guests from entering
mainstream society.
Those who need harboring, face
a chronic lack of low-cost housing.
The city claims to be working on
the problem. But progress is slow-
for political reasons.
The city helped to create the
homeless problems was increased
in 1983 by the condemnation of the
Downtown Club, a privately owned
building which had become a 68-
room street people denizen. For-
mer mayor Louis Belcher and his
fellow investors helped to renovate
the structure into office space.
Though they were asked to develop
low cost housing by represen-
tatives Lowell Peterson and Larry
Hunter (D-1st Ward), they found
the project overly expensive.
Destruction of single-room oc-
cupancies mirrors a recent
national trend. Cities began
restoring their neighborhoods and
median rent increased twice as
fast as income in the 1970's.
The Ann Arbor City Council's Af-
fordable Housing Task Force
finally acknowledged the low-cost
crunch here last year.

When it came to funding new
locations, however, the city bent to
political pressure from citizens
who oppose flophouses and
Councilman Lowell Peterson,
who has trumpeted his housing
initiatives, notes that the Huron
Street shelter is in his ward. It is
the same shelter that neighbors
despise, however,. Other council
members also seem wary of offen-
ding community sentiment.
Politicking thus prevents a
potential solution.
Another root cause of
homelessness is a failed mental
health system. For 30 years in-
stitutions have been releasing
patients judged as unthreatening
to society.
Unfortunately, up to 60 percent
of them live with delusions and
cannot function independently.
Promised government support
programs have not materialized.
Shelter officials estimate that 60
percent of their guests are men-
tally ill - and the flow from neigh-
boring Ypsilanti State Mental
Hospital never stops.
Mental health treatment has
been yet another casualty of the
Reagan Administration. Stricter
welfare requirements have also
hurt, creating what some term a
"new poor."
Clearly, shelter advocates must
push for more mental treatment
programs such as therapy and
support groups. Spokesmen for the
Coalition for Unmet Needs, a
homeless support group, mention
legislative pressure, but they seem
apathetic. Instead, they pursue the
well-intentioned but short-sighted
path of homeless shelters.
It's time to re-evaluate decades
of court decisions. And it's time for
city officals to start listening and
opening their treasuries. Only then
can the homeless problem be
solved and shelters rendered un-

To the Daily:
We have read your article of
Wednesday, February 5 entitled
"Food Co-op to Remove Un-
sanitary Wooden Bins" which
referred to our organization,
People's Food Cooperative.
Normally, we welcome publicity,
but we felt that Kristin Pope's ar-
ticle provided little benefit to
People's Food Co-op, to the
community, or to The Daily.
I would like to address several
misleading impressions readers
may derive from the article, as
well as correct several errors:
" People's Food Co-op offers
organic and commercial food.
Organically grown and
chemically-fertilized foods may
be similar nutritionally, as stated
in the article. However, we
suggest that it may be to the con-
sumers' advantage to eat organic
foods, not only to avoid ingesting
toxins, but to draw support away
from those producers of
pesticides and insecticides which
contribute to environmental
pollution and damage.
" Insect control is a concern of
the entire food industry. The
eggs of grain beetles and other
insects existhin most grain, and
arrive with most shipmen-
ts-unless, of course, the grain
has been treated with poison or
irradiated. According to William
Casello, Horticulture Agent with
Washtenaw County Cooperative
Extension Service, "Grain from
the field and after processing also
contains contaminants. The
government tells us what amount
of contaminants are acceptable
and not dangerous to health.
More contaminants probably
arrive with the grain than from
insects which may enter after
stocking the grain. Obviously,
the longer a food is stored, the
greater the chance of more con-
tamination." (The stock of PFC
grain turns over often.) Casello,
who is a degree biologist, also
stated that there is very little
dangertwith the storage of dry
grain; it is when moisture is in-
troduced that organisms may
develop which cause health
We welcome the Health Depar-
tment or Department of
Agriculture to inspect our bins at
any time.
" People's Food Co-op is not
soliciting funds from its mem-
bers for the sole purpose of
replacing our Packard store's
wooden bins, as stated in the ar-
ticle. A member share proposal
will be voted on by the member-
ship in March, which is designed
to build a solid capital base for
store improvements and
operations, and enhance the
member's feeling of ownership.
" Membership fees were inac-
curately and incompletely cited.
Annual membership fees at PFC
are $10 per household, plus $2 for
every individual member of the
household over 16. Four and
eight-month memberships are
available; however, 99 percent of
our members choose a 12-month
" Red meat is not carried at
either of our stores; we do carry
chicken and fish at our Packard
store. Although the nutritionist

quoted in the article cautioned
against dropping red meat from
one's diet, it is common
knowledge in the United States
today that cutting down on con-
sumption of red meat may be
beneficial to one's health. As you
stated in your article, the eight
essential amino acids can be ob-
tained from grains, beans, and
dairy products.
" A major characteristic of
People's Food Cooperative
missing from Ms. Pope's article
is that it is a cooperative-a
business owned by its members,
which exists to serve its mem-
bers (not to maximize profit).
Many people choose to shop at
PFC because it is a
cooperative, not just to buy

cheap cheese.
What was the purpose of the ar-
ticle? To create a controversy
where none exists? To educate
the student community about
PFC? The article was a con-
fusing array of statements which
made no particular point. If Ms.
Pope's purpose was to inform,
she failed to meet her goal.
Several points are touched upon,
but no topic was adequately ad-
We are somewhat mystified
that the article focused on a set of
wooden bins. Is there not
something more useful to write
about the PFC to benefit The
Daily's readers?
Regardless of her mission in
writing about the Co-op, we had

hoped that Ms. Pope at least
present accurate information. As
PFC's public relations staff per-
son, I emphasize accurate
representation of People's Food
Co-op to the community. The
amount of misinformation this
article contains is alarming. My
request to proofread the article
before it went to press was
We are very disappointed in the
quality of your article; it lacked
focus and contained many errors
and misleading statements.
Responsible journalism is the
duty of The Daily's editors and
reporters. -Kirsten Jensen
Member Services Director
For People's Food Cooperative
February 10


Realism lacking in evaluation of


To the Daily:
Congratulations. Once again,
I'm utterly amazed at the Daily's
ability at verbal diarrhea when it
comes to espousing a knee-jerk
liberal viewpoint. Why does the
Daily feel that it is incumbent on
them to support every left of cen-
ter cause that rolls on by? I refer
specifically to Henry Park's
editorial entitled "U.S. Gover-
nment Leads Terror," which
takes the Daily's rabid ravings to
a new low.
Come on, Henry, don't you
think you're getting a bit on the
hackneyed side here? This
recurring theme of the US being
the perpetual bad guy keeps
cropping up, and let's not forget
the obligatory swipe at those
nasties at the CIA. Everyone
knows those boys roast babies on
spits, or at least that's what the
locals (MSA, LASC) would have
us believe. Frankly I'm getting a
little tired of this.
When are you people going to
get your heads out of your
hankies and see what the world is
all about? I think a little realism
is in order here. The U.S. is
guilty of a lot of things, but these
poor little "Third World" nations
aren't exactly bastions of in-
nocence either. You all sob and
moan about the oppressed
masses, when a lot of them are
more involved in "terrorism"
than we are. What I'm trying to
say is that there are no innocents
in this game.
You can't just lay blame on the
large nations of the world for

every bit of violence that exists. for a lot of people who think we
Every country on this planet has disgusted with it. Do us a fav
some history of violence against surprise us one of these days a
civilians whether a large country quit blaming the US for all
was involved or not. This one- world's problems without ind
sided bull that continues to spew ting the rest of the guilty parti
forth from 420 Maynard is typical Thomas Go
of the Daily, and I think I speak February
In defense of Mr. Norris
To the Daily: As many other Univer
I write in response to articles students, Mr. Norris has e
printed very recently regarding ployment through College W
Mr. Lawrence Norris, chair of Study. It is not fair for anyone
the Michigan Student Assembly's assume that because of his e
Minority Affairs Committee. It ployment, he would ever co
appears that much concern has prms hspiniys rc
abe ive MrNori psit promise his principles or cc
been given to Mr. Norris' position mitment and be "bought out,"
with MSA and his College Work one MSA official suggests. Si
Study employment with Vice- because Mr. Norris h
President Niara Sudarkasa. One ply
wonerswhy Wh shuldMSA agreed with Vice-Presid4
officials be concerned with the Sudarkasa on some issues do
offiialsbe oncenedwiththenot dictate that she has in a
employment'of a fellow MSA of- way threatened his employmei
ficial? Why should a student Vice-President Sudarkasa is
publication contain malapropos excellent an administrator
articles about the same? too sincere a person to ei
Lawrence Norris has been ac- suggest that one would lose aj
tive in minority affairs for quite because she/he did not act acc
some time. His position in MSA ding to her requisitions; 1
shows that he is qualified to per- would rather prompt a person
form well, and for the best in- act on her/his own thinking. A
terest of minorities. He is looked if Mr. Norris' CWS job with a
upon as one of the best minority employer was threatened,
leaders at this university and is there not hundreds of other C1
also noted as a person with strong jobs available on this caml
principles and values. Mr. Norris each semester?
has stressed on more than one It is a sadstate of affairs w
occasion that his first priority is
working to obtain his goals of people, who are workingest
acadmic ucces an secndlyturn and focus their attention
working to fulfill histcommitment the personal interests of t
and responsibility to minorities peersonhi alitre ssuofts
and the position which he holds. peers. This paltry issue is
wrvthv tn be so misleada~in



n to


teachers accessible

To the Daily:
Alatn Paul's article "Why Does
RC Dominate Hopwoods?"
(1/30/86) contains several false
assumptions. The Residential
College's success at the Hopwood
Awards results largely from that
college's emphasis on creative
writing. Most students in LSA do
not take creative writing classes;
the college requirement is a
course in composition, a
discipline which includes more
than artistic expression. Com-
position classes teach skills other
than fiction writing, and prepare
the student to write in a variety of
modes across the curriculum.

Warren Hecht's assertion-that
the teachers of LSA composition
classes "don't have as much time
or interest tospend with their
students" is incorrect. Though
most teachers of composition at
the University of Michigan are
graduate students, we care very
much about our students and are
readily accessible to them in
class, conferences, office hours,
and by telephone. We, like Hecht,
work hard to "teach the kids."
-Elizabeth Young
Young is a graduate student
who teaches composition.

w uy wL10 uacuagy
highlighted. It is even more
distressing when one reads that
the Michigan Daily's Editorial
Board suggest that Mr. Norris
resign from his position and that
he has an "anti-MSA stance."h
This view is repugnant. The
board (nor MSA officials) has not
clearly shown that Mr. Norris has
not always acted in the best in-
terest of minorities. Neither has
sufficient evidence been provided
that would prove that he has or
ever will adhere to threatening
As MSA Vice-President Philip
Cole said in one of the articles,
"The people who make a big deal
out of this have nothing else to do
with their time."-Michael Nelson
February 7

Loyalty to the Lady

THE STATUE of Liberty has
long been a symbol of hope to
the millions of people who have
come to the United States in search
of a better life. To commemorate
the statue's upcoming one hun-
dredth anniversary, a massive
campaign has been undertaken to
restore both the statue and Ellis
Island, the processing center
where millions of immigrants first
set foot on American soil.
The firing of Lee Iacocca from
the government advisory com-
mission on the restoration of the
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
raised the question of whether the
development of the island will in
any way reflect the experiences of
those immigrants. Secretary of the
Interior Donald Hodel claims that
the fact that Iacocca was
simultaneously head of the Statue
of Liberty-Ellis Island fundraising
foundation and a member of the
advisory commission constituted a
conflict of interest. Iacocca,
hnva ar i.nci t. 4c, h i fi, r~ icti

not convincing. If he truly felt that
Iacocca's holding office on more
than one commission constituted a
conflict of interest he could have
simply refused to reappoint Iacoc-
ca last fall. Besides, if having a
hand in both the raising and spen-
ding of funds constitutes a conflict
of interest all of our legislators
would be disqualified from office.
Iacocca's charge that the
Secretary of the Interior wants a
luxury hotel and conference center
built on the two-thirds of the island
not restored to its original state is
disturbing, particularly since this
policy would be consistent with the
department's policy of commer-
cializing and privatizing national
Despite what Hodel may think,
most immigrants did not stay at a
Hyatt Regency upon landing at
Ellis Island. A better way of reflec-
ting the immigrant experience
would be a park that would
celebrate the ethnic heritages and
1 ivac~ o~f imigrntsTnfand.ofn


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