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January 26, 1988 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1988-01-26

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C

OPINION

Page 4

Tuesday, January 26, 1988

The Michigan Daily

t tiigan tng
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCVIII, No. 80 St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. All other
cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.
Consumers shouldn't have to pay
for Detroit Edison's mistakes:
F1erm 11 Costs too much

Fleming responds to Daily

MIRED IN OPERATIONAL delays
and cost overruns, Michigan's
fourth nuclear power plant, Fermi
II, recently began providing power
and higher bills for Detroit Edison
customers.
Saturday's inauspicious start-up
does little to mute the many com-
plaints lodged against the plant by
environmentalists, politicians, state
officials, and Detroit Edison cus-
tomers.
While it was originally scheduled
to commence operation in 1974, the
plant wallowed for fourteen extra
years in construction, financial, and
safety delays. Between 1974 and
1977, construction on the almost
half-complete plant halted as infla-
tion and a sluggish economy re-
duced the feasibility of the plant.
Although construction was com-
plete in the early 1980s, many
safety considerations prevented
Permi from producing power. Just
months after its first nuclear reac-
tion in March 1985, Fermi experi-'
enced an operator error but ne-
glected to report the incident to the
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
(NRC) until after that agency had
given Detroit Edison license to op-
erate the plant. This error was so
egregious as to draw a $300,000
fine from the NRC and almost to
bfring criminal charges from the De-
partment of Justice. Ten months of
maintenance then closed the plant
until 1986, during which time 1.2
million gallons of mildly radioactive
water spilled from Fermi into
nearby Lake Erie.
1986 and 1987 were especially
bad years for the plant as it suffered
a noxious chlorine gas leak, an
electrical fire, cracks in steam pipes,
dangerously high temperature lev-.
els, power supply failures, and was
placed on at least three "most dan-
gerous nuclear plant" lists. Such
violations not only anchored
"Fermi's progress toward opera-
tional status, but also resulted in
$600,000 in fines, the most as-
sessed by the NRC on any plant
during the period.
.,Charges of cover-ups have
'plagued Detroit Edison for several
years. Fermi incurred fines and

nearly prosecution for the two-week
delay in reporting an operator error
to the NRC. The plant received a
$50,000 fine in part for falsified
security logs. In 1987, a former se-
curity official for the plant won a
$400,000 settlement after he
claimed he was demoted for in-
forming the NRC of security viola-
tions at the plant.
Such delays and fines have
significantly added to Fermi's
original $229 million price tag. The
fourteen extra years that the plant
has taken in "coming on line" have
allowed interest payments and in-
flation to increase the cost to $5.1
billion. Since 1985 alone the price
has risen $1.2 billion.
As might be expected, Detroit
Edison's 1.8 million ratepayers will
feel the consequences of these gross
cost overruns. Since Saturday, the
average power consumer paid an
additional $1.10 per month to ser-
vice this debt. Payments will
steadily escalate for the next five
years, at which time the average
consumer will be paying at least
18% (or $5.00) a month more than
if these costs weren't transferred to
them.
Already a fight is brewing over
whether consumers should incur
these costs. State Attorney General
Frank Kelley has initiated an effort
to prevent ratepayers from footing
the costs of what his assistant calls
"an unneeded and outrageously ex-
pensive" plant. If Detroit Edison
convinces the state utilities board to
allow all its proposed rate increases,
ratepayers could face up to 30% in-
creases in their power bills over the
next five years.
Detroit Edison has clearly over-
stepped its license to serve many
consumers in the Detroit
Metropolitan area. Gross misman-
agement has plagued Fermi II since
its inception, causing years of de-
lays and cost overruns. Originally
proposed as a cost efficient alterna-
tive to coal and oil plants, the Fermi
II nuclear plant has betrayed its
promise and Detroit Edison con-
sumers should not have to foot the
bill.

To the Daily:
On Thursday, January 14, you printed
material in the Michigan Daily which
indicated that my record on civil rights
during the 1960s and 1970s was "dismal."
I have given you a laudatory citation
which I received at a dinner in Detroit in
1970 at which the American Civil
Liberties Union, of which I have long
been a member, made the award.
Having attacked me for my alleged
stance on civil liberties during this period,
it seems to me that in any kind of
elemental fairness you owe me the
courtesy of printing this citation in full.
You need make no comment on it, and
you may state that you do so at my
request.
If you are unwilling to publish it, I can
only assume it is because you do not wish
the true record on my previous
administration to be available to the
University community.
-Robben W. Fleming
Interim President
January 15
The following is the complete text of
the citation Fleming received on December
6,1970:
Robben W. Fleming, as distinguished
leader of American education, and as Pres-
ident of the University of Michigan during
the three most tumultuous years of its
history, has exhibited his complete com-
mitment to the protection and enlargement
of civil liberties on the university campus.
This commitment has been manifest in
his words and his deeds. Perhaps more
effectively than any other American edu-
cator he has defended the duty of the
university to serve as the arena for the
clash of ideologies, and to do so not
timidly but proudly. He has extended the
facilities and support of the University of
Michigan to representatives of every point
of view, from the Grand Dragon of the Ku
Klux Klan to the Minister of Defense of
the Black Panther Party, not simply with
tolerance, but with relish, recognizing that
genuine openness, the willingness to lis-.
ten, to debate, to present one's arguments
in open forum and hear those of others, is
the heart of learning, the foundation of all

higher learning. His eloquent defenses of
this university function have been in the
best tradition of the American Civil Lib-
erties Union, of which he has been a long
time member. He has maintained at the
University of Michigan, as promised in
his inaugural address there, "a climate in
which controversy can flourish, and can do
so in an atmosphere of dignity and respect
for others." No citizen of Michigan, or
member of the University, however cri-
tical of particular acts or policies he may
be, can deny that such a climate of gen-
uine freedom does indeed flourish there,
and has been preserved courageously even
under the most extraordinarily difficult
circumstances.
Item: When the University was torn by
serious substantive disagreements on po-
licy early in 1970, a potentially incendiary
conflict challenged the libertarian ideals
President Fleming had so often expressed.
The ideals were realized in practice. In
spite of the heat from all sides, from
within and from without, all parties were
given maximal freedom to deliberate, to
gather on the campus, to present and argue
their position; rational debate, passionate
but not fanatical, was finally able to reach
agreements fully satisfactory to few, but
tolerable to all. There was, in President
Fleming's own words on another occa-
sion, "an end to non-negotiable demands, a
realization that there can be communica-
tion without agreement, an understanding
that not all differences are reconcilable, and
willingness to seek an honorable compro-
mise."
Item: President Fleming, and his
administrative associates, have frequently
participated in in the debates that rage on
the University campus, most notably in
the pages of the Michigan Daily, a fine
college newspaper, wholly student run.
That newspaper has often been bitterly
critical of him, and of administrative po-
licy, sometimes with significant impact
on the university community. The Michi-
gan Daily continues to enjoy, as its
masthead proudly proclaims, "Eighty years
of editorial freedom."
Item: President Fleming has spoken
candidly and acted firmly against the resort
to violence in the university. "Today's

seizure of buildings," he has written, "is
the preclude to tomorrow's burning of un-
popular books, and to the next day's
screening of professors to find those
whose views are acceptable." Against any
such silencing of individuals, or of the
rational process, he has been, as he urged
that we all be, "unbending."
Item: When asked by an investigative
agent of the State Legislature to report on
the speakers and other activities on the
Michigan campus, he responded at length,
not defensively, but with frankness and
pride. The voluminous response said (not
literally, but in effect) to all of us,
through our representatives in the Legis-
lature:
You are right in wanting to know
what goes on here; the University of
Michigan is yours, and in your ser-
vice. That service demands that every
conceivable intellectual and aesthetic
enterprise be welcome here, and that
we therefore report the thousands of
events that take place here with in-
tense satisfaction. As a university we
endorse the substance of no particular
speech, or play, or theory; as a uni-
versity we are proud of the enormous
range of events here represented. We
intend, as your instrument of higher
learning, to continue to serve you, by
protecting the complete freedom of
intellect and inquiry at whatever cost.
We think that is what you mean for
us to do. Join us, and support us, in
that on-going task.
The defense of freedom comes to its test
at the extremes, not at the comfortable
center, and therefore is rarely easy. In the
university, where the extremes reach fur-
thest, and in these days, when extremes
appear to many to be most threatening,
the defense of civil freedoms must be par-
ticularly strenuous and is at the same time
most fundamentally important. Robben
W. Fleming, ninth President of the Uni-
versity of Michigan, continues to engage
in that defense coolly and concretely, and
with a spirit of which members of the
American Civil Liberties Union, and in-
deed, every citizen of Michigan and the
Nation, may be justly proud. It honors us
to honor him.

LETTERS,

Prevent pregnancy by realizing population problem

To the Daily:
From just having done a
personal survey, I discovered
something very disturbing. I
found that in the sea of
fluorescent orange posters, bold
black printed newsletters,
colorful advertisements and
millions of flyers, people tend
to read the ads and
entertainment sections on a
bulletin board. Whether on a
wall, bulletin, or the pathway
to the Diag, pamphlets from
organizations such as Planned
Parenthood are most likely to
be ignored or missed because of
the abundant overflow of signs
advertising the next rock
concert coming to Michigan.
There is a serious population
growth problem, and not just
in underdeveloped countries.
Issues pertaining to teen

pregnancy, birth control, and
family planning must b e
viewed in a more serious light.
Are people aware of issues or
problems that " seem"
intangible to them?
As for the United States,
population growth and family
planning is a problem, too.
According to the Allen
Guttmacher Institution for
Research Policy Analysis and
Public Education (October,
1987), more than half (3.3
million) of the approximate six
million pregnancies per year in
the United States are
unplanned; half of those end in
abortion. In the United States,
1.2 million teenagers will
become pregnant this year. The
United States has the highest
teen pregnancy rate of any
developed nation. There is a

teenager becoming pregnant
every 30 seconds in the United
States.
Shouldn't these statistics
make people think more
seriously about world
population as a problem for
everyone in the United States?
The solution, if effort and
precaution are taken, is more
tangible than many people
believe. If only people would
become aware of and take

advantage of what programs
like Planned Parenthood have
to offer (such as birth control,
professional advice, present and
future orientation on family
planning), then maybe we
could help solve the problem
of population growth.
Awareness is the key word
because awareness promotes
prevention.
-Natalie Ongaro
December 18

Demonstration was discriminatory

U.S. should end aid in protest of Israeli brutality:
Open repression

IN THE LAST FEW days, Israel has
adopted and implemented a new
,policy of beating any Palestinian
man, woman or child whom Israeli
soldiers encounter in Israel's occu-
pied territories. It is disgraceful that
as Israel's major ally, the United
States, has not taken the strongest
action possible to stop Israel's op-
pression of Palestinians-on the West:
Bank and Gaza Strip.
..
Under the new policy, Israeli soi-
diers have been instructed to beat
Palestinians rather than fire live
ammunition in order to quell rock-
throwing demonstrators and restore
so-called order. The government
acknowledges that its new anti-riot
policy has resulted in hundreds of
beatings of Palestinians, some of
-whom have died. Israel, though,
should be commended for honestly
admitting to a policy grossly in vi-
olation of Palestinian's human
rights.

military command sends groups of
psychologists out with the troops to
monitor them in order to determine
whether it is creating a group of
people who will become accus-
tomed to regular violence.
These recent events constitute a
clear test of US commitment to hu-
man rights. Israel has received more
U.S. aid than any other country
since the Vietnam War. At four bil-
lion dollars a year, that aid amounts
to more than one thousand dollars
per Israeli per year. Hence, the
United States has tremendous
leverage to affect Israeli military
policy.
Given the current situation in the
West Bank and Gaza Strip, the
United States has the moral respon-
sibility to cut off all aid to Israel.
The moral repugnance of the pol-
icy is also being challenged from
within Israel. Last Friday in Tel
Aviv, 50,000 people demonstrated
against the new anti-riot nolicv for

Minority

events open to non-minorities

To the Daily:
Last month, Housing Spec-
ial Programs, in conjunction
with a number of student or-
ganizations, celebrated Kwanza.
To observe the holiday, a series
of events were held in Trotter
House and the minority
lounges of residence halls. All
of the events were well at-
tended, but unfortunately,
many non-Black students failed
to come and enjoy the celebra-
tion. At the concluding event
which I had attended, I met a
non-Black student who was
just entering the minority
lounge in which the event was
being held. Upon seeing the
great number of Black students,
he turned to me and said, "I
didn't know this was a Black
thing". and he promptly turned

but it is the ultimate goal of
these services to provide for the
entire university community.
By allowing minority students
to appreciate their own
background and live their
culture, everyone benefits.
Events such as Kwanza are
open to all students. They are
opportunities for all students to
appreciate the cultural diversity
at this university.
The University often
perceives that the only goal of
minority organizations is to
call this or that racist. This is
far from the truth. Through
programs like the ones held
this month, minority organ-
izations work towards a
diverse, open community in
which different ethnic groups
can share experiences. Iden-
tifying and eliminating racism

To the Daily:
Why does it seem that those
individuals who.fight against
racism are often the biggest
practicers of injustice them-
selves? I came to this school
with a totally unbiased attitude
toward people of a different
race, religion, or sex than my-
self. However, through m y
observation of the actions and
interactions of various groups
on this campus, I cannot help
but feel angered, and I have
been unfortunately driven to
form judgements about certain
groups based on those that
represent them.
I cannot justify or forgive
the fact that a non-racist, non-
discriminatory person such as
myself was yesterday called
racist based on the fact that I
had enough respect for myself
to attend classes. How am I
supposed to support and under-

stand an equal rights activity
that infringed on my rights as
an individual - a practice of re-
verse discrimination, if I may.
Sdch a demonstration, filled
with hostility and accusations,
will divide our campus before
it will unite us.
Aside from that, the boy-
cotting of classes and the pick-
eting of Angell, Mason, and
Haven Halls was a strong con-
tradiction of what Martin
Luther King, Jr. himself advo-
cated. If MLK were alive today,
he would most likely have
urged students to attend classes
and to make the most of them-
selves, rather than intimidating
and chastising others, like my-
self, who take pride in the edu-
cation they have worked hard to
earn.
-Christina L. Cash
January 20

Daily engages in 'deanism'

To the Daily:
Neither the title nor the con-
tent of your editorial "Dean's
racist comments" (Daily,
1/11/88) can be warranted by a

Black applicants" (Daily,
12/4/87), Steiner has argued
that systematic inquiry and
disciplined effort will be es-
sential if we are to find effec-

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