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September 29, 1989 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1989-09-29

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U

It

OPINION
Page 4 Friday, September 29, 1989 The ntlgan Daily
1.

4

abe b4WU faiIg
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Relief for

Puerto

Rico

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, Mi 48109

Vol. C, No. 17

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.
Say yes torccing

O N SEPTEMBER 18 the regular
session of the Ann Arbor City Council
passed the first reading of a mandatory
recycling ordinance. The second
reading of this ordinance will take place
in the next few months. If passed,
Ann Arbor will become a citythat
reuses a great deal of its garbage. The
council deserves to be commended for
making the move towards mandatory
recycling, a move that is both
environmentally as well as financially
sound.
The ordinance requires Ann Arbor
residents to separate newspapers,
glass, tin and cardboard from their
garbage. The city garbage collectors
will take this recyclable material to be
remanufactured into their respective
products. Ann Arbor is prepared to de-
velop a recycling infrastructure.
For the past 18 years, a considerable
percentage of the population has been
involved in voluntary recycling. The
number of participants involved is ex-
pected to double if the mandatory ordi-
nance is passed. In addition, according
to Ann Arbor City Council member Liz
Brater, statistics show that 65 percent
of Ann Arbor residents already support
mandatory recycling.
Most pressing to Ann Arbor is that
the city's landfill space is almost ex-
hausted. Alternate landfills, in other
counties for instance, would be ex-
tremely costly to the environment.
Mandatory recycling is expected to cut
the amount of material going into the
landfills in half.
Beyond the local implications, Ann
Arbor has the potential to be an exam-
ple to the rest of the state, and the
country. Most people are aware that a
mandatory recycling infrastructure
would drastically improve the condition
of this country's natural resources,
which are stripped each time a landfill.

is constructed. It is particularly impor-
tant, in light of the potential passing of
this ordinance, to briefly review some
important points about recycling.
Mandatory recycling infrastructures
have been successfully instituted in Eu-
rope and elsewhere. Denmark recycles
about 60 percent of its paper and Japan
50 percent of its paper. The U.S., the
largest consumer of paper, as well as
of most products, has been sadly lax in
this area.
The paper industry is the third largest
consumer of energy and the largest
user of fuel oil in the country. It takes
approximately 16,320 kilowatts of en-
ergy to make a ton of virgin pulp (non-
recycled) paper, as compared to about
5,919 kilowatts for a ton of recycled
paper. It also takes 17 trees to make a
ton of paper. Voluntary recycling ef-
forts save about 200 million trees a
year. The amount that could be saved
with mandatory recycling would be
tremendous.
Many wrongly suspect that recycling
costs more because of special collecting
and production practices. However, we
already spend about $6 billion annually
to collect and dispose of our trash. Any
additional costs for selective garbage
collecting will be far outweighed by the
benefits gained for recycling. The ac-
tual production of recycling goods is
less costly as it skips over the pro-
cesses needed to convert raw materials
to finished products.
While voluntary efforts are some-
what effective and certainly commend-
able, it would be unwise to rely on
them when the viable alternative is a
mandatory recycling policy. By adopt-
ing this policy, Ann Arbor can join the
ranks of those American cities who are
leading this country's transformation
into one that is environmentally and
economically responsible.

By Daniel J. Melendez
0 N THE morning of Monday
September 18, 1989, Puerto Rico was
rudely awakened from about 50 years of
hurricane-less sleep. The fury of the 140-
mph winds, the 8-feet seas and the 10
inches of rain of hurricane Hugo, a
heavyweight among its class, wrought
havoc over the eastern half of Puerto Rico,
a U.S. colony of 3.5 million people only
100 miles long and 35 miles wide.
Already at about 0900 that Monday,
Hugo had devastated several French,
British and U.S. Virgin Islands. By 1000,
the smaller islands of Vieques and
Culebra, two of 78 municipalities of
Puerto Rico, had over 80% of the homes
levelled, according to official sources. Al-
most a day would pass before news from
the two islands reached the world.
While looting was not a problem in
these two islands, more than half of their
10,000 inhabitants were instantly
homeless; clearly the islands were no
match for the hurricane winds
encompassing a diameter of about 150
miles. The damage done to the two islands
would be replicated over the eastern half of
Puerto Rico in the coming hour.
By noontime, Puerto Rico, already faced
with a serious housing problem, had
53,000 homeless people (up from the
23,000 homeless reported by The New
York Times the following Wednesday).

Also, there was damage to the infrastruc-
ture, and there is still flooding and scat-
tered debris. In addition, over 80% of the
agriculture production on the island was
destroyed. Fortunately only very few fatal-
ities have been officially reported; a lot of
people were happy just to be alive.
Although more than a week has elapsed
since the hurricane, Puerto Rico is still
suffering in two major ways. One major
problem is that of the 53,000 homeless,
many still in emergency shelters. In
Puerto Rico, most poor people cannot af-
ford cement houses and must build in
wood; moreover, there has been an up-
surgein the number of wood houses built
in the last ten years.
These were precisely the structures the
hurricane destroyed most easily; . for
instance, there are reports of houses
yanked off their foundations shortly after
their inhabitants fled for safety. Because of
the intense devastation, parts of the island
were recently declared disaster areas
eligibleefor Federal Emergency
Management Administration funds.
Ironically, the White House had given
this status to South Carolina and the U.S.
Virgin Islands much faster than it did to
Puerto Rico. Nevertheless, the coveted
FEMA funds are not expected to help
those families most affected by the hurri-
cane, as the funds are mostly disbursed as
loans to those who have property titles,
and under a sea of local bureaucratic red

tape. For instance, due to the pre-existing
housing crisis, entire communities in
Puerto Rico have been built over idle land
and their residents have no property titles.
The other problem is affecting the
health of many infants right now. In
particular, the areas most affected by Hugo
have had over 800,000 people without
water, electricity or fresh supplies for 7
days. To compound matters, there are
growing numbers of children (and adults)
suffering from gastroenteritis, smallpox
and other viruses. Moreover, there is a
serious lack of diapers, infant formulae and
canned goods.
Therefore, there is urgent need for relief
funds for Puerto Rico and both the Puerto
Rican government and the major relief or-
ganizations have requested aid. To this
end, the Puerto Rican Association (PRA)
and the Puerto Rico Solidarity Organiza-
tion (PRSO), both officially recognized'
groups at the University of Michigan, are
launching a bucket drive on Friday,
September 29th. Members of PRA and
PRSO will be stationed at various points
downtown, such as the Michigan Union
and the Federal Building, ready to take do-
nations. Additional information can be
obtained by calling 747-8632 and/or 74T
2806. Your support is most needed and
most greatly appreciated.
Daniel J. Melendez is a member of the"
Puerto Rican Association and is a Ph.D.,
candidate in Atmospheric and Space
Sciences.

Anti -racist

re -education

Bush in Nicaragua again

By Jim Bott
The University of Michigan Housing
division correctly recognized the need for
educating its resident staff on issues of di-
versity and discrimination. In an all-day
inservice, on August 28th, a presentation
including a speaker, film and group dis-
cussion supposedly focused on the infor-
mation necessary for a staff member to
handle concerns around issues of racism,
sexism and heterosexism. I say
"supposedly" because many staff members
left the day feeling that the system-wide
presentation was not only narrow, but was
inexcusable.
As staff members, we are primarily liv-
ing and working with residents who are
first-year students. These "new" students
have already received a valuable introduc-
tion/education on the issues of race, sex,
and homophobia in their orientation pro-
gram. They began to understand particular
issues; such as the need to establish mi-
nority lounges; to look at reverse discrim-
ination as an ignorant concept; and to see
how the avenues to power continue to be
blocked to oppressed groups. Hopefully,
this education will continue.
A few of the resident staff members, in-
cluding myself, were among those who led
these diversity discussions over the sum-
mer. It was frustrating for us to witness
that the Housing Division, who did not
have the serious monetary and time (we
only had 90 minutes) constraints present
at orientation, could actually put on such a
shallow program for its professional staff.
The problem with the system-wide pro-
gram was two fold. First, we were seem-
ingly asked to see discrimination solely as
a personal issue. Drawing from psycho-
logical models, the presentation focused

on how individuals "grow" into acceptance
of other people. This approach is wrong
because little johnny-racist does not need
to be patted on the back and told: "Well,
don't worry about it now, one day you'll
understand." Instead, the program should
have demonstrated how systemic and cul-
tural discrimination have taught "johnny"
to be racist. If this approach were imple-
mented, resident staff members could both
stop oppressive behavior and educate to
prevent it.
The second problem with the program
actually stems from the first. Without an
accurate analysis of discrimination many
of the staff members felt comfortable
espousing their sometimes inaccurate, ig-
norant or even harmful opinions on issues
of discrimination. In the period of staff
training, our time would have been better
served if these ideas were confronted and
adequately addressed. Instead, many staff
left the presentation feeling that a majority
lounge and heterosexual support group had
as much legitimacy as the need for people
of color, lesbian, and gay men spaces
within the dorm system.
There were further specific problems
with the film and speaker used at the pre-
sentation. The video, Portraits in Black
and White. stated in the beginning that
racism is either "not evident" or "doesn't
exist" in the "ivory tower." The speaker,
Dr. Hughes, stated that the university is a
reflection, a mirror, of the larger society.
A quick look at our representatives in
Congress would inform Housing that the
tower is indeed ivory and unquestionably
racist. As far as U. of M. being a mirror,
it is a very distorted one: the population of
Blacks in the state of Michigan is 13%
while at the University it is a mere 5.6%.
Other issues of institutionalized discrim-

ination were ignored. Questions concern-
ing the use of racially and sexually biased
SAT scores and school tracking systems
were never addressed. Such a shallow ap-
proach to these issues will undoubtedly af-
fect important decisions made by the
Housing staff this year.
Entering my second year as a resident
staffer, I believe that most of the people
employed in Housing have a genuine con-
cern for the students who live with us.
Most of the staff had hoped to receive
some concrete advice to make our resi-
dence halls and university a more comfort-;
able and less hostile atmosphere for people
of color, women, lesbians and gay men.
We had hoped to be a vital element in
changing this university's embarrassing
retention efforts of people of color. We:
had hoped to confront our own prejudices.
We had hoped to hear the experience of
lesbians, gay men, people of color and
women to learn how to be more aware of
their experiences and agendas.
Unfortunately, the program presented by
Housing did little to answer these hopes.
It is not clear why Housing did not use
the resources and groups on campus to
present an informed and educational pro-
gram. However, next year, it would be ad-
visable to use the Sexual Assault;
Prevention and Awareness Center, the-
United Coalition against Racism, the
Lesbian Gay Male Programs office, to de-:
sign and implement this program. As for;
this year, we can only hope that the stu-"
dents in our residence halls will not be ill-:
affected by the Housing Department's in-
ability to address these issues in a coherent'
and responsible fashion.
Jim Bott is a Resident Fellow at East
Quad.

GEORGE BUSH'S persistence would
have impressed King George III of
eighteenth-century Britain. King
George gave up his former colony after
the colonists revolution of 1776 ousted
the royal government. The Nicaraguan
rovolt of 1979 deposed a U.S. installed
and supported dynasty, but ten years
later George Bush is still trying to re-
gain control of that unruly former neo-
c9lony.
His latest plot pertains to Nicaragua's
February 1990 elections, where
George Bush desires to overtly funnel
up to $9,000,000 to the "loyalists"
who still remain in Nicaragua, i.e. the
UNO Party. Of this, $5,000,000
would go to the National Endowment
for Democracy to distribute in
Nicaragua to register voters (most are
already registered, unlike the U.S.),
monitor the elections (though the
Organization of American States is
doing this), and "State Department
officials said ... provide equipment and
training to selected political parties."
(New York Times 922/$9)
The remaining $4,000,000 would be
doled out by the Agency for Inter-
national Development, but his Bush
has not yet specified his will. We can
only guess.,
Those of us who hang on the words
of the nobility know that traditionally,
the U.S. government destabilizes
countries it doesn't like, e.g. Chile in
1973 and Guatemala in 1954. The
question is how much destabilization
will $9,000,000 buy?
In the U.S., a Congressional district
is approximately 500,000 people.
Nicaragua, at 3.5 million people, is
about seven districts. In an expensive
race for the U.S. House, a candidate
will snend about $750.000. Lana

Pollack spent that much in her unsuc-
cessful 1988 bid for the district that in-
cludes Ann Arbor. So George Bush
has decreed that Nicaragua's opposi-
tion needs about $1.3 million per dis-
trict. Since Nicaraguan political parties
get free access to TV and radio, typi-
cally the most expensive part of a cam-
paign, you have to wonder what all this
money will buy.
But George is getting a real deal in
destabilization. Nicaragua's gross na-
tional product (GNP) is $2.8 billion;
the U.S.'s is $4 trillion. $9 million in
Nicaragua, relative to the size of the
economy, is equivalent to $13 billion
spent in the U.S. A lot of destabiliza-
tion. One can only hope the election
observers will be able to minimize it.
George is able to get such a deal be-
cause he and Ronald Reagan severely
damaged Nicaragua's economy in the
1980's. They embargoed it, pressured
other countries to cut off aid, and at-
tacked with their equivalent of the
Hessians, the Contras, who primarily
killed civilians and destroyed schools,
farms and clinics. The $2.8 billion
figure is for 1985, before Nicaragua
joined Haiti and Honduras as the poor-
est nations in the hemisphere.
King George III was able to send
troops to the Colonies, but luckily our
George feels that would lead to his po-
litical beheading, and so Nicaragua has
been spared an invasion by the U.S.
Marines. And so the U.S. George has
to attack the Nicaragua elections, the
foundation of a representative democ-
racy, in an attempt to buy them or dis-
credit them with the equivalent of $13
billion. Will he get his candidates
elected? Would Ben Franklin have
voted for a loyalist?

Letersto heieditor

..................
........ ....

Who
controls a
woman'9s
body?
To the Daily:
In 1973 in the case of Roe v.
Wade the Supreme Court ruled
that a woman has the right to
decide whether or not to
terminate a pregnancy. For 16
years middle class women have
taken for granted their right to
control their own bodies. That
right can no longer be taken for
granted.
In July, 1989 in Webster v.

0 -

Although the legislature and
the Supreme Court may, at
times, seem distant from
everyday life, the implications
of recent decisions are real for
many women when faced with
an unwanted pregnancy. The
right to unbiased counseling
and the right to terminate an
unwanted pregnancy in a safe
and sanitary environment is of
critical importance to everyone
and is not simply the domain
of a few legislators.
Anti-women, anti-choice
forces are continuing to
pounce, and not only in the
politicaal arena. Operation
Rescue accosts women entering
abortior. clinics, calls clients
sinners and murderers, and
blocks clinic entrances in order

It is up to each and every one
of us to make our voice heard
and to let the legislature know:-
that we support the right of
women to decide whether or
not to terminate their own
pregnancy.
The Ann Arbor Committee
to Defend Abortion Rights
(AACDAR) works locally to
preserve a woman's,.4
constitutional right to an
abortion. AACDAR struggles-
to stop groups such as -
)peration Rescue (OR) from
Lheir relentless attempts to shui
down abortion clinics and
interfere with a woman's right
to control her destiny.
AACDAR plans to defend
Detroit area clinics from OR
aattacks on September 30 and I

significantly curtail a woman's
right to control her own body.
That, however, is only the
beginning. The Supreme Court
will be hearing three more

t

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