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April 18, 1990 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-04-18

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

Page 4- The Michigan Daily -Wednesday, April 18, 1990
(Itje fidtrigan tt l
420 Maynard Strct
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
ARTS 763 0379 PHOTO 764 0552
NEWS 764 0552 SPORTS 747 3336
OPINION 747 2814 WEEKEND 747 4630
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.

Backward logic
City should build houses, not harass the homeless

lies, working in conjunction with the
Homeless Action Committee (HAC),
moved into a vacant, city-owned house
at 116 West William St. The house oc-
tupation - called a "squat" - began
during a rally in which HAC declared
an area around the corner of South
Ashley and West William a
"Demolition-Free Zone." The Ann Ar-
bor City Council plans to tear down
three houses in the zone and replace
them with a $9 million, city-subsidized
parking structure. The city authorities'
actions in the wake of the squat expose
the reality behind their rhetoric sur-
rounding the issue of homelessness.
Though city officials claim to be
concerned about Ann Arbor's home-
less, their actions reveal that their chief
concern is not eliminating homeless-
ness, but avoiding publicity that draws
attention to the problem. City officials,
fearing a political backlash, have been
reluctant to forcibly evict the two fami-
lies, but they have attempted to
manipulate and intimidate them since
they moved into the house.
Last Wednesday, in an attempt to
make the house uninhabitable, the city
turned off water service and and then
refused to install a water meter even
though HAC has agreed to pay for all
utilities. When house resident Tracee
Cipolletti offered to pay monthly rent to
the city, City Administrator Del Borgs-
dorf refused.
Borgsdorf and others have made a
deliberate attempt to mislead the public
by feeding comments to the media that
the William St. house may not be safe
to live in. Their allegations are totally
unfounded. The lack of water service
- a problem which city officials initi-
ated and which HAC has subsequently
corrected - has been the only unsafe
feature of the house, which until re-
-- Well ki, we were gon
the demolition o this
- VBut hey, it they couldc
with the money theyr
~stay here, I'm sure th
rcome up with the mo
\\ another house

cently was owned and occupied by a
long-time Ann Arbor resident.
The William St. home is the second
house in the "Demolition-Free Zone"
that HAC has squatted in the last six
months. The squats serve two pur-
poses: they provide formerly homeless
individuals with shelter and they ex-
pose the city's distorted spending pri-
The major cause of homelessness in
the city is the lack of affordable hous-
ing. A 1985 council report revealed that
Ann Arbor needs at least 1,500 addi-
tional units of low-income housing.
Faced with this affordable housing cri-
sis, Ann Arbor City Council has ap-
proved the use of $22 million dollars to
build parking structures since 1982.
No housing affordable to people with
low and fixed incomes has been built in
the last 15 years.
Ironically, city officials' attempts to
end the squat have been frustrated by
the very problem they are attempting to
cover-up: the utter lack of low-income
housing. Borgsdorf has city employees
attempting to locate available low-in-
come housing units for the two fami-
lies. Contrary to reports published in
the Ann Arbor News, these efforts
have thus far been unsuccessful.
Since the Ann Arbor News reported
that the city had located available units
at Pine Lake Village, that public hous-
ing cooperative has been flooded with
phone calls from agencies and individ-
uals searching for low-income hous-
ing. It now appears that the city has
manipulated the cooperative into pro-
viding housing for the squatting fami-
lies at the expense of families who are
on their waiting list.
These efforts are further attempts by
city bureaucrats to deflect attention
from the city's shameful lack of low-
income housing without dealing with
the problem. Even if the city is able to
provide affordable units to the two
squatting families, 1,500
t / other Ann Arbor residents
will remain homeless.
HAC plans to continue to
use the William St. house
as transitional housing,
saying that it is criminal
for the city to leave avail-
able housing vacant when
adults and children are
to stop living on the street.
coe uo Homelessness created
ey can" by the housing crisis is the
"ey 'r J problem. Using city au-
thority and finances to cre-
ate additional low-income
housing units is the an-
swer. So far, the city offi-
cials have only used their
dollars to finance the de-
struction of existing hous-
ing and their authority to
harass those who would
have them act otherwise.

Nothing was wrong
with Baker's satire
'o the Daily:
John E. Mack's letter on Dean Baker
and the political satire directed at U.S.
Rep. Carl Pursell (4/16/90) was as fine an
example of using a double standard for po-
litical ends as has ever appeared in the
Mack argues that Baker's action in
sending out a letter over Pursell's signa-
ture, which indicated that Pursell sup-
ported death squads in El Salvador, was a
"flagrant misrepresentation" of Rep.
In fact, the letter was entirely factual
and the line of reasoning behind it was
simple. In the past decade, the Salvadoran
military and military-supported death
squads have murdered over 60,000 civil-
ians. The United States sends more than a
million dollars a day to the government of
El Salvador, 70 percent of which goes to
the military. Carl Pursell has consistently
voted to send aid to El Salvador. He is
thus complicit inzthe deaths of thousands
of Salvadoran citizens.
It is strange that Mack would argue
that Baker, as a public figure, should gov-
ern his actions in accordance with ethical
standards, yet makes no mention of Carl
Pursell's complicity in murder. Which is
more unethical, taking part in mass mur-
der or using legally-protected political
satire to bring it to the attention of the
David Austin
University graduate
Give Dude a chance
To the Daily:
Please let us judge President Duderstadt
by his deeds, not his words. Perhaps right
now, some of the students' fears and sus-
picions may be justified. But who knows?
The President may have better intentions.
I have a feeling his plans look at times
rather "dictatorial," but perhaps he really
will remain faithful to the "democratic"
tradition. After all, let us be honest. If
"any of us" became president, wouldn't we
like to have the freedom to do what is
It's somewhat like Mr. Bush's not
wanting to eat broccoli. People have dif-
ferent "palates," but given a fair chance,
can be quite reasonable.
I truly think that the proper running of
this wonderful University is something we
must all cherish. So why not try to trust
President Duderstadt? He may pleasantly
surprise us all.
Mali Bahreman
Participate in Israeli
mock elections at 'U'
To the Daily:
The debate on campus concerning the
Arab-Israeli conflict seems to be never-
ending. Part of the reason for this is that
as a democracy, the Israeli political system
is set up in such a way so that each party
is given the chance to obtain as many
votes as it possibly can. To this end, it
has been impossible in the last few elec-
tions for Israel to maintain a stable gov-
ernment in which the majority of the Is-
raeli people have confidence because of the
opportunity each citizen has to set up a
political party.
In fact, some might say that the Israeli
political system is even more democratic
than the United States' system of govern-
ment, because in order for additional par-

ties to stand for election, they need only
to obtain the signatures of 1,500 eligible
voters and deposit a bond, which is re-
funded if they obtain a seat in the Knesset,
Israel's parliament. In order to win a seat,
a party must win only one percent of the
national vote.
We have decided to emphasize Israel's

democratic nature and diversely-opinion-
ated electorate by conducting mock Israeli
elections in the fishbowl tomorrow from
10 am to 3 pm. It will be possible to vote
for all parties, from the two largest, Likud
and Labor, to the smaller Arab, commu-
nist, and religious parties. It is important
that as many people as possible vote in
the elections in order to provide an accu-
rate view of how Michigan students and
faculty feel towards Israel and her govern-
ment. Descriptions of all parties and their
platforms will be available at the voting
center in the fishbowl.
Don't forget to vote! This is your
chance to feel like an Israeli citizen in an
election, and to learn how difficult it is to
be a democracy in the Middle East.
Debra Katz
Melissa Silverman
Clean up trash here
To the Daily:
I must say, I am extremely disap-
pointed with the lack of action taken dur-
ing the Earth Week activities in folks'
own back yard. While programs, films,
and speakers were filling minds with
cleaning up the environment, all these
people had to do was to look around on
their own campus, bend over and pick up
some of the trash.
Leaving Mason Hall daily I am over-
whelmed by the amount of filth and trash
spread across the lawn, the sidewalks and
especially in those nooks and corners
where there is a pile of garbage. I think
perhaps people should begin taking care of
the environment in which they live before
going off to save the world.
Karen Businski
LSA-University Employee

cal picture of a people represented in the
cartoon, a people you need to learn more
about and whose rights to choose.
I submit that if it is not the Daily's in-
tent to stereotype, disgrace or make mock-
ery of the Islamic way of life, which, by
comparison to all so-called civilized coun-
tries, boasts the lowest rate of self-destruc-
tive activities, the Daily will correct this
monstrous error it so proudly displayed
and apologize to the Muslim community,
particularly the women, and to the Daily's
readership in general, to whom it has done
a great disservice by misrepresenting Is-
lamic people.
Khidhir Naeem
University graduate student
Cartoons and signed letters on the
Opinion Page represent the views of the
artists or authors, and not necessarily
those of the Daily staff.

Critic takes a beating0
To the Daily:
This letter is in response to Peter
Shapiro's review of Juice in the Records
section of the Daily (4/11/90).
We have read Shapiro's bigoted social
attack, poorly disguised as a record review,
on a number of individuals whom he cate-
gorized as "freaks," pretend funkers, and
"60s refuse." With this uncalled-for public
defamation, Shapiro has taken advantage
of his public position in our community
to vent his undisguised hatred for some of
the people who share the community with
him. In so doing, he has offended and
alienated at least these two readers. More-
over, Shapiro has taken advantage of any
readers who are genuinely interested. in a
thoughtful critical review of a local band's

Sticking around this summer?
Come write for the Daily Opinion Staff
For more info call:
Stephen Henderson at 764-0552
or come to the information meeting
on Wednesday, April 18, 7 m

Cartoon was offensive
To the Daily:
While reading the March 29, 1990 is-
sue of the Daily, I was angered and of-
fended by a Wasserman cartoon on the
Opinion Page which ran next to an edito-
rial titled "A step back." The cartoon de-
picts two women sitting at a bus stop,
dressed in typical western attire being
passed by a man in western business attire
and a woman dressed in typical Islamic at-
One of the two seated women turns to
the other and says, "You can always tell
folks from Idaho," implying that this
woman, because she chooses a way of life
which urges modesty and covering her
beauty from all but her husband, seems to
be "a step back" in woman's rights. The
cartoon is a childish and unfair attempt to
support the Daily's particular stand on
women's rights, specifically with regard to
the abortion issue.
Has the Daily forgotten this woman's
right to choose and enjoy without harass-
ment her way of life? Or that the right to
choose her way of life, be if favorable or
unfavorable in the opinions of the Daily,
still falls within those rights you so vig-
orously fight for, scream for, and demand
on behalf of women?
Not only does the cartoon cause polar-
ization of human beings who choose to
live differently from one another, it also,
very sadly, paints an unreal and stereotypi-

recent release.
We do not feel that we have the right
to address Shapiro's personal tastes, or his
motivations for using the Juice review as
a vehicle to denounce particular social
habits, because we don't know him out-
side of the confines of this bit of typing.*
For that same reason, because he doesn't
know anything about the characters of the
people he unjustly castigated, we question
his authority as a self-appointed critic of
other people's personal choices and
Shapiro's unprovoked piece of literary
slander, in which he denigratingly labels
people, demonstrates his ignorance, his
insensitivity for the feelings of his fellow
humans, his callous disregard for the re-
sponsibilities of his position, his tasteless
humor, and his inability to enjoy a "nice
spring day" in the company of others.
Eric N. Cohen
Eythan A. Klamka
LSA seniors
What's your opinion? The
Daily wants to hear from you.
Send or bring letters to the
Student Publications Building
at 420 Maynard Street. Or,
you can bring in letters on
Macintosh disk or send them
via MTS to "Michigan Daily."

Preying on fear
Haitians should be permitted to donate blood

ingly widespread poblem in the United
States, government agencies are taking
action which they believe will decrease
the spread of the disease. The Food
and Drug Administration, for example,
recently declared that Haitians can no
longer donate blood because of the
high rate of AIDS cases prevalent in
this group. While such an action is
meant for the good of society, at its
base it is a panic reaction with racist
As a result of the spread of AIDS
through blood transfusions, many

spective bag of blood, so donors can
call anonymously if they discover they
are at risk of having AIDS. Also, every
bag of blood is screened for the AIDS
or HIV virus before it is actually used.
These precautions all drastically reduce
the possibility of a person acquiring the
AIDS virus through a blood transfu-
Because of these precautions, the
Food and Drug Administration's deci-
sion to no longer allow Hatians to do-
nate blood is an overzealous move
which is discriminatory to Haitians.
While it is true that Haiti has an enor-
mous number of AIDS cases, this does





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