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September 19, 1990 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-09-19

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Page 4 -The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 19,1990
hie miditian BaiQ
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

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Editor in Chief

Opinion Editor


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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.
Let there be light
New construction illuminates mistaken priorities
"This is the greatest thing that the city could have done for the downtown!"
- Ann Arbor Mayor Gerald Jernigan, at a gala
ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, September 7.

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housing crisis that has seen the city's
homeless population skyrocket to
1,500 people because of the lack of
low-income housing, surely Jernigan
was commemorating the ground-
breaking of a new, multi-unit, low-in-
come housing complex, right?
Wrong. Jemigan's pronouncement
was celebrating the city's outrageous
expenditure of $3.5 million for new
downtown lightposts, trees, and side-
walks. The new fixtures were not in-
stalled to serve any functional purpose.
Main St. and South University had
previously been lined with sturdy,
well-lit sidewalks.+ The new fixings
were installed to "help create a more
social and pleasant atmosphere on
(downtown) streets." (Ann Arbor
News 4/6/90).
The Downtown Development Au-
thority (DDA) is the governmental
body that financed this latest waste of
funds. Since its creation in 1982, the
DDA - whose charter states that it is
committed to preserving the balance be-
tween residential and commercial de-
velopment - has allocated more than
$20 million for projects that serve
business interests (chiefly parking
structures) and only $100,000 to help
develop housing.
The DDA raises money by selling
bonds to investors, and pays off these
bonds with the taxes levied on new
downtown developments. Before the
establishment of the DDA, these taxes
- like all other property taxes - went
into the city's general fund. Now the
DDA has sole control of their use.
The city has not subsidized the con-
struction of housing that is affordable'
to people with low incomes in more
than 15 years. The struggle to reverse
the city's spending priorities has been
led by the Homeless Action Committee
(HAC), which demands a change in
city policies so that tax dollars are used
to "subsidize a human need, not busi-
ness greed."
The reckless course that city gov-
ernment currently follows has been
disastrous. According to the Main
Street Merchants Association an esti-
mated 30 percent of the city's down-
town housing has been destroyed in the

last 30 years. High-rise office build-
ings, retail centers, and parking struc-
tures that go largely unused have been
built to replace this housing.
Downtown office buildings have a
vacancy rate of close to 50 percent and
the parking structures are regularly
nearly empty during peak hours.
The DDA's next project is a parking
structure behind Kline's Department
Store on Ashley St. near William. The
city plans to destroy three downtown
homes in order to make room for the
$9 million structure, which is the third
of its kind that exists in the immediate
The Homeless Action Committee
has squatted two of these houses -
one at 337 South Ashley and one at
116 W. William - which are now
home to several formerly homeless
women and men.
Many myths are disseminated about
people who are homeless. They are
called lazy or accused of being depen-
dant on drugs and alcohol. The facts
remain that 50 percent of homeless
people have jobs, and the fastest
growing sector of the homeless popu-
lation is children.
A lack of housing that is affordable
to people with low-incomes is the chief
cause of homelessness, not alleged de-
ficiencies in the characters of those
who are denied housing.
The city's decision to prioritize vic-
tim-blaming propaganda and business
subsidies over rational discussion and
housing subsidies must change before
homelessness will end. This will be the
case only if the efforts of organizations
like HAC are supported by everyone
who opposes homelessness.
Until that time, the city's business
elite, the DDA, and city officials like
Jernigan who serve their interests will
continue to celebrate of their perverse
version of "downtown development".
The new and expensive lights, that
shine over the streets which Ann Arbor
citizens are condemned to sleep in, are
but the latest symbol of our commu-
nity's failure to rise to the occasion and
demand immediate change.
The Homeless Action Committee
meets every Thursday at 337S. Ashley
at 5 pm.

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Daily neglects to give specifics about threats to its editorial freedom

To the Daily:
So it is again that we witness the
Daily ranting about another violation of
sacred canon and dogma, in this case over
"censorship," a favorite left-wing straw
man. I suppose I would not care so much
if the Daily was charitably described as
"liberal" by some, or scornfully as "Pre-
Dawn Leftist" by others, but at least a
measure of consistency could be expected.
So why should I believe the Daily edi-
tors that the American Way is at stake this
time when they trumpet the latest nasties
of those Reagan Reactionaries among the
powers that be? We hear only the glories
of left-wing ideals, but no apologies or
candle-light vigils for Tiananmen Square.
We hear endless calls for penance by
the Yankee Imperialists in Central Amer-
ica, but only excuses over the Sandinista
defeat in democratic elections. We are told
of the glories of the socialist paradise, but
only given stony silence over the utter
collapse of left-wing tyranny in the East-
ern Bloc in 1989, or the Soviet economy.
Thus again we see here the same deal
in the Daily's front page editorial ("A
Threat To Our Editorial Freedom") of
Sept. 17 - only selective coverage and
assertions with little solid, specific infor-
mation for us to make our own judge-
Who is the latest bad guy now? Nancy
McGlothlin. What are her crimes? 1)
"Claimed authority to decide the impor-
tance of various news and sports events."
Since when is the Editor's opinions news?
What other specifics? 2) "Forced a
Daily business manager to resign." What
were the circumstances? Was this person

embezzling money? Aren't business opera-
tions already conceded to be the domain of
the Board?
3) "Usurped the power of the Michi-
ganensian editor. So you say. How has
this been done, let alone detailed?
4) "Threatened to end publication of
Weekend Magazine and Sports Monday."
Again, why? Was it because they were
losing money? Or is it indeed as the Daily
claims? We don't know because you
haven't provided us with specifics to make
a judgement.
I gently suggest the editors at least re-
read the definition of "yellow journalism,"
since I expect it's too much to expect
them to print this (in full!). I am not ac-

cusing them of, it, but it is disturbing to
read such sensational comments as
"harassing editors who refuse to kowtow
to the Board's wishes, and threatening the
Daily's finances," especially when the
above deficiencies are noted.
A woman is entitled and has a "right"
to her good name until proof is brought
forward. The rights of the Daily's editors
can only be seen as intelligible when they
place it in the context of their responsibil-
Adam Condico
(Part-time) Library
Science Graduate Student

Board Chair Rosenthal responds to editorial;
contends Daily wants too much power

To the Daily:
In protest of production deadlines and
the publisher's control of printing and op-
erational costs, the editors of the Daily
have chosen to strike "a century of edito-
rial freedom" from the masthead in the pa-
per's centennial year. Unfortunately, this
also seems to be the year that the editors
elected to redefine the meaning of the
In dramatic, white type on the tradi-
tional, funeral-black background of censor-
ship, the front-page editorial states that

"editorial freedom extends beyond the abil-
ity to control the words which appear inS
the paper."
It seems to me that the only part of ed-
itorial that extends what's in the paper is
editorial fantasy. Daily editors have always.
had freedom from censorship. The editors
of 1990 want freedom from economic$,-
That is not in the power of the Board foi
Student Publications to grant.
Amnon Rosenthal
Chair, Board fdp
Student Publicatiors

Perhaps we erred in neglecting
to, print more specific details of
how our editorial freedom has been
threatened. Since so many people
have asked, we have decided to re-
spond. What follows is a partial list
of Board for Student Publications
Secretary Nancy McGlothlin's in-
terference in editorial and other op-
erations involving student publica-
This list is not by any means
complete, for it is exceedingly diffi-
cult to chronicle actions ranging
over almost a decade. It should also
be noted that the Board deserves
condemnation for neglecting to cen-
sure McGlothlin, thereby implicitly
endorsing her activity.
McGlothlin has indirectly af-
fected the editorial content of the
She recently imposed incremen-
tal deadlines on the editorial staff of
the Daily. Though the paper's final
deadline each night is at midnight
- that's when the paper is sent to
the printer - McGlothlin believed
it within her authority to impose
E deadlines for each of the editors.
The reason is not financial. In
the past, editors have met with key-
liners in production to set incre-
ment alnln ,,,hyhiere,


Essentially, McGlothlin was
saying that mistakes cannot be cor-
rected, and must go into the paper
even if editors know they exist.
Such a rule is ludicrous; even The
New York Times corrects errors. By
refusing to let us fix mistakes,
which are common at any newspa-
per, we would be forced to run inac-
curacies. That is, McGlothlin
would force us to run inaccuracies,
a policy which clearly violates our
editorial freedom.
In addition, she ruled that no
more than two late-breaking stories
or photos may be included in the
paper. This further compromises
our ability to determine what is
news and what is not.
Last week, McGlothlin
threatened to stop publication of
Sports Monday and Weekend
Magazine. Though she said the rea-
son was financial - both sections
of the paper do not make a profit -
her actual motive was to threaten
editors who don't abide by the new
production rules.
Both sections were approved by
the Board as part of this year's
Daily budget, yet McGlothlin now
claims the money isn't there.
McGlothlin in the past has made
rcnt. rid e, it oth Dn .r *t n

what news to cover.
McGlothlin, for a period of
several years, would stand by the
laserprinter as articles and editorials
were printed. It is unclear if she was
approving their content, but her job
as Board secretary should not in-
clude the power to review content.
McGlothlin has also interfered
in daily operations in other
At various times in the past
several years, she has refused to let
Daily staffers or editors into the
Student Publications Building,
claiming they were a threat to secu-
rity. She once called Campus Secu-
rity to forcibly remove a student
from the building, even though an
editor insisted that the student be al-
lowed to remain.
In 1987, McGlothlin usurped
the power of Michiganensian Editor
Rebecca Cox (see letter at right).
In 1987, McGlothlin in-
stalled timers in the Student Publi-
cations Building which prohibited
computer use between midnight and
8 a.m. Needless to say, as students
who attend classes during the day
while working on articles for the
paper at night, we often need extra
time to catch up with our work at
the Daily. By being barred from do-
ing work at night, McGlothlin lim-
ited our ability to put out the paper.
,rh rt t. s n r I A+ -

scription is three lines long.
McGlothlin continues to
draw an annual salary of more than
$45,000 - taken from the profits
of the student publications, largely
from the Daily - though she gen-
erally works from 10 a.m. to 4
p.m. McGlothlin has also decided it
is appropriate to attend meetings of
the Daily's business staff, where
student managers discuss advertis-
ing policies.
This list, were it to be inclu-
sive, would undoubtedly stretch be-
yond the boundaries of this page.
What is most disheartening is the
amount by which McGlothlin's au-
thority grows each year.
We are not the first editors to
have serious concerns about the
actions of McG lothlin. Nor are
we the first editors to express our
concerns to the Board for Student
Publications, University officials,
or McGlothlin herself.
On April 15, 1986, Bill
Marsh, the 1986 Michiganensian
editor and former Weekend
Magazine editor, wrote a letter to
then Associate Vice President for
Student Services Thomas Easthope.
The letter states: "Unfortunately,
McGlothlin's extreme distrust of
students and her very unprofessional
conduct are personally insulting to
staff members and discourage their
. . . i . .

member addressed to Easthope:
"We as students of the Univer-
sity of Michigan and heresaid staff
and student board member of the
Board of Student Publications, are
formally stating our discontent with
the appointed Secretary/Treasurer
Nancy McGlothlin. Her perfor-
mance has been downright unpro-
fessional, confrontational and finan-
cially burdensome to the affairs of
Student Publications.
"For... her irreconcilable behav-
ior we are hereby formally seeking
the aid and assistance of Thomas
Easthope in our recommendation to

the Board of (sic) Student Publics
tions and Administration of tho
University of Michigan for hei
permanent removal from any posi.
tion at Student Publications."
The last five Daily editors ii
chief, as well as four past Michigai.
nensian editors, have in the lass
week expressed their support in any:
effort to remove McGlothlin from
her position.
As 1988 Daily Editor in Chief;
Rebecca Blumenstein said recently
"You can chronicle every year what
the editorial staff has lost to

Ensian editor criticizes McGlothlin
To the Daily: lications.
Isn't it time the University no- "You can expect some real
ticed that seven generations of hard- ing from her when she getsab
working student leaders and journal- from summer vacation, she
ists have complained about in 1986 to Charles Eisendrath,
Nancy McGlothlin? chair of the Board.
As 1987 Editor in Chief of the During my editorship she
Michiganensian, I want you to gotiated contracts behind my
know that because of McGlothlin I with photography companies
have not donated a red cent to the yearbook publishers, hired staf
University. I swore on the day I I had not approved, and finall
graduated that I would not support stricted my access to the Ensia
my alma matter until that woman pretty tough to do youi
is removed from the University without a key to the office.
payroll, and I assure you that many So myself and five other E
University student publications, and Daily editors protested tc
alumni feel the same. Board of Student Publications
When I was editor in 1987, University ombudsman, and4

f than
ly re.
n. *
r job
o the
s, the


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