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January 13, 1997 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-01-13

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, January 13, 1997

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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of M ichigan

RONNIE GLASSBERG
Editor in Chief
ADRIENNE JANNEY
ZACHARY M. RAIMI
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
FROM THE DAILY
Cold and disarmed
City Council must find new homeless shelter

iNOTABLE QUOTABLE
'She was always available. She helped me with home-
work. I spent a lot of time in her room I guess. She was
a great person. ... She was a very vibrant person.'
- Engineeringfirst-year student Stacey Waxtan, describing
Arati Sharangpani, who died in the Comair plane crash last week
JIM LASSERSHARP AS TOAST
HAMILTON, A PENNY FOFR_
YOcJR THOVC-+1T.5.
CHARLES, YOU KND
ONL Y T HIN K Fold
51X F1 U R E 5
)
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

L ast week, the Ann Arbor City Council
voted to turn the former National
Guard Armory building on East Ann Street
into an apartment complex rather than a
homeless shelter that the city desperately
needs. Originally, the City Council consid-
ered turning the building into a homeless
shelter. After listening to local developers'
plans, council members decided to allow
the building to be used for apartments;
developer Ed Shaffran will create apartment
units inside of the armory. As a result, the
City Council is ignoring the needs of Ann
Arbor's homeless population. The city now
has an obligation to promptly find a new
location for a homeless shelter - this
should be done as soon as possible.
The location of the former armory build-
ing seemed to be ideal for a homeless shel-
ter, and many residents supported the move-
ment to convert the location into a shelter.
For example, resident Susan McGarry said
at last week's meeting that the location, size
and space of the armory are more than ade-
quate for a homeless shelter.
Moreover, the armory building is located
in central Ann Arbor. This location would
have proved easy to find, therefore provid-
ing a close haven for the homeless. The
armory is also vacant and ready to convert
into a homeless shelter - it would have

been a better solution than finding an empty
lot on which to build or further renovating
other existing buildings.
Moreover, the current homeless shelters
are crowded and incapable of serving the
needs of the city's homeless population. The
foundation of a new homeless shelter would
have helped to get much of the population
off the streets and out of the cold. And the
city still would have received payment from
the sale of the building.
As the former armory becomes trans-
formed into apartments, Ann Arbor's home-
less population will continue to need a new
shelter. Several vacant buildings and empty
lots could serve as ideal locations for a new
shelter. The council should turn its attention
to finding a new location immediately.
Council member Jean Carlberg (D-3rd
Ward) indicated at last week's meeting that
the council will work on the issue. Her com-
ments are reassuring, but must be acted
upon soon.
Residential space would normally be a
noncontroversial use of a building. But in
this case, the city dropped the ball on a
chance to improve the lives of citizens not
in the middle class. With that decision
under their belts, City Council members
must now turn their focus to providing shel-
ter for the area's homeless population.

Injecting finality
Death penalty reinforces social injustice

A rkansas' state executioners put to
death three men in three hours Jan. 9.
Lethal injections brought to an end the 20-
year death row stints of Earl Van Denton
and Paul Ruiz, convicted after a murderous
1977 crime spree, and the nine-year prison
stay of Kirt Wainwright, convicted for a
1988 murder and armed robbery. Though
the executions may have appeased citizens
craving eye-for-an-eye revenge against con-
victed murderers, the cases of these men, in
part, exemplify the reasons states should
discontinue capital punishment practices.
Appeals and re-trials enabled the three
convicted murderers to elude execution for
many years. Though legal tactics earned the
men longer lives, they cost Arkansas a great
deal in prosecution costs. Such judicial
maneuvers characterize the cases of many
death row inmates. In fact, a 1994 Supreme
Court report found that the average con-
demned prisoner avoids execution for 9 1/2
years through court appeals. Demonstrating
the high cost of these appeals, a 1993 study
showed that the execution of one death row
prisoner costs $3 million to $10 million,
while a life sentence costs only $500,000.
.The legal expense makes the death penalty
a financially inefficient mode of punish-
ment.
Given that death-penalty states have
-murder rates similar to other states, capital
.punishment has deterred murder no more
effectively than life sentencing. Therefore,
states employing capital punishment spend
more money on a system that yields no
appreciable benefit over the cheaper life-
sentencing system.
The problems of the death penalty extend
beyond the financial realm. The current sys-
tem of capital punishment reflects the racial
bias of America's judicial system. A late
1995 Congressional Record report showed

that blacks convicted of killing whites are 63
times more likely to be executed than whites
who kill blacks. In fact, 92 percent of those
executed in this country since 1976 killed
white victims, though almost half of all
homicide victims during that period were
black. According to the figures, race plays a
role in determining whether a court takes a
person's life. Capital punishment policies
enable judicial racism to take the harshest
form possible: murder.
Factors such as racial bias have rendered
the country's judicial system imperfect,
allowing erroneous rulings to seep out of
courtrooms. Imposing an immutable pun-
ishment, such as death, does not enable
courts to accommodate for incorrect rulings
once the convicted have been executed.
A 1990 Congressional Record report
showed that U.S. courts have sentenced to
death at least 350 innocent people since
1900, resulting in the execution of at least
25 innocent people. In fact, a Mother Jones
study estimates that courts will posthu-
mously acquit at least seven people now
condemned. Though courts often fail to rule
accurately, the death penalty allows no
room for error. The abolition of capital pun-
ishment would prevent courts from taking
more innocent lives.
Though the monstrous crimes that the
three executed Arkansas men committed
warranted severe punishment, courts
should not have imposed the death penalty.
The financial inefficiency, the racial bias
and the finality of this form of government-
regulated violence make it an unfit form of
punishment. As the only industrialized
Western nation that has not abolished penal
execution, the United States should follow
the suit of other countries that have discard-
ed the death penalty in favor of more prop-
er forms of punishment.

Daily printed
RA's obituary
before friends
were ready
TO THE DAILY:
I am writing this letter
just 15 hours after learning
that my friend and co-worker,
Arati Sharangpani, was
aboard the fallen Comair jet.
She was a beautiful per-
son and strong leader. She
touched the lives of everyone
that she met. She will be
missed dearly but remem-
bered forever by all who
knew her.
While I was happy to see
the positive article in the
Daily on Friday ("Markley
RA dies on Comair flight
from Cincinnati," 1/10/97)
filled with loving quotes that
demonstrated her friends'
respect and love for her, I do
have some concerns.
I understand the need to
inform the student body of
such a tragedy.
Unfortunately, there was
not enough time between
9:45 p.m. last night
(Thursday) when some of us
heard the news and 8 a.m.
this morning (Friday) for all
of her friends to be told.
While the majority did know,
there were some who found
out about the death of a
friend while flippingrthrough
the Daily, waiting for class to
begin.
I feel that such news
should be conveyed to friends
in a sensitive, personal, pri-
vate way. I guess I don't real-
ly know what the solution is
- to wait until Monday may
have been too long from a
news reporting aspect, but on
the other hand, it would have
ensured that those close to
her were told in a more per-
sonal way.
Second, I was very upset
that Daily reporters were
attempting to interview some
of Arati's residents just min-
utes after they had been told
about her passing.
Arati was a model resi-
dent adviser and thus had the
love and respect of all of her
residents. They were under-
standably upset and in no

mood to give a comment to
the Daily. Also, we as a staff
had a group meeting to
express our grief and emo-
tions but a few of the staff
members were unable to par-
ticipate because they had to
attend to the Daily reporters
and make sure that they did
not harass the residents.
The reporter kept asking
for more details. I understand
that it is your job to report-
but please, what more did
you want to know?
All any of us knew was
what we saw on television.
The information that you
needed for your article
should not have taken more
than an hour of interviewing
with grief-stricken co-work-
ers.
I think that the Daily
needs to take a closer look
and perhaps change their
methods of obtaining infor-
mation in such tragic cases.
I am grieving the loss of a
friend and beautiful human
being.
RAJESHRI GANDHI
SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
City Council
demonstrates
priorities with
armory vote
TO THE DAILY:
This letter is in response
to your Jan. 9, 1997 article
on the Ann Arbor City
Council's vote concerning the
armory ("City Council votes
to rezone armory into apart-
ments").

Ann Arbor has been
ranked as high as fifth in this
year's lists of best cities in
the United States.
Recently the city was
rated as one of the safest and
healthiest in the country for
women. Last Wednesday's
City Council vote on what to
do with the armory proved
that Ann Arbor is not safe or
healthy for its homeless men
and women. It is easy for our
coffee merchants, shop keep-
ers, and deli managers - in
the name of profit and
respectability - to turn away
transients looking for an hour
of shelter, but it is not so
easy for this city's homeless
to find rest.
The City Council's 9-1
vote seemed easy enough for
all but Tobi Hanna-Davies
(D- I st Ward). Converting the
armory into a shelter would
have been a bad decision for
a city concerned about its
image.
It would have threatened
to populate the downtown
area with people who have
little disposable income, it
surely would not have helped
the city's bond rating, and
our national ranking would
slip.
This January brings us the
end of welfare and food
stamps. With the Council's
vote, it also signals the end
of hope for many of this
city's homeless.
Where are our priorities
as a community?
Our City Council has
answered for us. Move on
and clear out!
We will have no homeless
in Ann Arbor.
ADAM SNOW
SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK

CAM MIInY Cff"F
Do Rules girls*
have more fun?
66Tm, is this a joke?" I asked the
"U friendly informative-type per
son at Borders.
"Hey, you guys." She waved to three
more informative persons, all male.
"This lady wants to know if this bo
is a joke." She pointed to the copy
was holding of
"The Rules: Time-
Tested Secrets for
Capturing the
Heart of Mr.
Right," a New
York Times best- :
seller that has
even spent some
time in the No. I
spot. All four of
them burst out
laughing. A good ADRIENNE
sign, I thought. JANNEY :
"No," one said,
"but it's good that you think it is. The
authors were serious'
The authors are Elen Fein and
Sherrie Schneider. Mrs. Fein and Mrs.
Schneider would like to teach single
girls how to snag a man and keep hi
In other words, play hard tog
because biologically a man loves a
challenge and we don't want to take
that away from him, do we girls? Or
else he will break up with us!
At this point in the column, Ia
tempted to resort to profanity, but4 i%'
the tradition of Rules girls everywhere,
I will exercise some discipline. Not
that Mrs. Fein and Mrs. Schneider
advise us girls not to swear. Theydo,
however, advise us not to ask him og
not to call him, not to tell him what to
do, not to stare, not to talk too mch
not to open up too fast ... well, yo-
can read the whole list m
Cosmopolitan, American Woman and
Woman's Own magazines. You cnv
also take seminars in The Rules.
Or you could just join a convent. It
certainly would be more pleasant than
following The Rules. But chastity, you
protest? What's the difference 4
Rules girls can't have sex when they
want to anyway. Nor can a Rules gir=
tell a man what she likes in bed, or ask.
a man what he wants. Or talk at all. Or
show emotion about sex.
"... The Rules way is not a hobby, but
a religion" Ah, a religion. And mar
riage is the institution and your has-
band/prospective husband is the god;
As I read on, the book turned from.
funny to skin-crawling.
If your parents and friends thin
you're nuts, you are supposed to
ignore them, stall them, but no dis-
cussing. Just an island of Rules. Yu
can't discuss it with anyone anti-Rule
because "It's hard enough to do The
Rules when you believe in them, it's
even harder when you talk to people
when they're downright against them."
(Excuse me, but last I checked, I knew'
how to think for myself, and sod'
most of us little girls.) Mrs. Fein an
Mrs. Schneider also advise followers
not to read books about other methods,
or counter to the Rules philosophy,.
"particularly books that encourage;
women to pursue other men or express
their inner child." Now I, too, believe
inner-children are a load of horsepuck-'
ey, but I wouldn't want to stop anyone
from reading those books any mor
than this book.
.Sound like cult brainwashing tec4
niques to you? Me too.
The messages about women are
another problem altogether.

You can't discuss The Rules with
your therapist, because he or she might
try to talk you out of it. (Actually, the
book trashes therapists at every,
chance.) Your therapist might find The;
Rules "dishonest and manipulative."
(Small wonder.) Your therapist mig
want you to take a more open ar
communicative approach to relation-
ships. And, your therapist certainly
couldn't understand the hidden capac}
ities of women "for forcing themselves
on men who don't want them and try-
ing to make relationships happen. If
they only knew how we wandered
around campus hoping to run into
men.... A woman in love with a mativ
who is not in love with her can be dan-
gerous to herself and him. Her on
hope is to do The Rules."
Who buys into this stuff, anyway?
Oh, right. Those who want results,
girls! The rewards are a list of 20,
ranging from a marriage proposal to
your sweetie sitting right next to you in
a restaurant booth. After marriage,
"He gets angry when you don't, pay
attention to him. He wants your con-
stant attention and companionship:'
Great. Demanding and angry.
death do us part. "He gets involved in
every aspect of your life. You don't
bore him." I'm smothering here. "He
wants the phone number of where you
are ... ." Suspicious and jealous. "He
doesn't like it when you go to bache-

WHAT'S AFFECTING U' THIS WEEK J

MONDAY
Writer's Series
Guild House, 802 Monroe St.
TUESDAY
MSA meeting
3909 Michigan Union

8:30-10 p.m.
7:30 p.m.

SUNDAY
MLK symposium Opening Performance,
CeCe Winans
Power Center

8 p.m.

Want to be aDaily editorial
page columnist?
Prepare three original columns of 4,500
characters each and a brief column
proposal. Bring all submissions to the
Student Publications Building
located at 420 Maynard St.
1 inaQ ri Aav T In ) A.

How TO CONTACT THEM
INGRID SHELDON
ANN ARBOR MAYOR
100 N. FIFTH AVE.

r

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