The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 19, 1998 - 5A
Students donate clothes to hurcane victims
By Michael Grass
Daily Staff' Reporter
A truckload of clothes donated by
University community members will
soon reach Honduran survivors of
Hurricane Mitch, which devastated
N h of Central America earlier this
"Not only did we receive a tremen-
dous amount of support from the Latino
community here on campus, but people
of all different backgrounds," said
Public Health graduate student Cyrus
Boquin, a member of La Salud, a
Latino/a public health student associa-
The local effort to help those affected
by the storms will continue well into
t's going to take many years to
recover" said LSA junior Ixsy Ramirez,
who is Honduran.
Volunteers packed clothes into boxes
this week in the basement of Lane Hall,
which is at the corner of State and
With truck space donated by Conway
Central Express, the clothes will make
their way to Wilmington, Del., either
tgorrow or Monday, said SNRE
Effort will continue into next year
Rackham student Shari Ortez. Once in
Delaware, the clothes will be loaded
onto a ship owned by Dole pineapple
company that is headed to Honduras.
Ortez's father, who works for Dole in
Honduras, will help in the distribution
of the donated items.
Colon, the region in which her father
works, "hasn't received much aid," said
Ortez, whose husband is Honduran.
The relief effort started out slowly,
but through a massive e-mail cam-
paign led by Boquin and others, more
and more people contributed to the
People from the schools of
Natural Resources and Environment,
Business Administration, Public
Policy and Public Health, and the
International Institute, Washtenaw
Community College and other
University departments joined the
effort, Ortez said.
"There are so many connections
between us all but it is so rare that we
work together," Ortez said.
Cintas, a company based in Westland,
Mich., donated boxes of uniforms for
the relief effort.
Ramirez, a resident adviser at
Stockwell Residence Hall, placed cloth-
ing donation boxes in the residence hall.
"It was a slow start ... but we filled
two and a half boxes," she said. "There
were a lot of residents who helped out
in the end."
Ramirez said it was difficult to get
other residence halls involved on such
short notice because of housing restric-
"You need to have two weeks
notice to do something like this,"
University Latino/a fraternities and
sororities will be helping out with the
relief effort soon.
More clothing and non-perishable
goods will be collected in residence
halls and in other places around campus
Volunteer organizers would like more
undergraduate organizations, including
the Greek system, to get involved.
But in the meantime, Central
America is suffering because of
Hurricane Mitch's destruction.
More than 2 million people in
Honduras have been affected by the
storm, Boquin said. Current estimates
conclude that nearly 6,500 people were
killed, more than 11,000 people remain
missing and more than 500,000 people
are homeless, Boquin said.
"The destruction is so wide-spread,"
Mitch brought moie than $ billion
in direct economic damage to
Honduras, mainly to the nation's large
"It's going to be 2 1/2 years before
the next banana harvest," Boquin said.
Dole and Chiquita banana company,
Honduras' two major fruit companies,
have temporarily laid off their workers
"because there is nothing to do," Ortez
While Honduras bared the brunt
of Hurricane Mitch, other Central
American nations have been affect-
In Nicaragua, more than 750,000
people have been directly affected by
the storm, Boquin said. The storm
killed 3,800 people and left another
70,000 homeless, he said.
Deaths have been reported through-
out Central America, and damage
stretches from Costa Rica into Mexico.
Hurricane Mitch, which originated in
the western Caribbean Sea, stalled over
Honduras for many days earlier this
month, dumping record amounts of rain
on Central America and washing out
roads, villages and communication links.
"It's going to take a long time for
Honduras to recover," Ortez said.
"Our community boundaries are get-
ting smaller every day and seeing how
responsive this campus was ... encour-
ages me to believe we are improving in
our capacity to recognize the shared.
humanity of all global people," Boquin
The American Red Cross, though
serving as a liaison between many com-
munity organizations helping with the
relief effort, will only accept financial
How you can help
American Red Cross,
International Response Fund
(financial donations only)
P.O. Box 37243
Washington, DC, 20013
Washtenaw County office
tel: (734) 971-5300
Save the Children - Hurricane
Mitch Emergency Appeal
P.O. Box 975-M
54 Wilton Road
Westport, CT, 06880
Catholic Relief Services
P.O. Box 17090
Baltimore, MD, 21203-7090
Oxfam America - Central
America Relief Fund
26 West St.
Boston, MA, 02111
La Salud, University Latino/a
public health student association
Plan would spark competition
Dack the boughs
LANSING (AP) - A compromise plan to open
Michigan's electric market to competition apparently has
more spark than a package of bills that fizzled last year.
If they work quickly, lawmakers could push the new mea-
sures through before the legislative session ends next month.
I ey fail, the bills would have to be reintroduced next year
to a new set of lawmakers. Gov. John Engler backs the mea-
Senators had mixed feelings on the two bills taken up yes-
terday by the Senate Technology and Energy Committee.
Sen. Dianne Byrum (D-Lansing) questioned whether resi-
dents would be protected from "slamming," or companies
changing providers without customer permission. She also
questioned whether Detroit Edison and Consumers Energy
would be motivated to cut costs as long as they are allowed to
c rge transition fees to customers who seek alternative ser-
Public Service Commission aide Gary Kitts said an aver-
age family would pay about $1.26 per month in transition
fees if it switched to an alternative provider. Sen. Mike
Rogers (R-Howell) said he thought the transition fees were
high and asked for more details on how they were computed.
Sen. Jim Berryman (D-Adrian) said he is concerned about
job losses at Detroit Edison and Consumers Energy, saying
jobs were lost when the telecommunications industry was
"Those are good jobs in this state, and they've been good
j for a long time," he said, urging his colleagues not to
Still, the committee's chairperson, Sen. Mat Dunaskiss (R-
Lake Orion) is a firm supporter of electric deregulation.
"If this legislation passes for Michigan, think how much
money can be saved," he said in a statement before the hear-
ing. "If you have competitive electric rates, the economy wins
as electric rates go down and it brings more jobs into the
Like last year's proposal, the bills would allow all con-
sumers to shop around for an electricity provider by 2002.
But unlike last year, the measures appear to take into
account a study prepared by Standard & Poor's DRI of
Lexington, Mass., and released last week by the Michigan
The study called on utilities to balance the losses from
their unprofitable generating plants with earnings from
their profitable plants when determining how much con-
sumers must pay to switch to another provider. Some con-
sumer advocates had feared the transition fees would be so
high they would discourage customers from switching sup-
The bills also would allow the state to regulate electric
rates until there were enough alternative suppliers to provide
50 percent of the electric load in each geographic region of
the state, a higher percentage than in earlier plans.
Some detractors said that would simply allow Detroit
Edison to keep about $170 million it was supposed to repay
customers who had to kick in extra for the Fermi II nuclear
The bills don't drastically change an electric competition
plan put into place last year by the Michigan Public Service
AP PHOTO +-
Consumers Energy employee Jim Spitler of Jackson, Mich., hangs holiday lights Monday afternoon in Jackson's Blackman
Park. Keeping with tradition, five strands of lights were hung in each oak tree in the park
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Housing Information Office
1011 Student Activities Building
Experience Peace of Mind.
You are invited to an open house at
Eaton House Lounge
Sunday, December 6, 1998, 4-7pm
Food will be served.
Ongoing shuttle service will be available
at the Art Museum and CC Little bus stops.