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January 21, 1999 - Image 23

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-01-21

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108 - The Michigan Daily Weekend Magazine - Thursday, January 21, 1999
'U,' A2 snow-clearing efforts kick into h gear

University crews work to clear snow late last week. The Ann Arbor area got 10 inches of the white stuff than sloshed through
another 4 Inches just as students were returning from winter break. The result: Long, fgid hours and many sleepless ngts
for snow removal crews which scrambled both on and offcampus.

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By WhEM ash
Arts Writer
Though winter came in like a
lamb - by Jan. 3 it had roared to
the tune of 10 inches of snow and
just days later dumped four more
inches on unsuspecting Ann Arbor
Although schools in the area and
across Michigan immediately can-
celed classes, the University, the
Ann Arbor Traffic Division and pri-
vate contractors battled Jack Frost
enough to clear the way for stu-
But, as the struggle against the
white stuff continued, more than a
few nerves were frayed among city
traffic division clean-up crew mem-
bers - many of whom had been
forced to work around the clock to
keep up with area needs.
"People don't
realize the "Guys w
inconvenience is
eve r y w he r e," wooi, '
said Lars, a traf-
fic officer whose 2
work included
blocking off part
of State Street. Owner, T
"Just look in ther
summer when
the Art Fair
comes and the same thing happens."
Problems have arisen when dri-
vers disregarded motorcades and
other removal blockades because
"apparently they couldn't walk the
extra 50 or 100 feet," Lars said.
But some businesses owners and
students have been thankful for his
work as well as the work of the rest
of the crew. Members of the
Downtown Development Authority
(DDA) even brought workers hot
chocolate and coffee one day to
ease the freezing temperatures.
Lars said he has seen storms of
this magnitude five or six times in
the past but none in the past 10
When it comes to predicting the
chances of more snow in the future,
Lars cited the unpredictability of
weather in Michigan.
"It's a craps shoot. The odds are
50/50, so yes I think we will get
more snow and no I don't."
Ann Arbor officials report they
have been forced to dump the
excess loads of snow on the city's
outskirts and in various parks. Lars
estimated that the in some places
snow dunes reach 40 to 50 feet high.
The University hires private con-
tractors, such as Terrascape snow-
removal company, to clear many of
the parking lots and structures
around campus.
Bob Rasch, owner of Terrascape,
estimated that 10 to 15 percent of
his business comes through the
The first significant snowfall,
which happened to be not the usual
two to four inches but ten tested the
grit of his workers, Rasch said.
"I saw quickly whether or not
they did all their homework," he
said. "Guys were working 100- to

1006 to
r week"
- Bob Rasch
errascape snow
removal service

that work
morning, noon
and night to
clear the cam-
pus. But even
with such
man-power the
results have
been unsatis-
factory, said
Gaubatz, assis-


120-hour weeks."
One hazard of such grueling con-
ditions is just staying awake behind
the wheel, Rasch said.
Learning how to plow is "not
rocket science," Rasch said. "But
staying awake 30 hours straight
behind the wheel is tough."
Besides the huge number of man-
hours needed, another difficulty
with cleaning more than a foot on
snow is being able to see curbs and
islands in parking lots.
"Some guys were doing their first
jobs in 10 inches of snow," Rasch
said. "We had a few broken plows
and trucks from hitting into buried
obstacles "
But the brunt of campus snow is
shoveled and plowed by University
University employees have shifts


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tant manager of Grounds & Waste
Management Services.
Usually a typical year's snow load
can be cleared and fully taken care
of in about 24 hours, but current
conditions should take weeks to be
fully cleared and handled, Gaubatz
The University has deployed its
entire winter fleet and had to rent
trucks and equipment to combat the
current conditions.
"We have everything from the
loaders that take up the width of the
sidewalk to (those that take) the
width of a traffic lane," Gaubatz
The Athletic Department, parking
maintenance and grounds and waste
management have been cooperating
in clearing the streets.
University officials said they
have been trucking their clef :ed
snow onto Elbel field on the band
practice pad.
The dirt-capped, and black-snow -
covered snow mountains reach
heights of up to 12 feet, making it
so the rims of the basketball hoops
are dwarfed and are left only to pro-
trude from the pile.
Students have been quick to take
advantage of the snow wasteland,
carving tunnels and having snow
fights on the mounds.
As for the future, Gaubatz said
the news is far from encouraging -
he has to look ahead to the time
when the weather warms up, which,
he said, may trigger minor floods
and icy conditions. And, of
course,various multitudes of other
undesirable phenomena are always
very possible.
"We're paying attention i how to
minimize the effects when all this
snow begins to melt," he said..

find peace
at Meijer
By Sasha Higgins
Daily Arts Wrter
When urges to eat gummy bears, ridek
bikes, and play with Etch-a-Sketches
become too strong to subdue, your
neighborhood Meijer can provide a
solution. Even if it is 3 a.m.
The Meijer experience satisfies a '
multitude of needs from essentials a
like snow shovels; to indulgences
such as chocolate covered donuts: or
inadvertent whims including jigsaw
puzzles. One can shop for groceries,
reading materials, greeting cards,
CDs and gerbils all in one trip -
and this would just be skimming the
depths of this vast megastore.
Upon entering the store, shelves
upon shelves stretch into the hori-
zon. There seems to be no end to the Meer c
rows of fruit shelves, freezers, and Shoppn
clothing racks. Around every corner
is another stretch of shelves, all call- bils, a
ing out to the thousands of con- more a
sumers who go by every hour of the ride on
day. Meijer is open 24 hours a day Shah
every day except for Christmas. only av
While other area stores including ceries,
some Busch's and Kroger locations from sci
offer grocery shopping during all "It's fu
hours of the day and night, Meijer's ing' sai
selection and appeal among univer- is such a
sity students is unparalleled. Johan
Managers at both area Meijer MBA st
locations refused formal comment, the prac
but a Meijer employee, wishing not sides of
to be identified, said the early hours "Meij
of the morning are a prime time supplies
shopping time for some people. also a g
"People come to shop all through the form pa
night," she said. "We get a lot of groups Engin
of students in the early morning hours, very fax
especially on the weekends." late-nig
"Late-night Meijering" is often "It's a
advantageous because of more avail- run out
able parking spaces and shorter lines at with fri
registers. Students can pick up party Hausers
necessities or study-break snacks, avoid giant be
frazzled parking attempts and don't volleyba
have to worry about store hours.
"Students buy all sorts of things
during the night. Normally it's food
and drinks, but sometimes they
come out with a big cart full of
things," said the Meijer employee. Cc
Neha Shah, an Engineering
sophomore, shops at Meijer, often
late at night.
"Meijer has everything all in one o,
place and is a lot less expensive than Frien
downtown. For students that's
important," Shah said.
Often a trip to Meijer doesn't
involve spending money at all.
Although browsing the immense
stock of this store might take hours,
targeting specific sections is quite a
popular activity.
The toy section awakens the inner
child. For animal lovers, there is a
whole aisle of fish; hamsters, ger

The Michigan Daily Weekend
® Classic VCR Selo

nd canaries. And for those
thletically inclined, a trial
a bike is always offered.
finds going to Meijer not
way to get the week's gro-
but also a chance to get away
;hool stress.
in to come at three in the morn-
d Shah. "Playing with the toys
release. A good study break."
nes Neander, a second-year
udent, also is drawn to both
tical and the non practical
er is cheaper and has more
," said Neander. "But it's
ood stop when coming home
eering junior Josh Hauser is
miliar with the bonuses of
ht Meijer shopping.
good place to go when you
of things to do. I go a lot
iends after late movies,"
said. "Once we bought a
ach ball there, and set up a
ll game in the parking lot."
f by andfor stuaaTs
dly People
Sharing of Meals
Economical Living
Tstte-C<I natv C util
337"least rilat 662-4414

By Matthew Baret
Daily Arts Writer
Paw through the hoards
Movies of 1998" lists that cmr
papers and a title that continue
is "The Spanish Prisoner."'V
directed by David Mamet, t
plot deals with a mysteriou
known as "the process" and
that characters will do to gain
it. The story is a barrage of
turns, where no character is
seem to be and nothing is certa
film's final frame. Perhaps the
Mamet is so successful in v
plot of "The Spanish Prisoner
covered similar territory in his
debut, "House of Games"
Released in 1987, "House
is the story of an unhappy do
Margaret (Lindsay Crouse), u
into contact with a band ofcon
they fail in their initial attempt
out of some cash, the manip
Margaret into their circle an
teach her a few points abou
business. She becomes intr
decides that she wants to wri
book on the confidence game
characters play.
Joe Mantegna, along time c
with Mamet, plays Mike, the h
con men. Mike is the main P
Margaret is involved in the gr
times he is troubled over whe
he is bringing her too far into d
Mike teaches Margaret abx
called "tell" a necessity for i
making schemes. The tell is a
someone gives to tip off wh
thinking about. One of its man
uses is at the card table.
For example, a character may
his ring when he or she is bh

asier Sarah Coats (left) rings up SNRE Junior Chris Cox Tuesday night.
g at the megastore is both convenient and a little Interesting,

Often entertainment at Meijer
comes from the things other late
night shoppers are doing.
"You see these enormous kids try-
ing to ride the pony machines," said
Hauser. "That's always a laugh."
At any hour of the day, it provides stu-
dents with many of life's necessities: gro-
ceries, household supplies, and perhaps
more importantly, a reprieve from the
seriousness of student life. And besides,
who can resist a store in Ann Arbor with
open parking spaces?

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