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January 11, 2002 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-01-11

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 11, 2002

OP/ED 0

C'beAlriu nI

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
daily.letters@umich.edu

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

GEOFFREY GAGNON
Editor in Chief
MICHAEL GRASS.
NICHOLAS WOQMER
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.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
((Oh yeah,
baby, give me
the news, you
are just sooo ...
credible."
- Phil Kloer yesterday in his column in the
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Too sexy
for the news?" which addressed the
issue of how "our whole culture gives TV
journalists the same hey-look-me-over
treatment it gives to pop stars."

f (K0P!DtUPSTAIRS APARTrMN, THE~N
soCeAUI.
I'LKW (

WAY ka(0')
Ltvi-ACAMIMOUR,

I'A WAS BX 1& BOOKS AD T
NIT ME- IF A SO)N fIAO LL-EQUPED
YARO0% CAM SELL TrMOOKS ROM, A

V ESSAY
Whose Ann Arbor?
Part I: A changing city leaves future of student environment unclear

BY MIcHALA GRASS
Last month, an Ann Arbor institution
announced it was closing. The owners of Dascola
Barbers on East Liberty Street decided the rising
rents of the State Street-area were too steep. With
the departure of Dascola Barbers, only three busi-
nesses in the area have been open for more than
two generations - Van Boven men's clothiers,
the Caravan gift shop and Arcade barbers.
A December letter to the editor in The Ann
Arbor News best describes Dascola's depature:
"What a sad testimony to the changing
character of our town that a thriving, family
owned business like Dascola's can't afford to
pay the increased rents. Ironically, despite the
increase in rent the area itself seems to be in
decline with vacant storefronts and dirty,
unkempt sidewalks and streets. Perhaps Dasco-
la's will be replaced with yet another ubiquitous
coffeehouse or other soulless chain retail estab-
lishment with virtually no attachment to our
community. What a shame."
Twenty years ago, the State Street-area
didn't have New York chain restaurant like
Cosi and Famous Famiglia. Decker Drugs had a
pharmacy and Drake's Sandwich shop was a
lunch-time staple. Border's was still a small
bookshop rather than a big-box retailer and
Jacobson's department store anchored the area.
But times change and so has Ann Arbor.
The State Street area was one of two student-
oriented shopping districts for the University of
Michigan campus. But during the 1990s, the
nature of the area began to change and with it,
on a broader level, students as an important con-
stituency
A DESIRABLE PLACE TO LIVE
Right outside the back door of New York
Pizza Depot on East William
Street is a chain-link fence. On
the other side of that fence is a if stude
long abandoned McDonald's displace
restaurant. On the Maynard their tra
Street sidewalk is a large sign
announcing the coming of the neighbon
Collegian, an eight-story tower the effec
that will have retail, office space Univesit
and luxury condominiums.
Although when structural steel the city -
will rise from the site is still be dra
unclear, as advertised on Nation-
al Public Radio and in Crain's
Detroit Business and The Wall Street Journal,
the Collegian will boast two $1 million-plus
penthouses with unequaled views of the Diag.
Obviously, students will not live at the Col-
legian.
Maurizio Grillo, proprietor of New York
Pizza Depot, isn't concerned that a huge building
will eventually rise behind his business. Right
now, the construction preparation is a little
unnerving since he has lost use of the alleyway
behind his business. But he isn't concerned that
the tower might drive up property values - and
the rent of students who are his primary cus-
tomers.
"People will come because of the quality of
our food. The students will always come," Gril-
lo said.
But will that always be the case? Ann Arbor
is the city it is today because of the University
and its students. If the University never moved
from Detroit in 1837, Ann Arbor would be just
another small town on the periphery of metro-
politan Detroit.
Because of the University and the culture it
supports, Ann Arbor is becoming a more popu-
lar place to live for the well-to-do and educated
upper-middle class of southeast Michigan. This
was formally marked two summers ago when it

FILE PHOI
The Michigan Theater and State theaters anchor the State Street business district, an
area where the spheres of student and city life converge. But as Ann Arbor changes as
a city, will the University community remain the same?

Mm
ant
y.
114

YP IN PASSING

UNIVERSITY, STUDENTS SHOULD
GIVE MAIL.UMICH A CHANCE
Over a year ago, the University launched its
own web portal named my.umich.edu where stu-
dents could access a variety of online services,
including web-based e-mail and classifieds.
While the web portal was an excellent idea,
my.umich was plagued initially by a number of
problems: Excessively slow access times, an
awkward e-mail interface and a seemingly
flawed public information campaign to educate
the University community about the portal. Stu-
dents were turned off especially by the length of
time it took to access their e-mail relative to the
University's faster but antiquated telnet-based e-
mail system. As a result, the University's sup-
port for the site seemed to flounder in the face of
these problems.
But while my.umich has corrected its core
problem - its slow speed of access - the Uni-
versity has yet to renew its commitment to the
site either financially or symbolically.
For a University that considers itself to be on
the cutting edge of technology, the lack of a
strong, web-based e-mail system suggests other-
wise.
Most major educational institutions have a
system for its members to check their e-mail
over the web, having long ago abandoned archa-
ic, telnet-based e-mail access. And while the
University did introduce mail.umich.edu - an
e-mail-only web site - the site does not work
for students outside the College of Literature,
Science and the Arts.
If the University is to continue to be a leader
in educational information systems, it must pro-
vide, at least, universally accessible web-based
e-mail access and reaffirm its commitment to
accomplish this goal to my.umich.
- Jim Secreto
U.S. SHOULD TAKE A LESSON FROM
HISTORY, AID ARGENTINA
It's official, Argentina is up the creek with-
out a paddle and President George W. Bush has
implemented a policy casually known as "To

Hell With Them." According to The New York
Times, on the question of whether or not to bail
out Argentina, Bush's "decision was to let
Argentina suffer the consequences of its own
economic mismanagement."
Sure, Argentina made a few bad calls, econo-
mists will argue, such as tying its peso to the dol-
lar. But does that mean that we, the so-called
leaders of the Free World, should let an impor-
tant and highly populated country in South
America fall into destitution, suffering and
chaos?
We didn't feel any responsibility to fix the
suffering in the Middle East, instead we let Iraqis
die under our policies and had the instability of
Afghanistan end up in the installation of one of
the most tyrannical and oppressive regimes of
our time. Of course we didn't, it didn't affect us,
until some of them started crashing airplanes
into the World Trade Center.
Historians will show that nations with wide
scale destitution and instability can and do lead
to terrorism and tyranny. It happened in the
depression in Germany; that led to people
embracing Nazism. Palestinian refugees, who
live in extreme squalor often turn to terrorism,
for in their situation it seems to be the only hope.
So why allow the U.S. to become an enemy
of another country in disorder and destitution?
Why let millions of innocent and suffering peo-
ple become the victims of another dictator like
Jorge Rafael Videla?
There are two answers. Bush has a complete
disregard to historical evidence and does not
understand how prolonging the suffering of mil-
lions on another continent is immoral and can
affect the United States and the rest of the world.
Bush would like to create more instability, to
create more enemies and more terrorism in order
to start yet even more wars, that will cause more
instability and so on. It makes sense either way.
- Ari Paul
In Passing views are those of individual
members of the Daily's editorial board, and do
not necessarily represent the opinion of
The Michigan Daily.

was discovered that the Ford family was aban-
doning its traditional Grosse Pointe Farms
stomping grounds for Ann Arbor. And although
the Fords did not choose downtown Ann Arbor
as their new home, many suburban Detroit elite
and professionals have.
Douglas Kelbaugh, dean of the University's
A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and
Urban Planning, believes Ann Arbor's urban
characteristics and town-gown relationship
make it a popular place for the newcomers and
the traditional University community that has
been in Ann Arbor for the past 165 years.
Kelbaugh, who lives in downtown Ann
Arbor, himself sees developments
fS are like the Collegian - and a similar
from tower proposal at East Washington
and South State streets - as projects
tiOnal that will add vitality and variety to
oodS, the city's urban core.
"What makes Ann Arbor so
on the great is it is relatively compact and
- and dense," he said adding that the Uni-
- COuld versity's campus to is a physically
intimate environment without the
atic. buffers of playing fields and park-
ing lots. That relationship is rare.
"There is a vibrant dialectic between the
sanctuary of the campus and the hustle and bus-
tle of the adjacent city," he said.
IGNORING STUDENTS' ROLE IN CITY COULD
HARM ANN ARBOR, UNIVERSITY
Such a close relationship between the Uni-
versity and the students who live in the neigh-
borhoods surrounding campus makes it
imperative to keep students living close to
campus.
"The last thing we want to do is become a
commuter university," he said. And if students
are displaced from their traditional neighbor-
hoods, the effect on the University - and the
city - could be dramatic. "It's such a different
culture and milieu."
Although there aren't any visible conspira-
cies to oust politically-disenfranchised students
from their traditional - but often neglected -
neighborhoods in order to make way for a gen-
trified neighborhood for the upper-middle class
professionals of metro Detroit, rising student
housing costs are always a sign that it could hap-
pen.
Although Kelbaugh does not believe that is
on the horizon, he said cost could be a major
factor in the future of student neighborhoods. "I

hope there are desirable student neighborhoods
that remain affordable," he said. "These neigh-
borhoods may get gentrified, also victims of
their own success."
When the University released its report on
the undergraduate experience last semester, it
outlined plans to build more residence halls,
therefore reducing the dependence of its stu-
dents to live in the neighborhoods that surround
campus.
Part of the reason students attend the Univer-
sity is because of Ann Arbor. Student life is
highly decentralized. Unlike someoampuses
where unions or residence halls form the foci of
student life, in Ann Arbor, it happens at off-
campus houses, fraternity houses, State Street
coffee houses and apartments in the student
"ghettos."
It's a fact, but it's something that the Univer-
sity hasn't clearly recognized.
Former President Lee Bollinger championed
his "Master Plan" where the physical environ-
ment of the University campus was analyzed
and picked apart. The purpose and use of every
inch of University space was considered, from
bus routes to entertainment venues to the walk-
ing paths of freshmen. But if you page through
"Master Plan" reports prepared by the world-
famous architectural firm of Venturi, Scott
Brown and Associates, the off-campus student
neighborhoods are misunderstood. Their contri-
butions and vitality to the overall health of Uni-
versity culture is not recognized.
It's an interesting, but unknown territorial
quandary, and students are left in the middle
with nobody to represent their interests. And
since the University and the city has not formal-
ly recognized this grey area, it is difficult to
forecast where Ann Arbor is going.
When outgoing seniors graduate this April,
they will expect that the environment and cul-
ture that makes the University and Ann Arbor
special to remain. But if the city and University
don't recognize the importance of student neigh-
borhoods, what makes the Ann Arbor unique
could be destroyed.
On Wednesday: Part II: Rising rent,
students as a diminishing political constituency,
their ineffectual leadership and lack of interest
in neighborhood affairs.
Michael Grass is the Daily's editorial page
editor and an LSA senior. He can be reached
via e-mail at mgrass~4umich.edu.

0

V LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Diversity a testament
to India's democracy
To THE DAILY:
The charge that Fadi Kiblawi makes in his
letter, "India, Israel not democratic nations"
(1/10/02), is not only a ludicrous accusation, but
it shows Kiblawi's attempt to confuse the Kash-
mir issue. The India Partition act of 1947 left no
doubt that the provinces of Jammu and Kashmir
were to remain under Indian control Further-

India should hold a plebiscite on the Kashmir
issue is a gross infringement on the sovereignty
of the world's largest democracy.
NxuHiu Sua
LSA sophomore
Pakistan also guilty of
offences in Kashmir

American women were denied voting rights up
until 80 years ago.
While it is evil that Israel oppresses Pales-
tinians and denies them basic political rights and
social equality, the West Bank and Gaza Strip
regions do not entirely determine the type in
government of Israel, which is designed as a
democracy. It would be great if Palestinians
were also allowed to actively participate in this
democracy.
The Indian army does control certain regions
of Kashmir with an "iron fist" and commit
. . . . I . . . 1 - . .. . fl

a

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