The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - Fall 2004 - 9F
Homeless look for options
during winter months
November 10, 2003
By Jeremy Berkowitz
and Emily Kraack
Daily Staff Writers
If there is one thing students and the city's homeless
people can agree on, it's this: Ann Arbor can be miser-
able once winter sets in.
Ron, who has a place to live on Stadium Boulevard
but still collects change to support his family, said that
the best way to deal with winter weather is to get out of
"If you're cold, go somewhere where it's warm," he
said. He recommended a warmer climate like Florida
and said that if he had more money, he would go there
Danny, a homeless man who often sits outside of
White Market on East William Street, said that because
the shelters are full, he has to work out strategies for
keeping warm in the winter.
"I'm trying to dress as warm as I can," he said. He
added that he tries to crawl into holes at night to get
out of the open. "At night you just do the best you can.
Most of the time you just suffer." Danny said keeping
warm during the day is not as hard because he can go
into coffeehouses or restaurants.
Student groups, city officials and law enforcement
are working to decrease the dangers posed by the com-
bination of homelessness and low temperatures.
Department of Public Safety Lt. Robert Neumann said
DPS trains its officers to help people left out in the
cold. "We're always concerned with the health and
safety of everyone we encounter," he said.
Neumann said DPS gives its officers reference mate-
rials containing information about resources for the
homeless. He said officers try to get people into shel-
ters or contact their families when cold weather hits.
He said that sometimes DPS allows homeless people
to stay in the DPS office lobby overnight, though he
cautioned that the DPS lobby is "not a shelter" and said
that officers evaluate each individual case before offer-
ing the space.
"It's a temporary solution for that night. We can't
solve the problem for them, but we can avoid a crisis
for the night," he said.
Neumann said if a student sees a homeless person who
seems to be in danger, they should take action. "If a person
seems to be in distress, if they seem to need help, (stu-
dents) are encouraged to give DPS a call," he said.
Area shelters are working to institute new services as
winter sets in. The Ann Arbor News reported that the
Robert J. Delonis Center, a new 50-bed shelter in
downtown Ann Arbor, will replace three existing shel-
ters and is slated to open Nov. 19.
The Delonis Center will also have an emergency
warming shelter, which has chairs for the night so peo-
ple can get warm when the temperature or wind chill
falls below 20 degrees.
While DPS and area shelters aim to get people out of
the cold, student groups like the Detroit Project and the
Public Interest Research Group in Michigan seek to
raise awareness and furnish homeless people with
warm clothes once winter sets in.
Engineering senior Janna Burrell, a major events co-
director, said the Detroit Project is currently holding a
She said the drive will end with a "virtual store" held
in Gompers elementary school in northwestern Detroit
on November 15.
The store served more than 300 people last year.
"There's definitely homeless people served," Burrell
said. Gompers serves a population where 30 to 40 per-
cent of the children at the school fall below the poverty
line. Burrell said it is in the poorest part of Detroit.
"We want to make sure people get clothes before the
bad weather hits," she said. She added that mid-
November is a good time to hold the drive because peo-
ple are cleaning out their closets.
When the weather turns cold, the homeless in the city, like Jack, are forced to
find residence elsewhere.
Study rates A2 sixth least stressful city in nation
January 27, 2004
By Sarah Roffman
For the Daily
Some students may be doubtful, but the
presence of a university may actually con-
tribute to Ann Arbor's low stress ranking,
according to a new study that looks into
social factors in a community.
"A college town is a great place to live,
and Ann Arbor is a great example of that,"
said Bert Sperling, CEO of Fast Forward, the.
Oregon-based research firm that conducted
"The young people add vibrancy and there
is so much to do for the community, includ-
ing sporting events, plays and lecture series,"
Although Sperling has 16 years of experi-
ence analyzing people and places, students
had a variety of reactions - from laughter to
raised eyebrows - to his latest study, which
ranks Ann Arbor the sixth least stressful city
out of 100 like-sized metropolitan areas in
"I saw that study and I don't know how
they calculated it, but it doesn't seem appro-
Ann Arbor U..Ag
N Per Capita Incom $26,117 $211658
-.Source: Bestplace.nei t
out in the boonies in Jackson, but I used to work
in East Lansing and people are far more
stressed out there," said Erik Berg, assistant
manager at Kinko's Inc. on East Liberty Street.
"About half the business people that come
through here want their projects completed by
yesterday. But the other half are pretty cool
about when it can get done."
When it comes to weather, the number of
cloudy days in Ann Arbor was high - in the
81st percentile - which can lead to seasonal
depression, Sperling said.
Ami Badami, an LSA freshman, said she
thinks her stress level will decrease when the
snow is gone.
"The winter adds stress because you're
cooped up and less likely to go outside. So
either you're studying or thinking about how
you should be studying," she said.
Ann Arbor's commute time was average
compared to other cities studied, and among
other statistics in the study, Ann Arbor had a
fairly low divorce rate, crime was in the 10th
percentile, mental health was in the 33rd per-
centile and suicide was in the 43rd percentile
- high for a town it's size, Sterling said.
1n t/e% ; mqjar cie rate
Mirch 25, 2004
By Adhraj Dutt
Daily Staff Writer
While the city of Ann Arbor
experienced a decrease in crime in
2003, University students need to
take precautions to protect them-
selves, particularly against property
theft, according to Ann Arbor Police
Department Chief Daniel Oates.
The overall crime rate declined in
Ann Arbor in 2003, but the eight
major crimes - those that police
departments are required to report
to the state - remained virtually
unchanged, Oates said.
"We had a modest decrease in
overall crime but not in major
crimes," he said. "Overall crime,
which includes lesser crimes, was
down by 1.9 percent."
The nine major crimes fell by 0.6
percent, including a 10.9 percent
drop in burglaries and a 6.9 percent
decrease in forcible rape. But some
of the major crimes increased sub-
stantially - car theft rose by 25.4
percent and robberies rose by 17
Several other crimes fell signifi-
cantly. Narcotics offenses were
down 17.8 percent, driving under
the influence by 18.5 percent and
forgery by 29.7 percent.
Some of the most rampant crimes
committed against University stu-
dents occur because students leave
their residences or cars unlocked,
"There is a criminal underclass in
this town that preys on students,"
Oates said. "We could impact crime
in this city significantly if we can
get students to lock their doors."
Students living on and off campus
tend to leave their doors unlocked
and don't keep valuables conceale.
This is particularly a problem in
off-campus housing, where a large
number of students are living
"Students don't pay particular
attention to who is going into large
residences, and they become easy
victims unnecessarily so," Oates
said. "When there are five, 10, 15
students in dwellings, doors are left
open, and people will steal."
Oates attributes this to students
not knowing who else lives in their
residences and to large residences
that usually have many people
entering and exiting frequently.
He added that more than 50 per-
cent of theft from cars occurs
because the vehicles are left
"We've got a police department
that works very hard," ates said.
"We have regular crime strategy
meetings with University police
where we go through recent crime
The AAPD and Department of
Public Safety use these Wednesday
morning meetings to determine how
to best allocate police patrols in
order to respond to crimes that are
occurring around the University.
"Our meetings with them help,"
DPS Capt. Joe Piersanti said.
"We share information on crime
trends, suspects and crime statistics.
If we see a certain trend, I show
them to all the police bureau super-
visors, and we decide how to
deploy," he added.
DPS also divides the University
into three districts and assigns offi-
cers to specific districts and to spe-
cific buildings within those
districts, Piersanti said.
"We try to open the lines of com-
munication between officers and
students and officers and faculty,"
In the effort to increase safety
and decrease crime, the AAPD tries
to focus on apprehending individu-
als who have a prior criminal record
because those individuals tend to
repeatedly commit crimes and have
outstanding warrants, AAPD Sgt.
Jim Stephenson said.
"What we are doing is taking a
more active approach in going after
fugitives," he said. "We are making
a push to focus on those with a
known criminal history."
priate to my stress level," said LSA freshman
She added that, at the least, there is stress
"trying to not lose sensation in my limbs
walking to class."
Sperling's survey, which was published this
month, ranked Tacoma, Wash. the most
stressful city, followed by Miami, Fla. and
New Orleans, La. The least stressful city was
Albany, N.Y. Detroit was ranked as ninth
Nine factors were considered in the study,
including unemployment rate, violent and
property crime rates, commute time, suicide
rate, divorce rate, alcohol consumption, men-
tal health and the number of cloudy days nor-
mally experienced by each city.
Ann Arbor's low unemployment rate -
about 2 percent, half the national average,
according to Sperling's website - con-
tributes to its low stress level.
Ranking in the 8th percentile, the city has
a stable economic base and is populated by
people who enjoy what they're doing, Ster-
"Ann Arbor is higher stress than where I live
Local business owners
worry about high costs
April 16, 2004
By Jonathan Cohen
Daily Staff Writer
Maria Thompson, chief executive offi-
cer of TJ Technologies Inc., is one of
many city business owners who said she
had trouble starting up her enterprise in
Ann Arbor a few years ago. Thompson
said the city should be more aware and
Repair is next door to NYPD.
"It's almost impossible to keep going. It is
getting harder and harder to stay in business,"
Ten percent of the survey's respon-
dents said they believed that a lack of
parking hurt businesses. Parking, along
with high taxes and health insurance, is
among the toughest obstacles to over-
conducive to small1
Scott Leopold of
Brewery said they
felt neglected by
the city early on
in their careers.
They, along with
and new business
owners across the
come, Brown said,
Costs of business
Local owners express strengths
and weaknesses of business in A2
Out of about 180 owners surveyed, 44
percent responded that taxes and costs
of business in city were too high.
23 percent credited proximity to the
University as a boost for their companies.
adding that he often
from his cus-
owner of a frame
store in Nickels
Arcade, also said
he faces similar
tions are terrible
for the people
who work here
taxes, rent and parking in a survey conduct-
ed last month by the Ann Arbor Area
Chamber of Commerce.
The most significant results showed that
44 percent of proprietors said they felt taxes
and the cost of doing business were too high.
About a third of respondents said they felt
there should be more affordable housing for
the workforce, and 10 percent said they
thought that a lack of available workspace
was a deterrent for entrepreneurs.
Domenico Telemaco opened New York
Pizza Depot in 1997. He said it took him
a year to find a suitable location due to
and their customers," he said.
Despite such obstacles, some local own-
ers said they have no choice but to handle
the difficulties of doing business. "You just
have to deal with whatever they lay on you.
You have to work your fingers to the bone,"
said Bill Loy, an owner of Student Bike
Shop on Maynard Street.
The survey also found ways in which
the city promoted business growth. Fifty-
two percent of respondents said they felt
that the city's cultural amenities and
lifestyle promoted business and 23 per-
cent said they felt proximity to the Uni-
versity made the city an attractive place