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January 31, 2005 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-01-31

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, January 31, 2005

OPINION

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JASON Z. PESICK
Editor in Chief

SUHAEL MOMIN
SAM SINGER
Editorial Page Editors

ALISON Go
Managing Editor

EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN SINCE 1890
420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
It is hard to say
that-something is
legitimate when
whole portions of the
country can't vote and
doesn't vote"
- Sen. John Kerry,
commenting on the Iraqi elections,
during NBC's "Meet the Press,"
reported yesterday by The Associated Press.

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10

SAM BUTLER CiL.ASSic So.\APB J'

The myth of the Detroit renaissance
DANIEL ADAMS HORSESHOES AND H ANDGRENADES
n 1977, The Renais- filed in for last week's North American roads are crumbling and, after a wave
sance Center, a International Auto Show, and, after see- of violent crime last April, your police
modern, $420 mil- ing what there was to be seen, predictably department responds not by hitting the
lion structure went filed out to places outside the city to din- streets, but with a department-wide, Mon-
up on Jefferson Street ner and to home. day-afternoon prayer session.
in downtown Detroit. Everyone knows that these projects The cops just put down their weapons
From its name to its have in many ways fallen short of expec- and turned to Jesus for help, and we're
warm reception by tations. On some level, most can admit talking about a new convention center?
local and national that Detroit is a failing city. Money is tight: Earlier this month, Kil-
observers, the building Despite that, city and state leaders patrick announced that, facing a $214 mil-
triumphantly heralded the dawn of a new have begun pushing plans to expand lion shortfall, the city would be cutting
era for the city - the start of a Detroit Cobo Center - at a cost of anywhere roughly 900 jobs and lowering wages for
Renaissance. from $650 million to a whopping $1 nonunion employees. He said in his Jan.
The building opened; the Renaissance billion - as the next step in this mythi- 12 speech, "We have failed for decades
it was supposed to spark fizzled. cal Detroit Renaissance. to make tough decisions by spending
Today it sits, a glassy monstrosity Their point man? Detroit Mayor Kwame millions as our tax base was shrinking,
pressed up against the banks of the Detroit Kilpatrick, who, in between the accusa- by making government bigger, and tens
River by miles and miles of crushing pov- tions of adultery, thuggery and lying to of thousands of people were leaving the
erty. Sadly, the RenCen suffers from the the press about his wife's taxpayer-leased city."
same problem that has predictably and Escalade, has been stumping on the impor- But he wants to sink hundreds of
systematically stricken other such revi- tance of a larger Cobo in order to accom- millions into Cobo, when the city still
talization projects: modate its signature event, the North hasn't finished paying for its last reno-
It's in Detroit. American International Auto Show. The vation in 1989?
The RenCen. Cobo Center. The Peo- logic goes like this: In order to attract and He doesn't get it.
ple Mover. Ford Field. Comerica Park. retain big-name conventions (and the dol- Cobo Hall expansion is just another in a
All great ideas, choked by their prox- lars they bring in) Detroit needs a more long line of glitzy, hyped-up development
imity to the poverty and ruin they were modern, spacious convention center. projects - projects that have historically
created to mitigate. We've heard this before. fallen far short of expectations and failed
It's like clockwork - these places draw Doesn't he get it? to revitalize a failing city. While the auto
the people in for the afternoon; then, as It doesn't matter if you have the greatest show is a tremendously important event
soon as the day is done, the people go convention center in the world if, earlier for the city, so too are any number of its
home, most doing their damnest to avoid this year, you had to close schools and lay most pressing human, infrastructural and
spending one second longer in Detroit off teachers. technological needs.
then they have to. It doesn't matter if you have a multi- A Detroit Renaissance? I hear about it.
It turns out that, even if you do build it, million dollar monorail if, only this I just don't see it.
there is no guarantee that they will come, month, you announced plans to cut busing So, to anyone still talking about it:
and, more importantly, come to stay. that serve the city's poorest citizens. Please stop.
Admittedly, I'm not saying anything It doesn't matter if you have thousands
new here. It doesn't take a particularly of square feet of high-end office space if Adams can be reached
astute observer to notice how the masses your neighborhoods are struggling, your atdnadams@umich.edu.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Dailys North Quad
coverage is inaccurate

TO THE DAILY:
I appreciate your coverage of the North
Quad project, which will bring enormous
benefits to students. However, your stories
on this topic have contained some signifi-
cant errors.
From the first announcement of this proj-
ect, I and other University leaders have been
very clear about our intention to demolish the
Frieze Building. It is not true, as the Daily
reported, that University speakers at a Jan. 13
public forum said they would consider pre-
serving part of the current structure (North
Quad plan approved, 01/27/2005). Given the
limitations of this 100-year-old building, it
will not be possible to accomplish our vision
of a dynamic mix between student residential
life and technology-rich academic activity
unless we start over with a new facility.
From the outset, I said we would incor-
porate the Carnegie Library because of its
historic significance. And again, in the Jan.
26 action request approved by the Univer-
sity Board of Regents for the North Quad
Residential and Academic Complex, we
said, " ... we will try to preserve all or part
of the Carnegie Library and incorporate it
into the complex." We have asked the archi-
tects to provide a renovation plan for the
Carnegie Library in concert with the goals
of the overall project. This process is just
beginning, and there is much we do not yet
know. But I want to be clear that my inten-
tion remains the same - to preserve the
Carnegie Library if it is feasible to do so.
I am excited about making this project a
reality, and I believe the North Quad complex
can become a model for programs at our Uni-
versity and at universities across the country.
Mary Sue Coleman
University president
Recent senior edition
should be commended
TO THE DAILY:

ing vulgar and hurtful inside jokes. Though
we presided over farewell editions of the paper
that showcased a sensibility best described as
toilet humor, we're thrilled to see the editors
have found a better way to say goodbye.
Congratulations on finishing a hell of a year.
Geoffrey Gagnon
Alum
Jon Schwartz
Alum
The letter writers are former editors in chief of
the Daily.
Letter writer misses
senior editions of old
TO THE DAILY:
In years past, the senior edition of the Daily
has been met with letters of criticism and disap-
pointment. Perhaps you think you dodged a bullet
by taking the classy approach and refusing to fol-
low tradition. But whatever griping you think you
avoided is now going to come from me.
I look forward to each year's senior issue. It
isn't often that journalists abandon their facade
of professionalism and let loose their senses of
humor, but when they do, they are the people
best equipped to poke at the world's silliness.
And let's face it - from time to time, the world
can be pretty silly.
If people find the Daily's Jeopardy edition
offensive, they have severe tunnel vision in
their selection of newspapers. Don't read it.
Pick up the Ann Arbor News or the Detroit
Free Press. Pay 25 cents one day of the year
and get The New York Times. College is our
last bastion of freedom before we enter the
hellish responsibility of real life, so let's enjoy
it while we can. Don't let this tradition die.
Ben Henri
Music junior
Daily's senior edition
still offensive
TO THE DAILY:
I actually expected to miss the yearly self-
parody issue of the Daily and wondered why
it had to be canceled instead of just being

Assembly candidates, many of whose iden-
tities had been kept secret to protect them
from assassination." "Another three aliens
were killed and seven injured ... " These
tidbits of stupidity are perhaps even more
offensive than Dick Cheney's inappropriate
winter parka worn at his visit to the formal
Auschwitz memorial last week - he may
have been merely thoughtless, but the Dai-
ly's disrespect seems deliberate.
And, especially in light of the above:
"Bring the troops home!" gratuitously
inserted after "A total of 300,000 Iraqi and
multinational troops will provide security
... " just looks stupid and out of place, not
genuine or inspiring at all.
If you think I'm being oversensitive here,
I invite the Daily staff to go visit a hospi-
tal of wounded Marines in Iraq and say to
them, "You just had your limbs blown off
by insurgents, and some of your buddies
actually died! Hot damn! What a laugh!"
and try to run from the hospital before they,
the self-styled "student journalists," get
beaten to a pulp by the able-bodied soldiers
working there. Good luck outrunning the
Marines who still have legs; they can be
pretty fast, even in combat boots.
I disagreed with the war in Iraq from the
beginning, but at least I don't make fun of
the troops or their plight. They have enough
problems with killers like al-Zarqawi, and
an inept, prevaricating administration at
home that sends them off with a "Bring 'em
on" attitude and inadequate body armor.
The last thing they need is for you to ridi-
cule them and the suffering people of Iraq,
and your "send off" for seniors was in stag-
geringly poor and unpatriotic taste.
David Boyle
Alum
ExPEss YoU OP11Q
Joiw EDIT BOARD
MONDY 7. .i.ItU.aY

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