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September 13, 2005 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-09-13

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005



Science 5
Opinion 4
Sports 10

The science
behind Katrina
Elliott Mallen
watches the watchers
coach asks "How
tough are you?"

.Ke1Mk aug tti


One-hundred-fourteen years ofeditorialfreedom

www.mikigandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXV, No. 145 62005 The Michigan Daily


victims move forward

" students.

j A
Aw A


Evacuees pledge
relief to Big Easy





Displaced students
attend classes while coping
with missing belongings,
destroyed homes
By Rachel Kruer
Daily Staff Reporter
Half a mile is not that far - it's the
equivalent of a walk to class for many
University students. But for LSA
sophomore Andrew Pridjian, half a
mile meant a sea of sewage that sepa-
rated him from his mother.
After spending several days at a
friend's house in uptown New Orleans,
Pridjian had to return to the hospital
where his mother worked and where
she was instructed to stay while thou-
sands evacuated.
Borrowing a friend's bike, Pridjian
rode through 2 feet of water that cov-
ered the city streets. When the water
depths reached more than 5 feet, Pri-
djian was forced to swim while hold-
ing onto his bike.
Along the way, Pridjian encoun-
tered a dead body floating face-down
in the toxic waste.
On Sept. 1 - after four days
without electricity or running water
- Pridjian was airlifted to the New
Orleans airport after waiting in line at
the Tulane Hospital parking lot with
1,200 people for 11 hours.
By last Wednesday, Pridjian was
taking notes at his first lecture in the
Chemistry Building at the University.
He is one of several former Tulane
University students who were forced
to relocate to the University after Hur-
ricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans.
Unlike Pridjian, Zach Bromer, a
second-year Law student now in Ann
Arbor, heeded early warnings and
evacuated his apartment on Saturday
before the storm hit. Not expecting to
.be gone for that long, he took a week's
worth of clothes, a laptop computer
and his golf clubs before evacuating.
"I thought I was just going home
(to Georgia) for a couple days to play
golf," Bromer said.
LSA sophomore Liz Kraus, who
is also originally from New Orleans,
also only brought clothes that would
last her a week when she evacuated.
She said she would probably not be
able to retrieve many of her belong-
ings because her family's house has
about 5 feet of water in it.
Kraus said fallen trees litter her
neighborhood, which also lacks elec-
See STUDENTS, Page 7

City officials vow to
improve infrastructure,
communication between
police and disaster agencies
By Karl Stampfl
Daily Staff Reporter
. HOUSTON - New Orleans offi-
cials used unequivocal rhetoric
during a Houston press conference
Sunday to dispel any uncertainty
that the Big Easy will rise again.
"We want you to come home, and
we want you to have a home to come
to," Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blan-
co said.
Speaker of the U.S. House of Rep-
resentatives Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.)
had questioned the value of devoting
time, funds and resources to rebuild
a city that is 7 feet below sea level.
"It looks like a lot of that place
could be bulldozed," Hastert said in
an interview with the Daily Herald
of Arlington Heights, Ill.
According to one poll, a major-
ity of Americans agree with him. In
an Associated Press-Ipsos poll con-
ducted last week, 54 percent said
those living in vulnerable sections
of the city should relocate.
Hastert later qualified his com-
ments after they provoked a strong

backlash from the citizens of New
Orleans and their legislators.
"My comments about rebuilding
the city were intended to reflect my
sincere concern with how the city is
rebuilt to ensure the future protec-
tion of its citizens and not to sug-
gest that this great and historic city
should not be rebuilt," he said.
Water, which once .covered 80
percent of the city, is now being
pumped out. Officials now think it
will take less than the original esti-
mate of two to three weeks to drain
all of the water. Even after that,
most agree the city will be uninhab-
itable until significant renovations
take place. No one is certain how
long that will take or how much it
will cost. The federal government
has already devoted a total of $62.3
billion for Ktrina relief, the AP
After touring downtown New
Orleans yesterday, President Bush
talked about the future of the city.
"My attitude is this: The people
of New Orleans can lay out what
New Orleans ought to look like in
the future, ... and the federal gov-
ernment will help."
In the Houston evacuee shelters,
rumors have circulated that the city
will not be rebuilt. The evacuees,
however, remain adamant that it

A protester Identifying himself only as "Terence," holds a sign reading, "This is not a natural disaster" near the
Reliant Stadium In Houston yesterday.
Katrina s survivors move
Out of sheters, into homes

By Karl Stampfl
Daily Staff Reporter

HOUSTON - Two weeks after
Hurricane Katrina slammed into
the Gulf Coast, survivors who have
made Houston evacuee shelters their
homes are moving on.
Some have gotten jobs in Houston
and plan on staying at least until New
Orleans is rebuilt, while others are
scattering throughout the country.
Organizers want most of the evac-
uees out of the shelters by mid Sep-
tember, said Joe Laud, spokesman
for the city's Office of Emergency
At their highest capacity, Houston
shelters housed about 25,400 evacu-
ees. Less than one-fifth of those
still remain.
Yesterday, in front of the shelters,
evacuees lined up with their suitcas-
es, awaiting taxis to take them to the
airport, local housing, bus stations
and train stations. Among them was
evacuee Deion Armstrong, 44, who

"I'm hoping on a fellow giving me a grand
so I can get started, maybe eventually
buy a truck and start my own business."
- Ricky Hampton

was heading to the Amtrak station
to catch a train to Philadelphia.
Armstrong, who lost his Alzheim-
ers-stricken mother to rising waters
after the storm, is a doctor. He plans
to return to New Jersey, where he
spent his childhood. He will seek
employment at his alma mater,
Rowan University.
Across the street from the con-
vention center Sunday morning, a
woman walked around with a sand-
wich board that read, "Thank you
Houston, your love is big. I'm from
New Orleans and I need a job." The

sign also listed her telephone num-
Sitting a few yards away was evac-
uee Ricky Hampton, who plans to
spend about a year in Dallas living
with family. Hampton is adamant
about not living on the government
dole for long.
"It hurts my heart to get food
stamps," he said. "I'm hoping on a
fellow giving me a grand so I can
get started, maybe eventually buy a
truck and start my own business."
Next to him was evacuee Zena
See EVACUEES, Page 7

Evacuee Wilbert Smith attempts to hail a taxi outside the Brown
Convention Center in downtown Houston. He is headed to Dallas to be
reunited with his two children.

'U' seeks solutions
. to high fuel prices


Roberts disavows
judicial activism

By Kingson Man
Daily Science Reporter
In the tale of ballooning diesel-
fuel budgets in the age of rising
energy costs, perhaps numbers tell
the story best.
During 2004, the cost of diesel fuel
for the University's bus transit system
was $370,000. This year, University
Director of Parking and Transporta-
tion Services, Dave Miller, projects
a cost of $688,000 - and that is an
optimistic estimate.
Put another way, this near-dou-
bling can be understood as the dif-

Renee Jordan. This puts the system
on par with the Ann Arbor Transpor-
tation Authority and even Toledo's
public transportation system.
"It's almost a bizarro world for
us," said Cecile Lamb, a coordinator
for transportation services. "This is
a medium-sized metropolitan transit
system we're running."
The abnormal schedule of college
students doesn't help either.
"Municipal systems have rush
hours, but once our peak time starts,
it stays peak. People go back and
forth all day," Lamb said.
What's a University to do?

WASHINGTON - Supreme Court
nominee John Roberts said Monday
that justices are servants of the law,
playing a limited government role, as
the Senate opened confirmation hear-
ings on President Bush's choice to be
the nation's 17th chief justice.
"A certain humility should charac-
terize the judicial role," the 50-year-old
Roberts told the Judiciary Committee.
"Judges and justices are servants of the
law, not the other way around."
The appellate judge likened jurists
to baseball umpires, saying that
"they make sure everybody plays
by the rules, but it is a limited role.
Nobody ever went to a ballgame to

minutes - barely half the time each of
the senators had been allotted for open-
ing statements before he took the oath
and made his remarks. He will answer
questions from senators at much great-
er length on Tuesday.
"Judges have to have the humility to
recognize that they operate in a system
that precedent shaped by other judges
equally striving to live up to the judi-
cial oath," Roberts said. He said he
appeared before the committee with
"no agenda. I have no platform."
At age 50, Roberts could help shape
the Supreme Court for a generation if
confirmed to replace the late William
H. Rehnquist. All questions, Demo-

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