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September 13, 2005 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-09-13

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 13, 2005 - 7

Continued from page 1
tional efficiency," the best transporta-
tion may be none at all, suggests Ross.
"We have a very efficient arrange-
ment," he said. "North Campus aside,
this is a very compact campus."
The layout of the campus provides
a closely knit backbone to build upon.
"The university was laid out and has
continued to follow the original lay-
out back in the 1800s. We're trying
to keep like disciplines in geographic
areas, enabling people to do more
walking," said Diane Brown, spokes-
woman for facilities and operations.
"There has been intentional plan-
ning carried through the decade to
provide for pedestrian-friendly envi-
ronments," Brown said.
The striking image of the Diag at
noon comes to mind when consider-
ing how compressed and overlapping
the paths of pedestrian transporta-
tion are.
"All of our paths blend and rein-
force each other on the campus. It is
really woven into the community fab-
ric," campus planner Sue Gott said.
"An example is the new pedes-
trian bridge built over Washtenaw
Avenue connecting the Life Scienc-
es Institute and the medical campus.
It has reduced vehicular trips, and
now we have a more effective and
beautiful way to cross a very busy
line," Gott said.
Another strategy to conserve trans-
portation costs is to provide out-of-
the-way campuses and buildings with
the resources that students need.
"We're seeing a trend where there's
a desire for food in one area, so the
School of Public Health has added
a new cafe. So it's not necessary to
get to the Union or back on campus,"
Gott said. "There are also study and
informal engagement areas, so those
resources are available right in the
Next-generation communication
technology may also help cut travel
costs. Thomas Finholt, a researcher in
the School of Information, is current-
ly working on a system to facilitate
human interaction with high-speed
video networks.
"In an environment of increas-
ing transportation costs, it's possible
that people will be able to substitute
interactions over these very hi-fi
video connections, where previously
they would have required face-to-
face meeting," Finholt said.
While video may never replace
in-person meetings for establish-
ing initial contact, "video-mediated
interactions can sustain the glow
over a longer period of time," Fin-
holt said.
While Finholt's vision of wall-size
high-definition displays that "let you
look into another workspace" is com-
pelling, today's computers and the
present capabilities of the Internet
cannot yet support it.
For now, students and faculty will
still need to regard home and class-
room as two different places. And
it is the commuters who will feel
the pain of rising energy costs most
"If there is a crunch, it will be the
drivers of private automobiles who
feel it," Ross said. "They need more
compact living arrangements, rather
than moving 20 miles out of town."

11Displaced persons
unsure o ffuture
beyond Houston

Florida Marlins outfielder Jeff Conine hands out stuffed animals and displays his World Series ring to evacuees in
the Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston yesterday.

Continued from page 1
Smith, who is deaf. She and Hamp-
ton had become friends during
their stay at the convention cen-
ter. Smith is still unsure about her
fate, but she scribbled on a piece of
paper, "Yes I want to back in New
Orleans. I not ready to though....
I want fun, clubs, bourbon, work,
A few evacuees said they could
never live in New Orleans again.
Some are looking for a new start
and are using the hurricane as
their window of opportunity, while
others are wary of revisiting post-
storm memories if they return.
"The only way I'd go back is to
visit," evacuee James Knight said.
Many, including evacuee Jennie
Green and her four children, are
planning on staying in Houston,
which she says has been good to
them so far. She wants to work as
a housekeeper or cashier and said
she will set out today to apply at
local Wal-Marts and a few other
Knight said he will stay in
Houston as long as he's welcome,
but he has already seen signs that
the evacuees' welcome is wearing
"The attitude in Houston is
changing," he said. "You can tell
by the police officers. They're get-
ting more strict. When they get
like that, you know it's time to get
The city of Houston and Har-
ris County have organized a joint
housing task force to relocate
families from the shelters into
local apartments. Each family will
Continued from page 1
should be completely restored.
Many promise they will personal-
ly help with the rebuilding efforts.
"It's going to take time, and
that's all we got," said evacuee
Ricky Hampton, who said he plans
to help. "People can't just give up
on home."
He said people would return to
the city because it is a place they
love and because it is easy to suc-
ceed there.
"They call it the Big Easy
because you can make it there. If
you can't make it in New Orleans,
you can't make it anywhere."
Evacuees spoke fondly about the
city they call home.
"In New Orleans, we're like
a family," evacuee Walter Davis
said. "We party together, we fight
together, we do everything togeth-

receive a housing voucher that will
need to be presented to its apart-
ment manager, who will bill the
city for the rent. The program is
funded through a $10 million relief
fund authorized by the Houston
City Council.
The city has also set up Housing
Choice Centers to assist evacuees
with moving into more permanent
houses and apartments. A joint-
agency taskforce based in the
shelters is also helping evacuees
obtain necessary items such as
furniture and kitchenware for their
new apartments and houses.
Most major airlines are now
offering free airfare to people who
can prove they were hurricane
victims, Laud said. Continental
Airlines is set up in the George R.
Brown.Convention Center booking
free one-way tickets to anywhere
in the country. Free bus passes are
available in the shelters.
Primary and secondary stu-
dents displaced by the hurricane
have been welcomed in Houston's
school system, as have university
students at local schools such as
the University of Houston and
Rice University. College students
from New Orleans are spread out
across the country. Many univer-
sities, including the University of
Michigan, have accepted students
and faculty for the fall term.
Despite the help, evacuees are
still unsure of their long-term
arrangements. Their plans are
sometimes muddled and often
do not reach beyond the next few
"It's hard to start over," Knight
said. "Not many of us really know
He said New Orleans is different
from places in the United States
where people don't even know
their next-door neighbors.
"Back home, if you're my neigh-
bor, I'm calling you, I'm meeting
you, my wife is bringing you din-
ner over," Davis said, adding that
the only other place in the country
with that kind of neighborliness is
Blanco and city officials
stressed the importance of upgrad-
ing critical infrastructure such as
the levees and improving commu-
nication between law enforcement
and emergency agencies.
"We have a chance to do it bet-
ter, to do it stronger, to do it right,"
she said.
Already, electricity is returning
to the city. Blanco described flying
out of New Orleans Saturday night
and seeing glimmers of light amid
the devastation on the ground.
"Light is life," she said.

New Orleans evacuees dance, sing and play during a
"Second Line" march in Houston on Sunday.

Evacuee Cornell Russel plays outside the Astrodome
in Houston on Sunday.

Continued from page 1
tricity and running water.
To replace many of her lost pos-
sessions, Kraus said she has used the
emergency aid available through the
University on a case-by-case basis.
Because his apartment is in the
small portion of New Orleans that was
not flooded, second-year Law student
Robert Brode said it is unlikely his
apartment was irreparably damaged
by Katrina.
However, he said he left behind
irreplaceable belongings like
signed posters from such bands as
Metallica, Jet, Jason Mraz and the
Darkness, which he acquired while
working at a record label. He wor-
ried the posters could fall victim to
Brode, who attended the Universi-
ty as an undergraduate, said he called
last Thursday about transferring to
the University's Law School. After

Tulane officially released students on
Sept. 2, the University gave him per-
mission to enroll.
"The University has been great, but
there's only so much they can do," he
said. "It's been financially difficult,
because I've had to (replace) every-
thing, including my textbooks, clothes
and things for my apartment."
Pridjian said the University has
been more than accommodating by
assigning an employee to give him a
tour of campus and help set him up
with a meal plan, housing and an e-
mail account.
Now that the displaced students
are becoming acclimated, it will
be an individual choice as to when
they want to return to New Orleans.
Some hope to transfer back if Tulane
reopens next semester, while others
say they wish to prolong their stay in
Ann Arbor.
Kraus said she hopes to return
to New Orleans as soon as next

"I just want to get back to get my
life back together, find all my pos-
sessions and see all of my friends
again," Kraus said.
Brode, on the other hand, said he
is exhausted from constantly moving
- he spent the summer in New York
before returning to New Orleans.
He also worried that the psycho-
logical toll of the hurricane would be
too fresh to allow him return to New
Orleans as soon as next semester.
"You see on television people
dying at the convention center and
the Superdome, which isn't too far
away from my apartment. There are
too many bad memories to return to
so soon."
Whatever the outcome, Brode is
just happy to be at the University.
"I got out safe. I found a great
environment to continue my legal
education. I have friends here. Things
could be a lot worse. It's a lot to think
about when you watch the news, but I
got pretty lucky," Brode said.

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