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February 13, 2007 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-02-13

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4 - Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com .

c e M d t'a n at6l
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
413 E. Huron St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Coping with Cobo
Renovations are a responsibility of the entire region
f Detroit is truly a city on the upswing - as city officials want us
to believe - making crucial maintenance investments on its pre-
cious few world-class facilities is vital. Last December, Wayne
County Executive Robert Ficano proposed a $968 million plan to
renovate Cobo Hall, the downtown convention center that hosts the
North American International Auto Show each January, among other
events. The endeavor, regardless of its intimidating price tag, has the
potential to amass profits both for Detroit and its suburbs. It must be
the entire region's concern, not just the city's.

Karen loved animals. Unfortunately the cheetahs
betrayed her trust."
- Spokesman JAN LIBOL of the Olmense Zoo in Belgium on a cheetah attack that led to the death of
zoo visitor Karen Aerts, as reported yesterday by the Associated Press.




t_ 1_

_I Imm s s YAM

Since its expansion in 1989, Cobo Hall has
proven to be a consistent source of revenue
for southeast Michigan. Besides the glitzy
auto show - which brings in about $590
million to the region each year - this year
Cobo also hosts the NAACP National Con-
vention, Autorama and the Detroit Boat
Show. Yet Cobo is an aging facility. In a time
when Detroit needs to focus its every bright
spot for the world's eye, Cobo's position as a
world-class venue has become questionable.
As Michigan's economy remains hand-
cuffed to the fortunes of the Big Three, Cobo
Hall generates industry fanfare and brings
the limelight to Detroit with events like the
auto show. Most importantly, such events
draw visitors to Detroit and provide the city
with an opportunity for tourism-related
sales. But asa structure built for the purpose
of hosting large conventions, Cobo is on the
small side and some lucrative events that
would have otherwise come to Detroit are
forced to look elsewhere.
With the city struggling to finance the
vital expansion and renovation of Cobo,
Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Pat-
terson has proposed some solutions of his
own alongside Ficano's proposal. Ranging
from opening a small casino in the building
to charging a $1.50 ticket fee for flights out

of Detroit Metro Airport, Patterson's inter-
est in the project is heartening. However,
we hope his motives aren't simply to profit
from the revenues Cobo generates but also
to share in the regional responsibility to help
pick up the tab.
The prosperity of the suburbs, including
Patterson's Oakland County, was built from
the industrial prowess of mid-20th century
Detroit, yet the suburbs have never viewed
the city's current problems as their own. All
too content to cruise in for the auto show or
a Tigers game and leave without a second
thought, suburbanites can no longer afford
to see Detroit as a foreign entity; it's only a
matter of time before its problems spread to
their communities.
The Cobo renovation project requires a
wider regional commitment of both taxpay-
ers and politicians. Gov. Jennifer Granholm
stressed cooperation between levels of gov-
ernment in her State of the State address,
noting that "the entire state needs and wants
Detroit to be successful. We all have to work
together to see it happen." This statement is
reflective of the-need for regional collabora-
tion that this area as a whole has in the past
overlooked. After all, the suburbs soared
because of the city; unless they help restore
it, they could crash with it, too.

Although it will probably go
unnoticed by the average
inhabitant of the Ann Arbor
bubble, this Sunday brings what passes
as a second Super Bowl in some parts
of the country. But when the green flag
flies for this year's running of the Day-
tona 500, the featuredrace onthe NAS-
CAR's top Nextel
Cup circuit,
something just
won't be the
If you've ever
watched NAS-
CAR, you know
that only cars
made by Ford, f
Chevrolet and IMRAN
Dodge have tra-
ditionally par- SYED
ticipated in the - ----
races. While none of the race models
look remotely like the street versions
of the Fusion, Monte Carlo or Charger,
this selectivity is regarded by many as a
point of pride in American brands.
Going back into the days of the Big
Three, NASCAR, to a significant num-
ber of its fans is the quintessential
American sport. But with a fourth car,
Toyota entering the Nextel Cup races
this year,you'll understand if some fans
get a little worked up about a "foreign-
er" crashing their party.
And if sentiments expressed on
online forums like the one at fansagain-
stracingtoyotas.com are any indication,
worked up is putting it lightly. While
some resort to nativist provocations
even Detroit's assembly-line workers
no longer employ, others simply break
out the racism. Says one poster: "As
far as japs making better cars, G.F.Y.!!!
I think the young people need to be
reminded of P.H., this country is way to
Ouch. I need hardly explain that
"P.H." refers to Pearl Harbor; "G.F.Y." I
think is best left unelaborated. Honest-
ly, it's difficult to understand the fans'
anger here - let me explain.

As a former resident of Dearborn,
Mich., the very heart of Ford coun-
try and home of the beleaguered auto
giant's world headquarters, I know a
thing or two about the pride in Ameri-
can autos and the despise of foreign
cars among autoworkers here in Mich-
igan. Yet I have always known their
objections to be strictly pragmatic,
rarely racist.
Many Dearborn residents frowned
upon purchasing Toyotas or Hondas
because their jobs depended on the suc-
cess of Ford or General Motors. Many I
spoke to would readily admit that Japa-
nese cars were often a better value and
of superior quality, but for economic
reasons, their disdain for foreign cars
endures well into this decade.
But today the line between what is
American and what is foreign is more
than just blurred, it's completely obliter-
ated. I understand if the people of places
like Dearborn remain resentful - their
jobs still depend on the few remaining
Ford and GM plants - but the rest of
America is deluding itself by looking at
Toyota as an evil foreign entity.
Every year, Cars.com releases its
"American Made Index," which lists the
top 10 cars in terms of American parts
content, assembly and sales. To qualify,
a car must contain at least 75 percent
domestic parts. Of the four models that
will line up at Daytona on Sunday, only
one makes the list.
It isn't the Ford Fusion, which is
assembled in Mexico, the Chevrolet
Monte Carlo or the Dodge Charger
(both assembled in Canada). That's
right, the only Nextel Cup model to
make the top 10 on the American Made
Index is the Toyota Camry, which
assembled entirely at a plant in Ken-
tucky, checks in at number three.
Toyota, which at some point this
year will eclipse General Motors as
the world's largest automaker, has not
merely expanded American sales and
run the profits back to Japan, as some
would have you believe. The company
has expanded greatly its manufactur-

:Built Toyota tough?

ing operations in America, bringing
new plants and thousands of jobs to
places like Indiana, Texas and West
Again, there is reason for Michi-
gan's UAW creed to be bitter with the
Japanese automaker, but why would
fans of NASCAR (ironically concen-
trated in many of the southern states
where Toyota, Honda and Nissan have
built plants) despise an automaker that
is more American in parts content and
assembly than the traditional contend-
ers? Why is there an outcry over Toy-
ota's entry into the Nextel Cup when
only three years ago there was not a
word of protest at majority German-
owned Daimler-Chrysler entering
Dodge into the field?
Toyota's entry
into race shatters a
long-held myth.
Assuredly the protests are from a fla-
grantly ignorant minority. NASCAR is
America's fastest growing sport,whose
reach now measures well beyond its
traditional hotbed of North Carolina.
When the engines rev on Sunday, there
could be as many as eight Toyotas inthe
mix. Their entry, along with celebrated
open-wheel driver Juan Pablo Mon-
toya's Daytona debut, is a great oppor-
tunity for the sport to prove its diversity
to intrigued viewers who remain hung
up on the redneck stereotype that has
plagued it since its very inception.
After years of stalling, NASCAR
officials have abandoned their ultrana-
tionalist leanings and accepted Toyota
as a legitimate contender that will only
make the sport better. Will the fans
ever do the same?
Imran Syed is the Daily's
editorial page editor. He can be
reached at galad@umich.edu.

Editorial Board Members: Emily Beam, Kevin Bunkley, Amanda Burns,
Sam Butler, Ben Caleca, Brian Flaherty, Mara Gay, Jared Goldberg,
Emmarie Huetteman, Toby Mitchell, Rajiv Prabhakar, David Russell,
Gavin Stern, John Stiglich, Jennifer Sussex, Neil Tambe,
Radhika Upadhyaya, Rachel Wagner, Christopher Zbrozek

Registration bracket reform
would level playing field

it seem like Jam
against the nam
story (Society ask
01/26/2007), ther
from Angell - h

TO THE DAILY: his sister. So, wh
I was pleased to read about LSA-Student his mind, or is on
Government's nearly complete overhaul of telling everythin;
the registration date system (The more things Hopefully, the
change, 02/12/2007). LSA-SG deserves tre- and its fact findin
mendous credit for tackling this issue, which Order of Angell a:
lies at the heart of the notion of diversity and like the YoungAr
fairness in academia. rorist event, are d
The old system had the effect of creating a
fast track into desirable classes for students Matthew Lewis
who started college with a lot of Advanced LSAjunior
Placement credit. Most such students are
from wealthy suburbs. On the other hand, stu-
dents from rural or urban schools that lack the Afew poin
resources to fund extensive AP programs end
up at an academic disadvantage from day one. on green ei
I recall hearing stories during my fresh-
man year from friends who attended wealthy TO THE DAILY:
suburban school districts and arrived in Ann Thank you for
Arbor with more than 30 AP credits. These day's Michigan4
students were in the seminar classes with well- supporting the p
respected professors. Meanwhile, the students (MSA to 'U':buyre
who had few or no AP credits were stuck in the While we appreci
massive lecture hall throngs. to clarify a few pt
One remaining advantage that kids from the and our campaign
wealthy suburbs still have at the University is First, the articl
in the application process, when they are given wants 100 percen
an advantage because their ritzy suburban is inconsistentv
schools happen to be considered academically- in the article an
challenging. Let's hope that LSA-SG considers tion. In fact, the
the similar effect this policy has on admissions Commission hop
and fairness. third of its electr
immediately and
Matthew Murphy 50 percent by 201
Alum Second, the art
third of its electr
would cost the
Daily's coverage ofstudent more per year." a
University admin
groups slanted and shoddy the University w
premium of betw
TO THE DAILY: watt-hour beyont
Please stop your coverage on the group for- electricity. At the
merly known as Michigamua. Not only is the likely spend bet
coverage tiresome, but it is fanning the flames million per year:
against a student group attempting to reform. purchased from r
Also The Michigan Daily seems to lack the price range, wen
ability to cover it properly. For example, both renewable energy
letters to the editor last Thursday (Daily fails for the University
to recognize existing campus activism; Daily's We thank the
MSA criticism is knee-jerk and uninformed, erage. The Univ
02/08/2007) accused the Daily of poor report- resources and th
ing. dards of environr
Looking more closely at the reporting on ing in renewable
Michigamua, I fully support the sentiments will fulfill this r
Andrew Wilkinson expressed in his letter to admirable respon
the editor (Daily should leave Order ofAngell to lem of climate ch:
its secrecy, 02/06/2007).
The problem is both a slant and shoddy Shari Pomerant
reporting. Just last Thursday, a story (Despite Pomerantz is an LS.
unease of Angells, society adopts new name, They are co-chairs o
02/08/2007) was framed in a way that made Issues Commission.

es K. Angell has always been
ae change. Yet in an earlier
sAngellfamily to use its name,
e was apparently no objection
e just wished to confer with
at is it? Has Angell changed
ne (or both) of the stories not
Daily can work on its bias
g so that its stories about The
and other controversial events,
mericans for Freedom ex-ter-
deserving of print.
ts of clarification
nergy proposal
your coverage of last Tues-
Student Assembly resolution
urchase of renewable energy
enewable energy,02/09/2007).
date this article, we would like
oints regarding the resolution
le's sub-headline read "Group
:t green energy by 2011." This
with statements made later
d the contents of the resolu-
MSA Environmental Issues
es the University will buy a
icity from renewable sources
increase this commitment to
1 and 100 percent by 2015.
ticle states that "purchasing a
icity from renewable sources
University about $820,500
From our conversations with
istrators, we understand that
ill pay a renewable energy
een 0.5 and one cent per kilo-
d the price of fossil fuel-based
ese rates, the University will
ween $820,500 and $1.64-
for the third of its electricity
enewable sources. Given this
maintain that our proposal of
y will be a worthy investment
Daily once again for its cov-
versity has the power, the
he responsibility to -set stan-
mental leadership. By invest-
energy now, the University
esponsibility and provide an
nse to the unequivocal prob-
z and Chris Detjen
A senior, Detjen is an LSAjunior.
f MSA's Environmental

In defense of the B-School

I am a sophomore at the Ross School of Business and
this letter is in reference to James Somers's Statement
story about the Ross School of Business (Why the B-
School is overrated, 02/07/07). In the article, facts about
the reputation and integrity of the business school
were distorted and misrepresented. I hope to clarify
those lies.
First, let me clarify that the required skill set to
become a CEO cannot be acquired in a single semes-
ter - the amount of time that Somers spent at the Ross
School - at any business school in the world.
Somers mentions that "business professors are by
definition not quite right for their jobs." Although I
haven't interacted with too many professors during my
five months at the B-School, I have been fascinated by
the few that I have. Questioning the qualifications and
integrity of the professors at the B-School is simply
ludicrous. Each and every professor is world-renowned
for their research and writing. For instance, Prof. C.K.
Prahalad has authored texts that are taught to accoun-
tants and business students in India. To say that "most
have no place at all in the actual world of business" is
a lie.
The courses at the B-School can be described in just
one word - awesome. By the end of this semester I will
have completed six courses at the B-School, and I can
say with confidence that I have already acquired the
basic analytical, communication, IT and writing skills
to succeed in the business world. Somers contends that

"students learn material over an entire semester that
would take 45 minutes in an LSA econometrics class"
and "students spend three weeks discovering that flip-
ping heads with a quarter three times in a row has a
probability of 1 in 8." These are again lies. If they were
true, I would have dropped out as well.
Freshmen and prospective B-School students should
not go by Somers' word regarding the admissions pro-
cess either. A high grade point average is not the only
criterion to get in. I know students with GPAs of 3.8 and
3.9 who were rejected and some with GPAs of 3.0 and
3.2 who did make it. While the B-School emphasizes
the importance of a high GPA, it also considers writing
samples, ability to cope with pressure and involvement
on campus outside of the classroom. Most of the cours-
es at the B-School are worth three credits and involve a
lot of commitment outside of class in the form of com-
pleting group assignments, brainstorming case studies
and collecting data for surveys. The admissions com-
mittee helps gauge whether or not you would be able to
take on this challenge.
Somers asks, "So what really propels Ross into the
highest realms of college ranking?" The answer is
simple. It is the combination of exceptional professors
and faculty, advanced technology and facilities, well-
designed courses and talented students that make the
Ross School a champion.
Rishi Marwaha is a Business sophomore.

I am going to
keep my
this year..

I vow to be a more
charitable and caring
person this year!


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