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February 15, 2007 - Image 12

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2007-02-15

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12A - Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com a

NEIGHBORS
From page IA
violations.
A minivan is parked across the
street, and a tree house is visible
from the doorway.
"Theyhave abigproblemwith us
throwing parties," said LSA junior
Claudia Perez-Tamayo, who lives in
the house. "It's just really frustrat-
ing because they could come talk to
us first."
Sedney said she and her house-
mates usually host parties about
once a month, but sometimes more
often.
"Welcome Week sophomore
year we had a party every night,"
she said.
The students living in the house
on White Street across from Alex-
ander have had one partyso far, and
a neighbor called the occupants to
complain about the noise.
"We tried to keep everyone
inside," LSA sophomore Suzanne
Cambou said.
But after herding everyone
inside, Cambou and her roommates
realized the source of the noise:

partygoers in the backyard tree-
house. It had been left behind by
the family that moved out five years
ago.
"It's really hard being the only
ones in this area that are students
and having neighbors that are
always calling the cops," Perez-
Tamayo said. "I think it's like us
versus them."
Alexander remembered one
evening several years ago when
she had to get out of bed to tell
student residents on Granger Ave-
nue, which runs perpendicular
to White Street, where she lived
at the time, to turn down their
music.
"They were really loud and
trashy with loud bass systems that
rattled windows down the street,"
Alexander said.
When the students moved
into the big yellow and red house
across the.street, Alexander said
the owners covered the back yard
in gravel to make parking spaces
and took out the property's land-
scaping.
The new parking spots likely
pushed property values down - and
irked residents - even before stu-

dents move in.
Milshtyne said one of the most
common sights on students' front
porches - the couch - could be
factor that makes potential buy-
ers shy away from purchasing the
house next door.
FINDING COMMON
GROUND
The students living in the house
on White Street dodged a bullet this
December when they held a Christ-
mas party and a neighbor called
them - not the police - to complain.
The undergraduates had knocked
on the doors of surrounding homes
to warn neighbors about the event
beforehand.
"We gave them our cell phone
numbers in case they got mad,"
Cambou said.
The women on South Forest
Streetleftnotes on neighbors' doors
to warn them of a party they were
planning.
Sedney said that was one of the
fewtimesthatthepolice didn'tshow
up at their party. Perez-Tamayo
said her neighbors on South For-
est Street aren't hostile to her dur-
ing the day. Sedney, her housemate,

said she doesn't ever see the neigh-
bors, but wouldn't mind getting to
know them.
"It would be fun to know the
neighbors," she said.
Alexander lamented the loss of
community atmosphere with the
influx of student renters. She talked
about the time the neighborhood
got together to build a playground
at the end of the street.
"This was the kind of neighbor-
hood you hope to have," she said. "It
had integrity."
Ironically, some students are
moving into neighborhoods farther
from campus to get away from the
louder, messier houses in typical of
predominantly student neighbor-
hoods.
"I feel like it's just cleaner and
nicer here," said LSA sophomore
Maureen Kellett, a White Street
resident. "If you go another block
down White Street, it is a lot gross-
er. More students live there."
Kinesiology senior Kristin Ham-
pel moved from a house near the
intersection of State and Packard
Streets last year to a house on the
southern end of South Forest Street.
"I couldn't sleep at night because

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there were so many parties and
music all the time," Hampel said. ENVIRONMENT
She said that her current home From page 1A
on South Forest is much quieter at
night. said the University's overall grade
Cecelia Trudeau, who lives was "somewhat higher than it
across the street from Alexan- should be" because of errors in the
der's old house on White Street. report card - like giving credit for
Her house is near three houses an inactive committee.
rented by students. But Trudeau, The report card attributed the
a mother of two children, both of A in administration to Univer-
whom are away at college, said she sity President Mary Sue Coleman's
doesn't mind the idea of student Environmental Task Force, but
neighbors. the group has been relatively inac-
"(Students) don't treat the homes tive after publishing its report in
very nice," she said, but blamed 2004, Detjen said. The task force
landlords for not "keeping up the compiled a list of broad steps the
property." University could take to be more
Trudeau said she appreciates environmentally friendly.
the diversity that students bring The report card also said thatithe
to a neighborhood. And Milshtyne, University purchases 10 percent of
who has sold houses in Ann Arbor its energy from renewable sources.
for seven years, said that more peo- But according to the University's
ple contact him to say they want Center for Sustainable Systems
to move closer to student housing website; the University only pur-
areas rather than stay away from chases .3 percent.
them. Orlowski, who said the Institute
"Ann Arbor is one of those used data provided by the Univer-
towns that graduates just don't sity and publicly available sources,
want to leave even after they move said he is looking into the errors.
on professionally," Milshtyne Pomerantz said the University
said. has historically made significant
efforts to reduce its impact on the
environment, but it still has a long
way to go, especially in increasing
its use of renewable energy.
Pomerantz agreed with admin-
istrators that the University excels
in green transportation and recy-
cling.
Andy Berki, the environmen-
tal stewardship coordinator of the
University's Occupational Safety
and Environmental Health office,
estimates that the University recy-
cles about 30 percent of the waste
it generates.
In addition to the ubiquitous
recycling bins in University build-
* ings, Berki said huge efforts are
Smade to recycle things like chemi-
cals, mercury from thermometers
and even things like unwanted
clothes and imperishable food after
students move out of residence
halls.
The University's transporta-
tion system has taken steps toward
reducing its use of fossil fuels. All
University buses run on an ultra
low sulfur, biodiesel fuel. The fleet
of more than 400 University vehi-
cles burns E85, a fuel that is 85 per-
cent ethanol - an additive made
from agricultural products - and
15 percent unleaded gasoline.
Still, Detjen and Pomerantz said
the University could be doing more
to offset its negative impact on the
environment.
Pomerantz's main concern was
the University's use of renewable
energy - or lack thereof.
The solar panels located on the
roof of the environmentally state-
of-the-art Dana Building - which
boasts waterless urinals and com-
posting toilets - are one of the only
sources of renewable energy on
campus.
Much of the University's elec-
tricity comes from its natural gas-
fired power plant on Huron Street.
The plant uses steam, one of the
byproducts of electricity genera-
tion, to heat and cool buildings on
the Medical and Central campuses.
Berki said the process saves the
university about $9.7 million a year
in utility costs.
MSA passed a resolution last

week asking the University to pur-
chase one-third of its energy from
renewable sources as soon as pos-
sible and then increase that num-
ber to half in 2011 and 100 percent
in 2015.
Diane Brown, University facili-
ties and operations spokeswoman
said there's just one problem with
that.
"You can't buy (energy from
renewable sources)," she said. "It's
not on the grid. It would be like say-
ing to all students 'you can only buy
brown coats' but there's not a store
a path that helps you in townthat sells brown coats."
She said the University is work-
eated a flexible work ing with energy providers, the city
and other schools across the state
managing p l to bring renewable energy to the
So visit s on stateand University.
So vsit s onAnn Arbor Mayor John Hieftje,
who has a reputation as a leading
environmentalist, has consistently
pushed for the construction of wind
turbines in Michigan.
Pomerantz and Detjen said the
University could have an impact,
though, by purchasing renewable
energy certificates. Companies use
the proceeds from the certificates
to invest in supporting or providing
renewable energy.
"It's not a long-term solution, but
we think it's what we need to do
right now," Detjen said.
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