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February 11, 2009 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-02-11

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4A - Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

L 4e MIC41*pan 4

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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.
Recycle after reading
New city policy will increase and expand recycling program
The city of Ann Arbor wants to save the world, one recycled
cardboard box at a time. Right now, one of the biggest
obstacles preventing Ann Arbor from being the environ-
mental savior it wants to be are private businesses' low recycling
rates. But a new city proposal will make recycling easier and
cheaper for private businesses in Ann Arbor by streamlining the
process. Viewed alongside other efforts to increase recycling in
the city and on campus, this proposal is just another example of
Ann Arbor's efforts to stay at the forefront of recycling and the

I'm always good for a beer.
- President Barack Obama, commenting on an invitation to have a beer with
Fox News host Sean Hannity, as reported yesterday by CNN.
U iave ( I ladjIed :;;,,y
: :,
.esea/v'5 O



city should swiftly adopt it.
The city of Ann Arbor is expected to
finalize a plan later this month that will
overhaul the way that businesses in Ann
Arbor recycle and dump trash. Under the
proposal, the city government will con-
tract a single company to remove trash
for all city businesses. This would make
it cheaper for business owners to recycle
paper, cardboard and plastic, rather than
just throwing these things in the garbage.
And though the city doesn't expect to save
any money with the new program, the lack
of financial benefits are less important
than the community's commitment to pro-
tecting the environment.
It's a needed measure, especially con-
sidering the vast discrepancy between
how much Ann Arbor residents and busi-
nesses recycle. Residential recycling rates
are above 50 percent, which means 50 per-
cent of waste produced is being recycled or
composted. Commercial diversion rates,
however, are stalled at a 20 percent. With
this new plan, the city could easily reach
its 50 percent goal for businesses.
Some business owners have expressed
concerns about the decreased availability
of recycling options the new policy will
cause. But that's a weak argument. Instead
of expanding options, the city is focusing
on cost. As the city increases the ease of
recycling, the garbage output of businesses
will decrease. That means businesses won't

have to pay as much for trash removal. The
city, for its part, needs to make sure they
choose a responsible company to handle
the recycling.
But more important than the economic
benefits for businesses are the environ-
mental benefits. Recycling saves trees and
decreases the amount of waste that ends
up in landfills. In light of that, City Council
should move quickly to approve and imple-
ment the new rule.
Students are taking an active interest in
recycling, too. Last month, LSA freshman
Alex Levine introduced a proposal to City
Council to make No. 6 plastic cups - like
the red ones littering frat house lawns -
Unfortunately, Levine's proposal hasn't
made much headway because, though the
idea has come up before, the city hasn't
been able to find the necessary resources
to expand the list of items that can be recy-
cled. As City Council implements its new
recycling program, now is a perfect time to
step up the search for options to make Ann
Arbor more green.
Ann Arbor is known for its efforts to
help the environment, and the city should
be taking active steps to earn that reputa-
tion. No matter who's paying for it, that
cardboard box is more useful to the world
at a recycling plant than it is sitting in a


Driven to break the law

Driving in Michigan is usually
a pretty terrible experience.
During the warmer months,
every road seems
like it's infested
with potholes or
under construction,
causing lengthy
delays. In the win-
ter, positively Arc-
tic weather brings
slippery roads and
blinding snow- ROBERT
storms thatresult in SOAVE
accidents and even
worse traffic delays.
And on top of the
road conditions themselves, Michigan
drivers have to make sure they don't
violate traffic laws, because with the
state's draconian driver responsibility
fees, you end up paying twice.
These fees came into existence
because of the Granholm-backed Driv-
er Responsibility Law of 2003. The
intention of the law was to make roads
safer while bringing in more money
for the state government. Six years
later, only one of these intentions has
become a reality: there's no evidence
that Michigan roads are safer, but the
government has certainly profited.
The Driver Responsibility Law
imposes a fee on certain offenses in
addition to the ticket itself. These
range from the understandable $1,000
fee for drunken driving to the purely
ridiculous $200 fee for not having
insurance or proof of insurance. These
fees are in addition to any other fine a
driver incurs for breaking the law.
And while such fees were never
desirable, many Michigan drivers just
can't afford to pay extra during the
economy's downturn. That's because
in the long run, driver responsibil-
ity fees disproportionately harm low-
income people who have to prioritize
their expenses and can't afford to be

hit with extra fees. Regrettably, not
everyone in the state can afford to
have car insurance, even though they
need to drive in order to have jobs and
make money. Well, the fee for not hav-
ing car insurance is $200, and if they
don't pay at least some of the fee with-
in 60 days, their license is suspended.
Getting your license reinstated is an
extra fee that some can't afford to
pay, so these motorists end up driving
without a license, which will net them
another fee.
This cycle offees puts economically-
disadvantaged drivers in a deeper and
deeper hole because to make money
at a job, they have to drive. In a Feb. 8
article by the Lansing Bureau entitled
"Michigan's fees on uninsured motor-
ists only compound problem for strug-
gling taxpayers", St. Joseph District
Judge Jeffrey Middleton said it's "not
uncommon... to see defendants who
owe $5,000 to $10,000 to the state.
Unless they win the lottery, these peo-
ple have little hope of ever regaining
their lawful driving privileges."
If these fees are especially bad for
people in light of the economy, why
exactly do we still have them? The
purpose was to deter dangerous driv-
ing and make some money for the state.
Well, there's no evidence that traf-
fic infractions are deterred because
of these fees. In a Grand Haven Tri-
bune article from Jan. 19, 2007 titled
"Michigan's driver responsibility law
faces criticism," Rockford Republican
Rep. Tom Pearce said of the law, "has it
done anything to impact safety in the
state of Michigan as far as our roads?
We're not hearing that." This was two
years ago, when the heavily-criticized
driver responsibility fees came under
closer scrutiny and some lawmakers
support eliminating them. But in the
end, nothing came of this talk, and
today driver responsibility fees are
still -a terrible burden to all drivers,

especially the poor.
If the fees aren't promoting safety
and many Michigan drivers just can't
afford to pay them, then there's only
one reason they still exist - the state is
reliant on revenue from them. Indeed,
the state government rakes in $110
million from driver responsibility fees.
And at a time when the state govern-
ment is uncomfortably looking around
for ways to afford its budget, it seems
unlikely that Granholm will actually
urge lawmakers to abolish them.
Extra traffic fines
are unfair to low-

As the Michigan Student Assembly examines its future on campus,
the Daily would like students to voice their opinions on what
should be a part of its agenda.
Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor. Letters should be less than 300
words and must include the writer's full name and University affiliation. Letters are edited
for style, length, clarity and accuracy. All submissions become property of the Daily.
We do not print anonymous letters.
Send letters to tothedaily@umich.edu.

income drivers.
Rather than making a vague appeal
to driver responsibility, it is the state
government that needs to take respon-
sibility for the consequences of this
law. Cashing in on Michigan drivers'
misfortunes is inexcusable and per-
petuates a cycle where those who are
least able to pay end up with the most
substantial debts. At a minimum, the
fees for not having insurance should
be scrapped. Drivers who can't afford
insurance will be even less likely to
buy it ifthey have to pay an outrageous
fine for not having had it in the first
place. The state needs to end its finan-
cial dependence upon revenue from
driver responsibility fees because they
prey on the least-advantaged econom-
ic level of society. Driving in Michigan
might never be perfect,but it shouldn't
come with such unfair costs.
-Robert Soave is the Daily's
editorial page editor. He can be
reached at rsoave@umich.edu.




'U' students should help Moms and Dads for Education to Stop Teen
Dating Abuse (MADE) is a nationwide
stop relationship abuse coalition of parents, teachers and every-
one else who advocate legislation in every
state to ensure that middle and high school
TO THE DAILY:students across the country are taught cur-
Many people in this country see Val- ricula that enables them to identify and
entine's Day as an excuse to demonstrate prevent dating relationship violence and
devotion to loved ones. However, this Feb- abuse. Right now, Michigan has the oppor-
ruary I am going to dedicate my time and tunity to take the lead nationwide to man-
energy to help raise awareness about the date anti-violence education, which will
relationships that may need the most help: foster better futures for all our children.
those of young people. This Valentine's Day, teens need to know
Teen Dating Violence and Awareness that love is not abuse. I am a MADE mem-
Week, Feb. 2-6, helped bring attention to ber and hope you will join me, along with
an overlooked national problem among thousands across the country, to help pro-
our youth - one that may continue to grow tect youths from abusive relationships.
without the help of parents, educators and Now is your chance to take action. Join the
policy makers. MADE coalition at www.loveisnotabuse.
According to a 2008 survey sponsored com/made, and ensure that curriculum on
by Liz Claiborne, Inc., nearly half of teen teen dating abuse education is introduced
girls who have been in a relationship say in all schools.
they have been victims of verbal, physical
or sexual abuse by their boyfriends. The Sara Vos
Department of Justice reports the aver- Alum
age age at which females are victimized by
sexual assault is 14. Even more alarming is Article attacks athletes
the fact that this abuse is starting among 11
to 14 year olds. a dg t th f csw o
Recognizingthe need for education poli-
cies addressing teen dating violence and
abuse, Liz Claiborne, Inc., along with the TO THE DAILY:
help of the state Attorney General, mem- With regard to a recent article about
bers of the National Foundation of Women women's tennis (Doubles woes continue at
Legislators, additional state government No. 3 in weekend split, 02/09/2009), I am
officials, REDBOOK Magazine and con- very disappointed in the Daily's inabil-
cerned citizens nationwide, is launching a ity to convey correct information. I also
movement to ensure that all teens are edu- want to state my anger with the Daily
cated about teen dating violence and abuse. portraying a rough start to a season in the
/. r

wrong light. Daily in a long time
Lindsey Howard and I have only played best. He captured th
three doubles matches together this sea- from MSA lately (or
son since I have came back to play. And it time I've been here
was not a "lingering wrist injury that kept sents two things th
me out for a few weeks". Ihad surgery and humor and insightfu
have been out for almost two months. I've Give my regards
been struggling to come back, but it's only readers more of this
been a few weeks. It is unprofessional to
focus only on the negatives when I'm com- Geoffrey Hicks
ing back from surgery - a fact the article Engineeringsenior
There was also no mention of how well I Students 1
performed last year. The article only con-
sidered this year's record. It's upsetting nyu f
that all the hard work, effort and emotion
that Howard and I put into matches was

. It was also one of the
.e ineptitude we've seen
should I say the whole
e?). The column repre-
e Daily needs more of:
ul commentary.
to Grundler and give
kind of work.
ose shills by

downgraded. TO THE DAILY:
I don't understand why this article was In response to Laura Veith's viewpoint
so negative since our team has reached the (Paying for Internships, 02/10/2009),
18th spot, something a university hasn't enlisting the services of an internship
achieved for awhile. I would like to know company is notpaying for access to intern-
why the Daily would show such negativ- ships. It is paying for the convenience of
ity toward sports when student athletes finding one. Those who choose this alter-
put so much time into our athletics and native are electing to invest money rather
schoolwork. than time.
As Veith mentions, in the last two weeks,
Denise Muresan the Career Center hosted the Internship
LSA sophomore and women's tennis player Fair for 26 employers. It also co-sponsored
the Engineering Internship Fair with the
Grundler's portrayal of Engineering Career Resource Center for
94 employers. That's a total of 120 employ-
. iSA accurate, funny ers offering myriad opportunities at no cost
to University students. There are over 250
internships posted on the Career Center's
TO THE DAILY: Career Connector. These are internships
Will Grundler's satire of an MSA meet- that employers wish to bring to the atten-
ing (An ordinary day for MSA, 02/10/2009) tion of motivated University students. In
was the funniest column I have read in the addition to these on-campus resources,

there are a variety of internship postings on
websites, through professional associations
and personal and professional networks.
Findingopportunities, developingstrong
resumes and cover letters and practicing
interview skills all take time. Investing in
the process and being an active internship
seeker nets the same - and often better -
results than paying a third party and wait-
ing for "the match."
Students learn a lot as interns, but they
also learn a great deal through the process
of getting there. They learn what types of
positions exist and which organizations
are in their field of interest. By conducting
a search, students also learn the sizes and
sectors of potential employers for which
they will be a fit.
Just as the writing and analytical
skills gained through coursework will be
tapped for a lifetime, so is the ability to
understand and navigate the job/intern-
ship process. The more it's done, the more
experienced, confident and connected a
job seeker becomes.
While Veith is correct in pointing out
socioeconomic differences may play into
who may avail themselves to an internship
service, it is the investment of effort that
ultimately distinguishes those who will
have internships from those who won't.
Don't be fooled - writing a check for an
internship not only deducts from your bank
account,it diminishes your jobsearch savvy
for the future.
Geni Harclerode and Kerin Borland
The letter-writers work for the Division of
Student Affairs at the Career Center.

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