4A - Monday, November 15, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.conI
4A - Monday, November15, 2010 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycorv
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
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Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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EDITOR IN CHIEF
RACHEL VAN GILDER
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR
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.
High-rises, high prices
Students need more affordable housing options
a nn Arbor living appears to be one of the only things immune
to the economic downfall. The number of high-rise apart-
ments in Ann Arbor has been climbing in recent years. Lux-
ury apartments 4 Eleven Lofts and Zaragon Place are already in use
and the construction of Zaragon II is underway. Another high-rise
is slated to take the place of Village Corner and neighboring vacant
buildings by fall 2012. These buildings offer a central location and
many amenities. But this convenience often comes at a steep price.
Developers should cater to the desires and needs of students, all the
while making sure to keep pricing relatively affordable.
Time to cap-and-trade Finley
After more than 40 years at the same
South University location, Village Corner
closed its doors on Nov. 6 to make room for
a new tenant, according to a Nov. 8 Daily
article. Owner Dick Sheer sold his lease
to real estate developer Ron Hughs, who
plans to transform the space into a new
student luxury high-rise by the fall of 2012.
The high-rise, called 601 Forest, will be
14 stories high and will feature an under-
ground parking lot, a fitness center and
landscaped terrace, according to a June
22 AnnArbor.com article. Construction
on another high-rise apartment building,
Zaragon 00 recently began on the corner
of E. William Street and Thompson Street.
Zaragon II will also reach 14 stories.
In theory, high-rises are the best way to
build. As a city's population grows, offi-
cials have two options: They can build up
or out. Because apartments expand verti-
cally rather than horizontally, they take up
less land and allow for more green space
then expanding the area of the city. Addi-
tionally, because of high-rises' central
location, residents often don't need acar to
drive to class. If students are driving less
often, they are helping to reduce the cam-
pus coninunity's carbon footprint.
But these high-rises, though more envi-
ronmentally friendly than the alternative
urban sprawl, aren't giving students what
they really need: affordability. In Ann
Arbor's housing market, many students
struggle to pay rent. Students need reason-
ably-priced housing close to campus, not
state-of-the-art electronics and applianc-
es that these luxury apartments provide.
Developers should focus on giving students
housing that everyone can afford.
Some of these new buildings offer stu-
dents progressive lease policies, which are
a great convenience for students who don't
remain in Ann Arbor year-round. When
dealing with off-campus housing, most stu-
dents are faced with one only option - a
12-month lease. Inflexible terrms force rent-
ers who can't live in the space year round to
find a suitable sub-letter - which is often a
difficult process - or to pay for space that
they're unable to use. In some luxury high-
rises, renters can sign a lease that suits their
specific needs. Traditional student housing
should follow this model and offer students
more reasonable leases.
The proliferation of high-rises in Ann
Arbor is certainly welcome. But "high-
rise" doesn't have to be a synonym for
"high price." There is a market for hous-
ing that falls in between overly luxurious
and rundown, outdated homes. We need a
hy oh why can't we have a
better press corps?
I stole that line from
DeLong. But I was
so enraged after
reading Nolan Fin-
ley's utterly worth- -
less column in last
Thursday's edi- _
tion of The Detroit
lament in response PATRICK
to journalistic OMAHEN
the only reaction I
Finley has a problem with the
Environmental Protection Agency's
plans to regulate carbon dioxide
emissions. He suggests that the EPA's
plans will bury coal plants under
unnecessary regulations, which will
then drive up consumer electric-
ity prices by at least 25 percent. He
claims to be baffled by the EPA's drive
to regulate CO2 because coal plants
have cut emissions by 80 percent over
the last 30 years.
Let's start with Finley's most dis-
ingenuous claim: that coal plants
have cut emissions by 80 percent over
the last three decades.
The problem is that Finley doesn't
specify which type of emissions. It's
true that coal-fired plants have dras-
tically reduced certain types of emis-
sions. According to current figures
from the EPA, power plants generate
about 73 percent of the sulfur dioxide
emitted in the U.S. S02 is harmful to
the human respiratory system and a
major ingredient in acid rain. Since
1980, total SO2 emissions have been
cut by 71 percent. Mercury emissions
and particulates have also declined
But Finley's column isn't about
those pollutants - it's about carbon
dioxide. Those emissions have been
steadily rising over the past years,
increasing about 13 percent between
1990 and 2008. EPA statistics con-
sistently show that electrical power
plants - most of which are coal-fired
- account for the largest source of
C02 emissions in the U.S. - and their
share of total carbon emissions is
Why have sulfur dioxide levels
decreased while carbon dioxide lev-
els increased? It's because there are
strict national regulations limit-
ing sulfur dioxide output and none
regarding carbon dioxide - yet.
That's so simple I would think Finley
could get it into his head.
But Finley's sins extend beyond his
dishonest bait-and-switch on emis-
sions. He also displays ignorance
regarding different types of regulation.
For most of the column, he complains
about a scheme of regulation called
cap-and-trade, which he dismissively
refers to as "cap-and-tax." He also
complains about the pending EPA reg-
ulations on carbon dioxide emissions.
He seems to think that cap-and-trade
and the pending regulations are the
same thing. But they are actually quite
Under the Clean Air Act of 1970, the
EPA has traditionally regulated most
pollutants under a scheme known as
"new-source review." Under this sys-
tem, existing sources of pollutants,
like an old coal-fired power plant,
are grandfathered into the system,
while new plants are subject to strict
review. The regulation has been used
with considerable success, but it's eco-
nomically inefficient and doesn't cut
pollution as much as it could. Instead
of building new cleaner plants, power
companies tend to let the old unregu-
lated ones wheeze on.
Cap-and-trade is considerably
more flexible. Instead of directly reg-
ulating each source of pollution, the
EPA sets an overall cap onthe amount
of a pollutant that can be emitted.
Then it either assigns or auctions off
permits for each ton of pollutants.
Businesses that end up emitting less
pollution than their number of per-
mits can sell them to companies who
pollute above their allottment. The
trading aspect is critical - it creates
a free market in carbon which maxi-
mizes pollution reduction while min
imizing economic costs.
Cap-and-trade has been used to
manage sulfur dioxide successfull
under the 1990 amendments to the
Clean Air Act. By 2007, the program
exceeded its reduction targets and
has allowed the United States east of
the Mississippi River to start recov-
ering from the affects of acid rain.
And the program only cost 25 percent
as much as the EPA estimated, while
electricity prices remained constant
between 1995 and 2007. So much for
Finley's insinuation that regulation
jacks up power rates.
writer should have
done his research.
Finley claims that we're "losing
the fight" against cap and trade -
but a national cap-and-trade plan
died in the Senate in August. What
Finley is actually railing against are
less effective direct regulations. Cap-
and-trade would have been more
effective from both an environmental
and an economic standpoint - but it
was blocked by the same Republicans
who Finley exhorts as champions of
Finley may be an experienced col-
umnist, but this time he makes some
major errors that could have been
remedied by a few hours of research
into the mechanism of how environ-
mental regulati*on really works. Read-
ers rely on the news to provide them
with accurate information about pub-
lic policy. When Finley misinterprets
simple facts, he fails to do his job. He's
environmental regulations, buthe's not
entitled to his own facts.
- Patrick O'Mahen cacbe
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The cost of concussions
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor. Letters should be fewer
than 300 words and must include the writer's full name and University affiliation. All submissions become
property of the Daily. We do not print anonymous letters. Send letters to email@example.com.
I'm frorn New York, but the Wolverines have
always been a part of my family. I watched
osany football games growing up and managed
to get to the 1998 Rose Bowl with my grandma
and grandpa, who are both University alumni,
to see Michigan beat Washington State.
I'm sharing my personal history to qualify the
difficulty that I face in urging football fans to
stop supporting the sport. No other game com-
bines physical ability and strategy like football,
but along with the excitement comes the injuries
- and we can't ignore the injuries any longer.
Te prevalence of brain damage in foot-
ball players is becoming more acknowledged.
In a 2009 study, the University's Institute for
Social Research reported on the incidence of
injuries among football players. It found that
memory problems (i.e., dementia, Alzheimer's
disease or other memory-related diseases)
were 19 times more prevalent among NFL play-
ers betsween the ages of 30 and 49 than all U.S.
men in the same age range. Similarly, in men
aged .0s and older, the study found that mem-
ory problems were three times greater in NFL
players than the average U.S man.
it seened for a little while that changes to
tackling rules and additional penalties for
illegal hits could help prevent brain injuries
assong college and NFL players. The real-
ity we're seeing is that even after safety mea-
sures are put in place, football continues to be
dangerous. Indianapolis Colts wide receiver
Austin Collie suffered one of the most recent
injuries. He was rendered unconscious after
an Eagle's safety collided with the back of his
head. Additionally, according to the Detroit
Free Press, our very own Denard Robinson had
to leave this year's game against Illinois game
because ie was experiencing headaches and
dizziness due to an unknown injury.
Robissson's symptoms weren't even the
result of a heavy or egregious hit. Michigan
coach Itich Rodriguez told the Free Press that
neither Robinson nor Rodriguez were aware of
the specific hit that caused Robinson's disori-
entation, which brings up an issue that compli-
cates the matter of head injuries even further.
COtsCUssiosns and head injuries aren't always
the result of a big hit. A high frequency of small
injuries can lead to concussions. In an Oct. 19
article in The New Yorker, Malcolm Gladwell
interviewed the head of the Sports Concussion
Research Program at the University of North
Carolina. The research program produced
results that showed that cumulative exposure
to contact with the head can also lead to con-
cussions. Thus, the minor changes to rules -
like penalties for helmet-to-helmet collisions
- fail to remove the danger of injury.
Coming to terms with injuries that result
from football provides the fans with two
courses of action: force football to change or
continue to support a dangerous sport. Part of
a free society is allowing people to participate
in activities that are bad for them. That doesn't
mean, however, that we have to endorse these
activities. Smoking cigarettes is legal, but that
doesn't mean we should support it. Ultimate
Fighting Championship is legal and it should
be, but that doesn't mean we should support it.
The question is whether football will change or
remain an abusive sport. If it doesn't change,
fans will have to come to terms with the fact
that they're supporting an activity that is det-
rimental to the people they cheer for.
The other option for football fans is to
decrease support until the sport becomes less
dangerous. Football is a business. And like any
business, if its activities are pulling in a lot of
money, it will continue those activities. The
only thing that can get football to change is a
statement by the consumers of the sport.
We can't leave it up to the football indus-
try to protect our classmates and professional
players. We, the football fans, are the driving
force that supports a dangerous environment
for athletes. We need to force the sport to
change and the only way to do this is to remove
our support, especially our financial contri-
butions. We need to act on our disapproval of
football's preponderance of injuries. We need
to write letters to NFL commissioner Roger
Goodell, University Athletic Director David
Brandon and University President Mary Sue
Coleman. Most importantly, we need to stop
buying tickets to games.
Teddy Papes is an LSA junior.
Thirty-one classes later
Editor'sNote: This colunmn is thefirstpart
of a two-part series in which the colum-
nist reflects upon his experiences at the
University. Keep an eye out for part two,
which isscheduled to run on Nov. 29.
stare at my computer, contem-
plating the past three-and-a-half
years. The window and door are
both open, so a draft of cool air rushes
in, carrying fresh
oxygen - a catalyst
for brain activity.
It was only 31
classes ago that I
was making the
trip to Ann Arbor,
carrying the essen-
tials necessary to
live. I was away
from home for the TOMMASO
first time. Only PAVONE
31 classes? I must
have taken at least
60 exams during
my time here. Putting it this way, my
college career seems like an eternity.
And yet it flew by so fast that there was
no time to embed the experience of
exams into memory. All I know is that
I passionately dislike them.
in time carried an emotional energy
strong enough to make the clock stop
for a moment, to warp the space-time
of my perceptions, thus becoming a
distinct memory? Suddenly, images
begin to emerge, like comic book
vignettes, their combined narrative
distinctly disjointed. I begin to realize
that there isn't a single lesson or theme
that encompasses my past experience.
In the words of Italian author Cesare
Pavese, "We do not remember days; we
A few weeks ago, I took the time to
observe the religious extremists that
gather at the corner of State Street and
North University Avenue on football
Saturdays as they listed the reasons
why everyone was doomed to eternal
damnation unless they changed their
ways. The group is composed of four
or five individuals who rotate between
handing out flie-s and screaming their
diatribe. Passersby have learned to
ignore the crazy old men,butoccasion-
ally someone momentarily stops and
observes them, as if staring at gorillas
delousing each other at the zoo.
Something catches my eye - a sign
that one of the men is holding, which
claims that "whisperers" are among
the sinners doomed to receive God's
wrath. Suddenly, my mind is trans-
ported to my childhood. My mom
used to tell me to be respectfully
quiet and to whisper when we went
to the movie theater. In hindsight,
I should have retorted by shouting,
"But I will face eternal damnation if
I do as you say, mommy!"
Amused by this image, I return
to reading the sign. "Well, I'll be
damned!" I exclaim, the irony of the
statement blowing completely over
my head. "Disobeyers of parents,"
apparently, are also doomed to eter-
THE YOUNG PROFESSOR
Flashing back six months, I find
myself in an economics class at 10 in
the morning. This wasn't the class I
had wanted to take - my preferred
class had been cancelled due to a pro-
Then the professor enters. I'm
immediately captivated by his audac-
ity and energy. I also notice that he's
visibly nervous - has he not taught a
class before? It wouldn't be surprising,
given his apparentyouth.
A month later, I'm convinced that
this class is the best I've taken. I feel
bombarded with knowledge and new
insights, courtesy of the young profes-
sor's unyielding wit and humor.
Two weeks before the conclusion
of class, a friend of mine remarks that
theprofessorlooks unwell. Indeed, the
professor is sweating profusely and
his humor is increasingly infrequent.
Then, one day, the young professor
interrupts his lecture to show us pic-
tures of his young children. The pause
is brief and I make nothing of it.
that have defined
my time at the'U.'
The day of the exam, the young
professor doesn't show up to class.
My classmates and I are intensely
worried. Two weeks later, I receive an
e-mail from the professor, thanking
everyone in the class and apologizing
for runningoutof energy towards the
end of the semester. "Thankfully, he's
recovered," I conclude.
Then, one seemingly random sum-
mer day, Ireceive an e-mail. It's direct-
ed to all students in the economics
class I had taken with the young pro-
fessor. "Sad news," the e-mail reads.
For a whole week, I cannot shake
away my sense of loss. I now realize
that, outside of my grandmother's and
grandfather's deaths when I was very
young, I had never experienced the
death of someone close. Now that Ican
rationalize it, I come to the conclusion
that, in this case, rationality does noth-
ing but make the experience worse.
A gust of wind blows through the
window and my daydreams come
to an abrupt end. I ask myself why I
always seem to recall the sad memo-
ries first. Given that my years at the
University have been the happiest of
my life, I decide it's only fair to also
revisit the happier moments.
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Aida Ali, Jordan Birnholtz, Will Butler, Eaghan Davis, Michelle DeWitt, Ashley Griesshammer,
Will Grundler, Jeremy Levy, Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Emily Orley, Teddy Papes,
Harsha Panduranga, Tommaso Pavone, Leah Potkin, Roger Sauerhaft, Asa Smith, Laura Veith
- Tommaso Pavone can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.