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January 15, 2013 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-01-15

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4 - Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.c©m

4 - Tuesday, January 15, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom


CJbe ffiicigan &ily

Rej'uvenating Detroit

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.
Keep golnggreen
Obama must keep promises on the environment
If October's sleeveless porch drinking wasn't enough of an indi-
cator, recent statistics have confirmed it - 2012 was the hottest
year in documented U.S. history. Thousands of daily record highs
were broken all over the country. Unusually severe weather was also.
reported throughout the year; the most disastrous event, of course,
was Hurricane Sandy, which racked the Mid-Atlantic in late October.
Despite these events and evidence supporting a significant climate
change, environmental issues have drifted out of mainstream media
and were dismissed in the 2012 election cycle. This issue cannot be
pushed to the backburner. In a country where extreme weather con-
tinues to affect the lives of its citizens, President Barack Obama needs
to fulfill his earlier promises by prioritizing policies that combat the
impacts of climate change.
According to a Jan. 8 article in The New Act, Jackson's goals for improving the envi-
York Times, 34,008 record highs were recorded ronment went largely unfulfilled.
across the country last year. These unusually For many years "going green" was the
high temperatures caused sweeping droughts next big thing. The message was splashed
that ravaged the corn and soybean markets. across recycled tote bags and biodegradable
At least eleven natural disasters were reported cleaning sprays. In the last few years, the
in 2012, including severe tornados, southern movement has faded from importance in the
coast-striking Hurricane Isaac, a violent string public eye. To the majority of society, the
of thunderstorms that hit the central and east- dream for a greener tomorrow was a noth-
ern part of the country, and Hurricane sandy ing more than a fad. The effects of climate
that caused more than 60- billion dollars in change are not so easily forgotten. It is not
damages in the New England area. Across the only up to the government to take action
globe extreme weather was also reported with on this issue but also the people. Ensuring
rampant wild fires breaking out in Australia, a stable environment for the future is the
severe flooding in England, and snow storms responsibility of every global citizen.
and record lows in Russia and the Middle East. The facts and statistics are clear enough
During 2012, the environment was ignored to prove that a significant climate change is
by both candidates in the presidential elec- in process. The connection between global
tion. To the U.S. government, this should be warming and the climate change is still debat-
considered a serious issue. Lisa Jackson just able, but the existence of these unusual and
stepped down as head of the Environmental dangerous weather patterns has been scien-
Protection Agency and expressed some frus- tifically proven. President Obama needs to
tration over the resistance she faced in gain, take advantage of his current position and set
ing support for the cause. A major argument a strong precedent by creating programs that
against the passage of more radical environ- spread awareness about climate change and
mental programs is the financial cost espe- that work towards prevention. The future is
cially with the current economy. Aside from affected by current actions and performing no
some reform programs through the Clean Air action at all will only cause more harm.
Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Barry Belmont, Eli Cahan, Jesse Klein, Melanie Kruvelis,
Patrick Maillet, Jasmine McNenny, Harsha Nahata, Adrienne Roberts,'
Vanessa Rychlinski, Paul.Sherman, Sarah Skaluba, Michael Spaeth, Derek Wolfe
What's next for Afghanistan

Duringthese first carefree
weeks of school, take
some time to explore the
that make up our
campus. You can
witness a politi-
cal rally or run
into a friend on
the Diag. You
can take a walk, ANDREW
play Frisbee or ECKHOUS
just enjoy nature
in the Arb -
although everyone knows what
really goes on there, hippie. You can
even watch a pun-loving man play
his harmonica and scratch his Dust
Bowl-era washboard outside of the
Shapiro Undergraduate Library.
Those are just some of the many
examples of how the public spaces
around us make our lives a little
more colorful. I may spend an inor-
dinate amount of my time trapped in
the dizzying dichotomy of thinking
and drinking, but what will I remi-
nisce about in the future? Decades
from now, when I'm telling my kids
stories, from my college years, I'm
sure I'll mention the Diag, Arb and
many of the other public spaces that
distinguish our beloved university
rather than the grimy nights I spent
at Rick's American Cafe.
Unfortunately, Ann Arbor's
dejected sibling to the east, Detroit,
doesn't have much in the way of
public spaces. Hart Plaza is a little
run-down, the adjoining RiverWalk
isn't nearly what it could be and
Belle Isle is broken. Campus Marti-
us, however, stands out as a beacon
of what Detroit's future could hold.
4 Locatedin theheartofdowntown
Detroit, Campus Martius park was
renovated and rededicated in 2004
with help from corporate sponsors
and has been essential in the bur-
geoning revitalization of Detroit.
It's a walkable public space that
wouldn't seem out of place in a real
live, functional city - a merit badge
Detroit has yet to earn. Growth has

flourished directly because of Cam-
pus Martius, as workers want to
spend time outside of their offices
now. Restaurants, retail shops, con-;
venience stores and hotels all have
opened their doors over the past
decade or so, giving Detroit cheer-
leaders like me hope that change
and development are possible.
If the Detroit problem is to be
solved, safe and usable public spaces
will play a vital role in solvingit. Dan
Gilbert, chairman of Detroit-based
Quicken Loans and advocate for
the rebirth of the city, can provide
10,000 workers jobs downtown, but
if none of the employees live in the
city, many of Detroit's workers will
remain commuters. The city needs
to be an inviting place if the popu-
lation is to grow. New green spaces,
playgrounds and- even renovated
sidewalkswould all help Detroit cul-
tivate an image of a people and fam-
ily-friendly city, and would speed up
the rebuilding process.
In the 2010 census, there was a
25-percent drop in population, buta
59-percent increase in people under
35 with a college education, illus-
trating that there's a budding class
of young professionals in Detroit.
That growth, however, must be sup-
ported. Attracting more of these
young professionals into the city
can be achieved through creat-
ing the types of public spaces that
are common in city neighborhoods
nationwide. Even something as sim-
ple as a dog park is an excellent way
to encourage interaction among
city residents, but only one exists in
Detroit, and it's in disrepair. How-
ever, a few Detroit residents, see-
ing the need, successfully launched
a campaign that generated more
than $15,000 for apark, and the city
granted the permits.
The Detroit Dog Park is an encour-
aging example of what the future of
Detroit could hold. If public space
expands, the social culture of the city
will expand with it. The same people
that walk their dogs or ride their
bikes during the day will frequent

bars, concert halls and restaurants at
night. Who knows, maybe it wouldn't
be so ridiculous for future Univer-
sity students to drive to Detroit for a
night of drinking and dancing, oth-
erwise known as "supporting Michi-
gan's economy."
Public space can provide positive
opportunities for communities as
well. In December, Ford pledged $10
million to create a community cen-
ter in southwest Detroit's Mexican-
town neighborhood, one of Detroit's
most vibrant communities. This
center will offer adult education,
job training and a food bank. Most
importantly, it will foster communi-
ty growth and give Detroit youth the
chance to succeed that they might
not have had otherwise. Ultimately,
these successful youths might give
back to the city that raised them,
and Detroit could undergo a make-
over from its very own people.
If public space
expands, social
culture will follow.
When people think of New York
City, they think of Central Park.
When people think of Chicago, they
think of Grant and Millennium
Park. When people think of Detroit,
they think of ... wait, what exactly?
If the city and state invest in mak-
ing Detroit a viable city socially -
not just economically - people will
begin to think of Detroit in terms of
its energetic social scene and thriv-
ing economy instead of its empty
and factories. The future of Detroit
is no longer a fantasy, but a goal to
work toward. With support from
University students, we could make
Detroit an exciting extension of our
University experience.
- Andrew Eckhous can be
reached at aeckhous@umich.edu.



Nofoodfor thought

Last Friday, President Barack Obama and
Afghan President Hamid Karzai met to dis-
cuss troop withdrawal and the possibility of
leaving behind residual forces in Afghani-
stan beyond 2014, but the future of Afghani-
stan remains unsteady: The country is facing
the imminent thread of Taliban's resurgence.
Despite a decade of American intervention,
Mullah Omar, Taliban's spiritual leader, is
still alive and leading from his hideouts in
Pakistan. Both presidents have officially rec-
ognized Taliban's office in Qatar, predicting
their possible return to power.
From a perspective of an Afghan who was
persecuted under Taliban era, this news isn't
very encouraging. This also holds true from
the perspective of an American. Is it fair to
let go the lives of more than 2,000 U.S. ser-
vicemen and women who died in the war?
Moreover, the million-dollar question now is
whether Taliban would bow down to the dem-
ocratic constitution of Afghanistan backed
by the United States or follow their version
of Sharia law. Despite that, frustration on the
part of the American public led to a push for
withdrawal as early as spring 2013, ahead of
the scheduled summer 2013.
But as American troops depart Afghani-
stan, they leave behind a widely corrupt gov-
ernment, which is an exemplary model of
nepotism and cronyism. The current Karzai
administration has benefited the most out of
the U.S. presence. With the taxpayer's money,
most of the Afghan officials have bought vil-
las in Dubai and transferred large amounts of
cash to their bank accounts outside of Afghan-
istan. Karzai and his staff do not have much
at stake whether the United States stays or
leaves. By April 2014, Afghanistan will hold
its presidential election. Karzai's term will
expire, and, as he promised, he will step down.
He and most of his leading cabinet members
will most likely seek refuge in a Western coun-

try even long before the last U.S. service mem-
ber leaves Afghanistan.
The face of post-Karzai leadership is
uncertain. Chances are slim that a Western-
educated Afghan technocrat would be able to
accomplish a majority's vote. The dominant
group composed of the former Northern Alli-
ance will most likely have an upper hand in
the election. Apart from the widespread cor-
ruption they will inherit, the Northern Alli-
ance, a longtime Taliban rival, would further
ignite the ethnic tensions. Northern Alliance
is predominantly Tajik, while Taliban are
largely Pashtuns, provoking the Taliban's
commitment to weaken the Kabul Govern-
ment. Chances are also very small that both
rivals will be able to work together in an
effective fashion ifa coalition government is
to be formed.
With such a background, the only hope
for Afghans is to feel some kind of assurance
from the United States - that is, to have U.S.
presence in Afghanistan beyond 2014. Fortu-
nately, Obama's administration is weighing its
options and is currently in negotiation with
the Afghan government regarding the immu-
nity of U.S. forces so they are not subject to
Afghan laws. It's very likely that the Afghan
government would grant such approval. A
presence of U.S. forces would keep an eye on a
different faction within the country, in hopes
of de-escalating violence. Such a presence
would also force the Taliban to put aside their
dream of taking over Kabul.
However, the U.S. government must put
more pressure on Afghan officials both pre-
and post-2014 to curb corruption within the
government and to publicly prosecute high-
level corrupt officials. Without a transparent
and public-service-oriented institution, the
outlook for Afghanistan will still be bleak.
Asad Pasoon is a Rackham student.

From purchasing buses that
run on biodiesel tousing
electrically powered main-
tenance vehicles,
the University
has made a con-
certed effort
to reduce the
tal impact of
its on-campus
If the University ZOE
truly wishes to STAHL
be sustainable,
however, it must
focus on how its 80,000 students,
faculty and staff move around Ann
Arbor. The University should begin
working towards this goal by run-
ning buses to off-campus grocery
stores. This service would not only
reduce the University's steadily
increasing carbon footprint, but
also help alleviate the issue of food
security on campus.
Though we often focus on how
many miles the food has traveled
from the farm's fields to the grocery
store's aisles, the number of miles
driven by food shoppers is just as
important. Studies conducted by
the U.K. Department of Environ-
ment, Food and Rural Affairs found
that 82 percent of food miles - the
distance -food travels from pro-
duction to consumer - were not
generated globally, but from travel
within Great Britain. Of those food
miles, 48 percent came from con-
sumer shopping trips, while the
trucking of food accounted for 31
percent of food miles. Switching
to buses would be a relatively easy
way to minimize the environmen-
tal impact of food shopping, which
is often overlooked despite these
statistics signaling that the issue
should be addressed.
Campus community
can work toward ..
sa fety for all students
Couched in the words "alleged"
and "reported" in a Jan. 13 article
about the rape in West Quad are
distrust and distance from the inci-
dent. It's easier to acknowledge the
need for more campus security and
campus lighting, but it's far more
difficult to admit that students
commit rape. We certainly need
to be aware of our fellow students
as we walk through campus late at

Even more, this service will help time and money
address another sustainability-relat- of adding bus r:
ed issue: food access. According to coordination wit
research done by the Student Food Transit Authorit
Co., the University's student-run vices these groce
produce stand, 45 percent of Univer- an obstacle. Som
sity students live in neighborhoods having two bus s
that the United States Department ous grocery store
of Agriculture would consider food dant, but with
deserts, which it defines as a "low- times between A
income census tract where asubstan- not-always-conv
tial number or share of residents has bus stops, havin
low access to a supermarket-or large around students
grocery store." Considering that 45 would only com
percent of students do not own or AATA already pr
have access to a car, this came as a
shock; I had always thought of Ann -
Arbor as an affluent college town.
But with the recent closing of White 45 per
Market and the prevalence of high- .
priced grocery stores like Babo and the Un
Replenish within walking distance,
it became easy to see Ann Arbor as a suden
food desert.
Not only do many students live in
food deserts but many also experi-
ence food insecurity. Of the stu-
dents surveyed by the Student Food After sorting
Co., 3 percent were food insecure, the work stillv
meaning that they reported expe- the Universityv
riencing "reduced quality, variety, students to actu,
or desirability of diet" and of those which might bet
students, 12.6 percent experienced task of all. For
hunger. What makes this all the cars, this shoul
more frightening is that the student While selling pr
body's food insecurity rate is more dent Food Co.d
than twice the national average of shift, it's obvious
14.9 percent. Given that living in a eager and excitet
food desert and being food insecure But convincing:
are often linked with unhealthy to sacrifice time
diets, poorer health and higher for the greater er
rates of obesity, the University, won't be easy. H
which has an active interest in the ing savings at
student body's overall well-being, reward for using
should work towards improving ing the gas mon
student food access. just might be con
This would not be without its
challenges. The University will - Zoe
have to go through the energy, at z
night, but we also need to instruct We, as a camp
our fellow students that rape is nize that consent
unacceptable, violent and evil. more importantly
We need to prevent rape, and that as students, needt
requires action. to each other th
Around campus, several cam- tolerated on our c
paigns are helping build knowl- human rights of
edge, awareness and activism not be violated. W
around the prevention of sexual to end our pract
assault. The Sexual Assault Preven- ing and instead f
tion and Awareness Center serves those who surviv
as an advocate for students who've we are to prevent
survived sexual assault and as a ognize that sexua
node of education. By engaging men women's issue -
and women, survivors and allies, we must all addre
SAPAC works to dispel myths about
sexual assault and edify the campus Wiliam Rogers
about how we can prevent rape. LSA Junior

-intensive process
outes. Even more,
th the Ann Arbor
y, who already ser-
ry stores, could be
se may argue that
ervices to the vari-
es would be redun-
the lengthy wait
ATA buses and the
eniently located
g a bus scheduled
' hectic schedules
plement what the
cent of
s live in a
out the logistics,
wouldn't be done:
would have to get
ally use'the buses,
the most daunting
students without
dn't be too hard.
oduce at the Stu-
during my weekly
s that students are
d to buy fresh food.
students with cars
and convenience
nvironmental good
aowever, by arrang-
the market as a
the bus and stress-
ey saved, students
Stahl can be reached
pus, need to recog-
may be "sexy," but
, it is required. We,
to send the message
at rape will not be
campus and that the
each person must
re, as asociety, need
ice of victim-blam-
ocus on supporting
e sexual assault. If
t rape, we must rec-
al assault isn't just a
it's something that





Good. You should.
Mass meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 7:30 pm. 420 Maynard.
Be there.

t Ar



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