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May 25, 1984 - Image 6

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1984-05-25

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I

OPINION
Friday, May 25, 1984

Page 6

01 be fitichtgan 9atily
Vol. XCIV, No. 10-S
94 Years of Editorial Freedom
Managed and Edited by Students at
The University of Michigan
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the
Daily Editorial Board

Sinclair

T< FIRST
Y lEMIPIE
j3EW.NtI,1
..0

Limit development
T HE DOWNTOWN Neighbors Association
paints a scene of Ann Arbor in 20 years
which sounds something like a ghoulish
southern California nightmare: mile after
mile of boutiques and offices, landscaped
parking lots, deserted and unsafe nighttime
city streets, outrageously high- rents for
outrageously few apartments.
What's scary is that the DNA's prediction
might be right.
The current boom in downtown develop-
ment, if allowed to proceed without careful
regulation, could permanently scar Ann Ar-
bor. Through inadvertance and greed, the
very qualities which have made Ann Arbor at- -
tractive could disappear in the next few years.
Perhaps unfortunately, the latest con-
troversy over Ann Arbor development has not
focused on city development as a whole, but on
proposed changes to Braun Court, a small
residential area near Kerrytown. The DNA, in
response to a developer's announced intention -
to convert at least part of the area into retail
shops and office space, is trying to have the r
Braun Court area rezoned to exclude all non- g
residential use.
The DNA's proposal to rezone Braun Court s
to strictly residential-while backed by the A
noblest intentions-misses the mark. What is o
needed is a comprehensive and enforceable a
plan to preserve Ann Arbor's unique charac- P
ter. The Braun Court struggle has demon- g
strated that such a plan does not exist. The a
rezoning of a small area would only serve to s
selectively destroy the investment-backed ex- e
pectations of the owners of Braun Court g
without solving the more serious problems of s
unacceptable office space and retail develop- c
ment.
Members of the DNA argue that rezoning c
Braun Court is necessary both to protect the s
character of the Kerrytown district and to g
preserve the city's supply of low income: r
housing stock. These are important con- g
siderations-indeed, they should be guiding Y
principles for a general effort to regulate s
future city development-but their application c
should be limited in the case of Braun Court. V
The owners purchased the Braun Court o
property with an eye toward developing its c
retail potential. Since at the time of purchaset
the land is zoning classification permitted cer-v
tain retail development, the price the current s
owners paid undoubtedly reflected the higher a
potential value. The owners - out of simple
fairness-should not be arbitrarily deprived ofF
their investment merely because the at-
tempted to make legal improvements in their c
property. The problem is not with the owners d
of Braun Court; the problem is with the city'sc
polic toward development.t

IWIP PEWlOMCNT
Eat AS WA~ZONE
NWNO~5o
rIOr
1 (4)-

;X
ONO
41 tr

4
I

Hacky-sacking to happiness

I

By Andy Weine
President Shapiro and the
egents badly need to play a
game of hacky-sack.
In essence, hacky-sack is a
ooperative game. Players, who
stand in a circle reminiscent of
Arthur's Round Table), rely on
ne another to kick the sack
among them. There is no com-
petition between players, only a
group goal to keep the sack going
at long as possible, with every
player kicking it. If the sack
tays in action long enough for
very person to touch it, then the
group achieves a "cycle." If
everyone touches it twice in the
same play, then it's a double~
ycle.
UNFORTUNATELY, similar
ycles are rarely achieved in
ociety because not. everyone
gets the opportunity to kick the
political sack. Last summer, the
regents rejected the proposed
guidelines for military research,
which had been endorsed by both
tudent and faculty governments.
Now the regents are seriously
considering revoking bylaw 702,
which requires student approval
of the proposed nonacademic
code of student conduct. Both of
hese actions are analgous to
talking into a hacky-sack circle,
etting others kick the sack, then
uddenly grabbing it and walking
away.
Even on the national level,
Reagan bypasses Congress when
giving aid to El Salvador and
proposes oppressive constraints
on the First Amendment. He sen-
ds missiles to Europe and just .
can't seem to cooperate with
hem Russians, them Russians,

them Russians. According to
him, they are simply "the focus
of evil in the world today."
The solution I propose is
hacky-sack. If Reagan and his
cabinet played hacky-sack on the
White House lawn, of if the regen-
ts played in People's Plaza beside
the administration building, they
would begin to learn what
cooperation is all about. They
would see that it's better when
you hack with people than when
you do it alone because then
everyone shares the fun and
everyone helps each other. And
they might begin to see that, just
as more players help you achieve
that elusive goal of continual
hacking, more public, input (or
greater attention payed to public
interest) helps to achieve another
elusive goal: peace.
I'VE SEEN it work with
children. I've introduced hacky-
sack and other cooperative
games to lots of kids who are used
to nothing but football, baseball,
and other competitive games.
They find cooperative games
refreshing and exciting beacuse
the games don't put you face to
facedwithean opposing player. In-
stead, they promote a sense of
trust and cooperation because the
players work with each other to
achieve a common goal.
If it works with kids, why
shouldn't it work with adults?
Further, why shouldn't it work
with society's leaders, who are
supposedly its most accom-
plished members?
What stands in the way, of
course,it social conditioning.
Authority, once achieved,
becomes a license to do as you
please, despite what your subor-
dinates wish. As citizens we learn
to besatisfied with political im-

potence, with flicking a lever
every four years or with standing
by while the regents revoke our
right for input.
THERE WOULD be potential
danger to high-level hacky-
sacking. I think we might see a
lot of officials who "hackstur-
bate"-that is, monopolize the
game by keeping the sack to
themselves and not kicking it to
others in the circle. And we would
probably seea lot of aristocratic,
segregated hacky-sack. Signs
would section off some circlessfor
"9 to 5'ers" or "White Males in
Power" (suit and tie required):
The rest of us would hacky-sack
in an area designated "All
Others." And the grand dream of
hacky-sack would have failed.
But who knows? Maybe I'll see
some regents or President
Shapiro or Billy Frye in the next
hacky-sack circle I join. I can
picture it now. Regent Roach
lunges for an outside kick with his
left leg, flicking the sack high to
Regent Baker,awho lets the sack
plop on his head and drop off to
his foot; he kicks it to me. "Hack
in, Andy!" they all exclaim hap-
pily. We play for hours together.
Then we go to the Administration
Building, where they gather input
from students, faculty, and
community members. Regent
Roach does not read his papers
while members of the public
speak, and Regent Baker does
not leave early. Afterwards, we
all work cooperatively on
solutions that suit the public in-
terest, not just the regents' in-
terests. And we live happily ever
after. All because of hacky-sack.
Weine is a Daily Arts writer.

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