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July 24, 1985 - Image 5

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1985-07-24

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OPINION

The Michigan Daily
Vol. XCV, No. 37-S
95 Years of Editorial Freedom
Managed and Edited by Students at
The University of Michigan
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the
Daily Editorial Board
Mile high boots
ANN ARBOR residents like to play chicken with the
Parking Violations Bureau by trying to stay just one
step ahead of the law. They let four or five parking tickets
accumulate before they start to pay fines, but sometimes
they forget about that sixth ticket and discover that the
city has towed their car.
The city currently tows vehicles which have ac-
cumulated six or more parking tickets. Now it's con-
sidering bringing back the Denver boot, a device that at-
taches to the wheel of an automobile and makes the car
immobile, as an alternative to towing.
Parking has always been a hassle in Ann Arbor, so
bringing back the boot would save time for both the city
and the person who didn't pay his sixth parking ticket. The
city of Saginaw has been using the boot since 1982, and Ann
Arbor used the boot during the late 1970s. At that time, the
Ann Arbor Police Department was responsible for placing
the boot on the vehicle, but the program was dropped when
the city had problems scheduling someone to remove the
boot. The new program would be handled by the transpor-
tation department.
The whole reason to bring back the boot is to alleviate
some of the hassles involved with towing. It doesn't appear
that the program will cost the city any more than the
current system and the program would be self-supporting.
One group that opposes the change is the towing com-
panies which stand to lose money if the city decides to use
the Denver boot. But the loss will not be that great and
*besides, why do they deserve this money?
Only 29 percent of the cars towed last year would have
been impounded with the Denver boot. The towing com-
panies would still be responsible for towing cars that are
illegally parked. The towing companies would still have a
lot of business in Ann Arbor if the city used the Denver
boot.
Overall, the idea of bringing back the Denver boot will
be a good idea as long as it reduces the hassle for drivers in
the city of Ann Arbor.
Letters to the Daily should be typed,
triple-spaced, and signed by the in-
dividual authors. Names will be withheld
only in unusual circumstances. Letters
S may be edited for clarity, grammar, and
spelling.

Wednesday, July 24, 1985

Page 5

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Underground trade in military gear
By Ed Humes surpus store thatpurchased gafrom scarsy ksmnMa.."br
SAN DIEGO - It starts out small - bought $500,000 of stolen gear. None of MacLean says he thinks the motive is
a case of gas masks here, s dozen flak that wss ever reported missing or usually simple greed. For ten cents on
jackets there, s few small theft in the stolen, despite regulations thst the dollar, surplus dealers profit on
night. require complete inventories, valuable government property, while
Then it adds up - to as much as $4 Naughton says. some low-paid soldiers risk their
million worth of gear lost in one year Records seized from some Ocean- careers for a few hundred bucks, he
alone at the Marine Corps' major West side surplus dealers showed thousan- says.
Coast installation, Camp Pendelton, ds of Marines had sold gear to the
according to the FBI. dealers since 1982, she says. MACLEAN's theory is borne out by
FACTOR IN other Marine bases, Some who have been scrutinizing signed confessions like that of Sgt.
the Navy, the Army and the Air the problem consider $200 million a Edward Grossenheider's. "My
Force and ripping off the military year a conservative estimate of the motive was for personal profit," he
nationwide adds up to at least a $200- illegal surplus trade. "I think it's so wrote. "The money was used to pay
million-a-year underground ndustry, much higher that it'll water your bills, which I'd gotten behind in."
says Assiatant U.S. Attorney Pamela eyeballs," said John Highbush, an
Naughton of San Diego. Her office is analyst for Oregon GOP Yet Grossenheider's case, and
wrapping up the first phase of a Congressman Denny Smith, one of 50 many others uncovered during the in-
massive prosecution of 64 Pendleton Congressional members of the vestigation, indicate some severe
Marines and seven California dealer Military Reform Caucus in morale problems as well. Within the
who allegedly traded in surplus gear. Washington. ranks, apparently, stealing is often
An 18-month sting operation con- A DEFENSE Department Inspec- greeted by little more than a shrug.
cluded in December in Oceanside, tor General's report covering
near Pendleton, led to the November 1982 through April 1983 Naughton sees no evidence that
prosecutions and has implicated showed the military lost up to $100 Neerauhton isees noreinethati
dozens moressurplus dealers around million in tools alone throughwaste federal authorities are interested in
the country, Naughton says. theft and abuse. Highbush said that launching a nationwide investigation
The demand for military surplus represents over half the military's scheduled no hearings on the matter
equipment has been on the rise. It is tool inventory and indicgtes a and the House of late has been more
sought by buyers who range from sweeping problem if other types of interested in probing overcharges by
survivalists in search of authentic equipment are similarly lost, inte contractors, according to Highbush.
gear, to sharp-dressers who think National security has also become
camouflage is trendy, surplus dealers an issue. Camp Pendleton lost 10,000
say. blank military i.d. cards to theft, Humes wrote this for Pacific News
THE STING operation - a phony Naughton said, adding, "I think that's Service.

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