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May 18, 1998 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1998-05-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, May 18, 1998
Edited and managed by CHRIs FARAH DAVID WALLACE
students at the +art Editor in Chief Editorial Page Editor
University of Michigan
420 Cydss oterwisenoted,. isigied .itrials reflet1the opinion of tie
420 Maynard Street rrOljoritn fre aiy 'ehirial hoarrld.1 ofr articles leteran
s Ann Arbor, MI 48109 cartoons 11( not ressarllrerlt the opinion ol ie uielri an Daiur

A s a young driver prepares to turn the
key in the ignition, parents anxiously
buckle their seatbelts and brace for the
ride. Although seatbelts may be effortless-
ly buckled, Ann Arbor Public Schools' free
driver education program is experiencing
some difficulties clicking into place.
Driver education is an important program
Ann Arbor offers, and the district should
take action to preserve it.
Currently, the district continues its dri-
ver education program even though it
lacks adequate state funding. Because of
this insufficient funding, the schools carry
a deficit of over $225,000 for last year
alone. Furthermore, the district's deficit
for driver education averages approxi-
mately $180,000 a year over the past
decade. As financial difficulties for the
program mount, some administrators have
proposed eliminating the program
Discontinuing the driver education pro-
gram may alleviate some of the district's
financial concerns, but such an action
would add to students' economic difficul-

Exceeding the imit
District's driver education program in trouble

ties. Currently, 1,150 students take part in
the district's program. Canceling this free
public service would force students to pay
close to $200 to enroll in private programs.
Driver education means more than learn-
ing to successfully swerve around orange
cones, and it is a great service to the stu-
dents as well as the entire Ann Arbor com-
The governing body of the state of
Michigan should be more supportive of
the district's driver education programs.
Yet, it is important that funding for the
driver education program not divert fund-
ing from the traditional core subjects. But
Ann Arbor is a city that appreciates the
value of an education and the necessity of
teaching its children to become responsi-
ble drivers.

With the state not providing enough to
cover the financial needs of the program,
Ann Arbor schools may need to take
action to resolve the financial dilemma. A
possible solution to the district's challenge
would be to offer driver education for a
minimal fee that would keep the program
more economically feasible for students
and the district.
The danger of ending driver educa-
tion extends not only from tight purse
strings, but to the curves and bends of
the Michigan roads. With so many teens
killed in automobile accidents, programs
that produce careful, safe drivers are a
necessity. The convenience and school
setting of a district-provided program
are a great resource to future drivers.
The ability to drive an automobile is a

critical life skill. Although textbooks may
instruct students on the rise and fall of
great kings and mathematical equation
they do not always teach students skil
pertaining to daily life. Getting into a car
and shifting into gear is a common daily
routine - and an essential skill to pos-
sess as one grows into adulthood.
Teaching its students to be responsible
drivers is a part of a school's obligation to
enhance and strengthen its students' abil-
Although Ann Arbor's funding for dri-
ver education is in danger, the district
should try to preserve its program. *
school-supported driver education course
teaches students essential safety skills
and saves them from paying generous
sums of money to learn these skills else-
where. As a city that presents so many
driving hazards (with one-way streets and
countless pedestrians), Ann Arbor must
continue to produce safe, skilled drivers
to protect the lives of pedestrians and
those behind the wheel.

The bomb
U.S. should work to reduce nuclear arsenals

India sent a shiver around the world
last week when it conducted tests of
nuclear weapons. The United States led
the worldwide outrage over the tests with
a prompt condemnation of India's
actions and the cessation of all non-
humanitarian aid to the country. The U.S.
should continue to discourage the prolif-
eration of nuclear weapons and work
towards a reduction of all nuclear arse-
nals, including its own.
The surprise tests added more insta-
bility to an already volatile area. India's
neighbors, Pakistan and China, both
expressed their alarm at the bold devel-
opments. The situation warrants their
concern, as both countries have fought
with India at points during its 50-year
history. A Pakistani nuclear test may
occur within the next few days, and the
Chinese may feel a need to conduct a
test of their own.
India asserts that such tests are neces-
sary for its security. All nations have an
obligation to protect their people, and
considering the ever-changing state of
world affairs, India's desire to increase its
military capabilities is understandable.
But developing nuclear arms is the wrong
avenue to take in pursuing this goal.
These types of weapons create destruc-
tion on a scale that defies description.
One bomb has the potential to destroy an
entire city and all the lives that call it
home. This is not the type of power any
nation needs.
Because many of the world's leading
nations - the U.S., Great Britain, France,
Russia and China - have nuclear capabil-
ities, developing nations such as India and
Pakistan feel that possessing nuclear
weaponry is a necessary part of being a

world power. These five powers in partic-
ular need to lead the way toward nuclear
So far, the U.S. has responded strong-
ly to the tests. Losing the substantial
economic aid the U.S. provides should
cause India to hesitate before it conducts
any future tests. Sending diplomats to
try and calm the situation is another
bright move. But as a leading power, the
U.S. should take action that sets an
example for the rest of the world.
The U.S. should reduce its own
nuclear arsenal as it asks other nations to
abstain from developing nuclear
weapons. As long as countries have large
reserves of such warheads, other nations
will seek to be on a similar standing. Of
course, reducing nuclear weapons stock-
pites is very difficult. The main obstacle
to disarmament is that no country wants
to reduce its capabilities and let other
countries surpass it. Any reduction in
arms would have to involve an agree-
ment between a number of nations.
Through negotiations, the U.S. should
seek to reduce its arsenal along with the
other four great powers. These nations
can set a new tone for the world - the
current message is that nuclear weapons
are a necessity.
With the development of the atomic
bomb, the world opened a pandora's box.
Destruction on unheard of scales is pos-
sible, and more countries continue to
develop weapons of mass destruction.
The more that are developed, the greater
the potential that a nuclear incident
could occur. The world must work
together towards the dismantling of
these weapons to reduce the possibility
of nuclear disaster.

The cure for cancer
Encouraging new breakthrough needs testing
L ast week, the country gasped at the must not rush their findings. With any
possibility that a cure for cancer medical treatment, a long period of time
may be as close as two years away. As is necessary to determine how well it
the initial hoopla begins to fade, the works, or if any potentially dangero -
promising but unproven method of side effects may result. Recently, a drtu
angiogenesis inhibition takes center used to reduce the chance of developing
stage. People must now temper their breast cancer showed very promising
excitement and allow the FDA to per- results; yet, researchers found that the
form the necessary clinical studies to drug may actually increase the chance of
determine if the method can work for developing uterine cancer. People taking
people safely. drugs must be aware of the possible dan-
Angiogenesis inhibition, in very gers to make a decision they feel com-
basic terms, seeks to destroy cancerous fortable with. It is these types of side
tumors by cutting off the supply of effects that researchers must discover i
blood to them. Consisting of rapidly angiogenesis inhibition. W
dividing mutant cells, these tumors are The development process is excruci-
very hard to treat. So, rather than focus ating to many cancer sufferers and their
on these difficult cells, angiogenesis families. If this is the miracle cure for
inhibition seeks to manipulate the capil- the disease, studies to determine its
laries that feed the tumors. Through a effectiveness and safety may take longer
combination of proteins, researchers than some patients have to live. But this
have been able to prevent capillaries is the sad reality of any cure: No matter
from constructing the necessary cells to how soon it is developed, it will still be
support the tumors. The tumors subse- too late for many people. Those deter-
quently shrink and die without any mining the safety of the treatment must
blood. This method produced stunning proceed at the quickest possible pao
results in lab mice. without sacrificing any quality in their
But angiogenesis inhibition has not findings. Bureaucratic delays must be
yet been tested in humans. The effects side-stepped, but the slow process
generated in mice may be very different required of good science must be
from those in people. Countless medical allowed to run its course to ensure the
breakthroughs made while treating mice welfare of the general population.
have not translated to successful treat- Whether this exciting breakthrough
ments for humans. The next step is to will result in the long-hoped-for cure to
conduct thorough studies of how angio- cancer is something no one can say right
genesis inhibition works in human sub- now. Many breakthroughs discovered
jects. Of course, a large number of can- a lab do not pan out when applied
cer patients would love to be a part of human subjects in scientific studies. But
these studies, and a great deal of expec- at this point, the new findings rekindle
tation now rides on the shoulders of the hope that a cure can indeed be found.
these tests. But such tests must ignore And hope is what every cancer sufferer
the public excitement, and researchers needs.

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