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May 20, 2002 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2002-05-20

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, May 20, 2002
letters@michigandaily.com Editor in Chief Editorial Page Editor
STUDENTS AT THE Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN the majority of the Daily's editorial board. All other pieces do not
SINCE 1890 necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
F or the past three years, the creation of the county develop the land and although the
the Pinnacle Aero Park has become A Mjj ho yI alliancc project's location on the outskirts of the
one of the most exasperating and Detroit suburbs may appear to be an exam-
contentious projects for Wayne County. Engler and McNamara must yield to \X/CC ple of sprawl, it is actually smart growth that
The Wayne County Commission has utilizes the location of Metro Airport. If
become mired in internal disagreements properly implemented, the Pinnacle devel-
and bickering as outgoing Wayne County in the region. to justify their maneuverings as being in opment can revitalize the entire metropoli-
Executive Ed McNamara has attempted to While the plan is promising for the the best interest of Wayne County. But tan area and ultimately help return Detroit to
railroad the approval of his vision of the future of Wayne County, McNamara and with the county responsible for issuing the its era of long past glory. The WCC is the
project. On April 22 McNamara took the Engler have attempted to seize control for $50 million in bonds for the project, the proper body to ensure that the project is suc-
proposal off the table and went to lame- their associates and political allies, a majority of the authority should, reside cessful and benefits the region.
duck Gov. John Engler to seize control of move which will doom the project. The with the WCC. The county is assuming the Illegal campaign contributions, crony-
the development and shape its future after pair are subverting the authority of the majority of the risk, while Engler and ism, nepotism, no-bid contracting and
both have left office. While the project is a Wayne County Commission by attempt- McNamara are positioning themselves for other unethical acts have all been found
promising opportunity to attract new econ- ing to create a corporation in control of rewards after they leave office. at Metro. Negligent oversight has made
omy jobs to the region, its future must be the Pinnacle development. The proposed Pinnacle is now becoming an important the airport one of the most inefficient
shaped by the WCC. corporation would not be beholden to any issue in the campaign for governor. U.S. and poorly-managed airports in the
The Pinnacle Aero Park is a proposed external authority. Engler and McNamara Rep. David Bonior (D-Mt. Clemens) oppos- nation. The citizens of Wayne County
1,200-acre project located south of want the corporation to consist of 10 es the project, citing the duplicitous involve- have seen their tax dollars spent irre-
Detroit Metro Airport that will include members, eight that the pair would direct- ment of McNamara and Engler, the environ- sponsibly and have little recourse against
office space, high-tech developments ly appoint. With the exception of their mental impact and the possible negative the nest of corruption that McNamara
and commercial land use.With the land two appointments to the corporation, the effects on the city of Detroit. While Bonior's has helped create. The county commis-
surrounding Metro Airport relatively WCC stands to losc all authority over concerns are worthy of consideration, there sion must control the future of Pinnacle
undeveloped, the area could serve as a Pinnacle's future. are some flaws in his reasoning. The Federal or they risk a project marred by corrup-
major center for economic development Engler and McNamara have attempted Aviation Administration is mandating that tion and incompetence.

More children left behind
Preschool cuts hurt individuals with greatest needs

Vendors of the world unite
Proposal against vendors harms Ann Arbor


The State of Michigan currently funds
70 full-day preschools specifically
for low-income families, but as state
budget cuts are implemented this month
these schools are being forced to cut staff,
services and in some cases, shut down alto-
gether. This development has been particu-
larly harmful to welfare recipients and
those who are trying to work themselves
off of the welfare rolls. Coupled with
President Bush's recently implemented
welfare reform program, which requires
individuals to work 40 hours a
week or not receive government While
assistance, this development will hui
threatens to hurt Michigan fami- and th
lies and place children in a pre- future,
carious situation. seriou
Following in the steps of for- will b
mer President Bill Clinton's radi- chi
cal changes to the welfare pro-
gram in 1996, the Bush administration
increased the work requirements to receive
welfare. While both the Clinton and Bush
policies have been hailed by many politi-
cians and pundits, the shortcomings of the
legislation can be seen with the events in
Michigan. Due to excessive tax cuts, the
state is slashing the preschool program and
abandoning welfare recipients. With parents
working a minimum of 40 hours a week, the
new plan requires a comprehensive child-
care system. Full-day preschools, designed
to accommodate working parents are neces-
sary for low-income parents who must work
during the day and cannot afford child care.
Parents who are forced to work 40-hour
weeks now lack acceptable services for
their children. The inflexible nature of the
requirements leaves parents in an impossi-
ble situation where they must choose
between the care of their children and vital


welfare benefits.
When the state was entangled in a finan-
cial squeeze last October, legislators
responded by excising large segments from
the budget for primary education. The full-
day preschool program was cut altogether,
while $50 million was removed from sum-
mer-school grants and $100 million was
purged from the parent-education and read-
ing grants program. The state's question-
able commitment to education is disturb-
ing. Education of the young is the best way
to ensure a healthy future for
the cuts Michigan's economy. This
t families future is being compromised
e state's by irresponsible funding cuts.
the most While the cuts will hurt
5 effects families and the state's future,
e felt by the most serious effects will
dren. be felt by children. As they
prepare to enter elementary
school many children will already be
behind their peers in academic and social
skills. Children will struggle during the
transition and may permanently lag
behind their peers.
With the enactment of President Bush's
new welfare regulations, each state has the
responsibility to ensure that individuals can
balance the responsibilities of raising a
family and working a 40-hour week. While
the changes that have moved the authority
of the welfare program from the federal
government to individual states offer
improved flexibility in welfare distribution,
the changes have resulted in new problems
for the welfare system. States must actively
ensure that they provide adequate services
to allow for their residents to meet the strin-
gent work requirements. If they fail, they
risk miring a new generation with the bur-
dens of unremittent poverty.

ene Greff, co-owner of the Arbor 2nd Ward) who told The Ann Arbor News,
Brewing Company and president of "Under that line of thinking, the University
he Main Street Area Association, is of Michigan should petition council to put
spearheading a campaign to bar small ven- limits on retailing at Briarwood Mall during
dors, mostly hot dog stands, from setting up football Saturdays because the Briarwood
shop downtown during large events. The retailers enjoy a benefit from a university-
City Council has ruled that vendors can sponsored event that the retailers had no
continue to sell their wares on the streets of hand in creating."
Ann Arbor until their permits expire, after Reid is correct; the MSAA proposal is
which the council will make its final deci- petty. It reflects an attitude among Ann
sion. Despite the vocal complaints of Greff Arbor's leaders that is increasingly less
and the MSAA, the hot dog ven- community-oriented and instead
dors should have the right to Hot dog stands appeals to the demands of indi-
continue to purchase permits to provide cheap vidual businesses. Simply
set up the stands even after their and greasy food because the hot dog vendors do
current permits expire. that is hardly a not mesh with MSAA's desired
The MSAA claims that the substitute for the image of a downtown suitable
vendors do not contribute by sit-down for upwardly-mobile yuppies
sponsoring or funding major restaurants and does not mean that the vendors
events, nor do they contribute to bars that line do not belong at Ann Arbor's
the upkeep of the Main Street Main Street. major events. Street vendors add
and downtown areas. They argue to Ann Arbor's image as an
that the vendors should not be able to ben- eclectic city. The stands do not ruin the
efit from the money and effort of business- atmosphere of Ann Arbor's events, but actu-
es like Arbor Brewing Company. ally complement them. These outdoor festi-
The sidewalks in front of business are vals would not be complete without the out-
owned by the city and leased during events door vendors.
to vendors who pay for permits that allow Some vendors have already considered
them to set up their stands on specific leaving the city or quitting their jobs rather
sidewalk space. Banning vendors from than bicker with their fellow business-own-
leasing these spaces to appease the MSAA ers. The City Council must not acquiesce to
allows the interests of a few to control and the demands of the MSAA or it will risk fur-
dictate the policies of public spaces like ther alienating the types of people and busi-
Ann Arbor's streets and sidewalks. nesses that it should be supporting. It is
MSAA's argument that hot dog vendors regrettable that Ann Arbor's business owners
take business away from other restaurants feel that they should spend time and energy to
is flawed. Hot dog stands provide cheap keep a relatively small number of 'competi-
and greasy food that is hardly a substitute tors' away from Ann Arbor's events. The City
for the sit-down restaurants and bars that Council should act in the interest of all of Ann
line Main Street. Arbor and continue to allow vendors to
The absurdity of the proposal is revealed improve the atmosphere of summer events by
in the words of Councilman Mike Reid (R- selling their food.

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