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May 05, 2003 - Image 8

Resource type:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2003-05-05

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

8 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, May 5, 2003




Continued from Page 1
"Families can all feel safer now that this much-
needed child protection legislation has become law.
It is a broad measure that deters and punishes those
who prey on children before they can be harmed,"
Hoekstra said in a written statement.
Congress passed the bill - with the added legis-
lation - by overwhelming majorities of 400-25 in
the House and 98-0 in the Senate. While most mem-
bers of Congress eagerly supported the AMBER
Alert program, a few felt they could not sponsor the
added legislation.
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-Detroit) cast
one of the "no" votes. "While I fully support a
national system that will provide coordination in
cracking down on child abductors and abusers,

there are many provisions in the bill that infringe
on the livelihoods of innocent individuals," she
said insa written statement.
The bill includestmandatory minimum sentenc-
ing guidelines for child sex offenders -some fed-
eral judges feel this undermines their
discretionary authority.
U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Florida), author of the
amendment addressing child sex offender sentenc-
ing, said the new punishments are necessary.
"This amendment sets an appropriate and mean-
ingful appellate standard that will prevent child
offenders from receiving a sentence that does not
justify crimes committed against our most fragile
citizens," he said ina written statement.
The amendment also included mandatory life
sentences for two-time child sex offenders, another
provision Kilpatrick said she could not support.

"Families can all feel safer now that this much-needed child
protection legislation has become law."
- U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra


"Everyone assumes child sex offenders are 40-
year old males," said Denise Mixon, Kilpatrick's
press secretary.
She said Kilpatrick voted against the legislation
because the new law could send any two-time child
sex offender to jail for life - even a seventeen-year
old caught having consensual sex with someone
under the age of sixteen.
University social work Prof. David Burton said
punishment might not be the most effective way to
reduce child sex crimes. "It really might be a better

idea to provide treatment if you want to keep (the
child sex offenders) in jail longer. We really need to
change how they think and feel," he said.
Michigan requires convicted sex offenders to reg-
ister with the state police, and their personal and
criminal information is made available online, Bur-
ton said. He added that the registry merely notifies
the public - it is not an effective deterrent.
Like the registry, the new child sex offend-
er legislation serves mostly to calm people
down, Burton said.

Continued from Page 1
"The local business owners have a
great concern for what goes on outside
their store, which has great importance
for the local community," Kolb said.
Decker's lease was for five years, at
$108,000 per year. In addition, the out of
state landlord instituted a "triple-net
lease" for the building that housed the
store - Decker was responsible for rent,
insurance, taxes, and maintenance.
"My profit margin was much smaller
than the margin of the new fast-food
chains coming in," Decker said. "I could
buy a bottle of shampoo for $3, but only
sell it for $4. Fast food places, on the
other hand, can buy beef for $.50 and
sell it for $4 in a hamburger."
Local businesses have attempted to
stem the rise of leasing rates through
various measures. Red Hawk owner
Roger Hewitt, who has been on State
Street for 11 years, currently possesses
a long-term lease.
"With the rising price of property in
this area, a long-term lease certainly
helps," said Hewitt.

"When you have locally owned busi-
nesses, you have businesses that are dedi-
cated to the neighborhood," Hewitt said.
"Also, there is a lot less diversity in the
State Street area now."
Shaman Drum Bookstore owner Karl
Pohrt served as president of the State
Street Area Association for four years, a
group of independent local businesses.
He said local business autonomy was one
of their most important issues.
"My first act as president was to set
aside a reserve fund to build up a 'treas-
ure chest' so that the association could
maybe purchase a building," Pohrt said.
"The chain stores and fast food places
can come in and afford the rents,
because they have many stores to gener-
ate profit for them."
Peter Nolan, Director of Marketing for
Potbelly, said he feels that any business,
whether local or part of a chain, has an
advantage if it can deliver a good quality
product at agood price.
"However, I don't think a chain neces-
sarily results in difficulties for local busi-
ness, because new businesses will attract
people downtown, benefiting the down-
town area as a whole."

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at the Michigan Theatre


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