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December 01, 1995 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-12-01

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4' The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 1, 1995

c 1 E ticl igttn at7llj



420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, M1 48109
dited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Just when you re not lookizg
adulthood cmeps up on you



Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a mfajoritV ofthe Daily s (ditOwial oard.All
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion ?f The Michigan Daily.
kinder, gentlerMSA
Chair selections point to new cooperation

_(On Tuesday, the new representatives of
the Michigan Student Assembly met
for the first time, selecting committee and
commission chairs for the coming term. The
amicable meeting was a welcome change
from the often bitterly partisan chair-selec-
tion meetings of the past. If all goes well, this
trend will continue for the duration of the
new assembly.
It is encouraging that the committees and
commissions were not treated simply as par-
tisan battlefields. The bulk ofMSA's work is
done not in the general assembly, but rather
-at the committee level. It is important to have
quality individuals chairing these panels.
Appropriately, MSA members took the se-
lection of these chairs seriously, and not as an
opportunity to advance a narrow political
MSA has long been hindered by faction-
".alism - parties have overlooked common
,goals to dwell on minor differences. This has
;contributed to student cynicism about the
assembly. It has also kept the assembly from
accomplishing many of its goals. One of the
perennial political "battles" has been the
struggle over appointed positions. In the past,
the assembly saw long debates for committee
posts, often while back-room deals were be-
ing struck outside the MSA chambers.
Fortunately, the new assembly selected
this session's committee and commission
chairs with a minimum of partisan bickering.
This could be a signal that MSA is now
serious about its work, and is abandoning its
tradition of nonproductive party quarrels.
This would be a welcome respite for students

who care about their student government.
However, it is notable that only two of the
posts were contested. The two contests were
amicable, and more ofsuch competition could
have been sustained without the meeting
turning into a political war. Debate and ideo-
logical competition are important for any
governing body. Also, MSA members must
demonstrate that the lack of interest in com-
mittee and commission chair positions does
not translate into a disregard for the work of
the bodies themselves. The movement to-
ward inter-party cooperation need not stifle
important debate and progress on University
Most of the committees and commissions
are now controlled by members of the oppo-
sition Students' and Wolverine parties. Only
one committee is headed by a member of the
Michigan Party, which controls a slim ma-
jority of the seats as well as the executive
officer positions. Ideally, all the parties will
be able to contribute constructively to the
work of the assembly, as they will be forced
to cooperate with each other - the commit-
tees and commissions rely on the general
assembly and officers, and vice versa. Grand-
standing and political gimmickry should be
less attractive options for all parties.
Students should hope that the newly
elected MSA can translate its good start into
a sustained commitment to inter-party coop-
eration. The amicable selection of critical
committee and commission chairs provides
hope that it will. However, the assembly
must continue to approach issues responsi-
bly. It cannot revert to its old ways.

Last week, I realized that I had grown up.
Somewhere between my arrival in Ann
Arbor as a bright-eyed, zit-faced politically
incorrect freshman and my arrival in class
yesterday as a tired-eyed, unshaven, still
politically incorrect senior, I grew up.
This puts me approximately three stages
of childhood above either Bill Clinton or
Newt Gingrich, judging from this month's
government shutdown fiasco, and Michael
Jackson will probably never reach this stage
of maturity. But that's beside the point.
The point is, I grew up.
As much as my parents probably don't
want to hear it - our wiiddle baby 's all
gwown up, isn 't he? Isn 't he? Yes, he is! -
or maybe as much as they do want to hear it
- Hey, Carl, do you think he '11start paing
his own bills soon? - I went and grew up.
I didn't mean it.
God knows that I want to be a kid as long
as I can possibly pull it off. I want to play in
the sandbox, and watch cartoons after school,
and get sent to my room for pulling little
girls' pigtails - but that's not going to
My sandbox went the way of my training
pants and my training wheels; cartoons have
given way to SportsCenter; and pulling girls'
pigtails can now be cross-referenced with
"assault and battery." "sexual harassment"
and "sure-fire ways not to get a date."
And getting sent to my room ? Let me tell
you a little completely true story about my
I spent last yearabroad, studying in Lon-
don. The first time I called home-not three
days after I left Michigan -my mom oh-so-
casually ended the conversation with "Oh,

and we turned your room into the den."
Excuse me ?
You did what? The room I lived in all
summer - for the last 21 summers!?! For
my whole life? The room Ilhad wallpapered
with posters and carpeted knee-deep with
Sports Illustrateds? It's neat now'? It's "the
Yep, I grew up. Didn't really have much
of a choice. It probably happened some time
ago, but I didn't realize it until last week. I
guess I missed some obvious clues.
For one. I live by myself and cook for
myself (not very well, really). If you have
my driver's license in hand and can do that
math, then I'm 22 years old. And I've been
a little over 6-foot-1 for about five years
with no growth potential in sight. Pretty silly
that I didn't recognize my condition until
last week, huh?
But last week, it just hit me. I was hang-
ing out with my friends, eating finger foods,
and I turned down a third helping in defer-
ence to "it."
What's "it," you may ask'? "It," I am less
than happy to iniform you, is what one gets if
one eats too much food and exercises too
little. I can't bring myself to refer to it by
name, but "it" is that curious disturbance
directly below one's pectorals that pushes
one's naval away from one's abdominal
organs, as if to greet one's conversation
partner with a hearty "I ate way too much
last month!"
I do not have an "it." Not yet.
But my buddies and I never once consid-
ered what we ate, back in the halcyon days of
high school. We never turned down sec-
onds, or thirds or fourths for that matter. We

ate anything in reach with no thought of our
health, girth or weight. More cheesecake'?
Why not, with two hours of basketball prac-
tice to work it off tomorrow? Another pizza?
Sure - football will burn those calories
quickly enough. A two-pound burrito? I'll
take that dare.
I realized I had grown up when I turned
down another cookie out of respect for my
Call me old. Call me over the hill. Tell
me all the jokes about canes and arthritis and
prunes for making me regular. I can take it.
On my 22nd birthday, my friends were
quick to inform me that from here on out,
there's nothing to look forward to. You
know: At 16, civilized states let you drive; at
18, the federal government allows you to
vote; at 21, you're legal. But at 22 ... hmmm
... is there anything out there, in The Void
That Follows 21'? If that's food for thought;
then I'm probably thinking twice about hav-
ing seconds.
No wayman. I'm not going out like that.
I'm already planning: On my 25th birthday,
I'm going to search out a car rental place that
doesn't rent to 24-year-olds. At 35, I'm
running for president. And at 55, I'll be first
in line to join the American Association of
Retired Persons.
I may have grown up. I may not pull little
girls' pigtails anymore. But I'm not getting
old quietly. I'm not taking this one lying
down. I'm going to fight this aging process.
But first, give me another cookie.
- Brent McIntosh can be reached over
e-mail at mctosh@unich.edu as soon as
he 's done eating.

_ -a





1I never let my
schooling get in
the way of my



a .





Am",& r - ,2r 1 N1?iiil

Environmental robbery
MEngler's cleanup plan ignores voters, land use
O nce again, Michigan Gov:John Engler marked for a different purpose.
has a noble mission and an abominable Proponents of the Engler plan argue that
means by which to achieve it. This week his intention is perfectly aligned with the
Engler announced a plan to clean up polluted fund's purpose. They claim that if polluted
land in Michigan cities to clear the way for city land is cleaned up for development,
development. The catch is, he's financing contractors will opt for the newly tidied ur-
* this crusade with up to $25 million a year ban plots as opposed to feasting upon pristine
from the state's Natural Resources Trust land. However, anyone who has witnessed
Fund. the preponderance of strip-mall construction
The trust fund - created in 1976 - uses in previously undeveloped land all over the
state oil and gas revenues to purchase envi- state will recognize this claim as laughably
ronmentally endangered public land. The false. This roundabout way of protecting
fund earns almost $33 million per year, one- land is impractical and unreliable -a guess-
third of which is used for immediate land ing game at best. If Engler is serious about
,.purchase. The remaining funds go to a parks conserving undeveloped or environmentally
endowment, which will be used for future sensitive land, his efforts would be better
land purchases. spent building and preserving the trust fund
In 1984, responding to governors tapping instead of dismembering.it.
the fund for causes of questionable relevance, By leaving the trust fund undisturbed,
voters mandated that the fund be used only Engler would not be wholly left without
for land purchase and protection. Engler's funding - voters passed a $425 million
Sunwise budget plan would openly defy the cleanup bond in 1989 which is good for at
voters' decision - a poor move both envi- least two more years. These are substantial,
ronmentally and politically. However, it voter-approved funds -- Engler should use
would fit with Engler's history of poor envi- them. If supplementary funding is necessary,
, ronmental moves. The governor is largely to he should turn to the peripheral revenue
s, blame for the bill that necessitates this new sources named in his plan, such as the $20
cleanup plan in the first place: Last spring, he million the state receives from unclaimed
pushed through an industrial cleanup bill that can and bottle deposits. Combining those
reduced private industries' responsibilities alternative sources with the existing cleanup
and increased the state's responsibilities. In bond should provide ample funding for the
the aftermath of this environmentally insen- urban cleanup project. If Engler raids the
z sitive action, industrial pollution is weighing Natural Resources Trust Fund - ignoring
heavily on the state's shoulders. In effect, the protests of conservation groups and the
x Engler is tying to solve a problem - which voice of the voters - he will be faced with a
le had a major role in creating - by cheating much bigger environmental and political mess
taxpayers out of the funds they have ear- to clean up.


- Mark'



Sports alone can't save a city

By Brendan Koerner
What price glory, Baltimore?
Maryland Gov. Parris
Gleideniig believes he has the
answer: about $300 million, just
for starters.
That is the princely sum lie
has promised professional
football's Cleveland Browns to
relocate to a city that has ached
for an NFL franchise since their
beloved Colts bolted for India-
napolis a decade ago. The pack-
age includes a new 70,000-seat.
$200 million downtown stadium,
rent-free tenancy for the next 30
years, $75 million in permanent
seat licenses, all proceeds from
stadium parking and concessions,
and more than 50 perceiit of tie
revenue from non-football events.
It's a sweetheart deal that Browns
owner Art Modell would have
beeii a fool to reject.
Yet not everyone in Baltimore
is salivating over the prospect of
the Browns. With basic services
threatenied bylooming state and
federal budget cuts.,Ifour state
senators are lobbying to prevent
Gov. Glendening fromtrading the
welfare of Maryland's residents
for mediocre football team. They
have proposed diverting the mnil-
lions intended for the Browns to-
ward solving the impending ca-
"We don't want to say 'gloom
and doom."' State Sen. Paul
Pinsky says, "But we don't see a
lot of answers on how we're go-
ing to make it through the upcom-
ing finanicial crunch."
The statistics on the crisis are
On Jai. 1, welfare benefits for

parent family with two children
will receive only $261 per month
under the new plan, or less than
0.000001 percent of the sum
Modell will rake in before play-
ing a single game. A total of
I 10,000 Medicaid recipients can
expect to lose all of their cover-
age, while an additional 200.000
will face severe cutbacks. Nearly
2.400 state and 40,000 federal
workers can look forward to los-
ing their jobs over the next three
years - giving them plenty of
extra time to watch the Browns
- which average an astounding
$52 per seat in Oakland this year
- but it will probably prevent
them from seeing the team in per-
The state's public school sys-
tem is emerging as Maryland's
biggest loser. The Wash ington
Post's Steve Twomey recently
reported on the maintenance and
overcrowding problems faced by
Northwestern High School in
Hyattsville, where porous roofs
provide little protection from the
elements and science labs must
be conducted in the gymnasium.
in Maryland, such abysmal con-
ditions are the norm, and their
further deterioration seems inevi-
table. For the upcoming fiscal
year, the state granted school of-
ficials only $120 million of the
$289 million they requested for
renovation and expansion- less
than half the money being doled
out to the Browns up front.
Amidst this crisis, Gov.
Glendening - who still supports
a 5- to 10-percent income tax cut
despite his state's woes - has
decided to bet the ranch on a
rniat nr uartinnOllpnl t~uif' to

peanuts, ripping ticket stubs and
picking up hot dog wrappers at
minimum wage for only eight
days a year - hardly the type of
full-time employment the city
desperately needs.
The latter figure is inflated by
nonsensical projections, such as
the overly optimistic prediction
that 14,000 fans will sleep in Bal-
timore hotels the night before each
game. Gov. Glendening is also
hoping that the arrival of the
Browns will convince other in-
dustries to move to the city, a
lofty claim with little factual sup-
port. "No busiiess isagoing to
relocate to a city because of a
professional sports franchise, ex-
cept maybe a souvenir hat store,"
says Charles Euchner, an associ-
ate professor of political science
at Holy Cross. Aside from a pal-
try $19.5 million per year in sales
taxes and admissions revenues,
the economic benefits to the city
appear meager.
Gov. Glendening has tried to
fend off criticism of his lavish
spending on the Browns by as-
serting that the money will come
from tax-exempt bonds and the
state's sports lottery, rather'than
the general operating budget. But
his financing plan relies on unre-
alistic revenue goals from these
sources, and taxpayers will ulti-
mately be stuck with the balance.
The plan is based on projected
revenues of $35 million from the
lottery in 1998,although the game
has averaged less than $21 mil-
lion over the past eight years. The
lottery commission has suggested
the creation of more games, such
as Keno, to make up the differ-
enve Cnlifornian who were

in trouble
GTECH, which received n $2
million contract as a political f
vor in 1993 -while schoors coi
tinue to wait for tangibly div
The prospects for the bon(
are equally as shaky. Baltimor
which will be losing betwe
$700 to $800 million from i
economy next year due to feder
cutbacks, is a weak candidate f<
a respectable bond ratiig."
This will leave the city's res
dents affected by what Upive
sity of Chicago economist All
Sanderson terms the "rever:
Robin Hood effect," in whi
those least able to meet tax ob
gations will be paying fi
Modell's opulent luxury boxes
"These cities are coughing
hundreds ofmil lions ofdollars
essentially subsidize a wealtl
industry," Prof. Euchner lai(nen
The most direct benefit Bal
more can expect from the reloc
tion of the Browns is enhanci
municipal prestige. However, t
"feel-good" sensation of havii
an NFL team cannot begin
solve the city's myriad diffic.
The arrival of the Browns w
translate into an increased ec
nomic burden at a time whi
money is desperately needed
preserve vital services such
education and health care.
GovernorGlendening and I
cronies must understand th
spectator sports function as e
tertainment, not financial sah
tion. As elected officials, th<
obligation should be to their co
stituents rather than a carpetba
ger NFL owner.
The novelty of nrofessior

Gov. John Engler
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, MI 48933

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