Approach to recent health hazards seems half-hazard,
‘U’ should rethink policies

To the Daily:

As a student, a parent and a registered nurse, I read the front
page of the Feb. 6 edition from varying point of view. I am
referring specifically to the adjacent stories about the flu
outbreak in Markley Hall and the sewage backup in Pierpont Commons
(Flu outbreak spreads and Restaurant stays open despite sewage
backup, 02/06/04).

As a registered nurse and as a parent of an undergraduate
— who does not live in Markley — I felt that the
reaction of the Housing Office, Health Services and Occupational
and Environment Health was appropriate for the situation in the
residence hall.

However, I was quite frankly appalled to read of the decision,
apparently with the support of OSEH, to allow the Earl of Sandwich
in Pierpont Commons to remain open in the wake of a sewage
spill.

The concern and response to the situation in the residence hall
should have carried over to the incident in Pierpont Commons. The
description of handwashing and restricted contact in the residence
halls is an appropriate response to the spreading gastrointestinal
virus. However, the bacteria commonly found in sewage can cause
many of the symptoms being experienced by students with the flu,
and in some cases, can be more dangerous.

To set up handwashing stations in residence halls and then allow
food preparation to be carried out by employees who have cleaned up
a sewage spill is contradictory at best, and dangerous at worst. I
would suggest that OSEH review its procedures with all employees
and act more responsibly and conservatively in future responses to
risks to food safety and the health of patrons of the Catering
Department.

Yvonne Ford

School of Nursing

 

Coverage of racial profiling commendable, but contained some
inaccuracies

To the Daily:

Thank you for your coverage on the recent release of the Ann
Arbor Police Department Traffic Stop Data Collection Methods and
Analysis Study written by Lamberth Consulting. The Daily article
(Study: A2 police do not practice racial profiling, 02/06/04)
covered accurately my comments and concerns. The editorial
(‘Inconclusive results:’ Racial profiling flawed,
wasteful, 02/09/04) reported incorrectly my comments. The
Daily’s editorial on my comments were directly contrary to
what I had said.

In the City Council meeting of Monday, Feb. 2, 2004 I questioned
the findings of the Lamberth study that concluded that an
odds/ratio of 1.5 for blacks of being stopped was inconsequential.
In addition, I challenged the absence of gender data that council
had sought.

As the sole council member to challenge these findings at the
meeting, I must emphasize that the Daily’s editorial on this
matter was simply wrong as a matter of fact.

Wendy Woods

Ann Arbor City Council Fifth ward

 

Hockey fans entitled to freedom of speech at Yost

To the Daily:

As a fourth-year ticket holder, “cowbell guy” and
longtime fan of Michigan hockey, I feel sick to my stomach every
time I read a letter about how the fans at Yost Ice Arena need to
clean up their act and censor their words (Time for ‘U’
community to rethink hockey cheer, 02/09/04). Yost fans have been
counted by numerous publications some of the most intense and
supportive in the country. As a group, we have a long tradition
upon which to draw, which is one of the reasons there is such an
intense atmosphere during the game. For as bad as some would say it
is now, it used to be worse. A few years ago, our students used to
individually pick fights with the opposing teams’ fans, which
was classless behavior, and thankfully snuffed out by Red and the
athletic director. Now, however, some “fans” are also
calling for the group censorship of the whole crowd because of a
few vulgarities. Does anybody actually think what we say is worse
than what you will run into by flipping the channels on the
television? I would rather bring my little brother to a hockey game
than have let him see Justin and Janet practically having sex live
on network television.

If you would rather not support your team by chanting along with
the students, then don’t, that’s your choice. But
don’t try to ruin the fun of a few college students by
criticizing their behavior long after you have graduated and
forgotten what it’s like to be in college.

And in case you were wondering, we added “We love you
Red” to the end of the cheer because we want him to know that
our cheering is not out of disrespect for him, but because we want
to support Michigan hockey with everything we have.

Kyle Aron

Engineering senior

 

Daily’s endorsement of Edwards is simply wrong

To the Daily:

The editors could not make a worse decision than endorsing John
Edwards (Vote John Edwards, 02/05/04). He is exactly the type of
Democrat we should hold with the most suspicion. Not only did he
vote for war in Iraq, sending thousands over to die with no
evidence of remote danger, but he authored the Patriot Act. I ask
the Daily, why is this in any way forgivable? Should we not ask for
more in a primary that people we choose to represent us at least
look out for our interest? They seemed to have been bought not on
any actual substance but because of some perception of that
congenial Southern charisma. I tell you he’s selling snake
oil! He may not be negative in his tactics, but that’s
because he is an opportunist with no real message. What makes you
think a first-term senator has the experience that we need to win
more decisive battles in Washington when he doesn’t even
support the common interest when he has had the opportunity?

The Daily mentions that he doesn’t come from a particular
unique background, but he does. He amassed a fortune as a trial
lawyer — the profession that is in large part responsible for
why we do not have affordable health care in this country, the rate
of malpractice insurance.

My father supported Bush in 2000 and has vowed to vote for any
Democrat but Edwards. I attest that any of the five others
candidates are a better choice, especially Howard Dean, who has
inspired a generation to believe that we actually have the power to
make a difference, not that it’s up to some smooth-talking
sugar daddy to make it all better.

You should know better!

Dave Somers

Rackham

 

Panel’s speaker does not promote a positive
attitude

To the Daily:

Last Friday, the Daily covered Students for Choice’s panel
discussion on reproductive rights (Speaker pushes for abortion
activism, 02/06/04).

One of the main speakers at this event was Laszlo Sogor, medical
director of Planned Parenthood in Cleveland.

During his talk, Sogor described some instances when he would
consider it necessary to perform a partial-birth abortion
procedure. One case he presented was that of a baby with an extra
chromosome 13, a condition similar to Down Syndrome, according to
Sogor. This chromosomal disorder causes developmental disability.
Or, as Sogor put it, “the brain activity ain’t
there.” He explained further, that after the baby is born,
“it cries like a cat for about 15 hours and then
dies.”

The callousness of his words hit me hard — I have a
brother and a sister with Down Syndrome. Sogor probably thinks they
don’t deserve to be alive, since they don’t meet his
standard of “brain activity.”

At the University of Michigan, which is committed to diversity,
this kind of attitude should not be tolerated. All people deserve
to be treated with respect, no matter what their races, creeds, or
mental abilities.

Furthermore, if this is the contemptuous attitude that abortion
breeds, it might make a person think twice about the pro-choice
movement.

Louise Conlon

LSA senior

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