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An Enemy To The City

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The deadliest foe a man can have is one who goes about in the guise of a friend, but who secretly knifes him at seasonable opportunities. As with a man, so with a city. A city's reputation builds it up or tears it down. Ann Arbor city has had a good reputation, a deservedly good one, and to-day, nowhere in the state of Michigan can be found a more orderly or a better governed city, and yet a paper which subsists through the subscriptions of our citizens, and the patronage of our business men, has for a long period been endeavoring to tarnish the fair fame of the city, to blacken its reputation abroad and to make it a stench in the nostrils of r'espectable law-abiing citizens of the state. We refer to the Ann Arbor Register, which may with truth, be said to be acting the part of an enemy to the city and the University in whose welfare that of the city is bound up. Here, where the facts are known its utterances are taken for what they are worth and nothing need be said. But misrepresentations long continued and undenied, have begun to bear ill fruit outside. Papers throughout the state, eager to injure the University or devoted to the interest of some denominational school, or hopeful of cutting down University appropriations, have taken up the Register's utterances and use them to deter parents from sending their children here. Silence, at last, has ceased to be a virtue. The Register richly deserves to be held up as the traducer of the fair fame of the city, a traducer which can Jive only by the patronage of the citizens, who are injured when the city is injured, a traducer which smites the hand that nurtures it. Is Ann Arbor a modern Sodom and Gomorrah? One would think so, who carefully reads the Register, unless he looked for specific charges instead of general denunciations. Ofjcourse there is drunkenness here. But what town in the United States can boast otherwise? Of course there are infractions of the law, greatly to be deplored, here as in other cities. What we want to say right here is that no city in Michigan is better governed than Ann Arbor, no city has less of a criminal element, no city has less drunkenness. If men were perfect, laws might be perfectly enforced. We regret that they are not, but we fail to see just cause for the endeavors of the Register to blast the fair fame of the city. The very night before the Register reached its readers complaints were made by saloon frequenters that they could not get in saloons. What is gained by the Register's tirade against the present officers? Absolutely nothing and worse than nothing. To deprive the officers of the support of the law abiding element which ij unquestionably in the great majority in this city, is not to strengthen them in their efforts to enforce the laws. Without waiting to see what the policy of the new mayor is, without giving the officers he appointed any opportunity to show what their efforts towards the enforcement of the liquor laws would be, the Register quotes approvingly, "evidently the lowest elements of saloonism will hold the reins of city government." A more palpable, bare-faced and utter falsehood never found place in public print. To show to what extent the Register goes we quote from its temperance column of last week : "Ann Arbor citizens last year dug the graves and filled chem with the soulless bodies of two hundred drunkards." When it is remembered that there were not more than as many deaths as that here last year and that many were women and children, the sweeping character of the Register's statement may be feit. The Argus does not desire in any way to uphold infractions of the liquor law. It hopes they may be much more infrequent in the future, but sees no reason or justice for the Register's tirades, unless the Register aims to be what it is, perhaps, let us hope, unwittingly, an enemy of the city.