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The Merciad, May 4, 2005

The Merciad, May 4, 2005

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The Merciad, May 4, 2005
The Merciad, May 4, 2005

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With the decision to purchase 400-acres of land in the western county forthe new Girard campus, Mercyhurst setinto motion only the beginning stagesof a lengthy and difficult process.Last week, the board of trustees votedto pay $4,500 per acre, or $1.8 million,to the Society of the Divine Word, inorder to purchase the land. According to Interim PresidentMichael McQuillen, the purchase wasfinanced by transferring monies to theendowment fund. The idea, according to McQuillen, isto sell a part of the land to regain themoney.“We can sell a portion of the property to other developers and form moremoney from the land in the endowment,instead of cash,” said McQuillen.According to McQuillen, there havebeen enough studies to warrant thepurchase.“There was sufficient information tobuy (the land) and now we just need toplan ‘Mercyhurst West.’” The idea of Mercyhurst West campusbegan when Fairview and Girard HighSchool superintendents, who, accord-ing to McQuillen, spoke to Mercyhurstabout mirroring a North East to stu-dents in the west county.“They were an important voice inurging the college to offer programs (inthat area),” he said.McQuillen feels that with the expan-sion of such programs will help increasethe student population.“With this new campus, we hope toattract a regional and national studentpopulation,” he said.However, in contrast to North East, which has around 1200 students, Mer-cyhurst West plans to only begin with500 to 600 students and “later expand,”said McQuillen.Even with the buying of such a largeproperty, McQuillen noted that thereseemed to be “no opposition,” justsome concern.“There was some concern in thebeginning, but the board wisely decidedit was best to buy the land,” he said.“We now just have to work on themajor plans and decisions for thecampus.”Underclassmen are ready for classesto be done and for summer to begin.Seniors, on the hand, are packing uptheir belongings for one last time atthe Hurst. The truth is they will not be returning come fall, they will be in the “real world,” working to make a living and executing the skills that they have learned throughtheir four years at Mercyhurst.But getting a job is not the only thing seniors are considering at the moment. There are a lot of loose ends and finalcommitments that are in need of someserious attention. The Graduation Green Pledge is oneof those things seniors are being askedto reflect on as they embark on the new stage of their lives, what life is like afterMercyhurst. According to Sister MicheleSchroeck, “The Graduation GreenPledge is a national effort to promotecivic responsibility among graduating seniors. It was started by a student atMercyhurst in 1998.”In early May, seniors will receive aletter explaining the origin of the Gradu-ation Green Pledge and what exactly itentails when committing the pledge.Seniors will soon be among millionsof Americans that are working to makea living and the letter explains why they  want people to sign the pledge prior tograduation.“The college hopes that you willcontinue to carry out the social andenvironmental responsibility that youlearned as part of your liberal arts educa-tion at Mercyhurst,” states the opening paragraph of the letter all seniors aresoon to receive.This year’s pledge committee hasbeen working hard trying to get the word out to inform graduating seniorsof their options. The pledge commit-tee consists of: Amelia Vanessa Diaz,Matt Goodrich, Jen Helbig, Ashley Herrmann, Dana Hyland, Tara Tel-lerito, JoEllen Taylor, and Sister MicheleShroeck, RSM.Schroeck reinforces the concept by saying, “It is an excellent opportunity forseniors to put the values they learned atMercyhurst into practice.”The mission statement complementsMercyhurst’s own mission statement andgoals for what it wants to instill in it isstudents. The Green Pledge missionstatement reads as follows: “I pledge toexplore and take into account the socialand environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improvethese aspects of any organizations for which I work.”Real world neighbors are complaining once again about “MercyWorld” to theCity Council. According to the Erie Times-News inan April 30 article, nearly 200 neighborsof Mercyhurst College attended an ErieCity Council public hearing last Friday at St. Luke’s School to complain aboutthe destructive nature of Mercyhurststudents, including students that live off campus and those traveling to and fromoff campus parties and bars.Neighbors cite everything from thelittering of beer cans to students ruin-ing flowers and plants in their yardsfrom passing out or vomiting, said thearticle.City Council President Jim Thomp-son, along with the Erie Police Chief Charles Bowers promised to crack downon students based on a growing numberof complaints by neighbors, according to the article.Mercyhurst College’s Office of Resi-dence Life is also trying to crack downon the situation, according to AssistantDirector of Residence Life, Joe Howard.Howard attended the meeting lastFriday, along with other members of theMercyhurst College Residence Life staff, Administration and some concernedstudents.“It was mostly the same complaintsof inconsiderate behavior that we haveheard all year,” said Howard. The city has already proposed somechanges to pacify neighbors for theremaining weeks of school.One way the city will try to helpneighbors is through a Neighborhood Action Team (NAT) who will patrolthe area around Mercyhurst College. Typically, a NAT is used in inner-city neighborhoods to deal with drugs, crimeor violence. The NAT is only responsible for aparticular neighborhood, and does nothave to answer other police calls, so they can devote more time and attention toone area.“The NAT will be used where neigh-bors complained most heavily,” saidHoward.
 Please see Neighbors on Page 3
   i   n   s   i   d   e    t   h   i   s   i   s   s  u   e
New programs, summercourses? There is a lotgoing on with the Mercy-hurst graduate programs.Page 2
It’s almost time to moveout, but your garbage maybe someone else’s treasure. Page 3
Find out what some ’Hurstseniors have planned aftergraduation. Page 6
Arts & Entertainment
Bizet’s ‘Carmen’ will be per-formed by the Erie Opera The-atre, featuring many Mercyhurststudents, faculty and alumni.Page 9
Vol. 78 No. 21 Mercyhurst College 501 E. 38th St. Erie, Pa. 16546 May 4, 2005
Learn about the differencesbetween school in Poland andthe U.S.Page 4
Softball finishes with 7-1stretch to make GLIAC Playoffs. Page 12
   K   a   t   i   e   M   c   A   d   a   m   s   /   P   h   o   t   o   e   d   i   t   o   r
By Josh Wilwohl
Layout assistant
By Kelly Rose Duttine
 Please see Green on Page 3
By Jennifer Ciccone
Contributing writer
 Please see College on Page 3
 Who is this colorful pair?
Jesse and Ricardo are regularly seen riding around campus. Find out all about them on page 4.
Melissa Jack/contributing photographer 
Mercyhurst buys land for $1.8 million
Neighbors speak out
Over 200 neighbors of Mercyhurst voice concerns to Erie City Council 
Seniors pledge to stay green at heart even after graduation
The rendering above shows what a Mercyhurst West building would look like.
BSI photo
PAGE 2 THE MERCIAD May 4, 2005
To contact: newsmerciad@mercyhurst.edu 
On Wednesday, April 27,education students, membersof the Council for ExceptionalChildren and volunteers alike,came together to take part inthe Special Olympics Track andField meet held at Penn StateBehrend’s Junker Center.The event was organized by Special Olympics coordinator,adjunct professor Kim Whalen,and junior Kelly Dombrowski,the Special Olympics officerfor the Council for ExceptionalChildren, or CEC.“It’s great to be able to be apart of something so special toso many students with disabili-ties,” said Dombrowski.“I think it’s also a great oppor-tunity for Mercyhurst studentsto be involved in something off campus, helping out the Eriecommunity and spending somequality time with the populationaround us.”About 40 volunteers fromMercyhurst joined with other volunteers from Gannon andPenn State Behrend to help the75 students (ages ranged fromkindergarten to adult) who camefrom all over the Erie SchoolDistrict to participate in the track and field meet.“I think this Special Olympic Track Meet touches the heartsof many of our education stu-dents, as we see many of theparticipants in our practicumplacements for our educationclasses, as well as at other com-munity events we volunteer for(E.S.O. Dances and SABAH),”said Dombrowski.“We are able to develop greaterrelationships with the students we teach at our practicum place-ments, because we get to know their interests and are able toconnect with them at moreevents instead of just within theirclassroom.”The students competed inevents such as the 50-meter dash,100-meter run, softball throw (similar to the shot-put) and thelong jump.“The athletes were so proudof themselves no matter whatplace they took. They wantedto show everyone their awardribbons,” said senior volunteer Ashley Vuono.Competing in an athletic com-petition was not the only thing for the students to take part in. To occupy the students betweenevents, Mercyhurst volunteers setup an Olympic village where they helped the student athletes witharts and crafts.Some activities included noodlenecklaces, noisemakers, sidewalk chalk, artwork, making s’moresand much more. The hardwork-ing volunteers also grilled hotdogs and made lunches for all of the hungry athletes.Not only did the studentathletes have a great time, the volunteers did as well.“It was a truly successful track meet,” said Dombrowski. The track and field meet is notthe only Special Olympics eventheld annually.Every February, volunteersparticipate in the Winter Olym-pics at Peak ‘n Peak Resort and volunteers are always welcomedand needed. You do not have to be aneducation student or member of CEC to volunteer. After all, these events wouldnot be successful without them.“The volunteers make a hugedifference just by talking withthe athletes and hanging out withthem; every one of them feelsimportant,” said Vuono.“The volunteers really madethe day possible, without them it would be complete chaos.”The Mercyhurst Adult andGraduate program is getting more popular by the day.Mercyhurst offers five gradu-ate programs.In 1978, the Administrationof Justice program was started,the first-ever graduate programat Mercyhurst.In 1982, Special Education,and in 1998, OrganizationalLeadership were launched.This year, Mercyhurst was puton the national map with twomore graduate programs: Ap-plied Intelligence and Forensicand Biological Anthropology.More than 50 applicantsfrom all over the country arehoping that they get one of thefew spots for each of the new programs.Because so many applied, nomore applications will even beaccepted.Applied Intelligence has 25available spots and Forensic andBiological Anthropology hasonly eight spots to fill.“The word is out now and wow,” said Dr. Michael Lyden,director of adult and graduateprograms.The success of the Intel-ligence Studies Program hashelped to spread the word andget Mercyhurst on the map.Before these programs canget any bigger there needs to bemore faculty and more facilities,such as labs.It is hard to recruit faculty because Mercyhurst has someof the best. “We have majorleague people,” said Lyden.“We’re lucky.”The Intelligence programis spreading its wings to reach Washington D.C. for distanceprograms.This summer, people that work in our nation’s capital will be taking part in an onlinecourse taught to those who can-not be taught in Erie. These people will work through Blackboard to interact with each other and do an inde-pendent study.The course will be interac-tive and not just reading. It willinclude links to videos, archivesand references.The Special Education pro-gram is growing as well. Thisyear, the application record wasbroken.Many of these students comefrom a 50-mile radius.This is the same for the Ad-ministration of Justice program.If you go down to Erie’s county jail, social services or the paroleor corrections offices, many of these people are participat-ing in Mercyhurst’s graduateprogram.The Organizational Leader-ship program is small and has amore intimate setting. There is a fair amount of Mercyhurst graduates that go onin this program and the SpecialEducation program.Recent graduates usually be-come established somewhereand come back to take graduatecourses.Mercyhurst also has 275 adultstudents. Whether they are parents whose children have graduatedfrom college and now it is theirturn, or people who were inthe military and now have theirchance to get further education,they are coming here.Other students come back af-ter graduation to get a post-bac-calaureate advanced certificate.Most of these students atMercyhurst are young, coming back to get a degree in anothermajor.Some come to get teaching degrees so they can teach biolo-gy or psychology for example.Mercyhurst is not advertising these programs, but people arefinding out about them. They are seeking them out.Lyden explained it is easy  when we have a good foun-dation. Mercyhurst has thedynamics and diversity of pro-grams like bigger schools, juston a smaller scale.“These are very differentpeople with very different pur-poses,” said Lyden.Despite the exodus of the ma-jority of the student population,classes will remain in session atMercyhurst over the summer. This summer the college willbe offering several new gradu-ate courses. These courses will compli-ment the five graduate programsalready offered by the college:Special Education, Administra-tion of Justice, OrganizationalLeadership, Applied Intelligenceand Forensic and Biological Anthropology.The Special Education gradu-ate program will make availabletwo courses: Culture of Dis-ability and Curriculum Based Assessment and InstructionalPlanning. These Special Educa-tion courses begin June 20. The Administration of Justicegraduate program is offering a week-long seminar this summer. The seminar in Organized and White Collar Crime begins June13 and concludes on June 17.The Organizational Leader-ship graduate program willoffer a new course titled Orga-nizational Communication forLeaders.Students of the Applied Intel-ligence graduate program will be working on various projects andinternships. While the undergraduate An-thropology program offerssummer courses, the Forensicand Biological Anthropology graduate program will not hostsummer courses.Regular faculty and adjunctprofessors will teach the new graduate courses. Academic Dean Mary Breck-enridge is enthusiastic about thenew graduate programs. Accord-ing to Breckenridge, graduateprograms offer students further venues of study and academicprogression. “Students considerthe graduate programs becausethey want to accelerate theirprogress,” said Breckinridge.The summer graduate pro-grams also offer students a con- venient opportunity to completetheir studies.“Most of the Special Educa-tion, Administration of Justiceand Organizational Leadershipstudents work during the day and they usually take only oneor two courses a semester,”Breckinridge said. According the Breckenridge,Mercyhurst’s graduate programs, while limited in number, are pro-gressing. “They are becoming more and more well known bothregionally and nationally,” saidBreckenridge.“Our goal is to bring morepeople into these programsfrom around the country,” saidBreckenridge.Mercyhurst’s graduate pro-grams are a definite part of thecollege’s future. According toBreckenridge, the college hasbeen considering expanding thegraduate programs.“We have been engaged this whole time in a task force tolook at graduate education andits role at Mercyhurst college,”said Breckenridge. The primary issue for the Col-lege is how graduate programsfit into a primarily undergradu-ate institution. “We are waiting for the results of the task forcebefore we move. We probably  will add a few programs overthe next couple of years,” saidBreckenridge.For those interested in gradu-ate programs contact SusanSmith of the Adult EducationDepartment at (814) 824-3363or ssmith2@mercyhurst.edu.
For the Special Olympics Track and Field meet student volunteers prepare lunch.
Photo courtesy of Missy Mulvihill
By Missy Mulvihill
Contributing writer
Students help with Special Olympics
By Brent Vlcek 
Contributing writer
By Jamie Myers
Contributing writer
Graduate programs continue to expand
Graduate school offers summer classes
 The housing department hasbeen making some minor chang-es to both on and off-campushousing. Though the housing processhas stayed primarily the same,there is some new information toinquire about when looking forhousing in the upcoming years.“The process for housing hasnot changed much; turn yourpapers in, sign up in the StudentGovernment Chambers. How-ever, we are always tinkering withthe process for improvements,”says Justin Ross, Assistant Direc-tor of Freshman Housing.Due to the number of neigh-borhood complaints, the housing department is making it theirpriority to be more involved withoff-campus housing.Next year students must informthe school that they are living off campus and where their housing arrangements will be. There will also be a new studenthandbook especially designed forcommuters.“The same rules from the pre- vious years apply to commuters;however, they are now written inan actual document,” says Ross.“Only one-fifth of the hand-book actually consists of writtenrules for off campus studentsthe other half is full of helpfultips and guidelines for first-timerenters.”Some of the helpful guidelinesconsist of “Things to look for ina lease” and “How to look for thebest deals when renting,.” This book will be the off-cam-pus version of the on-campusguideline. There is also a new “Commut-ers Club,” so if there are any problems or issues that needto be raised, that is the place todo it.“These tips would have beena big help to us before signing our lease this past year,” says Amy Hopta, a junior businessadvertising major.“We learned the hard way about what to look for in a lease.”There are also some changesto on-campus housing. Next year will be the first year for Mercy-hurst’s Green Apartments. The Green Apartments are aresult of the Green Team’s’ ef-forts to provide students witha chance to live more economi-cally.“We have one apartment build-ing already full of students who wish to participate in the Green Apartments,” says Ross.“The students living in theseapartments will receive a weekly report on their energy usage sothat they can be more aware of their efforts.”According to Allison Moorein the April 20 issue of 
the Mer- ciad 
, “Some perks to living inthe Green Apartments are thatstudents will receive a WholeFoods Co-op membership, re-cycled paper and other greenproducts. There will also be anenvironmentally designed loungein the basement for all residentsto share.”“A vegetable garden is being planned for the future,” saysRoss.“This will allow students togrow their own food.”So be sure to look at all youroptions before choosing yourhousing arrangements for theupcoming year. 
By Kristen Piquette
 Advertising manager
Student housing update
 Residence Life issues guidelines for off-campus commut-
May 4, 2005 THE MERCIAD PAGE 3
To contact: newsmerciad@mercyhurst.edu 
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Internationally renowned poetand translator Martin Espada didan outstanding job bringing thethird annual Literary Festival toan end on Thursday, April 28.Espada was both inspiring andenthusiastic. He captivated theaudience with one poem after. While some have referred tohim as a political poet becauseof the issues he writes about, hebelieves that he is just like any other poet, writing his feelingsand concerns.He said of his poetry, “I givehistory a human face. I try toindividualize and humanize by being particular about certainthings.” All who attended would agreethat his poetry has both real lifeand real feeling.Espada is a Puerto Rican fromBrooklyn.He has worked as everything from a bouncer to a gas attendantto a legal pad factory worker toa tenant lawyer for people living in substandard housing.In each one of his poems hislife is somehow reflected in it.He read from a collection thatdealt with his experiences inPuerto Rico, his many variousoccupations and his horrifying in-laws.Each one was filled with hu-mor, love, honesty, truth anddevotion to the art.He moved and swayed with the words of his poems, and the au-dience could feel his excitementand willingness to share.Richard Roth, a junior at Mer-cyhurst majoring in English said,“Espada’s enthusiasm for hispoetry is contagious.”Espada’s poetry is a beautifulblend of Spanish and English. Words, phrases and customsare intertwined magically withineach poem.He has been called the PabloNeruda of North America be-cause of all he has offered the world of poetry and the worldin general.Dr. Karen Williams, a Spanishteacher at Mercyhurst, said shehas always taught Espada’s work,but it had become a list of factson the man, and not the poet. After hearing Espada read, Wil-liams said, “He made it real forme again.”Espada has the ability to makeeverything real, and he takes thatreality and sometimes blurs it,but most of the time he illumi-nates it to give it life.For the past three years, the Trash to Treasure program hasbeen in operation at Mercy-hurst. This innovative program, start-ed by Stephanie Davison (’04), was created to reduce the amountof waste produced by studentsat the end of the year during move-out.Davison, an environmentally conscious student, noticed thatmuch of this so-called ‘trash’ wasactually reusable.Hating to see so much go to waste, Davison created the pro-gram Trash to Treasure. The program places bins inthe basements and lounges of campus housing. These bins are filled with un-opened food, clothing and otheruseful household items that arein good condition. Volunteers collect the itemsin the bins and distribute thegoods to several charities in theErie area.Over the past three years, Trashto Treasure has grown in partici-pation and awareness.Local organizations are ex-tremely grateful for the dona-tions and students get to see firsthand the difference that can bemade by recycling certain goodsand keeping them from being added to the waste in a landfill.Students are encouraged toparticipate, either as donors or volunteers. There will be an in-formational meeting on Wednes-day, May 4 in Hirt 103, wherefurther specifics such as datesand times will be discussed.If you are unable to attendthe meeting, or have furtherquestions, contact Dana Hy-land (dhylan78@mercyhurst.edu, x3955) or JoEllen Tay-lor (jtaylo52@mercyhurst.edu,x3715). Trash to Treasure is a great way to help the environment and theErie community.Students are encouraged tohelp make a difference this may.It is important to rememberthat “signing the pledge is a voluntary action. If you shoulddecide to take part in this pledgedrive you will be asked to signyour name in a pledge book. This will indicate that you are willing to make the commitmentto lead a socially and environ-mentally conscious lifestyle.”But if you do choose to signthe Green Pledge, “You will alsoreceive a green ribbon to wear ongraduation day and a pledge cardto keep in your wallet to serve asa reminder.”If you would like to participatethere will be a table located in theBookstore May 9 through May 13, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. or7 p.m., where you can sign thebook or ask any questions youmay have. You may also stopby the Service Learning Office,Preston 107, and see Sister Mi-chele Schroeck any time during the month of May. You must sign the book be-fore graduation, as there will beno opportunities on the day of graduation.“The Erie community hasnow committed themselves torespond to these complaints,”Howard said, of the meeting.“Mercyhurst is committed to dothe same.”Mercyhurst already has rules inplace for students who want tolive off campus. Currently, youmust be a junior or senior. Only about 280 students live off cam-pus, and Residence Life expectsabout the same number nextyear, although the official num-ber has not yet been calculated. Also, the necessary paperwork must be completed. A new initiative that Res Lifeis working on for off-campusstudents is an off-campus living guide, similar to the current stu-dent handbook for on-campusresidents. The off-campus living guide will be an essential tool for any-one planning to live off campus. The guide covers everything from handling a lease for the firsttime, to a guide to neighborhoodlife, Mercyhurst’s off campusliving policies and tips for keep-ing safe.It even offers a checklist forthose who live off-campus, withthings to do for Mercyhurst, alandlord and neighbors. Even re-cent graduates and non-students will appreciate the sections suchas how to handle a lease, includ-ing definitions of confusing ter-minology and easy recipes.Off-campus students will haveto attend a brief orientation tooff-campus living at the begin-ning of the school year. Howardbelieves the meetings will lastabout an hour on one evening.In the upcoming weeks, stu-dents living off campus and trav-eling to and from parties shouldbe on their best behavior and watch out for the extra patrolsand upset neighbors.Howard believes that just afew students will be affected by the changes of the city council.“ninety-five percent of our stu-dents are good neighbors,” saidHoward. “Most students won’thave any problems with whatErie is doing.”
Continued from Page 1
Green Pledge to be made before graduation day 
Martin Espada
Katie McAdams/Photo editor 
By Chelsea Boothe
Contributing writer
Literary festival comesto a close, with Espada
Continued from Page 1
By Allison Moore
Opinion editor
Student’s participate in Trash to Treasure
Neighbors complain to Erie City Council
College purchases land for new branch campus
 According to McQuillen, thecampus will focus on one andtwo year programs.“It (Mercyhurst West) willmirror that of North East inprograms,” he said.“But, the campus will have itsown unique programs as well.”McQuillen plans to build agroup of “internal” membersthat will help to organize thecampus’ programs.“There are two questions thatthe group will undertake,” hesaid. “What programs are most valuable? And most viable?”The campus’ programs, how-ever, seem to be moot when theconcern rises about draining re-sources from the main campus.“It will obviously take away some of the college’s resources,said McQuillen.“But I do not feel it will drainthem.” McQuillen stated thatother sources such as govern-ment and state funds will alsobe used.“Though some resources willbe taken away from campus, inthe long run, it will be an assetand we will be paid back in thefuture handsomely,” he said.Former Faculty Senate Presi-dent David Livingston, who feelsthe purchase is “fine” and willhelp diversify the endowmentportfolio, said that “resourcesneed to be supplied for a plan,and I do not see any strain onthem from the main campus.”Resources, however, will beneeded in the next year (Sep-tember 2007) if, according toMcQuillen, “we decide to startthe Girard campus as an interimby leasing facilities.”Some of these resources Mc-Quillen mentions include faculty, which, according to Livingstonhave “mixed” views. “We (thefaculty) believe it is very impor-tant to have a plan in place aboutthe degrees and classes offeredat the west county campus,” saidLivingston.McQuillen agrees the faculty has a “variety of viewpoints.” According to McQuillen,“some strongly support to bring in students from the west county and northern Ohio,” he said.“I feel that the faculty believesthis is part of the Mercyhurstmission.”Livingston believes that eventhough there are no definitiveplans yet, “people should waitand see if it will work beforemaking opinions.”
Continued from Page 1
The Federal Reserve hikedits benchmark interest rate by another quarter-point to threepercent on Tuesday and hintedthat further rate increases may be needed to curb inflation evenif they further slow the U.S.economy.Tuesday’s rate increase was theFed’s eighth consecutive quarter-point hike in the federal fundsrate, which banks charge eachother for overnight loans, sincelast June. Mortgage rates andconsumer loans tend to rise andfall with the fed funds rate.The Fed is at a fork in theroad after 10 months of credittightening: The rationale forraising rates further is balancedby the argument for pausing,an issue the Fed will have to ad-dress at the next meeting of itspolicy-making body, the FederalOpen Market Committee, on June 29-30.“There is no clear direction. We are not `obviously’ going tocontinue in a tightening cycle,and we are not `obviously’ atthe end of one,” said Stephen Wood, a portfolio strategist forthe Russell Investment Groupin Tacoma, Wash.Fed Chairman Alan Greens-pan and his fellow central bank-ers are struggling to check rising inflation without stalling a slow-ing economy. They’re trying toget to a “neutral” zone, wherecredit policy neither stimulatesnor slows the economy.Their work is complicated by conflicting, even contradictory,trends.High oil prices are spark-ing inflation throughout theeconomy, prompting the Fed toraise interest rates. Core inflation,not including volatile food andenergy prices, continues to rise worrisomely, according to gov-ernment measures of wholesaleand retail prices, as well as thegross domestic product deflator,a broad inflation barometer theFed favors. The trend argues forraising interest rates further tocurtail borrowing and thus slow economic activity.But other data indicate thateconomic activity already isslowing, and there are ample warnings that too much credittightening by the Fed could trig-ger a recession.Business spending is downsharply. Consumer spending drives two-thirds of all U.S. eco-nomic activity, but inventoriesare growing in warehouses andstockrooms, signaling consumerretrenchment. And first-quartergrowth in the gross domesticproduct, the broadest measureof goods and services produced,slowed to a 3.1 percent annualpace. That was well below expec-tations, as the Fed acknowledged Tuesday.Although job growth is im-proving, it said, inflation pres-sures “have picked up in recentmonths and pricing power ismore evident.”Central bankers promised tocontinue pushing up rates “ata pace that is likely to be mea-sured.”At the same time, the Fedhedged by issuing a follow-upstatement two hours after itsinitial one. That suggests that theFed believes inflationary pres-sures are temporary.Many analysts say the Fed now faces a conundrum. The Fedcould go either way at its Junemeeting.
By Kevin G. Hall
Night Ridder Newspapers
Next Fed action unclear after raising rates again

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