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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - January 26, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa ' vv ;:V nm Editorial Page Saturday, January 26, 1974 Guess what happened in sex education today . . The teacher had twins!’ First avenue refocused on AMONG ALL traffic-moving projects not yet under way or on the hoards in Cedar Rapids, nothing matches in importance, scope or people-impact the matter of First avenue’s future from one end of town to the other. Solid planning on it has been more or less dormant, of course, since tilt* state highway commission’s proposal for expressway 151 (earlier called 1-549) ran into heavy public opposition and bit the dust two years ago. But this week's notice of verbal approval for the federal funding of a $20,IMH) study on the First avenue corridor rev iv es some action none too soon. As almost ev eryone is vv oil aware, a First avenue upgrading will take several forms: Widening wherever feasible; further removal of parking at some locations; frontage lanes, perhaps, where possible; more storage lanes for turns; signal changes; access alterations including some cross-street elose-offs — all to smooth the flow of ever-rising volumes. If the study's funds are adequate, there also should be new consideration of related crosstown street alignments that can help relieve the loads that otherwise burden First avenue. Thirty-fourth and Tama streets SE linked up are still a prime illustration of this possibility. As everyone is also well aware, First avenue’s patterns today will change somewhat when I-.‘ISO eventually comes up from the south, crosses tilt' river and prov ides long-overdue relief on a new north leg. Even then, however, most of First avenue vv ill continue to carry tremendous vehicular volumes. The need for significant action will intensify with 1-380, not diminish. A shot of wherewithal to stet) up planning so that tangible results can follow sooner too is therefore more than timely now to get this road in the show. Gadfly still buzzing TO THE SURPRISE of no one. former Federal Communications Commissioner Nicholas Johnson has accepted the chairmanship of the National Citizens Committee for Broadcasting (NCCB). The post is part-time, leaving Johnson free to practice law in the Waterloo area and to pursue his bid for the Democratic nomination in the year’s Third district congressional race. The purpose of Johnson’s appointment reportedly is to rejuvenate the NCCB as a dynamic citizen group. Johnson’s seven-year hitch as FCC gadfly obviously qualifies him for the job. And if the NCCB wants a blueprint for action, it need look no further than Johnson’s 264* page critique of the FCC, filed upon expiration of hi" term last summer. (Johnson stayed on until December, when President Nixon nominated James Quello, a retired Detroit broadcaster, to succeed him.) The only immediate hope for improving the FCC’s performance, Johnson wrote, lies in the possibility ihat the courts will stop giving any weight to commission decisions once they recognize that the commission does not follow any “rational and orderly process” in reaching its decisions. Johnson charged that a detailed examination of FCC activities shows the agency ignores and waives its own rules, lets the staff manipulate many of its decisions, almost never listens to the consumer public and generally doe" what the broadcasting and communications industries want. One purpose of writing the critique, said Johnson, was to demonstrate to the courts how little basis the commission has for most of its decisions. Though his observations dealt only with the powerful communications commission, the criticism is instructive in appraising other regulatory agencies: Expertise should not be presumed. Clearly, Nick Johnson can pump life back into the sluggish National Citizens Committee for Broadcasting if anyone can. Good luck to him in this new consumer advocacy tack Hi His IN THE relatively short span am of us is granted in which to make his or her mark on thi" earth, it is remarkable, indeed, when an individual serves more than 44 of hi" allotted years with one employer It is even more remarkable when that individual devotes a" many years to shouldering more than his share of civic and community responsibilities. Such an individual was Hilli" Gill. In his quiet, unassuming but effectual way, he worked unceasingly for the betterment of Cedar Rapids. Marion and Iowa. leaving an enviable record that should serve a" a model for us all For survival s sake By Roscoe Drummond IIJ ASH I .VITON - based en the latest VV poll of the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, the headline reads “HH Percent Feel Distrust in Government.’* This is the highest and most perilous level of public distrust in memory. And not just distrust in government but in almost everything — in business and industry, in labor unions, in advertising, in merchandising, in the media, in politics and the whole election proce"s. It is easy to assume that government and politics have a kind of monopoly on sleazy ethics and dishonesty. Hut consider signs of the times like these: V Chicago meatpacker handles $15 million worth of meat a month but can't show a profit because of an employe theft ring. A New Orleans architect finds that public officials consider a HI percent kickback normal — a widespread practice A San Diego bank goes bankrupt because its principal stockholders were making dubious loans to themselves V hot insurance company collapses after inventing thousands of fictitious policyholders In cities shoplifters ire stealing billions upon billions of dollars of merchandise Ibis is a fair sample of the mounting and pervasive dishonesty and decaying ethics cited by a nonprofit and public-spirited organization called American Viewpoint, Inc., located ut I niversity Square. < ha pc I Hill, N. < , which is set ting out to do something about it it is riot too late but it is surely not too sou a Hopefully what it is saying and wha’ it is beginning to do will find a responsive public The re is nit doubt that Watergate in all its related < rimes and offenses against deee-* government has weakened the rte■ r > fiber of ’tiose who were' looking for an excuse for their own misconduct. Watergate has impaired our faith in each other and in all our institutions. The need is to arrest and reverse the downward trend of ethical standards. “MayIk* it’s too late,” says hail Hill, a former advertising and business executive who is the energizing president of American Viewpoint. Inc. “Maybe there art* already too many people who simply don’t care about having a bundle of freedoms. Maybe faith in one another is a thing of the past Hut we don’t think so. And we propose to help bring back honesty , ethics and self-respect. Our simple aim is to make honesty a working social principle father than a moral issue apart from our daily lives.” The most valuable thing which Mr. Hill and American Viewpoint is doing is to relate ethics to the survival of freedom in the United States. They are indispensable to each other. A Roscoe Drummond * Honesty and ethics form the cement which holds together our whole free society , and without a recovery of a higher standard of ethics and honesty we will lose both our democracy and our freedom Ut hies ( annot be legislated and the end result of social decay, which comes from pervasive dishonesty, is enforced discipline, arid down the road from there is political dictatorship. This is why Alan L. Otten warns in an article in The Wall Street .Journal that Americans may be ripe for a man on horseback l ins is why America must make itself honest enough to stay free I 0% An£$i»(#*A 11 rn #§ Symftcofc Face to face with enormity Tape’s hum puts Nixonites at rope’s end By James J. Kilpatrick U/ASHI\GTO\ — For th*' first time since th*' President’s troubles began two years ago Mr Nixon’s remaining friends now find themselves face to far*- with the monstrous idea It is a possibility that no longer can Im* evaded. The monstrous idea is that their President is indeed a crook I sjx*ak as one of this Ixxly of friends .lust a week ago. I was writing cheerfully that Mr Nixon’s misfortunes had bot turned out The President’s statement on the milk deal and th*' ITT affair had left a favorable impression. Ii* had nowhere to go, I thought but up Then came the devastating evid* rn *■ of the electronic experts us to the famous I# 1 *,.minute gap A full day of crossexamination on Friday failed to shake their testimony “It is the court’s din sidereal opinion.’ said .fudge John Sin* “that a distinct possibility of unlawful conduct on the part of one or noire per sons exists her*' It is that distinct (his-Nihility that impels consideration of the monstrous idea The tape in question was evidence It contained a conversation bet we* ii th* President and ll R Haldcman or June 20 1972. just two days after the break in un tan* * remet* ai olvcmcnt was James J. Kilpatrick af Democratic national the Watergate adonait* r Vt least sun i rut Iv July Mi*' lap* ti,is been under th** “sole personal < ontrol* of the President himself Vt some point between Oct I and Nov 12. the recorded conversation wa*- erased I ut ii th*. « \ peris testified last week it seemed a plausible possibility that th* erasure w.is accidental Their testimony (annot b* blinked away The cr astir* was deliberate Phis create-, for iii* at I* ast lJri ort tirely new proposition, If the President »s to be removed from office by imp* a* ti ment. it can only be for some high crime or misdemeanor in which fie himself was involved Over the past two years w* have heard 20 to JO charges hurled against the President, but many of them were not high crimes or misdemeanors; in other I he blimbing of ( a iii bod la lot example, was Mi Nixon’’* jct but i ! was not (mist itutionallv speaking, a high 1 r line I ti* <*ov, i up of I he W at* r 'at** eofispir a tors may fiave be* ii a high * nine if iri\ olved sober nut ion of per lory miring other things — Iud I find it believable that the (over up was kept from Mr Nixon bilos* f! The am* objections bold a* til other (barges I ti* overtures that were made lo Judge Matthew Hyrne during th** tourse of Hic Pitsburg trial, were blunders not misdemeanors The extor finn of contributions from corporate eve* uti < s was oui.i w fill but sin ft of fens* an- « ommoriplaee in political • ainpaigns the facts do pot support a < harv* of hr iher, Che Pr esidenf *s in * ome tax returns pres* ut problems of fax law but his errors iii this regard if anv ar * civ if not « r mm al Th* cr a Mires on tho June 2b tape are of -I 'bib n iii orth r of magnitude Here the testimony is direct authoritative anti ovmw helming Human hands manipulated tin* recording machine in order lo obliterate the conversation Ut' have in assume that tin* tape contained int rim mat mg material — win nsk erasure otherwise? — but the nature til Hit' conversation is immaterial The evidence was knowingly destroyer! by one of perhaps a dozen persons who had access to the ta|M s in the critical period lf it ( att be proved that this tampering was done af tin* direction of the President, express or implied, Mr Nixon is done for lf I-* now imperative it seems to me. for the President to arrange an opportunity for the nation to have Ins own voluntarv testimony, nuder oath, subject bi ( toss examination Whatever defenses he Iu<*x have advanced earlier, bused upon confidentiality' and “executive privilege,” are now stripped away He alone was responsible fur the preservation of this evidence and the evidence was dcstrovod I for one have reached the end of Dig rope Twii years of excuses, rationalizations, presumptions of innocence. benefits of doubts, strained credulity and unceasing embarrass men Is come I** a climactic silence in the IM 1 / minute erasure lf is th** hum on the t.qx' that provokes the monstrous idea I want that idea ii* go away — I ward to believe my President is not a crook — but only Richard Nixon himself can dispel the idea now WdjJiinsfafl Mar Xyn*ju (it# . The people s forum Pension - scheming? Ethics upturn boosted To the Editor A legislative committee is studying the possibility of unified management of pension systems and mandatory pooling of various Iowa retirement funds into one, with action presumably at this ses sion. Several state agencies such as the highway commission, state conservation commission and the highway patrol at some time or other have evidenced a desire to negotiate “loans” from our IPERS funds Are unified management and mandatory pooling just another ruse to get a foot in the door on IPERS funds ’ The IPERS system embracesemployes of the city’s public works, streets, sewer, sanitation, parks, arborist and riverfront improvement departments as well as county and state employes and teachers I'd agree it would Im* nice to have only one Iowa pension system, with uniform contributions and benefits for all public employes. Today’s trouble originates from too many systems having different contributions, benefits and retirement requirements. When the covered workers pay varying amounts, with wide differentials in retirement benefits and ages, it does disgust most concerned. For example, why should some of these systems permit retirement after 20 years’ service at any age, while others frown on anything less than retirement at age Ha? How can some systems justify pensions at half-base pay while others provide a mere sixth of base pay? How can the state justify dollar-for-dollar matching of a public employe’s pay by his employer on such discriminatory basis? . . . Among alternatives to alleviate th** pension dilemma, one would establish a wholly new and equitable system for all employes engaged in public works: equal deductions, retirement benefits and retirement ages. Funds could then be pooled equitably without the discrimination that would prevail today under various systems A second alternative would give each system a uniform future cut-off date, letting each continue to take care of all its pensioned workers’ obligations until their demise. If these objectives can be met, only then would it seem appropriate to consider establishing unified management of pensions and mandatory pooling of funds. There is no justification for pooling the IPERS fund (now in excess of $500 million) with all the Other Iowa systems which I’ll wager won’t amount to $ I tit) million, thus permitting a few to enjoy the fruits of the many through investment interest and retirement benefits This type of legislation would evoke approving smiles on old Joe Stalin and his Russian cohorts. The sooner our legislators forget about this shotgun approach to our state problems, th** better . . Horace S. Gates 1012 Fifteenth avenue Sp; Politicians, bah! To the Editor Watergate has brought one important thing to light: how ineffective our system of government is, especially when it conies to dealing with internal matters Also it has shown how powerless our courts are in bringing justice to bear against lawbreakers within the upper echelons of our government These snakes-in the-grass have put themselves in a jxjsitiun where they have to answer only It* each other while th** people whom they claim to be working for are no more than the servants which the politicians themselves claim to bo They keep telling us what a good lob they are doing when they really aren’t doing much of anything. Nixon should have been boun* cd out on Ins head when th** fit st shred of evidence connecting him with Watergate carne to light After all. this is a demwraey not a monarchy or even a dictatorship However Watergate* has shown ti** inst how democratic our government is Heil, Nixon Governor Ray has been bowing to Another I iew Nixon for some molts* ore reason So has Harry Goldwater. First Coldwater was stating that Nixon ought to tx* impeached; now he doesn't think that will ever come about. Where are the guts that built this country? It sure isn’t in the government, and I don’t see any evidence* of it in our society Our politicians are just like a stream of water that gives with every obstacle it comes in contact with Some of them make a lot of noise, but in the end they are inst as wishy-washy as the rest Henry Kissinger is a typical politician I will start patting him on the back when his diplomacy bears fruit — like when I start paying less for gas If this doesn't conn* about, then he has just wasted the taxpayers’ money After all, what is the United Nations being supported for? WTu*n are Henry and Dicky boy going to spend time worrying about us poor saps who are paying for all the mistakes these politicians make? Dick can’t even run his own country properly, so why i*-* he spending time and taxpayers’ money worrying about the* other I-eouldn t-eare less nations of the world? As the* new song goes, when has just one of these ingrates ever tried to help this country? . . . Ronald J Klemmer 20K Lenora drive NAV Snowy walks Ion years ago I discovered my first ton loophole Then I found another, and another, and another To the Editor I do not drive*. I am K3, in good health I do not ride the buses; they have no signs telling where or when they run I can walk downtown in 39 minutes; the exercise is good for me. Hut wading in snow, walking on uneven packed snow and slippery ie** is hard, hazardous and tiring, especially when one pulls a cart full of groceries. It is difficult to pull it over the mound left by the plows in front of sidewalks I had to use the plowed streets often last winter Usually I find tin* streets better walking, but also dangerous I think those who have to walk are en titled to cleared sidewalks and sanded ice. I slipped twice last winter, hurt myself once. not seriously. I also slipped on wet ice this winter I understand the city is liable for injuries on sidewalks. There is an ordinance requiring property owners to keep their walks cleared of snow Why isn’t this ordinance enforced? It is not fair to the good citizens who do clear their walks to let the lazy, shiftless persons get by —■ never clearing theirs I have always cleared the walks in front of my home, and when I had no garage and parked my ear in the street. I shoveled away tin* place I parked my ear Usually I found some ear parked in my cleared area when I returned home Then I cleared another sjxit I understand there is an ordinance prohibiting any ear from parking longer than 24 hours Why doesn't the city enforce that ordinance? It would lessen the cost of plowing streets and make better streets Are the commissioners afraid those ordered to clear their walks and move their ears won’t vote for them’’ I worked for R A Wallace on the Mullen building, now Wards store His brother, VV Ii Wallace, mixed concrete for many sidewalks You have seen the copper plates placed on sidewalks till years ago — walks m better shape than many poured recently Look at the deteriorating walks tm Fifth avenue bv th** 5 VV ( A. And look at the sloppy uneven sidewalk built with a eonsidera blo dip from a straight line It iv disgrace to the men who set the forms and finished its surface John Irwin Smith NJ? Wellington street SF Self-denial To the Editor On Jan 23. I!i73, the supreme cot legalized abortion That w.is a \ <-tragic episode to many of us alive and all those who have been denied the rn to life It is sad because we know that evi child born into tins world is a new hop* us Ile may be the one who one dux ti save this country from an atomic v fare Ile may be another Martin I nil King or another Kennedy or anoil I in* olii who will give bis life for a gn principle I hot he believes m for the g< of others He may turn out to be one who w draw men after him to love instead hate Every time we deny a Hold be, born we may be denying these possibi lies Even our own lives an* shaped how mn* h we giv,* ourselves to anotia I bis child may save us from self pity M , self des!rn* I iou A woman or man improves himself ai attains happiness from self sacrifice n self indulgence In the former then* pain first, then joy that (s last im-self-Indulgence there Is Joy first th, long*lusting suffering Which one w you choose? Mrs Tm IHI2 make tx j
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