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Cedar Rapids Gazette: Saturday, January 26, 1974 - Page 8

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - January 26, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                'Guess what happened in sex education today The teacher had Editorial Page Saturday, January 26. 1974 First avenue refocused on AMONG ALL traffic-moving projects not yet under way or on the boards in Cedar Kap'ids. 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 the state highway commis- sion'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 study on the First avenue corridor revives some action none too soon. As almost everyone is well aware, a First avenue upgrading wil! take several forms: Widening wherever feasible; further removal of parking at some loca- tions; frontage lanes, perhaps, where possible; more storage lanes for turns; signal changes; access alterations including some cross-street close-offs all to smooth the flow of ever-rising volumes. If the study's funds are ade- quate, 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 1-380 eventually comes up from the south, crosses the river and provides long-overdue relief on a new north leg. Even then, however, most of First avenue will continue to carry tremendous vehicular volumes. The need fin- significant action will intensify with 1-380, not diminish. A shot of wherewithal to step up planning so that tangible results can follow sooner too is therefore more than timely now to get this road in the show. The people's forum Pension scheming? For survival's sake Gadfly still buzzing "EthfCS Upturn boosted TO THE SURPRISE of no one, former Federal Communica- tions Commissioner Nicholas Johnson has accepted the chair- manship of the National Citizens Committee for Broadcasting 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 ap- pointment reportedly is to rejuvenate the NCCB as a dynamic citizen group. Johnson's seven-year hitch as FCC gadfly o.bviously 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 his term last summer. (Johnson stayed on until December, when President Nixon nominated James Quello, a re- tired Detroit broadcaster, to suc- ceed him.) The only immediate hope for improving the FCC's perfor- mance, Johnson wrote, lies in the possibility that 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 con- sumer public and generally does what the broadcasting and com- munications industries want. One purpose of writing the cri- tique, said Johnson, was to demonstrate to the courts how lit- tle basis the commission has for most of its decisions. Though his observations dealt only with the powerful com- munications commission, the cri- ticism is instructive in appraising other regulatory agencies: Exper- tise should not be presumed. Clearly, Nick Johnson can pump life back into the sluggish Na- tional Citizens Committee for Broadcasting if anyone can. Good luck to him in this new consumer advocacy tack. Gill IN THE relatively short span any of us is .granted in which to make his or her mark on this earth, .it is remarkable, indeed, when an individual serves more than 44 of his allotted years with one employer: It is even more remarkable when that individual devotes as many years to shouldering more than his share of civic anil com- munity responsibilities. Such an individual was Hillis Gill. In his quiet, unassuming but effectual way, he worked un- ceasingly for the betterment of Cedar Rapids, Marion and Iowa, leaving an enviable record that should serve as a model for us all. By Roscoe Drummond WASHINGTON Based on the latest poll of the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, the headline reads: "66 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 in- dustry, in labor unions; in advertising, in merchandising, in the media, in politics and the whole election process. It is easy to assume that government and politics have a kind of monopoly on sleazy ethics and dishonesty. But con- sider signs of the times like these: A Chicago meatpacker handles million worth of meat a month but can't show a profit because of an employe thefl ring. A New Orleans architect finds that public officials consider a 10 percent kickback normal a widespread prac- tice. A San Diego bank goes bankrupt because its principal stockholders were making dubious loans to themselves. A hot insurance company collapses afler inventing thousands of fictitious policyholders. In cities, shoplifters are stealing billions upon billions of dollars of merchandise. This 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 at University Square, Chapel Hill, N. C., which is set- ting out'to do something aboul it. It is not too late but it is surely not too soon. Hopefully, what it is saying and what it is beginning to do will find a responsive public. There is no doubt that Watergale in all its related crimes and offenses against decent government has weakened Ihe moral fiber of those who were looking for an excuse for Iheir own misconduct. Wa- tergate 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. "Maybe it's too late." says Ivan Hill, a former advertising and business execu- tive who is the energizing presidenl of 'American Viewpoint, Inc. "Maybe there are 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. But we don't think so. And we propose lo help bring back honesty, ethics and self-respect. Our simple aim is to make honesty a working social principle rather than a moral issue apart from our daily lives." The most valuable Ihing which Mr. Hill and American Viewpoinl is doing is to relale elhics to the survival of freedom in the United States. They are indispensa- ble to each other. 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 bolh our democracy and our freedom. Ethics cannot be legislated and the end result of social decay, which comes from pervasive enforced dis- cipline, and down.the road froni 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." This is why America must make itself honest'enough to stay free. Los Angeles Times Syndicate Face fo face with enormity Tape's hum puts Nixonites at rope's end By James J. Kilpatrick WASHINGTON For the first time since the President's troubles began two years ago. Mr. .Nixon's remaining friends now find themselves face to face with the monstrous idea. It is a possibility that no longer can be evad- ed. The monstrous idea is that their President is indeed a crook. I speak as one of this body of friends. Just a week ago. 1 was writing cheerfully that Mr. Nixon's misfortunes had bot- tomed out. The President's statement on Ihe milk deal and the ITT affair had left a favorable impression. He had nowhere lo go, I thought, but up. Then came the devastating evidence of the electronic experts as to the famous 18Vi-minute gap. A full day of cross- examination on Friday failed to shake Iheir testimony. "It is the court's con- sidered said Judge John Sirica, "that ii distinct possibility of unlawful conduct on the parl of one or more per- sons exists here." It is that distinct pos- sibility thai impels consideration of Ihe monstrous idea. The tape In question was evidence. It contained a conversation between the President and 11. K. llaldeman on June 11172, just two days afler Ihe break-in James J. Kilpatrick at Democratic national headquarters in Ihe Watergate. At least since early July, Ihe been under the "sole personal control" nf the President himself. At some point between Oct. I and Nov. 12, the recorded conversation was erased. Until Ihe ex- perls testified last week, it seemed a plausible possibility llial the erasure was accidental. Their testimony cannot be blinked away: The erasure deliberate. This creates for me. at least, ,-iii en- tirely new proposition, If the Presidenl is to be removed from office by impeach- ment, it can only be for some high crime or misdemeanor in which ho himself was involved. Over the past two years, we have heard 20 lo ,10 cbnrges hurled against tint but many of them were not high crimes or misdemeanors; In other instances, his personal involvement was remote. The bombing uf Cambodia, for example, was Mr. Nixon's act, but it was not, constitutionally speaking, a high crime. The cover-up of the Watergate conspirators may have been a high crime it involved subornation of perjury, among other things but I find it believable that Hie cover-up was kepi from Mr. Nixon himself. The same objections hold as to other charges. The overtures that were made to Judge Matthew Byrne, (luring the (nurse of Ihe Kllsberg trial, were blunders, not misdemeanors. The extor- tion uf contributions from corporate executives was unlawful, bill such of- fenses are commonplace in political campaigns; the facts do not .support a charge of bribery. The President's in- come tax returns present problems of lax law. hut Ins errors in Ibis regard, if any. arc civil, not criminal. The erasures 'MI the June 20 tape are of a different order of magnitude. Here Ihe- testimony is direct, anllioriliilivc. and overwhelming. Human hands manipulated the recording machine in order to obliterate the conversation. We have to assume that the tape con- tained incriminating material why risk erasure otherwise? but the nature of conversation is immaterial. The evidence was knowingly destroyed by one of perhaps a dozen persons who had ac- cess to the tapes in the critical period. If it can be proved that this tampering was done at the direction of the President, express or implied, Mr. Nixon is (lone for. II is now imperative, it seems lo me, for the President to arrange an oppor- tunity for UK.' nation to have bis own voluntary testimony, under oath, subject to cross-examination. Whatever defenses he may have advanced earlier, based upon "confidentiality" and "executive arc now stripped away. He alone was responsible for Hie preserva- tion of this evidence; and the evidence was destroyed. I for one have reached the end of tin- rope. Two years of excuses, ra- tionalizations, presumptions of in- nocence, benefits of doubts, strained credulity, and unceasing embarrass- ments come lo a climactic silence In the erasure. II is the limn on the tape thai provokes Ihe monstrous idea. I wiinl Ihat idea lo go away 1 watll lo believe my I'ronldonl Is not a crook bill (inly Itlchard Nixon himself can dispel the Idea now. Wfi'ihlnylfin filtir SvnrHr.nlr) To the Editor. A legislative committee is studying Hie possibility of unified management pension .systems anil mandatory pooling of various Iowa retirement funds into one. with action presumably at this ses- sion. Several state agencies sticli as the highway commission, state conservation commission and the highway patrol at some time or other have evidenced a desire to negotiate "limns" from our IPERS funds. Are unified management and mandatory pooling just another ruse In get a foot in the door on IPERS funds? The IPEHS system embraces.employes of the city's public works, streets, sewer, sanitation, parks, arborist and riverfront improvement departments us well as county and slate employes and teachers. I'd agree it would he 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 dues disgust most concerned. For example, why should some of these systems permit retirement after years' service at any ago, while others frown on anything Icss.than retirement at age 65? Mow can some systems justify pensions at half-base pay while others provide a mere sixth of base pay? How can (he state justify dollar-for-dollar matching of a public employe's pay by his employer on such discriminatory basis? Among alternatives to alleviate the pension dilemma, one would establish a wholly new and equitable system for all employes engaged in public works: equal deductions, retirement benefits and re- tirement ages. Funds could then be pooled equitably without the discrimina- tion 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 con- sider establishing unified management of pensions and mandatory pooling of funds. There is no justification for pooling the IPERS fund (now in excess of million) with all the other Iowa systems which I'll wager won't amount to million, thus permitting a few to enjoy the fruits of the many through invest- ment 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 aboul this shotgun approach to. our state problems, the bet- ter. Horace S. Gales 1012 Fifteenth avenue SE Politicians, bah! To the Editor: Watergate has brought one important thing to light: how ineffective our system of government is, especially when it comes 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-lhe-grass have put themselves in a position where they have to answer only to each other while the people whom they claim to be working for are no more than the servants which the politicians themselves claim to be. They keep telling us what a good job they arc doing when they really aren't doing much of anything. Nixon should have been bounced out on his head when the first shred of evidence connecting him with Watergate came to light. After nil, this is a democracy, not a monarchy or even a dictatorship. However, Watergate has shown us just how democratic our government is. lleil. N'lxon. Governor Hay has been bowing In Another View Niwm for some irmbscnre reason. So has Barry Coldwaler. First (iuldwaler was stating that Nixon ought to be impeached; now he diicsn'l think that will ever come about. Where are the guts that built this country? II sure isn't in the government, and 1 don't see any evidence of it in our society. Our politicians are just like a stream of water that gives with every obstacle ii comes in contact with. Some of them make a lot tif noise, but in the end they are just 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 come aboul. then lie has just wasted the taxpayers' money. After all, what is the United Nations being supported for? When 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 is he spending time and taxpayers' money worrying about the other I-couldn't-care- less nations of the world? As the new song goes, when has just one of these ingrates ever tried to help this country? Klemmer 2IIK Lenin-, drive NW Snowy walks To the Editor: I do not drive. I am 83, in good health. I do not ride the buses; they have no signs telling where or when they run. I can walk downtown in 30 minutes; the exer- cise is good for me. But wading in snow, walking on uneven packed snow and slippery ice 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 Hnd the streets better walking, but also dangerous. I think those who have to walk are en- titled to cleared sidewalks arid sanded ice. I slipped twice hist winter, hurt myself once, not seriously. I also slipped on wet ice this winter. 1 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 cit- izens 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 car in the street, 1 shoveled away the place 1 parked my car. Usually I found some car parked in my cleared area when I returned home. Then I cleared another spot. I understand there is an ordinance prohibiting any car from parking longer than 24 hours. Why doesn't the city en- force 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 cars won't vole for them? 1 worked for R. A. Wallace on the Mullen building, now Wards store. His brother, W. B. Wallace, mixed concrete for many sidewalks. You have seen the copper plates placed on sidewalks 60 years ago walks in belter shape than many poured recently. Look at the deteriorating walks on Fifth avenue by the YWCA. And look at the sloppy, uneven sidewalk built with a considera- ble dip from a straight line. It is a disgrace to the men who sot the forms and finished its surface John Irwin Smith Wellington street SK Self-denial 'Ton yuan ago I discovered my lint lax loophole. found anolhor, and anolhar, and cmothar To the Editor: On Jan. 23. the supremo court legalized abortion. That was a very tragic episode to many of us alive and to all those who have been denied the right to life. II is sad because we know that every child born into Ibis world is a new hope lit us. lie may be the one who one day mily save this country from an atomic war- fare. He inuy be another Martin l.ulher King or another Kennedy or another Lincoln who will give his life for a groal principle that he believes in for the good of others. He may turn out to be one who will draw meii after him to love instead hi'le. I'.very time we deny a child born we may be denying these ics. Kvcn our own lives how much we give ourselves ln another I Ins child may save us Iron, self.piiv and self-destruction. A woman or man improves himself ill iiliis happiness from solf-sacrlfic, s.-l -indulgence. In the former IMinfirKl. UIIMI Him is Him- is joy flrs Mrs. Tom (I, Slim-pi. 12 Blake boulevard SK   

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