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Cedar Rapids Gazette: Saturday, February 16, 1974 - Page 7

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - February 16, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                 'ii  ;'*P'   f j«%\  <tlu Ct ^ cl ll r 1\ ti pul ii $ttJfWc  Editorial Page  Saturday, February 16, 1974  Citizen-safety in C. R.: High marks believable  NO SOONER IS Cedar Rapids' lofty safe-city status hot Iv disputed than out conies a hook, “America’s 50 Safest Cities ", which lists Cedar Rapids No. 3J. sandwiched snugly between tranquil La Crosse, Wis. (No 30), and placid Medford, Mass (No 32)  Though Author David Franke does not point out the fact, the Parlor City’s position on the honor roll has significance beyond thirty-oneness It is the top  100.000-plus population town in the hunch, nosing out No. 34 Parma, Ohio (pop. 100,216), and No. 47 Independence, Mo. (111,662)—the only other 100,000-plus cities on the list. (All others are in the  50.000-100,000 range; smaller tow ns are not covered.)  What could make Franked work controversial in these parts is his methodology: He based rankings solely on Federal Bureau of Investigation crime statistics, which, of course, are obtained from local police departments.  As most of us here know already, the police department’s reports to the FBI are held in suspicion by no less an authority than the Linn county attorney.  Cutting in half the estimated value of items reportedly stolen, eliminating bicycle thefts from reports, juggling of reports to log allegedly aggravated assaults as lesser offenses—these data-doc-toring methods were cited by County Attorney Caches, who noted “there has been no criminal activity" in the filing of false reports.  Should Cedar Rapids thus be purged from Author Franked roster of safe places to live? Must the censor's scissors leave a puzzling gap between published descriptions of No. 30 La Crosse and No. 32 Medford?  Obviously not. The author's purpose is to tell readers about cities where “you can find a new home where you can take a walk at night without first reviewing vour will. If ever a city fit that  description, Cedar Rapids does. Short-lived report altering and other alleged improprieties aside, the local police force has contributed heavily to tilt' low-danger env ironment.  Clearly, no one planning to settle here will sign off merely because the likelihood of having a bike stolen is greater than police acknowledged circa 1972. Nor will potential newcomers In* turned off by crime reporting practices common elsewhere. Those purportedly include reducing theft-loss totals from tilt* insurance-claim level to a notch closer to reality, and reassessing the seriousness of certain assault cases — notable marital fights which usually end up in civil court.  While "America's 50 Safest Cities" is no more reliable than the FBI data underpinning it, the work nonetheless seems accurate in separating nice places to live from heavily-pocked crime spots. Its validity, then, resembles that of an IQ test—fuzzily drawn, perhaps, in distinguishing between scores a few points apart, but instructive in showing that high scores are distinctively opposite low scores.  Whatever Cedar Rapids' actual spot on the citizen-safety chart, it obviously is a more desirable locale than like-sized Peoria, 111. (No. 288), or Ann Arbor, Mich. (No. 360).  Interestingly, all of Iowa's 50,000-plus cities score relatively well in Franke's 393-city compilation, except Council Bluffs (No. 251). Dubuque. 85th. is second to Cedar Rapids. Then come Waterloo, 89th; Sioux City. 100th. Davenport, 132nd; and Des Moines, 186th.  Incidentally, Lakewood, Ohio, is first and Compton, ('alif., last. Cicero, IU.,— yes, Cicero—is No. 35, thanks largely to tough law enforcement in recent years. Each of the 50 top cities is described in prose gleaned largely from Chamber of Commerce reports. which, like police crime sheets, can land slightly out of kilter.  Slowpost  MUCH ADO is being made over the four-day delay in moving a court subpoena to the President from Los Angeles to Washington via ihe registered-mail route.  Naturally, the Postal Service will take all the heat in this well-publicized smfu But it’s a bum rap. if you ask us Rather than exposing the postal people s occasional want of efficiency, the delay has illuminated the equality  foundation upon count re was built.  which this  Where but in the United States can a top-priority subpoena receive the same handling as the low best scrap of junk mail?  The Postal Service's investigation of the foul-up also may prove educational, pinpointing at last the location of Robin Hood’s fabled barn. Chances are Mr. Nixon’s subpoena moved right around it  People s forum  Lit up  To the Editor  Because of our so-called fuel shortage we now experience darkness each morning when we are waking lip I'm not sure what good this is doing for the nation, let alone Cedar Rapids Sure. tin' sun is out each day an hour later and we do not have to turn our lights on until 5:31) or maybe ti at night, but what about ('ach morning?  On m> way to school each morning I notice a lot of households with lights on still as late as S. Why? Because once people turn lights on they simply forget to turn them off when they leave the room or the house. And since we have to turn our lights on an hour earlier iii the morning, we are using up the energy that we are saving at night  This nationwide condition also affects the children going to school. Although it really does not affect the people living in the Cedar Rapids area, it seems that every night on the nationwide news there is a story about children walking to school with flashlights or their parents taking them to school, or the bus stop where they are to Im- picked up.  Sn how are we, as a nation, saving energy bv using this new system? The answer seems to lie that there is un way possible that we are In fact, the only good I can see in this energy sa\ mg system is that every morning on the way to school I get to see a beautiful sum (se  Mary Feldhaus 21155 Washington avenue SF.  Seniors bus  To the editor:  I would like to really thank all the folks who sent lls enough Betty Crocker coupons sn that we could get our bus fur the senior folks to rid** in to visit places , . We senior folks are asking another great big favor — that people keep on sending in coupons as before Betty Crocker sends checks for the amount these coupons come to Our treasurer. .John McFatridge (2263 c street SU), will bank it all for when the bus needs gas, oil, tires etc , or whatever else if might need  It is surprising how older folks brave the weather to go on outings of the club to get away from loneliness of small homes and to be with others  I used to love to go but I have two bad legs and can't get in the bus too wall  and it's hard to get about even with crutches The driver doesn’t want me to get on tin* bus any more for fear Til fall; my hand might slip off the rod.  Helen Kohl 131 Red Wing road SW  Sex-crazed  To tilt' Editor  We wore shocked beyond words to see most of a page iii The Gazette of Jan. 27 devoted to illegitimacy, premarital and extramarital intercourse, etc., naming contraception or the avenue of abortion and talking so openly and brazenly about the unwed mother. These ideas are one ol the main reasons our young people are doing all of these things, which are a disgrace to behold  The adults are to blame These sorts of discussions are crammed down their necks at school. Over half the reading material in the paper is on sex, rape, illegitimacy, the pill, abortion, etc. How can we expect our children or grandchildren to do anything else but experiment iii these areas when we see and hear these things on the radio and ('specially on TV programs.’ And to think adults are showing triple-X movies as close as Marion We need our heads examined  I think our youngsters are wiser in many ways than we adults We are sick of hearing this all the time and reading about these things every day in local papers and our magazines Just think, we are the proud owners of massage houses in this town. obscene literature in our book stores, even iii the grocery stores here, for little children HI and 12 years old to read and see, and they do, too. The adults have gone sex-crazy. .  It seems strange; we used to have  Insights  }f 74 toFr.Clift# H * H*w% toe  W >r -J » gMi  To recommend certain things is worse than to practice them  William Hazlitt  Nixon has nothing to lose  Great spot for something rare: the truth  By Jenkin Lloyd Jones  SO COMPLETE is Richard Nixon s political disaster that he can .now afford to do what no I S President, with the possible exception of George Washington could ever <i".  lh* can tell us the truth  Mecan level with the American people about the state of the nation arid its status in the world  He can let us in on his honest worries  He can speak his mind on those pressure groups which he may feel are doing dissert ice to America  Ile can violate all tho political taboos and blow the whistle on any bloc of voters For whether he is impeached or not politically he is finished He hasn t a thing to lose  Many Presidents who were ready to retire have been prevented from speaking their minds out of consideration for their parties Other party members hoped for election or reflection arid Presidents have felt an obligation not to rock their hints  But President Nixon is the only President since George Washington who has no party Some Republicans are tr\ mg to set themselves up for re-election by  Jenkin  Lloyd  Jones  outshouting the Democrats for ins blood Most of the rest are holding him at far arm s length and wishing he would vanish He has no fence-mending to do because fie has no fences He is a wanderer on a vast prairie  Richard Nixon doesn't seem to understand this yet fie behaves like a man who ls busy trying to letrieve the situa lion The situation will not be retrieved  Even lf all the sorry mess of Watergate — the burglaries, the bollixed tapes the illegal solicitation of campaign funds, the token income tax — should prove to be sins of omission rattier I ban commission. his enemies intend to tear him to pieces arid his friends have fled  Even if congress cannot find the definition of "high crimes and misdemeanors sufficiently clastic to throw him out of office, the damage has been (join  The tragedy is that until arid unless President Nixon realizes lins. he muv pursue policies against his own lodgment — policies that could damage the country.  Eor example, last year was to be “the year of Europe," remember? It was to lie the year in which the Nixon administration would negotiate great disarmament treaties and hatch the egg of long-term peace  It didn t work out, of course The deeper President Nixon fell into trouble with Watergate, the more the Russians stalled on the SALT talks and the more fractious our erstwhile West European allies became  The danger pow is that in an effort to show some accomplishment. President Nixon may overcompromise and increase the hazard of a successful Russian arms blackmail that could fie disastrous to human freedom everywhere  < lr consider his comment in the State of the ( Ilion message tbat he would “break the back" of the fuel crisis Un-, year Within a week, administration officials were crawfishing and trying to explain it away It was not an honest statement Was it bom in his desperation lo bring good news 9   Whatever may have been his personal  lapses that led his administration into Watergate, Rh hard Nixon is a very smart arid gutsy man He ii Ko has at his disposal a vast mass of information produced bv overt and covert intelligence fie is rn a position to come to conclusions of vital interest to the future of all Americans  What about inflation? Is the dollar doomed to become worth a dime because politicians can't stand anything blit the full employment of an overheated economy' Isa democracy foreordained to deficit awav the savings of its people 9  VA ill young workers grow old to find their social security paid off in potato chips 9  President Nixon’s honest assessment would be interesting  Titer honesty iii such matters might tie regarded as political suicide, filii you can’t kill what is already dead Impeachment or no, President Nixon’s enemies have triumphed so decisively that he can afford (he luxury of candor and America could use some candor  ll wouldn’t do him any good personally, at least probably not Iii ti is lifetime, but historians RN) years from now might find that a forthright President Nixon at this hour would make some of his would be successors, now doing nip ups iii demagoguery look Ilk* pygmies  Gtfterul (tatoos  1  or oat limn  plenty of subjects and news to print without dealing with personal problems and intimate affairs, and now every day ifs sex. Pretty sad state of affairs, wouldn’t you say? I think it pathetic you had to print such headlines in large, bold type for our youngsters of every age to read. I thought you had more discretion than that. We are disappointed readers.  People should lie allowed privacy iii these matters, not have them splattered all over one of the front pages in a Sunday paper, especially when most of us have families  ll VI Hill  520 Eighth street SE  Retain police  To the Editor:  The charge in a Gazette editorial some time ago of the police turning our city fathers into sleuths to get better wages for themselves is a Watergate. According to an article in the Feb. I Gazette, headlined "City May Vote Vacations. Longevity for Returnees", a former street department employe was rehired with back vacation and longevity pay  One paragraph quoted Mayor (’annoy as saying, "In granting the man his previously earned benefits, the council was fulfilling a commitment made by a previous council. The earned benefits were offered as an inducement to get the man to return to work for the city and he received no iH'nefits for the time he was away from the city job. ... I think it’s important to remember he did not seek re-employment with the city, the city sought him out on at least three occasions."  How can the police, trying for better wages and fn'iiefits, turn our city fathers into ‘‘sleuths’’ when — it appears to me, any way — someone or something else has already done that? Why can’t our city fathers work to keep present employes instead of ‘‘bribing’’ (inducing) quitters to return■’  My taxes may have to Im 1  raised se my husband can receive belter wages and Iw'iK'fits. Yes, he’s a cop, but I’d rather pay taxes for human survival than for gn*enhouses. Evidently greenhouses and pretty flowers in tile parks are more important to the city fathers than decent wages for our policemen.  How afront the editorial referring to the ixilice in this manner, “seems the only loping many of them get is to the refrigerator for another brew"? Does that writer know this to lie a fact or just getting his two cents' worth of dirt in?  Let s clean up Watergate. Cedar Rapids, from top to bottom, whoever or whatever it may lie Tress charges and prosecute where warranted And let s give our police (and firemen too) decent living wages to keep them with the city instead of having to ‘‘induce’’ them to return months or years later.  Evelyn Meyer 5021 Lnderwood avenue SW  Subordinates  To the Editor  On Eeb. H after a letter by Hogan ll Moore your editor’s note quoted President Nixon’s televised address on Watergate, April 30, IH73, assuming responsibility of subordinates Because of this you defend the news media in crucifying President Nixon, his family arid belittling the Republican party iii every way possible  Hie president of the Gazette Company, too, is responsible for the acts of subordinates. Now then, let us assume a reporter burglarizes a business place Would the president of The Gazette Im* asked to resign? My opinion would be no Assuming responsibilities of suhor dinates does not make you guilty of their illegal (‘(induct  Everyone should rend "The Strange Tilted World of Network News’’ by Ed ward Jay Epstein iii the February issue of Readers Digest  George Serov,V HOU Seventeenth street SE  ‘Detente’:  misnomer  By Anthony Lewi*  BOSTON — In Leningrad last April. I met a Soviet systems analyst He was a clever and a supremely confident man who saw himself as an engineer not only of computers but of human souls He foresaw the day of a new Soviet man, wit Ii his psychological drives all chan nelcd into “socially useful ’ activity  What about Alexander Solzhenitsyn, he was asked There will Im* no problem in the future, he replied People will be conditioned so that then* is no disruptive individualism iii their makeup There will Im 1  no more Solzhenitsyns  Viewed in the light of ilia! conversation. the banishing of Alexander Solzhenitsyn is an extraordinary confession of failure. It tells us that the Soviet government has no confidence in its professions of psychological transforma lion or government by social consent It still desperately fears the power of the individual spirit, in the end, it still relies on force.  Hut it is not only for Russians that this event has deep significance. What is fas (•matmg is to see, really to feel, how the exiling of one man means more to many people everywhere than does a world energy conference or some other super finally weightier matter We live by symbols.  For Americans, the Solzhenitsyn affair raises hard political questions. Is all of Henry Kissinger’s talk about detente with the Soviet Union a pious fraud? Might the reality be something even worse, a collaboration in repression 9  Should we now renounce the' whole idea?  The immediate effects of these last few years of better official Sov iet-Ameriean relations have undoubtedly been repressive inside the U S S R. Those of lls who hojH'd for a gradual easing of the restraints on political and artistic expression have Ix'eri bitterly disappointed by the brutal facts of arrests, intimidation, long sentences to labor camps, confinement of dissidents in mental hospitals  Worse yet. from the viewpoint of American responsibility, has been one’s sense that the very idea of detente has lent legitimacy to the Soviet regime as it  Anthony  Lewis  carries out repression Or so at least it has seined to the dissidents — as if their oppressors were being supported by the country that was their last best hope  Detente has increasingly appeared to some as an arrangement between two insensitive regimes — vastly different, to fie sure, but alike in their overwhelming concern with self-preservation  There is something to those unhappy views But they do not fairly appraise the long-run purpose, or the prospect, of better Sov let-American relations  It is true, for example, that Soviet security forces have* made tighter internal controls their price for agreeing to an easier foreign policy. They fear that relaxation abroad may have effects at home They could fie right At least we cannot yet exclude the possibility that over time, say a decade, detente may encourage healthy changes in Sov iet society  And there is a more immediate pur pose in better Soviet-American relations I hat Is to reduce tensions In-tween us. to reduce the danger of nuclear war That is an ami so vital to both sides that we really should not forget it in out distress at ideological brutality Gains iii arms control an* their own reward  In short, the question to ask ourselves as we react to the news of Solzhenitsyn is what alternative there is to carrying on the attempt at more rational relations between (»ur countries. Is it to engage in economic warfare, or actual military confrontation? How would that help anyone ' I fie question answers ilself  What, then, should we do? One thing is to drop all the rosy rhetoric about detente, the ad man s oversell The next time President Nixon talks about “a structure of peuce“ in the world, bused en his intimacy with Soviet leaders, we ought to recognize what this is  In fact, we would do well to drop the word detente ll has moral overtones wholly lacking iii the arrangement!* of power between a Nixon and a Brezhnev What we (lave, at ties!. Is a process f,,,  regularizing the continuing competition between our systems  I lie other esscntlal is for our country to live lip lo Its (mu ideals Ad American who often visits the Soviet Union remar ks that the deepest disappointment among the dissidents there has her,, their feeling of America turning cynical or being governed by cynical met, w> can beat offer hope to the repressed there, as to ourselves, by living the idea* of freedom we proles*  Of« York firers * I#f #   ^SOUHOllTSWV  is mr   

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