Cedar Rapids Gazette, March 2, 1974, Page 7

Cedar Rapids Gazette

March 02, 1974

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Issue date: Saturday, March 2, 1974

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - March 2, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa r Editorial Page Saturday, Morch 2, 1974 Deadline: impossible 'If we were a TV show, we'd be canceled' SIMILARITIES between city finances and a homeowner's budget seldom have seemed closer than in the past week when the, city council had but several days to scrape up at least toward construction of a west side branch library. Following the unexpected release of impounded federal library aid funds, Cedar Rapids had a reasonable chance at a major share of reportedly coming to Iowa. The trouble was that the application had to be prepared and fired off to federal offices by Friday (March Naturally, city officials had to know by then how they would finance the city's share, which would total at least half of the es- timated Just as the average homeowner is apt to miss an unfair financial deadline, city officials were un- able to swing" the for the long-needed west wide library. To take the analogy one step farther, we suggest that like good old Joe Doakes the city should not count on outside help in meeting this particular educational need. A look at the brief history of federal aid to libraries strengthens this conclusion. Cedar Rapids' public library system always has been too far advanced to draw construction and improvements aid from Uncle Sam and the state of Iowa. The rural library services act of 1956 was a splendid piece of legislation in that it served many millions of Americans who up till then had poor library services or none' at all. But there was nothing in that enlightened measure for Cedar Rapids and other strong library cities. The library services and cons- truction act (LSCA) of 196-1 brought existing libraries under the federal matching grants umbrella. It also helped provide an increase in state aid to libraries. Iowa, however, has been one of 12 states whose aid to libraries has not compared to that offered under LSCA (an ironic circumstance for the nation's leader in literacy of Thus Cedar Rapids' chances for library grants have been less than ideal all along. The worst setback of all for librarians was President Nixon's 1973 impoundment of federal library aid appropriations. (He previously had approved the program through Ideally, the eventual freeing of those funds through class action suits would have allowed library planners to proceed as if no in- terruption hud occurred. Instead, cities are saddled with impossible grant application deadlines. Conceivably, Cedar Rapids could qualify for federal library construction funds later on. But given the history of nonhelp from j higher governments, no one here should count on it. The best way to build a branch library west of the Cedar upgrade the downtown through approval of a bond referendum. The catch there, of course, is the state's supermajority 60 percent approval requirement, which thrice has postponed- library improvements here. If the bond issue ever passes and grant monies become available, the ex- tra funds'could be used in bring- ing in the project for less local money than the sum first approved. Press-identially speaking SAME NATION, same system, same institutions, but different times, different Presidents, different attitudes about the press (they pretty we'll speak for "In the nation's capital some- times there is a tendency in the reporting of news I do not say this critically, it's simply a fact of life that bad news is news and. good news is not news. And as a result, those of us who work there and try to develop the policies of the nation may get a distorted view of what is America and what it is really like." Richard M. Nixon "If there is one thing we ought to be 'careful about it is in regard to interfering with the liberty of the press I think it is a great deal better to err a little bit on the side of having too much discussion and having too .virulent language used by the press, rather than to Procrastination lives err on the side of having them not say. what ethey-ought to say, especially vvith reference to public men and public measures." Theodore Roosevelt "It is never pleasant to read things that are not agreeable news, but I would say that it is an invaluable arm of the presidency to check really on what is going on in the administration. And more things- come to my attention that cause ;.ne concern or give me information. "So I would think that. there is a terrific disadvantage not to have the abrasive quality of the press applied to you daily, to an administration, even though we never like it; and even though we disapprove, there isn't any doubt that we could not do the job at all in a free society without a very, very active press." John F. Kennedv Time's thieves busy By John Hamer EAR Editor: Just a short note to tell you that my story on "National Procrastination which begins on Sunday, March 3, will be a little late but I'm working on it. I meant to do it yesterday, but gol lied up watching congress put off a vote on the emergency energy bill for another week. After deferring action on il last year, they sure seem to be taking their precious time up there on Capitol Hill. Not that tilings are happening much faster down at the White House. President Nixon just postponed a planned trip to Europe for the 25ih an- niversary of NATO; in fact, the whole "Year of Europe" seems to have been held off for awhile. And as for Watergate, the President has been a little slow in making public that evidence which Vice- president Ford and Sen. Hugh Scott said would prove him innocent, but I'm sure he has his reasons. Some people say we've got government by procraslina- tioji, and who can blame them? In any case, getting back to Hie reason Ibis story is late: I called Philadelphia yesterday to talk to the president of the Procraslinalor's Club of America, which is sponsoring this event, but he was out iti lunch so 1 left a message. 1 had to call again this morning but he was on a coffee break and his secretary said he'd return my call just as soon as he got back. Well, that was five hours ago, so I guess that club picked the right man. But I have learned some interesting things about procrastination which will go in the story. 1 always thought it was Benjamin Franklin who said, "Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do but Lord Chesterfield said the same thing in and it turns out that one Miles Coverdale said "Whatsoever thou mayest do tonight defer not till tomorrow" way back in 1541. Of course, the Greeks and Romans said il first. Hesiod described the procras- tinating man as "ever struggling with ruin" and Seneca wrote that while we are postponing, "life speeds by." There's a fine old proverb, "One of these days is none ol these but no one knows who said that first. :'Another favorilo is ardiy I he cockroach's line in "archy and nielli- tabel" "procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday." So anyway, 1 promise I'll get the story written and turned in to you first Ihing tomorrow morning. ErJItorlnl Roieorcri Kfnorl'. White House lashes out Warring with Labor By Rowland Evans and Robert Novak WASHINGTON When word leaked last weekend that the AFL-CIO executive council's midwinter meeting in Florida was considering a campaign to nationalize the oil industry, a senior White House official pressed this ac- cusation on reporters for three national publications: George Meany is taking a "socialistic" line hostile to sentiments of the working man. Oddly, none of the reporters wrote about this charge. But the harshness and speed of the response proves that the White House is reverting to its old cam- paign of driving a wedge between AFL- CIO rank-and-file and AFL-CIO President Meany. That political mes- sage, rather than genuine solicitude for Big Oil, was behind the White House ac- cusation. This, in turn, reflects the hard line now firmly established in President Nixon's impeachment defense. The White House has resolved that Big Labor's hierarchy and others demanding impeachment cannot fire at Mr. Nixon without risking counterfire. The White House hardliners, pushing counterattack and discouraging disclosure of impeachment evidence, are now in the saddle. In the case of labor, this seems to sug- gest another 180-degree turn by the Nixon White House. After feuding bitterly through 1971, the President and Meany formed a temporary alliance out of mu- tual loathing for the McGovern-wing of (he Democratic party. That alliance was at least superficially thriving when il became a sudden victim of the Watergate scandals last spring. In reality, however, Mr. Nixon has consistently followed a labor-political strategy charted by former political aide Charles Colson: Split the anti-lefl working man from his more liberal union leaders. The short, uncomfortable alliance with Meany in 1972 did not in- terrupt Cnlson's efforts to woo the rank- and-filc especially of unions with liberal leadership such as the United Auto Workers from their officers. Moreover, the principal advisor on labor politics at the White House today it Kenneth Clawson, deputy and protege nl Colson during the 1972 election campaign who was recently promoted to become their impeachment campaign. Since then. White House operatives have propagandized and assaulted labor con- tributions to Democratic members of the house judiciary committee now con- sidering impeachment. There are no illusions among White House realists about the effectiveness of hoary charges that labor barons are in- tervening in local elections or about the prospects of rehabilitating Mr. Nixon's shattered standing with blue-collar workers. But. there is a new unanimity that a controlled counterattack strategy is the only sensible approach to Mr. Nixon's never-ending crisis. The soft- liners have either disappeared or fallen silent. This marks a major change from early January when senior aides confided that one reason there were no presidential press conferences was the total lack of consensus on what approach Mr. Nixon should take and therefore how he should answer questions. That consensus now has been.reached: No more explanations or apologies, but counterattack (which explains the sudden, unexpected White House assault this week on the Democratic With some justifications but also some risk Mr. Nixon's lieutenants feel the White House can mobilize itself in a campaign to save the President with a monomania his enemies (including congressional Democratic leaders) can- not match. Attempting to convince the working man that tough old George Meany is really a socialist is only one early sign of that singlemindcd resolve. Publishers Hall Syndicate The people's forum Renovation doubts To the Kdilor: Concerning plans for renovation (if (lie four older junior high schools: Three of I he ni (McKinley. Roosevelt. Wilson) lave the capacity for 2.550 students. Today they have fewer than that. Some 500 fewer are projected fur 1976-77. By (lie time the renovation is completed there most likely will be vacant rooms. One wonders if .the costs by, then will be even more. Also one asks WHY about some aspects iif the plans. Surely some of the major maintenance needs did not develop recently in build- ings that are almost 50 years old. Why were not some projects done over the past years in ordinary good housekeep- ing? For example, sanitary improvement in rest rooms and cafeterias should mil have been delayed so long. Why are there "gutted locker Why are more classrooms planned? Why enlarge cafeterias? Will smaller ta- bles and more pieces of furniture be more durable and used with apprecia- tion? Why camouflage ceiling pipes? If they are a source of heat concealing them cancels possible energy conservation. Is carpeting really necessary? At what cost? Why larger locker areas for fewer students? Why take out walls to "create open This could be a question- able "changing educational need." Why shut off present stairwells and build new ones in other parts of the building? With dropping enrollments, vacant rooms would be available for office space and other needs. A reason given for so much interior reconstruction is that the older schools are "not flexible enough to meet chang- ing educational heeds." Such a statement may be true, but it also is very general and somewhat meaningless. Is flexibility attained by removing walls, corridors, stairwells? Or is flexibility achieved by attitudes, at- mosphere, personality and.character of students, teachers, principals, consul- tants, the specialists and the school staff? Some features as reported arc desira- ble. Adequate library space and facilities are important, more so since our city library continues to struggle. Would it be possible to find capable volunteers to man the school libraries as centers of enrichment and interest for the com- munity during non-school hours? Another needed feature is pollution control for coal-fired furnaces. The school board and administration might well take a few more searching looks at the proposals. We need to learn to make do in the schools by being crea- tive and resourceful with have and to enjoy wanting to do so. M. Melvina Svee 1300 Oakland road NE worthiness, what. Alwavs (ull of you -know "Your President is not a crook." he recently. He said that. I didn't. 1'al Linden Route I. Marion Locker theft To (he Editor: My daughter look to Prairie high school on Valentine's day an Arvin tran- sistor radio so she could listen to the Love Is program on KLWW. After she was through using it she locked it in her locker. When she gol ready lo bring it home, she found Unit someone had kicked her locker door open and stolen lite radio. I hope whoever did il is proud of him- self, and 1 hope the parents are proud too; for letting their children bring home something that, they know belongs to someone else. Sharon Wilson Twenty-fifth avenue SW Good 'Apples' To the Editor: As we read Mike Deupree's Channel Comment in the Feb. 24 Gazette, we were a bit puzzled about his critique of the program, Apple's Way Many of ns do not like muclrof what we see on the main networks. We simply do not have a Hun- day column for expressing our dislikes. At the risk of sounding a little back- woodsy, we find Apple's Way very refreshing and decidedly different from the hours of violence, semi-nudity and sex-filled programs that dominate the evening hours on TV. The Wallons and Apple's Way are two evening shows that ciur 8-year-old can watch without our wondering if the next scene will be something'we would rather nut have her subjected to. Maybe we'are not literary critics, and maybe Apple's Way will not survive the but the ratio of Ihis type (if show compared to the many hours of other- types is very small. Let us keep aC least two programs a week of wholesome evening viewing for kids of all ages. It really doesn't bother us how east- erners describe Iowa. We love it, and if they feel otherwise about it, maybe we won't have In worry about their over- populating Ibis area. Mr. and Mrs. Harold Hutchins 470 South Twelfth street Marion Habituated To the Editor: I just heard Nixon's press conference (Feb. 25) which prompts me to say it is a constant source of wonder how the long-suffering American public puts up with this guy: His entire career billboards what he is: Always servile lo special-interest groups. Always "the Ail-American waving the Stars and Stripes while promoting, "enlightened self- interest." Always oozing trusl- LETTERS The Gazette's editorial page wel- comes readers' opinions, subject to these guidelines: Length limit: 400 words. One letter per writer every 30 days. All may be condensed and edited without changing meaning. None Dublished anonymously. Writer's telephone number (not printed] should follow name, address and readable handwritten signature to'help authenticate. Cqntents deal more with issues and events than personalities. No poetry. Specialty, hard bargains Soviets go heavy on the SALT EVANS White House communications director. An undisputed leader of the hard-line faction, Clawson has been viewed by tine top White House aide the "inevitable" successor to Colson as Mr. Nixon's chief hatchet man. The sharp, quick reaction to Meany's oil nationalization certainly bore the Colson-Clawson trademark. Perceiving working-man hostility to leftist dogma including Ihe White House moved quickly to transform an attack on Ihe manifestly unpopular oil industry in- to a liability for AFL-CIO officialdom among its own membership. That became obvious on .Ian. 15 when Vice-president Gerald Ford delivered his now notorious speech at Atlantic City, written In the White House, assaulting Meany and Ihe AFL-CIO leadership lor By Roscoe Drummond WASHINGTON The Soviets are tough, shrewd negotiators. We need to bear that in mind as the second round of the nuclear arms control talks gets under way in Geneva. is no reason to be surprised or dismayed that for openers the Soviets are doing their best lo put the United States totally on the defensive. They arc doing this by laying down an advance barrage of arguments suggesting thai any lime the United Slates builds a submarine or improves a missile, that's bad; and that any time the Soviet Union docs the same, that promotes world peace. We know that Ihis is standard com- munist negotiating tactics, and.we know Dial any country's first negotiating posi- tion is not its last. But it would be well to be aware of what the Soviets are up lo and to see how they are going about it so that as a people we will be neither taken iii by (hem nor put off by superficial arguments. Communist technique varies little, probably because il has been so often successful. They defend anything they do in what they deem lit be in (heir own na- tional interest as peace-loving, but when another nation does Ihe same thing Us action Is condemned as warlike. 1 his is exactly the way the Soviets are beginning the nuclear arms dialogue. On the eve of the flrsl session, Pnivda sharply attacked Secretary of Defense .lames Schleslnger for proposing that the Unlled Slates modernize and improve Ihe American missile force. This, despite the fact thai for two years, since the first SALT agreement the- Soviets have been steadily pushing for- ward their buildup of land-based and submarine missiles. There il is. II is all right for the Soviet Union to expand and improve its strategic missile force, but all wrong for the United Stales lo respond. Maybe they don'l mean it, maybe they don't believe it, but they keep on saying it in the hope thai others will believe it. From the Pravda article it is clear lhal the Soviets not only do nol want the United Stales lo modernize its missile strength but, more than that, they don't wanl U.S. officials, like what Secretary Kchlesinger is doing, to point out Ihe danger of future Soviet strategic superiority. They brand such talk as "contradicting the spirit of detente" and nol very nice. Soviet officials, of course, don't have to talk about what they may see as the danger of an American strategic superiority. They can act without talking because a dictatorship doesn't have to make its decisions in public as democracies do in appropriating and spending money. Pravda used the familiar ladies at another point in ils recent article. II describes Sehlesingor's request lo congress for new research anil develop- merit funds as Irresponsible and short- sighted "clamor lo whip up Ihe arms race." Hut when earlier Ihe Kremlin greatly expanded Ils nuclear research and development wllhout any that of course was all right, Roscoe Drummond This is nothing new, but because it is repetitious does not reduce the need lo be alert to such negotiating tactics. The communists have always argued lhal for them lo commit an act of aggression is an act of peace, but to defend against aggression is an act of war. Example: II is an act of peace to send Soviet tanks into Hungary and' an act of aggression for the Hungarians (o resist them. The same for Hie Czech in- vasion. I am reminded by Ihe insighl which Adlai Stevenson contributed afler his flrsl Irip lo the Soviet Union lie described Soviet policy in Ihis sentence- "What's theirs is Iheirs and what's ours Iuip for grabs." Yon cau'l nn Let il be clear (hat Hie Soviets are violating no agreement, by rushing ahead wild new strategic missile production They have moved much farther than U.S. officials thought they would when SALT I was signed If we 'I find a way lo Hut arms rnco at a reduced level (JAIT II will be an empty nnddauKeroim exercise ;