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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - March 2, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa ‘lf we were a TV show, we’d be canceled’ e Editorial Page Saturday, March 2, 1974 Deadline: impossible 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 $165,000 toward construction of a west suit' branch library. Following the unexpected release of impounded federal library aid funds, Cedar Rapids had a reasonable chance at a major share of $230,000 reportedly coming to Iowa. The trouble was that the application had to be prepared and fired off to federal offices by Friday (March I). Naturally, city officials had to know by then how they would finance the city’s share, which would total at least half of the estimated $330,000. .lust as the average homeowner is apt to miss an unfair financial deadline, city officials were unable to swing the $100.000-plus 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 195H was a splendid piece of legislation in that it served many millions of Americans w ho 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. rile library services and construction act (LS('A) of 19H4 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 LSC A (an ironic circumstance for the nation’s leader in literacy of citizens). 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 197H). Ideally, the eventual freeing of those funds through class action suits would have allowed library planners to proceed as if no interruption had 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 higher governments, no one here should count on it. The best way to build a branch library west of the Cedar river—and upgrade the downtown facility—is through approval of a bond referendum. The catch there, of course, is the state’s supermajority HO percent approval requirement, which thrice has postponed library improvements here. If the bond issue ever passes and grant monies become available, tile extra funds could be used in bringing 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 well speak for themselves): “In the nation’s capital sometimes 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 In* 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 they ought to say, especially with 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 w hat is going on in the administration. And more things* come to my attention that eau si* 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 HEAR Editor: .lust a short note to tell you that my story on ‘ National Procrastination Week.” which tiepins on Sunday, March 3, will be a little late — but I’m workout on it I meant to do it yesterday, but trot tied up watching congress put off a vote on the emergency energy bill for another week After deferring action on it last year, they sure seem to be taking their precious time up there on Capitol Hill Not that things are happening much faster down at the White House. President Nixon just postponed a planned trip to Europe for the 25th anniversary 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 Vicepresident Ford arid Sen Hugh Scott said would prove him innocent, but I’m sure he has his reasons Some people say we’ve got government by procrastination, and who can blame them ' in any case, getting back to the reason this story is late: I called Philadelphia yesterday to talk to the president of the Procrastinator s Club of America which is sponsoring this event hut he was out to lunch so I left a message I had to call again this morning hut 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 night man. But I have learned some interesting things about procrastination which will go iii Hic story. I always thought it was Benjamin Franklin who said, “Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today, ’ hut Lord Chesterfield said the same thing in 174f» and it turns out that one Miles Coverdale said “Whatsoever thou mayest do tonight defer not till tomorrow way back in 1341 Of course, theft reeks and Homans said it first Hesiod described the procrastinating man as “ever struggling with ruin arid Seneca wrote that while we are postponing, “life speeds by.” Theres a fine old proverb, “One of these days is none of these days, but no one knows who said that first. Another favorite is archy the cockroach's line in “archy and mehi-tabel” — “procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday " So anyway. I promise I II get the story written arid turned in to you — first thing tomorrow morning Editor lo! Wev-arcri WeeorH The people’s forum Renovation doubts White House lashes out Warring with Labor By Rowland Evans and Robert Novak TITASHIN'GTON — When word leaked VV 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 accusation 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 campaign of driving a wedge between AFL-CIO rank-and-file and AFL-CIO President Meany. That political message. rather than genuine solicitude for Big Oil, was behind the White House accusation. 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 ev idence, are now in the saddle. In the case of labor, this seems to suggest another 180-degree turn by the Nixon White House. After feuding bitterly through 1071, the President and Meany formed a temporary alliance out of mutual loathing for the McGovern wing ol the Democratic party. That alliance was at least superficially thriving when it 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 auh Charles Colson: Split the anti-left working man from his more lilieral union leaders. The short, uncomfortable alliance with Meany in 1972 did not interrupt Colson’s efforts to woo the rank-and-file — especially of unions with liberal leadership such as the L'nited Auto Workers — from their officers. Moreover the principal advisor on labor politics at the White House today i-Kenneth Clawson, deputy and protege oi 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-tribut'ons to Democratic members of the house judiciary committee now considering impeachment. There are no illusions among White House realists about the effectiveness of hoary' charges that labor barons are intervening 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 counterattac k 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 congress). 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) cannot mutch. Attempting to convince the working man that tough old George Meany is really a socialist is only one early sign of that singleminded resolve. Specialty: hard bargains To the Editor Concerning plans for renovation of the four older junior high schools Three of them (McKinley, Roosevelt, Wilson) have the capacity for 2.550 students Today they have fewer than that Some 500 fewer are projected for 107B-77 By the 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 of the plans Surely some of the major maintenance needs did not develop recently iii buildings that arc almost 50 years old Why were not some projects done over the past 20-30 years in ordinary good housekeeping? For example, sanitary improvement in rest rooms and cafeterias should not have been delayed so long. Why are there “gutted locker areas"? Why are more classrooms planned " Why enlarge cafeterias? Will smaller tables and more pieces of furniture lie more durable and used with appreciation? Why camouflage ceiling pipes" lf 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 areas”" This could he a questionable “changing educational need.” Why shut off present stairwells and build new ones in other parts of the building? With dropping enrollments, vacant rooms would bi* 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 changing educational needs ' Such a statement may be true, but it also is very general and somew hat meaningless. Is flexibility attained by removing walls, corridors, stairwells? Or is flexibility achieved by attitudes, atmosphere, personality and character of students, teachers, principals, consultants, the specialists and the school staff" . . . Some features as reported are desirable 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 community 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 creative and resourceful with what we have and tit enjoy wanting to do so. M. Melvina Svec 131 Mi Oakland road NE worthiness what Always full of you knew “Your President is not said recently He said that a crook, he I didn’t Pat Linden Route I. Marion Locker theft 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 to special-interest groups. Always “the All-American boy.’ waving tin* Stars and Stripes while promoting “enlightened selfinterest.’ Always oozing trust- To the Editor My daughter took to Prairie high school on Valentine’s day an Arvin iran sister radio so she could listen to tile Lev** Is program on KLWW After she was through using it slit* locked it in her locker When she got ready to bring it home, she found that someone had kicked her locker door open and stolen the radio I hope whoever did ii is proud of him self, and I hope the parents are proud too for letting their children bring home something that they know belongs to someone else Sharon Wilson 2H8 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 us do not like much of what we see on the main networks We simply do not have a Sunday column for expressing our dislikes At the risk of sounding a little backwoodsy, 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 Waltons and Apple s Way are two evening shows that our 8-year-old can watch without our wondering if the next scene will he something we would rather not have her subjected to Maybe we are not literary critics, and maybe Apple's Way will not survive the ratings, but the ratio of this type of show compared to the many hours of other types is very small. . . . Let us keep at least two programs a week of wholesome evening viewing for kids of all ages. It really doesn t bother us how easterners describe Iowa. We love it. and if they feel otherwise about it, maybe we won t have to worry about their overpopulating this area. Mr. and Mrs Harold Hutchins 470 South Twelfth street Marion LETTERS The Gazette $ editorial page welcomes readers' opinions, subject to thes guidelines: Length limit: 400 words One letter per writer every 30 days All may be condensed and edited without changing meaning None published anonymously Writer s telephone number (not printed) should follow name, address and readable handwritten signature to help authenticate Contents deal more with issues and events than personalities No poetry. Soviets go heavy on the SALT 'N I J Y ftf EVANS NOVAK While House communications director Ari undisputed leader of the hard-line faction, Clawson has been privately viewed tty one top White House aide a* the “inevitable” successor to Colson a» Mr Nixon's chief hatchet man I he sharp, (puck reaction to Meany s oil nationalization certainly bore the < olson-tTowson trademark Perceiving working-man hostility to leftist dogma including “socialism." the White House moved quickly to transform an attack on th* manifestly unpopular oil industry into a liability for AFL-CIO officialdom among its own membership That became obvious on Jan 15 when Vice-president Gerald Ford delivered Ins now notorious speech at Atlantic City, written ut the White House, assaulting Meany and the AFL-CIO leadership for 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. •There is no reason to Im* surprised or dismayed that for openers the Soviets an* doing their Iwst to put the United States totally on the defensive. They are doing this by laying down an advance barrage of arguments suggesting that any time the bruted States builds a submarine or improves a missile, that s bad; and that any time the Soviet Union does the same, that promotes world peace. We know that this is standard communist negotiating tactics, and we know that any country’s first negotiating position is not its last. But it would he well to be aware of what the Soviets are up to and to see how they are going a is tut it so that as a people we will he neither taken in by them nor put off by superficial arguments. ( ornmunist technique varies little, probably because it has been so often successful T hey defend anything they do iii what they deem to he in their own national interest as peaee-lov mg, hut when another nation does the same thing its action is condemned as warlike This is exactly the way the Soviets are beginning lh** nuclear arms dialogue On the eve of the first session, Pravda sharply attacked Secretary ol Defense .lunies Schlesmger for proposing that the United Stales modernize and improve the American missile force This, despite the fact that for two years since the first SALT agreement the Soviets have been steadily pushing forward their buildup of land-based and submarine missiles. There it is. It is all right fur the Soviet Union to expand and improve its strategic missile force, but all wrung for the United States to respond Maybe they don’t mean it, maybe they don’t lielieve it, but they keep on saying it in the hope that others will believe it From the Pravda article it is clear that the Soviets not only do not want the United States to modernize its missile strength but, more than that, they don’t want I S. officials, like what Secretary Schlesmger is doing, to point out the danger of future Soviet strategic superiority. They brand such talk as “contradicting the spirit of detente" and not 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 tactics at another point iii its recent article ll describes Schlesmger s request to congress for new research and development funds as irresponsible and shor t sighted “clamor to whip up the arms race But when earlier the Kremlin greatly expanded its nuclear research and development without any “clamor,’ that of course was all rigid Roscoe Drummond This is nothing new, but because it is repetitious does not reduce the need to be alert to such negotiating tactics The communists have always argued that for them to commit an act of aggression is an act of peace, im I Lo defend against aggression is an act of war Example It is an act of peace to send Soviet tanks into Hungary and ail act of aggression for the Hungarians lo resist them The same for the Czech in vasion. I am reminded by the insight which AH la i Stevenson contributed after hi^ first trip to the Soviet Union Ile descried Soviet polity iii this sentence “What's theirs is theirs and what s ours is up tor grabs You can't improve on that Let it Im* clear that the Soviets ar* violating no agreement by rushing ahead with new strategic missile product nm They have moved much faster arid farther than I S officials thought they would when SALT I was signed Ii don’t find a way lo control the nucleal arms race at a reduced level SALT’ ll will he an empty and dangerous exercise Lot Aliy*!#* I nill', % rf mitt lit.
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