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Cedar Rapids Gazette: Saturday, March 16, 1974 - Page 8

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - March 16, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                Political Mount Sinai Editorial Page Sotoitfey, 16, 1974 winning worfh if? FOR A CLASSIC square-off between character building and the victory ethic in sports one need look no further than Linn- Mar Community schools, where coaches and school board members sensibly are airins out the problem. Happily, junior high youngsters are turning out in unprecedented numbers for basketball. Never mind that some cannot dribble a gym's length without kicking the ball. Seventh and eighth graders are participating with enthusiasm, and that's what counts. In keeping with the com- mendable school policy, coaches try to give near-equal playing time to all. The trouble is, though, the crowding of the basketball court by fumbling 12-, 13- and 14-year- olds makes it difficult for coaches to focus attention on budding athletes who someday may carry the Lion banner against other schools. Moreover, a number of parents see the "everybody plays" system as so much folly. The sight of mediocre players blowing a lead built up by first-stringers miffs some the parents of the more gifted athletes. Naturally, it is the coaches who must stand the gaff. The question (still unresolved) put to the Linn-Mar school board is this: Should the "everybody plays" program be scrapped in favor of a setup giving more at- tention to better players? Obviously, the junior high sports dilemma at Linn-Mar is not the weightiest of problems. As. was noted at a recent board meeting, a properly supervised program encompassing in- tramural and inter-scholastic sports probably would satisfy all needs. What makes the question atten- tion-worthy, however, is its reminder that policymakers in every school district inevitably must face tough questions: At what age should children begin vying for spots on the Big Team? If a win-or-else philosophy is adopted, does sufficient physical- education instruction remain for nonathletes? What is a winning tradition really worth? It may surprise some that .Linn-Mar (no athletic mill) is thinking of singling out tall, swift seventh graders for more atten- tion. But the sports pressure cooker begins to simmer at even lower grade levels in other locales notably certain towns in Texas and Ohio (football) and Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois (basket- The pattern seldom varies: A high school coach may minor in character building as long as he majors in winning. How better to guarantee top caliber teams than to give promising youngsters five or six years of pre-high school competition? Since athletic "free rides" outnumber full academic scholarships, parents of physically-robust children na- turally are tempted to hone youngsters' sports skills early. The psychological effects of grade school and junior high' sports mania are for specialists to determine. But it doesn't take a trained eye to spot the penalties absorbed by most children in a school system where parental pressure forces special attention for a minority. Modern rarity: lower AS FURTHER proof that you can get results at city hall, the Cedar Rapids city council is reducing sewer rental portions of residential water bills this summer. The move acknowledges that sewer use, ordinarily charged at 55 percent of the water bill, really doesn't, increase apace with water use during the summer. Extra volumes used for car washing and lawn soaking are washed away through storm sewers, not sanitary lines. So, instead of tacking a 55-per- cent, sewer-rental fee onto the water-use bill, the water depart- ment will take the average of a user's wintertime sewer-use billings and apply it to summer bills. To frame an example, a total bill water, S5.50 sewer-use) for a two-month winter period would not be doubled should the user require worth of water over a like period this summer. He would pay about Favorite season double for water but no more, for sewer use. The total bill thus 'would be about The seasonal reduction in sewer-rental rates is no big deal, of course; no one-will save more than several dollars at most. But in a year when the price of just about everything else is blasting into orbit, a modest break in utility billing is pleasant news. The water department and city council acted commendably in answering petitioners for the change. The noted difference between sanitary and storm sewers man- dates another hat-tip, this one to policymakers of long ago who decided to separate the city's sanitary and storm sewer sys- tems. Their foresight not only permitted today's modest adjust- ments in summertime sewer use rates, it saved the city from monumental sewage treatment headaches. By Richard L. Worsnop rplIOSE WONDERFUL folks who J- brought you the Unicorn Hunting Season last autumn have thought up a novel way to welcome spring. On March 20, the Unicorn Hunters of Lake Superior Stale college, Saull Sic. Marie, Mich., plan a rilual Snowman Burning. Poetry will be read, followed by the "ceremonial burning in effigy and sacrificial eating of Ihe snowman." Another View site "A million dollars isn't all inherited, look at this." Well, that's one way to observe the arrival of the vernal equinox the exact lime at which the sun's center crosses the equator and days and nighls are everywhere of equal length. Other people equate the arrival of spring with the re- turn of the swallows to the old mission of San Juan Capislrano. Calif. This event has traditionally occurred every March 19 since 1776. Tradition also holds lhat the buzzards will return to llinckley, Ohio, on March 15 from their vvinter quarters in Ihe Great Smoky Mountains to rear their young. Spring is silly season on the nation's college campuses. To the current fad of "streaking" nude in public places, a couple of male students at Georgetown university added a new dimension by streaking through the reading room of Ihe university library on a motorcycle. Spring is ;t svason of hope and renewal, tolerant of such escapades. Il is the time of year when it is permissible to enter- tain the thought that Watergate and the energy crisis are, if norl over, at least drawing lo a close. But, as has also been said (Henry Van Dyke in his book, "Fisherman's "The firsl day of spring is one Ihing; Ihe firsl spring day is another." Research Hcoorli Freedom knocked down? Print-shackles clank By James J. Kilpatrick WASHINGTON This is shop talk, but it is shop talk of concern bcyoi d the editorial offices of a news- paper. 1 mean In voice an apprehension that freedom of the press is in con- siderable danger these days and to sug- gest that those of us who live by the printed word had better try harder to explain our position to the people. This is not a novel theme. When the. startling case of Turnillo v. the Miami Herald began working its way through the Florida courts a couple of years ago, Ihe signs of an approaching storm were as visible as Elijah's cloud in (he distant sky. Recent events indicate that the cloud grows larger, and the storm-gets nearer. In January, Arkansas' respected Sen. John .McClellan directed national atten- tion to the Florida case, which had just been accepted for supreme court review. He recommended that the senate give "careful study and consideration to the possibility of enacting a national law similar to the Florida statute." That is to say. McClellan recommend- ed a national "right to reply" law. which would compel publications to print replies from persons who felt aggrieved by published criticism of them. On March 7, President Nixon sent a message to congress that appeared lo echo some of McClellan's thinking. The President hoisted a trial balloon on the matter of a federal libel law. Washington reporters began to speculate that Nixon also is toying with the notion of a congressional act requiring newspapers to extend a "right to reply" in the case of federal officeholders or candidates for federal office. Some notice ought also to be directed to the supreme court's holding in the famous Pentagon Papers case of 1971, in which six of the justices indicated that under certain circumstances a news- paper could be prevented from publishing certain material. This ominous attitude was confirmed by implication a few months ago, when the court refused to review a Louisiana case in which two reporters were fined for publishing an account of a court proceeding in violation of a judge's decree. What the President is urging is a reversal, or at least a major modifica- tion, of the doctrines laid down by the supreme court II) years ago this month in I he case of Times v. Sullivan. That was the case in which Hrennan, speaking for a unanimous court, defined a "national commitment lo the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide open, and that-it may include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp at- tacks on government and public of- ficials." The court held that a public official could not recover damages for defama- tory falsehood relating to his official conduct "unless he proves that" the statement was made with actual malice, that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not." The "Times as it became known, subsequently was broadened in a series of related decisions extending the rule to public figures generally. This is the rule that Nixon pronounced last week as "virtually a license to He where a political candidate, a member of his family, or one of his supporters OP friends is involved." Insights I never done so and so welt as when it is done with a good conscience. Blaise Pascal I have myself expressed the view lhat the court has overextended Ihe Times rule. The doctrine gives the press rather more freedom than we Iruly oughl lo have. But the thought of a "federal libel law" or a "federal right to reply law" raises lowering question's of First Amendment freedoms. II is inconceiva- ble lhal such enactments could survive constitutional challenge. But is il inconceivable? We of the press are not widely loved. Politicians would like nothing belter than to sec public- criticism suppressed. If a free press is to survive as a .Jeffersnnian "bulwark of strenuous efforts will have lo be made lo explain the enduring value of our First Amendment freedoms. What began two years ago as a cloud no larger than a man's hand is turning into a Ihundcrhcad of sudden, perilous con- cern. People's forum Interference To Ihe Kdilor: 1 vvuut lo (inred some mistomcpUviis the "Dear Abby" column of Jan. 2. which her statement of Feb. 27 failed to rorret-l. The idea is false lhat anytime a nearby radio signal is picked up by a nearby piece of home-entertainment equipment this is Ihe fault of "unshielded amateur radio equipment." The truth is that it is a result of preventable oversights ill tilt1 design of such nearby home-entertain- ment equipment. There is absolutely no advantage in "unshielded" short-wave radio transmitting equipment. The law states that signals transmitted shall be as free from the emission of spurious radiation and harmonics as the slate of the art permits. Construction information in amateur radio publications thoroughly covers techniques and dcsigns-to meet this common-sense requirement. Then tests are outlined lo cover adjustment and checking lo assure to operators that this condition is met. The reason radio signals sometimes do hitchhike through nearby home enter- tainment equipment is that too often this equipment is totally unshielded. Much equipment on the market today is made of plastic, which means all the circuitry is exposed to any nearby radio signals. This is not the fault of the nearby trans- mitting equipment. II is poor engineering design on the part of the home-entertain- ment equipment manufacturer. Even so, such design is easily correct- ed. Corrective measures in the equip- ment reproducing unwanted signals can be applied by any competent technician in a shop where such equipment is nor- mally serviced.- You can pretty we'! "cookbook" the necessary procedures by analyzing the electronic circuitry so bothered. However, because the radio amateurs in this country feel outraged by Ihe attack made on them in Abigail Van Buren's column, more effective correc- tive action is being undertaken legisla- tively. A bill lo amend the communica- tions act of 1934 makes it mandatory for manufacturers of home-entertainment equipment to design il so such problems are prevented in advance. This merely mandates what the Federal Communica- tions Commission has asked be done voluntarily in years gone by. I fervently ask lhat concerned citizens, including all amateurs, citizens' band operators, radio and television service personnel and those in broadcasting, join in asking lhat this highly desirable legislation be enacted to provide the only answer to the problem. The place lo write'concerning HR3516 is: Committee on''Inlerstate and Foreign Commerce, Subcommittee on Communications, Tor- berl H. MacDonald, chairman, 2125 Rayburn Office Building, Washington, D. C., 20511 Lee F. Blodgett 505 Tenth avenue Marion Flag -wave To Ihe Editor: Concerning amnesty [or those who fled to Canada to stay out of the draft during the Vietnam war: 1 do not know if we should have been there, but our country felt we should and called upon our young men to defend what our country felt was right. I sent a son and son-in-law over, and another son had stateside duty. They didn't question if it was righl or wrong but went because their country called. Proud of being Americans, they didn't run but served our country. Anyone who is proud to be an American should do what is asked. If not, he should leave but then not come back after il is over and ask for amnesty. If this sounds as if I am waving our flag, I am. I thank heaven I'm an American. Patricia R. Williams 2051 Shorewood drive NE Atonement To the Editor: Recent election results from heavy Republican districts in Michigan and Ohio clearly indicate the Grand Old Party has devised a face-saving procedure for all disenchanted Republicans lo follow. Having spent months underground meditating, they appeared grateful for the chance lii emerge and absolve their iMililical sins in Hie voting buulli. l.iinuu apparently gave (hem ample lime lo re-examine fruits of their labor, m particular (heir role in i-oulributiiiK lu the delinquency of voters in 'US and Ti As a result of Ibat binge, they are uver with a protege who is still fUMIins while Ihey bi.rn. Perhaps it's a bit premature lt> lell what effect Ihe coming-out party vvilj have un others who were exposed lu Ihe same bug. However, one (him: is per- fectly clear: thoughtful people from Ford and Taft country, in their charily, have provided an escape hatch for all who would care lo have Ihe light of reason shine upon them. II now becomes a matter of great con- cern whether Republicans and (heir buddy Democrats will sponsor streaking, thereby leaving Iheir former idol to slowly Iwisl and turn. .I..I. Barley 1 HIS Thirteenth street NW Girl Scouts To the Editor: What a low blow to open the Sunday (March 10) Gazette and see a full-page picture spread on Camp Fire activities. I am not a Camp Fire Girl hater, and it was a marvelous presentation, but that day was National Girl Scout Sunday. 1 searched Ihe rest of the pages for a. Girl Scout mention but found only four pictures of Horizon Girls, plus four of Eagle Boy Scouts. It must have seemed a slap in the face to the hundreds of Girl Scouls in Cardinal Council. Please tell me it was an oversight or.'_ poor timing on your part, and I'll forgive.; I'm sure you can make it up to "Equal representation" is what I'm cry- ing for. I" Happy birthday. Girl Scouts. Dorothy Klinkhammer 4041 Soutter avenue SE (Editor's note: Due to the volume of flub and organizational news' published in The Gazerte, it is virtually impossible for Ihe women's .section staff lo solicit each group's "news" events. The staff relies on organizations' publicity chair- men or public relations departments for word of special or newsworthy evenfs. To date no notices have come from Cardinal Council concerning Girt Scout activities in celebration of Girl Scout week.) 'Pueblo' special To the Editor: I have just finished watching the television special, It is one of the most moving and informative programs I have ever seen. Many people remember the news, coverage when the U.S.S. Pueblo was captured, but unfortunately, most of them have forgotten the incident or merely pushed it aside in their memory. I commend the efforts of all who took part in the presentation of this television special. Congratulations also to ABC for producing an outstanding television special. I feel sorry for any person who switched to another channel and missed this outstanding documentary of what took place during the capture of the Pueblo and the imprisonment of its crew. Debra Foley B40 Sixteenth avenue SW Heart help To Ihe Editor: The Cedar Rapids alumnae group nf Alpha Phi sorority wishes to express its thanks to the merchants who allowed us to sell lollipops in Iheir places of business during this year's lollipop drive. Special Ihanks go to those who took an active interest in the project. As a result of these merchants' cooperation and help, Alpha Phi will purchase Ihree mannequins for use in cardiac pulmonary resuscitation train- ing, a technique of mouth-to-mouth res- piration and external heart massage. Carol A. Browne 2161 Larry drive NE Chairman, Alpha Phi Heart drive New sound undermines musicianship Some music charms By Don Oakley MODKKN classical music drives you up the wall, you say. Give a Ihuughl to the people who have to play it. Cacophonous contemporary classical music can produce protracted nervous and other ailments among musicians, a recent sludy in Wesl Germany found. Mozart and the like, however, tend lo soothe, the frayed nerves of orchestra and audience alike. Two Frankfurt psychiatrists made a study of 208 professional musicians in Ihree orchestras. firsl played con- temporary music exclusively, (he second some mokes you sick occasionally and the third practically never. The study reports lhat afler rehearsing cerlain modern works, the entire orchestra felt ill. On the oilier hand, Ihe musicians fell increasingly beller Ilin more they played the older classical works. Of those musicians who oflen or mainly played modern music, 82 percent were nervous, 81 percent'Irritable and (12 per- cent quarrelsome. Some 31) percent suf- fered from sleeplessness and 22 percent from headaches, earaches and depres- sions. A good number complained of diarrhea, pains in the heart or impo- lencv. One explanation Ihe psychiatrists of- fered for the psychical distress caused by modern music is (hat: "Musicians arc disappointed because they are unable lo apply everything Ihcy have learned ar- tistically. "This is coupled with Ihe feeling of sinking Inlo un anonymous mass in which Individual abilities are neither applicable, or audible, nor required. This casts doubt on the entire meaning of Iheir long'and strenuous much for modern classical music. What we need now Is a similar sludy of Ihe effects of rock music on players and listeners. Doctors have already warned lhat the hhrill decibel level of rock music can cause hearing impairment. What (ho relentless, Incessant, pounding heat of nick does to the human psyche Is a question that is long overdue'for inves- tigation. Nowwimr Cnlornrlw Atuclolion Zapped Thanks lo jogging, more people tm now collapsing In perfect health than ever before. I'D fmil [i Prfiurim   

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