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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - March 21, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Editorial Page Thursday, March 21, 1974 Milestone near ONE TIMELY proof of liberty's remarkable longevity in the fledgling nation that declared its independence in 1776 is that everyone now on the scene is free to mark the fast-approaching bicentennial in any way he likes or turn his back and sit it out. A wide diversity of plans and gestures keyed to the observance less than two years hence has un- derscored the free-choice nature of the thing. The options run from high-ambition community ven- tures (noted for their paucity so far) to private-gain ideas cashing in on the occasion (sniped at more and more of late as "cheap com- Accordingly: You can attempt to make, a bundle by marketing T-shirts decorated with a revolutionary motif and strong on the figure 200. You can get in gear to clean up big with beer-mug souvenirs of the occasion. You can go a little higher-class and capitalize on a thoughtfully developed new demand for early American furniture. You can shoot still higher, with esthetics, through an offering of six china plates adorned with scenes from Winslow Homer paintings, per set. You can even honor patriotic- spirit (and the ample bank ac- count) with high-quality reproductions of George Washington's sword, pet- item. OR you can, as broader- thinking bands of citizens in places such as Cedar Rapids have begun to do, approach the bicen- tennial with other values on your mind: Forge lasting friendships worldwide through a system for private-home visits by traveling, plain-people guests from abroad. Work up entertainments, shows or'happenings in which today's performers of the arts will bring the anniversary to life for anybody sensitive to once-per-lifetime meanings in the time. Promote the building of a tan. gible and versatile facility that marks the date and shows the spirit but will serve the multi- tudes tomorrow too, something that the whole community can use for years to come. It's a free country, you know. We call our own shots, together or alone, one by one. What's yours? Nixon standing dips another two points By Louis Harris The Harris Survev PRESIDENT Nixon's over-all standing with the American people has now slumped to his all-time low of 26 percent positive as against 71 percent negative. In February, Mr. Nixon stood at 29 per- cent positive.in the Harris Survey. These latest figures reflect the reactioii of the public to (lie President'aflerthe spate of indictments against his: former: close aides in cases connected with the. Watergate affair. However, when asked if he should resign, the verdict was 47-44 percent op- posed lo his taking-such a move, with 9 percent-unable lo make up their minds. On the other hand, when asked if they would "respect President Nixon more if he resigned from office lo allow Vice- president Ford lo lake over in his place in an act of national a narrow plurality, 42-39 percent, agreed. Thus, the net status of public opinion is thai a majority of Americans has not yet decided Richard Nixon should leave the White House, although his standing with the people .has been sinking week by week recently to new lows. Here is the trend to the question on the President's job rating, measured regularly in the Harris Survey, this lime in a national survey of households between March 3 and 7: "How would you rote the job President Nixon is doing as President excellent, .preHy good, only fair, or Should Should not March, 1 974 February January November, 1973 October September August July June May 43 36 31 28 22 22 14 47 45 47 47 50 56 63 ..66 62 75 9 11 9 10 14 13 9 .12 16 I 1 II is apparent that the public would prefer to see the wheels of justice work "their way in the impeachment proceed- ings now underway before Hie house judiciary committee rather than lo have the President voluntarily resign from of- fice. However, it should he pointed nut Louis Harris March, 1974 26 February .......29 January 30 November, 1973 37 32 32 32 42 October...... September August July......... June May March February 47 50 59 60 Nega- tive 71' 68 68 61 64 65 65 54 49 49 49 39 39 that during the period from" last November to March of this year Mr. Nixon has reiteraled on many occasions that he would never resign from office. "The 47 percent who expressed opposi- tion to the President's resigning shrank to 39 percent when the question was put to the cross-section in a somewhat different way. People were asked: "Would you respect President Nixon more or less if he resigned from the office of President to allow Vice-president Gerald Ford to take over as President in an act of notional Respect Nixon more Respect him less Not sure 42 39 19 45 31 24 Mr. Nixon's over-all rating on his job as President has been steadily downward since January, and is completely the reverse of lasl March, when he slood at 59-39 percent positive. Significantly, only a year ago no more than 39 percent of the public gave him negative marks. In this survey, the number who rated him negatively was 71 percent; and those who answered "poor" were 45 percent. Significantly, not only do voters who cast their ballots for him in 1972 rate him negatively, 54-44 percent, but now, for the first time, (he raling of rank-and-file Republicans is also negative by 51-40 percent. Nonetheless, the number of Americans who think the President should resign has not changed slalislically in three months. Successive cross-sections have been asked: "In viow of what hat happened in the Watergate affair, do you think Pretident Nixon should reiign or Just at the time he was assuming the office of vice-president. Gerald Ford ap- peared to many as a viable alternative to Mr. Nixun. That number has not grown since, although a 42-39 percent plurality would still like to see a change in the White House before the President's term expires. The 42 percent who say they wanl lo see (his change take place is al- most identical with (he 44 percent who say Mr. Nixon should resign because of Watergate. President Nixon appears to have lost a majority in the country who think he should remain in office. But neither Is there a majority ready lo say he should leave the While House, either through resignation or impeachment. In these uncertain circumstances, his over-all standing wilh the people has now reached its lowest point since he entered the office of President in 1968. Chkriuo Trlbiine Mow York Hows Svnrilcolc Reinforced Man cannot live on bread alone, lift needs peanut butter, loo. Election issue March 26: Should Cedar Rapids grant a franchise for cable television now? "Shall the city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, grant to Community Cable Com- pany of CsaW Rapids, on Iowa cor- poration, o fifteen (15) year nonexclusive franchise authorizing the use of public streets and grounds for the installation and operation of a ca- ble communications system within the corporate limits of the city of Cedar Rapids? THOSK 52 words a special-election ballot confronting the voters next Tuesday represent Hie full extent uf what they have a voice in judging on the mat- ter of a first-time cable television taste for Cedar Rapids. One more word "yes" ur "no" from a simple majority after the counting will write the slory for what follows: A city-council handled ordinance to firm up the bargain, then a launching of con- struction on the privately-owned en- terprise or longer waiting for another cable TV plan to face the same sort uf test, as sooner or later it certainly will. This one. came to next week's ballot on the strength of a petition engineered by CABLE TV offers viewers a larger selection :of programs than the broadcast outlets provide. In this case, there would be the four main stations locally received (channels 2, 7, 9 and 12) plus two Chicago stations (VVGN and Capacity for 20 channels would be guaranteed. Channels also would be made accessi- ble without charge for public-service use. At least: One for education, open to local schools and colleges. One for all branches and agencies of city govern- ment. One for; general public program- ming on a noridiseriminatory, first-come, first-served basis. One for FM radio. One for printed weather information and other news. Free time also would be made availa- ble to candidates for public Cable.TV has improved reception quality, unaffected by weather. The system would provide a capability for two-way communication (subscribers being able to send signals as well as privacy protection, (no subscriber transmissions without one's permission) also would be guaranteed. Cable TV would Bring revenue In the city government in this case, as proposed, 3 percent of the gross subscriber receipts on top of regular property taxes. The system would represent an estimated investment pf about million and would generate additional employment opportunities in Cedar Rapids. The operation would be locally-owned and controlled, not a profit-siphon for outside interests. A franchise-transfer would be permissible only with city approval. When it comes to nailing down specifics of a franchise ordinance to let the system operate, the1 city council has committed itself to a painstaking, careful procedure: It will look at ordinances in other cities, find out what have been the major problems, check closely with the FCC, open the process to input from the public and the cable TV company, and come up with a sound arrangement that serves everybody's interests satisfac- torily. Subscribing is completely voluntary. ,No one has to pay for the service if he doesn't want the service. Cable TV has a strong potential for serving subscribers in many ways besides the sound-and-picture capability that is cable TV's essence: now. This would start Cedar Rapids on the track to high-promise opportunities for the fu- ture. People's forum Overvolted To the Editor: Your friendly Iowa Electric Light and Power Co. likes to save you energy? Incredible, If IE really likes to help as its judicious, monopoly-type advertising says, why has it been operating my line voltage above the legal limit of 127 volts since November, 1973, and after numerous calls has refused lo correct the .situation? Line voltage above the nominal. 121) volts wastes energy, reduces light-bull) life, utilises electrical appliances, increases the consumer's bill and incroascit lE's revenue. Nice for IK but trouble for the consumer. I wonder how ninny other areas are being overpowered and experiencing a In! of burnud-nul light bulbs? I suggest Unit and other power coinpnniu.s check all of tliulr line voltages and got Ilium Community Cable. The firm consists reportedly of 27 stockholders, almost all from Cedar Hapids, headed by a 12-per- son officer-director group of which the president is Perry Harris, Cable telex ision is an offshoot from the broadcast system which has pioneered all television to its present missive scope. Instead of reaching viewers via signals through the air, cable TV goes by wire strung from poles or underground directly In receivers in a network similar to telephones. The main advance from broadcast TV The Gazette's opinion Overdose of unknowns IF NEXT WEEK'S cable TV franchise vote-in Cedar Rapids turns out differently from 1972's .thumping rejection, it will be hard to put a finger on exactly why. Several key items in the new approach differ dras- tically from the earlier one. One big difference is that last time, outside owners spearheaded the proposal. This time, local ownership provides the push. Sixteen months ago a.heavy publicity splash sat- urated the -media concerning cable TV's pros and cons. This time, deliberate quiet on the promoters' part has elicited an equally quiet public response so far. Last time, the cable-franchise vote was part of a presidential election, pulling an exceptionally heavy turnout to the polls. This time the question stands alone. Presumably a relative handful of voters will render the judgment. On its first time up, the cable question also rested on a detailed ordinance proposal as part of the ballot.' That spelled out all facets of the would-be operation. Now the terms of what the public would be getting are not there at all. "Yes" or "no" to cable TV, period, is the extent of voters' say-so next week. It seems to us that this is the new proposition "s main flaw a critically disqualifying one. Does the public have enough assurance on the con- tents of the box to judge it fairly? Should the terms and conditions of cable TV be left altogether to'the city council's judgment in concert with the applicants? Is too much being left to faith and trust? Do people really know what they'll be buying? When doubt, uncertainty and chance surround a course of public action, usually it pays to wait. What's the rush? down lu the nominal 1211 volts and really help us save energy rather than only ad- vertising about saving energy. Charles Anema Hiawatha Impeachment grounds TII the Editor: If President Nixon in to be impeached it should he for the following reasons: The two most deadly enemies America and Christianity over had are Soviet Russia and Red China. Yet Mr. Nixon Is conslanlly engaged In strengthening both by every means In his power while the Constitution clearly defines the giving of aid and comfort to our nation's unemlos as treason. Ills "peace with honor" has nc- cuinpllshcd just the opposite of what we know pence (n be. He luis equipped mill financed bulli sides, cowluclod lliu war ,so as lo prevent any possibility of .winning, at the same lime destroying the will of the South Vietnamese lo defend them- selves, lie has accomplished a peace conducive to communist polemics; all opposition to communism has been crushed. The most outrageous of all Mr. Nixon's activities in destroy morality-In our country is his protection, support and encouragement of Mao Tso-lung and Chou En-lai. Their drug offensive In destroy our American youth now has monopoly on percent of all heroin grown and distributed In the world. But Hie must unceasing effort of Richard Nixon is to give the United Na- tions prexligu and military.might lo make il a one-world communist govern- ment. Mis goal is lo snrrunder U. S. sovereignly and the freedom of all Ainoricnns lulu the hands of such 11 worldwide tyranny as soon as possible. Mr. Nixon has spent more 'money wiistufully than liny olhur pursuit In human hlslory. One-fourth of our mi- is thai cable TV can transmit a lot more channels than the standard system does. The main departure from the broadcast system, economically, is that cable earns its from rentals paid by people who subscribe, instead of from the program sponsors who pick up all costs so everybody else can tune in free. Iowa already has some :ll urban cable systems operating now including nutlets in Dubuquo. Davenport, PI. Madison, Otlumwa, Keokuk and Betlen- dorf. A new one now is undergoing in- stallation in DOS Moines. Cedar Rapids' only previous exposure lo a cable ipiestion put the heavily ad- vertised proposal of General Electric an oulside firm, before the voters on Nov. 7. 1972. They knocked il down by almost 2 lo 1: 211.420 "no" lo "yes." This lime, very low-key publicizing lias moved the issue toward election day in an obvious reversal of the earlier approach. The following summations cover highlights of what little give-and- take has educated the electorate from either .side. WHATEVER its advantages may be, cable TV introduces one drastic change from conventional television: You pay to watch instead of watching free. The first cable application voted on here called for subscriber fees of a monlli, after free installation. The one now up would set Hie rate at SB a monlli (in- stallation The future can bring charges higher still, if city councilmen approve. Whether .pay'1 TV's development even- tually could squeeze oiil free TV and pul a price oil everything is not now known but worth some thought. Contrary to claims of interference-free picture quality, air-temperature ex- tremes sometimes do affect cable trans- mission and impair the output. Cable wires carried on existing utility poles (unless put underground where others are) create additional un- sighlliness. In mosl franchise elections, the ques- tion to the public includes a detailed or- dinance spelling out'-all; terms of the the 'people .know exactly .what they'll get and whal they're voting on.. This one merely.'asks! for "yes" or "ho" on a system built Whether the terms set forth in a tentative franchise ordinance materialize, or .something is wholly up to the city council, beyond the voters' control. This.leaves Far too much to faith, trusl and chance. .submitted originally, the ordinance has several features (hat are vague or open to dispute: System-growth promises do not define how annual extensions lo "25 percent of the city" would be measured. Confusion- prone renumborings of broadcast chan- nels when they go to cable sets is not prohibited. The limited underground-ca- ble requirements are not explicit enough. Neither are the terms for performance- proof before system operation or the scope of "production facilities" for public use. Again, the public has no voice directly in the contents of the deal. With a score of other cable TV firms slill interested in the Cedar Rapids market, there is no proof yet that this proposal is Ihe-besl available. Iowa's legislature is considering adop- tion of guidelines for cable TV develop- ment statewide. For uniformity and proper safeguards lo the public, these should have a chance lo lake effect before the city gels sewed in by hand lo lii years of cableslilching on its own. lional debt of billion has accrued under Nixon, whose budgets have ex- ceeded an incredible trillion. The plan is: "So to change the economic and political structure of lliu U. S. that It can be comfortably merged with other socialist nations under a one-world com- munist government." Mr. Nixon has been attempting to make the executive department supreme over the legislative and judicial branches of government. He makes war without authorization of congress. Ho has decreed executive regulations'like the occupational safely and health act and this, coupled with his wage and price controls and shortages at home, has pul (lovaslating brakes on our whole machinery of production and distribu- tion. If Ulclmrd'NIxon Is to lie impeached at all, II should hi! for all thai he has dune lo promote this "new world at an already-Incredible cost lo the welfare of our country, Thomas Corrura Hoiilii II, Marlon
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