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Cedar Rapids Gazette: Saturday, April 13, 1974 - Page 16

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - April 13, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                'He had a healthy Editorial Page Sohjidoy.Ap.il 12, 1974 Background for zoning ORDINARY zoning-change proposals seldom need dis- cussion in this space because their impact will be limited and very few draw general attention. Now and then a rare one comes along with wider interest and impor- tance, such as the current proposal for expansion of com- mercial zoning on what would become a major regional shopping center on more than 80 acres in southwest Cedar Rapids. The next four weeks or so will bring this controversial matter to a head through public-hearing city-council channels after earlier involvement of the city planning commission. Some principles of zoning as a force in urban life are worth reviewing in advance to anchor the debate on solid under- standing for both sides of the is- sue. The most important principle may be that good zoning and good economics are two different things. Good zoning, as delineated in state law, must be designed to do these things specifically: Promote health and the general welfare. Prevent the overcrowding of land. Avoid undue concentration of population. Secure safety from fire, panic and-other dangers. Lessen street congestion. Provide adequate light and air. Facilitate the adequate provision of trans- portation, water, sewerage, schools, parks and other public improvements. Good zoning also has to give express consideration to: The character of the area slated for certain kinds of zoning. Its peculiar suitability for particular uses. Encouragement of the land's most appropriate use. Conserva- tion of building values. Good zoning, in other words, combines a suitable kind of use for property at a suitable location. The economic feasibility of this is not intrinsic in that blend of suit- abilities. Good economics in relation to a zoning situation, on the other hand, encompasses a lot of things with which the law does not con- cern itself. Where major changes are occurring, will they be finan- cially sound? Will the investment pay-off? What effects will it produce on other elements of a community's economy? How good a zoning is depends on use in relation to place. How good a zoning's economics are depends on aspects such as size, scope, degree and likely impact on existing elements of other zoning elsewhere, along with their reciprocal effects. This facet of the pending proposition seems likely to become a central issue in the judgment to be passed. In scope, the shopping center project as proposed would add an enormous increment of some 1.1 million square feet of commercial property to the Cedar Rapids- Marion business community. Whether that weighs out as good or bad in economic terms is what the whole community should now look into and find out. T DOESN'T take the wisdom of Solomon to see that a con- victed cheater, embezzler or bad- check writer has more right to go unfettered than a person guilty of a violent offense. Somehow, though, many American judges have lost sight of this rudimentary truth. The trend has been no- ticeable in Eastern Iowa. So it was surprising to observe this week that a defendant aiming for probation on a child-beating count was sent instead to the state reformatory for men. Judge Harold Victor of Linn district court decided that the man would not be placed on probation, des- pite the fact that his earlier plea of guilty (to assault with intent to inflict great bodily injury) was based on a plea-bargaining agreement with the county attor- ney: probation recommended if psychiatric treatment is accepted. The judge said the guilty plea could be withdrawn, but the Way with words defendant did not respond. Meanwhile, the three-year-old child the defendant's stepson has been moved to a different home. As seasoned court observers have noticed, the case's outcome was a switch in the usual routine. Customarily, it's the prosecutor who pushes for a jail term and the judge who favors probation. (There is nothing here to suggest the county attorney was remiss, however, since the psychiatric- care provision would have en- tailed close surveillance by authorities.) This is not to argue that-the sentenced man is especially deserving of a one-year prison stretch. Nor does the case show landmark dimensions. The point is that the Linn district's chief judge has departed markedly from the norm. One wonders: Did it also drop a hint to fellow judges? By Theodore M. Bernstein SUITING the word to the fashion. A recent ad for Wallachs, clothiers in the New York area, said thai (he word suit had been overworked. "Because of the clothing industry's meager the ad said, "the word suit has been used to define every conceivable combination of multi-purpose, mix-and- match garments, including ski-tuitf, resort-suits and jump-suits. It can only be a matter of time before pajamas become bedsuits." The Menswear Retailers of America at a meeting in Dallas faced the question of what to call the traditional two- or three-piece thing that a man wears to the office and came up with the designation suit-suit. Then-the writer of the ad (presumably the veteran Les Pearl) said that the new designation "will also lend weight to the arguments of those who contend that our language, far from ex- panding, is rapidly contracting into a form of universal pigeon." About that last statement there is room for dissent. The language is unques- tionably expanding. All you need do lo confirm this is to take a look at the 512- page Barnhart Dictionary of New English Since 1963. Of pigeon there is, lo be sure, a plenitude in that book, but there is an even greater abundance of scientific, astronautical, linguistic, sociological, governmental and diploma- tic terms. And most of these terms fill the needs of a society of growing complexity. Theodore M. Bernstein Sound word. As noted here before, this column is more interested in the written word than in the voiced word (though we at least know enough about pronunciation not to have wrillen the woiced But Pauline Green of Philadelphia raises a question that other people often ask, so it will be answered briefly. She wants lo know whether the pronunciation ahn- velope for the word envelope is an affec- tation. The answer is no. Dictionaries give both pronunciations, though they seem to be unanimous in pulling Ihe en- pronun- ciation first. What you use probably depends merely upon what Ma and Dad used, and lhal goes for Ihem, too. Word oddities, The word pigeon more often spelled pidgin refers to a corrupted form of language. Originally it was a commercial jargon that originated in the Far East. The word, first used in the phrase pidgin English, was a Chinese perversion of the word business. Now York Times Syndicate The people's forum Innocence valued By William Safire WASHINGTON In President Nixon's news summary one morn- ing this week the story causing dismay and outrage was a summary of an article in The New Republic entitled "Ford's by John Osborne. Osborne, a shoeleather reporter who has earned his reputation for integrity, prefaces his account with a classic as- sertion of the "Lindiey rule" about nonaftribution: "This report is presented solely on my authority, and readers will just have to assume and-believe that I haven't made it up out of nothing." Then Vice-president Gerald Ford's in- nermost thoughts are revealed. As President, he would certainly keep Secretary of State Kissinger and proba- bly fire Secretary of Defense Schlesinger. He would bring back Treasury' Secretary George Shultz, hold on to Secretaries Brenrian, Morton and Lynn, and perhaps let Secretary of Transportation Brinegar go. The "new Haldeman" at the White House would either be L. William Seid- man or Philip Buchan, both cronies from Grand Rapids. Counselor Bryce Harlow William Safire would be retained and Press Secretary Ziegler dumped. Official gagwriter would be Bob Orbin, who has impressive credentials from Red Skelton. The crowning touch: "The hours that he's had to spend wilh Ihe writes Osborne, "mostly listening lo Mr. Nixon talk about Ihis and lhat, have on a few occasions driven Ihe vice-president close to distraction. He's brought himself recently to break off their conversations A few diehards might consider it un- seemly for the vice-president to be con- fiding his plans for the assumption of power while the body of the sitting President is still warm. Reached by telephone, the vice- president admits to being Ihe source of most of Ihe story but adds that he thought he was talking off the record during a flight from Florida lo Washington, D.C. The cabinet changes are "generally my he says, but the crack about the presidential .conversations dislresses him: "1 gel somewhat embarrassed lhat I'm taking loo much of his Ford explains. "I know he's busy, and I don't want lo sit there until he throws me out. Thai's what I meant, ,and it was exaggerated considerably." Evidently the vice-president confused "deep which can be used without attribution, with "off the which cannot he used at all. Kvcn so, his willingness lo play cabinet Scrabble with reporters he says Os- borne was not the first is hardly in good taste. This episode follows Ford's denuncia- tion of the 1972 Nixon campaign or- ganization as "an arrogant, elite guard of political adolescents." (Familiar phraseology: whal happened lo "ef- The purpose of lhat blast was to remove Republicans, and professional politicians as a class, from any Water- gate lainl: Blame the .damned "ama- leurs." Let us counl the re-election committee amateurs: John Mitchell had previously run a national presidential campaign; Fred Larue had served as Mississippi's Republican national committeeman for six years; Maurice Stans was Eisenhower's budget director and the most experienced political fundraiser exlant. Each of those professional politicians has much to answer for, but not for being wet behind the ears. A "citizen's opera- tion" separate from the party organiza- tion was not only traditional but neces- sary because party rules make it impos- sible lo organize a campaign until after its convention officially designates a candidate. By trying to tag criminal acts of some individuals onto an entire class of poli- tical activists Ford called Ford hoped to shore up the self-esleem of elected officials or party leaders, but it will not whitewash. The blanket condemnation of Nixon's campaign committee, with its con- comitant cnshrinement of party wheelhorses as the guardians of virtue, is both foolish and dangerous. Over 500 fulltimc workers in the Committee for the Re-election of Ihe President, includ- ing 100 volunteers, who did nothing venal and are accused of nothing, find them- selves unfairly stigmatized. Try to keep a job in government with "CREEP" emblazoned on your record; good people who are being hounded out of jobs think it ill becomes the vicc- presidenl lo exhort their persecutors. In both his finger-pointing and his predictions of how he would reshuffle the cabinet and White House, Ford betrays a lack of understanding of the uniqueness of his role: He is the first vice-president in American history whose own actions could help moke him President. He must be at once loyal and indepen- dent; both his own man and the President's man; a defender uncorrupted by Ihe defense. This duality requires more political skill than we have recently seen in Ford. He will miss the brass ring if he grabs al it. To press audiences, Ihe vice-president likes to tell about driving past Ihe While House al night and being reminded thai "if you worked here, you'd be home already." Good joke; a little levity is not out of place. But in the larger mailers of under- slanding one's own dual responsibilities as heir and not prclender, secmliness is nexl to godliness. New York Times Service To the Editor: This is in reference to Mr. Canton- wine's letter April 7 stating: "When a doctor removes a cancer by surgery he must remove some of the good flesh to get all the cancer. By the same token we. must not be afraid to convict an innocent man 1 percent of the time to get all the guilty." There is simply no correlation between a surgical operation and the taking of an innocent man's life. Mr. Cantonwine is only repeating what Dr. Goebbels spewed out as spokesman for Adolf Hitler when Hitler needed an excuse for the massacre of entire towns such as Lidice. It must be a great feeling to know one is so perfect that one can never commit these crimes one reads aboui. I wonder what Mr. Cantonwine's feelings would be if he were mistakenly identified for someone else and arrested for a crime he didn't commit? Would he still want Ihe innocent to be convicted because, as he says, "it is necessary to restore respect for the law and' protect law-abiding No, instead of making holier-than-thou statements when we read about a crime, it is far better to say, "There, but for the grace of God, go I." Wayne Bpthea 2050 Glass roid NE Youthviews To Ihe Editor: As a teacher at Prairie high school, I have asked my U.S. Politics students to assess one aspect of the social, political or economic situation today. Here are Ihe opinions of tomorrow's decision-makers. Mark Towers 3003 Bramble road SW (Editor's note: Excerpts from a number of the letters follow.) I feel that police taking lie detector tests is unconstitutional. The Constitution provides Ihe same protection to police as -it does lo the rest of the public. Karen Ammeter Swisher The supreme court's latest ruling on pornography and obscenity is utterly and undeniably a mockery of justice in America. The ruling was so vague and incomprehensible, it's ridiculous. William Church Ely I can't understand why these Cedar Rapids police officers could have so much pride as to not take a lie detector test when they're not guilty of dishonesty, taking bribes, search and seizure, etc. What have they got to lose? Terrie Frieden Route 1, Fairfax The taxpayers should not have to pay to keep murderers alive in prisons. 1 Ihink the death penalty should be brought back in our laws. Carol Frondlc 4420 Bowling street SW. 1 say abortions are legalized murder because abortion is (he destroy- ing of a life. The life lhal is being des- troyed may not be a physical life at Ihe time, but if left untouched would become a human life. Dan Green Route 2, Cedar Rapids To me abortion is killing and should be outlawed excepl in exlreme cases where Ihe molher's life is in danger Jeff Hamilton 3627 Colorado drive SW It is hard for me lo believe lhat the gas shortage is aulhentic when there are oil tanks in Kansas and Oklahoma full of oil and tankers off the coast of the U.S. wailing lo unload their oil Mark Johnson Route 1, Swisher The front put up by the govern- ment on the gas shortage was a good thing because it cut down traffic ac- cidents, but that was the only good thing about it. Dawn Mitchell 5700 Ohio street SW Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are ex- traordinary possibilities in ordinary people. Harry Emerson Fosdick What is there for us lo do in Cedar Rapids besides going to a movie or trying our luck at a bar? What we need is some kind of recreation hall supported by taxes. A few pool tables, pinball machines and a fountain would be adequate. Randy Myers Route 1, Ely I feel the death penalty should be rein- slated in Iowa. The people who do this stuff are still running loose or get out of prison on good behavior. Mark Paul 5525 Vermont street SW I feel that the resignation of President Nixon is a necessity to our political society, to equal out the power of political parties. If he were to resign now, maybe by the next presidential election the Republicans' power as a political party could be restored. Pete Randies 68 Devonwood avenue SW We already have a crooked govern- ment and we certainly don't need a crooked police force. I would like to know why some of our police officers are so much against taking lie detector tests. What is it they are hiding? Cristal Richardson Route 1, Ely Private schools seem to have ji much harder curriculum than public Tchools do. More history, English and foreign languages are taught. Graduates have a much better chance of getting hired for a job if they have had a parochial educa- tion. College seems much easier to al- most any of them who go. I don't really think this is fair to the rest of us who aren't Catholic or don't have enough money to go to a private school. Nancy Shakespeare -Fairfax Many of my classmates believe thai the government in Iowa should bring back the death penalty, but I do not. Often there is something very wrong mentally with criminals, and they should be helped, but not let go. Prisons should do something useful with these people by pulling Ihem lo work. Vernon Wallers 566 Cornell slreet SW My view of the polilical situation of our country is very poor. Watergate has completely disrupted the trust and con- fidence thai Ihe nation's political system once held. Caroline Wolfe 300 J street SW I believe thai murderers should and must be punished and withdrawn from society where they can do more harm than good. However, I do not feel that they should be punished by death. Is it just to tell a man il is wrong to kill his fellow man and then in return kill him as punishment? Joyce Elaine Young 5130 Ohio streel SW Misquoted To the Editor: And so "The Gazelle regrets this error" in a insert in the next edition of the paper. I am referring to The Gazette's misquoting Harold Sullivan, a Democratic nominee for the Second congressional district candidacy, as being pro-abortion when he is, in fact, pro-life. I wonder how many votes he losl on that misquote. Mine, for certain if I had not been involved closely enough to be shocked inlo disbelief and therefore to check further. I might never have seen lhal liny correclion. What I am suggesting is that there be a special place for corrections in your paper, thai (hey be in very bold, eye- catching print that we may know where we can turn directly lo see what gross errors and misquotes may be turned around the nexl day. Aborlion, one of Ihe biggesl issues of Ihe day, is not an issue one wants to be misquoled on. Pal Halslead Route 3, Marion Reread To the Editor: I would urge that readers get out The Gazette of March 30 or borrow il from a neighbor or even buy Ihe back copy, then reread the Forum letter on the lower corner of the editorial page by Derald D. Hafner then give the ideas some serious thought and then wrile or do somelhing about it. This is not to underestimate the Wa- tergate affair, but consider seriously "the acceptance of (he disastrous foreign and domestic policies" and "what's be- ing done to the Constitution, indepen- dence and free enterprise." All this is accepted. Foreign trade with communist coun- tries was to have been avoided, but that is not true. Some of this trade was and is being used to kill American and Ihis also results in shortages and high prices. There's lots more. I am just calling the letter to people's attention in case they missed it. Marie Wokoun 838 Fifteenth slreel SE To the Editor: Is nothing sacred anymore? Motherhood has been sacked by women's libbers, and now your editorial (Out of April 9) has deemed the playing of the National Anthem at sporting events as a "cobwebbed old custom" and inappropriate. I hope you choke on your next piece of apple pie. Coleen Carberry Ncwlmll   

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