Cedar Rapids Gazette, May 7, 1974, Page 9

Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette May 7, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - May 7, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa The (Velar Rapids Gazette: Til ex., May 7, 1974 Indians Cite Tama Problems 'PAMA Approximately 40 of the Sac and Fox tribal colin* Indians, among them reprised-!cil were present. They would be talives of the American Indian I given an opportunity to express Movement (AIM), attended a-themselves if any were there. meeting of the Tama city coun-; cil Monday night and asked, (“What arc you going to do about treatment of Indians in Tama?” , “Several Indians here have [complained to headquarters of AIM about the treatment they get here,” said Harvey Major,1 president of the Des Moines chapter of AIM who was spokesman for the group. “They have our full support,”jof protest without violence that Major said. “AIM will not toler-    may be    used, such as    shutting ate abuse to Indians here, par-    off (he    railroad    and    highway ticularly racism, bigotry and    through    the Indian    settlement or Bear said the tribal council does not seem to he concerned with what goes on in town. Austin Leaf of the settlement said they were invited to come hut they did not. “They are only concerned with what is within the boundaries of the settlement. The people here come to town every day,” Leaf said. Major cited various methods HARVEY MAJOR, right, American Indian Movement spokesman from Des Moines, addressed the at its meeting Monday night. Photo by John Sneer Tama city council Wellman Parents Protest School Dates VV BLUMAN •— Approximately 65 to 70 parents were present at the Mid Prairie school board meeting Monday evening to present a petition requesting a change in the fall school opening date. Soil Found Unsuitable For Building INDEPENDENCE—Plans for an industrial park to be located in southwest Independence were recently curtailed after soil samples revealed the land would not be suitable to hold foundations used for industrial type buildings. Announcement of the selection of another parcel of land is expected possibly later this week by the Industrial Development Corp., according to President Paul Greif. In January the corporation announced plans to buy a 74 acre tract of land from the Greenley Development Corp. at $1,500 an acre. Final negotiations on the contract had not been completed, awaiting the results of the soil samples. A new firm. Stealgard, Inc., which will employ about 60 persons, had announced plans to build on the industrial park. An official of the firm Tuesday said the company intends to erect its 32.000 square foot building at the new location, yet to be announced. Business men and other area residents had raised over $100,000 on a loan basis to the development corporation for the construction of an industrial park. Tom Jirsa, rural Kalona, representing the Mid Prairie parents, offered an alternative date of Aug. 26, to replace the Aug. 22, date set by the school officials., The petition which had been circulated earlier, was offered to the board in evidence that of 509 responses, 427 voted for the change of date. Expresses Surprise Board member l,ogan Reif, Kalona, expressed surprise that this many people could get together on this subject, when more important things like recent salary increases and elementary school improvements don’t generate any interest. Following the presentation of the petition, Jirsa requested “an answer before we disburse.” The board then suggested an alternative date of Aug. 28, a week later than the set date with the school possibly closing in June. At this point members of the audience rose to object. Compact Year Claiming the later closing date would interfere with farm work, Bible school, camps and job opportunities, a suggestion was offered from the floor that the school year be compacted to insure students of full summer j vacation. Board members were then called upon for their personal response to the petition. They' were in general agreement of a date change. Another compromise was offered. An opening date of Aug. 28, a closing date of May 30, with the school administration being allowed to adjust the vacations during the school year. With this compromise, there would be no significant change in the number of days involved. Agreement An impromptu poll was taken in the audience. It indicated agreement with the offer. The new school dates were put to a vote of the board and approved. Jirsa said there were numerous reasons for the requested change asking for a later opening date. The major concerns were that to the parents’ knowledge, several surrounding schools had set a later starting date and that with the Aug. 22 date there would be “innumerable inconveniences,” such as interruption of late summer activities. The parents also questioned validity of starting school on Thursday instead of Monday. The board responded that teachers generally feel Thursday is a better starting day because students can become oriented and difficulties can be worked out before the full school week begins. Citizens’ Committee Upon suggestion by the board president, Warren Schaefer, a motion was presented that the board and the superintendent of school appoint a citizens committee to meet with school officials in the future, especially at the beginning of the year when the calendar is made. The motion was unanimously approved. In other action the hiring of three instructors was approved. One is Peter J. Spoden, Tipton, high school boys and Wellman elementary physical education instructor and head boys baseball arx? basketball coach. discrimination.” Major spoke of the altercation between Indians and white men on Tama’s main street last summer. “The assailants went unpunished or got very little. It is time the law stepped in and did something about Fie motorcycle gang that terrorizes Indian people or we will do it for you,” Major told the city council. “Mesquakie people asked us to come here and we will support them in every way. It will |be a long hot summer,” Major (said. Other AIM representatives at the meeting were Aaron Two Elk, Cedar Rapids, state coordinator for AIM, and Nathan Bear, formerly of the Mesquakie Indian settlement here, a member of the state AIM board now, living in Des Moines. Mayor James Sorensen pre-( sided at the council meeting and said he had a letter from Jimmie Ward of the Indian settlement, Major, Bear and Debby Youngbear, Tama, saying the group would come to the meeting. Councilwoman Cleo Melsai asked the group if any members shutting businesses, w h i c h might hurt the Tama people. Major told the council about an Indian who was told after he drank three beers in a tavern in ■ Tama that he wouldn’t be I served any more beer because I he had had enough to drink. “This is an insensitive commu-| nity. And we are going to meet ; with Toledo too,” he said. When he asked the city council, “A tavern license can be j yanked, can’t it?”, he was told .the city council cannot because I the state had the authority. A Tama man was denied a license by the city council but he went to the state and obtained the license, a councilman told Major, Councilman Richard Bumes told the group that efforts are being made to curb the motorcycle outfit. “If you have any suggestions in regard to this, we are open to hear them,” Burnes said Shortly before the group left, Major a n n o u n c e d , “Seems the city council is powerless. We are wasting our time here. Thank you for your time anyway. We will leave and caucus.” After the meeting, Mayor Sorensen said he would be glad to talk to any of the AIM spokesmen at any time regarding Indian problems. “I will attempt to resolve any difficulties or misunderstandings,” Sorensen said Before the meeting and three times during the meeting, Sorensen announced that the meeting was being taped, as is the custom at council meetigs. TEEN LINE An additional private line ends frayed tempers, missed calls. Order from your telephone business office orask any telephone employee. Northwestern Bell Weapons Charge COUNCIL BLUFFS (UPI) -One worker was arrested Monday for carrying a concealed weapon, and several rock-throw-| ing incidents took place at the Becfland International packing plant where workers were strik-j ing in nearly full force. Police said Ollie James Davis, Omaha. was booked for carrying a con-' eealed weapon in a sack on the front seat of his car while driving to work. Pickets apparently! notified police of the gun. 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  • Debby Youngbear
  • Harvey Major
  • James Sorensen
  • Nathan Bear
  • Ollie James Davis
  • Peter J. Spoden
  • Tom Jirsa
  • Warren Schaefer

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Issue Date: May 7, 1974

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