Saturday, June 15, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - June 15, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa vCftlnr Un}ucb Editorial Page Saturday, Jan# 15, 1974 Truck route hassle IT WOULD require a heart of cold steel not to sympathize with livestock farmers and truckers who oppose Cedar Rapids’ new ordinance restricting truck traffic on Center Point road NP!. The specified route for livestock trucks heading southward to the Wilson and Co. plant — Collins road NE and First avenue — is much longer than the Center Point road journey, though the extra 45 minutes cited by livestock raisers seems an exaggeration. The trip also requires more fuel and no doubt boosts the air-pollution index. But the city council’s argument is rock solid this time: Once a two-way residential street and now a one-way arterial, Center Point road simply is not wide enough or strong enough structurally to take the beating heavy-truck traffic inflicts. To allow livestock shipments to travel the heavily-used roadway would be to invite danger and shorten pavement life. Also, the proposed exception for farm loads would discriminate against other truck drivers who similarly dislike the great circle routes ordained by the city council. As Safety Commissioner Steinbeck has observed, truek-route restrictions must be determined solely by vehicle weight. What everyone needs to remember in this latest urban-rural debate is that the real villain of the piece is Cedar Rapids’ lack of a modern inner-city beltline. Completion (the sooner the better) of interstate 380 should eliminate the bugaboo. Meanwhile, if farmers and truckers carry out their proposal to flout designated truck-route laws, public safety caretakers will have no choice but to issue tickets. Before this subject is mothballed, one other claim by dissenting farmers merits comment. This is the assertion that in these times of low meat-on-the-hoof prices, the truck trip around Robin Hood’s barn reduces livestock weight at a distressing average of one pound per critter. If that statistic proves out, look soon for legions of corpulent Cedar Rapidians to take rough, lurching truck rides along Collins road and First avenue. Still a ‘family’ show THE SHOW BUSINESS adage. “Family shows don’t pay,’’ has had vivid dramatization in Cedar Rapids where booking of films for a “family theater’’ has been taken over by a Des Moines-based firm noted for its exposition of adult films. “It’s still a ‘family’ theater,’’ insisted Rodney Davis, a partner in Davis Theaters, when this newspaper asked about the type of movies planned for Eastown I and II. Oh really, went the reply, then why was an X-rated flicker shown there in Mav? (Davis Theaters, which also has acquired ownership of the Twixt-Town drivein, assumed ^booking and buying duties at Eastown March 8.) Rechecking his schedule, Davis acknowledged that a sexploitation entry, “The Playmates’’, did indeed play at the family cinema. “We play whatever does money,’’ Davis explained, “and once in a while something special comes along Davis observed proudly that without his firm s management expertise, Eastown (still owned by Iowa Families) would not have landed “The Exorcist’’, the initial booking under Davis’ control. He repeated his statement that neither the indoor twin theater in Cedar Rapids nor the outdoor theater in Marion will show hardcore pornography such as shown at the theater in downtown Marion (acquired by Davis Theaters in 1970) and eight other Davis-owned skin-flick houses in Iowa. The irony of Davis’ entry into Cedar Rapids’ movie-scheduling picture will not escape those who followed the epic battle between the firm and the city council four years ago. During that affray, local partisans tended to view councilmen as good guys and theater people as satyrs. First the council declined to issue Davis a theater license — priced then (and now) at $5 annually. The council would have liked to charge perhaps $5,000. Then the city won the argument through refusal to grant a building remodeling permit. Following lengthy litigation, Davis set up shop in Marion where no one yet has mistaken fare such as “Animal Lovers’’ for the Tarzan series. While there is no evidence that the council has changed its opinion of porn-films, a renewal of battle is unlikely. For one thing, the firm has expanded impressively from its initial role as distributor of independently-produced adult films. According to Rod Davis, the company now owns more than 30 theaters in Iowa, Texas, Kansas and Illinois and manages buying and booking accounts at 60 others. And, as Davis emphasizes, only a handful specialize in hardcore pornography. All of which suggests that in keeping with the axiom. “The customer is the ultimate censor,” the erstwhile “family’’ theater here will show whatever promises to play best. Isn t it the truth? By Cart Riblet, jr No high politician can logically take offense when called a liar While many of them may never have told a lie until they gained office, they soon learned an important fact of politics: Truth is not where you find it. hut where you hide it. "Truth fears nothing save being hidden Latin proverb interOceon Pre** Syndicate Most of the false information carried by the press was fostered by the justice department. Also there is a document showing that top department of justice officials in Wounded Knee were in daily contact with the White House. It lists the names of Pentagon officials responsible for the military involvement in Wounded Knee A federal statute stipulates that in the presence of a civil disorder, a presidential proclamation is required. There’s no evidence of such a proclamation, thereby supporting the charge that the military encirclement of Wounded Knee was illegal. Also a bill has been introduced into congress to cut Indian education by 60 percent. Education is one of the main keys to our survival of their tactics. Anyone wishing to help support Indian people (monthly costs range from $25,OOO to $30,OOO) can send contributions to the Wounded Knee Legal Defense-Offense Committee, 333 Sibley street, Suite 605, St. Paul, Minn. 55101. Pete Stanislaw 5615 Colorado drive SW Yet the recreation commission (398-5065) has not seen fit to provide the leagues with qualified umpires for these games. The entry fee, paid by every team, is used to pay the umpires ($6 per game) so the teams expect some sort of quality from these officials. Insights The happiest miser on earth is the man who saves up every friend he can make. Robert E. Sherwood The earnings of both the worker and of money should be the same tax. All dishonest loopholes should be outlawed. The social security tax rate should be lowered, the employer relieved of any tax. Instead this lower rate should apply on the first dollar earned by labor and money and so on and up to the last iillion. This would make those who best can afford it pay most of the tax. The President did an unjust, stupid thing when he froze prices and wages but not interest and profits. F. D. Roosevelt ended the great depression by lowering interest to 4 percent, finding work for millions, shortening the work week to make more jobs, and starting CCC camps to reclaim land, stop erosion and work on conservation. The President and congress should follow Roosevelt’s actions, follow the preceding suggestions and restore security and prosperity. John Irwin Smith 839 Wellington street SE Eagerness to impeach dying out? By James J. Kilpatrick Washington - a great deal of murniuration continues in our town on this whole prospect of impeachment —• impeachment in theory, and impeachment in fact. For whatever it may bt* worth, my own impression is that the President's fortunes are looking better on either approach. Murmuration is the word used by birdwatchers for the noise made by a flock of starlings. The noun is more precisely defined as an act of murmuring, which is to say, the muttering of low complaints; grumbling. That is largely what we are doing now. For a variety of reasons, the movement to impeach Mr. Nixon and to oust him from office is losing its momentum. A great many members of congress would like to be shed of the President, but their ambition is now badly tangled in theory, fact, timing, politics, and human inadequacy. Instead of charging toward impeachment, the house is merely drifting toward impeachment. It is entirely possible that the house will never get there. No fireball Part of the trouble lies in leadership. The last time the house undertook to impeach a President, a century or so ago, a strong and implacable voice summoned the house to its duty. No such voice is audible on Capitol Hill today. Peter Rodino, chairman of the house judiciary committee, is not a Thaddeus Stevens nor was meant to be. Neither is there a zealot in the senate to match Charles Sumner, lf the impeachment movement were going anywhere, we ought to be hearing Catonian cries. Instead, we are hearing — murmuration. Another difficulty arises from a general confusion on the theory of impeachment. The leading theory, propounded by all the experts, is that when it comes to ousting a President, an “impeachable offense” is something broader than a “criminal offense.” But that theory causes great uneasiness. In the end, legal theories may count for less than political realities. Questions of theory provide tidbits for law professors to munch on, but the politicians who make up the house have other fish to fry. Putting aside the law and the evidence, the practical question is likely to come down to this: Is impeachment popular? Do the people want to see Mr. Nixon removed from his office? Too general The polls suggest that the question is close, but the polls reflect a national constituency. Members of the house run by congressional districts. As time trudges by, an impression gains strength that in many congressional districts, more voters are passionately pro-Nixon than passionately anti-Nixon. The time factor grows increasingly important. It now appears that Rodino's committee will not act before August. This timetable could compel an up-or-down vote on the floor immediately befi re the campaign adjournment in .September. Some members of the house are walking around with the look of batters facing an 0-and-2 count. They don’t know whether to swing at the pitch or let it go by. Granted, the situation could change overnight. Mr. Nixon is entirely capable of provoking the temper of the house or so insulting its dignity that his impeachment could be voted with a whoop and a holler The pattern of Watergate hasbeen one explosive bombshell after another. But the longer the house murmurs and fidgets, while the President flies boldly around the world, the more likely it seems that Mr. Nixon will survive this crisis after all. Woihington Star Syndical# Impeachment tangle could block progress Campaign reform: Public financing runs into hard hostilities By Bruce Freed WASHINGTON - Despite the apparent widespread support for major reform of campaign financing laws, legislation to publicly finance political campaigns faces a strong undercurrent of opposition in the house arid may end up as a legislative casualty of impeachment. A broadly-based, bipartisan coalition of lobbyists and legislators, including the floor leaders of both parties and the chairman of the committee handling the legislation, pushed a landmark public financing bill through the senate last April. But in the house, the situation is reversed. Public financing faces two obstacles; first, the opposition of many key members, including most of the leadership and the chairman of the committee handling the legislation, and second, the possibility of rifts in the ranks of those* supporting it. The pro-public financing coalition includes Common Cause, the self-styled national citizens lobby; the Center for Public Financing, a year-old umbrella group; the League of Women Voters; unions like the AFL-CIO and the United Auto Workers, and a bipartisan group of house members led by Republican John B Anderson (III ) and Democrat Morris K Udall (Ariz ). The two main opponents outside of congress include the White House and the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, but neither has been very active “This is an exceedingly difficult area for the administration to have much influence except through the veto threat,” said Vern C. Loon, a White House aide. Within congress, the legislation's most important opponent is Wayne L. Hays, an Ohio Democrat who chairs the house administration committee — the committee responsible for election legislation Hays staunchly opposes all but limited public financing and his committee is expected to go along. So far, the committee has been working very slowly on its bill, which would limit public financing only to presidential general elections. The senate-passed bill would provide public financing for all federal elections, including primaries. Despite its victory in the senate, the pro-public financing lobby so far has managed to paper over some internal divisions Labor and Common Cause have a tense relationship, which was exacerbated by publication of a Common Cause newspaper ad in March that included labor among the special interests using campaign contributions to buy influence. As one public financing lobbyist explained it, “A lot of the labor hostility resulted from that ad. They resented Common Cause lumping them with (he special interest groups There’s a certain elitism among Common Cause” people,” he said. “Their style is much different from labor” Public financing supporters have tailored their strategy to avoid Hays’ committee and maneuver a bill onto the house floor that can be amended “The question is what (Majority Leader Thomas P.) O’Neill and (Speaker Carl) Albert will be doing about getting out a bill,” said Fred C. Wertheimer, chief lobbyist for Common Cause, “All we can do is make campaign financing as much of a public issue as we can to force them to act.” “Basically, pressure will have to be put on by outside groups like Common Cause and through newspaper editorials,” said David Stockman, staff director of the House Republican Conference. “We want to create the impression that the golden opportunity for reform will be lost because of the house Democratic leadership ” “Hays is using every trick rn the book to prevent campaign financing from getting to the floor," Wertheimer said. “Because once the bill gets to the floor, campaign financing, especially public financing, will be hard for a representative to vote against.” According to Wertheimer, Common Cause members have received pledges of support either in person or by letter from 198 house members. If the house passes a weaker version of campaign reform, public^ financing backers hope they can push a bill through a house-senate conference committee that at least establishes some form of public financing for congressional races through matching grants. Their strongest bargaining card in the conference committee will be the senate-passed bill. , “We have to go into the conference in the house with the strongest possible hand if we’re going to get a public financing bill through congress,” predicted Kenneth E. Davis, an aide to Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott (Pa.) and one of the legislation’s key strategists in the senate. But public financing proponents worry that a campaign reform bill may elude them this year despite their lobby effort. “Hays reflects the members of the house," acknowledges Neal Gregory of the Center for Public Financing “He feels the strength isn't there for public financing " Hays also may be holding back on reporting the bill because of the pressure being put on him by Common Cause. “Pressuring people is a lot of baloney,” one house member said of Common Cause's strategy. “I sense that some of the chairman's slowness comes from antagonism from those pressures. He hates (Common Cause Chairman) John Gardner and would do almost anything to spite him.” rn And then there is impeachment “We’re being pressed by impeachment," Stockman laments, "lf we don't get a conference report on the floor by early July, then everything will be overtaken by the debate on Nixon's impeachment.” ‘ y Congrcttlonal Quarterly People ’s forum Movement To the Editor: Mt. Mercy college sponsored a seminar in “Ethnic Awareness” June 3-6. It seems to have been a success, but many (as I) were disappointed that the film, “Wounded Knee”, did not turn up. I’m sure that if on one evening I and two others had not been present, a statement by John Jones, coordinator, would have gone unnoticed. He remarked that support for the Indians and the Indian movement was at a standstill and didn’t amount to much anymore. I d like to share this information from the Wounded Knee Legal Defense Committee in Minnesota: Born Feb. 27, nine organizations of women decided to support the 84 women (at that time) facing charges stemming from the liberation of Wounded Knee. On March 9, the Third World Coalition of the University of Minnesota sponsored an international dinner benefit for the defense. The St. Paul office has received 13,1(8) signatures from The Netherlands in support of the defense. Indian support groups have been started in Holland. West Germany, France and other countries. Representatives of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression were present in Sioux Falls to speak out against racism and political repression in South Dakota. Students of the Institute of American Indian Art have a presentation on Indian oppression, etc., ready for Expo ’74. The German Democratic Republic has a postcard campaign saying, “Wounded Knee AIM — Freedom For All Indians". Accident aid To the Editor: I would like to take this means of expressing my respect and gratitude to the Cedar Rapids Police department and to the ambulance service. Friday evening, May 31, my husband suffered a congestive heart failure while driving down First avenue at Thirty-seventh street NE. The car went out of control and crashed into the front of a building. The police were there almost immediately, pulled him out of the car and administrated first aid to him and to my small grandson The ambulance was there within minutes and took us to the hospital. Mr. Stevens was placed in intensive care for three days and remains hospitalized. Officer Stark, at the hospital, gave me the envelope for accident report, with all the information that I needed written down. The police also saw to the car being towed away and brought Mr. Stevens’ glasses to the hospital after they were found when the car was removed. Thanks go also to the young man who took care of my little granddaughter, and to the lady who found my glasses for me. I cannot say enough for the efficiency, courtesy and consideration of all these people who helped us in this terrifying experience. Mrs. Cortlandt Stevens 1531 Bever avenue SE Poor umpiring To the Editor: Amateur softball is fast becoming Cedar Rapids’ favorite summer recreation, with a record turnout in all leagues this year, including women’s. It is a fast-paced sport the entire family can attend and enjoy. Best of all, it is inexpensive for player and spectator alike. The turnout by fans is growing weekly. On Tuesday, June 4 (industrial league), and Wednesday, June 5 (minor open), I observed the same umpire on diamond No. 3 at Noelridge park. To all appearances, the young ump had so little knowledge of official rules that he was repeatedly swayed by the players and spectators to change his calls. He apparently had no knowledge of a "strike zone” and never called out foul, fair or out-of-play balls. He had to be asked constantly for count of balls and strikes on the batter. He depended upon players to call base runners safe or out and accepted those calls as official. This all led to flaring tempers on the field and in the stands. What a shame that a game should become almost a disaster. Both teams were embarrassed by some calls by the ump, and the game was protested by the losing manager. The field director simply stated that umpires are hard to come by and they must make do. Let’s hope the commission opens its eyes and finds some way to solve this problem before our amateur leagues fold and become a memory. Cmdy Hochstetler 313 Thirteenth street SW For prosperity To the Editor: Our Constitution requires the President and congress to “establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” Had they obeyed the Constitution, they would not have accepted millions to re-elect the President and congressmen. Instead they would have informed themselves about the impending oil and power shortage and ordered the oil companies to drill more wells and build more refineries. . . .