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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - October 18, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 'The button? I think it says 'Re-elect but I can't be sure' Editorial Page Fnday, October 18. 1974 Proposed amendments 2 School fund equity THE SECOND PROPOSED amendment of the Iiwa constitu- tion facing voters on the Nov. 5 election ballot would open the door to more equitable distribu- tion of certain fines that now go In school districts. The first proposed amendment, which would authorize the legislature to call itself into special session under certain conditions, was discussed here Oct. 11. The second proposal reads: 1. Section four subdivision two (2) entitled "School Funds and School of Article nine (IX) of the Constitution of the State of Iowa is hereby repealed. 2. Section four (4) of Article twelve (12) of the Constitution of the State of Iowa is hereby repealed. Article IX's section 4 of subsection 2, entitled "School Funds and School Lands" reads: "The money which may have been or shall be paid by persons as an equivalent for exemption from military duty, and the clear proceeds of all fines collected in the several Counties for any breach of the penal laws, shall be exclusively applied, in the sev- eral Counties in which such mon- ey is paid, or fine collected, among the several school dis- tricts of said Counties, in propor- tion to the number of youths subject to enumeration ui such districts, to the support of Common Schools, or the estab- lishment of libraries, as the Board of Education shall, from time to time provide." Article XII's section 4 reads: "All fines, penalties, or for- IVilurcs due, or to become due, or accruing to the State, or to any County therein, or to the school fund, shall inure lo (he Stale, county, or school fund in the manner prescribed by law." In brief, this proposed amend- ment seeks to remove obsolete school funding provisions from the constitution, thereby opening the way to change the existing law that carries out those provi- sions. The end result, hopefully, would be a new law providing for more equitable distribution of fines, penalties or forfeitures accruing to school districts. Example: Under the amend- ments up for repeal, all fines for .overweight trucks, or other truck violations go to school districts in counties where weighing stations are located. They reap a harvest of fines annually simply because of the location of the truck scales. The 64th and 65th general assemblies thought this basically unfair, which it most certainly is. and adopted the proposed amend- ment under discussion here. The house adopted it, 74 to 18. in 1971 and the 1972 senate followed suit. 43 to 0. during the 64th assembly. In 1974 the house adopted it a second time in identical form, as required by the amending proc- ess, by a vote of 86 lo (I. The 1974 senate did the same. 47 lo II. For many years The Gazette has advocated doing just what repeal of the two constitutional provisions and the existing law would do so the legislature can become free to enact a new law providing for fairer distribution of the fine money involved. The question now is up In the people. II will be to their bust interests if the answer that comes back Nov. 5 is "ves." Maury John IN MOST communities there are at least several persons heralded or little known whose conduct is so graceful that their existence and accomplishments are cause for celebration. Such a citizen was Maury John, revered Iowa State and (earlier) Drake university basketball coach who died this week at age 55. His indeed was a life worth celebrat- ing. In athletic circles, the cliarm that so intrinsically was Coach John's is called class. To know Us genuineness one had but lo approach him after his team had lost a game he had expected to win. In a situation which finds many coaches fuming, kicking and cursing. John was Ihe most gracious of losers. that slaying cool in high- pressure athletics is all that rare. The so-called sports world is moderately populated with win- ning competitors whose behavior refutes Leo Durocher's claim thai nice guys finish last. But if such champions had ever formed a club. Maury John could have been president. A life worth celebrating, yes. But the circumstances at Ihe end inoperable cancer forcing re- tirement with so many athletes yet to coach and counsel have steeped the observance in great sadness. Our heartfelt sympathy to the wife and family of Coach John. Way with words By Theodore M. Bernstein FOREBODES NO Not long afler Gerald Kurd assumed the presi- dency Indiana's Republican national commilleeman was quoted as having "Ford forebodes good things." Thai wording is almost sclf-contriulicto- i v. does mean In indicate bo- Ion hand or to portend, but it is almost always used in Ihe sense ol portending bad or evil things, lo the sense of in- diealinj; good Ihings forobodo is just about icrbottn. Incidentally, people ilon'l forebode, only facts nr omens do. o Doom of whom. In a recent column I advocated thai the word whom, which creates more complications and puzzles Mi.HI H is worth, be dropped from the jusl as most other inflections lliat sort have been dropped over Ihe rcniuncs I favored only one exception 'li'ii the pronoun comes immediately a preposition, in, "To whom n ui.iv or. "He has three sisiers ool.', one: of whom have met." The reason for Ihe exception is that no puzzle-solving is required to know that whom is "correct" and that whom after a preposition sounds natural to Ihe masses as well as to the educated Now William M Freed of Philadel- phia, who doesn't seem lo disagree with Ihal basic Ihosis, proposes a different method of solving the whom problem. He suggests that we handle il in Ihe way we do Ihe indefinite article's a and on that is, using on whenever a would bring two vowel sounds together as in "on apple1" ralher lhan "o apple Offhand Ihal sounds reasonable, but I am afraid it would lead us into worse "errors" and confusion lhan we have' now. Imagine' trying lo got people lo say, "Jones, whom is our parly's can- didate, is a fine fellow." or imagine sanctioning Ihe line Ihal F.P.A. used to use derisively in his column. "The Con- ning 'Whom are you1'1 said Cvril." Early bird "I'm not saying she's old. But her so- cial security number is MX Sun Cose in point: Mills The Need to Know People's Forum To the Editor: In response to Ihp story headlined 'Overhead loo high Donations mis- spent' (editorial page, Oct. mis- representation of the facts concerning some charitable fund drives should he considered an unacceptable and intoler- able practice. An activity enhancing the public's right lo know where its charita- ble dollars are going should be encour- aged by each of us. At the same lime, our citizens should know that not all charitable campaigns fall into the "questionable" category. 'The one for which I can speak most knowledgoably is the largest annual voluntary campaign in I.inn county the United Way. First of all, the United Way is a'LO- CAL community organization, operated by LOCAL citizens, who volunteer their lime and talent to insure the organiza- tion is effectively and efficiently admin- istered. Second, the United Way is op- crated on principles of basic ethics, including truthfulness and honesty. The annual United Way campaign, for exam- ple, is conducted on the basis of "re- sponsible" giving as concerned citizens of our community, not on "emotional" appeal. Third, the United Way. while a pri- vate non-profit, tax-exempt organiza- tion, is operated on completely terms. For example, the United Way and the 22 member agencies it serves, submit to annual audits by a Certified I'liblii- Accountant, conduct business at meetings which are open lo the public (a Gazette reporter is usually in atten- dance at our hoard meetings) and main- tain books and records which are open to examination at any time. A final point: It lakes about percent of the total monies raised in the campaign lo (1) maintain a small staff. (2) conduct year-round planning lo de- lermine and evaluate needs and serv- ices, (.1) conduct year-round budgeting lo insure the monies raised are being spent wisely. (4) administer the funds placed in the United Way trust, and conduct the annual campaign. This record is unparalleled by any oilier organization. The United Way of Linn countv is nut perfect that is why it will continue to strive to do a "heller" job for our community. Hut we can lake satisfac- tion and assurance that the charitable dollars channeled to United Way are not being misspent, are not being wasted on overhead, and arc going to agencies, causes, programs, and services that are operating to meet the needs of people of Linn county. A. A. Rogers, President Way of Linn county (Editor's note: In the syndicated column in question, Don Oakley report- ed that some nationally-known coses of apparent misspending of charity funds have brought pressure for a federal law requiring charities to disclose full financial information upon request. Oakley's comments obviously were nol aimed at efficient, frugal local chari- ties.) Emergencies To the Editor: The Gazette does its readers a genu- ine service by publishing the Cedar Rapids emergency numbers from time In lime. The suggestion that readers clip the numbers and carry them in their billfolds is an excellent one. I would like to suggest that this serv- ice would be even more effective and helpful to readers in emergency situa- tions if the list of numbers were pub- lished every day and appeared in the same place in the paper each day. The reason for my suggestion is based on our experience at the Linn county health center's information and referral service with an advertisement for 1 i. II we ran daily in the clas.sifitd columns of The Gazette for a three- month period. We found that people came to depend upon the phone number .198-3855 being ill the paper every night in the same location. Insights Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory. Albert Schweitzer By William Sofire WASHINGTON The chairman of the house ways and means cimmiiltec, Wilbur Mills, who has long been regard- ed as one of the hardest working members of congress, is now the butt of jokes. A minor driving violation uncov- ered an apparent peccadillo, and the wags of Washington snicker: "The strippers of the Mills grind slowly." On the same day. another driving vi- olation took place, this time involving Joan Kennedy, the wife of the senator. This event received press coverage, too: the general reaction was properly one of sympathy. Great newspapers differed on the way these stories were played. The Washington Post assigned a dozen re- porters to cover the Mills affair and ran it above the fold on the front page, men- tioning the Joan Kennedy story in a back section; the Washington Star-News juxtaposed both stories on the front page; the New York Times covered the Mills story fully but on an inside page and ran the Joan Kennedy accident as a minor item. Serious editors gave thought lo (he play of these stories, and the fact that such different conclusions were reached illustrates one of the dilemmas of our times: how we protect the individual's right to privacy and at the same time defend the public's right to know? A refinement of that dilemma: What part For example, a woman who had phoned I R for a referral during the time the ad was running tried to reach us in an emergency after the ad was discontinued and was at a loss when she could not find the number in its usual place. (It was fortunate that by chance we called her on a follow-up at this time.) Information and referral service is pleased to have 398-3955 included among the numbers listed. We hope you'll consider publishing (be emergency numbers in each issue in the same posi- tion so that they'll be readily at hand when people need them. Mary Jane Gormly. t R director (Editor's note.- The emergency numbers ore run as a public service and on a space-available basis, and the space obviously is nof available every day on the same page. We believe it also is true that when it appears on a sports page one day, on the financial page another, on the women's page some other time, etc., the list may come to the attention of people who otherwise would miss it if. it hod a fixed position.) Brennan remembered To the Editor: Another nice guy bit the dust the old cowboy, Walter Brennan at 80 or four-score, which isn't too had. One of the things the write-ups left out would be about Walter's service in World war I. He served with a Mas- sachusetts outfit, and after the war, started his comedy career as a straight man fnr liie eiilerlaiiimenl-slarveti doughboys in France. My Dad. Bruce, also a corporal, met Walter overseas and they got to be friends. They came back in a big Iroopship and when they approached the home port of Boston., a lug came out from the harbor and circled the transport. On it, waving in the breeze, was a sign saying "Welcome Home Our Returning Heroes. Sgt. Johnny Johnston and Cpl. Waller Dad and Walter were up at the front of the ship and as they approached the dock, Waller pointed and shouted "There's my Old Man" and started to cry. They both did. I think this meant a lot to Walter and IK; called or wrote Dad every year till when his health went bad. Doug West I-HH Hillside of a public person's life should remain private? When docs the public begin lo have a right not lo know? The answers cannot be found in law bill in custom and taste, which are changing in a way unfortunately, in my view that make more acceptable snooping into and gossiping about the sex life and drinking habils of celcbrat- ed people. In "FDR's Last a carefully researched hook by Jim Bishop, (he President's love affair with 'Lucy Mercer Rutherford is recounted in more detail than ever before. Since the partic- ipants are dead the question of taste gives way to the requirements of histo- ry, but if any future President of the United States becomes involved with "another he must expect the relationship lo be discussed gleefully and in detail on television panel shows. The drinking habits of congressmen to be taboo, but columnist Drew Pearson blew the whistle on old Mendel Rivers, and now nobody can stagger to work in the congress without running some risk of exposure. That is to the good, but how about after hours, as in Chairman Mills' case? If a private loot affects public service, lei him who is without sin cast the first stone. The reason usually advanced for invading the privacy of public people in Washington is this: The nearer a politi- cian approaches great power, the more respectful of respectability he should he, and the more he should be prepared for searching probes into his potential weakness. That is why, for example, the leaking of the personal income tax returns of Richard Nixon, and more recently of Nelson Rockefeller, is not considered vi- olative of individual rights, while the leak of your return or mine would be reprehensible. We are saying, ill effect, that public men have no right lo pri- vacy, and we assume (his application of a double standard will ingrain in them a respect for equal justice under law. Thai is why, loo, Ihe attention given Mills recently is causing moral head- aches for journalists who believe that certain problems which should be ig- nored in most public figures ought to he discussed in any whose finger may be near the nuclear button. A couple of years ago, a story ap- peared in a couple of newspapers about a minor traffic accident involving House Speaker Carl Albert. In (hose olden times, a slory of a congressman who was said lo have had a few and run into a parked car rated not much space; times and responsibilities have changed. The speaker is a good man and a re- spected man. does his job well, and for all we know drinks no more. But he has been next in line for BO days now and it appears he will be a heartbeat from the presidency for quite a while longer; man Ihriisl into those circumstances ought In be examined closely. There are gradations of need for Ihe invasion of public people's privacy. I think Ihe editors who buried or ignored the Joan Kennedy story were right: she does not present herself as a candidate and there is no "public right to know" her problems. The Mills story deserved coverage, but not the whoopriedo it received: an inside page sufficed, a permanent rec- ord that could he consulted if he aspired to higher office. As a great and wise man put il (he other day: "Who hasn't had a few wild Granled. Ihe right to know about a potential President outweighs his right lo privacy; in the case of Ihe Rockefeller tax returns, Ihe public benefits from that exposure, violalive though it js to the privacy of many individuals other lhan the nominee. But the senate could have handled it in a way that embar- rassed fewer people. The press has a right to publish or broadcast anything. With thai goes Ihe obligation lo weigh the need for expo- sure against the right lo privacy, even in times when the safest decision is to let it all hang out. The right to know is not under challenge; what editors and readers should ask themselves about is the need lo know. 'Fledgling enterprise bullied' 'Why not let viewers By Roscoe Drunnmond WASHINGTON Pay.as-you-M'c television is capable1 of creating a whole new dimension of TV programming and vie'wing if the federal government lots it. It isn't going to be1 easy. So far, the' government has been very protective of -the1 status quo and lias gone a lung 10 shield Ihe networks from new com- petition. N'.plurally the ndwork'-. '.van! to ki'op 11 all Hi themselves and are plcadmi' with Ihe Federal Communications Commission (FCC) winch has boon an excessively friendly ally In keep enough rcslnclions on pay-TV MI Ihal loo many people will nol to buy il anticompetitive reslrictionism would work in Ihe e'lid and it ought ool In be allowed lo try lo work in Ihe beginning Pay-TV is a fledgling enterprise which hail a hard time being born and is now having a rougher lime' trying to survive1 against Ihe bullying of big gov- ernni''iil ami big lelevision. Bui the pressure of antitrust laws and Hie1 pleas of polcnlial consumers of pay-TV who would like a little more freedom of choice in then viewing arc causing the FCC lo begin lo wonder if il isn'l lime' for a change A welcome li'sl is at hand On Oe't. the FCC will holel now hearings and will lake further li'slimony for and against the restrictions on cable TV which have been in force for nearly fuc years Take one or two example's Why should the networks be allowed lo buy up. and thus keep off the' markol. Ihe exclusive right lo films they have no intention of using'.' Why should the nel- works be able lo prevent pay-TV from broadcasting sporting events which I hey are neit carrying1' The basic issue is nol primarily the unfairness eif one restriction over an- other; rather, it is the intrinsic' right of consumers to have freedom of choice in viewing and the righl to avail them- selves of Ihe full potential of pay-as-you- see television. The consumer inlcrcsl in pay-TV is due primarily lo its capacity to offer additional program choices without .eehorlising interruption and editing and with a choice of viewing lime1 Pay-TV began operations only two years ago. Today, there are ahoul ill) lint) pay cable subscribers in about -III cable systems nationwide. Subscribers now pay to month to get all pro- grams on one channel, or Ihoy can pay mile- as Jl.r.O per program for a movie or a sporting event. Hoinembcr when the buller industry Irie'd to ban yellow-colored oleo'.' Why should the FCC put an oxygon li'iil around the exisling nclworks lo shield them from I'ompoliljcm.' Why not lei the consumer decide? First aid What to do until the doctor arrives Go out and borrow money. Francisco Chronicle
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