Cedar Rapids Gazette, October 18, 1974, Page 6

Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette October 18, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - October 18, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Stupid* tinitiit Editorial Page Friday. October 18. 1974 Proposed amendments — 2 School fund equity ‘The button? ... I think it says Re-elect Mills/ but I can't be sure THE SECOND PROPOSED amendment of the Iowa constitution facing voters on the Nov. 5 election ballot would open the door to more equitable distribution of certain fines that now go to school districts. The first proposed amendment, which would authorize the legislature to call itself into special session under certain conditions, was discussed here Oct. ll The second proposal reads: 1. Section four (4), subdivision two (2) entitled "School Funds and School Loads", of Article nine (IX) of the Constitution of the State of Iowa is hereby repealed 2. Section four (4) of Article twelve (I 2) of the Constitution of the State of Iowa is hereby repealed Article IXs section 4 of subsection 2, entitled “School Funds and School Lands" reads: “The money which may have been or shall be paid by persons as an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 several Counties in which such money is paid, or fine collected, among the several school districts of said Counties, in proportion to the number of youths subject to enumeration in such districts, to the support of Common Schools, or the establishment of libraries, as the Board of Education shall, from time to time provide.” Article XIFs section 4 reads: “All fines, penalties, or forfeitures due, or to become due, or accruing to the State, or to any County therein, or to the school fund, shall inure to the State, county, or school fund in the manner prescribed by law.” In brief, this proposed amendment seeks to remove obsolete school funding provisions from the constitution, thereby opening the way to change the existing law that carries out those provisions. The end result, hopefully, would be a new law providing for more equitable distribution of fines, penalties or forfeitures accruing to school districts. Example: Ender the amendments up for repeal, all fines fur 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 f»4th and 65th general assemblies thought this basically unfair, which it most certainly is. and adopted the proposed amendment under discussion here. The house adopted it, 74 to 18. in 1971 and the 1972 senate followed suit. 43 to ft. during the 64th assembly. In 1974 the house adopted it a second time in identical form, as required by the amending process, by a vote of 86 to ft The 1974 senate did the same. 47 to ll. 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 to the people. It will be to their best interests if the answer that comes back Nov. 5 is “yes.” 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 celebrating In athletic circles, the charm that so intrinsically was Coach John’s is called class. To know its genuineness one had but to 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 the most gracious of losers. Not that staying cool in high-pressure athletics is all that rare. The so-called sports world is moderately populated with winning competitors whose behavior refutes Leo Durochor’s claim that 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 the end — inoperable cancer forcing retirement 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 Harbinger By Theodore M. Bernstein FOREBODES NO OOOD Not long after Gerald Ford assumed the presidency Indiana's Republican national committeeman was quoted as having said "Ford forebodes good things " That wording is almost se lf-contradictory. Forebode does mean to indicate beforehand or to portend, but it is almost always used in the sense oi portending bad or evil things. In the sense of indicating good things forebode is just about verboten Incidentally, people don’t forebode, only facts or omens do. • Doom of whom In a recent column I advocated that the word whom, which creates more complications and puzzles than it is worth, be dropped from the language just as most other inflections of that sort have been dropped over the centuries I favored only one exception when the pronoun comes immediately after a preposition, as in, "To whom it may concern," or, "He has three sisters only one of whom I have met." The reason for the exception is that no puzzle-solving is required to know that whom is "correct” and that whom after a preposition sounds natural to the masses as well as to the educated Now William M Freed of Philadelphia who doesn't seem to disagree with that basic thesis, proposes a different method of solving the whom problem He suggests that we handle it in the way we do the indefinite articles a and on — that is. using an whenever a would bring two vowel sounds together as in an apple" rather than "a apple Offhand that sound-* reasonable, but I am afraid it would lead us into worse "errors" and confusion than we have now. Imagine trving to get people to say, "Jones, whom is our partv’s candidate, is a fine fellow," or imagine sanctioning the line that F P A used to use derisively in his column, "The ( on- rung Tower Whom are you9’ said Cyril " Early bird "I’m not saying she s old But her social security number is six ’ —Baltimore Sun Case in point: Mills The Need to Know People's Forum No fat the United Way To the Editor: In response to thp story headlined ‘Overhead too high — Donations misspent' (editorial page, Oct. 14), misrepresentation of the facts concerning some chantable fund drives should be (onsidered an unacceptable and intolerable practice An activity enhancing the public s right to know where its charitable dollars are going should be encouraged by each of us. At the same time, our citizens should know that not all charitable campaigns fall into the “questionable" category The one for which I can speak most knowledgeably is the largest annual voluntary campaign in Linn county — the United Way. First of all. the United Way is a LOLA!, community organization, operated bv LOCAL citizens, who volunteer their time and talent to insure the organization is effectively and efficiently administered Second, the United Way is operated on principles of basic ethics, including truthfulness and honesty. The annual United Way campaign, for example. is conducted on the basis of ‘ responsible" giving as coneerm-d citizens of our community, not on "emotional" appeal. Third, the United Way, while a private non-profit, tax-exempt organization. is operated on completely "open" terms For example, the United Way and the 22 member agencies it serves. submit to annual audits by a Certified Public Accountant, conduct business at meetings which are open to the public (a Gazette reporter is usually in attendant- e at our lioard meetings) and maintain books and records which are open to examination at any time A final jHiint It takes about 9J percent of the total monies raised in the campaign to (I) maintain a small staff. (2) conduct year-round planning to determine and evaluate needs and services (3) (-(induct year-round budgeting to insure the monies raised are being spent wisely, (4) administer the funds placed in the United Way trust, and (5) conduct the annual campaign This record is unparalleled bv any other organization The United Way of Linn county is not perfect — that is why it will continue to strive to do a "better" job for our community But we can take satisfac-tion and assurance that the charitable dollars channeled to United Way are not being misspent, are not being wasted on overhead, and are going to agencies, causes, programs, and services that are operating to meet the needs of people of Linn county. A. A Rogers, President United Way of Linn county (Editor s note. In the syndicated column in question, Don Oakley reported that some nationally-known cases of apparent misspending of charity funds hove brought pressure for a federal law requiring charities to disclose full financial information upon request Oakley's comments obviously were not aimed at efficient, frugal local charities.) Emergencies To the Editor The Gazette does its readers a genuine service by publishing the Cedar Rapids emergency numbers from time to time. The suggestion that readers clip the numbers and carry them in their billfolds is an excellent one I would like to suggest that this service would be even more effective and helpful to readers in emergency situations if the list of numbers were published 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 I & R we ran daily in the classified columns of The Gazette for a three-month period We found that people came to depend upon the phone number 398-3955 being in the paper every night in the same location. Insights Happiness is nothing more (hon good health and a bad memory. Albert Schweitzer By William Satire WASHINGTON — The chairman of the house ways and means committee, Wilbur Mills, who has long been regarded as one of the hardest working members of congress, is now the butt of jokes A minor driving violation uncovered an apparent peccadillo, and the wags of Washington snicker: "The strippers of the Mills grind slowly " On the same day. another driving violation 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 reporters to cover the Mills affair and ran it above the fold on the front page, mentioning the Joan Kennedy story in a hack section; the Washington Star-News juxtaposed both stories on the front page; the New York Times covered the Mills story fully hut on an inside page and ran the Joan Kennedy accident as a minor item. Serious editors gave thought to the 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 4 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 the emergency numbers in each issue in the same position so that they’ll be readily at hand when people need them Mary Jane Gormly, I & R director (Editor's note. The emergency numbers are run as a public service and on a space-available basis, and the space obviously is not 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 qttention of people who otherwise would miss it if it had a fixed position.) Brennan remembered To the Editor Another nice guy bit the dust — the old cowboy. Walter Brennan — at 8(1 or four-score, which isn t tem bad. One of the things the write-ups left out would be about Walter’s service in World war I. He served with a Massachusetts outfit, and after the war. started his comedy career as a straight man for the entertainment-starved doughboys in France. My Dad, Bruce, also a corporal, met Walter overseas and they got to be friends They came back in a big troopship and when they approached the home port of Boston., a tug came out from the harbor and circled the transport. On it. waving in the breeze, was a sign saving "Welcome Home Our Returning Heroes. Sgt. Johnny Johnston and Cpl. Walter Brennan". Dad and Walter were up at the front of the ship and as they approached the dock, Walter 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 1973, when his health went had Doug West 14(13 Hillside drive NVY of a public person's life should remain private? When does the public begin to have a right not to know9 The answers cannot he found in law hut 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 habits of celebrated people In "FDR’s I .ast Year", a carefully researched hook by Jim Bishop, the President’s love affair with 'Lucy Mercer Rutherford is recounted in more detail than ever before Since the participants are dead the question of taste gives way to the requirements of history. hut if any future President of the United States becomes involved with "another woman," he must expect the relationship to he discussed gleefully and in detail on television panel shows. The drinking habits of congressmen used to he 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, hut how about after hours, as in Chairman Mills’ case? If a private toot affects public service, let 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 politician 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 violative of individual rights, while the leak of your return or mine would he reprehensible We are saying, in effect, that public men have no right to privacy. and we assume this application of a double standard will ingrain in them a respect for equal justice under law That is why, too. the attention given Mills recently is causing moral headaches for journalists who believe that certain problems which should be ignored in most public figures ought to be discussed in any whose finger may be near the nuclear button. A couple of years ago. a story appeared in a couple of newspapers about a minor traffic accident involving House Speaker Carl Albert In those olden times, a story of a congressman who was said to have had a few and run into a parked car rated no! much space; times and responsibilities have changed. The speaker is a good man and a respected man. does his job well. and for all we know drinks no more. But he has been next in line for HO days now and it appears he will be a heartbeat from the presidency for quite a while longer; man thrust into those circumstances ought to be examined closely There are gradations of need for the invasion of public People’s privacy. I think the 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 whoopdedo it received; an inside page sufficed, a permanent record that could be consulted if he aspired to higher office. As a great and wise man put it the other day. "Who hasn't had a few wild nights9’’ Granted, the right to know about a potential President outweighs his right to privacy; in the case of the Rockefeller tax returns, the public benefits from that exposure, violative though it in to the privacy of many individuals other than the nominee But the senate could have handled it in a way that embarrassed fewer people The press has a right to publish or broadcast anything With that goes the obligation to weigh the need for exposure against the right to privacy, even in times when the safest decision is to let it all hang out. I he right to know is not under challenge; what editors and readers should ask themselves about is the need to know Nr* York Tim#* Service ‘Fledgling enterprise bullied' Pay-TV? ‘Why not let viewers decide?’ By Roscoe Drummond WASHINGTON — Pay-as-you-see television is capable of creating a whole new dimension of TV programming and viewing — if the federal government lets it. It isn t going to he easy So far, the government has been very protective of the status quo and has gone a long way to shield the networks from new competition Naturally the networks want to keep it all to themselves and are pleading with the Federal Communications Commission (F< < I — which has been an excessively friendly ally — to keep enough restrictions on pay-TV so that too many people will not want to buy it Such governmental favoritism such anticompetitive restrictionism would work in the end and it ought not to be allowed to try to work in the beginning Pay-TV is a fledgling enterprise which had a hard time being born and is now having a rougher time frying to survive against the bullying of big government and big television But the pressure of antitrust laws and the pleas of potential consumers of pay-TV — who would like a little more freedom of choice in their viewing — are causing the FCC to begin to wonder if it isn t time for a change A welcome test is at hand On Oct. 23-25, the FCC will hold new hearings and will take further testimony for and against the restrictions on cable TV which have been in force for nearly five years Take one or two examples Why should the networks be allowed to buy up. and thus keep off the market, the exclusive right to films they have no intention of using9 Why should the networks be able to prevent pay-TV from broadcasting sporting events which they are not carrying9 The basic issue is not primarily the unfairness of one restriction over another; rather, it is the intrinsic right of consumers to have freedom of choice in viewing and the right to avail them selves of the full potential of pay-as-you-see television The consumer interest in pay-TV is due primarily to its capacity to offer additional program choices without advertising interruption and editing and with a choice of viewing time Pay-TV began operations only two years ago. Today, there are about 90,9 pay cable subscribers in about 4(1 cab systems nationwide. Subscribers rn pay 15 to $7 per month to get all pr grams on one channel, or they can p. as little as $| 50 per program for movie or a sporting event Remember when the butter indust tried to ban yellow-colored oleo9 Why should the FUG put an oxygi tent around the existing networks shield them from competition9 Why n let the consumer decide'* Lo* Ang«.|»s Tim** Syndicate First aid What to do until the doctor arm Go out and borrow money —San Francisco Chron ;

  • Albert Schweitzer
  • Carl Albert
  • Don Oakley
  • Gerald Ford
  • Jim Bishop
  • Joan Kennedy
  • Johnny Johnston
  • Leo Durochor
  • Lucy Mercer Rutherford
  • Mary Jane Gormly
  • Maury John
  • Mendel Rivers
  • Nelson Rockefeller
  • Richard Nixon
  • Roscoe Drummond
  • Theodore M. Bernstein
  • Walter Brennan
  • Wilbur Mills
  • William Satire

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Issue Date: October 18, 1974

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