Cedar Rapids Gazette, November 11, 1974, Page 7

Cedar Rapids Gazette

November 11, 1974

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Issue date: Monday, November 11, 1974

Pages available: 54

Previous edition: Sunday, November 10, 1974

Next edition: Tuesday, November 12, 1974

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Publication name: Cedar Rapids Gazette

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - November 11, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa itapitb Editorial Page Monday, November 1 I, 1974 Election law snags Chinese-Soviet tension-easing for real? No one who never tried to put in English a desired new structure of law can possibly know how hard it is to write laws that are unmis- takably clear in meaning. That statement is premised on (lie assumption that the authors want the law they write to be clear, understandable and worka- ble. Regrettably, there have been, are now and will continue to be some legislators who purposely write law in language so vague (hat it is virtually unenforceable. But these observations have to do with laws intended to be clear and understood. That is' what the writers of Iowa's absentee ballot law meant it to be. But they failed, as Polk county District Judge Wade Clarke tactfully suggested in his recent decision. Judge Clarke denied the request of Democratic State Chairman Tom Whitney for an injunction to prohibit Secretary of State Synhorst from advising county auditors to mail absentee ballots to voters in hospitals and health care facilities, upon request. Secretary Synhorst, advised by the attorney general's office, was acting under section 53.8 of the code. Chairman Whitney brought his action under section S3.17. Under section 53.8, auditors are required to mail, within 24 hours, an absentee ballot to any eligible voter requesting one. Section 53.17 provides that absentee ballots shall be hand-delivered to those in hospitals or health care facilities by two notaries public, one from each of the major parties, during the last three working days prior to an election. Obviously, when taken together, .the meaning of the two sections is unclear. Patients in hospitals or health care facilities are singled out for special service under sec- lion 53.17, but they are not excluded under section 53.8. The need for clarification of Chapter 58 in its entirety'was clearly spotlighted just prior lo the election by a case in Marshall and Grundy counties. A patient in a health care facility in Marsh.alltown, who was a resident of Marshall county, applied some time ago for an ab- sentee ballot. Instead of being mailed to him, the ballot was held until three working days prior to Ihe Nov. 5 election. In the attempt to hand-deliver it during that period, officials discovered he had been moved to another facility in neighboring Grundy county. Question: Could the Marshall county notaries deliver the ballot to the applicant in Grundy county? There are no provisions in the law lo cover such a circumstance, at least none that state election of- ficials could uncover. So the applicant did not get to vote even though he had applied for an absentee ballot in ample time to have voled had it been mailed to him as set out in section 53.8 Judge Clarke put his finger on what the 1975 legislature must do when he wrote, on the final page of his decision: "This court is of the opinion that no person should be deprived of his or her vote because election officials have not fully implemented section 53.17 or because the law is uncertain and confusing and in view of the difficulties shown by the evidence in fully implementing the statute, it may be necessary for the legislature to amend or clarify the law to make it workable." Community center headway Now that 56% percent of the vnlprs have plainly asserted that a bond-financed new zoo is not among their top priorities for Cedar Rapids, public attention can focus again on a likelier item of civic improvement: The down- town community center proposed as part of a hotel and parking facility package on urban renew- al land at First avenue and the Fourth street tracks. The recent final report of the citizens' study committee, last week's city council clearance for a Chicago firm's effort to arrange the financing and a possibility of still another referendum early next year all turn up the front- burner heat on this idea. Several forces in its favor seem to give the communily center concept better chances than the zoo's. All prospects in- dicate a much smaller property tax levy, if any, to build and sup- port it. The combination with a lax-producing commercial ven- ture (the hotel) offers a rare opportunity to get the job done at minimum expense to the public. A community cenler's range of usefulness and appeal crosses wider interest lines with stage facilities for theater and music, an arena for sports and other enterlainment, exhibition and convention hall space, versatility in general. A community center's eco- nomic benefits to the city as a whole also are exceptionally strong, besides its cultural re- wards. Even though the times are less than glorious and tax-resist- ance habits still thrive, a dream- fulfilling people-center for the ci- ty thus could be in hopeful reach. The study committee's good work has supplied new momentum. Now the city council has a turn to move the ball to scoring distance from the goal. Killing to hunt By Jim Fiebig I realize lhat the following admission invites abuse from all those Disney- indoctrinated souls who think animals are really humans in disguise, but last weekend I shot a deer. Fatally. I will tell you why I did it. but first, let me lell you why 1 didn't do it. I didn't do it to beat inflation. The venison will probably end up costing me dbiiut a pound. And if Ihe cost is calculated to include all Ihe unsuccess- ful deer hunts I've experienced, the price per pound would put lobster lo shame. I didn't do it to prove my manhood. While the clean kill of a deer usually requires a working knowledge of its habits, more than a passing acquaint- ance with firearms and a willingness to iindfri'O varying degrees of physical cvcrlinn any number of women can and do meet the same requirements. I didn't do it because I "like in kill things." I accept the kill (but dn nol revel in it) as an inherent and natural conclusion to the entire hunting process. I do not hunt to kill. I kill lo hunt. For some probably primitive reason. Ihe excitement of Ihe hunt, with its opportunity to put meat on the family table, soothes and temporarily satisfies a deep restlessness inside me. If that restlessness is indeed what we call a "primitive I see no shame in it. Nor should anyone else. After all. the sex drive is also a primitive urge and where would we he without it? General Peotures Corooratlon Insighls By C. L. Sulzberger 1'AliIS When dealing with intima- tions of policy as put forth by Moscow and Peking one must be especially prudent because of their habit of camou- flaging real intentions. Nevertheless, when something so apparently mo- mentous as the hint of a Sino-Soviet nonaggression pact bursts upon a surprised world, at least some cautious comment is retiuired. It has been evident'for many weeks that tension between the two great neighbors has subsided and the Chinese have started proclaiming they no longer fear a Russian military invasion. Now a Russian-language broadcast from China indicates interest in Ihe Kremlin suggestion of a nonaggression treaty also slating this must be ac- companied by mutual withdrawal of armed forces. There have been other signals: deferment of a promised trial of Russian helicopter crewmen seized on Chinese territory and accused of espio- nage; the closing down1 of displays of air raid shelters; a conciliatory speech by Kosygin Nov. 2. Are these tactical replays of old re- cordings, or do they imply a new turn in events? Since June, 1970, Brezhnev has been proposing a nonaggression pact. The Kremlin presented drafts in Jan- uary, 1971, and June, 1973. Even earlier, on Sept. 11, 1969, Kosygin met Chou En- lai at Peking airport and made specific proposals for conciliating their dispute. Chou told me (Ocl. 26. 1973) that although Peking regarded the 19th Century territorial treaties with Russia as "unequal." he was prepared never- theless to accept them "as a basis" for new negotiations. The argument could be settled "in a rational way" founded on "mutual accommodation and under- standing" embodied in a new border agreement. Kosygin endorsed Chou's three-point formula- (1) provisional accord until conclusion of "specific talks on bounda- ry (2) avoidance of armed clashes and withdrawal of frontier forces; (3) "a new realignment of the boundary which we think would not be a Gel action, do things toko a place wherever you ore ond bt? somebody. Jheodore People's forum Harsh law i To the Editor: I am writing in protest lo Ihe forceful closing of some of Iowa's finest nursing homes because of our new updated laws thai have been passed for the good of our elderly citizens. When is ,it good for old sick people in their 80s and 90s to be told that you have to move from your home of the last 10 to 12 years? Under the new laws, people who have worked in our home for years now have lo go back lo school and gel a diploma say- ing they know how to care for patients; experience counts for nothing. Cooks who have been preparing healthy, well balanced meals for 15 years have to go back to school and learn to cook. A special dietilian has lo be hired. A special nurse has lo be hired, not to care for patients but just to fill out forms for the government in copic of eight. Under our new laws if you don't have the money to put your mother or father in a private home the government can place them in a home anywhere they want lo. Who has Ihe money a month) to keep a parent in a home after one has had a stroke and been disabled for 111 years, as some of our patients have? The federal government is forcibly removing patients from our home who have been there as long as years. This is done without a thought for their feelings or even consulting their families. Under our new laws a sick person may lie placed in a private home with no stale or federal regulalions whatever. Is it right lo lake these people out of clean, well regulated homes with 24-hour nurs- ing care because of stupid laws passed by stupid politicians who have never set feet in a nursing home but want to benefit big business? These same laws have closed down over good nursing homes in Iowa and placed elderly people miles away from their families and loved ones. How long will the American people sit idly by and watch big business push small people around and juggle lives without regard for the individual? Whal effect do you think it has on an- 85-year-old woman whose only daughter is (it) and ill to be lold she had lo find another place to live? They have abortion laws lo gel rid of unwanted children. What are they going lo pass next to get rid of unwanted old age? Shirley lloilonhcck Benion Nursing Home Center Point Nursing care To the Kditor 1 have been in the nursing home business just 44 years and have seen a multitude of rule changes, all of which were intended lo make safer anil more humane conditions for our elderly who need care. In accomplishing Ibis. Ihey have closed many older homes, causing a dire shortage in Linn county and many Is conceivable Ihls Is n huge shad- ownlav In which liwlli regimes art- im Ihclr respective positions for in Iscusslons with (lie United ,S ,es Brix.hnfv.Kord ut Vladivostok, m-Kisslnger at I'cklng) by ntlen.pl- iw to sliTiiglhet, their apparent hands.' Until tiidny the eommimlHl continue to rival ouch other around I he earth disseminating inntiially hostile propaganda. One still rivalry in intcrnatiunal forums, in Peking s that Iho West should remain strong, in Hit! successful Chinese effort In block Japanese technical aid to Moscow for Siberian oil. China is probably throwing the ball back to Russia while milking a neat dip- lomatic and propaganda ploy. For a year I have been convinced (here would be no Soviet military onslaught: only an effort to produce an eventual pro- Moscow regime. Kvery Chinese political purge since Mao look over has been linked to the U.S.S.R. The post-Mao struggle for power will he quite different From similar contests in Moscow. Mao alone has been in charge of China's destinies since the revolution. But Russia has seen Lenin, Stalin, Malenkov, Khrushchev and now Brezhnev. It has developed its own awk- ..I, ward but effective succession machine- Poor fellow Reassigned to a peace keeping mission I hear rv; nas noi. difficult matter to settle." But, Chou concluded, nothing had since been done because Russia refused to "recognize objective facts like the existence of disputed areas." How much of a change has now been produced? Or is each party just trying lo improve its propaganda position with respect to foreign Communist parties in the underdeveloped third world'.' I have received the impression in each capital that the dispute cannot be terminated so long as Brezhnev and his others, and have increased the cost of nursing home care from a day in to approximately now in a basic nursing home. In September of this year, we received another rule book from the federal government, which applies only to the homes which have welfare patients. These rules are more stringent than our state regulations, and will definitely increase a nursing home's costs. This is fighting inflation? They have added con- sultant social worker, dietitian and pharmacist to our required staff. Stale regulations cover all these areas. The welfare rates are a maximum of S15 per day now My latest costs show that I am above the 815 now. If I lose per patient per day, it means over per month, due lo the number of welfare patients here. Does the state colleagues govern Russia and Mao Tse- tung and Chou rule China. The venerable Mao is flagging and Chou lias been ill for months. Likewise, there are suspicions the hearty Brezhnev is no longer at the height of his powers and that a new set of bosses may take over within a year. Aware of these impending changes, are the two Marxist powers getting ready to make a deal when fresh leader- ships take over? Or does each hope lo really expect me to stand these losses and stay in business? As people, we really have hearts, but as businesses, we have to follow Ihe simple rules of economics. Lending agencies look al fads and figures, nol at how compassionate you are or how yon are gambling with time until the stale raises Ihe payments. I have been told that ADC payments will increase in the next month, or so. Our costs have increased by a much greater percentage than theirs. We came under the minimum wage increases May 1, besides the food and utility increases everyone has. Thirty cents an hour meant per month lo me. We are all going to grow old the only alternative is lo die young. Most families have elderly members now. When and if they need a nursing home, can you, or My guess, therefore, is that Peking aware of a new internal rather than external trouble potential is playing a game of apparent conciliation. However, unless Moscow produces tangible con- cessions, no earth-shaking realignment is in the offing. And, on the record, it would appear unlikely the Kremlin is ready to go that far. It'hopes to influ- ence people at the helm before it makes Chinese friends; or, rather, to put its friends in power first. How York Times Service they, pay Ihe going rales, or are you go- ing to be forced to try lo find a place for a welfare patient? The nursing homes are being forced into this by economics, nol because they are heartless, greedy people. Contact your new legislators none of them menlion this problem in their campaign platforms. These are your people we care for. Beverly A. Johnson, administrator Willow Gardens Home Nursing Care Center, Marion Perversity Why do they schedule all the good TV programs on nights when you have lo attend meetings? crioltnl Nonrunning Teddy still spotlighted Chappaquiddick wiii not fade By Louis Harris Ihe Horns Survey Although Senator Edward Kennedy has officially taken himself out of the 1976 Democratic race for-lhe presiden- tial nomination, he remains a highly controversial public figure. His behavior in the Chappaquiddick tragedy is still a major element in the public's assess- ment of him. In a poll conducted after Senator Kennedy removed himself from the 197B contest, the following highlights emerged: A lopsided 75-13 percent majority agrees with the statement that Senator Kennedy "works hard at his job and is a good L'. S. senator." This latest result represents a moderate rise in his stand- ing in the public eye, up from fifi-lli percent who felt the same way a year ago. If he is finally out of the immediate running for the White House, the chances are thai Kennedy's efforts as a legislator will he assessed more favora- bly on their own merits than in the context of his possible presidential ambitions. The Massachusetts senator's well- known penchant for taking up Ihe cause of Ihe underdog has wide appeal, with a 511-27 percent majority agreeing thai "tin wants to help Ihose who are weak and less privileged, and Ihe country can use that kind of leadership." At a lime when Ihe recession has made lower in- come and minority families suffer even more hardship. Kdward Kennedy could easily become Ihe champion of the minority cause. However, by percent, a plural- ity diii-s not believe that Senator Ken- nedy 'could give the country Ihe in- spired leadership we need." While high- ly satisfied with his efforts as a I'. S. senator. Ihe public is reluctant to make him Ihe occupant of the White House. A major deterrent to Kennedy's ascension to the White House is the be- lief, among 40 percent, that "because of what happened at Chappaquiddick, Louis Harris Kennedy showed he does not deserve the presidency." even though a plurality, 4fi percent, do not agree. The lates't 40 percent level nf criticism of Kennedy over Chappaquiddick represents a 6- point rise from 1973. Another strongly expressed nega- tive factor about Kennedy that has not changed appreciably over the past four years is Ihe positive belief, among 50-33 percenl. that "he has gone as far as he has because of his name." If he were to seek the Democratic pres- idential nomination, this criticism might have proven to be as powerful a delerrenl in his presidential chances as the lingering questions over Chappa- quiddick. A kind of bottom line on Senator Kennedy emerges in the 4K-44 percent of the people who "do not folly irust his in- tegrity." This distrust has nol changed appreciably over the pasl three years and represents Ihe must damaging evi- dence against Kennedy's chances in the future. After Watergate, integrity in high public officials is perhaps Ihe only ab- solute must. The American people will lnlenile differences of opinion with Us leaders un Ihe issues and will even elecl men they do nol totally agree with, liul Ihey will not tolerate Ihe slightest doubt about an official's morality nr ethics. Kcceiilly, a miss-section of I 544 adults was asked: I d like to reod you some statements people have made about Senator Edward Kennedy. For each, tel! me if you land to agree or dis- agree with it. (Read 1974 '73 '72 '71 He works hard ot his job and is a good U. S. senator Agree Disagree Not sure 75 66 67 68 U 16 IB 20 12 18 15 12 He wants to help those who arc weak and less privileged, and Ihe country can use such lead- orship Agree 56 x Disagree 27 Not sure 7 t x Ho could give the country the inspired leader- ship we need. Agree Disagree Not sure 40 36 45 43 15 21 Negative He hos gone as (or as he has because of his Agree Disagree Not sure 59 56 56 57 35 32 35 35 6 12 9 8 I rio not fully hi, inlnQrity A0'CI! 46 43 Disagree it 4) Nol suro 10 16 wiuse ol whnl happened nl rhoppaqinrltlick, n showed ho dons nol deserve thi, preildnnry Noi -NOI 40 U 34 49 .15 33 49 51 16 16 ;