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Cedar Rapids Gazette Newspaper Archive: December 14, 1974 - Page 4

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - December 14, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                ibpitb Editorial Page beg your pardon This is (fie executive bench' Saturday, 14, 1974 C.R. fop need: housing After two months of vigorous study, Cedar Rapids' community development volunteer planners have identified housing rehabili- tation as the city's most com- pelling need. Accordingly, they have recommended that the city's first-year community develop- ment (CD) act share of be used entirely for home upgrading, acquisition of proper- ties, demolition of structures beyond saving and sundry other neighborhood conservation ef- forts. In other words, the goal is to continue neighborhood rehabilita- tion begun under the now defunct urban renewal plan six. years ago. Neighborhoods most in need of upgrading, according to the CD priorities committee, are Oak Hill Riverside (SW) and Time Check CD funds also are proposed for intensive housing code enforcement in neigh- borhoods located near Coe college and along Mt. Vernon road SE. Those observing the work of the four quadrant committees and the priorities committee (represent- ing the four earlier-organized groups) realize that the housing choice was anything but automa- tic. Improved flood control, development of Cedar lake as a recreational facility, pollution control, storm sewer im- provements these major needs and two dozen lesser enhancements received lengthy consideration. Some proposals, notably storm sewer work, ranked second to housing because they already are subject to federal funding. Some suggestions were plainly ineligi- ble for CD funding but nonetheless were forwarded to the city council as reflections of community con- cern. None of the volunteers imagined that million yearly somehow could be stretched magically to cover all the needs. Yet committee members con- sidered dozens of ideas, 'lest any worthy ones escape the city's no- tice. The decision to place housing above all other concerns testifies both to the remaining needs and to the success of rehabilitation already accomplished by the city. In a 1974 inspection of housing units in Linn county, showed minor deficiencies and major deficiencies. Another 580 dwellings were adjudged sub- standard. The remaining surveyed units were classified as sound. Most of the houses needing rehabilitation are located in Cedar Rapids' Oak Hill, Riverside and Time Check areas. The Linn county regional plan- ning commission study also showed that households lack adequate income to provide safe, decent housing. Significantly, that category includes elderly low-income households wherein more than 25 percent of income is required for housing. Though evidence of austerity and hardship runs counter to Cedar Rapids' image as a com- fortable, depression-proof com- munity, the statistics and the compelling human stories behind them rate as non-news for the city planning and redevelopment staff. In their yedrs of Neighborhood Development Program work, city staffers saw not only citizens' eagerness for housing conserva- tion but the willingness of many residents to make improvements without federal grants. No less than 40 preferred to go it alone. This spirited response to neigh- borhood conservation suggests that its continuation under com- munity development is a wise choice. The proposal to revitalize housing rehabilitation would be welcome any time, but during this holiday season it seems an especially neighborly gesture. on Target From all reports, Target store's first annual shopping night for the elderly and handi- capped Dec. 8 was a bell-ringing success. Store closed to other shoppers to 10; rides sponsored by the store, coordinated by the Council on Aging and provided by RTC and SEATS; wheelchairs made available; refreshments served all conveniences assured leisure- ly shopping for the 300 partici- pants visiting the store that night. The idea pioneered by the Mo- line, 111., Target store last year indeed worked well in Cedar Rapids this Christmas season. It's a winning gesture, this spe- cial planning for people who oth- erwise find Christmas shopping too hectic. No wonder all 46 Target stores have embraced the idea. No doubt other sympathetic merchants have taken note. Our commendations to Target store personnel, the Council on Aging and all others who helped make the Cedar Rapids store's innovation a happy experience. U. S. reserve bulge is fat, not muscle By Tom Tiede WASHINGTON There is a national guard unit in Daytona Beach which, for the last decade, has been using tax funds for the purpose of remaining proficient in obsolescence. The unit, an air defense battery, is assigned as its responsibility a Korean war vintage anti-aircraft weapon with which it is virtually impossible to shoot down an aircraft. Many members of the unit believe the whole thing is unwise but continue to belong and why not? they are paid up to several thousand dollars a year to keep the worthless art'llery oiled. The example is only one of a lengthy list of similar budget abuses and wastrel extravagance in the U. S. mil- itary reserve system, a system that has through the decades defied almost all attempts to modify or eliminate it. Americans spend more than bil- lion annually to preserve a 2.4-million- man reserve apparatus that in the opin- ion of many military and civilian ob- servers is largely a joke. Numerous investigations have rein- forced this opinion. A recent Brookings Institute study concluded that most reserve units (including reserve and New 'Hans und Fritz', old Mitchell Coverup trial's human stories By William Safire WASHINGTON Leaving the ques- tion of innocence to the jury and the subject of fairness to the appeals courts, it may be instructive to observe the uf- fect of the Watergate trial on the three key defendants and to see how their per- sonalities have determined the contrast of their defenses. H. R. "Bob" Haldeman lie of the ramrod repute, the martinet appearance in his days of power has changed his appearance. Years ago, I asked him why he didn't get rid of his Prussian- looking crew cut; he laughed and re- plied: "Who'd know His haircut is softly styled now, and he has taken the rough edges of severity out of his mannerisms in the courtroom. He was right: Nobody would know him. In last year's hearings as well as this year's trial, he has appeared soft-spo- ken, kind, mild-mannered, reverent and reasonable, a far cry from the fierce wieldcr of power he used to be known to be. That is because the former adman places great importance in in appearance, before a jury or any public; though he seldom concerned himself with his own image while in the White House, he now sees it is to be essential in his trial. Haldeman feels that his defense requires that softening of image to compensate for a refusal to soften his position: He has chosen to stand with Nixon, rarely taking refuge in "orders" as a defense. He is consistent in his phi- losophy that appearances count, and personally loyal to the man whose alter ego he was. John Ehrliehman has taken a differ- ent path. His relationship with N'ixon was not quite as close as Haldeman's; when Nixon turned Haldeman down on anything, he did it directly, but when the President turned down Ehrlichman, he did it through Haldeman. Moreover, Ehrlichman sees himself as roped into the Watergate conspiracy prosecution. His "problem" was the plumbers unit, and he has already been convicted for that. His plumbers' de- fense required a hard national security rationale, which is why he clashed so sharply with senators at the televised hearings last year; on the coverup con- spiracy charge, Ehrlichman believes he was drawn in only to help the prosecu- tion discredit the former President. Which he is willing to do. If his role is lo be a latter-day Dean, he will play that role. His defense, which has puz- zled some of those observing the trial, is lo side with the prosecution, more in sorrow than in anger. Ehrlichman's lawyer claims his client was Ehrlichman demands Nixon's presence as a witness' in the trial's most poign- ant moment, it was Ehrlichman who showed the need for Nixon to explain his actions to the next generation. Those who know Ehrlichman know that his concern for the way his children will look at them, is no false front put on to impress a jury: He is profoundly a family man. That solidarity, however, does not extend lo any official family; if his testi- mony harms other defendants, so be it. In seeking to transfer the blame, he in- furiates his former leader, but this does not bother Ehrlichman because he has decided not to be left twisting slowly, slowly, etc. And what of the man he described as "the big John Mitchell would not knuw how lo begin lo change his image; like Aleksei Kosygin, he was born lo fulfill Ihe definition of the word "dour." Nor has Mitchell changed his story. He says he did not authorize the break- in, and flatly contradicts the testimony of a parade of witnesses who copped their pleas. And despite the disparage- ment on the tape transcripls lhal musl have slung him, he has not turned on Richard Nixon. More than anyone in the drama, Milchell has lurned oul lo be whal David Reisman called "Ihc inner-direcl- cd man." Unsustained by a religious deserted by his wife, career wrecked and friends fled, his home a hotel room, John Mitchell remains John Mitchell. Of all those who came to Washington in early 1969, the campaign manager was the mosl reluctant. He liked his lucrative law practice; he was fearful of what the limelight might do to his wife. To Mitchell, lypccasl as the heavy, the play of power was no aphrodisiac. The President needed him, so he came; nei- ther powerlust nor greed brought him to Washington for his rendezvous wilh dis- aster. Mitchell's easy tolerance of eaves- dropping brought most of the disaster on himself, of course, but the purpose of ihis elegy wrilten in a federal courtyard is not to usurp the jury's job. Rather it is to compare how three flawed but well-meaning men not one of whom is as evil or stupid as the other two now think he is react differently in the same situation. Haldeman shifts his image, Ehrlich- man shifts his blame, Milchell shifls his pipe to the other side of his mouth. Haldeman stands loyally by his dis- graced leader, Ehrlichman sadly con- demns him, Milchell refuses lo pass judgment at all. "Put 'em all in a Richard Nixon used to say about slates of oppos- ing that the worst of each could be used to afflict the others. But even when bagged, as this case shows us, individuals react in an individual way. New York Times Scrvlco guard components) are woefully short of combat capacity; that at least .'IIHI.IIOO of Ihe paid reservists (there are could be eliminated without fear of disrupting national security and that, indeed, Ihe stale of Ihe reserves is so low that entire new regular army units could be brought to proficiency in the time il would lake lo whip most reserv- ists into battlefield condition. The Daytona Beach battery is a ripe illustration of the last point. While it has been shinirig up outdated AA artil- lery for Ihe lasl dozen years, several generations of new air defense guns have come and gone. Says one Florida guard colonel: "If we could, we'd get the new weapons. As il is, if il came lo an emergency, we'd have to completely retrain Ihese men in Ihe new weaponry. Thai would probably take months. May- be it would lake as much as a year. Even then, they'd be no good against nuclear attack." Thus il is thai rather than add to the national security, much of America's reserve mililary capacity may be de- tracting from it. "The sheer statistics of the reserves may have lulled us inlo a sense of false says a Brook- ings staffer. "We say we have almost 2.5 million in the reserve force and that sounds gigantic. Actually, given the probable foe in an atomic age, it is no- thing bul mathematics. Our reserve big- ness is mostly expensive fat." The silualion is nothing new. Critics have worried over reserve excesses and incapabililies since the end of World war II. But most Iries at modernizalion, including Robert McNamara's sensible plan to merge the guard and reserve into one lean unil, have gone down (he drain. One reason is the powerful anti- change lobby within the reserve itself; stall- governors command national guard units, leading citizens comprise local companies, and almosl one of five in Ihe current congress is a proud member of Ihe big fellowship club. Even now, with congress casting about for ways to cut spending, nary a word of wonder is raised aboul Ihe need for a billion-a-year reserve. The armed services committees recognize the reserve deficiencies, but think in terms of increasing outlays to achieve belter performance. "Cut the says an astonished staffer, "are you kiJ- Aboul half Ihe members of both armed services committees are reserv- ists. Tom Tiede Still, in limes of inflation, cuts may not be avoided for long. One idea worth considering is a tolal restructuring of the reserves inlo cadre units. This, done now on a small scale, would eliminate everyone from selected (paid1) status except highly skilled or administrative people who would continue to keep or- ganizational apparatus active toward the day of possible mobilization. If the day came, the cadre would simply call ready (standby) reservists up to flesh out Ihe ranks. The citizen- soldiers, this way, would still be ready for emergency duly, bul Ihe nalion wouldn'l pay them unless il occurred. NewspoDcr Enteroflse Association People's forum Look it up Thoughtful gesture To the Editor: I feel positive I voice the opinions of the many elderly and handicapped per- sons who experienced the thrill of lei- surely shopping at the Target store Sun- day evening, Dec. 8. The store provided this special night for persons physically unable to battle their way through the throngs of harried Christmas shoppers. A wheelchair was provided for my mother, who cannot walk long dis- tances. I maneuvered her up and down every aisle while my aunt trailed along with the shopping cart. What a delight it was to these house- and room-bound peo- ple lo select gifts for their loved ones in an atmosphere of old-time, old- fashioned hospitality. As guests of the store we had lus- cious doughnuts, cake, coffee, Cokes and an Invitation for seconds all free. As the evening came to a close the sweet voices of the young clerks and helpers joined in singing Christmas carols. Again I believe I voice the opinion of all participants a huge "thank you" to the wonderful people who so ably scheduled, planned and carried out this beautiful adventure In shopping. Rosemary Fries 335 Eighteenth street SE To the Editor: Thirty-three years ago on Dec. 7 President Roosevelt was declaring the "day that will live in infamy" after the precise and deadly Japanese atlack on Pearl Harbor with its 10 square miles of military inslallations, the naval base bearing the brunt of dealh and deslruc- lion. About four years later anolher President authorized the use of the most destructive weapon of that time, the at- om bomb. Dropped on Hiroshima, Ja- pan, indiscriminately, it obliteraled or wrecked many square miles of properly and killed an eslimated men, women and children. Olher Ihousands injured and maimed were to die later. Seems like Truman had his "day of infamy" too. All that aside, it appears thai we have had in our midst for years a killer weapon deslroying more people lhan Ihe atom bomb, although more slowly. It will cause death to possibly of an estimaled to be stricken in 1975 alone and will continue in its merciless course unless man heeds the warning signals soon enough. This is a preventa- ble tragedy caused by a sort of lethal time capsule billions of them end- lessly exuding noxious chemicals. As to humans stricken by these dead- ly it seems very few can survive. There is no sure cure and no very effective treatment. This disease occurs by any other means in about 2 percent of its victims. My mind has not invented Ihis ca-. lamitous report. II is based on an article quoting an authoritative medical scien- tist in The Gazette of Doc. 4 on page 40. Those who did not read this article might do well to find it and read it. The life they might save could be Iheir own. You can learn whal Ihis deadly weapon is and the disease it causes. The head- ing's two lines began wilh the words "Doctor" and "Calamity." Al Watson Whitlier 1-380 resistance To the Edilor: In your Dec. 6 editorial, "Hiawatha the comparison to David and Goliath is almosl as bizarre as trying to rebut a 454-word editorial in less than 400 words. The editorial was very patronizing and cast Hiawatha in the role of unruly children who have; dared to disagree with the wise fathers who have years of bad management and costly mistakes to their credit. Refresh- ingly, though, The Gazette has now taken an open stand against the people of Hiawatha. Bedroom community? Perhaps, but for 13 years I have been able to sleep in this bedroom and (hat's more than I can say (or the six years that I lived in Cedar Rapids. As early as 1964 citizens of Hiawatha attended meetings in Cedar Rapids conducted by Ihe highway commission planning committee objecting lo (his routi> through Hiawatha find were told Iheir objections were premalure since several routes were being considered. Check your Gazette files; yon reported it. An editor's note to Martin Hruns' letter in the Dec 10 Gazette denied biased reporting. However in reporting the council proceedings in one of Hia- watha's council meetings, the reporter fell a need lo poinl oul thai the mayor's house would be lost to the highway. That IS a fact but was nol parl of the council proceedings. More apparently it was an effort lo imply lhal our mayor's motives were suspect. The Dec. 6 editorial suggested that Hiawatha officials "ought to accept (he Hiawatha thus ignoring the wishes of Hiawatha's people. This prac- tice can be found at the federal and slate level of government and perhaps in many cities but not in Hiawatha. "Nourish local I see no base for slating such a presumption as fad, or does The Gazelle feel ils eco- nomic1 expertise is not to be questioned? "Boost Ihe community Would The Gazelle have us believe lhal a 211-foot embankment full of noisy traf- In si If a man is good, de- and clean, he will continue lo be so regard- less of the work he is as- signed fo. Fiorello to Cunrrlia fie nexl lo our school and city park is a thing of beauty? Maybe we could charge admission for folks to look at it and thereby recoup the tax revenue lost to our city because of the hard-headed sin- gle-mindedness thai would create an atrocily lhal can murder an enlire cily. Hang in there, Hiawatha. Beware, do not overlook the potential of the kid wilh Ihe slingshot. Lewis Vinson- 5 Sixth avenue, Hiawatha Revolutionary To the Edilor: R. Rucker's letler (Dec. 5 Gazelle, "Soviels lean loward calls for comment. If he is speaking for Ihe entire history department at U. of I., this department has been thoroughly brain- washed. Let's get back to leaching fads in our schools instead of communist propaganda. Kurt London states in "The Per- manent "Psychological warfare is propaganda wilh teeth in it. It seeks to disseminate among target peoples (in this case, university students) ideas and beliefs designed to weaken the moral fiber, turn them against Iheir govern- ment and arouse sympathy for their op- ponents." Mr. London is a professor of international affairs and director of the Institute for Slno-Sovlet Studies at George Washington university. Mr. Kuckcr states "the Communist parly (since 1956) has ceased to be revolutionary" and "the Communist parly Soviet Union is striving to prevent, delay and if necessary misdirect revolu- tion throughout the world. It is not revolution that is sought by the CPSU but on the contrary, stability." We might be persuaded to believe this were it not for the fact that since 1956 the Soviet Union has most brutally conquered and brought into subjeclion many small nations, as well as attempting to slart revolulions in Ihe Uniled Stales, such as Wounded Knee. In his discussion of Dr. Almasov, who is a Russian native and should know his facts, Mr. Rucker (ha( Dr. Al- masov does not know what he is talking about when he says "Moscow is foment- ing revolution throughout the world." There are al present 135 nations in the U.N. Of these, 71 have populations smaller than New York City, and each has a vote equal to the United Stales. Because 26 nations abstained from voting for fear of alienating their communist these 71 tiny nations, all of them under the Soviet thumb, together with the communist bloc, constituted a two-thirds majorily in the U. N. General Assembly on Nov. 4 when (his body rolled oul Ihe welcome mal for the Arab terrorisls. Comrade Brezhnev and his cohorts bolh in Russia and in the United Slates are dedicated to avoiding a war which is one interpretation of "revolution." Mark my words there does not have to be a war to have a revolution, although the Soviet Union will stop al nolhini; to bring its kind of "peace" to all countries. Sec Portugal, Katanga, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, K.isl Germany, Laos, Vietnam and others Clarke M.ison Central Cily   

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