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Cedar Rapids Gazette: Tuesday, December 31, 1974 - Page 6

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - December 31, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                Editorial Page Tuesday, December 31, 197X Refrospecfion, '74 Looking back at year's-end on events and trends that touched the world, this Republic and especially the corner of it known as Iowa, some highlights of re- action to them on these pages once again are apropos. Editorially in 1974, The Cedar Rapids Gazette: Supported the idea of a "SKY- WAY" network of enclosed, ele- vated walkways in downtown Ce- dar Rapids. Rated state aid for schools and better pay for state employes as the top legislative priorities for Iowa's TREASURY SURPLUS of million. Considered a relaxing of CLEAN AIR standards as accept- able to help ease the energy shor- tage and help the economy only if it is temporary and if long-range clean-air goals stay in force. Backed Governor Ray's pro- posal for removing the 3 percent SALES TAX on food and drugs. Favored the dropping of WAGE and PRICE CONTROLS upon their scheduled expiration April 30. Praised the work of Secretary of State Kissinger in arranging a PEACE AGREEMENT in the Middle East. Urged a city investment in fur- ther planning to upgrade FIRST AVENUE'S traffic-carrying ca- pacity. Encouraged a statewide move- ment to expand the AMTRAK rail network across Iowa along North Western trackage. Called for better housekeeping and for additional special-care fa- cilities at the less-than-satisfacto- ry Linn county JAIL. Concluded, from the best infor- mation either side could muster in a safety dispute over NUCLE- AR POWER, that this source of energy should continue and ex- pand: The benefits are worth the risk. Supported passage of a state COLLECTIVE BARGAINING bill for public employes, subject to changes concerning binding arbi- tration and salaries of employ- ment relations board members. Suggested better consideration for nonsmokers through a law limiting indoor SMOKING in public places to specifically des- ignated rooms or lounges. Continued support for RIGHT TURNS ON RED signals but doubted the safety merit of changing from turns wherever signs announce them to a system allowing turns everywhere except where signs forbid. Sided with Governor Ray in his veto of the LONG-TRUCK bill permitting 65-foot twin bottom trailers on four-lane highways. Dimly viewed Attorney Gener- al Turner's proposal for restoring the DEATH PENALTY in Iowa. Reiterated past advice for doing away with the ELECTOR- AL COLLEGE and electing U.S. Presidents directly, by popular vote. Urged adoption of statewide guidelines to cover CABLE TV development uniformly in Iowa. Doubted that an income TAX CUT as proposed in congress was a timely or desirable step in view of budget deficits and inflation. Opposed a CABLE-TV proposal before Cedar Rapids voters be- cause its franchise ordinance was not on the ballot and the people had inadequate assurances as to whether service would be good. Recommended a compromise form of conditional AMNESTY for draft evaders and deserters, rather than clean-sweep, no- strings forgiveness. Disagreed with arguments that an IMPEACHMENT action against President Nixon would severely weaken or destroy the presidency itself. Saluted the city parks and planning departments for their role in developing new RIVER- FRONT PARKS in central Cedar Rapids. Welcomed ordinance adoption to require that police personnel take LIE DETECTOR tests under grand jury auspices or face dis- charge. Deplored the "BLUE FLU" walkout in protest to this action. Called for public ownership rather than private possession of government OFFICIALS' PA- PERS relating to public duties, after the officials leave office. Recommended approval of a million bond issue in April for renovation of four old C.R. JUNIOR HIGH schools and an- other for million in Decem- ber. Saw merit in proposals that congress limit the scope of EX- ECUTIVE PRIVILEGE that any President can claim in withhold- ing information. Criticized repeatedly the law requiring 60-PERCENT approval Insights Public opinion's always in advance of the low. John Galsworthy of bond issues, because it deval- ues some voters, overweights oth- ers, and handicaps Iowa com- munities in making worthy im- provements. Found it beautifully ironic in the service of justice that unre- quired, voluntary, government-fi- nanced TAPING of presidential- office conversations were a self- imposed "dirty trick" upon which the fate of a presidency would hang. Condemned the house of repre- sentatives' defeat of a bill that would have paved the way for gradual development of the MET- RIC SYSTEM in this country. Appraised the Iowa LEGISLA- TURE'S 1974 session as difficult but rewarding, with the general assembly earning high marks for its service. Favored survival of the federal COMMUNITY action program for health, employment and anti-pov- erty services despite fund-hold- backs by the White House. Cited advantages in a proposal that congress ban the sale of NONRETURNABLE CONTAIN- ERS, to improve the environ- ment. Lauded efforts to establish a better NATIONAL ANTHEM than "The Star-Spangled Advocated an "OPEN" PRI- MARY election system for Iowa, requiring no party pre-affiliation and letting any voter privately pick either party's ballot at the polls instead of having to declare membership. Acknowledged the Linn county GRAND JURY'S findings and in- dictments in the case of alleged wrongdoing in the Cedar Rapids police department as a creditable job. .Suggested that Iowa's new de- partment of transportation pro- mote legislation giving cities bet- ter leverage to order RAILROAD CROSSING improvements. Promoted the idea of turning abandoned railroad rights-of-way into BICYCLE PATHS and nature trails. Saw more to lose than gain in a ballot proposal for electing school board members from resi- dential DISTRICTS instead of at large. Found fault with the U.S. de- partment of agriculture's credi- bility in overinflating its CROP PRODUCTION estimates. Reasoned, on the basis of dev- astating new tape disclosures and a heavy swing in congressional judgment toward impeachment and conviction, that Mr. NIX- ON'S RESIGNATION would be preferable. Favored a compromise elimi- nating DAYLIGHT SAVING time from the year's coldest, darkest months. Commended PRESIDENT FORD for launching his adminis- tration in a strong and confi- dence-restoring way. Hailed birth-rate reductions showing up in the U.S. and urged the promotion of POPULATION- GROWTH restraint worldwide. Endorsed Nelson Rockefeller's nomination for VICE-PRESI- DENT and maintained that posi- tion through the hearings on his appointment. In September's SCHOOL ELECTIONS, recommended votes continuing Kirkwood Com- munity college's %-mill levy, ex- panding uses for the public schools' levy and estab- lishing a community-service-rec- reation levy in C.R. Deemed it premature and le- gally unsatisfactory that Presi- dent Ford had granted a PAR- DON to former President Nixon. Supported the million bond- issue proposition for creation of a modern natural-habitat ZOO in Cedar Rapids. Applauded Governor Ray's ap- pointment of DONALD GARD- NER of Cedar Rapids to the state department of transportation. Rated AIR-QUALITY improve- ment as a top-priority item for civic action in C.R. Credited Sen. Edward KEN- NEDY with a wise decision in withdrawing from consideration as the Democratic presidential nominee in 1976. In the November elections, ENDORSED Culver over Stanley for U.S. senator, Ray over Scha- ben for Iowa governor, and Riley over Blouin for Second district congressman. Advocated voter approval of state constitutional AMEND- MENTS on special-session methods and distribution of fines. Concurred with city council plans to replace an overly restric- tive ordinance banning all FILMS IN TAVERNS with one that would be fairer and constitution- ally stronger. Complimented the city council for expanding its program to RAZE dilapidated nouses, and urged further action on housing REHABILITATION. Pressed for uninterrupted con- struction action on INTERSTATE 380 through Cedar Rapids and north through Hiawatha. Saw little or nothing to gain in launching a federal grand-jury probe of BUGGING allegedly done in the past within the C.R. police department. Disfavored a 37-percent PAY INCREASE for members of con- gress. Prodded the city council to pass an ordinance restricting af- ternoon rush-hour TRAIN MOVE- MENT on Fourth street 'down- town. Echoed the newly asserted support by leading conservative columnists for decriminalization or legalization of MARIJUANA use by individuals. Opposed the granting of FOOD STAMPS to people with incomes voluntarily diminished by their going on strike. Campaigned for law revisions preventing the concealment of. ownership in LAND PURCHAS- ES, notably by foreign buyers widening their scope in Iowa. 'CIA headquarters we're tracking a half-naked freak kid, bearing the number seven five please advise. Over' Nuke-rein unimpressive Arms 'breakthrough' doubted By Louis Harris The Harris Survey Although the concept of the U.S. and the Soviet Union putting a limit on the number of missiles and nuclear war- heads that each country possesses is popular, only a narrow plurality, 35-34 percent, believes President Ford's claim that his agreement with the Rus- sians at Vladivostok was "a major breakthrough." In fact, there is much skepticism about the announced agreements. The two chief reservations Americans have are that the ceilings will allow for a substantial continuation of the arms race and that the Russians are unlikely to keep their end of the bargain. Those with reservations are con- cerned that the ceiling may be an invi- tation to a continued arms race, and two out of three people do not yet believe that Mr. Ford's and Secretary Henry Kissinger's initial agreement is a "breakthrough." Still, a majority of the people are willing to give President Ford the bene- fit of the doubt. Most believe that "just setting a limit" of any kind is a "major accomplishment" as is bringing down defense spending. Those in favor of the arms-limitation agreement also find set- ting ceilings on nuclear missiles wholly desirable and welcome any steps toward, realistic controls. Between Dec. 13 and 17, a cross-sec- tion of adults nationwide was asked: "In reaching agreement with General Sec- retary Brezhnev of Russia to set a ceiling on the number of missiles and nuclear warheads the U.S. and Russia will have, President Ford called the agreement a major breakthrough. Others say tho agreement will allow both our- selves and the Russians to continue an arms race, since the ceiling n more than the number of missiles and warheads either country now has. Do you think the agreement was a break- through or FORD-BREZHNEV NUCtEAR AGREEMENT A BREAKTHROUGH? Breakthrough 35 Not a breakthrough 34 Not sure 31 Although majorities of every key seg- ment across the country are not yet con- vinced that the agreement is a "break- the most skeptical groups are the better educated and affluent. Forty- four to 35 percent of those polled who have a college degree do not consider the Ford-Brezhnev agreement a major step in nuclear disarmament. Nevertheless the willingness of Americans to trust President 'Ford was evident in the following questions: "Now let me read you some statements made by some people about the recent arms agreement between President Ford and Russian General Secretary Brezhnev. For each, tell me if you tend to agree or disagree. (Read state- POSITIVE Even though both sides can build more nuclear- armed vehicles and more warheads, just setting a limit is a major accomplishment. This latest arms agree- ment means that at last some decrease in arms spending might be possi- ble, and that is good. NEGATIVE The agreement is not a real control at all, be- cause the ceiling is so high that it allows almost unlimited expan- sion of arms by both Russia and the U.S. The trouble with this agreement is that we will live up to it and the Russians will not. Agree agree Not sure 63 62 27 The effect of the Vladivostok summit trip of President Ford has been to im- prove public opinion of his foreign poli- cy. The President's score on "working for peace in the world" rose eight points because of the Brezhnev agreement. Ford now has a 55-36 percent favorable rating on handling relations with Russia although he only holds a close, 48-39 percent positive rating on reaching an arms-control agreement. Chlcogo Tribune-New York News Syndicate Institutions outlast Watergate Year's end: big lingers By James J. Kilpatrick SCRABBLE, Va. Here in the Blue Ridge mountains, the end of the year of- fers little but a succession of cold gray days. Most evenings we sit by the kitch- en fire, reading and talking, and getting up now and then to step over the collies and bring in some more wood. It is a great time for reflecting on the year Ihitt was; and for a political reporter, the year that was, was Watergate. The one great question that remains is the question of why why the whole- thing happened. Most of the other ques- tions have been exhaustively answered. From the house and senate inquiries, and from the coverup trial, we know the who, what, where, when and how. The why of the story still eludes us. This is not true of most stories of corruption in high office. Ordinarily the why is not in doubt: Ordinarily the mo- tive is personal gain. Spiro Agnew need- ed the money, or thought he needed the money, and there is an end to it. But wha! impelled Richard Nixon and the men around him? Hundreds of thou- sands of dollars were floating around. No one took a dime. The usual answer that is given, when the question of why is asked, is that the President and the President's men were motivated not by the love of money but by the love of power. This is the Greek hubris a special kind of arrogance, and perhaps this explains a part of the trag- edy. Yet in any rational view, Nixon had all the power any man in public life could ask. It was all so needless. Those who ad- mired and supported Richard Nixon keep turning forlornly to that view. There was never a need to extort mil- lions of dollars in campaign contribu- tions. The risk of bugging and burg- larizing the Democratic headquarters could not possibly be justified. The dirty tricks were moral wrongs, to be sure, but they were political blunders also. The enemies lists were witless. Why were these things done? And why when lie learned of them did Nixon himself fail to sec and In act upon tho need for instant disclosure? We look into the kitchen fire, and find no answers there. The probability is that no one not even Richard Nixon ever can fully explain the why of the story. It may have been .some terrible sense of insecurity on his part, some desperate inarticulate need for one mure moat and one more barricade that led him to ultimate disgrace The year that was! Politically speak- ing, we have never known anything like it. We had front-row seats for a drama worthy of Sophocles or Shakespeare, a drama played on a mighty stage, peo- pled by kings, lords, lackeys, a Fal- staffian Ulasowicz, a Malvolio named Ziegler. We saw a smashing last act in August; and no one who witnessed the President's farewell soliloquy will for- get that hoarse voice and tragic face. Then the curtain fell. The collies, indifferent to drama, stretch and yawn. We walk to the wood- pile for a backlog to last the night, and see 'that the stars are out. Orion and the Big Dipper are jewels on dark velvet. The year is past what's done is done James J. Kilpatrick and the question is whether our coun- try profits from the experience and puts the lessons to good use. I am optimistic. Some Newtonian law of politics even now is responding to the evil actions of Watergate with an equal and opposite reaction. Twenty states have created ethics commissions or adopted laws to promote full disclosure of campaign finances. One of retiring Sam Ervin's last acts was to introduce in the senate his full package of Water- gate reforms. Many of his committee's recommendations will be adopted. For a lime, at least, our elections will be cleaner. It is the tempering process that makes good steel fire and water, hammer and anvil. The enduring mes- sage of Watergate, as President Ford said in taking office, is that the system works. Our national character is not broken; it is strengthened. Our Constitu- tion still sails through the night as se- renely shining as the polar star, our compass and our guide. If our institutions can survive the year that was, we cannot fear for the years ahead. Washington Star Syndicate People's forum Malpractice To the Editor: Several years ago, some sinart-alcck lawyer in Waterloo said that the best way to cut down on medical malpractice lawsuits would be to cut down on medi- cal malpractice. A notion that lucid and logical isn't likely to get much support. But it's as- tounding that, in all the cry-baby stories on malpractice insurance, his sugges- tion is never given even token consider- ation. Maxine Jackson Fairfax Winter zoo To the Editor As den mothers, we want to thank the city of Cedar Haplds for allowing two groups of 8- to 40-year-old Cub Stouts to visit the winter quarters of the Bever It is a nice experience for young children of this age to see and visit the animals. We were all very much surprised to see how clean and warm the buildings are in which the animals are housed during the cold months of the year. Each animal cage had its own automa- tic waterer and various food pans, de- pending on the number of animals kept in each one. A very special lhank-you to Mr. Leo Prathcr, whose knowledge and care of these animals allowed him to answer all of the questions asked of him. He took extra pains to show us the important differences of wild animals, especially noting the varied diets they are fed. He is a very well informed man to handle groups such as this. We noticed he is more than an animal caretaker, he is personally concerned for each animal. I hope that Cedar Rapids and Mr Prather will continue to allow groups such as ours to tour through these facili- ties in the future. .ludy Langhum 200 Twenty-seventh street NW Connie Brown 4045 Keslcr road NW   

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