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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - April 2, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Nation: U.S. plane collides with Chinese jet Cl Life: Gym class goes from mild to wild DI Stepping up to the plate Topps Upper Deck Location: Carlsbad, Calif. Founded: 1988 First regular baseball set: 196 2001 sets: nine online: www.upperdeck.com Fleer Location: Mount Laurel, NJ. Founded: 1849 First regular baseball set: 1980 2001 sets: seven online: www.fleer.comAltoona mirror© Copyright 2001    MONDAY,    APRIL    2,    2001    SOC    newsstand Council reviews code language By William Kibler Staff Writer Altoona City Council is reviewing a new version of the Administrative Code to replace the current outdated one governing many council and staff protocols. Some of the current language is too restrictive and doesn’t allow staff to address routine procedures smoothly. Some revisions codify changes that staff or the council already have made. “It’s basically just housekeeping issues,’’ Councilman Tom Shaheen said. “Clarifying areas that have not been addressed since this form of government was formed.” It would require residents to give more notice to get items on the agenda but would require council members to give less notice. It would require everyone to wait longer to learn what the agenda is for a meeting. There won’t be major changes in the way the council operates, Shaheen said. After four review sessions in March, April and May, the council will pass a single ordinance incorporating the changes in a revised code, eliminating the need for separate ordinances dealing with single necessary changes as they come up. 'The spot ordinances are costly because of advertising. Department directors, the interim city solicitor and the city clerk contributed to the proposals. The first quarter of the revised document would: ■ Eliminate the requirement for the proposed agenda of any meeting to be forwarded to council members and to be available to the public at least two days prior to monthly meetings. This is not to limit public access but merely to accommodate the difficulty of publishing an agenda when there are last-minute changes, Shaheen said. The item has been proposed for months and is not in reaction to a recent public records series run in the Mirror, he said. ■ Add two days to the five-day notice required for residents to get a matter they want to discuss on the agenda for a meeting. This is to make it easier for the city clerk. ■ Eliminate the requirement for items submitted by a council member to be included in the agenda when submitted to the manager at least four days before a meeting. This conforms with what is happening, as council members bring forward last-minute matters, Shaheen said. Please see Code/Page A4 CAMPAIGN FINANCE Reform may be passed BY BRIGITTE GREENBERG The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Senators from both parties predicted Sunday that they will pass campaign finance reform, while opponents held out hope of derailing it if the House and Senate must compromise between competing versions of the legislation. If the Senate passes the bill today as expected, the House then could reject it, go along with the Senate version word-for-word or pass its own measure. The last option was seen as mostly likely, lawmakers said Sunday. In that case, a small number of senators and House members would be appointed to a conference committee that would work to resolve differences in the two versions and send a compromise back to bdtjichambers for passage. Those negotiations may offer an opening for foes of the legislation. “Clearly the conference ... is a time to negotiate with the [Bushi administration and see if we can come up with a bill that actually improves the system,” Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., a leading Senate opponent, told “Fox News Sunday.” President Bush has been circumspect about whether he would sign the bill into law. He said last week that he would sign any legislation that “improves the system” now in place. McConnell already has said that if the bill passes Congress, he plans a lawsuit to challenge it as an unconstitutional infringement on the right to free speech. Please see Reform/Page A8 Politicians split support By Robert Igoe Staff Writer The opinions of local politicians are mixed as Congress nears approval of the first meaningful campaign finance reform in more than 25 years. The Senate is preparing to vote on the McCain-Feingold Act, which supporters said would eliminate unregulated “soft money” political contributions and make donors more accountable. But not everyone agrees. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., has maintained his support for the his party’s opposition to the bill, which he thinks will not encourage fair campaigns but instead make them even harder to find. “I think that what’s going on in the Senate is not in the best interest of the political process,” said Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa. “What the McCain-Feingold bill will do is limit money to political parties and to candidates, which is accountable, and direct it to special interest groups, which are not accountable. It’ll take money that is disclosed and accountable and put it into undisclosed pots of money from special interest groups. Please see Local/Page A8 Cost of cards causes swing in fun of things KEEPING TRADING SPIRIT ALIVE Mirror photos by Kelly Bennett Above: Ryan McManamy of Hollidaysburg and Chris Jasper of Altoona look at some sports cards that McManamy just opened. Right: Pro Wrestling and Pokemon cards sit with baseball cards at Juniata Cards. By Robert Igoe Staff Writer For more than 50 years, baseball cards have heralded the beginning of spring for America’s children and kicked off a summer of obsession that was part stock exchange, part treasure hunt and all fun. While those who participate in the hobby still consider it fun, that number is including fewer and fewer children. The lucent pack of “IO picture cards and one stick bubble gum” has evolved into the $2.50 pack of foil-embossed cards with space-age graphics and the possibility of a rare collectable replacing the sugary pink rectangle. As a result, the towheaded gang of 8-year-olds trading a Willie Stargell for a Dave Parker or flipping cards by the playground fence has gone the way of the regularly scheduled doubleheader and the pull-over jersey. “It’s become more of a grown-up hobby these days,” Juniata Cards owner Steve Springman said. Please see Cards/Page A4 Mirror graphic by Tom Worthington ll The major league players in baseball cards: Location: New York City Founded: 1938 First regular baseball set: 1951 2001 sets: 14 online: www.topps.comCambria courthouse’s turn-of-the-century elevator being replaced By Mia Rohart Staff Writer EBENSBURG — Dana Descavish used to wait in the Cambria County Courthouse to catch her bus to elementary school. She and her friends would ride the manually operated elevator for fun while they waited. Descavish, an accountant in the controller’s office, and Melissa Dishong, an auditor, usually take the stairs. But Thursday, they took the elevator because it would be their last chance to ride in the antique device. “We’re going to miss Rick,” Descavish and Dishong agreed. Rick Magulick operates the elevator. He pushes the lever counterclockwise to lower the elevator and clockwise to raise it. “I’ve enjoyed operating the elevator. I met a lot of nice people and made a lot of friends,” Magulick said. “No matter what age or reason for visiting the courthouse, 99 percent of the people say, ‘thank you,’ when they get off,” he said. Magulick, who operated the elevator for eight months, said hello to everyone getting on the elevator, a sort of goodwill ambassador of the courthouse. Dishong and Descavish said he always said hello to people even if they weren’t getting on the elevator. Magulick makes the job look easy, but it requires speed and precision with the lever to avoid stopping the elevator short of — or above — the desired floor. Construction, expected to last 90 days, started Friday to replace the old elevator, built near the turn of the century, with a modem iiI've enjoyed operating the elevator. Rick Magulick, elevator operator H hydraulic elevator that passengers push a button for the desired floor. Accommoda tions wifl be made for people who cannot use the stairs, Cambria County courthouse facilities director Frank Bansky said. A young, dark haired man in a suit stepped into the elegant, old elevator at the Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensburg last week. He slowly ran his finger down one of the painted bars of the open cage. The open cage is made of gold-painted brass bars and has decorative markings with two capital Cs, standing for Cambria County. He had heard it was the end of the line for the antique elevator. “I guess it’s goodbye to all this nice stuff then,” he said. The man’s expression brightened when told that Judge Gerard Long would attempt to salvage as much of the elevator as possible. In the basement equipment room near the elevator shaft, the inch-wide cable that raises and lowers the elevator wraps so quietly around the pickup drum that it’s hard to believe the elevator is about a century old. The only sound is the loud “clack, clack” of the clutch and brake when the elevator reaches its destination. “It runs quietly because we take good care of it,” Bansky said. Long and the commissioners are meeting with an architect to discuss options for the old elevator. Meanwhile, Frank Bursky, who works with renovations in the courthouse, will clean the old elevator and store it at an old building near Laurel Crest, Long said. The new bronze-plated elevator will be fashioned to blend in with the old-time grandeur of the courthouse. “We’re doing everything we can to make sure it matches the Victorian decorum,” Commissioner Kathy Holtzman said. Bansky said “every effort” is being made to find a new position for Magulick in Cambria County. 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