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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - April 13, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa ^ht (twilit i\npitb C0u3C^-4^ Editorial Page Saturday, April 12, 1974 He always had a healthy appetite!' ■■■■ ..... The people’s forum Innocence valued & Background for zoning ORDINARY zoning-change proposals seldom need discussion in this space because their impact will be limited and very few draw general attention. Now and then a rare one comes along with wider interest and importance, such as the current proposal for expansion of commercial zoning on what would become a major regional shopping center on more than 80 acres in southwest Cedar Rapids. The next four weeks or so will bring this controversial matter to a head through public-hearing city-council channels after earlier involvement of the city planning commission. Some principles of zoning as a force in urban life are worth reviewing in advance to anchor the debate on solid understanding for both sides of the issue. The most important principle may be that good zoning and good economics are two different things. Good zoning, as delineated in state law, must be designed to do these things specifically: Promote health and the general welfare. Prevent the overcrowding of land. Avoid undue concentration of population. Secure safety from fire, panic and other dangers. Lessen street congestion. Provide adequate light and air. Facilitate the adequate provision of transportation, water, sewerage, schools, parks and other public improvements. Good zoning also has to give express consideration to: The character of the area slated for certain kinds of zoning. Its peculiar suitability for particular uses. Encouragement of the land’s most appropriate use. Conservation of building values. Good zoning, in other words, combines a suitable kind of use for property at a suitable location. The economic feasibility of this is not intrinsic in that blend of suitabilities. Good economics in relation to a zoning situation, on the other hand, encompasses a lot of things with which the law does not concern itself. Where major changes are occurring, will they be financially sound? Will the investment pay off0 What effects will it produce on other elements of a community’s economy? How good a zoning is depends on use in relation to place. How good a zoning’s economics are depends on aspects such as size, scope, degree and likely impact on existing elements of other zoning elsewhere, along with their reciprocal effects. This facet of the pending proposition seems likely to become a central issue in the judgment to be passed. In scope, the shopping center project as proposed would add an enormous increment of some l l million square feet of commercial property to the Cedar Rapids-Marion business community. Whether that weighs out as good or bad in economic terms is what the whole community should now look into and find out. Turnabout in court IT DOESN’T take the wisdom of Solomon to see that a convicted cheater, embezzler or bad-check writer has more right to go unfettered than a person guilty of a violent offense. Somehow, though, many American judges have lost sight of this rudimentary truth. The trend has been noticeable in Eastern Iowa. So it was surprising to observe this week that a defendant aiming for probation on a child-beating count was sent instead to the state reformatory for men. Judge Harold Vietor of Linn district court decided that the man would not be placed on probation, despite the fact that his earlier plea of guilty (to assault with intent to inflict great bodily injury) was based on a plea-bargaining agreement with the county attorney: probation recommended if psychiatric treatment is accepted. The judge said the guilty plea could be withdrawn, but the defendant did not respond. Meanwhile, the three-vear-old child — the defendant’s stepson — has been moved to a different home. As seasoned court observers have noticed, the case’s outcome was a switch in the usual routine. Customarily, it’s the prosecutor who pushes for a jail term and the judge who favors probation. (There is nothing here to suggest the county attorney was remiss, however, since the psychiatric-care provision would have entailed close surveillance by authorities.) This is not to argue that the sentenced man is especially deserving of a one-year prison stretch. Nor does the case show landmark dimensions. The point is that the Linn district’s chief judge has departed markedly from the norm. One wonders: Did it also drop a hint to fellow judges? Way with words Suitable clothing By Theodore M. Bernstein SUITING the word to the fashion A recent ad for Wallachs, clothiers in the New York area, said that the word suit had been overworked “Because of the clothing industry’s meager vocabulary,” the ad said. “the word suit has been used to define every conc eivable combination of multi-purpose, mix-and-mateh garments, including ski-suits, resort suits and jump suits It < an only i>e a matter of time before pajamas become bedsuits. The Menswear Retailers of America at a meeting in Dallas faced the question of what to call the traditional two- or three-piece thing that a man wears to the office and came up with the designation suit-suit. Then the writer of the ad (presumably the veteran lx*s Pearl) said that the new designation “will also lend weight to the arguments of those who contend that our language, far from expanding, is rapidly contracting into a form of universal pigeon About that last statement there is room for dissent. The language is unquestionably expanding. All you need do to confirm this is to take a look at the 512-page Barnhart Dictionary of New English Since 1963 Of pigeon there is, to be sure, a plenitude in that book, but there is an even greater abundance of scientific, astronautical, linguistic, sociological, governmental and diplomatic terms And most of these terms fill the needs of a society of growing complexity. Theodore M. Hi Bernstein Sound word. As noted here before, this column is more interested in the written word than in the voiced word (though we at least know enough about pronunciation not to have written the wolfed vord) But Pauline Green of Philadelphia raises a question that other people often ask, so it will tx* answered briefly. She wants to know whether the pronunciation ahn-velope for the word envelope is an affectation The answer is no. Dictionaries give both pronunciations, though they seem to Im* unanimous in putting the en pronunciation first. What you use probably depends merely upon what Ma and Dad used and that goes for them, too. Word oddities. . The word pigeon — more often spelled pidgin — refers to a corrupted form of language. Originally it was a commercial jargon that originated in the Far East. The word, first used in the phrase pidgin English, was a Chinese perversion of the word business. New York Times Syndicate Ford ‘amateurish’ in his brass-ring grab By William Safire WASHINGTON - In President Nixon’s news summary one morning this week the story causing dismay and outrage was a summary of an article in The New Republic entitled “Ford s Future”, by John Osborne. Osborne, a shoeleather reporter who has earned his reputation for integrity, prefaces his account with a classic assertion of the “Lindley rule’’ about nonattribution: “This report is presented solely on my authority, and readers will just have to assume and believe that I haven’t made it up out of nothing . ” Then Vice-president Gerald Ford’s innermost thoughts are revealed. As President, he would certainly keep Secretary of State Kissinger and probably fire Secretary of Defense Sehlesinger. He would bring back Treasury Secretary George Shultz, hold on to Secretaries Brennan, Morton and Lynn, and perhaps let Secretary of Transportation Brinegar go. The “new Haldeman” at the White House would either be1 L. William Selman or Philip Buchan, both c ronies from Grand Rapids Counselor Bryce Harlow William Safire would tie retained and Press Secretary Ziegler dumped Official gagwriter would tx1 Bid) Orbin, who has impressive credentials from Red Skelton. The crowning touc h “The hours that he’s had to spend with the President,” writes Osborne, “mostly listening to Mr Nixon talk about this and that, have on a few occasions driven the vice-president close to distraction He’s brought himself recently to break off their conversations A few diehards might consider it unseemly for the vice president to bo confiding his plans for the assumption of power while the body of the sitting President is still warm Reached by telephone, the vice-president admits to being the source of most of the story but adds that he thought he was talking off the record during a flight from Florida to Washington, D C. The cabinet changes are “generally my views,” he says, but the crack about the presidential conversations distresses him: “I get somewhat embarrassed that I’m taking too much of his time,’ Ford explains. “I know he's busy, and I don’t want to sit there until he throws me out That’s what I meant, .and it was exaggerated considerably.” Evidently the vice-president confused “deep background,” which can be used without attribution, with “off the record,” which cannot be used at all Even so, his willingness to play cabinet Scrabble with reporters — he says Osborne was not the first — is hardly in good taste This episode follows Ford s denunciation of the 1972 Nixon campaign organization as “an arrogant, elite guard of political adolescents.’’ (Familiar phraseology: what happened to “effete”?) The purpose of that blast was to remove Republicans, and professional politicians as a class, from any Watergate taint: Blame the damned “amateurs.” Let us count the re-election committee amateurs: John Mitchell had previously run a national presidential campaign; Fred Larue had served as Mississippi’s Republican national committeeman for six years; Maurice Stans was Eisenhower’s budget director and the most experienced political fundraiser extant. Each of those professional politicians has much to answer for, but not for being wet behind the ears A ' citizen's operation” separate from the party organization was not only traditional but necessary because* party rules make it impossible to organize a campaign until after its convention officially designates a candidate By try ing to tag criminal acts of some individuals onto an entire class of political activists Ford called “amateurs,” Ford loped to shore up the self-esteem of elected <*fficials or party leaders, but it will not whitewash The blanket condemnation of Nixon s campaign committee, with its concomitant enshrinement of party wheelhorses as the guardians of v irtue, is both foolish and dangerous. Over 5(HI fulltime workers in the Committee for the Re-election of the President, including IOO volunteers, w ho did nothing venal and an* accused of nothing, find themselves unfairly stigmatized Try to keep a job in government with “( REEP” emblazoned on your record; good people who are being hounded out of jobs think it ill becomes the vicepresident to exhort their persecutors. In both his finger-pointing and his predictions of how he would reshuffle the cabinet and White House. Ford tx1 trays a lack of understanding of the uniqueness of his role: He is the first vice president in American history whose own actions could help make him President. lb* must lx* at once loyal and independent; both his own man and the President’s man; a defender uncorrupted by the defense This duality requires more political skill than we have recently seen in Ford. He will miss the brass ring if he grabs at it To press audiences, the v ice president likos to tell about driving past the White House at night and being reminded that “if you worked here, you’d be home already.” Good joke; a little levity is not out of place. But in the larger matters of understanding one’s own dual responsibilities as heir and not pretender, seemliness is next to godliness. New York Times Service Insights To the Editor: This is in reference to Mr. Canton-wine’s letter April 7 stating: “When a doctor removes a cancer by surgery he must remove some of the good flesh to get all the cancer. By the same token we must not be afraid to convict an innocent man I percent of the time to get all the guilty.” There is simply no correlation between a surgical operation and the taking of an innocent man’s life. Mr. Cantonwine is only repeating what Dr. Goebbels spewed out as spokesman for Adolf Hitler when Hitler needed an excuse for the massacre of entire towns such as Lidice. It must be a great feeling to know one is so perfect that one can never commit these crimes one reads about. I wonder what Mr. Cantonwine’s feelings would be if he were mistakenly identified for someone else and arrested for a crime he didn’t commit? Would he still want the innocent to be convicted because, as he says, “it is necessary to restore respect for the law and protect law-abiding citizens?” No, instead of making holier-than-thou statements when we read about a crime, it is far better to say, “Thine, but for the grace of God, go I.” Wayne Bethea 2050 Glass roid NE Youth views Democracy is based upon the conviction that there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people Harry Emerson Fosdick To the Editor: As a teacher at Prairie high school, I have asked my U.S. Politics students to assess one aspect of the sexual, political or economic situation today Here are the opinions of tomorrow’s decision-makers. Mark Towers 3003 Bramble road SW (Editor s note: Excerpts from a number of the letters follow ) I feel that police taking lie detector tests is unconstitutional. The Constitution provides the same protection to police as it does to the rest of the public. . . Karen Ammeter Swisher The supreme court's latest ruling on pornography and obscenity is utterly and undeniably a mockery of justice in America The ruling was so vague and incomprehensible, it s ridiculous William Church Ely I can’t understand why these Cedar Rapids police officers could have so much pride as to not take a lie detector test when they’re not guilty of dishonesty . taking bribes, search and seizure, etc What have they got to lose? Terne Frieden Route I. Fairfax The taxpayers should not have to pay to keep murderers alive in prisons I think the death penalty should tx* brought back in our laws Carol F’rondle 442(1 Bowling street SM I say abortions are legalized murder because abortion is the destroying of a life. The life that is being destroyed may not tx* a physical life at the time, but if left untouched would become a human life Dan Green Route 2, Cedar Rapids To me abortion is killing and should be outlawed except in extreme cases where the mother's life is in danger Jeff Hamilton 3627 Colorado drive SM It is hard for me to believe that the gas shortage is authentic when there are oil tanks in Kansas and Oklahoma full of oil arid tankers off the coast of the U S. waiting to unload their oil Mark Johnson Route I, Swisher . . . The front put up by the government on the gas shortage was a good thing because it cut down traffic accidents, but that was the only good thing about it. Dawn Mitchell 57011 Ohio street SM . . . What is there for us to do in Cedar Rapids besides going to a movie or trying our luck at a bar9 What we need is some kind of recreation hall supported by taxes. A few pool tables, pinball machines and a fountain would be adequate. . . Randy Myers Route I, Ely I fix*! the death penalty should be reinstated in Iowa The people who do this stuff are still running loose or get out of prison on good behavior. Mark Paul 5525 Vermont street SW I feel that the resignation of President Nixon is a necessity to our political society, to equal out the power of political parties. . . If he were to resign now, maybe by the next presidential election the Republicans’ power as a political party could be restored. Pete Randles 68 Devonwood avenue SW . . . We already have a crooked government and we certainly don’t need a crooked police force. I would like to know why some of our police officers are so much against taking lie detector tests. What is it they are hiding? . . . Cristal Richardson Route I, Ely . . . Private schools seem to have a much harder curriculum than public schools do. More history, English and foreign languages are taught. Graduates have a much better chance of getting hired for a job if they have had a parochial education. College seems much easier to almost any of them who go. I don't really think this is fair to the rest of us who aren’t Catholic or don’t have enough money to go to a private school. . . Nancy Shakespeare -    —    Fairfax Many of my classmates believe that the government in Iowa should bring back the death penalty, but I do not. Often there is something very wrong mentally with criminals, and they should be helped, but not let go. Prisons should do something useful with these people by putting them to work Vernon Walters 566 Cornell street SW My view of the political situation of our country is very poor. Watergate has completely disrupted the trust and confidence that the nation s political system once held Caroline Wolfe 3(H) J street SM I believe that murderers should and must be punished and withdrawn from society where they can do more harm than good However, I do not feel that they should be punished by death Is it just to tell a man it is wrong to kill his fellow man and then in return kill him as punishment9 Joyce F’.laine Young 5136 Ohio str<*et SM Misquoted To the F'.ditor And so “The Gazette regrets this error” in a I k*-by-D V inch insert in the next edition of the pajx*r I am referring to The Gazette’s misquoting Harold Sullivan, a Democratic nominee for the Second congressional district candidacy, as being pro-aliortion when he is. in fact, pro-life I wonder how many votes he lost on that misquote Mine, for certain if I hail not Iicon involved closely enough to be shocked into disbelief and therefore to check further I might never have seen that tiny correction What I am suggesting is that there lx‘ a special place for corrections in your jiaper, that they be in very bold, eyecatching print that we may know where we can turn directly to six* what gross errors and misquotes may be turned around the next day. Abortion, one of the biggest issues of the day, is not an issue one wants to tx* misquote! on Pat Halstead Route 3. Marion Reread To the Editor: I would urge that readers get out The Gazette of March 30 or borrow it from a neighbor or even buy the back copy, then reread the Forum letter on the lower corner of the editorial page by Deraid I) Hafner (“Impeachable wrongs”), then give the ideas some serious thought and then write or do something about it This is not to underestimate the Ma-tergate affair, but consider seriously “the acceptance of the disastrous foreign and domestic policies” and “what s being done to the Constitution, independence and free enterprise.” All this is accepted. Foreign trade with communist countries was to have been avoided, but that is not true. Some of this trade was and is being used to kill American boys, and this also results in shortage's and high prices There s lots more I am just calling the letter to people’s attention in case they missed it. Marie Wokoun 838 Fifteenth street SF: Strangle To the F:ditor Is nothing sacred anymore? Motherhood has been sacked by women’s libbers, and now your editorial (Out of place”, April 9) has deemed the playing of the National Anthem at sporting events as a "cobwebbed old custom” and inappropriate. I hope you choke on your next piece of apple pie. Coleen Carberry Newhall ;

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