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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - December 14, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (th* fhgmU Cftajttb Editorial Page Saturday, December 14, 1974 CR. s fop need: housing I beg your pardon ... This is the executive bench' After two months of vigorous study, Cedar Rapids’ community development volunteer planners have identified housing rehabilitation as the city’s most compelling need. Accordingly, they have recommended that the city’s first-year community development (CD) act share of $1,285,000 be used entirely for home upgrading, acquisition of properties, demolition of structures beyond saving and sundry other neighborhood conservation efforts. In other words, the goal is to continue neighborhood rehabilitation 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 (SE), Riverside (SW) and Time Check (NW). CD funds also are proposed for intensive housing code enforcement in neighborhoods located near Coe college and along Mt. Vernon road SE. Those observing the work of the four quadrant committees and the priorities committee (representing the four earlier-organized groups) realize that the housing choice was anything but automatic. Improved flood control, development of Cedar lake as a recreational facility, pollution control, storm sewer improvements — 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 ineligible for CD funding but nonetheless were forwarded to the city council as reflections of community concern. None of the volunteers imagined that $1.3 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 notice. 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 18,870 housing units in Linn county, 8,080 showed minor deficiencies and 2,533 major deficiencies. Another 580 dwellings were adjudged substandard. The remaining 7,677 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 planning commission study also showed that 5,400 households lack adequate income to provide safe, decent housing. Significantly, that category includes 2,100 elderly low-income households wherein more than 25 percent of income is required for housing. Though evidence of austerity and hardship runs coBnter to Cedar Rapids’ image as a comfortable, depression-proof community, the statistics and the compelling human stories behind them rate as non-news for the city planning and redevelopment staff. in their years of Neighborhood Development Program work, city staffers saw not only citizens’ eagerness for housing conservation 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 neighborhood conservation suggests that its continuation under community 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. Compassion on Target From all reports. Target store's first annual shopping night for the elderly and handicapped Dec. 8 was a bell-ringing success. Store closed to other shoppers 7:30 to IO; rides sponsored by the store, coordinated by the Council on Aging and provided by RTG and SEATS; wheelchairs made available; refreshments served — all conveniences assured leisurely shopping for the 300 participants visiting the store that night. The idea pioneered by the Moline, 111., Target store last year indeed worked well in Cedar Rapids this Christmas season. It’s a winning gesture, this special planning for people who otherwise 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? — because they are paid up to several thousand dollars a year to keep the worthless artillery oiled The example is only one of a lengthy list of similar budget abuses and wastrel extravagance in the U. S. military reserve system, a system that has through the decades defied almost all attempts to modify or eliminate it. Americans spend more than $4 billion annually to preserve a 2 4-million-man reserve apparatus that in the opinion of many military and civilian observers is largely a joke. Numerous investigations have reinforced this opinion A recent Brookings Institute study concluded that most reserve units (including reserve and New ‘Hans und Friold Mitchell Coverup trial’s human stories By William Sabre WASHINGTON — Leaving the question of innocence to the jury and the subject of fairness to the appeals courts, it may be instructive to observe the effect of the Watergate trial on the three key defendants and to see how their personalities have determined the contrast of their defenses. H. R. “Bob” Haldeman — he of the ramrod repute, the martinet appearance in hts 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 reput'd: “Who’d know me?” 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-spoken, kind, mild-mannered, reverent and reasonable, a far cry from the fierce wielder of power he used to be known to be. That Is because the former adman places great importance in “image,” 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 philosophy that appearances count, and personally loyal to the man whose alter ego he was John Ehrlichman has taken a different path. His relationship with Nixon was not quite as close as Haldeman’s; when Nixon turned Haldeman down on anything, he did it directly, but when People's forum ■yyyyyyyyyy.v.'y.- Look it up Thoughtful gesture To the Editor: I feel positive I voice the opinions of the many elderly and handicapped persons who experienced the thrill of leisurely shopping at the Target store Sunday 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 distances, I maneuvered her up and down every aisle while my aunt trailed along with the shopping cart W hat a delight it was to these house- and room-bound peo-pie to select gifts for their loved ones in ^ v^uch an atmosphere of old-time, oldfashioned hospitality As guests of the store we had luscious doughnuts, cake, coffee, Cokes and an invitation for seconds — all free. As the evening came to a close the sweet voices ut 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 attack on Pearl Harbor with its IO square miles of military installations, the naval base bearing the brunt of death and destruction About four years later another President authorized the use of the most destructive weapon of that time, the atom bomb. Dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, indiscriminately, it obliterated or wrec ked many square miles of property and killed an estimated IOO (IOO men, women and children Other thousands injured and maimed were to die later. Seems like Truman had his “day of infamy” too. All that aside, it appears that we have had in our midst for years a killer weapon destroying more people than the atom bomb, although more slowly. It will cause death to possibly 81,000 of an estimated 91,000 to be stricken in 1975 alone and will continue in its merciless course unless man heeds the warning signals soon enough. This is a preventable tragedy caused by a sort of lethal time capsule — billions of them — endlessly exuding noxious chemicals. As to humans stricken by these deadly “objects,” 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 this calamitous report. It is based on an article quoting an authoritative medical scientist in Die Gazette of Dec 4 on page 4C. Those who did not read this article might do well to find it and read it The life they might save could be their own You can learn what this deadly weapon is and the disease* it causes. The heading’s two lines began with the words “Doctor” and “Calamity.” Al Watson Whittier 1-380 resistance To the Editor: In your Dec*. 6 editorial, “Hiawatha roadblock”, the comparison to David and Goliath is almost 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. Refreshingly, though, The Gazette has now taken an open stand against the people of Hiawatha Bedroom community9 Perhaps, but for 13 4 years I have been able to sleep in this bedroom and that’s more than I can say for the six years that I livid in Cedar Rapids. As early as 1964 citizens of Hiawatha attended    meetings    in    Cedar    Rapids conducted by the highway commission planning    committee    obje*cting    to this route through Hiawatha and were told their objections were premature since several routes were tieing considered. Check your Gazette files; you reported it An editor’s note    to    Martin    Bruns’ letter in    the Dec.    IO    Gazette    denied biased reporting. However in reporting 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 plumbcTs unit, and he has already been convicted for that. His plumbers’ defense required a hard national security rationale, which is why he clashed so sharply with senators at the televised hearings last year; on the coverup conspiracy charge, Ehrlichman believes he was drawn in only to help the prosecution discredit the former President. Which he is willing to do. If his role is to be a latter-day Dean, he will play that role. His defense, which has puzzled some of those observing the trial, is to side with the prosecution, more in sorrow than in anger. Ehrlichman’s lawyer claims his client was “had”; Ehrlichman demands Nixon s presence as a witness’ in the trial s most poignant 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 to any official family; if his testimony harms other defendants, so be it. In seeking to transfer the blame, he infuriates 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 enchilada ’? John Mitchell would not know how to begin to change his image; like Aleksei Kosygin, he was born to fulfill the definition of the word “dour ” Nor has Mitchell changed his story, He says he did not authorize the breakin, and flatly contradicts the testimony the council proceedings in one of Hiawatha’s council meetings, the reporter felt a need to point out that the mayor’s house would be lost to the highway. That IS a fact but was not part of the council proceedings. More apparently it was an effort to imply that our mayor’s motives were suspec t. The Dec1. 6 editorial suggested that Hiawatha officials “ought to accept the Hiawatha routing,” thus ignoring the wishes of Hiawatha’s people. This practice can bt* found at the federal and state level of government and perhaps in many cities but not in Hiawatha “Nourish local business”? I see no bast* for stating such a presumption as fact, or does The Gazette feel its economic expertise is not to be questioned? “Boost the community esthetically”? Would The Gazette have us believe that a 20-foot embankment full of noisy traf- Insi ft/its lf a man is good, decent and clean, he will continue to be so regardless of the work he is assigned to. Fiorello La Cuardia of a parade of witnesses who copped their pleas. And despite the disparagement on the tape transcripts that must have stung him, he has not turned on Richard Nixon More than anyone in the drama. Mitchell has turned out to be* what David Reisman called “the inner-direct-ed man.” Unsustained by a religious faith,’ 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 most reluctant. He liked his lucrative law practice; he was fearful of what the limelight might do to his wife. To Mitchell, typecast as the heavy, the play of power was no aphrodisiac. The President needed him, so he came; neither powerlust nor greed brought him to Washington for his rendezvous with disaster. Mitchell’s easy tolerance of eavesdropping brought most of the disaster on himself, of course, but the purpose of this elegy written 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 w hom is as evil or stupid as the other two now think he is — react differently in the same situation. Haldeman shifts his image. Ehrlichman shifts his blame, Mitchell shifts his pipe to the other side of his mouth. Haldeman stands loyally by his disgraced leader, Ehrlichman sadly condemns him, Mitchell refuses to pass judgment at all. “Put ’em all in a bag,” Richard Nixon used to say about slates of opposing candidates, so 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 Yew* Tim*t Ser*jC# fie next to 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 single-mindedness that would create an atrocity that can murder an entire city. Hang in there, Hiawatha Beware, “Goliath”; do not overlook the potential of the kid with the slingshot. Lewis Vinson 5 Sixth avenue, Hiawatha Revolutionary To the Editor: R. D Rucker's letter (Dec 5 Gazette, “Soviets lean toward capitalism") calls for comment, lf he is speaking for the entire history department at U. of I., this department has been thoroughly brainwashed Let s get back to teaching facts in our schools instead of communist propaganda Kurt London states in “The Permanent Crisis “Psychological warfare is propaganda with 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 their government and arouse sympathy for their opponents.” Mr. london is a professor of international affairs and director of the Institute for Sino-Soviet Studies at George Washington university Mr. Rut ker states “the Communist party (since 1956) has ceased to be revolutionary” and “the Communist party Soviet Union is striving to prevent, delay and lf necessary misdirect revolu- guard components) are woefully short of combat capacity; that at least 300,000 of the paid reservists (there are 925,IMH)) could be* eliminated without fear of disrupting national security and that, indeed, the state of the reserves is so low that entire new regular army units could be brought to proficiency in the time it would take to whip most reservists into battlefield condition. The Daytona Beach battery is a ripe* illustration of the last point. While it has been shinirtg up outdated AA artillery for the last dozen years, several generations of new air defense guns have come and gone Says one b lorida guard colonel: “If we could, we d get the new weapons. As it is, if it came to an emergency, we d have to completely retrain these men in the new weaponry. That would probably take months. Maybe it would take as much as a year. Even then, remember, they’d be no good against nuclear attack.” Thus it is that rather than add to the national security, much of America’s reserve military capacity may be detracting from it. “The sheer statistics of the reserves may have lulled us into a sense of false security,” says a Brookings 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 nothing but mathematics. Our reserve bigness is mostly expensive fat The situation is nothing new Critics have worried over reserve excesses and incapabilities since the end of World war ll But most tries at modernization including Robert McNamara’s sensible plan to merge the guard and reserve into one lean unit, have gone down the drain One reason is the powerful antichange lobby within the reserve itself: state governors command national guard units, leading citizens comprise local companies, and almost one of five in the current congress is a proud member of the big fellowship club. Even now, with congress casting about for ways to cut spending, nary a word of wonder is raised about the need for a 64 bi I lion-a-year reserve. The armed services committees recognize the reserve deficiencies, but think in terms of increasing outlays to achieve better performance. “Cut the budget?” says an astonished staffer, “are you kidding?” About half the members of both armed services committee's are reservists. Tom Tiede Still, in tunes of inflation, cuts may not be avoided for long. One idea worth considering is a total restructuring of the reserves into cadre units. This, done now on a small scale, would eliminate everyone from selected (pauf) status except highly skilled or administrative people who would continue to keep organizational apparatus active toward the day of possible mobilization. If the day came, the cadre would simply call ready (standby) reservists up to flesh out the ranks. The citizen-soldiers, this way, would still be ready for emergency duty, but the nation wouldn't pay them unless it occurred New looper Enterprise Anociation lion 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 subjection many small nations, as well as attempting to start revolutions in the United States, such as Wounded Knee In his discussion of Dr. Almasov, who is a Russian native and should know his facts, Mr. Rucker states that Dr. Almasov does not know what he is talking about when he says “Moscow is fomenting revolution throughout the world.” There are at 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 States. Because 26 nations abstained from voting for fear of alienating their communist “benefactors,” these 71 tiny nations, all of them under the Soviet thumb, together with the communist bloc*, constituted a two-thirds majority in the U. N. General Assembly on Nov 4 when this body rolled out the welcome mat for the Arab terrorists. Comrade Brezhnev and his cohorts both in Russia and in the United States 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 at nothing to bring its kind of' peace to all countries. See Portugal, Katanga, Cuba. Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Laos, Vietnam and others .. . Clarke K. Mason Central City ;

Clippings and Obituaries for the Cedar Rapids Gazette